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Monday, December 23, 2013

What Is Your 2014 Challenge?

It's the kind of night that feels still.  It is 9:30PM.  There is a haunting lone train whistle in the night but at the same time feels like the song, all is calm all is bright.  People that write songs are amazing.  People who write are amazing.  I think writing must be like singing, drawing, all of the arts you either have a talent for it or you don't.  Then again I have read and believe from personal experience that as Woody Allen says, there is a story in your head you want to tell and only 60 percent of it comes out.

I also heard someone say the other day that when she was chosen to go to an Artist's Retreat Colony for a year to write a book she had started as soon ss she got there the book she was going to write disappeared or turned to crap in her head so she called her agent and was told...."write it anyway".  She said that was the greatest advice because if you keep tearing up and starting over you end up with nothing.  Better to go with awful and stick with it then mine it for gold and as she said she ended up with a book she had written.  It was not the book she wanted to write but it was a book and now she is writing another.

That is what ballet class feels like.  Always missing the mark.  Yes I feel progress but it is far short of what I think I could do would do will do next time.  Only once in a great while do I leave ballet class with a sense of accomplishment.  9 time out or 10 I leave not feeling depressed just a feeling of thinking I could or should be doing so much better.  Of course now I an not able to dance at all and I think it is going on 3 months.  My hip is healing each day so we shall see if I get to return to the barre in 2014.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will walk the river early in the morning and again in the afternoon alone and the same on Christmas Day.  This alone time will recharge my batteries to prepare for my family and trip to Las Vegas for New Years Eve.  Me who is way out of my comfort zone around people celebrating the incoming New Year in Vegas baby will be a trip.  This coming year my horoscope tells me the Cosmos has scheduled me to instigate some major creative activity in 2014.  Instigating is not my strong point.  But I AM UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!!!!  I hope.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Best Gifts EVER!!!!!!

Here we go....a few days before Chritmas....wheee.  Feel like I am on the upside of a roller coaster.  A total surprise I get to see my daughter and grand children for Christmas.....and a trip to Las Vegas for New Years Eve.  My life just turned into a whirlwind with one phone call.  Me who stays home alone for the Holidays is really going to be taking a risk.....going out of my comfort zone for sure... to ring in the New Year 2014.

Yes I feel like I am already on the joy train and want to savor each moment.  This moment NOW just being with the experience and not trying to shape it or form it into anything other than what it is.....PURE JOY!!!

Maybe I am being re-born.....shedding some skin and coming out of my cocoon free.  where my normal habits and ways of doing things are being shaken up and my rigid discipline and strict ballet class mentality is taking a huge vacation. Maybe what I had planned for myself with 5 ballet classes a week with no excuses and sticking to the program no matter what has slowly turned into the opposite with no ballet classes.   If I just stay out of the way and let things evolve I will be happy and LOVE w surrounds us in many ways.

I know what I did with my hip.  Forced myself to class, tried to make adjustments and tried to ignore the pain.  The healing process feels slow because I am not ignoring it.  My mind focuses on it 24/7.  Now is the time to allow change to happen and observe the beauty when I stay out of the way.  Beauty Is when you are not.  When only the energy and the perfume and the essence is the focus.

Tis the Season...this is where I live and what it looks like right now.  The beauty of Mt. Hood is my gift everyday. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Want To Be Like Kathy

 Today I was more relaxed when aware my thoughts went to exercise. This  more peaceful place led me to my walk when I arrived home and follow through on my stretches.  One of the ways to stay motivated is to ingrain and remember the feeling of how it feels when keeping commitments and following through on healthy choices.  I am savoring this feeling.

A message from one of my best friends in my Inbox at work this morning.  To follow our inner guidance, take risks, have the clarity to choose which risks to take...and follow the hero's path into the new year 2014.  I am all about it!!!!

On my walk tonight it came to me that I may never find another exercise class to replace ballet class and that is okay.  My exercise can always be a long walk and stretches that I enjoy instead of forcing myself to go to a gym or a yoga class that I am not in tune with just because it is an exercise class.  I do not NEED a class I can be my own class and my own teacher.  This opens me to learning what is NEW??  My Inner Guidance needs a clear playing field so old ideas, old rules, old wants needs to be left alone.  When I hear...."you have need to...." all can be listened to and then left alone. 

Looking forward to comic relief tonight with a Kathy Griffin special.   I want a friend like her or want to be funny like her.  I took an Improv class once hoping I could learn to be funny and it was NOT FUN.  I was terrible at improv.  When I watch Kathy she makes it look so easy to find the funny in everything and I love her expressions.  Then I think.....hey I can do that.  YEAH RIGHT!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Life With No Goal

What if I give up on everything my heart is not in?  Ballet class is a discipline and you just show up.  No excuses.  The training is strict and the mind needs to be sharp.  When I cannot go to class my mind turns to mush.  I want to keep some kind of activity going and have no idea what to do.

I am cold.  Physically and mentally so I need to stop writing nonsense.  There is nothing to report.  All is blank.  I know how much pain people are suffering and do not see how they get the courage to go through it.  I don't know anything.  Living in that place of not knowing feels deadening but also liberating.

I'm cold, hungry and tired.  Tonight with no exercise feels like I am losing a battle to stay healthy.  What am I going to do about it?  Eat a good dinner and smile, and just keep at it.  Stay focused on what is in front of me even when I feel like I am losing ground.  Can I let go of all goals and live my life from a place of not knowing anything?  Not having a goal feels so scary.  How can I live without one?
  Twenty five years of dance and I may be moving on.....or not.  I don't know.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Falling And Getting Up Again and Again

  Freezing cold after work today so no walk no stretches no exercise for this athlete.  Maybe I am in transition to a different endeavor.  Too many expectations when I label myself an athlete so I will let that go.  I am my own personal trainer and coach.  Who has ever heard being too cold an excuse for not exercising when one has a cozy apartment with a carpet to stretch out on?.

Martha Graham said, "we are all athletes in training.  Whatever you spend MOST of your time doing is your athletic endeavor."   Currently my endeavor is putting one foot in front of the other and that means doing a lot of what feels like absolutely nothing.
Monday night 5PM normally I would be heading to ballet class.  Is there a normal?  What do I mean by normal?  When my routine gets changed I feel I am not normal.  WHAT???Who wants to live their life in a routine anyway?  I would be the last to raise my hand and yet when I cannot accomplish what I plan to do I feel like something is wrong and I need to fix it NOW!  Life is so much more complicated so through all my lessons what have I learned?  My response to change wavers back and forth between feeling angry and sad with sprinkles of relaxing and smiling knowing this too shall pass.

Derrick Rose an NBA athlete has not spoken for 17 days.  One year he was the youngest player to be voted "MVP".   Last year he had to take the whole season off to heal a torn knee.  He just came back this year to play again only a few games then tore his other knee and is out for the rest of this year.  He is 24 years old.  His mother told him "inspiration comes in times of adversity".  He shrugged his shoulders.
 When I read this story today my heart went out to him. My prayer is he will find a way to heal and the courage that will take may help others along the way.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting Old Is So Easy

Sunday walk on the river and stretches for my exercise.  My hip is along way from ballet class.  I repeated automatically today over and over....I need an exercise PROGRAM.  Why are they so hard to find??  I was driving by the Naturopathic College and thought WHY do they not have physical fitness classes?  Soooo maddening.  Maybe if I get angry enough I will give up on exercise all together.  I have been known to go to extremes and I am feeling so much like that right now.

I swear there is not one subject I am interested in taking.  Nothing interests me in the slightest.  Oh a free workshop on how to write?  Could care less.  Open enrollment at any Health Club in town after Christmas.  NOT INTERESTED.  Free yoga classes starting tomorrow in my neighborhood.  I don't care!!!!!!

Getting old is about not leariing and not inspired to learn.  Hey Me....I am getting old!!!!!

 Downton Abbey is on TV tonight.  I did not get on that train when everyone else did.  I have only watched bits and pieces but I adore BRITISH TV.   British everything really.  It does seem to be the most refined drama on TV and I normally do not have time to watch.  But tonight...I have all the time in the world to become a vegetable and just watch other people live their lives even if it is made for TV.  Tonight is called a marathon of the past 3 episodes to lead up to the premier of the new shows in January.   SERIOUSLY???  This is going to be my life? 
 Next I will be purchasing their line of jewelry at Macy's!!!!!!!!  Please help me.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mind Games And Exercise

A walk along the river this morning at 11AM then yoga stretches.  My hip feeling on the mend until....tonight.  An afternoon of shopping stressed my hip area and now feel like I may never be able to go to ballet class again or any exercise class.

Looked up classes at PCC tonight and they offer not one class I would have access to either because  time of day or location.  It is just nutso.  Mind games are incessant.  So what if I can never take another dance class?  My mother had so many different interests.  I wonder why I do not.  I could name a million things I have no interest in learning how to do and only one that I want to learn and that is as good as over with for me.  ONWARD!!!

Writing my thoughts down does not FEEL like it is helping a thing.  Remind myself this is NOT an exercise about RESULTS it is about looking for patterns.

"You can't wait for inspiration you have to go after it with a club" ,,,Jack London

Claire Willi started dancing at the age of 75.  Today at age 96 she is more lean and agile than most people half her age.  I cut this article our of Dance Magazine a zillion years ago and hung it on my wall for inspiration.  You can't get better than AWESOME!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Are You Doing Somethng?

When I signed up for Financial Aide to attend college I had no idea I would go so far in debt.  It just didn't matter to me.  Money was not an object.  I was a single parent and qualified for every loan available in the 80's and I had no worries about paying it back.  My focus was on getting a BA and having fun learning.

Today not knowing where my life is heading an email at work this morning  to sign up for a "Yoga Therapy Training Program".  I printed out the application. The Course Fees were $3,000.00. If my heart was in it and I wanted to head in this direction I would fill out the application and not look back.  The impetus is not there.  I have taken yoga classes from this studio  and the teachers did not grab me like Joan did.  Maybe I am much wiser now and no teacher would be able to make such an impression upon me.

I want a training program.  I want to train for something that is all encompassing.  I wanted a job like that .  I wanted my employment to be not only my livelihood but my reason for living.  Where everyday I would be the one percent of the population whose career is their passion.  That was my plan.  I was able to let that go over the years and be happy in my work.  Okay so not everyone can support themselves with their passion.  Dance class was my savior.  Something to challenge me.  In order to get to class it became my lifestyle.  I had to focus on my nutrition and keep myself prepared just to get to class each day

With each passing day my hip hurting and no ballet class I become more of a vegetable.  Today after work I get groceries then ask my neighbor to fix my computer then wirte this blog as I watch Kobe have to watch his passion change radically.

 Reading an article in Runners World said when she STOPPED eating, breathing, training and focusing on running running started to become more enjoyable again.  WHAT???

Okay, like the memoirs I am reading of a thirty something that is a fashion writer in London and had money and access to fly all over the world going to every kind of art event and had all the clothes she wanted, the perfect apartment and social life but it was not enough.  When her boyfriend left her she wanted a new life in rural France and now there she is wishing she was back in London.  HELLO!!

There is this awareness within myself that we are all connected and the experiences we have are not unlike each other   What once was is not anymore.  Letting go and not trying to fix it is the worst because we are conditioned to try and make it better.  When all the training all the conditioning fails us...  What to do?  Is it in the NOT DOING that leads us to a new place???

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Heading Down The Runway Of Life

Every intention to walk after work and started raining.  So what?  It was not windy only cold.  Doing minimal exercises in my front room is like pretending to keep my muscles in shape but not even close to what ballet class requires.  What to do?  Keep questioning everything.

Tonight my inspiration will be watching another episode of Project Runway Stars.  Having to be creative under pressure AND on National TV?  Could I?  I don't think so.   I am in awe when I watch artists create no matter what their craft.

 Self-Help books say pay attention to who and what you admire because that is the direction you are heading.  REALLY???  I have to see it first.  Right now I see a dark and rainy winter night,  traffic heading in every direction,  me sitting at my computer having no idea where I am heading.
  When I least expect it the design will come to me and I will win the challenge.....or at least have fun watching those that do.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Teachers Stay With Us Forever

Being a student for the past 25 years or more graduating from college, studying dance, yoga, Artist's Way, attending various workshops plus teaching various yoga classes and workshops for 20 years my journey has been mostly in a classroom of some kind.  Now I am in the humongous classroom called LIFE 101 and it is soooo much harder.  No teacher, no assignments, no combinations to learn, no set exercises or papers to write or reports to give or presentations to design and implement I feel LOST.

"Pain is the greatest teacher" she said.   She asked us to sit down against the wall after class and announced she had breast cancer.   I heard she had been a dancer since the age of three.  She came to Marylhurst to teach dance after being in a severe car accident where she was told she would never walk again.  In the hospital she asked for a radio and began moving her little finger to the music....the only thing she could move at the time.  Three years later she was teaching my class.  She had a double mastectomy yet died a year later.  She was in her forties.    She is the one who was my role model,  inspired me to dance and to become a yoga teacher.

I've heard if you have even one great teacher in your life you are fortunate and I have had many.  I had no idea I even wanted to take a dance class for my degree until my adviser suggested it.  I hated the class so much because I felt so self-conscious and like the worst one in the class.  Going across the floor one at a time freaked me out.  But I got an A, did not have to read a book or make a report and adored Joan so I signed up again.  That was the beginning of non stop dance classes of all kinds  to today moving what I can move.
 Joan Harmony, my mentor, my teacher, my inspiration, my catalyst to be more than I could dream.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Inspiration On The Street And On My Bulletin Board

Home from work at 3PM went directly for my walk.  I have to put myself on automatic pilot.  The minute my mind gets going I start with ...its too cold, I do not have to do anything I don't feel like, I do not like walking in winter so wait until it gets a little warmer blah blah wind so had to go for it.  Wind is hard for me to ignore.

Aware it is helpful to my psyche to notice every person walking, or jogging on my drive home from work. They give me inspiration and I tell myself see....they can do it so can you.  For months now my left hip hurts from over stressing in ballet class.  Then for many weeks my right foot started hurting out of nowhere.  Not enough to stop me from walking only annoying.  I changed shoes immediately thinking that was the problem but weeks went by and still hurt.

Almost home from my walk today I realize my foot does not hurt.  Just as I have no idea how it came about weeks ago I have no idea when it went away.  But it is pain free now.  I love when that happens.  

Ohhh my body did not feel like stretching tonight after my walk so I did very few.  I have been  flexible all of my life.  Given the name Gumby in ballet class and always asked to demonstrate the splits as my body naturally went there no problem until a few years ago.  I stopped stretching on a regular bases when I stopped teaching yoga and I also had read for my body type to gain strength I needed to focus on less stretch and more strengthening exercises.  Well what little I gained in strength I have lost big time in flexibility and where my muscles were extremely loose they now feel stiff and  tight.   I put this picture on my bulletin board many years ago for inspiration.   I need it now.
 Despite a knee injury Maryetta Evans, 85 wow 'em with a split during the show's grand finale'

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thought Processes At 29 degrees

Whine whine whine....its too cold to exercise.  Too cold to walk, too cold in my apartment to not be wrapped in a blanket, hey girl, this is the time you need to force yourself to go to a gym and workout or find a yoga class.  But I did call around to find a class of some kind the past few weeks it just did not happen.  I cannot find one.   Reality is tonight it is only 5pm and I sit here at my computer holding my head in both hands with eyes closed so tired I can barely feel myself breathing...

Woke up this morning and wrote:  It does not matter what we believe what matter is if we love.

Do we make our own choices or is life pre-destined?  It just doesn't  matter.  Not going for my walk after work, not doing any exercise at all I find myself brain dead.  Kobe talked today about being an athlete coming back from an injury like cutting down a tree one has to keep chopping and keep chopping, stay at it and stay focused internally on what you have to do.  Nutrition is major and stretches.

What is lost nothing, feeling the air entering my nostrils and leaving....fingers wrapped around a cup of hot Vitamin C water, gratitude... aware of gratitude...mind is overwhelmed with blessings too numerous to mention.  Being in a state of gratitude is pure grace.  Do I bring that on myself or is it given to me as a gift?

                                          Leave it alone.....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

An Exercise Fanatic

Twenty degrees in Portland town today but sunshine and no wind.  After not walking due to cold temps for several days except for shopping at The Mall (totally does not count for exercise) I knew I had to put on my knit tights, plus leggings, cami, thermal tee, hoodie, plus jacket, wool hat and go walk the river.  After seeing runners  earlier in the morning, and bicyclists all decked out like Lance Armstrong I knew I had to get my own training in gear.

Met R. and J. for coffee.  R asked me why I decided to go to my companies holiday party and if it was because of the documentary we saw last week called "Finding Joe" about the teachings of Joseph Campbell and others.  It was mentioned as an artist to do at least one thing every 7 days that takes you out of your comfort zone.  That would be socializing for me.  It is so uncomfortable for me to try and make conversation in groups of people.

I told her I think it must be because every ballet class was so challenging for me and uncomfortable that without it now I feel a need to find other things to do that take me out of complacency.  Who knows where my journey is going.  I just want to keep opening to what is new each day.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Do We Make Our Own Choices...

...or are we driven?  Do you remember when sequins were everywhere on everything?  I am not afraid of sequins I just don't like to wear them when they are trending.  So now when I want them they are gone.  Victoria Secret has a sequin Bomber jacket that is blinding.  Not finding anything else sequin at the Mall except old lady sweaters I thought I would give it a go.  It was so heavy I did not take it off the hanger.  I cannot stand thick heavy clothes.  I like to feel free in my clothes and in my LIFE.

Standing in the kitchen of my new apartment after leaving my second marriage my father asks, "What do you want?"  "To be free"..  "What does that mean?"  "I don't know it's just a feeling I want."  "You need to start using your head"  He hardly ever told me what to do.

Keeping a journal of my daily thoughts is a way to become aware of personal thought patterns NOT to change them or judge them ONLY to be aware of them and LEAVE THEM ALONE.
He's BAAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!!  Unlike any other.  He is the Art of Basketball.  What does it FEEL like to change your game???

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who Am I

Sooo cold today no walk and no stretches at home my body. mind, spirit is craving ballet class.  Hip still hurting but read my horoscope today and that could be changing in two weeks.  Yay!!!

Health begins in the kitchen and I am liking my new diet.  It is called The Harley Diet and I guess Kim Kardashian used it so why is he not calling it the KK diet to sell billions of copies?     Fruit in the morning, starches an hour later and greens with protein for lunch and dinner.   For the first time in awhile I feel energized and did not measure my inches but after only a few weeks I do have a  flat stomach.  Yay!!!

Watching Project Runway last night wrote down "As an artist work on finding who you are".   "Who Am I" was one of my favorite classes at Marylhurst College.  I really thought there was an answer to that question.  25 years later..I wonder what that would feel like?    I have no idea Who I Am.  Kobe the athlete I most admire says, "You have to see it first".  And tonight I wrote down, "Yay for slow decisions and painful processes", expressed by another artist.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Face Of The Day

What could be causing red dots popping out on my face the past few weeks?  Tonight a few are now turning into large red welts.  Sweet.  I have not put any moisturizers or lotions or serums or foundation of any kind on my face because studying the principles of the yoga philosophy it is important to breathe.  Yes and the recommended way is through the nostrils not your mouth.  Also through your skin.  So I decided no lotions or oils slathered on my skin including sunscreens of any kind would be best for me.

Since focusing on 4 ballet classes a week and working full time I found watching YouTube tutorials my choice of relaxation.  I love to learn and watching all the makeup gurus was interesting, fun, and relaxing.  Little did I know it was starting to affect my life.  I started experimenting a few weeks ago with making my own Vit C serum, using a new cleanser, and putting one pump of Roc moisturizer on my face every morning.  Sweet.  Now I have red spots and welts on my face.

First elimination was the Vit C because I told myself I used too much and just not using it for a few days the spots would go.  A few days later decided I should stop the cleanser and moisturizer and start over.  It has been three days now of no product and my face still is not right. I had no idea I had sensitive skin until I wanted to improve upon it. 

Here is my granddaughter Ms. Lauren right after getting her braces removed last week.  She is thrilled.
Here she is with a self portrait she took on her phone.  These pictures are so precious to me because living so far away and only being able to visit once a year is something many of us have to make the best of and be thankful we at least have ways to communicate.  They live in Arkansas and she just now sent me a text they have lost power due to ice so they are all cuddled in bed.  Tonight in Oregon I am cold enough.
Last night I found the sweetest book.  It is so delightful.  I have only read the first chapter and it is so well written and FUNNY.  Oh if only I could write like her.  I wonder if I could learn?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


This is too crazy.  I am remembering how to post a blog on this cold December 2013 at 9:30PM.  No idea what settings mean what and bummer.  No one taught me how to post or make my blog I did it all myself about a year ago and now not posting for about 6 months it feels like I have never done this before.

 It is slowly coming back to me but I get it.  I need to either put some time and effort into blogging or lose the ability to do it at all.  Well it all makes sense.  Since I have not been able to put time and effort into ballet class in the past month I am feeling the need to put effort into something creative and this is as close as I can get.  

Having to get a new router and install myself and then have everything look different including YouTube and Firefox page and Microsoft 2010 screen I cannot get rid of I need help.  This is not all the way back to where I started blogging saying I had no idea what I was doing so I do have some muscle memory for this just like in ballet when I return it feels like starting over but the muscles respond slowly.  Barbarina......are you going to keep blogging or WWWWWHHHHAAAATTTT???

I am too private a person to make this my new journal.  A journal is supposed to be free flowing writing my feelings as they come and at least that would keep me in the training mode of writing each day and I know that is what it takes is effort just to show up and write.  But for me that means showing up to make improvements and study and learn and do my best and a journal is not an art form it is just putting words down on paper.  Blogging needs to mean something....or does it.  What if my blog is just random writings each evening about whatever comes to me and leave it at that.  No one will read it and it will be a different kind of blog.  I am all about being different even if it is wrong so yes, I will just go for it.  Every night just post my random thoughts for the day and of course a photo that relates to my thoughts and see where this path takes me.  My journey in writing freestyle. 

Tonight is the first night of my freestyle blogging and maybe I will be brave enough not to censor my thoughts.  It is now 10PM and cold outside but clear enough to see the lights of the Christmas tree lit on the roof of Johns Landing.  The night feels calm.  Normal traffic.  Staring out my picture window is a blessing.  Life is always moving.  People are always going somewhere.  Even me when it does not feel like it.  I have been struggling with letting go of my passion to study ballet because of an injury that may or may not heal.  It has taken me a week of being aware that my life is more than one passion and I am grateful number one. 

How can I get to grateful when this injury is keeping me from my passion?  Wow!!  There is so much more for me to discover.  Goodnight.