Coming from a Bikram yoga class last night, pre-dinner, I weighed myself, and heeeey, as of July, I have lost 12 pounds! =) OK, so it varies between 7-12, depending on how much I ate--or didn't eat, haha. But still! Wow! Yippee! I stopped weights and just focused on cardio...and yoga [I only do cardio when I can't do my yoga practice], and lookit! Kewl ;) Weight aside, Bikram yoga has helped me establish better breathing, better stress management [what stress? why stress?], better posture, and most importantly, better respect for my body. Bikram, or "hot" yoga entered my life in April this year. I stopped for a month last June, and it was a very low, hopeless time in my life, but ever since last July, I have returned, going strong, trying my best to go twice a week, once a week if I'm totally booked. There were two weeks in a row where I went four times each week, for which I'm proud of having done. And those two weeks being just last week and the one before that, I think it helped me get stronger and more flexible: I've been commended for my backward bend and recently, my rabbit pose, the latter which I'm very surprised about, 'coz I never got that right before. But well, expect the unexpected, I guess. I just hope things can only get better. I dream of training to teach this someday, impart the awesome transformative personal power it unlocks, but I can't say when yet. One day at a time.
Recently, since I like sharing what I reflect on with friends, especially the ones I don't get to talk to, I shared one particular entry with an aunt. It had a meme, or a questionnaire type of quiz. She replied by rounding on me, soundly berating me [her letter mostly written in caps] for being such a trusting fool, threatening me with identity theft, in effect somebody swindling me and my family and me ending up in the poor house: how lucky and privileged I am, how immature and so naïve and trusting. OK fine, she has a point, and I did reveal my birthdate, the meme I have now removed [to which she said not to 'coz it'll attract attention, but to me, it's preventing possible future damage, right?]. Yes I opened myself, and yes, there is a possibility of that, but I don't like thinking that way: thinking I can't trust anyone, that everyone has an ulterior motive, and will kick you down if need be. She says to go along these lines, but OK, it must sound foolish, but I like thinking that there is still some hope in mankind. I believe in personal space VERY MUCH, but I don't believe in imposed, constructed walls. I believe in respect, and mutual harmony. It must sound too idealistic, and I must sound really sheltered, or as a friend incredulously said once, "Where are you from, Carebear-Land?!" I admit, there are people with evil, selfish intentions; perhaps cruel at times, but selfish above all. But there must be a point where we can all set aside differences and work together! So I'm not giving up: there must be a spark of goodness in everyone, somehow.
On a somewhat related note, along the line of prejudices and anti-freedom, pro-conformity, I've been toying with getting inked for a really long time now, and I know others who've held back, as well. I don't understand why they say they will but haven't done so: it sounds so hypocritical! Fine, the teapot calling the kettle black and all that jazz, as I'm in the same boat, myself, but for me, it's 'coz I don't know any decent artist, plus I want a unique but timeless design that mirrors my pro-conservation, vegan, harmonist ideals. Perhaps it's also got to do with the taboo in the workforce against inked folk. But why is this still the case? My Mom explained that in their time, it would usually be criminals who'd have tattoos, hence the reluctance for people to be inked then, but times have changed: celebrities across the board have been getting themselves inked. Thus the association of tattoos with criminal activity should be junked! Besides, in the end, isn't ink really a form of personal artistic expression? And shouldn't freedom be exercised and encouraged, especially if our global civilization [thus, not only technology, but theories and beliefs, as well] has truly grown in leaps and bounds? Argh, I don't know.
As for my current complicated dilemma/source of upset: I am still an undergrad because I have pending community service which I wasn't able to do because the NGO [non-government organization] I was assigned to hasn't been able to give me something to do. ADSA, the student affairs/discipline administrative arm of our uni, finally sat up and listened and changed the NGO. I start next week, thank God. But because of this, I have to quit as grad assistant and my classes aren't credited. So far, two of my three teachers have allowed me to continue classes as a "sitter-in." However, I have yet to ask the third. Hopefully, when all this is settled, I can have my classes credited: if not, 9 units gone! I also believe my boss has to give me an honorarium for the months I've worked. I loved my job, and I miss it horribly. For now, though, I don't want to dwell on it and just get all down. I am hoping for the best: in Miranda Priestly's tone, "that's all," and as O-sensei always tells me, to take one day at a time.
However, it's the uncertainty that spirals me into despair when I think about it. So I won't obssess, and instead just deal with it as it comes. To this end, thank God for [Bikram] yoga, which gives me the peace and singular concentration I sometimes forget to do for myself.
Pray for me, though. Please.
Grounding, soul-saving literature:
First Lesson by Philip Booth
Lie back, daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.
and the piece by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that was shared in Bikram Yoga last Friday.