Anniversary of graduation

Anniversary of graduation

Today, I celebrate my first year anniversary of completing my 200 hour yoga teaching certification.

I had a bit of a slow start getting going. I didn’t really know where to get started or how to grow my skills as a teacher without being in a studio setting. Then a few friends spoke up and asked if I could give them private lessons. From there, I was able to gain 70 plus hours of teaching experience and my confidence grows with every hour I spend with my students.

I am looking forward to growing those skills even further as I go into my second year of teaching. I have some ideas now as to what I need to do next and I am excited for them.

Thank you, to all the people who supported me this past year. It means the world to me.

~Clara

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Red Moon Cycle

Red Moon Cycle

What is the Red Moon cycle you might ask? It’s a symbolic way of speaking of a woman’s monthly cycle. Most women’s cycles are 28 days long and that’s the same amount of time that it takes our moon to do a full set of phases. This is why women in mythology are historically connected to the moon.

I have been tracking my Red Moon cycle for just over two years now. I was almost a perfect 28 days for the majority of that time but then I did something very stupid in the name of love. I went on the DEPO shot. You see, my ex and I were trying to figure out the best ways to prevent pregnancy in order to help our intimate relationship. I am very afraid of getting pregnant at this point in my life because I am not ready to raise a child and my partner had made it very clear that he did not want children, ever. Actually, one of the reasons we broke up is because he never wants children.

I made an appointment to speak with a sexual health nurse and we went over the options. I was basically talked into going on a progesterone based birth control. Between my ex and I, we decided to go with DEPO. I took the shot and I instantly regretted it. From that point on I experience a delay in my cycle that sent both my ex and I in fear that we might be pregnant because it took almost am extra month before my cycle returned and when it did, it was both heavy and it lasted three weeks!

I can tell you right now that going on DEPO drove a bigger divide between my ex and I then ever. Instead of helping our relationship, it cause us to retreat even further from one another. My body was causing me all sorts of discomfort and he was afraid of us getting pregnant to the point where he would not engage in any kind of intimacy. I grew resentful of him for talking me into DEPO and for blaming me for the pregnancy scare.

I have been off the DEPO for a over month now and it’s still messing with my cycle. I have been light spotting for almost a month solid . I have read that it can take up to 18 months to fully recover from the effects of the progesterone. It makes me ill to think about what I just put my body through all in an effort to appease someone who didn’t even love me anymore. I am writing this as a warning to anyone who maybe thinking of doing the same. Unless you have a medical reason such as endometriosis, I do not recommend any kind of progesterone based birth control if you value your connection to your Red Moon.

I have no fear of my Red Moon cycle, in fact I think of it as a deep spiritual connection. It’s a natural part of being female and binds us to the Earth and the Moon. We were never meant to mess with our bodies like this and I think the more we are aware of that, the healthier we will be. There are plenty of ways to be intimate if you fear getting pregnant. You can track your cycle using apps or marking it down in a journal, you can choose abstinence during times of ovulation, you can explore other forms of intimacy that don’t require penetration.

Your body is sacred and needs to be respected. If you find yourself in a relationship where you are being pressured into doing something you think might be bad for your body, please talked to your partner about it. That was my mistake and I wish I had been more clear, I might have been able to avoid the last four months of complications with my Red Moon cycle.

Men, if you are reading this and you are feeling uncomfortable talking about a woman’s natural cycle or talking about sexual options, you need to grow up. As cold as that sounds, you have no excuse in this day and age for not knowing. If you think your body is more important than your female companions, then you are not ready to be in a mature relationship. Education brings freedom to both men and women.

Women, learn about your cycle, talk about your cycle with your partner, be open and honest about it.

Men, learn about a woman’s cycle, ask questions about it, be open to hear what your companion has to say.

I hope that my story helps someone out there make an informed choice about their body and their Red Moon cycle.

The Art of Puttering

The Art of Puttering

I read a line in a book recently about how the Scottish are known for not sitting idly around when there is work to be done. That struck a chord with me so deep that it made a whole lot of things make sense. You see, I grew up very close to my paternal grandparents, both of which are Scottish backgrounds, my Grandmother is directly from Glasgow. They were always keeping busy with some sort of thing in the yard or house. It was the same with my parents. Dad was (still is) always out in the yard doing something and my Mom, inside doing something. My brother and I were told to play outside as much as possible when the weather was nice. Summer afternoons were almost always spent at the beach park. The TV didn’t really come on until dinner time and even then, it was just to watch a few things like the news and whatever show we were watching at the time.

In my family, we putter. This means that we are always finding things to do about the house and yard to keep it up and going. When I am home alone, I putter about the house doing all sorts of things. I honestly cannot sit still in an empty house without finding something to do. Most of the time it’s a cleaning of some sort or re-organising cluttered areas. In the summer, it’s keeping up with the yard and garden. Even this past weekend when I was taking some time for myself, I would bounce between playing my favourite game and putting about the house. Since my ex moved out, there’s some holes in my shelves that needed to be filled and re-organised to fit them.

I have been in a de-cluttering mode all year. I know now that the main reason is that I was feeling trapped in my own home. Now that my ex has left, the room that’s available feels amazing. There’s still some things that I would like to go through, like my boxes of things left over from my high school years. I have bins in the garage that need to be cleared out and have an honest look through them. I want to be able to reduce them down to one bin filled with treasures and not junk.

How do you keep yourself busy at home? Do you like puttering and keeping your home clean?

 

Asteya: non stealing

Asteya: non stealing

Asteya is the third in Yamas also known as the restrains. I have already discussed Ahimsa and Satya in previous posts that you can read by clicking on their names. Asteya is also known as non stealing or non covetousness. It sounds pretty straightforward, don’t steal, but it’s more than just don’t steal things or object, it means, do not take from yourself or others both physically and emotionally.

Asteya teaches us that everything and everyone in our lives is precious and should not be taken advantage of. How many times have you given things away without thinking about how it will affect you later? And I don’t mean stuff or money, I mean your time, your energy, your emotions, and all those other things of that intangible nature.

Interpersonal relationship are challenging. I haven’t had a single relationship in my life that didn’t come with its own set of trials and tribulations. I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t challenged me as a person. Those connections to our friends and family are the single most important in our life. That’s not to say that every family has to be your blood relatives, your family is made up of the people who you care about the most.

There is risk in giving away your love and affection to others, whether they be friends, family, or lovers. There is a risk that they might take something from you either physically or emotionally. There’s also the greater gift that they will return your affections in equal or greater amounts. Speaking from someone who has been taken advantage of more often than I can count for my generosity in the past, I know what it’s like to what to shut it all down and not let anyone in. Once those wall come up, it’s very hard to break them down again.

Asteya reminds us to be gentle with ourselves. If you find yourself being taken advantage of, face that person and let them know that you do not appreciate what they are doing and they may want to consider the harm they are doing to you by taking advantage of you. And if you are the one taking advantage of yourself by playing on your own moments of weakness, then give yourself a moment to breath and return to your breath. Listen to how you’re feeling and find out what you really need in that moment.

Memories from the past

Canada is celebrating 150 years as a nation this year. Spotify has made a bunch of Canadian themed playlists for you to enjoy. This one, the Canadian ’90s is full of memories for me. Most of them are from high school, going for drives with Nancy, and dances in the gym with my friends.  There’s so many songs on here that I didn’t realise were Canadian artists at the time. Now, going back through these songs, I am filled with all sorts of happy emotions and a little bitter sweet sadness that these day’s can’t come back.

I talked with my friend Nancy last night, she’s living in Florida now with her husband. They are having some hard times right now and it makes me sad that she not as happy as she would like to me. Although, she tells me that as long as her and Nic, her husband, are together, she’s happy enough. I was relieved to hear that they two of them are strong as ever. They have something special those two. They met over a game called “World of Warcraft” and spent many years getting to know one another via chat and Skype. I have never had the chance to meet him but I know that he is good for her. They still play together and it’s the bond.