2016: I survived with minor bruises

What a fucking year. I am lucky to say that I survived because so many people did not. We lost a lot of animal friends, people friends, and a lot of family this year. There were hundred of meltdowns. Tons of disappointments. Many moments of sheer “FUCK YOU WORLD”.

Why are some years so full of shit and burden and death? I will tell you why. You may not want to hear this though because when I am drowning in self pity I don’t want to hear this. But here it comes:

Everything happens for a reason, man.

 That’s it. Plain and simple. If you are looking around at other people’s lives on facebook and Instagram wondering why you aren’t married, having kids, looking fresh to death, eating kale and selling FitTea, here is the simple explanation: It’s just not your time. It is not in your cards. Let me give you a prime example:

My mom is trying to make the move west to live in the same town as me. She put her house up for sale with the most incompetent realtor on the planet. As a result, she had shitty people coming to see her house who lead her to believe she had sold her place, but it never happened. She was devastated. All she wanted was to move this year. So she got another realtor. Yes her house sat on the market all summer with no activity, but it was for the best because her new realtor has found some pretty promising leads and circumstances have changed. Mom now wants a bigger house than the one she previously had her eye on in my town. So if her place had sold with the shitty realtor, yes she would be here by now, but would still be faced with selling a home she didn’t want to be in. So in my eyes, it was just about timing. She wasn’t meant to sell the house until just the right time. She was also meant to stay in her house because her mother died this year and until that happened, I don’t truly think she was ready to leave.

It’s all about timing. Everyone is freaking saying how this was the worst year but I am choosing to go the higher road. I am choosing to believe that these life lessons, although seemingly harsh, were meant to make us stronger. More capable of taking control of our lives and figuring out what is important. Now I am a very emotional person. I wear my heart not on my sleeve but literally on the end of my nose. Everyone can see my emotions. So in the moment of something shitty happening, yes I lose my fucking cool. But always make sure you sit back, maybe a few days later, and reflect upon what happened. Try to figure out why this happened and what you can learn from it. Your attitude can literally change your environment.

Try and treat people you meet with love and dignity. Try not to be judgmental because you never know their story. If you have a rude cashier or server or bus driver, just remember that everyone has shit. MY first instinct is to think :”Wow what a fucking hag”. But perhaps as a New Years resolution, try to change your perspective and send them kind thoughts and energy. Even just smile at them and tell them to have a good day. I could change their whole day.

One of Karlin’s sisters best friends was killed suddenly on her birthday here in town 2 weeks ago and it was such a tragic loss. To say that it was meant to be is extremely hurtful for a grieving family. So what can we try and take away from this? I decided that the only lesson I could learn from this was to live each day like it was your last. Cut out the small shit that you obsess over. Make a list of things that are important to you and really spend some time prioritizing that list. 

Mine would look something like this:

 

  1. Ok the obvious :food, shelter, water, etc.
  2. Family/ Friends
  3. Biggie smalls
  4. My happiness
  5. Kraft dinner/pizza/tacos
  6. My health
  7. Wealth
  8. Nice leggings
  9. Cute nailpolish
  10. Number of likes on Instagram

Ok the end is largely a joke but you get the point. Make sure the top of your list is satisfied before you start to worry about the bottom of the list. Life is just too fucking short. Put your time and energy into doing things that make your heart sing. Yes, you have to work to make money to survive. But try to find happiness in the work you do. If you aren’t happy, do something about it.

We all have the ability to reciprocate and spread love so let’s add that to our list of New Years Resolutions. This world is becoming so fucked up (may I remind you of the 2016 clown invasion? And no I’m not taking about Clinton and Trump). We can heal at least our immediate environment by consciously choosing to be kind rather than right.  

Now, my previous post was about the Wild Rose herbal cleanse so I will follow up with this: I lost 5 pounds, felt really good, but as soon as those 12 days were over it was back to eating whatever I wanted. So zero lessons learned. Mind you it was the holidays so perhaps I will try again.

2016 taught me how to start my own business, build a yoga studio without beheading my husband, raise a beautiful little human (ok dog but he’s more human than anything), and how to be prepared for emergencies. 

So let’s all just take a deep fucking breath… and hold it for 4 more days until it’s 2017! All the best in the New Year kiddies 😘


 

Advertisements

Buzzzzz

I feel like I never have enough time to blog anymore about my days which sucks because they have been very exciting as of late. So instead of trying to write these long winded blogs I decided to just do highlight reels so I feel sane. August an the beginning of September were just whirlwinds for me. Mom came for two weeks after not seeing her for over a year. A fucking year. Much deserved visit. We went to Koocanusa for the weekend to Dave and Jen’s camp and went on a poker rally.

 

And just when you thought there couldn’t be any more camo, we came home and packed up for the Flathead to go hunting.

We didn’t see anything legal to shoot so it was slightly disappointing but the season is still young! Not that I have any time…

Upon arriving home I started a new job as a Real Estate Assistant here in town which is turning out to be just perfect for me. I can still teach in the mornings and evenings and let little doggie out in the afternoons.

So last weekend we decided to go to Duncan Lake to Jays cabin and hike up to the Macbeth Icefields. How hard can hiking be? It’s just walking right?

Wrong. Jesus christ I thought I was going to die. 9 hours later..

This was probably the most challenging thing, physically and mentally, that I have ever made myself do. I have been on long hikes before but this was torture. Straight up boulders and tree roots and stumps. Straight down breaking your knees with every step. But I fucking did it. I only cried for the last 30 minutes of the trail! Shin splints. You bastards.

We were literally walking along a mountain ridge. It was terrifying.

Suffice to say, I am pretty much done with being outdoors for the year. Seriously. Nature, you are real pretty and all, but I am ok with hibernation for the rest of the year I think. I will just be an observer. From my window.

Onto my next venture, I am opening my studio in 13 fucking days. Holy shit. Our to-do list is fucking huge but it is good motivation. I can’t believe what a transformation the basement has seen in under a year. It is truly incredible to think that what was once a joke/dream of opening a studio in Fruitvale is actually manifesting.

Gah, I am running out of time now but I will write sooner than later! I need to pencil in some Crawly Land time once a week I think. Along with meditation time, yoga time, running time, food prep time, Biggie Smalls time, work time, cleaning time, class building time, TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME.

 

Finally I feel like I am living again 🙂

 

BAIII

 

 

(Hi Jenny)

 

 

 

Yoga class etiquette 

So I’m attending a tin yoga class which is a fucking treat for me because as a yoga teacher it’s hard to get to a real class that I’m not teaching myself because I rarely want to do more than one yoga class a day. 

I walk into the studio that I’m also teaching at and chat with the other teachers and make my way into the room. 

It’s quiet. 

The teacher has set up her mat with some candles and what not. A few other ladies are lying on bolsters enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. I arrange my Mat and collect some props and sit down and start to chill. I lie down on a bolster and am listening to the calm specifically chosen spa music. Feeling zen as fuck. I am totally happy with my choice to attend a yin class because I never do that and am feeling like I need some nice slow deep stretch. Settling in.

In walks some fucking guy. Late 50s. I hear him come into the lobby and loudly talk to the teacher in the reception area about his entire week. I internally roll my eyes while they are closed. 

He bursts into the studio. Comes right beside me and literally throws his bag on the ground making me jump. Then he takes his mat and like smacks it on the ground. Clearly that didn’t smooth it out so he picks it up and again smacks the fucking mat on the ground like he’s spreading a bed sheet only with a large heavy plastic mat. Ew.

THEN. As if he’s not being obnoxious enough. Takes out his probable iphone2 and starts madly texting someone.. with the keyboard clicks enabled. Ew. Like writes a short novel to someone. I hear the little beep that he’s rapidly sending multiple texts to his people. I’m annoyed. 

He sighs and says, “OK TIME TO YOGA”. Then he loudly unzippers his bag, which I’m positive is made of chains and lead, and then settles in. 

Oh but first he needs to get up and stretch and then locate his janitor size set of keys in his pocket and DROP (I kid you not) DROP his keys on the floor. 

Guys. Don’t be this guy. Please. I can’t stress it enough. Come in and shut up. Some people use this time as “me time”. Not “me and some guy time”. 

The Art of Meditation

A year ago today if you had asked me my thoughts on meditation I probably would have had zero thoughts. I have never considered meditation as a form of therapy or wellbeing. It was something that hippies and monks did, right? 

So wrong. I have been learning more and more about meditation through my yoga practice but also aside. The benefits are HUGE. Some claim it can even cure illnesses. It decreases stress, relieves anxiety, and promotes mindfulness which our society generally lacks. 

But how does one meditate? What is the goal? What is the technique? That’s the beautiful thing about meditation. It depends on the individual. So I wanted to talk about what meditation is to me and how I meditate. 

First of all, I don’t sit crossed legged with my spine straight and my eyes closed. I can.. But after about 5 minutes I get achey and uncomfortable and can’t focus on anything but my legs falling asleep or my bag starting to sag. So I lie down. It’s my jam. I get a little blanket too. I pretty much prepare for a nap. 

Then I just close my eyes and listen. I listen to all the external noise around me. Biggie eating my couch, dogs barking, birds and wind and everything that’s going on outside me. I take note of all these sounds and make a mental list, then I literally visualize me taking this list and putting it off to the side of my head. Then I start to tune into the internal blabber of my own voice. 

This is where I find meditation challenging. The art of listening to your own internal dialogue as a bystander. Letting yourself think of whatever you’re thinking, acknowledging the thought, and letting it move on. Sometimes my inner voice is so loud and so busy it’s draining. Other days it’s like a calm Sunday in Fruitvale. There’s an occasional thought, then just the awareness of my breath. 

Which leads to the best part. Focusing on your breath. Listening to your inhale and taking note how it makes your belly and your chest rise, then observing how your body falls when you exhale. I listen and note the quality of my breath and see if there’s a way to take bigger breaths. Sometimes this is my meditation and after 10 minutes of that, I’m zen as fuck. 

Other days, when my thoughts are running fucking rampant, I focus on my breath, get distracted by thought, and as soon as I let that thought go I focus on the “space” that follows that thought’s exit. That nothingness. The key is to not judge your thoughts. For example, if I am distracted by what I’m going to eat for dinner, I simply say “this can wait, later thought” and as soon as it leaves, I’m left with this blank space. But I can’t think “oh here’s a blank space” because then it’s another thought and I’m back to saying “ok good job but let’s not think about the blank space”. So it’s that fine balance of just being present and knowing there’s space without saying it or thinking it. Just knowing. From like a deep part in your mind and body. The space doesn’t have to be long or stretched out. That doesn’t give it quality. The more I practice the longer I can make these blank spaces go for longer though and THAT is what I’m working on. 

So after I meditate, I feel present. I don’t worry about the rest of my day or what happened previously in the day or week or in my life. I just get this chill “AH-HA” moment where everything just seems perfect how it is. I become mesmerized by simple things and I just feel so fucking happy it would make a goth kid puke. 

So that’s how I meditate. That’s why I meditate. I don’t know if I’m doing it right or wrong and I don’t give a shit. If I could live in that present state for the rest of my life I think my world would change so that’s what I’m working for! 

How do other people meditate? Let me know! I want to eat up all the information I can. 

BAIIII ✌🏻️

3 Daily Practices I’ve Adopted

I’ve been making a lot of self discoveries lately. Maybe because I’m turning 30 this year and I’ve been reflecting on where the fuck I’m going to go from here. Maybe because I’ve just figured out how to slow things down. I don’t know. But things have started changing and I’ve made a very mental and physical attempt to find spontaneity within my routine. I have been listening to a lot of quiet places and a lot of loud places and have felt this overwhelming need to make more space in my head for all these new sensations and ideas. I have been picking little.. rituals? I guess you can call them rituals. Little things from a lot of different places that just resonate with me. And I’ve been practicing them every day and I think I’m becoming a way happier person than I ever imagined possible. I thought I’d share just a few of them.

Wake up and be still in the morning.

I found myself in this habit of rolling over and grabbing my phone and slipping into the land of social media. I’d lie in bed for at least half an hour just scrolling through shit and all of this, whether I was aware of it or not, was dictating how I felt all day. Most the time, it was shitty or guilty. Shitty that I went another day without hitting the gym and how beautiful my idols looked on IG. Guilty that I ate a burger when I saw pictures of beautiful salads and vegan shit. Lonely when I saw pictures of my friends far away having a fucking blast without me. It really started to take a toll on me. So I’ve made an effort to wake up, roll out of bed, put the kettle on, let the puppy out and then I just sit with my tea. Sometimes I do some yoga. Sometimes I just sit and enjoy the silence. I wait until I’ve worked out and eaten before I look at my phone and am finding I am way more motivated and ambitious. 

Drink hot lemon tea.

It’s my jam. I’m borderline obsessed. Supposedly it gets your poop machine rolling and is good for all your physiological systems. It wakes me up and gives me a possibly false feeling of being healthy. Maybe it does nothing? I don’t know. Just do it.

The grass is fine right where you are.

This is sort of ironic because I literally live in a gravel pit with no grass. But I am consciously making an effort not to set myself up in the following way: IF I do this, THEN I will be happy/satisfied. Things are pretty damn awesome right this moment. It’s great to have goals and plans for the future. I really want to get my yoga business running and have plans on how I’m going to get to that point. But I am also really fucking happy right this moment. I have food, shelter, and so much fucking love it’s grosssss. Some people don’t have any of that. So instead of making lists and formulas of ways to get to the greener grass so that I can be happy, I make lists of things that I already have accomplished and stare at that for a while. Good work, Colleen. You fucking rule. Yes I would be happy to lose a few pounds. Make a million dollars. But a bunch of new clothes. But my gut keeps me warm. I’ve got all that I need. And if I wanted more outfit choices, I could just lose a few pounds and then all my old clothes would fit again. So I have everything I need right now. Except literal grass.  

 
Anywho, as I am writing this we have contractors installing beautiful cork floors in the studio. I might explode with joy. I will post pics once they are done but here are some befores:

   
   
I am going to go get some sun on my see through ass and drink some rosé. 🙏🏻💋🕶🍷🌮💁ૐ

Little Coffin: Coming Soon

   
 Ok don’t freak out. We are getting a puppy not a baby. But it’s pretty much the best thing in the whole world and I cannot wait to see a little puppy face every single morning!!!!

His name is Biggie Smalls.

I literally can’t even. I am going on a road trip to pick him up on January 23rd, which feels like 10 years from now.

I don’t even know how to handle my excitement. Like what do I do with my days now? I have already bought every accessory I could imagine and have been watching puppy training videos and reading puppy training books endlessly.

The yoga studio is also coming along. We are still framing in all the walls and ceilings. I have this grand idea for the ceiling in the main studio area that is either going to be the most epic Pinterest win, or the most devastating Pinterest fail. I am essentially creating an ombre ceiling. Just to make things difficult.

ombre-walls3.jpg

Like this. Only on the ceiling. GAME ON. Worst case scenario, I paint it all dark blue I guess!

I also started making a barn door for the laundry room. That project was taken away from me almost immediately. Men. My way would have been just fine but now it’s going to be this mega door that’s craftsmanned to shit. Waste of money because now all the wood I bought and stained is useless. So I am going to make a puppy gate and not tell anyone because then THAT will get taken away from me too. I don’t understand why I am not allowed to operate a saw. I’m not an idiot.

So lots of things on the go, but the days still feel ridiculously long! One can only do so much yoga by themselves.

  
11 days left!!!! EEEEEEE

 

 

 

 

Yoga Teacher Training: What they really teach you.

As you can all imagine, I finished my Yoga Teacher Training course, and then some. It was not at all what I expected. I had imagined a bunch of hippie loving vegans all singing in circles and practicing yoga every day and OM’ing my little heart out.

Boy was I wrong. Now perhaps it was the specific studio where I trained and the instructor’s teaching methods that made this experience so.. unique. I will let you decide. All I know is that this was harder than 4 years of University. No joke.

I will demystify some things for my readers. What do you actually learn there? Is it hard? Did you seek enlightenment?

Here’s the truth.

1) YTT teaches women how to deal with women.

Being in a studio with the same 33 women every single day for 6 fucking weeks is basically my nightmare. At LEAST 5 women are on their period at all times. It is like highschool. There are cliques. There are the super keen teachers pets who sit front row on their mats meditating while they wait for the teacher to arrive. There were the dreadlocked girls with massive OM symbols tattooed all over their backs who did headstands and arm balances during breaks. There was one guy in the whole classe who was on an entirely different plane than most human beings I roll with. There were women in their 60s who’s yoga practice put mine to shame. There were 18 yr olds fresh out of highschool looking for a way to not join the conventional workforce. There were mutes that didn’t say a single word the entire 6 weeks. Then there were the brats who giggled and didn’t take things so seriously as everyone else. I hung out with them. Obv. I’m sorry but I cannot keep a straight face when a bunch of women stand in tree pose holding hands talking about how much we love each other and support each other like trees in the forest. Fucking kill me. I pretty much loathed these women by the end. Nobody should ever have to be around this many women. EVER.

Put all these types of women together every single day and it is pretty much a recipe for an emotional breakdown. What did this teach me? How to tolerate women. I struggled with my instinct to judge everyone instantly. I had to tune into my “yoga vibes” and find ways to not let my eye twitch when someone mentioned the word “vegan” or “crossfit”. I worked my way through every single woman in that class until I liked at least one thing about each of them. I even left the course with a few new friends, which was a total bonus considering I live in a pretty isolated part of BC.

This was really hard for me. I am a guys girl. I like boy things. I like boys. I like fart jokes and doing beer bongs. Yoga, however, has taught me how to appreciate women. We aren’t so bad after all.

12308412_10153634382948260_7396328121507556606_n

2. You do not know how to do yoga.

Seriously. Start from scratch. Everything you thought you knew about the correct alignment in postures is wrong. Think you have a nice down dog? You don’t. Think your Warrior II is special? It’s not.

I literally had to relearn every posture. Unless you have a private yoga instructor, you likely have never been adjusted into the correct postures for the majority of your practice. The cueing of poses is so critical and there are a ton of really shitty yoga instructors that aren’t teaching the correct alignment. Getting into a perfect triangle pose is work. I had been dumping into it every single time. I had to really back out of it and work on my core because otherwise the pose is pointless. This leads me to my next point.

3. It is all about anatomy. 

For someone like me who couldn’t even tell you what the bones in my legs were called (like um where’s like my tibia?), you pretty much leave YTT feeling like a fucking doctor. You become one of those annoying people who says scapula instead of shoulder blade, clavicle instead of collar bone, ilium instead of hip bone, coccyx instead of tail bone. You become a genius basically. I had no clue what was inside my body. I just left my innards to themselves. Just do your thang, insides. Now I can tell you when my psoas is feeling strained and causing me back pain. I can feel ligaments and tendons and know what they are called and how long they are and where they attach and what the move. Again, I am a fucking know-it-all genius now. Physio Therapists probably fucking loathe yoga teachers.

4. Yoga is a business and the Director of your studio is just as greasy as a car salesman. 

It seems so wrong but hey man, they are just trying to deliver yoga and pay bills. I am in the midst of opening up a studio in my town and when it all comes down to it, even though I just want to teach yoga for free so everyone can reap the benefits, I need to pay for my cork floors and pretty spa-like bathroom. Studio’s are a lot of upkeep. Props are expensive. Loans cost money. Training courses are long, intense and expensive. You are not paying $20 for an hour of instruction. You are paying $20 for hours of designing custom classes that will make you feel amazing, an hour of cleaning the studio so it looks and feels like a spa, book keeping and paperwork, planning workshops, and advertising. The behind the scenes work of a yoga teacher is where we earn our $20/student fee which ends up being not the greatest profit. We learn how to make you want to come back. Let us take care of you and buy 10 class punch passes if you want the best deal!

5. Be very wary of where you take your training.. 

If you are looking to learn the 8 limbs of yoga, discover your chakras, doshas, etc. make sure you do your research. The studio I trained at did not cover any of the philosophy of yoga and I was pretty disappointed. The director is strictly alignment based and obsessed with the spine and anatomy. While I think that this is really important when cueing students into asanas, I also felt like the joy of yoga was sucked away from me and stripped down to essentially a personal trainer program. Near the end of my training I wasn’t even sure if I liked yoga anymore, let alone was I going to embark on a career opening a yoga studio? It is really important to make sure whatever training you take, it suits your needs. Yoga is not just a “workout”. It is a time to dedicate yourself to taking care of your body. It clears your mind. It really is a way of life and a mindset. So meet with the instructors. Take them out for coffee. Get to know their passions. I would have chosen a completely different training program if I had taken a moment to do this.

My instructor, unfortunately, was a drill sergeant who was likely suffering from dementia. With 33 other women in the course, it was hard to get my questions answered. I felt totally disconnected from my personal practice. Her way of teaching gave me anxiety. Teachers need to adapt to all kinds of learning methods. Criticism should be constructive and personal. Not something that can be pointed out as “being wrong” in front of all your peers. I have never felt so belittled in my life. Some people need this competitive sort of push when they learn. Me, on the other hand, felt like crying every week. The general consensus among my peers was that our instructor was severely bipolar and struggling with some serious mental issues, but I can still come to the generalization that you NEED to do your research. Ask prospective studios for a few contacts that have completed their training course and connect with them. They will tell you honestly how the teachers instruct. I’m not saying that I am soft and can’t take a little criticism, but this woman had my friends in tears and ridiculed students to other students behind their back. Find a positive mentor. It will make or break you.

 

This course was really eye-opening for me. I learned so much about my body. So much about my own patience. I was fully dedicated and immersed in something. I haven’t had this sort of focus in YEARS. It hurt. I was in crippling pain for the first two weeks but eventually gained so much strength and flexibility. Again, it was harder than university. It was a mind fuck. We wrote a 16 pages final exam. It was outrageously inappropriate and covered so many topics that weren’t discussed during the training.  I left feeling defeated.. just to find out that they didn’t even mark the exams… it was “more of a survey so the instructors could see how well they taught”. I was furious. I was constantly angry and felt murderous.

HOW VERY YOGA OF ME.

But guess what. I know how to teach a yoga class. And I can’t fucking wait.

Now that I have been out of Yoga Jail for a week, I have collected my thoughts and realized that in the end, I made a few friends and learned how to be a productive teacher at the expensive of a terrible one.

Leaving all this behind me, I am only looking forward to my new studio.

So here is a small poll for you! #1 or #2? My business name was approved. Coming soon to a Fruitvale near you…

 

Let me know which one you like better 🙂

Namaste, motherfuckers.

Yoga Teacher Training

I decided to say fuck what everyone else tells me I can and can’t do and get my yoga training certification. It’s an intensive 30 day course and it starts tomorrow. 

I’m terrified.

I’m excited.

My back is crippled and this is going to hurt. 

It’s sort of the easiest place to make friends because we will already have one thing in common. This might just be my low hanging fruit. 

I have major anxiety today. I have never committed to something this physical in my life. 

Stay tuned!