Cheating: Symptom of A Bigger Problem…

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Actress Felicity Huffman is seen inside the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles, on March 12, 2019. – Two Hollywood actresses including Felicity Huffman are among 50 people indicted in a nationwide university admissions scam. (DAVID MCNEW / AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a lot of talk right now about the cheating that is going on by the rich and famous to get their kids into colleges. A lot of talk about wealth and privilege over merit, etc.. There are a lot of people who think this exposure is good. There are some who are surprised by it. I’m not. As a friend said, “I’m not surprised by it at all – but I’m not surprised by police brutality against POC – it’s how exposed you are to these things, to the world and how much you’re paying attention, and even your bias.” Like people who are so knowledgeable and opinionated (for good reason) about R. Kelly and Michael Jackson – but turn a blind eye to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Steven Tyler. White people are so… Anyway, if someone says to you that you have to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “hard work is rewarded” you have my permission to kick them where it counts (in a fictional way, but really).

I wondered to my friend – why these people? Why now? We all are aware that most people in the upper echelons (or rather their kids – the ones that inherited the wealth and didn’t do anything for it) have been doing this forever. So why now? It’s great to expose this – but what will it do? What will the exposure do to remedy the imbalance of wealth over merit. Isn’t it a little too late ? Hasn’t the damage been done to society as a greater whole? As with cop brutality – the damage is done, the bad seeds are still in the system and it is the system. It’s like poison – is there still time to flush it out – or are we doomed? Is society as we know it so corrupt that those who are bent towards it will always get the upper hand?

Look at the world now. More corruption in plain sight than ever before. And “there’s not thing one you can do about it.” Are we sick enough to pay attention? If I think about the world as an organism, climate change, social injustice, cheating, scapegoating, gaslighting, imbalance of power and wealth, are all symptoms of one disease, extreme fear – which manifests itself mostly as greed. It is a cancer that festers in all of us. You can’t cut it out. We all have the capacity to fear. When we have nothing to lose, we have nothing to fear – but the wealthy have everything to lose and live according to some tenet of reap rewards now – because there is nothing afterward. A cancer grows in unstable ground – that which you thought was healthy, wasn’t. Spiritually speaking if you have no ego, there is nothing to protect – but egos are huge and blown way out of proportion right now. There is nothing else to grasp onto if there is nothing powerful to identify with (ruling class). Like in the French and Russian revolutions, if you have no power because the system has shifted, you’ve got nothing. This fear, this torment is what is driving society right now. But is it too late?

The system has to topple as it is (in Aikido, you use the strength and momentum of your opponent against them). But what will replace it? Humans live in fear constantly – really, and with that comes corruption. If one regime falls another one, different yet the same, will replace it. What’s scary about what’s happening in America and Canada, is that the (democratic) tenets, principles and constitutions are nothing against those who want power so much that they can corrupt completely.

So yes – the exposure is great because it educates those who think that we live in some wonderland, Oz, Disneyland. Spoiler alert: we don’t. When we catch ourselves being desirous, wanting, covetous, think about magnifying that. Multiply it by how many decimal places it would take to pretend you make the kind of money that the wealthy make. That is how much they have to lose more than you. Now think about catching yourself and stopping yourself from taking something from someone that isn’t yours, stealing, lying, cheating because there is something within you that knows that some things just aren’t for you. That there is a way to acquire things that doesn’t or won’t take advantage of someone whether a weakness, a blind spot, a disability, a societal label or position. Think of that and remove all pressures to believe any of this: That’s how much more they feel entitled to have and take what they want, when they want it.

However, one caveat – we are all like this to a certain degree. If you look at your own life, there is a hierarchy that you might be imposing on your own familial, sociopolitical circle that you are not aware of. Check it and be aware. If they’re doing it, you’re doing it too, to some degree. That’s why most people keep their heads in the sand. Don’t wanna know. Well, now you know.  In other words, check yourself. See where you contribute to the corruption – either by turning a blind eye, or by whether you are complicit in action bc you don’t think it can change. Keep looking and growing.

Love and peace!

Christine xo

Human Beings Are Complex: Societal Introjects Try to Impose Order Where There Is None…

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(If you know who to credit this photo – please let me know.)

Human’s are complex.

The energies that make up a human psyche are as vast as the synapse that make up something like gender – it’s never black or white – it’s every grey in between.

There needs to be care given about how the ‘light’ is attributed to women or female, and the ‘dark’ to men or male.
There’s lots of projection now that “women can save the world” – that “women rule.”

It isn’t that altogether. Rather it is the Feminine Energy that is found in both “men and women” that is the actual attribution we are looking for.

Masculine and feminine energies can be tapped into by both men and women. Because of our socialization in our vast cultures, these energies are either pushed away or held up and lauded – depending on the culture.

Because of the synapse (seen and unseen, measurable and immeasurable) in our energic bodies, women have the feminine energy while men have the masculine energy as dominant (I use that word lightly) – but like I said – it is not black and white but every grey in between.

Masculine energy is described as:
agressive
active
forward moving
taking
creative
sun

Feminine energy is described as:
passive
submissive
giving
nurturing
moon

These energies are necessary in the world – whether they manifest from a female human or a male human (or anything in between). These energies can manifest from whichever. A women creates in science and art, a man listens intently to a child. Yet the creative energy of the masculine manifests differently in an individual women than any other person because of forces unseen – yet she is tapping into the masculine energy. And yet the nurturing passive energy of the feminine manifests differently in an individual man because of forces unseen. Some of it is ego. And ego manifests for its own sake.

The ego fights to conserve identity. So if you are in a society, a culture that reveres macho men and soft women, then the men’s and women’s egos of that society will fight against or try to maintain that status quo.

Because this need for ego to preserve itself at every turn, these energies can manifest as ‘dark’ energy.

Both these energies are mixed and have varying degrees of influence on the psyche of a being. And, depending on the ego, can become dark.

Mother’s become shaming.
Father’s become totalitarian.
Sister’s become jealous.
Brother’s become sadistic.

To recognize the masculine and feminine energies as a spectrum that find expression through the human “filter” or “transmitter” is to allow their expression to manifest in ALL people at their behest. No labels. No judgement. No criminality. Just energy. Expressed through the individual vessel that make up the community of people.

Only in the balance of these energies and the taming of the ego through the manifestation of Heart Energy can both men and women come together as one.

The Evolution and Survival of Human Kind depends on it.

This is my passion: to express this quest for balance and harmony.

(I wrote a variation of this March 9, 2017 on FB)

Not Every Body Is Created Equal…

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Not every body is created equal.

That is something that I remind myself of every time I step on my yoga mat. I am not perfect. We are not perfect. Hell, humans are not perfect.

Every anatomy book – however – thinks and claims we are with those perfect pictures of symmetrical bodies. Perfect bodies that can do any pose in yoga (or anything else physically) – if only – and now for the societal interject – we worked hard enough, took enough classes, practiced for hours, put our mind to it, not let negative thoughts get in the way of the task at hand.

This all could be true – to a certain degree – the old adage: you never know until you try. But if you have been practicing for a long time and your body still can’t do something, it very well may be – nature vs nurture (practice) – that nature has not given you the body that is able to do these things.

If you look and study anatomy from books, you’ll get a false sense of how each of us are in our bodies. It clearly insists that we are all symmetrical and that each part is formed perfectly in vitro so that it is the mechanism of muscles and ligaments that holds you back from achieving the perfect posture – or that perfect running speed, or swim stroke, or tennis stroke, etc., and all you have to do is practice and push yourself until you become the perfect human. Do you ever wonder what it is that stops one athlete from being great and another reaching heights of achievement. I don’t mean to say that work has nothing to do with it – or sometimes equipment, but that has been disproven by those who can’t afford the best still achieving great goals – what I mean to say is that we are not perfect beings and our bodies are all different – and therefore, what one person can do and another person can’t, does not solely rest on whether one is working harder than the other or not.

As I practiced and studied yoga, and practiced and studied, I realized that there was something that I wasn’t understanding about my body that was keeping me from fully realizing some postures and made it possible for me to perform others.

I studied with a lot of different teachers teaching different styles of yoga – while I am a traditionalist, the more contemporary approach helped me understand what it was that was getting in my way so that I could further my traditional style with more ease and understanding. Yin yoga taught this idea that bodies are not created equal and that our bone structure: size of certain attachment points, length of bones or shape of the bone which does not adhere to what it is “supposed” to look like – in a perfect anatomy book body, would drastically affect the outcome of practice (in any sport) while trying to reach a goal.

Recently, I broke my ankle and sprained it severely that I was off it for weeks and it took a good year to recover. But what I found out from my x-ray about my right foot put my whole life’s body experience into perspective. I actually let out a sigh of relief. You see – when I was young, I experienced sharp pain in my right knee whenever I ran or walked upstairs which kept me from most sports, I also had frequent headaches and once had a head ache after a small mishap in an exercise class that lasted for two years.

I always knew that I had some scoliosis – not much – it was minor compared to what some people have, but when I started seeing a visible twist in my lower spine that when you looked at me I looked like I was attempting to stand sideways, I got curious about what was going on. That and when years later, my x-ray of my hips showed that the crack of my ass was two inches off centre – my belly button was facing forward – but I was certainly twisted.

I was discovering all this through going to really amazing chiropractic practitioners who were so happy to work with me because I was so curious as to how to understand and “fix” this that we worked together in cracking the code of my body. I was practicing yoga very strenuously. I was tired and discouraged when I found that because of me trying to remedy one thing, it put stress on my mid-spine and my vertebrae were twisting up there which caused me to create a hole between the bones. I slowed down. And for years, my practice – a combination of traditional and therapeutic – which I developed for myself that was more about discovery and curiosity rather than rest and recovery although there were aspects of that, helped me discover my physical body and my mind and everything else, that it was the most exhilarating thing I was doing in my life.

I improved leaps and bounds while doing this. My method became investigative and I was able to dive deep within my body and start being able to move bones individually. Yoga practice and the chiropractic methods helped to make and keep my muscles limber, long and strong while honing in on the minutiae of the movement of individual bones and muscles that no book would have been able to instruct me on. I can move my ass crack into alignment now while I practice so that my body is more symmetrical – which allows for both sides to be equally open. Why is this important? Because in my every day life – as I sit, walk, drive, stand, carry, fall – I can safely realign my body each day with each practice to keep myself limber, and injury free.

However – jumping off that fence was not a good thing to do – at first.

But breaking my foot made everything make sense. The x-ray showed that I had an anomaly on the right heel that restricts the movement of pointing the toe. Finally an answer to why I have excruciating pain if I wear high heels. Since the foot is the foundation of the body and if there is anything that affects the foot: wearing high heels, tight shoes, etc., can affect the body, then this must have something to do with the twist in my hips and the pain in my knee (and why I break the right foot and not the left… this is the second break).

My focus after finding that out was stretching out the top of my right foot especially and keeping an eye to the left foot to not let it get ahead of the right. Since the left was still open and flexible and functional – I had to restrict it in such a way that the right foot could catch up. But I would never have known to do this if it wasn’t for the break. It was a difficult recovery – losing the ability to walk around on my own was strangely disturbing to me. I changed my practice to being one of doing things lying down and I had to build the strength of my legs again. All doing yoga.

The reason I am writing this, is to encourage anyone who has had an injury – whether it is from breaking or it’s something like say sciatica) or who is struggling with their physicality – to not give up. Hone your ability to listen to your body. Throw away the books and traditional methods that don’t understand an asymmetrical structure. Find a way to practice that speaks to investigating and developing a greater understanding and nurturing style for your body. My investigation was relentless – but it was nurturing because I strove to find a way to release the pain and to practice with mindfulness and purpose.

This practice has other benefits as well – namely, going deeper into what drives you as a human being – but that’s for another post.

Much love,

Christine xo

It Is The Practice That Teaches Not The Teacher

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I have taught Ashtanga for years now and have trained in it extensively. I know the practice beyond the postures just because of the practice itself. That is what I’m teaching.

I know some “Ashtanga” teachers who do not practice it and therefore do not know the practice as a practice. They do not know the intricacies of it.

These teachers bow to the pressures of students’ to add postures which do not belong in the series, make it harder or easier by changing the posture rather than the intensity of the original posture itself, and let go of the rhythm of the class to appease those who just want to give up or make it easier so the ego can feel better. This is to the detriment of the practice, Ashtanga.

I have had great difficulty teaching Ashtanga after these teachers because students are not being educated in it.

It is the nature of the ego to make things easier – to stay in the status quo, to not push boundaries or get out of our comfort zone. But what is practice if it is not doing that – it is just exercise. It isn’t yoga if it isn’t challenging you to observe your need for: comfort, perfection, placating.

Yoga doesn’t placate – the teacher decides to do that and then it is just exercise. And don’t be fooled, just because you’re in a class that kicks your ass because it’s fast and you do every difficult posture in the yoga spectrum, doesn’t mean that it is challenging your ego – in fact that feeds your ego as well. The minute you say – oh look at that shiny thing – that’s when the ego is engaged.

I challenge you to get really bored in your practice – to strive for something else besides a good ego fix. Yoga is about personal, spiritual growth. It is to stretch you in a different way. The way that is most beneficial. Flexibility in every aspect does not necessarily manifest only in the body. Just because someone can bend over backwards, doesn’t mean that they have cracked the code of yoga. If it comes easily to you, I challenge you to find a place where you have to work for it.

Peace!
Christine xo