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Saturday, April 12, 2014

What I Hear Is Now



 
 
Have you ever felt lonely even when you are surrounded with loved ones? I have been struggling with connection. Everyone feels so far away, and yet close enough to reach out and touch. It is me...I understand that cognitively, and realize that I'm the one who creates distance, but I don't know why I do this. I crave closeness, but I also fear the loss that can come with connection. I'm not very trusting when it comes to close relationships, and I try to mind read, which usually gets me into trouble. Tonight's yoga training was all about connecting with another person, and it is funny how I'm very aware of the energy of everyone around me, but also guarded when it comes to sharing. I think because of my trauma history, I'm hyper aware of taking in every minute detail. I'm on guard for danger, and ready to run. This does not always serve me well. I'm often anxious and suspicious, and yet I attempt to hide these feelings.  I feel like a fraud. On the outside, I may appear to be calm, relaxed, and trusting, when in reality, I'm none of those things. I'm very good at masking my true feelings, but I long to be a more authentic person. My heart is in the right place. I'm passionate about sharing my story, whether it be my struggle with anorexia, or my history of sexual abuse, and finding my voice, but this healing is not smooth and linear. I'm like an earthquake, with moments of catastrophe, and utter silence. When I can be still, and truly listen to my heart, what I hear is now.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Myth Of "Letting Go"

 

I think that often times we think of "letting go" as happening all at once, and because of this concept of releasing years of built up pain in one fowl swoop, we become overwhelmed, and give up on the whole idea. I'm realizing that this is not how "letting go" happens at all. It is a process of contemplation, grieving, celebration, and releasing in fits and starts. I have a feeling that we can loosen our grip, but that "letting go" is infinite and undefined. There are times when I think that I have let go of something, and then suddenly, boom! I'm blindsided by the hurt all over again, and I realize that what I had actually done was to shut down my emotions. I have been working very hard to not only allow, but accept my feelings, whatever they may be. It gets crazy sometimes! I used to avoid confrontation, but lately, when someone hurts me, I can take a step back, and say, "Hey, I don't deserve to be treated badly." If someone wants to let me go, it doesn't mean I'm not worth hanging on to. I'm more than worthy. "Letting go" is a myth. We are an accumulation of every moment and every person that has ever touched us. Embrace and surrender to everything that you are; for that is true freedom.
 
“Surrender creates equanimity and bliss because you release yourself from any attachment to the results.”   
    ~Annette Vaillancourt

 
 




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Traitor

 
Artwork by~ Celia Basto

Traitor

She became like the desert,
As We let hands wander over 
The landscapes of Her body
Allowing
Always allowing 
Belonging to nothing
Sandpaper skin
The filth of fingerprints
Everywhere...
 
                                                                              

                                                                             Angela Minard 2014 ©

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nothing To Give



Artwork by~ Kenneth Jackson; Digital, 2013, Photography "Wild"

Nothing To Give

The day before had been a spring teaser of streaming sunlight
and had it not been for the cool shadows,
and faint, lingering smell of snow,
March would have seemed a distant memory
My cold fingers, hidden beneath gloves, twitched in agitation
I wanted to throw open the door of every stall
but they were not mine to set free
and how many times would I have to apologize
for something that was not mine
Shrinking into my coat, I suddenly felt inadequate and afraid
I wished for your voice...
 All that I had to do was reach out and touch
The first horse ducked his head away from me
so I dropped my arm limply back to my side
feeling the back of my throat constricting.
I continued to smile and make conversation
but I hated myself at that moment for every failure
and the hate moved me forward to the next stall
I was only alive while feeling the pain of rejection
and one by one, I walked...
stroking silken noses, bristly fur
They all wanted treats, or to be let out,
and I had nothing to give
I wished for your voice
but I have nothing to give...

Angela Minard 2014©

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Easily Broken



Artwork by~ Carmine Monzo; Drawing, "Breaking Point". Pastel, charcoal.
 
This morning I came to my blog because I knew that I needed to write, but my mind is jumpy, so I will apologize early on if this post leads nowhere. I'm going to make bullet points, and try to make some sense of it all.
 
  • I criticize myself for the intensity of my feelings. I feel like my heart breaks too easily.
  • I have a shaky sense of self worth, and as much as I'm trying to change this, it is easily shattered.
  • PTSD sucks...I was triggered by something that I cannot talk about here, but managing the symptoms is exhausting.
  • When I don't sleep, hopeless feelings begin to take over.
  • I feel guilty for any happiness that comes my way.
This is all I can write for now.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Talking To Myself



A picture taken during teacher's training. I'm on the front mat in Bound Half Moon pose.(Ardha Chapasana) 
 
 
Last weekend was the third weekend of teacher's training. I loved every second, but I find myself stressing over making mistakes, and on Sunday, I had to have a talk with myself, because I cannot continue to beat myself up over every little mistake I make. I'm still learning the language of yoga, so expecting myself to already know how to get things out of my mouth in a smooth way is asking too much. After that conversation with myself, I felt better, and I will keep on practicing. I turned in my application to be a facilitator for the Eat, Breathe, Thrive program, and was accepted, so I will either have to wait until I'm certified, or find a certified yoga instructor to be my co-facilitator. I'm so excited to get the program started though, that I hate to wait until December. I will think about it this week while I'm on spring break. I cannot even believe it is already spring break. This school year has gone by so fast, and what a crazy, emotional, fabulous, scary year it has been! I'm ready for more!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Metta (Loving Kindness)




Metta (Loving Kindness)

How do I do this?
Navigating through the heat
Rising from my toes
Deep inside the drum beat rhythm
Beyond the pulse of fingertips
Spread like brilliant rays
Bring me the sun I say...
Over and over
But you are already blinding light
Blurred with the ocean
Stinging eyes
Salt water tears
Cry,
You cry,
Yes,
Cry...
 
Angela Minard 2014©
 
With gratitude...
Darling Yoga~2014

It Feels Like Home

 
Photograph by~ Shannon Hudson Photography


I'm getting ready for another weekend of yoga teacher's training, and I'm feeling a bit frenzied, as if I cannot take in enough information fast enough. I have stacks of yoga books everywhere, and I don't remember ever being this excited to learn. The Yoga For Eating Disorders training that I did last weekend made it clear to me that this is what I'm meant to be doing right now. I'm feeling solid in my recovery, and have such a passion to share what I'm learning. After so much of my life spent trying to contain myself within small parameters, this feeling of expansiveness seems somewhat strange and tremulous, but also quite magical. It is an amazing feeling to finally be coming home to myself.

My Heart



My Heart

All of the times you would look at me softly and say,
"You look like you want to tell me something..."
The words throbbing in my ears, warm, and waiting,
like the whisper of feathers floating through the summer wind.
My wanting arose within; fierce and greedy
"Could you sit closer, please?"
touching my wounds without wincing
never once looking away
Sometimes the silence was louder than anything else in the room
louder than the ticking clock
louder than both of our heartbeats put together
Oh, how I want...
"Take a breath,"
you would gently remind me
Week after week
Year after year
Breath after breath
Until I could no longer hold my love inside
"Take a breath,"
expanding beyond the cage of my ribs
My heart
floating through the summer wind 
wild and free...
 
Angela Minard 2014©

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eat, Breathe, Thrive



I'm home from The Yoga For Eating Disorders teacher's training in Denver, and looking forward to facilitating an Eat, Breathe, Thrive group here in Kansas City. I met some amazing people, and it was an experience that I will never forget. I'm still processing the weekend, but will post more soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yellow Bird

 
Yellow Bird

I dreamt of you
Vibrant canary
Trapped in a shallow bathroom sink
Your brilliant feathers damp and heavy 
with the effort to be free
And yet
I could not seem to help
I asked many people
But I was afraid to touch you myself
Yellow bird
I am sorry...

Angela Minard 2014©

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Journey To Self Acceptance

There are many amazing opportunities coming my way right now, and dreams that have felt far away are close enough to reach out and grasp. This weekend I'm headed to Denver to be part of a Yoga For Eating Disorders training, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I was awarded a scholarship, but without my husbands support, I wouldn't be going. It means a great deal to know that he believes in my dream, and wants to help me make it happen. His health has been good since his radiation treatments, and will go in for a follow up MRI on March 17th. We will know for sure at that point how the radiation effected the tumor, but we feel positive that it will be good news.
My teacher's training weekends have been wonderful, and I have been busy with studying, taking and observing classes, and immersing myself in everything yoga! A friend of mine that I met during the training took some photographs of me for a workshop she is presenting, so I will post a few here. I was worried that I would be unhappy with my body, and be too critical of how I looked in the pictures, but I'm happy and proud of my reaction when I saw them for the first time. I look strong and healthy, and was able to see myself as a whole person, instead of just body parts that I could criticize. This is the body that I'm meant to have right now, at this time in my life. There has been tremendous peace and acceptance of the woman I am becoming.  I look forward to helping others on their journey to self acceptance, and will be posting about the Denver training when I return.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Friday, February 14, 2014

One Summer



One Summer

I would swing for hours in the park
feeling the resistance as I pushed through the wind
the creaking hinges becoming a monotonous meditation
Your summer house was musty
Mold covered the bathroom walls
my hair going unwashed for days
When you would drop us at the sitters
sometimes she would offer me a shower
grateful to lose myself in the fog
The sitter's husband was nice
too nice...
When she went to the grocery store to buy ice cream
he sat too close
his fingers creeping up my thigh
I ran away
locking myself in the bathroom until she returned
Boys would ask my name in the park
I was Erica, or Victoria
I stole a pornographic book from the sitter's nightstand
secretly reading it one night
as I listened to my favorite Carpenter's album
In the morning I threw it in the woods behind your house
I wanted to go home
but I wasn't sure where that was anymore...
 
Angela Minard 2014©

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Yoga Poem

 


A Yoga Poem
 
Take a breath

Yes

Take another
but this time pay attention to your ribs as they expand
Gathering courage...
Feel how your entire body knits itself back together as you exhale
Healing...

You are connected to yourself

Always 
 
This is the part I love...

How you can control the rhythm,
or just breathe
and pay attention
 
Attention
 
Stand at attention
 
Ahhh...

Tadasana,
Mountain Pose

Like breathing
it can be simple
or complex

It is simple to stand
 or is it?
Do you shift your weight from side to side?
Where are your shoulders?
How does your neck feel?

There is so much to think about in such a simple pose

This is yoga...

Standing
breathing
simply being aware
 
Just be

and breathe...
 

Angela Minard 2014©