Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Do You Hear?

I'm slowly and painfully reading through this blog. 

My therapist suggested that I read my own words so that I could hopefully appreciate this trans formative period of my life. I wrote the first sentence of this blog post two days ago, and here I am, still kicking and breathing...Maybe the idea was to simply acknowledge that I've survived. I've mainly survived myself, and don't we all? I was talking to my yoga students this morning about getting out of your own way, because the truth is that we our our own worst enemies most of the time. Our own voice is the voice that haunts us with negative self talk, and re-enactments of failure. I ask myself, "What is it going to take?" "When do YOU believe?" There is this question within..."Is it okay?" 
I want to know if it is somehow wrong to believe in myself, to trust in all that I am, and to nurture myself without feeling guilty. Of course, you say, "Yes,!" but do you truly believe? Can you live in this way, with the freedom to wholeheartedly love yourself? Contemplate this feat...It is bigger than you think, because the enemy sneaks in, unaware...
Be silent, be still...
What do you hear?

"Oh, soul. You worry too much. You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. Of anything less, why do you worry? You are, in truth, the soul of the soul of the soul." 
~ Rumi

Monday, December 22, 2014



How can you ask me to hold on?
I shake my head
but the refusal is weak
placing my hands cautiously into your own
your fingertips pull me back
looking down at your hands
away from your eyes
I search everywhere for you
when you are right in front of me
Your asking fills the empty space
where there was nothing
only a dark, yawning silence
now throbbing
a cacophony to my awakened senses
The frostbitten soul stings 
like a sunburn
when returning to the body
painfully awake...

Angela Minard 2014©

Friday, December 19, 2014

I Continue

"Forgiving is one thing, but abuse survivors should never be expected to forget. We heal through compassion. We forgive through the practice of patience. We love by honoring the pain, and learning to love ourselves. This is hard work..."

I wrote these words on a facebook comment, 
and my therapists voice echoed in my ears. 
I heard her say, 
"You should read your own words." 
It was her nice way of saying, 
"Get it together!" 
I have many wise words, 
and yet I don't always apply these words of wisdom to myself. 
I will cut myself some slack, 
and acknowledge that writing it out is my first step. 
I work through everything at what feels like a snails pace, 
and it frustrates me to no end! 
Healing isn't linear, 
and I've expressed this many times, 
because I'm the one who needs reminding. 
My preferred pace would have been to be done with this nonsense after a few therapy sessions and a few meals. 
Recovery doesn't work that way, 
and even I realize that a lifetime of starving and denial is going to take at least half as many years to work through. 
I'm not sure how this works, 
so I sink and I rise, 
over and over.
This pain...
 I've given up more times than I can count. 
I also continue just as many times. 

I continue...

"We are an ancient sort of resilient. Made for the falling and the rising. Made for rose colored glasses and honeyed lips and finding new home in another. Made for the burning down and rebuilding from ashes. Made for the holy wonder of beginning again."
~ Jeanette LeBlanc

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Understand

I Understand

The sliver of moon is a mystery
that I don't understand
very much like the science of gravity
and complicated mathematical equations
even my left and right tend to cause

My heart is the compass

guiding me

either an angry fist
clenching my throat
with icy fingers
or an open vessel
overflowing with passion
releasing warm rivers
dream-like pulsing
the thrumming rhythm of life 
or death

this I understand

when I listen...

Angela Minard 2014©

Learning How to Say Goodbye

This constant need for something more is tiresome. I always think that this "one more thing" will be enough, when all that I long for is to feel that I am enough where I am. I have been reflecting on the concept of aparigraha, which is Sanskrit for non-hoarding or non-possessiveness. It is also one of five yamas or personal observances of the yogic path.  I have been reading a book by Rolf Gate's titled Meditations from the Mat, and his thoughts on aparigraha speak volumes to me at this point in my life.

"Aparigraha advises us to travel light while on the spiritual path. We must let go of the old to make room for the new; we must grieve our dead and then let go in order to love the living...More difficult is the aspect of aparigraha that concerns worn out beliefs. Many of the basic assumptions that guide our daily choices are unconscious, unseen...Collectively, these old thoughts and ideas are an energy in our lives that rob us of the moment...just as we take boxes of old clothing to the Salvation Army, we can begin shedding our old ideas. I am not a hoarder, I am a non-relinquisher. I don't want to grieve the loss of anything. Aparigraha is an opportunity to learn how to say goodbye."

It is one of many fears that I have...This fear of doing without, losing people, and losing the dreams that I have worked so hard to build. These fears break my heart, making it difficult to truly enjoy what I do have, and on top of it I feel tremendous guilt for even having these feelings. It frustrates me to know that I need to learn how to relinquish because I'm at a loss on how precisely to accomplish such an elusive feat. If anyone has tips, I would love for you to share them with me!

"If I can let you go as trees let go/Their leaves, so casually, one-by-one/If I can come to know what they do know/Lose what I lose to keep what I keep/The strong root still alive under the snow/Love will endure-if I can let you go." ~May Sarton

Sunday, December 14, 2014

50/50 Chance

50/50 Chance

"My husband is dying"

Your words rush out breathlessly
and you seem surprised
by your sudden disclosure
as your fingers caress my cheek
You apologize for my tears 
I will not be sorry 
as our hearts ache together
 You could not hold in your words
anymore than I could conceal my sorrow

a 50/50 chance
living and dying 
breath by breath

Warming my hands
I watch for the fall of your shoulders
a sighing exhale
We breathe together

Our hearts instinctively know 
who to reach toward
needing to touch
needing to be touched

a 50/50 chance
living and dying 
breath by breath

Angela Minard 2014©

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Where I Am

I wanted to write something here to commemorate my year of teacher's training, and becoming a certified yoga instructor...something profound and emotional, but this is merely the beginning of a journey. I have no idea where this journey is taking me, and for once in my life, I'm somewhat okay with not knowing where I'm going. 
I'm grateful to have a job teaching yoga, which doesn't feel like a job at all, but a beautifully wrapped gift that I unwrap every time I teach. I'm more excited than afraid, and I'm still trying to fully comprehend that emotion, because fear has been a constant companion for a long time. My very wise yoga teacher challenged my thinking last weekend when I was talking to her, and she said, "I think you are excited, not afraid..." She wasn't far off, although there was some performance anxiety, and pressure that I put on myself, I was also terribly excited! Once the weekend of testing and teaching my practicum class was over, all that seemed to be left was exhaustion. I was drained, and after all of the build up, it came crashing down with a lot of unexplained feelings. I still need help understanding feelings, so talking to my therapist on Monday gave me some comfort, and talking through my emotions helped me to make sense of everything. Tuesday night I taught, and it was strange how having that certification boosted my confidence, even though my knowledge wasn't any greater than the week before. I'm trying to enjoy this moment, and not get too far ahead of myself, but there is so much to do! 
There is always another dream, 
another idea, 
and another goal to reach toward, 
but for today, 
I'm enjoying where I am.