THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Lie Of Perfection




Each fold and sharp crease between thumbnail and stark white paper
hisses with outrage
refined angles
cutting remarks behind a simpering smile
shooting baskets with the misshapen wads
aim and miss
each paper crane is formed from everything she was told she lacked
her many failures bent into the correct aesthetic shape
forced to acquiesce 
throbbing fingers crimp and tuck
seething warmth rising with each crumpled mistake
these messy pages tell her battled tale...

-the lie of perfection

Angela Minard© 

Artwork by Duy Huynh


Monday, November 9, 2020

Transforming Darkness


Something about the birds today pulled at my heart

quietly tugging my awareness skyward 

Everywhere I went I could feel the fluttering of wings on my skin

like the sweet breath of angels 

caressing the back of my weary neck

Perhaps I had been looking down for too long

the weight of darkness no longer screeching

but continuing to listen intently

as if silence was the monster hiding


While doing yard work on this atypically warm autumn day 

I at first mistook the starlings that caught my eye 

for swirling leaves 

until their musical trilling filled the air

“Look up!” they seemed to be singing insistently 


Pausing to rest

tilting my gaze to the heavens

my eyes widened as I watched in wonder

the transformation 

from onyx starlings to opalescent doves

the honeyed sky dripping like slow rain

weightless...

cradled within the downy wings of protection


-You are safe


Angela Minard© 

Artwork by Duy Huynh

Friday, September 25, 2020

Only I Will Remain

 

The Third Eye by Rutuja Padwal


I’ve been dreaming quite often about being hospitalized due to mental illness. It could be because I’m struggling with my mental health, but I feel like many of us are struggling due to the pandemic. I’m not a stranger to needing inpatient treatment, but I’m not even close to that point at all. When I woke up from that dream this morning, I was acutely aware of how healthy I am compared to years ago. I’m not only healthier, but happier. I remember back to when I was working for the local school district, and barely being able to get out of bed. I was burnt out working with aggressive students, and deeply depressed. Now I am passionate about my work, and thankful that I survived that period of my life. I think that my schedule is in flux, and that throws me off. I also know that eventually it will be more consistent again, and so I work on being patient and compassionate with myself. I still see my therapist virtually, which is better than not seeing her at all, but of course it’s not the same. We all want things to go back to normal, and the fact is that it may be awhile, or perhaps never, and that is difficult to come to terms with at times. Because of my sexual assault, and being gagged during it, wearing a mask is extremely challenging. I have worked hard to increase the amount of time I can tolerate it, but it always causes anxiety. I would rather go nowhere than to wear one, but that’s not always an option. It’s funny how that trauma, which I had really worked through, can still side swipe me, and that makes me angry. This political climate wears on me; the hate, the anger, the inequality, the racism, and on and on...aren’t we all afraid? I know I am...


I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” 

~Frank Herbert


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Beyond the Pose






















planting my hands firmly into the ground

and flipping upside down

shifting perspectives

exploring the perimeters 

a compass leading in all directions

Inhale

expanding freedom

Exhale

releasing into gravity 

the outlines disappear

diving into presence 

hold on tight

savor the moment

and then let it go

dancing with breath

leaning into life...


Angela Minard© 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Lucky White Rabbit


Lately when my mind drops me into the past, it is big and loud, like suddenly being slapped, sharp and stinging...too much in my body, too much hurt. I look around, and I remember the dream where I hide under the bed, shivering on the cold wood floor. A small white bunny hops under the bed to join me, and I’m no longer alone or scared. The end. Only it’s not the end, is it? It’s not a dream. I confuse waking and dreaming because that is how I survived, but even now it is blurry, past and present, real or illusion, hiding under the bed...

Artwork by Richard Jesse Watson

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Graceful Transitions


















I thought I had given up blogging, but I do enjoy sending my thoughts out into the ether, out of my head, and yet still somewhere tangible. Life is change, and within the change, a tendency to resist for awhile, and for me at least, eventually a surrender. I can create as much chaos as I resist, but here I am, still participating in life. I stopped writing here during transition from my work with the autism population, and into a yoga therapy job in a behavioral health hospital, and teaching yoga full time, which still is my dream job. Last year the hospital I was working in closed, which was sudden, and a big disappointment. I wondered if I would be able to find enough work to still teach yoga full time, but I was able to find a job in another behavioral health hospital that is so close to my home, so it’s even better, and I still teach some corporate and studio classes, so I feel well rounded in my career. Covid messed with some of my income at first, but like most of the world, I was able to pivot to an online platform. It’s not my favorite way to teach, but I’m grateful to be able to stay connected with students, and continue my work. 
I still struggle with my mental health at times, the eating disorder is something that I live with daily, but I may always have to work to maintain recovery. I’ve come to accept that as my reality. After years of battling suicidal ideation, I haven’t had those thoughts in awhile, which feels amazing! I have ups and downs, but nothing severe, and all is manageable. Writing about my darkness is usually enough of a release to move through to the light. 
In the past year I was blessed with 3 granddaughters, so after all of the male energy I was surrounded with; being a mom to 4 sons, it has been so fun to watch my sons raising daughters, and finally getting to buy girl stuff! I hope that the world will be a safe place for them, and with our political climate, that is a huge concern. Much of my anxiety lately comes from the uncertain times we are in, and I know I’m not alone with those feelings. Transitions are part of the human experience, and so trying to gracefully manage them, or maybe simply giving myself grace when I falter. 
I will end on that note today, and may you as well find grace for yourself through the transitions of your life. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

It’s Why I Tell You


I probably shouldn’t come here 
and tell You

Every fucking feeling that moves

through me

Maybe

I’m not even talking to 

You

around and around in circles 

until I’m spinning 

I haven’t been here in awhile

have I?

I’m sick of coming back.

I should know how to do this by now

everyday Grows slower

Grows darker

like a slow motion dream that I can’t wake up from

I don’t know how to stop it

No one knows

no one knows

It’s why I tell

You


Angela Minard© 


Monday, September 7, 2020

Asylum


I come to this black void and instead of emptiness, there are all of these brilliant colors, like music that I can taste and hear-

I distract myself with the familiar until the words form beneath my fingertips...


My mind flashes back to the “crazy dream.” I’m locked up in an asylum, sensing the depressant quality of being over medicated, with a tenuous grasp on reality. I’m not sure why I return to the texture of this dream-feeling trapped, misunderstood, and denied of comfort and care...it’s a worn out theme.


Eating disorders are like an asylum. Even in recovery, it’s presence looms-black and white, colorless and empty, and even in my sleep, I can feel my body, the weight and density, a liquid mass -trapped.


The Asylum: a place I would like to escape to; where I could be crazy and at the same time a hostage of my body. I would be free to rattle the chains of my own misery, completely abandoned by the outside world. A nightmare or a wish?


I’m in recovery. I eat the food, sometimes without much thought, and at times agonizingly; mouthful by mouthful. 


These are the reasons I eat: my family, my dog, my job. I love those reasons, and more often than not, it’s enough. 


My weight fluctuates depending on my manipulations. I can’t quite seem to leave it alone. I do not trust my body, and have difficulty being neutral, although I try. “I have a body.” That is the goal, even though mostly I’m disgusted by having a body. That disgust transitions on a scale from extreme to tolerable...I have come to accept that the disgust doesn’t have much to do with my weight, and yet the manipulation continues...


Yes, I know it’s a worn out theme. It’s mind numbingly boring, and I despise weight and diet talk. It takes up enough chatter in my own head, and so the distraction is the eating disorder; A cunning asylum, with locked doors, and sometimes thin walls of glass I can see through. 


Angela Minard© 







 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Peaceful Communication



I’m at the point in my life where I know what I want, I know where I’m going, and I’m also clear about who I don’t want around me. I remember early on in my yoga journey looking up to my teachers, believing their teachings, believing that they practiced what they taught. I learned differently quite soon! With eyes wide opened, I also witnessed the lies..., and like any spiritual journey, if your eyes are truly open, you will see, and then find your own path without blindly following anyone. Lessons have been learned, my heart has been a bit bruised along the way, but those painful truths led me to trust in my own authenticity. I’m certainly not perfect, especially as a yoga teacher, but what you see is what you get. I’m honest. If you have an injury, I will tell you I’m not a doctor, I try to walk the walk, which means I’m prone to anger, miscommunication, poor judgment, etc...I don’t pretend to be anything but who I am. If I like you, you will know, and if I don’t, I won’t pretend. I’ll be polite, but not two faced. Say what you mean, and mean what you say...it’s so simple, really...If you don’t want to do something, you don’t need to lie and make up an excuse. Simply say no. If you say you are going to do something, be true to your word. Have honor. You will feel better about yourself in the long run. In this new year, I’ve let go of expectation, which perhaps sounds negative, but is truly freeing. My word for 2020 is “Communication.” That is what I will be working on...clear, mindful, kind, and yet honest communication.

Artwork~Peace by Shirin Donia

Monday, October 28, 2019

Don’t Forget

The me that started this blog over twelve years ago is long gone, although the strength and wisdom was centered deep inside, it took some digging to discover. Starting this blog was also the beginning of healing from sexual trauma and anorexia, although at times it felt as if all of that digging may bury me.
A couple of times it almost did...
I’m not sure why I’m here, writing I mean...
I was driving home from teaching my Monday evening yoga classes, and my mind was wandering as I watched the first snowfall of the season...wandering to the past, and I thought about the pain that I poured out on this blog. Healing is a gift I finally allowed myself. Yoga gave me the gift of embodiment, and I’m grateful that I can pay that gift forward. I rarely visit the past anymore, but when I do it’s from a more forgiving place. I’m not perfect and life is never perfect, but I’m good...life is good. I doubt anyone reads these words, but if you found your way here, take this poem as my gift to you...

Where there is an ache
joy awaits
buried beneath nutrient rich soil
the throbbing heart
the homesickness
the want
is a reminder of what holds you
Here
Right here
Don’t forget...

Angela Minard©


Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Glass Is Full





I have been anxiously awaiting this day of surgery, and finally having my hip replaced. I’ve been in pain off and on for over 5 years, and this last year the pain became debilitating. I rarely sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time. I’m exhausted, and more than ready. Yes, there is trepidation. I’ve never had surgery, and the thought of being knocked out makes me worry. I don’t love the idea of being incapacitated while there is so much going on around me. It is the unknown that gets me, but other than those small twinges of discomfort, I am excited about the likely possibility of relief. Being a full time yoga teacher, I make my living by having a healthy and fully functioning body. I feel my attitude towards my body shifting. I’m more compassionate and caring, practicing more self care, and reframing negative thoughts as they come. I welcome this journey, and all I am learning.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Strength and Stability



It is strange how when one part of your body hurts, it affects other area of the body. As a yoga teacher, observing bodies is part of the job, and so I find myself observing my own with curiosity. I’m thinking of ways to help my healing, where I need to focus, and the types of body work I may need. In this way, I am looking forward to the recovery process. I already see the ways this is changing my teaching, and I’m already planning a workshop titled Mindful Strength and Stabilty. I feel excitement for the possible roads of learning this experience is already leading me down. There is always more to learn, and I can’t wait to share it! 
5 more days until surgery! 






Monday, July 9, 2018

Eating Disorder Recovery Update




I wanted to share some of what I'm going through lately while continuing to recover from an eating disorder. The lack of much physical activity in these past couple of months has been triggering. I'm losing muscle tone, and although I don't know exactly what my weight is, I do know what it feels like it's doing. I recognize that I may not be accurate in my assessment, nevertheless I'm not acting on behaviors. My appetite has decreased along with my energy output, but I'm still working hard to adequately nourish my body. I have nausea due to some of the medications I'm temporarily on, so I need to keep something in my stomach.  It is challenging, and the eating disorder is loud. I still struggle with negative body image, but I'm not allowing any of that to cause me to restrict. I want to be strong after surgery, and using behaviors will not help with recovery. I want to get back to teaching yoga as soon as I can. I'm practicing lots of self care, and taking time to do things that also nourish my soul, such as writing, reading, and cultivating a more consistent meditation practice. This may be a small road block, but I actually do believe in myself. I would like to be completely recovered from anorexia, but if that never happens, I will never give up. I will come out even stronger, I have no doubt!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Removing Obstacles




It has been almost a year since my last post, and so much has happened since then. The present moment is dealing with chronic pain, and trying to remind myself that the pain is temporary. I'm having a total hip replacement on July 16th, but I've been dealing with this pain off and on for the last 5 years. In the past 6 month, the pain has been almost debilitating, and affects my quality of life. I'm sleep deprived, and my main self care/coping skill has been gradually stripped away. I am no longer teaching and my practice is dwindling. This is disheartening to say the least. I love my job teaching yoga, but I desperately miss my own practice. Instead of focusing on what I can't do right now, I know I need to cultivate a stronger mindfulness practice. I have a study partner to learn more about the yoga sutras, and practicing a better self care routine. This experience has changed me, and change is challenging! Some of my least favorite qualities have surfaced, like low frustration tolerance, and general bitchiness. I have a renewed sense of gratitude for my body, and realize how much I took for granted. I will come out of this stronger and more compassionate, not only towards myself, but others. I also feel that this adventure will make me a stronger and more knowledgeable yoga instructor. I'm delving into a deeper knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics, and still working on class sequencing and a fall workshop at the studio. Being inactive makes me feel restless, so using my mind is important in being productive and feeling accomplished. We can do more than we often give ourselves credit for, body, mind, and spirit. I may not have an Asana practice right now, but it is the perfect time time to develop a deeper spiritual practice.                                                                                                                 
Wishing you all a peaceful summer filled with magical moments.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Transformed



Transformed

I hold on in my sleep
clenched fists
awakening with aching fingers
empty hands...

"It hurts, it hurts, it hurts," 


I think to myself

drifting back into the same nightmare...
footsteps heavy, looming shadows,
and then the comforting sound of
your voice calling my name

"It hurts," I whisper


as your gracefully opened palms

receive my falling tears
iridescent crystals
spilling through your familiar, outstretched fingers

"I will hold it for you," you repeat softly

until my eyes begin to flutter open

...and for awhile


this pain


beautifully transformed


Angela Minard 2017©

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stop, Drop, and Roll



I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write
Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation
where the outer world stays the same 
and yet you and everything you do is completely different 
Sometimes I feel as if I'm observing from the outside...
I wanted to heal
and I think I am healing...
I hope...
I remember a winter about nine years ago
when I barely came out of my bedroom
It was dark on the inside 
and I was too numb to cry
too numb to smile 
too numb to realize that I was dying
Years of lying
of hiding being raped 
swallowing rage 
had eventually caught up
and taken a toll
Self harm
starving
and hating myself had left me empty
My husband asked me to see a therapist
and I did not want to 
but there was a small voice inside that I could still hear through the endless chatter
I remember looking through the Blue Cross/Blue Shield book of mental health providers 
and searching for a therapist who specialized in eating disorders
Offering up the eating disorder like a sacrificial lamb
If I could eat 
that would fix me 
and I could be on my merry way...
I still remember sitting in her office for the first time 
terrified...
Sometimes
in her waiting room
I still feel that way
as if nothing has changed...
They say life will eventually come full circle
and so on a day to day basis 
I stare my demons in the face
in the eyes of the patients I teach yoga to in the hospital
I see and feel their loss of dignity
the heavy burden of shame...
It seems almost impossible at times to overcome
The eating disorder was a symptom
a coping mechanism
and by all means 
not the only one
I carry them all in my back pocket
like a smooth stone
a talisman to ward off uncomfortable feelings
To be honest
I don't know what I'm trying to communicate here
only that I know the danger of being silent
of slipping into darkness 
I'm not sure of the perfect way to heal
and although throwing myself into the fire wasn't what I intended
here I am

Stop, drop, and roll...


"The greatest art is to sit and wait and let it come" ~Yogi Bhajan

Friday, August 19, 2016

Days of Glitter



Days of Glitter

I cry...
A lot...
Every day...
I love my new job
It also makes my heart hurt
I've been teaching yoga for awhile now, 
but I avoid teaching children
When I worked with children everyday, 
I figured that I needed a break from kids
When asked to sub kids classes, 
I would adamantly refuse
I never wanted to teach yoga to children, 
and so when I started this job 
teaching yoga in a psychiatric hospital, 
it didn't cross my mind that I would be required to teach children
I wanted to work with the adults 
forgetting that they too were once children
First I was a child
I guess I try to erase that little girl...
The youngest admit is five, 
and then there are the dreaded teenagers! 
I love them...
I know them...
their fears
insecurity, 
feelings of loss...
I see the beauty that they have already lost sight of
I try to remind them
and I see
flashes of a smile
like the sun
hidden for awhile
glittering along the edges of cracked, 
grey pavement 

***************************************

I'm trying to figure out how to keep my heart from breaking 
on a daily basis
or perhaps I bear witness
watching the shattered bits land where they may
sweeping the pieces back together
holding the small mirrored shards gently in my trembling hands
deep breaths as the glitter flies
shimmering sparks
of love

Angela Minard 2016©
Artwork by Anne Bachelier

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Returning



Returning

On this day
I give to you
Love 
as I know it
from what I have learned
along the way

My heart 
and what extends outward
seeking 
without knowing

Somehow holding you
always
in a warm embrace

On this day 
searching ends

We have returned...

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork by Pier Toffoletti

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wanting



Wanting

The physical pain comes first

before memory
before wanting

searing flame
consuming all image

imagined...

When it hurts 
inside

now 
wanting 
you

before you

pain 
without 
want

This wanting

is a different ache
throbbing
from the same place

Why is the womb filled with rot? 

Do you ever wonder

or simply believe 
what you are told? 

"You smell 
like the filth that you are."

Could you please
wrap your arms around me

even with this stench?

Shame is
asking

Shame is 
telling

Shame is

Still 

Here

Wanting...

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork from randiclark.com

Thursday, July 7, 2016

No More



There is nothing in life that is certain, but most of the time our days flow in a predictable pattern, and that routine is comforting. 
Right now I feel as if I decided to climb into a rain barrel and allowed someone to push me from the edge of Niagara Falls. 
I made the choice to quit a job I had been at for a long time, I brought a puppy into our home, a couple of the boys moved out, and then one moved back in and brought their cat, I'm starting a new job, and I just sprained my foot on my third day at said new job! We need to sell our house, which will be another big change, and none of this is routine. Even good changes can be frightening, and so I find myself slipping into eating disordered behaviors. Relapse is part of recovery, but I thought I was past relapsing. It is difficult not to be disappointed in myself, especially when I'm working in a recovery facility. Beating up on myself is not helpful, and actually gives the eating disorder more power. Silence gives it power as well, and more than anything, I'm trying to let go of shame. 
I have been going through an intense trauma training in order to work in a psychiatric facility, but the training is bringing up my own trauma, which is painful. It makes me doubt myself, and if I have chosen the right path. I feel passionate about teaching yoga as a powerful tool for healing. I know I can help people, but I have to find a way to seperate from my pain while doing this job, otherwise I'm going to be in a world of hurt. 
I have had to slow down while trying to heal my foot, but that gives me more time with myself, more time to ruminate, and so here I am, writing through all of it.
Deep down, I know I can do this, and that everything will work out the way it is meant to happen. I have not arrived in this exact place without a reason. If I expect myself to be perfect, I most certainly will fail. If I believe that others expect perfection, I will also fail. I may tumble all of the way down, beaten and bruised, but smooth waters await if I can have faith and patience through this journey. I can only be honest with myself and others. I don't want to feel alone, and silence is a lonely place to live. It is okay to be exactly where I am, but if I keep it to myself, and hide my struggles, no one can help me. If I've learned anything through this recovery of self, it is that asking for help is crucial for healing to occur. I have so many more tools other than an eating disorder to fall back on, and this blog is one of them. I stopped writing because I was afraid to be honest, and afraid of letting people down. 
No more...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Venus



Venus

I can't speak anymore
of truth
of pain
without my heart lurching 
into the hollow cave 
of my throat
I hear the reverberating echo
of hate
the bitter taste of poison 
on my lips
seething anger fills my belly
You talk and talk and talk
about nothing
while we all 
go hungry

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork by annadittmann.tumblr.com

Monday, June 13, 2016

Love Makes Sense



I haven't posted here lately, although I still write everyday. 
I'm feeling more private, and not as open about sharing. 
My navigation system is somewhat faulty at times...
I slept fitfully last night with nightmares of being held down and trapped. 
Those dreams are nothing new, but they often come when I am feeling unsafe in the world. 
The senseless massacre in Orlando weighs heavy on my heart. 
I was reading the listed names of the victims in a news article this morning while in the waiting room of a car dealership having my car serviced, and when I made it to the last name, I suddenly burst into tears. 
The horror hit me right away when the news broke, but it takes time for the reality to sink in. 
Real people, with lives, and families, and possibilities, all gunned down...
Why? 
When tragedies such as this take place, it is a helpless feeling, and of course, it is natural to want the world to make sense. 
Hating what makes someone different from you doesn't make sense. 
Violence doesn't make sense, and I don't care to ever understand. 
Love, compassion, and unity make sense, and so tonight when I teach my restorative yoga class, I hope that through community, we can all spread peaceful energy. 
The only way to begin to heal the world is by beginning with ourselves. 
Teach love and compassion in your home, let your family and friends know how much you love them, educate yourself so that ignorance doesn't stand in the way of understanding and compassion, and when in doubt, be kind anyway. 
"Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" 
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free."

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wasted




If you close your eyes
am I no longer sitting before you
Can you wish me away
with these words you have heard before
stifling yawn after yawn 
like the wide open, endless yawn of time
wasted...
What good is trying to heal 
Continually ripping the bandage from the wound
too soon
As my silences lengthen
your eyelids flutter
the monotony of our conversations
growing as tiresome
as I am weary
Is this how you leave
or is this how I am leaving
Giving up on both of us 
before you can say goodbye

Angela Minard 2016©

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sometimes Less is More


When I teach yoga
I am realizing that I don't want to be anyone else 
and as a newer teacher 
I'm still refining my "voice" 
I'm sure that will always be the case
as hopefully we are continually growing and changing 
I stumble
and sometimes I'm surprised with what comes out of my mouth
There are moments of WTF did I just say?!! 
and times when I say something so profound
that even I sit up and take notice 
thinking
"Wow, I really needed to hear that today!" 
It is all okay 
because I need to remember that it is not my class anyway
I am simply a guide
My students teach me so much more than I teach them 
When I stumble
it is usually because I want the class to be whatever my version of "perfect" is
Trying to be perfect never works out to my advantage 
We are the one who gets in our own way
Last night
teaching felt especially satisfying
I was at ease
and had decided that I would give a two minute mini Savasana in between each of the Yin postures 
so that the students could take the time to notice the effects of each pose within their bodies
I had so much positive feedback
We didn't have time for as many postures 
but sometimes less is definitely more
During Savasana
(also known as corpse pose)
which is the final resting pose in a yoga class
I always sit and scan the room 
I place my eyes on each and every student
as if sweetly tucking them in for the night
and I wish them peace
And finally 
I wish myself peace
This may be my path
but we all journey together

Photography by~Angela Minard