this yoga world loves to manifest. hell, I like the idea of manifesting too. kinda.
the thing is, you can’t only call the good stuff to you. Sure, I know you’re probably not manifesting a bunch of 10lb bags of bullshit on purpose, but let’s be clear, life is a balance. you don’t get just the peanut butter or just the jelly. You get that swirly messy oozey mashup, each bite could go either way. And oh yeah, you gotta eat the crusts too (sorry guys).
We can find the positive in most situations, especially in hindsight. It’s much easier to say that something upsetting or terrible “turned out for the best” or “happened for a reason” 10 years later. I’d truly like to think everything will be okay in the end, but the thing is, who the fuck actually knows anything about the end anyways.
seems to me it’s more about attitude, about approach. its more about listening and empathy than it is about creating some glossy, sunshiney, only-high-vibes-allowed reality. pretending that you can fully control your reality is a first-world, light skinned lie. I won’t apologize for that. Its only works through rose-tinted privileged glasses. so if you’ve got a pair, then yeah, manifest away.
empathy. kindness. empathy empathy empathy. more kindness. more action. I suppose if I could truly manifest anything it would be that.
how can we try to understand more. how can we treat ourselves and everyone around us (or across the world) with kindness. listening to their stories. trying to feel what they are feeling without imparting our own narratives on them. how can we try to truly feel more even in the midst of the shit we don’t really want to be feeling at all. you can’t cherry pick. maybe it’s all a bunch of randomness, maybe the universe has got your back. or maybe it’s left you in the dust – don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
sure, I get it. meditating on positive thoughts can’t hurt. but right now seems like a time for real world positive actions. there are too many people in the world who need more human empathy and real world helping hands rather than manifested stardust and good vibes from the universe. the full spectrum of the human condition requires taking the bad with the good. and hopefully there’s always some intsy-wintsy ounce of good coming to you or radiating from you.
you can’t just ignore it. you can’t manifest away real life. its going to be there whether you envisioned it or not.
We make the best of it all, for everyone we can impact, because it’s the best that we can do.
The 6 most feared words in the English language.
“Can I give you some advice?”
oh no. please, it would be great if you didn’t. nope. actually not interested. I’ve heard the horror stories from pregnant students, clients, and friends. I’m sure I’ll fall victim myself one day. unsolicited baby advice might be the most terrifying breed. unsolicited marriage advice might not be far behind. Diet advice in a not so distant third. “let me just tell you one thing…”
Its not that input from others isn’t important. its often pretty crucial. and that unsolicited, dreaded, eye-roll inducing advice can actually sometimes be pretty helpful. but its the idea that we need advice, thats what gets usually gets us.
Some people are really good at asking for help. at reaching out. I’m not one of them. Priding myself on a Can-Do attitude, asking for advice doesn’t really fall under the umbrella of independence and fuck-off-I-can-handle-it that I usually carry around with me. Its an ego thing. I see that now. Countless hours on my mat, an unbelievably supportive partner, and a lot of Brené Brown books have made that clear. but somehow I still find myself wanting to muscle through it all. for better or worse, it was me responsible. I suppose its a control thing too. ego and control.
Those are big words. ego. control. kind of big scary words. and yet I have a feeling I’m not the only one who is affiliated with them. they seem to have a fairly big following, lots of influence. If they were on instagram they’d be posting 5 times a day and collecting followers like Kylie Jenner’s tiny new puppy.
Allowing someone else to jump into our lives with their own insights, however ludicrous (or grounded) feels unwelcome. it can feel like an assault on our own authority. its easy to take personally. but have you ever been the advice giver? oh c’mon, you have. I have. I’m a doula and a prenatal yoga teacher, I’ve caught shit coming out of my mouth to students, however knowledgeable or prudent, and immediately realized – nobody asked for that.
for the advice giver though, those 6 little words are nothing more than words. little words. soft words. well-intentioned words. words meant to make your life easier. they don’t always. of course. but isn’t it supposed to be the thought that counts? no matter how much we grit our teeth, we can’t go it alone. advice, help, its necessary. its crucial. without it we’ll crumble into a fist pumping heap of ‘I’m-fine-I-swear’ and then still wonder why things didn’t work.
So I’m gonna be that asshole.
Can I give you some advice?
Take the advice. maybe take it with a grain of salt, but take it. stop deflecting. soak up the well intentioned and sometimes ill-advised advice of your peers and coworkers, your in-laws, the random stranger in the checkout line. keep what you need, toss the rest. You might just find that what you end up keeping can’t hurt, and what you toss is a just a teeny tiny bit of that ego.
Well Australia, its been a pretty stellar 5 weeks and you’re a pretty special place so we’re certainly going to miss you.
Until next year
It’s time for a paradigm shift, next stop – India.
It’s a funny thing, making a home and then leaving it. I mean, we’ve all moved right? we’ve all packed up our shit, taped up the boxes and hauled it off. sent it, sent ourselves, off to our new ‘home’.
we’ve all invested the time. hung pictures, scrubbed floors, bought shelves. filled those shelves. organized those closets. settled into those walls.
so what happens when you pack it all up, but there’s no where to go?
at this point, we’ve taken our home on the road. we’ve switched over from the literal sense of home, to the figurative sense of home, and while its beautiful and free, its also difficult.
We’ve been living in a state of constant transition, of constant travel and home and away and back home again for years. its nothing new. but there’s always been a ‘home’. there’s always been a bed and a kitchen and a couch with that perfect 2 person indent waiting for us.
As this wild life of travel and teaching and exploring continued to evolve it became abundantly clear that that couch was no longer getting the love and butt time it so desperately deserved.
So we packed it up. we called it a day on ‘home’. which meant that we needed to delve a little deeper into what home really was.
I was in mourning. truthfully, I think I’m still in mourning.
I didn’t think I would be, but I am.
I grew up in a city I liked, but I didn’t love. I wasn’t getting the skyline tatted on my sleeve anytime soon, and I wasn’t ever dying to get back no matter how beautiful the mountains were or how much I love my family. but then I found it. and I fell in love. with the people. the vibes. the food. the laid-back enthusiasm for everything and the passion for personal growth. i found Portland in all its weird (not actually that weird) glory.
portland is kind of a sublime place. and I’m really going to miss it. In fact, i do already miss it.
but we’re off.
like way off. well into week 5 here in Australia in fact. We sold the needless shit we’d collected over the years. well, sold most of it atleast. the comics stayed. the books and the records, the art and the hats. we’ll keep those.
the rest, it’s yours.
I’m in mourning.
We did our best to soak up that wondrous little northwest city we used to call home. that home and the people as much as possible before they became a twice-a-year occurrence. I tried to ingrain the feeling of our lonely couch that usually sat untouched for 3/4 of the year but that somehow I’m just starting to miss. this time last year I was writing about the beauty of having a home. of having space to roam and create. poetic as that is, its not what is calling us. it’s not whats on the table right now.
coming back home when home is no longer a physical presence. its a doozy.
maybe can someone cross stitch me a “home is where the heart is” piece to hang on every hotel wall? multi colored would be nice. maybe some flowers too.
some places its easy. almost too easy. lets just buy a beach house and say fuck it and move here because oceans are magical and oh hey they have good organic grocers here too. there’s so much good nut milk here, we should totally live here.
and then we leave.
we pack up our stuff, we say goodbye to our new friends and students, and we move again. sometimes we fall in love with a new imaginary home all over again. sometimes we don’t.
to and fro. as silly as it seems, it really is the little things that pull you in. like a sweet little neighborhood co-op, or a coffee shop with good music and comfy chairs, maybe a yoga studio with just the right vibes. I think that’s how I stay sane without the physical grounding of a home. its finding that home within your surroundings no matter what or where they might be. settling into yourself, and into your life, and into each and every little bit of home that offers itself up to you each day.
It’s the push and the pull of this practice. the ever important balance of effort and the ease that turns up far off of the yoga mat just as it always seems to do. this life is a ceaseless dance of east and west, north and south, when all you’re trying to do is find the fucking center. ceaseless dance perhaps, but a glorious one, certainly.
We’ve traded in our tables and chairs for plane seats and never ending yoga mats. for boundless new adventures and body, breath, mind, and world exploration. traded them in for meeting phenomenal people, for sparks of friendship and eye opening sights. The generous communities we are lucky enough to step into each week are the reason we do what we do, wherever we are doing it. Its that connection that brings our gloriously discombobulated lives into focus.
I’m still wearing black (I’ve only got 5 outfits in my bags these days), and I think we’ll always mourn our first real home a little bit. but for now I’m letting go and leaning in, leaning way in, to where ever it is we wander.
Sure, we occasionally like to live it up at the local Whole Foods/Co-op/extremely expensive health food store. $8.00 kombuchas, $10 raw chocolate bars, $1 million dollar nut cheeses and coconut yogurts, you know how it goes. (if you don’t, check out our recent trip to Australia’s most expensive grocery store!)
However, on an average day you can find us eating much more simply. and much more cheaply. tonight we were on the hunt for something fresh, but filling and warming on what has been a very blustery day here in Bondi. The dates and spices anchor this lovely salad, while the lentils provide some hearty-ness to remove any threat of the wimpy salad blues.
So while the idea was sparked by a urge for some Mmmm, it was fueled by its simplicity. at only a handful of ingredients, this meal comes in at whopping $3.75 per serving (even less if you’ve got a well stocked fridge and pantry and don’t have to buy olive oil, salt & pepper like us!)
that’s a whole lot cheaper than the Whole Foods hotbar, and it comes without the color coded register lines and the $18 granola displays.
Moroccan Spiced Lentil Salad
1 cup whole brown lentils
1 bunch kale
1 large or 2 small green apples
5 dates, pitted & chopped
hummus, 1-2 tbsp per serving
4 tbsp olive oil
3-4 tbsp Moroccan tagine spices (paprika, coriander, cassia, allspice, chilli, cloves, cardamom)
salt + pepper to taste
bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil. Salt and add 2 tbsp spices to the water.
sift through the lentils to check for any rocks or dirt. Add cleaned lentils to the boiling water and reduce heat down to a strong simmer for 30-35 minutes.
while the lentils cook, wash and de-stem the kale, chopping or tearing into bite sized pieces and massaging slightly.
pitt and chop the dates, set aside.
check lentils tenderness periodically, remove form heat and drain when they are tender but still hold shape and have not split yet. once drained, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil + salt, pepper, and remaining tbsp spices (adding more to taste)
slice the apple finely. combine kale, dates, apples and remaining olive oil, tossing with the juice of 2 lemons. add the lentils, toss again.
serve with a spoonful of hummus.
For workshop bookings please contact Patrickbeachyoga@gmail.com