A quiet space

If there are no words here it means I am saving them for the book.
If there are no words for the book it means i am panicking.

The book is about unravelling, and that is exactly what i am doing: unravelling the words, ideas, memories, theories. Unravelling the fear that I can’t do this, the worry that it’s too much; the responsibility to pen something of value; my seeming inability to just get out of my own way and trust that the job will be done. The nightmares are back; you’d see a rainbow if you scanned my brain these days, there’s so much activity going on.

The voice is becoming clearer and stronger, however, so I plod on and hope for the best. I had a moment this morning where I laughed out loud at myself, sitting there fretting about writing words down. I mean, could it be any more ridiculous? Writing words down! Stringing words together into sentences. How hard can it be?

I have moments when i wish I still smoked.

Glorious imperfection

Glorious imperfection | SusannahConway.com

I am unashamedly gloriously imperfect.

I don’t like yoga (though i’m trying)
I don’t exercise… at all.
I eat when i’m feeling lonely, and have replaced cigarettes with food.
I get jealous.
I can be gossipy and judgmental.
I beat myself up, often.
I have days when all i want to do is lie down on the sofa.
I forget to brush my teeth sometimes.
I have cellulite… everywhere.
I hate shaving my legs.
I’d rather eat fish ‘n’ chips than drink a wheatgrass shot.
I can work all day in my dressing gown and think nothing of it.
I don’t always love myself.
I swear a LOT.
I’m doing the best I can.
I make people laugh.
I tell it like it is.
I don’t know how to bullshit people.
I have big dreams.
I love kissing.
I walked through fire and survived.
I’m learning how to forgive myself.
I like scary films.
I bring people together.
I have double-jointed shoulders.
I see what others might miss.
I like giving presents.
I am an auntie.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a friend.
In other words, i’m too busy being a vibrant, contrary, fleshy, determined, silly, passionate, unique human being to be perfect.
And that is okay with me.

Written to join the fight against perfection, as started by the lovely Brene Brown in honour of her new book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

Changing the world, one breath at a time

[the yogi and the skeptic, Santa Monica, 2007]

You’ve seen her before in this space and i’m thrilled to have her back today! My mate Marianne Elliott is the real deal – kind, intelligent and committed to doing something useful in this world; this raven-haired beauty walks her talk with every step and i have so much admiration for her. Right now she’s raising money for HIV/AIDS projects in South Africa, but I’ll let her tell you more about that… here’s Marianne:

Are you a yoga skeptic? A non-convert, perhaps, like our mutual friend Susannah? Well, I have all the respect in the world for a skeptic. The Buddha himself taught that we should all be skeptics. “Don’t believe me,” he said, “don’t believe anybody. Don’t believe anything based on the fact that your community believes this or your country believes this or the people that you are around believe this.”

So I say, good for you, you should be a skeptic about yoga. Don’t believe any of the hype. Don’t believe anything until you have tried it for yourself. Because with yoga, as with most things in life, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

Taste and see, said the Buddha. Or perhaps that was Jesus. In either case two of the greatest spiritual teachers of our times agree on this much – don’t take anyone’s word for it. Try it for yourself.

So, I want to offer you a chance to try yoga for yourself, and I think this is an offer too good to refuse. [Edited to add – i signed up today!!]

I’m offering you the chance to join my online yoga course (usually $100 for 30 days) for whatever price you choose to pay. And then I’m going to donate every dollar you pay to some amazing grass-roots projects to support communities affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

This is the Karma edition of my 30 days of yoga course and it’s perfect for yoga skeptics, even yoga-phobics!

“I’ve been yoga-phobic my entire life. Marianne Elliott changed that (and my life in the process). Her 30 Days of Yoga is amazing. She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been a teacher for many years). If you want to do something extraordinary for yourself, I can’t think of a better teacher!” – Dr Brenè Brown

I’m putting it all on the line for this one. I’m offering up everything I’ve built up over the past year and I’m asking you to decide what it’s worth to you. I’m asking you to decide what it’s worth and then I’m going to give all the proceeds away.

Why?

Firstly because yoga is about expansion, about liberation, about the constant movement of energy. You can’t hoard it. You can’t keep it to yourself. It has to be shared.

Secondly, because these are all great projects, addressing a serious global challenge. For example, the South African Whole Grain Bread Project (above) is setting up community-based bakeries to produce fresh, high quality, whole grain bread that will improve the nutrition of malnourished adults and children. The bread will help satisfy the dietary needs of HIV/AIDS positive individuals who need to improve their health in order to allow retroviral drugs to work effectively.

The bakeries have been designed as small businesses that will create income generation opportunities for South Africans living with HIV/AIDS. The money we raise through this Karma edition of 30 days of yoga will help fund the construction of one bakery. The bakery will be able produce up to 200 loaves of bread per hour.

So here’s your chance to give yoga a try (or if you are already a committed yogi, here’s a chance to deepen your practice and establish your own regular home practice) and at the same time support great projects like these bakeries.

Join me for the next 30 days of yoga. The course starts on 7 October, registration is open now and will close on 3 October. You can sign up by clicking on one of the ‘donate’ buttons on this page. If you have any questions at all please read the details here, or answers to FAQs here.

[photo credit: South African Whole Grain Bread Project]