LIFE

Life is fun, exciting, scary, happy, sad, aggravating, awesome and sometimes a bit boring.
I tend to get bored quickly and find new things to try, usually with my best friend Susie. We both have big ideas and let our confidence prevail, diving in head first completely, believing that we will crush it! I’m here to tell you confidence can only get you so far because next thing you know, you have building inspectors showing up on your front lawn telling you that the monstrosity you’re building (we called it a professional sized soccer goal) is not only ugly, but very dangerous….true dat on both accounts. So, Susie and I moved our creation into the back yard and we assembled the biggest soccer net in the history of soccer nets. (Ok maybe a slight exaggeration). We were going to take our show on the road, bringing our talents to all those wanting giant soccer nets that resembled an original Picasso creation, complete with 2 crooked eyeballs and an enlarged nose at the top right corner of the goal. We even had a handwoven net that mostly worked. We had big dreams! We were going to be millionaires when all was said and done! The next day severe storms moved into Chicago. A microburst targeted our net, picked it way up in the air, and smashed it into bits all over the ground. Susie called with the news. For a split second we both felt kind of bummed, but we were laughing about it by the end of the conversation. We were so excited about this project, and sometimes it was scary having to stand at the very top of a ladder to hold the pieces together until they set. Aggravation would set in when the pvc wouldn’t stick together (fyi, you’re supposed to put purple stuff on it before the glue). In the end, it all boiled down to a good story, a great memory and a laugh. We have had many big ideas that didn’t work out the way we envisioned but approached them with open hearts and confidence that this time will be different! And sometimes they do come out different, surprisingly so. A little victory here and there that would serve to strengthen confidence in ourselves.

I am a yoga teacher here at the Cognitive Clinic and getting to this point was filled with little victories. I got into yoga after I became a couch potato, developed sciatica and gained a lot of weight. I couldn’t walk 15 feet without pain. I was writing a self-help blog at the time to help others get their lives in order, and it was very successful. A personal trainer/motivational speaker started writing every Wednesday, and he said 15 minutes a day focusing on some type of exercise will change your life. So, I tried it. I chose yoga. And not just any yoga, but the ambitious kind that only “level 3s” could master. It sucked, and I swore a lot at the teacher, smiling enthusiastically, telling us out in internet land to “Smile you’re doing yoga”. I swore at her some more. Downward facing dog is what, a resting pose?!?!? Are you out of your mind???!? Child’s pose will slow my breath down?! How?!??!? With my giant belly in the way, it felt like the Heimlich maneuver. I realized my choice may be a little over ambitious and started doing 15 minutes with a beginner’s class. I did this for a while, moving to a ½ hour, swearing the whole time. Next thing you know I was at an hour, every day. My sciatica slowly diminished, and I stopped swearing at the nice lady on the computer. I started to look forward to my yoga time. I began taking classes outside of my home and received good feedback from Mike Larocca , my first live yoga teacher. He began using me in examples of all the different poses. I was told by a fellow class member that I was beautiful to watch. I was able to not just walk, but run, hike, cycle. I was back to the person I knew and loved! There were times when things did not go smoothly, like attempting handstands without a spotter only to land in a giant heap on the floor, writhing in pain. But then there were the little victories, like when downward dog did become a resting position, or when my belly wouldn’t get in the way of a pose. My favorite little victory was the day I found my triceps. What the heck is a tricep??!? What is it for and how did I get it? Oh, who cares! It looks awesome!!! I soon became more curious about the philosophy behind yoga, the traditions, and most of all Guru G and the Primary Series, a 90-minute Ashtanga class that was the most ambitious class I ever attempted. I swore a lot, par for the course, but finally one day I was able to do it by memory. I joined Yogaglo, an online yoga studio with some of the best modern-day teachers, like Noah Maze, known as “The teacher’s teacher”. I still follow his teachings till this day after being introduced to him on Yogaglo back in 2007. It took a lot of little victories to get where I am. It took humility, sacrifice and commitment, but I did it, and I’m going to keep doing it. Now I’m able to help others make their own commitment and start their journeys. I get to learn and teach. I found my Dharma and I’m sticking to it. It took a lot of little victories and some setbacks. But, I know where I’m supposed to be, and it’s right here.
~Namaste~
Rita

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