Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yoga, coffee, and blog writing.....OMG it feels good to be back.

So about thirty minute ago I finished the first real practice I have executed in about a month.......maybe month and a half. It felt so nice but so different from practicing at school. For instance I have two dogs....they a big enough to be outside dogs but my mom couldn't bare the thought and neither could anyone else. Anyway so I am in wide-legged stance and Smoke, the youngest, wants to lick me in my face, legs, and feet while Velvet just sits in front of my ace with his eyebrow raised(yeah he is a human in a dog's body). So for obvious reasons I had to put them outside....which helped a little aside from the fact that they decided to scratch on the door throughout the whole practice. Also I miss my professors face and her ability to make us laugh. Anyway I just felt like blogging would complete the experience.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Ashley Green
December 13, 2011
BIC: Capstone
Dr. Schultz

Baylor Interdisciplinary Core/BIC/Red-Headed Stepchildren of the Honors College

            The BIC…B.I.C oh man it felt like a lifetime ago when I first entered the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. It has a way of doing that, making a day feel like month and a semester feel like a year (although that is just Baylor in general). This memoir…this fifteen-page reflection on why I chose the BIC and what it has done for me will take on a form all on its own. I can’t give you an outline of how this paper will go but I can say it will be completely honest and meander in all different directions.
            Before I say why I chose the BIC I should tell you the series of events that made me choose Baylor (because well let’s be honest if I weren’t at Baylor in the first place this topic would be irrelevant). This journey of mine started my freshman year in high school (it could have even been sophomore year). I remember one day in school, I found myself wandering in the halls for whatever reason and I stumbled across a project poster about Baylor. I attended Townview Magnet -High school of Health Professions; the design of the program allows high school students to explore different fields in healthcare, in order to better inform the student of all the opportunities healthcare has to offer. Anyway one of the freshman core curriculum classes provides the student an introduction to all the field job and school in the health profession; one of the teachers there has her students look up different colleges and provide all the information you need to know if you want to consider that school in your college choices. For some reason that day I happen to stop and look at on of the posters (it was about Baylor). The poster was very thorough; telling me the admission process, whether freshman had to live on campus, the cost and other information. I looked at the poster said that is nice and went on my merry way. Later that night…week or even the next week (I honestly can’t remember), my dad got on his high “you can’t date because you can’t take care of yourself horse” and told me that obviously I am not mature enough to date because I am fifteen/sixteen and don’t know what college I want to go to. Honestly thinking about it now I couldn’t have kicked his ass for being an ignorant bastard (pardon my French). I was in the ninth or tenth grade…since he gotten my mom pregnant when he was around that age he should have known that college was the furthest thing from my mind…in fact he did which is why he brought it up to prove a point. His point being that until I knew where I wanted my life to go I wouldn’t be mature enough to date. (If you read my discussion of the last memoir then you know the abuse has been going on for a couple years by now). However even back then I couldn’t let him win saying he was right burn my soul so I told him I knew exactly where I wanted to go…he asked me where and I said Baylor. He then told me that I just said the first thing that popped into my head (which was true but he couldn’t prove it). He was especially upset when I could recite fact that you would need to know about admissions. So two things happen that day I proved him wrong and according to him Baylor became “my dream” which in essence made it “his dream” and we would work together to fulfill our dream. Kind of makes me wonder now what if I told him the same information about a school out of state…I wonder would he have been so eager to make “our dreams” come true then. No I can assure you he wouldn’t have. So that is how Baylor became a prospect school and the story I tell you next will enlightened you from how Baylor went form one of my choices to my only choice.
            Summer before senior year of high school rolls around and I am applying to different colleges. My mindset is still med school bound and Rice University is looking like a mighty fine choice especially if I got accepted into the program that guaranteed you a spot in Baylor Medical University if I maintain certain things through my undergraduate year. I am not sure how it happened but some unspoken law was passed that out-of-state schools were out of bound…it didn’t matter I figured out Rice is where I wanted to go. However I applied to Baylor as well because the application didn’t require much: I didn’t have to write an essay and I didn’t have to pay a fee. It is strange I think some people are just intimidated by the name so they just assume Baylor is hard to get into or the application process must be extensive when in all honesty I have filled out job applications that are more inclusive. Anyway I applied there and in the process of applying to Rice. There is like is like a three step process and I believed I just finished the first stepped when I got my acceptance from Baylor. It was right before winter break and I was ecstatic. The winter break we moved from our house in Pleasant Grove to our new house in Red Oak. So we moved from being two hours from Baylor to about one hour maybe an hour and fifteen minutes (coincidence…I think not but the tom foolery was disguise in a really big house in a phenomenal community). Anyway started the second semester of my senior year my dad started to say things like if you pull this crap while you are at Baylor I am going to have to pull you closer…. meaning he would withdraw me from Baylor and put me in a school closer to home. I was an hour away from the house and he was a construction salesman so he made sure he generated business in Waco in order to be here (Waco) on a regular basis. But if I pulled crap like not leaving class to answer his phone call while at Baylor he was going to have to withdraw me? Right then and there I knew that I would never be able to move to Houston to go to Rice. I knew then that if I finished the application and got accepted something would have happen to prove to him that I wasn’t ready to move that far away. So I let him win when I stopped applying to other schools…. Baylor was my “dream” anyway right and I got in. Why waste my energy on something I knew he wouldn’t let me do. So that is how Baylor became my one and only choice. However why I ended up applying to the BIC program is my mom’s doing…she wanted me to be in an honors program so I could live in the dorm.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone right. In one fell swoop not only was it decided I would be an honor student…. I would be living in the HRC. Looking back on it now I am glad they were both overbearing parents that controlled my life and made my choices for me. I bet you both my dad and my mom regret pushing so hard for me to live in the honors dorms (and it is kind of evil of me to have a pleasantly evil grin when I say this but) they both reap what they sowed in the end. Anyway back to the topic I now had to choose an honor program.
So there I am having to decide which honors program I wanted to apply for; I looked at all the application processes for all four programs that allow you to live in the HRC and, in all honesty, I believe I chose the BIC because I didn’t have to write an essay. I sucked at writing essays and paper…. still do. Though it has been a long time, five years now, since I looked at the BIC summary something about the statement below appealed to me. It is probably not even the same one; I remember they played up on the fast-paced, independent study, having to be able to motivate yourself, and do your studies without a lot of pampering from the professors. I guess since I was being smothered by my parents the idea of being independent appealed to me more than anything. Anyway here is the BIC’s mission statement:
“The Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC) is one of the programs in the Honors College at Baylor University. It provides an alternative way for students to explore Baylor's core curriculum. Instead of taking the University's traditional general education requirements (separate classes in English, history, religion, philosophy, and political science, for example) BIC students learn about these subjects by taking a challenging and integrated curriculum. The BIC curriculum explores the interrelation of humanities, social sciences, and the physical sciences and thereby provides students with a broad context in which they can better understand the contemporary world. BIC students gain exposure to literature and thought from around the world to receive a global education.”
The idea of independence, alternative ways of thinking and learning, not having to write an essay, and not having to take English classes were all factor that lead me to choosing the BIC. If I knew then I would change my career choice to Art Therapy…. I would have chosen University Scholars. Even as I say that I think about the characteristics of the students that were U-Schol, Great Text, or Honors and I know I wouldn’t have fit in and I probably would have wanted to drop out but couldn’t because I had to live in the honors dorms. Thinking back on it now choosing BIC just like choosing Baylor was the best thing that could have happen to me on this journey. Not because of some profound reason; it is just if the second semester of my freshman year was going to play out the same no matter what school I went to or no matter what honor program I chose, Baylor and the BIC sheltered me from the worst of it.
            Now is as good as time as any to say why I chose to stay in the BIC.  First let me get my “scared of what parents going to do” freshman reasons out of the way. BIC was the only honors program I applied to…. therefore if I dropped the program I would have to move out of the honors dorms. I do believe that me living in the honors dorm is the only reason I was able to come back my spring semester freshman year…. apparently kids in honors dorms don’t do corrupting things. Which is mostly true of the people I hung out, I use that word very loosely, with. The other reason I chose to stay with the BIC was I never had a problem with the program. By the end of my first semester I knew I did not like biology and I asked myself how would I suffer through three and a half more years of this.  Never, not once did I say, “Oh my god I can’t handle the BIC anymore”. I met too many interesting people, experience to many things, even that first semester. I got to go t a freaking Hindu temple! I didn’t even have a firm grasped on what Hinduism was at the time…yet alone that there were temples in Texas. Being able to meet Dr. Tom Hanks was enough to convince me BIC was awesome, that man still makes me smile he is so adorably cute. I met some friends who got me through the next year. I realized that the Judaism is the same as Christianity right up until you get to the Christ is your savior part.  Other people had a problem with the amount of reading we had to do and the amount of information we had to learn, but let’s be honest Spark Notes and any other type of note became a lot of people’s friend that first semester.  Plus I never completely read anything assigned to us, which now I kind of regret but not really. The point of me saying all this is to say, the reason I chose to stay with the BIC is because that first year I never had a major problem with it and let’s be honest again if you are going to drop out of BIC the first semester is the best time but if you wait until after your third…. you just doomed yourself to starting over from scratch even if you stayed at Baylor. The main reason I stayed in the BIC as a freshman was the honor dorms situation and I am so thankful that had “no choice” but to stay because the things I learned, saw, and experienced about people was well worth all the bs that comes with it.
            The BIC gifted me with a lot…the ability to communicate effectively through writing not being one of them. The greatest gift BIC gave me was the ability to bs my way through anything as long as I have enough information to go on…no I joke that is the second greatest gift BIC gave me. The first was the ability to understand people are fundamentally different. Everyone does not have the same Texan/US outlook on thing. It made me realized that hell people born and raised in the same city would have completely different outlooks on life depending on who and what raised them and what they as adult choose to accept. BIC challenged by religious belief and made me realized that Christianity is not the only way to salvation. Forcing me and a lot of other students out of their comfort zone, BIC opened my eye to multiple different cultures in a way they have not been before I came here. For instance, I know believe that I am more Hindu than Christian but saying that I know that I could be Hindu and Christian at the same time based on Hinduism belief system. I also know based on that most Christians would not accept that statement. I know now that Islam is a lifestyle. The Quran is the way you live your life. If you are a Muslim you live and you die by the words of that book…. none of this there are multiple ways of interpreting, I go to it when I need guidance, or refer to it from time to time like most Christians treat the Bible. I also understand more of the Islam culture and religion…. therefore I understand them more. I also understand that I could never become Muslim and that I would probably never marry one. It wouldn't be because his belief would go against my religious belief because they wouldn’t…he chose his salvation and I chose mine. I wouldn’t be able to marry him because his lifestyle would conflict with mines so much we would fight. Especially when/if we had children…couldn’t do it. My first semester in the BIC started to form my view on religion, my view…not my parents…. not my church…. mines and the capstone with you cements my view. I believe there is a God no matter what name you call him: God, Allah, Yahweh, Braham, Krishna, Vishnu, and Almighty Father. I believe there is a God, one supreme being to rule us all, but I also believe there are multiples ways to get to him and I have come to accept that even if there was only one way it wouldn’t be Christianity. There I said it I know I am going to hell now. The reason I say it wouldn’t be Christianity is for the same reason I say there are multiple way. I believe that if God is merciful and loving as we think he is…why in his name would he make trillions upon trillions of people all believe in this one thing. Why would he in his infinite wisdom make it so me and someone in Brazil or London disagree on many other aspects of our live because we grew up in different region but on this one very touchy topic we are absolute agree.  It makes no since especially since once upon of time ago when people did get along and agree on the vast majority of things, they decided to build a tower that almost reached the heaven. Which caused God to make it so not many spoke the same language and scattered us to different parts of the regions. If you believe in the tower of Babel then you should know that God does not want everybody inexistence to come together and agree on one thing. Which is actually really smart I could see the human race trying to take over heaven. Another thing BIC made me accept about my religion and further explain why Christianity wouldn’t be the only way to God. We can't agree amongst ourselves how to believe and live. There are so many branches of Christianity based off of so many ways to interpret and therefore live your life according to the Bible that I would questions God infinite wisdom and the ability not to make mistakes if He made Christianity the only way to Him.
            Aside from the more open understanding look on religion and different cultures, BIC introduce me to place that even though I live in Texas my whole life I never been to.  I am talking about the field trips from Freshman/Sophomore year…. those were amazing and I feel like they should extend beyond those year. The Japanese Gardens in Forth Worth is nothing short of amazing and going with BIC was my first time going. Visiting the Hindu temple and the Synagogue were the same. I am so sad that I couldn’t go on the trip to the Mosque and watch Professor Tatum participate in a belly dance but I am sure that would have been fun as well. Along with the different cultures you get to experience the different food or drinks. For instance, I remember at the end of the service at the synagogue you could have water, juice, or wine and I was so shocked that they were offering up wine in a church, but then again it wasn’t a church.  Oh the extended leanings my second semester freshman year where enjoyable. I remember two specifically one was a musical performance by a Chinese artist that play something called Qinqin I believe but the experience was priceless the instrument could sound like a horse, or wood logs, or any other type of soothing noise. I remember feeling enlightened and peaceful leaving that performance; I also remember her dresses were breathtaking. The other extended learning I remember is the Honors professors’ performance of a Contemporary dressed Much Ado About Nothing; it was hilarious. BIC not only introduced me to different cultures and place in Texas but also around campus.  I was forced to go to the theater, Armstrong Browning library, Roxy Grove, and I even think the Recital Hall II. Though I say BIC forced me to go to these different places on campus I returned on my own plenty of time. I am suppose to write about what improvements can be made to the BIC. One improvement would be replacing the extending learning in  Cultures  a class trip to a museum of the Professors choice. For instance I chose Dr. Wang for Cultures V and getting his three extended learnings done were a bit difficult because I had to travel to different museums while on break at home. However if he just took us to one of the places we would have to go and we write a reflection on that…. life would have been easy. Also Examine Life I is not a terrible class you should keep it but take out some of the busy work and I can’t believe I am saying this but give them a real book to read. Hell you could do memoirs. Examine Life I is the only class in the BIC whose purpose I was never sure of except the easy ‘A’ aspect.  The BIC weekend should stay…the library scavenger hunt should stay, and the movie should stay but everything else is debatable. Like I said it has been five years since I was in Examine Life I and I know that very next year a lot of things in the BIC were changed. Oh I really wish that some how an assignment could be visit the Baylor’s Counseling center and the career counseling center your sophomore year here. Also since I am a studio art major now I realize how much as BICers we don’t visit out own museum in the Lewis Art building.  Also there should be an emphasis on how much BIC is like a major with the amount of required class you have to take your freshman and sophomore year…. especially if you are a BA student. I looked on the website last night and I realized that for some of the more demanding majors like BFA- studio Art or Fashion/Interior design…. you can not do both BIC and those with out taking summer school at least twice. So just emphasize and let the student know before they apply or before they accept that this program in very course demanding. It would also be nice if BICers could register when the rest of the Honors, Great Text, and U-schol did before they reach their junior year.  That is one of the reason BIC feels like the one-legged, redheaded stepchild of the honors program. I am sure back when everything was fresh on my mind there were more improvements but like I said when I change my major I didn’t have to worry about BIC as much that was until I had to change it from BFA to BA in studio art.
            BIC did not have a major role in choosing my major when I was Bio. It didn’t have much say so when I changed it from Bio to BFA-studio Art. It didn’t play a major role when I switched from BFA-Studio Art to BA-Studio Art. The only role it played was that I was able to say switching to BA helps me graduate sooner. I don’t believe many can say that. Every once in a while I have epiphany and I remember saying earlier that BIC made the coming changes easier. Well it did. My decision to change from Bio to Studio felt like one of the biggest cop-outs in my life. Being a science major I believed like everyone else that being an art major would be fun and well maybe not easy but it couldn’t be that hard. It was a culture shock my first semester and I realized that my beliefs about art were screwed and wrong but I loved it…. loved it so much. I don’t know how difficult it is to change from BS to BFA at the end of your sophomore year without BIC but with it…the process is as simple as petitioning Natural World and working like hell to get caught up in Studio Art classes. Thought I often wished I would have switched sooner in my academic career I realized that if I did…I may have ended up staying a year longer rather than an extra semester or graduated on time depending but most importantly I would have missed this Capstone (I kid you not I am tearing up at the thought of not taking this class this semester). 
            Let me just say don’t change a thing about this class…not the reading material (unless of course I grow older and write a memoir if you are still teaching…. you should put it on the list). No but seriously don’t change the reading material and don’t change the order we read it in. While now I wish I had the prompts, I know not all would be as appreciative of Iyengar yoga as this class seemed to be…so they probably won’t continue practicing. I truly believe that the reason we enjoy it so much is because we understand and know that these position are not just about the poses. That this practice would mean nothing if we didn’t understand why we practice in the first place, so do not require your students to buy prop unless you provide the books for the class (like in secondary school). The point is without the literature I don’t think I would want to the props because even though I enjoy my class with Zane Sholin so much…. once the class was over I felt no need to buy a mat and continue practicing. After this class I am saving up my money so I can go to other classes at least twice a month to practice and will continue to do so at home.  The philosophy behind it matters.  I mentioned earlier that this capstone cemented my belief about religion, but it also ended my BIC experience on a good note. I can’t give you a profound answer of how this course tried together all the other BIC courses because they were taking with so far apart I can’t quite remember them all. I can say the first course in BIC started to change the way I viewed and handled people, situation, and myself. This class helped me realized how far my outlook on life has come since that freshman…how much I have changed and also how much more I have to work on. This course gave me one more stepping-stone I will use to reach my goal of helping others. It assisted art in helping me find out who I am and who I want to be. It gave me another therapeutic outlet for my frustrations; it gave me another tool to attempt to give to others. Above all else it helps me accept that everything that has happen these past 4.5 years (9 semesters) was suppose to happen. They were supposed to happen when they happened. I mean of course I could and should have done things differently as far as classwork is concerned but the major decisions…the fact that I could never catch a break with summer school…. therefore I couldn’t graduate with a BFA in the five years I allotted myself was meant to happen. All of it was suppose to happen; I know now without a shadow of a doubt that I am going to be an Art Therapist and I will kick serious butt at it. I know that eventually I want to incorporate Iyengar yoga more in my healing and in other healing as well. Not all my patients but those who accept it. This class helps me realize that I am not the only one who thinks the way I think. There is a reason we are the few proud BICers that will graduate with cords. This course has help shape the way I see my future. So yeah how does this course draw together other BIC experiences and college experience…I don’t know 9 semesters and I can’t give you a really soul searching, earth shattering response but know that this course along with BIC and Baylor has laid the foundation for what will be one of the coolest, most down to earth, philosophical but highly silly, wise but innocent, sharped-tongue but light hearted coolest Art Therapist you will ever meet this side of the Mississippi river. Coming to Baylor, staying in the BIC, and switching to finally BA-Studio Art, all these events were not a fluke or a series of coincidences. They were a series of event that proves God/Allah/Yahweh/Braham/Krishna/Vishnu was working in mysterious way to guide an abused little girl in the right direction to make her into a healthy healing woman.

Friday, November 25, 2011

From the inside out…..Lord my heart cries out

I am not a very religious person…..in fact I don’t I have ever been accused of being a believer but  the title Yoga from the Inside Out makes me think of the song I have in the title of this blog.

I wasn’t quite sure how to go about writing this memoir. At first I was just going to write a heart wrenching reflection on the ongoing war raging between myself and my body, mind, and spirit (I am winning by the way but that is not a good thing).  Then I thought to myself, “Well it may not seem like I read the whole book if I do that”.  This is how the blog will be organized: what I think about the book, what I think about the author, my favorite parts, and finally my story.

The book:
The book gave me hope. It’s lets me know that everybody has problems with their body image; that everyone doesn’t quiet except how they look. It lets me know that I have a long way to go but I am the right track and that this battle is not necessarily one to be won but one to be fought. The lets me know it is okay to relapse, it is okay to not have it all mapped out; that it takes time and patient to deal with issues that have been with you for as long as you can remember. The book was just all around inspiring. The book also made me realize how much alignment integrates into hatha yoga. All semester we have talked about hip alignment, spine straightening, shins moving, hips opening, but it never occurred to me that hatha yoga is about those things and not “does this look right”. All semester and that underling idea was just that…..underlining everything you said but nothing that I truly grasped.

The Author:
Christina Sells has courage that I can’t even phantom right now.  To bare your soul to people you don’t know, to expose your weaknesses for people to judge or manipulated you, to let strangers into a place you have guarded your whole life is amazing to me. I write a lot sometimes and I let very few people know my trail because I am so afraid that someone will use that against me. I am afraid of what people will think or say. I am just afraid and that fear has kept even my closest friends at a safe distance. I could imagine bearing all to anyone let alone write it down in a book. However, if you were going to bare your all…making money is not a bad way to go. I know that is not the reason she wrote the book but it is somehow satisfying to me that her courage isn’t going unrewarded. To start off a book confessing what some people take to their graves…..it takes more than I have right now. So the author has my utmost respect.

Favorites Parts:
I like the additional stories in the book; they reaffirm everything about the book. The parts of the book that hold resonance with me are “Paying Attention” and “Accepting What-Is”. A couple of quotes that I like the most:

“Self-observation is about bringing an honesty and depth of clarity to manifestation s, motivations, and behaviors. It means to see objectively from an observers/a point of view without justifying, rationalizing, implying, or excusing anything, and obviously without any feelings of pride, vanity, guilt, or shame as result of what we observe in ourselves.

“When we begin to pay attention we may be shocked by the steady barrage of criticism and judgment we have about our body----it is too big, too small, too wrinkled, too pale, too short, too tall, too stiff.
“it is hard to think about what feels out of control when everything feels simultaneously fine and out of control.”

“Life as it is, in the moment, is a gift from the Divine----“the present”. How many times a day do we refuse the gift by complaining, avoiding, or compulsively attempting to bend reality to our whim rather than simply surrendering to the way things are”?

My Story:
Now my story is nowhere near complete and it hasn’t even reach the good part where yoga helps me completely but hatha yoga has helped me a great deal. My war with my body, mind, and spirit starts as a kindergarten. My older cousin sexual abused me….I remember it was kindergarten because I had to go over my great grandma’s house in order to walk to school and I remember being woke by wet kisses on the neck and wet kisses where my “private area” was. I also know it was kindergarten because I remember being afraid to use the bathroom or sitting on the toilet thinking his “thing” would somehow come through the toilet and poke me. This experience in life taught me to forget or spin wild stories in my head. It taught me question myself and what I “thought” happened to me. To this day I know what my cousin did to me but I can’t be quite sure because of all the things I imagine on a daily basis to help me cope. I can’t say when it started but sometime in elementary I started to believe I wasn’t as pretty as other girls and that my hair was “bad”. I remember wishing I had long hair like “white” people or Hispanics because it so pretty and long and it blew in the wind and they could flip it. I remember feeling like I never belong to any group. Even at that young age(I want to say third grade) I felt like an outcast. My parents were teenagers when they had me and young adults when I started elementary so money was sparse. I never went to school with hole in my clothes but name brand clothing didn’t happen often. My mom had no color sense (still doesn’t) and she wasn’t that good a fixing hair either. So needless to say I went to school tacky and with bad ponytails; kids can be so cruel and mean. In fifth-grade I hit puberty and acne appeared. I hated my face…it was covered in bumps and pimples and brown spots from where I picked at my face. Even now I believe that when I have enough money I will most likely get some type of skin treatment to make my face clear of blemishes. I never even indulge in make up because it is too much work and it makes my face break out. I also wanted to brighter….yellow bone is what the elderly called it……mixed is most likely what I said. They seem to have it all. They had gorgeous eye, “good” hair, and everyone liked them. I never thought about this until now but that is probably the reason I am attracted to “lighter skinned” races so I can have me a mixed baby with pretty eyes and “good” hair.

So I entered middle school feeling like an outcast. I felt not many people liked just tolerated because I was always the teacher’s pet. Not to mention the bad acne didn’t improve much. The insecurities I had with my clothing and hair only got worse, but this time factor in girls with manicures and popular cheerleaders. I remember thinking then and I still think this now….what is wrong with the way I look or dress or carry myself that boy/males don’t notice me or don’t approach me like they approach other girls. I thought this in high school and I think it in college; my solution to this problem is monetary: manicures, pedicure, and hair appointments. That is what songs say to do; that is what television says to do and that is what I see around me says to do. Even though most of the girls that were popular and pretty in middle school or high school are pregnant now or have had children and I know their life is nowhere what they dreamed it would be…….I still envy that they have a boyfriend or that someone considers them pretty(when that is probably not even the case). I don’t why I started thinking this (maybe just the environment I grew up in) but somewhere along the line between the little girl and the young adult I have subconsciously equated beauty to male attention. Since I don’t receive a lot of male attention then I must not be that pretty. Even though I know it is not true because I know I am attractive…….I don’t have that male validation so I can’t quite be sure. Although I know  I am not ready for a relationship; it would still be nice to have one. The one thing I used to be proud of though was my body. My face may have been “ugly” and my hair “bad” but my body was beautiful. I was small but had curves and little feet. That sense of pride was stripped the away from me at thirteen the day I was raped by my father. I have never felt as dirty in my life as I did then. My father taught me two lessons that night: some stains never come clean and no one will care that you are dying on the inside as long as you smile convincingly enough. I remember I just wanted to leave the room and burn the tight pant I wore that night and take a long bath. I also remember him saying that I couldn’t leave the room until I smiled because it looked like something was wrong with me. My virginity was stolen, I was in unimaginable pain, confused, and hurt but if I left looking like something was wrong then my mom would questioned what happen. So I smiled and have been smiling ever since. Don’t worry about reporting this it already was….Baylor made sure of that. He killed himself when I was nineteen and I am left to live with what was done to me. This went on for six years and so much brain-washing went on during this time that I couldn’t even call it sexual abuse when Mary Lou Scott told me I was being sexually abused because  “it is not like raped me or anything”.  So needless to say this added to my insecurities with my looks and the once pride I had in my body became I don’t know but I didn’t like it. Around that time up until about a year ago I did not like my buttocks. It was too big drew too much attention. My self-confidence was/is shot to hell. I never really think people care about how I feel…..they just want me to be okay enough to listen to their problem. I go back and forth on whether I like my shape or not. I still think manicure, pedicures, and hair appointments are the way to make me beautiful. I still think my hair is hard to manage but I don’t considerate “bad” anymore. I still avoid the sun at all cost because I don’t want to get “dark”. I don’t know if I want long hair or short hair. I have a problem with the bulge in my stomach….my muffin top. My muscles are not as toned as they should be. I am not in good shape. I don’t drink enough water so my skin is dry. I doubt everything that I do and think is important enough to matter and is probably wrong. Half the time I look in the mirror I don’t like something I see….the other forty percent I don’t know what I think…..and only ten percent of the time can I look in the mirror and say that girl is beautiful.  Don’t get me wrong I know everything I said earlier is not true…..the problem is I can’t bring myself to believe what I know. Also my teeth need to be whiter and I go back and forth between telling myself I need to work to be in good health and I need to work out to get the body I want.  So where does hatha yoga comes into play…….it is helping me become more self-aware and less self-conscious. I am starting to admit I have the insecurities…..not fix them just yet but accepting that I have them. It is putting me on the path to the long journey of finding and making peace with my inner self.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Practice Blog?

I suppose that I will start this practice blog by saying I have not done any outside practiced. When I say no outside practice I mean none. I haven’t been physically practicing, haven’t actively planting positive seeds, and I haven’t read my memoir. The only kind of “practice” I have accomplished this past week is keeping my room somewhat clean and I have stop negative thoughts from completely paralyzing me. Well actually I take that back I haven’t done a full fledge routine but I have practice my alignment. Since most of time this week as been spent in bed, when I am lying on my side, my feet make a ninety degree angle and my toes spread (not to mention I make sure my buttock flesh is down). When I am lying on my often do hip openers or tadasana lying down. Whenever I am sitting in a chair my spine is straight and whenever possible both feet are on the ground (that doesn’t happen often). So I suppose my practice this week consisted of me working on my alignment (I know that technically doesn’t count but it makes me feel better). Practice last Tuesday was intense; when I suggested we do dancer pose I had no idea what I was getting us into. That being said I will not suggest any other poses; speaking of poses I opened Light On Yoga this weekend and he isn’t smiling. I mean I know that technically isn’t that important but his frown is very prominent (all I can think wow you should relax your face and smile). Once I got over his frown I notice all the different ways your feet can bend and how compact your body can become. Even though I haven’t practiced intensely I can’t wait to try some of those moves and making the crazy face expressions. Just so you know when I am a certified yoga instructor(much later in life), I want to see if I can offer free classes in places like delinquent center, youth center, or jail…basically places and people who wouldn’t normally be expose to yoga.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Path I chose…wait no take out the “I”

Jnana yoga- the yoga of knowledge, aspirants use their will and discrimination to disidentify themselves from the body, mind, and senses until they know they are nothing but Self.

Bhakti yoga- the yoga of devotion, achieves goal of Self by identifying themselves completely with the Lord in love

Karma yoga- the yoga of selfless action, the aspirant dissolves their identification with body and mind by identifying with the whole of life, forgetting finite self in the service of others.

The path that resonates most with my lifestyle or the one I resonate most with is Karma all the way. I want to say I am doing but that is ignorant and false according to the Gita. So I will say this, I feel most connected with God when I am helping others. Truly helping, you know offering kind words when they seem like they need them. Giving people a hug when they look on the brink of tears. Offering people my kindness when they truly believed there was none left in the world. Of course I don’t know all this when I do offer my help; I only learn of it afterwards. I suppose that would explain would explain why I always want to be a doctor and now an Art Therapist. I have always wanted to help people.  I can’t explain the reason why it used to be because it made me feel good but then I started doing “kind” things to get recognition and when it didn’t come I felt cheated. Not sure when I realized that doing things to get a thank usually lead to not getting one, but I eventually figured out that when I gave my help for no other reason than to help, I not only got their thank…..I realized I didn’t need it. It is nice to know I was appreciated but that was not the main purpose. So yeah Karma all the way.