It’s official

I completed YogaWorks’ 200-hour Teacher Training this past Sunday, Easter Sunday. Interesting coincidence. The results aren’t official but our teacher Michelle assures us that we all passed. The last day of class was bittersweet as all endings are.

My YogaWorks class. From left to right: Kolesta, Parul, Shanta, Michelle (our teacher), Kate, me, and Courtney. We're wearing t-shirts I designed.
My YogaWorks class. From left to right: Kolesta, Parul, Shanta, Michelle (our teacher), Kate, me, and Courtney. We’re wearing t-shirts I designed.

I’ll stick around the Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952 a few more weeks. I’ve signed up for Chair Yoga Teacher Training April 8, 9, and 10. Lakshmi Voelker, creator of Get Fit Where You Sit, is teaching the class.

Being able to teach chair yoga will allow me to work with a wider range of students. In thanks for their hospitality to Roan and me, I’m offering a free chair yoga class to Elks Lodge members. I’ll see how many people sign up to sit down.

Apart from teacher training and yoga classes, I’ve spent my time…

  • Attending a fashion show at the Art Institute during Orange County Fashion Week courtesy of cousin Renee. Professor Renee, head of the Fashion Design Department at Fullerton College, helped judge the student show.

    Renee and me on the red carpet during Orange County Fashion Week, 16 March 2016
    Renee and me on the red carpet during Orange County Fashion Week, 16 March 2016.
  • Going to a Singles Dance Party at the Elks Lodge with Renee and her friend, Della. The Lemondrop Club hosted the dance. I had no excuse not to go since it was just across the parking lot. I danced like a fool.
  • Driving up to Los Angeles to meet and thank in person Christina at YogaWorks Santa Monica for her help, and to visit with Sue.
  • Designing a t-shirt to raise money for New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional Transformation™ .
  • Tracking down a missing vehicle registration renewal form for Pegasus. I learned that the Post Office doesn’t forward “official” mail from the Wisconsin DMV.
  • Surveying Battocletti/e family members on the possibility of a reunion this summer.
  • Drafting and revising a yoga-centric resume. Thanks to Cathy, Faun, Jeanette, Sue, and Tom for their excellent feedback.
  • Designing a logo for my new yoga teaching business. Sue gave me the name:  Have Yoga, Will Travel. I like it.  Thanks Sue.
    Have Yoga, Will Travel logo
  • Working on my 2015 tax returns, vacuuming frequently in an unsuccessful attempt to keep dirt at bay, and yes — dumping the tanks every six days. I’ve become quite adept at using the Blue Boy (Taking a dump).
  • Getting a tiny purple peace sign tattoo on my right hand to match the tiny red heart on my left. Thanks Jeff at Dr. Tattoo Studios.

So, the current plan — it may change tomorrow (Call me jello) — is to leave Garden Grove on Monday, April 18th. I’ll head back to Menifee for two weeks and then start the 636-mile drive north to Mt. Shasta.

Mt. Shasta has long been revered by the Native Americans of the area, who regard it as the center of creation. In recent decades it has also attracted New Age followers, who believe the mountain to be a source of mystical power.

I hope things are “mystical” wherever you are dear reader.

Happy Spring!

Plan for now

When I first started out on the road in May 2013, my plan was to have no plan. I wrote about it in “This plan of mine.” But then my plan changed, becoming: To eventually figure it out. So, here I am, eventually figuring it out, a “now” at a time.

The plan for now is to leave Milwaukee on Tuesday, 29 September. My first destination — New Orleans for a weekend workshop with John Armitage titled “Journey Into Oneness.”  (I mentioned John and New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional Transformation [NPMDT] in “Freedom from Fear”.)

I’m allowing 10 days for the 1,000-mile drive.  Depending on how things go, I may stop a night or two along the way, or hightail it south and park at Elks Lodge No. 30 in Metairie until I check-in at the pricey but convenient French Quarter RV Resort on October 8.

After NOLA, I’ll head west on I-10 to Houston where I hope to meet up with Allie and Madeline. Then across Texas with a possible stop in Hondo at the Alamo Area SKP Co-op. I spent several months in Hondo last fall and winter.

My next long-term stop is the LoW-HI RV Ranch in Deming, New Mexico. The Loners on Wheels (LoWs), an RV club for single RVers, have their fall rally at the end of October. I spent a few months in Deming this past spring. It will be nice to see old friends in both Hondo and Deming.

The plan for now is to stay in Deming for one or two months before heading across Arizona into southern California. I’m taking yoga teacher training at YogaWorks in Costa Mesa starting in January 2016. After completing 200 hours, I’ll be accredited through Yoga Alliance to teach.

I’ve been practicing yoga off and on since I was a kid.  My earliest yoga memory is from the 1970s, watching Hatha Yoga with Mrs. Kathleen Hitchcock on PBS. I remember lying on my back on the hard kitchen floor in snail pose, knees bent and tucked beside my ears.

Over the years, I’ve taken classes in many types of yoga including Hatha, Kundalini, Bikram, Vinyasa, and Yin.

I fell back in love with yoga in Granada, Nicaragua this past August. The four classes I took at PURE  reignited my passion.  As I wrote in my application, I want to take teacher training to:

…help myself and others deal with the daily challenges and stresses of life. Yoga helps me fully let go, relax, and breathe. Yoga helped me deal with the deaths of my dog, both parents, and former lifestyle with serenity and grace. I want to give this gift to others, as well as to myself.

I’ve applied for a work-study scholarship that would cover half of the tuition. While in Orange County, we’ll be parked at Elks Lodge No. 1952 in Garden Grove, about 11 miles north of the studio.  Come visit!

So that is the plan for now.

What’s your plan for now, Dear Reader? Please do tell.

No expectations, remember

There is nothing to fear in freedom…Because freedom is freedom from fear. — John Armitage channeling Padmasambhava

My greatest fear is fear of the unknown. What will tomorrow bring? Will I be happy or sad, abundant or lacking? Will I be alone? Will I be OK? Desperate to minimize this fear, I try to control things in my life. But control has its own demons — we suffer when our desires are not met, or not met how and when we expect them to be.

Take for example my new friendship with a married man. We chat on Hangouts. “Just friends,” I repeat as much for me as for him. I tell myself I have no expectations. He is, after all, married. Shame on me for thinking otherwise. I am not “that” woman.

So, why do I feel unbearably sad when I’m reminded that he’s married with children, grandchildren, in-laws. Not to mention a wife of 30-plus years. Over three decades of family history. I can’t compete with that and don’t want to.

No expectations, remember?

He says that I don’t have to compete: “That is what you don’t understand. None of that means anything to me and I am open and ready to move forward and start over, start different.”

He says that he fell in love with me at first sight, that he has been unhappy in his marriage for years, that he is open for change.

Dr. Maya Angelou told Oprah: “When people show you who they are, believe them. They know themselves much better than you do.”

But no expectations, remember?

I check within and hear “Be still and breathe. There’s no need to resolve everything right this second. It’s your attempt to control, to direct uncertainty, to put a leash on unlimited potential.”

But, I can’t skip willy-nilly down this primrose path either. I create my life. I need to intend how I want that life to unfold. And today — right now — I intend: (1) to support myself and my nomadic lifestyle by writing or other creative work, and (2) to find companionship, friendship, and love along the way.

We’ve all heard the saying “Go with the flow.” Set the intention and trust that the flow will take you there. Now it may not be the most direct or scenic route, and it may be pot-holed and chock-full of chills and spills, but what adventure, what opportunity for learning and growth is there on the straight and narrow?

Yet even as I try to “go with the flow,” I have preset ideas about how my intentions will manifest. But these preconceived notions limit infinite possibility, they straight-jacket potential. And unsatisfied, unmet — they cause suffering.

But no expectations, remember?

It’s all a journey, step by step by step. It’s much simpler than we thought. All we have to do is live and accept that we are human beings and we do face challenges, and embrace them with love, and OWN everything. — John Armitage (Living in Freedom & Love Without Conditions: New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional Transformation by Phyllis M. Brooks)

Freedom from fear

Fear is a huge motivator.

Many of the decisions we make every day are rooted in fear. Fear of being wrong or stupid or late for work. Fear of losing our jobs and homes.  Fear of losing control.  Fear of losing.  Fear of not being seen or heard or understood. Fear of being taken advantage of. Fear of dying.

But what if we could lose our fear, or at least recognize when it raises its ugly mug, and choose another way? What if we could learn to live from the opposite of fear — love without conditions? How would our lives change?

I’m in Minnesota for a workshop at the Carondelet Center on the campus of the Sisters of St. Joseph in St. Paul. The weekend workshop — “Ascending with the New Earth” — is led by John Armitage. John, aka Hari Baba, is a healer, channeler, and founder of the philosophy now known as New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional Transformation™.

New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional TransformationNew Paradigm MDT is a transformational system that helps people to become free from fear, step into their power, and live more and more from their true essence as an aspect of Love Without Conditions — the Source Of All That Is, Mother-Father God.

John Armitage, July 2015 (Facebook)
John Armitage, July 2015 (Facebook)

I’ve been studying New Paradigm MDT since January 2011, beginning with Millie Knox. This will be my fourth workshop with John since July 2012. I’ll take another in New Orleans in October — “Journey Into Oneness.”

So how does New Paradigm MDT work in “real life”? Let’s take for example selling the family home. We have a choice. We can choose to go through the process — hiring a real estate agent or selling the house ourselves, setting the price, deciding how much to spend on maintenance and repairs, negotiating with potential buyers — with fear at the forefront. Or, we can shift our perception and think and act from love. It’s our choice.

Fear says that we have to be on guard, constantly vigilant, or we will be robbed blind. Love says that all is and will be well. Now living from love does not mean you roll over and play dead. It’s simply a shift in perception to a different vibration. And like attracts like. When you expect the best you get it and vice versa.

Choosing to live from love instead of fear is a minute-by-minute challenge. One step forward, three steps back. It’s a constant struggle to overcome decades of 24/7 programming that drills into us how terrifying the world is, how strangers are out to get us, how we should fear everything and everyone and everywhere.

But I’m getting better at recognizing when I’m thinking or acting from fear. And, like you dear reader, I can always choose another way. It’s my choice. Free will.