Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life Plans

I think I mentioned before that having a full-time job, even one that I like a lot, really highlighted for me that I’d rather be teaching yoga, and that I want to subsist teaching yoga. If anything is going to be demanding on my time in an exciting and challenging way, I want it to be yoga.

My friend is opening a store front in the town we live in to sell t-shirts and local music. Not exactly a big money-making enterprise. This was sort of amazing to me. How much money could it possibly cost to get a little space set aside to get going on a business if my crazy friend is doing it? I don’t know the answer to that question yet. But I’m hoping that it’s less than $600 a month. Then I think I could do it.
I would want a space that is geared toward yoga practice as well as yoga discussion and meditation. I feel like the overhead is pretty minimal – space rental, heat and electricity (no AC for me unless it’s pretty desperate), a major initial purchase of mats and straps and blocks and blankets, a little stereo, maybe some candles and pretty curtains. Bathroom and cleaning supplies. Insurance. I don’t know, seems manageable at the moment, especially since my friend is doing it.

There’s a neighborhood business improvement group that gives business-starting classes. There are a huge number of steps to be taken, which is pretty annoying, because since this occurred to me, I feel like I have to do this Right Now. I’ve checked out three yoga places in the area, and I think that I have something different to offer that could gather its own steam. And I want to make community. It’s certainly one thing to find and participate in community that appeals to me – but how about making one’s own? There might be a megalomaniacal, “my way or the highway” downside to this kind of thinking, but I hope my motives are pure. I don’t want permission or approval or acceptance from anyone to start sharing my yoga experience with my community. I guess I also don’t want to wait – and that’s something to think about in terms of purity of intention. Patience. “Deserving.” Mostly I’m nervous that someone else is going to open a yoga studio in my ‘hood that has a similar approach, and I’ll have missed the boat.

Oh lordy.

So anyway here’s a version of the plan: get a space and rent it, and take it easy for the first year. I’d teach two classes a week, and get a few other people interested in teaching one or two classes a week, and we’d start off with evenings. Hopefully it breaks even with rent, but even if it comes up a little bit short that’s fine. Then maybe eventually quit the job and teach a bunch of days a week. Sweet plan!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Yeah, I don’t really care about traveling. The whole thing is generally harder than usual life, and I don’t find it particularly relaxing. I get a lot of anxiety about things like where to sleep and eat, and how to use the public transportation or read the road signs. It’s cool to do stuff, for sure, and see things and go places, don’t get me wrong. Like THIS post from my friend Katie’s travels – I mean, how could you not want to see that? But I am not going to travel the world to do that. Sounds hard.

While on vacation, I enjoyed having no responsibilities, I guess. And my parents are pretty organized and motivated to go sight-seeing (bleh, stressful and cattle-call feeling to me usually), so that level of decision-making was also taken care of, and that was nice. But really I wanted to be home working on my projects. My guitar practice was going really well, and of course Le Blogge needs a-tendin’, and I didn’t get to do my yoga stuff while on vacation (no mat, no private empty space), so leaving all the active threads of my mind behind was a little tough. Naturally I could have found ways to make it all continue for the 8-9 days we were on the ground, but come on, I was supposed to be there to see my folks and see Germany, and it was only a week.

So by the end of the week+, I was ready to head out. I wanted to be back in action on my personal self-fulfillment/improvement stuff. And I am wondering about a few things related to this feeling: one, is feeling ho-hum about travel an entitled way of thinking, an unsophisticated way of thinking, or a legitimate preference? Two, is my preference for my carefully crafted self-distractions a crutch for my mind or an investment in my mind expansion? Probably everything is true in one way or another.

As far as the ho-hum travel thing goes, the entitled interpretation is that I have no idea what a neat opportunity it is to go abroad. This could be because I have been abroad enough times in enough ways, and I have my own ideas about what it means to travel well, that I don’t feel impressed or blown away by Western sight-seeing. One church after another or one lovely vista after another, it doesn’t matter. The best thing we did in Germany was go to a parade in the tiny home town of one of my Dad’s friends, and have beer in a big tent with the whole town singing Bavarian songs to an oom-pa band. This experience was more about the human interaction and participating in community than anything, and I like that when I’m at home, too (it's a breadth/depth thing - I think as we get older we crave depth above breadth). So whatever. The unsophisticated interpretation is that I am a pedestrian and closed-minded person who can’t be ripped away from her own comforts for ten minutes to open her mind to other ways of living and thinking. This could be true because, well, at this point in my life, I don’t feel like more “input” is what I need. I need LESS input. I’m finding it challenging enough to work on breathing in and out without going insane, and whether or not another country of humans on the planet yield the right of way for left-hand turns doesn’t rock me, it overloads me. Wait, hm - Germans in the south sunbathe naked near the water like it’s no big deal in the cities’ public parks and the countryside’s hiking trails, and it made me a little sad that America isn’t that chill about it, and I did think about that a little for a while. Okay so lastly, the legitimate preference option means that I just like to stay put, really, and that’s fine. I might be turning, at last, into one of those people who just wishes she could move her whole apartment to the beach for two weeks and not go to work, and that would be the perfect vacation. No driving, no phones, no t.v., just reading and exercising and sunning and swimming and cookouts. Pretty American approach to vacation, actually, at least as far as my own memories of vacationing on Cape Cod as a kid goes. I think my feelings about travel are all of these things. I am both entitled and unsophisticated and have legitimate feelings and maybe want to recreate my childhood and it’s all fine. I want to travel by going to somewhere else and staying put for a while and working on stuff. That’s what I like.

And next: is my desire to stay put and work on my little projects a weakness or a positive thing? On the one hand, it would be nice to feel totally okay with the unproductiveness of traveling instead of thinking about what I want to get done when I get home. It’s a be-here-now problem. And I think I am generally okay with being-there-now, and I enjoyed the countryside and the weather and walks and certainly enjoyed myself. But I feel un-tethered from life when I can’t engage with myself in a more focused, learning- and progress-based way, and it expands my enjoyment of things outside myself as well as makes little connections in my mind that complete my understanding of the way I view things blah blah blah. So it could be that my mind prefers the discipline and the feeling of working toward something, and I really get something good out of it. But this could be a crutch – instead of being-here-now, I would rather elaborately occupy myself with mental departures that take me outside my mind, because I find simply enjoying life to be boring, because really I am boring and my mind is not actually a great place for me to be. Hm. So, as you may have guessed, I think both these things are true, too.

Ah travel, sneakily enough it was mind-expanding, though, regardless of my resistance and toe-tapping, since it made me consider some stuff about myself. Well played, Travel.