Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yeah, Santosa Again

So the other day I mentioned Santosa and how I'm 50 and feel so content and pleased.

Well, why not mix it up? Why not fix something that ain't broke? It seems like the time.

It seems like the time to start weaning off the anti-depressant. It seems like I don't need it anymore. But of course, when you are taking it, and you have for a few years, and it's working, OF COURSE it seems like you don't need it anymore! Right?

Well, I started taking it when I began my menomania. As the body started reacting to the hormone fluctuations, fatigue and depression set in. I started on a nice dose and did well with it for about 18 months. Then we doubled it. I've been pretty even now for a couple of years. I weaned off the hormone replacement therapy at the beginning of the summer, and halved the dose of another meno-related rx a few months ago. Now I've established a good meditation and asana practice, so it seems like time.

So the other day I cut out a quarter of my anti-depressant. I'll do that for a month and then cut another quarter. We'll see. We'll just see how content I remain!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Today is my 50th birthday. And I have to say that santosa is my word these days. I am content. I have reached a wonderful phase in my life. The children are nearly grown, our friends are delightful, we have few demands from our families...all is good.

I don't think I ever imagined what my life would be like when I turned 50. I'm sure if I'd spent any time on that at all I never would have thought I'd be living in South Carolina! But we are here and we love it. I'm healthy and strong and still growing in so many ways.

Life is definitely good!

Friday, August 20, 2010

All Together Now

No, it's not that I think I'm all together now.

But I'm noticing a shift. I'm noticing all the limbs of yoga in my life now. All running together, meandering through my soul. Becoming part of me, part of who I am. Without really any thought on my own. Not really making it happen.

It just...IS.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


 "Much of our emotional imbalance are our own creation. A person who is influenced by outside events and sensations can never achieve the inner peace and tranquility. This is because he or she will waste much mental and physical energy in trying to suppress unwanted sensations and to heighten other sensations."

Yeah, well...I certainly didn't find any inner peace or tranquility in my yoga class this morning. I tried. Lord knows I tried. But I was just unable to block out my overwhelming disgust with the class.

Our Saturday morning class is taught by two different instructors. One instructor is calm, whimsical, and flexible. The other is chatty, educational and sticks with her plan. They both should be good. In fact, both are good. But the chatty one is just not good for me. She just. plain. talks. too. much.

I've tried her classes several times and most of the time I just come out of there keyed up and anxious and frustrated with myself because I've let her chattiness intrude too much in my own practice.

I came to the conclusion today that I'll just have to not go when she is teaching. It bothers me that I can't overcome this. But it's just not worth it for me to get so worked up over it. I have another place to go, and I think I'll do that. I just wanted this one to work because it's at the club I belong to.

Sometimes I think we just have to "admit defeat." Maybe just for a time. Maybe eventually I'll be able to go back and try again with a little more success.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Probably one of my favorite books is "Meditations from the Mat" by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. My Yogabuddy introduced me to this book on our first "date" together. We were just beginning our friendship and had gone on a hike at a nearby recreation area. I'd asked her to talk to me about the 8-Limbed Path and she brought this book. I fell in love with it right off the bat. (and I might add I fell in love with her that day, as well. I am so grateful for this friendship in my life.)

Today I read Day 64 (Sometimes I read several days' readings and other days I skip or read one. It doesn't matter). Gates was talking about sauca. He mentioned that sauca is "the moment on our path when we begin to take the maintenance of our physical condition seriously." He talks about how, when he began his spiritual practice, he started to admire people who treated their bodies well.

Here is the quote I like the best: "Our body is the home of our spirit. It is the means by which we enact our beliefs. Therefore, the maintenance of the body is a spiritual duty, an act of love not only toward ourselves but toward all humanity." 

This really hits home to me. I've taken better and better care of my body since I entered (and I believe now have exited) menopause. And my journey along the yogic path began during that time as well. I've gradually done things to improve the way I treat my body:

  • I've gradually decreased medications
  • I've become vegetarian
  • I've gone toward more natural products for my body and hair and now even for the maintenance of our clothing and home.
  • I pay more attention to what my body is telling me when I'm hungry or tired or upset or need activity.
I think all of these things have worked together to make me physically healthier, but also I can sense a greater spiritual health as well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I faced a situation today that I felt really needed to be pursued. After much thought, I opened my mouth and expressed my concern to someone in power. There could be, in fact would be, consequences if my involvement were to be discovered by my boss. But I just could not let it go. I'm not so sure what part of the 8-limb path this situation belongs to, but I feel pretty comfortable that I did the right thing.

Our high school, where I work, is on its' way to being overcrowded. Technically we are not over capacity but we have several classes that, due to staff cuts, are getting very full. My son's class, the sophomores, seem to be particularly hard hit. His geometry class has 32 students in it at this point. I believe it will hit 35 before we are done enrolling.

This is understandable to me as a parent as well as a school district employee. The economy has hit our state hard and consequently our education budget is shrinking as well.

What is not understandable to me is why we are taking two foreign exchange students. We also are taking two students from other high schools in our district. They have applied to our school, their parents are not district employees (the people who are usually allowed to do in-district transfers), and yet they are planning to enroll at our school. Yes, it's true that the other high schools in our district are also facing growing class sizes. But the reality is that students from our part of the district do not apply to go to the other schools. We are near a major metropolitan area and the rest of the schools are further away from that. Students like to move north to us and not south to them.

So why are we moving "optional" students in to our schools when our own students are already packed in their core classes?

I didn't ask my principal this question. There are reasons for that which I don't want to go into. But I did call my school board member. As I suspected, he was not aware of the situation. He made a call immediately to the board chairman and called me back to assure me that the issue would be raised with our superintendent. He also said they would bring up this concern while masking the source of the information.

Should I have done this? Conscientiously, as a parent, I felt I had to. But as an employee, I committed a faux pas by leapfrogging over my immediate superior.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

satya & asteya

"commitment to truth"

You never know when something is going to hit you out of the blue. But when it does, the 8-Limb path can help you decide immediately how to handle it.

I arrived at work on Monday to begin the new school year. I found out a coworker, who generally works the same days I do, had reported back the PREVIOUS Monday.

I asked her about it. "We report back two weeks before the teachers," she said. "I just figured you had worked something else out with [the Principal]."

hmmm....I've always come back two weeks before school. I look back on the previous three falls and I can see now that I've essentially ripped off the school district by five days each school year. YIKES!

I've talked to a few of my coworkers. Each of them said, "Forget about it, you work hard enough." And that is true. I do have a very strong work ethic. I don't fool around and I work as long as it takes to get stuff done. It's a demanding job. I even mentioned this to my close friend and school board representative. "Forget about it" was also his response.

But I can't. I mentioned working the five the furlough days we've been assigned this coming year. I'm told I can't work those. They want the building closed up those days.

I'll figure out how to make these days up. I really don't think I can do much about the previous years, but I'll figure out how to do the 40 hours I work. It will ride on my conscience until I do.

But my other conundrum is that  I have not mentioned this to my Principal. We don't have a very good relationship anymore. And I don't really respect her as a manager.

So I'm going to sit on this for a bit and see what comes to me about it.