Farm Girl

Figuring out life, one blog post at a time.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The end of an era

A shift happened yesterday. It started several weeks ago, slowly, and yesterday it culminated in a distinct moment of clarity. The knowledge that everything is happening the way it's supposed to. After so many conflicting feelings over the last three months, this newfound peace and trust into the future is magnificent.

I have been packing, going through the house and all our stuff, and it has thrust me back into the past big time. Finding my old, tattered German-English dictionary reminded me of the beginning, when I barely understood English and was too shy and insecure to say a word. I took that dictionary everywhere with me (and that sucker is heavy!), because it made me feel better knowing that I had all the words I might ever need at my fingertips. Those were the days before we had the Internet with us at all times, and the dictionary was my good luck-charm, my ticket to this new world and the people in it.

This old friend is coming with me, for old times' sake.

I'm also finding little bits and pieces of Miriam and Richard: The early years. Our age difference barely registers most of the time, because Rich is looking a lot younger than his 62 years (it's not just my love-struck opinion: people tell him that all the time). But in the very beginning, I was a baby who looked even younger than my 23 years, and Rich looked older than he does now. What an odd-looking couple we were! But love trumps everything <3

Where's the pretty filter when you need one (insert hands over eyes monkey-emoji)
Found this birthday card from 2003 :-)

Our home is filled with memories from the time when the kids lived with us: Drawings, home-made cards, photos, games. 

 The bottom picture is Pickles the pony. Lea loved that pony, and drew her hundreds of times over the years

I thought that packing up the house we have lived in together for over 13 years would be bitter-sweet. Surprisingly though, it's fine. I'm feeling nostalgic and thankful for the time we have spent here, but not wistful. Because you know what? I'm so damned excited for the next chapter!
Going through our things makes me remember our dreams and plans, and what we've always talked about: Wanting to move to cowboy-country, to live our own version of the first settlers coming to the Wild West. And now it's actually happening! I'm so incredibly grateful that we have made it to this point, and are about to realize our dream. 

You know what else I'm grateful for? That my writer's block seems to have unblocked itself. I have found it agonizingly difficult to blog lately, sitting down in front of the computer, unable to come up with anything to say. This morning is the first time in a while that the words come easily again, and what a sweet relief that is! 

Now you have to excuse me, I have a million more boxes to pack.



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Yoga progress report

Last year was the beginning of my love affair with yoga, and what a whirlwind romance it was! We met every day, full of passion and first love, rose-coloured glasses firmly in place, and everything was amazing. 
This year is different. Almost from the moment the clock struck midnight on New Year's eve, our relationship changed. 

Gone were the long, cozy mornings we had available to hang out for hours. Now I had to go to work in the morning, and was sometimes too tired for yoga afterwards.
Gone were also the many making-your-heart-beat-faster moments of progress and breakthroughs. For the first months, I saw many of those, and smugly thought to myself that I must be a natural. 

Progress is a lot slower these days. Partly because I don't practice daily, but only about 4 times a week (I do want to change that, but right now I seem to be unable to). 
But also because I have been focusing on different aspects of the practice. While last year was all about arm balances and wanting to master the most impressive looking poses, now I am focused on getting this tight body of mine more flexible and supple. 

One of the poses I have been working on all year is One-Legged King pigeon pose. It requires flexible hips (an area I'm improving in, veer so slowly), a flexible back and open shoulders. 
My teacher Kino is showing you how to do it:

And here is my progress in 16 months:

The hips have opened up a lot in the 16 months between the first and the fourth photo. The back and shoulders are a much slower and more subtle progress. It honestly feels like I may never manage to touch my foot to my head at this point, but here is the thing: I have accepted that.
Last year, I was often very impatient and frustrated when progress didn't come fast enough for my taste. It was a hot and heavy love affair, with emotions running high. 

Now I am truly learning patience. Again, it's a slow process, because I am naturally an impatient person. But I know that I will be doing yoga for life, which means I have all the time in the world to practice. And one day, it will all come.

What I enjoy nowadays is being more creative with poses and having fun
Like dressing up in a tutu for #tututuesday:

Being spiderwoman:

Doing the YMCA, yoga-style:

Trying my hand on some fun editing:

I am loving this journey. I feel stronger, calmer, and more accepting. The biggest benefit for me is that I learnt to truly, fully love my body. I feel more confident in it than I ever have before. 
The other two huge improvements yoga has brought into my life are that I am learning patience, and the concept of enjoying the journey as opposed to the end result. Such an important life lesson.
Also, no matter where life will take me, I know that yoga is always there for me. I can have it by my side, like a comforting friend, helping me through changes, ups and downs, and external turmoil. 

Now, let's look at some more comparison photos, shall we? Because even if progress is subtle, it does exist: 

Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana)

Pyramid pose (Parsvottanasana)

Please excuse the terrible photo quality, they are stills from phone videos (and look how teeny Nina is!):
Bird of paradise pose (Svarga Dvijasana)

Firefly pose (Tittibhasana)

Here is a recent triumph: Learning how to do chin stand! Allie from The Journey Junkie broke it down in a way that was so easy to understand, I got it! If you want to learn it, click at her awesome tutorial here



Friday, 21 October 2016

The best people

There are days where everything feels blah, and the world looks like it has a grey filter on. I've had quite a few of those days lately, where my depression is lurking in the background, following me around like a personal dementor. 

But then there are the other days: The days where you laugh until your belly hurts, where you have fun with every person you meet, where the world is bright and loving and full of promise. 

Yesterday was one of those special days. One so full of sparkle and shine, we broke into spontaneous dance parties at work, a few dear people showed kindness and support in small, but significant ways, and all I could think about is how damn lucky I am for having these people in my life. 

Yoga at work is good for the sole ;-)

The thing about being an introvert with a touch of depression is that your desire to be alone turns on you. Instead of being relaxing and joyful, your treasured alone time becomes a prison, where you get locked down with your bleak thoughts, becoming lethargic and unable to break out on your own. You want to, but you don't have the energy. The mere thought of reaching for you phone, texting a friend, and explaining how you feel is too much. So you sit there, thinking of all the things you usually love doing, and none appeal to you. You are stuck. 

But you know that it won't last. Even if it feels like it may never end, you have to trust that it will. It always has, and it will again. 

Yesterday was the day that broke the bad spell for me. As much as I may dread the thought of having to go out and be amongst people, it often is the only medicine that makes me feel okay again. It worked its magic yesterday, and it did so in spectacular ways. 
We had an extremely busy day at work, and as our parents taught us, hard work is the best medicine. It stops you from getting trapped in your head, and forces you to focus on someone else besides you. 

While being busy is good, what makes it magical is when you work well with the people around you. I like to picture us as an orchestra, all playing together to create harmony and a beautiful piece of art. Taking the unpredictability and chaos of our workplace and transforming it into order and happy patients is extremely satisfying. Doing it while joking, singing and dancing? Priceless.   

I know that many of my special people will be reading this. I hope you know who you are. 
Thank you for being awesome and bringing so much fun and sparkle into the world!

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