Canada – month 1

I’ve been back in Canada for a month as of today. A month that has been a total blur. I had lovely plans of 7-day weekends, reading books, watching movies we had missed in Japan, sewing skirts from antique kimono I had brought back, etc. All lovely relaxing things. In reality, I am only on book 4 of the Dune series, have watched a total of 3.5 movies, and haven’t touched the sewing machine, let alone unpacked the antique kimono. Actually, I haven’t even totally finished unpacking my suitcase!

So, I haven’t done so many of the things I had planned on doing, and have actually had quite a hard time figuring out what has happened to all that time. It’s been pretty crazy. Jarrod has become quite clingy, which is not surprising considering the big change for him, as well as the impending big change to come next month. We’ve been giving him Chicory Bach Flower Remedy, which has helped a bit, but there are still moments when he seems to forget that there are other people in the room besides his mom. It is most annoying when Ed is sitting right there and he asks me to ask Ed about something.

Because of this extreme clinginess, Ed reclaimed a room in my parent’s basement for me. This is a room that was originally planned as an office for my mother, but has long been an all-purpose book & unused furniture room. When we arrived you couldn’t walk into the room. Now I have 2 (yes, 2!) desk surfaces and a door that locks. It is even a wooden door! (Ya, that’s a bit of reverse culture shock there!)

Despite this wonderful (yet still rather cluttered) personal space, it has been taking a lot of work for me to actually get into the room. It seems that while I was in Japan we all got into the habit of me being the person with all the Jarrod & household organization responsibilities. Ed is still the kitchen tyrant cook in the family, but I seem to be in charge of everything else. Much of my time in the past month has been taken up in retraining everyone so that I am not the only one in charge of Jarrod and all the household responsibilities. It seems to be working so far, though not as quickly as I would like.

Even though this retraining process has taken its fair share of time I have also been taking time for myself, renewing my journalling practice (which means locking myself away for at least an hour a day) and going to yoga classes. After a week of unsuccessfully trying to practice yoga at home I decided to gift myself with a 2-month unlimited pass at a yoga studio in town. A yoga studio I used to teach at but that has since changed ownership (i.e. I get along with the current owner very well). The reason I couldn’t practice at home was partially because of the constant interruptions, a little bit because of lack of space, but a lot because of “monkey mind.” Yep, I’ve been having a bad case of monkey mind – unfocussed thinking at its worst. However, going to yoga classes where all I am expected to do is to empty my mind and do the poses has helped immensely. I have also been welcomed with open arms back into the yoga community here which has been an amazing gift.

Part of getting back into yoga was a weekend workshop with Lynne Minton. wow. Just wow. I had only been back for just over a week and my body was a complete wreck, but I made it through the workshop. I also had my period during the workshop which meant no inversions and no deep backbends, but that was okay because I had discovered the previous week in a class that my scoliosis had worsened over the past 2 years to the point where deep backbends just weren’t going to happen.

One of the main points Lynne worked on throughout the workshop was allowing the iliopsoas (one of the big trouble spots in my body) to move as two seperate parts: the iliacus and the psoas. She had us moving our ilium (front hip bones) forward and then our psoas in and up. ow. but wow.

Since the workshop, Sharie (one of the wonderful teachers at the studio) has been using this movement in classes and I have been exploring it a bit on my own in walking and sitting and just generally moving around in my day to day insane life. What a gift. (The iliopsoas learning, not the insane life – though perhaps that debate is worthy of another whole post.) I have struggled with my iliopsoas for years and had always thought of the two main muscles that make it up as a unit. Using them separately has creating a learning in my pelvis that I was very ready for – my over-curved lower back has begun lengthening out and my abdominal strength and flexibility is returning – quite quickly! I also had an incredible massage last week and Janis (the incredible massage therapist) worked on my psoas quite deeply, which unwound a lot of stuff, both physical and psychological. I often have images and psychological releases during my massages but I think I had more this time – it seems that a lot of my frustration with my job in Japan was being stored in my psoas – though I’m sure there’s more stuff deeper in there, because it has been so tight for so long.

Another body part that is opening is my heart – at the yoga workshop we did chest openers, which started to loosen up the scoliosis (which curves right behind my heart area) and tears were coming a little in those openings. Then Lynne decided to teach a little about kirtan (chanting the names of Hindu gods/goddesses in call and response) and played a lovely CD by a group called Shantala. Oddly enough, she chose a kirtan to Kali Ma. Kali Ma is a goddes I have always had a HUGE connection to. Well – I sang (something I did not do much in Japan) and I cried and cried and cried. It was incredibly cleansing. There is still more stuff in there. Layers and layers and layers of stuff, some of which was releasing during my massage with Janis as well. So much stuff. But at least it is opening up.

So – I am in Canada for another month and then off to the UK. I’ve booked my ticket to leave September 20th, my lovely landlady booked a B&B for me for 10 days, and I’ll have a weekend in our cottage before Ed & Jarrod arrive October 4th. There’s so much I need and want to do in the next month, but the main thing is keeping my sanity through journalling, continuing going to yoga, and figuring out what I’ll need in the UK for the next year. The word for now seems to be “unwinding,” but not in the sense of laying in the sun – I am clearing out my body and my psyche in preparation for the next step on my path. I’m excited and overwhelmed about grad school, but it all feels right. It will all go stunningly, I’m sure.