LAM Aphorism of the Day: Spiritual health is basically the same thing as psychological health

I’ve been thinking on & off of starting a separate, meditation journal, as a way of reaching out to others who practice or want to, but then I thought, No. Mind body. As above, so below. It belongs here, with the rest of my fitness program. 

I’m going to talk more about meditation, I’ve decided, though I probably won’t post about it daily, or after each and every session, like I do with physical exercise.

So… I’ve been trying to get in a 40-day run of a chant to Laksmi

which I do after my traditional, seated in padmasana, 22min meditation. Even for someone with a too flexible schedule, it’s one of the hardest disciplines there is, in my opinion. I still use an old, Holosync track! Whatever makes it happen, is my thinking.

First try

I’ve dropped the ball twice so far. I started the first attempt on March 10th, the day after my birthday, using my beautiful, new mala that I designed & put together with specific hermetic, astrological intentions in mind. I made six consecutive days & then missed four.

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Second try

Started on March 20th and made it twelve days. That’s better at least! The last day I was up in Abbortsford for the first day of my last cat show, and I only did the chanting part, which takes about 4-5 minutes. Charlie arrived that evening. We had another show day and then a six hour drive back. I’ll do it when I get home, never happens, even if you get home way earlier than expected. We’d stopped for dinner in Vancouver and we still made it home around 9pm.

Third try

Then I didn’t practice again for an entire week, and it’s been an incredible stressful time, not because of the lack of meditation, but… It’s time to batten down the hatches.

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OK that’s enough. It’s time to get back to work on the test project. Scanned my pencil & pen drawing this morning, in two pieces. Put them together in the Illustrator file. Next I’ll start the vector drawing. I’m going to draw it in Illustrator & then transfer to Photoshop for some filter effects. I DO keep a separate art blog on WordPress, so I’ll post design & process visuals there later.

I’ll heat up what remains of my coffee and get going.

 

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OK so only 3 days this week

Then vs now – fitness in middle to old age

I was thinking about how in the old days, before a 2-days in coach (meaning no sleep) journey home from India, I’d go up to Bangalore a day ahead (if coming back from Mysore), grab a few hours of sleep and then get up again early enough before the flight to get another practice in.

My first and last Ashtanga teacher, Greg, aka Fucknut, used to talk about how Manju (his one & only) said you could back off your practice at 50. That means the hard stuff, the joint shredding advanced series. Thing is, 3rd is the only really good workout with the first three series, once you’ve adapted to them. The first two are good workouts when you’re learning because of the struggle, but after that not so much.

What he should’ve said was that yogis should mix in other, more democratic forms of exercise as middle age progresses, to keep the body fit and healthy. That’s what it’s supposed to be all about right? Fitness first so that you have a good vessel for the cerebral. Manju wasn’t a great example though. He accumulated a lot of weight around his middle and had a heart attack that was kept on the down low. This was during the tail end of my involvement with studios, somewhere around 2011, 2012. He’s been much trimmer since then, which is good for him and his health, but my point is – look at who you ask for life advice.

Between Goa 2 and Miami 2012, I had all the fuel I needed to divest myself of any self-identification of “Ashtangi”

I was pondering what to do with my practice when I made that last visit to Rolf & Marci in Goa, my last trip to India, not knowing they’d been reading and obsessing over my blog since the first visit. She was anyway. She’d seemingly memorised it! There were three years between that first and second visit, and she referenced blogged events that occurred in the middle. They should’ve told me not to come. I was too transparent! Too direct! Too honest.

Anyway, I was fairly certain Rolf was still practicing advanced series, at a ragged looking late 50s, whereas both of my NYC teachers (both close to my own age) weren’t doing things by the book anymore. I’d wanted to talk to him about practicing and ageing, find out how he’d handled it, get some advice. Then I found out how he and she really felt about me! He compared me to a junkie, because of my need to write. I was stunned, upset… Cried for hours that day. The expats down at the conspiracy theory cafe said I should take the offer of the refund, and continue blogging, at the same space as the scurfy outdoor “shala” and cafe that housed that yoga group at the time.

I really should’ve taken my money back! In the end, I skipped a lot of those practices and just partied. I knew I wasn’t going to learn anything at all in terms of asana, and quite frankly my own room was a much better and warmer practice space. Also, since they were so openly and harshly critical of me, I turned the same microscope on them. OMG I don’t want any life advice from THAT guy!!! 

So now, when I do an Astanga practice, it’s a much different thing

These days I prioritise my seated meditation and chanting practice over exercise in general. Exercise is still important… I stress a little bit when I drop below 5-days in a week. But not that much. And if I’m not up to some sort of balls-out workout, I do something moderate.

You can tell what’s got top priority by where it occurs in my day. The meditation comes first. Then the art. I skipped my workout to figure out how to bring along my sketching supplies.

I have a very tiny, low budget carry-on. Figuring out how to travel with all the cat show supplies I’ll need (I have to check two bags) and all the sketching supplies I’d want really wasn’t easy. I wanted to carry just a small bag, but instead it’s going to be the giant Bagolini. I’ll check my carry-on and the Sturdi exhibition case. I’ll carry on my cat carrier, with small feline, and my Bagolini.

This is one of the many nice things I inherited via the passing of my good friend. Useful things. Stylish things. It just so happened we had the same size feet…

Never imagined that my first flight after March 15, 2015 would be to go to a cat show! I actually have to fly to Vancouver, Canada and then get an Uber to Abbortsford an hour away.

 

Strength and cardio HIIT #3: back focus & yoga / yesterday’s rest day

Had a nice rest day, yesterday

I did my navel gazing downtown, “off hill.” It’s been steadily way too damp and cold to consider working outside. Took the last morning bus downtown to accomplish my two minor errands, picking up stuff at Vitamin Shoppe & Target, and sat at two different-but-close-by chain cafes the entire rest of the time I had to kill before lunch at Jake’s. The one on SW Tenth Ave is one of my few, “regular” spots in PDX.

Blaaaaaaah…..

I think you can see why once again I didn’t bother getting out my sketchbook.

I always do penance by carrying art supplies with me though! What if something is actually beautiful and / or interesting? Lunch was good. I’ve stopped photographing my food. One of my two friends in town happens to be a militant vegan, in a deeply evangelical phase. The last time I posed a non veg food picture, t a bit of a Facebook scuffle ensued on that thread. Though I wasn’t a part of it, it’s just not worth it! Virtuous food pictures are the only kind worth posting and I’m no longer a participant.

That could apply to FB itself. I’m not going to delete it this time. I’m pretty good with cutting off and letting go, but there are a few people who I just recently reconnected with after many years, Norman being my favourite. There are also some new cat connections who might be important / useful in the future as well as random connections I don’t interact with elsewhere. The thing to do is limit my posting.

The highlight of the day was lunch with my friend

Tom, at a place extremely nostalgic for us both, Jake’s. We were so naive! I said, talking of the first time we three, now two, had met up there, when they were staying their two weeks just a few months after I’d moved here, looking for a place of their own.

It used to be so normal, to meet up with friends for lunch, or an early happy hour after work. I’m sure I appeared stupidly giddy to the waiter, not that he’d have noticed all that much. Middle-aged ladies become increasingly invisible, as if practicing for our spectral phase. Not that that matters to me now. I am very focused in Scorpio these days. My solar return ascendant is Scorpio, as is natal & solar return Mars. Two years and counting in my cave on The Hill, after all. I was in a better mood after that. I’ve got some huge, for me, expenses coming up next weekend and I’d gotten a Trimet day pass, so I didn’t Uber home. I minded the long, uphill walk down the windy, no sidewalk Dosch less than usual too, just because that was my only real exercise for the day. Charlie and I went out for a light, early dinner after and that was that.

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Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope Since the 1st set was reps – which I planned on doing at a nice, relaxed pace – I did my own warm-up.

Strength and cardio HIIT #3: back focus

5×5 √, √, √, √, √
1. Bent rows 2+ 2 oblique plank hops 20s
2. Halo slams 5/side 20
3. Clean and press 20s, weights perpendicular to body
4. Dive bomber to DL 20s, weights parallel to body

Weighted Hiit 50:10 2x 6 mins Joined video here.
1. cross/cross + hook/hook plank hop 5s
2. cross-cross/ uppercut-uppercut, hook-hook 2 squat jumps 5s
3. Squat jump fwd and back 4 crosses, plank hop angry donkey up 5s

Tabata pyramid: 6 mins
1. Kickthrough Burpee
2. Lateral touchdowns 4 + 2 star jumps


My legs were still so fatigued from last x lower body WO that the 2nd move of the tabata pyramid just KILLED me. The burpees were like vacation. I paused the video here (43 before notes) & did some asana. Single 10/60 intervals of paschimo & hanumanasana


Hiit 50:10 2x 10 mins I used two 10lb weights for all the bosu moves.
1. Fast feet Burpee
2. LL OH Bosu curtsy plank hops
3. Bosu Jack push-up bunny hop
4. RL OH Bosu curtsy plank hops
5. Yoga tricep push up Burpee

Tabata Pair: 4 mins
1. Iron leg Burpee
2. Divebomber to jumping jack

Time = 1:06

Skipped the video’s yoga cool down & did my longer, solo version:

Yoga

About 28min

  • Virasana, supta v, malasana, uttanasana, krounchasana, ustrasana, anjenayasana, upavistha kona, parighasana, baddha kona A
  • Some finishing

Random Friday musings

Took a rest day yesterday, because I ended up cooking a spontaneous, quite gourmet meal for Charlie and I. I’d been obsessed with getting a balsamic reduction right, based on having had a really good one, homemade by a friend, many years ago. To achieve this I followed the advice on one website and got a 10-year aged, Italian brand. They advised at least 5-7 years. Delicious!

I have an appointment downtown this afternoon, and I might take a second rest day. Not because I need it! Thursday’s Astanga totally fixed up the tweakiness in my right side. I’m SO grateful I have these body tuning skills in my toolbox. Anyway I  might get back too late to want to exercise. I’ve long been a morning person in that way…

It’s pretty cold out again, and I’ve checked the weather. Initially I was thinking I might scout out a late afternoon oil painting location. This is the painting date I’ve already postponed once. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town at what looks like the next good day for it, and landscape situations can change pretty quickly.

But maybe I’ll take bus 15 from my appointment to New Renaissance books & have a mosey around. I always enjoy the vibe of that place…

Here’s a rare, NON “exercise-routine-detailing” post

It’s a new moon in Aquarius today, at 1:05pm PDX time. I’d been sitting here, wondering what I’ll do with myself today. I’ve been working in oils… I was actually happy with a sketch I worked on Tuesday. I’d done what was supposed to be a value-tones underpainting already, but then I changed the time of day from late morning to late afternoon. I never worked on capturing real light, when producing my city scapes in my mid 20s. Didn’t have the time or resources for that. This was before the internet and YouTube too!

It’s a rest day after all

I was originally thinking to take today off, after a nice Mon-Wed run. Then had a 2nd thought maybe I’d do another Astanga. Then saw on FB it’s a new moon.¹  Now I’m thinking maybe I should take the first afternoon bus downtown & force myself to crack open my sketchbook. Have been making very lazy journeys into cat gestures… Might be good to take a break from the mysterious, maddening oils and use some watercolor too. I need to keep drawing… I need to log more hours just plugging away. I can’t let the highly sporadic possibility of remote design distract me. I’m not going to keep filling in availability hours. They know where I am. Finally got around to posting a new Craig’s List this morning. I should have at least one of those up every month…

I should restart the Drawing a Day thing, today

Charlie had gotten going on a 100-day challenge, but petered out after a week or so. I was only aiming to finish up the 6-weeks from where I’d left off, day 11. It’s a watercolor assignment & you’re supposed to leave your house, lol. I kind of feel like going to NW 23rd, the bookstore… Even if I just work with ink pen in the shop I could sit down at Barista later & add some color. I’ve gotta see if that new tree of life sketchbook can handle water media. That’s the leather bound one that was supposed to be “part 2” in the witchcraft / hermetics / magick journal. Same same, I think.

There’s leftover marionberry pie from jam night. I’m going to have some of that for breakfast, since I didn’t partake in the evening. Then I’ll take care of a t-shirt logo revision for a friend & get my field trip supplies together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


¹I never paid attention to the moon when in the thick of The Cult, especially during the later, post studio years. I’d rest when I needed it most, not according to the calendar. I’ll admit I have a tenuous belief that practice is better on full moons than new…

Well, that’s half the month’s exercise regimen shot

Another 3-day week! And I barely exercised yesterday. My energy level has been so scant and unpredictable… I wanted to make another value study more important than the exercise, and I was justifiably afraid if I worked out the painting wouldn’t happen.

I only had an hour before the light changed too much to continue, but that was ok as 1) I still suck at it and 2) I was working on an 8×10 surface. I feel more free to fully fuck things up that way.

might be headed in the right direction though. So even if I did lose the rest of that Keynote gig, I ordered the plein air painting book I’d put in my Amazon cart last month. I’m a fantastic book learner: art, design, software, yoga, hermetics…

I guess next week I’ll have to go 5 consecutive days. I can always be lazy within the workouts though. And hey it’s fine. This is the first day in at least four that I haven’t had to carry a little thing of Vaseline with me at all times to keep reapplying to my tortured nose after each blow.

Hermetic Reading & Practices & planning ahead for 2018

I’ve been catching up on reading, sans laptop

Been buying all kinds of esoteric stuff on Amazon too, because I’m not free to get the one thing I’ve really been wanting, an iMac, which might well have helped me with proofreading, thus keeping my single, probably gone now client happy. I’m like C- level at proofing, especially since I can’t print multiple drafts of everything I work on. You see misalignments right away on the printed art boards. If you’ve got 5 desktop layouts & you’re working on a 15″ laptop you spend all of your working time zoomed waaaaay the fuck in.

Focusing on the magic

Just attempting all the work in the book below will take another year or so, if I put 10-20 hours consistent effort in every week.

I was just about to finish the first half of the 2nd exercise of step one. It’s such a hard one I delayed nearly a year before starting. Then Thursday happened. It was a Holiday Buzzkill for sure… But I finished my Qabalah book and started reading Initiation again.

Lots of stuff got delayed because I have been sans laptop

I’ll only have a little time before the weekend to work on the “black” portion of the soul mirror. I’ll need to get back to all the other things that got postponed for lack of computer, the south waterfront painting and learning how to build my first puppet in Adobe Character Animator. Then there’s the cat show, which I’m sure will be exhausting, and NYE. Suddenly what would’ve been accomplished before the end of the year will instead finish closer to mid January.

So fuck it! I’ve gone ahead and ordered the next Bardon at $57 from Amazon. Used to be $48, I think, but that seller is out. On eBay the cheapest is $114.

I should be able to finish step 1 of Initiation in January and work on step 2 in February and so on. I should be able to shatter a glass jar with my mind by step 5, lol.

If I look st the Stoic side of this I can say that obviously I’m not meant to be a designer who earns money via her computer, not any more. But I’ve got a ton of art supplies.

Fuck sending out resumes that get ignored due to my age and location! I’ll do magic and work on art.

Oh I also got myself this new planner. Decided to try a new type.

Nice, cheery hardcover.

My vision board, lol. Why not I guess?

I started writing. Hey I’m camped in bed this holiday. May as well make the best of it.

It’s undated so you can start whenever you want, but I’m going for good, old fashioned New Year’s Day. All of my currently delayed projects can be targeted for January.

Tomorrow should be safe for driving (as long as it’s not me at the wheel) so we can go pick up my laptop and maybe either meet our poet friend for lunch. I’m going to work out earlier than usual and already prepped the coffee maker & brought it upstairs. I guess you could say I can’t wait to get out of the house for a little bit. Not only am I inside; I’m mostly upstairs, with one or two cats.Theodora is the one who stays by my side. What a little treasure she is.

Thursday musings, cat stuff and the gig economy

Ended up taking a rest day yesterday, so I could cook something (that was perhaps a little too healthy) for jam night. It was a turkey & veggies, sweet potato pot pie. Yes, yes… I cook with the meat. I’ve given in to the dark side. It’s just easier.

I suppose you can’t be truly vegan if you own cats, the obligate carnivores. I went along as an ovo lacto vegetarian just fine for years in NYC though, even if it doesn’t really “count”. But I’m not in New York anymore and I’m not buying my own groceries.

The gig economy

Well now, it looks like it’s still on.

Got a call to come clean my friend’s office today. I’ve joked to Charlie that I didn’t know I was moving to Portland to vacuum. I think of the really nice Argentinian lady who was working the floor of my Manhattan office at the time I left. We’d always have a chat. People on those levels of work always liked me, because I was polite and personable. I didn’t treat them as “less”. And now I have joined those ranks! LOL. Good for manual labor.


Wine and driving

Started drinking the wine around 4:30pm, while cooking. I retired upstairs around 8, pretty tipsy. I’ve gotta man-up and drive over a bridge again. Terrifying! I’d be motivated to drive more if I thought I’d have a real reason (regular commute). As I said to my friend whose shop I’m going to clean today…

I deal with life on a need-to-know basis.

To finally get my license I’ll have to practice driving on a highway, even just an easy one. I haven’t been willing to do that. In the blitz of applications I sent out between mid August and October, only a single thing really stuck. That was SF and I’m not sure about even that now.

I set the alarm for 6, but of course there was no way I was going to get out of bed and exercise before hand. And if I eat and don’t do it later, I’ll have three rest days this week. I could pretend I’m ill, or traveling, lol. My upper quads are still a bit sore! It’s freaky.


Think I finished a piece yesterday, or it’s as done as it should be. Since they just get removed from the board and packed away, it’s not like I have to stress on the level of “finish”. My work has gotten increasingly wild too. Now I can’t believe I EVER did anything with just one medium. I use watercolor pencils, watercolors and regular colored pencils, moving back and forth in between, with a little gouache thrown in as well.

Rest Day! Got the CityKitty cat toilet training tray installed too

It would’ve been worth it to buy the $50 tray system instead of the $30 CityKitty, because with this cheaper brand, after the first week of having no holes in the tray, you cut along the perforated edge to expose the smallest hole, and so on. This means if you’re training more cats later, you need to buy the product again. If I’d gotten the Litter Kwitter, we’d have received different size trays that I could wash, store and potentially reuse. Oh well!

Even though the recommendation to buy this specific toilet lid, with the child seat attachment we promptly discarded was a piece of bad advice, it’s still kind of good that we replaced the old seat. Now Charlie knows how to get old, corroded bolts out & he can fix the wonky one in the downstairs bathroom! That one slides & clunks dramatically whenever you sit on it unless you lower ever so carefully like your butt’s a hovercraft.

I’m going to have to remove & replace this tray every time I use the toilet for quite some time! So this is an investment, but we’ll see.

 

He made me screw on the new seat so I’m not that spoiled.

Week 1 of #toilettraining has commenced! #cats #scottishfold #kitten #pdx

A post shared by Linda Maddocks (@boodiba.henry.theodora) on

And then I showed Henry too, but we’re thinking that Theodora will be far more likely to be into this, since she’s the one who’s fascinated with the toilet. She hopped onto the back of Charlie’s so often that he was the one who suggested we try this! Even if it’s one of two cats, we’ll save on litter and mess in the long run. (And when she has kittens… Maybe she will show them without the tray. After all I’m going to be a responsible breeder and keep the kittens for a full three months.)