Looks like it’s another 4-day week

I’m not that motivated lately. In the past, when in this mood, I’d buy some new workout clothes and/or a new piece of equipment. I might take a yoga class in a non Astanga studio, or sign up for circus training. But now? Eh… I could repeat a Summer Shred, just to get the blood moving, but today I don’t really want to bother.

I did my morning meditation anyway. Given the fact that a bunch of non related people decided to direct their anger at me yesterday, for no good reason, a morning sit and LBRP seemed like a good idea.  I also got in a yoga practice this week. I’ll leave it at that.

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Slow, painful but good Astanga

But I’ve still got an off & on dental infection; I can feel it today as a matter of fact. And I’m back on the antibiotics, which eff me up in a creaky sort of way. I got it done anyhow, a day late. And I’d been intending to do the jump rope warm-up but found I really didn’t want any jumping at all, hence the super low, average HR.

I feel better now & that’s all that really matters. (Maybe this week, since I got this one in on a Monday, I’ll manage to get in a second.)

Oh! And I practiced seated meditation and a LBRP today. I’d had this one nightmare that woke me out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night… It really gave me pause. Forced me to think about it. Conclusion: I need to get that meditation practice going again.

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Poses Comments
Suryas & Standing Fundamentals w/ standing arches in the 5 Surya As, 3lb hand held weights for 3rd – 5th. Held that last standing backbend longer than usual,5 breaths. Two, 5-breath handstands @ the end
Primary+ Skipping 4 poses of primary w/ added LBH
Ardha Matseyendrasana, var through the legs bind
Pashasana
Krounchasana
Shalabhasana A, B
Bhekasana, 1/2 & full
Dhanurasana A, B
Ustrasana hips to wall, keeping them fwd
Laghu Vajrasana
Kapo B Didn’t do any prep. Really couldn’t even get up to toes but it was ok.
Urdhva D come to standing
Dropbacks 3x
Ticks 3x
Finishing with 5min savasana

Friday morning musings

On aging and injuries

I was planning to do the last WO in Julia’s contest series yesterday, but when I got out of bed (a Casper mattress still on the floor, because Podunk), both knees were sore. And I’d done a nice, easy one the day before! Not only that, but my left elbow was especially pissy, even aching when not exercising, and hitting the problem area. I know what that one thing was from. There was a move in Wednesday’s WO of holding arms OH w/ a band above wrists & pulling down. I liked the novelty of the move, and the pulling action, so I ignored the complaints.

I took a rest day, thinking I’d get to my last, “contest entry” routine today. But…, while the knees feel slightly (right) to much (left) better, the elbow is still annoyed. And this WO is upper body heavy. She starts off w/ a circuit that is snatches, shoulder presses and triceps. I’d want to use my 26lb kettlebell (with forearm guards!) for the first move, even though I can’t snatch it up OH directly. I have to clean & press-up. It’s something to work on. So I think I’ll reschedule again. I’m pretty sure they allow a week from posting to completion date for the contest. That means I could do it Sat or Sun. And let’s face it, a person my age w/out a lot of social media followers isn’t likely to win. It’s more for the point of personal follow-through.

Everything happens for a reason

She mainly just sits in the driveway, gathering leaves. I’ve been meaning to at least go put gas in her since Tuesday, lol. Busy with other things. Just had to ask Charlie what kind of gas she gets, again. Despite the timing, I can’t say I’m that sorry I bought her. She’s an inexpensive and unassuming car, and at 51½, actually owning an automobile tickles me. Saturday I’ll go get some gas! (Writes in agenda.) I need to incrementally woman-up to the idea of the bridge. That again. It’s a better route though. I always had a feeling I wouldn’t be required to go from the NW to the NE Industrial. My color judgments were just as good as the airquotes senior and ass kissing hater. I did pre-press color adjustments, back in the day, for the super high-end carpets I designed. We used better quality paper than in any coffee table, art book I’ve ever encountered. It was easy for me, with my oil painting, color mixing experience. I communicated in those terms. The Two made everything excruciatingly slow, self-doubting and meandering, but to be fair that was general company policy. #driving

Things I don’t want to do tend not to happen anyway. If I hadn’t launched on the India cycle, late 2005, I’d be a senior designer making 130/140K. That’s who I was hired to be! It would’ve come with overseas production trips, two to three times a year though. They were pretty brutal, and at the time, missing even two extra days of Astanga practice would’ve been earth-shakingly tragic. (The biannual trend shopping trips that evolved into being maybe five or six years down the line would’ve been easier to cope with, over brutally over scheduled, marathon factory visits.) When I started, my division was a newly acquired, formerly private, but smaller company. They’d finally moved into their new home base, about eight months after acquisition, two days before I started. I brought my own laptop for a few days, and those 17″ weren’t all that portable.

Unlike my last gig, Moret Group wasn’t cheap about maintaining decent work stations. IT had to order a brand new Mac for me, and were behind getting everyone else set up in their new stations. All the designers had their own USB scanners, which is as it should be. We had small group access to ink jet printers, for color, and also a color laser, for volume. We got to order lumbar cushions and wrist braces / exercisers if we needed. Also tablets! (I never used them in NYC, but the design style for most of what I was doing there, quite lucratively, was a much different animal from what I’m doing now. The Wacom bumps your digital design into fine art territory. They merge.)

Vs: The Office, Portlandia Edition That’s quite a different thing from being handed an 8½ year old, groaning old Mac and having to bring your own Wacom tablet, because your mouse isn’t fully functional. It skipped. Airquotes senior tried using it once and picked it up, to look at the underside, puzzled. “You should be able to find a mouse around here, somewhere…” she said later on, trailing off. Um, ya, thanks.

Anyway I quit that gig, the first time, in January 2006 for my “First Trip to Mysore”, also my first blog. I still have the print out of my posts, somewhere. Not the comments I don’t think. (In those days I was widely read, and popular posts sometimes turned into lengthy chats in the comment section). If I’d stayed in New York, I probably would’ve never left The Hovel, my rent stabilized studio on East 4th Street and First Ave. Not even if the 10-year Astanga yoga fixation hadn’t happened, and I’d stayed on the management track. Nor would I have ever driven a car again!


I’m really happy to be out of that toxic swamp

They are all welcome to it! Too bad Cascade didn’t get printed though. That’d have been a hit, I am sure of it. That place was a thorough lesson in inept management. As I like to say, the old, 1-star Glassdoor reviews were still spot-on.

The universe was like, “Here! Have a friend instead.” Finally made a new one, and of course she’s an east coaster. I never had any problems whatsoever connecting with new people of wildly diverse backgrounds doing my 2-month India stints. Podunk is different. It’s small, provincial and hostile to outsiders. It’s professionally “mean”, in the petty sense of the word, and inclined for an outrageously smug mediocrity. We’re meeting up tonight, going to a thing downtown! Sketching will happen.


XX The Aeon
“Judgment” in other decks

Occupies the path between Hod and Malkuth. Hod is the seat of Human Intelligence as well as harnessed willpower whilst Malkuth represents the physical world. The Aeon Card connecting them implies the blending of energies between the two sephira so we have: The evolution of human consciousness and understanding (Hod) about the nature of our physical reality (Malkuth). Our consciousness becomes more universal as we see the Oneness behind creation. Older perspectives are burned away by spiritual fire.

1. A decision which has a major impact on your life. Examples would include lifestyle, career or relationship changes. In the upright position these changes would be positive.

2. Also life changing experiences which may be spiritual or a near death experience. These have a major impact on our life which forces a change in perspective and the birth of a new self.

3. Time to move on from a situation after seeing the bigger picture of things so we have endings and new beginnings.

4. Taking time out to review your life timeline and seeing what changes have happened over time and how you have grown. Reviewing the bigger picture.

5. A natural period of growth where you are experiencing a deepening in your understanding of yourself and the world around you. A time of deep change, reflection and evolution of your spiritual awareness. You may also be letting go of friends, and structures which are no longer serving you.

Ya that sounds about right!!! I’m coming to a new understanding about things which do not happen being unworthy of my time and attention in the first place. And now, it’s time to get back to my current “seamless repeat” design.

List making #virgorising

My body clock has already been reset to wake between 5:30 and 5:45. Having two cats already used to getting breakfast just past 6am helps in this! I’ve been getting organised.

Things accomplished before 10am on Saturday

  1. Unpacked art bag.
  2. Picked out a WO for the afternoon.
  3. Earmarked an inspirational / witchy YouTube clip, by one of my favourites, to watch later.
  4. Initial pass through House & Garden, UK – one of the three magazines I snapped up at Powell’s last night. I had to be quick b/c Charlie was waiting in the car with a full bladder. Started a spreadsheet, of advertisers & their websites.
  5. Deposited check.
  6. Attached passport picture to renewal form & put that plus a check and my old passport into an envelope.
  7. Had breakfast
  8. Emptied trash.
  9. Unpacked portfolio case, to retrieve my Wacom tablet mainly. Now that I’m used to one I find it really cumbersome to use a mouse, for a lot of things, never mind a wonky one. There’s simply too much surface dragging you have to do. You can’t “hop & select”. And if your mouse has tracking issues…
  10. Put away the rest of my laundry from Thursday night.
  11. Mapped route to Post Office. It’s the dreaded driving practice & I need to send my passport renewal via certified mail. Since the nearby PO isn’t open weekends, I’m forced to head downtown.
  12. Applied CBD oil to Theodora’s elbows.
  13. Ordered bath bar soap & post-it tabs (the latter for marking up reference material).

Meditation & tarot

I’d really wanted to do a short workout tonight

Like 45 minutes to an hour, but it was just so nice out, and I didn’t want to go right upstairs to my office. I wanted to hang with the cats outside, so that’s what I did. I get maybe ½ mile of walking with my commute home, since I can never catch the bus that stops closest, but that’s ok this time of year.

Anyway I did an 18min seated meditation. That felt good. And I’m tired! Early to bed.

Card of the day: Queen of Swords

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She is very logical and intelligent. All this has the advantage of gaining clarity in situations but being able to work through things intellectually to a high standard.

She has enormous clarity &  has the her intellect ability to judge and discern impartially, without the influence of strong emotions or sentimentality.

Unlike the Queen of Cups  she connects to other people through an intellectual understanding rather than an emotional understanding.

Astanga yoga & seated meditation

I’d stopped my daily meditation practice last Tuesday, when I started my new job, because with the speed I get going at in the morning, I’d have to get up a half hour earlier to get it done before leaving. But I still need it! To navigate the beginnings of my new thing. I was just giving myself four days off. I’m not sure I’ll practice meditation daily, but regularly is fine, in the evenings.

And I wasn’t planning on sitting today, but my asana practice was “enough” at 90 minutes and I’ve already decided to feel free to devote two hours a day to the mind body maintenance on weekends… It’s really nice to sit immediately after yoga. I always change into a completely dry shirt first, but still…

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Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope

Poses Comments
Suryas & Standing Fundamentals w/ standing arches in Surya As, 3lb weights on the last 2, two 5-breath handstands @ the end
Primary+ Skipping 4 poses of primary w/ added LBH
Ardha Matseyendrasana, var through the legs bind – is helping crack open the Pashasana again
Pashasana
Krounchasana
Shalabhasana A, B
Bhekasana, 1/2 & full
Dhanurasana A, B
Ustrasana hips to wall, keeping them fwd
Laghu Vajrasana
Hanuman 1min, foot against wall, 20sec upright, 40 back bending. Final 15sec looking head back
Rack single interval of 10/60
Block
Kapo B 10 (fast) breaths
Urdhva D come to standing
Dropbacks 3x
Ticks 3x
Finishing to the sirsasana/s & brief child pose – skipped 3 closing poses in favour of a 22min sit, followed by 5min savasana (this row is not in stats tally)

Happy Thursday, Jupiter & Sachiel day!

Set my alarm for 6:20, to wake up to Henry snuggles and kisses and the first hour of the day, which is also ruled by Jupiter. May as well do this on the Thursdays of a waxing moon.

6 of Swords
Card of the Day: 6 of Swords

I found a great resource for the Thoth deck specifically! A soft-spoken Englishman with a penchant for nail polish, who films with his head cropped out of the frame. I watched a bunch of his YouTubes. He’s got a clip for each card, ranging from about 18-25 minutes or so, from the ones I’ve watched. I rather like the printed word though, so I’ve switched to his website. I can’t find a search engine on it, so I just go to the home page & type in the card I want in the browser window, right before “esotericmeanings” & hit enter again to find.

 

The Six of Swords was formally known as ‘The Lord of Earned Success’ implying success after struggle.

Tipareth in Yetzirah! (See: The Four Worlds)

An air planet (Mercury) finds itself in the fixed sign of air which is Aquarius. Mercury is EXHALTED in Aquarius highlighting the intellectual qualities of the card. Aquarius is an air sign, which is detached and intellectual by nature and Mercury’s ability to analyse brings a clear perspective for us going forward. So the astrology of the card indicates a somewhat detached but balanced assessment of a situation is needed. We need to analyse something without bias and too much emotion to get the best result. Aquarius is also the sign of innovation and originality and so this card also represents communicating ideas that are new or perhaps unconventional in an orderly way.

Here’s another tarot site I go to a lot, specifically when dealing with decks that have fuzzy or convoluted or sparse descriptions in their accompanying manual.

Generally the 6 shows at least a slight reduction in stress and strain. Things may not be perfect, but they are going to be better than they may have been in the recent past. Take this time to get your head above water and decide where you’re going from here.

And another

Six of Swords says a difficult cycle is ending – allow it to phase out now – quietly pass through it by setting your sights on the future.  Look at things the way they are – not the way you want them to be.  Think with an open mind.  Investigate all the possibilities.  You are experiencing an unpleasant, frustrating situation – sever yourself from it and you will know peace of mind and harmony, like the sunshine after a storm.  You are making great progress now.  Recognize that everything is relative to one’s viewpoint and communicate in a non – threatening way that will allow other people to consider new ideas, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes from perspectives that they have not yet considered.

Not that I spend all morning reading tarot websites! It’s just something fun to do occasionally – while caffeinating – instead of reading the dismal, world “news”.

Tarot & the Thoth Deck • Cards of the day, yesterday and today

Yesterday, on Friday the 13th I drew XIII Death, which was not at all surprising. Turns out that was the day Christ was Crucified too.

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Took a bunch of notes while watching the video below.

Today I drew Five of Wands, called “Strife” in this deck, alas also not surprising.

 

Cute he’s wearing pink nail polish!

Geburah. Mars… Ya no shit! Within the past week I was ridiculed (again! for like the 10th time) over my employment situation and my grey hair, in the house I currently reside. This caused great strife in my relationship. I was also deleted on Facebook by an increasingly militant vegan friend who has taken to starting verbal brawl on my threads. She nixed me after I’d commented that I hoped her evangelical phase would calm down soon, that I was reminded of a high school friend who’d become born again.

Yesterday, I went to Albertson’s, a grocery store, with my boyfriend. The cashier had the money in his hand and was about to make change when he noticed me walking away with the empty cart. I was going to return it. He actually raised his voice, like a teacher scolding an errant child, and said, You get back here! That was all kinds of WTF. I only mention it to illustrate how conflict is coming my way in all levels, from the deeply personal to the random and trivial.

5 of Wands, Strife

The 5 of Wands often refers to conflict, tension and competition. Usually this is in the career/work arena, but sometimes it can refer to romantic rivals.

Five of Wands says you are feeling the stress of continuous competition – finding your ideas being continually tested through conflict and disagreements.  You see life as a continuous battle.  Always question authority – be firm and state the facts to clarify the situation and get the cooperation you require.  Every form of oppression is an opportunity for liberation.

 

 

 

LAM Aphorism of the Day: Adverse conditions can be great for your meditation practice

And other spiritual practices too! As per my previous “practice post” three days ago, I do a 22min sit in the morning, followed by a chant that is the traditional 108 repetitions.¹

why 108 1
I’ve been meaning to refresh my memory on why 108

I quite often accompany my chanting with “Trāṭaka”, which is simply staring at a flame. I learned that years ago, in my late teens or early twenties, but never practiced it seriously. It can help push you into the trance state for sure, and considering do it fresh off a 22min sit with binaural beat technology, the effects can be profound.

I almost always get creative ideas while seated. A hermetics, Franz Bardon style mental challenging is to both push those thoughts away, or to discard them, but to make a silent mental note to remember them after. I usually put something to write on down on the floor, near my mediation spot, so that I can jot notes down between the two parts of my morning practice.

Personal Definitions

“Practice” used to mean the physical practice of Astanga yoga to me. I still do yoga but don’t consider myself an Astangi, because though I still practice my own version of it, I only do it once a week, twice max, and I consider it to be firmly a PART of my exercise program, rather than the focus of my existence.

Now my “practice” is my spiritual practice, anything concerning meditation, pranayama, hermetics, chanting etc.


¹ One take: Different significance is attributed to different numbers by different people and traditions, and I will therefore not claim to have the only and final answer on this question. However, I can share with you one of the explanations that is given by the sages and scriptures in India for the significance of the number 108, and why mantras are recited at least 108 times, or multiples of this number.

In the Vedic tradition great importance is given to mantras as a means to influence vibrations and energies that are present in the creation. Mantras are sound vibrations, and as modern science now also teaches us (Quantum Physics) this whole creation is made up of energy that is vibrating in different frequencies. There is no such thing as solid matter, as even atoms and protons, electrongs, etc appear to be nothing more than space and energy that is vibrating in some way or other. In the ancient Vedic tradition they categorized different types of vibrations that have specific effects on us and our environment as devatas or gods/angels – that is why it was said that devatas have a mantra sharira, which means their body (sharira) is made up of vibrations (mantra).. meaning that they are nothing but vibrations.

Another take: The ancient Indians about 5000 BC or beyond figured out an incredible ratio. They figured out and accurately calculated that the diameter of the sun multiplied 108 times gives you the distance from the earth to the sun, and correspondingly, the diameter of the moon multiplied 108 times gives you the distance from the earth to the moon.

Western astronomy just managed to catch up just in the last 200 years with these estimates.

108 therefore becomes an amazing cosmic ratio of the closest two planets that effect earth and human fortunes.

And another: Because there are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If there is anything wrong in these changes, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the mantras.

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.