My Favorite Songs for the PCT

This is just a fun post where I list some of my favorite songs that I listened to on my PCT playlist. Here is the link to my Spotify playlist: PCT Playlist It is full of quite the random assortment of genres and artists, but I only kept songs that sparked some sort of joy in me. Many songs were meant to invigorate or motivate me, some songs were for those more reflective and calm moments, and some were just for fun (like “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain or “Believe” by Cher). The ones that I list below were the songs that I could more or less take the lyrics literally with my trail experience:

Arrows- Trevor Hall

I feel the need to write a little something special about this one. This song was one of the first songs that I listened to after I committed to the idea of hiking the PCT in 2019. It got me excited for the adventure and felt validating to my decision to stick with my intuition. As I continued my journey on the trail, this song became more meaningful and I’d save it for wide open spaces. It would often make me cry because it went straight to my heart.

“This journey has got me bleeding
A certain kind of feeling
But I can never leave it
Good God I know I need it

Arrows come straight for my heart
Arrows come straight for my heart

I thought I’d never face it
And now it’s stripped me naked
Here standing in the open
I thought I missed the omen

(Chorus)

The dark is all around me
But I’m so glad it found me

Over the moon and through stars

(Chorus)

Everything I Need- Trevor Hall

(A good mantra)

“Mmh, I have everything I need
I have everything I need
I have everything I need
Mmh, from the mountain to the sea
All of this is within me
I have everything I need

(Don’t be afraid)
The fruitful darkness
(Don’t be afraid)
Is all around us”

Old Pine- Ben Howard

“Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know that memories
Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone beat down on bony backs
So far from home where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks

We slept like dogs down by the fire side
Awoke to the fog all around us
The boom of summer time

[Chorus]
We stood
Steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted
And the warmth rang true inside these bones
As the old pine fell we sang
Just to bless the morning.

Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
I’ve come to know the friends around you
Are all you’ll always have
Smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone
Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
With weightless souls now.”

Thank U- Alanis Morisette

“How bout getting off of these antibiotics
How bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How bout them transparent dangling carrots
How bout that ever elusive kudo

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

How bout me not blaming you for everything
How bout me enjoying the moment for once
How bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How bout grieving it all one at a time

(Chorus)

The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you Providence,
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence…”

All Star- Smash Mouth

“Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an “L” on her forehead

Well, the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb

So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

Hey, now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey, now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold”

Let’s Talk About Self-Care

Earlier this Fall, I overheard two women talking about wanting to make it to a specific  challenging yoga class every day. They talked about how they would come up with excuses for themselves sometimes for not going every single day. Like, “I’m in pain,” or “I need to rest,”, but they “knew that these were just excuses” and that it was essentially mind over matter. I had a big issue with this because what I have learned from teacher training and my own journey with movement/yoga are two things:

  1. You need a variety of movement: Yoga can at times be very linear or rigid. It’s important to find another activity or a class that uses different kinds of muscle engagement and keeps your mind alert. Perhaps bike riding, hiking, running, or strength training can provide a different pattern of movement. My teacher Annie made me realize through her Primal Vinyasa class that our bodies thrive on adapting to new environments and surfaces. Injury can come out of too much of the same repetitive movement over time.
  2. “Resting is Wisdom”: When a teacher tells you that child’s pose is a perfectly fine place to come to if your body is telling you that you need to take a pause, they mean it! Try not to take that as a challenging statement. Rest brings healing, a chance to reset, a moment to reconnect and reflect. 

Self-care is how we can keep balance in our lives and not get burnt out. Self-care is something that comes as a priority in the Fall because we finally get a chance to slow down after an ambitious summer. Let’s talk about some ways you can show yourself some TLC:

  1. Drink something warm. I’m doing so right now! Yes, it’s instinctual as it gets colder. It is comforting because it warms you up from the inside out. It can also feel nostalgic, bringing back holiday memories, a feeling of cherishing. It is also hydrating. While we are inside for a lot of the colder months, it can be harder to remember to stay hydrated. Tea can also bring different health benefits, depending on what tea you’re drinking. With drinking something warm, it also usually requires a little bit of patience for the drink to cool, which has us slow down a little bit.
  2. Go for a walk/exercise. I know that if I start to feel lonely while I’m inside, or cold, that even though it’s usually colder outside, the action of moving my body at a certain pace warms me up far more than I expect. A walk also revives that sense of gratitude and wonder for the world around me. I remember that I am a part of something bigger and that things are still cycling. Exercise and walking, besides bringing warmth, will help your body not be so stagnant and will get the blood flowing. Your body’s state will effect your mind. Of course, endorphins are important too.
  3. Keep up with your hygiene and maybe even pamper. Allow yourself to take time to nourish your skin, relish in feeling clean, and remember that you deserve to take care of yourself. Going a step beyond basic hygiene and moisturizing, it can be fun to sometimes make a face mask or take a bath.
  4. Nourish your body on the inside. Not only what we put on our bodies, but what we put into them, will effect how we feel. You know that clean, light feeling you get after a shower or brushing your teeth? Your mood can be uplifted like that by eating clean too. With eating healthy, it will reduce shame or any opportunities for negative self-talk.
  5. Tell yourself that you are loved and believe it. It is maybe the hardest self-care tip of all. It can be hard to remember that we deserve love and that we do have support somewhere. Imagine if we were to talk negatively to our friends or children the way that we may talk to ourselves sometimes. We are our worst critics. Loving oneself is a journey. But, it brings confidence and self-respect, which in turn can attract many loving and supportive people into our lives.

 

Hello December

fullsizeoutput_10feLately, I’ve been set on figuring out my long term goals and finding what I really want to do. Don’t get me wrong, yoga will be a constant. But, what else? I have found some passions that have also stayed constant: love of nature and helping with a worthy cause. I have applied to a few positions that fit both of those interests and haven’t heard back yet. I’m patient.

From what I have learned from the Native American Four Directions is that North correlates with Winter. North/Winter are a part of the cycle where we come inside, share with friends and those who support us, connect back to the basics, feel the firm foundation of the earth, give gratitude for the fullness of the present, and honor those who created who we are right now. I always think of an image of bare trees in winter and how they bring their energy inside. Their branches reach upward and their roots continue downward, sturdy in the earth. Perhaps they are also a little like The Giving Tree, selflessly providing parts of themselves for the benefit of others (firewood).

So, here I am trying to keep North/Winter in mind. I will cherish what and whom I have in my life, write gratitudes everyday, and hope for the best. The yoga I share this month in class will have North/Winter intentions and I hope that I will be able to be grounded and thankful with my students.

Also, one of my teachers at Yoga Union in Portland is a music genius. Chris Calarco always creates the best playlists for class. I recently got to see his Spotify. If you’re interested, here’s his December playlist: