I Love

Many months ago, I wrote about how I was starting to feel like I am growing roots here in Olympia. Now, I most certainly have roots, but I don’t feel trapped. Instead, free. I love this place, I really really do.

I fit the stereotype for sure: I drive a Prius, I teach yoga, I help at a non-profit/farm, I’m vegan, I listen to folk/indie, I love to hike, I’m queer, I’m feminist, I care about the environment… The list could go on.

While I was visiting people in the midwest this summer, these stereotypes of myself became more apparent. But, I realized that they didn’t bother me too much, because I love my life! I love being surrounded by like-minded people. We just have to remember that the rest of the world sometimes isn’t as open minded or progressive (adjectives we may use for ourselves here), or sometimes we are less open minded than we think. We live in a beautiful bubble here in Olympia, and we have to remember that it’s a bubble.

I have been working as the Events Intern at GRuB (the non-profit organization http://goodgrub.org/) and have felt so at home and connected to the community. We can talk openly and vulnerably there, giving each other space or hugs or food, or just general support. I would love to continue to work in a place like GRuB, where I look forward to arriving and have a hard time leaving.

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This summer has also been about delving deeper into relationships, which has been both challenging and freeing. My wedding is in 15 days, ah!

I have embraced the go-go-go mentality of summer by going on many crazy hikes and seeing my physical strength as well as limitations. For a while there, I was worried about our Washington wilderness because of the terrible fires. What a strange and terrifying time for our climate. I will try to take my fear and turn it into passion to do my best for our world.

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Now, many leaves are on the ground, though it is not yet technically Autumn. The air has a distinct chill to it and we’ve pulled our thicker blanket out of the closet. I’m in cozy clothes with my cup of tea. I’m starting to slow down my chase of the sun and am getting ready to embrace this next season of my life.

 

Curious of what I listened to while writing this? It’s down below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Cleaning!

A few recent things that tie together:

  1. I have been so inspired by minimalism the past few months. I generally consider myself an organized person to begin with, but I did have my closet and a few areas of boxed clutter that needed to be sifted through. It takes time, but it feels so good to let go of things that no longer have a function or you simply don’t feel as much attachment to anymore.
  2. I have also started a running training program that my friend (also a personal trainer) created for me. We will be running the Rainier Ragnar in August. So far it helped me get more ready for my annual tradition of doing the Shamrock Run in Portland, but it has also gotten me a little more familiar with things I need to work on with my form.
  3. I am feeling a bit more established in Olympia, especially since starting volunteering at GRuB (an educational community farm). I have what I need, and I can see staying here for longer. I have a feeling of fulfillment from bare necessities.

After a walk in the woods, these three topics came up in my mind. I noticed that they all shared a theme of clarity and being attuned. Once you sift through the static, the fog, the clutter, you can find underlying tendencies. I think it’s interesting that in the two definitions that come up for “attune”, there is “make receptive or aware” and “accustom or acclimatize”. It’s like the definition is set up in helpful steps: awareness, then adjustment.

The first step to solving an issue is to acknowledge and accept a tendency. It doesn’t do you any good to see the tendency, then deny it or to beat yourself up about it. Simply noticing a possible problem and being honest with yourself brings you closer to finding tools to help you when it comes up in the future.

Seeing tendencies using minimalism: When I sorted through my box of stuff in the closet, I noticed that I held onto a lot of sentimental things, especially if they were gifts. From there, I could ask myself if the gift was still relevant to my life or if the person would even care that I had kept it for years. I also found a lot of things that were simply remnants of who I used to be and what I used to care about. I was able to move on from a lot of those things.

Some other examples are when I go for a run with a clear mind, I am more able to notice what habits my body has. Are my shoulders stabilized? Am I running evenly on both feet? Are my feet flipping out behind me? On a similar note, when I still my body and only focus on my breath in meditation, I can notice thought patterns that constantly surface. Sometimes I’m planning. Sometimes I’m remembering events. Sometimes I’m being a perfectionist about my breathing or posture.

When looking at the seasons, we go through a bare winter, all the leaves have shed, we may even get the blank slate of snow. At that point, we can get attuned to what’s going on inside and perhaps adjust. Once spring comes, we are more able to grow, to build, to branch out, to blossom.

SpringFaves