Archives for category: psychology

Feminist Psychology Space Time Tanks

I’m rethinking this blogging stuff.

Actually, what I’m really thinking about is being flexible.

And not in that “oh, you’re so flexible” yoga sort of way. Or maybe I am. Maybe the physical flexibility we look for in our asana practice is really just a way to contemplate the flexibility we need to have in our lives. The flexibility to live with change. New circumstances. Sudden hairpin curves on the road of life. You know what I mean.

And so I’m rethinking this blogging stuff.

In two weeks time I’ll begin graduate school at Sofia University. I’m chasing a master’s in transpersonal psychology. I’d thought about attending Sofia for the past few years but didn’t think I was smart enough, had enough time or enough money. And so I spent a few years twiddling my thumbs and signing up for courses that didn’t feed my heart and brain the way my heart and brain need to be fed.

Turns out I am smart enough, I can make time and graduate student loans are easy to come by.

But something will have to give. So, for now, Your Weekly Prompt is on hiatus.

Originally Your Weekly Prompt was Your Daily Prompt and my intention was to post every day – a photograph, a poem, an essay or maybe just one word. Anything that might set the creative wheel in motion for anyone who happened upon the page. As for what it might do for me, I hoped it would support my writing by encouraging discipline. And it sorta kinda did – until 2012 took a hairpin turn to the left and every thing I thought I was going to do pulled over to the shoulder of the road to accommodate everything that I did do.

If you follow Your Daily Prompt I hope you’ll follow Practically Twisted.

Practically Twisted will be pulling double duty for the time being. Keeping track of my yoga life, my writing life and my non-existent love life. Should be fun.

Woman Writing a Letter

If you want to put a neat little twist on the whole end-of-the-year resolution deal, Kelly McGonigal – one of my favorite teachers and author of Yoga for Pain Relief and The Willpower Instinct suggests we try this ideas: (click HERE)

I’d tell you more, but I have to do this: (click HERE)

I’m doing that thing that I do. The thing that from the day I discovered my ability to make a list I’ve anticipated, longed for and agonized over. After 2010’s novel-writing debacle it’s the one thing I pinky swore with myself I’d never, ever do ever again. But here I sit, craving it the way a former four-pack-a-day woman of a certain age might crave a Virginia Slims.

It’s the last week of December. I want to write my resolutions. That’s right. ResolutionS. Because I’m never satisfied with one.

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a...

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a wheel reading “ahimsa”, the Jain vow of non-violence.

(Yet as I do this I’m thinking about ahimsa. Ahimsa is non-violence. Kindness and non-violence towards all living things. Wait a minute. I’m a living thing. It means me, too. Kindness and non-violence towards Mimm. Huh.)

So there you have it. With a flash of unanticipated insight complete with the cartoon lightbulb shining brightly above my head: as an act of kindness toward myself, I am not writing ANY resolutions this year. And I am definitely not going to drop any hints – that is, if I was going to write a list of resolutions – of what they might be. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Because when I write resolutions – which I’m not doing this year, by the way – I usually begin by breaking down the categories. What changes would I like to be a witness to in my life? What will I do to improve my health and fitness? My finances? My love life?

The categories are then broken down into sub-categories. There’s physical health, mental health and spiritual growth. There are bills to pay down and savings to build up. And the love life? Weeelllll…there are on-line sites to explore, real life avenues for meeting people, dates to arrange and not cancel at the last minute. Don’t forget about my intellectual life. There are books to read and graduate school papers to submit…ahead of schedule, of course.

After the categories and sub-categories are established, we begin creating a time line.

  • How soon do I want to lose fifteen pounds? In time for the opening of Samyama Yoga Studio at the end of the month? No problem. Two pounds a week. Any ninny could do that.
  • Oh? You’d like to run a 10-K in March? Easy-peasy. Haven’t run ten feet in ten months? Pishaw. No worries.
  • Meditating for an hour each day beginning January 1st? Consider it done.
  • Car paid off and retirement secured by April? Piece of cake. While you’re at it, have that down payment on a house saved by July.
  • Subscriptions to the dating sites Flirty at Fifty, Is it Hot in Here or am I Just Happy to See You and Trading Up established in time for Valentine’s Day…ok…that’s never going to happen.

In fact, it’s safe to wager that none of this will happen. Would I prefer that my life move in this direction? Of course. And I’d like all my classes overflowing with students, a beautifully furnished Craftsman home to call my own, an agent, a publishing contract – oh, and a recording contract while were at it (dream big I always say) – a swept-off-my-feet romance and a dog. Preferably a dog named Roscoe. Oh, and I’d like to sail through graduate school. And have financial security.

But isn’t setting a dozen bars impossibly out of reach an act of violence committed by me, towards me? Though perhaps it’s an act of kindness to choose the one bar that supports all the other hopes and dreams. And then to set that one, lone bar within reach.

Because, at the end of the day, despite all the whines and complaints and wishful thoughts I write about on this public forum – the truth is I’m a very happy woman. I live a simple life in a simple apartment. I have everything I need and very few things that I don’t need. I’m healthy and whole. There are friends who love me and friends I love. It’s a good life.

And yet…and yet….I’m human. I’m a human who does not write New Year’s Resolutions. Except maybe. Maybe this year I’ve the one resolution that will be the true catalyst for change. Maybe this year I’ve discovered the one idea, one habit, one way of walking on this path that has the potential to change the way I experience the entire journey? Do I have the strength and will power to see it through?

Of course I do. It’s just one resolution. And I’m not even going to wait for the New Year.

Beginning now, this moment, I resolve to be kind. I resolve to be kind to all living things. I resolve to be kind to me.

787 words in about an hour with a bit of revision.  My intention was to take twenty minutes each morning charge up my writing batteries with two-hundred words or so.  Ever the overachiever, this personal challenge is now eating up an hour.  Yes – I’ve written eleven posts in ten days.  But I have a real deadline for a real writing assignment and this is morphing from fun challenge to agent of procrastination.  Typical. To that end, I resolve to consider an end to this challenge.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

As it happened, the flossing lecture was delivered at the same moment that my lovely hygienist decided to run the motor that powered the grinder that was scaling eight months of debris from my less than pearly whites. So I never heard it.

I didn’t need to. After the final polish and rinse she told me a few other things about the state of my gums that made me hang up my attitude. And since I don’t want to be known as ‘Mimm the Toothless Yoga Teacher’ I decided ’tis the season to take action.

So this year, in negotiation with the Big Man in a Red Suit, I received my presents early: a new Sonicare Toothbrush, a Waterpic Flosser and a 12-pack of extra-soft toilet roll (what can I say – I was at Target and it was on sale.)

I’ll let you know in June if my diligence pays off.

Moving on to other things.

Five years ago I was in an unfortunate living situation. After dating a man for a few months and then choosing friendship over romance, we decided to help one another out by moving in together. My instincts told me it was a bad idea but I did not listen. A person’s instincts aren’t always right, are they? Besides, I wanted to help out a friend.

We moved into one of those beautiful but hermetically sealed apartment buildings. The kind where you never see nor hear your neighbors unless you happen to check mail at the same time. Even then, your eyes won’t meet and a mumbled “hello” is all you might get.

The problem with this situation was that the man – my new roommate – was a troubled bully. He used words, mostly.  He thought it was funny to say, “When you write your ‘to-do’ list don’t forget to put ‘be stupid’ at the top.”  Sometimes he threw things.  Once and only once – as the situation was moving toward a resolution – he threw me. 

Within a few weeks it was clear I’d made a horrible mistake. According to him I was now an ugly, fat c*nt. I would amount to nothing. I would never write. I would never paint. I didn’t have what it took. I was a failure.

Why didn’t I leave? Why don’t we leave? Part of me thought I could fix him or convince him that nothing he said was true. Part of me wanted to win him over. And part of me was terrified. I began to believe everything he said. Still, after two years, somehow I found the strength and resilience to understand that if I wanted to live I had to go. I began to make my plans.

I didn’t tell him I had found a new apartment because I knew something bad would happen. I was right. For the next few weeks, until I received the call that told me my studio was ready, I stayed at work or in my room. As soon as I could, I was gone.

Since 2009 I’ve created the new and improved ‘Mimm.2’. My heart no longer pounds a panic alarm when I see him (we live in the same town). While I have no intention of interacting with him ever again, I feel sorry for his situation – for the darkness that prevents his heart from seeing any light in the world.

But I am not to blame. I was never to blame. He was an angry soul long before our paths crossed.

Where I failed was not listening to the voice inside that told me to walk away the moment we met. I didn’t listen to the voice telling me “you deserve more than this.”

I’m guilty of not taking better care of myself. My whole self.

And so – in 2013 I resolve to take better care of my teeth. And my heart.

ps…Sheesh!  This was NOT what I intended to write as part of my Daily Twenty Minutes or Two Hundred Words Holiday Challenge…it was GOING to be about the lack of sound in a hermetically sealed 28-unit apartment complex compared to the tiny, six-unit building where I live now. I have a new upstairs neighbor with a heavy foot fall, a loud voice and an even louder girlfriend….thank goodness they don’t have cable!

40 minutes/685 words/about 20 minutes of revision

Our Shadow might be thought of as the part of our Self buried alive. Not acknowledged. Ignored. She teases us in our dreams. We tell ourselves stories about her. We think we know her. But as long as we avoid her how could we? Yes, we’ve seen glimpses of our Shadow but in reality we’ve never seen her face-to-face.

Until we meet our Shadows we are only half-truths.