Monday, July 7, 2014

Meditation Mondays: Will Be At The Beach-- Meditating...

For the rest of the summer, Meditation Mondays will be meditating. As I said on Friday, the sand, the sea, and the sun are calling to me. Also, I want to finish some of my other projects, which includes expanding on this one. If you haven't already, please take the summer to catch up on the story. It starts here... 

I will leave you with one of my new favorite meditations from the lovely Gabrielle Bernstein, called the ego eradicator. It is actually a Kundalini method. I start with this three minute technique and then sit for twenty minutes afterwards.

I highly recommend a regular meditation practice. It has been life changing for me. Meditation unwinds the crap we store inside and allows us to be free.

Thank you all for your continued support. It means the world to me. I'm excited to continue sharing my journey with you this Fall.

Happy Monday and Happy Summer...xoxoxo

Friday, July 4, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Gone BBQ-ING

Happy Fourth of July!!! Today, we celebrate independence. I am a huge proponent of letting the independent spirit run free. We need to rock out with our c@&k out whenever possible. It's the only way the human spirit feels alive...

Some people believe that the fourth of July is the real start of summer. And, as such, I will be taking a break from Foodie Fridays until after Labor Day. The sun, the sand, and the sea are calling. I must embrace my love affair with them!

So, have a wonderful summer! We will break bread together again in the Fall, my favorite season...

Happy Friday...xoxoxo

Monday, June 30, 2014

Meditation Mondays: Happy Anniversary To Me!!!

One year ago this week, I started writing Meditation Mondays. I had been writing on this blog for several years, mostly about random tidbits in my mind, but nothing of real importance. I had always wanted to tell my story about how I overcame anxiety and OCD through yoga, meditation, and acupuncture, but I didn't have the courage to. I was afraid. I feared what people might think of me, how they might judge me, or that I might be ignored.

One day, in June of last year, I was meditating. At the beginning of last year, I had started meditating more regularly, meaning everyday. Anyway, I was meditating and tears came into my eyes. It was time for me to write my story and I was going to do it on my blog, without fear of how others would react. I wanted to tell it and I was going to.

That following week, Meditation Mondays was born. I have learned so much about myself this year, especially from this project and it is nowhere near over. 

To all of you who have been reading, thank you so much! Your support means the world to me. 

On this day, the one year anniversary for this blog, I would like to ask those of you who are reading my story two questions: 

1. What has been your favorite part about Meditation Mondays?

2. What would you like to hear more about on Meditation Mondays?

Most of you read fairly silently, but I would like to hear your thoughts. Also, I really want to spread my words to more people. Please share with your friends and be vocal about what you are enjoying. Ask me questions. As you know, I am very open. I will answer them!!!

Thank you again for reading. Please, continue reading. We are just getting to the meat of the story. Spiritual work takes time. It is when we become aware that the real work begins. That is when it can unravel and we are able to become more whole and more complete. It is when we start to let go that fear leaves us and we are able to come from a place of love.

So, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!!! I'm gonna party like it's 1999. Though not really, because if that were true I would be eating acid and dancing all night at a rave, probably to this song...And at this place...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Foodie Fridays: A Day Of Patron Leading Into Night

As mentioned last week, my relationship with The Chef began while drinking tequila. One day in particular--we started early, at a bar on Haight Street, and continued into night. The alcohol brought us together and allowed us to forget each of our individual pain long enough to bond over our joy for each other or for life and the future.

We drank all day, kissing and talking. I wish we were laughing, but we weren't. Each of our individual pain was too deep for laughter.

It was August, the day was warm, and we were drunk, not only on the alcohol, but on life. Drunk, not in an euphoric way, but in one of feeling too much about too many things. Touring through the dive bars on Haight Street we drank and drank and drank. Until it was time for dinner.

Another way The Chef and I bonded in the beginning was by trying different restaurants, ones we had never been to, and eating foods we had never eaten.

On this particular night we had a dinner reservation at Quince. It wasn't until 10:30, giving us plenty of time to get sufficiently wasted before dinner. On our way back to my apartment, so that I could put on more dinner appropriate attire, we stopped at one last bar for one more shot of Patron. They didn't have Patron. We went with Don Julio. The bartender placed it in front of us. It was not a shot. It was a cup full of alcohol. We had already been drinking for hours, what was one more shot (read: cup) of tequila?

We drank it down and continued on our way. The day had turned to night. It was a beautiful night with the perfect San Francisco chill gripping the edges. I changed. He changed. And we made our way to Quince.

Sparkling lights shone in my eyes as we rode through the streets of San Francisco to the top of a hill where Quince sat. Amidst the pain, I had found a comfortable place with a warm, fuzzy, though sort of emotionally wrecked, boy sitting next to me.

I walked tall next to him. He was tall. I liked that. I liked feeling protected under his wing, which is what he would be for me for many years to come. He let me pass in front of him as we followed the hostess to our table. We sat, looked over the menu, and ordered. He liked to let me order. I am amazing at it. Ordering is an art, one that I excel at.

This included ordering a bottle of red wine. We had been drinking tequila all day. It probably would have been best to stick with that, but we were at dinner. And when one is at dinner one drinks wine!!!

The wine was opened, we accepted, and we started drinking again. Food was served. I barely recall what we ate. I definitely remember octopus and some form of pasta. Quince is known for their pasta.

We at, we drank, we admired one another. And then Entrees came and I got the spins. I stood from the table, walked to the bathroom, and went inside. The bathroom was spinning. It was cool in there. I sat down on the floor. The red wine had pushed me over. It wasn't mixing well with the tequila. I sat for longer than I should have. Getting up seemed impossible.

After many more minutes than is acceptable, I got up off the floor. I stood at the sink, staring at myself in the mirror, trying to get myself and my spinning head under control. I washed my hands and made my way back to our table. I sat down, put my chin in my hands, and looked at The Chef. He knew. He looked at me and said, "Yar, are you okay?" He called me Yar.

I shook my head. Guilt swirled inside of me. I was ruining a rather expensive and lovely dinner. He smiled. He wasn't angry. He never got angry at situations like this. He got angry about different facets of life.

He called the server over, asked her to wrap up our food, and we left. We didn't even make it through our meal. We only ate nibbles of it. His apartment was closer so we went there. I don't recall how we got there or even got into his apartment. I do remember waking up the next morning, early, hungover, anxious...and leaving him in bed to go to yoga.

I needed yoga. We were in pain. Despite our deep connection there was a disconnect between us that would never be sealed. It would always exist, always, and it would eventually lead to our demise.

In those early days, we used alcohol as the river that connected us. It allowed us to let go and embrace the one we were with. He was hurting. I was hurting and the tequila numbed that pain. After the early days, we ignored the gap. We pretended it didn't exist, but it did, always had, and eventually a drought killed us off.

We had grown and changed, evolved beyond our early days in restaurants and taking shots of tequila. We shared a beautiful time together, and when it wasn't any more, we had to let go, but we will always have our days of Patron and stories of Yarrow sitting on the cool linoleum of a bathroom floor trying to get the spins under control.

Happy Friday...xoxoxo

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meditation Mondays: The Early Days Of Teaching and Settling In L.A.

 This is Meditation Mondays: I have had a long journey to the person who I am today. I was once wrought with anxiety, OCD, and a lack of a connection to myself, who I am, and what I want. This is the story about how I came to be a more connected, self-aware human. Meditation Mondays chronicles my spiritual journey. Thank you for reading...

Start at the!

Teaching, to get up on that podium and command a room is not easy. Rewarding, beautiful, wonderful, difficult, at times trying, but not at all easy. And I was doing it at Bikram Yoga headquarters, which is equally less scary and more scary than teaching at any other studio. Most times you are completely unsupervised. So, I came out of training and I wasn't mentored.  No one was giving me feedback.

As I said last week, I thought I knew everything. I couldn't take criticism. I was very arrogant. I wasn't humble. I was a know-it-all. I took the classes that killed me, mutilated me. The classes that made people want to curl up on the floor in the fetal position made me feel like I was flying high. It was only in those classes that I felt my brain shut off. I needed my brain to shut off!!! The intensity silenced the worry and panic in my head. 

And worry and panic I did, about everything, which then instigated my ticks and fidgets. My anxiety soar.

I wasn't teaching very frequently. Only one or two classes a week. I didn't want to be a teacher. It was this thing I was doing, but also I was rejecting it. People would praise my teaching or my yoga postures and I would reject their praise saying, but I'm a writer. That's what I really wanted--recognition for being a writer. Yet, I hadn't even completed anything.

I was writing a screenplay. I wasn't following the format of screenplays. True to my nature, I thought I knew better. I was gonna be the one to break the mold. Yep, this is in fact how I really thought. And it's not that people can't break the mold, but you have to follow some sort of realistic flow. I was not doing that. I was just writing, exploring my mind, reliving a story that I should have been forgetting rather than reliving. Okay, maybe not forgetting, but maybe not dwelling on every detail of. It was a beautiful process, but not one that would lead to a book deal. It was too exploratory.

It was painful and cathartic, and healing, but not a piece that would be commercially viable. I didn't know this at the time. I had complete faith in it. To my credit, it is a great story, but I needed to grow as a writer, so much.

Since I was out of teacher training, I was looking for a restaurant job. Actually I was scavenging for one. I have never had to search for a job harder than I had to search for one in L.A. Up to this point restaurant jobs had been super easy for me to find. In L.A., it was almost harder than booking an acting job. I was frustrated that I had just finished teacher training and now here I was re-entering the workforce when all I really wanted to be doing was writing. 

During my searching, I found an unpaid internship at a literary agency. I interviewed and he hired me. I was so excited. I would be reading scripts and manuscripts, making comments, and submitting them to him. His office was in Beverly Hills on the same block as Sprinkles Cupcakes. This was exciting to me not only because of cupcakes, but also it was a known celebrity hang-out. I still had shining stars in my eyes. I wanted to be a part of the celebrity world. My heart hung there.

My roommate in L.A. and I used to joke about the culture in L.A. being frozen yogurt. I think cupcakes can be added to that list. Anything fluffy, sweet, clouding the consumer with sparkles and a glow--that is L.A. And I was ready to eat it up.

It was after I found my internship that I found a restaurant job, at a fine dining restaurant hidden on the hill of Little Santa Monica blvd. Life was falling into place. Soon I would be a famous screenwriter who maybe taught yoga, maybe. It was not my priority. Though, I enjoyed doing it I didn't want to be doing it. I wanted to be practicing. Teaching was secondary.

On my first day at my internship I walked in as though I was that beautiful doll in a glass case. Again, I knew everything. No one could tell me anything. After all, I was writing a screenplay, I knew it all. 

It took me less than a week reading other people's screenplays to decide that I didn't want to write screenplays. I didn't want to write a piece of my heart onto the page only to hand it over to a team of people who would alter it to be their own creation. It was from here that I decided to turn my 500 page screenplay into a novel. A small task, right?!?

It took me five years. And now, that piece sits in my computer. It is 215,000 words long, double the size that it should be, and filled with first novel errors. I may rewrite it, one day, or I may move onto something new, but there it sits. In all it's five years of my life glory.

Coinciding with my beginning that process, The Chef decided to move to L.A. He would move in with my roommate and I. I was excited and apprehensive. I had been wondering if we were meant for each other. Were we really right to be together? I loved him, very much, but were we the best match?

It was a tough decision to make. I didn't really make it. I let him make it, a theme in my life I didn't realize existed until very recently.

Happy Monday...xoxoxo

Friday, June 20, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Tequila Revisted

As we learned last week, my first experience with tequila was less than amazing. I got massively fucked up and ruined a lovely relationship. Sometimes, we ruin lovely relationships because we are not in lovely places. It's just the way it goes. We are saving the other person from being tortured by our angst. We may not know that's what is happening--the universe gives us a push and we unravel the relationship on our own. It's what is supposed to happen.

Alcohol and I have a difficult relationship. A friend of mine once said to me, "Yarrow can you only eat hallucinogens? Please, no drinking."

We make questionable decisions while drinking. It's just what happens. I used to make really questionable ones. I don't do well with alcohol. It's just the way it is. In recent years, I've gotten a handle on it, but also, in recent years I don't drink the way I did between the ages of seventeen and nineteen. 

I learned early on that alcohol and I are a dangerous combo. Interestingly, I have also learned that of all the hard alcohol in the world tequila and I do best together. It wasn't until years later that I discovered this. After my hard drinking days were long gone, but like hallucinogens tequila has played an integral role in transitionary phases of my life.

Something about the agave acts as a hallucinogen on me. I maintain my sanity. I don't totally lose my shit while drinking it. I remain clear. What I've always disliked about drinking heavily is that I don't make sound decisions, and while some of these decisions are fun and exciting and make for great stories, some of them are super unconscious and lead to anxiety rather than growth or joy. 

Most times, when I drink tequila I don't have this issue. I guess it's simply the way my body responds to it.

After my night of getting wasted on tequila, I didn't drink it again for another couple of years. I was afraid of it. I had been scarred by my irresponsibility. Plus, I remembered my mom always saying that the nights got crazy when people drank tequila. I have the opposite reaction to it. Much like hallucinogens. My brain functions best on the substances that make others crazy...hmmmm???

It wasn't until I was twenty-five that I drank tequila in an appreciative way, not merely a getting wasted one. It became my go to drink when I went out. And it was the bonding element between The Chef and me. 

We started our relationship drinking tequila and eating. It was here that our bond was formed. At five a.m. on the morning of the Fourth of July we shared our first kiss while drunk on tequila.  It was not a perfect beginning. Neither of us was in a lovely place, but sometimes that is exactly what each person needs.

A few weeks later, on a Saturday after yoga, I went to his apartment. He got in my car and I drove us to Haight Street where we walked into a bar and took a shot of Patron Silver. And it was here that we truly began...

More next week...

Happy Friday...xoxoxo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meditation Mondays: The Aftermath of Teacher Training

This is Meditation Mondays: I have had a long journey to the person who I am today. I was once wrought with anxiety, OCD, and a lack of a connection to myself, who I am, and what I want. This is the story about how I came to be a more connected, self-aware human. Meditation Mondays chronicles my spiritual journey. Thank you for reading...

Start at the!

 Teacher training ended in a blur. It was the the last couple of weeks of November, right before Thanksgiving. I hadn't had a job in almost five months, which was amazing. 

Even though I went to teacher training, I never intended on becoming a teacher. I wasn't really interested in it. When I got out of training, I knew I had to do it. The first class I taught was in Humboldt County, at my mom's home studio. The studio is small, the students are pleasant, and the environment is pretty mellow. True to my perfectionist and know-it-all mentality, I came out of teacher training believing that I was the perfect teacher.

Me? I don't have any room to grow. I know everything--that's how I thought. When I think back on my ways I get so embarrassed. I really was a know-it-all. And if I did make a mistake, or felt inferior in any way, I always had an excuse to back me up. I'm not even sure when this began. I don't recall being that way when I was young. Though, when I was young I wasn't faced with competition. I was an only child who lived in the woods and went to a school where there were like twenty other kids in my class. The competition was minimal.

I wasn't exposed to activities that I wanted to pursue. I wrote bad poetry (that I still have) and wanted to be a supermodel. I never cared about anything enough to pursue it. I viewed myself as a perfect doll encased in glass for people to admire. How fucking embarrassing is that?!?

As I grew into my teen years, I cared about my boyfriend (another way of being admired) and then when he broke my heart, thank fucking GOD, I started to care about school. It was there that my brain came alive. The brain that my stepfather, and one other person in my life, had already recognized as being beautiful.

With the evolution of my brain came insecurities. Ignorance really can be bliss. The more I knew the more my brain apun in analytical circles until all that was happening was the mental masturbation of nothing. I was accomplishing nothing. 

It is from there that I had to learn to simplify. Take the complicated stories I had written in my head and streamline them into what my purpose is on this planet. This is an incredibly difficult process. Though, I had begun this process years before, it wasn't until after teacher training that I was really ready to face these imperfections in me.

Prior to teacher training, I hadn't accepted that I had imperfections and that it was my imperfections that made me the most beautiful. I still wanted to be the perfect doll in the glass case. The Devil made me feel like that doll. It was one of the reasons I dated (read: had sex with) him for so long. I liked that he made me feel treasured. This wasn't a very real way to exist in life. When I got out of teacher training I was taking on new responsibility. I was becoming a teacher and I was about to embark on my writing journey.

Both of these new pieces in my life would force me to truly examine myself, my perfectionism, and my ability to take constructive criticism. They would force me to grow and expand in ways I never dreamed possible. And it all started when I flew up to my mom's house in Humboldt County and saw The Chef for the first time in several months.

He drove up from SF to see me. It had been so long since I'd seen him that I barely felt like I knew him anymore. I was uncertain whether or not I wanted to be with him. I had spent so many months alone and I had big dreams and goals. I wasn't certain we wanted the same things. But, when I opened my mom's front door, and he was standing in it, all I wanted to do was hug him. I knew he was supposed to be there. We were supposed to be together during this time.

I wasn't strong enough to stand on my own. I needed support. I needed a wing to hide under while I entered the careers that would crack me open, reveal every piece of insecurity I'd ever had, and eventually lead me to let go of my anxiety, my OCD, and allow me to become whole. 

Happy Monday...xoxoxo