Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nice to Meet You


My name is Kate.  

And I am a person.  

I have a personality.  I have intellect, wit, a suffering sense of humor, interests, disinterests.  I have a heart that can be broken and feelings that can be hurt.  I have a world inside of that heart and a maze in my head and I exist.  I exist

I am the sum of my experiences- the choking laughter and tears- every bit of good and every bit of bad- all the grace and all the curse- every mile logged on foot, on wheel, or in the air.

I am not just the sum of my caloric intake.  

I am not merely flesh and bones.  There is a being housed in those bones, spirit contained within the skin. 

I am not fodder, I am not grist for the mill.

I am not an object, I am not a subject, I am not a rumor up for discussion and whispering.  

And until next time, it is truly nice to meet all of you.  Again. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

But February Made Me Shiver...


Another blog.  But not an Obsession...- nor a rant about Holidays or any other special moments.

Instead I have decided to post something- an ill-fated article- that I wrote very nearly a year ago.  I am posting it for several reasons- not the least of which is because life is what is; and I am who I am.


Yoga Works

“Yoga works.  It just works.”

These words- which leaked delicately from my lead yoga teacher’s mouth the first day of Teacher Training- would change my life.  Or rather, change my perception of the value of my life.  They would come to define a 25 day intensive which- and I cannot say this in any clearer way- literally saved my life.  Yoga works.  It does.  It works on more levels than any of us are truly capable of comprehending.  But to understand how yoga works, you may need to know a little about what the yoga was working on.. 

A little over nine months ago, I suffered a loss so profound that my own little world collapsed around me.  I slipped, skidded, and starved my way through the next several days weeks and months, falling into a numbing, self-loathing and terrifyingly desperate depression.  I have never before suffered from depression so these feelings (or lack thereof) were new in a bad way, new in a way that allowed me to think suicidal thoughts without even batting an eye at them. 

How deep did my depression go?  I allowed myself to begin to die.

I am anorexic.   I am an anorexic.  And I say this without shame but with knowledge and experience.  I have struggled with and against this disease from the age of 15.  I am now 27 years old and at five feet, nine inches tall, I weigh a whopping 94 pounds.  This time last year, I was a deliciously athletic 125.  I did yoga, I ran, I played in the sun constantly.  I hiked, biked, swam.  I was golden.  Now I am pale.  And usually pretty cold. 

But fighting- a little worn for the wear but working my way back toward fighting form. 

Today, I am nowhere near the same person that I was a little over nine months ago.  But change is a funny thing.  I changed for the worse; I changed for the better.  And then, toward the end of January of 2012, I took a real chance on change and flew to New Zealand for an opportunity for true restoration (Okay, okay, I admit it, I think of it more as fleeing the country than just taking a healing holiday in a different hemisphere).  I desperately needed to get away from the space (head space, heart space, physical space) that I had simultaneously created and destroyed in the wake of depression and anxiety.  I needed to take drastic measures in order to survive.  And so, from the first of February until the twenty-fifth I lived ‘Ashram-style’ at a retreat on the Coromandel Peninsula where I learned the art of teaching yoga (and it most certainly is an art form).

Each day I woke at 5:30; engaged in morning postures and pranayama; meditated; participated in Karma Yoga (acts of cleaning, gardening, work which enhanced the general atmosphere of the retreat as well as the spiritual and emotional); more postures; had classes upon classes upon classes about everything from Chakras to the nature of teaching to ‘what exactly is the diaphragm?’; more meditation; a class here and there on pranayama; attended lectures and specialty seminars on Ayurveda and anatomy; participated in nightly kirtans and discussions.  My life, which I had neglected for so long in the wake of loss and grief heartache, began to re-assume and reassert itself in this atmosphere of learning, loving, working, and breathing. 

Yoga works. 

Everything I believed about yoga to begin with- everything I had learned in my own studies and in my individual and taught practices- was confirmed throughout this experience.  Trust me when I declare that daily affirmation of belief is a powerfully beautiful thing.  I experienced, learned, and took to heart, every single day, something new, something potent, and something spiritual.  Something healing. 
The universe opens to those who practice yoga- the universe and so much more.

You see, that is how Yoga Worked for me and Works for me.  During this intensive, the universe was just the beginning of what opened to me personally.  Yoga works because it opened myself to me.  It reopened my heart space and head space and my physical space so that I could see them again; meet them and converse with them.  I truly believe that I am alive now, still breathing and being, because of yoga.  I rediscovered the gift of living.  I like to think that I had some part in this rediscovery, but the yoga really had much more to do with it.  Learning how to drop into yourself is a great way to remember that you have a self.  That you have a self worthy of existing.

My grand realization during the yoga intensive was (and continues to be) that I have a right to be here.  And it is a right that anorexia cannot take away from me- that depression, anxiety, sleepless nights, and heartbreak cannot take away from me.  The universe is mine- it belongs to all of us and we belong to it.  We are one in the same- you me and the universe.  All we need to connect to each other and to the BIG other is a little pranic energy, a little belief in ourselves, and a whole lot of breath awareness.   

The power of yoga constantly astounds me.  I find joy, true, elated, sacred joy, in every posture, every pranayama, every mediation.  Every connection to every person, feeling, and world.  The choice to become an instructor of this ancient practice was a terribly easy one- it hardly even counted as Choice.  But in the end, the choice to become a yoga instructor was really the choice to become- to become alive, connected.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Rant

I like how facebook is asking me how I am, these days.  How I am?  How am I... indeed....

I am, thanks for asking fb, dangerously close to becoming that which I loathe most in the world- fearful.  A fearful person.  And I have never, never been fearful (my weird pathological phobias of spiders and giant squid... and childbirth... don't count).  I have never, never allowed fear to dictate the terms of any decision I have made or make.

But here I am, becoming fearful.  Becoming a mouse.

That's how I am, facebook.  So glad to address your concern and obvious interest in the state of my being.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I should add two things to my obsessions... Stripes and Tunics.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A New Obsessions List

With some old favorites... I know I know.. I really AM obsessed.  Totally.  Utterly.  OBSESSED.

So I just discovered Emma Stine's colorful, tasteful, and perfectly sweet website.  And I would love to reward myself for this charming little discovery by getting myself a little something.  Too bad I'm broke like a joke.... like a bad joke.  Reward- cancelled.

Oh Lord.  ARGO.  I don't think I have stopped raving about it's brilliance since seeing it with Mom.  Not only intensely driven, but absolutely wicked one-liners.

I'm not sure that I haven't blogged about this website before, but I dig it (as confirmed by my use of a double negative... booyah).  I especially dig my new board Girl Crushes- to which I should add Florence Welch.  Duh.

This show.  I hated it at first, thought it only irritating, but now I find that Johnny Lee Miller grows on me every time he opens his snarky, deliciously British mouth.  And Lucy Lui sports some wicked duds.

This photo.  Thank you BBC- and all the photographers who added to it.

Also, I should probably give a big shout out to BBC in general.  Their online news is the only I follow. I fell in love with it during my time in China and have remained faithful since.  Their coverage is not only globally aware, it is (to borrow from myself) deliciously British.

Watches.  It's weird, I know.  And I'm sure that my growing obsession with time reveals some deep dark secret about my psyche.  But I'm also sure that my psyche is already deep enough and dark enough without us delving into the provocation provided by the constant tick-tick-ticking of that tiny second-hand.  So let us leave that to another day and another blog.

Despite what it does to my beleaguered system, I drink this tea nearly everyday.

Hmm... I suppose that's enough for now, eh friends?  Until next time, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.