August 25, 2012

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I've been feeling a bit lonely lately and I couldn't put my figure on why until earlier today. What I realized is that my teaching position is anything but lonely - I have to be 100% on all the time. The result is that when I get home I want to be 100% quiet. Over the past year, since starting the Yoga Advanced Studies Program, my personal time has become extremely personal with lots of asana, pranayama and meditation. This has been wonderful for making space in my mind and heart, but somewhat isolating.

As I reflected on my feelings of loneliness I realized that I don't have a community. In fact, I've given up quite a few communities this past year. First, I moved away from my lovely neighbors when I bought my own place. Second, my favorite yoga class with Nancy Leigh-Smith on Saturdays has ended and I no longer practice with my long-time yoga family. Third, I have taken one foot out of the non-profit arts world now that I am teaching full time in Fashion. And fourth, I am no longer the Co-Chair of C2Arts the Community of Practice that I co-founded four years ago.

Simplification has been my goal and I've achieved it. Instead of seeing this as a problem, I'm framing it as an opportunity. Now I can make a deliberate choice of how to define my own community. 

Creating art - photography? Writing?
Practicing yoga

What I what I would like is a "third place" other than home and work. Not a club, coffee shop or bar yet someplace like Cheers, where everybody knows my name. Someplace where I am not in front of a computer, iPad or iPhone but actually interacting with people.

August 20, 2012

How Many Ikea Associates

does it take to get a price on a vase? Four, including the manager and 25 minutes. Plus, they held up the entire line to go search for the price in the computer. The whole time they were laughing like this was some kind of training test and not dealing with real customers. Cost-benefit analysis? Loss.

August 14, 2012

The Present: A Blend of Memory and Fantasy

At Vickie Russell Bell's yoga retreat last week, she had us focus on the present. Sure, sounds easy but actually it is a very difficult practice. Her guiding thoughts were that there is nothing real but the present; the past is just memory and the future just fantasy. This idea encouraged me to notice my present. What I recognized is that I'm in a constant state of memory-fantasy-blending.

Throughout the day, as I let myself relax, often I am mingling memories of the past with fantasies of the future. One depends on the other and become blended as my mind contemplates, day dreams, plots, and analyzes. Is this being present? The only solution I could find to anchoring myself in the here-and-now was to focus on my breath, noticing it move through my body. Usually this lasts a few moments and I again float into the merger of past and future.

My memory-fantasy world is a well developed place. I have all kinds of alternate realities in this "Amy World". But I also noticed that many of the roads lead to frustration an disappointment. My creative mind spins all kinds of scenarios and often I grab on to one and take it for a ride. These adventures are reckless and exciting but often end in crashes with reality.

Being present is hard work.

August 12, 2012

Pickup Cirque Video

Oops - that was a note-to-self email that went to the blog instead.

Here's the Cirque du Soleil video we are using in Human Resources to discuss management of creative talent: Cirque du Soleil The Fire Within. The students love that we use it for case studies throughout the course.

August 11, 2012

Best ER Experience

Got glass in my foot and Alta Bates on 34th in Oakland tokl care of me, in and out, in 30 minutes.

August 10, 2012

Yoga Under the Redwoods

Had a lively at a yoga retreat with Vickie Russell Bell up in Sonoma County.

August 9, 2012

Student Pride

My students presented their midterm projects and I was so impressed with all of their work. I feel like we're building a community of practice in the school, one that provides connection and support between all classes and programs. Seeing these students graduate actually makes me sad because I miss them when they leave the nest. However, once they are launched into the professional sector I can witness them change the world and even collaborate with them as colleagues as they progress in their careers.