Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Anger and Shame

Today we had a surreal experience. Our doctor drew blood from each of us from the car, with our arm stuck out the window.

A whole bunch of tests for CK and a more extensive lipids panel for me since my cholesterol was a little high this past winter.

I'm trying hard not to obsess over it.

On the drive home I told CK about getting stuck in my anger at my peer. She's had her own "nemesis" experiences, so she really gets it.

When I shared how I'm feeling a lot of shame because it's anger about yoga stuff, she said the best thing.

"Never be ashamed of your anger!"

I was floored and got all weepy and needed hugs.

My session this week looked at how I learned very quickly to compartmentalize unacceptable emotions. Anger was near the to of the list of emotions I was forbidden from expressing. When I feel angry, I always feel shame.

She then suggested I have a more restful day, that it was OK to rest today and play video games even if I want to do that tomorrow too.


Integrity Between Peers

I have a peer I've struggled with for five years. We're very close in age and level of training, they've taken more than I have at this point.

They never can wholeheartedly compliment accomplishments of mine. I've introduced them to a professional marketing group that's running an online yoga therapy conference. I submitted two talks, versions of the ones I was accepted to give at two different conferences that were to have happened this year.

I haven't been accepted, but my peer apparently has and it's really irritating me. I introduced her to this and the idea of giving these tasks. I'm having a hard time letting it go.

It feels so unfair because I recently had my last conversation with them where I gently corrected some problematic language they used around race. They responded with a social media post that misrepresents our conversation in a way to bolster their problematic language use and gather in sympathy.

I feel like this person has no integrity and they're gaslighting me with their post. It leaves me feeling livid. For them to succeed at something I was trying to do myself, and I failed, feels unjust.

Which is why I have insomnia tonight.

Well, all that and I feel ashamed of feeling this way. I feel like I'm not doing my yoga to be so angry at this person I seeing as having bad integrity getting chosen over me. It makes me feel selfish and petty.

I've been punished on multiple occasions for my "competitiveness", and this feels like the same energy. If I can't let go of this I'm a problem.

At therapy I said I was going to try and keep in mind times when it feels like I'm not fitting in. This feels like that to since I've tried for years with this peer to have a mutually supportive connection. Times like this I tend to feel like I'm the bad one.

In reality, times when I don't fit in have been times when when the group (e.g., my family) or the person, is toxic.

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Are We Going Forward

We had a decent Supreme Court ruling on recent weeks, but this morning saw a terrible rolling. I think of that saying, "One step forward. Two steps back."

Except I really am not sure we've gone forward in a while. I'm feeling disillusioned tonight. I'm wondering how we can get to Canada when the borders are closed. I'm wondering when the masks I ordered will get here.

I had physical therapy today and IW worked on my jaw and the drainage of my ears. Any time we work on my jaw at all it's uncomfortable and it wakes up anxiety, trauma. Holding all that, and Tuesday was trauma therapy day, in perspective.

I'm excited about my new gardening tools!

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Eddies of Rage

I felt pretty good at the end of therapy today and physically even better after soaking in a floatation tank right afterwards. I am so grateful to find out that the float center had opened up. I'm treating myself to one after therapy for the next few sessions. My body had been hurting so much.

CK and I had minor conflict around dinner, exacerbated by the world at large. It left me feeling like such a failure.

I never ended up eating dinner. My stomach is still upset. I had some digestive biscuits which seem to will better for me these days than saltines.

So often on therapy I'm dealing with the fallout of being considered too emotional, too wierd, too much. Anger was a forbidden emotion. I found ways to express it by physically separating myself from them, but I never integrated it. My brain wasn't capable of integration, compartmentalizing was the best it could do.

I likened trauma therapy to pulling out all these pressure-sealed compartments and breaking them open in a controlled way. They're potentially explosive, so going into them can feel like being blown back or caught up in the swirling eddies of rage that were once locked up tight by my child self.


Digging Out

The past couple of days we've been cutting overgrown shrubs and cleaning off the patio. We're slowly making progress on tasks that we've been stuck on. It feels good energetically even if my body hurts.

Dinner was a flop. We were able to discuss what didn't work and that feels like success. In part a mismatch of my really simple desire tonight, something that could be fixed with a better sauce, peanut sauce at that!

Floats are open!! Have been since June 20th, but I only just thought to check. I was even able to get one right after therapy tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to the float so much, my body really could use it!



Today I raked off the patio and began trimming the first of our several Japanese Maples. There's still debris to bag up, especially since CK also began trimming some of our shrubs, but it already is a huge improvement.

This year I'm reclaiming the pond from the grass. I wish I could make all the grass go away for the most part, but especially the grass near the pond!

While we were outside doing all that I was getting texts from AF asking if we needed groceries and telling me that donuts were coming unless I replied back, "No!". Since I was raking and cutting things, I left me phone on the table, ignored. By the time I saw it, I only needed to open the front door and there were surprise donuts!

I realized that I heard very few explosions this evening, none for the past 45 minutes or more (it is just now midnight), and I'm really grateful.



Some things my students named this morning when I asked them to share what freedom meant to them:

  • Choices
  • Love
  • Inclusive/Including & Responsibility
  • Movement
  • Breathe
  • Good sense to live a life of service to others
  • Lightness, ease, & abundance

I then asked them to notice how related all these things are. Then we considered how each thing on the list is not a fixed point.

If we stop attending to our abundance we no longer have abundance.

In this way we began to unpack the wise words of Angela Davis, that freedom is a constant struggle.

I spent much of the rest of the day trying not to feel enraged at every shriek of group laughter from the neighbor's. It's 01:05 and I just heard another firework.

I loathe the Fourth of July with a passion this year especially.


Shopping is Exhausting

I went to WinCo for the first time since March today and I'll need to go back soon to pick up a special bulk order. It was busy, but masks are required now so it made it a little less stressful. No one was without one and people kept distance fairly well.

I was dismayed to see carts filled with party supplies. What is there to celebrate and why aren't people staying home!? That and the folks waiting until they last possible moment to put on mask and pulling it off right away.

I felt grumpy the rest of the day, still feeling that way.


Celebrate What

I had naively hoped there would be a ban on fireworks sales this year. We're still in a pandemic, it isn't getting better, and we should still be physically distancing. Cops are still killing Black people. Cops in Oregon are swearing about the Governor and defying her order to wear a mask indoors.

American individualism and exceptionalism is a failed model.

Society needs people to want to do things for the good of the collective, but we've got a country filled with selfish individuals.

Fireworks were being shot off in the neighborhood tonight. This year it is making me angrier than ever before.

What the fuck is there to celebrate in 2020?

What's worse. People aren't doing it to celebrate anything. They're doing it because they're bored and they find it find to maker loud explosions that upset all the animals and humans sensitive to sudden noise. It's just gross.

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Hello July

Today some trash and yard debris that's been sitting over a year was finally picked up and hauled away. I did a bunch of raking with the small crew to get it done, and I'll be feeling it, but it felt good to be part.

I released a patch set today in the soccer fan group I'm in. It's also something I've been working on for over a year and finally got it out there.

I found a really good home for the majority of my yoga props. I'll still need to deal with straps, which students will claim, and mats, which will be donated. The bolsters, blocks and blankets are going to a yoga foundation, run by an amazing Black woman, that supports people who've experienced domestic violence.

It's been a good day even if I'm up too late again!