Monday, December 19, 2011

Attn: Lovely ladies of Lexington, and beyond

I’m just going to throw another odd bone out there and see what bites. I’ve got an idea, first aimed at my fellow massage school mates, but actually I’d love to share it with others. I notice that while I am FAR from mature-perfected-confident in any massage modalities, I do have strong body mechanics and I fully attribute them to my long-gone belly dancing days.

I never was or will be some flowing, undulating dance goddess, by a long shot, but six years of dancing did teach me a lot. It took me a very long time to find my core/stance/base/what-have-you in bellydance, but once I did I was entirely changed; physically and mentally I became far more solid, as well as movable (like bone and muscle!) Once I had that tool I was able to progress as a dancer without pain. I hear too often that massage therapists (though it can be any profession really) quit after just a few years due to overwork and/or bodily injury. I imagine much of this is not overworking our bodies but misusing our bodies. Of course they are teaching us to use our bodies correctly in school, which is wonderful, but I have an idea to start a bit of a group anyhow. I am not a teacher or master at bellydance, (or nutrition or farming for that matter!) but just someone with some experience I’d love to share to anyone who’s interested. I have no ego or issues about what LHAA is teaching us, just throwing out there that if anyone wants to spend some more time working on their core, and have fun learning some dance moves and stretches, maybe we should get together! Art, dance, massage, cooking, they are all so similar-we can be given the toolbox, but what we will actually create with them is by far the most challenging, and most rewarding point in the journey of our various practices. I don’t intend to teach anyone to bellydance, but I can teach what I have learned from my years dancing about how to hold the body correctly, and move. Just as Anne keeps telling us-massage is a practice, not a perfection, and while I can find my core I need practice staying in it while focusing on someone else’s body.

This is not some kind of selfless act or anything, don’t get me wrong. As winter approaches and I no longer live on a farm, my days are spent more and more indoors and in cars and not moving my body. It’s so silly how much time we spend finding ways to “justify” our greatest passions because we don’t have time and obviously can live without them. The excuses get me through the days, and life is truly wonderful right now, but priorities are in constant flux, and movement is high on the list again. It may be nuts to try to add this to my week, but heck, I loved to dance once, surely the time I make for it will in fact increase the beauty of my days, which is a desire far greater than to have more hours. I, not unlike most people, find it’s much easier to get motivated for an exercise class, even if I already know what it entails, than to do it alone at home.

My house would be a great place to start as there are two large un-rented rooms. Some mirrors would help, but we can certainly work without them. Since this is geared towards my classmates I’d say getting sweaty before a Fundamentals class would be less than ideal, and we have a test to cram for for nearly every Anatomy class, so maybe before any “other” classes, like Ethics? I’m generally off work at 3 weekdays, so a 4-5 sort of thing may work, or even 4:30-5:30. Weekends are a possibility too, though I’m guessing anyone from out of town isn’t going to make an extra trip. I also have the totally geeky ulterior motive of using this as a study opportunity! Maybe it’s a long shot, but I’m sure we can talk in muscles, bones and movements when describing stretches and dance moves.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m writing this to women only, not to be exclusive, but to respect a rare space for us. I’ve taught and attended classes both ways and it’s truly remarkable how differently women behave and feel with merely one man in the room versus none. While we all enjoy the bountiful holiday meals and family time, mull over this and maybe we can kick off the new year with some dance!

Friday, December 9, 2011

belated updating

I know, I know, it’s been forever again since I’ve written. But I am keeping busy. Sadly the UK CSA season is over and I spend most days indoors, fast becoming a pansy in the cold. It’s one of the most difficult adjustments, though there are many, this whole being indoors all the time thing. It feels so unnatural, so small. My eyes haven’t had to see beyond the distance of a few blocks in far too long. I miss the space on a farm, and being able to see such great distances, across the landscape during the day, into the sky at night. But, complaints aside, “home” is the often intangible, but very real place I have built with Josh, and the infrastructure grows more solid by the day. Ever tried to put a nail into an old barn door? Very difficult, that’s the strength I’m talking about. Forgive the ogling, I’m just so freaking happy with him.

Though we have left the country, we have not left our homesteading education and continue to practice every day; for the health of our bodies and the savings in our pocket books. We’ve begun getting real milk again and are turning a gallon a week into butter, yogurt, cheese, and maybe a cup or two of cocoa. I’m trying to move away from refined sugars and gluten, but that’s a story for later. Our greatest success lately has been an incredible batch of super spicy kimchi and a very beety batch of sauerkraut from produce from the farm. I absolutely love making this stuff, and raving about its healing properties, but I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone because I have such a difficult time eating it. The kimchi is too spicy for me to eat, just a sniff makes me cough, and though kraut makes me feel amazing, it’s still such a foreign taste! My days of living solely off of mac n cheese, cheerios and bread are long gone, but that comfort with blandness still defines so many of my food preferences (I have found home style mac n cheese to be a great canvas for the sauerkraut, by the way) I’m just a ways behind Josh, who will eat any fermented product alone by the forkful. He started another three crocks of much milder kraut the other day, just for me, so I’ll have to get into that soon.

The majority of my time is not spent in our kitchen, but at school and work. For the few that don’t know, I’m studying to be a Licensed Massage Therapist at LHAA. And I’m very much enjoying it! I’ll have to write more on it another time, but I will say it’s amazing how something I had no plans for turned out to work so well for me. As for work, well yes I do have a town job, no need to run on about how it’s going; once you’ve worked for yourself anything less is pretty disappointing. While chatting with my mom awhile back about said job and its annoyances I told her it was like she raised us kids to be continuously discontent, and she said, “Well, yea!” And, realizing it was silly to complain about having the ability to understand you’re worth something, I had to thank her. She expressed similar feelings about her job before starting her own business, and has since turned into a serial entrepreneur, as well as “totally unemployable” Ha, so great, I’ve got this wellspring of pride and desire to do great things, just not the cash flow to get them started. Well, hopefully it’s only a year until I can really get some big bites taken out of my loan debt. Josh and I are tracking our income and expenses religiously, with the guidance of Your Money or Your Life. We stay afloat and keep up, but getting ahead-actually towards something (land!)-will take time and greater income. So I am very much looking forward to being an LMT. Graduation is December 2012, inshallah, so we will be living in Lexington at least until then.

This blog will go back to being written from my perspective, not from our business, but a word on Josh now anyhow. He’s is doing very well too! He has been hired on for research work in the six high tunnels at the same farm as the UK CSA. He’s also in the process of applying for the Teach Kentucky program, which is majorly exciting, and so fitting.

That’s all the blathering I can muster for today, maybe I’ll update again soon, maybe not. I hope you all are well, enjoyed Thanksgiving and look forward to more holidays.