Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No New Car

It's official for the moment. I'm not getting a new car. I guess I should make sure the car dealer who really wants me to take over his lease knows all that. He called me again today. Anyways, John sold his car yesterday and I've still got the Echo. My plan now is to take it to the States and put new tires on while I'm there. It might be hot in the car for Remi, but that's how it's been for years and it's not going to change now! I'll wait out the car situation and see what happens in the next little while. I found out tonight in class and then it was confirmed on the news on CBC that leasing is going to change. So we'll wait and see.

Yoga. Of course, there's lots about yoga everyday in my life. Yesterday as I was at CHEO and I bumped into quite a few graduates from the EDP. They were so bright and happy and what a treat for me to see them again! Working with those guys is so different than many of the other classes I teach because I see them twice a week and it's a tight group.

And I met with Catherine and Robert today about the yoga teacher training. I'm going to be the "lead teacher," and it was nice to see their support. I'm looking forward to being in that role and it's also challenging too.

On another note, I enjoyed giving a Thai massage to Tara today. She agreed to offer her body for my practice and I got through all of what I know so far. I really like doing it. It feels so good to get it and I know how that is, so I enjoy doing it for other people. I can hardly wait to learn the rest of the Thai massage routine! I'm keeping a list of who else wants me to practice on them, so let me know if you want to be on the list!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Had Fun at the Forum Yesterday

I went to Montreal yesterday to be on the production team for the Landmark Forum. I had so much fun. As a yoga teacher, I work alone a lot of the time, and sometimes I long for a team. I miss the social interactions that come with "going to work." So spending the day on a team in action satisfied some of that craving. I felt useful and got to do lots of different tasks and I like that.

Helping out for the day was a way that I could get a "hit" of the Forum work without actually having to go for the whole weekend as a participant. But as I was sitting in the back I noticed I was making plans for when I could put my bum back in that chair again...

My life goes better when I'm immersed in the "conversation" that happens during Landmark Education courses. I talk to my family more. I'm more relaxed. I get to remind myself to stop blaming other people or situations for why things are. It makes me feel more in control of my life and helps me see where I've been acting like a victim even though I know better.

I know that clearing things out is a process - with physical things as well as subtle things. I do it once and then after it starts to collect again, I do it again. It's like vacuuming - as an old friend from Omega used to say, "it's like vacuuming. You do it once and then six months later, you have to do it again." (It's a joke!)

Going back to the Forum is like getting more coaching. I'm not an athlete, but from what I've seen, most of them have coaches, even though they might not "need" them. Surely they're better than their coaches in many cases. But they use a coach to help them see what they don't. I use a personal trainer at the gym for education and motivation. It just works better that way for me. So taking a weekend workshop can be like getting some coaching in life.

If you haven't come to an Introduction and you would like to hear more about it, let me know and I'll set something up (I'm totally trained to do that now!). And if you're into yoga, or you're a yoga teacher and want to freshen up, the Landmark Forum would be an awesome complement to your practice. Speaking of being a yoga teacher, I'd better hurry up and get to class!


I realized as I was making my toast that I didn't really say what happened and I kind of made it nice. It was nice but what I really got yesterday is how awesome my life is. I love my life. And one of the things I've done to make it great is I do hard stuff. So when people from Ottawa were complaining about how far it is to go to Montreal for the seminar that's included in the Forum I ended up at the mike sharing about how I live in Ottawa too. Plus have a kid, etc., and loads of good excuses why I can't do something and it reminded me of how much fun it is to do stuff that's hard! Someone I know lives in Ottawa and actually works in Toronto. That's tough. But she has a life that she loves and an awesome role that makes a huge contribution to society (thanks to being a human rights lawyer). That's inspiring. Things I've done that I'm proud of aren't the things that came simply and easy to me, they're the things I was deliberate at and had to take a big swing at. And there were loads of lululemon people there. Chip was the one who told me again about the Landmark Forum and he built his business on helping people have great lives. Hearing those guys moan about how far it is, it just reminded me of myself because that's what I said. And check me out now. I could to Ottawa - Montreal with my eyes closed. (But I don't. I keep my eyes open. Unless I don't have to. But usually I'm awake on the drive...)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Wave has Crashed

So the wave of car confusion has crashed and it's all quiet on the beach for a bit. That was a fun ride. I drove new cars, got lots of great ideas, and I'm still looking at a Toyota Echo in my parking spot. I'm sure the wave will come again and I'll be reviewing this over and over.

My sister reminded me I do like to drive and that when I got the Echo I was making a compromise and that it would be totally in my nature to have a car I love to drive. She's right! So perhaps I'll get around to calling some ads for fun cars and see what I like to drive again. I know I won't love driving a big car that costs a ton to fill up. I already gasp filling up my tank for 45 bucks. But a previously posh car could be fun. Something with a sunroof and stick shift works for me...

It's really okay to have preferences. Our preferences even help us let go of attachment. If we didn't get a bit attached, we wouldn't get to practise letting go! I'm a bit attached to having computers around, for instance. But not so attached that I can't lend them out to people in need ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Car for Sale

I am at the point of trying to sell my car now and just get a new one. So if you're interested in a great Toyota Echo 2005 sedan, let me know! (It's only got 63,500 kms, and if you'd rather lease it, that's an option too - 15 months left.) I'm still at the computer comparing prices and looking at other cars with features and what others are selling their cars for and importing a cheaper car from the States and which new ones qualify for the rebate from the government and getting out of my lease early and then I took a break at Megan Butcher's site, which took me to another site and the next thing I know, I'm laughing my head off at this cake story. I can't vouch for the rest of the site, but just that one story made me laugh so hard I thought I'd tell you about it.

So much for my making a decision really quick about the car. On another note, I had a little whisper from my old friend, Gurubelle, and she said it didn't matter about the car. It won't make a difference. "Get the car, don't get the car, it won't make a difference." Hmph. She's probably right.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Car Story

There's not a lot more to tell. I really like the RAV4 and the idea of it. It felt good as you may have read. But I didn't like the idea of a high monthly payment just to have bells and whistles on a car that I would never have put on myself. And I was working things out in the payment calculator at Toyota but I was having trouble figuring something out and I called my guy to clarify something I was looking at. He took that as an opportunity to refresh his offer to take over his lease and sweeten the pot by adding another grand to the deal.

Be still my beating heart. Surely this is a bad time to buy a car period, let alone a car that will use more gas than my little Echo is using now.

On the other hand, I will need to put in another $1000 on my little car to get new tires, to fix a small smudge on the bumper and I still won't have air conditioning this summer with Remi. The RAV4 is ready for winter. It's ready for summer. It's just ready.

I am not the splurging type, let's face it. I don't dye my hair, I don't buy new clothes, I don't wear expensive jewelry, and it's been in part due to necessity but also it has become part of my identity. To be frugal and simple. But I don't wannabe that anymore! And that's what Nina said would happen. She said once they got their RAV4 then the bedroom furniture started looking a bit tired. I know it's the beginning of wanting.

John said he didn't think that was a bad thing and that wanting more or better could just be a stretching thing (he didn't say it like that), and that it would make you grow more. Or something like that. Basically, it wasn't a bad thing to want to make things better in your life, which I agree with, as long as you don't suffer where you are while you're growing.

And then there was a message from the car dealer on my phone just to call him. By the time I got the message it was too late to talk to him, so I'll have to call him now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shiva, the Destroyer (or Bye-Bye South-Side Stands)

In a couple of minutes the south-side stands at Lansdowne Park are coming down. I'm watching it on the webcam just because I happen to be home at this time to watch. Why not, it could be cool. I heard on the radio Friday that they basically are just breaking the beams that hold everything up and then gravity takes over - it's not an "explosion," it's an "implosion." It'll be neat.

Shiva is the aspect of god that destroys or breaks things down. Everything comes to an end and that energy is part of creation and life itself.

I think the guy just said "three minutes to take down." Cooool. Oh now my screen just went blank! I can hear the whoop of the alarm and there's no picture! Now it's back. Gone again. I hope that Rogers gets this fixed before anything "happens."

Shiva's not bad, although lots of us fear the Destroyer, and sometimes we call on Shiva to help us end things in our lives we're ready to have gone. Shiva's just a part of the cycle.

Here we go! Screen went black again! There's a countdown but no picture :( Lots of noise but I can't see anything... I guess I'll check back later for the instant replay. Something's happening, lots of dust, noise, (but the video isn't exactly "streaming" oh Dear Sympatico.)

Go Shiva, Go!

(I came back to it a few minutes later and the replay is much better.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Car Shopping

Yesterday I went back to the Toyota dealer and took in John's car for appraisal to see if he could get anything close to what he'd like for it as a trade in, as he's trying to sell it anyways (it's a Ford Taurus in case you are in the market for a used car). The answer is he'd get not enough to make a difference either way so we figured we wouldn't try to factor that in to the purchase of a new car.

Then we drove a manual Yaris, the one I'd "bought" the other day but hadn't driven, and I didn't like it. John thought it was okay, but I just didn't feel good in it. Then we drove a Matrix for the hell of it and that was okay but the thing I really liked about it was the sun roof. If you've read this blog for a while, you will know I drove a car with a sun roof (after discovering the sun roof some time into my ownership of the car) and I really liked that. Then we drove a Yaris hatchback, which I actually liked better than the sedan. But it wasn't great and I had wanted to drive an automatic car - my leg was so sore after my drive back from Toronto last week - and I thought maybe it was time to go for an automatic - but they didn't have one on the lot.

We were just about to leave the shop when we took another look at the Matrix and were discussing how it was more comfortable and more grown-up and fun to drive and the sales guy said, "if you're willing to pay that much for the Matrix, why don't you check out MY car? It's a RAV4." We thought, why not, and took it for a drive. Wow. That was a car we fell in love with. It was automatic, had a sun roof, was high up (we're short so that was kind of cool to feel tall), and it was just an awesome car. And then we said we'd think about it and left the dealership.

I mean a RAV4? For me as a yoga teacher? For me as a mom driving around and going to the States on trips and going to Montreal for classes and as someone who lives in the long winters of Ottawa, a RAV4 might make sense. But most of my car use is around town just getting to classes and back. And the main thing is the price difference. The payments on the guy's lease would be almost double the Yaris payment.

I spoke to Nina in TO about her RAV4 and she had similar questions about it for herself, having been an Echo driver as well, and she said her husband really researched it and felt the RAV4 was best for their family's needs right now. After class I spoke to a couple of women who are really into their cars and love driving cars that are fun to drive. Deb has both a convertible Miata and a Volvo. So she was totally supportive of me just driving a car because it's fun - plus it's good in winter, has side airbags in the back for my kid and other passengers, etc.

Then I talk to John and he's like, "why don't you sell your car and use mine?" It's not like we haven't discussed that option. I just didn't want to drive a 6-cylinder monster of a car that older people would drive. I mean my grandmother drove a Taurus some years ago. But it makes sense.

It was so fun to sit in a car that we both loved and could see ourselves in. And yoga is about thriving after all, not just surviving. And if I thought I could think about those car payments and relax, I would probably get the RAV4. But that sense of relaxation just isn't coming at the moment. Maybe that's me living small and just sticking with what I know and being comfortable, but for now, it makes my brain go quiet and peaceful to not imagine the leap it would be to drive a sparkly, tinted-windowed, sunroofed, rustproofed, beautiful, big car.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


So now I can take my time looking at cars (I am going for a test drive in a few minutes back with my guy from the other day), and I found this on the internet. It sounds great! Cutting edge, makes sense, great idea and cute design, and then I read this. The government is not helping these cars get on the roads in Canada.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Changed My Mind

I changed my mind. I prefer to think of it as "I participated in my culture," and that includes returning things if I change my mind.

After I got home and the reality of what I'd done sank in, I realized that that deal wasn't going to work for me. As I was talking to the guy in the first place I said, "what if I change my mind?" He replied, "we cancel the deal." And that was that. It was more than that, if you really want to know.

It's not the first time I've changed my mind. I could get into how many choices I've made knowing that I would think a little harder if I knew I couldn't undo my choice. Given the choice to choose and then unchoose or choose again, leaves me with a lot of freedom to do so, so I do. I try things out. But in the case of this car, I didn't even take it for a test drive.

I went in to get my car appraised and find out what my options were. And I know that one of my options is to get a brand new car whenever I feel like it. And I know that there are many smiling men sitting in lonely showrooms who will be happy to help me when the mood strikes me again.

It was especially after my short ride with Rob after yoga last night that I realized I really had been hasty. So I texted Dave when I got home asking him to call me today. I called him later in the morning after he didn't call and told him I hadn't taken the time to fall in love with the car, which is true, and that he had done it all right and it was me that had rushed myself, which is also true. He said the business manager at the dealer needed to be called and I asked if he wouldn't mind doing that and he was fine with it and I called the insurance people and that was that.

I feel a bit embarrassed but also relieved. I think I just wanted a little more drama in my life for a minute.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A New Car!

Before I went to Toronto last week, I made an appointment to go in and get my car appraised and see about getting a new one, which seemed like a wild thing to do. "Go and investigate the option of getting out of my lease and getting a new one? Huh?" So today I went in and I bought a new car. It was really easy. And that seems strange. So since I've been home, I've been wondering if I did the "right thing."

Should I have waited? Did I get a good price? Was I too hasty? Am I going to be able to afford it? Will gas prices skyrocket even more and I'll wind up with a car that won't move around?

I'm trying to distract myself and just relax and go back to that place that found it so easy. "I think I'd like to be in a new car. Okay, let's go do that." And then it's done. I mean, really, it was low drama. I pick the car up on Thursday. It's basically the same car I have now but newer and with air conditioning and power windows. Oh, and it has one of those gadgets that opens the door for you. (You can imagine how much I'm going to love that!) Remi is psyched - after that trip home on Sunday where she was basically panting in the back seat - she's now looking forward to our trip to the States in August.

So really, I did great. I had already weighed the pros and cons of having/not having a car given what I do for work and had already arrived at a decision, so I didn't need to go through that again. But somehow I missed having a big back and forth and should I/shouldn't I. It's a relief and a bit weird at the same time.

I'll post a picture of me in my new car once I get one!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Softest Thing in the World

I used to think that the softest thing in the world I have ever touched was my newborn baby's bum. When Remi was born her skin was so soft and buttery and was so so soft I couldn't believe it. And then I touched a small stingray. Wow. Was that ever soft.

Remi and I were tourists this past long weekend (we lengthened it ourselves) in Toronto. I used to live in Toronto growing up, so it was funny to go back and be a total tourist. We did the Eaton Centre, the Science Centre, we rode the subway and bus and streetcar, we went up the CN Tower and even made it to the Toronto Zoo. I wouldn't have even paid the extra admission charge to see the stingrays, but one of Remi's friends made a special point of telling her that she HAD to go to Stingray Bay, so I did the right thing and bought the tickets and we made that our number one stop at the zoo.

Stingrays, who'd have thought? It's the one place I found in the zoo where you could get that close to the animals and actually touch them. They're in a temporary exhibit that will be gone at the end of the summer. If you get a chance to go to Toronto and make it out to the zoo, I highly recommend you pet some stingrays. Super-soft.

On another note, the drive to and from has left my hip in need of some good stretching, which I've been doing a lot of today. I drive a manual car and I'm thinking maybe of switching to something with cruise control. Hmmm. Or just do what I do and enjoy the "rich" stretches afterwards! We've got another long drive coming up this summer when we go to Omega in August. I'm teaching yoga there again during the week that has Family Week in it. So if you're going to Omega August 10-17 and you take optional yoga classes, I'll be your teacher :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More on Metta

So I led the Meditation workshop again on Sunday. (I love that workshop.) During the workshop we try different styles of meditation and chat about it afterwards to see how it worked. We do two that focus on the breath, one that focuses on the body's sensations and one that is guided in a "metta" style, which I've described before.

During the metta meditation we end up at one point imagining someone we're withholding our love from and we send it anyway, even though we may not like that person. It's an interesting experience if you haven't tried it. Anyways, there was someone in the class with cancer and she told me afterwards that the metta thing didn't work for her because part of her practice is to imagine her cancer like someone she hates and try to get them to go away. Wow. I said then that this meditation wouldn't be indicated in her case as it is going against what she's been working with.

I can't imagine hating someone so badly that there's no compassion for them. I wind up feeling some compassion for people or I get to a place where I can imagine they're doing the best they can with what they have and making it not necessarily okay that they're being that way, but I can at least understand that's how they are. Maybe I'm naive and there really are evil people or I've been lucky to have not been around people I hate or maybe I've been brainwashed by a cult or something. I don't believe there are bad people. I believe people do bad things and that we are all capable of doing "bad things" under certain circumstances.

Anyways, if I end up having cancer, I don't think it will work for me to imagine my cancer as something hated to make go away. I can imagine making it go away - my sister told me they're using the idea of popping bubbles that are misshaped with kids - that might work for me. I'm hoping I won't have to find out, but I'm well aware I have no idea how it's going to go!

I learned something for sure and I have a better understanding of what it's like for some people during the meditation we're doing. Another opportunity for me to learn and to be sensitive to other peoples' experiences.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Today is the 4th of July and some of you may know this, I'm an American. So it's appropriate that today is a day of celebration. However, today I'm celebrating something else. I'm actually not teaching my regular yoga class tonight, which I wouldn't miss for anything, because today is Eleanor's birthday.

Eleanor is turning 60 today and she's having a big party. I'm honoured to have been invited so I've got a sub for my class and I'm off to the party. I don't know how long Eleanor has been coming to yoga classes now, but it's been well over a year and maybe it's 2 years. If you have come to a Tuesday night at Rama Lotus then perhaps you've bumped into Eleanor. When she comes, she's usually with Beth, but she's not always with Beth. She has come to class on her own, on occasion.

Eleanor has Down Syndrome, and is perhaps one of the neatest people I have ever met in my life. She's fun and funky and funny too. Turning 60 is a big accomplishment for anyone, but turning 60 with Down Syndrome is huge. If you see Eleanor, you can hardly believe she's 60. Maybe it's all that yoga she does, but I think it's her youthful nature. And she doesn't resist turning 60 like most of us would/do. I heard that she's been so excited for over 18 months about being 60 that she actually wanted to cancel being 59 so she could go straight to 60.

I saw her just over a week ago and she was wearing a button that said, "I'm 60!" And I said to her, "you're not 60 yet - your birthday isn't for another week or two." Beth told me she's so excited she's been wearing that button for 3 months.

Wow. Such excitement. I'm thrilled for her! I'm thrilled for me! Just being around someone who has such zest for life is a thrill. So unusual.