Monday, 16 January 2012

dancing with myself

The yoga continues. 6.30 every day at Bristo Yoga School, where there is such a lovely community. (Okay... most days. Mysore is supposed to be a six-day-a-week practice, but yoga and science have to strike a balance in my life, and sometimes science trumps shala, and I practice at home before heading to the lab.)

The kitchen also continues.

As does the rest of life.

Since the fire, I've been nesting. I've been cooking for myself, experimenting with my new chocolate moulds and nicer chocolate than I've used before, dancing in my new kitchen in the replacement (non-smoky) slippy slippers that my mum knit and sent me all the way from the wilds of Canada.

Things the fire and the yoga and the kitchen (and the science) have taught me:

1 - Cheat less. Sure, I *can* wrench my legs behind my head if I just let my hips go a little out of alignment, but really, who the hell am I trying to impress before 8 am, anyways? Better to suck it up and get there when I get there for real. Likewise, I can get away with adding extra cocoa butter to chocolate and then the tempering is apparently *perfect*, and no one complains, but that's not getting me where I want. I need to practice more to temper the chocolate dark and bitter and unadulterated - the way I like it.
2 - Sometimes, things are uncomfortable and don't get more comfortable and that's not a bad thing. Or a good thing. It's just a thing. Having to ask for help after the fire was uncomfortable. Living in other people's houses, borrowing clothes, and asking for favours sucked. Also uncomfortable: navasana (boat pose). But if I'm so focused on avoiding the discomfort, then I don't get the benefits of my wonderful generous friends. I also don't get the benefits of navasana (which I secretly hope will include a cuter tummy, but which I suspect mostly includes a lot of willpower). Also uncomfortable: being vegan in a non-vegan world, especially when you have to answer the same questions and have that one stupid conversation about cheese over and over again. Yup. It will sometimes be pretty uncomfortable ("ummm... thanks for thinking of me with that beautiful handmade scarf, but I'm vegan, and it's wool"....)
3 - Most things worth doing require effort. Effort can be a good thing, it can be fun, it can be joyful, but it's still work. Becoming a chocolate god is effort. Drop backs are effort. Science (oh gods, especially science) is an effort. And the effort for all of these things isn't one big heroic herculean push after which you get a prize, a day off, and 15 minutes of fame. It's like, get up every day at 4.30 and do little things. But do them every day. Show up. Practice in good faith. Don't cheat even if nobody can tell except you.
4 - Often , you have the choice between pointing out how awesome you are, and actually learning something. This is because learning often requires listening rather than speaking, looking rather than showing, and then possibly changing your tune. But you know what, all the people I've met who awe me are those who are willing to change their tune.
5 - Dance. If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of this whole undertaking. Life is what is happening now, so make joy where you are. It's not just going to show up uninvited at some undefined time in the mythical future.

These are all things I basically knew before now. It's just that the past few months have been a reminder to lean into that stuff that makes me uncomfortable, to be honest, to learn. And to dance.

Next time, back to recipes, probably with chocolate. I promise. I just have to finish this dance...

For now:

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