Sam’s progress since parents evening

RIGHT …Sam ..lets take your picture! …look at me ..focus Sam! Sit up straight and FOCUS!!! ……Lovely!

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Oops no ……lost it ….drifting off again:D:D:D
And yes …yes I know he’s drinking coke ….hate the stuff myself but this is the society we live in at the moment:)

Oops no.... he's drifting off again

 

 

Yoga ….India’s GREATEST export cont:-

So ……what  IS Yoga?

As per ……..these are my own thoughts …corrections or comments most welcome ….

Blogging started off as just a kind of journal ….a frustration release ….I instead found myself reading …..thoughts, images, from around the world …..it has felt kind of like zooming around a ‘thought’ universe circling the globe ….the below is NOT my image, but pretty much looks like I imagine ‘bloggersphere’ would look if viewing from space:D:D:D

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So ..what IS Yoga? …..and what has this to do with the blog experience?:D:D:D

Well ……I guess the best place to start is a translation of the meaning of the word ….often things get lost in translation but ……Yoga ….a Sanskrit word ( Sanskrit being an ancient Indian language, scripted thousands of years ago …yep …even BEFORE the abrahamic religions) …the translation to English being ….’To Yoke’ or ‘Harness’

Hmmmmmm …….’Yoke’ or ‘Harness’ what exactly?

Well …..I believe that when the first translations were probably made they were making an analogy of how man ‘yoked’ the Ox to the plough …… a way of ‘harnessing’ nature if you will …..you know …..man …animal ….earth …..vegetation ….one linked to the other ….and all having an interdependent life force or ‘energy’…..which is in turn linked to an all encompassing energy   ( which some might refer to as God…or Allah ..or Zen or whatever …….just think of it as FAR greater than us …..a Universal energy if you will  …..it’s all connected ….a reciprocal carry on not unlike ‘Systems Theory’ in science)

Of course ….Peoples lives are framed by the period in history they are born and the socio/political climates they live in ……

My personal view is that …..many of the ancient tribal people around the world believed this …..this interrelation, ‘harnessing’ and RESPECT for nature ….and nature includes the ‘spiritual’ energy remember ……

I believe that all the worlds religions have ‘Yoga’ at their  core ……there are many …MANY writings guiding man how to live this way ….ideologies, frameworks, rules, customs and rituals how to get there ….but I’m afraid the most seem to have been corrupted along the way ……..Hmmmmm  us humans are humans see ….imperfect and sometimes corrupt able…..and that INCLUDES Yoga itself which seems to be at risk of being ‘marketed ‘ as the next excersise/healthy lifestyle fad …….remember gymns? …..aerobic classes? ……and fancy milkshakes to replace meals? …..and let’s not forget the outfit you need to wear to take part!!:D:D:D

I know this as I have been looking for a ‘Yoga’ teacher since my original teacher passed ….don’t get me wrong …there are some very good classes out there ….but there are others that are extortionately expensive ….and just today I have seen that a company in America is selling ‘Yoga Pants’ for $400 ….yes …FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!

Hmmmmmm ……..sorry folks but Yoga is SO much more than that …..all you need to practice is enough space to lie down and stretch your arms out and an ability to breath:D:D:D

The ideas to try to keep in mind in day to day life are ‘to cause no harm’ and the principle of ‘reciprocality’ ……whether this be how you treat your body ….including what you put in it …….how you treat others including other species and the environment …..and perhaps CRUCIALLY today is how you conduct your ‘business’

The aim of Yoga is ‘balance’ in ALL things

Have a think about your life right now

Is it in balance?

Do you feel life is pretty good and all is hunky dory?

What about folk living in downtown ‘ghetto’ areas?

‘What about other countries around the world? …..what are the issues? ….why does there seem to be such a division between countries of wealth and those not so?

And what about the planet at large? …….what cost is our current lifestyle having in terms of  protecting habitats for species INCLUDING HUMAN to survive?

Are things ‘balanced’ do you think? …….where is the BIGGEST problem? …….hmmmmmm could it be the ‘Corporate’ climate? ….the large scale multi nationals …….what kind of world and lifestyle do we REALLY want for our children?

And a REALLY big question is ……how much is enough?…….quality v quantity …and shouldn’t everyone be able to have an equatable lifestyle?

I believe the 2008 banking crash was a tipping point ….MORE than a wake up call …this coupled with the changes in climate that can no longer be ignored …..and no …the answers do not lie in rushing off to outer space to leave this planet to wrack and ruin …at least I doubt it ….I mean …from what I’ve read …every astronaut who has been into space has said the best thing about being up there was looking back at this gorgeous bright blue marbled ball ….Hmmmmm what does that tell you?

Somehow …Somewhere…Something seems to be saying that it CANNOT be a case of ‘business as usual’

Hmmmmm ……So …back to the beginning of this post ….with today’s technology we have GLOBAL communication ….yep ..we can chat to almost anyone, in any country around the world, the barriers between ‘Nations’ are being broken down ……..the translated definition of Yoga is to ‘harness’ maybe for today’s world it’s ‘connect’ ……..join the dots ….we’re supposed to be intelligent 21st century humans :D:D:D

God …..we’re RIDICULOUS aren’t we?:D:D:D

Ok …..Ok …..BIG thoughts from a little woman ….but entitled to my say like anyone else:)

Yoga …..India’s GREATEST export


I’ll tell you a little story

So …a number of years ago …not tooooo many …but enough to be in double figures:D:D:D….a young(ish) woman slowly, painfully made her way down a backstreet in a post industrial town in the north of England …it was late September …dusk ….but it seemed darker due to the penetrating drizzle …that kind which seems to soak right through and chill to the bone.

Through the dusty windows of an old stone building, huge orbs suspended from a high ceiling inside gave off an other worldly yet warm glow into the street….the door was heavy …..thickly painted a cobalt blue….It took all her strength to open it …..when it did she was met by the sudden whiff of old wood, a musty dampness, polish, and dust ….you know ….that ‘old building’ kind of smell of old schoolrooms and church halls.

She wasn’t really sure why she was there other than a vague notion of perhaps being able to take some regular gentle excersise …previously she had taken things pretty much for granted ….the fast paced lifestyle, career moving foreward, happy marriage, starting a family,….an ACTIVE goal driven life …everything seemingly moving in the ‘right’ direction …’under control’:D:D:D

That was before her world turned completely upside down ….events which had left her in intense physical and psychological pain ….she could barely walk and felt a kind of numbness as tho the world was going on around her and she was no longer really part of it ……physically broken and depleted of ‘energy’ ….running on empty

Goodness knows what she must have looked like ….but a lovely woman came to greet her …an older woman …much older ….with a mess of snowy white hair, a sparkle in her eyes and chuckle in her voice.  They had a conversation about the events and injuries that had led her there ….surprisingly she was not turned away but welcomed in …..

There were lots of people in there but she didn’t really notice …just directed to lay down close her eyes and rest

Concious of eyelids flickering …..she could hear the swoosh and rumble of passing traffic and the shouts and cries of kids larking about in the distance…..the odd siren …the everyday sounds

Slowly ….. bizarrely ….the sound of ocean waves came in …..quiet at first ….incongruous to the surrroundings ….but gradually increasing in volume drowning out the exterior urban noise …the older woman in her sing song voice encouraged focus on the ocean ….waves gently crashing ….the ebb and flow ……then gently bringing in movement ….simply raising and lowering alternate arms ….breath in raise ….breath out lower ….inhale ….exhale ….ebb and flow ….sound, movement and breath ebbing and flowing in syncrony ….sound gradually …unnoticeabley …quietning to the background …focussing just on the breath and gentle movement …the slooooow steady rhythm

And that was it to start with ….simple …easy ….for weeks and weeks this is all the young woman could do ….week in week out for 2 hours ….laid out flat on a musty, dusty old floor …but it felt as calming and luxurious as being on a beautiful desert Island to her ….a soothing and comforting balm ….’thoughts’ would come in …..sometimes in flashes ….sometimes like watching a film reel …..letting them in and pass with the ebb and flow like the wet of spontaneous tears she also felt in those early days …….allowing ….just letting it happen….not following but focussing on the breath beneath …falling into the sublime darkness like being hugged in a cosseting blanket ……..falling deeper and deeper ……

As the weeks became months and months became years it became hard to remember the empty shell of a person that had walked through the door into that musty old hall …at times…particularly in the early days … she had many questions of the older woman …she wanted to understand what was happening …how it worked:D:D:D… the older woman smiled her sparkly smile and chuckled ..advising to just ‘keep keeping it simple’ focussing on the breath and just ‘allowing’ the rest to follow …no ‘seeking’….no ‘expectation’ of ‘results’ …just surrender …she said she was not a ‘teacher’ had no ‘special powers’:D:D:D …just an ordinary woman acting as ‘guide’….a guide to what was there already …in all of us:)

Slowly and gradually …over time …the young woman was able to bring further movement in ….ALWAYS eyes closed ….focussing on the slow deep ebb and flow of the breath ….never ‘trying’ or ‘forcing’ …just movements, synchronised with breath ….aware of the subtle feelings …the depth ….directing the healing breath to where it was needed …..stopping at any discomfort ….the whole practise a practise of ‘meditation’ …later using the breath to move the body into asana and hold …..balance … ( although when awareness crept in ….or should I say loss of focus ..she often toppled over:D:D:D…eventually tho she could even sit without discomfort…turning focus inward to rest the body and mind ….peace AND some …she called this …maybe a tad audaciously:D:D:D ….’Tuning in to Om’

And she began to ‘notice’ things in everyday life…little things …she had a young child and they seemed to grow together …..she was seeing things through a child’s eyes as tho seeing for the first time …..the SKY ..how beautiful and dynamic …..ever changing …and dandilions …how bright and resilient a flower ….and the intricacy of a dandilion clock not to mention the fun of blowing them, watching their delicate seeds float away on the breeze…..the beauty and wonder around seemed endless

And as time passed … in daily life…not only could she walk freely with no pain but could walk up and down hills with her child in a pouch and a backpack full of groceries ….she never DID master the pram and pushchair:D:D:D

Later she could run, scramble and climb…something not done since a child herself….keeping up with her then 2 young cubs:D:D:D…she called all this …. the tapping into a child’s perspective ….the playfullnes and wonder …letting go of all else in that moment …’The spirit of 3′:D:D:D

Yoga …it healed her AND some …. subtley and gradually over time ….all the way from India to a musty old hall in the north of England:D:D:D …. Surely India’s GREATEST export:)


(images courtesy of google images …not sure if it’s legal using them …but hey …they’re lovely aren’t they?)

Android Morphing Update ….

Covering ‘Duty’ at the Mill this week ( Yes …we’re still doing it … for the moment

Anyway my new boss comes bursting in looking a little harassed

‘You ok?’ Says I

‘It’s this bloody phone ….says he …take it …TAKE IT!!:D:D:D…it’s just constantly ringing 24/7 …if I turn it off for an hour I find I’ve just got a load of messages to get back to ….I put on my laptop and there’s hundreds of emails requiring response too ….I can’t get anything DONE!!!’ says he

‘NO WAY!!!’ says I

I’ve got far too many gadgets and ID cards as it is ….I feel something akin to a 007/pack mule hybrid’

‘For Gods sake don’t give her any MORE gadgets’ says one of our lovely secretary’s laughing ( yes they are a rare breed today  and we’re very honoured to still have a couple ….how long it will last I don’t know …but we MUST protect all endangered species)

‘You’ve GOT  to turn them all off and have some ‘me’ time’ says she

‘The only ‘me’ time I bloody get is when I’m unconscious ….asleep’ says he

‘Well you WANTED the job’ says I

‘Hmmmmm ….Yes I know’ said he …gazing into the middle distance …’I wonder why’

‘Nooooooo….don’t say THAT’ …..says I ….( the poor lad is doing a nigh on impossible job at a very difficult time …he’s a good lad and we NEED a manager at the helm)

‘ I tell you what……as a team ….why don’t we put it to the Trust that we think it would be far more ‘cost effective’ and ‘manageable’ to ‘comission’ a ‘Q’ type character to come up with a one gadget fits all …..either that or take us to the vets and have us all microchipped’:D:D:D

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It’s all insane isn’t it!

Isn’t it?

Are we going the way of the dinosaur and the only way the human will survive is to become part robot?:D:D:D ….what would be the point of THAT??

The diversity of human characters/personalities and attributes not to mention the emotional experience of life is what makes it isn’t it?

Can you imagine if we were all clones …pretty beige don’t you think?

Parents Evening ….

Ok ….so forgot to mention that last week was the youngest’s first full parents evening since he started high school

You know …the one where you whizz around the school ….dodging the throngs of other parents dragging their reluctant offspring to their 10 minute slots with ALL the ‘subject’ teachers

As usual I was in a rush ….agreed with the boss could finish work early …grabbed said child …quickly scanned the list and locations of the teachers and map of the school and off we popped ….

It’s a HUGE school …very modern …but with a maize of floors and corridors ….said offspring said …

‘Oh..it’s not that bad Mum, when you get used to it’ …so I put him in charge of the map ……..hmmmmmm:D:D:D

I don’t know if you’ve read any of my ‘Samism’ posts …..particularly the ‘End of Summer Samism’ which was just before he made that transition from primary to high school ….looking far too small ( still does actually) and like most children …a little anxious about the major step into the unknown

Anyway …he appears to have settled without incident ….partly …I think …because he still looks quite cute ….I notice when I drop him off , older girls saying ‘Awwwwww’ and asking him if they can touch his hair (more about that later)….hmmmmmm he might LOOK little and cute but I reckon he relishes this attention and it has helped considerably with him settling in ….

Hmmmmm but you won’t be ‘little’ and ‘cute’ forever kiddo so you better think on:D:D:D

So ……back to ‘Parents Evening’ …..I’ll skip the finer details …..suffice to say he seems to have some lovely teachers …..BUT ….in and among dodging the throng …getting lost down corridors ( Sam was holding the map upside down) we bumped slap bang ( literally) into  his ‘form’ teacher who kindly introduced himself and directed us to the whereabouts of our next appointment ( I was getting flustered …and despite what Sam had said …it WAS difficult finding the location of different teachers among the hoards ….PARTICULARLY when viewing the map the wrong way up :D:D:D

Anyway, Mr O’Connor asked if we had him down on the list of teachers to see as it appeared no’one had and he apparantly had been sat twiddling his thumbs in an empty room ( or blogging ……yes …..yes ….I’m following a couple of schoolteachers blogs ….I know what you get up to in absent moments 😉 :D:D:D

We didn’t have him down on our list either ( a deliberate omission or an error I’m not entirely sure) but as we were on our way to our last scheduled appointment agreed to pop in for a chat afterwards …….or I did!

We finally arrived in Mr O’Connor’s empty room …a space of tranquility amongst the chaos:D:D:D …..and yes ….he’s Irish …. ( I love an Irish accent don’t you?) ….so ….imagine the following conversation

‘Ah …come in sit down …now then Sam have you managed to get around all your teachers’

‘Yes Sir’

‘And what do you think?’

‘I don’t know Sir’

‘So how do you think you’re doing?’

‘………………’ ( wide eyed stare)

It has to be said that throughout the evening ….when plonked in front of a teacher …Sam took on the appearance of a startled rabbit caught in the headlights ….he had a wide eyed stare and was UNUSUALLY dumb struck!!!:D:D:D ….I had to interject…

‘ The message we seem to be getting is that Sam seems to have a problem with ‘focus’ once he is on task he does reasonably ok …but he has a tendancy to drift off’

‘Ah yes ….Sam often finds it difficult to stay with us here in the classroom and drifts off into what we call ‘Sam land’….but it depends what you’re doing doesn’t it Sam? ….if it’s something you like you CAN focus can’t you?’

‘……………..’ ( wide eyed stare)

‘Did you get your science test results Sam?’

‘Yes Sir’

‘What did you get?’

‘86% Sir’    ( Blimey)

‘ What about history?’

‘30% Sir’    ( oh dear)

The thing is (directed at me) he’s a great kid ( stock statement before the ‘but’) he’s really chilled out and comes out with some really great answers verbally, he’s popular with the other kids too … but he’s not reaching his full potential …he’s so disorganised and if his interest is not captured immediately …he just drifts off …then he’s scrabbling about trying to catch up'( Oh god …this was striking a chord …a ‘chip off the old block’ kind of chord and not in a good way)

‘Hmmmm I know …the other teachers have said the same ..it’s a little similar at home ..often in the morning rush I’m getting into the car thinking he’s behind me and he’s stopped to talk to the cat ..not a care in the world …I’m there hanging out of the car door saying COME ON SAM we’re going to be LATE …you can talk to the cat LATER!!!

‘Hmmmm yes I can picture the scene …the thing is it gets him into trouble with some teachers ….doesn’t it Sam?

Me (Uh oh!!!)

Sam (slumping into chair eyes down ..a mumbled)’Yes Sir’

‘Now Sam …I hear your doing well in drama aren’t you?

‘Am I Sir?'(pricking up …looking suprised)

‘Well that’s what I’ve heard Sam’

‘Oh ok …Thankyou Sir’

‘Now maybe what you have to do when you enter a class is pretend you’re acting a part …the part of the perfect pupil ….you know …march in, pens and books at the ready, sit up with your back straight, margin drawn , date and lesson heading written in preparation for the teacher ….do you understand what I’m saying Sam?’

‘Oh yes …I see Sir …I think so Sir?

‘Do you think you can do that?’

‘I’ll try my best Sir’

‘You see (directed at me) as I said ..he’s a great kid ..very laid back and I wouldn’t want to change his character..he’s never rude or disrespectful …but ANYTHING that seems like ‘work’ and he’s off …you can see it …he’s slouched in his chair …eyes glazed …drifting off into Samland ….and the thing is Sam ( directed at Sam) …your SO noticeable ..other kids might go under the radar but YOU …I mean look at your HAIR!!!…..your ALWAYS in a teachers field of vision do you understand what I’m saying?

‘…………( wide eyed stare)

‘I do!!!’ …says I …’I’m forever trying to get him to have it cut ….are you listening to what Mr O’Connor is saying Sam?'(it’s true …I am ..a trim at least …it’s a buggar to wash and get a comb through …his brother did the same at the same age …grew his hair …think it could be some kind of ‘identity’ thing …anyway I digress)

‘Yes Mum I am’

‘Ok’ says Mr O’Connor ‘What do you understand from what we have just discussed?’

‘I think what your saying Sir is …with great hair comes great responsibility’

My god!!! ..Myself and Mr O’Connor just looked at each other…dumstruck for a split second

‘Yes well’ … said I …’If you don’t meet that responsibility you’ll be straight down the barbers for a No1 cut!!!’

‘And if you do meet the responsibility’ said Mr O’Connor’ ‘there might be a reward in it for you at the end of term’

Hmmmmm is that an example of parent and teacher working in partnership? ….utilising the good old ‘Carrot and Stick’ approach…maybe for pupil AND the parent:D:D:D …helps maintain the schools ‘stats’ too …but seriously I have great respect for schoolteachers …I wouldn’t want their job for all the tea i

But the good news is that the report from Mr O’Conner this week is that Sam seems to have moved from ‘coasting’ to ‘motivated’ ….I do worry tho ….I’m great at the ‘spirit of 3’ but really struggled with the ‘high school’ years with the eldest …that’s why I’ve set some ‘house rules’ before Sam hits puberty and am encouraging them to spend more time with their Dad …boys need their fathers ….PARTICULARLY at this age I feel ….or at least some kind of positive male role model who will take them under the wing a little …..guess it’s a case of ‘watch this space’:)