The Truth About Our Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are little things in life that we get more bent out of shape about than necessary. One of mine has been the scent of other people’s laundry detergent, because since I cleaned up my diet twenty years ago, I have a powerful sense of smell. Another is when people pluck their eyebrows in a way that doesn’t look even remotely natural and that doesn’t flatter their face. What are yours?

I am a yogi and someone who very much enjoys observing and exploring my own consciousness and feelings, and observing others’, always curious about what it is to be human. I thought I would share with you what I have noticed about pet peeves in my life.

When I am feeling strong, confidant, healthy, inspired, and in balance, my pet peeves don’t bother me.   They don’t peeve me. They aren’t even my pets.

Why is this? When we feel great, we tend to stay on the good feeling trajectory, thinking more positive thoughts, looking at the world like it supports us, seeing synchronicities more easily, and tuning into inspiration naturally.

But what about when we are nursing some internal turmoil, doubt, fear, anxiety, or a victim mindset?   That is when we notice somebody chewing granola loudly with their mouth open, or that they spelled our name wrong again, or that people are tailgating in traffic, or that those are the stupidest eyebrows we have ever seen.

Now, when I see a pet peeve is peeving me, I get the clear message to check in with myself and get the needed time to reset my vibration to one of ease and love, ASAP.

Can your pet peeve be a person? Yes, it can. I love all the people. I do. That’s how I know that people can be our pet peeves, because once in a while, a person will become that thing that just upsets me, no matter what. Luckily, since loving people is easy for me, I can tell something is out of sync if I am letting a person be a source of irritation, and feeling very much the victim of whatever story I repeatedly tell internally about them.   When I feel great, I love this person, or perhaps they fade into the background, no longer a main character in my life.

I am grateful for these chances to be aware, and to take responsibility and shift my perspective.

Sometimes people will latch onto the pet peeves because they feel like they aren’t in control of things in their lives. We get scared sometimes. We reach for control because we think it will soothe us. We want things to be different than how they are, because we think it will make us happy. For best results, though, we need to go inward, reach for our heart, soul, and Source and the knowledge that life’s okay and we are safe, so we can flow with life again. This internal self-care is what we can control, what we are in charge of. Here is where we find empowerment.

That person who is late to your class may always be late. Do you want it to upset you, or do you want to be the source of your own happiness? You get to choose.

My 94-year-old Grandma says, “Things always have a way of working out.” She’s been paying attention for almost 100 years, so I really try to remind myself of this wisdom when I have forgotten.

Take life lightly, and let those peeves go, or at least find the wisdom in them, and tend to your sweet heart and soul.

Food and Illness

When I was in college, I loved pizza. I worked at a delivery restaurant and ate pizza every time I worked, maybe 5 times per week. I drank multiple cans of highly sugary and caffienated soda during every shift. Sometimes I ate a whole pint of ice cream for dinner, maybe once per week. I loved sweets, and because I was rail thin and thought people avoided sugar merely because it would make them fat, I ate whatever I wanted to. I did not know that my ignorance about nutrition and my favorite snacks and foods would soon be my undoing. I also enjoyed eating a bag of microwave popcorn with a huge glass of orange juice or two. I loved the sweet to salty contrast. After the pizza job, I worked in a bakery and I also learned to like coffee around that time. During my early morning bakery shifts, I drank coffee and nibbled on various muffins and cookies. Of course, as a college student, I drank beer and partied too. One of my roommates expressed concern about me. She thought I didn’t eat enough protein. As far as I was concerned, I was fine. Ramen noodles were cheap and I ate them on the days I didn’t eat at work.

In college, I developed bad sinus allergies. I woke every morning with a faucet-like runny nose. I blew my nose through my classes. Or I skipped them because I felt so crappy. I tried taking over the counter allergy medicines, but soon built a tolerance to the medicine and it only made me drowsy.

Eventually I got on a once-daily, allergy medicine prescribed by my doctor.   It was non-drowsy and non-stimulating and worked for a little while. I eventually built a tolerance to it and was back to faucet nose. And then they discontinued it anyway.

It was hell. I was miserable.

I got bronchitis a lot, too. and the doctors pumped me full of antibiotics.

One fall, after college, I caught what seemed like strep throat and, though I treated it, it morphed into Epstein Barr Syndrome (a fatigue illness like Mononucleosis). Though it was caused by a virus, my doctor of course gave me antibiotics for no reason. He also told me to rest.

This lingered seemingly forever. At my weakest, I couldn’t do more than two hours of activity, tops, in one day. I could work a short shift at the bakery and come home fatigued with a bad headache, or I could go to the grocery store and come home fatigued with a headache. Or go to a movie. Same results.

As I got better, I got some of my energy back, but not all of it. I could do more activity, but I was still weak compared to my peers. If my best friend and I went out to a bar, I would drink one beer and by the end of that beer, have an earache. I couldn’t comfortably swim under water because it hurt my ears too much to go more than a foot or two under.

All of this was dismaying. I had been an active, spry, young adult before this illness.

Then I went to my first massage therapist at age 23. When he looked at my intake form, he saw my various health issues as related. He could tell by my symptoms that my intestinal flora was out of balance, and he turned me on to a product that helped restore some of my friendly intestinal bacteria (which can be killed by coffee, by antibiotics, or by an overgrowth of candida yeast which reproduce asexually by eating sugar). My allergy symptoms decreased some.

Time passed, and I was still weak. Inspired by this massage therapist’s practice, I soon realized I wanted to be an LMT too. I signed up for massage school. On my first day of massage school, I was talking to a classmate during lunch about my health woes. She heard my symptoms and said, “It sounds like you have an overgrowth of candida yeast in your system. You should go to my herbalist, Pam.   She helped me get rid of the same thing, and she’s been through it too, so she is a great support.” I set up an appointment right away. Pam diagnosed me as having candida yeast overgrowth, 2 or 3 viruses and some parasites.   Yikes! No wonder I felt like I did. She explained that in order to heal, I must stop eating sugar for a few months, eat lots of protein and vegetables, and take the herbs and vitamins she prescribed. Stopping eating sugar meant not only avoiding cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but also avoiding wheat, gluten, dairy (except butter), fermented foods, and even fruit!!! Now, many people think they could never do that. People wondered how I had the will power. The key for me was my level of commitment. I used to be energetic and full of life. At the time of this diagnosis, I still felt half alive, and that was not acceptable to me. I would rather be fully alive or dead than half alive, so I chose fully alive, and I adhered to the candida diet, doing everything she recommended. I was literally sick and tired of being sick and tired.

After some months went by, my health had improved and I was able to incorporate a few gentle sugars, like pears, green apples, and brown rice syrup as a sweetener.

Now, I eat a typical vegetarian diet, I eat sugar in small amounts compared to most of my countrypersons, I drink an occasional coffee or a beer. I have a lot of energy for a 44-year-old.   I have a lot of energy for a 24-year-old, in fact.

Nene Fest 2016 HooperThere’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned healing crisis to teach a willing learner about empowerment around one’s own well-being. We eat Every day. Learning what to feed oneself is a powerful foundation to good health.

I am very grateful that I experienced all of this, because I got on a path of self-care and natural wellness at a very young age. I have a truly experiential understanding of what it takes to heal through diet, I have plenty of understanding of what it takes to eliminate foods, and compassion for anyone who needs to change their diet, and I can gently encourage people in my healing practice, because I got through it. So can you.

Kundalini Yoga on Wednesdays at Noon

045I am excited to announce my new class, Relax and Renew with Kundalini Yoga!  Join me Wednesdays from 12:00pm (noon) until 1:15pm at Crystal Portal at the Railroad Square Art Park, 1031 Commercial Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310.

Please arrive a few minutes early so you can settle in and be prepared to start promptly at noon.  New students are encouraged to meet me at 11:45am so I can teach you the mantra we use to start class, the basics of breathing, and the root lock.

Kundalini Yoga is usually practiced wearing clothing made of breathable, natural fibers in which we can easily move and stretch.

Please bring a yoga mat or blanket.  Ideally, we practice Kundalini Yoga on natural fibers that do not insulate us from our electromagnetic connection to Earth.  You will typically see Kundalini Yogis using sheepskins, cotton blankets, Mexican blankets and the like.  I will still use a rubber yoga mat under my sheepskin when teaching because most yoga studio floors are hard enough that I need it.  I encourage you also to please use what makes you comfortable in class.  Crystal Portal has a few mats in case you forget yours.  Many students find that it is  helpful to have either a small pillow or perhaps a rolled towel or blanket to sit on when meditating, so bring one if that’s true for you.

You may also want to bring a water bottle for during or after class.

Classes cost $12.00 each, or you can purchase four classes for $40.00.

MLK and the Navel Chakra

“I am concerned about justice.  I am concerned about brotherhood.  I am concerned about truth.  And when one is concerned about these, once can never advocate violence.  For through violence you may murder a murderer but you cannot murder murder.  Through violence you may murder a liar but you cannot establish truth.  Through violence you may murder a hater but you cannot murder hate.  Darkness cannot put out darkness.  Only light can do that… And I say to you, I have also decided to stick to love.  For I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go… [Because] I have seen too much hate…to want to hate myself…. Hate is too great a burden to bear…. I have decided to love.”  — REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Yes!  That’s what I’ve been trying to say for years, only it comes out more like, “Can’t we all just get along?” when I say it.

In Kundalini Yoga, one thing I have been focusing a lot on lately is our power center, the third chakra (energy center), also known as the navel center.  When it is balanced,our navel chakra draws upon the Earthy, grounded, feminine energy of the  lower chakras and combines it with the cosmic, celestial, masculine energy of the upper chakras.  When our power center is out of balance, we are prone to power struggles with others, trying to dominate or avoid domination.  We may also suffer from lack of will power, or from greed, anger, or a sense of powerlessness.  When we balance this chakra, and draw upon the vast energies I described above, we feel a subtle sense of unity with everything.  There is no “Other” to fear or control or guard oneself against.   We can relax and be.  When people around us try to suck us into their turmoil, we observe them as having a hard time, but we don’t react to their button-pushing.  We can be more tolerant, compassionate.

So there it is, I’m changing the world, one belly button at a time.