Picture Perfect

I have a tough time taking food photos. We have poor lighting in the kitchen. Every dish looks the same and not very enticing.

The lighting outside is much better, but the bear, bobcat, deer, porcupine, bald eagle, and coydog don’t hang around long enough for me to take their picture, much less find the right button on my phone.

I can count on the rabbits though. They are naturals in front of a camera. They look straight at you, show profiles, and repeat action shots, almost as if auditioning for a feature role in a film, over and over again.

This morning before outdoor aerial yoga class, while hanging upside down, I took a video. The canopy of cedars above me seemed to reach the branches of the  trees lining the Southern Vermont Art Center walkway, about forty feet away. 

The view was surreal. I filmed looking straight ahead, and then panned up to where I was hanging, to the sky above. When I went to play back the video, it self-corrected and turned the upside down clip right side up. What the heck? (There are many sites that advise one how to correct upside down videos, but not many on how to keep things topsy turvy.)

Sometimes we want to change our perspective, our attitude, or thoughts, but obstacles get in the way.

How can I look at things from all sides when the other sides are ridiculous? How can I maintain positivity when it rains every day? How can I think like a real entrepreneur and take publicity photos while upside down only to have the daggone clip not cooperate?

It comes down to sincerity, diligence, and patience.

Do we really want to change? Can we take the time to figure out how to do so? Can we let go of the need for immediate satisfaction or success?

I marvel at those who have beautiful and interesting posts on social media. If I really want to join that talented pool, I’ll need to reread “Social Media for Dummies”. No skimming this time.

Namaste- picture perfect? Not today!

Halloween Misery Part 2

In college I gave up on store bought Halloween costumes. It was time to get my creative energy going.

I fastened Christmas lights around a wide cardboard tube and wore it as a helmet. I made a flannel beard and attached a tail to my long green wool coat. I was extremely proud dressed as the Cowardly Lion off to save Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the West.

I chanted “Oh-wee-oh, wee oh-yo” while marching around the judges. In case you missed the last post, the underlying costume theme of saving the day continued.

“And 1st place goes to the nuclear reactor!” announced the bartender. Damn it. Lost again. At least the Long Island Iced Teas were keeping me cool.

“That’s you!” my friend yelled. The bar erupted in cheers and looks of admiration.

What the heck?

In retrospect I guess I did look like a reactor and my chant may have been interpreted as an alarm siren. However an activist was not the persona I was going for.

The following year I decided to forgo saving mankind unless subconsciously I believed that mermaids rescue drowning sailors. I sat nimbly on a bank of seats encased in a long skirt sewn together at the bottom and reshaped into a tail. A piece of fishing line attached my wrist to the bottom of the skirt allowing me to wave and wag my tail in an alluring fashion.

My shimmering top was pretty good but my painted face of aqua blues, teal and green swirls was really something.

I didn’t win a prize but I sure felt beautiful.

Near the end of the night an old man came up to me and murmured sadly, “You poor thing, do you get beaten often?”

What the heck?

“Wait… I am a mermaid“, I wailed.

“Sure, sure honey. It’s okay” he replied.

I swam/hopped my way into the bathroom to realize my magnificent make up job had lost definition. I looked like I’d literally been beaten and tossed from a dry-docked ship. I guess the old man was trying to rescue me.

Pantanjali’s Sutra 4:15 says different minds see objects (costumes, events, comments) differently.

We all have instances where our intentions were misinterpreted. Disappointment, anger, frustration, and misunderstandings can take hold. “Am I an activist or a battered woman?” I ask myself. Perhaps observations from others allow us to talk with our own true self.

Yoga is about taking time to understand our own thoughts and intentions. What are our wishes and hopes? No one knows the truth except us.

Do you want to feel beautiful? Do you want to save the world? Do you want to win? If so then do so.

Feel. Save. Win.

The Cowardly Lion felt brave, he saved Dorothy, he won back his pride.

Namaste- oh Halloween don’t come my way.

Barefoot and Proud

Had, Dee and I spent summer hours running on the gravel driveway. The goal was to toughen our bare feet to the point where no grimace of pain could be observed. This activity lasted for years until I turned eight. While comparing our toughened soles I realized with horror that my toes were frighteningly long. The more I examined them the longer they got. They were monkey like. No more bare feet or sandals for me. I was an anomaly. 

One day at the beach my mom asked why I wasn’t taking my sneakers off. We rented a house with our minister, his wife and three boys that summer. No way was I going to be ridiculed. I had shells to look for and they could be sharp if stepped on. I was too embarrassed to admit the real reason until mom did what she does best and got the truth out of me.

Mom:  “Didn’t you know that long toes are an Egyptian sign of good luck?”

Me:  “Really?” (You are kidding right? was not inappropriate question.)

She changed my perspective. I not only returned to the challenge of barefoot running torture trials but honed my ability to pick up coins with my toes. By summers’ end I could hold a pencil and write my name with my foot.

Was Mom practicing Satya (saht-ya),truthfulness, or practicing creative nonfiction? To this day I have not checked Wikipedia to validate her claim and probably never will. She change my perspective by stating a fact as she knew it and changed my view. It freed me, that’s what truth does.

10 years later I visited a psychic and she said that in a past life I was an Egyptian king. Maybe my name Alexandra aided in this pronouncement maybe she glanced at my toes. Truth or creative nonfiction? Don’t care. 

Namaste no shoes today!