Suddenly it’s fall. It may still be in the 80s here in Texas, but there is a crispness in the air that only comes in autumn. It always amazes me that you can actually feel the seasons transition even when the temperature hasn’t changed much. At the beginning of summer I felt the buzzing of new energy; now everything feels calmer, more grounded.
The other, less whimsical way I can tell it’s fall: Allergies. So many allergies. I’m allergic to essentially everything and thusly have year-round symptoms, but apparently autumn in Austin is an especially reactive season for me. And so my yoga practice has slowed down somewhat due to the need for extra rest. I actually thought I had a sinus infection, but when it continued without getting any better or worse, I remembered the same thing happened last year. Ah, yes, the lesser-known charms of ATX. It’s one of the worst cities for allergies, much to the satisfaction of my allergist and the chagrin of everyone else. I’ve been netipotting and medicating (Allegra, currently, which doesn’t seem to be doing much), but I’m still experiencing fairly severe symptoms. If any allergy sufferers have a treatment or remedy suggestion(s), please save me and share your secrets!
I’ve also been trying new things with my diet in order to improve my mental and physical health: I’m currently working with a nutritionist to determine which foods I’m most sensitive to. Right now I’m on a restrictive eating plan, which, frankly, kind of blows. Ha. It could certainly be worse, and I know I’m doing this for good reasons, but I’m really missing things like peanut butter (sorry cashew butter, you just can’t live up), green tea, coconut milk, and cheese. It really brings my attention to my attachment to food, a process that is wholly irritating and also really good for me. Naturally.
A fortunate byproduct is that I’m learning how to be more creative in the kitchen. Being forced to make food at home with limited ingredients has awakened the culinary genius in me. Ok, not “genius” by any stretch, but I’ve managed to come up with more tasty dishes than I thought I could. (This Oatmeal comic describes the way I usually feel about home cooking).
Part of what spurred my desire to try this was, of course (you know what I’m going to say), yoga. When you practice asana, you end up getting in touch with yourself whether you want to or not–and it’s not always pleasant. I’ve written quite a bit about how this has affected the connection to my thoughts and emotions, but not as much about how it has affected the connection to my physical body. A large part of why I’ve stopped practicing when I didn’t feel good was because much like my new eating plan has brought my attention to my feelings when it comes to food, yoga brings my attention to the parts of my body that feel crappy. Of course, sometimes rest is necessary and wonderful, but I would not just stop asana, I would stop paying attention to my breath, taking the time to meditate, etc. Like negative emotions, bad feelings in the body aren’t easy to confront. Often we would rather just ignore them as much as possible and pretend they don’t exist. Anything painful or uncomfortable can bring up a feeling of deep, frightening vulnerability. So it’s pretty natural that we should have the impulse to avoid anything that might bring that up. But what might happen when we try gently turning ourselves around and encouraging ourselves to instead go into the shadows instead of pretending that life is only light? That’s what I’m trying to find out. My efforts are imperfect, but I guess that’s kind of the point, right?
Not much to report on besides that. I’ve just been schooling, homeworking, and hanging out with Todd and my favorite furry goofballs:
Happy Fall! Enjoy your pumpkin spice lattes, and allow me to live vicariously–they’re definitely not on my current eating plan. 🙂