Monday, October 26, 2015

Emotional Bullying - let's try AHIMSA

So I'm thinking... bullying. yeah, it sucks. stop bullying in schools. Of course - teach children that it's inappropriate behavior to bully.

But the problem is, when it comes down to it, managing in LIFE is about managing bullies every step of the way, not just in school. Bad bosses, sleazy car salesmen, angry boyfriends/girlfriends, thoughtless drivers, indignant cashiers, frustrated teachers, ANYONE makes you feel "do it my way or ELSE I'll hit-expose-hurt-embarrass-dismiss-overcharge-belittle-ignore-undermine you.

Let's be honest - we ALL do a bit of huffy bravado chest thumping when we tell some customer service agent "If you don't satisfy me I'll NEVER buy your product again and I'll tell everyone you suck." We may be talking about a product, but someone reads that letter - someone is on the other end of that phone call. Have you given a sneer to the cashier at the grocery store when they weren't moving quickly. Yup - that's bullying, in a manner of speaking. What positive response can you expect to get form such haughtiness?

There's bullying on the global scale too - world politics is one big game of Who's the Biggest Bully - genocide, class struggles, interment camps, castes, republicans vs. democrats, police vs. the people, people vs. the people, government vs. the people.

Bullying, though I hate to admit it, is part of life. I mean, that's how animals assert dominance right? And we are animals. We cannot control human behavior any more than we can control any animal behavior.

When it comes down to it I don't really think we can stop bullying. BUT - we can modify how we act, we can adapt and learn from mistakes that have caused insult in the past. We can pass on lessons of AHIMSA (peace and love and gentility and non-harming) to try to make this world, even our small ones, a better place.

So what we do? How do we help our children, not just protect them but prepare them for the world where we can't always talk to a principal, or swoop in for rescue? Well it seems to me that is a three step process.

1) TELL them bullying is wrong because it hurts people's feelings.

2) SHOW them bullying is wrong by modeling thoughtful behavior ALL THE TIME. Even when someone cuts you off on the freeway. Even when you are in hurry and you want someone to drive faster. EVEN when you know you are right but especially when you know you are not.

3) TEACH them how to adapt, how to be happy, how to be strong, how to be self-confident and know when to engage in dialogue, and when it's smart to walk away.

Trying. In loving parenthood attempts, one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cancer Awareness Month - Donations for Eye Pillows

With October month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month (as if it's impossible to not be aware), I want to do more than send good energy: I want to put my money where my asana is. I would like to create yoga eye pillows for my network of amazing people, and donate some of the proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, to help fund mammograms for women in need.

Three standard sizes and a child's size eye pillow
The pillow I make are similar to the ones I've used in class (the envelope-sized silky covered flax- or bean- filled pads that you see in spas and yoga studios), but these are even more special. For you, these will be hand  sewn pillows filled with a combination of flax, rice and lentils, plus dried lavender, chamomile and/or peppermint. Each pillow has a removable and washable cover, and a heavy duty insert that can be put into the freezer for cold therapy, or in the microwave (for 10 second bursts) and used as a hot compress. The pillow is also quite nice at room temperature to be used to cover the eyes during Savasana, providing a nice weight against the closed lids, and a subtle herbal scent to sooth the nervous system. 

Eli age three modeling the kid's size
I have a variety of cotton, flannel and fleece fabrics in beautiful colors so every piece will be different. Let me know if you have a color preference and I can try to match your request(s).

Standard "eye pillow" size is 8.5"x4" (more or less). I can also make head wraps (that drape over someone's head who is lying down - great for migraine sufferers) that are twice that length (same width), and I can make longer neck wraps if you like (about 20". The larger items have pocketed chambers to keep the inside goodies evenly distributed. I'm also experimenting with "knee wraps" that are about 12" x 8" with four long channels to facilitate the pad wrapping arounnd the knee joint.

I'm somewhat winging this retail operation so bear with me while I get the nitty gritty details ironed out. I just want to share the goods and good will.

I will donate 25% of every paid purchase to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help provide mammograms to women in need. Alternately, if you are, or have a friend or loved one "fighting the good fight" undergoing any kind of cancer treatment, it would be my honor to give you or them an eye pillow for FREE. This offer is good until the end of 2015 (and will probably be extended well beyond).

Please know that since *I* am not a non-profit these are not tax deductible "donations" from you. However if you purchase one and then gift it to a non-profit fundraiser may to deduct your cost of the items (please contact a tax professional for accurate information).

Local San Diegans we can arrange a meetup, or pickup at one of my yoga classes. If you need your items shipped email me and we'll get the details worked out.

A stack of eye pillow pets
The photos show some of my previously created (and sold/given away) items to help motivate you (not all the fabrics/animals are available but I have many more options). 

Pricing (sizes are approximate):
5.5 x 4 Child's size eye pillow: $5
8.5 x 4 Standard size eye pillow: $8
15 x 4 Large head wrap: $15
20 x 4 Neck Wrap: $20
12 x 8 Knee Wrap: $18
Stuffed Animal pillow (for kids): $15

Closeup of a eye pup-pillow

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Senior Events Around Town

Just looking around the newspaper and found quite a few healthy living events and information resources focused on our Gold Silver and Platinum age bracket folks (can I at least be bronze? or pewter? sometimes I just feel like Iron Oxide). I love the idea about constantly trying to create, improve, contribute and be part of a community - a sangha space.

The City of La Mesa will host its 6th annual Senior Expo on Friday, October 30, 2015.
With a wide variety of speakers and exhibitors, Expo will offer free “one-stop shopping” for adults facing life changes that may affect their independence, or those who would like great tips on safety and security. Supported by funding from SANDAG, Expo will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa 91942 from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm.
Other La Mesa Upcoming Events

Live Well San Diego Live Well San Diego is the County of San Diego's vision for a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving. Although Live Well San Diego began in 2010 as a health strategy, it has evolved into a greater vision to improve the health, safety and well-being of all County residents. 

Senior Services for the City for San Diego
Legal assistance, book exchange programs, newsletter signup (The Scroll), trips, park clubs, and more.

Serving Seniors
Serving Seniors is a safety net for seniors to look to in times of need.