Friday, April 16, 2010

Who Inspires you and who do you inspire.... My Personal Hero: Michael J. Fox

Been a while folks... I miss this in my heart as always... which is really what keeps bringing me back. I've always been one to write. In grade school I would write stories that the average expressive 8 year old boy would write. You know, the craziest little story about space and monsters with those funny little grade 3 animations... Arms too big, one leg longer, one eye bigger... If that was what I thought I looked like back then, I've definitely gotten better and more proportioned with age. In high school I really got deep into music, beat poets and really good lyricists. And even today, the first two things that I listen for in a good band are drums and vocals. You can never beat someone with a great voice, a moving message and a phat beat to back them up. I still have most of my poetry, lyrics and random ravings in a shoe box in my closet.

I think that one of the reasons that I'm back now is that there is just too much happening in my life, as of recent, that I couldn't not document it. So many things are going on right now. At times it's over whelming but thank Krishna for my breath...

I think in earlier posts I've mentioned a beautiful, energetic young lady named Adele Lynn Oliver. We met 4 years ago and a smidgen back. Adele was working at a local organic grocery store as the Kitchen Manager and I would come in and buy food from her all the time. One day she asked me out for drinks, I said, "how about tonight?" And we've been inseparable ever since. It was actually Adele that introduced me to Yoga and got me into Blogging (I can't believe I just used blogging as a verb). So last year I propose to Adele, she says yes, of course. And now, one year and a smidgen ahead, we are getting married. AWESOME!!!! Planning a wedding however is not so awesome:(
But it's fun to say the least. I love you Adele:)

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my interest in Anusara Yoga?.?.?.? I discovered Anusara Yoga very accidentally. I don't even really know how it happened but one day I found my self reading an article about John Friend. The article was very interesting... He talked about finding alignment in poses and these "Loop Thingies" as Martin Kirk says, to help re-establish your optimal physical posture. This interests me because I'm ridiculously drawn to the workings of our physical bodies... I too am a self proclaimed anatomy geek. Ever since I read that article I was intrigued by Anusara. More recently I went to a workshop being held by an Anusara teacher from Toronto, Michael Siddall. I'd been reading more and more about Anusara on their website and in Yoga Journal, doing some videos from The Grand Gathering and this was the perfect opportunity to get some hands on experience in this practice. The workshop was amazing!! It was everything that I was looking for. The spirituality (Opening to grace), the physical alignment, all the very subtle aspects of Anusara.

Since then, I've also taken a few Anusara classes locally. But the most profound experience, so far, was going to the Toronto Yoga Conference and taking a 6 hour workshop with Anusara Certified teacher and also self proclaimed anatomy geek, Martin Kirk. The workshop covered what is known as the 5 Principal Alignments and Tantric philosophy. And it was an eye opener. From that point I became much more interested about myself, my surroundings and how I interact with everything or sometimes withdraw from everything. This weekend I will again study with Michael Siddall and it intends to be very fun!!!

My other reason for needing to blog today, was actually inspired by an Episode of Rachael Ray (the talk show not the cooking show). While flipping through channels I caught a glimpse of one of my personal hero's, Michael J. Fox. I love to hear Michael J Fox speak. The man has been through so much adversity with Parkinson's and even being thrust into the lime light at such an early age. And when you hear him talk he's so humbled by his experiences and blessed to be here and experience his life for what it is.

I saw him on The Hour with George Stromboulopolus and he was truly up lifting. He was talking about how getting Parkinson's was one of the best things that had ever happened to him. At first listen, when you hear someone say that getting a debilitating disease was the best thing that had ever happened to him, it makes you raise your eyebrows and open your mouth a little. He then went on to explain how the disease has forced him to slowdown. Physically, every move he makes has to be more planned, calculated and mindful. It's made him really step back and learn to appreciate everything that he has (family, friends the disability but also the ability). He said that if everyone were just to experience life from his perspective the world would be much more in touch with where it is and where it needs to be.

As Yogis, most of us strive to find something that was thrust upon Michael J Fox. We work hard to find the appreciation in all small things. We do our spiritual work so that we can look at a bird and appreciate the fact that, although I've seen thousands of birds, I've never seen this bird, in this moment. I try my best sometimes to slow down and be mindful. And then I'll think, "Well Michael J Fox's life depends on his ability to be mindful and present and mine doesn't." I then I realize that it does. It really does...

I like to think sometimes that I can inspire my students as much as my teachers and my hero's have inspired me. That I can use my own experience to help guide someone else on this journey. I do my best to learn from my mistakes, to be a positive person in times of adversity and share everything that I can. And to not judge myself in the times when I'm not any of those things.

To Adele Lynn Oliver, my family, friends, acquaintances and enemies (if there are any)....


PS. Michael J Fox you are a true Yogi!!


Adele said...

if nothing in my life ever goes right again, i will still consider myself the luckiest person in the world, because I have you.

Lynn said...

A incredible story as always Steve, thank for opening up. I will also try to be more aware of life.
I find the blue colour print a little hard to read, maybe it is my screen.