October 31, 2010

Excuse me…your veil is slipping…

I read Joslyn’s Halloween post (I read most of her posts, she rocks) and I have to say I felt a bit of what she was saying.

For a few years now I have stuggled with the candy thing…I just can’t be party to that much garbage going into kids. When my boys were little, we had a limit on what and how much could be eaten and it was doled out frugally for some time.

But this year I stood at the store and thought — I can’t buy this garbage…I simply can’t.  For several years I lived in a retirement community (we didn’t have many trick or treaters) so I hadn’t been faced with this dilemna for awhile; but now in the new house I’m in a “neighborhood” and I thought “OH CRAP, I MAY HAVE TRICK OR TREATERS” and I have to admit I got excited for a moment, I was looking forward to costumes and families having fun together and then the damn candy.  I wasn’t going to be party to it and like Joslyn I didn’t want to be the “lame” house; so sadly I decided to turn off the porch light and give it some more thought for next year. So, yeah Joslyn I feel ya’ there.

Environmentally, well don’t get me started on the garbage waiting to happen. But then again it’s not as if Halloween has a corner on that market; that a pervasive societal pock mark that we are trying to tame…the throw away attitude.  But it didn’t make me not like Halloween, I mean I have had some of the same decorations for 10 years (partly ’cause I’m cheap, admittedly)  So decorating isn’t automatically a no-no; it’s a personal choice.   But alas due to the candy dilemna, I didn’t decorate this year for fear of attracting candy seekers.

Dressing up. Well Joslyn this is were you and I part ways; I’m not surprised although we both were not burning man material our reasons were very different and those same differences explain how we see this from different sides. You see,  I love dressing up.  Well I used to. I used to be crazy go nutz for it, as far back as I can remember I loved costumes, from my early years in ballet to my thespian years in high school to years of theatre as a young adult and finally to dressing up to take my kids out trick or treating, by far my favorite times.


But after my husband passed I found I had lost the passion to do anything so outrageous and fun and I as I got more and more into my spirituality I really left those pursuits behind; well basically I got really serious.  (and sort of boring) Not myself at all.  I heard myself thinking things like “it’s just a distraction”… until last year when it started to re-awaken…my sense of fun and novelty and creativity.   I had partly blamed my sobriety on my new boring self,  claiming that things had only fun becuase I had been drinking.  I blamed time and money and health and well everything but my grief or depression.   Fortunately, I finally realized that this was all hogwash (what a silly word).  I began to remember that it was fun to play and pretend and to see how clever people could be; it was great fun to see people coming out of their little humdrum worlds and do something creative. I realized I was particularly fond of social and political statement costumes. (jan brewer as the wicked witch of the west)

I noticed that I loved to see how clever and original people could be — sure I occasionally had that thought, “where are they the rest of the time” but overall I loved seeing the joy and passion. Even so I was still not back to my old self jumping with joy over halloween; it needed meaning for me, it needed something I could love beyond the joy of wearing a costume again. (Oh and i am excited about my costume this year…pictures forthcoming; let’s just say I rock a pretty mean mohawk)

Anyway, I finally found that connection I was seeking, a way to bring things together somewhere in the middle where I like to reside.  Not sitting on the sidelines, but not taking part mindlessly and without some sort of meaning.  I taught yoga this morning.  The studio where I work had a big celebration with Jamba Juice and Pop-chips and toe readings; and I taught I big ‘ol basics class; complete with Halloween themed music. (I am BIG on theme music to go with my classes)  Well, I put together the music (things like Jack’s Lament from Nightmare before christmas, bad moon rising, witchy woman and white rabbit) and let the nagging thought that I had no theme fester….until I successfully ignored it…until the ride to class this morning.   Damn it, I had no freaking CLUE what I was going to say.   I couldn’t just play Halloween music and pretend like it was a regular class…I couldnt’ have them howl and completely ignore that this was still yoga class…but alas it’s October in Arizona and I’m afraid that totally beautiful fall morning on the motorcycle made me forget my troubles and I arrived without a thought in my head…thank goodness.

Thirty plus people sat in front of me and I admitted that I had struggled with the concept of tying yoga to halloween…I admitted that I had always loved the holiday but wasn’t sure how it fit into our practice…so let’s just settle into meditation….the breath moved in and the breath moved out and with it the ideas just flowed.  You see Halloween is the night where the veil between the two worlds is said to be at its thinnest, when spirits are able to walk amongst us.  The connection between body and spirit is closer on this night.  What stands between you and spirit?  What veils are heavy upon your eyes and heart that could be lifted on this auspicious night?  What lessons from spirit can you be open to?

I called it the yogi version of howling at the moon.

So we chanted OM (I called it the yogi version of howling at the moon) and we let the vibrations shatter our egos to lift the veil to connect us to spirit.   We meditated on Ajna (brow chakra) to listen to the wisdom of spirit…and we remembered that life is too short to be taken seriously. So why not let your creativity out with a costume? Why not shatter the ego a bit by not caring what others think of you?  Why not connect body and spirit in an act of creativity and frivolity that might just shatter your preconceived notion about yourself?   And hey, if it isn’t your thing no big deal, but don’t think less of us who like to play on the edge a bit…it isn’t all about scariness and horror, and it certainly isn’t about Nestle products or drunken stupors…sure all that stuff happens; but maybe it’s about something so much more….or mabye it’s all just nonsense —either way this made my day:

Yoga Inspired Halloween Costumes

The Bikram Choudhury

You Will Need:

  • Extremely Tiny Shorts
  • Hot Wax for Baby Smooth Chest
  • Elastics for Hair
  • Fake or Natural Tan. Your Choice
  • Gold Rolex Watch
  • Bonus:  Trick Or Treat While Driving a Mercedes, BMW or Phantom
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