This day hasn’t started off very well

And it’s the one year anniversary of my move to The Hill. No, I still don’t have a driver’s license, because I also don’t have the title for the junker and thus nothing to learn on. I also never got a bike. It’s dicey around Dosch Road though, even for experienced, competitive (and young!) bikers. I live with two of them.

The joy of dealing with cell phone providers…

Wading through the AT&T website and service line makes you want to scream (I did, several times, scaring the dog) and bash your head into a wall (not yet but the day is young). My contract ends on the 20th and I could not let it renew and get locked into another 1½-2 year contract. I can’t afford it! I’m getting charged an extra $31 in fuck-you fees… I might be on C’s plan, but we don’t know for sure cause he can’t get through to Verizon.

The My AT&T website wouldn’t let me change my address, and of course there is NO button or link to “terminate my account”. I got a “need some help?” message which informed me I should go to chat, which of course was “busy” as in “not functioning at all” with a little banner informing you of such. So helpful!

In contemplating the potential of life without a smartphone I realized I wouldn’t have a camera! There’d be no Instagram in that case. Hrrrm… IG is fun cause even bad at social media, middle-aged types like myself will get noticed. Thinking of the artistic self promotion here. The thing is, I’ve never gotten a solid lead in that way.

I’m just trying to type it out before I sit for meditation. It’s going to be a fun one.

Fucking hell I wish that last job opportunity had been real.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. Oh well.

I worked steadily in NYC. I want everyone to remember that, myself included. Not that I want to dwell on it, but ok I’m rambling.

Meditation & a customized “Middle Pillar” ritual

We happened to see black, beeswax, tapered candles at the food co-op the last time we were there…

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My view before yesterday’s morning sit & hermetics. The PNW is dark in the winter.

I’ve been both cursed and blessed. Sometimes even now I still look around and wonder how I got here. Of course I know! I’ve grown a tremendous amount though… pauses to think about the return to art. When I “put it down” in favor of socializing and endorphins, I always had in mind that I could return later, because fine art isn’t ageist. Of course I didn’t think about it in those terms exactly. I had no idea how things get for women past a certain age in the working world. Men too, but much less and much later.

I’d have never had a serious, intimate relationship again if I’d have stayed in NYC. I know this for 100%, gut certainty. And now? Cooking, shagging, a cat and a dog, a secluded lifestyle, daily meditation, hermetics, witchcraft… But no money. Zero earning power, and absolutely every time I’ve had my hopes raised, it’s turned out to be a false hope.

Video says I need to focus on why I want what I want. This would mainly serve as a vibrational correction for the doubt and despair of noticing its continued absence.

  1. I need to get a solid foothold in regular, well-paid illustration work because I need to earn money & art gives me the most joy.¹
  2. I’d regain some independence and purpose.
  3. I need a reason to be.
  4. It’d inspire and focus me and give me tremendous energy.

I’d gotten one bite on my latest Craig’s List Portland ad. If it’d been a real opportunity it’d have kept me busy for 3-4 months, paid a NYC worthy salary and given me a whole boatload of drive and purpose. After I’d talked to the agent I had a couple reasons to think it wouldn’t happen, but this morning I found out for sure. Some tears rolled down my cheeks during meditation.

OK then! Forget about it. Take a nap. Skip exercise if you want. Fuck it.

I’ve been working on visual notes & studying to create a personalized version of the hermetics Middle Pillar ritual… I’ll fill in some information on the correspondences (chakras, archangels, planets etc), but this is enough to do the intoning and (not pictured) the energy moving exercises. This ritual needs to be practiced standing and takes about a half hour.

Middle Pillar Ritual-01.jpg

¹Not that I’m being elitist or anything! The corporations around here aren’t interested in hires over 35, no matter HOW qualified, as they’ve made abundantly clear.

 

 

No impact #HIIT, #reps and #yoga

Well I’m pretty sure I over did it yet again, but in defense of my own stupidity I have no other outlets. I should really start keeping track of the times I leave the house, further than walking Henry around the yard! A trip to the food co-op is now exciting, and a trip to Whole Foods is SUPER exciting. That’s how pathetically restricted my life is. It’d be idyllic here, if I had an income, a small car and a downtown studio. I have none of these things. And in spite of my exercising I have a constant, soft pooch in my lower belly, but like I’ve said before, when I’m not working out I’m completely inactive.

I’ve got Henry and Charlie though. Both are snuggly.

I do think I’m going to pretend shop for a studio, just to torture myself.

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DAY 6: Silent Night Full Body Sculpt

Wore my ankle weights for it. Got the idea from a comment on the YouTube page.

Warm Up: 30:30
1. March in place arm circles
2. Down dog cobra
3. Fire hydrants R
4. Leg lifts R
5. Fire hydrants L
6. Leg lifts L


Each set is HIIT at 50:10

Set 1 1x 4 minutes
1. RL Fwd Lunge + Pass under + Alt SA Bent Arm Raise while in lunge 25
2. RL Curtsy lunge + SL DL 30
3. LL Fwd Lunge + Pass under + Alt SA Bent Arm Raise while in lunge
4. LL Curtsy Lunge + SL DL

Rep based moves:
1. 8 bear crawl hold ceiling stomp + Fire Hydrant / per leg (fluid movement)
2. 8 Plie Squat & Upright Chest Press (squat & press elbows together, come up and press OH) 20
3. 8/leg Slider Rev Lunges 30
4. 8 (2) slider mtn climbers 1 jack pushup

Set 2 2x 8 minutes
1. Swings 35 / elevated feet knee in & opp arm
2. RL Slider Side Lunge with weight touchdown, stand and press out and OH
3. Swings 35 / elevated feet knee in & opp arm
4. LL Slider Side Lunge with Weight touchdown, stand and press out and OH

Repeat rep moves

Set 3 1x 4 minutes
1. Heavy squat 3 pulses 40
2. Plie hold ankle taps with single weight 15
3. Heavy Squat 3 pulses
4. Plie hold ankle taps with single weight

Repeat rep moves Took my vest off for the push-up move starting this set. Stupid vest is SO hard to get back on w/out tangling tho. Have to pause the video every time.

Set 4 2x 8 minutes
30 for all. Loved this set, especially with ankle weights & vest (which brings total extra weight load to about 50lbs)
1. Lateral RL Step up Rev Lunge
2. RL Bosu staggered Squat to Lateral Leg Lift
3. Back Load Lateral LL Step up Rev Lunge
4. LL Bosu staggered Squat to Lateral Leg Lift

Repeat rep moves

Set 5 1 x 4 minutes on bench, 30 for all
1. Heavy Hip Thrust
2. Pullover + narrow chest press
3. Heavy Hip Thrust
4. Pullover + narrow chest press

Repeat rep moves

Set 6 2x 8 minutes
Left vest off here as I was getting sick tired.
1 RL Curtsy + SA swing 20
2 RL Bulgarian weight to toe + SA clean and press 20 first set, both sides, then I hadda drop to 15 for the 2nd round
3 LL Curtsy + SA swing
4 LL Bulgarian + SA clean and press

Abs slider burn and cool/s
20 mtn climber sliders 2=1
15 plank slider jacks
10 tuck abs
5 T stand toe touches/leg
10 hamstring heel pulls
15 wide mtn climber 2=1
20 alt plank kickunders 1=1

(Time = 1:24. I took lots of breaks!)


Yoga

Only 7min

[EDIT UPDATE] Today I’m just going to go with the SADs

This pre-solstice span of dim lighting and hill isolation is BRUTAL for me, on The Hill. I wasn’t here last December. I still had that humongous picture window to stare out of.

christmas-2015

I two big “blows” that month though, not getting an offer for a branding gig at Nike and also not being entry-level enough (while having the nerve to submit “great” test projects) for Creative Coop. That’s when I knew I wasn’t going to be renting another apartment here in the “Economy of a Turnip” Portland. My salvation will HAVE to be remote freelance and fine art. It has to be. There is no other way.

I’m still working at being a real artist, not as much as I should, but I’m plugging away, albeit sporadically, in between incapacitating bouts of sadness and anxiety. I am reunited with my easel!* I hate to admit it, but I realized doing the math I only had it for a year or two before NYC circumstances separated us. It’s a miracle I have it again, even if we still need to get wheels and there’s a hell of a lot I need to get in order to really use it. That thing could handle one of those enormous canvases, say if I was working 5×9-feet or more. But the larger the materials the more expensive. I’m still using some 300lb arches watercolor paper I got either in college or by my mid 20s at the latest. I think it was $10 a sheet back then. And oils are super expensive… Bla, bla, bla.

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*I need to give credit not just to Cathy, who had to offer to intervene twice before I realized she was serious, but also to Charlie who suggested I ask for it. I’d told him about my old easel, I guess in wistful tones. I never thought to ask for it. I knew what that would mean, in terms of my mother and the inevitable freak out. Ooooh that’d be a SHIT-STORM, I said. But I went ahead an initiated anyway. Once he gave me the idea I couldn’t help myself. Save the easel!!!

It’s a monument to a lot of things in my life, youthful optimism and a belief in my own artistic talent, to name just two. I kicked some ass at RISD, even if I didn’t have a sophisticated background.

Henry’s flea induced skin problem isn’t doing ANYthing good for my mood

He was worrying the main area this morning, while I was still lying in bed, so I picked him up to examine it while my coffee was brewing and it’s really raw, red and angry looking. What do I do? Keep him in a cone 24/7? We’ll both be miserable. But when I did that overnight, after discovery, and covered the area with salve it was much less red the next day.

Decided to just spend all day holed up thinking, if I want

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mary-el
10 Card – Outcome

So I’m in the 2016, Pacific Northwest version of the renunciate’s cave. I knew it. I’d never have come if I weren’t tricked*, so the universe made me believe I was coming here to live pretty much the same working, middle aged cat lady single existence (I’d been living before. I’d hoped to improve on the working situation, not to obliterate it!)

*This isn’t intended as blame on any individuals. A similar thing happened when my college BF and I were strongly considering moving to the NYC area and came down for a week in the summer, staying with his established Illustrator friend. We were at Scrap Bar when Axl Rose, at the very height of Guns and Roses fame, came in around 2am and sat at our table. When moving I was totally like, Oh ya, I’m totally making the right decision badgering my boyfriend into this. Rock stars sit with you & you get free beer!

The Hierophant says life is your teacher.  Every experience is a lesson – a learning opportunity for growth and the solid understanding that conflicts are openings for new life to take seed.  When you begin to feel oppressed by the “shoulds” and “oughts” of life – listen to your “inner” teacher.  Once all the facts have been gathered by your conscious mind, they are fed into your subconscious, which sorts, assimilates and sends back a flash of intuition – the correct analysis.  A simple good wish made for another puts divine power into action.  As your prayers rise towards God, they are transformed into benedictions which descend from above.  The search for “truth” is a prayer which is followed by illumination, consolation or grace and it always results in harmonious spiritual respiration.

Use your human situation in order to transcend your unevolved aspects.  Through intuition you become united with the Universe – you learn to hold the two opposing forces of life in balance – having recognized that you can not resolve them.  You “play the game” by understanding the rules and manners of the existing hierarchy and seeking out authorities in your field – making new allies by listening to your conscience.  Share this wisdom with others – you are a teacher.

In the tenth position: Listen to these guides of grace shedding new light in old corners.  You may view this as a new turn on an old truth or as a new pattern of truth speaking an entirely new language.  It will expand your awareness by giving you new friends to play and study with.  Pay more than usual attention to dreams, channeling, meditation, all inner resources, as well as the marvel of serendipity in everyday events.

I’m already playing pretty close attention to my dreams and daily, seated meditation.

Had a frustrated travel dream last night. If I could’ve knocked myself out at 7pm I’d have done so happily, relieved by oblivion. Instead I stayed up all night, obsessing about not having any good snacks and where I’d run away to if I could.

So in dreamland I’d flown to South Beach and met up with my friend Nako. We were supposed to rendezvous with Jane but difficulties ensued…

Body image, depression and a balanced approach to exercise

I can relate to a lot of this… Unlike Christine, I unfortunately don’t have access to a gym or heavy weights.

I can totally relate when she talks about wanting to get back to a certain leanness that she first achieved somewhat effortlessly when starting on a raw food diet. I experienced the same kind of thing when I launched on the India cycle, winter 2006. (India screwed both of us up but in different weight directions!) Sometime after 2010 I hit the ashtanga plateau, compounded by the fact that I couldn’t find a local teacher and then I also stopped going to India. I aged past 43-45, the perimenopausal window of hormonally induced belly fat. I’ve been unhappy with my weight for 4 or 5 years now.

Recently I’ve been loving the new crazy-intense workouts on Fit Body by Julia, but I cannot do them every day like she can. She’s got a few kids, but depending on when she started might even still be in her late 20s, probably with a much healthier lifestyle than mine overall. I’m way less addicted to this idea of an exercise regimen than I used to be in the days of The Cult, when missing days brought a whole lot of culturally supported guilt, but I still get a little worried about it. Now that I’m on The Hill, I’m almost entirely inactive when I’m not working out. I also won’t even bother to shower or even get dressed most of the time if I don’t exercise. I just lie here and read. That’s it.

But then I can’t seem to restrain myself from really blowing it out of the water when I do. Then I’m sore the next day and can’t seem to step up to the plate if I don’t feel I’ll be able to generate a certain level of intensity. Today I was thinking maybe to do just 15min of a HIIT and then some low key yoga, but…


None of this is of end of the world import. It wouldn’t be a tragedy if I settled into an every-other-day plan. I’d just like to be more balanced in my approach, but I guess today I will lie in bed, think about exercise and write about exercise rather than do any.

Killer #pyramid #intervals & #restorative #yoga

Workout was really like 1:48min total.

I glanced at my watch when getting up from savasana, but I forgot to stop it before taking a shower. I’m thrown off by all this door closing! It’s like I’m in a British art film. I brought the space heater in & warmed the room up just a little before turning it off & doing my pyramid. Then I turned it back on for yoga & back off when I was done. I was picking up the equipment, putting it back in the hall and getting shit I’d need and every time out of the room I’d closed the door to keep the heat in. Then I had to bring the heater into the bathroom and warm up that space. The light by the shower end is connected to a vent, which you need to have here because Portland = damp. In and out, doors closing. Sir Henry is confused. He hates a closed door! He’ll scratch outside and then complain when he’s let in and “shut in”.

You’ll see I had an intense workout cause I’d done about 25min easy yoga after finishing the pyramid, and then I’d cleared the space and gotten the bathroom heat going before taking off my watch to get in the shower, and my average was still 140.

This is good! I’ll be taking a forced, 2-week break from exercise over the holidays… and it’s not because I’m traveling. At the very most I’ll get 2 workouts per week. We’ll see how that goes. I immediately crossed any thoughts to cook off my list.

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I gave myself a 2-3min break between sets, lol.

  1. pyramid 50:10 (2x) – 20min Wore 8lb vest.
  2. 40:10 (2x) – 16:40m No vest.
  3. 30:10 (2x) – 13:20m With vest through this & the rest of the sets.
  4. 20:10 (2x) – 10m
  5. 10:10 (2x) – 6:40m1. SA 1-2 burpee tuck jumps Using alt arms, jump back to plank & butt kick. Jump in & come up & tuck jump.
    2. Alt Curtsy lunge plank jack push-ups  2 10lb
    3. Switch lunge (weight pass through)
    4. Push up toe taps -t stand 
    5. Pendulum lunges + hops RL 2 15lb These are SO FREAKING HARD holding 30lbs & wearing a vest. And I’m just 8lbs! That’s enough with all the push-ups.
    6. Pendulum lunges + hops LL
    7. Lizard hops Kind of like a staggered, continuous nakrasana with 8 extra pounds on your shoulders.
    8. Manmakers 2 15lb
    9. In and out squat jumps 5 + star jumps (2)
    10. Cross/cross/upper front kick tuck jump

Total time – 1:16:50

Yoga

About 25min restorative, with a 3min savasana. I really needed it! Normally I do like 1min.

Planks, Pyramids, and Abs Oh My! by Jori

This is an excellent workout but it really didn’t make me feel better. I’m in a loooong and dark run of the sads and I can’t see things changing any time soon, if ever. I do pat myself on the back for getting out of bed and doing it though. For one thing, I get way more headaches if I don’t exercise, and a steady diet of ibuprofren really isn’t going to help. I already had 400mg today. It’d be nice to cap it there.

I did the opening plank & HIIT portion from the video and the rest mostly from my list. If there’s one thing I’ve got it’s time and I may as well do my reps more slowly if that seems to be what works best for my body.

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Plank it till you make it:3 Total Rounds Each 4 min (12 min total) shared from AXFIT

Round #1
1. Plank Hold on Elbows (1 min)
2. Plank Walk Laterally on Elbows the length of your Mat, low inchworm to low squat, power jump up, low inchworm back down to elbow plank, walk over to other side of mat, then walk back to the other side and repeat (jumping at only one side of the mat) (2 min)
3. Side to Side Lateral Mogul low squat jumps (1 min)

Round #2
1. Elbow Plank Jacks (1 min)
2. Plank Walk on Elbows forward up to the top of the Mat + x 2 Chest to Mat Burpees then plank walk back down the mat in reverse (backwards), then back up the mat again , x 2 Chest to Mat Burpees at the top of the mat (2 min)
3. Power Switch Jump Lunges (1 min) stay low

Round #3
1. High Plank Hops over the Mat (1 min)
2. Plank Suicides (Commandoes) start on elbows alt R/L with each up/down + alt shoulder taps and alt toe taps in up position. (2 min)
3. Side to Side Lateral Mogul low squat jumps and on one side do a power switch lung R/L (1 min)


Pyramid: 2 Exercises paired together, one rep of A, then one rep of B. Then 2 reps of A, followed by 2 reps of B……all the way to 5 and 5.

A. Elevated Manmakers. 30lbs Push-up & row, push-up & row other side. Jump forward. Clean & press. Switched to list right here after the 2x for each round! I wanted to use 15lbs each hand on the manmakers & touch tip of nose to floor each push-up, going slow & controlled. I also like to jot notes as I go!
B. Straight Arm Kickbacks, 20lbs Palms facing up toward ceiling. Love this move.

A. DL Rainbow Right 40lbs ankle weights for this & next set √ Your legs feel SO LIGHT when you take ’em off
B. OH Press w/ RL Knee Lift + Leg Extension 20lbs

A. DL Rainbows Left
B. OH Press w/ LL Knee Lift + Leg Extension

A.Assisted Pull-up Should start this one next time with no or lighter assist (thinner band)
B. Kneeling Clean + Press, 40lbs

A. Reverse Lunge Right on Slider + Hammer Curl 30lbs
B. Assisted Chin-up Did first 2 with no band. I have to find where I put my lighter bands when I moved the last time.

A. Reverse Lunge Left on Slider + Bicep Curl 30lbs
B. OH Tricep Extension 20lbs

A. Right Figure 4 Squat Hold w/ Front Raise 20lbs
B. Narrow Squat & bent over Fly 20lbs

A. Left Figure 4 Squat Hold w/ Lateral Raise 20lbs
B. Sandbag (or DB)1/2 Burpee Upright Row 20lbs Way too light for the rows. I’d have gone to 12-13 if I had fucking adjustable weights god damnit. Didn’t wanna jump to 15s here.


HIIT Cardio: 50/10 (with weighted vest)

  1. Angry Donkey Wall Kicks x 3 (land in low squat) + Squat Jump x 1
  2. Squat Jump x 3 + Push Ups x 3
  3. Pike up “V” Abs x 2 + Lift body in “L” sit off of DB’s (L-sit for 3 counts was absolutely no problem for me & I was wearing my vest, but I think that’s bc of my yoga background. You need good hamstring flexibility for this.)
  4. Dynamic Squat Touchdowns x 3 + Chest to Floor Burpee Tuck Jump x 1
  5. Switch Lunges x 3 +  SL Spiderman Push Up x 1
  6. 10 Mtn Climbers + 3 Wide Leg Frogger Tuck Jump Hop Over DB or Mat

Abs: Repeat 2x

  1. Elbow Plank Mat Hops R/L (20 reps)
  2. Crunch Up Twist Right + Crunch Up Twist Left (20 reps) Really slow with full range of motion here so I paused the video the 1st time through & did 2nd round of the abs from list.
  3. Elbow Plank – Jack Legs (20 rep)
  4. Bicycle Abs (20 reps) (1=1)
  5. Tuck Jumps (standing) 20 reps
  6.  Crab Toe Touch Right Side Only (20 reps) These moves would probably be better done alternating bc you’d be forced to bring your balance back to the middle between every rep.
  7. Crab Toe Touch Left Side Only (20 reps)
  8. Bicep Curl in “V” Sit (20 reps) 20lbs
  9. Weighted Windshield Wipers: wt. between feet, wt. in right arm, feet go to left side, arm goes right to side, both come up to the center, repeat. (20 reps) 1st round 3lbs bet feet & 10lbs in hand & 10 reps per side. 2nd round 5lbs bet feet & same bet hands & 20 reps per side
  10. Weighted Windshield Wipers: wt. between feet, wt. in left arm, feet go to right, arm goes to left (20 reps)*I did 10 reps

(1:35, rounding down)

Easy Yoga

I guess it was about 14-15min, depending on how long it took for me to get my fugly sneakers off & rearrange the space.