So I am happy to say that I was recently accepted to Naropa University for their MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy program. It's a good thing too, because I had pretty much secured housing out in Boulder before I even found out. I got out there for my interview in February and stumbled upon a tiny bungalow carriage house that was pre-leasing...that plus the mountain air and intensely friendly people I met got me super pumped for moving. All signs were pointing to Boulder, so here we are. Sometimes you just have to let things unfold in the way that they will.
In just a few weeks Isaac and I will be packing up life for a bit to go explore the great Pacific Northwest before moving out to Boulder. Hoping to camp out in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho, say hey to Yellowstone, and then settle into our first farm in Oregon. We will be blueberry picking in Oregon, no-till farming on the San Juan Islands, and goat herding in Olympic National Forest. Chicago blah has beaten us down recently, and I think a bit of goats and sunshine will do us good. Look out for pictures this summer.
In preparation for the difficult work of WWOOFing, Isaac and I are trying to do some exercise since we've been colossal slugs here in Chicago. Isaac's been taking all sorts of anatomy/bodywork/qigong classes at school, and so he's put together a sort of mind-body exercise routine for us...part resistance training, part qigong, part meditation, plus some stretching. It's really not so bad to date a TCM student :). Like most of us who work at computers and have generally terrible slouchy posture, I'm prone to the head forward shoulders hunched look. We've been trying to gradually correct what has become habit, made worse by years of weird violin posture. I'm doing my best to avoid the quasi-moto look, and y'all should too!
In many traditions, it's common knowledge that posture is related to emotional wellbeing and mind-body balance. If you've ever taken a good yoga class, you might have experienced an emotional release with certain postures and a sense of pure calm with others. Along with regular muscular tension, we can hold fear, anger, and other negative emotions in our stiff necks, tight hips, or just about anywhere else affected by an incorrect spine. This is one reason why so much attention is paid to posture in meditation. For me, thinking about how I'm improving my overall emotional balance makes postural work a bit more meaningful... Just something to think about whether you're sitting at that computer or out herding goats.
Anyway, here's a preview of something I've been working on. This one's a bit surreal -- not complete, but getting there. I think it's kind of reminiscent of how I've been feeling as of late... it seems like all of my adventures are a world away, even though they are just around the corner. I'll upload a higher-res version of this once it's complete. For now, a peek from my phone camera: