Day 1 of Yoga Challenge


Thirty yoga classes in thirty days.

If I skip one day, I have to make up for it on a weekend, catch two classes. But a lot like other monthly challenges, this is one that will challenge me mentally and physically. I am reminded of the NaNoWriMo challenge, but there is a huge difference. I can’t do extra yoga sessions at 3AM to get ahead. Well I could get multiple classes done in one day, but pacing is the main part to this Om-arathon. Not over doing it, not pushing too hard to injure, just find that stretch. Finding that spot where it’s just a little too uncomfortable, then seeing why it is, backing up a little, then pushing just a teeny bit more.

Yesterday was my first Sivananda class. A lot of the principles in this type do cross over to the other types of classes I have taken. Having a sinus inflammation lately, made the breathing exercises a little fun. For a moment there, I couldn’t breathe out of my left side. Must do more Neti pot in the next few days… possibly thirty. It’s been a while since I’ve done the flow through the Sun Salutations. Felt a little clumsy, but definitely got the place where I could feel the stretch on my upper thigh and hip, as well as my throat. Part of me wanted to stay in some positions a little longer; cobra felt good in the lower back, and downward dog to get the backs of my calves loosened up. Didn’t quite match up the breaths with the positions, but will get that in time. Incorrect practicing at home?

And then the headstand.

I didn’t fall. I did find the position interesting when I got my arms into triangle, then put the crown of my head on the mat, then the inverted V shape, where I could feel the tension in hamstrings, and calves. And then when I leaned forward, and brought my legs up. Well, let’s just say, my shoulders told me that I was not anywhere near being ready to do one. I do hold a lot of tension there. The muscle feels like bone. Many massage therapists basically can dig deep to break up the knots. Headstand will come in time.

Think it’s called crow, where you squat, put your hands forward on the ground, then rest your inner thighs on the backs of your elbows. I got off the ground, and balanced for a minuscule three seconds. Then the contents of my sinuses shifted and I almost fell on my face. I chuckled and got back into it, this time, with only my big toes barely tickling the mat. Back twisting was good, think I freaked out some of my neighbouring yogis when my back popped and I grunted with the release.

And shavasana. Yay, that was a deep one with the last relaxation, and for some reason a memory came back to me.

Living on the farm, the last year. It was summer, and I knew that there was the Move into town. Just me and mom. We spent a lot of that summer watching tv and movies, and reading. Not really dealing with the divorce or the painful parts of life. And the one month where I kept falling asleep during the Chuck Norris movie, had a Doberman or a Rottweiler in the beginning of it. Fifteen minutes in, BAM! I’m out like a light. There was a big huge chunk of foam, more squarish single bed size. I’d make my bed in the living room, flicker of the tv, sound of the pages as Mom read, windows open brought the occasional summer breeze through the long house, dogs out barking at the edge of the home section. I was warm and comfortable there. And not a care in the world that I would like to acknowledge. It was one of the strongest memories of love that I’ve ever had. It felt like home. There have been other smaller places that have felt that way for me, but not as strong or as deep.

I have no idea what that memory means for it to come up, but I do know this, it’s challenging my emotional state as well. Breaking physical tightness will help release emotional tightness. Maybe subconsciously I’ve ‘Made this Place Home-Like so it is Comfortable during times of Discomfort’.

I’m thankful that I started the thirty day challenge with this one class. No hot yoga to start this one off, that is tomorrow. And this challenged me as well.

I’m still here,

Pearce

P.S. Check in with your local yoga studios for 30 day challenges throughout the year.

P.S.S. More reflective thoughts on yoga to come in the next 30 days. You have been warned.

P.S.S.S. May include a paypal link, buy a guy a coconut water?

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Day 3 – 2012


Combination of Downward Dog, sinus infection, and partially digested ramen noodle in chicken broth makes for an interesting burp.

Hi. I’m Pearce Kilgour. Geek, Slim Yogi, Dad, Writer, Participant in the last Great Quaffing, owner and proprietor of the General Office of Consciousness. This is my blog, and from the links above, you can find some of my other ramblings, stories, and soon to come, audio recordings thereof.

I’m easing into daily yoga. Just working with some of the poses as they come to me. Warrior, up cobra, downward dog, low plank, half moon, light stretches, an inverted pigeon pose which really seems to relax my hamstrings. Also just stretching out on the floor, and really giving my lower back a chance to relax seems to help. I do yoga today, so I can do yoga tomorrow. I’m looking forward to starting the 30 Classes in 30 Days challenge at Hot Yoga on 20th.

The sinus infection probably comes from the colder weather last week and foolishly I did not cover my forehead or wear my scarf to keep my nose warm. Now, it’s time again for another form of yoga – Neti Pot.  I’ve got my hands on some really good sea salt, no additives, no iodine, no caking agents. Just straight salt. From various sources on the net, it seems that the best combination, depending on the pH of the water, is 1 part Sea Salt to 1 part Baking Soda. I went with half part baking soda, and I can’t tell the difference between the Neti pot ‘buy our brand’ and the combination that I made. (Besides the monetary difference.) For those of you who ever had sinus problems and wanted to get a cranial plumber to just ‘get in there and drill the pressure out’, I do recommend getting over squeamish feelings and try it out. I hated it the first week I did it. But my previous sinus infections have been quite shorter and symptoms have been reduced without the help of over the counter drugs. More info on Nasal Irrigation here! And it is a form of yoga, Jali Neti. That’s right, from a country that has so many people and allergens in the air, it’s no wonder they came up with a method to clean the inside of your nose. What next? A method to clean the inside of your mouth, or teeth? CRAZY!

Also came to the realization that the purer the substance, the harder it is to get hands on it. With every step on the way that adds something to it, also pays that step along the way. The small exploitation of  labour at every transaction, cut the pureness out, and take some on the way. In the end, isn’t the cheapest thing the one with the most filler?

Also back onto the vitamin regimen after the usual New Years feasting has been completed. The usual Christmas Taco, Bacon wrapped Jalapeno’s, Prime Rib (twice), Yorkshire Pudding (once, unfortunately) and Tortierre was distributed across many days. Feeling a little ick across the chest, cholesterol is probably to blame on this again, so time to hit the leafy greens and vitamins. I’ve also been drinking ginger juice, made by a local, and increasing my water intake. As well as consuming green tea whenever I can. And it popped into my head today, Holy Basil. I can’t remember which podcast I was listening to, but I seemed to recall one of the guests was explaining when they take Holy Basil extracts, their synchronicity seems to occur hardcore. The main effect is less stress, so this is something I’m going to try out as well. If I can flow more with my surroundings, the less stress I will have overall. Trust me, I won’t be going completely all leafy greens, if I don’t get my meaty proteins in, I get grumpy.

Took some time to go over some business plans, adding more ideas and sources that I have to research out. Compiling this information will take some time, but once it is together, I will know it inside and out. Just a matter of getting it done.

Also took some time to go over my NaNoWriMo effort, still sitting at 22k, and I know it’s well past the November 30th deadline, but I will finish the stories off. It isn’t good enough for print material, maybe e-book, but it is still a first draft, and I know I can do better. Although, I don’t think the ending has ever been done in major comic book history. Must visit the library. Weekly.

This is not a new years resolution promise, this is me drawing a mark on the trail. Blazing that path. How else can I see where I came from?

That, and I got my 750 words for today done. How you like me now?!

I’m still here,
Pearce

The Best of 2012


The best hasn’t been my writing. Fiction, poetry, blog posts, facebook reposts…

The best has not been the discovery of my new found love of poetry or spoken word. Or my clumsy attempts on stage.

The best has not been my determined progress with my home business or the other business ideas that keep popping up like so many plot bunnies. (See above and writing.)

The best has not been my love life being resuscitated, dying and being resurrected once again.

The best has not been laughs with friends in limos, travelling to cities beyond my home, embracing culinary culture shock within my own country…

The best has not been that really useful binder clip I found the one day. The best has not been my choice to eat healthier and use my slow cooker more. The best has not been the hot yoga sessions where I’ve found new flexibility and new places where I’m storing my pain, anxiety, and other repressions. The best has not been that stove top popcorn with coconut oil and bacon salt at midnight with the really good crisp cold ginger beer, the twisty bacon, the green onion food hack, or the upcoming recipe for lefse that somehow reminds me of my Nana’s scones.

I’d have to say that the best has been all of that.

For I have lived.

I have made mistakes that have not brought me down and I have learned from them. I’ve risked and gained and lost. I have made decisions from a place of love and not fear. I’ve tasted my own foot, learned to eat crow, found better ways to  deal with my own internal conflicts. And learned to live out loud.

And that I’m still here,

Pearce

P.S. And I won’t stop going. Just watch me.

Cold Call? Zen Terrorism.


Uncle gave a motivational speech to a cold call telemarketer. Asked him what made him happy and that he should pursue it.

Kept insisting that the telemarketer have a good day. Wouldn’t stop asking him to have a good day.

He ended the conversation with ‘I have to go, somethings happening on the lower end of my body and you don’t want to be there when it happens.’

You’d think the telemarketers would have us on their own Do Not Call list.

At Night


Late night, realizing that I need some groceries, and sleep does not come soon. Fresh air, exercise, that will help. Or so says the voice of reason. The rushing pace of constant thoughts of stories yet to be written keep me up. Not to mention the anxieties of not writing them and trying to push them through rusty gears of unused prose and far too clumsy writing techniques. (Seriously. Just read the past few sentences. What kind of BS writing is that?) I escape my empty bed, gear up for the road with reflectives and head out.

The city is dark, lighted up like a glittering jewel in the new rain. Black iridescent beetles fly in my wake, the hum of the pavement under my wheels. Legs pumping, my neglected muscles ache in agony, this is supposed to be getting healthy. Warren Ellis’ mixtape of unsigned artists plays in my earbuds, soundtrack to a city that really does not sleep, but shifts restless.

Passing by houses, recliners hold boob-tube guardians, cats stare out from behind screens. I see a redlight in an upper bedroom window, serpentine shadows across the ceiling. Houses are guardians with dark eyes, holding in lives, keeping out the night. I think I heard a womans laugh. Down the street, the blood orange red neon shows the stumbling players from a nearby bar.

Grocery store lights are uncompromising at midnight, no amount of makeup holds back the weariness. People are nervous at this time, who gets pancake mix and coffee creamer at midnight? This guy. I’m the one holding up the box looking at the ingredients, wondering if I could work this into a story… This guy. With more salt than pepper in his beard. Just like them, there is a good reason why they are here. Some are for party supplies, the usual, hotdogs and meats to be roasted over campfires, tonic and limes. Some are just getting off their work, their supper comes at the witching hour.

I wish the security guard at the front door a boring evening. I stop for some chocolate milk, remembering someplace that they call it blood milk, can’t remember where, but will have to look it up later.

Light rain falls, I don’t mind it, air is a little cooler, but I have to remind myself. It’s not minus 40.

Wheels hum again, legs really starting to ache, gear shifter won’t go down into the first gear, just second and third. Will have to look at that, or just leave it. How many gears can I use at once?

Further down the street, home is close. Miles Davis comes on, birth of cool.

This is part of my Saskatoon.

I’m still here,
Pearce

Another lap around the sun


Hi, I’m Pearce Kilgour, you may know me from such events as, ‘Who is that guy and why is he wearing that hat?’ or ‘Is that a Geocacher or is-ooh, that branch got him good.’ Besides having my name misspelled on a daily basis, I have been known as the better geek that you should know. You’ll find musings, rants, reviews, and if the sun is shining just right, the occasional fiction post. Just poke around. I will in the near future put more fun stuff on here.

Yesterday, I completed my 36th lap around the sun. Well, I didn’t do much to help it out, the earth did quite a bit of that. So I give thanks.

Within the past lap around the sun, I’ve done the following
– I have travelled to the south end of Saskatchewan,
– Visited Disneyland and Universal Studios with my daughter (very crowded)
– Completed a 50’000 word novel in 22 days, (mainly adverbs, not even good first draft, book 2 of trilogy, book 1 was done last year’s NaNoWriMo)
– There is no fourth item, (It just neatly fills it out, take a look at the whole thing. Cool, right?)
– Shaved my chin to have just a moustache on halloween, (Magnum PI) and now growing out winter beard…(until I get tired of the facial hair, or when I know it will be warmer.)

Not too much of a big list, but a good start, considering that previously my life was primarily introvert and not accepting the world, hiding in books and video games. Just having a list of accomplishments and goals is better than not having one at all.

Thirty six laps, okay, years, enough of that silliness. And a lot of life changes. I’d like to think this not as a mid-life crisis at this point, but more of a renewal. (I’m kind of sure that the crisis is over, there is that small lingering doubt, but its a proactive fear, one that motivates me to be aware and not fall into previous habits.) There have been necessary hardships and heartaches to get to this point. But I’d like to think that I’m better than I was before. Some days I’m not really sure about being better, but I know the journey to becoming better is the right path to be on, despite the ups and downs.

I know within the next four years, I am going to swim in an ocean I have never been in. I know that I will have the workings of a possibly publishable draft of my writing in some form or another. And that I will keep working on my writing and fiction skills. But I’m finding that these larger goals are better off being smaller ones. And if I stumble and fail, fantastic. It’s going to be good learning from these mistakes.

Thanks for letting me make mistakes,
Pearce

Remind Myself


Everyday I have to remind myself to set aside the fear, be the explorer. Sieze the day. Scars tell tales of mistakes learned.
I don’t want to be a tourist.

Even with the knowledge that being a tourist is the safer route, less risk of getting hurt. But without the risk, where is the fun? Where is the thrill? Where is the exploring without knowing what is going to happen next? If I want someone elses experience, then I’ll be the tourist. It will all be nicely sterilized and individually packaged to meet a markets major margin (primarily occupied by the mediocre) for satisfaction.

How boring does this get?

There is no room for innovation, creativity, or true learning with this system. It stifles curiosity and motivation. And over a period of time, this enforces laziness. Someone else will have already done the work. And over time, it slowly creeps into all aspects of life. Everything has already been done, and no one is questioning why. Not one of them has taken the time or the willingness to draw or colour outside of the lines.

Amazing gardens produce fantastic vegetables, only if there is good attention put into them. Is there a pre-determined formula that will work for everyone? No. There is no secret ingredient, only the willingness to try something different. Would you follow the exact recipe that your neighbor tells you for gardening? You would if you didn’t have the motivation or inclination to try it out yourself.

Its one thing to dream about greener hills, it’s another to actually move beyond that dream and actually take a look at how much it will take to get there. Fortunately, sometimes all it takes is a new perception to go into new territory. A willingness to think differently and try things in a new manner allows exploration in what you have overlooked.

So what’s out there? I don’t know. I am willing to find out. I am willing to make mistakes, learn from them. I’ll be on the beach asking both groups why there is a line drawn in the sand when a combined effort would work better for all of us.

You take away the efforts and attention to detail, you remove the passion from it. Product X is created, mass produced by the thousands. How much attention could each one of those items get? The beauty is less as a crowd, it no longer has an individual identity. The major margin which everyone can identify does not necessarily mean that it should be good for everyone. Once you weed out the higher quality and not make it available, you control the mediocre market, where those masses of micro dollars are. The only thing this enriches is someones wallet, not your own life. (Product X patent pending)

There is a bhuddist quote, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. To live in fear is to suffer and hide from life. To learn from your mistakes is painful, but denial and hiding from the possibilities of life is far worse. Its a rejection of life itself to put on the blinders of ignorance.

So what is this all about? Travelling? Gardening? Something you can purchase?

This is about perspective.

It’s about stepping outside of those lines that have been put around you, questioning those around you and asking them ‘Is there a better way?’ Its blowing your mind with a great book. Its taking a different route home. Go that extra step, get curious. Look around that extra corner. Take the initiative and try that new recipe. Be silly in public. Say ‘screw that I’m too old to learn anything new’ and do something new. Laugh at the mistakes, enjoy the new places you are going to take yourself. It’s allowing yourself to you open your mind to the possibilities, and seeing what life will bring you. Fortune does not favor the weak or the timid.

Or so I have to remind myself.
Every day.

I’m still here,
Pearce

P.S. this is more of a post for myself, than anyone else. If you like it, let me know. Drop a comment.

Three Legged Cat/Vacation AND Tales of King City – Balance


It’s Tuesday, I’m moved into my new place, with all my clutter. One of the current residents is a 3 legged kitten. I never thought I would be typing those words. Regardless of the missing limb, this cat is amazing. Quickly adapted to his situation, there isn’t a spot he can’t jump up or do. And it hasn’t stopped his kitten spirit. Surprising from the basement I can pick out the sound of his 3 legged galloping. I’ll be randomly giving updates on my twitter feed under the hash tag #GoodJobCharlie and #3LeggedKittenTales And in the spirit of Dos Equis Man, this cat is so charming, a vaccine needs to be developed against it, lest it take over the world.

Vacation time has been good, I definitely know that I need more time than what I am taking, but it’s time with my kid. Doing stuff around town that we’ve always meant to do, but never have. Think this is called Living in the Moment. We are stopping to smell the roses, but not without a liberal application of mosquito repellent. If you want to see huge dragonflies, come to Saskatoon. I swear I saw one yesterday with a 10 inch wingspan.

And while I’m doing this, because I know a few of you have been waiting for it, the finale to Balance – Detective Watson Goodstone’s investigation into the tale of more people leaving the library than entered. This is all first draft, but the repercussions of this may show up in other Tales of King City stories.

That’s it, read, enjoy, tell your friends, send cookies,
I’m still here,
Pearce

I have too much stuff AND Fiction Friday : Tales of King City – Balance (Decisions and Duality)


I’m moving into a new rental today/tomorrow. And I have way too much stuff. Last night I thought I had beaten insomnia enough that I would go straight to bed and crash. Check that, as soon as I got home, I had things to do. I had stuff to pack, stuff to clean, stuff to do. I ended up spending a good chunk of the night burning old papers for some reason or another I kept. Papers going back to my radio days, papers that I kept for one reason or another. I’d like to say that it was cleansing getting rid of some of the clutter. But I still have a lot more to go. And right now with time constraint, I don’t have enough time to cull everything I have. I have to move the clutter first, then deal with it. I have been following Leo Babauta’s Zen Habit blog, and it is a great site to follow. And I know there are other methods of cleaning/organizing your stuff, for some people Flylady works. But I’m of the opinion that a simple habit will be more effective. I will get into the declutter habit, lest my stuff avalanche. And get rid of my need for a house, as the late George Carlin has spoken the truth on stuff. NSFW He has spoken the truth!

And since it is Friday, here is part 6 of Balance, another Tale of King City. Hmm…. note to self, must declutter paragraphs.

I’m still here,
Pearce