A lot is different now, as opposed to last semester, which ran from January to May. I'm still in class, and an intensive one at that. And yep, I'm already behind in the reading, though I'm catching up. Plus, being as it's a gendered history of food class, I really like the material and it's not hard to get through. All of this makes me feel like I can breathe and actually take the time to do yoga, go to the gym, and write. I guess the key here is to learn how to make those things doable priorities all of the time.
I have also been cleaning a lot lately. In my experience, clutter means anxiety and depression while tidiness and cleanliness mean more energy and a better attitude. I think it's a little bit like smiling - mostly we smile because we're happy, but smiling can improve mood. Likewise, I think generally when we're well balanced we tend to keep things orderly and thus our energy and emotions orderly, but disorganization can cause anxiety and cleaning can improve mood and energy. I've been organizing, scrubbing, and regularly burning sage.
I don't know how many cultures burn sage as a space clearing practice, but it definitely works for me. For whatever reason, saging beforehand, sometimes as much as by a day or two, seems to make all of the cleaning easier and more manageable. It also seems to draw my attention to things that I didn't even notice needed tending to, and as soon as they are put at rights, I feel much better. I've also been trying to keep myself particularly healthy and clean, drinking dandelion tea and using a variety of essential oils, but especially geranium.
Apparently at least one of the chemical constituents of geranium oil actually reduces stress at a genetic level, by inhibiting the transcription of genes that are activated in stressful situations. Prior to learning this, my experience of geranium was first that it helped remove old depression from this body (as opposed to helping with a current depressive episode) and then as I felt to use it in significant quantities after training for and running my first half marathon, usually directly on my thighs, I experienced much quicker healing time and less pain after long runs. I'm now fascinated by the mind/body/spirit interplay going on. Learning as I am about the psoas muscle and the way that we literally hold stress and fear in our muscles, I am interested in the way that geranium seems to work on multiple levels to reduce inflammation processes and, in turn, also have an emotional effect.
I'm exploring the connections of an unbelievable tightness in my mid back (behind my heart chakra, as understood in that system of organizing the body's energy), my slight scoliosis, and the tightness in my hamstrings. There are certain stretches that simultaneously release my back and hamstrings and this is often accelerated by meditating on releasing old emotions; additionally, if I apply geranium oil to my hamstrings immediately before doing my morning pages, which are often free writing, I tend to get a torrent of memories from my childhood, often very distant memories. They aren't necessarily all good or bad, or even seemingly significant, although they are often things that I haven't thought of in years or even decades. I wonder why it is that releasing tension in these particular muscles, which started at a very young age, seems to release even mundane memories. Then again, feel very emotionally cut off from my childhood, so perhaps just remembering is significant in and of itself.
Regardless, I am extremely please to have the 21.5.800 project as a framework for continuing all of these explorations.
(FYI - Posted without proof reading. I've got notes to take for a midterm coming up!) :)