Thursday, September 14, 2017

Morning Meet and Greet



Meditation: this is a practice in which the reality is both a blessing and a curse. I practice for the former and it is the latter state I work to ameliorate even as I meet it. 
Meditation: the discipline of focus and non-engagement, the practice of silence among the mental clamor, the gift of being in the midst of doing. Breathe, regard the posture, the pose of the body, the feeling tones, the activity of the mind and then...again. 
Meditation: while I may look for "nothing"; nothing is in the space between the moments of attention. It is there that I can meet myself in silence- practicing unconditional love as I see all there is of me. I meet the good and the difficult, the clear and the murky. I can breathe and greet myself just as I am. 
Now; to sit.

“In meditation we have the opportunity to meet ourselves, to see ourselves clearly for the first time. We have never met ourselves properly or spent this kind of time with ourselves before. . . . We cook, we talk, we take a walk, or we swim. We never just sit with ourselves.
—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, "Cool Boredom"


Kyczy Hawk RYT E-500 is a yoga instructor and author. She teaches in treatment centers as well as yoga studios in her hometown of San Jose, CA. Her volunteer time includes teaching yoga in Elmwood Women’s Jail and The Recovery Cafe San Jose. She has been a space holder for the internationally known Y12SR (Yoga of Twelve Step Recovery) for over six years.
Kyczy has published several books including “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” 2012 and “Life in Bite Sized Morsels” 2015. Her book “Yogic Tools for Recovery; A Guide To Working The Steps” will be out November 14, 2017.
She is a contributor to national and international magazines (I Love Recovery Cafe, Yoga Times, 12 Step Gazette, OM Magazine, Recovery Today Magazine and Indigo International, among others.)  Kyczy has developed a series of yoga sequences for Studio Live TV that incorporate recovery principles in all-levels yoga classes. The link for them can be found on her website www.yogarecovery.com.
Recovery has allowed her to heal and enhance her relationships with her kids, her family and her grand-family. Life is now rich with possibilities which she explores with art, craft and travel.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Our thoughts are not the [only] reality



I used to hear a pharse in the rooms of recovery: "feelings are not facts". While I do maintain that feelings are real, they are indeed not facts. Neither are my thoughts! 
The impressions of the present moment are real, but the charge or ruminations of the past- not reality. The ponderings and prognositactions about the future, also, not reality.
It is hard to grop, to get, to absorb this as my thoughts can give rise to energy in my body. My body feels in the present moment. My heart is beating hard and fast NOW. My hands are cold, NOW. My shoulders rise NOW. And there is nothing but the feelling of the fingers on the keys and the sounds of the tapping that are real.
My issue seems to come from identifying my fears about the future as being real. The mis-education in my body, the lack of breath and present time awareness scalds my mind- making the ideas in my head more real than what is around me.
So, yes, the thoughts are not the problem. It is the illusion that they are real, when I identify with them. And I may think that the thoughts themselves are facts, as if every thought were of the present.  
With breath, with my senses, with practice I come to the moment, let go of thoughts, and just let them road. I do not need to own them.



The thoughts are not the problem. Thoughts are the nature of the mind. The problem is that we identify with them.
- Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, "No Excuses" 

Kyczy has published several books including “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” 2012 and “Life in Bite Sized Morsels” 2015. Her book “Yogic Tools for Recovery; A Guide To Working The Steps” will be out November 14, 2017.
She is a contributor to national and international magazines (I Love Recovery Cafe, Yoga Times, 12 Step Gazette, OM Magazine, Recovery Today Magazine and Indigo International, among others.)  Kyczy has developed a series of yoga sequences for Studio Live TV that incorporate recovery principles in all-levels yoga classes. The link for them can be found on her website www.yogarecovery.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Turning Toward Pleasure





I took a three day workshop recently that was based on turning toward pleasure. We find the range of challenge, perhaps the edge of difficulty and then draw back into pleasure: in a yoga pose, in a discussion, in life. I was shocked. As a woman in recovery I am suspicious of pleasure. What if I get "hooked" ? What if I indeed crave something that isn't good for me? I nearly felt panic as she used that word, pleasure, over and over. I have just gotten used to turning into my pain! (A topic for another day.)



While I counsel students to find the sweet spot of engagement in yoga poses, I am often fall shy of doing this myself. "I can take it" has been my repeated phrase (I won't use "mantra" as that is a healing term, curative not harming.) And in life, I have been finding more opportunity for contentment and compassion, but pleasure? 

Maybe this is semantic, and I want to be sure I am not over stepping my puritanical origins by finding joy and thus surely falling short of maximum effort. Perhaps the word itself has been defiled by past use and is a trigger word for me. Perhaps I need to tough out feeling GOOD as I am already practiced in feeling bad.


So this moment, perhaps all day, I will practice turning toward pleasure. The danger, as Epstein states below, is the clinging. And maybe the craving.

​be well, have pleasure​
Clinging—not desire—is where we get stuck, and it’s possible to embrace desire without clinging by infusing it with awareness. Desire, in fact, can be a powerful meditative tool on the path to enlightenment.
—Mark Epstein, "In Defense of Desire"

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Each moment as it passes



Be in this moment; here, now. That is all that is really real. It is precious, it is beautiful and it is fading away as you become aware of it. This exact moment is all that counts. Awareness of this moment can inform your pleasure.

That is not to say that plans don't matter. That is not to say that our experience, seen clearly and in the proper size and importance, can't inform the present. But the future and the past are not now.

It take so much work to clear that past so that we can mine the real truth that we can use as a choice in this moment. It takes a lot of energy to make a plan and preparation for the upcoming days and weeks. We do this so we have a direction; but the outcome is surely not assured. We can (ineffectively) use more energy in resisting what the future brings when it varies from our concept and we grip to our ideal.

Play. Play with what comes, play with the new you, play in this moment and be awake. Be awake to the beauty of the unknown, unplanned, unattached present. This will become history soon enough.
It is the radical transience of the world that makes it both tragic and beautiful, like the cherry blossom in Japanese aesthetics. The tragedy is that nothing actually exists; it is all passing away the instant it forms. The beauty is that we have the means to be aware of this, a moment to know the profound poignancy of this tiny corner of reality.
—Andrew Olendzki, "This Moment Is Unique"
​- be well​

Kyczy Hawk - ERYT-500. You can pre-order my new book "Yogic Tools For Recovery; A Guide To Working The Twelve Steps". It comes out in November this year!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Love with Curiosity


Love with curiosity unblemished by judgement or the desire to control is a love that can grow and last.

Conditional love is actually commerce- I will give or feel affection if /when you do this or provide that.  Authentic love is a clear stream that doesn't condem the rocks and twigs in its path- it just continues to flow.

Love that is waiting for a person to change or bloom is nearly disrepeactful. "I am here ready to love you, when you grow up, get a job, stop doing this, start doing that, express yourself to me more clearly, know what I want , learn what I need" etc. Loving someone's (potentially) future self is using up their present with your desired future.

Love that is authentic; curious about the changing nature of a person, giving them (and yourself) room to grow is a rare and beautiful thing. The now YOU loving the now THEM with respect and honor. 

This is as true with another as it is between you and yourself. Love your present self with curiousity, the invitation to grow without demand or trajectory.

-- 
But the desire for knowledge has another form, belonging to an entirely different set of emotions. The mystic, the lover, and the poet are also seekers after knowledge… In all forms of love we wish to have knowledge of what is loved, not for purposes of power but for the ecstasy of contemplation… Wherever there is ecstasy or joy or delight derived from an object there is the desire to know that object — to know it not in the manipulative fashion that consists of turning it into something else, but to know it in the fashion of the beatific vision, because in itself and for itself it sheds happiness upon the lover. This may indeed be made the touchstone of any love that is valuable.
​ - Bertrand Russell​

Kyczy Hawk
Upcoming book November 2017: "Yogic Tools For Recovery: A Guide to Worksing the Twelve Steps" by CRP. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't Turn Your Back On Yourself




Feelings are not permanent- they DO deserve acknowledgment as they arise. To refute, refuse or dismiss them is to turn your back on yourself.

Joy, sorrow, frustration, resentment, happy anticipation, celebration: they all are temporary. Feelings have an energy in our emotional body and in our physical body. Letting them BE is the way to let them through. While I want to cling to the positive and avoid the negative; there is no neurological way to put a gate, a filter on feelings. I block one I block them all.


This difficulty with ANY feeling is how I respond to it; if I crave for more, if I dampen or resist. In fact, the feelings themselves can nourish me- I am alive, I have people whom I love and whose absence makes me sad. I am rich with this feeling. I am alive, I have people I anticipate seeing whose presence lifts me up. I I have work to do that allows me to experience curiosity and challenge. Feelings flow and the sensations witness the life in me. They sustain me.

I am human; I have preferences. It is being open to them all, however, without gripping or turning my back that helps me stay in the REAL feeling and not the rage, the depression, the hysteria or the anxiety. I am able to have my feelings, and acknowledge them in health. Acceptance.

When we open to our feelings as they arise, we create the causes and conditions of mental and physical health. This is what acceptance-based inner awareness entails; it is not a practice to put off, any more than breathing, sleeping, or consuming nourishment.- Josh Korda, "Flowing Feelings"


Kyczy Hawk is the author of “Life in Bite Sized Morsels” (2015), “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” (2012) as well a several short books and manuals. She is the creator of S.O.A.R.™ (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) teacher certification program. Her students have gone on to create recovery oriented classes and workshops to serve this population across America and around the world.  

In her third decade of recovery she has faced many situations that have called on her abilities to face adversity while maintaining sobriety. Those that have come in her recent years

Ms. Hawk lives in Silicon Valley, California sharing her time between her family, practicing and teaching yoga, writing and pottery.  www.yogarecovery.com

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Focus And Intimacy





Some of you may know that I deactivated my FB account. As I told a dear friend of mine- it was all about ME not THEM. No one had hurt me. I am able to scroll by the unpleasant, the challenging, and the ludicrous. I just couldn't take it anymore.

I had fired myself a while ago and I found it a relief but then I jumped back in. And I was glad- right after the March I found out that we could lift one another and that was good. In reviewing posts I can move toward the healthy and the healing. I can avoid the traps of gossip, negativity and even let go of comparison as people share about the "Side A" of life- imagining that that were the whole story- forgetting about the unlovely "Side B'.

But even that wasn't it. It was the idea that a scroll and a "like" might mean true intimacy, friendship or even genuine support. I have felt like a fraud when someone has come up to me with all the joy and openhearted acceptance of a long time friend- someone I don't recognize- and discover we have been friends on FB for five years. I am disconsolate. I am a fraud.

I yearn for true friendship- one that takes effort, one that requires the reservation of a block of time to talk, to share a meal or a call. I feel isolated even when I run through the feeds activities from others, I am alone in front of my screen truly WASTING away, wasting time that I could spend in the company of a human.


I am afraid that the distraction of FB and other social media (Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and all of them) keep me isolated and "the part that is heartbroken at the loneliness and isolation of the life we are living—the part that requires medication and constant distraction just to endure it." may indeed be rekindled. 

I don't want to risk emotional relapse by being so lonely it hurts and so isolated I look to shopping, scrolling / trolling, mindless eating and so on to fill the hole. 

I need my spirit back.


There's a tension between the part of us that wants to move along at speed, infatuated with our ever-proliferating array of screens and gadgets, and the part of us that deeply hates them, too. There's the part that doesn't want to be bothered with other people's lives and is therefore comfortable with the false proximity that social media affords. But there's also the part that is heartbroken at the loneliness and isolation of the life we are living—the part that requires medication and constant distraction just to endure it.
- Clark Strand, "A Gleeful Foreboding"



Kyczy Hawk RYT E-500
Author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” , “Life in Bite-Sized Morsels” and “From Burnout to Balance” she continues to submit articles to recovery and yoga oriented publications. She is currently completing her next book for Central Recovery Press:”Yogic Tools for Recovery: A Guide for Working the Twelve Steps”.

Kyczy has been teaching recovery focused yoga classes since 2008.  Taking the foundation of a traditional yoga training she received from the Lotus Yoga Teacher Association (of the Himalayan Yoga Institute), she has combined the wisdom and inspiration from other teachers along the way creating S.O.A.R.™ a program to help prepare yoga teachers to bring the practice to people in recovery.  

You can join Kyczy and a host of other people in recovery every Sunday morning at 8am PT (11 am ET) on In The Rooms for the Yoga Recovery meeting.

Kyczy is very proud of her family; husband, kids, and grandkids, all who amaze her in unique and wonderful ways. More about her work can be found at www.yogarecovery.com.
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