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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Our Potholes, Our Selves

Kansas City is having a legit winter this year.
Snow, freezing snow water thundersleet, 
you name it.

Then the skies warm up for a few days,

melting most of the mess away.
And then the skies dump again,
further confusing the situation.

Due to erratic weather conditions, 

poor, not-well-maintained road construction,
or some combination of both those things,
KC has a huge pothole problem this year.

I, therefore, have a huge 
"complaining about potholes" problem this year.

This is my silly, "For Entertainment Purposes Only"
advice-of-the-month recommendation for you,
based on what particular fight you are having with the potholes.

"Ward Parkway pot holes are ruining everything!"
Your stubbornness to continue on the same path,
even when you know it hurts you,
is something you should examine more closely in other realms of your life.

What's keeping you from trying another path?
What are you afraid of?

Change IS difficult,

it takes so much adjustment,
so much trust in ourselves.

But we get so stuck in our ruts sometimes,

and those feelings spiral out in how we interact with others.

Examine where even the smallest change can be made.

See if that opens a new world of possibility.

"I keep hitting the potholes! My car is suffering! The repair bills are atrocious!"

Sometimes the path to our destinations
requires time and space to allow our safe arrival.

Why are we in such a hurry?
Why aren't we giving ourselves enough time to be ready for the unexpected?

When we're set on a goal, on our destination,

it's rarely an A-to-B type of journey.

We have to leave room for the detours,

the sudden stops.

We need to understand those little blips on our journey
are STILL part of our progress.
But we need to create the space for them to exist.

"The government is failing us! Where is all my tax money going?"

Do you often feel like everything should always go your way?
That somehow you deserve good fortune
because you are entitled to it somehow?

Existence is pretty unfair.
Or at least, ultimately pretty unbiased.


The value we place in ourselves and each other
and the expectations we place on institutions to protect us,
ultimately are only that, just values and expectations.
And very flawed ones at that.

Ideas and identities invented by humans

to try to force chaos into order,
to somehow protect ourselves from misfortune.

In your life, try to flip the narrative.

Try to practice not immediately trying to control others.
Try feeling your knee-jerk reactions,

acknowledging they exist,
and push them aside. 

Turn your work internally,
do something kind for yourself,
because you can only control yourself.

-C McG



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Classy McYogi

Hi, friends! Sorry I haven't posted a whole lot this year yet.

The January tradition of "New Year, New Me" just wasn't feeling right.

I didn't make any big plans
or resolutions.

I haven't even stood on my scale yet this year.

I may never again.
JK, probably.


But that's just the mood I'm in right now.

Something so cool, though, is that I finally started Yoga Teacher Training.
So for the first time in a LONG time,
I'm back in a learning environment,
textbooks, tests, the whole thing!

I was so excited,
I had my husband take a "First Day of School" photo for me!


Along with that, I'm still working on my improv! My show calendar is always up-to-date in case you ever want to see me perform!


I've also starting doing a bit of coaching and directing, and I'm constantly pleasantly surprised at how much my yoga and improv practices overlap. They seem like they don't go together but they DO, and I'm HERE FOR THIS. And I will probably end up blogging about it a lot.

You know, whenever I find the time again.

So for now, I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be.

You'll see me posting most often on Instagram, and #classymcyogi is my yoga-related hashtag. I've been doing that for a few years, but it'll probably ramp the hell up now, lol.

Anyway, Happy 2019, whatever that means to you.

Love,

Classy McG

PS. I DID watch Tidying Up on Netflix, and YES, my workout T-shirts and my sock drawer are now meticulously folded and organized, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sorry

This will be almost a Part 2 or Follow-up to this post I made around this time of year three years ago. And I was probably 20 lbs lighter at the time and I was already hating myself again.

--

I've come to a crossroads with myself and my well-being.

There are two conflicting versions of myself

who just fight non-stop in my mind:

1) The me who is strong and smart and capable and confident in the knowledge I have in this world,

and

2) The me that got too fat and is a complete embarrassment to everyone around me. Remember that Wesley Willis song, "I'm sorry that I got Fat?" It just plays in a loop in my mind, and I haven't heard that song since college.

Conflicting Me Photo by Keith Curtis, June 2018


I'm to the point where I'm declining/avoiding social engagements (or going, but just extremely anxious the entire time I'm there) because I just feel like I'm a walking beacon of failure and "oh, gawd, look at what happened to her."

I'm to the point where I don't want to be in photographs anymore.

And I'm definitely to the point where FB Memories can fuck right off.

I've done enough reading this year (Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon is now at the very top of my recommended reading, OMG) to at least intellectually understand that going on diets is not good for us long-term. 


The constant food restrictions just send our bodies spiraling (psychologically, physiologically, just in EVERY WAY), and often CAUSES the very bingeing responses that we typically attribute to us just being shitty failure garbage people.

And as I ease up on myself and my food,

and just try to eat what I enjoy,
and just exist in the world,
the weight just piles back on,
and I'm too tired to fight anymore.

I have a life to live, and my weight is the least of my actual troubles.
My weight is society's problem.
It may very well be no actual problem,

and I'm just a misguided mess.

Which again, I understand intellectually.

--

A friend recently told me that in an improv class she took,
everyone was asked what their greatest insecurity is (or something like that).

And even though I wasn't there,
I knew my answer for sure.

I'm afraid that I'm too fat to be seen as a credible person, 
a person with value.

--

On the flip-side, if you've hung out with me at all lately, you know that I'm gearing up to begin a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program in January (the one where you learn ABOUT teaching yoga, and then get your 200-hours and can teach or do whatever you want) (Right now I still do not know what I want).

It's one of those things I've shuffled around in my mind forever (when I've been all kinds of sizes/shapes) that I finally decided "Ok, shit or get off the pot," so here we are.

And I've been so encouraged by people who immediately responded,

"Yay, I want to learn from you!"
and don't seem to notice
the fat hideous monster talking to them at that moment.

So hey, maybe despite of (or maybe because of) my exterior,

I can still be helpful and of use.

So, I'm going to keep trucking along.
I'm going to keep practicing

and teaching
and performing
and creating
and existing

and it'll probably be fine?

But for now,

I'm just sorry.

Because there's just a part of my brain

that feels like I've let YOU down
by not staying skinny.

And it's a LOUD part of my brain right now.


-C McG

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Maintain Integrity


I've been thinking a lot of the word "integrity" lately.

in·​teg·​ri·​ty | \in-ˈte-grə-tē \

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :INCORRUPTIBILITY

2: an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS

3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS


--

When we practice our yoga poses,
as we move into the full expression of these asanas,
we're told to go ONLY as far
as we can maintain the integrity
of the pose.

After a certain point, 
we're negating the benefit of the work.

We have to acknowledge the boundary
between our safety and strength
and being over-extended and weak.

We yogis are notoriously bad at this, I think.
We see the videos, 
the instructors,
the Instagram photos,
our classmates,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

We compromise ourselves
to fit someone else's expectations
and perceived accomplishments.

In our lives, we pull the same shit, of course.

We have a solid, whole foundation of our being
where we are productive, safe, and strong.

And we're flooded with external stimuli
that we think inform us about whether this foundation
is good enough.

We humans are notoriously bad at interpreting the data, I think.
We see the TV shows,
the celebrities,
the social media posts,
our friends and family,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

So we push.
We add more workouts at the gym,
we stay at work longer,
we eat shit we hate,
we say "yes" to more obligations,
we give up our sleep.

And our foundations shake.

If you are constructing a building,
every brick you lay 
should add strength and stability to that unit.

Every time we try to add one more thing
that isn't moving us toward our foundation as a being,
we're just stealing those bricks
and throwing them on the ground nearby.

We're adding nothing.
We're weakening our foundation.
We're not building our home.

It takes a LOT of self-reflection,
maybe a lifetime of work,
to understand what our core values are,
what our true homework is.

But once we identify what builds us up,
what makes us strong,
what sustains our being,
the sooner we can stop wasting bricks.

At that point, 
when our building is complete,
everything we do further solidifies our whole.
Decoration,
life,
brilliance.

-C McG

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Traditions

This time of year has been rough for me for many years.

This is the time of year where you are slapped in the face
with activities 
and plans 
and gatherings 
that seem to only happen because...
it's what we always do?

"It's tradition!" everyone will tell you.
"Don't you want to use this exact time to do these very specific activities to show love and honor to your past and present?"


It's an act of courage
to look your traditions
straight in the face

and tell them,
"You no longer serve me."

Often, traditions are rooted in oppressive,
racist, classist history.
Twisted responses to our old stories.
Stories that hurt a lot of people around us.
But we're too set in our ways to listen.
Too belligerent to try to understand.

And somewhere deep within us we know that.
And we try to break free and make new traditions
and listen to new stories
and create new love.

But the rest of the world continues to spin around us,
demanding that their traditions are still the best,
and create distance between us when we clash.

Tradition for tradition's sake isn't love.
It isn't remembrance.
It isn't honor.

I'd like to think that if our loved ones could see the evolution
of our lives, our selves, our new loved ones,
they'd understand why things need to change sometimes.

That we are able to still remember and love our past,
even if it looks a little different now.

That we can love each other all days in all ways,
not just certain ones at certain times.

You have my permission
to bail on your tradition.

Create something so new and so loving
that it begs to be repeated
year after year
day after day.

Hopefully something that involves way less wrapping paper and turkey.

-C McG


Friday, November 2, 2018

Art Updates!

Hi, friends! I'll try to get back here more regularly, I hope you're still hanging on with me!

It's November now, so I'm trying my hand again at Art Every Day Month! It's always nice timing to remember my sketchbooks, and to just remember to take time for myself at home. I wasn't quite ready to dive into my sketchbook YET, but I didn't want that to keep me from getting started. I can always get there later. I'm posting daily over on my Instagram account, so follow me there!


I'm only performing twice this weekend, which is a nice break! I love doing improv comedy, but it's so draining, and I feel like my cleverness dwindles with each show if I don't get to recharge in between. If you are ever interested in seeing me perform in Kansas City, check out my new Classy Calendar page to see when you can catch me! I'll add shows as soon as they are booked! I promise I'll power through!

This past month, I've had the really cool opportunity to help my friends at Bird in the Middle by acting in their video sketches, which is another realm of scariness, but every time it happens, it gets a little easier, I think! They just released new Halloween-friendly sketches this past week, and I'm in two of them! Check them out! They have a YouTube channel you can subscribe to!

Happy November, I guess! 

And remember Election Day on November 6th! GO VOTE!!!

-C McG

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fancy Site Updates and a Story

OK, "fancy" is a stretch, but I DO want to let you know what's up!

CLASSY CALENDAR!
I added a tab where you can see where I'm performing around town! I do a LOT of improv these days, and it's taken me away from posting on the blog lately, but I hope to be back soon! If you visit the calendar, I also took a time to talk about what improv is, in case you have no idea what I'm talking out.

SHOP CLASSY!

I've added some hats to my Online Store! I'm purging old inventory to help cover my expenses for the Yoga Teacher Training program I'm starting in January. Please order one if you're feeling so moved!

A STORY
It wouldn't be a true Classy blog post if I didn't have some story to tell you, right?


I started listening to Foo Fighter's "One By One" album again (it's been so long!), which kicks off with the beautifully perfectly catchy "All My Life."

The main refrain of the song is,
DONE DONE AND I'M ONTO THE NEXT ONE

And for most of my adult life, that's been my task-completing mantra.


When I have a giant list that I'm trying to knock out, 
every time I can cross something off, I yell it.

DONE DONE AND I'M ONTO THE NEXT ONE


And it's what keeps me going.

In bed last night, using the last of my brain activity,

I decided to figure out what Dave Grohl is singing about in that song.

Sex, he's singing about sex.

But I'm still keeping that mantra, damn it.


-C McG