When I am lonelyNovember beach- western bank Sand is snow is sand

My practice has plateaued.  People warned me that this time would come.  The physical and emotional benefits of my yoga practice have found their way into the part of the brain that manages routine.  The benefits have become so subtle that, sometimes, I just end up sleeping in.

I know that my morning meditation sets me up for a sucessful day.  I know that my daily asana reduces my response to stress and tension by tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system.

It all started when the weather changed.

A couple of weeks ago, Zan played a show at Ghaye House, a Logan Square music venue and cooperative living space.  He messed around with some ambient stuff, and morphing the voices of the audience members to fit the sound scape.  It was pretty relaxed, and people mostly sat on the floor talking.

I haven't been to a house party or show in quite some time.  Since I started to get serious about yoga after the holidays, I found myself gravitating towards solitude.  I needed to be away from external calamity so that I could hear and begin to recognize what was going on inside.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, my body is picking up the echos of late-night-patio-drinks with friends.  I am craving more social connection.  I am feeling lonely because I haven't connected with anyone (save a small circle of my dearest family) since the air was still frozen.

I am about to start Teacher Training at Moksha.  It is going to be 10 months of a lot of internal discovery, physical challenges, and mental realignment.  I have to keep reminding myself that I am not my mind.  My thoughts are not my True self, and my True self, that is always happy and peaceful, is always with me.

The elimination diet has also plateaued.  I have gotten to the point where the experiements are starting to yeild unclear results.  I have decided to take a rest, eat what I know is good, and begin again in a couple of weeks.  So far, here is what I have found:

Fermented or processed dairy (think yogurt, ghee, and cheese) seem to be fine.  However, straight milk or cream have caused discomfort.

Gluten is still unclear.  I had some pizza at the Boiler Room (my favorite place!) on Friday, and no change seemed to come about.  I will try again in a few days.

Alcohol wreaks havoc on my system.  I have tried just ciders, just wine, and just spirits and everything irritates my stomach (even if I have just one drink).  I think it is a sign that I should just forgo this all together.  But how do you go out with your 20-something year old friends or to work functions without drinking?  There is so much peer pressure, such a need to belong, and, honestly, being around a bunch of people that have a good buzz on when I don't can be irritating.


I am hoping that I make friends in teacher training that will introduce me to other things that are not going out and eating and drinking.  The bar and food scene (which is amazing in Chicago!) has been my 'go to thing' since I moved out here.  It is hard to find new habits and try new things.

Gossip and drinking... These are two habits I want to phase out.  I want to find new ways to be social that really allow for me to connect with people on a more personal level... not just deflecting my attention to the bar scene or to the crazy lady that sits in the next cubicle cluster.

Any suggestions?