Rhythm of Life. Trina D’anne Hall. Trina Hall.

What is the rhythm of life?

Remember, Atlas shrugged, too.

Seeking an answer is like trying to understand the tree by only looking into its shadow.
In the silence, the beat, butterfly wings pulsing at your heart.

Witness sacred in mundane.
Take care of yourself and wear your apron.
Sweep your own floors.
Make dinner as you linger in another’s depth.

See the resonance – the relics and the seeds.

Look to the tree, inspiration between limbs.  It holds up the sky where you shine.

Yoga According to Treenuh Yoga. Trina Hall. Dallas Yoga. Private Lessons Musicians Artists.

Sometimes we make important life decisions based on what we think we should do.  The “should” can become a barometer for being loved or accepted by others. Much of my life was spent as a purposeful outsider… Never wanting to be adopted into one group, I joined them all. It is like how I can’t choose my favorite color – wouldn’t green get its feelings hurt if I chose pink?

While working in an art gallery and at a museum, I found yoga. Finally, something pure enough for me to want to dig my teeth into. I said my vows, got my membership card and thought of how to best serve yoga itself. I wanted to give people something to look up to… I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be heard.

So I traded in my vintage hat collection for an ascetic life, trying to free myself from desires and craving.  I cleansed. I purified. I tried to honor what the yogic teachings offered me. Glamour and elegance no longer mattered to me. I wanted to embody the perfect yogi.  As a girly girl who started wearing high heels before she could ride a bike, it was a stretch to stop wearing make up, but I did.

I became obsessed with my ideal of what I thought I should be. My self-esteem was garnered from an external perception and I somehow always fell short.

All this did is isolate me further from my own truth: anything other than following your heart is a form of self-deception.  I was too truthful outwardly to others but little by little, I lied to my heart.

I’ve embraced more of myself – who I am beyond archetypes and titles – and my art is now reflecting my heart instead of my issues.  It’s ok to be in love with who I really am and at the end of the day, I’m the only one who is keeping score.

I don’t want to be an ascetic. That isn’t the key to happiness. Happiness lives in the space. Happiness lives in gratitude… Fall down on your knees kind of gratitude. Find the things that make your heart smile and do more of that. I don’t want to be a part of anything less than helping people remember this. We all know it, we just need to be reminded – everything is cool.

Score one for me – I can finally put on my cocktail dress, open a bottle of champagne and do yoga in my favorite pair of heels. Ok so it wasn’t the most comfortable of endeavors, but you get the point, right?

I’d rather stand on my head than talk about the weather.

The Fat Yoga Teacher. Trina Hall Treenuh Yoga. Photos by Napier Photographie. Dallas Texas

Treenuh Yoga seated forward fold fat yoga teacherDo you think I am fat? If I were in front of you in typical yoga spandex, would you judge me?

I’ve gained weight and I’m not pregnant. I’ve followed the brand new, yogi-approved Seat Diet.

See it… eat it.

As a yoga teacher, this could be considered career suicide. Instead of slaying my means of supporting myself, I want to slay the notion that people who do yoga need to look like the beauties on the cover of magazines. Last year, my best friend said crying as she dealt with her lifelong eating disorder, “I don’t want to be known as the fat yoga teacher.” I was taken aback by this statement because I would classify her as beautiful, fit, and trim. I wanted to explore her statement that resonated in my mind like the frequency of fingernails tagging with sound their presence on the chalkboard.Treenuh Yoga janu sirsasana 3 fat yoga teacher

To me, ‘fat’ is an arbitrary word that is used as ammunition to harm another. I’m not at war.

I thought this would be an experiment in empowering people to love their bodies and not try to fit society’s mold. Instead, reality of my latent insecurities came like a football team’s kicker being put in as the center (my identity was pummeled).

The stories I made up about what people thought of me were changing and I was emotionally affected. Suddenly, my self-worth was proving to be connected to how good I looked wearing spandex – something I completely denied giving a shit about before this experiment – and that pissed me off.  Guilt from eating foods I typically considered bad for me were constant companions in my thoughts. Shame did cameo appearances in my mind’s movie reel daily.

My most shocking discovery through the process is that I’m afraid of not being loved. I noticed the self-talk was that my beauty is only on the surface. I feared no man would want me this way and that I would die alone, probably from choking on a potato chip. There was a war going on inside of me and neither side was winning. Once I unraveled the fears and self-assaulting language as irrational, they no longer had power over me and I began to relax into my new found “goods”.

Nietzsche says the thing separating men from gods is the belly. May we all expand our bellies to digest our fears and empower our minds to think. May we all understand that we all want to be loved for who we are… however we are in the moment. And may we all find love and not die alone, from potato chip asphyxiation.

PS – I’m not fat; I’m fucking awesome!

New-Age ‘Secrets’ and Why They Don’t Work

There was a time when all I needed for inspiration was a quote, horoscope, fortune cookie, or one of those refrigerator magnet poems. The days of fluffing the pillows of hope to make the world seem less random are over. I am simultaneously distraught and relieved that I no longer rely on my tea bag for a shot of wisdom.

My industry is known for injecting the public with heightened inspiration, feel-good yumminess, and the perception that one can be happy all the time. I’m a generally calm and happy person but I’m over the illusion that we can talk ourselves into seeing the half-full glass as overflowing.

Nature is my teacher. People are a part of nature and in my work, I come in contact with a diverse group of humans. A lot of people subscribe to the theory posed by a new-age book that claims to reveal the one secret law of the universe. Basically, it says one just has to specifically ask the universe for what one wants and, like a genie granting wishes, it will appear.

I’m a big believer in setting a goal and a bigger believer in working my ass off to achieve the goal. Whether or not I accomplish the goal seems to only come down to how I choose to spend my time… Not whether I put the right picture on my vision board/talked with my angel guides/chose the right spirit animal before my vision quest.

We have an immense amount of power in our brains to change the way we think about things, but because we change our thoughts does not make something manifest into this world.

I’ve found the people who talk the most about manifesting are the people who are doing the furthest thing from their ideal job. I get that we all want direction and we all want a plan, but the thing that pisses me off about “The Secret” will hopefully become clear by the end of this rant.

Driving down a busy street in Dallas in the middle of Summer, I saw a man carrying his groceries. He was blind and using a walking stick. Do you think it would help him to wish himself out of blindness? Do you think having a clear intention would spontaneously make him able to see? No. And an intention like that would be a complete waste of time and energy whose results would be futile.

He inspired me. He didn’t let his fear take hold of him.

A student of mine was struggling in a yoga class this morning. We were doing Downward Facing Dog. For many healthy people, this pose is a breeze. This man would get into the pose for about one second and need to come down to his knees again. He did this five times in the eight seconds we held the pose. This student has Cerebral Palsy and wants so badly to do the yoga poses everyone else in the class is doing. Do you think if he was very clear that he is asking the universe to heal him that he would get better? Do you think it is a good use of his mental capacities to dream of having use of all motor and mental functions?

He inspired me. He kept trying. He isn’t giving up.

People who do their best with what they have inspire me. Determination and focus inspire me. Vision and creativity inspire me. Don’t tell me the world is going to shimmer with sparkles and happiness when sometimes it is just going to suck. Teach me how to work with what I have – to shape my own clay into something I really love. Teach me how to get re-focussed when I lose sight. Teach me how to love.

Reality of Acceptance. Trina Hall.

Equations make sense because we’ve all agreed on the meaning of the symbols within the equation. The plus sign means what it means and there isn’t any argument. We don’t put our subjective vacillating thoughts on the number 8, expecting it to adapt to our will.

Labels and titles are different. When we embark on a journey of any kind with any sort of title or label, we carry along the expectations of said title with us. We project our desires and insecurities onto the title, or moreso, onto the person we’ve bestowed the title upon. This projection creates a disparity between truth (undifferentiated reality – looking at ‘what is’) and our projection of what we think the truth should be.

We all do this unconsciously. How can we begin to recognize the pattern? Notice when you complain about something someone else is doing. A complaint is simply saying, “Reality is different from my projection of what I think reality should be.” You can easily get into a battle of wills stemmed from your desire to control someone or a situation. Reality always wins – it is more of a control freak than you are and it will make you happier if you accept other people the way they are without complaining.

Don’t try to make someone better. You can only attempt to make yourself better.

Accepting someone how they are without trying to change them is a form of love. My most fulfilling relationships are the ones where acceptance is mutual. My dearest friends see my character flaws. They don’t spend time dwelling in my apparent short comings and they don’t remind me of my inability to be perfect. They love me in spite of myself.

I’m in love with many people. I’m in love with the wholeness of them. I am in love with their humanness. I love the unspoken connection. I love the knowing. I lean into the ease of loving.

The Men I love.

Have you ever looked around your house at all the things you keep and see a common theme?  My theme is a collection of items that represent the men who have most influenced my life.

I have my grandpa’s cowboy hat, his cameras, the book he read to me as a little girl.  He was a boisterous, jolly architect (who never graduated high school), who loved to fish, played the fiddle, was an elder in the Church of Christ, and escaped as a POW during World War II. Never settling for anything average, Grandpa added color and depth to my life as if I lived in the Wizard of Oz after the house landed on the witch. He believed in family. He believed in laughter. He believed in love. I sure do wish I could hug him now and tell him what is going on in my life.  I’m having one of those moments where I realize he would be proud of me and who I have become.  The tears magnify the letters on my screen as I know what it feels like to be loved.

My dad often gave me pens as a child because of my love of office supplies.  Just like a musical instrument can be a muse, a new pen is my muse.  I love to test drive a pen to feel how it performs in my hand and glides across the paper.  My dad also gave me determination and project-based thinking, a logical mind, as well as the desire to see things differently. After his dad’s funeral, we took a three-hour drive home and discussed the nature of time. It was the first time I saw him as a philosopher as we bantered back and forth about alternate universes. He took what are called “Daddy shortcuts” where we would take the time from point A to B to see something beautiful.  I do this now.  Thanks to him, I know how to take my time. Poppa took me on dates as a little girl and I fell in love with this protector who worked full time and went to school full time to take better care of us. He is the kind of person who knows what the weather is going to be. He always carries a pocket knife and is active in his church choir. He was a boy scout troop leader who can start a fire with dryer lint. I can’t believe he is my dad. I’m lucky.

Rob Brown was my mentor and friend.  A wicked sense of humor and impeccable timing joined us together along with our love of art, music, and generally messing with people.  He said, “I want to change all I’s in the alphabet to U’s,” So we dud.  Every sungle one of them was changed un oir dauly conversatuons and emauls.  Before he died, he gave me a book of Richard Avedon photography that holds a special place on my bookshelf.  He was listening to Desperados Waiting on a Train by Jerry Jeff Walker the entire week before he prematurely passed – so now that song is one that will make me cry no matter what.  It summed up what our relationship was – I was his sidekick.  That man left the planet way too soon.

I suppose the purpose of this very personal blog post is to convey that I’ve known extraordinary men who have taught me love.  I have reminders of that love all around me that hold space for something special.