The (R)Evolution Will Not Be Televised

Get out there. Talk to your neighbors. See what’s going on. Talk about stuff that matters to you. Really matters. What’s going on in your heart? Do you know? Can you speak it?

Make something. Make some art. Plant a garden. Plant a seed. What do you wanna grow?

How are your relationships? What’s happening in your community? Your city? Your country? The world?

Look around you. What’s going on?

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gill Scott-Heron

Thank you, Young Turks.

Stepping Into My Artist Self

For the last several months, I have been a participant in the Flagstaff Art Council’s ArtBox Institute. It’s been a deeply transformative time as I have been dedicating myself to thriving as an artist.

I will say this – being an artist does not have to mean making an oath to loneliness or poverty.

I have my first show in Flagstaff, AZ coming up in May. This is my current artist statement – you’re seeing it here first! 

My work is a physical response to my relationship with Nature and how I move through it. I’m not satisfied with skittering along the surface, with looking at the world from a distance—I have to dive in, get dirty. Whether I’m mountain biking, meditating or painting, I explore the edges, the places of shift and change, where the thin quiver of constant movement along boundaries is almost unseen. Pushing the edge requires being in the moment; it can be prickly, sharp, and jagged—it can also be fun, expansive, and sublime. My paintings often begin as a meditation in agitation. Pressing the surface of discomfort, moving with the medium, creates a shift. The result is playful and raw. I know a piece is done when I step back from the canvas and find myself dancing.

one and one makes three, oil on canvas, 18%22 x 18%22 © 2016 Holly Troy INSTA
One and One Makes Three, Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 18″ © 2016 Holly Troy

Thanks for reading!

Holly

You are Beautiful and I Love You

My sister died today. Though I knew deep down that she would die young, I am stunned. When the phone call came today, I knew it was bad news before I picked it up.

It’s not like she was sick, per se, I mean she was sick, but not in the conventional sense. When I say I wasn’t surprised, I meant, she’d been dying for years. She was in a lot of pain for a long time, and actually had reasons for the pain. But, drug addiction is cancer of the soul – and Goddamn – just God-Fucking-Damn-It, all you can fucking do is helplessly wait for death to come. It’s like – ok, this-is-what-happens-which-we-knew-was-going-to-happen-and-now-it-has-happened.

So this sucks.

For most of our lives, our relationship was strained. But, we had some amazing times, too. We drove across the country together in her cream-colored 65 Mustang when I was 18 years-old. It was my first time to Arizona and I stayed in Flagstaff on that trip! We were amazed by the pine trees and how fresh the air was. And the red rocks in Sedona were like nothing we’d ever seen! I’m glad she saw them.

heather circa 1989
Heather, 21 years old. Just before our drive to California – circa 1989

When we returned to New Jersey, our relationship fell apart. For 24 years we couldn’t get our shit together to just be sisters and love one another.

Until this last year.

I am grateful that for the last nine months, she and I were communicating in a good way. I reached out to her last winter while I was going through a hard time, and, she was so fucking clear. She helped me walk through the dark. She was fierce. She told me I was good, and generous, and compassionate, and I decided to fucking believe her.

We made a pact. For three months we tried an experiment. We decided to write to each other every day, “You are beautiful, and I love you” – just to get used to it, ya know, just to get used to how it feels to be loved. And we promised each other that we would not put up with not being cared about and loved by the people in our lives – especially in our romantic relationships.

And it really helped. A lot. It meant a lot. Coming from her from my fractured family, it meant a lot.

Anyway, after three months, we just kept writing to each other.

Love is good. Why stop?

Born on a Thursday #60 ~ Taking the Plunge

High Mesa Yoga at Pine Cliff

Currently, I teach on Thursday mornings at Truly Fit in Flagstaff, and I am loving it.

snowbowl sunset (c) 2014 Holly TroyAfter much thought, discussion, and encouragement from friends, I’m taking the plunge and expanding my classes. Autumn is coming and many of us (myself included) tend to get back to work (or start working more), go back to school and/or bring our children to and from school, and get busy preparing for fall and winter holidays. As we settle into our new schedules we may find ourselves needing to make time to decompress – that’s where yoga comes in.

I have access to a great space just waiting to be utilized. Now is the time to get things rolling!

I love Flagstaff and wanted a way to honor where I live, so I am calling the space High Mesa Yoga.

Beginning on August 26th (the day after the New Moon in Virgo), classes will begin.

Sunset on the Mesa (c) Holly TroyHigh Mesa Yoga @ Pine Cliff
call or email for directions:
928-380-3019 or sacredfolly@gmail.com
Cost per class: $8.00

Tuesdays (beginning August 26th)
5:15 to 6:30 pm High Mesa Hatha
7:00 to 8:15 pm Peak Tranquility

Thursdays (beginning August 28th)
5:30 to 6:45 pm High Mesa Hatha
7:00 to 8:15 pm Peak Tranquility

Class description

In both classes, students will build flexibility, agility, and strength while increasing mental, physical, and emotional peacefulness. 

High Mesa Hatha: Gentle yet challenging yoga based on the classical styles of Sivananda, Kripalu and Jivamukti yoga. Breathwork (pranayama), vinyasa (flow), asana (postures), meditation and relaxation are key. Release stress and build calm energy.

Peak Tranquility: Wind down with yoga nidra (“yogic sleep” or conscious deep sleep), guided imagery, and intuitive asana to deepen your sense of body/mind awareness and relaxation. Prepare to be refreshed.

What to expect

I am an experienced yoga instructor who offers:
– a safe, non-competitive, supportive, and fun atmosphere;
– small classes (10 to 12 students);
– individual attention and adaptation to personal needs;
– focus on the breath, movement originating from the core, visualization meditation, relaxation; and,
– an open space for suggestions and Q and A.

I have a few extra yoga mats, some blocks and a couple of blankets. Students please bring your own mats and props if possible.

The room is a lovely open space with great floors. A blank canvas really! And, of course, there is access to a bathroom. I will try to post pictures soon. In the meantime, below is a video of me from last winter’s Writing the Energetic Body workshop doing Half Spinal Twist in the newly finished room. Very spare – just me, a mat, and a scarf.

Om shanti.

Thanks for reading!

Have a fantastic week.

Holly

Halcyon Days of Summer

This summer has been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. So much play and being in the moment; mountain biking almost daily, and gaining enough stamina and skill and fitness that I may actually be considering myself an athlete; enjoying nature – celebrating the monsoons and the beautiful flowers they bring, breathing deeply of fresh mountain air, noticing the subtle shifts in temperature and smells as summer moves closer to fall; sunshine; and exploring friendships with a sense of lightness and wonder.

So what next? At the beginning of June I began teaching yoga at Truly Fit, and am Summer Flowers in Flagstaff (c) Holly Troy 2014really loving teaching. I will be starting up small classes on my own in the next couple of weeks. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and am very excited. I’ll be teaching Hatha Yoga focusing on the breath, the core, creative visualization meditation, and relaxation. Stay tuned!

I am also continuing to explore the tarot, reiki, painting, writing – and the mind/body connection of them all.

Halcyon days of summer are filling my creative well! I have so much gratitude for this playful time. My intention is to carry over that playfulness through the long nights of winter.

Is it possible to stock up on happiness? (I know – play, creativity and creative action, meditation, cycling, yoga, mindfulness, and friends – regularly – really keep happiness flowing).

* * * * *

I updated my yoga bio for Truly Fit.

The goal of yoga is the attainment of self-awareness through physical movement, breathing, and meditation. As practitioners increase levels of presence and mindfulness, levels of stress and problems like chronic pain can be reduced. Taking the time to slow down and learning how to be present and notice the body throughout the day can vastly improve health over time. With rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rising, learning self-care and awareness through yoga and meditation is pro-active and sustainable.

I was first introduced to yoga as therapy for an injury when I was 18 and have been practicing ever since. I fell in love with the benefits of yoga and became certified as an instructor in 1996. Since then, I have deepened my investigation of the body’s subtle energies: I am also a reiki practitioner; have created several visualization meditations; and have developed workshops involving yoga, meditation, the mind/body connection and creativity—all of which have deepened my understanding of integrative health, relational physiology, and body awareness . . .

To see the rest, click here.

who are you voting for?

I met Judge Grodman a few months ago, and I really liked him and what he had to say. He seems like a fair person, and someone who cares about people. I really liked that he aims to keep people out of jail if at all possible. We talked for a bit one-on-one, and I wanted to write something about our talk. Alas, I have been incredibly busy and have not had the chance to write.

Primary elections are happening in Coconino County this month. I will vote to re-elect Judge Grodman.

Judge Grodman shared the “5 important points in a nutshell” below (italics are my comments):

Flagstaff Flowers!
Flagstaff Flowers!

—  His court helps keep the mentally ill treated rather than jailed, as Howard started a very successful mental health court in JP court.

This is extremely important, as many mentally ill people end up falling through the cracks not only of the judicial system, but through our society. If people are treated for their issues – then we have a healthier society in general. It makes sense to keep people out of jail, especially if they don’t belong there in the first place.

—  Howard initiated holding Flagstaff Justice Court in Tuba City and Leupp, thus reconnecting people with the court and quashing warrants.

Again, by holding court in Tuba City and Leupp, Judge Grodman keeps more people out of jail – bottom line: folks who are afraid to leave the rez or who don’t have the means to leave the rez to go to court now have a judge that will work with them – they can get on with their lives, and, may avoid jail time. For taxpayers: money saved.

—  With an attorney-judge, felony cases don’t stall at taxpayer expense; a non-attorney cannot (by law) accept felony guilty pleas and often the accompanying agreed upon release from jail.

This saves time and money, as there is less jail-time awaiting trials.

—  Howard is an attorney with 26 years full time law and court room experience.  He has respectfully represented a wide range of people and entities as a public defender, assistant attorney general, and attorney in private practice, and has a fair and respectful judicial demeanor with those who appear in his courtroom.

He’s seen a lot!

—  His court is one of the busiest in the state.  His opponent is not an attorney, though he is a pro tem* (or substitute judge for a few courts)

 

More details about Judge Grodman are found at facebook.com/judgehowardgrodman.
He can also be directly contacted at judgegrodman@gmail.com

*dictionary.law.com/

pro tem

1) adj. short for the Latin pro tempore, temporarily or for the time being. In law, judge pro tem normally refers to a judge who is sitting temporarily for another judge or to an attorney who has been appointed to serve as a judge as a substitute for a regular judge. When an appeals justice is not available or there is a vacancy, a lower court judge is appointed Justice Pro Tem until a new Justice is appointed. Small claims cases are often heard by an attorney serving as Judge Pro Tem. 2) n. short for a temporary judge as “Sam Collins is Pro Tem today.”

Born on a Thursday #57 – I Am Happy

After an introspective year, and an especially introspective winter looking at my relationships and at my relationship with Flagstaff and with nature, I have come to the conclusion that I am happy. I made the conscious decision to let go of old responses and compromises and am experiencing presence and trust and love.

I appreciate my life and those who are in it.

I am also riding bicycles! Oh, riding is so much fun!

meadowlands (c) 2009 Holly TroyLast night I had a dream that I was visiting my mother and step-father. It was somewhere in New Jersey – where I grew up but not where I grew up. I was afraid to visit because I knew the house they lived in was haunted. When I arrived, I walked up a pathway through a glorious garden. When I opened the front door, I was greeted by a black cat, which I had to pass in order to step into the house. In my dream I thought, “This is an omen.”

I was afraid of the ghosts in the house, but I managed to train one of them. I told my parents the house was haunted, and proved it by telling Morris, the ghost I trained, to open and close the door, which he did. My parents told me I should stay even though passing through weehawken (c) Holly Troy 2009the place was haunted. I said, “These ghosts are yours, not mine.” I had to leave.

I left the house and walked out beyond their garden and into the vast wasteland of highways and progress. New York City no longer interested me, and the roads were littered with beer cans and road kill. Plastic bags and papers blew around in the breeze.

sunset (c) Holly Troy 2013When I awoke, I realized I let go of the ghosts. I was in a place where I felt absolutely safe, happy, and loved, and it was a place I chose to be. Outside the sun was rising and the air was fresh. Pine. Big blue sky. The entire day ahead of me, and all I had to do was notice.

All I have to do is notice.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week.

 

 

 

Born on a Thursday #56 – Rebirth, Bike Love, and Playing the Fool

Thanks to all who voted! The Fort Tuthill bike park won the $30,000 grant! Flagstaff just keeps getting more amazing for cycling.

Spring is blowing in fresh air here in the mountains. And with it, new thoughts, new feelings, new hopes. Playing the Fool (see April’s challenge) has been difficult, but somewhere in this last month, there’s been a shift. I’m not exactly sure when I became so serious – it crept up on me – I have had to shake the seriousness off my back.

pines! (C) 2014 Holly TroyThe children I live with are obsessed with the soundtrack to the Disney movie Frozen, which means they play it repeatedly upon waking every morning. There is one song where the chorus is “Let it go, let it go . . . ” with predictable ascending key changes. Of course, I am singing the songs along with the household now, and when Let it Go comes on, there is much gesturing, dancing and agreement from the adults (Martine and me). Honestly, so much shit has been happening that to be cheesy for five minutes is a great way to wake up – and the kids love it.

Letting go has been the theme of the winter. In fact, it’s just been a good way to be. If we can’t move forward with love, if we are taking actions out of fear or low self-esteem or anger, then it is time to just stop. I feel fortunate that I had the ability to slow down and recalibrate, shift direction, and relate to the natural world.

This morning I am sitting outside on a patio, the temperature is 66 degrees and it’s breezy.  I can hear ravens clucking and cawing, the higher music of smaller birds rounding out the concert of sound in this back yard. The sun is shining and the wind in the pines sounds like ocean waves crashing on the surf.

There is no pressure to do anything today. The plan for the day is to enjoy good company, bicycle into town entirely on 13 miles of back trails, go grocery shopping, ride back and make dinner. Enjoy the meal with friends.

It’s a perfect day.

Snow, Lace, and Strength

Today it is snowing in Flagstaff. After a winter of very little snow, we have a snowstorm at the end of April. A snowstorm this time of year in the mountains is not unusual; a final shake up before the ease of warm months takes over.

I have not had a chance to write Born on a Thursday for two weeks now! Over the winter and early spring, I slowed way down, walking for hours every day through the pines with my canine companion, Stoney. It was exactly what I needed to do. Stoney’s leash was the gossamer thread that kept me from losing my way as I looked hard at my life.

blue shatter (c) 2012 Holly TroyA few weeks ago I found myself at the center of the labyrinth. Still point. A shedding of old skin. Decisions. Walking back toward the light, life gained momentum. Taking in experience, not much time to write.

Springtime in Flagstaff is much like coming out of the labyrinth. Suddenly the world stirs and people are ready to be out. It’s a relief that I am ready, too.

There is magic in perseverance, going with the flow, and following your dream. Little webs of ideas, small acts of kindness, and seeking and creating Beauty cast ripples out into the past, present, and future. Life is good.

Janet Echelman illustrates this magic in her TEDTalk below.

Born on a Thursday will resume next week!

Thanks for reading.

Om shanti,

Holly