salt lake

Kurt

I haven’t written at all about my rideshare driving experience even though I have loads of great stories. 95% of the time I meet people who are interesting and/or kind. 4% of the time it’s just pleasant, but nothing to write home about or store in my brain. .7% is time that I won’t get back, and the other .3% are miserable human beings who are so miserable with their own lives they behave like an asshole. This morning I was inspired after my encounter with Kurt.

I arrived at the given address and my blue dot was right smack on top of the location pick up pin. It was a very busy morning at the Little America Hotel, chaotic even. Lots of people, mostly women, waiting. People loading luggage into suburbans and piling into them. The one man waiting didn’t budge when he saw me pull up.

So I text this person I’m trying to find.

“Hey Kurt, are you at the Little America?”

This is a nice way of saying, “Hey, I’m here. Where are you?”

He responds almost immediately.

“I’m at 500 Main Street. Where are you?”

I respond.

“I’m at the Little America, right where the pin is.”

He responds.

“When I put in 500 Main Street, I expect to be picked up at 500 Main Street.”

I think to myself, wow, what a douchebag. I get out of my car and ask the valet person, “what’s the address here?” It isn’t posted, and I know 555 Main Street is The Grand America across the street.

“500 Main Street. What are you looking for?”

“500 Main Street”

“Did you call the person?”

“I texted him. He told me that when he puts in 500 Main Street, he expects to be picked up at 500 Main Street.”

Valet person smiles, his blue eyes twinkle just a bit.

“Well, you’re at 500 Main Street.”

“Yep.” I get back in my car.

There’s a message from Kurt.

“I’ve had this problem with Uber before.”

I respond.

“500 Main Street is the Little America.”

I close out the conversation, because I have nothing more to say. I don’t know who Kurt thinks he is, but now he needs to find another ride. Immediately after I hit cancel, another person a few minutes away pops up.

She gets in my car. I ask her how her morning is going. She says it’s fine. She asks me how my morning is going. I tell her about Kurt. We laugh and she agrees that he can go fuck himself. We have a nice conversation about people who think they are important and entitled and behave like assholes. Turns out she’s my neighbor down the street.

Later, as I’m giving the play by play to my mother on the phone, I realize that I have new material for my yoga class. Who knows how the rest of Kurt’s morning went, or how the rest of his time in Salt Lake will be. Who knows why Kurt is apparently miserable. Wouldn’t surprise me if he has a difficult time wherever he goes. It is important to remember how and what we contribute to our shared experiences. We get much further in life, in this case literally (even though he was just going somewhere on State Street one Brigham Young block east), when we treat people with kindness.

FWIW, Uber does have Community Guidelines. It plainly states that riders and drivers are expected to treat each other with respect. Kurt failed this morning.

Tuesday Classes!

Happy Monday! That means tomorrow you have three opportunities to catch me for a yoga class! Beginning at 11am with a Restore class. It’s 50 min long, totally relaxing and soothing.

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Next up is a 45 min Express Class. Here we do a little Core work and break a sweat before you head out to the rest of your day.

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Then at 7:15pm we do Guided Meditation, Core and Restorative asana, and pranayama (breathwork).

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Teacher Highlight!

Check out my story from Centered City’s Teacher Highlight! It was fun to write and inspired me to write more. I swore at the beginning of the year I would start writing another book this year. Time to start writing!

Stop in next Tuesday for my class: Move, Breathe, Meditate, 7:15pm. Every Tuesday! It’s a great mix of meditation, pranayama (breath work), and asana.

And! Stay tuned for details about the workshop I’m offering early December. After a light asana and meditation session, we’ll let our creative energy flow and create a small mixed media art piece that you can take with you!

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Yoga

I've been teaching a yoga class at Centered City for just over a couple months now. I only teach one regular class, Move Breathe Meditate on Tuesdays at 7:15pm. (Come check it out--It's a mix of asana, pranayama, and meditation.) Teaching at Centered City has given me the opportunity to sub other classes, though, which has been a tremendous help to grow as a teacher. Ultimately I would like to teach 4 classes each week, work with private clients, teach group events, teach at retreats, and host workshops incorporating my feng shui practice. 

One of the things I love about my regular class on Tuesday nights is the time I spend culling wisdom and meditation practices to share. In the beginning it was a huge challenge--most of my focus in class was spent thinking about what comes next in the sequence or the directions to give to get in and out of a pose. It takes practice to get there! When you're looking at your notes or nervous about performing in front of a group of strangers, it's difficult to think of wisdom to share. Now that I have the sequence down (timing was a huge challenge in the beginning), I can focus more on students and even improvise. It's very exciting to experience growth in any endeavor.  

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Come check out my class! 

 

 

yogacentric

Last week I started a volunteer gig teaching yoga and art to a group of elementary school kids for their after school program. They're calling it YogART. The kids range kindergarten through 4th grade, all super sweet. They have been playing a yoga spinner game that they all enjoy, so I've continued with that. For the art portion, I just had them do a free draw so I could assess where they are for our first session.  This week I'm going to see how far we can get with Surya Namaskara A (sun salutations) and self portraits. It's definitely important to meet them where they are instead of being attached to the outcome. My number one goal is for them to have fun. If they get more out of it and learn anything, that's great, too. It's great practice for me. 

I also had the amazing opportunity last week to scribe for Arun Deva while he was giving consultations in Salt Lake. It's amazing how much you can learn by sitting and typing all the words two people say. I love how aligned Ayurveda is with my feng shui practice. While I know I have no ambition to become an Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, I think it is a wonderful tool for the tool box. I also attended his Emotional Intelligence workshop and a 2.5 hour yoga therapy asana practice. He is truly a wonderful teacher and has inspired me tremendously. Feeling very fortunate and grateful for the whole experience. He reminds me of my mentor, William Spear, but an Ayurvedic version. 

I'm looking forward to attending two of Benjamin Sears' Sacred Geometry Vinyasa classes at Second Side City in Dallas when I'm there in a couple of weeks. I seriously can't wait. So glad my trip coincided with it. Unfortunately it ends the day after I arrive, so I only can attend 2 classes. Oh well. I'm loving the idea of attending super awesome yoga classes when I travel. Sacred Geometry is one of my most favorite subjects. 

Next month I will be finished with the Level 1 Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. Level 2 does not start until mid-June, so I have time to focus on teaching. That's exciting. I can't believe it will be next December before I will have C-IAYT after my name. It is the highest level of credentialing in yoga, so I am grateful for the long process. Otherwise it wouldn't be as meaningful. Salt Lake has been such a wonderful place to be for this part of my journey. 

Mean Streets of Salt Lake

At work today three cops walked in. I asked if they were in for coffee or if something had happened. The lead man replied they were looking for someone with teal glasses and a brown beanie. I paused and noticed his entourage was smiling. I pointed to my beanie and said: this is yellow. We all laughed. 

It was a reasonable question because it's the first time in 7 months of working there I've seen a police officer. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to live in a police state. You'd think a cop would come in for coffee or food every once in awhile. We have decaf espresso. Since #operationRioGrande dispersed the Pioneer Park population, an influx of drug addicts and people in need of mental health services has saturated the neighborhood. Also a reasonable question because in the last month or so these two things happened, one around the corner from the shop and the other shut down the whole city. I was at work when I heard about the shooting and noticed he was still at large. I also live a direct shot between the U and Main Library, where he was apprehended the following afternoon thanks to a librarian. Turned out he went through the Aves, but it was all a big mystery while it was happening. At least 8 agencies, including the FBI, were on it. It was nuts. 

I joked that I've experienced more crime here in Salt Lake than in New York City. We talked about how the feeling of safety is different here versus there. 

Upon further reflection, it's possible I did experience more crime in New York. 

1. The time the dude bodychecked me on 8th Ave near Penn Station when I was meeting a second date for dinner before going to hear Dark Sisters. (Ironically, an opera about polygamist family) When I arrived at the restaurant and told my date what had happened and that I felt rattled, he said to me: It's not what happens to you, but how you deal with it. Totally agree, but don't ever say that to someone who has experienced a trauma, especially as recently as the last half hour. 

2. The time I was walking home to my apartment in Queens and a strange dude, who was out of place, followed me up the street at 2 in the afternoon. He had just been hanging out, leaning against a chainlink fence when I turned the corner. It seemed like he was on something. I was trying to locate my keys buried in the bottom of my bag the rest of the way up the block. When I got to my front door keys in hand, I turned to look.  There he was on the sidewalk on the end of the walkway to my door staring me down like a wild animal ready to attack. He was definitely on something. I'll never forget the sight. It was horrifying, something out of a zombie movie. I don't know how he ended up on 71st street and 41st avenue. Or why. I'm glad I got away safely. 

3. The time I lost my wallet. Must have dropped it between the bodega and my apartment in PLG. That someone who picked it up bought a $1500 plane ticket to the DR and went on a shopping spree around Union Square. That was the same incident where months later my social security card, license, and health insurance card arrived in the mail via a good samaritan who works for the railroad and my former roommate in Queens.

4. The time I lost my wallet again within a month of the aforementioned loss. Switched trains at Union Square after the OHNY party in Meatpacking, and it was just gone. That was embarrassing. It was the second time in a month John Fontillas paid $30 on behalf of H3 to get me to work. 

5. The time I was walking home from Prospect Park stop and the trio of men called me Snow White among other names. Catcalling isn't a crime. It is harrassment. Thankful the #postWeinsteinEra has finally arrived.

6. The time I served Jury Duty in Kings County. http://nyti.ms/2i1BXAk We watched the video of the double homicide shooting over and over and over again. Even in slow motion. Deliberated for 3 exhausting days. 

In Salt Lake, crime and anything underworld really is hidden. Car break-ins are what I've heard about mostly. My direct experience has been:

1. Someone was hanging out in my car in the middle of the night after I left it unlocked. Thank goodness that person vacated by the time I was getting in my car at 5:30am

2. Watched people getting arrested at different locations around the city

3.  Watched a drug deal go down in parking lot under bright lights

4. First Encampment defensive stabber live news report 5 days after crime (link above)

5. The crazy lockdown manhunt murderer with a multi-state rap sheet (link above)

One of the things I noticed about Salt Lake shortly after I moved here: I rarely see cops. It's sort of nice, but a palpable vibe that nothing is happening and everything is fine. #Utah Perhaps this is why they popped in today. They were canvassing the neighborhood talking to people. Establishing a presence. I tip my hat to that. Take back the streets action. As much as I don't want to live in a police state, it makes sense that a police officer is part of the community they are patrolling. Cheers to Chief Brown for being awesome.