Thursday, October 31, 2013

Moonlight Yoga

A note from a humbled yoga teacher to the powerful women of "Scabs":

I am but a mere mortal in the presence of you goddesses. You come to me for yoga and yet I leave more fulfilled than when I arrived. Know the power you possess. Know the path of liberation that you are paving for others.

I'm a neighbor of our wonderful Scabs and when she first asked me to take part in the Camp in Payson I was excited, honored, intimidated... Little did I know the impact you all would have on me and my life.

After Camp Scabs in Payson, Scabs and I decided it'd be a great idea to hold a regular class at the yoga studio I teach at. The stars were all aligned and we were good to go. We've had a small handful of wonderful classes and I honor those who have come and acknowledge what it took to be there.

After a few weeks, I started to get in my head a little bit. I started doubting my own abilities and I felt ill-equipped to shine any sort of light or love or peace to you all.

That's when Monday rolled around, time for Moonlight Yoga, specially designed for Eat My Scabs members only...

And no one showed up.

No one but Scabs herself and a mutual friend. What perfect timing! I was in need of a good chat and what a good chat we had! I expressed my worries and Scabs relayed your needs superbly. I said something along the lines of feeling inauthentic because I don't share the same story as you all. That's when our friend chimed in with this gem, "You may not have the same story but you DO have a story. Everyone has their own story." I have my tale to tell, you have yours. We've all experienced joy beyond belief, and pain that crumbles us to pieces. Joy is joy. Pain is pain. Healing is healing.

So I promise to share with you my story of healing with each Moonlight Yoga class I teach. I walked around life as "Amber the Wounded" for many years and carried that declaration around with me. It weaved into everything I did; everything I was. It was my protector, my validator, my excuse, my reason, my all.

I invite you to come to Moonlight Yoga at lovelife studio in Tempe, twice a month on Monday nights at 8pm. This is a space set aside for release. Release your emotions, turn inward, and listen to your heart. That's our main focus, every class. Come as you are, exactly as you are right now, and feel cradled and supported by your fellow goddesses and by the yoga practice itself. It's by donation only; pay any amount you can, don't pay if you can't, but come regardless. Reminders will be posted on the blog as well as emailed to all on the mailing list.

I am at your disposal. Call, email, or text any questions or concerns.

We walk together as women, regardless of our stories, and we're here to help, to heal, to love, to feel.

Much love, light, and peace your way,


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mr. Scabs Big Plan

Massage parlors are weird places.  It's hard to really imagine what goes on in there.

I remember years before I knew that that weirdness had eked it's way into my life, Mr Scabs and I were driving down the road when somehow him or I pointed out the little massage joint and we started the conversation of, "they do what? that for do you know?"  "Someone from work told me." 


Oh, the conversations we had when I was naive and Mr. Scabs was a liar.

Anyway, today we have new kinds of conversations.  I am no longer naive and Mr. Scabs is no longer a liar.  Recently, we were driving by some of our local Asian flavored brothels, when Mr Scabs says, "I have an idea. We need to shut these things down."

"There's no front desk in there, it's usually just a sliding window with no one there.  The front door is unattended."

I wonder what he's thinking.

"We should sneak in and flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

be the right kind of selfish

pioneer trek

Be selfish.

Be selfish with your time and be gentle with yourself.

When you're slogging through the mess of life it's ok to be selfish.  Well, not literally selfish.  Not seeking your own profit and pleasure. Instead, taking a moment to turn inward and care of your most basic needs.

Last weekend Mr. Scabs and I were part of a pioneer trek for the youth in our church.  For three days we lived like the Mormon Pioneers of 1856.  A tribute to those who have gone before.  There were so many amazing experiences that I've logged away in my brain and journal.  But what I want to tell you know is what I learned about our bodies.

That first day was brutal.  We pushed and pulled a heavy pioneer handcart (not unlike many of the burdens we carry) up and down hills, over rocks and through deep sand.  At lunch we chewed on a dry biscuit and beef jerky and washed it all down with a glass of water.

That was all we ate.

We were told the first days trek was 11 miles.   After the sun went down and the lanterns were lit and the temperature dropped below freezing we began to wonder when the end would come (do you ever feel like this).  During the last dark, lonely 5 miles the tell tell signs of exhaustion began to set in:  dry heaving, cold sweats, headaches, one kid even wet his pants.

Through the trees we finally saw the burning of camp fires but it was bitter cold.  And when we stopped and rounded our wagons, all we could do was sit on the frosty ground and hang our heads.  Depleted.  Work still needed to be done.  We needed to gather firewood and try and start a with flint and steel.  We needed to pitch tents and try to make something to eat out of potatoes and canned chicken.  Our fingers worked so slowly in the frozen midnight air, too slowly.  Half the kids went to bed without dinner and without warming themselves by the fire.

Then next day was much of the same exhaustion except we shared a carrot for lunch.  A carrot.  

That second night I built a roaring fire.  Mr. Scabs chopped enough wood to last the night and I began to cook and prepare all the food we had been given.  We had tortillas, beans, beef and even some peach cobbler.  

The next morning, as the kids stepped one by one from the tent, I could see the difference good food and good sleep made. Even with two hard days behind them and one more hard day ahead, they were prepared and refreshed.

So this is what I say to us who are weary and exhausted and unsure of the end; be selfish.

Eat healthy food, get the right amount of sleep, shower, exercise.  Make sure you do these things for you. Focus on one step at a time.  Listen to your feelings.  If you are spiritual, pray/meditate.  Clarify yourself so you can more fully listen to your heart, and then, be brave and act.

Find a therapist and find a friend you can share everything with.  Don't be afraid to feel every terrible, ugly, weird, funny feeling that will comes your way.  Work through each feeling and when you are ready, the uncomfortable feelings will leave and be replaced by positive, light and loving feelings.

Be selfish with your time and be gentle with yourself.  Say no to outside obligations.  Keep life simple.  You will need the strength of simplicity to carry you.

Pick up a selfish hobby. For me it was yoga.  For u it might be reading or painting or knitting.  Do something productive for you.  

Use detachment.  I used it as a main tool for survival.  Detaching allowed me enough distance from my husband to be an observer.  Then, I watched him and listened and cultivated enormous amounts of patience.  I corrected him when I needed to but mostly, I stayed out of the way.  I stayed out of the way and I let what happen happen.  This way I was able to have a broader scope and a better place to make decisions from.

Being the right kind of selfish will prepare and refresh you for tomorrow.  

And, when you are refreshed you will know what to do next.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yoga for Congo in Utah!

(thanks Jane)

It was a beautiful weekend at the Togetherness Project in SLC.  
A genuine thanks to all the hands that made the Project as wonderful as it was.
For an overview and some attendees notes click here and here and here.

I spoke about being brave, healing through yoga and some other bits and pieces of my story.  We laughed a bunch and cried a bit.  It was lovely to see faces and hug women and hear their stories too.

I'd really love to convert everyone to yoga.  It's taught and healed so much in my life.  For those of you who want to try yoga and those of you who already love yoga,
this came to my inbox today:

Yoga for Congo has two upcoming events in Utah.

Both events are free but you can donate if you like.
Bring a yoga mat and some water.  If you don't have a yoga mat,
ROSS and TJ MAX usually have good deals on mats.

Provo Oct 25
Salt Lake City  Oct 26

I wish I could go, so go for me and tell me all about it.


Yoga for Congo Women from Ann Richmond on Vimeo.

Monday, October 14, 2013

yoga tonight


A letter from our yoga teacher

Yoga tonight, Moonlighters!

We'll be focusing on meditation tonight so come, stretch, chill, and connect with Self and others.
Hope to see you all there! 8pm sharp ;)

Much love,

{email eatmyscab @ for directions}

let it go


Thursday, October 3, 2013

the flip-side


Did you sign up for Addo yet?  Yes, I love them.  

The Togetherness Project is right around the corner and I'll be presenting first thing in the morning.  
So, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of the flip-side. 
(we can laugh at my man hands, thank you Dad)


bags under my eyes



          a wound or shock produced by sudden injury, as from violence or accident.


Do you have bags under you eyes?  Cause I did.  

By the time the sun set on a cool day in November 2010 my world had erupted and was shocked by violence.  At the same time my eyes seemed to sink deeper into my skull and puffy tear-induced bags made permanent residence under my eyes.  This was a clear sign of trauma in my life.

Often, I hear women downplay their pain, confiding that "it's just porn."  But, I don't believe it. Pain is pain.  It doesn't land somewhere on a sliding scale showing that one betrayal or abuse is worse than another.  It just is.  

Haven't we all spent infuriatingly sleepless hours wrestling in our beds replaying snippets of our lives only to still be agitated and awake at 4:37 am and ready to tear our hair out?  Haven't we all spent days where we ate too much and the other days where we forgot to eat at all?  And what about the insanity of checking internet histories and phone records and maybe even GPS coordinates (ummm, no, i did not do that)?  Or haven't we all glared and shot daggers and felt utterly inferior to the woman with overwhelmingly sexualized jugs spilling out of her tank.  And maybe for you, women haven't been the object of lust, maybe it's men or even the most unthinkable of all, children.  

Do you feel the loss of breath every time you drive past a massage parlor?  And honestly, for me, the sight of any Asian: man, woman, child or even the mention of Kung Pow Chicken made my blood run cold.  Haven't we all panicked at the mesmerizing glow of a computer screen?  Or even felt prickly anxiety as our spouses tried to hold our hands?  Haven't we all felt hopelessly broken, used, discarded and lost? 

It's not our fault and our feelings are completely natural.  This is Betrayal Trauma. 

It's time to take care of ourselves.

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