Sunday, November 29, 2009

a good day indeed

I had so much fun teaching yoga on Thanksgiving day! I could never have imagined that I would be so happy to work on my favorite holiday. We had 33 people come get their yoga groove on. Barefoot Works regulars, their family members and friends. It was truly exciting for me. And luckily for me, Sarah assisted the whole class so we could take care of the thanksgiving day yogi's. We also raised $250 for the gals at the Florence Crittenton Home. I'm super excited about going out and shopping for them. Thanksgiving Day class will certainly become a tradition at BW.

"Coach T" even came out for the practice! That's what his kids at school call him. Pretty darn cute....
"Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” ~John Ed Pierce

Then Andy and I went home to Vicco to celebrate with the family. As always, my mom really out does herself. Such good fun. And she always so sweet to go a lil bit more out of her way to make sure that their are plenty of vegetarian options for me.

We took the traditional hike up the hill after the feast. This time we lost Andy due to asthma...or was it that Cowboys game? ;)

As my brother Joel says, "The rock that changed it all."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Come into my lap and sit in the center of your soul.
Drink the living waters of memory and give birth to yourself.
What you unearth will stun you. You will paint the walls
of this cave in thanksgiving.
~Meinrad Craighead

My Thankfuls:

*The, a home, a family, friends, clothing, a job I love, a car to get me where I need to go, my doggies
*Blue sunny skies
*The baristas that know my name and take great care in making my lattes.
*Leaves to rake
*Babycakes cupcakes (raspberry white chocolate)
*Books to inspire me
*Jessica, her patience and enthusiasm in teaching me spanish
*This training/workshop
*Bon Jovi's new cd (and the many appearances they've made this week)
*A husband that surprises me with said new cd
*Yogi's supporting the gals at Flo Crit
*Happy, thriving plants at the studio
*My little camera that goes everywhere with me
*Sun salutations in my yoga room
*Mala beads from India
*That such a place like Tulum exists
*Fresh linens
*Retta, her amazing design skills, and her ability to create something wonderful for yoga teacher training
*The smell of the ocean
*Vision boards
*The yoga treehouse
*Copal incense
*Candles and twinkle lights
*Hills to hike
*Cemeteries to walk
*My ipod and Stephen Cope who talks Andy and I to sleep at night
*Mary Oliver poems
*Artichoke and olive pizza
*Strangers that smile at me
*Dance parties with Andy
*Stones and seashells on my altar
*My vessel, my body that contains my spirit
*The exchange of ideas
*Any and all travel that I'm lucky enough to partake in
*Old trees and short lived flowers
*Happy family moments
*Quiet mornings at the coffee shop
*Yoga Journal
*Sweet nieces and potty trained nephews
*Earrings made by Lisa
*The growth of yoga in Lexington
*Pretty journals and pretty pens
*The ability to dream
*And the bravery to move towards those dreams
*Talented, loving, and compassionate yoga teachers
*Words like unravel, revel, and deliberate
*That places like this exist
*The students that I've trained, that have now become teachers.
*Seane Corn's hair, and this even more so
*The growth of compassionate communication (aka, nonviolent communication)*
*The strong, real, raw and beautiful women in my life

What's on your list?

Have a happy happy thanksgiving. Wishing each of you a day filled with joy and gratitude.

sweet darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is also tired.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further that you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except he one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~David Whyte

**Wow. Goosebumps.**

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


With stammering lips and insufficient sounds,
I strive and struggle to deliver right
the music of my nature....
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Yesterday evening I had an interview with a gal with Health and Wellness, a local magazine. The article was about mindfulness. I thought I had my thoughts and ideas in order, but I hung up the phone and said to Andy, "Wow, I hope that makes at least a tiny bit of sense."

We chatted about what mindfulness is....being aware of what you're doing saying, and thinking without judgement AND my fave way of thinking about deliberately.

How being mindful impacts people's lives...aside from the many many benefits that research has now proven, being mindful allows us to choose our attitude, break free of bad habits, see things more clearly, take a few steps away from the drama, and live moment to moment...amidst the joys and the challenges in a more calm and peace-full manner.

What activities help a person be more mindful....ummmm yoga and meditation. That's an easy one, right? ;) Certainly, starting with the body is the first place to go.

Ways to think about the new year as it approaches...not to overload it with expectations, lose the resolution and work with an intention, reflect on areas of growth and challenge, then let go and step brightly into the new year.

So yes with "stammering lips" I tried to convey the beauty, the simplicity and the power of mindfulness. We'll see how it turns out in the January edition. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

not all roses and rainbows

Because it's really important to me to be as real, as honest, and as authentic as I can I want to share the "other" end of the spectrum in returning home from retreat:

1. It's not easy for me. Never. Ever. When I return from Tulum I need time. And space. And more quiet then I normally need. Andy knows this by now. While he does kid me about it, he respects my need for it. He doesn't quiet understand it, but he supports it. Leaving Maya Tulum and then stepping into the Cancun airport is a toughie for me. For a week you live as close to nature as you can, then it's bright fluoresecent lights, loads of people (are they always this loud), lots of noise, and really bad food. Really bad food. Too. Much. Stimulation.

2. Sometimes getting clear isn't easy. Every single time I leave Tulum, I'm at least a little different than before I went. I can't explain it. That's just how it is. Getting clear usually means that some sort of change is in order. Sometimes change is hard. Even for a lover of change like myself.

3. Who took the beach away? I grew up in the hills of eastern Kentucky. I love the mountains. I love how you get a sense of being held and enveloped within the hills. But the beach....ahhhh the beach. The sand, the sun, the sea. It's so very healing to me. I love everything about it and it's hard for me to leave it behind. Hence all the beach pics....tired of em' yet? ;)

4. Balance. Easing back into work, tending to homelife, nurturing relationships, and nurturing yourself as you re-emerge. Finding the happy place within each might be even a greater challenge post retreat.

So there you have it. My thoughts about removing the rose colored glasses when looking at retreats. What I do is really plan for re-entry (Andy thinks this word is hysterical) by:

1. Spending more time in meditation. This time I brought back copal incense from Tulum. This is what they burn during treatments (and Temalzcal). It's my new fave. My replacement for nag champa. I've been meditating each morning for at least 20 minutes and using this incense has been so great.

2. Watch even less television.

3. Read more books that inspire and elevate me, my mood, and my thoughts.

4. Get creative. Debra and I did some great creative exercises in Tulum. On Saturday I spent some time updating my vision board with the words I identified as meaning the most of me right now....spirit, service, abundance, personal growth, freedom, wisdom, and creativity. I also used images to go along with the words.

5. Bring a bit of your special place back. I picked up a couple of rocks and tiny seashells from my walk at Tulum. These now have a special place on my altar. I also brought over 3 lbs of homemade granola back from Maya Tulum. I gave some to each gal that attended the retreat this past summer and I've been enjoying some too. It's de-lish and reminds me of my happy place. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

reflections from maya tulum

Monday Nov. 9, 2009
I took an hour long walk on the beach this morning and passed only four people. It feels as if the beach and I belong together. I wonder if everyone that steps onto the land feels the same. Are they as moved, as connected as I? The gentle breeze on my back ever so sweetly nudges me onward, encouraging me to move forward. Embracing myself. Embracing life.

Tuesday Nov. 10, 2009
Mother nature is truly inspiring. I constantly stand in aw of her. Especially here in Tulum where I feel so connected. Being here I'm reminded "there is no God, when there is nothing but God".

Wednesday Nov. 11, 2009
Several years ago, when I first came to Tulum I thought I had it together pretty well. It only took that first session with Fabian to clearly show me that I didn't have it together quite as much as I thought.

Thursday Nov. 12, 2009
Floating in the water, listening to the waves as they make their way towards me...relaxing, breathing, knowing that if I can give to to them, I wont go under.

Friday Nov. 13, 2009
*You are living juicy! Ride into your life on a creative cycle, full of juice, abundance and ecstatic wonderment. You are a star. ~Sark
*Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it. ~Indian proverb

Saturday Nov. 14, 2009
It's the drive back to the airport. I woke the usual time, 5:30...wrapped myself in a Mexican blanket and watched the most beautiful sunrise of the week.

Appears that what I was needing most from my week here at Maya Tulum was the time, the space and the resources to connect with my spirit and the spirit of the universe which I've come to know and feel as one.

Being surrounded by the people at Maya Tulum make it easy to connect with spirit, to see the good in the universe, and bow down with deep and great gratitude for life.

Leaving this time doesn't feel as sad for me as times in the past. I'm taking away an even closer, greater friend, a slight tan, a smile that feels permanently plastered to my face, and a renewed spirit.

Now I've come enough times to know that I'll be back. So it never feels like goodbye. It feels so much more like....until next time.

**This was my cabana. See how very close to the water?! How could I not wait to get back? ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

why retreat?

A retreat is the restorative by which you walk away from being a woman who exists only in a relationship to others and walk toward a self that relishes and enjoys her relationships because she has a strong center from which to relate. Creating your own retreat allows you to encounter your deepest needs, feelings, and impulses away from the voices and needs of others.
~Jennifer Louden

rituals at maya tulum

"Women who create such ritual retreats together, listening thoughtfully to each other's voices, have the transformative potential to change the world."
~Virginia Beane Rutter

This is a picture of myself and Debra during our two hour work session. I use the word "work" not loosely (because it was some of the best, most important work I've done in a while) but instead with a smile on my face. Anytime you can work in a restaurant in one such as Maya Tulum's with a Corona on hand, a great friend nearby, and a view of the Carribean's truly a magnificent day.

Debra and I had a loose plan in place for our retreat. We each took a couple of things to work on and some creative exercises to explore. We had a little bit of a plan, but no so much so that it felt like we were controlling the whole week.

Which was a good thing because it appeared that the universe really wanted the week to mostly be about relaxing, reconnecting, and letting go of those important work things so that we could create some room for new ideas and dreams.

There were other amazing women that we met on this week of retreat. Most all of them were at Maya Tulum alone. Some were using the trip to transition to a new stage in life, some came because it seemed to be the only thing left to do, some came because they've been to Maya Tulum (and once you go you can't not go back), some came to vacation.

My days at Maya Tulum were so simple, yet so utterly profound. Here is how the days mostly unfolded:

5:30 - Wake up. Sun is beginning to rise. Sit on our little couch with a blanket wrapped around me listening to the waves crash and watching as the dawn appears.

6:00 - 7:00 Take a walk on the beach. Everyday is different and beautiful in it's own right. So much sky to see. So much water to be in awe of.
7:00 - 8:00 Drink coffee and journal

8:00 - 9:30 Yoga class or yoga on my own. I was so super excited to get away and take yoga classes, but I found myself being drawn to practicing on my own some days. Funny how that happens. :)

9:30 - 10:30 Breakfast. Some days I had breakfast with Debra, some days with the gals I'd met, and some days alone. The great thing about being at Maya Tulum is that you can have as much group time or alone time as you need. I believe it's an unwritten rule....but if you are sitting with a book or journal in hand people know that you are needing some space.

10:30 - 1:00 Lay on the beach, float in the water, exfoliate at the edge of the water, yin yoga on the beach, and my fave (ala Jeanne)...laying on my back (think savasana) just close enough to the water that it gently washed up on me.

1:00 - 2:00 Lunch. Always delicious. Sweet people working ready to greet you with smiles and kind words. The people that work at Maya Tulum are just one of the many reasons I continue to go back. I learn much from them.

2:00 - 4:00 Work session. We always took a different table to transition to work time. One further away from the views of the water and one further away from people. We each had some sort of delicious Mexican beer with each work session.

4:00 - 5:30 More. Yoga. Yes.....

6:00 - 7:30 Spa treatment. I had a couple treatments during the day. But I love this time. I had five (yes 5!) treatments during my stay. Three holistic massages, one thai yoga massage, and one Mayan Clay massage. Yep, heavenly. For you gals that know the therapists/healers, I had two with our fave Shaman Fabian, two with the Chandree, and one with Adrian.

7:30 - 9:00 Dinner. More deliciousness

9:00 - Back to the cabana for reading and usually falling asleep around 9:30. 5:30 comes pretty early in the morning. I find that when I'm at Maya Tulum, my body is reset and I find myself living in unison much more with nature.

It was pretty much like the retreat I always lead. But this time I wasn't a group leader, or a teacher. I was just Me and I had no roles to play. I love love love leading my annual retreat at Maya Tulum. But I gotta say that this was much different. Oh, and I usually had to make time for a shower in the day. ;)

We left the property one time to walk up the road to the tiny little market area. Other than that, it was a week of what you see above.

And it was needed.
And unbelievable.
And now I completely, 100% know why people return here each year to retreat for themselves.

Maya Tulum has a way. A very good way....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

to be connected

"To be connected with and to nurture others is a precious, delightful, integral part of our lives. We are constantly giving in a personal and emotional way. We want to do so, some of us must do so, but we also must take time in solitude, to find and tend our selves, or we risk becoming ensnared in a tyranny of relationships, unable to locate our authentic core. When this happens, we risk losing not only the meaning in our lives but ourselves, the deep rooted, innermost knowledge of who we are and why we are here. "
~Elinor Dickson

Monday, November 16, 2009

perfecting love

"You are love yearning for the perfectly lovable, and you, yourself, are the perfectly lovable that you long to experience.

Give to yourself with unlimited abandon and you will discover that what you once considered selfish is, in fact, the epitome of selflessness, for when you know yourself as love, you love everyone, unconditionally, unboundedly, eternally.

You will discover that there never was anyone more deserving of love than you, no one more perfect than you, and no one to love other than yourself.

For within you resides everyone. Perfect your love of yourself and you will love everyone perfectly."
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sunday, November 15, 2009

hola hola

Wow, still shaking the sand out of my suitcase and processing an amazing week at Maya Tulum. So much to say. So many reasons to keep quiet. And still. Hold it in my big ol' open heart.

Looking so forward to being at the studio today for community yoga and teaching yoga this week. Feeling much gratitude for all of life these days. :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

off to maya tulum

I'm leaving tomorrow for Mexico. So very excited to greet the sun. And sand. And sea. Everything is dreamier there. Love love love it.

Most everyone knows how much Tulum means to me. When I step on the beach and my feet hit the sand, it feels like home. Next year I'll get to experience Mexico one again with Andy. And again with my sister. And my mom. As both of those trips are on my mondo beyondo dream list, so they will happen. Very certain of it.

My sweet friend Shelli asked me today what I was most looking forward to in Mexico. The answer came quite easily and quite quickly. "The relaxation" I answered without hesitation.

I imagine it will take me all of 20 minutes to to slip away into relaxation mode. Looking forward to a little work, a lot of play, tons of bodywork and treatments, dreaming sessions, delicious food, yoga, being in the presence of many healers, reading, and relaxation. And the relaxation, did I mention that one?!

I'll see you in a week....Adios amigas. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

and we danced

"There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them." ~Vicki Baum

Today has been a very good day. Taught a couple of really satisfying classes. Had a very satisfying practice on my own.

Met with two great candidates for the upcoming yoga teacher training. Met with Teresa about said upcoming teacher training. Had a private yoga session with my sis Rhonda, and nieces Brooke and Lexie.

Sarah came in for our meeting (in which I learn Sarah is a "data dork", but I'm choosing to call her the numbers goddess) just as we were wrapping up our session with a lil dance party. Song for the day was "I Got A Feeling"....WooHoo....Was so happy to have Sarah present for the dance par-tay.

Sadly, no pics but there was lots of hopping, twirling, swaying, and dancing to be done.

Yep loved the studio a little bit more today. And celebrated her with dancing,laughing, positive talks, mudras, breathing, poses, and general good-ness.

**I leave for Mexico on Saturday!!** Happy hoppy Sharon!!

**And don't you just love this pic?! Love those teachers!**

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

love me.....

That was the answer I got today while I was having a conversation with the studio, you know....Barefoot Works.

Yeah I know. Sorta kinda weird. But I do this on occasion. My meditations become these conversations. With poses, with chakras, with body parts, mentors, and now with the studio.

Some of you may recall from a blog post about the retreat to NC. Myself and the retreatees pondered the question "What do I need most this weekend?" Since then I've been asking this question a lot. It's really helpful and I do suggest giving it a try.

Today after teaching my noon class I made a comfy cozy little seat on the floor with blankets, pen, paper and a few questions. The sun was pouring in through the window and it warmed my whole body....head to toe.

I took a few moments to connect with my heart, to connect with spirit and connect to Barefoot Works. The physical space that contains Barefoot Works. My yoga home. Our yoga home. I asked the questions, "What does Barefoot Works need today?"

After my mind settled in it gave me a pretty clear answer.....Love. I was taken aback for a moment (yes even a gal that has meditative conversations with such randomness) but I stayed connected. And open. And willing to continue to listen.

It seems that I've been busy with work and with stress and with life and I've somehow forgotten to remind myself of just how lucky I am. The idea of getting to work, teach and spend my days in a place as wonder-full and glorious as this studio is amazing.

In continuing this conversation She also told me that she needed more celebrating and more dancing in this space. It's been way to long since I've put on Michael Franti and danced and twirled around the studio. I remember getting into trouble at the studio when we were painting. The Taylor Swift-ey Cinderella-ey song came on and I blasted it and danced around like a crazy gal full of excitement and joy. Until the neighbor came over and politely explained that she was giving a massage next door. Ooops, sorry (little quiet voice).

I did continue this conversation with Miss BW herself. And she gave me some more helpful information. I'll save that for another time. Loving her is enough to focus on for right now. And dancing and celebrating.

So this November I am thank-full for:
The yoga tree house in which I spend my days.
The landlord that lovingly designed, and built the space over three decades ago and continues to watch over it like a babe.
The floors that my family helped me put down.
The walls that Andy and I painted while laughing and dancing (and probably) cursing on occasion.
The neighbors that provide good stuff like massage and prenatal yoga and very cool baby stuff.
The green grass this tree and the swing out front. Sunshine Grow Shop and the beautiful plants. And there will be pine trees and sparkle lights soon enough.
I'm thankful for the mats, blankets, blocks and straps as they have a very important role in what we do.
Thankful that the plants thrive at this studio. I jokingly say that anything can grow here. Even the plants that die come back to life!

I'm thankful for the teachers that love the studio as much as I. I think I've heard each of them say, "the highlight of my week is teaching at the studio." Yes, quite amazing to hear.

And thankful for You. :)

Any dancing, celebrating, yoga-ing and general love festing is welcome at the BIG bright and beautiful space known as Barefoot Works.

Monday, November 02, 2009

oh the goodness

I've had a wonderfully good, productive and fun day. I started the morning working upstairs on the upcoming teacher training. I stayed planted here with the exception of fetching hot tea and some oatmeal (with slivered almonds, agave, and banana). I worked for almost four straight hours on details, rough draft, schedules, finalizing the book list, connecting with participants signed up, and creating and making changes to materials.

I've learned to be gentle with myself and the process of work. There was a time when I would beat myself up if I didn't meet my perceived work quota for the day. Nowadays I find myself relishing and celebrating those times when I feel really productive and get things dones. The time I'm designating for work, I try to really and truly work. Not play on the internet. And call people for no reason. Or make endless trips downstairs just to do whatever.

And those days when I feel like nothing gets accomplished.....I'm ok with those too. I'm practicing the art of being gentle and kind to myself these days. Don't we all need more of this on and off of the yoga mat?

I met with my good buddy and traveling companion on my upcoming trip to Tulum today....Debra. We talked about what we needed to take along and came up with a little plan for working while in paradise.

We each plan to spend about two hours a day working. She on her book. Me on the upcoming yoga teacher training. We're going to have BIG Idea sessions. And ponder where we want to be in our respective businesses in one and five years. Such fun. I am a sucker for this stuff. I truly love my life and my business. These are the things that fuel the fire.

We'll then work on manifesting those dreams and things that resonate most. I'm taking the supplies needed for mini collage glue sticks, cardstock, small scissors, and magazines for flipping, clipping and pasting inspiring words and images.

I imagine that each of us we'll have some other exercises and goodies up our sleeves for the week.

We'll take yoga daily, eat delicious food, drink and dance, take an excursion or two, do the sweat lodge, and get several healing bodywork sessions. Can't wait!

I also met my sister to see her before embarking to Mexico. Always good to see her ad laugh alongside her.

And the above pic...that's me and Andy preparing for tonight's delicious meal....artichoke, feta, garlic, and black olive pizza along with salad complete with raspberries, walnuts, and more feta cheese. Wine was Coyote Red from Talon Winery. Yummy!

Oh the goodness. :)

**PS - Teresa's workshop scheduled for this Sunday has been re-scheduled for late January.**

Sunday, November 01, 2009

halloween 09

What a fun weekend?! Saturday was a day filled with pantry organizing and hanging out with two great friends, Liz and Tony. We had originally planned to hike and camp at the Gorge, but it didn't look like the weather was going to cooperate. So we opted for a day of Italian and wine fun. We visited Chrisman Mill for wine tasting, Bella Notte for a late lunch, Talon Winery for more wine tasting, the wine shop in Nicholasville for....yep you guessed it, more wine tasting. At this point we decided we need a lil wine break. We crossed the street to the coffee shop and had some tasty, toasty, (nonalcholohic) treats. We swung by the big blue house then dashed off to Bar Louie to watch the UK game then off to The Trail of Terror off of Tates Creek. Andy and I hadn't been on a haunted trek since our college days, so that was great fun.

All in all, a festive and fun Halloween. Although I did wake with a tummy ache at four in the morning and it continued on for several more hours. My cleansed insides were rebelling again the festivities of the day.

Today I met the teachers for Indian food and we chatted studio and student stuff... holiday schedules, sub schedules, upcoming workshops, community service, building community, yoga teacher training, holiday party, and a teacher celebration. All good stuff to get excited and feel grate-full for.

I just finished cooking chipotle corn chowder, which is way tooooo spicy. I added some honey to see if it takes some of the bite out of it. I did get to wear my sweet apron that I love so much. Certainly makes cooking much more fun. And I must admit that I keep going to the pantry, peeking in, and feeling quite happy about how organized and functional it feels. Love that the simple things can invoke such giddiness. Think I'll top the night with a long bath complete with Lush fizzy and some yin yoga.

Wishing each of you some giddy moments as you make your way into the week!