Wednesday, June 30, 2010

slow down summer

How can it already be July? Dear sweet July, how did you come so quickly? This morning I was thinkin' about how terribly excited I am about going to Mexico for three whole weeks.

Three whole weeks.... Yip,Yip, Yooray!!

But you know what I find myself so very task oriented that the days just breeze on by. I complete one task. Then another. Then another.

Doing all the things I need to do before leaving the country for three whole weeks. Which makes me feel like I wish my life away. Like I'm not really present with what I'm doing at the moment.

Case in point, last week I retreated at a local b&b to get all my work completed for the upcoming training in Mexico. It felt so very great to be there with the intention of getting serious work done for this training. And it felt so very good to be there, to feel in the flow, to have uninterrupted time to devote to something that I loved working on.

I would stop and go out walk around the horse farm, hop over to my yoga mat and do some yoga, sit on the balcony and have a snack, talk to Andy. Then back to work. Happily back to work.

As soon as I finished it was on to do work for the upcoming retreat. Again super fun work. More goodness. More stuff that I love. But I'm getting the feeling that summer is slipping away and I want it to linger longer.

So rather than blame myself and my tendency to fill myself with stuff to do, I'm gonna cut myself some slack and think about ways to find more space in my life. And my planner too. Andy will be back in school shortly and summer will be over sooner rather than later.

Things I could do:
**Give myself a day or two between projects to not jump right into something new.

**Schedule play time into each day. I'm seeing a reoccurring theme of the importance of play for me. This could take form of a dance class, or dancing in my entry foyer, hula hooping (we do have some at the studio thanks to Lisa, playing a video game with Andy, using the fabulous Shift Deck from Grace, blowing bubbles, etc.

**Explore not talking work stuff with Andy, my family, and friends for a week and see how I feel afterwards....better or worse?

**Let the sand and sea work their magic while I'm in Mexico. To plan less, to play more. To sit with the mystery of life. Be open to magic.

Then summer might slow down.?
It might not.
But either way, maybe I'll be ok with it?

**No photo today. I'm on my "pink book" (netbook) at the hair salon. Gettin a cut and how some new hi-lights. That says summer, right

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is pretty great. Watch the guy at 3:30. Sheer excitement.
Happy Friday my friends. Have a magical day.

Sarah and I will be making eye pillows for the Mexico retreatees today.
Pretty excited about some creative fun. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

just plain happy

Greetings Friends!

I'm at the studio enjoying a full plate of work. Right now I'm preparing for a four hour long session I'll be teaching in Louisville this weekend to a yoga teacher training group. Topics include intro To ayurveda and yoga therapy.

I'm looking through some of my books and manuals and compiling my information. I ran across the passage by Henry Miller and wanted to share:

"It's good to be just plain happy;
it's a little better to know that you're happy;
but to understand that you're happy
and to know why and how.....and still be happy,
be happy in the being and the knowing,
well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss."

I spend a lot of time debating happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, bliss, and the idea of contentment. This statement is really sticking.

To believe with our whole heart that we can indeed create the things we need to fulfill our needs, hopes, and desires is blowing me away these days. And to find happiness and freedom within those places....the exciting and the ordinary is the thing I'm looking for most these days.

How about you? In what ways are you just plain happy these days?

**Photo of baby Zoey born one day before my birthday last year....a happy day indeed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ordinary feats

"This is my practice. It is not anything special you need to learn. It is not some new information you need to get. It is nothing you haven't heard before. It is just a turn you might not yet have made, or made again, and again, and again. A turn toward intimate engagement with the life you already have.

The instructions are in your hands. And when you follow them, you arrive clear and fresh - free of heartache, failure, fear, anger, and judgement - into a ready made life of deep peace and genuine satisfaction. Fulfillment derives not from lofty achievements, but from ordinary feats. It arrives not once in a lifetime, but every moment of the livelong day." ~ Karen Maezen Miller, Hand Wash Cold

I just finished this book today and I highly recommend it. It's a quick yet deeply satisfying book at only 169 pages. The subtitle "care instructions for an ordinary life" and book content in general speaks to my cute and restless self. :)

PS - This time in exactly three weeks I'll be meeting new students from across the US and greeting students from KY at our yoga retreat to Tulum, Mexico! And enjoying that beautiful Caribbean water. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

owning all of mySelf

I've been thinking a lot about the many "selves" that exists within each of us. This started a couple weeks ago when life coach Grace came into town and presented to our teacher training group. It continued on as I began my readings for my Ayurveda course. My first chapter is on Philosophy, and it's really juicy.

I enjoyed a section in which it speaks about health and disease. The American Heritage Dictionary defines health as, "the state of an organism functioning normally without disease or abnormality. Any state of optimal functioning, well being or progress."

In Sanskrit (the language of yoga and ayurveda) the word for health is svastha. "Sva" means self and "stha" means established. So svastha means established in the self. This really appeals to me much more than our western definition.

In most Vedic literature there are two "selves". There is "Self" spelled with a capital S, the one which signifies our highest self, the part that is connected to a higher power, the one that expresses our highest virtues.

Then there is "self" spelled with a lower case "s", signifying our lower self, the part that is ego based. This sense of self would be called "self esteem" in the West.

Ayurveda says that to enjoy perfect health we need to bring each of our “selves” to the table. We need our higher Self to be awake, aware and connected to a higher purpose thus guiding us towards self realization. We also need our lower self to have a healthy outlook, a positive self esteem, to interact with the world in supportive ways, to teach and guide us on journey towards bliss. juicy!!

This led me to think about one of the sessions with Grace on personas. We explored them in a playful, identified different personas, understanding that who we are can be quite complex and that at different times in our lives we need to call on different personas.

We identified personas that have brought recognition.
Personas that have gotten us into trouble.
Ones that have brought success and so on.

I am seeing these as my "subselves".

Some of my personas I identified were:
**Tender Foot (the one that is reeeallly sensitive)
**Rebel Girl (the one that is resistant to authority)
**The Dreamer (the one that believes anything is possible)
**The Wise One (the teacher, thinker, philosopher)
**Cute & Restless (Lisa shared a reading one day in yoga class and all I recall was something about "acutely restless", which I immediately resonated with. Upon telling my Yoga BF Shelli whom is equally restless, she thought I said "cute and restless" which is much more fun)
**Mrs. Fix It (the one that wants to take save everyone and immediately wants to take their pain away)

Upon first working with this I had to think about how it resonated for me in terms of being authentic. That's a word I use a lot. And an idea that is important to me. More so now that I continue to bring forth who I am without wanting to change me.

I looked up the definition of authentic. Merriam Webster says:
Authentic mean being actually and exactly what is claimed. authentic implies being fully trustworthy as according with fact.

Wikipedia says that in the study of communication persona is a term given to describe the versions of self that all individuals possess. Behaviours are selected according to the desired impression an individual wishes to create when interacting with other people. Therefore, personae presented to other people vary according to the social environment the person is engaged in, in particular the persona presented before others will differ from the persona an individual will present when he/she happens to be alone.

I came to the conclusion that owning all of my "selves" is an authentic expression of who I am. And that acting in accordance to who I am (which may mean accessing one of my personas) is being authentic.

Not expressing my authenticity would be acting from the role of "The Wise One" when inside I was wanting to express "Rebel Girl"....not owning my truth, and not fully expressing what I was feeling.

I'm just in the beginning stages of thinking/playing with this. I'm sure there is much to be said!

So, what do you think? About how health is defined, what it means to you, all of your "selves", etc. Would really love your thoughts on this one. :)

PS - Photo above is during one of my rebel girl moments...hence the look on my mama's face.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

yearning for good

I, the fiery light of divine wisdom,
I ignite the beauty of the plains,
I sparkle the waters.
I burn the sun and the moon and the stars,
With wisdom I order all rightly.
I adorn the earth.
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.
I am the rain coming from the dew
That causes the grasses to laugh
With the joy of life.
I call forth tears, the aroma of holy work.
I am the yearning for good.

~HILDEGARD OF BINGEN (1098 - 1179)

Friday, June 11, 2010

saying yes

I'm not sure where I first learned the idea of....
"Every time we say yes to something, we're saying no to something else." And vice versa.

I imagine that I really got the idea of this during those times of being really busy. Times of saying yes to so much, not really getting what I was saying no to at the time. If that makes any sense.

Teacher training just ended on Sunday. We met for four intense days straight. Plus Andy and I had company for five days. Even before the training had ended I had decided to go to Louisville to participate in a yoga workshop Friday and Saturday. Tracy was even going with me.

At one point during the weekend I told Andy of my intention. The one of going away for the night to a yoga workshop. Andy is always wonderfully supportive of me, my dreams, and the things I want to do. He looks at me and says, "Is that really what you're needing?"

Hmmmm, good question. I hadn't allowed myself the time or the space to think about that. The trouble with doing something that you love so very much (as in yoga) is that you just want to keep doing. Or I do anyway. That's my nature. I love to learn. I love to experience. And I felt like a great teacher was going to be close by (Doug Keller at Yoga East) and teaching on a topic I want to learn more about (yoga therapy).

I realized that he had a point. What I needed was to stay put. To let myself decompress. To take a yoga break of some sort.

That's what I did today....well a yoga break for me. And I've had such a fabulous day. I taught a private session this morning that felt really rewarding. A sweet yogini from my "neck of the woods". I was pretty amazed by the amount of body awareness she had, the grace she possessed in her practice, and the reason she was wanting to learn more about yoga....which was for a spiritual practice. And the bonus was she bought a house in Whiteburg AND met my brother Joel yesterday at Summit City. What a small world?

I got to enjoy an hour long yoga class at the studio taught by Lisa Miller. I was so happy to see the yoginis filing into the studio for class and I was looking forward practicing alongside them. Many times I find it a challenge to slide into student mode at the studio, but today it was so easy. The practice felt good. The space felt perfect. The students and the teacher....just perfect.

I left the studio to meet Sarah at Stella's. We had a great lunch then walked down the street to Cuppa for my first visit. Oh my....what a sweet place?! I loved every single thing about it. The paint, the decorations, the teacups you get to choose, the smell of the scones, the tea of course, and the delightful owner that was there. It's really clear that this is a place and a business close to her heart. I love when you can get that the moment you step into a place, a business. Sarah and I spent over two hours together catching up and talking about our upcoming retreat to Tulum. I'm so very excited that Sarah is coming along as an assistant for the retreat.

We talked about the teaching schedule, possible themes for the week, the needs of the group members, goodies and extras to take along, and of course the food, the treatments, and the general special-ness of Tulum. I so love that Sarah gets how special Tulum is to me. And how special Tulum is in general.

I come home and spend some time on our front porch reading over my materials for my Ayurveda training. I received my materials this week along with an email from my master teacher who is based out of CA. I've already dove into the textbook and started my homework. The chapter I'm reading now is on philosophy, and it's so juicy. I just love this stuff. This weekend I'll start making flashcards of all the Sanskrit words and phrases that are new to me. Feels good to be in student mode in this way. I have my first phone conversation with my teacher tomorrow at 3:00. Looking forward to that!

Andy and I decide to go to the Movie Tavern and see "The A Team." And guess what?! It was so good. Neither Andy nor I enjoy action flicks. But we both grew up watching The A Team. It was clever, funny, and exciting. I dined on the ALT (avocado, lettuce and tomato), laughed, and held hands with Andy. Plus Bradly Cooper is in it. Need I say more?

Now at the end of the day I find myself feeling so happy that I chose to say no to the workshop and yes to....
time at the studio teaching and practicing
time with Sarah
time with Ayurveda
and time with Andy.

So happy that my husband was brilliant enough to ask me, "Is that what you're needing?" Cause that question allowed me to stop and think about it. What I was most needing was to stay connected to the yogini, friend and wife within.

Have a happy happy weekend my friends. :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

oil spill

I received this poem below from a dear friend. Mary Oliver always has a way with words and putting things into perspective....most of times which make sense to me. While I'm still completely heart broken about what all is happening with the oil spill these words offer some hope....


Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

~ Mary Oliver ~

**AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
***More photos here

Monday, June 07, 2010

mind spill

I've got lots floating around on my mind. Things I want to think about, practice, and write about. This is a total spill. Stay with me if you can. Here goes:

I'm thinking about how yesterday my BF (as in best friend, not boyfriend as in Jon Bon Jovi)totally called me out about not posting on the blog since last Tuesday. "Geez, how am I supposed to get my enlightened moments?" Or something along those lines. I report back to her about the business and the mind clutter (which of course she already fully knows)

Which then led her to make a comment about she can tell when I'm posting just for the sake of posting. You know the posts that have absolutely no heart. No real meaning. There just there to occupy space. And to keep me from feeling like I'm slacking on the blogging job.

Which leads me to think about quantity vs. quality in blogging land. And where I fit in.

I'm thinking about the finale of our yoga teacher training. Meeting nearly 40 hours over the course of four days. I'm thinking about how far they've come in such a short amount of time. And how this training is over, but it's really just the beginning in so many ways. For them. For me.

Thinking about how it was them, and their joy in learning about yoga, and being a part of this group that inspired me to study Ayurveda.

I'm thinking about our emotional closing. How I cry each and every year at the closing. Something so bittersweet, so touching about these moments in a circle and acknowledging each other and the journey we've been on. Definitely thinking about the Mexican chocolate cake Jennifer made, the gift they shared and the sweet words written on a card. Reading what they wrote was so moving. Such kind words, addressed to me.

To which I shared with Liz and Tony. Tony reports that he wants to do something to help people. And Liz thinks it's a brilliant ego booster that should be placed on the fridge to see everyday.

I'm thinking about having Grace at my house and teaching at the studio. The odd chance that we were connected from here in KY all the way to CA with three connections between us.

Thinking about her work. And the amazing teacher that she is. Thinking about the one question I have that led me to Grace. Thinking about how happy I am that Andy could join in for one day of her sessions. And learn about ease and flow, playing the part of victim, villain, and hero. And the personas. Ahhh the personas. Who knew we had so many? I'm now identifying mine and giving them names.

Thinking about three weeks in Mexico. My moms first flight. The house we'll stay at on the beach of Tulum. The food we'll eat. The laughs we'll share. Thinking about the ten days I'll share with Andy in Mexico. Our first time together in Mexico since our honeymoon over nine years ago. Thinking about our plans to renew our vows next year for our 10th.

Thinking about how I've been wanting to grow my teaching, expand my teaching and attract people from different places. The people coming to retreat in Mexico from the studio, FL, CA, VA, and others. And the emails and calls that keep coming from people for the teacher training in Tulum. Canada, New Mexico, New York, cool.

Thinking about taking it a little easy and enjoying the summer. Sitting on my front porch. Cooking more. Thinking of celebrating our 100 year old house. Spending time with my family. Thinking of Liz and Tony's wedding. And the most beautiful wedding invitations I've ever seen that were made with hand. And heart. And the shoes for the dress.

Teaching. Reading. Studying. Writing.


How lucky I am.
And what a charmed life it is.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

mind clutter

Greetings Yoga Friends,

Today was a busy day. The kinda busy day where all day long you're puttin out little yoga fires.

First off the cleaners that were supposed to be at my house at 9:00 didn't show up. This was the very first time Andy and I have ever called extra help in. We're super excited to be hosting yogini/life coach extraordinaire, Grace. But that also meant that the big blue house really needed some love. So yes, first time calling in house cleaners....and they don't show. Hmmmm, is that a message I hear from the universe, "Dont be a lazy ass. Clean your house."

I call Andy explaining to him all the stuff I needed to do for work, and now we had to add cleaning the house to the list. Thank god Andy doesn't mind gettin' his hands dirty and cleaning house. He tells me to get rid of the dust (he's really allergic) and he'll do the rest.

I had two privates scheduled today and one group class. This morning somewhere between dusting and sweeping I realize that I've booked a private during the teen yoga class.

Run upstairs and email both privates. Try to re-schedule for earlier today and next week. Note to may be time to start using the fancy software to book privates and such. So it tells me things when I'm not smart enough to know. :)

Back to cleaning and I get phone calls from two of our darling teachers that will need subs for today. Totally totally understand their reasons. Neither needed to be teaching today.

Run back upstairs to send an email to Jeanne (who is officially my angel at this point). Check in about book club date for June and subbing. She is totally on top of it. And she can sub not only one, but three classes this week. I **love** you Jeanne. (Pssst that's her above chillin' in Tulum).

Run errands to get some things for this week. Work a bit on the June newsletter. Get to studio. Somewhere between cleaning the studio, fixing student accounts, working on the newsletter, trying to find a sub for the Thursday morning class (which has now been cancelled for this week, fyi), locating/reviewing teaching notes for the final four days of yoga teacher training......

I got it....what some people experience much of the time.
The mental loops.
The mind clutter.
Racing thoughts.
Loss of focus.
Vata imbalance. Ick!

No fun.
Certainly not healthy.
Thank goodness Meredith brought has sun-shiny self to the studio. And well....she's just as good as a rainbow, as refreshing as they come.

And she brought me back two seashells from the west coast.

As she was starting her teen yoga class I excused myself to Starbucks for a latte AND a brownie. Yep, that's right. It was oooey goooey and delicious. I didn't have a journal on me but as I was leaving the studio I grabbed three sheets of blank paper.

As I ate and drank I folded my pieces of paper into a little book where I proceeded to make notes about myself like:

"I am sensitive. And tender too. I have to be careful because it's really easy for me to take on the pain and suffering of others. Not good. Not healthy for me. Must learn to be the ones I love and to myself."

For nearly an hour I wrote.
For nearly an hour I got away from the to-do's, the tasks, and worries.

It was just what the yogic doctor ordered (so maybe she wouldn't have prescribed the brownie, but whatever). I went back to the studio with a smile on my face and excited to teach.

And guess what the theme of today's class was...
Yep, the mind clutter and how our practice is an invitation to be truly present, use our mind in a more healthy way, and go with the flow of life....even when the cleaners don't show up.