Wednesday, February 22, 2012

right brainers in business video summit

Beginning next week Jenn will be hosting The Right Brainers in Business Video Summit. She'll be interviewing wonderfully creative entrepreneurs experts in their field. I'm so excited to be featured in a show and tell spotlight next Tuesday on Feb. 28

Check out all the details for the Video Summit here:

Jenn was gracious enough to answer a few questions I asked her. I hope you enjoy!

Jenn, I know you're in the yoga world. You've completed a yoga teacher training, have led the Dream Box workshop at yoga trainings, and you're a yoga practitioner. How does your yoga practice help you with the creative process?
Yoga connects back to my inner wisdom. It helps me slow down and become more present. Lately due to a back injury, I've had to forgo my love of rigorous Ashtanga and opt for a more gentle home practice. It's been teaching me to be compassionate with myself, to listen to what my body needs, and to find more ease. That's certainly helped me when it comes to my creativity, too, by reminding me to hold the creative process lightly. I can't force inspiration to come. I have to slow down and pay attention to what my inner muse is telling me.

How did you feel when you left your very secure job to pursue your dreams?

It took me three years to build up the courage to finally leave my 10-year corporate career. When I was ready to leave I had reached my wits end trying to force myself to do work that didn't speak to my heart. Just even being in the office I could feel the soul being sucked out of me. While it was scary to jump into the unknown, I did know it was time! One of the things that helped during that transition was building a support network of other creative entrepreneurs who were also pursuing their passions. It made me feel like I wasn't alone and it helped me to stay inspired even when things were challenging.

You're clearly a girl on the go! What do you do for your own self care?

I practice what I call self-care Fridays. I like having a free day to totally focus on my own creativity, creative projects, or focus on nourishing things like naps or reading in my hammock when it's nice outside. I clear my calendar of any meetings (except with my hairstylist, massage therapist, the local nail shop, my inner muse and/or friends). I've learned that it's okay to say no sometimes. My latest self-care practice has been whipping up green smoothies. I love them!

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
In high school, my speech coach encouraged me to "Be BIG!" To trust in myself, project my naturally quiet voice, and even take a more powerful physical stance when I was doing my speeches. It's one of those lessons that continues to translate into so many other areas of my life all these years later. Certainly being a creative entrepreneur requires me to trust myself and to allow myself to take up space and be seen. It's still a growing edge and I'm always reminded of how he championed me to own my gifts.

What makes you feel most alive?
Being in touch with my creativity definitely makes me feel most alive. So does being surrounded by nature and beauty.

Thanks Jenn! If you're feeling inspired then join Jenn on the Video Summit. Really and truly the speakers are just phenomenal. That link is:

If you're interested in joining me for the day and doing The Right Brain Business Workshop and doing more of what you love then click here:

I'm feeling excited about so much greatness coming up.

Friday, February 17, 2012

babaji speaks on being wholehearted

I just finished listening to a recording of one of Babaji's discussions at Sonoma Ashram. I nearly jumped out of my bed and did a lil dance when I heard him say,

"Engage in something wholeheartedly."

He mentioned that when we are engaged wholeheartedly there is no resistance. There is no holding back. There is no doubt.

Wholehearted is my word for the year. As I attentively listened and wrote ferociously in my notebook I would throw the occasional, "Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!" in there. As well as "Wow!"

He went on to speak of three things used in yogic teachings, three things to utilize once you wholeheartedly devote yourself to something:

1. Good thoughts and intention
2. Actions that support said intention
3. Speech and words that support said intention

He asks "How many things do we engage in wholeheartedly? No wishing to be anywhere different, nor doing anything different? What in our life can we engage in wholeheartedly? It's not a chore, not an obligation, not a duty, or responsibility."

A part in which I write "yes" numerous times and follow it up with exclamation points he says, "Wishing is not enough. My actions have to follow. What I say, what I put out has to follow. Holding intention is not enough. It has to be a part of my being."

At the end of the discussion (which for me is about 7 pages of my lefthanded scribbling) he goes back to his original question...

"What is it in our life that supports all three? I think this is a good thing to do. By doing it I feel good. When speaking of it I am there wholeheartedly."

I couldn't help but think of my love affair with yoga. I thought about how I have literally dedicated myself wholeheartedly to the practice and the philosophy of yoga. Then I could clearly see how I utilized the three aspects Babaji spoke of (good intentions, followed by action, followed by a passionate voice for the yogic teachings).

Such goodness to ponder.

What are the things and the people I'm wholeheartedly dedicated to?

Are my thoughts, my actions, and my speech helpful? Do they make in a difference in my life, in the lives of others?

Have a delicious weekend Friends.

*Above photo taken during one of Babaji's discussions at Sonoma Ashram. AND if you didn't hear, Sonoma Ashram is the location for our fall intensive yoga teacher training. Yep, I'm feeling pretty very excited, a little nervous, very humbled, and so thank-full.*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

to love many things

"But I always think that the best way
to know God is to love many things."
~Vincent Van Gogh

It's possible my first love was the Sun.
Even now few things delight and inspire me as I see the dawn of a new day.
I watch the way the light of the Sun dances across each and every day.
Always different. Some days are dark and some are light.
They are equally beautiful and relevant in my eyes.

I met my second love during my sophomore year in high school, the Ocean of course.
Few things help me to feel so big, so open, so expanded.
Yet so small, so integrated, so connected.
She too is never the same. Sometimes she is quiet and calm.
At times she growls and causes a big stir.
I've never witnessed any stage, any way of Being when she wasn't perfect.

I met my third love at the tender age of 21, Andy of course.
Few things bring me the comfort of going to bed and waking next to him.
We danced at bars, climbed mountains, and took spontaneous roadtrips.
We turned into adults, but not entirely.
We laughed and cried, rallied one another,
got confused about love more than a time or two.
We collect magic rocks and dig deep in our pockets for rainbows.
I am his RebelGirl and he is my RuleMaker.
Nearly 14 years together. Each and every day different.
All perfectly imperfect.

I met my fourth love at the confused age of 25, Yoga that is.
I'm sure I'd never felt to connected to my own body before that first class.
And that was just the beginning of a brilliant relationship.
What I discovered buried underneath my wants, desires, needs, hurt, fear, confusion, my inspiration and aspirations, was most magical.
It was pure and whole.
It was without blemishes, crystal clear, and utterly complete.
It was my highest, sweetest Self.

It is through the sun, and moon, the wind and the stars that I know Love.
It is through the mystery and the magic that exists in life that I know Love.
It is through the simplicity of complexity of being in relationship with others that I know Love.
It is through the beauty of words, of the poetry of the body that I know Love.
It is through my deep driving desire to connect to mySelf that I know Love.

Maybe Van Gogh was on to something.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

spiritual practice

I remember the time I thought, no I expected that by having a spiritual practice I would be free from struggle. Yes it's true.

In the midst of some yoga high, riding on the waves of bliss, when everyone and everything was perfect in my eyes. "This is it," I thought.

Now I see how unreasonable that is. I thought "being spiritual" meant feeling good all the time.

What I didn't understand was that my spiritual practice was about making room for all of it. "It" being the feelings of fullness, wholeness, and peace that are a by product of a regular spiritual practice as well as the anger, fear, greed, and jealousy that comes with simply living as a human being. Even the Yoga Sutras say that yogis, sages, and seers are not excluded from pain and suffering.

While Mama Alice was receiving treatment for cancer I would get emails and messages from people commenting on how "well" I was handling the crisis. What people didn't see was the crying, screaming, questioning, and breaking of one not so sturdy lamp.

Those moments came on when I least expected it. In a conversation. When a particular song came on. Driving past a hospital. Looking at artwork. Seeing a baby. Writing on this blog.

There were times when the feelings came in waves, slow and steady, building gradually. There were times when the feelings came ferociously like a lion.

Every time the voice of judgement started to say "straighten up and act like a yogi" I would remind myself that this too was the life of a yogi.

I would allow myself permission to feel the full range of emotion I was experiencing (something that is still challenging for me). I would connect to the virtues that are important to me. Virtues such as kindness, compassion, and gratitude.

I would take a step away from the stories swirling in my mind and take a step closer to trust.

Take a deep breath. Bring my attention back to that which is pure and whole. The part of me that is untouched by the chaos and conflict that swirls around.

That's what my spiritual practice is about these days. It's about trusting even when I don't fully understand. It's about getting quiet and connecting to the fullness of life. It's about reminding myself of the peace that is ultimately available in the moment should I choose to see it, should I bring my attention to it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

on celebrating...

Get Drunk
One should always be drunk. That's all that matters;
that's our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time's
horrible burden one which breaks your shoulders and bows
you down, you must get drunk without cease.

But with what?
With wine, poetry, or virtue
as you choose.
But get drunk.

And if, at some time, on steps of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the bleak solitude of your room,
you are waking and the drunkenness has already abated,
ask the wind, the wave, the stars, the clock,
all that which flees,
all that which groans,
all that which rolls,
all that which sings,
all that which speaks,
ask them, what time it is;
and the wind, the wave, the stars, the birds, and the clock,
they will all reply:

"It is time to get drunk!

So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time,
get drunk, get drunk,
and never pause for rest!
With wine, poetry, or virtue,
as you choose!"

Charles Baudelaire

I'm leaving this afternoon for a weekend away with the family. We are making a party this weekend at the Smilies (aka the Smokies, thanks Lauren ;). Up in the mountains, nuzzled in a cabin, eating, drinking, hot tubbing, basketball watching, laughing, playing, getting drunk on life and celebrating a healthy Mama Alice.

Cheers friends. Wishing you a delicious weekend.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the place beyond ambition

Over the new year I bought a new book of poetry by Mary Oliver. Most nights when I go to bed I'll dig through the stack of books and notebooks to retrieve "Red Bird".

Some nights I open it once, read one poem, then return the book to the overflowing nightstand.

Some nights I open it, knowing I want to read these words, the words I've been loving on....

There Is a Place Beyond Ambition
When the flute players
couldn’t think of what to say next

they laid down their pipes,
then they lay down themselves
beside the river

and just listened.
Some of them, after a while,
jumped up
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest—
so quiet, not even thoughtful—
are still there,

still listening.

One of my fears is that in my quest for peace, happiness, and fulfillment I will be one of those flute players that only rests, only listens momentarily before rushing back into the busyness of town, the busyness of life.

I expressed this recently to Babaji. He reminded that I am at an age, a time in my life to be busy and productive in the ways in which I am. "How do I know if it's too much?" I ask him. He responds that I'll know (and I will because I've certainly been there). He assures me that I'm on the right path. That it's "too much" when I start to compromise my health and the quality of what I'm doing.

With those words, with that advise I settle in and settle down.

I sit taller. Close my eyes. Get quiet. And listen.

Then when I enter back into the busyness of life...filled with hopes, desires, dreams, and ambitions....I do so from a place of peace and ease. Some days won't be so peaceful nor easy. And I'm ok with that too.

What else is there to do?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

the burning question....

Danielle LaPorte has started new fabulousness where she asks a "burning question" then asks you to respond. As a lover of a good question, how could I resist. Here goes:

I want my day to feel like walking barefoot on the softest white sand on the beach of Tulum.

I want kissing to to feel like the delicious first bite of decadent chocolate cake.

I want my next success to feel like the little girl confidently jumping off the high dive for the first time.

I want smiling to feel like Julia Roberts biggest, heartiest laugh in Pretty Woman.

I want my friendships to feel like a grand story, an open book for our eyes and ears only.

I want my nervous system to feel like a perfectly dressed day.

I want my teaching to feel like Seane Corn, Oprah, Frida, and Mary Oliver hanging out, having drinks, and discussing all matters of body, mind, and heart.

I want my money making to feel like the sweetest of exchanges between two friends destined to share.

I want my laughter to feel like thunder and lightning on a clear summer night.

I want my challenges to feel like a new yoga pose I discover and hold...uncomfortable at first, then settling in to receive, then letting it go.

I want my love to feel like The Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa on a picnic offering flowers to Kali & Ganesha while singing Amazing Grace.

I want my writing to feel like the mischievious, ecstatic, inquisitive, treehugging, poetic lovechild of Rumi and Mary Oliver.

I want my ideas to feel like the first taste of Poprocks....exploding and fizzing, sharp and delightful.

And you dear Ones....

How do you want it all to feel?

**Photo by the awesome Martin Husch. Demonstrating how I want my day to feel.**

Monday, February 06, 2012

welcoming it all

Over the past week or so I've been thinking about the lives of blogs and the people behind the words, the voice.

It's been a while since I've dug back through my blog but if I did, (after initially being horrified by some of things I'd written) I could probably see what "stage" I was in. A dreaming stage, a "life is really freakin' great" stage, a sorrow stage,etc.

In his brilliance Rumi shares:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

Last night someone questioned the authenticity of a blogger (Kimberly Wilson) that I've read for years. There is much one can debate within this but what I'm thinking about in the moment is the many facets of a being. And how when you blog, when you run a very public business, how is that interpreted.

I've always made an attempt to portray myself honestly here, writing both about the good and the bad on and off the yoga mat.

Nearly a year ago I wrote about "the things you don't see" when I had the flu.

I wrote about the "moment I freaked out."

I wrote here when my world was crashing down around me when my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

And most recently on death of my sweet beloved baby dog Bella (who was a 13 year old baby).

I've written about how yoga has never come naturally to me. I've written about how I don't perfectly fit the mold as either a business owner or a yoga teacher. I've written about my love of beer and the use of a few four lettered words to flavor that which I speak of.

Even yesterday I departed the Outer Banks of NC early in the morn. I was feeling like a million bucks. Giddy, excited about all that was to come. Soon the rain came and I didn't get that last rendezvous with the ocean. Instead I ran and flung my things into my car, cold from the wet rain. An hour or so later the exit I needed to take to get me to the interstate was closed. I spent 45 minutes driving in circles. Totally maddening. I got into a huge fight with Andy when he didn't respond the way I wanted him too. Shortly after finding my way out of the mess of being lost I received information that totally shook me.

It. Was. Not. Pretty.

To put it mildly, it was not a happy journey home. I was mad, and sad, and feeling lost (literally and figuratively speaking).

Then I remind myself of more Rumi (this is why it's good to memorize stuff that saves you ;)

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

I take a few breaths. Sit taller. Make a few sounds. Then ultimately remind myself of what is the truth for me.

Part of that is that it's all needed. The shitty, the sunshine, the magic, the malice, the dark and the light.

Being authentic, being wholehearted are two things I really value.

Dear Friends please promise to call me out if you see or feel otherwise. I only ask that you do it kindly. And in a private message. ;)

*I snapped this photo a while back while nestled in my bed. It was striking the way the light found it's way through, even with the smallest of openings.*

Saturday, February 04, 2012

scenes from sanderling inn

Let me say quickly that my photos here do this place little justice. Now that we've got that behind us let me gush for a few moments about this jewel.

The Sanderling Inn is spread out over 12 acres at the edge of Duck. On one side where the inn and guest rooms are you have the Atlantic Ocean. A stones throw, or a walk across the two lane road you have a few more facilities including a reallllly great spa. On this side you have views of the Corrituck Sound. I had an amazing view of the Sound plus a setting sun yesterday during my massage.

I spent most of my time today reading, writing, and walking the beach. I did go out once to measure distances from the house for yoga teacher training to restaurants, grocery store and so on. After all, doing the prep/planning work for our upcoming intensive yoga teacher training is my whole purpose in being here.

So yes, The Sanderling Inn. Everything has been phenomenal. My room, the food, and the staff? They have been superb. Each person I run across asks me how my stay is going and if I need anything. I love good customer service and they are excelling.

My massage and time at the spa was great. I spent three hours at the spa yesterday between hot tubbing, pool swimming (indoor heated pool, getting my massage then lounging in the "whisper zone" with delish tea (Barney & Sons, a fave) and magazines.

I was out on the beach walking three times today. Once at sunrise, after breakfast, then after lunch. I did yoga in my room then went for "tea time" for what else....more tea. And cookies. I read and wrote in my journal. I sat a while on one side and enjoyed water views of the sound then moved across to other side and enjoyed views of the ocean. Divine.

I went back to the spa tonight to do all the above minus the massage (other yumminess is included in your nightly rate). Ordered room service for the second night in a row (feeling a bit spoiled) and turned the tv on for the first time. To watch what? The Cats game of course. ;)

I'm planning to wake up early tomorrow. Have one more rendezvous with the ocean. Blow Her a kiss, explain I'll be back in over two months with precious yoginis, then hammer down and head back home to The Big Blue House. I could care less about the Superbowl game but I don't want to miss Madonna's performance.

More sharing how this all relates to yoga teacher training next week. I have some more relaxing to do. Love to you all. xoxo

Today's sunrise. Love. Love.Love

Tea time and journaling with a view of the ocean and a cozy fire.

Gift from the sea. One of my walks was a treasure hunt.

Steel cut oats with all the toppings for breakfast plus a great read and time for writing.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

here i go again.....

Last night I threw some clothes and books into a weekend bag. Printed off directions and went to bed feeling a wee excited about my spontaneous road trip.

This morning I taught my 9:15 class, met with someone interested in joining the studio for yoga, had a quick lunch, then filled the tank with gas and hit the open road.

Could there be a more perfect day for a road trip? I think not. I've felt light and happy driving on the big road. The sun so bright, the sky so blue, with perfect white fluffy clouds. I'm diggin' on bright and blue. Can go for some light and happy.

Thoughts on my mind, music on the radio. And the most perfect music is coming on the radio. If I had better planned I'd have made a playlist with fabulous driving tunes, but......well I didn't plan that well.

Instead I'm getting to hear Madonna, sing "Vogue."
And the big hair band with the hot girl that dances on the hood of the car singing,
Here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I've ever known."

On I-64 I see a sigh that says Lewsiburg was one of the "coolest small towns in America in 2011". How many times are you passing through one of the coolest small towns in America? Not that often I figure.

So I made a stop. Oh, it's cute here. I mean, cool. We've got two bookstores, wine shops, cafes, health food store, and a coffee shop in which I'm writing from now. All nuzzled into the mountains.

I have no hotel booked so I'll see where I land tonite. I do however have a destination....

The Outer Banks.
Yep doing a lil prepping and planning for the intensive yoga teacher training coming up. Yip!

Have I mentioned that I love my job?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

hellooooo february!

January is over! Big sigh of relief. Shew. While I do deeply appreciate the significance of a new year and the idea of a fresh, clean slate I have to admit that I'm more prone to feeling heavier, and a touch sad at this time of year.

January was a month of high's and low's. Andy and I said goodbye to our beloved dog Bella. We got the amazing news that my Mama's first scan post cancer treatment was all clear.

I am so grateful for not only the people that support me, but the practices that support me, especially yoga, meditation, and contemplation.

I've spent a lot of time at home this month and it's been really refreshing. While I have been hibernating more at home I have been busy pondering and planning for the year on personal and professional levels. That's so much fun.

Envisioning what I want to see unfold at the studio is a big part of that. One of the things I want for the studio and our community are more experiences with teachers coming to share their knowledge, their goodness with the yogis in Lexington.

I'm so thrilled to collaborate with Cindy at The Massage Center in hosting Wah (yes Wah!) at the treehouse on March 13. Leeann Carey is coming back to the studio in March also. I'm in coordinating to bring Babaji (the spiritual teacher at Sonoma Ashram who is expanding and enriching my life in the best of ways) to our community this summer. I'm chatting with a special teacher at Kripalu about coming down to Lexington. Totally awesome. I can't wait to share these experiences with all of you.

You can also look forward to your favorite teachers at the studio inspiring you during daily yoga classes, a new yoga nidra class that will occur once a month, an 8 week Buddhist studies class starting, and new workshops including meditation and yoga + life coaching.

Personally I've got plans for retreating and refueling in Sonoma. Spending time with Andy in Mexico. Taking more weekend trips with my family (we're off to the Smoky Mountains next weekend to celebrate Mama Alice). Doing some re-decorating at The Big Blue House. Perfecting Thai and Indian curries. Becoming more awake and conscious in all of my relationships. Expanding into life coaching. More awesomeness.

I believe in the power of the moment. I also believe in the power of contemplating your future and stepping into it.

What is your heart longing for this year?
Who do you want to meet or spend more time with?

What do you want to learn?

What are the trips you want to take?

What are the experiences you want to have?

What brings you joy and how can you do more of that?

How do you want to spend your time?

What area of your life needs your time and attention?

Knowing what your heart is longing for is so valuable. When you decide what you're being called towards you can better direct your time, money, and effort. It also helps you to direct your attention and get really clear on the thoughts and beliefs that support your intentions.

Is all of this yoga? Absolutely, positively YES. The ancient yogis were continually studying themselves and learning as a result. Now that's a lesson truly worth learning.

So I ask you, what is your heart longing for this year?