December 18, 2011

"the story" with a sprinkle of compassion

It is amazing how a split minute decision to NOT do something one time can snowball into weeks and weeks of not doing that something.

It starts off as an innocent criticism something you say to yourself that seems harmless.  Then you start to feed that criticism maybe not a lot at first but it turns into a story you tell yourself.  I enjoy writing. Putting my thoughts to paper and seeing where it leads me.  However, I am also a recovering perfectionist (defining perfect as: without fault).  I started blogging as a way to express myself, share and invoke the ideas of others. I wanted a place where people could feel safe to comment or to add to the discussion with there own wonderfully diverse thoughts.  A place where not everyone agrees but where everyone has a love for discovery, encouragement and inspiration. Here is where the story begins.  I told myself...self "this post seems all over the place - is any of this even worth mentioning?" At this point in the story I think I am being observant.  In reality, I am feeding the story with help from past stories people have told me or I have told myself. An english teacher saying I was never going to be a writer. A parent always asking what I missed and how I could have done better? A sibling poking fun at something I wrote.  Not to say these are not valid observations from these people - it's the choice to taint the statements with negative self talk. To add my own negative descriptors. Truly though, the stories we tell ourselves are important as they can propel us forward, paralyze us, or even stop us from moving in the direction of our higher aim.

True Story: I have not been writing because I let "the story" paralyze me create a block so profound that every time I opened the computer to write my fingers would not move.  What stories do you tell yourself?  How do you feed them?  Can you add love and compassion to the story ultimately creating a shift in consciousness to propel you in the direction of your highest aim.  Think about something you have wanted to do (a vision / higher aim / goal / intention).  Bring awareness to "the story". What happens when you add love and compassion to the story.  It may be that it takes weeks to root before you are able to stroke the key board and words start to appear.  The freeing thing is you can choose how you pro-seed or de-seed (ok corny but seriously you are worth it!).  I am all ears people...or eyes that is - let's write it out.

The story is i'm back :)...all love and compassionately infusing

November 23, 2011

Choosing how to fill your plate...

The giving of thanks is upon us and I couldn't be more thrilled. I have noticed the more gratitude is cultivated the brighter and more abundant life seems to be.  In my yoga classes I have been talking a lot about presence.  How in the face of life, family, or even our own darkness presence is a trusty tool that can get us through.  Not saying that you need to "get through" family, life or darkness just sayin it can wake you up.  If you find yourself reverting back to old roles or habits cultivating presence can be a life raft.  A little taste of random: We went with one of our favorite families to see Happy Feet 2.  I am not much of a cartoon watcher but fell in love with the message in this movie.  So many nuggets.  One in particular said something to the effect Problems are merely Opportunities. I saw a post from Elena Brower (paraphrasing here) Do you choose lack and fear or abundance and opportunities.  Ummmm...I'll take abundance and opportunity please with a side of love!

Today I...
stared into beautiful blue eyes filled with love and happiness so powerful it penetrated my soul
hugged and kissed a little girl drinking in the sweetness of the moment
tasted...really tasted what went in my mouth
Watched the freedom that came from my little girl simply laying on my lap reaching into a backbend with pure delight
Tuned in to the laughter finding the musical quality and joy
Felt a familiar kiss with new wonderment just by living in the moment
Noticed my breath being shallow and deepening said breath to fill myself with needed nourishment
Listened to a song that brought about such a strong feeling within without the distraction of my thoughts
Moved my body with love and full attention
Paused to stare out the window getting lost in the movement of the trees
Stretched really really stretched forgetting how truly yummy it can feel without attachment
Sat in stillness reveling in abundance and opportunity...and LOVE
Truly ENDLESS graTITUDE...Have you ordered abundance and opportunity with a side of love.  If not, I highly recommend it.  Side effects include but are not limited to: happiness, shifted consciousness, sillyNess, compassion, joy, laughter, obsessive smiling, cheesE behavior, hugging, dancing, worthiness, willingness to try new things and LOVE...................

November 16, 2011

Fire RED raWness

"We like to keep things separate, so we don't see the compost that helps make the garden, the mud that helps grow the lotus, or the dirt, sweat and blood that helps create a diamond. It's not pure but we think its pure." Thich Nhat Hanh

I was reading The Daily Love on Sunday when I wrote my last post.  It reminded me of something I read from Judith Hanson Lasator and again from Rolf Gates...We hate or resent in others the unresolved parts of ourselves.  When you find that you are angry with someone - its a great time to be introspective about what may be lurking within you.  Its seems I may have misplaced this message when it made a comeback on Sunday.   In the interest of being RAW and authentic (which if you go back and read some of my posts it's apparent I am searching for authenticity among other traits ahemmm patience lol) I just started typing what I felt at that exact moment.  No censoring just raw words.  It took a lot courage to hit the send button but it was something I needed to put out there even if no one read it or lots of people read it.  I will tell you the anger I was feeling has another color, depth and meaning.  I am letting it be my teacher / guide (thank you yoga!!!!!). It can be comforting thinking of anger in this way.  Insert Ahhhhh moment - I ask to soften, be gentle, live from my heart and there it is RAW.  The quote above sums it up nicely for me.  Thank you Emily for sharing it in your newsletter!  I also like to give a shout out to the Beatles " all we need is love"! Which leads me to this quote... "we are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we are not extending in the present." ~ Marianne Williamson

I am extending my RAW self and love to you. I would love to hear your thoughts.  May anger (or whatever emotion it is for you) be your teacher / guide ;).  M

November 15, 2011

A Rambling Heart

Tears flood my cheeks
Not usual in this body
not usual for this strong yet weak lost soul
hiding is easier
pretending is easier
yet it comes back in unexpected waves
a slap while reading the truth
fierce emotion wells up but no worries the wall is always near
oh so deeply lost
face the truth head on
but then more tears
why now
why are after all of these years of not crying
why now
Is it my new found quest to become a truth seeker
the consciousness I pray for
the living from my heart
more tears
can I let it go?????????

November 8, 2011

Self I do CARE

How often do you know what you need but you ignore it.  Too much to do....
Today a good friend of mine made mention of places that get much colder (snowed in without being able to leave the house colder).  She said it forces you to stop the busyness.  Does it though?  I think I could find millions of things to do inside of my house if I was shut in.  Which leads me to *it is up to ME to take ME time*

Today I came home with tunnel vision.  I walked into the house and went straight to the bathroom.  I drew a bath with all sorts of yummy sea salts and rose oil.  I shed the guilt and my clothes and hopped into the warmth.  I closed my eyes and embodied the sweetness. My mind for once was blank, still and my body melted.  I thought of nothing really nothing at all.  Can it be that easy? Is this what balance would feel like?

Maybe the rain has brought with it auspiciousness.  A since of hope laced with a the promise of taking care of the earth. Self, I know I have been hard on you. I know I have ignored you for too long.  Thank you for always enduring - I WILL do better.

How do you care for yourself?  What does it take for the care to happen?  I would love to hear how you lOvE you!

October 25, 2011

Grace Takes Up Residency

May my practice be an embodied offer of beauty.  For grace resides within me.  Intrinsic goodness is my true nature.  I do not have to look externally for it - it is always apart of who I am.  My practice does not have to be a place of judgement but a blank canvas ready for me to paint. Asana (practice) dedicated from the heart illustrating effort that stems from loving kindness.  Let my practice encompass playfulness, laughter and dedication rooted in trusting in the foundation I have set for myself.  Let my practice begin with opening to grace.  This does not mean "life" won't rear it's ugly head.  It is then my purpose to receive "life" with an open heart imploring its beauty because I have embodied it.

Why do you practice yoga or anything?  What brings you to the mat?  How do you open to grace?

October 17, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

I sometimes struggle with honoring my boundaries yet not limiting myself from my full potential. Duh, right. Having experienced my first triathlon my eyes were open to the potential this body I was given has.  It has shifted my thinking (attitude).  I decided to have a yoga marathon of sorts (but not in the way you might think).  I came home from teaching with an hour to spare.  I grabbed the dog, kid (only the oldest as the little one was honoring her boundaries by not coming), husband and even mother and went for a family run around the neighborhood. Amazing to get outside and play as a family. The girls had piano and then they were headed to tailgate while I taught.  I thought in the time I have left before I teach I can stay home and clean or I can yoga.  Hello, no brainer (if I am being honest it is not a no brainer for me typically as I rarely play before all my work is done and lets face it when you have 2 kiddos, a dog and a husband + house guest the work is never done!)  I have been feeling tired and really sleepy so I honored my boundaries and headed to a restorative yoga class.  It was so amazing it rejuvenated me - so I left my mat on the floor and hit a level 2 class right after (I was teaching after level 2 so really it made more since to stay :). In the past I would have stayed home to clean then possibly headed to the level 2 class before teaching assuming I didn't get carried away in my perfectionism and continue to clean right up until I taught.  There is something exciting about exploring my full potential even when that potential is honoring my boundaries by taking care of myself with a restorative yoga class.  My attitude has shifted me into action...

In Christina Sell's book My Body is a Temple, she says " Practice can become a set of attitudes and actions - of efforts that we bring to grace - that align us with the remembrance that who we most truly are, as part of the flow of the Highest, is dignified, noble and essentially good."

How does your attitude for and during your practice align your actions to your true nature?

October 10, 2011

Nourishment is simply a breath away...

I was honored when my friend / student Jen asked me to be a guest and share with her blog community my thoughts on nourishment.  I am sharing them with you too.  Thank you for the invitation Jen, and for all of your amazing words laced with encouragement each week. They have been inspiring and enlightening!  
I found myself excited by all the ways nourishment presents itself.  So off to the dictionary, I’m using the dictionary from my computer, in the attempt to reel in my enthusiasm. The dictionary helpfully systematizes my understanding of nourishment with these words “the substances necessary for growth, health and good condition” I must add love.
For me, nourishment encompasses being purposeful in all facets of your life. It can be simply showing up for yourself and others fully present with the courage to lead with your heart and the intent to be kind, compassionate, and loving…(I could go on forever here). Nourishment has many faces and often changes with the seasons.
In my life, nourishment begins with reverencegratitude and grace whether it is in the form of prayer, meditation, journaling, blogging, speaking, practicing, (physical activity – yoga, running etc.) or simply being.  It is followed by what I put in my mouth and what comes out of it. It knocks on the door in the form of breathing (not the in and out repetitive non-conscious breathing, the kind that fills you with sustenance…more on this) food(the kind that is produced from the earth) and dialogue (inner and outer stemming from loving kindness).   It materializes in my lifestyle choices. Being mindful of what goes in and out of my mouth is not easy.  Sometimes convenience presents itself and I want to give in by choosing foods that are not nourishing but fast.  It’s easier to drive through, just throw any ole thing into the cart without understanding what is in it or where it came from or by letting the kids buy prepackaged food that is sold everywhere. It can be tiring contending with society and good marketing vying for the girl’s attention to make healthy choices.  Then it hits me; isn’t it worth the fight to provide and seek knowledge so my family can continue to make healthy nourishing choices throughout life? Giving our bodies the best possible growth avenue? Will what we are about to consume provide my family with the nutrients needed to live a healthy active life?  Is it made with love? The same goes for what comes out of my mouth. It is mostly in the way I talk to myself but can sometimes extend to what I say to others. Can I nourish others with my words? Can I nourish myself with my thoughts?
Nourishment can surprise me by making a guest appearance in the form of letting go or the act of surrendering what no longer serves my mind or body. I sometimes find it while taking the first sip of coffee (not saying coffee is nourishing I’m aware of its faults) in a quiet house with only a glimmer of light and the auspiciousness of a new day. It kicks me out of bed on a cold morning with the promise of nourishing my family and to sip said coffee.  It envelops me in the form of my husband’s loving arms around me. It lures me awake in the middle of the night in the form of my child snuggling so close her nose touches mine all the while knowing I will not get an ounce of sleep but will feel nourished with the notion that I provided love and security for her. It’s ever presence in my children’s words, laughter and actions.  I am most comforted in knowing that when I feel depleted there is so much nourishment that surrounds me. Below is a practice in nourishment.
Nourishment practice:
You can do this anywhere (a car, a chair, in your bed, on a cushion, at the grocery store). Begin bringing awareness to your breath (just as an observer – leaving judgment at the back door). Inhale more deeply let it fill your entire mid section extending to your spine, side body all the way to your lower belly. Exhale (slowly) all of your air out through your nose. Continue to breathe deep adding nourishment every time you inhale. Let it be expansive. Exhale what no longer serves you (negative self talk, anything that resides in the form of toxicity). You can do it 3 times or 300.  It’s always accessible no matter where you are.   Nourishment is a breath away. 

October 6, 2011

"the practice"

I participated in my first triathlon this past weekend (sorta the reason I am late to post - still playing catch up after being gone all weekend).  I would like to thank all of the people in my life who sent me well wishes and encouragement.  Without your endless support and love I would not have even tried to complete something like this. You are my wings!

My knowledge cup has most certainly been filled this weekend. I have learned first that the body is capable of so much when properly tended to. The second is I am more committed to my yoga practice having gone through this.  It really highlighted the amazingness that is “the practice”.  The dedication, gratitude, balance, reverence and these are just a few of the many things yoga gifts me.  As I was on the bike getting passed by women who were significantly older than I (insert cough 30+ years older) I was pondering how empowering it felt to be a part of this event amongst all of these incredible athletes.  I was present – fully present enjoying the moment and the hard work I had put into this as my body did what it was trained to do. 

In the first event, the swim, I witnessed fear grip me and then something took over.  I put my head in the water and faced fear head on cultivating courage, presence and dedication.  In Anusara yoga (the type of yoga I practice) the A’s represent Attitude, Alignment and Action.  In this instance, my attitude was recalibrated, my alignment kicked in as I began the rhythmic breathing and the full extension of my arms followed by action as I started pulling ahead of the pack (I must admit my ego was super impressed by this!).  Thank you Anusara Yoga.  All in all as I watched others cross the finish line (of particular interest, a man who had to be pushing 80 years old) I was grateful to be apart of this event.  I was grateful for the body that brought me through it. I was grateful for the friend who encouraged me to try and then proceeded to encourage some more while we trained. I was grateful for the yoga that has taught me sooooo much and continues to be a source of light and, let’s face it, a life raft. So much gratitude poured into me. It was to say the least, empowering and 100% awesome! What ever your training for or dedicating yourself to, the attitude, alignment and action / hard work is worth it!  I have learned that the body can sometimes feel like a flimsy branch, the mind is like a bird on that branch sometimes fearful of the branch breaking, but “the practice” can remind us to sing all the while knowing we have wings. 

September 26, 2011

Inner Landscaping - Outer Curb Appeal

What is it about fall and cooler weather (ok so not this week but you know what I mean) that inspires.  All of a sudden I find myself wanting to paint my walls, change my house or merely seeking something to let my creative juices flow.  This need for change, cleaning out, or just simply pruning away can be dangerous as I'm struck with an impulse to get rid of everything and work with a blank canvas (so not part of my eco-friendly lifestyle).  I have painted a couple of walls and nothing is turning out how I envisioned. As a matter fact, I am indecisive about where to go next. I read once your inner landscape is how you view your outer world. Introspectively, what inside is painting my outer world? What is sprouting the need for clearing or even the indecisiveness? Is it just simply so new inspiration can flourish? I think I will take this creativity to the mat and just allow myself to play and explore.  Maybe some flying pigeon or some good old fashion flowing without a game plan.  Meditating and going inward quietly awaiting the message.

How does your inner landscape paint your outer world?

September 19, 2011

Lemons, Cards & Water - oH mY

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade.  You play the cards your dealt? That's what they say...right?  When ever life gives me "lemons" I start to recall what I have been asking (praying, cultivating etc) for.  Well I'm stumped.  We have had 2 or so inches of water covering our bathroom and closet, a spilled product all over the laundry room, and now the car is leaking water out of the dashboard.  Totaling a lot of warped wood, wet carpet and devoted time to operation clean it all up.  Sigh... I have prayed for water to aid in this drought, I have been trying to cultivate balance, and I always ask for patience.  I have also been looking at those baseboards wanting them to look newer or at least painted.  I hear you up there - message received.  I'm working on it but boy do I feel a new found irritation for water in this regard and would appreciate water from the perspective of rain that would help fill the lake and quench the thirst of our Texas soil.  I realize this is somewhat specific and selfish and ultimately it's not something I can control. I must surrender to a higher power all the while learning from the cards I am dealt (oh and I don't always have to be happy about that hand sometimes you have to throw out all the cards and start from scratch even if you loose a turn). I don't really play cards so I may be reaching here.

This week I am embracing my limitations (inflexibility) on the mat so that I can feel ultimate freedom (thank you Mandy for the reminder). I am also focusing on action and balance AHA balanced action.  I smell arm balances and inversions possibly coupled with some drop back work (might as well continue to utilize this heat and the practice of chiseling away fear).  My mat needs to see my commitment to playing (attitude), balanced action and ultimately freedom.  From my heart to yours...

September 12, 2011

why hello light...what have you done to the dark

Sometimes (ok all the time) I have ideas pop into my head of things I would like to write about or an update I'd like to post to facebook.  For those of you who don't know, I have an aversion to facebook.  Why I have no idea.  I mean I LOVE reading what other's post as it gives me a sense of connection.  For instance, I can still be apart of there lives even though they live so very far away and have drifted apart. It also allows me to keep up to date on my favorite yoga teacher's and what they have going on. Some of my favorite updates are the nuggets of wisdom sewn in that make my day brighter. For all of you facebookers and you know who you are - thank you!  Yet I still find myself hesitating or not posting.  Anyway this is so not about my facebook crazies! I do think I should seek help on this matter.  Whatcha got for me?

I was thinking yesterday about how much light I have in my life.  How much joy and utter gratitude there is in this life.  I am fully cognizant that pain and suffering exist and darkness can inspire.  My husband and I were deciding on what documentary we were going to watch when I finally said "please no darkness not today I need love and inspiration!" So we watched a documentary on marathoners.  *Check* I am inspired and grateful for this amazing body that allows me to do so much. It may not agree to anything over 4 miles on the track but it's 4 miles!!!  We have so much to give and live so I thought about these buckets of gratitude and intention.  These ways we tether ourselves to the light...

Ways I see the light (aka gratitude and grace):
1. My child hugging our dog sweetly when no one sees
2. The same child crawling through the doggie door with a smile as big as the sea
3. My oldest figuring out something on her own then the glee in her eye at her own accomplishment of something she thought not available to her
4. My husband's hands on my shoulders. They feel strong and loving as he bends down to kiss my head
5. A cul-de-sac filled with kids doing what they do best - playing coupled with parents gathered around talking - a true since of community

When darkness falls:
1. Holding space for whatever that is
2. Not shutting off the pain all the while knowing the only thing that is permanent is impermanence
3. Knowing you can talk to people you love and feeling secure in doing so even if it doesn't change the circumstance
4. Security knowing there is a higher power at work (no matter what your religious beliefs) - cultivating love and non attachment
5. Giving yourself permission to stay in your pj's curled up in the fetal position with the lights out maybe after just throwing a temper tantrum tissues near by as the flood begins (what don't judge) :).

Days / Weeks Intentions:
1. Smooch my children and hold on a little longer
2. Acknowledge my husband and all he does and gives
3. Yoga, Yoga, Yoga both physical, mental and emotional - this includes self care
4.  Stillness, reflection, and time to open my heart and receive love from God
5. Write a blog post :)

Things that make you obnoxiously laugh out loud full volume:
1. A young child wearing bigger than adult size sun glasses with the glass part taken out (picture nerd but so much cuter)
2. Friend's musings about life
3. My students feeling comfortable enough to tell me we are on the wrong foot again and then mocking the way I say something
4. Dry humor tv or books
5. Inappropriate things like people falling (not getting hurt of course) I think that's more a nervous laugh

Thing's that make me cry:
1. Inspiring stories or intense times of gratitude
2. Heart felt books, movies or real stories about people, animals etc.
3. My child or love one performing
4. Honestly I am not a cryer so I will have to fill in more later

Fill in your blanks or share some of the buckets with us if your so inclined. How do you tether yourself to the light?  I truly love hearing from you...thank you for stopping by :).

September 5, 2011

Where'd It go?

My dear friend Heather has so graciously agreed to write a guest post for us.  She just moved here from New Orleans and the Austin Yoga Community could not be luckier.  She has been teaching yoga in New Orleans and I hope each of you has the pleasure of flowing with her sometime.  With endless gratitude...

It seems as if we've all found ourselves too busy to practice asana (poses) at one time or another.  My first lapse was after Hurricane Katrina.  Prior to the storm, I would spend the cooler morning hours on my balcony, practicing as the birds flew past and the nearby Mississippi River port creaked her early morning complaints.  When my husband, dogs and I evacuated, I took enough yoga clothes for a few days, my mat, and a book on butterfly gardening.  My husband packed a few clothes, his video camera and laptop, while the dogs brought their beds, leashes, treats, and blankets.  It still amazes me that in the face of losing so much, we took so little.  I had no idea how long my practice would be set aside or how much it would mean to find it unscathed beneath the rubble.

A couple of years later, we began rebuilding our home.  Life in a construction zone propelled me toward a neighborhood yoga studio.  The return to asana was akin to reuniting with an old friend.  Like any good friend, she harbored no ill feelings toward my absence.  She understood completely... other aspects of life demanded my full attention.  She made it clear that she would be there no matter what and that she would never hold my choices or circumstances against me.

Most recently, my husband, dogs, cat and I sold our home in New Orleans and moved to Austin.  Months were spent on ladders, painting every inch of our old home to prep it for sale.  Hours slipped by working in the garden. Carpenters helped finish longstanding projects.  We received an offer the first day the home was listed.  Packing ensued.  We hired movers, looked for a place to live and made plans to settle into a new environment.

Again, the swift change of current allowed the practice to escape me.  Had I placed it in a box and taped it closed without labeling it?  Would I ever find it again? Did the movers accidentally ship it to the wrong address? Would I even be able to touch my toes by the time I got it back?  I was met with anxiety, which worsened day by day.  Guilt set in, then resentment because I felt guilty about not practicing, followed by inertia, despair, crankiness... (you get the point) when finally, it occurred to me that asana had provided the strength and focus to prepare the home, to precariously balance on twelve foot ladders, paint ceilings, lift furniture, and gain the courage (albeit shaky) to step into the unknown.  I'd been practicing the entire time.

I arrived in Austin untethered and slightly wild-eyed, but life returned to a pace that allowed me to swim to shore and engage in daily physical practice.  I soon found myself drawn to grounding restorative classes and slow-moving vinyasa, my roots spread a bit deeper despite the foreign soil, and, just as promised, my old friend was there to greet me with open arms.

August 29, 2011

hi ho...hi's off to work we go...

Summer has slipped away like a bullet train.  This summer I have loved witnessing my children embark on new endeavors that teach them the value of hard work.  I have written about perseverance before and have weaved it into my intentions as something to continuously cultivate.  The seed has been planted look what it bloomed...

We took a trip to Colorado with some family friends.  One day we decided to go for a hike because the kiddos wanted to ride down on the gondola.  We explained to the them that it was a very tough hike straight up a mountain and there was to be no complaining and whining. (I'm embarrassed to say I was sorta of trying to talk them out of it).  They really wanted to ride on the gondola so we headed off with water bottles, snacks and enthusiasm.  When the water, snacks and enthusiasm dwindled all that was left was perseverance and hard work.  We were 3 miles in with no end in site except more trees and steep climbing.  I started to get nervous (ok I panicked) we had been hiking a long time and I wasn't sure where we were.  It looked a little rough for a hiking trail.  I looked at the kids and they had sweat beating down on there red faces but they weren't crying and they were not complaining.  They were doing as we asked and they were committed to getting to the top of this very steep mountain - the oldest kiddos were even singing there way up.  I have to admit I threw a little temper tantrum and said, "I am not taking another step until we figure out where we are and where we need to go to get the top."  We took out our phones and figured we were close.  So with my best friend urging me on we made it.  The kids were magnificently strong and excited to have accomplished such a big feat of 4+miles up a steep incline in the mountains of Colorado.  It still amazes me how fear can drive inaction.  I mean obviously we would have had no choice but to keep going or sleep on the mountain but for a second the fear took over all reason and lead me to a complete stand still.

What am I letting fear drive and how can I let go of fear so I can *do the work*? How many times do I stand in my own way of accomplishing things due to lack of trust in my abilities?  Even worse, how many times do I stand in my children's way due to fear or lack of trust in there abilities?

Lessons: If you love something *do the work* and then sit back and enjoy the gift without holding attachment to the results.  Not to say don't celebrate - I highly recommend a celebratory dance!

August 16, 2011 the name of LoVe

In a message I received from the universe 2 words boldly stood out.  Persistence (check) patience (ummmmm...not so much).  I mean (insert cough) I am cultivating patience with loving kindness.  My meditation practice has never really been solid.  I feel as if I am impatient with the practice.  I spoke to a friend who said something that really brought light to my meditation practice.  She simply asked "When you meditate (pray) do you receive love into your heart from the divine?" I?  Am I too focused on not thinking and therefore not fully utilizing this time to receive love into my heart?  What doorways (thanks Jen) would open to grace if I brought my awareness to my heart?

This week I am taking the opportunity to practice solely receiving love into my heart.  What does this look like for you?

She also mentioned with all that you read - no wonder your confused (insert laugh)!  So per my quote a couple of post ago it's time to set the book down and do the work...

August 8, 2011

Support Beams

I woke up this morning feeling tired and unmotivated.  As the alarm sounded, I rolled (literally) out of bed. My feet hit the floor and immediately my mind was rattling off all of the reasons why I should not be up at this time.  I mean most people in there right mind are asleep (inner dialogue is so skewed).  The only reason my feet kept moving was a group of friends that were waiting for me at the track. This amazingly fantastic group of women who make me laugh, get me fired up and help me get through the run.  Today was no exception they brought it.  What you may ask - everything I needed to get through.  The topic of conversation was bleak and well depressing but the fire and passion with which each of us spoke was inspiring.  I didn't feel alone in my frustration of how things are run in this country.  (so not going to get political here).  I digress but it's important to note that I watched a documentary that had my dark side on fire.  What in the hay does that have to do with yoga...ahemmmmm & randomness :).

Funny enough I went to a new never tried yoga teacher today (such a gift) with a close friend who just moved here (yay) and the message was freedom.  Crazier, just before class, due to aforementioned documentary I mentioned to my friend feeling like my hands are tied and then the  message.  The message sent at such an important time...let go...surrender... embrace freedom!  Could not have been more clear if it hit me in the head.

I am grateful for the documentary intellectually stimulating and lighting my fire, I am more grateful to the women who inspire me to get up and run.  I am also soooooo grateful for the practice that sends me messages that quench said fire.  Oh and I cannot forget I am most grateful to my husband who came to the class I taught tonight and inspired me to smile allowing me to feel the support beams beneath me.

How do you feel supported, inspired, fired up?

August 3, 2011

Ask & You Shall Receive

Last week I spoke about the yoga sutra that says cultivate your practice (defining this the same way I define the mat - see side bar) over and extended period of time.  So strange how sometimes you say the words in hopes that they will sink in and actually come to fruition.  As I went to immersion yoga training this past weekend I brought that seed (intention) with me.  Let it be said, At these trainings I am surrounded by amazingly talented yogi's who flow from a state of grace and inspire such "awesomeness" (forgive the word I couldn't find a word that would even resemble a description close enough) it makes it feel as if anything is possible.  We entered into a pose I had thought not possible in this body and low and behold my partner said "your foot is right there - grab it".  I'm sorry did you say my foot is right there?...ahhhhhh ahhhhhh ahhhhh (little mermaid ariel style!).  My foot was not only there for me to grab but it was freely given without struggle, pain or ego reaching.  If I have lost you with the foot scenario it's like something you have been cultivating maybe running a certain distance or cleaning up your diet or sitting silently for your self enters into your life freely without strings attached in a way that feels easy.

I have such gratitude for the people (gifts) in my life.  I have met some inspiring new friends who ignite an auspicious fire within me.  Who encourage and push me to aim higher with levity.  The people who have been here all along inspire new love, encouragement and support. These loving gifts in my life ask hard questions so that I can cleanse the habitual patterns that no longer serve me and free myself from left over scar tissue of the past that bring about darkness.   They give me water, enriched soil, sun and shade optimal for blooming.  I continue to cultivate my practice over an extended period of time letting it unfold as it may and thoroughly enjoying the gifts it continues to shower.

What gifts are present in your life?  What are you asking for?  What seeds are you planting?

July 25, 2011

When Indifference Moves You to Action

Yoga Sutra I.14
You must cultivate your practice over an extended period of time.

There are days cultivating my practice comes easy.  Like waking up with the warm cozy feeling of a goodnight sleep.  There are also days were this is hard like waking up feeling like you tossed and turned all night an surely the alarm DID not just sound.  I feel like even more difficult than either of those is the days of indifference.  The days where you wake up not feeling tired or rested.  The days where your head is buzzing with thoughts but nothing gets resolved.  The days where you chase your tail knowing you were VERY busy all day but what got done?

These are the days that the practice is the most important. Showing up for yourself and the mat and cultivating compassion and kindness.  Loving the familiarity of poses in a sequence even if you have done them a million times or a few.  Sun salutations for me are a familiar dance that help spark the heart and move past the indifference.  Maybe I will only go through Surya Namasakar A five or so times - not thinking about the breath just moving. I find that my breath knows what to do and so I deepen it.  Often times it leads me to other poses that I didn't think about just instinctually went to.  All it takes is stepping onto the mat.  Each and every time I step onto the mat it is a building block.  It's a way to still the mind and move the body. 

I must cultivate my practice over and extended period of time with patience, love and action.  I must not ask if I will practice but when. Just as I would not ask myself if I was going to eat.  I may have to decide when or what to eat but eating is a given - as is living yoga, cultivating my practice and well breathing...duh!  Enjoy the journey of cultivating your practice and please leave a comment on how you accomplish this or what gets you to the mat when indifference or lack of drive knocks :).  All love!

July 18, 2011

The DaRk Side

Do you get frustrated when your dark being escapes? Do everything you can to put it neatly back in a container on your mental shelf?  Maybe your a closet snob.  Maybe you have a temper that could burn a city.  Maybe you let people step on you.  Maybe you play the role of the victim too often? What if we looked at it from the perspective of...whatever you feel like hiding is probably what inspires the brightest light. What if we looked at the dark side as a teacher, guider, love instigator?  Would it change how you handle the darkness?  Is it possible to examine our "faults" (for lack of a better word) the same as as we triumph a job well done. What if we looked at our internal dark beings as a growth opportunity, a celebration of who we are and the understanding that it is all part of our path / journey.  I sometimes loose it with my children instead of coming from a place of curiosity, I snap at my husband, I am not always patient, I can be a snob, judgmental, and even rude to the people I love most.  I want to be able to embrace the dark side as a gauge of how far I have come.  To honor that I am able to be present enough to see that it is dark and to understand the importance of balance.  I am not saying to idealize all that is bad and to grant yourself permission to behave in ways that are dark or hurtful.  I am however saying that we all have a dark side.  If we use our energy to constantly try and hide or squash it does it then consume us?

My dark being on the mat is the perfectionist, the ego self wanting to have everything look and feel exactly right, the judge who says I can't, the comparer of others that leads to "i suck", and the joyless striver.  My work on the mat will involve the non-judgemental observer, flowing from a state grace, leading with my heart and being aware of attitude in all that I do.  Oh and to tell myself I am a magnificent being both in the dark and in the light.

How will you embrace the dark?

July 15, 2011


I have to say that I have had a challenging week with technology.  I have tried to post a couple different times this week and have lost everything.  If it is not my internet connection it's my server or my smart phone.  So I unplugged everything.  Literally gave technology a night off.  I re-plugged everything back in and voila!  I think everything is back to working.  I remember reading a blog post by a friend of mine with a similar dialogue.  Her rebooting experience also left her to question her internal booting process. Thankfully (and I mean sooooooo much thanks to my parents) every summer my parents whisk my kiddos away allowing me to reboot.  I always dread them leaving and miss them terribly while they are gone.  With that said, I have really taken and opportunity this week to reboot / re-energize heck even re-enter the Austin scene.  I have taken yoga classes with teachers I never get to practice with, had lunch with a dear friend, went on a date with my husband, enjoyed an afternoon with my sister, and sat on my tookish and read, oh I also only had to clean the house once this week because hello no kids means no mess! I swam laps, slept in and watched movies.

Insert randomness...I don't know about you but IT'S HOT!  I mean stinkin hot.  Yet I find myself feeling like I need to go go go do do do.  What I need is cooling liquid, cooling foods, and cooling rebooting time.  Done done and done!  It has been an amazing week (minus the technology madness but even that contributed).  I feel re-energized and like someone hit the re-set button.

Often times I forget the importance of quiet time, yoga time and overall me time.  I get into a routine and let those things slip by.  I feel so inspired getting to take yoga classes with the teacher I study with and yoga teacher friends and that doesn't even give justice to how my body feels after an hour and 1/2 + of community yoga everyday. Ahhhhhhhhh.

How do you reboot?  How do you escape the heat and slow down? What inspires and awakens you after you reboot?  All love and gratitude!  Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you :)...

July 4, 2011


I feel free when...?  When I know the sound of the alarm is not what is going to wake me, when the calendar is a blank canvas, when my girls and I use that blank canvas to paint the day, when my husband and I are drinking coffee with nothing on the agenda, when I am on the mat doing inversions or heart openers, when I am swept away by the words of another, when I am fully present enjoying all that my life is.  I could keep going on and on and on but I really want to know when you feel your free"ist"...

Happy Independence Day!

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." ~ Helen Keller

June 27, 2011

I'm committing myself...

Lately when I come into stillness on my mat the word that comes to my head when I am setting my intention is *commitment* (authentic gives a shout out too).  Ah yes, I will commit to a more consistent meditation practice.  I will sit everyday no excuses. (Oh and I will commit to flossing everyday as well!)  Who gave my inner salesperson permission to go on vacation!  I tell myself you can start on Monday.  Why is Monday any different than today?  Why is Monday the magical day that is going to make this endeavor that much more doABLE?  Poor December is dedicated to gluttonous behavior because ultimately we will change said behavior January 1st...well 2nd let's face it, January 1st is like the first pancake - a wash. (It has to be said, I delightfully eat the first pancake.)

I think the idea of commitment was inspired by my neighbor/dear friend/yoga student. She recently was doing her normal committed saturday run when she was bit by a dog.  When I saw her that same day she gave us the story but ended with, "I am not suppose to put pressure on my arm so I will have to modify when I come to yoga on Tuesday." I stopped in my tracks, here she was bit by a dog stitches and all and she was thinking about her yoga class.  Truly inspirational, brave and fully committed.

Is there a commitment you have been wanting to the pull the trigger on and have put it off?  Would you like to state said commitment here to solidify it a bit more?  I would love to hear it and I would love any feedback you have on how to enhance my committed self!

I like this quote...
"There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permits. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." ~unknown... I would change the word results to action...tomatoE / tomato.

So there it is I am committing to meditating daily, my yoga practice and flossing!  How bout' you?

June 20, 2011

Kula/Community & the Dialogue

I have been thinking a lot about community and yoga.  I have been toying with this idea of a community blog / forum that supports and shares beautiful wisdom, insight and experience. For example, one of the main reasons I started to write was because I valued a friend's blog and how people she is connected to comment and support what she writes. I am interested in a dialogue more than a monologue :).  Some of the comments are simply gratitude for the words written that may have inspired their day and some of them are thought provoking comments that either expound on her words or invite a different view on the topic. She once wrote about goal setting and someone commented how they saw goal setting differently which really opened my eyes to two very different opinions on the matter.  It widened my outlook giving me something to chew on.  As it so happens, I thoughtfully shifted my view on goal setting.

I feel so very fortunate (truly) to meet, know and love many magnificent people with brilliant ideas brimming in their minds.  I would love for anyone to feel comfortable commenting on my post so we can explore and play with objectively loving words, thoughts and diversity.  I would love for fellow yogi's to guest post and share.  Ahhhhhhhh...I have thrown it out there now let's see what happens :).

"Community is our native state. You play hardest for a hometown crowd. You become your best self. You know joy. This is not a guess; there is evidence. The scholars who study social well-being can put it on charts and graphs. In the last 30 years our material wealth has increased in this country, but our self-described happiness has steadily declined. Elsewhere, the people who consider themselves very happy are not in the very poorest nations, as you might guess, nor in the very richest. The winners are Mexico, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the kinds of places we identify with extended family, noisy villages, a lot of dancing. The happiest people are the ones with the most community." Barbara Kingsolver on community 

June 15, 2011

I'm perfect!

I'm Perfect! Even typing the words makes my stomach uneasy, my internal nay sayer activates, and my heart engages.  I am finding inspiration reading "Yoga from the Inside Out" by Christina Sell (my Anusara Immersion teacher).  Since I can remember, I have always been one who strives for perfection in Merriam Webster's version of being without fault or defect. Let me elaborate...when someone used to compliment me on a job well done I would wait.  Wait for what you ask...the criticism, the what you could have done better, the BUT! When I didn't receive the latter I thought they were holding back not giving me the full truth. In the book she talks about how the sleeping world has conditioned us to think we are guilty (not worthy) until proven innocent (our true nature).  She talks about her past and how this plays a role in how she treats herself - all relatable.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think this perfectionistic trait is only destructive it can serve as a growth vehicle when used objectively. However, if I only attach to what is "wrong" and blind to what is "right" then it no longer serves as a growth vehicle.

Can I grow without the BUT?  Can I trust that I am perfect in the "full" "complete" "sure" "satisfied" version of the word? Can I relish in the positive energy and love that is being shared with me?  Can I accept the gift without ad libbing from the internal judge and simply surrender to the way things are?  

This week I will take my perfect self to the mat as a non-judgemental observer.  I will bring awareness to what arises with objectivity and not judgement.  I will practice discernment and trust in order to determine which internal processes serve my yoga practice and which of these patterns hinder my growth and development. I will have complete gratitude for this amazing vehicle (body) I bring to the mat day in and day out. Your perfect just the way you are as it is not a path of perfection but a path of progression :).

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 8, 2011

Intention Reverts

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of a comfortable situation with people whom you have long standing relationships (family) and then all of sudden in a blink of an eye you revert to an old behavior or role?  Maybe you were trying to cultivate living authentically and you are presented with the opportunity to fully embody said intention yet you take the familiar even comfortable path in one unconscious moment. Bam you revert just like that - no matter how hard you have been tending to the authenticity seed.  I am *sure* this is all part of the journey and if it were easy then it would most likely not be an intention.  Do we have to take these mis-steps in order to learn? Are there 2 intentions simultaneously teaching.  I guess what I am saying is, if you have the intention to live authentically and the intention to not beat yourself up when you stumble off the path of living authentically is the second intention's work at play?

I'm not willing to let myself off the hook completely.  Yet I am finding not throwing punches or wallowing in it comforting.  I have made the choice to use my energy to guide myself back on the path and onto the mat. Utilizing this stumble to learn all the while feeling the cuts and bruises (empowering wounds) that came with the fall.

May 24, 2011

Plant Good Seeds

What kind of...wife, mom, sister, friend, teacher, yogi, stranger, first acquaintance do I want to be? How do I want to authentically live my life?  Do I want to let all my baggage, negative self talk, and insecurities lead me on this journey?  Do I want to let my desire for control and formulaic equations of what I think happiness must encompass in order to actually BE happy? Do I want to wake up one morning and say "where did the time go..."?  

"It's never too late, its never too bad, your never too old, your never too sick, to start from scratch once again - to be born again" ~Mike Dooley

I choose to be the kind of wife, mom, sister, friend, teacher, yogi, stranger, first acquaintance who IS present more than not, who is authentic, exposed, loving, kind, generous, sad, happy, soft, human, introspective in a way that allows for growth not beating myself up but not attaching when I do enter the ring fists up, knowledge, light and truth seeker / speaker, dancer, snuggler, lingerer, awwwhhhh inspirer and finder, open, grass is already greener, grateful, honored, humbled, remind myself that busy is not an objective, calendering time for sanity and family care and present...did I mention presence. Now how do I get there?  As Judith Hanson Lasater says "all of the answers are within you." Drop by drop a lake is built" according to an old Chinese Proverb.  With the deepest most nourishing inhale (which I have access to anytime I want) and the fullest most complete exhale letting what no longer serves me dissipate into the expansive atmosphere...I begin

May 23, 2011

Be True to Yourself

I was cleaning when I stumbled on a book Nathan read about John Wooden, a famous basketball coach.  I have read most of the book myself and thoroughly enjoyed the beginning.  When I flipped through the pages my eyes focused on the bold letters Be True to Yourself.  This is how I know my passion is YOGA.  First thought hmmmmmm...AUTHENTICITY (am I living authentically?), my second thought was how does that apply on the mat - see yoga addict!  We have a creed in our house. Be true to yourself and others and do the very best you can do.

Satya, often translated as truthfulness, is 1 of the 5 yamas in the yoga sutra. Truth is defined as sincerity in action, character and utterance; in fact.

This is a hard concept to tackle.  As delusion, perception often mask as truth.  The mind is a powerful entity with complex reasoning skills.  In fact: am I living my fullest most authentic life?  In what ways am I being true to myself and in what ways am I not?

May 16, 2011


So I have really been thinking about perseverance and how to teach / demonstrate such an amazing attribute to my children.  Do you ever wonder if you receive signs of things you are suppose to think about or work on or if you had the thought and now that you are aware you see signs everywhere?  Kind of like what came first the chicken or the egg?  I have been receiving little signs of perseverance a lot.  My husband and I rented a movie and the main message was perseverance, I was reading my favorite messages from the universe "For the one who continues, Michelle, failure becomes impossible." I was watching my daughter's first grade class work on a challenging yoga pose - perseverance rearing its head yet again.  I guess what I am saying is THANK YOU for the guidance and messages being sent my way concreting my desire to persevere.  

When life gets tough and hands you a bunch of lemons - make lemonade.  I wasn't blessed with the never take no gene as others are.  Or the best at looking fear in the face and laughing.  or when I fall down I'm not typically the kind that gets up with a smile on my face ready to try again. I'm not the type to run to the edge of the cliff and take flight.  When someone tells me NO I think boo but let it go, I linger when I fall usually occupying my mind with negative self talk. I get to the edge of a cliff by creeping up to it utilizing every inch of bravery in my body :).  My work this week will be to persevere when fear rears it's head. I will be curious and vulnerable when someone says no and ask why. When I fall I will dust myself off and get back up.  The work will begin with me and hopefully I will teach / guide by example.  Enjoy your mat work utilizing perseverance as your inspiration.

May 4, 2011

The wind has really been blowing.  Some days are more fierce than others.  It reminds me of back home in New Mexico.  The wind would blow pretty forcefully creating a mini sand storm.  You could temporarily be blinded by the little bits of sand.  It would get in your mouth.   If you ran your hands through your hair you would find the grit from the sand (ok and from not washing my hair everyday).  Any hooSer...I am often fascinated with wind in that any given moment it can throw you off balance.  If you are not firmly grounded you can stumble. I was reading a blog, The Simple Dollar, he wrote...I did not have roots in the ground so the wind blew me in different directions. I have felt this way in my life often...ok more than often! Living without direction, focus or intention. Wondering aimlessly - a hamster in a hamster get the picture.  As May proves to be a test of endurance and balance to juggle a packed schedule being grounded is vital.

Balancing poses it is then.  I struggle with balancing poses, always have.  I often joke, that I have a size 7 foot and a 5'9 frame.  Who can balance with those measurements.   This week my mat work will involve setting my foundation (rooting) as I balance. Letting my breath ground me further as the wind continues to swirl...trusting I am rooted, my foundation is strong.  How will you stay balanced among the wind?

I will be enjoying:
half moon
reverse half moon
standing split
head stand
among others...

May 2, 2011


This weekend I had the privilege of attending the second weekend of Anusara Immersion with Christina Sell.  I know I have said this a lot but she is truly a gifted teacher that words do not do justice!  John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga, says "Anusara is flowing with grace by saying yes to the whole spectrum of life"  This could NOT resonate more.  I took the opportunity to look up the word grace.  I was surprised by how many words were used to define grace.  I have always loved the word but didn't ever give it credit for all that it embodies.  Here are some words used to define grace.  Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action.  A pleasing or attractive quality. Unmerited divine assistance freely given for regeneration, sanctification or love. A special favor or privilege.  

Yoga is elegance and beauty of form. It is elegance and beauty in action freely given for regeneration, sanctification and LOVE.  Yoga embodies all of these words.  This week I will let the word grace inspire my flow on and off the mat.  Whatever I am faced with whether auspicious or malicious heart-full or disheartening I will bow my head to my heart, my state of grace and answer in ways that align with this powerful word...GRACE.  I will choose to celebrate the very essence of life, mindfulness and ultimately my heart. Basically what I am saying is hit the mat with lots of heart openers so you can sing love sonnets to those who will listen or more importantly to yourself!

April 25, 2011

I Love You...ahemmmmmm...Me!

How often do you say I love you?  How often do you say I love you to yourself?  With awareness to what feelings arise I read the second question again?  Yikes!  I have to work at cultivating self love. Especially when I find myself enveloped by darkness (a pity party). A party where I question everything about myself and find myself reaching out for validation. I usually find myself acting in this way when I am tired, in an unconscious place, or the sun has been hidden for days.  Sometimes the party extends past party lines where I find myself saying hurtful things to people I love most - this includes myself. Mrs. Critical rears her ugly head and steps on compassion.

It sometimes feels like I am caught in the current of life.  I struggle to breath as it takes me under.  I reach out for a rope, a twig a vine ANYTHING to hold on to. I find when I do not surrender and struggle to control the current I hit the bottom. When I'm scared I rely on someone from my support network to pull me out.  I count on, almost thrive on validation from others.  I feel so lucky so fortunate to have amazing people in my life.  At any given time, even 3am, I could reach out to someone who loves me.  Then WHY the pity party...WHY the darkness?  I struggle with self validation, self compassion.  At the point that I hit the bottom I let fear take over, consume me.  I almost wait at the bottom for an external force to save me.  For someone to prove that I am WORTH it.  The failures in my life are the sharp rocks at the bottom they scrape, poke, cause me to stumble but they aren't what ends it.  It's the culmination of the current, the water, the rocks and ultimately giving up, not to be confused with surrendering.

I read this statement from the universe...Do you really need someone else's validation, permission, acceptance, wink or nod? OR are you ready to give this to yourself? Ready GO...

I wrote a couple weeks ago about a peak pose I was "working" on.  Well if I am fully disclosing, opening myself to vulnerability, I learned a hard lesson on the mat this week.  I learned that if I don't practice said peak pose then I have an enters pride.  So I put on my big girl panties and began the work.  Here enters the real culprit FEAR.  I can do said peak pose with a crutch.  When I move away from the crutch I am unable to sustain the pose. Here enters pride and fear.  I walked to the edge of the cliff, I so often reference, and pushed further. AHA...peak pose was held for mere seconds but what happens next isn't pretty. I immediately came down and walked off the mat.  Not because a kid was crying or because I had somewhere to be but because I let fear and pride tell me I was done..."i could have hurt myself doing that" says fear...."a few seconds - you tried"says pride.  What am I denying myself by not living fully, by letting fear and pride rule the roost?  What am I repudiating by not giving myself permission, acceptance, compassion...heck...LOVE?

Let me be clear, I am not saying we should swim alone, never reach out.  I remember a saying "you must love yourself fully in order to fully love others" Sadly, I don't remember who the author of that was but it resonates. My work will be self compassion coupled with self acceptance...self validation and LOVE.

April 18, 2011


" The path to transformation involves many small steps. Experience each one as meaningful"
~Ruth Lauer-Maneti

She goes on to say...often times when you eat an entire plate of food you are full.  It wasn't just the last bite that made you full.  It was the culmination of all your bites.  If you had taken just one bite you'd still be hungry.  This is similar to a yoga practice. It's not just one practice, one experience, or one insight that fills you with understanding, flexibility or overall transformation it is each step along the way. A culmination of all of your experiences over the years.

My inspiration this week is being drawn from a beginners lens.  Getting "unstuck" by breaking free from habitual patterns (samskara). Encouraging myself to do something out of the ordinary.  Stepping out of my pragmatic mind to detach from the mental clutter.  Imagine the possibilities. Can I create space for answers? Can I open to insight? Can I allow that same space to become more expansive yielding the light, joy and overall since of liberation!

April 11, 2011

Are you a student or a teacher?

I'm typing away at my computer "working" ok so I was reading a blog when I was distracted by what I saw.  My youngest daughter has a piece of paper on the couch and is water color painting.  My first reaction was to get upset.  I took a breath and sat with it for a minute.  The outcome was unexpected...I found joy in watching her concentration and pure joy for what she was doing.  I asked her if I could move her picture to the easel that was right behind the couch.  She said " yes please mommy, I couldn't find the clip to make it stay".  Another pleasant surprise, she wanted to do the right thing by painting on her easel - she also wanted to do the right thing by not interrupting me while I was working so she improvised. I simply explained why painting on the couch might end in paint ON the couch.  Before I continued to rant I started really looking at her picture.  I saw love transformed onto the page.  She was working on the same picture from yesterday that her and her friend sweetly painted together in unison.  I commented on how amazing her work was and she simply said, "Thank you, if I want to be an artist I have to practice and put love into it".  She is listening!  She is also teaching me by the simple act of honing a craft she truly loves and enjoys.

What am I missing by feeling the constant need to teach and guide her?  What am I falsely accusing my kiddos of by not stopping...being present...observing, softening to what they might teach me or confirm that what I am teaching them is being absorbed? Do I practice honing this craft of yoga which I dearly love and enjoy?  This week I will hold space and soften before reacting.  I will hit the mat and hone my craft. I will wear my student and teacher glasses...

April 4, 2011

Bring it on...

The Guest House

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.

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.
~ Rumi ~

Thank you Rumi!  This week i am letting Rumi inspire my self rationalization.  What does that even mean you ask?  When I wake up with a pep in my step I celebrate the good mood.  I welcome happiness with open arms no qustions asked.  I don't try to talk myself out of happiness or beat myself up because I feel joy. When I encounter mad, sad, angry even welled up inside fire about to unleash I instantly insert self defeating dialogue.  Why can't you just be happy.  BECAUSE we must invite each of our feelings in, hold space for them, see them for what they are - a teacher.  I say bring it on...     

March 28, 2011

Anusara Immersion

I attended an incredible Anusara Immersion Part One with Christina Sell @ Breath and Body yoga.  First may I say WOW!!!  Christina is an incredible teacher, yogi, and heart leader! She can read a body like no other.  I can not recommend this immersion enough!  When ever I embark on something new I get a little apprehensive about walking into the newness.  My excitement for learning far out weighs the apprehension but never the less I walk in the door and I instantly feel shy, withdrawn, my smile becomes inaccessible.  I notice amazing people around me who have contagious smiles yet I find myself running for the back of the room - out of sight.  I ask myself why?

My intention for this immersion was to soften, be open to the experience, lead with my heart, release rigidity and SMILE.  Another student so beautifully said "open myself up to vulnerability". I thought yes that is it.  Can I be vulnerable, soften, open, stay present and let go of the fear of what people think of me.  Can I relish in the room being mat to mat and let go of the confines of my mat and space. Can I dance with the amazing energy a full room creates?  Can I celebrate all of the beautiful yogi's and yogini's without comparing or feeling less than. There is just something about being in a room full of heart energy.  Something so nourishing.  When I woke up this morning after hours and hours and hours of yoga my body felt sore yet nourished, cared for.  All love and so MUCH gratitude...

March 21, 2011

I Will Fail...I will SUCCEED

I subscribe to "the universe" little notes of encouragement.  Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®© ®, if your interest has peaked.

Today the post was about succeeding being proportional to one's willingness to fail.  First thought "I don't want to fail! insert beating heart, sweaty palms, and chest breathing.  Wait a minute...I read it again SUCCESS, Michelle, is proportional to one's willingness to fail. What holds you back from exploring, dancing with your desire / dream?  The fear of failure?  Was the first step acknowledgement? (thanks Heather :)) Can I sit within and hold space for the fear of failure? Can I break down the barrier or wall that pride / ego has built? Can I then move through it making room for success?

I have this image in my head of a peak pose (asana) I would like to conquer (for lack of a better word). This week I will fail so I can succeed.  Let me define success.  Playing with the pose with the intention of finding the healing goodness without joyless striving. I think I will use K. Pattabhi Jois as my inspiration...not moving on to another peak pose till I have succeeded :).  What successes will you find?

...may YOU be happy & peaceful...may YOU be healthy and well...may YOU be love and feel love...may YOU be free from harm...may YOU feel complete and utter surrender...