Saturday, June 30, 2012

weekends are good for...


In this house

...enjoying a hot cup of coffee while being barefoot in your house.
...clearing up those little pieces of clutter that have been nagging you all week.
...the smell of fresh laundry and the feel of clean sheets on the bed.
...snuggling and family time in bed after 8am.
...not setting an alarm.
...phone calls to the east coast and the mountains to connect with loved ones.
...a breakfast plate consisting of a juicy peach, sourdough bread from Pike Place market, and bacon.
...couch time.
...a weekend yoga class.
...walks with the dog.
...a trip to the library.
...a free event in the neighborhood.
...jean shorts and a comfy long sleeve and birkenstocks.
...the lack of e-mail notifications.
...dreaming and silence.

what are your weekends good for?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wishcasting Wednesday: What is your heart's wish?


Ahhhh...to be back on the Wishcasting Train again. It has been wayyyyyy too long but the best thing about wishing is that you can always come back just as inspired and gracious from the last time. Jamie Ridler over at Jamie Ridler Studios poses this week's Wishcasting prompt: What is your heart's wish?

When I really sit in silence, I can listen to my heart beat. It's a steady feeling and sound. My inhales and exhales fall in sync with the beating of my heart and a smile arrives on my face. A deep breath in and space is created. I can tune in clearly to my desires and wishes.

My heart's wish is to be present in all my interactions with others. To let the past be the past, to not get anxious about the future, but to remain grounded in what is directly in front of me and go from there. I also wish for bliss in every area of my life, to live powerfully in all aspects in how I show up in the world. I wish for love, both giving it and receiving it without question or condition. I wish for more "blank space" to follow my natural rhythms and what feels good. I also wish for more yoga, reading, champagne, barefeet, and sunshine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

what the snail taught me

Today, I walked to Subway to grab lunch. It was cool, a bit crisp and on the damp side of course. The sky has been grey here in Seattle and it doesn't quite feel like summer yet. I smile when the small bits of sunshine peek through the clouds and fight their way to the people on the streets. On my walk, I decided to call my mom since she is on summer break. As a teacher, she gets to determine the course of her days. She picked up and was telling me how productive she has been, how she is getting back to yoga, kayaking with my dad, and enjoying her patio. I was immediately jealous. Then I looked down at the sidewalk and saw this snail just working it's way along from sidewalk to bushes. Oh so slowly. I watched the movement and was amazed at the slow yet steady pace. Lately, I have been feeling quite snail like.

I first want to acknowledge the fact that there have been lots of changes this year for me. I have been in my new position now for almost 3 months and have been giving my brain a workout with learning new systems, meeting new people, and adopting a new routine. I have had some major shifts in my financial health & well-being. It has been a long journey, but I am finally feeling like I am gaining much needed traction and control. Livelihood and financial sustainability are so interconnected and they must coexist in bliss. :)


The snail feeling I have relates to my physical well-being. Yes, I am doing yoga still but my eating and regular trips to the Gym aren't where I would like them to be. I also struggle with a daily routine and wish I could write and meditate more. One thing that has been a constant project for me is my self-care, personal transformation and my learning to rest and be in the moment. I have a tendency to push myself to the limit, leaving very little energy reserves in the tank. I have been much better about this but I still have to work on realistic expectations and my boundaries.


The thing about the snail is it not only arrived at it's destination of the grass, but it kept moving at that slow and steady pace. A great lesson to always embrace; we are always moving and life is in constant process.


Enjoy the journey!

i'm lovin it

Just a few pieces of yummy inspiration for a grey sky Tuesday. 


good one:)


rock climbing wall

Friday, June 22, 2012

stuck




Home. Shoes are off. The rain makes a steady sound outside the window and I am sitting here in my writing nook so grateful to be out of the mess. My commute today home took about 90 solid minutes. Most of that time, I was stuck and not moving. To give you more of a context, from my front door to my office with NO traffic whatsoever, it takes me about 20 minutes. Usually, when I drive, I make it home during the rush hour in about 30-35. Not horrible. Until today.

When I first moved to Seattle, I learned very fast how to deal with the traffic. I term my learning curve as "experiential immersion." I had to learn fast. At first, I hated the traffic. I would merge onto Interstate 5 white knuckled, cold, sweaty, and clammy and hold my breath, not being too aggressive and at certain moments being passive to the point where I could have caused an accident. Then, about 2 years ago, I got into an accident during a heavy rain. Totaled my car, thankfully nobody was hurt. I learned my lesson of not following too closely.
As I crawled and scooted home today, inch by inch, mile by mile, I started to think about this idea of being stuck and what it feels like. I played the funny role of "curious observer," and just noticed bodily sensations, thoughts, emotions, and the like. Being stuck sucks. Not only in traffic, but in our lives as well.

I definitely classify myself under the "Mover and Shaker" category in my life. Always taking action, running off my Type A adrenaline, and getting shi*t done. Enough said, right? But I hit walls too. I get stuck, spend time in ruts that aren't too productive, exercise ambivalence in the department of self-care, and then sabotage myself. We all do. It's okay. It's necessary to grow. How so?
Well, energetically speaking, the universe puts us where we need to be on order to gain the lessons it has to teach us. I know it sounds a bit "woo woo," but think about the times when you have been stuck, in a rut, or repeating necessary behaviors. You eventually come out on the other side and you become more evolved, living at a higher vibrational level. You bring with you evolutionary intelligence and it's a magical thing.
In my traffic mess today, I realized that tiny actions brought me through the stuckness. For instance, my relationship with my finances. Getting honest about them was a small step, even though it felt huge and moved me to take action with them. Doing my yoga or deep breathing for 15 minutes a day is such a tiny movement, but it creates some stability for me in my self-care routine. Setting an alarm to go off at 1:30pm everyday reminds me to take a break and eat and get away from my desk. It all adds up.

Here's a simple reflection to do if you are feeling like you have been in traffic for way too long:

1. Identify one area in your life where you feel stuck. (Think about what brings up feeling of dread; is it balancing your checkbook, the clutter in your house; the extra pounds you have put on).

2. Sit and breathe and be with your "area." What brings up the dread? What is the one word reflecton when you say that area of your life outloud? No judgment!

3. Write down 5 mini actions you can take using SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. (I will get my receipts gathered on my desk, I will pack my gym bag, I will have healthy snacks in my desk drawer) Easy peezy.

4. Post your actions where you can see them. Give yourself a week and then check back in.

5. Remember, no judgment. Be gentle. ANY movement in your area needs to be celebrated.

A toast to getting unstuck and a bigger toast to a weekend of relaxation, breathing, and space!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the yoga of life

I can happily say I am back on my yoga mat again. I took a break for a bit and it really sent me into batsh*t crazyville. Ha! Anyway, being back on the mat brings so many things forward for me physically, emotionally, spiritually, and soulfully. The yoga mat has always been my refuge from a very loud inner brain. Those of you who know me personally know that yoga literally saved my life. I have processed every emotion that comes to mind on my mat at some point. As I get older, I am way more reflective with my practice constantly being curious as to what is going on. The magical thing about yoga for me is my brain and my body and my breath become a dynasty trifecta of sorts, just doing their own thing. The only thing I can somewhat relate it to is someone who builds cars. You reach that sweet spot in your work where everything just clicks and the engine turns on, the fluid is flowing, the brakes are in sync, and the speakers are turning out beautiful tunes.

Every now and then I have these moments where I want to capture the lessons of where yoga has bridged into my life. For example, I am dealing with a nasty bone spur and a case of plantar faschitis in my left foot currently. It friggin' hurts, especially when I flow through my warrior postures, down into chatarunga, into up dog, and finishing in down dog. I wanna scream. I wanna quit. I wanna roll up my mat and grab a slurpee. But I stay, slowly stretching and resting and breathing through it. I don't want to run anymore like I used to. When I was in college, I would push through without the slightest bit of acknowledgement of the pain, whether it was physical or emotional. Now, I can bear witness to what is and what isn't without the judgment. Evolved? Yes, please.

In yoga, poses are meant to counteract one another. You will notice in postures that there is a contraction and an extension at the same time. For instance, downward dog. Your extending up through the hips, down through the heels but your contracting your shoulder blades just a touch to gain the extension. These are sweet spots. And the extension and contraction concept can be related right back to our relationships. We extend ourselves to love, open our hearts, operate out of a place of compassion, yet one small little blip, upset, argument can cause us to contract, hide, tense up. There is a balancing of preserving vulnerability and being completely & utterly open.

I am excited and pleased to be back on the mat again yet I am constantly humbled when I lean into Half-Pigeon pose and feel the burning sensation travel through my hips. I do my best to live my life as a yogini in a modern, ever changing world. Constantly pursuing self-study and bearing witness to the lessons every day brings.

Monday, June 18, 2012

a case of the mondays


Happy Monday! Well, Monday is pretty much over but I thought I would jump on the bloggy blog and stream some thoughts on Mondays. Yep. Mondays. I love the clip from Office Space. A case of the Mondays? What? It happens to all of us at some point or another. We actually start feeling the pull of Monday when we wake up on Sunday mornings. Then we continuously look at our clocks throughout the day anticipating and being anxious for that Monday morning alarm. The weekend seems to be way too short, we can't stay in the present, and before you know it, you're stuck in traffic with your travel mug of coffee listening to NPR thinking about the to do list you either left for yourself on Friday or feeling shortness of breath when thinking of a full inbox. Yikes! What's a human to do?

1. Breathe! Deeply friend....Take a few minutes and just breathe. It sounds so corny and unfortunately it's what every doctor speaking on PBS right now tells us to do. Seems to be the solution for weight loss, depression, diabetes, anxiety, ADD, you name it. I really like this exercise: Sit comfortably or stand or lie on your back. Inhale through your nose, count to 4, pause for a count of 4 on top of the inhale and exhale for a count of 4. 3 cycles of that will get your system aligned. Believe me.

2. Adopt a Tradition. Not all traditions are bad. Growing up, Sunday dinner usually involved pasta and sauce and Italian food. I have friends who have taken up "Meatless Mondays," The Man and I term Sundays as "sacred," meaning we try not to work ourselves into the ground with errands and chores. Visit a farmers market, hit up a Sunday Happy Hour, or decide that you will have a taco night on Mondays. Whatever it is, it's something to look forward to and you can still be flexible.

3. Know that there will always be a to do list. I am starting to hate time management books. I used to be all about efficiency and I still am very much so, but there comes a point when you just gotta surrender to what is and what isn't realistic. Try to plan your 5 MIT's (Most Important Tasks) during your morning. I have a great notebook that I use when I get into work and I look forward to penning my MIT's while sipping my hot drink.

4. All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl. Tap back into your passion, especially after work. The Man has a great saying, "Create a life worth living," and we try to live that each and every day. Granted, when we have to pick up dog poo and take out the yard waste, it may not fall under the "create a life worth living," but working in our garden together and sitting on our deck drinking a beer is. It's all about your choices people.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Of all the father's in the world...

Of all the amazing dad's in the world, I think I lucked out to have the best. Yes, I think a lot of the women in the world would say their dad made a priceless impact on them and as I get older, I realize that the way I live my life today, all grown up and stuff, has a lot to do with my dad.

Throughout my life, my dad has been a world traveler. His work as an engineer has brought him to some obscure places and I believe 6 of the 7 continents. Fearless is the word that comes to mind. Looking back on it, he exhibited traits of a Marvel Comic superhero-work and fly in planes by day and still show up and be  the most amazing dad ever; hiking trips on the weekends, building our deck, pulling Christmas boxes down from the attic, carpooling my brother and I to endless athletic practices.

My dad is a gem. A one of a kind. I am so beyond grateful for the relationship we have and continue to share. I know I can always call him up and vent to him about anything, get advice on home improvement projects, or just ponder the world.

Happy Father's Day Dad! May you be safe wherever your travels take you and know I will always love you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Everyday Service

Starting on June 12th, I'm going to be a professor in an online course called Everyday Service! The course will discuss why service is important, what kinds of service opportunities are available to people of all ages, and how to make service a part of everyday life! When you sign up, please remember to visit the Everyday Service Fund to donate your class fee to any organization you like!