Thursday, January 30, 2014

gratitude week 4: seeing amazingness among the mundane

I have to admit, the past two weeks have felt a little low/funky for me. Part of it is the struggle for maintaining a solid routine as my work schedule was sporadic, dedicating a lot of time into studying and homework for my yoga teacher training program, and not getting a ton of exercise. Like one of my teachers always says, just return to your practice which has also been hard but slowly I am finding my way back on course. Warm lemon water in the morning, short meditations, and smiling...lots of smiling.

With that said, this week's post is all about seeing the gratitude through what may appear as the mundane.

I am so grateful for my morning time...I seem to mention it a lot, but it has become something so sacred to me in my life. Quiet, fresh, blank. I had the opportunity to take a workshop from Rod Stryker last week, founder of Parayoga and it truly lit me up. I had one of those glimpses into absolute radiance. I am starting his book, The Four Desires, a recommendation from one of my teachers. The mug next to the book was a gift from my best friend's mom who is a potter.
The amazing access I have to delicious and wonderful food...Seattle is one of those places where you could eat at a different place every night for a year and still not make a dent. We don;t eat out a ton but we also have amazing grocery stores...five in a half mile radius of our house, three in 1/10 of a mile. They are always fully stocked with yummy food and freshness. The chai is a new addition this week as the mornings are gloomy and cold and I always sip it and smile thinking this tastes like awesome.
My learning and transformation through my yoga teacher training...yes, I have been studying and working my little gluetal muscles off but the past five months have been exceptionally transformative. Where it will lead is totally unknown at this point, but lots of ideas brewing in the cauldron. I am beyond grateful not only for the experience but all the valleys and peaks along they way that led me to this moment. That whole idea of turning dreams into reality? Yep, it happens. It just takes a helluva lot of elbow grease and a dash of magic and when the starts align, it all just flows.
Photo: Morning practice.

So, the mundane isn't so mundane. It holds this extreme amount of magical light and greatness that should not be taken for granted. In these last final days of January, I look back on the month and think, holy heck! What a full, robust, wacky month but so fabulous. Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

week in gratitude: #3-inspiring quotes

As I was entrenched in the Seahawks game last night, I realized after I put my book down before bed that I forgot to post. The good news is that I have a holiday today and some great things on the docket aligned with my core desired feelings of Alignment, Grace, Limitless, Create, Nourished, and Engaged.

It's always a balance for me in terms of external relationship building and enjoyment and also enjoying my personal time, restoring my energy through introverted activities. One of my guilty pleasures actually is surfing Pinterest and finding those amazing, inspiring, blissful quotes. I thought I would share a few here that just make my heart melt...absolutely melt. They are part of my vision board and serve as northern stars for those lazy/uninspired/frustrating days. Enjoy!

If it doesn't light you up, you're not the right person for the job. Subscribe: #Truthbomb #Words #Quotesworthy.For me writing is as essential as breathing, and food. I do not feel alive, or complete without the music of the soul, which for me is the written word. I suppose musician's feel the same when they compose, and artists feel the same when they paint. Writing is far more than an internal dialog that is shared from concept to tangible script. The power of the story is timeless. Jeana Giordano

#Grace is accepting what is instead of resenting what isn't.              laughing.          Balance = alignment - Loved and pinned by <3333. My English teacher taught me this, (: . I love writing for this class. It Gmh . I thought my hs English teacher was great.... But she was really cynical. And we never studied anything fascinating.
...                            Live Now

Sunday, January 12, 2014

gratitude week #2: basics

Well, I am finally back and for the most part, settled back into life in the PNW. I was almost gone for about a month with the weather delays on top of my three week scheduled mini-sabbatical and it feels good to be home but as you probably know, it takes some time to get in the groove again with work, home, routine, unpacking, and putting away the holidays. Deep breaths combined with jumping right into yoga teacher training weekend as well as a few 11 hour nights of sleep and lemon tea, I feel pretty dang good. With that said, my theme of gratitude this week is all about basics.

1. For amazingly delicious, nourishing food, especially on the days I worked from home in my parents' basement. This delicious lobstah stew totally made the working part worth it as I hunkered down, caught up on all things e-mail and conference call. Yum, yum, yum!

2. For mornings. It's so funny how the rhythm of life changes as you get older, especially in the way of getting my day started a helluva lot earlier now than when I was in my teens and early twenties. I love the magic a morning brings, like a fresh start, almost as if the day is a blank canvas and I get to throw on the paint.

3. For my favorite work tools. A great notebook, Pilot G2 .7 Black pen, purple post-it notes, and yogi tea with the best words of wisdom ever. It's the little things that totally light me up ear to ear and may make me giggle a bit when I realize how dorky I am.

4. For beauty in the smallest places. It's that is. Yes, the world throws us curveball after curveball, destroying those cute little expectations we have about life, love, traveling on time, etc. One of the days I was stuck, I saw this beautiful pattern in my bedroom window of the crystals that had formed from the ice and moisture. Truly amazing that nature can put pieces like this together with no help from all.

5. For my altar. Even though it feels like we live on a boat sometimes, I still maintain my little nook and part of my nook is my altar/sanctuary/devotional corner. It is where I find my respite after my long days and where I start most of my mornings. It is grounding, open, receptive, and taps into all parts of my being. It is so basic...a small Ikea table I got from a friend who was moving out of town, a few buddhas from around the globe, a few of my favorite texts, and a singing bowl from my trip to Nepal. My newest addition is Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map program that The Man gifted me for Christmas.

So, as I wrap up my Sunday night post, I get really present to all the basic things in my life that add groundedness, deep breaths, smiles, and a little spice. Now, hot tea, reading, and rest call my name.

Friday, January 3, 2014

the need to create & weekly gratitude #1

You know that feeling when something is totally calling you? When you have the inkling to create something great but you are not quite sure what it will look like or how it will workout? Well, that is the space I am in right now. The energy to innovate and invent is one of the most magical, empowering, light up your life feelings to have. So, with all of that said, I am embarking on my first annual "project" of sorts. This will be my 2014 gratitude project. I love gratitude. A year ago, I started a gratitude journal that I found at an art walk down in Ballard on Sunday. I love pulling it out, opening to a new, fresh page with the orange ribbon marker, and penning my 5-10 gratitudes. 

They range from the mundane, like great pots and pans and white t-shirts to the extraordinary, sunsets over the Olympic mountains and seeing random acts of kindness on the downtown streets of Seattle. So this year, I am documenting my top weekly gratitudes in a blog post. My hope is that this will get me back on my blog, help me dive into my writing again, and also create a sense of amazingness in my life. 

This first week is all about being home in Maine. I have had the chance to spend three weeks home, the longest break home since the summer after my sophomore year of college. It has been magical, beautiful, happy, sad, and amazing. For these things, I am grateful...

The opportunity to teach yoga in my hometown. I was so lucky to put my yoga teacher training into the world while I was home. I taught ages 3-60, all abilities and levels and shared this deep passion of mine with the locals. 

For ample reflection, planning, and chill time in front of the fireplace. When I visit this time of year, I love curling up and taking chill time. It means no watch, no electronics, and no agenda. Just following what feels good. I get the time and support to make this happen and the firewood as well. 

For supporting the local businesses. When I left Maine 10 years ago, there lacked a local, grassroots style business movement and now, it is better than ever. I love frequenting the local yoga studio and the cafe below and taking a solo date. It is my respite in the midst of the crazy holiday time. 

For being home, because there is no place like it. There really is nothing like coming home to the place you grew up. There is a deep nourishment to the space, the familiarity, and the tastes. It is beyond comfortable. I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend with my family and my neighbors. It is such a special place that I always hold so close in my heart. Thank you Maine. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

lessons and a fresh start

It's that beautiful and magical time of the new year and with it brings lots of reflection on the past and also lots of designing and structuring for the new. I love this time of year...not only am I usually visiting my folks in Maine as the snow collects and it's so cold outside that your nose hairs freeze instantly when you go outside, but I love wrapping up the year with egg nog in my coffee, lots of flannel, and trips to L.L. Bean, along with hugs, laughter, fireplaces, and cookies.

Looking back on 2013, so much comes to mind in all that was presented to me. I had some great things happen and also some challenges that brought me closer to my edge, that place where uncomfortable meets extreme, stellar growth. My top five lessons included...

1. Let resonance be the guide. Noticing how things feel in my body first guides me to my decision making. This is way more in line with my femininity and my guiding life principles.

2. Feel the fear and do it anyway. This was all about my yoga teacher training program that started in October. I applied with a whole bunch of will I manage it both time wise and financially? How will I measure up? Am I ready? Yep, it has all worked out beyond anything I could have imagined. I have not only deepened my own personal practices, but my yoga as a life practice has spilled over into the rest of my life.

3. Stop taking life/love/work so damn seriously. This included lots of laughter and dancing. Lots of spontaneous fun. Celebration, being grateful for the dish soap and toilet paper. I know that one of my values is laughter and fun and I have tried to bring my A game of this into all areas of my life.

4. Say yes, say no. Let the choice be a practice of self-care. It's so hard to try to fit everything in and trying to make everyone happy. So, I dumped that whole philosophy and instead, really looked at what I was taking on if I said yes to something. The Man and I made conscious decisions to have Friday nights in and Monday dinners at the table...this meant saying no to some things, but saying yes to our own partnership.

5. If I want something, I need to attack with Blissful Velocity. Blissful Velocity was my theme of 2013. It meant attacking my financial health, my physical healing from Lyme disease, and setting myself up for success in both these areas. I has to make some goals, create some non-negotiables, and cope ahead, a term The Man and I use for anticipating challenging events.

So, here we are, day #2 of 2014 and I have been taking some chunks of time in my mini-sabbatical in Maine to design and plot out what I want, but most importantly how I want to feel. My theme for this year is Graceful Alignment. It totally lights me up from the inside out. For me, it's about really getting in tune with wants and goals and then aligning with actions and decisions. The choices I make need to be totally parallel with how I want to feel.

Nourishment: Lots of physical well-being...continuing my ayurvedic practices, my daily meditation practice, more whole foods, less crap in the kitchen cupboards, and getting a 5k in before my 30th birthday. This also includes lots of white/empty calendar space.

Create. I have lots of ideas and projects in the pipeline, including launching some entrepreneurial endeavors that I have been working on. This also lines up with diving into my writing practice again, both as a craft and an artistic expression. I also desire to take some hip hop dance classes.

Engaged. This is all about the peeps in my life-family, friends, mentors, community, neighborhoods, etc. I really want to find that circle of women who speaks to me, values personal growth and self-study, and totally makes me laugh my ass off. In another sense, this is all about what I say yes to and no to...only participating if I really am a "hell yes!"

So, here I am. Ready. Combining both conscious intention and flexibility to my life. I have a few other juicy things like building up my savings account, maintaining my monthly massage appointment and quarterly visits to the naked lady spa, purging some serious stuff, and date nights with The Man.

It's been so good and I think the good will keep on giving.