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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolving to Resolve Nothing in 2010

Here is my list of resolutions for 2009.

Ameliorate my patois since people tend to repudiate the fact that I possess a Master’s Degree. (I kept this up for about one week, I only learned about two new words all year long).

Train to run a ½ Marathon (I said train…..not actually do it, if I do it, I want a platinum cookie). (Never even came close to happening, most I ever ran was 3 miles...almost).

Learn at least one song on my guitar and post on U-Tube for all to enjoy/make fun of. (I learned about 4 chords and forgot all of them already.)

Expand my knowledge of Ayurveda to a more substantial level. (Okay, I did do this! YES!)

Renew my wedding vows, written by yours truly, using my expanded vocabulary! (This never happened either, but in my heart it's all good.)

So, I figure I'll have much more success this year if I resolve to resolve nothing.



Sat Nam


Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Thing I Learned in 2009

The Veil of illusion was lifted for me in 2009. In fact, before 2009, I'm not even really sure I knew what was meant by "illusion" or the significance of the Veil. I "get" it now. It all comes down to Perception.

What do you see?

Some people see two faces and some people see a vase. Some people see ugly faces, while some people see pretty faces. Is the vase pretty or ugly in your view?

All of my life I have seen myself as generous, kind, loving, and accepting. In fact, I would say I have been all of those things as I live my life, teach my yoga classes, and run my yoga studio. I am proud of who I am and what I have done for others. It seems, however, some people may view me as something contrary to my own view. Others may actually perceive me as a fake, aloof, or even ugly. I am not certain how my actions can be so skewed in someone else's view, but indeed they can and have been. While 2009 slapped me a few times in the face and kicked me even more times in the stomach with this other "reality" that was out there, I simply would never have believed someone could view me as anything other than generous, kind, loving, and accepting.

While speaking to my teacher, he explained to me how my actions and my intentions may be viewed by others and how some people would rather view me negatively, especially if it meant they could get out of paying some Karmic debt they thought they owed me. Apparently being kind actually can mean you are trying to get something from someone in some people's view, being Generous can look like a form of control, being loving can come off as fake, and being accepting comes off as a lie to others (In other words, how can anyone possibly accept someone just as they are?). Perception all depends on the person and their life experience.

I have always believed that my looks do not match up to my inner most feelings. Kind of like this poster (This may be an extreme example, but I feel the perception some people have about me is in EXTREME opposition to what I truly have going on inside of me):

So, while I have learned that all of the world actually is an illusion and we must all try and see through the Veils we have created and placed upon ourselves and others, what is truly important is this:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Self Conscious Kid, WHY?

‘Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.’ ~Ray Bradbury

Yoga teaches us not to be self-conscious or at least allows us to recognize when we are being self-conscious. It is amazing to me how young we are when we suddenly buy into how un-cool, un-attractive, or un-something we are. We start out as creative and free beings and then something horrible happens that changes our sense of freedom to be exactly who we are.

In any case, my 8 year old son competed in a National Chess Tournament which, as you know, is pretty much a dork-fest where most of the world is concerned. I, however, think my son is pretty cool and am so proud that he has found something he enjoys.
While he was away at the tournament, a friend of mine and her two daughters came over to make Holiday Cookies and paint our toes Christmasy, and have a girl day with my daughter and me. My son thinks my friend's older daughter is cute so he says,"Tell S, I am off at war." Never before had he mentioned being embarrassed of playing chess, but obviously he felt the need to impress and so he decided War was much cooler. While this was funny, it made me sad also. Do we really start trying to hide who we really are at such a young age? How can we stop this?

Me, I just practice yoga, it helps me remember (me).

I believe yoga can help us accept ourselves, as well as others, exactly as we are.

I believe. I believe. I believe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favorite Game to Play in 2009 (Church of Christ Driving Game)

Back in the day, to pass the time, we played Slug Bug while driving.

The rules were simple:

Use your fist to punch your opponent when you saw a VW Beetle! If you punch first, you win a point! The one with the most points wins...nothing (except maybe a less bruised body).



Equaled Hours O Fun!

Today, one can not find many bugs, so my husband and I thought it would be fun to make up a similar game using something we see a lot while we drive around these parts. We are in Texas, there are many Churches, so we chose Churches as our subject. We found we were hitting each other a little too frequently, so narrowed the topic to Churches of Christ only, as to honor Ahimsa(Non-harm).

While searching for Christmas gifts, I think I found the perfect gift for my husband, in honor of the game we love to play so much.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best Thing I Bought in 2009 (Space for Alone Time)

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them. ~ Liberty Hyde Bailey

I find peace surrounded by plants and trees. My entire life I have gravitated towards sun rooms and since the days of my 1st apartment, have wanted a sun room, a space for myself and all of my beloved plants. This year, we built one onto the house and I have just started to move into it. Even though it's only half way moved into, I feel comforted in this space. My sun room feels like a cabin with cedar on the walls, plants lining the windows, and wind chimes moving with the wind outside. This is my own personal heaven.

My in-laws have a sun room and every time I visit I curl up on the wicker love seat and take a nap. I don't typically nap, but the plants combined with the warmth of the sun somehow give me the permission to let go. During this year's Thanksgiving visit, my six year old daughter found her way into my in-laws sun room and curled up on the wicker sofa. Shortly after she was comfortable, my son walked in and sat down across from her, taking it all in. Suddenly my daughter yelled out,"This is MY alone time, you need to leave!"

This is EXACTLY how I feel when someone steps foot into my sun room. I will share it, however, even though I don't want to. I think my entire family feels the peace radiating from the plants and I am pretty certain the plants enjoy my daughter's singing, my son's silly jokes, and my husbands abundance of awesomeness, but I still must have my alone time. We all need alone time.

When I do have my sun room to myself, this is the perfect space for mindful meditation, beginning with a pranayama practice, followed by focusing on one plant or the sway of a wind chime outside of one of the windows. My favorite pranayama to practice before meditation is Nadhi Sodhana. The object I focus on depends on what catches my eye first and the length of the meditation depends on the circumstances of the day. My hope is that this gift I bought myself this year will turn into a more regular meditation practice from here on out. I'm pretty sure a regular meditation practice is going on my list of things to accomplish in 2010.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best of Review for 2009, Let Us Begin

Thanks to Gwen Bell I am going to take on the challenge of reviewing the past year. I'm late starting, naturally, but I can always catch up, or not. *I'm also going to relate every post to yoga in some way. Easy. Let us begin.

1. Best Trip of 2009

Since opening my yoga studio a little over two years ago, my family and I have not had the opportunity to travel much at all and when we do, we make it short and sweet. As I went through the boxes of memories in the past year, I realized that we only took two, one to Vegas and another two day trip to Houston to visit my familial units and meet up with my siblings. While I loved Vegas, my husband did not (mainly because he lost and I won), so the trip to Houston wins. This trip to Houston changed the course of my life.

The Impromptu Trip to Houston for the 4th of July was simply a blast. Understand, I do not care for Houston, especially in the sweltering heat and horrible humidity it offers in the dead of summer, but sometimes we sacrifice for the love of family. I can relate the heat of the environment of Houston in the summer to that of a *Bikram Yoga class. See, easy yoga reference.

The beautiful part of this trip is that I have always been up for spontaneous trips, no planning, just hitting the road. My husband, however, needs a plan, a solid plan. This was the 1st trip we ever took without a plan and my husband was calm the entire time, as if he had taken a nurturing, *restorative yoga class, or had enjoyed a few beers. I was so proud of him for going along with this last minute trip and so happy to revisit my spontaneous road trip roots. It felt like going home in more ways than one, a return the spontaneous life I had before adult responsibilities tamed me, while at the same time surrounded by the love of my family. This was the perfect recipe for Bliss!

Before this trip some hurtful things had been happening in my business life and I felt some "growing pains" coming to a head. This trip reminded me what was important. What's more important than Family? In any case, the freedom I felt on this trip released all of my anxiety and brought clarity that I could only ever find in brief moments on my *yoga mat or in the car or shower chanting my heart open.
This trip inspired me to purchase the print from The Story People by Brain Andreas:

"Everything changed the day he figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in his life."

This trip was the gateway from an old way of thinking, to the new, healthy and balanced way of being.