Friday, February 29, 2008

be bold

Dancing on the edge is the only place to be. --Trisha Brown

I've come to look at the last few years of my life as having certain themes. 2006 was about healing. 2007 was about finding joy. I think this year's theme is about being bold, doing something I've never done before, and hopefully, reaching new heights. And as the quote above says, you do have to "dance on the edge", to take risks, to hope, and to take leaps of faith.

And sometimes, to take leaps of faith means not only trusting in yourself, but also trusting others.

photo by Anna - Yoga Teacher Training, Cincinnati, OH

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

live an inspired life

I think it was Socrates who said that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” I would say, an uninspired life is not worth living.

Yoga inspires me to see the world through the eyes of peace and compassion.

People inspire me when they have passion for whatever they do…and they go ahead and do it.

Nature inspires me because it unfolds on its own terms, in its own time…because it tells me to appreciate the big picture as well as the little details...and because it reminds me that there are miracles everyday.

Art inspires me because of the way its sheer beauty and emotion leap out of the canvas, photograph, or medium.

Music inspires me because of the way it silences me, invites me to pause, and be in the moment.

Dance inspires me because of the raw, honest way it communicates.

Children inspire me because they remind me to be spontaneous, joyful, and present.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

let love be your guide

It's Sunday again, which means that the dreaded Monday is just a few hours away. Sunday is my designated study day, as I try/attempt/struggle to complete my class requirements and get ready for the week ahead. As you can tell, I'm just in the "attempting" mode, as I'm currently taking a break and obviously, blogging.

Being in my first year of a graduate program, I often find myself see-sawing from one extreme state to another. Some days I think, "What the heck did I get myself into?" and on other days, I can say with conviction that "this is where I'm supposed to be." It all depends....

And then I go back to a quote I scribbled on a Post-It note, which I have conveniently placed in my work area at home:

"Let love be your guide. When you love what you do, the means to do it will be revealed to you." -- Sharon Gannon & David Life, Jivamukti Yoga

I am reminded that yes, this IS where I'm supposed to be. I firmly believe in working with children and families, and I LOVE it. I love the fact that I wake up in the morning and I don't dread going to work. I love the fact that I look forward to seeing the children in my program move beyond their comfort zones to take their first wobbly step, say their first word, or learn to take turns with a peer.

I firmly believe in the fact that change starts with myself, and that if I want to influence changes in the system I have to make changes in myself... and for now that change means going back to school, doing research and the big D (dissertation), and hopefully, hopefully, getting published.

I love what I do. And I firmly believe that the means to do it will be revealed to me....

(as long as I keep reading the research, writing, writing, and writing some more.)

And I don't HAVE to dread Mondays.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

self-care day

Bathe naked by moonlight.

Marry yourself first. Promise to never leave you.

Buy yourself gorgeous flowers.

Practice extravagant lounging.

Invent your life over if it doesn’t feel juicy.

Cradle your wounded places like precious babies.

Be delicious.

Eat mangoes naked. Lick the juice off your arms.

Discover your own goodness.

Smile when you feel like it.

Shout: I’m here! I’m succulent and I’m loud!

Be rare, eccentric, and original.

Describe yourself as marvelous.

SARK, Succulent Wild Woman


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Breathing in, I am aware of the feeling of joy in myself.

Breathing out, I smile to the feeling of joy that is in myself.

Breathing in, I am aware of the feeling of happiness in myself.

Breathing out, I smile to the feeling of happiness that is in myself.

Breathing in, I am aware of the painful feeling in me.

Breathing out, I release the tension within that painful feeling in me.

(Unfortunately, I forgot where I read this. I found the scrap of paper where I jotted it down, but I didn't write the source. I think it was either from Yoga Journal or Body & Soul magazine.)

Meditation allows me to be as in-the-moment as possible... whether the moment carries joy or pain. As you sit and breathe, allow yourself to feel the way you feel. Even if it can sometimes be scary or unpleasant. Acknowledge it, accept it, then let it go... and allow some room in your mind and heart for peace and light to enter.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

daily dose of self-love

"You are succulent even if you don’t know it yet. Succulence is a process of aliveness and discovery, and it means living your life in full color, out to the edges, and in celebration of your radiant, eccentric self. Bodacious means: Splendid, Bold, and Remarkable. That’s you! Succulence includes all of you: parts that may feel lost, trapped, in hiding, or broken, as well as your most flamboyant, extravagant, incandescent parts. Everything in the middle is succulent too. Our ordinary, tender, jealous, procrastinating, perfectionistic selves."

-- SARK, The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent Wild Life

I never thought I would use the words "bodacious" and "succulent" to describe living. But trust SARK to try the unconventional!

In yoga, come face-to-face with yourself... use your practice to release judgment about your body, your frailties, your past mistakes. Experience your movement, whether or not you can touch your head to your shins in a seated forward bend or your heels to the floor in downward dog. Find joy and release in the hip stretch you feel in pigeon pose. Or the sense of balance and steadiness as you balance on your hands in crane pose... the strength in warrior 1... and the feeling of letting go, of surrender, in a passive, yin-style forward bend.

In yoga, celebrate yourself -- your "succulent, bodacious" self!

photo taken by Teeny, January 2006, Monterey, CA

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

"as we think, so we become."

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakeable. - The Dhammapada

I often begin a yoga practice by creating an intention. The power of the mind, intuition, and intention sometimes goes unharnessed.... and so I think, what intention do I want to set for the next hour, as I move, stretch, and breathe?

The options are many... whether it's to stretch and heal a certain body part that's stiff or sore... or to focus on the breath, releasing stress with every exhale... or to listen to your body and be kind to yourself... or to send out positive energy to someone you know (or don't know) who may need some peace or healing.

Whatever it is, I encourage you to be present with yourself in your yoga practice... there is nothing else happening right now except your breath, your movement, and the creation of positive, healing energy through your intention.

I know it makes a tremendous difference in my own practice!

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post-art show high!

I did it! I really did it!

Obviously, the fact that I did my first-ever art show still feels so surreal! But it was an amazing experience, and I feel incredibly grateful to everyone -- family, friends, and strangers alike -- for their support, interest, and positive energy. It was so thrilling to be in the midst of other photographers and artists, who generously share their ideas and inspire me through their passion for their craft.

It was an honor to share my love for photography and capturing "everyday miracles" with all of you. I'll keep you posted on future art shows!

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