Friday, December 30, 2011

merry happy everything

from my new piece in GOOD magazine:

The No-Resolution Resolution: How to Really Be Happy in 2012

In mid-December, I celebrated my 30th birthday at a little Scandanavian restaurant in a quickly-changing part of DC. I was surrounded by great artwork, brightly colored vats of aquavit, and the people I loved most. Throughout the cocktails and the courses of heavy winter food, I kept looking around to marvel at all I have to appreciate in my life. Professionally, I am a decently busy photographer and yoga teacher. I just marked a year and half with my boyfriend (we’re an OKCupid success story). I have lovely friends and a great home and opportunities to travel. Most importantly, though, I feel good in my own skin and confident in my ability to handle the hard times.

It wasn’t always this way. Five years ago, I was going through some serious soul-searching. I was just back in the States after living abroad. Confused about what I wanted to do, I took a job at a dysfunctional non-profit, where I soon felt trapped. I had been single for a while and thought this meant something big about me. I tried to be myself, but each date I went on only confirmed how far I was from having the kind of relationship I wanted. There was nothing really wrong in my life, but nothing felt like it fit.

It took a lot of change to get to where I am now. I got a therapist and a life coach. I got serious about my yoga practice, sat for 10 days on an intense meditation retreat, and took ayahuasca with a shaman in the Peruvian Amazon. I took a lot of risks and was super honest about what I wanted—and what I was willing to do to get there. These days, I still feel fear, anger, anxiety, and shame. But I see these as temporary moods within the larger framework of a life I love.

I want this for us all. Although I am skeptical about most New Year's resolutions—my brother says we just use them to make ourselves feel better after overindulging in the holidays—I think now is as good a time as any to make the changes you’ve been thinking about. These are five ideas that have helped me on my quest to be happier.

1. Put the cart before the horse. The most important—and at times perhaps the most annoying—piece of advice that I’ve gotten is just to straight out be happier. We get so caught up in trying to look perfect, get promoted, be cool, find a partner. All of that stuff is awesome, but it's not going to feel good for long without a certain base of personal contentment. You’re just going to want more and more. If you really think about it, we seek things because we think we will feel better once we have them. So why not just feel better and then see what comes?

2. Dream big and challenge yourself. To me, making a "resolution" feels like a punishment and a chore. I’ve always preferred to think of these goals as "dreams," which stirs up the feeling of possibility for me. There is a special energy and real power that comes from talking about your dreams, even when they sound totally crazy. Around this time of year, I like to make a list of what I really want to see happen in my life. I may not get to everything on that list this year (or even in my lifetime), but at least I can understand what direction I want to be moving in. (If you are interested in learning more about the art of dreaming, check out the online class Mondo Beyondo.) If dreams don't appeal to you, think about your change as more of a challenge. In 2011 I challenged myself to take and post a photograph every day. Taking 365 pictures was fun at times and annoying at others, but in the end I learned that living an artistic life is about doing a little work every day, not just the occasional inspiration.

3. Act small. "Micromovements" is a term used by the inspirational author and dreaming advocate SARK. Twenty-eight years ago she was an unemployed artist in San Francisco who suffered from chronic procrastination. What changed her into the author of 16 bestselling books was learning how to take the first step. Her advice is that if your dream is to write a novel, then your first micromovement could be to turn on your computer. After that you can decide whether or not you want to keep going. If you do, from there you can open and name a Word document. If you decide to go further, then you can write a bad sentence and then maybe another will come. I’ve also heard this used as a way to motivate yourself to exercise: If you don’t feel like going for a run, just put on your shoes and see what happens. The key is to alleviate any pressure to do everything at once. Every project is made up of dozens of small steps that are all pretty doable.

4. Practice. “Practice and all is coming.” This is my favorite quote from Patabi Jois, the father of Ashtanga Yoga. His students—who were mostly Western—would come to him seeking help to escape their neuroses and destructive behavior. He would flash his beatific smile and tell them to go do their practice and everything would be ok. Of course, your practice doesn't have to be yoga. It can be biking or painting or anything that challenges and centers you. My boyfriend spends his weekends experimenting with new baking recipes, pushing himself to get the right consistency and trying again when his cakes fall. The simple act of baking makes him feel good. So what is your practice? Once you figure out what that thing is for you, make a point of doing it a few times a week and notice how you feel within the consistency. Bigger goals and dramatic changes are very real, but I’ve come to see that daily routines are really what sustain me. The best creative work often happens within the stability of practice.

5. Take refuge in yourself. The most incredible practice I’ve found is free-writing for 30 minutes each morning. I learned this from The Artist's Way (another great tool for tapping into your creative talents). I’ve done "morning pages" as consistently for over two years, and they have made such a big difference in my attitude about life. I grew up in a family where I was discouraged from talking too much about myself, especially when I was complaining. To me, there is no comfort that can compare to the privilege of being able to sit down for 30 minutes to write about whatever is going on inside. This writing practice has made me my own best friend. It has shown me that I have infinite amounts of strength and humor if I look for it, and that I deserve all of all of good things that happen to me once I make the decision to get out of my own way. So I just do it. I wake up and write until I feel clear. Then I close my notebook and make a bowl of oatmeal and enjoy my day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

last night i took a much-need break from holiday parties and watched "Pearl Jam 20" on netflix. my first love of music was pearl jam and my first star crush was eddie vedder (such raw emotion! such beautiful bone structure!) and not surprisingly, i was totally into this documentary. twenty years is a long time for a band from that era to stay around and i was inspired by how much they put into stay creative and fresh. hearing their older songs felt like reading the diary of my angsty 13-year-old self and i was happy that i was old enough to have felt like a part of that movement, because i think there was something pretty amazing going in the music and culture of that time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
-Carl Jung

30 gifts of my life...

1. to have received a human birth--so miraculous when i really think about it
2. i live in a country where i am free to believe and practice as i wish
3. my supportive family
4. my amazing, inspiring friends
5. my boo adam! he's the best
6. my career as a pet photographer and yoga instructor--who would have ever thought that was workable?
7. komi on tuesday! spaworld today! domku tonight! it's a dream celebration
8. the gift of my yoga practice and how it will always be there
9. my awesome house and the best roommates i could ask for
10. that's it's been a really good year for business and it feels good to not worry about money
11. that i always get to learn new things (like my 300 hour training this fall)
12. my health--such a good thing to be grateful for
13. all of my teachers (amma, sai baba, abraham, ayahuasca, pantajali, shawn, chrissy and so many more)
14. my neighborhood! i never thought i could feel so tide into a community living in a city
15. that i teach at the two coolest yoga studios in dc
16. my awesome yoga students--you all inspire me!
17. all of my travels--those that have passed and continued to come
18. the wisdom of ayurveda and how it really helps me to stay balanced
19. good new music (i love kevin courtney's new yoga tunes)
20. family in many forms (my host family in peru, my soul family all over the place)
21. there is always more! and it continues to be so good
22. awesome modes of transportation (my bike and the prius and my two lovely feet)
23. having time to cook great food from affordable, local produce
24. my great photography clients
25. my friends--they deserve another shout-out because i love them so much
26. this blog and the beauty of the internet and how much information, connection and inspiration it brings
27. pachamama, mother i love thee, thank you for having me here
28. being able to teach outreach yoga
29. the hard times of my life that have grounded me and show me what is possible
30. the biggest gift is that 30 feels so dang good! i wasn't sure what to expect but i feel more like myself than i ever have and so happy with all the celebrations that have occured. i've had some birthday neurosis in the past and little smidges of it in the past week but from the bottom of my heart i am just so happy to be alive today and celebrate how amazing these past 30 years have been and to get to dream about the next 30 and then the 30 after that...

Friday, December 9, 2011

dog days

a waiter from the wagtime 10th anniversary party

the most beautiful bounty of tat soi that i picked up at the glut

the icivics crew

drew and bill, the team behind fathom creative (where we held the wagtime party--more on thats soon) and the owners of a very cute rescue named mia

wow, it's been so long since i've sat down to write a real post. i've missed it! i've had some thoughts running through my head about how to celebrate exactly where you are--even if where you are is messy and neurotic and the opposite of where you think you need to be. i believe that is where the really good growth and human connection can happen.

yet there isn't time to write all those thoughts down as i had hoped. i'll let them keep percolating and see when the perfect quiet hour to write arrives across the landscape. for now though, i am well and busy and marveling at just how productive i can be when i need to be. i guess that is why being self-employed works so well for me.

until then, here are a few things i have been enjoying these days: is a great ayurveda blog that makes it super accessible for us modern yogis. she has inspired me to be one of those people who wakes up before sunrise to meditate and i'm surprised by how much i like it.

"comfortable with uncertainty" the book of short essays by uber-wise pema chodron. it's the most real and accesible form of any spiritual philosophy that i have come across. i've been reading them in my classes this week and oh my how they have resonated.

alt-latino's best of 2011 breakdown podcast. they always turn me on to some cool new work. my favorite is the new album from helado negro, ecuador's electronica version of bon iver.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

relax into it

i love, love how calm and festive dc gets right before a holiday. even a little trip to a hectic safeway on my way home from teaching reminded me that we are all in the same boat of wanting to celebrate a big happy thanksgiving. to me, it's the best holiday. it's centered around food, gratitude, and being with people you care about. while the later winter holidays always seem a bit divisive and crazymaking, thanksgiving is a uniter, an opportunity to get excited about the best parts of our culture even when when times seem tough.

it's also a super good time to reflect on what is working well in life! i've heard someone talk about worrying as asking for something you don't want. i think a gratitude practice is the opposite of that--asking for seconds on the things that make you happy. in an O magazine that came out not too long ago, oprah wrote about the importance of gratitude. she said she used to journal about her weight and men and when she realized could just as easily write about what she was grateful for it transformed everything.

i was thinking in the shower this morning (where i get most of my great connections) about how love and gratitude are really the same thing. we are fed and sustained by that which we value and which values us and the most we can ever give another is our total appreciation. as lovely as thanksgiving is, this time of year of being around family can be hard or hectic for some of us. my theory is that it's because we all want love so much and then show up to get it and get kinda vulnerable feeling and scared and we cover it up through being really busy or aloof or talking to me or whatever-your-family-members do to annoy you. i received some good advice a while back that as a yogi, i have to go first in what i offer out to the world. so on this fourth thursday of november, i offer the idea of relaxing into love and gratitude--even when it's really hard, because it's what we are all truly searching for and so so worth the effort.

i am grateful to and for you all! happy t-day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

two things that make me laugh...

are this picture of me and adam and this piece about guys at yoga.

so much good stuff is happening and i can't wait for the thanksgiving break for life to slow down so i can write it all down. in the meantime, enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

fist vs palm

moby came to dc! he had this totally calm, quiet vibe about him.

lovely tricia at dean's backyard soiree

steve and jill got married with baxter by their side

Trust is necessary, because we can only let things happen if we believe that things will work out all right, that events and circumstances and things and situations come from a source that wants our good. We can open our hands and receive these things without the nagging fear that they are traps. The difference between this inner openness and a kind of nervous choosiness is the difference between an open hand and a clenched fist.
- David Steindl-Rast

four years ago, i had my tarot cards read. i didn't plan to do it but i was tired for a hard day at work (this was when i was figuring out that i really shouldn't be working in an office) and i had a half hour to kill before meeting a friend for dinner. i wandered into a bookstore and before i could stop myself, i was sitting across from a normal-looking lady shuffling a deck of cards. she started flipping them over and told me in no uncertain terms that i was clinging. i asked her what that meant and she had me make a fist with my hand. she told me that i was afraid of someone taking something from me so i was keeping it all closed up inside. as a result, i wasn't allowing anyone to get close to me or the good that wanted to come my way. my practice, as she explained it, was to keep my palm open, allowing things to come and go, allowing people to get to know me. i spent the rest of the night opening and closing my palm, trying to figure out if what she said had any real meaning.

as people who read this blog know, a lot has happened in these past four years. i started my own business, grounded my yoga practice, found incredible teachers and traveled around the world and in myself to learn more about how to live an more open, joyful life. for the most part it's worked beautifully. i can honestly say that i really enjoy my life and feel incredibly blessed by how many great people and opportunities come into my experience. yet there are still times i look down and find that i am gripping my palms so tightly my knuckles are turning white.

in yogic terms, we call this aparigraha. it essentially translates to non-hoarding and it usually used when referring to material possessions and i think it hits on the nerve of fear. from my experience, it seems like i least generous when i don't feel like i have enough. it's in my most fearful times that i start getting into a survivor mentality, trying to figure out how long that money i have saved will last if the shit really hits the fan.

and it also feels like a fear of my giving not be reciprocated. i learn this again and again living communally and sharing food. there are days when i feel like i am cooking and sharing way more than i receive. i'll get worked up and then have to laugh at myself the next week when i am way too busy too cook and am so grateful to eat what my roommates have cooked for dinner. again, it's my mind playing tricks on me.

i think this is all really understandable and probably has been essentially to my evolutionary successes, yet the times i have been brave enough to experiment with sharing what i have, i am always rewarded in some way. last week i was talking about the reluctance in letting go of my painting (i sold it at the art show!) and one of the other artists told me that his painting teacher always told him that he should make his work about getting as many paintings out into the world as possible. this artist had just finished a show where he had sold half of his work.

yet deeper than material possessions (although i think the material and the spiritual always connect), lately i've also been thinking about aparigraha in terms of hoarding our good emotions around each other. four years ago, i think what my card reader was referring to was my fear of sharing myself, my true joyful self, with the people around me. it was during a time when i wasn't sure that what was going on inside of me was worth sharing and as much as i didn't like feeling shy and withdrawn, i think there was a big element of self-protection in that. the problem with that is that it set up a really negative cycle. because i wasn't sharing who i was, i wasn't able to really connect with people around me and feel their positive emotions and because i couldn't connect, i even more wanted to hide my good stuff away.

the above quote really hits it for me. we have to trust enough in the complete cycle of giving and receiving in order to be brave enough to share something that feels really scary or vulnerable. once our good comes, we also have to trust enough it in to not sabotage it and actually enjoy what we are giving. it's not a perfect process and i believe that we need to start with small steps around people we care about us. trust is like a muscle, we need to use it continually to keep it strong.

once it gets going, it's so good. to me there is nothing more exciting than to feel like i am totally in the flow of my own life, giving all i have and receiving more than i ever thought possible. it's so good that when i am white-knuckled afraid and clinging that i again and again come back to my belief in the goodness i deserve and that next step toward letting go.

Monday, October 17, 2011

occupy everywhere

lots of people in a little space!

at the park with justin and sarita. its always happy happiness with them.


sarita gets down on the subway.

Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed, discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: "For my sake was the world created." But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: "I am but dust and ashes." - Rabbi Simcha Bunim

one lesson i've learned about myself is that i tend to care most about the people i know and the places i have seen firsthand. for example, i am always interested in what is going on in peru and more interested in their political shenanigans than i am my own country's sometimes. i think one of the main reasons that i went to isreal in 2008 was that i wanted to understand more what i kept hearing about on the news. after two weeks there i had much more how clarity about how small that country is and how deeply those conflicts run between the people that inhabit it.

so i was excited to realize that i could check out the occupy wall street protests when i was in nyc a few weekends ago. i ventured out with amanda (one of my best peace corps friends who always puts me up on her comfy brooklyn couch when i am in town) to a demonstration in washington square park on a lovely saturday afternoon. it was well-organized, full of people who seemed happy to repeat the short snippets that the speakers were doling out in the human microphone style. after the official park they encouraged us to talk to the people around us about our feelings and opened up the stage for soapboxing. we hung around for an hour listening to people talk about everything from high rent prices in nyc and to how we should just stop paying back our personal debt to make the banks forgive it all.

on sunday we went down to liberty plaza and saw what i had been hearing about on the news. i had been expecting something big and dramatic but in that moment the vibe was really chill. people were laying everyone on the ground, playing guitar, holding signs, drumming, meditating, serving themselves from the ample food line (the revolution will be catered!). tourists milled around taking pictures (me included) of the mass of the mostly younger generation who was occupying the space.

i did not get to spend enough time there to have a real solid view of it, but i will say that it didn't, and still hasn't, caught me as my movement. i really do agree with a lot of what they are saying. there is a definite inequality of power and resources that exists in this world and effects everything about how most of the world lives. i agree that many people on wall street got greedy when they could not forsee their good fortune ever changing and how there has never been real retribution for their actions. it seems really clear that a lot of our country is struggling to stay afloat these days and that it's really hard work.

yet the more i learn about life, the more that i see that our thriving is an individual choice that each of us needs to make. i recognize that most times when i am being the victim, it's because i am not taking responsibility for something that i can actually change. the occupy wall street movement is saying that the higher ups have screwed up and that it's affecting our lives. it's an understandable argument--we are watching the sinking ship of our economy while watching our government childishly muck around--yet i'm not sure how helpful it is to shifting our country to a better place. to me, it feels like being in the energy of the problem instead of the energy of the solution. i kept wanting to hear something that sounded like hope or clarity or leadership or any of the things that would inspire some kind of real change.

while i was there, i was also thinking about last year's march for sanity. i think it was similarly aimless in its goals yet once i arrived on the mall, i immediately felt at home in the midst of the other the hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to make fun of our political and media systems. we came out in masses to stand up and show the world that a lot of our country is well-adjusted and ready to compromise and happy to be americans. it was revolutionary to me in that we weren't fighting against anything--just coming together in the spirit of having a good time and showing the world america's best face.

who knows, maybe i am wrong on this. maybe occupy wall street will grow even bigger and it will spark of positive change for generations to come and i will come to feel a part of the movement. i see a lot of potential for our country so i truly hope so and if so, i will be happy to have seen it from it's beginnings.


also, a few exciting things that i want to share:

--i am leading an intro to thai massage workshop at quiet mind yoga this sunday from 2-4pm. it's going to be an awesome session where you will learn how to give (and receive!) a basic thai massage. you can sign up here and let me know if you have any questions.

--if you have more time this weekend then you should stop by the gooDBuddy gallery in my neighborhood. our bloomingdale artist exhibit is being left up one more week and it's worth a view. it exceeded all of my expectations of what a neighborhood art show could be and came together in a really diverse yet cohesive showing.

--and i just found out that "the lovers manifesto" is going to be part of the first volume of the poetry of yoga, which was organized and edited by the awesome teacher and activist, hawah with a forward by shiva rea. it'll be released on 11.11.11 and contains work by sharron gannon, chuck miller, krishna das, tias little and i feel so honored to be able to share some page space with all them.

--as part of my 300 hour training, my lovely mentor shawn parrell asked everyone in our group to take on a new practice. mine has been abhyanga, ayurvedic oil massage. i am amazing by how much i have been enjoying and how it's helped me to feel so much more grounded as we transition to drier, colder weather in dc.

--in the past two weeks, i saw two movies at e street that i loved. happy happy is noweigan and quirky and oddly heart-warming. thundersoul is a great big documentary that honors what music can do to lift us up. i saw this preview too and can't wait.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

a few beautiful faces from "double the oneness"

i don't think words can do mark and rebecca's wedding justice so i am happy that had the ability to capture a few images. they called it "double the oneness" and it was a lovefest, a masquerade ball, a live music mecca, a salsa throwdown, a performance art piece, a tribute to the ancestors (i loved the ancestral fire they lit during their ceremony), a feast the mouths and eyes and the hearts of the lovers of the universe. i have known mark and rebecca for a long time and we have navigated and celebrated many incredible experiences together but nothing felt quite so complete as their wedding. it was my true honor to be there and i felt my heart grow to a new size in witness of their love and union.

speaking of weddings, i love this piece on the perfect thing to say to the bride and groom that my friend jen sent me.

also, i just heard about this book project to end malaria. one of my favorite authors and speakers, brene brown, is one of the contributors. basically it's a collection of essays from 62 prolific thinkers and teachers talking about how to make your work great. the book cost $25, $20 of which goes to the cause of buying a mosquito net for a family in africa. i just bought my book because it's easy and well-organized and for a great cause, which is how i believe giving should work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

my bonnie

i saw him on sunday night at the birchmere and it was the perfect show. i bought a ticket for myself months ago because since college i've been fascinating by his strange persona and needed to see it live. but then the actual night came--it was the first cold one of fall--and i was exhausted from teacher training and eager to see adam had just gotten back from hawaii. after a sweet reunion dinner with him, i was ready to stay in my sweats all night. luckily his roommate megan had also bought a ticket so we roused each other and left dc a half hour after the show started. we got there just as bonnie went on and managed to find nice seats (i love sit down venues). i ordered a flying dog and settled into listening to bonnie and his band and their amazing melodies and laughed again and again his spastic dancing movements. after the show we made a beeline for the door, drove home through the darkness and i was excited for fall.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

shana tova!

this painting and two photographs are going to be in an art show in bloomingdale in october! more details to follow...

happy rosh hashanah! i am not jewish yet love their holidays because they always seem so practical and contemplative and involve yummy baked goods. i was highly inspired this morning by a message in gwyneth paltrow's newsletter on the practices of rosh hashanah by michael berg:

"There are many tools that we can use during the two days of Rosh Hashanah but there are two important connections that we can all make. The first is to take time during these two days and think about our past year, the good, the better, and the not so good. Then ask yourself, “What do I want to change from last year?”, “what do I want to make better?” Also, “what blessings do we want to draw for ourselves and our family in the next year?” The supernal gates open up during these two days and by opening ourselves up to the flow of light and energy from above we can receive endless blessings.

The second important connection is how we think and behave during Rosh Hashanah. If we desire to connect to the supernal energy that is revealed we should behave like the supernal light. We should act in only ways of sharing, forgiveness and care. No anger, no doubt, no jealousy, no sadness, at least for these two days. How we are during these two days will influence the next 363."

that is such an awesome practice and i am willing to give it a try. it's so easy to get stuck in our habits of feeling upset that we forget what it feels like to feel really good. i have been living on stress for a while and when a day opened up for me yesterday (thank you rain!), i knew that i needed the release that only spaworld can give me. after five hours, a foot massage, a nap, and getting almost all my yoga training reading done, i left feeling like a new person and actually had the best time being stuck in traffic on the way home--for real. as many times as i forget, i can remember how dang important self-care is to feeling good and being the person i want to be. so it's an order--do something nice and decadent for yourself today. think about it as sewing the seed of what you want to see in this next year.

oh and i keep forgetting to post this, but i wanted to share the (belated) launch of the dcHOME Project. i met alex through lovely lizzy a few months ago. he's a lawyer by day but a photographer by heart. over this past year he's been organizing other dc photographers together to share and document their ideas of home through a grant from the dc commission on the arts and humanities. we work in groups of three with alex in all kinds of locations and the results are great. we photographed in georgetown and at my home in bloomingdale and during these two days i really got to know alex and an inspiring lady named mia who teaches art in virginia prisons. it helped me to focus on the small to tell the bigger stories of who we are and to learn that those stories are always there, all we have to do is starting asking and listening.

Friday, September 23, 2011


julie and lucy assisting

all this traveling around has left a lot of photographs in need of editing and posting. i get to it all eventually, but i'm not sure if i totally believe my own explanation that photographs get better with time and anticipation. still, these yoga and houndstooth photography promo shots definitely need to be posted because stacey veath did such a great job taking them. i mean, i really don't like getting my picture taken, so much so that i was really nervous before the shoot. luckily i had my best friend julie, julie's adorable dog lucy and stacey to be my entourage at the arboretum. the shoot ended up being really fun and i love the photos. it's really helpful for me to see what happens on the other side of the camera. i come across a lot of people who are like me about not wanting to be photograph and nothing makes me happier than taking a picture of them that they like. i don't know exactly what happens energetically during a photo shoot, but it does feel kinda big to me in that we have to be pretty vulnerable to let ourselves be seen and the conditions have to be right to do that well.

it's great to look at these pictures now as i am just finishing up healing from a bike accident two weeks ago. i have ridden my bike all over this city without fear for two years now, and then the accident happened so suddenly. the details were that i was late to teach a class so i was riding extra fast and was going straight through an intersection. the driver didn't see me, made a left turn and i didn't have enough time to stop. i crashed in her passenger side door and bounced back, landing on my lower back. it was a dramatic ordeal with lots of people standing around me and firemen and an ambulance. i had a good amount of time to lay on the street and wait for everyone to get organized and in those moments i had a pretty intense yoga practice of just trying to stay in the moment. my back was hurting pretty bad so my mind starting telling me that i would never be able to have a real yoga practice again, i wouldn't teach again, etc. every time i went there i would start crying which was my indicator to pull myself back to what i knew to be true in the moment--i was just having pain in my back.

two hours and an xray later, the doctors told me that i was going to be fine with just pain and bruises. now two weeks later, i am barely feeling it, thanks to advil, arnica gel and lots of rest. it's been a good evaluation time for me to see how busy i am and how crazy this can make me. it was a big reminded for me to slow down and pay attention. techinically, it wasn't my fault, but this yogic path i walk demands me to take responsibility for everything that is going on in my life. i know that if i had been more aware and rushing less, i probably could have avoided it. i'm lucky to have learned this lesson in such a, relatively, gentle way.

ah, so much good stuff has been happening of late. i could write many but i have to teach soon and in the spirit of slowing down in my travels, here are the three i've been thinking about the most of late:

--i saw fela on tuesday at the shakespeare theater. it was an amazing political, interactive, musical experience. i highly recommend it.

--i wrote this piece on the peace corps for the 50th anniversary this weekend and my friend ann published it in her magazine, GOOD

--my friends mark and rebecca were married last weekend in st. louis. it was a magical night--the wedding had a masquerade ball theme and involved an ancestral fire and aerial silks performance. pictures are coming soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

sneak peak at allison and david's wedding

here are a few pictures from allison and david's amazing, beautiful wedding in jamestown, rhode island over labor day weekend. i've known allison and david since moving back to dc, but i feel like i really got to know them this weekend. the couple--who has been together for 15 years--wanted their wedding to be natural, surrounded by the people they love the most. so they packed a beautiful old estate home with their nearest and dearest and proceeded to have the most fun, loving wedding i've seen in a while. as always, i felt so honored to share in the festivities and so happy with the moments i was able to capture. honestly, it wasn't too hard with this lovely crew.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

first costa rica photos

here are my photos of the day from costa rica. how do i start writing about this? i can't yet except to say that it was amazing and exceeded all of my expectations. a lot happened, outside and in and i am hungry to reflect on that here but first i will go to rhode island this weekend to photograph allison and davids wedding, which i am so excited about. life, in all its luscious, imperfect glory, has given me some incredible experiences of late and all i can say is thank you thank you thank you...