Friday, July 29, 2011

cupcake heaven.

i was making cupcakes for my friend julie's birthday yesterday and i remembered that i never posted pictures of the triple salted caramel cupcakes that i made for adam's birthday in june. the recipe is process-intensive and so-very-not-lite, but i knew the way to properly celebrated my boo's birthday was to satisfy both his sweet and salty tooth. actually when we were first corresponding over the internet (yes, we are an okcupid success story), we quickly found out we have a love for all things sweet and salty, especially the amazing sweet and salty cookies at teaism. so when we decided to meet on a steamy friday afternoon last june, teaism was naturally the choice. cookies turned to a walk in the park and throwing a boomerang and sushi and adam's homemade pumpkin bread (he's an incredible baker too) and yoga classes and many dates and trips and cookies shared since. we learned quickly in our relationship that something sweet goes a long way to soothe the harder parts of life.

a few things i am excited about right now...

i have a painting and a photograph that are hanging in a show called "artists off rhode island" at the art enables gallery. it's a cool space with weird hours (9-4pm m-f) but if you are going down rhode island then stop in and check it out.

our trip to costa rica is almost full! the elation of each sign up has been great and the full excitement is really setting in.

taking adorable photos of ilan and nancy at walter pierce park this morning and learning so much from the awesome photography stacey veath.

the new thai crossing. i went there last night to celebrate julie's birthday and i was so surprised to find the upstairs open a huge, delicious set menu for $30 a person. and it's still byob.

finally finishing my biggest-guilty-pleasure-of-all-time show and then hearing that mad men is available to watch instantly on netflix.

signing up for the 300-hour yogaworks teacher training at qm this fall. the timing and the people involved could not be better on this.

that's all for now. have a lovely weekend and stay cool!

Monday, July 25, 2011

alicia at meridian hill park.

so if you read this blog, you know i do a few different things which sometimes come together, i mean, i never thought it would be possible to join yoga with pets but they have recently come out with doga (dogs +yoga) classes. i have no plans soon to teach doga classes, but i am happy to combine photograph other lovely yoga instructors. the beauty of their practices--as demonstrated here by yoga district's alicia--make our backdrops come alive and really lovely photos ensue.

midwest--adorable baby--zoo animal--dog--belly--family pictures will follow shortly!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

sarita and gracy playtime.


handstands are way easier when you have a buddy!

these pictures were taken at sheep's meadow in central park, while i was in nyc in june. sarita and i have known each other since we were 15 years old and at unity church's youth conference in kansas city. even though she lived in arizona and i lived in dc, we managed to keep in touch because those kinds of teenage connection bonds are awful strong and needed during those years. after graduating we lost touch for a while but i heard she was in santa cruz and la, dancing and doing yoga and loving life.

then sarita moved to new york and our indispensable friend justin reconnected us in our common passion of getting our stretch and breath on. when at the beginning of the year sarita asked me if i would like to co-lead yoga and thai massage retreat in costa rica this august, i said, "um, hell yes." it was one of those leap before looking moments where my heart answered before my head could make a good argument against it. after committing to her, i have definitely had a few moments when i doubted whether we could make this work. as someone who is very hesitant about any kind of hard sell, especially regarding yoga, these past few months of retreat marketing have been such an experience of living my yoga. i've had to work really hard to spread the word as much as i can while completely releasing the results of having anyone say "yes." it's that same balance of effort and release that i am always trying to cultivate in my asana practice and just as in my yoga practice, it is hard. the trick, as patanjali advises us in the yoga sutras, is full faith in our success, no matter how hairy it may seem in the moment. for this, i have to thank the enthusiasm of sarita, who, just with her voice, makes me believe that anything is possible.

but this full faith stuff really does work. our sign-ups trickled in at first and but we held steady and they kept coming in. i understand now that the universe just likes to take her time assembling the perfect group of people for such a lovely affair. now we are a month away and i am happy to report that we've got a great group of people together to relax and learn in paradise. and we still have a few more openings if anyone is still looking for a fabulous way to close out their summer. you can find more information here and see pictures of anamaya, the resort center, right here. thank you to everyone for all their supporting in making this happen!

i am just back from a 10-day trip to the midwest (simple, relaxing, awesome) and i am working on posting some of the photos from the trip. in the meantime, i'll leave you all with this quote about perfectionism. i have been saving a while for the perfect post but i think that it applies to all of us on a daily basis (i know i've needed it already a couple of times today).

"I must learn to love the fool in me-the one who feels too much, talks too much,takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and break promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against the utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility and dignity but for my fool”
-Theodore I.Rubin MD

Saturday, July 2, 2011

the best we can.

at the folklife festival.

if you live in dc, i highly recommend checking out the folklife festival down on the mall. they are featuring peace corps this year and as part of the celebration, peace corps peru flew in four artesans from peru to display their amazing weaving and sculpting skills. i got to be there on monday for their first day. three of the ladies have never left peru before and two of them come from very traditional mountain communities. although i had never met them before, i felt like they were women from my peace corps town. they are all beautiful, with great smiles, and totally shy. but i mean, who wouldn't be shy about going to a totally foreign culture and displaying something very close to your heart while people take pictures and talk in a language you can't understand? as people starting coming by the booth, one of the ladies was noticeably tense. i asked her if she was ok and she said that she felt embarrassed that she was in such a "developed" country while her own culture was so "undeveloped." i heard that all the time in peru but this time i could make a better argument of why peruvians should be proud of their culture. i told her that we had lost a lot of our traditional culture so we now have to find people who maintain theirs and fly them to the states so we can see them. this got her to smile a little bit and by the time i left in the afternoon she was more relaxed. she said she really could see that people were respectful and excited to see her in action.

but oh man, it's crazy brave to put yourself out there like that. even me and all of my peace corps friends, who felt totally prepared to live in another culture, went through a lot of nervousness and embarassment and frustration in order to live there. i once heard the peace corps described as a "really good book that i would never want to read again" and that feels true to me (although i still dream of a second service later on in life). i look back and remember that some days-especially during the afternoons of the rainy season--all i could do was set those little baby goals of just walking out my front door for five minutes so i wouldn't be a shut-in for an entire day.

at the time, i felt pathetic that all i could manage was a few breaths of fresh air in the midst of a groggy, food-comaed afternoon. but looking back now, i feel kinda proud that i was able to take back control in some small, concrete way. it's these little life-coping skills that are the real gift of living abroad, i think. i used them all the time when i returned and was thrown into being a first-time grantswriter with almost no support. i would freak out if i had to think about the entire proposal, but i could handle just rewriting the one paragraph about our policies on disabled students. i would do enough of that and soon the grant would be done and then another and then another (until i had to quit six months later but that is another interesting story..)

i still do it all the time. my ideal version of myself takes her camera everywhere and keeps beautiful illustrated journals and can wax poetic about the alignment and benefits of each yoga pose. but the reality is that most of my photo of the days come from my iphone and i have filled exactly two pages of the new watercolor journal i bought a month ago and i say incredibly vague things like "this restorative pose makes you relax" (duh) or "keep your back leg strong."

but it's enough enough enough enough enough. it's a life and a pretty good life at that. after my knowing my friend lara for over five years, she shyly played and sang a beautiful version of david bowie's "let's dance" for me on her guitar. i've never heard her play again or even talk about her guitar. it was an incredible moment and it didn't need to be anymore than that. if we make ourselves believe that we have to be superhuman in our talents, then we crash fast and try to forget that we even wanted to do that. if we let ourselves make marks and sing songs and build steam while disregarding any image that comes from these acts, then we get into the beauty of creation itself which i believe is so much bigger than any of us. in our culture that is obsessed with being recognized for our greatness, we forget that we all great in our own messy, quiet ways and that sometimes it takes a little time for things to fully develop or be understood or praised.

so today i stand in support of just showing up and doing the best you can and knowing that each little act of creation, whether or not it's perfect, it is so completely needed