Wednesday, January 25, 2012

wintery photos for a sunny day

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
- Anaïs Nin

Sunday, January 15, 2012

okay with okay

this is a photograph of my beautiful friend laura who just had a birthday. i think she is the bees knees and i am so happy to have gotten to have so many fabulous adventures with her kind spirit.

oh man, i thought 2012 was going to bring some quiet moments but those have yet to be seen. instead i've taken part in a fabulous thai workshop with jenn yarro and a powerful weekend intensive with jody rufty. just when i thought i could dig any deeper or absorb any more knowledge, then these powerful ladies come into my life. it seems that when i am open there is no end to inspiration.

every since the new year, which i toasted in with my people from forever at the black cat, i have felt this deep, unglamourous sense of okayness. it's persisted through these two weeks of a busy schedule, bouts of insecurity and impatience, and my current stuffy-headed cold. it feels like i don't have to be doing anything different than where i am or feeling anything other than where i am feeling and if it never leaves then i would be totally ok with that.

also, the little ditty below is going out to my quiet mind peeps as part of a new years inspiration series that our owner/teacher extrodinaire rita is coordinating. thought i'd share with you quieridos as well.

One of my favorite Buddhist sayings is "How you do anything is how you do everything." The idea of this is that the way we approach the smallest, seemingly-unimportant tasks of our life is a perfect way to look at our entire relationship to life itself. My yoga practice reinforces this by showing me that the way I approach my practice is the same way I am living my life.

On the positive side of this, I am really consistent in how I show up to my practice. Most weeks, I go to the same 2-3 classes and make sure that I get a little home practice in as well. In my life I also see this consistency. I've maintained amazing friendships for decades now and have many repeat clients in my professional life. I can see that I also take myself out of a pose when I feel too much strain or any kind of pain. I am happy to rest in child's pose until the moment when I am ready to rejoin the class. Similarly, I am good at giving myself rest when I see the tell-tale signs of stress in my life (racing thoughts, short breath, sensitive emotions). I've found that the retreat of a hot bath or an hour of my favorite Netflix series (I am watching Felicity again right now--it's just as amazing as it was when I was in high school) does wonders to relax me so I can interact with the world again.

However, I can also see how easy it is for me to slip into my ego while I am on the mat, just as in the rest of my life. I can have a hard time accepting adjustments from other instructors, thinking that because I am also a teacher, I really know best. As much as I don't like to admit it, this is also indicative of my personality. After working in two different non-profits, I saw how much I struggled with being managed. It forced me to make a big change and now I've worked for myself for more than three years. Although I've love my work and schedule, I can also look deeper and see that some of this independence could have been born out of a fear of being wrong and the shakiness of not knowing.

I've been aware of this for a while now which has helped me to be much better at acknowledging my triggers. I breathe through these vrittis (fluctuations of the mind) as they arise on the mat and then choose to lovingly accept the feedback in the spirit it was offered, because there are a lot of awesome teachers who know things that I don't and that is okay. As a result my practice continues to deepen and I can see this reverberate off the mat as well. Last year I planned a yoga retreat to Costa Rica with another friend which involved lots of collaboration and feedback and I found myself being loving the experience of connection and growth.

How does your practice relate to the rest of your life? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you come out of a pose as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable or push your self past exhaustion? If you look deeply, your whole life will be there. Decide what works for you and what you would like to change. Your mat will help you listen to the wonderful teacher within.

Monday, January 2, 2012

goodbye 2011!

this year has been...taking a photograph a day (except for three), turning 30, swimming in the pacific, "love in the time of cholera," tuesday nights with adam, dog photographs, collaboration, kitchari, teaching training, writing it down each month, getting julie and ricki back to dc, madmen, our first yoga retreat in costa rica, komi, learning lots of thai massage, "a visit from the goon squad," champagne cocktails, les mis, acupuncture on wednesday mornings, beirut, homeless yoga, baby photographs, weddings in st. louis, old town, dc, newport and leesburg, fela!, david becoming a lawyer, graeters in cincy, "white teeth," bill withers, make it or break it, teaching lawyers yoga, holidays at deep creek lake, restorative yoga, blue duck tavern, jivamukti, spa world, domku, games, "the gifts of imperfection" and brene brown's great ecourse, ayahuasca in nyc, "blood bones and butter," art shows and selling a painting to a dear friend, lotus uprising, meridian pint, the poetry of yoga, produce boxes, bonnie prince billy, baltimore with adam, sushi in a few different states, great documentaries, krishna das, sister cities, scm kids yoga, too many cookies and chai from teaism, the head and the heart, almost hiking old rag (this year!) and having another great hike, chrissy carter, lunches with my grandmother, jj gray, one year with adam at palena, "the help," avett brothers, good magazine, shiva rea,, kripalu, abraham in boca raton, manu in dc, yoga photographs, shawn's classes, lots of playtime with sarita, abstract painting and illustrated journels at the torpedo factory, wagtime turning ten, "autobiography of a yogi," julieta venegas, hot dc summer, mild dc winter, having an iphone, 205 reunion in st. louis, mark and rebecca's lovefest: double the oneness, the glut, helado negro, the yoga sutras, em's birthday trip to richmond, lucinda williams, halloween on hobart, christmas in florida, new years at the black cat, great friends, putting the cart before the horse

goals for 2012:

-see live music once a month
-learn to play the harmonium
-hike old rag
-read the satanic verses (recycled goal from last year) and the bhagavad gita
-only eat meat from sources i know and respect
-chart my cycle

my word this year is "music" not just literally but in that i want everything to sing. it was "play" last year and it turned out to be quite the fun ride (of course with a few bumps here and there). what's your word?

florida highlight: seeing jj gray play this song live