Category Archives: Friendship

Awareness and awakenings on the mat

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Oh my goodness!!!!! A friend (and yoga teacher) of mine hugged me today and said, ‘Congratulations, yoga teacher’…..and she was talking to me!!! I can’t believe she said that out loud!

“You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis

It’s enlightening how goals and dreams change along the way. If you asked me years ago if I was ever going to want to be a yoga instructor I would have looked at you as if you were nuts – fast forward three weeks and I’ve finished a 200-hour yoga teacher training course at my home studio. WHAT? I know; I feel the very same way!

Yoga One San Diego Summer Intensive Teacher Training Class 2018

Nine months ago we made the decision to move back to NY for a while. When Dad suddenly passed away a month later it felt as if the ground crumbled beneath my feet. Couple that with four blizzards when we were in NY and upon leaving, the husband’s leg break…needless to say, I never thought the sunlight would shine super bright again. It was a few weeks after we finally made it back to San Diego, were through the husband’s surgery and settled in an apartment that I made my way back to the studio. My friendly instructors gave me the most giant hugs and dried my tears as they regularly flowed in those first few classes. These people were there through it all.

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” – Rumi

I hemmed and hawed over taking this three-week course for months on end. ‘Why should I, why shouldn’t I’ knocked around like ping pong balls back and forth in my brain and out of my mouth. My teachers may have known that it was something that would be great for me – but I didn’t. And now, a few weeks shy of my birthday, it’s finished. I heard tale of life-changing experience, soul-cracking open days and both body and perspective changing weeks – but I never expected this.

For those who have watched the journey – it’s been ongoing for a while. Perhaps it began the day I met a boy (now husband) in New Zealand, or the day we left for a one year around the world honeymoon, or when we were living in Australia, or when we returned, or when I left teaching in NY, or on other international adventures or when we finally set foot on California terra firma or many years ago – I don’t know, but I sure am happy to be on it.

Yoga One Summer Intensive Teacher Training Class 2018

There’s a lot to digest after these full three weeks. Walking home from class on Sunday night, the flood of emotions rolled in, the processing started and smidgeons of yogic wisdom began to seep into my every thought. Amidst the lessons on mindfulness and meditation, adjustments and asanas (poses), there was truth, clarity, light and insight that cracked through the surface and added thought into how to continue the journey. Sure, there were heaps of achy muscles, tired joints and days that started and ended in yoga pants – but in between – there was magic. People were growing, changing, and stretching (I think I might have even gotten a bit taller). Amy’s depiction of a curious mind, intrigued spirit and soul filled with love and light made more of an impact than I think she’ll ever know.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – 14th Dalai Lama

It’s been a few days now and I imagine it will take far longer than that to absorb all that I learned. Yoga (otherwise known as union or oneness) has more than made a dent in my world. Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, the sunlight crept back in, the world kept turning and people (both from long ago and five minutes ago) who truly feel like sunlight made their way through the exterior and into my heart. Although I know it will never truly be the same again, nine months later I feel lighter, happier, more grounded and more like me than I have in a long, long while (I think Dad would like that). I’m so excited to continue on this journey. Namaste.

Connections in movement and mindfulness – an interview with a passionate performance artist

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My best friend in high school wanted to be a dancer. I remember countless nights practicing with friends as she choreographed our performance for the Senior Show. When she majored in modern dance in college, I went to visit her and see all of her years of work come to fruition. This week it seems another part of life has come full circle. Read the rest of this entry

14 year old wisdom

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“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The other day I spoke to my favorite 14-year old. In perfect teenage fashion, she was lounging in her room, babysitting her brother and detailing her excitement for the end of the school year. We did social studies homework, found frustration with end of school year insanity, dreamed about travel and talked of the utter joy she gets from her passion for horses. And then, unknowingly, she paid me the best compliment ever. She called me ‘earthy’ and seemed to light up at the thought of taking time out of the day to go to yoga and find an ease. She has no idea how big my heart smiled at that very instant. Read the rest of this entry

February findings

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My first year teaching was nearly twenty years ago. That first February break, I went on a trip to Jamaica. I remember returning from that journey rested, rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. Perhaps it was the much needed February infusion of vitamin D into my sun deprived skin. Perhaps it was a week away with a girlfriend complete with waterfalls, giggles and afternoons on the sand. Perhaps it was the anticipation of travel that although coupled with sunburn and a funky reaction to some new fangled sunscreen those positive endorphins flowed and happy hormones increased. Whichever way you looked at it, that February trip was certainly something.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” – Mae West Read the rest of this entry

Hugs and a serotonin shift

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The world has been shrinking due to the fabulous power of things like travel and the Internet. It seems only yesterday when snail mail was the focus and cell phones were things you saved for emergencies. Today snail mail is held for IRS notifications and the once in a blue moon actual birthday card and most of life’s communications are made from the tiny computers in the palm of our hands. If you’ve ever been to Disneyworld® and watched the Carousel of Progress go from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder to that of George Jetson, it’s easy to understand how nutty it is that I can tap a button while at the beach in San Diego, California and can video conference with my godson while he’s on the rugby field in Hong Kong. While technology broadens our global relationships, there’s still a feeling of separate in a world of connection. Read the rest of this entry

New year, new opportunities

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We’ve turned the page on the calendar, made it to 2017, managed amidst the food frenzy of December and have gotten to the next rotation of the earth around the sun. How do you feel? Amidst the barrage of sale emails, cleanse products, impending inauguration, weight loss programs, gym freebies and resolution insanity – we’re here. With one foot in front of the other – we’ve made it to January…now what? Read the rest of this entry

January to December to January

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2016 is ending. Through what seemed like a constant supply of gut punches and salt-filled tears, the world said goodbye to more cultural icons than we can count, sat stunned in the wake of political insanity and stood gobsmacked as the world seemingly continued to fall apart around us all. Being a global citizen isn’t always easy. Finding your smile isn’t always easy. The year ticks away from season to season and somehow turning the pages or clicking ‘next’ on our calendars is meant to change things. But there was good, there always is, it only often gets overshadowed by the surrounding and much louder ick. Syrian children are fighting for their lives. Refugees are trudging through awful to wonder if they’ll gain entry somewhere with the promise of a welcoming community and better life. There is a homeless epidemic. I got a yoga wheel for the holidays and promptly busted a rib. I found a new yoga teacher I liked, her class is getting cancelled. I voted for the first time in California and wound up in the fetal position on the couch the next morning. Ugh. The universe feels like it’s spinning out of control…but, is that really the whole story? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Read the rest of this entry

Journey, change…forward

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Do you know if you’re on a path? Have you felt stuck, in search of a new goal, or have you realized that there’s something else you can do or learn in this world? I’m not sure how much stock I ever put in all of this stuff. For years, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t need a path, journey or any of those what I once thought were ‘life coach moments’, I was living, enjoying, being – that was enough. I can’t tell you if there was a specific ‘aha’ moment or that I read this thing on @Pinterest or saw it on @Oprah® that seemed to click, but somehow, this mindset has entered my existence and it seems it’s here to stay.

“No matter how hard the past…you can always begin again” – Buddha Read the rest of this entry

If those yearbooks could talk…

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I wonder what they'd say...thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Remember them? Remember the agony of choosing the appropriate quote to go under your senior photo in that high school yearbook? I recall hours of searching movie lines, lyrics and quotes to find one that I thought worked best. And then there was that question that would accompany your photo…’where do you see yourself in ten years’? Seriously? How on earth could I know that answer at seventeen years old and would there be any possibility it would be true in a decade? I certainly couldn’t foresee a teaching career and full on career change, a love of travel, life on two coasts, freelancing or a spouse from the other side of the world. Read the rest of this entry

The changing face of friendship

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I was ten when I first went to sleep-away camp. Each day after lunch and dinner there was a songfest. Upbeat and filled with energy songs came after lunch while those with more calm and heartfelt messages came around a fire in the evening. Our stories had lessons and our songs, meaning. It didn’t matter if there were ten of us or two hundred – each night, before breaking from our activity, we ended with a friendship circle. With arms crossed in front of us, holding the hands of the people adjacent to us in the circle – what started with a squeeze from one hand went through us all and ended with a smile. Connections, relationships, kindness, kinship and friendship were of utmost importance then and it’s the same today. The only thing that shifted was all the years in between.

the gift of travel - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

At our first beach together…friends meeting up at camp to remember… (photos from our youth remain in our memories and scrapbooks)

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