Category Archives: growth through change

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.

Root to rise – on and off the mat

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Genius, she is. Once again, after class ended and I asked Amy why she thought I couldn’t quite grasp one particular pose – she knew exactly what to say. It wasn’t the fact that every body type has different possibilities. It wasn’t about my scoliosis and it wasn’t about anyone’s talent in yoga. And sure, it’s definitely got something to do with the internal and external rotation of the hips, but that’s not the point either. She said, ‘most of the time, in yoga, if you can’t get to a pose – the key is, sit up higher’.

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Be the change

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When I was little, I had a friend who lived around the corner. I can remember building forts out of couch cushions in her basement, creating chalk drawings on the driveway and playing spud on that lawn. But more importantly, I remember her grandparents. They had the most wonderful accents, the most genuine hearts and they were the first people I ever met with numbers tattooed on their arms. This Nana and Pop-Pop who adored a stranger from around the corner were the first Holocaust survivors I ever met. To this day, those adopted grandparents hold a very special place in my heart.

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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

6 months

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Torrey Pines Natural Reserve

Don Mattingly was at the game, Piano Man was randomly selected for the karaoke section, there were friendly neighbors on either side of us and a stranger was dancing his heart out to stadium tunes – Dad was definitely with us at the baseball game last week. It’s been six months since that fateful day; it feels like worlds have shifted yet everything is standing still. Growth, change, sadness, grief, shift, confusion, thought, anger, disappointment, struggle – it’s all been there, but alongside it there’ve been rays of light, forward movement, slivers of calm, moments of joy and memories of smiles. These past six months have been quite the journey. 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

Dropping in – on and off the mat

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sand dollars on Coronaado

When I hear the phrase ‘dropping in’ I often think of surfers grabbing their best wave, but when Zaquia mentioned it in her yoga class it seemed to have a different meaning all the same. Then @yogagirl wrote about how yoga is so much more than an on the mat practice and that hit home, too. Then I had a chat with a friend who maintains a plan to move houses every decade to try out a new space and be as present as possible in her new community and that landed the trilogy. Seems the universe wanted me to see that ‘dropping in’ is far more than finding the sweet spot atop the ocean. Read the rest of this entry

Choosing you

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Sometimes it’s hard to choose you. For some reason, so many of us have grown up thinking that putting ourselves first or on the same playing field as others is selfish. Somehow we’ve been indoctrinated into the belief that everyone else matters more than we do, that work relationships mean we ‘should’ suffer, that we must ‘bend’ to what others need and that we put our feelings aside to make others feel better. Why on earth were we ever taught to think we matter any less than anyone else? Read the rest of this entry

Seeking home

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Home. For some it’s the beach, the mountain or the smell of a clean sheet. For some it’s a meadow, a valley or the smell of the leaves after the rain. For some it’s traditions, the aroma of baking bread or the sound of family waking up underneath the same roof. For some it’s a place, while for others it’s a feeling. Home is an interesting concept. As a child – home was my nuclear family, the house in which I grew up, the only street on which I lived and the town to which I was associated. Home was a short walk from the high school, down the block from the youth group, twenty minutes from the beach and about an hour from sleep away camp. Home was the people, an address, an abode, a town and a state to which I referred when introducing myself. Damn, a lot has changed. Read the rest of this entry

Finding healing spaces along a bumpy road

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Since the early days of December – it’s seemed as if the world has been spinning on its axis and we definitely feel as if it’s about to fling us off to a bumpy stop or crash landing on direct impact. If I could raise my hand and ask the ride conductor to slow it down and let me off, I would – but I’m not sure that’s how this ride goes. So, we’re taking a chance, standing on the ledge and going to make the jump before we get spit out and have no idea how many bumps, bruises and broken everything we’ll have along the way. I’m trusting that in one way or another a net will appear – but with or without the security – we’re leaping. Read the rest of this entry