Monday, June 30, 2008

feeling hot pink

This morning I got hot pink highlights put in my hair. I wanted something fun and funky for summer.

Feeling kind of fun and funky? I say, go for it!


Friday, June 27, 2008

dog days of summer

Aren't my pups cute?
We can truly learn so much from animals...they know how to love fully, play hard, and then rest.
Make sure to stay cool and relax as summer heats up!


creating a vision board

Here is some information about creating a vision board from If you haven't created one of these, I definitely recommend that you do!

"In addition to affirmations, a vision board is a great way to visualize the positive things you want to bring into your life. When creating your vision board, Martha says you shouldn't expect a straightforward process. 'I get in a really calm place. I go to my core of peace, and I taste what is delicious in the future. It could be something I've never heard of, or it could be just the essence of something. I'm not sure what it is. And then I go through magazines or on the Internet, and I find pictures of things that represent that to me. It could be the actual object or it could be something that has the same feeling.'Some of the things Martha put on her vision board were money, friends and spirituality. Martha says she also included pictures of people on the board—poets Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou, author Alice Walker and even Oprah! Martha says she wasn't looking to meet these people, but instead put them on her board because she admires their spirits.Martha says you need to be careful that you really want what you put on your vision board. She says one day she pasted a picture of puppies on her board because she thought they were cute. 'Now I have a yellow lab and a golden retriever,' she says. 'They need so much walking, it drives me nuts.'Joking aside, Martha says has received many of the things she hoped for on her vision board, including a visit to Africa. 'I have to say, as I was putting it together to bring here, I realized that I have to add more because everything on this board has already happened,' she says. 'It happens so fast now I have to keep making new ones.'"



Monday, June 23, 2008

cleaning out the closets

A few years ago, after seeing my home for the first time, a friend of mine asked, "Where is all your stuff?" "What do you mean, my stuff?" I responded. "You know...all your stuff."
Overall, I don't have a ton of stuff cluttering up my home. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE to decorate and we do have pictures on the walls, furniture, and decorations. However, I'm not a nic-nacky type of gal, and I do like to keep things clean and picked up, for the most part.
Also, before making a purchase (for my home or body) I ask myself: "Do I love this? Does it scream, 'you have to have me'?" If I don't answer yes to both of these questions, I usually don't make the purchase. I also try to make sure when I add items to my closet, I take items out. These are two tips that help me avoid collecting too much stuff.

However, I will be the first to admit the closets in my house often get crammed to the brim in an attempt to keep the house picked up. In my defense, we don't have much storage at all in our home, so the closets do stay full for that reason, also. Because I have extra time on my hands during the summer months, I always try to organize, clean, and do home projects that are hard to find the time or energy to do during the school year. Today, I cleaned out two closets. It feels so good to have them cleaned and organized. I do believe that quite often the home reflects a lot about ourselves and impacts how we are feeling. When our homes are cluttered or dirty, it can definitely have an impact on the energy we have. So, one of my summer goals is to have all the closets cleaned out by the end of the summer...however, like all goals that are set, once set, it is good to focus on the small steps. So, I will be focusing on cleaning one closet at a time--this will help me not feel too overwhelmed at the task! If you're feeling like your home is a bit cluttered, feel free to join me in this endeavor.

Happy cleaning!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

let your creative juices flow

When was the last time you tapped into your creativity? Not feeling like you're very creative? I can definitely relate. I also know it's possible to just let that thought/feeling go. We are all creative beings in our own special way--whether it's writing poetry, painting pictures, planting flowers, building a bookshelf, taking photographs, or decorating your living room...DO something creative! It feels good!

I have a passion for accessories (jewelry in particular). For a very long time, I have felt like I wanted to start making jewelry; however, I hadn't acted on that feeling. Yesterday, I made the statement to a friend I was feeling creatively stifled. I was shopping in K.C. with my friend and picked up a very cute dress for $19.99 at Marshall's (gotta love Marshall's). I looked around for some matching jewelry, but everything I found cost almost as much as the dress, so I didn't buy any accessories. Today, I was thinking I should just make some--that way, I would be able to create exactly what I was envisioning. So, tonight I headed to Michael's craft store with my dress in hand. I ended up purchasing quite a few different items. I have already made a matching bracelet and necklace, and they look great, if I do say so myself. I plan on continuing in my jewelry making endeavors--who knows, maybe someday I can start selling some of my creations!

Here's your yoga thought for the day:

Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.” --Ray Bradbury

Happy creating. :)


Monday, June 16, 2008


Do sad people have in
It seems
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being
So religious
Gotta love Haviz. Have a great week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

embracing imperfection

The Cracked Pot

"Every day, a farmer carried two pots to the river to fetch water. Each pot hung on the end of a pole across his shoulders. The pot on his right side was new and perfect. The pot on his left side was older and had a crack in its side.

The new pot brought back all the water the farmer put into it. But the cracked pot leaked out water in a little trail. This went on day after day for two years. The little cracked pot felt terrible. 'I am so ashamed of my imperfection!' One day, it spoke to the farmer. 'I must apologize. I only deliver half my load because I leak out water all the way back to your house. You should just get rid of me!'

The farmer said, 'Do not despair. Look behind you. Do you not see those beatiful flowers along the path? Those are on the left side where I carry you. I knew about your special feature so I planted flower seeds, and you have watered those seeds as I walked home. Thanks to you, I have fresh flowers for my table. Thank you, little cracked pot. You are very special.'"
--Exerpt from The Treasure in Your Heart: Yoga and Stories for Peaceful Children (The Mythic Yoga Stuidio, 2008)

Embrace your imperfection. Always look for your flowers.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

summer reading

For those of you who don't know me, I LOVE to read. I read mostly personal growth books, memoirs, magazines, and fictional novels. This week I read a book I seriously could not put down. It has over 400 pages, and I finished it in 3 days. I stayed up until 11:00 p.m. (which is late for me) last night reading, so I could finish the book. I woke up with a headache this morning because I had cried so much the night before while finishing it! (This is not a normal thing. I think I only remember crying while reading 3 books--two of which have been by this author). I am glad I started this book during the summer because I was able to just keep reading and reading it without having to stop for work! What is the book? you may ask.

The book is called Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. Jodi Picoult is probably one of the best authors of our time--in my opinion. Not only are the plots of her books fabulous and entertaining--they make you THINK. There are always a lot of ethical ideas to ponder as you read. You also truly get to know the characters as if they were real. So, if you're looking for a great summer read that will make you think and feel, check out this book!

Here are some other reading recommendations:

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult (This is now my 2nd all time favorite Jodi Picoult book. I believe there is a movie being made based on this book, so if you're like me and can't read a book after watching a movie, you'll want to read this book asap!)

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (yes another one!)

Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

The Unmistakable Touch of Grace by Cheryl Richardson (one of my favorite personal growth authors)

The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Manifest Your Destiny by Wayne Dyer

Marley and Me by John Grogan (This is also being made into a movie with Jennifer Aniston)

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you have some great reading recommendations, please pass them on!
Happy summer reading!



Saturday, June 7, 2008

start living now

Here is the yoga thought for this beautiful Saturday:

"Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God." --Mary Manin Morrissey

Every day you are alive is a special occassion. Live.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

yoga of relationship

I do my best to try to approach relationships as opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. I think people are often brought into our lives because of lessens we need to learn. The following was written by a favorite author and psychotherapist of mine, Tara Brach. She wrote the book Radical Acceptance, which truly came to me exactly when I needed it and definitely changed my life for the better. Here are some of her words on relationships from a recent article:

"John Schumacher, an internationally known teacher of Iyengar Yoga, points out that 'any deep connection with another naturally pushes us up against our edges.' Speaking of his own marriage as a fertile source of insight and inspiration, he says, 'Like a spiritual teacher, our partner knows us—knows when we're selfish, stuck, caught in feeling separate.' Schumacher notes that relationships, like asanas, require the willingness to remain present for the difficulties and challenges that inevitably arise. 'Discomfort and imbalance are flags that adjustment is needed.'

Just as being present with pain or discomfort in a yoga asana can release blockages and bring the body and mind into harmony, being fully present with uncomfortable conflicts that arise in a relationship can bring us back into harmony and communion with ourselves and our partner. Through what we might call the yoga of relationship, we discover our connectedness and realize the loving awareness that is our deepest nature.

When we enter into an intimate relationship, few of us escape visitations of insecurity and shame, of aversion and jealousy. Learning to bring an openhearted presence to these kinds of feelings, rather than reacting out of fear or hurt, is not easy. But when we are willing to stay put and pay attention at precisely the moments when we most want to lash out, cling tightly, or pull away, our relationship becomes a path of deep personal healing and spiritual transformation. As with any type of yoga, one of the blessings of the yoga of relationship is the profound inner freedom that comes from realizing the goodness and beauty of our essential Being.

When intense feelings of desire or aversion arise during the week, consider these as signs to stop and pay attention. It might be hard to remember at first, but if you clearly commit to pausing in this way, I can guarantee you it will make a difference.

Learning to pause is the first step toward transformation and healing. We pause by stopping what we're doing—we stop blaming, withdrawing, obsessing, distracting ourselves. In the space a pause creates, our natural awareness arises, allowing us to be mindful—to recognize what is happening inside us without judgment. By pausing, we begin to dismantle lifelong patterns of avoiding or distancing.

Simply asking ourselves, "What is happening inside me right now?" and "Can I accept this experience just as it is?"

I call this courageous kind of attention radical acceptance. It is a way of regarding whatever is happening within us with the two wings of awareness: mindfulness and compassion. With mindfulness, we see clearly what is going on inside us, and with compassion, we hold whatever we see with care. By bringing radical acceptance to our inner experience, we recognize and transform our own limiting stories and emotional reactions. We are freed to respond to our partner with creativity, wisdom, and kindness; we can choose love over being right or in control. Even if only one partner meets conflict with less defensiveness and a more accepting presence, the relational dance begins to change. In place of the familiar chain of reactivity, each person's vulnerability and goodness shine through."

If you would like to read this article in it's entirety go to:

Here is the yoga thought and intention for the day (from the bodhisattva's vow) that we can use to approach relationships:
"That all circumstances might serve the awakening of wisdom and compassion."


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

summer vacation

Living a life in fast-forward speed can easily become "normal." I, myself, have been one of those people who felt I had bragging rights for successfully multitasking. Through practicing and teaching yoga and reading spiritual/philosophical books, I have learned the importance of slowing down, listening to our bodies, and resting--without judgment of ourselves--or others, for that matter. This is something I try to reiterate to participants in my yoga classes and hope that it is one idea that they take off the mat and out into their daily lives.

Because I work in a school setting, ten months of the year I am in overdrive--doing the best I can to slow down and rest occasionally. In my mind, summer vacation is a necessity for those who work in a school setting. It allows us to come back to school in the fall, refreshed, revived, and ready to give our hearts and souls to our students once again. I realize most professions don't get a summer vacation. However, I do encourage listening to yourself and your body and recognizing when you need some down time or fun time. So, schedule your own little summer deserve it!


Sunday, June 1, 2008


A word on patience:

"Patience (kshama) is the power and capacity to accept people as they are and events as they are happening, without the desire for changing them. Impatience stems from our wish to obtain unfulfilled desires and our inability to be fully present with the current moment. While practicing patience can be quite challenging, it will yield a great spiritual power and teach us to accept things as they are. And with all things, the more we practice patience the easier it becomes. When you find yourself becoming impatient with a person or event, take a moment to let go of this reaction (the need for things to be other than they are) and instead bring your awareness to the breath, letting it be slow and deep. Then let yourself become grateful for these opportunities to work on letting go and tuning into your breath and the inner awareness of the present moment."
--Timothy Burgin