Sunday, August 31, 2008

new read

Friday evening I took a trip to one of my all-time favorite stores, Barnes & Noble, and purchased The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. While I wouldn't ever label myself an "artist"--I believe whole-heartedly that we are all creative beings in our own unique ways. I primarily use fashion, my hair, teaching yoga, home decorating, and writing as a way to express my creativity. Sadly, as we grow up, we start getting messages from adults that there are much more important things to do besides being our creative, wonderful selves and we often lose touch with that part of ourselves for good. I am committed to making sure I remain in touch with that part of myself, and I think this book will be helpful with this endeavor.
Here's an excerpt:


1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life--including ourselves.

3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives.

4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.

7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.

8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity."

Yoga thought for the day:
"We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself."
--Joseph Chilton Pearce
Happy creating.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

giving and receiving gratitude

Yesterday I received a bouquet of fresh flowers from a student and her family for helping the student make a decision. Helping students is just part of my job; however, this unecessary gesture of gratitude completely made my day--I LOVE fresh flowers! I do buy into the idea that to some degree what we give we get--and just two days before I had posted about living my life with a spirit of gratitude only to be thanked in a very special way by this family.

The world would be a much different place if we focused our attention and energy more on what we have rather than what we do not, on what good people do rather than on the bad, on being compassionate with ourselves and others rather than judgmental. I don't think we need to put on a happy face and have blinders on, but we can focus on small changes in ourselves that can make a difference one person at a time.

How can you show gratitude today?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

attitude of gratitude

I have always believed in the importance of living with a spirit of gratitude; however, I just recently started a gratitude & affirmation journal. (I am just a bit journal obsessed--as I now have 3 different types of journals: a regular journal for writing whatever I feel like writing about, a personal growth journal where I respond to any type of personal growth book I'm reading, and now, my gratitude & affirmation journal). Every night before bed, I write 5 reasons I'm thankful. Every morning when I wake up, I choose an affirmation card (I created these this summer), and I write the affirmation 5 times. I have been using this journal for almost a month now, and I really appreciate how it is such a simple way to help me start my day off with a serene and positive attitude and end my day in gratitude.

Today, I am thankful for:

*the smell of fresh cut grass
*inspirational podcasts
*my sweet hubby
*only 2 more days of schedule changes at work



Sunday, August 24, 2008

all about balance

Here's a wise word from one of my favorite yogis Baron Baptiste:

"The idea of relaxing, doing less, and going with the flow can scare us. We feel that we are hardly measuring up and doing enough as it is. We say to ourselves, 'If I do less and become more passive I'll never achieve anything.' But a relaxed energy has its own kind of power. Our personal force is strongest when we balance action with relaxation, like a bow and arrow. The bow provides tension from which the arrow releases. Neither is as effective without the energy of the other, and combined they carry you forward with astonishing power and grace."
Have a balanced week.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

feeling alive

With the daily to-do lists and responsibilities of life, it is easy to forget we are alive...we can become numbed, robotic beings going through the motions all day before crashing into bed. When I am teaching yoga classes, I am always aware of being totally present and fully alive. It is a wonderfully divine feeling.
It is so important to do activites that remind us we are living, breathing, growing, fully alive beings! Sometimes we need to try something new--that pushes us to our edge--or other times we just need to make sure we are engaging regularly in activities that remind us of our living presence in this world.
Breathe, Live--You are Alive.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

just for fun

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

According to this quiz, I am a Daffodil which means I have a sunny disposition and am normally one of the first to show up for the party. I don't need too much attention from the host once I get there as I am more than capable of making myself seen and heard.

I always like to take these sorts of quizzes to see how well they describe me. Overall, this one is fairly accurate. Click on the question "What Flower Are You?" to take the quiz and see what flower you are...



puppy love

This morning it was pouring rain, so my little pup Olivia refused to go outside to potty. Yes, she is a bit of a dog diva and doesn't like to be wet. So, hubby and I were a little distracted with trying to get her to go out, and we actually forgot to feed the pups. We ate our yummy spinach, red pepper, and feta quiche (made from eggs from the farmer's market) for breakfast, hubby tried to get the diva dog out one more time-without any luck, and then we left. It wasn't until about 9:00 a.m. I realized we hadn't fed the dogs. This was the first time this had ever happened. (I was also a bit distracted this morning as this was the first day back at school with kids.) Thankfully, hubby's Mom was able to come over and feed the puppies and let them out--so all is well.
Olivia is now resting comfortably by the couch, and Ziggy is chewing on a treat. Animals really are such a blessing.

Here is your yoga thought for the day:

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

thought for the day

Here is your yoga thought for the day from Wayne Dyer:

"Use your own inner hunches to determine if you're in the right place with the right people: If you feel good in someone's presence, meaning that you feel inspired to be a better and more joyful person, then you're in the right place."


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

energy management

As I am about to begin a new school year, I am reminded of the importance of managing my time, and just as importantly, my energy. Although I've never run a marathon, (and don't plan too--as neither my body nor my mind enjoys running)I do think there is a similarity between running a marathon and getting through the school year. It's important to start out running strong, but also imperative that you make sure you don't use up all your energy at the beginning because there is a long way to go to the finish line. I definitely plan to be intentional about the way I am managing my time and energy this school year.

Kathy Freston's book Quantum Wellness has a great chapter on Personal Energy Management. Here is just a short excerpt:

"For many of us, the biggest issue is time. We don't know how to prioritize, and we find a zillion pressing reasons to justify not taking the time to care for ourselves on all the levels that make us well-integrated, healthy human beings. But we'll never experience quantum wellness if we keep letting the world sap us dry. We have to decide where to put our energy and ration ourselves according to our deepest values. It doesn't matter what we say is most imporant, it's where we place the bulk of our energy that speaks to who we really are.

Look at how you spend your days and you will see what your priorities are. Most of us are imbalanced in one way or another, we obsess over our kids, or we addictively try to get ahead with work. Some of us get wrapped up in our emotional dramas while others get lost in shopping trips and socializing. We can't just leave our energy free to roam at will or it will just fall into whatever is crying the loudest for our attention. No, if we want a grander and more glorious experience of being alive, we have to recognize the choices we are making and make better ones! Yes, it's as simple as that."

Never forget you are the leader and manager of your own life. Put yourself toward the top of your priority list and manage well!


Friday, August 15, 2008

nature's beauty

Last night after leaving new student orientation, I walked out of the school and literally had to stop in my tracks because the sunset was so beautiful. The sky was filled with bright, vivid, pink, orange, and purple-blue colors. It was amazingly divine.

I also notice there was a lady walking into the building at the same time. She was on her cell phone speaking and moving quickly. I bet she missed all that beauty.

Here is your yoga thought for the day:

"You can start returning to being in-Spirit by examining what ego has accomplished in your life, as well as making a determined effort to resist the powerful pressures of your culture's ego in favor of an inspired life." --Wayne Dyer


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

inspirational thought

Here is the inspirational thought for the day from my Wayne Dyer desk calendar:

"You may be guided to leave a job, a city, or even a relationship--all of which may sound terrifying at the moment. Nevertheless, if the signals keep coming, and they resonate internally with you, take the step--and while doing so, know that you're being guided to a life of inspiration."

(And, if you're in a situation and you don't know what to do, don't forget to ask for signals. I have done this on a few occasions, and if I'm paying attention, the signals always come.)


Monday, August 11, 2008

a word from Haviz

Through the streets
Throwing rocks through windows,
Using my own head to ring
Great bells,
Pulling out my hair,
Tearing off my clothes,
Tying everything I own
To a stick,
And setting it on fire.
What else can Hafiz do tonight
To celebrate the madness,
The joy,
Of seeing God

Sunday, August 10, 2008

made it to day seven

This is my final day of the Yoga Journey/Clean, Veggie eating. Overall, it's been a really good experience. I will say I got a bit bored with what I was eating but this weekend I spent some time researching clean eating recipes, and there are really a lot of foods and recipes out there to try. (I should have done this research last weekend!:) My hubby asked me if I feel better because of the way I've been eating (no processed foods, no sugar, no caffeine, no meat). I can't say I feel a lot better, but I do feel cleaner--not really sure how to describe this, though.

I have decided even though I made it to my day 7 goal, I'm going to continue a modified version. I've purchased decaf. coffee, so I can still have my cup in the morning without the caffeine. I will use soy milk and as little sugar as I can. I am also going to consume less meat. I cannot say I won't eat any meat, but I definitely know I can eat it only occasionally, as I haven't really missed it at all. I am also going to try to continue to stay away from processed foods and eat more fresh fruits and veggies.

Today I made some yummy guacamole:
3 avocados
sweet yellow onion to taste
1 tomato
cilantro to taste
lime juice from 1/4 of a lime
1 tsp. cummin (I really like the flavor this added)
cracked pepper to taste

And, as I'm typing this, I am having a banana, real peanut butter, whey protein, soy milk shake. It is wonderful!

Here is your yoga thought for the day:
You are what you eat. (Not sure who coined this???)


Saturday, August 9, 2008

succulent saturday

  • blueberry, banana, mango, soy milk, whey protein fruit smoothie
  • yummy yoga class
  • hot shower
  • sauteed veggies--yellow pepper, red pepper, portobello mushrooms, asparagus, onion, garlic, basil
  • early afternoon nap
  • trip to Barnes and Noble--book heaven
  • back home to blog

Here's your yoga thought for the day (can be applied to yoga or life):

"The resolute in yoga surrender results and gain perfect peace. The irresolute, attached to results, are bound by everything they do." --Bhagvad Gita, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Hope your Saturday is succulent, too.



Friday, August 8, 2008


My husband took this photo of a flower while we were in Jamaica three years ago for our wedding. Such a simple shot captures so much beauty and reminds me of the divine in all.

Here are 10 Thoughts on Whole Living from the Sept. 2008 issue of one of my all time favorite magazines, Body + Soul:

1. Learn to receive what others have to offer, and you'll enable someone else to give.
2. Becoming aware of your habits is key to an intentional life.
3. Your stuff reflects you. As your needs evolve, find new homes for your old things.
4. True release comes from sustained relaxation.
5. Worry narrows; gratitude expands. Find ways to celebrate all that you have.
6. Redifine your idea of clean; focus on removing dirt, not adding chemicls.
7. There's more than one path to long-term health.
8. Pay close attention to pain; your body makes its needs very clear.
9. Savor your alone time. Its restorative power can help you thrive in unexpected ways.
10. Vital change can't be forced. It begins with embracing where you are right now.

Choose the one that speaks loudly to you, and focus your energy and attention on it throughout the weekend, the week, or the next month. See what happens.

Enjoy the beautiful afternoon.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I just finished up listening to an Oprah soul series podcast of an interview with Dr. Wayne Dyer. Wayne Dyer is one of my all time favorite teachers. (As a side note, in preparation for going back to work, I purchased one of his daily calendars which has an inspirational idea for each day of the year. It's really nice to walk into my office in the morning and the first thing I do is read the uplifting idea for the day. It's important to do these types of little things to help the work environment be a more peaceful and uplifting place.)

During the interview, Dyer was describing the ego as the part of ourselves that identifies with things, with our roles, or with how others view or think of us. We ARE more than our things, our titles, or others' ideas and beliefs about us--it can be hard to keep this truth in focus when so much of this culture tries to blind us from it. It is so important to try to live our lives and make decisions from a place of consciousness and peace, a place that recognizes the inherent worth within us and others. Any other decision can easily be based from ego.
Dyer also described ego as E.G.O.: Edging God Out. Any time we are making decisions from ego, we are essentially edging God out. This description really resonated with me. As Oprah says, I had an "ah ha" moment when he described this. I will definitely be keeping this in mind in my decision making process.

Peace be with you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

summer smoothie

Today is the first day of my cleanse. I just made a fruit smoothie for breakfast, and it is so yummy, I'm wondering why I haven't been making these all summer! It has a banana, blueberries, mango, soy milk, and whey protein in it. At this point, I'm not missing my cup of coffee at all!

I will be off to work in 30 minutes, so this is going to be a short post. Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there." --Susanna K. Langer


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Yoga Journey

On Monday, I will not only be going back to work but also starting a 7 day Yoga Journey. As part of the yoga journey, I will practice yoga everyday for 7 days straight (this isn't so hard). And, I will eat a clean (no processed foods, no sugar, no caffeine)/vegetarian diet (this will be a tad more difficult for me). The idea behind the yoga journey is to cleanse your body of toxins, clear your mind of clutter, and take some time to focus in on creating more healthy space in your life. Overall, I am really looking forward to it. In the past, I haven't participated in the yoga journey during the month of August because I'm so busy at work. This year, I decided that's exactly the reason I should participate.

I also just finished reading the book Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston. A large portion of her book is about being conscious of what we are putting into our bodies. She actually recommends a 21 day cleanse--although she never really fully explains why 21 days. (I am sticking to my plan of 7). What I think will be the hardest to let go of is my morning cup of coffee--since I cannot have caffeine or sugar. I've decided if I'm wanting a warm drink, I'll make decaf green tea. I really like Yogi Tea--Green Tea Decaf Kombucha. If I want something cold, I'll make a smoothie. I have blueberries, mangos, bananas, and whey protein for that.

Here are some of the other foods I have purchased for the cleanse:
peanut butter (Hy-Vee has a machine that grinds up peanuts for fresh peanut butter)
red, green, and yellow bell peppers
portabella mushrooms

Interestingly enough, at the Spa yesterday, in the meditation room there was a book titled Mindful Eating. I skimmed through it and decided that while I really try to be mindful in all aspects of my life, I know I don't always eat mindfully. In Freston's book, she discusses eating as a spiritual experience (I had never thought of it that way). So, along with my cleanse I will be attempting to eat as mindfully as possible and also grateful for the food I'm eating.