Thursday, October 30, 2008

excessive joy and gratitude

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day in October. Time is sure flying by. November is my birthday month--yes, I am a Scorpio--and I am very excited about having another birthday. (I completely believe we are only as old as we feel--and yoga keeps me feeling very young and very alive.) November is also the month of one of my favorite holidays--Thanksgiving. So, my November birthday and Thanksgiving intention this year is going to be all about living each day of the month with excessive joy and gratitude. I'm starting off on Nov. 1st by treating myself to a 2 hour yogaflow workshop. I will be attending this workshop rather than teaching it, and I am already completely psyched about it!

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Yoga is the fountain of youth. You're only as young as your spine is flexible." ~Bob Harper


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

living your truth

Yogathought for the day from Wayne Dyer:

"Suffering the consequences of living according to someone else's wishes doesn't make any sense; rather, you need to oppose the external opinions that try to force you to be what you're not intended to be."


Monday, October 27, 2008

music's good for the soul

The summer before last I purchased an ipod nano. This is definitely one of my all time favorite technological gadgets--I'm not much of a gadget type girl, but I love, love, love having all my music right at the touch of my fingers on one cool device. I also appreciate the ability to easily create playlists, hit shuffle and listen to a wide variety of my music, as well as download podcasts.

I always enjoy knowing what other people are listening to as well as being introduced to new artists and music, so I thought I'd share a small sampling of my favorite ipod tunes:

Favorite Yoga Music:
Yoga Rhythms: music to energize the flow of yoga
Yoga Groove
Yoga Rhythm by Soulfood
Yoga One
Yoga Moods
Le Spa Sonique
Yoga Planet
YogaFit's Music for Peaceful Paradise

Favorite Female Artists:
Nora Jones
Sarah McLachlan
Yael Naim

Favorite Male Artists/Groups:
Robin Thicke
Nick Drake
David Garza

Hope you have a music and love-filled week!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

swap striving for arriving

In yoga, it is important in every posture to balance the effort we put forward with surrendering. As we are getting into a pose, we are putting forth effort but there is a point when we must stop trying, stop striving, stop doing and just arrive, just be in the posture--be there unattached to the results of our efforts, no judgments, no self-criticism, just pure bliss in being exactly where we are.

This, I know, is much easier said than done--both on the mat and off. Every time I find myself unahappy with the results of my efforts, or questioning why situations are not happening as I would like them to, I have to make a conscious effort to stop these thoughts and know and trust that there just might be a bigger and better planner out there for me than I by myself. I have to remind myself that perhaps I should stop trying so hard to create something and just allow myself to arrive right where I'm supposed to be--right here, right now.

In Wayne Dyer's book, Change Your thoughts--Change your life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, he discusses the idea of trading in striving for arriving. Here is your yogathought for the day from Dyer's book:

"Letting go is a markedly distinct physical and psychological experience, much different from striving. Let go of your demands, along with your beliefs that you can't be happy because of what is supposedly missing in your life. Insisting that you need what you don't have is insane! The fact that you're okay without what you think you need is the change you want to see. Then you can note that you already have everything you need to be peaceful, happy, and content right here and right now. Relax into this knowing..."

Relax into this knowing.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

another confession

In addition to my nail polish confession I made a few posts ago, I also have a few other purchasing habits I am almost embarrassed to admit. I will only admit one of them on this post: I have way too many magazine subscriptions.

A few summers ago when I took a graduate class in career counseling, we learned that a good question to ask when trying to help people figure out their interests and possible career ideas, is what magazines they get or purchase regularly. When I think about it, my subscriptions are a pretty good indication of my interests and passions.

I currently subscribe to:

Yoga Journal
Body + Soul
O magazine
Simple Living (this one was a gift, and I love it)
Inside Columbia (this is a community magazine)
People (this one I'm most embarrassed about, and I do plan on letting the subscription expire)

I really enjoy each of these magazines for different reasons. In fact, I got my newest issue of Instyle today, and I'm looking forward to beginning to read it tonight!

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." --Maya Angelou


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

fascinating story

If you are not familiar with the story of Jill Bolte Taylor, author of My Stroke of Insight, it is absolutely fascinating and definitely worth exploring. I was first introduced to her story through Oprah's Soul Series on XM radio, which I believe is still available to download. She is a guest on Oprah today, and I once again am in absolute awe when listening to her story.

Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard trained brain scientest who suffered a stroke. Essentially, she describes how the left side of her brain (the side that deals with present and past, thinking, and speaking) stopped functioning--her life and identity as she knew it was stripped away. She was left living with only the right side of her brain (the side that deals with "being", with presence, and with pictures). She couldn't walk, talk, and didn't know her name. But, she describes how she was in a state of total bliss. She knew she was alive. She knew she was life. She knew she was whole and well. She has made a full recovery and written a book describing her experiences. I have not yet read her book, but in listening to her discuss her experiences and feelings of "being" rather than "identifying," I find many, many connections with Eckhart Tolle's philosophy in the book The New Earth. I am definitely adding My Stroke of Insight to my "must read" book list!
Here is a yoga mantra for the day--repeat it five times minimum (and as much as needed throughout the day):
"I am alive. I am life. I am whole and well."


Monday, October 20, 2008


Here is the yogathought for the day from Wayne Dyer:

"Trust in the Intelligence that beats your heart 50 or 60 times every minute and at the same time turns planet Earth once every 24 hours, keeps the planets aligned, and creates every millisecond."


Sunday, October 19, 2008

all about personality

My last visit to the Pink Heels website, prompted me to check out and take the personality test. I've taken this test a few times before and have typically found that my results defined my personality as an ENFJ--E (extrovert) N (intuitive) F (feeling) J (judging). Although my E (extrovert) score and I (introvert) score were always very close. I consider myself a social person, and I enjoy being around people; however, I do find that my energy is refueled more by being alone than with others. I definitely need that alone time in order to feel like being social.

I would encourage you to take the test--even if you have taken it before. It's also important to understand exactly what the descriptions mean. On the surface, the J (judging) type wasn't something I was pleased about, but after further reading, I learned that judging did not mean judgmental, but instead indicated that I prefer order, organization, structure, and I am responsible--which I would agree with completely. This is one of the many, many reasons yoga is so good for me. It has helped me learn to be more flexible and go with the flow!

When I took the test this last time, the results showed I am an INFJ's (the I--introvert--actually won!):

"INFJs, making up an estimated 1% of all people, are the most rare type (males even more so). They are introspective, caring, sensitive, gentle and complex people that strive for peace and derive satisfaction from helping others. INFJs are highly intuitive, empathetic and dedicated listeners. These traits tend to act as a "tell me what's wrong" sign on their forehead, hence the nicknames Confidant, Counselor or Empath. INFJs are intensely private and deeply committed to their beliefs.

INFJs tend to be devoted to what they believe in and seek work where their needs, values, and ideals can be deeply engaged. They move on the wave of their inspirations and are determined to see that their values are worked out in their lives. They will work toward their goals individually and, when needed, will put together a team of other highly dedicated people like themselves."

Overall, I would say this is an accurate description of my personality. I would love to hear the results of this test for all you lovely ladies out there in blog land...

Have a blessed day!


Friday, October 17, 2008

fabulous fall evening and autumn berry manicure

The perfect fall evening...

soup on the stove simmering
hubby making pumpkin pie
chill music playing on xm radio
stemless wine glass with a little pinot noir
beautifully manicured nails drying as I type this post

I have to admit--I have a problem. Maybe even an addiction. I cannot stop buying finger nail polish! Truly, I probably own at least 30+ nail colors. I actually haven't counted because I'm not sure I want to know the real number. I have almost every shade you could imagine. Even when I treat myself and go to get a professional manicure done, I typically want to take my own polish, so I can touch it up throughout the week. I love how I feel when my fingernails are beautifully manicured. Tonight, I gave myself a manicure. It looks fabulous, if I do say so myself. I used a gorgeous color called Autumn Berry. It is a rich, reddish, purplish, bronzy mixture. Almost the color of my glass of wine with a little bronzy, gold added. I purchased the color last year, and it is still one of my all time favorites--especially for this time of year.

For those of you who also enjoy beautifully painted fingers and toes, here are the steps I used to give myself tonight's manicure (I always like to know what other fabulous ladies are using):

1. Filed nails so they just barely pass the edge of my finger tips. I like a mostly squared, with a little round tip. (Once my manicurist said the tip should match the shape of your cuticle. I make mine a little more square.)

2. Applied OPI Chip Skip

3. Applied Revlon 480 Autumn Berry nail color--GORGEOUS color

4. Applied Sally Hansen Mega Shine extended wear top coat

5. Finished off with OPI Drip Dry drops

Viola--I'm done!

I hope you, too, are having a fabulous fall evening.

Here is your yogathought for the day--from Julia Cameron on the necessity of carving out alone time when we need it:

"We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish. We want to be generous, of service, of the world. But what we really want is to be left alone. When we can't get others to leave us alone, we eventually abandon ourselves. To others, we may look like we're there. We may act like we're there. But our true self has gone to ground."

Craving some me-time? Find it, even if only a few minutes--it's your responsibility to yourself and others!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

being woman

When I got my mail today after work, there was a political ad in the mailbox. I have been receiving these for months, and truthfully, I typically do not pay much attention to them. I know who I will be voting for on electon day. This one, however, caught my eye.

It read, "Women Are Paid Just 77 Cents for Every Dollar a Man Makes."

Then, when I turned on Oprah I saw today's show was about Women Who Changed the World, including Gloria Steinem and Maria Shriver. I took these as signs that I should post today about being woman...what I wouldn't give to be able to sit down around a large round coffee table with a cup in hand and have a conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, and Maria Shriver. While I'm dreaming about it, I would probably also add Madonna and Seane Corn to the list.

Gloria Steinem has paved the way for women to live the fabulous lives we lead. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that life wasn't always this way for women. And let us also not forget, as women, we still have a ways to go.

Here is your yogathought for the day from Steinem herself:

"It isn't about women having to do it all. It's about women not having to do it all."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the secret, asparagus, and faith

When I got home today, there was a brand new asparagus pot sitting on the kitchen counter. When I asked hubby where it came from he said his parents gave it to us as a gift for him taking care of their cats while on vacation.

To tell you the truth, I didn't even know asparagus pots existed until this past summer when I discovered them in Target while shopping for wedding gifts. For those of you not familiar with this type of pot, it is tall and allows you to cook asparagus standing straight up. I really like asparagus, and we eat it frequently, so I showed it to hubby and said I'd like to purchase one. We decided to wait, as it was definitely a want rather than a need. However, many times since then when cooking asparagus, I had thought about how handy having the special pot would be. I never mentioned it again to hubby or his parents.

I always find it so interesting how sometimes we get exactly what we ask I am always very careful in what I ask. I also try not to second guess things when I don't get exactly what I want--at times, this can be incredibly challenging. Instead, I try focus my attention on trusting that there is a force (God, Allah, the universe, Spirit--whatever you use to describe it) who has much bigger and better plans for me than I can ever imagine. Perhaps some would say this is a naive way of thinking. To me, it's all about faith.

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." --Margaret Young


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

mating for life

Something worth reading and thinking about: (This is an exerpt from a New York Times article written by Nicholas D. Kristof. You can read the article in it's entirety here:

"I’m a farm boy who grew up here in the hills outside Yamhill, Ore., raising sheep for my F.F.A. and 4-H projects. At various times, my family also raised modest numbers of pigs, cattle, goats, chickens and geese, although they were never tightly confined.

Our cattle, sheep, chickens and goats certainly had individual personalities, but not such interesting ones that it bothered me that they might end up in a stew. Pigs were more troubling because of their unforgettable characters and obvious intelligence. To this day, when tucking into a pork chop, I always feel as if it is my intellectual equal.

Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met. We raised Chinese white geese, a common breed, and they have distinctive personalities. They mate for life and adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.

While one of our geese was sitting on her eggs, her gander would go out foraging for food — and if he found some delicacy, he would rush back to give it to his mate. Sometimes I would offer males a dish of corn to fatten them up — but it was impossible, for they would take it all home to their true loves.

Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.

The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached. Then I would grab one and carry it away as it screeched and struggled in my arms.

Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.

We eventually grew so impressed with our geese — they had virtually become family friends — that we gave the remaining ones to a local park. (Unfortunately, some entrepreneurial thief took advantage of their friendliness by kidnapping them all — just before the next Thanksgiving.)
So, yes, I eat meat (even, hesitantly, goose). But I draw the line at animals being raised in cruel conditions. The law punishes teenage boys who tie up and abuse a stray cat. So why allow industrialists to run factory farms that keep pigs almost all their lives in tiny pens that are barely bigger than they are?"

Just something to think about.


this afternoon

I will be tuning into Oprah this afternoon after work. Those of you who know me well, know that I am a big Oprah fan. I don't neccessarily agree with everything she says or does, but I do believe she is one of the biggest forces of good we have in the US today.

Today's show is a Lisa Ling Report: How we treat the animals we eat. To be honest, a part of me doesn't want to watch...that part of me that knows it's easier to remain in blissful ignorance. However, I will be watching and learning, and know I'll have more to think about after it's over.

If you happen to be near a television when Oprah is on today, perhaps you will tune in, too.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

creatively chic fashion

One of the ways I have expressed myself throughout the years is through my fashion choices. After purchasing a home, I found my fashion budget greatly reduced. Lately, I've found myself wanting not only to look creatively chic--I've decided this is how I would coin my recent style--but also to feel comfy. So, how do I look creatively, chic while feeling comfy, while on a budget?

I have purchased a few black wraps and throws--at discounted prices, of course--gotta love TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I also purchased a bunch of inexpensive cami's in a multitude of colors. I have mustard, cranberry, black, and white. I purchased two light-weight scarves--one in charcoal grey and one violet and silver striped. I already have a drawer full of black bootcut yoga pants that can look dressed up or down. Then, I start to mix and match. I also throw in different earrings, bracelets, and rings. Viola'--I'm feeling good, looking good, and ready to go: creatively chic!

If you haven't lately, perhaps it's time to explore your own style. What makes you look and feel fabulous? Fall is a perfect time to begin mixing and matching and layering your clothes and accessories for beautiful looks.

Here is your mantra for the day:

"I am beautiful inside and out and deserve to be dressed beautifully."


Thursday, October 9, 2008

shine on

Here is your yogathought for the day from another one of my all-time favorite yoga inspirations, Baron Baptiste:

"You don't need permission to shine. That's the biggest mistake we make in life; we think we need someone's approval to be magnificent or to just own what is true to us. But we are all not only capable of radiating light and love, it is our moral responsibility."


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

breathe, relax, & smile

Yesterday afternoon I subbed a yoga class at a local gym. After finishing up class, and thinking I couldn't possibly feel any yummier or juicier, one of the yogis proved me wrong. She came up to talk to me and ended up saying I reminded her of Bryan Kest--one of my all-time favorite yoga teachers! This absolutely made my day! Nine years ago, when I started exploring yoga and educating myself about the practice, he was one of the most influencial teachers I studied. He has definitely been an inspiration.

A few years ago while attending a workshop with Kest, he said something that has stuck with me, and I often use in my classes. (This will be paraphrased.) So for all you yogis out there, imagine you're in the middle of an athletic and challenging yoga class, perhaps even imagine being in one of your most difficult postures. Now, imagine hearing this:

In all postures we should be challenged yet at the same time relaxed and calm. If I were to take a photograph of your face right now and send it to a loved one, they should not be worried about you. If they would be, perhaps you're trying too hard.

Saying this always gives people permission to relax and even smile or laugh while practicing yoga. Sometimes we take things a bit too seriously--and as a recovering perfectionist, I am definitely guilty of this much more often than I'd like to admit.

So, next time you're in half moon, revolving triangle, or even in an uncomfortable or challenging life situation, take a moment and think of Kest's words. Ask yourself: Am I trying too hard? Am I taking this situation or myself a bit too seriously?

If the answer is yes,
and Smile.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

my first ever blogging award!

I am so excited to say I just received my first-ever blog award from Caroline at Thank you, Caroline! I definitely appreciate it. You made my day! If you haven't checked out Caroline's blog, definitely do so! It is filled with interesting information, insights, and beautiful photographs. Truly, it's a must-read for me daily!

Speaking of my day, I think it is so interesting I just yesterday posted on equanimity. My equanimity was sure challenged today--way too many things going on at the same time. I made it though and did remind myself on multiple occasions to try to stop the incessant chattering in my mind and JUST BREATHE!

Now that I have returned home and back to my state of equanimity, I need to get down to business and pass this award on to others, so I will proceed with the blogging award rules:

Mention the blog that gave it to you and comment on their blog to let them know you have posted your award. Share 6 values that are important to you and 6 things you do not support. Grant the prize to 6 people.

6 Values important to me:

*Gratitude--recognizing grace in my life daily

*Creativity--knowing we are the co-creators of our lives

*Truth--knowing truth, speaking truth, living in truth

*Love--spreading it to everyone we encounter

*Acceptance--of self and others

*Compassion--for self and others

Six things I do not support:

*violence in word, thought, or action


*judgement of others when we haven't walked in their shoes

*silencing our inner truth to appease others


*a sedentary lifestyle

(On a side note, I must say coming up with the 6 things I don't support was hard. I really try to always focus my energy and thoughts on the positives and all that I want to create more of in my life!) are my 6 blogging award recipients (drumroll, please):

Naturally Nina at

Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Blog at

Kimberly Wilson at

Pink Heels at

The Skeptic Yogi at

Dirty Footprints at

Hope you enjoy checking out these wonderful ladies' blogs as much as I do! Thanks again, Caroline.

Here is your yoga thought for the day:

"Yoga does not expect us to flee from the world and retire into the Himalayas. It assures us: the refuge you seek you will never find in the outside world. It is within you. Leave the stormy world of the senses behind you, raise your consciousness to the central point of your being and realize that here alone is the force, here alone is the peace and here alone the refuge you are seeking." --Selvarajan Yesudian



Monday, October 6, 2008


Equanimity is an even, balanced state of mind. A mind that is free and open. It cannot be upset by gain or loss, praise or blame, pleasure or pain. It is calm and patient.

Praciticing yoga can help us begin to experience moments of equanimity. An equanimous mind is definitely a useful state of mind to cultivate in the midst of an often chaotic, busy, and stressful life.

I am thankful for all those moments, no matter how brief, when I experience equanimity. I am beginning to recognize my inner state of equanimity when dealing with situations that used to result in feelings of anxiety, stress, and worry.

I am discovering that equanimity is true freedom--freedom from the addictive patterns of thought. I have found that although defined as an even state of mind, it is actually an experience that occurs not in the mind, but in the moment, in the breath.

Wishing you many moments of equanimity this week.

Ask. Be open. Believe. Receive.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

gratitude list

Cuisinart panini maker
baked sweet potato french fries
fabulous fall weather
open windows
comfy and cute clothes
Paul Mitchell straightening iron
Leaves scented candle from Bath and Body Works
fabulous french press decaf coffee
grocery cart filled with healthy, wholesome food

Wishing you a gracious, wonderful day.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

on and off the mat

What yoga means to me
on the mat and in the world