Sunday, November 29, 2009

enlighten up

I recently joined Netflix. One of the reasons I decided to join was because many of the movies and documentaries I wanted to see are not available at local movie stores. One such movie is Enlighten Up, a documentary created by a film-making yogini who sets out to prove that yoga can transform anyone, so she gets a very skeptical journalist, Nick, to embark on a journey to learn as much as he can about yoga and she follows him around with her camera.

On Tuesday, the much anticipated movie arrived in my mailbox. Perfect timing for the Thanksgiving holiday break. Yay! Tuesday night, I popped the movie into the DVD player, and after about 20 minutes of watching, the dvd got stuck. I took the dvd out of the player thinking it must be dirty and handed it over to my sweet husband to take a look at it. He informed me that it wasn't dirty, it had a big ding in it. After multiple times of trying to get the dvd to work, we finally gave up. I was definitely trying to use some yogic calming breath during this entire process, as I was feeling myself getting increasingly frustrated that I wasn't going to be spending my evening as I had originally planned. I immediately got on netflix website and reported the damaged dvd. By Friday, another copy of Enlighten Up had arrived.

I watched the entire movie Friday night, and...(if you haven't seen the movie, you may not want to read on as I don't want to ruin it for you!) I thought it was interesting and somewhat entertaining, but truthfully, overall a bit disappointing. You see, I was really hoping Nick would be completely transformed and a true believer in yoga. As I, too, so whole-heartedly believe in the power of yoga to transform lives. However, Nick never really bought in to the transforming power of the practice. He did seem to undergo change throughout the making of the film and perhaps his yoga practice helped him make the changes he did; however, he definitely was not a dedicated, transformed yogi by the end of the movie.

One of the scenes that stood out most to me was when Nick was talking with David Life and and Sharon Gannon. David said they have a sign outside their yoga studio doors with the question, "Are you ready?"

Perhaps Nick just wasn't ready. Perhaps he will never be. I wonder how many opportunities in life pass us by because we aren't yet ready. And, what can we do to make sure we are ready when opportunities come our way?

Are you ready?


p.s. If you've seen this film, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all those who visit my blog. I have always enjoyed writing (as a kid I wrote poetry, short stories, and even a few kid novels), and this blog has given me the opportunity to get my creative writing juices flowing again. When I began this blog, I really didn't think there would be people who actually read it and follow it. So all you readers thank you for stopping by and especially leaving comments. I love, love, love hearing from you. It is so great to connect with like-minded people throughout the world! I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and you take the spirit of this holiday with you and live it throughout the entire year!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 thoughts on whole living

"1. Allow yourself the chance to really savor each moment.

2. Optimism isn't just a shift in perspective. It's an act of bravery.

3. Only you can decide the path worth taking.

4. Don't wait for your mood to change; take action despite it.

5. Approach gift shopping as an opportunity to honor the people you really love.

6. Rather than search for a single miracle food, strive for a varied and delicious diet.

7. You can't grow without pushing your limits.

8. Stop worrying about getting sick; focus on your health instead.

9. Don't believe what you hear. Life is good.

10. No one knows what the future will bring. Put your energy into now."

--from the Dec. 2009 issue of Body + Soul magazine.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

first vlog!!!

Ok, Ladies and Gents...One of my goals has been to start learning how to do more with the technology out there. One of the ways I wanted to do this was by learning how to do videos. (I realize now it isn't that hard, but I just hadn't tried doing it before and was a wee bit intimidated at the thought.) Yesterday, while reading The Joy Diet by Martha Beck, I was on the chapter on taking a risk every day. I am oh-so-not a risk-taker; however, I am opening up more and more to the idea. So, here is my risk for the day: My first-ever vlog. (The self-critical part of me thinks I have a very goofy initial look on my face, I'm leaning a bit too far into the camera, and the background isn't great, but I am letting all that go, and just going with it!)

I hope you enjoy hearing from me in a little bit different way!

How can you take a small risk today?



Saturday, November 21, 2009

thoughts on desire

I am in the process of reading The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. On the joy diet, menu item #3 is desire. Here are a few thoughts on desire that I thought were important enough to highlight:

"I think we're all born with a set of preferred activities and talents, but more than that, with an inexplicable inner knowledge of the things we are meant to do and be, the changes we are meant to make in the world."

"The knowledge of your destiny is available to you, well before it actually happens as a message streaming continuously from your heart to your brain, written in the language of longing."

"If we dare voice a dream, we're liable to hear a litany of reasons we can't or shouldn't dream it. By the time we're adolescents many of us have replaced the awareness of our own desires with meditations on the topic 'Why I shouldn't want what I want.'"

"We repeat these claims to ourselves, over and over, because we think this will allow us to avoid pain--the pain of being rebuked by others, of failure, of humiliation, or loss. One of my friends calls this self-imposed pessimism 'inoculating yourself against disappointment.' This is a fabulous idea, except that it doesn't work. Injecting yourself with the fruits of failure from doing anything that might make your dreams come true, and if something good happens to you anyway, it will keep you from enjoying or appreciating your good fortune."

"I can tell you from extensive observation that refusing to feel desire is the only thing more painful than failing to get what you want, and that learning not to yearn, far from preventing disappointment, ultimately guarantees it."

Take the time to get still, and think about it: What do you really desire?


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

birthday 33

Great night out with sweet husband and friends! So thankful for all the blessings in my life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 days and random musings

Only two days until my 33rd birthday. but I will be celebrating all week long! Tuesday night: dinner out with sweet husband. Thursday night: 90- minute massage. Friday: personal day from work...doing whatever I want and feel like! Saturday: matinee of New Moon (dressed in my Twilight series attire) with a few friends and family and dinner afterwards. Can't wait!

I always try to approach Birthdays with the same child-like excitement and awe I had when I was a kid. I don't think the focus of Birthdays should be about getting one year older. I think the focus should be on getting one year better and about recognizing all the blessings both big and small that the past year brought. And, perhaps if it was a rough year, maybe just focusing on the fact that the year is over and it's now time to move on and forward!

As 2010 is quickly approaching, I've also been beginning to think about what I want my 2010 Word of the Year to be. Action was my 2009 word, and considering I finally opened up my own little yoga studio this year, I do think action was a fitting word. I have kind of been leaning toward the word adventure. To be quite honest, I don't consider myself to be all that adventurous of a person. I like the word adventure because it can encompass so many different things: risk-taking, travelling, creating life changes, etc. Do you choose a word of the year? If so, what was your 2009 word? What are you thinking your 2010 word will be?
Lastly, I just have to share a photo of my new luggage. (This is the first luggage set I've ever owned, and when I saw it, I knew it was the perfect luggage set for me: brown giraffe print with hot pink zippers, oh yeah!). I also plan to do more traveling in the year 2010, and I think this purchase will be a constant reminder of that!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

what i wish everyone knew fore sure

Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair or
habitual belief, who you are
is whole. Let nothing keep you
separate from the truth. The soul,
illuminated from within, longs to
be known for what it is. Undying,
untouched by fire or the storms of
life, there is a place inside where
stillness and abiding peace reside.
You can ride the breath to go there.
Despite doubt or hopeless turns of
mind, you are not broken. Spirit
surrounds, embraces, fills you from
the inside out. Release everything
that isn't your true nature. What's
left, the fullness, light, and shadow,
claim all that as your birthright."
--Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice on and off the Mat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a little validation

One of the main ideas that I took away from the conference I attended the last 3 days is the need all human beings have to feel validated. So many mental health issues stem from feelings of unworthiness and shame. All people want and need to know they are cared for, they are special, they have been heard and understood, and they are important. Helping others feel validated isn't all that difficult of a task. I know, however, too often in our busy lives we neglect to validate those who mean the most to us. Here are a few simple ways to help validate those who are important to you:

*Listen to them without judgment or advice giving.
*Say, "Thank you for being you." (and mean it)
*Say, "I love you." (and mean it)
*Say, "You are smart, beautiful, and talented." (and mean it)
*Spend quality time with them.
*Focus on their strengths.
*Appreciate their unique talents.
*Make sure they know, without a doubt, they are not alone in the world.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

get away

Today I am leaving for an annual conference for School Counselors. It's always a nice feeling to get away for a little bit, mingle with professional peers, learn some new info., be reminded of some ideas I might have forgotten, and get out of my routine for a few days.

If you aren't able to get away for a conference or a mini vacation, think about how you can create a similar experience without leaving town:

*go to a coffee shop and read up on professional journals or books you are interested in
*turn off the computer and phone and pop in a yoga dvd at home
*spend a day at the spa getting a mani, pedi, and massage
*participate in an on-line teleclass
*change up your routine
*drive a different route to work
*go out to eat at a restaurant you've never been to
*enjoy yourself and those you are around


Saturday, November 7, 2009

karma yoga love

I just wrote a post that I was meaning to publish here, but I accidently published it to my yoga studio blog. So, if you'd like to read about good karma, simply click here.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

where does your energy go

Since I recently finished reading Positive Energy by Judith Orloff, I find myself really paying attention to how I extend my energy. While checking out this morning a quiz about where our energy goes caught my eye. Here was my results:

"How efficient is your life?

Rate each statement according to how well it describes you.

You scored 43.

You are leading an efficient life and have a good chance of feeling comfortable, contented, and controled. There are no drastic embalances in how you use your energy. Each aspect of your existance is given a good amount of positive attention. You have a good deal of energy available for positive growth."

Yeah! My efforts to balance my energy seem to be working! How are you doing in this area of your life? If you'd like to take the quiz, click here.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

weekend in photos & welcome november

November is one of my favorite months. Besides being the month of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, it is also my birthday month (yes, I am very much a scorpio). So, as we welcome in the month of November, make a conscious effort this month to live with a spirit of gratitude:

*be grateful every day

*start a gratitude journal listing 5 reasons to be thankful each day

*do random acts of service

*smile at strangers

*say "thank you" to those you love

*recognize blessings both big and small

*view the glass half full

*enjoy your life

*breathe deeply