Tag Archives: Life

Wow, this is a broad topic…

Begin “The Begin” Again

What an appropriate title for anything done in January.  Change is constant.  The only thing I know for sure is that I want to write.  If you write you are a writer.  People decide if they like it, if they do they keep reading.

The industry in which I work seems to want those of us teaching body movement (of any kind) to offer lots of wisdom, especially in Yoga. I know anatomy, I know people, I know music, I know business.  I do not consider myself wise. I am a student of life, forever. In my family I offer unsolicited “suggestions” a lot.  In my fitness/yoga practice, tips and advice, in my scope.  On this blog, probably just observations.

This year has been one of the most personally challenging I have experienced.  It has also been one of the most rewarding.  SO here I start again, this on and off blogging thing.  If you scroll through the posts, you will realize it. This blog is all over the place as my life has been since I started it.

What I have learned in this time period is something I innately have known all along.  People before things. Learning from mistakes.  Helping when I can, without keeping people from their own growth experience.  Loving unconditionally, Opening  my heart, mind and soul to new ways of thinking and being.  Doing less, owning less, complaining less.  Hugging people who want hugs.  Celebrating and living in gratitude daily. Offering support and compliments whenever possible.  Trying not to assume or take anything for granted.  Discovering new ways to be compassionate. Releasing my paradigm as the only possibility.  Letting go of judgment.  Finding peace inside.

I am excited about the new possibilities in my personal life and my professional life.

Happy New Year!  Blessings for 2014!

A Tisket A Tasket

When I was 15 years old, my maternal grandfather died. He was one of the only men in my young life who took an interest in me.

Grandpa was a superb businessman! I like to think I inherited some of his work ethic and skill. I learned to play Euchre sitting on his lap from the age of five. He helped me improve my cursive writing the summer between third and fourth grade. Showing chickens was one of his hobbies,, he shared “Bantie” stories with me sometimes too.

At his funeral I was given a choice of flower arrangements to take home . I chose two Peace Lilies in a huge basket. I have collected baskets ever since. Over the years I have probably had hundreds. I give many of them away, after I keep them for a while.  Baskets can be used for gifts, storage, and decoration. The first one from his funeral, remains with me always. In the photos below, it is the big empty one with the handle sitting on the red carpet! Recently my mom gave me a large poster -sized framed newspaper article about his life. It is one of my new, old most prized possessions, along with the basket.

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Lessons in Santosha

My natural inclination all my life has been to hit the ground running. Our ever-moving culture rewards us for how much we do, how hard we work, how little we sleep and how many items we can check off our daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, mental “to do” lists. It seems if we can commiserate it somehow makes this way of being acceptable even admirable. Some folks measure virtue and goodness around how many activities can be packed in a day.

The Sanskrit word for contentment is Santosha. Practicing yoga and connecting with the breath every day has enabled me to find more within my life. The slow shift from “doing” to “being” is nothing short of a miracle. Trying to align my thoughts with who I am vs. what I do, after years of conditioning is a very new way of being which I am learning to love.

Over the spring and summer I had the privilege of an extended visit from my middle daughter Kaci. She stayed at our home for most of her first pregnancy while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan. Focusing on the here and now Kaci lived her life in the moment stringing together days, weeks, finally, months. She disciplined her mind to release all in her life she couldn’t control.

Watching her was beautiful and poignant. She, her younger sister and I spent many days together touching and photographing her growing belly. Hunting and gathering items to be sent in overseas packages became a science, what would parish, what was necessary, what was special and what was fun. Her soldier received gifts filled with her heart. He received a 3-d glimpse of his baby in her womb via high-tech images transferred from computer to paper, mundane yet so important socks, underwear and toiletries, sweet personal touches shared just between the two them, and countless other items. Her days were productive and meaningful. Conversations were positive and hopeful. The example she set was a lesson in choosing thoughts and behaviors making the most of the now. Kaci’s daily mantra was that of many military wives “No news is good news, all is well.” Thankfully my son-in-law arrived home healthy and whole two and a half weeks before the birth of their son born on 11/25/13. On a recent visit to their home, I watched a lovely new family finding joy moment to moment.

Although I have one of those busy daily agendas, today I chose to embrace the simple yet essential moments before and after the tasks at hand. This morning I tasted my coffee, I gazed out my bedroom window watched the sky grow from dark to light. Breathing deeply, I said “thank you’. I already had a wonderful conversation with my eldest daughter Kara. The rest of the day will be filled with meetings, clients and the last regularly scheduled public class I will teach at my studio. “All will be well.” I plan to love my man, call my mom, laugh with my youngest daughter, Dani, and dance. These are the moments that count. No need to compare, compete or complain to myself or with others. Thank you Kaci.

Reflections and Reflections

I was texting with my oldest daughter yesterday. We were talking about weight, again. It is a common bonding topic uniting women from every population sector. It seems to me that the closer one is with someone, the more she will reveal her feelings on body image.

Later in the day, I spoke with one of my BFF’s from high school. I am home with the flu this week, so the conversation was short but meaningful, my voice lasted about 40 minutes. I could have talked another three hours. I love her. We have been blessed with the gift of knowing one another very deeply. We can truly talk about anything. The topic of weight came up in that conversation too. More than weight, body image. It got me to thinking.

In my mind, I have always been ok-looking. My weight has fluctuated as I have mentioned in other posts. ( Exposing Myself Weighty Issues) I have changed my hair color often. The year I turned 40 ( 12 years ago!) I changed my hair color so many times, my family was considering an Intervention! My famous line: “It is a lot of work to look this average!” My lively personality gets me through life. Never have I based anything I have tried on my looks.

I am reading about how to write a better blog. I am usually not brief. That is the suggestion, so I will revisit this weight/body image topic often and reign in this post. In my texts with my daughter and my phone discussion with my friend, these are the points that were covered. All of them sadden me.

In my life I have been very thin and significantly overweight. I was treated better by society when I was very thin. I do not know if it was because I projected a more confident stance or not. When my weight was too low my life was at a very difficult point, as a result I was extremely thin. Another challenging period I was very heavy. I have a 90 pound range, as I have mentioned. When I am in the middle, I am physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. I was treated better by society when I was thin and sad, versus heavier and sad. I still don’t know what to think, but I lived here in my own skin so I can say this with certainty.

The other thing that came up was women in movies. Emma Stone and Drew Barrymore were two “medium sized” girls. Truly one of the things I loved about both of them was and their “comfort” in their own skins. The natural, “girl next door” look each possessed was appealing. Middle size in Hollywood is fat. To register average size on camera one must be thin. To appear thin on camera, one must be close to emaciated. I do not believe most of Hollywood is in the 5 percent of the population who is rail thin no matter what. I am not a thin basher. In fact I know a couple of people who are in that group, each struggles to gain weight. An issue with which I am not personally familiar, but sympathize.

When the Oscar nominations were read the other morning by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone, Emma Stone was a bone. I imagine a lot of people thought she looked “great”. I didn’t. The other thing I noticed was that women my age are not only getting thinner by the minute, but also many of them in Hollywood are starting to look like Michael Jackson, midway through his plastic surgery adventure.

Both Drew, before she had her baby and now Emma, jumped on that Skinny Train. They did not trim down for health reasons, each would have registered completely fine on a BMI scale. I am disappointed. Soon we will see photos in some magazine about how Drew lost her baby weight. Sigh. Celebrity society sometimes misses the point and forgets to celebrate the baby.

Back at the ranch with the rest of us: To pretend that we don’t think about how we look would be wrong. I love to decorate my house with mirrors. I always have. Not because I am vain. Two reasons: My mom did and I love the angles, light and reflections. That said, I see myself a lot of the day many ways.

Lately when I walk by one, I am looking at what I see. I am an aging lady, who has experienced a lot of life. My hair has become wild, but will never be gray, ( I have been totally influenced by our society in the hair color realm), wrinkles from many smiles, lines on my forehead from being hugely expressive, and dark circles under my eyes which are genetic, look back at me. I am good with it most days. I have chosen topical vs. surgery or injections to enhance my thinking more than anything else. One definition of a quality problem: To ask yourself bangs or Botox? When half the world is starving, it is almost embarrassing.

There is no hiding in my profession. I sweat my make-up off every time I teach and my body moves how it moves. My clients see what they see each time I teach a fitness class or practice yoga with them. Since it is offered from the heart I am free. Blessed with good health, a tremendous amount of energy and ability to do my profession at a high level daily is not taken for granted. Many of my clients are ten to thirty years my junior. As long as I am able to move, breathe, feel and give, I will.

No conclusion here, just thoughts. I value the exchange I have with my friends, daughters and mom. I am blessed.