Monday, November 30, 2009

Cat Got Your Tongue?

It's sure got mine!

I have ordered a teaching break for myself. This unfortunately meant backing out of some classes and series that I had committed to and arranging for a friend to teach one of my three weekly classes through December.

I just need a break... I need to clear my head. As of right now I feel as stale as old bread and, while my sequencing is fine, like
I have nothing to offer in the realm of 'more-than-asana'.

This week, I was officially promoted to the Director of Rape Recovery--this was such an honor and sort of where my head has been rather than on my teaching.

Plus--and this will be a real freakin' surprise for my regular readers--I'm still locked up in the throat chakra struggling to find my authentic teaching voice.

Totally frustrating...

I need a free workshop or retreat where I can bask in someone's brilliance and inspiration. Notice I said free--surely you can see my pickle?

I need to speak from my heart without scrutinizing every word.

There's no other way to say it...the cat has my tongue.

I will set out to free it...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Growing Gratitude...

This is it really, don't you think?

You have to jump start it, rev it up and get it humming.

Water your flower so it can grow...and grow it will!

I noticed this on my way into work this morning as I was reflecting on my morning and the past few days. One happy, thankful thought led to another and I noticed the bounty in my simple as my little life is, I am overflowing with gifts.

My favorite saying is, "my cup runneth over" and I mean that with a fierce sincerity that epitomizes my truth.

What I am thankful for today:
  • Loving my day job--I love coming to work. There is no dread when I rise in the morning and make my drive in after yoga.
  • Loving my evening job--I am inspired by the practice I am blessed to share with others.
  • When I need to take time off to catch my breath or take care of life burps (cable issues, doctor appointments, plumbing situations...etc.) I am paid for that time and do not have to sacrifice my peace of mind and quality of life for $$$.
  • Even though I am no longer at home with my children full-time anymore, I balance family, work and personal elements of my life in a way that feeds my soul.
  • For clarity.
  • For abundance, especially a new opportunity that has presented itself to me and could very well be the start of something new in my life.
  • For my yoga practice and how it creates harmony in my life overall--more than physically, which has its own benefits (I don't care to eat past the point of sufficiency, I desire healthy foods and THINK about what I eat, I feel great and vibrant, the list goes on and on), I have more space in my mind which spills over into my life, my heart is open and I am aware of the middle way, adhering to it whenever I can but certainly now more than ever.
  • For chocolate...dark chocolate...yum.
  • For my iPhone. Oh yes.
  • For my children and how MUCH they bring to my life--god I LOVE those little ones and I am wiser and better because of them.
  • For knowing I could continue to write this list until the end of time and so, for having THAT much to be thankful for.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and peace.


Monday, November 23, 2009

In the still of the night...

I feel so refreshed and at peace.

I have spent the last four days filling the moments with soulfood. Granted, I bought myself an iPhone and have used some time learning all of her capabilities and some may consider that to be rogue, materialistic pleasure but I have never splurged on myself before.

I have always waited on others to buy me gifts, especially significant others, but this gift was mine to and for me.

I had two extra days off and enjoyed time with my children--this morning taking them to a local cafe for breakfast and schoolwork. Noticing their faces and their words...noticing details of our environment.

I planted poinsettias in my hanging baskets on the front of the house--my special, tradition to welcome and bless the season. This is also my way of saying "this isn't just any lives here".

Later we went to my son's play--he's been working very hard with his theater mates for the last three months and their hard work paid off. It was wonderful to be there for him and to watch his light shine.

I wasn't always, every minute perfect in my presence or my patience or my awareness but my appreciation for this day and it's many gifts runs deep within me and even now, as I sit in the still of the night, I know I live a blessed life.

Love lives here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thoughts for the evening...

I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to this week of spending time with family.

I am going to spend Thanksgiving with my Granmom. My mom will be there (her daughter) and my brother and I with our children.

Four generations.

All of those stories and experiences in one place...waiting to be shared so as to live on forever in our hearts, minds and history.

This is how we become boundless.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Morning Yin

This morning, with only an hour to practice, I opted for Yin. With all of the strengthening that my practice typically entails, I thought it time to balance with a practice that would dig deeper into the connective fabric of my being, so that my strength might be matched by agility.

The Morning Yin went something like this:
  1. Butterfly (a loose bound angle)
  2. Once upright--a gentle, seated backbend from Butterfly
  3. Pigeon on right side
  4. Firelog (left leg swings around, left knee atop right ankle, left ankle atop right knee)
  5. From firelog--twisting left
  6. From firelog--gentle, seated backbend
  7. From firelog--folding forward
  8. Repeat on the other side
  9. Reclined Hero (or Saddle in Yin)
  10. Child's Pose
  11. Frog
  12. Cat Flow from Table
  13. Down Dog
  14. Sun Salutation A (3x)
  15. Headstand
  16. Yoga Nidra 15 minutes

For the Yin poses 1-11, I held for a few minutes (except the twists) and because I need the energy and flow of my Sun Salutations, I threw in a couple per body wisdom. Finally, I REALLY enjoy practicing Headstand when I haven't had a vigorous practice because I have so much more to offer for the integrity of the pose.


The Waiting Line

In the coffee shop this morning, I noticed the handsome man ahead of me--we exchanged smiles and I kept it moving.

As I turned to fill my cup from the coffee trough, I noticed my particular brew was missing from its stand and I laughed at my presumptuousness. He laughed with me and more smiles were exchanged.

I made a comment about being a creature of habit...and we stood together waiting for the same brew.

As the full carafe was returned to its home, he gestured for me to have the first cup. We moved about the coffee bar in our little coffee dance and I enjoyed being drawn to him.

I took every opportunity to look at him and felt him do the same.

I left with him walking out behind me and I turned to smile at him one more time before I walked to my car, imagining, already, the many grand gestures that might be made on either part to extend our self to the other.


You can see how quickly my mind can get away from me--I'm such a daydreamer and I always have been.

Surely some of you remember John Schneider from the Dukes of Hazard? He was one of my MANY childhood crushes. I use to fantasize that we would come back later in my life to my former elementary school and we would sit together, with our child, in the library holding a small scale press conference where the children could ask me what it was like to be married to a celebrity.


Taming THIS mind has been a lifetime's work.

This morning, fellow coffee patron from the waiting line was my John Schneider.

It's all good, I can live with being a work in progress...but one day, just one day I want to step outside that daydream and dare that grand gesture without fear or second guessing.

Love to you all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Weekend


I needed that--needed time with and for my children, time with and for myself.

What a great weekend!

I started it off Friday evening by making Buffalo Wings for my boy and I--he's been begging me for some time now--and a vegetarian alternative for my daughter, fresh cut veggies with blue cheese and ranch dressings and three different movies.

Saturday morning my 'practice' was an hour and half walk along our river--I tried little spurts of jogging to break it up and build a little endurance--and then stretched in the park when I was done. Nothing can clear my head like a good walk, especially when I'm walking on the river--I am so drawn to water and city sounds and this Riverwalk of ours takes you from our quaint little historic neighborhood, along the banks of the St. Johns River, to the heart of downtown.

As I was preparing breakfast, we had a knock on our door and I could see two ladies standing on the porch. My typical response is to ignore them until they go away but something told me to at least greet them before turning down what they were peddling.

I approached my glass door and was greeted with sincere smiles that I couldn't resist--as I opened the door, prepared to tell them my toast was in danger of burning, 'make it quick', one of them handed me a flyer advertising Thanksgiving basket giveaways at their church (a church new to our neighborhood and I have had the pleasure of watching their growth over the last month from one building to the strip across the street).

I feel I need a disclaimer here--I am NOT religious, probably more of an atheist if I were forced to step into a box. I have actually had quite a chip on my shoulder in regards to religion for the better part of my adult life. However, as of late, I am softening to that which brings people hope, to that which instills and breeds love, peace and acceptance in their lives, for themselves and in their regard of others.

Sometimes Tina, that is what religion does for people--it's not all fire and brimstone.

That is what religion was doing for these women and their church. They were walking door to door in our little outskirts-of-the-city neighborhood, where there are many living in need, sharing their desire to help--to offer hope and love through these Thanksgiving baskets.

I was touched by their mission and shared with them that I work with many clients who could very well benefit from this drive of theirs and asked if I might forward the flyers on, to which they responded with more love and more flyers and an eagerness to help our agency now and in the future.

We arranged to work together, exchanged phone numbers and parted ways--I didn't even burn my toast and I was SO glad I opened the door after all.

Now the kids and I had a purpose for our first stint out of the house--we were going to purchase some food for their basket giveaway.

Fortunately, our local grocery store had many relevant BOGO (buy-one-get-one) deals and we stocked up!

Before heading on to the rest of our day we dropped off our package and were met with hugs and warmth and more irresistible smiles! It was awesome and quite the step for me as someone who has had a bit of a struggle with religion but again--anything that brings you hope and inspires you to walk in love and compassion is good enough for me.

The rest of the weekend was filled with brownie baking, down time, necessary cleaning (ick), more games, TWO yoga magazines arriving in Saturday's mail (yippie!), slacklining where I was learning to stand...simply stand and finding the stillness in my mind for this level of balance to be accessible, and finally, space in between the thoughts...restorative for sure and VERY--MUCH--NEEDED.

When I am here, in this place of self-awareness and self-care, I am so much more equipped, willing and able to share of myself with others.

Yoga is intuitiveness of our body/mind--a communion with self however that manifests. On some days it may manifest in a walk, a brownie-bake-fest with children, an open mind with church ladies, a particular magazine that inspires the happy-dance, a body-honoring asana flow or a stillness in the mind born of peace or acceptance of monkey-mind.

My cup runneth over...with space to be filled.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Space Between

I feel all talked out right now. Like I have said everything of significance in my wee little mind and there is nothing left but chatter...white noise.

I've become a critical observer to my teaching...caught in a negative feedback loop AS I'M TEACHING, monitoring every word, second guessing my instruction, my words or lack of words. Augh.

I need this weekend to pull back, to withdraw a bit into me and marinate in my own head...I need some space in between all these words, expectations and obligations.

I started this post last night and finally closed my laptop for sleep, thinking this feeling would pass--this worn out, have nothing to say, little to give, sucked and stuck inside myself sort of feeling.

But it didn't.

I woke up just as blase'.

I'm strongly considering cancelling breakfast with a friend--a standing date that we, for the most part, have weekly--but I'm trying to trudge forward, through the muck.

I almost feel as if I have no identity--like I'm a blur.

I tried to meditate this morning and it was the smoothest meditation I can remember because my mind was free of ripples and wrinkles--am I really too exhausted to think?


The path isn't always pretty--I accept that and on many levels, embrace it. I've never been afraid of my shadow, if anything I dare its darkness and step right inside. For most of my young life, the darkness cloaked me and I found solace in its familiarity.

For me, my shadow offers space to deal with the dirty stuff that could take me down, break my heart or dim my spirit if I were to avoid it--it's a resting place. I can stand taller when I rise from my knees and I see my world with a freshness that invigorates me.

So I bask in this space between happy and sad...a limbo woven of unkindled inspiration and listlessness...for now.

And just to show that I'm not an entirely lost cause--my blessings:
  • My daughter wrote me the sweetest email yesterday--expressing her love for and admiration of me. I needed that--we are at that funny teenage place, a place too complex to trivialize by attributing it to just her age. It is a necessary and beautiful metamorphosis.
  • My son seeks my time and attention by always suggesting things we can do together, be it games, a walk, a book, name it, he wants to do it with me.
  • My coffee is delicious and warming.

In order to experience the light of this life, I think it's imperative to really experience the's just the other side of something we deem wonderful and is replete with its own, dare I say, gifts.

Be light, be peace, be

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sorrow by Kyle Elden

I saw this on the Grace Intoxicated blog--I love this poem...I need it right now, feeling a little covered in mud.

Don’t give your life away to sorrow
to watch its flames take everything into
burning light,
to watch the smoke
of your dreams spell out the language
of longing and loss, to hang heavy in your clothes
and on your hair forever.

When you arrive at this place
and find yourself covered in the mud
in this thickness you walk through
get down on your knees,
prayer on your breath
dirt on your lips ~ and like the lotus flower
submerged in swamp, raise laughing
and red, bright as Jupiter pulling her many moons in a tidal dance

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Slackline Yoga

The line strung & anchored between two trees in the front yard of my house:

Finding balance on my own by letting go of the chair at my side:

Learning how to fall...there's a lesson here:

I know they're there if I need them but easing into balancing on my own:

Okay...someone's getting cocky:

Chair Pose with support:

Warrior I with support (those poles came in real handy!):

Crow Pose perhaps? Eventually...maybe?

These pictures are from the afternoon of my birthday--the family experienced the slackline with me: my sister-in-law, my children, my mom, my niece (well, we held her there...she's only 5 months).

It was an incredible experience--to be celebrating a birthday, my 35th, where we inevitably get older, yet to be endeavoring a new hobby that challenges my strength, balance and determination.

I learned something pretty cool on (and off) the slackline that day. Slackline yoga was more than just learning how to balance on the line...I had to also learn how to fall.

Slacklining was a test of my strength and my balance, requiring mental and physical steadiness or 'staying up' in a way that was prepped to fall and falling in a way that left me able to get back up. A metaphor for life perhaps?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thought for the Day

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough--Meister Eckhart

There is so much within and between every moment deserving of our gratitude--may your cup runneth over on this day.

More later...


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Invitation by Oriah

I feel certain I have posted this along the way but man, it's worth repeating.  I love this poem.  I love how it embodies ALL that we are as complex, multi-faceted beings.

I am my shadow and my light, I am my together and my falling apart, my chaos and my balance, my crazy and my sane.

I HIGHLY recommend reading Oriah's book, "The Invitation" where she writes about the path to her truly touching poem--she too celebrates all the pieces of her whole.

And now...The Invitation.

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hello November!

The month of my birth, 35 years ago.



Especially because I can still remember, vividly, details of days LONG ago...totting around at 2 years old in my plastic kitchen, napping on my 6-foot long stuffed frog, flirting at 5, my first kiss in the woods near my house at 11...what a life!

How is it that I'm just getting started?

This birthday is sort of special for me. I have treated myself to my first tattoo, I have received my slackline kit to begin my adventure into slacker yoga and I'm healthier than I have ever been in my life.

A celebration is in order and cupcakes are a'coming!

For the last 2 years I have been staking a claim in myself like never before--long overdue because of the extent to which I was accustomed to giving to others, especially my children--but I can feel it leveling out and it makes me happy.

I don't want to feel self-centered because it really was a necessary shift--however, all things are coming into balance for me now. I take what I need so I can give not only what I have, but what I manifest.

This is the start of something beautiful and I happily greet this month with open arms!

Love to all who read...may blessings abound in your life.