Thursday, June 25, 2009

Twists and Turns of Life

I have been meaning to post more often than I have.  However, it seems I post when I can.  I will do my best to post at least once a week instead of every 3.  Today I can post, so here I go...
Life has been good and busy, but we have experienced a bump or two in the road.  Jason, Liam and I just returned from Flagstaff on  late Tuesday evening.  Our trip up to Flag was supposed to be a bit of a vacation.  Instead, it turned into a bit of a headache with lots of details to figure out.  Hanging out and playing in the woods turned into phone calls to AAA (triple A not the other AAA), finding a place to stay and figuring out a way to get home.
On Saturday morning, Jason Liam and I were headed out to the mountain bike race called the "Barn Burner" for Jason to race.  It was raining and muddy and the roads were pretty torn up so it was hard to see much.  Anyway, to make a long story shorter, we hit a rock and put a giant hole in the oil pan, which rendered us helpless on the side of the dirt road one mile from the race at 6 a.m.  Well we weren't helpless per se but we were in need of some help, and help is what we got.  Some friends opened there home to the three of us to stay and another friend let us barrow an old car of his while we were in town.  This is why we love Flag.  The people are awesome!  
This is one of those events where we could've easily let this ruin the day but we didn't.
After a brief discussion, Jason and I made the decision for him to continue with the plan to race and we would stay until his race was done.  Then, we would find someone to tow us into town and call a tow truck from there.  That is exactly what we did.  We spent the day at the race. Jason and Jake won in the duo category, and I spent the day chasing Liam on his little red, glider bike. Liam had a ball riding around the bmx track, with very little help from me, and loved being outside and watching the racers.  We found a tent for Liam to nap in and had some snacks.  All in all the day went quite well despite it's beginning.  
I guess what this little event taught us is that we can either react to the situation or respond in a way that is useful and beneficial.  Funny what a little breathing and an audible ' damn it!" can do to put things into perspective and direct the energy and mind toward the positive. The audible "damn it!" flew out of my mouth the minute we hit the rock.  Jason and I both knew a hit like that couldn't be good.  As you might agree,  this situation was less than ideal. However, we did make the most of it and am glad we did. 
The next few days involved getting our car to a mechanic to see what the damage to the car really was.  The good news is the engine is okay.  Yeehaa!  The car is still in Flagstaff and we have rented a car for the week.  I just found out that our car insurance will cover most of the cost of this accident and so am grateful and relieved. 
All in all, it seems things will be just fine and we should have our car back sometime next week.  The three of us are happy to be home and working on unpacking and getting caught up on the things we need to do.  I suppose this sums things up.  
Until next time, best wishes for a smooth ride!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Digging for Gold

The Essence of Light
Sometimes the rubble turns to gold  showing you nothing but light
The cracking and crumbling of the mold 
Makes it possible to see what's behind the facade 
And when everything falls apart
We are able to dig deep to see what we need
To do what we need to set ourselves free
It's a painful process... This process of letting go of what we think we know leaves us open and bare and sore. The rawness of it all is exactly what we need for the growth. We tear away the layers and dig up all the hurt leaving it out in the open for all to see Fresh flesh, like fresh earth We dig in the dirt We get dirty We examine the muck We plant the seeds of hope and wait to see what rises from within We let go of the hurt and in the spaces we've cleared, new things bloom... The seeds planted sprout into understanding Understanding gives way to compassion Compassion roots into the deepest part of the heart 
And in that place love blooms Your true essence shines through
I wrote this about a year and a half ago.  I just finally edited it.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  (Nelson Mandela)  I had the most amazing and therapeutic conversation with my friend James this evening after my class about teaching and about coming into our own as teachers.  
 Teaching yoga in a way that is truly meaningful and helpful is an art.  Teaching is challenging and transformational on so many levels.   You have to be mentally and energetically sharp, open, compassionate, confident,clear, concise, authentic, steady, and willing to always learn.  
One of the things that comes up for me from time to time and has continued to show up over the years, is self-doubt or a feeling not being good enough on some level.   As I was sharing this with James,  I had this flash of insight.  What I realized during our heart-to-heart conversation was that I don't allow myself to be seen.  I show parts and allow little bits of my shiny essence to show through, but I don't think that I have ever let myself shine full blast.  
Throughout the years I have made a habit of making myself smaller in order to make others feel better or out of fear of not being ready or deserving in some way.   I find I shrink a bit in the presence of those I respect and admire, which is part healthy and part unhealthy.  The healthy part is the respect, the unhealthy part is feeling less than I am meant to be.  I am on the level and deserve to stand side by side my teachers even while I learn from them.    
I must remind myself and remember that I am allowed and meant to shine too!  
To paraphrase Nelson Mandela... who am I not to shine?  
I have matured on my mat over the years as a student and a teacher.  So why not take the next step and allow the essence of who I am and what I have to offer spill forth from every pore freely?  
May we all be luminous and the light that shines out be both colorful and clear.  

The Beaty of the Birds and the Gift of Nature

It has been three weeks since my last entry, which is hard to believe.   Things have been busy in a good way with little trips away to enjoy the beauty of the world.
On May 22, Jason and I spent the night in Medera Canyon in a little A-frame cabin in celebration of our 4Th wedding anniversary.  We went without our little sweetheart, Liam.  
We got there late in the afternoon so had the chance to sit and watch the birds.  It was such a treat to just sit there in the woods watching the birds flit about and to hear them chatter amongst themselves.  Hanging next to our tiny little porch was a hummingbird feeder encased in wire for the hummingbirds to perch.  Since this feeder was so close, within in reach, we were able to see the hummingbirds up close.  They are such lovely creatures with there vibrant, varied colors and tiny features.  These little birds would dart in towards the feeder, check us out, decide it was safe and would dine on the nectar, and sit still on the perch.  In those moments of stillness and observation on the porch, I understood the importance of taking the time to be in nature to tap into the rhythm of the world.  It is so easy to disconnect from the beauty of the natural world and get caught up with the routines of life.  It is important to unplug the phone, the computer, the T.V.  and sit and listen to the sounds and songs of nature.  
That evening as Jason and I sat on the porch watching the birds move from one feeder to the next, along came 5 wild turkeys.  The male turkeys were quite a sight.  The first male we saw was puffed up and out there strutting his stuff while the ladies were out digging up dinner.   The turkeys made us chuckle especially the showy males.  Jason joked that the males are always waiting on the females.  I agreed but told him that this is because the ladies are always busy! We laughed and went in to make dinner.  
The next morning, Jason and I went for a hike in the woods.  While hiking I realized how much I miss hiking in the woods and being surrounded by trees.  I had forgotten how different the woods smell and feel since moving to the desert.  I used to hike forest trails on a daily basis.  Now, I mostly walk in the neighborhood, which is good but different.  There is a sense of peace I find even when strolling through my neighborhood, but I do miss the trees.  I am grateful that the land of the trees is a short drive away.
Since our return from Medera Canyon and our evening with the birds, we have bought a birdseed and hummingbird feeder.  The word is already out.  We now have an assortment of colorful, chatty birds visiting us regularly.  I love the company of our new friends and make it a point to sit outside everyday to watch the birds.  For me, getting out in nature helps me feel more connected and at ease in all ways.  
I will close with a quote by Mary Oliver that is a perfect reminder to stop and look at the world around us,  get out for a walk in the desert, step outside to look at the stars, watch the sun rise and listen to the bird's song in the morning.  I think moments like these remind us that each day is a miracle and that times of silence are sacred and necessary for a happy soul.  
"Have I walked long enough where the sea breaks raspingly all day and all night upon the pale sand?  Have I admired sufficiently the little hurricane of the hummingbird?  The heavy thumb of the blackberry?  The falling star?"