Tag Archives: happy

Art Salvation

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Allowing my creativity to flow
without making a big deal about it…
No pressure, not trying to impress anyone,
just trying to save my own life
through color, texture, and the freedom
to bring my inner world outside
where it can dance, breathe,
and be painted into being.
I never knew that such simplicity
could yield salvation,
but here I sit feeling grateful
to have another day
to pick up my pen, my brush,
and remember the voice
that quietly speaks within me.

Musings on the Eve of My 40th Birthday

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I turn 40 tomorrow.
I’ve been met with
expressions of sympathy
and knowing looks–
I’ve been asked,
How do you feel about that?
Are you okay with that?
Of course I am!
Whether I want it to or not
the sun rises and sets,
Whether I’m ready for it or not
the weather is constantly changing
and
Whether I like it or not
I’m getting older every day,
It is a privilege to be here,
to have a family,
work I love,
the ability to create something
out of thin air,
to learn,
to have this life.
And one more thing…
As I’ve aged
I have discovered
what a gift it is
to be able to give to others,
to have the energy
to act in concrete ways
that will benefit others.
I’m happy to work tomorrow,
to teach a yoga class
and help my students relax.
Their appearing in the room
is a wonderful gift.
Offering me the opportunity
to share the best of myself
with them is even better.
It’s a blessing to leave behind
the preoccupations
of my earlier years
and dive into the joy
of what is right there
in front of me.
Happy Birthday to Me!
I was given this life
and I am so grateful.

Simply Being You

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When you commit to a practice
your mind might balk at first.
This is because it is used to having its own way.

It tells you what to think,
what to feel,
what to remember,
what to like and dislike,
what to regret,
what to desire.

Would you let a child do the same?
When you believe what your mind tells you,
it is as if you’re saying to a child,
“Okay, I’ll accept your version of reality,
as fantastical as it may be…whatever you say.”

Wouldn’t that be ludicrous?
You, with your years of experience
and all of your wisdom,
allowing a child to tell you what to think!
But this is essentially what happens when
you give your mind the power to decide
what this reality holds for you.

Commit to a practice.
Learn how to sit.
Be with the mind,
and notice how even the loudest chatter
cannot sway you from your stable seat.

Breathe deeply,
and realize that you need do nothing more than this
to be truly happy.

When you become established in a practice,
it becomes the most natural thing in the world to do,
and the whole world thanks you for it too,
because you have finally come back home
to simply
being
you.

The Weekend Comes to a Close–and I’m Happy!

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I was gone for most of the weekend for my 500 hour teacher training.  Three hours Friday night, eight hours Saturday, seven hours Sunday.  Today I went straight from Sunday teacher training at Midtown to the studio in Fells Point to teach my 6pm beginner hot vinyasa class.

It was magical.  I learned so much this weekend and I was excited to bring new energy to my students tonight.  One of the main things I focused on was tightening up my dialogue so that the students would have a clearer idea of where they were going, how to find alignment in the poses once they got there, and have the space to just be without me jibber jabbering too much.

One of my teachers this weekend is a young woman who took the 200 hour teacher training with me.  She became a professional yoga teacher within a short time, and has been teaching many classes a week since then.  A few years ago she began training other teachers, helping them to refine their offerings and become more adept at their craft.  I was impressed to see how much she had grown in the seven and a half years since we took our training together; we hadn’t seen a lot of each other during that time and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had a little trepidation, afraid that my neuroses would get in the way of me learning from this gal who is younger than I am.  My competitive vein runs deep…my fear of not being as good or as successful even deeper–together they could easily create a huge block to my just looking at this girl, listening, and enjoying being in the same room again after all this time.

Well, I was presently surprised.  In her funny, articulate way, with her disarming smile, I found it easy to listen to her and felt receptive to her ideas and suggestions.  She recommended that we stop demonstrating our poses for our students so that we have more time and energy to devote to really looking at them. Wow. I thought about all of the beginner level classes I teach and the assumption that my students need me to demonstrate or else they’d be lost.  That assumption was blown out of the water tonight when I committed to being very clear in my cues and choosing what I say in relation to what I was seeing my students doing.  No more canned dialogue.  Present moment awareness.  Really looking at my students and noticing if someone needed to make an adjustment, I could give them a short cue and they could handle it themselves.  And I was able to assist more students in their postures so that they could find an alignment that supported optimal breathing and energy flow.  Epiphany: Wow, my students are more capable than I thought they were.  Another epiphany: I’m more capable than I thought I was. Wow.

One of the first things I noticed while teaching the class was that my body was feeling fine the whole time.  No achiness in my hips or shoulders from demonstrating lunges and yoga push ups.  I also felt a much deeper connection to my students, I spoke directly to them, looked them in the eyes.  I connected with them much more than if I had been talking and demonstrating the whole time.

Next teacher training weekend is in April;  I wonder what I’ll learn.  I’m so excited to refine my teaching and bring better quality instruction to my students, to grow into greater potential as someone who assists others in feeling good, being healthy, enjoying the present moment, and knowing how to empower themselves through the practice of yoga.

Here’s another epiphany:  I’m happy!  I’ll say it again:  I’m happy! And one more time:  I’M HAPPY! I’m emphasizing this because I have spent so much time in this blog talking about how depressed I was, and I’m glad for this change.  It’s incredibly refreshing and freeing to acknowledge that I feel happier today than I have felt in a long time.  I’m grateful.  I’m also tired, so I apologize for the terseness.  But maybe it can be enough just to say I’m happy!

Time to meditate and take this tired body off to bed.

Good night!

Tote #4

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Reversible tote. On the left you see the exterior, on the right, the lining.

Reversible tote. On the left you see the exterior, on the right, the lining.

Yay! I finished my son’s tote tonight in record time. I’m getting really good at these things, and having so much fun making them. I might mention that I was plunging ahead at warp speed, trying to get it all done before dinner, proud of myself that I was remembering each step and being efficient–but then I realized I had forgotten the pocket, and had to stitch it in with more difficulty than if I had gotten the steps in the right order. Then, on the last step, I realized I hadn’t top-stitched the handles, so again, did this with more difficulty, because they were already attached to the bag.

Oh well. I named my other totes, so I’ll dub this one my “Think Before You Leap” tote. My son is not yet two and won’t care that the pocket isn’t perfectly symmetrical. It bothers me less than it would’ve one year ago. One year ago I was terrified to make sewing mistakes. Today, I’m allowing myself to learn from them and move on. Progress!

After the kids were settled in bed this evening, I was sewing away, making the final push to get the tote done, and I was struck at how calm, relaxed, and happy I was feeling. It’s so gosh darned fun to sit at the sewing machine with a project that I’m excited to work on, a project that is helping me to learn and progress with new skills. And then I had this thought that everybody should do something creative every day, something that is a unique expression of themselves. Whether it’s a few words in a journal, or strumming a guitar, or arranging some flowers, knitting a few rows of a scarf, doodling with crayons, whittling something out of wood–if everyone could tap into their creativity on a daily basis, what a wonderful world it would be.

I’m way into the idea of leading by example. After spending a good deal of my life being hardheaded and taking forever to realize that people really don’t want to be told what to do, it has finally sunk in that “being the change” I wish to see in the world is far more effective than anything else to effect positive change in the world around me.

So beginning with myself, tapping into my creativity every day, enjoying the creative process, living an inspired life, maybe the people around me will feel motivated to tap into their creativity. I really hope so, because what a gift it is to find things (even small things!) that bring us joy and then to do them. 

Time to meditate. To breathe, settle into stillness, and remember who I am beyond my body and my mind. Time to become absorbed in the unity of all there is, the inner space, the true self, the infinite ocean of consciousness. Time to bring my mind to focus, so that I may experience the presence beyond the thoughts. Time to try to stay awake for thirty minutes.

Oh beautiful beautiful life, thank you.