Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More from John

A friend of mine dropped off her notes from the John Friend workshop in November for me to read through. I wasn't taking notes because I was practicing so much, but what a gift that Dana did take note and was willing to share.

Here are John's thoughts from 11/13/10:

"If I had only one thing to teach you, one opportunity, one class, here it is: Soften the limiting ideas of yourself. Dissolve what you think you can't shift and change. We are more than we think we are. Have a beginner's mind. You are worthy of living this day fully."

And with that, I'll leave you for the year. I'm up to my elbows in holiday crafting and trying to enjoy being with friends in between babe sicks and me being sick. December is obviously not the month for me to be blogging. So, I'm letting myself off the hook and will catch you in 2011. Love and Light to you all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Letter

The words I needed to read this week turned up in my mailbox on Saturday in the form of a letter written during my teacher training. I share this a bit tentatively, blogging aside, I really am a private person. But in sharing this sentiment with my Sunday class many students related and needed these words as much as I did. And so I share to remind us all that we are not alone.

Dear [insert your name here],
What I want YOU to know is.... I Love You. You have everything you need inside you always. You have all the skills and knowledge and tools and support and confidence you need to make your dreams come true and to craft your life just as you want it. Life is beautiful - even yours.
But, you can't do it without me. I am ALWAYS here. Come back! Come home. Rest in me, take peace in me. I will never EVER leave you or guide you astray. Times when it feels too hard, come back. Times of great joy, come back.
I am always striving to embrace you - there is no need to run like a scared child away. Instead run wildly into me. Open. Open to me. Open your back body, open your breath and I will be there. Protection is fine for the world where needed, but open to me. Open and my love will fill you. You are whole and complete just as you are... let us never be separated. The love you crave is the Love I have for you FOREVER.
I will send teachers, guides, challenges, and many many joys. Watch for them, open to them, receive them with love. And remember to come home to me. You are a child of the Goddess - together let's make Magic!
Love, The Universe

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just Listen

What is the mirror of Being?
Bring non-being as your gift,
if you are not a fool.

One of my former teachers, Jennifer Elliot adds: "Our complete presence is the greatest we can give another... Richard Freeman says so profoundly: "Just Listen"."

The posting has been light because I've been called up into Active Duty Momming. Usually I'm in the reserves and things run like clockwork. Since Thanksgiving things have been a bit off so I'm actively being present with my little one and not the computer. One day I will return and until then enjoy being present with those you love. As Rumi says, non-being is our gift to give and to receive.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2010

I have some ideas for you if you don't already have any of your own. I know I'm a little late for Chanukah because it started tonight, but you could do a bit of this by next week and still fit it in.
Here are some random thoughts on gift giving this year. Not all are green, not all are "yogic" but it's what I have to offer.

  • Make Something - ok, if you're going to do this it's about time to get started. You probably don't need a reminder from me to make something yourself if you're the crafty type. But if you're not sure what to make for a lady you know (or, say, your favorite yoga teacher) just know that Circle scarves are very popular right about now and they seem pretty darn easy if you are at all skilled in the yarn arts department. I myself am planning to make at least one as a gift (and some fingerless gloves) as soon as I finish the meditation shawl on my crochet hook.
  • Cook Something - A twist on the holiday baking bonanza might be to make a hearty, healthy and warming soup to deliver to a good friend. I am definitely into enjoying soup lately and it seems like just the antidote to all the extra sugar that will pour into my life for the next month. Or, you could bake your favorite cookies, or bread, or invite friends to share a meal in some way. Cooking a meal filled with love is a wonderful gift to give to others.
  • Toys for Tots - A few years ago instead of buying my friends more stuff that they didn't need I asked them each what their favorite toy was as a child. Then I bought them each that toy and donated it in their honor to Toys for Tots. I think it made us all happy. It was fun to shop for toys and they liked that they got just what they wanted and also nothing more to fill their homes.
  • Charitable Donations - This comes along the same lines as Toys for Tots. Max recently read an article that noted that charitable donations are down these days. And that the wealthy are still giving, but they're giving to the arts, and not so much to service organizations and those who really need the financial assistance. In that light, this year we decided to give a lump donation in honor of all of our friends and co-workers rather than buy a bunch of small things that will be consumed or trashed in a few weeks. It's nice to do this for one person or a group of people if you especially know what folks are passionate about. I, personally, am passionate about Food and Education. I think everyone should have unlimited access to both. So, we're donating to a service that will feed others. I'm sure our friends/co-workers will be honored
  • Service Gift Cards - If you're reading this blog you're either in my family or interested in yoga in some way. If you're into yoga you probably know someone in some other form of bodywork. The folks who make their living doing bodywork (massage, dance therapy, reiki, rolfing, nia etc) could use a little support in this economy. Why not give the gift of a massage from your friend to another friend. Or ask for it yourself. If you live here in RVA I have a great suggestion for you. Ahhhhh Massage. Ahhhhhh!
  • Shop Etsy - Still want to buy something? It's quite likely you know someone with an Etsy shop. You know, Etsy the craft website. Buy from your friend, or send your friends there to shop. If you don't have a friend, check out MY friend Eliza's amazing Yoga inspired works at her etsy shop. or at least poke around on Etsy to find something one of a kind, amazing, and supportive of arts/crafts. Check out these beauties by Eliza... Sigh!

  • Yoga - It goes without saying that yoga transforms lives. Well mine definitely and many others too. This is a good time of year to pass on the gift of total transformation. Ideally, send someone to a class. Local studios could use your support with a gift card purchase. Or if you're not likely to make it out to the studio, buy a DVD to pass on to a friend. And if you're lucky enough to be a teacher, give to friends and family in home or a pass to see you in class. You'll all feel better after this one.
  • Time - Possibly the hardest to give but the best received. Do you know someone who stretches too thin with all they have to do? Help out. Give them a break. Like, babysit for a friend so the parents can go out. Offer to help someone carry out all the old stuff from the attic. Sit with an aging relative and listen to old stories again and again. Anything you can think of that gives someone else some relief is purely magical. But make it tangible. Sure, you can give a coupon but then require the receiver to actually USE it. Put it on both of your calendars and make it happen

So, my friends those are my thoughts for this year. one more little thought, if you're giving books consider Used. Super easy on amazon or even better at your local used bookstore. SO easy and better for this world (wish I'd remembered that this morning when I picked up some new ones. ack!)

leave a thought: What are you doing to make your holidays special? How does your holiday gift giving balance with your yoga ideals? What would your Toys for Tots gift be?


As much as I may have preferred to stay away, I did actually come back from Florida. I've been back almost a week now and have been enjoying a petite break from technology. Instead I've been indulging in books and sewing and the turning inward that is demanded by days with more hours of darkness than of light. BUT. I have big plans for this space. Or, at least, I do have more to share and so will slowly crawl back out from under the quite warm covers to share with you.
Of Thanksgiving I can say it was wonderful and Warm. We tried to fit in a little yoga photo shoot so I can have proper illustrations to my musings. The above is from our test run to check lighting. You can see how it went. I find it challenging to rock out full Vasisthasana (or even reverse warrior 2) with a 2 year old at my feet. So the photo shoot will have to wait.
Now that I'm back be on the look out for much more from my trip to see John in Bryn Athn, PA. And for a holiday gift guide in the works as soon as I get this up.
Love and Light to all.