Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What A WONDERFUL Wednesday!

This past week was amazing! Full of adventures, family, work and love. Apollo even went back to his once a week doggy daycare (full permission to play)! I worked (and worked out) a ton, we ate delicious and healthy meals (chicken burgers, avocado dip and much more), had lunch with friends AND a surprise NYC 21st birthday cousin trip!!

Oh my, did we have a blast! And we fit in so, so, so much in the city while we were there. Statue of Liberty, clubbing, shopping (and finding perfect outfits), “vixens,” caricatures, central park, nice dinners, new lululemon, comic show, more shopping and my favorite: THOR AT THE WAX MUSEUM! The wax museum is amazing. I thought it would be silly, but it was actually one of the highlights of the trip. 

This coming week is FULL of fundraising (which is why this is a wonderful Wednesday piece instead). We have our henna & drinks party coming up this Friday. $25 in advance, $30 at the door!! So excited to have this FUN-draiser. I hope you can all make it.

We also have our upcoming teacher training. If you know anyone who is just graduating from their 200 hour teacher training, a certified yoga teacher, or beginning their journey in yoga education: send them our way. It should be a wonderful morning/afternoon and we are blessed to already have quite so many participants. Let me know if you want to join in and volunteer with us.

Hubby & I also decided that this week needed to be full of fun! So, we bought a bubble gun and a star wars toy – why not? It’s summer, and it is time to celebrate life – however you want to!

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Death Meditation: Are You Ready?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all.” Oscar Wilde

If you died today, would that be okay?

Of course, I am not in any way hoping that you leave the earth yet, but I am just curious about your life and your dreams. Have you set out to accomplish most of the things you’ve wanted in life? Are you happy? Is there something you need, desire or want?

I am so blessed and very happy in my life. If I died tomorrow, I would be crushed that my newlywed hubby would be alone, my family would be devastated and Journey to Hope would wither as well. However, I tried! I am trying every day of my life to create something beautiful, to put all my energy into my projects, my passion and my family. I put myself out there, jump out of my comfort zone and try.

Do you?

Each of us has our own path, our own adventure that we need to be on. There are bumps in every road, but they are there to remind us of how amazing the smooth parts of life are, and how much we should appreciate everything we have. Many of us are blessed with families, homes and a life full of love & purpose. Even if you haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for, you’re trying. You are out there in the great unknown trying to create your best life.

Ana Forrest talks about a Death Meditation in her book, Fierce Medicine and it was a transformational experience. After reading this chapter and the instructions on how to do a death meditation, I got out my pen & paper and asked myself a series of questions while imagining that my death is imminent and pending...

“What are your regrets?”
“What is your unfinished communication?”
“What am I imprisoned by?”
“Have I been lying to myself?”
“What in my life needs to break free?”
“What do I REALLY love?”

Then, Ana has you come back from life!

She says:

“Breathe out your death.
Breathe in this new life force.
Sparkle up!

Now that you know what really matters to you, can you live it? Can you truly live this life of no regrets, full of love, wisdom and light?

We need to prove it. We need to get out there – have adventures, do yoga, and make our lives truly sparkle. Stop waiting for life to begin. Stop hiding in the corners collecting cobwebs and begin living. Don’t stop to think about what others will think of you: create life!

If you have responsibilities, do them with flare. Wear your favorite shoes to work, buy yourself your favorite iced coffee while watching your sons baseball game, watch a movie you want to see all by yourself if no one wants to go with you, reach out & meet new people, make friends, make food and laugh until you cry.

Ana Forrest is a beautiful, kind, full and generous teacher with a deep spiritual connection. I think everyone should pick up Fierce Medicine and check out the in depth instructions of her death meditation. It will truly put a spin on your perspective and remind you to live life.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Magical Mondays: IRS & Puppy Snuggling

Magical Monday is a bit difficult to write today, but with a 6 month old puppy in bed who just wants to cuddle – it’s also more magical!

Apollo was neutered this week, which was a big event in our lives. I’ve never had a dog before, so we are taking extra good care of him as the vet said: a big whale cookie, new collar & leash and PLENTY of cuddling, because our poor little dude can’t run and play for a whole week! But we have been and will be on plenty of leash walks – out and about having fun on our own terms.

This week was full of adventure & I am happy to say that I stepped out of my comfort zone. I was able to practice paddle boarding once more, and was invited to a potluck dinner afterwards. I had much hesitation, as I really wanted to be home with hubby & the furry babies, but decided to go anyway. What a blast! It was so much fun to eat vegan/raw/YUMMY foods and hang out with a few friends and many people I didn’t know too well. Hopefully next time hubby will be able to attend!

The hubby & I also had a fun filled Cape weekend, where (as always) we got to try a new place to eat! Not being from Cape Cod, or ever even vacationing here before moving – we love to try new cuisine and locales! This Saturday, we went toBuca’s.....oh. MY!!! To die for delicious. We had the artichokes wrapped in proscuitto with roasted red peppers for an appetizers and it was all up hill from there. One yummy dish after the next, in a beautiful and romantic atmosphere. I am going to yelp them and give them as many stars as they gave portion sizes (a bit overwhelming, but plenty for leftovers!) Apollo even lucked out because I got the veal special, and it came with a yummy marrowbone that he is still thoroughly enjoying this morning.
Journey to Hope has some amazing & wonderful news, alongside mediocre news:

We got our paperwork back from the lawyers and are ready to send in our 501c3 paperwork to the IRS! It is a moment that I have been waiting months and months for, and I am thrilled that we are one step closer to being a legal non-profit.

The downside? We owe $850 to the IRS along with this paperwork to even be considered. Any donation, large or small, is generous and kind. Our paypal link can be found on our homepagelink, and we would love any & all donations so we can send this paperwork out! Also, check ourbenefits section to see if any up coming events pique your interest – and then come on out, practice yoga, get henna & support a good cause.

The little things: I (almost) finished my to-do list this week, new rice crackers I discovered at the party, paddle boading and doing yoga with new friends, Moving Meditation newsletters, blog post brainstorming for Journey to Hope, feeling healthier, house hunting/dreaming/manifesting, dark & stormy cocktails at Buca’s, getting out of my comfort zone, running, good conversation, MY HUBBY, cuddling with the furry babies, grant work, IRS paperwork(!!), planning our documentary, clean house (and amazingly helpful hubby) and PACKING for the 21st birthday adventure for one of the most beautiful, kind and loving girls I know. I am SO excited to go on a surprise getaway with my cousins, and so grateful to my Aunt Pam for putting the wheels in motion and helping with the biggest part of our adventure!

The week ahead is full of to-do lists, oil changes, shopping, love, cuddling, lunch dates, raw food adventures, running, yoga & much, much more!

I hope your week ahead is shinning and beautiful (even in the rain)!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Running Diary: Part One

Running does not come naturally to me at all. If you had asked me a few years ago, or even a few weeks ago, I would have told you that the only reason for running is if you are being a bear, or a jaguar. The only other real reason for running: the ice cream man drove by and didn’t stop because you were in your house grabbing change.

Now, I haven’t really changed my mind to the point where I think running is “fun” but I am working on my attitude. (I am certainly 100% better than the time my friend Jill tried to encourage me to run – poor Jilly)!

One of the things I put on my 2012 goals was to do something that scares me. I would say that would’ve been trapeze, but that was far too much fun! Running, on the other hand, scares me.

“My chest hurts” “I can’t breathe” “The weather isn’t perfect” “Let’s go for a walk instead” I was the queen of running excuses, but something inside me recently changed. Just as with learning pincha mayarasana (forearm stand), or urdva vkrasana (handstand), I loved the thrill of the challenge. So when I saw Color Me Rad, I knew I had to do it!

Reasons why I decided to run a 5k...

1) Who doesn’t want to look like a rainbow while covered in sweat running around Boston in mid-July?

2) I’ve never done ANYTHING like this before. I figure it’s time to step up my game. I love my practice. I love my yoga. And mostly, I love my body. But I feel as though I can do SO MUCH MORE if I just keep pushing myself to be better!
Pincha MayarasanaPincha Mayarasana
I’m in shape, but running is a true challenge. It is a much different experience from yoga. I feel as though the muscle confusion is and will continue to be good for my body. I was so excited and terrified by the idea of running a 5K that the only logical thing to do was post it on facebook & ask for advice. This way, I had to stick to it because I had publicly announced my new ambition. I was rewarded with a ton of lovely advice: where to run, beautiful locations on Cape Cod, which 5K I should run next, training programs and much more.

The past two weeks have been a challenge. I have run 5 times and am following the couch to 5K program on my phone! Although I do not sit on my butt all day, I am getting my butt kicked with this program and actually kind of liking it. The challenge is something new and unique for my body and mind. Right now, I am enjoying nature, learning a running rhythm and becoming in tune with what to do and how to run. It actually gets easier every time I go out, and although it is not my favorite activity, I am really glad I am doing this!

Have you really challenged yourself lately? Tried something new? Tell me about it! I would love to hear your all about your adventures in personal growth!

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Are you starving on the car ride to yoga?

Let me tell you from personal experience: do not eat sushi, taco dip or anything Indian before you practice yoga. It just doesn’t suit your belly well!

So... what should you eat before class?

I believe you should keep it simple. Nothing with too much heavy flavor that you will be tasting later in downward dog (especially if your power teacher loves core work) Here is a list of simple foods that I would eat an hour or so before class. If you’re pressed for time, and eating on the go, almonds are always a great choice. Just make sure to down them with water so you’re not dehydrated later!

Carrots, peppers & other light veggies
Small piece of dark chocolate
Toast with butter (or vegan butter)
Green smoothie
Eating some of these power foods will make you feel satisfied without feeling stuffed or full! It will make you feel your best, ready for action – and for downward dog.

To feel your best, you ideally want to eat an hour before class, and/or a half hour after class. Drink PLENTY of water throughout your yoga practice or any other workout – and remember to take breaks. One of the joys of yoga is that you become in tune with your body. In doing so, you can naturally take breaks and rest by listening to what you body needs.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Magical Monday, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday

Good Morning!

As I am sitting here in bed, listening to the rain & cuddling with Apollo, I am just so grateful. The past few weeks have been full of joy, adventure, blessings and so much more. I have been seeing Journey to Hope grow in leaps and bounds and am so blessed to call this magical island my home.

No matter what the day, I am always counting my blessings. I say it in class, I say it online, and yoga journal just had a whole article about it in their episode this past month! The more often we count our blessings, the happier we will be and the longer we will live. As Henry Ford said, “if you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right!” We get back from the universe what we put out, and if we appreciate and love – we will be more appreciated and loved!
The past week was full of fun! I Djed a sweet 16 masquerade, subbed jammin’ yoga, got a brand new lululemon shirt & amazing playlist from Jill, worked on Journey to Hope’s fundraisers (both ideas for this year AND next!), WE GOT OUR LOGO!!!, sent our first newsletter, I started “running” my couch to 5k sessions, taught mother’s day partner yoga, went to temple, had dinner with Emily & Giordana, hung out with my mom... and our president openly admitted to being pro gay marriage!
This week has already been full of adventure – a lululemon photo shoot (and another gift from my amazing boss), puppy love, collecting sea glass, and really working on my to-do list! Sometimes it is so important to set to-do lists while other days, you should really be living moment to moment. I feel like I have a lot of catch up things to do, so in my to-do list, I wrote in things like: write so & so a check, go to the bank, send mail, get a pedicure, go to the beach, go to yoga! My to-do list always has fun things on it as well, so that I remember to have fun while I am trying to do my best at working or catching up on bills etc.

I am off to enjoy a wonderful Wednesday, and hope you are too!

If you all have ANY blog topics you would like me to write on, please let me know. I am committed to writing more as of late and I am compiling a huge list. I would love to get to YOUR ideas.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inspiration... and checking in on our goals!

While I was taking a bath the other day, with my LUSH products, I saw this brilliant color. A blue and purple color within the bubble that had a hint of green. I began thinking that inspiration can be found anywhere – even in the corner of a bath bubble!

Although I am not an artist by nature, I do love & appreciate the art around me. I understand how easy it is to find inspiration when we are open and aware of our surroundings. As a yogi, I have truly begun to open to any and all new experiences and have begun to embrace the new. Even if the situation brings up fear, I try to embrace my feelings around the newness, and walk through that fear. After all, the best way out is through!

This past month, I have been inspired all over the place. I can see the shape and future of Journey to Hope and couldn’t be any more thrilled about our progress, our programs and what we are going to be offering in the coming year. If you are interested, I hope that you would sign up for our teacher training orientation – as we need to grow in numbers if we are to expand our thoughts, ideas & locations! 

The new ideas I have lately have inspired me to try many new things.

  • I am going to begin teaching stand up paddleboard lessons and paddleboard yoga this summer!

  • I am going to run a 5k in July. Color Me Rad. I have not run. Ever. I do not like running. But because of this, I have decided that I need to get over my fear and my emotional block of “hating” running, and just do it. I started my couch to 5k program on Monday and have “run” twice. My time improved and I felt a little bit better on the second attempt. I won’t say that I love it yet, but I will complete my own challenge of running a 5K this summer.

  • I am in the beginning stages of planning a yogathon for Journey to Hope in the spring of 2013. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I am already excited and VERY inspired by the amazing men and women I work with and practice with each week. I cannot wait to give you all a full set of details when we are ready to launch!

  • I have actually been watching T.V. lately. We don’t watch a ton of T.V. in our house (aside from Grey’s Anatomy & Once Upon a Time), but when I help hubby in the office, the T.V. is on! I love the Nate Show (which is being canceled!) and Rachel Ray. I have been inspired by new recipes and trying to find new design ideas for our home. 

All of this inspiration has got me thinking back to January when I was setting my goals for the year. I try to set goals and ideas each year, and this is the perfect time to check in on my accomplishments thus far.

As I am the judge of what I have and have not accomplished, I can decided whether or not I am attaining these goals. In my mind, I wish I were doing better on my health goals. While I have cut out cola, and worked out much more often, I still feel like my eating isn’t in balance... so that is something I would like to work on in the coming months. I did, however, accomplish a good amount of my goals: planned a huge summer fundraiser for Journey to Hope, tried something that scared me (trapeze), and went to the National Seashore. I am getting very excited for summertime, when I can begin to incorporate more of my goals and ideas (things that, in Cape Cod, are only open May – September)!

I hope you are all able to work on and check in on your own goals and accomplishments! Have you set goals yet? If not, read this post, which tells you all about how I set my own goals, and might give you some of your own needed inspiration.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Magical Mondays! Blessed.

Team PYCC - photo courtesy of Lucie BrackettTeam PYCC - photo courtesy of Lucie Brackett
I am beyond inspired! Yoga Reaches Out Yogathon yesterday was amazing. My body feels really great and I am blessed to have practiced yoga with such beautiful & kind teachers and participants while raising $400,000 for Children’s Hospital Boston and Yoga Africa Project. I know that with this joint collaboration, anything is possible. I am so inspired with Journey to Hope ideas, brainstorming and love!

This past week was full of love, fun dates and new ambition. I went to more yoga classes than I typically do and my body is starting to feel much better – I am much more in touch with my practice! I feel so alive!! Now, I can work on my 5k challenge and begin getting over my fear and strong disdain of running. I am also working on health and eating a LOT this week. I feel a juice cleanse coming on!
The hubby & I finally found real Mexican food on Cape Cod! Andale Cafe. What a yummy and cute place. It was delicious and I even had a jalapeno margarita – delicious! We also saw the Avengers. I have a huge girly crush on “Thor” (Chris Hemsworth) and loved every minute of it. They did such a great job with the characters and collaboration of the super heroes. We are planning on seeing it again this week!

Little things: getting back into scrapbooking, beach walking, seeing my mom and grandma, my new green summer tote bag (!), dropping fun clues to the little one about the surprise trip, yoga sequence planning, paddle board research, Ana Forest’s Book (!), hot chocolate from Nedpie, Apollo’s first night on the boat, re-doing my website, Grey’s Anatomy episodes.... and Once Upon a Time (Oh, My!), clean house, trip planning, henna tattoos, house dreaming, yogathon & much more.

The week to come is full of girly dates, church sing sessions, mother’s day workshop, more beach, retreat brainstorming, fundraising & senior council meetings. I can hardly wait!

Hold onto the little things. Something as simple as a friend making you hot chocolate, or cuddling with a loved one! Smile at strangers and always wave back, even to the people you don’t know.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!