Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't let your mind bully your body!

I saw a sign on pinterest the other day that really caught my attention. It is the one above: “Don’t let your mind bully your body.” I love it! The whole idea that we aren’t perfect stems from information we were fed as children and teenagers. The idea that your body isn’t great the way it is can be a load of bullshit.

As with many quotes, I brought it into my classes this week. I kept repeating the mantra of joy and love and accepting yourself completely for who you are. DON’T LET YOUR MIND BULLY YOUR BODY.

As with most quotes, I asked my students to believe in themselves and then looked in the mirror and had a huge argument with myself. I had to convince my mind, just as much as the minds of my students.

Then I saw this:

The part that really resonated was the comment a girl before me pinned. She said: “Read it again and again and again, to yourself and your daughters. Until it really sinks in.

What a concept. I read all of these amazing meditations, passages and quotes everyday. I dig down deep into my soul and try to be as kind to myself as possible, but I don’t always believe it. It is why I try so hard to get others to love themselves as well. We are on this journey together and the more the merrier. The more people you have on your side, supporting you and believing, the better your world will become.

I’ve often said that you’re an average of the top five people you spend the most time with. Aside from my husband and our furry babies, I spend a LOT of time with my students. They are so empowering. They are beautiful from the inside out. Even (and especially) when I make them cry, they continue to give everything they have and more to their practice. It is amazing to watch and their energy is not only captivating but also contagious. They make me want to further my practice, further my education and further my future.

My students feed my practice. They do not feed my ego. I don’t need them to follow my classes and attend all (appreciated, but not needed). I need them to go to other teachers to explore and bring more variety and joy into their practice. I love their energy and I am so blessed to have each and every student who walks through the door. But we create a practice together. I may lead, but I most certainly follow as well. Yoga is a community. Together we can make a difference in the way we view our world.

My husband said the other day that he is afraid for our future children because he doesn’t know what the world will bring. With terrible and heart wrenching acts such as the shootings in Aurora, the world doesn’t seem too safe. But there are other stories. Stories that I hear everyday because I surround myself with wonderful people.

An old acquaintance from high school has a beautiful four-year old baby girl. Her little girls dad lives in South Africa, but as tickets are expensive Kate & Adria have trouble flying there! Kate recently won a contest to fly them there for free. The only problem was the contest requires you to pay fuel surcharges: an additional $1,000! Facebook and friends came to the rescue! Yesterday, a friend of hers put up this little beauty and within an hour and a half, the entire goal (with excess) was achieved!

Little acts like this: helping a mother reunite her daughter with her father, a compliment from a stranger as you walk down the street, a hug from your neighbor and so much more. They remind me that we need to look at the whole picture. I can spend all day in front of the mirror telling you what is wrong with myself or I can spend my day spreading love and light. Asking people to create a community of goodness. I’m not afraid for our children. Yes, I am anxious in certain ways. But we will teach them to spread that goodness and light as well. We will teach them to love, to give and to help others.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What do I DO all day long?

A lot of people wonder what it is I do all day long. I think it is a fair and great question! Although it is ever evolving, and I am currently experience some big changes – this is a bit of an overview of my daily life!

In the morning, I wake up to take out the puppy and feed him breakfast at 5:30 am. At the same time, I put away last nights dried dishes, clean little odds and ends, feed Digger, clean his litter box and check the house for things that may need to be done before the day actually begins.

I hop back into bed and check my email while snuggling with hubby & Apollo. This allows me to catch up on things and people who were emailing me at all hours of the night and get back to people as soon as is possible. Emails usually include things about Journey to Hope, volunteer prospects, yoga classes and family things.  This is the time when I begin brainstorming about blog posts and the classes I will teach.

At the moment, I am doing the 21 day Deepak Chopra meditation challenge and am trying to incorporate meditation into my morning routine as well.

When hubby’s alarm goes off, it is time for both of us to begin to get ready. We both shower and get ready individually and I typically continue cleaning and creating a list of things that need to be done by the end of the day. I also plan dinner in my head – potentially defrosting chicken or looking at what we have in the fridge.

Green smoothies, overnight oats, fruit, luna bars or toast are my breakfast of choice. The hubby doesn’t eat breakfast, so I try to make him a cup of chai or coffee – and by make, I mean over the stove in a saucepot the way his mom taught me! :)

Depending on the day, I will teach 1-5 classes. On my busy days, I hop right out of bed and don’t shower until mid-day or evening. At the moment, Wednesday is my busiest day so I make time for a nap on Wednesdays knowing full well that my body won’t make all 5 classes without rest in between.

In order to prepare for these classes, I write lesson plans in a small notebook I keep with me. It has little thoughts and ideas for classes. Sometimes I plan out a whole class with special sequences, meditations and more. Other times I will come up with a few ideas of poses I want to incorporate and go with the energy of the class itself.

Playlists are also important – so I spend some of my afternoons creating those as well.

In my daily life, no matter where I am working or what I am doing I believe making connections is so crucial. I stay in touch with my friends as best as I am able. One of my girlfriends and I are pen pals, another is a lunch date girlfriend, and many more are yoginis that encourage me to ATTEND class as well as teach.

When I get home I begin to make dinner. The hubby doesn’t like to eat anything other than dinner – so I make sure I create delicious, yummy and nutritious meals EVERY night. There are times when we will go on a date or (very rarely) order a pizza but typically I am in the kitchen with fresh ingredients making dinner every night of the week!

At the moment my life is in midst of yet another transition. I love my job, and couldn’t imagine doing anything different – but the universe has given me an opportunity that I know is right for this moment. I have been asked to go back into my old position with a company I love and worked for in graduate school. This week I am spending a lot more time on my mat. I have been transitioning others into teaching my daytime classes and am hand picking through my amazing list of volunteers to place folks in the best possible locations for Journey to Hope.

This transition is for the best, and I am thrilled to be going back into the world of 9-5. Scared? YES! Excited? YES! I will be able to create better classes, content and actually have more time for my own practice. I am also seriously researching a particular 500-hour RYT program at the moment!

This position will allow my personal life to become more stable and thus allow me to be a better yoga instructor. Journey to Hope is finally in a place where I feel I can transition into more of a director’s role. I hope to be able to continue teaching directly with our students, but at the moment this is right where I need to be.

I honestly and truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Yesterday while in class, I read a meditation from the exact date. Often times I research and look for great meditations. Yesterday I picked up Journey to the Heart and opened right to July 23rd. It was a passage about fresh starts and change: the idea that even if something is scary, it can still be right. We need to set aside our ego and trust that the universe knows what it’s doing. I wasn’t looking for a job; one was extended to me. I think that’s a pretty clear sign from the universe: don’t cha think? :)

My life will now be transitioning into a 40-hour workweek (slowly), and I will continue to teach nights and weekends. I will also continue to run Journey to Hope while growing it to be the organization I dream of it becoming.

Life is full of adventure and opportunities. We just need to know which ones to grab and which to leave behind. It’s like the old proverb goes.... a man is in a flood and asks God for help. A boat arrives and the captain asks him to hop in. The man says: “no thank you, I’m waiting for God to send a sign.” The water gets higher and a helicopter comes. The pilot drops a line but that man says he’s waiting for God to rescue him. Eventually he drowns. When he gets to heaven he is angry with God for not saving him. God replies: “Son, I gave you a boat and a helicopter – what more could I have done to help?”

We need to open our eyes to the idea of change, challenge and choice. But we also need to open our eyes to the opportunities that are given to us by the universe. It is our choice as to whether or not to accept them.

So what is it that I do all day long?

Write. Drive. Work. Teach. Take classes. Lunch with friends. Laugh. Cook. Clean. Organize. Play. Write more. Laugh more. Cuddle. Work. Work. Work. Learn. Drive some more. Cuddle. Love. Laugh.

That’s what I do all day long – what do you do?

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Magical Mondays: Sat Chit Ananda

I’m writing this post to you moments after being in meditation. I am trying Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge and couldn’t be more thrilled to participate. I always have trouble keeping with meditation. I’ll start a routine, and be on my own in my thoughts for a week or less. The problem, I believe, is that it isn’t guided. When we first begin meditation, we need a little bit of help. I am so blessed to have found this challenge and will be keeping with it for the full 3 weeks.

I am also thinking that this may be the perfect time for a cleanse. My husband’s birthday weekend is the week after next, so I think I will be re-doing The Clean Program right after! We have some traveling to do this coming weekend and friends will be here the next – but it would be realistic to try again mid-August. It is a great cleanse, and it may be easier to try in the summer when fruits and veggies are at their freshest! With all the people we have had visiting in the past month, my body, wine (and margaritas) and richer foods need a bit of a break.

I am also feeling much more like myself. There have been some immense changes going on in my life, and I am coming back into my practice, meditation and self.

The little things this week: finding rambutans at Whole Foods (and chocolate hazelnut butter – Justin’s), trinkets for the house, new work clothes, finding old mixed CD’s, reuniting with old friends, being on my mat more often, meditating, date night at Inaho, trying sashimi for the first time, transitions in Journey to Hope, new toys for Apollo, lunch dates, cuddling with all my boys, cleaning our new home, making our house a home, planning our housewarming party (!), ideas for this week, connections, networking and retreat planning, mapping out adventures, good shampoo, bringing our plants back to life, good food, better friends, Niraj visiting, country cruise, beach walks, late night swims, baby turkeys in our yard, friends getting ENGAGED!!, hanging with my dad and brother and appreciating each moment.

Beach Walking

Post swim & boy band Hair! 


Le Petite Prince: Apollo Drake

Making Chile Rellenos for Karthik & Niraj!

Baby turkeys & mama in our yard (11 of them - you go mama!)

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Friday, July 20, 2012

There IS crying in yoga!

I enjoy making people cry.

Okay – that’s a bit of a stretch. But apparently I’m really good at it. I am always honored when someone cries in my class and this week I have had 10 people cry. It is such a blessing to know that I have created a safe enough space that someone is willing to open up and completely let go.

I never know why people cry. Sometimes they tell me they recently lost someone, or experienced trauma but I still don’t understand why. Was it something I said? The passage I decided to read this week? The music? A pose? I try to break things down in my head, but in the end I am accepting and joyful.

The power of goodbye is such a gift. It is the power to let go of something we have been holding within us. Often times the things we hold aren’t things that are relevant in our lives anymore, or perhaps they are heavy burdens we carry that shouldn’t bring our shoulders down quite as much as it does. It is the idea of starting over again even if we believe we have started over again more times than we should have had to.

Crying isn’t just about sadness. It can include all 9 of our rasas, or emotions: love, joy, wonder, peace, anger, courage, sadness, fear and disgust. Anytime we cry we may be releasing one of these emotions. Crying during a love scene in a movie. Crying because we lost a loved one dear to our hearts, or watched your little brother graduate from high school. Crying in fear or in anger. There are all kinds of crying and forms of release.

The best part about crying is that we feel so good afterwards! The reason we feel much better is because we were able to shed some of the things that no longer serve us. Getting rid of fear, anxiety, anger, or loss. It is not to say that you will cry only once if you lose a loved one, but it is an amazing release of emotions, allowing yourself to truly feel EVERYTHING.

In America specifically we have a tendency to cut off our feelings. There are many people who may be reading this thinking that it is crazy to cry in a yoga class. How dare we show that many emotions or be that vulnerable? But it is the opposite. We now have no safe spaces in which to cry, and when you experience feeling it is a joy to let it go.

Yoga provides that safe space. That is one of the powers of yoga. We are in a studio room (or ocean beach, paddleboard, lawn, or living room :)) surrounded by people who are practicing the same thing we are: gratitude. If you allow yourself enough time to arrive on your mat, you are opening your heart and bowing to the gratitude within yourself. Believing that you are worth at least an hour or your time to unwind, relax and let go.

It is okay to feel those feelings. It is okay to cry. Please do. If you feel safe enough and surrounded by love, there is nothing stopping you. Whatever rasa is coming up for you, feel it, experience it and live it. The let it go and move on.

Such is the power of yoga. Enjoy each moment. Feel your feelings. Go through the darkness and trust that the light will come. Find peace, love and understanding within yourself!

Then get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Monday, July 16, 2012

The wisdom to know the difference: a lesson in NOT failing

For each moment I age, I gain wisdom. For every challenge that arises within my non-profit, I become a better problem solver, a better director and a softer person.

This week was a challenge. Journey to Hope was supposed to host its first annual fundraiser this weekend. This past Wednesday my board unanimously decided to change the venue from a physical location to a digital one. I am thrilled with the idea of this because it means we will make more money for our start up organization (which we need!) but also saddened. I spent five long months preparing and creating this organization’s fundraiser. Journey to Hope is my “baby” and I didn’t want to see our first dream wither like a flower in the sun.

I have gotten phone calls from many friends asking if it is a canceled event. And it is not! I am so proud of my board and happy for them to be able to guide me into this decision – it will work and we will end up in a much better place! I am learning, however, that no matter how much you control your own emotions around an event like this, that not everyone else feels the same way.

My mother in particular has asked me 100 times if I’m okay and how I’m feeling.

I keep saying “I’m fine” but the truth is I am also a little bit hurt. I didn’t want to give this up. After working for so long and trying to create this beautiful, full, amazing fundraiser, a part of me feels as though I’ve failed. Part of the wisdom I have gained in getting a bit older is the idea that changing ideas and shifting is NOT failing. But as with anything, it is a lesson I am constantly learning. I did not fail. We did not fail. Journey to Hope Yoga Inc will be in a much better place now that we have moved all of our auction items online.

This weekend was supposed to be a huge weekend for me: fundraiser and color me rad 5k. I did neither one. In light of things, I wasn’t ready to run a 5k yet. In mindset, I was emotionally challenged and rearranging my thoughts into positive affirmations. I was also not sure I was physically ready. I have been running on and off trying to prepare, but it is not something I enjoy. I am determined to try again, however, and have my sight set on color me rad for next year!

Isvara Pranidhana, which means the belief in God or Universe – the idea that where we are now is exactly where we are supposed to be – can be one of the most difficult passages to grasp within the yoga sutras. It shows us that we need to weather the storms, and hold onto our dreams as we walk through the storm and into the light.

The light, however, can also be scarier than the darkness. The darkness is cold, calm and comfortable. Within the darkness, although pain, there is also comfort. We need to feel both. The dark, damp, cold days and the sunshiney days full of light and wonder. We need to work to feel all emotions, allowing ourselves the opportunity to fully feel and heal ourselves.

Shifting our thoughts is NOT a failure, and it is not giving up. Although a difficult lesson to learn (up there with “yoga is measured in decades, not days”....), it is something to constantly refer back to! Shift and change can be positive. Allow them to be what they are, allow them to create change for the better. Trust the universe.

Sometimes I feel as though I am writing blog posts to only myself – to remind myself of these lessons. But I do hope you all heed some of my ideas and advice. I realize I need to listen to myself more often, and hope that you may also gain some insight. Strangely enough, we are often the person we ignore. Our intuition and “gut instincts” will guide us to make the right decision, for that moment. I am a true believer that by sending out these positive vibes and energy, I am better able to not only help others, but also re-learn the lessons myself.

Don’t give up. Allow shift to happen. Change. Grow.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Magical Mondays - WOAH Addition!

This is the WOAH addition! So much has happened in the last two weeks and I couldn’t be any more grateful or proud of my husband. We moved into our beautiful new home two weeks ago, and have been counting the blessings (especially through our revolving front door)! So many good friends, food and drink. We are already making memories in our new home and I couldn’t be any more thrilled.

The little things: seeing my best friend this weekend, a feel better puppy, adjustments to our new place, replacing a door knob and front porch light by myself, our compost, paddleboaring, YOGA YOGA & more YOGA, remembering to breathe, new kitchen supplies, stuffed avocado dinners, pineapple chicken rice, attempting to make ice cream,  watching fireflys in the backyard, my kitchen, Ahmad's going away party, neighbors, our magical garden, puppy & kitty cuddles, hubby cuddling, job interviews, rearranging schedules, organization tools, ocean walks, and so much more!

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine and taking in every moment.

I’m leaving you with this very fun summer video! Even if you don’t have your own pontoon – perhaps you should take in some of the words: relax, drink, be with friends and LAUGH!

Have a magical and amazing Monday!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Escape Artist & The Decorator

 Have you ever had a false hangover?

You wake up in the morning and you feel awesome! No side effects from the heavy drinking you did the night before. Everything is amazing. How in the world could you get so lucky to have such a fun night (that you remember MOST of) without any consequences?!

An hour later you are in bed. Moaning, groaning and begging for eggs and aleeve.

I feel as though my life with pets and moving is the exact same way.   

We moved into our new home about two weeks ago. Then we went on vacation in New Hampshire for 3 days and came back. We took Apollo and left Digger. Poor Digger! Since the beginning of this move he just really wasn’t sure what to think. Then he was by himself, and now there are a million guests coming in through our rotating front door.

Apollo adjusted well, as did Digger. They both seemed to instantly know that this was their new home and truly enjoyed it.

Then the fit hit the shan if you will. Yesterday, Apollo used our bedroom as his bathroom ALL DAY. While in the middle of the evening to take him out for the third time when I caught him peeing, I left the door open because it was 3:00 am and I had a lazy moment. Unknowingly to me, Digger got lose. I take Apollo out at 5:00 am, and Digger is in our backyard staring at us while Apollo is doing his business.

I put Apollo back into the house. Grab some treats and go after Digger. Then I stepped in Apollo’s poop that I didn’t have time to pick up because I was catching our beautiful cat!

Jenny’s comedy hour: brought to you by petsmart.

When you move into a new home, it takes a lot of adjusting for everyone: yourself, your spouse, you kids and animals. We sometimes don’t realize the effect it has on our furry babies. It is so important to check in on them and see how they’re feeling. I truly believe that both of our pets are our babies. We don’t have kids (and at the moment, aren’t even thinking of them) so Apollo and Digger are the “babies” we have at the moment. I brought them into my world, and will treat them with the most respect and love I possibly can!

Even though it was my own personal comedy hour, I just need to detach. This isn’t about cleaning my dirty feet at 5am or even picking up messes and runaways. It is about checking in with all and adjusting as a family!

Moving has been one of the most amazing and yet stressful experiences of my life. My husband has been saying all along that I would feel emotion in many different weird ways once I realized the gravity of living in such a beautiful and large home. And I have! I’ve cried, laughed, strained muscles, clenched teeth, smiled, cooked, hugged and been so excited and emotional in the past few months, it is unreal. It has been a long and joyful process that I am so blessed to be a part of.

Having your own home is the most grounding experience you can have. I am so blessed to have this home with my loving and hard-working hubby! And we share it with our two furry babies (even if they are an escape artist and a “decorator”). No matter the emotional rollercoaster and where I fall in each moment of my day, I am not over looking the fact that we are blessed!

Take a moment today to laugh and truly appreciate the moment. Even if you’re stepping in dog poop while chasing your cat, crying about a change or if you’re defeated and “done”. Smile and laugh.

Grab your best friend (PHONE CALL or in person – not text), and have a good old fashion laugh.

Pop in Anochorman.

 Watch youtube clips of laughing pandas.


Appreciate the moment you’re in, for whatever it’s worth.

And then spread that love.

That’s where Journey to Hope came from. The idea, want, need and desire to spread my love, laughter and light.

Get out there, do yoga & make life sparkle!

P.s. Apollo is off to the vet today because he really isn't feeling well! Best wishes for him please. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Shapes Us

Our family shapes who we are and who we become. Whether positive or negative, close or torn apart: we are a base of our childhood.

A former friend used to say that he was who he was because of his father. His father was an alcoholic, a liar and a non-existent parent while he was a child. He used his teenage and adult life to strive to be better than his dad. He swore he would never become the person his dad was, and did an amazing job at doing so.

I swore I never wanted to become my mother. But to a degree, I did. I am like her in many ways. I believe in being fair, hard work, love, loyalty and being surrounded by family. I believe in curfews, rules, breaking rules and having fun. I always include my family. I tell the truth. I have become a version of my mother.

Different friends of mine love their families, hate their families, they live close or far away from them. But whatever the situation is – they are a part of their family. Always. 

Although our family is our base, I am also a believer in change. In an interview I watched this morning with Kris Carr and Marie Forleo, they mentioned finding your voice. Kris said “it’s not a matter of finding your voice, but rather giving yourself permission to use it.” It’s so true. We grow up in our families – as the child – and when we are grown adults with families of our own, we are still “the child” when we visit our homes. She meant this in the blogosphere, or in our “brand” but I mean it in both our work AND our family. Sometimes, even when we find our voice, we are not able to fully express it due to family constraints.

Like it or not – they are where you come from. It doesn’t mean that you will become your mother, or fall into the same patterns as your family. But by being with them, you have a base from your childhood. If you break the pattern of your family’s life, you learned the pattern from them and then willed yourself to create a new life. If you created positive from the negative, you were affected by the negative and changed for the better. They shape you. 

For some of us, we are very lucky and blessed. My entire life has revolved around my family. I am equally as blessed because my husband grew up in the same way – family bonds and ties mean everything. Together, we are creating the best family for ourselves possible. We believe in doing things as a unit and a team. We believe that by working together, and using love as our base, we can achieve anything!

I know many people who live the opposite. Their lives are full of “mandatory” family get-togethers, fake smiles and long drives. There are days when I have to fake a smile or two, but my family always knows when I am not being genuine. They can read my bad moods, make me laugh and make me smile. We operate as a unit and a team. We love one another deeply. We make each other laugh, have inside jokes, tons of memories and the best grandmother anyone could ever ask for. At 81 years old, she doesn’t look or act a day over 63!

Be grateful for your family. Whether you had a bad childhood or past, or an amazing and loving one, be grateful. Give gratitude straight from your heart and be thankful for all of the lessons. They truly shaped you to become who you are in this moment. You are a product of your own strength, challenges, changes and experiences, but your base is made up largely of your past and what you took from it. 

If you’re close to your mom, call her today.
If your grandmother is your best friend, let her know.

If your uncle ran away from your family and broke your hearts, forgive him.
If your papa was an alcoholic, let it be. Let it go.

Unleash your throat chakra. Our throat chakra controls our communications. The things we say and the things we wish we could say. Write a letter, burn it or throw it in the ocean. Allow those words to be heard and then let it go. Move on. Use it as a lesson. Allow those lessons to be just that: an experience. Then let it be and move on to something more positive and productive.

Live the best life you can. Don’t look back with regret. Write those letters, get it all all! Scream into the woods, scream in shower. LET IT ALL OUT AND THEN LET IT ALL GO!

Surround yourself instead with love.

Be thankful and grateful for your family. No matter who they are.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cape Cod: My Forever Home

When I graduated college, I moved back in with my parents. I moved into the home that had been “mine” for the past 20+ years. I had a beautiful backyard, a small kitchen, two small bathrooms and a beautiful, large bedroom. After a mini-flood, my brother and I traded rooms because I “wasn’t staying long.”

I ended up staying for three years.

I love my parents. I love my home. I love North Reading.

However, I did not make any roots. I made a small group of friends while I was teaching elementary school. I went to yoga, became a bit of a loner and my mom became my best friend. I went out with only friends from high school. I actively tried to not connect. I knew, somehow, that North Reading wasn’t destined to be my home.

Then my husband moved to Cape Cod. At the time, we were just dating.

I panicked. Cried. Talked about how I didn’t want to leave my mom, my “roots” and my home. Then one day I had to make a choice. Did I love my husband enough to move?

I did – I do! And I am so glad I decided to make the choice to stay in our relationship, no matter the cost.

Turns out, the “cost” was the best experience of my life. I now have the privilege of living on the most beautiful island in the world: Cape Cod. We finally put down more solid roots this past week, and have a home to call our own. We are not far from our apartment, but I already feel so connected to this beautiful and loving community, and this is proof that we will stay.

The moment I moved in to my husband’s apartment. The day we bought my Cape Cod bracelet. The day Digger moved in, or Apollo came home. The first potluck we were invited to surrounded by new friends. These all mark mini-moments of our lives on Cape. But today, the day we turned our very own front door key, is the day I became a Cape Coder.

I know somehow, that I will live here forever. My mom may even move here (one day!!) and our children will be born on this island. This is my home. I have made my roots. And I couldn’t be any happier!!!

Now, I am off to daydream about curtains, windows, stereos, outdoor seating, decorations, antique stores and so much more!!!

I should probably head to yoga for a check in with my emotional well being as well :)

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,