Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There is Enough for Everyone

I'm coming up on my 35th birthday here any day now. I am excited about turning 35, the 30s have really been good years for me thus far. I'm feeling as good as ever, strong, sexy, sensitive, simpler, sillier, sassier, surer (not sure if surer is a word or not, but I'm going with it, it starts with an s...and what that has to do with anything, I'm not sure, or surer.)
Anyways, I had one of those great moments today driving to work...which by the way, I don't have to do everyday. I have had to go to "work" the last 2 days, from 8:30 to 4, which has felt good for me, hasn't been a drag or anything, it's just made me really grateful that I don't have to do this everyday, or 5 days a week, or even 1 day every week. I realize how much free time I have, how much slower my life has become since having Willis and quitting my job at the lung association. It's a slow pace we travel at, our life is full, there is nothing dull about it, we just have the freedom to take our time when we need to (which is good, when you are the mother of a dawdler or gawker). I've just been struck by the contrast of what else it could be like and reminded to be presently aware of how good it really is right now, even if we don't have as much money as we would if I was doing this every single day. My time is worth more than money, I know that is true for me, without a doubt. But, back to my drive...I had just dropped Willis off at my dad's and was cruising down the road, when that loud voice of the Divine spoke to me...THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE, EVEN YOU! I laughed out loud, I've spent the better part of my 35 years looking at life with the lens of not having enough, not being good enough, not feeling loved enough, understood enough...basically just feeling like I didn't have enough. Today, I was finally enlightened...I get it. You can't always get what you want...but you get what you need....ah...feels good.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Large and In Charge

I haven't blogged for a bit, I've been rather busy. School started for Ruby, I have 2 jobs (both part time, of course) on top of being a wife and mother which are both full time jobs. Then I took on chairing the fall fundraiser for Ruby's school...phew, I'm tired writing all of those things. So, anyway, the fundraiser... the Fall Harvest Festival. I was co-in charge and what I have learned from the experience (the event was this afternoon) is that it's great to be in charge, especially when you have good people working with you. I think I probably did the least amount of work of all involved, maybe not, maybe it's just a good role for me because it felt easy... and that is what I realized, too (did I just say that? I'm tired.) that when you are doing the right thing, it doesn't so much feel like work. And what a treat it is when the job is complete and you can sit back and, I was a part of pulling this off and look how well it went. Don't worry, I didn't pat myself on the back too hard, knowing I'd need my arm to finish cleaning up when the party was over! So, from now on, I'm taking charge, being in charge of everything...just joking.
And what else....hmmm, winter is on it's way. Has never been my favorite season, I always sink into a bit of a rut during the winter season. It's happened for years and even though I know it's coming, I have never seemed to be able to figure out how to ward it off. Last weekend I went on my annual yoga retreat with 8 Limbs at Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth (a retreat I highly recommend) and one of my teachers talked about the seasons related to ayurvedic medicine. She said that fall is a rajas (lots of movement, active) season, the air is moving as it is a season of transition, so we get dried out (like wind drys stuff out) and so we need to nourish our bodies with stuff that keeps us juicy, like soup. (sounds logical, no?) And then winter is obviously cold and more tamas (slow and slugish) and you need to continue to nourish the body and go inside (symbolically and literally) to rejuvenate the body to rebirth or emerge anew in the spring. I'm probably not doing her talk on the seasons justice, but it really made sense. She encouraged us to make a plan for winter, to think about a goal for the winter, a project, or something we want to do (start a new hobbie, learn to play the guitar, etc) and that by doing that in the fall, it would help when we get in to that rut of winter, to keep us from burrowing deeper in to it and keep us focused in a direction that would get us through to spring. So, I haven't figured out what I want to get in to this winter, journaling more, definitely, maybe blogging, more than once a month, and knitting also sounds good. Maybe I will finally start that book I've been talking about writing for years now. There is a new baby coming in the family and I'm sure it would be most satisfying to knit a nice blanket for that little bundle that will be arriving in January. Just thinking about that brings a smile to my face and I'm thinking maybe there is something to be said for having a plan. Neighbor Sue always says "gotta have a plan", maybe she is right, wouldn't be the first time!
Well, I'm off to see what I can find to be in charge of for the winter....large and in charge, that's me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Split Personalities

I've had this great epiphany...not that I always put it in to practice, but if you can just give what you do 100% of your attention, it sure does make life easier. I have been doing this work from home thing for about a year now, last year it was such a struggle. I felt like I wasn't doing anything with my whole heart, not completely giving myself to my work and not completely giving myself to my family.
I made the decision this year to carve out some time for my work on a weekly basis, working from home, without any children in the house, and it's made a world of difference. My job actually then feels like a gift, I feel excited (instead of frustrated) as I make phone calls and do the work and then when I pick my kids up later, I give them my whole self without being distracted by what I need to get done with my work, etc. It's kind of funny, it has everything to do with being in the present, the here and now (very yoga-ish and something I should already know). Not being physically in one place and mentally trying to be someplace else. Easier said than done, yes. There is still always laundry and dishes, cleaning around the house to be done, tidying up that would make our life look a little saner, really what counts though is these precious moments we spend together, with our whole hearts present, not drawn in some other direction. In the end, that will keep us all a bit saner, more so than having a clean house and a split personality! If I can remember to do this, stay present with what I am doing, at least once a day, life will be better for us all! I better go leave myself a note, so I remember to do it tomorrow....just kidding!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

You're It

My friend and neighbor, which are in fact the same person, "tagged" me some time ago on her blog. I'm not sure if this is a real cyber thing or if someone just made it up, anyways, being tagged means you have to share 6 random things about yourself. Being tagged could be worse...

1. I love to process "stuff" out loud. Some wise woman once told me that you tell your story until you think you've been heard. Sean has commented more than once, "I've heard you tell that story to 4 different people in the last 2 days." Obviously no one was listening well enough! Ha. It's just one of those things, I have to talk it out to feel like I can figure it out.

2. I dislike hosting parties. I love people, I love when friends or family drop by for a visit, BUT I do not enjoy planning or hosting a party. I have yet to understand this, although I kind of have a clue...I'd rather spend my time at a party talking to one person in some deep conversation about what really matters in life, than to do the nice-ities with everyone there.

3. I love to dance, it frees my soul and makes me feel alive in my skin. I wish I had a night club in Yakima I could go get my groove on whenever I desired.

4. I have a real thing about hands. It's one of the first things I notice about people (Heather and I have discussed this. Sue's friend Heather put hands and feet as one of her 6 random things.) If someone has bad hands, I have a hard time getting past that. Very superficial I know, it's just one of those things for me.

5. I believe in soul mates. Soul mates are really just a part of ourselves living outside our body. It's so dynamic to meet one of your soul mates because you already know one another without sharing a word. Yes, you can have more than one.

6. I'm a morning person, I love being up before anyone else in the house. I love the quiet of it, the sweetness of being awake to see the sunrise and the dawn of a new day.

If you read this, you're it. You're tagged, share your 6!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lost and found

I had a funny experience today at the evening yoga class I teach. I always play music when I teach and have an I-Pod with playlists on it that I use. My husband often teases me about how I spend more time preparing music for the class than preparing the actual yoga for the class, might be some truth to that. Anyway, I keep all my yoga stuff in the same bag that I cart back and forth from home to the studio. As I unpacked my bag today, no I-pod. I hadn't used it since class on Monday and couldn't figure out where the heck it could be. Went out to my car to see if it fell out of "THE BAG", no where to be seen. So, I sat with the thought for awhile of maybe someone stole it, maybe it fell out of the bag and out of my car...couldn't quite figure it out. I kept rechecking the bag to see if I'd missed it somehow. The bag is not that big and there isn't that much stuff in it. I think they call that INSANITY, when you keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. Ha! Reminds me of a time in college when my bike got stolen from outside my work and I kept going back in to the building and coming out again thinking maybe my bike would be never was! Anyway, that is another story.
So, after succumbing to the idea that I would not have my music for class, I checked the CD player and there were some random CDs in there. I posed the question to the class, asking if they wanted that music or none...a wise student said "I think this is a great opportunity for us to use our imaginations." No music it was. As I started the class, it felt awkward, I'm used to having the music to fill the space of quiet. I eased in to it and eventually found my groove and found myself letting go of the I-pod and actually enjoying the change and the awareness the lack of music brought to my teaching. At the end of class, all the students are in savasana, corpse pose, and I was sitting trying to meditate. That dang I-pod kept coming in to my thoughts and I kept telling myself to just let it go. After about 5 minutes of this struggle with myself, I finally realized, it was okay to drop it. I did and then opened my eyes. My i-pod was sitting right in front of me, neatly tucked in to the prayer bowl I ring at the end of class, to signal savasana is over. A big smile crept across my was right in front of me all along! In the end, I appreciated what not having music brought to the practice and the teaching for me, I think I might do it every once in a while, just to keep things fresh!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Grandma Ruby

I haven't blogged for an eternity (well more accurately, about 5 months) and I couldn't remember the web address, so I checked Sue's blog where I knew there was a link to my delinquent blog. I was feeling inspired to blog about my grandma, she died yesterday at the ripe old age of 96. Low and behold, Sue's blog was all about her 2 grandmas.
After my grandpa died (I think he was 92, or maybe 94) Grandma Ruby lived by herself for awhile and then eventually transitioned in to assisted living, where she broke her hip and ended up in the nursing home where she has been for the last 3+ years. She was a spicy woman and even in her old age and deteriorating health, she still had a sense of humor and a wit about her. I didn't know my grandma all that well, despite her living in the same town for most of my life, and being only blocks away from where I live. We were never what you would call close. When I named my daughter after her, she said "Well, you must like me somewhat if you'd name your daughter after me." You always knew where you stand with her, she'd tell you if she didn't like your haircut, or if she did. She was honest, sometimes painfully, but I respect and appreciate honesty in anyone. I'd much rather hear the truth that wonder what someone really thinks.
I wasn't sure how to approach her death with my Ruby - at 3 1/2 you don't necessarily know how to process such a think, but I figured honesty was the best approach and went with it. Here is the conversation...
me: Ruby, I need to tell you something. Grandma Ruby died this morning.
Ruby: That's really sad, Mama.
me: It is sad, honey.
Ruby: You know what, Mom. It's okay, she's with God now.
I then gave her some version if you need to talk about this more....blah blah blah and she said "Don't worry mom, I'm not sad. I am just missing her."
She's an amazing little being, that Ruby. Also sort of serendipitous, this week at yoga I read a poem titled "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver. If you haven't read it, it's worth finding and reading. It talks about how she wants to have lived her life when it's over, taking in all the preciousness of our time here and living with a spirit of curiosity and wonder, not simply visiting the earth. A good reminder to take time to notice all that surrounds you, to know the hearts of those you love and to be present in every moment have.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Eat Pray Love

I should be cleaning up my house, Willis is asleep and Ruby is at school. It looks like a tornado blew through our dining room. There are brownie crumbs on the table, playdoh stuck in the cracks of the table, O's squished on the floor and who knows what I might find if I unbuckled Willis' seat from the chair...hopefully no old meat, which Sean did find once and claimed it was the cause of whatever illness was making its way through our home that week! The living room floor is scattered with toys and I think there are still dishes in the sink from last night's dinner. Can you see why I am procrastinating? There are also 3 baskets of laundry in my bedroom waiting to be put away. How old do kids have to be before you can start having them do their own laundry? Probably 3 is a little young to expect Ruby to be putting her own clothes in her drawer and have some semblance of order in there.
My messy house is not why I am drawn to write today, though. I went to my first book club gathering last night, with most of the usual suspects. Our first book was Eat Pray Love, which I read about a year ago. I didn't know what to expect, yet I think I was anticipating an intellecutal discussion about the book and the author, and what I was pleasantly surprised by, was the depth of the questions and the insight our answers gave in to our selves. This is a group of women I would say I know well, and yet there is always something new to learn about those in our lives, if we are just a little bit curious. I keep thinking about the title of this book, eat pray love and can't help but think this is the answer. This is what we need to do, eat and pray love. Let love be the focus of all that we do, from eating to praying and everything in between. Love is all you need, right? Turning that to myself, I was asked the question last night about my own experience with meditation and I attempted to share what is for me a really difficult thing to describe. This led to a discussion about listening to divine wisdom, that voice that we hear inside ourselves when we are open to listen. For some reason, that voice keeps speaking very loudly to me since I left our gathering last night, telling me I need to share this "I don't know anything you don't know." Is that weird? I am humbled by this experience and struck by the notion that we all know intrinsically what we need, sometimes it takes someone seeing it from the outside to get us in touch with that, but truly, all the answers are within. They are not somewhere to be found out there, separate from ourselves, look within and you will find the truth and the light. Eat pray love for yourself and that will open your heart to the interconnectedness of us all, to that experience of supreme love that Gilbert writes about in this book. If you haven't read it, you should. And if you haven't joined a book club, I recommend that to.
And now that quote you've been waiting for....

God...abides very close to us indeed - much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts. Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, February 15, 2008


Your gift is what you give - Yogi Tea bag

Or something along those lines...I got this tea bag the other day. It was today that it struck me though, the gift in giving. I have been taking care of my niece Mylie today. Her little sister Piper is in the hospital and Anna is, of course, there with her. Standing in my kitchen, picking cashews out of a mixed nut can, because that is what Mylie likes, I was aware of the satisfaction I feel in being able to offer something in someone elses time of need. What I can offer isn't that it is so much, it's just that I am the one that has the ability today to be able to do it and it feels really good. I have, for the last several weeks, been complaining, for lack of a better word, about the lack of time I have for myself. Today, I am wondering about that...I don't feel tapped out, I feel full today and have had very little time to myself (amazingly enough though, I am blogging with 3 children in the house, 2 of them awake!) Maybe part of it too, is the gift I get tonight. Ryan and Niki are coming over to take care of Ruby and Willis so Sean and I can go out to dinner. I feel blessed that our family is what it is and that in times of need, big or small, we band together. I do believe that difficult times can bring out the best in us, remind us of what we are capable of, even if only in our hearts. Life is good.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah (Contentment brings supreme happiness)
Sutra II.42 Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Why is it so hard to watch those we love struggle through something? On a heart level it hurts. I know that we have to stand back and watch those around us journey through their own lives, following whatever path they choose, and even knowing that, it seems particularly painful to do it. I don't know if it's watching the suffering that is hard or letting go of not being able to fix something for someone else that is harder. I don't think of myself necessarily as a fixer, but I find that as someone close to me struggles, or is sad, I want to wrap my arms around them and make it all better, to relieve that pain. We all get to choose our path, whether it is an easy one or more difficult one, whether we choose to create suffering for ourselves, or whether we choose to alleviate some of that. It happens everyday, we make these little choices that lead us toward or away from happiness. And truth be told, sometimes we want to sit in the spot that has led us away from happiness. Sometimes it feels good to hurt, to feel the depths of what we are capable of. I guess the problem comes in when we stay stuck there and decide we are attached to that feeling, then it's not so good. Every day is different, every day we get to wake up and choose what we want, how we want to feel about what happens around us. This week I am studying the niyamas, the second limb of the eight limbs of yoga. One of the niyamas is santosha, contentment, not having our inner feelings contingent on what happens around us. Yesterday that was a real struggle for me. Today, there is a sense of relief, as I remind myself that me being discontent because of what is happening in someone else's life is really wasted energy. It's nothing I have control over and it doesn't help their situation any. The best thing I can do is be supportive, listen and stay on my own path toward contentment, so I don't cause a ripple effect in the lives of those around me. The more I study, the more I feel like everything is yoga, everything is about finding that union within ourselves and the world around us. I am beginning to see how interconnected we truly are.
I have a few precious minutes while Willis is still asleep and I can get some things done around the Sean a clean home to return to this evening will certainly help his contentment, which helps mine.....and so the story goes.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Go in search of your Gift.
The more you understand yourself,
the more you will understand the world.
Brida - Paulo Coelho

Oh the struggle of the Self....what is it about our humanity that makes us struggle so. I have been struggling with my Gift. When I stand back and observe myself, I feel certain that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing....being home with my children, teaching yoga and doing the other prevention work I do. When I stop observing and get to caught up in myself, I begin to question what I have to offer, particularly in regards to my yoga teaching. I find myself questioning my abilities as a teacher, feeling insecure and less than confident about what I do. Fortunately, when I am in the moment....okay, so that is backwards of what I just wrote and I think it is when I am doing the observing, rather than being present in the moment, that I begin to over analyze and doubt myself. Now, I'm not sure which it is. Must be the latter, because really finding that union is what the process of yoga is all about. Being in the moment in such a way that you are observing yourself as you are, not observing with all kinds of outer projections and thoughts that aren't really true. We are such funny beings, creating suffering within ourselves unnecessarily. We do it so easily and why, even as I continue to study and learn about such things, what causes this suffering, I still do it. I taught yoga class Wednesday night after spending Tuesday evening discussing this very issue, somehow putting voice to this internal struggle releases it from my mind, takes away the power of it. My class Wednesday night felt like I was in the flow, felt good and right and like I do have a Gift to share and in sharing it feel like I receive a Gift. Why do we hide inside ourselves? Keeping these things to ourselves, feeling vulnerable to expose our true nature. We are all human and on some level we all want and need the same things. To find what our purpose is, why are we here on this earth and what difference do we make in the world....what gift do we have to offer the world. The beauty of it all is that we each have something very unique, no person is exactly like another, and so just by being ourselves we offer a Gift to those around us.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure

"We are the hero of our own story." back of Create Journal

Isn't that a fun idea? To be the hero of my own story and then again who else could be the hero of my story? The best part of life is the choose your own adventure part. So much of our happiness or unhappiness really boils down to a choice. Knowing that shifts a bit of the reponsibility from the universe and the rest of humanity back to me. I had a funny experience Friday. Sean was home from work, sick and for some reason it really ticked me off. I left home to spend the morning with my girlfriends and was in a fine mood there, then came home and was crabby again. He eventually called me out on it and as I sat pondering why I was choosing to be such a grouch, it dawned on me! I'm jealous, I don't ever get to stay home from work - my work is at home right now. I don't get to call in and say...Hmmm, don't think I'll be in today. I might plug in for the daily feeding at 10a.m., but if I don't show up, can you just take care of it? Doesn't work that way when you are a mom. Thanks to the fine husband I have, I took a little time for myself in the afternoon and had tea with my neighbor across the street. Gave me a chance to feel not like a mom for a little bit and to get a grip on my emotions. They really are wild horses (Paulo Coehlo says this). They run away with us sometimes and we have to really rein them back in to feel centered again. Sometimes giving those horses names helps me to find my way back home. And then I get to a choose a new adventure, one where I am playful and fun and creative, not grouchy and stand-off ish. My greatest hero moment last week was making a race track with Ruby, out of dominos and zingo tabs (a zany version of bingo). She lined all the zingo tabs up while I was putting Willis down for a nap. When I came back in, she told me it was a street. I shared the idea of making a race track and we spent the next half hour crashing cars in to one another on our racetrack that spread over the majority of the living room floor. I felt like a cool, creative Mom, racing with my jiggy bad self! I hope I'll choose to be a hero tomorrow....for now I'm off to bed.