pardon me while i get all yoga on you…

pardon me while i get all yoga on you…

sometimes sanskrit is the only way of capturing certain sensations.

one of which, i felt after having a movie and plant-powered pizza party for friends made during our last 40 Days (of yoga, meditation and mindful eating) workshop.

what i felt was sangha,

a sanskrit term for a group of spiritually inclined people that gather and support each other’s unique way of navigating their way toward their best life.

civilians say it takes a village.
yogis say it takes a sangha.

a sacred space to check in and fill up,

with others who simply get it.

without judgment.

sanghas remind us we are not alone.

in them, we see our sameness, our struggles, our desire to shine within each other.

sanghas are sacred because they are rare.

they don’t only happen in yoga studios…

in fact, yoga does not make or guarantee sangha.

the people within the studios do.

sangha takes effort, off the mat.

getting together, listening, encouraging, sharing is what makes sangha.

studios certainly don’t have to organize sangha for you.

you can do that yourself.

with friends who do or don’t do yoga,

just ones who share a desire to create their best life.

sangha is essential because we can not do it alone.

our mind will get in the way every. single. time.

telling us we’re crazy for trying, we will never change, we are not capable.

we need sangha to step in and stop the madness.

a gentle reminder that others struggle too.

that this madness is normal.  it’s part of the process.

a gentle nudge to simply acknowledge it and keep going.

however, sangha is not enough.
svadhyaya is kinda key too.

think of svadhyaya as self-imposed-for-the-rest-of-your-life-for-the-sake-of-becoming-your-best-self school.

it is a regular practice of consistently making an effort to observe and learn from others struggling and shining through life.

it comes in the form of books. podcasts. blog posts. workshops. and movies.

like Yogawoman.

the movie of choice for our movie night.

i love that movie.

it makes me feel like i’m part of something big.

because yoga IS big.

it is powerful, useful and available to each and every one of us.

throughout every part of our life.

young. old. sick. limber. stuck. successful. injured. in jail.

(let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does, after seeing this movie, you know that yoga can get you through that too 😉

i also love that it reminds me of my all-time favorite yoga lesson:

that all of this showing up and stretching

is ultimately preparing for us death.

that’s right.

all this breathing is really about dying.

sivasana, aka “corpse” pose, symbolizes the deepest surrendering, acceptance and hopefully, overwhelming sense of pride and well-being.

wouldn’t it be great to lie on your death bed,

truly at peace with what just transpired,

no matter what your age?

like, wow…

what a crazy, amazing, beyond belief adventure that just was.

and i nailed it.

thank you.

on to the next one.

i’m out.

 

in every single practice (even the 5-minute ones),

we are given a chance to “practice” showing up,

being grateful for what we’ve got, where we’re at and what we’re capable of.

we have a chance to dabble, bobble, get it, not get it, then let it go.

we experience our strength, flexibility, capability and grace.

we sense we are not alone.

when it’s all over, we lie down and let the magic of all of those gifts and lessons ,

the ones that happened, right there on our mat, a moment to settle in our bones.

we feel supported. light. loved. happy. free.

 

thank you for being part of my sangha.

it doesn’t matter if you were actually at the pizza party.

sangha can simply be showing up for each other, via email, facebook,  a chat after classs, a walk in the park, a thought, a prayer. it all counts.

namaste,

(the goodness in me, sees and appreciates and learns from the goodness in you)

 

 

surrender. and suck it up. words of wisdom from my music teacher and 5-yr old niece

After a particularly poor performance on an Aural Perception test – where we listen to the teacher play melodies and rhythms on the piano, then dictate what she plays … crazy hard, for me  – the teacher asked us to raise our hand if we did not like Aural Perception. My hand crept upward. I was not alone.

She looked around the room and said,

“Okay, we’ve acknowledged it.
Now surrender.
And do it anyway.”

This is the same woman who said the first week of class,

“Listen, if I can put pantyhose on at 5 am to be here, you can throw on some sweats and be here by 8.”

I just love her.

She continued…

“In high school, you may have been able to show up occasionally, not take notes, cram and pull off decent grades.”

(I’m in community college, surrounded by 18 year olds and 20-somethings.)

“You are smart people. I get it. But, at some point in your education, classes start requiring serious effort. As you go deeper into your specialty, you’ll discover areas that do not “come natural.” You’ll have to study or practice. A lot. There’s no getting around it.

“To become a pro, ya gotta know this stuff. At this point, just to move forward in your education… ya gotta get past me…with a C. So, figure out what mastering Aural Perception looks like in your world…AND DO IT.”

I don’t know about everyone else in the room, but I had a lump in my throat, the one I get when I’m “scolded” for not doing my best, especially from someone I respect and has my best interest at heart.

What I heard was a mixture of :

“quit whining and be a grown-up,”

with a dash of Dr. Denis Waitley’s ,  “winners do what losers don’t want to do,”

and my 5-year old super-discplined-trained-not-to-cry-gymnast-niece telling me to “suck it up,” after she found me crying while packing her bag when it  was time for her to go home after staying with me.

So, as Gretchen Rubin suggests in “The Happiness Project,”

I decided to Identify the Problem.

In a nutshell:

While I am blocking out big parts of my day to study, (that rules out not having time) after about an hour in, I get frustrated and feel an incredible pull to do anything but study. I take a few breaths and make myself sit there…until I get up and go to the pantry for some chocolate chips. Okay, sometimes I’m lucky to make it 30 minutes before making that 30-second trek.

Back at my desk, I might eek out another 30 minutes of study…

Before I’m pantry bound again. and again. and again.

Coming off the sugar crash, I grab Bisbee and a bean bag for a nap.

Now it’s time to make dinner.

And, I’m not even hungry.

I eat it anyway.

Now, I’m really tired.

And way too brain dead to study.

I go to bed feeling guilty.

And go to class unprepared.

This could be the problem.

Maybe it’s the big 5-0 pending…I’m finding myself less patient with my excuses and general laziness for not doing the things I know make me feel good.

Maybe it’s time to grow up or, “suck it up” as my niece says, and just do them.

(Note: This isn’t me being hard on myself. This is me being honest with myself.)

I do not want to spend the second half of my life bloated, haggard and disappointed that I don’t have the energy to do the things I want to do.

One of which, is play the piano.

The beauty of 50-ish is that I have a pretty good idea of  the daily formula that works for me:

Eat three meals: some protein + healthy fat (i.e. a lot of avocado) + A LOT of veggies = focus, energy, a flatter belly, ease around sugar. BONUS: if I’m eating this way, Robert is eating this way, so he feels better too.

Move my body: at least 20 minutes of cardio + 20 minutes of yoga + the occasional hike and swim = feeling grounded and light in my body.

Meditate: Morning Pages, a bath, legs up the wall or sitting for 20 minutes. The form it takes doesn’t really matter. All of it = magic.

Sleep: a bath and not eating right before bed (especially sugar) works wonders, and totally removes haggardness from the equation. This is important.

Play the piano: 20 minutes of practice a day keeps discouragement and overwhelm away. And somehow that 20 minutes always turns into 40.

Connect. Writing, encouraging, cooking, sharing, listening, capturing moments, posting them on Instagram…the output of these is directly related to all of the above.

If they’re not getting done,
no one is getting any love.
And, that does not feel good.

I remember an article from a Glamour-type magazine, something like “Your Body at 20, 30, 40, 50 and Beyond” saying, in your 20’s and 30’s you pretty much have the body God created. In your 40’s and 50-‘s, you’ve got the body you’ve created.  

The good news is that if it’s not what you want, there’s time to turn it around.

While I don’t think it’s ALL about food, I know that the life I want definitely STARTS with food. It affects everything. No matter how old I am.

I took another tidbit from “The Happiness Project,” and decided to:

Do what ought to be done.

I re-read “It Starts with Food,”  one of my favorite books on how food affects hormones, thyroid, immunity, energy, digestion, belly issues, allergies, sleep…

The more I understand how the body works, the more I’m able to make peace with changes I need to make.

I’m 8 days into their Whole30 Challenge of 3 meals a day, consisting of simple, whole foods, without grains, dairy, and sugar and I am already sleeping better, my belly isn’t bloated, my appetite is healthy, I have all-day energy and best of all – there have been no pantry trips for chocolate chips!

I don’t do a lot of food challenges or cleanses, but sometimes the structure they provide can be comforting. Following a plan when you are unsure or don’t have the energy to figure it out on your own can be just what you need to get back on track and experience how good food can make you can feel.

This book also offers one of the easiest menu / meal planning guides I’ve seen. Basic dishes such as one-skillet-meals, curries, soups and more are offered with a variety of ways to make each one, so what is essentially an elimination diet doesn’t feel so limiting.

If you are looking to get your groove back in the kitchen, or are searching for easy grain-sugar-dairy free meals that taste really good, give this one a go.

Healthy eating is a process. It will never be “perfect” because our bodies, tastes, environments change, but a guide such as this can bring us a little bit closer to knowing what feels best in our bodies.

And, maybe the next time we get off track (because there will be a next time), instead of giving up, we simply grab the book, or whatever works, and get re-inspired to get our groove back.

That’s the key.
Coming back.
However you get there.
This is essential.
The world needs your best self.

What is your heart telling you to come back to?  What could you accomplish if you simply did it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gifts beyond the gift card. part 2. a few of my favorite things…

 

visions of biscuits dance in his head...

visions of biscuits dance in his head…

Let’s say cookbooks aren’t their thing, but you’d still like to give a gift that will inspire your loved ones to continue the path toward their healthiest, most creative, courageous, stylish, best self. Here are a few of my favorites:

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World”s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself. I love Rich Roll”s, down to earth guy”s guy perspective. He”s not over the top about any particular health or philosophical path, he just shares a story anyone – not just uninspired, out of shape, middle aged corporate types –  can relate to.  Buy the book and share a link to his weekly podcasts. They”re free. Even the ones I think I won”t like, I end up loving. Cute t-shirts too. Peace Plants!

finding ultra

Superhero online courses with Andrea Scher. I started with Andrea”s “Treasure Hunt,” photography course, then moved on to Start a Foolish Project and Mondo Beyondo. Her 30-day photo class totally changed the way I look at the world. I don”t look for “photo ops” anymore.  I capture moments. It is one of the best ways of practicing presence. No fancy camera necessary. IPhones are just fine. Although if you have the fancy camera and have no idea how to work it, she can help.  Her other courses creatively get to the heart of what it would take to live your own Superhero Life. Anything Andrea does is professional, inspiring and rich with over the top content.

dvf scarf

The Woman I Wanted To Be. This memoir by Diane von Furstenburg reads like a fairy tale. She is a princess, after all. However, this is a true story with real life sprinkled in. What I love most about DVF is her never-ending ability to see the goodness in people, life and the power girls/women have to create whatever life they would like. If you want to go over the top with this gift, add Journey of a Dress and maybe a scarf (leopard poppy print shown above.)  Or, the iconic wrap dress for the extra lucky 🙂

Money. Tony Robbins hasn”t written a book in 20 years… because he hates writing. I would never have picked this book, even though I”m a fan, without the recommendation and video interview by Marie Forleo. After I watched it, casino online the book immediately made my “to give” and “to read” list. Perfect for anyone, whether they”re just starting out or already have an empire. Or, just share the video link. It”s free and full of tips, money related and beyond.

money

Fed by Threads. Anything. Seriously. I have shirts, skirts and leggings. I”ve given their onesies as baby gifts, and I would love any one of their scarves or socks. Every purchase buys an emergency meal. Every item is made naturally, in the U.S. Truly a company and people you feel good supporting.

jade 13

Ben”s “Be Kind” Bells.  Little boy dies suddenly. Parents cope with grief by making ceramic “Ben”s Bells” and hanging them around town to spread reminders of kindness and gratitude. Crazy amazing. I have two of these hanging outside my front door. They are precious. Any of their handmade gifts or Be Kind apparel are special. Take a moment and read the rest of their story here.

be kind

Grace and Lace. Another crazy amazing story here. I bought these legwarmers at Session Yoga. Stop by the studio or shop online for even more scarves, armwarmers, boot cuffs…. Love. It. All.

Pangea Organics. I haven”t been a stickler for organic body products and cosmetics, but I had a Pangea party this year at my house and fell in love with their lip balm, body oil and scrub. I am a lip balm and body oil fiend. Do I really want to be basically eating something loaded with chemicals everyday, all day? Considering our skin is our largest organ, do I really want to be slathering moisturizer all over my skin that is loaded with chemicals? No. This just makes sense to me. Gift the lip balm and buy a couple for yourself… one for the car, one for the bag.

noted by Marni Zarr. The most precious letterpress paper products.  Marni”s hot pink notebook fits perfectly in my purse and her “I Am a Hot Mess” folders are keeping fashionistas organized from coast to coast.

 

noted

 

If you happen to live in Tucson, you can”t go wrong with a facial or massage from Hakem, an yoga or an ayurvedic treatment from Lisa, a pedicure from Greentoes or a Session Yoga gift card for classes and workshops like these! 

 

 

 

 

 

gifts beyond the gift card (part 1) + go-to cookbooks

Looking for a gift that runs deeper than a gift card? Maybe even one that encourages, inspires and helps your loved ones feel good far beyond the holidays?

For anyone who has shown an interest in healthier eating, not just the cooks in the family, these cookbooks read more like manifestos. They are stories of the author’s personal path to finding their groove with food.

I also appreciate that they are written for people who aren’t necessarily passionate about cooking. What they are passionate about is making food that gives them energy and gets rid of the things that make them feel bad – digestion troubles, crazy cravings, issues with cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, food allergies, etc…

All of them are packed with ways to incorporate more real food into your meals… something everyone can use, no matter what your health condition or food philosophy.

 

Tara, me and an armload of her cookbooks :)

Tara, me and an armload of her cookbooks 🙂

Tara Stiles, Make  Your Own Rules Diet. Like all things Tara, her recipes are super simple. This one is ideal for “non-cooks” and anyone flirting with getting into yoga or meditation… lots of how to’s included.  I’d also pass along a link to her You Tube channel where she shows how really simple this food thing can be in the Recipes section. (Mainly vegan, gluten-free, natural sweeteners.)

Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good. Gwyneth’s more of a cook… but if you can follow a recipe, it will be All Good with this one. After feeling  burned out and lethargic, she turned to an elimination diet to get her back on track. Insight from Dr. Alexander Junger (of Clean) and Dr. Habib Sadeghi, combined with her passion for real food offer real-life menus for real-life families. This is the most food-stained cookbook in my collection. (Mostly gluten-free, natural sweeteners, has meat, but lots of plant-based options too.) 

Giada, Feel Good Food. This one, along with Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr are close seconds for my most used cookbooks. I love Giada’s for her beauty secrets and Kris’s for providing the MOST powerful “plant-based-diet-as-preventative-medicine” message.  Be sure to pass along the link to her Crazy Sexy Cancer movie trailer to whomever you give it to. I credit that movie, along with her blog and book, Crazy Sexy Diet for inspiring me to really explore the food thing. Both offer easy recipes. (Kris’s is plant-based. Giada has some meat + lots of plant-based options.)

Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris. Just when I thought I’d mastered smoothies, my friend Ashley rocked my world with this book. If you know anyone perplexed by superfoods like cacao, maca, lucuma, and goji berries, this is the perfect gift. Or, if you know anyone perplexed by what to do with their Vitamix, this is the perfect gift. Add Superfood Kitchen and Superfood Juices and make it a Super Special gift !

Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 delicious vegan recipes, by Sharon Gannon. This one was given to me by my yoga teacher, written by her yoga teacher, with a foreward written by my healing, nutrition teacher, Kris Carr. How can this be wrong? While I’m not vegan (yet), my heart has serious vegan tendencies. Receiving and reading this book is encouraging me to follow my heart. Regardless of where you are on the subject, the recipes are easy and nutrition-packed.

Breakfast Criminals. This is more of a movement than a book. Ksenia has taken superhuman breakfasts to the streets of NY, encouraging people to start the day with a bowl of love. You can download the e-book and order a heart-shaped bowl for a sweet gift. Two people on my list will be getting these 🙂

heart bowls

I could go on and on with cookbooks. Stay tuned for other gift ideas in Part 2 🙂

If you need help finding your yoga, meditation or food groove,  join our40 Day program at Session Yoga, beginning January 6th, or “Let Go of 2014″ workshop with Jes Gale on December 19th. Sign up here!

 

 

 

thanksgiving tips & a toast

thanksgivingsessionWe”re in it…the holidays. Even without them, I was feeling overwhelmed and out of whack. All from good things… trips, school, planning great things to come. However, amidst all this goodness, last week I found myself kinda weepy and a lot cranky… not my best self.

Bottom line, I was tired. Not the kind of exhaustion that comes from doing things that I don”t want to do… the kind that comes from not giving myself enough space to do all of the things I love to do. Unfortunately, our body doesn”t know the difference. It just goes into overdrive trying to keep the peace…

When I get like this, I start doubting all that”s on my plate. I start thinking those things that I thought were fun aren”t necessary and maybe I just don”t have it in me to do them – like, why am I even trying to play the piano, write this newsletter and make healthy food –  all of which make me very, very happy.

This time, when I got like this, I was gentler on myself. I told Robert I was tired. He offered to empty the dishwasher and order pizza for guests. I said thank you. I took a nap. I didn”t power through to make it perfect.

Then, I took a step back and pondered the real problem. My morning meditation has been sporadic, my time on the mat has been hit and miss and most nights I”ve had no idea what to make for dinner. I took a realistic look at my calendar and let go of a few things. I made space for meditation, yoga and making food. I online casinos marked them with a mental Sharpee.

I also went back to this perspective on gratitude. One that is more about presence and acceptance than a list in a journal. It”s accepting when I”m overwhelmed, softening into it and ever so gently doing something about it… doing what I know grounds and energizes me. Because when I feel good, everyone around me feels good. Or, at least my well-being is one less thing they have to worry about 😉

I hope, in the midst of all this busy-ness, that you give yourself space to do at least one thing that grounds you.

If you need help finding your yoga, meditation or food groove,  join our 40 Day program at Session Yoga, beginning January 6th, or Let Go of 2014″ workshop with Jes Gale on December 19th

If you need a great toast for the big day,
here”s my favorite that a friend”s Spanish/French teacher taught me years ago:

toast

the little thing i learned in the big city

kalyn notebookI just spent a few days in New York City visiting my 17-year-old-as-of-this-week, niece who recently moved there to pursue dance and finish high school at the Children’s Professional School. I was excited to spend precious time with this very busy girl and to hopefully experience the list of healthy hot spots I’ve gathered from all my favorite NY-based health gurus – Tara StilesJenny SancouciRobyn YoukilisLaura Hames FranklinGabby BernsteinIIN… and if there’s time, a swing through DVF’s world.

(If I would have known she was looking for a Brand Ambassador, I would have sent her this post… and yes, I’m choosing to ignore that she’s looking for a fresh-faced 20-something. An almost 50-something can dream, can’t she?)

Turns out, the universe had a different type of list in mind. And, as usual, it was way better than anything I had on mine. Seems it was time for a lesson in “how to gracefully focus on the daily stuff that needs to get done so you can accomplish the big stuff you have on that other list.” All that was needed for this much needed reminder was to sit back and watch the poetry in motion of simply Being Kalyn.

This not-so-little-girl-anymore has always been immersed in some type of activity that called for mind-boggling discipline and energy level. Some might think, ah… it’s easier when you’re that age, blessed with tons of energy and no stress or responsibility. I mean, all she has to do is roll out of bed and show up at class, right? Not so much.

She’s human, just like the rest of us older, “wiser” ones. There are times when she’d kinda like to do something else. She wakes up kinda sore. She forgoes food she kinda wants, in favor of food that makes her feel good. She has homework… A LOT of it. And, let’s not forget the competitive world she lives in… one that requires the physical strength of an athlete AND the confidence and courage to put your own artistic spin on everything you do….. Holy Mariah.

To watch her go through her day, you’d never know she has all of this on her plate. In fact, I don’t think she even thinks about it… fingers crossed she did NOT inherit the over-thinking gene from her Aunt Denese 😉

A peak inside her daily notebook reveals a sweet little list that touched my heart:

Be Happy

Stay Calm

Dance

Do Homework

Stretch

Sleep

 

And that’s exactly what she does… along with making her food for the week and putting things like kale salad in baggies she can grab on the go. (I mean, I even have a hard time doing this…As she says, “preparation is key.” #gottaloveit)

We didn’t make it through my list of NY to-do’s – although we did sneak in a couple Strala yoga sessions with Tara (precious) and I did experience Hu Kitchen’s Almond Butter Quinoa Chocolate Bar (perfection).

I left the city with an even better list – a list of the little things I can do each day that make me feel good, the things that when I do them, the rest of my world magically falls into place:

Write Morning Pages

Meditate

Get on my mat

Drink water

 

There are other things I’m tempted to list, like play piano, do homework, plan a workshop, plan menus, plan the rest of my life… All of those are important, but when these “little things” aren’t being done, I don’t have the energy to get the other stuff done. My mind is cluttered, I feel overwhelmed, physically tight, stuck and I get kinda wacky with food.

I left that crazy, whirlwind of energy, big city, feeling more grounded than I have in awhile. Apparently, I needed the reminder delivered in the form of a very special 17-year old.

Thank you Kalyn, for helping Aunt Denese get it together.

And, Happy Happy Birthday, sweet one. May the year deliver all you’re hoping for and may you stay grounded in that magical list of yours.

What does your little list look like? (Instagram me a pic)

 

p.s. Living your best life is about practice and progress, not perfection. We all need reminders and encouragement to listen within and do what feels best in our world. Check out my e-note for a few things inspiring me at the moment. Hope they connect with you.  Also hope to see you in yoga, Thursday  mornings, 8 am at Session Yoga.

it’s back to school for the babies… what about you?

Whether you’re craving community, connection, creativity… or simply need a reason to buy a cool notebook, why not go back to school … for a bit?

pima id

The beauty of not having to be in school, is that you can choose something that truly interests or inspires you.

Whatever your intention, opening yourself up to learning – especially things you’ve always wanted to do, the things that delighted you as a child – has the power to cultivate courage, confidence, even clarity, “yes, I want to continue that…” or, “no, it’s definitely time to let go of that…”

Lately I’m loving courses designed to spark creativity, to find your groove, to try that thing you’ve always wanted to try, to serve others in some sweet way.

And I’m amazed at the power of the classroom…

It’s funny how a group of complete strangers, in a matter of a few days can know more about your heart that anyone in your world. It’s good to talk about your dreams. It’s even better to be inspired to go for them. It’s crazy how brave we can be when we think no one we know is watching.

And, it doesn’t seem to matter which class it is… courage and epiphanies come amidst yogis, business owners, knitters, writers, bakers and piano players… online or down the street.

It’s the spirit behind the student that inspires us to try and to encourage others to try…

Think of your babies, would you ever want to squash their willingness to learn? their open-hearted spirit? Why in the world are we not encouraging each other to do the things that would make our heart sing?

What is sparking your curiosity? What would you like to learn?
If you’re not sure, check out my newsletter for a list of courses I’m loving... ones that might get the creative juices flowing.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out your community college… that affordable course mecca that’s probably right down the street!

I just enrolled in piano and voice lessons. Talk about back-to-school-jitters. I am definitely stepping outside my comfort zone with this one.

Here’s to back to school and rocking your best self!

Denese

p.s. I totally forgot about the student ID thing. I would’ve worn a more photo-appropriate top 🙂 Oh well, it’s not about the clothes anyway, right? It’s about the music 😉

under construction…

Our kitchen is undergoing total transformation – the tear everything out, set up a camping stove and make-do-in-the-master-bath-for-four-months kind of renovation.  I knew there would be chaos and crack of dawn contractor schedules to be coordinated, so I purposely freed myself of commitments.

I’ve purposely been quiet.

 

kitchen empty

 

I stopped teaching yoga and set workshops aside.

bisbee & me

I rolled out my mat, practiced and meditated at home,
(with Bisbee by my side.)

Yet, quiet hasn’t meant idle…

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 3.34.07 PM

My sister and I threw Dad a 70th birthday party,
created a storybook out of 500 family pictures,
and organized a fabulous family photo shoot

family photo screen shot

I’ve read 10 books on how to think, tap, eat, move, love, knit, die,
and forgive your way through life.
My favorite was about a dog.

I spent 21 days meditating with Oprah and Deepak
and 42 Making Miracles with Gabby.

I created monthly menus so I won’t have to worry about what to make for dinner again.
(I don’t want that frustration in my new kitchen!)

discloths

I’ve been knitting dishcloths – anticipating my new arrival,
like a mama making booties for hers.

I Started a Foolish Project (and you should too!)
One day I might share it. If I can pull it off. It’s that foolish.

Now, as the drywall dust settles,
amidst all this quiet…
I’m inspired.
I miss you.
I have ideas
(and an almost-finished, rock-star-sparkly kitchen)
to share with you.

Stay tuned for the unveiling
(of all kinds of good-ness).

kitchen covered

 

So, what happens when you do 40 days of yoga, meditate and eat mindfully?

We ended the workshop with a candle-lit 40-Sun-Salute ceremony honoring each day of our journey.

We ended the workshop with a candle-lit 40-Sun-Salute ceremony honoring each day of our journey.

Several a-ha’s emerge, like…

  • Consistency is magic – moreso than motivation.
  • Motivation is an emotion – it wanes, even with the most heartfelt intention.
  • Consistency is a daily decision. It’s a commitment to JUST DO what we know works.

These 40 Days were about creating a routine around the tools of yoga, meditation and mindful eating, each proven to produce presence, vitality, equanimity, rejuvenation, centered-ness.

Just by getting on the mat and sitting quietly for a minutes each day,

  • obstacles were cleared, moves were made,
  • relationships changed,
  • smoothies were embraced (even by meat-loving husbands),
  • and headstands were mastered.

Something shifted for everyone. For me, it was the desire to clear clutter…from closets to my web site to how I spend my days. I finished the 40 Days craving my piano and digging a little deeper into the food that works best for me.

Which was another a-ha for the group – how much food matters. Food affects everything. We spend a lot of time and emotiont on food. What could be one of the most nourishing, uplifting aspects of our life is often the most confusing, overwhelming, exhausting.

Somehow, by consistently using the tools of yoga and meditation, each one of us became aware of some way of eating, being, thinking, behaving that was not necessary anymore. Light was shed on things taking up space – doubt, worry, fear, forcing, fixing, judging, ignoring – precious space where some new way could come in, or where we could simply relish in the breathing room that open space (and a clean closet) brings.

Session Yoga teacher, Jes Gale summed up the 40 Day experience with this quote:

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann

The key is recognizing what is draining you, and what energizes you… and doing more of that. Pick one thing you know works for you, and do it consistently. Start with 40 Days and see what unfolds.

Take care,

Denese

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© Copyright Denese Russell: Writings | created by: IZUMI STUDIOS