Imperfectly Perfect

Arm balances happen to be my nemesis at this point in my life for a variety of reasons.  One because they require that you hug like holy heck into your midline and fire up your core.  And this Southern girl doesn't have the rock hard six pack abs of a mountain girl (yet).  Mine are more like a loaf of bread.  Granted they've changed from fluffy white bread to day old baguette, but still I'm not crushing cans with them anytime soon.

So the idea of lifting my rather large bum off the ground and coming into Eka Hasta Bhujasana then to Astavakrasana seemed laughable this morning in class.  It's this for those of you who don't speak Yogi...

As Bridget walked us through the pose, I winced and struggled and managed to hover about a centimeter off the ground before collapsing into a heap.  Then she did something even more laughable than me getting into the pose, she called on me to demo.

I took a deep breath.  Said a little prayer.  Drank in the love coming from the 20 odd people in the room.  And just like that my hips lifted.  My legs crossed in front of me.  And while I couldn't quite maintain the pose long enough to fully rotate.  I rose higher than I ever had.

Was it perfect?  No.  Was it even the full version of the pose?  No.  It was messy, and silly, and all over the place.  But it was deeper than I had ever gone.  And it was only that way because I was demoing.  Because she picked on me.  Because she challenged me.  Because people were watching.  Were counting on me.  Were supporting me.

It's like what your family does.  What significant others.  Brothers.  Sisters.  Aunts.  Uncles.  Grandparents.  Parents.  Best friends.  Do.  They see where you are weak and they challenge you.  They press into your tender spots.  They may even cause half of them.  They may annoy you.  They may hurt you.  They may be mean, and horrible, and ugly.  But that's all part of being human.  Cracks are where the light comes in.

And how great is that?  How great is it that we all have our own built in Bridgets?  Our own crack makers?  People that will call you out in front of the class.  That will force you to woman up and get your butt off the ground already.  And maybe the way they do it isn't as gentle as you'd like.  Maybe you have to spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars in therapy to rise above the damage they can sometimes cause.

But without them you'd be huffing, and puffing, and struggling.  Your butt firmly planted on the ground.

And as much as I can complain about my own family, without them I'm wouldn't be here.  Wouldn't be making the changes I am.  Wouldn't have had the courage to pack up and move across the country.  To excel in school.  To work hard.  To be bright and shiny and brave.  I learned all those things from my family.  And yes, I learned some neurotic things too.

But it all comes out in the wash.  Because ultimately I know it's all of that.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  That's gotten my butt off the ground so I can soar.

It's what's let the light in.  And there's so much light.

I love you and miss you even if I do whine about you.


With Our Powers Combined

Gulp.  Err, hi everyone.  Sorry about the silence.  It's just taken me a few days to find my feet since being completely knocked outta my socks by the out pouring of love I received on that last post.

Seriously, I am blown away by everyone's kind emails, messages, FaceBook posts, and comments.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  It really does take a village to raise a child, and only because I have one of the most amazing villages surrounding me was I able to radically transform myself.

I'm also saddened a little because it shows just how much the, "love and take care of your body," message is missing in our culture.  How we beat ourselves up.  Struggle against who we are.  Are disconnected.  Discouraged.  Disheartened.  Dull.

I never would have thought that all the events of my life would converge and I, big/fat/unathletic/ me, would be becoming an "expert" and inspiration for healthy, well living.  But it seems to be where my life is heading.

Sara McKeown, Licensed Professional Counselor and Wellness Coach.

I know this because of you.  Because you had the courage to tell me that what I wrote resonated with you.  Because you shined my light back to me.  And frankly that's a little intimidating because you guys have such big, amazing hearts.  And seeing that reflected back to me blinded me.  Makes me question whether I really do know what I'm talking about, if I can be a Wellness Coach, if I have anything to offer.  Because really me?  Are you sure, God?

It calls into mind that Marianne Williamson quote everyone knows, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?"

And that Internet is currently where I'm stuck.  I am terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone, hanging up a shingle, and taking the risk of sharing my knowledge.  Of being brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.  Because what if no one listens?  What if people point and laugh and make fun of me?  What if I fall on my face?  What if I hurt someone?  What if I hurt myself?

But the quote goes on, "Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So, I keep trying to shine.  I call the Idaho Board and get the ball rolling on my license.  I buy a domain name.  Write programs.  Drink my green smoothies.  Commit to what it is that I'm called to do.  Even when it's scary.  Even when it's hard.

Because ultimately I want all you guys to shine, to be liberated.  And I can't do that if I'm not practicing what I preach.  We're all in this together after all.  And when we shine I imagine it's like the Care Bear stare, darkness doesn't stand a chance in the face of our radiant hearts.

So stop playing small.  Take a risk.  Shine your light.  Because you never know when your light will light someone else up.

It sure has given me the courage I needed.

I love you and am so incredibly grateful for your beautiful hearts.

PS-I would like to send a huge shout out to my lovely friend Dara who just took a giant, bright, shiny step by quitting her day job to teach yoga full time.  If you live in Columbia, SC please check her out!

Skinny Jeans and All

When I was 20 and getting ready to ship off for Paris my mom took me shopping.  Among the things she bought me was a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans.  Jeans that made my butt look amazing.  Jeans that hugged me in all the right places.  Jeans that perfectly skimmed the pointy toe flats that were all the rage then.

I loved those jeans.  I wore them all around Paris.  Drawing in the Louvre.  On dates with a very handsome French man.  Out to Giverny.  I was beautiful and young and I had the wardrobe to prove it.

Then my mom got sick, then she died, then I dated some truly awful men, then had some fallings out with friends, then got a soul sucking job, then etc, etc, etc.  Life wasn't so beautiful and I was no longer so young.

Instead I was this... and only because I love you and want to help you am I willing to share this most god awful photo.

It was an incredibly painful time in my life.  And instead of womaning up and dealing with it, I crammed my face.  I put on a protective layer.  I insulated myself against the hurt.

It was easier that way.  To numb myself with refined sugar and carbs.  To create five minutes of bliss as a whole carton of Ben and Jerry's passed between my lips.

Everything else was so outta control.  So awful.  So tragic.  And I didn't have the voice to express my true feelings.

So I didn't.  I ate them.  And ate them.  And ate them.  And with each bite I started hating myself.  Because look at me.  That spunky, beautiful, creative girl.  That girl who ran away to Paris, who pierced her nose, who modeled nude for figure drawing classes, who was bubbly and charming, well she was no where to be found.

I squashed her and most anything I sat on.

All the while those jeans.  Those pretty, skinny, amazingly perfect life girl jeans sat at the back of my closet.  For awhile they mocked me, "You'll never wear us again.  Look at you."

But I kept them.  Mainly because they reminded me of a time when life was good.  When I was happy. When I was myself.

They fell outta the top of my closet when I was packing my stuff to move here.  And while I had shed some of my dead mommy weight, I still couldn't button them.  But I tossed them into my bag anyway because I was moving West.  And you never know.  And I'm sentimental.

As most of you know, not only did I get them on AND buttoned the other day, I discovered they're slightly too big.

I wish I could answer all your, "how did you do it," requests with a simple diet and exercise plan.  But I can't.  Because my transformation has been much deeper than that.

Yes, I started drinking green smoothies.  And doing a heck of a lot of yoga.  And cutting out carbs and sugar.  But none of that would have worked had I not done the hardest thing of all.

Loved myself.

Loved every extra part of me.  Every roll, protrusion, and wrinkle.  Every feeling.  Every thought.  Even the bad ones.  Even the ones I had tried to eat away.

If I hadn't loved all that.  Hadn't completely unbuttoned myself.  None of that other stuff would have worked.  It would have just been a crash diet.  A fad.  Something to try.  Another way to regulate my feelings.  And ultimately another cycle of success and failure and self loathing.  Like all those cookies.

Because it wouldn't have been genuine.  Wouldn't have treated the underlying problem just the very large symptom.

But when you reach down and deal with the yuck.  When you give yourself permission to be you no matter what the scale says (no matter what other people say for that matter).  When you really love you.  Taking care of your  body is easy.  You don't need plans and diets and regimens.  You just naturally want to honor, and love, and nourish it.  Because that's what you do when you love something.

Is it harder this way?  Yes.  Does it take longer?  Yes.  But my gosh it's so much more rewarding.  Because this way of being lasts a lifetime.  And is independent of what the scale says.  Of which jeans fit.  Of who died.  Or broke up with you.

Although I gotta admit, sliding back into my skinny jeans feels amazing.  Mainly because I know I'm sliding back into my true self.

I love you no matter what size you are but I want you to love and care for the body you're in.


PS-If you truly are interested in weight loss, spirituality, yoga, green smoothies, and the "plan" I used I'm in the process of creating The Embodiment Project: Six Weeks to a More Vibrant Mind, Body, and Soul.  It will be jammed packed with tips, tools, and support to began loving yourself and the body you're in.  I'll keep you guys posted as I move forward with the project in case any of you want to sign up.

Don't Fence Him In

I often use fairly odd metaphors to describe my dating life (hula hoops for healthy boundaries, trains for my future husband).  So it's not really surprising that I found striking similarities between love and a story about raising wild geese for foie gras.

The traditional method of procuring this delicacy involves strapping the goose down and forcibly shoving copious amounts of corn down its gullet.  Which of course, is like surgically attaching yourself to your mate and forcing him to love you.  The image of Elmyra Duff exclaiming, "I'm gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever," while squeezing Furrball to death comes to mind.  There's a reason why gluttony is a seven deadly sin and why all the animals were terrified of Elmyra.  No one likes to have copious amount of anything shoved down their throat.  Not even love.

So a man in Spain decided there had to be a better way to skin a cat fatten a goose.  One that wasn't so inhumane and torturous to the animal.  His method required removing the tubes, setting the geese free, and ignoring them.  This was so remarkable most people in the culinary world didn't believe it to be true.  No way could you get foie gras like this.  Because how, without forcing the geese to eat, could the livers possibly grow into the Nerf football size necessary for true foie gras?

The answer?  Because it's in their nature.  In their very DNA.  In order to prepare for winter, geese will naturally stuff themselves.  The only catch?  They have to believe they are wild.  They have to believe they are free.  If they do not believe this.  If they are fed.  Or fenced in.  Or in anyway domesticated their nature will not kick in and they will not gorge themselves.  Their livers will not triple in size.

So the farmer in Spain doesn't do any of the things a traditional farmer would.  There are no fences.  No feeding.  No protecting.  The geese are free to go wherever they want.  Eat whatever they want.  Be whatever they want.  They are truly free.  And because of this, they eat and lounge and don't fly south for the winter.  That's right.  These geese do not fly south for the winter.  Let me say that again.  THEY DO NOT FLY SOUTH FOR THE WINTER.  Because and I quote, "Their DNA is to find the conditions that are conducive to life.  To happiness.  They find it here."

By allowing the geese to be fully what they are without interfering, this man produces the most highly prized foie gras.  The best tasting.  Most humane.  Award wining.  Delicacy.  He keeps them by letting them be free.

Now I think you can all guess where this is going.  In the past I've been that traditional farmer.  I've built fences, had expectations,  clung to my dear goose boyfriend, begged for love.  For attention.  For affection.  For his liver him to do exactly what I wanted.

And well that's worked out exactly how traditional foie gras has.  I've created a lot of fat unhappy geese.  Myself included.

Now imagine.  Imagine if you loved without forcing.  Without clutching.  Without needing.  If you just let your partner be.  If you gave him a wonderful space where he could truly be himself.  Well then he might never leave.  Might never fly South.

Imagine then if you did this for yourself.  If you just let yourself be.  If you gave yourself a wonderful space where you could truly be you.  Well then you might just be able to start your own gaggle.  Because birds of a feather flock together.  And when they find happiness right where they are they create the best tasting relationships.

Just ask the farmer in Spain.


Reach Out and Touch Someone

"No, you'd save your phone.  And only after you texted everyone about the fire would you then realize you didn't have any clothes on and would rush back in."

I hated to admit it but he was right.  My phone.  My email.  My Facebook.  This blog.  Have all become extremely important to me since leaping out West.  Even more important since embarking on this whole find my husband by August, cry in yoga adventure.

Because this new way of being has forced me to put my big girl panties on, pick up my hula hoop, and kick some people out of my circle.  One in particular who is quite charming and fun and cute.  But who was taking up a lot of space and ultimately was not someone I needed to be hooping with long term.  

That's left my space fairly empty.  Empty at a time when it's cold, and dark, and I'm in a new place 3,000 miles away from the warmness of my family and friends.  Away from my come over drink a glass of wine and talk friends.  Away from my here you're tired and your hoop is heavy I'll help you keep it up friends.  Away from the fullness and connection I thrive on.

I mean I'm a southern girl.  Connection is deeply embedded in me.  I can make friends with a sign post.  Or very happily spend countless afternoons on porches, talking, and drinking tea (sweet and iced mind you).  But that doesn't really happen here.  What with all the snow, and freezing, and people not really into that whole sitting around thing.  Not to mention the fact that my job is basically little ole me in front of twelve computer screens talking to myself all day.  Or that locals tend to be weary of newcomers.  Or that my lack of prowess on the slopes leaves me picked last on powder days.

If I let my mind get the better of me the weight of all that isolation comes crashing down on top of me and I start to not shower, or brush my teeth, or leave the house for days on end.  And I go back to that I'm going to die alone with cats place.  And that my friends is just crazy.  I don't even like cats.  And according to that book I won't be alone.

But I forget this.  Because while I theoretically understand that this space is good.  That it creates opening for new things to come in.  At times it's severely lonely and it overwhelms me.

So, yes.  Yes, I'd save my phone.  Because it's my lifeline right now.  It connects me.  Allows me to feel like I have help when otherwise I'm isolated and lonely.  When otherwise I'm hooping all by myself.  

And that connection gives me the strength to keep my hoop up.  To hold the space I've created.  To not get lazy and just let anyone in to fill the void.  Because I have you.  And you do such a wonderful job of supporting me.  Of helping me feel full.

So thank you, thank you, thank you.  You have no idea how much you mean to me.  How much you help me everyday.  How lighter you make my hoop.

I love you dearly and am so blessed to have you.


PS- Pandora thought it appropriate to play this song at the exact moment I sat down to write this post.  Maybe you need to hear it too.      

Attaching Without Attachment

"I love you, but it's no concern of yours."

I flinched when Dr. John Douillard spoke those words because they hit me right in the heart.  It was one of those moments when you slink down in your seat, doodle in your notebook, and hope no one makes eye contact with you.  Because you?  You are guilty as charged.  And please God don't let anyone notice.

I, like many people out there, often equate love with works.  What are you doing for me?  How is this benefiting me?  Why are you acting like that because clearly if you loved me you would call me and you would never do that really annoying thing ever again.  So stop it and do exactly what I want damn it.  It's all about me! Me! Me!

Which is pretty much the exact opposite of how Dr. Douillard is calling us to love.  Instead of getting out our balance sheets and working out complex equations of, "well you did this, so I must do this in order for it all to equal out in the end," we gotta let go.  We gotta love just for the sake of loving.  Because love is our true nature.  And our true nature is not worried about making sure all actions are balanced.  Or that things even out.  Our true nature does not say,  "Well if I put this much in, then you have to put this much because if you don't it won't be fair and then I'll have to have a tantrum."

No, our true nature loves without concern.  It just does.  It just is.  There are no worries about how it's going to turn out.  If there will be a ring.  Or 2.5 children.  Or why he's being so annoying.  Or why he won't make a big gesture.  Those are petty concerns.

True love squashes those things.  It just comes falling right out of you whether he changes his Facebook status or not.  Because it can't help it.  The sun shines whether we notice it or not, after all.

But that non-attachment.  That releasing of quid pro quo.  That turning off the ego is hard.  Especially in a culture, in a family, in a world where we are praised for what we get.  What we have.  For the fruits of our labor.  To say I am going to do this.  I am going to love you and I don't care what I get in return well that's like me saying, "I'm not going to study for this test and I don't care if I make an A or not."  It's just not natural Internet.

But it's so essential.  It's what allows that stabby annoyance to melt away.  For true connection to flow in.  For real love to happen.

And if you could teach me how to do it I'd love you forever, because right now all I can see are the things I want him to do that he isn't.  All the ways I've been wronged.  How his actions haven't been what I wanted.

And that?  That's really not any concern of mine.



PS-If you want to hear what else John Douillard had to say sign up for Cate's Evolving Your Winter Traditions eCourse.  You can listen to a clip of his interview here.

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Sesame Street

Now I think we all know that on the scale of zero to really cares about what other people think I fall somewhat right of center (which may be the only scale I'm on the right side of).  I have no problem shucking my boots and trying on ski pants right in the middle of Peaked.  Or exclaiming loudly in public.  Or generally making a fool out of myself.  Most of the time I think people are a little too uptight and could use some loosening up and I'm happy to provide them with that comic relief (often at my own expense).

However, when it comes to the approval of my family and friends my Valedictorian of Everything tends to take over and I like to keep everything buttoned up and in place least I not win with them.  Yet, this path I've chosen.  Or rather been called to walk is one of open hearted vulnerability.  I can't very well ask people to go upside or reveal their insides to me if I'm not doing that in my own life.  What a hypocrite I'd be if I told someone else to buck and be themselves with their family if I wasn't walking the talk.

But walking the talk is hard Internet.  It's hard to fully put yourself out there especially to the ones you desperately care about.  Even harder still when you know they aren't going to approve.  That you aren't always going to win.  Then slather on top a layer of, "we're southern and don't really talk about our feelings," and well I'd rather just keep my boots, and coats, and gloves, and hat on thank you very much.  Nothing to see here.  Nothing to reveal at all.  I'm fine.  I may be burning up but I'm fine.

Except I can't do that anymore.  I can't have two selves.  Can't have the me I am around certain people and then the me I am around others.  And yes I've been doing that for as long as I've lived.  When I was younger it was the straight A student versus the party girl.  Now it's the good little tow the line girl versus the eat raw do yoga have a nontraditional job girl.

I can't wear all that anymore.  As my dear friend B said, "It's time to come out."  To shed the self that isn't serving me anymore.  To stand in my light even when it's hard.  Even when those I love don't understand or approve.  Because ultimately what we are called to do in the this life is to be the best version of ourselves.  To be what God made us to be.  And as much as this might pain my family, I'm fairly certain I was made to be a girl who does yoga, talks about her feelings, and has one too many tattoos.  It's just who I am.

So, I'm here...I'm queer yogic, veganish, a therapist, mostly a democrat, and probably lots of other things you don't approve of.  Get used to it.

I have.


PS-It helps if you play this video on repeat as loud as you can...

Guess I'll Go Eat Worms

This Thanksgiving is the first one I won't be spending with my family or a romantic partner.  I've done Thanksgiving without family before when I was living in Paris.  But I had the Duke then and the novelty of bringing a fat, unhealthy holiday to my French friends.  This year I got no Duke AND no family.  I know get out your violins and play me the saddest song.  Poor southern girl stuck in cold, snowy, Idaho alone with people who think kale is a suitable breakfast food, whatever is she to do?

If I allow myself to follow that train of thought it leads to crying in the shower and moping around in sweat pants all week.  So I choose to think about it differently...

I've done a lot of growing and changing recently. In ways that, bless their hearts, my family doesn't always understand or support.  I'm quite sure that if I requested raw food at our Thanksgiving table it would be met with a massive protest, as well as, the laying on of hands and a few signs of the cross (and we aren't even Catholic that's just how far they'd go to pull me back to their side).  Because clearly yoga, and vegan, and gluten free is straight from the devil.  And don't even mention mental health and counseling.  Or heaven forbid my nose ring and tattoos.  Plural.  Tattoos!  Heathen!

So I'm glad to have this space away from them this year.  And I love them.  I do.  And they mean well.  And they are great people.  But my life has taken a drastic departure from what is acceptable to them and it's hard to maintain who I've truly become while sitting around their dinner table.

I'm also not yet in a space where I'm ready to fully come out to them.  To let my freak flag show.  I still feel like I have to hide parts of me.  That I can't be proud of what I'm doing.  That I can't fully express how wonderful it is to be studying yoga and drinking green smoothies.  Like somehow I'm a failure because I'm 28, broke, living in a yoga studio, and not a doctor.  Oh and don't forget unmarried.  I'm not married either!

Failure, failure, failure!  Which is a hard pill to swallow with your mashed potatoes and gravy.  Hard when all you want is their love, and support, and well wishes.  When all you want to to be able to call them up and share this great new project you're working on or this awesome class you taught.  But you can't.  You can't share the parts of yourself that you're happiest with.  Proudest of.  Because they just don't understand.  Don't get it.  And hardest of all they disapprove.

And that, Internet, is why I'll be spending Thanksgiving with fellow yogis.  People who get why I don't want to stuff myself with processed food.  Who don't mind eating later so I can go to a special morning class.  Who look at me and my tattoos and nose ring and see a girl.  A beautiful girl who's doing exactly what makes her heart happy.  Even if that means she's broke and alone on Thanksgiving.


Full of It


Yeah I know.  It's the week of Thanksgiving.  Everyone and their momma is going to be blogging about, teaching about, talking about gratitude.  And being thankful.  And how lucky we all are and how we should be soooo thankful for everything we have.  Which we should.  Life is indeed great.  These ARE the days (@Max).  I AM stupidly blessed.  Beyond reason.  Can't even really fully comprehend how fortunate I am.  Blessed.
Homemade card from that 3-year-old

But that's easy for me to say right now because I spent the day inside where it's warm (very important now that the temperature is a number my body does not compute).  And in the company of a lovely three year old and her amazing parents.  So yeah I can bow my head and express thanks.  Easy peasy.  Done and done.

However, having a truly grateful heart is being able to express that same thanksgiving when your car doesn't start, or your computer crashes, or your heart gets broken.  Those things.  The yucky.  Icky.  Annoying.  Kick you right in the gut things.  We're often not too keen on saying thank you for them.  Instead we let loose a string of words that would curl my Nana's toes.  We shake our fists at the sky and carry chips around on our shoulders.

Yet we'll write laundry lists of thanks for the birds, and the sky, and our warm beds, and the flowers, and all the things that are pretty and easy to love.  But last time I checked that bird didn't force me to grow.  Didn't jab me awake.  Or move me to make a change.

Her note to me
At least not the way say (and I'm just going to go straight for the big one), a dead mommy does*.  No a dead mommy, a broken car, a crashed computer, a smashed relationship.  Those things shake you up.  Make you take stock.  They are the real things we should be thankful for.  Because I bet if you close your eyes and look back on your life those tragedies.  Those short comings.  Those losses that blindsided you on a random Tuesday.  Those are the very things that have given you the life you have now.  And isn't that great?

Had my mom not died I would have NEVER gone to grad school.  I would have never moved West.  And right here.  Right now.  I am exactly where I need to be.  So, as odd as this sounds, I'm grateful for that.  I'm grateful that I can see the good.  That I can bow my head and express thanks for all the parts of my life.  Even the most horrible.  Even the saddest.  Even the muckiest.  Because without dark there would be no light.  And I have so much light.

I love you all so much.  And I'm so grateful for each of you.  Even the ones of you I don't know.  You all have such beautiful lives.  Even if they don't seem that way.


*For those of you who don't know me my mom died from Ovarian cancer when I was 22.  I tell dead mommy jokes as a way of coping.  Stop being offended.  My mother would have loved it.  She did after all tell me to, "Play the sympathy card as much as possible."  So I'm fairly certain she is in no way scathed by this.  Just go with it.

Bare-ing It All: What I Learned From Being a Life Drawing Model

I've been at war with my body since I was in 3rd grade and my mom told me I was too fat to be a dancer.  In her defense I believe her exact words were, "Honey, you just don't have the body type to be a ballerina."  And I know in her own way she was just trying to protect me, because let's face it, I don't have the body type to be a ballerina.  Nor the grace (have you seen me trying to walk in the snow?).

But when you are 8 and lusting after a pink tutu and pointe shoes all you get is that you're not one of those girls and you never will be no matter how hard you try.  You are Other.  Unworthy.  FAT.  And that's when the lasers began shooting out of my eyes every time I saw a beautiful thin woman.

That's when I starting believing I didn't have a choice in the matter.  That I might as well give up because I'd never be pretty, thin, athletic, a dancer.  Might as well have another donut covered in self loathing.  Why not really when you're already doomed?

So I've spent most of my life fighting against myself.  Desiring to be healthy, thin, beautiful.  But self sabotaging because I was born wrong.  And then I met yoga and Cate and moved West and all that fell away.

Because fat is a choice.  Uncomfortable is a choice.  Hating your body is a choice.  No matter what size you are.

And it's a choice you make everyday by the foods you eat, the habits you cultivate, the people you surround yourself with.  You don't have to be at war with your body.  You don't have to hate the skin you're in.  You can be bien dans sa peau, as the french say.  You can stand naked in front of 7 people and enjoy every minute of it because you don't have a ballerina's body.  Because you are curvy and fleshy and full and interesting.

But most importantly because you are embodied.  Because you have a body.  A body that moves you through this wonderful life.  That reads, and drives, and poops, and does all this incredible, amazing, mind blowing stuff every single day.  Most of it without much thought on your part.

And that's beautiful whether you can do a pirouette are not.  Whether you look like a Rebuens or a Schiele.

So take care of the skin you're in.  Because the body you have is the only one you get.  And life's too short not to be totally completely madly in love with it.

I think you are all so beautiful.

PS-This completes #142 on my Life List.  While it may not have been Dr. Sketchy's in Columbia-I was a model, people drew me, and taking it one step further I was naked while they did it.  So I think I can totally call #142 DONE!

Are you there Sara? It's me, God

I've never really had one of those voices of God moments.  Sure I've felt the presence of spirit.  The nagging of do this don't do that.  The knowledge that the choice I was making was the right one.  Small signs that I'm not alone and that I'm on the right path.

But that shout out loud booming voice of God thing.  Not so much.  Until this past weekend.

A series of seemingly random events came together to put me with a friend in a town three hours away for the weekend.  Which was auspicious in and of itself because it was was 11.11.11 and he hadn't exactly planed to be in Bozeman it had just "happened" to work out that way.

This is a friend who is dedicated to his own spiritual journey.  Who is tapped in and aware and disciplined in his practices.  So why I'm surprised some of this rubbed off on me I don't know.  After all, you are the company you keep so keep damn good company.

After many long discussions, heartfelt conversations, and synchronistic events, I came to realize it's not a romantic relationship I need right now but a mad love affair with spirit.  But for that to occur I need a teacher.  A guide.  Someone who's gone before me and can initiate me and hold my hand and teach me.  Of course this friend of mine has such a teacher.  One that he's currently studying with.  And while laying out his case for why I should also plunk down the money to study with said teacher the GPS on my phone shouted-"Proceed to the highlighted route."

Now had this occurred say while we were driving in my car.  Or while programing our route I wouldn't be writing this post.  No, this happened while sitting in our hotel room, Internet.  While my GPS was seemingly off and my phone asleep.  OFF and ASLEEP!

Call me crazy but when your electronic devices start interjecting their two cents I'd say you better take their advice or you know go check yourself into the looney bin because you've completely lost it.  But Max heard it too.  And after we got over the startle and then the giggles that followed, I decided that was indeed what I should do.  I should proceed to the highlighted route.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get there.  Or better yet pay for it.  But I'm guessing that when God speaks he has a plan, even if you don't know what it is.

So I'm trusting he'll let me know.  And if all else fails I'll just ask my phone, it seems to be relatively smart these days.


Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

In yoga we call that pulse Spanda.  Other people call it crazy.  Whatever name you give it, it's that ever constant push and pull.  The contraction and revelation.  The dance between things that's always happening.  It's only crazy when you pulse between serial killer and giggling hyena.  Otherwise, I think a little sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you don't is only natural.

No one is happy alllll the time.  Ok, well maybe there is one person, I went to high school with her and my god her always sunny mood was obnoxious.  I'd never actually wish ill on someone, but in her case a little catastrophe might be in order.  The same thing can be said for being sad all the time.  It just ain't right.  Always existing in one state is stasis.  Death.  Living?  Growing?  They require movement.  But I digress, Internet.

The point is-sometimes you cry on your mat.  Other times, you do cart wheels you're so mind blowingly happy.  Such is the nature of life.  Of spanda.

The problem is we often forget about this pulsation.  This dance.  So that when we're down, we forget that we'll be up again.  That the universe is abundant and will provide a reason to smile so hard it hurts. Instead we waste a lot of time crying in inappropriate places, or day dreaming about how we'll never love again and other melodramatic probably never going to actually happen things.

Then the universe does what it does.  It pulses and you suddenly remember you have about five billion things to be joyful about.  One of which is realizing that when you set pure intentions and get out of your own way Grace does a hell of a job giving you exactly what you need.

For me that has been community and connection.  Phone calls.  Emails.  Facebook messages.  New friends.  Visits with old friends.  And I didn't even have to makeout with a single one of them to get their attention.

I know this heart blasting, jump up and down joy will fade.  It's what happens.  But the more I practice this dance the easier it gets.  The quicker the steps.  So that when I'm down it doesn't take a full song to set me right.  Just a quick turn step and I'm floating again.

Thanks to everyone who has connected with me these past few days.  You guys are amazing.  And I'm so stupid, crazy blessed to have each of you in my life.

I love you so much!

The Girl Who Cried (in) Yoga

Well Internet it happened again.  That's right I cried in yoga.  It's becoming a thing.  At least this time it didn't have anything to do with a boy.  Well not a specific boy at least.  I blame Bridget and Cate this time, my new yoga aunties, who are determined to beat some sense into me.  Or to at least make me twist in such a way my heart is wrung out each time I come to my mat for one of their classes.

It all started with this book Cate threw at me and demanded I read after not being able to take another day of my whining about dying alone and cats eating my face off.  The title alone made me throw up in my mouth a little, Calling in "The One," 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life,  in case you're wondering.  Yeah I know.  I know Internet.  But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Plus, I trust Cate.  I mean after following her directions regarding enemas and garlic suppositories a book recommendation seems rather harmless and uneventful, ya know?

Turns out this book does not pull any punches.  In fact, it punches you.  Repeatedly, right in the baby maker until you can't help but cry all over your yoga mat (or car, or book, or bed, or shower, or wherever it is you cry, which is probably a way more appropriate place than in a public class).  Its lessons hurt so bad they're good because you know once you get to the end (and by God I will get to the end) something will have changed.  And if it doesn't?  Well then me and God are going to have words.  Lots of them.

So I've been a little raw lately.  Which makes rolling out my mat even riskier, because chances are when shit is up in your life it spews out all over your mat.  Because that's what yoga does.  Busts you wide open.  Gives you emotional diarrhea (have I told you that here in Driggs we talk about poop a lot?).

Try doing handstand.  Filling your back body.  Trusting.  While you got all that deep, reorganizing, clearing out the demons stuff going on.  You'd cry too.  Cry because you are a yoga teacher who can't kick into handstand on your own.  Cry because you are single.  Cry because you are a million miles from home.  Cry because your mom died.  Cry because you are tired damn it and can't this just be over and life be perfect already.

But cry mostly because you realized that for a majority of your life you've ignored your gut when it comes to boys, and love, and sex, even when it's been yelling at you.  Sure I knew it was there.  What it was saying.  What I should do.  I just tended to do the exact opposite for lots of reasons (this is the part where I blame my family and culture).

So with that glaring revelation hanging over my head, it made me realize my whole deal with handstand makes sense.  I mean why would I be able to go upside?  If I can't hold to my core during daily tasks that don't come with the risk of injury and death, then how the hell am I going to do it while balancing on my two hands upside down?  Probably not gonna happen.  Which is why when Bridget asked us to take our mats to the wall this morning I crumbled.  

Because now I gotta own the fact that I'm a big wuss.  That saying no is hard for me.  That standing my ground is difficult.  That I don't know how to puff my kidneys.  Or kick by myself.  YET.

That I am 28 years old and I have manifested exactly what I have put out.  And that Internet is a hard lesson to swallow.  But that's the thing with growth.  It hurts and it's hard and sometimes you want to give up.  But you don't.  You keep kicking because one day you'll go upside down.  You'll call in "The One."  And that's going to be so rockstar awesome it'll be worth all the tears.

Or at least it better be!  I'll let you know in seven weeks when I get to the end.

So much love,

PS-In the meantime go download Florence and the Machine's new album.  It's pretty fantastic.  Or at least I think so.  Mainly because it feels like Florence crawled into my brain and wrote a bunch of songs I needed to hear right now.  It's the soundtrack of our lives (Brian Kooyman).  Plus she's a crazy hot red head!

Here's the track I've been playing...

Breaking Up Ayurvedically Isn't Hard to Do

I cried through my practice tonight because sometimes the Universe gives you exactly what you need.  Other times it pushes you down and repeatedly kicks you in the teeth (which usually is exactly what you need but that's another post).  These tears were the result of the latter.  The teeth kicking one.  That cute Ski Bum boy dumped me (again).  Three months ago I probably would have used this time honored tradition of getting over the heart break...

*Ummm so somehow the conversion process cut my head off?  Sorry using new software!

But now that I eat green things, do enemas, and meditate on a regular basis, I'm not too keen on wrecking my body and mind just because my heart is a little tender.  Crap food and copious amounts of alcohol aren't your friends after all.  They mostly just make you feel fat and bloated and give you zits.  And how will you ever find another mate when you look like that? I kid.

But really, how do you deal with heart smashing in a mindful way that doesn't add to your waistline or make you question your self esteem?

Well first, you put down the ice cream, step away from the wine and go outside.  Seriously.  Move your body.  Dance.  Hoop.  Stretch.  Run.  You need to burn off the bad juju not swallow it.  Plus, it's a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins and happy people don't kill people (no matter how much they may want to) nor do they wallow around feeling sorry for themselves.  So scoot!

Now that you've burned off the ick and have a clearer mind, sit with how you feel.  Really.  Tune in.  Are you angry?  Hurt? Sad?  Disappointed?  Do you feel stupid for believing every word that jerk said?  Do you regret funneling so much time and energy into what you thought was an awesome relationship?  Then great you aren't a cyborg.  You do have a heart.  And how cool is that?  Because once you get over this little disaster you can give that heart of yours to someone else.  Just make sure the next person is worthy before you go planing your children's names and ordering his and hers monogramed bath towels.

Once you determine exactly what it is that makes you want to ram sharp things into people's eyes or use up a box of tissues wiping teary Alice Cooperesque mascara off your face, you can then do something about it.  Cry.  But don't wallow.  Scream.  But don't hit.  Really go for it.  Whatever will allow you to fully experience your feelings is fair game, as long as no children or animals are harmed during your expression.  My new favorite thing (thanks to a kick ass girlfriend)?  Buying cheap shit from the dollar store and smashing it.  There's a certain something about bashing in the head of a ceramic cat that really allows me to let go and surrender.

And that's really what healing your heart is about.  So it didn't workout.  Chances are this isn't the first time that's happened.  You've just forgotten.  You've become so wrapped up in the what ifs, and buts, and I don't understands, and the this sucks you can't remember you're going to be ok.  In fact, you're going to be more than ok.  Especially if you don't reach for the sugar and pity sex.

So quit reading this, go draw yourself a bath, talk to people who love you, and remember, you're a hell of a catch, he/she probably didn't deserve you anyway.

Plus, "when the wrong train is in the station how can the right one pull in?" (That's what he said? Bada ching! That's for you Jenny!)

Love you so much!

Cleanse Day 4: Intentions

I guess technically it's day 5 considering it's 2:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake. So far I've had nothing but raw pureed food. Or as Ski Bum Brian calls it, Injured Hockey Player fare. Green smoothies, vegetable soups, miso broths. No wheat, dairy, meat, or refined sugar since this past Saturday. And I feel great-ish...

I have a very strong desire to pull in. To unplug. Talk less, interact less, be less connected. But that's not possible right now considering both jobs I have require me to have at least five internet windows open at once. Which is rather frustrating and tiring. And caused a couple of melt downs I won't lie. But other than that I'm pretty on track with my intentions for this cleanse.

On Sunday Cate asked us to think about what we want from this detox in four different ways: physically, mentally, emotionally/relationally, and spiritually. Here's what I came up with, you know since I have intentions for most everything these days.

Regulate my weight. I could stand to shed oh about 20lbs.
Get rid of my acne. Since stopping my birth control my face has decided to freak out. Hopefully, all the green juice will fix that.

Develop clarity, focus, and discipline. So much of the time my mind overrides my better senses and I crumble. I reach for the cookies, the piece of bread. I want stick-to-it-ness.

Let go of the fear, self doubt, and negative talk that keeps me in patterns that don't serve me. Let food be thy medicine instead of thy emotional crutch.

Be inspiring and supportive to others. Hopefully by practicing what I preach, I can get others to join me on the Green Revolution train. I've already seen this happen somewhat at my old studio thanks to my wonderful teacher Stacey and all the dedicated and brave students who decided to see for themselves what all the hype was about. You guys rock by the way!

Be in the flow of Grace. Be connected. Open. And faithful.

True to Sara fashion what all that boils down to is having the guts to be disciplined. Being strong enough in my core to stand in my light no matter what. Which if you know me, or have been following along on my journey so far, know this seems to be the overarching theme for this whole year. Maybe my next tattoo should be "discipline" written in big letters on my forehead. Or maybe I'll learn the lesson over the next 9 months!  One can hope, right?

What are your intentions? How is your cleanse going?

Love you! Miss you!

Tongue Scraping 101

One of the parts of my morning cleanse routine...

Cleanse Day 1: Making Room

Yogidetox is in full force around here.  And I plan on checking in here every day and logging my progress.  It helps keep me honest when I have to tell you guys about it!

First out...

2+2 Could Equal 5

I grew up with one fairly overachieving, perfectionist parent. And the other one beat into me that I was to make straight A's so much I'd have a panic attack when my test score said 99 instead of 100. So, being attached to the outcome, the fruits of my labor if you will, is something that has been ingrained into my very being.

A+B=C, and you better darn well care about C because C could get you 6 weeks worth of no telephone (can you tell I'm still traumatized? I love you dad!). However, most religious and spiritual practices teach you not to be so concerned with the results. With stuff. With attachment. To be in the world not of the world.

And yes sometimes being concerned with how things turn out is necessary. I'm not at all advocating that we just go around doing what we want without thinking about the consequences. That's chaos and anarchy and how people get shot. But what I am saying is we shouldn't be so worried about it. It shouldn't consume us. Or prevent us from doing what is right and necessary.

I know for me, at least, I can be so wrapped up in the long term thinking. The results of what may or may not happen if I do or don't do something I miss the moment. I let it affect me in such a way that I'm not doing what I should. Not opening myself to possibility because my mind's already worked out what it thinks C is going to be.

Several things have happened in my personal life recently that have forced me to let go of the what ifs. What if I let you into my life again and you break my heart? What if I say this and you don't like it? What if I spend all this time with you and we don't get married and have 2.5 children and a white picket fence and a dog?

What if I over analyze this situation so much I miss a great opportunity? What if in my desperate need to control I guide my life instead of letting Grace?

A+B doesn't always equal the C you think it will. So stop your worrying and just do it already. And if you get 6 weeks worth of detention who cares? You'll survive. I did (although just barely).

So much love,

Month One Review

So Internet, I've been here for a month.  There's a part of me that panics about that, because my gosh the year is going to be over waaay too soon and I'm currently so incredibly happy with my living arrangements I don't ever want to leave.  But what's all that yoga stuff about staying in the present?

I would say that I've accomplished a lot in this one month but I'm not sure it's stuff I should admit meeting a cute boy.  Being dumped by said cute boy.  Knowing the names of the bartenders at the two cool places to drink in town.  Staying out too late.  Having an incredibly full social calendar.  Talking waaay too much.  Reconnecting with a friend in a totally unexpected way.  The list goes on and on.  I feel like Sara circa her college days-way too bright, bubbly, and intoxicating intoxicated.  

But then there's all the hiking, biking, yogaing, eating raw, siting in mediation for 45 minutes, and working I've been doing.  It all balances out in the end, right?

Although, I do feel the need to have some concrete goals for each month.  Things that I'm working towards.  That I'm making the effort to practice every month.  So, the 30 day challenge was born.  Which I must admit was inspired by a friend's facebook post (Hi Jason!).

The idea is to commit to practicing something every day for 30 days.  Sometimes I think we (or at least I do) have lofty, ambitious, broad goals.  This often hinders me from achieving them because, how exactly do I tweak my eating habits?  It's just too big.  Too overwhelming.  So I go the Wolf and have a beer and eat pizza because that's much, much easier.

Which so is not my goal.  And then before I know it the year is over and I've crossed nothing off my list.  And those of you who know me well know how pissed my Valedictorian of Everything will be about that.

So, I'm taking my intention list and breaking it down to small digestible chunks.  Things I can do every day each month that will get me where I wanna go in the end.

My first 30 day challenge is strengthening my core.  I need this for so many reasons, not just to kick up into handstand on my own.  But to tell people no.  To stand firm in what it is I truly want to accomplish this year.

So I bought a hula hoop.  That's right a hula hoop.  It's a great ab workout and fun.  And a metaphor my beloved friend B and I have been using for years to describe perfect personal boundaries (plus there's a girl here in town that makes hula hoops and you know how much my hippie heart loves local handmade goods).

A hula hoop has boundaries.  You can spin your hula hoop around and keep people at bay.  Or you can drop it and let people into it with you.  But it's kinda a small intimate space.  Not just anybody or everybody needs to be up in your hula hoop.  And it's work to keep it going.  You have to pay attention to your hula hoop or before you know it it's on the ground.  Just like how you have to be mindful of who you spend your time with and what it is you're doing in that time.

So for the next 30 days I will be hula hooping for at least 15 minutes every day.  What can you commit to practicing for the next 30 days?  Leave it in the comments here or on my facebook page and we can all support each other as we move closer towards achieving our ultimate goals!

Love you all so much!

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
-Mary Oliver

You Are What You Eat

I got into this whole mess because I did a cleanse with Cate back in May.  A cleanse that so completely shifted my awareness that I couldn't help but pack up my car and drive West.

Among my intentions, if you remember, is to tweak how I eat.  Because like Hippocrates said, I too, believe that food is medicine.  That you are what you eat.  And if you look around at what the typical American eats we're fat, processed, pieces of non nutrient garbage.  No wonder we have all the health problems that we do.  But that's a soapbox for another time.  A soapbox many a people have stood on and waxed far more poetically than I ever could like...

Food, Inc
Forks Over Knives
Mark Bittman
Dan Buettner

But all you need to know (for now) is that more green, more raw, more seasonal is my aim.  So, off to the woods I trekked with my fearless leader and her adorable sidekick (who just may be the greatest part of my job).

The fruits of my labor were a whole sack full of yummy, living, green things.

Which I promptly threw into my blender with a handful of other things I had around...

The best part?  It was totally free!

What are you eating?  And how are you feeling?


Taste the Rainbow

I get asked a lot about why I do yoga.  Which is a lot like asking someone why they breathe.  Because I have to.  Because it feels good.  Because I would die if I didn't.

For those of you who have tasted the yoga mango (to use a metaphor popular in the Anusara crowd), you know the answer to that question.  You also know that answer is hard to quantify with words.  There's this oomph.  This je ne sais quoi about yoga.  That you just can't explain.

Like a mango.  I can tell you all about a mango.  How to grow it.  What it looks like.  I can show you the tree.  Even let you hold the fruit in your hand.  But until you've actually tasted the mango you have no idea what exactly a mango is.

Moving here and joining this kula has been like putting a completely new fruit in my mouth.  I thought I knew what yoga was.  That I was pretty decent at it.  That I had a pretty firm grasp on the alignment principles and how they felt in my body.

Boy was I wrong.  Turns out I hadn't even begun to sink my teeth fully into the fruit.

This kula is full of people who eat marathons for breakfast.  Who hike and bike and generally kick nature's butt on a regular basis.  I, I am not, one of those people (yet).

So, when in the first fifteen minutes of class Bridget calls one minute handstands and everyone springs up, I look around in wonder (and jealousy, and awe, and I'll admit it a small amount of hatred).  Because I can't do that (yet).  And it pisses my Valedictorian of Everything off.

I like to be good.  To excel.  To master something.  And here, I'm so the low man on the totem pole.  I huff and puff and sweat while everyone else effortlessly glides through a practice using a blanket instead of a sticky mat (which should classify as a form of torture, just so you know).

But then I come back to the mango.  And how sweet it is.  And how nice it is to taste something for the very first time.  And I laugh at myself when I fall out of Sirsasana onto my butt.  Because how cool is that?

I have a whole new fruit to explore.

I can't wait to see what it's like.  Even if it does make me say cuss words every once in awhile!

Love you,

First Things First

It's no surprise that I'm pretty flexible.  Not just in my body, but in my relationships.  I'm the girl who, in the past, has contorted herself into all sorts of positions in order to keep relationships.  I beat the dead horse.  Say what the other person needs to hear.  And solider on even though I should have long ago waved the white flag of surrender.  I do this until I'm so tired of it I wake up in the middle of the night and announce, without warning, "Get out.  I can't anymore."  Then I find a new way of bending.

I do this on my yoga mat by bypassing muscle energy.  I don't tuck my tailbone strongly enough.  Don't puff my kidneys.  Don't hug in.  I flow, and slither, and fall into poses.  Then I come out and wonder why my low back is tweaky.  Why my neck and shoulders ache.

I'm not engaging my core.  Not connecting with that which supports us all.  I'm, Sara, and I do Cheat-asana.  That's right I cheat on my mat.  Which means I'm cheating off my mat too.

I'm not having the hard conversations I should.  Not making the tough choices.  Not really opening my heart but just pretending to.

I see it in how easily I become the person my customers want me to be at The Wardrobe.  One minute I'm saying those are fantastic shoes and the next I'm claiming I'd never be caught dead in them. 

I see it in agreeing to do things I'd rather not.  Then cursing under my breath the whole time while smiling and laughing outwardly.

I see it in not standing firm in my intentions.

I see it in my weak flabby abs.

So as much as I want to pull my shoulder blades on my back and melt my heart, if there's nothing there to support that opening then chances are it isn't going to happen.  You have to have a firm foundation to support you before you can truly open.  Before you can kick into handstand and hold Bakasana.  Before you can say, "I'm sorry but I don't really want to do that with you."

My, first thing first, is engaging.  Firing it up.  Saying what needs to be said even when it's hard.  Working the heck out of my abs and getting stronger so I can fully unfold my heart.

What is it that you need to do first?


What is it that the Road to Hell is Paved with Again?

"Watch your thoughts, they become words.  Watch your words, they become your actions.  Watch your actions, they become habits.  Watch your habits, they become character.  Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." -Frank Outlaw

A very wise woman told me before I left for this great adventure that I needed to get really clear about my intention for the year.  She went even further by adding that I should remind myself of whatever it is I decide daily.  Being the slightly hard headed girl that I am, I sort of blew off that last part.

Yes, I wrote down my goals, did a practice, said a prayer.  But then I slipped them in the front of my journal and got on with the business of immersing myself in my new city.  Which has included staying out waaaay too late, eating more than my fair share of flour and sugar, blowing off yoga one too many times, and distracting myself with new friends.  Those darn trees.

Which is not at all my intention lemme tell yah.  Kinda hard to gracefully float into handstand when yesterday's pizza is hanging out on your hips.  And forget about quieting your mind when all you can think about is that stupid thing you did last night at the Wolf.  And who can practice when your phone is blowing up with come hiking with me messages.

I feel a bit like Arjuna these days.  But I don't wanna practice.  I don't wanna eat raw.  I don't wanna get up at the crack of dawn and bend like a pretzel.  It's too hard.  I can't.  I'm scared.  Then I hear the voices of my teachers, my friends, God saying, "Sara get off your butt and do your duty.  Fight already.  It's what you were made for."

I mean, what a punk I would be if I squandered this amazing opportunity on cheap thrills.  But it's what we are naturally programed to do, right?  Take the easy path.  Go for the immediate gratification instead of the long distance haul.

It's hard to stand firm sometimes.  To say no.  To leave the party early. Which is why this practice-yoga, prayer, good community, good food-is so important.  It pulls us out of those patterns.  It chips away at the muck that prevents us from being fully committed to our duty.  It helps us say no to those things that draw us off the path.  It helps us live our best lives so that road is paved with gold instead of good intentions.

Do your actions align with your intentions?  Are you becoming who you want to be?  Or do you need to stand up and fight already?

Love you dearly, 

P.S. Because it's so easy to get pulled off the path I'm taking my wise friend's advice.  I'm turning to the front page of my journal and reminding myself why I'm here and I'm telling you so you can hold me to it!
  1. To make a positive impact on the community here...good friends, good yoga, good times!
  2. To deepen my yoga practice...arm balances you are mine!
  3. To tweak my eating habits...more green, more raw!
  4. To find my husband...
Ok,well maybe not that last one, even though I was told numerous times that was in store for me here. :)