Making Sense Out of Senselessness

Ever since my mom died when I was 22, I can pretty much find a good reason for why most everything happens.  Granted I don't always agree that the lesson had to be delivered in such a harsh manner, but I know in my heart of hearts it's the dark things that make us grow the most.  Now don't take this to mean I rejoice when the poop hits the fan.  Quite the opposite actually.  But most of the time with some distance and careful thinking, I'm able to work out why things went down as they did.  And to see how drastically those things changed the trajectory of my life (often for the better once the suck is over and the suck can last quite awhile).

Then there are things that are so senseless.  So grotesque and pointless I question it all. 

The murder of Jen Wilson is one of those things.  I struggle with how to reconcile this with my beliefs.  How to make sense out of such senselessness.

I didn't know her well but she was a part of my kula.  My merry band of artists that practice yoga together.  And I'm not sure I'll ever be able to understand why such a bright light was snuffed out so early.

All I can do is send lots of love, light, and prayers to her family and those that loved her.  My heart aches for you and my thoughts are with you.

So much love,

Getting Where You Wanna Go

When I hear the same version of something three times in one week I tend to take notice.  The first time was when IMing with my beloved friend, Peter Pumpkin Eater, about my fear of driving in the impending snow (we had our first hail storm Saturday).  He passed along some words of wisdom his own father told him once,  "Steer where you want to go, not where you are going."  An interesting metaphor for life as well as how not to kill yourself in inclement weather, so, I filed it away for future use as a yoga theme.

Then I ran into a lost woman on my hike Saturday.  Being the charming southern girl I am, I struck up a conversation with her and convinced her to finish her trek with me.  She had bear spray and a dog.  I had neither.  She's also a counselor and starting her own preschool (but that's a post for another day).  At the top of the mountain as we were gazing down at the future ski trails, I commented on all the trees and how mildly terrifying that is for this beginning skier.  Images of Sonny Bono flashed in my head.  Her words of advice? "Don't focus on the trees right in front of you,  look past them to where you want to go."

My ears perked up because that sounded a lot like what Peter Pumpkin Eater told me earlier in the week.  But being slightly hardheaded, the universe had to hammer me with the message because the third time really is the charm.  It came when listening to NPR this morning.  I only caught the end of the segment but it was enough, as the interviewee posed the question, "In the end the question will be, did you get distracted by the small things in your life or did you live in a way that you became who you were always meant to be?"

Or in other words, did you get where you wanted to go or did you focus on the trees, or the snow, or the boys, or the money, or the food, or the shopping, or whatever it is you use to distract yourself from your true path?

Are you living your most authentic and well aligned life or are you skidding along hoping you'll eventually get there and praying you don't crash into the trees in the meantime?

The answer changes for me daily.  But hopefully in the end I'll be able to say I missed the trees and steered where I wanted to go.  What about you?

Much love,

Things I Learned from Nature, Part I

Being the southern belle that I am, I formerly wasn't such a big fan of nature.  It's hot.  There are things that live in it that could kill you.  And it's not practical to wear high heels and cocktail dresses while communing with it.

But part of my evolution as a person is wanting to be more hippie and less hipster.  So, I've vowed to make peace with nature.

Here's what I've learned so far:
  1. You know what, y'all? Hiking is just walking.  Just walking!  And all this time I thought there was some big secret, some mystery to it.  Nope.  Just one foot in front of the other.  And most all of us can do that.  Granted the only walking you may be used to doing is from the car to the couch and from the couch to the car but that's a start.  And if you can do that then you can hike.  Trust me.  I did it and survived.
  2. Going outside doesn't mean you have to wear feedbags and Chacos.  It is possible to look cute and participate in naturey things.  It just takes careful planning and some creativity.  Although, I've yet to find a way to incorporate high heels into the mix.  Hmmmmmm...
  3. When you see a snake on the trail your gut instinct may be to scream, and holler, and jump up and down.  Don't do that.  If you stand there like an idiot long enough some nice man with a stick will come along and shoo it away for you.  Then you can close your mouth and continue on your way.  I promise.
  4. Whoever came up with that saying, "Up hill both ways," clearly had never actually hiked because quite frankly going down sucks waaaay worse than going up.  If he had known what he was talking about it would be, "Down hill both ways."  So don't expect things to get easy on the second half of your hike.  
  5. You're going to fall down and it's going to be funny.  Especially if you're hiking around here where there are lots of rocks.  Please just laugh at yourself because whoever is with you or saw you is about to dying from suppressing their giggles.  And if you laugh it gives everyone else permission to laugh and when you really think about it people falling down is funny.  
  6. Don't look at where you're going so much that you forget to look at where you are.  Because where you are is beautiful.
  7. Your sports bra can double as a place to stash your keys and iphone.  Which speaking of that take your phone with you dummy.  Yes, I know you want to be in nature and off grid and blah blah blah but if something were to happen having a way to call for help, aside from screaming, is really nice.  Just put it on silent.  It will be fine.  You won't even know it's there.
  8. Just because it's not 900 degrees and humid as all get out doesn't mean that the sun isn't out.  Wear sunscreen.  Reapply your sunscreen. 
  9. Be patient with yourself.  It's perfectly legal to stop.  Especially if you stayed out a little too late the night before and ate pancakes for breakfast.  Don't ruin the scenic view by throwing up on the trail.  Pause.  Deep breathes.  Drink water. 
  10. Have fun.  Seriously.  You're outside.  It's beautiful.  And you can walk.  You really have so much to be thankful for.  Even if it's hot and the trail is steep.

Week One

So I've been here for a week and am pretty much settled in.  The six boxes from my car have been moved into my tiny monklike room and unpacked.  I've started my duties as yoga tejas intern, even writing a blog post for Cate.  I've met and made friends with some locals.  And managed to spend several days in nature without dying.  All in all it's been a good week.

And now that things have somewhat settled down and I've gotten into a routine, I hope to be updating here more with my adventures, silly antics, and yoga news.  I know you guys can't wait.  In the meantime here are some pictures of my new space to tide you over...

The studio
Hallway where coats, boots, hats, and gloves live during winter
Where all the yoga happens!
View from studio's windows
Prop closet or where Indy and I make forts
Where I work
Yes our poster is personally signed by Darren Rhodes!
Perfectly pink bathroom
Spare room we are going to turn into the library/living roomish space
Cate's herb room
My monk's corner
All green smoothies all the time
You can take the girl out of the city but not the city out of the girl
Yes those are all the clothes AND shoes I brought

Even more amazing than the shoes and clothes...these are the only books I brought

So there you have it new home.
Love you.  Miss you.

I'm Here Y'all!

So I rolled into town Wednesday afternoon after three long days of driving.  My gut reaction?  That my new home is beautiful and quaint.  I can't wait to get settled in and explore.

Much love to all of you who sent messages, provided mixed tapes, called, offered support, prayers, and love.  I couldn't have made this great leap without you!