Who says you can’t go home again?

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My anxiety levels usually increase drastically when I go home to Nicaragua. I don’t know if it’s the flight, the heat, the threat of earthquakes, the lack of law and order, or the absence of basic emergency services that makes my head start throbbing as soon as I get there. Everything is disorganized. It’s every man for himself on the roads, in crowded public spaces, in queues… pretty much everywhere.

There is no “911” to come to your rescue if you should choke or hear burglars inside the house in the middle of the night. Nicaragua is a very safe place, but there’s a basic safety net I’ve grown accustomed to, and it doesn’t take much to add fuel to the fires in my mind. Continue reading

I’m the nose-picker on the right

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Being home for the holidays always makes me so nostalgic.

The gem above was taken sometime around Christmas of 1979. I’m the nose-picker on the right.

Good thing my dad is not into social media, otherwise he would not appreciate my posting a picture of his 1970’s mullet.

Happy holidays, everyone! May you find yourself surrounded by loved ones.

BeingBeing

No crying in yoga

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This is a stressful time of year in my job. Everyone on my team has an annual sales goal they need to cross, and those numbers ultimately roll up to me and my own sales goal.

It’s a time of year that’s FULL of awkward conversations, early mornings, long days and a mounting degree of pressure given the upcoming holidays and the threat of losing your contracts to Christmas and New Year’s vacations.

On Tuesday, the family and I are heading down to Nicaragua for a few days to spend Christmas with our loved ones. I am excited to see my parents and my siblings, and looking forward to getting away from the cold for a bit, but the travel adds a little bit of extra stress to the season.

Given all this, I’ve been surprisingly calm in the face of the storm. I’m relatively close to my goal, although there are still a few things out there that may well derail me. Still, I haven’t felt too anxious about it all, and I was beginning to think there might be something wrong with me. Continue reading

All I Want for Christmas

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“I mean… I’m sure I wasn’t THAT bad… right?”

Dear Santa,

Please bring me:

1) A little more time to enjoy the small wonders in my life. Like my son, reading ME a bedtime story when a few months ago he could only read three words – yes, no and his name. Or an unexpected smile during yoga. Or more small victories at work.

2) The wisdom and confidence to age gracefully AND graciously (since that has been a theme in my writing over the past couple of weeks). Or, you know, fewer wrinkles and less cellulite? That would fly too. Continue reading

Barcelona: A blast from the past

1928948_6556570436_362_nI’ve been feeling moderately ancient since my birthday last weekend, so I decided to fight back by reminding myself of the most terrible time in my life – the two years we lived in Barcelona during our MBA.

Now don’t get me wrong. That period in time had all the makings of an idyllic fantasy. An alluring and lively European city. A young couple, recently married. No work or other family responsibilities to worry about. Just us, our studies, and Europe.

And my anxiety.

And no money.

Oh yes, and a miscarriage. Continue reading

The Universe is Unfolding as It Should

average yogini

578240_10151648358665437_965653965_nThose who know me well will tell you I’m practical to the extreme. I don’t get overly emotional about things. I don’t get attached to stuff, don’t fuss over small things, and generally reject things that put me or stress me out if I don’t view them as strictly necessary.

Cleaning is a good example of this. I don’t get too worked up about cleaning at home just because I’m “supposed” to. Any time we move, I prefer to throw everything out and start over than to hang on to baubles and trinkets we’ve accumulated over the years that don’t serve any practical purpose.

In college, my good friends teased me because my dorm rooms always had one characteristic in common: they were adorned by nothing else than the essential bed, dresser, desk and computer. The walls were bare. Decorating doesn’t really serve much of a practical purpose, so why bother?

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Boy a Mysore: A Yoga Double Feature

In h10256453_10154939702480437_4194678003813018166_nonor of the big 3-8 yesterday, I got up early in the morning and dragged my aging butt to a Mysore-style yoga class with a really well-known yoga instructor from my area.

I’d met this lady by chance this summer at my beloved Edge, where she teaches a class a week and occasionally subs for the other teachers. There was something about her I immediately liked. She was playful, disarming and intense, all at the same time, and she had the ability to motivate the class without stroking the flames of ego or insecurity.

She teaches at another studio I frequent and when I saw they offered Mysore-style classes, I figured it was my chance to do something different but with an element of familiarity. Continue reading

Open Your Heart (Chakra)

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Why can’t I reeeeaaaach?

For the last couple of years I’ve been working on opening up my Heart Chakra.

Yes, yes, I know most of you don’t really believe this ‘hokey’ Chakra stuff but for a second let’s pretend it’s just a metaphor.

My sister asked me the other day whether yoga has helped me control my emotions. I told her that yoga is not really about control – at least not for me. The kind of yoga I practice is about flow: letting things pass you by, float by you, without controlling or judging them. It’s mostly about making yourself vulnerable enough to let emotions in and let them out, without judgment, even at the risk of feeling hurt.

In other words, learning to recognize that pain is inevitable but suffering is always optional.

Continue reading