Talk Less, Listen More

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Silence is golden

One of the main principles for teaching Baptiste Power Yoga – the kind of yoga I’m studying right now – is using only “essential language.”

We have been practice teaching to the rest of our class since our very first day, receiving live feedback on the spot. This is where all the public speaking I’ve done with my corporate job has paid off. I feel comfortable in front of a crowd and the reps I’ve done in front of much bigger and more hostile crowds help me remember the flow of the poses while I’m up there. That being said, there are still many things for me to improve on, both on and off the mat (and inside and outside the classroom). Continue reading

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I am still afraid

We were in Texas all week last week on a business trip / family vacation, and since we had plenty of time to kill during our trip, we got pretty adventurous with our undertakings.

On our first day in Houston, we drove by an indoor skydiving place and decided to try it out, without really knowing what it was or what to expect.

All three of us took a turn in the wind tunnel, and despite how different the experience was from what we were expecting, we all Continue reading

A few words about vulnerability

This post isn’t that old, but my teacher training last weejend got me thinking about this again. Enjoy!

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I have a hard time making myself vulnerable. Fully vulnerable.

I don’t mean that I have a hard time opening up or being transparent. I’m very free with what I share with people – my flaws, my failures, my insecurities, my inflated sense of self-esteem. No qualms about revealing my anxiety, my phobias – things that I didn’t even realize until recently other people keep as closely guarded secrets.

My quirks don’t make me feel in the least bit vulnerable. I’m indifferent to general opinion or how my flaws will shape other people’s views of me. After all, I know something about their flaws too. That they have them. That we ALL have them, and mine are no better and no worse than anybody else’s.

I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. But only for the most part, as it would seem.

Yesterday, my yoga teacher was talking about vulnerability…

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My dear friend fear

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I will return to more lighthearted topics like leggings and monkey-mind soon, but I’m going to New Orleans on business next week, and it reminded me of a piece I wrote for a magazine contest (that I didn’t win). It reminded me how far I’ve come in the last 8 years, and since the magazine won’t publish it I figured I might as well share it somewhere.

It’s a drill-down of an episode Continue reading

Back in the saddle again!

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I meant to tell you guys after last weekend how much I miss running.

On Saturday I took the time to walk over to a different part of town to get a mani pedi, get my haircut, do some shopping and generally dawdle around, which is something I used to do quite frequently before and haven’t really done too much of recently – most likely because my dawdling was usually related to some sort of run I had just completed where I’d run out of gas part of the way home.

I walked about 3 miles that day, and as much as I love yoga, it felt good to be mobile. I loved being out on the street and feeling my legs pumping and just soaking up the people around me as they went about their days. Continue reading

The Universe is Unfolding as It Should

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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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Something in the Water

This post from when I started my blog felt particularly relevant today.

I hope you enjoy.

average yogini

243241_10150657594560437_718464_o The Great Escape of 2011. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

I have a real escapist streak in me. When I’m stressed or when things aren’t going my way, my initial instinct is to retreat. It’s been a blessing and a curse of sorts, since professionally it makes for someone who’s not afraid of – but rather seeks out – change. Personally, however, it was easy to escape from one place to the next when I was single and childless. Having a husband and a six year old son, neither one of whom shares my affinity for wandering the world untethered by earthly possessions, puts a damper on my ability to sell our house and everything in it and go set up a yoga studio on the banks of Lake Como.

I’m not sure how I discovered that the water has an uncanny ability to calm my thoughts and focus my mind on the here and now…

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Contentment is a hot cup of coffee

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Picture courtesy of Valeria Vannini.

I went out for a run tonight, trying desperately to keep up with the challenge I set for myself. I’ve been doing pretty well with the yoga and the healthy eating, but I’ve really struggled to fit the running in there.

Until I realized that I can’t have a demanding full time job, be a mom, try to pave my way as a freelance writer, maintain a blog, stay fit, be a Beachbody coach and have a life at the same time.

Indeed my friends, something’s gotta give, so I’m not going to force myself to run 10 miles a week if that means everything else is going to suffer.

That being said, I set out to run three miles today and felt the kind of contentment I feel on Saturday mornings when I wake up to a quiet house, make myself a cup of coffee and an Eggo waffle, open up my computer and start writing.

I always wanted to be a writer. In high school I actually wrote a couple of books. One was a book of short stories I gave my favorite English teacher as a graduation present (for my graduation), and the other was a rip-off of some baby-sitting books I used to read in elementary school.

I feel really happy sitting in front of my computer, sharing my thoughts with you guys. And it makes me wonder if I didn’t miss my calling somehow by thinking I needed to be an engineer or a businesswoman or a sales manager all these years.

Last year I read The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho for the first time. This week I read an article he did with Oprah Winfrey for O Magazine, and he reminded me of something I truly believe. If you really want something the whole universe will conspire to help you achieve it.

And we all have a “personal legend.” Something we were meant to achieve in our lifetime.

For Paulo Coelho, he really wanted to be a writer. And even though culturally it wasn’t well accepted in his culture to be a man and an artist, he had the balls to follow his own path and eventually became a writer.

So here I am, writing. I’m writing because I love to write, but I’m also writing because (and maybe this is presumptuous of me), but I feel like I’ve found some sort of key. Some sort of secret to happiness that so many people around me seem to be missing. I’ve figured out that something about this journey I was on – the anxiety, the moving from place to place, the yoga, the near-death childbirth experience – led me to think differently than most, and I want to share with others what I’ve picked up from my experience. I want people around me to be a little happier, too.

I didn’t really get it until recently, but happiness in life is really no more than contentment with the little things you do on a daily basis. No pressure, no goals, no ulterior motives – just contentment. Like watching a bunch of boats sail into a sunset and realizing there is nothing else to life but enjoying the beauty of watching a bunch of boats sail into the sunset. You just have to clear out the wounds that prevent you from getting there.

Maybe I’ll tell you about mine some other time (the wounds, that is). But for now, I’ll enjoy another simple pleasure. My post-run aches and pains, my husband’s excellent gallo pinto, and a perfectly chilled glass of red wine, while I listen to my son reading to his dad in the background.