Friday, May 22, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

"You've got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart.
Then people gonna treat you better,
You're gonna find, yes, you will,
That you're beautiful as you feel."
~ Carole King
Lyrics ~ Beautiful 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's May and I'm currently...

Soaking up Arizona's beautiful May weather by drawing mandalas outside.

Purging stuff from my craft space. Holy cow! HOW have I collected so many fun and amazing supplies?!?! And, does anyone want some of this stuff? For free? Anyone?

Starting to pack boxes in preparation for our move.

Feeling excited about an upcoming road trip to California for my nephew's graduation.

Looking forward to celebrating Carrie's birthday. She loves it, and so do I!

Going to Disneyland for Carrie's birthday - I think it's been about 20 years since I've been there, and even longer for Doug.

Listening to Meghan Trainor's song "Dear Future Husband" on repeat. Ok, I'm singing along too. Ok, ok...dancing to it too but you didn't really need to know that. ;o)

Reading cards from the yoga deck I've had for...oh...I don't know...15 years? It's like they are totally new again!

Enjoying the benefits of a morning meditation practice - just 10 minutes a day = happy me.

Researching new yoga poses and breathing techniques to keep things interesting for my Saturday morning yoga students.

Gearing up to add another yoga class to my teaching line-up. I'll be teaching on Wednesday evenings for our local parks and recreation department starting in June.

Being inspired by people I love who are sharing their mandala designs and experiences with me. It's just the coolest thing ever!

Planning another mandala/yoga workshop for fall 2015.

Letting go of stuff that hurts and finding forgiveness by believing everyone does the best they can with what they have to work with. Maybe someday someone will choose to forgive me by using this same thought process.

Loving my life and everyone in it.

What are you up to this May?

Monday, May 18, 2015

This weekend in my garden, and what's up with our house move.

Good Monday morning, blog friends.
I cannot even remember a more relaxing weekend around here. In fact, as I formulated this blog post in my mind I was even going to use the word lazy but then thought, "Nah. Relaxing."

So, as evidenced by the photo in my previous post, there's a "for sale" sign in our front yard. Many of you remembered that we thought about selling our house last year but switched gears because, in a nutshell, I wasn't ready at the same time that Doug was ready. Now we are both ready. :o)

We are smack in the middle of a seller's market. There aren't a whole lot of houses for sale right now, so anyone looking to buy is scrambling when one is up for grabs. Our house went on the market last Monday morning. By the end of the day we'd had six showings and received two offers, both over our list price. Tuesday morning we signed papers to initiate the process of someone else owning our house.

"Where will you go?" you've asked. "Will you move to England?" Debs14 asked. Well, no we aren't going that far. We plan to stay in the Phoenix metropolitan area - hopefully within a 5-10 mile radius of where we are now. The challenge will be to find a house in this slim market, but the super good news for us is that the buyer of our house has agreed to allow us to rent until we find a place to move. It's exactly what we'd hoped for! Since we plan to buy another fixer-upper, this gives us time to not only look for a new place, but also to be able to make necessary repairs before we actually move our stuff in. So. Awesome!

So, with the pressure of packing and moving off my shoulders for the time being, I chose to totally relax this weekend! I taught yoga on Saturday morning, and then afterwards enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the Crepe Bar next door with my friend Barbara. Soooo nice!

Our weather was unseasonably cool for this time of year (70°'s) so I took advantage of it by spending a great deal of time in our backyard. Of all the things I'll miss about this house, our backyard is way up at the top of the list. Anyway, I drew a total of four mandalas over the course of the weekend.

With a weekend like that, I hardly even mind that it's Monday morning. I feel so grateful for the job I have to go to and the people I might be able to help this week. And the fact that there's a 3-day weekend on the horizon sure doesn't hurt my attitude either.

This morning? There's a new baby being born into our family.

Gratitude is the theme for my yoga mat this morning.
Time to hit it...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

"Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence."
~ Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I wrote him a letter.

I wrote him a letter in February 2014, but didn’t actually send it until March 2015. I carried it with me for over a year, coming across it from time to time and reading my own words again, searching my heart for permission to mail the darn thing. When I finally put the stamp on it and put it in the outgoing mail, I did so with a bit of relief. I did so with a promise to myself that I would let it go from that point forward.

In the letter, I said what my heart felt – that losing Mom made me realize life is short. I feared that he would die believing he was unloved, and I wanted him to know that I loved him. I expected (and hoped for) no reply. I was ready to move forward and heal.

He wrote me a letter and it landed in my hands on Mother’s Day; his confused and broken heart revealed in the typed words that my stepmother had put on paper for him. His distorted view of a life of regrets, his self-justification in order to remain unaccountable, written for my eyes to read over and over again if I choose. I’ve read it thrice.

It was a brief reply, but it held for me unwritten memories of years of separation, years of uncertainty, years of abandonment. As I stood in our kitchen reading his words, my feelings rushed to the surface in a wave of emotion. Memories of hurt and hope and disappointment and longing rising up, my love and undeserving adoration for him crashing into the earth in one giant heap.

And there, at the bottom of the page was his signature. It was there almost as one final slap – his own handwriting under the lines of typed words scrawled out like a seal of conviction. Right there, for my eyes to see, he wrote his first name instead of writing “Dad.”

How unfortunate, yet fitting, that I would read his letter on Mother’s Day this year. His words unknowingly validating once again what an amazing mother she had been. How even in his absence and return and absence and return and absence, she persevered and was a parent like none other. She was our mom and our dad and our rock.

I drew this mandala for her on Mother’s Day.
And I drew this one for him in January.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The best two hours of my weekend

Oh my goodness. What a weekend I had! If we were sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© sharing a cup of coffee, I'd have so much to tell you about my weekend you wouldn't get a word in edgewise! However, in the interest of blogland etiquette, I'm just going to tell you about a two-hour block of time: the yoga/mandala workshop I lead on Saturday afternoon.

Last month I wrote about a plan I had to teach a yoga/mandala workshop in the Ocean room at my favorite yoga studio. I have been working on the details of this workshop for a couple of months now...gosh...actually since the beginning of this year. I have been jotting down notes and dreaming up yoga sequences every day for months.

Some of the details I had visualized and dreamed about actually materialized beautifully - like the mandala we created in the center of our mats by passing balls of yarn in a particular order as we answered questions about ourselves. That was one of my favorite parts! :o) And some of the things I felt sure about in my mind didn't go as smoothly, but I'm chalking those up to learning experiences and I'll know what to do a little differently next time.

Most of all, I had fun. And the best part for me is that my students had fun too. I was so blessed to have nine of the sweetest women in my class. They honored me by following along to some of my slightly-awkward-flow sequences {I laugh now} and blessed me with meaningful feedback at the end of class. Many of them walked away clutching their mandala kits with a conviction and promise that there were many mandalas in their future.

I even received a text message from a student {and friend...hi Jess!} yesterday afternoon with photos of her two young daughters drawing mandalas. My heart went soaring! How wonderful to know that I was able to inspire others who in turn continued to inspire more.

There are many more yoga/mandala workshops in my future. I learned so much on Saturday and can't wait to put those lessons into action. I was inspired by my students who took mandala drawing to a new level, using my simple template in ways that hadn't occurred to me. I was the teacher, and I was the student. Ah - that's one of the coolest things about yoga, I think.

And now it's a whole new week with a whole new set of adventures. I'd love nothing more than to pull out my sketchbook and pencils and get lost in the magic of a new mandala but alas, duty calls.

Have a lovely week, my friends.
I'll catch you on the flipside.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

"Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it."
~ Kevyn Aucoin
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