Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mandalas and a Yoga-Blog Friend

I first met Taryn at the yoga teacher training open house last August. She arrived late and entered the room just minutes after I had. In our defense, we had both thought the same thing: that "open house" meant stop by at any time between the hours stated. Nope. And oops.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we came face to face again at class number one for yoga teacher training! I remembered her right away - the girl who was late with me for open house. We struck up a conversation and it turned out that we had a few things in common. Besides the obvious that we both love yoga, Taryn is a blogger! And she is a crafter. We became instant friends. :o)

Now yoga teacher training is an adventure unto itself, and the 22 other people who walked that journey with me will forever hold a special place in my heart. I love that Taryn is one of those people. We had plans to meet for lunch this past weekend and I was so happy when Taryn suggested that we draw mandalas during lunch.

{Taryn's mandala}

We met at Whole Foods and found a table. We gathered food and a glass of wine each, and there we sat - chatting and drawing our mandalas and then being totally amazed at how quickly two hours flew by! We talked about yoga teaching plans and about our lives - past and present - and dreams for the future. And when it was time to pack up, we each wrote a word on our mandala page to signify our hopes and to seal our time together.

"Freedom," Taryn wrote.

"Freedom to follow my dreams, with the love and support of friends," I penned.

I wasn't ready to be finished working on my mandala, so when I got home I headed outside where I sat and drew and colored some more. I thought about my time with Taryn and our sweet connection. I realized that I hadn't noticed anything else around us the entire time we occupied that table in Whole Foods! We were so engrossed in conversation and mandalas, we really were in our own little world.

As I added to my mandala, I realized that what I had written on my  page while we were still at Whole Foods wasn't quite complete either. I added three simple yet powerful words that changed my journaling to an affirmation, "I have the freedom to follow my dreams, with the love and support of friends."

I feel so fortunate to have the freedom to follow my dreams;
that I have the love and support of so many sweet friends,
and that my circle of friends has grown as a result of my yoga practice.
The perks of being me are just too numerous to count.

PS: Check out Taryn's blog by clicking here. And tell her Deb sent you. ;o)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Photos from my weekend

Good morning, my friends.
Here we are at Monday morning again - the beginning of the final week of January! Sheesh, time! Slow down!!!

Those of you who know me through my blog and/or real life know that I'm a busy girl. I typically have many projects going, plus my regular household responsibilities, plus my yoga practice, and a full-time job. One of the things I really want to focus on is slowing down a little - taking some time out to relax. Over the next couple of months while the weather is so nice here in Arizona, I'm pretty sure my Sunday afternoons are going to be dedicated to sitting outside and drawing mandalas.

I met one of my yoga friends for lunch yesterday and we sat and drew mandalas at our table in Whole Foods {more about that later this week}. Afterwards I came home and sat outside and added a few finishing touches to the mandala I'd started, and continued drawing another one while I waited for Doug to return home from his weekend wilderness trek. Of course, he came home with a heart shaped rock in hand. {I  Doug.}

Ahhhh...what a gorgeous afternoon. I love Arizona's weather in January...

Oh yeah, back up to Saturday afternoon when I took a really cool three-hour workshop on gardening for small spaces. I learned a ton and am so excited to get a little {food} garden going - even if it's in a small container. You know I'll share more about that when I put it together.

There was also some time spent indoors, sewing on the quilt I'm making - nine rows done, five to go...

And of course, my trusty little weekend sidekick, Lucky the dog kept me company. He loves the weekends and having his people home.

Now I'm off to see what this week holds. I have plans for yoga classes two nights this week, and meeting a friend for wine tomorrow night. No sense whining about Monday...Friday will be here before we know what hit us.

Go make it awesome!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

"Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What happens on (and off) the yoga mat...

I did something in a yoga class last week that I have never done before. I was holding revolved side angle pose {parivrtta parsvakonasana} minding my own yoga business, when BOOM. I fell out of the pose.

Oh, but I didn't just fall out of the pose - I kind of rolled and tumbled out of it. And when I finally stopped tumbling and rolling, I was sitting and facing the back of the room and completely off of my yoga mat. For the love of Pete.

At first I thought I'd hurt my knee but I shook it off and got back into the pose just as my teacher was leading the class to come out of it. As he led us through alignment for the other side, I realized that the only thing I'd really hurt was my pride/ego, and even that wasn't all that bad.

Oh sure, the words "how embarrassing" crossed my mind, but as luck and joy and experience would have it, I shook it off and chalked it up to a lesson learned. But I'll tell you, the lesson to let it go was greater than the lesson of falling out of the pose.

For those of you who may have never tried yoga for fear of falling, let me assure you that this really isn't the norm. I lost focus in class and for whatever reason, the pose was not meant for me that night. It's common to fall out of a yoga poses - I do it all the time with tree pose {vrksasana}. That's why it's called a yoga practice. :o) So please don't let my tale of tumbling keep you from giving yoga a try! {xo}

It just so happened that the teacher leading the class is one who encourages an attitude of self-respect and self-kindness. What happened to me could have happened to anyone. A few years ago I might have even shed tears out of embarrassment. I might have felt completely humiliated and ashamed and reluctant to ever go back to that class again.

Was I embarrassed? Sure. And am I still a little humbled, writing this blog post days after the event took place? Uh-huh. But there's a different frame of mind - thanks to yoga. Falling out of a yoga pose and off of my mat does not define me or my yoga practice, but the thoughts I choose to go with it do.

And isn't that the way it goes outside of yoga class as well? Those times when we trip up and do something human like stumbling or tumbling or standing out in the crowd? The way we choose to think about it later defines the event on a much deeper level than the actual event itself.

Truth be told, I'm actually kind of glad this happened. Falling off my mat just gives me one more little piece of experience to add to my yoga bag. Perhaps it will help me to be more empathetic to my own students struggling to hold a pose. Perhaps I will adopt my teacher's advice and pass that on to my students as well.

"Are you being kind to yourself?" my teacher will ask during class.
"Are you being self-respecting? Because if you aren't, you're not practicing yoga."

Monday, January 19, 2015

This Weekend in my Garden

Good day, blog friends.
I hope this Monday morning finds you well and happy.
It seems weird that I haven't really played in the dirt for almost six months now! My yoga teacher training was awesome and time consuming, but now that my schedule of classes has relaxed a bit, I can get back to a little gardening. Plus, Arizona weather in late January? My favorite!

I planted some snapdragons in my garden about a year ago, and I was amazed at how long they lasted. I got lucky with the location I suppose, and the sun/shade ratio was just right to keep them growing through the crazy hot summer of 2014. And now that spring 2015 is around the corner, check out the sweet little volunteer sprouts I have popping up in my garden. I was so excited to see these, and there's a good possibility that my garden will be mostly purple snapdragons this spring and summer. {Note to Ma Nature: Thanks for making it easy on me this year!}

My basil plant is not the prettiest plant in the mix, but new little leaves kept me from yanking the entire thing out of the ground. Instead I clipped it back and brought in a few pieces to see about starting a new plant. Basil is super easy to propagate, so if everything goes according to plan, I should be able to put these back in the dirt in a month or so...

I'll admit that my time spent in the garden yesterday afternoon wasn't much - I basically pulled a few obvious weeds and then switched tools. I traded the garden trowel for my camera and called it good...

Last night's setting sun lit up our gigantic eucalyptus tree, and you can see our scraggly little blood orange trees struggling to survive in its shade.

And now I sit here on Monday morning, typing a blog post and thinking about rolling out my yoga mat before it's time to get ready for work. I think of the weekend gone by and I'm grateful for all of the things that kept me entertained and also for some much needed relaxation time.
There's a new week on the horizon, filled with all kinds of possibilities.
I hope it's wonderful for each of you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

{Thanks for the fun photo, Lin!}

"The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This January I am...

Freezing. It's winter time in Arizona. And yet...

Watching the greens of spring flowers beginning to appear in our yard. Already!

Checking Instagram and Facebook constantly, hoping to see the latest photo of the brand new baby in our family. My nephew and his wife have a beautiful and healthy baby boy. {Carter}

Planning a trip to California next month to meet baby Carter.

Also planning a trip to Seattle in April for our 10th wedding anniversary. {I Doug.}

Feeling accomplished - I turned in my completed yoga teacher graduation package last weekend!!!

Looking forward to my next round of yoga teacher certification. I'm adding to my 200-hour certification with another 300 hours.

Sewing a quilt top and getting really close to finishing it!

Planning our fifth annual Valentine Crop with Carrie.

Baking nothing. Man I did a ton of baking in December so I'm kind of taking a break. But then...

Deciding what kind of cupcakes to make for our Valentine crop. {Probably red velvet...}

Decorating for Valentine's Day. {Ok, I hung a banner. The end.}

Reading "The Mandala Workbook" and really, really loving it. {Christmas gift...thanks, Carrie!}

Drawing mandalas instead of taking care of other responsibilities...

Learning to relax and be still once in a while. {A challenge!}

Gearing up to officially teach yoga. I'll be teaching regularly scheduled classes at a chiropractor's office beginning in March. Eeeep! :o)!!!

Taking one day at a time, but feeling super excited about the future.
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