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Day 20 – make a wish


This post will go up at 11:11pm (PST) on 11.11.

I have always had a thing about 11:11… it is the time that I always happen to look at the clock.  I have always thought of it as a lucky number, and have been making wishes on it for as long as I can remember.

Looking back a lot of those wishes have come true.

I could believe it to be chance – a happy accident – or I can accept that I created my reality. I made shit happen!

Today in teacher training (Yoga Blend with Christy Marsden) we were talking about this exact issue:  it is so easy to focus on what’s ahead, to discredit the work that we have already done… to future trip.  We look back and think about the could haves, should haves, would haves; and when things have gone right we chalk it up to circumstance rather than owning it (or maybe that’s just me?).  I know I do this; I’ve talked about it on this blog. I know this is something I will continue to work on – finding the balance between doing the work/pushing ahead and finding some gratitude.

I know that those wishes came true because I believed in them, because I could see them, because I took action to make them happen, because I have worked really fucking hard through some really tough stuff.  It’s not about bragging or inflating my ego – its about giving myself some credit.

There were times when just making a wish was tough – the head-trip of impossibility, worthlessness, guilt, etc. would get in the way of stating what it was I really wanted, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of crappiness.  What we put out is what we get back… so tonight I hope you’ll join me in making your biggest wish, in putting your greatest dream out there.

What we feed grows – are you feeding your wishes or your nightmares?

“Wish it, believe it, and it will be so.” – Deborah Smith

day 19 – ode to gramps

Today I was thinking  about how I want to live my life, how I want to show up in the world.  I have been super stressed, serious and intense this past month – in my head, worried about the future, yada yada – and decided I don’t want to show up that way anymore.  With veterans day around the corner, I started thinking about my Grandpa and remembered writing this the week he passed away…

In honor of one of the happiest men I’ve ever known: Grandpa Sam.

Grandpa was always smiling, always laughing, always telling jokes.  He was honest, kind, caring and real.  He was a true and pure example of what it is to be of service in this world. He served as a medic in the Navy in WWII and brought light to so many in a time of darkness, achieving the highest in morale ratings.  He lived to help others, and I know that’s what kept him alive the last 5-10 years of his life.  He beat every single odd.  Who has heart failure, is overweight, can’t breath and is in and out of hospital, but still manages to show up to hang out with his grand kids at 10pm 45 min. away from home, goes to Windsor at 5am for karaoke, spends all of this time driving from location to location helping friends out on the job? Grandpa Sam.  He was the guy that if you needed something he was there, he didn’t ask questions, he didn’t judge, he didn’t ask for anything in return/for himself – we would have to force him to do that. He would give his last dime, the clothes off his back, his every moment of every day to anybody that needed it at any point, any time, no questions asked. He is such an inspiration to me, because unlike him I find it very easy to be selfish – to wonder: if I do this, what will I get in return? if I give someone an hour of my time, what am I going to get out of it?  how am I going to be compensated? what’s in it for me?

Grandpa may not have been the wealthiest guy financially, but he was happy.  He didn’t have a lot as far as worldly possessions go, and what he had he didn’t really give a shit about… it wasn’t important.  The things that were the most important to him were the pictures of his family, his pride and joy, and the things that connected him with others.  He didn’t care about the “stuff” (besides maybe the dvds/VHS tapes he collected 🙂 ) – “stuff” didn’t bring him joy, it didn’t bring him happiness.  Rather, he showed up every day and asked “how can I serve?” “how can I help?” “what can I do for you today?” and somehow, someway he was always provided for… it wasn’t as though he ever went homeless. In truth, he probably would have if he didn’t have family keeping him in check, and in the end he could have used some more balance in his life and a little (or a lot) more self-care…there is always room to grow 🙂  Grandpa gave and gave and gave, until his last breath. It’s what brought him to life, and its what brought so many others life and joy.

Nobody ever went broke from giving – Anne Frank

It is a true honor to have been the granddaughter of such an amazing man, to have had over 29 years to truly get to know him, and to have been taught by him how to live – to soak in every single moment of what this life has to offer and ask: what can I do for you? How can I help you? To open the door for someone, to make somebody laugh, to do what you love and love what you do, to bring others pleasure and joy – that is the greatest gift in this world.  Life goes by fast, and if we spend the whole time focusing on what we’re going to get out of it, on our careers, on attaining things, then we’re going to spend our whole life being fucking miserable.   What happens when the job doesn’t work out? When the car gets a dent in it? What happens when those things fall apart? What do you have left? Do you have anything at all? What’s way more important than any of that stuff is love, laughter, family, community, connection – that’s all that any of us truly ever need.  So today show up with a smile, with a whole lot of gratitude and remember that nothing is as important as the gift that we give with our presence.

We are able to “get” only what we are willing to give. – Kurtz & Ketcham

 

Day 18 – stretch


Stretch it out!

Yoga has enhanced my life in so many ways, and it continues to do so each and every day.  Yoga has taught me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, to challenge myself, to evaluate my choices – to be a better me!  My (legit) intro to Yoga (after the initial Kundalini scare) started, as it does for many, as a workout.  My parents wanted me to come to class with them; I finally obliged figuring I could get a good sweat.  The class was awesome – great music, fun teacher, lots of sweat – I had a blast, and that’s what hooked me.  I wanted more.  I felt a sense of community and immediately drank the kool aid.

Fast forward to my first teacher training.  I had no intention of becoming a yoga teacher, I was on the rode to become a psychologist, had my life all figured out.  After class one day my mom asked if I’d be interested in signing up for training if she paid for it.  She thought it would be a good transition from grad school to the real world; that it would be good to learn more about Yoga before working with clients – another tool in the old tool belt.  I figured, why not – free class, get to do lots of yoga, hang with some cool people – sign me up!

Terrified to silence, I sat through each session gobbling up information only to keep it to myself (initially of course).  Something about that first training brought up some stuff.  Prior to that time in my life, I was pretty fearless, loud, outgoing and in your face.  For some reason though, at that time all of that went out the door.  I was terrified.  It took me over a year to teach a class, and even then I was a shaky, sweaty, bright red mess.  There were so many times I wanted to quit – I never really wanted to be a yoga teacher anyways.  And yet something kept pushing me in that direction.  I realized quickly as a therapist that what I was doing wasn’t really for me.  I wanted to be more involved with my patients – not just meeting 1x a week for an hour.  I wanted to be real with them, be myself and really connect.  So I pushed myself to grow, to take my yoga off the mat and live it.  To challenge the things that kept me stuck, to find my big girl voice.  Looking back I think that the fear holding me back stemmed from insecurity around becoming a “grown up”.  Thinking to myself, “why would anyone want to listen to me? I don’t know shit.”  The truth is that I do know some shit.  I do have something to offer: my own perspective/experience is worth something …at least it is to me, these days.  I still have much to learn and in the big scheme of things I really don’t know shit.  I guess I just have a different perspective on what that means these days. I will forever be growing, seeking and learning.

Today, a friend of mine (LA NANNY) was preparing to teach yoga for the first time in her first ever teacher training.  I heard myself in her words, in her fears, her nervousness and uncertainty.  As I was coaching her through the process, I realized just how far I have come.   It’s easy to look ahead and see how far I have to go, however, while it takes some additional effort, it is absolutely amazing to look back and see how far I have come…how far I have s t r e t c  h  e   d.

Yoga, in the end is much more than a workout – it is a stretch beyond the physical.  Through the practice of yoga I have learned a lot about who I am, and who I am not.  It has taught me about acceptance, integrity, truth, balance and most importantly how to get comfy in my discomfort.  My journey on this path has not been easy – in fact it has been pretty damn tough.  And yet through each and every challenge I have become closer, kinder and better to myself and those around me.  I have worked hard to create more joy and balance in my life. Yoga is life and life is Yoga.  #OneDownDog at a time.

Day 17 – The D

This week I have been participating in blog it week with Young Female Entrepreneurs, it’s been fun and inspiring and has allowed me to get me out of my head in this blogging process.  Today’s theme is:  Your City.  I wasn’t going to participate in this one because I’m not all that connected with the city in which I reside.  My city is the D.  Detroit will always be my home, no matter how long I live in LaLaLand.

Moving across the country is hard.  The other night I spent some time with my LA mom – a very good family friend of ours – and we were discussing the challenges of being Michiganders in LA.  LA has never felt like home.  It is where I live.  Michigan is where my heart resides, in fact according to my ID it’s where all of me still resides 🙂  While I love LA – with it’s amazing weather, gorgeous landscape, beaches and endless possibilities – Detroit is my home.  There is something about the city of Detroit that one cannot truly understand unless you’ve been there, unless you’ve felt it.  The city has a pulse, an energy; it is alive in a way that no other city can compare to (at least no place I’ve ever been).

Many of my greatest memories involve Detroit:
riding the people mover
Greektown with the fam
hanging out at Trapper’s Alley before a Wings game
driving around with the grandparents learning about the AMAZING history my family has there
eating yummy food at delicious restaurants
shows at Fisher/Fox theaters
checking out the DIA
late nights at Lafayette
St. Andrews
The Shelter
State (now known as the Filmore)
Majestic
Garden Bowl
those crazy rave parties
the works
going down to the train tracks to take graffiti pics with my now husband at 16 (woah that’s weird)
DEMF
Eastern Market
the list goes on…

As a kid my parents shared with us the culture of the city – I never grew up with a fear of Detroit, I grew up with a love for it.  A love that has never died.  The people there are kind, connected, real.  It is safe. Yes, IT IS SAFE.  I would feel safer any day of the week on the streets of Detroit than pretty much anywhere else.

As I near 30 and reflect back on my life, I see the city of Detroit as the supporting character in my evolution from angry bitter teenager to the amazing adult (dare I say that?) sitting in front of this computer today.   Detroit is the place where I got into all of my trouble, struggled to figure my shit out and then used what I learned to be of service to others.  Just like the city, I had to break down to get back up and kick ass.

Only those who know darkness can truly appreciate light; only those who acknowledge darkness can even see the light. – Kurtz & Ketcham

And just like me, even at its worst, Detroit was its best.  Sometimes we have to fall apart before we can come together.  Seeing the beauty in the breakdown tonight.

Detroit – I <3 this city!

You’re probably asking – “why the fuck did you leave traitor?”  I have to say after writing this I am wondering the same thing.  The truth is I left because I hate winter – I was sick of being depressed half the year and wanted/needed to be able to get outdoors more often.  I do not regret my decision and I know that some day I will create a life where I can have the best of both worlds.  And although my body will remain in LA my connection to Detroit will never die.  I will turn 30 in the place that I call home – get ready Detroit …Dirty 30 is coming your way!!

There will be more down-dogging in the D… stay tuned 🙂

Want to know what’s actually happening in the city?  Check out this site: Model D

day 16 – favorites

  30 of my favorites in no particular order:

  1. down-dogging (i.e. yoga of all kinds)
  2. my family/hubby/diamonds (you know who you are <3)
  3. hiking
  4. Jade Yoga Mats – no matter how sweaty I get no slip! and no cumbersome towel needed.
  5. Cotton Citizen – comfort and style wrapped into one. made in the US by some of my favorite hands:)
  6. lululemon
  7. Patrick Bateman
  8. Do.com
  9. dancing
  10. fresh fruit – whole, juice, smoothies
  11. goal setting/vision boarding
  12. music – far too much to list.
    a.  KoRn – yep I said it.
  13. reading.
  14. Facebook/twitter/pinterest.  I like to be social…ly networked
  15. Picframe and all camera apps – <3 taking photos
  16. The following sites/companies:
    MindBody
    Yoga Blend
    Pop Physique
    Well in LA
    The Accidental Yogist
    The Daily Love
    Closet Rich
    Sage Organic Vegan Bistro/Kind Kreme
  17. prison shows.
  18. Detroit. – I <3 this city
  19. Hello kitty
  20. Model High School
  21. Fusion Academy
  22. summer/fall in MI – long days on the lake wakeboarding, Achatz 4 berry pie, changing leaves,  Franklin cider mill cider and donuts
  23. Los Angeles – mountains, oceans, activity
  24. quotes, acronyms, positivity
  25. 80s
  26. being surrounded by good people
  27. laughing
  28. being of service
  29. love
  30. the color BLUE