Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

Thank you for making it another great year at tipsandtricks, dear readers!

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Etymology of a Kitten

I couldn't help but notice the kitten who was visiting my voice teacher from Albuquerque during our lesson this morning. She had a lampshade around her neck since she had just been neutered, and when she wasn't attempting to climb up my calf, she wrestled with the nearby indoor tree.

The kitten's name is Moxie. The Online Etymology Dictionary defines moxie first as courage, and refers to its history as the name of a soft drink and "before that, a patent medicine used to 'build up your nerve.'"

Courage comes from the french word for heart: le coeur. The french word corage means "heart, inner most feelings, temper."

After becoming smitten with said kitten and the message in her name, my voice teacher handed me a medal that says, "Be Brave."

There are messages everywhere, some are subtle and others are so dang adorable, you couldn't miss them if you tried.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Wisdom of Cousin Sally

A few weeks ago when I was on the phone with Cousin Sally, I told her I was feeling blue. She asked, "Do you know why?"

Ahhhh, the wisdom of Cousin Sally! What a patient and compassionate question. I was grateful to be able to answer it. But we don't always know why we feel the way we feel, and that's OK. Let's give those around us, and especially ourselves, time and space to feel our feelings even when we don't why we feel the way we do.

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Take the Power..."

"This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in a forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy." --Susan Polis Schutz

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Don't Complain"

I have been meaning to follow-up with you guys about what I said a few weeks ago, "Don't Complain, Don't Explain." I learned this maxim from my friend Emily Stone and practicing the Don't Explain part has been particularly enlightening for me. When thinking about the Don't Complain component, I always think of Maya Angelou, who endured great hardships, but was committed to not complaining.

In her book of essays, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, she tells a story about her grandmother's opposition to complaining.  When a "whiner" entered her grandmother's store, she would make sure Maya heard their lamenting:

"As soon as the complainer was out of the store, my grandmother would call me to stand in front of her. And then she would say the same thing she had said at least a thousand times, it seemed to me. 'Sister, did you hear what Brother So-and-So or Sister Much to Do complained about? You heard that?' And I would nod. Mamma would continue, 'Sister there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. Sister, those who expected to rise did not, their beds became their cooling boards and their blankets became their winding sheets. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of that plowing that person was grumbling about. So you watch yourself about complaining Sister. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.'
It is said that persons have few teachable moments in their lives. Mamma seemed to have caught me at each one I had between the age of three and thirteen. Whining is not only graceless, but it can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood."

In other words, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Friday, December 12, 2014

"That Spell is Broken"

Usually I feel fairly invincible to the depression that runs in my family, but not this week. This week, I have been full of gloom and feeling sad sad sad. Then a friend of mine said a couple of things to me that got me all triggered and insecure.

Last night, I woke up to what a crab-apple I was being. What my friend said were just words, illustrating her set of beliefs; I don't have to let them live in me. I smudged myself and my whole apartment saying out loud "That spell is broken." I got a good night sleep. This morning I did a short but strong yoga practice including yoga medicine called handstand and upward facing bow pose. I got the the gym before class and had a good stint of running on the treadmill, all the while saying to myself, "That spell is broken."

Thanks to the little bit of magic I know, that spell is broken.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Love Many Things


"Love many things. For therein lies the true strength. And whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Other People's Altars #4

"People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Calling on Roadrunners

Yesterday on my way home from Ojo, I saw a roadrunner race across the highway about a hundred feet in front of me; its profile so distinctive I knew what it was right away. Finally getting around to reading Animal Speak today, I realize I sure could use some roadrunner juju.

Animal Speak says, "The roadrunner is actually a ground-dwelling cuckoo. It has almost lost the power of flight, but on rare occaisions they do fly. It can run as fast as 18 miles per hour.  The roadrunner teaches mental agility and speed. Those with this totem will think quickly and on their feet. The roadrunner will help you to shift your thought process with speed and agility."

Today's been funky so far: my 11 am client switched to 6:30 am, so I missed my favorite 7:30 yoga class. When my 6:30 client's session ended, I decided to stay in the neighborhood since my 9:30 am client lives just up the road. I had spent about a hour at Taos Cow, making some headway on my next piece for Vapour, when I got a message from my 9:30 am client, cancelling. This extra shift in the schedule left me at a loss, I thought about meeting up with Smokey to go for a walk, but felt cold, so I came home, turned up the heat and tried to get some more writing done. When the writing wasn't flowing, I opted to do 20 minutes of legs up the wall. The Restorative Yoga interlude was by far the best choice I could have made.

We all have changes in our program happen from time to time, and I'm learning more and more to roll with them. I used to have no idea what to do with myself when a client cancelled, and usually, I'd sit around and freak out about money. These days, I use unexpected free time to take care of myself, "The tail of the roadrunner works like an air brake. It facilitates stops and shifts in the mental process." Sometimes before you can shift, you have to stop.