Friday, January 30, 2015

Rose Rose Rose Rose

Yesterday was throat chakra day. It was my intention to do a whole bunch of chanting at the end of morning yoga, but it was also Chichi Market day, and the kitchen rang the bell early for breakfast. There wasn't enough time for chanting.

Our lovely student Matt was in an A cappella group in college and it had been his goal to teach us to sing our beloved chant Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu to the tone of "Rose Rose Rose Rose" in a round.

After dinner, we sang our hearts out. I guess Thomas Carruthers was on to something when he said, "A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Monkey or the Devil

Yesterday we hiked to the top of San Pedro Volcano. Three and a half hours of going straight up, approximately a 4,000 foot elevation gain. Our trusted guide, Domingo suggested we stop only a few brief times so as not to get tired. He taught us many things about he cloud forest we were walking through along the way. We learned of an endangered bird, the Pavo de Cacho, a large bird with a red horn. When Domingo thought we might encounter one, he asked us to "walk slowly and talk slowly." We didn't see one but we heard it sing. He pointed out trumpet flowers and the bowl of the volcano. And a flower that's sometimes called "The Monkey's Hand" and sometimes "The Devil's Hand." Domingo said, "You can see everything, if only you use your imagination often." Just like any other muscle.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Buenas Noches from Lago de Atitlán

"One way to get the most of life is to look upon it as an adventure."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dang Quad Stretch on the Left Side

The other day at my Friday night class, I forgot to teach a pose on the second side. Here's the embarrassing part: it was kind of the peak pose. To be honest, I felt pretty bad about it after and wished someone had told me. Side note: if you're ever in a yoga class and the teacher forgets something and you notice, tell them, they want you to.

I felt lousy about it and it was one of the first things I thought of when I woke up the next morning. But then, there's this other part of me that knows I'm growing when something like that happens, and I sorta like it.

When I first started teaching, I was wrapped so tightly around teaching a great class and not messing anything up, it wasn't cool. I pulled it off, if anything, folks thought I was mellow, but I was not relaxed while teaching people to be relaxed. Now, I'm relaxed. I'm still the boss of the thing, and by no means am I as relaxed as I want my students to be, but I'm breathing deeply with them.

Growing up and relaxing around things is groovy. And when it didn't feel groovy, I had this prayer from my friend Dona to keep me focused. We have no idea who wrote it:

"I do not seek perfection. 
I simply seek to remember who and what I am everyday. 

I seek the people, places and practices that support the expanding of this awareness 
in my day, my life and my choices.

I am grateful for the forgiveness of the thoughts, feelings, actions and 
deeds that have caused any disharmony in my sacred space and the 
sacred space of all my relations. 

I release any thoughts, feelings, 
actions and deeds that have caused
disharmony and fill the space where 
they have been with love and 

It is so. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Yep, this is me, filling that space where there was meant to be a quad stretch with love and forgiveness.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Presence In You

Boy oh boy has my teacher Jen been kicking my butt lately. Jen's psyched I'm working with my sponsor on "feeling completely fulfilled just me and my higher power."

The other day, she called me out for having separation anxiety. There's no reason to be nervous to say goodbye to anyone, ever because "it's the presence in you that's taking care of you;" not anyone or anything else.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Canada Goose

Yesterday on my walk, I was struck by a small flock of Canadian Geese. I couldn't remember the last time I had seen some of those.

Mr. Andrews says of Canadian Geese, "Their leaving in the autumn stirs our imagination and makes us want to search for new worlds and dimensions. [Their] V- formation is very symbolic in itself. It reflects in its shape an opening to new possibilities. It is like an arrowhead pointing to new directions and new possibilities, and with one end open, it also reflects an openness to new ideas. For anyone with a goose as a totem, greater vision, physical and spiritual, will occur."

He continues, "Goslings are very quiet, especially in the first part of their life, and then they learn to break free. A goose as a totem can reflect that you are about to break free of old childhood restraints and begin to come into your own."

How lovely. Last night, at dinner, my friend told me what one of her teachers said about 2015: it is possible to step away from fear and into love, this year, more so than ever before.

Friday, January 9, 2015


Working the first three steps in Al Anon has me saying the Third Step Prayer more and more often.  The part that asks, "Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will" gets me every time.

Rolf Gates says,
"We come to know that we are like the river finding its fulfillment by vanishing into the ocean."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thank you O Magazine for confirming a feeling I have this year: "There's nothing magical about January 1st." And thank goodness. That's too much pressure. And maybe, there's something magical about everyday.

Usually on the first of the month I like to say "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit," and on the first of the year, I like to replace my old calendar with my new one, and do other groovy rituals that will "set the tone" for the new year.

I did not do groovy things this year. The Nikki McClure calendar I love so much and order every year has not yet come in the mail. In the past, I would have wanted to have all my intentions written down before the new year, so I could start with them on January 1st. This year, my friend Johanna sent me a workbook to "unravel" 2015 on December 31st, and that thing is 29 pages long! I'm doing the workbook and I'm letting myself take all month with it.

O Magazine's Arianna Davis says, "Too often, people fail to build in a prep period when they set goals." And my teacher Kay says this January in particular is about "Taking stock....For many of us, this month will feel like the "cave" month of the year, where we pull in and cocoon, rest, relax and integrate the content of the past year. Another layer of influence has us reviewing and reinventing all kinds of dreams for the future. We are encouraged to take stock of how far we have come and what we desire to cultivate now in our lives and in our world."

I want to give my dreams the respect they deserve and take my time with them. When I feel pressure to say something or do something right now, it usually means I need more time, to cultivate the right words or action. A Course in Miracles says, "Only infinite patience offers immediate results."

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Prayer for the New Year

"May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life." --Apache Blessing