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Airport Office

img_20161230_092938290.jpgHere’s my office today. I’m back in the Kansas City Airport, where I spent the night just 12 days ago.

Today, I’ve been rerouted to Denver. To fly to Boston.

As frustrating as it is, it’s because of delayed flights and cancellations and it has nothing to do with the people handling my baggage or checking me in. These people have been extremely helpful and nice.

So, I’m here again and it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just one of those little things that life throws at you. You can’t let it ruin your day and I’m certainly not going to ruin anyone else’s day because of it!

Luckily MCI has lots of places to charge and fairly reliable wifi. Terminal B has two restaurants and a Starbucks near my gate, plus at least two of those little deli places to buy overpriced sandwiches

So, whether I’m here or whether I’m in Starbucks in Boston, really doesn’t matter that much. Unless I let it.  Tonight, I see my sweetie, after being away for almost 3 weeks. The change in flights doesn’t delay that at all, cause I was going to sit in Logan waiting for him to get off work. So, whether I’m sitting in Logan on my computer or in the air on my computer doesn’t matter at all. Unless I let it.

Looking at the big picture, this is a little inconvenient, but not all that much. I probably am going to get more work done today than I orginally planned and certainly more than if I were going to be home today. So, this will only become a big issue, you got it, if I let it.

Today, I chose not to let it.

Danielle LaPorte Taught Me To Love My HSP

anxiety3I have struggled for years accepting that I am a highly sensitive person (HSP). Some of you will laugh, because it’s so obviously me and so obviously not an option for me to be any different. HSPs have big feelings and we feel everything, all the time. Sounds exhausting right? I’m learning that being an HSP is also what makes me a kick-ass yoga therapist. 
I’m compassionate, empathetic, kind and open. People have always commented (in amazement, not less) that I’m sooo NICE. Now this sounds like only a positive, right? Not always. I’ve been too nice to date, too nice to let in on dirty little secrets and definitely too nice to invite to partake in any sketchy behavior. Now, in my 40s I’m okay with all that, but as a teen it was sort of hell.
 
Some of you know that I’m a big Danielle LaPorte fan and if there’s anyone who wears her HSP badge more proudly than Danielle, I’ve yet to meet him/her.
 
Sometimes I can kinda take or leave Danielle’s newsletter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s talented, funny and a true individual, but sometimes I gloss over the poetry or the announcements of her newest endeavor because I got my own shit. 
Today, I was cleaning up my inbox and came across this post. It spoke to me because sometimes the world’s hurts/sickness/brokenness cuts so deeply that I can barely breathe and sometimes the amazing humanity/goodness/gentleness of this world caresses and massages my heart so that it hurts.  I relate to what Danielle writes and I wanted to share. I’m finally loving my sensitivity and am slowly learning how to protect and nurture myself.
 
Sensitive people are a different breed. I am so deeply grateful/happy/honored to call myself one.
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Intentional Sundays

orchidsSunday is that beautiful day that just feels easy and relaxed, right? Actually for a lot of 9-5ers Sunday is a fairly stressful day. It’s a day that people pressure themselves to get it all done and make sure the rest of the week runs smoothly. It’s a day that they physically get ready for the next five days.

But what about getting spiritually ready for the week? We so rarely do that, but it makes all the difference.

So what does that look like? Even though I’ve only been a 9-5er a few short times in my life, I still act as if Sunday is the beginning of the week. After all my clients are mostly 9-5ers and my love is a 9-5er, so my life is guided by them.

Sunday si the day that I get very clear about the rest of the week. I look at a calendar and see what I’ve already got lined up. Then I add the things that add flavor and interest to my life. Who am I having coffee/drinks/dinner with this week? Which yoga classes do I want to make? When am I going to hit the gym. I look at the weather for the week. This Monday it’s going to be almost 80 degrees in the winter-torn North Shore of Boston so I think I’ll skip the gym and walk outdoors.

Basically I think about my core values. Body, mind, spirit development and growth, connection, love, play and I make sure that I am investing time and energy in them during the week.  Work is a given, but I do look at when I want to blog, work on my book, etc.

Now, I won’t pretend I’m perfect at this or even fairly adept. I struggle with it, because I hate schedules and routines. They make me feel anxious and tied down, so I like to keep it loose and easy. Luckily, getting up early on Sunday morning, sipping my dark roast and planning my week feels like September and back-to-school. I love it, so I do it. During the week, though, I have to keep it light and easy. If I’d hoped to workout on Wednesday morning but my mood and productivity level say, let’s write for awhile and then go to gym, I do it. And I’m learning not to beat myself up if I don’t make it to the gym at all.

But back to planning- next is the big part, the important, it’s all worth it part. I meditate about the things I have planned; the podcast I want to listen to while I chop veggies for dinner on Wednesday, the yoga class that makes me glow, the new playlist I created for working out, the Friday client who is struggling. I get quiet and centered on my week and set intention. How do I want to walk through this week? I have my schedule, goals and plans, but how am I going to show up this week?

It differs from week to week depending a myriad of factors. The last few weeks I’ve been working on #selfcarefriday and embracing ease so I’ve looked for the softer way, the middle path in everything I do. It’s made a huge difference in how I respond to my work and how I think of myself.

I encourage you to take some time today and be intentional about your week. How do you want to walk through the week? With love and compassion in your heart? With energy and lightness? What are your core values? How do you honor them. Get on the mat, close your eyes and just get quiet.

Have a great week!

Yoga is Connection…..continued

We all crave connection. I think about connection a lot, mostly because it’s the core of yoga. Yoga means to bind, yoke or connect.

Moving across the country has severely limited my connections, at least in a face to face way. Luckily with Facebook and Twitter I keep up with friends and students from all over, but one weekend a year I dedicate to intentional connecting.

Or maybe it’s reconnecting.

IMG_20140626_160049One June weekend a year a group of college friends, mostly women, sometimes all women, get together to catch-, up, laugh, drink, dish, share, support and inspire each other.

Some years I’ve really needed their support and love. Some years I’ve been lost. Some years it’s been a wedding weekend or a reunion weekend. Some years it’s just been a big drunken fest with plunging into a way-too-cold lake, junk food, exotic-but not fru-fru drinks, guitar sing-a-longs, sleeping in, water gun fights, tarot readings, kitchen adventures and kayaking. This year my life seems okay.

I think they thought that after my partner got arrested for assaulting me I would need their wisdom and support. The truth is, I’ve healed, and it’s firmly in my past.

This was the year I was just inspired. I basked in the wisdom, talent and power of our little group. We’ve come such a long way the six, seven or sometimes eight of us. We started meeting five years ago to celebrate our 40th birthdays. This year we didn’t even mention our 45ths.  We talked about step-parenting, new loves, parenting, and job woes. In the past five years, two of us have found the big LOVE and formed blended families. One of us (me) has ended a terrible relationship and found new wonderful love. One of us has kicked cancer’s butt, only to have it return. One of us has had open-heart surgery and thrived. In the past five years four of us have quit our jobs and some of those changed directions entirely and I can say resolutely that it’s because of this group.

That’s connection. We only see each other once a year, but we’ve walked each other through some shit. Some of us are closer than others, some of us are relatively new friends. There are some phone calls, texting and a FB thread that is always going, but our deepest connecting Doritoshappens on this weekend of Dorito’s Cachaca, laughter and rest. Cause this is the weekend we can just be ourselves. This is the weekend we remind ourselves who we were 25 years ago and we remind each other of how amazing we each are and we voice our fears, hopes and dreams out loud.

Once again I blog a few days later with a deep sense of belonging, gratitude and pride. I’m such a lucky, lucky woman to have such a wonderful group of talented, smart, skillful women I call friends.

And the yoga lesson appears. Yoga is connection and connection is gratitude. And they both open my heart and it all helps me to feel whole and balanced and grounded. And that’s power.

And it’s all yoga.

Yoga is Connection

Yoga is about connection. Literally, it comes from the root yuj, which mean to join or yoke. In it’s most basic sense the joining of mind, body and soul. It’s getting quiet and finding balance and wholeness and feeling connected within the self.

girlfriendsYoga is also about feeling connection with the outside world. It’s about awareness of your place in the universe, consistently feeling empathy and compassion. Years ago I taught a restorative yoga class with my teacher and as the students lay in a relaxing, calming pose eyes closed she asked “aren’t they just angels?” And they were. With all their drama/pains/regular lives/crankiness\demands/fears, at that moment they were angels. It wasn’t because of anything they were doing. It was because of me. Because when I teach I can let go of ego and let the yoga do the work and I feel open and loving and connected.

Today I read  “Once you experience connection you are in the state of yoga, a balanced, blissful and life affirming state of being.” And I should say first that I’m in kinda of a mood today. I’m feeling a little skeptical and a little cynical. Outside of that, though, this quote made me snort.

So, I removed my weird mood and thought about that seriously and with an open, honest heart and it still made me snort. Of course sometimes there is a blissful feeling. Sometimes feeling connected is the best feeling in the world. For me as a teacher it makes me feel purpose and it makes me happy for what I do. Not only do I heal people physically, but perhaps more often and perhaps more importantly I heal them emotionally. Well, I don’t. The yoga does.

More often than feeling that the connection is blissful and inspiring feeling connected for me is scary. Being open and vulnerable is terrifying.

The day we brought our daughter home was such an overwhelming day. For months I’d seen my doctor almost every week cause I kept going into pre-term labor and I’d finally completedDude, you don't have to do everything at once... my job. I’d grown a whole human being and delivered her healthfully and presented her to the world. When her tiny pink coned-shaped head lifted off my chest as she looked around the delivery room I felt completely in awe. She was just minutes old and she was so strong and independent. And I loved her so much. No one tells you the feeling of connection you’ll have once she’s there. She’d been inside me and she was a part of me and I knew her. She looked in my eyes and it felt like we were still one. There was an immediate recognition for me. This is me and this is her, but it’s still me.  Then two days later they wheeled me out of the hospital and slammed the car door shut behind me and I was terrified. The person I’d been connected to for ten months was in the seat behind me and she was completely vulnerable and open and needy-and I had a lot of hormones coursing through me so I felt  exactly the same. It was a strange new feeling and it was really, really uncomfortable.

Connection is scary and at the same time it’s exhilarating.

I married my college sweetheart and back then it was completely thrilling. I was 21 and too stupid to be scared. I had these twinges of what if this isn’t the right thing, but I believed as the young do, that everything would be wonderful and our love was touched by goddesses. I was oblivious to how this was going to shape the rest of my life. Now 23 years later falling in love again is terrifying. It’s perhaps the scariest thing I’ve done. I’m so different this time. I know about all the pitfalls and quagmires of life now. i know that relationships are work and that love is hard.  I struggle to stay open and vulnerable and to love deeply while still keeping my sanity. I get a little squirrely from time to time because my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around my incredible good fortune and intense happiness.

While I’m terrified so often by connection I honestly believe that connected is the way I’d like to live my life. I value my teaching time, my time with good friends, my time with my kids and with my love so much heartopeningIIImore than I did 20 years ago. I want everything that comes with being open and vulnerable and deeply in love.

Yet, there are times when feeling connected can be difficult-for all of us. The easiest, fastest way for me to connect is to, of course, spend time on the mat. Then I am open in the true sense and not just to my inner circle.

When I struggle with being open I practice heart openers like the one pictured. I rest, breathing deeply in this pose for awhile and remind myself that while connection is scary it’s worth it. It’s why I’m here.