Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back from Tanzania

Wow. I've got to start blogging again to find words to describe the experience. I met amazing people, saw hope in the midst of despair, saw dignity in (what I'd consider) poverty, and met a living saint.
Much, much more later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

almost there

Travel delays to Palau.
We had a bear of a time even getting to Houston.
When we arrived at the airport in Rochester to head to Houston, we were told that the flights from Cleveland were delayed and that we wouldn't be able to make the connection to Houston.
Then we were told to go to Newark. And they began to reticket our luggage and reissue boarding passes. Then we were told that maybe the Newark flight wouldn't depart either...
We ended up staying on the Cleveland flight, making our connection, and arriving in Houston late and tired on Tuesday night but at least we were there.
Then, the next morning, we got to the Houston airport and were told that there was a mechanical problem with the Honolulu flight and that we wouldn't make our connection from Guam to Palau. We could either stay in Houston and try the next day or go on to Honolulu and either overnight there or in Guam.
We ended up going to Honolulu, making the Guam connection, and then arriving in Guam to what amounted to chaos.
The Continental gate agents at the Guam International Airport (bless their hearts) don't communicate very well with one another. We were told to go from the gate to the ticket counter. We did. No one there. We went back to the gate and were told to go back to the ticket counter because someone would be there. We did. No one was there. By now, a pack of people had gathered because there were folks heading for both Palau and Manilla who were going to overnight in Guam and needed vouchers for the hotels.
The crowd was getting restless.
And an almost mob mentality was developing.
Wonderful hubby and I kept our cool. I found a Continental flight attendant away from the other people and asked if she could possibly help me. She found a supervisor. The bottom line was we finally got our vouchers, were taken by van to the Marriott hotel in Guam (arrived around midnight,) slept for 7 hours, had a nice breakfast, got bathing suits from the giftshop (don't even ask...mine could fit in the coinpurse of my wallet,) spent 2 hours poolside, took a short walk on the beach, cleaned up, had a nice lunch, and are now biding our time in the President's Lounge at the Guam International Airport. We walked through the incredible Galleria Duty Free Shopping Area but kept on going since we didn't really need anything, especially with our new bathing suits ;)
The week before departure went really well. I made my lists each morning and dealt with what needed attention. I managed to fit in a yoga practice almost every day which helped immensely. And my mat is in my suitcase so I will be continuing my yoga in Palau. The lunch with Bishop Mhogolo was a wonderful success and my commitment to the Carpenter's Kids program is cemented. I look forward to my visit to Tanzania in July and am hoping to develop friendships that will span continents and decades--much like the relationships I have developed in Palau.
A couple of months ago, I was at a meeting where someone was challenging me on how to do the mission work that I did in the area where they lived.
I responded that I couldn't--their area wasn't my stretch of beach.
I was referring to the story that you all have probably heard of the little boy who is walking down the beach throwing the washed up starfish back into the water. When challenged by an adult who said he couldn't possibly make a difference because of the vast number of starfish, the boy responded, "yes, but for this starfish I made a difference."
We all have a limited amount of beach.
What we do with it is up to us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting ready for Palau

8 days from now, God willing, darling hubby and I will be on a plane bound for Houston, Texas. We overnight in Texas and then begin our long treck westward on Wednesday morning, March 10. We fly from Houston to Honolulu, Honolulu to Guam, Guam to Yap, and Yap to Koror. We leave at 9 a.m. Wednesday and arrive at 10:20 p.m. local time in Palau on Thursday. I still can't wrap my mind around the whole international date-line thing--I'm just glad we'll be getting there!
And my schedule is pretty nuts in the next 8 days. I'm making sure to get in my yoga practices because it keeps me focused and more calm. Which is a good thing. Next Monday, I am honored to be welcoming the Anglican Bishop of The Diocese of Central Tanganika to our home for a luncheon for him to tell some local folks about the Carpenter's Kids program. I'll write more about that later.
In the meantime, It's off to dinner with the wonderful couple who will be tending to our home and the little reds while we're in Palau. God bless folks who are willing to help us so that we can take time off together and be adventurous. I promise to repay this favor when people need me to...
And, of course, this Sunday night is THE OSCARS!!!
I'll post my pics later this week.
In the meantime, if you haven't seen the documentary "The Cove," see it. Heartbreaking but also powerful. People who want to change the world for the good change my world. And make it better. And make me want to work harder.
Love, love, love,

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Well, actually I'm heading out with the little reds to a retreat.
Although I hope we all advance.
I'm leading the retreat for a church in Virginia. I'm not used to working for churches that have lots of financial resources. This one obviously does since they're paying for all three of our plane tickets, accomodations, meals, and also giving me a hefty honorarium. Suweet!
The theme of the retreat is "Landscapes, Languages, and Love." I will definitely give them their money's worth. I'm really excited. Lots of cool activities planned for them.
I'll let y'all know how it goes.
Interesting to lead a retreat at a Hilton Hotel in the Outer Banks...
Yes, we will be advancing while we retreat.

p.s. I got up and went to yoga at 6 a.m. When the alarm went off I thought "Oh no. Not happening. God, if you want me to go, get me out of this bed." And then I got up. I'm still astonished. And grateful.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

from 40 days to 40 days

I finished my 40 days to personal revolution on Saturday.
Today the 40 days of Lent begins.
I believe that my Lenten discipline will be to continue the yoga practices cause they seem to be working for me. Stronger, more flexible, more open.
21 days til I leave for Palau. I am praying that the trip gives my precious hubby time to totally heal.
In the meantime, life goes on.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My how things change

I wrote my last blog entry on Tuesday.
Wednesday night, my precious hubby was admitted, via the emergency department, to the hospital with a perforated diverticulum. I spent Thursday morning in the hospital with him and then he insisted that I go to my Lifestyle session. As I was driving to the yoga studio, I was thinking about everything that was happening and how I really had revolved...Normally, I would have gone into overdrive and started making lists of what to do if...if hubby needed major surgery, if we couldn't go to Palau, if I couldn't find child care, if I couldn't make it to church on Sunday cause I needed to be at the hospital...
But I didn't do any of that.
I thought about it but thought that it would be wasted energy. I will know what I know when I know it. I will make the decisions I need to make when they need to be made. Acceptance. Breath. Find space. Breathe.
And making my vision board was a cool experience. I'm not finished with it (poetic) but I will keep working on it.
Hubby has made miraculous recovery. Seriously miraculous.
So thank God for antibiotics, good physicians, and answered prayer.
I go to my celebration Master Class at 6 p.m. then I'll come get hubby from hospital and take him home. We will curl up in our bed and watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.
At least that's my plan. But we all know how plans can change.
Shanti, gentle readers.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Last days of revolution

3 in-studio yoga sessions, 2 at home practices, and 1 lifestyle session to go. This week in the lifestyle session we are making vision boards. We have to bring magazines so we can cut out pictures. My initial reaction was "That's cheesy." And I'm sure it will be if I want it to be. Or I can embrace it like I've chosen to do with other aspects of this program and think about how I see myself keeping the changes I've made. I think I'm going to choose to just go with it and see how the experience is. I'll do my lifestyle session on Thursday at noon so I'll let y'all know how it goes.
There has definitely been some revolution. I am much more flexible, I am stronger, I am more relaxed, I've made some wonderful friendships, and I've learned how to make chinese dumplings!
So the program has been successful for me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Who Dat

This has been a long time coming!
I was born in New Orleans. I remember my mom's crush on Archie Manning when he was the Saints Quarterback. I have a fleur de lis tattoo.
You get the idea.
I am so damn happy this morning that I can hardly stand it.
Usually, I enjoy the super bowl but have no real vested interest.
Now I know how FANS feel when their team wins. Especially when their team is the underdog.
I think there was even more excitement with the Saints victory--thinking about everything that New Orleans has been through in the past 5 years--the awesome spirit of generosity and hope that Drew Brees and his wife brought into the city--it just meant a whole lot to a whole lot of people. New Orleans got a break.
Some funny quotes: "Hell has frozen over and the devil is serving hurricanes!"
I don't know about that, but I know that dis is one good ole day fo sho! Who dat say dey gonna beat dem saints? Dis here year our year! Dem Saints has done marched in so go grab another plate and another drink and laissez les bons temps roulez!
Geaux, Saints!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I was on the receiving end of grace last night.
Yesterday marked the 15 year anniversary of my mother's death.
I went out to dinner with this woman who I admire GREATLY. I truly am awed at God's goodness by the amazing people that I get to call friends. This woman has no sense of hubris about her multitude of accomplishments. She is who she is and tells it like it is. She's amazing. At some point during the evening, I mentioned something about my mother and she was asking me questions about her. When I shared that it was the anniversary of her death, she asked for her name. She was going to pray for her and celebrate what a wonderful woman she must have been. During the course of our laughter and conversation, it came out that both my mother and this woman were big fans of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. My friend had actually come to St. Thomas early and had gone to a custom sandal maker. She invited me to join her this morning to go back to the sandal maker and pick up her new shoes. I can imagine that this would make my mother very happy. I also joked that I might have to also get a pair of custom made sandals as a way to honor my mother. Either that or a Mont Blanc pen. Or maybe both!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In my house?

On March 8, I'm going to be a hosting a lunch for a bishop from Africa in my house. No pressure or anything. But it has to be at my house because the next day I leave for Palau and I can't deal with the stress of it being somewhere else. I'm inviting some other movers and shakers in the diocese to join us and so far, all have accepted. I asked the woman who is coordinating his trip if he has any dietary restrictions. She said "No but he is very uncomfortable in restaurants because of the cost." So I'm guessing I need to be fairly low key.
I will have to consult with my GBF about menu.
I was thinking Southern cuisine but 2 of the guests came to my house for the Christmas Clergy party and I served Southern then. Darn.
My bishop will be attending, too, so that's cool.
I'm thinking I should be more stressed about this. But I'm not. I got the email this a.m. from the lady who is hosting the bishop's visit asking me if he could come to Rochester for the day and could we pay for the tickets from NYC. I said "Sure." Then I got on the phone inviting people to lunch. Piece of cake. Fun, really. No stress--I just think it's cool. Must be the yoga.
Off to St. Thomas, VI in the early a.m.
I'm never crazy about flying over the ocean. Since my wonderful hubby spoils me and we fly first class to Palau, it's never that bad. I think the alcohol helps. No such luck tomorrow. Oh well, it will be good experience for my trip to Africa this summer. I'll keep y'all informed. And I welcome menu suggestions for the lunch. I want it to be low key but delicious. Like me!


I did my first shoulder stand today!
And stayed up the entire time we were holding the inversion pose!
Since I only have a week and a half of revolution left, it's pretty exciting. I also attempted "crow." Didn't achieve it but at least I attempted it whereas usually I just laugh when the instructor says anything about "crow."
Today's practice left me feeling really fulfilled--I felt like I had achieved something important. I never thought I'd like yoga. It didn't seem like "me." But "me" changes. I'm starting to understand that my willingness/desire to change is important to/for me.
I saw a bumper sticker one time that said "Change is inevitable, growth is optional." This 40 days thing is a growing experience. And what I appreciate about it is that it can always be a challenge for me. Yoga is like Tai Ji. You never master it--you just practice it.
Probably a lot like Christianity. But we don't tend to talk about Christianity in those terms.
Maybe it's time we did. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A different kind of yoga class

I wanted to go to a Foundations class today (in addition to the regular Open Level Power Vinyasa class I'll go to at 4 p.m. I know--I'm being ambitious. Credit 40 days.)
I had already had this instructor in a restorative class and an open level class and I like her. When I walked into the class, I could tell the yogis were of a slightly different ilk. Like maybe an adult retirement community.
God bless them. I didn't exactly get out of the class what I had hoped--I had hoped to get some individual instruction on doing shoulder stands or maybe coming into crow. But I think most of the instructor's energy was focused on praying that one of the gentlemen in the class didn't keel over. He moaned and let out "ARGH"s on each and every pose, including folding forward.
I admire that man. He didn't hold back. And he's in a yoga class even though he's probably well into his 70s. The instructor talked about the parallels in living a good life and having good balance. Having good balance and being aware of how your body moves is critical as we age. People get unsteady, fall, break hips, get pneumonia cause they can't move around, and boom! Welcome to heaven!
I'm looking forward to going back to Lyndsey's class in a little while. I'll get some good sweat going and breathe and FLOW.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ready for Week 5

Two weeks left.
I'm doing great and really enjoying it.
This week I'll only get in 3 studio classes because I have to go to St. Thomas, VI for a meeting. After single digit temperatures here and lots of snow, I'm ready for some sunshine and beach time. I'm just trying to figure out how to get my yoga mat into my carry-on bag so that I don't have to check luggage. Where there's a will there's a way. If I can pack for 10 days in Italy in a carry-on bag, 4 days in St. Thomas should be a breeze. I'll do yoga classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday. I'll also do my lifestyle session on Sunday, and get in two practices while I'm in (on?) St. Thomas. And then next week is the final week! But I'm going to do my best to continue to get in 3-4 yoga classes each week. I am much more relaxed and flexible in body, mind, and spirit since I've been doing this.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Madonna sang "Like a Prayer" for the Hope for Haiti Now album.
So I was wrong on that one.
She was backed up with a gospel choir, which was cool.
I don't know how the choosing of the songs went down cause I wasn't part of that conference call.
If so, I might have suggested to her that she not sing one of her own songs since nobody else was, although now that I'm thinking about it, I'm wrong again on account of Beyonce sang "Halo."
Maybe it was more or less the one name people who sang their own songs.
Cause when you get to be known by just one name, you pretty much get to do whatever the hell you want to.
But Bono was part of a trio.
I'm just saying.
Rihanna, too.
It really doesn't matter. What matters is that they donated their talents to raise money for a country and the people of that country who need all the help they can get.
They can sing whatever they want to! Just sing!

Half way through week 4

Yoga is definitely helping me.
More flexibility in body, mind, and spirit.
I just had a short retreat with four beautiful clergy women. Two of them are yogis--one is a long term yogi and another is just starting out. We went to yoga together as part of the retreat and this was a Good Thing.
I like the feeling of community when I know other people who are in the class. It's kind of like "we're all in this together" (and my High School Musical obsessed daughters would appreciate this.) It just makes a difference.
And I'm all about making a difference.
Next week I head to St. Thomas, VI for a meeting. I imagine that we will be doing a lot of talking about Haiti. If the talk doesn't lead to concrete action, it will just be words. I will definitely do my part to call us to accountability.

Hope for Haiti Now

I downloaded this album from Itunes.
I love it.
I love it because the artists didn't do their own songs.
Some songs are sad, but all of them have some hope and encouragement in them.
Wyclef Jean rocks the world.
Everyone needs to do what they can and entertainers entertain. Musicians make music. When they do it for the benefit of others, the world is a sweeter place.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Men in flowy pants

Men in flowy pants make me nervous.
Which is ridiculous.
But, Lord have mercy, I was raised in the deep south. Men didn't wear flowy pants, at least outside of the privacy of their own homes.
I went to yoga yesterday.
There was a couple visiting the class that were obviously experienced yogis. The man had on flowy pants. Very flowy fabric cut all the way up the sides. (He had on grey athletic shorts under, thanks be go God.) When he went into triangle pose, it made a very pretty picture. Which I'm sure he was aware of.
He seemed to like attention and worked to draw it to himself. At the beginning "ommms," he Oommmd longer and louder than anyone. Like substantially and somewhat, in my opinion, obnoxiously. And he grunted and moaned in every pose.
On the one hand, it distracted me from my own pain which was good.
On the other hand, I didn't concentrate as hard on my own breathing, at least for some of the practice, and didn't have the mental discipline to just tune him out. So I will need to work on this.
Home practice tonight after my afternoon workout. I'm going to see if my hubby will help me with my yoga dvd and help adjust my poses since there are no mirrors in the yoga studio and I have no idea how aligned I am or how I'm looking, which is really a good thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 3, day 2

The good news is that yesterday I heard one of the instructors say that week 2 of the 40 days program was the most difficult. I certainly hope so. I started week 3 yesterday. About 10 minutes into the yoga class I was thinking "God, get me out of here." Then I decided to let go of that thought and just concentrate on my breathing. I told myself that if I wanted to, I could leave the class. Or just take child's pose. Or I could focus on my breathing and see how my body responded to the instructor's voice.
It worked. I just breathed and let my body flow into the poses. I got out of the negative space. I quit thinking about the huge white board downstairs. I finished the class. And went home to enjoy a great evening with my family.
I'm going to my next class in 15 minutes. Every day is a new day.
I just have to breathe.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week 2 completed!

So, I'm about 33% revolved.
Although not so much because I had a rough week and a tough time staying calm in the face of this crazy storm, i.e., Haiti.
I was thinking about other big events that have become part of the world psyche just by one or two words: 9/11, Katrina, Indonesia, Haiti.
You remember where you where when the reality of what had happened began to hit you. Or maybe you don't--maybe you just remember kind of before and after...
I love that technology can connect people and responses have been so vast. Push some buttons on your cell and bam, you just donated $10. Click on a website and your donating is done. There, I've done my part!
And yes, I have done A part. I've at least done something. And as I tell my congregation ad nauseum, nobody has to do everything, but everybody needs to do something.
This one is huge. We had infrastructures in place when our tragedies happened (okay, well, it took a while in New Orleans and there is still lots to be done.) Haiti--not so much. You know things are bad then the former dictator is volunteering to come back and take control. I'm hoping other options emerge.
Like maybe some real honest albeit difficult assessment of how to do rebuild a country. And maybe we get a team of international folks that can trust each other and work with the Haitian people to work together, to bring the best of what we all have to the table using the generosity of the world coming together.
I don't know if it can be done.
In the meantime, we pray. Don't get caught up in the negative reporting of bad behavior of people under incredible stress. Hurt people hurt people. That's just how it is. But the faster the help arrives, the sooner the healing can begin.
I'm ready for a new week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uniting good will in the universe

Is this possible?
Some of the yoga instructors talk about this right before we unite our energy in the room by inhaling together and then, on an exhale, saying (singing? chanting?) Ommmmmm.
I don't know if we unite good will or not. But I know that, if it's possible, then we need to try today to unite good will towards Haiti.
I'm the diocesan coordinator for Episcopal Relief and Development. The diocese of Haiti is part of our Province (Province 2.) Province 2 is made up of the dioceses of New York (Dio Long Island, Dio NY, Dio Albany, Dio Central NY, Dio Rochester, Dio Western NY,) New Jersey (Newark and NJ) the convocation of churches in Europe, The diocese of the US Virgin Islands, and Haiti. Right now, ER&D has established a fund specifically for Haiti relief. (www.er-d.org) Because we already have an Episcopal presence there, we just need to find out how we can best support them whether it's with actual supplies or just money.
My birthday girl daughter asked if, instead of spending money on gift bag favors for her friends at her birthday party, we could give the money to Haiti. I was really proud of her. And of course the answer is a resounding "YES!" Tonight we will write up notes that she will give to her friends explaining her decision.
I believe that Ommmms are important because they are intentional. It is a form of prayer. Specific prayers (the kind I'm more familiar with--with words) help me discern what my part is and how I can help. After Hurricane Katrina, I felt so helpless. I feel that way now. I put that feeling to work then and was able to raise $2500 which was put to good use buying supplies for a displaced family.
So now I also pray for discernment. And I pray for grace and generosity for anyone who can help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Day at a Time

I looked at the big board in the Breathe Yoga studio that has everybody's name on it who is doing the 40 Days program and then a big grid where they check off when we complete a daily requirement.
My goodness, that's a lot of boxes to get checked off.
I'm 20% done--8 days, 8 check marks.
But I realized that I can't spend that much time looking at it or I get freaked out and somewhat overwhelmed.
Gotta get back to the mindful breathing. Relaxing. Anchoring in the present. All the stuff that yoga is about. (And, basically, some pretty key Christian teaching--do not worry about tomorrow--let today's problems be sufficient for today...)
This week I will focus on making the most of my present moment. Tomorrow is my older daughter's birthday. Can't believe she is already 11. And she is worrying about her party that will take place Friday night. I'm telling her to enjoy the "right now" and trust that everything will go as it should Friday night.
(But I still gotta order cake and pizza.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yoga and Nutrition

At least 2 or 3 of the Lifestyle sessions will focus on nutrition. Next week we actually meet in the kitchen at Breathe (yoga studio.) I can't say I learned a bunch of new information today, with the exception that I didn't realize how important Omega 3's are--I got a bottle of the capsules so we'll see if I notice any differences after a couple of weeks of taking them. Cyndi (instructor) is the owner of the studio and has 20 yrs experience working with people with "disordered eating." She says that the problem for most people is that our bad habits get our metabolism out of whack. Instead of fueling the internal fires all day with small healthy meals, we tend to skip breakfast, eat quick (fast-unhealthy) food for lunch, and then by 5 or 6 p.m. we're starving and want to eat anything we can get our hands on. It's like putting a big wet log onto a fire and it slows down everything.
I've started drinking breakfast smoothies and have found that I do feel better. I use probiotic plain yogurt, a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, some protein powder, a little granola (for texture) and skim milk. Bam. Good and good for me. I also try to keep almonds and cashews on hand that I either eat raw or toast myself so that they don't have the salt/extra oil. I love veggies but getting my wonderful husband to incorporate them into the meals he prepares is a struggle. For him, he could live off of of grilled meat and rice a roni. Bless his heart. I love making big old salads with some type of protein on it for dinner. Or soup and salad. Last week, I made a delicious Martha Stewart recipe that used soba noodles, shitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallions, chicken stock, lime juice and soy sauce. The entire family loved it. I also made taco salads one night with steamed broccoli, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, ground turkey, black beans, just a few chips, some guacamole, and light sour cream. Yay! Keeping the foods interesting and nutritional is a challenge but I'm up to it.
So, a week dedicated to healthy eating. Viva la Revolution.

And on the 7th Day...

No rest for the weary. Today I'll do my Lifestyle Session and thus end week 1 of my 40 Days to Personal Revolution.
Next week will be more of the same. I hope it will feel more routine. I'll go to yoga on Monday-Tuesday-Thursday evening-and Friday. I'll do my at-home practice on Wednesday and Saturday, and life-style session on Sunday.
This is a big commitment. When I think "Wow. 5 more weeks of this" there is an undercurrent of "ugh."
Hopefully the lifestyle session will provide some inspiration. I'll let you know. Until then, peace Gentle Readers. Stay warm. Just to let you know, it's been below zero here temperature wise. Perhaps that is affecting my motivation because the only thing I really want to do is snuggle up in bed with a good book or movie. Sigh.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 4 of Personal Revolution

Okay, so I'm supposed to do 2 home yoga practices each week in addition to 4 studio practices. I was skeptical about if the home yoga practice would work for me. But, since I'm committed, I tried it.
Holy smokes, gentle reader! It was cool!
I had gotten a Baron Baptiste dvd with a 52 minute practice on it and was watching it on my laptop in my office after office hours yesterday. I found myself comparing my body to the women on the video and I didn't feel so great. And then I left the dvd in my office and got home and was ready to do my home practice and, well, oops.
Because the internet is so amazing, I went onto ITunes and was able to download some podcasts of Baptiste Power Vinyasa yoga, including some shorter practices and meditations. I just finished my first one and I am relaxed and inspired.
First, just hearing the woman's voice and instructions (Kinndli is her name) helped me to focus on myself and not another person. I already was familiar with almost every pose she asked me to do. I was able to relax, not worry about anyone else but myself, and really think about my breathing and posture. It was challenging but in a way that makes me look forward to doing it again.
But the best part was the savanyasa at the end. Kinndli talked about equanimity and being calm in the face of the storm. She said each transition to another yoga pose brings us to our edge and we can choose to face it with fear and worry or trust and calm. She said "The winds of grace are always ready to carry you, you just have to raise your sails."
Thank you, God, for lots of opportunities to learn.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5% Revolved

Completed Day 2 of personal revolution. I'm 5% of the way finished. Not sure what I mean by that but I figure every day completed is a milestone. Tomorrow I will not go to an in-studio class. I'll do the dvd at home in the afternoon. Then I'll take a restorative yoga class Thursday night and the essential oils class on Friday afternoon. A home practice on Saturday followed by a lifestyle session on Sunday and, voila, week one completed!
In a couple of hours, I get to go to traffic court.
I know it's against the law to drive while talking on a cell phone.
I broke the law.
But the nice policeman who issued my ticket encouraged me to plead "Not Guilty" since I don't have any other tickets on my license right now. I'll still have to pay the fine but it won't go on my record.
I felt torn about that. I was guilty.
My hubby thinks I should wear my priest's collar to court.
I'm not representing the priesthood or performing any liturgical function in court so I will not be wearing my collar. To do so would, in my opinion, be an abuse of the privilege.
I plan to come home at least $100 down.
I'll let you know. And I'm not talking on my cell while driving. At least not very often. Baby steps.

One down, 39 to go

My personal revolution began yesterday.
Even typing that feels somewhat ridiculous.
On account of every day can be a revolution (or at least bring revelations...)
I had gone to yoga on Saturday and Sunday and I went yesterday and will go again today. I don't think I've done yoga 4 days in a row before.
I have set some goals for this 40 day program. I want to see how a yoga practice can provide metaphors for life. I like the idea of breathing through stress, whether its physical or emotional or spiritual or whatever. In yoga, my body feels distress when I try to push it farther than it is able to go. A little stress can make me stronger. Too much stress can cause injury. My job is to find that sweet spot between the two that leads to growth and strength. If I don't push myself at all, I won't see any changes and my practice will become routine.
Okay. Enough revolution for a Tuesday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Revolution, not transformation

Revolution: a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.

Turns out I was wrong about the 40 days thing. It's 40 Days to Personal Revolution, not transformation.
Drastic and far-reaching. Impressive!
I went back to yoga today. We had a snowstorm in the tundra where I live and the music director was out of town and the substitute couldn't make it because the roads were too bad. So a capella singing and a shorter service which enabled me to make it to an early yoga class.
Before the class, the instructor was doing a final announcement about the 40 days program and I learned that the title was REVOLUTION. She asked if anyone in the class had already completed the 40 days program in the past. One young woman got up who did the class last year and said that her goal was to tone up and lose a few inches. Then she said that she knew it sounded cliche, but more change took place on the inside. She said she ended the program with a great sense of accomplishment and self-confidence and that it truly had changed her life.
So, dear readers, it starts tomorrow at 4. I'll let you know how it goes and how drastic and far reaching the changes are in my ways of thinking and behaving. I may be a bit skeptical. No big surprise there. But I'm also hopeful.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

40 Days to personal transformation

Happy New Year!
I haven't blogged for 3 months. Haven't wanted to. Lots of travel (California and Palau,) daughter with swine flu (Dad had to deal with most of this since I was in California when it struck,) yoga, and holidays. Most enjoyable Thanksgiving with family. Feels amazing to look around my table and see those who I love so much. Left for Palau 2 days after Thanksgiving. My favorite place on earth.
So, on Monday I begin a program at my yoga studio called "40 Days to Personal Transformation." I have to attend one group session a week, 4 in studio yoga classes, and do 2 yoga classes at home on the days I don't go to the studio. I'm not sure what I want to get out of this other than enjoying self-imposed discipline. For me, that's always both challenging and rewarding since I'm my own worst enemy. It will mean rearranging some schedules and staying at the office a bit later on some days and leaving earlier on others. What I love about yoga is the intentionality. And forcing myself to be present in the moment and to stretch myself, both mentally and physically, because you only hold each pose for a handful of breaths. It's tough. Sometimes I think I hate it. But I felt the same way about running. And at the end of the class, when I come into Savanyasa, I'm a happy and relaxed little camper.
I got the little reds mats for Christmas and they will start a tween yoga class next Sunday afternoon. Beautiful stepdaughter Rachel goes to yoga with me when she's in town which is always a bonus. We'll be going in about an hour.
So I hope to blog about the next 40 days as an added discipline. We'll see how it goes.
A new decade.
Life is good.