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Ketchup

June 7, 2009

It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  I think about it all the time and I’m fully aware I’ve stared nearly all the blog posts in the last year that way.  Life is too sweet to stop living long enough to write about it.

Duck turned 9!  I’m not sure how that happened, but it did.  He is a joy, a light, a puzzle, a mystery, a wonder, a yogi, a Comedy Central special.   Happy Birthday, Duck.  I love you!

Duckred,white, and blueTree

I’ve been doing a lot of inner work.  It’s changing my life, living yoga.  I’m really growing and living and breathing and having a great time getting to know me and my place in this world – and actually, the blessed emptiness (impermanence) of it all.  I’m finding a lot of wisdom in 24/7 Dharma.  Every day I spend an hour or so reading from it and a couple of CAL daily readers and journaling.  I sit in my favorite chair, I light a candle, I listen to inspiring music, and I dive into myself.  This practice alone has enriched my life beyond explanation and is one of my favorite parts of my day.

fav table

Yoga has changed my focus.  I no long focus on the status of my butt, hips, thighs, and belly and, instead, no focus on the status of my mind, breath, spirit, and soul.  It’s incredibly transformative!  Of course, that’s not to say that things haven’t changed physically.  I have Swami toes, my shoulders and arms are sculpted like you wouldn’t believe, and my legs are thick and strong.  One would think that spending all this time on the mat would lead to an incredibly tight and flat belly.  Not so much!  My belly is firm and strong and long, but it is also round!  All that breathing and control!  When I think of it, it makes perfect sense – the soul needs a vessel, the breath needs a home, the fire needs a pit.  It’s a part of me, it keeps my secrets.  Hi, Belly!

I rely on the use of a drishti a lot in my yoga practice.  A drishti helps me focus and keep my balance.  I realized yesterday that, although I don’t plan what I use as a drishti ahead of time, I almost always focus on nail heads.  They are plentiful on my deck, my favorite studio, but I can also find them (or a mark on the hardwood floor that covers a nail head) in an actual yoga studio.  They work so well for me – small point on which to put all my concentration and focus.  Once I saw this trend of mine, I realized the deep symbolism in it.  Nails are sharp, small, with one intention.  They keep things together, the withstand huge changes in pressure and environment and weather.  They are strong and necessary.  They are a very simple, modest, and yet essential thing.  Once you open your eyes, you cannot not see.

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Yummy Sunday

May 3, 2009

Sundays are good days.  It’s almost like the Universe just says, “Okay, folks, let’s all just take a deep breath together.”  Many folks are off work on Sundays and the world just seems to kind of settle down together.  I doubt many people chose Sunday to wage war.

Sunday usually is a day of gratitude for me.  I get to spend a lot of time with the ones I love doing what I love.  It’s very hard to live in MO during Spring and stay indoors, even when it rains.  Everything is just too beautiful.  Lush, green, abundant.  The world just seems to be happy to have us in it.  Right back atcha, world!  In appreciation, I’m going to share some of the things I’m grateful for right here, right now…

I have made connections with many folks all over the country who are involved in yoga.  One thing I learned very early on in my doula career is how important it is to make and keep good, strong, professional affiliations.  In yoga, it’s important to know folks so you can learn new and wonderful things from each other, share tips and trends, and also bounce off questions and suggestions.  Most importantly, though, it’s the sharing of the energy, of the juju as it were, that becomes a necessity.  It’s powerful stuff to surround yourself with like minded folk – the energy is electric whether you are sharing your vision in person or via the big ol’ internet.  Being a part of this community pleases me to no end and I’m so grateful.

One of the lovely members of this yoga community recently held a “contest” on Twitter.  Katy Downey (@lotuspad) owns Lotus Pad Yoga Mats, a company that makes wonderfully beautiful, incredibly affordable, and amazingly useful Eco yoga mats.  Entirely biodegradable, recyclable, these mats are latex free, PVC free, lead free, and are sweat, fungus, and bacteria resistant.  For her contest, folks were to submit their favorite yoga pose and the reason why it is their favorite (140 characters or less) and the winner would receive a Lavender Eco Mat.  Great contest, huh?  I’m so happy to say that I won!  And it’s PURPLE!  I cannot wait to use my new mat.  Thanks, Katy.  Every0ne, please stop by Lotus Pad and check out all the wonderful goodies there and pick up a thing or two.  Your body, your Karma, and the Earth will thank you (probably Katy, too!)  THANK YOU, Lotus Pad Yoga Mats!

I took my yoga practice out to the deck again today.  Again, if you have the chance, please consider doing a session or two out in nature.  The air is just perfect this time of year and you will be filled with sweet smells while you do your Ujjayi breathing.  I’m so thankful that I have a yard with lots of trees.  Lots of trees means lots of birds who sing to me while I practice.  A perfect accompaniment is Music for OM Yoga.  I just Googled for it and I’m not sure it’s available anymore, but there is a lot of OM music out there, I’m sure it’s all yummy good.

My friend, Megan, has a great site that she’s building for her business, Emerge Yoga Style. Please take a moment to visit and read her blog.  The song you will hear on the Welcome page is The Gayatri Mantra by Deva Premal.  It is so beautiful and meaningful.  I’m copying a bit of her write up about it here, but to get the really neat story she tells, again, visit her blog on the site.  Here’s what The Gayatri Mantra says

“We contemplate the glory of Light illumination the three worlds:  gross, subtle, and casual.  I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.  We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.”

Yeah, pretty beautiful, huh?  Thank you, Megan, for sharing it.  If you like the song my Deval Premal, you can download it from iTunes.

We don’t go away much.  It’s hard to get schedules to coordinate and find the resources to take off, etc.  It’s not that we don’t need it, we all do, but like most folks, we tend to put our relaxation needs on the back burner.  Fortunately, someone stepped in on our behalf.  My in-laws have a condo right on the water of the Big Ol’ Lake this week and asked us to please come spend some time with them.  We could not pass up that opportunity, so we’re taking off two days and maybe two nights to unwind and breathe.  I’m so grateful for this time together to renew ourselves, our spirit, and to get a little break from day to day life.

I never thought I’d ever love Near Beer (non-alcoholic beer.)  I used to make fun of folks who drank it.  Yeah, I was pretty slimy in other ways, too.  Thank Elvis for personal growth, eh?  Anyway, I have totally changed my tune.  I love my sobriety, as I have said, but there are times when I really miss having a beer.  Fortunately there are several non-alcoholic beers out there now that really and truly are very good.  Who knew?!?

I haven’t wanted to say it because it’s really his journey, not mine, but I’m REALLY grateful that my darling husband, B, is 6 weeks smoke free today!!!  Thank you, B, for making the choice to be healthier so we can enjoy you longer in this world.  I love you.

Speaking of my main man, he just took my two little men on a hike.  So many children don’t have fathers who will drop everything to spend some time with them.  How blessed we are!  Since they are out doing their thing, however, I have the house to myself.  AHHHHHHHHH… gonna get offa here and spend some time soaking up the peace.

Let’s all take a few more minutes today to be grateful.  Practice an attitude of gratitude.  Be yummy.  Happy Sunday!

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My favorite studio

April 25, 2009

I took my practice to my favorite studio (my deck)  this morning.  You just cannot beat doing yoga outside and, if it’s an option for you, I highly suggest you try it.  This morning was just so beautiful I couldn’t help myself.  The sky was the perfect blue and there were soft, gorgeous clouds slowly drifting by.  The sun was warm and inviting and the breeze carried the perfume of the lilacs straight to me.  It was all I could do to get myself out of Savasana and go about my day – it was pure bliss.

Step into the Sunlight
Feel the pain wash away
Enter in the Soul-light
Just BE in today.

Forget all emotion
Put your trust in the day
Let the past rush on by you
Put your Self in THE WAY.

one & infinite – lynne milum – universal light






If you’re looking for music to add to your outdoors practice, YogaZone has a great 2 disc set available at Amazon or, if you’re lucky as I am, at your local library.

Namaste

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Goings on…

April 24, 2009

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but it’s not because I’ve had nothing to write about.  Truth is, I’ve been so busy living I’ve had very little time to write it all down except in my private journal which you folks don’t get to lay your peepers on!

My baby boy turns 7 tomorrow.  I cannot believe that.  How in the world does it go so fast?  I ask my Mom this all the time and she says things like, "Yeah, I know, my baby is 33!"  Unreal.   Stealth only has a few things on his wish list for his birthday, but the number one thing he wants and has wanted for a long time is a grappling hook.  YES.  A Grappling hook.  JEEBUS.  The only thing saving us from this nightmare is we told him that he cannot have one until he learns to climb a rope.  Guess what he’s obsessed with now?   Grooooooooooooannnn.

Sobriety is an interesting thing.  It’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  It’s unbelievably wonderful!  I used to think, “Sweet jesus on toast, how could life possibly be as much fun if you have to be totally sober all the time?”  I was right – life isn’t as much fun sober – it’s so much more fun!  Things are real.  Things are clear.  Things are bright and awesome.  Even the things that suck suck more clearly and for much less time.  Sleep is better, life is better, everything is better.  Well, almost everything.  Learning to live life sober is not so hard.  Learning to live life with the folks who are trying to learn how to live life with you sober is hard.  REALLY damned hard.  The whole relationship is different for them, too.  I just keep breathing and praying and meditating and doing what I have to do.  Believe. Have faith.

The universe is smiling on me big and bright.  I fully believe that your intention governs your reality.  Have faith, believe it all happens for a reason, believe that things happen in the time in which they are meant to happen, be patient.  It all works.  I’ve been doing a lot of yoga for several months now.  Probably 4-6 times a week.  I started doing yoga 15 years ago or so, but not too terribly regularly all the time.  In fact there were years when I didn’t touch a mat (what tragic and sad years those were!)  It’s always been important to me and I have always felt a deep connection with it and have held a passion for it deep in my soul.  It’s the answer to almost everything for me – head to the mat.  You just cannot put it into words unless you do it, so I’m not even going to try.  Anygetbackontrack, I’ve always wanted to be an instructor.  Not just someone who knows some poses and leads folks through them, but someone who knows the philosophy and history behind it, the Sanskrit, the whole nine yards.  Finding a training and getting a foot in the door always eluded me. How?  When?  Where?  I started dreaming about it.  I started imagining it.  I started breathing it, dreaming it, loving it, eating it.  I would head to the mat with that intention in mind.  I meditated on it.  And I had faith.  After my class on Wednesday, one of my instructors pulled me aside to get to know a bit more about me.  After chatting for a few minutes, I took a deep breath and put my desires out into the universe verbally – I told her of my desire to be a teacher.  She smiled and looked at me and told me of a training that is coming to my town this summer and she said I would be wonderful, suggested I look at the website and sign up because "Sarah, it is very clear that this is your calling."  I looked and, sure enough, there is a training in August that I can do.  All I would have to do is save up some money.  Not easy in this economy, but possibly doable.  Again, I put it out into the universe, again I stated my intention, again I had faith.  And then I got a message from a former client – she’s due in July and wants to do the paperwork.  My fee for her birth will more than pay for the training.  Amazing.  Just amazing!

I’m kind of hooked on Twitter.  @kohlmama.

I have found some new websites that I love love love.  Some serious, some seriously funny:

http://www.soulpancake.com

http://www.intent.com

http://www.thisisphotobomb.com

http://www.pictureisunrelated.com

http://www.fml.com

http://www.textsfromlastnight.com

I’ve also found some music that is new to me that I really love.  I suggest you all find and listen to some:

Little Joy

Belle & Sebastian

Mason Jennings

The Kooks

The Fratellis

The Strokes

The Arctic Monkeys

I went shopping today for Stealth’s birthday presents.  Got blisters on my feet from new shoes.  I swear, this is why we are all meant to be barefoot.  But .. um, only of us with clean feet, which I guess, after awhile, would mean none of us…  Carry on…

Got a new van last week.  New to me, that is.  YAY!!  Getting personalized plates.  It already smells like Nag Champa.  It’s purple.  It’s perfect.   Ahhhhhhh..

Speaking of the van, I have to get my tush into it and pick up the kiddos!  Have a great weekend, folks.  Kiss your family, thank your lucky stars, and enjoy life – it’s already later than you think.

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Happeh Birfday tu Meeez!

April 15, 2009

It’s been a wonderful day so far.  A zillion gorgeous roses last night, sleeping in, coffee in bed, yummy breakfast (bacon, eggs, biscuits,) wireless desktop set, zillions of birthday wishes.  We’re going on a hike soon, and we’ll have dinner out.    There are cupcakes to be eaten and I’m gonna splurge and get myself some NA beer, and maybe we’ll have a fire tonight.  Sushi on Saturday with DDFF, new (to me) van in the next two days and personalized plates coming, too.  YIPPEE!!

I’m smiling ear to ear – it’s great to be alive!

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33

April 9, 2009

I got a text from my sister last night commenting that she was surprised that I haven’t pimped out my birthday yet here on the blog.  It’s been my style to make countdowns and reminders and all of that.  Birthdays are important to me.  Always have been, always will be.  This year, however, it seems a bit different. This year, I’m different.

In less than a week, I’ll be 33.  I am so excited about it it’s silly!  I don’t really know why for sure, but I am almost 100% positive that it’s because of the number.  33 is really an amazing number!

3 is the Magic Number, of course, and there’s 2 of them!

I love all numbers that are divisible by 11.

33 is fun to write, to type, and to say.

3 is a very yogic number.  Typically, in a yoga practice, you are supposed to do things in 3′s with the ideal number being 108.  Now, I don’t often do things 108 times (read: never,) but I can totally dig 3 times.  It feels holy, like my own version of the holy trinity.

If you are Christian (which I am not,) it’s believed that Jesus was 33 when he was crucified (very timely what with Easter coming up.)  So that was pretty much the starting place, right?  The time of redemption for all Christians?

Yeah, I kind of feel like I’m in that kind of mode, in a time of redemption, overhaul, complete change, and from here forward, all things will be different.  I’m changing, I’m growing, I’m shedding, I’m living, I’m breathing, I’m stretching, I’m learning, I’m feeling, I’m believing.  I’m redeeming… myself.

I’m doing yoga all the time.

I’m meditating and journaling all the time, too.

I cut off all my hair.

I cut out the drama.

I cut out the booze and the smoke – for life.  I’ve been totally sober for quite some time now.  Shocker, I know (big changes, I’m saying!)

I’m learning to be soft.

I really like pink and feminine things and don’t feel it’s a crime to like those along with loud music and black tattoos.

It makes perfect sense to me to find the answer by turning myself upside down and looking at my feet.  Downdog, baby, downdog.

I have no tolerance for violence and find anger to be such a waste of energy.

33 — 11 times the Magic in that number.  I’m ready, bring it.

and yes, I’m still accepting gifts.  ;)

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I am that I am

April 8, 2009

Soham Soham Soham Soham
Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om
I am neither mind nor body, immortal Self I am
I am witness of three states,
I am knowledge absolute
I am fragrance in jasmine, beauty in flowers
I am coolness in the ice, flavour in the coffee
I am greenness in the leaf, hue in the rainbow
I am taste bud in the tongue, essence in the orange
I am mind of all minds, Prana of all Pranas
I am Soul of all souls, Self of all selves
I am Atman in all beings, apple of all eyes
I am Sun of all suns, Light of all lights.
I am that I am, I am that I am,
I am that I am, I am that I am.

song of vibhuti yoga – sri swami sivananda
adapted from – the bhagavad gita – 10:19-42
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