Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflecting on 2009

Last Monday, in honor of the Winter Solstice, I curled up with my notebook and cup of (decaf) coffee to reflect on the past year and plan for 2010.

Here are some of the highlights of my 2009 (in no particular order):

  • Celebrated Meg's 11th Birthday
  • Got my first passport
  • Completed Pre-natal and Level 3 yoga trainings
  • Girls' Nights with the YaYa's (you know who you are)
  • Wrote a business plan
  • Recommitted to a weekly yoga class for myself (huge!)
  • Trip to Boston with Meg & the hubby
  • Completed the Microenterprise Program
  • Hosted the very first Women's Wellness Circle
  • Completed Goddess Leonie's creativity course & made my first painting
  • Celebrated the hubby's 30th birthday with a super fun bash at brewpub
  • Purchased my dream building for the wellness center
  • Applied for and was awarded two grants to help rehabilitate the dream building
  • Celebrated 1 year anniversary with the hubby & re-lived our honeymoon in Sonoma, CA
  • Hosted the first Women's Wellness Retreat with the lovely Kim David
  • Traveled to Rhode Island with the family for my step-brother's fabulous wedding
  • Did yoga demonstrations at Arts in the Park
  • Started this blog - yay!
  • Passed the EPPP & officially became a licensed psychologist
  • Spa dates with my sister (aahhhh...there is a reason the place is called Heaven)
  • Volunteer yoga teaching for victims of domestic violence
  • Chakra workshops
  • Celebrated 1 year anniversary of Tree of Life Yoga Studio at our new home
  • Took my first Ashtanga yoga class
  • Left my job & took the leap to full-time entrepreneur
  • Started an independent practice as a psychologist
  • Survived a complete kitchen remodel at our house
  • Saw Cold Play live (so awesome)
  • Recorded my very own yoga practice CD (coming soon!)
  • Participated in Kimberly Wilson's online creativity circle
  • Enjoyed many, many celebrations with family & friends - bachelorette parties, weddings, baby showers, birthday parties & more
Whew! It has been an amazing year! My word for the year was inspiration & inspired I have been!

Here are a few of my 2010 goals (still finalizing):

  • Cultivate a meditation practice
  • Get more regular exercise, specifically walk outside a 2-3 times every week
  • Write a book proposal & send it out into the world
  • Spiff up blog & websites
  • Attend a retreat of some sort
  • Learn to knit
  • Cultivate unconditional self-acceptance (do you like how I just threw that one in there)
  • Create a beautiful backyard garden
  • Eliminate clutter, especially from my bedroom & closet
  • Open a specialty boutique within the wellness center
  • Complete Level 4 & 5 yoga trainings
  • Publish yoga practice CD
  • Record & publish meditation CD
  • Organize a yoga retreat
  • Expand the Do Yoga. Do Good. Initiative - I am so excited for the book club coming in February!!!!
Still pondering my word for 2010.... Lazily enjoying the last few days of 2009 - did I mention I am on a semi-vacation? I've been relaxing with my family - playing board games like this one and card games like this one and this one; watching movies; sleeping in; watching Gilmore Girls with Meg; indulging in Sex in the City on demand; and tons of reading, catching up on blogs, and journaling.

As the year comes to a close, I encourage you to reflect on your past year and set your intentions and goals for 2010. Feel free to share in the comments!



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice Celebration

I just finished soaking in the tub and reading the second chapter in this book. A lovely way to cap off a Sunday!

I bought myself an early Christmas present today :-) I've been eyeing the Dr. Bronner's line of soaps for awhile now and this evening while dashing through Tarjay in search of black pants for my darling daughter's chorus concert tomorrow, I spotted a gift set marked down - yay! I used the Lavender soap during my soak - smells divine - and after my bath I lathered up with the Lavender Coconut lotion - equally fantastic! I'm typically a Dove soap only kind of gal; I feel like everything else leaves my skin feeling sticky. However, I really liked this soap and I am happy to report there was no yucky - sticky - filmy feeling after using it. Plus it is organic and fair-trade certified! Anyways, this post if supposed to be about the Winter Solstice....

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. This year I've decided to start a Winter Solstice ritual. I wasn't exactly sure of what I would do, just that I wanted to do something. I found some suggestions, but in the end I decided to craft my own ritual.

To me, the Winter Solstice is about renewal. It is the shortest day of the year and therefore marks a sort of depth of darkness, but also a promise of the return of light. It seems to me like a unique opportunity for reflection, a sacred day in the natural order of things.

I am thinking I will mark the Winter Solstice by devoting time to (1) clearing and cleansing and (2) reflecting and planning. I am planning to clear my desk in my home office (maybe if I am feeling brave I will post before and after pictures) and (gulp) my closet. I am also going to attempt an internal cleanse in the form of a day without sugar or caffeine. Sure won't be easy with all the holidays treats in the house! I am also going to start the day with a few minutes of meditation, hopefully around the time the sun is rising. Later in the day I've carved out some time to reflect on the past year's highlights/lessons learned and begin planning my 2010 goals. I'll let you know how it goes!

Do you have any special plans for the Winter Solstice? Please feel free to leave a comment and share your ideas for ritual or celebration.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Fun

Hello Readers! I hope you are all doing well!

I can't believe that December is almost half over! Time is flying by this month...

Last week I was feeling kind of grumpy. I felt like I did not have any time to devote to holiday fun. On the one hand I am so grateful to have lots of work to keep me busy, but at the same time I don't like when things feel out of balance (all work and no play...). So I decided to schedule in some holiday fun time just like an important business meeting!

So far this month I have taken my daughter and her friend to the Kissmas Bash concert, attended a holiday party at my neighbors house, gone to the spa with my sister for a massage and facial (absolutely heavenly), and caught up with friends from my old job over some yummy holiday punch. Tomorrow I am going to bake cookies with my gramma! And we are making snickerdoodles - my favorite!!! Other things I am looking forward to this month: driving or walking around the neighborhood with the family to admire holiday lights while savoring yummy hot beverages, having a glass of Bailey's in front of the Christmas tree, listening to the sweet sound of children singing at Meg's chorus concert, teaching extra yoga classes to raise money for The PASSAGE House in Niagara Falls, watching all of the little ones in my family open their presents on Christmas day, sleeping in during my self-imposed vacation this month, eating Snickerdoodles for breakfast, and watching holiday movies (really want to see Four Christmases). I also am pondering starting a Winter Solstice tradition. I'm not exactly sure what, but I am thinking something that involves clearing clutter... any suggestions?

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season! What are you most looking forward to during this special time of year?

Photo credit

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Just Got Better

Hello! I hope you are having a Fabulous Friday!

I am in a strange pattern of alternating between cleaning the house and completing work tasks. I will sit at the computer for a bit and then go downstairs and vacuum. Feels a bit peculiar, but I am going with it...

Anyways, I was taking a mini-break in between phone calls and I just discovered that I won a blog give-away from Kelly Rae Roberts!!!!! I have never won a blog give-away before and I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Especially since I won a gorgeous bracelet from Gwynnie B Designs!!!!

Hence... Friday Just Got Better!

I typically take Friday as my day off and I have not honored that so far today. I was going to list for you all of my excuses why I am sabotaging my day off, but instead I am just going to get off of the computer and go get a pedicure :-)



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Mid-Week Musings

Bonjour! Comment allez-vous? Aahhh... I have been following Kimberly Wilson's Paris travels - so inspiring! Over the weekend I even picked myself up a sequin beret (featured in the above photo of moi). It is quite fabulous if I do say so myself! I'm actually wearing it right now, just for fun :-)

Things have been super busy here in Niagara Falls! Over the weekend life coach Kim David and I hosted the first Women's Wellness Retreat at Tree of Life Yoga Studio. It was soooo amazing!!!! I could go on and on about it, but for now I will just share one major take-away from the day. One of the things Kim had us do was write down our to-do list for the upcoming days. Then we rated each item on our to-do list from -10 (really not fun) to +10 (completely fabulous). She then challenged us to "better" everything on our list that was not a +10. Kim believes that everything in life should feel as close to a +10 as possible. This felt like a pretty radical idea to me! I'm not sure about you, but I typically just accept that there are some not so +10 feeling things in life that I have to do.

Of course this is true and Kim was not trying to gloss over that fact, but she was challenging us to "better" these things. For example, if you have a stack of bills to pay and that feels like a -5 for you, maybe lighting a candle and pouring yourself a nice glass of wine to enjoy while you pay the bills. I notice that I do this in my life at certain times. For example, when I was writing my dissertation I had special candles that I would light only when I was writing and I would reward myself with simple treats after a work session, like listening to some music or browsing online. Imagine what life would be like if we "bettered" every single thing on our to-do list! It sounds so lovely to me and I am going to give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes!

I have been participating in two amazing weekly conference calls with awe-inspiring ladies such as SARK, Marianne Williamson, and more. These calls are through The Self-Love Studio and Wake-Up Call Coaching. They are both free if you are on the live call and they both offer packages with recorded calls for a reasonable investment. So many take-aways to share from these calls and I promise I will in future posts. In the meantime, maybe you can join in on the fun!

Inspiration was my word for 2009 and I truly have been inspired so much this year! I've already started musing about 2010. Partly because my 2010 Planner Pad arrived!!!!! OMG I LOVE IT!!! I'm not sure what my word for the year will be, but I do have some goals in mind. I'm planning on a major makeover for the blog and website. I would like to paint yoga-inspired murals on the windows at Living Wellness of Niagara. I am going to record for my first yoga practice CD. I want to have a backyard garden. I want to write a book. I hope to hold a Women's Wellness Retreat in some fabulous location like Costa Rica. I know I'm dreaming big for 2010, but hey why not?

I'm going away this weekend for a yoga training. I am so excited for a whole weekend devoted to yoga! And I booked myself a jacuzzi suite for the weekend. Aaahhhh.....



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good Things by the Numbers

Good Things by the Numbers
  • 1 lovely dinner with my family at the new Pita & Grill restaurant tonight
  • indulged in 1 massage last week
  • celebrated 1 year of TOL Yoga Studio
  • planning to record 2 yoga & meditation CDs
  • ran 2 consecutive miles yesterday
  • 2 loving orange kitties
  • 3 new therapy clients this week
  • 3 consecutive weeks of spinning class
  • 4 new books arrived in the mail, including If You Want to Write and Bird by Bird - books to inspire me as I focus on (eek) attempting to write a book
It's only Tuesday and I feel like it has already been such a fabulous and exciting week! Before this week is up I hope to bake something with the surplus from our apple-picking trip, start on another grant application, and make several necessary phone calls.

Hope you're doing well! Enjoy the week :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about abundance these days. Mostly because I am finding myself in a scarcity mindset (the opposite of abundance) more often than I'd like... but something clicked for me this weekend as I was reading Gail McMeekin's 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. In Secret 10 she talks about how our society often equates abundance with having money, but that there is so much more to abundance than money. She says, "Abundance invites us to live the life we desire instead of settling for less." Abundance is about how we live our lives; the choices we make, the choices we are free to make. It is about how we spend our time, the relationships in our lives, and our daily experiences.

I realized that although I may not receive a plentiful paycheck, I have plenty of abundance in my life. I wake up in a warm and cozy bed with a wonderful, supportive husband next to me. I spend my morning leisurely getting my daughter off to school. I have a wonderful family close by. I have fabulous friends that I get to spend time with regularly. I craft my own schedule each and every day of my life. I have time to exercise and practice yoga regularly. I live in a beautiful home filled with good books! I do exactly what I have always dreamed of doing for my work. I meet amazing people through my work. I have freedom and independence to explore my creative dreams. I am surrounded by abundance!

Happy Abundant Monday,


Friday, October 30, 2009

Celebrating Tree of Life Yoga Studio's 1 Year Anniversary

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Tree of Life Yoga Studio! I had a wonderful evening celebrating our first year! I can't believe how much has occurred over the past year. I am so grateful for my family and friends and all of their support in building the studio (quite literally in some cases) and for all of the amazing students I have had the pleasure of working with over the past year! I look forward to many more years of bringing yoga to our community!

Here are some highlights of my yoga journey so far...

February 2003: Take my very first yoga class (with my grandmother, how cool is that?!) at the local YMCA. Immediately fall in love :-)

March 2003: Facilitate the first of many eating disorder prevention groups combining yoga and therapeutic techniques at a local school. Think that combining yoga and psychology is a dream come true. Begin fantasizing about opening a wellness center.

June 2007: Graduate from the University at Buffalo with my Ph.D. in Psychology. Start first "real" job. Spend many hours sitting in my office daydreaming about teaching yoga.

March 2008: Attend Kimberly Wilson's retreat in New York. Begin to think maybe my dreams aren't so crazy after all.

April 2008: Turn down promotion at work. Decide to cut down to part-time at work in the fall so I can explore my career dreams more intently. Start working through The Artist's Way.

June 2008: Mention to my husband that I want to teach yoga.

June 25, 2008: Teach my first yoga class in my husband's colleague's living room!

August 2008: Attend yoga teacher training. Mention to my husband I would love to find a space to rent to teach yoga. He suggests I call The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center.

September 2008: Secure a lease at The NACC. Get to work transforming the space into a peaceful and inspiring yoga haven!

The studio at The NACC

October 30, 2008: Teach my first class in my very own yoga studio at The NACC. Meet with wellness director at Barton Hill Hotel and Spa about teaching yoga there. An absolutely amazing, cloud nine kind of day!

April 2009: Teach first Women's Wellness Circle. Another dream come true!

September 28, 2009: Teach the first class in the new studio at Living Wellness of Niagara.

The new studio at Living Wellness of Niagara

I am overflowing with joy and gratitude! Thank you for all of your support along this journey!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spontaneous Mini-Artist Date

Hello! I hope you are having a fabulous weekend! I wanted to share a spontaneous mini-artist date I squeezed in late last week...

I arrived home after teaching and discovered I had 30 unplanned minutes to myself before dashing off to pick up my favorite girl from the sixth grade! Of course, the to-do list was there waiting and the dirty bathrooms were calling out for some cleaning, but I decided to do something to rejuvenate myself instead!

I had been dying to get outside and take some pictures of the gorgeous fall foliage. It seemed especially urgent since it already feels like winter here in Western New York! Which is kind of gross by the way and means I have to work extra hard not to be grouchy everyday that it is below 50 degrees, which is basically everyday for about the last two weeks. But I digress...

I took about 15 minutes to walk around the neighborhood and capture the autumn scenery. Here are a few of my pictures:

Just about the time my legs were beginning to go numb, I came back home for some peppermint tea and pumpkin bread - yum! I also discovered the newest issue of Real Simple in the mailbox - yay - and spent my last few minutes alone leafing through it and soaking up the splendid images!

I felt wonderfully refreshed after my spontaneous mini-artist date! I highly recommend squeezing in some "me time" wherever and whenever you can! Even five minutes can make a difference in your day.

Some ideas on how to refresh your soul in 5 minutes or less:

  • Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths
  • Check your favorite blog
  • Listen to an uplifting song
  • Do a yoga pose in your chair
  • Take out your journal
  • Doodle on a sticky-note
  • Take a short walk outdoors
  • Enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee
Wishing you many inspiring moments this week,


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tree of Life Yoga Studio's new home

As of September 28, 2009, Tree of Life Yoga Studio has moved to our new home inside Living Wellness of Niagara at 1517 Main Street! The transformation of the space has involved loads of hard work (which I admit has been mostly the hubby's, not mine). Here are a few pictures of the finishing touch at the studio - an Om mosaic.

Voila! The finished product! The new studio has gorgeous hardwood floors - perfect for yoga - and plenty of space. If you haven't had a chance to stop in yet, consider registering for our Chakra 1 workshop on Tuesday, October 20th at 6:30pm. Or sign up for the Women's Wellness Retreat I am hosting along with life coach Kim David on Saturday, November 14th. More information on these workshops and our daily schedule here.



Monday, October 5, 2009

Thriving in Tough Times

I have been going through some tough times and have stayed away from posting. I'm torn between saying nothing, which does not feel authentic, and sharing too much. I guess for now I will just say that I am in a hard place.

During tough times, I am comforted by the belief that every loss or challenge we encounter brings with it a valuable lesson and opportunity for growth. Other things that help me through tough times are my yoga practice, my friends and family, a cup of peppermint tea, letting go of as much responsibility as I can, being outside, petting my furbabies, reading, journaling, breathing, warm brownies, and my cozy bed.

What helps you thrive in tough times?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Moving Day!

Moving Day has arrived! Tree of Life Yoga Studio has settled into its new home at Living Wellness of Niagara!

Yesterday I taught my last yoga class at The NACC. It was a bittersweet feeling. I can't believe that it has been less than a year since I opened the studio there and now I am already moving into my very own wellness center. As of last summer, opening a yoga studio was a 3 year goal of mine and opening a wellness center was a 5 year goal! It is amazing how quickly things happen! Although I am thrilled about the wellness center opening, I'm also sad to be leaving The NACC. It is an amazing place where no matter what time of day you pop in there is some creative soul in the building painting or recording music or singing or sculpting. I truly will miss the energy of the place and I plan to find various reasons to make frequent visits back there!

I have many more exciting updates about the studio coming soon, but for now I'm heading over to our new place to put the finishing touches on before class tomorrow evening. Pictures to come soon! And the new schedule, including information about a mini-retreat!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sundays

Hello Lovely Readers!

Do you ever get The Sundays? The Sundays are when you find yourself in a really tough place, typically on Sunday evening. There is anxiety over the week to come, guilt over all that was not accomplished with your two free weekend days (when you have The Sundays those days are for working, not relaxing), and general overwhelm at the week ahead. Anyways... The Sundays are not pleasant! I've talked with people about this and discovered that I am not the only one who has suffered from The Sundays.

I was able to cure myself last October when I started working part-time at my steady paycheck job (as opposed to my entrepreneurial endeavors). I simply decided that I would no longer work on Mondays! Brilliant, right? Well, it really did work! Honest! So I have not suffered from The Sundays in quite some time, almost a year. Imagine my surprise and dismay when I found myself fully engulfed in The Sundays on (gasp) a Saturday!!!

It's true. Yesterday started off just fine. I got up at 8am to get ready and teach my 9:30am Vinyasa Class at The NACC. After class I came home and had some breakfast, checked emails, did the usual. I went to the grocery store for my dear husband since he was tackling another project at Living Wellness of Niagara. After shopping I decided to head over to the center to do some light cleaning and that is when it started to hit me... I felt like a ton of bricks had landed on my chest. I was suddenly exhausted. And anxious. And I had nothing to comfort me except the awful, negative thoughts running through my mind. Yuck!

This is the place where typically some time with my journal or my yoga mat could pull me out of the funk, but yesterday it just wasn't happening. Instead I went to bed and watched hours of HGTV. This is hard for me to admit. I struggled over whether or not to even write this post. Sometimes I feel like I should keep my not-so-lovely moments to myself. But I also know it helps when we read/hear/see like-minded ladies stories so I figured I would share.

The good news is today I am feeling much better! I slept in, baked pumpkin bread, and had a nice long yoga practice this afternoon. I spent the rest of the day with my favorite 11 year-old, my Megan, visiting with family, enjoying Thai food, and browsing at Barnes and Noble. I hope that you all are doing well and enjoying your Sunday :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Artist Date at Goat Island

Lately I have been feeling a bit stuck. Things are not happening as quickly or easily as I would like them to and I feel myself becoming irritated with this process. I've been getting caught up in the details and losing sight of my bigger vision, my intention for these businesses. It is easy to do when most of my days right now are filled with the bureaucracy of insurance companies, banks, public agencies, etc. I don't mean to knock these institutions. They are very important and necessary to what the hubby and I are trying to do here. Which is? Transform a more than 100-year old-in-some-places-literally-crumbling building into a sanctuary of peace and inspiration for our community. Anyways....I digress. The point is I have not been feeling so fabulous about the details of my daily life lately!

So, I decided to take myself on an Artist Date. An Artist Date is a solo excursion where one spends an hour simply doing whatever she desires. Sound fabulous? It most definitely is! I have been doing them for more than a year since I first worked through The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

Yesterday I chose to pack up my books, journal, and camera and head to Goat Island, a beautiful park here in Niagara Falls. I took along a soy chai latte to keep me warm. I haven't had one in a long time so it felt like a real treat! This Artist Date combined several of my favorite things. Physical movement: I didn't want to pay the $10 for parking so I parked on the city street and walked into the park. I also did quite a bit of hiking around while I was there. Nature: Goat Island is gorgeous and filled with trees and waterfalls and tons of natural eye candy. Reading: I brought along the three books we are using for the creativity circle with Kimberly Wilson: The Artist's Way, Hip Tranquil Chick, and the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Writing: I spent some time resting beside a tree and writing in my journal.

I had a fabulous time and truly do feel refreshed after those hours spent alone walking, reading, writing, contemplating. In retrospect, I feel like I chose this location for my Artist Date because of all the fast-flowing water. It is in constant flux, always moving, the opposite of being stuck...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you're enjoying your Labor Day! I slept in until after 9 this morning, which felt divine, and then decided to work around the house. I folded laundry, something I rarely do but since my husband has spent nearly every waking moment working in my office I figured it was least I could do for him!

I sweetened the task by listening to Kimberly Wilson's latest podcast as I worked. I'm contemplating signing up for her online creativity circle as well. It starts tomorrow so I better contemplate quickly!!!

This morning I also cleaned the area beside my bed, also known as the book breeding ground. You see I start with a few books beside my bed so that when I turn in for the night I have some choices. (I always read several books at one time.) Then it seems like the books multiply or something!!! There were at least 20 books beside my bed, plus a handful of magazines and a mandala coloring book. It was definitely a bit much! I pared down to a mere four books, leaving my beside area much more serene looking.

Next I moved on to my desk/work area. I've actually been working on this space throughout the weekend as I move into my new office. I took some "during" pictures of the transition, but don't want to post them until I have some lovely "after" pictures to share as well. Hopefully soon! My therapy office officially opens tomorrow! I am very excited! I have created what I feel is a beautiful, peaceful environment for people to relax in as they reflect on their lives, struggles, goals, hopes, and dreams. More on my practice as a psychologist to come soon! And pictures of the office as well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bonjour September!

Each new month, and especially each changing season, inspires me to reflect on my goals.

In June, I wrote that I planned to do these things by the end of the year:

  • close on property for wellness center: Yup! I can't believe it has been more than two months since we closed...
  • pass EPPP: Yes again! And thank goodness, that took quite the load off of my mind!
  • try yoga dance class: Yes, tried this class a few weeks back at Shakti. It was really fun, but definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone at times, especially when we danced in a circle and had to take turns dancing in the middle and leading the group!
  • go to california with my husband to relive our honeymoon: Check! Ahh... that was wonderful...
  • go back to spinning class: Nope. Not even close...didn't even check the schedule...
  • take goddess leonie's de-cluttering e-course & clear some major clutter: Technically I took the course, but I never got past week 2 and I certainly don't feel like I cleared any major clutter :-( Will keep this goal on the list for Fall.
  • open a private practice: Doors should be open the day after Labor Day! Furniture is coming this Thursday!
  • take a family vacation to rhode island: Yes! We had a great time hanging out on the beach.
  • brainstorm new ways to volunteer in my community: I've been continuing with my volunteer yoga gig, but haven't put any more thought into new outlets. Will keep this on the Fall list as well.
Fall 2009 Goals:

  • Begin a daily meditation practice
  • Re-commit to a weekly Artist Date
  • Continue walking at least 30 minutes at least 3 times per week
  • Swim laps at least 2 times per week
  • Continue weekly yoga class
  • Clear some major clutter (need to get more specific on this one)
  • Attend Level 3 yoga training
  • Brainstorm volunteer opportunities
As I reflect, I'm feeling pretty good about my health and physical activity. I also feel amazing about my family and work situation. I think I'd like my main focus for the Fall to be on really clearing our home environment of clutter.

What are your Fall goals?

picture above is the view from our boat as the sun set on lake ontario

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scrumptious Smoothies

I am officially on a smoothie kick! I've been blending up a storm! I don't have recipes or anything; although I'm sure they are easy enough to find. I've been doing some intuitive smoothie - making :-)

A few of my favorites...

A protein-packed sweet option:

ice about 1 cup lite Vanilla soy milk 1 banana about 1/4 cup peanut butter drizzle or two of chocolate syrup Blend and savor!!!
Here is a fruity-delicious option:

ice about 1 cup lite Vanilla soy milk 1/2 banana 1/2 cup strawberries 1/2 cup blueberries
Blend and enjoy!!! I need to come up with fun, Ben & Jerry - like names for my smoothies!

Photo credit

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taking stock

Wow! I can't believe it is August 20th! Where has the time gone... It has been almost a week since I returned from vacationing, but I feel like I am still not back in the groove of things. I think part of the problem is I feel like my days lack shape. On the one hand this is fabulous because I have so much flexibility in designing how I spend my time, but on the other hand I feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Another issue I am having with working right now is that my only office is a space within my bedroom. I find myself working and then getting caught up in the urge to clean up the house or even take a nap! Hopefully my new office space will be ready in the next few weeks...

Ugh... right now I am so struggling with work! I think I need to take stock of where I am at and come up with a plan and a schedule!

Basically what I am attempting here, along with my fabulously supportive husband, is the opening of two new businesses (Living Wellness of Niagara and my private practice as a psychologist) and the expansion of one existing business (Tree of Life Yoga Studio).

For Living Wellness of Niagara, we have purchased a property, started repairs, completed a business plan with the help of the SBDC, and applied for two grants. We are in a sort of standstill now while we wait to hear about the grants. Two things that I can work on are the accounting (groan) and the website (more groaning).

For my private practice, I have passed the licensure exam, applied to be on insurance panels, applied for a professional LLC, and attended a workshop on private practice. Things I can work on for this business are accounting (as you can see I tend to let this slip - I hope my dear accountant does not read this blog), researching software for electronic medical records, and creating other necessary forms. I also have a meeting next week about a possible consulting contract that I need to prepare for and I am teaching a class at Niagara County Community College so I need to finalize my syllabus.

For the yoga studio I need to - you guessed it - catch up on the accounting! I'll also need to start thinking about the fall schedule soon, including any specialty offerings.

So it seems that I have a reasonable amount of work to do and now that I've thought it through it is pretty well-defined. I guess I will get to work!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Exciting updates

Reasons I have not posted in oh-so-long:

1. Working hard at the future home of Living Wellness of Niagara. Exhibit A: moi standing on a ladder painting my new office in eco-friendly paint. Also note the gorgeous new fan and light fixture installed by my lovely hubby. Disclaimer: he really did most of the painting! The place used to be a framing shop so there were about a zillion little holes in the walls that we had to fill in and sand off...ugh! I tried to capture some of the amazing woodwork & leaded glass windows in the top left photo. I am so in love with this place! I cannot wait until it is ready to be revealed to all! The hardwood floors are being refinished throughout this week and then we have a bit more painting to do.

2. My poor furbaby Monty had to have a minor procedure that left him with stitches and one of those goofy (but effective) cones on his head.

3. My hubby and I took a short trip to Sonoma, California.

Pictured to the right is the view from Viader, our favorite winery in the area.

We also went into Napa to have dinner at Ubuntu, a fabulous vegetarian restaurant/yoga studio. I didn't have a chance to take in a yoga class, but I did enjoy a relaxing practice everyday in the hotel room.

This is what I had for dinner at Ubuntu. It is an amazing salad filled with scrumptious flowers, vegetables, and more from their biodynamic garden - so delicious!!!!

4. After traveling home from California, I spent the day at the American Psychological Association Conference in Toronto for a workshop on private practice. I always feel invigorated after a day of professional development, whether for yoga or psychology!

5. Next the family and I headed off to Rhode Island for a wedding! Whew! A lot of traveling in just a few short weeks! It has been great to take some time away. Sometimes it is hard to pick up and leave in the midst of a big project, but I feel confident that we will return refreshed and inspired to continue our work!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Self-Care Cards

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation. ~Audre Lorde

Our topic for the Women's Wellness Workshop on Sunday was "Self-Care in Times of Stress." After a relaxing yoga practice with lots of balasana throughout, the participants rested in savasana as I guided them through a meditation. We spent the rest of our time together journaling about self-care and then making Self-Care Cards. Cheryl Richardson has created a deck of Self-Care Cards that we used as inspiration while we each dreamed up our own version.

This is a picture of a card I made. It focuses on ways I can take care of myself physically. For me that means eating right, getting enough sleep, and moving my body as much as possible!

There are many other areas of self-care, such as social connections, emotional outlets, taking a break from the situation, and more! I think homemade Self-Care Cards are a great visual reminder for not only stressful times, but everyday! They are fun to make, sort of like a mini collage, so why not give it a try?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I love my new bike!

Got to go for a ride on my new (to me) bike today! My sweet gramma let me have her bike and I have been anxiously awaiting trying it out! I love how it says Free Spirit on the bike - so perfect!

I was pretty nervous at first! I haven't been on a bike in at least 15 years! But the saying is true; it came right back to me. It really was a blast! I was afraid to go too far on the street so my daughter and I went down on the Robert Moses Parkway bike trail and took a nice ride away from cars, sidewalks, and all that other scary stuff! I feel like I got the hang of it today so maybe tomorrow I will give the road a try. I'm really hoping to bike to work or the farmer's market once I get my confidence up!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bliss before 5pm

I can't believe it's not even 5pm yet! I have done so many blissful things already today!

Started the day with a walk around our gorgeous neighborhood. Got sprinkled on a little but the air was warm enough that it didn't bother me. Came home for some coffee and yogurt with granola and blueberries - my favorite start to the day! After a shower, I checked email and made a few work-related phone calls. Then the hubby and I headed to the Farmer's Market. I have been daydreaming about going to the Farmer's Market for weeks! I marveled at all the yummy local fruit and veggies, but we finally settled on some corn (picked this morning!), cucumbers, eggplant, and red & green peppers. I think I've mentioned before my daydream about riding my bike to the Farmer's Market and yesterday my hubby got the call that the bike is ready to be picked up - so maybe next week!

After the market, Meg and I headed to Olive Garden for soup, salad, and breadsticks. Yum! I love their Minestrone soup! Full from our delicious lunch, we went for mom and me mani/pedi hour at the local nail place. I was thinking purple for my toes, but I was swayed at the last minute by the radiant red of Opi's An Affair to Remember. Meg and I came home from our afternoon out and decided we needed some down time. She planted herself in front of her computer and I planted myself in bed with The Red Tent. I am loving the women-centered celebrations of this book! As if this wasn't enough bliss for the day, after reading I treated myself to an extended home yoga practice complete with candles, Donna DeLory's sweet voice, and legs up the wall to Krishna Das. Aaaahhhhhhh..... Of course, no home yoga practice is complete without a cuddly fur baby to share it with! That is Milo above joining me on my mat! I love how you can see the ever-present cat hair on my black pants :-)

More than likely most of your days do not allow for so much free time dedicated to all the things you love best. I usually don't enjoy the privilege of so much wonderfulness in one day myself! Especially before 5pm! So here are some ideas for infusing your (work) day with bliss:

  • Take a fresh air break. This is like a smoke break without the smoking! Think about it, if you work with people who smoke they likely go outside several times during the day and take a smoke break so go ahead and treat yourself to a fresh air break!

  • Close your eyes and take ten deep breaths.

  • Do a yoga pose at your desk. Go for a seated forward bend for a calming effect or a seated back bend to help you re-energize. I'm also a fan of the seated cat/cow and seated twist.

  • Actually take your lunch hour! Where I used to work (you know like less than 2 weeks ago!), almost no one took an actual lunch hour, myself included. We gobbled down our lunch while working in front of our computers. Yuck! Go outside, eat with friends, take a walk, get a pedicure, read a book, catch up on your favorite blogs, write in your journal, do whatever refreshes you mid-day. The lunch break was invented for a reason!
Wishing you many blissful moments!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Time Flies!

My how time flies!

I can't believe it has already been a week since I officially finished up at work!

I'm keeping busy learning the ins and outs of setting up a private practice as a psychologist, fitting in as many yoga classes as possible, enjoying early morning walks in my neighborhood, taking trips to the public library, and enjoying many celebrations with friends and family - birthdays, going-aways, new babies, weddings!

Today the hubby and I took a trip to Home Depot to pick out light fixtures and paint for the new office. We invested in paint without VOCs, a serene blue aptly named Healing Waters for the therapy office and a peaceful light lavender, Heaven's Wind, for the yoga studio. I can't wait to see it all come together!

In the midst of so much excitement and change, I'm working to rest in the delight of everyday things. My daughter laughing and dancing with a sparkler on a summer night. A cool glass of Pinot Grigio shared with old friends. Lounging on our comfy chaise and reading The Red Tent. My niece giggling at me. My gramma's snickerdoodles. Homemade ice cream. Fresh mango. I could go on and on... I'm such a lucky girl! What everyday things can you be thankful for?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's Catch Up

So, how have you been?

A bunch of things going on here on my end... had my last day at work on Tuesday. I am now officially and exclusively an entrepreneur! Exciting, but scary as well!

Spent yesterday teaching yoga, babysitting my niece, and walking the mall with my sister and our lovely girls. This morning the hubby and I headed out early to get Meg to her drama and dance camp and then we jetted over to a meeting with our accountant. Not my favorite early morning activity, but I will say I really like our guy! He is even going to come to the house and help us set up our QuickBooks stuff for the new business. And I say stuff because I don't know exactly, but that is why we have the lovely accountant! I spent the rest of the day cleaning the house. Also known around here as the never ending battle of me vs the stuff! Chose a few more things to donate so that is good, but it feels like something new just fills up my space... speaking of which I am at least two weeks behind on my de-cluttering course... so many things to do!

I have not gone to a yoga class in almost two weeks and I can feel it! Even though I teach or practice at home, it is just not the same. I'm planning to go tomorrow night and get back in the groove.

Oooohhhh - also I got a bike this week! My sweet gramma gave me her bike and the hubby took it right over to the shop for some new tires so I should have it soon! I am really excited! I have not ridden a bike outdoors in ages! I have these fantasies of me riding my bike to work or to the farmer's market... hopefully they will be a reality soon!

This weekend is packed with teaching yoga, a bridal shower, outdoor parties, and birthday celebrations! So much to enjoy...

The pic above is from Muir Woods in California last year. Can't wait to return later this month. I can almost smell the redwoods now...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

I hope that you are enjoying your Independence Day as much as I am!

I'll start with the great news: I passed my EPPP exam! Yay!

For the holiday weekend, I decided to take 2 consecutive days off from all work (a rarity) and I am loving it!

Last night I went to see Our Lady Peace, one of my favorite bands at a free outdoor concert. Today I started the day with a few cups of coffee and some homemade blueberry pancakes - yum! I took a nice long walk by Lake Ontario and picked some wildflowers for a bouquet, including a cool milkweed plant. Then I went kayaking for the first time - very fun! After a delicious lunch of veggie burgers and salads, I enjoyed some lakeside yoga at the gorgeous spot pictured above. Aaahhhhhh!

What a fabulous day so far! Now I'm enjoying a delicious strawberry mango margarita in the sunshine. Such a great day!

photo courtesy of my mom

Monday, June 29, 2009

Planning, Planners, Plans

I just have a few minutes before I have to jet over to The NACC for my 7pm Vinyasa class, but I thought I'd quickly post about what's been on my mind.

First, planning. In reviewing my summer goals, I realized Reclaiming my Body was still at the top of the list, right where it was for spring! I have kept up with the goal of going to a weekly yoga class, but I feel like I'm needing more. So I've decided I'm going to try planning my meals, which I haven't done before, and putting my physical activity for each day into my planner just like I would schedule a meeting at work.

Which brings me to planners. This year I bought a compact, simple planner to go along with my aspirations of simplifying my life. Now I'm feeling like I can't fit my schedule in it! And I discovered the Planner Pad, which basically allows you to combine your schedule with your to-do list. Love it! Want one! But I feel kind of guilty when I have a planner with 6 months left in it... so I'm undecided as of yet!

Plans, plans, plans! I worked most of the weekend so that I can make my goal end date at work, THIS Friday! I can't believe it! I am so excited to be moving on to my next endeavor! And I have been dreaming up grand summer plans all week. I'm dreaming of hanging out with my family, getting a bike, visiting my local farmer's market, reading for pleasure (I've already started), preparing healthy meals at home, painting my new office, taking tons of yoga, playing with my niece, laying in the sun, and more. I could go on, but I have to get to class!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good Things

Nina over at The Whole Self sometimes writes a Good Things list, so I totally borrowed this idea from her!

I feel like I am having an ultra crappy week, so I need to remind myself of the Good Things!

Here goes! Good Things that have occurred this week in the midst of all the not-so-good stuff...

girls' night with the yayas

fields greens with mango, strawberries, almonds, and goat cheese

freshly made amaretto ice cream

i'm actually connected to the internet on my new laptop (it's been in the works since december, i am not kidding)

me sticking to my physical activity plans for the week (so far), including a super challenging yoga class (gasp) in the middle of the work day

two consecutive 80+ degree days

coming home to find my husband pulling weeds and being able to effortlessly cross that off my to-do list

Cheers to the Good Things!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swampy Saturday

It feels like it has been raining forever! Yucky, yucky weather :-(

I started my morning teaching a yoga class by candlelight at The NACC. I felt called to focus on the knee joints. All of this damp weather has mine feeling creaky and in need of some major TLC!

I headed home afterwards for my staple breakfast of coffee and yogurt with granola and fruit. Yum! After a change of clothes, I hopped in the car and commuted to my UB office. I decided to come in and work for a few hours because I am concerned that I may not be able to get everything tied up here before my scheduled end date of July 3. It's only two weeks away!!!

So I'm just taking a quick break and then it is back to work!!! Last night the hubby and I spent some time at the new building taking stock of everything we need to do before we can open up in the Fall. I kept gushing about paint colors and he kept reminding me about water damaged drywall! We balance each other out so well :-)

Okay....back to work! Hope you are either spending this Saturday in a less swampy place or you are curled up under a blanket reading a novel or watching a movie or something equally lovely!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a fabulous day!

I was already feeling especially splendid today, with my licensure test being over and all, and then I opened my email and found this lovely treat! The super sweet Melita gifted me with this one lovely blog award! I'm such a newbie blogger and I am so very flattered by this!
Here are six other things I am completely, obnoxiously happy about today:
1. I went to the library this morning to check out books to read for fun!!!! I got Expecting Adam by Martha Beck and The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. So excited for some leisurely reading!
2. After the library, I headed over to my daughter's chorus concert. The kids were awesome (and so cute, even though she hates when I say that) and they even sang "I'm holding out for a hero" from Footloose. Does anyone remember that song? I totally had that album when I was younger and I was about to sing along with them. Such a fun start to the day!
3. My amazon order came today. I sent for two work-related books that I am really looking forward to reading this summer: The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield and The Healing Path of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi.
4. The fact that books about yoga and Buddhist Psychology are actually considered work-related in my world!
5. My husband ate the leftover Chinese food for dinner and let me have the leftover Etouffee.
6. The de-cluttering e-course started on Monday, but I haven't had time to dive in yet so I'm making that a priority for tonight!
Here are some lovely blogs that I would like to pass this award onto:
I'm off to enjoy some reading before bed! Good night!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2009 so far...

Things are super busy right now, but mostly in a good way! I'm going through a period of extreme change that brings with it joy, fear, excitement, nerves, and more. I'm doing my best to ride the wave and stay centered (with varying degrees of success depending on the day)...

So amidst all these changes, I took a little break today to reflect on 2009 so far. I can't believe the year is almost half over!

Here is a sampling of things I've done so far...

  • completed Pre-Natal Yoga Training
  • attended weekly (challenging) yoga class
  • started this blog
  • took a drawing class
  • created a painting
  • ran 1st women's wellness circle
  • completed the microenterprise program
  • opened my 1st business bank account

And things I plan to do by the end of the year...

  • close on property for wellness center (on Friday!)
  • pass EPPP (hopefully on Tuesday!)
  • try yoga dance class
  • go to california with my husband to relive our honeymoon
  • go back to spinning class
  • take goddess leonie's de-cluttering e-course & clear some major clutter
  • open a private practice
  • take a family vacation to rhode island
  • brainstorm new ways to volunteer in my community

What an eventful year so far! Okay, back to work!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Have you heard of this idea of picking a word for the year? Sort of like summing up your New Year's resolution in one word? I'm not sure where I came across this idea; I'm thinking it was probably from Kimberly or Kelly Rae...

Anyhow, my word for the year is inspiration. For me, inspiration means many things: waking everyday feeling excited about what lies ahead of me, delighting in everyday things, feeling the urge to create, and more!

This morning I woke up feeling very inspired! I had an amazing dream about wandering around and adoringly inspecting the soon-to-be home of Living Wellness of Niagara (pictured above). We are scheduled to close on the property next Friday - yay!!!! I feel so at home in this space, even though I've only been inside about five times. It just feels so right! I can't wait to get in there and start painting and picking out furniture and decorations :-)

After my few minutes of blissed out daydreaming, I headed to the gym and then came home to (of course) study. After two hours in front of the computer I was feeling anything but inspired... so I took an inspiration break. After journaling for a few minutes and taking a nice hot shower complete with Mango shower gel, I was feeling better!

Some of the other ways I've sought out inspiration this week are: an hour in Starbucks with a soy chai latte, my journal, and these two books, studying in Panera over a yummy veggie sandwich & salad, signing up for Goddess Leonie's new e-course, and an hour browsing in Barnes & Noble and buying myself this treat.

A few of my other sure fire ways to spark inspiration include:

  • yoga

  • a walk in the sunshine

  • writing

  • buying fresh flowers

  • reviewing my long-term goals

  • some time with a good magazine, really like this one

  • getting a massage & facial

  • painting, coloring, drawing

  • meditation

  • eating a fresh fruit salad

  • reading

  • getting a pedicure

  • lighting a candle

Wishing you all a day filled with inspiration!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Musings from the Mat

Went to a grueling/satisfying yoga class tonight. But it was good! More about that in a minute because right now I have got to share with you my own personal epiphany from the mat this evening!

This happens to me a lot in yoga class. I'm on my mat and bam! I get hit with a lesson. I have a moment of so clearly experiencing the metaphor between yoga and life. This is when I start wondering if it would be too disruptive for me to get up and grab a pen and paper from my purse so I can jot down my discovery. Have never actually done that, but I think about it often...

So tonight I'm doing my yoga and the teacher cues us to hold our spinal balance for what feels like forever and I find myself struggling and thinking "I can't, I'm not strong enough" or something similar to that. Then I hear this tiny voice in my head say, "Just push through it!" And I know I can just push through it, because I have done that many times before. But this time something clicks and I think, "but wait...that is the opposite of yoga! Yoga is about staying present, even through the hard stuff." Then of course I realize this is exactly what has been going on for me lately (I tried to describe it here) - I have been pushing through, just trying to get things done, disconnecting from it all. So tonight on my mat I worked to stay present, even through the hard stuff.

And there was some hard stuff! Let me tell you we sat in Hero Pose for the first 15 minutes of the practice and when I finally wiggled my way out of it my feet and legs were completely numb/asleep, which really freaked me out. I felt like I was going to cry. It was not pretty. And this was before my profound realization about staying present! All I was doing was glaring at the teacher wondering why she was punishing us...but once I had my moment in spinal balance a few minutes later I was able to appreciate the challenge :-)

Image from

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postponing pleasure for the "right time"

"There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way." ~ The Buddha

I love this quote and I rely on it when I find myself in the kind of place I'm in right now. The place where I feel so focused on a task/deadline that I'm forgetting to just enjoy the process as I get there.

I'm so focused on preparing for my licensure exam on June 16. In a way it feels good. Comforting almost. To just focus on this one thing, day in and day out. I'm the type of person that relieves anxiety by over-preparing. So I'm studying and studying and studying. And I'm feeling pretty good about the test.

But I'm also finding myself skimping on my self-care. I skipped my yoga class last week. I have virtually abandoned my journal. I haven't even been reading my favorite blogs. I just feel very uninspired and it bugs me. I also hear myself thinking/saying everything will be great after June 16 when the test is over. I try to avoid thinking like that because I know there is always some other deadline or task waiting once I finish this one. Also, I don't believe in postponing pleasure until things are "just right" or everything on my to-do list is accomplished. Mostly because there isn't a perfect time for anything. Or a different way of saying it is that it is always the perfect time, including right now. Also, has anyone ever actually experienced an entirely completed to-do list with nothing else needing to be done? Not me.

I'm feeling such a struggle between working toward my goal and just being content in the moment. Deep down I know that taking a break and doing something for myself will actually make me more productive. It is what I try to convey through my work with others, but I still struggle to apply it to myself sometimes.

So what advice would I give to a client? Probably to just do it; just offer loving and joyful acceptance to herself exactly as she is right now, carve out some time to do something she loves (regardless of how jam-packed the schedule seems), and see what happens. I guess I will have to try out my own advice :-)

PS Today is my grandparents 54th Wedding Anniversary! Isn't that amazing? Happy Anniversary Mimi & Papa!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

blogger guilt

oh my goodness.....i cannot believe it has been 13 days since i last posted!!!! sorry :-(

i am feeling majorly guilty...and like i should have some amazing post to compensate for my lack of posting... ugh...pressure...i'm afraid i don't have anything extraordinary...

how did this happen? i guess i've just been so focused on studying for my licensure exam (have a date now: june 16th at noon, please send good thoughts) and preparing to leave my job at UB.

let's see what else has been going on... i attended my first black-tie event in recent memory (ever?) and donned an up-do crafted by my multi-talented sister! thoroughly enjoyed the fruit and cheese selection, as well as the martini bar (rare indulgence, but i do love me an occasional martini).

last weekend we celebrated my hubby's 30th birthday with a fabulous party - very fun!!! he and i also decided to book a trip back to sonoma, california to relive our honeymoon (yes, we know it was only last year, but it has been an intense year!).

i also "graduated" from my entrepreneur program at NCCC last wednesday. hubby and i celebrated by watching the lost season finale and (of course) enjoying a glass of red wine. there may have been brie involved as well...

what else? i've been teaching adult yoga twice a week and kids yoga once a week. (sidebar: have i mentioned how completely grateful i am that i can write that sentence?) there has been a lot of stepping back and feeling totally in awe and thankful for my life these last few weeks as well. i think the reality is setting in a little that i am actually (as my bff would say) "living the dream!" speaking of, the women's wellness circle is so freaking amazing!!!!! and i don't mean me and the concept or whatever; i mean the women and the process of it all! i feel so honored each time we meet to witness the changes, the openings, the transformations that the women are experiencing and sharing. love it, love it, love it! looking forward to many more :-)

so things have been busy, but good! hope you all have also been doing well!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Quick Pick-Me-Up

I seem to need a lot of pick-me-up's lately...

My favorite big just-for-me treats are a massage, facial, and/or pedicure; an hour alone in a bookstore or outside or reading; laying on a beach. I could go on, but this post is about quick treats :-)

A quick pick-me-up is something that I can easily do/get without an enormous interruption of my schedule or lots of pre-planning. Here are some of my favorites:

* soy chai latte (never fails to please)
* doing something nice for someone (really does make me feel good)
* catching up on my favorite blogs (too many to name here)
* closing my eyes and taking a deep breath or two
* looking at my wedding pictures (yes, I do this repeatedly)
* taking a 5 minute walk
* spritzing myself with an aromatherapy spray
* doing 1 yoga pose
* reading for 5 minutes (although sometimes it is hard to stop)
* journaling for a few minutes
* emailing a friend
* check in on my family on glubble
* catch up with facebook
* listen to a pick-me-up song ( I am loving I Like Giants by Kimya Dawson)

The little things seriously do mean a lot! So considering taking a few minutes each day for one of your favorite quick pick-me-ups!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What makes you come alive?

One of my favorite quotes is by Howard Thurman, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

I am so grateful to have spent the week doing many things that make me come alive! I held the first Women's Wellness Circle! I taught yoga to both adults and children. I played legos with my niece. I attended my first meeting of the Main Street Business Association as a soon-to-be business owner. I watched Gilmore Girls with my daughter. I gave a yoga talk and demonstration in the beautiful Main Gallery at the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center. I savored a glass of wine from this amazing winery while watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice with my hubby. I enjoyed ice cream with my family on a beautiful afternoon. I got a pedicure. I took in a play put on by a local theater group (Steel Magnolias). much deliciousness!!! For me, just last year I spent most of my time doing things that did not make me come alive, to say the least. It is amazing how quickly life changes when you ask yourself, "What do I want?" Not what should you do. Not what other people would like you to do. Not what you have to do. Simply what you want to do. What makes you come alive.

Believe that your dreams are possible and head toward them. I promise you won't be disappointed!!!

Picture above is of my yoga studio (gorgeous chalk murals courtesy of my sister)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

you get what you need

"you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find you get what you need!" ahh...the wisdom of the Rolling Stones...gotta love it.

i'm here at home, making my way through another self-imposed 12-hour work day saturday which i am half enjoying, half resenting. things were mostly going fine until i started down the path of self-doubt...a frequent habit of mine lately...ugh...

i decided to allot myself a break to blog-browse and i came across exactly what i needed to read/ hear/ know at this moment.

tomorrow i am holding the first women's wellness circle! i am completely pumped about this, as i have been dreaming up this idea for quite some time, but i am also nervous because i want it to go well. perfectly, actually. i want all of the women to feel relaxed and inspired by the two hours we will spend together doing yoga, meditating, journaling, and talking. is this too much to ask?

ha, ha, ha, ha! i am laughing at myself now (in a loving manner). of course i cannot please every person that comes to every program/class that i ever hold. that is ridiculous! the best i can do is plan ahead (which i have spent a ton of time doing), show up, and be myself. right? i mean it's hard to go wrong with yoga, meditation, and journaling. i'm not sure how you could not feel relaxed and inspired after two hours of that. so, i will remind myself to trust the process, to stay strong in my belief in this idea of women gathering, exploring, and growing.

here's to following your heart and believing in yourself!
ps that's my fur-baby monty in the picture above, he loves to walk all over everything i am working on :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009


Yesterday I attended an amazing yoga class complete with live cello music! It was absolutely delicious...

While guiding us through a wonderfully challenging vinyasa, the instructor was talking about renewal and how we have to "die a little" to be "reborn." This theme keeps coming to me lately, in various forms. First the yoga class. Then Brenda Stanton discussed it today in her weekly email. She talked about how you have to give up part of who you are today to fully become your true self and realize your dreams. Add in the fact that is Spring is slowly arriving here and I cannot help but consider what renewal means for me as I'm going through this very life-changing kind of time.

I think it is comforting to keep in mind that in order to grow or change we have to go through some discomfort/death/sacrifice. It makes me feel like the discomfort is meaningful. That it is a sign that I am on the right path. Right now I am in a place where I feel extremely grateful and excited that I am turning my dream of opening a Wellness Center into a reality. At the same time I feel completely overwhelmed almost every time I stop and consider exactly what it is I am doing. Quitting my job. Giving up my paycheck, health benefits, retirement fund. In a really scary economy where most people are just happy to have a job. Taking on responsibility for every single facet of running a business. I start to think, "Holy crap! I am crazy! Who do I think I am to try and pull this off?" {This is sometimes the point where I start crying.}

How long I engage in this train of thought varies from day to day, but eventually I always remind myself to stop and take a deep breath. I remind myself of my awesome family that is always there for me. I think of the other challenges I've overcome in my life. I remember that everything is just falling into place way too beautifully for this not to be exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now.

So I'm working on embracing the discomfort. Thinking of it as natural and beautiful, a part of the whole changing/growing process. Trying to remember to breathe, to soften into the challenge, like I might during my 6th breath in Plank pose.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Heart Today

I heart today! It is almost over so I wanted to pause a moment and give a shout out to this awesome day. Nothing spectacular happened per se; it was just an ordinary wonderful day!

I woke up around 8:30 this morning, which I find is a great time to get up! It is early enough that the day is not wasted, but late enough that I feel like I was treated to a sleep-in. My hubby brewed some coffee while I studied for my licensure exam. I completed a few other tasks, including finishing all my pro forma income and cash flow statements for the new business before noon! Then I freshened up and headed to my studio for a lovely yoga class. Afterwards I was on the hunt for Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (an Easter must-have) and a small gift for my daughter (I got her a special edition magazine all about Michelle Obama - she is going to love it).

I headed home to find my dear husband demolishing our kitchen (we are starting a new install next week). He gladly plugged the microwave back in for me so I could enjoy a black bean and rice burrito for lunch, extra hot sauce of course. After lunch, I followed up with some women for the Women's Wellness Circle that is starting next week. I am soooo excited as I have been dreaming up this project for a long time and I think it will be a beautiful experience for everyone involved! I also spent some time putting the final touches on my plans for our first circle next week.

Then I went over to mom's to sew ( her sew) a few eye pillows for some donation baskets I'm working on for the studio. I also brought along this very fun furry pink zebra material I had picked up a few weeks ago and she helped me create a scarf out of it! After we were done sewing the husbands were getting hungry so we headed out for a Chinese buffet dinner, complete with ice cream! After dinner, we went back to mom's so I could cook up some vegetarian curry for Easter dinner tomorrow and enjoyed a glass of wine while the yummy curry smell filled the house.

I got home around 10pm and decided to take a refreshing hot shower.....ahhh! Afterwards, I treated myself to some homemade lavender lotion (read: I mixed lavender essential oil with unscented lotion). I think I will finish off the day reading this or this. In the morning I'm going to yoga with a live cellist and then off to dinner at mom's. What an absolutely fabulous ordinary day! Sleep well!
The photo is from our front flowerbeds last week when the crocuses had just starting blooming! Yay for Spring!

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