Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It {Walt Disney}

Every autumn I feel a surge of energy. Summer has waned and fall has arrived. My head clears and pace quickens as I gain relief from the heat. 

Before the equinox, I sat in contemplation and created a new vision/inspiration board for the coming months. It's a snapshot of a moving target.

Sneak a peek at a sliver of my dreams:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blessings and Joy

My beloved mother was born prematurely in Russian tenement housing in Trenton, N.J. According to the midwife who lived nearby and assisted, the kitchen scale weighed her in at one pound. A miracle baby. 

Paraskeva — Americanized as Teresa and Tessie — lived a very long life. Three years ago today she slipped out of her body and journeyed into ... I'm not sure where exactly, but certainly a better place.

The sadness I feel with her death is replaced with blessings and joy. I'm honoring my mom today by breathing deeply and smiling with gratitude.

Photo: Late summer blooms, most fragrant, from my favorite urban rose bush in the neighborhood. A tribute to Tessie’s mother, Rose.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Deepening My Yoga Practice

Apropos of fall, I’m heading back to school. I’ve enrolled in the nine week, 200-hour yoga teacher training course at Tranquil Space (TS). While it’s a big commitment of time and energy over the next several months, nearly every weekend between October 1 and mid-December, I’m super excited.
I completed TS’ 33-hour, Level One training over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend last year. As with my everyday yoga practice, I set an intention at the beginning of the training. John Friend's Anusara Teacher Training Manual influenced my three part aim:
    • Serve each *student* and help them unveil their innate goodness, worthiness and supreme nature
    • Celebrate beauty and the divine in all its diversity
    • Align with the flow of grace. 
While I am not teaching now, these principles guide my life off the mat. Some days are more challenging than others. I’m at times the steadily balanced yogini and at other times I wobble. 
Nonetheless, I face each day with an open heart seeking to hold space and reflect the other’s light.
My present intention is to build on my personal practice and witness the transformative power of yoga. Ultimately, uplifting others and myself. 
Photo: The inspirational-to-me image taped to the cover of my TT1 journal is the model/yogini/entrepreneur Christie Turlington from a Vogue magazine shoot. {My heart leaps, such an amazing photo!}

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Tier of Knots From Way Back

Think back to your childhood, career coaches advise, to discover your true calling in life. What did you love to do? How did you spend those hours so consumed you completely lost track of time? 
Me? I climbed trees, skinned my knees and dreamed BIG with my best friend. 
Turns out, I also made knots. 

I learned to tie my shoes at four or perhaps five years of age and enjoyed great success creating snug little clumps in my laces. I don’t remember the experience, actually, but I do recall one Christmas gift that informs.
Under the tree early on Christmas morning, my oldest brother handed me a small brown cardboard box and coaxed me to open, “It’s from Santa.” 
I lifted the top and looked inside, puzzled for just a moment. There was a length of red string, like the butcher used to wrap up our deli packages. It was tied into knots. A pair of tweezers rested along side. “You can practice.” Thanks, bro.
My siblings don’t remember the incident, but I assure you it’s vivid in my mind’s eye. 
Dozens of years later I found my way back to string. Is it possible to parlay this long-lost talent into a lucrative creative outlet after all? Wish me luck!
Photo: Moi playing mermaid at the Shore, taking a break from all that string.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big City Harvest Moon

Shine on, over Washington, D.C. This glorious shot of the moonset is not enhanced, although it appears to glow with love.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free

Chloe lives across the street from me. I’m not sure how long we’ve been neighbors nor am I certain of her age, exactly. 
I know of no other being who greets me like I am the only person on earth. Who takes the time to pause and look into my eyes with what feels like the deepest love. Unconditionally. Every. Single. Time.
Chole is one remarkable golden retriever. I encountered her this morning on my way to yoga at Tranquil Space, a pleasant 15-minute walk though the neighborhood. I had been reading the current issue of New York magazine, with its intense coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and need to pause, disengage. 
Chloe crossed the street, walked directly over to me and sat down as close to my right foot as she could without sitting on it. Then, she leaned ever-so-slightly against the outside of my right calf, tipping her head back against the front of my quad. She cast her deep brown eyes directly upward into my eyes and smiled. I melted.
Winnie, Chloe’s person, tells me that in the face of a spate of unusual climate and seismic event recently -- an earthquake and aftershocks, a hurricane, a week of torrential, monsoon-like rain from the remnants of a tropical storm -- Chole was chill. 
Calm and centered, she eagerly headed out to the neighborhood park twice everyday to see who else was around. Not only is Chloe patient and kind and loving, turns out she is fearless, too.
At the end of yoga class, my teacher Todd concluded with tonglen meditation. He encouraged us to use this Buddhist practice of taking and giving to ease the suffering of an individual or group of individuals. 
My first thoughts were with the victims of 9/11 and their families. There are no words. 
I then thought of Chloe, greeting me without a sound. Present, open, patient and fearlessly kind. 
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. 
ps Alas, I was so busy soaking up the love, I failed to capture a pic of Chloe. So I’m honoring her with this lit-from-within morning glory I snapped with my iPhone on the way to yoga.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A New Strand of Peace&Love

A brilliant hand knotted mala of 108 simmering teal glass crystals, with faux pearls and faceted gold glass accents as marker beads and the guru. 

Dites moi, SVP, what colors are in your palette this fall?