Sunday, September 30, 2012

Patience


Recently, I met up with a dear friend for an afternoon walk along the C&O Canal in Georgetown. We strolled, caught up and chatted about upcoming plans whilst dodging runners and groups of cyclists {“on your left!”}. 

A guide met us at the outset, on this divine day of a clear blue sky and long rays of an autumnal sun: A solitary blue heron, poised at the water’s edge. Later, as we headed for home, the splendid heron reappeared. Our totem? 

I’ll admit, I occasionally look for a sign. And if the sign fits . . . . 

Consider this interpretation
GREAT BLUE HERON is a majestic bird who teaches us the wisdom of standing still, waiting patiently, while what we need comes to us.
For the two-legged with Blue Heron as a Totem, there will be a desire to establish themselves as a unique and independent Being, often making these souls the revolutionaries that disrupt the status quo of society in order to elicit change and evolution. 
Although this is a trait with many challenges, when operating from its Highest Vibration, Blue Heron souls teach the rest of us the value and importance of each individual contribution to the Whole.
Meanings and Messages: Ability to Stand Alone, Uniqueness, Independence, Call to Balance, Self-Esteem, Boundaries, Dignity, Exploration, Peace, Fluidity.
Dites moi, SVP, what’s your sign?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Faith Is a Spark


Faith saved my life. Twice.
To be exact, Sharon Salzberg’s “Faith, Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience,” a slim 176-page treatise (2002) made its way into my hands more than once over the last decade when I needed it most. Each time, I felt adrift in search of an anchor. 
My life of late has resembled a revolving door, as I process a multitude of challenges: loss, grief, a review and release of long-held assumptions, and a shift in livelihood.
Faith is a verb, Sharon reminds us gently.
“Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have, but it is something we do. We ‘faithe.’ Saddha is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey.”
She continues, “Faith is not superficial or sentimental. It doesn’t say everything will turn out right. ... Faith entails the understanding that we don’t know how things will unfold. 
“Even so, Faith allows us to claim the possibility that we ourselves might change in ways that will allow us to recognize and trust the helping hands stretched toward us. It enables us to aspire to a better life than the ones we have inherited.” 
Without the force of faith, we repeat old patterns that keep us stuck. “Faith,” Sharon assures, “is the animation of the heart that says, ‘I choose life, I align myself with the potential inherent in life, I give myself over to that potential.’ This spark of faith is ignited the moment we think, I’m going for it, I’m going to try.”
Sharon, I am eternally grateful. You are a goddess. May you be happy, too. And, may all beings benefit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My First French Red


Paris, the City of Light, is where I began my latest French adventure. Three full days before boarding the high-speed TGV train to the south of France for seven more.

The trip was the fulfillment of months of envisioning. More than a year ago, Kimberly Wilson, Julia Coney, Catherine Depret and I dreamed of retreating to Paris and then to the quiet of Provence for days upon days of yoga and art journaling
Voila, our spark became a reality this May. 
I live mindfully on a low budget at the moment, freelancing and teaching yoga. So, the focus of this retreat would be on Experiences. Plus one old school item. 
All About the Pretty beauty blogger Julia and I sauntered boulevards with a purpose: To find the perfect, brilliant shade of red lipstick for me to celebrate this creative adventure.
Julia brought me to the cosmetics section of Monoprix, the French department store most like our cheap chic Target, for Rouge Baiser Paris
Rouge Baiser is legendary. Founded in 1927 in France, the line of long wearing lipstick is not sold in the States. A tube and the experience would become my favorite souvenir.
We tried a dozen shades on the back of my hand before settling on The One -- #421, L’Authentic Freesia. It’s a remarkably BRIGHT shade and I’ve worn it loud and proud every day. Grown up lips. Unlike the lovely Revlon shade my beloved mother wore, #421 is the one pour moi.



This lovely tissue, marking the experience of many colors, now resides tucked into my art journal.


Kimberly has announced plans to return to Provence and Paris in 2013.  Dites moi, SVP, are you tempted? Mais oui!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Back in the Saddle


Bless me Father for I have 'sinned.' It has been __ weeks since my last confession.
I feel guilty* for not posting here since April. {After all, blogs need fresh content to engage readers and keep them coming back. For those who’ve stuck around, a heart-felt thanks!}. Confession is one way to receive absolution, yes? 
And, the reasons for my absence? Suffice it to say, life’s uncertainties of late have given me pause. Change - even considered change - has sprouted some ups and downs. Completely natural, I know.

Also, I’ve been wrestling with some resistance about putting myself out there ... here. Have you ever felt that way? If so, how do/did you handle it?

I looked for an anchor and found Pema Chodron’s book, Comfortable With Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. Simply tucking it into my bag and carrying it around soothes me. 
Pema encourages us to practice the four limitless qualities of: 
    • Loving-kindness 
    • Compassion
    • Joy
    • Equanimity. 
And, we start where we are.
Pema says, “The best way to serve ourselves is to love and care for others.” Hence, this prayer:
May all sentient beings enjoy happiness
and the root of happiness.
May we all be free from suffering
and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great
happiness devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity free from
passion, aggression, and prejudice.
 . . . with gratitude.


Whew! Now I can tell you all about my trip to Paris + Provence and much more!

* btw guilt turns the world. do yourself a big favor and release it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Be Happiness


The renewal of spring is a ideal time to change your mind, change your life. I’m actively choosing happiness over the alternative. 
One of my current inspirations is Bronnie Ware, of Inspiration and Chai and an Australian nurse who cares for the dying. She blogs about the top five regrets people have at the end of their lives. 
One regret is the realization that happiness is a choice. Bronnie writes,
Many had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. 
Bronnie’s powerful list of death bed regrets includes:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. 
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. 
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I’m reminded of one tool from yogini and author Sara Avant Stover -- her book The Way of the Happy Woman, Living the Best Year of Your Life. Sara Avant is helping me season-by-season to simplify, slow down, turn inward to consult the source and witness happiness bloom. 
Dites moi, SVP, how many of the regrets listed above resonate with you and what are going to do about it?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thank You for Your Service



I’ve posted almost nothing about my 200-hour yoga teacher training and how I’m now applying it in my life. It’s still a lot to process and live. I plan to sift through the journal I kept over the nine-week program and reflect and write some more about the experience. 

Meanwhile, I’d like to tell you about my day yesterday. 
Daniel Hickman, founder of Silk Road Yoga, generously welcomed me to his bi-weekly yoga class at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 
Daniel has been teaching veterans -- wounded warriors -- their care givers and civilian staff for five years. He brings a blend of yoga, breath + mind/body work to make a significant difference in the lives of so many people. And, now me.
The hour-long class was small: two physical therapists, Michael, a 22-year-old Marine  from Tampa, Florida, his care giver, Daniel’s lovely friend and fellow yoga teacher Anna, and moi.
We warmed up the spine, all six movements. We then worked through seated and supine poses and focused on upper body strength with modified dolphin pose and upward facing dog. 
Near the end of class Daniel encouraged Michael to try a few additional poses. Before he could finish talking him through headstand, Michael rose on his own. 
What’s remarkable is that Michael is missing his left arm from the elbow down. He used a short stack of yoga blocks to steady the left side of his body. 
Michael also had to rely on core strength to pull himself into headstand, since he lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. With Daniel’s guidance, Michael pushed himself up into scorpion. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he came out of the pose.
I’m still awed and moved by Michael’s exhibition of sheer determination. OO-RAH, Michael, it was an honor to bear witness. 
And thanks, Daniel, for making a difference one soldier at a time.

Dites moi, SVP, how are you making a difference?

Photo: Not Michael, but fellow noble vets participating in the Wounded Warrior Foundation’s Soldier Ride in Washington, D.C., last year. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Play the Hand You Were Dealt



On my walk to the neighborhood yoga studio yesterday I spied a red and white playing card facedown on the sidewalk. It begged me to turn it over. 
Ace of Diamonds.
Then, further down the street I noticed a second card. I picked it up. Queen of Clubs. 
And then, a third. A Jack of Hearts.
Twenty-one. Vingt-et-un. Blackjack.
Dites moi, SVP, feeling lucky?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blossom




Spring blooms beautifully here, in shades of fuchsia to the palest of pinks to a touch of coral. I'm blooming, too, with the launch of another endeavor. Unrelated to yoga (or so it would seem!). Details to come.


Dites moi, SVP, how are you blossoming?



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspiration for Blossoming Sutra -- The Mala


One hundred eight pearls on a nylon thread with a lump of turquoise as the guru bead captured my imagination. 
It was a simple strand of prayer beads on display in a Tibetan shop in my neighborhood, standing out from the others made of seeds and stones and bones. So different; beautiful in an incredible simple way.


In a moment of inspiration, I thought of transforming another strand by slipping a knot in between each pearl, like this super long strand of glass pearls. 


A few days later by coincidence, I ran into a crafty friend. When I mentioned my new found interest in hand-knotting, she directed me to all the resources I needed. I ordered a knotting tool and bunches of glass pearls. And began.
Piles of pearls remind me of Gabrielle Coco Chanel. As I knotted I also wondered, if she was alive today -- and a yogini! -- what sort of mala might she own? Fabulous faux pearls, bien sur! Perhaps several, comme ca. 


Flash forward to today. I’m delighted my new etsy shop is open and available via the Shop! tab above or through this link: www.etsy.com/shop/blossomingsutra.
Dites Moi, SVP, WWCoCoD?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Creative Entrepreneurs


A year ago I sat in my windowless office at my old job dreaming entrepreneurial dreams. Jennifer Lee, Artizen Coaching, sustained me for an hour a day over two weeks with her 2011 Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit for creative entrepreneurs. 

Jenn, a brilliant life coach, is hosting the video summit again this year from February 27 through March 2 and I’m viewing it from a very different place. I’m attending from my sunny home office/studio and again reveling in every moment.  

Each session is broadcast live via a private Livestream channel and is also available afterwards for 48 hours. Featured guests cover a range of topics including heart-centered selling, social media, legal basics, the art of earning, spread your message and more! 

While the Summit officially kicked off yesterday, there’s still time to catch up and indulge in some creative right brain business planning. 

I’m paying special attention now as I relaunch my yoga-inspired line of jewels -- Blossoming Sutra. Did you notice the new Shop! page on my blog?

Dites moi, SVP, what’s your creative next step?

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Working Artist's Date



One of my favorite things about this new life is living in eco-luxe TranquilliT, a line of layers of rayon made from bamboo. Fabulously comfortable, the clothing is created in Washington, D.C., by the talented designer/yogini/entrepreneur Kimberly Wilson.
Another favorite thing is indulging in creative endeavors large and small. I was thrilled to spend Friday afternoon with stylist/make up artist/beauty blogger Julia Coney as an extra pair of eyes and hands for the photo shoot of TranquiliT’s spring 2012 collection. With the Jay-Z Pandora station for inspiration.
I snapped these shots of the beautiful Lesley Ware, who was in town from Brooklyn to model new pieces. Doesn’t she look fabulous? 
See how photographer Patrick Onofre captured the fall 2011 collection

Looking forward to seeing new pieces in Tangerine and Ink soon.
Dites moi, SVP, how do you inject your day with creativity?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vision Board Redux



Earlier this year, I paused over a stack of magazines and a folder of clippings to set an intention for the year. I then selected phrases and photos that resonated with me. The vision board above emerged. 

I last created a vision board whilst still working in my last job. Jam packed with stuff, I covered every inch of the 22 1/2 x 14 poster board and left barely any room to breathe. 

Now, with time and space, I'm breathing again. Working to gain clarity as I shift gears and direction. 

Dites moi, SVP, what are you envisioning?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Survive 21 Days of Yoga? Smile and Breathe!


After graduating from yoga teacher training at Tranquil Space in December, I succumbed to a massive cold. Sidelined for weeks, I was. 
I gathered my wits in the new year and indulged in 21 yoga classes in 21 days as a part of TS’s January Yoga Challenge.  This jumpstart-my-yoga practice yielded:
  • 26 hours and 15 minutes of blissful vinyassa flow
  • 21 heartfelt intentions set centered on Aparigraha {greedlessness, letting go} and Ahimsa {compassion, kindness}
  • 150+ Sun Salutations, including Surya Namaskar step backs and/or SN A and/or SN B 
  • 42 juicy Adho Mukha Eda Pada Rajakapotasanas aka Pigeon Pose, the supreme hip opener helping to surface a host of issues and emotions held in the tissues
  • 126 minutes in relaxing, wide-awake savasanna 
  • 42 soulful chants of OM in unison with fellow yogis
  • 1 tranquiliTEA a la Tranquil Space tea cup as a reminder of my commitment to myself (see photo above with the Yogi Purely Peppermint's tag "May you have love, kindness and compassion for all living things")  
The transition from I NEED to do this to I WANT to do this occurred on Day 11 of the Challenge. It clicked once more, as I settled onto the mat: Asana connected with the breath is a powerful tool of discovery and transformation for all aspects of life.

Renewed, I’m committed anew to living my yoga off the mat, one breath at a time.
Dites moi, SVP, how’s your practice?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hello My Name Is . . .


Now that I’ve left the corporate world and leapt into the new economy, allow me to officially introduce myself.
Moi = Carol Meyers, and I’m finding my way in a new-to-me world. You’ll find one version of moi on facebook, twitter and linkedin

A new, improved version is unfolding here. 
My intention for 2012 is to recreate/redesign/rework parts of this vibrant life. Transform one reality for the vision of an evolving, better fitting, more enriching and life affirming adventure. 
To begin, I’ve started by actively engaging in the process of letting go of what no longer serves me -- including fear, doubt and resistance -- to make room for something new from my heart. 
The volume of physical, psychological and emotional clutter is remarkable. I’m taking it bird-by-bird, one item at a time, as Anne Lamott suggests. I’ve unearthed art stowed away long ago, old letters from my mother and sister, and the journal from my first European adventure.
I’m practicing patience and tapping resources like yoga and meditation as I clear the space. Plus, I’m learning a lot from a host of individuals who’ve envisioned and created glorious lives and successful businesses already.
One person from whom I’m learning more about myself is Tara Gentile. Take a listen to Kimberly Wilson’s recent Tranquility du Jour podcast with Tara. Genius!

Now, I’d love to hear more about YOU! What are you releasing these days? Where are you headed, exactly? 

Photo: I recently happened upon a copy of She... (by Kobi Yamada) and this page feel open.