Wednesday, December 23, 2009


"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” ~Dale Carnegie

May you all enjoy a lovely holiday. Additional posts (actually written by me) are forthcoming...

I have been sitting in a place of raw openness since my yoga boot camp experience; one which currently has very few words. I continue to practice daily, cry often both from happiness, reflection and even sadness.

I hang onto my yoga mat with two hands when necessary.

I feel lighter, more supported, and wholly in my own feet each day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Story People

"He told me about Jesus & Arizona & the best way to make beer & I said you're a funny kind of preacher & he said it's a funny kind of world & I still remember his eyes clear as a desert morning."

or as they say at Bootcamp: "Preach all the time. Sometimes even with words."

Monday, December 14, 2009


Or rather...thank you for living with my silence.

I was away last week, working towards a 10 year goal to become a trained as a hot yoga instructor.

This has been a lingering dream of mine since my friend Leah showed up when I was pregnant with T, puking my brains out daily. She had recently returned from a Bikram yoga teacher training. I had never practiced yoga and I associated it largely with cross-legged Indian dudes. It never occurred to me to practice it, let alone that it could be something that could provide relief from my nausea. At that point, seven months into my pregnancy and still puking daily, I was willing to try anything. Leah worked my stiff, bloated frame into several poses, and amazingly, I felt better for days after.

I vowed to figure out what this was all about. Soon after T was born, I registered for a class locally. It was slow, boring, glorified stretching. Still, it felt good enough that I kept going. There was little else in town for options and so I eventually quit, choosing a higher intensity workout.

When I moved to Bellingham a few years later, my boyfriend encouraged and encouraged me to go check out the multitude of studios in town. Fear won out for several weeks until finally, after driving past this one several times, I made way up the stairs. After the very first class I was: sweaty, worked, tired, elated and full of endorphins. I was also completely hooked.

When I left Bellingham two years ago, there were many, many things I knew I'd miss, but my biggest concern was, what will I do without my yoga family? My daily classes/detox?

Given that there was no studio within two and a half hours of my home, I acquiesced, signed up for kick boxing. I found myself immediately immersed into a community that I related to, but for very different reasons. Again, I was hooked.

A year later, things changed. I am not sure what changed, exactly, but I lost my fire for the classes, racing season was fast approaching and I dedicated myself solely to saddle time. Still, something was missing. I knew it was my yoga practice, and yet, I was never dedicated enough to do it at home.

Each city I visit with a studio, I'd visit. I have driven the two and a half hours to get my yoga fix.
Finally, I came to the conclusion, that if someone was not going to bring yoga to me, I was going to have to have a part in creating it here.

When I signed up for the Baptiste Teacher Training, it was largely out of logistical necessity. I had never practiced his signature vinyasa flow prior to my arriving at Bootcamp. I showed up any way, perfectly and as I was meant to: open. Ready to practice.

The journey was transformative in nearly every way. I cannot wait to get back on my mat. I have my fire back. More photos insights, stories and anecdotes will follow, but today I dig out, and root my feet back firmly in this frozen tundra I call home.

In the meantime, this was the view from my room/hut/whatever you call it:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

35 Things. 35 Years.

35 things that 35 years taught me, in no particular order:

1. One can travel to exotic and romantic locations and one can also live in said locations, but when the revelation is made that the very best people actually live in an ugly ass grey flat plain in the middle of nowhere, one must pack up and move very close to those people so as to allow one's child to experience these people as often as humanly possible. One must still continue to travel to said exotic and romantic locations, however, or one will turn into a crazed lunatic.

2. You are the best mother/father your child will ever know. You are the worst mother/father your child will ever know. If you forget this for a second, you have forgotten everything.

3. Tears from laughter taste so much better than tears from sadness, yet they come from the same place.

4. 35 years of life, nor 15 years of knowing a person, does not make one more adept or qualified at spotting a liar. What that kind of time might make one more adept at, however, is brushing one's self off and allowing trust to creep back in.

5. We are gifted with children with multiple qualities and characteristics that are our precise opposite. This is meant to drive us batshit crazy.

6. One can learn a lot from dogs. For example, the dog who pisses on everything in sight is much like the man who does so: suspect, and up to something self serving that has absolutely nothing to do with relieving one's self of toxins.

7. There are very few problems in this world that cannot be wholly solved by one of the following means: stretching, dancing, laughing, hugging, pedaling, running.

8. You can take every healthy cell away from a child, strip his bone marrow, and put him quite literally in his death bed and he will still fight like hell to live. He will also never, not ONCE, ask the inevitable question: WHY ME? Yet if you take away a man's Sportscenter, or a woman's morning coffee, he/she will ponder this very question. They will also ponder this WHY ME? question at a flat tire, changing weather patterns, in love, in the midst of a breakup, and in approximately one million other scenarios. That kid? Not once.

9. Asking WHY ME? is generally not a helpful question to ask. Ever.

10. The man who laments to people that you hate and avoid fighting/have no idea how to fight will more than likely also be the man who teaches you how to fight.

11. When Midwest people don't know what to talk about, they will inevitably talk about the weather. 99.9998% of the time, this will involve bitching. They will get very uncomfortable and resist eye contact if at minus 20 wind chill, you talk (instead of bitching) about the lovely sun reflecting off the ice covered trees. Likewise, if a geographic study were conducted of who would show up and deed your family should something tragic occur, I would put my money on the Midwest person 99.9998% of the time. The others, they'd ask what they could do..but the Midwesterner..he'd show up.

12. Adults over complicate things in order to avoid the truth. Ask a kid the answer to a very important question you are pondering. The kid will respond with some derivative of: what is most important? or what do you want? Ironically, it rarely ever occurs to the kid, that they are the most important.

13. Most cliches are cliches because there is some element of truth to them.

14. Happiness and love are very alike in the sense that neither of them are defined by dramatic fireworks shooting out of one's ass and ears and every other orifice as many people might hope or believe. Happiness and love both creep up on you and are a mosaic of moments. They are not the OMG butterflies that almost come out your throat high you get from flying half off your seat on the descent on a roller coaster...nor the subsequent feeling of gravity bearing down on your every cell in your ass at the bottom of said huge hill. If happiness and love look to you like dramatic fireworks shooting out of one's ass, or this roller coaster are confused.

15. Some people are confused their whole life. They don't care to be un-confused and it's not your job to change them. Leave them be. Likewise, some people have crafted their entire story to be a victim and they don't plan on being an "un-victim" any time soon. Leave them be too. Actually if you find yourself in the business of changing people, your best first (and last) stop should be you.

16. When someone makes you their enemy they are usually radically too busy hating you to stop and ponder that you are very likely a lot more similar than you are different. That is why you are so hate-able.

17. Mirrors are a bitch sometimes.

18. There are approximately one bazillion categories into which we can put people (man/woman, gay/straight, loser/winner, nice/asshole, athlete/klutz). The one category that I have found the most useful, however, is this: abundant versus scarcity. Abundant people are nice to have around. Scarcity people are not so nice to have around.

19. Breathing is the most overlooked and yet imperative survival mechanism we have been given. If you want to learn something about nearly every situation you're in, check your breath. If you want to change something about nearly every situation you're in, take a breath.

20. The single best component of social media is the Facebook birthday notification system. You should wish everyone a happy birthday on their day because it’s easy and you can. You will understand what I mean when you are loving every single second of all those wishes on your birthday.

21. When looking at all the birthday wishes one receives on Facebook on your day, it is easy to morbidly ponder what a kickass party it might be if you died and they all showed up at your funeral. It is also easy to ponder how insanely jealous you’d be if you missed said party. Deciding to stick around therefore becomes a selfish act you are willing and adamant about carrying out, even if only for one of these micro parties at a time.

22. We all dance on the fringes of insanity.

23. The truth is NEVER black or white. But there ARE approximately a bazillion shades of grey.

24. 99% of human beings would rather not have a difficult conversation. 99% of said humans will also avoid having that conversation. In doing so, they will impress their will upon the situation in the hope that the difficult conversation will go away, diminish or ultimately it will need never happen. A great percentage, when pressed will even lie to avoid having said conversation. These people are called ex-boyfriends. Or soon to be ex-boyfriends. They are also 99% human, although you think they are the devil in those moments of withholding.

25. The truth eventually surfaces. Always. If your people are among the 350 million people who use Facebook, it will probably surface sooner than you desire.

26. Guilt eats people from the inside out. There is a LOT of guilt bred into people of German and Irish descent, in particular those who live around the Midwest.

27. Contrary to popular belief, you will not stop getting zits after your teenage years.

28. Home baked cookies are the best, but there are times when all you need in this entire world is a double stuffed Oreo. Or three.

29. The amount you are able to love a person is directly proportional to the amount that person loves themselves. This is also true for the lover.

30. One person might not be able to singlehandedly create an earthquake, but one person can surely rattle a fault line and create exponential movement. Some of the biggest earthquakes involve only a microscopic shift.

31. People love to hear their name second to only one other thing: being asked for help.

32. Babies make everything better. Until they shit. Or puke.

33. Happiness is not at all like a box of chocolates, it’s more like a pie. You can construct the slices of what makes happiness to be any kind of pie you want, but to think that they will always taste good in the combinations you chose is ludicrous. Likewise, to think that there will never be a piece missing is ignorant. And while it is wholly possible to have your pie and eat it too it is much tastier shared.

34. Life is tragically short and it is often the greatest, most powerful lights that are extinguished first.

35. The world would be forever changed if every choice we made for only one day came from love instead of fear.

Here's hoping I am gifted an additional 35 healthy, happy years.

AND FINALLY....35.1.because i can....

35.1 In all circumstances, strive for 100% presence.
It's harder than you think.
It changes everything.


*pretty trees, huh? they are in my yard. and yes, this photo is totally irrelevant because all relevant photos had to be burned to protect the guilty. press on. keep reading. and no, that is not a pile of fresh dog shit you see in my lawn. i promise. with all my fingers crossed.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon my 35th year on earth.

I'll admit it, 35 years kind of snuck up on me; not unlike the lady in Target Sunday who ran over my foot with her motorized scooter.

As for the celebration that welcomed my 35 years, and Keri's 31 years respectively, it was actually fairly epic, as far as birthday celebrations go.

The party included a bus ride, to relive my middle school days, when, well...I rode a bus. It included a little live music, or 'twang, as the one of two bands says about themselves.

It included a bunch of my favorite people in this entire world, who just so happen to live within a stone's throw of me. And it of course, included some grey goose, (or geese?) which of course, is not to be confused with the goose that flies, or shits, but is another kind of goose entirely, that I suppose arguably does shit, just in an entirely different way.

It included dancing. A LOT of dancing.

It included acrobats. And back flips. And pole dancers. Black lights and green-ish tinted teeth, a guy who claimed he brought his woman straight to the bus from Trinoble, and one of the world's greatest bad mitten players. Okay, I made the bad mitten part up, it just sounded good. All told, bad mitten players or not, it was a darned good time.

It also included my kid, picking out for me a gift all on his own that makes me giggle a little every time I use them: dishes. Because as T said: well, you needed them because...we always run out. Or more specifically as T later clarified: BOWLS, I got you bowls because that is all I really use and there are never any left!

There was also dinner with the family that was darned good and even more caloric and Midwest portion plentiful and it also involved a Giggling Goat. In case you didn't get the memo, I have a little thing for goats.

And perhaps most importantly there was included in my 35th celebration a very, very long nap the day following the aforementioned bus adventure in which I held my head in agony and muttered, "Dorothy, we're not in Kansas any more."

Fact is, we never were in Kansas to begin with, but at that particular moment, I had much bigger troubles than geographic relevance.