Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Summer Morning

A chubby four year old finger
tentatively touches the space
between my eyebrows -- 
flipping a switch
the chattering squirrels already deep into 

the negotiations of the day,
the birds concluding their dawn chorus

stepping outside with a stretch,
an eight year old garden nymph
stirs up the mint, oregano, and sweet pea,
my skirt brushes past the roses

I sit in a pale slant of sunlight,
the laundry fluttering dreamily in time
to the scales floating through the window

A summer morning garnished, sliced, and served

Sunday, June 26, 2016

getting older

Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes! We had a wonderful day -- out for breakfast and then to Springfield for a little Frank Lloyd Wright, playing at the capitol building, running around the Botanical Garden where we climbed trees and found a labyrinth(!), shopping, and a yummy Vietnamese dinner. Matthew knows what makes me happy 😀

::nice duck face

::happy to be back climbing around historic buildings

::we are the champions!

::It was hot hot hot and humid! Which made for some crazy hair! 

::how does this bell work?

::their only speed is RUN

::a labyrinth! recent memories from Bodhi

::Ibby meditating in the center, while Matthew makes his way around. We then all sat on that bench and watched a wedding in the nearby rose garden.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

home again

Just arrived home from our long drive to Utah and back (for my yoga training) -- without any other drivers! Matthew now knows I'm capable and may never go with me again. I'd like to thank cruise control, cherry coke, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Sufjan Stevens, Hamilton, two well behaved little boys, and my lovely 13 year old assistant for making this all possible -- I couldn't have done it without you 💜💙💚💛

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Session Five

The last session of our yoga training session was about choosing our path.  We talked about teaching different kinds of classes -- a children's class, prenatal yoga, kundalini, etc.  Syl has put in so much work with different class outlines and ideas!  I'm sure that it will be really helpful in the future.  She has also mentioned so many other things that I get so excited about!  Sometimes I just want to download information directly into my brain, haha!  But I know that life is about the journey, about learning and growing bit by bit, about enjoying each moment and relishing new discoveries.  Some of the other things include energy work, partner yoga, chakra therapy, and astrology!  I know she has spent years learning all of the things and I just want to know them all right now!  There is a whole wide world out there that I know nothing about!

Friday, June 17, 2016


This morning we went over to Syl's house to walk the labyrinth that she has in her backyard.  It is incredible!  She gave us some material to read before we went and I thought it was all interesting, but seeing it in person was unexpectedly moving.  She based the design on the labyrinth in Chartres cathedral -- which I've had the pleasure to see in real life.  I loved that cathedral and its coat of ethereal blue!  I do remember seeing the labyrinth on the floor, but I really didn't know anything about them at the time -- I was 18 years old -- so the experience was wasted on me, as so much is on the young!  We spent time meditating on the lawn for a bit and then could enter the sacred space when we felt so compelled.  When I was using my brain, I decided that I wanted to go in when there were less people inside, I didn't want it to be crowded, but soon I let my heart take over, which is always better, and wandered in when almost everyone was still there!  

It was really enjoyable to join my yoga sisters and greet each one with a handshake, pat, or small embrace as we made our way through.  I spent quite a bit of time on my journey, with loads of thoughts racing through my mind.  The most delightful moment was hearing Twila's voice in the prosperity quadrant yelling, "It's all fiction!!!"  I texted her later to tell her and she said she was basically thinking that right at the same moment, haha!  I also really felt the enlightenment, healing, and peace of the other quadrants.  

The whole experience of doing this yoga training has been really transformative!  And the love I have for my fellow trainees is deep.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Session Four

I have really enjoyed the topic of the yoga training of the last couple of days... Emotion in Yoga and discovering your voice, because:  I am a totally emotional person and I love and adore chanting!  We always start our practice with the sound of OHM.  It is so funny to me now how odd it felt to chant when I first started doing yoga.  It felt so different and foreign to anything else I had done.  But now a yoga practice doesn't feel complete without it!  At the end of every day of the training we have done a longer chant and it is so lovely to raise our voices and make a joyful noise together.  I have long thought that our singing hymns at church stems from the ancient practice of chanting and there is something fiercely powerful in uttering the same sound simultaneously, either at the same pitch or harmonizing together.  I also love the moment right as its ending when there is an echo and then a lingering vibration.  Now that is a moment!

When talking about the emotions of yoga, Syl mentioned Karma, Dharma, and Nirvana which are topics I look forward to learning more about.  I definitely believe in Karma and I'm still searching for my Dharma!  And who doesn't want to reach Nirvana?  Hopefully in this life.  I also like talking about emotion in the context of yoga because the release of emotions is one of the most powerful draws for me to the practice.  It was such an unexpected consequence for me when I first started doing yoga.  I initially started it for purely physical reasons, but soon enough found that with the opening of my hips came the flow of my feelings, my fears, my very soul.  Now I need to do it -- I crave it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

One Week Down

The first week of the training has come and gone so quickly!  There has been a teensy bit of drama, shall we say, with my family, but everything is working out -- the Universe is as is should be, right?  There wasn't really room to stay at my parents' house because of some unexpected guests, but Steve was nice enough to invite us over to his house.  Jessica is in China, Emily is in Estonia, and Jenny is on her mission so they have loads of room over there!  Phin and Archie love the playroom upstairs and get right down to business as soon as their eyes open in the morning -- so much so that Phin was not careful enough maneuvering himself around the ping pong table and was gashed!

But he soon recovered enough to show me his smooth yoga skills

We made it through the first few days of me being gone all day and then on Saturday the kids went with my parents to a time share up in the canyon behind Ogden.  I am so glad that they are able to spend time all together!  I know my parents are getting old so I cherish any opportunity that we have to make lasting memories.  I also don't worry too much about my kids being a burden because honestly, they are so well behaved!  And I'm not even being biased.  At all.

I was hoping to spend time with my Ella girl, who came down from Idaho ostensibly to see me while I'm nearby, but Rachel came with her and they were out very late on Saturday night with Joseph Clay, of all people, so I really didn't get to see her as much as I would've liked.  We did spend the morning together on Sunday.  Joseph showed up early to enjoy some of Jill's delicious orange rolls and then fell asleep on the couch, waking every so often to mutter something about the knot in my ball of yarn -- but I eventually got it!  I'm determined and tenacious when it comes to tangles!  

And I finished the assembly of this sweet little blanket for Bonnie Williams' soon to be baby girl

The training is going so well at the yoga studio!  I've enjoyed reading more of my chakra cards

And my favorite thing is leaning back and gazing out the high windows to see the tops of my beloved mountains.  It really is a gorgeous location, like a brick, ivy covered tree house.  It rains every couple of days and the hillsides are covered with greenery... so lovely!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Session Three

Today in the yoga training we learned about Ayurveda -- another completely new topic for me!  It is a Sanskrit word that means "science of life."  We learned about the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which are three energies that define people's makeup.  Oh, goody!  Heaven knows that I love a good personality quiz!  I've never done one that only had three options, though, so I was having a hard time figuring out what type I am.  I hate to admit it, but I probably missed a few things that Syl was saying while I indulged my compulsion for inhaling all of the information in the workbook about the doshas, haha!  I came home and took some online quizzes -- seven to be exact, gotta be sure!  And I'm pretty sure that I'm Pitta/Vata with a Kapha imbalance -- whatever that means!  This is definitely something I'd like to spend more time with.

We also learned about sequencing our yoga classes.  This is something I was very worried about, but can see that there is a natural progression that makes sense and will make it easier to improvise a little during a class.  We are all going to have the chance to teach a little fifteen minute class so I hurried and volunteered to go first so I don't have to worry about it for longer than necessary.  I wrote down everything that I was going to say and timed it all.  When I sat down to do it I was so nervous!  I was kind of shaking and my voice wasn't sure and steady at all, but I got through it -- and even went over the time!  Everyone said they couldn't tell that I was as insecure as I felt, so that is a relief!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Session Two

We've cruised through the information for the second session at Bodhi Yoga and are really getting to know one another well!  The topics for this session are the Twelve Systems of the Body, Hands on Adjusting, and Standing Asanas (poses).  

So much of this information is new to me!  There are a few women in there who totally know so much because of their background in other work.  There is a massage therapist who knows exactly what Syl is talking about when she mentions the fascia or different vertebrae -- but I'm pretty lost.  I think a lot of people think that yoga is simply a form of exercise, but I know that it is so much more than that.  I am so glad that I am doing my training here, because there is definitely the emphasis on yoking all the parts together -- more than physical there is also mental, spiritual, and emotional components.  When I've attended a yoga class in which there is no mention of what our intention is, what our mind is doing, how we might be releasing emotions or letting go of things we don't need, when there isn't any chanting (!) it all feels so flat.  Like we're just stretching out and waiting for something else to be the main purpose.  So, I'm so happy to be here and soaking it all in.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Yoga as Benefactor

Today we were talking about all of the many physical benefits of doing yoga at our yoga training.  There are 12 physiologies of the body and yoga can help them all!  It can help your skin glow by detoxing and balancing hormones, strengthen bones, balance the endocrine system, help you digest, and so much more!  But my favorite thing is the happy loosening that happens as I stretch way out -- my back, my arms, my neck, my hips.  Then I take a deep breath to let the stretch settle in... and the most amazing thing is how it balances my mental and emotional thinking, helps me see what is most important, and brings to my attention the things that I need to think about more -- or not think about!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Session One

Normally the yoga training at Bodhi Yoga that I am doing is done in sessions over the course of five months!  And we're doing it all in ten days -- so essentially one month of study and instruction squished into two days, ack!  So we've had to get right down to business.  The first session is titled Bone, Breath, and Gesture.  We've looked at the intention and introduction to yoga, the foundations of Asana -- or poses, and learned some ways to teach the Tier 1 of the BodhiFlow vinyasa.  

I especially liked learning about the breath.  I have done Ujayi and Three Part Breath in yoga classes and I learned the Breath of Fire doing Kundalini yoga on dvd, but we learned several more in class and in the online videos.  We also learned about the Gunas -- which is a totally new topic for me!  The three gunas have to do with movement: Rajas is very dynamic movement (in and out of poses), Tamas is strong and deep (extension from head to feet), and Sattva is light and graceful (balancing).  I can see how knowing about the gunas will not only help me with my own practice, but also help teach it to others.  It's amazing how breaking things down into parts eventually leads to everything coming together better in the end! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Start

Today was the first day of my yoga training at Bodhi yoga and I was so nervous!  I always get apprehensive about new experiences, especially meeting new people -- what will they be like?  And will they like me?  We started at 8:30 for a 90 minute yoga class.  There were a lot of people there!  I looked around, wondering who was there for the training and who was there for the class.  We had a little break and then sat down for introductions.  There are 13 of us!  I was so surprised that it was such a large group!  But it didn't take long for us to feel at home and comfortable with each other.  I loved meeting Syl -- she is a great mixture of Twila and Melody, with a whole lot of herself in there, too, of course.   She did a wonderful job of helping us feel at ease and then we got right down to business.  The training has a nice flow of movement (to feel what we're doing in our bodies) and stillness (to converse, learn, and digest).  

Syl has created Chakra cards that are really amazing!  She passes them out during her yoga classes to help direct your mind.  I loved my card this morning and think I'll be buying the whole deck.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Wild Roses

I was so happy to be able to spend some time with my sisters today.  Ellen and I hiked up Rock Canyon with the kids and the weather was simply perfect!  It is so so so pretty here right now. I think the got a lot of rain this Spring and I honestly cannot remember the mountains ever being this green!  As we made our way up the steep path, I noticed giant wild rose bushes blooming like crazy!  I had never noticed that they were there -- because it is a desert!  It was so lovely.

We had a little photo shoot with my wild sisters -- there is always a lot of chatting and laughing when we get together.  Which I love.  How lucky am I that I get to have three?

And one with our mama -- she thinks we're all quite silly

Tomorrow is the first day of my yoga training!  I am so excited!

Monday, June 6, 2016


Well, I've set off on an adventure! I'm going to Utah for my yoga training at Bodhi Yoga!  I was originally going to fly there -- and had even bought my ticket!  But then my parents suggested I bring the kids so they could go to a timeshare in the mountains with them.  I am all for the kids spending more time with their grandparents! This is the first time I've driven out west without another driver in tow!  I have the three youngest kids with me and so far they've been so so well behaved and great travelers!  We intended to do the usual 10 hour first day and stop in our beloved North Platte, but they were being such troopers that we just kept driving and driving!  In Ogallala I called Zach and Stacie to ask if they minded us plowing through and arriving at their house late that night.  They enthusiastically assured us that would be fine so we did just that, arriving to their house about 17 hours after we left ours.  Whew!  We added India to our little crew and headed up to Evergreen the next morning.  I was so happy that my trip coincided with the Rocky Mountain Retreat!  I was also very grateful that Jon was willing to watch my three and an extra for the weekend.  It was so lovely to reconnect with women that I had met last year and I was even able to room with my Fara ❤️ .  We drank a lot of mexican coke, spent some time at the hot springs, and even got a massage, ooh la la!  I can't believe that I didn't get any pics of the kids all together -- they got along so well!  It is truly a shame that we don't live closer...

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