Grateful

Time to Slow Down and Honor

2017 has started off very bittersweet. As some of you may know if you follow me on social media, I said goodbye to my sweet, loyal and caring Daisy Mae two weeks ago. She was 14 1/2 years old and gave me her all in those years. Daisy was with me while I mourned the loss of my brother and has lived with me in 6 different cities/towns. She was with me through my entire 30s. This girl lived and loved! And I am so grateful for her and the many memories. My heart is so full from all that she gave me.

However, these past two weeks there is a hole in my life, a void that is quite deep. Just the other day, was the first day that I could feel her in our home. I still call her name every so often and tell her "I love you" before I go to bed. Because of this, I have been quiet on here. I have been honoring that what energy I have is about grieving the loss, healing the wound and working.  I am getting to what I can without forcing myself to get it all done because I know it is smarter and wiser for me to honor this process, take the time. Because if I do not, then the pain of not having her near me will remain. Her loss is big in my life; however, I have been thinking of all the good she brought to my life: the many people I met through her; the 1000s of miles we walked and hiked; the playing; the belly rubs; the snuggles; the wagging of her tail; the many licks and the soft nibbling of my nose. 

Daisy was a really good dog. One of a kind. Not because she was mine, but because she just was. If you knew her, you would know what I mean. She cared. She loved kids and always checked on them. When my brother lived with me with his wife and year old twins, Daisy would get my sister-in-law when the babies were crying. She was a really good girl with a ton of character. Because of this I am allowing my heart to be full with all the love she gave and the outpouring of love, flowers and condolences I have received from friends who knew her in person and those who knew her on social media. So thank you to all of you who have helped me in this time. I still may not be posting as often as I like because I am listening to how much I can give at this moment and reserving the energy I have to do what I need to do. 

In gratitude!

Happy Place

Today as I walked through the woods after the first snowfall of the season, every single part of me was happy. There is something about being outside during and after a snowfall; its' quiet, peaceful, and gorgeous. For me it is absolutely magical. Every which way I look I am in awe of mother's nature beauty, especially today because there were still leaves on trees. Not only was the forest a mix of greens, whites, browns, but there was the occasional yellow or red leaves adding to the wonder of it all. 

Years ago, I would have never thought that snow would bring me some joy in my life, but it does. This is probably the result of having to walk my dog in every season - rain, shine, snow and sleet. It actually may be my favorite season. You can hunker down inside if you want or go out and enjoy the snow. It can bring the kid out in you if you let it. Walking throughout the woods all of me was elated. I know that the snow and the woods make me feel good, so I know I will get out there as much as possible. It makes me happy which is so essential for my well being.

I hope that you have a place that brings you so much joy in your life and if you don't, go find it. It is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. 

Share

17 Years of Yoga

17 years ago, I overhead a friend of mine talking about a yoga class that our spin gym was offering. So that Saturday at 11am, I showed up for yoga. At this point I had take some classes here and there, but never stuck with it. There was something about Michelle's class and ashtanga that made me feel good - like I never had before. I knew I was hooked when 3 weeks later, while my grandfather was in the hospital I would excuse myself on Saturday around 10:40am to make that 11am class, it was the only thing that made sense to me as I watched my grandfather's life come to an end. For 3 years, I was a dedicated Ashtangi - 6 days a week practice and unrolling my mat wherever I went - from practicing on a cruise ship while pulling into Rio's port to Jivamukti's Mysore practice in NYC to  taking a 45 minute bus ride to the one Ashtanga studio in Toronto. I was dedicated. My practice grew and I began to shed things/thoughts/habits that were not in service to me. At the beginning, I only knew that I felt better about myself when I practiced. I felt strong from the inside. I felt calmer. It was all sort of magical, even if I spent the entire class in tears. 

Throughout the years, there have been times when I practiced more and times when I rarely practiced; however, I always found myself back on the mat. How I practice has changed throughout the years and depending upon the day or week I am having, the intensity of what I do varies. 

I am grateful to my teachers - there have been many - who have shared their wisdom; passed on the lessons they learned from their teachers; and who are willing to dedicate their time to teach. I am grateful to yoga because it has helped me recover from anorexia; gotten me through the death of my grandparents and brother; helped me find a moment of calm in the midst of chaos. But most importantly, my practice which consists of prayer, meditation, pranyama and asana, has helped me discover my truth. Because of yoga and the many people I have meant whether they be a teacher or a fellow student, I have learned more about myself then I did in therapy. I have learned my strengths, my weakness, when to push to my edge or when to sit back in child's pose. More importantly, I have learned to love myself.  It has been a journey that is only just beginning. 

 

Heart Meditation

Meditation can be a daunting activity for some. The common reason that most people don't do it is because they "cannot get their mind quiet." However, it is about observing those thoughts that surface and not ruminating on them. Eventually the thoughts will quiet down, and then sometimes they are chatty as ever. It is good to have different techniques available when sitting down to meditate. This heart meditation is one of my favorites.

Begin by sitting in a comfortable position - if you like sitting with your legs crossed great, but you can also sit on a chair with your back straight. If you want you can set a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or whatever desired length of time you want to sit for. During the first few moments draw your awareness on your breath. Observe it's natural flow. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Then draw attention to your heart center (medial to your heart, between the breasts). If you want you can place your hands here, but it is not necessary. Begin to breathe into your heart. Follow your breath in and out. Observe any thoughts that may come and release them with your exhale. Try not to stay focused on one thought. And if the same thought comes up, observe it. See how your body feels; what happens to your breath. Just observe. Try not to attach to the story that is being told. Always come back to the breath. And it is okay if your mind is chatting up a storm. It is one way that we work through our karma. So allow yourself to accept what is coming up. No judgement. Just observe. 

The more one sits the easier it becomes. If trying to meditate on your own is challenging, find a guided meditation that you like. I use www.yogaglo.com and have several teachers that I like. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I will be happy to answer them.

 

Grateful

Yesterday my puppy turned 14. Ok, she's not a puppy, but an old lady. I got her just before my 29th birthday, so Daisy has been with my throughout my 30s and now into my 40s. This is mind boggling to me. She has been my one daily constant, by that I mean she is the first thing I see in the morning and the last at the end of the day. She means the world to me. 

After a couple of weeks of having her, I caught myself thinking "If I don't learn how to love her, than I will never learn how to love." Thankfully, that didn't happen. She has been my rock through grieving the loss of my brother, break ups, heartaches, disappointments and losses. She got me up in the mornings when I had no desire to get up. Daisy gave me a purpose to be. I had the responsibility of walking, feeding and loving her. How I am ever grateful to have had her through the tough times in my life. 

Not only has she been there with me through the tough moments, she has also brought so much joy into my life. Because of her I met many people in each new home we have created. We have trekked through miles of woods and beaches together. She is my rock. Daisy is this sweet, silly, yet stubborn dog who knows what she wants. She's affectionate on her terms. And the truth is I wouldn't have it any other way. 

She has taught me to love. to explore and to simply be. I am honored to have her in my life and forever grateful that she continues to be with me.