Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful List

I am thankful for:

1. The man who still thinks I'm witty and lovable even after 17 years of my warts and all approach to life.
2. The daughter who tolerates my MANY motherly missteps and still thinks I do a pretty good job most of the time.
3. The dog... well today I am thankful that she's still around... ask me again after a night of lost sleep due to her puny bladder.
4. My family (both acquired by marriage and birth)who support me and love me unconditionally.
5. My friends who also love me and understand that while I am an imperfect friend at BEST, my intentions are always to love them back with my whole heart and capacity.
6. My students who teach me every day how to be a better teacher, student, and person.
7. Chocolate... I really can't imagine being AS thankful for everything above without a liberal dose of chocolate thrown in the mix.

I hope your thankful list is full and fulfilling. I am also VERY thankful for the people who read this blog even when I think I am mind-numbingly dull. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are in the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Supporting a friend

Everyone take a moment to check out the new brainchild of my friend Sarah Dinsmore... Blissbrokers.com We've been working on getting her launched and so far she has a few nibbles and some workshops in the planning stages. I love seeing my friend move forward and being involved in the process.

Speaking of friends who are moving forward, today I subbed for my friend Victoria who is opening Poise Studios in January 2009. I taught her Power Yoga class before my own gentle beginners class. I think I should have called it Power"less" yoga. Seriously, those poor students left the class shell-shocked. (sorry Victoria!) Anyway, maybe the more intuitive style of yoga that I teach will eventually filter into them and they will find more value than I think they found in it! You just never know. I can definitely remember going into a softer style yoga class during my "RAMBO" health kick and thinking it was not challenging enough for me... and look at me now! Yoga for Cream Puffs baby!

Okay, enough of that. Take care of yourself inside and out and maybe remember to give someone a little support today who least expects it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Moving through discomfort

I spent today working on my personal meditation practice with Simon. He pushed me through the hard yucky parts and helped me see that through the nausea/discomfort (yes, I'm still working through this) there were moments of pure "aha". Joy and light. He also helped me realize that the discomfort is manageable and only comes in small doses that I can handle. It's obvious that all the things I hold inside are still there, percolating away and just waiting for the opportunity to come out during meditation. Today I let them come up for air and just let them bob along on waves of self-acceptance. I walked away from the session feeling more at peace than I have for a long time. For me this is the hard part... the dedication to regular meditative practice that I have to commit to in order to get to the next level both in my teaching and my life. Slowly I move forward, one step at a time...

Hope life is filled with good healthy steps forward for you too,

Jan

p.s. In case your interested in adding mediation to your own daily life...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello from sunny Portland, Oregon

Yesterday was a rainy mess but today...today was sunny bliss. People were upbeat, happy, and had their faces upturned towards the sun. I taught a class today on being present and "in the moment". Having the sun pouring down during the class certainly didn't hurt my case!

I'm reading 3 great books this week about developing the mind/body connection for healing and wellness. I HIGHLY recommend Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine by Saki Santorelli This book has great applications for all areas of life but especially in the healing arts.

For instance this is Saki quoted on: Awareness of Thoughts and Feelings
"Rather than imagining that all the moments of feeling closed down, fearful, or distant are "sins" to be confessed or repented for, explore the possibility of allowing your sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness to blossom out of the clear moments of awareness. The heart-mind is a vast, fenceless field, full of the unexpected. Often where we hope to find joy we discover grief, where we expect pain we discover gold. Give yourself plenty of room to roam freely in this field. The rules are different here. When was the last time you were invited to play without the pressure of winning or losing breathing down your back? Give yourself the space to look around and learn. Traveling with the breath and with the intention to look directly and lucidly at what is - without preference or judgement - diminishes the feeling of a soap opera and gives rise to a straightforward, compassionate knowing."

He then goes on to lead you through a wonderful practice of allowing awareness to ebb and flow with the breath moment by moment. You can try this at home by simply becoming fully absorbed in whatever activity you happen to be doing. If you are eating then you simply become fully engrossed in the taste of the food, the texture of your mouth as it comes in contact with the food, the smell, etc. If you are walking around the house looking for something you become fully present in each object you touch and look at during the quest. If you start to lose your way and get lost in other thoughts you simply come back to your breath and it anchors you back into the moment. In this way we train our minds and bodies to let go of judging, reacting and instead simply be present. Many studies show that this kind of heightened mind/body awareness training can lower blood pressure, reverse heart disease, and heal the whole person.

So now you have an idea of the direction my teaching is going and the things I will be pursuing professionally in the near future. I'm so glad I took some time tonight to share this with you. Let me know what you think.

Presently yours,

Jan

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A tired but love-filled Saturday...

A lazy day to relax and recharge. We're thinking of a family movie later or maybe just a chinese food foray for dinner.

Yesterday was our 17th anniversary and I spent the first part of the day floating happily and thinking over our years together with great joy and gratitude. We've been through sickness and through health, richer and poorer, good times and a very few bad... I think the vows are just about right. All of these things make us better versions of ourselves as indivduals and as a couple. I am speechlessly grateful for the years of love and support from my husband and our family and friends. It feels great to still be here and to be here together.

Love and happy milestones to you too...

Jan

p.s. This is a picture of the gorgeous golden dolphin Dinkums gave me for our Anniversary.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween and all things hallow...

Another Halloween celebrated with family and friends. This is one of our VERY favorite traditions. It has evolved into a giant food fest with crazy costumes and lots of games and sugar-crazed children. In the past hubby has dressed up as an inflatable clown, Superman, and even the Big Bad Wolf. This year he surpassed all others by donning a giant baby costume complete with bonnet, giant milk bottle, and rattle. Izzy conned him into it by promising to make him breakfast in bed for a week. I don't think he even got breakfast in bed THIS morning! He is such a great dad!

My Mom and Dad are leaving tomorrow and of course this will leave a big hole in our day to day lives. We love having them around and Izzy will certainly be missing the spoiling she has come to count on!

I taught my morning yoga class today and I suppose because it is already a small class (only 5 participants), is team taught by 4 teachers each sharing one Saturday a month, and because it was the day after Halloween, I only had one intrepid student show up.

She was lovely and our session was fulfilling and inspirational. I feel that I've broken through in my teaching and found my voice again. All feels authentic and light. Ahhhhhhhh....now THAT is a hallowed tradition.

I hope you are filled with many hallowed moments as well,

Jan