Thursday, December 24, 2009

one with spirit

Today, December 24th, is my Father's birthday. He died in the spring of 2008, so this is the second one I have spent without him. My parents got divorced during my senior year of college, after my sister had already married. My sister spent Christmas Eve with her in-laws so usually it was just my mother, father, and I to celebrate on his birthday. We usually went out to dinner and then to a movie. It was pretty much the only time I went to the movies with my family. After the divorce, my father and I kept the tradition going. Our first solo birthday celebration I decided to cook. I had never really cooked a big meal for anyone before and I went all out. I made a cheese and fruit plate for him to snack on while I was cooking. Then an appetizer of seared scallops. Followed by a main entree of ahi tuna, mushroom risotto, and roasted brussel sprouts. For dessert, I simply served the best chocolate I could find with fresh berries (he loved his chocolate). I remember this meal so vividly because when sorting through his belongings I found a picture of my meal, and I was so touched by that.

Both this year and last, I chose not to go home to Cincinnati to be with the rest of my family for Christmas Eve. It just doesn't feel right to me. I don't want to spend my father's birthday with anyone else but him and I feel that being out in nature is the best way to do that. Today, I started my day with an intense heated yoga class. I returned home to shower and make a green shake and then headed to the water. It was gorgeous in San Diego today. I parked on the side of the road, kicked of my shoes, and grabbed my ipod. I switched it on to a playlist I had made to honor my dad and started down the path to the sand.

I took my time, pausing to watch the surfers, to stretch, to just be. Now and then tears would start to flow but I didn't feel sad. I wasn't choosing to be alone because I wanted to seep in my sorrow. I wasn't depressed. I wanted to be alone so that I could purposely pay attention to his spirit that surrounds me. Little memories that I had long forgotten came up all day long and they each made me so much more grateful for the father I got to have. For the father I get to have. I know he is always with me. I know that I am protected, but of course I miss him beyond belief.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a lover of my physical body as it is right now!

I bought this shirt that I love from my favorite store, Lululemon, a few weeks ago. I fell in love with the shirt when it first came out, but did not like how it fit me. When running super early to meet a friend in Santa Monica a stumbled into the store and saw the shirt on sale. I decided to try it on again and loved it this time! I asked myself if I really needed a new shirt after giving away most of my closet in the previous weeks. Will I wear this in India? I convinced myself that it was necessary and that yes, it would come along in my backpack to India.

The next day I was getting dressed for my day and grabbed my new purchase to put on. I was so excited, I mean this is a shirt I had wanted months ago. I slipped on some jeans and went to the mirror... The horror! Oh no, it did not look nearly as amazing on me as it did in the dressing room! Maybe it was the yoga pants I was wearing when I tried it on, the lighting, the mirror, or even my mood that convinced that me the shirt was flattering?

I scrambled through the rest of my packed bag for a different shirt to wear, but was not into anything I found. I really loved the shirt I had just bought, but did it make me look fat? Wait, stop....What did I just say? What did I just think? What happened to loving my body right now as it is, because that is what I am right now? I may want to be thinner, I may be fleshier then I think I usually am, but even if I start to eat less and exercise more, I still look like this today.

So, I wear the shirt, and I love the shirt and I love myself right then and there. But, the challenge does not stop there. Everytime I put on that shirt, I have a little fight with myself. I love the shirt. It feels so cozy, It fells good on, it does fit well, but when I look in the mirror the judgements come on strong! I turn from side to side for a better angle, I try a different undergarment, etc, etc. Then that voice pops back in, "this is how your body looks today, what are you going to do?' , and over and over again I get to choose to love myself right now inside and out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I have had so many moments lately that just work out. I am running later for an appointment and start to feel stressed about it, get there and they are running late anyway. I am trying to make it to a movie on time after a quick decision to go, then miss the entrance to the 5 only to look back and see traffic stopped. So, I continue on to the PCH and soar to the movie theater with no stops. I book a million things to fit into the afternoon I fly to Vegas and ask my ride to pick me up with very little time to make it to the airport and then arrive to the emptiest airport I have ever seen with no security lines and a delayed flight anyway.

It is so easy to let myself feel bad for running late, or not organizing better, etc. etc. But it is so not worth it! Especially because it always ends up miraculously lining up. Of course that does not mean I am just going to give up on being on time or organizing, but when things don't flow with my made up schedule I am going to choose to just be with it. To breathe through the stress that comes with what I make up is letting people down, because even if the Universe doesn't re-synchronize for me, I am pretty sure they will live, and I will live and life will go on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

lazy.....and proud!

Today is a lazy day. Why? Because that is awesome. i feel no guilt for spending a full day on the couch, watching cheesy movies, and being an internet whore. I feel no guilt for not going to yoga, or doing exercise of any kind besides the walk to and from the kitchen for random munching and the involuntary stretching I do as I wait for my water class to fill. I feel no guilt for my incomplete Christmas shopping.

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Bertrand Russell

This is who I am right now and I am perfect, whole and complete in this now moment!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

an open space.

Last weekend I attended a Christmas Party of the sound company that I used to work for. They are the reason I am in San Diego. I moved here before I graduated from college in Chicago to start working and then flew back to take my finals. I was that ready and excited to be a part of their company. They are the second largest touring sound company in the world. I worked hard for them. I pushed my way into their ranks by working tirelessly and showing how non-girly I was in my heavy lifting, but still showcasing how girly I was in my compassion and consideration. I loved being part of that world. My touring career started with them and I am endlessly grateful for their love and support. I left the company in 2006, after working for them for three years to venture into new positions in the production world, but ended up returning to sound in a free-lance position. I have kept a personal and working relationship with many of the employees and bosses, but being at the party got me present to some things about myself.

I was able to be present there fully as me, as I am right now. Who is that? I am not sure! And that is why it was so great to feel like myself. To be interested, engaging, loving, and confidant. I was confidant as myself without having a title to attach to myself. I am no longer a sound engineer, I am no longer going to be a part of that world. I guess I can still call myself a "joyologist" but I do not see myself touring anymore. I am most confident in saying that I am starting a new life. I am going to write and I am going to see what comes up and who I end up being next.

I don't know if I can ever recall being more confident in where I am as I do right now in my life and that place is of a huge open space. I don't know what or who is going to fill it and I do not know where it is going to take me next.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The goodbyes have started. This month I am making the most of my time and making sure to spend time with loved ones all over before I leave on my trip to India and beyond. This week I saw some people that are a regular part of family community and realized this would be the last time I would be seeing them. I hugged one of my ex-roommates and beloved friends last night goodbye and the tears came flowing. Now, I know that this is not goodbye, that I will be seeing them again in my life and that I will keep in contact with them on my journey. I am used to goodbyes, because I am traveling most of the time anyway. But, this is different because I am starting a new chapter in my life. I have no idea who I am going to be when I come back or even where I will be coming back to.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I have fully let go of all attachments. Attachments to physical items, attachments to people, attachments to ideas about myself, attachments to my past and attachments to my future. I have no idea what is going to happen on this trip and I have no idea how long I will be away, or even where I will be and I am so ready for that. I have no fear about it. I feel completely at peace.

The next chapter is happening.

In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost

Friday, December 11, 2009

Compassionate with myself

Around 1pm yesterday afternoon, it happened. My body told me to stop. My body told me that it was tired. I still had a full day planned! I was meeting an amazing inspiring yoga teacher that I met in Thailand for dinner and I had committed to going to see a good friend's show. When this exhaustion set in, I knew I had to let go of some of my plans. I really just wanted to slump into a ball and take a nap. I even thought about taking one in the car I was borrowing.

I concluded a nap was not possible at that time, so I opted for a walk along the beach in Hermosa. I have walked this path many times before with one of my best friends. It used to be a routine of ours everytime that I was in town to catch up on each other's lives. She was too busy running her amazing cafe (Planet Earth) to get away so I had to go it alone. I put my ipod on and started a casual walking pace on the path all decked out in my running gear. After about 15 minutes, I was feeling drawn off the cement path and towards the sand and the waves. I started to walk towards the entrance to the sand and then stopped myself. "I don't walk in the sand in these shoes, " I told myself and, "I am not taking off my shoes and carrying them, that is too much to carry." So I turned away from the sand and continued on the path and then I fought back to myself, "What are these rules that I made up? And why do I have to follow them? If I want to walk in the sand right now in these running shoes, I CAN DO that!" And I did.

I was drawn straight to the water and I felt like I was being drawn into a new world. That peace, that beauty overwhelmed me. My breaking of my own made up rule brought me back to my father's funeral. After the funeral I was stuck in my chair, unable to stand up. My friends took turns sitting down next to hug me goodbye and once they were all gone I still just sat staring at a huge blown up picture of my dad, unable to move. All that I wanted to do was to cry my head off, but I wouldn't allow it. I was trying to keep it in. I kept telling myself, "you can't do that, keep it together." Then, I finally said "Who cares! It's my father's f*ing funeral! If I want to cry and scream I can do that, my father just f*ing died." And then the tears overcame me, I started to scream/whale/cry and I could not stop. I was overcome with this feeling to lay on the floor in front of his portrait, and once again I told myself that I was not allowed to do this, people would think I was crazy! The feeling wouldn't go away though, so I did it. I crawled onto the floor and cried more and more. It felt so amazing to have that much emotion flowing through me and to let it happen. Since that day, a beautiful thing happened, whenever I start to cry I just say to myself, "okay, emotion is present." I don't try to label it or figure out why I am crying. I just let it flow.

When I returned from my walk, I felt better, but still exhausted. So, I made a new plan for the night. I still met with my Thailand connection, but instead of going to the show, I met up with my friends at their house before. I got to be with them and share laughs with them and support them while still being compassionate with myself. I got to retire early and sleep in a lovely cozy house all by myself.

Today, I woke up to go to a yoga class before driving back south to San Diego. It was hard to pull myself out of bed, but I knew my body would thank me. The class started with a mild warm up and then straight into handstands, forearm stands, and headstands. Once again, this is not the class I was expecting, but I took it on. My body was super sore and tight and at the beginning I was in extreme pain. I thought, this may be hard for me right now, but I know it is really going to help. I often love to flow fast and that is what this teacher was offering, but I could not move like that today! Instead of being frustrated, I just went with my own pace and listened to my body. After the first fifteen minutes, the teacher said to me, "I thought you were really tight today? Hmmmm. I guess it's all relative." Isn't that true for everything in life!

So, I made it through and got on the road to San Diego. Even though the yoga had opened a lot up and released a lot, my body was still tired! I felt so tired that I thought I was going to cry of exhaustion on the drive. I made it to my new home here and cleared my schedule. I had semi-planned several things to fit into each day, but now I had to put myself and my tired body first. I put the word out that I was listening to my body and that I wasn't sure what I would attend to in the next few days and that felt amazing!

So the moral of this short story is I love you body and mind. I am listening.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


These days it is hard for me to pick which yoga studio and class I want to attend. I have been practicing for 7 years now, and I am certified as an instructor. I have tried various styles and have loved most of them. I have gone through different phases of being addicted to certain styles. Now, I crave different styles on different days. Sometimes I really want to be challenged with a strict Ashtanga class. Sometimes I crave the heat. Sometimes I want a flowing yet very aligned Anusara class. Sometimes I want to chant and OM. Sometimes I want to be vocally guided as if I have never done any of the postures before. Sometimes I just want to flow on my own. Many times I don't know what I want, so I choose a class time and studio that is convenient for me today.

The other day, I went to Hot Flow class at a studio that many of my friends are in love with. I hadn't made my mind up about the studio yet, but I was craving the heat. I got there and stayed in the back, away from the mirrors. Lately, I prefer studios that don't have mirrors so I can feel the alignment in my body and adjust it instead of looking for it in the mirror. When the class began the teacher had a Bikram style of teaching that is not my favorite. It was not a Bikram class, but I could tell she had a background in it because of her guidance and her clapping. Then she turned the music on and it was a Britney Spears song with just the backing tracks, no vocals. Those are just a few of the things I remember from that class, that are not I was looking for in my yoga class that day. But, I took it on. I breathed through it. I stayed in my practice. I did not judge her teaching style, or the music, or the sequence, or the studio and I f*ing loved it!

I felt so alive in that class and long after it ended. My body got to detoxify, strengthen, lengthen and more. By me not judging the class I opened my body and mind up to receive so much more. So I am concluding that on those days that I don't know what I need the universe does and I just need to welcome it in.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Happy hands are on fire! I am so lit up inspired by everyone and everything! I am so excited for life, for the possibilities in life, for the struggles in life because it just brings on more life! I love it all. I am leaving Austin today to head back to San Diego and was just thinking about what I would do with my evening home. My new roomie will be out of town, so it occurred I could have a space to my own to just chill and be. That used to be my dream, to have everyone gone so that I could just be me and do whatever I felt.

The times have changed! Now, I am thinking, who can I see, who can I spend time with tonight? I am so inspired by all of life that I just want to be in it, with people, living it. I am me when I am with others, whether I know them or not. Living life everyday is what calls me into living up to the spirit abundance name that I have chosen as Love Inspiring. I can not be that on my own. Life calls me into being that. You all calling me into being that. If I was holed up to myself I think my inspiration would dwindle. I just started to try to write some of the things down that inspire me and the list was impossible so I will say this.

I am inspired by all that I see and all that I do not see.

a creator of fiction

I make up stuff and then I laugh at it. This week with my new twitter account, I would read my friend's posts and then be wondering why they hadn't told me about what they posted. I would get jealous that I did not hear this first hand or I would make up who they were with and how they were acting by reading about it. I don't know why I was doing that, I certainly didn't want to be making that stuff up. The funny thing is that they were telling me first hand, they were using this tool that we signed up for to use to share with each other. I created that I was separate from these loved ones, when I am the one that separated myself from them physically, by going to spend time with other loved ones to be inspired by new places and people. It is all so silly, so I laugh.

Remember that nothing has to change in the world for us to transform our own life experience.
Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a superhero

Long travel days make me feel like a superhero. I cross climates, time zones, and languages. I surpass regular sleep and diet habits and come out in another continent ready to live the day full out. Today, I land in San Diego at 1pm PST. I left my hotel in Belo Horizante, Brazil at 9pm last night BRT. Took a flight departing at 11:50PM BRT to land in Miami at 5am EST collected luggage at customs and boarded another flight at 8:20AM EST to land at LAX at 10:40AM PST. Now I await my flight leaving Los Angeles at 12:25PM to jump over to the little commuter terminal in San Diego at 1:15PM PST. When I land at my final destination of San Diego it will be 7:30PM in Brasil, where I started. Almost, making it a 24 hour, full traveling day!

I am ready and raring to take this day on! I am shocked to find it is December. I have to keep looking at my calender to see what day of the week it is. I am trying to do time zone math in my head in the opposite direction that I have been to see if my Mother will be home from work if I call now.

Someone might read this and think that sucks! She must be so out of it! But no, I feel like a superhero! What do you have for me, I can leap over entire continents without ever knowing where I am. I can time travel in real time and spread my love inspiring self to people of all cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, and careers in a single day. And to me it doesn't even feel like one day, because I am a time traveling superhero!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

what I am being

The tour ended last night and upon returning to my hotel I immediately felt like I had A.D.D. I could not be still, I could not fall asleep. When I woke up in the morning I stayed in bed for a few hours tuning into random movies that were on in English. I wasn't departing the hotel until 9pm to head to the airport. I questioned my laziness, but decided I was allowed to take advantage of having my own space and a comfy bed for the day. As I am once again transient. True, I have "moved" in with one of my best friends for the time until my departure to India, but I have moved into a room that she has used as a music room in the 5 years she has lived there. Also, I will be spending more nights away then at my new roomie's. I am committed to spending time with friends and family all over the U.S. before my big departure. My constant travel from tour will barely be slowing down, but instead of inspiring love to my touring companions of band and crew I will be inspiring love with people that have touched me and inspired me and they will be calling me into being inspiring love.

So, I had a day of hotel room lounging, internet, and organizing. I met a few people for a final local Brazilian meal and then packed up for my 9pm lobby call to the airport. As soon as I reached the lobby, the A.D.D. feeling set back in. Now, I am on the plane 5 hours later and wondering, "what is my deal?" Is it my internet addiction kicking in and setting me into withdraws? Is it the teany tiny cup of fresh local coffee i tasted 6 hours ago at dinner? Is it my pure excitement for the ending of the tour and the start of a new leg of my life?

All I know is that I feel like this right now, because I am like this right now. There is no need to label the feeling or to figure out the cause of it. I am just going to be with it and see what it has to offer. For instance, I am currently on an eight hour red-eye flight typing this blog, listening to the in-flight movie, and interacting with my fellow travelmates a few seats away. I don't mean taking breaks from one and going to the other, I am doing it all at once. I was planning on sleep, but this is what I am right now.