Friday, January 29, 2010


I feel alive again! Inside and out. I don't know if it is just that my physical health is back that is effecting me or what. I feel like a can take anything on. I know that life is perfect now and that what is coming is perfect and all that has happened is perfect. I have had a lot of time in the last 10 days that I have been back in the states. I was sick that entire time, so not fully functional, but I logged a lot of awake hours. Even though my body was not 100%, my mind was work, work, working away. I found a new home, inquired about work, and searched for items to acquire for my new space. I logged a lot of hours online.

In this time a lot of thoughts and judgements came up for me. Fears of what people were thinking of me, of what people was expected from me. I know that is all me judging myself and I reminded myself to breathe through it and shake it off, literally. A lot of excitement came up to. I really do feel like I am starting a new, not in India but here and I feel that this may be a bigger challenge and I am up for it.

I have a job interview Sunday morning at a Lululemon store near where I will be living. I have not had a job interview since February of 2000, except for when Dolly Parton flew me to Nashville in 2005 for the day to feel me out before hiring me. That job interview in 2000 was at the House of Blues Chicago to work in the company store, selling T-shirts. That is the job that started me on this path. From there I met the concert production staff and was able to weasel my way in to be a part of that world, to be a sound engineer. I made it all happen from folding T-shirts. So who knows what is to come next. I may not even get this job and that is perfect. I may get it and work there for 2 months. I may get it and create a new role in the company. I am ready to go wherever this life is leading me.

I do plan on bringing my "joyology" to the world, I just don't know how yet. For now it will be just being me and reaffirming it in myself.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A contender

I am an ache and pain and cold vessel. All week I have been singing to myself, "Two steps forward and two steps back." Yes, the Paula Abdul hit song. My stomach/toilet/parasite problem is gone (to my knowledge), but I am now feeling the symptoms of a major cold. On Monday my stomach felt back to normal and I actually had energy. I made all sorts of plans of fitness for the day, as I have been immobile for more than a week. I started with a nice pace on my mom's treadmill and boy, did it feel great. I was all, "I am going to keep on this for an hour and then come back later and do another hour!" I made it to 35 minutes and then started to feel my body wearing down. I listened and halted my mission, remembering that my I had been fighting off bugs to my system for more than two weeks. I made myself something healthy to eat and then the full on exhaustion set back in. I had been awake since 1:45am (my sleep schedule has yet to recover) but I was trying to not take a nap, working to get my body on the right clock. Then the sore throat set in. I chose to lie down and forget about my fitness mission for the time being. Inevitably, I fell asleep. When I woke up a few hours later, I could barely talk, my throat was hurting so badly. I ate some dinner while I was in a half coma-like fog and tried to stay awake a little bit longer, but felt truly miserable.

Yesterday (Tuesday), I slept until 3:30am waking up with a head full of snot. I treated myself to a netti pot and salt water gargle to try to get some of it moving, as it was quite painful. I rested for a few hours in bed, unable to fall back asleep. I coaxed myself up mid-morning to break out my yoga mat for the first time since I have been back in the states. I let my body lead my practice and boy did it feel great. I was so tight and rusty it was amazing to feel my body stretch and strengthen once again. It was interesting to notice how open my hips were. I pretty much always have to put extra breath into hip opening poses and really choose to focus on letting go there. It is said that we hold our emotions in our hips and I have had huge emotional releases in poses such as pigeon, with tears streaming from my eyes. So, yesterday when I was more comfortable then ever in these poses with my hips releasing easily, I wondered if the choices I have been making in my life had this influence on my body. Who knows? It could merely be because I was barely using my legs and that is why my hips weren't tight? I have no idea if that makes sense or is complete bullshit. I would think my lack of movement means tighter joints, but I am not an expert on these things. All I know is that I felt great lying there in pigeon and I feel great about all of the choices I have made and that I am making.

I do question myself. The latest being, Am I being completely irresponsible by signing a lease on a nice (and not cheap) apartment without having a source of income? But, I believe in myself and I believe in this life and the universe that surrounds us. People throughout my life have asked me how I got to where I was. How did you get into sound? How did you come to work for so and so? How did you become the joyologist? Etc. Etc. And I would often start with I am very lucky. I am lucky but I often forget about all of the hard work I have done and that I do to get what I want and to be who I want. I don't know who can take credit for planting it in my head at a young age, but I have always known, I have always believed that I can be whatever I want to be. I am not afraid of hard work. I am not afraid of struggles. I am sitting here in bed right now wanting to scream and cry at once because of the physical pain I am in, but that is just what I have to contend with today.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

free of what I "know"

I am quite aware that I am comfortable making requests, large and small, without much thought. I am always ready and open for a big fat “NO” to be handed back to me. Often, I have so many ideas that by the time a person even gets to an email with a request from me, I have moved 6 times past that in another direction. So, my friends may be overwhelmed with requests by me and they may struggle with the easiness of saying, “no, that doesn’t work for me”. When, I forgot I have even asked for anything at all. My mind is always working, coming up with new idea after new idea. I am also incapable of sending one really thought out concise thought. I will end up using three emails, two texts, and a phone call to cover one thing. I write things as they come to me and hit send right away. Then, maybe remembering something else 5 seconds later that goes with it. This is me. Of course, I hope to work on this, but I am happy to just be aware of this quality of mine. I am so grateful to be able take criticism or observations of myself and listen and to know. I love that I can laugh at myself and the thoughts that come up for me and the actions I take.

I move at the speed of light sometimes and I love it. How can I expect others to keep up. A freedom dwells inside of me that only I can know. I can make up ideas about what I believe dwells in my loved ones, but I will never know their root. We all have so much history from our interactions, our schooling, our upbringings, life in general that knowing one another to me is miraculous. I often feel as if I have known someone all of life after only sharing one laugh with them. It just feels good, feels right and maybe that is all I need. It usually is, but it is crazy to think what knowing someone actually may mean. The words, “I thought I knew them”, are often spoken or thought to oneself, but since we only see life through our own filter, who is it that we know?

I love it. It makes me laugh. All of life. It really is so simple, but we can make it into so much. I am grateful to be able to watch myself, my thoughts, and my actions. I am not perfect. I don’t aim to be. I like to clean my slate often, to take a breath and laugh it all away. I am aware that I let go of things and ideas about others and myself often, but that does not mean that the other person is doing the same. They have their own junk, their own cleansing breaths. We each operate at our own pace, which may change by day or by minute. So how can I judge, when I really cannot know?

Friday, January 22, 2010


Ahhhh! MMpfff! Wah!!! These are sounds that have been escaping from me in the last day. I am not better. My stomach feels like there are little beings knawing in lining the of my intestines. I feel them from right under my ribs to way down low. It is not really a pain or cramp, but very uncomfortable. I have been feeling best during the hours from 3am-7am. My stomach will still hurt, but my body feels more alive during those hours. It almost makes me feel like I want to run, but I don't try it.

Yesterday, I went with my mom and my 6 year old niece to run a few errands and got so worn out it was crazy to me! I felt like I had been out all day and then realized we had only gone to the bank and fedex, where I didn't have to wait in any lines at all. We then went to the suburban American holy grail of Costco, but we were maybe only there for 20 minutes. I felt so week and worn out! When we got to the car, I could not even hold my head up. Then my speech and thoughts started to slow so much that it felt almost stroke like. Ask my friend Mona, who called me on the phone. She kept thinking the phone service was going out between my syllables, but that was merely how they were coming out of my mouth. I actually found it amusing, but then started crying when I hung up the phone. I make up that I was just scared and worn out.

While I was having those stroke-like moments though, I thought Wow, I really am lucky for my health. I have no freaking clue what it is like for people suffering from all sorts of diseases and disorders. Yes, I had years of battling with fibromyalgia, but that was years ago and I don't think I ever felt so weak. I am grateful for whatever this sickness I am having now because it is making me so present to what I have in my health and what a lot of people don't have in theirs.

I am still eating random foods from my usual. Consisting on baked potatoes, breads, and pasta (gluten-free). I want to have veggies, I wish I had a juicer here. That would be easiest, I think. I am afraid of eating greens, thinking it will cause my stomach more work, but I don't know what is best anymore.

I am so happy that I am at my mother's home and that I don't need to be anywhere else. I am grateful to not have work or responsibilities right now because staying in bed all day is what is happening and I am at peace with that. I have the time to let it run its course.

Even though my body is moving at a much slower pace, my mind still keeps busy making things up. For instance, it goes into wondering who my true friends are. After all, only a few have actually checked in to see how I am doing. I mean, I am pretty sick and they don't even text?!?!?!?! WTF? But then, I call myself out and know that they are not sitting around all day like I am. They are as busy as ever. Also, I really don't want to talk, since I don't have much energy and since I am blogging and tweeting they can see I how am doing. So, it is quite funny. Such an active mind. But really it doesn't matter. I choose to love, love, love, love. Whether, I feel it is rightly reciprocated or not. I love big and I have my own way of loving, as each person does. These ways of loving don't all look the same. I can not put expectations on other's love. I just choose to Love. To Be Love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

on the mend

Current time, 4am. That is an improvement for me. I fell asleep at 10:30 ish and slept through my normal 1am wake-up call. Yesterday, was my worst day so far. My stomach was killing me and I am sure my body was just plain exhausted. My mouth was so dry that my tongue kept getting stuck to the roof of my mouth. I was trying to stay hydrated, but i guess I was failing on that account. I did make it to Whole foods, but once again my purchases were highly unusual for me. Gluten-free spaghetti and vegan cheez to make a grilled cheez. The veggies looked oh so delicious, but I could not imagine eating them with my current toilet to non-toilet ratio. I did get myself some Kombucha and a butternut squash, which I hope to eat today. I also, finally gave in to getting an antibiotic. I had plans of getting Black Walnut Hull, Wormood, and other natural eliminators, but I am not sure what happened there, because I left with only fresh ginger. I guess, I figured that since my body is already so out of whack and not really getting much nutrients that the antibiotics couldn't do too much harm. I have used a combo of natural herbs in the past to get rid of parasites, but I have never had whatever I am having right now and frankly I want it dead. I have given it enough time to work it's way out, 12 days is enough!

So when I got home, I first popped some raw garlic cloves into my mouth, which is my usual surefire virus killer. Then, after still more time deliberating on taking the prescription after I had it filled, I finally gave in. I find it quite amusing that one of the side effects of taking a medicine for traveler's diarrhea, is diarrhea. Oh, the medical world! The next few hours were miserable. I could barely talk. My mom called and told me she was bringing me home and IV and I said, "Yes, Please!" I have never done that before, but I knew my body was not hydrated by anything anymore. She also insisted on buying me Smartwater to get me more electrolytes. I got one IV down, and going to do another one in the morning. I hope to work some veggies back in my life tomorrow too and some yoga!

The good news is that I got approved for my little Hermosa Beach studio! I am sending in the deposit tommorrow, sight unseen. Well, sight unseen in person, but I have been on the building's website endlessly. It is in a brand new building, right on the water. New appliances and everything, so not too much to check out. Hard wood floors, walk-in closet, and my own private balcony! I got my bicycle enthusiast friends looking into bikes for me and I am already searching out work! I know it will all fall into place in the perfect way.

I am so grateful to be home in the US and home at my mom's. She hasn't had the chance to really take care of me in a long, long while, so I am sure she is enjoying it! I am definitely grateful for my heath, I haven't really been sick of any type in a long while and even though now I am pretty bad off, I am still fully functional so I have to remind myself to rest. My body and I have been through a lot together, years of doctors and mis-diagnosis and not knowing what was wrong. So, I got really used to just putting on a happy face and sucking it up. So much that a lot of times now, I forget to listen to my body's warning signs to slow down. I refuse to admit I am sick. So, I am grateful to now have the time and the compassion for myself to be able to stay in bed all day and not push my recovery too much. I will let this thing run its course and I will be grateful for it, for reminding how strong my body and mind really are.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

truly happy

My body is all out of whack.

I landed in Cincinnati at 7pm Monday night, with a stomach that was still quite disturbed. On the way to my mom's house I asked her to stop at the local Kroger's so I could pick up some food. At the check-out stand I burst into laughter at my purchases, it was an odd cry from my usual load. Gluten-free bread, mac-n-cheese, kids cereal, vegan cookie dough ice cream, and almond milk ( I usually just eat things naturally gluten-free, not the substitutes). I just wanted bland, binding foods to try to slow down my trips to the toilet and honestly veggies did not look appetizing at all. I dined on the mac-n-cheese and some ice cream when we got home and then headed to bed around 9:30pm. I passed out rather quickly, but then woke up at 1am unable to get anymore shut eye. So, I had some cereal and wrote, searched the web, read and on and on until I finally fell back asleep at 8am. When I woke up again, I assumed it would be an hour or two later, but it was 4pm!!!!! Of all my steady traveling, I never suffer from time change and jet leg issues. Especially, since I barely slept during my 24 hour travel day, I did not expect this, but oh well.

My mom and step-dad returned from work a few hours later and my step-dad fixed himself a fried egg and tomato sandwich with a baked potato and to my surprise this looked mouth watering delicious to me! He was so delighted that I for once wanted to eat what he was having that he quickly fired up the same for me on my gluten-free bread. I haven't eaten an egg in probably a year and was happy to see that my mom had purchased cage-free organic eggs in her motions to start eating more natural. I stayed up chatting and searching for apartments with them for a few hours and then we all retired by 10pm. I once again passed out quickly but then woke up at 1am again! My mom went to work at 5:30am today, and I was still up, so I drove her in to work. This way I can make a trip to whole foods to get myself some Kombucha and other random yet still mild items to sooth this tummy of mine! Right now I am craving fried potatoes, so weird for me! My mom got me two prescriptions for antibiotics (she's a nurse) but I am not willing to go that route yet.

When my mom got out of the car and I switched over to the drivers seat, I started laughing like a joker, in an evil manner. For some reason the idea of being behind the wheel was a riot to me. Maybe because the navigation system of my heart has been rapidly changing direction so much lately, I was afraid it was going to lead me to driving who knows where. I pulled into drive and switched on her xm radio that happened to be set on a 90s pop station. Janet Jackson and Boys to Men filled the car and I started to sing my head off to my own delight. I have always told myself that I know I am truly happy when I belt it out in the car and this morning I was even adding dance moves.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

out of my mind

I am for sure out of my mind, but I guess that is what letting my heart lead me does. Haha. I went to India, where I thought I would be for months. My heart called me home, right to my Mommy. A request to move to San Fran touched my heart and gave me the confidence to come back to the states and have some sort of direction. It gave me the courage to really trust abundance and to know that the universe will provide me with an income to pay for rent and daily life in an expensive city. Whether that looks like waiting tables, coaching lives through joy, or receiving a book advance. Last night though, my heart directed me in a new direction, to a location that I already consider home, Hermosa Beach, where my best friend lives and operates a raw organic cafe and coffee shop. She was who I was planning on asking to drive me up to San Fran to move and I was elated when I checked my inbox to see a message from her telling me she could do it before I had even reached out to her. As I was replying with a Yes! I ended up writing what if we got a place together instead in Hermosa? What if I don't go to San Fran? This felt so right, that I realized that I would move there even if she wasn't prepared for a new living situation. I can get my own place there! My own home!!!!!!!

San Francisco really worked for me, because I gave my car away in February to people that needed it more than me and I am not prepared to buy a new one. I have been craving to live with a bicycle as my primary transportation and with the public transportation in SF it was perfect. But, I was having doubts about making it my new city. In the past few months I have finally come to really love LA, after years of writing it off. So, LA did keep popping into my brain, but I know I need a car there, so that won't work. But, in Hermosa I can easily live via bicycle and be close enough to LA to enjoy it's perks.

So, I realize that friends and family who have known me for years, and those who only know me through my writing may be thinking, "She is out of her mind!" Well, I agree. But, you know what? It feels great. It feels right. I am filling out an application for my own studio apartment right on the beach now!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh India, I am so grateful for you and for this trip. It may have been a lot shorter than I had anticipated but it feels like I was there for an eternity. You inspired so much in me. Planning for my trip to you led me to move out and leave San Diego. I had been ready to leave but was not sure exactly where I wanted to try next. It eased me into releasing my duties, and open up a huge space for the next step to come in. You got me to purge loads of clothing and other belongings that I really did not need and to buy things that I really did need (like a hard case for my laptop).

While I was with you in India, I of course became uber grateful for all of the luxuries I have. I was not freaking out without them (in fact I am leaving my phone shut off for a while), but I am present to the fact that I really do like living in the US. Which is almost shocking for me to say, as I recall stating a year or two ago that I wasn’t sure I would live in this country for much longer. Sure, I am not a fan of the media, and lots of other things but really I do choose the US right now. I visited 26 countries just in 2009. Granted, I did not spend extended amount of times in them (anywhere from 24 hours to 3 weeks), but I was there. I did get a feel for them and there are many, many, many that I do love and thought I would love to live in. I am actually sitting here in shock right now that I stated that I choose the US, but the truth has spoken.

A huge thing that India helped me to realize is how much a truly love my own way of being. I was able to notice my interactions with children, elderly, travelers, businessmen, swamis, and people of all sorts. My conclusion is that I interact with them all the same. I am compassionate, joyful, and most importantly and impressively I am able to be with all. I can sit and listen and have conversations with each and be who I am at all times. I can talk with someone who is trying to swindle me out of money and not feel the urge to get angry or to give them anything out of sympathy or fear.

As I stated in another blog, I had no intentions for India, no places I had to see, nothing. It was merely a country on my list. I was on tour from February to December last year and thought, “okay when tour is done I will have my own time. I will go to India.” I didn’t have anything else lined up in my life and really had no idea what else I wanted to do, so why not just book it open ended. I figured maybe I would stop back through Bali and Thailand too, as I have visited both before and enjoyed them. It is pretty cheap to survive in these countries, so I could just live off what I have saved and not have to think about making any income. Then, when I discovered I was writing a book, I thought, “Aha! I booked this trip unknowingly to write!” So that is it. Those were my reasons for my trip, to have time to myself, to live cheaply, and to write. I am pretty sure I can do those things anywhere; just the interpretation of cheap will change.

So, really this trip to India gave me a lot more than I bargained for. It led me to see that I favor Western styles of yoga (vinyasa, jivamukti, anusara) over the original asana styles created in India. Of course, these would not be in existence without India, but being there made me realize what I want in my asana practice. India did give me a start to my meditation practice and re-initiated my love of kirtan. India made me realize that I deeply love my friends and family and that I WANT to be near them and to spend time with them. I don’t need to do everything by myself anymore. I don’t like it as much anymore. It used to be my choice to do everything on my own, but India told me to soften up, to open up even more. India gave me an invitation to a new city in San Francisco and a desire to not just write my book, but to search for work writing for a magazine, newspaper, or online source. I know I would make a great critic or reviewer!

Today when I landed in DC I almost did a little tap dance when I reached American soil! Of all my travels overseas, I have never really gotten excited to be back. I even lit up in a smile at the sight of Starbucks (which i am not a usual consumer of). I think for the first time I can honestly state that I am proud to be an American! As, I stood in line at customs I looked at the other passengers in the US citizen line and got really present to the fact that almost everyone of them looked as if they could just as easily be in the foreigners line. All of these people of vast descents and cultures came here to make the USA their home and for the first time I really got that. I am grateful for these United States of America. We may not be perfect, but it is home.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Alright, so I am going to move to San Francisco and yes! I will be there for February as crazy as that sounds. So I thought I still have a few weeks, I might as well go visit around different places in India. The places that were on my penciled in list. I started to organize my time and route and then do I really, honestly care about going to see any of these places? Or am I just going because I am here, so might as well. Honestly, like I said earlier, I have done enough traveling. I don’t want to do it. As amazing I am sure all those places are, they are not calling to me. So, I went to an Internet shop to start my search for flights home. Where to? San Diego, LA, Santa Ana airports? But, I really kind of want to go home to see my Mom in Cincinnati. So, I look at all of the above and realize that my mileage with such a last minute booking is not enough. I can buy more mileage or look at kayak, orbitz, expedia and on and save that mileage for later. The prices are quite hefty and the Internet starts to phase out, so I log off and go for breakfast.

As I am walking along the cliff in Varkala, I am suddenly overwhelmed with tears. I WANY MY MOMMY!!!!!!! Like, FOR REAL! This is huge for me. I often say “mommy” out loud when I am feeling ill or sick, but not really wanting her; it has just become my word of exhaustion. Even a few days ago at the Ashram, when I was ill, I kept exclaiming “mommy”. I actually, explained to my bunkmate that its not that I really want my Mom. I really never call her when I need anything. I even went on to tell her that since my Dad died last year, I have been having a hard time wanting to be with or needing my mother. This is all true and I am not proud of it. It is something that is very hard for me. I do love my mother, but something really shifted to a weird place when my dad died. As if I was making sure that she didn’t get his love too, now that he was gone. Like, she better realize how much I love him! I have no freaking clue really what the source of it is. I have even talked about my mother issues in three different workshops that I attended this year, but had yet to resolve it.

My friend Conor, wrote to me "India! The Motherland!” when I embarked on this trip. So maybe that is what the motherland gave to me. She gave me mother back. The want for my mother back. The need for my mother back. All I want is to be in my mother’s arms right now.

So, I went back to the Internet and worked diligently to find a flight to Cincinnati. I thought I would look for Thursday out of Mumbai. I can catch a train to Mumbai, spend one night there and then go. As, I am searching for flights I here others discussing how hard it is to book a train. That they fill up weeks ahead of time and also I think, I really don’t care about being in Mumbai, even for one night. So, I give up on using miles and search for the Trivanundrum airport that is nearby. I can just stay here, by the beach for another few days and then fly out. But, you know what I am so overcome with wanting my MOMMY that I want to go now! So, I end up booking a flight leaving in less than 24 hours! I leave Trivanundrum at 5am tomorrow, so I will probably need a rick-shaw driver to drive me there at 2am.

And….I really don’t think that spending $1000 to give my mom a hug is so bad! I guess that is what my yoga teacher training was!

Mommy, here I come!

Beyond India.

I did get my refund! (well it is being processed, but I got approved) and went ahead and left the Ashram yesterday to free up my bed, as there were people checking with no room to put them anywhere and I was ready to go, especially since I could not eat. I got to the beach town of Varkala at about 6pm. Taking a rickshaw for an hour to the train station and buying a ticket for the next train north, hoping that was possible. The train was packed in, but I got a window. It was crazy to watch the passing houses and how different they were in so close quarters. I would see a beatiful new 2 story brigh yellow modern house and then little huts as big as a handicap bathroom made with bamboo. There also brick houses, but with palm fronds for a roof.

I saw an Ayervedic doctor at the Ashram before I left who gave me a tonic and capsules to take 3 times a day for my parasite. He said it will be gone in one day. I did have to get up to go to the toilet all night again, though and as I sit here I am trying to not go in my shorts. I ate thai food here last night and today which is funny because I told my Asrham roomie 2 days ago I was craving thai noodles, so there you go! I guess it is not just the Indian food at the Ashram that was not appetizing to me anymore, but all local Indian food. I was even afraid to order Briyani, which is just rice.

I am still having feelings of why am I here? and a bit lost on myself. A friend in San Fran disturbed my trip by replying to an email I had sent to my friends (mostly my last blog) offering for me to come be his roommate in San Fran starting in Feb. and to maybe train to lead workshops with him and that really excited me to the point I am almost wanting to leave here to go do that right now (or for February). Not even about the workshop part, but living in San Fran now. That is always where I thought I would move after San Diego and it now seems funny that after being introduced to that community that I didn't think of it. And of course how much would I love to help the Cafe Gratitude community! I was even pushing for another friend of mine to buy the house next to the Be Love farm so that i could go live in it and take care of that property, so that I could be up there with them, learning from them!

Maybe I needed to do this, to come here to see that what I really want is back there! It is so me. I did come here with no expectations and no plans. I didn't even look up anything. So, maybe I can just follow my heart and what excites me now. Man, living without a rulebook is kind of hard. Well, only when I start to think about what everyone else will think.....and the judgements. But, I guess I am really the only judge of myself and I think yes, I am crazy, but what feels right to me is to to San Fran!

But it is only 7am here and I have really not experience anything here. I do like it here, I am just wondering if I have traveled enough already in the last year. Do I really need to do this? But I am already here so I might as well, right? But do I need to stay for months like I had planned? I could just merely visit here for a few days, visit a few other cities that have called to me for a few days too and then come back, right? And yes, I love Bali (where I was planning on going next), but it will be there later and a lot my closest friends love Bali and we could go together. I really barely traveled with others for vacations, mostly on my own, but I think I would love that now.

So, maybe I will make it back to be Jon's roommate for Feb? I am going to walk the beach and do some yoga, maybe that will spin me on a certain path.

Ok, ok......I am leaving my room and going for a walk!

-----So, as I was gettting changed to leave my room, a voice inside of me screamed "I'm moving to SF!" and as I walked along the lovely town and beach it kept repeating itself and I was and am all lit up with excitement! I want to do this! I want to be in San Fran! I realize that being homesick is wanting a home.

So India and beyond turned into a short trip and the beyond turns out to be San Fran. Even during my short stay though, India gave me a lot and preparing for this trip gave me a lot. It got me to move out, give up a bunch of junk, release my made-up duty of "caretaker". It inspired me to visit friends all over the US before I left, thinking I may not see them for a very long time. So, this trip, India has given me more than enough and I am seriously so grateful for each moment of it.

So what if I had to travel around the world to realize what I want and don't want. It is so worth it.

Happy hands are back!

---now off to the toilet.

Happy hands are back! and I am laughing my head off.<

Friday, January 15, 2010

all of life

Wow! What a week. It was a roller coaster for sure. I arrived at the Ashram in the south of India and checked into my dorm. The next day the Teacher Training Orientation started and so did my close relationship with the toilet. My relationship with the toilet is still in tact after days of fasting and eating mildly. I have lived a few days of off raisons. The teacher training is pretty full on, starting with a wake bell at 5:30am, Satsung at 6am, Asana at 8am, breakfast at 10am (for everyone else), karma yoga at 11am, lectures at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm dinner at 6pm, satsung at 8pm. The teachings are quite nice, but I found myself wondering what I was doing here? I was home sick, for what home I am not sure since I don't have one. I found myself missing my transformational partner, my roomie, my family, my friends and more. I found myself making up jobs for myself when I return home, forgetting that I am writing a book and plan for it to be a huge bestseller. Just being away from my computer for a few days (there is no power to charge it here) is making me crazy! I really want to write about all of my experiences and hand scribbling in my journal does not suffice. My sickness definitely does not help either.

I reminded myself of all of the practices I usually live by, living in gratitude, living in the present, and on and on. What happened to all of that work I have done on myself? What happened to Love Inspiring Tricia? I overcame my drudgery and realized that I am surrounded by amazing people, in an amazing atmosphere and in amazing scenery and even though I am not sure why I am doing this teacher training to enjoy it, because it is all about things I love.

The community of people here is really amazing, my friend Jon Morro would be proud. With just a quick conversation people are offering you a place to stay if you ever happen through London, and we haven’t even exchanged names yet. We are all connected because we are in the same place and no other reason is necessary. Not what we do for a living, how old we are, if we are married or single, what culture we are from, we are all quick friends here. That is what I love about traveling like this, I am never really alone because all I have to do is open my mouth and ask a question or just say hello and a new friend is waiting.

So, the days went along and there was even homework given. All the classes were good, covering things I love, but I still wondered why I was here and yesterday during a class out of nowhere a voice in my head said, “You know you don’t have to stay here, you can leave.” Woah, really? But, I signed up for it, and I said I was going to do this. I told a lot of people that I was doing this. I knew it was going to be hard, but I signed up for it so I need to stick to it. Then I got a glimpse of my arm, of my tattoo that reads, “Let your heart lead you.” That tattoo had been getting me a lot of attention here. People are often stopping me to acknowledge me for it. So now, here I am wondering am I letting my heart lead me?

Although the training is great, I am really not getting much out of it. I lot of it is covering ideas I have previously studied and the rest are things I can easily read myself in a short book or work on my own. It is not challenging me; even the business of the day is really not challenging to me. Am I merely going to stay because I had committed to it. It that right? Is that my mind leading me? Or my heart? Or my ego? Or a contract? Or money that I had already paid?

So I went and made an appointment to speak to the person in charge about leaving the course and if a refund was possible. I thought if I can be refunded then I am out, if not I guess I must stay. I mean it is not as though I am hating the course or the Ashram and I am against the teachings, it is just that I am no longer feeling that it is what I need right now or want right now. What I really want is to go have a space, a place of my own near the beach. To have my days left open for reading and writing and my own yoga practice and now thanks to this Ashram add in my own meditation and chanting practice.

I was filled with excitement and joy as I heard that a refund was possible, I am free! But, then an hour later I checked the policy and saw a no-refund clause. I thought okay, I must stay if for no other reason than to be somewhere that I really don’t want to be. I have a lot of freedoms in my life, is it so bad to do this for three more weeks. Yes, I want to write, but I have the rest of my life to do that, right? So, I will stay, it will be good for me. But, then a few hours later I spoke to a girl who did drop out and did get a refund. So, I decide, I am going through with my meeting, I am going to leave! I am going to get a refund! I am writing a book now!

Today before my meeting, my mind went back and forth. Am I taking an easy way out? Am I meant to stay? What if they don’t offer me a refund will I still go and let that money be wasted? Then once again my arm called me out. My heart wants to go. My heart wants to write and it wants to do it now. I don’t need to make up excuses or make myself wrong for wanting to leave early. I booked this 3 months ago, before I even discovered my writing and a lot has changed in me since then and right now. I get to choose what I want to do. I don’t need to worry about if I am being too “easy” on myself. I don’t have to wait three weeks before I pursue something I really am drawn to do right now.

So, I had my meeting and I have the left the training and I believe I am getting my refund. I have to wait for the Swami’s approval, but it looks like it will happen since I am leaving within the first week. I will stay here another night or two and then head off to Varkala, a lovely beach town that is highly recommended. It even has surfing!

Even in my short stay here I have learned a lot. (Really, a week is quite a long time for me to be in one place, I now realize). I have learned a lot about their teachings, but also about my mind, my body, my interactions and about people from all over this vast world. There are 200 people here for the teacher training and another 100 for a yoga vacation. The ages are vast and they have come from London, Paris, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Paris, Japan, Iran, Amsterdam, and Italy just to name a few. It is truly inspiring to see such a large group of varied people working and supporting each other. I love so much sharing smiles with these people in passing that I know have led such different lives than I.

I was able to see in myself that my body can take a lot, that I am strong, mentally and physically. Although, I am sick I made it to each session with a smile. Everyone is shocked to find out that I have been sick and that I still am because of my “chipper” nature they say and they can not believe that I have still been participating. To me though, it is natural. Yes, I am not feeling well, but I will not let that ruin all of life for me and all of life is today, is every day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

In India.

I am so fucking cold!!!!!! I am only in Delhi for one day, two nights, before I head south where it is warm. I only have on pair of pants (my oldest lululemon yoga pants) and one sweatshirt with me that I brought mostly for the plane ride here. There are two warm blankets in my room, but I have yet to have one moment of warmth. I tried sleeping in my stomach and several wrapping methods, to no avail.

My flight here is quite quick and easy. The flight from Santa Ana arrived early to O’Hare, but then we had to wait on the tarmac to get a gate. I was fine with this as it gave my phone and Internet time. Then, I began to realize that my layover period was disappearing. My flight to Delhi was to begin boarding at 6:30pm and it was now 6:25pm. What if I miss this flight! Oh no! I would have to wait a full 24 hours for the next, quite possibly! At least, I was in Chicago, a former home of mine. I could call Julia and stay with her, or maybe they will offer my a room by the airport. Ooooooh, I totally will have to eat at Reza’a tonight! So I began to get excited, and hope that I would indeed miss the flight to India. Within 5 minutes, though we had pulled up to a gate. I found my next gate and my flight had yet to begin boarding, no Reza’s for me!

The flight to India was easy. I did realize that the seats seem to have less room then the plane I was just on, but it was not terribly cramped. I did get a little jealous of the 5 person rows next to me that where not full, so gave them spare seats. I had picked an aisle of a two-person row thinking it would be less cramped. The movie selection was not the best ever, but I was still excited for my movie fest to begin! I started with a few episodes of “How I met Your Mother”. One, because I enjoy the show, and two to confirm that the lead actor was indeed at our NYE party a few days earlier. Katie B. tried to convince me otherwise, but it was he, so I got in a last minute BBM to her that I was right, before the plane took off.

The plane took off, without me realizing it and soon I was dining on a delicious Indian Vegetarian meal. I was soon cozy in my seat, watching movies. I fell asleep late into the flight and once I woke up tried to stay up so that I would be able to sleep when I arrived at 11pm in India. My fogginess pulled my back in, but I was able to wake up for another delicious meal, for breakfast (PS always order Asian Vegetarian if you can, best plane food ever). When we arrived in India it was old hat to me. Head to customs, exchange money, pick up luggage. As I exited, I saw a booth for pre-paid taxis, and decided this would be the best option. I surely did not feel like haggling for a ride, especially since I had no idea what a good cost was in the first place. I got my receipt and headed out Exit 2 for a cab.

When I exited the airport doors, I entered a new world. Holy shit where the fuck am I? There was a dirty fog and people everywhere. Inside the airport, I could have been in any city, but now outside I was struck with laughter that I was really here, and boy was it different. I got to a taxi and we headed on our way. Immediately, I let go of what safe driving was to me. It was pure comedy. I never felt afraid, because I knew that this is how they did it here, and it really looked like some close calls. I did, which shocked myself, have fears of where is he taking me? There were some weird turn-offs to roads with no cars and fears came up. I never really think about my safety or think about getting mobbed or raped, but those thoughts lingered in…for a moment and then a let them drift away.

In my room, I arrange my belongings, and get out my stones. I take out the Lonely Planet that Jason has passed along to me to research Delhi. I figured I would just roam about the next day, but realized that there may be attractions to see. As, I paged through the book, I got present to the fact I was just happy to have my own little space and my own time, my own schedule or non-schedule. I didn’t really want to find anything in Delhi. Maybe I will ask the hotel owners if there is anything I must see or where to eat (oh wait, they will probably only recommend their own restaurant), but I was mainly just excited to read and write and be.

It is 9:44am, now and I had turned the lights on at 7am. I have been reading until now, and trying to stay warm. I had a Sunrider threesome and a bar that the Natters gave me. I have no idea what to wear today. Like I said, I really don’t have anything warm. I have my relaxed jeans, but they are so ripped. I have my blue dress, but I don’t want it to be all dusty. I have my long cotton skirt, that is thin, but I can wear my yoga tights underneath. I am sure I will end up in the ripped jeans and my sole sweatshirt, with my old Tom’s shoes.

When I do finally make it out of my room, I inquire at the front about what to do. He tells me I can take an 8-hour tour for 750 rupiahs, a taxi will come and get me and take just me around to see temples and such. This sounds like a great idea, but I really want to at least start the day with a wander. I head out of the hotel and into the Main Bazaar and to my surprise I feel at home, I feel safe, I feel at peace. People, pedi-cabs, rickshaws, cars, motorbikes, and oxes all share the roads lined with merchants. Yes, they are trying to sell me things and offering me rides, but none of it is threatening. I remember that I have a new camera and pull it out to take some shots. I barely even look at the images just start snapping away from my chest. As I wander along, people young and old get excited by my camera and ask for their photo, I swear an ox even walked closer to me and posed as I was snapping a picture of him. I love this. I love the smiles. I love the warmth (of the people).

These guys are warming their hands on the tandori fire. Fine idea! They let me share in the warmth.


Today is the day! I did it! I packed my life and chose store, take, or give away. I have with me one large backpacking pack that is packed, yet still has a ton of room, My yoga mat bag (stuffed with books I have been gifted and my mat), my regular backpack (filled with my laptop, brand new kindle and camera, and of course my collapsible hula hoop ( I stored one storage bin of clothing, one of personal goods (books, tax info., tiny mementos), one of shoes, coats, and other odds and ends, and my trusty suitcase that has toured the world over and over again with me (she gets this trip off). All of this fit in the back of a Highlander hybrid with out even blocking the rear window view. I gave away books, clothes, shoes, baskets, expensive toiletries, and more.

My partner in transformation picked me up at 8:30 am, and when he arrived I had all of my gear stacked outside the front door waiting. I already had drunk two mugs of mate and was working on my green shake in between bites of the raw cookie dough that Anya had made me the night before. My carry-on was packed with leftovers from the night’s amazing collaboration dinner and a piece of raw chocolate pie from Cru. After a few hugs goodbye from soul sisters, Anya and TP, Jason and I hit the rode, only to make a quick stop by at Jitters in Oceanside, to grab some more hugs from my community of amazing friends there.

The drive was perfect and before I knew it, (quite literally, we passed the entrance to the airport) we had arrived. Before strapping on my gear, I was met by a hug that needed no words at all. He didn’t need to say anything, I felt it all, I know it all, but he did. The words that he choked out, “I’m so proud of you” will stay with me forever. I’ve heard those words out of mouths before, but I feel this one to the core, and I accept all that it is.

I strapped my packs on and laughed at it all and headed for check in. My passport was handed over and the desk agent started typing away. She had to got check multiple pages to make sure my one way ticket and visa would indeed welcome me into India. I was at the desk for a good 10-15 minutes waiting for her to go through all the necessary work and also waiting while she helped to translate for the agent next to us and her line. I was able to have comfortable, fun banter with the agents, laughing as they accidently tagged someone else’s luggage with my tag. Lately, I am present to how much I love these moments of sharing laughter with new strangers each day. It is good to feel connected.

Before heading into security, I opted for a bathroom stop. I had already consumed more beverages than some people do all day. I was delighted to see such a clean, empty bathroom and was excited at the site of the ultra-large handicap stall. I don’t usually go for those stalls, as I am not handicapped, but figured since there were 3 more large stalls open and not one person in the entire room, I would be off the hook. I placed my stuff on the floor and used the facilities, when I finished I was suddenly overcome with an urge for a downward dog, so I went for it. In the bathroom stall! I started to shake my head at the silliness of it and then decided it was a picture perfect moment to good not to share. So, I set up my new camera for it’s first shot. And that is how my trip began!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


A few months ago, I went on a retreat to a farm in Maui. It was an amazing experience all together, put on by CafĂ© Gratitude of San Francisco. There is a community of farmers that live on the farm full-time and most of them participated in the retreat as well. It was such beautiful group, inside and out. When the retreat was over and I was saying my goodbyes, one of the female farmers hugged me and said, “ You just seem so grounded, it was great to be in your presence.” I think that is the greatest compliment that I have ever received. I had really never even had a one on one conversation with her. This is just what she picked up from listening to me and observing me in our community setting.

This was the best news to me, because for so long I was not grounded. It was first brought to my attention when I had my first astrology reading. Of course, it was easy for anyone to say that as I barely had a permanent resident and lived my life on the road. Even when I was not on tour, I was somewhere temporary. But, beside the physicality of it I was not grounded inside either. Back then, I felt like I was always searching for something. I was strong and confident, but didn’t feel complete.

From the outside it may not look like much has changed. I spent 210 days of 2009 on tour and another 40 days in places that were not my address. To top it all off I leave in a few days to go to India with a one-way ticket and really no timeline, or estimation of when I will come back and where I will come back to. But, inside is a whole new story, I truly feel grounded.

I am making proof of this statement in the way I make myself at home where ever I am. I may be sleeping in a different bed every night, but I feel the same in each location. This really showed up for me a couple of weeks ago when I was visiting a new friend in Vegas. I have never stayed with her or even been to her house before. I met her this spring when our tour came through and she offered us a chance to see Cirque du Soliel’s Ka. We chatted that night and kept in touch. When I got to her place she said those words are often told to houseguests, “Make yourself at home”. As the words were coming out of her mouth I was opening cabinets in her kitchen looking for a glass and mug. I hadn’t even thought about asking her where they were. That was when I realized that I am now a professional at “making my self at home.”

On that Maui trip, I took part in a medicinal ceremony and in my journey I felt so safe and protected in the darkness of my own eyelids. Not that I didn’t feel safe with my eyes open, but when I closed my eyes, I truly went in and just felt like I was enclosed in the warmest embryo of a hug ever. Since the journey, that safe, protected feeling has not left me, especially at night. I often open my eyes and have no idea where I am, but not in a scary way. In the most beautiful way possible, I feel so connected and protected that it doesn’t matter where I am.

I am grounded!


Last night at the New Year's party I attended we all went around and stated what we are grateful for. We filled the room, making sure every person went, even as more and more kept walking in the door. As a group we were committed to hearing what each other were grateful for in that moment. There were quite a few of us there. So it took over an hour to hear from each one. It was so amazing to watch and listen to each person, young and old, pause and voice his or her gratitude. This is a practice that I am now used to and I am so grateful for that! Everything that is said is applauded, appreciated, acknowledged and mirrored into my own life. When the turn was mine, I said I am grateful for life, and the fact that I get to choose it every moment of everyday. And I so get that, and I am grateful that this is the way I choose to see life.

Today, I set out to visit an amazing friend in Joshua Tree. The first step was to get a ride from Encinitas to the San Diego airport, as those are the only rental locations open on New Years Day. I had just returned another friends' car to her the night before that she had let me borrow for a month while she was away. I am so overcome with gratitude for her and her sweet little hybrid car! She even offered to let me keep it for my last week in town, but I decided it would be a more suitable choice to rent a car. She loves her bike and plans on sticking to it this week, but I kept feeling that I better rent a car.

I am grateful that I have the will to make requests of my friends and know that is perfect if they say no, too. I am grateful for the friend that drove out of her way to pick me up and take me to get my rental and I am so grateful for the time that we spent together on that car ride south. I am head over heals in love with the Prius, but since I am no longer making an income, I opted for the cheap "mid-size" class car deal that I found. $45 a day vs. $11 a day was actually a really hard choice for me, but I gave in and chose the cheap deal. I signed the paperwork and the agent handed me the keys to my least favorite car!!!!!! An old roommate of mine had owned one of these cars, and it continuously was in the shop after being purchased brand new. I know that can happen with even the most luxurious of all cars, but I just really don't like this model!

I sucked it up and pulled onto the 5 north and as I was telling myself how much I hated the car, I realized how grateful I was to be driving any car at all. Grateful to be able to afford it, grateful to have a license, etc. etc. Then I got how grateful I was for all the cars I had driven previous to this one that had set my standards so high. I also reasoned with myself that this car must be good practice for India, shifting from luxury hotels and vehicles to a different type of comfort.

As I drove on, starting my mini road-trip, so much came up for me that I am grateful for. I thought back to the previous night and how much I loved every moment of it and not just the parts when I was laughing and being reunited with old friends, but also the parts when I was feeling awkward wondering if a "New Year's kiss" was going to happen and when the girl that had drank a little too much was trying to tell me the same story over and over again. I love it all. I am grateful for it all. Each moment is mine, and I get to make up whatever I want about it and then I can forget it too, because really what does it mean? And what does it matter? Does it matter if my version is right? No. Does it matter if your version is right? Nope. But, what is awesome is that I have this moment right here, and it really doesn't have to have anything to do with that moment I just had. If I did not like something when I was 11 years old, or 18 years old, that doesn't mean that I have to not like it right now. I can choose again. I might have even not appreciated something 20 minutes ago, and suddenly be in love with it now.

After a good bout of reflection, I was up for some music. I had grabbed the two CDs I had purchased on my last road trip to bring along for the ride and opened up the case to one to put it in. I attempted to slid the CD into the slot and it was not being received. I thought maybe someone had left a CD in there, but nothing came out with the eject and the screen flashed no CD. So, I tried again but the player was not allowing my disc in. I was in the mountains at this point in my drive and no radio was coming in. I even have a FM transmitter for my ipod, but could not get a clean signal to use. So, I chose silence. It may not have been a split second choice. It came after multiple attempts at my 3 audio options, but I did choose silence, instead of choosing to be angry at the broken CD deck. I am incredibly grateful that I have learned that skill. The skill to accept what is and then take it farther and choose what is.

It's life! Isn't it grand! And it's all mine!