No. 274: A Friend.

I got a message from a friend today, which essentially thanked me for something I had not even given a second thought. I was so touched that he took the time to articulate that my kind words of support meant that much to him. It lit a flame within to have me share encouragement more often. To really put into words the thoughts I have which may brighten someone’s day.

Pass on your kindness and love, friends, pass it on.

No. 273: Cathy.

I am not afraid of handstands anymore. Or headstands, for that matter. And as I recently posted, falling doesn’t terrify me either.

All of this is in thanks to my incredible home studio, Honor Yoga, and specifically to my fearless Flight School pilot, Cathy Madeo, as seen in the photo above. Flight School is a four-week intensive which builds both arm and core strength and establishes a practice of arm balances. I’ve felt my personal confidence and strength blossom because of this practice. The atmosphere in Flight School, which Cathy established from day one, was one of exploration, perseverance, and celebration. We would workshop poses, work with partners, and together really form a tight-knit community, even sharing our personal victories on a private Facebook group.

Without Cathy’s authentic approach and selfless sharing of her own practice, none of this would be possible. She comes into class each day with a joy and radiance for teaching, and a humility that inspires each of her students, regardless of their level of experience. She tirelessly preaches patience, celebrating the progress that you’ve made, and encourages you to personalize your practice. Cathy’s humor and encouragement to each students’ individual progress is the reason why you can barely find room in her classes to squeeze in your mat: you know that you will be encouraged to “find your edge” and practice accordingly.

Cathy, thank you for flight school. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing it with us.

To infuse some of Cathy’s wisdom and beautiful practice in your own life, check out her website and blog.

(PS: Image source.)

No. 272: Chip and Joanna Gaines.

I watch a lot of HGTV. This is no secret to pretty much anyone that converses me on a daily basis or my Google search history which has recorded my real estate hits in my area out of, you know, curiosity. My favorite show is by far Fixer Upper, in which a married couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, work together to restore or renovate a home for a client. Chip handles the construction, Joanna does the decorating, and together they are a pretty unstoppable team.

The reason I adore them though is not just for their beautiful work. Unlike other shows, there is no rehearsed or manipulated dialogue, it’s just two people who work together on projects. Did I mention they’re adorable? They love each other and show how they are silly together, stress together, and raise their family together. Each episode one of them mentions how much they adore the other in real authentic ways: “You look handsome standing on that roof there,” or “Joanna is simply the best at what she does.” Did I mention their farm and their kids are adorable?

Simply put: they are an example of a successful partnership, both in business and in life.

Need to feel restored in creativity and heart? Check out Fixer Upper on HGTV!

(PS: Image credit.)

No. 271: Falling. 

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
– Confucius

I fell on my butt today. And on my back, my toes, and my head.

As you may recall, this is not the first time I have fallen. I have already taken dozens of tumbles, major and minor, just this once.

But today my ego was bumped in a huge way.

I was in yoga and set up to practice handstands. I was in a spot where I didn’t have any wall access, and though my yoga buddies offered me some room on their mats, I decided to give non supported handstands a try.

My first try was a balance in a moment, flat on my back in the next. I had clearly made my nearby yogis panic, and my teacher hurried on over, and everyone was checking to see if I was okay… It was embarassing. Physically I was completely okay. Mentally, I was shot. No more handstand kick ups for me; I kept my head down. I didn’t even find headspace in time for our shavasana, that final resting pose which is the essence of melding mind and body.

Why did I let the fall bother me so much? I fall all the time. My theory is that it was the first fall I’d taken in yoga. I was feeling pretty strong from flight school and my weekly yoga routine, so this tumble was a long awaited reminder that it’s all part of a longer, greater process.

I will get up tomorrow. And someday that unsupported handstand will be mine.

No. 270: Earlybird Mornings.

I was up early this morning – not by much, but a good fifteen minutes to a half an hour earlier than usual. I got a coffee and a bagel at my local mom and pop shop and savored the drive into work: windows down, morning show playing, all systems go for a fantastic day.

Interested in seeing the benefits of early rising? Read articles like this, or if you dare, try it yourself this week!

No. 269: Special Weekday Dinners.

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I set up the dinner tonight with a table cloth, lit candle, wine cooling in a makeshift ice bucket, and carafe of iced green tea. I set the firepit up with kindling and small logs, and lit the newly painted tiki torches. I even set Daisy up with a kong filled with frozen peanut butter.

Why?

It was Tuesday.

And I need no more reason than that.

No. 268: Our Veterans.

I showed the video above to my preschool religion classes this week while we prepared windsocks for Memorial Day. What struck me was how vast, beautiful, and promising this country is… and how that was not lost on my students.

Politics aside, I’m grateful for those that have passed before me to ensure my freedom and my ability to live with honesty, love, and even an opinion.