Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Coop's Playfully Exasperated "Maaa-haammm"

I'm in the final week of my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training... it's been a ride. The biggest area of growth for me was not in my on-the-mat practice but in a willingness to embrace vulnerability, allowing myself to be seen in a new way. I learned how my fear of failure and drive for success (as defined by others) was holding me down and keeping me from dreaming. I also learned a bit more about perception... when I was feeling "heavy," my introverted nature led others to view me as aloof, serious, untrustworthy and arrogant. This confused me because inside I was trying so hard to please, albeit alongside bouts of insecurity and frustration when things didn't go as they should. Now that I'm embracing a lighter way of being, my quieter self shines through in a different way. Words my co-teacher trainees used to describe me in a recent exercise were: casually calm; someone with an amusing appreciation of life and an unsuspecting sense of humor. I like the lighter me better:)

The transformation... well it's certainly ongoing and I can't say everyday I have this sense of being. It's a struggle but an enjoyable one to be more mindful of. It's funny, the one that seems to notice the most is my little Cooper, now 8 years old. I hope to always remember his playfully exasperated "maaa-haammm" (i.e. "mom"). He calls out my little snippets of humor often, and it's interesting because I'm pretty sure they were mostly absent before. When harried busyness was the norm, slowing down outwardly and inwardly wasn't something I perceived as an option. I wasn't a bad mom, just not as regularly present and engaged. Yet -- I'm ever thankful for that time in my life. It helped me find my purpose, gave me skills I now feel blessed to share with others, and has put me on a new, exciting life path.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Biking in Wisconsin’s Northwoods

Spring is a time of renewal... the skies open and temperatures warm, inviting us to experience our first ride of the season. The days are longer, the sun shines brighter, the bugs are yet to hatch, and the warm and cool air fluctuates dramatically with slight elevation changes. 

The ephemeral ponds are full of frog calls, and the forests rich with wildlife song & movement. Porcupine and wild turkeys are frequent visitors. Baby turtles hatch and find their way to the water. Hawks and grouse exit and appear in forest openings. Loons and swans glide through diamond-sparkling waters. Eagles and hawks fly overhead, riding the warm thermals.

All of this reminds us we are part of something beautiful. A delicious sense of being is experienced as the sunshine warms our bodies, as the Hermit Thrush sings its ethereal song, and when the butt aches but we continue on because it feels oh-so-good! And, the smells... sometimes brackish, sometimes so fresh with ferns, soils and more it’s indescribable. 

Nature-rich roads with company, in solitude.
Open views and lavender sunset skies.

Hearing sounds clearly, seeing more vividly.
Letting loose your voice, singing or humming along.

Fresh air pitstops along crystal clear lakes.
Ice cream, coffee, beer, iced tea - what’s your pleasure.

Make it your pleasure. 

Enjoy a ride this beautiful spring day.