Monthly Archives: February 2012

Randomness

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Since Jeremy Lin is thisclose to being the NBA equivalent of a song that gets too much radio play, I thought I’d say a little something about ‘Linsanity’. Jeremy’s story reminds me of this Shel Silverstein poem:
Listen to the mustnt’s child, listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves then listen close to me,
Anything can happen child, anything can be.

Have you ever waved at someone you thought you recognized, only to realize it wasn’t who you thought it was? Ever feel silly, like you wish you could take the wave back? Instead, trust that the person who received your wave (and hopefully your smile) needed that today. Whether you knew them or not, for a split second they felt recognized. And that’s a very good thing. Kind of makes you want to walk around smiling and waving at strangers more often, huh.

Lastly, I have to share with you a sentence I uttered this week that I never suspected would come from  my mouth.  This week I actually said, “Darth Vader doesn’t bite me because I don’t do mean things to Darth Vader.” Any moms out there with young boys can likely relate. 🙂

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Contemplation Of The Micro

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I was reading Yoga International the other day and came across an article about a photography technique. It’s called Miksang. The idea is to take close-up photos of ordinary, everyday objects (i.e. a pile of nails, the base of a lamp, the cracks in a window pane.You get the drift). My instant reaction was, ‘Good golly, is this really the stuff they put in YI these days?’…..and then I woke up. It’s not about the subject being photographed so much as it is about contemplation.

While the big stuff is exciting (rainbows, landscapes, wedding parties etc…) it’s all the little stuff that makes big stuff possible. The cracks in the finish, the pounding of a nail, the water in a bird bath. These are just minor examples of myriad, often taken for granted ingredients, making up this wonderful life.

Since reading that article I have been practicing better awareness of the little things. As I walk outside in the morning I stop to look for the sparrows singing from the bushes. I notice the few traces of color from berries that have yet to fall off the trees in my side yard. I appreciate the hydrangeas, although dried to a crisp, offering a new beauty in this stage of their life. It’s simple really, a ‘stop and smell the roses’ type practice, but with an emphasis on what would otherwise go unnoticed.

And this doesn’t just apply to the happy, flowery things in our world, but the negative, nasty stuff too. World issues, unhealthy relationships, judgments…all these things having roots tracing back to something small.  Something seemingly insignificant. For instance, a piece of trash lying in the parkway, overlooked, which leads to another piece of trash, and another, and eventually pollution.  (anyone have negative thoughts like that?  that just continue to add up until your mind is polluted with them??)

Good, bad, happy or sad, it all starts the same way. With something small and often overlooked. Whether a grain of sand on a massive beach, or an act of distrust that creates a lifelong judgement….it all starts from something small. Every little thing will eventually become something bigger.  Whether that’s the mustard seed or a bad intention.

What will you see today? Notice the cracks in the sidewalk, or the last remaining leaf on a branch. Better yet, notice the smile on a stranger’s face.  And if you really want your mind blown, consider that the stranger you’re staring at is built of all the same small parts you are (generally speaking).  And he /she is living a life that began from two very small components (insert Reproductive Ed from 6th grade). Look past the obvious and into the inner workings of what makes life, live! There is something new to be appreciated everywhere. To me, that’s really frickin’ exciting!

Yoga With Strangers

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I’m hesitant to share this post, because in doing so I will reveal the location of my new favorite place to get away… Oh well, you deserve a get-a-way spot too.  Enjoy!

Last week, I traveled to Lowell, MI (about 30mins from my house) to have breakfast at my favorite little, “coffee shop-restaurant-bakery hybrid” in all the land,  Ella’s Coffee and Cuisine. From home made baked goods, to ‘not your ordinary sandwiches’, to mochas that rival Italian made (so says my husband. he used to live in Italy), this place is just about everything I need in one location.  The atmosphere is warm and inviting, there’s a circulating art collection from local artists on the walls, Owls can be found in nearly every nook and cranny, and you can simply feel the love that has gone into creating this establishment, as well as the culinary delights that come from it.

Truth be told, it was during my last visit to Ella’s that I came up with the idea of Yoga With Strangers.  As I sat sipping on coffee and nibbling my Oliver’s Twist, I had an Ah-Ha moment.  Here I was, able to enjoy some time to myself while indulging in made from scratch tasties because someone (insert Ella and her husband, Randall) decided to share what they love with their community. Lucky Me!  My brainstorm for Yoga With Strangers was born.

If you passed me on the street you may have no idea that I love yoga… we’d miss an opportunity for human connection…we’d waste another opportunity for getting out of our bubbles, out of our comfort zones and experience something new in our day.  Becasue of a moment of inspiration at Ella’s I made a commitment to ease myself and some unsuspecting strangers out of our comfort zones for a few minutes to share yoga and anything else that may come up.  Bringing what I love to more and more people and hoping that they might be inspired to do the same.

Thank you to Ella and Randall for sharing your passion with Lowell, for providing a place of reflection and inspiration, and for being such good sports for this edition of Yoga With Strangers.

From Left: Abby, Ella, and Randall. In three variations of Eagle!

The crowd that came through the door as we were snapping our Eagle pic