Jumping In

It’s getting late, and after the day I’ve had I should probably be getting to sleep, but I was feeling particularly content and full of gratitude. I’ve been on vacation in Southern California for almost a week now, and with only a couple of days left I’ve definitely been full of the “Does this have to end?” attitude. During this trip I have been consistently reminded of how lucky I am to have so many amazing, supportive, beautiful people in my life. People who I can be completely myself with, who understand my need for Harry Potter and tacos, and who never hesitate when I ask them if they can take yet another picture of me in a yoga pose. A few days ago I was reunited with my best friend of 15 years and after having not seen each other in person for at least 8 of those years, I was blown away by how effortless our friendship still seems. No awkwardness, plenty of sharing, laughter, and silly moments. Oh, and she was gracious enough to take yoga pictures of me (which are up on Instagram at @yogi.meg) while we enjoyed the beach. My favorite part? We were standing on the beach, our feet in the water, contemplating whether or not we should just jump in, and she goes, “If you’re up for it, I’m up for it.” Who would say no to that?

IMG_7806

I’ve been all over the place while I’ve been here, going from Canyon Lake to Manhattan Beach to Laguna Hills to Laguna Beach to Hollywood…which is where I currently sit in my friend Abbey’s studio rambling on to you all. Today was a special day–thanks to the generosity of another friend (have I mentioned that I know some excellent people?) we were able to go to Disneyland and it was Abbey’s very first time EVER. I’m a Disneyland veteran and it was such a fun day sharing the experience with her. If you’re able to visit this summer definitely go–it’s the park’s 60th (Diamond) Anniversary and it’s looking pretty spectacular. Tomorrow we head to Santa Monica to enjoy a relaxing beach day and I’m thinking of changing my career slightly to yoga teacher/beach bum. I have a feeling I would be fairly amazing at it. I’m ending this now with a full and grateful heart.

Goodnight and Namaste!

Advertisements

Old Thoughts

So I’m currently on vacation in Southern California (woop woop!) and I brought with me a notebook with some odd little writings that I thought I would revisit and work. I stumbled upon a little piece I wrote on 9/16/2011 and I thought I would share it because I think it’s interesting to see my thoughts then and how they stack up now, almost 4 years later! It was written during one of the many “confused” periods I went through in college.

“I feel out of place in this time,

constantly waiting, wishing, wanting and hoping for a change.

A change that I don’t know how to enact.

I crave the different and unique and can’t help but realize that my heart’s desire is hidden from me.

There is so much to uncover and discover,

yet I’m stuck in this moment,

bound to what is desired, not by me,

but by people who tell me my ideals, my dreams,

are unrealistic, unpractical.

I long for the beautiful, the peaceful, the inspirational.

I pray and wish and hope to realize my true path in this lifetime.

More and more, doubt’s ever-hungry tendrils are forced into my thoughts,

bringing into question the decisions I have made up to this point.

Ever-present in my soul is the urge to do good, to make a difference, to help those in need,

and to believe that there are others who feel as I do.

This belief is what drives the despair of feeling alone out of my heart and out of my life.

The obstacles wedged between me and my dreams are heavy and numerous.

I have but one question to ask of myself at the close of this reverie–

Are these obstacles real and true, or am I allowing obstinance and fear create them for me?”

I would say that while some of this still holds true, some doesn’t anymore and for that I am grateful. I don’t feel alone and I have learned to surround myself with people who support me and my dreams. There are always obstacles to face but it’s important to not be overwhelmed by them and to work at overcoming them. Success is not possible when you let the obstacles knock you down and you don’t pull yourself back up. I think I found this little piece at a good time because it shows me how far I’ve come, but doesn’t let me forget that I still have a long way to go. I say–bring it on! Summer has always been a time of life and rejuvenation for me, and this summer isn’t going to be any different! The beach is calling me and I still have some vacation left to enjoy and recharge. I’m very excited to say that in exactly one month I will be starting a YTT-200 training in Portland, Oregon and I can’t wait! I have really positive feelings about this one. It’s an intensive, only two weeks long, but I’m definitely up for the challenge! I will be doing my best to post daily during the training.

Happy Thursday friends and as always,

Namaste.

May Thoughts

It’s been a while since I’ve been around but I hope this is the start of much more writing! It’s been an interesting several months and I would like to share some things that I’ve learned during this time. Some of them seem pretty obvious, I know, but hey, I’m obviously still learning at this life thing.

1.) Moving back home after having lived on your own is hard. Very hard.

2.) The people who really love you don’t treat you like you’re less than dirt. Kick those that do out of your life. Bye. Adios. Ciao. Au revoir. You get it.

3.) Grapevines are supremely interesting plants. They can grow just about anywhere. This is pretty cool. Plus, grapes make wine, and this is always good.

4.) Just because you start a book doesn’t mean you have to finish it. It’s okay to just move on to the next one. (Yes, it took me 24 years to figure this one out.)

5.) Wearing a good-quality analog watch somehow has made me feel more like an adult. I don’t know why this is but I’m pleased.

6. I need more sleep now than I did when I was in college and that’s okay, if a little weird. Don’t underestimate your need for the zzzzzzzz’s.

7.) Being kind is not that same as being weak or a pushover and don’t let anyone make you feel differently. You can be a strong, independent badass and still be kind. In case this hasn’t been made clear yet, I think kindness is pretty damn important.

8.) If a guy (or girl) doesn’t call, text, message, or make an effort to see you…he (or she) is just not into you. If this is a hard concept to understand, and believe me, I know how hard it can be, go read He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. It can be a frustrating read because it’s honest. If you’re not ready for that yet, just go watch the movie.

9.) I’m not a child anymore. I can’t eat an entire bag of Cheez-its (or half a pizza or an entire batch of cookies) and still feel ready to take on the world. My body says hell nahhhh to that. Fine, I’ll eat this plate of kale instead.

10.) Surround yourself with the people who are going to boost you up, who are going to encourage you to follow your dreams, and who will be there even if you text them because you’re in tears over a commercial on tv. Hey, sometimes those things just get me, okay? Seriously though, keep the people around who make you a better person, and do the same for them.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Namaste!

Something Rotten

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet because I’m not feeling in the “book review” mood today. Something Rotten, the fourth in Jasper Fforde’s “Thursday Next” series, was a fun read. Honestly, I enjoyed it more than I expected to. So much in this series is just so absurd (in the best possible way), that I found myself wondering how long Fforde could keep up the fun quality of his books without them becoming stale. The storyline progressed quite well and several story lines that have progressed over the last couple of books were either resolved, or came satisfyingly close. There were great literary moments (Shakespeare’s Hamlet has a large role) and Thursday’s character is solid. This probably seems like a boring review, but overall, it was an enjoyable addition to what has already been a fun series to read. There are still a few I haven’t read yet in the series, stay tuned!

Great Jedi Mind Trick moment halfway through the page
Great Jedi Mind Trick moment halfway through the page

images

To move away from the topic of books for now…yesterday we lost a great man. Robin Williams…how can I come up with the right words for this situation? I’m heartbroken. Films, like books, are a huge and important part of my life, and Robin Williams has made an everlasting impression on me and countless others. His presence, wit, humor, and talent will never be forgotten, and will always be missed. Sending up lots of light and love to him and his family through this tragedy. Be at peace, beautiful soul. 
dead-poets-society-1

 

Namaste.

All About Those Connections

Recently, I’ve been focusing on connecting–with myself, friends, family, nature…just about everything really. I’ve found that when I allow myself to stop for a moment and let myself be in that moment, I experience such blissful feelings. Even if it’s brief, I can really experience what I’m doing and feeling. A little over a week ago (I know, I’m slow when it comes to posting), I spent part of the morning/afternoon at Sarver Winery with one of my closest friends. One of Eugene’s local yoga studios, the aptly named Eugene Yoga, hosted a “Yoga at the Vineyard” outing. It was incredible. We spent 75 minutes doing a gentle-yet-energizing flow and then enjoyed some good wine. I love practicing yoga outside and this time was no exception! There’s nothing like going through your Sun Salutations in the fresh air with a gorgeous view of the vineyard. There were a lot of us and we were all cramped together…but at least we got to know our neighbors pretty well! During various moments in the practice I stopped, (usually in a pose haha) closed my eyes, felt the breeze play over my face and couldn’t help but smile. “Ahhhh yes,” I thought in those moments, “This is wonderful. This is joy.” Connecting. Did I mention the wine? I had a glass of Sarver’s Muscat and my friend had a glass of the Pinot Gris, and while both were good, I preferred the Pinot Gris. Mmmm! 

Later that day I experienced another, incredibly powerful, form of connecting. For a couple of months now I’ve been following @ameliakyoga on Instagram. She is a truly beautiful soul and I began following her during her last few weeks of pregnancy. To make a long story short (and hopefully not harsh), her sweet baby boy Landon didn’t make it through. I can’t even begin to understand her grief, but I’ve been amazed at her strength, her grace, and her willpower through everything. Little Landon’s loss was felt strongly but so many in the Instagram yoga community, and on that Sunday the 27th many of us lit candles in remembrance to the little boy who is so loved by so many. It’s always seemed strange and powerful to me that you can be touched so deeply by those you have never met. I’ve never felt it so strongly as that day, when so many came together and shared their pictures and candles with the hashtag #welovelandon to show love and support for Amelia, her husband, and their family. I feel so blessed to be a part of a community of people that consistently support, inspire, and encourage…whether you know each other or not! Experiences like this are one of the real triumphs of social media, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. For those wanting to know more about Amelia, her family, and her experiences, please follow her on Instagram at @ameliakyoga. 

I’ll have a new review up soon! Namaste all you beautiful souls. 

20140805-200335-72215880.jpg
We Love Landon

Another Review Day….

Another review for you all! Today we have Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison. Title’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? The title is what caught my eye in the first place, when my roommate placed it in my hands and told me I should read it. Who wouldn’t want to read a book that has “Yoga Bitch” in the title? Morrison’s memoir about her decision to do a two-month yoga teacher training retreat in Bali is more along the lines of a “beach read”, if that’s what you so desire. This is a story of a young woman who travels to Bali wanting to be transformed into someone more, well, yogic by the training and her teachers. I loved this book. Her adventures and misadventures are both hilarious and inspiring. I think we can all identify with those moments when something doesn’t turn out to be quite what we expected–and there are quite a few of those moments here. What I liked most about this book is that is a real story and it feels that way. Morrison is completely human in her writing and her journey wasn’t perfect and tied with a pretty little ribbon at the end. Being a yoga girl myself, I found a lot to relate to. It’s a journey in itself to realize that it’s okay to not be a “typical yogi”…and that sometimes change can be a really good thing.51u-7m4OVXL Yoga Bitch is entertaining and at times thought-provoking. A good read for the hot summer months…or whenever, really.

If anyone has any recommendations for books I should read, let me know! I’m always on the hunt for additions to my “to-read” list!

Have a glorious weekend and Namaste!

Shadow of Night

 

ShadowofNight

The list of books I’ve read recently that I’ve yet to review is steadily growing. First up–Shadow of Night by Deborah Harness, just in time for the release of the last in Harkness’s “All Souls” trilogy, The Book of Life. While I enjoyed reading A Discovery of Witches, the first in the trilogy, I thought Shadow of Night was a better read. The main issue I had with ADoW (to abbreviate) was that there was too much going on–too many subplots and events. There were several moments when I thought the story would end…only to discover that it just kept going. I know, I know, it’s the first in a series and a lot needs to be introduced…but still. I had no such issues with the sequel. I adored the 16th-century setting and the growth of Diana’s and Matthew’s characters was excellent. Harkness brings historical (and fictional) characters to life in fascinating and entertaining ways. It’s astonishing to contemplate the amount of research she had to have done to complete this book accurately. Since it is summer I feel the urge to say this–I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as a “beach read.” It’s long and a bit heavy…the kind of book I like to curl up with on cold nights. However, to each his or her own, and I definitely recommend these books so far. I haven’t even thought about reading the third and final book yet, (it was released yesterday) but I have high hopes. For those unaware, this is a fantasy/occult/romance/genre fiction trilogy, so if none of that sounds good to you, you should probably avoid these books. If even one of those appeals to you, read read read!

Happy Wednesday and Namaste!

Tumultuous Times

I freely admit that my last post about Insurgent was a bit lackluster. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling the review at all, but I promised myself I would write something on each book I read. A bit of a daunting task, really. Today I’m not going to discuss my feelings about a book, (although I do have some thoughts on Deborah Harkness’s Shadow of Night waiting in the wings) today I’m going to discuss my feelings on change and transitions. I mentioned in my last post that I’ve had some rough times lately, although in actuality the entire month of June was a pain in the ass. In the past couple of weeks, my relationship of a year and a half and my job of one year both ended. Within a day of each other, I might add. Talk about change, right? With all of this happening at once I became overwhelmed and allowed negativity get the better of me. It kept hitting me in waves that I’m now job-less, boyfriend-less, and with no clear idea about what I’m going to do with my life. I kept thinking “Wow, I’m really winning at life,” and that thought just kept reinforcing the negative vibes I was stirring up. I had to stop, really stop, and examine my thoughts. Why should I view my life in terms of “winning” or “losing”? I’m trying to live my best life, not someone else’s best life or a preconceived idea of what my best life should be. I’m a 20-something. So what if I don’t have my life together? I’m working on it. This is the path I’m on right now and I choose to embrace it, not reject it as wrong. There are hard moments now, and there will continue to be hard moments in the future, but what matters is how one deals with those moments. When my relationship ended all I initially focused on was how sad I was and how much it sucked. It’s okay to be sad and acknowledge the general suckiness of certain situations, but again, I had to stop and think. The weeks leading up to the breakup bordered on the hellish at times. I didn’t even realize how stressed and exhausted I was over it until it was over and I could breathe and reflect. I did what I had to for my heart and my sanity. We all deserve happiness. How weird is it that I had to even remind myself that?  We shouldn’t ignore the negativity or hard moments, but we shouldn’t wallow in them either. Acknowledge them and accept them as fleeting. I don’t pretend to be a super positive ray of sunshine every damn day. There are times when I want nothing more than to run away from my problems into a blanket fort with a coloring book and a sippy cup full of wine. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to get yourself through things. Being human means being imperfect and that’s just glorious. As cheesy as this is, it’s true that with every ending comes a new beginning. A fresh start. This blog was born out of a fresh start. It wasn’t the first fresh start I’ve had and I know this time won’t be the last. Honor your fresh starts in life. They are gifts. Happy July and Namaste to all you shiny souls.

Insurgent

Wow. I’ve had a few rough weeks, but time to get back to posting! I’ll hopefully be churning out more reviews and non-review posts more frequently now that I have much more time on my hands. So, a couple of weeks ago I finished Insurgent, sequel to Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I don’t read many YA novels compared to other genres, but what I like so far about Roth’s series is that something always happens that surprises me and keeps me reading. Just when the novel threatened to be clichéd and stereotypical, (it is as angst-ridden and action-filled as one might expect) something occurred that kept me from putting my Kindle down. Tris’s character develops well enough and her attitude and conflicts with other characters was believable. As far as sequels go, and books in general, I found Insurgent engaging enough, although it was by no means extraordinary. However, the book ended in such a way that I feel like I must finish the series and find out what happens. I hate quitting a series before the end. I’m in the middle of several different series right now and it’s been a fun challenge keeping them all straight in my head. It will probably be some time before I get to Allegiant, and finish up this series, but stay tuned! I know I’m way behind on the times, but I still haven’t watched the film version of Divergent yet. It’s on my to-do list. Would I recommend this book? Honestly, I’m not sure. If you’ve already begun the series, yes, obviously, read this book. Divergent was an entertaining read, but it definitely isn’t for everyone. Namaste and Happy Reading!

The Jane Eyre Affair

Ever since I happened upon The Jane Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde in my local Barnes and Noble a few months ago, I have been anxious to get my hands on. Being a relatively poor post-grad I avoided shelling out almost $20 for a paperback and instead waiting until I could borrow it from the library. I’m pleased to report that the wait was worth it and I enjoyed this book. The story is set in an alternate history/parallel-universe 1980s England where the impossible is possible–including time-travel, pet dodos, and jumping into works of fiction. This novel has many elements of the absurd, something I value highly in a story. To remain true to my “no spoilers” rule (although The Eyre Affair was published in 2001), I won’t give away too much. The story follows female Special Ops agent Thursday Next. The interesting part? She and others in her branch are known as Litera Tecs, agents whose job is to solve crimes against literary works. The story has many fun and original elements and has, for the most part, an easy to follow narrative. I get a bit irritated when the first book in a series takes on too much, i.e. too many plots and sub-plots running around everywhere (ahem…A Discovery of Witches..). There were a couple such moments, but none that diminished my liking of the story. I plan on continuing into the series and seeing what adventures our dear Thursday Next gets herself into! Cheers to Mr. Fforde for a creative and fun twist on genre fiction.

Lost in a Good Book

So, in the time that I wrote the review for The Eyre Affair and the time that I’m posting the review, I have also finished the second novel in the series Lost in a Good Book and am halfway through the third, The Well of Lost Plots. I read really quickly. Anyways, I’m happy where the story is heading. In Lost in a Good Book, there’s the return of a power-hungry corporation, someone is seeking revenge against Thursday (well, quite a few someones actually), and an important person in Thursday’s life gets taken from her. Life is getting a bit complicated for Ms. Thursday Next and that only makes it more fun for the reader. Remember how I mentioned jumping into works of fiction earlier? That comes way more into play in these books. It’s fantastic, and that’s all I will say on that!

Namaste and Happy Reading!

Dedicated to happiness.