feng shui

Promo Postcards

Excited to get these 4 x 4” postcards printed! I know they aren’t going to win any design awards, but I had fun creating them.

Front

Front

I chose 4 different images for the backside:

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Warrior 2 is one of my favorite asanas. Strength and determination.

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Side plank is another favorite. It opens the heart, but also provides the feeling of strength and determination with the support of the earth beneath you.

Silver Lining

The other day an older gentleman was in one of my classes. He arrived early, so we had some time to chat. I asked him how his morning was going. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he wasn’t very convincing that he was having a pleasant morning even though his words said it had been. He then asked me about mine. I mentioned I’d gotten my car back from the body shop, having smashed it a week before. I commented that I had enjoyed slowing down and doing some walking around through my neighborhood while my car was in the shop.. His blue eyes beamed, and he told me how great it was that I could find the silver lining. He said maybe he should work on that himself. I told him I have plenty of stories of tough times that turned out to be really wonderful. I mention bed bugs, he thought I’d said I’d been mugged. Hah.

It got me thinking about how we get to that place. The place where we can take a step back see the chaos or discomfort or tragedy around us, and accept it for what it is. We can find joy there, or at least a semblance of happiness. When we can acknowledge that we will make it through whatever the challenge that’s been presented, and enjoy the challenge. Laugh at it, even. 

Watching your house burn down, looking the other direction, and finding some sort of silver lining is not what I’m talking about. Non-acknowledgement does not promote growth. Really digging in to the challenges life throws you, and being able to take some pause, taking time that has been offered to peel back some layers is the gift. You may never have an answer to why, but it could point you in a direction that makes your life more rich. You experience growth, that’s the silver lining, however it manifests.

It’s okay to grieve, to be angry, to be frustrated, to feel. It’s okay to be a hot fucking mess, to be devastated, to be lost. Sometimes walking helps, sometimes sitting in silence. Drinking excessively does not. Chewing does. Slower movement and stillness. Slowing down and focusing on nothing else but the breath can help. Bringing ourselves into awareness is the only thing I know to do during challenging times. You can get there a number of ways. Some make it easier and more enjoyable. Letting go is key. Embrace the fact your world is fucked.

Acknowledge it. Breathe into the discomfort. Discomfort and agitation are places where changes are made. Let it go. Trust the process. Take care of yourself.

Yoga

I've been teaching a yoga class at Centered City for just over a couple months now. I only teach one regular class, Move Breathe Meditate on Tuesdays at 7:15pm. (Come check it out--It's a mix of asana, pranayama, and meditation.) Teaching at Centered City has given me the opportunity to sub other classes, though, which has been a tremendous help to grow as a teacher. Ultimately I would like to teach 4 classes each week, work with private clients, teach group events, teach at retreats, and host workshops incorporating my feng shui practice. 

One of the things I love about my regular class on Tuesday nights is the time I spend culling wisdom and meditation practices to share. In the beginning it was a huge challenge--most of my focus in class was spent thinking about what comes next in the sequence or the directions to give to get in and out of a pose. It takes practice to get there! When you're looking at your notes or nervous about performing in front of a group of strangers, it's difficult to think of wisdom to share. Now that I have the sequence down (timing was a huge challenge in the beginning), I can focus more on students and even improvise. It's very exciting to experience growth in any endeavor.  

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Come check out my class! 

 

 

yogacentric

Last week I started a volunteer gig teaching yoga and art to a group of elementary school kids for their after school program. They're calling it YogART. The kids range kindergarten through 4th grade, all super sweet. They have been playing a yoga spinner game that they all enjoy, so I've continued with that. For the art portion, I just had them do a free draw so I could assess where they are for our first session.  This week I'm going to see how far we can get with Surya Namaskara A (sun salutations) and self portraits. It's definitely important to meet them where they are instead of being attached to the outcome. My number one goal is for them to have fun. If they get more out of it and learn anything, that's great, too. It's great practice for me. 

I also had the amazing opportunity last week to scribe for Arun Deva while he was giving consultations in Salt Lake. It's amazing how much you can learn by sitting and typing all the words two people say. I love how aligned Ayurveda is with my feng shui practice. While I know I have no ambition to become an Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, I think it is a wonderful tool for the tool box. I also attended his Emotional Intelligence workshop and a 2.5 hour yoga therapy asana practice. He is truly a wonderful teacher and has inspired me tremendously. Feeling very fortunate and grateful for the whole experience. He reminds me of my mentor, William Spear, but an Ayurvedic version. 

I'm looking forward to attending two of Benjamin Sears' Sacred Geometry Vinyasa classes at Second Side City in Dallas when I'm there in a couple of weeks. I seriously can't wait. So glad my trip coincided with it. Unfortunately it ends the day after I arrive, so I only can attend 2 classes. Oh well. I'm loving the idea of attending super awesome yoga classes when I travel. Sacred Geometry is one of my most favorite subjects. 

Next month I will be finished with the Level 1 Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. Level 2 does not start until mid-June, so I have time to focus on teaching. That's exciting. I can't believe it will be next December before I will have C-IAYT after my name. It is the highest level of credentialing in yoga, so I am grateful for the long process. Otherwise it wouldn't be as meaningful. Salt Lake has been such a wonderful place to be for this part of my journey. 

Anniversary

A year ago my mom and I arrived in Salt Lake after a 4-day trip across I-80 from New York. It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. I'd say it's been a success. It's been wonderful spending time with family, making new friends, creating a new life. It didn't turn out exactly how I'd planned, but I'm happy with the way things have evolved. 

I love this time of year as summer comes to an end and autumn begins. I'm having a party this week to celebrate my anniversary with Salt Lake. Hoping for no rain so we can have a fire in the fire pit. Everyone will have the opportunity to write down something they want to let go on a piece of paper and put into the fire. It's also a wonderful time to celebrate accomplishments and establish new goals.

I'm almost finished with my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. I've just begun the 300-Hour program and plan to continue to receive a certificate for Yoga Therapy. It's been an amazing journey so far. It will be a wonderful compliment to my feng shui practice. 

summer

It's been a busy summer between work, Yoga Teacher Training, getting settled in a new apartment, trying to get away to the country for a day here and there, and managing my garden at Withers'. 

The garden has been such a fun transformation to see. It is definitely hard work. Below you can see what it looked like in April before and after I tilled the soil to prep for planting seeds. 

Looking west above before and after, east below before and after

Looking west above before and after, east below before and after

Looking North

Looking North

It was just after I planted all my seeds--carrots, beets, peas, broccoli, green onion, that the metaphorical seeds I planted for my life in Salt Lake last fall and winter started to sprout. Eventually, the seeds in the literal garden sprouted, too.

Growing!

Growing!

Broccoli

Broccoli

Irrigation water is a new experience for me. It's amazing because it does its thing and you don't have to spend time watering every day.

Vertical Element

Vertical Element

Peas

Peas

Beets!

Beets!

Before and After: Late Winter and Summer

Before and After: Late Winter and Summer

I've installed a brick path along the length of the garden. Recently, I acquired more bricks and pavers to create a path from the entrance to my garden. They will be installed this week, pics coming soon. 

editing

I've picked up a new word, editing. It's not so much that the word is new, but it's usage. A person can edit her purse or a bookshelf. She can edit a cupboard or a magazine collection. Editing can take five minutes or a year. Anything can be edited, really. It's really just a euphemism for clearing clutter. 

My first feng shui project here in Salt Lake is a massive editing project. We've started in the basement with the smallest of three rooms. It is a room intended for storage. 

Not to scale, but you get the idea

Not to scale, but you get the idea

Rule number one when editing is to be kind to yourself. If you aren't ready to go through a box, set it aside for later editing. Don't beat yourself up about anything. It took 2 people 21 hours to edit this room over the course of a weekend. Rule number two is trust the process. Remember when you clear out objects that no longer serve a purpose in your life, you create space for new objects or activities to come in to your life.

Storage Room

Storage Room

Looks a little intimidating. We took everything out shelf by shelf. As with any editing project, many items were recycled  or donated, some was discarded to landfill, and the rest was kept and organized back onto a shelf. 

To be edited

To be edited

One of the goals was to create space for wrapping gifts and other tasks that relate to the contents of the storage space. 

Same view as above, post edit

Same view as above, post edit

Holiday and seasonal decorations distinctly organized

Holiday and seasonal decorations distinctly organized

Organized china

Organized china

Work surface in the center for wrapping gifts or other tasks

Work surface in the center for wrapping gifts or other tasks

Organized window screens

Organized window screens

Editing is a continuous process. There's still work to be done, but the most labor intensive and time consuming part is complete. We only needed to purchase one additional shelving unit for the back section of the space. In future plastic bins may replace cardboard boxes (they deteriorate), but you don't have to spend much just to get organized.