good, just good…

things are good…
it’s not often i get to say that, and feel it with such pure confidence…usually it’s true when i say it, but there is this catch, this…i know it’s not going to last feeling.

and well, yeah, i know it’s not going to last. and i know the moon, and hormones and stress and whatnot are going to spin me off into someplace where i hear myself saying “oh, i just can’t TAKE this”…but right now? it’s good.

in part because i’ve been HOME. and settling into my dream routine. do you have one of those? a perfect schedule in your brain that you think if you could just get it right and commit to it, you’d be happy? no? oh…well i do. and i feel i settled in with it right now. it includes waking up with the sun, spending some quiet time with myself, enjoying coffee with my love and the puppy, and moving my body (zumba has me entranced, and today it was a walk in the dunes – did i mention it’s sunny and like 65 degrees here?). then settling in to work that makes me HAPPY (i have a new gig! a fabulous new gig that i’ll tell you about soon!), then getting off the computer at a decent hour to enjoy a glass of wine as we prepare a meal together, an outdoor shower under the stars, some reading and finally falling asleep blissed out. yeah, easy to please in some ways. but the devil is in the details. so, in fact this morning was pretty much perfect, as was the weekend, and yesterday too (even with some unimaginable tech nightmare stuff) but it makes the stuff that comes up unexpectedly that threatens to drag you into the pits totally, gracefully, manageable.

i’ve also committed early to my theme for 2012…silly. i need more silly. i want to feel more silly. i want my go-to knee-jerk reaction to whatever situation to be my sense of humour (which is there, and pretty good and dare i say raunchy, but it’s hidden under a layer of literal). 2011 theme is here…and so far it’s been ON.

i did this art journaling workshop last weekend in edenton, nc and a place called studioBe…run by my squammy/serendipity girls donna and tracey. it was awesome, such a terrific group of women and so good for me to be on *that* side of the table!

an unfinished page in my art journal…i made this amazing french onion soup on sunday…oh my god – so much EASIER than i would have thought. and yummy and surprisingly healthy (well, if you use veggie broth). and i’m pretending that i might spend this winter making soup every weekend…

i’ve been juicing like crazy and LOVE it. mixing beets, apples, cucumbers, ginger, lemon, carrots, parsley, celery, radishes, peppers…anything i can get my hands on into that juicer and it’s like drinking pure, enlightened, energy.

i’m excited that i get to host thanksgiving this year…it’s been a long time since it’s been at our house and it makes me feel good to know everyone will be here. i hope it’s sunny and warm enough to walk in the dune but chilly enough to have a fire in the fireplace.

so, that’s where i am…sending goodness your way…

surrender dorothy…

surrender is not a word i take lightly to…

i use it in my teachings…asking students to surrender fully to the pull of the earth… but it is always in a place of safety and trust. teaching them that the earth won’t let them fall…and to believe in it.

but see…i’ve been sick. knocked flat by bronchitis. i honestly can’t tell you the last time i had this – must have been my teenage years and i had no recollection of how hard of a punch this infection could land on you. and wow do i have a surge of compassion for anyone who ever has to get well from this. i have been literally 6+ days sofa-bound. fighting it all the way because it meant no teaching, i tearfully had to cancel the much-anticipated trip up to provy to see elizabeth, and no visitors as i was told i was uber-contagious. bryan and his dad were both travelling and that left nothing but the menagerie and streaming netflix to keep me company…i think i watched something like 15 movies, most of them a hazy nyquil-infused memory (though i was certainly drawn to chick flicks – before sunrise, after sunset, once, like for water for chocolate!)

the malaise alone was exhausting and it felt like my subconscious need and desire for white space and nothingness suddenly spun out of control and went into hyper-drive…enforcing a literal physical inability to do anything at all.

plus, what was making me so, so mad was that i had been doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS! resting well, yoga, good walks, eating healthfully, i felt so, so good…how could this happen? i felt so betrayed by my body, i felt anger, frustration and spent many an hour on the phone with elizabeth complaining. i was fighting it every step of the way…and then things changed.

early one morning, the sweet kitty who had been one of my furry nursemaids, found the perscription albuterol inhaler the doctor had given me on monday and knocked it to the floor…little eli thought it made a good chew toy and the strange hissing sound it made as his sharp teeth punctured the canister freaked all of us out. some google research, a call to the vet, watching him carefully and then within the hour we were in the vet ER with a case of albuterol poisoning…his heart pounding, he lay lethargic and panting in my arms as i drove to the vet…we almost lost him.

thankfully our vet is a toxicology expert and knew exactly what to do…it was like a triage center….nurses, tubes, blood pressure, IV… everything moved fast and he was stabilized quickly and actually home with me that evening**…both of us exhausted. all i could think was that if i had not been home when it happend he would be gone. followed by, had i not been sick, i wouldn’t have had the inhaler that poisoned him.

the riddle infuriated me and i spun it around in my head until at last i realized i just had to let it go. there was no other choice, nothing could be done so just let go of the anger, the frustration, let go of fighting something i had no control over and instead snuggle down into the sofa — gratefully — with the puppy and SURRENDER to our bodies natural process of healing.

and there i stayed. i’m still not fully well…but i’m able to spend a few hours puttering around before i need a nap so i know i’m on the upswing! eli is doing well, barely phased at this point though he does have a few days more on some blood pressure medicine that makes him a little sleepy. with any luck, i hope to get that provy trip back on for later this week too!

xo

**so cute, he was so happy to be leaving the vet in that eager, excited doggie way. but when the two of us actually got HOME he was even more excited. he was jumping up and down and wagging and rolling on to his back to have me rub his belly…as though i had just walked in the door from being away. when actually we had both just walked in the door together. it was this moment when i realized he understood what HOME was and that home is different from me. he’s a smart boy.

the physics of expansion…

just a moment that caught my attention…

there have been countless moments lately when i look up at the clock expecting hours to have passed when in reality – it’s only been a few minutes.

when i seem to be able to lose myself to the drifting of clouds…

or the sound of a heavy summer rain…

or a snuggle with eli…

or preparing my dinner…

or a daily chat with elizabeth

or creating a painting…

or reading a book…

see, time expands when you don’t fill it with endless amounts of busy…i had no idea. i had believed that time expands when you fill it with as much as you can and then tick it off on your to-do list or your bucket list…done done done. but i was wrong. so wrong.

earlier this year, when i traveled to indonesia i had such a hard time being on vacation. the downtime was incredibly hard for me with the lack of purpose, and the uprootedness of being away from home and my routines…i knew there was something to look at in all of that and mainly it stemmed from one uncomfortable emotion: guilt

so as i’ve been in transition this summer, having left my day job to take a leap and pursue a life more aligned with my values and dreams, i’ve somewhat slowly given myself permission to take this month “off” and allow my life to become empty…to not fill the white space in order avoid feeling discomfort or boredom and to see what shows up…

and i’ve discovered the ability to see again. really see – it’s as though my eyes had been cloudy and now there is a brightness and sharpness to my vision. greens are more green, the world is just…vivid. and because of that, it makes me want to look more closely, more often, more deeply. to study the contours and patterns of life…

i’m teaching yoga again regularly and stretching my wings leading a level II class which really challenges me. i’m seeking ways to explain skillfully and artfully how to mindfully enter more advanced postures. i’ve realized i haven’t given my students enough credit, and they are ready and wiling to be pushed a bit more than i thought. simultaneously, my own practice has become a fixture again in my routines. one of the things that had been sitting heavily on me while in bali and after was this thought that maybe i was done with yoga? it held no joy for me, i didn’t seek it out, and i rarely rolled out my mat. i think between working so much at my day job and running the studio plus the myriad other projects i had going on, i had just completely burned out. i had so much guilt around my lack of interest in yoga…and i’ve come to acknowledge and accept that we all wax and wane – but the yoga is always there, loyal and waiting for me to rediscover it. which i have and it’s better that ever.

i started painting again. this has been another source of guilt…as a pleasure delayer, the art always comes last after filling every last moment of my day with the things i “should” be doing, as such there was never enough time to be creative. with the space this month i’ve actually planted flowers, built a cool little display for all my earrings out of an old window from india, i’ve started a vision board…and i’ve got all my paints and brushes out and they are being used…i have three canvases leaning against the wall in my home studio and by having all my stuff out it’s really easy to just do something here and there, or spend hours working on something…whichever moves me.

and i’ve been doing a lot of thinking about, shopping for and creating healthy meals…most of the meals the past year have been out. grabbing lunch on the way back from a meeting, or grabbing a lunch meeting, pizza, the local hangouts…literally every day because it was too exhausting to think about planning and cooking. now…i’m in love with salads, and buddha bowls (and kris carr’s crazy sexy diet has been a huge inspiration), healthy smoothies, and loads of water with lemon (and a bit of wine too!). mostly i’m just really enjoying the time spent nourishing my body…

mornings are the sweetest time for me…i teach every morning and wake up a full two hours early (which means 5:30am sometimes!) just so that i can really enjoy the beauty of the quiet mornings…a small cup of coffee, my journal and a front row seat for the light show as the sun rises on the dune that is my front yard.

and i really do know how utterly blessed i am to have this time to allow this space. i am so so grateful…everyday i am grateful…every time i look up at the clock and see i still have the day ahead of me i am grateful…every time i bow to my students at the end of my classes i say…thank you for sharing this with me. thank you for co-creating this experience. every time an osprey flies by overhead carrying a fish i say thank you…and also to the rainbow i saw this morning, and the sunshowers, and to simone who woke me with her purring today, and to eli’s pthalo turquoise tail, to elizabeth‘s bliss in her new apartment, to my girls, to my muse, to time and vision and all of it…thank you.

thank you.

thank you…

xo

oh, and sweet MB (a beautiful, inspiring yoga teacher out in the venice/santa monica area) featured me on her blog recently… check it out…and keep going back, she shares so much loveliness there.

and i find that i’m never alone and i find that my heart is my home…

um, hi…remember me?

let me start with this – things are good. really, really good – usually the silence on this end means i’m hibernating or mulling over something heavy or dark but that’s not the case at all. i’ve just had so much change and travel of late and at the same time i’ve been really trying to embrace the white space created by the transitions going on here. i haven’t had white space like this in, well, ever? i mean – you can’t count the eight weeks i was laid up on the sofa with a broken leg and a cast to my thigh taking percocet like candy and watching dazed and confused, right? so by white space i mean, clear-headed, warm-hearted, fulfilled and open white space. which i am allowing to be filled with things that make me HAPPY. so, lots more yoga, lots more teaching, lots more water, lots more saying yes to fun, lots more cooking, lots more healthy choices, wine (though not lots more. just enough.), lots more visiting with friends, lots more walking in the dune, lots more ocean, lots more music, lots more reading, lots more flower planting, lots more soul-rooting, lots more journaling, lots more daydreaming, and lots more co-creating of a future vision of a playful, well-lived, expressive, creative, day-to-day existence. all of which is actually keeping me pretty busy!

still, there is whitespace – and in that space i can actually hear the drumbeat call of my own heart…and this is what i’ve found*: 

i find that i’m never alone and i find that my heart is my home…

so forgive my brevity tonite and let me leave you with some music and images of what has been making me happiest over the past month. i’ll fill in the blanks in the coming days, but before i go, Know This: i’ve missed you so…

xo

saturday afternoon at the june session of squam… with jen, pixie, jonatha, me, and maya. if there is one image that says all of what squam is to me, this is it…sparkles and divine feminine energy.

(photo by my patient sewing teacher and new soul sister maya donenfeld - i LOVE her)

the most amazing dr. seuss bush jen and i found on some country road in new hampshire…she maintained excellent control of the car when she slammed on the brakes so we could take photos.

my loves…thea, sarah (holding baby ada), and elizabeth in the background.

sarah and thea collaborated on this amazing book this year!

i am so incredibly grateful to these winding paths…

and these views of the lake…

and the love that is all around us…

and the journey…

home.

a morning lightshow off the back porch…

my fave lunch place in c’ville & two of my besties deanna & hillary finally meeting and deciding they were separated at birth…

the textures got me…

nick’s place out in sugar hollow, sacred, sacred ground…deeply healing.

bryan and anton…waiting for the rain to stop…

so we could take this walk out to the swimmin’ hole and take a dip.

as the only non-(professional)-photographer surrounded by nine pro’s for five days solid, it started feeling a little like having the paparazzi following you around. there were a lot of scenes of nine people with cameras to their faces geeking out and laughing as they took photos of each other. here bickford and pete being kinda ridiculous…

who doesn’t love a carnival?

or strawberry shortcake? with home made whipped cream?

not this girl.

*thank you for this, elizabeth…my heart IS full

it’s, like, a verb…

NYC from the Williamsburg bridge

sometimes I come here and i know exactly what needs to be said…it’s an idea, a story that bubbles out of me and like champagne it is uncontained by the vessel that is me and needs to be put somewhere. it’s just this feeling. other times, i remember that i might want to check in over here and see how everyone is doing. as i start this, i’m not sure where i’m ending up today.

things have flip-flopped at least five times since last we visited. i’m on this roller coaster of emotion and clarity and defeat and inspiration, the upshot being there is a huge transition happening in my life and i feel suspended…as in “there is a moment when the acrobat let’s go of one trapeze and is completely suspended in mid-air before she catches the incoming rung.” i am full of excitement and doubt. fear and belief.

that statement is accurate in the feeling-state of suspension but what is missing to me is the action required to catch the next rung…the active rather than passive verb…the REACHING. ’cause you gotta work for it, honey.

cue: stayin’ alive soundtrack

i had this long dialogue with deanna in NYC this week about my recent statement that “joy is our birthright” she completely disagreed with me, and as is one of our habits we figured it out together (she can be very persuasive even though i am the elder more worldly and wise friend). ultimately she concluded and i agreed: joy isn’t our birthright. (gasp!) there are endless examples of poverty, destruction, mental illness, and economic disaster that would impede this birthright. but the PURSUIT of joy IS our birthright (oh those founding fathers…). there’s the rub. the verb makes all the difference. none of this life stuff comes easy all the time. sure we have gifts, we have zones of genius, we are lucky to be born into certain situations…but ultimately to claim your own joy you have to do the work. as elizabeth gilbert put it so beautifully “you have to persist relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.”

so where was I? oh, i am suspended. yes. hanging out here in mid-air but rather than retract in fear i am choosing to expand. i’m investing, i’m re-creating, i’m building – i’ve released my grip on one rung and i am

R E A C H I N G

for the next. if i don’t catch it and plummet i am trusting that if i can just relax a little i’ll bounce at the bottom…

~~~

Oh, and I wrote a post over at Serendipity on Sunday…a little about “why” we need these creative retreats as women. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

suspension bridge

xo

bike rides and birthdays and shifting…

these smell so gooooood…

yes, my birthday came and went…a glorious sunshiny day spent mostly outside, a long walk in the dunes with the menagerie, eli obsessively chasing the frisbee, hopping on my bike for a ride to the pier for breaky, peddling to the coffee shop, all in between moments of leisure on the deck. no work…well no work-work, lots of soul-work. the culmination of which is some powerful shifts in how i feel about things.

my birthday present to myself was signing up for danielle laporte & marie forleo’s selling your soul in NY next week. last year i gave myself some yoga teacher training, the year before…wine glasses (ha! see how evolved i’ve become?). I got the very last seat in the house for SYS. not surprising since i can be such a glacier about decisions, but it appears i was meant to be there.  it’s important to me to have my way of thinking challenged, and the way danielle and marie have turned the cliche of “selling your soul” on it’s axis just really worked for me. i get it. yes, this is what i do.

always important has been this idea giving my gifts to be of service… and my passion for creating the space to learn and love through serendipity/my studio & doing the workshops for burn magazine will both be served when i shift into new ways of thinking about them. but mostly for me it’s about owning my own value…not just giving lip service to this idea, but truly a shift in understanding that what i do is important. you know, the sacred part of being a sacred facilitator.

plus, i’m extra-stoked for the trip because i get to hang with two of my besties…madeline & deanna…who have NEVER MET! so this is good, good, GOOD juju all around.

the more powerful shifts came in matters of the heart. all the writing i’ve been doing is releasing me from burdens that i was voluntarily carrying. i can feel my hands opening, my grip on the past softening and with that my heart is feeling more open and expansive and full of warmth. i’m feeling ready to reach out and explore a new, better and evolved pathway of being with those i care about. what a lesson! once agan my way of thinking has kept things too small, kept things in their cozy little ruts. i understand now that if things are going to change, i need to be the change agent – all in the name of healing and love and friendship.

the hardest part about shifting is that sometimes you are the first and the challenge then is waiting for others to find their way to meet you there, meanwhile holding the space for them without losing hope or your own clarity. other times you are the last, and this has its own challenges, not the least of which is the suffering. i’m not sure which i am in this case…i can see it both ways. all i know is that once the shift occurred it was this very clear, body-mind-heart-soul feeling of AHA! and i feel easily able to put my new energy out there to align us all and make my intention of forgiveness manifest.

um. so yeah…

41 you’re off to a pretty good start.

vibing…

~ biplane and the remnants of a heart-shaped cloud ~

has anyone else noticed a heightening of their intuition? more synchronicity, more knowing? i wish i had written down how often things really seemed magically aligned the past couple of weeks – the times i thought of someone and they phoned, or songs delivering the right message, moments of serendipity, or of just the right information finding its way to me…

making their way into my conscious awareness are some themes – the words “memory” and “wild*” have come up repeatedly. when this happens i perk up my ears and listen hard, as something important is trying to come through. then this appeared:

“There is a place in us where wisdom and wildness dance together…”~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

and so it all makes sense…. i have decided to start an excruciatingly personal writing project, in part dealing with the loss i mentioned previously. i’m finding that this is a gateway and a path to healing those parts of me that i have silenced. already i’ve noticed that while my intention is an effort to preserve the memories i have that are already fading, what i’m also uncovering in the process is far more important–insights i have desperately needed but hadn’t allowed myself to access.

see, my memories are poor and my mind generally moves in the present or the future (to do lists!). this is partly survival mechanism and partly because i’m an only child and we moved often, therefore so many of my memories are mine alone and don’t get retrieved with family and friends. i have no photographs of myself as a child…they’ve been lost, and at times intentionally discarded along the way (and one of the projects i’ve given myself is to describe in detail the photos i do remember). as i’ve been writing, i’ve become aware that my life has been subconsciously filled with photographers and writers, sentimentalists and historians…those who document, those who record.

my memory feels to me to be made of cloudstuff – shifting and changing. at times dense, tangled and foggy, at others wispy, ethereal, untethered. rarely delineated, rarely crystal clear…in my moments of  awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night anxiety, i worry about alzheimer’s (among other things).

one of the ways memory came to me recently was through this gorgeous video project by jonathan harris. the photos are moving, yes, (especially the way he has them edited together as a product of his year-long project) but it was his philosophy and way of thinking about his work that moved me most. his idea that this project wasn’t so much about an endpoint, but more of a walkabout, cataloging his life, reflecting on what memory means and this idea of his that “your greatest creation is always going to be your life story.” plus, his voice is soothing to me.

just days before the video appeared to me, i ordered jen lee‘s finding your voice experience and as a bonus she has done this podcast on retrieving autobiographical memory. her voice too, soothes me. so earnest, so sincere, so accepting and curious. i can’t wait for her book to arrive and to begin to dig in.

it is fascinating to me that these two voices, and this idea of memory and finding your own voice have been echoing around the chambers this week. wild is still percolating…but i trust that somewhere in my writing–in the freedom and permission i’ve given myself to speak my truth, and somewhere in my memories, the pathways of my wild self will be more fully revealed…

just because…

…i like the colors, they make me happy.

…and because the thoughts turning around in my head are still forming, the thread is missing and they feel disconnected. i need a bit more time to sort them through and structure them.

…and because i’m in mississippi and this land still vibrates with the deep roots of conflict, and yet it is rich with beauty and light and possibility and creativity.

…and because on the new moon i pulled the five of cups…a card of loss, but a reminder not to mourn so deeply that you forget the abundance of blessings that remain. the card was a powerful messenger, and it wasn’t two days before it manifested in my life. still, i was blindsided, but i’m dealing with it the best i can and when the tears threaten to fall, i let them and search through blurred vision for the wildflowers, the feathers, and the reminders of how to find my way back home.

teleportation, truth, and my love affair with holga…

kute, lombok – holga

if i could have any superpower, it would be teleportation. to be able to blink or snap my fingers or hold my body *just so* or click my heels together three times and be somewhere else. that’s what i’d wish for. see, indonesia is nearly as far away as physically possible from home for me. in actuality the antipode to nags head is somewhere just to the south of bali in the indian ocean off the western coast of australia, but i was pretty close and it was the furthest i have ever been. so, i’ve thought a lot about teleportation and how it would affect our bodies, souls and minds and i imagine the experience of air travel is in many ways similar…ripped from the grip of earth and hurled through time and space to find oneself in some completely different place.

and hurled is the key word. travel is really hard for me personally. as a strongly earthbound soul/creature i find the sensation to be like an uprooting. subtly violent and painful. i suffer jet lag terribly, become weak to the mid-day seductive caress of sleep, and while my intellectual and curious mind battles with my body, i sit in the middle full of malaise and guilt.

yes guilt. lots of it. for the first three weeks of my journey i’d say that was my number one, go-to emotion. guilt for being on vacation, guilt for working (i had to finish a few projects), then guilt for not working, for having the money to travel to the other side of the world, for being an american, for not buying that sarong or bracelet, for not staying in touch better, for being so lazy, for not wanting to go exploring today, for not wanting to go surfing, for not checking email, for being afraid, for feeling shy, for not liking the hotel, for being so self-absorbed and then for the self-loathing. the list goes on, and worst of all — i also had second degree guilt. guilt over feeling so guilty. it was fascinating.

so i stepped back and let myself consciously observe my process. i noticed that i was unimaginably cruel to myself. shockingly so…my inner monologue was downright abusive. and the questions – am i a workaholic? why can’t i just relax? what’s wrong with me? do i work so much subconsciously to avoid listening to the workings of my own mind? is this what it’s really like in here?

in addition to the guilt, i also felt frustrated and betrayed. as this malaise and depression set in, it marked the end of the longest period of uninterrupted happiness and good spirits in my life and i felt like a character from awakenings, or flowers for algernon. i felt i had been given a reprieve from my own personal demons only to cruelly have them all come flooding back. i kept reminding myself that gratitude is the antidote, and would spend time counting my blessings and gazing around, pinching myself in essence to remind myself that i was in paradise. but the guilt and depression lingered.

gerupuk, lombok – holga

gerupuk, lombok – hipstamatic

then came the meltdown, 21 days after i left home. we were on lombok – an island to the east of bali – and bryan rented a boat and boatman to take him out to a surf break called gerupuk. for the first session i sat on a little man-made beach in front of a home-stay kitchen and read my book. after lunch, motivated by my guilt over my laziness, i opted to take the boat out with him. it was a gorgeous day with a light breeze and i’d never had that particular viewpoint of surfing. i swam a bit around the boat and then crawled in and got comfortable to watch the conveyor belt of wave after wave.

gerupuk, lombok – hipstamatic

it wasn’t long before the swells were messing with my equilibrium and the nausea of sea sickness set in. i felt icky but it was manageable. i waited as the sun set over these gumdrop headlands until finally as the last light of day snuck away, bryan paddled back to the boat. i felt immense relief until we realized our anchor was stuck in the rocks below and bryan, usually so calm and even-tempered, had a moment of seriously urgent dialogue with the boatman. all the other boats were leaving and we would be stuck alone with no one to help us. i reacted with a wave of fear and panic, the swells suddenly seemed immense, and all i could imagine was us capsizing in the (to my mind sharky) dark, water. but quickly the boatman dove in to cut the line to the anchor and within a minute we were on our way. i gripped the side of the boat and gritted my teeth against the metallic taste of fear.

safely back on shore, we started up the scooter for what felt like an insanely long and terrifying ride back to our hotel. it was dark and the road was covered in potholes, the other scooter riders were beeping and swerving around us and i was still nauseus and freaked out. at last back to our hotel, i ran to our room where i think my tears filled the tub faster than the shower. then i shut down. became mute and went to asleep.

in the morning i fell apart. i screamed, i cried, i threw my earrings at my reflection in the mirror. i cursed my guilt, my fears, my abusive monologue. essentially i lost it. and then…

it was over. the dam broke and my spirit was set free…

canggu, bali – holga

i’m still trying to process what happened…why it took so long for me to break free and settle in. why letting go was so…violent. why i was and am so hard on myself. but the good spirit returned and is still with me, and i was able to enjoy the balance of my trip and the one following.

but i need to remember:
beauty. i need something beautiful to rest my eyes on…i can rough it with the best of them, but i need something of comfort and beauty to support me. staying in cell block surf hotels is a disaster for me.

jatiluwih valley, bali – holga


jatiluwih valley, bali – holga

expectations. this is a big one. my expectation of bali was of rolling rice terraces and people on bicycles a la the eat pray love trailer**. in reality the places we visited were far more urban, far more crowded. and this was a big adjustment for me. i love cities, and by the time we arrived in ubud i was more adjusted to the traffic and people and i totally fell in love with that city. we stumbled on to this amazing hotel – which far exceeded my expectations – and all my hopes and dreams about my time in bali were realized here.

ubud market, bali – holga

i’m shy. it was crippling actually how shy i was when out of my element. and the balinese couldn’t have been kinder or friendlier people. but i learned to start with the children…whenever i was in a situation where i felt nervous but i needed to connect with people, it was easiest for me to start to make friends with the little ones first. it softened my shyness. we would smile and play and laugh and as i became less guarded it was easier to connect with the adults.

kuta, lombok- holga

padang-padang beach, bali – holga

and i learned that i really love to take pictures. everyone does in some ways, right? but somewhere along the line i stopped worrying that “i’m not a photographer” or that my photos wouldn’t be good enough or like bryan’s or david’s or any of the friends of mine who are professionals out there. instead what i came to believe is that my images are a record of what I saw…and felt. the holga i got for christmas opened a new world for me and i loved getting lost in my viewfinder, observing not just as an anthropologist, but as a documentarian.

uluwatu monkey temple, bali – holga

i want to wrap this all up in a nice little package and put a bow on it…but i can’t seem to find the lesson that ties it all together. because there isn’t one.

it was messy.

i am messy.

and essentially it was a beautiful disaster…like so many of the things and people in my life that i love.

**i just watched the eat pray love trailer again since i was linking to it and lo the irony. i had forgotten the tag line from the movie…let yourself go… maybe that is part of the magic and the lesson of bali after all.

blogiversary…

yup…it’s my three year anniversary of starting blissful*thinking. i remember the day…and i wish i had more time to reflect on the journey today, but alas this is what my life looks like right now:

many, many real and imaginary reasons for the above disaster. but can you look away from the mess and see that sweet little puppy face? cute, right? well he just jumped out of his playpen…he’s a willful teenager asserting himself whenever he can. which is fun, and has me in stitches most of the time. this morning…not so much. back in he goes…

and i wish i had more to say. but let’s just say the embarrassing clutter on my dining room table that is serving as my desk as i remodel my office, and the fog out the window that are making the gorgeous view completely invisible… are precise metaphors for how my brain feels right now.

overwhelmed

cluttered

and foggy.

i know the clarity will return. and i’m waiting patiently, taking deep breaths in between grinding through the to-do list and daydreaming of sunshine, deep woods, the smell of pine, pink unicorns and soulful, sacred work because…registration is open for SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS and you all know how near and dear elizabeth and squam are to my heart and soul…i’m teaching again in both June & September, two lovely yoga/sacred movment classes both held on campus this year. so come get grounded and spread your wings. there is so much fun to be had on the docks of that magical lake… see: