Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Room service

So Adam and I arrived at our hotel in Mallorca completely exhausted.  The restaurant was booked and there was nothing within walking distance.  So we ordered room service, it was amazing, marvelous and beautiful.  We ate in our breakfast nook and toasted to how grateful we are to be supporting each other on this journey.

Question to consider: Have you ever ordered room service?  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Number 5

Adam and I made it to Mallorca, we checked into the most beautiful room I had ever seen.  I am so blessed. We will be here for a couple of nights before moving on to other parts of the island.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What is left... 33 things before 33

So it is time to get a focused and reexamine my list and see if I am still interested in doing everything on my list.

5. Trip to Europe (This is happening very soon)
6. Yoga retreat (I am looking for a yoga retreat.  There isn't a lot of time left)

9. Sell a piece of art that I make (This one hasn't happened yet.  I almost sold some of my work, but she decided to go in a different direction.)

12. Visit the Williams Waterwall in Houston (Adam and I will make this happen.  Maybe we will get a chance when Adam's parents are in town)
13. Try 33 five new restaurants in Houston (I am up to 28)
14. Weed through the bookcases and media storage (This is an ongoing project. Adam and I tackled some of this when we redid the living room)

16. Do a yoga photo shoot (Adam has done a couple of yoga shoots, so I will get my butt in gear)
17. Have a family picture taken (I am still looking for a good Groupon)
18. Go to the rock gym with Adam (Does a mud run count?)

20. Crayon art project with Adam (I painted with a friend, however I still want to play with melting crayons on canvas)

25. Find Sterling's little dog sibling (Our hearts broke a little bit after we rescued a little dog.  So we have decided that for now Sterling will be an only sibling.  Especially considering how much travel we are both planning.)
26. Meet new saving goals (This is on going project, but so far success!)
27. Fill up my sketchbook (This is an ongoing project, I have been writing in my journal a lot.  I might just finish that instead)
28. Make homemade jam (Strawberries are in the store, soon!)
29. Watch a firework show (I was just talking to Adam about this.  Does a shooting star in Nepal count?)
30. Take a tea tasting class (We will go to Path of Tea soon! Maybe we will miss a Wednesday night meditation) 
31. Paint some ceramics (I am planning to do this with Adam's mom when they come and visit soon.)
32.  Make an ice cream cake (Umm...I am not so sure about this one)
33.  Lord of the Rings extended version marathon (I have watched the Fellowship a number of times, when I have been sick.) 

Bonus tasks or ideas for substitutions (Life happens)
Harry Potter Marathon  
Reread all the Harry potter books
Order Room Service
Upgrade seats on a plane 

There are nineteen more to go!  I have 10 weeks and 2 days before my birthday.  Let's see what I can create in that time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thinking about year three

So I have been thinking a little about what I to focus on for the upcoming year.  Year two will be completed on May 1st.  I have focused on finding inspiration, both in myself and in others.  There are times that my path has strayed; and I still kept going and searching.  Life continued to introduce me to amazing people and my eyes were open enough to see them.

I have been drawing a blank on what to focus on for the next year, in terms of this blog.  My path is taking me on a journey to love and serve others.  To find all the ways that I am able to help others, by honoring my uniqueness.  By looking at every experience in my life and realizing that I can use those experiences to help others.  (It can be as simple as sitting on a couch with some friends and listening to their story.)

So to my readers, friends and family: what are you focusing on in your life right now?  I would love suggestions on different focuses. 
As a side note, this Easter weekend was amazing.  I was conflicted about staying in town, because Adam was in classes most of the weekend.  Wouldn't you know it I was busy spending time with my friends all weekend.  I had a very special moment when I was making fruit salad for Adam's class, when I felt my grandmother's spirit.  All those years cooking with her set me up so that I am able to make a beautiful fruit salad without my brain at all.   


Adam had a day off, along with a bunch of our friends so we took a trip to my happy place, the Butterfly Center!

There is so much wonder and magic in the air!
Adam made a friend!  The butterfly landed on his head while he was meditating and didn't want to leave his side. It also really seemed to like his hair gel.
I can relate to the butterfly, I don't eat Adam's hair gel. Adam is awesome to be around he creates a supportive and loving atmosphere.

Questions to consider: Where is your happy place?  When is the last time you were physically there?  When is the last time you took a trip there using your imagination?  

It had been a long time since I had been to the butterfly center.  I honestly thought it would make me sad.  There was some sadness and I chose to focus on the wonder, magic and love for my friends.

Number 13 (28)

My teacher is very fond of telling me "I didn't ask 'what you don't want;' I want to know what you do want."  So what does that look like in action?

I was driving home Easter weekend not looking forward to doing some mundane chores with Adam.  So instead of focusing on the fact that I didn't want to tackle the chores.  I asked myself "what do I want?"   I simply wanted some quality time with Adam to talk about our day.  He had been in Dao class all day, and I always love hearing about what he is learning.  

So when we got home I suggested we grab a dessert and put the chores off until another day.  (They could wait, and surprise the chores eventually got handled and everything was perfect.)  So we tried a new wine bar that had just opened up near us, Mosset Wine Bar!

The dessert was good, the service was a little slow, there are some growing pains.  It is a place we will head back to and are how it grows and expands. 

It is a little more useful to ask yourself what do you want.  When I answer that question, I start filling my life with the things I want.  Suddenly I have no time to do the things I no longer want.  Of course I always have chores; I get to do those.  In this case the chores could wait a day.  This is not about ignoring what needs to be done, it is about approaching life in a useful and positive state.

Question to consider: Do you focus on what you want in life or do you focus on what you don't want?  Just notice how you answer that question.  It is an interesting practice for me to change that focus!

Sterling Sunday

Happy Easter!  Take advantage of the sun today

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I have an early morning appointment near downtown this morning, so I left very early.  I decided I would rather sit at a coffee shop, and drink my tea than sit in traffic and be stressed when I got to my appointment.  

I love the dawn, the fire of the sun is just rising back into the world.   The light reminds me to keep going, that darkness doesn't last.  

Question to consider: What or where do you find your inspiration to keep climbing the mountains in your life? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Moon

Yep the alarm went off at 2:00 AM this morning, and I ran outside and was treated to a magnificent view.  So like the caring person I am I woke up Adam, so he could come outside.  We sat outside for a little while and then Adam went back to bed.  

I spent the rest of the morning outside gazing at the moon and enjoying the eclipse.  Now it is bed time!  Sweet drreams.

Question to consider:
Did you know that our moon has its own name?  It is Selene or Selena.

Monday, April 14, 2014


So this last weekend, Adam and I ran a mud run/obstacle course.  When we both signed up we each had every intention of training at the minimum every weekend.  Of course I went to Nepal, and life happens.  So we went running twice before our obstacle race, and for me it was a diffferent experience than the first run I did.  

Number one the weather was perfect!   Not too cold, not to hot, good cloud cover during the race.  

Number two I found running much more difficult this time.  (I actually had to walk a lot, because my ankle felt unstable.  It isn't injured, it felt weak.)   

Number three running with Adam is so much fun!  He tackled obstacles like superman.   It was a pleasure to watch.  

Number four, when do we sign up next?

Question to consider:  What is your favorite exercise to do with another person?  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rising tide

I have been thinking about an expression "A rising tide raises all boats." It seems the Internet gives JFK credit for this expression, but who knows.  It isn't so important to me who said it first.  I have been sitting with this expression a lot.

When I first started studying yoga, when I first walked into this different and strange world.  One of my teachers told me he didn't envy the journey I was starting.  He told me it can be very difficult at times to change, to keep going and to keep growing.  (I had no idea what he was talking about; his words have stayed with me.)  I started doing yoga because I wanted to heal my back and remind my body how strong it is. 

I am starting to get glimpses into what he was telling me that day.  I look around at how many things have changed in my life.  I have lost some friendships and relationships.  I have gained additional family.  It is all perfect, and every tear, every moment I screamed, every moment I laughed has molded me into a better person, a person I am happy to be. 

I am now starting to see the leaps my friends and family are taking in their lives.  I am starting to understand how the ripples of my journey can and do affect other people. 

Question to consider: What is one way that you have grown in the past month?  What is one way that your loved ones have grown in the past month?  (Have you told them you are proud of them, or let them know you noticed?)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Number 13 (22, 23, 24, 25 and 26)

So while I was out of town, Adam went a to couple of new restaurants and so he has slowly been introducing me to the ones he enjoyed.  Also I have been slow to get back into the habit of cooking and eating alone at lunch, so I have been going out a little more than usual. 
First up was Brasil, Adam and I had an interesting dinner there before yoga.  I say it was interesting because I was still dealing with jet lag, and it seemed like the person who took our order was too.  Our order wasn't quite correct, however everything was fixed in the end.  I have been back since breakfast with no issues.  It is within walking distance of one of our yoga studios so I can see it becoming a regular place. 
Then there was a Table 19.  I have driven by the place many times and something about it always drew me to it.  I stopped in before a meeting with my teacher.  The soup was good, however I was not too fond of my chicken sandwich.   It was a nice place to people watch and get some writing down before my meeting.
Next up was Lowbrow.  Adam and I went out to dinner with some of our friends and I finally got a burger for the first time since I was back.  The night was certainly memorable, with eating in the rain, Adam's drink never arriving and hearing about a professional photographer talk about shooting monks somewhere else in the world. 
Next up is Pass and Provisions!  Adam and I went here for a date night before we headed to meditation.  (Between yoga, meditation, Dao classes and Tai Chi we sneak in date meals whenever we can).  This place was fabulous!  In the photo above is their Ceasar Salad.  This is a winner.  It would be a fun place to gather with friends and sit at the bar.
Most recent was Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine, Adam's last minute decision to get the roasted egg plant was awesome!  It was great to sit outside in the patio, and I only got a few mosquito bites.    

There we go!  Looks like I will make it to 33 new restaurants before my birthday, I need to examine my list and start some new projects!

Question to consider: What is your favorite type of food for a date night?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Tuesdays are super long days for me.  I get up at 4 in the morning so that I have time to do my practice before I am sitting on class at six.  Then I drive to volunteer, eventually get home eat lunch/dinner and drive back to the yoga studio for teacher training.

What do I focus on?  When my alarm goes off, when I realize I will drive over 100 miles, when I am super hungry?  I focus on the two men I am taking classes from.  I look and watch how much they love and help others.  That is my goal, to learn from them so that I can continue contributing to the world!

I am putting my focus on my actions, and surprisingly I don't run out of drive to repeat the process tomorrow morning.

Monday, April 7, 2014


I have been pretty unhappy with our living room furniture arrangement for a while.  Adam and I really struggled with the furniture arrangement when we first bought furniture for the room, and eventually we settled on making the TV the focal point of the room.  I used to watch a lot of TV and he used to play a lot of video games. 
Finally we decided to tackle this room and not settle but make it amazing!   Since neither of us uses the TV very much any more we chose a new focal point.  The windows and our bright green backyard.   We spent Saturday cleaning and rearranging furniture. 
This is the after photo.  We are still looking for someone to take the stationary bike so we can move another chair into the room to have a nice sitting area.  It was a different experience to sit on the couch last night with my glass of wine and read my book.  It feels like a completely new space taking the focus away from the television.  

I am still working on what color curtains to hang up and still moving things around a bit.  Adam and I are looking forward to watching thunderstorms sitting on our couch!

Question to consider: Any color suggestions for our living room.  What is your color scheme in your living room?

Sterling Sunday


Thursday, April 3, 2014


So when I got back from Nepal, Adam got me a couple of gifts.  This one is probably my favorite! I am a spoiled wife.

It is a beautiful purple orchid plant.  When Adam was picking up my presents a woman came up to him and told him about this plant.  It will keep for seven years and will always bloom at the same time of year.  So every time this plant blooms both us will remember being reunited and reconnecting.  Plus seven is a magical number,  10 points to anyone who gets the reference! 

The last bud on the plant opened up today, to remind me where I am.  It reminds me that I came back to learn and grow so that when I return to the monastery, my friends and my children I can give even more.   

Question to consider: Since it is Spring where are you planting your seeds?  What are you starting to grow in your life?  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


After traveling for 40 hours, I waited at the baggage claim for my bag.  Thankfully my Dad kept me company while I waited for my bad, and then I found out it was still in Doha.  A couple of days later when I walked out the door to take Sterling for a walk, my bag was there waiting.  Now that I have finally gone through my bag, and had some time to settle I wanted to share my favorite questions I have gotten about  my experience.  Maybe I will even answer them!

1.  Describe the experience in one word.  Transformational  (I was asked this question a lot, and I used a lot of different words.  I have settled on transformational.)

2. What was your favorite thing?  The people!  It is funny how I went to the other side of the world, and I fell in love with the people.  I saw some beautiful sites, but my favorite moments and the things I took back with me are the people.  However there was one magical night, near the full moon when the skies were clear enough that we were able to see the mountains at night and were even treated to a falling star.  

3. When are you going back?  I have two plans in the works and we will see what happens.  I am going back, I have some things to gain competence in first.  

4. What did you miss the most?  There were times I missed people and things; but for the most part I was busy living and didn't think too much about what I might be missing.  I came back with a huge appreciation for clean air, clean water and hot showers.  

Question to consider: How do you maintain connection to people and places that are separated by large distances?