Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

I have been brainstorming about how to sum up 2014, and no words come to mind.  I could sum up a lot of the things I have done this year, all the different ways I challenged myself, all the different ways I fell down and attempt to list all the lessons I learned.  I don't want to.   

I am looking forward to 2015!   Not because it is a New Year, because I honestly have started looking forward to each moment to see what unfolds, to see what present I get to unwrap.  

New Year's Eve seems like a boundary, a time to leave things behind and create something new.  The reality is that boundary exists with every breath, if a person choses to do that.  

I am excited to see what peaks and valleys I get to explore in the time coming up, I hope you will continue to follow me.

Question to consider:  How will you approach this boundary of time and space?  What intention are you going to bring with you?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Adam and I have been very focused on getting rid of clutter and making our lives a little simpler.  So when I asked about putting a tree up, Adam wanted to stay on task and continue to get rid of things.  However one day I was home alone and decided I wanted the tree up, it wouldn't take that much energy or time.  So I broke one of the rules of the house and carried the tree down the stairs and set it up.  

There are a lot of lights burned out, so I just used some of the blue lights we usually hang up outside.  We both decided to pass on the ornaments and just enjoy the tree.   I see this balance of light and dark.   

It feels a little bit more like Christmas, and I am really looking forward to spending the time with Adam cooking, snuggling, working out and watching some Christmas movies.   

Question to consider: How will you celebrate this year?   Do you put a tree up because you want to, or because you "should?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Shoulds" turn into will or won'ts

I was recently reading some articles about people that work with Hospice patients, because that is one of the things I do.  I believe it is helpful to read about what other people have learned, to begin to gather language and competence with this work.

One point has really stuck with me, it has been circulating in my brain, just waiting to take form.  I tend to write my best when my emotions are very high.  So this morning when I got a phone call telling me that my hospice patient had died, the words came tumbling out as I finished my run.

The opportunity in a terminal diagnosis is the freedom to turn all of the "shoulds" in life into will or won't.   The people I work with are pretty simply in their thinking.  They no longer worry about all the shoulds in their life, they tend to focus on what they want to do and don't feel the need to explain to anyone why they will or won't do something.   Despite the pain and grief that they are carrying, I get to witness moments where they truly live. 

My patient looked at me one morning and said "you are so relaxed, teach me how to do that."  She was feeling a lot of anxiety, and had very limited mobility, so we talked about what she could do.   We started with breathing. So I talked to her about her lungs and we worked together on different muscles to use to breathe.  After that everytime I saw her, we talked about her breathing.  For her, this was not something that she "should" do to feel better.  It started to become something she did, because she wanted to.   

Here is the reality.   Life is a terminal diagnosis, no one knows when they will leave this life or the last time they will look into their loved ones eyes.   Treasure those people, treasure the moments of your life.   

Question to consider: Will you accept that you are going to die one day?   How will you act differentlly?


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tiny pieces of paper

This piece of art was recently displayed at the advocacy center.  I absolutely love it!  For someone to take all these tiny pieces of paper, all these broken pieces and put them together to make a new image is beautiful to me.   It reminds me of spending time looking at stained glass and wondering how someone can put together broken pieces to make a new and glorious image.  

This whole idea of of destruction and creation cycle mystifies me.  The two cycles are really the same, I needed to be torn apart, I needed to have all of my beliefs challenged before I was ready to meet my teachers and open enough to really start creating myself.  

I am loving the process of taking all the little broken pieces of myself and falling in love with the new image that is slowly emerging and changing.  

Question to consider: What are you building in your life with some "broken" pieces? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Talisman

I love Adam!  I love him a lot.  When I get back from a trip there is always a kind of rough period for both of us.  Sometimes it can even be after a quick get away.   There seems to be some rough waters for a while.

This last time when I got back from Nepal, I was dealing with some reverse culture shock.  To the point where I would wake up in a panic in the middle of the night, not know where I was and wondering why someone was sleeping next to me.  I would calm down rather quickly, still for a couple of weeks my sleep was disturbed.  These rough waters of Adam and I getting to know each other, show up in all kinds of ways.   However, one night during a particularly tense dinner, we both texted our teacher asking for help (at the same time.)   Honestly we needed a translator, we just weren't communicating.

So we met with our teacher the next day and talked things out.  There was one thing he said, that totally confused me in the moment, he told us to become each other's talismans.  A talisman is generally something that changes your focus, it attracts good things to you.   Our teacher began to describe how often times we tend to use our spouse as someone that we can vent to, we can take things out on, and we forget how precious they are.  Basically it had gotten to the point where neither Adam and I were looking forward to seeing one another because of all the tension, and changes we had both gone through.    He suggested we change that focus.

I didn't understand this point, until I came home from work a couple of days later.  I wasn't in a great mood, the moment I saw Sterling however my state changed.  I was excited to love on my puppy, to play with him, and my stress faded into the background of my mind.  I realized that Sterling had become a talisman for me.  He brought out my playful side, my energetic side and my happy side.   

If I could do that with Sterling, who frankly drives me completely bonkers.  I can easily do that with Adam.   I can focus on the good things, I can focus on being my best self around him, and give us both time and space when the tension just gets to be too much.  One reason I married him is because he does help me bring out my best self and I want to be her as often as possible.  

Since that realization I have begun to look at the talismans in my life whether they are people, animals or objects.  It has been an interesting journey to observe how something simply can trigger a pattern and bring me to a state.   

Question to consider:  What is a talisman in your life?  What triggers you to change your state?


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nepal Summary

I have been home for a little while, apparently long enough to get ready to plan my next trip to Nepal.   Seems that I may have caught a bit of a travel bug, Adam and I are planning a lot of amazing trips for the upcoming year.  I am so excited to see what continues to unfold and what happens next.

So here are the links to about my time in Nepal this year, both trips.  It is completely unreasonable to me that this time last year going Nepal wasn't even in my consciousness and yet when the opportunity came up all I did was say "YES!"  

Question to consider:   What will you say "YES" to today?

Friends  (The summary of my first visit)

Presents (A little reflection)

Enough (A little prayer for everyone)

Preparation (Getting ready for the second trip)

Portal  (Just a little bit about time travel)

Flying in the Breeze  (Is everything going wrong?  Nope, just kidding!)    

Safe and Sound  (BTW - Everything is OKAY)

Just hit the Ground Running (The world keeps turning)

My First Workshop (OMG! - I am teaching....)

Festival Time (Learning about celebrations)

Workshop #2 (The time is going by so fast)

Yoga with the Monks (Maybe this yoga thing works.....)

Halloween (Egg salad sandwiches, games, candy and ice cream)

Workshop #3 (This was my energetic class, they loved Qigong!)

Lake View (Free time!)

Dancing Monks (Dance rehearsal for upcoming services)

Full Moon  (A love letter to Adam)

Fourth Workshop (Soooo much yoga!)

The Next Adventure (Back to Kathmandu)

Happy Thanksgiving

The "real" Kathmandu (Getting to see the city in a different way)

Selfie Pod  (Capturing unforgettable moments)

Qatar (My favorite part of this post, is talking about running into Adam's arms...I really did! It was so amazing to see him again)

 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Qatar

Seeing this statue, reminded me that I was no longer in Nepal.  Still completely confused about where I was, just I knew I was no longer in Nepal.   I arrived in Qatar in the middle of the night, and had one question to answer.  Do I need to eat or sleep more?    I had a decent amount of time for a layover and Adam and I had discussed that if I was exhausted I would get a hotel room for the 10 hours I had.  However I was hungry and really just wanted a shower.   So I headed to the lounge, bought a lounge pass and spent the next 10 hours, eating, drinking lots of water, reading, listening to a book,  talking with Adam and taking a luxuriously long hot shower.  

It always seems like the journey home is going to take so long, (~38 hours) however the time passed rather quickly.  I was still exhausted when Adam picked me up at the airport, however all that exhaustion was forgotten when I saw his face and ran into his arms.  There is a magic that exists in that moment, seeing his face for the first time in over a month, hearing his voice, and feeling his arms hold me, the world is still and stable.    

Question to consider:  What is your favorite airport and why?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Selfie pod

Jiwon had this fantastic device called a "selfie pod,"  that made taking selfie portaits much easier.   I have a pretty short arm, so my photographs rarely turn out the way I would like.  (Though I usually still get some great photos.)   This deviced allowed the three of us to pose for a photo.

We spent a lovely day at Bouda, meditating, giving offerings, shopping and enjoying some momos.  Looking back, I feel sad that I don't have more photos from that day, to share with others.  However those moments were just for the three of us, and when I put on my Tibetan dress or play the singing bowl I purchased I know that I have plenty!

Question to consider:  What is your favorite souvenir from your most recent trip?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The "real" Kathmandu

Tenzin promised Jiwon and I that we would experience the "real" Kathmandu, not what the tourists experience.   I saw a very different side of Kathmandu valley and aprreciated hearing the stories about the city and the refugee camp that I was staying in.

There is something to be said for getting to experience life in the city with friends instead of as tourists.  Jiwon and I never quite knew where we were going or when we would be going there, instead we just climbed on the ride and enjoyed the wind in our hair.   

Question to consider:  How have the people you travel with changed your mind about a place you had visited before?