Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Learn a new word!
There isn't an equivalent in English, which makes this new word extra exotic and sexy.

Saudade (European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ]Brazilian Portuguese: [sawˈdadʒi]Galician: [sawˈðaðe]; plural saudades)[1] describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. It's related to the feelings of longing, yearning.

I wanted to include a picture with this post, but I am not sure what to add. I think the words themselves are pretty beautiful. My friend Julia found it when she was missing/yearning/saudade-ing for Smith and needed a word better than nostalgia. It's so true. You will never be able to relive that time in school. It's so sad. 

p.s. in German, the equivalent is sehnsucht

Sunday, January 29, 2012

things that i love: sunday edition

1. summer fun
2. cool idea for jewelry! 

3. these monsters from Cotton Monster!

4. this cat

6. this Waldorf child

Monday, January 23, 2012

Art of Assisting Day 3

"If you want to get to know the body, get to know the baby toe"

Wow, day three was unbelievable. I couldn't believe it was all coming to a close. I was in even more disbelief when I realized how much I didn't want this to end! What the heck? life changing? mmmm yeah maybe?! (I swear I am not bullshitting you right now)

We started the day with a meditation lead by Brandon, followed by a morning practice... in which we held frog for a good ten minutes! The only thing worse than frog pose is coming out of frog pose! It is like hip abuse that feels real good. What the heck, yoga!

Ok, so this next activity was huge for me. We got in partners and....simply shared what came up for us. Someone stood up and shared something about receiving. And then it clicked. OMG, I do not know how to receive. Now, I am not saying that I am~ such~ a giver that I forgot the receiving part... I wouldn't say that (I am a nice person, but I can be a brat, lets he honest here) But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It's like what Brandon said the day before about how humans are all afraid of each other...this natural fear has kept me from receiving. When you think about your life as all just receiving a gift, nothing is scary. And then you have more room and confidence to give and connect. Ah SO AWESOME

The reason I hated Assists was because I didn't like receiving
I could go on and on...It kind of all makes sense. That's so demented!

Anyways, moving on. During lunch, I sat at this bookshop and talked to this old couple who knew all about yoga and ayurveda and homeopathy. We had a good 45 minute convo. I never got their names...but they were awesome! I want to be like them someday. THUS, I officially start: Operation Anti-Cubicle.

Truth. I have learned such an amazing gift with my hands.... Assisting is really an art. It is probably one of the first art forms that I can really associate with. And that's refreshing. Also, learning about the Africa Yoga Project (post to come soon) made me realize how much I want to be doing THAT. I have a good thing going for me right now, but man, I look forward to the day when I can make change through yoga.

I Digress (again)
We ended the program by going to the mothership Baptist studio and assisting a class. I was near tears the entire time- I love it SO MUCH.

I have been home on Chicago for a few days know and have practiced twice, and I can confidently say both times, I was wishing I could assist instead. Addicted much?

Oh, and I signed up for Level One teacher training :)
Here are some pictures taken from the Baptiste facebook (we weren't allowed to have cameras)

warrior 1 assist

half moon assist


brandon helps

Brandon and Martin 

Brandon and a Samuel updog

Art of Assisting Day 2

views from the morning

When I first started practicing yoga, Dancer’s Pose was one of those poses that I could just barely do. I could feel that I was so close to getting it, but I wasn’t quite there yet. I knew that balance and confidence came with extended practice, so I used Dancer’s as a benchmark pose. I looked forward to it every class because I could actually feel myself getting more comfortable: kicking my leg out higher, standing on my one leg longer. It was invigorating.

My left leg was stronger than my right. When Brandon, my teacher, would walk near me and assist when I was on my good leg, I would shine proudly. But ~holy hell~ if he happened to be in my area of the room when I was on my other, I would quiver and fall just from the anxiety. Like sometimes I couldn’t even get myself up. It was so demented! hahaha Not long after I started giving so much importance to the pose, I started using it as a benchmark to compare myself to other student. I wanted to know how I was doing in comparison, you know? But, alas, when I did this too, I would get anxious and fall no matter what leg I was on. I thought “well shit, if I am looking at them, they MUST be looking at me, too.”
Aaaaaaand then I would fall.

I was stuck in this notion of perfectionism. Perfectionism turned to competition. And yoga turned into stress. Not only was this present on my mat, but in my life, too. I compared my performance at work, my weight, my appearance, my relationships to others.

This happens to so many students. I eventually acknowledged the cage I built around myself and started to work on it (yeah, that took a lot… it didn’t actually happen until I switched studios this summer).

As homework from day one, we were asked to think of what we were ready to give up.
I give up perfectionism, judgment, and insecurity.

The theme of day two is Reception. Well, I don’t know if that was the actual theme, but I made it the theme. Hahaha. We started the day with an amazing exercise. We partnered up and worked face to face with one student, never breaking eye contact. We went through our practice, mirroring each other and staring into the other’s eyes (I mean really looking…. ). Then we took turns being the “leader” and one would mimic what the other did in their practice. If I did downdog, she did downdog. Finally, we did this insanely intense variation where one person would perform their practice for the other, who would just stand in tadasana at the top of the mat and watch.

HOLY HELL. Just watching the beauty, individuality, and unity in another’s practice is tear jerking. You are watching the most raw form of self expression. That person in front of you is raw. And you are receiving an amazing gift to be allowed to watch that. You are the receiver

As an assistant, it is easy to think that you are fixing someone; that you are giving your tools and knowledge to make their practice perfect. But you aren’t. Oh My God, you aren’t. You are receiving a gift. As my partner put it: “Watching my partner was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. That little bead of sweat on her back made me cry. All of a sudden, that bead of sweat was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. Because it came from authenticity.”

My teacher Paige said: “ If you are not crying while watching this practice, you do not know how to receive.”

“hmmmm” I thought, I do not know how to receive. Well shit

It is a constant relationship to conversation. Giving and receiving, receiving and giving. You need both (OMG Always two there are, no more, no less. Eff yeah Star Wars)

Haha OK, so what did I do outside of training? Well not much. Training started early and went late. I was supposed to meet up with some college friends, but I couldn’t do it. I was tired. But really, I was too committed to this program. I couldnt cheat myself and stay up late and drink. I felt raw and new and I wanted to bask in that all night. I wanted to give and receive the next morning (you know, not give a receiving toilet my puke)

So I bought some cake, a bagel, Indian soup, and drank some wine. OBVIOUSLY. Durrrr. I was in bliss. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Art of Assisting Day 1

"We are all afraid of each other. You are afraid of me. I am afraid of you. 
But why let it be that way? If we all embrace each other with love and kindness, it wouldn't. And that change starts with you. So stop being fearful."

the mothership
Day 1 started with a really powerful practice. I forgot how freaking nuts Brandon's classes are! They really are like going to church! Like, the shit that comes out of his mouth is so brilliant. He is the best teacher I have ever had in my life, across disciplines, and ages. 

Even better, the people in my program rock! I went to an All-Day Immersion with Baron Baptiste a few months ago and basically came out of it with an eating disorder. OMG not even kidding. Everyone there was freak skinny and yoga buff and they were so into that "I am here to serve you and discover my inner light" bullshit. Ok, maybe that's not bullshit. But when it comes out of a botoxed mouth, it is.

I digress

The first day was incredibly empowering. After practice, we did a few exercises about really looking into someones eyes- connecting with someone so that you form one being. I know what you are thinking- trust exercises, right? Ew! you are so wrong! Have you ever just sat down and looked into some. Like, dealt with it and done it? Even a smile is a mask. We are fearful. And that sucks balls so stop doing it durrr. Break space boundaries. connect.

The absence of fear allows you to be true to yourself. I forget who said it, but Speak so loudly so that I do not hear anything you say. 

We also started learning the basic assists- down dog, forward folds, chaturanga, up dog, tadasana- and practicing on a partner.

After a dinner break (in which i checked into my bed and breakfast) we got in a huge circle and had to stand in the center one by one to introduce ourselves, why we are here, and what our intention is for this program. I told everyone that I hate assists and I avoid classes that they are are. haha what? it's the truth. I hated being touched...I wanted to figure out the poses for myself and feel things out. Not immediately be fixed by someone. (OMG I already can't wait to write the post about how I feel now about assists...BTW, getting assists are actually great...they are like wonderful yoga massages mmmmm)

We are always a student. But when you are a teacher, you are always a teacher as well.

dinner in my b&b night one. bread wine and hummus. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

an engagement story

A dear friend just told me her ideal engagement story. It's so amazing that I need to share it....

I walk into an abandon warehouse
I don't know what's going on but I'm scared
exactly 10 seconds after i enter this warehouse that someone drives me to (I obviously still won't have a driver's license by then)
the following song blasts from a BOOMBOX
and by "BOOMBOX" i mean an actual BOOM BOX, none of that ipod speaker shit
my future husband is lowered from the ceiling, holding not a ring, but a tattoo gun
if and when i say "yes" (if all goes well). He'll finally give me what I've always wanted: a tattoo of a cartoon penguin...on the spot
and then we drive off into the sunset, anticipating a new and exciting life together
of course, by "we" i mean, "me, my fiancé and whoever the fuck drove me to the warehouse"

things that i love: humpday

things I am loving today:

1. This woman's child. She is like five and still doesn't have hair. But look at that donut hat! ha

2. dear mom, i already picked a meddling (i typed in wedding and it autocorrected to meddling. love it) venue.

3. this card from Yellow Brick Road. I love you like Dumbledore loves....

4. life as a house. it's so bad, yet I have rented it twice in 3 days

5. this handmade necklace (sorry I forgot what blog i stole this from)

6. gary janetti's twitter

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I met a prophet this afternoon. No, really, I did.

This isn't her (sorry, courtney). Courtney and I went to BOD for some bevs and this woman walks in. Correction, this short mexican man carries this overweight woman in. She sits on some child's chair in the corner. She is wearing hospital scrubs and is carrying multiple bags. The mexican man leaves

She sits and watches for a good twenty minutes....just assessing the situation, not ordering anything. She spots a pyramid drawing on the chalkboard..you know, the one on the dollar bill with the eye? Well she proceeds to draw major attention, basically talking to anyone who will listen to her. She calls one of the bagel boys a prophet because he drew this picture of the pyramid with a bagel behind it. She calls him prophetic and a soon-to-be rich man. Note, this woman claims to be a pastor, a teacher, a photographer, and who knows what else.

So I stand up to order something, but instead I get sucked into this conversation. She like makes one of the guys give her a dollar so she can show us how we will turn Egypt upside down, just like how if you turn a dollar upside down, the drawing is....upside down. Wow. Also, she asked "Who makes bagels?" we were all silent so I was like "you mean what culture?" and Court goes "NEw York JEws." This woman goes nuts and basically blesses Courtney.

I obviously find this too hilarious and I need to keep it going. I bring up Star Wars (duh, who doesn't love SW). She goes NUTS...she is all over my comparisons of SW, Buddhism, and Christianity. She attempts to do a yoda impersonation, but she gets the verb tenses all wrong, so it just ends up sounding like she was yelling in a Shatner voice at the poor bagel boy. She also claims to "love George Harrison." I think she meant Harrison Ford. Oh My God.

She starts talking about Buddhas and about some monastery near-by where she says she has "seen monks levitate." She turns to me and, straight faced, poses the question: "how do they do that?"
I blew it. I could have given her and amazing answer and blown her mind. Instead, I say " I don't know" and run to sit down. It's too much.

So I sit down. I start shaking at this point because I am holding in so much laughter and I am dying. I decide to document (obvi) so I take her picture. BUT I have limitations. She says I have to A) only take the pic from the neck up and B) She had to be fist bumping in it. She is known as "the lemon head lady because she fist bumps people." She fist-bumps my camera. This photo is a gem.

She blessed us before she left. I left soon after to get some whiskey. Lord knows I needed it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

things that i love: winter wednesday

Some things that I'm lovin' today...

1. This fort bed from Smile and Wave. Also, that is a cool light idea...i Do have lots of left over holiday lights

2. this child's  birthday party (creeptastic, I know). look at that cute crown!

3. my new favorite athlete- click here to view the video. one day maybe?

4. NYX matte lip cream...basically every color. I usually hate lip stuff, but holy man, this stuff is awesome

5. pantha du prince. thnx jPat for getting hooked. my roommate called it "that damn bell music"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

things in a day: friday by the clock

7 am wake up

8 am morning walk
9 am coffee
10 am coworker breakfast

11 am desk decoration

12 pm meeting maker

1 pm lunch walk

2 pm extended walk

3 pm desk toys

4 pm office view

5 pm yoga

6 pm yoga

7pm cleaning
8 pm crafts and music

9pm sleepover

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