Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pampered - Words and Pictures


My kids barred me for the bathroom and only appeared to request specific items: a towel, that I light a candle for them and most mysteriously an empty, but clean jar. I listened outside the door to be sure there wasn't any naughtiness happening. To my delight I was invited to a "Moms Only Spa."

Dinner could wait. We had a date. They'd transformed the bathroom into a tranquil oasis fit solely for yours truly. They'd created a menu with a listing of the services they'd provide and were as cordial as ever calling me miss (so flattering) and offering me ice water (so refreshing.)

I selected the "Mom's Mini-Makeover" complete with pedicure, hair styling and make-up. Was I in for a treat. They massaged my tootsies, had me show them how to apply eye shadow and put all manner of goop, gel, spray and something suspiciously oily in my hair. It was marvelous, I looked fabulous and have two special kids to thank for knowing how to make this mom feel loved.

Stripes and Polka-Dots!
Is posting a photo of my mutant-feet online a toe-pas?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Body is a Temple by Christina Sell -- Review

I write and read, write and read and repeat. That is one of my main joys among several so in addition to the words and pictures posts, I will share what I'm reading these days.

Magazines: I subscribe to, buy, am given or make a lucky score at my library publications ranging from my favorite fashion mags such as Glamour, Lucky and InStyle to my secret guilty pleasure, US Weekly. I also mainline Yoga Journal, if there was ever such a thing and thoroughly enjoy National Geographic and The Smithsonian. That's just on paper.

Online: Then of course there are countless online "magazines" from Minted to at least a couple dozen blogs I read regularly including, among my favorites: Nat the Fat Rat, Local Sugar, Rock Star Diaries, The Daybook and don't even get me started on food blogs, that is a post unto itself.

Books: If I should find an e-reader in my hands I will not protest, but I have had a long and solid love affair with the bound and printed book. I read books galore and no amount of technology is going to stop me. I often have a fiction and non-fiction going at once.

So without further ado I present my pick for this week:

My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness by Christina Sell

I'm a longtime student of Christina's, if you can call practicing her skilled and humorous classes on Yogaglo as qualifying as her student. But I can I suppose, so I will.

I've learned much about alignment in the physical and mental-emotional sense from Christina along with seeing what it is to embody the yogic term, Adhikara or studentship observing her as a teacher it is clear she also continues to count herself as a student, disciplined, consistent, patient and open and passionate. She is what it is to continually be open to life's lessons and the lessons of the body, incorporate that knowledge then share. There is much to be learned from the outside world of course, books of course, but there is, I'd argue and am sure Christina would agree, a nearly equal measure to be learned from within.

From Christina's previous book Yoga from the Inside Out: Making Peace with your Body through Yoga I got a taste for what it is to persevere and follow through right up to the edge of what I thought was possible for me and then cross that transformative threshold, as a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, into a place of acceptance and strength. It was a pathway for me to step into and embrace my body. Powerful Stuff.

In My Body is a Temple Christina furthers her crusade to acknowledge the gift of embodiment through a systematic, though not at all dry, explanation of why and how we, the reader, can discover our inner courage, strength and center. The end of each chapter provides a series of questions to contemplate and if like me you don't object to writing in books, answer right on the page. Christina offers an accessible way to study oneself, Svadyaya, as she illustrates through her own experiences as she narrates against the backdrop of her time in India and the lessons from her teachers and invites the reader to the do the same.

I highly recommend both Yoga from the Inside Out and My Body is a Temple if you're looking for a down to earth, relatable voice to help you navigate your inner being, Svadyaya, and if you stick with it and practice Adhikara, you might just arrive at your center.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Words and Pictures


I'm starting a mini-series here on my 'ole blog-er-ino in which I offer myself a writing prompt based on a photo, as both an exercise for myself and commentary for you, dear reader.

Today: Love is having a best friend or in my case, and I count myself very lucky, several best friends.

Those two up there are best friends and brother and sister and are as sweet as can be. The picture is a bit fuzzy, but so are they. Sure he sniffs her butt from time to time, but she doesn't seem to mind. Friends of mine couldn't get away with that, but out of the gutter (or wherever the butt reference took you) and into the company of my nearest and dearest is where I like to find myself.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for promptly answering my random questions like, "how to get black face paint out of white carpet" and when the twelve inch streak remains forever a reminder of a little girl in front of her mirror painting what only resembled large splotches, offer more ideas in the way to cover-it-up. I appreciate your resolute effort and commitment to our friendship even when it is contending with life's minutea.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for listening to me whine and vent and vent and whine, you're there to listen and give me perspective when I step out of alignment and help me find my way back when I need to. The fact that you're comfortable enough to be honest with me reveals your integrity, a quality I value highly.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for accepting and humoring my wacky, silly, giddy, totally stinkin' awesome self. The best is when I find you right there along with me in the tear-streaming, pants-peeing laughter.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for being my reading and writing buddies. I don't know where I would be if Twilight hadn't entered my life, okay I do, but still we've had some twi-rif-ic times. I thank you from the essence of my being for reading early copies of my manuscript and not pointing and laughing, but instead encouraging me and offering tremendous amounts of help in getting things just right. Thank you for your time especially.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for sharing your lives with me, your triumphs and struggles, your fears and hopes, it is an honor that we can trust each other with treasures of the heart.

Hugs,
Deirdre

Friday, May 18, 2012

Really?


EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

DAUGHTER:
(Pointing wildly)
Mom, look that car has eyelashes?

ME:
(Doubletake)
Yes, dear yes it does.
Don't get any closer, it might have teeth too.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Inspiration


Source: goo.gl via Damooer on Pinterest

Back in...high school, a grumpy poet came to my English class to discuss his work. I was all kinds of serious back then about pretty much everything, my sense of humor came later or, and these things are hard to pin point, it may have begun to take form in that very room after grumpy poet's presentation.

When he opened up the floor for questions, I eagerly raised my hand and asked, "Where do you get your inspiration?" I was all studious and smiles, the student every teacher dreams about.

In the snarkiest, most condescending tone he replied, "Unless you are referring to breathing, which I am doing constantly, I do not get inspiration."

I was all kinds of stirred up after that, if I'd had a tail it would have been twitching. If I'd had claws, well, you know.

I felt affronted and confused. Sure, right, we inhale, breathe, respiration, inspiration...I get it. Pretty much, but he was missing my point, right?

I'm no poet, but poetry and prose are bedfellows, making them intimately related. And despite feeling deterred for about half a second I've been writing in some form or another ever since that rude day and before that, since I learned to put pen to paper. I most certainly draw inspiration, in addition to the involuntary bodily function.

I see inspiration in faces, places and an orange melting sun. I hear inspiration in the sound of laughter carried across a busy street and a gravely voice that has a sincerity to it that reminds me of jazz. I taste inspiration in a soft serve twist, in a juicy strawberry and a glass of water that refreshes. I feel inspiration in a hug, in a stone smoothed by a river and the fit of a dress, as if it were made just for me.

Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look dear, grumpy poet.