Sunday, November 24, 2013

A picture is worth ...

... a thousand words.

No longer putting off moving into my office waiting for the carpeting to be installed, Dennis was sweet enough to set up my Creative Corner Computer so I could create the below YouTube of my experience in Sedona.

It's funny to look back at the pictures 4+ weeks later.  I didn't take ANY pictures during the many, MANY hours of yoga practice and training, but I obviously captured many images of our 4-times-per- week hikes in the beauty of Sedona.  Gee whiz ... if you didn't know me, and you just watched this video, you'd think I was NEVER in training. But that is far from the truth.

I am so grateful for the experience I had with everyone, both faculty and students.  I will ALWAYS REMEMBER everyone.

Brew a cup of tea, turn up the volume, sit back, and I hope you enjoy ~

Monday, November 11, 2013

Calgon ~ No ... EPSOM SALT ...

... Take Me Away!  Does you remember that Calgon slogan?

I believe we don't need to buy another "product" from a big corporation; simply go back to the tried and true Epsom salt and take the time to take a bath.

Of course it's rather ironic that I'm gaining this realization after REMOVING our soaking tub in our master bathroom to replace it with a huge walk-in shower.  But I'm grateful that we KEPT the bathtub in our front bathroom so I can follow this advice.

What is Epsom salt anyway?   After Googling (I love researching on the Internet!), I learned that it is Magnesium Sulfate, an inorganic salt made of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen.  The name was derived because one of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate was made in Epsom, England. 

Potentially, more than half of all Americans are deficient in magnesium, which, like any deficiency, can lead to various health problems.   Sulfate helps forms brain tissue and joint proteins, and can strength the wall of the digestive tract.  I am all-for anything that I can do naturally to keep myself healthy, and taking an Epsom salt bath, 3 times per week, seems to have many benefits, just to name a few:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health
  • Improves the ability of the body to use insulin
  • Flushes toxins and heavy metals from the cells
  • Eases muscle pain
  • Regulates electrolytes which leads to improved nerve function
  • Relieves stress ~ and we ALL know what a killer stress is
  • Reduces inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
  • Improves absorption of nutrients
  • Restores pH balance (remember the pH strips I mentioned on the last blog?)
  • There are even claims that it can reduce belly fat and help one lose weight!

So ~ how does one take an Epsom salt bath?  First of all, you buy the salt in any drug store.  I bought mine at Walgreens.  Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salts in a bathtub full of warm water.  I've read that super hot water strips away protective oil from your skin (that explains why I always feel so dry after being in our hot tub, not to mention the chemicals).  I also love to add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to the stream of water filling the tub for a beautiful aromatic experience.  And of course, PAMPER YOURSELF.  Get some candles (battery operated are my favorite), turn on some soft music, and turn down the lights.  Use this time to visualize your strong and healthy body.  Stay in the water for at least 12 minutes.  Rinse off any left-over salt, and be sure to moisturize your skin immediately after the bath.  If you don't want to use a chemical-laden moisturizer, then try sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil.  Sesame is very warming, while coconut is cooling.  You can always try a mixture of different oils, as well.  Experiment and have fun with it!  Just be sure to have a special set of clothes to wear while the oil soaks into your skin. 

My mother ALWAYS took a night shower.  She told me that it helped her to sleep.  Besides, who wants to crawl into bed with all of the day's germs still on the body?  I've personally discovered that MOM WAS RIGHT (again).  It DOES make me sleep much better.  So I'm going to add these baths to my health regime. 

I'm very grateful to Kim, my roommate in Sedona, as she is the one who brought this information to me after giving me a FABULOUS MASSAGE one evening in her in-home massage room. Because she worked on some muscles that were tender, she suggested I take an Epsom salt bath, drink a lot of water, and go to bed.  And man, did I sleep that night!  Thank you, Kim.

A note on Kim ~ if you find yourself in Sedona, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you book a massage with her.  Her massage room is peaceful, her table includes an amethyst crystal biomat which is WARM, and her technique is crazy good.  Check out her blog, too ~

Sedona Expressions

There are so many wonderful ways to keep ourselves healthy without buying into the drug culture.  I encourage everyone to do their own research and try out different natural remedies before popping a pill.  I believe God already gave us everything we need to naturally live a long and healthy life. 

Believe in your own discernment and the wisdom of your body. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Your Tongue Speaks Volumes

One of the coolest things I learned while in Sedona was about my tongue, an organ that is more vital than I realized.  I was certainly aware of my tongue back in 2007 when I developed candida ~ an overgrowth of yeast ~ which caused crazy bumps and a thick white coating on my tongue.   Not long after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  So obviously I have paid A LOT OF ATTENTION to the state of my tongue since then.

But my Sedona experience taught me even more.  I learned that the coating on my tongue actually consists of impurities, or toxins, that have been removed from my body, especially when I'm resting at night.  That coating, which is called ama, indicates that there is an accumulation of toxins that the body is trying very hard to expel.  If we don't remove this ama, then we aggravate ailments within the body, particularly digestive problems.  And we all understand that the digestive system is critical to our health. 

This ama also acts as a breeding ground for bacteria which can then contaminate the food (and liquids) we ingest.  Ama also can cause bad breath.

Depending on where the ama is on your tongue, can also point to where the ailments are in the body:

But there is a very easy and simple solution to ridding oneself of this ama:  regular cleaning of the tongue. 

For less than $10, one can purchase a copper tongue scraper.  There are many links on Google to buying one ~ but here is the exact same one that I'm using ~

Since learning about this, I have adjusted my morning routine.  Immediately after getting out of bed, I scrape my tongue.  It literally takes less than 30 seconds. I then brush my teeth right away to make sure that all of that ama is out of my system.  THEN I'll proceed with my morning beverage, which now is a cup of hot water (not coffee or tea).  I do this because:
  • It flushes toxins from the body and aids digestion
  • Cures constipation
  • Aids weight loss by breaking down fat deposits in the body
  • Good for cough and colds
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces stomach, body, and head pain
  • Increases sweating, which aids skin cells
You can also mix honey or lemon for even better results.  Personally, I like adding my Lemon Essential Oil.  For me, after I drink the hot water, I really don't want any coffee OR tea.  Maybe an hour later I'll make myself a cup of herb tea, but I have no desire anymore for coffee. 

The other part of my morning routine is checking the pH of my saliva (acid vs alkaline).  I do this right after scraping my tongue and before brushing my teeth.  This is another 30 second routine that tells me if I'm keeping my body pH neutral.  Again, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was VERY acidic, so I'm highly motivated to stay out of that condition.  It has been proven that cancer grows in an acidic environment.  These are the pH strips that I use:

This is such an easy way to improve our health, and it takes very little time.  I invite you to consider making these easy changes in your daily routine.  

The smallest changes in our daily lifestyle DO MAKE the Biggest Difference.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ghee brings me GLEE!

I have read PLENTY of yoga and health magazines, all of which tout the benefits of eating ghee.  Ghee this and ghee that.  Well ~ now that I have actually EATEN ghee myself, now I understand how great it is.


When I was in Sedona, my FABULOUS roommate, Kim, gifted me with a beautiful, 14 ounce, glass bottle of "100% Organic Pure Indian Foods, grass-fed Ghee", with a price tag that said $19.50.  After being very impressed that she would even give me such a gift, my next thought was "will I really eat this?" and if I like it, "Dennis will have a cow if I buy a $20 bottle of stuff that he doesn't like or understand". 

Then I proceeded through my 30 day Yoga Teacher Training and discovered that

  1. I LOVE Ghee
  2. It's easy to make!

So I did a little more research and learned this ~
  • Ghee has a very high smoke point and doesn't burn when cooking
  • It reduces cholesterol
  • Good for your nerves and brain
  • Helps to control eye pressure and helps with glaucoma
  • Stimulates stomach acids to help with digestion
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals from food
  • Strengths the immune system
  • Inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors (I especially like this!)

So, I tried my hand at making it while I was in Sedona.  WHAT A JOKE!  I burned the *&^% out of it and made Kim's kitchen stink for about 48 hours (sorry Kim!).

Then one of my fellow yoga students suggested that I make it in a crock pot.  So when I got home last week, I bought a mini crock pot and tried it again today.  I followed the directions from this website ~

How to make ghee in a crockpot

... and it worked BEAUTIFULLY!  The only thing I changed from the website above was I turned the crockpot on high to MELT the butter, then I took off the lid, turned it to low, and let it do its thing for 7 hours.  And look at the result!

Hey ~ it matches my shirt!

That same original bottle that cost $19.50, cost me only $4.99 for a pound of organic, unsalted butter.  And it looks and tastes EXACTLY like the $19.50 version.  And I loved being able to give my ghee all sorts of love and attention while it was transforming itself from butter into ghee.

Now ~ what to do with it?  EVERYTHING YOU DO WITH REGULAR BUTTER.  I've already used it to saute everything, poured it on air-popped popcorn, made grilled sandwiches, added it to my kitchari, and put it on crackers.  To me, it tastes just like butter, if not better.  AND I know it's doing lots of great things for my body.

And the best part ... EVEN DENNIS LIKES IT.

So yes, ghee brings me GLEE!!

I invite you to try making it, too.  If you do, please let me know your experience and how you use it.

We all do learn from eachother.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Remodel Update as of Oct 28 2013

My first Monday back at home AND my first post-training Yoga Class today.  I felt SO welcomed by the Monday students, with hugs all around.  I really am involved with THE BEST Yoga Community anywhere and I am so grateful!  Thank you to everyone.

But most of the e-mails I'm receiving are asking about the remodel.  So here we go ...

First of all ... the King of our house, Mr. Muggins. 
We put this part of our wrap-around sofa back in place
so WE'D have a place to sit and read. 
But as you can see, Mr. Muggins has claimed it as his own.

This is our main living space ~ The Arizona Room ~
with the aero-bed on top of the hide-a-bed.
than it looks in this picture!
AND amazingly comfortable. 
This is also Dennis' main working space.

But he also has access to his NORMAL office,
which is really good,
because he's had lots of client work!
Here he is setting up a new computer for a wonderful client ~

This is my office, aka Our Guest Room.
It's a great place to do yoga right now
because there is no bed!

This is our living room ~
with everything gone except for the couch, which is covered.
See Muggins in the corner?
Through the sliding doors is our Arizona Room.
This is our master bedroom.
Yes ~ our real bed is under all of that plastic.
The door goes out to our Arizona Room.

Here's our guest bathroom shower.
This is where I do my oil and salt cold shower in the AM.

And the master shower ~ LOVE THIS ENHANCEMENT.
I'm standing in the south part of the shower,
shooting back towards the sink area.
Here is our kitchen-to-be
once we get counter tops, fixtures, and appliances.

And our garage ~
where our entire house is packed and waiting to move back in,
and where we cook and have a sink.


So as you can see, we're certainly NOT SUFFERING.  As I look at the pictures myself, I feel pretty darn blessed. 
"Home Camping" ~ maybe it will become a new trend!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

And on the third day ...

... she rose from her transition to home!

Yes, it would have been a little bit of a shock to come back home even IF things were in order.  But to come back to the house in this state ~ VERY disorienting.

But today is the 3rd day and I feel MUCH better!  Dennis has been a sweetheart allowing me to make the house a little more cozy with some changes.  I'm back in my office and right now it's PERFECT without a bed or other furniture because I can do my sadhana in here! 

We also "upgraded" the hide-a-bed by placing our aerobed on top of it.  MUCH more comfortable, albeit a little high.  I need to use my step-stool just to get into it! 

And it was great fun to upgrade our garage kitchen.  The Sedona staff will be very happy as we bought an electric wok and I made Kitchari for dinner last night.  And yes ~ Dennis liked it!


We only have one sink in the house, but it's really working out fine.  We hung a towel rack, reorganized our things, and it's actually quite cozy in the garage!

And yes ~ we tried out our new Master Shower with the disco light shower head.  SO FUN!

So now it's time to catch up on a month's worth of receipts, paperwork, and clients.  And what a stack I have! 
Oh ~ and how could I forget ... I lost TEN POUNDS during my training in Sedona!  Now the real trick will be keeping it off. 
Now that I'm more settled, I will start sharing information that I learned during my training.  So I hope you will stay with my blog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

There is no place like home!


The drive home was smooth with very little traffic, and I got home just in time for my hair appointment. 

My Welcome Home Celebration was wonderful!  Of course my sweetheart met me at the door with a glass of champagne and it was such fun slowly going through the house and being SHOCKED at the changes!

Best surprise of all ... the cabinets are IN!  Dennis didn't quite tell me the truth about the install as he wanted to surprise me.  And surprised I was!  We even have the washer and dryer hooked up!  So here I am again, back at my desk, in my empty office.  Of course the walls are blank, the furniture is covered, and we have no countertops, but it's still home.  It will probably be another month before we start moving back in. 

Mr. Muggins seemed to be mad at me when I first arrived ~ it took him awhile to warm up to me.  But he did sleep with us last night and it was VERY COZY in The Arizona Room. 

So here we go on my first day back in THIS reality.  I'm grateful that it's Friday so I have 3 days to get regrouped before the new week starts (and my yoga class on Monday at 2:15!).  I definitely need to take some time this weekend to figure out my yoga class and how I'm going to slowly incorporate what I've learned into my class.  I don't want to blow everyone away by doing too much, too quickly.  AND, I don't want to blow myself away trying to get everything here done quickly and mindlessly.  Life is a process ~ and I want to stay aware in The Now and ENJOY the Journey.  It was easier to do that during the training, and I know the rest test of my newly gained inspiration happens now. 

I do intend to keep this blog going so I can share many of the yogic concepts that I learned in my training, and to share other health-related information.  So I hope you'll retain your subscription to my blog and share it with the people in your world. 

It has been a true joy being able to share my experience with you. 

Carpe Momento and THANK YOU.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Eve of Home

My last night in Sedona ... and I am feeling so blessed.

I had a *perfect* last day in Sedona, even with waking up at 3:45AM again.  I wonder when that habit will stop?  I forced myself to go back to sleep, and did so fitfully until 7AM. 

My first day post training and I'm proud to say that I did my new morning routine ~ including the entire bathroom routine, 12 Sun Salutations with the chants, and meditation.  It really is a wonderful way to start a day.

Then came the multiple loads of laundry (so grateful to be able to do that here since our washer and dryer is still unhooked and in the garage), and I got 95% packed.  It's CRAZY how much stuff I have here.  I have a feeling that I'll be giving even MORE stuff away when we finally get to move back into our home. 

Kim suggested that I check out the tea lady before I left, and what a pleasant experience that turned into.  I was the ONLY customer in the shop during my time there and I had a great time talking with the owner, Kim, and her assistant, Genie.  Check out the Afternoon Tea that they served to me ~ a yummy Merlot Berry tea, chicken salad finger sandwiches, and a freshly made scone with all of the right creams and fresh preserves.      


As we were chatting, I discovered that Genie has been a yoga instructor for over 40 years, is a psychic and is into numerology, astrology, and reading tea leaves.  You can imagine how the conversation continued from there!  I also ended up working on their computer to fix some issues for them, so I felt right at home!  If you ever find yourself in Sedona, or need flowers delivered in this area, I highly recommend you check them out ~

The Jazz Bouquet

Kim and I decided to skip my massage tonight and she graciously accepted my invitation to dinner at Elote's Café. Because it is soooooo popular, we had to wait an hour for a table, but God blessed us with the best sunset I've seen since I've been here.  It was the perfect back drop for my first picture with Kim ~

All of the locals I've met have talked about this restaurant, but I never made it there all month.  Now I understand why everyone raves about Elote's ... it was the BEST Mexican food I have ever had!  Very different from your "regular" Mexican food, and the corn relish ... FABULOUS!!!  Chef Jeff used to have a restaurant in Scottsdale, but closed it and moved to Sedona.  This is a MUST DO when you're in Sedona ~

Elote Café

Jeff is a hands-on chef and very down to earth.  He even delivered one of our dishes to our table personally.

So with a full tummy, an over-packed car, and a heart that is bursting with gratitude, Im signing off for the evening.  It's almost 11PM, and I need to clean my space here and hit the road tomorrow no later than 9.  I have a hair appointment at 2:30 for a trim and a color job, and THEN will go home.  Good news ... the cabinet installation is supposed to start tomorrow, so we'll hold all the right thoughts that it does happen.  I'm excited to see how the remodel is coming along ~ Dennis tells me that we just need the 3 C's:  cabinets, countertops, and carpeting.  And then, of course, we need to MOVE BACK IN. 

One day at a time, heck ~ one MOMENT at a time.  And I'm counting my blessings every step of the way.

I know White Light will carry me safely back to Sahuarita.

With Love,


The Gayatri Mantra

If you liked the first mantra I shared with you, I think you will LOVE this one!

Just click on the link below and download it to your music folder ~

The Gayatri Mantra - download by clicking here

The meaning of  this mantra is ~

Earth Atmosphere Heavens
We meditate on the Sacred Light
of the effulgent Source.
Let that inspire our minds.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It is DONE!

... as I have completed and graduated from the 30 day Yoga Teacher Training Program from Seven Centers Arts in Sedona.

It was a very emotional and moving day, knowing that this incredibly unique and life-changing experience was coming to an end.  There were hugs and tears all around our new-found family. 

7 Centers Yoga Arts is a top-notch school with an incredible staff and I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to WAKE UP and re-evaluate their life.  I was exposed to and learned so much during this time that tonight I feel stunned, but happy.  Now I just need some time to assimilate all that I've learned and to be dedicated to my personal yoga practice and discipline.

I could never have done this without the unfailing support of Dennis and my family and friends.  I so appreciate everyone respecting my techno silence while I fully focused on the training.   I have felt loved and supported throughout the entire experience, and I am deeply humbled and grateful to be surrounded by such Love. 

I will REALLY MISS seeing my new friends from school ~ but I know I  have made lifelong connections.  This is the first time I am TRULY grateful for Facebook as a communication tool. 

I will admit, however, that I am tired.  What a blessing that my roommate, Kim, talked me into staying ONE MORE DAY to regroup.  She is so wise ...

Will be back in my own bed (albeit on the hide-a-bed in our AZ Room due to the remodel) by Thursday night.  But I don't care ... THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

My Love To All ~

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Last Weekend in Sedona (at least for THIS visit!)

It is Sunday night already!  Where did the weekend go?  Oh ~ that's right ... preparing my presentation and SHOPPING.  God Bless the Sedona Goodwill store!!

All kidding aside, it was a wonderful weekend.  By the time I got home on Saturday, I did a little laundry, got caught up with Dennis and the remodel update, and then it was time to get ready for Oktoberfest with my roommate, Kim, and her friends.

Nothing like falling off the Ayurvedic Wagon in one fell swoop ...

Let me assure you that I did NOT drink that entire beer, but instead swapped half of it for a lovely glass of red wine.  And that bratwurst ... the bread stayed on my plate.  Of course I did finish off the evening with a quarter of a giant pretzel with mustard.  IT TASTED SO GOOD!!!

The best part of it all ~ I STILL felt great this morning!

Here is a photo of my roommate, Kim, with her friend, Linda, who gifted us with the tickets to the event.  Kim is on the right. 

Kim is such a sweetheart ~ over the 4 weeks that I've been here, we've become friends, for sure.  She has taught me so much, and tonight she allowed me to show her how to create a blog.  When she really gets going on it, I will share the address with you as she has many valuable ideas to share.  She is incredibly talented in many arenas!

So here I am on The Eve of my last day and a half at 7 Centers.  I do still need to get up at 3:45AM tomorrow and Tuesday for a 5AM start.  I prepped most of my presentation this morning, but will tweak it more tomorrow evening.  Did you know that you breathe 21,600 times per day??

I send heartfelt thanks to my family and friends; I feel so supported and loved. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Magical Friday Full Moon

Today was such a special day ~ our last full day completely immersed in the training.   Of course I have mixed emotions .... on one hand I am ready to go home, but on the other hand, I don't want to let this go.  Such is life, eh?

We did our last Sadhana with Jeff at 4:50AM.  No more neti pot, eye washing, and gum massaging with oil and salt, while squatting in the cold and windy morning darkness.  Our practice today (until breakfast at 7AM) was another Transformational Yoga Practice.  Thankfully, this time he didn't make us hold cobra for 10 minutes, but instead incorporated other not-quite-as-difficult poses (thank you!).  But we did finish the practice with full-on dancing which brings me such joy!  Our Sadhana practice is definitely a part of this experience which I will always treasure, and I intend to create my own daily Sadhana practice when I return home.

We took another lovely hike today ~ this time to the top of  Sugarloaf.  It was a much easier hike with another beautiful view.  It was a gorgeous day, so we took the opportunity to have a review class at the top.  We always begin and end our classes with at least an Om, and I've discovered that I especially love to chant outside. 

Since we were running a little late getting back to the Center, we took an early break and then reunited again this evening for a Fire Ceremony and mantra at sunset called Agnihotra.  I actually found a very good description of it at this website ~  

Here are some images of our ceremony ~

Shrada is the founder of Seven Centers

After this we went into the yurt and I was SO SURPRISED to be greeted by this scene ~
Shrada had created a beautiful atmosphere in the yurt to discuss Vedic mythology.  She told stories of the Gods and Goddesses, she shared her experiences while visiting temples in India, and we chanted to the various deities that we discussed. 
To wrap up the session, while Shrada burned slips of paper with names of loved ones that we wanted to pray for, we chanted 33 names of The Divine Mother and threw rose petals into the center altar. 
Knowing that we were doing this under the Full Moon (the moon actually represents Mother), made the experience very memorable.  I was touched.
I had 2 more magical moments today that made this day so special.  The Center has 2 resident cats, one of which is quite friendly and frequently joins us during our class work.  In the entire 4 weeks, Lionheart has never come to me and cuddled in my lap.  Well, today he did.  I was so happy that I began to cry!  And of course it REALLY made me miss Mr. Muggins. 
My other magical moment today was coming home and finding a package in my bathroom.  A dear friend had sent me a beautiful card and a gorgeous amethyst bracelet.   I was so surprised and honored by such a lovely gift. 
So I go to bed now with a very happy heart. 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Full Moon and Eclipse

Hey ~ I had my dates wrong about the Full Moon and Eclipse

Check this out from The Power Path ~

Full moon and partial lunar eclipse is Friday, October 18 at 5:37 PM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT). This eclipse opens a window until November 3 of a time that supports deep change. The energy of this full moon can be a bit challenging if you are not in alignment with what you need at this time. If you are ignoring your own signals to go offline and reset certain things in your life, this full moon could bring you to your knees. Don't do anything against your better judgment and take some time for reflection and rest.

On the other hand, there is an opportunity for the heightened experience of bliss and well being if you are aligned with spirit. Make sure you are not so scheduled up with obligations around this time that you can actually take advantage and experience what is possible. Be in nature, around beauty, and doing what inspires you.

AND... stay out of conflict by not taking things personally. It is hardly ever about you....

The moon was so gorgeous this morning at 4:15AM.  Looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow morning ... the LAST TIME I need to be up THAT early during my training.  What perfect timing!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Planets are Lining Up!

Today (Wednesday) just FLEW by.  Time is really speeding up now that we're getting to the end. 

Since the students are teaching the yoga practice in the morning, we're all getting very comfortable in the role.  I didn't have to teach anything today, but I will tomorrow morning.  In fact, I can't stay here long because I need to get ready for bed and then do some research and class prep.

But I did want to share about our hike today.  I can't remember the name of where we were, but WE WERE UP THERE!  We had to scramble up some pretty steep and slippery slopes, but we all made it both up AND down.  It was worth it ~ WHAT A VIEW.  Yes, that is Bell Rock way out there. 

We made it back to the Center a little late, so we skipped Yoga Nidra and went right into our session with the Vedic Astrologer.  VERY INTERESTING.  It was quite a "coincidence" ~ Deborah, the Astrologer is exactly 16 days younger than I am.  It also appears that I am right in the midst of a very powerful time which is greatly supporting me in moving forward in a strong spiritual way.  The planets are also offering great discipline for me at this time.  Deborah said to me that now is the time to BE COURAGEOUS.    NO WONDER I chose to do this training right now! 

The icing on the cake was coming home and having my roommate, Kim, wanting to immediately show me a YouTube by a friend of hers who is an astrologer himself.  We watched his forecast for this coming week and WOW!  It is more of the same message that I'm hearing over and over again.   

If you can take a few moments, I high recommend you listen to Tom and hear what is happening for ALL of us during this time ~ INCLUDING a full moon tomorrow, and an ECLIPSE Friday night.  Tom has an excellent way of getting his point across and he'll make you smile in the process.

I think it is so magical that no matter where any of us are on the planet, we all can see and experience the same full moon and eclipse. 

We are all in this life together, and we ARE connected.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mid-October Update regarding RESET

I just made another post this evening (see below), but I wanted to add this.  This message from The Power Path describes EXACTLY how I feel ~

"This is a reminder about the opportunities this month to make deep and permanent change by allowing things that are already showing signs of disintegrating to really fall apart and go into the void and out of existence. If you feel despairing about this process it is only natural as the mind cannot conceive of the creativity that lies just beyond. It only knows to focus on what is being "lost" or "being failed".

We are headed towards an eclipse and full moon on Thursday (update to follow) and it would be a great time to just simply observe in your life what is shifting around. Often your intentions of raising the quality of your life will show up by removing that which you have putting up with. So don't be surprised if something you own gives up the ghost forcing you to replace it with a new and better model. Remember the mantra for this time "where one door closes another opens". And when all else fails, give it over to spirit. Don't take things personally and watch your projections by not taking things out on others."


Computer cheating on a Tuesday night

Yes, I will admit that I'm cheating on my during-the-week techno silence, but it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right?  Besides, I can already feel the lessening of the intensity of learning this week ... our focus is now on how to teach a class, and gratefully, I have experience in that arena.  And, unlike the other 3 weeks, we have no evening classes except for Friday.  That means I'll be home by 5PM the next 2 nights.  Those extra 3 hours each evening seem like an eternity!

I am really excited about tomorrow ~ we're getting the first of 2 lectures from the Vedic Astrologer who did each of our charts.  Several of my fellow students have signed up for a personal reading, but I'm not feeling the need to do that.  After 4+ hours of lectures from the Astrologer over the next 2 days, I think I can take the general information that I learn from her and tie it together with what is growing in my heart, and I think I can figure out what is next for me.  Besides, I've already explored a lot of my shortcomings ~ I am ready to move FORWARD. 

We were also given our "Final Presentation" theme today and I'm very pleased with what I drew from the brass cup.  On Monday and Tuesday, each of us will present a 20 minute yoga class on the theme that we received.  My theme is pranayama ~ the breath.  And my presentation isn't until 8:30AM on Tuesday ~ I'm the second to last presentation of the training.  After each of the 15 of us do our presentations and receive teacher feedback, then our GRADUATION will be at noon on Tuesday.  One week from today!

We have worked our way into such a routine, that the days are flying by now.  The 8 hours of intensity from 4AM until noon don't seem that long anymore, and the afternoons are quite lovely with our daily hike in the red rocks before our afternoon class and practice.  Truth be told, if I didn't miss Dennis and Muggins so much, I could keep this schedule up for even longer.  The discipline is so good for me, and I feel GREAT.  It's obvious that I really needed this full-on cleanse. 

Even though I will say that the cleanse has not been easy on all of us.  Resetting the body is not always elegant.  In fact, 3 of us, who have Pitta constitutions, all broke out in a rash.  Mine presented itself on Saturday, which I was the last one of the 3.  The staff has been very attentive and done everything possible to understand and soothe it.  We're on a hand-made cream made of cilantro and aloe vera, and drinking aloe juice twice a day.  It has DEFINITELY cooled down my fire as last night was the FIRST night I slept with my window closed.  And wouldn't you know it, my roommate told me that a pack of javelinas noisily went through the back yard last night.  Bummer that I missed it!  Will open my window and brave the cold tonight in hopes of it happening again.  Anyway, I am healing quickly and the itching has subsided.  All is well.

Our group was in the kitchen again today to prepare lunch for everyone.  More new experiences ... we made sushi and Miso soup ~ neither of which have I EVER made before!  Everything was delicious and well received by the students and staff.  Look out Dennis when we get our kitchen back ~ I'm ready to cook some new stuff!

OK ~ so I guess I'd better get going into my night shower, and into bed for a little reading of our manual.   

But first of all ... HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY, Mr. Muggins!  He was truly born on this day which was the same time I was going through radiation for breast cancer.  I'm so happy he came into the world and worked his way into our life.

Love to all,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

3 weeks down ~ and the training is heating up!

I find myself at another Sunday night, all prepped for bed and ready to shut down my laptop for another week.  Am I really going into my final full week already?

Beginning last week, the focus changed from getting us "clean" in body, mind, and spirit to now turning us into Yoga Teachers.  When we do our 3.5 hours of asana practice in the morning (from 8:30 to noon), we are being called on, without warning, to lead the class through a pose.  Even though I have been leading classes for a year and a half, their approach to each pose is very different than what I've been doing, so it does make my heart speed up when I hear my name.  Gratefully, the space is very safe and supportive and this week I am going to BREATHE and just go with it when I hear my name. 

We also began, with notice, leading sun salutations each day.  We've been divided into 3 groups, and each day one group leads the practice.  To build on this, now each group has been assigned a 35 minute Asana Practice and our group goes first tomorrow!  I fact, I PERSONALLY go first tomorrow! 

So here was my Sunday morning ~ up early, showered, and working on my part of the asana until 12:30PM.  I worked at Kim's dining room table so I could really spread out ~

But don't cry for me ... look at the view I had!


I am learning so much about myself during this process ~ how to live with discipline and be independent (I love Dennis very much but he DOES spoil me!),  being brave physically (hiking up scary rock places), understanding my personality and how it drives my choices, learning about healthier food choices and how to prepare them, learning about chants and mantras and planets, and most of all discovering, once again, the depth of my spirituality.  This process IS deeply changing me, much like our Grand Canyon River Rafting trip did back in May.  In fact, 5 months ago right now we were experiencing the first night from our cot, gazing at a million stars and listening to the roar of the River.  

I guess this year, my 60th year, is my time to transform. 

I spoke with Dennis today and he's going through his own learning process while transforming our home.  Of course there are issues, and I am so grateful he's there constantly to handle them.  Who knows how the project would turn out if he wasn't staying on top of all of the contractors.  The good news ~ by the time I get home next Thursday (not this week, but next), we just MIGHT have a working shower!  The remodel will be FAR from done, but if we can take a shower and possibly get the washer and dryer hooked up again, we'll be much happier campers living in the Arizona Room.

So off to bed I go.  Let's all stay in our Heart and In The Moment this week ~

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

There is so much to learn in life, and I'm grateful that I've now experienced a stupa.  

A stupa is a Symbol of Enlightenment, and Sedona has two beautiful stupas on 14 lovely acres ~

This peaceful location is within a 5 minute drive of where I'm living, and visiting here is a powerful way to spend time in prayer and meditation.  

Read more about this special place here ~
I'm looking forward to an entire Sunday on my own tomorrow, and I intend to savor some time at the stupa again before my 4th week of school begins.


The End of Week 3

... and I'm feeling like it's all coming together for me.  The tapestry that we've been weaving at Seven Centers for 20 days is starting to become a piece of art. 

Even though I've practiced yoga off and on since my 20's, I truly did not understand the power and meaning of the practice.  Yoga, at its core, is all about the power of connection to ourselves and God, which will lead one to embracing balance, peace, and understanding of the Oneness of all life. 

My roommate enlightened me to a movie which is a powerful description of What Yoga Is.  The 65 minute movie is rightly entitled "Yoga Is:  A Transformational Journey".   I  just watched it for free via my Amazon Prime Account at ~

I highly recommend this movie as it explains yoga in a way that everyone can understand.

Will write more later about my week.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday night sign-off ...

What a lovely weekend up here in Sedona!  The weather the last few days has been heavenly and I've so enjoyed having time to myself. 

I explored a little bit today, went to an Art Show, and ended up at my favorite place ... GOODWILL.  They have a really big one here with some really nice clothes.  I bought 3 tops for only $10!!!  This will definitely be part of my ritual for my remaining two weekends.

I got about 2 hours of studying in this afternoon.  So cozy, all propped up on my bed with my newly discovered favorite mantra playing.  It's 22 minutes and SO SOOTHING to my soul.  If you click on the link below, you can download it to your computer and have it for yourself.  Please let me know what you think of it ~

Ong So Hung Mantra

The meaning of the mantra is Creative Consciousness I Am That. 

The culmination of my day was getting a massage from my roommate, right here in my own home.  She is a Licensed Massage Therapist who works at Mii Amo Spa, and she also has a massage room for private clients in her home.  IT WAS FANTASTIC.

She's instructed me to take a leisurely Epsom Salt Bath tonight, so I'm shutting my computer down for the week and heading to my bath now. 

I can't believe that two weeks of my training are already done.  The time here seems long, but also short at the same time.  I miss Dennis and Muggins very much, but I'm staying in the moment as "we may never pass this way again".

Carpe Momento ...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October = RESET

I was already in bed, getting very sleepy, when I remembered that I hadn't yet read the October Forecast from The Power Path.

I just now read it and WOW!  The theme of the month is ...

"There are two faces to this month's theme. The first one is the deconstruction, dissolving, taking offline, shutting down, turning off, letting go, letting down, and allowing things to fall apart.

The second is the re-booting, turning on, flipping the switch, restarting, reconstructing, solidifying, bringing online, resetting and refocus."

Speaking personally, Dennis and I are certainly in Reset mode, and I have a feeling that many of our friends are ready to be in the same mode themselves. 

I invite you to take just a few moments to click the link below and read about this very powerful time.  Reset yourself before it's done for you.


Two weeks completed!

What a joy to take a break today and tomorrow!  As much as I am loving the experience, being home and chillin' is a real treat!  Of course there are always chores and real life stuff to handle, but I see the value in the balance of having some time at home to myself. 

Yes, I do call this home.  I feel SO VERY FORTUNATE to have found Kim's home as my base to work from.  Having all of the creature comforts here (which is a BUNCH more than Dennis and Muggins have right now) gives me the space and energy to rejuvenate so I can keep going through the process. 

It has occurred to me that I haven't shared an image of WHERE I am everyday.  Hopefully these visuals will help ~

Our main yoga room where all of the practices
and most of the lectures take place. 
This small retail section
is connected to the yoga room.

 Here are all of our mats, blankets, blocks
boosters, and pillows
This is the Yurt and part of the garden
on the west side of the yoga building.
I love our sessions in the yurt ~
especially at night. 
We eat our meals on the east side
of the yoga building.
Breakfast is eaten in the dining area inside, and 
all of the lunches are served and eaten outside. 
Speaking of food, I have discovered that I LOVE Indian food (Shruthi is our Indian Ayurvedic chef) and it has all been delicious.  I've discovered all sorts of healthy food choices including herb coffee, Sunflower butter, ghee, hemp milk, coconut water ~ just to name a few.  I'm excited to experiment on my own WHEN we get our kitchen back. 
I talked to Dennis today.  The remodel is coming along beautifully, but the house will surely not be completed by the time I get home.  I'm actually happy about that as it will disallow me from falling right back into my comfort patterns.   
It's dark now and I just returned from a pedicure (it felt good, but it was not as good as my Tony in Sahuarita!).  What a pleasant surprise to walk into my door and find that Kim had lit this for me in my living area ....
It is chilly tonight, so I'm going to curl up with a bowl of popcorn and watch one of Kim's spiritual movies.
The only thing missing is Dennis and Mr. Muggins.