Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thank You Navy Brat-hood!

Growing up with my Dad in the Navy was just one part of child/adolescent-hood.
It meant a few adventures here and there.
It resulted in a whole lot of military history, and visits
to battle sites.
It taught me how to pack a house in under a day.
It allowed me to adapt to most any situation.
It taught me how to survive in natural disasters...
or was was that the result of the family dicussions?

A bit ago, a 5.8 earthquake hit this area- and the epicenter was about 60 miles
from where I'm at now.

No big deal.

My biggest concern was for the dog next door and my neighbors.
As I read the stuff online about what happened and people's reactions,
it makes me incredibly thankful for all of the times we packed up and moved.
For all of the times we adjusted to new friends, a new town, and always...
a new natural disaster.

Growing up, we had dinner discussions about what to do in every
situation, and which were the best/worst. 
We also had dinner discussions about how to solve battles,
how to plot ships, and how to lead.

Yep, it might not have been the "every day" dinner converstaions
of our friends, but I'm glad.

The only thing that happened here was my Dad called and asked,
"Did you feel it too?"  When I responded, "Yes,"
he said, "Okay, I'm going back to work now."

Just another day... just more gratitude for my parents
and all that they taught us as we trekked throughout the country.

Thanks Mom and Dad! :-)

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thank You Ink Circles and Carries Threads

I love colors, patterns, and art. 

I teach a foreign language through colors, patterns, and believe my students are little pieces art that make up a huge mural of learning.

My mum taught me to stitch when I was tiny, as in young.  I've never been tiny, always tall!

It was the most peaceful stitching experience of my life!

Ink Circles provides this pattern FREE!

Carrie's Creation Threads supports it with amazing hand-dyed floss that is quite reasonable in cost, and shipped SUPER fast!

Thank You Mom for inspiring me to create pieces!
Thank you for helping me to find something that works both hemispheres of my brain and calms me down!

Thank You Ink Circles for bringing mandalas to the stitching world!

Thank You Carrie's Threads for a phenomenal product and whose colors keep me smiling!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thank You Aunt A!

I spent last Thursday with my Aunt A during a Family Meet Up Day on our vacation to western Michigan. It'd been a long, long time since I had seen her, and the visit left me a bit perplexed.

I wasn't sure if it was all of her medical madness, the grouping of relatives, or something else, but something seemed...different.  I let it go and prayed. 

My Dad and his brother (Aunt A's husband) exchanged e-mails CC'd me on them after the trip ended, and suddenly it felt right to respond. 

Little did I know I'd be on the receiving end of an e-mail from my Aunt A and I'd respond in a way that I knew we were back in stride with each other.

To sum up my aunt's impact on my life is no easy feat.  This woman single heartedly guided me through a very rough break up nearly 18 months ago.  She wrote wise words and comforted me.  She listened to me, encouraged me, and somehow knew exactly what I needed. 

Just a few months before that she taught me some of the most profound lessons of my life just by being her.  Her fight with cancer has been a time of observation and reevaluation for me.  Yet she somehow is oblivious to it, and her positive impact on the lives of others.

Thank you, Aunt A, for your strength, your example, your courage, and your compassion.

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thank You Fragrant Breakfast!

Fresh strawberries and farmers market peaches.

A morning of introspection and reflection.

A breakfast of joy and gratitdue- of living in the tasty and fragrant present.

Thank you to the farmers who grew these crops and anyone who helpd in transporting them!

Thank you to the strawberries and peaches for nourishing every cell in my body
and mystifying my taste buds!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thank You Summer!

It's here!

For the first time I don't have to run to a yoga class, complete a final exam, ponder what my students are doing, research ideas for teaching, and all of the "rest!"

My body feels like napping all day, so I am considering letting it.

Summer is about rejuvenation, and today's has been and will be something like this:

work on an art project, run, do lots of laundry (so the piles go away!), listen to my body and eat what it wants to, watch a show or two online, read, nap, my own yoga practice, and who knows...

Outside it's hitting the 3 number degree point.  Inside it's cool, grateful, and resting.

Thank you Summer for your presence! 
Thank you for the time to soak in the rays and recharge!
Thank you for shade to rest under!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thank You Yoga Circle x 11!

Last night the Spring 2011 Teacher Training Group completed our graduation! 

We practiced one final time.

We ate amazing-beyond-amazing food at our pot luck dinner.

We packed enough leftovers for a week.

We spiffed ourselves up, and showed our "real" clothes.

We conversed in a tight room awaiting the big ceremony.

The rest is top secret.

At the end we took our celebration to the river front.

We stayed together til late in the night, enjoying stories, meeting hubbies and boyfriends, and cherishing the connections we have made.

In honor of our group of 11, I offer gratitude to each of them through their initials.

Thank you.... A, A, J, C, C, R, K, S, W, P, and K!

May your journeys be filled with acceptance, compassion, patience and perservearance, appreciation and awesome times, just a breath of fresh air, creativity and curiosity, remarkable endeavors, kindness, kindred spirits, smiles and soaring souls, and a willigness to stay true to you.

Thank you!


For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thank You Turtles!

Each loop of my run had one of these cuties on it!  The second loop had one without markings.

I stopped to enjoy them and the winds that were blowing so wonderfully off of the bay!

I'm blessed by the turtle-full to have these magnificent trails so close!

Thank you, turtle friends, for the stop-and-breathe breaks! 

Thank you winds for the refreshment!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thank You Panera Man!

After an oh-so-not strenuous day of yoga practicum rehearsing and reflecting with a friend that turned into a...
let's-make-an-insanely-excellent-plan-in-under-15-minutes for the new school year afternoon,
I stopped by my once-regular Tuesday/Thursday night dinner spot for a cup of black bean soup.

Hmm... somehow my order got mixed up or the man filling it thought I needed extra food
(or maybe because I looked extra spiffy in my running clothes?)
and gave me a much bigger order! 

I write this as I'm waiting for the soup to cool off, and fill every bit of my food-deprived tummy.

Thank you, Panera man, for your kindness! 
Thank you, Panera, for having regularly scheduled black bean soup on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
Thank you, friend/colleague's dog, for rough housing with me, so I went into calorie deficit!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thank You Summer Brain!

Summer Brain is rearing it's colorful self in all sorts of kaleidoscopic ways! 

All that is focused on for 9-10 months is now buried deep inside the internal ocean to rest and recharge.  With that goes many of the key processes related to all of "that." 

The results are my priorities are vastly changed, and things that I'd normally be conscious of, I now have little clue about. 

I've found myself apologizing to friends and family when they ask me questions, and I respond with less depth and detail saying, "I have a bad case of summer brain."

To their credit, most everyone has responded, "That's okay!  Summer brain is a good thing!"

Thank you, summer brain, for allowing me to recharge for the upcoming school year! 
Thank you, summer brain, for reminding me that I need you
(as you do when you encourage me to sleep in beyond 5 am, to visit the library for fun reading, and to take random road trips just because...).
Thank you, friends and family, for accepting and encouraging summer brain!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thank You Free Running!

Ah, summer vacation!

The brain is finally winding down, the soul relaxing, and the desire to push my body is not so present!

I knew I needed to run, but after yesterday's ache fest, I wasn't looking forward to it. 
Oh, the benefits of a run, yeah, I understood it, but again, the actual happening well... hmm.

I gave myself time, and listened to my body. 
I did a "Tibetan" warm up (a la David's Sivananada yoga class)-
think 10 downward dog-upward dog transitions;
I worked out my practicum a bit and warmed my body up nicely;
and I enjoyed a lovely farmers market nectarine for breakfast!

I arrived at the trail head at 9:20ish, and for some reason I just didn't feel like putting on my shoes! 
I was in that run-walk-hike mental mind field, so I set out in my Tevas...and...

I ran!!!

My body lit up in joy with my first step!  My breath was pure and free!  My soul was so happy! 

Right, I know barefoot running has become the norm,
but something in my soul was connecting deep within. 
The Spanish teacher in me was uniting with the Tarahumaras,
 the writer in me was delighting with the T connection (Tarahumara and Teva),
 and more!

I ran farther than yesterday and faster, too! 

I have to say these $21 super clearance sandals from REI many years back were a heavenly lot more enjoyable than my too-suped-up-for-those-trails shoes. 

I'll be back tomorrow for another go...
afterall, my legs responded a billion times better than I thought,
and oh the feeling of freedom!
The feeling of running down a nature-debris-littered trail (from previous storms),
with humidity washing over and through my pores,
and the sounds of snakes, squirrels, cardinals, and other animals going about their lives!

Thank you, Tevas, for the amazing stability and freedom! 
Thank you, Virginia, for a welcoming set of trails so so close to home! 
Thank you, Mother Nature, for the familiarity and sense of home...
and for welcoming to learn each step of the way!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank You Super Sunday Style!

There's way too much awesomeness to pick one thing to write about today, so I present to you all... the Super Sunday Style of A World of Gratitude!

Mmm... white nectarines!  They have returned to the farmers market!  While I didn't sample any there, I took home 4 with me for snacks and breakfasts this week.. and 2 white peaches, too!

Thank you to the farmers who take such great care of their crops and to the food itself!

Also at the farmers market this kept calling out to me.  I'm not normally a basil person, but I figured I'd look up recipes as it was only $1.50 for a huge bunch!

It turns out the recipes are in the brain or heart.  I made quinoa, chopped this up, and added a bit of lemon juice and olive oil for lunch/dinner.

De-li-cious!!!  Soo amazingly good, clean, fresh, and fabulous!! 
I believe I know what I'll be eating for much of this week! :-)

Thank you, basil, for showing me your special flavor and inviting me to play with you!

After a really spot-on yoga class, I asked the teacher if I could observe her after she gets back from traveling and the school year has begun.  I'll be done with teacher training as of a week from now, and I really want to continue my learning.

She understood exactly why I was asking, and shared with me her experiences!  Oh, relief and peace, thank you!  It's an honor and a privilege to be able to continue to learn...and this class comes right before a meditation class I intend on attending on a regular basis! 

Thank you, teacher person, for your wisdom and understanding! Thank you for welcoming me ahead on my journey of learning, and thank you, too, for an amazing class tonight!

Last, but by no means least, tonight's meditation class was amazing!  It was a bit spunky, a whole lotta love, and some other cool stuff!  Part of it (the mantra) has been in my head and heart all week, so that was special to hear it!  Let's just say it was exactly where I needed to be, and I'm grateful for all of it!

Thank you to all who were in class, shared, and contributed to this very special evening!

Of course, massive thanks goes out to the millions (or so it seems) of tourists visiting the DC area for driving efficiently enough so I could make it to class x 2 on time- even though I left a bit late. 

Thanks also goes out to Mother Nature for a phenomenal thunder/lightening/rain fest that has been on going since about 6:30 pm and woke me up at 4:42 am.  What a treat to sprint into my home with the sky a light, the air a sound, and being soaked! :-)  Raw elements..thank you!

So, how about you?  Have you had a super Sunday of gratitude?

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank You Life Lessons!

Yesterday I co-taught my third, and final, yoga class before "graduation" and teaching my practicum. 

I went in with a few specific "I will..." ideas, even though I knew (for almost full certainty) that they weren't best. 

After the completion of the class, my super compassionate co-teacher provided me with some very key feedback.  She explained to me what I had done well, and specific areas of improvement.

On the long drive home, I reflected and continued to do so for much of the night. 
Initially I was very, very frustrated with myself, but I realized if I hadn't been so stubborn, I might not have been on the receiving end of much needed feedback.

S's feedback probably wouldn't have come up eventhough I believe it was necessary for me to go beyond where I'm at now with my life learning.

Before going to bed, I wrote two words and stuck them under my pillow (a not-so secret trick I use to help with many thing...):  compassion and gratitude.

When I awoke this morning, I realized that I am just a person learning in life.  I wouldn't beat up a tree for not growing as fast, nor would I scold a bird for not being able to fly so high.  Why lecture myself when I'm just learning? 

Thank you, S for your patience and honesty.  Thank you life lessons for being there to help me grow more deeply. 

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank You "on Island Time..."

I'm not a highly competitive person, but I enjoy helping others who are.  Professional volunteer over pro athlete of any kind (or competitive athlete of any kind) is my style. 

I find my peace in supporting others, in refilling sweaty bottles at ultras, while mixing gooey-slushy bags of mystery subtances into bladders, in giving directions to the next aid station, while doing all of the you-don't-know-who-did-it prep work to ensure that races go well, as I heckle runners just because others have taught me well, and in being a mere moment of relief on a long journey. 

I still run when I want, yoga til my heart is content, and delight in a good swim, but just in balance.  Still, a good athlete's blog keeps my fire sparked for maybe a change of heart... or... just a good reminder that we're all in it together in our own wonderful ways.

Even better is a blog that speaks truth... in the very unique ways that resonate with the select group who truly get it...

Like Beth's ...

Yes, being "on Island Time..." is a to cherish!

Thank you, Beth, for this great take on what a week without kids, grades, final exams, parents questioning things, last minute meetings, yearbook distribution, and more is like!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Thank You L!

I co-taught my first yoga class with L this morning!  A lovely 6:30 am deal that was (classically) taught without my having slept much the night before.

There were six amazing students, one fabulous crystal singing bowl, a beautiful banner of color and inspiration, and well...the most important thing... acceptance.

Despite having sleep-less moments, I knew and accepted deep, deep down that this was what I needed to do.  I prayed, I reflected, and I accepted.  Ah... acceptance!

Class went smoothly, and when L asked my thoughts I told her in so many words that I believed I had messed up a good bit of the first part.  She saw it otherwise, and explained to me why.  Ah... right.. the gentle objective perspective!  So valued and needed in life!

It's been told to me time and time again in this process, that we will make our own mark on the yoga tradition.  At the end of class, I felt comfortable with what that was, and I stepped into it...and accepted it! 

L was a delight to co-teach with.  Last night, just before heading to bed, she sent me an e-mail telling me that today would be "awesome" and an earlier one telling me that she looked forward to today's class!

After having taught for many years, these were some of the nicest, most reassuring, and welcoming words I've ever read!  L provided me with some dandy feedback post class, too... like how I need to learn to project more!  Ah...right... must work on my PE voice!

L, thank you for being an excellent friend and co-teacher!  Thank you for welcoming me into your class, and showing me the way by example!  Thank you for helping me to step further onto my path with warmth and peace! 

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thank You Kayaks!

School ended yesterday at about 2:30 p.m. when I turned in all of my keys and paperwork!

With my car filled with a random assortment of paper boxes and bags, I headed to a friend's house to kayak.  Although I had planned on taking two yoga classes, I decided about noon that being out on the water would make the day better.

For the first time in a full year (and only the second time ever!), I learned how much the balance of yoga has helped with kayaking!  I think my internal sea body has been activated, and I saw and felt massive improvement in my navagating the plastic-mobile. 

We only went up stream a bit, where I received a history lesson on the waters.  Gliding along, watching the hawks, red-winged black birds, dragonflies, and other amazing creatures was music to my cells...the peaceful lullaby that soothes the wonders and concerns of another middle school year laid to rest and brings hope for times to come.

Thank you, S, for sharing your kayaks and home! Thank you for allowing me to develop more skills and comfort!  Thank you, too, for feeding me when I arrived famished!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thank You Yoga Teachers!

My yoga teacher training teachers are the best...for me!  When I decided to do this training, I researched endlessly and made my decision in large part on my gut feeling.  It was spot on!

Today one teacher at the studio who I see every-so often, but not too often happened to greet me with the biggest, cheeriest, most heartfelt smile.  At a time when pure exhaustion is my state, this meant the world.  I hope she knows it! :-)

During the first part of TT (teacher training), our teacher decided to push us a bit more with an activity.  It was amazing!  She even raved about how well we did to the program director!  (Thanks B!)

At the very end of the night, the program director touched my arm when I was feeling very uncertain about a happening earlier in class.  I asked her a truly blunt question, and she responded in a manner that indicated that it was my exhaustion asking and all was well.  After already crying in the bathroom before the closing, I had another moment of tears.

What I love and appreciate most about our teachers is that they seemingly know how to help each of us just so.  They are patient, persistent, positive, and more!  They lift us up and keep us focused on the tasks at hand... no easy feat with 11 amazing women to teach.

To all of my yoga teachers (past, present, future), and especially this dynamic group.. thank you for guiding me, encouraging me, supporting me, and above all...understanding me and our entire group!

My path of yoga teacher training is abundantly more blessed with this superb group of humans!

Thank you to all of them!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thank You Kind Drivers!

This morning I took my time eating my quinoa-banana-honey breakfast while watching the light stream through the trees above the creek. I wound up praying that traffic would move just a bit faster to make up for my quiet time of rest. 

As I neared the 3 mile mark of my 23 mile journey, a man moved to the right so I could pass. As I passed him, I looked to my right, waved, and mouthed "thank you" in my normal fashion.  To my humble surprise, he smiled and waved back!

Later on as I headed to yoga teacher training, I entered a crazy patch of road and a man let the car in front of me in before motioning for me to go.  I was stunned by the kindness at 4:15 pm.  Then I looked a bit further to my right, and a man was leaving a car length or two in front of him.  I motioned to ask if he needed to merge in front of me, and he signaled back that he was wondering if I needed to move into his lane.  I shook my head no, waved with a smile, and again mouthed "thank you" which he returned with a smile.

How often does this happen?  How often do we wish it would?  I have been praying that drivers would simply appreciate each other and share in the fellowship of humanity more often.  Wish granted.  How delightful to see and experience it!

Thank you to my fellow compassionate drivers!  Thank you for showing me that anything is possible, and for being an example to others!  Thank you for allowing me to be on the receiving end of compassion which is something I'm working on!  May all of your travels be peaceful.

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thank You Little Things!

We all know it's the little things that make the world go round. This is all about those that filled my life with joy and awesomeness today!

  • 3 students who checked in after 7th period to tell me, "There's a sub in Mr. B's room.  We'll be there instead of here with you."  Ah...students being responsible with only 8 days left! :-)
  • Getting Sharpie on my hand instead of my pants!  Hip Hip Hooray!
  • Receiving a coupon via e-mail for stuff I really needed!

  • Feeling better as the day went on...little by little!
  • Remembering to bring something to school that contained a very important paper that needed to be turned in today!
  • Taking time to celebrate the positive things students are doing!

  • Ideas hitting in IKEA for a project as I stood there staring at picture frames, and then actually making a decision!
  • Rehydrating myself with water after a long day!
  • Making time for core work despite still feeling ugh-ish!
Thank you to all of these wonderful small things that help to make my day sparkle and shine!  Extra special thanks to the dragonfly that danced above my windshield during the errands this afternoon!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thank You Speedy Solutions!

Final exams started today.

They were completed a bit differently.

On the track during first period.

The exams today were speaking tests, requiring only listening, comprehension, and speaking from the students.  As there were many, many exams to be given and I was concerned about being able to fit them into one period, I sought the advice of my trusty colleagues.

One suggested bringing the test to the kids; therefore, avoiding 8th graders wandering through the halls, with passes, missing another class for a longer period of time, etc.


I met with the PE department about the idea, and they were fully on board!  Before they headed out to the track, I completed three exams in their office.  Then the fun began...

As the students walked, I'd call 2-4 over at a time.  I'd assess one, while the other waited 6 lanes away: perfect distance for confidentiality.  After I sent one back to PE, I'd call 2-4 others over, and the cycle repeated.

The result...today was the smoothest speaking final exam day ever!

Thank you to my brilliant colleagues for their ideas and support!  Thank you to the others who allowed me to pull kids for 5 minutes from their classes, too.  Thank you to my students for their flexibility and positive attitude! 

Now onto 2 more days of exams... I wonder what other sensational solutions and moments of gratitude will emerge.

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank You Dumpster Donations!

I'm a proud member of this group...

Over the last 7 years or so I've scored: a kitchen table, four dining room chairs, an antique dresser, a credenza, four more dining room chairs (donated to a friend), a small table my parents love (though my Dad initially groaned when I brought it back ...), and my latest great find...

a 2-step stool, all wood, with a loose screw or two.

A few months ago it was just sitting next to my regular dumpster, when I scrunched up my nose and thought.. "Do I really need that or am I just picking it up to have stuff?"  I wasn't quite sure, but it called out to me enough, so I hauled it back to my storage room (a 60-second walk if that...).

It's been hanging out there, recently supporting sand for school projects, all the while I thought it would be used with a future mentoring project until...


My parents came for a visit and mom brought a plant.  I was told the plant needed to be outside, so I put on shoes and grabbed my keys.  My parents were perlexed, and told me it could sit on the ground. 

30 seconds later, the stool was out, the plant was on top, and my parents were "oohing" and "ahhing."  When I noted the loose screws, Dad pulled out his pocket knife and made them all better!

Thank You to those who have been kind enough to donate their stuff to the dumpster gold mines!  Thank You to my folks who have patiently accepted my love of trash hunting, and who have developed an appreciation of it!  Thank You to all who continue to recycle!

Oh...and here's my happy mint plant on the free stool!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thank You 4 Gs and 1 Amazing C!

We celebrated our principal today. 5 weeks and 2 days before the last day of school. When June ends, she moves on. To be "her boss" of a specific group of elementary schools. For the last four years I've had the privilege of learning and working with her.

As the party wound down, I waited patiently to ask her a question, as I have so many other times before. As she headed to her office, I asked if she had a moment for a question for next year. Though she wouldn't be our boss, I knew she'd guide me with a balanced heart-and-head as she does.

I pitched my idea at her, asked about the concerns that were brought to me about my idea by a colleague, and listened as she gave my to do list so the idea would be successful.

Right after our impromptu meeting, I met with another colleague to ask about the logistics of purchasing some things I'll need for this venture. She gave me the go ahead, and told me she was pretty sure it would all be able to be funded.

So to the 4 Gs and 1 amazing C (my partner in this crazy adventure who called and brainstormed as I write this)... Thank You!

Thank You God for Your eternal guidance, support, and comfort! Thank You for showing me the way, and for all that You do!

Thank You G-boss (as in her last name). Thank you for your wisdom, your understanding, your time, and so much more! May your days with us be as peaceful as possible, and may every step of your new job be filled with the love, compassion, and support you have shared with us and all!

Thank You G-lady (as in her first name). Thank you for your belief, your follow up, your knowing that a moment was needed. You're one of the best we have!

Thank you other G-lady (as in her last name). Thank you for your speedy funding resourcefulness, and your willingness to listen at a lightening moment! 

Thank you C!  What a journey it has been. You've shared with me ideas, dodge balls, hula hoops, the entire gym, and more! You've encouraged me to go beyond my Spanish roots, and into the land of PE!  Ahh... With you, we'll make this happen! 

Thank you for the phone call during this blog, and reminding me of what is needed to help this idea succeed!!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thank You Mature Students!

When you teach middle school, you never know what you are going to get from one moment to the next. Yesterday I had a mix of wound-up and wound-down students. The happy balance I sought for optimal learning was hidden beneath a cloak of why-are-we-here-ness?

Today I had two classes of Level 2 students work respectfully and thoughtfully on some reading and grammar activities.  The later class arrived so well-focused that I allowed them to choose the order of their activities.

They all chose to complete the written-turned-speaking activities first and then head outside.  As it was in the mid 70s and this class was right before lunch, a few minutes in the lung-rejuvenating air was the perfect "thank you" from me to them.

We played a fierce game of "Hunde o Salva" aka Sink or Save and I heard just how much vocabulary was cemented in their cerebros!

As a bonus they learned some amusing phrases in Spanish that they said in English, I translated, and they repeated in Spanish!

My Level 1 classes demonstrated their dilligence with food pyramid learning.  They partnered up or individualed it with determination and focus.  Many commented that they were shocked at how much they completed in a period.  Hmm...

So while only a few more weeks of 8th grade remain for these stellar students, I'm forever grateful that they showed their maturity on their learning.  They will do great things one day, and their foundation is quite strong.

Thank you, students, for your focus and dedication! Thank you for your listening and teamwork! Thank you for putting forth effort even when yesterday so many of you asked, "is it summer yet?"  I'm grateful to learn with you.

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thank You Yoga Teacher Training ABC Style

Two days before my birthday I embarked on my life long dream (somewhat noted on this blog): yoga teacher training. When I started it I nearly quit.  The first night was rough.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to complete it.  I had massive doubts, which I shared with a co-trainee during a listening activity on the second day.  She was shocked. 

During my interview for the program, the director asked me what would make me quit.  I listed off a few things, and she responded something to the effect of, "What I'm hearing is that you would quit if you got in your way."  I confirmed that.  I can be my best support of my worst nightmare.

A few weeks ago I still didn't have a clue as to why I was completing the program.  I knew I needed to, but something was missing. The more I pushed on, the more I stayed present, the more I accepted and learned.

I'm not quite half-way through the program.  It has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, and also one of the most profoundly humbly and rewarding.

Without further ado...the ABCs of gratitude- yoga teacher training style.

A- apples and almonds (the best snack food ever)
B- breathing exercises (one of the best things I've learned and shared with others!!)
C- courage (to follow one's dream)
D- discipline
E- ease (the proverbial balance to strength)
F- family (the trainees have formed a tight family)
G- growth
H- heart (it's all about that baby!)
I- inspiration (when you listen to the stories, you do certain activities, and you reflect, you know it's pure inspiration)
J- joy (it's almost like freedom doing this thing...)
K- kindness (my fellow trainees and teachers offer it often)
L- laughter (oh, so many classes are filled with it!)
M- memories (a lifetime in a few weeks/months...)
N- new sense of normal (that's what this is)
O- offerings (our nightly treats.. yum!)
P- patience ('nuff said)
Q- quinoa salads (mmm... dinners!)
R- rest (for this I have new found respect)
S- strength and simplicity (see ease)
T- teachers (we are blessed with some of the...if not THE best!!)
U- understanding (for myself, the tradition, the practice, and all involved)
V- victory (the big and the little..each class is filled with many)
W- water (my good friend that keeps my awake in class)
X- x-tra soft bolsters (on which to lean during some classes)
Y- yearning (what my heart does for this experience)
Z- zany noises (let's just say the program is often in a busy city...and during calm times it's normal to hear pounding music, emergency sirens, conversations from the street, and more)

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank You Spring Break Wanderings!

Yesterday was too nice to stay inside after the swim, reading, errand running, and more, so I opted to visit one of my favorite places to run.  It'd been a while since I stopped, walked, and shot on a no-hurry basis.  Here's a pinch of what I saw.

A fallen tree. X-marks the spot? Near the overloook.

Low tide. 
The beauty of this trail is that you never know how high or low the water will be, nor how many animals will be playing here.

Another fallen comrade.  Beauty at all stages of life.

Sweet purple spark!

How many times have I clung to this rail during icey step repeats. 
Ah, not yesterday!

Lots of ferns!!

The green trail.  It reminds me of living in Mississippi.  Not sure why, but it does.

A trio of dogwood blossoms!

The return-to-car sight!

Thank you to Spring Break for the time to enjoy.  Thank you to the great weather for a compassionate afternoon of exploration and shooting! Thank you to the trail for always embracing me, and allowing me to sink into your wonders!
For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thank You Cotter Crunch!

Last Monday Lindsay at Cotter Crunch posted this amazing recipe.  I e-mailed her asking about possible substitutions, and she gave the okay and a pinch of encouragement.

Today after a good, relaxing (why-rush-it's-Spring-Break paced) swim, I headed to Wal Mart and just wandered.  On my wandering, I remembered the recipe and thought-needed ingredients, and fortunately they were all there.

Instead of darting out to hang on the water's edge, I opted to mix it up, and since it was sooo good I have to write this now!  The recipe tastes VERY similar to the chocolate-orange balls my Mom makes at Christmas, but I always have a hard time digesting (too much "stuff" in them).  I will be take the fixings for these to Mom and Dad's at Christmas this year, and might even do a blind taste test on them!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You Lindsay for sharing your recipes, your talents, your encouragement, and your example!  Thank You for responding to e-mails and for encouraging your readers to chime in!  Thank You for being humble, honest, real You!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

PS Recipe Tweaks a la Me:  1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of dried pineapple; almond butter instead of sunflower butter; a bit extra orange zest; forgot the cinnamon; and I used a plastic bag and rolling pin as the "food processor" because I don't have one of those. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank You Spring Break!

Oh, perhaps I should thank yoga teacher training for all that it is doing for me, but Spring Break has been the best gift since Friday afternoon when it began! 

On Saturday I went for a run in the cold rain through the bluebells with 3 friends and 2 new-to-me runners.  I learned, I listened, I followed, I splashed in mud, I made time for soaking in the vistas while keeping a steady pace, and most of all, I enjoyed each breath, slip, slide, suction-stuck step, and more!

Then I listened to my favorite CDs all day as the rain came a pouring down, before I chatted with Dad who had the most wonderful solution to my Easter dilemma!  (I love my Dad!)

Today I've worked on art project, wandered to the farmer's market, found apple sauce on sale, and baked until I cannot bake any more!  I still have another batch to go, but it may wait til later this week.  Afterall, Spring Break continues.

With all of this, I've reflected.  A lot!  Yoga teacher training has pushed me far and near, and this week is needed for me to make it further.  In being pushed, I've reached out to a few friends, and have found the comfort that is needed.  Thank you to them for knowing the kind words and the encouragement!

For all that will come, for all that will be rested, recharged, refocused, run, swum, cleaned, doodled, etc.... thank you Spring Break for your gift!  Thank you for comfy weather, dancing green trees, a crazy robbin that likes to wake me up at 615 in the morning, and more!  Thank you for coming at the right time, and for supporting me in ways seen and unseen!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thank You Run-Hike!

The run started off strong today. Very strong. I ran up hills at a superb speed, and I was consistent with them. It was the best I'd ever run on that trail! Then a funny thing happened after the turn around: the valve on my hand-held bottle tore three-fourths off. I opted to hike the rest of the way instead.

There's a beauty to hiking that I enjoy. You can move at your own speed, look around, soak in the trail, and be grateful for all of life and the opportunity to move.

During the run I was thrilled with the improved fitness and joy that I felt when running. I was running for me, and because it felt right. The hike was just as magnificent. To marvel at the heights of the trees, the sounds of the high school crew teams on the river, and the silly squirrels was a blessing.

I'm glad I took these four days away from yoga teacher training to return to my base: swimming and trail running.

Thank you woods and weather for blessing me with today's adventures! Thank you for celebrating with me and for encouraging me each step and breath!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thank You Catching Up!

No pics, just seven thank yous for all of the missed ones.

*yoga teacher training- you are kicking my heart and soul into a much, much better place, and I love you!

*the woods- there's nothing more magical than trail running in the Spring (except trail running in the summer, fall, winter, etc.).  Yesterday I shared my journey with one eagle, one singing gull, five munching deer, and a whole slew of wildflowers!

*my shoulders- thank you for supporting the swims!

*yoga activist- for showing me all of the possibilities, and helping me to play "dot to dot" by connecting them in my own life!

*my current principal- for allowing me to have moments of support on the day she announced her mega promotion! Congrats to her!

*A.- for all of the encouragning texts at "normal" (to her) hours :-)

*my parents- for spending a week with their grandson and sharing with him blessed memories- including his first trip to see the cherry blossons last night!

Oh, what would it be without a few more? :-)

*S.- for some excellent insight yesterday. Sometimes it's best to run late when someone fills you up with advice and personal wisdom!

*one of my APs- for listening today and for understanding.  There's nothing more profound than the gifts.

*change- while I thought I was crazy at times to embark on things, I"m grateful for each moment of the journey.

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank You Weights!

With a new routine in life, and a tremendous amount of homework on my plate, lifting has taken a back seat to yoga and learning.  After shooting some of the final pictures for the yearbook, I headed over to the gym and completed a decent trainer session before visiting my friends, the weights.

The combo was just what the body, mind, and spirit needed! The trainer session was a bit off pace due to not much cardio of late (which will be rectified in time...), and the weights challenged me a bit more.

I know the balance of life is key, and today was one of those steps to keep my life steadily afloat on the best path. 

Thank you weights for pushing me a bit further! Thank you for your friendly rhythm! Thank you bike for reminding me that I still have it in me, and I can combine all things successfully in my way!

For what are you grateful at this moment?

Share with me, as we celebrate being grateful!