Monthly Archives: July 2010

Define The Vision-an opportunity to dream

So, I’m working on passion. I’m working on opening myself up to it, sharing it and teaching it. HOW do you teach passion?

I live the most passionate life I can imagine. And how do I that? Well, like everything it’s a process. I’still working on it, but last week I wrote some ideas and today I’m dreaming. Dreaming helps me define the vision. Dreaming helps me see how my life CAN be, without all the shadow belief, naysayers or doubts.

So DREAM. See your life in the most perfect way possible. Okay, I’m giving up a little of the upcoming workshop, but the best way I know is a writing exercise. Imagine that you can have ANYTHING you want. You can pretend you’ve won the lottery, have a personal assistant, your children actually listens to you or whatever you want, but don’t get dogged down in the details.

Imagine your life without obstacles. Imagine that you didn’t have to work, change diapers, pick up after your spouse/partner/roommate. Imagine that you got to spend every second of every day doing exactly what you want AND you wouldn’t feel guilty. Close your eyes. What do you see? Keep reminding yourself that it can be ANYTHING at all.

Another suggestion-flip thru magazines. The best place is Borders. Just wander the magazine section and see what grabs you. Start flipping. Don’t even worry about articles or any words at all. Look at the images. Notice which ones you’re drawn to you and note what about

them grabs you. Are you craving more peace, maybe the Mom lounging in the hammock in her perfectly manicured backyard looks heavenly. Wanting more love. Perhaps the two frolicking in the surf in Budget Travel is your thing. If you’re like me, it’s a combination. I want it all. Peace, love, success, happiness, world travel, iced drinks that make me feel sexy…..I want it all.

It’s a lot, but as my dreaming has taught me. Anything is possible. So dream. Dream big. Don’t edit yourself. Tell your Mother’s voice in the back of your head to shut up and enjoy the fantasy. It doesn’t cost you a think and it will probably get you closer to having the life you  truly desire.

Sweet dreams.


PTAs-Awesome Again

A few weekends ago (well, six now) was the confab of Pinky Tuscadera’s Assasins-don’t ask it’s probably more confusing to me than you. It was the second annual gathering of marginally friendly people from college. Well, to be fair I’m probably the odd woman out. I got invited to hang out with a group of women that knew each other fairly well in college. We went to one of those small liberal arts schools, so small that we all knew OF each other. Now we know and love each other completely.

As for the name? I thought we were going to be something like The Fuck It-I’m 40 group, but I missed the memo and frankly, I’m just so happy to be included it really doesn’t matter to me. BUT we took the assasin name to a fun place I never expected. Our first drunken night together, about three hours off the planes and much earlier than last year, we bought baby water guns. We shrieked and chased and got seriously wet. Imagine seven, 40-something, drunk, usually repsonsible, screaming, giggling women in the lake house next door, rushing out of the house in a fit of laughter squirting each other with teeny, tiny purple, orange green and yellow water guns. I think at some point someone put booze in theirs and I know I used hot water.

This second get together was fabulous, just like last year, and in some ways drastically different from last year. There was so much laughter my face and abs still hurt-and that’s probably more so than last year just because we know each other better.  My stomach couldn’t take the Caiprihinas this year, I learned some amazing new things about my fellow assassins and some wonderfully amazing things about myself.

It was cold, cloudy and rainy the entire four days and we didn’t do one thing that we planned. Well, Knuckles played guitar and sang-and while I’m not sure that it was planned I think it was very well wished for by everyone. I videotaped it, not to share, but because Knuckles’ playing has always fed my soul in a way that I don’t often experience. (PTA’s…it’s awesome. I’m gearing up to send it or share it very soon.)

There were terribly insightful tarot readings for all. Some of us cried and some cackled in delight. We all agreed that whatever we believed about our lives, the cards confirmed. And we’re going to do follow-up readings via phone, a feature not offered last year. AND we did readings together, which was new.

We talked, discussed, analyzed and commiserated. The PTA’s have the uncanny ability to support, love and take care of each other in ways you wouldn’t know you needed or asked for and it’s the most perfect nurturing I’ve experienced.  I’ve never had the universe lead me to a better place. This group of seven has such gifts,  I’ve never known.  There are those of us who are straight-shooters, sages, nurturers, comics and wild cards.

I’ve always had a sense that women are strong beyond belief, wise, powerful and awesome. I have NEVER hated being a woman and this group reminds me why. I’ve been blessed to know some crazy talented women. This weekend only highlights that for me.

A few months ago I was chatting with another PTA member and she was lamenting that we all came together so late. And this year she observed that for a few years after school we all disappeared into a black hole.  And I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I think we needed to disappear, to let go of our teenage/early adult selves and find a different voice for ourselves. Some of us did some crazy things, some of were figuring out things, some of us found love and got married. But what’s curious to me is that while our lives turned out differently, 20 years later there is still that thread that made us friends and acquaintances. in the first place.

More than last year I came home to find I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I feel eager about the future and curious about how our next gathering will find everyone.

I’m sure we will be meeting until we can’t anymore and it’s a wonderful blessing. These are my soul sisters, the women who help me be the best that I can be. Not by harsh words, or didatic tactics they teach and love me no matter what. And what’s astounding? That we connect thru email, FB, Twitter and Skype, but the group only gathers once a year.

I’ve always wondered about people who have strong support groups and now I’m lucky enough to be one of those people.

Passionately Present

One of my major character defects is my living in the future. I can plan with the best of them. Sometimes I think I like planning a business more than I like actually owning one. Yes, I’ve considered consulting and in fact, I’m working with a client to help her start a business taking into account yoga principles and living consciously. I love to plan. I hate having a plan.

Sounds a little nutty, huh? Nutty, but true. I think I want plans, schedules and lists. As soon as I have them I feel stifled. I feel boxed in and immensely uncomfortable. I like structure….just for other people.

I’ve been taught again and again that when I struggle I must get on the mat. The mat is full of wisdom that rises from my heart right when I need it. And so after many practices wondering how I can have more structure, but also find ease with it I’ve remembered one of the first things I learned. Be Here Now.

Be still. Be quiet. Be right here. It’s all I need. I still need to make plans and schedule things, but then I need to let it go and focus on this moment. I tend to start worrying about the future and forget that just like parenting, it’s a process. I didn’t jump into parenting a 13 year old. I built up to it. And I’m not going to jump into next month’s challenges. I’m going to build up to them. I was forgetting that this moment is awesome. This awesome moment will lead to another awesome moment and the momentum will get me to next month ready and excited for the challenges. And perhaps part of my problem is that I’m not making this moment awesome.

One of the things I’m working on for August is a Passion Yoga Workshop, all about connecting with your heart’s desire, feeling your purpose and learning to live in this moment. My study and writing about this has reinforced the idea that I can’t be passionate in life if I’m always in the future. I really need to find what excites me in this moment.

So living right now and being passionate about it is my major focus. I have so many exciting things happening in my life and am meeting so many terrific new people that I get side tracked.  Here are a few things that I’ve found help me to stay passionately present.

1. Define The Vision– Living in the present passionately means that I’m looking at a life vision that includes work, health, relationships, etc. I need to know where I’m going, but not how I’m going to get there. The how is a problem the universe will help me solve. I just focus on which direction I want to go. When I stay present with the vision and don’t limit myself by figuring out every detail of how I find the universe blesses me in ways I never would have thought possible.

2. Set Goals –Goals aren’t about setting incredibly high standards and slaving to achieve them. Goals are things that will help you create the life you want. But here’s the catch. achieving a goal should give you a high, should be inspiring and exciting and working to achieve that goal should be inspiring and exciting. If it’s just drudgery to get you closer to the end result then you’re not living passionately right now. When you write goals, make sure they are things you really WANT to accomplish things you really want to work on. If they’re not, perhaps your vision isn’t actually authentic.

3. Review The Goals  – Whether I’m journaling, meditating, going over my list or all three, I am constantly checking in with what it is I want. Okay, to be fair I’m not always great at this, but on the days I’m checking in I feel fresh, inspired, alive and vibrant. I am excited about jumping out of bed and starting my day. There are lots of way to stay in the vision zone, people write about them all the time, but my favorite is making a vision board and writing a list for the universe. Put your board and/or list somewhere you can see it several times a day so you don’t forget what you’re supposed to be working on.

4. Share-This is perhaps the hardest one for me. Telling my friends and family what my dreams are scares the stuffing out of me. I guess I’m afraid of failing publicly, but the greatest thing is my chances of failing drop incredibly if I just tell three people what I really want. Scary as it is, it almost legitimizes my dream for me. Because now I’m not just Melissa the yoga teacher, I’m Melissa the yogi who’s building a yoga business. Melissa the yoga therapist who is opening her own center.  And just hearing that makes it a little more real.

5. Get An Accountability Partner/s -Really this one has been the most helpful of all. I have a group of wonderful women who are all like-minded healers. We get together twice a month or so and I see most of them a few times in between. Sharing my ideas with them and just sitting and being in their energy inspires and excites me. AND I walk away energized and enthusiastic. Sometimes we don’t even talk business, but it still keeps me on track. To be honest, I have a few accountability partners. I have a meditation partner and we check in every morning, supposedly after we’ve meditated. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t.  Regardless every day I tell her what’s going on and what I’m focusing on for the day. Sharing my intention and knowing I’m going to talk to her in the morning helps me stay on track. Additionally, I check in with one of my best friends every week. We each talk about ourselves for about 30 minutes, sharing whatever is on our minds’.

So these are the top five. Over the next few weeks I’m going to address each one. (There I shared a goal with you, my accountability partners). I am working furiously on Passion Yoga Workshop. I’m putting together poses, meditations, subjects to journal on and breath work to help us get present with our deepest desire, passion and purpose. But, I will admit, I’m not staying entirely present. Before I have that workshop I have Yoga for Depression. Taking first things first isn’t always my strong point either. I guess that’s a subject for another time.