into my soul- 2014.

“In setting her Gratitude table, a stream of candles lined the centerfold. She invited the friends of Trust, Love and Peace. Together, she let Joy and Inspiration mingle with Magic. Her gingerbread cookies danced and the icing slipped off because nothing is perfect. Everything is just the way it is supposed to be, and her genuine laughter tickled her glow.”

from this blog. wow.

This is it.

a perfect picture of how it all happens. how things unfold.. as I sit and do the work to craft this year.

I feel the fear& intensity that bubble up. endless possibilities. which direction will I go? which paths to pursue?which idea to follow?

For the past 4 -5 years my husband and I have retreated in the winter to the Delaware shore. (the same beautiful, magical, peaceful spot I lived at this summer)  During the summer,  it’s hot & crowded & full of life. In the winter, it’s cold & quiet. The most beautiful mornings of awakening and evenings of cozy winter sunsets with so much sky. family time. down time. creative play time. lots of food & wine and just rest. Naps live here along with movies & pjs.

And a most SPECIAL time just for me. At night, or early in the morning- I plan. I dream. I wish for the new year. I set my expectations for myself, my bness, my personal life. Last year I decided I was going to RETREAT. I set a plan to eventually stop nursing and I planned a silent meditation trip, which led to one more & one more & one more….

Last year, I sat in this same seat.. dreaming, wondering, curious, investigating. Self Inquiry is a huge part of my life. navigating the ever changing internal world of a kind of messed up teenager turned passionate public school teacher, turned yoga lover, turned mama, turned studio owner, turned … who knows what’s next. But I do know there is something here.

we all keep changing. this is not MY experience. it’s OUR experience.  We all keep wearing different hats, changing roles, charting new territory….

I have NEVER been a married mama of two kiddos, running her own growing bness before.

AND IT IS TERRIFYING… this whole thing- it’s like NEW every. single.day.

Some may say this is all “silly” or “self indulgent” or “just playing” but I promise you…. it’s the way I have come to make solid, life changing decisions. The way I have come to know so clearly, who I am. The way I have continued to dig deeper. (sometimes daily) To be more “me”,  more of the time. Every winter I play with my creative side, with logistics, with my heart and my calendar. I map out the next few months, my goals & my time. I set boundaries. I play with freedom and content. I set the intention to continue to share what I do with others, to inspire others to do this work for themselves and share it with the ones they love. Turn off the TV. Sit down and breathe.

My idea of healthy living is pretty simple… eat well. sleep well. play well. love well. be kind. practice. daily& daily&daily…. I try to make sure each of these lovely days I have are a mix of all the things I truly value. family. health. community. connection. Here’s a glimpse into my 2014. This year, I need a WHOLE book  to capture it all & I’m using The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte to help guide me in new directions…. (email me @info@lilomm.com  if you want to talk about creating something for you or if you need any help along the way)

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dedication

What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
— William Wordsworth

ways to live

” If I want to live in a way that is loving and generous and fearless, then I need to practice overcoming any tendency to be angry or greedy or confused. Life is a terrific gym, Every situation is an opportunity to practice.

Sylvia Boorstein

why I practice

I had just gotten home from a long day. It was late- past bedtime.

I was tired.

“How did it go with the kids tonight” I ask.

“Fine.”  he says.

“Did you guys read or play a game?” I kept digging.

“Nope. We hung out.”

“By hang out, do you meant that you just watched TV together?”

“Yes.”

Pause. ANGER. ANGER. I start to feel hot- my stomach starts to hurt. I start to squint my eyes. I pull the covers over my head. I start to notice that I am having a REACTION to something I have no control over that has already happened. I notice that I feel the URGE to be heard. RIGHT NOW. I have to tell him how I feel.. we have had this conversation a million times! He NEVER listens, I think. I don’t WANT them watching tv at night. We are SO not on the same page. This makes me feel angry!  I HAVE to tell him how I want them to read at night and play games. That I want him to help with homework, make crafts, bake cookies. NOT WATCH TV. Okay as I start to lay here and breathe- I notice. I breathe. I start to count my breaths. Then I debate…. if I say something now- I will be heard but the end will NOT be good.. I know where this leads.. We will argue about this. It’s late. I’m tired. He’s relaxing.. is this worth it? What if you wait until the morning? What if you wait to be heard?

Breathe in and out. Relax my jaw. Notice it all. Take it all in. Decide unhappily to wait.

Roll over and fall asleep. I wake up feeling lighter, clearer & at ease.  I SEE him making breakfast & lunches, hugging & playing.

“Tonight, when I go teach,  can you please do homework with her? ”

“Sure. ”

 

Balance..

A Method to Find Balance

By Leo Babauta

Despite the insipid title of this post, work-life balance is a bit of a myth.

Sure, we work too much, don’t have time for all the other things we want to do, are always tired, eat convenience food or comfort food rather than nutritious or nourishing food, never have time for solitude … but that’s the life we want, right?

OK, maybe it needs a bit of readjusting. Work and life and learning and relationships and health are all really the same thing, and so “balance” is perhaps the wrong word, but adjusting our lives to our aspired priorities is not a bad thing.

A friend recently asked me how I balance my personal lives and all my projects, and it made me pause and think. And that pause, and the thinking, is really the key to it all, I discovered.

So here’s the method I use.

  1. Pause regularly. In our lives, we are so busy and caught up in what we’re doing that we have no space for thinking. I build regular pauses into my life, so that I have some space for thought. What kind of pauses? I use morning meditation, drinking coffee in the morning with my notebook, my morning shower, a walk alone, tea or a run or other meeting with my wife or a friend, as space for thinking about my life. Pause regularly to create space.
  2. Zoom out. When you take a pause, zoom out from the close-up view, so you can look at the big picture. What are you doing with your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Are you making decisions in the aggregate? What are your priorities? And are you living those priorities? You don’t need to think about all of these things during each pause, but use the pauses for this kind of thinking.
  3. Readjust. When you notice that you’ve been spending too much time on the computer, and too little with your kids or other loved ones, make a note of it. When you notice that some important projects are being neglected, or you don’t have time for exercise, or your diet has gone to hell and settled in there, make a note. Think about what adjustments you can make.
  4. Now actually block off time. Making a note and mental adjustment is great, but it’s meaningless without action. What kind of action can you take to adjust how you actually spend your time? Make a commitment, on your calendar. Not one that you’ll skip when the time comes and you’re browsing your favorite sites. A commitment you’ll keep. For example, if you want to work out more, make a regular date with a friend to go for a run or do a bodyweight workout in the park or go to yoga class or go to the gym you signed up for 11 months ago and never use. Make a regular date. If you want to work on a project, make an appointment to go to a tea house or library for 3-4 hours just to work on that project. Or commit to a whole week of working on your novel. Tell somebody about it, and better yet commit to getting them the work by the end of the week (or whatever period you choose). Make the time, solidly.

That’s the method. Four steps, done regularly.

Life is a constant readjustment. It’s whether you readjust consciously that makes all the difference.

monday morning

and today “remember to be happy”  – Sharon Salzberg’s meditation advice for when you sit and begin again.

in each pause, in each thought, in each moment.  Here is an old picture of us from last winter, being happy.

 

Photo on 2-11-13 at 4.56 PM #4

steps for transformation.

3 steps for transformation.

1. Pay attention. get grounded. focus on alignment & connection. make space & notice.notice. notice.

2. Go inside. Forward fold. listen. listen. listen. There’s a quiet voice leading the way. It takes skill to hear what the voice says. it takes silence to hear the inner wisdom.

3. Take quality, authentic action. Take this action from your truth. Surrender to the outcome. Breathe Deeply.IMG_4965

 

***Feeling stressed about something going on with you? Can’t seem to find the answers you are looking for?

Try these steps &  let me know what unfolds.

it can be

crazy and hard.
sad and exhausting.

true love.
deep connection.

parenting can be pure love & the darkest pain.

watching these babies grow expands my heart in a way that stops my breath. that sets me back. these sacred moments of time standing still with wet kisses and warm bodies.

freezing cold on the outside and the coziest most love filled home on the inside with slippery socks.. tea cooling..
long never ending book reading days.

this is my life. our life. totally in this moment nothing else matters.

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crazy curls & moving forward

A few short years ago, I was in a bad place. a dark tunnel filled with so much stress. I was moving the studio to a new location (being asked to leave our original location), living with a very challenging pregnancy & pregnancy depression, watching my bff confront cancer and layer on top of that some marriage hiccups & financial stress.

I did a pretty good job of hiding it .. or so I thought.

A few months after Milo was born, we re- opened lil omm in Tenley, my bff was healthy again, I started communicating with my hubby better and I felt like things were really looking up.

And this is when I started losing my hair… in huge clumps, bald spots everywhere.I have written and spoken about this in the past.. ..it was weird bc I was trying to hide it from everyone ( I am not good at hiding or feeling like i cant express myself 100% authentically. all the time ) I could not stop thinking “how does a health and wellness teacher LOOSE her hair from stress?” I felt ashamed and scared. I would pause when people would ask how I was.. ” I’m okay. I would say.. just a lot going on.”

I was also a bit heartbroken. I thought we were “in the clear” that life had calmed down a bit .

Milo was born healthy, our vibrant community had a yoga home again and my best friend was healthy again! so much to be grateful for! and yet, my body was on a delay. I tried to meditate on this, to sit quietly offering myself peace and healing. I poured lavender on my scalp and slept with it on my pillow. I had good days where I counted my blessings and reminded myself it was only hair.. and I had TERRIBLE tearful screaming nights where I beat myself up mentally for not being strong and for hiding so much pain and I watched a lot of tv to pass time until it grew back. I said no to a bunch of social events and parties. I was scared to swim. When my hair was wet you could see all the bald spots. For an entire spring and summer I did not even get in the pool with the kids.

I believe my hair loss was related to the previous year’s stress in my life. I was so scared of falling apart when things were bad and even more terrified to break down when I thought I had gotten my shit together.

Fast forward to the 6 rounds of steroid shots in my head.. my hair SLOWLY started coming back. It has now been almost 2 years and all the new hair is CRAZY curly.

Its hilarious. I am learning how to take care of it, learning how quick it dreads if I don’t brush it- and I learned you are not supposed to brush it!

But I think what strikes me the most is that as the curly grows wild I can see that time in my life over my shoulder now.
that time has passed. that no matter what …. I keep changing. That I am still ALIVE & STRONG and that this might be the happiest I have ever been in my life.

scary to say aloud.

Its like when I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the curls I stop and think about how far I have come- emotionally-
personally and with my life. I say to myself- WOW- you have been through a lot. This has been a pretty vibrant and interesting 35 years- whats next??

I just want to be clear to the world that I don’t take 1 day for granted. I don’t ever forget all the work and tears and loneliness that dominated my life for plenty of years.. that now that I feel free I will always follow my heart. I will always keep creating new ideas- new ventures- new friends- new practices.

I am in love with life. even the sad parts. even the tough moments. even the heartbreak and the pain. and especially all the beautiful people who are in my life.

I want to spread the possibility of joy. I want to thank all the writers, yoga & meditation teachers, creators, artists and visionaries who inspire me to keep up my good work. I feel connected to them all for sharing stories, opening hearts and putting it all out on the table .

i don’t want to miss a thing.

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