Monthly Archives: June 2013

When sharing about my last year to a lady at dinner last evening she kindly asked……”Why are you going back to the States? Why did you leave?” She asked me. “I can tell in the way you speak that you are so passionate and you are so grateful for your time there.”

 I smiled. Took a big deep breath. “Well……..”

I explained, came up with a handful of reasons but proudly said I am excited to be back close to family, friends and back in the mountains. (this is the truth).

I am humbled at her kind words and grateful that sharing my story articulates my very feelings. Becuase  my time in Honduras changed me for the best. I have absolutely no regrets about going and or leaving my job to do so. Funny how I thought I would miss out on all of these things while I was in Honduras and now I feel as though had I not gone I would have missed out on that much more…..

Truth is now I am going home….. Less than two weeks now. How far away this time seemed and now it is here. So this morning while every muscle in my body was screaming at me and my body ached, I took mind to Colorado……. Walking at Washington Park, Broncos football season, A margarita at Lolas, a cold summer night at a Rockies baseball game, Sunday church at DCC, watching the sunset over the top of the mountains, seeing friends, celebrating Megs baby, Heading to Kentucky over Labor Day………. (time sometimes cannot move quick enough).

How lucky I am to have something to look forward too….. and “something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”(Dr. Seuss)

I have not spoken much about the women that I am doing my teacher training with here but I really should. First let me say that they are some of the most generous, kind, honest, broken, beautiful women I have ever met.  We range in age from 20 to 62 years of age. Students, parents, step parents, single, married, widowed, divorced, dating, business executives, artists, yogis but mostly just women. There are many times that it can be a bit overwhelming to be with 22 women for so many days straight but at the same time is a tremendous encouragement. We sweat. We cry. We laugh. We share stories. We complain. We work hard. We study all amidst the rain forest of Costa Rica.  They all have incredible stories, many different reasons why they are attending a yoga teacher training but we all share a love of getting sweaty doing yoga……

It is now Sunday. Hope you have a great day. I am feeling a bit fatigued but the show goes on…… my pants fit tighter than ever (muscle I surely hope). My tan is fading (being inside all day doing yoga).  But I am learning about myself and soaking up my last two weeks of Central American sun…. Cheers to you.

Wednesday evening while in meditation we were asked to look at our hands. To examine the lines along our hands, to ask what story your hand tells? Ponder where it has been? What has it done?

I will admit that I find mediation very difficult to do. I find it hard to keep my thoughts and emotions from being detached from the very things that cross my mind throughout the time ( the idea is to let thoughts pass and keep from having an emotional connection to them).

However, I find that meditation can be a very powerful healthy thing. It is proven that if we slow down our breath we minimize the oxygen to our brain which then causes our brain to slow down. As a result our thoughts slow down. Thus we naturally relax and calm down. Hence why people often say when you are in a stressful situation or anxious you are told to take deep breaths…. Needless to say I am taking a lot of deep breaths these days… (wonderful thing).

Two weeks from today I will land in Denver, Colorado. After almost one year ago this time I quit my job and decided to move to Central America. Now one year later I am flying home….. my home in the Rockies.

My family is in Kentucky. My sister and her husband bought their first house this week. My parents are in the process of building their new house (Wish I could be in two places at once)…….. Someday I presume I will call Kentucky home too but for now I cannot wait to see the snow capped mountains, and the sunny blue skies of Colorado.

As I stared at my hands during meditation my immediate thought was of all the places my hand has traveled in the last year. All the places it has touched in the last year. The many hands it has held. The sweet faces of my kids that my hand brushed alongside. The many coffee mugs my hand has held. The cold mug of a beer in Munich last summer with my very best friend traveling in Europe. The glasses of champagne my hand held near to my lips as we sipped on our train ride through Italy. Brushing my hand along the fabrics at the market in Guatemala over Thanksgiving. My hand curled up inside my coat while it snowed in Kentucky over Christmas. Clapping my hands together as I cheered loud while watching my very favorite basketball team beat the basketball team from down in Lexington. Holding on to the railing of the boat while whale watching in Cabo San Lucas with my family. Wrapping my fingers around the small hands of the children in the orphanage. My hand digging in the sand of the Caribbean during Semana Santa and many beach weekends. The countless red pens my hand has held grading the school work of my second graders. And now the many times my hand has held my body up while practicing yoga these past two weeks…… what an incredible and wonderful year I have been given. And how grateful I am that I have hands to touch and feel it all…..

I love this quote below….. The simple act of holding a hand is something not to be taken for granted. For it is with our hands we are able to do and experience so much. Such a wonderfully special thing.

“We were walking through Hyde Park going nowhere in particular, holding hands for a bit, then letting go as if holding hands wasn’t one of life’s big deals.”

I am almost two weeks into my yoga teacher training. I am getting in the routine more and have given more thought about the fact that I will be moving back to Denver in two and half weeks. (excited!) (As well the Rockies season is in full swing and the Broncos are just behind that).

My thoughts on my time here are a bit mixed. I love it one second, I hate it the next. It is hard…… but overall it has been really fun. I must admit this has taught me more in the last two weeks then I think I learned in many of my months at University……. Below are a few of more truths about yoga school. Enjoy:

  • Your sweaty…. like all the time. I now shower twice a day. (I am going to try to minimize it to just once but it is nearly impossible.) Sweat dripping from your forehead onto your mat, the floor around you, on the person next to you. Its really wonderful experience. (kidding kind of gross).
  • You change clothes all the time… I go from yoga clothes to more yoga clothes to then maybe a sweatshirt over my yoga clothes till I have nothing left to wear.
  • Sleep is incredible…. I can assure you that if you are in class nearly from 6 to 9 every day with breaks for meals…..all while practicing four hours of yoga ….. you sleep like a baby. So might I recommend, that if you have trouble sleeping… give yoga a try, I promise you will sleep real good.
  • It is a bit like summer camp…. Put 22 women at a resort for 28 days straight. We eat, do yoga sleep and study together.  It is every bit of late night sneaking in junk food, to sharing clothes, to sleepovers….. no matter what the age some things will never change.
  • Chocolate is hard to come by…….. The only complaint about our resort food…. Where is all the chocolate?????….. It was non-existent until we find out that Milka (German chocolate) is sold just down the street at the local grocery store and we all stocked up. All of us seemed to crave chocolate after doing two hours of yoga. Some of the girls as well bought bags of chips and cookies… to satisfy cravings after eating all natural, fresh food and a practically all vegetarian diet for now almost two weeks straight.
  • I am not flexible…. before I came here I considered myself a flexible person. Someone who was capable of putting my head between my legs easily. I could place my hands around my feet in a forward fold. While those things are still true…. I have learned that I have such a limited range of motion in my hips. I am working on opening up my hips more…. and working every day but there are some ladies (no matter what the age) and my goodness they are bendy. I was asked today if I was a biker, and I said yes. She then explained that because my legs are used to going in the forward motion and not turning out this is why I do not have the fleibility in my hips….So hip openers are on my new agenda.
  • An ego is not welcome here….. getting competitive in this only makes your practice worse. The very best yogis flow in and out of posture and recognize their own limitations and flexibility. The goal is not to compromise the integrity of the pose by folding in on your muscles or dipping in your back. But rather extending long and stretching  So while I would love to do many things… Rome was not built in a day so I have a ways to go. 
  • Anatomy…… anatomy anatomy anatomy.. While I am very much enjoying learning about what all of the funky bones and muscles are in my body and being able to identify exactly what hurts, this stuff is really complex and very difficult. I have a new appreciation for the doctor now. For example when I want then to just tell me what is wrong, I now understand why….. There is a lot going on in there.
  • 6 Pack is far away.…… So yes this was news to me. Did you know that your six pack sits under two layers of abdominal muscles…??? Me either. So now I am using that as my excuse for why you cannot see mine and why they are so hard to get to show… They are far under there. I rest my case.
Well I must get going.. my breakfast break is finished. But I had a breakthrough this morning… I can now go from headstand into the half fold. (Victory). More yoga move breakthroughs later… Happy Hump day (Wednesday).

As I have previously written, I am currently in a 28 day intensive yoga teacher training tin Costa Rica. Which leads to a lot of time spent in meditation, reflection, laying hot and sweaty on a mat thinking….. mind wandering (which I seem to be very good at).

I have come to realize over the last year that so much of our identity and value is defined by the titles we have been given in our culture….. for example: I am a daughter, I am mother, I am homeowner, I am parent, I am teacher, I am a business executive, I am a yoga teacher, I am a stay at home parent, I am a professional athlete, I am married, I am single, I am a diabetic, I am divorced, I am sick, I am paraplegic, I am writer, I am a student, I am a teenager, I am a grandparent…….. or recently realized how much people proclaim, I am an American, I am a Southerner, I am a Texan, I am a conservative, I am a liberal

What I found most profound is that this identification and unofficial caste system we have applied to one another is something man has done to one another. No place in the bible do we see that the scripture reads that we are worthy of value because of what we do, our marital status or  our job title…….

I have realized for the very first time that I am loved and admired simply because I am.

You and I are called worthy of respect for simply being.

You and I matter regardless of what we do today or tomorrow.

You and I are valued no matter of the choices we make today and the choices we make tomorrow.

You are worthy because you are a child of the most high King. A God that loves everyone equal.

Nothing you do or nothing you don’t do, can change the truth that you have been gifted that.

He is good so therefore we as his children are good and worthy of all the respect and love.

Perhaps this is resonating with me right now because I am learning to love myself right where I am at. In the midst of the transition, the time of being title less …… you could say I am jobless, I am single,  I am a traveler yet I have to ask myself what does any of that mean?

I want to put those to the side and just say that I am. And That, I am is good. Just where I am.

So on this Monday morning I hope that you know you are worthy of value for being present in the now, not because of something you accomplished yesterday or the plans you hope for in the future.

What a beautifully freeing thing. You are loved simply becuase you are you.

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Isaiah 43:1

Today I woke up while my roommate packed her bags to visit the Parque de Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Today is our day off from Yoga classes. We start again tomorrow morning with our 6 am practice. So it is our one of three days off that we get for the whole month……

I opted out of joining the big group to head to the park for a number of reasons…. for starters I am exhausted, the journey was long and the park is nearly 4 hours away. (they rented a big van). I as well just felt like I wanted to take some time to read my book, relax by the pool and take the bus into town by myself. A different group of ladies hired a taxi to take them into town nearby and offered if I wanted to join. I kindly declined. I wanted to take the bus.

I have a soft spot for public transportation (can I say that… that is weird right?) Something about riding amongst people heading to work or heading to school makes you feel like you are not merely a visitor someplace but apart of the community. I boarded the bus sat down and recognized Bachata music coming from the bus (Prince Royce) and it made me smile really big. This felt so normal to me. The Central America I came to fall in love with.

I rode the bus into the town of Alajuela and had a few shopping items to attend too: coffee (to take home), flash cards (to study yoga words) and nail polish remover. I knew a simple supermarket would take care of most of these things and a small school supply shop would work for the others. So walking I went. Alajuela the second largest city in Costa Rica is nothing special but merely a town filled with lots of people, lots of ropa stores (clothing shops) and a central market that is nothing to rave about. I did find a small coffee shop, had a latte just around 8:00 am and watched as the city woke up. I checked off all of shopping items before finding the bus to take me back up towards our hotel. I had to ask someone which bus would take me towards our hotel so I could make the short walk from the main road to the entrance of our hotel….  The bus by the way was about 60 cents one way. (Victory)

I am sitting by the pool now and will eat lunch in a few moments….. My morning was just what I needed. Desperately needing to step out of our resort, step into the town, speak some Spanish, wander around a bit and get some fresh air…… side note it is strange to not do yoga today…. 

Happy Friday to you…..

By the way last night we took a Yoga Nidra class…. Also know as yoga sleep. I thought this was some sort of joke but it is not. (it is a real thing). We were asked to lay down comfortably and listen to the meditation. We were led through visualizations and completed an entire body scan. I thought I was doing really good, being aware, not moving, but not falling asleep (that is the goal is to remain conscious). But at the end when we were asked to rise up slowly and everyone talked about how it felt etc…… I did not know half of the visualizations people were talking about…. I had no idea and no memory. Which means I must have fallen asleep. I was shocked to learn that we had been lying down for 40 minutes.. I thought it was about 10 minutes… CRAZY. It was a lot of fun, super strange and really relaxing. Apparently there is an app called, Yoga Nidra and you may listen to them. I recommend if you have trouble relaxing sometimes…. it is fantastic. (no moving though).

 Found the wheat tortillas in bulk supply at the grocery store in Alajuela…… This picture is for my roommates in Honduras.

Central Park in Alajuela.

Self bus picture going back to the hotel.
The below pictures are  of yoga nidra class. Complete with lots of blankets, bulks for ankles, feet, knees and our heads. Fantastic.