Monday, April 04, 2011

Busy times

March at a glance....

  • Miraloma Coop auction:  It was an awesome time again.  We spent too much money (basically giving money to our daughter's preschool in exchange for some cool stuff!)
  • Starr King Elementary auction:  Different vibe.  Different school.  But super-cool day.  I love, love Simone's new school.  Plus, I think it's awesome that she has the opportunity to learn another language at such a young age.  Love her school, her teacher, her classmates and their families.  Overall awesomeness!
  • Work Trip to Chicago.  I miss my old town.  I was at an IR convention where I got to mingle with my customers, catch up with co-workers, and eat out at fabulous restaurants.  Bonus: I got to have dinner with my Aunt who happened to be there on business too.  That's my kind of town, for sure.
This may not seem like a lot, but March sure was a busy month.  I'm glad to be getting back to a somewhat normal schedule.  I want to do more knitting, more exercising, and finish my spring cleanse!  See you around.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Why I want to teach yoga?

I’ve practiced and studied yoga for 14 years.  During this time, I’ve thought a lot about what I wanted to do with my life.  I’ve considered medical school, business school; I’ve wanted to be a high school science teacher, work in development for a non-profit, and also to be a yoga teacher.  Of all of these professional pursuits, the only desire that has remained consistent over the years has been that of being a yoga teacher.  I love yoga.  I love sharing yoga with others.  I love studying yoga.  It has offered me a path, an experience, a way of living that has stayed with me throughout all of the exploring in my 20’s and continues to inspire me throughout my 30’s.  This isn’t a fleeting passion.

Being a yoga teacher will allow me to continue my deep exploration of yoga and to learn   from others who are on the path.

At this point, I’m not interested in teaching several classes a week in different studios across the Bay area.  I’m interested in weaving this desire to teach into my life more organically.  I would love to set up a class for friends maybe starting once a month.  As my confidence and knowledge about teaching increases, I trust that the universe will present more opportunities.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Ahh, spring.  Thank you for making your way here.  Even though I'm dosing up on echinacea, herbs, honey and tea, I still think that I'm coming down with a cold.  Perhaps it'll be fleeting.  I sure hope so.

I feel like I need to follow up my last post with an update.  All is well.  Really.  This week was back to normal.  I went to work, attended our monthly preschool meeting, practiced yoga.  Besides the small illness, it was perfect-ly normal.  I'm beginning to enjoy that.  Really.  :)

Last week, I visited with a childhood friend.  While I was there (she lives in SoCal,) I asked to make an appointment with her friend who is a hypnotherapist.  My friend suggested it several times over the past couple of years because of my desire to end my CPD (I promise not to talk about that in EVERY post, but it couldn't be avoided.)  This time I was ready.  As I previously stated, I want to end my addiction and this is just one tool in my arsenal to equip myself. 

I didn't know what it would be like.  I didn't discuss the details of the session prior to getting there, nor did I do research about it online.  Part of me wanted to experience it with a fresh, open mind.  I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but I was in the most relaxed state that I've ever been in.  In.  My.  Life.  I don't feel the blood pulsing through my body any more.  If I begin a nervous habit, when I catch myself, I can stop it.  By no means do I want you to think this was a panacea for all of my issues.  Ha!  If I could be so lucky.  But it now provides me another option for relaxing.  I feel like it was a missing piece of the puzzle.

Life does feel more calm.  This too, I know, is a part of life.  Just like the craziness.  Calm.  Crazy.  Calm.  Calm.  Calm.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I'm not quite sure how to write everything that has been happening coherently, so I'll give it all to you in bullet point.

  • I made it to day 12 of tackling my CPD.  Then I failed, and failed again, and failed again.  But now, I'm back on track.  I'm on day 2 today, Friday.
  • I noticed that my triggers to CPD are anxiety, worry, nervousness.  I found out last week that a cousin was in the hospital because she OD'ed.  I was crazy worried about her and her 3 children.  Yes, 3 children, the oldest is 14 years old.  It's hard for me because I live thousands of miles away from my family, but I feel like I should still be able to do something to help.  Someone tell me what to do and I'll do it.  Honestly.  I somehow want to ease the burden, for her and for her children.
  • I was also worried about my Grandma.  Her sister passed away last week.  And while I knew my great-aunt, I knew that she'd likely pass away soon.  My Grandma isn't taking it too well.  She's also ill herself; she has kidney failure and needs to be on a strict diet to get well and feel well. But she's not doing it.  I worry for her.  I want her to feel well and be healthy.  I want to ease her burden.
  • During this time of worrying, my face broke out and a test of all of my will came to the surface.  I just could not stop touching my face in habitual nervousness.  I couldn't stop thinking about the pimple on my face.  I know it's gross; it's not a topic to discuss, but it's very serious ya'll.  I got a dose of what it's like to be an addict.  Thankfully, my addiction is only CPD, it could be worse.  And trust me, I understand it.  It's by far the hardest thing that I've had to try to change about myself...everything else seems easy.  I know this sounds so dramatic and I guess in a way it is, but it's my life.  Every little detail and every BIG detail.
  • One would think with all of the yoga and meditation that I do, I could relax.  But, I can't.  I'm consciously aware of just how up-tight I really am.  Good lord, what would I be like without my yoga and meditation practice?  Om Namah Shivaya! :)
  • On a happier note.  I know this is all a phase.  The worrying, the stress, the nervousness.  This too shall pass.  Just be in it, touch it, feel it and let it be.  Then, let it go.  I just sometimes want it to happen sooner than the emotions are ready.... sigh.
  • My darling daughter will be 6 years old tomorrow.  Wow, I can't believe how quickly she's growing up.  She's a kind-hearted, beautiful girl.  Happy Birthday ESW!

Monday, February 07, 2011


I've been knitting for a few years now.  It doesn't seem like it has been that long, but if I really think about it it's probably been 3 years or so.  I love knitting.  It's relaxing and calming to my nervous system.  Even though I follow others patterns, I still feel very creative and inspired when I knit.  It's pretty darned amazing that I can take a piece of string and turn it into something beautiful.

I knitted and felted* this bag a couple of years ago.  I lined the inside of the bag and the strap with fabric.  I used the bag for a few months and all of my stitches started to come out.  When it started to look too ragged, I put it in my closet and vowed to fix it later.  Later never came.  I decided to employ my local seamstress and asked her to repair all of my stitching and to add the fabric flower to the front.  I love how it came out!  I finally get to use my bag again. 

*I know that it's technically not called felting.  But I can't remember what it IS called.  A quick Google search wasn't coming up with it either.
You can see a little of the lining and strap in this photo.

I recently took photos of a few other projects too.  Here they are:

Bonus:  Knitting occupies my hands, keeps them busy, so I don't continue bad habits like my CPD!  Today was the 6th day of my habit changing challenge.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Up next on the habit-change list

I've been reading a lot from Leo Babauta about changing habits.  Have you read anything from him?  One of his blogs,, is all about it!  He's changed a laundry list of habits over the past few years; he stopped smoking,  lost weight, and changed his eating patterns and became vegan.  I'm impressed at how he's been able to create the life that works best for him.

Last month, I was trying to stick to a $100 personal item spending budget AND tried the 21-day Yoga challenge.  I didn't practice asana yoga for 21 consecutive days, but I was pretty darn close.  And, as stated in my last post, I kinda-sorta made the $100 budget goal.  Neither were total wrecks, but neither are they "habits" for me.

According to Leo, there are 3 steps to change a habit:
1)  Write down your plan.
2)  Identify your triggers and replacement habits.
3)  Focus on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for about 30 days.

Certainly seems easy enough.  After going through my laundry list of habits I'd like to change, I decided that there was one that I was ready to tackle head on.  I debated for the last week, if I'd have the courage to actually type it and reveal it here.  You see, it's very personal and the more I read about it, the more embarrassed I become.  This bad habit I have has a clinical name, a very scientific sounding name, Dermatillomania.  Compulsive Skin Picking.  CSP.  It's embarrassing.  I want to quit.  I hate that I have been doing this to myself for the last 25 years. 

It was only in my latest research that I realized just how many other people in the world have this same problem.  That I'm not alone.  The first time I voiced my problem in public was about 4 or 5 months ago when I was on a meditation retreat.  We got together with a partner and our instruction was to have one person listen while the other person stated all of the things that they were afraid of.  When the talker paused and didn't think they had anymore to say, the listener was to say, "thank you.  What else are you afraid of?"  We did this for about 4-5 minutes each.  In the first few minutes, I said I was afraid of dogs, big open spaces of water, etc.  It was in the very last stretch that the "real" fears came up.  I said without really thinking about it that I was afraid I'd never be able to stop picking at my face.  It was a deeply personal fear and one that I had never spoken to anyone about.  Not like this.

Since then, I've spoken about it with others.  I mentioned it in another small group discussion a few weeks ago at a retreat and one of the other women said that she had the same problem in the past, but that she did overcome the habit.  She had gorgeous skin!  My wheels started to turn again.  I, too, could defeat this.  I needed to come up with a plan and gather support to help me conquer this addiction, bad habit, horrible thing that I do to myself.  So here it is.

1)  Write down my plan.  I will STOP my compulsive picking.  At my face, my arms, chest, and back.  I will not get my face or body close to a mirror.
2)  Identify my triggers and replacement habits.  Triggers:  boredom, stress, anxiety.  When I find myself with my hands on my body, scratching or picking, I will remove them.  I will rub hand lotion on my hands.  I will pick up my knitting.  I will read a book.  I will engage in conversation with my children.  I will also place a note on my mirrors of how many days that I have successfully NOT picked as encouragement.
3)  Focus on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for about 30 days.  OK.  Today is day 3.  I have successfully completed 2 days.

Thank you for supporting me.  This is a very difficult thing to do and more difficult to share and talk about.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Changing Habits

It's hard to change habits.  I've been working on two this month.  The first was to spend only $100. (The second was to build a daily home yoga practice...more on that in another post.)  When I started, I gave myself all kinds of rules.  Co-pays, doctors visits, yoga, ayurveda, meditation....none of those would count towards my $100 allotment because they were all health-related.  Is there really a price tag that I can put on my health?  But as the month went on, I started to talk myself out of that rationalization.  I can rationalize anything.  And I seriously mean ANYTHING!

The reason that I wanted to write about it and share it with the few of you that actually read my rantings is to be held accountable.  Here is how it's shaking out so far:

$6.56  almond oil:  This is a carrier oil for the essential oils that I have.  Not really an "essential" health item, though I could conjure up a good argument!
$7.00  burrito & taquitos:  By not planning, I bought this food out one night.
$2.00 muni fare:  bus ride home from the yoga journal conference..luckily Larry dropped me off and picked me up most days.
$10.00 class chage fee:  I changed my mind and decided to take a second class with Cyndi Lee at the YJC.  This was money very well spent.
$1.00 parking meters:  I could rationalize this too, but decided to include it in the end.
$58.00 meditation retreat:  Again, I wanted to discount this, but decided in the end not to.
($100.00 meditation retreat:  This one is debatable.  I received a surprise $100 gift card in the mail from work because we were above and beyond our targets for last year.  Technically, I spent it on the retreat, but I'm giving myself a freebie here since it miraculously showed up at my door a few days before the retreat!)
$4.00 muni fare:  unexpected money spent on the train during the meditation retreat
$9.80 lunch with friends:  at the last minute I decided to have lunch with friends even though I brought my lunch with me.
$25.00 dharma talk:  I post-dated the check to next Friday so that it wouldn't count in spending for this month, but Larry says that is cheating.  Argh!  I thought I was being smart:)

Total spent: 
- $100 from my magical gift card = $123.36
-$25 from my post-dated check = $98.36 spent

So with all of my justifications, I'm doing well.  I still have $1.64 left.  Without it, I failed.  Habits are hard to change.  But changing my bad habit of justifying everything is proving to be more difficult.  I'm going to let this info sit and stew within myself for a few days and come back with more of a game plan. 

 What do you think?  How have you changed habits?  Do you have any tips for me?