Thursday, April 19, 2012

Current Obsessions

That is correct, Friends- another 'lists' posting.  I suppose you could say I am hijacking this idea from one of my favorite food bloggers who regularly posts her 'Favorites' List between recipes.  In fact- since I am constantly obsessed with her website, we can start there.

For AMAZING recipes and absolutely stunning photography (her partner is a pro, I believe) check out this gals babe.

This song is driving me up a wall with both dark and delicious feelings.  It's sad, sweet, and covered by a 15 year old girl... Ugh.... The Talented...

I recently joined a website that is essentially a giant, online, bulletin board for cool things.  Not kidding.  That may or may not be the way they should describe themselves.  It makes me want to spend an extraordinary amount of time scouring the Internet for the aforementioned 'cool things.'   I have posted a few delightful additions, if I do say so myself!, but so far I've managed to hold myself back.

But that's really only because I spend an extraordinary amount of time gazing longingly at this hot mama....  Soon, my love, soon.

I'm not going to link anything here- suffice to say my current obsessions ALWAYS include travel.  I have a number of ideas on that front and may get some polls going pretty soon.  It's really too bad that travelling is such a moolah drain.  My idea of fun involves a never-ending adventure- in places like Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Hungary... Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh MY!  Oh, and, you know, this pretty lady...

Dooney & Bourke- no I'm not kidding- yes I am a girl.  And yes, again, it did take a LOT for me to admit to that one.

The warmth of the season brings out the lighter wines- I had the most outstanding Rose of my life in New Zealand- too bad it's only in New Zealand.

Whole cloves of roasted garlic- they literally melt in your mouth.  I constantly reek of it... but it's a smell I'm willing to live with (it seems that for everyone else, the verdict is still out...).

Finally, this.  Live it, Breathe it, Be it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The First Tomato

I know it is small- but it is significant.
Growth, Life, Earth
and a little bit of Me. 
And yes, I do pronounce tomato the way the Brits do.  Some things just sound better that way.

A couple of weeks ago mom and I began our kitchen garden... well, it is more of a back deck garden, really.  Regardless, we started digging, planting, fussing over our baby herbs and veggies.

I talk to them, of course, and water them, touch them, feel their soil for dryness, do all things I must in order to acknowledge their lovely lovely earthy existence.

It is a wonderful thing, to have a garden and witness the simplicity of growth.  And here it is- the culmination of the simplicity of growth- the first breath of life- the first tomato.  It is green and hardly even close to being ripe, but it is THERE!  And all of its lovely greenness is a sign of things to come- more green, more gold, more striking life!

Until next time, Friends

Enjoy the Cycle.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yoga Works

So... I wrote this article hoping to have it published in a local magazine.  Unfortunately the type of article I wrote is not exactly what the magazine is looking for- so I shall post it on my blog.  It is a bit much, so bear with it.  But stick with it, too.

Yoga Works

“Yoga works.  It just works.”

These words- which leaked delicately from my lead yoga teacher’s mouth the first day of Teacher Training- would change my life.  Or rather, change my perception of the value of my life.  They would come to define a 25 day intensive which- and I cannot say this in any clearer way- literally saved my life.  Yoga works.  It does.  It works on more levels than any of us are truly capable of comprehending.  But to understand how yoga works, you may need to know a little about what the yoga was working on.. 

A little over nine months ago, I suffered a loss so profound that my own little world collapsed around me.  I slipped, skidded, and starved my way through the next several days weeks and months, falling into a numbing, self-loathing and terrifyingly desperate depression.  I have never before suffered from depression so these feelings (or lack thereof) were new in a bad way, new in a way that allowed me to think suicidal thoughts without even batting an eye at them. 

How deep did my depression go?  I allowed myself to begin to die.

I am anorexic.   I am an anorexic.  And I say this without shame but with knowledge and experience.  I have struggled with and against this disease from the age of 15.  I am now 27 years old and at five feet, nine inches tall, I weigh a whopping 94 pounds.  This time last year, I was a deliciously athletic 125.  I did yoga, I ran, I played in the sun constantly.  I hiked, biked, swam.  I was golden.  Now I am pale.  And usually pretty cold. 

But fighting- a little worn for the wear but working my way back toward fighting form. 

Today, I am nowhere near the same person that I was a little over nine months ago.  But change is a funny thing.  I changed for the worse; I changed for the better.  And then, toward the end of January of 2012, I took a real chance on change and flew to New Zealand for an opportunity for true restoration (Okay, okay, I admit it, I think of it more as fleeing the country than just taking a healing holiday in a different hemisphere).  I desperately needed to get away from the space (head space, heart space, physical space) that I had simultaneously created and destroyed in the wake of depression and anxiety.  I needed to take drastic measures in order to survive.  And so, from the first of February until the twenty-fifth I lived ‘Ashram-style’ at a retreat on the Coromandel Peninsula where I learned the art of teaching yoga (and it most certainly is an artform).

Each day I woke at 5:30; engaged in morning postures and pranayama; meditated; participated in Karma Yoga (acts of cleaning, gardening, work which enhanced the general atmosphere of the retreat as well as the spiritual and emotional); more postures; had classes upon classes upon classes about everything from Chakras to the nature of teaching to ‘what exactly is the diaphragm?’; more meditation; a class here and there on pranayama; attended lectures and specialty seminars on Ayurveda and anatomy; participated in nightly kirtans and discussions.  My life, which I had neglected for so long in the wake of loss and grief heartache, began to reassume and reassert itself in this atmosphere of learning, loving, working, and breathing. 

Yoga works. 

Everything I believed about yoga to begin with- everything I had learned in my own studies and in my individual and taught practices- was confirmed throughout this experience.  Trust me when I declare that daily affirmation of belief is a powerfully beautiful thing.  I experienced, learned, and took to heart, every single day, something new, something potent, and something spiritual.  Something healing. 
The universe opens to those who practice yoga- the universe and so much more.

You see, that is how Yoga Worked for me and Works for me.  During this intensive, the universe was just the beginning of what opened to me personally.  Yoga works because it opened myself to me.  It reopened my heart space and head space and my physical space so that I could see them again; meet them and converse with them.  I truly believe that I am alive now, still breathing and being, because of yoga.  I rediscovered the gift of living.  I like to think that I had some part in this rediscovery, but the yoga really had much more to do with it.  Learning how to drop into yourself is a great way to remember that you have a self.  That you have a self worthy of existing.

My grand realization during the yoga intensive was (and continues to be) that I have a right to be here.  And it is a right that anorexia cannot take away from me- that depression, anxiety, sleepless nights, and heartbreak cannot take away from me.  The universe is mine- it belongs to all of us and we belong to it.  We are one in the same- you me and the universe.  All we need to connect to each other and to the BIG other is a little pranic energy, a little belief in ourselves, and a whole lot of breath awareness.   

The power of yoga constantly astounds me.  I find joy, true, elated, sacred joy, in every posture, every pranayama, every mediation.  Every connection to every person, feeling, and world.  The choice to become an instructor of this ancient practice was a terribly easy one- it hardly even counted as Choice.  But in the end, the choice to become a yoga instructor was really the choice to become- to become alive, connected.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I May Have an Addled Brain

But I have a strong heart.

Well.... I tell myself that- whether or not I tell myself the truth is not up to me to know- it's up to me to believe.

It is a subtle but ultra-important distinction.

I learned this lesson about my crazy-strong heart during my yoga intensive.  My heart space simultaneously contains and exudes such power, such astounding, immense power, that even I run the risk of being overwhelmed by it.  And it is contained within me- the loveliest idea of them all.

Observe the placement of my hand over
my heart during my intensive's closing hoven-
yeah, that's me, the skinny chick to
the off-centered right of the photo.
I often found that meditating into my heart instead of my head made for a considerably more interesting experience- one that consumed all of the negativity in me, leaving room only for love and light and lightness of being.  You see, in yoga the 'hridayakasha' is the chest or heart space.  In Kate it is the uncontained power of my boldly beating heart.  In Kate 'hridayakasha' means love; all-encompassing, astounding, rose-quartz-colored LOVE.

I have long considered myself a 'heart' girl.  When I know something, and I mean TRULY know it, I know it in my heart- not my head.  And while I realise that scientifically that does not count even a little in terms of legitimacy,  I cannot say that I care.

I know what I know.

And I know it always in my heart, always.  Always.

What I cannot put my finger on is why this strikes me in particular on Easter Sunday.  We all know of yogic beliefs and witchcraft practices.  But I suppose any old occasion will do- and Easter, because I was raised Catholic, is more than any old occasion.  It is what it is- whether or not I believe in it.  I remember to believe in my heart.  Every Day.  Including Easter Sunday.

Much love, Friends.

And until next time- Namaste, Hari Aum Tat Sat,
Be good.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


We bought a pink hyacinth the other day.  It's really nothing special.  Just a cheapside, $3.99, pink sweet hyacinth.

But it is now releasing the headiest, most glorious scent you will ever ever smell.  It literally smells like heaven.  Every time I walk past it I am intoxicated.  I am drawn to it, nose first, like a moth to a very bright flame.  A very pink, bright flame.

Why am I sharing this?

Because I can.  Because everyone should smell flowers at least once a day; listen to birds have their chats; play in the dirt- preferably with plants; sit facing the sun (or sit watching the rain form curtains out the window, depending on the weather); take a deep breath.  Everyday everyone should do all of these things- or at least one of them.  Or two.

Until next time.
Cheers Dears.