Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Month of Gratitude _/\_

Every year for November I post on social media a gratitude message for the day. It started as something to help me stay positive and grateful and turned into a yearly tradition that has inspired others to do the same. Here is my day of gratitude for 2015:

Every November I try to post daily Gratitudes. Nov. 1, I am grateful for so much today. With my husband being away I was able to create a nourishing weekend for my soul. I'm grateful for the quiet and deeply moving evening that I had last night - foregoing a party next door and other potential plans. I am grateful for today's "day off," - which seems like the first in a long time - so that I could catch up on some things around the house and even sleep in knowing that I had nothing that I had to do. I am grateful that my computer wanted to be cranky, forcing me to read a very important book that's been sitting on my shelf. I am grateful for my sanctuary in which to spend my day with my loyal pets by my side: Bodhi & Kali, always eagerly ready to follow me from room to room, showering me with love and companionship. Today I'm just truly happy and grateful to have had a little slice of peace and happiness - and I wish everyone the same simple thing. Namaste.

Nov 2 - today I am grateful for One Yoga Center (OYC), my amazing yoga studio & community of teachers and students. Am I a morning person? Those that know me know the answer to that. NO! But today I got up and happily drove in early on a Monday for the 9:30am class for probably the first time in like 12 years since I gave up teaching that morning class. In December I will take over teaching it full time again, to relieve Barbara Vecchione Gallucci so that she can make room for other things. I am blessed to have students who have been with me for so many years…and it was so good to see some of them this morning (Karin Rasmussen MitchellDebbie WarfieldSharon Joag). The yoga world has changed a lot since I first started my small little studio, yet I am so happy to continue to be able to teach others about yoga and the tremendous potential that you can tap into through the practice. It is with tremendous anticipation that I wait for the upcoming move to Hightstown Borough - infusing new energy into me and the studio. But if it weren't for a fractured spine and years of pain and limitations, and a dear friend (Suzy Alpin Fenton) who suggested I try yoga to help it, I wouldn't even be able to be grateful for OYC! So thank you to the Universe for "literally" breaking my back so that I could have this gift in my life that fills me up every day with gratitude. Namaste.

Nov. 3 - Today I am grateful that it is a beautiful day on November 3rd in NJ! Sunshine, warm breeze, and good vibrations. What else can we ask for, really? Keepin' it simple for today. Peace Out!

Nov. 4 - today I was reminded why I love our neighborhood so much and why we continue to manage the hour drive from work to home daily. I walk my dogs without a leash most of the time. They know where their doggie friends live and get excited to possibly visit. Today We rounded the block and I wave to one neighbor as he drives down the road. We cross the street and I text another neighbor a picture of his front yard and the gaping hole in it and we joke about making a lazy river and pond connecting our Yards. I stop at another neighbor's so the dogs can visit their doggy friend. As the dogs play I chat with him about the recent Guy's yearly football trip. Soon the women will have their annual cookie exchange, followed by a gift exchange. We head up the block and a neighbor's kid who is now driving waves to me and smiles. As we get closer to our house I wave to someone else who is working in their yard. A great neighborhood where, like "Cheers," everybody knows your name. Almost everyone is friendly and watches out for each other. We have fantasy football leagues, "yolf" games and our annual Oktoberfest party too. Just a great group of people who bonded over having the same crappy builder and continue to bond over being robbed blind by our taxes. "Deer Run" is our current day "Mayfair" and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. 

Nov. 5 - This morning's family text message started my day with a smile. Talk of Christmas, joking and connecting even though all four of us were in different locations. I always knew that I didn't want to give birth but I am blessed with two wonderful daughters despite myself. One wants to save the world - one cat at a time - and the other couldn't be more helpful and kind. I can't wait to see the women they fully mature into. And one day if we are really lucky, maybe we'll have some grandkids to spoil, fill up with chocolate and send home with percussion instruments. 

Nov. 6 - today's theme seemed to be "teachers." From Victoria & I trying to determine if we could plan a Peru trip around teacher's schedules to teacher training tonight with my advanced trainees. I hear a lot of complaining these days about teachers - on both ends of the stick. It's a shame. Did I have some "bad" teachers growing up? Maybe - depends on how you define "bad." Drunks, maybe a better word. But every one taught me something. After school days, I was blessed to have a mentor in the corporate world who taught me so much in the few years of him being my boss. If it were not for his untimely death I think I could have learned so much more from him. My first yoga teacher taught me more than yoga - she taught me how to come into my own personal power for the first time in my life, to embrace my limitations, but to not be limited by them. Baron Baptiste called me a rebel (I'm kind of proud of that). Rolf Gates told me I'm a natural teacher. the Goddess herself, Shiva Rea, taught me more about life, energy and embracing the divine feminine or "shakti" energy than I can put into words on FB. And let's not forget my friends, my family, and my "enemies," for they all continue to teach me so much every day - whether it is how to be loving or how to protect myself. Teachers are everywhere. Some are good. Some are REALLY good. And the ones who challenge you the most are the best. So the next time you find yourself complaining about a teacher - or anyone in your life - take a moment to figure out what the lesson is for you there…because there's guaranteed to be one. From one teacher to another.

Nov. 7 - beyond gratitude is Bhakti - pure love & devotion for the Divine. One way to express this is through sacred sounds and chanting. How very lucky are we to have a Kirtan explosion happening right now?! Krishna Das performed at the Grammy's a few years ago for Shiva's sake! Tonight I get to see him perform again...this is either my 6th or 7th time kirtaning with "the man." From the first note of the Hanuman Chalisa I am hooked - filled with emotion and love. Blessed beyond blessed to be able to share this with good friends and to have this method available in which to dig deeper into the soul and it's pure essence.

Nov. 8 - It is actually November 25th, but I went back through my days of gratitude and realized that I totally missed November 8th! I don't want that day to feel left out. I love the number 8 - turned on its side it represents "Infinity." In Numerology the number 8 represents balance and karmic debts being paid. It represents success, prosperity and integrity of character, so I certainly don't want to miss November 8th! This would be a good time to say that I am grateful for Karma. I have always been one of those lucky people with relatively quick karma pay-backs. Whenever I did something less than nice, it always came back on me quickly. When I was younger and did something I wasn't supposed to, I got caught right away and got in trouble. I wasn't ever a mean kid or did many bad things, and this may be another reason why. Karma has always been there screaming at me and guiding me to be a better person. Now that I am more aligned to positive energy, this karma is a good thing and I often see the rewards coming my way. Some people say it is easy to be bad. Not for me. It's a lot easier to be good, especially with karma there guiding the way. Blessings to Karma.

Nov. 9 - Grateful for real, true friends today. Not the kind that come and go, judge you or like you for what you can do for them; rather, the ones that you might have a disagreement with or may challenge you at times, but at other times lift you up, support you and are there for you no matter what. I am lucky enough to have some of these friends in my life…and it never gets old - you know who you are. 

Nov. 10 - today I am grateful for cleansing rain on this dark moon night, washing away what no longer is needed, creating closure and making room for unknown blessings to come flowing in.

11:11 - How could I possibly let the day go by without acknowledging this powerful shift that we are so privileged to be a part of! If you've been attuned to the 11:11, then you know for what I'm speaking of. If not, then watch out, because if you're reading this still then you're going to start seeing it - over and over...and then you'll want - NEED - to know more. I want to acknowledge my guru on this Ascension, Solara Anani, who had been teaching this information and anchoring the energy to our planet for many years. I hope to visit her beautiful sanctuary in Peru again and continue to learn more about how to move gracefully through his shift or consciousness as well as to help others align to its energy.

Nov. 12 - I was about to post my gratitude for today when FB was kind enough to show me what I posted 2 years ago. I thought it profound enough to share again today:
Gratitude comes in many forms. Last night I had a memory of someone that hurt me deeply. Today I am grateful for the lessons that I learned through this person, for they have made me stronger, my vision more clear, and opened me up to higher truths.
Nov. 13 - (yes, I'm posting this a day early because I'm taking the day off tomorrow ) so grateful for these two guys for putting my sign up at the new place in the rain! My wonderful hubby Scott Brown was sick but still dug the holes and my good friend Mark Fenton for making this beautiful sign and helping on the install too. Drive by if you're in town and check it out!

Nov. 14 - Today I received the first two deposits for One Bliss's Peruvian Adventure retreat this coming September. I am so blessed to be able to put two of my favorite things together: yoga and traveling. For me it's not work, because I enjoy it all so much. I am incredibly grateful for my sister in this life and many others, Victoria Purcell, who first had the idea to work together on this yoga retreat company. We compliment each other well yet share the same ideals and integrity to our mission of offering once-in-a-lifetime trips incorporating yoga, spirituality, mindful travel and "seva," giving back to the local communities that we visit. Even though the world seems to be getting smaller all the time, there's nothing better than expanding your awareness by exploring foreign lands, ancient temples and experiencing other cultures. If more people appreciated these differences and embraced other ways of living, we may actually achieve world peace in our lifetime.

Nov. 15 - Many years ago I was told by a "psychic" that I would always have "enough" and although times would sometimes be tight, I would never live in poverty. I decided that day to believe that and not worry. Not that I put my faith in her, but rather I put my faith in myself and my higher power within to keep that intention. Today as I sold off a lot of my private and business property at a yard sale event at the studio and watched as many of my possessions walked out the door, that I have, in fact, much more than "enough." I filled my car with remaining items and dropped them off for donation after the event. And there's still more! I thought that I might be sad to see so much of my things go, but that wasn't the case at all. I am grateful that I chose to believe that the Universe would always provide. But I also work really hard for it too. In fact I think I realized today that I may be a good thing for me my work is yoga! But what I'm really here to say is that I'm grateful that I always seem to have what I need - by whatever means I seem to acquire it - and all because I choose to believe that I always will. And this goes for much more than personal property - that's really the least of it. Hmm, so maybe what I'm most grateful for today is my power to truly believe and trust: Faith.

Nov. 16 - When my Grandmother's health was failing this summer I started making mala beads. I never thought that I would do something like that, but making the beads helped me find a little peace in between running to and from the nursing home. And people seemed to really respond to the beads too. When she did pass, I took some of her personal beads, broke them up, and made little bracelets for all the kids and grandkids in the family - so they could all have a little piece of Grandmom, always. I continued to make the beads for a little while, but then life got busy again and I put them away. Today I sat and created 30+ bracelets. After the long week preparing for yesterday's big yard sale and fighting away my husband's cold for several weeks, I finally succumbed to one myself today. My mind needed a rest and so did my body, but making the malas was a great way to spend my day. The dogs got to lie down on the floor with me, the creation is a meditation for me, and in the end I have some beautiful pieces to roll out at the new studio. Meditation comes in many forms. It isn't just sitting there still, trying not to think. In fact, if you try that, you are guaranteed to be disappointed. In fact, there are many pathways to meditation. For me one way is making mala beads. So I am very grateful for this mediation practice...because my active gemini mind needs an active meditation practice to carve out a little slice of piece.

Nov. 17 - today I am grateful that tomorrow is another day. Clearly many have lost their minds may they get laid tonight and wake up happier, healthier and a whole lot wiser. Om Shanti.

Nov 18 - today I am grateful for humor. Laughter is a great stress release and also a good ego-checker. One of my teachers stresses taking yourself lightly and not seriously - both on and off the mat. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. Next time there's a situation where you want to yell, fight, cry or scream - try laughing instead. Notice the physical change in your body and mind when you laugh out loud. Have a fully belly laugh every now and then - laugh until you cry to release stored emotions and notice how free you feel. Instead of being offended at every little thing, try laughing a little. Watch the Dalai Lama talk - whenever he is asked a question, he giggles first before answering (he giggles more the more serious the question posed is too). Yes, there are valid struggles in life and there always will be. But cut it some slack and have a good's good for your immune system to boot! And in class when you fall out of an asana, laugh! Lift your vibrations by taking life a little lighter. Give it a whirl and see what happens!

Nov. 19 - today I am grateful for one personal change that I've recently realized I've made. I used to think that I had to take on everyone's situation and personally try to fix it. And while I still do wish that I could - because it sincerely pains me to see people that I love hurting - I realize that I am not here to "fix" anything. In fact, how very egotistical of me to even think that I should? Everyone is on their own journey, has to make his/her own mistakes and empower them self to rise above. Here's what I can do: I can listen. I can sometimes provide support. I can usually make you laugh to forget your Story for a moment. And I can take you on another journey through a yoga practice where you might find your own answers or get in touch with your own inner strength or intuition. Like my father, I feel privileged that people feel safe confiding in me and that I can sometimes help in some way. But I can't "fix" anything but my own shit...and some days that seems pretty damn impossible too. We are all struggling with something - and somehow there is comfort in that. Grateful for this little bit of wisdom.

Nov. 20 - Yesterday a new friend from Peru commented on a photo of mine. Today I spoke with another friend in Thailand via email. I have a student who lives in Greece, family living in Mexico, new friends in Australia, another friend in the peace corps in Cambodia, and another acquaintance who owns a villa in France. Soon I'll be meeting people in India. I love to travel and to meet new people. But what I love the most is that I make true friends around the globe and it makes the world feel that much more closely connected. With all of the fear about many foreign lands, I like to uphold the energy of brotherhood and sisterhood. People all over the world are really the same. Maybe their climate is different, but we all have the same issues. We are pretty luck here in our country - not that everyone sees that. Our lives are fairly simple and even the "poor" here have more than in a lot of other places. But its interesting that the people who I meet that have the least, seem to be pretty happy folks and just fine with their meager livings. The simplicity makes life a little easier - there's less to worry about, after all! What I'm saying is that I really get a thrill when I communicate with someone in another country. I am grateful that my "world" is so inclusive of other cultures and places because it keeps my mind open and more informed. And while I am not irrational about the posing "threats" from those who would want to harm us, I don't allow myself to become immobilized by that and generalize all of a group of people because of them. What we ALL need is more friends around the globe and promote bigger messages of friendship and peace across the planet. I have a bucket list to visit every country in the world before I die and to make at least one friend there. I have a long way to go, but I'm working on it! Will you join me?

Nov. 21 - I know it may seem early but with everything happening I wanted to do our OYC holiday party early. Unfortunately not all of our teachers were available but many came out to break bread. I made custom Mala beads for everyone and then we went to the new studio and broken them in and chanted the Ganesha mantra 108 times. The vibrations in the building as we chanted were so beautiful. I could feel the space being blessed by all this amazing folks and it meant so very much to me. Grateful, so, so grateful for their presence today and every day that they grace the space At OYC - no matter where that space is!

Nov. 22 - so much to be grateful for today. I could go on forever. Spent the day painting and preparing the new studio and it's looking great! Little by little it all comes together but I really want to say that there are four women in my life that I am extremely grateful for: my circle sisters, and they know who they are. Some friends come and go, some stick around for the good times, and others may offer to help you through the tough times. But there are some friends that go beyond even the term "friend." These people you share a common bond with that can never be broken. These are the kind of people that you never have to question the pure love for each other. There is a spiritual connection that transcends time and linear ways with them. These are the people that you can bare you soul to and never be judged. These are the ones that allow you to truly realize what the term "oneness" feels like...and that's who I got to spend my day with. Most of them are not on FB nor will ever see this nor will ever care if there was a shout out to them - because they already know all that they need to. What a blessing for these four women in my life. 

Nov. 23 - Today I had a full belly laugh because of my husband. I don't always get to say how much I appreciate him. Sometimes he drives me crazy and I'm fairly certain he will be the cause of my early demise one day, but I love him. He has true integrity - something that is hard to come by these days. He is dedicated to his family. He is incredibly supportive to me, my journey and my businesses - even if he doesn't really "get" them in full. But most of all I love how he makes me laugh when he is being a goofball. If someone can give you a full on belly laugh because they're not afraid to be goofy, man that's love. Thanks honey, our 11th year married has been the best so far and I love you more every day.

Nov. 24 - I'm not sure where it came from but I have an uncanny ability to focus and stay grounded. This is coming in handy with all the work going into the new studio while keeping the old studio going and doing major downsizing. There is so much to do in a short period of time and, as usual, I find myself burning the candle at both ends. I will nurture and rest - I'm managing a little bit, but once the move is done and in I plan on doing it a lot more. Today I am grateful that I have this ability to work, focused, and remember to take deep breaths and stay grounded with so much up in the air. Thank you, first chakra, for being my solid!

Nov. 25 - Full Moon represents complete manifestation. It is the brightest light that we can see in the night sky, representing light within the darkness. So many years ago I was indoctrinated into the mysteries of the moon and its energies and I have let it guide me on my journey for a long time now. I am grateful to have aligned myself with this creative goddess energy because it has helped me stay in tune with the sacred in my every day and when I am aligned to its cycles I find that life flows with a lot less effort. Tonight's full moon corresponds with a week where I began decorating and moving into my new yoga studio, and in two weeks at the New Moon, which represents New Beginnings, I will open the space. As the moon wanes over this time period, I will be letting go of the old space, an old way of doing business, old habits and ways that have long needed to move out, and releasing all the "stuff" that doesn't serve my light and the ability to shine bright, like the moon herself, guiding bothers through their own darkness. Namaste, Moon! 

Nov. 26 - Happy Thanksgiving! Every year we host for both of our families. Not every year everyone can make it. Some years we have had over 30 and others just 6. This year I believe the count is 18. We will be missing some key family at he table this year, but they are all in our hearts and thoughts. We will remember the family that has passed and in gratitude appreciate those who are still with us. Some say you can't chose your family but I don't believe that. I believe you chose your family before you reincarnate so that you can work out your karma with those beings...and perhaps this explains the sometimes challenges that you go through with them. Either way, family may know how to push your emotional buttons, but they're also the ones who are always there for you in the greatest time of need. Grateful for my family: both immediate and extended. And looking forward to a nice afternoon at home with all as we kick off the holiday season.

Nov. 27 - When you make an appointment and they give you a 5 hour window, we have grown accustomed to thinking the worst. This time I decided to think the best, then let it go. It worked! Verizon showed up at 10:30am instead of my 1-5 window, installed while I wasn't there, I got back and plugged all my stuff in and it worked! No hassle, no fuss! OH, and I saved money going to fios from dsl…wow. Blown away. Technician didn't even want me to put in a good word for him. In his words, "they don't care." Well I do and I am grateful to the unknown man who got it all done and the energies that brought him in. Grateful for realizing when to stop plugging into negative collective consciousness and remake my own positive ones, then giving it up to the Universe. Life is good when you put your mind to making it good!

Nov 28 - grateful for small towns and being a part of two of them now - for home and work. I'm meeting so many awesome people just walking around. It's amazing when you smile and say hello to someone where that can sometimes go. 

Nov. 29 - I'm doing this one early. Grateful for a day off! Brief check of the calendar confirms, first day with nothing planned since Oct. 2nd. Today I've already accomplished more around the house since before then. I said I was sitting on the couch watching football all day, but that's not gonna happen. Maybe for a couple of hours. What I am grateful for is not to have to drive anywhere today and to be able to putter around my house doing little things at my own pace and leisure. Hey, maybe I'll even get in a yoga practice later!

Nov. 30 - Purpose. Grateful to have a purpose. It is fulfilling to know every day the things that I do have depth and meaning behind them. Even the past month's gratitude log gave me something daily to align myself to and keep positive energy flowing for myself and others. So even though November is coming to a close I know that December will prove to be just as fulfilling - or maybe even more so. 🙏 4 Purpose. Namaste.