March 11, 2012

On Being Enough

For my friends, my brave students and clients, for myself as I often forget and for Diana Strinati Baur, because her willingness to simply be is inspiring.

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It's enough to offer love,
no matter how imperfectly
received or given. It's
enough to try and fail at
a difficult task; enough
to fall and rise, stumble,
fall again, sigh, and start
to walk, however slowly,
in the direction the soul
points. It's enough to
seek peace and find pain,
to gain nothing but a
vision of truth, and take
the long route home.

It's enough to feel
temptation, the dance
of the senses, the hot
pull of desire; enough
to call on God, walk
through fire, sleep and
cry and fear or welcome
dying. It's enough to be
and breathe, to feel the
touch of wind on skin.

It's enough to take the
day at it comes, to watch
the ripples on the lake as
the rock sinks to the
bottom, to see the wild
reflection of the surface
calm into a mirror once
again. It's enough to
hear the voice of fear
and hide - or seek it out
and face the shame or
shadows. It's enough
to set out to tame demons
and watch them multiply
instead. It's enough to
be buffeted by the winds
of change and not blown
over. I and you and all
of us, more than enough.
~ by Danna Faulds

November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

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I am grateful for so much this year...

I am grateful for my husband Simon who continues to be my very best partner in crime and who thinks I don't see all the little things he does to love and support me (I do)

I am grateful for my time in the desert that has helped ground me and remind me that nature is everything

I am grateful for friends who though for the most part are far away, never let me forget that they are there

I am grateful for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and the new career path that it is so carefully creating for me

I am grateful for my teacher, Judith Lasater, and the honor of assisting her this year and her ability to make what I love even more lovely somehow

I am grateful for my students and clients who show so much bravery and light and so beautifully remind me just how perfectly imperfect we all are

I am grateful for all of those who I have loved and lost and all the lessons that they have taught me

I am grateful for the wisdom of my heart

I am grateful for hot baths, naps with cats, hot tea, Irish whiskey and seriously dark chocolate

I am grateful to be alive....

Yes


Kathy

January 30, 2011

Ode to a lost sister

I got the call, the call no one ever wants to get, telling me my older sister was on life support and things were bad. I jumped on a plane, I did, and came home as fast as I could to be with her and to tell her all the things I held inside, the things I dared not share with her for years for fear of being the target - yet again - of her bitterness and rage. But there they were, these feelings, so wanting to be shared with the one person whom I'd always hoped I could safely sit beside again and share tea and favorite sandwiches and reminisce about our happy times together by the sea and at our father's house and all the places in between.

I took that red eye flight back so angry no one had told me sooner she'd been so sick in the hospital or even had a kidney transplant two months prior and angry at her for being too stubborn to let me know herself. She lay dying in that hospital at all of 57 and her baby sister wasn't there beside her holding her hand. Our tears were cried separately.

My sister died before I even landed. Before she could her me say I love you one last time, before she could know I'd come home for her and only her. Too many years estranged and hurting and the one thing we both wanted more than anything else was to feel the love we'd once shared and to have the sister back we'd once known. I know this because I've been told this and read it in a poem she'd written about me. I know this because I've felt this myself for so many years now.

My sister died from a heart attack at 2:00 AM while I was in the air contemplating sleep. I made them take me to the morgue so I could see her and tell her that I was here dammit, I was here. I came home for you, I said. Her eyes were still partly open and I swear she could see me. I saw my sister in a body bag. It doesn't get any more real than that. She looked beautiful, her face long and soft. I saw my sister, really saw my sister, for the first time in many years. I cut a lock of her hair, just as I'd done when I was 16 and my mother died and again at 38 when I lost my father. Small things.

My sister died and left nothing in place as just like my mother many years before her, she wasn't ready. So I came home to bury my sister and deal with all she left behind. Cats have been placed and wakes held, clothing has been donated and time has been spent with her friends hearing that they, too, knew of the difficulties in loving such a woman and yet more joyful and often painfully funny stories have been shared than not. No need to live in the dark spaces when there are too many bright spaces waiting to be filled.

I feel sad in ways no one can truly understand because there's no way to explain what it feels like to live in my skin. Grief is such a personal journey. My sister and I read the same books, liked the same music and ate the same favorite things. I went to a sandwich shop to get a steak and cheese sub, my favorite, the other day and just last night found a receipt in her wallet for the same place just days before she went into the hospital. She'd ordered the very same thing. It's unfair, I tell you. But it's life, too. And so I live here in a state of befuddlement and rawness waiting to feel a little less exposed to the world and am grateful every time someone just says hello.

I'm alive. And right now, that's enough. I am still alive.

Rest in peace, Carolyn. I know you always longed to be with our mother again and I find peace in knowing you are back in her arms free from pain and angst.

You were loved.

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December 29, 2010

Snow as Art

For those of you who weathered the holiday blizzard of 2010 on the East Coast, this poetic short film is for you. Enjoy...

Idiot With A Tripod from Gothamist on Vimeo.

December 22, 2010

Yo, Santa!

Wishing you a deliciously wicked Christmas and a fabulously naughty New Year!

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November 30, 2010

Back to San Francisco to study and nourish the soul

I'm off to San Francisco this weekend for a workshop with my teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater, on Nonviolent Communication. Nonviolent Communication was created by a man named Marshall Rosenberg and has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama himself. Judith has written a book, along with her husband Ike Lasater, called "What We Say Matters", and this will be the first workshop held by Judith to delve into the book and to teach us how to practice this form of communication while teaching our classes and also how to bring it out into our daily lives. I'm game. I've always loved the language Judith uses when she teaches (the woman has the patience of a saint!) so when she told me about the book ~ I nabbed it ~ and when the workshop was announced ~ I was the first to book it. Merry Christmas to me!

As I always love my time in San Francisco a trip up North for a few days during the holiday season is particularly magical. I've been there just before Christmas and the lights, the shop displays, the people piling into cafes and sitting a wee bit closer together to stave off the chill from outside makes me feel so happy and festive. I get to break in my new utterly divine Eddie Bauer down parka that has thus far made the to and fro from yoga classes a delicious experience, and I will get to sit and savor a decadent cup of my favorite hot chocolate at Ghiradelli's in Ghiradelli Square. Yum. I love sitting alone in cafes and restaurants and taking in everything around me. How often do we get to slow things down and be so present that we can actually taste the smells in the air? Let the smells of the season wash over me... Yes.

So, I'm all booked in at Hotel des Arts, a hotel I've been wanting to check out as the deluxe rooms are all painted by individual artists from around the world, thus making it an artist's and art lover's favorite. It's also in what is considered the French Quarter in San Francisco and is surrounded by French cafes and restaurants. It also happens to be across the street from the gate to Chinatown. Bring those potstickers on. Happy me!

I've requested one of the rooms with a claw foot tub as I had one at my father's house and I miss it so. Nothing makes me happier than a proper hot bath in a proper bathing tub. Little things, you know?

My husband will be home playing cat sitter and savoring his I-am-man-hear-me-roar time. I will miss him as he is my absolute favorite playmate and companion, but we both have things to do and we're planning a trip in the near future that will take us on a great adventure. So, balance is the key. The more I study and train the more I work towards my goal of owning my own business in the place we will eventually settle. It's about the journey, after all.

How I am loving this journey of mine.

I'll be writing more soon about my experience in the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training. It was such an evolutionary experience for me. I am committed to doing the entire training now which will culminate in my certification in a year or so. I can't wait to offer this to my clients. It is so in keeping with the work I am already doing and it feels so natural to me. My teacher, Soleil Hepner, is a dynamic human being and damn good fun to boot. Though I didn't feel San Diego was my cup of tea, my time there with her and my fellow trainees was nothing less than fabulous.

Back on the road I go...

Kathy

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November 1, 2010

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy

I have decided to embark on another Yoga Therapy Training and the one I have found that seems to best suit me at present is the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training. I am looking to go deeper with students and clients and the thing that sold me the most about this training is that it goes beyond the physical and offers a real mind-body approach. This pleases me. Yes.

I needed to know if this was something that really worked so I had a session with a practitioner here in Los Angeles. I liked it. I felt good after the session. I liked having space held for me where I could just, well, be. Whatever I felt or whatever came up was acknowledged and I felt really supported. What I found the most astonishing was that after the session I started actively making changes and doing some of the things that I had said at the end of my session I had hoped to do. I put thought into action. Hmm... I am the biggest Doubting Thomas there is and this actually impressed me! It also told me that I wanted to know more, to dig deeper, so I am off to San Diego to begin my journey. If I decide to continue on I will eventually end up in Vermont where the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Center is to take the more involved parts of the training and go a bit native. I'm a New England girl, after all. Something about heading back there to further my studies feels right to me.

My bags are packed and I'm off in the morning. I've booked my hotel and got a great deal - of course. It's four minutes from the hotel where the training is being held and that "deal" for a room for trainees was $40 more a night then mine and I have a kitchen and free parking! My hotel is also owner operated. No big impersonal hotel for me, thank you. I am the research Queen. Why pay more when you don't have to?

I'll let you know what I think. Count on it.

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Teachick

About Kathy

I'm a reluctant LA chick. I'm a traveler with an attitude who happens to teach some insanely blissful yoga. I muse freely and unapologetically. I might even say something interesting from time to time. If I do, be very scared.

When I'm not here, I'm in the tub.

April 2012

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