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The lightness of being Archives

September 14, 2007

The pigeon and the monkey: a wondrous tale

In a world where there is so much confusion and violence and instability I thought I'd take a moment to post this photo as to me it symbolizes the simplicity and beauty of love and friendship and peace.

This little monkey was abandoned by his mother and was dying in the wild when he was rescued and brought to a sanctuary. He was mending but seemed "spiritless" so the people at the sanctuary put this pigeon in with him to keep him company. He attached himself to the pigeon and they have been inseparable ever since. He is doing remarkably well now.

May we all find the ability to reach out to those who need us and share ourselves in a more meaningful and more connected way...

Love is love.

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September 22, 2007

Fall is upon us

I tend to get very soulful and quiet when Fall sets in and the air changes, the nights grow cooler and the smell of burning wood from neighbor's fireplaces wafts out of chimneys and permeates my street.

Fall is my season. It is the one I was born into and the one that both soothes and heals me. With this in mind I have just come from buying music that best represents this change that occurs within me, this mood that sets in and consumes me at this time of year. I will turn 42 this coming Monday so this is my weekend to re-fuel and prepare for my season and this new year of lightness, discovery and adventure that I hope to have ahead of me.

I live by music. I have stacks and stacks of CD's that represent the many pieces of me, my insides, the corners and sharp edges that make me - me.

I am living Portuguese Fado music at present and am listening to Mariza in particular. Everything about it entices me and makes me feel alive, sensual and hungry. I hope some of you find this new music you're not familiar with and desire to have it in your collection, as I have.

I give you Mariza preforming my favorite - O Gente Da Minha Terra...

September 24, 2007

The dance of life

I am 42 today. I am in my skin, fiery, alive and empowered. 42 is going to be utterly fabulous, I just know it.

I'd be a fool not to acknowledge that the years have been very kind to me. I figured after all the crap I've been through these past few years I'd have aged like mad. Well, I have been incredibly lucky. I have my ancestors to thank for that. I bow to them for blessing me.

Getting older in many ways is, well, fairly delicious. I am looking forward to the years to come...

I celebrate all of my fellow Libra's today. May you all have a joyful anniversary of your birth!

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September 27, 2007

The Monks of Burma

"May we be free of torture, may there be peace in hearts and minds as our kindness spreads around the world. - The chant of Buddhist monks in protest in Myanmar

The power of the people is no small thing. My heart is heavy knowing what these brave and remarkable people are enduring right now. I stand united with them in spirit. Their voices are my voice. Their pleas are my own.


May peace and humanity prevail

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Continue reading "The Monks of Burma" »

October 4, 2007

Funking

I will admit that I am in a bit of a funk at present. I am officially funking.

It's not one thing, really. It's ten things all at once. It's work and family and friends and life and the deep and tender parts of me that I hide away from the world being re-tweaked and poked at.

When I get to funking I think of the places I've felt safest and happiest and most at peace. Funny how I almost always find myself back in a tub somewhere...

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My favorite tub at my dad's house


Continue reading "Funking" »

October 9, 2007

Poetry is life

I am seeking solace in poetry at present, as I always do really, and this poem in particular is resonating within me today. It is one of my favorites. I think we've all experienced this place, this feeling, at one time or another. I know it has meaning for me.

A life without poetry is a life without light. I can lose myself for hours in a good book of poetry. But then I live for words...

Desire

By Shushanig Gourghenian

I wanted to welcome you
into my soul like a god,
lost and road weary
to hear you calling this home.

I wanted to restrict
the nightingale to but one
garden. And keep his free
songs for me
alone.

I wanted you jailed
in my breast as part
of the flow of my blood,
the sway of my
bones.

I wanted when I died
my name carved
on that hardest of monuments
your heart of
stone.

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October 15, 2007

In the seat of the teacher

So I taught my second restorative yoga class yesterday. I did a day long yoga therapeutics workshop at City Yoga on Saturday and then taught my class last night. I have to say it all just feels really yummy to me. While I sell my class as a bliss experience for my students, and they keep telling me it is (I thank them for that), I get as much out of it as they do. Sharing myself with my students is a joyful experience for me. I get to step out of my own sometimes crazy world and just be there for them. This is a good thing.

I had a student tell me after class last night that I massage the places on the body most people overlook. I had my students in a supported Savasana (bolster or stack of blankets supporting the back), the most restful pose, and I gave them all head, neck and ear massages. I know I love this myself so I am happy to do it for my students - truly. I even incorporate some acupressure into my adjustments as I know how amazing it feels. I can't even begin to tell you how rewarding it is to feel someone's energy settle and to feel them relax and let go. After all the training and investment in this part of my life I have to say I have not one regret. It is is all so wonderfully worth it.

Once upon a time this little tutu realized she wanted to be a teacher. She also knew she wanted to help heal people and provide them with a little comfort and care. It's amazing what we can achieve when we just dive in.

May we all allow a little more bliss into our lives. We deserve it!

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Continue reading "In the seat of the teacher" »

November 6, 2007

Lakshmi the goddess of love, beauty and fortune

There is a little girl in India who was born with a condition called Ischiopagus. Her mother bore a twin who died in the womb and little Lakshmi absorbed what was left of her twin. When Lakshmi was born several years ago she was named after the beautiful Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who herself was multi-limbed. Little Lakshmi has become revered by many as a deity.

She is just now undergoing an incredible operation that could possibly free her of the extra limbs and organs and turn her into a fairly normal little girl.

I'd like to think she is a miracle child. Perhaps she is touched by the goddess Lakshmi in some small way. Why not? Life is rich with oddities and complexities that we can never fully comprehend. And a little girl with an amazing smile might lose the extra limbs she was born with, but I think she's a perfectly beautiful being as she is.

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Be well small goddess.

November 12, 2007

The Art of Integrity

If a friend of yours who was in a relationship, with someone you liked no less, continued to try and pick up other people and use you to do so, would you go along with it? Would you enable that person? Would you go along out of some sense of loyalty? Would you stand by them as they set out to hurt another human being who was unaware of what they were doing or would you tell them to knock it off?

I pose this question because this question was presented to me recently and after mindfully thinking about this I am damn clear that I am not someone who could do such a thing. I say nay. I believe in living an honorable life and I pride myself on my integrity. Lead by example, I say. And do unto others, right? And be careful when you dance with Karma: she's tricky.

My thinking is when you support someone you know is being deceitful, hurtful or cruel you are, in fact, a co-conspirator. Think on that for a minute. That calls your own integrity into question and I believe it shows a lack of honor. Seriously.

In a world so filled with deception and greed, I think we all, every one of us, has an obligation to set the bar higher for ourselves and those around us. I do not mean casting judgment on others or somehow saying we are better than anyone else. We are all flawed beings, after all. But that does not mean we have to accept being less than we are to help support those around us do bad things. That's just f *cked up.

I am now wise enough to know I can only have people in my life that I trust and feel safe with. I would hope if I were to stray off my path and wander into troubled or dangerous waters my friends would not follow me into the choppy seas but rather encourage me to find my way back to still waters. Stilling one's mind is no easy task. There will always be temptations and desires that can turn even the strongest of us into broken and self destructive people if we aren't more careful and self aware. We are not responsible for anyone else's behavior...NO. We are responsible for looking ourselves in the mirror at the end of every day and taking responsibility for what we see.

Encourage light, not darkness.

On the path to peace we are the masters of our own journey. I say make each step a mindful one...


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November 15, 2007

A little romance goes a long way

And often when you find that you are really pretty damn happy just being on your own - there it is. Funny thing that.

And perhaps it's because you are finally so blissfully content on your own that you are actually in a place to enjoy it for what it is. And really, shouldn't these things be that simple?

Sometimes they are...

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December 25, 2007

Joyeux Noel

From my home to yours, I wish you only the most wondrous of things that Christmas can bring. For me it is having these two little beasties beside me. The simple things are often the most magnificent.

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Kathy

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December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto I shall miss you

Benazir Bhutto, the only woman to have ever been Prime Minister of a Muslim country, was brutally assassinated this morning as she was trying to bring democracy back to Pakistan. Pakistan was her country. I am in tears that heartless and faithless cowards could take away such a bright shining light and such an outspoken supporter of the people at a time when the people of Pakistan so desperately need her.

May your message continue to be heard through the voices of the people who stood beside you and may your lightness of being continue to be felt by those you left behind. The world has lost yet another brave spirit and as a woman I have lost one of my heroes and I have so few of them.

I hope that in my lifetime I can live with even one ounce of the courage that this determined and remarkable woman has shown.

LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY

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December 31, 2007

To a new year of peace, light and adventure

Ah, the year is coming to a close and the birth of a new one is just round the corner. Can't you just taste the juiciness of all that this new year can offer you? When you close your eyes can't you see the light coming through, the adventures laid out before you, feel your heart wanting to break wide open?

I can....

Namaste,
Kathy

And may I just suggest that you all donate to the organizations and charities that you believe in and support. I have just donated to
Doctor's Without Borders (for my soul), ASPCA (for my heart) and KCRW here in Los Angeles (for my mind).

Pay it forward...

February 8, 2008

We've come a long way, baby

Regardless of who you might plan on voting for in the next Presidential election you must admit that the fact that one party has a black man and a woman as its potential leaders is, well, pretty damn amazing. I am reminded that anything is possible in this country of mine if we allow ourselves the opportunity to use our voices and our vote to make a change. Race and gender have nothing to do with intelligence, integrity and strength. This is what I was raised to believe and I feel blessed to have had a father who used his voice to fight for equal rights for all and became a trail blazer as a professor on the Brown University Campus.

I am my father's daughter.

My very first boyfriend from childhood sent me this video today. He knew I'd appreciate it. I do...

The message is universal and incredibly powerful.

Yes, We Can.

February 24, 2008

Transformation

We've all heard about those people who wake up one morning and realize that the lives that they have been living no longer feel authentic or organic to them. So, they start taking radical steps to create the lives they have always wanted for themselves. We've all heard that old lovely tale, right?

Well, I am one of those people. My name is Kathy.

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Continue reading "Transformation" »

March 1, 2008

I support...

In keeping with another fellow blogger who has decided to promote his charity on his blog, I thought it important that I take this time to do the same as I have long supported several causes that mean a great deal to me and so I thought that I would share them with you.

Here's a little taste of who I am and what I believe in:

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ASPCA - Because it is our responsibility to take care of the wee creatures who cannot fend for themselves. I put my money where my mouth is and donate to them every year.

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Doctors Without Borders - Because these fine men and women fight the good fight all over the world and are often the first on scene to provide medical care for those in need and do an utterly brilliant job at that. I feel great pride in giving what I can to these fine and noble medical professionals. I'd love to volunteer to work with them if I could find a way to do so. Just brilliant.

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American Red Cross - Because during every American disaster I can think of they have been there making the difference for many between life and death. Their help is utterly immeasurable.

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U.S. Campaign for Burma - Because I support the monks and people of Burma and when the men in saffron risk their lives to defend democracy- I pay attention. They are new to me, and I have some reading to do, but so far I am impressed.

There a few others that I am planning on getting involved with and some involve the country of Guatemala, which has become a place that I hold close to my heart. Once I have committed myself, I will post about them as well.

If you find that you support these noble causes as well please donate! And if you have others that are just as meaningful to you as mine are to me then donate to them instead. We can all make a difference...

Be peace,

Kathy

March 21, 2008

Closure

Some of you know that I've been dealing with estate hell and an unstable party (and that's being crazy kind, trust me) for four years now. And some of you know the toll it has taken on me over the years. It hasn't been easy, let me tell you...

Well, it's over.

On Wednesday things were finally settled and one chapter of my life came to a quiet close. And after the fact my brother and I, along with the executor and all of our lawyers, went out and partied it up at Aidan's, my favorite Irish pub here in Rhode Island.

DAMN BLOODY STRAIGHT!

I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned about myself over the course of these four years since my father passed away. What I can tell you right now is that I have come to appreciate the small things in life and have learned to have more patience than I ever thought was possible. I know my father would be proud. Everything I've done was in honor of what he wanted and what he stood for. I am my father's daughter...

Good things ahead! And there is a screenplay percolating in my brain about all of this. Oh yes...

Yoga and travel have been my therapy. One can find salvation in the stillness of a pose or the beauty of a sunset over the rooftops of Antigua. I know I have.

And thanks to those people in my life who have been there for me and stood by me whilst this madness unfolded. I bow to you for being my rocks, my lifelines and my ears to bend on the days the darkness seeped in. I value you far more valuable than the most precious of metals. You have been as important to me as air itself.

I feel big changes a comin', my fine and illustrious people. I can be anything now. Oh, you just wait and see...

Closure is a beautiful thing.

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March 28, 2008

Another bit o' music I'm digging on

I'm seriously digging on my new CD by Yael Naim. She's this wonderful French-Israeli singer/songwriter who sings in French, English and Hebrew on her new self-titled album. My favorite music gal over at Amoeba records recommended it to me a couple of days ago and I've been listening non-stop ever since. Get it!

Here's a seriously feel good and whimsical video of her song
New Soul. Couldn't we all use a little lightness of being right about now?

April 7, 2008

I support the boycott of the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing

I am thoughtful in my decisions and as I will always stand beside those who fight for their right to freedom and freedom of expression, I stand with Reporters Without Borders in their call to boycott the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing. China has not adhered to the promises that were made when they were granted the great honor of hosting the Olympic games in Beijing. Human rights are still being violated and the press is being banned from covering what is taking place there. I will NOT support those who foster the repression of their people.

Call me a wacky chick.

I will, however, always support the brilliant athletes who have worked hard at becoming the very best of the best and I celebrate them regardless of the situation at hand. May they be free, safe and honored for their great efforts and achievements.

Just a little personal freedom of expression here. Bloody damn good thing I have it...


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April 16, 2008

Self portrait/Perspective

I'm back in LA and feeling out of sorts. I am realizing I crave a simpler life and getting out into LA traffic today really pissed me off! I have a wall full of expensive handbags and in Guatemala I am happiest using my $5 handmade native cloth bag that slings across my body and is a little slip of a thing. Funny how you gain perspective when you step out of your box and allow yourself to slowly adapt to another culture. It also makes you appreciate more fully the things you have back in your daily world and how many of them are not really all that important after all...

When you are a real traveler you take on bits of where you've been. You become a fuller person rich with colors and tastes and smells and experiences from other lands.

I am full tonight.

I have so many photos to share but to me this one best captures how I feel. I am a work in progress. I am slowly trying to strip away the sharp and twisty bits and go deeper into the grit, the meat of things. In this moment, in this room in Guatemala, I was filled with wonder, peace, anticipation and a sense of abandon.

~Some moments are just so terribly delicious.~

I am utterly imperfect. And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way...


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April 19, 2008

My six word memoir

A friend from Slow Travel proposed today that we write our travel memoirs using only six words to do so. What a great challenge! Without even putting too much thought into it these words came to me and I realize how much they resonate inside me.

I have been incredibly blessed on my journey's and have always been welcomed with open arms. My friend Deet said something that really made me think the other day when I was parting ways with her in Antigua, Guatemala. Just as we were saying goodbye she told me that no matter where I go, I always make friends. And I realized that she's right. I do.

And so, I bring you my travel memoir in six words:


~Wherever she goes, doors open wide~


Thank you, Deborah, for giving me the idea which then became my mirror and a means to really look at how far I've come and how so many have opened their doors, homes and hearts to me. I must be doing something right...

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May 7, 2008

Myanmar/Burma needs our attention!

The cyclone that hit Myanmar, formerly Burma, has taken over 100,000 lives and they are saying well over one MILLION more have been affected. What I find reprehensible is that the people of Myanmar did not know about the cyclone heading towards them from their own government. The few that knew it was coming only heard reports far too close to the storm actually hitting and those reports were from foreign outlets only. The government of Myanmar let its people down and now the rest of the world is being called upon to help assist those who has been devastated by this natural disaster. To add insult to injury the government is not letting many of the relief workers in so relief efforts are going slowly. What a complete and utter travesty.

News sources are saying the damage is far greater than even that of the Tsunami that greatly affected Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India back in 2004. Something must be done. Much of the area is still under water. Can you imagine what it must be like to live through that? Unfathomable...

I will be donating to relief efforts and most likely give extra money to Doctors Without Borders, my staple source and where I go when I want to contribute to the greater good. They fight the good fight. And yes, they are there making a difference right now!

If you'd like to contribute to the relief efforts Network For Good has a really extensive list of reputable charities who are helping to make a difference.

If you can't give financially, well then perhaps give of yourself on some other level to help those in need right now. There are many ways to give, after all. Be creative.

And on a personal note may I just add that those involved in the relief efforts are the real heroes in this. They are risking their lives to help those in desperate need and are doing so without thought of personal gain or safety. They make the world a better place. To me this is what heroism actually means. We should all be more mindful about throwing the word HERO around. It should only be reserved for those who truly warrant the title.

It's our world, folks. We all have the choice to make a difference.

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Continue reading "Myanmar/Burma needs our attention!" »

May 13, 2008

I'm investing in ME

When I made the decision to take time out of my work life and invest in my yoga training I did it with a sort of blind optimism. I had just gotten to the point where it occurred to me that my life was, well, happening NOW, and that it was about time I created the kind of life that really turned me on, filled me with a sense of excitement and hope. I wanted to wake up every day with a feeling of joyfulness, not just acceptance.

I have no regrets. Best damn money I ever spent. Truly.

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Continue reading "I'm investing in ME" »

July 4, 2008

Celebrating Freedom and Independence

In honor of this Independence Day I would like to take a moment to celebrate Ingrid Betancourt's release as a hostage in Columbia and her safe return to France. She is a reminder to me of how fragile our freedom can be and how beautiful it is to be able to walk this earth as free and loved individuals. After being held captive for years she is still able to have a brightness to her, a playfulness and an ability to express real gratitude and joy with a beautiful smile all the while emanating a lightness of being.

I am humbled by her strength and open-heartedness.

Happy Independence Day. May we all take pause and remember how incredibly lucky we are to be free...

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July 14, 2008

In Case Of Emergency

In case anything happens to me I ask for these simple things:

1. Please make sure my cats are with me. They make the darkest days a lot lighter and I live and breathe them.

2. If I can't be with my cats then please have someone take care of them and love on them for me. They are an extension of who I am.

3. Find my brother Jim and tell him that I want him with me if things get bad. I trust him to kick ass with the doctors. We were a team with my father's care. I know he'll make the right choices. And my cousin's Harry and Patty will be with me too, as will my best friend Jorge. I know that. I am loved.

Please know that I feel profoundly blessed to know that someone will read this, maybe even you, and will make sure that these things happen.

Why am I writing this now, you ask? No, I'm not sick nor depressed. I'm not scheming to end things. I am writing this because someone I know, someone my age, is very sick. She has been diagnosed with cancer, undergone sudden and ungodly surgeries and is fighting the good fight. The road is long and she has just begun her journey.

Life ain't for sissies.

We are trying to bring her beloved cats home to her in NYC as they are currently very far away. One divine woman is working very hard to make this happen. The cats are in Rome where she was planning on living for a while. This was all very unexpected. Her plight has made me realize how important it is for all of us to have our needs be known.

These are my needs and wishes. I hope you will never have to refer to them, but if you do, I thank you for your love, kindness and friendship.

And to the lovely Diana I say this: your generosity of spirit is beautiful.

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July 17, 2008

I always said I'd do retreats

Just a short note to announce that april 15-22, 2009, I will be holding my first yoga retreat on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala with my friends and fellow teachers, Linda Eifer and Tom Jermain. Yes, I am doing it! And yes, it will be playful and joyful and amazing! We three are such a great team. They have both been my own teachers and I have grown so much with them beside me. Now they are my partners as well. I am humbled that they believe in my vision.

We'll have a website up soon. I just wanted to share the news. And it will be a true vacation retreat where people get a taste of the Guatemalan culture, get to do some yoga, eat great food, savor spa treats and simply relax. It's the retreat I'd want to go on myself.


And yes, we really can make our dreams come true...

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July 30, 2008

STAND UP TO CANCER

There is an amazing event taking place on September 5th and I wanted to share it with you.

ABC, CBS and NBC - all three major US networks, will be broadcasting STAND UP TO CANCER, a cancer awareness and fundraising event that will be aired at 8.00 p.m. on both coasts. It will be a historic collaboration and a means to unite the country in the fight against cancer.

Once you watch this incredibly well done PSA (Public Service Announcement) I know you will be just as moved and inspired as I was. I am always humbled by just how powerful we as people can be when we come together.

One out of every two men will get cancer in his lifetime. One out of every three women will as well. We have the power to stand up against these statistics. We have the power to pave the way for more research one dollar at a time...

I'm donating and I'll be watching, will you?


Let's stand up to cancer.

September 8, 2008

Cat love

When I brought this little four month old man home from Guatemala I never realized how much he'd effect my life. My heart has grown about three sizes since he came to me. I have daily epiphanies about what I need to change in my life and what I've been missing. I feel nothing but pure unadulterated love 24-7 and he's reminded me how much I need play in my life.

I'm all about the play now.

I highly recommend taking a kitten or puppy in who needs a home. And yes, it IS possible to take a cat or dog home from other countries. More than anything else it takes commitment and perseverance, that and a supportive vet who will help you through it.

Yes, I got detained FIVE TIMES in Mexico City trying to bring him home and almost took down a bitchy Air Mexicana representative who tried to stop me from boarding the plane. Yes, I had to ask two pilots for permission to board their planes with a kitten in tow. It was not easy, I assure you. I was in tears by the time my second flight took off. Getting a kitten in the cabin of an Air Mexican plane is like asking to board with big ass scissors in hand. And I imagine it's easier to get heroin through Mexico City airport than a wee kitten in a wee carrier. Good grief. Not a fan of that airport. Nope.

Ah, but then I got home and this little man let me know just how happy he was to be here with me and, well, what trouble getting him here? Come again?

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Woody's vet in Antigua was Cynthia Burski, D.V.M. She is an American living in Guatemala and she is compassionate, kind and just plain wonderful. She sent someone into Guatemala City to get all Woody's immigration papers and letters of permission for me. I could tell she wanted me to take him home with me. I would have been completely lost without her. We love you, Cynthia!

September 11, 2008

Patience

I said many months ago that a family matter had settled and I was finally done with four years of drama, pain and exhaustion. Well, I was. We were. And then one person, one terribly destructive person, reneged on their word and the needless drama has continued. This has meant another trip back east, more legal fees, more time out of work and more stress. Some people simply don't know how to get out of their own way. It is both infuriating and tragic all at once.

Ah, the unpredictability of life.

Patience. I have learned to have far more of it over these past few years. I have learned to let go of expectations on many levels and now live my life without the thought that some magical thing will happen that will bring me wealth, happiness or love. I have grown from this process. In some quiet and yet profound way I am grateful for this process. I now know that I must create these things on my own. We all must. We are owed nothing. We are our own knights in shining armour, our own saints to pray to and our own investor checking accounts.

Patience. I am learning...

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September 24, 2008

How I'm spending my birthday

On this anniversary of my birth I am taking the day to do any damn thing I want. Yes, that's right! Nothing planned except dinner with my best friend Jorge later this evening. I want a day of the unexpected. I am opening the door wide and seeing where the day takes me...

A movie? A chance meeting with a handsome stranger? A little shopping? A glass of wine on a deck somewhere overlooking the city? A kiss that makes me come undone? A little reckless abandon?

Perhaps...

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October 21, 2008

Embracing solidarity

During a time of such extreme division and polarization I am joining the ranks of those adopting Barack Obama's middle name. It is a sad time in the world when someone's middle name is used against them as a means to somehow negate all that they represent and all the good they can do. Not all that long ago a Jewish name was seen as a negative. Are we really that ass backward, still?

I've had to look long and hard at my own prejudices during the last few years and this election has really made me take pause and see so clearly how ugly and hateful people can get and how ignorance is the greatest culprit. An open mind leads to an open heart. I am trying very hard to have both right now.

So, until November 5th my name is Katherine Hussein Bray.

Deal with it.

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November 4, 2008

I VOTED FOR BARACK OBAMA

DID YOU?

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Photo by Simon Catford

Yes We Can

December 24, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Make love, eat chocolate, drink wine, laugh and dance. May the spirit of the season take hold and fill you with light and love...

Kathy

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January 22, 2009

Ruminations from Dallas

The training with Judith Lasater is going really well and I am learning so much more about working with client's ailments and issues. Judith always laces philosophy and little stories throughout her trainings (this is my second) and I really appreciate them. She was one of the people who started The Yoga Journal! It all began in her living room... This chick is old school. It feels good to be so fully present with someone who returns in kind. She truly is a remarkable yoga teacher and woman. I feel inspired.

I am incredibly grateful to Scott, the manager here at the Holiday Inn Market Center for hooking me up with the Queen's Suite. I'll have some of my fellow trainees up for wine and snacks one night before I leave. There's room for everyone. I feel crazy blessed for the good stuff that steps out and finds me. I'd like to think I am manifesting it myself. It's amazing how making positive changes in your life throws open those doors and lets to good jiu-jiu in.

Did I mention that there is a Mr. Teachick on scene these days? Well, there is. He's yummy and loving and came as a surprise. There you have it. This single and Solo girl is a little less single, but still enjoys her solo adventures. Thankfully, he's just as much of an adventurer as I am.

As if it could be any other way?

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February 3, 2009

Dallas, yoga and friends...

Things are a bit hectic back in L.A. at present but just a quick note to wind up my time in Dallas.


A big fat thank you to Kendall Inman of Living Yoga Dallas who ran the yoga event and training with Judith Lasater. She is a truly fabulous woman and I'm sure we'll be spending more time together in the future. She's a fellow yoga teacher and she was a blast at the training! Namaste, sweet girl!

I met a wonderful new friend in Dallas and she became my partner in crime. LeAnn, if you read this, thanks for the amazing girl talk and sake fun. You are a jewel to me!

And a shout out to Scott, the manager at The Holiday Inn Dallas Market Center. His staff took such god care of me and when one little thing got funky (a crazy noise that kept me up all night) they comped me a night's stay and apologized profusely. I hope you liked that bottle of red wine I left you, Scott. It's a sweet little number from California. You're the best!

And I am once again both humbled and inspired by my teacher, Judith Lasater. I came home a richer soul who has better skills as both a yoga teacher and a human being. Her husband, Ike Lasater, teaches something called Non-violent Communication and I am looking forward to studying with him one day. Judith incorporates this into her teaching style. It is utterly brilliant. Seriously.

So, on next to my advanced Restorative Yoga training and certification with Judith in NYC come May if all goes according to plan. Good stuff!

Yoga therapy is a new and wonderful addition to my teaching repertoire. I love this path that I am on. Oh yes...

June 25, 2009

You gave me butterflies...

He was flawed. He seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. He was an enigma.

But then there was his music. He was, and always will be, our king of pop. He moved in ways that made men and women alike swoon. We all tried to imitate him. He was so talented that it was often hard to remember that really, in the end, he was just a man.

He was just a man. And he is gone.

Thank you for so many years of pleasure, Michael. Thank you for the hours upon hours of dancing and giving us, all of us, a common thing to share for years to come. Your music.

Thank you... thank you... thank you...

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~Rest in peace~

July 14, 2009

Summer, Love and Lessons.

I've been busy with the new husband and life these past few months. Travel to Guatemala, teaching yoga and lots of training woven in. This solo chick has been adjusting to not being so solo all the time. Thankfully, Simon is an adventurer and solo traveler as well so we have found we have a great rythm when we travel together. I'll keep traveling solo as well, of course. Perhaps I've found the best of both worlds? Much gratitude these days. Many lessons as well.

And now there's Summer...

I'll be in San Francisco next month for a week doing another Restorative Yoga training with my teacher, Judith Lasater, and have several other trainings up my sleeve bringing me to the end of Summer. There is talk of a trip to Australia to meet the In-Laws and there is talk of a trip to Europe come Fall! I am restless and suffering from a serious bout of wanderlust.

Travel is my salve and salvation...

I am grateful for a lot these days and am reminded that less and less I can make space for those who offer me nothing more than hot air or words that drop off the screen like dying flies. Perhaps this Summer has made me clearer on many levels and less inclined to engage in needless expended energy. Alas, growth can hurt. Yes. I am growing.

We make time for those who make time for us. Excuses become insults. And really, after a while, you just stop picking up the phone or answering the emails. Life is short, after all. I say live it fully and authentically.

Live honorably, make space for those special and dear to you, stay fully present with love and savor a wild sense of adventure.

These are my mantras.

Happy Summer...

Kathy

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August 4, 2009

Life script writing 101: NEW RULES

People always say that it's not easy to change your life. I say those are the people who are still sadly stuck in their old script, the one written for them long ago, the one friends, family and colleagues have cast them in. This is just the reality of things. I get it and I understand. The question now is, are you ready to burn it?

Changing your life starts with the simplest of things: you begin to write the script for your life that has the things in it that turn you on. You know, make you all shiny and bright. You draft the script that you want to play the lead in! You become your own writer, editor and story boarder. The only opinion that counts is your own.

I kid you not. Your opinion is not only the only one you need it is freaking brilliant at that.

The people in your life who nag at you, beg you to stay in that familiar script, continue to demand that you stay where you are as anything else just plain freaks them out are the ones to perhaps leave out of the new and improved script of your life - the one YOU are writing. I mean really, do you want critics in your life judging your every move and looking upon you with that disapproving you-should-know-better look? Hello?

Exits are in the rear of the building. Make sure to get your parking ticket validated on the way out. Safe travels and remember to buckle up!

When we change we often frighten, unsettle, mystify and rattle those around us. The ones who have a pure heart and want only what is truly best for our own growth and our own life journey will applaud our courage and tenacity. There may be some initial resistance or trepidation, but that will pass. They will dance along with us and encourage us to go further. The ones who will not?

Ditch 'em.

I can tell you from own my life journey, my own redirection and rewriting of my own life script that I have had to do some serious house cleaning to lovingly let go of the naysayers, the threatened ones who wanted to keep me in my box and the ones casting judgement. It has been painful at times and my world surely got a bit smaller at first, oh yes. But it has also slowly gotten far richer and more interesting. I have made way for the like minded life writers and we have embraced each other's scripts. We are aware of the sacrifices we have made to do those rewrites. And every last one of us will tell you the very same thing: No regrets.

I mean really, how dare we take the time to find new paths, to travel the world and experience new cultures, to see and taste new things, to feel alive and to live the lives that make our souls sing. Are we barking mad? Are we reckless beasts only out for our own happiness and pleasure?

How utterly and deliciously wicked we are!!!

So, here's the question: what would you like your new life script to look like? In your perfect world free from doubt and the voices of those who might tell you to stay just where you are, what would your life look like? What script changes would you like to make? Who would you like to become?

DIG IN.

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October 5, 2009

Karuna Yoga Teacher Training

Two months ago I made the commitment to immerse myself in another full fledged yoga teacher training. I mean seven full weeks of Hatha and Kundalini yoga training with nothing but all yoga, all the time. I'm talking daily home practice, weekly classes at the studio, and hours upon hours of lecture, teaching one another and discussion. That's right: I invested in me!

It has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself.

Though I am trained in Anusara Yoga and Restorative Yoga I have felt for some time that something has been missing. While I love many aspects of Anusara Yoga and am grateful for the solid foundation that it has given me, I have been missing a softer kind of yoga, something that I feel is more in keeping with my Restorative Yoga teaching.

I set out a while back to bring something new into the mix as I have wanted to create soothing asana classes that I know are needed in today's fast paced world. I ended my search for another teacher training when I found Kelly Wood and Karuna Yoga here in Los Angeles. I signed up a few days later.

I have found during this training that I took in more than I did with my first asana yoga training as we were a very small group which made things very intimate and nurturing. There were only nine of us which I loved. This training was also not about teaching only one style of yoga which I found made it more relatable and accessible. Kelly is lovely and her combined experience as a Kundalini Yoga teacher and a Hatha Yoga teacher really brings something rich and full to the table. Her experience as a dancer adds something wonderfully graceful to the teachings as well. She's also incredibly intelligent. I like my women smart!

Her Yoga Dance class happens to be my all time favorite yoga class - ever.

After two incredibly full months of training I turned in my final exam this past Saturday. It was 12 pages typed and felt like gold in my hands. The feeling of completing this journey was so empowering. The love and connection this small group of yogis shared was profound and beautiful. We came together with our own life stories, issues and convictions and left with one shared story of this time together. I hold a special place in my heart for each of these shining creatures. I am forever humbled by them.

I've done many teacher trainings now and I will say that this was more than a yoga training. It was a life altering experience. I am facing things that I have long run from and in doing so I can feel my feet more solidly on the ground. Each day feels a bit different. I feel more settled in my skin.

Who doesn't need a little bit more of that in their lives?

Kelly herself is a complex creature. Very beautiful and centered and yet so clearly real and flawed like the rest of us. This makes her a very present teacher. The more I get to know her the more I respect and care for her. My gratitude to her for creating such a supportive space where I have found my feet and felt safe in expanding my work as a teacher and healer.

Bellissima...

If you are looking for a yoga teacher training here in Los Angeles that is small and feels very grassroots and grounding, I highly recommend Karuna Yoga and Kelly Wood. It's not just a Yoga training, it's a life experience.

Live life. Love fully. Savor anything and everything delicious.

Namaste & Sat Nam...

Kathy

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Photo cannot be reprinted without permission.

January 14, 2010

HAITI - SUPPORT - NOW

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

I've donated. Will you?

May 10, 2010

Restorative Yoga Workshop at Urth Yoga

I am holding a Restorative Yoga workshop at Urth Yoga on Sunday, May 23 from 1-4PM. You can read more about my workshop here:

Restorative Bliss Workshop

This is my passion. This gives me great pleasure and I look forward to sharing it with you. Come play...

Kathy

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September 12, 2010

Dare to be original

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Who says there is only one way to do things, teach things or say things? Pave your own path. Learn to listen to your own true beautiful voice. Be daring enough to break free of the pack and create something unique and powerful of your very own. Why settle for anything less than yourself?

Be your own guru...

September 15, 2010

To the glorious women in my life

I take pause to express my gratitude and deep and profound love and friendship to all of you who I hold dear ~ you lovely ladies ~ and I thank each and every one of you for holding space for me, nurturing me and sharing your stories with me. Most of you are far away and though the distance remains, I feel blessed just knowing that you are an email, a Facebook update or a phone call away.

Love... love... and more love to all of you beautiful and shining stars.

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September 26, 2010

My truth about turning 45

Yes, this little teachick has landed in her 45th year. It's still a bit shocking to me as I feel like such a kid most of the time. How the time passes! I spent the day with my love savoring good food and cheer and met a dear old friend for some cake and coffee. Now we're off to Austin for a few days to soothe our souls with some quality Barton Springs dipping time and a few cocktails to celebrate life... YES.

How do I feel, you ask? Well, I feel pretty damn in my skin would have to be my honest answer. I'm teaching what I love, I'm about to embark on another training to offer something even more wonderfully healing to my students and clients and I'm told I've held up well. Yes, good genes don't hurt! I always say a good attitude hurts even less...

How have I gotten here?

The truth is that I've had a few incredibly stressful years that have put more than a few grey hairs on my head and have driven me close to madness more than a few times. There were days I was sure nothing made sense and the night was my only safe cover. I've moved through.

No, I'm moving through. All the good stuff doesn't just happen overnight.

I care less about what people think of me now. I try harder to be a nicer person. I stop and smell those flowers each and every time I pass them. I have gratitude for the small gifts far more often than I ever sink into regret about what I've lost or don't have. I've learned to have empathy for myself and in turn, I have more of it for others as well. I take pause more. I have an appreciation for the sheer imperfection of life and find myself laughing far more than I find myself crying. Baby steps.

I struggle
I judge
I forgive
I move on
I'm human

I am 45 and I am me

What happens next, well, that is a beautiful mystery...

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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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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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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

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