Friday, December 14, 2007

Morning Leisure

Oh yes my friends, get set for some Flow Yoga led by yours truly at the Terrace Arena beginning Thursday January 10th, 2008 - each and every Thursday morning 9am - 10am.

Here's a little something to get in the groove ... Master BNS Iyengar, Yogi Bob, the scent of Jasmine flowers and flexibility beyond imagination.

happy holidays

Amidst the hustle and bustle, make time to breathe.

At this busy time it's so easy to overextend, over-commit and wear oneself out physically, emotionally and mentally.

The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, laughter, giving and spending time with friends and family -- however, it's easy to get all 'wrapped up' in the consumption and obligations.

My gift to myself is to set boundaries, to maintain some form of discipline and work towards my passion projects. In doing so, I will have more energy to give to my loved ones and my community.

There is so much to be thankful for this year. Our rainforest retreat is being renovated by Santa Clause himself, Mr. David Ealing - master carpenter, cabinet maker, and all around jolly good fellow. I am going to visit my dad, Cindy and little brothers who are anything but little in Grande Prairie. I am sending parcels of love and goodness to my mom, Emeric and Mamique in France, Lolly and Len in St. Catharines and the Gourlay family in Cambridge, ON. And it's Bob's surprise 30th birthday party on Friday. We'll be sure to have a household of kind-hearted folks who love the great outdoors and to have a rip roarin' good time.

This year and in 2008, I am giving (and receiving) the gift of yoga.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A poetic guide to the yamas and niyamas

The great commandments transcending creed, country, age and time.

Yamas - Guidelines for how we interact with the outer world. Social disciplines to guide us in our relationships with others.

Ahimsa (non-violence)

Violence is a state of mind,
Arising out of fear.
Give love to all mankind,
And the path to happiness will become clear.

Satya (truthfulness)

Telling lies is so unfair,
It tells your friends you do not care.
Words are remembered if they’re good and true;
Be honest in everything you do.

Asteya (non-stealing)

If it isn't yours, leave it be,
Control temptation and you'll be free.

Brahmacharya (self-containment)

Restrain your impure desires and wants,
In complete simplicity strive to live.
Put yourself above need or pretence,
And the best from your heart you will give.

Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)

Yearning for what you cannot have,
Will lead to a dissatisfied heart.
Appreciate what you have right now,
Being content is an excellent start.

Niyamas - The rules of conduct applying to individual discipline.

Saucha (Purity)

Cleanse yourself on the outside,
And others you will not annoy.
Purify yourself on the inside,
And you will experience radiance and joy.

Santoshoa (Contentment)

Detach yourself from human conflict,
It disturbs your peace of mind.
Find instead a tranquil state,
And contentment you will find.

Swadhyaya (self-education)

Knowledge has a beginning but no end,
On the quest for truth, much time you'll spend.
Showing love in the things you do,
Will bring out the best in you.

Tapas (Austerity)

For a life illuminated pure and divine,
A worthy goal you must define.
Burn up undisciplined desires,
And a wonderful purity you’ll acquire.

Isvara pranidhana: Dedication to the Lord

He who has faith does not despair,
He has illumination.
Instead of making selfish plans and being attached to pleasures,

He'll shower love on all mankind and bow in worshiping dedication.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thanks ... Giving

Another Thanksgiving is upon us and this year I give thanks to my loved ones for the continual support and unconditional love they provide. I especially want to acknowledge my two grandmothers, one of which has passed on but her memory holds strong and dear in my heart. This year I will be making her special parsnip dish which we all loved growing up. And to my Lolly who just had a mastectomy yesterday on her birthday. Lolly is a fire cracker with the courage of a lion. I am sending healing energy across the country from Terrace to St. Catharnines.

I would also like to remember little Padma Dechen in Leh Ladakh who has brought me more happiness and peace than she'll ever know. This will be the second year that I sponsor her education and this type of service to others provides so much fulfillment and nourishment for the soul. Padma has grown so much since the time I spent with her in summer 2006. I miss her dearly and know that I will be with her again in the near future.

Happy thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Healing Energy

Healthy mind = Healthy body = Loving heart

In this life full of ups and downs, the best thing you can do for yourself is:

1) clear all past traumas that carry a negative charge on them

2) clear any other ongoing stressors or conscious conflicts

3) spend 5 minutes a day writing a gratitude list. We attract into our lives what we focus on

When we focus on what is going right at the moment (i.e. focusing on what we do want, not on what we don't want), we tend to attract more of those good feelings into our lives. And by writing a gratitude list, we trigger positive emotions and healing energy. Here's mine for today:

~ a loving partner and beautiful home

~ living amongst rugged beauty full of outdoor activity and adventure

~ two of the cutest kittens you have ever seen (Boots and Kleanza)

~ food in the tummy / freedom to make healthy choices

~ a few good friends who will always be there no matter what the distance

~ a positively charged family that gives unconditional love and support

~ independence and freedom in my creative outlets and employment

~ my passion for yoga and quest to continue learning and practicing

~ correspondence with Padma Dechen and the wonderful people I met in Leh, Ladakh

The picture on this post was taken in Feb 07 at Shames Mountain

We had a spectacular ski season and are looking forward to next year. Can you believe an early bird pass is so cheap! Life in the northwest is good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Month of May

My special month is quickly coming to a close. I had a wonderful few weeks of birthday celebrations with friends and family. The highlight was our Saturday party @ our pad in Terrace -- my happy birthday song with 20+ people singing their hearts out still sends shivers up my spine. I loved that moment of glory and man was my vanilla cake that Meredith made ever delicious. Of course any party at our place ends in a living room dance extravaganza. This one lasted till 4:30 am -- my calves are still burning. What fun!

As we head into June, there are a million loose ends to tie up before I depart to Ontario for my month long holiday. Kermodei Tourism is in full swing with people coming and going ... three new summer students will be hired and I hope to have them up to speed and running the show in my absence. I have been focusing on the web site and plan to up the anti by adding lots of media rich content within a fresh new design. I am going to interview backcountry skiiers, take footage of mountain biking stunts on the new trails, crazy river rapids, etc. This is where the fun starts. I am then going to learn how to edit video and create slideshows on my power mac. Alright here we go! I will post these vignettes as I complete them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Giving Thanks

Big ups to my main man Bob for giving his all in all that we do. A heart of gold and his compassionate ways brings sunshine to a rainy day. My promise is to practice patience, courage, understanding and to try to let go of old habits and pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. Day by day I will take it nice and easy ... because once you let go of the reigns, abundance follows.

And this month is my month (and Nanny's too). May with all it's beautiful flowers and newfound sunshine makes me super happy. Only 8 more days till my birthday. It's hard to believe I am turning 34 ... grey hairs look out! I still feel like I am 17. Yahoo!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spring Run-off

I am beginning to shed some layers and a couple of pounds too. It's been a long winter and now that spring is here and the days are long, my happy factor is on the rise. This week has been full of good news:
  • Our closing date on our very first home together is tomorrow - a cute little place on six acres of Rainforest with a barn for my future horses
  • Bobby gave Nomsies a cute little sports car to rip around town in
  • I bought my plane ticket to Ontario for the summer - I leave June 30th and return July 27th
  • Two Kermodei Tourism proposals that I submitted came through with funding for projects
  • We are painting Totem Press this weekend in bright, fresh colours
  • I began work on Treehouse Yoga and have started teaching classes in my new studio - which I LOVE!
  • I received a letter from Leh, Ladakh from my little girl Padma Dechen - she received the photo album I made for her - yippee
  • I sent a letter to Padma's school to inquire about volunteer opportunities
  • I joined a gym and am circuit training 3 times a week
  • I am walking on Ferry Island a couple of times a week at my lunch hour with my pal Debbie Simons, the manager of the Visitor Centre
  • I was featured in the local paper, the Northern Connector
And that's the good news of the day.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Feeling Blue

This week has been a tough one:
- my grandmother fell and broke her shoulder and is in the hospital
- Jerry Weber our life long family friend has been told by the doctors he only has one month left to live
- my investment bank misplaced my life savings
- there has been a ton of work stress between Kermodei Tourism and Digital Minds
- I have to re-do all of my accounting for 2006
- And now I have a sore throat and sinus infection

So as the old saying goes, 'What doesn't kill us makes us stronger'. And I want to believe this maxim.

I have uploaded this picture because it makes me smile. I miss my friends and family so much. It's been a tough transition moving to the other side of the country but I know in my heart that I am truly blessed. If we didn't go through the hard times how could we appreciate the good?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Heart Day

Today I am feeling the love. Kudos to St. Valentino, I heard he was an amazing guy!
It's Valentine's Day, the one day of the year that is dedicated to love. And now we're off for our romantic dinner at the Bavarian Inn.

Friday, February 9, 2007

My new job

Well I suppose it's quite fitting that now I am sitting on the other side of the tourism fence. The yin and yan of life are in full force once again. I am now the Executive Director for Kermodei Tourism -- the 'all-in-one' tourism organization that the City of Terrace has funded and is in full support. It's been an interesting transition full of twists and turns.

Before we left for our holidays, I got a call from KT to come in for an interview. At that point, I had just been laid off by TTS and was getting quite excited by the idea of skiing all winter and working on my yoga boutique. Alas, I landed the job and so I decided to go for it ... to try and make a difference and meet new people. KT's mandate encompasses not only marketing but product and infrastructure development, advocacy and lobbying, training and education. Hmmm, no time like the present to step up to the challenge and continue to learn and grow and change.

As for TTS, their entire Board of Directors resigned as they felt they had no alternative and no support from their membership. This is such a shame as the Society has been in existence for so many years and they had worked so hard to make a name for themselves and to bring visitors to Terrace. In the end, it came down to politics, personalities and perhaps miscommunication.

I hope to bridge the gap between this great divide and help develop Terrace into the premier eco-tourism destination of the north-west.

Moment by moment

Well it's been almost two months since my last entry and as Buddha says, 'Everything changes, nothing remains without change'. While this rings true, there are moments where I feel stuck, confused, in a holding pattern of some kind. I guess today is one of those days and I can't quite put my finger on the problem. I have always placed such high expectations on myself and on my partner. Perhaps I am just not living up to the standards I have set in my mind. I feel as though I am losing motivation and passion. Am I pursuing my true calling? What is that true calling anyway? Am I going in the right direction? Standing up for myself? Making the right decisions to attain true happiness? Connecting with the people that matter?

On this blog, I am going to let it all hang out. I am going to try my best to express my true feelings. I know that it helps to write a stream of consciousness. I hold so much inside that I need the release. One of the main issues is that I have been neglecting my yoga practice and therefore neglecting myself. I have not been taking full advantage of the outdoors and all the wonderful activities that coincide with winter. And there are always a million excuses. I'll do it tomorrow, it's too cold, I'm too tired, I'm hungry, I have to go to work. Well, cry me a river! I am not starving or homeless or destitute. In fact, it's just the opposite. I am so incredibly lucky as Bob will be the first to attest. We have it all - a beautiful home, good jobs, friends and family that care. Why do I continually look at the worst case scenario? I guess I am feeling a little disconnected and needy at the moment. It's not easy moving to a new town where you know no one and you are trying to figure out how best to fit in. Yes, we have met some really neat people and I hope in time that I will begin to feel more at ease within this new community and more content with just being on my own. I miss my family and friends in Ontario so incredibly much. It's just not the same without them. I know that I moved to Terrace for Bob and perhaps I blame him for my nostalgia and uncertainty of the future. How long will we live in Terrace? Will I come to call this place my home? Am I limiting my opportunities by moving to such an isolated town? Or am I opening a whole new world of possibility? Well I think I just answered my own question. It's all in the mindset and as Buddha so beautifully states, 'With our thoughts, we make the world'. I want to shine like the stars. I want to set goals and achieve them. I want to live in peace and harmony. I want to be happy and make others happy as well. I want to do good in my community. I want to relax and just be in the moment. So let's start again. 'Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present of the moment'.