Your Passion for Life or “What I learned at 14,000 feet”

“Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman


This year I received one of the best Christmas presents that I have ever gotten, my Hubby bought me a gift certificate to Chattanooga Skydiving, Yep an opportunity to Skydive…to jump out of a plane, at 14,000 feet. Oh let me tell you I have always wanted to do it..always! It’s is just one of those things I kept putting off, usually for very practical reason, every time I would get an extra $200 I would think of a bill I should pay or debt I could pay down, or one of the kids (or me) needed tires. So, on the back burner it went, along with the tattoos I have always wanted and that cruise I have never taken. But my wonderful Daughter in law got the same gift certificate from my son, so off we went the day after Christmas and holy crap it was amazing. The anticipation of the event might have been the best part, or the flight up to 14,000 ft or the thrill of exiting a plane at that altitude doing 70 mph, or maybe it was the 60 sec of free fall, or the view as you slowly descend after pulling the ripcord…oh the view! It took my breath away. Ok I don’t know what the best part was, but I can tell you it was the best thing I did in 2014.
It thrilled me, it messed up my hair, and it put a smile on my face that I still can’t get rid of…..
But what it really did was remind me that I am alive. Really alive.
And sometimes we need that reminder. We get caught up in the mundane, the ordinary, the routines of life and we forget to live (with a capital ‘L‘). Too many years of doing that and you forget your passion, your purpose and the reasons why you love life.
So how do you revive your passion, what do you need to do to get your groove back? Well you don’t have to jump from moving plane, (but seriously you should try it)
Here are a few tips to jump (get it, jump…..) start your passion,
Slow down
When we slow down, we are able hear our inner dialogue. Slowing down might mean do yoga, taking a long walk in nature or practicing mediation. It might also mean stopping everything so you can do the one thing you have always wanted to do. Yes even free-falling at 100 mph can be a kind of slowing down.
Change your story
You know the one you tell yourself, about who you are or think you are. If we can understand our self-limiting stories, the ones that foster a negative idea about ourselves, then we can begin to eliminate them by writing new ones. Tell yourself the good things about you and when you do that from a place of confidence you can start to map out strategies for living your best life.
Cultivate that confidence
If we are continually telling ourselves we can’t, then we will never believe we can. There is always a chance you may fail, but if you don’t have the confidence to try you will never know.
Own your uniqueness
Viva la Difference! We are all here for a reason and we are all unique, we have talents, and wisdom born from our struggles, strength and skills we have learned. We all have something to offer.
Look for the patterns
Recognizing the recurring themes in our lives helps us to create a pattern for us to either follow or change. What themes or lessons seem to constantly surface in your life? What are you drawn to again and again? What areas of life seem to be full of discomfort and pain? What areas are full of joy and light?
Don’t worry about writing something for someone else to read, just get your thoughts and ideas on paper. Write without an agenda, write without editing and write without judgments. You might be surprised what comes out & up. You just might find yourself writing about the next chapter in your life.
Do something fun  (like jump out of a plane)
Too often we get wrapped up in the to-do lists instead of what is most important. What do you love to do? What makes you smile? If money were limitless, what would you be doing today?
Do it now
It’s easy to tell ourselves that’s we’ll ‘do that ‘ when we have more experience, more money, or more time, but the truth is, that will never happen. Life is short, do put off till tomorrow what you can do today. I’m not saying break the bank or go into debt to live your passion, but perhaps you can identify & start saving so you can do it soon.
De-clutter your life
All the “stuff” in our lives overwhelms us and paralyzes us from taking action. We have no idea where to start or what to do first. So quite often, we do nothing. And thus everything stays the same. Clearing the clutter of your life is important work. It forces you to take an honest look at yourself and your life to see how you have strayed from the path of becoming the person you want to be.
An abundance of things and unnecessary physical clutter drains us of energy we could put toward living a creative, passionate life. Instead of constantly reorganizing things, cleaning and repairing we could be experiencing and creating something that is deeply fulfilling, fun, and important.
… Oh in case you were thinking ‘she just said that about skydiving to make a point well here is the video to prove I did it!!  And yes it was cold… hence the earmuffs and about 4 layers of clothing.


Om Shanti


Nothing to do with Yoga….well everything is a little yogi-like

Great article and all I have to say is…

Well DUH!……. Children learn how to use their bodies by USING THEM! Why in the name of all that is holy do we think it is ok to imprison kids behind desks all day long. I raised 3 boys (+1) the biggest argument I had with teachers who wanted to have all of them tested (none of them were and they are all fine thank you very much!) was why don’t they have more time to play. It is through play that children learn healthy interaction with others, through play we learn leadership skills ( and ‘follower’ skills equally as important), through play we make our bodies fit & healthy enough to take on the shit that adulthood throws at us.   I chose to homeschool my 3 boys for about 2 years and it was amazing and I wished I could have done it longer (got divorced ect ect ). My middle son would take his books, climb the tree in the front yard and do his reading assignments.  And we took chalk and did math on the sidewalk. We would go to the parks and museums. We were very active and I still made sure they all had a ‘recess’ even my teenager. Bring back recess! Dear God bring back their childhood! Bring back play it is as necessary to their growth as breathing….and folks I can preach about breathin’, yes I can!

Parents set a time everyday for a controlled Blackout…turn off all electronics and kick their sweet, darling little butts outside.

OK my rant for the day is over Now go play in the Yard! And go read the article that prompted my rant.

Om Shanti!




Ice cream castles in the air

Storms in the distance
Clouds often tell the story
Turmoil of the heart

Even from something potentially dangerous and to some folks scary, can come great beauty and wonder. Earlier this week I came home from a long day of classes, clients and banking , with a storm hot on my heels.

The clouds came rolling in, and with the rumble of  thunder in the distance, coming closer and closer,  I sat on the patio, a glass of wine in hand and watched the light show. It wasnt quite dark yet and the sun was still shining, reflecting off the billowing white clouds. The sunlight mingled with the approaching storm to produce the most beautiful clouds and sunset. These pictures don’t do them justice, maybe you had to have the wind blowing your hair in your face and the sound of thunder to get the full effect.

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton…I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by… If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations… What do you think you see, Linus?”
“Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen… I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side…”
“Uh huh… That’s very good… What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”
“Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”
Charles M. Schulz
What do you see when you look at clouds?
Om Shanti

What a waste of time!

Fear is a waste of time, energy and potential. Use your time & energy wisely and you will find your potential.

So what fear blocks you from your potential?

Fear of loss or maybe of winning? Fear of failure or success? Fear of death or life? Fear of pain or change? The list is endless…until you decide to end it.

Fear causes us to shrink, to draw in and retreat. But fear you say can keep us safe, when we’re afraid of fire we’re less likely to get burned, but wouldn’t it be more productive if instead of fear based thinking, you could turn it around and tell yourself you have a healthy respect for things that could do potential harm. Respect inst the same as fear. Fear holds you back from all that you could achieve and all that you could do for others. Turn your thoughts around and ‘fear’ of something becomes ‘doing’ something and ‘being’ someone.

And really, all you get from a fear of fire is the inability to roast marshmallows.

Om shanti


From the Pen of Roamaboutmike

This is a great post, that’s why it made fresh pressed. And it made me think of my friend Jules. She Loves Coffe as much as I do 🙂

And this is what I wrote to Roamaboutmike in response….

Nope, never even tried. In the name of all things Yogi I gave up meat…mostly. Because of yoga teachers training I gave up alcohol…sorta. And for financial reasons I gave up smoking, 27 years ago, seriously I was not going to pay a $1 a pack for something that was going to kill me and made kissing me taste like kissing an ashtray. At least thats what Boyfriend said.
But give up, coffee! Java, cup-a-joe, cup-a-mud what were you thinking. Look there are only 2 kinds of people in the world…just 2! They come in all colors, all genders, all races and all nationalities. They are Leapers… and …Creepers. Leapers get up in the morning, walk the dog, pick fresh spinach for their egg white omelets and start a load of laundry, before they pee and brush their teeth. We hate them. We who require 2 cups of hot love just to get through Good Morning America, while still in our jammies. We Creepers of the world Unite! Embrace your love of Coffee and bow low to the sacred bean that brings productivity to our existence. SO GO, Go all Gillmore Girls on the leapers of this world. Take back your mornings!
Oh and BTW cola & tea dont count. It must be hot, thick, strong and able to leap tall buildings. Hail to thee! Coffee Coffee Coffee.


My proclivity for drinking coffee stems from an innate hatred of mornings. I like the nightlife; I like to boogie – so while most people are bounding out of bed yipping about sunshine and lollipops in  super-chipper voices, I’m calling the alarm clock a filthy name, hoping I don’t break yet another snooze button. 

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What did Yoga teach me this week? ..Flexibility of course or “If the boot fits, but is broken, do I still have to wear it?”

I’m not talking about the physical flexibility, but the mental, emotional and situational flexibility, that’s what I’m talking about. Mostly the situational, to be able to change your plans as quickly as life will change them for you, just another place where yoga can come in handy.

My Hubby and I had planned a backpacking trip for months, seriously, months! There are whole sections of the AT, locally, that we have never been on, and we want to get them off our bucket lists.  We had never done the leg from the Terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springers MT in GA to Woody Gap. Now I don’t have as many vacation days as Mike, so we were planning to start the trip together then I was coming out on day 3, heading home and he was going on for 5 more days (lucky Bas***d). A lot of planning went into this trip, we mapped it all out, Mike got a new pack and we planned all the meals, then bought the food and packaged it up in a way that reduces the weight you have to carry. We inspected all our equipment, re stocked the first aid kit and I dusted off my wonderful boots, Lowa’s, made in Germany. I love these boots. Hands down the best boot I have ever owned. Admittedly they have a little age on them and I do not throw something out just cause it’s starting to show a little wear (at my age who am I to judge). So with new insoles (Super Feet Rock!) in my boots, we packed up the trucks, no that’s not a typo ‘truckS’, 2 trucks, more than one. With me coming out of the woods after 3 days we needed a way for Mike to get home when he reached North Carolina, (lucky Bas***d). So the plan was to park my truck at Woody Gap trail head and leave his truck at Springers mt. There are some great folks who make their living on servicing all the hikers who come to the AT, from picking the hikers up and dropping them off or like in our case picking up Mike’s truck, storing it for a week, then delivering it to his take out point. I want that job when I retire! Spend my golden years, living in the mountains, teaching yoga & ferrying ‘thru hikers’ around. Oh yea, I could live like that.

So Friday morning we headed out. We drove about 3 hours; deep into the mountains of North Georgia, to a little town called Suches and from there drove up an old forest service road for another hour and a half, until we reach the parking area for the southern most point on the AT. We were so excited. From the parking area it only was only 1 mile to the top of the mountain, then back down and the trail continues on to Wood Gap, A two-day hike covering about 20 miles.

Where’s the yoga you ask? Patience Grasshoppers.

We get our boots and water bottles out of the truck, I sit down, started to put on my lovely, wonderful 11-year-old boots, the boots that I had on every day for a week, the boots that 2 days before were perfect! Maybe not ‘perfect’ but fine! When I noticed that the heel was starting to come lose! Not just a little bit, but the whole heel was separating from the boot.

Thinking this was a fluke, that this would be the last trip on my old boots and  it would be OK for only 2 days, we applied a little duct tape (duct tape is mandatory for all hikers) and start walking. I only get about 1/2 a mile when the other heel starts to come lose too! More duck tape! I get to the top and realize I can’t carry a 25 lb pack for 2 full days over 20 miles in boots that are falling apart. By the time we get back to the truck, 2 miles total, the soles are almost completely off the boot, in a matter of just a few minutes they had disintegrated! I have never heard of such a thing and certainly have never seen anything like it. Just crazy!

I had decided that the universe was trying to tell me something, you know how Oprah talks about the universe trying to get your attention (yes I watch Oprah, don’t make a big thing out of it) by giving you a little slap on the back, if that doesn’t work then a thump on your head, then a brick to the head?  Well I figured this was my brick to the head (I must have missed the thump and slap completely) saying “oh no you don’t really want to go in the woods, there’s a bear/fire/fall off a cliff going to happen, if you do.

When we got back to the parking area, the lady was there to pick up mikes truck, so we rode back to Woody Gap with her and we put all our stuff in my truck and she drove Mikes vehicle to storage, just because I couldn’t go does not mean Mikes can’t go (lucky Bas***d). I was all prepared to leave him in the woods and sighhhh drive home. But then Mike says “call Richard”.

Oh yea! Richard! My friend Richard, fellow gym rat and a great spin instructor, he owns a cabin in Suches GA!

A cabin that he rents out!

Cell phone service is ‘iffy’ at best up here in the mountains but the universe was on our side and the call goes through, “Richard, ol’ buddy ol’ pal O’mine is anyone staying at the cabin tonight? We need a place to crash” and I told him why, he says no one is expected until Monday and that the cabin had just been cleaned from the folks that left that morning! So with directions to the cabin and a new plan in hand we head out. We’re going to rough it….. by staying at Richies beautiful cabin, sitting on the porch swing and drinking wine! Richard, all you need is a hot tub, I’m just sayin’.

And that is how Yoga keeps me flexible. The Universe is always going to try to throw ‘wrenches’ in your works’. Baby, that’s just life. I could have gotten upset that the plans went awry or even angry. I could have felt like all that time spent planning and prepping had been wasted. Instead, you breathe, you take a moment to reassess the situation and make a conscious shift in your thinking; you choose to move in another direction. You make a choice, to move in a positive direction, with equally pleasant results, just different results. No matter what comes at us, from people or circumstances, it’s how we choose to re-act that matters. Everything in life is our choice. How we choose,  is how move, how we live. When we live a yogic life, beyond just the asana practice we realize that the peace we find on the mat will follow us into the world, if we let it. If we choose it.

So instead of sleeping on the ground, under the stars, breathing fresh air in surroundings so quiet you can hear your own heart, we ended up drinking wine, holding hands and swinging on the porch of a beautiful cabin, deep in the woods.

Equally pleasant, just different.

Om Shanti


I  wrote a few Haikus about our trip, they are here.

Maurice Sendaks passing on to the land of the Wild Things

Samuel Snoek-Brown wrote a great post,  about The passing of Maurice Sendak, between his post and the terrific comments about it, it generated some nostalgia for me, about how wonderful it was growing up with a book in my hand.  I always had a book, always. My parents were typical suburban parents of the 60’s / 70’s and of all that they gave us, what I remember most was the gift of reading. I simply do not remember “not”  being able to read. Do you? I know people who didn’t read until they got to grade school. But I remember reading before I got to kindergarten.  I was the proverbial kid with the flashlight under the covers reading till the wee hours (probably only till 10pm but with an 8 o’clock bedtime 10 was pushing the envelope). I had very special places where I would hide and read. some of my fave’s were behind the green sofa, I was a long skinny girl and I could lay back there with a pillow for my head and if I positioned myself  juuust right, I could read by the light of the table lamp. Sometimes our poodle, Pepe, would join me. Another place I could be found (after I got bigger) was in the linen closet. Mom didn’t store anything in the bottom of the closet, so in I would crawl, with a pillow and a flashlight and read the day away. I remember when I was about 8 or so my Uncle Frank must have heard me reading out loud, and he gently knocked on the linen closet door and when he opened the door he didn’t look surprised or say “get out of there,  go outside and play” he just asked “what are you reading'” I don’t remember what it was but I told him and he sat down in the floor and let me read to him.

Probably my most wonderful place to read was up in the big oak tree in the back yard. I could reach the bottom limb by the age of 11 or 12 and after that, that’s where you would find me. I would take an old basket, put my book, a snack and a flashlight in it, in case it got dark, tie a rope to it and climb up to this magical place. There were 3 limbs perfect to reading, one to sit on, one to lean against and one to prop my feet on. Then I’d hoist up the basket.

Reading was not only a way to escape the tough times that childhood can be, but it feeds the imagination, it provides knowledge and understanding. It brings in light where there is darkness and dims the spotlight when you feel over exposed. It allows you to travel beyond your own back yard, to places both wild and exciting to scary and inviting. You can set sail, or ride bare back, you can fight monsters or hunt for treasure. You can join in the fight whether it be for Love or War. Reading allows children to soar when they haven’t yet grown wings.


Peace and light go with you Mr Sendak.

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

Om Shanti


What if? and So what?


What if? ……The possibilities are endless.

So what? ….The possibilities are endless as well.

What if you stopped listening the all the negative voices that are surround you?

People don’t like how you live your life?…So What?

What if you could make your dreams came true?

No one else believes in your dreams?…So what?

What if….God really did love you just as you are?

Your concept of God is different from someone elses God?….So What?

Om Shanti

Monday, ain’t it Great!

“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” Henry David Thoreau

Its Monday, my favorite day of the week. Yep I know that makes me weird, but Mondays are fresh, bright and a new beginning, even if only on a small scale, like a week. So how are you going to spend your new day, your new week? Are you walking consciously? Or is this the place where you leap?

Sunday Haiku… March 4 2012

Bright skies overhead
Do not tell the whole story
The storms changed everything

Blessings to the people who lost so much more than things on Friday from all the deadly tornadoes. They lost security, peace of mind and many lost loved ones.

From the mid west
we pray for blessings and peace
to my own hometown