I'm Back …

A few people of late have been asking where I’ve been. The answer is  I’ve been busy, quite busy finishing my … (wait for it) manuscript for the book that I will be publishing hopefully next spring!
I have learned such a great deal in a relatively short time about publishing a book.  And I just have to tell you that after dreaming about being a published author for more years than I can remember, the idea that I am actually going to do just that kind of blows my mind to tell you the truth.
I recently visited Barnes and Noble shopping for the holidays, and as I walked out, the idea struck me like a lightning bolt, that maybe next year at this time my book would be selling (dare I say) on one of their shelves?  Dream big or go home, right?  The idea caught me off guard though, and nearly bowled me over.  I left the store with probably a very strange look on my face which quickly faded replaced with a very wide smile.  I always say the journey is as much fun as the destination.  For now, I can dream big and see my book on the bestseller table as opposed to the marked down closing out section, and whether or not it ever even makes it into a Barnes and Noble store, for this moment in my mind’s eye, my book is sitting on the bestseller rack and it looks simply marvelous there.  And my thinking is this, happy is happy, whether it’s a dream or a reality.  Time spent happy is good for your soul, not to mention the actual heart muscle.
What I wanted to address in this post, is really not about publishing the book, I just had to tell you about it.  I’m sure I will have much more to say about that in coming posts.
No, this post is about blogging, and how much I’ve missed it.  This post is dedicated to my fellow writers/bloggers.
The other night I realized that I would finally have some time to post and I felt so doggone happy about it.  I felt like I was going to be visiting a dear old friend, and I couldn’t wait.  I actually stayed awake for hours that night thinking about what I wanted to say.  I couldn’t wait to share my realizations in the hopes that some of them might help my fellow bloggers.
When I first started blogging and someone would like something I wrote, I would do as the site encourages, go “see what they are doing.”  I started following one after another for about a week or two, but I realized quickly that if I followed everyone that liked my post, I’d soon have no time left for writing.   I stopped “seeing what they were up to,” and began to write in earnest.  I am so happy though that I did begin to follow a handful of bloggers as I’ve learned so much from them.  They’ve come to feel like co-harts and I can see the ebb and flow that we each go through, the difficulty coming up with new material to write about.
Spending time working on the book has made me realize what an amazing and truly rewarding experience blogging is.  Writing a chapter to a book can be a lonely experience, as there’s no immediate audience.  You can write for days and days or months and months and not one person will respond, nor will your chapter travel to different countries.  The connection with your readers, if it comes, will most likely be years down the road.  And I’m sure that’s wonderful in its own right, but I’ve come to understand that blogging is something pretty unique and wonderful.
The gifts that have been bestowed on me as a modern day writer are beyond what I ever could have imagined.  I can sit at my computer with the world’s music at my fingertips, my earphones sounding me as if I’m in a symphonic music hall, the internet a click away if I have a question or want to find the right word, or more importantly spell the word right.  I’m dating myself, but when I first started working, I typed on an IBM Selectric (those must be in some computer museum these days.)  It was something pretty amazing with the little ball that twirled around letting you type faster than ever before, and it even had a backup feature that let you correct your typos.  Whooaaaa!
As a blogger, when I have expressed my thoughts on the page to my satisfaction, I have the ability to send them out into the world … I have to repeat that … I can send my thoughts into the world never leaving my desk chair.  We take so much for granted these days.  But I just want to do my part to remind all of you bloggers about what an amazing gift we’ve been given.
And whether we post every day or every week or once a month or less, it truly isn’t a race, and there are no rules.  We are writers.  We thrive when we can express ourselves on the page.  We won’t always have something to say.  But when we do, we have a forum to deliver our thoughts, our prayers, our dreams and our stories.  I have learned following the few blogs that I do, that I don’t really care if someone lays low for a while.  I’m just happy when I see that there is a new post.  I love following Stuart M. Perkins’ Storyshucker.   I haven’t seen many posts as of late, but I can tell you this, when he does, I’ll be reading it because his posts always make me feel good.  And I will always smile when I see Paul S’s Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies posting yet another interesting take on Michelle and Meg.
This break I’ve taken has been eye opening for me in many ways.
My husband has been telling me for years, “honey, you are a writer.”  And I’d respond trying to convince myself that he was right, “yeah, I know.”  And then the little voice in my head followed, “well, not really.”  In my mind, unless I had a published book, I didn’t really deserve the title.
I’ve come to embrace and claim the right to call myself a writer these past few months, and I thought at first blush it was because I was working to publish my book.  But the other night while I tossed and turned drafting this post in my mind in the wee hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping, I came to understand that I will never again hesitate to think of myself as a writer.  And that is, in large part, because of this experience of blogging.
I hope to blog for years to come, regardless of how many books I may write.  Because blogging is nothing short of magical.  And I think often of something that my writing coach taught me a few years back … there will always be people out there waiting to hear from me, my voice … and from you, your voice.
Back soon with news of my book, and whatever else creeps into my dreams.

A book?

Time to catch up with my readers, with some exciting news.  My fellow bloggers will for sure appreciate this, I’m publishing my blog story.  I’ve hired an editor/publisher and my book will be hitting the stands in the spring of next year.  My book will consist of the story many of you have followed, plus new content.  Which sadly, is why I will be taking a break from posting until I have my manuscript completed.
This journey has been nothing short of amazing, and has changed my life in no small way.  I love blogging, and look forward to returning.  Sending my thoughts out to the universe and hearing back from all of you who respond, reminds me every day that we souls far and near are so connected, all drifting down the stream together, regardless of how different we may seem.
I will be back as soon as my manuscript is complete and I am free to continue my dialogue, plus of course, you will have to hear me ad nauseum plugging my upcoming book … come on, you gotta give me that.  Oh my, there will so much to chat about.
In the meantime, I will still be reading my fellow blogger’s posts, and sending positive thoughts to my readers who are not bloggers.
Continue pushing … remember life is short … pursue anything and everything until you hear your heartsong.
Postscript:   (sounds pretty official right?)  I waited so long to finally upload this post that I wrote about a month ago that I’m now done with my manuscript and will be posting again on my blog next week.  Can’t wait to catch up with all of you.

The Gift

“You seek problems because you need their gifts.”  Richard Bach
I read a book years ago by Richard Bach titled Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.  It left such an impression on me, in some ways it became my bible.  I resonated so completely with Richard Bach’s thinking about life, and many of his quotes still run through my head on a regular basis.  I think I could and probably will devote a whole post to his quotes, but this post has to do with one in particular:  “You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
Interesting thing is, I read this message in different words in my yoga study “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
Reading the message all these years later in my yoga class, I thought of Richard’s quote immediately.  It was the same idea just worded a bit differently.
Given everything I had been feeling and worrying about both for myself and others these last few weeks, I thought once again about the notion that problems are truly gifts in a much bigger picture.   I welcomed the lesson … I needed the lesson once again.  Nothing  quite like the return of an old friend.
Still on the heels of my post about our final day of class and remembering my friend,  Ron, and thinking about the lessons in Richard Bach’s book, I can’t think of any other person in my life who actually taught me more about that  idea by his actions than Ron did.  He took his hardship and created beauty and healing with it, not only for himself, but for others.  He often would say, had he not been paralyzed as a teenager, he might have ended up in jail.  He was joking, I think, maybe not, but he definitely knew that as hard as his paralysis made life for him, it carved the road he would follow to achieve a life of true significance.
A few days back, I was still feeling a bit low, so after work I grabbed my favorite blanket and cuddled up to watch a movie in the afternoon.  This is a rare event for me (I think my daughter, Amy, sucked all of those napping genes out of me, the sweet little queen of sleeping/napping.  From the time she was a baby, that kid could sleep with the best of them.  I once took her to the doctor when she was about three months old asking if there was something wrong with her because she slept so much.  He told me to go home and count my lucky stars.  I did just that, and have never stopped.)   
Back to my rare decision to put on a movie and nap.  I chose Amazon Prime to try to find a movie, and found a movie I thought I might like and pressed play.  Nothing.  I moved the cursor and selected the movie next to it that also sounded good.  Nothing.  I guess I’m a little slow to get the message, but I selected two more movies under Amazon, same thing.  I switched over to Netflix.  No problem, played instantly.
For some reason (also known as the universe directing you) I was insistent to watch an Amazon Prime movie.  Why????  I really have no explanation, I’m usually not this picky, especially if I’m planning to sleep through it.  I returned to Amazon and selected the next movie in line, Breathe, and without even reading what it was about, just insistent that my selection would work, I pressed play, and no big surprise in hindsight, the movie began without me knowing one thing about it.
Within probably five minutes, I knew exactly why I was watching the movie, and I couldn’t have been more content to do so.  It was, hands down, one of the nicest movies I’ve seen in a very long time, and reminded me more times than I can count of my friend, Ron.  I couldn’t finish it completely as I had to leave for my first yoga class in four weeks.
That night, I awoke in the early hours, finally writing.  When I’m excited to write, it usually presents itself in the wee morning hours, but I’ve made peace with that.  I toss and turn and write in my head, long enough that I can remember it the next day.  When my brain is confident about that, it usually lets me return to sleep.
This night though, Rick woke up also.  At about 4:00 in the morning we both were wide awake with the rain pouring down (such a great sound) and I suggested he watch the movie.  I welcomed seeing it again especially since I hadn’t seen the ending, and we decided to make a pot of coffee and go for it. I’m not sure if it was the novelty of watching a movie in the wee morning hours, the rain pouring down outside, or the taste of our freshly brewed coffee with a fantastic movie, but it was one of the nicest mornings I can remember in a long long time.  We both laughed and cried throughout this true story about … wait for it … a quadriplegic man and his wife who made great strides for the world in terms of people with disabilities (definitely worth seeing).
As this wonderful day progressed, once again, I had to smile at the universe’s subtle yet powerful message.  She was telling me to relax a bit, and let her take care of things … that my dear friends would all be fine in the big picture, and for their struggles, they would most definitely be rewarded at some point in some way that they might not yet be able to envision.
I’ve decided for now, to let Her steer this ship, not that I have any say in that matter.  But I’m feeling a little more like taking my place on board with an open heart as opposed to a closed and frightened one, joining my friends for the journey each of us with our troubles in hand, remembering again that there’s a reason for everything, even when we can’t see it with our limited vision.

Final day … the beginning

As I sit to write about our final day, the sun is thinking about setting, there’s a cool breeze coming through my window,  I’m sippin’ on a glass of wine at my desk, and I feel so blessed to have had this experience, to have met so many amazing people, to have had a family that supports and encourages my choices, and lastly to have started this blog.  Of course, this all makes me cry as I write.  But I just have to say thank you … thank each and every one of you for tuning in.  It’s meant more than I can say, my regulars, God bless you guys, and my newbies that join me each and every day … wow, every single time I get an email saying someone new has begun following, my spirit soars.  From my heart to yours, please accept my sincerest thank you.
The last day of class, now that I’ve made you wait so long to hear it, not of my choice, was not what I would have expected.  I arrived Sunday morning emotional, at first.  As we gathered in our initial circle, I didn’t have much to say, unusual for me.  The tears were very close, and my mood was quiet.  I wondered to myself, hmmm, what’s up with you?  I never let tears get in the way of talking.  And as you might have noticed, I always have a lot to say.  But not this day.  I decided not to push it.  It was what it was, I didn’t feel like talking.  By the close of the circle, I felt I needed to at least contribute something, so I told them I felt emotional, and that was pretty much all I said, and that I would miss them.  I had written a farewell that I had already shared on our group Facebook page, so nothing I was going to say fighting back tears would equal what I had already posted.
As the day progressed, my tears subsided.  Again, I questioned myself, what the heck is up with you?  Not much to say, and now you aren’t even emotional?  We were busy, so I didn’t have much time to contemplate, but even my classmate Ally kept questioning me with her eyes … “what’s up, Sue?  Where are those tears?”  I could only shrug my shoulders.
It was a lovely last class, and as we drew to a close, we each shared our thoughts.  We gathered together arm in arm in a closing circle, so blessed, each and every one of us, for having experienced this time together.  We have to have lifted the earth’s vibration at least minutely, which for 15 people, is saying a lot.
We all decided to meet at a local brewery to celebrate the close of our class.  I was happy to get into my car by myself so that I could try to make sense of my lack of emotion.  So strange for me.  Emotional always, but GOODBYES, oh my God, that’s a tough one for me.  As I drove the ten-minute drive, I cherished the time to myself to think … where was my sadness at the ending of my class?  Even Ally noticed it?  The ten-minute drive was not enough for me to figure it out, but I still enjoyed the time to myself.
The class was over.  The hard work was coming to an end.  I had accomplished my goal, and that was incredible.   But now I could return to my life, Rick, my kids, our home, our garden, our friends,  and yes, I could now go to Carmelita’s in Roseville on Friday night with Rick for an amazing mexican dinner, and reminisce about how much I wanted to scrap the whole thing and meet Rick for dinner that first night.  What fun that will be, maybe this Friday.
As I arrived at the brewery, I really didn’t have any answers, but I felt happy and grateful.  I enjoyed our gathering, and it was nice to wind down with each other.  As I made my exit, saying goodbye to everyone, I found my answer as I said goodbye to Scott, our teacher.  As he hugged me goodbye, all he said was, “the journey continues.”
I nodded in agreement, and realized in that moment that why I hadn’t felt too  much sorrow in this day, was because I didn’t really see this as  an ending … quite the opposite, it was only the beginning.  I had only just made it off the diving board ( high dive, of course) but I was just in the pool.  This was a beginning …  and in place of sadness I felt excitement for the journey.  The horizon leveled itself, and the view was intoxicating.  There simply was no room for sorrow.
Yoga is here to stay.  And these fine souls will only be as far away as a text or a post on our Facebook page.
Will share with you my goodbye to the group ….
“My final thoughts … 💞I am writing this for you guys, not the blog. I may at some point share it with my readers, if it seems to fit, and maybe not. I never quite know till I’m writing. But as I write this, it’s for you, regardless of whether I share it going forward.
To put into words this experience is a task, so much emotion to put on the page. But if I try to tell you all how I feel on Sunday before we leave, it will only be left to my tears to convey what’s in my heart. And I do not want to rely on that.
Something no one but Scott knows (a story I shared on the boat at lunch) many years ago when I was 23 to be exact, I found myself in muddy waters. Growing up was no picnic, and I was in some pretty rough currents, if we keep to our river theme. I was having non-stop anxiety attacks and truly was a mess. I began therapy with an amazing psychologist, a young man, probably in his mid thirties at the time, a funny, charismatic man, a thinker outside of the box (very much like Scott and Tess) pushing boundaries in every direction and getting amazing results with people. A side note, because that’s all he ever let it be, he was a quadriplegic. (Really, I’m sitting here telling this quadriplegic about MY problems?) He certainly had an edge, and he knew it, and he used it brilliantly. He had a confidence about him, the devil in his eye, and most importantly, he knew how to teach people. He never let anyone dwell too much on why. For him, it was more about how … how are we going to change this? I fell in love with this man, as did most who met him, and he became a dear friend over the years. He had three therapy groups he ran each week and I joined one of them.
From day one, I absolutely loved the group. The dynamic of people coming together to move what was in their way, just as we have, was intoxicating to me. While others wanted to run, I rooted in. I was there for the long haul.
I spent the better part of three years working on my issues. Ron believed in emoting, so we all cried, raged, loved, healed in no particular order. We loved each other and in time, every person I ever saw in his group healed in some way, even those who fought it.
When I came to the point I no longer needed the group, I had no desire to leave. Seriously, where was I ever going to find this kind of connection again? I was 26 at the time. Ron had a female peer counselor in each of his groups, so I set my sights on manifesting. (Been doin’ it for years) I approached him and asked him if he ever had an opening for a peer counselor if he would consider me. Angels????? It just so happened that one of his counselors leaving. Coincidence? Not likely.
I was 26, and his only concern was I looked so young, and would be counseling people sometimes in their sixties and seventies. It reminds me of us yogi beginners, we will seem a bit naïve and I’m sure a little green to our students at first. But I was confident. I told him I would handle it, I would earn it.
It took about a year (so be patient with yourselves at first if you do decide to teach) but after that time I was in my stride and I spent the next ten years in this amazing role, helping others to heal, healing myself still because you will never give to another and not receive something back. It was one of the most enjoyable roles I’ve ever had in my life, short of being a mom and a mate/best friend.
And yes, guys, I cried all the way through it. At first, I tried not to, but that was an impossible task. It was like asking me not to breathe. I eventually gave into it, and just cried all the way through the sad stories. But when it came time to work on the remedies, my tears dried. I always found my strength, my core. And in the end, what my groupies loved was that I did cry. Imagine if I had managed to change that for fear of what others might think? Authenticity? Sound familiar to what we are learning?
I spent over ten years in this amazing experience, but sadly my beloved friend and mentor passed from cancer. His death felt somewhat like a hurricane in our group community. This incredible spirit was gone. His body was tired, and he’d given it his all. It wasn’t only a loss because my dear friend had passed, but the void left behind from the end of our group hit me hard. I can so clearly remember having to take deep breaths at the thought that I would no longer have this phenomenal community around me, this ability to connect with souls, truly connect with souls. I told myself I would find a replacement.
But, where do you go to find a group of people willing to bare their souls to you, to share their HEART with you? I saw no path, and luckily for me, my children were young, and I could pour myself into their sweet young hearts.
I continued to tell myself that I would one day find something that would replace this experience. I didn’t. My heart took years to heal, truly. But little by little I began to forget, and the ache lifted. My kids filled the void, as only children can.
And here we are, all these years later, at yoga teacher training. I pursued this training with different ideas, but once I read the website about last year’s TTI, I knew in my heart, I had found my way back. I knew exactly where we would be going, and I couldn’t’ wait.
And this class has not disappointed in any way, shape or form. It feels good to be back with that grit, for lack of a better word, true, raw, wonderful emotion. It’s in these waters that we learn how to really trust human nature. And I know my friend, Ron, is cheering me on.
It’s been a long hiatus, but this time, Ron has sent a few replacements … I can’t outlive all of you, although my mom did live to 99.
This experience with you has for the first time in twenty some odd years measured up. It has filled a very old void and I thank each and every one of you for that. A lesson to never give up …
What I want to say to each of you about OUR experience is … thank you. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me, such a blessing, every single one of you … amazing souls. I love you all. Never ever forget how precious you are. ”
Lynn, dear friend, I know you are reading.  We were … beyond blessed.  It’s nice to be able to send a nod off in Ron’s direction.
Continuing down the path, next post.


Good morning!  It seems like I feel the same way every Monday morning during this experience … that I just can’t believe how much has transpired over one weekend.  And every week that feeling seems to exponentially grow.  On Fridays when I think back to Monday, it lately feels like weeks have passed in that four days.
This weekend, just like the last four, was packed with emotion and an enormously wide range of feelings.  You know those toys we grew up with, they are still around, the little paddle with the rubber band connecting the little red rubber ball, and you try to hit the ball over and over and it usually wildly flies around?  We actually have one in our little toy box that always awaits our sweet little nieces, Zoe and Ashlyn, when they visit, a simple little bounceback.   Well, that’s what I felt like this weekend, my emotions being yanked in every which direction.  All good in the end, but it’s a little like being wrung out.
When I wake up these mornings, my mind is like my sweet Little Cat (that’s actually her name, we got creative) who just sits there staring at me waiting for me to wake up, licking me occasionally hoping I will rouse.  From my first wakeful moments, my mind is active and seems to have been impatiently waiting for me so that we can replay all the moments that made up another amazing week, thinking plotting planning scheming dreaming about whether I might really be able to make this idea of becoming a yoga teacher work, chronicling and thinking through the changes taking place in me, both physically and mentally, and of course, already starting to hear in my head what I want to write about to you this week.  Six weeks ago I was pushing snooze and then 20 minutes later dragging myself a bit grumpily down the hall to start my job on the phones at 6:00 every morning.  Don’t really need that snooze button these days.  By 6:00 I’ve been awake for some time and my mind has been contentedly sorting, and when I finally make it to the phone at 6:00 there is no longer any room for grumpy.  That’s a pretty amazing transformation in five weeks.
Talk about taking a left turn and venturing down a new path.  A couple of thoughts are resonating with me this morning (they are working hard to make their way through all the other thoughts ping ponging off the walls of my brain).  The first one is just a passing comment the teacher made at the beginning of the class.  “You can all be at a very different place in your life in six weeks.”  It doesn’t sound like much, and I actually overlooked it myself.  But one of my classmates brought it back up to me later and made me think about the enormity of the statement, but more importantly the reality of that statement.  And what I just wrote in my prior paragraph seems to validate my teacher’s claim.
I know I’ve been saying this throughout my blog, but the realization keeps surprising me over and over again, each time as if it’s a completely new concept.  I have the power to change myself any time I choose.  And timelines will always be different depending on what’s on my plate, but that is really an incredible power I possess and underuse.  It’s very easy to get inundated with life, right?  And there are going to be times when making a change can just seem impossible, and maybe that means I have to be patient and wait for the time when I can take that turn.  But even the planning and the dreaming are still very important steps down the path.
The second thought I am just shaking my head about, in a good way, is what I was talking about last week, the universe supporting us, even when we can’t see it at the time.  This weekend, and yesterday in particular, I began to truly believe that I will be a yoga teacher, and that may sound strange since I’m in a yoga teacher training class and telling all my readers about it.  But all that was required to get into that class was taking that leap of faith and writing a check.  It did not require a belief in myself, nor did writing this blog.  It required only a dream and some courage.
These stages of belief as I’m starting to think of them unfold slowly.  Every week I venture further and further toward that belief.  At the close of this weekend, I saw a vision of an amazing yoga teacher through the mist, and she looks an awful lot like me.  Six weeks ago I would have been a little embarrassed to even say that to Rick, and now I’m blogging about it.  THAT is a lot to be thankful for, and it just makes me shake my head and cry  (one of these days we will talk in depth about crying, that’s a topic for a whole blog or twenty in my case).
So back to the universe supporting us, seeing it in hindsight … this morning feeling a high from the weekend and enjoying the confidence I’m feeling in my plan, I thought back to last year when my mom was so ill, and my future at work was hanging in the balance.  Just a quick explanation, our company was bought by another, our team was offered positions, but it would have required I move to another state, so I declined that offer, and decided I would have to try to find some other position within the new company.  Not really what I wanted to do, but what I thought I should do.
What I WANTED to do was write (a book, possibly a blog) and somewhere along the line I started telling Rick I wanted to be a yoga teacher.  Did I believe I could do either?  That’s an interesting question to answer, but in hindsight, maybe not.  But I certainly spent time dreaming about it and talking to Rick about it.
And the universe (of course) sent my angels.  I remember one day meeting one of my co-workers, Keana, over in Benicia for a glass of wine.  It was a beautiful day overlooking the bay, and we sat at one of the tables outside of the little restaurant drowning our sorrows, so to speak, about the end of Virgin America.  Coincidentally???? right next to us were two people who we ended up having a great time with.  They heard us talking about Virgin America, and they chimed in saying how much they loved flying Virgin, and next thing you know we are all talking about our jobs, and life.  Well, coincidentally what do you think the fellows’ job was?  He was a motivator at the company he worked for, and by the time we left, he was high-fiving me telling me I had better not settle and that I needed to pursue my dreams, that it was my time, and the universe had given me a personal invitation by eliminating my job.  Seriously, a jovial genuinely nice guy, anyone around us heard our banter.  It was great fun, and I left flying high, ready to make it happen.
That was about 2 years ago.  In the ensuing two years, I did hire someone to help me move toward my writing dream and have put many hours towards a book that I plan to one day publish.  But there were many roadblocks along the way, so I speak from experience when I say, sometimes it’s just not the right time, but I never lost sight of my dream.
And then, completely not listening to my inner voice, and forgetting the sage advice of the guy in Benicia, I applied for a job within the company that I knew in my heart of hearts I probably wouldn’t like.  And trust me, had I gotten that job, I would NOT have started this blog.  I would NOT have taken this teacher training class.  I would have been floating around in the waters of discontent, getting by, and I’m sure, still dreaming.
I really should have gotten that job, it was a no brainer.  I walked out of the interview thinking “I’ve got this,” ignoring the fact that I wasn’t really all that happy about it.  A few days later, I sat by my mother’s bedside.  She had a long hard road at the end, and this particular day I felt she might be leaving (in fact, she rallied after that a few times) but this day I was actually afraid to leave her room.  My phone rang and I realized from the number that it was a call about my interview.  I was in a state anyway that day, feeling so overwhelmed with my mom’s condition, really in a fog.  I stood by the little window at the end of the hall expecting to hear, congratulations, when can you start.  Instead the woman was babbling on thanking me for applying and interviewing …  I think because I was in such a fog it all seemed to go in slow motion … but as I began to clear my mind I realized she was apologizing that I had not gotten the job, but she would encourage me to apply again.  I thanked her (not really sure why, but at least I didn’t apologize, ugh) and as I hung up, I knew instantly that even though my pride was a little hurt, what I was actually feeling at that moment was relief and joy, because the universe had just said, “wait a minute, little buckaroo, not so fast, what about your true desires?”  She (I like to call the universe She, even though I think of God as a He, interesting) had given me a get out of jail card this once, turned me around, and patted me on the butt telling me to “get along little doggie.”  I was free, I had done my responsible duty to get that job, and they did not want me.  All I had to do was face those few embarrassing moments when I had to tell coworkers and friends and family that I didn’t get it, and then I got to move toward toward what I really wanted to do.
Even with my belief system fully in tact when it comes to manifesting, I still did not manage to do this on my own.  I needed that assistance from up above.
I will share what I ended with a few blogs ago.  “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere.”
This morning I feel beyond blessed not to be elsewhere.
It’s like I said two posts ago, manifesting, you get to leave it up to the universe to figure it out, because in many cases, what you plan or do might even be counter-productive to getting what you want.   I’m believing these days, and trusting, and oh, what an amazing feeling it is.
I am full.  I am content.  I am thankful for all of you who follow and dream with me.  Whether I ever hear about your quest, know that I don’t even need to, I will always be sending my positive thoughts your way.  It takes a village, right?  Be back soon.

One Woman's Mission

This is the post I was excited to write, because it’s one of my favorite topics.  I should know better than to hype it too much, as that’s usually a mistake.  But no matter, tally ho, hip hip, here it is for better or worse.
I’ve always loved dreaming, wishing, manifesting … anything along those lines.  My favorite necklace which I wear most days says “dream” in Chinese.  I love any form of wishing, first star of the night, wishbone, or a penny on the ground.  If I am fortunate enough to find a penny on the ground, I need to pick it up.  And if for some reason I feel silly picking it up, middle of a crowded grocery store as one example, it just kills me to walk past it relinquishing that chance at a new wish.
In recent years I have gravitated toward the grown-up version of wishing, also known as manifesting.  I just find the whole concept so interesting, and at this stage of my life, I am one hundred percent sure that it is effective and certainly does influence my life.  It’s easier to see in hindsight.  If I look back over my life, I can see the intricate webbing that wrapped around my desires that in time became my realities.
There are many teachings that support my thinking, The Secret probably one of the most well-known books on the subject.  What I find interesting is that I remember my power, and then forget it, and remember it, and forget it.  I live mostly in the forgetful stage.  I haven’t really figured out why that is.  But no matter the reason, I am always delighted to remember that I do have power over my destiny both in terms of what I think and what I do.
What I have come to believe is that the universe is always working with us to accomplish our dreams and goals, as long as … and this is an important part … we have pure intentions void of ill will, and that we are also willing to pitch in and work toward our goal.  I also am convinced that at times, the universe will tweak our wishes a bit to fit what is available, but that usually I’m more than happy with the tweaks, and more times than not, it’s even better than what I tried to accomplish.  I’ve come to count on that, and now offer that up when I am manifesting.
One last component is that we humans do not need to figure out how the universe will offer what we are manifesting, that’s up to the universe.  And this is important to me, because otherwise I will start telling myself all the reasons why I don’t see it happening, in effect, sabotaging my dream before I even get started.  I just project, and if I find myself doubting, I just say to myself, “well, that’s for the universe to figure out.”
We have learned about and studied more topics than I can even count at this point in our class, and we have spoken a great deal about intentions which go hand in hand with manifesting.  One of my teammates posted a great blog about manifesting with the moon’s cycles http://ashleyneese.com/set-intentions-new-moon/.  And being a landscaper, this appeals to me, since I’ve believed for years that we humans mimick nature in all ways.  When Rick’s grandfather planted his garden, he planted by the phases of the moon.  Why should our seeds be any different?
Tying this subject together with my yoga teacher training, I came across a card I had sitting on my desk at Virgin America for the last few years.  I love this card designer www.curlygirldesign.com, the cards make me smile.  I brought the card back home recently as we have begun clearing our desks for the end of our employment which is nearing quickly, and I put it aside without even thinking about it.  You know how when you look at something day in and day out, you begin to look right through it after time  (one of the reasons I like to change out my artwork around my house, so that I have a new eye toward its beauty when I rehang it again.)
Last week I saw the card going through some paperwork, and began to really look at it again.  Now mind you, I placed this card on my desk at Virgin America when I had absolutely no intention of taking a yoga teacher training class.  I liked yoga, no doubt, but hadn’t been practicing it for a few years by the time I chose to make this card something I would look at every day.  The message simply resonated with me and I thought it would be nice to look at while I was working.
Reacquainting myself with the card last week, paying close attention to the small details, I had to laugh, a woman with a mission, an open heart, a voice and yoga.  (Hmmmm, sounds vaguely like a woman taking a yoga teacher training class and sharing her experience in a blog.)  I believe manifesting can be a conscious act, and I also believe it can be done by the part of ourselves that knows before we do what we need and want.   I spent many hours at that desk doing something that did not bring joy to my heart.  I enjoyed my coworkers, but listening to vast numbers of complaints can be a bit disheartening.  I dreamed about the day I would get back to my passion of writing and returning to the pastimes I had enjoyed in the past, one of them being yoga.
And here I am, writing a blog and studying yoga.  That realization lights me up like that first star out every night I love to wish on. Manifesting is magical stuff.  If you do it, you know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t, try it.  Be open and hopeful, and toss out the doubt.  And above all, be patient.  It’s a journey, and it takes time to realize our heart’s desires.
There’s a line at the end of another of my favorite movies, “Under the Tuscan Sun” that I’ve always loved.  I think of it often and it warms me from the inside out, as does the movie.
“They say they built the train tracks over the Alps between Vienna and Venice before there was a train that could make the trip.  They built it anyway.  They knew one day the train would come.
“Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere.  I would be different.  What are four walls anyway? They are what they contain.  A house protects the dreamer.  Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game.  It’s such a surprise.”
Here’s to good things, wishes, surprises and believing …
Cover photo is from curly girl design, www.curlygirldesign.com


Who would think when you sign up for a yoga teacher training class in Auburn California that you would end up sailing around the San Francisco Bay on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for one of your class days?  That’s what I love about life, is that if you are open, you just never know where the day will take you.  I thank any of you who sent a positive thought for a fair-weather day, because it could not have been a prettier day on the bay.  After so much hard work on everyone’s part, it was nice to relax and spend an amazing day enjoying the surrounding beauty and getting to know each other aside from on the mat.
This experience continues to amaze me … stretch me … challenge me … and delight me.  I think every once in a while, what if I hadn’t signed up?  I wouldn’t know what I was missing.  And I guess that in a nutshell is life.  We make our choices, and life is always a compromise.  When we choose one direction, there is alternatively another choice down a different path with entirely different possibilities.  And I don’t believe so much in right or wrong, as every experience in life has its lessons.  I think more that it’s just important to try our best to make sound choices, and continually engage with that wise soul deep inside … Am I happy?  Am I feeling fulfilled?  Is there more I want to do or need to do?  What’s next?
And again, I can’t emphasize enough, no right or wrong answers.  For me, though, I want to feel I’ve used my time wisely and made a difference.  I can’t help but have some regrets when this life is over, as I’m human, and I’ve made my share of mistakes. I’ll be okay with that.  What I don’t think I will be okay with is regretting what I didn’t do.  Those are the moments we do have the control over.  We can make the choice to put one foot in front of the other even when it’s hard, even when we are afraid, if there’s something worthwhile at the other end.  And even if whatever we try doesn’t turn out, there’s much less regret in that than in letting yourself down without trying.
As I’ve said before in this blog, sometimes I feel like there’s a higher power aiding and abetting this journey I am on, my blog, the yoga training.  As I’m sitting here writing this, my cell phone rings and the caller id is MY NUMBER, and it says “maybe Sue Ferrera”  on my screen.  What?  How does that work?  I didn’t answer it.  I was a little afraid.  After all, there’s so many strange things going on these days with technology, can’t be too careful.  I did check, however, to see if I left myself a message.  So far, I have not.  My friend, Peter, said I should have answered as it might be a call from Green Acres.
In the scheme of this post, though, this call makes me think wouldn’t it be great if some future version of myself had the power to give me a ring to tell me hey, you might want to avoid this or that or hey, you’re really on to something there!
Unless today is the start of some new phenomenon, for now I will just have to be satisfied to listen to that inner voice and try to make as many possible choices as I can that leave me feeling like I did yesterday, just happy to be right where I was and knowing I was doing something very positive for myself, and hopefully others down the line.
Closing, check out this post from a fellow blogger, Yogafivefifty, https://wp.me/p9r9Y6-15W.  I read it yesterday morning and loved it as it’s just what I was feeling Sunday.  Whatever brings me moments like what he describes, that’s what I want to remember when I look back one day, A LOT of very contented moments.
P.S. By the way, I just called back again.  I was on the phone, so I could not answer myself.  If I call a third time, I’m going to answer to see what I have to say.  I’ll keep you posted.

Loose ends in Green Acres

I think this title is appropriate for how my brain feels when I’m studying my anatomy, Second Edition of Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews.  My partner, Julie (we have yoga partners assigned in class) loves anatomy and suggested this week we all do more reading in this book.  (Definitely not my strong suit.)  External intercostals, internal intercostals, innermost intercostals, external and internal obliques, my brain felt just like the picture in the book, like a bunch of red bands stretching in all sorts of different directions (if this was a map, I’d be lost in some hay field in Green Acres.)
I must have stared at the picture for 15 minutes, and all I could hear was the soundtrack from Green Acres.  Remember that television show?  I know some of you do!  My wonderful teammates in the guest relations department at Virgin America chat on our trillion throughout the day.  And the other day our beloved Paulie who simply loves the old stars, brought up Green Acres, good old Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, and he quoted the first line in the theme song, and in no time we were all chiming in and every one of us remembered those silly words.  And remember Arnold, the pig?  I have always had a thing for pigs.  (No, I’m not making a derogatory comment about Rick.)
So there I was a few days later trying to make sense of intercostals while singing the Green Acres theme song …
“Green Acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me, land spreading out so far and wide, keep Manhattan just give me that countryside.”
I think those red bands in my brain are tied a little too tight.
The post I’m looking forward to writing is going to take a day or so, so that will be next week.  Thought I would end this week with loose ends.
I’m continuing to practice speaking the instructions.  Like I said a few weeks ago, not as easy as you would think.  “Inhale arms up exhale forward fold, inhale half lift, exhale forward fold.” It’s not just the words, it’s important that your intonations match what you are saying.   I practiced on Rick the other night while I was cutting his hair.
Cutting his hair is an event that happens about once every six weeks.  We set up shop in the bathroom, and I get three pairs of scissors out and razors and the electric hair clippers.    (Seriously, all of this paraphernalia is a total overkill, but we have fun.  I can’t believe this dear man trusts me to do this, but my mother was a beautician so I must have some talent for this, you would think.  My mom is probably getting a good chuckle out of us these days.)
I was chanting my instructions “inhale, exhale” and he calmly replies, “as long as you don’t cup my balls and ask me to cough, we’re fine.”  I assured him I had no intention of studying to be a doctor, especially after reading that anatomy book.
This weekend we were supposed to go on another all-day hike on Sunday.   Scott, our teacher, loves to take people hiking and/or sailing.  Someone last weekend suggested to him that we go sailing on Sunday instead of hiking.  It’s been reported that it was my idea, but that can’t be confirmed at this time.
The great news is, we are going sailing on Sunday on the San Francisco Bay.  I am beyond excited because sailing is definitely on my bucket list.  I have only been sailing once, and hope to do much more of it at some point in my life. And as far as the hiking is concerned, there is one final hike on the last weekend, so I’m sure we’ll more than make up for the missed hike at that time, and we can also hike at Angel Island this Sunday as well.  Fun stuff.
Lastly, I ordered some of the cutest business cards for my blog.  I absolutely love them.  Since I’ve got more than I will ever know what to do with, if you want some to put on your refrigerator, hand out to strangers on the street corner, line your drawers … just let me know and I’ll send you a few.  If you are a friend I see regularly, no worries, I’m sure I’ll have a handful for you when I see you next!
All right, I think that’s it for the silly stuff.  I bid you all a wonderful weekend.
And please dear readers, send your positive thoughts on Sunday for a beautiful day on the bay.
I’m hopeful no one will chunder (another handy British term) on the boat.  Tally Ho and all that good stuff.


I want to start by saying how nice it is to share what I’m learning with all of you.  Your responses remind me of something I already know, but sometimes forget, that we are all much more alike than we are different.  With that said, here’s another new idea I’m trying out.   I’ve started getting up about 30 minutes earlier than usual to meditate and read/study.  Thirty minutes earlier, for me, is about 4:45 or 5:00 a.m.  Let me just say, I’m a sleeper.  I love to sleep, and I really love to SLEEP IN.  I am not one of those people who rises bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with the sun.  No, the sun can be doing its thing and I am still sleeping like a baby.  Any of our friends who stay with us can attest to the fact that I am typically the last person to make it to the kitchen in the morning.  Everyone is usually sitting around on their second cup of coffee when I saunter out.  So, making the commitment to get up even earlier than I already do for work, is really saying something.

But, wait for it, I have to admit it’s pretty magical.  This practice was suggested by our teachers, and I thought I’d give it a try.  It’s important to pick a pleasant quiet spot, a place that feels good to you.  I chose a corner in my living room, close to the windows.  It’s still dark at that time, so I turn the light on over the chair on the lowest setting, grab something warm to drink, and nestle into the chair with my favorite blanket.  Our assignments include meditating, reading, chanting, journaling, so I have plenty to do.  There really is something special about the wee morning hours, it’s so quiet and peaceful.  I enjoyed it so much the first morning I tried it, that I’ve done it every morning since.  It’s quickly becoming a favorite part of my day.

Early morning (sorry, Cassie, I’ll understand if this isn’t your favorite post) is really such a wondrous time, peaceful and serene and full of promise.  I find a marked difference in what I retain when I read early, as opposed to during the day or at the end of the day when I’m tired.  And with that thinking in mind, if we need to problem solve, let’s say, a dilemma at our workplace, or trouble with our children or our mate, parents, friends, whatever, the same principles must apply.  Giving yourself a quiet time where you can concentrate fully on problem solving, the end result can’t help but be different.

I’m smiling to myself as I write this, thinking about how I’ve historically resolved issues I might be having.  If I’m stressed about a situation, I will undoubtedly worry about it during my packed day, with twenty different tasks or interactions going on, at least, (I’m sure you are no different) and my little voice will be interrupting me constantly saying, “Hey, Sue, how are you going to fix this?  Hey Sue, what are you thinking?  Hey Sue, why not try this?  Hey Sue, I don’t think you are listening to me. Hey, Sue, come on, we need to fix this.  Oh, and hey Sue, did I happen to mention you need to fix this?”

Really, is it any wonder that I am able to stay worried or upset about a problem for long periods of time, when I don’t set myself up for success?  Comparing it to the workplace, it’s unlikely a manager would schedule an important meeting with his employees to work on an upcoming project, and then invite a traveling circus to assemble in the conference room as well.  I don’t know about you, but on any given day, my mind can be a little bit like a circus!

Anyway, you get the point.  Just thirty minutes even once a week can’t help but bring about some positive thoughts/realizations/inspirations/solutions, on top of the fact that meditation is healthy for your heart/blood pressure/digestion just to name a few.

Last night I woke up about 3:00 and stayed awake for quite some time, so many thoughts going through my mind (hey, could you keep it down, I’m trying to sleep here) until just about the time the alarm was going to go off.  Of course, that’s when I was just starting to sink back into some nice sleep.  Surprisingly when my alarm did go off, even though I was tired, I decided I would still get up because I knew that the 30-45 minutes I spent with my morning meditation would probably bring me a greater reward than trying to get in that extra sleep.

And my new-found ritual did not disappoint.  I think this one’s a keeper.

Let me know if any of you try it.  I’ll be interested to see if you find it as enjoyable and beneficial as I do.  There are many different ways you might spend your time, whatever feels right for you.  I like to meditate for the first half of my time, and then read and plan the second half, but that’s just me.

Whatever you do, make it pleasant, whatever that means for you.

I am excited for my next post.  It might be a little lengthy, so if I’m able to complete it today I will post it tomorrow.  If not, it will be my first one next week.  Have a great day all.  And as always, thanks for tunin’ in.


Pressing Send

Good morning.  This is just a quick post, not so much about yoga in particular, but in response to comments that I have received from a number of people about blogging, and sharing their thoughts about the fears and roadblocks that can be associated with writing.  I wanted to share my experience so far, in the hopes that it will be helpful for some of you in terms of pursuing your own writing.  And even though this will be related to blogging, really these ideas relate to any dream or endeavor one might have that they feel hesitant to embrace.  In the end, whether we take that leap or stay in one place, can likely depend in large part on fear.
Putting yourself out there … not easy.  Making the decision to put yourself out there is, in my opinion, even harder.  The good news though, is that once you make the choice to go for it, it truly does get easier from there.  I think the hardest part is deciding which path you are going to go down.
I thought about the idea of blogging with regards to the training probably two months before the class.  When I first thought about it, it sounded like a sound idea, something that people could relate to and hopefully be inspired by, a subject that I imagined would have lots of things to write about, new experiences, new ideas to share, and there was a built-in ending.  That built-in escape hatch might have been the deciding factor for me.
If the blog was not going well, then all I had to do was finish it out (how hard could that be for six weeks) and then take my bow, pull on my ear (Carole) and stage left.  I’m outta here.  The worst-case scenario, once I really broke it down, was not all that awful.  So my ego would be a little scraped and bruised if it didn’t go well, that was not worth keeping myself from something I’d been wanting to try.  It’s not like a family member becoming sick or losing your home or some other true tragedy befalling you.
It would be a short, very short period of time that I might be a little embarrassed when I saw my friends and the subject came up about my blog  (insert your book/online dating experience/backpack trip/job interview, whatever it is you are thinking about but having trouble actually executing)  I would just have to acknowledge it didn’t really work out.  (Uhhhh, next?)
And really, how long could that conversation last, anyway?  Let’s face it, in this fast-paced world, people are not hanging on to your drama very long, as they have plenty of their own to focus on.  But this is hindsight, so let me go back to the weeks before I made my choice.
Once I had the idea, I basically looked her over, polished her up a bit, liked what I saw, and then shoved her as far to the back of my mind as I possibly could.  There she stayed until about ten days before the class, when it was time to decide if I was brave enough to try this.  Seriously, my stomach turned every time I thought about it, and for about three days in a row, I did my Scarlett Ohara impression.  There would be time to think about it again tomorrow.  When I was down to about a week, I told myself I did not have to do it, and that the class would be hard enough as it was, so why put that extra pressure on myself.  (Boy, is that ever a cop out.  But if that’s what you want to do, okay then.)
Another day passed, and I decided that I was down to the wire, and would need to make a choice.  That night we brought home some Chinese takeout, (you know where I’m going with this) and my fortune cookie said “take advantage of an upcoming opportunity.”   I put the little fortune on my computer screen in the lower left corner, and the next day with Rick’s encouragement, I sat down at the computer and drafted my first blog post.
Was it hard to press send a few days later, hell yes, it was.  But here I am 13 posts later, on such a high (of course, that might also be due to all the deep breathing I’m doing) and I’m just so thankful I took the chance.
To sum it up, I would say this.  Whatever your dream is, listen to that inner voice with regard to the logistics like good idea, bad idea, tweaks, etc. If you are thinking about writing, know there will be an audience if you bring your authentic voice to your writing, whatever that is.  If you are invested and excited about your idea, trust me, there are people out there waiting to hear from YOU.
Do not listen to the inner voice, if at all possible, when it’s scaring the shit out of you.  If you think your idea/dream/endeavor is sound, then figure out your escape plan, picture the worst-case scenario and problem solve how you will get through that.  Lastly surround yourself with people who will encourage your dream, and offer positive support. And of course, get some Chinese takeout, if possible.
And then push SEND.