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.



One of the major themes throughout our two weeks in class has been self-acceptance.  Our instructors have done a fabulous job of teaching us to look at how we speak to others as well as ourselves.  It’s a bit surprising to realize just how much I apologize, for this, that and the other.  In the first few days, our teachers would stop us in our tracks when the words  “I’m sorry” came out of our mouths.  By the second weekend, the teachers didn’t even need to say a word.  If one of us was speaking in front of the group and began to say “I’m sorry” you’d see the speaker’s face flinch as if they’d been jolted with a small amount of electricity.  We looked like a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs.

It’s not as easy as you’d think to stop saying you’re sorry.  Tess, our female teacher, is such a little spitfire, I just love her.  And man, she just peers into your face and asks you, “WHAT ARE YOU SORRY FOR?  WHY ARE YOU SORRY?”  And she means it, she wants an explanation for why you are sorry.  In most cases, I find myself realizing I’m not really sorry at all.

There has been a major focus on the idea of being enough, and accepting that we are always enough at all times, regardless of what we can and can’t do, what we do and don’t have, that we are right where we need to be at that moment in time.  Interesting concept for some of us.  It’s so easy to always have my eye on something I think I want or need, or something I need to change about myself.  And not enough time is spent appreciating what is, right now, just this, just me, nothing more, nothing less, this moment being perfect.

The instructors have definitely gotten their point across in a short time, as  I am finding myself contemplating the concept of acceptance and enough throughout my days.  I think of myself as a pretty confident and happy person, but I have to be honest, I say I’m sorry a lot now that I pay attention.  The hike I talked about in my last post, I spent the whole way up saying I was sorry and thanking my angels.  They kept saying, no need to be sorry.  And they were right.  Why would I need to be sorry to someone else for my fear, and needing to take breaks to catch my breath when I’m not used to a hike like that.   WHY WOULD I BE SORRY FOR THAT?  Yet, there I was … sorry.

Check it out yourself, just pay attention to your thoughts, how many negative thoughts run through your brain in an hour, or a day?  We humans can be damn tough on ourselves.

With this philosophy in mind, I will share a really nice realization I had on Saturday evening when I left yoga.  Part of our homework has been to clean and clear our spaces, both internally and externally.  We were asked to purge our surroundings of unnecessary objects.  Since Rick and I moved in the last few years, I don’t have very many items left that need purging, but I did have a pile of old videos from my mom’s stuff sitting on my dresser.  It seemed the perfect place to start my assignment.

On Thursday night after dinner, I got comfortable and started to play each video.  Some were my kids from their preschool years, but there were two in particular that were films my mother had transferred onto video, and they dated back to when I was a toddler.  It was a collection of images, no sound, myself and my cousins going down a slide at the San Francisco zoo, our parents dressed in their Sunday best laughing among themselves, chasing after us, and others with just my parents and I.

I sat somewhat mesmerized studying the films, yearning to see more, searching their faces and actions for some clue as to how these seemingly happy people became what I would remember them as, two very unhappy and unfulfilled souls.  I finished looking at the tapes and went to sleep that night feeling so sad.

As I drove to yoga on Friday night, I was listening to the Beatles station on Sirius radio.  They were playing a collection all weekend of the Beatles’ top 50 love songs as voted on by the listeners, I’m sure in honor of Valentine’s Day.  For anyone who hasn’t listened to the station, they will put together a collection and then play it over and over all weekend, it just loops around and around.  I came in at the beginning of the songs working down from No. 50.  As I came through the canyon they played Julia, which is a song written for John’s mom, I believe, after her death.

I couldn’t help thinking about my mom, and still feeling melancholy from watching the tapes.  I found myself thinking how sad our life together had been, so much unhappiness and turmoil, and feeling like we had wasted our precious time on this earth together.  The mood hung in most of the night, and when I drove home around 9:30 coming through the canyon, Julia played again.  And then again the next morning, and then again the following evening. Coincidence?  I’m only in my car 20-40 minutes depending on where the class is, Auburn or Roseville.  I’m not sure what the odds are of coming into the rotation at the same place every time I get in the car, but I thought about heading to Reno to do a little gambling since my mom seemed to be in my back pocket.

Saturday morning my mood shifted and I welcomed the song, enjoyed my drive through the canyon and greeted the new day with an open heart.   What would day five of this adventure bring?  It was an eventful day in class, lots of yoga and instruction, but what would be the most important part of the day would come as Julia once again played on my way home (of course it did).

Instead of thinking my mom and I had wasted our time together, I asked myself “what if what we had together was enough? What if it was just what it was supposed to be?”  With that door open, my mind raced remembering what I’ve always believed, that we come here to learn and that sometimes our lessons are hard.  With that thinking in mind, then truly my mom and I kicked some ass in this lifetime.  We’d hiked our own trail straight up a rock hill and parachuted down to the river below.  Just maybe I had this all wrong.  Amazing.

And if all that is true, then it would explain my reaction when my mom did finally pass. Hospice had called early that morning to let me know she was close.  She’s been close for three months, but this day was different and I knew it the moment I walked into her room.  I settled into the big blue chair next to her bed with my book.  I’d pretty much said everything I needed to her in the previous three months, so there was no need for words at this point.  She was already somewhere far away.  I watched her breathing all morning, reading a page or two, and glancing up.  Although her breathing was labored, she was interestingly very quiet.  I could not rely on sound to monitor her.

At some point mid morning, I glanced up and found she had made her way ever so peacefully after such an arduous journey.  I sat watching her for a few moments and once I knew for sure her chest would not rise again, I said, “Mom, I didn’t even hear you leave.” I let the tears come, and after a few minutes, the next words out of my mouth were, “We made it, Mom.  We did it.”

They are interesting words for someone who has just lost her mother.  They were not words prepared or thought about beforehand.  They were the words of my heart, and what I was feeling.  And I don’t know about you readers, but to me, they sound like the words of a gal who made it with her mom to the top of the lookout.

I will close with the words of one of my favorite songs from You’ve Got Mail, hauntingly beautiful lyrics and melody.  For some reason, I do believe,  in this lifetime we choose to forget what we know in order to learn our lessons.  It’s nice when we remember …

“Long ago, far away

Life was clear, close your eyes

Remember is a place from long ago


Remember when you’re sad and feelin’ down


Remember life is just a memory

Remember close your eyes and you can see

Remember think of all that life can be


Dream, love is only in a dream, remember –

Remember life is never as it seems. Dream

Long ago, far away

Life was clear, close your eyes”


Remember lyrics – Harry Nilsson


If I walk away from this class with nothing more than this realization, it will be enough. But between you and me, I’m not thinking that I’m done.  Until we meet next week,


Picture taken on our sunrise hike to the outlook over the American River, Overlook Park, Auburn, Ca.

That Devil in your Ear

A few preliminary comments before I delve into yoga topics.  First, this morning,  just wanted to wish my dearest Lorene a happy birthday.  Make it a good one, sissy.
Second topic on my list, my mate, Paul S ( stepped up to represent and welcomed me to the UK a few days ago, which was wonderful.  And I’m not complaining (just sayin’) it’s still just me and Paul.  Where are the rest of my peeps?  And, I mean, I love Paul S, don’t get me wrong, nothing against Paul, he’s a fabulous bloke, really.  But I’m feeling a bit gutted as I was just thinking it would be a larger turnout for my homecoming.
But you know the saying, when God closes one door, somewhere he opens a window (or in this case, when he only opens a door by a smidgen and you can’t seem to fit in because you weigh too much … okay, digressing again) well, my new yoga buddy and fellow blogger in Asia,, on the other hand has brought me a few new friends, so thank you, and Namaste.
It’s all good, and I am so enjoying writing this blog.  I probably will say this a lot throughout my posts, but your comments and likes mean more than I can say.  I can’t respond during my work hours, but do try to follow up later in my day.  I tuck your responses away until I can spend some time, and they feel like tiny presents waiting for me at the end of my work day.  It feels almost tangible.  Amazing.
My hope is that amidst the joking, that we can connect on some of the serious topics I touch on, weight, health, stress, etc.  Your responses bring us all closer to realizing that none of us are alone, and that at the end of the day, we are all human, with strengths and weaknesses.  When we begin to let go of our fear of discussing a problem, we find that there are so many people with exactly the same issues feeling exactly the same way as we do.  For me, at least, that helps me take that deep breath and really look at the problem and begin finally to address it.  So, please continue to share your thoughts.
On to yoga. I attended class Wednesday night, one final class before our training starts.  Feeling a little like when I’m going to the dentist and I get so much better about flossing the two weeks before my appointment.  (Yeah, the dentist doesn’t notice, right?)
During class my anxiety about the training was definitely starting to kick in (or maybe that was just the yogi’s foot next to me, was a pretty crowded class.)  That voice in my head can be so negative.  (hey lady, you in the last row, can you put a cork in it!  We heard you the first five times you said it.)
I mean, really, I’m sure I’m not alone on this … when I start to obsess or stress about something, my inner voice just keeps repeating the same thing like in minute intervals, and it’s such a negative dialogue.  In class Wednesday night I got really tired, and I needed to rest.  Instead of being nurturing and kind like I would be to anyone else, that devilish dialogue starts in, “I don’t think you’re ready for this training.  Oh, yeah, the teacher must be looking at you thinking, sweetheart, you are NOT ready for the training class.   What were you thinking when you signed up for this class?  And aside from that, you really should floss more.”
I got to laughing at myself the other day because I was thinking, man, if I talked to my loved ones or friends (hopefully they are one and the same) like I talk to myself, repeating the same negative things over and over again A) they’d be having thoughts about my short-term memory problem, and B) they probably wouldn’t be my loved ones for long.
Ever since I had that comical visual, I’ve been more cognizant of that inner dialogue, and turning it off a bit sooner.  Bottom line, it’s usually just fear getting the better of me.  And if I can consciously bring a positive thought in disrupting the negative flow, it’s pretty effective.
So, on that note, I’ve prepared myself with some positive thoughts that I will keep handy beginning tonight.
Bloody good job, Sue.  You are blinding (not too sure about that one, bringing up a bad image)  but supposedly blinding is a good thing. Brilliant job!  What an Ace.  Cheers, you should be chuffed managing to do that pose.  Hunky-dory, little mate.
It’s just important that I show my peeps that I’m serious about being British.  And in the not too distant future I will be a lot smaller and I’m planning to slide through that crack in the door.  I just hope Paul S is not the only Brit welcoming me.
As always, thanks for sharing.  Send a positive thought my way the next few days.  Will be back next week to share my experience.  You all have a wonderful weekend.  I know I will.

The Past Repeating itself in a New Light

My meet and greet was awesome, and here we are, two days away from our first class.  I find myself in a mindful preparation for Friday … as well as, a readiness.
Yesterday I ordered my meditation pillow.  I actually love meditation, but have gotten so far from it in past years … let’s see, Lynn, how many years has it been?  (On second thought, let’s not talk numbers right now.)  Anyway, there was a day once upon a time I practiced my yoga and my meditation, and I loved every minute of it.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to make my way back.
But in that day, we didn’t have meditation pillows?  (just sayin’)   So I pulled it up today on Amazon, and there’s no shortage of meditation pillows.  (It’s a butt pillow, but I think they’ve come up with a much nicer name for them.)  They come in every shape, size  and color; but what I learned in my short Amazon drive-by is that you want it filled with buckwheat (not sure what that is, but it sounds like a character from Little Rascals.  Look it up, youngins’, great old show.)
And it’s preferable if it’s covered in organic cotton or hemp.  I browsed the hundreds of meditation pillows, but one caught my eye as it came with a bonus eye pillow.  I have no Idea what an eye pillow is, but if they’re throwing it in the deal and it’s made from buckwheat, then this I is on board.   (Will be an eye exam shortly following this post.)
Hopefully I’ve got this silliness out of my system for the rest of this blog.  (Sharon, you must have some responsibility for this personality trait, as you helped shape me from so young.)
Take a few long breaths before continuing, breathe in … hold for a count of ten … exhale (these are instructions I need to learn how to say in a rhythm that will not asphyxiate my students.)
The meet and greet was truly everything I expected it would be.  A gathering of peaceful souls looking to embark on a life-changing experience, one that will test each of us in ways we can’t even imagine at this point, but that we will remember and cherish for the rest of our days.  That, in a nutshell, is what I came away believing.
I didn’t take a head count, but I think there’s approximately 10-12 females and one male.   I’m definitely the Old Timer (thanks, Kenny, for that term) but I will embrace that role, and teach these youngins’ something in return for what they teach me.  I can’t wait.  I learned working for Virgin America, the position which I will soon be leaving, how rewarding it is to work with people much younger than I.  It makes you step up, not succumb to being lazy, and they have so much to teach us older folks.  They are, after all, what we were in our younger days, and we had a lot to share.  They do too, but exponentially speaking.  I love learning from them, but there will always be room for the wisdom of a generation or two before.  It’s what will help them build a foundation that will allow them to soar.  One generation builds upon the next.
Our two yoga teachers … Scott and Tess,, were everything I was expecting and more.
I’d been attending Scott’s classes for a few months, but really not had too many in-depth discussions in that time, sign up for this and that, not too much more than that.  Take that towel, put it in the dryer, that kind of stuff.  But my time in class offered more than enough time to know that he was a true teacher, and one that would push for more at any chance, but make it fun all the while.  Great combo.
Tess, I’d never met, but had visited her website and spoken with her on the phone.  I loved her website, but it failed in comparison with meeting her in person.  What an amazing tiny powerhouse, so full of love and goodness … (these are my teachers?)
Two amazing souls teaching my yoga teacher training class,  I think my mom is up there pulling some strings.
Tomorrow approaching at light speed …
One chance at a life to give it all and get it right …
Endless second chances to take it one chance at a time.  (I’m going to need that to get some of these poses down.)
Will share a few last minute thoughts tomorrow.