Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday TO ME!

Yesterday I turned 29 years old on the 29th of the month - it's my GOLDEN birthday! Ahhh, this day has been long awaited. :)

The morning started off amazing. I opened the yoga studio a little past 6am like I do every morning, grabbed a medium decaf soy mocha, and sat at the desk greeting happy shiny yogis as they came in for class. As I am sitting at the desk, I hear the door between the studio and lobby open and there are the voices of a dozen yogis singing Happy Birthday to me while in Wheel pose!!! It was truly amazing - I felt SO loved. Then later on when I was taking class another group sang to me in Wheel pose! I riding high and THEN my boss let me go home 2 hours early (with pay!).

The afternoon was spent on the phone with friends and family from afar who called sending birthday wishes, responding to facebook birthday wishes, running errands, and creating a playlist featuring music from the 1990s. Why 90's music? Because I threw a 1990's themed party for myself! Let me tell you, it was a BLAST.

The playlist ended up being about 10 hours long which was great because there was plenty of a selection for my guests to choose from and dance to. About 30 people came and most were in costume! I was wearing white cutt-off shorts, a baby tee with a giant Happy Face drawn on (pics to come later - I hope!), giant curled bangs, and my hair half up-half down with a giant scrunchie. People asked who I went as and I responded "ME, when I was 13". ;)

My roommates totally rallied and the house was filled with decorations. One roommate went as Left Eye and the other as Cher from Clueless. Most people dressed up! There was dancing. There was boozing. And there were chocolate-covered strawberries (my most favorite food in the world). All the neighbors in my building came too and definitely held the fort until the wee hours. My most favorite part was when all of the guests came into the living room and united singing Happy Birthday to me! I will never get sick of being sung to :).  I felt so loved and appreciated. I have some amazing friends and I'm so grateful for them all!

Now off I go to enjoy the last 365 days of my 20's!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Online Dating & Sexy Austrians

When I was in high school I was OBSESSED with breath mints. I literally went to the student store at least twice a day to buy Mentos. I began frequenting the student store because I had a crush on a boy who worked there. I chose Mentos because I didn't like candy. I eventually grew sick of them and my boy crush stopped working there, so I moved on... to Altoids. At the age of 16 my friend Erin and I came up with a theory that in every tin of Altoids there is ONE Bad-Self-Esteem-Altoid, and when you eat it you feel like crap for the rest of the day.

Today I ate a Bad Self Esteem Altoid.

I was feeling sad-faced for most of the morning and afternoon, until I got home and saw an email from... The Austrian! The man who I spent a week in Paradise with in Mancora, Peru. The Austrian and I haven't spoken since last October so hearing from him was quite a shock! Curiously enough, immediately after The Austrian and I stopped communicating I started dating Man-Me (my now ex-boyfriend). As of last week Man-Me and I are officially off. After months of him messing with my head, I finally shut the door. I'm really sad about it, but as they say: when you shut one door, another one opens.

In the spirit of trying to open new doors, this week I began online dating again. So far: Nothing. I think it's because I was extremely transparent about the type of lifestyle I want to lead (vagrant) and most dudes aren't down for that. Strangely enough, OkCupid (the dating site) told me that my best matches are located in Austria! I scoffed. No kidding, Sherlock. Go figure.

Today as I read The Austrian's email I felt a flood of excitement! He reminisced on Paradise and talked about how he was incorporating equanimity in his new life. Nothing is hotter than a man using the word "equanimity" when English is his second language! He stated that he will finish his studies in October, at which point he will go traveling again... and he alluded that he would join me! (of course, he still thinks I'm headed to India... but still).

Are these signs that I need to go find The Austrian? "The Alchemist" - my favorite book - tells us that if we stop acknowledging omens, they will cease to appear. Is this all a sign that I'm supposed to be with The Austrian? Is it possible that I closed the door on Man-Me to reopen a door for The Austrian? I wonder....

Maybe I didn't take that German class for nothing...

The Ugly Duckling

Remember the story of The Ugly Duckling? That's kind of how I feel right now - except for the "ugly" part (well maybe a little ugly since I had the flu for two weeks AND I'm trying to grow my bangs out and they look hideous right now... eek!). But what I'm referring to is the feeling of not fitting in anywhere. You see, I've chosen a life path that does not coincide with THE AMERICAN DREAM, therefore most Americans (including my family and friends) don't get me.

My goal in life is to travel around the world teaching yoga. This isn't a new thing... my previous goals included traveling around the world teaching ecology and traveling around the world guiding wilderness trips. Do you see the common theme? I want to travel - more than anything. Which is why it really hurts when those close to me excuse me of trying to run away from my problems or say that no one will ever love me if I'm gallivanting across the world all the time. I've met plenty of couples traveling together! And, in terms of "running away", the only thing I'd say I'm running away from is a life of Boredom. Unless I'm on the move, I'm generally pretty unhappy. Even when I attempted to nest for four years with a steady career and my own apartment, I still jumped on a plane at least once a month to jet-set to some other state!

Some people are homebodies. I.AM.NOT. Some people like safety, security, and stability. I am not one of those people. The people I admire the most are the ones that can pick up on a moment's notice and fly to the far reaches of the earth with just a backpack for an undetermined amount of time.

The lesson I'm learning is to stop listening to other people and listen to my own heart. The naysayers will continue to try and get me down, but as long as I keep following what my heart knows is true, everything will work out and I will find love and happiness in my own little vagrant way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wanderlust Strikes Again

I spent the past week laying in bed with the flu. So I'm not sure how much of my wanderlust relates to seven days of doing absolutely nothing, as opposed to a sheer desire to get outta town. Nevertheless, I'm feeling antsy and I neeeeed to travel again asap! Yoga Teacher Training is half-way over and as I can see the end in sight, it's time for me to make plans for what I should do NEXT.

The problem I'm running into is that I don't know where I should go. I've narrowed it down to.... ASIA, which is kinda huge. At first I was thinking India, but to be honest, I'm a bit scared to go there on my own. In an effort to dissuade me from traveling to India, everyone and their mother has told me horror stories about that country, and well... it worked. Even as a self-proclaimed solo traveler, India is the only place in the WORLD that I'm afraid to travel to on my own. I'm debating whether I should just suck it up and go, or wait till I either a) feel braver, or b) have a traveling companion.

The second place I was thinking of going to is Bali. However, Bali seems kind of small and I wonder how long I could stay there before getting bored. After all, I'm planning to purchase a one-way ticket so I won't feel limited as to when I should come home. Perhaps I should save Bali for when I have a limited amount of time for vacation.

The third option is southeast Asia. I'm talking Thailand/Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam. There are enough countries over there that I could entertain myself for quite awhile (I'm thinking I'll be gone mid July- mid December). I haven't fully researched these countries, but I've definitely photo-stalked my Facebook friends who have visited these countries and their pictures are amazing! My goal is to reach "enlightenment" or rather to find myself, and I have to question whether I need to be doing yoga in an Ashram in India or will meditating in a Buddhist temple in Thailand do the trick?

The fourth option is South America. I know, I know, I just got back from South America in August... but I LOVED it there! I can't wait to go back. My heart's desire is to start in the tippity tip on Argentina, work my way north, and travel all the way up through Central America and back to California. This includes stopping in Brazil for Carnaval! However, logistically speaking, it would be silly of me to head to Argentina when it's winter there (I can't stand being cold), so it makes more sense to wait until January.

Wow, typing this through really helped! I know what I'm going to do now: head to Southeast Asia this summer, go home for Christmas, and if I still have energy... trek it to South America! And I'm going to spend my entire life savings doing it.... but maybe, just maybe, I can make some dollars teaching yoga along the way! :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Students

Remember last week when NO ONE showed up for my yoga class? As bummed as I was, something good came out of it... I got more students! After missing my class, a few of the invitees called me up and asked for private lessons. So starting this week, I'm making house calls!

My private lessons are currently free for friends, but since ALL my clients are friends - I'm still poor. Hopefully after having epiphanal experiences in my class, my friends will start recommending me and I can score some paying clients! If I plan this correctly, it should be around the time I get my certification.

I know, I know, the concept of making money teaching yoga is highly controversial. I practice karmic yoga where they say your "payment" for teaching is the joy of spreading yoga and love to others. Which is all well and good if you can pay your bills.

However, I digress. On Monday my friend Ryan came over to my house for yoga class. Yes, Ryan is a girl, so don't get too excited and think that I've started dating again. And... she lives in my ex-boyfriend's house (awkward). He will henceforth be referred to as LifeRuiner. Speaking of which, last weekend LifeRuiner tried to sneak back into my life by apologizing for an entire year of, you guessed it, ruining my life. Too bad that my forgiveness genes seem to be momentarily out of commission. Maybe meditation will jump start them back....


I also taught a private lesson to two more lady friends last night! This time I didn't use my notes and was able to remember the entire sequence with proper cueing! woot woot! Plus I assisted some of the poses! I felt really strong last night in my ability to teach a class. My students commented on how much authority I had while I spoke - awesome. My teacher will be proud. :)

I feel like I'm really a yoga teacher now and not just some hack in a teacher training program. Even though training this past weekend slowly crushed my soul and I felt completely disempowered from so much critical feedback, I feel like I'm now ready to teach a whole a full class!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


My house feels empty and sad. The walls are bare, the furniture displaced, and all the knicknacks which once adorned our living room are M.I.A. Gone are the yelps of an excited puppy as I walk in through the front door. Gone are the daily late-afternoon conversations about everything under the sun. The house feels... vacant.

You see, my roommate who I am very close to decided to move in with her boyfriend who was also staying with us. And she took the dog. I helped her pack up her life and watched as the van pulled out of the driveway moving them all to another world town. Obviously, I'm sad. This household played a huge role in my great transition of 2011 and it stood for something. It was my home. Now I stand in the living room and look around and it doesn't feel like home. I can only hope that my new roommates preserve the integrity of the energy of the house.

In an attempt to take advantage of the vast empty space, I planned on teaching a yoga class last night in my roommate's old bedroom. I sent out a message on Facebook inviting 26 of my closest yoga-loving (or potential yoga-loving) friends. Only a few people RSVP'd. NOBODY showed up.

What??!!! Helllooo... it's FREE yoga. Come on people!

Luckily, my other roommate who hasn't done any exercise for a year volunteered to take my class! I had a sequence of postures planned out but after the first few poses I realized that I was going to need to adjust the sequence for the audience. So I cut out alot. To date I had only taught yoga classes to people who do yoga regularly, so when I said "downward facing dog" the students immediately went there. When I said "downward dog" to my roommate, nothing happened - so I had to figure out how to cue her into the pose without taking the easy way out and showing her with my body. I could tell which cues worked and which didn't by how she readjusted her body. At the end (after a nice long savasana) she felt great!

So even though my friends flaked on a free yoga class, I still had the opportunity to grow as a teacher, and even better... my roommate can't wait to do it again! Another yoga convert. Yesssss. Sometimes I feel like a cult leader. Join yoga... it will solve ALL your problems and give you inner peace and joy... JOIN meeeee!!!... muahahahah!

at least THIS didn't happen