Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm moving!

People, it's time I moved to a bigger house, so I'm going where the cool kids are. Follow me on wordpress -> http://deshautsetdesbananes.wordpress.com/

Bye old home!

Thank you,

;)

Lesson learned

Prompt of the day: lesson learned - What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

Mmmmh, er, well, quite a few things actually, but my sick body and brain are too tired to think too much, so I'll just write what I remember and then I'll go back to doing nothing if you don't mind.

I learned that I could write.
I learned that I could care.
I learned that I could not care.
I learned that I could run.
I learned that I had more resources than I thought I had.
I learned that I could bend my body in ways I'd never imagined before.
I learned that I was clinging to a vision of myself that is no longer accurate.
I learned that I was enough.
I learned that I could do whatever I wanted.

What choice do I have but to keep going?

Source

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friendship

Prompt of the day: Friendship - How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

Let's reverse the proposition: everyone who's had an influence on me and my perspective on the world this year has become a friend, whether they know it or not, whether they like it or not.

'nuff said.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

5 Minutes

Prompt of the day: 5 minutes - Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

o_O again.

Allow me to set an imaginary timer, as I am not in a location particularly prone to setting alarms, go figure.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!

The email confirming I was accepted on the YTT: I was off sick that day, needless to say it made my day.
Exams for my business course, the feeling of being a student, and graduating.
A yoga weekend in London in May.
The night of Earth Hour.
Another yoga weekend in London in July with my YTT teacher.
The trip to Tokyo, a dream come true.
Whole Foods London (yeah I know...).
The YTT weekends.
The trip to Montreal, kind of a "let's do it" idea, the colours of the Parc Mont-Royal.
The writing.
The gut-wrenching fears, the painful and joyful path leading me to where I am now.
The support.
The love.

You know what? I'll take everything.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nothing better to do - take 2

Wanna get some yoga? Wanna get creative? Wanna do something nice?

So check out my new blog, www.thecreativesadhana.com, and join me :)

Appreciate

Prompt of the day: appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I can think of not one thing but two: being able to travel far far away, and being a student again.
How I express gratitude for it? By making the most of it, enjoying each and every moment, and working my a** off of course :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Action

Prompt of the day: Action - When it comes to aspirations, it's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? THAT'S THE HARDEST PART!

*Inhale exhale*

Ok rewind: once upon a time, I used to believe I had no idea. Now I'm starting to realize I had ideas, I just kept burying them with a nice "that's impossible" epitath engraved on their tombstone.
Now I'm starting to realize I have loads of ideas, that are not necessarily utter c**p, that might actually be worth exploring.

So the first step is to acknowledge the idea and listen to my intuition and creativity much more. And give the ideas a go.

The next step would be, well, I can't say right now, that would be revealing my plans for world domination and I can't do that. Call this superstition (am I the only one who will now sing Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" all day long?).

But change there will be :)


Source

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body integration

Prompt of the day: Body integration - This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

Man, it's Sunday and I haven't stopped one minute. It's 10:08 pm, and I'm finally sitting down with laptop on, well, lap. Maybe it isn't such a great idea actually. So I'll make this one short, because, ya know, I just wanna sip my cup of organic nettle and peppermint herbal tea (happy hippie me!) and surf the net and do nothing.

One moment?
1. Yogaing
2. Running
3. Sleeping (yes I'm alive and present, thank you very much).

Hasta la vista baby, I'll be back, present, alive and kicking!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

11 Things

Prompt of the day: 11 things - What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

I don't need lack of time, I don't need multiple pair of shoes, I don't need self doubt, I don't need people getting poorer, I don't need clothes I don't wear, I don't need war, I don't need clutter, I don't need watching that much TV, I don't need chains, I don't need disrespect, I don't need giving up. Never.

Donate, empower, give, open, free.

Source

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisdom

Prompt of the day: wisdom - What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Let me pause and reflect... This year I have been doing a lot of things, according to my own standards. The key word here is "doing". Because it all boils down to one thing: this year, I have decided that it was time to stop thinking and start doing.

Which is why you have seen on the blog a wide variety of activities such as:
- taking a course - evening classes -  in business management. I guess deep down I've always known I was not made to sit at a desk all day every day, working for someone else, and I've been preparing... My fear has been keeping me chained to this desk, but its voice has been slowly fading...
- travelling to Japan and Canada after years of dreaming about it;
- signing up for yoga teacher trainings and not chicken out;
- actually agreeing to teaching a one-on-one and not chicken out;
- writing - a lot;
- attending the European Summit for Global Transformation in Amsterdam and launching a second blog right away;
- new: applying for a freelance translator job with a translating agency - ok that was yesterday, so maybe it will work out, maybe it won't, but at least I've tried.

Now let's see how all this will play out in 2011!

For those of you stumbling upon this, playing catch up, and not knowing what I'm talking about, check this out, you might even want to join :) :

http://www.reverb10.com
HTML linking has been playing weird lately on this little blog, can't seem to be able to link directly, but that's better than nowt :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Party

Prompt of the day : Party - What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

Do satsangs qualify as yoga parties?



Yeah, thought so too.



Then I've been partying all year long.

Source

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautifully different

Prompt of the day : beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.


o_O
This has been my secret facial expression since I read this prompt this morning. For my American readers: the morning has been over for 3 hours here. And this is still my secret facial expression. Secret because I obviously can't walk on the street and go to work looking like I've just seen E.T. and been hit by a truck simultaneously.

Anyway this is not an easy one. There's "beautiful"and there's "different" in there....

Ultimately, I am as unique and similar as anybody else. We are all, in the end, beautifully different :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Community

Prompt of the day: community - where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create, or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Community - such a great discovery this year for me, threefold:

- online: helloo, reader :) I can't begin to say how grateful I am for all the amazing bloggers out there, I have learned a lot - and that's an understatement - connecting with you all, so thank you!
- offline: satsang in London, with my fellow YTT trainees. We are all so different, yet we connect during these intensive weekends in a way I've never thought possible. Compassionate, supportive, great teachers in the making, I love them.
- offline take 2: the community of changemakers I met at the European Summit for Global Transformation in October. Nonprofit grassroot activists, social entrepreneurs, people of service to others, working in collaboration because, let's face it, that's the only way to go.

In 2011 who knows what will happen? Not quite sure as I'm typing this...

Source

Monday, December 6, 2010

Make

Prompt of the day: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Oh I make a lot of things. For instance I am a skilled builder. I build great mind constructions.
For the foundations I use mainly Whatifs and Maybes materials, but I'm trying to switch to something else, as I found out these are porous and tend to crumble in the rain.
There's some new material available, I'm trying to get my head around using it, it's called "Letseffingdoit", heard great things about it but I'm a bit nervous. Anyone there that could give me some feedback?

I am the Queen of the land of Mindsandcastles.

Serendipity: next YTT weekend is end of January. Meanwhile we have to do a 30-day Sadhana project, meaning practicing anything for 30 consecutive days, and journal about it. I see creative journaling in the near future, sounds like fun :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moment

Prompt of the day : "Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors)".

I've been staring at this prompt for an hour. My mind went blank when I first read it. I'm going back and forth with this one, so I'd better start typing and see what comes out of it.

I could write about this yoga weekend, the one that changed my life, like an earthquake in my foundations, where I broke down in savasana.

I could write about going back to school for evening classes, feeling and feeding my brain, graduating.

I could write about travelling to Japan with Lovely Boyfriend, making a lifelong dream come true.

Or the moment I started my yoga teacher training.


But truly, now is when I feel more alive. I'm sitting at my desk, struggling with my work, searching for any and every excuse not to do it, instead searching the net to check if it would be possible to work as a freelance admin consultant / translator - proofreader / yoga teacher (yes, all in one - and that's only a brief summary - office yoga classes for the well being of employees, oh yeah!), wearing countless layers in this freezing office, and I can hear my soul screaming. I hear it telling me it's alive and that we need to get out.

My soul is still here, it's alive, I'm alive.

Now I need to give me that slap in the face and that kick in the ass ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writing

Prompt of the day : "Writing - what do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing - and can you eliminate it?"


I could write a novel on writing. I won't, you would be snoring by the end of paragraph 1. So let's get to the point:
  • Day job: feels like I'm wasting my time at my desk while I could be doing something else more meaningful. Oh wait, I am sitting at this desk. But time will come, peeps, time will come... Or maybe it already is time, I just still need that slap in the face and that kick in the butt. I'll be the one giving them, nobody's gonna do that for me;
  • Self doubt: am I a writer? I have 2 blogs, I write on several websites and platforms, does that make me a writer? Is my level of English good enough? (told you I was crazy, I'm not even writing in my mother tongue, le français) I don't know. What I do know though, is that I love it. Ain't gonna stop. So there.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Music Wednesday - One Word

2010: change



Blind Melon, "Change"

"keep on dreaming, boy, 'cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die"


2011: freedom

George Michael, "Freedom" 

"But today the way I play the game is not the same, no way, think I'm gonna get me some happy"





http://www.reverb10.com/

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reverb10 : reflect and manifest

I must be crazy. That's it. I've gone complètement folle (ooooh, helloooo French, long time no see!).

As if I didn't have enough on my plate. And yet, I've added something. Something I first heard of about two weeks ago, something that appealed to me but I feared I would not keep up.

And yet... See that new lovely button on the right? Yes, the one tagged "Reverb 10". I gave in, I signed up for #reverb10, launched by the amazing Gwen Bell. For one month, starting tomorrow, I will reflect on the year 2010 and manifest what's next.
I know why I finally signed up: because I need it.


This year has been fabulous, this year change has begun, in waves and with an impact I can't even assess myself at this stage. As you all know I've been struggling a lot in my "day job". Calling it my "day job" is not a good sign in and of itself, is it? So I hope that next year, change will manifest in the form of a way out of this situation, and a way in to freedom and to the life I KNOW I'm worth living (I'm not saying "I deserve", that would mean we have to work to deserve a worthy life, while we're all already gods and goddesses, our worth is innate. Oops, sorry, I digress).

Aaaaanyway, I need the writing, in English, and why not take this opportunity to reconnect with my mother tongue (even if only I understand)? Every day of December, daily creative prompts will be sent, and every day, every participant will respond, in form of blog posts, via Twitter of Facebook, or simply journaling, whatever suits your fancy.

I won't share on the blog every day, I'll be away for a week end of December (family time!), but I WILL do something every day. Along with the 30-day sadhana project for my YTT. Yeah I'm a goddess AND a warrior.

I can't wait.

Interested? Check out the reverb10 website, and sign up too! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do you remember the first time?

Do you remember the first yoga class you took?

I kind of don't, actually. I mean, I can't remember what we did exactly. I don't remember thinking that it felt like coming home, it felt more like "what the hell have I got myself into?!".
It was hard, my whole body was tight and not flexible at all, I couldn't follow the sun salutations despite all the pre warm-ups and all that leg stretching, that "your-body-should-look-like-an-inverted V" asathingy was bloody hard, I mean how is that supposed to look like a dog stretching?



I remember missing the second class I was supposed to take, thanks to starting a brand new job on the other side of town (yes the one I still have today) and not knowing how easy it was to walk back home (yoga was literally 5 minutes away from home) when there was a public transportation strike.

I remember going the week after though, because then I remembered how I had felt AFTER that first class. Yes it was hard, and I was never going to put my foot behind my head, but I felt good. I could live with that.

Do you remember the first class you taught, one-on-one or group class?

I remember. Mind you, I would be worried if I didn't, as it happened yesterday.
I remember being more excited than scared the days before, then slightly nervous 5 minutes before. And then really good :)
So I thank my first official student for trusting me and letting me guide her, and for showing me I could do this.

Wanna know the best part for me? In savasana I covered her with a blanket. She said afterwards that she loved it, because since her husband left her with their 2 daughters almost 2 years ago, nobody had done that for her. Such a simple thing.
I guess that was as much yoga as giving her hands-on assists in that "your-body-should-look-like-an-inverted V" asathingy.

Yesterday I learned as much as I taught :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Music Wednesday - I'm grateful

Today, although we Europeans don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for songs that can be sung everywhere and anywhere, no matter what language you speak.




(and come on, an all-girl Japanese pop-rock band? Bring it on!)


(oh, and please check www.epicthanks.org, and my latest post over at http://thechangeuwish.blogspot.com - yep that one's mine too :))

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Manifesto

*WARNING = this post is kindly brought to you by Full Moon Angst, available worldwide for free*

ROAR! Like me, except I wear no mustache and my armpits are less hairy. And I'm no man either.
Source 

Dear peeps, I am tired, in a way. I am tired of reading or being told how and who I should be as a yoga student and teacher trainee. I am tired of reading or being told that I should act in a certain way as a yoga student and teacher trainee.

I live by and respect mostly the yamas and niyamas, which has been a natural process anyway. I don't always *think* about them when I do something, thank whoever or whatever you believe in!

But.

Yes there is a but, and here's how it breaks down:


  • I am by no means a CareBear, and that's fine. I claim my right to be a b**ch sometimes;
  • I claim my right to be my grumpy cranky self and not wanting to hear to "look at the positive side and send good vibrations to the Universe" flowery talk;
  • That said, I claim my right to sometimes be in the mood to accept the flowery talk too, and utter it myself;
  • I reclaim my right to cry when I listen to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, as cheesy as that last song may be;
  • I claim my right to have my own discipline, and I would appreciate if people would stop calling me crazy. Only *I* am entitled to call me crazy, muahahahaha!
  • I claim my right to be who the f*** I want to be, I guess that sums it all.

I've written countless times about change, hell I wrote about it yesterday. But again, it's been a long, sometimes painful, but completely natural evolution. 
Getting guidelines and structure is good, but then it's a question of balance and acceptance, first and foremost of who you are and what you are ready to take in.

No one holds the universal truth. Only you do own your own truth, sometimes you don't know what it is yet. It requires some soul searching and study, but in the end, you're the one deciding for yourself. And if something doesn't feel right for you, then it's not right for you now.

I guess this is me, then, round 2 :)

And in the words of the famous (!) Degeneration X, "if you're not down with it, suck it!" (no shame, told ya)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who am I? - Sunday thoughts part 4

("Oh no, here she is again with her ramblings *sigh*" - yes, I know what you think! But it's my blog, my own, MY PRECIOUS, just like my yoga mat :D)

Aaaanyway, I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a dear friend of mine, and she made an interesting comment that got me thinking. Again.


Source

Here is how this part of the conversation went:

Me: I'm teaching my first yoga class next week.
DF (Dear Friend): wheeeee! so exciting!
Me: yeah, and the fact that I'm more excited than scared by it means it must be right, knowing the coward I usually am.
DF: well you might have been, but you're not anymore. You still view yourself this way, that's all.
Me: ... o_O ...
She had a point.

I've been clinging to old patterns, still viewing myself as the 20-year old me, but that's not who I am anymore. Which is not a bad thing if you ask me, except that my 20 years old are gone forever but hey, nothing I can do about it!

You know what I used to believe?
- I used to think I was that shy girl who would stand in her corner of the room in social gatherings and wish she could teleport home; I used to be that girl, but lately I found out that I can be a chatterbox if no one stops me, and that includes talking to people I just met. Oops.
- I used to think that safety and staying in my comfort zone would be just fine, why bother taking risks? Answer: because you die inside and your brain shuts down from boredom, that's why. There is so much potential within a human being!
-  I used to think I could't run, turns out I can. I'm no marathon runner, but the thought of running half an hour doesn't make me want to pull out my hair one by one, make a rope and hang myself anymore;
- The one you've been waiting for: I used to think that because I couldn't touch my toes, then I couldn't "do yoga". You know where that one's got me.

Take a look at yourself: what did you find out about yourself lately that you did not know / suspect? what is it you think about yourself that is really not true anymore? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Music Wednesday - dance and be happy

Ok, technically it's more of a performance, and it's been around for ages, but it still makes me warm and fuzzy inside (and not because it happened in Belgium, honest)




Best.flashmob.ever.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yoga 101 - Kleshas illustrated

Hello dear readers, today we are going to review the kleshas with a couple of real-life examples directly based on my own experience.
For non-yogis / -yoginis, the kleshas are afflictions of the mind, they cause an agitated mind and in yoga, quiet mind = good, agitated mind = bad.
But let's take a closer look, shall we?




The 5 kleshas


  • The first klesha is avidya, or ignorance. Example: "oh, I didn't know I could do that. Well for someone that takes pride in knowing herself, that's not very good is it? Hold on a sec... I know myself from 15 years ago, isn't it time to move on and check out who is "myself" today? And let go of the perception that others have of me? Yes, let's do that".
  • The second klesha is asmita, or ego, as in "I am". Example: "I can't get into pincha mayurasana, I am not good enough (to be training as a yoga teacher, to be on this course, etc etc)". (Beating yourself up then because you think you're not good enough, thus making things worse, is a nice one too: "I shouldn't think that I'm not good enough, therefore I'm not good enough")
  • I'll take a detour before getting to the third one by illustrating the fourth one (you'll see my point), dvesha, or aversion. Example: "that girl is STEPPING ON MY MAT, I mean, excuse me?!?! Argh, I HATE that!"
  • And so here is the third one, raga, or attachment. Example: "Bloody hell this mat is my private space, my sacred space, MY PRECIOUS *gollum cough gollum*". (see why the third before the fourth now?)
  • The fifth and last one is abhinivesha, or fear. Example: "Holy Shiva, this taxi driver is driving way too fast, he's going to KILL ME! Oh dear that was close. Ok breathe, this is your fear of dying manifesting here, and typically you can't control the way you're going to die, so if that's your way to go then so be it. Ahh, feels better now. And if we make it home, I'll tip him for making me reflect on abhinivesha and breaking a record, Brussels station to home in less than 10 minutes is quite impressive, even on a late Sunday evening". I think I got that one covered (and that's how you can tell I spent a weekend totally immersed in yoga, I guess my thinking otherwise would have stopped at "KILL ME!").
Disclaimer: I didn't use the proper Sanskrit spelling, but my computer doesn't want to cooperate with me and put the dots and accents where they should be. 

I'm curious peeps, what is your take on kleshas? :)

Edited to add: for those of you who are wondering "OMG did she tip the taxi driver? What a cliffhanger, I'm biting my nails now!" - well obviously I made it in one piece, and the experience's given me writing material. I guess I should've given him more...

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Friday before Yoga Teacher Training in the life of...

Today I'm going to London again ("yes we knoooow, stop it already!") for yet another YTT weekend. You have no idea how much I need this. Truth be told, I may have no idea myself how much I need this!

The last YTT weekend was 5 weeks ago. Only 5 weeks, and yet it feels like it was in another life. So much has happened between then and now, I even don't see everything clearly yet. A trip to Amsterdam for a life-changing weekend, a trip to Canada, more yoga off the mat clearly, and a whirlwind of things-to-do-I-can't-just-sit-here-and-wait.

I have seen, heard, felt a lot of things. My perceptions have changed, or have evolved more like. I have chosen to have a closer look at the world we're living in. I have dug stuff from inside of me that I thought were no longer there, I've been experimenting, I've been learning, I have opened up. A whole lot.

Now I have to pause and reflect, carefully considering what is important. To me.

So yeah, I need a weekend full of yoga, it will be like a retreat, except yoga-study-bootcamp style. I need the satsang, I need the community, I need the focus. But you know what? I also need time on my own, with nothing else to do than watch X-Factor munching on dried mango (is X-Factor still on by the way? Oh well...). My London hotel room is my take of a cave in India. Honest. Except way more expensive. And there's song-butchering involved.

I feel somehow that everything will make more sense, everything will tie in together, everything will fall into place. Or maybe not. Que sera, sera :)



(What a year it's been, franky I can't wait to read my end-of-year recap post :D)

Have a great wonderful enlightening joyful weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music Wednesday - have a guess

This should let you know where I'm going this weekend (that changes from yelling it over the rooftops don't you think?)

Enjoy the lightness!


"London, London" video by Cibelle feat. Devendra Banhart

(Devendra: you can totally call me. I have tons of chocolate ya know. Tx)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A monkey in the making - Sunday thoughts part 3

A monkey?

Don't worry peeps, I'm not growing hair all over my body, I haven't started picking the lice off Lovely Boyfriend's head (to set the record straight, he hasn't got any), and I'm not feeding exclusively off bananas - wait... oh no, I still eat hummus, carrots and dried mango too. And dark chocolate.

No I'm talking about the monkey god, Hanuman, Rama's devotee who took the leap off a mountain to cross the ocean and find Sita. I'm not turning into a goddess either, and certainly not pretending to.

Source
Let me explain.

Leap of faith and fears

A few posts have got me thinking lately. Mind you, I always think too much. Well let's just say they got me thinking even harder.

Two of them were written by the wonderful Marianne Elliott, sharing with us the tools that have allowed her to leap, giving more credit to faith than to self doubt, and the follow up asking what space should we give to our fear.
The always inspirational Danielle Laporte wrote the third one a few weeks ago already, but I discovered it yesterday only. Or to rephrase, I got slapped in the face. "All of you grinding gears in a day job while you heart is spinning bigger dreams", wow was that written for me?
But this part struck me particularly: "If you start to tell me why it's not possible or how bad you want it but you don't know how to get it - then you don't want it bad enough. Maybe isn't going to cut it." Slap in the face and kick in the butt. 


For ages I've struggled with the fact that I didn't know what I wanted. Now I'm getting a clearer idea, it's not a definite plan yet but it's not something unattainable. It needs shaping up, it needs preparation, it needs planning. But I'm willing and able.


The thing is, I listen too much to the damn fears. As I've mentioned already, I was raised to believe in security and safety over taking risks. Case in point, you should see how I handle my personal finance, I get cold sweat when I go beneath a certain amount on my bank account. And I'm not talking about overdraft, I don't even know what the word means. I've always chosen comfort over being on the edge, making sure I always have enough at the bank, and settling for jobs that I knew were below what I could offer. I've always functioned up to 80% of my capabilities. It's not bragging, it's being honest. 
I know it, so why is that? Comfort people, and the negative side of knowing oneself too much. Knowing that I'm capable of more, but lacking the trust and faith to just do it. And anxious about my bank account.


Safe or sane?


Now I'm in a place where what I do for a living doesn't feel right, where I can't settle for second best and just accept that that's what life is all about. Wake up, go to work, come back from work, pay the bills, settle down. That's never been me, but I shut up the voices that told me so. Now they're really, really loud, believe me! 


It's unbearable, and my sanity is at stake. But I'm now standing on the cliff, watching the waves of the ocean crashing below, and the woods behind. Still scared and attached. What will it take for me to just take the leap and look forward? 


I'm kind of scared of hitting the publish button right now, I'm putting myself a lot out there. Oh well, so be it!


Have a nice Sunday peeps!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Montreal

or the American experience in French and English :)

Short but intense trip, we walked and walked and walked some more, ate and ate and ate some more, swam in a hotel swimming pool, had brunch with a lovely lady, got snowed on (I can't quiet figure out why we didn't get a cold), got jumped on by a hungry squirrel, had countless pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks (no, we don't have pumpkin spice lattes in Europe), walked through wonderful parks, saw many houses for sale we said we'd buy, and saw a lot of vampires we would not buy. And yoga was, once again, more practiced off the mat than on :)

Yesterday was spent travelling back to Brussels, we landed this morning way too early for my liking, and I'm functioning on a two-hours sleep night, so if you allow me, I will show you some pictures before my brain shuts down.

Enjoy :)

Rue Sainte-Catherine

Pecan pie - 'nuff said

Frites!

Port of Montreal

Can't help taking photos of paths in woods - this and lamp posts, don't ask
If by any chance you want to read more of my musings, as promised you can find me over there!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maple syrup covered banana

Source 

No that's not something I ate today, but that gives you an idea of where I'm going to.

Ok ok, more than a hint, I already wrote it several times in previous posts, so it's not much of a secret is it?

I cannot believe that tomorrow at this hour I will be in Montreal, Canada. The other side of the world. I mean the other other (ie not Japan this time - it's late here and I still have to pack so humor me please)

That doesn't mean you will be left alone until next week, at some point in the week you will find me over there, so look out peeps!

Have a great week and Halloween :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A weekend in the life of...


Oh dear, Sunday afternoon already, where does the time go? Ah yes I know, here is how it goes:

Saturday:
7:28am: wha..? Oh no, gonna sleep some more, mmmmllllffrrr tired.
9:51am: WHAT? Oh dear, time to get up! The famous duo "Bladder & Belly" are singing again... Kriya time, then breakfast.
10:30am: man, I was hungry. Time to shower.
11:15am: whoa, I took my time! What, Lovely Boyfriend is still in his pyjamas? Ok, let's do something useful and get these summer clothes down to the basement and move up the winter coats *cry*, oh while I'm at it summer shoes down (see you next year, lovely sandals), and what a mess in this cupboard, maybe I should declutter a bit in here...
12:30pm: guess it's time to go food shopping, our fridge is empty.
2pm: time for some lunch don't you think?
Pm: read "Heart of Yoga" for YTT, getting inspired, jotting down some notes, oh it looks my book report is almost done here and only needs typing, blogging on Change U Wish, reminds me I have to translate into French one of my posts there for a friend who doesn't understand English, then Twitter, Facebook, yadda yadda yadda...
6:15pm: crap, I was supposed to go running!
6:37pm: off running, 5 minutes walk, 30 minutes run, 5 minutes walk.
7:18pm: aaaaaaaaah, I'm soaking wet because of the pouring rain, but whoa I feel GREAT! Let's stretch a bit (yoga!) and quick shower, then back in my pyjamas and back to the couch.
8pm: Lovely Boyfriend: "eat?". Me: "Yeaaaaaaaaah!" (meaning I'm preparing dinner).
8:30pm: let's watch a movie while eating dinner, why not "Twilight" that we, err, borrowed from the net. Didn't want to go the theatre for this but we're curious.
9:00pm: if I was 15, I would totally drool over this Edward Cullen character. But I'm not 15, so let's behave (and Lovely Boyfriend's sitting right next to me).
9:30pm: WILL THESE 2 KISS ALREADY!?!
10:30pm: a last surf on the net, and I'm off to bed.
1am Sunday: WTF?!!

Sunday:
8:58am: decent time to get up, to "Bladder & Belly"'s last song. Kriya time, breakfast.
9:30am: I know I say that every morning, but man, I was hungry. Time to clean the apartment, yes in pyjamas, don't care, dirty laundry's waiting for them to join the club.
11:02am: we're done. On to some yoga, but first this paperwork stuff that's been bothering me. My fault, I'm late.
11:15am: I should really organize all these papers, sorting them out is a pain in the a**.
11:30am: "return this form electronically", okaaaaay, but where, how, how do I do this?
11:45am: *crying* it's not workiiiiiiiiiiing, the bloody site won't accept my passwooooooord, I'm gonna get fiiiiiiiiiined, I don't understand anythiiiiiiiiiiiing, I want to diiiiiiiiiiiiiie! Oh wait, what does it say here?
12:00pm: maybe I panicked a bit too soon. Maybe. It was easy after all.
12:30pm: yogaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
2:02pm: showeeeeeeer!
2:30pm: eeeeeeaaaaaaaaaat! (yeah Sundays have their own rhythm, we have a different perception of time). Oh yeah, "Life" is on TV, nice. Lovely Boyfriend wants to make the most of the sunny weather to take some photographs, see you later!
3:15pm: let's finish "Heart of Yoga". Watching "Trauma" at the same time might not be a good idea. Oh, it's raining now, Lovely Boyfriend must be loving this. I'm not grinning at all thinking about him outside.
3:45pm: yeah, "Heart of Yoga" finished, hello Wet Lovely Boyfriend! Time to blog a little, let's do something fun. Oh, I'll tell them about the first weekend at home in almost a month, might not be really interesting but I'm doing what I want on my blog, so there.

....

Yeah, that's pretty much where the time goes :)

Hope you're having a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be kind, rewind

*So finally I'm landing* - let's take it where we left off, where was it again?

Let me see, so Friday I left you with a note saying I was off to the European Summit for Global Transformation. And Sunday I announced the birth of a new blog. Like, what?



What happened in the meantime? I won't tell you that what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam, but I won't bore you with the details, plus you will get to know a bit more the amazing people I met on the other side :-) Let me just tell you about 10 things I've learned:

- Self discovery can be painful, but you have to go through it to be of service to others;

- Corollary : being of service to others is much more efficient when you do it out of love, not out of guilt and pity. Get rid if the guilt, and let the love in;

- You don't have to be a multimillionaire to help people, you have to be you. Whatever you think, you do have skills, there's always a way you can use them;

- Even the smallest act can have great consequences;

- It's fun to find out that you can do things you never thought you could do just because you put your heart into them;

- Confirmation: yoga is awesome - yeah I knew that already, but I'm still amazed at its powers;

- Opening up and breaking down are not weaknesses, know how to use the energy behind, and learn;

- Don't forget to take care of yourself, you are your most powerful ally;

- The world needs some hugs peeps, but there are amazing people who work their a** off to mend a few things and create hope. There is hope, and so much energy :-)

- Nothing is impossible, never give up!

Now if you allow me, I'm just going to get back in horizontal position on my couch, nasty cold has taken over my body. Self care, peeps!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nothing better to do

than this: http://thechangeuwish.blogspot.com/

Help me spread the word peeps!

THANK YOU!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Water : life




Water... in our industrialized and "modern" society, do we ever question water and its availability? Do we ever stop to think about water? Do we even realize how powerful water is?

Water is life and death. Too much of it, you die. Too little of it, you die. Too much water consumed, the Earth dies, you die.

A water crisis is on our doorstep. Soon water will be fought over, if it's not the case already. Our resources are endangered. Our overuse of water has impacted the environment. Sounds daunting, right?

Good news is, we can do something to address this crisis. Great organizations are working towards solutions and we, on a personal level, can be a part of the solutions.

Why am I writing about water, on this blog, today? Because today is Blog Action Day and this is my own action, and remember people: together we can move moutains!

Side note: this weekend I'll be in Amsterdam for the European Summit for Global Transformation, I guess Global Transformation starts here :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Balancing pose

Image found over there - check out the Ananta series, it's absolutely beautiful. I want a mold of the Shiva Nataraja 3D rendering for my future pooja table. 

Balancing poses are bloody hard. That is stating the obvious, yes, but sometimes it's good to write it out loud (how can one write something out loud? well I just did).

Balancing poses require strength in the legs and arms, depending on which limb you choose to, er, balance. They also require core strength. They require focus. They require freedom. They require trust. They require that you take a leap of faith at some point.

Now take all these elements off the mat and bring them to your life. Don't you believe that sometimes life is a big mo'fo' balancing pose? Sometimes you feel free, tall, dare I say grand, like standing on the shoulders of giants. And sometimes your tree is wobbly. Your crow is crumbling and the floor is looking dangerously close.

On and off the mat, there is just one thing to do: breathe and find your tadasana. Let go of the fear, and focus.
And have some chocolate.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Who we are, and where we're going to

It's a time for reflection, transition and changes, a time to check on one's Self, can you feel it too? Delve deeper :-)

Fink - "Sort of Revolution"

We've come so far, it feels so real
All this time, that we've waited for it
And who we are, and where we're going to
All this time, preparing for it.

Come so far
Come so far

So let me know when we get there, if we get there
Let me know when we get there, if we get there

In the dark it feels so real
And all this time, we've been sleeping on it
And who we are, and where we're going to
All this time, spent saving for it

Come so far
Come so far, yeah

So just let me know when we get there, if we get there
Let me know when we get there, if we get there

Come so far, there's no going back
All this time, we've been running from it
And where we are, and where we're going to
We'll organize a sort of revolution
We'll organize a sort of revolution
We'll organize a sort of revolution
We'll organize a sort of revolution

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One year



One year. How long is one year?

One year is a teeny tiny moment in the life of our Planet Earth. Yet it can seem so long and so short at the same time from a human point of view. So much can happen in one year, and so little too if we choose status quo over movement, satisfaction over risk.

Today my blog turns one. Incidentally my brother turns 28 (full disclosure: yes, he is younger than me). Which gives me two excuses to celebrate, even from afar as far as Baby Brother is concerned.

When I started blogging a year ago, I had been reading blogs for a while, I had been practicing yoga and was toying with the idea of signing up on a teacher training course, I was not very happy in my job, Lovely Boyfriend had been around for several years and still made me laugh. I started this blog as an outlet, it wasn't meant to address one topic in particular, I posted whatever and whenever I felt like it. Oh, and it was in French.

A lot happened over the course of this blogging year: I took a business management course, travelled to London several times for yoga workshops, travelled to Japan thus fulfilling a dream I'd had for as long as I can remember, I did sign up for yoga teacher training.
In the meantime, my blog evolved, from being an embryo of journal to being a yoga blog as I delved even deeper in a yoga-infused life, from French to bilingual to English, which was not a bad move considering my latest and ongoing adventure with The Magazine of Yoga.
That is a lot, to me.

That list is not complete though: over the year I have come to virtually meet a whole community of wonderful people, I don't dare typing the words "friends" here but I strongly feel it. I have learned so much in one year, reading and exchanging, that it is impossible to describe. The conversations and discussions held recently over certain "yoga fails" (you all know what I'm talking about) have also given me a lot of food for thought, and truth be told, looking back, I am glad for these controversies.
Because for one it means the yoga blogging community is not made of brainwashed clones, but of smart articulate beings, and second it made me question my own opinions and reactions. Still processing them, by the way :)
So a big thank you to all of you readers / bloggers / yogis and yoginis!

Today? Well today I'm getting ready for my second teacher training weekend (excited is an understatement). I'm getting ready to travel to Montreal, Canada with Lovely Boyfriend in 3 weeks. Yes Lovely Boyfriend is still around, kudos to him, and still making me laugh. I'm getting ready to change jobs within my company. Again, to be completely honest, I view this job as temporary. More and more I feel I had my time and fun with the corporate world, and now it's time to consider other options.

This is precisely how I envision the coming year. Considering other options. Moving on and forward. My corporate self is slowly coming to its life's end, but I'm not ready yet to take the plunge. I don't know what I would do though, but one day this situation will be unbearable, I know it, it's already showing. I was raised to believe in security over risk, I am now starting to believe that risk is way sexier.
So what I hope for the coming year is that I can be at peace with who I really am, have the courage to let my creative self surface, let go of fear so I can be who I'm meant to be, and be of service to others the very best I can. Starting now!

What are your intentions for the year to come? 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The "Kiss Cool Effect"

Do you know these minty treats called "Kiss Cool"? When I was a teenager living in France, the Kiss Cool commercials were just the most hilarious thing you would see on TV. They based their marketing campaign on the so-called "2nd Kiss Cool Effect": the 1st one would be the refreshing feeling induced by having one of those sweets, the 2nd one could be, well, anything.

I got the 1st Kiss Cool Effect when the Magazine of Yoga asked me if they could feature my blog on their site last August. My first reaction? "What, MY blog?". It dawned on me that I had more readers than I thought, that was already enough to feed my ego ;-)

Then came the 2nd Kiss Cool Effect: they actually invited me to write a monthly column about something that has always played a huge part in my life, music. When I got their lovely email I almost fell off my couch (yeah, the couch). I mean, English is not even my mother tongue, I'm happy with my level for my blog, but would it be enough for the Magazine of Yoga?
At first I doubted, hesitated, got scared. Then I realized that they wouldn't ask if they didn't believe my writing was worth something. I started to believe that maybe indeed it was worth something, and it would be a nice challenge to take up after all. So I told my fear to shut the hell up already, and I chose to go for it.

Today, may I present you with my first column at the Magazine of Yoga. Check it out, and let me know what you think! Oh, and thanks for reading :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I almost forgot about this beautiful wonderful singer that is PJ Harvey. I'll make that up by sharing this jewel with you (does this say anything about my contemplative mood?)
Enjoy the beauty and surrender...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bummed & blanks

Yeah, I too noticed the irony, a record called "Bummed" by the Happy Mondays. Yeah, I chose this on purpose, thus paying homage to one of the greatest high-on-drugs bands ever


Yep, one of those days...

Nothing serious, really. Sometimes things don't go according to plans, and there's nothing you can do about  it. This is when the famous twins Disappointment and Frustration choose to pay a visit.
You're a good yogini, so you try to not pay attention, you don't want to answer their knock on your door.
But you can't. And you end up ruminating. For almost nothing. There's nothing really serious, no family emergency, no accident, no catastrophe. But still, you can't let go.

Because when all these sris and swamis and gurus wrote their books or delivered their teachings, they didn't plan on having occidental female yoga practitioners coming in herds to yoga, which is why they overlooked something important: PMS.

...

Let's move on shall we? 
To make up for the bummed part, let's fill in the blank part! (as seen at Lauren's,  Rachel's and Jamie's)

1. In the story of my life the actor who would play me would be Natalie Portman. Ok we look nothing alike but she's short and a brunette, for one part, and I just *love* the girl. Or quirky-pre-skinny Cristina Ricci.

2. If I could change one thing about the world it would be tearing down all borders so people realize we were all made the same to begin with, whatever colour / religion / etc etc. Borders are overrated.

3. Yesterday we ran 25 minutes without stopping to walk. I know, doesn't look like a big achievement. Trust me, at my level, it is. And I got to do it with Lovely Boyfriend. I'm proud of us :)

4. My favourite comfort food is chocolate. Dark. Very dark. I need some right now.

5. My new favourite blog find is ah hum yeah tough one. I'm discovering so many right now that I can't keep track. There are so many talented writers out there sharing their passion, it's impossible naming just one.

6. If I could meet any blog friend (who I haven't met yet) in real life, I'd choose to meet all the people behind my blog roll. That would involve flying over to the US at some point, whoa!

7. My favourite breakfast food is peanut butter banana toast, stick to my ribs. A bowl of good granola with yogurt (dairy or soy) and a banana is also a winner, although it doesn't hold me over as well. Lately I've had weird concoctions, I won't go into details here (typical Lovely Boyfriend line when we manage to have breakfast together: "what is THIS you're eating?"

Have a great week folks!







Wednesday, September 22, 2010

YTT - weekend 1

Yes, I'm back. I got back on Sunday, but work, life, and feelings all over the place got in the way of my blogging.

What can I say really, what can I tell you that you yoga teachers don't already know?

I won't bore you with a hour-by-hour recap and all the details, most of you have already been there, but allow me to say that it was intense. As in, "it's 7pm I'm in London I could go out but I just want to veg around in my hotel room" intense.

The feelings of anxiety and inadequacy, sort of, disappeared as soon as I got to the studio where the training is taking place. Maybe because of something my teacher said: "you are where you are because where you are is where you should be". It always has more impact when someone else said it, right?

My fellow teacher trainees and I practiced, discussed, listened, absorbed, and left overwhelmed but wanting more at the same time.
Overwhelmed because there is so much to learn, so much to integrate in a class and make it work, and so much to do (homework, anyone?). Rachel is spot on in her latest post! But wanting more, more practice, more knowledge, more of everything.
Ever since I've been back, I want more of this. If truth be told, I feel that yoga is my real job, and my day job is just a supporting activity, I'm drifting away from what was once my whole life.  And it is scary and exciting at the same time.

My feelings are still all over the place as everything we did is still sinking in, so I'll keep this post short. Plus, I have to sort out my papers and notes, and squeeze in some reading before I go to bed. Current reading: Hatha Yoga Pradipika (translation of Bihar School of Yoga). Rock on!



PS: on top of that, full moon tonight. After dropping (and breaking) a small jar of china gel stuff, having on curtain fall on my face, and pouring a cup of tea not quite in the cup but more like right next to it, I'm afraid I might drop my laptop or delete the whole post by mistake. Better stop here out of safety reasons.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Freshman

Source
Two blog posts in two days? I'm on a blogging roll!

Thing is, I won't bother you this weekend, because this weekend, I will not be here, I will be in London, starting my yoga teacher training programme.

Why London when I live in Brussels, Belgium? Because, as much as I love Belgium, let's just say that Vinyasa flow, my main practice, is virtually non-existent. I came to Vinyasa thanks to podcasts and videos. Yes I went to live Vinyasa classes in Brussels, given by a Canadian yoga teacher who was here for her post-graduate studies. These lasted only a few months.
There are Vinyasa classes in Flanders, in Antwerp and Ghent namely, but it's not exactly next door for me (hopping on a train after work and coming back home around 11pm at best is not my idea of fun).
There are a few yoga teacher trainings in Belgium, and I'm sure they are great, but I don't think they're right for me.

I attended a workshop in October last year with Claire, and loved it. When I checked out her website and learned about her teacher training, something just clicked. It had to be. I went to her intensive training in July, and it just reinforced that feeling.
Not to mention, as I already wrote countless times, I love London and the UK, so give me any excuse to go there and I'm in :-D

And tomorrow, at 9am London time, it's starting.

Now I know most of you dear readers are already yoga teachers, you already went through the anticipation, excitement, even anxiety before the start. So you know what I'm feeling right now.
And of course, my ball-of-stress, control-freak, ego-monster self is taking over :-D

The question "will I be good enough?" is popping incessantly in my mind. Even though I DO know that "good" is a very elusive concept when it comes to yoga, even though I DO know that it doesn't matter if I can't balance in handstand for the life of me (even against a wall, for f***'s sake!), even though I DO know the studio (same place as in July), obviously the teacher, and a couple of fellow students who were there in July too, even though I DO know that I'll be able to follow language-wise (I'm not saying my English is perfect people, I'm just saying that so far I've been doing ok with podcasts/classes/blogs/intensives/books in English)...

So yes, I'm a bit overwhelmed right now, and needed to vent, but you know what? What I also DO know, is that once I get on my mat tomorrow morning, everything will be fine :-)

...

On a lighter note, I will leave you with something to do, if that's of interest to you: submit your information to be part of the Healthy Living Blogs community! Yes, healthy goes beyond healthy diet, yoga blogs are healthy living blogs too, body+mind+spirit alike :-) Some words from the founders:


Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.com and check the site out for yourself!


  • Email subject line: MEMBERS

  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)

  • Blog Name

  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)

  • Your twitter handle, if applicable

  • Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy's sake, that is completely understandable. We'll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)

  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

Sounds nice, huh?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Confession post

Source

I promised it in a previous post. Wrote it, black on white. Now it's time. Time to disclose stuff that you probably don't want to know but what the heck (read = twisted satya-).
Here we go:

1. In the aforementioned post, I put up this link. Ugly truth is I know exactly what I was doing. I know who Jeff Hardy is, I know who Edge is, I know what the WWE is. Because I watch the bloody shows (no pun intended... although I'm lame like that). Lovely Boyfriend and I even went to the Smackdown live show in Brussels last year, while they were touring the whole world. Yes, I'm proud to say I saw the Undertaker live. Not so much ahimsa right there, but it's fake and funny!

2. I have a weird and twisted sense of humour (see above). No really, I'm not very kind. And I like lame jokes and puns. Lovely Boyfriend often says he's lucky to have me so someone can laugh at his jokes.

3. I groan and moan and sometimes have the hardest time letting go and feeling the bliss of contentment shining through me. Yes, some people still piss me off big time. There, I said it.

4. I have an ego the size of France. You know why I hate playing games? Because I don't want to lose. I hate losing. Which is one the reasons I stick with yoga: I learn a lesson in humility every time I step on the mat, in class or at home. Because I've learned to accept that a. I can't put my foot behind my head, and it will probably never happen, b. It's ok.

5. I used to hate / despise / loathe any kind of physical activity. When I lived in Dijon I used to walk anywhere but never considered it exercise. With hindsight I realized that that's what kept me from ballooning, possibly.

6. Because I was not a healthy happy camper. I was a meat-and-potato-and-anything-with-sugar eater. And around twenty I was a binge eater. Not fun.

7. Lovely Boyfriend, amongst many other things, has nicknamed me Brainiac 5. Now, don't be afraid, I am not a green-skinned alien. But I have a brain that works like a database: read, store, spit it out when requested. I freak myself out sometimes.

I believe there are a lot of other things I could get out there, but I like the number 7, so I'll stop right there.

If there's anything embarrassing you want to share, please go ahead, this is a safe space for you, I promise :-)

EDITED TO ADD: official claim from Lovely Boyfriend: all his jokes are NOT lame, they can also be smart, intelligent, genius. (the things you have to do sometimes...)