Thursday, July 30, 2015

GATHER / cultivation

from the Dear Lizzy blog

I recently read Brene Brown's [lady game changer extraordinaire] The Gifts of Imperfection and beyond offering me a whole new mindset from which to encounter the world, I was left with one really resonating question,

"What does it take to cultivate what we need?" 

I immediately went to my trusted journal and began to write down all the words for my chosen future.


ocean waves
mountain views
children laughing, lots of laughing
teaching students at home where they feel most safe to explore
long and meaningful gazes into my husbands eyes
cool breezes and lots of light (pouring in)
a house with homey feelings
bright bouquets that greet me
radical and life altering conversations with people I admire
adventures always on the calendar
lots of noise with my family and then silence when I deeply need it
a cultivated and chosen tribe
morning hikes with my dog
yoga as my continuing teacher, guide, and source of inspiration
trust in the universe and a pathway to explore spirituality
flannel and lots and lots of blankets
early mornings
plane rides home to visit and connect with those three i love the most
belly laughs (there it is again)
lots of snuggling and whispers and midnight kisses
afternoon naps, long and luxurious
to be my own boss - to own what I create and inspire others to do the same
generosity to be a default - a place to start from - to give to give to give
financial freedom to calm and maintain the struggle
a space in that airy place to call my OWN
an early bedtime
space for sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy that grows and deepens over time
moonlit walks, lots of stars, and feeling small in the universe
hand holding, hand holding, hand holding
wandering without a destination
traveling to see WONDER
phones turned off during meals and meaningful conversations - I crave connection
a schedule that allows for me to be a mom, a wife, a yoga teacher, and a entrepreneur
a business partner to collaborate with who shines just as bright as me

This list could go on and on and on. When I thought about everything on this list, a smile found it's way to my lips and was firmly planted there for thirty minutes. I really, achingly, enthusiastically want to create this life. When I started thinking about HOW to create action towards those moments, I immediately tapped into feelings. I know that the path to the future happens in each and every step; nothing is wasted, everything is earned. These words are my feeling path to cultivation.



If we never start dreaming about our ideal life, how will we know when we've found it?

How do you cultivate what you need? 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

GATHER / show some love

This week's letter love is from Breathless Paper Co. Seriously though, this card.

Started by couple Jessica and Matthew Berinato. The company, based in Atlanta GA, is named after Jean-Luc Godard's film Breathless, which ironically Jessica and Matthew have never seen. They loved the intentional feeling of being swept away, gasping for breath, and laughing till your sides hurt. These two are totally my jam.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FOLD / thoughts versus reality

I found myself in a whirlwind, one of those downward spiral days where you can't seem to muster the courage to be your own hero. Without warning, I turned against myself and that negative voice in my mind became louder and louder.

"You don't do/see/experience/dream enough" 

"You aren't accomplished enough" 

"You don't have enough social media followers" 

"People don't want what you have to offer" 

"What are you doing with your life/relationship/job/brand/stories?" 

"Who do you think you are?" "

"That dream is never going to happen" 

That little voice threatens to tell me how big I am allowed to dream. It tries to force me into a very small, windowless, airless room where dreams go to be stifled.

So today, I made a date with a friend whom I truly admire and we got onto our mats. The magical space was light filled, homemade prayer flags hung from the rafters, light poured in through the windows, and the energy was collective and energetic. Our mats were faced in towards our neighbors in the back row. We were instantly asked to connect with the person across from us, a stranger immediately became a friend. Our incredibly mindful and compassionate teacher started class by asking us to examine our practice through the lens of our bodies, not our thoughts. We often let our thoughts rule our experience. The more these thoughts creep into our psyche the less room there is for dreaming, curiosity, and possibility. And I don't know about you, but I need more of those words/moments/experiences/feelings in my life.

As we moved through the physically challenging practice, using our connection to breath and the person in front of us, those voices loosened their grip. Most likely they will hide in a dark corner until I open the door and invite them inside again, but in this short hour, I let myself just be in my body, next to my friend.

Those voices are NOT YOU.

They're not YOUR TRUTH.

They're not YOUR DREAMS.

They're not your ability to CHANGE / ADAPT / CHOOSE / SOAR.

Be kind and gentle with yourself. You're traveling a long and winding road, and none of us can travel it alone. Be your best friend. You are enough, just as you are.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

FOLD / get grateful

GRATITUDE: the quality or feeling of being grateful. 

It starts here. When the world has been running us ragged, showing us what we are made of, relentless in it's expectations and testing our patience and perseverance. Stop. Pause. Take a few minutes to reflect on all those little things, moments, people, interactions that infuse gratitude into your day. There is no quicker way to banish those thoughts of unworthiness than with a simple gratitude practice. 

Take out your most beloved journal, a blank piece of paper, or a post-it note and jot down all those moments that filled you up today. Give yourself the gift of a few moments to connect with your deepest, most full, place of gratitude. 

I promise, you will feel better. 

These were mine: 

I woke up with my feet intertwined next to the love of my life. His face was scrunched up and he was sleeping so deeply. I felt deeply comfortable in my vulnerability. 

I sleep buried under a mountain of blankets and pillows. Here I feel such a deep sense of peace and ease. 

I was able to make a smoothie filled with fresh fresh and greens and got to start my day with that in my belly. 

I am lucky enough to be able to afford a car to drive to work. [I take this for granted quite often, but in a city like Los Angeles, this is actually a gift that saves time] 

My job is in a light filled space, where I am able to create connection and happiness through stationery. The beach music station is playing and I am quietly observing everyone outside.

I listened to the incredibly bad-ass BEING BOSS podcast by two incredible talented women, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson. This podcast will change your life, especially if you want to BE A BOSS or are currently rocking that title. It's altered my views of traffic in LA, more time to listen and learn.

I came home to a place that feel so much like home to me. I am surrounded by things and a person I love, every time I come through that door.

I spent some time inverted on my yoga mat. I happily slung my feet up my wall and felt my low back release into the earth. I feel supported here, every time.

I have eyes, that can see, and I can read my book, currently obsessed with My Paris Dream by Kate Betts, under the watchful eye of the lamp on my bedside table.

I ended my day as I started it, in bed with that loving man next to me, curled up under too many blankets.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

FOLD / moksha

Several of my most soulful yoga classes last week made space and created energy around the blessings of our freedoms. Our physical freedom from oppressive regimes, our freedom to create our own boundaries with our bodies, the freedom to choose what we focus on for our careers, the freedom to finally choose who we want to marry, the freedom in how to raise our families, and how to share our love. We are free to create, change, and be who we are without the approval of anyone but ourselves. It's funny how often we forget this, take this granted, and believe that we are in a state of lack (myself included).

Breathe that in: DEEPLY.


We also mediated and held space for that precious freedom inside of all of us. That freedom we often deny with hateful words, micro-managing, and self-loathing. We are all made of stars, we are all bigger than the small definitions we assign to ourselves. We are BIG and IMPORTANT and PRECIOUS in this world. Yet, for some reason, we let tiny tyrants in our head talk to us like our worst enemy. We let them roam and offer up the illusion of power all over our headspace. Give yourself your body, brain, mind, and heart back. Get on your mat, let your heart space soften, come to listen and know that YOU are actually the one with your hands on the wheel. You're beautiful, soft, strong, powerful, fearless, full of love and belonging. You have the freedom to take that back from the voice that runs rampant in your head.

MOKSHA is the Sanskritमुच् word for emancipation, release, and freedom. If you stand tall, reach the crown of your head up towards the sky, release your hands down by your side, drop your shoulders, gaze forward and stand your ground: freedom will follow. We worked a lot this week on heart opening: by pulling our should blades together and down your back you can actually create space in your heart's center. You can breathe fuller, bigger, and with more ease. Try a few breaths on your mat, deeply inhale and let out a long exhale. 

Do you feel that? YOU just gave YOURSELF freedom. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

GATHER / the anxiety train

This week we gave in, gave up, and decided to stop looking for the perfect place to own in Los Angeles. After months of looking, bidding, and being rejected, the anxiety was taking over. We stopped finding joy in the search and began to dread the process; we hoped on that train and it has run away with us aboard. With so much else in flux this year and so little in our control, we decided we didn't need it, not right now. So we switched gears and decided that moving a few doors down in the same building would give us that space we were craving right now. No fighting, bickering, clamoring to get a place, just an easy and seamless transition to soothe a momentary pain point.

The thing about the search was the gift of dreaming, together. So now, with a new rented space within our grasp, we are imagining our future among new walls. We are dreaming about new colors, new arrangements, creating a new space devoted to practicing yoga and hopefully teaching private yoga classes at home, and having an extra bedroom for an office that we so badly need. All this movement is stressful and at times feels overwhelming, but the dreaming feels oh so good.

A life we've been wanting, it seems closer than ever before, even among the perceived failure.

So when the world begs for you to jump on that totally irrational anxiety train. Just pause, take a deep breath and instead of FREAKING OUT, just alter your course and keep dreaming. The dreaming will soothe all those loud fears and will banish them to another day.

Friday, July 3, 2015

GATHER / core desired feeling (yep, just one) JULY EDITION

How do you want to FEEL this month? 

This is my birth month and boy oh boy, I'm going to dig deep, dive into self-care, practice yoga, and treat myself. I noticed that having five words to define my month felt at times a bit of a mouthful as a mantra. I was writing these words and then abandoning them for the rest of the month; which totally defeats the purpose of creating them. So this month, I am sticking with ONE BIG WORD.


a deep sense of purpose
 the process by which a wound heals
a sense of moving forward
infusing action with love
that thought that leads us through our practice
a spiritual practice
your inner truth
that whisper that urges you to be brave
a destination
to express in words
a sense of direction
room to contemplate