Thursday, September 24, 2015

GATHER / the sometimes

Sometimes the blogs posts don't get written, sometimes we feel like a smaller version of ourselves, sometimes we beat ourselves up beyond repair, sometimes we just need someone else to tell us it's okay to feel, sometimes we need someone to come home to, sometime we just need to give ourselves a break, sometimes that big belly breath is all we need, sometimes we need a loving hand, sometimes we have to ask for help, sometimes we have to lean in, sometimes we have to surrender, sometimes we have to dance it out, in the dark, with nothing but a candle burning bright. 

Whatever your sometimes feel like, just know that someone else out there feels them too. 

Tonight my sometimes felt like almost all of these. So I closed my bedroom door, sat on my floor, amped up a mediation track, pulled out my mat, felt some flow to my phone timer, and ended up dancing it out in dark with that one candle burning bright. And you know what......I feel better. I feel more free. I feel inspired to get up tomorrow and lean into that more often. 

It's all about finding that flow; I was diving into my Wanderlust book yesterday and came across this profound truth written by Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe

"the individual merging to the Infinite is best described as a wave in the ocean. The wave is born, and all it sees are other waves and feels these other waves are separate. But things are not as they seem. The wave is simply the ocean in specific expression. Once the life of the wave is over, it goes back to being the ocean. It was always the ocean." 

We are all the ocean in specific expression. We are a part of so much more than we let ourselves believe. We are all here for a profound purpose. Remind yourself of that when you worry that you are just one amongst a million other waves. 

May you have the sweetest dreams. 

This is my most favorite Dance It Out songs at the moment. It's called "Catch and Release" by Matt Simons. Turn it up and just let the sometimes go. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

FOLD / got twenty minutes. dive in.

You've got it. Yep, just twenty minutes. That's all I am asking for.

What's right in front of you, waiting to be taken, indulged, used up and embraced?

"To be happy, it's not enough to eliminate the negative; I must also have sources of positive emotions. Also, because I'd gain the most happiness from a particular experience if I anticipated it, savored it as it unfolds, expressed happiness, and recall the happy memory."
 -Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project-

Filling your cup; pour into ourselves and once we fill up this way, we begin to see the cup runneth over for those around us without depleting ourselves. 

Mini Restorative Sequence (20 minutes) 

Legs Up the Wall (10 minutes) sit next to the wall, with your hip almost touching. From here, swing your legs up the wall as you make your way onto your back. Once on your back, move from side to side to scooch your bum up against the wall. Your legs should be able to easily rest fully extended on the wall in front of you. From here, close your eyes, rest your hands anywhere that offer comfort (on the floor next to you, or resting gently on your lower stomach, let this be intuitive). Settle in here for 5 minutes (stay longer if you day allows). The longer you are here, the more your body can truly relax and the more benefits it can provide. 

Cat & Cow with Alternate Breathing (inhale as you round and exhale as you look up the sky; open up and take care of our lungs; really look up here) (10 rounds of breath) - add in sassy hip movement to really juice up the joints and take care of our bodies and will then offer us the ability to take care of our mind) 

Child's Pose with elongated breath sequence: breathe in for 2 seconds; out for 4 seconds: breathe in for 3 and out for 6: breathe in for four and out or 8. Gently let your breath become longer; notice where it feels difficult and where the breath comes easily. Repeat for 10 rounds of breath. 

Seated Meditation with same elongated breath work. End with hands at the heart space; tuck chin slightly and press back to elongate the neck; breath your last two long breathes here. Gently bow to your teachers, to one another, and with deepest gratitude to yourself.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

POUR / citrus olive oil cake

It's hot hot hot here in Los Angeles. The cake sounded like everything I wanted to feel; light, airy, not too sweet, and easily pair-able with an iced chai latte. It was so easy to make and was light and fluffy when it was finished.

Enjoy your Friday and the weekend ahead. The heat is supposed to give up a little this weekend. Bring it on fall: I'm ready for sweaters, boots, and layers!

adapted from a recipe on the LA Times with Tender Greens pastry chef Annette Picha

2 eggs at room temperature
About 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk (I used skim milk)
1 cup good quality olive oil
Zest of 2 oranges (or citrus fruits of your choice; I used lemons)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tins.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick, about four minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, olive oil and citrus zest. With the mixer running, slowly add to the egg mixture, scraping the bowl down while mixing to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Over low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, scraping down the bowl once again while mixing to make sure the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

5. Spoon the batter in to the lightly greased muffin tins, about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes, rotating the muffin tins halfway through baking for even heating. (I used a loaf pan and it took close to an hour to bake; checking the cake every 15 minutes after the first 20 minutes: it needed a piece of foil over it to prevent the top from burning about halfway through)

6. Cool the cakes completely, then dust lightly with powdered sugar and sprinkle over extra zest before serving.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

GATHER / yellow conference

Last week, I was an early riser, the sun hit my window and I rose to take on the day. I took the metro into downtown Los Angeles and walked into some new and undiscovered neighborhoods by foot. There is nothing like starting your day with thousands of other people moving on the street next to you. It felt so good to start my day with my feet connected to the pavement, surrounded by new faces, breathing the same air, and making the same commute without a car. For two whole days I felt like a New Yorker and oh i loved it so.

I was downtown attending The Yellow Conference. Yellow is a conference for female entrepreneurs seeking to do good in the world; one action, one movement, and one brand at a time. It was two days packed full of inspiring men and women speaking their truth and owning their value. Most took an idea, the willingness to pour their heart and soul into, and now it's blooming, generating, vibe-ing, creating movements, and becoming bigger and more impactful then they could have ever imagined. It was community in it's truest form; a fellowship of women all seeking to use their unique gifts to support their communities, families, neighborhoods, and world at large.

My biggest take-aways from YELLOW.

1. FIND YOUR TRIBE, YOUR SAFE PEOPLE, YOUR BOARDROOM OF ADVISORS (Jeff Shinabarger & Eryn Eddy) - This was a universal theme at this year's conference, but Jeff and Eryn shouted this from the rooftop. We need our people! We need those humans who are willing to look us in the eye when we feel so far from our truth, our mission, and our craft and sweetly urge us to continue offering our gifts to the world. These people hold us, keep us accountable, and help us change the world. Who's in your tribe?

2. YOUR TRUTH IS PARAMOUNT - It has the power to alter, assist others, break down blocks, move mountains, create change, rise above fears; all it takes is YOU listening to YOU!

3. PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD - (Liz Forkin-Bohannon) - yes, yes, and yes! Waiting for things to align with the stars, for someone to bankroll that project, for something magical to drop out of the sky; these things will only STALL you from starting. Sometimes we think that in order to start, things have to be perfect. I am still leaning into this, but starting the journey and fumbling through it only yields learning your craft that much more. Those lessons are teachers, not mistakes. START. NOW. You have everything you need, everything else will come with time.

4. VULNERABILITY - (Ruthie Lindsey & Jeremy Cowart) - Oh these two humans. BRAVE, WILD-HEARTED, SPEAKING THIER TRUTH, OWNING THIER PAIN, RADICALLY ALTERING THE ROOM, kind of humans. Vulnerability is the door to everything; it opens us up, empties us of our deepest loneliness, and is the most radical form of self-love. These two taught me again that sharing who you are with the world is a gift that keeps on giving.

5. LIFE IS MADE UP OF SEASONS (Krysta Masicale) - Krysta's talk was all powerhouse wisdom. It was refreshing to talk about goals with a mission to take on less - to find MORE. I cannot wait to dive into her START booklet and take on my big goals one quarter at a time. I love this idea about looking at our lives in terms of shifting seasons; we are growing, defining, loving, and changing all the time. Seasons help give me the perception that change is always around the corner and by embracing that ebb and flow, I can live more fully in the present and tackle those big goals one day at a time.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF CREATIVELY (Lindsey Sherbondy) - Lindsey was hands-down my favorite speaker of the conference. She was SO raw, real, and honest about her life as a creative and what she feels we need to nurture our creativity. She spoke fiercely about defining our personal style and creative muse and hold onto it for dear life. All we need is to own what we know to be our gifts and roll with them! My favorite question that she posed to us was "Are you creatively nourished?". What a big question....are we leaving and devoting time to wander, to learn, to play, to daydream, to create without boundaries? YES, I want more of all of this!

7. STORYTELLING MATTERS (Vik Harrison & Jessie Simonson) - it can LITERALLY change the world. Your story connects, deeply and irrevocably to others when shared authentically. By sharing your story, your mission, your cause; you can enlist a team, start a movement, shift the perspective, alter the universe. By simply sharing your story you encourage others to care about their own.