Living in Gratitude

This past weekend was my last yoga weekend in Duluth. We have one more weekend together, down in the Cities at the Minneapolis Yoga Conference, and then we can enter the world as certified teachers.

There was a strong sense of finality throughout the weekend as we recognized that this our last time together in the space we’ve shared now for five months. At the end of class on Sunday, we each went around saying some words that described how we were feeling. One classmate said “a sense of loss”. Studying yoga is such an interesting thing because the philosophies teach you to be unattached both to worldly possessions and desires. Appreciating the community we’ve built around one another in class without feeling attachment to that connection is so incredibly difficult.

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This past month I wrote about compassionate self-discipline and I promised a three part series to be posted sometime in December about happiness.

And then, *long sigh*, life happened. I fell out of a rhythm with my practice and I completely distracted myself from moving forward with my goals as I allowed other things to cloud my mind.

Outside of the intense energy circulating the holiday season, I had entered a new job that wasn’t shaping up to be a positive experience. After a month of feeling like I couldn’t breathe I finally decided I needed to find a new job and in a completely uncharacteristic move, I quit without anything else lined up or without a single days notice.

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Compassionate Self Love

The first weekend of December I reached the halfway mark of my yoga certification. I’ve been relatively quiet about this experience so far and in truth it’s because I’ve felt really busy the past few months. Getting back into the rhythm of being in school, after a two year hiatus, was a bit more challenging than I expected. This month, I’m making an effort to slow down and find more balance.

I’m sometimes so in awe of what an incredible experience this is. I’ve loved yoga since I first began practicing in high school but this education is so much more than an on the mat practice. I’ve learned more about myself, had some pretty awakening realizations, and have made visible strides to have an “off-the-mat” yoga practice. This education is not only transforming the mechanics of my body, it’s challenging me to take control of my mind and have a more meaningful existence.

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Fall is here, ring the bell

The skyline of Duluth has transformed into spectacular hues of red and orange and leaves have began to delicately blanket the roadways. Within a short weeks time the air was crisp and pumpkins elaborately decorated doorsteps throughout every neighborhood of Duluth. Fall is here, bringing Cooper and I to one full year in this incredible place.

Being my first full year of seasons, I’m still amazed by the ability of such subtle changes to completely capture my attention. People have laughed at me for exclaiming excitement over weather, finding my wonder endearing. I’ve become quieter about my intrigue in nature’s growth recently as I’ve used each moment of awareness to practice deeper appreciation for simple beauty.  It wasn’t till last Friday while we explored Jay Cooke State Park that Cooper even noticed the transformation taking place around us.

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