a little me time.

photo by beautiful _light on instagram

it’s late. i’m in bed, under the covers. my love is snuggled next to me, in a deep sleep. our string of lights over the bed and windows is lit. norah jones is quietly playing, reminding me of special, amazing days gone by. and a glass of wine sits on the floor next to me. this is me time.

i began the day with a beautiful meditation session, and i am ending it in these perfect moments. in between, though, it all felt a bit chaotic

photo by beautiful _light on instagram
photo by beautiful _light on instagram

but, that great big, beautiful moon hanging in the sky just outside my window tonight reminds me that all the chaos and stress is merely a little speck in the greater scheme of things – the greater scheme of my life and my place in the universe. the worries, fears, and stress will all melt away – for that is not who i am. that is not who we are. we are much smaller and much larger, at the same time.

so, in this quiet, solitary, peaceful moment, i let my day wind down and come to an end. tomorrow there will be a new dawn, with new experiences and adventures. but, now, right now, time stands still – and i feel quietly contented. right now is all about me.

you see, i have a tendency to do everything for everyone – to always think about others first… to the point that i forget about my desires, needs, wants. but, right now, tonight, as i think back over my day, i remember the importance of caring for myself. of saying no. of doing some things that i love. of getting away and retreating to the inner world for refreshment and inspiration.

this is me

and, as i just let myself be right now, i feel my heartbeat. i hear my soul. i just stare out the window, pound these computer keys, take a deep breath, let the music wash over me, and soak up this lovely, lovely moment of peace.

the night has come – and now it’s late. soon, it’ll be time to close my eyes and sleep. but, not just yet. just a few more minutes of late night perfection.

namaste.

paradise! (2014’s word of the year).

IMG_7243

it’s word of the year time! and, as you can tell by the title, my word for 2014 is paradise. it came to me one day in december during one of my fika meet ups. it was something i read, a message to me in a random horoscope i picked up. when i saw the word, “paradise” laying on the page, in black and white, i knew that creating my own paradise – as the text suggested – was perfect. it stated exactly where i am in life as this new year begins. then, a few days after christmas i received my “message from the universe” email in my inbox which said this:

“I want you to know, Liz, that I’ve ordered up another year for you. Think I’ll call it 2014. 

I’m going to put most of the same people from 2013 in it, since you all think so much alike. But there’ll also be a few new, very cool cats coming to play – give them some time to grow up though. 

And I’m going to have things start off pretty much exactly where they left off in 2013, for continuity’s sake. Flips folks out too much when I don’t. 

All in all, 365 more days in paradise… and only one request of you: DREAM BIGGER.”

unbelievable, i thought. seriously. the word paradise showed up again, screaming at me that this was my word for 2014. but, i sat with it, not claiming it as my word of the year until the day before new year’s eve…

in order to hammer down and commit to my word for the year, i needed a little self-retreat evening – ‘cuz that’s how i roll. so, on the 30th of december i did just that. thanks to a link from an instagram buddy, i found the perfect material on susannah conway’s blog to help guide me through this process of claiming my word for 2014.

i went into our studio, lit a bunch of candles, got my journal and some pens, and a glass of wine and some music, and sat down for about 2 hours. what happened during that time was a literal letting go of and saying farewell to 2013, and preparing my vision for 2014. and, in the end, it came to be that paradise was exactly the word that fit my vision for the upcoming year.

so much has happened in the past year. so many amazing things have begun, that i felt my soul telling me to grab onto the things that have begun, and dig in. work hard. bring those dreams, which have only begun to peek out of the ground like little seeds sprouting, to fruition – this is the heart of me creating my own paradise.

so, it’s not a new year of chasing new dreams. instead, it’s a new year of working on the dreams which have already begun to come true. it’s a new year of creating that paradise, that way of life that i yearn for and crave. things that only just started in 2013… now’s the time to really make things happen. no more searching and seeking. no more trying to discover who i am (though every day is a learning process and reveals more & more of who we are throughout all of life). no more just being and asking for my soul to reveal its hidden secrets to me. no, now is the time for living. and i mean living life to the fullest. now, is the time to grow and build and become. now is the time to do things.

with a blank slate before me, i have been thinking about what paradise would look like for me this year. i went to handy dandy pinterest and my journal to gather images, words, and symbols that speak to my soul. i suppose it has been my version of vision-boarding. anyway, here are some of the things that i hope to make part of my paradise in 2014:

a wild year.

tumblr_myuqcv1Ygd1sna7dto1_r1_500 tumblr_mytqq2Rw1z1rpocnyo1_500

tumblr_mor4laleSU1rzthl7o1_500

a637cfb838b99100ae02aa174edd098a897ae86f4e2e0ae18f9d78bf8dd3ee02

a spiritual year.  tumblr_mytb84NEhf1t0zh2ao1_500

102bf57e6f81e4aadf26a61ab0de0cfd

a magical year.tumblr_myt99tcIBS1rp1pulo1_500

tumblr_mysrij3yL51t90v0so1_500

3193290da3cff89c3d07d3b6cbacf416

8dad7992408e1e0f7d4f0d2b940c9fd2

a simple year.tumblr_myk7twl9a31rp1pulo1_500tumblr_m7ru0mxtuZ1qlkvz1o1_500

7310736e3e42f25a4e60d10a5cb95bec

fa645db91785bc503422a7a49c8f6ac2 b7bed9d2c09e5000454372f856451064c090df1d3916f9f088f7f0f6fa352ad5

a healthy year.

36a63de52a07ef9fb264905ecc26a101

bfaa55bc5f21daa9560d129b0be8fc5e

51220803c452b784628eaa6900d80df3

24058c705f165270c8c5ce95f52ddbe9

a wandering year.

12c8cde258decf7b0b6d04a3c7b018dc

a81ab6c2431791afd2ac7d799e0766f3 a28bc3688cfc3b111e5a6d4e4e10f051

81333fb503c2ab74329829eb27dc94dba passionate year.

7694c580ffc2386a13ab579d72f691b3

3e908f0f6408d25a4b3a3346ef9ef08e

one more thing about paradise: yes, the word inspires and challenges me to make my life exactly how i want it to be… to live the life i want to live and to actively make that happen. but, it is also all about understanding, realizing, and be aware that paradise is already right here, right now. it is within. it is only a matter of opening my eyes, slowing down to breathe and recognize the beauty in the present moment – and celebrating every single day.

so, ultimately 2014 is about creating balance – and that creates paradise. it is a balanced life of staying connected and grounded (and for me that is through mediation, etc.) and staying active (using the inspiration i receive through meditation, etc.) to create the paradise i dream of.

what about you? have you chosen a word or a phrase for 2014? what is it? share with me… let’s inspire each other! wishing you the happiest, most adventurous, and beautiful 2014!

peace & love. xx

long time sun: the yoga in me.

20130204-111118.jpg

i planned on writing this morning, but instead i followed my love to an appointment she had. nothing like plans changing, huh?

except it was a good thing. a really good thing.

you see, i love yoga. you may know that. it’s been something I added to my life about a year ago. i’d wanted to practice yoga for many years, but i guess the time was never right.

anyway, i knew it would be something great for me. right up my alley. and it is. i am meant for yoga. if you don’t know, there are many, many, many types of yoga… and i know nothing about them really. only the one i practice: kundalini.

kundalini yoga is quite relaxing and physical at the same time. there is a really good balance between silent, deep breathing (meditation, one could say) and physical movement (which kicks my ass). and the movement is not always slow. it’s a really good type of yoga for those of us who cannot shut off our brains and need to do more than just sit there in silence.

so, i’ve found a home in my yoga practice. and i’m pretty sure it’s a long term commitment. i can’t imagine not doing it, and i crave even more time.

but, what does all that have to do with today’s changed plans?

well, when i sat down in the waiting room to wait for lina, i saw that a little candle was lit. cozy, i thought. and then i got got up & saw some tea bags, hot water, and mugs. and i thought “perfect.” then, i saw it was yogi tea, which made me think of yoga. so, i decided that i would spend my time in the waiting room sipping tea, listening to meditative music, and just breathing. suddenly, i realized that this trip with my love to her appointment was a blessing in disguise.

i plugged my headphones in my ears and searched for a song, when I remembered one particular song that my yoga instructor uses every week. at the end of our yoga pass, we have a fairly long resting time on our yoga mats. our instructor guides us in a meditation to relax our body & mind, and to let the the energy and feelings from our yoga soak into our body & mind. this is a very relaxing and wonderful time… and i have been known to fall asleep during these 15 minutes. oops. hehe.

as i sat alone in the waiting room, i searched for & found this particular song on one of my playlists. i closed my eyes, turned up the volume in my ears, and began breathing. in and out. deep & slow. my mind was focused only on the lyrics of the song. they are so beautiful, so peaceful. i felt such a sense of calm, and of being completely grounded. completely connected.

you know, not all of us need to like yoga. not all of us need to practice saying long prayers, or chanting, or whatever else. but, it is important to slow down. it is beneficial to take a few deep breaths. it is inspiring to connect with God, or with the Tao, or your self, or with fellow humans. for me, it doesn’t matter if you do it by listening to God, or emptying your mind, or making some yoga poses, or taking a long walk, or reading a book. i find God in the midst of everything and everyone.  and i highly recommend trying to live a balanced life – something i am not always good at, but that i keep struggling & trying to do. and of course, i highly recommend being completely silent too. time to face yourself, to hear your inner voice, and your heartbeat. time to connect to the divine image within you.

i believe we have all been created with equal worth. each of us possessing certain gifts, passions, talents. each of us lovable, beautiful, unique people with something to offer to this world. for me, yoga, prayer, and meditation are the things in my life that connect me to my soul – to that piece of God, of light, of love,of mystery, of divinity that is within. they are the means by which i am reminded of who i am – where i have been, where i am, and where i am going. they are the sacraments that allow me to slow down & remember that i have a purpose, a calling, to be authentically me. to live my life filled with carefree passion and love. this is where my dreams are born and the courage to follow them is inspired. this is where i find joy and more reasons than i can count to celebrate life.

i invite you, my friends, to take a few moments and listen to my little yoga song. it’s my benediction to you. let the words soak in. accept it as a blessing, and allow yourselves a few moments to just be you.

now, my dear readers, i bid you goodnight. and i send you sunshine, love, & peace. sat nam.