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Month in Review

Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.—Yvonne Woon

Month in Review

Although I’m taking some space from regular blogging, I wanted to share May’s highlights coupled with Savvy Sources.

May was a sweet month filled with assorted joys—spending a winery day with my parents, attending the Taos writing workshop, sipping tea at Laduree, hearing Thievery Corporation accompanied by an orchestra at The Kennedy Center, watching the live stream as Anita Krajnc was found not guilty, attending and hosting celebrations for a friend who wrote the Hemingway spy book, enjoying a dinner in honor of four teachers’ 15-year anniversary at Tranquil Space, doing a session with my writing teacher, getting studios “springified,” collaborating with clients, spending time in my art journal, hosting the Art + Yoga retreat in West Virginia, eating outside, playing with peonies, and the tiny moments in between.

What are some of your May highlights?

New Month Wish List

Host inspiring Yoga + the Animals
Celebrate 44th birthday in the country
Savor time with Mom and Dad
Finish two books
Consume less sugar
Prepare for launch of Vet Social Work + Memoir Writing courses in July
Announce Tranquil Space Foundation’s new program: Pigs & Pugs Project
Host inspiring Writing Lab
Release two podcasts
Get 8-week Tranquil Teens program edits to graphic designer
Enjoy show at The Kennedy Center

What’s on your June wish list?

Savvy Sources

10 Trips You Should Take in Your Lifetime
Dani Shapiro on Finding the Quiet Within
The Simple Action You Can Take Right Now to Change Your Life. All You Need is a Pen.
How to Cook Healthy with More Ease
The Case for Eliminating Sugar. All of It.
126 Dog Meat Restaurants in China are Closed Thanks to Activists
How Showing Compassion For Animals Can Improve Your Health
The Writer’s Process
The Pig Trial Is Not Over
Activist Who Gave Water to Pigs is Found Not Guilty of a Crime
How to Add Summer Fruits and Veggies to Your Dog’s Diet
Simplicity, Productivity, and the Personal Uniform
13 Things You Can Do to Reduce Stress

Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with a deep exhale. Bisous. x

Week in Review

Week in Review

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.—Albert Einstein

After this morning’s yin yoga class, I headed to a nearby cafe. Armed with a book and Moleskine, I ordered tea and found a cozy spot under an umbrella outside. Although it was quite chilly, I craved fresh air and was fine staying bundled in layers. Tim and the pups joined and we read until our hands were too cold to continue.

My cafe read is a book I pulled out last night and purchased nearly two decades ago, Your Life As Story. While sitting outside I finished a chapter on the history of autobiographical writing starting in 3000 BC with the Egyptians to Saint Augustine in 399 AD to ex-slave narratives in the mid-nineteenth century to Gertrude Stein and Henry Miller to Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior.

While researching the author, Tristine Rainer, I saw that she considers Anaïs Nin her mentor. No wonder I like her book (I also have her other book, The New Diary and she has a new one coming out about her relationship with Anaïs Nin, Apprenticed to Venus)! Just a few hours ago during the Business of Yoga session I confessed how I thought I’d have lots of time to read  Anaïs Nin’s journals when I left a full-time job to teach yoga (circa 2000).

I laughed at my naiveté. Her journals remain prominently stacked on an entire shelf of my built-ins awaiting their much-deserved attention. They are my equivalent of a religious relic. I’ve had a thing for her since my early 20s when Jewel sang about Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller being together until the end. When I  dressed up as her for Halloween one year, I found that people’s responses to who I was spoke volumes.

“Who?!” “What’s that?” “Omg, love her!”

Tomorrow we’re heading to a dog-friendly winery with plans to soak up the sunshine and fresh air. I’ll have my Anaïs Nin-mentored book in tow. At times city living can feel constricting—as if the walls are closing in. Not surprising, at my desk and by my bed I find myself closed in by books. A jaunt to rolling hills, vineyards, and open space does wonders.

Nature therapy, here I come. Bisous. x

This week I collaborated with clients, taught mindfulness, took a workshop at Tranquil Space, taught writing lab, taught the business of yoga workshop, released a Love Note, released a podcast, conducted three podcast interviews, attended teacher auditions, finished a box of 100 blow pops gifted over Christmas (#notproud), took yoga, biked around town in the rain, penned Tranquil Space’s newsletter muse, enjoyed an acai bowl over date brunch, and started the 100 day project.

Pics in Review

  1. Reading
  2. More reading
  3. Post-yoga cafe time with pups
  4. All 3 pets on my lap
  5. Acai bowl brunch at Le Pain Quotidien
  6. My 4th grade class photo found on Facebook {See me? hint: I’m wearing a turtle t-shirt}

Savvy Sources

Turn Negative Thinkers into Positive Ones
22 Documentaries That Will Change the Way You Think
How Simple Mini Habits Can Change Your Life
The 12 Most Instagrammable Spots in Paris
How to Be Mindful With Your Phone
13 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life
Doing Something Creative Can Boost Your Well-Being
How Highly Successful Women Make the Most of Friday
Sleep Is the New Status Symbol
Pig Begins New Life at Sanctuary
{Recipes} Acai Bowls: The World’s Best Healthy Breakfast
30 Outstanding Podcasts for Writers

Weekend Wish List

Host inspiring Biz of Yoga workshop
Host inspiring Writing Lab
Savor yin yoga
Family time
See Chicago at The Kennedy Center
Prep for the upcoming week
Head to the country for the afternoon

Week{s} in Review

Week{s} in Review

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.—Anaïs Nin

I missed last week’s Week in Review and almost skipped this one. Despite writing this blog since 2004 (13 years!), I’m finding it harder and harder to write.

Don’t worry, I’m not pleading “crazy busy,” I gave up that phrase long ago after reading The ‘Busy’ Trap. It’s deeper than that. The more I study writing, the harder I find it. I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way. Typically you study something, knowledge grows, and you become more comfortable.

Not me. Guess I’ve never really been “normal,” but wow is this challenging!

A few years ago I had essays-in-progress critiqued in a writing workshop that brought me to tears. Sure, I’m pretty sensitive already, but hearing things like “so judgy and she’s a yoga teacher” (author’s note: my Gramma’s nurse was obese and smelled of cigarette smoke), “‘greeted the law firm secretaries’, so condescending” (author’s note: I think saying “hello” is a nice thing), and “must have a trust fund to move to Colorado to ski” (author’s note: no, I saved money from my many part-time jobs) from a group of strangers shook my early memoir writing foundation.

I’m still trying to rebuild and find the process much harder than expected. My first few non-fiction books flowed differently. Not easily, but there was still flow.

This? Well, this transition to personal essay/memoir is akin to opening my veins and bleeding onto the page. Not that I have tons of trauma, just that it takes so much soul-searching. I think I’ve been skirting the edges for the past 43 years and feel called to dive in. Head first.

And, well, I’m not much of a swimmer. Bisous. x

These past two weeks I collaborated with clients, taught a 3-hour yoga and creativity workshop, attended a 4-day psychotherapy conference, got a mani and highlights, released a podcast and Love Note, hosted Tranquility du Jour Live, biked around town, attended a book signing for MeatLess, hosted a mentoring session, attended yoga teacher auditions, signed up for a peony-cutting and -arranging workshop, nursed a flu-turned-sinus-struggle, met a friend for tea, had a call with my writing teacher, attended an online memoir webinar, taught mindfulness class, penned two snail mail notes, finished A Writer’s Guide to Non-Fiction and Chasing Slow, went on numerous walks, and coordinated Eat Veg week at Tranquil Space.

Pics in Review

  1. Ladies in black
  2. Writing space
  3. Pink blooms
  4. Book signing event (future podcast guest)
  5. Garden blooms
  6. Dog park
  7. Non-dairy ice cream (Daiquiri Ice)
  8. Pink petals
  9. Writing moment

Savvy Sources

An Enduring Friendship: Matthieu Ricard and Jane Goodall
7 Things You Should Clean Out of Your Closet
Happiest Man in the World Says Veganism is the Key to Happiness
Writing Personal Essays with Help From the NY Times
Mindless Thinking and the Disease of Being Busy
Tour This 362-Sq. Ft. Cottage
Living Beautifully on 25k-27k per Year
Timeless Advice on Writing
Gardening 101: Plant Your Own Gourmet Garden
Mindfulness As Play: Using Glitter Jars to Harness the Imagination, Ease Anxiety

Weekend Wish List

Do yoga
Organize paperwork (where does it all come from?)
Coddle Mookie
Attend Meg’s yoga thesis workshop
Host a mentoring session
Soak in the tub
Sip cold rose green tea
Review March dreams and pen April’s