Verge

Stargazing

One of the Yoga Deck at Jakes Hotel

One of the Yoga Deck at Jakes Hotel

Last week I was on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Jamaica. I don’t know if I have ever seen a star filled sky like I saw last week.  As I attempted to capture the Caribbean night sky with my phone, my friend Margot said to me, “A camera can’t capture God.” So I put down my camera and looked up. The longer I looked, the more I saw. The deeper the stars went and the brighter they became. It was magically and miraculously endless.  In a way, that night of stargazing was a perfect metaphor for my experience at Jakes Hotel.

I was on a yoga retreat with Verge at Jakes Hotel in the delightfully un-touristy Treasure Beach, Jamaica. I was there to teach yoga and meditation. My intention going into the week was simple:

Allow

Be of Service

Love

To some extent I have always known that what you put out, you get back. Call it Karma, Divinity or The Universal Law of How Things Just Are (I just made that one up). You see, I know this, but this week I REALLY learned it and felt it and now “know” it in a whole different capacity than before. It’s like knowing something intellectually or knowing it in your heart with your whole being. The latter being a deeper and more stable place to inhabit.

In setting my intention to just allow (and repeating this intention), I was able to be more open, less controlling and way more in the flow. It is so simple, really (I say this as a reminder to myself now that I am back in the fullness of my life). It just takes some letting go and allowing for whatever is to be exactly as it is.  Being in the flow is a cool place to be. It is where I wish to reside!

In setting my intention to Be Of Service, what actually happened was that I got to hear, see and be witness to so much wisdom from all of those around me. This was especially poignant when I visited a local Jamaican Elementary School.  The wisdom, love and joy that I felt from these children is still resonating with me now. Surely they served me more than I could ever imagine serving them.

In setting my intention to Love I was able to follow through with the other two intentions. And in return, I was the one that felt so much love. Isn’t that just so awesome how it all works? You get exactly what you put out and it all counts; each breath, each thought and each precious moment!

This week reminded me that intentions really do count, that what we put out into the world we get back. It also reminded me to slow down and look around. There is so much to see out there and within ourselves if we are willing to put down our phones and look.

Sunset from our front porch at Jakes Hotel

Sunset from our front porch at Jakes Hotel

The Yin and Yang of Life…..

Tomorrow morning I will wake up with a heart full and empty all at once; a pulling here and there. Tomorrow morning I take off for Jakes Hotel in the dreamiest of places; Treasure Beach, Jamaica. I will be  “getting out of Dodge.” This has been a long hard winter (saying this makes me feel like Laura Ingles from Little House on the Prairie). This winter has been cold and snowy, there have been health dramas and a dozen snow days, plus all of that other stuff that happens in life regardless of weather patterns. To be honest, at times I have felt totally overwhelmed. But it has also been a great winter with many unexpected and heartwarming gifts. For starters, I loosened the house rules and my three boys are now expert indoor rip-stickers. Have you ever tried rip-sticking? It is NOT easy. Another gift: My middle son taught his younger (and much louder)  brother how to play chess. I also watched my one son fall in love with our dog. He has always “loved” him, but not like he does now- all in with his whole heart kind of love. I got to have more snuggly sofa time and more family games. The family games were not all “fun and games”. I learned that my kids are ruthless when it comes to monopoly. They cheat, steal and have no qualms about going after each other physically. We now have a non-negotiable rule that monopoly MAY not be played without an adult present.  So while this cold and snowy winter has lasted longer than I would have liked, and has caused some snafu’s, it has mostly been pretty great.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” –Rumi

Loving what you do can cause a tug at your heart. I have come to learn that this is just how it is. So, rather than push it away and squash it, I will feel the love of what I do along with the missing in my heart. Tomorrow I leave for a warmer and more bohemian place than I normally inhabit. I will be teaching yoga and meditation, I will be visiting a school to teach adorable children yoga, I might even zip line through the tree tops at YS Falls. This is a dream come true. My heart is filled with gratitude for this opportunity to go deep into a place of stillness and strength with yoga and meditation practice, along with lots of wonderful people in a beautiful setting. When I was at Jakes last year I was so moved by the people of Jamaica. Their tender soft hearts and mindful way of moving through life touched me deeply. So while I am going to miss my family a LOT, with my whole-being kind of missing, I am also filled with gratitude. I guess this is life……the yin and yang of existence.

Namaste. Xo

Team Verge…..Tri it with a Smile

Many years ago, almost a life time ago, I was a competitive swimmer. I only mention this because I am clinging onto the hope that my body, mind and spirit will have some sort of “memory” of this and be able to kick in to gear and move through water without sinking to the bottom. I am doing my first triathlon on May 19th. I have registered and everything. By everything, I mean I am two weeks into training, I have told people that I am doing this, and I even bought a seriously ugly tri suit that makes me look like a short bald man. Oh, I also retrofitted my (taller) husbands racing bike to fit me. Well, it sort-of fits me.

I was inspired to do a triathlon last spring after watching my friend Dan fight a courageous battle against cancer. After almost 2 years of fighting this disease, Dan passed away in June 2012. I became friends with Dan and his AMAZING wife Sue after we realized we shared a babysitter. Truth be told, the child whisperer known as Katie Fitton was their babysitter. We were merely borrowing Katie from time to time. Like everyone who knows Dan and Sue, we became fast friends. When Dan was diagnosed with cancer, we had so much hope that he would survive it, but that was not God’s plan. Dan fought such a courageous battle with Sue, his four beautiful children and his extended family at his side. They demonstrated such grace and guts throughout Dan’s journey. They were and continue to be a major inspiration in my life.

Soon after Dan passed away I had an idea that I would honor him by doing a triathlon. I mentioned this to Sue one day as I was riding around our neighborhood on my beach cruiser (more on this later). I came home, told my husband and then thought HOLY SH&%.

As time went by, my desire to honor Dan was clear and a desire to show my children that anything is possible emerged. However, I couldn’t figure out how to JUST DO IT. I heard about CNN Fit Nation and Dr. Sanjay Gupta selecting a group of people to help them train for a triathlon. I submitted a video and crossed my fingers. I was hoping I would be selected because then I would be accountable. I never got selected. Soon after, I heard that my friend and fellow yoga instructor Carlyn was training for a tri in May.  One thing led to another and TEAM VERGE emerged. Along with five other yogis,  I will be doing the Black Bear Tri on May 19th. OMG! We all have our own reasons and inspirations for embarking on this journey. My intention for this triathlon is to honor the way Dan Schultz lived his life to the fullest and to hopefully inspire my children. Dan lived his life to the fullest and has inspired me to do the same. Dan did everything with a smile, that’s why I am calling it TEAM VERGE….Tri it with a smile.

From time to time I will update this blog about how my training is going. What I have learned from only two short weeks of training is that I am really hungry after I swim and I am not a very good runner. Actually, I have always know I was not a good runner, now I am faced with it again and again and again.

I will be offering a couple of donation based yoga classes before May 19th to raise money and awareness to be donated in Dan’s honor. The cause is TBD. Stay tuned!