7.03.2015

we're different... we're the same

My look is not everyone's cup of tea.

I know that, I accept that, and I'm okay with that. 

I have colored hair. A few weeks ago I bumped my dip-dyed blue hair up a notch by doing blue "highlights."

I have tattoos, some of them rather large.

I prefer more "hippie-eque" clothes, funky jewelry, and I absolutely rock the "yogi wrist stack" of bracelets.

I'm fine with the fact that people, especially in the business laden center of town, or in the more straight laced suburbia, are going to stare sometimes. I'm used to it, frankly.

But I almost forgot what it felt like to just be me without having to be aware of the eyes and the looks. Until I didn't have to.

This was one aspect of Wanderlust that I didn't get into before. If ever there was staring, it was followed by smiles and a comment of, "I love your hair" or "that's a great tattoo!"

How refreshing to not stick out! Because no matter what people think, that's not why I dye my hair or ink my skin. I do because that what it means to be authentically myself! This is what the real me looks like. For once I was surrounded by people who understood that, people who felt the same way. And lord have mercy, if it didn't feel like a breath of fresh air!

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The title of this post is from a great Sesame Street themed book (We're Different, We're the Same (Sesame Street) (Pictureback(R))) that I've read to Gwen since she was a little girl. It points out that while we have our differences, they aren't things to be afraid or ashamed of, but beautiful things to celebrate! And in the end, while we have physical differences, we are also very much the same, and from the same great human race.

One day I hope everyone can feel that way.

6.29.2015

love wins

If there were a way to make it so that by reading a post rainbows and hearts would come shooting out of your computer screen and shower you in love, then that is what would be happening right now. Guys, I am full to burst.


Friday's decision by SCOTUS literally had me in tears at work!

Source: Mic/Texas Leftist

Love is the reason, the answer, the meaning... and now, now it is the right. For Everyone.

6.26.2015

Wanderlust

Last Wednesday I woke up with my family, helped them get ready for a trip to the zoo, then gave them lots of extra hugs. We left at the same time, me grabbing my pre-packed bags full of clothes, food, and yoga gear and heading North. It was finally time, after years of wishing, then months of anticipation and planning, for me to attend Wanderlust.

My first stop was a little closer, in Albany NY, for lunch with a girlfriend.


Then it was on the road for the next brief jaunt to Vermont.


Wednesday night was super quiet, with a lot of people not arrived yet. So after I called Trav and Gwen, and got checked in, I just looked around the ski village a bit, got myself some dinner, then headed back to my room and bed. At that point I was more then a little nervous. I hit me that I was here alone... and part of me wondered if I was just going to be alone for the next 4 days.

Thursday dawned bright and early, fears still in place, but excitement in full swing too. Here is when I made my first good decision of the festival. I went to my first class. Sounds so simple and easy and obvious, but at the time it didn't feel it. My first class was Slackline Yoga and I was a bit terrified that I would end up falling on my face in front of everyone. I'm so glad I ended up going. It was hard as heck, but a lot of fun. And I realized that I wasn't alone. As corny as it sounds, we were all in this together. So many first time Wanderlusters, so many trying these classes for the first time too.

That was a running theme of the whole weekend. New things, hard things, fun things - together. Doing what scared me a little and being so grateful that I did, and meeting beautiful people along the way.

I had a bit of a break after that, so I wandered off to find where my next class would be, then settled into a quiet spot and read.


Then I took a class with one of my long-time yoga inspirations, Chelsey Korus. She is amazing to watch and so fun to learn from. Not to mention, one of the sweetest people!

My last class that day was a fun, challenging flow with Elena Brower. Then more break time and that night, the Wanderlust Spectacular! Its name says it all. 





Friday dawned with less fear, and more excitement... even though my very first class was all about inversions and the fear they invoke!

Heading to this class involved a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. 


And once there, we joined together to conquer our fear of viewing the world from a different perspective!


And really that's what this whole weekend was about. Gaining some new perspective.


The rest of Friday involved a great talk on living without waste, a class on back bends, and an amazingly wonderful evening aerial yoga class (by Aireal Yoga).


Each day I found some time between classes to call Trav and Gwen. And each day I found some time to relax, read, decompress, and just be. It was the perfect balance of physically challenging and restful. 

Saturday dawned with an 8 a.m. Rocket Vinyasa Flow class... which may not have been my brightest decision ever, but shaky body aside, I was absolutely awake when it was over! 

After that was a "Talk and Walk" hike at the top of the mountain.

I mean the very top.

All the way to the Fire Tower... then if you wanted, up the Fire Tower!



The view was absolutely worth the slightly unnerving climb!


Guys, there were so many things I loved about Wanderlust... but besides the obvious yoga focus, there was also the amazing opportunity to absolutely embed yourself in nature. Hours spent laying barefoot in the grass with fellow yogis, walks through the woods, and closing your eyes while wind and fog and mist surrounded you. It was rejuvenating and grounding in such an intense way.

There was also water, which I got to head to that afternoon for my first ever SUP yoga class (stand up paddleboard).


I didn't fall in, so I think it was a success... it was definitely challenging though!

That night I did my second Aireal Yoga class. 


It was cold, so cold. I didn't think I could be so cold in June, but it was pretty freezing. Nothing like dangling upside-down to get your blood flowing though!

That night was my last night there, so I packed all my bags and got ready to check out the next morning.

Picture © Wanderlust


I was up bright and early to pack my car and check out of the hotel before my 8 a.m. class appropriately called "The Morning After" (taught by the inspiring Seane Corn). Then my last class, a hike with a focus on self massage using items found in nature (large sticks and rocks). It was a great end to a beautiful 4-days.

And just like that, it was time to head home. 

As I talked about on Monday, it was not without mixed feelings. But there was no confusion over the fact that I am so so very grateful that I went, and I absolutely hope to go again in the future.

I know this whole post was very picture heavy... I just couldn't help myself. And guys, there are more, so many more. I won't share them all, but I will share *some* more in the months ahead.