Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.


3 Comments

Happy Birthday to Me! 30 things to look forward to in my 30’s from 30 people I love, admire, look up to/want to be in my 30’s… ;)

Theresa_00014A

Time sure is flying by; it seems like just yesterday I was a little tot hanging spoons from my nose and olives from my fingers. Ahhhh, deep sigh, such is life… always moving forward.

Stepping out of my 20’s and into my 30’s for the first time seems terrifying— to soften the process I reached out to 30 people who I love, admire, look up to/want to be in my 30’s… and I asked them to please provide some insight (some hope) with things to look forward to in my 30’s. I was unprepared for the responses my friends, teachers, and family provided and found myself tearing up (and laughing) more then once. This exercise in asking for others experience on the passing of years took me to a higher level of appreciation for my relationships and the beauty of life. These little messages came from people all over the world and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated. I can honestly say that I am thrilled to be entering my 30’s. Life is good! 🙂

 

Pat Pauline:

When I was 30 I had a precious baby girl named Theresa Rae. It was one of the highlights of my entire life. Andrea, Leah & Jenna were also born when I was in my 30’s. 30 is NOT old. It is a time for new beginnings! For me, it was the beginning of motherhood. 30 is just another birthday, so is 40, 50 & 60…hopefully 70, 80, & 90 will be too. What matters isn’t how old I am but how appreciative I am for what I have. There is always always always something to be thankful for, sometimes I just have to look a bit harder. Look for the blessings in your life; it beats the alternative.

Jade Mapes:

In my 30’s I find that I love and respect myself so much more. I have more faith in God and have a deep knowing that through all life’s ups and downs I will always be ok. Choices I made early on that seemed like life or death or potential mistakes, I realize now were so important in making me who I am today. I care less what others think knowing that my path is mine alone and in return am gentler on others giving them that same freedom.

Connie Queen:

-Turning 30 find one true friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

-Turning 30 know where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.

Faraaz:

Turning 30, get your shit together.

No more tomorrow, no more later, no way

If you feel, say

If you see, do

What you need to

3 stands for sensitivity and expression

0 represents inner gifts

So be ready for some major shifts

This is your time, this is the age

Three decades over, now turn the next page

Stine:

I love to be in the thirties:) For every year I get more connected to myself… And the blossoms that grows out of that (like my trip to India) and my Yoga and art studio is adirect result of trusting myself and getting more close to my true nature. I needed all this years to loose my self and rediscover myself, collect experience…

Shanti Devi:

– When you turn 30, you are old enough to do whatever you want, and still young enough to do whatever you want

– Look forward to becoming confident in your own skin and feel freer to let go of hang-ups.

– More wisdom to know whom you are and what it is you want out of life.

Daragh:

I loved being in my 30s – I am 50 now and that isn’t so bad either!

In my 30s, I got properly sober for the first time, and then tackled a lifelong belief that I was stupid by going back to school and getting my first degree!

In my 30s, I became truly fit for the first time in my life, learning how to swim lengths in the local pool and cycle hard and fast on city streets.

I made lifelong friends from all around the world and learnt how to use the Internet and program websites.

In my 30s, I bought a little Oxford English Dictionary and began to teach myself to use words differently, word by word. I had never been careful with words before and had had a poor education. I went on to write short stories and even won a competition called Queer Rites. Later I became a journalist.

When I think of being in my 30s, I think of Dublin. I think of living in a broken-down but utterly beautiful Georgian house near the city center, painting murals and listening to and learning about Bach and Pat Metheny with the windows open in the summertime. I think of sunbathing in Dublin’s parks, and hanging out with friends, getting fit, swimming in the freezing sea, eating chips off newspaper and visiting family and friends by bike all weathers. True, I hadn’t a clue about life but whether I knew it or not, I did understand some of the simple laws of being happy as I still love the same things I loved then.

I still have the dictionary. I still program websites. I still love Bach but Mozart and Stevie Wonder are my favorites. I am sober. I continue to love words.

Kazuo Ishiguro – from An Artist of the Floating World

“I smiled to myself as I watched these young office workers from my bench. Of course, at times, when I remembered those brightly-lit bars and all those people gathered beneath the lamps, laughing a little more boisterously perhaps than those young men yesterday, but with much the same good-heartedness, I feel a certain nostalgia for the past and the district it used to be.”

Morgan Hutchinson:

I LOVE my 30’s…here are several of the things I love about it:

– I married the love of my life – and I knew he was the love of my life because I finally knew myself.

– I gave birth to an amazing baby girl – becoming a mother is wonderful – but I am so glad that I waited until I was truly comfortable in being me to be the best mommy and to really enjoy the simple, and wonderful joys of life.

– I became comfortable with my flaws.  I am bipolar.  So what?

– I decided that if I want to wear 5″ heels to run to the store or take out the trash – that is my choice and no one can make a stupid comment that will steal my stiletto joy.

– I fully accepted and took pride in my love of aerosol hairspray, my teasing comb, and red lipstick.

– I said goodbye to coach international travel and hello to nicer hotel rooms.  You only live once and travel is my (our) biggest splurge.

– But mostly – I just became grateful for every second with my husband, my daughter, my family, and my friends.  Life is good.  And the thirties have been the best part of my life so far.

Joe Hieninge:

Your sex drive goes down so you can finally relate to people as human beings instead of constantly trying to get in their pants” but this may not apply to women

Yan Zhang:

In my thirties I feel the need to check Facebook less often!

Nicole Schirm:

Turning 30 reminded me that I have to grow older, but I don’t have to grow up. In my 20s, there was a lot of struggle & resistance, I grew a lot and discovered myself, therefore, I feel like now, in my 30s, I can really live authentically. I know myself better than I ever have, I am happier than I have ever been and I am so grateful for my train wreck 20s, I’m also grateful that I never have to be 24 again.

Turning 30 broke down another myth for me–that growing old isn’t fun. It’s a lot of fun. You get to know yourself better, you get to fall in love with yourself more, and life is richer and more beautiful–you appreciate your friends & family more and realize that 30 isn’t so scary, it’s fantastic. It has also made me question all the other “myths” out there and I have learned it comes down to this: This is MY life, I am in charge, and I get to choose how my adventure unfolds.

Deebo:

“In my 30’s I wish to reach a point of understanding that I don’t understand anything and only then I’ll naturally bow down to life”

Jenny Roberts:

Turning 30 was terrifying.  I dreaded it for months in advance, concerned that life was going too fast and I wasn’t doing enough or I wasn’t where I should be by this age.  What a relief when I did turn 30!  So, part of me wants to say that one thing that you can look forward to when you turn 30 is never having the fear of turning 30 again.  But it’s more than that.   Its embracing the knowledge that life will continue and rush on whatever we do.  It’s learning to let go of our anxieties, fears and our need to control.  It’s smiling with the whole body instead of holding on to our worries.  It’s accepting what life brings as a gift and ridding yourself of expectations.  Its being happy in the knowledge that what is now – is real.  Nothing else is.  Or at least it is for me and this is what I remind myself when the panic about turning 40 starts to creep in.

Dallas Tokash:

Since thirty is the new twenty, I would like to say there is nothing to worry about. However, those of us who have passed over into the great beyond should warn, it’s not all over but at 1159 on the last day of your twenties one sound will be louder than ever. This sound will increasingly grow between your two ears and ring in every thought. It is a new sound, what was once ticktock ticktock , now becomes tick tick tick tick tick tick . The kitchen timer that you didn’t notice until now because it only gets louder as the last bit of time suggests you won’t be able to twist the time back now.

Carol Anne Anderson:

Turning 30……. well you live one day at a time and are grateful. Of course that is a little bland so.. Since this is the day you have waited for all your life…Whahoo!!!!!!!!

Barbara Grace Hill:

Turning 30 is a time to look at what one has been doing up until then and ask “Is this working for me?”  If yes, it is a passion. Dive deeper.  If not, let it go to make more room for the things that are working and the new things you want to do next.

Donna Pisciuneri-Volpe:

By the age of thirty you should know when to try harder and when to walk away.   I’m still working on that one. Lol

Faith Holland:

Things to look forward to in our in our 30’s

1. Turning 40

2. More Freedom to BE YOU (only because we know more about who we ARE)

3. Letting go of competition on many more levels

4. Committing more to your OWN LIFE

5. Becoming more balanced.

Enrique:

Confianza en uno mismo. Trust in yourself.

Ingrid Schroder:

Never being more comfortable in your own skin, you’ve never been wiser but still have so much to learn in life.

Denise Pisciuneri-Abraham:

Age is just a number. As you get older those numbers just seem to go by more quickly. Remember to take time for the important people in your life, and count each of them as a special blessing.

Alma Alguira:

30’s are nothing to be fearful about, in fact they are time to embrace your femininity & power within you.

Most importantly take care of YOU! Physically, emotionally & mentally.

Exercise, take personal development courses & keep LEARNING new skills.

Eric Deihl:

In my 30’s I began to appreciate my family as individual people and not as ideals or the ‘roles’ they held in relation to me. I have begun to see them as beautiful, creative, loving, flawed, fallible, human beings. I can appreciate them for who they are and not feel as many resentments or want to change things about them. I see that as I am able to accept them for who they are, they begin to accept me for who I am.

In my 30’s I have started to appreciate aging and not fear getting older. I suddenly began to see many beautiful, sexy, attractive people over the age of 30 and started to believe that I could be like that too. My eyes began to see the beauty of people beyond the ‘youth’ that I was bombarded with in pop culture and could see the sensual beauty of experience, depth, maturity and compassion. I let go of a lot of old ideas about what it was to be sexy or attractive.

Anna Sophie:

In my 30’s I spent less time feeling anxious about what other people think and more time enjoying my life.  I spent less time feeling like I need to be there or I need to be doing what every one is doing and more time enjoying the moment.

Me:

In my thirties I will strive to be more me. I will let go of old ideas that no longer serve me and I will create new ones. I will continue cultivating relationships with the ones who really matter in my life and I will do my best to take the time to listen, to hear and to act. I will embrace “level 3” with love and a lighthearted spirit… 🙂

Anything else?

*** Please visit Taozi Tree Yoga on Facebook for details on Taozi’s travels, teaching schedule, and inspiration!***

 

Advertisements


10 Comments

Like a Child

After 5 years in Uganda… this past Tuesday… she left. It was heartbreaking for her but she knows it was the right thing to do.

This is a very special post by my dear sister, Leah Pauline. She wrote this as part of our “Adventures Abroad” series. It is a moving piece about walking forward with faith…Enjoy. 

leah 2

Like a Child…

     First of all, I am not a yogi. I like yoga. I respect people that do yoga. I once committed myself to doing yoga for a week and loved the way I felt so physically aware of my body, but again, I would never call myself a yogi. When my incredible spiritual yogi sister asked me to do a guest post on her yoga blog, I had no idea what to write about. In fact, I was confused why she would even ask me. She is convinced that I am a yogi at heart. In Theresa’s post ,Welcome to Yoganda, she talked about how the people in Uganda are yogis in disguise, maybe perhaps that makes me a little bit more of yogi than I thought? After all, these yogis in disguise have been my greatest life teachers in the last five years, as I have made their home my home. I have learned so many life lessons from them on a daily basis from patience, simplicity, unity, humility, confidence, the list goes on and on. The latest thing I have learned is PRESENCE.

IMG_0547

 A couple weeks ago, after the kids got out of church a few of the older girls asked me to teach them my favorite church song. I chose, “Like a Child” by Mercy Me. Later that day, we sat in my office and sang the lyrics over and over again.   “They say that I can move the mountains, and send them falling to the sea. They say that I can walk on water… If I would follow and believe… with faith like a child.” While we were singing, Musana’s five youngest girls ran into the office with the biggest smiles and joyful spirits imaginable. They started jumping around, laughing uncontrollably.  I listened to the words we were singing, and watched the pure bliss of the three-year old girls in front of me. I envied them. They exemplify the words, “faith like a child,” perfectly. Nonchalantly and naturally, they live in the moment. They have this never failing faith and belief in everything…. It is so refreshing. It makes me rethink where my mind has been recently… worrying about the future.

Right now, I am living in Uganda, where I have lived for four of the last five years. I have a job that I love. I have a new house that I love. I have a boyfriend that I love. I am surrounded by kids that I love. This foreign land is no longer foreign, it is my home and I love it. However, I am on the verge of moving on. In four months, I will be moving to a city that I have never been to with people I have never met. Four months after that, I will be in another foreign city. Four months after that, I will be in another. And four months after that, another. I am about to start this huge adventure and I am terrified. I am leaving a life that I feel blessed to have and I have no idea what my future holds. Terrified. On a daily basis, I worry about it. I worry about leaving my job, my house, my boyfriend, the kids, everything. I worry that I will regret my decision to leave. I worry that I will be forgotten. I worry.

lao-Tzu-quotes-Living-in-the-present-quotes

So I am sitting in my office, singing about how to have faith “Like a child” when these three-year old girls run in, living fully in the PRESENT, without a worry in the world. I have suffered very little compared to them and yet I am the one that worries. The giddiest and happiest of all these little kiddos is Irene. This is her story: her father died around the time she was born and her mom who is HIV+ abandoned her. Irene started living with her uncle deep in the village. He was caring for multiple other kids, completely neglecting the needs of three-year old Irene. We found Irene in this village, and recognized her as the neediest, dirtiest, sickest of all the other impoverish village kids. This is saying a lot. She had a terrible skin rash, and jiggers ALL over her body. She was dirty and malnourished. Her state of being was to the point that nobody wanted to be around her, in fear of also getting sick. A month later, here I was envious of the joy that Irene has, envious of her ability to live in this present moment of singing and dancing, with no worry of her situation or where she would be tomorrow… she was completely content.  She lives day by day, trusting that she will be provided for. She has inspired me to look at my own life and challenged me to live in the today and be content. She is my teacher and with this lesson, I have started a ritual.

IMG_0983

IMG_1397

On a daily basis, I take time and go to one of my favorite spots around Musana or in town…. My absolute favorite is on a balcony that I climb up to that overlooks the busiest, craziest part of Iganga town- the market. I go there and I just sit. I use the time to reflect on my life, meditate, and simply BE PRESENT. It is amazing how I have overlooked such a simple necessity of being content… presence. I watch, I listen, I live.  I soak up the African sights, smells, and sounds that surround me- People everywhere. Businessmen and women walking home from work, Children walking home from school. Hundreds of local men and women, sitting under bright umbrellas selling fresh fruits and vegetables from a long season of labor. Cages and cages of live chickens, being sold for tonight’s dinner. The African mixed aroma of fresh fruit, body odor, and garbage overwhelming my nostrils with its unique freshness. Trucks passing with loads of green banana being dropped in the market. The sound of motorcycles passing, cars honking, vendors making a sale. Total chaos. However, for me, it is where I find peace. It is where I grasp the life I have been blessed with. It is where I can pause and take a look into the world I live in and appreciate it. It is where my physical and spiritual presence becomes one.

IMG_0627

IMG_0629

IMG_0599

The lesson: Yes, I am leaving. Yes, it is terrifying. What I need to do is be like Irene… like a child. I need to remember my favorite child hood phrase and a common saying in Africa, “Hakuna Matata.” I can’t worry about the adventure. I need to embrace it. I need to open my mind, ready for anything that comes believing that everything will be okay. At the same time, I need to live in the moment and enjoy the today. I need to soak up the sights, hug as many kids as I can, close my eyes and remember the smells, the sounds, the people, and the feelings of where I am.  I need to laugh until I cry; I need to cry until I laugh. I need to be completely PRESENT. I need to do so with faith like a child because tomorrow will be exactly how it is supposed to be and when it comes I don’t want to regret not living my life to the fullest today.

hakuna_matata_by_alexpeanut-d5jvj4v

*** Please visit Taozi Tree Yoga on Facebook for more on Taozi’s travels, inspiration, and yoga pictures!***

IMG_0668


6 Comments

Ohhhhh Sweden, Scotland… The smile is inside.

sunshine sweden

I am exhausted. 2 weeks of traveling around northern Europe should be relaxing but there was just too much fresh air! Alas, I want to touch base with all of you, so this message will be short, simple, and experimental. I’m just going to write it… and post it. I’m too tired to faff around. So… ENJOY! 😉

Ross and I took a car and drove up the United Kingdom all the way to Ullapool, Scotland. It was magical. Despite all the time in the car and the heavy delicious food we enjoyed, we made time to play around with our asana and ENJOY the fresh air…

ross handstand

scotland 2

scotland cobra scotland

In Scotland we saw more then one exhibit showcasing the passing of time through rock formations. A whole book could be written about the incredible information we took in, but the bottom line is that the world is constantly changing by moving soooo slowly, the speed of your finger nail growing actually… Plate tectonics and all that. Just a reminder on the grand scale of how, life is change. Period. The world is change. Period. So enjoy it as it is now! 

And then…Ohhhhh myyyyyyy Sweden. We were super fortunate to have some dear German friends on Holiday at their Summer home in Sweden. They invited us along. We jumped a flight and wowza. My insides seemed to melt in its cuteness and its space and beauty. Here are some of the highlights…

 Handstand.

This is actually starting to happen.

My goal was to get up by my 30th birthday in October, which is still the goal (I have a long way to go). I was the girl who could never to a cartwheel so the fact that these baby steps are occurring… is very exciting and fun. 

handstand sweden

The sea food was amazing.

dinner

The sunshine in Sweden… seriously made me smile on the inside.

sunshine sweden boat sweden

This was the view outside of our friend’s home… I set up a beautiful spot to meditate and enjoy the air. The birds were so happy! Singing about all morning. the rain came and went along with the sunshine so here the  lesson was on just moving with the flow.  I loved seeing the environment and the colors constantly shifting.

The craziest part about Sweden was that NIGHT TIME NEVER CAME! Only a very long dusk. This rocked my little yogini world! Ross and I have been pretty consistent in terms of bed time and waking time. We learned in India to follow the sun, we do our best, in Uganda the last few months we did well…as it was so easy… the sun went down at 7, and came up at 6:30, every day. In Sweden… it was tough! Midnight and it was still as light as day. We simply showed up and enjoyed the strangeness of it, and the opportunity to enjoy so much light!

meditation sweden

And on our the farm…

sweden farm

This was such an interesting and fun way to top off Ross and I’s never ending trip. I never would have thought we would end up in Scandinavia. Thank you so much to Karen and Joerg for allowing us to share their company and beautiful homes!  

Scotland and Sweden were the perfect places to, just be. It was hard not having our “healthy” routine for 14 days, but actually… its been a long time with out routine in general… so much so that this seems to be the new routine. 

I’ll re-state that… The new routine is not having a routine. Just moving with what the day brings and enjoying all it has to offer. I am so grateful for all the experiences we got to have up in the north. They really made me simply smile on the inside. Which is really all we need to do as the tectonic plates of the planet continue to move and I keep trying to kick up into handstand! 😉 Namaste

uk handstand

*** Please visit Taozi Tree Yoga on Facebook for more on Taozi’s travels, inspiration, and yoga pictures!***