2017 – The Year of Family

It has been a year to remember, it’s been both extremely good and extremely bad. One for the books and one that I shall always remember as “the year of family”. On the side of  the best, I gained a daughter-in-law this year! That was one of the happiest days of my wordswag_1514661303491life! I have spent the past 5 years praying that my son find someone to spend his life with, that completes him and makes him very happy. She was made to order, so perfect in every way. To make things even better, I now have another grandchild on the way, their first, and the family continues to grow.

There is also regret with the family, regret for things said that can never be unsaid. Moments of anger that create lifetimes of hard feelings. Words can never be taken back, apologies are sometimes not enough. I didn’t create the situation, but I do take full responsibility for my part in it, for that I am very sorry.  I hope that there is time to heal before time runs out.

God gave me time, very precious time, to spend with close family. Time to say what was in my heart, to hear what was in hers. Time to love and be loved, to share the bond of sisters before she transitioned out of this world and on to the next. Here, the words spoken were filled with love and I treasure that time together.

The year has revolved around family, we had good times and we had bad times. I can’t change the bad times, I can only learn from them and move forward. 2018 will be the year of a new baby, new chances to repair relationships, new hope in moving forward. Lessons learned … it’s better to wait for calm than to speak in anger. When it seems that time has run out, love brings blessings and peace. I have learned that you should never wait until time is running out to talk to someone you love … you never know what tomorrow might bring. Don’t waste time with anger and hurt … when they are no longer there, will any of it matter?


‘Hardcore’ instructors: “Are you in your own class?”

Yoga & Joyful Living

It seems there’s a new trend: Make it through my class, without quitting, and you’re good. And no, this time we’re not talking about hot yoga.

We’re talking about a new trend coming from London: Hardcore yoga instructors. It’s people who ask you things like “Are you in your own class?” if your flow doesn’t look quite right.

Stewart Gilchrist, spearheading a new trend: 'hardcore instructors' Stewart Gilchrist, spearheading a new trend: ‘hardcore instructors’

When we lived in London we could witness a weekly event (Saturday, 7am to be precise) called British Military Fitness. It involves people who are working (or have worked) for the army and are lowering themselves to tell people like you and me how to move. You don’t have a name, you have a number (think: “Run faster, number 10!!!”). They even shout at you from up there when you’re down here, trying to complete the number of push ups required. Not…

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Yoga … it’s good for your health!

I received my 200 hour Yoga Instructor Certification in February of 2014. Yes, I do teach yoga, no, I don’t teach to the mainstream fitness community. There is a reason for this!

I teach very small classes, only four people at a time. My students are those that wouldn’t go to a yoga studio for a variety of different reasons. I understand why they don’t. I am no different then they are. As I’ve said before, I have Multiple Sclerosis. Balance has been a very big issue for me as well as problems with my hands. These are two things to have that are very helpful when you are practicing yoga.

My students are aware of my MS, I don’t advertise it, but I don’t hide it either. They know that there are nights that I will struggle just as hard to accomplish the tree as they are. Some nights, I can’t do it. Of course, that is because it’s at night and I’m not at my best in the evenings. I DO know how to instruct my students to do the yoga asana’s correctly so that they don’t injure themselves.

There is a comfortable essence to the classes that I teach. Each person in the class is aware that they don’t have to be a certain level or do things perfect. Sometimes in big classes, a feeling of conspicuousness comes up and that takes away from the experience of yoga. When the student is very comfortable at keeping their own pace, they do much better with the postures.

Yoga is an excellent way to learn how to move inside and leave the outside world behind. When you are worried about how you look, embarrassed because you feel over, did the posture wrong, or whatever enters your mind,  you are no longer inside, you’ve gone back outside. Learning to breath deeply and following the breath with your body helps to create a unification of mind and body. The postures require your complete focus to hold them. Ask any of my students that managed to hold the tree for the duration of the time how exhilarating it is to have done that … and they will tell you that they had their focus completely on the pose, the outside world and what the others were doing had disappeared.

I use essential oils during my classes to help bring a element of peace and healing to the classes as well. I’ve used lemongrass and cypress on my wrists daily for a few years now, between the yoga and the oils, my numbness is much, much better. My wrists are much stronger than they have been in years.

Yoga is a way to move into meditation. Learning to focus your mind and be present is part of yoga, and what is done in meditation as well. When I move into svasana at the end of the practice, I must say I am very good at putting all of the students into a space of healing and total relaxation. Some fall asleep, which is fine with me, but all feel the peacefulness that comes from their yoga practice.

No matter what is going on in your life, what physical level you are at, you can make yoga part of your healing process. Moving the body is a good thing, even if it’s very small movements, and we all start small. Some of us go back and forth between small and huge, it all depends on the flow of our lives.

No, I’m not your typical large studio instructor. I’m me, and I’m no different than you in my abilities. That being said, I can help you to improve your own physical and mental well being in a safe environment. If you are interested in signing up for a yoga class (again there are only four per class) you can do so through the scheduling link on my facebook page. Even if you don’t schedule with me, find a class that is comfortable to you, a place that you feel safe and encouraged, and begin your own yoga practice. You will not regret it!



Happy 2017

dscn4151It’s been some time since I’ve written and I think that it’s time to get back into the groove of things! Sitting here thinking about the coming year, I realize that the one word that seems to keep coming to mind is “change”. This is the year of change. For some, that’s a scary word, for others it’s exciting. One thing that I’ve learned along the way, without change you are always going to stay exactly where you are, doing what you’re currently doing, the same way you’ve always done it.

“What’s wrong with that”, you might be wondering. Nothing, if you are satisfied with your life as it is. Most of those that I speak with aren’t satisfied with where they are in life. They want to be happier, healthier, wealthier, or you can fill in the blank with whatever word works for you. These same people are afraid of change, so they stay where they are … wishing for things to be different but not wanting to do anything to MAKE them different.

Had I not “changed” what I did physically and what I thought mentally, I would still be just existing in life, not living it. There is a big difference between the two. I have found that living life is much more fun than just existing and dealing with a chronic illness. There is a very large world out there, even if it is just making the world at your home a peaceful place filled with love and happiness, I believe that everyone can achieve that.

The change doesn’t come from outside, it comes from inside of you. No amount of purchasing “things” can bring about the change you desire. There are things that can help you to help yourself, but they are only tools and if you don’t use them, there will be no change.

I believe that the birthright of every person on this earth is to live in peace and happiness. Maybe that’s a bit idealistic … there is so much suffering in the world. But you’ve all heard stories of those in horrendous situations that have still managed to find peace in their lives. They are very inspirational stories to be sure, but we seem to just look at them as something that person did, but that we could never do. Why? Why do we think that? The hardest part of changing your life is letting go of the fear that you just can’t do it!

I believe that you can … I don’t think that it’s easy, but it is worth the effort. I am here to show you that it is. I no longer have MS controlling my life, I control my life and that is empowering. In 2017 why don’t you embrace change? It’s time to move forward, not just tread water. I challenge you to let go of your fears and begin by playing with the idea that change is good … and that you are worth the effort it takes to make changes.

It’s Baseball Season

Life throws us curve balls at times. We swing, we miss, and we may even strike out. The question is – how we deal with those times. Life is life and we are all living it. There are times that we hit every ball out of the park when we step up to the plate and then there are those down times when we feel like we can’t even find the plate.

Austin Race - Annie 019Even though I am using a baseball metaphor, I’m not a ball player, but I AM a life player. Life is a lot like the game of baseball. We practice all the time, we write out our LifeVision, we listen and we begin to knock the ball out of the park. Life is good, things are moving in perfect synchronicity and we love that!

So why is it that there are times we get thrown a pitch that we don’t know how to hit? Aren’t those times supposed to go away now that I’m listening to my perfect life? A perfect life doesn’t throw pitches that I can’t hit, or does it? As we begin to change, life around us changes as well. There will always be hills and valleys, that’s just life and even though we have written our perfect vision, life will still happen. How we deal with those low times is what makes us move forward with our vision.

At the first swing and miss, we COULD just give up. We could say it’s not working. We could pretend to ignore all of the wonderful things that have happened already. We could forget that real change requires some work on our part. We have to play full out and we have to play to win. That means when we swing and miss, we get right back up to the plate and we hit the next ball that comes our way out of the park.

It’s time to “Play ball”. Are you ready?