As I move along in my training, I’ve started giving thought to the kind of yoga teacher I want to be. For a while, I’d thought I wanted to teach children, but no. Then I thought about teaching hatha–for I enjoy hatha yoga the most. I’ve also thought about restorative yoga. See, I’m not an athletic person. I don’t like aerobics, unless it’s low impact. I like cardio, but I do not like running, jumping, that sort of thing. So what business would I have teaching it?

I like hatha yoga because it allows one to really get into the pose. You hold the poses longer than you would in vinyasa (which is more of a flow) or ashtanga (which is pretty aggressive), but you’re still working. BELIEVE ME, you are still working. I like that deep work in a pose, especially the heart openers or the hip openers or the forward folds. Like, when you’re right at your edge, and you think you can’t take it anymore, then something releases, and you relax into the pose. Love that.

I want to be the kind of teacher who helps her students *get that*. Who inspires them. I want students who love and respect me, and who generally enjoy coming to my class. But right now, I’m having a hard time taking myself seriously as a teacher, probably because I’m still SUCH a student. And it’s true–one is always a student of yoga–but I’m REALLY a student! One day I was practice teaching, and it just felt so weird to tell people to do things and watch them actually DO IT. I’m sure that’s something I’ll get over… but it’s still a bit odd.

I can’t ignore the fact that instead of singing in the shower, most of the time I’m making up yoga practices, or practicing my cueing. Is that weird? Sometimes I can’t sleep because I’m trying to put together the perfect practice in my mind. Yeah, it’s definitely weird.

Every week in teacher training, we practice teach, either with a partner or a small group. I’m learning that I am SILLY. I’m going to be one of those teachers, like Moksha’s Rich Logan, who’ll have the entire class cracking up while trying to hold a pose. And honestly? I would LOVE that. Yoga doesn’t have to be all serious and frowny face all the time. I love when I can laugh during a pose. A lot of people do. His class was packed today!

I know I have time to worry about it, and I have time to find my voice. First, I need to get the cueing down and keep learning as much as I can. Then everything else will fall into place, just as this entire journey keeps falling into place. I can’t believe how amazing it’s been.

linking up here:


Stay With The Feelings

**If you’re visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party, see my introductory post here!**


Earlier this evening, I stumbled across something that irritated me in a big way. Without going into detail, I can tell you that I was wishing, even while I was experiencing the emotions and venting to a few people, that it didn’t affect me like it did. And I kept going for that and going for that, trying to flush the feelings out.

You see, I don’t like to stay with certain feelings. Feelings like depression? I can get with. I’m comfortable there. But anger? Nope! I’m not comfortable with anger and I always feel guilty when I experience it. Anger is violent and out of anger arises the desire to harm. Harming isn’t necessarily physical. It can be in mind and speech and well, and let me tell you, it definitely was there in my mind and speech. I didn’t like it so I worked to get rid of it. But then I realized that I needed to experience the anger before I could let it go.

I dug through some of my notes from teacher training (because this was echoing in me, like deja vu) and sure enough, one of the Sutras is Ahimsa: Non-Violence. I am trying to practice non-violence in my life. The way I acted, although I didn’t go out and beat the crap out of someone, was violent regardless. I gave into the anger and let it drive me to say and think harmful things. And those thoughts echoed in me, making me feel uncomfortable and icky. And yet, I know that if I’d have tried to tamp it down, it would have popped up another way, another day.

So where do I find that balance?

I have to practice compassion and love for myself. I can’t do anything about the thing that annoyed me this evening. The situation is out of my control and frankly, not worth my time. But I can learn from the way I reacted to it, and also NOT punish myself for reacting as I did. But going forward, I know better. I need to learn how to experience emotions like anger without letting them drive me to act in ways that are hurtful. It’s not the emotions themselves that are bad. But giving in to the desire to hurt as much as I feel that I’ve been hurt? Nothing good ever comes from that.

‘Til next time.


Easter Through The Years…or Snippets of My Spiritual Journey

Over the years, Easter has become less and less of a big deal in my life, which is sad, because Christ’s resurrection is like THE CORNERSTONE of Christianity, right? My mom used to make a huge deal out of it. New dresses. Dyeing eggs. Church (except the year we stopped going), and big dinners that always involved ham. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a pretty awesome holiday, but for me, it doesn’t have that same anticipation and specialness that Christmas does. And it should, and not just because of the chocolate.

Here’s a short pictorial trip down memory lane, where you can see how I celebrated Easter through the years, complete with retrotastic furniture and all.

Happy Easter, Little Ronica!
age two

Easter Basket
age three

age eight

When I was twenty, I was initiated into the Catholic Church through RCIA at the St. Thomas More Newman Center (Eee, Father Vinny is still there!). The ceremony took place during a three hour long Easter Vigil, during which I was baptized, confirmed, and had my first communion. It was pretty cool. After the ceremony we had a huge party and were given giant Easter baskets full of chocolate and a Pass The Pigs game. (We’d had too much fun playing Pass the Pigs at the RCIA retreat a few weeks earlier.)

Being Baptized
being baptized

being confirmed by Father Vinny

being a neophyte

Once I was a confirmed Catholic, I went nuts. I was a Eucharistic Minister. I was always involved in one thing or another. Student ministry. RCIA (this time as a sponsor). Volunteering. And I even worked on staff there as a part-time receptionist for a while after college. I very fond memories of that church and that community.

I am no longer a practicing Catholic, but I still find many aspects of the faith beautiful, and I still have a collection of all kinds of rosaries, including a few that I handmade. I was just thinking tonight about how I kind of wished I was at an Easter Vigil. Yes, it’s a long service, but the way my church did it? It didn’t seem that long at all. It was a beautiful, amazing service. I don’t know if I’d want to go to anywhere ele, but I kind of wish I was at Newman Center right now. I have this to keep me company though:

As I said, I drifted away from the Catholic Church and church in general. Until about 2004, when I became really involved in an evangelical community. This was Aidan’s Easter basket that year:

Aidan's Easter Basket

That Easter was pretty cool. I spent the night under the stars with a bunch of other young (or young at heart) people (I’m sure I was the oldest one there, but it was still fun) and we did a sunrise service that was amazing. I was SO HIGH from that.

2004 was a crazy year for me in so many ways. I made a lot of new friends (most of whom I no longer really talk to except for the occasional facebook stalk or facebook game spam), I became super involved in church activities: volunteering with the teen ministry (my FAVORITE!) and the young adult ministry, doing Power Point presentations, throwing parties, putting together newsletters, and even running a life group. There was a lot going on at home as well. I get exhausted when I read those entries–I was always going going going. No wonder I’m so content to just sit and read these days.

There was the Easter in 2006 where I was treated to a double rainbow.

Double Rainbow - Easter Morning

2006 is also the year my life changed in so many major ways that to think about everything that happened to lead me to where I am today is overwhelming and crazy. And also kind of amazing. Needless to say, my spirituality took some crazy twists and turns, and right now, it’s an ever growing and ever changing and ever winding journey. Maybe one day I’ll go more in depth.

Happy Easter!


2011: A Year in Pictures

I was totally supposed to post this before my “Looking Ahead” post *points to post below this one* but I forgot that I had the Looking Ahead post scheduled already. So it posted and it took me a while to realize it had posted, and I wasn’t about to UNpost it because let’s face it, it’s a perfectly fine post.

And I used post WAY too many times in that last paragraph!

So, this one is a bit out of order, but I worked so hard on it that I decided not to trash it. So, without further ado, here is 2011 (and maybe a tiny bit of 2012) represented in pictures.

Adam, Mickey Mouse, and Me!
Disney World January 2011

Smooches in Magic Kingdom
Smooches in Magic Kingdom

Aidan and "Weird Al" Yankovic
Aidan and Weird Al Yankovic

Spring 2011 Blossoms
Spring Blossoms

Hanging with J and Rho
Hanging with my Plurk friends J and Rho

Sarah Dessen | Anderson's Bookshop Naperville
Meeting Sarah Dessen again!! :D

Ginger Doss
Ginger Doss. LOVE her music.

s00j, Me, Bekah
SJ Tucker, me, and Bekah Kelso.
Too much awesomeness for one photo.

Love getting my toe nails done.

It's Us!
Disney World June 2011

Rockin' Out With Phineas and Ferb
Rockin’ Out with Phineas and Ferb
(I know this one was posted before,
but it’s too awesome not to repeat!)

Three Generations
Three Generations
My mom, me, and Aidan

New toenail color! :)
Sparkly toes!

The Rosie Show Test Show
The Rosie Show taping #1

Horseback Riding!
Getting to know Jessy

Pumpkins Galore!
Amish Country in Ohio

Me & My Friend :)
Me and Claudia Gray.
How I’d missed her.
Why’d she have to move so far away?

Bright Orange Toes for Autumn
Orange toes!

Me and Suzanne Sterling
“Sing Yourself Awake” Workshop
with Suzanne Sterling

The Rosie Show Taping
The Rosie Show Taping #2

Family Pictures
Thanksmas in Georgia

Christmas Ornaments 2011
Christmas in Chicago

Happy Birthday Aidan!
Happy Birthday, Aidan!

Aidan & Me
Me and my favorite kid in the entire universe in all of space and time and dimensions.

Happy New Year!


Looking Ahead…


“To dream anything that you want to dream.
That is the beauty of the human mind.
To do anything that you want to do.
That is the strength of the human will.
To trust yourself to test your limits.
That is the courage to succeed.”
— Bernard Edmonds

I don’t make resolutions, per se. But I do have hopes and dreams.
These are my hopes for 2012.

See Aidan more often
Write more, unabashedly and with excitement
Possibly write/complete a novel
Travel to another country
Get hard core with my yoga practice
Lose weight
Get enough work-at-home projects to be comfortable financially
Read 75 new books
Write more in my paper journal
Be more positive
Become more assertive and honest
Have more faith
Write and mail more handwritten letters

There is so much to look forward to in 2012! New music to discover, new books to read, new people to meet, new experiences to have, and new opportunities to pursue. Plus The Hunger Games movie!

You already know about our Disney World trip, but I’d love to visit my friend Amy in New Orleans. A trip to New York City wouldn’t make me sad, either. But that can wait until summer. Oh, and I’d love to hit a nice, warm beach. A resort where I do nothing but relax and drink juice while baking in the sun. Or under a beach umbrella. Whatever.

There are some online friends I hope to meet in person in 2012.

I hope to be ever so closer to doing this:

Source: via Ronni on Pinterest

I’m still undecided as to what to do about yoga teacher training. The spring session begins March 8. Am I ready for that kind of commitment? I suppose I can wait til the summer session. But I don’t want to put it off too long…cause I can see myself doing that then going “It’s too late. I may as well not do it now.”

I know your tricks and manners.

…good Lord. I’m talking to myself on my blog.

I’d like to volunteer at PAWS Chicago, the no-kill animal shelter where we adopted Helena. I really want to work with the kitty cats. I should make it happen in 2012.

And of course, there is the usual workout more, eat better, blah ditty blah blah blah crap we all spew out. Will I be able to stick to it, is the thing?

I understand why people make resolutions. 365 (366 next year) days seem like a lot. But I think that most of us make these resolutions and expect to get them done right away (like within 30 days)… and well, when we don’t, we get discouraged. The weight isn’t dropping off all that quickly. Just can’t/won’t quit the Whatchamacallit bars. The winter is so gloomy and grey, and who wants to work out when it’s like that? Writing? It’s too hard, man.

I have to give myself time. That’s why I don’t make resolutions–cause then I’ll end up beating myself up for failing, when I really just need to ease myself into things rather than shock myself with ALL THESE LIFESTYLE CHANGES RIGHT NOW which will NEVER stick, not with that kind of pressure.

So, no pressure, right? :)

Source: via Ronni on Pinterest

Happy New Year!

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