i am inspired. the simple act of stepping on my mat three days in a row has given me a renewed sense of self...a renewed sense of purpose. i have reconnected with it...whatever it is...and feel like finally...i am tapping back into the source. that being said i have decided to commit myself to a 30 days of yoga in 30 days challenge. i am currently on day three. day three brought me to a woman's home this morning via my boyfriend which assured me that my commitment is perfectly placed. she invited me into her home while the boys harvested her property for mangoes, sugar cane, calabash, bananas, and herbs. the minute i walked in something clicked. in the entry way was a laughing buddha...arms raised in welcome. her friend was receiving a massage on the porch overlooking the sea while meditation music played as the backdrop. there were ancient carvings, gongs, hard wood floors, and a bookshelf full of energy and inspiration. books on chakras, books on energy work, books on yoga, meditation, power of attraction...books upon books upon books of my history...my truth...my essence. as i sat with this woman..sybil...i realized that i had just tapped into the vein of saint lucia i have been longing for over the course of the year.
something magical is happening in this 2012. something auspicious and awakening. i have lived out the last twenty years of my life in the year i have been in saint lucia. i have repeatedly been pushed up against my former self...my challenged self...my lost self time and time again. i have re-discovered, re-examined, re-evaluated, and re-learned every aspect of who and why and how i am. if you believe in karma...which i do...i have managed to effectively (at least i hope) work through all of the karmic debt i have brought upon myself through the former years of my life. and somehow...in the ending of the fourth month of 2012 i am healing, releasing, and finding a greater opening to god and myself than i have ever known.
so with the three days of yoga and conscious commitment it has brought to my own well-being i have decided to seal the deal with 30 days of transformation. my goal is to post most days regarding my awareness, my struggles, my downfalls, and essentially what my practice consisted of that day.
so far i have engaged in two deep vinyasa practices, a yoga nidra practice, and a 20 min vinyasa flow. in the midst of each of these practices i have felt my body and my breath in a way that i haven't in a long time. i have been absorbed in my life in the peace corps in an unconscious way. i have been working...pushing...struggling...but not flowing. i am opening to the flow. remembering what it is to be in my body connected through my heart and my spirit. i am remembering what it is to be aligned with my truth and what it was that brought me here in the first place. i am waking up...consciously. no longer drifting through the sea of saint lucia with uncertainty.
that being said...tomorrow i have to make my way through castries and up cedars to get to work. which is similar to going to battle...struggling to get through eons of people walking in every direction with noises and sounds and chaos around every corner. so we'll see how i take my three days of practice into the world.
i know this much...now that i've found you again old friend...i am going to take my time remembering every corner of your being and exploring every cell i have yet to know.
thank you god for the practice of yoga. and for everyone who has inspired me along the way.
see you again tomorrow with an update of my yoga challenge and my morning commute.
all love. all ways.


date night...

tonight i had one of the most incredible and important dates of my life. it was with one of my oldest and dearest and closest friends. the friend who taught me about living your truth and breathing your essence. the friend who reminded me that even in the darkest hours...there is still light. the friend who has always been there with me through sweat and tears and pain and grief and fear and wanting. the friend who has never given up on me no matter how many times i have walked away...disappeared...gotten lost. the friend who has always been and will always be the root of my soul.
tonight i stepped onto my yoga mat for the first time in a long time and i remembered the first time i ever stepped onto a mat. i remembered how yoga saved me when i was lost at sea without any idea how to reach shore. i remembered how yoga kept me adrift every time i slid backwards...every time i face planted into my own ego...my own disregard.
tonight i found myself. again. found my essence. my quiet truth. tonight i am quietly humbled.


turn that frown...

i am forever amazed at the lessons i learn about life through my every day interactions and experiences here in saint lucia. i am doing a lot of personal work and growth while i am here...growth that i thought i had already reached but is now lengthening tenfold. i am settling into my life at upton gardens quite nicely. and with the administrator resigning...i will be spending a day at court diversion once per week when they re-open. i am feeling like everything has finally found it's settling spot and i am really excited about the possible progress that can be made through both organizations. upton gardens is really putting me back into my professionally trained brain and allowing me to exercise my knowledge and skills as a psychologist. it feels so good to be able to connect on that level in an environment where i am not only supported but my expertise are expected and honored. i have been getting better acquainted with the girls day by day and feel like i am finally starting to settle a little myself so that my own personality and isms can shine through. today was a perfect example of my skills/self shining through and even more...one of those important life lessons in humility and grace.
every day at uptons we eat lunch with the girls. we being myself and another volunteer and then usually a staff member. there is invariably, on any given day, some sort of conflict or trouble that arises between two or more girls. today was no different. before lunch began i was having a conversation with j who is about to graduate. a simple conversation about my nail polish...she was smiling and we were in a really good space. out of nowhere l tells n to move to another table...which gets n upset at which point s butts in with an "eh eh" which causes j to fly words at s. did you follow that? yeah...basically a bunch of nonsense. so within a fifteen second span...attitudes and faces shifted. all of a sudden j who was in a perfectly fine mood was incredibly irritated and upset by an issue which had nothing to do with her. so...i stepped in...after staff involvement and asked her...what is the point of that...to which she replied...but s is always getting in everybody's business...so what does that have to do with you...well...i mean...it's just not right...but again i ask...what does that have to do with you? you were here all smiles having a conversation with me and now your face is all screw and your whole mood has changed. you've got to let it go. put that smile back on and let it go...it's not your battle to fight. and in that moment i saw something really amazing happen. this girl..j...she brushed her shoulders off...let go and moved on. while s...carried her negative attitude and frustration through the whole of lunch.
now...this might not mean much but it's the life lesson i have been working on lately...allowing things to pass. not becoming so emotionally invested or diverted by someone else's stuff. whatever it is...whether rudeness on a bus or a sideways comment from a friend...it's not my battle to fight. and it takes up so much energy. so to watch the difference as one girl let go and enjoyed her lunch and engaged in jovial conversation while another sat angry and unbending...made me realize how much the power is in us to let go and let love. every minute of every day we choose how to react to the situations placed before us and each one of those choices greatly affects the next....
so...as the universe is such a powerful teacher...very shortly after i was given my opportunity to put this lesson into effect. when i arrived home...sweaty and thirsty and tired...longing to come in the house and throw on my suit and go for a quick swim...i realized my keys were locked inside the house and sitting on top of the fridge. i could see them...but had no idea how to reach them. i guess i would be making a trip up to gros islet to get an extra...but here's the piece...i was hot and tired...i could have become incredibly cranky and angry...but i didn't. and it wasn't even much of a thought. i sat down...ate a mango...cooled off and devised a plan. shove my bag in the house...go up to gros islet. on my way to the bus stop i ran into a friend whom i shared my dilemma with. he promptly told me i didn't need to go all the way up north...i could just go ask one of the neighbors to give me a mango picking stick and get them myself...genius. he definitely gets wednesday's hero award...which he will have to share with the next guy across the street from me who made a long tool for me to retrieve my keys with. so i came back across the street and within about ten seconds had my keys in hand and door unlocked. all the while with a smile on my face and an even greater feeling that i had just accomplished that with the help of others. and without getting upset or irritated.
so...these are my lessons for today...always keep a smile on your face. it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. thus exertion of more energy. never get upset by adversity because out of adversity many times comes creative strokes of genius. and always befriend your neighbors...you never know what kind of knowledge you may have to share with one another.
and when i retrieved those keys...the first song in my head....
i love my life. bless up!!!



paradigm shift. something amazing is happening.

determination can move mountains...

yesterday i hiked gros piton. which is one of two side by side mountains on the southern coast. they were my first vision of saint lucia when i was flying in to begin my two years..

.i thought it apropos that i should climb one almost a year after my official swearing in date. though this wasn't necessarily a forethought. i was told by quite a few friends who had already climed this mountain that it was quite an easy hike and didn't really require too much effort...so now...this is either the first time i am feeling my age, the first time i have ever been this out of shape in my life...or they were lying. first let me start by saying that the initial tromp to the trailhead proved to be a little more of an adventure than expected. my friend bethany and i

jumped on the soufriere bus only to find that the road to soufriere was closed and we would have to pay extra to take that bus around the other side of the island to get to where we were going...later we realized we could have taken a different bus to get us there and in less time...but i regess...so the bus finally leaves and we are on our way...when we reach our destination...so we think...we are dropped at the road leading to the trailhead...which is two miles away. okay...no worries. it's a beautiful path and i have great company...so we walk and walk and walk...and then come across a seemingly 'crazy' man who is mumbling something about water, go that way, blah blah blah...so we laugh...and then about 100 feet ahead realize the crazy man was warning us of the huge gap in the road where the bridge had collapsed and you could not cross. ha ha...joke is on us...he knew exactly what he was saying. so we find an 'alternate' route which leads us to cross a creek while scaling a wall and almost collapsing. so the adventure begins. 

after our two mile trek we finally reach the gros piton station where we are met by our amazing guide curlin who will be taking us up the mountain. 

so off we go. it's hot. and i realize quickly into this hike that i will be doing a lot up uphill...climbing. i was winded and sweating and struggling. about halfway through my legs began shaking and i thought...i might not be able to do this. bethany was cruising up the mountain at which point i said...maybe this is part of being 34? before we reached the 300 year old mango tree...

i was having these conversations...what if i don't make it..i don't know if i can do this...what if i get stuck up here...man...i'm really thirsty...do we have enough water...then we got to the mango tree and something happened. i realized that i was pushing myself up that mountain. fighting to maintain a rapid pace rather than just enjoying myself and taking my time. i remembered when i was younger this was always a mission...challenge, push, see how fast and how far you can get. but on that mountain...something happened. i softened and quieted myself. i listened to that little voice inside of me that started to sing a different tune. i began to have these conversations...you are so blessed to have the strength and ability to climb this...take your time...enjoy the sounds and the sights...breathe...take each step in remembrance of those who cannot. 
and so i climbed. and i listened. and i breathed. deeply and purposefully. and i reached the top of gros piton with a new sense of myself and my spirit. and when i got to the top..i surely enjoyed a nice cold piton...

and enjoyed the view with my incredible friend...
before we began the hike back down...which by the way...was much, much easier. so thank you gros piton for giving me more than a great workout and a beautiful view but also yet another new perspective on saint lucia, on myself, and on this incredible journey we call life.