Liebster Award

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I have de-camped over to Virtual Yogarians for the month of April.

(Virtual Yogarians is a multi-user blog I set up for people to blog about how the April Yoga Challenge is going. I post there every day (from the seat of the teacher) but so do a whole lot of other people who are practicing in April, but not in the studio.)

Please feel free to check it out if you like yoga talk.

I thought I could keep these 2 blogs spinning on sticks while I taught 3 classes a day but I really could not, so when The Inspiration Location plate fell and smashed, I stepped over the shards and concentrated full time on Virtual Yogarians.  But I will get Inspiration Location up and spinning again once the Challenge is over in May.

Out of the blue the other day, I got a note in my inbox from a new blogger I just found and have been enjoying immensely. Her blog is called The Bliss Project and she has made a personal goal for herself to try 100 new things and write about them. (Hey Tim! If you are reading this post, this girl could be the poster child for Try Chips!!)

Her latest Bliss Project is yoga and she’s doing a yoga challenge (not mine) now and writing about it. She is my people, for sure.  She is adorable, takes pics of herself and her buddies doing stuff, and I just love her.

She passed on this award to me the other day:

What is this, you ask?

This is the Liebster Award, and from what I understand, it’s kind of a way for bloggers who are new on the scene, or like me, old on the scene but have less than 200 followers, to let each other know about one another. It’s a way of finding new blogs, new voices you may not have found otherwise.

It works like a chain letter. If you get one, you can then “pay it forward” by giving it to 5 bloggers who you like, who then can pay it forward, and by so doing, more of us can know about each other.

Cool, no?

When I tried to think of who I would nominate, so many blogs came to mind. Most of the ones on my blog roll are pretty famous and have a bizillion followers. What I always wish is that more of the people who I know IN REAL LIFE would write blogs.

Blogs  are like a peek into someone’s diary, or a daily/weekly/monthly letter you get from a friend. Blogs let people know about your life: what you are caring about, obsessing over, even cooking for dinner. I really want to know these things about certain people in my life, so I am always encouraging them to blog.

Very few do, but I do know some who are, and these are the ones I have chosen to nominate. Some of them have just started and are trying to get their blogging legs under them. If they got a comment, some acknowledgment that they are being heard in the blogosphere, they would freak. Others have some followers but really deserve more.

So here they are, my nominees–in no particular order.

Liberez Vous This is a new blog written by a young woman I first met when she began practicing at my studio. She writes about her yoga practice, and her life, and her cats, and food, and whatever is currently buzzing on her radar screen. She reminds me of my daughter a lot, so I have kind of adopted her.  She posts about once a week. This is a fun read. Oh, and she’s a good photographer, too!

Goodbye Ordinary– This is a brand new blog also, by another of my students who has had other blogs in the past, but started this one to talk about her new yoga practice. She is the young mother of 2 little kids and is trying to do the life/work balance dance and is extremely good at it. She’s a really good writer and deserves more readers. Check her out.

Em Likes Food – This is my daughter. She started this blog when she had an ailing computer and so had to do most of her posting from her Iphone! (I think). Recently, she has acquired a new Mac, plus an Ipad which should make posting lots easier. She manages a Starbucks in Portland, OR., works ridiculous (and many) hours, and likes to cook. She also likes good wine, and good coffee, and is very picky about her gimlets. She has a husband and a chihuahua. Her life is kooky. I want her to post more.  I miss her. (encourage her, k?)

Zee Zahava This is my best friend. I have known her since her Smedley’s days in Ithaca when she owned that bookstore. I have been writing at her studio for a long, long time and she is the most inspiring writing teacher/encourager/praiser on the planet. Simply phenomenal. A treasure. If you live in Ithaca, you know Zee. Her writing is hilarious, her conversation, sparkling, her haiku, enlightened. She will most likely not keep this chain letter going because she is brand new to blogging and it kind of scares her and freaks her out. But hers is a blog to subscribe to.

A Measured Word  I met Natalie at Zee’s. We were in the same writing circle for a few years and her writing used to blow me away. When I learned she was blogging I was so happy because then I could READ her and have her words to savor long after writing group was over. She loves language and gardening and taking pictures and cooking (she used to bring goodies from her kitchen to our writing groups occasionally–yum!). She’s in the middle of a move (from one house to another in Ithaca) and I can’t wait until she starts blogging again because this new house is going to inspire so much good stuff!!  Hurry back, Natalie!!

So there are my five.

If you receive the award, you should:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you. 

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. 

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

 4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!

My Unique Ability

I am a person with no particularly noteworthy talents.

This is not to say that I’m not good at certain things, I am. But I’m not “talented.” Nothing comes naturally for me. If I want something, I have to pull it out of my ass with a lot of hard work and sweat and streaky kinds discipline-y kind of activities.  (Like my streak on 750 words.)

But I am coming to see that there is one area in which I am truly remarkable, almost a freak of nature actually.  But before I tell you what that is, I want to tell you a joke, okay?  Here’s the joke. (If you’re not a rural person, you might not get it at first, but I’ll explain later.) Ready?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

(wait for it…)

To prove to the possum that it could be done.


I know. Hysterical, right? (yeah, no.)

Around these here parts (north- central PA) there’s a lot of road kill: skunks, deer, cats, woodchucks, and most of all, possums.  (I know, I know, It’s technically “opposums” but nobody around her calls them that. They’re “possums.”) And they are notoriously oblivious of traffic and how to time a foray across a road. As a result, there are millions of  rotting possum carcasses all along the rural roads of PA.

Here’s another joke about possums:  “Possums are born dead along the side of the road.”

I tell you these jokes because today I was walking my dog around campus, and around town, (the way I do every day,) and I noticed for the bizillionth time that I was: 1. the only person not tapping into a screen. 2. the only person not talking on a phone. And 3. The only person without ear buds in my ears.

And not only was I not talking, texting, or listening to music, I didn’t even have a phone or an Ipod on me.

But (and here is the remarkable part) I had absolutely no anxiety about it. I didn’t “forget” my phone. I never carry it on my dog walk. I don’t want to talk to anyone on the dog walk. I just want to walk. I want to look at other people, and the landscaping on campus (the weeping cherries are in bloom and they are beautiful!) and watch my dog  pinch out a nice tootsie-roll sized poop, and then kick her little back legs into the grass three times in triumphant satisfaction.  I want to praise her, and then pick up the poop in my baggie.

If I was talking on the phone I might miss this amazing event.

As I watched all the preoccupied people on their phones and Ipods and Bluetooths, and as I  steered myself out of their way so we wouldn’t collide (because they were totally preoccupied, and were totally oblivious of me and my Corgi) I thought of the possum joke.

(You were wondering when I would wind back to that, weren’t you?)

“Why did the woman walk the Corgi without texting?”

“To prove that it could be done.”

I think this is my special talent, my special ability: that I can do most things without my phone, and without missing my phone, or worrying/thinking about what I might be missing on my phone.

I feel like by not being engaged with a screen as I walk in public, I am providing living proof that it can be done. (Just like the chicken tried to prove to the possum.)

Also: Because I am not on a device, I can witness the cherry trees in bloom, smell the newly unfrozen earth, and look at cloud formations,. I can notice the subtle daily change in the landscape from winter to spring.

I can also witness you. I can notice your life, I can veer out of your way, and I can try to make eye contact. I can watch your reaction to my dog (if you even look up to notice her.)

I can witness you. I can see you.  You can’t see me, I know, but I can see you.

And by being present and unpreoccupied, I can prove to you that it can be done.

That it, in fact, is.

Recommedation Letter and Losing Track of the Days

39 people came to the Yoga Challenge  yesterday. And 39 people came today, too. Not all the same people, but some were the same. It’s funny that the same number came on both days.

I am losing track of the days of the week already.  I know that today is “Day 2.”  Beyond that, not too sure. I found myself in the bike shop today, talking with my friend Jim and experiencing a brain gap when it came to knowing what day it was..

“Surely you jest, my good man. It can’t possibly be Monday.  No, no. Mondays mark the  beginning of the work week . My week began yesterday, so today must be Tuesday.”

But no. It’s Monday. What I want to know is: Since when did the earth stop revolving around me?

After my morning ritual of 750 words, I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of my students, who also happens to be a person I really love and enjoy.

I’ve written my fair share of recs, but this one was actually fun. This person wants to go to YTT at Kripalu and she’s applying for some scholarship money. Kripalu both is, and isn’t, like corporate America. It has to be in a way, because of all the money involved in keeping such a place afloat, but they don’t subscribe to the corporate paradigm in a big way.  That’s why it was easy to write this rec. I know how they see themselves and how they like to be seen.

They like it real. So I told them stuff about this woman that I know they think about when they think about propagating the Kripalu name. They want teachers who are competent, but also dynamic and charismatic. Solid in their skills, but also good at representing the brand, which has always been kind of nebulous, if you ask me. Beyond BRFWA, it gets a little murky.

I didn’t feel like I had to write a bunch of bullshit nonsense but could give them a picture of this person. That’s what you want in a rec, right? You want the person writing it to tell you the down low on this person, who they are, as people.

I think I did that.

Now I need to go to bed.

I am incredibly tired.


Adding A New Worksheet To My Day

I’ve spent a lot of time today trying to figure out how I am going to do all the things I want to do, have committed to doing, and all the things I am currently “streaking.”

It’s all coming together nicely, I think, except for 2 small things: sleeping and bathing.

If it weren’t for sleeping and bathing, and to some extent, eating, I would be golden.

I cannot for the life of me find slots for those two things in my day. Maybe if I were better at Excel I could add another sheet? Another workbook? (Seriously, I need a lot of help with Excel. If any of you Excel wizards could give me a few lessons, I would love to schedule that in.)

Oh wait. Maybe not. Sleep and bathing. Focus, Kath.

So here’s one scenario: Home from class around 8 PM, maybe earlier if I’m lucky. Do I have a light snack and go directly to bed and get up early and shower? Or, do I take a nice hot bath, have a glass of wine, and sleep a little longer in the morning?

In both scenarios I am not getting enough sleep, it’s just a matter of figuring out if the night shower/bath will energize me too much to sleep? And if the morning shower will be too jarring given I have to take it practically in the middle of the night, (which is now called “morning.”)

Oh, hand to brow! Me and my (first world) problems!