My Moment of Zen

blog twist“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom… when we are no longer able to change a situation- we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl holocaust Survivor

We can all take this quote and probably apply it to our own lives in about 50,000 different ways. I’m going to focus a little more on the change portion. I’m one who typically likes to resist change, but craves it all at the same time. I don’t like to feel trapped in a box with no way out. I always crave more, but have to then face that factor of ‘fear,’ which typically presents itself with every new endeavor. Running away from struggle, from challenge, from fear- it’s normal for me. This translates in to my every day life on… Every. Single. Level. From just trying something new, all the way to my yoga practice… which is also ever changing.

How can yoga be so detrimental to ones ego? Isn’t yoga all about letting go of the ego? I mean seriously. My fear stems from something as little as just feeling like “I can’t do that, because I’ll fall. Or ‘she can do it and I most definitely cannot, because well.. I’ve never tried. Though, I won’t try because there is still that good chance that I won’t be able to do it anyway.” That’s a load of crap. I’m over that. I run from things like (in yoga): back bends. Mostly because my back is tight, my shoulders aren’t open and I can’t get super deep in to them without forcing my body beyond its edge. Another yoga lesson: Listen to your body. Ego is always there watching and waiting, lurking around every corner just waiting for you to screw something up. Or that’s what I think it’s doing. EXAMPLE: A Yoga class. I decide I’m not going to try to come up in to wheel, which I haven’t even attempted since, Nam, because A. It’s a backbend and B. My shoulders aren’t open!! AGAIN! How the heck am I supposed to improve my backbends OR open up my shoulders by avoiding them both every time I find myself on my mat?! Stupid.

So I went home, attempted urdhva dhanurasana; (Full wheel) …and… Fail. I couldn’t do it. Why? Because I don’t practice it. Hmm. What a concept. So I tried it a few more times. Still, I got nada. I actually wasn’t mad, I wasn’t surprised, but the fact of the matter is, is that it is called yoga ‘practice’, NOT Yoga Perfect; something I remind every single one of my students, and yet I’m not even practicing what I teach. That’s probably not a great teaching skill. On the other hand it’s me warning them not to get to the point of where I have allowed my practice to go. The best part is, is that I used to be able to get in to full wheel, no problem. I just didn’t like it. So how do you grow when you prevent yourself from growing? You don’t. I typically justify it in my mind with: “I’ll do this the next time I come to my mat.” “I’ll do this next time, next time, next time.” Do you want to know what next time brings?? Probably the same conversation.

:::: Kasey and I were in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2007. Awesome. How often in ones lifetime are you going to be in Stockholm, Sweden? Maybe once, if you are me. But there we were, in the middle of this absolutely amazing town with history that dates back beyond the sheer existence of our own country and as we looked around this little circle we had found ourselves in; surrounded by small shops and restaurants, we noticed the Nobel Museum. Yes, the Nobel Museum. That’s kind of a big deal. We had just randomly stumbled upon this historic and infamous landmark and what did we do? Well, here’s how the conversation looked: “We should go!”-me. “We should go!”-Kasey “Or we could go over here and come back later.” –one of us. “How about we go next time.”-Kasey. “OK, we will go next time!”-Me. And that was that. OH YA!! Because there is going to be a freaking next time, right?? That was an epic, epic fail. One we laugh at quite frequently NOW, because we reference it every time we have one of our ‘next time,’ conversations. I think we’ve learned our lesson.. maybe. Hopefully.::::::

So, how do I get better with my practice? I am a yoga instructor who holds herself to the highest of standards. I can’t do a single inversion- maybe a headstand if the moon and stars align just perfectly, but comparing myself to other instructors is probably the worst practice of them all. So here I am with the mindset of “I suck at teaching yoga,” why? Because I can’t do a handstand? Who cares, it’s yoga. No stress, no judgment, and though I think I have let go of both of those things, I am constantly judging myself, I’m constantly comparing myself. But, how am I supposed to do a handstand without opening up my shoulders? And how am I supposed to open up my shoulders without practice?

I can take this theme and apply it everywhere in my life. I have some really great ideas but allow fear to overcome me and I shut down just as fast as the thought has come to me. I want to start my own business, but will I be good enough, will it be good enough, will I have the support I need to make it thrive? I’m quite certain that I am not the only one who has faced this dilemma.

I know that when I am confident, I get shit done. I know that when I am feeling the best of the best and as secure as secure can be, I can do anything. I can make decisions and I can make things happen. But the moment I miss a beat is the moment I stumble and lose that confident grasp. It’s like jumping rope, once you catch the rope on your shoe, your rhythm is thrown off and you have to start again. That’s usually when the excuses come rushing in.

So what do we do? We try again. We unroll our mats everyday and we try something new, because that is how we grow. No judgment, no stress, no ego. Just you (me), your (my) breath, your (my) mat, your (my) practice. Nothing else matters, no one else matters, if you (I) fall, you (I) get back up. If you (I) can’t keep up- so what? That’s why Child’s pose exists.

There is always time for rest; there is always time for a moment of rejuvenation. There is always time to get back up and do it again, whether you pick back up where you left off or start all over. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you just do it. What matters, is that I just do it. I have to just do it. Who says our dreams and passions need to be steamrolled by something that we’ve created in our own mind? Fear is nothing but something we have dug up and built on our own. That’s okay. As long as we can see past it, as long as we can climb over it and move on. Fear is just a character builder, right? Once we have conquered it, we can do anything.

And so… we shall. We shall overcome the fear, overcome the judgment, Life is what we make of it. Life is good. Yoga is forgiving, and our (my) ego needs a nap. It’s time to grow; it’s time to let go, because everything else is continuing on with or without you or me. Just like in Yoga. We grow.

I am a work in progress. Maybe THAT is what the hokey pokey is all about?

*This is a post from August 2013, but it is still relevant and I am still a work in progress. So I’m progressing and it is a part of this series where I am searching for more, expansion in my heart, strength in my back, and evolution in my overall practice. Thank you for reading and for your continued support!* With gratitude.


My Backbend


My Dancer



  1. Hi! I realize this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work?
    I’m completely new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary everyday.

    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and thoughts
    online. Please let me know if you have any
    ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    • No maam, just do what you do and people who can relate, will follow. Easy breezy. Do what you love, share what you do. XO

    • This is on the stove simmering right now and let me tell you the house semlls AHHMAAZING! I only omited the coriander because I didnt have it. I have doneva taste test. This is going to be a regular! Thank you!

  2. I don’t know if you’re still checking coetmnms to this post but I made this last night. It was super easy and delicious (I cheated and used a food processor for the onion and used minced garlic). My poblanos were pretty spicy so I didn’t get a lot of the pumpkin flavor. I added a dollop of plain yogurt to mine because I’m a spice wuss. Good stuff! I wish I had nutritional info from this page but I think I figured it out. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Sorry for the delay in reply! I have so many comments and so many of them are not relelvant they end up stealing my time away from those who care. Thank YOU! I’m happy you liked it!

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