May 31

The last day of my birthday month was happy and quiet.  I enjoyed a breakfast date with my husband and felt fortunate that he found time for me even though his workload is currently massive.   He has been my cheerful co-pilot/sherpa/DJ/tech support/green juice barista/Liz Lemon all month long despite his long hours at work. My morning yoga practice was blissful, I was open to receiving each posture with my whole self, it was as if my body was an instrument being played by some outside force. Then I got to lead a class of well behaved preschoolers, giant souls in tiny bodies, happy to mold themselves into asanas without fear or doubt.  I spent time with my children after school, we chatted, revealed secrets, read and laughed.  Then I left to lead another class, with clients I really enjoy.  My last stop of the day was at the track, where I will be providing a demo tomorrow, to check how the turf felt barefoot.  Verdict: soft like fur!  Score!

Between all these “to dos” I reflected a bit and felt pleased that the last day was gentle, peace-filled and surrendering, like savasana after a long, challenging yoga practice.

May 30

On the 30th day she rested…nope.  There will be plenty of time for that in June!

The day started with an very early yoga class at a place I’d never been along the Hudson.  I enjoyed a deliciously deep practice (including an assisted handstand yayy!), then I got to teach a class at an investment company and I loved every second of it.

After dinner, when homework wasn’t done, my husband got home late, the kids were not bathed and the dishes were stacked HIGH, we went for a walk across a recently opened bridge (its been closed since 9/11) as a family at sunset.  It was amazing to sneak that last little bit of bliss into the day.  The kids didn’t ask any questions about 9/11 which hopefully indicates that my explanation of it a few days ago didn’t scar them.

One last surprise: I found out I get to lead yoga at a community event for local families…I’m utterly thrilled!

May 28 and May 29

All my peonies got knocked down in the rain, but I rescued some and turned them into a wine chiller/ice sculpture.

Awesome things are happening so quickly I don’t even have a chance to write about it.  So here are some pictures from the weekend, that’s worth 1,000 words, right?

The power went out in the storm, but we made the best of it!

I got to go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns! I love it, its my happy place, but now I know just to go for drinks and nibbles (once I ate so much there I broke the belt of a dress).
Older and wiser!

We visited a dam that’s been closed since 9/11. The kids had lots of questions and I think I handled it well. It was healing for me to tell them about it and to see the town from a whole new perspective. 9/11 was one of the reasons my husband and I got together, he wasn’t with us, so we didn’t cross. We’ll go across as a family.

We got to go to the beach!

This is at the beach, so pretty it almost looks fake, right?

May 27

Veggies are magic!

At my house, dinnertime is crazy making, I want to serve healthy food, we have a picky eater, and everyone wants something different. Needless to say, I get scorchingly crabby about it. We have gotten into a rut of eating the same very few items we can all agree on and its just not right!  Providing my family a wide array of nutritious foods is important to me, so in honor of my birthday month, I made steps to break the cycle.

My brother gave me the idea of preparing a weekly menu awhile ago.  I finally sat the kids down and asked them to identify foods they would eat for dinner, added some agreed-upon veggies and came up with a plan.  I snazzed it up with a couple of their favorite characters, posted the plan in the kitchen, and the kids were floored.  Now the hubster and I know what to cook, what to buy, the kids are excited and hopefully this will make for a smoother suppertime.  Fingers crossed.

Here it is, ready for editing at your house!

WEEKLY MENU

May 25 and 26

Now time for the big REVEAL. My project is finished and it was a tough one!  I composed a track in Garage Band and recorded one of my mediations over it.  The learning curve was steep music wise since I have never played an instrument, but the voice part was even trickier.

I remembered what I learned in a yoga workshop (the voice is an exhalation) and what a friend told me (drink lots of water so the voice is smooth).  Roadblocks included my seltzer addiction, the train passing constantly, my lack of time (especially alone time), general bits of self consciousness, and a poor mic.  I walked into Sam Ash for the first time and bought a microphone with birthday money from my Grammy.  My husband took the kids out on a few adventures so I could have the house to myself.  I capped my seltzer, chugged water, did some yoga then went to my newly tricked out meditation corner and made it happen.

Here it is, my birthday month gift to each of you!  You can download it or just stream it.  Indulge whenever you need a little dose of zen.

It was fun but it really showed me that I have more patience and persistence than I realized.   I never would have done this if it weren’t for my birthday month promise to myself.  Now that I know Garage Band and have my own mic, the possibilities are endless.  More meditations, some Von Trapp family style projects, and maybe a Christmas album.  Kidding!

May 24

I’m still working on my big, juicy, multi day project, but I’ve taken breaks from it to enjoy multiple yoga classes, some time with the kids and hubby, cooking, cleaning and planning the last few days of my birthday month.

Yesterday was a lesson in positivity begets positivity. I attended a morning yoga class with my mentor, the fabulous Tao Porchon-Lynch.   Sometimes my mind drifts in class, but it didn’t once yesterday.   I wish I could determine what the magic formula was, but I can’t.   The whole experience was so delicious and fulfilling that something magic happened during Savassana: I felt my chakras linking.  Starting with my root chakra, I felt a fluttering, like a butterfly, slowly moving through me.   It slowed a bit at my heart chakra (I guess I need to work on that area).  At the throat chakra, the poor butterfly got completely stuck like naughty Augustus visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (big time work to do), but it eventually fluttered through my head and beyond.  Afterwords, I felt nearly overwhelmed with calm and peace.

May 22 and 23

I’ve been super busy with teaching/practicing yoga, children’s activities, and volunteer duties the past 2 days!  But, I have dedicated a few moments to celebrating my birthday month by learning some new software that has allowed me to work on something I’ve been wanting to create FOREVER.  I’d be working on it right now, but I have hit a roadblock and am waiting for my team of tech geniuses (my brother and husband) to answer a few questions for me.  I am hoping to unveil my new project soon!

May 20 and 21

Two more pleasure-filled days of effortless ease!  This Birthday Month project is proving that positivity begets positivity.  I am getting many things accomplished, but nothing feels like work.

Sunday was so lovely and warm I expected to have a small yoga class, but it was the largest Sunday class I’d had since winter.  The room was filled with amazing people, who readily shared their enthusiasm and spirit.  After class, I went to Greenwich Point Park with my family for a day at the beach.  To me, the first beach day of the year has the same magic as the first snowfall.  Seeing my kids making sand angels, playing waterside as the tide went out, coming to me for damp-toweled hugs and exploring for treasures with Graham reminded me of the idyllic summertime days of my childhood.  After dinner, even though we were tired, I brought the girls to the local track so they could log more miles for a marathon fundraiser.  They ran so proudly and effortlessly it was like they were being carried by air.  My girls have not shown interest in sports and this has worried me, but clearly, they going to be the Venus and Serena of the track world.

Today I walked through a stunning nature preserve with my neighbor, whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know very recently.  All those years of just smiling and waving?  Well, I’ve been missing out!  I’m loving how this Birthday Month celebration is pulling me away from my typical day to day activities.  I feel refreshed and ALIVE!

May 18 and 19

I’ve been having so much fun I didn’t have time to blog about it.  On Friday, I had awesome people come to my house for dinner.  They are such lovely people, they deserve a fancy home cooked meal on the good plates complete with tiny hors d’oeuvres and some sort of flambeed dessert.  My mother just may have been Martha Stewart’s muse, I was brought up seeing all kinds of homemade lavish affairs, so in my head, that kind of fuss is the right thing to do. But I ordered pizza instead.  This is a dinner party I’ve been meaning to have for a year now, and it hadn’t happened so I simplified and enjoyed it.

Saturday, we visited my brother and my sister in law at their new home.  They are expecting a new baby soon.  Seeing all the baby gear set up, their excitement shooting out of every pore and they way they’ve feathered their perfect nest was so heartwarming.  We got to see where this new baby will play, swim, and picnic.  This is one lucky child! Best of all, his (favorite) aunt is only 40 minutes away!  I tried to stay present, but my mind kept drifting to the future, when the baby arrives, when the baby is walking, when the baby can climb up the slide (which I shared is the #1 playground injury, in case I forget to tell them later on).

With all the excitement going on, I noticed that my youngest really crabby for the past 2 days.  She’d woken up in the night and reverted to some behaviors we thought were behind us.   I kept asking her what was wrong, checked her ears, her forehead, kept giving her healthy food, but whatever it was driving this behavior remained a mystery.  On Saturday, I reached for her hand more than I usually do and I asked her more questions while I gave her a massage.  She told me about a truly terrible dream she kept having.  I was sad for her, but so pleased I finally cracked the code!  Once those words were out she was back to her normal sweet self and slept throughout the night.

May 17

I missed my Thursday morning class again for reasons beyond my control.  Honestly, I was quite angry about it.  Sometimes, sadly, life gets in the way of yoga class.  But life doesn’t have to get in the way of yoga practice!  Keeping in mind my birthday month promises, I found a way to put those negative thoughts aside and get some deep yoga in at home.  While I am comfortable with a solitary practice at home, sometimes I need a little outside inspiration…via a secret yoga portal called YouTube.

I came across a clip of a yogi doing an arm balance I’ve been wobbly in for months.  EXCEPT, she got into the pose in a different manner that I’d been, held it forever, did a dazzling dismount and made it look easy.  I was impressed.  I grabbed my favorite couch cushion (facial crash pad) and gave it a try.

Here it is, my own YouTube video of Matsyendrasana bind to Eka Pada Koundiyasana to chatarunga, up dog, down dog.  No crash pad required.  Yeeee haaaa!