“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I often invite my students to smile during a class. Physiologically speaking, by clenching your teeth and tightening your jaw, your body is sending your sympathetic nervous system a message: “All is not well, we are in fight or flight mode.” Subsequently, your breath will shorten or perhaps you will hold your breath without realizing it, your blood pressure will rise, and your heart rate will quicken. All of this sends distress signals throughout your system. Not a good way to plug through a yoga class. Or any daily activity, for that matter. But with the simple act of a smile you can release the tension in your jaw. Thus relaxing your teeth and allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to take over and balance your body. You will remember to exhale, and amazingly a sense of calm will return like a wave. It’s an amazing way to release tension. But a smile does so much more. I’m sure most of you have heard the tip: “Smile whenever you answer the phone.” It sends a message of receptivity and joy, even if you are not feeling very receptive or joyful at the time. The smile also has the power to turn someones day around. Just one smile! I always try to remember to be nice to people because you never know what is going on in their life or even just at that moment. We always hear people say, ‘Well there’s always someone worse off than I am.’. Ugh, really?? Even though it is probably true, that saying really bugs me. It’s like saying ‘My life sucks, but at least I’m comforted that someone else is suffering more than I am.’… Why not agree that we are all connected, and even if you have nothing to physically give to another human, at least you can offer a kind smile. 🙂

A few things that make me smile:

🙂 Going to the local farmers market with Kaleo and filling our basket with organic fruits and veggies.

🙂 Coming home from the yoga studio and finding out that Kaleo has just gone to the farmers market and brought me some beautiful flowers and homemade fudge!

🙂 My friends. I have AMAZING friends who are not only ridiculously gorgeous, but also have the most incredible hearts and minds. They are so supportive, loving, hilarious, kind, unique and successful, each in their own way. I love you all.

🙂 My family who has always been there for me, no matter what crazy phase I was going through. They have always been a source of encouragement, support and constant love.

🙂 Laughing with my husband so hard until I have no idea if I am laughing at myself or not. Even typing that made me crack up. You might not get it completely, but he certainly will.

🙂 Clean, soft, matching socks.

🙂 Tank tops with scarves. So I am still warm, but with no constricting arm-things.

🙂 Silly picture texting with Kaleo. I mean, like trying to write an entire paragraph using just the Emoji app on iPhone. It’s hil-a-rious. Oh, and with Eden too for that matter! Wait, did you mean to say Rainbow Happy Poop?! What is a Rainbow Happy Poop??

🙂 Knowing that Kaleo is coming home soon, whether it be from tour or the studio. I get giddy like a schoolgirl. Everything in the house has to be just right and dinner has to be planned. It’s so fun.

🙂 Swiffer-ing. I am obsessed with it. Now that we have hardwood floors I am constantly doing it. They now have all these other Swiffer-thingys that do much more like spray and mop, but I am a purist. Just the O.G. Swiffer for me thank you very much.

🙂 A hot bath with dead sea salts. My new fave. I’m surprised I am not a constant prune with all of the baths I’ve been taking since we moved into the new house. I will come home from the studio at noon and take a bath if I want to. So there.

🙂 Writing about things that make me happy make me even more happy. It’s all about gratitude. I’m so grateful for my life, which just opens the Universe to the Law of Abundance. More happiness, more smiles, and yes, even more clean, soft, matching socks.

What makes YOU happy?

~ Melanie

Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin… into the future…

OMG! Is it really February 18th?!? And did I really just type OMG…? Yeah well, this blog calls for it because I just realized that I haven’t written anything since January 14th! Wow. Well, hmm, where do I begin. See, that is the problem here. It’s like when you put off cleaning out your closet or going through your receipts. Finally, when I do sit down to blog, there is just SO much more to write about that it gets overwhelming. Here we go:

We moved into our new place! It is really nice and just 4 blocks from the beach. Yes, the beach that we have’t been to yet since we are both so busy. But we DO get to hear the waves at night when we are in bed with the windows open, so cool! And we are right by the train station and train tracks, which we actually LOVE. However, it is loud occasionally. I am beginning to think that the trains that go by have a secret code of honks that we don’t know about. They are all quite similar, but slightly different, and I am somewhat obsessed with decoding the train horn sounds. Crazy? Maybe. But those of you who have ever lived by a train station have got to know what I mean, right?! Come on, make me feel better, I’m beginning to feel like a lunatic. It’s been hard to leave our house that we were in for 10 years… But more on that and sweet Annie later. She deserves her own blog.

I love my job. Wait, this is better: I LOVE MY JOB! I can’t even consider it a ‘job’. I love owning a yoga studio, I love teaching yoga, I love everything about what I do! I cannot complain about one single aspect of my professional life! How cool is that?!?! The studio is just gorgeous,I’m so blessed to be in it everyday; our students are lovely, energetic, peaceful yogis; my teachers are dedicated, highly trained, professional, funny, and just incredible humans, all of them. My partner, Danielle, is not only my very first mentor, but a great friend, a beautiful person, a professional, and yep, another incredible human, who happens to have a great husband who Kaleo hangs out with. I have so many events coming up ….. Pre-Natal yoga, Anatomy in Asana, Tim Miller workshop, an entire weekend of Yin yoga with Paul Grilley (!!!) and so many more. Yay for learning!!

I’m in love. Like, truly, madly, crazily in love. I mean, I have been for this entire time… But it happens over and over every day. It’s a pretty cool feeling to be best friends with your husband after 9 years. Such a powerful feeling, such a great friend. When I think of him it’s like when you are walking on the sand in your bathing suit on your way to jump in the ocean in Hawaii on a super hot muggy day. Basically, it’s the best feeling, ever. Kaleo, I want to laugh with you until my tummy hurts… forever.

Ok, well THAT was mushy. I will leave you all with a couple of random facts.

1. Every time you lick a stamp, you’re consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

2. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. (note: if the rider’s head is up the horse’s rear, the rider died a politician.)

3.  A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.

4.   111,111,111 x 111,111,111=12,345,678,987,654,321

Until next time…