Dear Yoga: A love letter…

Dear Yoga,

I remember when I first met you. I was just a little one and less interested in you than I was the lady on the TV show, Lilias, Yoga and You. I think it was her long, pretty hair in a braid, and that badass purple unitard she wore. I wanted to be her when I grew up. And I’ll admit, I liked to show off to my mom the poses that I could do, but that’s as far as our relationship went at that time. I was much too young to realize how awesome you were.

The next time you showed your face was when I was a teenager, trying to make friends in a new school and decide who I was going to be at that impressionable age.  I’ll admit, I loved the physical practice, and the relaxation made me feel great for the moment… But I was far too self-concious to let my guard down and really explore what you had to offer. None of the popular kids were into you, and I really wasn’t sure if I should be either. Was I hanging on to my hippie roots? Would I be judged for it? I figured we should just take a break for the time being, and soon you were forgotten.

A few years later, while I was still trying to figure out who I was and what my place was in this world, you came back (although, I now know you never really left me.). You showed up when I needed you most but never imposed on my life. You were just there, waiting, allowing me to discover you on my own time. I saw you on my travels through Europe, and again when I moved to California. You intrigued me. You never judged, you never told me what to do. Even though I was quite the handful at that age…
I felt a connection with you that I had never felt anywhere else. It felt like coming home when I was with you.

When we began to see each other steadily, I felt like you had always been a part of me. I looked so forward to rolling out my mat everyday! But in true Yoga fashion, you never said anything if I didn’t show up for a few days or even weeks. You always welcomed me back with grace. When I tried different styles and tried to decide where I fit in, you let me explore and whispered in my ear: Trust yourself. Wherever you land, is exactly where you are supposed to be. Besides, I’m much more than the physical practice. So much more…

Our relationship now is so honest and beautiful, Yoga, and I thank you. You’ve helped me to find my truth, to find love, and to be happy. Through you I have come to accept my body- how it looks, its limitations, and its amazing capabilities. I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally, and to honor myself as a Divine being. Though I have my off days, you are always there to remind me to REMEMBER who I am. Through you, I have fallen in love with myself, which led me to find and marry the love of my life and have a truly healthy relationship. You’ve given me the tools to always strive to be a better person. Trying to be more loving, more compassionate, more willing to see the good in others. Of course it’s not always an easy, smooth road, but you make it easier for me to make good decisions on a daily basis. To make choices that serve my well-being and that of others.
I began to realize that once peace, beauty, and joy is found within, it’s so much more visible on the outside!

Thank you, Yoga, for all the wisdom you have shown me, and all that there is still left to learn! There are lifetimes of knowledge yet to discover and I am so grateful to be on this journey. Thank you for teaching me to choose Love over fear… To always try to do no harm to myself or others… And most of all, for showing me how to LOVE & BE LOVED.

With the greatest respect,
Namaste.

{Lilias Folan in the 70’s in her awesome unitard}

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Well there’s a light in your eye that keeps shining, Like a star that can’t wait for the night…” ~Led Zeppelin

Happy holidays! And, apparently I don’t blog enough.

K and I were having dinner the other night with some dear friends that we haven’t seen in almost a year, and the topic went from, ‘How have you guys been? What’s new?’ to… ‘You need to blog more! Do you know how long it’s been?? Much too long!’ Haha! Sorry, Hannah, had to throw you under the bus for that one. 🙂
But seriously, sometimes life is just WAY more exciting than the internet, and I just can’t seem to sit down long enough to pour out an entry. However- I am going to make this my New Years Resolution. I resolve to blog more. Because, in all honesty, I really love to do it. But sometimes I don’t even visit my own blog for weeks on end. And then I have beautiful comments from awesome readers and I feel like poop because I haven’t responded fast enough. And then the guilt sets in about abandoning the blog for so long and that makes me really want to stay away, because how many times can I say sorry for not blogging. Or is it Sorry for Party Rocking? But alas, here we are again. And yet again… Sorry for not blogging. Moving on…

We are enjoying this holiday season SO much! No stress, no rushing around, no angry shoppers fighting for parking spaces or the last DVD set of Sons of Anarchy Season 2. Ah… just bliss with my love being home, our sweet little Christmas tree, and lots of yummy vegetarian dinners at home. See, this year we decided to not buy presents for anyone, not even each other. No consumerism = no holiday stress. We did allow each other presents ONLY if they were hand-made by us. So instead of Christmas morning being the pinnacle of the holiday because thats when the presents are opened, we are enjoying every single moment just being together. And the days up to Christmas seem to last longer. They are being savored rather than having the feeling of rushing around to buy things for everyone. It is so nice. We are so relaxed and happy to just watch the chaos fly around us while we just look at each other and smile. I recommend this to everyone.

Until today. I did something completely out of my comfort zone, and far from my usual routine. I went to the mall today. Yes, December 26th, the Day After Christmas…! One of the cra-zaaziest shopping days of the year. WHY? I need a new coat for Alaska. And I figured I could sneak in under the radar and hit up the one store that was sure to have my perfect coat in stock for Uber-cheap, my color and size of course. And then I would whisk myself up to the register, pay and be out and on my way home in 30 minutes or less. Because I AM that confident and a total positive-thinker, and I only want one little thing, right?

{How I imagined my shopping experience was going to be...}

{What I actually saw when I got there}

Of course I asked K if he wanted to join me and get some new gloves. HA! He looked at me like I was looney and said no thank you love, but good luck. In fact, he actually suggested I bring my badass knife he got me for Christmas (Yup, of COURSE he broke the rules and gave me gifts). Anyway, I drive to the mall, happy as can be, calling upon the Parking Fairies to grant me rockstar parking right in front of the one store I knew would have my coat. Well, that didn’t quite happen. But I did get to see two older ladies scream at each other from their cars, fighting over a parking spot, obvs. That’s okay, I’m still cheerful and optimistic.
I can now see my store, but crap, with all the parking traffic, I am barely inching my way through the lot. I decide to park further away and walk. It’s a beautiful day out and I could use the walk after all the coconut milk egg nog I drank. SO I pull down an aisle and voila! A parking space appeared right in front of me! Thank you parking fairies! I get out of my car and start the pretty far walk to the store. I cut between cars and move to another aisle, then another. A car pulls up in front of me and a guy leans out of his car to yell at me for taking him on a goose chase. What the..? Apparently, he had been following me from aisle to aisle thinking that I was looking for my car to leave. Oops, I had no idea. Whatevs, dude. Two altercations in under 5 minutes but I am STILL having a good time. I just wave and carry on.
I finally get to my store and a whoosh of reality washed over me as I walked in. There were SO many people with angry, maniacal, and pissed off looks on their faces that I had to pause and find my courage to go on. Crying kids, yelling moms, people flinging through the racks with reckless abandon, throwing coats that didn’t fit them on the floor, others grabbing 5 at a time, not even looking at sizes, just so they could go take them to a corner to try on without having to shank someone for it. It was complete madness.
I took a deep breath…
And I walked over to the nearest rack that (miraculously) had only one person digging through. I found a couple nice ones, but my eyes were glazing over, my palms were getting sweaty, and my bottom lip was getting ready to pucker. Yes, my friends, I was thisclose to losing it. I wanted to either A. run for the door while screaming: “You’re all a bunch of f#*@ing lunatics!” or B. give up and sit down somewhere, where they would eventually find me rocking in a corner.

However, I pulled up my big girl panties and did C. Made one last scan of the coats with authority, wearing a confident smile while still being ready to fend off the crazies if I found My Coat. And then… there it was. The only one of its kind in the store, Michael Kors, down, mid-thigh, puffy but fitted with a faux fur trimmed hood,  in MY size, marked down from $400 to $109. True story. It was only a coat, but the victory I felt in that moment could only have been better if there was a soundtrack playing in the back ground, like in a Katherine Heigl movie. I took my starry eyes and my new favorite coat EVER up to the register. Where I waited.

Yep, still waiting.

But that’s okay because I WON. I wrapped my arms around my coat to snuggle in its warmth while I waited. I walk up to the register and she sweetly tells me that My Coat is now only going to be $85 because it has been marked down yet again for today only. Ahhhh sweet victory. I abandoned the rest of my plans and just went home to have lunch with K. My day was complete and oh so sweet. BUT- I vow to NEVER do that again. I have no idea what I was thinking…

So me and My Coat are heading up to Anchorage with K on Thursday for their New Years Eve concert. I am so excited! See, I was born and raised in Hawaii. However, for a couple of wild years when I was a little one, my parents, my dog and I were nomads and went from Hawaii to California, then up to Maine and all the way through Canada (in a van with shag carpet walls!!) to Nome Alaska where we lived on the tundra for a year or so. I don’t remember any of it, but I have some great photos, and I love hearing the stories…

{Yes, that is me. Could I look any more uncomfortable?}

Then I came back to Hawaii, all before I was 3 I think? Mom, dad, you can probably fact check me here. But I have never been back to Alaska, and now we have the chance. I’m very excited to see the Aurora Borealis again, and to visit a glacier south of Anchorage. It wasn’t on my Life List, but I am eager to experience it just the same. Are any of you readers out there in Anchorage? Anyone coming to the show? We will be there for about six days and would love to have some recommendations of restaurants, fun things to see, etc. And wouldn’t you know it… there is a yoga studio next to the venue. Boom. 🙂

It has been such a wonderful year, and one word sums it all up for me. Gratitude. I am so grateful for everything in my world: My love, my family, my friends, my studio, our travels, our life together. It’s been a fabulous ride so far, and I am so excited to see what the New Year brings! I would love to hear from all of you… What are your plans for New Years Eve? Are you making a resolution this year? Of course, mine is to blog more, blah, blah. But other than that, I really don’t have another one in mind. Just to Live. Live happily, live healthily, and honestly and lovingly. Enjoy every. single. moment of this beautiful life and to appreciate and love my closest like it’s the last day of the world.

Happy New Year. Peace to all.

Currently…
Reading: Jimmy Page. Magus. Magician. Man.
Listening to: Chris Cornell- Live acoustic tour. Swoon…
Eating: Homemade Vegan Harvest soup (basically any veggies I have on hand)
Grateful for: Kaleo making me delicious breakfasts every morning. I’m spoiled.

 

Blog Challenge Day 2: Favorite Movie

Ok this was a little easier. The term ‘favorite’ is so limiting, and I really, really love movies so there are MANY favorites. But I have to say that one constant favorite movie in my life has always been The Big Blue, or the French version, Le Grand Bleu. This movie is filmed in the Greek Islands, Sicily, South of France, Peru, and New York. It is about the world champion free diver at the time, Jacques Mayol. It’s directed by one of my all time favorite directors, Luc Besson, The score is simply beautiful and I love the main actors, Jean-Marc Barr and Jean Reno. When I was still living back home in Hawaii I was a free diver, as well as Padi certified diver. I worked on many tourist boats and eventually made my way to a Dive Master certification. One of the divers I worked with had a girlfriend who was in a documentary with the real Jacques Mayol. From Mayol directly, she learned some incredible free diving techniques, breathwork, and meditation. She in turn taught me those techniques in between our tank dives while working on the boats. Most of you know that I have such a strong connection to the ocean. Often, I would come up from a dive and turn upside down with my fins on the surface of the water, like  was standing on the sky. I’d just stay there and let my tank run out of air and watch the sky from under the water. If you haven’t seen that view before, I highly urge you to experience it. Holding my  breath for the last moments, I felt like I could stay under there forever, it was so peaceful… So when I heard about the movie The Big Blue (which Mayol co-wrote), I couldn’t wait to watch it. It did not disappoint. Now, keep in mind that it is verrry abstract and it is filmed in the late 80’s, so many people dismiss it. But just seeing the fascinating life of Jacques Mayol put into a film with some great actors and scenery is enough to win the spot of my all-time favorite movie. Kaleo and I have this saying: Underwater Forever. If you ‘get’ this movie, then you will understand.

Bueller? … Bueller?

Ok, so I gave in. You know how I am usually all, “Me? nope, I’m not going to get sick. I’m never sick. It’s just an allergy this morning. No, I am going to WILL it away…” ?  Well, I woke up this morning and decided that I am going to just let it run its course for the day. Go ahead, cold, have your fun and be on your way. I’m not afraid. After being in the ‘corporate world’ (ok, sure it WAS the action sports industry, but still), for over 7 years, it feels really good to be able to have the luxury of just being sick. Maybe that came out wrong. What I mean is that I don’t think I ever called in sick. Ever. Seriously, folks. I would just power through because no one else was going to do my job, and I would be terribly behind, and shit would just not be ok if I didn’t go into the office, and blah, blah blah. So I would never admit when I needed to actually give in to my exhausted self and take a moment to get better.

Where am I going with this? Well yesterday I felt like I was coming down with something and I began doing the usual denial, power of positive thinking, law of attraction, whatever you want to call it. Cut to: this morning I wake up with a runny nose and felt like someone was sitting on my chest and I had swallowed an entire box of sparkly yellow Peeps. Oh how I loathe those little squishy bundles of chemically puffed yuck. Just FYI. My point is that my throat hurt really bad. Anyway, I get dressed and Kaleo and I go out on a delightful breakfast date where he proceeds to win with his order. Of course it’s not really a competition. Oh who am I trying to fool, it totally is. And he always wins! Argghhhh. At least he always lets me eat off his plate, so it’s all good. When we came back home I started to feel like I was losing my mental battle with this cold. I decided right then and there, that I could actually allow myself to just go with it. Kaleo would be leaving for the recording studio in about an hour, I could just catch up on some computer work in the comfort of my bed, and maybe even just sit out on the deck and get some much needed sunshine while drinking a ton of water and loading myself up with Wellness Formula and Vitamin C. Hmmm… It kind of sounds like a nice, relaxing time. So I changed my entire outlook from fight, fight, fight. To oh yeah, this is going to be awesome. Of course first I went into Kaleo’s studio here at home and crawled upon his lap with puppydog eyes that said, I’m sick… hug me. I had my lower lip out and everything. And yes, his hug made everything alllll better.

For the remainder of the day I did some work, napped, ate a small lunch with more Wellness Formula, napped, and took a bath. I felt like I was on a vacation! With the exception being that I felt like shit. But my day was so nice, and I felt like I was giving myself exactly what it was asking for. Why have I not thought of this sooner?? I mean, when I was a kid I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and thought it was so cool. All the preparations he did in order to play hooky! ( I have never even typed that word out in my life, is that weird? Is it correct?) I think once in like the 6th grade I thought I could pull it off and held the thermometer to a lamp for a few minutes to heat it up and started coughing and making my voice all raspy and hoarse (you ALL know what I’m talking about, don’t even try to deny it). I went to tell my mom that I was sick and she looked at the thermometer (which I couldn’t read for the life of me) and her eyes got huugge. Then she looked at me and said, this is wrong, let me wash it again and re-do it. Not even questioning why I had the thermometer in my room in the first place since she always did it for me. I got all scared and almost peed my purple leggings something fierce when she said that I was totally normal. I mean, 98.6 normal. Not even a little off. Damn. My face was all red and flushed from trying to pull off the lie and she touched my cheeks with the back of her hands (I always loved that) and kissed my forehead and said, “Well you do look pretty flushed. Do you want to stay home from school?” Awwww bless her heart, she was worried about me! It worked! Whew. Eat that, Ferris! So in true Melanie fashion, I…. (drum roll please)… chickened out. I did. Yep, I know. Bring it, Kaleo, I know you are laughing at me. Just bring it. I said to my sweet mom (with a total pouty look and the best raspy sick voice EVER), “No, that’s ok. I have too much schoolwork to do.”. Ugh! I am such a loser!

Sooooo anyway. Back to my current situation. I’m thinking that I am enjoying this luxurious sick day because I was too lame to pull it off as a kid, and too responsible and productive to pull it off in my last career. Now I own my own business and I can decide what’s best for me. And you know what? I am actually feeling better as my day goes on. I think I just needed to pause for a little while and let nature run it’s course. And of course the 5 ga-zillion milligrams of vitamin C didn’t hurt either. Thanks for listening. Oh and Mom… sorry. 😉

~Melanie

Wild Thing… I Think I Love you.

I wrote awhile back about how truly excited I was that Spike Jonze was making a non-animated movie of the most awesome children’s book of all time. Welllll folks, it’s out in 12 days! The movie looks FABULOUS, and we all know that I am going to be a babbling cry-baby because I have a feeling that there will be some sad elements to it. Just a hunch. But sad to me and sad to the rest of the world is not always linear. Ask my husband. I don’t know how many times he’s had to fight back a little laugh when he sees my lower lip start to quiver because I see a sad fish in a tank or something. But he is always there with open arms no matter how silly I am.  Awwwwww. But anyway- This book seriously spans like 30-40 years of bedtime story hour. Even little ones today know this book, it’s timeless. Am I the only one who wanted my bedroom painted as a forest so I could imagine my Wild Thing friends coming to get me  for an adventure or an exploration when the lights went out?? I think not. However, I knew a girl when I was a kid who actually DID have a forest mural painted in her room. I think her name was Jennifer Williams? Mom, you can probably remember more than me. Anyway, she had this awesome mural that spanned three walls of her room, stretching allll the way up to the ceiling and when the lights went out there were sparkles or glowy-things that were supposed to look like eyes from the forest peering at you through the trees. Well…even though I considered myself a big girl, I got super duper scared and freaked myself out and her mom had to come in, and so we slept with the lights on!! Ahhh! I was so horribly embarrassed, because I had to be about 9 and probably totally thinking I was this like, cool 4th grader or something… But NOW?? Oh man, I would be so psyched if I was a kid with a forest mural now. Hmm. No, that’s not true, I still occasionally check my closet for monsters and once in a while run from the light switch to leap onto my bed juusst in case there’s something lurking under there hoping to catch my foot. Secret’s out. Whatever, we’re all friends, right? And it never happens when Kaleo is home because DUH, monsters only want to get me when I’m alone and my big, bad husband can’t fight them off. *sigh*        Oh! My! Gosh! I almost forgot! I came across the most amazing thing EVER.

1-wtwta

HOW UNBELIEVABLE ARE THESE??? They are just like the ones that little Max wears in the book and now the movie only way cooler because they’re my size! And I want them!! I know you are supposed to be all sexy or whatever for Halloween, but come on! These are the BUSINESS! I would so totally rock these on Halloween. However, I would probably pass out from heat stroke or something, and I would look just a WEE bit silly next to all the sexy pirates, sexy doctors, and sexy teachers. Oooh! I could be a sexy Wild Thing! I just need to wear stripper shoes and a red bra under the fur with the zipper zipped half way down. Hahahahahahahahahaa…….. I am SO kidding.  It has buttons, not zippers silly goose. But really. I would absolutely wear these on Halloween if I was going to maybe Sweden or Canada, somewhere cold. Nope, I will be on a cruise ship heading back from Mexico. Not ideal furry costume weather. But I will wear them in the comfort of my own home, watching movies with Kaleo, who will also be wearing them, he just doesn’t know it yet. Ok, I’m all talk because guar-an-teed he is going to read this blog and call me going: ‘Um, love? You know that I will never wear that thing with the ears, right? Like, seriously. Never.’ Oh but a girl can dream…

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

     I have the absolute greatest memories of my childhood. In fact, if you know me, chances are you have heard me start a sentence with: “Once, when I was little….”
One such memory is going on ‘adventures’ and ‘explorations’ with my brother and sister all over the land behind our house. We came up with the coolest stories about all the treasures we found. It’s funny how when you are young, anything you find is a Treasure, with a story. But as we grow up, we label it Junk. Anyway, one time we even found an old one-room broken down shack that had stacks of books in it. Really gross piles of it, like a harvest for spiders and such. But of course we never thought of that at the time. These books were so fascinating to me because they were all in Japanese. So the writing was down the page instead of across the page. We had no idea what they said, there were no pictures, but I thought the writing was so pretty.
First-We would set out and find a stick. This was the important part. The stick was to help you hike and explore, but most importantly, to ward off the scary creatures we were sure to find. Like the neighbor’s dog. Behind our house was a macadamia nut farm, and to the sides were coffee lands. So there was a lot of exploring to do. We would always find sea shells in the dirt, and since we were about 3000 feet above sea level, this always baffled us. We came up with the idea that a Huuuuge tidal wave washed up over the land and left them there for many many years, and we just happen to find them because we were such great adventurers. I think years later I found out that Opihi shells are used as mulch for the macadamia trees. But isn’t my story so much cooler??
So- one of my absolute favorite books when I was a kid was Where the Wild Things Are. I’m sure most of you know it, it spans generations. I am so happy to announce that Spike Jonz is making a movie adaptation! The link above is to the trailer, and it is SO good. It is not embedded, so just click twice to be taken to youtube. It is exactly how I felt as a kid and went on my adventures! It seriously made me feel 8 again…