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I think I’m a mountain girl after all. Though, I’m sure I could handle the California coast. Beach + mountains would be heaven.

J and I are in Asheville with Mimi for the weekend, and so far we’ve had a full trip (a bit to J’s dismay). Husband is recording in a fancy concert hall in Raleigh all weekend, so we made our escape before the chaos began. This morning, we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Pisgah (4200 ft.!), and yesterday J attended his first ever baseball game at McCormick Field. We’ve seen friends, eaten amazing food, and even driven by a green home I’ve been eying on the Trulia app on my iPhone. I am not looking forward to our drive back tomorrow. I’ll be happy to get back to Husband and the furry members of our family, but car trips are hard. Especially with J alone in the back seat.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a little slack on my Happiness Project these days. I am taking a “fearful fidos” class with Lily (our shy pup) on Sundays, but due to a mix of different conflicting scenarios, Husband has attended more of those than I have. I haven’t been going on daily walks (as much as I know they need more than running around the backyard), and I have yet to explore bonding with animals outside our home. In fact, I don’t think I ever even shelled out August’s resolutions. I suppose there’s no better time than now, right? #embraceimperfection. #oneweekleft. (I’m really into hashtags these days… Still not sure I’m using them quite right). #feelingold.

So, August:

1.) Take a walk

2.) Make time for training

3.) Notice puppy love

4.) Expand your animal bonding horizons

Maybe next weekend, I’ll find a place near Raleigh to visit some horses. Beginning Monday, I am also working out every day again, and re-acquainting myself with my other thousands of resolutions. Sometimes having all those resolutions feels a little overwhelming (and a bit ego-centered), so I’m also going to explore how to continue the project from here. Possibly, I will just focus month by month and trust that the previous months have sunken in without maintaining daily reminders. I’d also like to re-print an updated version of my daily commandments and display it in my house somewhere easily visible. Vacations always feel like a great time to reset.

Lately, my main internal focus has been mindfulness. Coming up, I have a whole month dedicated to presence and spirituality (which go hand in hand for me), but I cannot stop obsessing over the idea of being present. It is ridiculously difficult for me to remain present throughout the day each day, and I think there are two main reasons why:

1.) I am extremely socially deprived compared to my ideal. I’ve been paying close attention to my “mind chatter” recently, and I’ve noticed something ground breaking. In my head, I’m always having a conversation with someone. This may sound crazy, but we all have mind chatter, right? Instead of thinking, “Man, I need to do xyz before tomorrow and I’m worried about what will happen the day after that…”, I’m imagining saying this to someone, and envisioning their response. It likely also stems from a lack of social confidence (at times I’m rehearsing future conversations), but I am still amazed to have discovered this fact.

2.) I spend too much time on my iPhone. Talk about issues with screen time. The more time I spend hooked into a screen, the more spacey I feel.

So, to counter my lack of presence, I have been attempting to meditate daily and have also been listening to more buddhist podcasts, as well as watching TED talks on consciousness (I know, screen time…). Any other suggestions?

And now, I’m back to relaxing on the couch in our beautiful home away from home – The Eco Suite Retreat at Ashevillage. It’s an incredibly beautiful day here.

I am learning that it’s much easier for me to find a rhythm while on vacation.

I am thankful that Asheville exists.

My favorite recent Julianism – “Mama, I want to fall in love.” πŸ™‚ These days J is full of questions about everything he experiences. We are in the 60-whys-a-minute phase of childhood, and it’s awesome (though exhausting at times).

1. Take care of your body*
2. Eat whole, balanced, nutritious foods
3. Support your family’s health
4. Clean, de-clutter, and increase usability
5. Ease your mind
6. Move your body*
7. Connect first, connect often*
8. Be authentic*
9. Lead with confidence*
10. Find a bubble*
11. Apply SALVE*
12. Say yes
13. Find space for ritual*
14. Capture rhythm in nature*
15. Cultivate a daily rhythm*
16. Focus on food, sleep, and home
17. Find weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms
18. Go with what works*
19. Show appreciations
20. Touch more often
21. Work on projects together
22. Go to bed together
23. Cut some slack
24. Spend 25 minutes a day together
25. Learn to sew
26. Make it yourself
27. Maximize gardening potential
28. Become a master of oils
29. Simplify and sanctify
30. Think green*
31. Go room by room
32. Make technology work for you
33. Organize your digital life
34. See the big picture
35. Remember AEDH*
36. Create shrines
37. Watch dance
38. Take class
39. Reach out to other dancers
40. Produce short phrases
41. Take a walk
42. Make time for training
43. Notice puppy love
44. Expand your animal bonding horizons

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C’est la vie

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So, I’d like to be writing here more than I have been lately, but I have several things working against me:

1.) We have no Internet right now, due to construction going on on the second floor of our house (we’re remodeling Husband’s studio!). The only online access I have is on my phone, and I’m not very fond of typing two-fingered blog entries.

2.) I still don’t have a working keyboard. I thought about trying to hook the keyboard up to my phone, but alas…

3.) J isn’t napping every day now (and is still going to bed rather late regardless), so my writing time is limited.

I know. Excuses, excuses, right? Hopefully I’ll get my act together this week.

A very brief update on my life:

1.) My rehearsals have begun! So, I’m excited about getting back into the studio with dancers.

2.) I have decided that I really, really love yoga.

3.) I have just realized that there is too much going on to put in numbered updates, so I’ll have to write a longer entry soon.

C’est la vie.

I am learning more about my internal dialogue habits.

I am thankful for this amazing fall-like August!

J is growing and changing so much these days (as I mentioned in my last entry). I want to write a whole post about it, but here’s a tidbit- he’s currently very into letters and knows how to read and write all of them. He can also tell me a word for almost every letter (‘C’ is for cookie), and he’s attempting to learn the alphabet in sign language. Verbal intelligence seems to be his thing. πŸ™‚

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1.) Make a to-do list

2.) Realize that you have way more to do than you have time for. Decide you are awesome and will conquer the list anyway.

3.) Accomplish task #1 – pick some figs. Randomly decide to weed the yard because you’re already out there.

4.) Ask your husband to take your son to see some fire trucks on his 45 minute lunch brake while you run 3 errands and vacuum the house.

5.) Begin vacuuming the house and hear a knock at the door. Greet surprise visitor and abandon vacuuming.

6.) Shoo surprise visitor out the door while grabbing your bag and jumping in the car.

7.) Drive to errand #1 – Trader Joe’s. Pick out 10 apples, a bag of onions, and a bag of limes. Go to checkout counter.

8.) Greet extremely nice checkout man and watch as said man enters the wrong code for your apples. Twice. Wait while the manager comes to fix the problem.

9.) Leave Trader Joe’s and debate whether or not to run into the art store next door to buy the red paint your son has been asking for. Decide you don’t have time.

10.) Turn the wrong direction out of the parking lot. Drive for seven minutes before you realize where you are.

10.) Make a U-turn and look at the clock. Realize you now have no time to run any more errands. And that you could have used that time to buy some paint.

11.) Drive downtown to pick up your son. Switch cars with your husband. Carry heavy bag of groceries with you as you look at fire trucks with your son before heading home. Feel the hot sun beaming down on your shoulders.

12.) Pick up your son. Carry him on one hip and the bag of groceries on the other as you walk towards the car your husband parked. Look at the *pin* your husband dropped on google maps to locate the vehicle.

13.) Keep walking.

14.) Keep walking.

15.) Angrily text your husband and ask why the hell he parked so far away. Snarl when he replies, “Sorry, I didn’t realize it was that far.”

16.) Keep walking. Validate your son’s feelings as he whines about being hot for the 47th time.

17.) Take a break at the firefighter statue in the park.

18.) Keep walking. Wonder again why on earth your husband chose to park the car a mile away.

19.) Reach the pinned location. Look around and see a construction site, men unloading boxes into a restaurant, and railroad tracks. Notice that your car is nowhere in sight.

20.) Angrily text your husband again. Realize that he and google maps pinned the wrong location.

21.) Sit on a bench and breast feed your almost 3 year old as construction workers stare questioningly in your direction.

22.) Sigh in relief when your husband says he’s leaving work to come pick you up. Sigh again when one of the delivery truck drivers offers you a bottle of water.

23.) Change keys with your husband when he finds you so that he can swap cars again. The carseat is in the car you were supposed to have found an hour ago. Wait until he comes back with the car. Drive your husband to the other car.

24.) Drive home. Hop in bed, and nurse your son to sleep.

25.) Attempt to finish as many to-do list tasks as possible while your son sleeps. Make fig butter.

26.) Sit down to relax and not a second later, hear your son waking up.

27.) Lay with your son while he snoozes some more. Sigh a huge sigh of horizontal relief.

28.) Watch your son wake up. Look at the clock. Realize you have an appointment in 30 minutes. Hop out of bed.

29.) Wait for your husband to come home so that you can leave:

30.) Keep waiting.

31.) Rush out the door at 5:28 for a 5:30 appointment. Get there 10 minutes late.

32.) Come home from said appointment and wave goodbye to your husband as he heads out the door for his appointment. Continue making jam while you throw together some dinner. Can the jam.

33.) Realize you have hardly played with your son at all today, and attempt to play trucks.

34.) Welcome your husband home and decide you have the energy to conquer one more task.

35.) Delicately swap out a layer of your mattress, and stuff the old layer into a box to be shipped back. Realize it is now past 10:00.

36.) Finally crash in bed with your family. Instead of sleeping, write a blog entry.

I am thankful for this crazy day.

I am learning that I am even more extroverted than I thought.

J is growing and changing so much these days, and there is so much I want to write about and remember, but it’s been so hard to find the time. J and I are heading to the beach tomorrow with a friend, so hopefully I will regroup after that. I have resolutions to get back to!!!

Dancing into August

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OK, so it’s been a while! (And I started writing this post days ago and have just now found time to finish!)

Life has had it’s ups and downs (as per usual, right?), but I’m feeling confident that the flow is moving in a positive direction. Change is in the air.

My back is finally healed (well, 90% anyway). The injury drug on for WEEKS, and I was quite pathetic toward the end of it. I don’t believe I will ever forget the experience. I know that sounds dramatic, but I now have a much greater appreciation for those who deal with chronic pain. It’s a huge pain in the ass (pun intended).

July is gone now, and I have attempted to wrapp up my month of dance. Considering I was injured most of the month, I didn’t do much actual dancing, but even so, I am calling the month a success. Here is why:

1.) I watched a lot of dance. I observed classes, went to a beautiful performance, and watched videos.

2.) I connected with A LOT of other dancers.

3.) MY CHOREOGRAPHY WAS CHOSEN TO BE PERFORMED AT THE AMERICAN DANCE GUILD FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY THIS NOVEMBER! πŸ˜€

I am starting to feel like a real dancer/choreographer. It’s funny, because although I have a graduate degree in dance (from one of the nations top schools for dance!), I have never felt like a legitimate part of the field. Even while reading all of the resumΓ©s I’ve received lately, I think, “HA! I tricked them into thinking I’m a real choreographer!”… “Wait, I AM a real choreographer!” Things are looking up, though. And I’m hoping that with all the connections I’m making, I’ll be able to begin producing new work after the November performance. I still don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up (there are too many exciting things!), but I suppose I’ll take it one step at a time. For now.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it is now August, and I have switched my gears. August is all about the furry friends in my life (and the ones in the community around me). So without further rambling, here are my new resolutions:

1.) Take a walk

2.) Make time for training

3.) Notice puppy love

And… That’s all I have. Will add more/revise tomorrow!

Also leaving the usual ending off this post tonight… Embracing imperfection and ready to sleep.

Boo boos all around

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Well, my keyboard has broken, and I can’t bear to type on my iPad, so I haven’t been writing. This month has held many surprises, both wonderful and not so great. My back injury lasted for weeks and weeks. I’m finally on the other side, but slowly easing into movement again. And last night as Husband was cutting J’s nails, he accidentally took a chunk out of J’s little index finger. 😦 No hospital trip, but it was a rough night.

On the up side, I seem to be weaseling my way back into the dance world! My choreography was chosen to be part of the American Dance Guild Festival in NY this November! So I’m very excited about (and busy with!) that.

Now if only I could type with more than my thumbs.

1. Take care of your body
2. Eat whole, balanced, nutritious foods*
3. Support your family’s health*
4. Clean, de-clutter, and increase usability*
5. Ease your mind*
6. Move your body*
7. Connect first, connect often*
8. Be authentic
9. Lead with confidence
10. Find a bubble*
11. Apply SALVE*
12. Say yes
13. Find space for ritual*
14. Capture rhythm in nature*
15. Cultivate a daily rhythm*
16. Focus on food, sleep, and home*
17. Find weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms*
18. Go with what works*
19. Show appreciations
20. Touch more often
21. Work on projects together
22. Go to bed together*
23. Cut some slack*
24. Spend 25 minutes a day together
25. Learn to sew
26. Make it yourself*
27. Maximize gardening potential*
28. Become a master of oils*
29. Simplify and sanctify*
30. Think green*
31. Go room by room*
32. Make technology work for you
33. Organize your digital life
34. See the big picture*
35. Remember AEDH*
36. Create shrines
37. Watch dance
38. Take class
39. Reach out to other dancers*
40. Produce short phrases

I am thankful that my back is healing.

I am learning more about unschooling.

The other day, I opened the front door and J said, “Aw man! I thought you were Grandpa!” I asked him why, and he said, “Grandpa opens doors like that!” πŸ™‚

Buddhisty thoughts

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Right now, I am sitting in a clean house, listening to the sound my sleeping child’s (and sleeping dog’s) breath. I have a “sattva” incense burning, and I’m drinking red wine and eating Escazu chocolate squares.

Life is pretty good.

I need to remember to meditate, and to read about the law of attraction, and to listen to Buddhisty podcasts. I have learned that these habits are essential for me. I am a much more positive and relaxed person when I can remember to be mindful.

My back is feeling MUCH better thanks to my amazing chiropractor/herbalist/ayurvedic guy. Apparently electrodes and myofascial release was what I needed. That, and rest. I pushed myself a little too much today, and I’m feeling it tonight.

I have Buddhism on my mind tonight – zen, in particular – so, what have I done? I spent about half an hour searching Pinterest for zen quotes, of course. Here is my favorite one. I believe it actually encompasses most of what I am attempting to accomplish with this whole Happiness Project thing:

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I’ve been slacking a bit on the project these days. Losing my focus and getting caught up in everyday life. However, when I do remember to track my progress, I find that I’m naturally following most of my resolutions now, so I have managed to embody change. πŸ™‚ The back injury threw me off quite a bit. I now have a much deeper appreciation for those who experience chronic pain.

1. Take care of your body*
2. Eat whole, balanced, nutritious foods*
3. Support your family’s health
4. Clean, de-clutter, and increase usability*
5. Ease your mind*
6. Move your body
7. Connect first, connect often*
8. Be authentic*
9. Lead with confidence*
10. Find a bubble*
11. Apply SALVE*
12. Say yes
13. Find space for ritual*
14. Capture rhythm in nature*
15. Cultivate a daily rhythm*
16. Focus on food, sleep, and home*
17. Find weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms*
18. Go with what works*
19. Show appreciations
20. Touch more often
21. Work on projects together
22. Go to bed together
23. Cut some slack*
24. Spend 25 minutes a day together
25. Learn to sew
26. Make it yourself*
27. Maximize gardening potential*
28. Become a master of oils
29. Simplify and sanctify*
30. Think green*
31. Go room by room*
32. Make technology work for you
33. Organize your digital life
34. See the big picture*
35. Remember AEDH*
36. Create shrines
37. Watch dance*
38. Take class
39. Reach out to other dancers*
40. Produce short phrases

I am grateful for a smooth ending to a rather bumpy evening.

I am learning to embody calmness.

J’s fascination with fire trucks seems never-ending, and I love how devoted he is to all things fire truck-related. Tonight, we went to the pool for a swim, and J floated around the kiddie pool (walking on his hands) while making siren noises and insisting that I join him in the fire truck brigade. πŸ™‚

I am old

20130714-232934.jpgWarning: Whine alert. (Followed by a bit of positivity).

Tonight, I feel like I’m 85 years old. My back aches and seizes every time I move, and sneezing is extremely painful. Luckily, I don’t have a cold. I am not able to dance, or run, or even touch my toes, so that’s fun. I have an awesome husband who has been massaging me and picking up the slack at home, but I am ready to be in motion again. C’mon back! Heal!

On a more positive note, I came across this little poem on Pinterest today, and I thought I’d share, because it’s inspiring me to (once again) quit nitpicking at home. I have no idea who the author is, but it’s short, sweet, and seems like something I would hang on my refrigerator:

I hope
my children
loo back
on today

And see
a mother
who
had time
to play.

There
will be years
for cleaning
and
cooking…

For
children
grow up while
we’re not
looking.

I want to take more time to play. More time to relax. More time to be here now.

1. Take care of your body*
2. Eat whole, balanced, nutritious foods
3. Support your family’s health
4. Clean, de-clutter, and increase usability*
5. Ease your mind*
6. Move your body
7. Connect first, connect often
8. Be authentic*
9. Lead with confidence
10. Find a bubble
11. Apply SALVE*
12. Say yes*
13. Find space for ritual*
14. Capture rhythm in nature
15. Cultivate a daily rhythm*
16. Focus on food, sleep, and home*
17. Find weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms*
18. Go with what works*
19. Show appreciations*
20. Touch more often*
21. Work on projects together*
22. Go to bed together
23. Cut some slack*
24. Spend 25 minutes a day together*
25. Learn to sew*
26. Make it yourself*
27. Maximize gardening potential*
28. Become a master of oils*
29. Simplify and sanctify*
30. Think green*
31. Go room by room*
32. Make technology work for you
33. Organize your digital life
34. See the big picture*
35. Remember AEDH*
36. Create shrines
37. Watch dance
38. Take class
39. Reach out to other dancers*
40. Produce short phrases

I am grateful for the beautiful rug that is now in our music room.

I am realizing how weak my core is.

J is growing into himself so much these days. He is so confident and surprises me constantly. Tonight, we went out to dinner and as soon as the waitress came to our table, J spoke up to place his order. During our meal, he serenaded the restaurant with his rendition of Yellow Submarine. He is so proud of who he is and hides nothing. I hope he somehow manages to hold onto that.

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