Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Angles
















Sometimes it's all about the angle.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fireworks























My first attempt at shooting fireworks. I went to a fair a few weeks ago and what do you know, they had fireworks. I had my small tripod but there wasn't really a place to set it up in the middle of the carnival area so I decided to wing it. I'll try again sometime using a tripod. And there's some cool carnival shots to come.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obsessed























Seems I'm just a little obsessed with taking photos of the lovely flowers in the cool bottles with buddha. It's always so zen that I just can't help myself.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some Things I've Been Up To

So a few weeks ago I wrote that I had lots to share and here is some of that. This Spring I had quite a few photo shoots. And I decided June was going to be my comeback to my blog. I am determined to get more posts up this month than I have any other month this year. Now that things have started to become more normal:)

Here are photos from two shoots. I've been so lucky to photograph this little fella since he was 2 weeks old! There is a very cool series that I need to post on here which I will soon.














































And then this lovely little lady was just 2 weeks old when I first met her. Check out that thick, dark hair!







































More stuff on the way!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Special Birthday Weekend

Yesterday was my birthday. 46! Damn. I'm one of those people that loves my birthday and celebrating it. It's my special day so why the hell not. I don't work on my birthday. I think the last time I did was 2001. As long as I can remember I have tried to take off several days surrounding my birthday or perhaps an entire week. This year, since my birthday was on a Sunday, I figured a 3 day weekend would be sufficient. Anyway, this weekend marked two years since Lucy Poo joined our family. And while I don't have a photo tribute to her, I do have this http://www.youtube.com/user/pyle2atearthlink#p/u/6/ZeZZClsY6W8. This was one of my birthday presents from Shawn. I could watch this all day. My silly kitties. And we don't actually have 4 kitties now, 2 of them have passed away. We are actually thinking about getting a new kitty to join our family.

And one of my other presents from Shawn was a big, standing hug. We've certainly shared some hugs since he's been home from the hospital, but it's hard to get good hug while he's sitting in the wheelchair. So yesterday, we helped him to stand up with no walker or bars or anything. Then while I helped to support him just a little we got to share our first, standing hug in over 5 months. This was one of the best birthday presents ever. Just behind him being here this year to celebrate with me, because he might not have been.


Shawn also isn't able to make it out of the house alone yet, so he had some challenges to surprise me for my birthday but there's obviously no challenge too great for him. While I ran out to the store he set all of this up:














































Balloons, cool glass bottles, a new yoga mat and some kick ass wrist bands. Thanks to ebay and his mom, he pulled all of this off. And he set this up by himself. AND ... he made me a card with an awesome little poem. It was truly one of the best birthdays ever. And no birthday would be complete without cupcakes!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Offerings























Jasmine blossoms at the feet of Kuan Yin. The blossoms drop from the jasmine towards the middle of the day, so there were a these beautiful little flowers laying on the deck. Their scent and beauty warranted something more than a trash can. And Kuan Yin is the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion. Or at least that's one description. I think she also might be a Chinese goddess. Either way it just seems so appropriate to lay these as an offering to her.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weed























One man's weed is another man's wonder.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Out of My Comfort Zone
















(In the class I took yesterday, sweat would be dripping off each of these fingertips!)

Yesterday I took a Baptist Power Yoga class. A friend had been wanting to try this particular studio, and I was going to see my Dad which is nearby, so we decided to go together.

I had taken a Baptiste Power Yoga class at a yoga conference a few years ago and new it would be challenging but given my recent regularity with vinyasa and Jivamukti I knew I would be able to handle it. Plus I'm very much in tune with my body and when it's time to rest, I rest regardless.

So, the one thing I forgot was that Baptiste Power Yoga classes are done in a room heated to 95 degrees. At the conference in the ballroom that was pretty much impossible, it was warm but not hot. Not like the sauna that I stepped into yesterday morning. Yes, sauna. That made me remember to run out to my car and get the towel I brought. We were sweating just sitting there. And I've sweat just sitting in some yoga classes before, when it's just hot outside and there's a lot of people but this was not by default but purposefully. At this point I was wondering how I was going to make it through the next 90 minutes. It was hard to breath it was so hot. So we get started, straight into down dog. And go from there.

The poses and flow weren't anything different than I'm used to but the heat, OMG. So in true yoga fashion I had to detach from those sensations. That's called Pratyahara. Detach from outward sensations and go inward.
It worked for the most part but then there was the sweat. I'm all about a good sweat but when you are drenched, water dripping off you onto your mat, clothes saturated, I felt like that was diminishing my practice. Slipping and having to wipe my hands became a distraction. That said, it kept me in the present moment. And that's a huge part of the practice.

Anyway, I got through about 45 to 50 minutes of the 90 without having to rest a lot. I felt dizzy a few times, so I started to back off. With an hour done and 30 minutes left, I muddled through, resting in child's pose or corpse pose for a few minutes and then coming back for some deep stretching.
By this time I would say at least a third of the people were doing the same. Some more than others.

When we were finished the teacher asked how many of us wanted to bolt halfway into the class. I and a few others raised our hands. Hey just speaking my truth here:) Part of me did want to bolt but the other part of me knew I could do it. Her response was "But you didn't." That's right we didn't. We persevered. But why? Why did we persevere and stay in that stinking hot room, drenched head to toe?

Well, the feeling after it was all over was awesome. My body felt detoxed. My back which is usually stiff throughout class wasn't at all, before or after. My mind was clear. I felt like I burnt all kinds of shit out, physical, mental and emotional. Bad karma melted off. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and when that happens we really have no choice but to grow somehow. And it's all about growth.


Will I go back? No, because it just isn't convenient. If it was convenient I might add this style to my practice. As hard and challenging as it was and as soaking wet as I was, that feeling afterwards just kicks ass. But I almost always get that kick ass feeling after a good yoga practice. And, I prefer more spirituality thrown into the mix. And a much longer svasana:)

So how can I continue to step out of my comfort zone? To reach my edge, acknowledge it and then move past it? To continue to get that kind of growth? Well there are a few ways. For my home practice I can certainly take it up a notch. No need to be all pansy about it just because I'm at home. And for the Jivamukti class I take it's time to not back off for some things but forge ahead. If I can make it through what I did yesterday, I can make it through anything.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Zen Shelf























Wow ... it's been awhile. I have lots to share and will start with the new Zen Shelf and my attempts at photos that you might see in Body & Soul, Real Simple or something like that.























With Spring flowers everywhere, I had the idea to make little arrangements, on the simple and zen side. I gathered various small bottles and jars for vases and this is what came of it.

The shelf has it's own story. Last Fall, Shawn built the shelf and let's just say I didn't really know about it. I wasn't pleased and was vehemently poo-pooing the shelf.

Well, that shelf has become the new Zen shelf. Now that it could be taken down for the summer, I can't take it down. And I'm woman enough to admit that I was wrong about the shelf. And that if I had simply embraced it in the first place and put my ego and attachments to the side, I would have saved myself a lot of upset. Funny how a shelf can teach you an important lesson.