Friday, December 31, 2010


So here we are on the last day of 2010. 2010 on so many levels was the worst year ever. But as bad as it was it was just as good with all of the blessings, love and gratitude that came from it. I'm still trying to iron out my intention for 2011. I've got some goals but an intention for the year is important. It will be the fuel for those goals. It will guide how I want to live in 2011.

There's been this thing that I wanted to do all month but because of so many other things going on, or at least that's my excuse, I wasn't able to get to it. So I'm going to do it now.

Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. There have been daily prompts to help induce reflection on the year. So here we go.

1 - One Word - Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word.
The one word that would that would encapsulate 2010 for me is Overwhelm. I was overwhelmed by Shawn's medical emergency and paralysis. I was overwhelmed with being a care giver. I was overwhelmed with gratitude from all the love and support we received because of his situation. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude from his amazing, miraculous recovery. And I have been overwhelmed with a LOT of opportunities for work and photography gigs.

2 - Writing - What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? I'm looking at this in two ways. Writing for my blog and photogrpahy. What do I do each day that doesn't contribute to writing on my blog and taking photos ... letting other things come first and laziness. For awhile there was nothing I could do about other things coming first. That's just the way it was. But now there's no excuse but laziness. And what can I do to eliminate that? Just stop.

3 - Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Hmmm ... this is tough. There were a few but I'm going to pick the Baptiste Power Yoga day.

4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? Not so sure that I cultivated a sense of wonder so much as it just came. Wonder that miracles can and do happen, that Shawn went from a quadrapelgic to jumping. Wonder that so many people rallied behind us to send love, prayers and support. That was all pretty damn wonderous.

5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
Uh, let's see, EVERYTHING. I had to let go of control over my life, control in Shawn's healing. I had to let go of my previously, strong and manly husband (although he's back now). I had to let go of things that I wanted to do for myself, like doing more yoga and going to the gym, but couldn't because there were higher priorities. I had to let go of eating at the kitchen table for awhile. I had to let go of my desk so Shawn could use it. But ultimately most of these things are or have come back.

6 – Make. What was the last thing you made?
Made some necklaces for a friend's daughter. I have so many ideas for jewelry, I just need to make the time, schedule it, so I can do it.

7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010?
I discovered community both in person and online. The CaringBridge site we set up for Shawn was amazing. So many people came to that site to send us love, prayers and support. Our neighbors, co-workers of mine, family. It was truly amazing.

8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up.
Hmmm ... not so sure about this. How am I different? What do I do that lights people up? I just don't know.

9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Hands down, the all day, 5 band benefit for Shawn.

10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
The wisest decision I made was to relinquish control in Shawn's healing. There were some serious power struggles when he first came home from the hospital. I thought he should be doing things a certain way and he had his own way of doing things. Ultimately I had to let go. I realized that we have different ways of approaching situations. And this was his healing process, not mine. And he had to do it his way. It was hard to let go of that, because of course, I feel like I'm always right:) and most of the time I am:) But it played out for the better. Things started going more smoothly once I stepped back.

11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? Apathy, laziness, tiredness, work stress, overbooking, imbalance, cluttered house/desk, not enough down time, not eating healthy, drama from others, procrastination, heaviness. Not sure what I'm going to do to tackle all of these but I'm going to start with baby steps. One thing at a time.

12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body?
Again, during the Baptiste power yoga class.

13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?
What is my next step? I have tons, TONS, of ideas, all the time. And making them happen is the problem for me. How about my next step be, just to start writing the ideas down and then picking one to go with.

14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year?
Family, friends and community.

15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. I'm not so sure there's a lot of 2010 I want to remember. But just a few would be the laughs Shawn and I had in spite of everything going on, my girlfriends helping me clean house and prepare for Shawn's homecoming, the Benefit, Shawn standing, hugging me, walking and jumping and teaching my yoga gratitude workshop.

16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year?
It's more like how have friends changed me or my perspective on the world this year. They gave me renewed faith that people are good and can come together to support. And that when they do come together the energy and magic is powerful. My friendships have deepened with so many people. They all make me want to be a better person.

17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year?
That I'm one strong ass, mother fucker. Strong physically, mentally and emotionally. And ultimately I can accomplish anything.

18 – Try. What do you want to try next year?
40 days of yoga asana.

19 – Healing. What healed you this year?
All the people who showed their support and love.

20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? I haven't built a photography website and Facebook page. I'm afraid on one hand because of the potential opportunities that might explode from doing so. I'm unsure because am I that good and worthy? And I was pretty damn busy this year. Will I do it in 2011. Yes. I've already decided.

21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?
Be patient, live your truth and approach everything with more loving-kindness and compassion.

22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010?
No travel. Although, getting Shawn in and out of the house to travel to doctor and PT appointments was quite an ordeal. Ramps, wheelchair breakdown and set up, transfers in and out of the car. But that's all in the past now. Travel for 2010 will involve a warm, sunny, tropical paradise.

23 – New Name - Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
Can't do it. I love my name.

24 - Everything’s OK - What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright?
When Shawn wiggled his toes in the hospital. It was nearly 6 weeks since his surgery and he had not been able to conciously move his legs or feet since then. I came into to visit him on a Friday evening, March 5 to be exact, and he said "Baby, check this out." And he wiggled his toes. I was like OMG! Do it again. So he did it again. And I said do it again! And he did it again. This went on for about 5 or 10 minutes. Even his roommate was laughing. Even though there were rough times that lay ahead, somehow, the wiggle of his toes was proof that everything would be alright.

25 – Photo – a present to yourself - Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.

This is the photo. Shawn was steadying himself on my shoulder so he could jump. This year I had to be the rock. I had to be strong. I had to be supportive. That's who I am:)

26 – Soul Food - What did you eat this year that you will never forget? That's easy, Christmas Eve dinner. I made Jeweled Rice a Persian dish and it was the best Persian food I've ever made. Persian food in general is food for your soul. Something about it. And this was no exception.

27 – Ordinary Joy - Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? I often find joy in the ordinary moments of watching the cats. But one of the most joyful was eating dinner with Shawn at our kitchen table.

28 – Achieve What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? This comes back to my intention which I'm still not sure of.

29 – Defining Moment - Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. Husband's decline to emergency surgery to quadrapeliga to paralysis recovery to crawling, walking and jumping. Everything about it and centered around affected my life on so many levels. In spite how tragic it was, the entire ordeal taught me so much. I'm grateful that he has recovered and I'm grateful for the journey.

30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
Hubby's recovery.

31 – Core Story - What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? It all comes back to Shawn's recovery and how we lived through it. We have to share it. And we will be sharing it by writing a book together with both of our perspectives of what was happening.

Ok, there we have it. This should give me some sort of idea of my intention for 2011. Some that are coming to mind are balance and wellness.

My intention for this blog is to come back to it's original intention. Just me being present by taking a photo every day. To help me be like the lotus flower, rising out of the mud and muck to my highest potential.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jumpin' for Joy

This is our christmas card/photo for this year. It worked out perfect:) As soon as Shawn told me they had practiced jumping in PT, I knew this was what we had to do. Seriously, he's jumping. 11 months ago he was laying in intensive care unable to move from the chest down with floppy arms. I keep wondering how we got so lucky. Although, when you look at the definition of luck, success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions, we're really not lucky at all. Shawn's successful recovery has certainly not been by chance. But rather by his/our resolve and commitment to recover and by the prayers and support of everyone we know and even some people we don't know. Sure there is some luck thrown in there, or if not luck, plans from the universe. I could go around in circles about it but instead I'll just be grateful.

Happy Yule and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sneak Peeks - Christmas Cousins

A few sneak peeks from a double family xmas photo shoot yesterday.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Full Moon Rising

No, it's not full moon. But it was two weeks ago! I got some cool shots of the full moon rising and am finally sharing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Staffetta Dell'Amicizia

So a while back, like a long while back, the lovely Leslie tagged me in the "Relay of Friendship." Leslie was tagged by Evil Pixie. And I'll tag a few peeps as well. I'm finally getting around to answering these fun questions. Between hell weeks at work before vacation, then vacation where I thought I would have time to catch up on my blog and then a hell week at work after vacation, there's just been no time. But today I'm taking some time to do some things I like to do:)

When you were young and were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? You mean I'm not young anymore? And I'm grown up? Well, when I was a little girl, I remember wanting to be a veterinarian. I love animals but eventually realized I don't have the stomach to watch them suffering. I also wanted to be an archeologist, an architect and an artist. Looks like the artist stuck. Now, even though I'm "grown up" I'm still evolving and I would like to be a photographer (which there is a real possibility of:) and maybe someday a college professor in something like Eastern Religions.

2. What were your favorite cartoons? Speed Racer is the only one coming to mind. I outgrew cartoons pretty fast.

3. What were your favorite games? Clue, hands down. Then when I was little older, there were marathon Monopoly games. And then a little older, poker.

4. Which birthday was your nicest and why? It's hard to pull one birthday out. My mother, in spite of her wackiness, did a great job of making sure our birthdays were special when we were kids. When I turned 10 I got my ears pierced and when I turned 13 I had a slumber party with like 15 girls. I remember my dad's shock when he walked in the house at 3am (he managed a disco club at the time) to find girls laying all over the living room. We played levitation and then after it kind of freaked us out one of the girls who was a bit of religious zealot scared the hell out of us with stories about the devil and stuff. Perfect slumber party stuff.

What things did you want to do when you were young that you haven't done yet? I probably wanted to travel the world when I was young. But now that I'm old, I can't stand the actual getting there and getting back aspects of travel. So maybe some traveling. Oh, and I want to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

6. What was your first love? Sports or something else? I sucked at sports. My first love was art. Drawing, painting, creating.

Who was your first musical idol? Donny Osmond and David Cassidy. Then KISS.

8. What was your first sought-after and eventually received holiday gift (Santa Claus, St. Lucia, or Jesus Child)? Probably something Barbie related or some sort of art it that had tons of colored pencils, pastels, paints and stuff like that.

So that's it. I'm going to pass this along to some folks who I just realized are followers of my little blog. Omg ... I have followers:) Good Morning Sunshine, the Happy Cynic and Shelley Creates.