Badass Women: Brynna


What better way to kick off the weekend than with a post in the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire? :)

I'd love to introduce you to Brynna, an amazing friend of mine who is one of the most badass photographers I know. Not only does Brynna inspire me with her artistic work behind the camera lens, but she knows how to teach an incredible vinyasa flow class and how to make the best damn mimosa you've ever had. Brynna always keeps me laughing, she's there for me whenever I need a hug, and she's just hands down one of my favorite people on earth. This is her story.

What makes you a badass?

What makes me a badass—I refuse to let fear outweigh my ability to make decisions and choices for myself.  I’m far more afraid of missing out on living my life fully, than leaving a job or relationship or whatever else doesn’t serve me.  One of my favorite authors, Maurice Sendak, author of “Where the Wild Things Are” (excellent read by the way….not just for kids), did a radio interview on NPR about five years ago.  He talked about a lot of things including life and death.  He said,  “It is a blessing to get old.  It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music.  I wish you all good things.  Live your life, live your life, live your life."

If there’s anything worth anything it’s knowing that what scares me can only be one of two things: 1. Stories in my head, or 2. Things I have absolutely no control over.  I recognize however that I have a choice in how I react to both.  When faced with that, I know these are the moments when I feel tested to truly live my life.  I’ve actually grown fond of saying “fuck-it” and pressing on.  I’m a work in progress, but there won’t be even the smallest part of me if I’m blessed to grow old and gray, that won’t have lived a life filled with experiences that I choose; with big huge amazing love—with people, and words and books and music and pictures and the sound of ocean waves lapping up against a shoreline.  All of these will be moments that will have seeped in and grown wild and will have become a part of me. Life is, in fact, too short not to be a badass.    

When do you feel most confident? 
When I’m surrounded by people I love.

How did you get where you are today? 
It’s been a twisty road. Simply put, recognizing I had something to give, and then giving it.

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate? 
Chocolate, dog kisses, yoga -- not necessarily in that order.

Who has inspired you or encouraged you lately? 
Anyone that knows me, knows I am madly deeply in love with my best friend.  The wildest, craziest soul I’ve ever met…who just happens to be my dog.  He is one of my most favorite teachers.  Partly because he doesn’t give a fuck and partly because he lives in every single moment.  There is nothing more encouraging than knowing this is actually possible, because he does it every day.  Maybe Bruno should have done this interview, because he is for sure living his life.  No regrets, no apologies.  He makes me want to be a better human every single day.

What advice would you give to someone who's having a crappy day or needs to feel badass in this moment? 
I would ask them, if your life depended on it—could you let go of what’s making you feel crappy? If the answer is yes, then try to remember your life will inevitably be filled with these moments, but how much of your precious time do you want to spend on them.  Is it worth it?  Find your inner badass and let it go, maybe even tell it to fuck off...

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;) 
By living life of course :) At the moment I’ve also been growing a yoga photography business.

My little creation born from my love of yoga.  Elsie de Wolf has continued to be a source of inspiration for me lately with my photography.  I  have a book that offers a small window into her life detailing her experiences during WWII through the use of photographs.  I’ve heard her described as the mother of interior design.  She said, "I’m going to make everything around me beautiful—that will be my life.”  And she did.  This has been something that has stuck with me lately.  Getting the opportunity to shoot with so many different and equally amazing yogis, is kind of awesome.   Surrounding myself with beauty in all it’s forms, for no other reason than, it feels good.  

Thank you, Brynna, for being a part of this series -- and mostly, just for being you!


My New Favorite Yoga and Poetry Book

If you want money in more than anything,
you'll be bought and sold.
If you have a greed for food,
you'll be a loaf of bread. 
This is a subtle truth:
whatever you love, you are.

This poem is excerpted from my new favorite book, Mala from the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems. It is a beautiful collection of poems by great sages, saints and mystics. Most are less than a page in length, so you can easily drop in and experience the words and the peaceful space they create.

Much in the same way that a yoga practice works, the breaths in between are what leave you feeling renewed and at peace.

Highly recommend this book! Great for before or after a yoga practice, or in the evening with a glass of wine. Namaste.

PS You can purchase the book from New World Library Publishing...they have some other amazing yoga titles too! I also recommend Pick Your Practice by Meagan McCrary, especially for yoga beginners!

Badass Women: Rose D.

Today, in the Badass Women dear friend Rose, an incredible massage therapist and entrepreneur who is one of the most soulful, open-hearted people I know. I admire Rose for her courage, her independence, her work ethic, and her positive outlook. 

Rose shines brightly anywhere she goes, and when you're around her, you begin to notice how present she is. Her mind isn't wandering elsewhere-- she's here, right now, with you. I'm so grateful for Rose and excited to see where her dreams lead her.

What makes you a badass?
I define a badass as someone that does not let fear hold them back from achieving their dreams and living up to their potential (I am a work in progress;-). We all have incredible talents and capabilities yet most people aren't taught how to harness them and believe that we can actually pursue them and make a living at the same time. A badass knows that anything with a pure motive to help others will be fully guided and supported by a higher power. This takes an immense amount of faith and is an art of maintaining a positive attitude as challenges arise. 

How did you get where you are today?
My journey can be defined as spiritual one that came about through in-depth soul searching. From an early age I found it extremely easy and enjoyable to tune into someone's body because of a genuine concern and desire to improve their physical, mental and emotional state. As an added bonus, I felt therapeutic benefits from giving treatments as well.  

I realized that my gift for stress relief, relaxation and pain relief was rare and much needed in a high-stress society. I realized that I had to take the leap of pursuing my passion in a professional realm.  I also realized that you have to believe that what you have to offer is so helpful that you are doing the world a dis-service by living anyone else's dream but your own. This mental shift has allowed me to discover other talents I have, as well as meet some incredible people that have similar visions of helping others live healthy and happy lives. 

My clients also inspire me by trusting in the power of all natural modalities and by doing what it takes to live in a Centered state where you can hear the messages all around you telling you to live up to your greatest potential. If I can be a part of that in any way, I am complete. 

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
Gratitude is key. Every morning I think of what a blessing it is to be given a brand-new baby day with immense potential. Prayer and Meditation are the two most powerful tools for staying grounded and rejuvenated. Counting my blessings on an everyday basis keeps my focus on the bright side. I also remember to keep a light-hearted attitude and not take myself too seriously. Spending time with children and animals always help me remember this. Breathing exercises, alone time, journaling, spiritual conversations, reading the bible and being one with nature always seems to pull me out of trivial matters and gain a strengthened perspective.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered? 
Remember that no matter who you are or what has happened in the past or is happening, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Life itself, food to eat, air to breathe, freedom of choice, the trees, a your eyes to these things and the blessings will flood into your mind. Feeling happy with yourself and where you are right now will allow you to be in a state of mind to dream bigger as you realize your potential as a result.  Know what you want. Set goals and stay away from self-doubt. Balance humility and confidence with grace. Know that no one has it all figured out completely.

Empowerment comes from accepting the things that you can't change and making the most of the things you can. Also, never depend on anyone to tell you, you can do it; you have to believe in yourself and the unlimited power that surrounds us.

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)
Never quit! I will never stop growing, and being open and available for opportunities to help in any ways I can. 

As I gain more awareness, I plan on expanding in all directions, and also am focusing on a global effort by networking with other like minded individuals and utilizing my advertising skills to spread messages about healthy living and protecting mother nature's resources. Somehow, it all fits together; healthy people, healthy planet...and the sky has no limits!

Thank you so much, Rose, for being a part of the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire. For more posts in the series, check out (other) Rose, Sam, and Summer.

Yoga Books: Going Om (Real Life Stories On and Off the Yoga Mat)

I just finished reading GoingOm: Real Life Stories On and Off the Yoga Mat, edited by Melissa Carroll. This is my favorite yoga book of 2014!

It’s such a beautiful collection of personal narratives from talented authors. Each story is a glimpse into what it really means to be a yogi, how the experience spills over into real life. The way asana illuminates the truths of life. The laughable moments of what sometimes goes on in a yoga class… and the deeper reflections that show us how they lead to healing.
Photo via Pinterest.
The writing in these essays is effortless – sometimes witty and clever, sometimes heartbreaking. What I love about the book is the raw honesty that comes through, and the way that the book is as much about what it means to be human as it is about what it means to do yoga. I’d highly recommend it, whether you’re a seasoned yogi or someone who wants to learn more about yoga.

Here are a few excerpts I really loved. The first is about how yoga helps us see our bodies with compassion, instead of criticism; the second is a beautiful description of how yoga can be captured using photography—and how the real yoga is in the shedding of the ego. Enjoy!
Photo via Pinterest.
from Being Seen by Emily Rapp

Yoga changed the relationship I have with my body by forcing me to understand that it was not a fixed entity to control but an embodied presence to be enjoyed.

I found that some days I could balance, some days I could not.  I found that I had more upper-body strength than I had counted on. I found that I stopped worrying about the way I looked doing a pose, and just found a way to do it. I stopped trying to be good.
Photo via Pinterest.
One day, in the middle of practice, on a day when I was finding the poses particularly difficult, the teacher approached me and said, "You have a beautiful practice." I had always wanted to hear that I had a beautiful body, althought I knew part of me would always resist that that could possibly be true. I felt, in that moment of acknowledgement, seen. Not for looking a particular way or for conforming to some norm, but for simply being present in that room, in the moment...

True yoga isn't about being technically skilled, and it's never about being good, as hard as it is to believe these statements. It's about being prsent, being alive, and for me, being truly seen. Now, instead of thinking, I will never be good at yoga, I think, I love to do yoga. A subtle change, but a transformative one.
Photo via Pinterest.
from Broga by Alan Shaw

One picture slayed me. Dru is in a south Tampa yoga studio, a few years younger than she is now, her hair noticeably shorter. The picture shows her hovering over the floor. Wearing a red top and pink yoga pants, she's inclined forward in Eight-Angle Pose. She holds her upper body in a lowered push-up position, and her legs bent around to her right. One leg is fed under her arm and the other over, and she's twisted them at the ankle.

I've seen her in this pose in three other photos from the album, and each one just knocks me out. The casual strength it must have taken, the years of focusing on her core, her form. She's exhibiting in the photos the strength I chase each time I practice yoga. The power in her body I see each time I look at this photo kills me and reminds me of why I fell for her. 

It's in her eyes. She's looking at the camera, face placid as a still lake at dawn. No sweat on her brow, or grimace marring her mouth, no red flushing across her cheeks.

She's at peace.

And there's no pride in her expression.
Photo via Pinterest.

Many thanks to the team at Cleis Press for sharing the book. Namaste.

Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Book Review)

Photos via Indie Spiritualist website and on Facebook.

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect.”
Chris GrossoIndie Spiritualist

Being true with ourselves is so important. This has been surfacing again and again in my life lately: how, at a very deep level, yoga is a practice of being real.

For all its fancy postures and esoteric spiritual practices, yoga is, quite simply, a way of tuning in to what exactly is happening in the present moment. 

I may be on my mat, in a posture (asana), feeling what it feels like to breathe (pranayama). Or maybe I'm choosing to treat others with kindness (ahimsa) in a moment where I want to react in anger.

Yoga helps us detach from needing everything to be perfect, and instead just to feel, to allow, to explore, to truly connect.

I recently received a copy of Chris Grosso's book, Indie Spiritualist and it's one of my new favorites. Chris explores what it really means to be honest with ourselves, to let go of the darkness of a broken past, and to heal.

He says:

True spirituality embraces all of this [life]: the beauty that is almost too much to bear, as well as the paint hat leads some to the brink of insanity. It’s all grist for the mill. We practice our asanas and mantras, prayers and aspirations, and that’s great; but are they serving to strengthen our identification as a “spiritual person” or to help us release our identification with that illusion, and in the process deepen our exploration of more than meets the eye?

I like Chris' down-to-earth approach to exploring what it means to be human. Following his story, I really connected with the idea of him as a seeker, someone wanting to grow, and let go. And his path is not easy -- he falls down, he feels hopeless, he messes up -- but, ultimately, he chooses to keep going.

I was very inspired by his honesty, and the way he embraces all of his experiences (including the road from addiction to recovery) with an open heart.

If I am to be truly responsible for myself, then I have to accept discomfort and acknowledge the aspects of myself that scare the shit out of me and make my heart sink, because this is where the true healing can begin.

These were two other passages that really resonated:

The gift of desperation
“I was blessed with what the twelve-step fellowships call ‘the gift of desperation,’ which means that I’d hit such a rock bottom that I was finally able to surrender. I had nothing left to hold on to, and nothing holding me back. I was completely bankrupt in every sense of the word – morally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically – which allowed me to completely let go. In turn, letting go allowed for true inner spiritual growth to begin.”

The fear behind the fear
“As I kept moving forward with my recovery, I began to explore the reasons I was so scared to look at the things that sucked in my life—self-loathing, fear, emotional scars, and other baggage. I began to see clearly the futile nature of fear behind the fear. And herein lies a perfect opportunity to explore why we’re scared to take an honest look at the unpleasant things in our life (besides the obvious fact that they’re unpleasant). And more importantly, to figure out what we can do today to begin making even small steps toward changing that.”

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your story, for choosing not to hide, and for being true to yourself. Namaste.

Gifts from the Heart: For Deep Thinkers

Photo via Pinterest.

Today's post in the Gifts from the Heart series features ideas for yogis who are interested in the deeper side of yoga. 

Try these gifts for all your friends who love learning about the history of the practice, the meaning behind mantras, the spiritual benefits of the postures, and exploring the 8 limbs.

Sanskrit flashcards or a class on chanting mantras from Sanskrit Sounds (for those who already notice the difference when the teacher says adho mukha svanasana versus urdhva mukha svanasana in class, and who wants to know more about the sacred ancient language behind yoga).

A copy of a classic yoga text such as The Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (guidance from a well-trained yoga teacher is recommended!). If you can find a workshop or seminar on these essential spiritual readings, even better!

A subscription to Elephant Journal (for some entertaining reading on spirituality to break up the seriousness).

A handmade meditation cushion and incense (for awesome meditation).

A custom set of mala beads (to use while chanting and to wear around town).

A copy of Deborah Adele's Yamas and Niyamas, for a down-to-earth guide to yoga's spiritual and ethical principles (so you can apply ahimsa and satya to everyday life, or at least figure out what those words mean!).

A custom-drawn mandala artwork (to hang in their at-home meditation space).

A personalized reiki session (so they can practice with attuned chakras).

PS For more shopping ideas, see the gift guide for beginners or the gift guide for yoga dudes.

Mantra and Manifestation with Steve Gold

Last weekend I had the pleasure of practicing a vinyasa flow class with live music from Steve Gold, and then attending his workshop on Mantra and Manifestation. Both were incredible yoga experiences!

It was so powerful to sing during class, to be freely encouraged to make noise and to express from the heart. The studio was jam-packed, yogis lined up like little sardines. There’s always something exciting about a full room and I was inspired by the energy created by all of us moving and breathing together.

And I have to say it was pretty magical singing So Much Magnificence and feeling the voices resonate in the room during savasana. If you haven’t heard that song, you should definitely check it out.

During the workshop, Steve dove into an exploration of mantra.

We sang om namah shivaya, a mantra close to my heart. You may remember, I have it tattooed on my right ankle :)

Though the Sanskrit words are hard to translate, some interpret the phrase as “I am that I am.” The breakdown of each word can be explained with various definitions:

  • Om: the universal sound; an exuberant roar of joy; “yes!”; verily; so be it; amen
  • Namah: to bow; “I invite this energy into my heart”
  • Shiva: that which contains all things; all possibility; maximum expansion; the destroyer of ignorance
When chanting om namah shivaya, I acknowledge my higher Self. I acknowledge all aspects of my being, and all possibilities for what may come. I ground myself, considering the path I walk. I see the path clearly before me. Om namah shivaya. I am that I am.

The words have such power, and for me personally, they conjure up a lot of memories of the past year when I chanted as a way to invite strength into my life. When we sang the first time during Steve’s workshop, I couldn’t help but tear up.

Om namah shivaya, Om shanti
Om namah shivaya, Om shanty

The words felt like such a relief, and the collective sound of the chant brought me into a space of light, peace, and comfort.

After explaining the meaning of the mantra and letting us experience it firsthand, Steve launched into a compelling story about moving to Hawaii in his 20s. His goal was to cast aside physical and material attachments, to detach from society in pursuit of enlightenment. He encountered several wise mentors and spiritual texts along the way, and was surprised to find that while the adventure was initially very appealing, he couldn’t sustain this simple life of living in a hut, spending days by a waterfall with his guitar, and doing yoga and meditation.

Perhaps most surprising was finding confirmation that his path toward enlightenment didn’t have to look like that of a monk.

He was struck by the words in the Gospel of Sri Rama Krishna that stood in stark contrast to the lifestyle of his spiritual quest:

As long as you have desires, you must exhaust them.

Later, another teacher put it in this way: All of us seek something to do, and someone to love.

Why not discover what it is you seek, and run after it exuberantly?

So often in yoga and spiritual circles, we hear about the ancient masters who sacrificed a so-called “normal” life and retreated to the caves to do the “real” yoga, meditation, praying, fasting, and other sacred practices.

I found it refreshing to be reminded that we each have spiritual gifts, and many of them involve worldly connections. For Steve Gold, fulfilling his dharma means being a conduit for spontaneous spiritual connection and transformation through musical gatherings. He travels, connects with people up close, and shares his music in a very visceral, immediate way.

He’s had to overcome fears and self-doubt in order to do so. Again and again, he returns to his heart’s truest desire in order to find the motivation and inspiration to keep playing his songs and speaking his truth.

I am grateful to Steve for sharing his wisdom and his powerful music, and for challenging me to be clear about my desires – to be conscious of them, and active physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in pursuing them.

Om namah shivaya om!


Steve has a new track called Golden Om. I highly recommend his albums Let Your Heart Be Known and So Much Magnificence

He's also on Facebook.

Made: An E-Course Adventure Through Faith and Creativity


A few of my fellow blogging friends have put together an incredible e-course on what it means to be a Christian artist. The class is called MADE, and it's a beautiful collaboration headed up by the talented Beth Morey, one my lovely sponsored yogis. The group features artists of all kinds-- writers, painters, photographers, hula hoopers, doodlers-- and anyone is encouraged to join (no artistic experience required!).

Photo via Pinterest.

Here's a little more info about the course, and how you can sign up:

Made is a brand new e-course created by Christian creatives for Christian creatives, exploring what it means to be a person who makes things who believe she or he was, in turn, made by God. Twelve teachers are leading us on an adventure through faith and creativity over the course of 4 months and more than 16 workshops.

The course runs from September 1 to December 31, 2013, and will remain open through September 1, 2014. During that time you will receive heaps of inspiration for your creative faith journey as well as loads of new creative ideas to try out in your art, writing, journaling, and more!

Sign up for MADE here:

Photo via Pinterest.

I will be attending the course and have no doubt that it's going to be an incredibly fun, laid-back, eye-opening and creative process. Hope you'll join in!

Practicing Yoga in Good Faith

To think that yoga has the power to bring me closer to my spiritual center is incredible. I feel free to practice and believe openly, to consider my mat a way of bringing more space, of opening up space for the presence of oneness. It is only with spiritual connection that yoga has the power of transformation.

Photo via Olivia Rae James.

There have been many times in yoga class (and in my experience of yoga off the mat), that I experience a full and radiant sense of newness. 

Yoga is a doorway to opening your heart - physically and emotionally - so that the fullness of Spirit can rest more fully there. The abundance of the universe frees you to give more openly, more fully.

Dharma Yoga Teacher Training

I just found out I got in to the Dharma Yoga "Life of a Yogi" Teacher Training program! 

I am so stoked. :)

Between this news and the fact that I hooped fire last night for the first time, I am feeling insanely alive in the fire

Stay tuned for ways you can support me in my yoga journey.

Peace and love to you guys!

Update: I postponed my Dharma training but am currently training at Leap Yoga in Folsom, CA to teach vinyasa.

Quiet Heart, Mind, Soul

Photos by me.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the power of prayer and yoga. 

When I put them together in my life, I am able to create profound quietness and peace. With a quiet mind and a humble heart, I am more open to spiritual growth.

A simple yoga practice -- even five to ten minutes on my mat -- can help prepare me for more meaningful prayer. Because my body has been rejuvenated by the postures, and my mind made quiet by the breath, I am more ready to spend time in peaceful meditation. 

I am so grateful that yoga helps bring me to a place of spiritual renewal. It is not only a physical practice. My yoga is something more -- a light, a wholeness, a purity that I need and crave. A practice that heals me, a space that allows me to connect with the universal Oneness.

My quiet, beautiful life. My yoga. Namaste.

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.  

– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 

Wholeness, A Cycle

Photos via my phone.

Returning, coming back. Recurrence. Happiness giving way to suffering.  The habits I repeat. The habits I create. The things I call home. Desire, loss, renewal.

My mind has been working over these things lately. I notice what stays the same, and what has changed as springtime emerges into full bloom. Winter is gone now. When did that happen? I find myself asking it again and again, noticing the colors, the pollen, the sunlight.

 Photos by me.

Today on my bike ride home, I brushed against a bush that has grown into the middle of the sidewalk. For months, the little branches have been bare and prickly and I have swerved to miss them. Now they are green with soft leaves. Evidence of change on the route I take every day.

A few weeks ago before I left town to visit my sister, I watched the sunset out the airport window, pacing the terminal as I waited for my plane. Again when I had returned, I looked out the little window in my seat to find the sun setting in the distance. I felt different, returning home after time away. But the place hadn't changed. The sunset had stayed the same.

So much goes into being whole. What do I need on this day, in this moment? How can I be happy with what I have?

I spend a lot of energy just learning how to let go. Sometimes I stop for a moment to look at the changes I've made, to hold my own self under the light. Growth is not easy, but the sacrifices add up to something that is so worth it I can hardly give them a name.

And so it goes -- in yoga, in my life -- learning over and over how to be OK again.

This post was inspired in part by the emotions I've felt while traveling recently. I often find wholeness in being alone in a quiet space.

I wanted to share this with you since the feelings have been very authentic, and authenticity is something I strive for here on the blog, even if that means writing about being anxious or exhausted.

I hope they inspire you to consider the deeper questions. What makes me whole? How has that changed over time? Where am I today?

Be well.

PS, a poem that's worth a few more minutes of reading, too:

The Albatross

When I know you are coming home
I put on this necklace:
glass beads on a silken thread,
a blue that used to match my eyes.
I like to think I am remembering you.
I like to think you don’t forget.

The necklace lies heavy on my skin,
it clatters when I reach down
to lift my screaming child.
I swing her, roll her in my arms until she forgets.
The beads glitter in the flicker of a TV set
as I sit her on my lap
and wish away the afternoon.

I wait until I hear a gate latch lift
the turn of key in lock.
I sit amongst toys and unwashed clothes,
I sit and she fingers the beads until you speak
in a voice that no longer seems familiar, only strange.
I turn as our child tugs at the string.
I hear a snap and a sound like falling rain.

Ready for the Impossible?

Photo via Pennyweight.

I have a feeling 2011 is going to be an incredible year. Are you ready for it?

I'm ready for quiet moments, full skies and elaborate dreams. I plan to do plenty of yoga, healthy cooking, and reading for fun.

And I want healthy relationships to be at the top of the list.

Photo via Andrew + Carissa.
Photo via Atlantic Tree Fox.

Now is one of those times of year I feel pretty reflective. I find myself reminiscing about my favorite memories -- which means reliving the Big Day over and over. Anyone else wish they could enjoy their wedding day all over again just because it was so wonderful?

Before we left California, I was also helping my mom pack up a few boxes and get rid of some of my old stuff. I spent a few hours going through old papers -- birthday cards, love notes from my lunchboxes as a kid, letters from penpals, journal entries, high school essays. I found myself feeling strangely sentimental, and sad to leave my family. The cards from both of my late grandmothers almost brought a tear, and more so they have inspired new poetry.

Photo via A Desert Fete. 
Photo via Oh Happy Day!

Getting back to our wonderful little apartment has also inspired me. I endured a particularly long and ridiculous journey home (delays at the airport, delays for the bags, delays for the cab) so I was pretty happy once I made it to bed last night.

I spent the whole day today cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of old stuff. The perfect New Year's purge!

It felt great to free up some space and tidy up. I still have a bit to do -- and I have big plans for my own new planning schemes to keep things easy to find! 

Photo via David and Sarah.

At the start of January, it's easy to look forward and think how lovely and open the new year is. It's just as easy to look back at the year behind us and get overwhelmed by how much we had to do to survive it.

Are you busy looking forward, or looking back?

At this very moment, I am equally at peace with my goals for the new year and my accomplishments from the past year. I feel prepared to do better, to grow, to let go. I'm as ready for the impossible as I can be.

Photo by Jose Villa.

A final quick note: I'll be featuring a new series here on Alive in the Fire very soon! It's called:

Beyond Childhood (How to Love Your Kiddos Better) 

Get excited; you're going to be seeing a lot of adorable baby pictures, parenting advice, thoughts for expectant moms-to-be, reviews of green products, and ways to make family your top priority in 2011! I hope you'll follow along and consider contributing your comments and ideas.

If you know of a mom who might want to share her story, please have her email me here: aliveinthefire at gmail dot com.

I'd also love to hear from you with ideas about:
  • Family-focused companies
  • Eco-friendly and green products for babies
  • How to put family first
  • Raising kids with love, hope and spirit
  • Eating well for you and your family
Thanks and namaste!