Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pose of the Week - Having fun with Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana!

Hi yogis! Red Dawg here with the Pose of the Week, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, aka Extended Hand-Toe Pose. You will find this asymmetrical standing pose in our Hot 3 sequence. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is excellent for firming the core, engaging the pelvic floor, opening the hips, and stretching the hamstrings. It's also really fun!
There are several modifications for this pose to make it safe and accessible for everyBODY. We will begin with the most basic variation, which is where we should all start to build a solid foundation for further advancement.
From Tadasana, shift the weight into the right leg, which should be fully engaged and not locked. Keeping a vertical spine, lift the left leg, bend the knee, and draw the thigh in towards the belly. Hands interlaced on the shin and your gaze is directly in front of you. See Variation A. When you're ready, you can externally rotate the left hip, drawing it out to the left, right hand to the right hip, and eventually gazing over the right shoulder, breathing steadily for several deep breaths. Then, return to center. You can hold here, or bring the hands to the waist and extend the left leg while pointing the toes for several calm, deep breaths. Release and bring the left foot to meet the right.
If the above variation is comfortable and you're ready to advance, from Tadasana, shift the weight into your right leg. Right hand is on the right side of the waist. Bend the left knee and draw the left thigh in towards the body. Take the left arm inside of the left leg and wrap the peace fingers around the big toe. Or, you can wrap a towel or strap around the foot. Erect through the spine before advancing until vertical. Hips should be squared. If comfortable here, extend the left leg and point the toes. If you're still comfortable and the balance is maintained, externally rotate the left hip, drawing the left leg towards the left and gaze over the right shoulder. 
Breathe steadily for several breaths. Return the left leg to central as well as your gaze and release the grip around the big toe, bringing the left hand to the left side waist. Hold the extended leg up as high as you can while maintaining a vertical spine for several breaths. See Variation B. This will be very strengthening so expect a burn the first few hundred times you do it
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Remember that ever day is different. Enter this posture without expectations, enjoying wherever you progress to. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share with your friends 
smile emoticon See you on the mat!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Happy Monday yogis! You know what that means, it's time for the Pose of the Week!
This weeks's pose is Adho Mukha Svanasana, aka Downward Facing Dog. You will find Down Dog in most vinyasa classes like our Hot 2 and Hot 3 sequences so to ensure proper form and an injury free practice, let's really get down with our dawg!

There are many approaches to Down Dog but for the sake of digging into the details, we will begin in a table top position with shoulders over wrists and hips over knees with engaged abdominals.

We begin at the hands. Fingers are spread comfortably, with either the index or middle fingers at 12 o'clock. Play with which feels better for your body. Make an L shape in between the thumbs and index fingers and then press down into the corner of your L while simultaneously pressing forward into the knuckles. This forward momentum should creat an arch in the palms of your hands with a slight lift at the base of the palms and forearms. This significantly reduces pressure on the wrists. Maintain this engagement through the hands, tuck the toes, press out through the heels, and lift the hips, coming into an upside down V shape.

Draw your gaze to your navel and then release the head to neutral, softening through the neck and head. Draw the shoulders up the back, away from the ears, engage through the abdominals, and reach your heart back to the tops of the thighs as you reach the sitting bones up towards the sky. Your heels may or may not reach the floor but don't worry about this.

Pedal the legs out by bending the knees, one at a time, or at the same time. Windshield wiper the hips by rolling onto the outside edge of the right food and the inside edge of the left foot and then switching. Try lifting the heels up high from the earth, drawing the chest back to thighs, lifting the hips up towards the sky, and then lowering the heals back down towards the ground.
Maintain a calm, engaged, and still Adho Mukha Svanasana for at least 5 breaths. To really challenge yourself, hold for 1-3 minutes.

To come out, lower the knees to the floor or walk the feet in between the hands and stand all the way up on an inhale.

Remember to breathe steady throughout this posture, perhaps even engaging in Ujjayi breathe. This asana is great for relieving fatigue and depression, stretching the hamstrings and ankles, loosening and strengthening tight shoulders, empowering the hands, bringing mobility to the pelvis, strengthening the abdominals, while bringing awareness into the relationships between various parts of the body.

Go get down with your dog! Thanks for reading and feel free to pass along to your friends. See you on your mat :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It Is Time.

This past year has been right on track:  still piecing life together in a way that makes sense to my heart, and feeling my way through memories and situations and allowing the healing process to return, over and over again.  There is so much love in this world.  

It is time!  We take the next step because the steps were already there for us.  They always are.  We can dance blindly around that first step for our entire lives, or we can just acknowledge the fact that it's there.  You might have to trip over it a couple of times before you finally see it, but it's there.  I saw my path all lit up and shining when I was in Australia last summer.  I felt the pulse of a small community on the Gold Coast of Aussie called "Byron Bay."  I felt the people moving together, enjoying life, taking care of the ocean, the whales, the beauty of this planet.  I felt them taking responsibility for their time here.  I know this happens all over the planet, all the time.  But for me, until I feel something, I just "know" it, and I can't move from knowing, I have to move from feeling.  And I felt myself move out there.  I felt it when I saw the whales breaching.  I felt it when Kevin, Maggie and I watched the moon rise over the water at night.  I felt it when I saw, for the first time, a lighthouse, at the end of the shore, with its bright light searching each night for lost ships.  I felt movement, and life's fleeting dance.  I watched Aussies roam around town barefoot.  I watched as my graceful hostess, Maggie, picked up hitchhikers whom she knew, and took them across town, and dropped them off ~ simply because they needed a ride.  That's the Byron Bay way.  They help each other.  They don't judge because they don't put their energy towards judging.  They'd rather be planting gardens, swimming, laughing, eating wholesome food.  They don't live in as much fear as I have known over the years.  I felt movement.  I saw that first step right in front of my feet. 

It's scary to see those steps sometimes.  I've enjoyed dancing around mine over the last few years.  I've loved the path I chose, to teach yoga and paint.  To live in Wimberley and make face and body sprays because I got tired of chemicals and "junk" being put in my body everyday.  To enjoy the community of people here, watching the ebb and flow of life, the creek, my own heart.  But when I returned home from Australia, a seed was planted.  I knew I had to open a yoga studio in the town where I was raised.  I knew I had to find a way to do that, even though I had no idea how.  I knew I had to do this because it wasn't about me at all.  It was the next step I had to take in order to help us trust the process of life, of finding our next step, of taking care of each other and our community.  It had always been there. 

The pieces came together so fast.  We couldn't have done it without the community coming together to make it happen.  My best, oldest friend, Jody Jennings Doss, and I decided to partner and open "Red Dawg Hot Yoga" and nothing has felt so RIGHT in my entire life.  I'm grateful to so many people for helping us through this process.  So many yoga instructors along the way have given me advice, and helped me make the bigger decisions on where to spend money.  Cary Byrd designed our website!!  Cary is married to my ex-husband's little sister, and to have their support was so beautiful for me.  Connections are not severed when a marriage ends.  Love is always there.  And we have amazing teachers with diverse backgrounds in yoga training and teaching.  Now we all have a place where we can teach and practice, in an open environment, where we can explore and grow.

My heart is full.  And I feel my roots dancing.  I can't wait to reach a lot of people in our community with this healing hot yoga that has become my greatest love.  I can't wait to watch them experience joy from opening their spines, their shoulders, and their hearts.  And I can't wait to watch the ripple effect it always creates.

We open May 1st. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The A-Team! Let the adventures begin.

It's Sunday morning, and I'm tucked away in the hill country, surrounded by cedar trees in Wimberley, Texas.   It was one of those record cedar seasons for me.  It was so intense there for awhile that I committed to spending at least half of my time, and all of my time during cedar season, down at the Gulf Coast.  I'm happy to report I'll be painting palm trees next Christmas and through January.  It's a shift I've been wanting for years,  so I'm actually thankful the cedar pollen drove me a little mad this year. 
I'm lining up painting lessons, living in an Airstream for awhile, and fishing from piers and kayaks.

Welcome back to the chicken coop!

I haven't been on the blog since last summer, and I've really missed it.  I'm feeling the need to restart by backing up before I blast forward into what I am convinced will be my best year so far...

My chicken coop.  I started this blog so I could have a place to write about my chickens, my teachers, the different personalities that make up "Jamie." They are the voices in my head, and they bark orders at me, sending me in many different directions, almost daily. It hit me as I was standing in my kitchen about 6 years ago, compulsively cleaning, that I was exhausted from simply being Jamie.

So I stood there and yelled, "It's like I have a bunch of chickens running around in my brain arguing over what I should do next! They're not that smart either!!" And there it was. I had the realization that there might be more to me than just my thoughts. And I might be able to find an easier ride if I learned more about my own thought process, and how to keep those chickens calm and quiet when I needed some peace.

"Your heart has a voice. Listen to it."  This one stuck with me years ago.  I think it belongs to Rumi, but I remember thinking "Really?? Wonder what mine would say if I could keep my head quiet long enough to hear it?" I didn't feel I had a choice anymore.  What was going on in my head everyday wasn't productive or helpful. It was getting louder and more crowded up there, and I was craving some kind of mental rest.  It was then that I started calling my brain the "chicken coop." And it was then that I started naming those chickens, giving them their own identities, so I could sort out what was happening in my brain, and most importantly, detach from it.

So here's a recap.  These are my Stars.  More come out every now and then, but this is the A-Team:

Grace:  Codependent little Grace. My "inner child," and I love Grace so much that I call her Grace. She is me, after all.   We're growing up together, so that she can enjoy life as I age. She ran my life for many years, stepping in and out of the driver's seat in my brain. When she is the one in charge, I know because I start to feel really needy, insecure, and child like.  Grace doesn't like to be alone, but I do, so we compromise a lot.  I have lived in Grace for so many years, that I hardly noticed when I would switch back and forth. Now I see her when I make decisions from that child-like place in my mind. I also see her when she gets her feelings hurt, and that happens easily because she is a child. I have to give Grace lots of love, and I hold her hand a lot. She can also throw quite the temper tantrum, and she is hardly graceful in those moments.  But again, we're growing.  Awareness of Grace has been totally freeing for me.

Patty: My inner-addict. Patty poked her head out while I was in high school.  Finding alcohol and drugs was a perfect remedy for my awkward, shy, insecure little girl trying to match up to my idea of what "cool" was.  Patty gave Grace a solution here.  And she was on a fast track.  She is one of my greatest teachers. She led me close to death, so that I could see.  My heart stepped in here and told her "No thanks. Go back to your room until I figure out what to do with you, Patty." She used to like anything that altered her state of mind, but in her golden years, she just prefers to put the cork on the wine much sooner than she used to, as opposed to forcing the cork on the wine, or throwing out the wine, or blaming the wine, or whining about the wine. Patty loves drama, and she is a master at creating it when she's unleashed or bored.  She spent lots of time at center stage. Now she's in the background, prancing back and forth in her heels that don't fit right, wearing too much makeup, with a cigarette dangling from her beak, and a glass of wine sloshing around in her tiny chicken hand. She's tragically hysterical.   

Hank: He's my musical chicken. And I'm not sure why he's a guy, that's just how I saw him. He loves music, and spends hours with tiny headphones on, building play lists and shuffling songs around, adding new ones, deleting old ones as his tastes change. There's always a song in Hank's head - and we all smile really big when Hank nails us with just the right song for the moment.  He showed up when I was a child, and was fascinated with 8-track tapes in the mid seventies, then promoted himself to making mix cassette tapes in the 80's, eventually leaving me with book after book of cds, because he spent hours taking the sleeves out and creating them.  They were more precious to Hank that any photo album I had.  But with the creation of I-Tunes, he dropped his beloved cd books for his own personal library of any song he can think of, adding them at any time.

Octavia: She's my yoga chicken. Yoga certainly lives in my heart, too, but it started in my head, after seeing this graceful, older woman on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, in "tree pose."  She was looking peacefully out at the ocean with her dogs sitting on either side of her mat.  I knew in that moment, that I was going to experience what yoga might do for me.  I have to watch out for Octavia because she can get obsessive with the amount of yoga she's doing, how far she can take a posture, or how many classes she can teach each week. I can easily overdo anything - even something originally intended to lead me to stillness and peacefulness. Octavia took me to Bikram Yoga training. She was named there, too. She's newer to the group, and I have so much fun with her. But she'll do so much yoga, if I let her, that I'm too tired to even shower. For two or three days.

Lil' B: She's my cleaner, my organizer, my purger, my obsessive compulsive little chicken. She's actually smaller than the rest, and has tiny biceps because she moves around a lot. She's happiest when she's in motion. She likes to rearrange furniture and the contents of the refrigerator or the medicine cabinet. She likes to clean out closets and drawers, and throw things out. Purging makes her purr. She wears a headband so her short chicken hair doesn't get in her way. She wears a tiny Ipod on her arm so she can listen to music while she cleans. She loves to sweep, do laundry, clean dishes, scrub floors, set out fresh flowers and table cloths. She's Lil' B, named after my mom, Betty. I love what I got from my mom. I love Lil' B. She can be challenging when I want to be in creative mode, but can't seem to stop cleaning the paint off the easel, trays and jars before I'll allow myself to actually start painting. But damn my house is always clean, so I appreciate Lil' B. And because Lil' B is also my obsessive compulsive chicken, I also think she can be a bit of a misguided over-achiever.

Ruthie: The painter. She wears scarves in her hair. She prefers my feet to be bare, so that I can feel the surface of what I'm standing on.  She trusts the creative side of life way more than the analytical. She is wise. She is spunky. She paints what she feels in the moment. She could care less about text messages, FaceBook, phone calls, who's doing what... she loses herself in her art. I love Ruthie. SHE'S FREE. She shows me things in her paintings. She heals me through the act of painting water and sky. She shows me that there is a God, that I am really not in control of anything, and that I can go with the flow that is my life. She lives in the moment.  She is my middle name. She is one part of me I am choosing to live from more often, because I do believe we have that choice. I sign all of my paintings "Jamie Ruth," in honor of Ruthie. Thanks, Ruthie. I'm so glad you're here with me.

Tomahawk: I'd call him a Rooster but I refuse to give him that kind of power. He was appropriately named by an ex-boyfriend who saw first hand, and many times, the wrath of Tomahawk. It was at that turning point in my life when most of what I was doing wasn't working anymore, and I had to learn to live life differently.  He saw me at my worst, but through that, I got to meet the worst of me. And I am grateful for that.

Lots of people close to me have seen and experienced Tomahawk. Sometimes I think I was the last to see him. I've had people throughout my life walk away from me because they didn't understand this part of me. I get that now. He's my pissed off teenage boy chicken. He is my victim-chicken. The first time I saw him in my head, through meditation, he was in blood-stained bandages. He was so hurt, physically and emotionally, that he barely looked up at me from his tiny cot. And when he did, I remembered his pain. He's been hurting since my childhood. And he can seethe with so much anger, and cut through anyone with such painful words -- I've never come across anyone who could, or would want to, stand up to Tomahawk. He throws words like tiny tomahawks toward loved ones' heads and hearts. He knows these things well: how to live in survival mode. How to retreat. How to force others to leave me. How to get me to leave anyone, at any given time. He is a master of these things.  Lately, he has taken up residence in the left side of my chicken coop again. I see him leaning in a corner in the left side of my head, smoking a cigarette, bandages still in place, some of them still freshly stained with blood, some of them dried and falling off. He pridefully keeps them tacked on for the world to see.  At different times in my life, I felt he was so powerful that he wouldn't stop until I totally self destructed.  But I've been reducing him down some these past few years.  Instead of saying "Damn you, go away!" (which is exactly what he was saying to everyone else),  I'm now saying.. "Come on out and dance with me, T-Hawk."  He is one of my greatest teachers because of the pain he has caused me, and others.  Pain is a gateway, you know...

Turtle: Turtle is actually my spirit. My soul. I added her to my A-Team based on a realization I had while near the ocean once, that there is a part of me that's separate from my heart, and my chickens. She wakes up peacefully, moves slowly, breathes deeply. She has nothing to prove, doesn't want or need much, and loves to be quiet and still with and in my projects. Like Ruthie, she also loves to paint and draw. She thinks her dad hung the moon. She watches the world whiz by her at a pace she never felt drawn to keep up with. She doesn't really need anyone to feel complete. She IS complete. She's grounded, trusting, and in love with life and God. She's the low steady drum beat to the song that is me. She's as peaceful as the day she came into this world. She KNOWS. She isn't personality, frustration, or ego. She is wise because she is my soul, and it comes with a few thousand years of past experiences. She lives in the moment because she knows that's all there really is.
She lives by these words, and says them to me as often as I'll listen: All is well, no matter what is happening. Follow what inspires you. You are here to enjoy life. Live in the moment. Trust that you are a part of God, and everything is happening exactly as it should. Trust it to the point that everyday you wake up with joy in your heart. Trust it to the point that you always know where your home is, right here in the center of you, and it will be this way for eternity.

All I have to do is ask Turtle something. She always has a peaceful solution. And once I realized she was there, and accessible at all times, things got much, much easier.

My chickens prefer to dance on a wire in darkness. When engaged, they are relentless about what it is I should be doing next, doing now, not doing... I get confused easily.  I am a girl with crazy chickens in her head. I am a woman with a heart that stays as open as I will allow at any given moment. I am a woman with a soul that's as wise and steadfast as the next.

And I am willingly on that wire, sometimes yanking "Patty's" heels off, sometimes holding "Grace" up to God and asking for help, often asking Turtle for advice, and sometimes just balancing perfectly on the tips of my toes, arms outstretched, watching the people dance in the street below me, swaying with soft music and gentle breezes.

All those chickens all lined up around me, wide eyed and wondering if I will jump or fall, dance or float, dream or fail. And they can't wait to talk about it all.  

We're going on some wild adventures this year.  Now that I've introduced the entire cast of chickens, we can weave some tales and watch what happens. 

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

See you soon.  Jamie

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I love Sunday mornings in this old cabin. Doors and windows are open... I can hear the water running over the dam at the creek, the geese are still resting, and birds are singing from all directions. Yesterday my mom and I day-tripped to Port Aransas. I don't remember the last time I went anywhere for very long with just my mama. We went to move my paintings, and the day just sort of kept happening... she brought homemade turkey salad sandwiches, chips and pickles, all in ziplocks for our picnic on the beach. It sent me straight back to sack lunches from childhood. She didn't buy the small bags of chips. We put everything in sandwich bags with "twisties" until the Ziplock bag was born. So the lunch she packed was enough to bring tears to my eyes. But then I got to see her, all 71 years of her, run and jump into the Gulf just like she must've done as a child. My mother, Betty Jean, born in 1940, is exactly 30 years older than me, has grey hair now and the same sparkly blue eyes. We jumped through the waves together, which is something we haven't done since I was a young girl. We walked down the beach and picked up tiny seashells because that was all we could find. We ate our lunch, laughed about the seagulls and how aggresive they've gotten, watched the waves and just sat together for awhile. I kept thanking God for that moment. I have not always been close to my mom. I haven't always understood her ways. I am a creative soul, an artist, and sometimes we feel like very different people. But not that day. I saw all of our many similarities that day, and I felt barriers melt away, barriers I didn't even know existed. Time just stopped for us out there, and we got to laugh like two best friends. We got to the island and went straight to the beach. The second she opened the car door and stood in the sand, a seagull pooped on her forehead. We had just put on sunscreen in the car, and the poop was solid white so I told her to rub it in! I took her picture. She didn't want me to share it, but I HAVE TO. Sorry, mom.

So I smiled all day, and felt the light break into my heart. And then I got to put one of my paintings in my favorite store down there, on consignment. It's called "Cita" and it's a creatively designed space with home furnishings, original art, some jewelry and clothes - all thrown together like bright colors on a canvas. It's magical. The owner, Shanna, loves my palm tree paintings on plywood. And she is carrying my hydrating face sprays I make called "SeaLight Spray!" She wants me to paint more for her store!! I actually have a client. Ha.
Lucky palms, and lucky sprays.... I don't make much money at anything I do yet, but again, I am determined to move through my life and follow things that really light up my soul. I'm in it for the long haul. And next on my path is a 5 week trip with Kevin and Dustin Welch through Santa Fe, Taos, Red River, all through Colorado, into Montana, and over to Maine for a cruise on a 100 year old sailboat.
And before I head out with a huge box of SeaLight Sprays, some colored pencils and all my tiny chickens in my head, let me say this:

I stopped teaching yoga two months ago, and rarely have I practiced since. I thought I was giving myself time to heal the neck/shoulder/hip pain I've been experiencing for months. I thought I was injured. My neck and shoulder have been popping, muscles tensing up without much relief. I had almost resigned myself to a life of pain management, without any pills. I got some x-rays a few weeks ago, and it shows that I have mild bone degeneration in some discs. It shows some minor arthritis.

I'm reconsidering how I think about and practice yoga. And with the help of a few good friends and some yoga instructors I trust, I'm doing some "physical therapy" at Still Water Studio here in Wimberley, and I'm taking that to heart. Helen has given me some hope about healing, and a few exercises and poses I can do daily on my 5 week adventure. She reminded me that I can help my body heal. She showed me how to reconnect with the smaller muscles and tendons, so that they can all relax a little and work together again.

My hope is to be closer to pain free when I return at the end of August. I look forward to teaching again, because it lights me up a little brighter than almost anything else.

See you soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hands free.

I met a woman once who had died on the table a few times and was brought back to life. She said to me: "Death is easy. Life is the hard part."

It made me smile because I decided a few years ago that I might want to end my life. And I chose not to. But I also feel that either way, things in this world would've been okay.

June 2007, Tulum, Mexico... I could picture it happening right there, in that moment. I could see it. I wanted to swim out under the moonlight and not return. I wanted to drift to the bottom like a pearl, and watch as the night sky folded her arms around me forever.

This morning I decided it was time to write again. I looked at the photo that sits on my dresser. I am bent over, picking up something in the water. It was that weekend in Mexico when my heart broke into 1,000 pieces. I took some of those pieces and carried them around with me all weekend, in the form of bits of sea glass I collected while I was there. I rubbed them together as I felt my heart break over and over again, like the waves themselves were crashing through me, and I had no where to turn anymore. I just had to stand in the water and let it happen. For the first time in my life, I began to trust that I am not in control of this thing, whatever it is. And right there, I made a promise to myself and God. I let go of some old baggage that desperatley wanted to be set free. I buried some old memories as I buried those bits of sea glass in the sand, the pieces of my broken heart. I let go of feeling such deep guilt over decisions I made 25 years ago. I let go of my desire to self destruct over that guilt. I let go of tiny hands I longed to hold and decided to hold my own hand instead. I decided to create a much safer world for Jamie to live in. I decided to take better care of myself. I decided to heal my own heart, one day at a time. I made a decision to live life without secrets and darkness, and with a stronger relationship with God, with my own spirit, with the world.

Here I am, 5 years later, June 2012. I sit in my cabin on the creek and feel my spirit fly. Over the water, through the Cypress trees, over the hills, and all the way back to the ocean where I see that woman I used to be, who had to get to that beach and break into a thousand pieces so that she could finally see God through the fragments that had become her life.

I am here. In the fullness of who I am, all of my darkness and light, I am here. And the peacefulness I feel from the trust I have that I am no longer in control of this thing, well, it still astounds me everyday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Two months?? Really?? Not that I have a huge following and you guys are all waiting in anticipation to read something brilliant from me, but still... so much has happened, that I'd love to share here, it's just a discipline to sit down and do it.

So here I am, sitting with legs crossed on my bed this morning, after having had a dream about purple skies and yellow/orange palm trees blowing in the breeze. A storm was coming in, and the air smelled like mango and pineapple. I woke up saying "yellow and orange palm trees in a purple colored storm? Okay, I'll paint it." I have my first show coming up. I'm going to hang my work in a coffee shop in Port Aransas, Texas. It's called "Coffee Waves," and when I walked in there the first time back in January, I could see my paintings there. It fits my style, and the owner is full of charisma and looks like Sammy Hagar. Check plus. We met that day, me and David, and I showed him some photos of my paintings that I have on my phone. Let me say here that I wasn't even looking for a place to hang my art work, but I've always known it won't sell very well in the Hill Country. It's all water and palm trees, mountains, and now mermaids. But my heart barometer was reading really high in that coffee shop, and I can't help myself when that happens. I have to act on it.

Turned out that the earliest opening for me wasn't until 2013. That feels really far away in January, so I just tucked that away in my mind and went on with it. But I noticed I didn't have the same inspiration to paint. It has always been a form of therapy for me, and a great outlet for my chickens, but I think I was just ready to finally put it out to the general public. And so I was waiting again...

Meanwhile, I've been dealing with chronic hip pain, and more recently, a lot of neck and shoulder pain. Chiropractors, massage therapists, accupuncturists... I am trying everything, except cutting back my yoga schedule. I love the students at this little Wimberley studio. They're having so much fun with their practice, and they inspire me so much as a teacher. But the pain has been ongoing for 6 months now. After a session with an accupuncturist last week, and a serious conversation about my blood actually being deydrated from spending so many hours each week in a hot yoga room, well, I decided to pull back for awhile. And when I made the decision to do that last week, I also asked God and all of my angels to help me with it, and to help me stay open to what's next on the horizon.

24 hours later I get a call from the art coordinator for "Coffee Waves" in Port Aransas. They had a cancellation from an artist. They want all of my work on their walls from May 15-July 15, which is a busy time at the beach. Suddenly I'm dreaming of purple skies and yellow palm trees, and smelling mangoes in the air...

More soon, and that's what keeps me inspired.