Tag Archives: Love

meditation update

13 Oct

 

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In an attempt to meditate more frequently I signed up for a month-long membership at Unplug Meditation. It’s a guided meditation studio in Los Angeles that offers 30 and 45 minute group meditation sessions. They range from mantras to crystal healing classes. While I would like to get to a point where I am meditating by myself at home, I thought a group atmosphere and guided practice might jumpstart my practice again. I was right. This place is a little oasis and it makes meditation easy. It’s a calm atmosphere with soft light and candles. They offer cushions that fold into little chairs on the ground- you can keep them flat if you want to lie down or fold it to give you support when you sit. These cushions are pure gold- I’ve found that if I am not physically comfortable during my practice then my mind never stills. Instead I’m focused on the fact that my foot is falling asleep and my back is aching.

I’ve taken a range of classes at Unplug led by a different people and found that each teacher brings a whole new energy to the practice. One guided meditation that I absolutely loved (it may sound a little strange) the teacher led us back to the days of our ancestors- we weren’t told how far to go back so I decided to visualize 100 years or so back. I found myself standing by myself on a hilltop in Ireland…different shades of green as far as the eye could see…I could literally feel the wind in my face and hear the waves crashing on the rocks below. It was so incredibly powerful. I felt tethered to all that came before me. It was interesting letting my mind explore the new world- I wandered villages, watched people work, children play & animals wander.

When I left class that morning my perspective had shifted from what I could only see and touch in front of me to a vast and endless world beyond…past, present & future. It’s truly amazing where your mind can take you.

My visualization looked much like these photos…

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Slea Head - County Kerry Ireland

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My membership ends at the studio soon (after the month-long new student deal it’s pretty pricy to continue- major bummer!) so I will have to develop a space in my home that inspires me to calmly want to sit for long periods of time. Preferably one that Frank can’t bring his tennis ball into.

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For any of you interested in meditation here are some tips that have worked for me.

meditating in the morning before the day begins. I find my head space is clearer at this time

setting a timer for a desired amount of time so my focus can be on my practice and not the clock

stretching my body before so I feel less restless and more open

putting on light music or an online guided meditation (these free guided meditations are great)

focusing on my breath to anchor in the present moment

lastly, when unwanted thoughts appear I gently let them go by returning my focus to my breath. Don’t try to stop your thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave.

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“Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.”
David Lynch

 

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celebrating my momma’s bday…

28 Sep

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My momma’s birthday always feels like the kick-off for the upcoming celebratory season. Her birthday, September 24th falls the day after the first day of fall- my absolute favorite time of year. Even though it’s usually still unbearably hot in Los Angeles on her birthday I am in full fall mode.

Her lovely friends Mary & Francesca hosted a casual dinner for fourteen of us to celebrate her birthday. I am a fan of celebrating my mom because she is hands down one of my favorite people to walk the earth. She’s full of so much joy, love and laughter. She’s the kind of person you want to be stuck in a room with for hours. She’s just fun.

We feasted on a Moroccan chicken dish, roasted veggies, an arugula salad & a fruit salad while sitting outside in the garden. After dinner we moved into the living room to eat dessert (the most delectable bread pudding I have ever tasted) while watching her open gifts.

It was the kind of evening that left me heart feeling full.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Momma.

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fall / winter 2015

9 Sep

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(image found via pinterest)

With 2015 nearing to a close…I know, I know, we still have four full months, but once September hits I can’t help but reflect on how I want the year to wrap up. September – December always seems to fly by and I find myself surprised every year on January 1st- it almost seems impossible that we are there again. The next four months also happen to be my absolute favorite time of year- I find myself most creatively alive during this time. I also love everything to do with the holidays and what they represent- family dinners, our wedding anniversary, carving pumpkins, dressing Frankie up for Halloween, cooking, warmth, bundling up, decorating trees, cuddling & new beginnings.

The last eight months have been an introspective time for me. Rather than exploring the world around me, as I usually do, I have been instead making the journey within. I knew at the start of 2015 that something was off.  I had baggage that I still hadn’t worked through and I was dragging it around with me. I couldn’t hide from it anymore. It was time to do the hard work, even if that meant that other things had to be put on the back burner. Something very hard for a person who desires immediate results like me to come to terms with. Instead I had to trust the process. It reminded me of that quote by Zora Neale Hurston –  “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Thus far this year has most definitely been asking me some questions. Ones that needed answering and ones that positively shifted something in me once I did. I feel empowered and for that I am incredibly grateful.

Life man, such a wild ride sometimes, right?

When reflecting about how I want the next few months to unfold, it was clear to me that I want them to feed my soul, creative mind, relationships, home & belly. I want to soak in every bit of goodness that 2015 has left to offer me. I have a feeling the next four months will bring an entirely different energy than the first eight did and I am ready for that new energy.

Some of the ways I would like to spend the next few months…

Deepening my meditation practice. I know I have only been scratching at the surface and I am feeling a pull towards more. In addition to developing a stronger home practice I want to explore Unplug Meditation, Against The Stream & Shambhala Center.

Reading! There are fifteen (I might be setting myself up for failure on this one) books I would love to read before the end of the year. I’ll share them in a later post.

Cooking- I plan on spending some quality time in the kitchen! Again, there is something about fall and winter that inspire me to want to cook. I love hearty recipes and the feeling of warmth that comes from the kitchen this time of year.

I would love to put a small dinner party together in our home each month to bring our family and friends together. I want to make a point to enjoy the ones that matter most in my life. I also love to entertain.

I want to finish a few work projects that have been on the back burner for many many many months. As I mentioned previously, I put some things on the back burner to focus on me and it’s time to dust them off. They involve getting two book proposals finished and ready to submit in the new year and revamping my personal website which has been in purgatory for the last six months.

Practicing yoga. I want to make my yoga practice more of a priority over the next few months. My love for it has been renewed recently and I would love to keep the love affair going. My body just feels so much more balanced when I am practicing regularly.

I would love to finally find a property for the business Brian and I have been building with a few partners this past year. I can’t wait to share about it in the new year! Granted we find a property and the ball gets moving.

My home life- one of the most important aspects of my life. It has been in an incredibly solid and fulfilling place and I want to continue to watch it grow.

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There are years that ask questions and years that answer,

Years that

fall apart

and years that come together…

There are years that cry and years that laugh,

Years that wonder

And years that strike and clap and thunder.

. . .

Your job isn’t to know — not right now, not quite yet.

Your job is simply

to breathe,

to trust,

to rest

To know that it is all a part of the path —

The mystery and the clarity

The hardship and delight

The darkness and the light alike.

. . .

Dear One,

Haven’t you heard?

“This place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.”

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happy post

4 Sep

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-It’s September! I know it’s not officially fall just yet but once the month of September hits I start my transition into my favorite time of year.

– Bringing out my fall wardrobe…Hello!…boots, sweaters, scarfs and leather jackets!

– A date with my girlfriend Ali, her husband David & little boy Charlie who were visiting from New York. I hadn’t met Charlie yet and he is so damn cute! I’ve said it before and I will say it again…seeing your closest friends become mothers is the sweetest.

– Being invited into two book clubs this month. Clearly, I’ve got some reading to do. The books on the line-up…”Everything I Never Told You” & “The Luckiest Girl Alive”

– Our newly painted bedroom accent wall. It’s love

– Planning a trip in November to visit my step father Irv in Kansas City and my girlfriend Chantal and her family in Atlanta. It will be so funny to travel without Brian- I haven’t done it in years!

– The green monkey smoothie…kale, coconut water, almond milk, dates, cinnamon, bananas & coconut meat. OMG

Maha Yoga

– One of Brian’s projects, Pershing Square Renew, launched on Tuesday. I decided to go to the launch of it which was held downtown at City Hall (I’ve never been there- such a beautiful building). It’s always so fun to see him in action and support his passions. Here’s a write-up about it complete with a quote from Bri!

– Red toes and nude nails

– The way Frank cuddles into my legs in the morning when Brian delivers both him and coffee to bed.

– This note from the Universe I received yesterday…

Start it; you don’t have to be fancy.

Keep moving; you don’t have to go crazy.

Visualize; you don’t have to admit it.

See the end result; it doesn’t have to be material.

Expect miracles; they don’t have to be huge.

Pretend you’ve arrived; you don’t have to dance on tables.

And above all else, Kate, have fun.

This is why you started it, right?

Life, what a trip –
The Universe

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So…what’s been making you guys happy recently??

enjoying where you are

6 Aug

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time we spend as human beings wishing we were already at the next step- turning 10, driving, turning 21, graduating, turning 30, more successful, thinner, richer, a home owner, married, a parent, a parent of two, retired etc. The list goes on. We are conditioned to always be wishing we were somewhere else. I am guilty of this. I often find that I forget to take in the step in which I am currently residing. Being present exactly were I am. The step I once longed to obtain that now feels like no big deal. There was a time not too long ago that I longed to be a wife, a home owner, working steadily as a fit model & of course a frenchie owner (!) If you would have told me that I would attain all those things I would have told you that I would be content. But that’s never the case, is it? Now that all those things are mine, I find myself longing to be in the next steps…motherhood, living in a bigger house with a bigger yard, a small business owner, making money full-time as a writer and an owner of two frenchies! Well, I’m kind of kidding about the two frenchies. I don’t think Frank would approve. He’s a one man show.

While I’m sure all those things that I wish for will bring me great joy when and if they happen, I am trying to instead pull great joy from what already is. Being grateful for what my life already looks like and let go of all the things I am hoping to get to next. I want to absorb every single joy, lesson, laugh and moment that my life has to offer me today.

Because it all passes by too quickly.

Just the other day I was reminiscing about our old apartment. Missing it, actually.  Granted when we lived in that apartment I couldn’t wait to get out of it. And now look, I miss it. I miss the simplicity of it. Life continues to get bigger and richer and fuller. I’m pretty sure as my life continues to grow, I will look back at this exact time in my life and miss it. When there are children running around our house, I’m sure I will miss the quiet I now take for granted. When we move to that bigger house with a bigger yard one day, I’m sure I will miss the place we live in now. I’ll probably feel overwhelmed with the new lawn. When we open our small business, I’m sure there are going to be days that will be completely overwhelming and I will wish I could go back to the simplicity and freedom of working as a fit model. I’ll long for the days when I tried on clothes for a living. When I finally do publish my first book, I’m sure I will start thinking about what the next one should be.

The cycle never seems to end. When are we ever happy with what is? Without immediately trying to get to the next step?

So today I am trying to remain completely present in what life currently looks like with no attachment to all that is still to come…or not to come…or might come.

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“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

monday morning meditation

3 Aug

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p a t i e n c e     is the     a n t i d o t e

Patience is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path. By patience, we do not mean endurance- as in ” grin and bear it.” In any situation, instead of reacting suddenly, we could chew it, smell it, look at it, and open ourselves to seeing what’s there. The opposite of patience is aggression- the desire to jump and move, to push against our lives, to try to fill up space. The journey of patience involves relaxing, opening to whats happening, experiencing a sense of wonder.

-Pema Chodron-

road trip inspiration – big sur

23 Jul

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I’m back in road trip planning mode after a long break. As I’ve mentioned before, we originally planned on doing this trip last spring but life got in the way so we decided to push it to fall. Although, now that we’ve settled on fall I wonder why I ever thought spring was the right time to go? With a chill in the air and the leaves changing fall seems like the better choice. Am I right? At first I thought we’d travel in November to tie it in with our 2nd wedding anniversary but then I thought maybe the weather could become an issue at that time? Could we possibly hit snow as we get further North? Anyway, the fear of sketchy weather made me go with early October instead. Now that we have dates on the calendar I am getting excited. I feel like I am planning a mini version of the cross-country road trip I took a few years ago. I love the planning process- it gives me such a rush researching each city.

The first stop on our itinerary is Big Sur, one of the most magical places on earth, in my opinion. The scenery is breathtaking- rocky cliffs, blue ocean, sandy beaches and tree covered coastal mountains all rolled into one. It also smells incredible there- like fresh pine trees.

Brian and I have been to Big Sur a few times together. The first was when he introduced me to camping (it happened to be one of my ten goals when I started this blog four years ago- an experience you can read about here, here & here) The second trip was on our mini moon after getting married in 2013. As you can probably imagine Big Sur holds a special place in my heart.

Despite having traveled there a few times I still feel like I have so much to explore. I’m dying to visit the Esalen Institute. How have I never been there?

Here are some of my inspiration photos for stop one. Do any of you lovely folks have Big Sur recommendations? Restaurants? Coffee joints? Hikes? Hotels? Drives? Anything!

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images found via pinterest