Compassion

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən
noun
  1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

This year has had me doing a lot of self evaluation. There is so much hate going on in the world that I’ve really had to think “what am I doing to make the world better”. I’ve been turning to God more and really just trying to digest how we as human beings can make the world a better place. 

I am not one to hand out money to someone panhandling, or someone homeless begging for money. I guess too many stories have broke that trust. But today I met Allen. I had just parked my car and walked over to pay the meter. There was a man sitting near the pay station that started talking to me. I said hello as I had no reason not to. He responded with “Excuse me ma’am, can I ask you a question?” I responded, “you sure can”. Allen then introduced himself and continued to ask me why there was so much hate? I simply told him, Allen I’m not sure, but I wish there wasn’t. He then told me about how a man had just came by him earlier that morning and was calling him the N word and telling him he was worthless. Allen wasn’t sure why that man was so full of hate “we all bleed red don’t we?” This truly hit a cord with me. Why is there so much hate? 

Allen ended the story saying, I just wish people weren’t like that. I apologized that he was treated that way. I told Allen if he was still there when I was done with my meeting I’d buy him lunch. He lit up, I could see true pain yet true gratefulness in his eyes. 

Allen was still there when I returned just over an hour later. I gave him $10 and told him to get some food, and promise me he wouldn’t do anything else with the money. Something told me I needed to trust him and trust he truly was in need. I’ve never seen someone look so shocked by kindness. 

I got in my car and I watched him walk to the food trucks a block away, I’ve never seen someone walk with a look of gratefulness like Allen did. I’m glad I could help him today. 

To the person who spoke poorly to Allen, I will pray for you that you will be a little kinder and realize we’re all working hard to get through this life. We don’t know what people have dealt with, I’ll never know what Allens story was or why he was there today. If we all are a little kinder and filled with more compassion the suffering and terror will stop. 

#morelovelesshate

Life.

Wow. Where has the time gone. 2014 is flying. I have been terrible about posting. Life has been busy, full and rewarding. I spent most of August and the beginning of September in South Africa and Malawi. If you weren’t following my blog about that, please check it out. andrewcaileeafricanadventure.wordpress.com  I still have plenty to post there, but for now I am have been at a stand still transitioning back to life. I dove back in head first which was good and bad. I adjusted to the time change quickly, but my body did not adapt back to American food very well. I really had to eat clean the first week in order to actually keep anything in me. That really says something about the food we eat here wouldn’t you say? Because of this I have decided it’s a good time to keep my eating habits just as clean all of the time. I love to indulge, but to be honest the food here feeds my body much differently than the food I ate in Africa.

With that I need to jump back on the healthy eats train and start posting my recipes again. I miss trying to cook new things. Now that I am settled into my new place and I am back from my trip, nothing should stop me.

The other big thing is dating. I have given into dating sites. I decided I can’t knock them if I don’t try them. It is a fascinating world online. More on that later. Feels good to get back on here. More to come soon, I hope 🙂

No script

Over the last 6 months I feel like I have found a whole new meaning behind my teaching. I have become a teacher, rather than an instructor. Just yesterday someone told me about a class they took with Judith Lasater. They said that she was describing the difference between an instructor and a teacher. An instructor reads from a script, a teacher teaches from their own words, there own experience, they connect with their students. This is what has happened for me. I have let go of the script and I have became me, a teacher.

I have feared taking that next step in teaching. I have feared teaching the higher level. Who am I to sequence a powerful yoga class that students enjoy. Who am I to share my own experiences. Who am I to allow my students to open up to me or share their world with me, with themselves, right there on their mat.

Who am I not to do that?

Certain experiences in life can instruct us or teach us. When you buy something new it may comes with instructions. This is how you are “supposed” to use it. Sometimes you should stick to the script, but do you always have to? In some cases, yes, but in some scenarios when you use the script as a guideline and use life experiences, observations, teachings to step away from that script you may discover something new. This discovery could be life changing. It could be the difference between instructing and teaching.

The other thing I have learned is not all experiences are the same. Some teachings may resonate with you better than others. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept what doesn’t resonate, but maybe look deeper as to why it is affecting you negatively. It could be a fear, something pushing you out of your comfort zone, something that is offering a challenge that you are afraid to accept.

I hear many people say what I am teaching is not Yoga. I understand it may not align with ancient teaching of yoga, but I also understand that yoga can be described differently for everyone. One type of yoga may resonate with you, and another may not. Yoga means to “yoke” or to unite. The whole idea of yoga is to connect mind, body and spirit together. Your choice of how you do that is up to you. For some it is meditation, it is quiet, it is time to self reflect with the entire world shut off. For other’s it is dripping sweat and getting your butt kicked to the sound of Rihanna or Calvin Harris. Neither is wrong. We all find a different way to connect with our self. It will be a different journey for everyone.

Start somewhere, maybe even with a script. No matter where you start remember it is a long journey of ups, downs, egos, judgements, love, hate, but most importantly self discovery. I know myself more today than I ever have. I will continue to learn, I will continue to grow. I will continue to use a script as a guideline, but I will always use life experience to be my true Self and to continue to teach others to be theirs.

 

Just Juice

Yesterday I began a 3 day cleanse. Nothing but juice for 3 days. I won’t lie, my head is playing many games with me. I keep thinking that I will die by only consuming juice, how could I possibly live without solid food?

Day one is in the books and I made it through the day.  No need for the extra snacks of fruits and veggies even. I survived on 6 juices. Happy Green, Deep Cleanse, The Ginger, Juicy Roots, Radiance and Green Milk & Tea so Good.  I drank them in that exact order too. ( You can find ingredients at www.juicesogood.com/juices/ )

I found that I was full all day yesterday. I had good energy and the only thing I really wanted was fruit or veggies and some chips and salsa (my weakness), but I didn’t cave because my body felt nourished.  During a cleanse it really is all about giving to your body, being good to your body and not quite over-exerting yourself.  So going to hockey last night may or may not have been the best thing. However I did notice I had a good amount of energy for the first hour and then I could tell I was getting tired. It was incredible considering I had only had 5 juices up until that point. I saved the Green Milk for after I was done. It was the perfect fit and quite refreshing after and hour and a half on the ice. (It was the last night of hockey and I drank the Green Milk while all my hockey pals drank beer). When I got home I got ready for bed and sipped on the Tea So Good. I was out right away, and slept very good!

I am finding the toughest part of the cleanse so far is when you are around people eating or enjoying an ice cold beer after hockey. Other than that I am feeling energized, I haven’t had any headaches and my body doesn’t feel weak.

Day 2 is off to a good start, but I am a little worried about teaching yoga sculpt tonight. I keep reminding myself  to take it easy and be gentle to myself. I already pushed myself once during the cleanse by going to hockey.  My fear is not being tired or weak during class, my fear is actually having that “yoga hunger” after class. I may have to add an extra juice to my day if that’s the case 🙂

 

XOXO, C

 

 

War Stories

I spent most of my day yesterday in the hospital with my Grandpa. I received a call in the morning from my Dad who I don’t often talk to. I knew his phone call at 10am on a Tuesday wasn’t going to bring good news. About a year ago I was visiting my Grandma in the hospital and although she pulled through it, I continue to be nervous everyday that I will have to say good bye, and these phone calls always make me nervous.   My dad lives just over 2 hours away from the cities and he was on his way down as my Grandma told him Grandpa has been acting strange, he had been very quiet the last few weeks and was acting very confused about most things. When she brought him to the doctor on Monday they did a CT scan and found that there may be tumors in his brain. They sent him home for the night but had him come back in on Tuesday to be admitted to the hospital and for more testing to be done. I sit here currently not knowing the results, but I do know there is a likely chance it isn’t good.  My Grandpa has survived WWII as well as many different types of cancer. The fact that he has spots in his brain that could be tumors, just isn’t promising that it will result in anything other than being cancerous. (this is my own non medical terms of what is going on)

I am so thankful that my dad called me yesterday. I am more thankful that I made the choice to drop everything from my day and take time to go be with my Grandpa and Grandma, my Dad and my cousin Brenda.  I don’t have the best relationship with my dad unfortunately. We do not have a bad relationship by any means, we just are not close. We’ve had a few bumps in life that have left us pretty distant. Spending time with him yesterday allowed me to catch up, I felt no need to have anger towards him for not being a bigger part of my life, I have no regret of how life has been. It was  nice to share with him the things I am doing. I am passionate about what I am doing in life right now and I love everyone and everything that surrounds me.

We all live such busy lives in today’s world, we often need that reminder to slow down. Yesterday was my reminder. I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents when I was growing up. I have not made as much time as an adult to be with them.   Years ago I lost my Grandpa and Grandma Stangl, my mom’s parents. My Grandpa Stangl died suddenly so I didn’t get a chance to sit with him and say goodbye. My Grandma however slowly began to fade towards joining my Grandpa so I was able to sit with her and say goodbye. Last year when Grandma Foster was in the hospital I went to be with her, you never know what could have happened. Luckily she pulled through and is still quite the whippersnapper at 89.  Even yesterday at the hospital I could see that about her. Such a strong woman. It was hard to watch her get the news and have reality set in that my Grandpas prognosis wasn’t very good. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my Grandma cry. I don’t think I’ve every seen my dad cry either. I spoke with my dad this morning and realized he has never really lost anyone close to him. My dad is 61. I can’t imagine. I lost my uncle when I was 11. My uncle was one of my closest family members. From there I have lost way too many friends, my mom’s parents, and someone who I was on a beginning of a possible relationship with. I have had to deal with death far too many times in my short time here on earth. Each death has brought pain, tears, questions, but also an appreciation. An appreciation that I have had them in my life. They have taught me something that I will always cherish.

Whatever I find out in the coming days with my Grandpa, I know I will be strong for him, for my Grandma and for my Dad. That’s who I am. I am a supporter, a backbone for people. I will cry with them, but I will also smile and laugh at stories and memories of an amazing life that has been lived through my amazing grandparents. I will take these days, whether they are just that, days, or if they extend in to months and years (praying they do) and cherish every moment. Be there more. Take the time for them. They ultimately gave me life on this earth. I am starting to realize where I get all these quirks from (thanks Grandpa).  I will always cherish that time I spent yesterday, holding my Grandpas hand and looking into his eyes. I will never know all that those eyes have experienced or seen in this world. 94 years of experience thus far. He gave me his story of war a few years back. It is pages and pages of his experience in his own words. I can’t wait to finish reading it.  I can only hope that I can continue to learn from him and my Grandma. They have both experienced so much life. I hope to do the same and I hope to one day be where they are, still in love after 68 years. Still holding on together with hope, love and God by their side.

Really Cold, with a side of a broken heart

This blog is not as sad as the title appears. Actually it’s probably more warm than I give it credit, it’s just really cold outside as I write this. And the broken heart part is probably a little dramatic.  Over the last few days I have had numerous conversations with girlfriends about men. Why do men do this? Why do men do that? Why do men suck?

Well all of these questions can be answered in about one billiion different ways. There will never be a right answer and there could be a debate across the board from guys and girls about what it is men do, and what it is they don’t do. There are passive women and there are aggressive women. Women that intimidate and are blunt and say exactly what they are thinking at the moment and then there are women that just wait it out and let the guy come to them with feelings (I should get a little lesson on this).  I am not saying either is right or wrong, but these are merely observations I have come up with during my short lived life of love. I have been in love once (well maybe twice).  I have thought that I was in love about a million times in between. How do you every really know? I think past love has temporarily damaged me at times. You know that feeling of not feeling good enough? Other girls have way more to offer than I do. I change my mind too much. I stay very busy. I search for the bad, the miss-step or I just hate the nice ones. Sound familiar? Probably, because I am not the only female that does this.

Here is where the broken heart comes in. I break my own heart ALL the time. I used to think guys did, but after a talk with a good friend, she suggested they break our minds more than anything. They get into our heads and make us think we should feel this way or that way. They give us false hope, false fairytale (so does Disney). I am a busy person, I do have a lot on my plate, but for the right person none of that would matter. So I need to quit letting people use that as their excuse against me, and if they do, I can’t feel bad over it. It wasn’t meant to be.  I recently began re-watching the Sex and the City TV series. I have watched all of these episodes countless times, but what I noticed more recently is each episode the women are searching so hard to find “love”,  but are also searching for reasons it won’t work, or blinding themselves to why it shouldn’t work, but keep trying to make it work. We all do it, TV show or not, we all create an image of what love is supposed to be, we don’t just let it happen. Let it be organic, and maybe let it happen with the person that is put right in front of you.  Nope we make more excuses about everything and we make it complicated.

A relationship is right for you when it enhances your life, not when it complicates your life. We ALL need to remember that. My friend just shared an article with me about a letter written by John Steinbeck about falling in love. He wrote, “There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance.”  I think most people are in this type of love. Hollywood, High School, giving yourself a label based on who you date. He then refers to another type of love, “…an outpouring of everything good in you – of kindness, and consideration and respect – not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique  and valuable.” This love “can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.” I think I have felt this once, enough to know this is exactly what I want, and I will wait as long as I have to in order to have it. Not only have it, but keep it.

As to not to continue to go on about a topic that is so highly complicated it could take years to discuss, I will stop with this. Quit stressing over the little things. Men don’t worry nearly as much about conversation as women do. We over think conversation, actions and silence way more then we should. Once something is right there will be less worry. Stand your ground, be you whether its intimidating so to speak or maybe a little more passive, someone right will step into your life. When they do, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to hang on to them and have the relationship that is easy, not complicated. It enhances every aspect of your life and gives you reason to be stronger and more courageous. Don’t rush it. Don’t over think it. It will come.

-Cailee

Thank you to my southern “soul mate”. A gal I just bumped into one day and has impacted my way of thinking and taking on the world in so many ways. Friend soul mates are the best kind!

Blank Canvas

For years I have sold myself short. I come off as confident, which I am. But there is also a side of me that doesn’t think I’m good enough. Competition with myself, competition with others. I choose to chase the road that I shouldn’t. I continuously want what I shouldn’t. Be it a friendship, a love interest or something materialistic. We all have our downfalls. One in particular I need to give up. I need to stop allowing people to get into my head. I need to not worry what other people think. I respect my friends thoughts and opinions and believe me a lot of them have gotten me through so much this past year. But there are some people that say what you want to hear and then do something completely different. Unfortunately it is the world we live in. My generation is the worst at it. I want to leave that behind as I journey into a new year. I am better than allowing people into my life that treat me that way. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who are wise, truthful and would drop anything if I needed them. I feel I would do the same for them and those people are the ones I need to focus my time on. Those are the people that will push me to follow my dreams, they are the people that will tell me when I am wrong, but encourage me in a way that will push me to do something right.

Thank you to all of you that encourage me. Thank you for those of you that are honest, even when I may not want to hear it. Thank you to all of you that have done me wrong, because it has and will make me a stronger person. 2014 is my year. 2014 is where I stop being stepped on. 2014 I will believe in myself and know I am good enough. I can achieve my goals and dreams.  No ones words can stop me. There are simply words put into this world to try to slow us down, make us feel bad, give us false hope.  But there are also words that are encouraging, lifting and allow us to wake up with a smile and a mission to be better than yesterday.

No resolutions for me. Just a continuous aim towards my goals. Becoming a better person than I was last year. Opening new doors, new friendships and relationships. Creating a fresh, free of non-sense year. Last year started so wonderfully and then offered me some trying moments as every year is able to do. I got through it, became stronger because of it. I have allowed my faith to continuously guide me. I hope to make faith a bigger part of everyday this year. I am looking to give back to my own community more and give back to our country and world. I look forward to adventures on deck for this year and finally using my passport. My best friend kept saying 2014, year of no regrets. That’s where I’m at too. The past is just that, the past, and the future is a blank canvas, ready to be painted on, ready to have new life.
I wish you all a prosperous new year full of goals and dreams that make your heart happy!

-CLS

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – C.S. Lewis

Defeat

The last few weeks I have felt very defeated. I have found myself in a place where the amount of stuff on my plate is beginning to tear me down both physically and emotionally. I am feeling very lost in this world. I wouldn’t describe it as a depressing feeling, rather a feeling of being in between content and discontent. I have been so focused on bettering myself and working towards my dream, but I keep halting with the question, “what are my dreams?”  I keep coming across the idea of deciding what I want to do when I grow up. I am sure I haven’t decided yet. I know that part of what I am doing now is not it. But I also have no idea where to start my search to understand what I want to do. I keep landing on an unconventional path, outside of the 9-5. Corporate is all I have known and the thought of stepping outside of it seems awfully scary. My biggest fear comes with the idea of losing health insurance, vacation days, sick time, how will I survive?   People survive everyday in this situation.

My next fear is finances. I am slowly working my way towards debt free, but I keep finding way too many obstacles in the process where I feel like I am continually starting over. I work way too much to “feel” broke. The constant urge to buy something new haunts me. I have overcome this threat to myself many times. Each time it does get easier, but it’s still very taxing on me. Lately I have felt the need to weed out and get rid of everything that no longer is needed in my life. First place I always turn to start this process is my closet. A girls closet is probably one of the hardest things to start with. I still have clothes from high school that I can’t get rid of for who knows what reason, and that shirt that one day I’ll wear again, but then I never do. This whole situation keeps leaving me defeated, when ultimately I just need to let go.

As I am metaphorically feeling very full, I need to start letting go. I need to be okay with staying home on a Friday night and doing things for me. I need to be okay with letting the things people say to me about my busy lifestyle go. It is really draining to constantly be put down because I don’t want to go out to the bar. Quite frankly I am tired and I am focused on so much in my life right now, that I am okay with cutting the bar life from my schedule. I thank the people that understand and are encouraging of everything I do.  I am finding this whole process very powerful. Saying the word “no” lately has allowed me to be content in my own space and work on moving forward and finding what I think my dreams are.  This doesn’t mean I don’t want a social life, it just means it can’t be a constant like it was.

I am scared to death of failing in my decisions. But I am also tired of sitting in the same place without the feeling of moving forward. I have been talking too long about making changes. I just need to do it. I need to quit telling myself I am not good enough. There is a reason so many people believe in me. I should believe in me too.  I don’t like to feel defeated. I don’t like to feel sad. I have so many things to be grateful for. Especially right now as we approach Thanksgiving I am reminded of all the amazing things in my life. Family, Friends, Health, a Job (errr 3 jobs), and incredible students who keep reminding me why I made the choices I have and why I need to continue to follow my heart towards bettering other people, while also bettering myself.

Life is one long journey of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, contentment and discontent. While I usually sit with the glass half full, I am trying hard to pull away from the emptiness. There is so much to be proud of and I need to focus on the positives. There is so much greatness offered in this life. Just be open to take it. You will stumble at times, but always find a way to come back to your feet.

Philippians 4:13 –  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Inner child

When I was younger I constantly rearranged my room. Whether it was my bed, dresser, pictures on the wall, something was always changing. As I have gotten older things have moved less. Call it being more content, or maybe less time in my room to get bored of the arrangment.  Over the last week the little kid has come back out in me. I don’t know if I should blame pinterest or the shift in my own mindset the last couple months. Either way, I was feeling less content in the space I occupy, so I decided it was time for change.

I just moved over the summer, so the way my apartment is arranged is fairly new anyway, but I wan’t feeling the energy. I needed something more welcoming, something that felt inviting and whimsical. I often read about different ideas of creating a Feng Shui space. Feng Shui  is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment.  It is thought that creating a good Feng Shui environment can bring your room (in this case bedroom) into a better harmonious flow of energy, both nourishing and sensual.

Last night it started. I bought new curtains for my room and white Christmas lights.  I used to always have colorful Christmas lights or rope lighting in my room when I was younger, so I thought why not bring that type of lighting back, but in a more grown up way. Thank you to pinterest for the idea of mixing the white lights with my curtains to make a very fairy-tale like environment.   I also decided I wanted to move my bed in front of the window, rather than the wall it is against now. I began to move it and immediately felt unsure about my decision. So there my bed sat (and is still sitting) in the middle of the room. I am just not quite sure yet if I like it there. Either way, as all rearranging goes, I got distracted by my closet. I have a very unpleasing to the eye drawer set in my bedroom that I decided would look better in the closet, so after digging into the back hollows of my closet and pulling out all of my shoes I am starting to feel much better about not only my closet arrangement, but my room arrangement! (no more eye sore).

This is just the beginning of what is to come. But let’s just say the inner child and the adult in me is harmoniously coming together and enjoying the change. I even slept really well last night (which hasn’t been the case lately).  My bed is still in the middle of the room, but maybe I brought about a new energy with this arrangement.

More to come, and I will post pictures of how it all comes together!