Saturday, December 29, 2012

What I learned in 2012 - by me

Well, would you look at that...
Another year is over, and here I sit - staring at the old computer screen - thinking about the last 366 days. (It was a leap year after all)
We watched the Olympics, saw one of the craziest Presidential campaigns since Hamilton V. Jefferson way back in 1796 (OK, I'm sure there were one or two over the last 216 years, but Hamilton made up a pen name to being controversy about Jefferson - kinda feels the same to me), and we saw a lot of violence that led up the the world not ending.

And a few movies came out too.

Personally, this was a good year. In the last 366 days my life went from OK to scary, to down right terrifying all the way over to getting published and sunshine with rainbows.

Taken by my husband earlier today. See. Rainbows. (c)

But life is like that, if you let it be. 

I'll admit, I'm bad about this blog. I WANT to write more, but times is of the essence and between writing, editing, more writing (of a different nature), child rearing, husband rearing, and working out - it seems when night falls I look towards my couch to watch a bit of the old boobtube before crawling into bed to read a bit. 

There have been topics I've wanted to come on here and rant about. (There are always things I would LOVE to rant about) - it's just the time factor. That said, I have time now, so hear I am!

In the last 12 months life has built itself into something I didn't expect - me, like so many others, get these images squared away in my head. Like my "picture" of L.A. involved preschool, teaching yoga, and I don't know what else. Those were the two big things I saw happening. With my son in Preschool I would have more time to write, to work, to meet people - but it hasn't happened, and now it won't, at least not like that. Just like yoga won't happen for a few more years, and while you may be thinking "Aww... poor Aryn." please don't, because I love it.

Having no car has taught me how to walk father, how to stay home longer, how to rely on myself in a city that has been deemed "unwalkable" by so many. Staying at home, has showed me what I want. You see, in Cleveland I went out - A LOT - but here I can't and/or don't want to. 

"Well, that's great because L.A. is so expensive you can't do anything, Aryn!" <- 2012="2012" an="an" and="and" are="are" at="at" be="be" but="but" child.="child." city="city" d="d" div="div" do="do" don="don" drop="drop" home="home" husband="husband" i="i" in="in" involve="involve" is="is" lie.="lie." many="many" me="me" much="much" my="my" nbsp="nbsp" out="out" rather="rather" t="t" taught="taught" that="that" the="the" there="there" thing="thing" things="things" this.="this." this="this" to="to" with="with" you="you">

Will it always be like this?
No. One day my son will be 16 and the last thing he'll want is to hang out with me, and only me, at home. But right now I'm his best friends and the love of his life - what would I skip that?

Being secluded has taught me that I can be just that, secluded, and not be the crazy woman. Yes, there is social media, and yes, I have some human contact (I'm not crazy) but most days I write, read, watch, play, hike, dance and sing - and it's perfect. 2012 taught me that too, it showed me "me" and then it taught me what I like and dislike about myself, and has encouraged me to work on changing that. 

I have also learned the people who don't live here in L.A. have a very bad opinion of this city. OK, not ALL people, but a majority. They believe the hype on the news, think the gas is over 5 gagillion dollars a gallon, the roads are always in gridlock and kids are being turned onto drugs and prostitution on every corner. 

This is B.S. and it annoys me to no end. 

Los Angeles is a wonderful city, you just have to be smart - like you have to be smart everywhere. In Cleveland there were good and bad neighborhoods, good and bad schools - just like here. But people would rather believe those rags in the check out line than believe someone who walks the streets of this town. 2012 taught me that I need to ignore these people and I need to thank them at the same time, because these lies they believe about Los Angeles keeps out the naysayers and those with the big old chips on their shoulder. They believe what they need to, and I know what I know. 

2012 taught me to forgive myself and those around me, who may don't deserve my forgiveness, but I need to hand it out for my sanity. 

2012 taught me to stop thinking everyone is staring at me - because they are not - and if they are, so what? I am me, I talk to myself in the car, I swear to much, and most days I don't wear makeup because the one person I want to impress with my looks thinks I'm hot already.

2012 taught me that the best feelings in the world are: wet sand between your toes, hugs and sticky kisses, having someone say "I loved your poetry", and reading a good book.

2012 taught me that good friends come to you when you need them, sometimes in person, sometimes in small groups on twitter and facebook. Compiled of women who root you on, ask if you're OK and tell you it will be alright - without ever meeting them in person - and that is OK, because friends are friends. The end.

My next goal is to tackle 2013 and I have begun my list. They are not "New Years Resolutions" because those never work - they are simply my objectives, ones that I will work hard to accomplish. Here is what I have so far:

-Finish editing my new book, get it to beta readers, and get back into the query trenches
-Submit more poetry to magazines, websites, newspapers, etc.
-Yoga, running, swimming and dancing
-One big old container garden

Like I said, these are not resolutions - these are the things I have been working on that I want to work on even more in 2013. Resolutions always end the same, the bar is raised too high and then you can't reach it.

In 2013 I will live by these reminders. 

But I still have a couple days left of old 2012. Out of everything I have learned this year, 2012 has taught me that I both deserve to have what I want and what I need, and also what I dream about, including the Pegasus. 

There are more than enough people in the world who will remind you of everything you have done wrong, and everything wrong with what you want to do. They'll say "I told you so" with lightening speed, and add phrases like, "You're being selfish.", and "One of these days you're gonna realize I was right all along." and of course "You'll regret it." So be the one, concrete, voice in your head telling you to trust yourself and love yourself. Because without that, you'll get nowhere.

For me, 2012 was about growth, change, and forgiveness. It was the perfect platform to launch me into the next part of my life, and has made me want to stand on the edge of a cliff and yell to the heavens, "Bring it! Because, this time, I'm ready!"

And in closing, I wanted to pick one song for 2012 and I choose this. "...home is whenever I'm with you..." (you know who you are, and I love you to pieces.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's so cold,
my son told me
it was 62*
and I agreed

things change so
in a
what once
was warm
is a frigid storm
cold & chilly

Others laugh
its not cold
they tell me
sure it is
I say, it's
just like
you know it
to be
I once survived -17*
back then I would
have laughed

now I bundle

now I know different

now I've changed

but that's what
we do
molded by
outside of our
realm of

outside of

it shapes us
morphs us
molds us
and plays,

mama, it's cold outside
I know buddy
I'm cold too.

Friday, December 14, 2012

'Tis the season!

'Tis the season.

When I was a child, Christmas was the most amazing and most difficult time of year - all those presents sitting under the tree, and not allowed to touch them till the 24th... torture. There were a thousand other things happening, but my mind my was caught in a tractor beam, and it leads to boxes of all shapes and sizes wrapped in colorful paper, trimmed with bows, and inside there were dreams, adventures, and sometimes clothing (ick!).

As an adult, establishing my own family Christmas traditions, I find my mind floating back, desperately trying to remember those other thousand things that happened. I remember: cookie baking, a candle lit Christmas Eve where we sang carols, pasta (pasta and more pasta), meeting up with family and friends (which rocked because it meant more toys!). With each day I remember more, like how we opened the gifts from our parents and grandma (who lived with us) on Christmas Eve, and then, on Christmas DAY, we opened everything from Santa (that I'm pretty sure we didn't really deserve, naughty list and all...). I also remember midnight mass, and getting yelled at because I suggested our Parish should hire someone to be like cigarette girls who would walk the aisles with trays filled with life saving mana and chips of salvation. (It was for all those C&E Christians - Christmas & Easter - people who only showed up on said holidays. At the time I was a good little girl and went each Sunday, now the C&E's have be beat by leaps and bounds).

As a child, Christmas was important because it was family, and Santa, and Toys (of course.)
In my teens, Christmas was important because it was family, and gifts, and a school break that allowed me to go to the movies and hang out with my friends.
In my twenties, Christmas was important because of gifts, and I got to go drink a lot with my friends.

And now in my thirties, Christmas is important because of family, tradition, my son - his toys - Santa, and even more family.

What I take from all these Christmas', traditions, and memories, is what I want to give my son - every day. I want him to enjoy the excitement of gifts, and the pure joy of love. That's what this is all supposed to be about, isn't it? We get to show an emotion we may have problems expressing on other days. We are allowed to express it with gifts, food, and drinks - we are permitted to show those around us that, yes, we do care.

So I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy Winter Solstice. We may not celebrate exactly the same way, but that doesn't mean I want you to enjoy any less. Let all that other stuff that gets in the way, slip away, and love those you love.

Hugs from me to you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Keep on going December!

So, I did it...
I finished the first draft of a new book, and let me tell you, after working on the same one for 3 years - change is good.
Now I'm editing and rewriting - some places need to be fleshed out, others need to go away - but I'm happy about all of it. I've had people tell me how much they hate editing, but honestly, I like it. I like pulling the manuscript apart, and putting it back together. I like adding whole scenes, and creating more depth to characters.

Sitting here thinking about last month, I'm actually proud of myself. Yes, the 30 day yoga challenge fell apart, but it was because of an injury, and not because I quit. Now it's December, and I'm back at it. Things are sticking, and I find I don't want to quit. When the voice in my head says, "Yeah, but you could be sitting on the couch watching a terrible movie on netflix." I tell it to go away, and get back to what needs to be done.

I've been lost
I've been confused
I've been angry
I've been sad, scared, and lonely

I've been a lot of things - but I've never believed in myself enough to try harder and harder each time, so it gets easier and easier over time.

I've spent a lot of time punishing myself because I didn't do this, or I did do that - and it's such negative behavior. If you're still alive means there is still time to do things. To try new things, to go to new places, to have the life you dreamt of when you were 16 years old.

No one said life would be easy, and I can't say it will be either. All I can say is that understanding you can't, don't and won't know everything is a good first step. Others include, "Just because it happened to your friend/family member/coworker/neighbor, doesn't mean it will happen to you." & "Life is just as long as it is short. For all those thing you don't do, because you don't have time to do them. Know you have too much time on your hands, which means you're just using that time in the wrong way."

But most of all - love yourself.

I'm not stopping - that's the point of all of this. Never give up November had brought me to December and I plan on building up steam so I can plow into 2013, and use the momentum to keep on going.

When I was a kid I had too many dreams to count
When I was in my twenties I had too many beers to count
Now I'm here and I want the mirage I've painted in my head, and you only know part of it. I'd share it all, but I won't lie, part of me is terrified if I tell you - if I type it out on this screen - it won't happen... I can't have that, now can I?

All I can do is be like all the other girls and boys, and send my letter to Santa.

Friday, November 30, 2012

WE DID IT! Day 30 of NaNoWriMo MeMe

I haven't done one of these in a while, and I thought for the very last day of my NaNoWritMo challenge, it was a fun post! 

So here you go! And if you want to take part (which would be awesome) just copy the questions below, paste them into your blog - and have at it!!

What’s your favourite genre of writing? It depends on my mood, but the last two books I've written have been Fantasy and Sci/Fi

How often do you get writer’s block? This depends on the day! If I'm having a terrible day, it normally bleeds over into my writing world. I try to write through it. That's what editing and rewrites are for. 

How do you fix it? Read, watch Movies/ TV shows that inspire me, or just write through it. 

Do you type or write by hand? Both, mostly computer - as my handwriting is terrible - but some days I can't get to the computer, so I write by hand, and edit as I input it into my manuscript. 

Do you save everything you write? Yes. I save to my computer, to a flash drive, and I email attachments to my google email. (its free and safe)

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Yes. Sometimes all you need is time and perspective to turn a mess around. 

Do you have a  constructive critic? My husband and my cousin read all of my stuff, and I have two new people who have been added to the mix. To say I'm grateful is putting it mildly. 

Did you ever write a novel? Yes. I've written 3. 

What genre would you love to write but haven’t? I used to say, "I'll only be a sci/fi writer!" But as the ideas come to me, I'll write what I feel inspired to write. I don't have an agent or a book deal, so this may change if that ever does - but for now - I will write the books I want to read, and I like to read a little bit of everything from poetry to manga.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?  Never say never!

How many writing projects are you working on right now? 2 - both in edits, 3 if you count the research I'm doing, which I don't.

Do you write for a living? I'm lucky enough to have a husband who supports our family, allowing me to write at leisure and raise our son. (some times at leisure, and some times with great force and migraines... :0 )

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? Yes.

Have you ever won an award for your writing? I wish, but sadly no...

Do you ever write based on your dreams? Yes. I wrote a comic book a few years back that was based on a dream sequence I have. One day I will revisit it, because it's a good story. 

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? Depends on the story, and what I feel is right for the characters. 

So WE DID IT!! We finished NaNoWriMo!! Now I start another challenge! Starting tomorrow I will be writing poetry, every day, for a month. After about a week, I'll start posting poems I like on here. Some I will be sending out to magazines for publication. Because it's go time! (and I need some poetry love in the middle of editing 2 books at once.)

If you care to join me, just let me know!! Have a lovely day everyone!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I realized this morning, that I haven't been on here in a week! Well... nearly a WHOLE WEEK! But here I am now, taking a break in the chaos of my life.

First to report - I've hit my 50k goal on NaNoWriMo! Exciting stuff, but that said, I'm not done with the story, so I'm still writing. I'm almost done, which is grand! And I'm still excited (even though I know there will be a TON of editing in my future, but that's okay - because I really do like this story.)

Second - I finished "Just Kids" by Patti Smith and am in love with her and now must read everything she's ever written - ever.

Third - YOGA is awesome and I've also discovered the joy (and home embarrassment) of Dance Revolution 2 on the Wii. YUP! I'm determined (not that I ever stopped being determined) to keep this going - even after the 30 day challenges. Which reminds me, if you're part of my "30 Day Yoga Challenge" on Facebook, as soon as I'm done here I'm changing that page to "30 Minute Yoga Challenge" which will be an infinite site, because I'm not stopping.

There are so many things we are all capable of that we never try to do because we're so scared or we think we're not good enough.

You would be amazed at the all the things you can accomplish if you just turn off your TV and go out and do them. That said, I hope everyone is well, and had a wonder Thanksgiving (in the US) and now I have to get some work done. It's already 10am, and there is much to do!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!!

It's the day before Thanksgiving (in the US) and I have a mere 3,427 words left to reach my 50,000 word goal! YIPPEE!! That means I can blow off tomorrow, and not feel that bad about it. (I'll still feel a little bad about it, but I have to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, cook a tofurkey and go to the beach.

'Cause that's how I roll.

But this is me wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, and I don't care where you are from, take a moment to look at the things in your life that you're grateful for. It's worth it.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The countdown begins at 13...

There are 13 days left in November.
I've written 38,340 words, and only need 11,660 to reach my goal.
I haven't been on my mat for over a week, and decided today that my "rest" period is over with.

November is still here, and I'm still trucking!

No, I haven't been on here. Finding time to write has been hard enough for my manuscript - adding online writing is an Everest all of its own. One computer, three people, one of which is bossy and small - he tends to win out, so I write on an old toshiba that was antiquated a week after I bought it back in 2002. But it gets the job done.

My story is headed in the right direction. There have been hard days, days I hate every single word I write - but I'm not backing down.

I'm done with that, remember?

So here we are - with 13 days. And here I am - on the computer telling you about it.

The hardest thing about writing is sitting your ass down to write. Some days I manage 3000 words, others 400, but I sit my ass down to write them. The same applies for yoga, but still different, because it's yoga - the wisdom of yoga goes like this. Don't have 1/2 hour to practice yoga - then you need to practice for an hour. (This also applies to meditation)

Go for IT
Stop making excuses as to why you can't, and realize if you go through a bad patch (which we all do) you just... "pick yourself up... dust yourself off... and start all over again!" Such is life.

I'm off to write!
talk soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Hip Issue

Well, I haven't been on her, which is totally unintentional - but my hip issue has persisted to the point I had to stop my 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Oddly, and for the first time ever in my yoga life, yoga has exacerbated the problem (& jogging is WAY the hell out of the question) - this depresses me to no end.

The first day everything felt better, I rolled out  my mat, and started right back up. At the time I had missed only one day, but it became apparent within 10 minutes I had to stop. So here I am. I've made the decision to let it heal (honestly, its the only good choice to make) and as soon as I can start back up, I will continue this challenge.

Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take three steps forward.

But this has in no way, shape, or form, stopped me from writing. I am at 33032 words and still plugging along. I missed Saturday, but managed 1600 words yesterday and when I get back from the beach, I plan on plugging in another 1600 today (with a goal of 3000 to make up for my lost Saturday. I find this to be doable because I'm loving my story.)

And that brings us to reading.
Well, that brings us to my self realizations about writing and reading.

One of the hardest parts of life is figuring out what you want to do. It's made even harder, because you have spent X amount of time wading through everything, and the people you've met along the way have categorized you in one way or the other. I've done it, you've done it - we see people for what we know, soon forgetting there is a sea of possibilities in their lives, just like the ones in ours.
But there we are, with a sudden epiphany about who we are, what we want, and we cast our dice into that sea, finally accepting what our destiny is - and those around you can't see it.

So you have to work harder.
Or you have to leave them behind.
OR you will work harder, only to realize much later, you left them behind.

But there is a sense of peace you find when you realize what "it" is and when you do, for a moment you'll sit and think, "Well, duh! That makes sense." Because we always have known the what and the why - life gets so loud sometimes we can't hear it.

These days of journaling in private, rather than blogging have been enlightening. Somewhere a new sense of pride emerged, and confidence came with it. I've spent many days looking back at my life feeling regret about one thing, or embarrassed about another - yet suddenly I don't see the regret or the embarrassment, I see funny little quirky situations that have defined me for who I am, and I'm okay with that. Life is messy and I've spent so much time trying to make it not messy - to make it into a scripted sitcom - its sad. And I don't know where this space came from, other than the fact I set out to find it.

People will define you
Situations will linger
Relationships will scar you - for good or bad
And you will keep going
Morphing, and changing
Birthing new truth in you

So this hip, and its persistent pain, which makes it both hard to walk and to stand - it forced my hand. My dilemma of, should I concentrate solely on Yoga? Should I concentrate solely on Writing? Has, in a way, been solved. Will I give up on yoga all together? Never. Or my brain would explode - but I really want to write. I really, really, really want to write.

And I really, really, really want to not be in pain - but we can't win every single war at once, now can we.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8

We've now been practicing a week, and I'm pleased with my progress, especially seeing that my leg still hurts. Plus, I started forcing new foods on my child today - which is a HUGE deal in this house, seeing that my son only eats 4 things - IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

But I think my biggest accomplishment thus far, is I wrote over 3000 words. I'm not saying they were 3000 perfect words, or even good words, just that I typed 3000 words into my WIP, which means I'll be done a lot sooner and can edit a lot sooner.

Mostly today has been filled with introspect about everything.

As I sit, writing this book, I've been wondering what the point is? No, I don't plan on letting this train of thought deter me. I will not be quitting any time soon - but its been such a long strange trip. Getting from way the hell over there, all the way to here has been a very strange trip.

I'm not talking about the move - that isn't "it", it's just part of "it". Just like hating myself is also part of "it" and drinking too much, being in a few bands, relationship beginnings, middles and ends. Yoga, Christmas, poetry, and writing about TV shows - fights, regret, loss, births and pancakes - all are part of "it".

I lose sight, we all do from time to time, but I've noticed it a lot lately. I've noticed my life because of some weirdness that has been around me - things that have made me think, "I have the life I have, due to the choices I have made - all of them. Even the crappy ones and the ones I ignored." Just as you have the life you have for the very same reason.

When I sit down to write, these thoughts come back to me.
Being a stay a home mother (slash) yoga instructor (slash) writer is not even remotely conventional. For many years I would have hid all of this to have a standard job (slash) be a standard mother - which is to say, to be like those I've known, so I... can fit in.

I love that I have the time to write.
I don't ever get to go the movies.
I don't remember the last time I was at a bar. (well, unless you count the lobby of the Culver City Hotel, which I do not.)
I don't remember the last time I did a lot of things. Maybe this makes me boring, dull, etc - some think it makes me judgemental - but like my "this is my choice" of life - the other big realization would be. those who think they are being judged, are the very ones judging.

Everything happens for a reason, and the thoughts I have are in correlation with other events that I need to recognize for what they are.

This is my ten minutes of evaluating those thoughts and moments, so when I get off this computer I can think about things I'd much rather be entangled in. Finishing Imogen Grace, choosing my next yoga class, writing in my journal, reading my book(s) and most of all... watching last nights episode of Nashville, because I freaking LOVE that show.

To everyone doing NaNoWriMo - KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!! If you want to be my NaNo Buddy, look me up arynyoungless - or follow me on twitter, not that I tweet a bunch, but if you write me, I will write back!

Never let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve the life you have.
Never for get you have the ability to create the life you want.

It may take you 10 years, but that times going to pass regardless. May as well end up where you want to be.

Time to prepare for Day 9!

Good night!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

If you think you can do it, you can. If you think you can't, you won't be able to.

(c) Jose Manuel Merello*

Today had been a day of discovery for me. A lot has happened since I woke at 5:30 this morning. My son had his first appointment with is new doctor, which can be a terrifying thing - but I have to say, we had to move 2500 miles from where he was born, but we found him an amazing doctor. Yet still, it was his 4 year old check up and that means shots, and blood work - which sucks if you're four or 104. (And it didn't help that the tech who took his blood had little to no experience working with children. The bruise on his little arms are massive.)

My hip still hurts. Taking this mornings events, mixed with the pain, I have yet to practice yoga. I will be doing it shortly, probably after I post this blog.

I've written just over 1000 words and plan on adding 1000 more to make up for yesterdays smaller number, but I'm still moving forward and my plan is still in place. This makes me happy.

So you may be asking, what is/was the discovery I made.

This 30 day extravaganza is about change for me. Changing me from the inside out so I can be and the person I want to be, inside and out. This is important to me on a number of levels. Firstly, I'm at a point in my life, the idea of just going through the motions makes me ill. Secondly, I feel I deserve more. More out of myself, more out of my surroundings. Thirdly, I look down at those big blue eyes, eyes I look at when I tell him to do this and to do that - and let's be honest - it's time to put my money where my mouth is.

My son, Xan, is an extremely picky eater. I can sit here and blame Gods and Angels, but at the end of the day, I'm the one who feeds him. He's picky because I give up. He's picky because I was so scared the first half of his little life (he had to go to the hospital ER a few times and had an over night due to lack of oxygen), yes my fear were justified, but I'm at a point where my fears are hurting him.

Allowing these fears to dominate have painted us into a corner.

I'm a firm believer that when its time for things to change or transpire - everything will unfold in front of me. It always has, so why should I think otherwise? Yesterday my husband came home with a book one of his co-workers thought may help us with Xander's eating issues, and so far I love it. "French Kids Eat Everything" by Karen Le Billon - I'm not far into it, and I'll be honest, I'm going to keep reading "Just Kids" by Patti Smith at night (I'm really getting into it, and love it very much) - but I will dedicate my daily reading to "French Kids"and have already began a list of things that need to change in this house, and our eating lives, to help him become a better eater.

So it was the book, and then one of Xander's movies came on... The Little Engine that Could. "If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't be able to." And by god, doesn't that sum it all up?

If I think I can write books - I will be able to, because I'm giving myself the confidence I need to do so. This applies for yoga, getting my child to eat new foods - in reality, it applies to anything and everything. People will tell you that I'm wrong, and that it's not true - but to quote Amelia Earhart, "Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done."

People doubt us, we believe them. We in turn doubt ourselves. We then believe we can't do the things we have always wanted to do, and we set ourselves up to give up and ultimately fail. But I'm here to tell you that you can. Just DO IT. Don't say things like, "I'll try." or "I'm trying." That's not doing - that's pretending that you're doing when you're really being hesitant and finding excuses as to why you can't/shouldn't do things.

Here's another Amelia quote (my childhood hero, by the way.):
"The most effective way to do it, is to do it." 

There are 24 hours in the day, which means you have time for everything you want to do, you just need to learn how to manage your time better, and you need to accept that you are mismanaging your time in the first place. 

All those people out there who are doing what they want to do. Those people you are envious of or you snicker about - don't think for one second they haven't sacrifice one thing or the other to have what they wanted. Don't think they didn't have to battle their ego, low self-esteem, gossip, judgement, etc - because they all did. 

Ever notice all those people who try to take short cuts are usually the people who are the most miserable in life? There is a reason for it. Its the same reason you feel complete and whole when you work hard, believe in yourself, are willing to sacrifice things that aren't as important as your dreams and goals. 

That's what I faced today as I looked at my life - at my dirty kitchen, messed up living room, trailers of movies I want to see - but probably never will. As I thought for the millionth time how I really want to succeed at both of the challenges I'm doing this month, and after I'm done, I want to keep them as part of my life AND I want to start new challenges. (I'm thinking about writing 5 poems a day for all of December. It's a month filled with love, family, Santa, and inspiration - a great month to write poems). 

But this is the life I want.
I not only think I can do these things, I know I can. 
The want to succeed is so much stronger then the urge to just "try" and to give up. 

Yes, there will be people in my life who can't or simply won't understand why I'm doing what I'm doing, but I know why. Like I said, I'm doing this because I deserve to be the person I want to be, inside and out. I deserve to have the life I want to have, day in and out. 

If you don't have the life you want, change it. If you can't, change your attitude, but I'll tell you - most days, you can figure out a way to change it. 

Need to save money, figure out those things you're "treating yourself to" and treat yourself to your future instead.

Need to lose weight, stop having snacks because you're rewarding yourself for not getting lippy at work or because you had a rough day.

Want to practice yoga every day, wake up early - go to bed later, turn off the TV. The time is there, and the same goes for writing a book. 

If you think you can, you're telling yourself you can - hell, you're giving yourself permission to succeed.

If you think you can't... you need to stop thinking like that. 

I sit before you to tell you that it's much nicer over here. And there is always room for one more. 

[*art by Jose Manuel Merello - I picked this as an example of discover. There is so much to discover in his painting, just like there is so much to discover in life.]

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5 of Never Give up November!

Well, I just spent the last 20 minutes avoiding this blog. I guess day 5 is the day I start to shy away... so soon too!

But... HERE I AM!! So it can't be all bad.

I haven't started writing, but I did practice yoga - which was turbulent at best. My hip is still hurting me - NONSTOP - and it's becoming worrisome... like, throw back to when I was 19 and had to go into physical therapy, worrisome... I took some more advil, and when it kicked in, I practiced. I'm hoping the stretching and movement will help put things back to where they need to be so I can continue with this challenge WITHOUT popping more advil. Not a fan... I like being able to live drug free. It's something I'm rather proud of, so when I have no other choice but to use pain killers, it kinda bums me out.

Other than that... how do I fee? I feel really good. My brain is working again these days, between all the writing, yoga and reading - I'm in a really good place emotionally. I still have my moments, who doesn't, but I don't feel nearly as lost. I also don't feel nearly as fat, tired and the need to go on self-deprecating jags to make others feel better about themselves.

As of this moment I can sit here with my head held high and say with all truth and honest, I love my life. My simple family, yoga, words filled life. (with a little Nashville and Homeland to round things out).

With the yoga challenge, I'm very glad I did this, and yes, I know its only 5 days in, but I also know it can do nothing but get better. (once I over come this hip issue)

With the writing, I feel super charged. Over 20k words into my manuscript, at the rate I'm going (and keeping) I'll be editing in 2 weeks, max. As soon as I'm done with that edit, it's back to The Hope Saints to finish the final edit, before I start book two of that series.

Busy, busy, busy bee. Busy, busy, busy me. But I like it and I don't want it to stop.

Today's post is short, but that's okay. At least I stopped avoiding it and posted!!

Till tomorrow, as we close in our first full week!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4 - Keep on Keeping on!

I have to say, I think coming on here to blog every day is the hardest part of this challenge. Practicing yoga, and writing, are both private things - for me at any rate. Even when I attend a class, I ignore everyone, slip into my zone, and practice. At the end of class, I leave. I don't hang out. I don't try to make new friends. I rarely talk to the teacher, unless I'm brand spanking new to the studio, or really loved part of their sequence - other wise. I om, then I say namaste, and out the door I go.

Sharing is hard.

It's hard because what I'm attempting to do here is find those pinpoint moments in my life that I find interesting enough to share with you. There are days I do not find my life interesting at all. I cook, I clean, I wipe dupas, I walk, I sleep, I yoga, I write, I clean snotty noses, and I repeat it all the next day. Oh, and I read. I love to read.

As a child I didn't care for reading.
I was never the child you found under the old elm tree reading The Lord of the Rings. I was the teenager that sat next to you in class reading V.C. Andrews under her desk. You know, until the teacher saw me reading, took my book, and refused to give it back at the end of class. (Heaven. I owned 3 copies. Probably should have stopped bringing the damn thing to school...)

I started writing young, I want to say around 7 years old, but I don't remember the exact date and time. I remember writing poems and short stories, and then when I was 14 I remember writing my first book. It was about three kids who went to NYC to visit their Aunt (Mom's sister) and things went terribly wrong and they had to solve some crime. The only part I remember was a chase scene in a hot air balloon, oh, and I made the lead girl 16 because I couldn't wait to be 16. All grown up and sophisticated. Looking back at 16, I think the last thing you would have called me was sophisticated, but I sure did like to have fun!

Just imagine if I had a blog back then? Actually, let's not image that at all. Let's concentrate on why I'm even on here today. Never Give Up NOVEMBER!

Today is Sunday, the first day of day lights savings, and I've managed to write just over 1000 words. I have 500 to finish my daily goal - which I'll be working on in a second. I also did about 40 minutes of yoga. My hip is still sore, and then I went and took pain killer thinking it would help - but all it did was make me tired - no bueno... So to counter the case of the sleepies (I slept 10 hours last night, the last thing I should be is sleepy) I went for a walk and picked up some things at the store.

Now I have things, a sore hip, I'm still tired, and suddenly hungry - and not sure why I'm telling you all of this...

That's right! The challenge!!

I could sit here and make excuses as to why writing about myself is suddenly hard, but it isn't the cure and won't change a thing, so I just say that I'll try harder. In life I find those things that are hardest for me, are the very things I need to concentrate on the most.

Maybe spilling my guts to complete strangers, daily, is the very thing I need to get past this block I've felt for years. And not like before. Not trying to stylize or whatever the hell it was I was doing. I'm tired of "doing" and "trying" and mucking it all up. But mostly I'm tired of how scared I am to just be who I am.

The girl who thought 16 was grown up and sophisticate.
The teen who would rather read under her desk than learn geometry. (Man am I bummed I did that!)
The woman who likes to do and try new things all the time.
The chick who tried to run off and join a carnival, because it sounded fun.
The person who gets distracted...SHINY!!! All the time.

Maybe coming on here and writing about how I feel, about who I am, I will stop being so afraid I'm going to offend people I don't know. Or figure out why I'm so scared to have a boring life - how can life be boring if you're actually living it?

I need to let go of so much.
Let go of all those preconceived notions I've carried with me every day of my life.
And I need to actually do it than talk about it.

These 30 days, only 4 in, have shown me so early in the game that I need to stop saying and just do the things I want to, because when I do I'm much happier.
On day 30 I may explode with utter joy!

I'll try to make sure I'm outside.
It'll be easier to clean up the mess. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3 - Yoga/Writing November!

I'm on this day:

Isn't that nubmer exciting? Yes. The answer is yes.

I missed day 2, on here, but I kept up with it out there - a.k.a. the real world. But since it IS the real world, that means there will be curve balls, right hooks, and vomit when you expect it the least. My husband was sick Friday to Saturday, and our computer sits neatly in our bed room on a worn, miss-assembled, desk from target. I wanted to blog yesterday, but thought it would be utterly rude if I did so.

But today he's better, so today I blog! (yoga and write my nano stuff)

Starting with NaNoWriMo - You can check my progress here. Do I have my synopsis up yet? Nope. Do I have an image? Nope. Do I have a small snippet for you to read. No-e, no-e, no-e, nope. What do I have? Over 18k words so far and counting.


That said, I will try to get up a synopsis at some point, but only after I have my daily word count of 1500 words. After that, every thing is just gravy. And if you know me, you know I love gravy.

Back to writing. As you know, the best way to keep writing is to keep reading. Read, write - write, read. Last night I finished Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" and I'm now recommending it to you. I'm recommending it as a writer, as a yogi, as a mother and as a human being. It's a wonderful book that explores the world of words, emotions, truth and life.

May years ago, when I worked at Borders Books and Music, I shelved the Computer and Language/Writing sections (and science for a bit too). I remember when Bird by Bird came out in paper back, and I also remember looking it over and thinking, "I don't need any stinking books about writing! They're all a scam! Blah!" Obviously I was not at a point in my life, writing or otherwise, to accept one of the best ways to improve yourself is to look inside yourself and not be afraid to ask/look for help outside.

You can learn something new from every person you meet - via book or in the real world. Maybe you'll learn how to bake the best damn apple pie you've ever had, or how to love honestly. And at the same time, maybe you'll learn exactly who you never want to be, but you'll learn, and learning is growth - growth is change - change is good. From Anne Lamott, I learned about honesty and truth. You have to be very brave to live like that. I think I'm ready to be brave, or braver than I am now. (Let's face it, we could all use a little work in the bravery department.) I also learned I really need to start writing the word "ok" out like this, "Okay" and that I've been doing it wrong for years. :)

Tonight I'm starting "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. This will be an exploration into the world of memoir writing for me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here is your daily dose of writer inspiration:

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” 
~Anne Lamott

This brings us to the 30 Day Yoga Challenge portion of this post.

This is not me. Not that you thought it was, but I wanted to clarify. Not me. 

As you may image, Day 2 was a bit tricky for me. I only managed to squeeze in a 20-30 minute class last night before showering, writing, reading and sleeping. Since Thursday night I decided it was a good idea to stay up till midnight watching recorded episodes of Call the Midwife on PBS, I'm a PBS / BBC America junkie, I was very, very tired yesterday.

So Friday was a bit of a bear. I only had a meager 5 hours of sleep, on the sofa, and by noon my throat hurt and I became paranoid I'd be sick today - which I am not. A-freaking-men.

Yesterdays yoga routine was the PM portion of the AM/PM Yoga with Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden, after which I added some Shoulder Stand/Plow Pose, Supported Bridge Pose, Fish Pose, Tripod Head Stand and finally a little savasana. It wasn't much, but I didn't just NOT do it because life was a bit hairy, which mad me happy with myself. 


See. That applies all over my life!

Today I found a sequence for legs, hips and lower back. I've had issues with my hips for many years. It seems a car accident I was in when I was 13 messed up the alignment of my spine and my hips. I have since had it readjusted, but life is life and we all stand weird, some with our knees locked, others with our hips jutting to one side or the other. All of this throws our body out of alignment

Yoga can help, but a great body worker can help even more. The one I love lives in NYC, seeing I'm in L.A., that means I haven't seen her in years - but I love her nontheless. 

I was going to embed the video on here... but alas... Do Yoga With Me disabled the embedding feature, so if you want to check it out - follow this link. It's worth it. My hip feels much better now than it did this morning. I also will recommend, even if they won't let me post their videos on this here blog. They have a lot of wonderful, FREE, yoga classes for you to check out. So CHECK THEM OUT!!

And with that! I will say - I'm doing great and feel the yoga is working in all the right ways. I've been journaling, outside of blogging, and that's been great too. I haven't felt nearly as angry as in the past few months - and that's one of my goals. 

I hope you're reaching your goals to. Be it yoga, or writing or keeping the upkeep of your blog (you know who you are) - I wish you all the luck in the world. 

Here is your daily does of yogi inspiration:

I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.” 
~ Gandhi

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DAY 1 of NaNo30DaYoChMo!!


Today is my first day of both my 30 Day Yoga Challenge and NaNoWriMo! Yippiee!

No more days of boredom, drivel, and mindless! Today I'm taking on the world, because if there is one thing we should all understand and embrace is everyday is the right day to start whatever project it is you've been putting off.

I've already finished my first yoga practice, coupled with a few minutes of meditation. Tomorrow I will be sore, but that is what's supposed to happen and I'm not going to let it sway me from accomplishing this challenge.

I practiced in my bedroom using a video on youtube - this is how I will be doing most of my challenge. YouTube is free and some of these classes are great. I would like to get to a studio and try my first Ashtanga and Bikram classes, but I'm not sure if those are in the financial stars (anyway, I'm sure there's something on YouTube. Lol! It won't be heated correctly, but WTH! At least I won't have to worry about who's sweat I'm sitting in. <- bikram.="bikram." in="in" p="p" reference="reference" s="s" that="that" to="to">
All of you who are also doing the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, this is for you:

"We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happy, laughing?"
-Swami Stachidananda

Always remember, true change begins inside. Find an intention and set it. Practice for your brother/sister. Practice for world peace. Practice for something. I practice for the ability to let go of all that clutters my mind - those voices that tell me I'm not good enough and I can't do this or that. 

Twenty minutes into my practice, that voice got really loud and started saying, "Aryn, just go back to bed. What's the point of all of this." And I turned my mind to my intention - actually, it's more like my mantra. "Let. Go." 99% of all things we worry about will NEVER happen, and there are millions of things we are capable of doing - the only thing we have to do is silence that pity party voice and DO THEM. 

Right now I feel great and I'm excited to notice the subtle changes in my life. To be honest, outside of yesterday, I've been practicing for the last 5 days and in those 5 days I'm happier, I have more energy and the want and need to do more. I'm sure there will be low days where I don't want to get up - I'm my vow to me, and to you, is that I will. 

Practice with me, for your own intentions and we can benefit together.

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” 
-Stephen King

As for NaNoWriMo - I begin that officially tonight. My mornings are for yoga, my nights are for writing. At least an hour every night, after my son is in bed.

I have my story in place. My characters in queue. And my heart on my sleeve.

I'm ready to use this energy I'm building with my yoga practice to write with my heart. And I really can NOT wait to see what I get out of it!!

Now go practice and write everyone!!

<3 aryn="aryn" p="p">

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

7 1/2 Days to Go!

So by now you have your mat, and your sequences picked out. You have your journal set up and you have your questions in place.

You're ready for the 30 Day Yoga Challenge! With 7 Days left, you twiddle your thumbs and begin to hum and haw  - What are you supposed to do for the next 7 days?!

Well - you can start early, and make this a 37 1/2 day challenge, but I'll say this now, if you DO start early, realize in advance the Challenge ends on November 30th. :) Meaning: No stopping on November 22 at noon because of the other days you added in.

I'm being a stickler, I know - but it's good to have a routine. Once we allow new things to fall into place in our lives, accept them as part of our lives, the suddenly we are changing - and Change Is GOOD!

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” 
                                                                                 ~Barack Obama

I'm hoping to be able to put together some sequences for you to use, that way you can just come here, rather than searing all over the internet to find what you need. Please stay tuned for that.

I'm putting the blog posts back together (its just easier for me). 

And I will start off with a quote:

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
~Stephen King

This statement is very true. Every time we read we absorb more information about writing, story telling, etc. So for NaNoWriMo - create a list of books you've been meaning to reading, and get to reading. But as you do, be critical. What makes the story good? What makes the story bad?

Years ago I took a film workshop about the whole process, from the very first thought all the way to the ending credits, on how to write, create, and sell a film. In the part about writing the speaker/teacher brought up the movie "Pleasantville" and BY GOD did the man hate this film. (I loved this film, so I listened with scepticism...) His argument was Pleasantville was two movies in one. The first half is about a brother and sister who are not doing so hot in this world, and they need the world of Pleasantville to find themselves, just as the world of Pleasantville needs them to expand a bit more. Great story... but they writers kept going. The second half of Pleasantville is about racism and hate. Should they have been in one movie? Probably not. OK - I'll be honest - no. The story should have been one or the other. 

These are wonderful things we can learn by reading and reading and reading, and yes, watching too - but reading is really more idea.

There are many books that hold the same problems as Pleasantville - starting off with one idea and then flipping around. Actually, Atlas Shrugged - it should have been 1/4 the size and Rand needed to make a decision as to what the theme/message of the book was. 

Note: This book make me so mad that I still have 200 pages of it to read. Not kidding. 

So, while plotting out your story - ask yourself WHAT YOUR THEME IS. What is this story about?

Is it about a strong business woman, who is smart, determined and sexy - or is it about some mystical land where you give up on humanity (a humanity you created though the decisions made for your companies, etc). 

As you prepare for NaNoWriMo:

- Plan out your plot
- Set your theme in stone
- Get to know your characters by writing up character sheets, and even writing up a throwaway scene or two with them in it to hear their voice.
- Set aside the time you need - GIVE UP TV! 

And now you're almost ready to go!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Planning - NO EXCUSE NOVEMBER! ~30 Day Yoga Challenge~

I've decided to dub the 30 Day Yoga Challenge "No Excuses November" because, let's face it, we all tend to find excuses that keep us away from doing some of those things we really need to do for ourselves. (like exercise and alone time)

"No I don't"

Don't be so negative. It's a very human thing to lose steam and fall out of routines that can better us physically, mentally and over all emotionally. Because when we do exercises regularly, and journal/ check in with ourselves daily, we will find that as we change, every thing around us changes too.

In my last few posts I've discussed preparing for this challenge by getting your yoga ducks in a row. Finding online sites that have sequences you feel are suitable for you, or buying a monthly unlimited class pass from your favorite studio - but the other part of this challenge is keeping a journal.

"What's the point of the journal? I just want to rock out my power yoga and get my yoga butt back in gear!"

Well, in life, it's easy to get distracted. We may think we'll remember things, knowing somewhere in the back of our head that most probably we're going to forget. By journaling about our experiences over this next month we are creating a user's manual to our very own lives. We will have written proof about what poses make us feel great and which ones we need to practice more. We will be able to see our moods, how we feel physically. I.E. "After last nights late night pizza, I feel bloated and lethargic, but once I did Chair pose, twisting to each side for 5 breaths, I felt a lot better." Now you've learned that late night pizza probably isn't your friend, but Chair Pose with a Twist will help you get things flowing again as they should be.

But still - I say all of this as if its just that easy, and the truth is, journaling can be hard. Sometimes is VERY hard to tell ourselves the truth, but I'm here to tell you there are ways to plan for that too.

Journal Prompts!

If you want to do the very scientific journal, only writing down specific observations - this is your challenge and it is your journal, but know there is more. There are prompts out there that will help you get over those road blocks, allowing you to speak freely to yourself about yourself.

Here is a basic set that will work for this challenge:

How did you feel before practicing? (physically and emotionally)
How did you feel after practicing? (physically and emotionally)
How long did you practice for?
What was your favorite pose? Why?
What was your least favorite pose? Why?
How long did you sleep last night?
Did you sleep well or did you wake up a lot?
What did you eat today?
How long before practicing did you eat? 
Did the amount of time between eating affect your practice?

I'm sure some of these questions seem odd. Like they have no relation to this "No Excuses November" challenge - but after answering them for 30 days, if you take a night to go back and read over everything you've written. You will be AMAZED at what you find.

Also know that these question are just a starting point, and you can go deeper.
Here is a link to my friend Debra's site, called The Warm Milk Journal - she has tons of wonderful journaling prompts and exercises on her site. If you are one of the MILLIONS of people out there that have problems sleeping, she has a lot of help with that too.

Remember, you should work on yourself from the inside out. It's the best way to get the results you want.

9 days this our challenge begins!! I can't wait to go on this journey with you!


Planning - Day 6 (NaNoWriMo - ONLY!)

I'm splitting up the post today, even though both of these will concentrate on writing, I think it will be a bit easier for you lovelies if I take my VERY special NaNoWri30DaYoChMo and cut it in two.

(And if you like reading about NaNoWri30DaYoChMo as a whole, you can always read both)

so... NaNoWriMo!! It's only 9 days away. This single digit can make you nervous or excited! (or both) You can sit online reading about what to do - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - or you maybe you have your own action planned lined up and waiting to go. 

In the past I can't say I did either. I guess I'm more of the "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal. Which, in my writing life, has led to many unfinished projects. 

I think in the creative world, sometimes we hear the word "planning" and a montage of city workers in suits dance before our eyes. How can we be expected to be creative when we have pre-plan our work? But the truth is, planning HELPS you be more creative. Once you have the bones of your story all laid out, you can then use ALL of November's 30 days to creatively build muscle, fat, flesh and skin around them.

You won't have to stop and think, "So where should she go next?" or "Why would he do that?"

You know - because you've sat down and wrote up character sheets. You know everything there is to know about every character (even the ones who will act no more than a piece of furniture). These are your best friends, your lovers, your family members and you know EVERYTHING about thing. (Even all those foul little things you wish they never had shared. You know them that well.)

You know what's next because you have a map. Point A to point B and that will take you over to point C and then back to B (due to confusion) but this time you'll shoot straight to D - so on and so forth. 

Other ways to bone up for NaNo, or your writing life in general, are instructional books.  Check out the "Write Great Fiction" series, which breaks down the writing process, illuminating each part in its own book. Or the classic, "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. Head to your local library or book store and plop yourself in front of the writing section and see which of these texts speak to you. If you find one that does, bring it home and set it next to your computer on the days you write. Now you have a little pep talk within arms reach.

In the end, when you're ready, you'll know, but I think the biggest thing to always remember about this pending Everest we will be climbing in just a wee 9 days is to have fun. When you're having fun, you can do the task at hand longer and better. Remember that yes, this is a contest, but try to make it be a challenge with yourself. Don't go out there to do anything more than to write that story that is in your heart.

You will be surprised at all the wonderful things that will come out of you when you're not trying to impress anyone, even yourself. Write what you want to read, and enjoy every second of it.

9 days and counting!! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Planning - Day 5

I took this yesterday on the Venice Canals in Venice, California. I've been there a few times before, but yesterday my husband walked me up and down the canals showing me different homes as we daydreamed about one day owning one. The Canals are simply, beautiful. There used to be twice as many of them, but with progress and a lack of understanding, years ago the city filled in some of them and not they are simply oddly shaped roads just east of Venice Beach.

We rarely get out alone, so yesterday was special because my parents took our son to the zoo and we walked and walked and walked. If you are a people watcher and need a place to refill your people watching jar, go to Venice Beach. It's worth it every time.

I've heard people say, and had others comment directly to me, "Venice Beach is wonderful, but you could never raise a kid there." And I have to disagree - all that is crazy and weird, all that is Venice Beach, are the very reasons why you should raise a kid there. It is bubble filled with something for everyone - music, drama, pot, art, dancing, ocean, surfing, skating and words. For me, it is what dreams are made of, and that is why my husband took me there for my birthday. (a few days early)

Last night we capped off the evening having long discussions about music, lyrics, writing, movements, and all of those people who have spoken for us throughout our lives. Joe Strummer, Morrissey, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon - poets who found themselves meshing two sides of art into one.

Days and nights like those are the moments I need to keep going. They are just as much planning for my little 30 yoga and my NaNoWritMo challenges as all of the other prep work I push on myself. Days and nights like those are the ones that remind me why I do what I do. They dust off all those reasons, the feeling in my gut, the wants and needs. It is the classroom, the magnify glass, the microscope peeling back the layers of "reality" that dampen my voice and amplify my doubts.

There is truth in yoga.
There is truth in writing.

There is truth in you.

If we can't be honest with ourselves, none of these challenges will help benefit us.
If we tell ourselves we can't do this and come up with some regurgitated reason; all those terrible comments from parental figures, teachers, bad friends, and exs that we thought we let go of, but in truth they sit just below the surface of our skin.

The truth will set you free.
It will allow you to sink deeper into poses.
It will open doors and windows, pushing your characters off cliffs just to see them soar. (because you know they can, and they truly will)

When planning something that is both physically and emotionally time consuming, you must recharge. Go inside yourself and ask why? Why are you doing this? What's the deeper truth?

You can glide down the canals.
Or you can pave them over.

All of those "things" we hide from are the very things that make us better at being who we really are. So instead of hiding behind everyone else's problems, or distracting yourself with too much TV, Politics, crap - take a day to walk around and remember who you are.

Every experience we've had and will have help us to grow and with that growth we can move deeper inside ourselves.

I think the biggest lesson I have ever with yoga and writing is this - practice both of these for yourself. Never assume you will be able to do this:

Anya Porter

Never assume you will have this:

J.K. Rowling's House

Master this:
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) Seane Corn 

And accept what you have for what it is. The happiness you get out of that will be the greatest success you've ever know. 

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden