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!

xxoo
Aryn


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!
Namaste

Aryn

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



Friday, October 19, 2012

Planning - Day 3

Today will be my last post until next week. It's hard to find time on the weekends, and when you only have 1 computer to share between 3 people - it's a battle to see who will get it.

Most times the kid wins. He's small and makes cute faces (& throws huge tantrums) to get you to let him have it.

But that doesn't mean I won't be planning and working towards being (semi) organized for November! I just won't be doing it online - probably.



I shall start with yoga - If you're here to read about how to organize for the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, here you go.

#1 - YouTube

There are TONS of great yoga videos on YouTube, and not all of them are only 10 minutes long.

Examples are: Esther Ekhart Yoga. She had full classes, partial classes, meditation, etc. I love her sequences (they're vinyasa. I was trained in vinyasa, so I'm partial to it)

For you 1/2 hour yogis who want a bit of a challenge, check out Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown.

YogaYak is another great channel with tons of classes (these are ALL FREE)

And finally - HolmTV which has different levels of vinyasa yoga. (I'm a fan of Yoga Flow 301, but they have a 101 for beginners and other classes too)

#2 - DVD/Videos

Go to your local library (and get a card if you don't already have one) and browse their exercise DVDs. You never know what gem you my find getting dust on the shelves of your library.

#3 - Books

This may be a bit harder if you're not used to reading and yoga-ing - but it can be done. Essentially you're doing what your teachers are every time they prepare a class. Look through books at the library, book store, online (I'm assuming they make yoga ebooks) and make your own little sequence - but I'll tell you this BE BOLD! Just because you're picking out your own sequences doesn't mean you should skip arm balances, or inversions.

YOU'LL NEVER LEARN IT IF YOU DON'T TRY!

#4 - More Internet

YogaGlo - is a pay site, but it has some amazing teachers and many styles of yoga. (If you live in the LA area - YogaGlo has free classes on site :) )
Do Yoga With Me - is a free site and free means it's worth checking out!
My Yoga Online - this is a pay site that is cheaper than yogaglo, but I've never used them.

#5 - TV

Check your cable for Yoga TV shows and record them. If they're only 1/2 hour, do it twice.

#6 - Your local studio and GROUPON!

Remember to check the "Now! Deals" portion of your groupon app (if you have a groupon app or online) and check out new studios!

Also - check Living Social and KGB Deals is another site with lots of discounts. And if you live in LA, NYC, Chicago (not sure where else) check out Lifebooker.

Six ways to make this painless and practically free if you choose it to be! Having these things in place will allow you to make an easy transition into this challenge. You can even fill out your calender with site you want to check out and fill your DVR with yoga shows you want to try. [if you're not doing yoga, but are running/swimming/etc.. you're on your own... ;)]



On to NaNoWritMo! The first thing to remember this: "You can fix anything but a blank page"-Nora Roberts

The average book is around 50K, which means you need to average around 1,667 words a day to finish in 30 days. To do that means PLANNING and I'm not talking about simply picking a subject matter for said book, but sitting down and outlining the whole things, chapter by chapter. 

Maybe sit down NOW and write out a few scenes to see what the tone will be like and how your characters looks on paper. But definitely sit down and make a bible to have on hand! Include places you want your story to happen, major and minor character bios, dates, ages, clothing, etc - all things you'll need to remember as you set out to write this 50k masterpiece in 30 days! 

Other things that may help:

-Index Cards or a Mini-notebook on hand at ALL TIMES! This way in these last few days before NaNoWriMo you can jot down ideas for dialogue, setting, narrative. Maybe you have one scene in play in your head, the "key" scene, this way you'll have it on hand when you need it. (I have a bulletin board by my desk with things tacked to it. All I have to do is look to my right and there it is)

-Research! Do you know your location? Go there and people watch. Watch the shadows. Watch the sky. Are you writing about bands of men with guns? Watch specials on the Military Channel about differently styles of guns (Ultimate Weapons, Weapons Masters, Weaponology), go to the library and check out books. Hop online and find websites that can help you flesh out the idea now.

REMEMBER! November is National Novel WRITING Month - not National Novel Planning and Researching Month (That would be NaNoPlReMo)

October should be NaNoPlReMo - it really should. 

But best of all - WRITE YOUR BLURB! You know, that thing your read on the back (or flap) of a book when you're at the bookstore trying to decide what to take home with you. If you're not sure what to write, read a bunch of them. The library is great for this. Bring a pad of paper and then go check out books that are in the same genre as yours. Find a quiet spot, read the backs as you write down ideas for your own. When you get what you need, go home and polish it up! 

12 more days till November! MORE than enough time to get all of our ducks in a row!!

NOW! I'm off. It's Friday, which means nothing in my life, but I'm tired and want to go veg out.

Have a lovely night!!
-Aryn


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Planning - Day 2


Today is day 2 of preparing for November, and I feel like I'm in pretty good shape (but then again, I always do this far out! lol)

I've had a handful of people tell me they would love to do the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with me, but don't think they would be able to do a full hour and/or they would rather do something than yoga.

THAT'S FINE!

For me, yoga helps me balance my life, but for you maybe that's running or swimming or power walking or doing Jillian Michaels Meltdown series - that's fine. Go for it! Just remember to journal every day about how you feel both physically and mentally. Be honest with the journaling. You're the only one who will see it, so don't hold back. Don't tell half truths. Don't lie even a little. Get it all out in black and white and let it go. You'd be surprised how much weight you can lift off your shoulders if you put it down on paper.

Like I said, I will be doing yoga. I know it will be hard to find the time to do ALL of these things that I want to, but I know that the time is there and I need to push myself into finding a new way spending it. The negative forces in my life have been winning and I find myself gossiping more (which I hate) and being judgemental (which I really hate). I don't need that. No one needs that in their life. Wasting time on assumptions and preconceived notions. Judging a situation instead of letting it play out. 

By placing myself in this 30 day challenge I'm training my mind to look at things that do matter - being in shape both mentally and physically. Looking inside at what I need to help me grow, instead of distracting myself with other peoples problems. I can't speak for any of you, but for me when I push myself physically, most unimportant things slip away and I find it easier to address the problems I'm having with myself. 

So yes - it's fine. If you can only practice 15 minutes a day, that's great. If you want to swim and not practice yoga - go for it. Find your zen and embrace it. 



For NaNoWritMo - well, my original idea was to do this in spirit. That's a nice way of saying I was going to use November to finish up The Trials of Imogen Grace (TADA!! BOOK TITLE!), but after talking to one of my oldest friends (actually, I think she is my very oldest friend) and the person who inspired me to write in the first place, I was inspired to ACTUALLY sign up. Now, I'm sure I'm not going to qualify for the contest part of NaNo (since I've already started said book) but I will be posting my progress and maybe even some experts from the book.

I think I'll post some of them on here too. My plan had been to do that when I started the edit - but we shall see. I'm going to just flow with all of this and seeing where it takes me. 

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo - look me up - ArynYoungless


13 Days till November! 

“A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
― Maya Angelou

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Planning - Day 1


Day 1 -

The planning has begun! That means I really don't have much in place, but I'm still amped to be getting ready to do this - ALL of this!

My journal is almost filled, and I'm hoping will be by the end of this adventure (mostly because I found one I want to buy and need the excuses to spend the money). My hope is this experiment will help shift my perspective of me, my life, and what I can actually accomplish. As I said before, I have gone astray over these months. Not intentionally, but it's easy to get trapped in the maze of your mind when you have too much time to do so. Quitting meditation was probably the biggest mistake I've made - because if you can't control your own mind, how can you control your own life?

So my planning has been heavy on the yoga side of this project.

I set up the private facebook page - step 1 complete! For the page, and for myself, I'd like to have 30 quotes in place for this journey. I'm a firm believer that if the first thing we hear/see every day is positive, we can accomplish more in our lives. When we set off thinking the day will go to shit - I can guarantee you that the day will go to shit. Self Fulling Prophecy. The end.

My first quote is from Swami Satchindananda. If you study yoga (all of yoga and not just the asana [postures]) you may know of Sri Swami Satchindananda. He translated the Yoga Sutras, a 5000 year old text compiled by Patanjali. (all roads lead back to yoga).

"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 happily, laughing?"

That will start of the 30 Days of Yoga, but I also wanted one to start off my 30 Days of Novel writing and I decided on one of my very favorites:

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed"
~Ernest Hemingway



"Mama, we play the wii now?"

Of course we do, baby. Of course we do. 

Guess I'll have to finish planning tonight. 
14 Days until the journey begins!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Quiet to Crazy - Introducing NaNoWri30YoChMo

The time has come and I have made my decision about this blog... I'm keeping it. So thank you for sitting through my poetry/recipes/home tips post - but I'm here, and I'm back and I've decided to go from EXTREMELY quiet to OUT OF MY MIND crazy.

Ah! Doesn't the scent of insane ideas smell wonderful in the morning? I sure think so!!

As we all know, it's October (even though, if you live in my neck of the woods - it sure as heck doesn't feel like it...), but in November in the world of writing is NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month for those of you out there who don't speak abbreviation.]

Last year I used NaNoWriMo to finish an edit of a book I had been working on for many, many, (many), years (I may be exaggerating a bit on the time line...). This year I'm planning on using it to finish the first draft of the book that I'm currently working on. 

NOVEMBER PART I!!!

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH

I do declare, I shall be participating in NaNoWriMo in order to get the first draft of my new book done thus allowing me to edit in December and have a draft for people to beta read in January. (If you are interested in become one of my beta readers, please email me. I can always use a new set of eyes!)  

I also plan on blogging about my progress - I plan on blogging DAILY. Yup, just like the good old days when I had a new born and nothing better to do with my frustrations but plaster them all over this here blog. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

And this leads us to... NOVEMBER PART 2!!

Y-O-G-A!

Since I've moved to good old Los Angeles, my yoga practice has slipped away into oblivion. I practice for a week, and then I stop for a month. I meditate for a night, and then I stop for 2 months. It is reeking havoc on my mind, my body and over all, my life. 

November is exactly 30 days long and I am going to use those 30 days to get my butt back on the mat and out of my head by participating in a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. 

YOGA CHALLENGE!!
The idea is simple - for 30 days I will practice an hour of yoga and then I will journal about it. (See, told you I'd be on here a bunch)  If this is something you would be interesting in participating in, let me know! (email) Because I have set up a private Facebook page so everyone joining in the fun can talk about their yoga experiences, share stores, poses, and techniques.

You're also more than welcome to comment about your progress on here!

You can do yoga how ever you see fit, at home, in the park, at your favorite studio, using a video/DVD, something on demand, or a sequence you've made up all on your own. All you have to do is get on your mat for 1 hour a day and dedicate yourself to your practice - to your breath - to you.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I miss both writing and yoga - that's why I've decided to go from Quiet to Crazy and introduce NaNoWri30YoChMo [National Novel Writing 30 Yoga Challenge Month - OK, so the yoga part may not be "national" but you get the idea].

And all of this means that I have the next two weeks to get prepared for a life change, because all of this on top of my mom/wife duties will be a challenge, but what is life if you don't try to live it? Seriously?

I can come on here as much as I like and tell you how much I appreciate life, maybe its time to show you how I live it it.

LET'S DO THIS!

I hope that some of you will join me! And if you know someone who may be interested in the 30 Yoga Challenge or is participating in NaNoWriMo - spread the joy and forward this post to them. The more the merrier!! 

Best,
Aryn

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lines


as
we move 
down the line
sometimes
over it
to get 
past something
that hasn't been
forever
and won't be
again
turn away
to
a new path
new hope
new
moment
again to
start 
from the
beginning

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Everything/Nothing 365


I suppose everything matters, but nothing matters at the same time. Today has been filled with a lot of thoughts like that. Thoughts that are really me checking in, with me, because you have to do that. You have to check in every now and then... or you'll get so lost you'll never know which way is up.

I should rephrase that, or I'LL get so lost I won't know which way is up.
This happens to me from time to time.
It is what it is - it is utter chaos.

Life moves fast, with its twists and turns. The never ending river of time zipping us past locations, sometimes, so quickly we can't even tell what we're looking at. I think that is the best way to describe this past year. You see, on October 28th, I will have lived here for a whole year. 365 days. 52 weeks.

On October 20th I will have left Ohio a whole year earlier.
October 23rd will mark a year since I've been in Austin, Texas.

Dates that I will remember for ever because they led me to Los Angeles, where I've went to slowly learn about myself. A place that has become my home.

Even though I'm not exactly sure what Los Angeles is about.

L.A. is a mirage, really, it is.
One day it's a tourist trap
The next, suburban bliss
A hub of celebrities
A mess of trends

It is everything
It is nothing

It doesn't judge you - you can be ANYONE in L.A. and it doesn't matter.
And most importantly, you can come here and find yourself and then, you can just be you.

This journey into my self, this new life, down to the grocery stores, malls, interstates and side streets, has been revealing. It has shown me, exactly, what I fear. A year ago I knew I had a terrible fear of falling, but I don't think I realized how it is connected to me not reaching goals in my life. (I don't want to die, because I don't feel I've lived, etc)

I've learned that it may take someone 2 months to do something that will take me 2 years, but it's OK.
I've learned it doesn't matter that I didn't step out of my car and begin teaching yoga right away, and that doesn't mean I won't ever teach again, I just won't right now. There are other things that need more of my attention.
I've learned that I beat myself up A LOT for things I have no control over and I tell myself I deserve it. Over and over and over and over - and I don't.

When I did teach, one of my favorite life analogies has, and always will be, life as a river - because it's very fitting. Water is the most amazing element out of all of them in my opinion because it can be and do almost everything. It can sit very still, it can rage and destroy things. It can carry you, and it can cover you. It can eat through metal, just as it can be cool and soothing.

As I learn how to get the hell out of my own way, the analogy only means more to me - because I'm learning to flow through my life and allow it to come to me, instead of telling it how to be.

"At 40 I should have this, this, this, and that. And I had better live here and have traveled there."

No I shouldn't, maybe I will - but it's not mandatory.

At 40 I will like to know that I am happy and that my son and husband are both equally happy.
I would like to dance and smile.
I would like to still be stopping in the photo booth with my son to take silly photos.

I would like to be secure in the knowledge I am, simply, me.

I've spent so many years trying to be someone who everyone likes, and in the processes have hurt people, including myself. And it took me moving 3000 miles away from where I grew up to understand that those moments are over and I can't change them. If people don't want to like me, that has very little to do with me and everything to do with them. And with that insight I have learned to forgive myself and others for the things they've done to me.

No one is a saint. We've all made mistakes in our lives.
Judging others for the lives they live will not bring you happiness, only more agitation and anger.

And that is why I started this off by saying, I suppose everything matters, but nothing matters at the same time. Life is what it is, and you have a choice. You can sit on the bank and watch the river flow by, or you can make your own raft and ride it.

You become what you think about the most - so use some of that pent up energy to forgive yourself, to think of wonderful things, and to move forward.


Thank you to everyone who reads this blog.
Thank you to everyone who enjoys my chaos.

One year down and many more to go and still so much to learn.

xxoo
Aryn

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

effigy

keith haring circa 1986


ridiculousness
is the foundation
for all
things
secular 
myopically blind
until the demons
are exercised
and the
world 
is
free
the vice will
tighten
grasping at those
who can't
don't
move fast enough
through the 
smoke &
mirrors

imagery is 
everything

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pickle Juice!


You bought a jar of your favorite pickles, and now the pickles are all gone... so you dump out the juice, rinse out the container and toss it into your recycling. (Or maybe you keep it for a cute craft project like this or this.)

But, I don't know about you, for me throwing out all that pickle juice makes me feel like I'm dumping money down the drain. SO - here are a few ideas of what to use the left over juice for!

#1 - MAKE MORE PICKLES!

Seriously, this is as easy as it comes. Keep the juice in the jar, slice up a cucumber and shove them into the jar. Cram as many as you can fit into it. You can also pour the juice into a bowl, fill the jar and then pour the juice back in.

Wait at least a month - but you will have your own fresh pickles at about a 1/3 of the cost.


#2 - CREAMY SALAD DRESSING!

This is the easiest dill dressing you can think of. What you need:

Dill Pickle Juice
Mayonnaise (I use veganaise - if you're trying to cut out the saturated fat of mayo, but can't haven't found a substitute you like, try veganaise. It's amazing, and I've tried other vegan mayo that were terrible.)
Dry Dill
Garlic powder

In a bowl add 1/4 C mayo
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
and then use the pickle juice to thin it out to the consistency you like your dressing to be. Start with about 2 TBSP and whisk the mixture together. If you leave it thick you can use it as a dip.
Think it out and it's a great dill salad dressing.

I've also used onion powder when I was out of garlic.


#3 - DILL PICKLE FRIES!

You will need:

4 potatoes - washed and cut into fries
1 jar of pickle juice
1 TBSP Dry Dill
1 TBSP Garlic powder
2 TBSP White Vinegar (optional)
1 TBSP Olive Oil


Place the cut potatoes into a large sealable container,  cover with 1/2 the liquid from the jar of pickles (around 1/4 cup). Add seasoning, olive oil and vinegar. (Note: you can skip the vinegar and add more pickle juice)

SHAKE IT ALL UP and set it aside.

preheat the over to 425*

Place fries - juice and all - on a cooking sheet (I highly recommend you line the sheet with tin foil)

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool before eating.



The way I look at it is this, we buy these pickles because we love the taste of them, so why waste the taste? Pickle juice can be added into all sorts of different menus. Just think creatively and go with it!!

Happy eating!

-Aryn