Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Engagement at Desert Botanical Garden

One of the best nights of my life happened at one of my favorite places in the Valley. Graham and I got engaged this month at the Desert Botanical Garden during Las Noches de las Luminarias. It was a night I'll never forget. The excitement continued when we admired the Chihuly exhibit together as an engaged couple.

This is the picture I took right before we got engaged. 




We watched an incredible performance by Porangui. I could feel the music in my bones. (Side note: It would make excellent savasana music.)

video

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect way to get engaged.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yoga-Teacher Training: Week 13, Part 2

I didn't expect the final day of teacher training to be so emotional. It felt like every other day at first, starting with a class at the studio. Then one of my fellow trainees taught her class and it suddenly felt more real. The second class is what finally brought me to tears. My friend has come so far from the start of training (we all have) and it felt so amazing to be taking her class. She had a lovely voice, she made it fun and light at times, and her music was fitting. She shared so much of herself throughout class. I was moved to tears at the end as I realized she has found her voice. It happened again in the final class. I was so impressed with the final class and its message. (I was wowed by all the classes. I took every single class today, so I will be sore tomorrow, but it's totally worth it to get the full experience.) It hit me that we won't have this time to get this feedback and encouragement again in this setting.

Then it was time for graduation. We heard lovely words from three of our instructors, and I suddenly became emotional again. We each shared a bit about what we got from this experience. For me, it's been a life-changing journey. I signed up not even knowing if I wanted to teach, but I wanted to know what it was that made a certain yoga teacher so open, honest and vulnerable.  I've always admired that about her and all my yoga teachers. I've had difficulty opening up in my life, and this continues to be a struggle sometimes, but going through this experience has given me more courage to share more of myself and worry less about how others will receive it. One of the greatest gifts I've received through this has been a boost of confidence. My self-esteem was low before, so my intention for the past three months has been courage and confidence. Even when it's physically difficult for me to get the words out I have pushed myself to do it and be brave. I'm so glad I signed up for yoga-teacher training, not just for the new skills I have acquired but for the friendship, encouragement, challenges, and self-awareness. (There's also the added benefit of being good to my body.) I'm still processing everything that happened this weekend, so I'm sure I'll have more to share in the coming days and weeks.

A favorite quote that one of my yoga teachers reads often:

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.