Namaste, Larry

I found out on Facebook last night that Larry Schultz, my yoga certification teacher and the founder of It’s Yoga, passed away recently. Such sad, sad news.

It was four years ago in March 2007 that I graduated from the It’s Yoga teacher certification program in SF. I have such fond memories of practicing in the studio. I can still hear Larry saying, “Where are your hands and feet?” as he walked around with his yard stick making sure we were paying attention to our alignment. You could tell who was an It’s Yoga TT because we all had a black sharpie line drawn down the center of our mat with dots for, you guessed it, our hands and feet in downward dog. But mostly I remember his mellow spirit and sage wisdom.

I was fortunate enough to lead several Dream Box Workshops through the teacher training program. Larry invited me to run these sessions after I shared my wish box with him during one of our training sessions. I’m forever grateful for that opportunity!

Larry was a pioneer in bringing Ashtanga yoga to the states and in particular growing the vibrant Ashtanga and power yoga community in the Bay Area. He was also the yoga teacher for the Grateful Dead for many years. And he trained teachers from around the world and developed an amazing practice called The Rocket.

Larry’s life and passing remind me how important it is to be living your passion and making a difference. He was doing his legacy work and his teachings will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all the people he has touched. Namaste, Larry!

Playing in Playa del Carmen


Photo by Brian Ng

Last week, Brian and I traveled to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Brian shot a wedding and I was lucky enough to tag along for the ride! While it was cloudy and rainy for most of the time we were there, I still enjoyed a nice getaway and some much needed rest and relaxation.

The morning of the wedding, the bride had arranged for a group yoga class at Yoga by the Way with the fabulous owner Ellen de Jonge. Ellen had a great sense of humor and led a wonderful Vinyasa class. I loved it so much that I made sure to get one more class in before we left! Definitely check out her studio if you’re ever in the area.

The wedding was fun and the couple topped off the night by jumping into the pool along with their entire wedding party! How’s that for taking the plunge?!

Speaking of taking a plunge, I got soaked in a torrential downpour walking back from yoga sans an umbrella. Brian shot some video of the crazy rain storm.

While Brian worked off and on, I used the rainy day time to catch up on some writing and sketch in my Art Every Day Month mini-journal. I’ll post some of those photos soon. Hasta luego!

Dreaming Big in D.C.


I’m loving my visit to Washington D.C. so far!  Today was filled with dreamy and inspiring adventures.


I kicked the day off with yoga at Kimberly Wilson‘s gorgeous studio Tranquil Space.  The class was challenging and grounding.  Just what I needed to decompress from all the travel.  I love the quote on the wall of the yoga room.  The studio is brimming with so many beautiful details like the gold stars on the floor…


And a yummy selection of tea.  I could’ve stayed in the studio the whole afternoon browsing the book shelves and admiring all the TranquiliT wear!

Later on in the day, I met up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in more than 15 years (gotta love Facebook for that!).  She’s doing really awesome and inspiring work with animals and I really enjoyed catching up with her.  I’m so glad that we reconnected!!


In the evening, I went over to Kimberly’s pink palace to lead my Dream Box workshop with a group of wonderfully creative women.  It was so cool to meet a bunch of people in person for the first time and also to see some familiar faces from Kimberly’s March yoga retreat.  There’s Tiffany at the left, Kimberly, Chai, Ana, Lauren and Sharon.


Here’s Sharon with her twin sister Sherry.  They both have the most endearing laugh.


Hope brought some of her Paper Relics goodies which the girls just ate up!  Next to her is the Danielle who took my Right-Brain Business Plan teleclass earlier this year, so it was cool to meet her in person.  And next to her is Lauren who made the super cool mobile Right-Brain Business Plan.


Kimberly’s cat Bonnard was hilarious.  He got cozy on the magazines and stared us down as we crafted and collaged.


Aren’t these dream boxes lovely?  One of my favorite things is seeing how unique and beautiful each person’s boxes and dreams are.


Here’s another dream box.  On the inside of the lid behind the window she collaged a garden.  What a great idea!


And here I am kickin’ it with Kimberly after my huge post-workshop TranquiliT shopping spree!  Thank you Kimberly for being a wonderful workshop host and a big inspiration.  I’m looking forward to another amazing day in D.C. tomorrow.

Wreck This Journal: Week 8 – Yoga Style

I can’t believe there’s only one more week of the Wreck This Journal journey.  This week’s wrecking revolved mostly around the theme of yoga.  The fabulous Connie, who is also a yogini and artist, inspired me to dabble in producing my own little video this week.  I call it “Wreck This Journal-asana.”

The yogic spiritual guidelines of the yamas and the niyamas showed up, too.   I practiced the yamas Aparigraha (greedlessness) by giving away some of my pages to friends.  I gave my “scrub this page” to Kate to include in her heartfelt brush + scrub adventures with her honey.  I practiced Ahimsa (nonviolence) by being kinder and gentler to my book this week. And I practiced the niyama of Swadhyaya (self-study) by doing the inner critic and good thoughts pages.


The inner critic thoughts remind me of vrittis (which in Sanskrit means vortex or circular activity with no beginning and no end).  In my yoga teacher training we learned about how these “mental modifications” color our perceptions.


I decorated my good thoughts page with lovely comments from my recent Creative Life interview on the amazing Susannah Conway‘s Ink on my fingers blog.  The collage was my answer to Susannah’s juicy question, “What does happiness look like to you?”  A perfect image to place on my good thoughts page.


I randomly picked a word from a page in the magazine for my “write one word over and over again page.”


Here are typical grocery lists from two of my favorite places to shop.


And finally, in the yogic practice of non-attachment, I dropped my journal into the mail today and left it in the hands of the postal service.  Now that’s an exercise in letting go!


Hip Tranquil Chick Retreat in New York


Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Kimberly Wilson’s Hip Tranquil Chick Retreat in New York.  Two-plus days full of creativity, yoga, journaling, meditation and lots of other yummy activities – who could ask for more?  Oh yeah, and some retail therapy (Kimberly brought pieces from her spring line of TranquiliT eco-clothing) so, of course, I had to pick up a few things!

I took Kimberly’s Yoga and Creativity workshop in San Francisco last year, so I enjoyed getting a whole weekend to bask in the hip and tranquil lifestyle!


There was a dreamy library brimming with books written by women.  I loved how there were lots of cozy corners in the farmhouse.  My intention for the weekend was self-care, so I went to bed early and slept in late and took every opportunity to nourish myself.


On Saturday night we made vision boards while watching Sex and the City.  It was lots of fun!  On the floor in the front, there’s Mary Knebel founder of Self Help Goddess, a website that brings together the best of self-help resources.


Kimberly invited me to lead a section of the retreat.  I guided the group through a visualization to meet their Inner Muse and we broke out the crayons, markers and glitter glue to create Inner Muse portraits.  What a treat to see the creativity flowing and to hear some of the personal discoveries.  Thanks, Kimberly for an amazing opportunity!!


Lesley Williams from the Creative Cookie and I paired up to discuss how we can improve aspects of our “Wheel of Life.”  It was great to share ideas for living a healthy life!


Kimberly had us do our vision boards on folders.  What a brilliant idea!  My vision board focused on finishing my book and book proposal with ease and flow. So many ideas bubbled up for me during this retreat and I’m excited to start working on them.  Also, participating in this retreat and getting to lead a couple of hours helped underscore for me my goal of leading retreats for women in the future.

Me with Kimberly Wilson and Sharon Burton

I had a blast getting to chat with Kimberly throughout the weekend.  And I was thrilled to finally meet my blogging buddy Sharon Burton in person!  We’ve been connecting on Twitter, Facebook and our blogs for some time and Sharon’s also taking my Right-Brain Business Plan Teleclass, so it was really cool to hang out with her!


And here are all the magnificent ladies!  I met such cool, amazing and inspiring women and I’m really excited about what they’re up to!

If you’re wanting to go on retreat either away or for a few hours at home, check out Jennifer Louden’s The Women’s Retreat Book which offers some great suggestions for designing your own personal getaway.  I highly recommend going on retreat at least once a year to clear your head and to relish in relaxation and rejuvenation.

(Note: last five photos are from Kimberly Wilson and Sharon Burton).

What’s Your Five-A-Day?

Britt Bravo tagged me in a meme called “five-a-day” which was started to encourage mental wellbeing.

Here are my top five things to do every day (or every week) to stay mentally healthy:

  1. Yoga. Yoga is an amazing stress reliever and helps to clear my mind, too.  Can’t beat yoga bliss from Sean’s class at Namaste Yoga and Laura’s class at Monkey Yoga.  Or simply do what Larry Schultz from my It’s Yoga teacher training calls the “minimum daily requirement” – five Sun Salutation A’s and five Sun Salutation B’s (which fits nicely with the “five-a-day” theme!).
  2. Getting up without an alarm clock. This has been one of the biggest benefit of working for myself!  I feel so much better mentally and physically now that I wake up according to my own rhythms.  On those rare occasions when I do have to get up early, I use my BioBrite SunRise Clock.
  3. Surrounding myself with beauty. One of my core value strings is Beauty / Creativity / Creating Beauty / Style / Inspiration / Self Expression / Uniqueness / Emotions.  I feel so much better when I take in the beauty that’s all around me – whether that be admiring nature while I’m walking my dog, reading a touching story, appreciating inspiring artwork or creating art of my own.
  4. Reflecting on what I am grateful for. This always helps me put things in perspective.  I usually include something I’m grateful for when I journal in the morning.
  5. ReadingLearning and personal growth are also core values of mine.  So, I’m always reading a self-help and/or business book and something inspirational and creative.

I’m tagging:

  1. Jamie Ridler
  2. Leah Piken Kolidas
  3. Jennifer Moore
  4. Ananda Leeke
  5. YOU!

Now off to yoga class!  Namaste.

AEDM Day 11: What I Love About Me

Tonight’s art is inspired by my week four question to Kate and Molly on the sisters’ blog Kiss The Paper.  This week’s prompt is “What do you love most about you?” as a follow up to last week’s prompt “What do you love most about your sister?”  It’s been so cool to witness the amazing creations from this dynamic duo!  Makes me wish I had a sister!

I had fun answering the same question as my Art Every Day challenge for Day 11.  You can click on the image above to see a larger version.

I’d love to hear… What do you love most about YOU?

Podcast with Kimberly Wilson

Earlier this week my podcast with Hip Tranquil Chick Kimberly Wilson aired. She interviewed me about my Right-Brain Business Plan e-Book and about being a creative entrepreneur.  What a treat to chat with her!  I really admire how she’s created so many cool aspects to her business – from a yoga studio, to an eco-clothing line (the skirt pants are yummy!) to a foundation and more!  She’s definitely an inspiration.

I bumped into Kimberly at Cafe Gratitude a couple months back and also took her Yoga and Creativity workshop, which was a blast!

I love connecting with fellow creative souls!