In Memory of the Finest

"To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour." - Winston Churchill

On a long holiday weekend, it's quite common for my morning classes to be a bit busier than usual.  After all, why wake up early to go to a 6am yoga class when you can sleep in and catch a class at 8 or 9:30am?  I embrace such days as an opportunity to connect with those early bird students in our yoga community that I might otherwise not meet.  One moment of connection stood out in particular, albeit brief in exchange.  Bright-eyed and fresh-faced, a lovely young lady met me with a smile, enthusiastically exclaiming, "Happy Memorial Day!"  I didn't know what to say back to her.  Reflexively regurgitating ones greeting is the norm, but not in this case.  Rather than attempting to rephrase her salutation, I just smiled and said, "Good morning".  I guess the phrase "Happy Memorial Day" seemed to be a bit of an oxymoron.  After all, it is a day a reverence and reflection, honoring those who gave their lives for the sake of protecting our freedom and our own lives. In that, I suppose, there is joy; and mine is owed to those who were willing to forsake their own. It is for this that I am truly grateful for their sacrifice and also inspired by their selflessness.  It causes me to call into question my own selflessness, or rather, my lack there of.  For the older I get, the more selfishly set in my ways I become.  The only thing I doggedly defend on a day-to-day basis is my own comfort!  If called upon, could I -- or WOULD I -- make that ultimate sacrifice?  I don't know. Perhaps one cannot truly know until the choice is imminent.  And perhaps it may never be my lot in life to be faced with such a choice.  I do know that I'd make a shitty soldier, as the very sight of blood makes me queasy. And I have to close my eyes even during the most subtlety violent movie scenes to avoid a visceral response.  I once fainted watching Twilight.  Yyyyyeah. It's like that.  

So, again, I don't know...  

What I do know, is this: I am kind. I am compassionate. I am loving. I am one who cannot help but to see the good in all, to include those who do not see the same in me.  I am inspired to be a light for those who might feel lost in their own shadows.  Those are my talents, and therefore, the gifts that I have to share.  It is my duty to share them wholeheartedly, yet always acknowledging that I am only able to do so because of those greater sacrifices made by considerably braver beings.   

So, today, as you celebrate the holiday with your picnics and parties, I invite you to do so with a deepened sense of appreciation and respect. Enjoy your time with your loved ones, just remember what it's for.  And might you look into the eyes of your friends, family members, and even strangers alike, remembering that the blessing that is today is a gift from the heroes of the past.

While I understand that Memorial Day is not Veterans Day, I still believe that one of the greatest ways to honor the deceased, is to care for the living.  Bullets2Bandages is a mission-driven, socially conscious apparel and accessories company founded to give thanks to those who continue to fight for our freedom, as well as veterans and their families, as their charitable donations to such causes exceed 50% of the organization's net profits.  With Father's Day fast approaching, a personally engraved bullet bottle opener is the perfect gift for your personal hero.  You can check out the products and learn more about B2B via their website:

Cheers to you all, and may you have a reverent holiday.  Peace be you.

Sommer (aka @thebrewvangelista) 

a lesson in her-story

Yesterday's assigned task for my coaching apprenticeship was to share my story. MY story. My STORY. Hm.  Kinda looks and sounds like MYSTERY. Double hmmmmm...  

A thinker of too many thoughts, I'm left overthinking: what does that mean, really?  A collection of words conveniently forged into articles and anecdotes that are meant delineate my life experience?

Surveying the manifold roads, paths, and off-trail expeditions that have led me to this very point in my life, it seems as though I am witnessing the myriad memories of many different women in a multitude of lifetimes: fairytales and horror stories, from tall tales to the mundane of the day-to-day. So many births. Deaths. Rebirths.  These countless chapters, on-going and overflowing into a vast variety of volumes.  And yet, the story is one.  I remember so vaguely these many storylines that they no longer seem to be my own. Like a bedtime story my grandmother once read to me as I drifted into a sweet slumber.   It's through this fogged filter which I reminisce, seeing only that nothing is as it was.  Nothing ever WAS as it was.  Forsaken by my fragmented fantasy, the accuracy of actuality is lost to the years, as do the diluted details of a dream that inevitably evaporate upon waking.  Fleeting imagery, faintly familiar, yet a fraction of the full story, most of which is forever forgotten.   I am left with a handful of pickled remains I've picked to serve as a meager means to justify the choices I’ve made, to include those I’ve avoided to make. Yet this is my story.  Yet this is my story?  How can this be?  Through lack of clarity it is clear that her-story is but half of the whole of history. How hollow is the frame...

Still and all, I am blessed to be both the writer and the written, to include the as of yet unwritten. Be that as it may, if charged to summarize the sum of the parts perverted by my punctuated perception, I find the abstract to be a more honest and somehow succinct characterization of my life than an abridged account of the meaningless minutiae and cherry-picked particulars posing as the all-in-all.  And it would go like this:  

There once was a girl who loved the world so much it broke her heart.  
Again and again, it shattered,
and she was scattered, 
until nothing was left but a lonely fleck of fairy dust. 
For years and forever, 
this spectacular speck would dance alone.
Aimless and free, 
she floated along the enigmatic unfolding of the unfamiliar, 
pausing only for a taste of the fleeting felicities of the flesh.   
Each diversion, 
merely masking aversion to the security she had never known.
But she was light as breath!
And equally as intangible.
Seamlessly, she slipped through the fingers
of those sifting through the sands of time.  
For there was no form to be felt by the hand of the man; 
the many they that were the he would be left grasping for air,
as yet another frivolous flight of fancy
would finally assume the form of the familiar.  
It was all the same.
Novelty lost, despondency found.  
Drearily, she drifted,
alone again.
At home without a home again.
She cried until she laughed again, 
frolicking and flitting about, 
like nothing had ever happened.
Until one day the dancing made her dizzy.
So, she decided to laze in her daze for awhile.  
It was there, it was here, 
whilst steeped in stillness, 
that she was moved to make roots in her quiet nest of rest.  
From a speck to a seed, she grew. 
She blossomed!
Her reach stretching higher and wider
than her solitary speckle could ever span,
until she enveloped it all and was enveloped by all.  
No longer a passive piece in a vacant hole, 
now at peace with the whole she was, 
she is.
And I Am.

That said! I understand that this is a far too oblique allusion to serve as my copy and paste "why I want to be a coach".  I wasn't even going to share it, but but when I sat down to write, that's what came out.  And it was from the heart. I shall continue to compose a more bullet-pointed presentation...

As for yesterday's workouts, I took a wonderful yoga class with lovely Nicole Kellne, and I rocked my zumba step for an entire episode of The Big Bang Theory. Before all of that, I taught a yoga sculpt class, during which I wore my heart rate monitor. And guess what?  I totes burned nearly 550 kcal!  #likewhoa! My shake of the day was chocolate with iced coffee and coconut water.  Today, I've got a Piyo workout on the books and I'm currently treating myself to a greenberry shake.  (Tastes like Fruity Pebbles!)  

Cheers to all of you.  Peace, love, and alllllll that other good shit ;)