For The Love of Yoga.

Yoga retreat 2016I just completed the last day of my yoga retreat in Ixtapa Mexico.  I am in transit – heading back home to Northern CA. I’m sad to be leaving….

First, Ixtapa Mexico is a wonderful place.  The people are great, the town is far less developed (touristy) than other cities in Mexico (Cabo, Cancun, etc).  I have always wanted to visit Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and I’m glad I did – it is awesome.  I’ve always wanted to visit because it is where Andy Dufrane escapes to in the movie – Shawshank Redemption. And when his best friend Red gets out – he shows up too.  I think of Zihuatanejo as the Mecca to my favorite movie.  This place is great.

Second, one of my favorite people opened her world up to me.  I got to spend time with her and meet all her friends.  It’s a precious thing when the people you like want to share special people and moments.  When she told me about the retreat I was sold… I booked it right away – some 7 months ago – and now the trip is over….. 😦

I will do my best to summarize –

  • The instructor is simply amazing.  I LOVE Kundalini yoga.  I have not been able to find a yoga class or instructor that incorporates Kundalini, the breath, flow, and meditation in a class.  The yogi –  Jorge Luna – has me in love with yoga again.  His Yoga was a great combination of breath/connection (Kundalini) , stretch/movement/flow (Vinyassa), and fun!  Yes, remember when exercise was fun, not a task/to-do/chore?  Uh-hum mm, those days. I loved every day of class. And he has inspired me to re-launch my search for a yogi in my area that inspires me to get my ass out of bed on a weekend.
  • The people are just like me… But not.  Yep, all of these amazing people from all walks of life – different backgrounds, cultures, color, sex, gender preference.. You name it, it was in the mix.  No matter what was shared/observed, there was nothing but openness to learn, to understand, and to enjoy.  I realize this may sound “zen like”, but it’s true. Most of these people only see each other when on this trip – and they attend this retreat year over year to see their friends again.  It is a great group of amazing people from all walks of life.
  • The location – Las Brisas Resort– a beautiful natural preserve.  The hotel is a mere 15 minutes from the airport… It has a natural environment – it feels like you are in a rainforest, not in a Ritz Carlton.  It was very clean but not manicured. The pools were great and the beach was amazing.  The food was really good for an all-inclusive resort and they have some top notch restaurants available on premises.  The rooms were spacious and the resort was completely full two nights during my stay and it did not feel crowded at all.  My only complaint is that I wished they would turn off the pool fountains so we could hear the ocean from the pool…  I know right, first world problems.

Would I go again?  Absolutely.  I will definitely go on the next trip – if they will have me (Ask me about the “gummy experiment”).    I do hope I get an invite the next time around!!

 

 

 

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Strange Addictions.

breaking-bad-meme-11This post is going to be about a lot of things, but the common theme is addiction…

As one junkie to another, I’ve moved on from Breaking Bad to Prison Break.  Both give me the same crazy I-need-more adrenaline rush.  On Saturday night, I think we watched 6 episodes of Prison Break in a row, no, maybe 8.  Why the switch?  Because I only had one more episode of Breaking Bad to watch. I just watched it tonight.

Re: Breaking Bad, just finishing up the last episode, I’m sad that it’s over.  I know tomorrow, and the very near future, I will get the shakes.  Just minutes after watching it, I’m missing it… my feelings all askew around what is next.  I really just want another hit episode.  Please dear god, let the idea of “the last episode” be a bad dream, let me wake up with another episode, just one more, on my recorder.

I have been cheating on Breaking Bad though… since I knew it was almost over, I fell for Prison Break (yes I was cheating on BB).  So, while waiting impatiently for the final Breaking Bad episode, I found Prison Break.  Not an evening has gone by without me watching 3-6 episodes.. yes, you read correctly.  Last Saturday alone I watched 6+ episodes, in a row…  All I can say is I love the pause functionality on Netflix, it allows me to go to the bathroom and grab food to nourish myself… otherwise, I’d be as emaciated as a drug user…

I have realized that I do have an addictive personality.  Not only am I addicted to TV Dramas, I now recognize I am also  addicted to real estate.  I have forever, since I became an adult (I call it enlightened, which happened when I was in college while watching Shawshank Redemption), felt that “safety” and “security” meant owning real estate. You see, as a kid, we traveled a lot.. we moved to a new place every few years.  I thought this was normal until I met my EX, who low and behold, grew up in the same house since he was 2 years old.  Blew my mind…   I thought to myself, “what would life be like if I had lived in one place all my life?”.  What I saw looked good.. it felt safe, secure. A place to call home.   A place I could decorate, make it my own space…Delighted by the idea,  I purchased a few properties in Utah in the early 2000’s as a single gal.  When I got married, I swapped those properties for a luxury condo in 2008 (stupid me), which I thought I would rent and use (VRBO is awesome).  Didn’t work out so it’s now a full-time rental.  In addition to this condo, I purchased a house for my niece AbFab, her husband, and her kids to live…  She is now divorced and living somewhere else; the home is now being rented out.

In addition to these rental properties, I purchased a house where I live, in Northern CA, which I remodeled, I absolutely love, but I do not live in. I cannot afford to live in my own home. Why?  PMI.  $700/mo in Private Mortgage Insurance.  Without the insurance, payment is a stretch but I can do it.  With the PMI, its out of my reach.  To live in my own home I would need a roommate.  I have to rent it out to pay the mortgage.  So where do I live?  I currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment a few miles from my house.

When I am completely honest with myself, I realize that I can’t afford to own these properties – I “own” them for “safety” and “security”.  What I realized was that they are actually a noose around my neck.. that I’m not getting anything out of it, that instead of feeling “safe” and “secure”, I’m stressed, tied down, and handcuffed if you will to these properties.  I just realized this a few months ago. I’m still wrapping my head around it…  I’m drawn, addicted if you will, to owning property.  But what I realize is that it isn’t good for me (unless subsidizing other people’s lifestyles makes you a good person).    I have begun proceedings to sell the Utah condo.  I’m pricing it just right so that it will sell by the end of the year.  I just want out.  Next up will be the property I purchased for AbFab and her kids… At the end of the day, I am no longer interested in subsidizing someone else’s living situation.  I feel like my addition is subsiding….  but we shall see. Once the properties are gone, will I get an itch, the shakes, to “get something of my own” again in Utah???

One other addiction that I really miss, that was good for me to?   Grey Goose and her funny stories.  Where is she? Does anyone know?  Is she safe, just working hard? Found a man who has swept her off her feet and giving her some good bicycle rides?  I keep going to her blog – http://myguidetobadinternetdating.wordpress.com/ – for updates, thinking my email alerts aren’t working, but no… nothing new.  Come back Grey Goose, I love and miss you!

O.k. this is it for me tonight. I’m exhausted.  I have other pieces I want to write about the wedding, precious gifts, the miracle of the human spirit, etc.. but I’ve run out of time.

Dinner, Dancing, Drinking, and Kissing Oh My!

My weekend was fabulous!  The weather was absolutely perfect AND I got a lot of personal stuff done.  I’m ready to tackle some of the bigger stuff now, like the 7 months of mail sitting in my office, understanding and reducing the bills associated to my rental condo, and file my taxes.   One of my New Years Resolutions was to get my financial house in order, I better start working on it if I’m going to accomplish anything this year.

Ok, back to my weekend.  Friday was great – I went to the Giants game with my friends Fiesty, Money, and their family.  The Giants lost, but I had the luxury of watching the game from a Box, eat a hot dog,  some buffalo wings, a bit of mac and cheese, AND drink champagne and wine.  I also got to meet a few of Fiesty’s family members, cousins…  who were very cool and fun to hang out with. 

On Saturday I ran a few errands then went to dinner at my favorite restaurant with SmartyPants, C-Licious, and Dancing Queen.  C-Licious went home to take care of her sick hubby, and then Dancing Queen headed home at 9:30pm to take care of her darling boys.  That left SmartyPants and I together, and being slightly buzzed, we came up with a great idea – Dancing.  We hit the local dance club (not fancy at all … and we were the only white people in the room).  I called up GFP and he showed up 20 minutes later and the dance party was started… and did not end until 11:30 or so. 

So here is the interesting part, and shows, very clearly, that I do not have an “off button”.  We all went back to my house (good decision) and SmartyPants went directly to bed.  I tried to get her to stay up and play some more, but alas she was down and out for the night ((another good decision – I don’t call her SmartyPants for nothing).  I then proceeded to make GFP and myself a few pomegranate martini’s (bad decision #1 )… we got stoned (bad decision #2 ),  drank our martini’s (bad decision #3), ate a few snacks…  We watched Shawshank Redemption 3 times… and here is the kicker.. we started making out (bad decision # 4, 5, and 6)… !  I know! WTF right?  We’ve been hanging out since January and nothing has happened except one time in early February then he gave me the “let’s be friends” talk…  Which I was fine with – he’s a great guy.   Anyway, I  have no idea how it started, but it did.  I’m not exactly sure what to do about it except chalk it up as another instance of making a bad decision.  I don’t think its a big deal, we should probably talk about it just to clear the air, that “just friends” doesn’t include sexual contact…..

So, tonight is a sobriety night for me.  I’m going to bed sober here in about 40 minutes.  This week is going to be SO FUN as Unicorns is coming into town. I cannot wait to see her, and our adventures will give me much to write about…  yeah for all of us!

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying.

So, Back in early 1994 I went on a not-so-great date to the movies…. we saw Shawshank Redemption. The date was nothing to write home about, but the movie, that is another story.   The message of this movie hit me to the core, and has stuck with me to this day — the message I walked away with comes from one line in the movie:  “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”.  This line alone jolted me into a world of self-awareness.  That life is a choice, and how I choose to live it is completely, 100% up to me.  That I have no one to blame but myself for anything good or bad in my life.  I am the captain of my ship (master of my domain if you are a Seinfeld fan… ).

 

So, a little background… I had spent many years working as a nanny and was very much looking forward to graduating and landing a ‘real job’.  This was not an easy task given the US economy – we were a few years into a recession (not a depression)… no one was hiring, and you can be certain that no one in Utah was hiring ‘non-mormons’ (tight knit community, more on this later). Not that I wanted to stay in Utah, but being a non-mormon in a mormon community,  It was probably best that I expand my job search outside the great state of UT, which was even more challenging given the economy. 

 

I had no idea what I wanted to do, and no “real” skills in the business world.  To summarize, I was not confident.   But I saw this movie, and it forced me to go after what I wanted… I really got into the job search.. and I landed one of twelve open spots at Andersen Consulting…   I thought i had landed a dream job (until I realized that I was working 80 hours a week for $30K AND living in SF)…   BUT, the point is, I dont know if I would have gotten that job, or even had the confidence and drive to apply and push for it had I not seen the movie.

 

Sooo… there is not a single day that goes by that I dont think about this…this line, “get busy living or get busy dying”, the movie, and it forces me to make a conscious decision on how I want to live my life, where I want to go, and who I want to be. 

 

SIDENOTE:  As I write this, I am now thinking that this movie (and that very bad date) has ruined me… had the date been better I wouldn’t have had to tune into the movie, and I would/could be a coaster.. a person who just cruises thru life, enjoying what I experience, whats given to me, what I’ve experienced, and where I have ended up. I guess it is what it is, and now I’m plagued with consciousness… Damn those bad dates!!