Category: Just me rambling on
I’ve always loved yoga. It has always been a way for me to relax, feel refreshed, energized and alive. My vocal/piano teacher introduced the practice of breathing, mediating & some light yoga as a teenager. I remember thinking “Okay, this is cool but I’m here to sing and learn to play the piano. Why is she having me do this”. Looking back now I realize she was trying to open my mind, focus my energy and deflect the some of the negative influences and habits I had surround myself with.
As an adult, I practiced Yoga from time to time. In the mornings before heading off to work, at my local gyms, at a couple of the kick boxing gyms I belonged to. I tired out some studios here and there and with dvd’s. No matter what I was doing in life, no matter what season in life I was in, I always came back to Yoga. Last year, I made Yoga a part of my everyday life at a wonderful studio in old town Tustin called Yoga2 (Yoga Squared). This studio felt good, the energy was good and the teachers and students were friendly and kind. As soon as I started practicing on a regular basis, I knew this was something I needed to include as part of my being and on a bigger scale.
I began to feel and think differently. At this time I was already engaged in some courses and study’s which made the practice (asana), the words, the shapes and the thoughts I was experiencing during my Yoga sessions light a fire within me. This past December, I decided to take my love for yoga to whole new level and embark on a 15 week – 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course through Shanti Shanti Yoga School.
Deciding to take this training was a hard choice for me. I already had such a busy schedule, I was afraid of the commitment, scared of all of the studying that would be involved. I was older than your average yoga teacher and didn’t have as much flexibility as some of the yogi’s around me. Could I keep up with my family, my household duties and other outside commitments? I sat down and had a talk with my family to discuss how everyone’s life would be different (at least for 15 weeks) if I took this training. With the support of my family and despite all of the challenges – I decided to do it. The 15 weeks would come and go regardless of my taking this training, so why not at least try it.
Well, here I am in week #11. I must say – this has not easy but it has it been worth it! I have met some amazing human beings. I have discovered things about myself that need to change. I’ve discovered things about others around me that made me wake up. I am learning about SO many things and so many different perspectives. It’s been a humbling and an eye opening experience and I am loving every minute of it!
In my daily life, I am beginning to prioritize my day and my life differently. I realized almost 12 years ago that although I plan my life ultimately there is a power much greater then myself that is control. I am however in control of how I respond to what happens in life. There are certain things in my life that I am okay with letting go of (folding the laundry is one of them). In all seriousness, I feel a huge shift in my life and it is due to this inner reflection that is required in this training. This training is unlike any other training or education I have ever taken part in.
If you have ever considered taking Yoga Teacher Training – do it! A few words of advice:
Look for a good school – Find a school that is registered through Yoga Alliance. You want your training to count and many yoga studios won’t hire you if your teacher training wasn’t through a Yoga Alliance registered school. Very important, make sure the teachers/trainers are in practice, knowledgeable and kind. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my Yoga school of choice. They are all very professional, well trained and caring.
Don’t go big – when it comes to yoga teacher training, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Smaller class sizes means more individualized attention. They’ll get to know you and what your capable of. Don’t be a number.
Internship Programs – it’s scary to be sitting along side the teacher, teaching segments of the class or the whole class during your training but so worth it. The opportunity to have a mentor guide you and prepare you to teach before you’re out there on your own is priceless. I appreciate every single word of advice and the direction I receive.
Keep a journal of how you feel and your thoughts on a weekly basis. I feel differently every week. There have been a couple of times I felt defeated and that I wasn’t cut out for this. But I’m still here – learning, growing and facing my fears. It’ll help to look back on your changes.
Be prepared – your life and your perspective will change and that’s a good thing. Embrace the changes that lie ahead and remain truthful to yourself.
There is still so much to learn. I am still nervous about my journey and my future as a Yoga Teacher. I am surrounded by some awesome examples of Yoga Teachers and people. At the beginning of my training I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach but I now I am sure that I need to share this with others. It’s bringing an awareness into so many other areas of my life. Areas that I want to explore and learn more about. It has also brought into perspective things that I have already learned and how to incorporate them into what I what I am learning and what I will be teaching. I still have a few weeks to go and finals to get through but regardless of the outcome from this journey (Yoga Teacher Training) I know that my mind, body and soul will be better, more knowledgeable, more accepting, stronger and healthier because of this. Let the project continue!
Peace and Love,
Annette – Project Refined Life
Hello there, do you remember me? I’m still here but I have been on an extended “time out” from my blog. I decided to take some time to see what the next step in my life (and this blog) would bring in order continue to “refine” my life. It had become very obvious to me that I was out of balance. I needed to take the time to make my soul happy.
I was blogging about events to come and not sharing what was helping to “refine” my life. After all – I am the project. Although I love passing along fun, family friendly, cost effective educational nature & STEM based events. I knew that my purpose with this blog was about more then that. I had strayed away from my initial passion of what I wanted to share when I started this blog.
I have started learning new things and brought a few old things back into my life that attribute to a more balanced life. I feel so much better taking some time for me. By once again feeding my mind, body & soul – I feel refreshed and excited and yes, sometimes scared all at the same time. This journey has become a new awaking for me and a very natural next step.
I will continue to blog but with more purpose and more balance. From time to time I will continue to share upcoming events that are rooted in things that inspire you and/or your children’s growth as a person. I will also share some of my personal and family adventures. My family I have visited some really beautiful spots this past year and I have so much to share. I hope you will continue to come along with me as I continue on this project of refining my life and hopefully shed some light on yours.
Another angel was called home. The very sad death of Baby Liam has hopefully brought some attention to result of drinking and driving. Baby Liam was in his stroller and was hit by a drunk driver. The parents came to terms with taking him off life support on Tuesday. Earlier today – one of my family members posted Baby Liams parnets interview on Facebook. I knew immediately that although I wanted to listen to these parents, it had to be done later in the day. At a time when I would be allowed some free time, a moment that I could be left alone to cry.
As a parent you never get over the loss your child. The hurt, the pain and the yearning that exists every single day never goes away. Every single memory brings both extreme joy and pain. I find myself constantly trying to keep the memory of my son very much alive. I never let those around me forget that I have a son in haven.
Watching this interview, made me cry and then I became upset. Upset that so many people feel it’s okay to drink and drive. In the interview the father of baby Liam said ” if you can afford to drink, you can afford to get an Uber. I couldn’t have said that better myself.
I get beyond upset when I hear of someone who is out drinking and wasn’t considerate enough to have a designated driver or to call a friend or Uber for a ride. It really isn’t any of my business if you don’t care about your life but it becomes my business when you put someone else’s life at risk. At that point, it’s everyone’s business.
I grieve for these parents; as they are sitting there being interviewed, sitting there being brave in an effort to reach someone…anyone that will listen. I knew what they were thinking before the father said it “if I can reach just one person”,
So here I go again – If you have children, take just one minute to imagine what it would feel like to be to told your child is gone. Not because they don’t want to talk to you or they are mad at you but because they are no longer alive. Their precious life, removed, gone because you selfishly decided that you having a drink and getting behind the wheel is more important than the well-being of anyone else’s life.
This blog was started as a way of me reaching out to people and to come out of the shell that I had built around myself. Why – because my son and his best friend (both just 17 years old) were killed – murdered by a drunk driver. It made me want to hide, It made me pull back out of life.
It’s been 11 years for my oldest Son and I lost Michael. We are still trying to pick up the pieces of our life. You see, like Baby Liam and most other victims of drunk drivers – my son was healthy and strong. He wasn’t sick, there was absolutely nothing wrong. He had dreams, hopes and ambitions but someone decided none of those things mattered.
I am angry right now. I am angry for these parents who have been dealt a lifetime sentence of “what if’s. A lifetime of looking around at holidays and family gatherings and thinking “he’s not here”.
For these parents and the people around them, I pray. I pray for strength and the ability to be weak. I pray that they don’t feel horrible when they smile or breakdown and cry because of a song. I pray that their family and friends remain close to them and the yet allow them space. I pray for forgiveness and grace not for the drunk driver but for each other. I pray for the friends and family of these parents. You see – you will need to understand that there will be times when they get angry and that needs to be okay. There will times, days, hours that they will want to hide and not be around other people, that needs to be okay. Please give them grace and grant forgiveness and remember that breathing is hard most days.
I am still working on “refining” my life. Every event, every moment, every trip, every healthy meal….it all comes down to getting through what has become a my lifetime project. Please watch this video. See the hurt, feel their pain – don’t disconnect! It’s uncomfortable and painful and it should be. Take it in and feel it for a just a moment. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and help save a life. Just one life! If you don’t drink and drive, my sincere “Thank You” but now if you can please stop someone else who does. Take a stand before another angel is called to haven.
While out running errands today, I saw this sign courtesy of The Haute Room. I laughed at how ridiculously truthful and relevant this is. Why do we stop at a number? At what’s comfortable?
This is exactly why personal trainers, nutritionist and life coaches are so effective! We become complacent with being good enough. We often forget how incredibly good it felt to have the wind blowing through our hair while riding our bikes as children. How unstoppable, how invincible we felt. We should never stop striving for the feeling.
One of my favorite songs is “Thrive” by the Casting Crows – it states “We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives, It’s time for us to more than just survive, We were made to thrive”.
Life is short – we should always strive for more. Don’t become complacent – “Strive for Greatness” in everything you do. Thank you #thehauteroom for believing in us and for this incredible inspiration. I look forward to seeing more of your inspiring signs.
P.S. – Please, don’t burn yours ex’s house down.
Happy Valentines Day to all and a huge “Thank you” to Pastor Rick Warren for your message this morning which included this passage:
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love – Ephesians 4:2
Today, one of the people in my thoughts is focused on the person who helped me through the toughest time of my life. The 6 years spent in court, battling the killer of my son. Her son (who was also killed by a drunk driver) would have been 51 years old today. Every year on Valentine’s Day, I send her a message and let her know my heart and mind are with her.
Although the main thought today is mostly of that of a day for celebrating a couple’s love for each other, often we forget the day includes celebrating the love of those most important in your life, your children. I, just like this gracious woman who forever affected my life (whom I will always look up to) is hurting, missing a vital part of her life. So today I ask you to please be humble and gentle today. You have no idea the many hurts that may exist within the hearts and minds of those around you. Be gracious, don’t point out the faults in each other. Instead lets all focus on the greatness and strengths in those around us. Have mercy and extend graciousness to one another this week. I personally needed this reminder in my life this week.
I hope you have a beautiful and heart filled week with your loved ones – not only today but always. Everyday is a gift, may you be refined by graciousness, hope and love in pleasure of the moments that each day brings.
Love and Peace,
We are a Girl Scout Family! I am the proud leader of a Girl Scout Troop made up of 1 Cadette, 8 Juniors, 2 Daisy Girl Scouts and some of the most dedicated Moms & Dads. On Sunday, we started selling Girl Scout cookies, It always amazes me at just how much people look forward to this once a year treat and at how supportive people are of this fundraiser.
Recently I got into an online discussion with some supporters of a certain “Food” girl who is in “attack” mode against Girl Scout Cookies (conveniently just as cookie season has started). She is going on about how unhealthy the “cookies” are. This whole conversation is just mind-blowing to me. We are talking about “cookies” right? How healthy is a “cookie” to begin with. Personally, I don’t know anyone that thinks “I’m going to make a change in my lifestyle, let’s start with cookies”. Girl Scout cookies or any other treat is not intended to be your main staple in your diet. I am very careful with what my family consumes, we eat mostly vegetarian meals and I don’t buy too many sweets but I do buy some. I know how precious life is and how extremely short it can be. Yes, you could make it even shorter by making bad food choices BUT don’t go through life denying yourself some of the simple pleasures in life and certainly don’t go through life tearing down an entire group of girls or boys main “fundraiser”.
This whole conversation made me even more committed to my daughters success in reaching their goals for this cookie season. You see, these girls desire more, they see a much bigger picture than this “Food” girl. I have followed her blog and facebook page for some time now and admire some of the changes she’s made within the food industry but it upsets me that “SHE” a women, has failed to see what she is doing. If “SHE” would like to inspire some healthy changes to our cookies that’s great – I’m in! She knows darn well that you always start at the top. Talk to the powers that be at GSUSA, request a change! I responded to this “Food” girl by sending her GSUSA’s email and mailing address but I’ve heard nothing back from her. I’m curious, did she ever even try to contact them and let them know her concerns?
Well “Food” girl, you have inspired me to turn these lemons your throwing at us Girl Scouts into lots and lots of Lemonades. Yes, “Food” girl – it just happens to be the 10th anniversary of Lemonades, which also happen to be Vegan and my favorite Girl Scout cookie!
For those of you who would like to purchase Girl Scout cookies, contact me – my daughters would be so grateful to you for helping them reach their goals. If you don’t like Girl Scout Cookies or don’t like where you “think” the proceeds might be going – we gladly take donations! We would love it if you could encourage others to donate as well!! Donations can go directly to the girl or the troop selling these cookies. Each troop has a different goal and different organizations they plan on helping. So be sure to ask them what they plan on doing with the proceeds.
Ohhh and “Food” girl, excuse us from your site at this time. All of us Girl Scout Leaders and Moms will be rather busy as we support our girls and help build Girls of Cougar, Confidence and Character.
Woman to Woman – I’m kind of disappointed that you don’t get it, on the other hand -“Thank you” for reminding everyone it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season and for helping promote our product.
Can someone please pass the Lemonades?
We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear Lake. It’s was an absolutely beautiful weekend. This was the first time my girls where in the snow and to make it even more perfect it snowed for two days. You can see the joy on their faces in the picture.
I love Big Bear! When my boys were young, we went snowboarding there just about every weekend during the snow seasons. Then and now I did what any responsible parent would do, we layered up in the appropriate clothing and snow jackets to endure the weather.
During our Thanksgiving weekend , we stayed at the Black Forest Lodge (which is a great place to stay), its so close to the village our car trips were short. I encouraged everyone to keep their jackets on as we were entering in and out of the car so quickly. I didn’t want the girls (or ourselves) to get cold – don’t judge, we live in Orange County.
Even this morning I drove the girls to school with our jackets on. Well, guess what…It turns out that driving around with your jackets on puts you and your kids in danger! Although you adjust the seat belt to fit snug around your jackets, the jacket just creates more room between them/you and the seat belt. You are NOT secure.
Thanks to Subaru for sharing this video from the Today Show as part of their Rossen Reports showing just how dangerous it actually is. I had to share this information with you, from now on, our jackets will come off in the car. I urge you to watch this video and make a vow to “Unbundle this Winter”. Adults are in just as much danger as kids.
Please share this post with your family and friends. Take the vow to #unbundlethiswinter