Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, July 24, 2016 0 , , Permalink 0

Flowers, credit Kirsten Akens 2016

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.


“Ten Years Later” by David Whyte

When the mind is clear
and the surface of the now still,
now swaying water

slaps against
the rolling kayak,

I find myself near darkness,
paddling again to Yellow Island.

Every spring wildflowers
cover the grey rocks.

Every year the sea breeze
ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
hidden in the center of the flowers

as if remembering them
by touch alone.

A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
that frightened me in youth.

Now their loneliness
feels familiar, one small thing
I’ve learned these years,

how to be alone,
and at the edge of aloneness
how to be found by the world.

Innocence is what we allow
to be gifted back to us
once we’ve given ourselves away.

There is one world only,
the one to which we gave ourselves
utterly, and to which one day

we are blessed to return.

Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, July 17, 2016 0 , Permalink 0

Montreal statue, photo by Kirsten Akens 2016

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.


When I say I hate time, Paul says

how else could we find depth

of character, or grow souls?

— Mark Doty

Checking in on ’42 before 43’

By Tuesday, July 5, 2016 2 , , Permalink 0

BlogBrilliantLg

Oh hey there, blog friends.

Popping in with a two-month-ish “42 before 43” update. Adding italicized notes where I’ve begun or completed an item. And for ease, turned an item green if I have already completed it.

What have you been up to lately when it comes to your bucket list? Let me know in the comments. (And, more importantly, what’s keeping you from moving on them!)

• 42 Before 43 • 

  1. Visit Greece — This is where I was for a couple weeks in May, teaching yoga on a Star Clippers sailing ship and falling in love with all the cats. That was a big and longtime travel bucket-list item checked off!
  2. Watch every episode of MASH — A rollover from last year. My hubby and I are watching together and we’ve just started season six. (There are 11.)
  3. Read at least 90 books — Last year I hit 81 so I’ve upped it again. To date, I’ve read 14 books, with three in progress.
  4. Refine Project 333 to my own version of a minimalist closet project — I came home from Greece and spent a heavily jet-lagged day cleaning out my closet again. I’ll blog more about this later, but I’m shifting my process, based on what I’ve learned doing Project 333 for a couple years now.
  5. Get will and living will in order — Found a lawyer. Taking the next steps.
  6. Attend a Switchbacks match — Determined not to miss this one this summer. 
  7. Attend the Santa Fe Opera — Same goes for this. Already talking with the hubby about when we can go this summer/fall.
  8. Do a Georgia O’Keeffe tour around New Mexico (Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, etc.)
  9. Hike to Hanging Lake, as part of a larger summer/fall hiking goal (see No. 10)
  10. Stay at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray … and hike Blue Lakes while there
  11. Attend Judith Lasater’s Advanced Restorative Yoga teacher training — It’s in August, so we’ll see…
  12. Be involved with a stage show (maybe a play, maybe a fashion show) in some way — Done! Modeled for GOCA’s annual art fundraiser Brilliant. It was super fun, aside from the fake eyelash removal (see photo above), which was kinda painful. #firstfalsiesat42
  13. Choreograph a country line dance (and see if Barb will teach it at Cowboys) — Talked with Barb this past Sunday. She’s all in for reviewing my choreography when it’s ready. 
  14. Attend a Soul Mechanics session at Ormao
  15. Take a birding and/or bird banding class
  16. Take French language lessons
  17. Try surfing
  18. Nurture a green thumb into existence (re: learn how to properly care for my indoor plants)
  19. Learn to make pizza, Roman Villa-style
  20. Learn to bake (not-just-quick) bread
  21. Learn to make my own maraschino cherries (and a fancy cocktail to go with them)
  22. Renew my #newrecipeaweek commitment — Plugging along on this.
  23. Perform at a poetry slam/open mic
  24. Learn to play an entire song on my ukelele
  25. Remember to use reusable bags when grocery shopping — Doing really well with this!
  26. Plan my next trip to France (perhaps running a retreat at Little French Retreat)
  27. See the sandhill crane migration in March/April 2017
  28. Go storm chasing
  29. Go on a train trip
  30. Visit a new-to-me national park
  31. Visit Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary in Utah — So, it’s not the sanctuary, but I AM attending the Best Friends Annual Conference on behalf of A Voice for Lil Olive and I couldn’t be more excited.
  32. Snail mail cards to six friends for no reason — One sent. 
  33. Share a bottle of bubbly with a friend once a month — June’s was with Lucy (does that count?). July’s with Joy. Need to make up for May still. 🙂
  34. Play Settlers of Catan with friends
  35. Try out a new hair color (or highlights, or a streak) — Chit-chatted with my stylist about this at my last visit.
  36. Have a new pair of jeans tailored to fit
  37. Find a new go-to layerable dress that accentuates my fabulousness
  38. Wear grown-up clothes to bed (or no clothes — TMI?)
  39. Plan for a fun photo shoot
  40. Launch a new website
  41. Interview at least one of my bucket-list celebrities
  42. Place freelance writing with at least five new publications (a mix of print and online) — I’ve pitched a few new places. Nothing confirmed yet.

(You can read all about my lists, and the former ones, here. And how I did on last year’s list here. Bottom line, I love to try new things, and formalizing the process has helped me do more of them than ever.)