Reclaiming What Is Yours: Embracing New Beginnings

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Thalia, Me, Hazel

Welcome, Friends!

I recently led yoga and meditation for a women’s renewal retreat at an exquisite bed and breakfast called Minerva’s By The Sea. This island jewel is located in Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Emma Lapsansky, who runs the space, created an incredible sense of home for us all, joining us for delicious meals that she cooked with love, guiding us through conversation to help us all get to know one another, sharing her beautiful stories with us, organizing a mix of massage therapy, manicures, psychic readings and art projects, as well as making the house itself delightfully comfortable with whimsical, colorful decor, extremely lovely and relaxing rooms with names (my room was Anemone), puzzles, bikes, books and everything you could possibly need to feel completely at ease and at home.

During the retreat I met ten unique, beautiful, powerful women, each of whom shined her light to help create a special sisterhood. I was honored and blessed to get to know them, learn from them, and to hold space for them to connect more with themselves through a mix of meditation, restorative yoga and chair yoga. I was inspired and touched to encounter a mother, daughter and grandmother trio, a mother and daughter duo, three friends who had roomed together in college many years ago, and two friends who had decided to take a trip together.

In the latter duo was Thalia: an energetic, hilarious, amazing, inspiring, beautiful woman who has been on this planet for almost 91 years. When we met, she expressed her hesitation about participating in the yoga sessions, explaining that she sometimes gets dizzy and was concerned that the classes might not be accessible to her. Thalia shared that when she tried yoga in her twenties, the instructor told her that yoga wasn’t for her, that she shouldn’t do it because of an issue with her equilibrium. In that moment Thalia became convinced that she should never practice yoga asana (poses) again, and never did for over 60 years. I explained that yoga is about connecting with yourself; that the physical postures are just one tool to aid in the holistic union of mind, body, soul and Universe; that a physical yoga practice could be as simple as breathing with intention; and that every exercise could be modified to meet the capabilities and needs of the practitioner. She agreed to give it a shot.

Thalia blew me away in chair yoga! Her enthusiasm, playfulness, commitment to trying everything and finding her edge, her openness and the delightful feedback she gave throughout the session, enlivened the entire room. After the session, she expressed frustration for not having revisited yoga sooner; however, she was hooked and was determined to make yoga a regular practice for the rest of her life.  Here is a video  of her sharing her story.  😊

I learned so much from Thalia. Perhaps the biggest take away was the importance of embracing and celebrating our new beginnings, and that it is truly NEVER too late to make a positive change in our lives. How often have you told yourself that it’s too late to change [fill in the blank]? How many times have you felt ashamed, frustrated, angry or disappointed in yourself for the steps you have taken along your path that have led up to now? Perhaps in moments when you have decided to make a shift you have simultaneously felt upset that it took this long to get here. I’ve certainly experienced all of the above countless times. What if, instead, we choose to CELEBRATE the fact that we have arrived at a point in our awareness where we are finally ready to bravely change course? There are limitless ways that this can play out in our lives.

One area that I am applying this philosophy is in my decision to start studying Japanese again and to connect more with my roots. My father is from Okinawa, Japan. His father was from Lubang, Philippines, and his mother, my Grandma, is from Kohama, Japan. After encountering racism as a preschooler, I refused to speak Japanese with my Dad anymore. I wanted to fit in. I stopped learning what was inherently mine and missed out on opportunities to connect with my own heritage as well as to be able to have deep, fluent conversations with my Japanese relatives (particularly Grandma), as most of them are not fluent in English. I later realized how important it was to reclaim my language. In college I studied Japanese but gradually stopped practicing once I stopped taking the course, and have since forgotten much of what I studied. For years I felt guilty calling Grandma at all, out of shame for my limited language skills. I felt that I had fallen off track and that perhaps I would just give up talking to her until I had started studying again.

I have had Japanese on my list for years, thinking, “I’ll pick it back up when I have time.” But I realized that unless I decide to commit to it and carve out the study space in my schedule, I will never have time. Though I beat myself up over the years for rejecting my language and for not making it a priority to continue my studies, I realized that I could stop judging myself and embrace this new beginning. I realized that what mattered was that I reach out to Grandma, even if the conversations were very basic for a while. The heart can communicate beyond verbal language barriers. And I realized that it’s not too late to pick the language back up! It doesn’t matter what came before.

I am going to buy a language program this week and start studying Japanese regularly again, with the goal of being able to speak with Grandma on a deeper level by the time I visit her this December in Guam, where she now lives.

Thalia had the right to have a yoga practice. I had the right to learn and speak my language with pride. Both of us are reclaiming what is ours, NOW.

What are you ready to reclaim? What new beginnings are you ready to embrace? Is it a career, a relationship, a hobby, a habit, a new schedule that serves you more, a new way of expressing yourself, or something else?  Today is truly the first day of the rest of your life!  In yoga we practice embracing each new beginning (each new breath, each new pose, each new day of practicing, each new thought) and then letting go to make space for yet another beginning. Such is the beauty of Life.

May you experience gratitude toward Life, the Divine and yourself for each milestone of awareness and positive change along your path.

“Don’t let the past stifle your progress. Let it empower you.”

-Suguru Nakamichi Tangi (my Dad)

Namaste, じゃあまたね (jaa mata ne)

Anne

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Grandma Takiko Tangi and me in Guam, 2008

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Art project at Minerva’s By The Sea Bed and Breakfast

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With Emma, Innkeeper and Primary Owner of Minerva’s

Come out and play!

Hey Friends!

Picture yourself as a young child.  What do you look like?  What brings you delight?  What brings you fear?  What do you crave more than anything?

Now imagine this child residing in a cave inside your heart.  It longs to express itself, to be loved, to be accepted, to connect, to be seen.  The child draws a picture to give to someone you care about.  It is so excited to share this artwork.  But you, as an adult, don’t think the picture is good enough, so you say, “It’d be better to throw this picture away.  Once you’ve cultivated your drawing skills more, then we can show others your picture.”  Immediately the little child gets shoved deeper into the cave.   It feels hurt, inadequate, ashamed, small, and repressed.

As people, each time we label ourselves as inadequate, unworthy, or we tell ourselves that we should be achieving more than we already have, we harm the tiny child within us.  When we shrug off our challenges and say, “Well, that’s nothing compared to what other people have experienced,” we are shoving the little child deeper into the cave, telling it that its experiences are not valid, that it doesn’t really matter.

But when we speak lovingly to the child within us, with words of appreciation and affirmation, celebrating our successes every step of the way, we encourage the child to come out and play, to speak, dance, sing, shout, and create with abandon.  We teach ourselves that we are worthy, we allow healing to occur, and from this place, only good can come.

I invite you to take a walk with your inner child, give it space to shine, listen to what it is telling you, and treat yourself with compassion throughout your day.  Just as we would want our own children to feel safe, encouraged, affirmed and supported, our own inner children need just that.

Come connect with your inner child at a playful yoga class this weekend/next week at Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) and at Area Yoga Brooklyn.

IG:@annetangi@biteablelife @urbanyogafoundation_ @areayogabrooklyn

Wonder, splendor, imagination, healing, connection and freedom await you!

Saturday May 6 – Area Yoga Brooklyn (103 1st Place)
9:20 – Open
10:50 – Basics
12:20 – Open

Tuesday May 9 – Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) – 380 MacDonough
7:30 pm – Basic Hatha

#wellness #innerchild #yoga #brookkynyoga #playfulness #healing #freedom #wonder #creativity #imagination #emergewellness #urbanyogafoundation #areayogabrooklyn #tangiyoga

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Spring Inspiration

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Good Day, All!

Here are some bursts of spring inspiration I encountered during my walks this week.  May the warmth and sun of the season give you new life, as it has been doing for me.  Enjoy some more inspiration this week at a yoga class:

Monday April 17: Area Yoga (429 Bergen St.)
4:00 PM Open Level
7:00 PM Open Level

Tuesday April 18: Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation)
7:30 PM Basic Hatha

Wednesday April 19: Area Yoga (Court St.)
5:45 PM Open Level

Check out my calendar on my blog: TangiYoga.wordpress.com for the most up-to-date class schedule.

May you find the chance to be out in nature this week!

 

Peace,

Anne

 

 

To The Edge

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Dear Fellow Global Citizens,

I find myself asking, “What is my role in the current political, national and global environment?”  The inundation of flabbergasting and traumatizing information, combined with the inspiration I find in so many friends who are standing up against injustice, is pushing me to discover my own Edge.  In yoga classes we always seek to find our edge: that place where our bones are in alignment, our muscles are being used in the right way, we are going as far as we can while breathing fully, free of pain, and our energy can flow freely, allowing us to experience the most vibrant versions of ourselves and to grow.  Our edge is always changing, depending on our anatomy, what we are going through on a particular day, or at a particular phase of life, and how all of that is manifesting in our bodies.  Everyone has a unique expression of each pose.  It doesn’t matter where your edge is, but it does matter that you find it.

In the yoga of daily life, everyone has a unique way to use one’s passions, skills and community connections to stand up for Greater Good.  This means that we must explore what resonates with each of us.  Are you more into protests, doing research, calling your senator, educating others about what’s going on by posting enlightening information on social media, holding a safe space for people to express what they’re experiencing, organizing, creating positive spaces for people to experience joy (which can give us fuel to go on), leading meditations and prayers, having very real (and sometimes very uncomfortable) conversations with others whose views differ greatly from yours, or something else?  

May we all recognize and remember that everything and everyone is connected.  All of life is connected. That is the meaning of Yoga: Union. To Yoke. Oneness.  And history is connected to the present. Mistakes of the past have the ability to repeat themselves if we lose touch with those connections and memories, and fail to take the lesson that those past experiences offer us.  When we stay in our bubbles, our comfort zones, and our fears, we miss out on opportunities to sink into that greater tapestry of Human Experience and Universal Consciousness.  In such moments, I risk losing sight of the fact that an injustice committed against you is ultimately an injustice committed against myself.  If I step out in an act of fear (disguised as an act love for my own, or the desire to protect my own AT ALL COSTS) then I may become blind to the moment when my sense of desperation to protect my well-being comes at the COST of YOUR well-being.  I may try to remove myself from the situation in order to avoid facing the difficult choices ahead, or I may act aggressively and senselessly, both paths yielding harmful results.  When I step out in an act of faith, hope and courage, however, I have the opportunity to cultivate Light in the Darkness. Love can then usher in the chance to build bridges rather than walls, to unite rather than divide, to develop friendships rather than enemies, to create space for conversations that can help to bring healing, understanding and forgiveness, rather than fuel chaos through rigidity and ignorance that can only breed more fear, hate and division.  

So let’s all work to find our Balance, our Edge: that sweet spot where we are aligned with our true selves, our best selves, which will allow our energy to flow freely, and enable us to use our power in the most productive, positive way, with AWARENESS, for the benefit of ALL BEINGS.   

There are times to walk and times to run; times to follow the path of least resistance and times to resist.  I invite you to connect with yourself and evaluate your edge, over and over, as it is always changing, so that you may connect with your community, the broader global community and the Oneness of All.  

Come discover your edge at a yoga class over the next couple weeks.  I’m teaching:

Tuesday Jan. 31
Area Yoga (Montague) – Express – 12.30-1:30 p.m.
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Power Yoga – 4:00-5:10 p.m.
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio * Like us on Facebook.  380 MacDonough St., Brooklyn, NY- Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Monday Feb. 6
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Basics – 8:25-9:35 p.m.

Tuesday Feb. 7
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio – Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Monday Feb. 13
Area Yoga (Court St.) – Sweat, Stretch, Relax – 4.20-5:30
Area Yoga (5th Ave.) – Basics – 8:25-9:35 p.m.

Tuesday Feb. 14
Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio – Basic Hatha – 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu.  May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.

In Yoga,

Anne

Spunk And Spook

 

Happy Halloween Friends!

If you want to add some spunk and spook to your weekend/week, come join me for a class.  I’ll be teaching:

Saturday Oct. 29 – Area Yoga (Court St.)
Open – 9:20
Basic – 10:50
Open – 12:20

Tuesday Nov. 1 – Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (380 MacDonough St.)
Basic – 7:30 p.m. (evening class)

Saturday Nov. 5 – Area Yoga (Court St.)
Open – 9:20
Basic – 10:50
Open – 12:20

Catch ya later,
Anne

The Rock And The Waves

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Hello Dear Yogis,

Close your eyes and take five deep breaths.  Feel the ability of this life force to connect you with peace, right here, right now.  Observe yourself slowing down and deepening.  Ahhhh.  Feels good, right?

Welcome home.

I recently returned from the most wonderful yoga retreat with Urban Yoga Foundation in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.  We were able to catch the tail end of summer weather and spend time playing in the waves and walking on top of large rocks in the water.

Whether you made it to the beach this summer or not, imagine the ocean where it meets the shore. See the sunlight bounce off the water. Hear the sound of the waves.  Picture a large rock firmly planted into the ocean floor.  It is large enough that you could climb on top of it to sit and watch the sea.  As the waves roll toward the shore, they crash against the rock. In the midst of the turbulence, notice how the rock stays strong and grounded, right where it is.

In our own oceans, we have currents that are constantly flowing. There are waves of thought that come and go, flooding our minds, sometimes crashing against them. There is another current that permeates us, just as powerfully, and that is our breath. Like the waves, like the tide surging toward the shore, then pulling back, our breath surges through us, never stagnant, always flowing.

Your yoga practice is an awesome space where you can let your breath keep you steady. As thoughts come to you, let the breath bring you ease, focus, simplicity, and bliss. Observe the distractions that come, embrace them, then let them go. As you move through intense postures, as your heart beats faster, as you feel the water moving across across you, covering you, the rock stays firmly grounded in the sand. In the midst of the noise and the force of the crashing waves, I invite you to find the power of your breath…

I am delighted to announce that I will be teaching weekly classes at a brand new BROOKLYN studio in Bedford-Stuyvescent, starting October 4:

Emerge Studio (partnering with Urban Yoga Foundation)
Tuesdays – 12:30 – 1:30 – Basic Hatha
380 McDonough St.
Brooklyn, NY 11233
(917) 809-7581
*Web page and Facebook page are under construction.

I am also subbing classes at Area Yoga over the next couple weeks.  Check out the calendar tab of this blog for all dates.

In addition, I am teaching youth at DREAM Charter, Pusteblume International Preschool and Bronx Academy of Letters.  I will also soon be giving classes to teachers through Success In Motion 4 U.  I am so happy to be able to use the gift of yoga to help empower youth and the teachers who guide them.   If you are interested in having me teach someone if your life, please let me know!

Come join me this week to reconnect with the breath, body, mind and spirit.  As we practice staying grounded with our breath while our bodies experience floods of sensations and challenges on our mats, we are increasing our ability to find grounding and balance in the midst of our daily challenges in life.  As the current of life brings new experiences your way, may your rock stay grounded throughout your week.  May your waves of thought and breath move in harmony.

In Peace,

Anne

 

Shifting With Grace

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Photo Credit Longtower Photography

 

Friends,

I hope you’re loving this weekend and that you caught sight of the full moon last night.  Come celebrate the last days of Summer and the beginning of Autumn with me at a yoga class!  As always, you can find my most up-to-date teaching schedule on the calendar tab at the top of this page. I’m also excited to start teaching yoga next week to Pre-K students at DREAM Charter!  If you or someone you know is interested in a mix of yoga/dance/mindfulness-based learning at schools, give me a shout out! I’m really looking forward to helping empower Young Souls.

As for my Grown Friends, I’ll be teaching….

Sunday Sept. 18 – Area Yoga
10:45 Open Level – Court St.
12:30 Gentle Flow – Court St.

Monday Sept. 19 – Area Yoga
5:30 p.m. Sweat, Stretch and Relax – 5th Ave.

Thursday Sept. 22 – Urban Yoga Foundation
12:30 Basic Hatha

May this transition into a new season bring welcomed shifts, new perspectives and opportunities for growth into your own life.  Remember that every season offers its own magic.

Peace,
Anne

Come Together

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Dear Friends,

In the midst of so much chaos that is in full swing throughout our hometowns, states, countries, and world, I invite you to come join me for some uplifting, healing, supportive yoga classes this week.  My home city of Baton Rouge is experiencing tragic epic flooding as I write.  Each time I check in on the situation, while I feel distraught at the trauma and suffering people are experiencing, I am also inspired by the many stories over the past couple days of the community members coming together to help rescue one another (via boat, helicopter and even horseback), volunteer at shelters, spend hours searching for loved ones to ensure that they are safe and accounted for, rescue pets, offer up their homes as places of refuge, and more.  Keep it up, B.R.!!!

Spaces of love and support are also spaces for overcoming obstacles and experiencing healing.  Let’s come together this week and help each other tap into that inner strength, courage, hope and light.

Songs for inspiration this week:

We Are Here by Alicia Keys
You’ve Got A Friend by James Taylor
Come Together by The Beatles
504 by Soul Rebels

Below you can find my current schedule for this week for Area Yoga and Urban Yoga Foundation.  I am constantly picking up classes to sub for fellow teachers, as well, so keep checking my calendar tab above for the most up-to-date schedule.

Weekly:

Thursdays:
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hatha Yoga Basics – Urban Yoga Foundation, Harlem

 

Classes I am subbing this week:

Monday, August 15:
10:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. – Power Yoga – Area Yoga Brooklyn, 5th Ave.

Friday, August 19:
5:00 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. – Flow and Restore – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.
6:15 p.m. – 7:25 p.m. – Open Level – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Restorative – Area Yoga, Court St.

Sunday, August 21
9:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Power Yoga – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.
11:05 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Open Level – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Montague St.
12:25 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. – Basics – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Montague St.

Namaste,

Anne

 

Little Miracles

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“Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. ”

– Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing From My Journey Now

“…and when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

Dear Friends,

Hope you’re noticing and enjoying the special gifts that each day has brought you this week.  Maybe they have been coming in the form of unexpected encounters you had with a loved one or a stranger.  Perhaps an opportunity arose that you had hoped for but didn’t necessarily expect to see manifested.  Or maybe a situation caused you to confront a pattern in your life that you are ready to let go of.  When we begin each day with gratitude for what Life has provided us, and choose to see each experience as an opportunity for growth, we pave the way for Life to bring us more of what we desire in our hearts.

This week, I have had opportunities to speak my truth in situations where I felt uncomfortable, but compelled to use my voice.  I had the chance to connect with passersby over a book I was reading on the train.  Today I witnessed a butterfly perched on my coworker’s shoulder at an event (I happen to have an obsession with butterflies).  On the way home, I saw a pigeon perched on the shoulder of a man in my neighborhood.  This paved the way for a beautiful conversation.  As we become more attuned to our experiences, we start to notice more the wonder that each day offers.

If you want to add some delight, healing, and rejuvenation into your schedule, come join me for some classes these next few weeks.  In addition to teaching weekly at Urban Yoga Foundation in Harlem, I will be subbing lots of classes at Area Yoga in Brooklyn (note the location for each class, as this school has three locations).  Please check out my calendar for my most up-to-date class schedule, as  I frequently add classes.

Weekly:

Thursdays:
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hatha Yoga Basics – Urban Yoga Foundation, Harlem

Classes I am subbing over the coming weeks:

Sunday, August 7:
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Open Level – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court. St.
12:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Gentle Flow – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.

Friday, August 19:
5:00 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. – Flow and Restore – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.
6:15 p.m. – 7:25 p.m. – Open Level – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.

Sunday, August 21
9:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Power Yoga – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Court St.
11:05 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Open Level – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Montague St.
12:25 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. – Basics – Area Yoga Brooklyn, Montague St.

May you cherish what each new day brings the rest of you week.

Peace,

Anne

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I Am Thankful For (…….)

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Dancing with Batala NYC in the Village Halloween Parade, NYC 2015 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Week, Everyone!

I am delighted to let you know that I will be subbing several classes over the next month at a new location (Park Slope Yoga) as well as at Area Yoga.  Come join the fun and bring a friend.  🙂

You can always find my up-to-date teaching schedule on my calendar, as I frequently add classes at the last minute and don’t always have time to  write a post about them.

So far, I will be teaching the following classes:

Sunday Nov. 29
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Vinyasa Open (Park Slope Yoga)

Wednesday Dec. 7
7:05 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Open Level (Area Yoga – Court St.)
8:25 p.m. – 9:35 p.m. Basics (Area Yoga – Court St.)

Wednesday Dec. 16
11:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Basics (Area Yoga – Court St.)
12:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Open Level (Area Yoga – Court St.)

This week, I invite you to list (maybe just verbally to yourself, or to someone else, or maybe jot it on a piece of paper) some of the things that you are grateful for in your life.  Even the seemingly small things count.  For instance, I am grateful for the children who continuously burst out laughing at a very serious dance performance I just attended.

In light of the chaos and darkness of these times, I believe that it is ever important to find our gratitude.   This is not to downplay the severity of our struggles, pain, disappointment and fear.  Rather, the more that we can appreciate the good in our lives, the more that we can enjoy the present moment, the more energy we will have to face the challenges that arise, the more we will attract positive vibes, and the more we will manifest beauty into our lives and the world.

 

Along those lines, I would like to share one of my recent Facebook posts (from Halloween weekend) with you:

My friend pointed out that this is the month of Gratitude. Last night I got to dance in the Village Halloween Parade with great people and friends— mixing my love for festivals, parades, performance, party-starting, soulful dance, and Afro-Brazilian movement and music. One of my favorite things about living in NYC is getting to partake in events such as this. Today I got to teach 3 yoga classes and reunite with friends and students who I am so happy to have met through being a yoga instructor. The theme for my classes was celebrating Life in the here and now, in the midst of the darkness and chaos in which we may find ourselves on any given day. I felt that this theme was timely after Halloween, a time of both light and darkness, and also celebration. Also, our group’s theme in the parade was Disco Inferno: Shine Your Light. In addition, it’s something very pertinent to my life these days, as stress and worries about work and a fear of failure has brought me down at times. Yesterday a dear friend from LSU drove from D.C. to spend the day with me. Over the past month I have started training again in capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dance. The NYC Marathon passed through my neighborhood this morning. I have had many opportunities to experience art lately. I have an amazing support network of family and friends. The weather here has been beautiful the past few days. There are unanswered questions and uncertainties about certain aspects of my life that are concerning and important and fear-evoking. That being said, I am extremely blessed and grateful for all of the Good in my Life. Man— when you sit down to start listing your blessings, sometimes your list just keeps growing and growing.

—- May you tap into your Gratitude this week, and see every gift at exactly that.  As we continue to do so, we help to raise the vibration and manifest more beauty into our lives and into this world.

I hope to celebrate with you soon at a yoga class!

Here are some jams to carry you into your week:

“Ain’t Got No/I Got Life” – Nina Simone
“We Are Here” – Alicia Keys

Peace, Light and Joy,

Anne