Small Talk
May 4th, 2016

My daughter and I are into sketching. Actually, it was she who got me into it, as I like to try to partake in the activities she likes. I ended up liking it way more than I expected.

It seems like the adult coloring book craze started a couple years ago. I've seen a handful of news stories about how coloring is relaxing and meditative.

Courtesy: Kim Weiss

Courtesy: Kim Weiss

When the makers of the coloring book Inkspirations for Women (www.inkspirations.com) offered to send me a sample, I agreed to give it a try.  It's a natural extension of my interest in art on paper.

Believe it or not, scientists have studied coloring, and they've found that it quiets your mind, calms your thoughts, reduces stress, and allows you to simply be. Research shows that coloring can induce a kind of 'flow,' or active meditation, during which you lose your sense of time and your brain waves fall into a calming rhythm. As a result, worries fade away and creative blocks can become wellsprings of ideas.

I looked in the book, and I love the quotes and designs! So uplifting! Here's my favorites:

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I guess Marci Shimoff know's what she's doing. She's a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a transformational teacher, and says she's an expert on happiness, success and unconditional love. Among other things, she co-authored six titles in the Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul series, and is a featured teacher in The Secret.

Marci Shimoff. Courtesy: Kim Weiss

Marci Shimoff. Courtesy: Kim Weiss

I'm totally looking forward to coloring this - and I might not even share with my kid!


May 2nd, 2016

The Honolulu Police Community Foundation (HPCF) honors Crime Stoppers Honolulu, in addition to two dedicated community Living Treasures, broadcaster Dr. Larry Price and entertainer Danny Kaleikini, for their years of dedicated service to the community.

Dr. Larry Price. Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

Dr. Larry Price. Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

Dr. Larry Price was formerly a prominent football player and coach, an investigative reporter with KITV(ABC) , and an author. He currently pens political news news columns for MidWeek. Most notably, Dr. Price sits “on the right” of Michael W. Perry on KSSK radio, weekday mornings.  The third "person" in the radio studio is the fearless Posse – the loyal listeners who call in to report a stolen vehicle, burglary, or missing loved one.  Perry & Prices' command of “Never fear, the Posse is here!” sends out a bulletin to all other listeners, who often provide valuable information to Honolulu Police in leading to an arrest.

Danny Kaleikini. Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

Danny Kaleikini. Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

Danny Kaleikini is a well-known singer who performed at the Kahala Hilton for 30 years. Governor John Waihe`e once named him Hawaii's Ambassador of Aloha. Danny made numerous guest appearances on TV show Hawaii Five-O, and continues to support various local charities.

Both these “Living Treasures” continue to be strong advocates for public safety and supporters for HPD and its multitude of community programs. HPCF is privileged to honor their many years of dedicated service to a grateful community.

Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

Courtesy: Patricia Milburn

 

Crime Stoppers Honolulu helps keep Honolulu one of the safest cities in the nation to live, work, and play. The program operates in partnership with the Honolulu Police Department, the media, and the community, to help reduce crime in the community.

The HPCF Annual Honoree Dinner is on Friday, May 6, at Sheraton Waikiki.  This fundraiser fulfill HPCF's mission to provide scholarships for higher education, community service projects helping seniors, and equipment for the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) that could not be obtained through the normal budget process.

President and Founder- and former Police Chief - Lee Donohue states, "The support of our community and businesses helps the foundation foster relationships between the HPD and the community." For more information and tickets or tables sales, contact Donohue at (808) 753-5617.


April 29th, 2016

Parenting, as you know, is so totally subjective. Everyone thinks their child is the best, smartest, funniest, most talented, etc, in the world. ...Well, Claus and I know Olivia's not a prodigy, but we do rank her #1 in many superlative categories.

From the start, every little artistic creation she has brought home from school meets with a shower of compliments. We love that she made it with her own two little hands, and that she gives it to us with all of her heart. She's the sweetest.

The other day, she brought home a glazed ceramic the art class had been working on for a few weeks. They molded the clay, designed their sculptures, painted it, and then brought it home after it was fired in the kiln.

"Here, Mommy," she said as she nonchalantly plopped a rat-unicorn hybrid ("a raticorn" I was informed) on the counter. She's eight now, so sometimes it's not such a big deal to give your parents gifts.

I turned around to receive it. "Oh! That's nice, Dear! What is it?"

She said what it was, which I think is weird- but I rationalized it within seconds that it's just her brilliant expression of creativity. It's actually odd looking but if Olivia made it, I love it.

And then she said she didn't make it! "It came from one of the other girls in class. She didn't want it. She gave it to me."

Duh, she didn't want it. It's ugly.

"Oh. Where is yours?" I asked. "You should give this back to that girl. Her parents probably want it."

"Mine's in the art show," Olivia explained. "And I like this. She gave it to me, she doesn't want it back, and I'm going to keep it. Let's put it here on the counter."

"Actually, no. Put it in your room if you insist on having it. A rat with a horn is kind of scary," I admitted.

Olivia stopped to put it together. "So... why'd you say you liked it when you thought it was mine?"

"Because it's special when it comes from you. You're my kid," I explained.

Later, Claus and I compared notes and apparently, he had a very similar conversation with her about the raticorn.

Funny, isn't it, that within seconds one's whole perspective on something can change based on a little piece of knowledge? It's still the same sculpture!

By the way, I lost that fight. Somehow the dang uni-mouse found its way to my bedroom nightstand where Olivia likes to play with it before she tucks me in.


April 27th, 2016

This was our last weekend in the teacher training course, and I've come to realize I'm not able right now to pursue a certification. I need to register a certain number of hours on the mat (alone and working with students) and I haven't the time or energy right now to do that.

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Future yoga teachers!

"I loved training. It's been an amazing journey," reflects student Debbie Miranda. "I learned a lot about myself and how to be patient with myself. I've learned it's OK."

I loved it too,  but there are certain things I took to easily about the course, and other parts that I found very difficult. It gets harder to absorb new things when one is older, and also obligated to so many other responsibilities in daily life!

Me in crow pose.

Me in crow pose.

I like the intensity of study, learning about energy flow, breathing techniques, and the science behind yoga. I like the spiritual component, and opening my eyes to the larger lifestyle of yoga and Ayurveda. I like becoming part of a yoga community, making new friends who share a similar mindset with me.

I disliked the study of anatomy, which is extremely interesting but not easy for me. It matters, because I'd need to correct students' postures to avoid injury or to understand how a certain pose affects certain muscles.

I'm sure I could get into this in a different time of my life, but that time is not now, and I'm OK with that. I still really got value out of this course.

It empowered me to set up a home yoga practice which I can access at my leisure. It taught me about the power of intent, and that your thoughts become your actions and your actions become you. I'm more Zen, to borrow an American shorthand.

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Most of the students will go on to get certified. Two have already completed their requirements!

Kazusa Flanagan is one of those two students who got certified on our last day of class and speaks to the transformative quality of the teachings. "Before teacher training, yoga was a hobby. Now, yoga is part of my life. I live for yoga."

Congratulations to the first in our group to get certified, Mitsue Sanami and Kazusa Flanagan!

Congratulations to the first in our group to get certified, Mitsue Sanami and Kazusa Flanagan!

Our teacher, Amanda Webster, was ever encouraging at my revelation. "You'll do it when you're ready," she pronounced. Yes, perhaps I will.

Amanda and me. Best teacher ever!

Amanda and me. Best teacher ever!

She still gave out the course completion certificates. When we finish the requirements, she'll sign it. It feels like semi-graduation! It was still exciting!

Now my challenge is to earn Amanda's signature...

Now my challenge is to earn Amanda's signature...

Until then, I appreciate having the tools to go forth and keep finding my balance. As Swami Satchidananda said, "We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves... We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil."

Namaste.

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More about this yoga course at shivatreeyoga.com.

Related blogs:

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/03/16/hawaii-woman-teaches-peace-through-yoga/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/11/yoga-teacher-training-begins/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/13/yoga-training-breath-is-life/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/15/yoga-training-changing-karma/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/18/modification-of-the-mind-stuff/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/20/yoga-training-contemplating-challenge/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/22/yoga-training-emotion-and-the-body/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/25/yoga-training-metta-meditation/

 

Posted in yoga | 4 Comments »

April 25th, 2016

In yoga, we learned about channeling energy throughout the body to achieve certain responses. The poses you practice and the way it directs breath and energy through the body ignite that response. Certain chants and meditative practices after practice enhance that feeling.

Sometimes, it's heat and energy. Sometimes, it's restorative and calm.

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Amanda taught us something called the Metta meditation, which focuses on finding unconditional love for self and others. I think it's beautiful.

Unconditional love is at the root of all major religions, so it's got to be the answer to move humanity forward. All those religions can't be wrong!

Here's how it works:

Take a few deep breaths to get centered. You picture five beings in your mind: yourself, someone you like, someone you are neutral about, someone you dislike, and all sentient beings.

Picturing one entity at a time, you repeat this phrase in your mind: May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be enlightened to my true nature. May I be free.

Obviously, alter the pronoun appropriately as you move through each person on the list.

It doesn't take long, and I've been doing it at least once a day. I've found myself calmer at the end of the process. Maybe it's because sitting quietly, breathing deeply, for five minutes calms me down.

Still, I like to think it's more than that. I like to think I'm having some kind of positive effect on a little corner of the world with my happy thoughts.

And anyway, didn't Gandhi advise you be the change you want to see in the world? So maybe it starts with me.

If you do this, how does it affect you?

Peace. Love. Have a great day.

Related blogs:

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/03/16/hawaii-woman-teaches-peace-through-yoga/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/11/yoga-teacher-training-begins/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/13/yoga-training-breath-is-life/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/15/yoga-training-changing-karma/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/18/modification-of-the-mind-stuff/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/20/yoga-training-contemplating-challenge/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/22/yoga-training-emotion-and-the-body/

http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/04/27/yoga-training-conclusion/

Posted in yoga | 2 Comments »