Deep Thought of the Day

The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.

 Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living


Hey Beach Girl Abroad, What’s a Vision Book?

What’s a vision book you ask? Why, it’s the method to the madness!

Imagine vision board, scrapbook, and personal goal setting fusion.


The vision-book idea was born as I gathered treasured mementos, photographs, and plane tickets collected in Asia as the year came to a close. In addition to memorabilia, I cut my vision board, made during the Artist’s Way course, into smaller pieces and glued ’em in. Last year, after introduced to personal goal setting during a brief stint at lululemon, I began adding 10-year plans envisioning my future. Yes, a 10 year plan, with goals in increments of one, five, and ten years.


Vision Boards, Inspirational Scribbles, and Plane Tickets to Exotic Locales


Set Personal Goals: One, Five, Ten Year Plans

Look back into your book every so often to stay on track, evaluate what is working (and what is not), and whenever you need an inspirational boost. Have fun, and don’t forget, visualizing a wild, crazy, beautiful life for yourself is wonderful, but perfection does not exist. Our imperfections are what make us gorgeous human beings, and sometimes our biggest failures end up our greatest lessons, which in turn, amount to our success. Have a vision of where you’re going, and remain flexible along the journey.


Always Include Mementos and Photographs with Dear Friends and Teachers

Wrapping up the Week! Pay Attention to Your Yoga, Pay Attention to Your Life

Alright, much better day yesterday, and today is Friday! Yay!

Celebrated my co-teacher’s birthday yesterday by bringing in a little chocolate birthday cake from Paris Baguette, a chain of pastry shops here in Seoul. On top of the cake, I placed candles that said  
“<3 YOU”, and totally surprised her with the cake, candles, and the kids singing “Happy Birthday” to her.  She was actually touched! It was adorable, “Elisa, I’m so touch-ed”, she leaned over and said to me in her even more adorable Korean accent. It was a special moment, and I love happy surprises.

chocolate cake from paris b.  (totally copy/pasted from the net as i’m too lazy to upload pics as of late…)
My patience was better yesterday with the kids.  I had a good night’s rest and was careful with how much sugar I ate all day. I’m noticing that lack of *quality* sleep (it doesn’t really matter if I get 8, as long as the hours are quality), and/or too much sugar really put me in a “mood”.  It’s pretty easy to get too much sugar here at preschool with all the cakes (see above, which is a daily thing as kids have birthday parties all the time) going around.  Plus the stress that can come with teaching 20 kids sometimes leaves you reaching for chocolate.
I read a great quote the other day, from star yoga teacher Erich Schiffman’s book. To paraphrase:
“Pay attention to your yoga, pay attention to your life.  Both will become more interesting.”
So what did I learn this week by paying a bit more attention?
In yoga: My hamstrings are tighter than ever despite teaching 3 classes a week and doing my own lil’ morning and bedtime routines..  solution? Stay longer in forward bends as to not shock the muscles.
*It’s hard for me to get to bed after teaching evening classes.  Possible solution: How are you teaching this class?  Crap!  Elisa…stop running it like an AM class. Bring the energy down a notch. Enter “moon salutations” and knock off the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and backbends.  Chill out.  
In life: 
*unquality sleep + sugar = moods.  Solution: Do things to get better sleep. I stumbled on a book called “The Well-Rested Woman”, and have started taking tips from that, like creating a bedtime routine.  Focus on protein and veggies.  Do I really need sugary soymilk, chocolate, and cakes that are conveniently lying around?
*Tuesday night late evening tea parties at my place with awesome friends are pretty amazing, and being around positive people sometimes can boost my energy like nothing else. Wish i’d done this more throughout the past year! But hey, maybe all that solo time was a good thing, too. 
Yay for random rambles…Happppy Friday!

Beautiful as You Feel

I’ve found a way to make teaching really, really fun for me…and as a result of my newfound excitement for teaching, I’m pretty sure the kids are having a lot more fun during my lessons!  
What is it…drumroll please…

eschewing the annoying, high pitched kidsong cd’s and incorporating my own soundtrack to teach the lil guys life lessons!

For “character education” this week, I taught the kiddos an old Carole King song, “Beautiful”, 

“You’ve got to wake up every morning, 
with a smile on your face and show the world, 
all the love in your heart….
people gonna treat you better, you’ll see yes you will… 
you’re beautiful as you feel” 🙂 

had my iPod on shuffle and it randomly came on the same morning of character education lesson…how’s dat for synchronicity!!

And…Last week learning about houses, I played a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song, “Our House”.  Both “lessons” were complete with arm movements and a dance…something I prob wouldnt have thought of even 2 months ago.  Hilarious.  And good morals in those songs!

Looks like my Swans are going to get an education on American classic rock and folk music!


"A Busy Mind is No Mind at All" (…but it sure does make the time fly by…)

The past 2 months since Thailand have been nonstop–learning that is.  
All the sudden I had what seemed like a zillion projects going…
syou think i’m so zen?  think again.  too much going on!!!!
yoga teacher’s training on saturdays (yoga-ing, philosophiz-ing, meditating)
artist’s way (12 week book/program writing, doing, growing, projects)
brewin’ kombucha
learning ukulele
taking up cooking again after a spring/summer hiatus into raw food-ism (my “vata” dosha” is thanking me with this weather change to the chilly fall…MMMM cooked squash, mmmm cooked beans, mmmmm warmmm breakfast, i’ve missed you)
small but does the trick.  the hotplate was resting in my closet since last spring! (p.s. gracias a Aimee para todos los goodies para la cucina~the perfect pot for steaming veggies and making soups, brita filter, mini cutting board/dirty spatula holder, mugs ❤
and then i decided to learn
To be quite frank…after the reiki weekend, i just felt like i’d taken on toooooo much.   feeling the need, coming from deep inside, a little voice telling me to choose one or two or these things to really focus on.  variety is the spice of life…but man…  
“a busy mind is no mind at all”, i’ve read somewhere.  

All this learning didn’t leave much time for socializing, but when i did, had quality time with quality people

*making mung bean soup/dal with Jen
mmmmm.  ~full hearts and full bellies~
*Shooting arrows and antique-ing during the Chuseok holiday w/ Allison and Jen up in Insadong…Allison upload your pics of all of us so I can steal them 🙂
and a house warming for Allie with a John and Yoko bed-in theme.  excellent food, excellent company. 

So, now, after a crazy couple months…gonna slow down a bit again, strive for more of a balance.
Korea has been about an inner journey for me since Day 1…however, the goal was inner-discovery, not implosion.  So, things I want to make more time for…
#1 is People~I’ve met an amazing crew out here…don’t wanna lose this!
 time to gaze up at the clouds~this was on a saturday eve riverside after yoga(see the cloudy birds?)
*A lil shopping every once in a while in order not to feel deprived (I’ve been on a pretty strict budget trying to save here…)
new kicks ((Vans at shinsegae…who knew? bought with some gift certificate from the Swan class mommies…gansahamnida 🙂
“hudson” (prob fake) jeans found on streets of Itaewon for  5,000 won ($4.70!)–and yes, a lil chanelling of the inner spice girl that lives inside.  You just gotta dance when you find perfect jeans for $5.

So it’s already October…5 months to go.  Choosing the focus on Artist’s Way and da Yoges.  Cooking as I please…ukulele-ing when i feel the urge for some music (i’m open to tips, people!  good websites for learning, etc), integrating the reiki when it’s possible…And just more FUN!!!  Why the hell not?

and of course, keepin up with the blog.  This is my story…and I’m trying to be as honest as i can and not sugarcoat anything~this year has not been easy…but I sure the heck am learning a lot.
that’s all folks..whew!

Ambiguity of Life

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” 

~Gilda Radner

Taken from 🙂

I like it.  Roll with it, make the best of it, be present, be flexible.