What’s on Your Life Plate? A 45-45-90 Triangle


Last night, I was blessed with quite the insightful dream.


This weekend, I found myself calling out another girlfriend for her non-stop motion, then caught myself realizing what I really needed to do what check in with the RPM of my own wheels. After all, I’d written last week about how when we see someone else’s darkness or flaws, oftentimes it’s a mirror reflecting a similar issue in ourselves (works the same way with their light and beautiful side, by the way ūüėČ

I retired to bed by 9:15pm last night, asking the Universe to send me a dream for clarification regarding my life plate. What can I handle right now? How much can I do without losing focus, burning out, or squandering precious time family and social relationships right here, right now? ¬†We talk frequently about what’s sustainable for the planet; what’s sustainable on a personal level?

Interestingly enough, an intuitive friend in real life made a cameo in my dream world. As I attended some sort of outdoor dream wedding where guests wore bikinis, sundresses, and board shorts, my friend appeared. She didn’t say a word, but passed me by with a brief smile and left in my mind the image of a typewritten “45 squared-45 squared- 90 squared”.

After jotting down notes from the dream, the puzzle of dream images started to piece together. The trigonometry that’s been so crucial in my study of physics lately came to mind. A 45-45-90 degree triangle has two legs of the same length while its hypotenuse is a little longer. One big angle with two smaller angles of the same size. Find any side of a triangle by using the Pythagorean Theorum: A squared + B squared = C squared. Each angle and leg affects the other angles and legs of the triangle.

Metaphorical Triangles have made their way into my life as well lately. A love triangle or two, yes (just say no!). More¬†relevant,¬†however: a friend of my Father’s mentioned last week (in real life) that it’s best to have three things going on in your life, on your ‘plate’. Any more than three, we discussed, it’s simply difficult doing anything well and your relationships tend to suffer. Any less, well you just aren’t applying yourself. ¬†A life triangle of sorts; A trio which belongs on one’s Life Plate.

So, I drew out a little 45-45-90 triangle, symbolizing my ‘output’ in the world. At 90 degrees, I wrote in my largest focus: school. The other two angles, each 45 degrees, get equal attention, and luckily in my case, overlap: “work” and “creativity”: yoga and writing. All support one another, forming a nice little triangle to fit on a maneagable, stimulating, well-rounded, yet not overtaxing life plate.

Dreams are such blessings; I encourage everyone to scribble even a few words upon waking to stimulate dream recall. The¬†subconscious¬†has much to tell us about ourselves, and¬†I think it takes getting to know yourself well enough to know what should–and should not– make it into your triangle. That is, if you are a triangle person. Perhaps you are one of those people who can fit a square or even a hexagon onto their lifeplate…

What’s up on your triangle? What’s your 90-degree focus, and what are your 45-degree angles supporting it? Or are you balancing a square or hexagon on your plate? Maybe you’ve chosen one focus, a circle? Please comment below, would love to hear your thoughts!

Deep Thought of the Day


Fear leads to ego-based action. Motivation from without.

Trust leads to true Self-based action. Inspiration from within.

The above Deep Thought of the Day coincides with the yogic concept of Isvara Pranidhana, surrender to a source greater than oneself. Isvara Pranidhana is one of yoga’s niyamas, or outward practices which lead to one’s bliss, as listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Let go and Let _________

(insert your faith here, whether God and/or JC, the Universe, the Higher Power, or as the Artist’s Way put it, G-ood O-rderly D-irection. Believe in something¬†fully. Trust all is going exactly right. And watch the inspiration flow.

Niyamas (Yogic Outward Practices):

Saucha: cleaniliness

Samtosha: contentment

Tapas: austerity and discipline

Svadyaya: self-study

Isvara Pranidhana: surrender to a higher power.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali II.32

Maui, Hawaii: Paia and Hana

I popped over to Maui last Saturday evening after work. Without a ride to the airport on such short notice (flight booked that morning, about 5 minutes before heading out the door to work, threw a backpack of island necessities together for the 3-day stint), I chanced the Oahu bus to get me there (made it. thebus rocks!)  

travel light. 
Baldwin Beach, Paia, Maui

Letting go.  

Amy, my lovely Maui babe gal pal who just¬†knows¬†how to have fun (and also solid for a good Eckhart Tolle/Universe/”how this life works” talk ūüôā, met me at Kahului airport.¬†

Adventures proceeded. 

cleansing old and new gemstones at Baldwin Beach
during a solo beach sesh:
labradorite,  carnelian, turquoise, quartz

The first day I hung out in Paia, Maui’s coolest little boho village while Amy works. ¬†I’ve always felt right at home here. I beachcombed Baldwin Beach, took a swim, browsed the boutiques, met some friendly people, and of course, had lunch at Mana Foods (the BEST health food store ever). We spent¬†a calm¬†evening at the beach, acting like little kids till sunset. Let the joy begin.

On Monday morning, four of us packed up a cooler full of Mana goodies and set out for the Road to Hana. ¬†I hadn’t done this since I was a little girl. ¬†

Hana is just breathtaking.  

Halfway through the Seven Sacred Pools hike, I took off my Merrell barefoot shoes and truly went barefoot.  

The “squish squish” of the mud beneath my feet, the feel of every step, ahhh such freedom, such connection to nature. ¬†

At the very end of the hike, the waterfall was at full force. ¬†Most hikers kept their distance, but we crept up close. ¬†I couldn’t help but feel magnetized towards the strength, the natural power of the fall. ¬†I stood and inhaled the mist, lift my arms up towards the sky, closed my eyes, and just allowed nature’s/universe’s/God’s energy to sink in. ¬†
nataranjasana/dancer’s pose at Seven Sacred Pools, Road to Hana

On my final day, Amy set me up with friend Matt to motorbike tour around the island. ¬†I was unsure, as my way too careful self has never taken this step on the wild side via motorcycle (“Amy, are you sure?”). ¬†

I took the leap and jumped on the bike.  

One word: exhilarating.

motorcycle tour of the westside with Matt:
Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili, with a pitstop at raw vegan restaurant Choice.
being silly girls with guava.we had such a good time, amazing talks (one to be written about in a later post…),and some much, much needed FUN.¬†
Hana Farms Banana Bread
Matt, #1 Maui Tour Guide!
this Maui trip was pure soul food.


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 MindBodyGreen.com ūüôā

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

Packing. . .

I’m sitting on my knees on the floor, staring at two enormous blue suitcases. I’m simply staring, frozen, at the two suitcases that will contain my life. My life in possessions that surely weigh more than me.

How am I supposed to pack up my entire life for a year into two suitcases? Did I mention there is a 50 pound weight limit per case?! One already has too much in it (read: stuffed with clothing), the other is starting to become full of essentials like vitamins, a year’s supply of deodorant and toothpaste, sheets, large (American-sized) towels, and my daily necessity that I heard is hard to come by: a little spice called Cinnamon (I even put this stuff on my eggs).

If you’re wondering, in five days, I’m leaving my Southern California beach life for Asia. I’m off to teach kindergarten English for one year in Seoul, South Korea. The opportunity kept coming up through a friend for about a year before I jumped in. Korea appealed to me because not only is it near top vacation spots such as Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, and more (plus Korea has it’s own vacay spots like Busan!), but also the school’s compensation package allows teachers to save some money while living a comfortable lifestyle. Having friends already living in Korea is a big plus!
I traveled Europe at age 19 and LOVED it…a summer study abroad program in England. I had never felt so alive. I’ve always had quite the independent spirit, and during that trip, I found out I’m a pretty adventuresome traveler. I always lost the group and found my own adventure that summer, sometimes bringing fellow study abroaders with me, often making newfound friends along the way. The Euro trip culminated with a 3 day solo trip to the Island of Ibiza, Spain. Looking back, a bold move for a 19 year old girl. I had the time of my life.
On January 1 of 2010, I found myself rummaging through our storage unit, and stumbled upon my travel journal from that magical summer. The journal was full of excited, alive writing, and little things like seashells, sugar packets, plane/metro tickets from all over Europe. I was in a decent position at my job at a wellness center, with amazing coworkers surrounding me, but trudging through the mud everyday. An adventure was desperately needed. So, I took this as a sign. New year, new life. A week later, I put in two weeks notice at my job, trusting that this new plan would unfold perfectly. And two weeks later I’d secured the job in Korea. Pretty cool!
Now it’s almost time to leave. And this whole packing thing has jolted me to the core. When did I become so tied to my material possessions? What’s with the anxiety surrounding packing, and leaving “stuff” behind? Logically, I know a person does not need much stuff. I know to only bring the things I absolutely adore. But going through my clothes (oh, and being an avid thrift store junkie, oh there are many clothes), I’m coming up with outfits that I haven’t even worn here in the U.S., and thinking, “well, I could layer this with that…”, and “that shirt would be good to teach in”. Then my logical side comes in and says, “Elisa, you haven’t worn this outfit all year…what makes you think you’re going to start now?”
This mind-boggling packing dilemma has me asking questions of my friends already in Korea. One says to bring only the essentials, because people tend to accumulate during their stay. Makes sense. So, in theory, this is what one should pack for Korea. . . (see photo of pile below ūüôā
Whew. So much for packing light…better get down to it! Till next time…