Synchronicity: Everything is falling into place nicely

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Things that I have hoped for are literally coming together like puzzle pieces.  This phenomenon is generally known as synchronicity. Carl Jung defined synchronicity as the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.  This week I’ve had several serendipitous events that have left me feeling blissful.

For example, last week I was glancing at a yoga magazine showing a lady in king pigeon pose.  As difficult as the pose looked I was intrigued and wondered what I had to do to master it.  That evening at my yoga class this was the peak pose and I had an opportunity to begin learning it. A few days later I had my dear friend on the brain.  Before I had a chance to call her, she called me, telling me she was in town. On Monday I found myself humming the song “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees and wondering why in the world I was singing this tune.  Later that evening, on my way to yoga class this song starts to play on the radio and I felt electrified, as if I were part of a secret and wondrous world.  And just when I thought I couldn’t feel any better than I already did, the yoga teacher’s playlist included this very song as part of her vinyasa flow class.  I quickly got out of my downward dog pose, sat on my knees and smiled.  “Oh my stars”, I thought to myself. “This is fun!”

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On Wednesday I bought a necklace pendant with a photo of Audrey Hepburn.  As it turns out it was made on a letter tile and to my surprise the letter G was on the back of it. How perfect!  Coincidentally, last week I was asked if I was participating in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I said I wasn’t but today I got an invitation to participate in this spectacular book event where I will get to meet other book lovers.  And just last night my sister and I were discussing plausible future school plans for her children. I told her I would get in contact with an educator friend of mine that could help her with her inquiries and today he and I participated in the same school event. Imagine that! It’s incredible how everything is falling into place nicely, without any effort, as If a magic fairy were sprinkling fairy dust on my path.

Something is definitley happening on a metaphysical level.  I can’t explain it nor can I prove it, but I most definitely can feel it.  My soul, my gut, my intuition are in sync with something much bigger than me and the world as I know it.  What’s causing this shift? Is it because I’m writing and my creative juices are expanding? Has my consistent yoga practice helped me tune into a part of myself that I hadn’t been able to connect with in the past? Has my relationship with God gotten stronger?  I’m certain it’s all of the above. Alas, while I don’t know what the future holds for me, I’m sure it will be great. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to see if I find any more random “puzzle pieces” in my life.

 

 

 

2014 International Latino Book Awards Finalists…PINK FIRE TRUCKS!

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2014 International Latino Book Awards

Let yourself be silently drawn by what you love. It will not lead you astray. -Rumi

For the longest time I felt stagnant in my work environment.  I couldn’t think of what else to do since teaching had been my one and only job after graduating college.  I had already finished graduate school and taken a bunch of extension courses to further develop my teaching skills. While I loved being with the little ones, I simply felt stuck.  Upon the urging of my dad I began to write. And the more I wrote, the more stories that were created. I now house several story characters, story plots and worlds in my mind. My “friends” keep me company and quietly cheer me on when I panic and wonder, “Who do I think I am and how could I ever do that?”

Today I am happy to announce that Pink Fire Trucks, illustrated by Lina Safar and translated by Liliana Cosentino is a finalist for the 2014 International Latino Book Awards for Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish or Bilingual. Yahoo!

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Here is a link to view the list of winners, dreamers and believers.

Bravo to all the 2014 Int’l Latino Book Awards Finalists!

(It’s not the most direct link, but I will update it once I get it.)

Planting Seeds: Bringing Yoga To The Neighborhood

Bryant Park, New York

Bryant Park, New York

I am currently in a yoga teacher training program. I have been immersed in my studies trying to learn sanskrit terms, the philosophy of yoga and reveling in how these new teachings directly impact my personal life and the community I am a part of.  While I love the learning aspect of the yoga teacher training, I am petrified when someone asks if I plan to teach yoga. I’m quick to answer, “Nope. I’m just taking this course to deepen my personal practice.” I have been practicing yoga for almost three years and while it has been a slow progress, I definitely have seen and felt a difference in how I deal with stress, how I view things and most importantly, the relationship with myself.

My first graders are always eager to hear what new “yoga words” I have learned. They giggled when I shared the sanksrit word: asteya: ¡No es tuyo! – Which in Spanish means, “It is not yours.” Simply put, not stealing or feeling of lack, but living with the understanding that we already have everything we need.

Now I have parent volunteers coming to my first grade classroom asking when I will start teaching yoga classes in the neighborhood. One went so far as to suggest having yoga at the neighborhood park. “Oh no,” I explain, “I don’t plan to teach, I’m just taking this course to deepen my practice.” “Pero maestra, queremos yoga pero cuesta mucho. Yo le doy unos dolares para la gasolina.”  This mother is correct in saying that yoga costs too much. Yoga classes can run up to $18.00.  But while I have the privilege to put aside money for my practice, many don’t.

To stress me out even more, my yogini classmate asked about us doing our seva hours (community/volunteer work) together.  Truth be told, I find it a daunting task to be in front of adults leading a yoga class when I myself am learning. I don’t want to be judged, crucified or ridiculed. Yoga in my experience has been a very personal, healing and transformative journey and I wouldn’t want others to experience anything less.

I’ve been praying about this for a few weeks and today I came across this amazing TED Talk Video: A Guerrilla Gardener In South Central Los Angeles. This video gave me the nudge to say, “Maybe with the help of my friends we could bring yoga to the neighborhood.”

Ron Finley, “A Guerilla Gardener” plants vegetable gardens in South Central Los Angeles.  He calls his neighborhood a “food desert” made up of liquor stores and empty land plots. Finley says he is a Ganster Gardener, flipping the script of the term used to signify violence, destruction, crime and chaos. By flipping the script he is giving his community a sense of peace, life, sustainability and order, many of the qualities that yoga brings to those who practice regularly.

I watched this video a few times and decided that I want to be a “yoga gangster”.  As corny as this sounds, especially coming from me, I do feel the pull to provide a place where mothers, fathers, children and the Lennox community at large come together and cultivate peace.  There are free and donation based yoga classes at the parks and beaches where I live. This is not the case in Lennox, or many other urban communities for that matter.  There is a definitive “yoga desert” in urban communities and my wish is to change that. If Ron Finley was able to get his community together to grow and maintain food gardens in South Central, then I don’t see why we can’t have yoga at Lennox Park. Imagine!

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While I’m not promising anything, I do know the power of intention and visualization.  It would be a wonderful thing for the community where I lived as a little girl and now teach, had a sacred place where they could go as a family to practice yoga.  If yoga has been shared and cultivated to those less fortunate in Africa (Africa Yoga Project) then I don’t see how we can’t figure something out. My team teacher is currently finishing her yoga certification and our school counselor has studied yoga.  I wonder how many Lennox yogis are out there who would be willing to share their yoga knowledge and light to the community?

Ron Finely, thanks for the inspiration!

Namaste: The light in me humbly bows to the light in you.

*For more info on Bryant Park: http://bryantpark.org/about-us/mission.html