Delivery, Please.

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It’s a bit odd and yet heart-sweetening to realize that you know someone that well and yet you are not bored.

When the rush-hour phone call to the cheap Asian delivery is ordered with an automatic knowing. Of course that’s what he wants. No need to think. Sesame tofu please. No egg right? No fish sauce please. I’ll pay cash at the door, as you run that yellow light.

Be it that, or Indian. Saag Paneer, no doubt. Chana masala, if we’re feeling spicy.

Sushi? Tempura rolls are a must. And there must never be the thought of shortage. We should have to beg the other to take that last piece, that’s how full one is after sharing sushi with my husband.

Pizza. Yes, always pizza. Banana peppers, olives, extra cheese. No more than two toppings unless the sky is falling down. Even though I question it every time, I know this is how he likes it, no if’s, and’s or but’s. Sounds blah to me, but it ain’t my pizza.

Speaking to a friend in passing about relationships I shared how I once stayed with a boy three years too long simply because I never spent more than a week at once by his side. Distance breeds overly optimistic perceptions of the reality of love.

Romance abounds, but with it, delusions and foolish desires of the possibility of change, even of the changeless.

Real love is sitting on the couch, exhausted and hungry. It is going to the bank and sorting laundry. It is distributing duties according to strengths and needs. It is the search for that one small but spot-on gift each birthday, each Christmas year after year, without becoming complacent or predictable. Real love is not either of these things, even when it appears routine.

True love is coming to grips with those opinions which you simply do not share, oh well. It is accepting one another’s weaknesses and sticky points, without thinking less of the person.

It is encouraging growth and sharing passions. It is deep-sea diving into the heart and finding that gem, the one that glinted in the sun first igniting a spark, years ago.

Real love is holding one another close, remembering that whispered “I love you” each night as you drift asleep.

And never ever forgetting it.

 

 

Giving Thanks

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Gratitude is a beautiful practice. It opens the heart, connects people and creates a more accepting and receptive energy that is palpable even on a physical level.

Acknowledging our blessings and giving thanks is something we can do everyday all year long, but there is something special about having a holiday as a collective reminder of this.

My husband and I moved to Denver at Thanksgiving of last year. It has been such a full and vibrant year, replete with challenges, learning opportunities, adjustments and newness.

As I reflect upon this time, I am filled with gratitude and a touch of awe.

For all the friends who offered such loving kindness as we moved away from one town and settled into another one, I give thanks.

For my dearest Thaddeus whose humor, tenderness and sensitivity carries me through my days, I am most grateful. I am constantly learning greater awareness and skills of balance, communication, grace and devotion from you. Our marriage is my greatest teacher. 

I give thanks for my little pup Artemis for her delicious snuggles and her love of play. She helps me to cultivate patience and spend a little more time in the sunshine each day.

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Asanas In The Gardens, Part 1

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Last week, Thaddeus and I did a little photo shoot at the lovely Denver Botanical Gardens with our friend Alison Hathaway of Red Shoes Photography. 

I want to share with you a few pictures from this wonderful experience. As you might know, I am normally very hesitant to have my picture taken doing asana. Honestly, I feel kind of silly and narcissistic practicing yoga in public.

Plus, I have enough bad body baggage and insecurities about my flawed practice that the thought of having it recorded for all to see is rather frightening. But nevertheless, we all had a lot of fun with this shoot and it’s good for me to realize that my body or practice doesn’t need to be “perfect” (whatever that means!) to be beautiful, beneficial and joyful.

My Ashtanga yoga practice is such an internal and deeply personal thing that I don’t normally feel comfortable displaying it physically for others. I prefer to write about it honestly. Even so, blogging is such a visual media and I have often written posts about practice and thought, “I wish I had a decent photo of me practicing for this post.”

And that is where Alison and her gifted skills with the camera came into play….

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Keeping The Lovey-Dovey Alive

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My husband and I are nearing in on our first wedding anniversary. I’ve heard from many couples that the first year can be especially hard. Life after all the wedding hoopla takes a bit of adjusting to, emotionally and practically.

Our year has involved a lot of transition – new career, a big move, school, etc., Sometimes when we are caught up in the daily grind and “adult stuff” (basically, all the paper work, taxes, home ownership stuff that I hate about growing up) it’s easy to slack on being a sweet and loving partner. During these times, I am reminded of all the good advice I’ve heard about relationships requiring work and attention.

All in all it’s been a wonderful and exciting year, but there have been some small challenges and changes in our relationship of course.

Today I was talking on the phone to a friend and she asked if we were still “all lovey-dovey.” Happily, I was able to respond, yes, indeed we are.

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On (Not) Losing Weight For My Wedding

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When I excitedly began planning my own wedding at the end of 2011, I had a dirty little secret: I was thrilled that I finally had the perfect excuse to get really skinny again.

I don’t think I’m alone here; many women work very hard to lose weight for their wedding, it’s almost expected that you do nowadays. Why?

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Baby Boggle

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When my husband Thaddeus looks at puppies, his eyes overflow with the sort of love and longing that fills mine when I look at babies.

Well, we’ve got a little time to wait before the babies, so Thad’s longing won.

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And I couldn’t be happier. I’m madly in love with this new addition to our family!

Meet Artemis! Two and half months old and absolute perfection.

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She’s a Boggle, a mix of a Boston Terrier and a Beagle.

She sleeps in bed with us at night (we decided long ago to be a co-sleeping family) and she’s an expert snuggler.

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Voila! Little Miss Artie Harjeet! Puppy cuteness extraordinaire!

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Love and Blessings,

Frances

 

 

PS – My teacher David Garrigues’ new pranayama DVD and book is out! Click here!

PPS – Enter the Kharma Khare giveaway for an awesome free yoga mat.Click here!

I’m Loving…

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Ashtanga teacher Dena Kinsberg’s beautiful words on marriage, birth and parenting. I was totally smitten by her at the Confluence – such grace, devotion and realness. I hope to have the chance to study with her more in the future. I really feel like she could be “my teacher,” especially in the coming years as I approach the questions of practice in pregnancy.

The emerald green dress in this dreamy inspiration shoot. I’m fully on board with emerald being “the color of the year” – it is crazy gorgeous.

My Thaddeus. I always love him of course, but I’m especially grateful for the extra awesomeness he’s been offering me these past few weeks. Since I’m in school right now and he is not working (he begins his acupuncture program in two months and will be fully engaged in that endeavor for the next 3 years) he has been cooking me dinner every night, preparing post-practice breakfast while I shower, running errands, cleaning the house and not even letting me touch a dirty dish. A-mazing. I really like having a housewife! He’s cute too.

This so-clean-you-can-eat-it face scrub from Naya Organics. My skin feels soft as satin after I use it.

This blog about incredible and inspirational women who’ve changed how we view the world. I love the drawings and quotes – I always learn something fascinating from this site.

Helping build the Kundalini Yoga Denver community by manning the Facebook page and other marketing tools. I love my fellow teachers  and I feel really blessed to have found this group here in CO.

What’s are you loving on right now?

 

Blessings,

Frances

 

 

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Why Not Celebrate More Often?

One thing that’s become clear to me in relationships and in life is that taking the time to make something a little more special or out of the ordinary is always worth the effort.

The last thing you want your life to be is boring, right?

I love dressing up and going out on a date with my husband like we did last week.

He shaved and put on some fancy pants, I pulled out one of my favorite vintage dresses and put on my “face”. We navigated our way to a different part of town to try out this fantastic new restaurant in Denver called The Populist.

We could have just said, “hey, let’s go out to dinner” and that would have been fine. But there’s something about qualifying it as a “date” that makes it so much more fun.

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On a date…

We never bring our cell phones. We sit and look into each others eyes and we talk about the big things, not just the “what do you need to do tomorrow” kind of stuff.

We eat dessert! Sometimes two.

My husband holds my hand, helps me with my coat, opens the car door for me and gives me extra kisses.

We always make sure to tell each other just how beautiful we think they are. It’s nice to be reminded of this sometimes.

We express how blessed we are to share this life together. Sometimes the days go by too quickly so it’s good to take pause and count your blessings and demonstrate appreciation for the people you love in your life.

Dates don’t have to be expensive or typical….

A fun date can be really simple. It’s the energy you put into it and the meaning you give it that makes a date special.

You could find a tango or salsa dance class to go to together.

You could go get fro-yo, then sit somewhere to people watch and make up stories about the folks that walk by.

You could go to an evening art walk. Lots of towns have events on the first Friday of every month where the art district is open for free gallery events. You can stroll around different venues, look at art and even get some free nibbles. Many museums are now open later on Fridays making this a fun and culturally-stimulating way to start your weekend off right.

You could go to a concert together or support your local theatre or symphony by attending a production. Going to the theatre always feels special. Plus, it’s more romantic than just a movie, in my opinion.

You could attend an Acro-Yoga class. This is always fun (and the just the right amount of silly too). Thaddeus and I co-taught a free partner yoga class on Valentine’s Day a few years ago. It was so wonderful to do this together and give this bonding opportunity to other couples.

You could go soak for hours in hot springs, drink coconut juice and massage each other’s feet.

You can even make a “date night” at home by mixing up your routine, cooking a beautiful meal together and sharing the evening by playing a game together that you both love. We love to chill on our living room  floor and engage in some healthy competition in the form of backgammon!

These are just a few simple ideas and recommendations from my experience, but I would love to hear what you like to do to celebrate the love in your relationships. Please share!

Time moves fast so don’t forget to enjoy the good stuff and celebrate what you’ve got.

Blessings,

Frances

For Which To Be Grateful.

This has been a year of great growth, learning and joy for me. 

I started this blog and that has brought a lot of fun into my world (that means you!), I got married, celebrated my both of my siblings’ weddings, and traveled to India to practice the yoga that I totally dig, among many other exciting things!

And now we’ve moved to Colorado! Thaddeus and I are on the brink of a grand adventure, starting out our life together in a new home in a new town with new careers. Big stuff.

I am blessed with prosperity, fantastic friends and community and very good health; for all this I am exceedingly thankful.

Right now I am up in Montana with Thad’s dear parents. They have been so kind and welcoming to me since the first day we met. As a family they share such sweetness and love – it’s a wonderful thing to witness.

There is so much in my life for which to be grateful. ♥

In particular, one blessing this year offered me was the chance to heal and deepen my relationships with both of my own parents.

My family, like most, is complicated. My relationship with my father has been strained and confusing ever since I was a little girl.

These past two years living on the East Coast provided me many opportunities to work through some of my karma with him. There was a bad period there when we weren’t speaking at all and I’m not sure either of us believed we would make it through that.

But with lots of patience, personal work and forgiveness, we came out the other side relatively whole, arriving at a place of acceptance of each other.

In fact, three weeks before my wedding, I asked him if he would escort me down the aisle. This was something I never-ever thought would happen. As a sassy feminist teenager I had firmly made up my mind that I would not uphold that tradition (which I believed reeked of patriarchy and symbolized the transfer of property and I certainly didn’t want to be are part of such a thing)!

But, it turns out, what it ended up symbolizing for me was an olive branch – an offering of peace to my father. A symbol that no matter the depth of our past hurt and anger, we could choose to move beyond that and enjoy a simple but potent experience of bonding between a father and a daughter.

My parents have each taught me so much about how to live in the world with appreciation for our many blessings, with grounded intelligence for maneuvering the tricky turns of life and how to stay engaged in community with an always charitable spirit. These are among the many gifts my incredible parents offered me and my siblings.

So, in honor of my beautiful, compassionate, wise and graceful mother

and my generous, kind, strong and very goofy father

I offer you my love and gratitude.

Blessings on your holiday.

Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your experiences with me.

May we make time for gratitude on each and every day.

Love Frances