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My Journal

May 14, 2015

A Beauty Calls

Beauty Makes Me Do Things

Beauty Calls  – Radiant Retreat 2015 – Photo: Julie Johnson

A beauty calls to us; a wholeness we know provides a haven and home in our skin.

The Buddhist call this beauty “our true nature.”

The Sufis call this beauty “the voice of the beloved.”

I call this beauty “You now. You on an average day. You in your bathrobe or new hot suit.”

You now. You making peace with the demons, the sadness, the loss, the terror, the joy, the happiness, the love, the kids, the back pain, the gray roots, the car troubles, the anxiety that you might not be enough, the “To Do” list, and pending stuff ahead.

We are born into this world with the dance in our step and the song in our ear and heart, yet we may first come to know it by its disappearance or absence.

We can feel a deep longing, like a lost child, and know that something essential is missing.

We can take walks at night and look up at the stars and ask, “What the heck is going on? When will I get this right? When will I be at peace with myself? When will I know myself?”

We can walk on and persist in knowing the practice and process of our true nature, asks questions, is curious, courageous and bold.

Our true nature is a process, not a cooked up PR response, not a boiled lobster red hot in the pot.

Our true nature is stone soup. It’s a work of art. It’s part leftovers, part new.

It’s doing so right now. It’s happening right now.

No matter what.

Ease up.

Listen.

Give yourself a hug.

Take a breather.

One moment to say: Today is a work of art.

No matter if it looks like a Jackson Pollack or Monet.

It’s your own. It’s your process.

Albert Camus wrote, “A man’s life is nothing but an extended trek through the detours of art to recapture those one or two moments when his heart first opened.”

I’m of the opinion that a woman’s life is an extended sway of managing her brilliant mind, hips, hormones and body through the detours of creating a love story with her life.

She must insist on knowing all parts of herself, and enjoy herself on her terms.

She must celebrate the moments when life broke her heart and say,
Yes, my heart broke, and it’s now open.

It may hurt like hell, but it’s open. She must tell the truth to her doctor, therapist, friend, lover, journal, a tree, cat, dog or bird.

She must insist on her beauty and walk on.

My high school motto: Behold I Set Before Thee An Open Door.

Walk on.

The door is open.

Love,

Jennifer Schelter​


April 20, 2015

Blossoms – Spring 2015

My friend and yoga student, Jen Torpie, took this gorgeous picture.

It reminded me of the blood in our veins,

the bloom in our souls and the beauty of reds with yellows and pinks.

Happy Monday and may we all have a week of compassion, peace and blossoms.

image


April 13, 2015

10 Things Yoga & This Taco Stand Have In Common

Taco

Solo for the first time in 10 days, I sit doing a jig on the wooden bench, waiting for my tacos.

Hail to the trumpets, accordions, and washboard beat.

The waiter brings me a Victoria cerveza and says, “Aqui Bonita!”

“Gracias, Senor!”

I swig my cerveza, “Aahhh” and write:

10 Things Yoga (and the Radiant Retreat) and my Favorite Taco Stand Have In Common:

1.    Being outside feel like happiness.

The Radiant Retreat and summer yoga are mostly outdoors. Sunshine. Birds. The wind. All part of the rejuvenation and fun. Thank you, sun.

2. Mindfulness does not mean humorless.

Go your pace. Sway, bend, flex, dance, wiggle, and stretch and dance to “Wild Thing” if need be.

3.    Personalize your order.

There’s a sidebar of fresh salsa, cilantro, grilled cactus, and green hot sauce; daring myself to try the hot stuff, I think: Try something new!

4.    Every seat is unique.

Each bench is handmade, like each body – unique. The bench-legs are all thin tree limbs, organically uneven, no perfect lines. In yoga we deliberately work with what we have. The process is all.

5.    The waiter (like a great yoga teacher) knows his craft and smiles a lot.

The waiter is Mayan, wears a bright orange shirt, welcomes with a huge warm grin and says, “Hola!” By the way he’s pours tequila, and tops it with a lime wedge, I can tell he’s proud and passionate about his work.  Find a leader or teacher who’s passionate and excellent about serving your body and mind the soul food it needs.

6.    Each Tree (as in Tree Pose) is a funky, craggy, masterpiece.

Palm fronds spread like starbursts, and plate-size mangroves fan in the breeze. Tree pose is one of the essential poses to build balance (before and after a margarita).

7.  A tin wash bucket full of fresh green coconuts and a machete rests on the driftwood stump-cutting board.

Green husk and white coconut chips are scattered beneath the stump in the sand. After a retreat (and yoga); parts of the unneeded shell around our mind and body falls away, and the juice (life force) remains. Moving the body and opening the mind on a weekly basis is a deliberate practice of feeling human.

8.    Mockingbirds (Crow Pose style) hop and flutter from limb to limb.

Their knees bend backward, wrists and claws grip and adjust. Tail a flutter. Not exactly like practicing crow pose but watching birds and pelicans help study balance. What creates flexibility and balance for your body? What creates flexibility and balance for your mind?

9.   The atmosphere is part of the process and enchantment.

Gourd lanterns with flower, hearts and stars hang above the tables. Small tin buckets over naked bulbs and votive candles in Kerr’s jars flicker light. Enough light for the giddy coconut-whacking waiter to hack open two coconuts, stick straws in the center and proudly serve them to the family with the baby dancing in his diaper.

10. Another slow swig of a beer.

Have you ever noticed that taking a sip of beer involves a back bend, a lift from the core and hips? Gold-rimmed sombreros hang on the trunks of surrounding trees. The non-Dogmatic works. No absolutes. 

I sing Ole! at the end of the song and squint at the Kerr’s jar.

It says: “Self-Sealing”.  Like Self-Healing. Self-Soothing. Self-Caring. Self-Enjoying.

I ask myself, What will I self-seal from the Radiant Retreat 2015 and Tulum?

I seal in the goodness of all the

Retreaters sunshine faces,

Mexican hospitality,

Granola and guacamole,

Life stories,

Massages,

Yoga by the sea,

Cenotes (underground caves),

Hugs and jazz hands,

Excellent, wow of Mark, Jillian and Noelle,

Jumping out of bed at sunrise,

Meditation,

Writing,

Laughter,

More margaritas,

Dogs and a donkey on the beach,

Compassion and self-acceptance,

Feet and toes in the sand,

Flute and guitars on the beach,

Singing next t the waves,

Tears,

Bright orange-shirted waiters,

Traffic on the road behind me,

Honk, honk, bark, bark

Waves hello and goodbye,

Waves and more waves,

Seaweed and pelicans,

Sweating so much,

“Si, senorita. Of course,”

A can of Off,

A great night sleep,

Marveling.

Sharing.

I seal in the goodness.

Do you have a place and time to seal in the goodness and rejuvenate?

Join me for the 10th Anniversary  – Radiant Retreat March 19-26, 2016.

Best to you and your health,

Jennifer

PS. Thank you to Jen Torpie for this dreamy photograph.

 

 


January 3, 2015

Happy New Year

IMG_1875

Steady. High tide. How will you charm, delight and enjoy yourself this year? What potential can you allow? Whose help will you allow?

Steady. Low tide. How will you charm, delight and enjoy letting go this year? What will you let go? Whose help will you allow?

The process of high and low. All good. Balance.


November 2, 2014

Gratitude for Health During the Holidays

Screenshot 2014-11-02 14.25.57

Dear Friends,

Every week I’m grateful for you.

Last week a student shared she’d over come breast cancer and now had bone cancer. She’d just moved to Philadelphia and was homesick.

“However,” she added, “I’m doing fine. I’m not a sad sack. It’s not what I would’ve wanted for myself or my life. And there’s no gift in cancer. I hate that talk. But it simplifies things.”

“How so?” I asked.

“The only thing that matters is my health, husband, and kids. It’s a relief. And it’s a cliche, but without your health, you have nothing. Loving my family is what makes me happy. That’s my job, to stay healthy and love, right now.”

Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and discovered the practice of gratitude consistently reported the following benefits:

Physical
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking Psychological
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness Social
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.

Gratitude is a shared social emotion that strengthens relationships because it illuminates how we are supported and nurtured by others. We are inter-connected beings.

There are two things that strike me about gratitude for health:

1. Gratitude is an acknowledgment of a larger goodness. We affirm that we are the recipients of a body of talents, gifts, and kindness.

That doesn’t discount heartbreak, disappointment or pain.

However, when we stand back and look at life as a whole, gratitude enlightens and points to the goodness in life.

2. Gratitude is practicing being aware of the source of goodness. We identify goodness as being outside of ourselves; the goodness of trees, water, friends, teachers, sunshine, fresh air, etc.

We identify positive traits in ourselves and a healthy dependence on others. We acknowledge that other people – or the mystery of the Universe – gave us talents and gifts, big and small, to help us feel and connect to the beauty of life.

Last weekend a friend asked me if I liked Christmas.

I said, “I love the lights and cookies, but the rest is a bit much. The stress of having to buy stuff, too many presents, too much stuff…”

Here are three ways I’ve found relative sanity and carved out a nook of calm:

1. Yoga for rejuvenation and stress-reduction. Connect to your body and consciously cultivate a meditative mindset. As you move your body, detach from judgment. Get quiet. Let go.

2. Create traditions. Enjoy your space and definition of “The Holidays”. Read, sleep, rest.  Don’t feel pressure to do what everyone else is doing.

3. Enjoy what feels good. Take a trip to the Art Museum, a dance class, or share an afternoon with a friend. Enjoy your pace and peace.

Enjoy the ride. Take a look at the offerings below.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Much Gratitude,

Jennifer Schelter


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