What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

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As I believe I’ve been making clear on the blog, 2017 is a year of major travel for me, for so many reasons. There’s something special that can happen in your mid-twenties, I’m learning. Me, and many of my friends, have this lingering feeling that we are untethered for what may be the last time for a long time. Untethered to other people, a specific geographic location, future plans, a long-term job, the list goes on. We have this burning desire to make the most of this time that we are not permanently accountable to others, and many of us are choosing to use that time to see the world.

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While I’m still at my day job, I am doing a lot of weekend trips. Recently, I’ve been to Pennsylvania, Mexico, and this weekend to Chicago. I usually leave from work and have to pack accordingly. I have a tendency to over-pack (whoops!), which creates a lot of unnecessary wardrobe confusion once I arrive. Hence this post where I hope to aggregate good packing list resources, as well as my own personal – but customizable – weekend getaway packing list.

  • SoulCycle Uniform or Yoga Outfit. I have one complete outfit made entirely of SoulCycle apparel. I call it my SoulCycle uniform (branded sports bra, tank top, leggings, socks, and headband) because I only wear it to SoulCycle and nowhere else. This saves a lot of time when I’m looking for exercise clothes. If you’re going the yoga route, I suggest that you bring one pair of leggings and one top with a built-in sports bra.
  • Going-Out Outfit. What is an outfit (only one!) that you can wear from dinner to drinks?
  • Flats. Make sure that they are easy to walk in!
  • Boots. Again, make sure that they are easy to walk in (and relatively waterproof in case it rains).
  • Daytime Outfit. Jeans, a shirt, and sweater are perfect for this (i.e. the layering effect).
  • Pajamas. I suggest light ones (a t-shirt and shorts).
  • 3 Underwear. The necessities.
  • 3 Pairs Socks. The necessities.
  • Bra(s). One white and one black is usually a good rule of thumb.
  • Packed Toiletry Case. I personally love this sprinkly Kate Spade one.
  • Jacket. Suggestion: Wear it on the plane!
  • Small Purse. Something that can hold a wallet, keys, and cell phone, but no more (oh, and don’t forget to pack those things either).
  • Kindle. Make sure it’s charged and connected to WiFi before you go so that all your reads can download properly!
  • One Pair of Earrings. Make the colors fairly neutral (I like hoops for this!) so that they can go with a variety of outfits.
  • Sunglasses. You never know and one of the worst feelings is being without sunglasses when everyone else is squint-free.
  • Headphones. Seriously, these are a travel game-changer…especially if they’re noise-canceling!
  • Backpack for Main Carry-On. I love this one from State Bags.
  • Journal. Documenting is so important when on the road!
  • Pens. Pack only two or three to be a minimalist.
  • Planner. love, love, love my Lily Pulitzer planner when it comes to traveling because it has an entire gorgeous section for “Escape Plans,” as they call them. These pages, as you can see above, have spots for packing lists, itineraries, and activities / excursions. Those pages are where this blog post idea originated!
  • Cell Phone. I’ve been using the Netflix Download feature a lot to pre-load my phone with some TV and movies pre-travel.
  • Chargers. I can use the same one for my Kindle and Beats headphones, and I pack a mini iPhone charger.
  • Deodorant. Shove it in there!
  • Small Fragrance. I got a pack of mini fragrances from Anthropologie a while ago and they’re a game changer; I can just grab one and go!
  • Tea or Beverage Mix. I love Bengal Spice Celestial Seasonings teas and Nibmor hot cocoa mixes.
  • Snacks. My go-to’s are Rx and Lara bars and pre-portioned bags of almonds.

Here are some of my favorite blog posts on weekend packing lists:

4-Day Weekend: Livin’ it Up in this City

Last weekend was one of the most fabulous extended weekend stay-cations I’ve ever experienced. New York has so much to offer that it’s rare to feel as if one is fully taking advantage, but this weekend with a combination of friends coming into town, getting some movie-watching in before Oscars weekend, and the kickoff of Harlem Restaurant Week, it felt incredible to be one of many that chose to stay in NYC during a long weekend and do things to actively appreciate this unbelievably incredible city that has a multiplicity of greatness to it that I am humbled by.

Friday

Riverbank Run

Eager to see my guy who was in town for the weekend, I rushed home after work to join him for a run around the track at Riverbank State Park. The cold literally made my phone stop working and while I was at first severely disappointed to go on a music-free run, I eventually began to enjoy the meditative experience of running (jogging, really) in silence.

ROKC Ramen + Double Date

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 9.32.44 AM.pngI live in upper West Harlem, which is apparently the land of hidden gems. At the suggestion of my roommate, we went on a double date to ROKC, which has fabulous ramen, cocktails, and wait staff. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Saturday

Soulmates SoulCycle

This was unlike any other Soul Cycle class I’d ever experienced. It was led by Sue and Sean, a couple that met at SoulCycle, and are now both instructors. Between sharing their love story and playing cute 80s love songs, they led a sold-out class at W77.

I Am Not Your Negro Documentary

maxresdefault.jpgThis was by far the highlight of the entire weekend. I Am Not Your Negro should be required viewing for every American. I remember sitting in my high school English class, desks re-arranged in a circle, for the purpose of discussing Baldwin’s essay “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me What Is.” It is so rare that we get to contextualize change-makers on their own terms. At the end of the documentary, the credits Written by James Baldwin appeared on the screen and they seemed so appropriate; even though the documentary was made after his death, his words leave a legacy that this world – this country in particular – need so desperately right now. I am planning on doing a Baldwin author study group this summer – let me know if you want in!

Harlem Shake

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After we left the Magic Johnson Movie Theater, we walked the few blocks to Malcolm X, trying to process the film and yet unable to process it all at once. We arrived at Harlem Shake, got burgers and beers, and talked about the place of all of this in our world today.

Red Rooster

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We did not want to leave Malcolm X that night. It was bumpin. So, we walked into a totally crowded Red Rooster, ordered some drinks, and danced and talked some more. It was the perfect Harlem evening.

Sunday

Yoga at Laughing Lotus

Image result for laughing lotus nycWe woke up on Sunday because the boyf had a soccer game to go watch and I had some yoga to do. This Soul Sweat class was true to its name and by the time we reunited on 14th St, I needed some food.

Taim

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 9.38.09 AM.pngThe fact that Taim isn’t packed for how incredibly delicious it is baffles me. To me, my family, and everyone else I know that’s gone there, it is the best Israeli food in the city (I highly recommend the sabich – eggplant and egg – sandwich)!

Toilet Paper Exhibit at the Cadillac Showroom

We then took a walk to the Cadillac Showroom, a totally weird place with a fantastic Joe the Art of Coffee inside. I don’t completely understand what the exhibit was about, but it was definitely fun to walk through. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Monday

Call Congress

I woke up on Not My President’s Day, put on my Nasty Woman t-shirt and started calling congress using 5calls.org, which now has an app that I highly recommend downloading.

Chelsea Market

We then went down to Chelsea Market, followed by Milk Bar, for some lunch and good company.

The Bachelor

In the evening, my roommates and I opened a bottle of wine and settled in to watch The Bachelor. These cozy moments of connection aren’t anything short of critical of our popular culture today, and I mean that in the most fun way.

Tuesday

Arts ‘n Crafts

IMG_4086.JPGMy stepmother dropped off my 9-year-old sister at 8:45am Tuesday morning. The first stop on our day together was to a pottery studio on the Upper West Side, Little Shop of Crafts.

Books of Wonder

I have found it tremendously comforting to spend time in bookstores lately. Being surrounded by literature that opens up new worlds and possibilities is deeply healing and inspiring. The sis and I each chose three books, found a bench, and began to sample them all by reading the first chapter of each, before choosing one to continue with.

Yoga at Laughing Lotus

I ended the day in one of my favorite ways – with a wonderful heart-opening Lotus Hour.

2017 Intentions

Happy New Year!

While I am not the biggest fan of resolutions, I am a lover of intention-setting. I think that what deters me from setting resolutions is the idea that we somehow wake up radically different on one single day of the year. It denies the essential fact that change is a process. Intentions are inherently processual; they are all about setting an intention to begin a change or even a particular attitude that a change might represent. Intentions accept us where we are, as we are, and encourage us to be better – not “new” – versions of ourselves. So, without further ado, here are my intentions for the year to come. All I can try to diligently do is my best to infuse them into my everyday.

  1. Gauge when I need to listen versus when I need to speak up. Also, determine when I need to speak up and do so thoughtfully. And then, I intend to act from that space. As I’ve clearly written about on this blog before, I believe we are entering (have entered?) a new wave of activism. I think it is imperative to act with intention. To act unintentionally is to act carelessly, and we can’t afford carelessness. I also want to acknowledge my own privilege and my own unique experiences. I want to use them to be a better listener and a better activist…which are really one in the same.
  2. Live Lightly. These words are the lock screen on my iPhone and a fierce inspiration that came from another blogger, Miranda of Miranda’s Notebook. She writes,

    One big realisation I’ve had in living lightly is that everything is connected. What first started me on this journey was the desire to be more productive and fit more in my day. I then realised how closely productivity is linked, not only with good systems, but with my energy levels. You don’t have a great morning routine unless your evening routine ensures you’ve got a good night’s sleep. To have more energy, you need to exercise and eat right. Cleaning out your closets, developing your own style and living in a space that reflects your personal values and taste allows for organised, empowered living. Just as you can get trapped in a negative spiral of bad habits and unhealthy choices, so too can you be transformed by the positive cycle that starts with just one good habit, or one powerful statement like I want to be more productive.

  3. Embrace hyggeIt’s been getting a lot of buzz lately and I’ve personally found that there’s a reason for that. Hygge, which has no real direct translation from its Danish roots, is the epitome of what it means to be comfortable in our homes, and to make our homes soothing and comfortable places we’d want to be in. It involves sipping warm beverages, cozying up in corners with a good book, and lots and lots of blankets. Because it’s been getting so much buzz lately, it’s my pleasure to have culled together some resources on the subject: the Tea & Tattle Podcast has an episode entitled “All About Hygge,” The New York Times has a fabulous article on it, as does The New Yorker, and I have a Pinterest board entirely devoted to this art of getting cozy!
  4. Read 50 books. I set a Goodreads goal this year by joining their 2017 challenge!

What are your 2017 intentions? Broaden the possibilities of what this year can look like in the comments!

Book Review: Yoga Beyond the Mat by Alanna Kaivalya, PhD

510EvEJ6n7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAlanna Kaivalya is a yoga, spiritual, intellectual, and mythologically-oriented force to be reckoned with. I first knew Alanna as my yoga teacher – the first one that turned me onto the spiritual side of yoga. I stumbled into her class by accident; I was 15 minutes late for the hot yoga class I had planned on attending. The studio suggested I go to Alanna’s instead, and I don’t think I missed her Tuesday Jivamukti class for the rest of my senior year of high school. Then, when I was doing my yoga teacher training, I sent out a mass email asking for some pay-by-the-hour work to help finance it. Alanna responded immediately and I went on to work for her for three years. The last project I worked with her on was the chakra sections of Yoga Beyond the Mat: How to Make Yoga Your Spiritual PracticeI could not be prouder to hold the hard copy in my hands today.

Alanna is the author of two other “yoga books” (I put that term in quotes because her work extends well beyond that niche category). Myths of the Asanas: The Stories at the Heart of the Yoga Tradition (co-authored by Arjuna van der Kooij) is her physically larger book that tells the beautiful stories behind the yoga poses, complete with illustrations of both the mythology and the asanas. Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth & Meaning of Mantra & Kirtan is her reference book for the yoga of sound that transforms a Western interpretation of Eastern mythology.

When I worked for Alanna I bore witness to something that I think many yoga teachers have in common: competing interests that define their lives and careers. As you likely know from this blog, those competing interests manifest for me personally in the forms of K-12 education, grassroots activism, and my love of teaching yoga. At the age of 25 I found that I have to put these various interests into stages in my life rather than attempt to do them all at once. When I worked for Alanna she constantly challenged me to move toward integration of these various interests and parts of me. In reading this book I now know why. She herself – a world renowned yoga teacher, mythology PhD, and and lover of the pleasures that this earthly life has to offer, has found integration. The integration of those various interests and parts of her are incarnate in Yoga Beyond the Mat: How to Make Yoga Your Spiritual Practice.

The crux and deep power of Alanna’s argument which she presents gently, but firmly throughout this book, comes from Chapter 4:

Each of us has our place in the world, and each of us must stand in our place firmly and without hesitation.

However, some people begin yoga and then jettison their life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen it go through a yoga teacher training and get a divorce, move out of their house, change their careers, and make all manner of radical life changes in order to stop everything and teach yoga. In reality there are countless yoga teachers nowadays, but where does yoga actually have the most benefit? In places such as the hospital ER, The accountant’s office, and at the local middle school. No, I don’t mean rush to your local fire department and organize group classes. I mean that if you are a firefighter, be a yogi firefighter and save more lives. If you are a lawyer, be a yogi lawyer and seek greater justice…. Whatever you are, be that. Be no one else, they’re already taken.

The practices in this book are not only incredibly useful; they are extremely creative. Knowing Alanna, a next step for this book would be a supplementary material – an audiobook recording of only the practices, so that I and other readers can hear these samples of meditation, asana, dharana (Sanskrit for “intense concentration”) in Alanna’s own luminous voice.

Reading this book has made me desperately want to teach yoga again. I want to sit in class and read about the chakras in the targeted, reality-based, and utterly relateable way that Alanna lays out so clearly in this text. Then, I want to riff on the practices she offers with such abundant clarity. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who has started to get the feeling that there’s something more to this whole yoga thing. I recommend this book to people who have known that for years and have devoured the ancient texts, but are a tad unsure as to how they relate to our lives today. In an Instagram chat, I confided to Alanna that I think this is her best book yet (and I know her other books), and I mean that with all my heart.

15 Mindful Ways to Unwind After a Long Week

While this week has not been a long one by any means (I had Monday and Tuesday off for Rosh Hashanah), last week was. It was such a long week that on Saturday afternoon, after getting what I thought was a full night’s sleep the night before (hint: when you’re making up for a week’s worth of lost sleep, one eight-hour doze doesn’t cut it), I crashed, and I crashed hard. I crashed so hard that I had to call a friend to simply tell me to wash my face and brush my teeth as a way of pressing re-start at 7pm.

Which brings me to this post. Trust me – I know how to “unwind.” I have a whole repertoire of old habits that used to relax me. They involved sweets, popcorn, and binge-watching TV. But over the past eight years of seriously practicing yoga and other forms of mindfulness, I’ve realized that these aren’t actually ways to unwind. They are ways to check out. (Not that I don’t love some good TV time with popcorn and a glass of wine once in a while, but now I know that I can do this mindfully, in a planned and joyful way.)

Unwinding, however, should be part of life, not an escape from it. I am so grateful to build a repertoire of strategies that honestly allow me to unwind after a long week. I’m balancing work, grad school, and the rest of life; long weeks are just a fact sometimes. This repertoire is slowly, but surely outgrowing my old checking-out one, and here are the strategies I have to share with you.

  1. Take a Friday afternoon nap.
  2. Take a bubble bath. Lotion up after. Take in the scents.
  3. Wash your face.
  4. Brush your teeth.
  5. Go to an amazing yoga class.
  6. Do a half hour of a hOMe yoga practice.
  7. Sit on a block or cushion and meditate for five minutes.
  8. Go on a date to a nourishing restaurant.
  9. See a movie with friends. Savor the company.
  10. Do a handstand (or down dog, or child’s pose).
  11. Journal about how the week went.
  12. Have a dance party in your room, alone or in the company of others (these impromptu end-of-week dance parties are one of my favorite parts of my romantic relationship; playfulness is so important!).
  13. Check in a spin class. Let it feel like a night club on wheels.
  14. Spend time with family. Let yourself be taken care of.
  15. Organize your own tea time with a lil treat + cup of tea.

Deep breaths. Let go. Unwind.

Namaste,

Shira

 

Yoga Joy in July

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photo taken by the lovely A last year in Portland, OR with a book that inspired much

Tell me, O quickly! dream of aliveness, the flaming source of your bright breath. ~ Langston Hughes

Happy July, everyone! I hope this new month is off to a lovely start for all of you, wherever in the world you are when you read this. I am writing you from the gorgeous Aspen, Colorado, where I am soaking up the annual and oh-so-inspiring Aspen Ideas Festival. Today is the third day of the festival, and more and more, I am reminded of the transformative power of ideas, and all they are capable of when put into action.

I think I am beginning to realize that ideas, when they aren’t put into practice and shared with the world, are dreams. Dreams are wonderful because ideas can be challenging to carry out, especially when we have many of them. Yet, there is something potent in what separates the ideas that make it up to the stage at this festival, such as Bryan Stevenson’s idea that children have a right to be children, regardless of crimes committed, or the ideas that Emily Bazelon espouses in the Slate Political Gabfest. These are dreams that people have transported into reality.

Speaking of, I would love to use this blog post to put some of my ideas into action. I am thrilled to share that I have spent many, many hours working on an online course for creating a yoga practice (a massive extension of the workshop you received emails about just a week ago, and one you can do anywhere).

But, before we launch into the e-course fabulousness (this email is chock-full of details!), expect some local yoga happenings this month in NYC! I’m teaching a Community Yoga class at Harlem Yoga Studio (i.e. donation-based! no excuses!) this Sunday, July 3rd, from 3:30-4:30pm. Because I’m having a summer full of travel, I will be mainly subbing so stay tuned on my website, as well as on social media, for additional sub dates as they come up!

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If you take the course LIVE with me starting on July 15th (and you can sign up anytime until then), you will receive a full 20% OFF with the code LIVELEARNER.
Yoga U Summer School is my online course that’s been in the making for years! Through taking this course, you will learn a plethora of strategies for starting + sustaining hOMe yoga practices that will blow your minds + keep you coming back to your mats!

Over four weeks, you’ll enjoy: 

  • a detailed syllabus that will lay out exactly how to create your hOMe practice in a manageable, step-by-step fashion
  • 9 detailed + fully developed lessons in total, which you can do at your own pace (unless you love structure like me and want to do it syllabus-style)
  • plenty of video content to bring the practice to life
  • a ton of encouragement, resources, essays, hOMework, visual cues + diagrams to make your yoga practice the best that it can be
  • unlimited email contact with me + a private Facebook group so that you can get answers to all your questions!

Curriculum Preview

  • WEEK ONE: SUSTAINABILITY
    • About Me + Your Syllabus, Top 5 Tips, Journaling Prompts
  • WEEK TWO: AMBIANCE
    • Checklists for both what you need + what you might want, a tour of my own yoga room, creating a mood, + how to make a yoga playlist that fits your practice perfectly
  • WEEK THREE: ASANA
    • Finding Your Sun Salutation, videos + PDFs of practice structures, hip opening + hip closing, peak poses
  • WEEK FOUR: MOVING ON
    • Using props effectively, meditation, service, intentions

Remember, if you sign up before July 15th, the price of this course will decrease dramatically…and the content will never go away! You’ll have full access to the wide variety of lessons + home practices to do at your own pace, whenever you want!

I hope to see you on the mat or online soon!

Book Review: The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga by Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith

Yoga is the process of skillfully turning challenges, failures, hurts, and mistakes into opportunities. – Amy Ippoliti + Taro Smith

The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga: The Yoga Professional’s Guide to a Fulfilling Career (New World Library, June 8, 2016) by Amy Ippolitti with Taro Smith is a comprehensive guide to marketing yoga teaching as a sustainable business, while upholding the integrity that the practice demands. The book is part guide, part exercises and part memoir of Ippolitti’s and Smith’s already-achieved success as yoga business professionals. In fact, the second I received the offer to review this book in my email inbox, I immediately knew I wanted to write it…because I’ve admired Ippoliti’s work for years.
62ea9d1f-4979-4049-8a51-032bdb818944.jpgI was obsessed with the name and concept of her e-course, 90 Minutes to Change the World, even though I could not afford to take it when it was live. This book, however, takes that course and mass produces its most vital content because guess what? There’s room at the top for a whole lot of successful yoga teachers (and Ippoliti and Smith even take the reader through creating their own definition of success at the beginning of the book!).

There’s an irony in how, during the one time in my life I was making a living solely by teaching yoga, I could not afford to take that e-course. This irony is a problem, and one that Ippoliti aims to solve in her book. Here are my key take-aways for how to solve that problem, that I gleaned from reading this phenomenal book:

  • We need to make sure that our yoga business embodies the ethics that our yoga practice is about.
  • Yoga teaching is both an art and a profession.
  • Schedule everything in! Including self-care!
  • As teachers, we are responsible for being skillful, which means teaching to who is in the room and managing time well. 

With chapters like “Yoga Business Basics,” “Class Planning and Preparation,” “Presenting Yourself as a Teacher,” and “Social Media,” The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga speaks to yoga teachers at all levels, from the newly trained to the once-a-week teacher to those with their eye on national, multimedia reach.

“To be a yoga teacher is to embody what it means to have well-being in life, and in turn to impart that understanding to others,” writes Amy. “Trust yourself and your own authentic seat as the teacher. Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself, do your practice, and kindle your own fire. Then watch how your enthusiasm and energy can light up another’s fire. This is how we help wake up the world.”

The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga is an amazing and comprehensive take on all a yoga teacher needs to know to run their own business successfully, with savvy, and while keeping their integrity intact. Everything is full of the intention of usefulness behind it all. It has templates for creating your own yoga binder, marketing plans, and more. From a full guide for how to sequence a yoga class to how to gain control of your finances, Ippoliti doesn’t hold back. And, while being about business, it is not a book without heart.

When I finished reading this book, as I sat on my grandmother’s dining room table (this was most definitely my vacation read), lounging around in new Spiritual Gangster sweats and my “Hoosier Valentine” t-shirt (thanks, N!), I felt a jolt of inspiration flow through me. The first Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is “Atha Yogash Nushasanam:” “NOW, the practice begins.” I now feel able to apply that wisdom to my yoga teaching practice, as well as to my own practice on the mat. I feel inspired to create marketing plans for all that I am offering this summer, when yoga becomes my main business, versus my side job like it is during the school year. My computer has shared screens; one for the PDF of Ippoliti’s book, and the other for GoogleDocs: my own marketing plan buzzing with the excitement of being a container to help me teach and make a greater impact. I will not be letting go of this book anytime soon.

To order the book, click here.

For more information, check out Ippoliti’s website.

Tea Time + Taking Time

  I began writing this post in Edinburgh while delighting in the tea time I manufactured for myself on the train back to London. That morning, I bought a spelt scone at Loudon’s, a truly incredibly bakery / eatery with the sweetest staff in the university neighborhood. Now, I’m at Le Pain Quotidien before a Soul Cycle class + grad school + after my first day back at work after spring break. Needless to say, this feels as different from lounging on a train for four hours as possible. I am enjoying a different kind of spelt scone just because it looked the best, and I am sipping Earl Grey tea that is not nearly as good as the Yorkshire tea I got on the train, but it is Earl Grey and it is 4pm and my body now craves tea time for its calming and re-setting properties more than anything else.

Upon returning from the U.K., I started reading Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide by Sharon Ables. The nature of the book is permission-giving. Where Ables identifies herself as a Francophile, I now absolutely identify myself as an Anglophile. Judging from her book, one thing the French and English seem to have in common is the enjoyment of simple pleasures / luxuries as a way of resetting the day. And, in order to preserve those simple luxuries, boundaries are necessary. And, oh, how much easier boundaries are when there is nothing pushing against them! And, oh, how vital they are when there is.

Ables writes,

Once you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can more easily establish the areas in which you are willing to be a bit more flexible and those on which you need to stand firm.

Establishing your boundaries in life is one of the healthiest and simplest things you can do to prevent frustration. And the only way to truly know where your boundaries are is to take time to be by yourself. What are you unwilling to compromise on because it is at the core of your values and beliefs? What can you give a little on and not feel as though you have lost a piece of yourself?

 

What do boundaries have to do with tea time, you might ask? Everything! Healthy boundaries have everything to do with tea time! Tea time – taking 15 minutes, a half hour, 45 minutes, whatever as long as it is something – to stop what you are doing, pour a cup of tea and bite into some fuel while the day still is, believe it or not, young, is totally revolutionary. The experience requires a thoughtful pause to luxuriate in the sensuous.

So take this post as permission because sometimes, even though we don’t, a busy society tricks us into thinking that we need it. Relax. Grab a cup of tea. Blissfully luxuriate in your own company, and see where the pause leads you.

Friday-ING Week of March 8th

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From last week’s column: About a year ago, I attempted to do a monthly “Link Love” column on the blog. It worked for a while until it got a bit too daunting. Instead, I am moving to a weekly format at Growing Up On OM to share all that I am readING, writING, listenING to, watchING, and teachING. It is my hope that this will help me document these things not only for my own reference, but as a source for constant entertainment and inspiration for all the readers of the blog. So here goes: my second FridayING post. Enjoy!

readING

listenING

  • This American Life #464: Invisible Made Visible (so good!)
  • Writing in Real Life #054: The One Where Leia Watches Law & Order (I really loved what they had to say about prologues)

watchING

  • Downton Abbey Series Finale (Seriously, this one takes the cake; it was every happy ending I would want and more!)
  • GIRLS
  • Scandal

teachING

Friday-ING: Week of February 21

df81660a9d208d880973616da07027d0.jpgAbout a year ago, I attempted to do a monthly “Link Love” column on the blog. It worked for a while until it got a bit too daunting. Instead, I am moving to a weekly format at Growing Up On OM to share all that I am readING, writING, listenING to, watchING, and teachING. It is my hope that this will help me document these things not only for my own reference, but as a source for constant entertainment and inspiration for all the readers of the blog. So here goes: my first FridayING post. Enjoy!

readING

  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
    • This is my “after-work” read. In the morning, when I’m motivated, I devour my graduate school textbooks. But, after a long day of work, I need something a bit more mindless and this book is exactly that: a novel on New York City love and scandal.
  • Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg
    • I started this gem this morning after a challenging day not feeling my best at work yesterday. And here’s a nice takeaway gem for some Friday inspiration:

We can reignite the revolution by internalizing the revolution.

listenING

With the 1 Train going out of order over the weekend, I’ve been devouring podcasts like it’s nobody’s business.

watchING

This week, I really developed a much greater understanding of how television and popular culture have a magical way of strengthening interpersonal relationships through providing common ground and fodder for thoughtful conversation. I spent a lot of the week having incredibly conversations about Downton and Transparent. So highly recommended!

teachING

  • Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade by A.B.K Bruno
    • I’ve written about this book before and I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to teach this book again as part of my main curriculum, and to include within it a project on what my third graders can do to help with climate change!
  • Rosa Parks and Black History Month
  • Confessions of Former Bully
  • The Secret School by AVI
    • The highlight of teaching this book has been having the students teach their own lessons to figure out what it would be like for them to be the teacher, even if just for ten minutes.
  • Bhakti (at my other job over at Harlem Yoga Studio): the yoga of devotion!