Thursday, December 13, 2012

{ a back and a foreword } mother. yogi. witness. austin, tx

This is what I appreciated almost exactly one year ago. Today I have even greater appreciation for these three marvelous girls. Not a day goes by that I don't think to myself "I have been so blessed." Even in the murk of scab pulling that I have been so intwined with recently, they remain the brightest of all lights in my life. They remind me to laugh, to breathe, and to play.

looking back 1 year

As I stirred my coffee this morning (with delicious gingerbread marshmallows bobbling on top), I was churning ideas for New Years celebrations, because I will have a significant amount of time off (for me) and lots of playtime with my lovelies. I want to make it memorable, both by being fun and meaningful.

I am inclined toward the word "Intention" as opposed to the commonly preferred "Resolution." Maybe I even like "Direction"...."What will I create for myself in 2013?" "What will we do as a family in 2013?" "What do I want in 2013?" All of this mingled with the steam of french press holiday blend and I was inspired, so it will be artistic, it will have meaning, and we will do it together...a painting to represent our intentions for 2013. I am so excited, like a kid I cannot wait for this party! This is what play is all about my friends, rekindling that childlike joy and anticipation, that zeal for the juicy parts of living.

It hasn't come without tears and a bloody mess inside, what is brilliant is that it comes along with that and those aches make the splendor more splendid.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

{ perception + energy } yogi. witness. photographer. austin, tx

A favorite author of mine wrote "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin


How true this is and I have finally come to see, if even what I recognize now is just a tiny glimpse into the truth, it's empowering in my choices. Though I have to stop often and consider "why might I be responding this way?" or "what has me so outside my natural self about this situation?" it is changing me in a way that feels lighter and opens me, allowing my creativity to spill into more than merely art projects, writing, and those blatantly artsy things, but to truly manifesting new and fresh experiences to my life.

Last night I cried as I drove over a hill and caught site of the fading blue and luscious orange of the Texas sunset illuminating perfectly a large light barked tree with it's smattering of golden-green leaves set off by that water-color backdrop. My heart felt the beauty and I believe my heartbeat became rhythmic with the pulse of nature, I was home energetically. I felt as though this vibratory alignment has occurred many times before and the familiarity was inspiring. Now I am feeling the shedding of layers compiled of stories that I wrote inside myself and declarations that I made that were self destructive, all can be brought to light and I can place them back in my "life album" as experiences, part of this human life I am living. Maybe not gone, perhaps not even fully healed, but realized in the light as separate from I. My past does have to create my future. How simple, but for me so profound.

My next post shall not be so heavy, because through all of this learning, a shifting has happened where Joy, Play, and Delight have become some of my favorite words!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

{ pranayama } yogi. witness. austin, tx

I wrote today. I was empty and I sat in my discomfort like a child in a plastic wading pool. I recognized so many times how I have sought refuge in vices, avoiding the experience of feeling my feelings. I listed all that came up as I let myself be with my emptiness, all the ways that I turn from my higher self and act out of fear. "What makes me so afraid?" I asked myself this question in earnest. The only answer is the unknown. I fear what I will see when I experience my pain without any numbing or distraction, when I look at it face to face and acknowledge that it no longer serves me, that my stories have been just that...stories. I am awake.

That was easier today. Tonight, that list of ways in which I run away from my emptiness is laid out before me. I am determined to live from my essence, I sit here with tears and snot, I inhale with unearthly control to the count of f o u r, hold...I open my mouth and I release a heavy sigh out, deep and audible like I am fogging a mirror. Finally I get it, being with my pain is pranayama. Prana, the breath, it is life. This practice of breath is practice of life, living through each moment with awareness of what I feel, whether it be scary or lovely, painful or uplifting, my breath does not stop and my life does not either. My breath can transform, transcend, and bring me back to Divine truth. I AM still, I AM.

I am writing tonight. Writing because it's another part of my practice, being in my body and aware of how everything is in this moment and trying my best to articulate it. These words are my generous exhalation. I pray they turn into crystalized violet light and shimmer out into the world like a lace blanket of lovingkindness.


Monday, November 26, 2012

{ farcical + surrender } yogi. witness. austin tx

So often I have said things like "I am letting go," or "I release...", even "I surrender." All of these sound so very passive, but today I realized that there may be times when "letting go" is passive, but there are other times when it's a violent and strenuous work of removal.

Maybe making space sounds lovely and peaceful, but think of the weed that is forcefully yanked from the soil where it has grown roots and happily soaked in nutrients. Space has to be made for the gardener to plant what he/she truly intends to grow in his/her garden. Consider the sweat that must pour out for weight loss, the photos burned for lovers to force memories to fade, friends left miles apart when jobs require moving, or watching a child fall over and over as they learn to walk without help, all of these are moments of release.

Not even slightly surprising, I find the answer to current struggles on my yoga mat. I will use Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose) as my example. This pose is so often viewed as a resting posture, the "break" in the middle of an active flow, or the asana leading to our final savasana. I have found myself thinking "oh yes, pigeon, I've made it!" When practiced actively for a deep "release" of the hips, this requires focused breath and a conscious choice to surrender all that surfaces as the hip joints open and emotions that are stored inside begin to unfurl. When fully encompassed, this pose often brings tears and is not a gentle "release" at all, rather it is an aggressive purging of all that is no longer serving our body, mind, and heart. When we twist, activate our muscles, and send thoughtful breath that acknowledges "it's okay to fight this letting go, but it has to come inhale- wrestle with pain and exhale- send it away with strength" then this pose becomes transformative.


With life issues I find much the same, it hurts, I don't want to open my heart's grip on things I have long been clinging to, but as I close my eyes and breath in and out, Divine love replaces the areas where ripping and tearing out have left me empty. Just like my Pigeon experience, I find new space, new depth, and sometimes soreness lingers for days.


Friday, October 19, 2012

{ book confession } yogi. student. mother. austin, tx

Tonight I was confronted with the fact that I might have a problem with books. After going to an amazing show, I got home a little earlier than planned so I decided to indulge in reading! My dilemma was that even after packing a few boxes of books in preparation for my upcoming move...I still could not decide what to read before bed, I want to read them ALL!!

Confession: My name is Amelia, and I am a book-aholic. I might have to begin goaling myself to read certain ones or set some kind of challenge that will help me decide what to read and when, I think I am facing paralysis of choice tonight. Perhaps I can make a "wheel-o-books" and spin to find what I should read. I will figure out some way to narrow it down and read for a bit before my eyelids become too heavy, and whatever I come up with I will let you all know. Until then, if you need any book recommendations, ask away, I have a lengthy list to share.

Light, love, and calm dear ones!


Monday, October 15, 2012

{ dream + arrows } yogini, believer, esoteric soul, austin tx

I have a tattoo on the back of my left arm of intersecting arrows. When I decided what I wanted I had no idea why, I just wanted arrows and I wanted them to look very Native American. Now I understand my attraction, it's this lovely Muse, Diana.


Her name stems from the word for light, and she is also a goddess of the sun and moon, the lights of heaven. - Julie Loar "Goddesses For Every Day."

I look at this picture and feel empowered, I see my tattoo (now I have another of a bow & arrow), anytime I see arrows, I recall that light and energy surround me and hold me surely as air holds a bird in the long as that bird keeps her wings open (lovely illustration found in The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield).

Is this an esoteric post, of course, I'm an esoteric woman, but stay with me and you will find the connections. My life has been in massive transformation, I feel like for the last year, in fact it is exactly the year mark from when I accepted my calling to teach yoga and jumped out to meet the Universe. Since then many things have circled and swirled, looped and let go, and I find myself wondering how it's only been one year and where the time went so quickly.

September 21st I made the decision to move closer to my work and all my activities, a huge mark in my life as I have been scared to do this for about 2 solid years of wanting to. I found a place I love and was applied for my first apartment all alone and I got it! I move in two weeks, when I found out I screamed and jumped, I still squeal with excitement every few days.

Last week was the hardest, I'm actually not entirely ready to go into details but I am going to get my first new car today, I am also giving voice to my dream of teaching yoga and offering myself to a studio.

I read this on Friday and I knew it was meant for me at that exact moment because I have believed it in the past, but in this moment I am living it.

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his(her) way. I have learned deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now."" - Steven Pressfield "The War Of Art"

Even when things in my life seem to be falling apart, I want to remember...all that comes is coming to make space. Stay open my friends. Whether you call it God, the Universe, angels, ect....there is an energy that wants to co-create with you the greatest life ever, dream big and believe big, and do some yoga any chance you can!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

{ sweat + free } yogini. austin, tx

Hey friends, if you missed free yoga last Sunday/Monday tomorrow is the perfect day to jump back in! I'm teaching a free all levels power vinyasa class at Luke's Locker in Austin. 5th/N. Lamar at 10am. Let's start the week with a lovely sweat.


Friday, August 31, 2012

{ sunday free yoga } yogini. austin, tx

Wanted to let you all know I am teaching this Sunday 10:00 am at Luke's Locker on 5th/Lamar in Austin. It's a free class for all levels. We will be focusing on core, legs, and smiles. I really love the playlist and sequence and I look forward to sharing with you and starting Sunday on our mats together. Peace and sweet dreams lovely souls.


Monday, August 27, 2012

{ paddle + myth } yogini. water baby. austin, tx

I've been paddle boarding a few times this summer. I was hooked after my first time out, which was a paddle board yoga class at 7:45am on a sunny Friday morning.... For those of you who might not be familiar with stand up paddle boarding, I will enlighten. You are sent off on your knees with one paddle on a board that is similar to a surf board. Once you are away from the dock you stand up and paddle around, kind of Huckleberry Finn style.

paddle board in austin
Photo credit: SUPATX, Austin, TX 2012

Today I went alone and paddled far, I wanted to paddle away all my stress and frustration. I began with the mission to paddle until I felt a change in myself and then I would practice some yoga. Truly I thought I would be paddling far, really far, before I sensed some relief. What actually happened was that I began to look down, I started to notice all the life and beauty just below my board. Maybe 10 minutes into my quest and I started to write...

I was floating above the thicket of the water world. Brushy wild flowers swimming and growing at the same time. A mesmerizing home for those who live below the surface of the water. Turtles ducked behind aquatic dandelions who hold wishes because they can't ever be blown away. Mermaids must surely be lounging in the cool of these magical pink and amber bristles. I didn't want to let me paddle touch the water and disturb this sacred place. I glanced up and all around me other's seemed unaware of the miracle that began 3 inches below the warm rippling water. I don't know how far I went, it felt like I was above them for a year, then it was gone. I looked for this place on my return, but they felt my awareness and vanished. I saw many of the turtles relocating, they winked at me and dove back to their hiding place of wonder, back to their moving world that I was momentarily allowed to see.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

{ uniquely alike } yogini. writer. austin, tx

I saw this flower on my trip. This lonely, strange flower. She is kind of a daisy, only not quite because her heart is blue, she has secret pains that make her a special kind of lovely. She confuses those who come close enough and look long enough for her oddities to unfold. White petals make her seem pure, untouched and pristine. Where she lives tells a different story, this flower has known a life of struggle, to grow up and bloom through thicket and thorn must not have been a simple way to reach the sunlight she now soaks up. Still, she is there teasing the chain link fence which threatens to hold boundaries and she lends her beauty to amuse and cheer the traveler such as myself. We are alike this flower and I.

Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA. 2012


Friday, August 10, 2012

{ mirroring. } yogini. witness. self student.

I'm writing today because I need to. Because I want to. Because if I don't write something today I feel like I might drop into silence for another few months. I am grateful for the people, books, and situations in my life that are making me a more loving person. Some days it is very difficult to accept that this is my work, that all friction and pain is for my benefit and growth. There are some days that I just want to cry, some days that I do, and some days that I just want someone stronger to give me a hug and say I'm doing a good job.

When I read the paragraph above I recognize the girl that is sharing, she is me. She is much younger, but still me. I am finally beginning to see and process the stories that I pushed away from my past. Funny how what hurt me when I was a child is still what hurts me today. Even though I should look back through the eyes of an adult, there are certain things that send me spiraling back into the past, to my daybed with the farm animal comforter where I see me curled up in tears. Things that scared me then I find at the root of what scares me today. What I know about that little girl is that she makes it, the very things that hurt that small version of me don't hold her back from living. In fact, every tear that falls is met with compassion from the Universe and from me.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{ the where and now } yogini. photographer. witness.

Last night I was exhausted, my first shift back to work after 6 days away on vacation. I arrived home thinking I would collapse into bed and sleep immediately, soundly. That did not happen. I readied myself for bed, taking extra care with washing my face and braiding my hair. Still waiting for the heaviness to visit my eyelids I began reading a blog of someone I am growing very close to. I was struck by the oddness of reading these stories and happenings that all came before we met, by the way our lives could be so far apart and eventually cross and even become parallel. Where had my life been during these times that I was reading about? Why could I not remember that I also had so much happening in 2009, 2010, 2011...? I realized a huge disconnect I have had from my past, even my recent past, because my focus has been so much engaged in things now and days ahead. I revisited my own blog and feel compelled to share what I gleaned from my trip through the randomness of my posts over the last few years.

Photo- Venice Beach, CA 2012 Amelia Raun

As I looked back at my stories, musings, photos, lessons, ect. I saw someone I admire. Why have I continued to struggle with so many of the same issues? Why have I not celebrated more of the triumphs that I have had? What has caused me to lose my written voice? So many things I began to wonder, so many aspects of myself that I began to mourn the loss of. New things have emerged that I am grateful for, so much change through my yoga training and relationships come and gone, I love where I am and where I am going, but I don't want change all that I have gone through to get here, I want to bring it into my present as strength. I recognize that I gave control to my fear of vulnerability and lost what I am most proud of about myself, my openness and willingness to be seen, loved or not.

It was a heavy and wonderful read, if you have your own blog or journal I encourage you to go back and see what reading it feels like for you. Today I am more me than I was yesterday and it feels so damn good.


Monday, July 16, 2012

{ post-nominal } - yogini. photographer. mother. austin, tx

In October of 2011 I had a revelation. Within a short time I drastically changed my direction. Investing time, money, and passion I set out to become a registered yoga instructor. On July 7th, 2012 I became Amelia Raun, RYT.

For my final project I wrote about chakra balancing with children and I had a photo shoot with my own girls to illustrate. I'll be candid and confess that the outtake photos are my favorites. I love these wild girls.

chakra mama project

Articulating the changes that have taken place in my life through this experience is difficult. The other students in my training have all changed so much as well and yesterday one graduate and I were musing over that fact. My dharma now is to give back and to be a spark to inspire others to embark on their personal journey. It's scary, exciting, freeing, magnificent, and so vast. It is like waking up from a long nap and knowing an adventure is in store.


Monday, June 25, 2012

{ fewer words } - yogini. photographer. austin, tx

Just one of the many projects that I have been pouring myself into recently.

Today I am writing my final project for my yoga teaching certification project. What started as a simple idea keeps growing and I feel as though I will never be able to write all that I aspire to put into words, but it does nobody any good if I neglect writing altogether because I am afraid.












Tuesday, June 12, 2012

{ an evanescent view } ~ yogini.photohgrapher. austin, tx

Composing post and editing pictures. Come back soon!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

{ march, truly? } ~ austin area photographer/yogini

I think I lived through February on autopilot because it just seems to have passed without my knowledge. I won't say that I am "so busy" because it's nothing new since my previous post, life is just about finding the order and making time for priorities. As I move closer to my goal of teaching yoga and being a doula, I find that my blog is a necessity in the process and will continue to be something I lean on for expression and communication. One blog can reach so many more than I can via text or phone, however those are still vital. :)

This is what my table looks like most days...a splay of books and coffee mugs, moleskins and highlighters, Crayon masterpieces and hair ties. I'm full throttle in my studying and feeling better than ever (with the exception of a crick I've had in my neck for 3 days). My fear of the learning has become easier to quiet, thanks to a great deal of meditation. Finally I am able to visualize myself as a teacher, this is a beautiful step for me.


I've still been styling as well, so fashion has never taken a full "back-seat" in my life. My conundrum is now trying to find time and occasion to dress up, I just live in yoga clothes and my bar uniform. Although I have to say "darn it Lulu Lemon for being so expensive!" because I could easily shop there for yoga and live happily ever after in my Luon and open back sexy workout gear, maybe it just feels pretty...whatever it is, it works and sadly I can't even afford socks there ($14.00 a pair). My styling is 99% for men so that does help my temptation factor some since we rarely visit women's stores. Street vendors remain a constant source of inner struggle, I love that hippie jewelry and stuff.

SXSW (South by Southwest) is coming to Austin next week. I really am floored that it's been a year. Time has literally zoomed by. Again I lack a badge or wristband but hopefully I will be able to make a few shows or at least just spend some time downtown with all the visiting music lovers. The energy in the city excites me, I love being able to take part in some way this year, I have always been pinned up in a day job through the previous years.

What else can I share today in my attempt to bring you all to speed on my happenings? I'm in work, work, train, home, work, repeat mode for now... I'm still managing to wrangle in some time to spend taking care of myself as I lacked before and I am feeling healthier and stronger in spirit. Finally bought a vacuum and that was the most exciting thing for me in a while, nothing beats the euphoric feeling of cleaning (maybe that's just me). I also got a cheapo printer but I need USB before I can start printing all my amazing Pinterest quotes to scatter around my apartment. Until then I will keep drawing with markers all my study aids like my colorful Chakra chart and lists of Klesas and Koshas. I feel like this..

For more laughs I watch this often..

Now friends, have a beautiful day and please know I have missed you all SO much!!!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

{ acceptance }

Sometimes I am baffled by my own silliness. How can it be that I have read, learned, and lived so many beautiful lessons and still manage to forget them at times?.... I marvel over how calm and at peace within myself I have become and then see myself spiral into self criticism and berate who I am. The past two weeks have been eye opening for me. When people told me how intense yoga training would be I grew more excited, I genuinely want to grow and change. The idea of having this opening fueled my desire to take this big step. I under estimated the pain that might accompany this journey. Though some may say it sounds cliche or even cheesy, yoga really has changed my life and as I sat here today reading more of the Yoga Sutra I had a wake up call to how I have been living recently, I have been giving my all for everyone but me and growing discouraged and insecure in myself because of the lack attention and love that I should have been giving myself. I'm not promoting selfishness or saying I want to give less to anyone else, just that I have not acknowledged that I am reaching and stepping out towards a goal and salute myself. Fear in failure has been dragging my mood down and the truth is that I have already succeeded in so much I should have a great deal more confidence than I have been moving with lately. I have avoided self evaluation, but as I have been thinking about this all today I am proud of who I am and my life, I have so much good and I forget to say "thank you" each day for all of it. No amount of pain or hurt should ever cause me to stray from an attitude of gratefulness and I admit that I have the last week or so. It hasn't been easy or fun to take this look inward and see how much I let myself and those I love down by not being focused or true to my intentions, but this step of accepting where I have been is the first in getting back on the track to where I am going.


The beauty of going through something that causes me to take a look at my life never ceases to amaze me, it's stunning how the universe knows when to bring something into my life to shake me and see a new place in my life to grow. With each lesson I learn and forget and relearn and re-forget, and....blah... I'm becoming more self aware and experiencing a new depth of mindfulness. I'm sure there is much more to come as I delve into these books and teachings of the yogic way, and I open my heart and arms to the challenge. I really like me and I don't want to let that go again.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

{ an apprise of me } ~ austin area photographer

First of all, if there is a "p" missing anywhere in this post, I apologize, my "p" key has been acting funky.

That tidbit aside, I guess you might be wondering where I have been (assuming that anyone has actually been checking to see if I have written anything). Since the holidays I have been working and playing a great deal. One could even say that I have been in the process of resolve. Although I have been going through a lot and opening my life to new things I haven't felt like sharing them yet, for whatever reason I internalized and kept away from my writing, which I ask you to forgive me of that transgression. Truly it excites me to let you guys in on the happenings in my life, sometimes they just feel mundane and my writing feels selfish. Most recently I think it has been intensely personal and I am always afraid of those deep and dear to my heart things being rejected and I just wasn't feeling free to expose that level of vulnerability the last couple of months.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know by now that my life has taken many turns and I've endured some changes both painful and strengthening. My family and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye and there was hurt on both sides. This is still much the case as I experienced over Christmas when I went home for the first time in a long time. Though there remains cracks and splinters in some relationships with a few, there was healing and great strides made between my parents and myself, my heart feels happy and a little more whole than it did before that trip.

Another bit of news that I have hinted at but not expounded upon is that I am going to train as a yoga instructor. My official training began tonight and I entered nervous but stoked. I left with most of my qualms soothed and my excitement multiplied a thousand times. My life is going a new and beautiful direction. My intention is to write more about my journey and not leave you loyal friends and readers in the dark.


My first impression of my training group is a positive one, I'm looking forward to getting to know each person. The energy in our practice tonight was lovely and very relaxed, the time was more familiar than a first time meeting. Sanskrit scares me a little, it will be like learning a whole new language, but not so scary that I won't give it my all. I have dreams and plans surrounding this whole thing and it's frightening to put myself out into this because it's so near and dear to my heart, but it feels so right and ignites passion inside my soul. I have missed feeling so connected to my true self.

Because I have class again in just a few hours I need to make myself sleep. I look forward to telling you all more and hopefully sharing new photos soon, I miss photography and I love that I can bring that into my yoga life, I have lots of plans. :)

Peace and love.