Friday, December 13, 2013

{ gentlemen } - yogi. photographer. woman. austin, tx.

A couple of years ago I posted about my dating life. In a very humorous review of some good, bad, and terribly exhausting experiences I pretty much chucked the whole idea. That lasted a while, actually two years. This year I have ventured out a few times on actual dates. My opinion is still similar to previous years, I just don't believe I'm cut out for casual dating, it's so much work and I have other ways I enjoy spending time. There is a lovely balance that must be struck and when it's found, being out with someone can be entirely enjoyable (I've recently learned).

What I have learned this time around is that there are actual gentlemen in the world. It's incredible to have never witnessed certain tiny gestures that make a massive impact on how I feel when I go out with someone. So, in advance,'re welcome for this list of things that you can easily begin to practice with your lover, dates, random women you want to impress......

1. Walk between her and the street/traffic. I swear this made me feel like a true princess, how am I almost 32 and no man had ever done this for me?! Guys, come on, it's so simple but so darn sweet and makes you look like a hero.

2. Pay. I know it is 2014, but honestly it's that good old fashioned care that makes it feel like a treat to be taken out. If I have to buy my own (and god forbid YOUR - this happens way more than I can believe) meal, I would rather save that money for things like yoga and gemstones. I feel pretty confident that most ladies would agree with me. I will offer to pay if I want to.

3. Be chivalrous. Open my door, pull out my chair, etc. If you aren't sure what that means, ask your significant other's dad...he will tell you how to treat his baby.

4. Communicate. Confirm plans, respond to calls/texts, even just to say "busy right now." It's disrespectful to assume that we don't need notice of changes in plans or time to adjust our schedule. Value my time, both in person and via phone. I am pretty low maintenance and spontaneous, however even I require some time to get ready, drive, park, arrange my day, etc. Just give it as much as you can and let's be honest you're on your phone all the time men, some of you even bring your phone into yoga (which is lame unless you're on call for work).

5. Make the plan. Ask for opinions, that's fine, but if you invite me out I don't want the added work of making the plans. Take me out, take responsibility off my shoulders for an evening. I can't promise you that all girls will be as honest as I am, but if you make a choice that sucks, I would be the girl to speak up and offer suggestions.

That's enough to get you started. Good luck, and thank you for making the dating world a tiny bit less frightening to women.

trikonasana variation - triangle pose variation

*** Disclaimer time ***

After having been pampered in the ways mentioned above I have a greater appreciation for dates, but I am not actively dating so don't take this the wrong way, I'll probably still say "no thanks."


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

{ lazy pigeon } - yogi. photographer. ponderess. austin, tx

eka pada rajakapotasana variation - lazy pigeon pose

Roll to your side and let your gaze scan beyond your covers.
Dance your hands over the cotton and down.
Pillow, your support and halo, be engulfed.
Sink into the hold and see the sun play above you in textured lines.

Pictures from your rest reel through your mind, a comfortable cinema.
Write the story to appease your desire.
Sheets, a smooth touch, be caressed.
Bury yourself in a mound of warmth and stave off the chill of winter.
Morning, a new miracle each day.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

{ wrap } - yogi. photographer. austin, tx

utthita parsvakonasana - extended side angle

In honor of the teenage boy who peer pressured me to walk down the escalator (that's so mean by the way).

Slow, take it so slowly.
Feel the comfort curl around you,
from your left side to your right side.
The hold is gentle, you won't realize the strength.
Hammock, embrace, guardian.
His wings are all things, they meet every need.

Brilliant, a light beyond any light.
Encompass me warm and strong,
You are the angel I call daily.
I surrender to your help, I need your support.
Breath, touch, challenge.
I welcome you into my journey, I receive your guidance.

uttanasana variation - forward fold variation


Thursday, December 5, 2013

{ trust + practice } - yogi. photographer. writer. austin, tx

supine twist

Fall my darling into the arms of the divine.
Let curses drop away and blessing spill from your lips.
Your skin is luminous, your eyes shine your truth.
Rest your weary body against the support of the earth.
She will stroke your hair with her breeze.
The brush of her satin hand will melt away your sorrow, even your fear.
Lay here, stay long, return often.
This den is your home, your right.
Continue to let your heart be heard through your voice and felt through your presence.

preparation - candid

The above photo has been misunderstood. Make of it whatever you would like, for me it has been a great teacher this week.
The story is that I am in this ongoing self portrait project with my yoga practice. It is a practice, of physical asana, breath, meditation, dedication, self acceptance, and other things that pop up day to day. I use a remote to trigger the shutter of my camera, and I have to try things out, it's part of the process. This photo was a trash photo, I was simply testing my placement and focus, clearly I still had to make adjustments. This picture reminded me that sometimes my practice feels easy, sometimes so hard, no matter what it's always practice, never perfect, never performance. Even as I pose for my own frames, it is simply my practice and I share it, flaws, growth, triumph, work, pain, judgement, celebration, etc. I love this photo because it's not even close to perfect, it's just a practice shot.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

{ i remember } yogi. photographer. lover of details. austin, tx

The way I couldn't choose between the Noir and the Blanc,
so I smelled of Gray.
A teardrop on the cork floor, I smeared it with my thumb.
Silhouettes of branches, Myth plays tauntingly.
My lips turn in quiet appreciation.
So much to give, and surely to receive.

urdhva dhanurasana variation - wheel pose variation

Is there a more beautiful place than the land of my imagination?
Where I paint in magic oil and breath,
where wind grazes my skin and carries my scent to my lover.
chest swells, a heart lifted.
The air is alive with electricity.
Flowers blossom from thoughts, more vibrant than colors of this world.

upavistha konasana - wide leg forward fold

All these pictures, images of grace.
Memories, dreams, perhaps I have created it all.
I hold my heart open to gather more and share entirely.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{ scripting life } yogi. photographer. mama. writer. austin, tx.

The other day I was sitting on my mat waiting to take a yoga class when I began to smell a most treacherous odor drifting from a fellow yogi. Typically I could hold my breath while aforementioned scent passed, but this lingered. I began to plot my escape, I wasn't far from the door so I decided I would lunge for the exit head first to drive myself across the threshold into the clean open air. As I began to think of how I would leave the terrible rotting food-flesh-digestive-juice-toxic-fart zone I realized something that made me laugh.... I am a writer. Any normal person would just have thought "it stinks."

It is with that realization that I have been actively writing and being much more open about it, which feels healthy and challenging. Without rhyme or reason, I pray that my words will reach those who need them and not offend those who don't.

hanumanasana - full split

Dark hair, dark ink, dark eyes.
Light sheets, sunshine, summer.
Years or days, how long have we rested?
Tilt your chin down and kiss the top of my head.
I'm a hand inside the glove of your arms.

More time, more teasing, more distance.
Loud concerts, music, melodies.
Space or isolation, do I always hide?
Take me on a picnic and sing away my fears.
You're the prince of my childhood dreams.

ardha chandrasana - half moon pose

Tiny drops splash down to the earth.
They may be tears at this point, I tell myself they are sweat.
A tenderness in the center of my chest, a pressure behind my heart.
I will not bend,
I don't believe I can break,
but I continue to try.

An audible breath enters my lungs.
I exhale with even more sound, it's more than air I let go.
My life is bigger this moment than 2 seconds ago, a year unbelievable.
I gain gratitude,
I think I will burst,
and still love grows.

My body and soul partner in this dance.
One hand through the air, I'm reaching and anchored at once.
How much this practice has changed me, audaciously saved my life.
I found my way,
I stepped to the door,
finally I opened.

urdhva prasarita ekapadasana - standing splits

I want to thank you all for the emails, notes, social media messages, ect. that you have sent to encourage me to keep sharing. As many of you have experienced as well, it is always a welcome and uplifting thing to be told that what I share is appreciated. I am so grateful for those who continue to give their own gifts and inspire me to do so. If you ever find yourself narrating your life, you might consider writing, also if you make up stories about strangers in the car next to you in traffic, I suggest journaling or therapy (because we all need to vent our crazy and it's a best practice to do it artistically and with non-violence). I have so much love for you all, continued gratitude from my heart to yours. xo.

sirsasana - headstand


Sunday, November 10, 2013

{ recollection } - yogi. photographer. storyteller. austin, tx

There she sat in her chair, just as I had seen her so many times. Together they had looked like King and Queen of their home in their recliners, each with their own lamp and side table. She was so still, in disbelief or reverie. It was this moment that I was able to place a word with what I had witnessed between my grandparents for nearly 20 years, love.

supta virasana - reclined heros pose

My grandmother with whom I share a name, was my first glimpse of true love. In this one visit after my grand father's passing, I saw her heart missing the piece which she called "Norris."
In her eyes and in her countenance, it was clear she would never be the lively Me-Maw that I had always known and cherished. Her spark came from their playful banter, the way they teased each other and pretended to argue, when all the time she was devoted and in mad love.

She broke the melancholy silence... "You know what I miss the most?" she asked me, not really needing an answer she continued on, "I miss how he came home every night and would shout to me "Sallie, I'm home!" it was the best part of my day and now I won't ever hear that again."

I believe in love, I've seen it. It looks like two people grumbling around a house with a mischievous twinkle in their eye for one another. It looks like a smile when you walk in from a long day away. It looks like a wink across the table at a bad joke. It looks like pictures displayed and stories told with the greatest pride for a lover. It looks like Buttered Pecan ice cream in the freezer.

upavistha konasana - wide seated angle fold

I might wear rose colored glasses, but what I have seen and what I recognize that charged between my Me-Maw and Paw-Paw is the sweetest of romances. A true love story.

hanumanasana - full split


Friday, November 8, 2013

{ with words } - yogi. photographer. storyteller. austin, tx.

I'll tell you not only with my eyes and my touch, you'll hear it in my voice and read it in my written word.

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana - compass pose

Tell me a story.
Whisper against my cheek a tale of lovers.
Let passion spill from your lips onto my skin.
I want to experience your every word,
have them ripple sensation throughout my body as if poured into my ears.

Speak to me with your slow, seductive voice.
Look over at me with your quizzical brow and your admiring eye.
My heart pains at the site,
at the memory.
Cover my hand upon your chest.
Close my eyelids with your fingertips.
Quiet my lips with your strong kiss.

I soak you in.
Vision, sound, embrace.
There was water, there were tears, there was trembling.
I hang on your every word.
Interesting, curious, unexpected.
It was dark, it was sunrise, you were my fairytale.

tittibhasana - firefly pose


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

{ around } yogi. photographer. witness. austin, tx.

The words are often there, I choose to pull them down with keys or pen.
They attempt to capture the images that flash by too speedily for lens.

prasarita padottanasan - wide leg standing forward bend

I drive through moments of clarity.
I see severe humanity on the curb waiting for the #4.
The air feels dense with the promise of autumn.
My nose pulled from the depth of my latest book, now keen to inhale experience.

Several black cars drive past.
Silver and sunlight glitter through the windows.
I follow the flow of lyrics that erupt in my head.
Living is so magnificent, I ponder and chide myself for ever being blue.

A soft golden light glows in the corner.
Neighbors are shuffling into their work boots.
The quiet hum of traffic from the highway is drifting in.
Ahead is a day filled with decadence, I indulge in being alive.

Chills prickle down my arms.
My throat becomes stifled with nameless emotion.
So much energy is spiraling around and wafting through.
Each sensation brings me more present, I am splendidly waking.

halasana - plow pose


Saturday, October 19, 2013

{ you wish } - yogi. photographer. mama. austin, tx.

gomukhasana - cow face pose

Oh princess, just breathe.
Stop your frantic worry and settle down.
There will be days that are much worse, followed by bliss beyond your wildest dreams.
Don't fret the imaginary.
Your body is a whirlwind of change right now, stand in the center of your current storm,
let the winds smooth your rough edges.
You're being refined.
If you allow it, this will all make you more beautiful.

Babydoll, relax.
Your fears are far worse than reality.
It won't be easy, these times are the most challenging.
Each day you grow closer to relief, age is freedom.
Be still in your mind.
I'm not so far removed that I have forgotten, you live in a scary place,
one that you will learn from.
Your forever is wide open.
The future holds great promise, tremendous love at your fingertips.

Sunshine, wait patiently.
Close your ears to the voices that bring fright.
Begin to explore yourself, learn to love who you are enough to share with others.
Release your thorny defense.
Welcome the beauty of grace to your life, inhale a quiet confidence,
become the leader your life requires.
They need you strong.
I pray this for you, I believe this of you.


Monday, October 14, 2013

{ untamed } yogi. photographer. austin, tx

I found myself relishing memories of my childhood again this weekend. How could I not write about all these absurd and wonderful moments of my past?

eka hasta bhujasana - elephant

Have you ever waited by the side of the road for cars to drive by and splash dirty gutter water on you like a tidal wave?
Would you be pissed if your neighbor scolded you for climbing on your dad's Dodge Ram to dance on the top?
Was there a time your mom drove up to find you climbing out of the window above a sink to escape an evil baby-sitter?
Yeah, me too.

Did you bury time capsules all over your grandparent's yard?
Were you afraid of who would be elected president?
Do you ever catch the scent of a memory?
I do that too.

Can you still remember the awkward first kiss after he chased you around with a bloody deer head?
Was it annoying when you had to wait for the party-line to free up so you could make a phone call?
When it's quiet at night, do you ever miss the voices of your 3 older sisters telling you to "shut up!" so they can sleep?
I relate so well.

prasarita padottanasana - wide leg forward bend

It's funny what stays with you and what resurfaces when you allow yourself to be lulled by the current of nostalgia and memory. I did not think I would have such a deep well of recollection, but I have this incredibly expansive list of stories, flashbacks, and eccentricities that I treasure. Of course some of it is messed up and I have had to work through it to find the place of gratitude, as I have I'm fascinated by how much I love my history. Even the weird.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

{ close } - yogi. photographer. austin, tx


You're on the precipice.
Step over, fall.
You are so close, the wind is rising.
Open your wings, shut your eyes.

Know that you can.
Trust your senses, feel your way.
Soak in this moment, welcome the next.

Life is worth tasting.
Open your mouth, fill.
Partake in the bounty, bliss on your shoulders.
Twirl and spiral, be dizzy with love.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{ who we are } - yogi. photographer. blacksheep. austin, tx.

Yes, it's true that I have a very active imagination and ridiculously strange sense of humor (the kind that's only funny to me and possibly two other people). I can't help it, this is how I was born. Really.

Let me explain.

Tonight I was asked how I learned to be social. Since I was never in school or any social setting to learn from a young age how other children behaved and what made them laugh, this was a valid question. While others my age were in school or playing T-Ball/Soccer/anything involving other children, I was home alone most days with a lot of pets, several siblings, and hardly any supervision at all. I had to self entertain, which sometimes meant crafting boats of hay to sail horse poop across the pond in the backyard (that's 100% true, I had a witness).

Social skills were the furthest thing from my young mind and I don't remember caring enough about what people said to me to know if they were trying to teach me anything about that at all. One thing I do recall being taught by my eldest sister is the word "sarcastic." It was like she gave me a magic key, I am pretty sure that my face began to glow and my heart beamed golden light. Also I loved when I learned the word "pandemonium" but that came from a book so nobody gets credit for teaching me that except ME, that's who.

Friends, you don't learn how to be this strange, it's like a curse that you go to therapy or spiritual healing to try and sort out (hypothetically, of course). No, really, there came a time through all my trying to fit in, to learn how to maneuver in a social setting without being "all weird and quiet" (quiet is to sit back and try to observe so you make fewer mistakes when actually speaking) that I saw my background not as a handicap, but as a badge of honor. The way I grew up sets me apart, sure, so now I open up more because this stuff is funny and I apologize less because it's not my fault others don't get it and it takes something more obvious to make them laugh (that's sad, sorry for those people).

sirsasana variation - headstand

Social skills, yeah I lack them in the traditional manner. Passing this along to my public school, mainstream bombarded girls is a challenge. I'm just trying to teach them manners, appreciation for good music, and an open mind to the absurdity that they call "mama" (or recently "Mommy" again, which I totally cherish and I'm not sure what brought about the resurrection). I think they are pretty darn lucky to have the balance of extremely traditional and normal with exceptionally odd and open minded. It's also great that they don't have access to horse poop or ponds.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

{ never known } - yogi. photographer. mama. austin, tx.

She is 15 today. What would my life be if this amazing young woman had not come to me? I don't even like to imagine my world without her. She came to me just three months before I turned 17. The perfect time.


Full of smiles, plenty of songs to please crowds.
A starlight born with her very own star.
She knew what she was from the first day.
I still learn.
She amazes me.
Shirley Temple, my Bug, my first love.
Tear filled blue-gray, flecks of green.
She can break my heart and send it to the sky.
Deeply caring, brilliant beyond her own knowledge.
Beginning to fly.
Tiny kicks to a belly so young.
My savior from an ordinary life.
For her I'd be more, I swore, I swear.
The wires tangle.
A wild rope bridge between the jungle of our hearts.
So much lady light.
Staring into the sun of each other.
New, frightening, beautiful.
A prayer to be worthy.
A grace for mistakes.
She was given as my teacher and I as hers.
Together we can dance through the difficult.
There is no greater love than this.


Monday, September 30, 2013

{ easy } - yogi. photographer. industrious. austin, tx

Today has been phenomenal. I have worked hard and continue to do so, because days like this make the hard work feel easy. Thank God for retrospect, a strong-will, yoga, and sunshine (baby-wipe-showers also deserve honorable mention).

I believe we are all co-creators of our lives. We find the work we are passionate about and then we must do it. Easy, no, not always. Scary, yes, there will be fear at some point. It's in following our heart and bringing our best into the world that we inspire ourselves and others to go a little further, try one new thing, and perhaps dream of life beyond default.

Today I proved this to myself. Life is wonderful! I am inspired by the dreamers, the doers, the determined.

vasisthasana - side plank variation


Sunday, September 29, 2013

{ porch song inspired } - yogi. photographer. more. austin, tx

Friday I was told a story about this song called "The Porch Song." When I heard the song everything made sense, oh how I relate.

bakasana - crow pose

Lover, I take me back.
There are no pieces that you may have.
All of me belongs to me.
I warned you of my selfish nature.
Don't try to hold a gypsy.
We run.
We pack everything and move.
I have nothing to send you, I need this to survive.

One day we should celebrate.
You will forgive me in the future.
When you find the golden light of your own that I left with you.
I told you, I don't lie, I am not a thief.
Your treasure.
Look for it.
You're so close.
Put down your anger, drop all the weight.

Oil, amber, earth.
Energy, music, dreams.
I told you I wanted more.
From childhood I have been a seeker.
We chase.
We run to the edge of reason and jump off.
You knew when you met me, my dirty feet gave me away.

Search for your Divinity.
Saturate yourself in bliss.
Babe, you are wonderful.

uttanasana variation - forward fold


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{ sadness in try } - yogi. photographer. self critic. austin, tx

Do I love my own photos? I guess you could say that it's a "love/hate relationship."

Why am I challenging myself to this project of photographing myself practicing yoga with so many exposed flaws? Because I want to love it all.

visvamitrasana - working towards

Each of us enters our own battle of self image. Mine began very early in life when my older sister used to call me "potbelly." Over the years I have done many harmful things to my body to lose weight, maintain weight, or just because I was caught in a habit. This skin, these bones, all of my muscles have been abused at some point.

When I look at my pictures, I scrutinize. Mercilessly I judge down to the tiniest (but huge in my mind) detail, things I would see as gorgeous on someone else, I furrow my brow and self deprecate in my head. There is an ever growing list of things that I want to "correct" about my body. I want this to end.

Today I'm struggling in my long fight against self criticism, it's a low day for my body-image. While it's very kind to hear praise for my strength, my ability to overcome, I find myself thinking "I wish I saw that" or "well they can't see...."

My photos and self expression are aiding me in a journey toward loving the entirety of my being. Like forcing a narcissist to live without mirrors, I am pushing myself in front of the lens and my words into the open. In waves I experience this awe of my own body, followed by doubt or disappointment. Onward I plow, to the place where the beauty I see in others I can also witness in my own flesh. One frame at a time I am unveiling, I am desperate to accept fully, to revel in a love for my skin, blood, bones, muscle, hair, even my softer, more full (because I'm not going to use the "f-word" on myself anymore) parts.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

{ surrender cool } - yogi. photographer. austin, tx.

I don't want to be the cool girl.
I tried, but I'm not her. I am passionate and jealous, I love headstrong just like I do everything.


Once I was afraid of crazy.
I tried to be chill, mellow, the cool girl.
That's not me.
Warm blood, short temper, strong touch, me.
My attempt to go with the flow, disaster.
I have desires, opinions, and giant dreams.
Mediocre, less than extravagant, never.
Years lost to hiding, a love lost as well.
Lessons learned, confidence gained.
I'll hold you tight, kiss you hard, and pout when I'm sad.
You will hear loads of "I adore you" and a few four-letter words.
Halfway is hardly.
I let you see and then I ran.
I accept, admit, ridiculous me.
Wild, full of mischief, green-eyed monsters, and smiles.
Teasing, crying, caressing.
I witness my emotions, no movie can compare.
I feel deeply and give decadently.
A lifetime of play, passion, unabashed desire.
Too late, and never too late.
I'm okay to be crazy.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{ purely physical } - yogi. photographer. austin, tx.

The mind body connection never ceases to amaze me. I will notice my mind, a busy pot of boiling thought, emotion, plan making, goal setting, questioning, ect. This state of mental frenzy can make me feel utterly crazed. Sometimes it takes me a minute (like a Lil Wayne "minute"...more than 60 seconds) before I realize that my body is the key to release. My solitude is found on my mat or on a trail run. Movement.


During practice (yoga) or a run, I do not mentally check-out, my mind still whirls. Somehow as I sweat it begins to soften and untangle, I become a moving witness. A body in motion allowing my energy to expand and even shed layers which I no longer need to hold tight to, open to see and sense the clarity of my soul. Even my legs and arms begin to feel lightweight. I imagine myself gliding through the air, lost in an enchanted memory or dream of the future. Happiness.


When I have tangible experiences such as this, I'm bewildered how it takes me so long to remember/decide to get up and move. Perhaps I subconsciously resist the healing. It is when I push the threshold and elevate my activity level the energetic shift occurs and I feel saturated in love. I physically run (vinyasa) into the arms of God. Prayer.