Bittersweet Symphony of Friends

As my thoughts have turned to music lately, let's keep the theme going! Albert Einstein was known to say that the music of Mozart, "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master." Kinda like E=mc2 actually. An interesting parallel grows between these two men, geniuses in unique ways. The thought percolates in my mind, if they had ever been able to meet (not possible due to the times they lived), they would have been great friends. To read more on this pair of masters, see the link to a NY Times Article here:


This brings us to the issue of friendship. They say good, and maybe difficult things happen in groups of 3. It feels like that right now. Recently in my life, three wonderful people and friends are shifting away in terms of location. The first is Jenny, a good friend since I moved to Kansas City and our little fab 4 was the midwest version of SATC. We went to Kona, went dancing, attended Bacchus events, and house parties, dined together and chatted about work, boys, and life in general. She recently got married and moved to a city just a few hours away. Her Simpson House wedding was wonderful with live music and dancing, but we are sad she is gone and miss her steady presence already.

Next comes my friend Amitha. While we did not spend as much time together, every time we did was a delight. This kind and intelligent doctor is such a sweet and cheerful person, she is a wonderful addition to the field of medicine. I was happy and sad last night at her wedding, as she moves away, a little farther than the first friend. I told her close friend Laura last night, let's plan a road trip...summer 2011!

The final friend shifting places is my close friend at work, Hilary. We've seen each other almost daily for the last 4 years teaching together in the same community. Our friendship has grown as we've coached soccer together over the last two years. Her artistic skills in video and photography have created not just a documentation of the team, but a masterpiece of history for each girl that I know they will treasure for the rest of their lives. She always has creative but sensible solutions for the problems we encounter as teachers and coaches. We have been able to talk out our frustrations at work, and also move our students forward to new levels of leadership. She has done such amazing things for our seniors this year, with far more of them receiving substantial scholarships and college acceptances than in the last 3 years combined. She will be missed in our school. She is moving to California soon, for her husband's work as well. I'm just noticing a pattern here. I love you husbands, but you keep taking my friends away!! :) In addition, she is expecting a baby, what a wonderful experience. I am sorry I will not be there as close to share it. I do expect many pictures amiga!! I'm also hoping to explore skype!!

What creates lasting friendships? In the case of Einstein and Mozart, I don't think they even had to live at the same time, the traits they shared were a bond that surpassed space and time, Albert would like that I think. In some ways true friendship does require proximity, although the technology today certainly helps. I think of great friendships of my life that have faded little by little, due to moving from Spain, or spreading out after college. I do not treasure them any less, nor have they lost their brilliance. In Spain I felt and noticed that people tend to stick to their roots and traditions, and often remain near their place of birth, their families, and lifelong friends. At time time I didn't feel that way, but more and more I am thinking, what a wise idea, our young American culture has so much to learn.

I want to wish all my friends, and especially each of these three ladies all the best in their new endeavors, and although it will be a little more difficult to get together, I know we all will make the effort. As Anne of Green gables calls friends, "kindred spirits" do not change with years or location, our souls recognize each other instantly and joyously, and pick up where we left off. Cheers to you ladies and best wishes in your new places! Please come back to visit and we will visit you too! My house is your house, do not forget you have a home in Kansas City.



Follow your Melody

A quote I heard somewhere always sticks with me, "obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal". Maybe it's easier said than done not to look around a little, however if we practice, we can strengthen our focus both physical and mentally. Patanjali refers to these life hindrances as vikshepas and enumerates nine of them: illness, listlessness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, cravings, delusion, inability to progress, and instability in maintaining progress.

What might help us stay on track towards more satisfaction in life, whatever the goal? Sufficient sleep, a whole-food emphasized diet, and minimal stimulants/depressants is a good start in my view. Even several drinks a week or too much coffee can sway the delicate and complex biochemical balance and leave us sluggish or strung out. Once we address the physical, how could we help out our mind in our journey towards joy? Music is not a bad start to consider. Einstein was considered "stupid" as a very young man and subsequently benefited greatly from taking up the violin around age 5-6. It is said that some of his great mental contemplations were aided by listening to Mozart and Bach. These masterpieces that tend to move 60-80 beats per minute help us channel our right brain, while the left brain connects. Here is an interesting link to some ideas about music, memory, mind, and learning.




We don't need no Education?

Today at school, it has come to my mind: what makes a good teacher? Someone kind, talented, and knowledgeable for sure. What sets the truly great teachers apart? I think of some major teachers in my life. I would say a sense of humility, humor, and the ability to share information in a thorough and engaging way. This could be a teacher of many things, whether high school or yoga.

In addition, a good teacher sets high expectations, while scaffolding constantly for those that need the extra help. They set some ground rules, but also show flexibility for those in need of a break. They have a high vision of and for each student, and share this vision so that the student can grow to meet it. They take time to make moments special, and allow for personal exploration of the subject at hand. In the end, the best teachers also seek to learn constantly, and to review and revise, making the good better, and the better best. We all do need our education, and it never stops.



Where is your energy?

Percolating in my thoughts today is how our energy shapes us. Maybe because I see such interesting energy shifts in the team I coach. "Young at heart", vs. "old before his time" are not just a physical expressions, but rather a mental reflection of our energy. Our outlook definitely could shape our physical body, but it also shapes our path in life. If we believe, "I am nothing" perhaps it will come true. It is especially sad when kids take the negative messages of others and internalize them. I like to think the "Shakti" is helping us along, finding the right vibrations of this universe.

So, what is your energy in life? Do you think to yourself, "I'm old", just because you are 30? Or do you think about someone 97, and admire their grit, realizing you're a bit of a pup if you haven't passed half a century. Perspective is powerful.

Where is the energy of your professional life? Do you complain daily about your employment situation? Or feel grateful to have one? Maybe a little of both, but if you're truly hating your job, what steps are you taking to change it? Applying for jobs, polishing that resume, or even simple going back to school to get ideas?

What is your personal energy? Do you wake up each day with a smile or a groan of angst? Why? What could you do to make that first thought a good one? We do have the power to shape our days, but it may take a lot of legwork and foresight, not to mention the vision to see where YOU want to be and to walk toward it without flinching, looking around, or sidestepping your dream.

Here's to the energy of truth, honesty, optimism, and gratitude. With these energies flowing, we will thrive.




In education research you come across the term "resilient" a lot when it comes to urban children. I don't think most people realize that if some of these amazing kids actually make it to school for a day, they have shown great resiliency. I think about difficulties in my own life that happen at times. A loved one ill, a death in the family, lack of sleep, peace, food. It causes me to realize that my students have so many lessons to teach me. For many of my students this stress is daily, or weekly. I guess I am learning to be resilient. Maybe yoga helps us access our own inner power to focus, and lets the outer world around us flow past without putting a scratch on our souls.

As a soccer coach, I can go without food, warmth, comfort for a while, and I cope and push onward. It's not much to handle, compared to when a kid calls her mom and she says, "start walking" to her young daughter who would have to walk 10 blocks through a not so nice area in the dark. It's not so much when a girl is called out of class because her mom was in a car accident and rushes to the office scared. It's not so much when a kid came to me, homeless and cut off from his brothers and I help him find a place to stay so he can graduate. It shows me that actually I am so lucky. It gives me strength to accept the silliness of road ragers and snobs and people living on the surface. Because underneath life is a pulse of beauty. The glow of teamwork, of self confidence, of making a spot for yourself in the world, regardless of those that push you down, or try to take from you. Because when we have our resiliency, we have everything.



Yoga/Vintage Jewelry @ BeTru2U

Hello Yoga fans,

Looking for a fun and unique gift for someone in your life? Look no further. I've been fortunate to attend several yoga teacher trainings with a local yoga teacher and artist, Lora McKelvey. Read on below for her bio, and definitely check out her web page for some wonderful vintage and yoga inspired jewelry. Support Local Yoga and Art!



BIO: My name is Lora Cornell McKelvey. I am a yoga teacher, jewelry crafter, and single mom to two sweet, energetic boys. BeTru2U is the name of my jewelry company. I design, craft, create, and re-create pieces along two themes: vintage and yoga inspired. My yoga inspired pieces are simple and come from my passion for yoga, these pieces usually carry a written message. I love to create something that speaks to others. These pieces are featured on my website as Breathe Creations and can also be found at the Zen Zone in Lees Summit. My vintage creations are a lot of fun to make and are often more sparkley and blingy. In my effort to reuse, I re-create vintage pieces from antique stores and the jewelry boxes of my friends and family. I enjoy the treasure hunting of clip on earrings and cameo's, wondering by whom and when they were worn. I was thrilled when my two passions of yoga and jewelry creation were both something I could make into careers.

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