Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Begining, A New Year~

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

T. S. Eliot

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kristis Box FILLED with Art Supplies for the kids of Karunya Mane arrived today!!!!

Elfie and Bindi are checking to make sure it's all safe to open....
here are some of the items that were sent...

Oliver is looking at all of the cards that the children made...they made me cry...

see how special they are..

my husband making it all look picture perfect!

and of course Lola had to "pose" with all the goods!!
It was all so unexpected..I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined getting all that I got for the children in Mysore. I guess I should have though..because of last years charity..and the overwhelmingly HUGE amount of shoes that arrived at my door. But this was just, WOW..so amazing!!!!! I can't even express here how much this has touched my heart.
Let me tell you one thing that I have learned from this experience..
People whom you have never met...or even spoken to...WILL reach out and give to others in need. There is goodness all around us...and the kindness of strangers is Real and Does exist. I am here to tell you that is Does Happen! People care, and Life is filled with Love if you are willing to let it happen.
and for this I am truly humbled and Grateful.
OM Shanti~

If you see God within every man and woman,

then you can never do harm to any man or woman.

If you see God in yourself, then you attain perfection.

The Bhagavad Gita

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


soon it will be Christmas day...our neighborhood is all aglow with various lights and decorations. The spirit is definitely in the air around here....
As this year is coming to an end, I must say that looking back on it, I have much to be thankful for. My family, though we are spread out, and aren't able to see one another all that often know in our hearts that we are always together and there is so much love. My Mom is back in the hospital, hopefully she will not be on Christmas day..but she is still with us and still as strong and headstrong as always. Did I mention she is German??? I inherited a lot of her qualities, even though I am adopted!!

My children are well as are the grandchildren..and my husband is as always the bright light in my life and I love him so much ,sometimes it hurts...

Soon we will be making our way back to our most beloved country and we count the days....

I have been so blessed with all of the art supplies and now have a suitcase full of things for the children in Mysore...It is always such a wonderful thing just to see them smile when I arrive and now, with the help of so many..their smiles will be even bigger this year! That I can assure you, and we all know how much Art can change and enrich our lives....

I will be meeting up with a lot of wonderful souls whom I have met online and feel such a kinship with, and will finally see them Live and in Person! And of course so many that I already know and love so much...... Good times are in store in a few cities on the other side of the world next year...more memories for me to store away and to be grateful for.

So, I say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009. May it be a year of positive Change, new Hope for many and Peace for all.

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ileana~~~~~~Thank You for the Art Supplies!!!!

so....this was Quite the unexpected surprise this afternoon!!
My friend Lydia (see post below) had sent me some art supplies earlier this week for the kids of Karunya Mane..and then, much to my utter amazement and sheer Delight...another BIG box arrived today from one of her best friends in Miami..Ileana~~
I do not know Ileana...and have certainly never met her, but she sent me the most wonderful box filled with Glue Sticks, Coloring Books, Pencil Sharpeners, Stickers....colored pencils and some multi-colored pipe cleaners! WOW!
What can I say...once again, the kindness of a stranger has captured my emotions and yes...Made Me Cry!
Thank You Ileana, Thank You for your thoughtful kindness, your compassion for those children whom you have never met..I just hope you know how much of a difference you will be making in their lives...and in mine.
Shanti my friend~~~~

(I have one more big box coming from Kristi soon..and then I will have reached my limit for what I can carry with me to India. So, I am VERY happy to announce that I am no longer accepting donations for The Colors of Love!!!! Thank You SO much to all of you who donated either Money or Art Supplies for the kids of Karunya Mane~ I will be sending each and everyone who gave, something wonderful upon my return from India!!!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Marley!!!!

Today is your First Birthday little man! Happy Birthday to you my little angel~~~~~~~~
Gigi and Papa xoxoxoxoxo

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lydia..Thank You SO much for your Donation of Art Supplies!!!!

I have this wonderful friend who always supports my endeavors regarding India..actually she supports me in my life in general. We don't get a chance to talk all that often...an email here and there...but she is always in my heart. She sent me these wonderful things for the kids of Karunya Mane today....and I just want to tell her how much I love having her in my life...and for all of her support and her long standing friendship. Life can sometimes get in the way, and it shouldn't..but it does all the same...and I just want to say..I love you my friend~ Thank You for always being there for me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ohhh baby is it EVER cold outside!!!

oh my goodness....it is SO cold today!!! I just went for a 10 mile run...and it is snowing outside....my hands can hardly type this entry...they are FROZEN!!! But is sure is pretty~~~just in time for our Christmas Party this evening!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the ironing man in india!

this dear man works in the little Ironing stall around the corner from the shala...

he does the most incredible job, and he makes it look so easy as well...one thing i really dislike is ironing, and i Really dislike wearing wrinkled clothes...whether i am in india, or my hometown. wrinkles are not a good thing for me...

i think he charged me 3 rupees per piece.. but i always gave him double the amount. just because i so appreciated his his hard work, and his smile! plus, no matter how many other orders he had waiting, he Always took my clothes and pressed them when i arrived so that i could just take them and go...Plus, he loves chocolate..and i would stop by the little chocolate stand round the corner before i went to see him :0)

Oh, if only he lived closer.......(if you want to hear the sounds of india, turn up the volume..oh, and my voice as well..why do i not sound like that in real life??!!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

22 years ago...I caught THE Ray!

Catch the One Ray
The possibility is there. If you make the effort you will catch the one ray that exists in you, and once you catch the one Ray, the sun is not very far; then through the Ray you can reach the sun - the Ray becomes the path.So remember: find attention, let it become a continuity in you twenty-four hours a day, whatsoever you do. Eat, but try to be attentive: eat with awareness. Walk, but walk with awareness. Love, but love fully aware. Try!
It cannot become total just in one day, but even if one ray is caught, you will feel a deep fulfillment, because the quality is the same whether you attain to one Ray or the whole sun.

Monday, December 8, 2008

february 2009

this is where i will be...
how can anything compare to the beauty and peace of this?
i for one cannot think of anything or anywhere i would rather spend time...especially in todays times.
just to let it all go and Be...i can hardly wait!
it's about as close to Heaven as i can imagine...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Balance....in lotus forever

The life-like sculpture "Balance" by artist Carole Feuerman is displayed at the Art Miami fair in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. Miami's Art Basel kicked off Wednesday with Design Miami, satellite fair openings. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Friday, December 5, 2008

of course..it's my favorite color!

We don't need a psychic to tell us that you're giving off a Violet vibe.
An amethyst-coloured aura is the trademark of compassionate, empathetic people with arms big enough to hug the whole planet.
If you had your way, you'd be teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony (and maybe even buying them a Coke) or heading to a third-world country with the Peace Corps.
Spiritual and caring, you're a true music lover and probably committed to at least two or three causes.
Your heart is so tender that it bleeds when you hear about any pain and suffering. That's why you're always working toward change, whether it's improving your workplace or rallying for global peace.
You've got your sights set on lofty goals and, because you're such a dreamer, you might occasionally overlook the details when you're on one of your missions.
But you're sophisticated and worldly enough to know how to dig in and make a difference where it counts.
Strong-willed and kind-hearted, people with a Violet aura are the world's activists.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Madonna for Louis Vuitton..............

ok..I will fess up...Madonna is truly an awesome ashtangi, that we can all agree on, can we not?? remember her in that movie...what was it called with Rupert?? what was his name...the movie was called "The Next Best Thing" well...of course I am all confused. BUT..there is one thing that I do love, and that will never change, no matter how close to Enlightenment I get....and that is Louis Vuitton. Sorry, hate to say it, but it is true...Always have, Always will.
Fortunately I have a connection...and I am able to get all of the newest releases...at a fraction of the price...really, a HUGE fraction..so that was what my husband got me for christmas this year...a new Louis...
and I really hate that I am so all about the handbag, but some things a girls just gotta have..and that is my pick!
Merry Christmas~~~~

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stop Global Warming stocking stuffer....

I just purchased some of these myself..http://usa.roots.com/ they donate 100% of the proceeds to the Stop Global Warming Fund! We MUST do what we can in every way possible..and this is a small start...as things aren't going to heal on their own.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OK...Here is the Scoop!! More Great Books for those Karunya Mane Kids!!!!

and a GREAT HUGE shout out and Thank You to Charlie Brown, as this is what I bought with her 20.00 donation for the kids at Karunya Mane!!! More Great Books coming for you guys!!!! We are going to read!!Yes, we are!
Shanti Om~~~~~~

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Everyday we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as the result of violence in man.

You may say, "I can't do anything about it," or "How can I influence the world?"

I think you can tremendously influence the world if you yourself are not violent, if you lead actually everyday a peaceful life~ a life which is not competitive, ambitious, envious....a life which does not create enmity.

Small fires can become ablaze!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


This day is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. And here I sit, safe and warm in my home..with my family around me...I am blessed and so very Thankful for this. I wasn't sure what to write today..the shadow of the attacks in the country that I love so much, for all of the death and sorrow and for all of the families who have now lost loved ones...innocent people going about their days...one minute they are here and the next...gone. So, in light of what we all know so far, I want to send out my Prayers and all of the Healing Energy that is inside of my being to all of those people in Mumbai....I will share an entry from one of my dear friends Tracey, and eloquent writer who says just what I cannot say..yet feel so much with all of heart....May we never take for granted that which we are blessed with.

"Fortunate are the people who reside on the banks of Ganga".

Yes, these people are fortunate, indeed.

For they live in the holiest of holy places in India - a place where people from all over India come to pilgrimage, bathe to wash away their sins, bury, cremate or spread the ashes of loved ones or to die themselves.

Many people in India save up for their entire lives, or go into masses of debt, for such a pilgrimage. People from all over the world like myself pay large sums of money to float silently on a boat in the early morning to drink in the beauty of the river and the color of its people - people who are laid back, happy to be here and lead a simple life without many of our western complications. Looking at it from this perspective, these people are quite fortunate indeed to live on the Ganga.

But many people would not see these people as fortunate - I reckon most Americans wouldn't see them this way at all. For while there is great beauty here there is also great peril. This river is heavily polluted. The traffic is bad. Varanasi is severely overpopulated, and the air pollution is so bad that it makes your tonsils shrink and the rate of lung cancer is high. People in these parts are are hungry, illiterate, extremely ill, dirty, crippled, dying, homeless, blackmailed into hard labor through dowries and other debts - and their laid-back attitude of going with the flow of life is simply because they don't have any other choice - there are no opportunities or choices in lifestyle, career, education, housing, health, family planning and other such luxuries that we consider necessities, or parts of life, in the west.

They simply go without and make do with what they have - and what they have is the Ganga.

I consider myself extremely fortunate - and you probably consider me, and yourself, extremely fortunate after reading the above peril.

But I wonder, would the people along the Ganga think us fortunate?

Let's take me for an example:

I'm an unmarried woman, 32 years old, with no marital prospects at this time. I have no children, no true sense of home (as I am renting out my place to travel more), and I basically lead a very disjointed, decentralized personal, professional and family life - I have traded a more stable situation for freedoms upon freedoms that the people along the Ganga have probably never even thought of - let alone wanted.

Yet I think it's fabulous - I wouldn't trade where I am in life for anything.

I have chosen (and would choose again) everything that I have right now. Yet, those along the Ganga would feel sorry for me for not having the attachments and cultural obligations that bring them such little choice - a situation that gives me a panic attack just thinking about it.Is one lifestyle better than the other?

Who is *really* more fortunate?The answer is that it is all in what *you* believe is best for you - and only you. After all, you are the one waking up every day and living your life.

You cannot live the lives of others - for their fortunes are also their choices and their perspectives. Being fortunate, being thankful, on this day is really all about your individual perspective - whether you live in poverty on the Ganga or temporarily in a nice cottage on Long Pond.

Today, I am fortunate not only for all the blessings that I have - my family, friends, good health for me and everyone else in my life, the choices I have, the opportunities and the wonderful freedom, but I'm also thankful for the perspective I have:

I am fortunate that I *feel* fortunate - for if you cannot see the good in your life, then there *is* no good in your life, no matter who or where you are.

I hope today on Thanksgiving you take some time to think about how fortunate you are - and may good blessings continue for you wherever you may be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Donations are coming from Kristi!!! Update!!!!!

I will be sending the supplies soon --
we have 48 cool pencils, a dozen sharpeners, about 60 bottles of acrylic paint, 250 sheets of construction paper, some origami paper, 30+ small boxes of crayons, 30+ glue sticks and maybe something else that I forgot!
As soon as I can get to the post office I will mail them!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Donation today for "The Colors of Love"!!!!!

this just took me by surprise I must say....
I went to the office as I had an appointment for a Healing with a 4 1/2 year old Adorable little girl~
as I was waiting for her and her Mom to arrive I was chatting with my friend whose office I was using..she had just given a massage to a woman by the name of..and I swear this is true..Charlie Brown!! Anyway my friend was telling Charlie Brown about my trip to Mysore last year and the shoes that I brought over for the kids of Karunya Mane "Walking in their Shoes" last years charity....
and then began to tell her about this years charity...and that I was collecting Art Supplies for the kids...Charlie then opened up her purse, reached inside, and pulled out a 20.00 bill and smiled at me and asked me to get some things for the kids with the money! I was VERY surprised..as I never push anything on anyone..if they ask, I tell them, and I am always, ALWAYS excited to discuss this with anyone who has any interest! Because it is something that I hold near and dear to my heart..and always wish I could do more. I don't even think I could ever do enough as a matter of fact....
But that is my story of the day..and if you will look to the right of my blog you will notice that we are now at 157.00!!! Thank You again Charlie! It was a pleasure and a treat meeting you today, and I will post photos just as soon as I spend that 20.00 on some more Art Supplies for the kids of Karunya Mane!!

some cards for the kids of Karunya Mane...

Here are two of the cards that were made by the children at the school in Colorado who so thoughtlfully wanted to be a part of "The Colors of Love" charity this year...I can't even begin to tell you how these warm my heart..and another HUGE Thank You to Kristi (Yogamum) and her thoughtfullness in suggesting that they make these. When my husband and I deliver the Art Supplies to the kids in Mysore, Operation Shanti has told us that we will be able to assist the children at Karunya Mane in helping them make cards for the children in Colorado in return!! I am really looking forward to that~
The cards are so beautiful ....


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Books for the kids of Karunya Mane..Thank You Wayne and girls!!!

A week or so ago I was given a very nice donation from Wayne and his girls~~~
So I put the money to good use and bought four wonderful learning books by none other than the infamous Dr. Seuss!! What child doesn't love and adore Dr. Seuss books...huh???
So, Thank You again to Wayne and his daughters for their kind gesture of giving to my charity "The Colors of Love" 2009 Karunya Mane! I thank you with all of my heart~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

well...since you asked~~~~~

I was chosen for a reading...

Carol Ritberger took the stage at 6:30pm as we were just walking in...

There were about 200 people in attendance

she spoke of her near death experience..which was actually a "death" and they were able to bring her back. When she came back she was given the gift to be able to "see" people Auras as well as physical ailments within a persons body..sounds crazy right?? I thought so too...until I listened to it first hand and had to basically push my chin back up and close my mouth because I was SO utterly amazed by the things she was telling these people and they were in fact validating them all.....

She decided who she would "read" by telling us to look at our numbers on our ticket stubs and if we wanted to come up onstage for one..to put it out there and she would intuitively "pick it up"...

you know that old saying "Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it"??

I Got It! I was thinking in my mind ..9,9,9,9,9,9,9,9,9...(ok, you get the picture) that was my number...

she called it on the 3rd try....

I shakily got up out of my seat and made my way onto the stage..it's been years since I have been on a stage I might add...let alone with a mic in my hand....

She smiled real big at me and asked me my name, then she complimented me on my attire...

I told her I was nervous but happy to be there...and I told her that I was a bit concerned about a re-curring sharp pain in my head...that I had been to the doctors and even to the hospital for an MRI..which all came out negative, no sign of anything..but I was still scared...

She said to me immediately...".I see what it is...it is your jaw, you lock your jaw a lot don't you"....yes I told her I do...she said that I used to use a night guard from the orthodontist and that I need to use one again...(how did she know that??) it was all so true..she really wanted me to know that I am an extremely healthy person.."Very Healthy" she said...

then she stopped and bluntly told me that my aura was Screaming at her.....

"there is something that you need to say to someone" "and there is a lot of disappointment surrounding this"...ummmmm, yeah....there IS and yeah...there IS!! I was shocked that she saw that!! Just on my way over there I was telling my husband about the situation...and that I have to tell this person this and I was SO disappointed in this person....

Um, OK.....then she told me that my right knee is bothering me....yep, right again! She said I practice a lot of yoga..and that I am holding some of the poses too long and they are bothering this knee....

well, I practice Yin Yoga once or twice a week on top of my Ashtanga practice..and yes there are a few asanas that have been bothering this knee of mine....

she told me that after I tell this person what needs to be said..that I need not feel disappointed in myself..I will try to remember that point after I call this person...which I will do later this evening.

It was a night to remember, and it just validates the fact that some people who walk this earth do so with a very special gift..and when we meet these special individuals, we are blessed in a way that goes beyond what words can say.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

more supplies coming for the kids of Karunya Mane..Thank You Kristi!!!

here is Kristi's Update to me this morning...can you say EXCITED!!!!!!! That is me in one word!

Hi Tracy --
I just wanted to update you on the art supply drive --
we have pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, acrylic paint, and origami paper from the school and I am waiting on an order of crayons, glue sticks and construction paper.
As soon as that arrives, I will send it all to you.
The best part is that the art teacher had one of our classes make cards for the children at Karunya Mane, and they made some amazing artwork and sent some wonderful messages.

These 3rd and 4th grade children were so excited to be able to send their messages to the children and were very touched and moved by the stories about the Indian children. They got to see all of the photos and each picked one or two children to write to.
One little girl did about eight cards! I hope when you take the supplies you can get some photos of the kids reading their cards, and maybe the kids can send our students some artwork or notes as well.
Anyway, I will let you know when everything is ready to go!
Much love,

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am excited about this..as I am currently reading her book, and find it to be quite "right on"...should be an exciting evening tomorrow night!! I hope she chooses me for a reading!

Join medical intuitive, author and radio host, Carol Ritberger, for an intimate evening of intuitive readings. Carol has devoted more than 25 years to researching how stress and emotions contribute to the formation of disease in the body. She knows the human energy system, body/mind health, stress management and how personality and emotional, psychological and spiritual energy can lie at the root of illness, disease and life crises.
The evening will begin with a brief energy update as Carol shares how energy shifts will affect your body and your ability to make decisions. Then, by random selection, Carol will read specific individuals, and answer as many questions as time allows. She can respond to either physical or spiritual questions. Interestingly, the information she shares through the questions asked is frequently of significant value to others in attendance. Although not everyone will receive a reading, all participants will take away insights that change perceptions, perspectives and possibilities.
As the result of a near-death experience in 1981, Carol is able to literally see the aura. She uses this ability to identify where there are energy blockages that are preventing the body from functioning properly and to uncover the hidden psychological meanings behind illness and life crises.
Carol's work with energy, health and healing is featured in her new book, Healing Happens with Your Help, which uncovers the hidden meanings behind illness and explores the complex mind-body-spirit connection. She is a highly sought-after medical intuitive, and author of
Your Personality, Your Health, What Color Is Your Personality? and LOVE What's Personality Got to Do with It?


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I was thinking about what to blog about this morning...and then I decided I would not blog about anything, as nothing was important this morning...
before I logged off I checked my email, and there was an email from my sweet, wise friend in Canada..she sent me a link to one of the most important videos I have seen in a Very, Very long time...it's by Andrew Zuckerman, and if you will take a moment to watch it I am sure you will see one or two familiar faces..along with some very wise commentary that we could all take note of.
Enjoy~ and Thank You dearest Colette~


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Donation for "The Colors of Love"!!! and a blog post...

This morning I was awakened by a VERY nice donation from one of my Yoga Friends here on Ashtangi.net! Thank You SO very much to Wayne and his beautiful daughters for their donation for Art Supplies for the kids of Karunay Mane! The total is getting bigger now..and I have some shopping to do!
on another note...my friend Tracey is still in Varanasi..and her post today was breathtaking and I hope you will take a moment to read it as well..it is very touching..
OM Shanti

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

and then she just has to tease me.....how BAD do I want to be sitting right where she is...and I will be in 2 months time!

[WARNING: alotusgirl, get out tissues. Repeat: alotusgirl, please get out the tissues!]

Right now I'm sitting on the ghats (steps) of the holy Ganges River.

The water is calm.

There's a rowboat going by with an Indian couple in it, and there are three boats docked nearby.

A young man is scrubbing one with cloth, another painting the sides red and another gent with a yellow scarf watching them, not quite sure what to do with himself.

About a dozen yards away an old man sleeps in his boat after undoubtedly another long day of his long, hard, life.There are many sets of ghats (concrete steps) along the Ganges - some popular and well known, others small and less significant. I'm sitting at one of the small insignificant steps, called Chauki Ghat, enjoying a cigarette and a cold bottle of water. There are no touts swarming me. No beggars. No drivers trying to take me to a silk shop. (Although it smells a bit over here - which is probably why they haven't found me. Bearing the stench is worth the privacy, at least for a few precious moments!)All is at peace, and for that I am truly blessed and grateful - for this moment is one of the many moments that drove me to come to India. The future may be uncertain. Tomorrow's journey, nerve-wracking. But this moment is one of peace - and this moment is the only one that matters.
One of my greatest friends is in India right now..her second trip. I have some friends here in the US that always ask me "What's it like in India"? If you want to get a good perspective..read my friends entry from her blog today below..by the way, she is a kick a** writer! (btw..it's a long one but well worth it!!)

I have been accused of many things in my life but being patient isn't one of them. Nay - neither my friends nor my co-workers nor my family nor former lovers have ever said, "Hellotmf, you need to stop being so patient!" This is mainly because I've never had to be. I'm an only child, so as a child I never had to share or be patient with a sibling. I don't have a husband, and certainly no children, with which I have to be patient. And finally, my particular line of work is one that needed everything done yesterday, thus further perpetuating my no patience stance.Then I came to India - where patience really isn't optional unless you want to have a heart attack in the first five minutes. While the visual stimulation, excitement and beauty are unsurpassed here, everything you do and experience in this country is an exercise in patience. First and foremost, there is the language barrier. While the amount of English spoken here (as a result of the former British occupation) is far more than I had originally expected when I first came here in 2006, there is still a major barrier in the language's interpretation - even when spoken correctly. For you can have a conversation with a local in perfect English, and both you and the local will come out with a completely different interpretation. To give it a try go to India and ask for a cold bottle of water - you may actually get a cold bottle of water, or you may get a room temperature bottle, a vessel of filtered or boiled water, or a glass of water, or a pot of hot water for tea. It's a surprise each time - kind of like ordering "Chicken Tikka Masala", which is, in fact, different every time. Thus if you are really set on getting something specific and, more importantly, getting that item quickly, you may often be very disappointed or astoundingly surprised. In addition to the language and time issues, there is a general acceptance here for what we Americans refer to as a "lie". There is no such thing as a "lie" in this country - I reckon there is probably no word for it in their language. Nay - Indians often want more than anything to be helpful, so when they can't be, because perhaps they don't know the answer to your question, they often either make up an answer or otherwise improvise. On one of our free days, Leda and I were wandering around shopping and were ready to go back to the hotel. We found a young rickshaw driver, showed him the business card of the hotel and asked him if he knew where it was - he said yes. We agreed on a price and got in the infamous "tuk-tuk". What should have been a 15 minute ride turned into an hour and a half tour of the entire city of Jaipur as our driver drove all around asking other rickshaw drivers where the hotel was. Of course they probably didn't know either, and didn't want to say they didn't know, so in same futile attempt to be helpful, they also gave our driver the wrong directions.We eventually made it back to the hotel. Our driver was mortified and embarrassed - and while it is easy for us to judge and say, "Why didn't he just say he didn't know where the hotel was," the fact remains that this driver needs to eat and make money too. He probably has a family to support, perhaps a dowry to pay for his sisters wedding or some other circumstance - and if he were honest and told us he didn't know where the hotel was, he knew we would go and find another driver that did, thus losing the income. And as frustrating as it was, I reckon he learned a lot about the city on that drive - and I know he'll never forget where the Jai Niwas hotel is ever again.Another mental note a traveller to India must make is that multi-tasking is just not something that is done here. I found this out a few nights ago after crossing the border from Nepal to India. I approached the front desk of the border town hotel, with two people behind it, both ready to serve me, and said that I would like to check in to my room and also change my money from Nepalese Rupees to Indian Rupees. In America, one person would instinctively check me into my room and the other would begin the currency change process. Instead, both attendants just looked at me, gaping - as if they had both just contracted a severe case of The Dumb. I sighed, resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a bit of a long ordeal (mind you, I had just spent 8 hours in a loud, overcrowded, no-AC local bus), put my hands on the counter and patiently said, "Okay - let's check me into my room first," Another 45 minutes later both transactions were done.When I got to my room I sat on my bed and thought about what had just happened. Why it is that I, and supposedly my fellow countrymen, are able to do so much more in so little time? Did I and the rest of the west have some superpower abilities that were superior to that of these parts of the world? And if so, did these multi-tasking/high work efficiency methods actually serve us any better? Sure - when we're at a restaurant in New York we get our food faster and subsequently get ourselves out of there faster - but more often than not we end up with indigestion issues and other such things. Watch a half hour of TV in the US with all it's new IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) medication and Activia yogurt commericals and you'll see that Americans aren't taking their time to eat properly, and thus their digestion system is constantly being taxed. We suffer from ADD from lack of attention to one thing, anxiety, depression, and fatigue from long, hard days that result in maladies ranging from heart problems to falling asleep at the wheel - are we*REALLY* better off moving at such a fast, efficient pace? And if so, then why the hell did I elect to come here for an ENTIRE MONTH?I don't know all the answers - all I know is that I am aware of the struggle and need for the balance between acting efficiently and taking the time to just going with the flow of life - and sometimes accepting, even embracing, taking the time to do things slowly when it matters. In addition to approach and pace of life, there are a myriad of other constant patience testing drama to deal with in India - from chronic unpredictable power outages to traffic (usually due to a herd of unmoving cattle in the road) to long queues at tourist attractions in the high season to the amalgamation of delays for everything from flights to trains to food preparation. Culturally, there are other annoying issues to deal with as well - like invasion of privacy. For it is not in the least bit taboo for someone, man or woman, to ask you where you are going, what you are doing, why are you are doing it, are you married, do you have children, why aren't you married with children, how much money did that cellphone cost, where are you staying, is anyone staying with you, why are you walking alone, etc. While these types of questions would be considered invasive, even rude, in the west, it is just their way of life to ask it here. They have no concept of privacy, because for whatever reason, they just don't need it. Privacy is without a doubt a western convention (one that I happen to like - but I digress!) And since most of the locals here have never been foreigners themselves - and likely never will be - they don't know or understand what it's like to be continuously prodded by strangers for weeks on end about personal matters, gaped and stared at, followed and endlessly solicited for money. All of this said, one may wonder how it is that I can stay in this country for nearly a month and not go mental with all its inefficiency, ambiguity, lack of tact and overall lack of predictability. A year ago I would deal with it by just being irritated and pushing through the annoyances as quickly as possible, probably stressing poor locals out. But now I recognize that one must just go with it, and I've picked up a few rules of thumb as aids to help along the way. First and foremost, one must allow for much more time that originally anticipated for absolutely everything. Second, when dealing with locals, one must try to be empathetic and recognize that their behavior, like say lying or asking what invasive questions, isn't because they are bad people - it is just their way here. They aren't asking anything that most of us haven't thought - and you're under no obligation to answer. They are "doing the needful", as they say here - being curious and trying to be helpful, even if it really isn't. And when speaking to the locals, you must speak slowly and phrase sentences in such a way that ensures a clear and concise answer, preferably in a few words or less. This has little to do with intellect or language issues as it does that often locals don't understand what kind of information foreigners are looking for to begin with, and if left with no concise guidance, they will often give you a bunch of useless information. And when receiving such information, one must *really* use their gut feel to ascertain if the information received is actually correct or if just another improvisation - and when truly in doubt, ask someone else to see if the stories correlate. And most importantly, always, *always* take a rickshaw driver that is over or around the age of 35 - if they're much younger, they haven't been driving around long enough to know the city. In short, here one must recognize the culture for what it is - not right, not wrong - it just is what it is, and a traveller must deal with it the best way he / she can. And just when you think you have India pegged as slow, inefficient and often backwards it will again surprise you - as I finished dinner at the hotel restaurant that evening I crossed the border from Nepal to India, I was paying my bill and a young gentleman approached me with my room key - I had left it at reception (as they often request that you do), and he went downstairs to get it for me while I was eating so I didn't have to. Now I was the one looking at this young man, gaping - as though I had contracted a severe case of The Dumb. Finally, one thing I have learned here is that when I settle down, accept that I must be patient, and go with the flow, things seem to go much easier - it doesn't seem as though I'm swimming against the current of life. To do so takes too much energy, which could be put to far better use, like enjoying the process and the country I'm in, and this way, it ensures that everyone keeps on smiling. :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Epsom Salts...yuk!

so in all honesty I did try....I really, really tried...but I failed, somewhat.
I bought the book "The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse" by Andreas Moritz
and after speaking with some friends who successfully completed the cleanse with amazing results I was excited!! So for 5 days I drank the 4 glasses of Apple Juice...lots of water...no alcohol, dairy, meat (which I don't eat anyway) caffeine, or sugar. I ate the Kitchari diet for all of my meals as well.
I was doing Great!! I even lost some weight...I practiced yoga everyday and wow, I must say, I have not felt so clear in years. I had a colonic on Friday as well..just to get myself ready for the most dreaded part of the cleanse..when you have to drink Epsom salts and then olive oil mixed with grapefruit juice....that is what helps release the gallstones. I was SO ready to do this, and then the day came...today actually. I can't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, I really wanted to do it, but I just can't do it..I have the Epsom salts sitting on the counter looking me straight in the eye, and I can't bring myself to open that little box.
So, as my husband sits in Oakland at the Raiders Game, and my son is running at the track, and I sit here typing this, every so often looking over at the little box of Epsom salts..I can say with all sincerity that I do feel really good despite the fact that I can't do the most dreaded part. I mean, I ate the diet below for 5 days and even had it for lunch today...it is delicious I might add and it feels very healing to eat as well. I drank more apple juice in 5 days that I have since I was a little kid and that was quite delightful as well.... the colonic, well, it was uncomfortable..but the results!! Well, let me just leave it at that for the time being.
So I will refuse to berate myself at this point and just say that it was a different sort of cleanse than I had anticipated..and maybe one day if my MD says that I have a whole slew of gallstones that need to be removed..I will just smile and tell my MD that I know just the way to do that and I WILL DRINK THE EPSOM SALTS!!!! I promise you that~~~
Om Shanti (and if you would like to try the Kitchari Diet..it is below!)

Cleansing Kitchari
This Indian comfort food provides strength and energy while you're fasting.
By Alison Rose Levy
In America, downing a hearty grain dish would not be called fasting. But in India kitchari—a soupy porridge made from rice and mung beans, lightly spiced with ginger, cilantro, and other spices—is considered a fasting food and is used to purify digestion and cleanse systemic toxins.
Ayurvedic physicians often prescribe a kitchari diet before, during, and after panchakarma, a rejuvenative treatment that cleanses toxins stored in bodily tissues as it restores systemic balance. Kitchari provides solid nourishment while allowing the body to devote energy to healing. You can safely subsist on kitchari anytime in order to build vitality and strength as it helps balance all three doshas. For restless vata, the warm soup is grounding; for fiery pitta, its spices are calming; and for chilly kapha, it provides healing warmth.
Ayurveda believes that all healing begins with the digestive tract, and kitchari can give it a much-needed rest from constantly processing different foods while providing essential nutrients. The blend of rice and split mung beans offers an array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Its mixture of spices is believed to kindle the digestive fire, the Ayurvedic description for your innate digestive power, which can be weakened by poor food combinations.
Kitchari tastes like a cross between a creamy rice cereal and a light dal, or lentil soup. If it is a cold, blustery day or you are feeling under the weather, a steaming bowl of this classic Indian comfort food can both warm up your bones and restore sagging energy. Everyone has his or her own special method of making kitchari. Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing (The Ayurvedic Press, 1997), by Usha Lad and Vasant Lad, offers a half-dozen kitchari recipes, including this one that was adapted for Yoga Journal:
First, rinse one cup of split yellow mung beans and soak for several hours. Set aside. In a blender, liquefy one tablespoon of peeled, chopped ginger; two tablespoons of shredded coconut; and a handful of chopped cilantro with one-half cup of water. In a large saucepan, lightly brown one-half teaspoon cinnamon; one-quarter teaspoon each of cardamom, pepper, clove powder, turmeric, salt; and three bay leaves (remove before serving) in three tablespoons of ghee, or butter.
Drain the mung dal and then stir it into the spice mixture in the saucepan. Next, add one cup of raw basmati rice. Stir in the blended spice and coconut mixture, followed by six cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low heat for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until soft.

the new baby

we found this yesterday at Costco...it is the new Mini Notebook and it is 9" and Perfect for travel. It actually fits into a handbag...so it will be traveling to India with us next year. They are priced so low and have most all of the features of the bigger Dell....
what a deal!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

an update on Donations for "The Colors of Love"!!!

This email just in from Kristi..my Angel who is collecting donations from her childrens school in Colorado! I forgot to tell you in the email that my husband will wrap the paints really well and we will take them on the plane...no need to send them! I will buy paint brushes as well for them!!!!
I just so appreciate this Kristi!

Hi Tracy -- Just wanted to update you on the donations. We got
pencils, pencil sharpeners, origami papers and a few other things and
the art teacher and I are going to get some more items. We also had
someone donate TON of small bottles of acrylic paint in lots of
different colors. Do you think you can take those (maybe in Ziploc
bags?) or do you think they might leak? I could mail them instead.
Anyway, I will remind the art teacher to have the kids do cards/
artwork soon and then I will send you everything! It's not a huge
amount of stuff but it's something!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Colors of Love

Please scroll down to the bottom of my blog to read about the current charity that I am working on for the children of Karunya Mane in Mysore, India!!! "The Colors of Love"

We still could use some donations if you would like to help out. I will be leaving the US for India on January 25th, 2009 and taking a suitcase filled (hopefully with your help) to Mysore, India.

I am working in conjunction with Operation Shanti...see their blog the the right ->

Last year my charity "Walking in Their Shoes" was a HUGE success...many people sent me shoes and I ended up with 90 pairs for the children!!

This year..I have not received very many donations, and I realize it is hard for many of you to donate with the economy such as it is...but any little bit would help if you can. It may not seem like much to some, but really..it means SO much to those kids who have so very little.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart~~

OM Shanti

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008


President Obama The year is 2016.
We glance at the television one morning and see President Obama having another of his many press conferences . He has now been in office for almost 8 years.
It hasn't been perfect, but things are way better than when he took office in January of 2009. You notice that he still has that winning smile and that take charge/ positive energy that he had when he was campaigning way back in 2008. You remember back to how concerned you were about whether or not he would win in 2008, contented now that he has been safely in office for such a long time.
He and Congress have done much to address global warming, health care, development of alternative energy sources and a variety of other important matters to the country and the planet.
You feel deep gratitude for the past eight years and how things have unfolded.
See it...Feel it....Breathe it...Pass it on...
I don't know much about the Law of Attraction or if you've ever heard of it
But surely you've heard of the phrase, 'What you resist, persists.' The more we don't want something, the more it finds us. For example - the more we fight drugs, the more they seem to be here. So lets stop fighting against McCain and Palin, and start working 'for' Obama-Biden. Lets stop driving ourselves crazy with all of the outrageous mind upsetting details about them and start remembering all of the wonderful reasons we want Obama.

THE CHALLENGE: take 30 seconds right now. Close your eyes and imagine exactly what our country will feel like with President Obama. Imagine how good it will feel. Imagine whatever it is about him that you wish. Imagine the pride. Imagine the diplomacy. Imagine the peace. Imagine the wind mills and the clean cars. Imagine the citizen groups. Imagine the earth being healed and revitalized. Imagine being very proud of your country and its leader. Imagine whatever it is that draws you to support Obama. Imagine what your life will look like. Imagine it several times a day. We can shift and change the vibration of this country with positive visions just like this. DO IT.. It will feel good!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

and if you are in London....

i do hope you will contact my dear friend Liz if you are up for a Pilates Class, Dance Fushion Class, FunkyBarre Class...or a Relaxation/Meditation Class. She also offers classes for New Mums and Seniors as well!!
I met Liz in India earlier this year and we connected straight away..sort of like long lost friends. We shared meals together, Rickshaw rides, Chai, and late night talks with Anu by candlelight and many. many laughs!!! She is a beautiful person, and so easy to be around...she is filled with knowledge and very well traveled. But if there is one thing she knows for sure, it is Dance! As well as Pilates and all of the above listed forms of movement.
So if you live in or are visiting London..please do ring her up!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

now i see why it's good to have children when you are young.

in fact it became crystal clear to me in the past few days.

now, don't get me wrong...i may be 47 years old...but i can pretty much run circles around both of my children. i have a lot of energy and stamina. i am in incredible shape for my age. i earned the right to say that. i work hard to keep it and worked hard getting to this point.


taking care of two babies, ages (almost) 1 year and (almost) 2 years, can pretty much kick the stuffing right out of you if you haven't done it in awhile.

and now, i understand even more so, why i wanted to wait to have my second son...7 years i waited..because i KNOW that i could never have done it with my children one year apart.

Never, No how, No way, Not.

I miss them already...

they went back home last night...

and i realized that i forgot to pack their baby blankets with their things...and i am so glad i did..because i have them here with me, and it is a little something that i can have for awhile until i see them again..a piece of them..and it's funny, because i walk past those two little blankets and hold them in my arms and bury my face in them and smell those two little babies who i love so much and cry because we don't live closer....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

live in the Moment

funny how time just seems to pass us by...
wasn't it just yesterday that my kids were still in school themselves? or does it just SEEM like yesterday. You know, I remember when I couldn't wait for time to pass...but Oh how we learn when we get older that time is a thing to "cherish" and "respect".
I am realizing that now as I have my two little grandchildren, and I know that with just a blink of an eye, they will be big too.
I don't really wish for time to go by quickly anymore. I have come to the realization that if you wish for time to pass by because of something you want to do..or somewhere you want to go...(like back to India) that while you are in that moment of time enjoying that "time"...before you know it, it is gone as well...
so with that
I Live in the Moment and appreciate all that IS

Monday, October 27, 2008

of course we did!

prepping for the photo..... (although Nick is just saying "lets go, I'm ready!)

and here we are! (see how Nick looks just the same as in the last shot??!! Model Material I tell ya!)

At the Taj India Restaurant with our very best friends! And if you look really closely you will see that the place is Empty! Why you ask? The food not good? Slow night? Bad location? none of the above...we Closed the Place Down!!! Yes!! Dinner was 3 hours of laughter and lively conversation..deep spiritual talk..India talk...and all of a sudden we looked around and everyone had gone. Happens Every Single Time we get together...Every time..

Because the fact of the matter is, when you are with people whom you connect so deeply with..and have so much in common..that time just goes and before you know it, an hour dinner turns into 3! We tipped well, and had some great conversation with the Indian men that were sitting behind us (owners no doubt). So everyone was happy!
Heather and Nick gave me this most amazingly beautiful book for my Birthday too..and of course it brought tears to my eyes..because, well, if you don't know why by now..then you just haven't been paying attention!! :0)

Here's to Good friends! Everyone should be so blessed to have some as good as ours!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fun Times!

having a wonderful weekend here in California...
the weather is still summer/fallish..with those big beautiful leaves all over the ground and the soft breezes that blow. Soon we will be changing our clocks back one hour and the darkness will fall earlier. I have been going on some pretty hardcore walks around the area..did I mention we have a lot of HILLS here???? Good for the legs and the heart...
Yin Yoga as well and of course my Ashtanga Practice...I love to break it up and do a variety of things. My body and my mind love it as well.
October is about finished..then we will have Thanksgiving and Christmas..time goes by so fast...my son from school in December and then both of our children will have been raised and brought up...
but they are never really gone, and I like that fact....must be the Indian influence in me!!!
Speaking of India...
we are going out to an Indian restaurant tomorrow night with two of our Best friends..the conversation will be non- stop as we have SO much catching up to do...
and with any luck we will "close the place down" as we ALWAYS do! Fun times!!
Hope your weekend is equally as exciting~~

Thursday, October 23, 2008

and here is Another Update too!

this is an email from "YogaGumbo"..our Kristi~ if you don't know already she started a charity drive at her childrens school for two weeks, and the parents are donating art supplies for the kids of Karunya Mane..AND the children are making notes for them as well!! I CAN'T wait to get them and give them to the children in India!!
Thanks again SO much Kristi~~~~so, so much!

We are still collecting items for another week or so!
We have received several items (erasers, pencil sharpeners, pencils, origami paper) but I know that people will be donating at the last minute. I need to send out a reminder!
I think it is wonderful that you are doing this and I am so glad to help!


Update on "The Colors of Love 2009" Mysore Charity!!

so far I have checked off Crayons, Colored Chalk, Pencils and Origami Paper for the kids of Karunya Mane in Mysore, India. What I still need to collect for them are the following items...
Glue, Tape, Colored Paper, Coloring Books and small Pencil Sharpeners.
I am Really, Really hoping that I am able to collect more donations..I have until mid January..soooooo.....if you would like to donate any of the items that are still needed, I would just SO love it!! If you scroll down to the bottom of the page my mailing address is there along with more information about "The Colors of Love 2009" charity.
It is so little to ask...really, perhaps if you feel it in your heart to help..it would mean so much to the children in Mysore, India! (and of course to me too!!)
Namaste and Thank You!