Things I’m Learning On The Road

  • I haven’t had a mirror in the bus for 4 months. I broke the last one and we’ve just been too lazy to replace it. I wake up every morning, I brush my teeth and wash my face and I even manage to guess where my eyelid is as I apply eyeliner. I don’t usually get to a mirror until sometime after lunch. Turns out the world still turns and my face doesn’t change that much when I’m not checking on it every 20 seconds. Who knew?!?
  • We’ve been living in Yogaville for the last month or so and they should stop telling people that Verizon works here because that is a damn lie. The bus is a total dead zone and my cell really only works in the areas where talking on them isn’t allowed. I spent the first week running around like a crazed hamster looking for just ONE bar so that I could chat and gossip my free time away and then alas…. Ashram life won. Aside from work, I’ve done no gossiping and very little chatting and I have to say it’s been AMAZING! Half the time I don’t even know where my phone is. I’ve spent the last few years attached to it, waiting on a mama to go into labor so that I could jump into action as her Doula. The years before that I was attached to it waiting on news about my mother or father as they died. My nervous system welcomes the shift and I’m kinda dreading returning to four bar status 🙂
  • Builder burnout and crappy weather have given me the time to A) actually finish a book! Read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It’s perfect. B) It’s allowed me hours of classes with new teachers here and my upcoming workshops are better for it. C) A vegan diet means my tits have said “sayonara” (for NOW) BUT it helped me figure out what foods were making me sick and itchy and I feel healthier than I have in a decade. D) It also meant that when my world was turned upside with news of a new brother, I had the space to process it and manage it. I waited a bit… he didn’t deserve the anger that I was holding. He didn’t need to be hit with alllll of the family nonsense at once. But eventually I called. He sounds just like my or I guess our father… (not sure how to say that yet) He laughs like him and he called me his little sister and even as I write this I cry because well damn it’s a lot… I told him about all of the good things… we talked about how he liked to make eggs and play chess and how he sang like Luther and spent his Sundays dunking on dudes on the court in Harlem. We laughed about the ugly sneakers he wore and the good way he hugged and we danced around the lies he told because maybe that’s best for another time but damn. I have a brother and our talk forced me to talk about the pros of life with my father which I haven’t thought about in years. I’m not sure who needed the conversation more but it felt good and I’m looking forward to our next one…

I knew that slow living would mean a lot of things. I anticipated becoming less vain. No one needs a face full of makeup living in the woods. I could have guessed that I would freak out about access to Internet and that eventually I would realize it was a first world problem and calm the fuck down. What I didn’t see coming was how perfectly it would “feed” my Yoga practice. We don’t practice being peaceful so that we can walk around levitating. We “practice” peace so that peace becomes an automatic response when life hits us with otherwise. Slow living gives me the time and space to dedicate to my practice which helps me respond better to my life. It’s not always easy on the road but I’ve found that my life has always expanded when I figured out how to peacefully manage what was hard….

Welp! It’s raining again… and I have a new book! Healing Herbal Infusions to get into. I hope you take some time to do a little slow living yourself this week. Cut something out to make space for something better. Feed what helps you cope. You deserve it.

Namaste Y’all

Home

Blogging on Sunday nights is working out well for me huh? lol

I’m sitting in one of the classrooms, here at Yogaville, writing this post. This room is beautifully lit, carpeted, and has an altar at the front. I can hear the birds outside, people blissfully walking from Meditation to Sivananda Hall for breakfast…I can smell incense and the smoke from candles nearby. It’s a peaceful morning and quite the difference from the Planet Fitness I posted from last Monday.

Yogaville brings up a lot for me. My mother had been a Kitchen Mother when the ashram was in Connecticut in the 70’s. At the time, she was on the path to becoming a Swami. When her mother was diagnosed with ALS, she left and went home to NYC to take care of her as she died. She met my father not long before she passed and soon after I was born. Imagine… if my grandmother hadn’t gotten sick, my mother would have been a Swami and I would never have been born!

I’ve spent my entire life traveling here. Living here for brief stints as a child, running here when life became too much as an adult. Grieving here when my mother died and then my father. I’ve spent most of each year, since then, trying to make it back here. Because here is home. The only place I’ve ever called home. I love New York but it was hard and it was hard on my family.

Yogaville is where my mother was happiest. It’s the place where all of my best memories live and the “why” behind the life and career I’ve created. Yogaville taught me everything. And now, Eula Mae is parked outside my friend’s dad’s house. Ana- Mae is playing on the fields where I went to Summer Camp, and John and I took a walk down to the lake I never learned how to swim in as a child lol My worlds are colliding in the best ways… My memories and my future running along side of each other in the Virginia sun.

If you’re anything like me, then you spend a lot of time second guessing yourself. It’s hard not to question your choices in life. But then there are moments, like this one, where you know without a doubt that you’ve made the best decision for yourself.

Next week I’ll tell you the story about the drive here because HOLY HELL it wasn’t exactly seamless. Today I just want to walk outside and eat good food. I want to laugh and nap and watch my family play where I once played. I want to hear stories about my mother and just feel really fucking grateful that we did it!

Till next week y’all. Take care of yourselves. You deserve it all.

Stop and Breathe

I’m writing this post from a massage chair at Planet Fitness, because I fell asleep yesterday at 7:30pm watching that episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler leave the baby on a bus. 🙂 Oooooppsss! Your girl is exhausted. (and that show never gets old)

There are SO many things to do in Eula Mae! Everywhere I look there’s something that needs to be painted or nailed down or sanded. But how many fucks do I give on this Monday morning?!? ZERO

Our Solar panels get delivered tomorrow from Go Power!, and on Friday we head to Yogaville for 3 weeks. I refuse to stress out any more. We did as much as we can do and we’ll finish in VA after a few days of vegan eating, temple dwelling and some REST.

This project has taught me a lot. Or at the very least, it reminds me of what I teach my students:

  • Stop and breathe. You’re just frustrated, put it in perspective.
  • With each decision, is this bringing ME joy or am I trying to impress someone else?
  • This isn’t a race. Am I taking care of myself in the meantime?

My answer to that last question is why I’m going to spend this week slowly getting road ready, having my hair washed and FINALLY getting a manicure and pedicure. I’m taking myself out to lunch and I’m going to take time to say goodbye to the sweet people in this town that made the last 6 months more seamless and laughter- filled than I could have imagined. John and I are going to drive to the beach and eat too many donuts and MAYBE I’ll paint something but maybe I’ll just put it in our “garage” and take the dog to the park.

They say you teach what you need to learn right? This isn’t a race. The build, the trip, life… none of it. We aren’t here to check boxes and be unhappy. We are here to ENJOY. To live abundantly and happily and to do what makes our soul scream with JOY. We’re here to love and to be loved and to find the adventure in every day.

The build will wait. We ARE leaving this week! But the adventure is NOW and John and I have an ocean to visit with 🙂 Happy Monday y’all. Fuck checking the boxes. Make your soul scream this week.

All We Need Are Wheels

Want to know the quickest way to ramp up your stress level???

Sell everything you own and keep only the things that mean the most to you.

Decide to convert a school bus into a tiny home to hold above said things plus all of your dreams.

Make sure it’s 2 weeks before you leave on a 2 year road trip and DEFINITELY just after you lay down beautiful bamboo floors.

NOW?!? Watch a hurricane decimate an island. Be thankful as it misses your old home and your Florida family. Question the absurdity of it heading right towards the home that you’ve been pouring love and sweat in to. Slowly realize that Dorian is an asshole and is landing a little too close for comfort. Be smarter than you were when you got stuck in Irma and decide that being stranded in said home-bus for 2 days with no working toilet, a dog and 2 humans sounds like a nightmare and evacuate while crying. (I told you there would be tears)

Here’s what I realized when I got 2 hours away, checked into a beautiful hotel and post long bath with bubbles:

  1. I was 2 hours away from danger with that dog and my other human and we were safe.
  2. 1 of us (after the tears subsided) was enjoying a delicious bottle of wine in the air conditioning and a marathon on BravoTV while the other human slept. ( I’ll let you guess which one I was lol)
  3. When we thought the bus, and our storage unit, could be flooded we took only what we decided would warrant a LEVEL 10 freakout if we lost it to water. I took pictures of my parents and my parent’s old records. That was it… some photos and Bob Marley. Well DAMN! The girl who took 3 months to clean out her closet just grabbed some vinyl and a picture and hightailed it out of town?!! (insert rapid clapping) “I’m proud of you Queen!” That’s what the old me said to the present me as I sipped my Cab. 6 months of stepping out on faith will do that to you…

Eula Mae is fine by the way. Not a scratch, no water damage and we just spent the day wallpapering her ceiling so the build is BACK ON and fingers crossed we’re on schedule!

Evacuating wound up being a gift. I didn’t realize how hard we had been working until we stopped. I didn’t realize how much we needed to just sit and talk and laugh about other shit until we had no option. The last 6 months have stretched us in ways I didn’t know possible (and I’ll talk about that on another day when I’m not so sleepy…) but Dorian reminded us how much we love us and our tiny family and this big life we’re creating.

It was also a nice reminder that all we will ever need is our dog and Bob and wheels and we’re good.

Photo by takenbytablo on Pexels.com

Namaste

Sundari

3 Weeks And Counting!

We’ve seen 4 deadlines come and go so I don’t know if we’ll hit this one, but it’s good to have goals right?!? When we arrived in Elizabeth City, NC on April 1 the plan was to convert our school bus in 9 weeks. AHAHAHAHAH! I don’t know what the hell we were thinking. But I am SO grateful for that blissful ignorance! Had I known it would take 6 months, and the hottest July on record, I might have kept my ass in Miami and rethought my joining this building venture. J/k kind of

The truth is, this has been the best 6 months of my life. The hardest, sweatiest, most challenging 6 months I’ve lived through in a while but DAMN if I’m not leaving here proud of myself and BLOWN AWAY by this man I’m spending my life with.

He doesn’t actually know about this blog. So Sshhhhh 🙂 But in 350 square feet a girl needs space to clear her head and writing has always been that place for me.

You’re coming with me on this ride. Together we’ll see if John and I make this 3 week deadline. You’ll probably witness me cry here a couple of times, because what else is a looming deadline but fodder for dramatic tears?? And at some point I’m gonna turn the key on Eula Mae and drive off on this 2 year voyage around the US and Canada!

I’ll be documenting the road trip, the workshops, the food, the people, and everything that this Tiny Home adventure is about to teach me here on the Blog every Sunday!

Stay tuned and NAMASTE YALL! Mama has a kitchen to finish building today.

SUNDARI