Wednesday, October 28, 2009

serendipity to the core

"for whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea." -e.e.cummings

I spent a lot of time at the beach in October. Oh how my soul longs to live by the sea. Destin, Florida is a home away from home. My family has retreated to the same place for over a decade. We know the staff, year-round residents, and even the couple that puts out the chairs and umbrellas. I love traveling to new places, but nothing beats going to where you know you belong.

My favorite thing to do in the world is to go for a long run and then sit with a book on the beach to watch the sunset. One afternoon in my last trip I was reading by the ocean and I started to wonder what made the sea so special to me. I paused to stare at the ocean and it hit me: simplicity. It is that it is constant. It's so comforting to know that no matter how many things change within a year, I sit in front of that massive body of water, and everything seems to be well with the world.

On this particular day, something unique happened after I'd been sitting there awhile. Scott, a surfer, called out to me and said "ashley, look!" I looked up where he was pointing and saw something extraordinary: a double rainbow. On both sides of the sun was a rainbow. It baffled me because it hadn't even rained at all. He said that it was a very rare sight. It was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. It was a perfect example of serendipity. I went to the sea expecting yet another lovely sunset, but I went away with something more.

When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the booming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me
I can run about when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish.
Oh – to live by the sea is my only wish.

-Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

should i pay

Is it worth the price to pay for a blog makeover?
I need your opinion.
Keep it simple or spruce it up?!

we've hit the glass ceiling, so now what?

[to Katie]
Hubbell Gardner: You hold on and I don't know how. And I wish I did. Maybe you were born committed... I can't get negative enough. I can't get angry enough. And I can't get positive enough.
-The Way We Were
ok so i have a love/loathe relationship with Maureen Dowd. Yes the firey red haired columnist for the New York Times. Yes the uber left liberal. I check the New York Times like it's my day job. Like constantly. And every time she has a new column I will hesitate before I click on the link which will inevitably lead me to reading a column that makes me question what I once thought was so true.

So this one was about happiness. Males v. Females.--who's happier?
It got me thinking. I think women are more overwhelmed than they used to be. This whole breaking the glass ceiling effort was supposed to rocket women into CEO land where they could rise to the same position as any man. But ay- here' s the rub. Women still wanna cook. Wait. Stop. Not me of course. I don't wanna cook. But a lot of women still wanna cook.

Excerpt from her column:

Women are getting unhappier, I told my friend Carl.

“How can you tell?” he deadpanned. “It’s always been whine-whine-whine.”

Why are we sadder? I persisted.

“Because you care,” he replied with a mock sneer. “You have feelings.”

Is that why women are unhappier overall? Because we care? That disturbs me and fascinates me at the same time. Does caring lead to overanalyzing which leads to feelings of helplessness and unhappiness?

Sometimes I feel sorry for my male friends. They say how was work? or how was yoga? or how was your weekend? A simply question in their mind. A question they probably want a "great" or even "fine" answer for. But no, usually they get something longwinded and by the end of the conversation I've told them what book I'm reading, what I had for lunch, and how I am freezing but no I still won't start wearing socks. Luckily they feign interest.

When I am frustrated with a person or situation or being overcommitted and am talking to one of my male friends, he will usually respond with this little line: "Then why are you around him/her?" or "Then stop." I usually respond "I can't. I care. So I can't stop." and they say "Then I don't know what to tell you. Wanna go get Wendys though?"

So what's the answer? Care less? I think though that caring is what is lacking in society. If people cared more, they'd give more. And giving more would lead to less poverty, and less suicides, and less unhappiness?

so hmmm. that's all i gotta say. hmmm.

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
-When Harry Met Sally

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

still seaside in my mind

"i get by with a little help from my friends." -the beatles

just got back from a long weekend in Watercolor, Florida with my fav pilot and his beautiful wife- ed & micha- and one of my favorite sorority sisters- K.Kirby! i'll post pics (the pictures on this post are from my birthday in march, just wanted to put faces with names) and stories soon. it was one of the most adventure filled and rejuvenating trips ever. here's one a fun one for now...

scene--- riding beachcruiser bikes at midnight in watercolor.
we're driving over a bridge.
me (gazing out over the water): guys, isn't it beautiful here at night?
ed: do you see those people ahead?

me: gosh, it's just gorgeous

kait: ashley, do you see those people right THERE?

(i suddenly fly past a couple on the bridge, missing them by an inch or two)

me (yelling back at them): oops! so sorry! so very sorry

(my friends fall off their bikes dying of laughter)

kait: you almost took out those people! they were plastered to the railing.
ed: i think the girl considered jumping o
ff the bridge...and they thought they were going for a romantic stroll...
moral of the story: watch where you are going.

and don't drink bourbon while behind the handlebars of a beach cruiser bicycle.
or you could end up behind bars- in jail!

"The best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously." -the indigo girls

Monday, October 5, 2009

red rover red rover send october on over!

I scream summer.
Everything about me screams summer.
boo to wearing socks.
boo coldness.

But every cloud has a silver lining.
and Kentucky turning a wee bit colder has a silver one called KEENELAND. Keeneland is both a world renowned race track and the world's most prestigious Thoroughbred auction company.
This week I got oh so excited when I realized that I get to wear my Ralph Lauren Ginnie Silk Sash Riding Blouse (say that fives times fast!) that I purchased in Chicago many moons ago (this past August) in less than two weeks when I go to Keeneland. Wow, that last sentence was most definitely a run-on sentence. Jeepers Creepers. It doesn't matter though. Why? Because it's Keeneland season and all is well in the bluegrass!!

"I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Ke
ntucky." -Abraham Lincoln

Friday, October 2, 2009

i live on the edge...

Did I seriously just order a romper with scottie dogs from for my trip to the beach next week? Yes my friends yes, I did. We'll have to wait to see if it'll be a hit or a miss. Watercolor, Florida here I come.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

be still...

"If I'm losing balance , I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga." - Terri Guillemets
I realized last night that I hadn't taken the time to reflect on a great recent experience.
Two weeks ago I went to a workshop at Sanctuary for Yoga in Nashville. The studio is located in the green hills area and let me just say that this place lives up to its name. It really is a sanctuary (see pictures)! The owners are the kindest human beings. I've been going to yoga workshops for two years. I go to learn. I go to practice with people that I don't usually practice with. I go to learn from an instructor that I've never taken a class with before.

So before it began, I ate at Whole Foods with my friend David. He and I attend the same workshops in Nashville and we practice at the same studio in Bowling Green. He is a great mentor to me. He's one of the kindest, most centered human beings on earth. We are quite opposite especially since I tend to be high strung and he's the picture of calmness. We really balance each other out. It's really cool for us to reflect back on all of our workshop experiences over the past 2 years. We have practiced with men and women from Boston, Miami, Australia...the list goes on and on. We learn something new and exciting each time that we take back and try to incorporate in our daily practice. The workshops are pricey, but the experiences are priceless.

I get very intimidated when I go to these workshops for many reasons. First of all, in Bowling Green I am a big fish in a small pond. Not a large number of people practice on a regular basis compared to bigger cities like Nashville. I have been practicing for 3 years, which is a small number compared to people I meet that have practiced for decades.

More than wondering what the poses we'll go into or what the music will be like, I wonder about the personality of the guest instructor. I wonder about their background, upbringing, views on faith. It is fascinating to me to meet someone for the first time because before they start speaking, I try to guess what they will be like and the possibilities are endless.

These two instructors were no less appealing than the others. They held my attention from the minute I walked into the studio. They were a young couple- Krista & Brock Cahill (shown in the pictures). They are from lala land (Los Angeles). Krista had a confidence that was contagious. She wasn't cocky or arrogant though. You just knew the moment she started speaking that she had a strong sense of self. Brock screamed adventure. He was very animated and had an unbelievable amount of energy. He was such an encourager throughout the workshop. It was my favorite workshop I've ever attended.

Yoga is a daily reminder to me to be still and know that he is God. The instructor of my very first yoga workshop I attended kept repeating "be still and know" during final savasana. At first it bothered me that he didn't add the last part "that he is God." But gradually I have discovered that the instructor simply guides us into stillness. It is up to us as individuals to apply our faith into our practice. As a Christian, it is an instinctive impulse to incorporate prayer into the meditation.

I'll leave you with a picture from when I initially started practicing yoga. I often look at this picture when I am feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with life. It is a reminder to me that it is quite easy to be still and find peace, even in a world of chaos. In yoga we say namaste at the end of class. It means "the light within me reaches out to the light within you." So namaste my loyal reader(s). Namaste and Godspeed.

"Vogue and Self are putting out the message of yoginis as buff and perfect. If you start doing yoga for those reasons, fine. Most people get beyond that and see that it's much, much more." -Patricia Walden