Project Announcement: Show & Tell

My theatre company, Xua Xua Productions, is about to launch an event that I am incredibly excited about – Show & Tell.

It’s just what you think it is – bring an object that matters to you, and tell its story! The event will become a bi-monthly community storytelling adventure, starting Tuesday, November 20th at Cocoanymph East (4 W 7th Ave @ Ontario). Come share a piece of your story!

Moving On

The places life takes you are often different than we expect. We all know examples of this.

About two and a half years ago, at a party, a friend was telling me about his new venture in life: teaching yoga. Off-handedly he mentioned that he thought I’d be good at it, and for the first time ever I thought seriously about the idea. I loved yoga, after all, and truly believed it would enrich other peoples’ lives.

A year later I was in the midst of my teacher training. Not long after that I met with the managers of BCIT’s rec program and got set up to teach in the Fall.

Now, a year after that, I’ve realized I won’t be going back. Some life-type circumstances have come up, and it looks like I win’t be teaching in a regular class environment for a little while.

It’s sad to say goodbye. There are a lot if things I loved about teaching at BCIT, including a great crew of students who I got to know well over the course of the year.

I’ll miss everyone there a lot, but it’s really awesome to know I’m following the new path my life is taking. Who knows where it will go, but I know that yoga will always be a part of it, as well as theatre. Aside from that, all I’ve got is some adventure ahead.

Stay tuned!


I recently read a post on Seth Godin’s blog about the joy of the dedication page when writing a book. As a reader, I’ve never paid all that much attention to the dedication page unless the author has done something interesting with it, but of course for the author it’s a whole different thing. As Godin says, “Even if the person you’ve dedicated the book to can’t read it, the writer benefits from the knowledge that a connection was made and that a memory was preserved.”

That’s pretty powerful stuff.

He points out that any project can be dedicated, and that once we start dedicating our projects to the people that inspire us it changes the quality of our work completely.

I don’t know about you, but I like this idea. I want to dedicate my work, make it about more than just me. Heck, that might even help me get enough meaning out of my various projects that I wouldn’t need to have quite so many of them on the go at once.

To Be Happy

Recently I came across this great blog post called 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy. Normally I have an instant-recoil reaction to anything telling me what I “should” do, but there is some sound advice in this one.

The most “yogic” of all the pieces of advice is probably to give up attachment. Non-attachment is very linked with a lot of yoga philosophies. I like this writer’s description of non-attachment, as it’s so often misunderstood as a lack of caring. Here is the description of this step:

Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

Truly worth a read. What are you holding on to that gets in the way of happiness?

Lessons from Being Stuck in an Elevator

Sincere apologies! I wrote this post last weekend, and scheduled it to be published (or so I thought), but it turns out it has been sitting in the drafts all along. Here is last Monday’s post, unintentionally belated…

Last week I had one of life’s great questions answered for me: I found out what it’s like to be stuck in an elevator for 90 minutes with a high pitched beep going on the entire time.

Here’s what I learned:

You have a choice
Often in life you have a choice between being annoyed or amused by a situation. Being stuck in an elevator is one of them. While I won’t go so far as to say that I was entertained by the experience, I did laugh. A lot. Sure, it was a crappy situation and I could have grumbled and been miserable the entire time instead, but the only thing that would achieve is 90 minutes of misery on my part. Instead, I hunkered down and let the ridiculous humour of the situation carry me through.

Company is key
The people we surround ourselves with make all the difference for how we experience any event in life. Some company we can choose and some we can’t, but when you can, choose people who help you stay positive! I am so lucky that a) I wasn’t trapped alone in there and b) that my companion had an equally positive attitude about the situation. We helped each other stay positive and the 90 minutes passed relatively quickly (considering).

You can do yoga anywhere
Elevators included.

Technology can be wonderful
Because of the wonders of modern technology, I was able to not only communicate with the outside world (vital, since the emergency phone in the elevator wasn’t working), but be entertained and get support from it. I posted on my facebook “Trapped in an elevator, where’s the app for that?” and was met with a flood of responses that varied from straight-up support to hilarious comments that truly helped pass the time. Plus, my friend whose elevator I was stuck in texted me links for all sorts of youtube videos, and my battery actually lasted long enough to enjoy them all.

So there you have it! Get trapped in an elevator, learn something new.

Happiness and Work

A great video on happiness and work. A while back I had my own little epiphany where I realized that I could change my life by changing my focus. I started jotting down things I was grateful for that had happened each day, and the effect that it had on my life overall was incredibly profound. Here’s some scientific backing to the idea!

Rut vs. Groove

Doing the same thing over and over – no need to think about the steps, everything just happens on autopilot.

Does that sound like a good thing, or a bad thing?

The difference between being stuck in a rut or working a groove is simple: interpretation.

Do you feel good about your situation, or do you think it needs to change? If you’re rocking a groove, keep it going! If you’re starting to feel like your energy is being pulled into the ground, then seek change.

If You Could Not Fail

I’m sure a lot of people have said this very smart thing, so I don’t know who to credit it with, but I will admit that I heard it quoted in the movie New Year’s Eve:

What would you do if you could not fail? Go do it.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else to add to this one, so I’m not going to gum it up with my own ramblings.

Try Something New

This post is inspired by two events. The first was a conversation with my dear friend Francine who asked me two questions:

When is the last time your were amazed or truly excited by something? When is the last time you tried something totally new?

By trying something new, she wasn’t referring to those big, bucket-list type activities like traveling the world or jumping out of a plane, but little routine-shaking activities like taking a different route while walking to the grocery store. The idea being that by shaking up your patterns just a little bit you become more aware of just what your patterns are and simultaneously become more open to new experiences.

The second event that inspired this post happened today: the shift key on the left-hand side of my keyboard got stuck, forcing me to use the shift key on the right-hand side instead. Suddenly this seemingly insignificant part of my life has become incredibly significant and I am hyper-aware of this one tiny part of my life. Who would have thought that the finger so used to reaching over to hit the return key would be so bad at reaching one key lower to hit the shift key? Those other little surrounding fingers, too, they have grown accustom to reaching and bending in certain ways, and when the pinky gets pulled out of line, they all seem to follow suite! I also had no idea how many times the shift key is actually necessary to write (for example) a blog post?

We humans, it turns out, are incredible creatures of habit. Studies tracking peoples movements with GPS devices have shown that most people follow incredibly predictable patterns every week, taking the same paths between work and home and going to the same places whenever they go out. They’ve even found that our grocery shopping habits are totally identifiable: we tend to buy the exact same groceries in the same predictable pattern.

All this is fine, patterns, routines, and habits can be great! They give our lives security and let us know what to expect. Cognitively we do much better when we already know what to expect from a situation.

So what’s the point in shaking up the routine, then? It’s about self-awareness. Patterns are wonderful, but don’t you want to know what yours is, and what might happen if you break it?

So try something different today! Drink a different kind of tea in the morning, take a new route to work, use the shift key on the other side of your keyboard, or even just sit cross-legged with the “wrong” leg on top (try it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). See what happens. Maybe nothing, but you never know!

Before and After

This is a wonderful series of photos charting a group of participants in a meditation retreat before and after their experience. The photographer had them sit in front of the same background both times, asking them before the retreat to reflect on what they hoped to get out of it, and asking them afterwards to reflect on the experience. I have certainly made my own observations about the difference between the before and after images, but I won’t colour your interpretation with my own. Posted below are a couple of images, but I definitely recommend clicking this link to get the rest.