Today I am grateful for Seven Star Acupuncture and the life-changing treatments I've been receiving there for the past 6 years. I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for the intelligent, artful healing they provide. Through many ups and downs, this has always been a space I can count on to ground, to break down, to let go, and to grow. Just recently I've also begun working their front desk, a sweet way to appreciate everything they've given me. #thegratitudeproject

Depression prevention. Today began with an early asana practice at the studio to counter the dark, cold morning. I have a hard time getting going once the weather turns, and the only medicine is hot tea and moving my body. Knowing your health is in your own hands is priceless. #thegratitudeproject #yoga #asana #depression #prevention #health #healyourself

"May the practice let you fall in love with your body." I have had a long struggle with my physical form, wanting it to look and feel a certain way. Even in the times I have been able to get it right where I think I want it, there is then only another desire to keep it that way, leading to a never ending battle with myself fueled by conditional love. Dropping this unkind view has...

Adventure. I crave it but have trouble managing aspects of it. My patience is generally high, but mess with my sleep or food or overall comfort level and everything's upside down. I'm learning it's good for me to challenge this part of myself in the name of discovering my own resiliency. Even if it makes me swear like a sailor. #thegratitudeproject #adventure #travel #airplaneair #bugbites #smallspaces #sleepdeprivation #whineytown #lookatthatvegetationdoe #andthentherewerebeaches

Space. Finding it without, creating it within. #thegratitudeproject #space #breath #practice

Largeness. Magnitude. For feeling small in comparison, and therefore less pressure to be everything. #thegratitudeproject #largeness #magnitude #proportion #perspective #nature #kauai

Aliveness. Hiked 4 miles of incredible jungle to this 300' waterfall and jumped in the cold, cold water. We were there 20 minutes before it started sprinkling, forcing us to hightail it out before the streams we had crossed would be too dangerous to traverse. It dumped buckets of warm rain for two hours of the trek back out. I have never felt more alive, being drenched in water and mud, working hard, gleefully forgetting to worry or really even think. #thegratitudeproject #hiking #kauai

Ceremony, ritual. This is my baby brother, who I had the great joy of watching get married this weekend. I love him so much. #thegratitudeproject #wedding #marriage #commitment #family

Familial reconnection. Left to right: Stepmom, Dad, youngest brother, youngest sister, oldest brother and his love, me and my love. Middle brother was occupied getting photos taken with his new wife. This photo makes me cry. #thegratitudeproject #family #wedding #love #strongblood #budhramrepresent #wedontlookrelatedoranything

Witnessing. When I'm deep in my head, it takes only the smallest observance of sweetness to pull me back into the world. #thegratitudeproject #yoga #witnessing #sweetness #pups #letmein

Releasing defenses. I hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, a cage for my old fears and grief. It worsened during my recent travels as I continued the process of looking that pain in the face. Today after massaging out some knots, my acupuncturist felt my trapezius soften and said, "There you go. You don't need that armor anymore. You're home now." #thegratitudeproject #yoga #anavamala

Rejuvenation. It's easy to get so caught up in our culture's directive of busyness that we forget the equal importance of playtime. Without rest to balance the doing, we burn off all our energy, leaving us unable to enjoy and be good at our work. Taking a break to restore our vitality and creativity is crucial - adults need recess, too! #thegratitudeproject #yoga #restore #rest #play #balance #portlandsunset #returninghome

Absence. When I feel a lacking in my life - whether it be financial, emotional, spiritual, physical - I'm working with sitting in that space to see what it can teach me. While uncomfortable, I'm finding what I learn about myself through that listening is much more precious than what might fill that emptiness. #thegratitudeproject #absence #yoga #listening

Inquiry. I'm in the middle of a three day workshop with Christina Sell, and hand to God I cannot think of anything else I would rather do with my free time than explore asana, especially under the guidance of someone so tapped in. I am in love with the endlessness of yoga study. #thegratitudeproject #inquiry #yoga #asana #nerdtown #study #learning #christinasell

Recollection. Through my twenties I spent a lot of time (maybe too much) anatomizing my early life. When I looked back it was most often with a frustrated and critical eye. I learned quite a bit about myself and the roles I played, but most importantly what to keep and what to toss. Now as I thankfully move into the next decade, I am reexperiencing many joyful triggers for positive sense memories of growing up. This Jersey beachside carnival, while a few miles from...

Transparency. I spent most of my life hiding, even from myself. The greatest lesson I've learned in the last year is this: When I express myself fully and honestly, without filter or judgement, I am free, happy, trusting, at ease. This may seem obvious to some but it was a revelation to me. And I can't wait to see how things unfold from here. #thegratitudeproject #transparency #yoga #freedom #revelation #evolution #joy

Vulnerability. I am so tired of acting tough. It's stronger to be honest and ask for help. #thegratitudeproject #vulnerability

Acceptance. One of my favorite quotes is from Shambhavi Sarasvati: "Life is uneven, and everything is okay." We get so caught up thinking that there is always something we have to change about our lives or ourselves before we are acceptable, but it's just not true. It is my daily practice to make this understanding the foundation from which I move forward and create my life, especially when difficulty arises. I am and have always been enough, and so are you. #thegratitudeproject #youareworthy

Work. This picture was taken in my cubicle at OHSU toward the end of my six years there, when I was unhappy and fed up with an unfitting and unfulfilling career. I quit last spring and launched into teaching yoga. The last few months have been hard financially and emotionally, as teaching hasn't quite covered all the bills, leading to a reevaluation of how I view the relationship between work and my own value...

Asking. In a workshop about a year ago, Christopher Hareesh Wallis said that we have to relearn how to ask for what we need, the way we naturally did when we were small. We didn't worry about how it made us look, we just asked. Over the years I had developed a belief that needing meant weakness or selfishness. I am still very much practicing Hareesh's advice on a daily basis and probably will for a long time, but I can say that it has revolutionized my relationships with...

Medicine. I grew up with two parents who worked in the western medicine model, and have spent my adult life studying, experiencing, and examining "alternative" or "natural" models. While all have their place and I've learned to appreciate each for what they offer, herbal medicines have relieved me of much physical, mental, and emotional discomfort in the last few years, in ways and to a degree that I didn't know existed. In conjunction with yoga, acupuncture, massage, and Ayurvedic self-care...

Drishti (focus). I spent this weekend in a Darren Rhodes workshop - 400 poses in eight hours. There were about twenty of us in a large, spacious, silent room, quietly working our way through each posture. In each one I faced myself - doing things I thought I couldn't; acquiescing when my body didn't allow certain actions; choosing response over reaction as often as possible. Having the focus to witness myself for such an extended period of time made me value what was difficult as much as...

This song. Since birth I've found it difficult to feel a sense of home, with the spaces I've lived in, from my relationships with others, or even with myself. Music has been the most consistent source of comfort I've known, and the relationship I have with it always provides me with that sense. I jumped into the river / Black-eyed angels swam with me / A moon full of stars and astral cars / And all the things I used to see / All my lovers were there with me / All my past and futures / ...

Surrender. To rejection, to loneliness, to learning that I must rely on myself before doing so externally, and that I can soften into these feelings and let them be okay. #thegratitudeproject #yoga #surrender #rejection #loneliness #bewithyourself

Your light. When you are afraid, and feeling you have nothing to offer, it is only dust on your mirror. You have only forgotten. Polish it clean, wash away what conceals everything that you truly are. #thegratitudeproject #yoga #light #fear #illusion

whoever makes you happy / it don't really matter who / I've got a new lover now / I hope you've got a lover too / praise the water under the bridges / the time they say will heal / praise the fonder / that still grows on the absent heart and fields #thegratitudeproject #13years #noregrets #mayallbeingsbehappyandfree

you are not to blame / for bittersweet distractor / dare not to speak its name / dedicated to all human beings / because we separate / like ripples on a blank shore / in rainbows / reckoner / take me with you #thegratitudeproject #reckoner #endings #beginnings #learning #growth

The universe - because it doesn't care if you're scrambling this week to plan your birthday, and move out of your apartment, and working a couple jobs, and teaching; it will hand you a flat tire and hundreds of dollars in unexpected expenses in the middle of it to remind you that you are a tiny speck of beautiful stardust who has no control, and it has always been that way and always will be, even and especially when you have the hubris to believe you do. So you throw up your...

Self-celebration. I have spent many birthdays in the last decade by downplaying them, often alone for the most part, for myriad reasons. I kept my life small and was (still am) very internal. I didn't know how to accept attention from others very well. I lacked enough of a sense of self-love to celebrate. This year, I am doing some of my favorite things - practiced meditation and asana, took a long soak in an outdoor tub, ate good food, will have acupuncture, a warm...

Pranam. Feeling very sensitive the past few days as I prepare for the holidays, settle into my precious new home, spend healing time with my yoga family, sit with myself. I overflow with so many feelings - to let go of the old, to surrender to the new, an appreciation for both the struggle and support the universe is offering in my process - that I am so moved I don't know what to do with it, or the deep longing to express it. I am doing my best to be present, to swim in the...

In the face of often feeling separate from the stream of life, I wanted to remind myself of the connections that make up my journey using photos and words. I decided to post one photo per day in honor of something that has supported my personal evolution and awakening. Over time, the experience of posting became a larger meditation on what is important and real, guiding me toward the realization that we create our own experience of the world. Everything we choose to include in our lives - from perspectives to people to how we spend our time - changes us. Below is a selection of posts from the project - to see them all, please visit my Instagram page.

We do nothing alone.

The Gratitude Project

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