A reflection on 2015

As 2015 comes to a close and I launch this blog, I feel it is only fitting to reflect on what this past year has brought. So let’s get started…

Family Changes

Yeeeeeah… So, my parents began the divorce process back in February. My mom sprung it on me and my sister in February. Dad had already found a new home and was moving in 2 short weeks. Mom was going to sell the house and be moving. I think the hardest part of this whole thing has been experiencing all the feelings that came with knowing what was happening. It wasn’t a total surprise, but I think the timing was. I had Yoga Teacher Training coming up and couldn’t make it home to Southern CA to help with anything. That was hard for me to deal with because I essentially just had to watch it all happen. I know that the divorce is not 100% final still… but I can tell my parents are much happier where they are now.

YTT & Teaching

Spring 2015 YTT Class

These guys… gah. What do you get when 12 strangers (for the most part) meet and go through a life-changing experience together? Well, the whole thing is priceless to say the least. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) was something I’d wanted to do for a real long time. I remember so many of my teachers asking me when it was happening, motivating me to do it. Last year was difficult, feeling like I wasn’t really fitting in at the studio where I’d been practicing for years (and not knowing what to do about it), and when it came to choosing a YTT program I felt like I was making the biggest decision of my life. I can say definitely made the right decision, and the people above are really why.

Me as the demo for adjustments in YTT

Me as the demo for adjustments in YTT

I remember the first day of YTT, walking into the room, feeling scared and not knowing what to expect from my fellow students or from our teachers. When I began YTT, I was not as in touch with myself and my world as I am today. For the most part, I am not an emotional person – let’s just say it takes A LOT to get me to show anything aside from like a smile and my normal fairly serious demeanor. Through YTT I was (and have been) able to open up much more – physically and emotionally… and spiritually, which has always been something I’ve aspired for. I am not going to lie – YTT is exhausting. But all that exhaustion, openness, stepping outside the comfort zone, getting up in people’s business… it is worth every ounce.

YTT gave me confidence.

YTT gave me a renewed purpose.

YTT gave me friends that I hope really do last a lifetime.

And now, I get to teach, which is something I’ve always wanted to do – not just teach yoga, but teach in general. I feel like I was meant to be a teacher, to share the world, the gift that is knowledge and ability. I think the most rewarding part of YTT is knowing full well you’re equipped to share yoga with the world, guide others down the eight fold path that you’ve really truly only started exploring. Teaching is one of the best outlets I have for learning – I am definitely a self-proclaimed eternal student – and I know I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of yoga.

I can’t wait to continue to share the gift of yoga and the amazing community it brings.

New Job

April brought a new job to my life, and boy am I glad it did. If you knew me at the beginning of this year, you knew I was miserable at work (for a number of reasons). In March, I finally had some options to take me in a new direction and made the decision to join a small technology consulting and solutions firm in North Scottsdale. It took a little while to really feel like I was doing something here, even though I knew what my priorities were – the top one being launch a new company website. It took a long time to understand the quirks of the business, the people, the goals… and knowing I came into the company at a transition point, it was difficult translating where we need to go to where we were at that point. Once things finally fell into place, I was able to launch the new company website and accomplish a TON of other things. Through the website project, I got to learn some fun code, and really test myself on self-teaching. I have a new boss now, and I am loving life. He knows what we need to do here to improve business and bring everything into the NOW and look toward the future. And I am excited to be an agent of that change. 2016 will bring SO much to me in my professional life, and I am so excited to get started and REALLY show everyone what I am capable of.

Music

I feel like I’ve rediscovered music, and I attribute this in large part to YTT. If you’ve been in my car recently, you’ll notice the station rarely leave 102.5 KNIX, which is one of the local Country stations here in Phoenix. It was not until YTT that I really started listening to music outside of Country (at least for the first time in a LONG LONG time). I’ve discovered so much, and I’ve remembered the feeling when you find that one song you just can’t help but sing along to or dance to or feel a connection to. Trevor Hall’s album KALA – it came at the most perfect time when I was in a low place. Ed Sheeran’s “Lay it All on Me” – I can’t stop singing. And when I need to focus I just put some trancy, dancy, electronica on…. or go to Daft Punk for some beats with Doin’ it Right. GAH so much music, so little time in the day. My sister’s opened up a ton of musical doors as well, and other YTT folks have. Pretty much, music is amazing… and I can’t wait to share my yoga playlists.

Memories

I made some amazing memories with family and friends this year outside of what I’ve already brought up.

January is when I finally made the decision to do YTT at LifePower. I ALSO got to visit THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH with my mom and sister.

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In February I got to be in Austin, TX as my sister ran her FIRST marathon – the Austin Marathon. I also got to do the AZ Best Buddies Friendship Walk here in Phoenix.

March brought the beginning of YTT, the end of my employment with imortgage, the first time I was able to FaceTime with my dad, and an epic trip to Sedona with Rachel.

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April brought my new job at Paradigm. I also got to experience Wanderlust 108 with some of my YTT sisters (and Scott), and I got to meet MC YOGI (highlight of my life…) and have pretty much a private concert with about 30 other yogis!!!

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MC Yogi in the middle

In May, Rachel and I got to go to Sedona AGAIN, and we FINALLY visited Devil’s Bridge (and of course documented it thoroughly). May also brought the end of YTT, and with that, my first chance to get home to CA to visit my parents at their respective new homes.

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This is our “awkward family photo” from Devil’s Bridge

In June I saw a double rainbow, and got the first ever super crazy drunk-dial from my dad. My sorority sister Penny got to visit Phoenix to begin planning OPhiA Convention 2016. I got to go to Southern CA for a workshop for work and spent the afternoon at the beach with my mom, where I got RIDICULOUSLY SUNBURNED. Rachel and I attempted to go hike Fossil Springs but were turned away by a wonderful line of cars and HOURS-long wait. Instead we graced Tonto Natural Bridge with our presence and made some good memories before she left me for Spokane.

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DOUBLE RAINBOW

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

July brought an Independence Day trip with my Dad and his family to Bass Lake (aka one of my favorite places) to lay my grandmother to rest (aka spread her ashes). I began teaching yoga classes at PowerTrain. I also got to travel to Chattanooga, TN for OPhiA’s National Convention – widely regarded as the BEST CONVENTION EVER thanks to my DREAM TEAM. The week was CHALK full of amazingness, the highlight of which was getting to spend tons of time with my little, Samantha.

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My little, Samantha, and ME at Convention in Chattanooga

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Convention DREAM TEAM

August was a month of birthday celebrations – Rachel, Jackie and my sister. Rachel left me for Spokane and Law School. I also ate my weight (and then some) in watermelon. I also headed to Dallas with my sorority sisters for a National Executive Board meeting.

September included another epic trip to Austin for a Labor Day weekend full of drinking, BBQ, Tacos, college football, swimming holes, and LOTS of fun with my sister. I got to do Yoga Rocks the Park with my sorority sisters. And I got to share Sunday Yoga Service (A Super Moon Lunar Eclipse Experience) with a bunch of friends.

Salt Lick BBQ Feast

Salt Lick BBQ Feast

October brought a trek to the Bay Area and Wine Country for a wedding, and I got to see the ocean. Another sorority sister, Andie, came to Phoenix for MORE Convention 2016 planning and we got to do community service with other alumnae and collegiate sisters. Trista and I discovered the amazingness that is bottomless mimosas. I got a Doug the Pug calendar!

Community Service at Feed My Starving Children with Phi & Omega Iota

Community Service at Feed My Starving Children with Phi & Omega Iota

November came with an unexpected visit from my mom when she got stuck in Phoenix due to seriously crazy weather in Austin. This is also when I began subbing classes at Moksha Yoga Phoenix. I went to an Open Gym at Scottsdale Gymnastics and Trampoline and had a blast tumbling and bouncing around. I got to participate in Meditations and Malas and build a new custom mala while sharing time with some amazing yogis. I got to assist Danny with his Yoga Under the Stars class AND his Lululemon class.

Montelucia views before Yoga Under the Stars

Montelucia views before Yoga Under the Stars

December marked 9 years since I was initiated into Omega Phi Alpha. Vince and I moved to a new place. It also brought another visit from my mom, my company holiday party, and a run/walk with coworkers. I bought and decorated our first Christmas Tree. I wrote a blog for my friend Megan. I celebrated my 28th birthday weekend with painting, and yoga, and drinks and delish food. I snagged a regular class at Moksha Yoga. I got a Doug the Pug shirt for Christmas…

 

2015 truly brought some crazy and amazing memories and I cannot wait for what 2016 has in store.

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