mountains and mandalas

18195219_10154698106887842_495217306_o

 

An unexpected side effect of yoga teacher training is that I now am addicted to drawing mandalas (as far as addictions go this is a pretty cheerful one). They just keep appearing in my head, on my paintings, in my sketchbooks. So soothing.

This is acrylic on canvas with the mandala and highlights in posca pens – so far it’s taken about four cups of coffee, a handful of cadbury mini eggs and a lot of CBC 2 radio to get to get to this point.

xx

 

wooden stars

So this is what I have been working on lately; acrylic and posca pens (which are basically paint pens and are suuuper fun to work with) on wood! I have a couple of pieces in the works but this is the furthest along.

 

the stars are aligning

 

It is really fun to do – slow and meditative with bright bold colours, and I love working on wood because it gives the painting a mind of its own in a way that a canvas doesn’t. Following the lines of the wood, almost surrendering to it, is soothing and sometimes surprising.

So excited for this summer and more painting – I just spent a week in the mountains, quietly plodding uphill in-between happily sliding down, and it was so inspiring; my head is full of ideas and potential practically leaking out of my ears! So watch this space 🙂

now we are thirty.

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever

(a.a. milne)

 

Except that instead of staying six forever I somehow continued growing and living and eating and sleeping and drawing and wondering and wander and now I am THIRTY.

I know to some people this pre-empts some kind of mid life (third of life?) crisis or panic or feelings of clocks ticking and so on.

I feel more perplexed. Thirty sounds…. grown up. I still feel so new! I I relate so much more to the little three year old who is hardly me. (I never even made it to feeling as clever as clever.)

But, that’s ok. Feeling new is pretty fun. And I suppose I do know more than I used to; that is a very cool thing about being older. Now I have more stories, know more people, have more in my heart and my mind. I’m trying to keep using that little mind instead of letting it stall. Trying to keep opening my heart even when it is scared.

 

Things To Do Now I’m Thirty 

(because OF COURSE there had to be a list)

  • make use of my training and TEACH yoga!! I’m so excited about this
  • keep up own practise. work on fore-arm stand and backbends. be patient with self.
  • get my drivers license (don’t laugh)
  • climb climb climb
  • paint !! actually try and finish and sell some work. (anyone want some wooden cloudy mountain paintings?)
  • work on my spanish (I mean it this time I swear)
  • learn how to chop wood so I can be a more useful house cat
  • eat more tacos

 

 

 

waterfall leap

(Sunny days and waterfalls in costa rica. This year has been pretty cool so far :))

card love

There are many many things that I believe make the world a better place. Hugs! Making new friends; seeing old ones. Pandas. Baby sea turtles. Delicious coffee, especially when it is drunk sitting by a fire on a snowy day.

And let us not forget SNAIL MAIL.

(Ooh, reading snail mail while curled on a cosy couch by a fire drinking coffee…..)

And so on that note: I make cards! (If you have known me for awhile then this is a pretty well known fact.) They are great for birthday cards, Christmas cards (never too early never too late), I-Felt-Like-Sending-You-A-Hug cards, Happy Monday cards, or just I Miss You cards.

They come with a white envelope in a plastic sleeve for protection, and are blank inside. Prices and more information are here !

If you know someone who is especially fond of bears/stars/mountains and want to send them a card, or know someone who really likes sending mail, or you just want to support a travelling koala bear, email me!! (sarahjekyll[@]gmail.com) And I will send some snail mail cross country possibly international love your way 🙂

(I also make original cards and am happy to do commissions, if stars and bears and mountains are not your thing, or you have something specific in mind.)

yoga ponderings

A few months ago I was talking to a friend about yoga – she is a teacher, and just a beautiful soul that I felt so lucky to encounter on my travels. I had spent the day climbing, and when I wandered back to the campground she was practising by some trees; all beautiful flow and strength and loveliness.

“I really need to practise more,” I remember saying, wistfully.

And she said “climbing IS yoga! You just practised all day.”

We had many more in depth discussions about this, but just this simple sentence resonated so deeply with me. In Costa Rica at teacher training, when we talked about the breath, and meditation, I would always think of that feeling when climbing. Just breathing, one movement at a time. The moment at the top when you take a deep breath and feel sososo alive and lucky to be there.

And so after all these weeks of studying and practising, what is yoga to this little yogi climber bear?

Yoga is: being kind and patient to yourself even when you are scared or frustrated. It’s taking the time to really breathe in and breathe out. It is not being able to keep from smiling in a headstand. It’s laughing when you fall and knowing you can get back up and try again. Yoga is being honest with yourself, and others. It is stretching your body, and treating it gently. Yoga is living in the moment but looking toward all the big adventures of the future with a hopeful  heart.

Yoga, for me, is happiness and backbends and climbing and sunsets and sitting in a subaru with a good friend, drinking a beer and watching the last of the evening light fade out of the canyon.

Mmm.

happy hour

(Right now I am in Colorado, climbing and doing yoga and breathing the fresh cold mountain air and drinking coffeeeeeeee mmmmmm!!)

yoga adventures (can be scary)

Coming here to Costa Rica for yoga teacher training, after climbing in Mexico for two months, I had mixed feelings – excited for a new adventure, a new country, to learn more about yoga, to improve my practise. And I was sad to not be climbing for a month, and to be leaving a place I’d come to love, and nervous about making new friends; scared, too that I would suck as a yoga teacher.

What I hadn’t expected was having (in the most gentle sense of the expression) my heart ripped open. You guys, self study and exploration and meditation is REALLY REALLY HARD AND SCARY.

But at the same time, really really cool and eye opening and clarifying and soothing. (And obviously a little confusing because this is making not much sense.)

You realize things like : oh actually I worry a lot about things, even though I smile all the time and generally seem really cheerful.

And that: I AM really cheerful, most of the time, but you can be cheerful and nervous and worried AT THE SAME TIME. Which is ALSO very confusing.

And:

I am bad at sitting still. And being patient with myself. And opening up to other people in a totally honest way because actually I would like to hide behind a wall of being smiley and happy because that is way easier and less confronting.

But on the bright side it has also made me realize that:

Oh, I love yoga. I love the movement and the breath and the history and the stories of the gods and goddesses; I love the chanting, I love falling over when I’m trying to balance (and even more NOT falling in new poses is so exciting)

I want a simple life. I want to make things and make people happy, and kiss a mountain cat, and climb rocks, and sleep under the stars and sometimes you guys I am scared that I am meant to want more than that?

So that’s what is going on over here by the beach. If you need me I’ll be trying to cross my legs comfortably, planning my playlist for my first class, trying not to freak out.

And maybe doing some backbends:

oh no my hat fell off

sketchbook life

Right now I am actually in Costa Rica learning all about breathing and alignment and the anatomy of the soul – aka I am learning to be a yoga teacher and it’s aaaaawesome!!

I’m a little distracted by the beach and pondering over my chakras, so in the meantime here are some dreamy drawings from Potrero Chico. (My hands are missing rocks.)

(Pen & watercolour)

el toropotrero in pen