Houston Hop

I want to keep it real, always, so I’ll be straight off honest with y’all: Houston was the least fave part of our Texas trip. Our Texan friends had warned us. They were asking us why we’d want to venture out to downtown Houston. There was a park that was nice – Discovery Green. That’s where we shot these pics. Outside of that things got a lot tougher. There were quite a lot of single men walking around looking a little not on the friendly side. I can’t say if they really were or not but I sure was happy to be with my hubs. We toured the downtown area and saw the sign and some other interesting, yet a little run down places, then drove to midtown where the ambiance relaxed a lot.

If you’re wanting to give Houston a try, I say go for it – always see for yourself. Reasons why a place feels tense aren’t also always due to people there wanting it to be that way. Life is about being open-minded but then also doing what feels good, especially on vacay.

This week has been very busy for me workwise. My business is blooming. I’m jumping in whole-heartedly, I’m also making sure to get in plenty of running, ballet and yoga.

Ballet Girl

I can’t wait to be dancing ballet again. I bought a pair of pointe shoes as well as demi pointes. I had lost my poite shoes and my demi pointes were just in a horrible stage.

Ballet is something very dear to me. It was the first time in my life at the age of thirteen that I really felt a passion for something when I wanted to train ballet with a goal of possibly making a career out of it. That didin’t happen but ballet gave me so many life lessons, and will continue to do so as I will again start training with my soon to be installed barre and mirror.

Ballet requires discipline. Ballet pushes your limits. It makes you stronger and flexible. I still remember the specific order of ballet class exercises as if it were yesterday. Ballet will come to complement my exercise routine of cardio training, Pilates and yoga. I can’t wait to see my body adapt to ballet again.

The Alamo – Peaceful Warrior

This is the Alamo. The number one battle of Texas. That’s how the Lone Star State got liberated from Mexico. Visiting the Alamo in San Antonio is a must experience. The Mission gardens are peaceful and majestic. You can find inner calmness and center there.

I love breaking into a yoga pose when the desire hits. My pink sneakers are perfect companions when out and about for extended times. We fueled ourselves with tacos and later on Starbucks. San Antonio treated us to some quality time together, regardless of that day’s somewhat gloomy weather.

Traveling boosts my life for many weeks and months to come. As I explore new places, I gather precious information about myself as well. I learn how to find my peaceful warrior wherever I go. I have kept my travel memories preciously stored and ready to be used, when need be. They are my toolbox to a balanced daily life.

Yoga for 2018

I love new beginnings. Of course they can happen at any time but the dawn of a new year feels sweet, every time. Maybe also because here in the Northern hemisphere that is when we all need a boost. Parties have been partied, and winter is now really kicking in. Luckily we have the chance to focus on new goals. Focus is what keeps us going. I’ve seen that so many times in my job as an English as a second language teacher. Clients that have a clear goal, and who regularly re-evaluate it, reach the best results, and also stay the longest.

My goals for 2018 are divided into three categories: work, sports and internal growth. This January is a landmark for me as for the first time in my career, I am going full time entrepreneur. My English teaching business Susa English┬áhas been growing steadily since I launched it in 2012. I’ve developed my own method. I have a 10-level study program. My clients learn in environments that suit them the best – be it the classroom but also the cafe, park, taking a walk or visiting the nearby stores. We learn hands-on and everyday vocabulary. My future goals for Susa English are to find a couple more clients and also some more translaing jobs. I greatly enjoy translating (from French to English), or revising (English) text. That gives me a sweet change from teaching.

My second goal is around sports and body image. I’ve had my share of weight shifts within my 43 years. I’ve been too high as well as too low. It’s been a process to find the real, good-for-me weight after all that. I feel that I’m there now. I’ve maintained my current weight without too much effort for a long period. I have energy to do all that I want. I still feel slim and light.

My sports goals are: enjoying the Canadian winter by cross-country skiing and skating. Both of these can be done within a 5-10 minute walk from my place. I have also planned snowshoeing with a friend. I want to continue using my stepper. It’s a great back up when the temperature drops too low outside. Sometimes I get up and head straight to the stepper to get my workout in before breakfast. I plan to continue with my zumba and yoga teaching. I lead a Quebec City fitness community online and the class is connected to that.

I keep enjoying my regalar yoga lessons with Boho Beautiful. I just adore her style. I will also get something new and exciting this year – a ballet barre and a mirror. I can’t wait to reignite the ballerina spark in me. Pointe shoes here I come! I danced ballet from the age of nine thru 22. I got a ballet teacher’s training. It has always remained my love.

My third goal is finding growth and peace within. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks recently. I’m not enchanted to tell you about them here, yet I’ve never believed in hiding things. Mental challenges aren’t people’s choice, nor do they mean that someone is weird or antisocial. I’m a very bubbly, life-loving person when you meet me. I have a big heart and I feel life strongly. I care. I really want to listen to others. I want to be that one person who brings you a ray of sunshine when you most need it. I’m in the process of learning to deal with anxiety when it takes over me. I need to gather positive evidence on the moments when I acted calmly and enjoyed life without fear. I’m rebuilding my internal me. I’m using two books to accompany me on this journey. I plan to share them later with you.

What about your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Or any other subjects that you’d enjoy reading?

Self Care

I’ve had to deal with some health issues recently. That has woken me up to the importance of self care. The key is in finding out what works specifically for you. What is the right balance of work and play at this particular point in your life? What once was good may very well have changed. You have to keep tuned into your inner voice. The more you learn to listen to it, the clearer it gets.

My self care essentials are walks out in parks and the city streets. At this time of the year the darkness makes every bit of light decorations shine magically. Just looking at them transports me away from everyday work seriousness. My essentials also include a liquid pleasure called coffee. I feel uplifted as I make my way to my trusted coffee shop and chat with my baristas. Buying nearly one coffee a day sure adds up in the end. But self care is an investment.

My third self care element is yoga, Pilates and ballet. I have a mat on which I play in my activity room. I observe my current state and then engage in an activity that meets my need the best. Sometimes calming yoga, other times boosting and physically challenging training. Next to the yoga mat, I have a stair climber. Whisking away on it at the end of a busy work day often feels good. Going out for runs is another tempting possibility. My energy level ultimately makes the decision.

I encourage you to stay connected with your inner self. Ask yourself what it is that you need today to feel the best. Make a list if that helps in keeping track and not forgetting when you need gentle self care the most.

Ballet and Yoga

It has been a while since I blogged. I felt a pull to other things. Nevertheless, this blog is a sweet place of mine so here I am, back and ready to let you in on novelties in my life. I’ll be back regularly now. I know. I feel it. The winter always does that to me. I crave for blogging creativity more than in the summer.

I trained ballet from the age of nine up to 22. It was my life. I wanted to be a ballerina. That was the strongest dream I’ve ever had. Since then nothing has lived up to that degree of intensity. In hindsight it was awesome to spend my youth in such a focused way. Recently I felt a draw back to ballet. I took action. I pulled out my old ballet shoes. I found ballet class music on Spotify. I’ve been training. It’s been awesome. My body remembers so many things. It’s incredible.

Yoga has also taken a bigger place in my life than before. I take a class almost daily. It happens here at home on my purple yoga mat. I’ve fallen in love with Boho Beautiful. She teaches yoga and Pilates on YouTube. Her videos inspire me. Her kind but firm guidance pleases me enough to want to include her in my intimate space. Her style brings you ballet like, long lean muscles.

With ballet and yoga on my side, plus cardio workout from running and stepper, I’m living my life to its fullest. November feels good. Surprisingly, it’s one of my favorite months in its rough beauty. When I’m happy in November, I feel like nothing can get me down. Nothing can tear you down or cut your groove if you can make it when your environment doesn’t help you. So to me November means power – strong, lean ballerina yogi power.