My favorite thing about Public Health…

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… is the fact that so many of these ideas which I held to be “on the fringe” … the dangers of chemicals in our food and consumer products, the idea that our egos chooses beliefs in an attempt protect us, the concept of writing down our desired outcome and having our actions adjust accordingly, and subconsciously … have long been accepted in this field.  These truly are my people.  And though I might take some of the ideas off to a more extreme place (specifically some of the persuasive communication theories I’m learning about), there’s something powerful to be said for a scientific-minded individual such as myself to finally be handed an abundance of evidence supporting that which she holds dear.  I can’t say I hate it.  😉

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Beauty

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, food, and fun. After an 8+ hour drive, I danced the night away on Wednesday before the beau and I split the actual holiday between my family and his. I feel blessed that we can so easily do this, something I hadn’t really recognized until I mentioned it to friends at school, (many of whom were surprised that we could so easily see both sides of our family).

Friday at midnight the beau, his mom, and I hit up Kohl’s for a few hours…and I was home and shopping with my mom by 8:45! Don’t ask how much sleep I forwent got. 😉 Black Friday is a tradition for my mom and I and although this year we didn’t have any super specific purchases to make, I couldn’t let it pass. I know some people really hate the day but its about more than just great deals for me…hence my willingness to sleep for only 3 hours. 🙂

Anyway, Saturday I relaxed at home spent much of the day learning about the Army since one of my dear friends arrived at boot amp recently. Momma had a fire roaring and I was snug as a bug before getting ready for a date night (obviously wearing items purchase the day before).

Now that you all received that impromptu recap, on to the heart of today’s post: beauty.  To be honest, I’ve been having a bit of a tough time lately.  Winter has historically been a tough time for me but this year it feels harder.  I feel like I have zero motivation…I can’t remember the last time I worked out, my eating habits have gotten out of control, its hard to get out of bed in the morning, and homework is something that other students do.  Needless to say, this break, most of which I spent with the beau, was more necessary than I even realized.  I feel more grounded, more alive, and more committed to not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. One of the things I discovered over break was this plethora of recent photos on my phone, all of which captured moments of utter beauty.  It was a gentle reminder that despite the darkness I’m currently fighting, there are so many wonderful things in my life…so many beautiful moments that I’ve experienced and captured, perhaps for times like these.  Though the photos do not depict anything particularly stunning, the memories they hold are ones hat I will cherish.

dancing the night away at formal. girls nights. neighborly love. sharing something special with the ones I love. midnight shopping for the first time. having empowered + positive women to guide and inspire me. and so very much more.

So though the photos themselves aren’t particularly stunning, I hope you enjoy the moments they captured, their deeper meanings, as much as I do.

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I ❤ fall foliage.

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mmmmmmm

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Kait^2 (and seriously, my hair…)

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1. Look at those layers.
2. I have an AMAZING neighbor. 😉

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Could he be more excited?

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What beauty have you seen in your life lately?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Scenes from Life

It’s been a while…in addition to my bum foot I also have “the class cold.” Oh well…that means I had time to sit home, recuperating…aka going through my photos to share more delicious and fun times. 🙂

20121106-180049.jpgSnuggle buddy at my friend’s bday party.

20121106-180059.jpgPure ego…but I friggin love my bangs in this photo…which may have been taken in a bathroom…after a few drinks.  #don’tjudge

20121106-180106.jpgPertiful squash at the local farmstand.  Also my fbook cover photo.  🙂

20121106-180112.jpgJust another study session.

20121107-195811.jpgDeliciousness (aka Chili Tofu)  at Meet 27  <–aka my new fave veg-friendly restaurant

20121107-195822.jpgVegan empanadas…did I mention the place is completely GF?

20121107-195831.jpgVegan. Blueberry. Pie. aka heaven in your mouth.
*psst you have to ask specifically for the vegan dessert…it’s top secret*

20121107-195845.jpgVegan pancakes and homemade tempeh bacon (the best I’ve ever had)

20121107-195854.jpgShe came on time, despite Sandy.  And I devoured her like no other.  #yum

20121107-195901.jpgRoe v. Wade sharing the love with Rosie the Riveter 😉

20121107-195912.jpgDo I need to say anything here?

20121107-195919.jpgGiant beans simmered with veggies over rice pilaf at the Bmore Greek festival.

20121107-195928.jpgOPA!

20121107-195934.jpgPuppy!  Who I get to see in less than a week.  🙂

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: Back to My Mat

Before I get to the heart of this post, I wanted to share some awesome photos from last week.

First, I present the World Pneumonia Day Crusaders. Yes this is real life.

Apparently it’s tradition to slip into blue spandex body suits and dance for the BioStats class…flash mob style. If you want a good laugh pick me up, check out the video here (I’m far back left). You’re welcome. 🙂

After Thursday’s amazing performance, I had the fall formal to look forward to Friday night. AKA prom, grad school-style (read: with an open bar and plenty of taxis). Here’s some photos of me my friends and I looking pertiful:

Me and one of my college besties who drove up from DC. 🙂

Now on with today’s post. I had this awesome weekend…dancing on Thursday, formal + clubbing + a sleepover on Friday, and a potluck and karaoke on Saturday. Yet Sunday, I couldn’t shake this deep sense of loneliness. The type of loneliness that literally paralyzes you, that causes you to feel completely alone in a room full of people, that causes every piece-of-shit lie you’ve ever heard and every deception you’ve convinced yourself is true… to just replay.

You see…some truths came to the surface this weekend. Nothing life shifting and nothing to be shared here but, things I’d been denying. Things I had shoved down so deep that I refused to accept their mere existence anymore. Yet they were as much a part of me as anything else. And once unleashed, they were both swift and fierce in their retribution for shoving them aside for so long. So I ruminated…and ruminated…and ruminated some more. I was smart enough to reach out to some friends and things got better once I got my ass off the couch and into their loving arms.

Yet I knew that once Monday came, the truths would still be there and it would be time to own up to them. And though I wanted to run, I didn’t. It wasn’t easy, and some of the truths that came up undoubtedly hurt, but I initiated the needed conversations (4 issues, 4 talks…that takes a lot out of a girl). And after some hugs…came more loneliness and pain. That was when I knew I needed to go back my mat, a place I haven’t been in far too long. I longed for my home studio yet I also realized that they may very well have been problematic in itself.

I haven’t let go of home…of what was…of what might have been. One common theme since I’ve moved to Baltimore is feeling out of place, in every way imaginable. I’m undergoing huge growth and well, they don’t call’ em growing pains for nothing.

I realized that I needed to return to my mat so I could let go. I needed to just dump it all–the pain, the heartbreak, the hurtful truths, the homesickness, the longing for what’s been–into the grounding, earth-red vessel that has seen me through the best and the worst of times. I needed to let my body go limp…with trust, with hope, with belief.

I headed to the one studio where I feel truly ok here. Where I know I can just be myself, modifications, loud sighs, and all. The sub, well she was perfect. Every assist she gave seemed to open me up in just the right spots. Twist deeper. Her cues, they pushed me to simultaneously push harder and listen to my body. Fold further. The readings and music she chose spoke perfectly spoke my current struggle and my next steps. Trust more.

And my mat, it was just what I needed. When I left class, my heart a little less heavy. My demon truths seemed a little more manageable. And through it all I found myself rooting for love. Because in this sometimes (often?) crazy world, there is nothing quite like finding the people who really get you. We spend so much time focusing on the hatred and the vitriol and the falsehoods that we too easily lock ourselves off from love. We say that the risk, the potential price we might pay, isn’t worth it. We run from pain and fear, forgetting that they live on the same muscle as love and joy. We must feel the pain if we also wish to embody the love.

So despite my somewhat still aching heart, I found myself wanting to reach out to those in my life. To remind them that, yes the risk may be big and yes things might be messy along the way or in the end. I’ve been there. I get it. But I don’t regret the things I do and have done for love.

Like practice yoga.
Or cook delicious food to share.
Or lose friendships.
Or stick with a long distance relationship.
Or risk everything.

“Love is a choice” one of my friends told me in one of the aforementioned conversations . Yes its an emotion but choosing to stick with it through good and bad, well that’s another issue entirely. I needed to go back to my mat, to go back to a place of self-love to remember that lesson.

So today I encourage you to choose love, whatever that means to you. Let your heart open just a small crack and let in that feeling of connection, of joy, and, yes, maybe of a bit of pain. Do it again tomorrow. And the day after that. I can’t promise you won’t get hurt…but I can promise that the alternative means not living life to its fullest.

Who’s with me? Will you choose love today?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo