Monthly Archives: November 2011


I have to write about the accommodations.  We walked into our room and I was so shocked. If you read my blog the first time I was here you know I shared a room with a stranger and shared a hall bathroom with many strangers.  I wanted this experience to be the best it could so my husband can really enjoy himself. We got a private room with private bathroom. Our room has a queen size bed that is made, it has 4 pillows, decorative pillows and a blanket.  There are towels, shampoo, conditioner and body soap.

            When I came in June I had a twin bed and in a pile was a pillow, pillow case, sheet, and towel and that was it. I made my own bed when I arrived and there was nothing decorative about my dorm room. This time it feels as though we have checked into the Four Seasons. There is internet access which I won’t be needing since I’m in complete unplug mode.  I have no electronics with me and won’t be needing to get in touch with anyone. My husband on the other hand would like to pull out a laptop and just check in with what is happening in the world.  He has left all electronics behind as well and will embrace this experience.



Today is the Friday after Thanksgiving and yesterday we gorged ourselves beyond the norm for no real apparent reason other then we could. We fed my nephew all the food at the table and as it turns out the carrots as well as the beets turned out to be his favorite.  It is really alright with me if he never gets the taste for green bean casserole or sweet potatoes with marshmallows both dishes seem to be favorites for some but not for me.

I prefer the more closer to their real form foods unless we are talking about pie. Pie in any form is a huge favorite. I made 3 of them this year because I knew we were not taking any leftovers home but I wanted to taste traditional pumpkin and apple pie and of course I need to make my family, wouldn’t be thanksgiving without it, pumpkin layered pie.

I have spent so many years making this pumpkin layer pie but I have never made a traditional pumpkin until this year. My husband so nicely asked me for it and considering what he is about to do for me there was no way I could say no.

This morning I got up early headed to gym. I needed to be lose before climbing in the car for the next 4 hours. Our trip down was nice and we did a lot of talking. I could tell my husband was worried so we talked about what he could expect and how it may turn out this weekend. Once we arrived and found a place to park we went to check in.  There were so many people at the front desk but you have to acquire a level of patience once you arrive.

I’m full of patience while I’m here and can get into calm mode instantly. It is taking my husband a little longer. With this in mind I thought starting our trip with a nice long walk to the lake would be good. He love it. The lake was quiet, the heron was out feeding, the geese were calling and we saw 1 person out in a kayak enjoying the sunset out on the water. Doesn’t get much better for the man in life than this. We have a full night and I need him to find is calm, open his heart and mind, and relax into the uncomfortable feelings.


Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend or just a wonderful weekend. I’m returning to home with a new sense of quiet and peace.  This is the same wonderful feeling I had several months ago when I was returning home from Kripalu after my week long retreat.  This retreat was much quicker but I was with my husband and that made it even more wonderful.  I have so much to write about so similar to last time I’ll be writing in sections as not to over load anyone with one incredibly long blog.  I wrote in my journal every moment I got so in my journal it is as though it is happening now, that will be translated here as well.  I’m home though, happy to be home, thankful for so much and ready to start incorporating yoga into our relationship as a couple. I’ve been doing yoga for so long solo and now I have a partner.  This is a practice so we will be practicing together and separately but there is so much for us to get out of this individually and together.

I look forward to telling my stories and having you enjoy them.  A cup of tea and a little something sweet goes well with a blog.  I am enjoying both as I write you should enjoy both as you read.


            The day before Thanksgiving and it is a rush, rush day.  This however leads to a day of rest for me believe it or not.  I feel blessed that I don’t have to rush around tomorrow. In fact I’m starting my day with a Bikram practice with my sister which will be so fun. I’m looking forward to seeing her after all these months and catching up, although, not much catching up happens on our mats. We will be doing a lot of sweating and catching up at the dinner table.  After a nice workout and a little cooking we will venture over to my parents’ house where the family will gather.  My little nephew will be the star of the show and will be sitting at the table with us this year as we give thanks to a wonderful year.

            I will get to enjoy football with my brother and rub it in that my football picks are better than his.  He will grumble but he does realize I am able to pick the winners with ease.  Don’t ask me about any spread because I can only tell you who will win out right.  If they win by 1 point it is still a win and that’s how I pick them.

            We don’t spend the day driving around the state, we don’t go to more than one house, we don’t eat more than one meal and I get to actually enjoy the day.  We did see my husband’s family for “Thanksgiving” on Sunday.  That was nice to break it into to 2 separate days so we didn’t have to rush.  I’ll be rushing today to get all my cooking done and I’ll rush first thing in the morning but after all the cooking and preparing is over I will enjoy the festivities the way they should be enjoyed, family, food, laughs, hugs, and pure enjoyment.



As my husband and I pack, plan and prepare for our upcoming excursion to Kripalu, the yoga retreat center, he is finding himself becoming extremely nervous.  I was nervous when I went the first time too but my nervous was an excited nervous. I was ready and willing to let go and try everything they had to offer.  My husband has the “I’m not sure I’m ready for this” type of nervousness.  My husband is a man who likes to be in control and enjoys knowing what is going to happen at any given time.  With this type of control issue he would be nervous. He understands there will be no coffee available to him unless he wants to go to the cafe and buy a very expensive cup.  I’m not telling him he can’t I’m just asking him to check his ego and sense of control at the door and be completely opened to this place, their philosophies, and the entire experience that can be a real life changer.

He is going to be asked to get out of his comfort zone a lot. Rightfully so this is not going to feel good to him, but it is part of the yoga program.  Yoga’s main principle is to let go and be in the moment even if that moment isn’t where you would prefer to be or if that moment is kind of uncomfortable.  I know my husband and I know what he needs to make this a successful trip so although I’m asking him let go of some control I’m also preparing him to the best of my ability as to what he can expect the whole time we are there. I have printed him an entire schedule of our trip. I have been printing all the newsletters to let him see what Kripalu is and how they think.  I am preparing him with words and ideas so he understands the joy I felt even through the nervousness. I went there with a completely opened mind and gained so much knowledge.  I found this to be a life changing experience even if I haven’t stuck with everything I learned there. I did learn some valuable lessons about life, the quiet and simplicity that is available, the idea that I’m not perfect and I’m not superwoman even though many days I believe I have to be. I learned to find the real Nicole on my mat and enjoy her for all that she is whether she is tired, overwhelmed, stressed, feeling a little fat, or even feeling like a rock star.

Reality sets in and I’m talking to my co-workers about our trip and how proud of my husband I am that he is willing to get out of his comfort zone and try this for me.  Would he be doing this if I weren’t as excited about Kripalu as I am? Of course not, but the mere fact that he is doing for me may show him the benefits for doing it for himself.  As I’m having this conversation and my co-workers are picturing not having coffee, or other forms of caffeine, not having sugar, not eating a meat diet regularly, getting up at 6am to start yoga, going to be 10pm when the last yoga session is over they are cringing. They would be the first ones to say no way to this type of experience and have no interest in venturing that far outside their comfort zones. This does not sound like a vacation to them and it makes me wonder what my husband really thinks about this trip. It probably doesn’t sound like a vacation to him either but he is willing to do it for me and when I think about that, this trip will be a life changer for both of us. I get to experience the love and joy that my husband and yoga give me daily.  He hopefully gets to enjoy the love I give him and find a new found interest in yoga if not even daily just sometimes.


Is there a such thing as a functioning flare? Yes I believe there is and I also believe I’m in the middle of one right now.  My last journal entry showed 20 days without flare and that is not a long time.  I also think that has the days go on unfortunately I will find myself back to zero days.  My body has every indication that a flare is here.  I call it a functioning flare because yesterday my entire body from feet to jaw was hurting. I spent many hours shopping getting ready for Thanksgiving and in the process I was in cold stores, on concrete floors and my entire body was not happy about this.  I had severe Raynaud’s and my hands were in some real pain but I also knew that I had to get this done in order to be ready for Thanksgiving on Thursday. 

This morning I woke up and felt exhausted. My body was still hurting and my hands were so swollen I could not make fists.  I had one option this morning and that was to make my way to Bikram and just try to let the heat and the sweat make my body feel better.  I got rid of some fluid but not enough that my hands didn’t hurt and still this afternoon I’m not making fists.  Typing is difficult but I’m not being timed so it really doesn’t matter how long it takes to write this. 

Since I’m pretty sure I’m going to flare in the coming days I just hope it is not on Thursday.  I don’t like making my family worry and when I don’t feel well all they do is worry.  My husband tries to convince them that I’m OK but he shouldn’t have to spend his holiday doing that.  I want my body to cooperate and we can figure out what to do after the holiday.

Actually after the holiday it is figured out.  My husband and I are on our way to yoga camp for adults.  He is willing to try it and I’m totally excited to be the one to introduce him to yoga and the place that changed my life.  We will yoga, detoxify and find ourselves and maybe even each other on our mats.  It will be such an incredible vacation for me but I hope it is for him also.  I will be writing in my journal every step of the way and making sure to fill you all in.


            Be careful what you wish for…..   This morning I woke up rested and ready to go. I knew I was going to Bikram and I was already feeling very strong first thing in the morning so I was expecting a good practice, maybe even a great practice.  As I walked through the door one of my fellow yogi’s said “be careful what you wish for” it was already extremely hot and humid before we even got the people in the room and got started with our practice.

            I had been complaining that it just wasn’t quite hot enough for me first thing in the mornings these days and I was choosing to skip some Bikram practices.  Today I got my hot and humid practice and I did great.  My body loved the heat.  The entire room was breathing very hard and there was a certain huff and puff coming from all of us.  At one point the instructor said everyone has to calm down and take nice deep slow breaths.  She could tell that the heat was getting to us but at the same time this is exactly what I have been hoping for.  My body loves the heat and I just have to make sure my mind realizes that the heat is an ok thing.  I don’t want my mind to become afraid of the heat since the rest my body enjoys the heat very much.

            They assured me it would be nice and hot again tomorrow so I’m headed back in for some more heat and humidity again tomorrow.  It might keep others away since some struggle with extreme heat but again that isn’t such a bad thing for me either. I prefer a smaller class with regulars who also enjoy the heat as much as I do.  There will be a room full of regulars tomorrow and I’m looking forward to another incredible practice.