Expanded Horizons

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Kate OBrien | 0 Comments

I have always been enchanted by horizons. As a tiny child my horizon included distant wheat fields under the Montana sky, broad views of the Sweet Grass Hills from the seat of my grandpa’s pickup, and endless expanses of drifting snow. Later it was the shimmering greens and grays of San Francisco Bay with the city shrouded in fog and the moody Pacific beyond. Wherever I was, perhaps because of those early years, the sense of expansiveness and possibility that comes from seeing distant horizons has nourished my sense of well being. I love New York, but I need wide open spaces. In those vast spaces I find myself and see my dreams almost as if they were palpable. I remember what I am about, what matters, where my next step should be.

ALIMAHORIZONS

One of the joys of summer is stepping out of our normal routines and focusing on our horizons as well as our paths. We recalibrate and rethink. We spend time with people we love. We remember our larger selves.

Our current Instagram contest is much more than a contest to me. It is a way for us to connect, and to share how we interpret growth this summer. As I go through each entry, I am enlightened by each and every one of you, and thank you for your beautiful contributions.

May your summer be filled with joy and the promise of expanded horizons.

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Posted in Alima Pure, General, Horizon Collection, Kate O'brien, Summer 2014

Yoga or Bust

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Kate OBrien | 0 Comments

We live in a peaceful neighborhood with lots of space and trees around. The streets don’t go through and there’s nothing much to see except houses, so there’s not much traffic. When the windows are open you can hear the occasional dog or lawn mower, sometimes distant traffic, but it’s quiet. That all changes in the early morning when the local golf club grooms its course. And the bit closest to our house, the putting green, is groomed by four leaf blowers (yes four!) every summer morning  from 5:45 – 6:00 am. Monday through Sunday. And it wakes me up every morning.

Yoga-Sara-Lewis

Staffer Sara Lewis getting her headstand on

For the first few days I lay in bed trying to imagine what kind of machine could possibly make so much noise. Then one morning I raced down the hill in my pajamas to find out. The guys were amazingly affable but unmovable. Their schedule was set in stone, apparently. I was not happy and not especially gracious, I’m embarrassed to say.

After a couple of weeks lying awake during the beautiful early summer mornings I realized that my favorite yoga studio offers classes weekday mornings at 6 am. If I were to drag myself off to those classes I would never even hear the dreaded leaf blowers. Well, except for Saturday and Sunday. But maybe I’d be calmer about it after all that yoga and being used to rising early.

So off I went. I set my alarm for 5:30, tumbled out of bed, pulled on my yoga clothes, brushed my teeth, splashed my face with water, and was settled on my mat by 5:50 am.

At first it was hard. This was no evening relaxation class. This was the type-A ‘we get up at 5:30 to do yoga’ slightly competitive class. In fact I might have stopped going except that I knew that if I were still in bed at 5:45 I’d be fuming at innocent (but obnoxious) leaf blowers. So I kept with it. And I got stronger. And also calmer. All the wonderful gifts of a good yoga class were changing my days in the best possible way.

One day recently, on my way home in the morning, I had a fleeting moment of gratitude for the leaf blowers. My whole being had changed as a result of their morning schedule. Still, I’d be happy if they could knock it off on Saturday and Sunday.

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Posted in Alima Pure, General, Health, Kate O'brien, Wellness Tips, Wellness Wednesday, Yoga

 

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