Friday, September 12, 2014


Sitting on my front porch this morning writing and dreaming of travel... 

Having just returned from Glacier National Park last week, I'm justifying still moping about in post trip depression as acceptable behavior. Sipping lukewarm coffee, I'm staring at the cars zip by in the muggy Atlanta air, and a homeless man just walked by blowing cigarette smoke towards me while winking. This isn't helping. The trouble is, I actually really do love (parts of) Atlanta, despite how negative I feel about it at times. I love dancing here, and working at the yoga studio, and the community of lovely people I am lucky enough to be surrounded by daily. For a city, we really do have a large amount of green space, and we are close enough to take day trips to hike in lots of lovely places, and there is opportunity to work in the field I love. But Montana awoke something in me. Maybe it's that I've been in Atlanta for over 2 years now and I can never seem to sit still for that long. Maybe it's that Montana was so new and exciting and incredibly more beautiful than anything I've experienced before. Maybe it's that I was traveling with close friends, experiencing the ups and downs (literally) with their love and encouragement and support and I don't want to be back home alone again. But whatever it is, I am awake with curiosity and inspiration and dreams. Oh, and confusion. Lots of confusion. I have the wanderlust bad, but I like the life I've built here and I'm scared of what will or will not be here for me if I chose to leave for any amount of time. For now, what I do know is that turning 26 years young in such an awe-inspiring breathtakingly beautiful place was the experience of a lifetime. I am so grateful that my best friend introduced me to her favorite place in the world, and woke me up. 

For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Creative Renewal - Ireland Retreat 2015

Creative Renewal

Join us for a personalized weeklong retreat on the beautiful Dingle peninsula in Ireland. This retreat is designed to meet your interests and needs while providing a relaxing and nurturing environment. Hosted in a beautiful home in a rural area just outside Dingle town, this intimate week will involve exploration, rest, creativity and self-care.
Your week will include transportation from Tralee or Shannon into Dingle/to the house, lodging in a shared room with queen bed, cooked breakfast, lunch, and snacks, yoga with a certified instructor, creative workshops with optional 9 ceu’s, and two day-tours out of Dingle. Workshops/ceu’s will focus on writing, poetry, art, and self-care and are suitable for anyone- no art or writing background is needed and all materials are supplied. All sessions are optional, and you will have other free time to do more touring on your own if you wish. Please keep in mind we will be in a remote area and while traveling out of Dingle is possible, touring in Dublin or further areas is suggested either before or after your retreat week. Your costs outside of the listed retreat price will be airfare to Ireland, dinner each day, shopping, and any add-on tours that you do (keep in mind that two wonderful tours are included).

We will assist in personal arrangements and travel plans for each individual so that everything goes smoothly for you, and we are happy to give guidance in booking hotels and additional travel outside of the retreat. 

Total retreat cost is:
$1,600 for a shared queen room
$2,200 if you would like a queen room to yourself with no roommate.
To hold your space, a non-refundable deposit of $600 is due by November 1, 2015.

Please select which week you would like to attend:
Week one: June 7-13, 2015
Week two: June 14-20, 2015

Tentative Schedule for the week
All arrive to house in Dingle by late afternoon Sunday
Monday          8 breakfast     9 yoga/stretch         10-1 workshop    1 lunch
             Afternoon and evening free time. Transport to area attractions arranged
Tuesday   Dingle peninsula tour- guided tour out of Dingle
Wednesday    8 breakfast     9 yoga/stretch         10-1 workshop    1 lunch
             Afternoon and evening free time. Transport to area attractions arranged
Thursday   Cliffs of Moher and Burren tour guided all day
Friday             8 breakfast     9 yoga/stretch         10-1 workshop    1 lunch
             Afternoon and evening free time. Transport to area attractions arranged
Saturday- departures. Most international flights leave between 8am-noon so if you want to book a night close to your airport (i.e. for Dublin) we can set that up for you but the cost will be your responsibility.  
On days that we have tours, yoga will still be offered either before or after the tour, depending on departure and arrival times.  

On your afternoon free time you have many options like taking a ferry to the Blasket Islands, doing some hiking, shopping and eating in Dingle, and pubs in Dingle in the evenings. We may arrange a visit to a potter’s studio in the nearby town of Annascaul ( Strolling country lanes or walking down to the beach that is within two minutes is an option.  Or you could nap! Read, do art, write, lounge around, visit with other participants, etc.  Renewal comes in many forms. 

Hosted by

Joan Phillips, PhD, LMFT, LPC, ATR-BC, ATCS

Assisted by

Amelia Reiser, professional contemporary dancer, currently pursuing 200-hour RYT certification

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Post Up at the Goat Farm!

Join us at the Goat Farm this weekend, June 6-8th at 8pm to see Post Up from T Lang Dance!
Tickets are available at the door or in advance at

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do" - Rumi

I love all of Rumi's writings, but this quote in particular is one that has always filled my heart. I have read it over and over again and it never fails to fill me with inspiration and joy. 
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." 
It is the quote that I chose to have tattooed onto my body after completing my BFA degree in dance, knowing full and well that if I chose to continue down the path of being a professional dancer I would come across difficult times, but that the challenges would be worth it. I have to let the beauty of all the things that I love and care about, be what I do in the world. I have to know that my life's work is meaningful and beautiful, even if only to myself. As I approach a very big show with one of my dance companies a month from now, I can already feel myself getting caught up in the stress of managing all of my other jobs and responsibilities while preparing for the show. I was feeling frustrated that I needed to come into the yoga studio today not to take class but to work and make phone calls and return emails, thinking "I have a show soon! I have to do yoga! I have to clear my mind and stretch and move my body!" But when I walked in the door of the studio, I immediately noticed the chalkboard behind my desk that one of my lovely friends continually draws beautiful quotes on.
 "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do"  
It brought me right back. I help manage this studio because it is so very beautiful to me. It is my second home and I am so blessed that one of my "non dance jobs" is something that I care so much about! I got the studio ready to open and started checking emails. The very first email I opened had a signature at the bottom...
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do"
It's everywhere. This life is so beautiful. The people I come in contact with are so beautiful. The jobs that I have, whether it be dancing, or nannying, or studio managing, or stage managing, are all so very beautiful. The beauty feeds itself. By simply acknowledging that what I do is beautiful, it creates space for more beauty to flourish. Thank you universe for reminding me of this today. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Performance alert: Inman Park Festival with Staibdance!

This weekend I will be performing with Staibdance at the Inman Park festival, both Saturday and Sunday at 4pm at the Trolley Barn! Click Here for more info about the festival! I hope to see you all there!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

sunshine on a cloudy day

I am such a sucker for beautiful weather. It has such a strong hold over my perspective on the day. If I wake up and see the sun shining and hear the birds chirping outside my window, I know it's going to be an awesome day. If I wake up after a week of sunny perfect spring weather and see clouds and chilly temps, I want to roll over and go back to sleep. This season is so hard because just when I think its going to stay warm and that we are through with winter, there is another chilly or rainy day. I have been working on trying to find ways to generate my own internal sunshine to make those days a little easier to manage, and I have found three things:
1. coffee (duh)
2. my favorite lipstick
3. movement

Ok so the second one is kind of a joke (although it really does get me going to get myself dressed and looking ready to face the day) and coffee is a given… but movement, movement is the key. Honestly, the movement of our bodies is so connected to our mental and emotional behavior that it is just silly we spend most of our days sitting down. It takes a little push to get going at times (like, before the coffee…), but when I can get up and stretch, walk, twist, move, breathe it changes my entire viewpoint on the day. I find that if I can get up and build a little internal heat, a little sunshine, I can make it through even the dreariest of days with a smile on my face. Lets move. Lets shine.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I've been tested again today. I have been given challenge after challenge and I spent all day trying to catch up. I do this to myself- over commit, say yes to it all, fill and schedule every minute of my day so that I have just enough time to get from one thing to the next, and although I've said time after time that I am working on saying no to more things, it really is a daily challenge for me. I just want to do it all!
In preparation for a friends wedding this weekend (which I am officiating and baking a cake for, but thats another story for another day) I had packed my day super tight...

7:00am wake up and start baking cake
8:00am shower while cake bakes and get dressed as it cools
9:00am head to post office pick up express mailed paperwork (post office across town)
10:00am coffee with a friend at octane, squeezed this in since I'd be in midtown anyway
11:00am go to county clerk downtown to discuss wedding paperwork
12:30pm nanny job, back across town
5:30pm off work head home to clean kitchen and do laundry
7:00-9:00pm company rehearsal at Emory (see if I can leave rehearsal early and join meeting late)
8:00-10:00pm Skwhirlhaus meeting
10:00pm meet friend for birthday drink
11:00pm home to make icing for cake and clean rest of apartment

But this morning I was thrown for a loop right away - woke up late and was in a rush to start baking. Got the cake mix all set, pans filled and ready to go in the oven. The oven that I thought had been preheating. But as I went to stick the pans filled with wedding cake in the oven, I realized that the pilot light had gone out AGAIN and I was now in a panic. I needed to get my schedule going, I had only allotted the perfect amount of time that I had obsessively calculated each thing would take! I frantically called my apartment management over and over trying to get them to come fix my oven, and ended up on the phone with my mother in tears shouting "just let me vent, don't tell me it will all be ok!" - this is when I realized I needed to take a step back as I was failing some sort of universal test.
I called to cancel coffee to give myself another hour, and found a place to bake my cake (my friend I housesit for said I could use her oven since I had a key and such) and creatively packed up my four pans full of wedding cake batter and drove across town. I collected myself and felt like I could salvage my day, although quite a bit was still looming ahead of me. I took a much needed moment to relax and watch tv and play with my friends dogs while my cakes baked. It didn't last long though as I needed to drive all the way across town to the post office before I had to be at work.

I got to the post office where my pink slip told me my very important papers stating I was certified to officiate the wedding in just a few short days was waiting for me. I went in thinking I was doing good and had time to spare! But, alas, the post man had mistakenly written the wrong post office for me to collect my package and it was really at the post office that is 2 blocks from my apartment rather than 20 minutes across town, WALKING DISTANCE from my apartment! I about lost it. I had to get this package today and I had to be at work in a few minutes, and the post office closed at five, and I had work until 5:30, and, and, and... cue the hyperventilating. Thank God for pranayama.

I started to feel defeated - why, when I'm trying to do all this for others, was I being tested and challenged? I just want everything I do to be perfect and over the top and amazing all the time for everyone. And this is exactly why I am being tested. I have to realize that isn't what helping others is. I need to stop and think what can I cut out to make life easier for myself, and know that in the end I will be a better-healthier-stronger person for my friends instead of a stressed-out-stretched-too-thin-hard-to-be-around person.

Luckily I work for an awesome family and they said I could bring the kid with me across town to pick up the package (we stopped at a book store on the way too so he could have some fun) before getting back home to meet the older kids after school. While the kid napped, I was able to reevaluate the next few days as this big weekend approaches and fit in things that I NEED for myself, like yoga tomorrow morning, and cut out the ridiculous perfectionist time control scheduling of things that didn't matter.
I was able to let my director know at rehearsal tonight that I would need to leave a little early so that I could make my meeting without stressing too much, and said no to meeting a friend for birthday drinks (that one was hard) so that I could get home and take care of some things before going to bed at a reasonable time.

I feel as I'm typing this that I have typed this same post at least twice before. And every time I promise that I am going to be better at this, that, or the other... and so instead of making promises to be better, thus labeling my anxious thoughts and actions as bad or wrong, I simply want to acknowledge that these things come in waves. We all need a reminder from time to time to slow down and remember what really matters and brings us joy.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Free Falling

New year, fresh start on writing. I fell off the posting bandwagon after my November show with T. Lang and staibdance - we have been on a rehearsal break for the holidays and lots of things have become sort of lax in my routine. But it has been sort of sweet. I have gotten to spend more time at the yoga studio, and going to dinner with friends, and traveling home for Christmas to see my family. I appreciate the down time way more after a very busy fall and dance season. Enjoying something as simple as sleeping as late as I want on a Saturday morning, or going out for drinks without being concerned about not performing my best in rehearsal the next day has reminded me that I am just 25, and I need to cut myself a break sometimes. I love everything that I have going on in my life right now, and I am sure a lot of it is because of the long hours I put into my various jobs, but I also need to remember that everything doesn't have to be perfect all the time. 

One of my resolutions this year is to stop being afraid of falling. This came as a yoga resolution of sorts, as I have been working on my handstand the past few months, and my teacher has said I have all the strength and alignment to be able to stick my handstand on my own, I just need to find the line of balance and that only comes with practice and overcoming the fear of falling. Just learn how to fall with grace. So I am attempting to apply this to all aspects of my life. I let my Virgo perfectionist tendencies get in my way sometimes and the thought of getting something wrong can hinder me from trying my hardest. So I am learning to be ok with falling, gracefully, and seeing what new doors can open with a little more freedom, playfulness, and kindness towards myself.