Sweet 16. It is going to be the magic number. The number of projects that I have on deck that are old logos I need to complete, coasters I need to finish designing, labels I need to print, wedding invites to layout, business cards to press—a plethora of jobs. 16 magical jobs. I am going to finish all of them by the middle of June. I have to. 

Spring cleaning helped. My life is more spacious. I sat down at my desk the other day and took 6 hours to micro manage the shit out of my calendar. Every project start time, review time, changes back to client time, job on press time... it's all noted in google.

I recently read that Eat that frog! book and though pretty self-explanatory and a little silly, I think about the advice every day. Tackle the most overwhelming ugly looking thing on your to do list. Half the time it won't even be that ugly, and it frees up soooo much mental space you will enjoy the rest of your tasks on your list. So I'm doing that. I'm eating 16 frogs in 2 months. I am putting my head down, I am going to take care of every last unanswered email, tie up every single project with a pretty bow and I am going kick ass. Some really big things are on the horizon and I need clarity from all the side hustle. 

Does anyone else have uneaten frogs the want to fess up to? 


spring cleaning

I think of spring cleaning as this big once a year chore that has to happen so I don't feel like my house or belongings or body is stuck in a rut. Yet any kind of cleaning I have done happened organically (spilling something this morning and finding old stains on the kitchen cabinet doors and consequently spending 30 minutes wiping down all kitchen cabinetry and drawers because once I start I can't stop). But while I was scrubbing away grease and who knows what other kitchen mystery dinner leftovers it hit me: I do really well with this kinda stuff in small doses. 

I read the Marie Kondo book on  tidying up last year sometime in the fall. I cleaned out my closets, severely reduced the number of garments I own and the number of shoes I wear. Since then I have gotten rid of several other pieces of clothing that I realized I have not worn in the 6 months since I lied to myself that they brought me joy. Whatever... not going to get hung up on it. In any case, linen closets, small spaces, kitchen utensils, lots and lots of things came under my "does it bring me joy?" scrutiny and I have to say, in small doses I have been able to see and confront how little I need to be happy. Rarely anything I purchase now are to decorate or to be a "thing" in my house. Rather everything has a place, a purpose, and if something new comes in, it invariably replaces and old broken thing, not adding to a collection. 

It feels liberating. I get emotionally attached to all kinds of crap. Often a thing someone says in passing. What did they mean, what was I supposed to think, the feelings I felt when it was said, and then inevitably the myriad of responses I did not think of in the moment. I get attached to the shirt I wore at this one concert, or a thing my sister made me 15 years ago. 

Last week I went running for the first time in over a year. Short few miles, turtle pace, but I did it. Went right after work with a friend, nothing serious, not training for a fucking marathon. For the joy of being outside, getting active, breathing. Later I pondered the success of not stopping and actually enjoy the quick run with my friend, and I realized it was because I attached no outcome to the activity. I almost never do that.

You would think I have this shit down or have better answers because of teaching yoga... but you would be wrong. I fight every day to not overthink things which in turn makes me overthink things. I have slowly realized that spring cleaning for me has to happen in small doses. Little changes, few mile runs, one kitchen cabinet at a time. Not trying to solve everything at once, not having all the answers. It's fucking hard. I want change, but I know I hate it when it happens all at once. So I'm just going to let the runs be what they are, stick to this CCF ayurveda tea that I have been super loving (though stopping the rest of the cleanse) or who knows, maybe I won't do any of it at all and find something else that brings me joy. 



For me, February was about trust. Every conversation I had about yoga, teaching, design or life peeled another layer off of this trust/not good enough/stop seeking answers outside yourself onion. I'm really good at signing up for things. I add it to my calendar, I set reminders—you can call me more or less organized. I'm really good at calling myself out on stuff. It's a form of brutal honesty where I extensively highlight all my inadequacies and can explain in detail I how I am a shitty designer, a terrible yoga teacher, and overall a pretty dull person. To some degree self awareness is great, but I am slowly realizing I am not getting anywhere with this lack of trust in my skills as a human and as a designer.

I'm also really good at hiding. I want to trust myself but it's an all or nothing formula for me: I have to leap. Always. It's not small teaspoons of courage for me. I have to call myself out ahead of time and commit to a deadline for whatever and never look back. Leap and trust. 

So I made a poster. In a matter of a couple of days, showed it to my designer friends when complete... waited for them to rip it apart. None of that happened. They loved it. Posted it on Instagram, it got the most likes in paperreka history. "The road to hell is paved with likes" said someone at a design conference once, and while I agree, you get my point. I taught a fucking scary ass class on drishti (focus) at Speakeasy last week that was so magical, you could hear every drop of sweat hit the floor because everyone was so "in it."

So as the month draws to an end I ask myself (Carrie Bradshaw style), what the hell am I so scared of doing, achieving, and trusting? In what universe am I not good enough as an adult who moved across the world at the age of 18, got a degree, holds a job (pays taxes—had to), drives a stick for the love of god. I work full time, run a biz full time, teach 4 yoga classes per week, do side projects in the middle of the night. I made a kick ass poster, I teach amazing classes. 

I already have everything in me that I ever need. I have to start trusting that what I have learned, seen, done are enough. Nice enough, good enough, soft enough, pretty enough, challenging enough, smart enough. Just plain old ENOUGH. 

March, what you got for me?

twice a month

As I updated a few wonky looking images in my portfolio pages, I wondered... can I really attend to this website just a few hours a month? Is it possible to find balance with everything I have going on? 

I am currently reading The Yamas and the Niyamas by Deborah Adele, who is coming to Dayton for a weekend workshop to talk about things beyond your physical yoga practice. Her line in the first section Ahimsa (non-harming or non-violence) hit me today: "It is anti-cultural to claim any space that is simply space [...]" Shit. This is what I don't know how to do. So beyond the obvious interpretations of non-violence to others, how about non-violence to self? How about courage to create balance, how about unconditional self love, how about allowing space for something? 

What does it take to simply claim space? To simply be, to not rush, to trust, to just sit with silence? To be ok with who I am, to love myself as is? These are so foreign to my understanding of what will make me successful: the passion, the drive, the no sleep—yet I crave the pause and I want the balance. I'm hurting myself and those around me but not taking the time for myself, not resting, not loving. So as this month wraps up... I'm going to sit with this yama for a few days. I'm going to allow space, I'm going to love myself, so I can love others. 

trust the magic of beginnings

A year ago I started tweaking a site that was going to be easy and simple, using a template so I can share my work more easily. It back fired. It was so easy I never finished it. I overthought every aspect of it. Design, type sizes, writing, images. So in 2017 I'm posting this site as is, going to update products god knows when, will finish tweaking my writing when I feel like it, and it will just need to be good enough.

I can't do it all.

Despite popular belief I'm not a robot, spent the end of 2016 severely ill, so I too, need sleep, time off, and self love. I wrote down some things—intentions if you will—and it's just going to have to be enough. Raw, imperfect, sometimes bitchy, always brutally honest.

But I have to start somewhere. Have to accept something as a beginning, have to jump in, blindly, trusting—the magic of beginnings.