Transitions, transitions, transitions!

This morning I spoke to one of my favorite yoga buddies, Crystal, a lovely California girl and fellow ‘yoga dork’ I met during my month-long yoga training in Greece. I mentioned to her how I’ve been feeling like I’m in constant transition for the past few years.

Sometimes this feeling is exasperating! But at the end of the day, it also means that I’m constantly evolving, with some inner force always nudging me, encouraging me to try new things, challenging me to step outside my comfort zone. You never know what you’ll discover!

It’s hard to take stock of it all, but wow, if I look back over the past year, I’ve achieved so much! On top of maintaining a hefty pace at my United Nations job in Kosovo, I’ve also managed to:

  1. Complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Administration in International Development
  2. Complete my 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training in Greece with the amazing Gloria Latham and her Semperviva team
  3. Start teaching yoga once a week in Kosovo on a donation basis

Now, on one hand, I think – this girl deserves a break! And yet, I’m still transitioning – towards what, I’m not quite sure, but I see limitless opportunities on the horizon. It’s all quite scary but what my yoga has taught me, not to mention my awesome personal coach Jana (yes, sometimes we all need one!) is that confronting your fear, or rather embracing it, means that you can open and enter through new doors only to discover new, fulfilling, and mind-blowing opportunities for personal (and professional) growth.

So bring on the transitions, I say!

And I ask you, what transitions are you experiencing? How are you approaching them? With fear, excitement or both?

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A Change Is Gonna Come

After all, there is a reason behind the name of my blog, Transition Girl. Yes, I’ve been trying to find the path in life for me that feels right; but of course, life will always be full of changes and transitions.

In the meantime, let’s keep the faith and remember that change is gonna come🙂

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Inspiring yoga videos… and knowing not to take yourself too seriously

Lately I’ve been reading more about yoga through blogs and different articles online, reading tweets etc … And, I’ve come across some pretty amazing videos!

You know all those videos, themed Sh*! ‘people’ say? The kinda stuff girls, yogis, Asian mothers, Italian nonnas, Arab fathers say etc. I recently came across two such videos… ‘$hit new age girls say’ and ‘$hit yogis say’. Scarily enough I see some aspects of myself turning in that direction… and that while living in Kosovo with only 1 or 2 yoga teachers actively teaching; I can only imagine what I would be like if I were living in Vancouver or California!

But back to the serious beauty of yoga – this Equinox video with Briohny Smyth, a Thai-Australian yoga instructor, just blew me away. The music is fantastic too. All of it, sheer beauty.

And, yet, apparently it caused some controversy because she was in her knickers, but hey, at least someone has a sense of humor and did a ‘cover version’ so to speak …

But my favorite, inspirational yogic video in a long time: the December Yoga Rave in Vancouver organized by Lulu Lemon and inspired by my Kundalini yoga teacher, Gloria Latham. Yes, she’s the one at 1:26 mins flashing that gorgeous smile. Gloria is an amazing person and teacher and you can see in the video just how much she energizes and inspires the crowd – I LOVE IT! The video makes me want to organize a yoga rave here in Kosovo (maybe next year once I’ve completed my yoga teacher training).

Aaaaah… the yoga world… living in Kosovo I’m blissfully protected from all the controversies but at least I get to access some of the good stuff too online when I’m not doing my home DVD practice😉

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Giving Thanks in the midst of sadness …

Thanksgiving, Kosovo style

I spent 13 years living in the US of A but never really appreciated Thanksgiving until this year, 12 years after leaving the States. I don’t really know why… except maybe I do!

Just a few a weeks ago I flew to Rome to give a eulogy at the funeral of my colleague and close friend. She left us too soon.

I wouldn’t classify myself as Christian, but I am spiritual that is for sure, and watching the Catholic funeral rite, I realized how much I appreciate the importance of having some kind of ritual to send off our loved ones to the next realm, whatever and wherever that may be. Death is so frightening to us, because we, those of us left behind, feel insecure and afraid: what is next, where do we go, what happens to us ? Sitting in the Roman church, listening to the sermon gave me more comfort than I have experienced in any religious ceremony lately. At least we are not alone in feeling this fear, and the funeral rite, not only the Christian or Catholic one I am sure, reminds us of this.

Later that week in Istanbul, I felt compelled to visit a church and light a candle in memory of her, and also one in memory of my mother. The soft flickr and light of the candles in the dark church warmed my heart.

Fast forward two weeks : It’s Thanksgiving in Kosovo and I am invited, together with my father, who is visiting, to join our Japanese-American friends for a Thanksgiving dinner. I was so relieved to be able to join close friends around a ritual of thanksgiving. I gave thanks to my friendships, my family, each moment of joy that life brings, even in the midst of pain, sadness, grief and despair. I never want to stop  seeking out those specks of light, warmth and love, and this year’s Thanksgiving reminded me of the importance of doing so. From now on, wherever I am, I will honor this lovely holiday each year.

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Soothing blessing to help the transition from life to beyond …

For the past week and a half I’ve experienced the most intense emotions one feels when losing a loved one… A beautiful, young, special and loving friend of mine passed away last week at too young of an age. She will always be with me in my heart. I wanted to share this soothing blessing, which I always share with people who are grieving. It always manages to provide me with some comfort … May you rest in peace, beautiful Eugenia xxx

Deep Peace of the running wave to you.
Deep Peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep Peace Peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep Peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep Peace to you

— Gaelic blessing

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A morning in my Kosovo apartment

Loving my new Iphone and its capacity to help me make beautiful photos …

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Monday Inspiration …

Here’s my new weekly segment where I’ll post anything that may inspire me – a great way to remind ourselves that even Mondays can be inspiring :-)

Sunrise in the Far West District of Achhan, Nepal

My friend Paula is an HIV specialist who has worked in Romania, Maldives and now Bangkok. As part of her current job, she travels to many countries in the region providing technical assistance to different programmes in terms of HIV prevention, especially amongst women and mothers. I know she has seen a lot, and knows the subject as an expert, but being an expert doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that we are more or less detached from other people’s experiences. She sent me this passage as a suggested first guest post for my inspirational Mondays… I found it perfectly suited and it reminds us that especially people who are suffering extreme hardships are the ones who can offer us the most inspiration:

“Today I found my inspiration in an unexpected way. By meeting 14 Nepalese women. All living with HIV. Most of them were infected by their husbands, migrant workers in Mumbai, who – besides money – brought home the virus too. All are poor. Most of them are widows and the main caretaker of their families. All have a story to tell. All have walked the path from bitterness to faith. Some of them are talkative, while some are just quietly sobbing. But all have learned how to cope with stigma and discrimination. I’ve listen today to 14 stories. Stories of love and pain, support and abuse, anger and hope. Stories of 14 women. Strong, beautiful, inspirational women.”

Paula was inspired by the 14 survivors… I was too, and hopefully you will be as well.

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