I started practicing Ashtanga yoga when I was 15 years old. This was before Lululemon was around, before you could find yoga mats at Target, and just before Madonna had made yoga trendy. I hadn't quite hit puberty and was rocking hemp necklaces with shells braided into them. I practiced with my teacher Andrew (who took the photo above) on a grimy green carpet in a tiny studio in Norman next to a pasta shop. With a background in gymnastics it was fascinating to see just how bendy I could make my body.
At around 20 years old I fell out of my practice. I was broke, busy, and none of my punk rock friends practiced yoga. After I graduated college I tried picking up an awkward class or two at the local YMCA and that's when I learned that not all yoga is created (or taught) equal. Late last summer – and a whole decade later – I eased back into my practice by exploring different studios and styles – from restorative yin to Ashtanga to hot Bikram-style to prana flow. I've been practicing almost daily and have been regretting ever falling out of my yoga practice. But what I've learned is that I needed a decade to build some strength and spirituality that has nothing to do with how far I can get my leg behind my head. I've learned that yoga is about connecting my spirit to my body with breath. Yoga is a moving meditation that can happen while I'm practicing asana or even on a spin bike. It's about brining intention to my practice and my life – on and off the mat.
Do you practice yoga? I'd love to hear your experience with it.
Jeremy and I were loading up on mangos and avocados at the local market when we ran into our new friend Darrin painting his office from a pea green to a warm blue. He was covered in paint – as was his Dauchsund, Osa. We exchanged a bit of small talk and he invited us back out on his sailboat for a sunset cruise the next day. Why not?
Darrin had just finished a day charter when we arrived at the marina with his German girlfriend, Gabby. The sailboat was filled to the brim with drunk sunburnt Aussies – slamming back just one more shot of tequila before departing from their day adventure – sharing with us their jellyfish battle wounds and promising us we were about to have the time of our lives. Oh, we know all about it.
The party crew left and there was a quieter bunch of us left on the boat – some people I recognized from around town. We chatted about alternative medicine, meditation, food, and iPhone photography. Yes... these are my people. During this evening ride we were really able to set sail – and I felt the magic that happens when the sails catch the wind. It was a powerful, fast, and bumpy ride. I was behind the wheel, trying to maintain any sort of sea sickness I may or may not have been feeling, when Darrin insisted I go sit up on the bow. And so I did. I'm still feeling the waves today.
Yesterday we laid on the beach all. day. long. I read a book on my Kindle and just as I was feeling 100% lazy bones I decided to rent a paddle board – it's like a surf board you stand on and with one oar you paddle around the ocean. My goal for this trip was to learn to surf but in reality I think paddle boarding is much more my speed. At one point while I was playing around in the ocean I thought "I want to see a shark." Testing my luck the Universe, if you will. So I'm paddling around and I see something moving below my board. I think "It's a shark!" but instead it was a huge spotted sting ray that performed a little lyrical swim right in front of me. Everything around me became still – time seemed to slow down and I couldn't hear anything – but after a few long seconds the sting ray swam off into the darkness of the ocean. My heart started beating so fast and I was so excited – all while trying to maintain my balance on the paddle board. It was pretty much the coolest moment of my life.
The peddlers on the beach are non-stop. Anything you need they've got including jewelry, pipes, beaded bracelets, tunics, blankets, sports themed ceramic bowls, donuts, cokes, stuffed animals, and scarves. I started referring to them as the Beach Shopping Network. Saying no became easy enough but one hippie dude with really nice teeth accused me of not having an open heart and open mind when I refused to purchase a CD featuring a local Sayulita rasta musician. I do however regret not picking up a hat from the lady pictured above. Maybe today.
P.S. Jeremy was organizing my backpack yesterday and laughed when he came across a few of my lucky charms, which I've started bringing along on my travels. Lucky Kitty was especially stoked to be kicking it on the beach with me.
Jeremy and I decided to run away to Sayulita, Mexico. So, my last trip to Mexico was in Tulum – just 2 hours south of Cancun. Sayulita is about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. The day we got in we hit up a market for fresh veggies, eggs, and avocados. We settled in to our super modern home on a hill overlooking the ocean, made dinner and watched perhaps the most beautiful sunset I've ever witnessed. I became hypnotized watching a single sailboat bobbing in the ocean as Jeremy and I shared secrets and future plans. I wanted to be on that little sailboat.
The next morning we woke up early, I made some breakfast and we headed out to explore the little city we'll call home for the next couple of weeks. We made it about 10 steps before a guy in a truck, who we'd later learn is named Darrin, stopped us and asked us if we wanted to spend the day on his 50ft. sailboat. My answer was yes, go figure, but I kept that to myself until I could get a read on Jeremy – his expression said "I'm along for the ride that is your life, Kathleen Shannon." So I said, "yeah – let's do it!" and Darrin told us to hop in the back of his truck along with a few cases of empty bottles and two miniature Dachshunds named Osa and Kahlua. He swung through town to pick up his traveling German girlfriend and a young Australian who is temporarily residing in a small neighboring town. And off we went. It appeared as if the universe was answering my prayer to be on a sailboat bobbing in the ocean.
So while it appeared as if Darrin was a stranger inviting us onto his sailboat he actually runs a charter boat for a living. And this unexpected adventure took us to the completely uninhabited Islas Marietas islands. We sailed past a school of playing dolphins and even saw a mama whale with its baby in the distance. Once we arrived to the islands we dove off the sailboat and swam with black fishes with orange stripes that Darrin coaxed to the surface with stale cake. We paddled on surfboards through a cave filled with jellyfish to a hidden beach. The little jellyfish that are translucent white are harmless – but there were little blue ones (maybe 1 for every 5 white ones) that stung something fierce. I managed to come out unharmed but Jeremy was stung on both wrists. Of course, I offered to pee on him to help ease the pain.
From there we did a little more exploring into another cave that made me feel like I was on the set of Goonies. We hung out on the beach under the shade of a cliff and kept our eyes peeled for blue footed boobies (a rare bird with a name that makes me giggle) until we decided to brave the jellyfish infested waters to get back to the boat. On our way back to Sayulita – just yards from the marina – our boat ran out of diesel. Darrin and his crew put the sails up but alas, no wind. I quickly learned that sailing sucks when you run out of gas – just like growing your own food is not so quaint when you don't have a grocery store nearby. Darrin called for help and soon enough a man and his 8 year old son came to the rescue – they towed us back to shore with a little tugboat, if you can even call it that.
Our day ended about 12 hours from when it began with tres leches cake from a street vendor followed by sweet dreams – none of which involved scorpions or jellyfish.
If you're ever in Sayulita you've gotta spend a day with Darrin at Sayulita Sailing. Tell him I sent you.
Ater a pretty intense week I'm soaking up this Saturday morning. I'm watching doves do it in my front yard, Mister Scooty Boots has learned how to open our kitchen cabinets and is making himself a kitty condo fully equipped amongst my Vitamix and KitchenAid, and Jeremy and I are sipping on cinnamon orange black tea. Here are a few articles I've come across this week that you might find interesting.
I am not fooled about the place of the essay in twentieth-century American letters — it stands a short distance down the line. The essayist, unlike the novelist, the poet, and the playwright, must be content in his self-imposed role of second-class citizen. A writer who has his sights trained on the Nobel Prize or other earthly triumphs had best write a novel, a poem, or a play, and leave the essayist to ramble about, content with living a free life and enjoying the satisfactions of a somewhat undisciplined existence.
To practice compassionate actions, you start with yourself. A lot of people see suffering in the world and feel bad about it, but they don’t know how to take action. The best way to take action is to take action with yourself. The only person you can control with any degree of success is yourself.
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- ▼ May (10)
- ► 2012 (182)
- ► 2011 (257)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings