05 November, 2015

only inspiration

I'm inspired.

The last few years have been a whirlwind of searching. Searching for time I could not find. Searching for answers to questions I didn't even know how to ask. Searching for passion that had grown dormant and stale.

What could I do?
What do I love?
What am I good at?
How can I make money?
How can I find a way to keep my passions alive that grew in me far before having children or a husband? 
How can I tend to those souls that matter more than anything to me now?
How can I do both?

Truth is, I don't know. I have no answers. Only inspiration.

Inspiration to do what I can do right now.
And once again, it is to write. The words in my head and the melody in my heart, they are alive and vibrant and raging from within. I don't have any clear answers, but I do have this. This writing, it takes nothing more than everything that I have. And that's enough.
So I will begin, something.
Something that could turn to ash.
Or something that could grow into something powerful beyond my imagination.

I hear your call, and I accept. Only inspiration.

25 February, 2013

The Heart Speaks Yoga

Wow, it has been almost two years since I last wrote on this blog?

What brought me to look through these posts tonight? It was the full and familiar feeling of my chest expanding to encompass my swelling heart.
My heart is opening.
Through asana practice, by this breath, from every single moment of every single day, by leading my son into the world, and from falling into the deepest, most vulnerable and fragile love I never imagined, with this man, this partner, who has agreed to run wildly through this life with me.

All these things, and more, have brought me to this moment, sitting at my computer and coming back.

Two years ago I was sharing the adventures of a girl with an open road, living in Paris, who had vision that extended only a month or two ahead. She was free and wide-eyed and open to allowing life to go in whatever direction it would.

Now, this full moon, I begin to share the new adventures. Everything in my life has found its way to come together and is manifesting in vision that runs deeper than me. All the places I've been and the people I've let in have brought me to this place, this moment of perfection, this Divine existence.

Yoga, it is both the subject and the definition. It is illuminating every aspect of my Self as I move deeper into the practice every day.

I am both in love and in hate with it.
I desire it and I detest it.
I don't want to step onto my mat and I can't leave it.
I am afraid to teach, I am really the student.
I find peace with it and I also obsess over it.
I know it is, but I fear.

I am imperfect.

I am perfect.

Ultimately, I stay on the path. I choose Yoga, I move into freedom, I liberate my Self from my ego, I allow God to use this practice to open me, to remove the blocks, to shed the Light, to be Love.

Stay real, do what you do.


Hannah Lee.

03 October, 2011

Love is Liberating

"I don't need you to write me a song, I'll write enough for the both of us.
You said you'd walk to Olympia to be with me,
so then I promised to teach our kids how to spell real well.
I want you here for it all,
I know we wont let each other fall"

A little (much needed) wisdom from The Daily Love today:

My interpretation?

People will do what they will do, and it's just not about you.

When you release blame and expectation and instead choose to look inside yourself, then you can simply meet another right where they are. In that, you will be free enough to love them, and free enough to be loved by them.

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.”

- Wayne Dyer

I am free and whole enough to have been able to let in the love of a new man in my life...a man that I can trust, and who has proved himself worthy of my love as well. Our plans are big and without fear, and I can't wait for what is to come.

I have an incredible family here that supports my dreams and visions.

And of course there is the Love of the Creator which replenishes and nourishes my spirit unconditionally.

18 July, 2011

Paris Blues

I'm terribly sad to leave Paris.

I'll write a better conclusion to my life here at some point.

But for now I'm just terribly sad.

06 July, 2011

A Moral Dilemma.

Last night on my way home after dinner (around midnight) I got a good taste of harassment from a crazy, vulgar Frenchmen.

I sat across from a man on the metro, whose penetrating eyes on my body made his misguidance evident, and within minutes he began to talk "at" me rather than to me, as I was but an object. He said some very inappropriate, crude, insulting, derogatory things to me (insinuating I was the kind of woman that would come home with him, to put it nicely), all of which elicited reactions from the other men on the train. I was grateful for the defense, as I really didn't know how to react. My first feeling was that of sympathy, as this man was clearly not right in the head. But then as he gestured to my exposed shins (I was wearing a just-below-the-knee dress, not at all scandalous) and stated, "C'est une salope," I was filled with the urge to punch him hard in the face, and spit on the ground in front of him. Instead, I alternated between laughing with the other bystanders at his impudence, and giving him stone-cold eyes for his abhorrent behavior.
The disturbing part of this situation was not the insult or debasement I received, nor was it even the disrespect for women in general that this man showed. Rather, it was the moral dilemma I faced afterwards, in trying to decide what would have been the most virtuous way to react. Was it virtuous of me to not really react to the man? Sure, it was safer and empathetic, as he was clearly not right in the head. But it also didn't feel just. I didn't do anything to teach or help the man, or even to simply defend myself against such degradation. I believe anger has its place, and I even think there are times it is important to react to the feeling of anger. But I also know the danger of such reactions, if improper.

Anyone who reads this, I would be really interested in hearing other perspectives on this situation. Please post a comment or contact me in some way :)

Biking in Amsterdam, and some other things...

So I am going to do a little re-cap of the past several weeks...

Three weeks ago I took a 4-day trip to Amsterdam! This city was absolutely amazing; I fell in love. The endless supply of canals make for a breathtaking view, no matter where you are in the city. As a Minnesotan, I of course advocate and love biking (Minneapolis is the number one biking city in the country, after-all; suck it Portland!) and thus loved Amsterdam. Their cycling rates are 10 times higher than those of the United States.
*Side note: I wrote a research paper in a class at UMN about cycling in Europe, and coincidentally focused on Amsterdam. Here is an excerpt from that paper:
"In Amsterdam, some of the reforms the Dutch government made in the 1970s hugely impacted the bike routes in the city. The bike lanes were made larger, nearly two times longer, bringing the total kilometers of bike lanes in Amsterdam to 400km. There are many streets to be found in both Amsterdam and Copenhagen—“bicycle streets”—where cyclists get the right of way and cars are forced to be cautious (Pucher and Buehler 2008, Figure 2). There has also been a major increase in a number of streets which are for bikers only—cars are prohibited from driving on them at all (Pucher and Buehler 2008: 514). Networks of paths have also been created in these cities to steer cyclists away from the busy streets. With this kind of integration, cycling is even more efficient for commuters, and eliminates the issues with congestion."

My good friend Ida and I (who joined me for my adventures in Holland) rented bikes for two days, and were able to see most of the city in that time. I highly recommend this city to anyone travelling through Europe; I found Dutch people to be extremely friendly and helpful, and the acceptance of English-speaking was very welcoming as well. Contrary to popular belief, the city is not defined merely by the Red Light District or the hash-bar Coffee Shops :)

Upon returning to Paris, I had the pleasure of welcoming my newlywed cousin Jesikah and her husband Jon into my home to stay for four days. We had a great time together, and I was glad to be able to show them around Paris. They have been traveling around the world for a 6-month honeymoon (how cool is that?), and wrapped up their travels here with me. We spent a day at Versailles, which I had not done yet. The palace was incredible. It was really interesting to learn about the state of things leading up to the French Revolution, and see first-hand how extravagant the lives were for the royalty, while the rest of the country lived in deep poverty. It was especially interesting to make the comparison to today, and to see how the same issues are still happening. People are richer than ever, and meanwhile people are also suffering more than ever. But I digress....
Jon and Jesikah have mastered site-seeing by this point in their journey, so we were able to see all the most important places very efficiently, leaving plenty of time for mindful conversations, lazy picnics, gooooood wine, and some live music. One day we got bikes and toured the city, and it was not nearly as convenient as cycling through Amsterdam was.
I loved having them here, and it definitely got me excited to see all the other people I love back home!

Early Spring I met a French-woman that asked me to give English lessons to her three children, and last week was my final week teaching, as they are now in Israel for summer holidays. Yet another tough goodbye, because of course I got close to the family over the past few months working for them. Last Thursday I brought the kids to my restaurant so they could practice ordering in English, and then this Monday we had our farewell picnic.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I went to another farewell picnic for my friend Donna (another au pair, from Canada) just outside Paris at Bois de Boulogne, and last night went to the Paris Opera house for a Ballet with my friends from Kiwizine! It was magnificent, and definitely made me miss my days as a ballerina.

Now I have exactly two weeks left here in Paris, and I am really disoriented about the fact that my life here is coming to a close. And on that note, I gotta go spend the little time I have left exploring this vast and intricate city :)

Stay real, and do what you do.

♥ hannah lee

30 June, 2011

The Men with the Flowers

I have so many things to write about at the moment, but as I was about to start, I was interrupted, so I am not even going to talk about the several subjects I need to touch on (SOON!). As I write this, I am sitting at Culture Rapide (my favorite local, très bohemian cabaret) waiting for the Blues Jam night to start (which has become my Thursday night tradition).
I love this place; I can sit in peace, writing and thinking, without being disturbed by rowdy fellas or obnoxious gals. That being said, there is always the disturbance of the "Flower Men" (not an official title, just what I have labeled them). This disturbance has just happened, but it was welcomed :)

Here in Belleville (the 19th arrondissement of Paris, if you forgot) anytime you go out to eat, you can expect for there to be several men who will enter the restaurant throughout the course of your meal, attempting to sell you flowers. Some of them are très pénible, as in they will just stand in front of you while you try and enjoy your entrée of skewered watermelon, feta and smoked salmon (with a Greek mint sauce), repeatedly asking you if you will buy a flower--yes, this is our entrée (appetizer) this weekend.

Working in a restaurant, I know all the flower men, as they come into my restaurant every night of service. Whenever I'm out-and-about in the neighborhood at other bars and restaurants, I run into them. Tonight I chatted with one of my favorites; he is never annoying, doesn't speak much French or English. In French he knows how to say "How's it going?" and "Is it busy tonight?" and "I will return later." and of course, "You want?" (beckoning to the flowers in his arms). I felt so proud tonight, as he carried on a long conversation in French, using phrases and saying things that he has learned in the last few months. Every Friday I buy a flower from him, to decorate Kiwizine, but when I'm outside the restaurant he always offers me one as a gift. After our chat tonight he gave me a flower, smiling and bowing as he continued on his way, a long night of walking up and down the hilly neighborhood ahead of him.

I sure do love people making an honest living.

Stay real, and do what you do.

♥ hannah lee