December 9, 2018

The Year of Wisdom

For the past ten years in December I have set a personal theme for framing the upcoming year. As I reflect on 2018 and consider the possibilities for 2019, the year I turn 50, the recognition that speaks to me is Wisdom. 2019 will be The Year of Wisdom.

Am I wise? I am ready to embrace the exploration. In 2018 I experienced a lack of trust in my wisdom - the reluctance to embrace my knowing. This was at the core of challenges I faced that seemed like mountains I could not climb. Throughout the year in my dreams this mountain was envisioned as watery slides that I tried to traverse in my little Smart car. Last night I dreamed I navigated my car, filled with friends and family, slowly but confidently upstream towards the top of a mountain where we stepped into an elevator to take us to our destination. Ironically, that mountain was Las Vegas and the elevator lead into the Flamingo Hotel.

This dream tells me that I am ready to embrace my knowledge and experience to evolve into this next lifestage. Plus, have a little fun, take a few risks! Life doesn't have to be so safe. I can navigate the challenges - with the trust of friends and family to support me on the journey. I've got the Smarts. I can navigate the river and push upstream.
Image on the new yoga mat my mom and dad gave me for Chanukah.

As I approach 2019 I take the opportunity to fully discover and celebrate my nearly 50 years of journeying that has brought me to the Year of Wisdom.
Here is what Psychology Today says about Wisdom - it resonates with my pathway:

All About Wisdom

Wisdom is one of those qualities that is difficult to define—because it encompasses so much—but which people generally recognize when they encounter it. And it is encountered most obviously in the realm of decision-making. Psychologists tend to agree that wisdom involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding  that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There's an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance. It can be acquired only through experience, but by itself, experience does not automatically confer wisdom. Only now are researchers beginning to look into the social, emotional, and cognitive processes that transmute experience into wisdom. Wise people generally share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn't sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

Here's what Spirit Animal Totems says about dreaming of Flamingos:

Flamingo Dream Interpretation

Somewhat similar to the ant, when you have a flamingo dream, it symbolizes your sense of community and cooperation. In other words, if you focus on working together toward a common goal, you will be successful. A dream of this type may also indicate that new experiences and situations have now come into your life. Alternatively, it could also mean that you are overly concerned with your physical appearance and have failed to love yourself as you are.

July 8, 2018

Holga Camera - Roll 1 - June 2018

I've decided to shoot film and purchased a Holga camera from Looking Glass Photo and Camera in Berkeley. Using film and having a limited number of images, that I could not see instantly after taking the photo, was an enriching experience. With digital photography, especially our cell phones, it is so easy to take images that are just data with very little intentionality. Using this funky little plastic camera, that only allowed for 12 shots, encouraged me to look, stop, compose, consider, and click. Some of these turned out well and I love the vignette of the lens and the seemingly random depth of field.

Looking Glass processed and scanned the images. Now to print a couple in the darkroom!

Brooklyn, Oakland Urban Landscape

House Restoration

Elevated Home

Ghost Eyes

Nature and Unatural

Sky Water Crossings

Soft and Hard


May 24, 2018

Congratulations to Mills Graduates!

Teaching at Mills has been a career highlight. The students, faculty and staff are joyful, supportive, focused, and passionate about their pathways. So excited to see these lovely graduates getting their diplomas! Each image truly catches their uniqueness. 

March 18, 2018

Inverting at 49

I accomplished this hands-free Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose) just 8 days past my 49th birthday! What is most inspiring is that I haven't practiced this pose in years for fear of neck pain and migraines. None this time because I've been building strength for the past three months. The class was expertly taught by my friend and fellow Yoga Room graduate Joe Sepena.

March 8, 2018

Giving the Inner Artist an Outlet and a Voice

Can Facebook actually be inspiring? My college photography professor commemorated my 49th birthday by posting this image that I took in 1989 when I was 20. How amazing that this professor kept one of my images and posted it for me to enjoy. It reminds me that I had a vision of becoming a photographer, with a unique perspective and dual point of view - color and black/white.

Year 49 for Amy is the year of reconnecting with my inner artist, giving her an outlet and a voice.

January 26, 2018

Spring 2018 Gentle and Restorative Yoga Retreat

Westerbeke Ranch, Valley of the Moon, Sonoma County
Join Amy Kweskin and Nancy Leigh Smith for a weekend of relaxation and personal attention at Weseterbeke Ranch in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon. 
Around the structured schedule of yoga classes and meals you'll find ample time to enjoy hiking on the trails around the ranch, swimming in the pool, and soaking in the hot tub while enjoying the ranch's serene beauty.

Schedule of Events 
Friday, April 6
3:00pm: Guests may begin to arrive at Westerbeke 
4:00pm: Guests check -in 
5:00pm: Yoga "Post-Drive" Movement and Relaxation Session
6:30pm: Dinner
8:00pm: Evening Program-Chanting, Meditation and Salamba (supported) Savasana Session

Saturday, April 7
8:00am: Breakfast
9:30-11:00am: Morning Yoga
12:30pm: Lunch
Following lunch is unscheduled time on your own for hiking, swimming, hot tubbing, writing, napping, and massage appointments
4:30pm Yoga Session
6:30pm: Dinner

Sunday, April 8 
8:00am: Breakfast
Please pack and vacate your rooms before class, or by 10:00am
9:30-11:30 Morning Yoga & Closing Circle
12:30: Lunch
Departure following lunch
Meals at Westerbeke Ranch are famously delicious, and include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Your shared accomodations will be in the Red and Blue Cabins, each with four bedrooms. The cabins sleep a total of 24, accommodating 3-4 people in each bedroom. Each of the 8 bedrooms has a separate bathroomThe Blue Cabin is wheel chair accessible.
Registration includes the total fee for the retreat, inclusive of yoga classes, meals, lodging and use of the extensive grounds. Massage appointments are also available for an additional fee.
The retreat has limited space with a total of up to 24 attendees.
Dining Room

via Eventbrite

January 7, 2018

Advance Your Practice: A 3-Month Series

For students who want to deepen their yoga practice from Level I-II to Level II-III, this three-month series focuses on backbends building towards Shoulderstand Salamba Sarvāngāsan. 

This asana is a gateway to incorporating inversions into your practice. Amy, Christine and Joe teach in one-month rotations to guide students in developing alignment, strength, balance, and confidence. 

Fridays, 8-9am
Starts January 12
Attend the full series or drop in when you are available.

Week 1 begins with Ustrasana=Camel Pose.

More info and register here.