Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reintroducing Myself

As my husband and I fiddle with the blog and give it a fancy new makeover (with which we are about halfway done), I think it's a great time to reintroduce myself!

Here are 20 things you may not know about me:
  1. My name is Grace Breedlove, and yes that's my honest-to-blog name, not some hippie moniker I made up for myself. I dropped my given first name when I was 18, because I really never liked it and started going by my given middle name, Grace. Then I met and married a dude with the last name Breedlove. It's pretty awesome.
  2. My little brother is 8 years younger than me, and he is my favorite person. He's kind, funny and cooler than I'll ever be, and I would seriously do anything for him.
  3. I freaking love cherry pie and I order it whenever it's available. I think it's because that was the only pie my mom didn't make when I was a kid and so I'm not like, "Oh, my mom's is better," as is the case with every other pie.
  4. Also on the topic of pies, my pumpkin pie is actually better than my mom's and way better than any pumpkin pie I've ever had at a restaurant. When I get 150 followers, I will tell you my secret.
  5. I am really into having adventures, going orienteering, trying new food, getting lost on purpose and making every new step in life an exciting event worth celebrating. I also love watching adventure shows in the comfort of my warm home, whether it's in the fictional form of Lost or Firefly, or in the realm of reality TV like Man vs. Wild or Out of the Wild, though Survivorman is my favorite. Les Stroud is my hero, because he is so zen about everything. Even Giardia.
  6. I met my husband when I was miming at a carnival-themed party. He was the only person at the party who didn't try to talk with me, but mimed instead. When he called me the next day and left me a message, it was the first time I had heard his voice, though we had "talked" for hours the night before.
  7. I have two chronic, severe digestive disturbances that I let control my life for five years, but traveling to Asia and dealing with them abroad earlier this summer gave me the confidence to not let my diseases define my experiences. Getting sick while traveling was not the worse thing that has ever happened to me.
  8. I have three favorite books that I love equally: Love in the Time of Cholera, Life of Pi and The Name of the Rose. Those three books shaped my morality, faith, philosophy and my navigation of the world more than any other personal, religious or cultural influence.
  9. I have absolutely no desire to run a marathon.
  10. I also have absolutely no desire to give birth.
  11. Before this winter, I hope to hike across Lassen Volcanic National Park alone.
  12. Since I was in middle school, the number one place I wanted to visit was Angkor Wat. I finally got to fulfill that dream when I visited Cambodia in June and it was indescribably awesome.
  13. My new number one adventure goal is scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro. Followed at number two by prostrating myself the entire way around the base of Mt. Kailash in a traditional Buddhist pilgrimage.
  14. I love to sing, but I despise karaoke.
  15. I feel most at home in places where no one knows me and I don't speak the language.
  16. My husband and I have really exciting plans for starting an NGO. For now it's just an idea, but when it sprouts legs, you'll be the first to know.
  17. I have a photographic memory.
  18. I have a photojournalism degree from one of the best journalism programs in the country, and I used to get extremely discouraged by not having the investment capital to start a mainstream photojournalism career. Now I am so ridiculously thankful to be free to photograph what I want on my own terms and with my own ethical compass, to serve humanity, not the almighty dollar.
  19. I believe the true moral value of a society is judged by how it treats those who are weakest: animals and children. Tangential to that belief, I hyper-focus on protecting children and animals.
  20. I've been through some pretty brutal tragedy in my life, but I am so blessed to have this life and to be aware enough to recognize its blessings.

I am reminded of a story from the life of the Buddha. Soon after the Buddha attained enlightenment, a man came across him meditating under the tree, and the man asked him who he was. The Buddha answered, “Imagine a red lotus that had begun life underwater but grew and rose above the surface until it stood free. So I too have transcended the world, and attained the supreme enlightenment." "Who are you, then?" the man asked again.

The Buddha said:
"Remember me as the one who woke up."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pardon My Dust

I am currently in the process of resurrecting this blog and giving it a fancy makeover. My hope is that, in a few days, it will be more interesting, interactive, useful and professional. I will also no longer be constraining myself to writing about just yoga, though yoga will be, as always, the main anchor in my life and will undoubtedly still inspire much of my writing.

Many exciting things are on the horizon for The Fat Yogini, so stay tuned!

Where I've Been!