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Friday, May 9, 2014

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Last night was the avant-premiere of the Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs exhibition at the Louvre's Les Arts Decoratifs. It was well-attended and fun event. In spite of the very crowded venue, I had so much fun going through Marc's work at Louis Vuitton. I even had goosebumps when I saw some of the displays, especially Cheap Louis Vuitton collaborations with notable artists such as Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse and Richard Prince - I can't believe Marc has been at Vuitton for fifteen years. It felt as if it was only yesterday that I lusted over the silver Stephen Sprouse graffiti bag. I want to go back when it's not super crowded to thoroughly enjoy the exhibit. But, given the number of Louis Vuitton-obsessed fans in the world out there, I highly doubt this glorious display of creativity will have a private moment of its own.

There was a time in my life when I used to carry (and check-in) designer luggage - back in the days when traveling was a luxury, you know, the odd once or twice a year vacation somewhere far-flung. Wind the clocks forward and traveling is no longer a luxury but an essential and necessary part of my work. I could be in Marrakech one week, Bali the next, and Sydney the other. There are days when I'd wake up in a hotel room and have no idea what time or what day of the week it was. A few friends of mine often joke how I travel more than a pilot.

I went downstairs to the VIP floor for the very exclusive ribbon-cutting ceremony after that quick pit-stop at Espace Louis Vuitton. Various LVMH and Conde Nast executives were there including the lovely Anna Wintour, my beloved Kim Jones, Ai Tominaga and more. Conde Nast International's Jonathan Newhouse also introduced me to the CEO of Louis Vuitton Outlet who, upon seeing my wrist cuffed to the monogram "Lockit" clutch bag, joked how I should never let go of the bag. Fun times all around!

When you log miles like crazy, it's practical to ditch your pricey luggage in favor of something sturdy but cheap and disposable. I never understood all these people who are shocked, especially on twitter and instagram, why I use relatively inexpensive bags. For years, I used this unnamed black trolley/roller bag from Chinatown, bought for no more than $30 many years ago, and had traveled to more cities than James Bond. I dubbed the Cheap Louis Vuitton Outlet my "tranny case' because it kept everything and EVERYTHING I needed, life essentials and all that. It was sturdy as fuck, have been with me through thick and thin, desert (Salt Flats, Utah) and through four feet of snow (Stockholm, Sweden). You should've seen how distraught I was when my modest trolley bag died earlier this year. I dropped it on an empty escalator at Zurich airport and the handles broke, rendering the poor case useless.

I was a few minutes early at my Louis Vuitton appearance so instead of waiting with the throngs of Japanese shoppers, fan girls and the Fashion's Night Out mob, the kind folks at Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags brought me to the seventh floor of their Omotesando flagship, also known as the Espace Louis Vuitton. What a great, calming oasis to take a break from the camera-wielding public for a short period of time. The current exhibition, Geometry of Light, features American artist Alyson Shotz.

For two months, I couldn't decide whether I should buy another inexpensive case or to go for an upgrade. I finally bit the bullet when I visited Bologna last week and bought myself a Cheap Louis Vuitton Outlet Keepall 45 and Pegasse 55 in the classic monogram canvas. They keyword here is CLASSIC. I could've opted for Goyard or something a little discreet such as Epi or Taiga leather at Vuitton but no. No, no, no, no, no no no. And NO to Damier canvas. I often think of the phrase 'false humility' whenever I see people carry Damier canvas because in their minds, they WANT something that screams "LOUIS VUITTON" but without the monograms so it's kind of like counterproductive. Talk about a whole new level of cray. If you're gonna go for Vuitton, go for the kill. More is more, pile on the logos, pile on the monograms. It doesn't hurt to be obnoxious from time to time.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Abundance is Easy as ABC!

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn~
                     Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just how powerful is one small thought, seed or idea?  It depends on your ABCs or Attitude, Beliefs and Commitment.  Looking at one small acorn, forget an entire forest, it can be difficult to imagine that one huge oak tree exists inside of it.

Harvesting beans from the garden this morning, reminded me how fascinating and powerful the process of manifestation is.  From one seemingly dried out bean, an entire plant has sprouted, full of blossoms and vegetables.  Each bean pod produced, contains several more seeds to aid in the exponential spread and growth of beans for everyone.

The simple act of planting one seed into well-cultivated soil has drawn the Universe into collaboration in the creation of Abundance.  It's such an amazing and simple phenomena.   The same idea holds true in your personal and professional relationships, in your home, business and community.  One random act of kindness, one kind word, one request for help, one good deed, one unsolicited smile or one act of courage contains the potential to change the world.

Just as the cliche goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Simply put, inside of one acorn lies the potential for a thousand forests.  Inside of one powerful step lies the life of your dreams, world peace and a happier, healthier planet.  Check your Attitude.  Does it align with highest and best?  Check your Beliefs?  Are they limited or limitless?  Check your Commitment.  When you don't see an immediate result, do you trust the Universe is doing its work?

Your life is your garden.  Just as the giant oak tree exists inside of the acorn, all the love and abundance in the Universe exists in your heart.  Get busy planting your seeds.  Your greatest potential is waiting.  Life is short.  Make yours Magical!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Plant Seeds. Pull Weeds. Harvest Happiness!

Lesson from the Garden~ what will you grow?  Seeds or Weeds?

This morning I took my yoga off the mat and into the garden.  The deeper I dug my hands into the dirt and pulled out weeds the more conscious I became of the similarity between the soil and the mind.  I have written about seeds and weeds before, but not until this morning, did I realize just how powerful this theory is when put into practice.

Simply stated, seeds are your positive thoughts and actions.  Seeds are your hopes, dreams and aspirations.  Weeds are your  negative thoughts and actions.  Weeds are your bad habits, addictions and self-sabotaging behaviors.

It is amazing how much thought, care and time goes into growing a healthy vegetable garden.  It requires making a decision, preparing the soil, planting seeds, spraying for bugs, hoping for appropriate weather and exercising patience while nature takes its course.

Weeds on the other hand, seemingly sprout out of nowhere, spread like wildfire and attempt to take over and choke out your positive seeds.  They can even be tricksters growing in a variety of shapes and sizes; some even magically disguise themselves to look like sprouts.

Being Happy, Healthy and Fit isn't an accident or coincidence, it's a conscious decision. It's a decision to cultivate your mind, choose and plant healthy seeds, pull out the weeds and apply patience while nature takes its course.  It's a decision to manifest and harvest your own happiness.  A garden is an amazing classroom.  It reminds you that your brain is fertile ground.  Neglect your consciousness and it will soon be overcome with weeds of negativity, doubt, worry, fear and possibly anger or even sadness.

It is not enough to just decide to be positive or happy once.  You must decide again and again as you continuously choose the higher and better thought.  Delicious, organic vegetables need anywhere from 50 to 90 days to gestate and produce a transformational result from seed to potential.  Your healthy choices need the same.  Commit to transformation.  Challenge yourself to discern and pull the weeds without any judgment.  Believe in the power of your seeds.

Your mind is your garden.  Your cheap louis vuitton life is just a few pulled weeds and few planted seeds away.  Get busy.  Life is short.  Make yours magical.  Harvest Happiness!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Moment of Gratitude~ Health, Happiness and Washing Machines

As I stepped out of the shower and reached for my freshly-laundered, oversized, luxurious Hotel Collection bath towel, I couldn't help but to reflect on a bath towel I saw crossing the road earlier this morning.  Yes, a bath towel crossing the road.

I was about to turn left onto a six lane, major road when I noticed a woman crossing in the intersection. She was pushing a metal basket containing a plastic laundry hamper.  On top was a folded, bright pink towel with a bungie cord securing it over the other laundry as she pushed her cart home.  It was just about noon and nearly 90 degrees on a typical Florida May day.  I was frozen in a moment of gratitude.  She had a pleasant look on her face and I realized maybe she was experiencing a moment of gratitude too.

How often do you stop and think, I am so happy and grateful that when I want a fresh towel, I can just pull one out of my closet or if you spill something on your favorite shirt, you just walk into the other room and toss it into the washing machine, pick a cycle and go back to your business?  Not only am I grateful  to have my own washing machine, but my own car, whereby if I needed to actually go to a laundromat, I would not be traveling by foot.  On top of all that, at that very moment in time, I am grateful to say that someone else was busy cleaning my home, washing my sheets and towels for me.

In my own moment of gratitude, I realized that perhaps she was grateful too.  She is blessed with her health and the mobility of her arms and legs.  She has the means to have clothes, towels and be able to wash them at the laundromat.  Perhaps in that moment, she had more than she has ever had.

I share this with you as a reminder to remain in a state of gratitude and free from judgment.  In the physical and material world, there will always be people who have more than you and there will always be people who have less than you.  Wealth and things come and go, gratitude is the constant means to eternal happiness.

Next time you catch yourself feeling impatient as you wait for someone to cross the street, use the opportunity to be grateful that you have the convenience of a car.  If you don't have to walk your clothes to the laundromat, you are beyond blessed.  Inhale patience.  Exhale judgment.  Inhale Gratitude.  Exhale expectations.

Being cheap louis vuitton means being Grateful for all that you do have especially the small things which are really the big things.  Be grateful for your health, happiness, family, freedom and washing machine.

Monday, May 13, 2013

People Are Like Candy

The shiniest wrapper doesn't always contain the best-tasting candy.  Often times, the best-tasting candy doesn't even have a wrapper.

In fact, homemade chocolate or candies with only a few ingredients, where the true essence and deliciousness, are not masked by chemicals and preservatives are the best.   Homemade candies may not always be the most appealing to the eye, but once you get passed that, you will find them to be irresistible.

People are the same way.  Perhaps, it is getting more and more apparent as I continue on my own spiritual path of transformation or maybe it is just a natural part of developing wisdom with age.  When it comes to people, less is more.  Less Wrapper.  Less Shine.  Less Bravado.  Less Walls.  Less Lies.  Less Flash.  All of those are like chemicals designed to preserve the ego while providing zero benefits.

Judging a person by appearance is like judging a candy by its wrapper.  Sure, it's easy to be attracted to the person with fancy clothes, a new sports car, credentials, a showy watch and stories of grandeur.  It's just as easy to overlook the person slightly unkempt, quiet and not seeking attention, as it is to pass on the homemade, melt in your mouth candy because it is lacking a wrapper.

True spiritual transformation is about ascending ego.  It is about taking off your false armor, tearing down your own walls, removing your wrapper and letting your true delicious essence be known.  Is it possible that you will lose a few friends in the process?  That depends on how you define 'friend.' When you decide to live in Truth, your Truth, it is like turning all the lights on full blast in your house at one time.  It can be a little shocking and uncomfortable for others initially.  The fear is their own flaws may be exposed.

The Truth is the True self doesn't have any flaws.  When you lose your ego and insecurities, you become a being of True Love.  Like a homemade candy, you become irresistible to those who appreciate you.

Be confident in who you are.  Just as a fancy wrapper doesn't have anything to do with the contents when it comes to candy, a new car or expensive purse doesn't have anything to do with the owner's pureness of heart.  Less is more.  Trust in your natural ability to let your heart shine.  It is all you need.  Catch yourself judging others, you just might be missing out on the sweetest part of life~ connection to another soul.

Life is Short.  Make yours Magical.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Real Problem with Male Yoga Teachers

In the past few weeks,  I have had several new to me yoga students greet me with a bit of a sheepish smirk.  When I introduce myself as 'Randi' which happens to be my full and given first name, I hear things like~ 'I haven't been coming to your class, because I thought Randi was a guy.'

If it was once or twice, I would playfully disregard it.  However, this aversion to male yoga teachers has come from both men and women.  Surprisingly, well educated, professionals have expressed this shared opinion.  It has inspired me to share my own views.

Teachers come in all shapes, colors and sizes.   Teachers are those with a passion for learning and a yearning to share compassion.  The greatest teachers may not have any formal teaching education, but instead bring life experience, heart and light into this world.  I improved my Chakrasana, yoga backward roll, by watching a small child in gymnastics.  I have improved my ability to meditate watching the elderly sit on a park bench.

When it comes to actual professional, male yoga teachers, I have had many.  I am grateful for my first teacher, Ian Lopatin, who co-created At-One Yoga in Phoenix, Arizona.  Ian was a practicing lawyer that decided to pursue his passion and switched careers early on.  He is often credited with spreading the real 'power yoga' movement by adding hip hop to breath and flow.  I also had the joy of learning from Aaron King and David Romanelli, who were also co-creators in the At-One project and have gone on to light up the world through, teaching, coaching and writing.  Dave Oliver, another one of my favorite teachers and mentors used to teach Ashtanga to my whole family.  His passion for the history, philosophy, healing benefits and storytelling has influenced my own teaching style tremendously.  Dave who didn't step foot onto his mat until he was 40 years old and had an injury has been teaching ashtanga yoga for over 20 years.  Together with his wife Cheryl, they teach yoga teachers from all over the country.  Lastly, I credit Sumit Banerjee, who has created a tremendous movement in the Hot Yoga world.  His teaching style and method have influenced me tremendously as well.  Although, it was Ian, who first encouraged me to become a yoga teacher, it was Sumit, who was able to get me to breakthrough my own mental blockages and gain the confidence to stand up and teach.  Then, it was Dave and Cheryl Oliver who officially got me Yoga Alliance certified.

After a journey that started in 1997, I am pleased to say that I have an amazing female yoga teacher, Sharon Denton,  that I am also proud to call my friend and mentor.  I believe that every step along the way has brought me to appreciate right here, right now.  I am grateful for all of the other wonderful and amazing teachers that I have had along the way, but wanted to encourage everyone to be open to the teachers they are blessed with at the time of the blessing.  Keep in mind that Patanjali, Guruji and Krishnamacharya were all men.  Thank goodness for them!!

What is the real problem with male yoga teachers?  There simply aren't enough!  Go ahead and open your mind and open your heart. Be grateful to all who have decided to take their yoga off the mat and become yoga teachers.  When you see someone named 'Randi' on the schedule, don't prejudge and shortchange yourself.  Go and go with all of your heart, it just may change your life.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Get Into the Game of Life and Play to Win!

If you find yourself repeating the same scene day after day and life feels like a daily grind of monotony, it's time to break your patterns.  It's time to start winning.

A video game has many levels and so does life.  The first level on a video game is usually pretty basic, it gives you an idea of how to play and then as you progress, the challenges are slightly more obscure and come at you faster, however, the greater challenges are met with greater rewards, of which most are intrinsic feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.

In life, level one can be viewed as survival.  It is associated with scarcity and fear.  Level 10 is reaching the state of bliss, ecstasy and abundance, a term in yoga known as samadhi.  The way to ascend from survival to bliss is by learning the rule, removing the obstacles, elevating your consciousness and breaking your patterns.  Life is like a video game.  If you continue to do the, settle and  quit playing.  This applies to personal development, relationships, love, work and happiness.

You cannot play on Level 3 and Level 1 at the same time.  You must be willing to release the things that no longer serve you.  Identify your patterns, your personal blockages and fearlessly remove them.  How?  Make a decision.  Decisions are like sharp scissors.  The moment you make a decision with your heart and mind, is the moment that you cut off the old and make room for the new.

If you have ever played a video game, even as a child, you can recall that in order to ascend to a new level, you must overcome the obstacles, face the challenges and persevere.  You can usually see what you need to do, but you must resist the temptation to do the same thing over and over again.  Even when you can intellectualize what to do, your muscles have memory and insist on repeating the patterns.  In the video game, you must make conscious changes to your strategy or you will be stuck in the same place until you tire of the game.  The same thing yields true in life.  You must break your patterns and create change.

How do you play to win life?  It's easy.  Simply learn the rule and I say rule, because there is only one.  Love.  Replace lower vibrations with higher ones.  Replace hate with Love.  Replace fear with Love.  Replace jealously with Love.  Replace judgment with Love.  I don't mean the romantic, cupid love, but true unconditional love.

Being cheap louis vuitton means getting into the Game of Life and Playing to Win!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Breakdown Headstand to Breakthrough Fear in Yoga & Life

I have been teaching headstand or, as the pose is known in Sanskrit,  Shirshasana a lot lately.  Generally, there are three kinds of students: ones who can headstand alone, ones who take their mat to the wall and ones that sit on their mat and smile, as if I am going to let them sit this one out.

The biggest obstacle to a successful headstand is fear.  Sometimes that fear is the result an attempted headstand gone bad and sometimes it is the result of someone telling someone else about a headstand injury.  Then, there is simply the fear of turning upside-down, being out of control or the inability to do it.  The same fears that exist in headstand exist in life.

After watching students, pull their mats to the wall and never making improvements, I have come realize that the way you approach your headstand is the way you approach your life.  Do you Go for the Goal, Play it Safe or Stop in fear?

Going for the goal in any relationship, sport, business or activity requires getting proper training from an expert, asking questions, practice and discipline.  In terms of the headstand, this approach means staying on your mat, without the illusion of the wall for security.  Learn that headstand is not really a headstand, but an inverted balancing pose requiring strong use of the arms, core and bandhas.

Just like experiencing success in true love, business, arts or athletics, the benefits of proper headstand are infinite and boundless.

Playing it safe in headstand is not really safe at all.  This is when you pull your mat to the wall, place your head on the ground and kick up.  You are going through the motions and not experiencing the pose or benefits.  Kicking your legs up until the wall catches you is not accomplishing anything.  It is preparing you to topple over and injure yourself when you try this away from the wall.  Looking at someone else doing the pose and taking this approach is like deciding you want to get married and ordering a bride out of a catalogue.  Ultimately, it is a recipe for dissatisfaction and potential disaster.

For those who stop completely in fear, it is understandable that if you don't know what you are doing, you do not want to risk injury.  Do not let fear hold you back from a life of balance, love, health, fulfillment and empowerment.  Do not listen to what someone else says about headstands.  Those are probably the same people telling you to hold onto your miserable job or stay in your dysfunctional relationship.

Expansion and growth require release.  The release is fear.  I do not recommend trying to learn headstand on your own anymore than I recommend kicking up to a wall.  However, I have been experimenting over the past several weeks with teaching students how to build a proper foundation, Lift up from the belly, shift weight out of the head, tuck the tailbone and squeeze the legs.  The success rate has been 100% regardless of age, ability or gender.  The empowered smiles have been universal.

Notice your approach to headstand, do you give your whole heart, part of your heart or none of your heart?  Whether your headstand, love life or business is suffering, do not accept what you have been accepting and expect a change.  Decide to breakthrough and go for it!  Get some sound coaching from a trusted expert, apply it with heart and diligence, your best life is waiting!

Just as a true, magical love relationship can cure you of all past relationship pains, according to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, proper headstand can cure you many ailments that resulted from improper headstand.

Need more inspiration to breakdown and breakthrough headstands?  Some of the amazing healing benefits are improved, eyesight, glowing eyes, increased memory power, increased intellect, youthful rejuvenation and spiritual illumination.