Jenny Ravikumar

July 23rd, 2014

How I stay organized… or why I sit in cafes

Working on my blog and my business has been one of the biggest blessings I have ever known. To be able to teach and write every day is my ideal lifestyle, but that isn’t to say that sometimes it isn’t difficult. Between writers block, time management and deciding when to do the laundry sometimes writing comes last in my line up.

This past month I have finally felt like MYSELF again. The person who can run in multiple directions, have a million ideas and continuously publish my own written word while maintaining a real life behind the scenes. Teaching 15 classes a week and owning your own studio should be enough for most people, but not for me. I have ALWAYS been driven by wanting more and doing more. I have so many beautiful dreams of creating a yoga community in my town, but also through written word.

You may be asking yourself: HOW in the world do I stay on top of everything?

First of all, let me say that some days I don’t. Some days I need to take a nap and allow my body proper rest. Some days I practice guitar or re-read a favorite book in the grass and other days I lounge in the sun with my cousins and husband on the beach for hours on end. Some days are not organized days.

But the organized days: they are FULL of calendars and notebooks, iPhone reminders and cappuccinos. The pure joy of writing in the city with a beautiful latte at my fingertips (often with a beautiful design on top) is something I could never measure.

 

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I’m the type of girl who loved back to school shopping. My favorite pens, brand new notebooks that are just the right width for writing, highlighters and a 15 month calendar were all at my disposal and everything just felt so right in the world.

I remember one time while my brother was in high school and I was finishing my graduate degree. I walked into his room look for a pen and a highlighter and could only find a pencil. The horror! I wasn’t exactly sure how someone could live that way… especially in high school.

But I digress. My organizational skills are simple and they are my own. I’m excited to offer mine to you in the hopes that you benefit from my particular brand of madness, but hope that you also find you own way!

I keep my favorite pens in every purse, car and tote bag and drawer.

  •  Pilot makes a pen called the Pilot G2 Retractable and it is my favorite pen in the whole world. (Side note: I feel as though writers always have a favorite pen and this shouldn’t be a strange thing…) I make sure to always keep these pens nearby and have them in all of my travel bags, the car and my pocketbook. I love the idea of WRITING and although putting “pen to paper” on the computer is where our world is now, I almost always start my ideas with REAL pen and paper.

I use the perfect notebook {but I will use a napkin if I need to}. 

  •  When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a journalist. You could almost always see me with pen and paper and more often than not a disposable or digital camera in my purse. I was the scribe in our group and started scrap booking when I was 15. I LOVED documenting the world around me and although I love a specific style of notebook, I would write on a napkin at the dinner table if it came to it so that I wouldn’t forget an idea! And now with technology I can grab my iPhone for the notes app on my phone and then I transfer my notes into my notebook when I have a chance.

    Currently, my favorite notebooks are on rings or have pages that will tear easily. They always have lines, as a blank canvas usually doesn’t bode well for my messy penmanship. They are about the size of a book as the smaller widths are often too cramped for my train of thought and they are always beautiful. Tribal designs, pinks, golds, an octopus or a mermaid gracing the cover. The only notebook in my collection that is miniature is my mini feather notebook that I use to record my daily gratitude prompts. It seems perfectly well fit for this task as it slides into my purse with ease.

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 Go to the cafe; go to the cafe, GO TO THE CAFE!

  • For myself personally I cannot stress this enough. If I want to get anything done in terms of writing or returning emails, updating my website or researching I need a great cafe. There is a bookstore near hubby’s work that has a beautiful little cafe and floor to ceiling windows that give the most magnificent natural light. The need for a cafe is simple: if I go home I will do laundry or walk my dog or nap. I will do anything other than my original plan. The cafe is the perfect setting for me. A little bit of city buzz behind me as I type, almost the same rhythm as a runner and their iPod. A delicious latte I couldn’t have created at home that has the perfect amount of caffeine. And people whom I do not know that keep my accountable. By sitting next to a perfect stranger I am able to get far more done than if I were at home sitting with Apollo. They may lean over and see I’m here wasting my time on Facebook or they could see I’m writing furiously about a mysterious subject they know nothing about. It’s my equivalent of having a fake boss constantly looking over my shoulder and I LOVE it.

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Technology is your friend, but also the enemy.

  • Never forget that google calendar synced to your iPhone is a Godsend. A team of fun people who assist with your marketing and plans via google hangout or an email chat is the perfect resource. And Facebook is the devil. Get a timer and set it for yourself. Work for 45 minutes…. then a 10 minute social media break. Repeat and add in lunch & lattes!

Working alone is a strange animal. You need to find tricks of the trade in order to constantly keep yourself on track. These simple tasks help to keep ME focused and allow me to work to the best of my abilities.

How about YOU? Do you have a favorite notebook or pens? Do you use specific apps or reminders on your phone? I would love to read your tricks of the trade in the comments below.

Sending you lots of love & inspiration today!
Namaste
Jenny

July 18th, 2014

The Negative in Being Positive

Sometimes life sucks.

There I said it.

Recently, I had two people who know me quite well ask me if I ever feel depressed or sad in life. They said my Facebook feed is the most inspiring and positive part of their day and wondered if I ever have a bad moment in life.

And while I’m so grateful that I inspire them, I want you all to know something: my life is a normal every day life. I pay bills and have breakdowns. I wait in line at the RMV while trying not to let anger overwhelm me. And I certainly have those days when I do not want to get out of bed.

But here’s the thing yogis, I CHOOSE to get out of bed. I choose to look at the positive and always look on the bright side and I choose to portray all of that online. I believe in counting my blessings and always looking for gratitude in life, so when I’m at the RMV I bring a book like Eat Pray Love or bring my notebook to write love letters to myself or friends.

I’ve been through it. The moments of depression where getting out of bed is actually impossible. I have been in a darkness so thick that it was more comforting to stay there in the darkness than to travel to the light. I had months of crying and paralyzation. I have had betrayal and loss. And I never, ever want to go there again.

During my senior year of college, I emerged from this state and opened my eyes and my soul. I finally felt whole and cleansed and AWAKE. I felt alive. I realized where I had been for months and decided I wanted zero part of that every again. I told my supervisor Stephanie that I have no time for sadness if I can be happy every day… and then I skipped myself down the street onto the next San Fran attraction.

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So much has changed since this photo that hair has gone through some MAJOR transformations, but so has my heart. I have had my ups and downs and only once more did it get to the point where I needed to ask for help. But I try every single day to count my blessings. I try to make my meals count, the flowers I purchase for our home, the lack of traffic, the gift of a flower growing through the crack in the sidewalk or even the very gentle sound of Apollo breathing. I am grateful for it all because I understand what soul crushing sadness feels like and I will never go there again.

The negative in being positive all the time is that no one ever believes you have bad days. No one thinks you take life seriously and some people believe you are fake. These things are entirely untrue. As my friend Susie said: “If anyone in real life knows you, they know your Facebook feed is 100% YOU!” And it is.

I choose to see joy. I choose to see love. Don’t get me wrong yogis I have bad days just like the rest of the world, but I deal with them by holding on to love and recognizing the lessons I am being served. I deal with them by allowing my true feelings to arise (sadness or anger) and allowing them to pass. I deal with bad days in meditation and naps and hugs.

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May you have love in your heart.
May you never suffer.
May you always see the lessons.
May you count your blessings.
May you honor your feelings: all of them.
May you give love.
May you receive love.
May you live with a peaceful heart.
May you find joy.
May you find deep belly laughs, sunshine days and good friends.
May you dive into books or music or love.
May you create a life you love.
May you find pure joy.

This is my wish for you today yogis. Hold it to your heart. Say it out loud and remember that there is nothing negative in being positive.

Sending you so much love & light!
Namaste
Jenny