Happenings

Help Chelsea’s Light shine

We moved to north San Diego County on February 1, 2010. I didn’t know a soul here- not one for miles and miles. I didn’t have a car, and I had a baby who was about 15 months old. I spent my days (all 24 hours of each of them) in my new home with my baby boy. During the first weekend after the move, I made my way to the local swap meet and bought a used jogging stroller.

The jogging stroller was my pass to get out of the house, get some exercise, and get to know my new surroundings. Max and I spent hours and hours exploring our new town- sometimes traveling 10 miles or more in a day.

I remember in those first few weeks, while we were walking downtown or near the beach, the flyers for a missing local girl began popping up on telephone poles and in store windows. I remember her brilliant, blue eyes. Something about her caught my attention, something seemed amiss. There wasn’t an ounce of trouble in her eyes or her smile. She radiated a goodness that was apparent to me from the moment I first saw her. How could it be that that girl, Chelsea King, was missing?

For that reason, I followed her story closely. The picture of Chelsea that emerged in the media drew me in even more. I learned that there were quite a few similarities between Chelsea and my 17-year-old self. She was a very serious student- very focused on preparing for continuing her education. She was a passionate writer and devoted to the environment. She wanted to do good in the world. Nothing I read or heard contradicted the initial impression I had had of her. She was a good girl. A good person.

I prayed for her safety and her safe return to the bright life that she was building for herself. I prayed that she would be able to turn all the opportunities that would clearly arise for her into gold- in a way that I hadn’t always succeeded in doing.

After a few, short days, however, that hope was lost. Chelsea had been found. While out on a run in a local park, her path had intersected with the darkest evil.

Throughout the years since then, I have been reminded of Chelsea from time to time. More than once, when telling someone of my love of taking my son and the jogging stroller out for a run, I’ve been asked, “But aren’t you scared? Didn’t you hear about that girl in Rancho Bernardo?”

I had also heard that Chelsea’s family had created a charitable foundation to keep Chelsea’s radiant spirit alive… to do the good in the world that so obviously seemed to be her destiny. They called it Chelsea’s Light.

Alas, years have gone by now. In late summer of last year, Max outgrew the jogging stroller. He didn’t so much outgrow it as he outsmarted it. He learned to unlatch the safety belt and jump out while we were traveling at full speed. No good for anyone… so that was the end of our beloved jogging stroller. I wasn’t quite sure where to go with my running from that point, so I stopped for most of the second half of the year.

As 2013 approached, I resolved that I would lace up my running shoes again and get back out there. I’ve always been most motivated in my running when I’m training for a race, so I found a training program app for my phone and away I went. I also began looking for a race that would coincide with the end of my training schedule. I went on Google and searched for races in early March in the San Diego area. The first that came up was the “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K.

I knew immediately which Chelsea and why she hadn’t finished her run. My eyes filled with tears. I also knew immediately that “Chelsea’s Run” would be my next race.

In some ways, the preparation for this race has been the easiest ever and in others it has been, by far, the most difficult. There hasn’t been a single “running” day when I’ve thought of skipping my run or taking it easy. Running does not come naturally to me. Honestly, I only began running because the jogging stroller offered some physical activity and a sanity break. The race is just over a week away now. At this point in my training for races in the past, as the runs are growing longer and longer, I’ve had difficulty staying focused and motivated. Not this time. Motivation has not been a problem at all.

The emotional challenges that I’ve confronted in the past two months are unlike any I’ve experienced in prior races, though. There have been days when I have literally had to fight back tears as I was running on the treadmill (in a “resolutioner”-packed gym, no less), experiencing a mix of gratitude and confusion. I’ve felt gratitude that I get to be running, breathing, alive. I’ve felt confused… about why terrible things happen to wonderful people, about how to hold space for goodness in the face of incomprehensible evil, about why I’m feeling so deeply about all of this?? After all, I never knew Chelsea in life. She wasn’t a close friend or a loved one. I had never met her.

Coming to terms with all of that has been the greatest challenge. To me, this race has been the most meaningful one I’ve ever participated in from the get-go, but what is that meaning, really? As best as I’ve been able to determine, it is that Chelsea touched my heart with her radiant spirit, and I want to do my best to honor that. I want to do my part to hold space for positivity around her memory and in the world, in general. She deserves that. It is what she stood for in her life, and it is her legacy. Not one terrible, dark moment.

The “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K is the primary annual fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and its Sunflower Scholarship program, which provides educational opportunities for outstanding students who might not have access to them otherwise.

I was blessed and lucky to receive an education at some of the nation’s best universities thanks to scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Paying that forward by contributing to scholarships for today’s youth would mean a great deal to me in and of itself. But to do it in Chelsea’s name and in her honor is such a profoundly beautiful thing to me. It touches my heart in a way that I am having difficulty putting into words.

I know that even after March 2, 2013 has passed and the race is over for another year, I will carry a part of this time in my heart. I’ve gathered wisdom and insight in the past few weeks that I’ve absorbed into the very core of me. It drives me to give my best in every situation and to be grateful for every opportunity. Tomorrow should never be taken for granted. It is not guaranteed to any of us. The only certainty is that we have this moment to express our highest potential and to bring more of what we hold most dear into this world.

Thank you. Thank you, all. Thank you, Chelsea.

If you would like to join me in supporting the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and their Sunflower Scholarship Program, please visit my donation page by Saturday, March 2.

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Yoga this week!!

Well, hello there, yoga lovers!

The website issues are sorted. The galleries seem to be back in order. I have a new (to me) car, and the breakdowns and crises of the week are a thing of the past. Goddess willing.

After all of the “excitement” of the past few days, it’s time to take a yoga break- take a deep breath and anchor in awareness of the present moment where everything is a-ok. The present, after all, is where our power lies. The past is history, the future is a mystery, as they say.

Join me for a gentle vinyasa practice Thursday morning at 10am. We will focus on staying connected to our breathing as a way to deepen our awareness of our bodies and of the present moment.

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

I have the good fortune on teaching on Valentine’s Day this week!

Lord knows I love holidays. I haven’t met too many holidays that I don’t get excited to celebrate. But Valentine’s Day? One of my favorites. Really. I know I probably say that about every holiday when it is approaching, but I really, really looove Valentine’s Day. I mean… come on- it’s the holiday of L O V E. What’s not to love?

You can imagine my excitement that I get to create a special class this week to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Join me on Thursday at 10am. Kick off your day with a gentle, energizing vinyasa practice that focuses on connecting with the heart center and being your own dear valentine.

I would love to see you there!

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Yoga this week!!

Hello, yoga lovers! Welcome to Monday! I hope it’s going swimmingly.

I’ll be on the mat, leading an outdoor practice with the North County Yoga Goddesses on Thursday at 10am. This week, we’ll be looking ahead to Saturday’s new moon and integrating some of its unique qualities into our practice.

Intrigued? Join us on Thursday to work it out on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

So, nature has had other plans for the North County Yoga Goddesses for the past few weeks, but I have a good feeling about this week.

We are meeting on a new day now- Thursdays at 10am. This Thursday, the 31st, is the last day of January, so we will be checking in with our intentions for 2013. How has the first month of the year been for you?

Join us Thursday to explore that question on the mat!

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Welcome back, Kamelien!

Peek a boo! I see you!

After several weeks of visions and revisions and an education in web design, KamelienYoga.com is back!! I hope that you haven’t missed me too terribly (ha!) and that you find the revamped site useful… and fun!

As you can probably tell by now, I’ve shifted gears a bit, moving ahead with taking my yoga teaching from the blog into the real world. While I will be focusing on meeting new students and building my teaching career, I will still be here on the blog with my insights and inspirations. Please check back often to see what’s new with KamelienYoga.com and me, Holly Richelle.

If you are interested in anything you have discovered on the site, including any of my yoga instruction services, please feel free to contact me today to get started.

Namaste!

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Yoga this week!!

‘Tis the season to be grateful!

I will be teaching this Monday at 10am. Our gentle, flow practice will focus on gratitude- experiencing and expressing gratitude through yoga.

Kick off your Tofurkey week on a grateful note with me!

And to those who cannot make it… Happy Thanksgiving and I’m grateful for you!

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New moon solar eclipse today!

Today was not only the new moon in Scorpio, but there was also a solar eclipse.

Mysticmamma.com is a blog and website that I thoroughly enjoy. If you have never visited her, I would recommend it highly. Her site is always full of such wonderful information and insights.

Today, for example, she shared this wonderful compilation of wisdom about the eclipse and its meaning in the broader picture. I felt like it explained a lot of things I’ve been feeling lately and helped put them in perspective. Read here and let me know what you think!…

Love to all!

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Yoga this week!!

Oh no!!!

Can you even believe, dear readers, that I’ve been out of commission with a cold again? I’ve been quite useless all week. I thought I had really put together a satisfactory defense when li’l man headed back to school in September. When he began school for the first time earlier this year, he brought sicknesses home about every other week. “Not this time,” I said. “This time, we’re coming prepared.”

Not so fast! Sick again.

So, (check out the brains on me) guess what I’m inspired to teach about this week? Yoga to support your immune system! That will be the subject matter for my regular class on Monday at 10am.

I will also be teaching a class in the park this Saturday– a gentle, all-levels-appropriate flow class.

Join me for one. Join me for the other. Join me for both! I would love to see you there!

Health and happiness, yoga lovers!

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Calling all animal lovers! Show your support!

Hello yoga lovers!

I wanted to share this project with you. Yoga is a path of compassion and service to others. Karma yoga, specifically, is the yoga of service to others. I hope you agree with me that all life deserves the same compassionate consideration. I have no doubt there are many animal lovers among you… which brings me back to Karma, or Kharma rather.

Rita Spiegel is a student and friend- and her dog Kharma is the unofficial mascot of my weekly yoga group. Rita rescued Kharma during the fires in San Diego County several years ago.

Through her experiences with Kharma, Rita was inspired to create the 100 Cali Dogs… 100 Stories project. She plans to photograph 100 rescued dogs (she’s a professional photographer) and compile their “rescue stories” in a photography book with the proceeds benefitting non-profit spay and neuter programs.

Check out her page on indiegogo to learn more and to show your support.

Remember, to give is to receive! Have a beautiful day!

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