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The Rosa

Taking Time to Smell the Rosa Rugosa

by Diane Kovanda

In our culture it is so easy to get caught up in the challenges of a tough economy, a bitter political climate, and the many requirements of daily life, that we often do not take time to savor the profound beauty that surrounds us here on Cape Cod. Savoring that beauty is one of the keys to recharging your batteries.

A few years ago, as the economy was taking a nosedive, I launched a training program for yoga and meditation teachers. It was the biggest challenge of my life – to follow my soul’s longing to open this business. Most advice from friends and associates was kindly protective: “Do not start something new when other businesses are closing their doors.”

I couldn’t ignore the call of my heart though, even as my practical mind said, “You will be doing double, triple, the work with the state of the crumbling economy.” I went ahead and now am so grateful that I am fully immersed in a successful, growing business that makes a difference in people’s lives.

When I started my business, an older and wiser friend told me, “In owning a small business, you will be the CEO, the secretary, webmaster, and you will do the finances, the marketing, the cleaning, the maintenance, it never ends and you never sleep.”

I can get completely lost in the multitude of tasks that need attending to at work, and I often forget to smell the roses. As I am busily returning emails, overseeing the fledgling finances, and working nonstop with our students and teachers, there are times I completely run out of gas. The sign that I am going off course is that I feel exhausted and sleep doesn’t replenish the tiredness.

Running on the beach

I have found that no matter what issues I face as a local business owner, many problems can be brought into perspective if I just take the time to breathe. To step away from all the action and just breathe.

Breathe deep as I take a walk outdoors – on the Cape we are surrounded by gorgeous beaches and woodlands. No matter what is going on at work, I try to take a walk each day in one of these beautiful places.

There is a recharging power of taking a moment to savor, to take in the beauty. It can be just a few minutes to walk outdoors and really look at the tree in the yard, see how it is changing with the seasons.

Flowers blooming

I like to go outside and really listen to nature, hear the new birdsongs in the morning or the squirrel chattering up in the tree.

When I walk on the beach, I like to pay attention to smelling the sea breeze and seeing and smelling the wild rosa rugosas. Paying attention to these simple things recharges my whole being. Watching the sparkles dancing on the water puts my whole life into perspective.

I'd like to share with you how you can incorporate a few simple things each day to recharge your own batteries.

Keys to Restore:

  1. Breathe

    Wherever you are, take a moment and witness the inhale coming into your system as your lungs inflate, and then everything deflates as you exhale. Do this for one minute and notice how many breaths you take during the minute. Anytime during the day when you remember, repeat this again. Breathing happens whether you are aware of it or not, but there is a definite shift that happens when you become present to your breathing.
  2. Notice all of your senses and use them purposefully

    Even noticing the touch of your fingers on the keys of your computer keyboard can have a calming effect. If you are able to, go outdoors, take a walk or connect with some natural object such as a seashell. See, hear, smell, touch, taste with purpose and presence.

    So often we are busy doing too many things at once to allow focus on one thing. You might be busily planning or replaying a conversation in your mind as you walk the beach and completely miss the present moment.
  3. Have patience with yourself.

    If you really don’t have a few minutes a day to spend on centering yourself… then you need it so much more. As one of my teachers recently stated: “In our fast-paced culture, breathing, present-moment awareness and mindfulness is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”

    You don’t have to add this to your list of “more to do”, just have patience with yourself. Be kind and slow life down just a little bit so you can smell the roses.
Blooms on the beach.

I made a calming and beautiful video of my mom, Jamila, walking the garden and exploring the blossoms along the way. It takes place at St. Mary's garden in Barnstable.

If you can't get outside, take a few moments and watch the beauty of nature.

All photographs courtesy of Diane Kovanda

Kind Yoga ad

Let Your Yoga Dance!
Wild and Wise Women Festival

May 17-19
Kripalu Center
Stockbridge, MA

Kind Yoga Teacher Training
Meditation Training

508 -776-1990

Diane Kovanda

Diane Kovanda, M.Ed, is the Director of Kind Yoga Teacher Training.

She is also the co-founder of The Calm Warrior Training Inc., which provides criminal justice professionals with stress reduction and decompression tactics. For more information visit

Diane is also the co-Founder of Cape Cod Yoga Association.

Come and join Diane and Megha for Wild and Wise Women Festival: Let Your Yoga Dance, Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, MA 5/17-19, 2013