Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fight for your right...

...to be happy.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it..." Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat, Pray, Love"


I know a little bit about this. Throughout the course of my life, I have received much feedback--some good and some not-so-good--about my outlook on life. I have actually offended a few people with my level of happiness.

As if...

And I feel a need to speak to this for all the resistance I have ever received when I can find a silver lining amid black storm clouds or when I experience joy in the mundane.

SO--the thing is?

This is really me, authentic and pure.

It's SO not a front--I really love life and living and I reap so much joy from the process of it all and even in those moments when I am on my knees with my body bowed in submission, I know the light follows and I abide the darkness with grace.

But here's the other 'thing'--I have fought HARD for my happiness, bared myself to the bone for it, settled for nothing less than it and pulled my body, wracked in grief, to the summit of the happiness I know I deserve.

Granted, when I was younger it was more of a front for me, I'm sure. I'd dare to say it was a survival mechanism.

If I kept on my happy face, no one would know my grandfather was touching and penetrating my young body with a suffocating frequency and more than that, they would never find out it was my fault--that I had planted this seed of sickness inside of him. I say that from my four year old self--the little girl who was convinced by this man that she had started something he could not stop.

If I pretended to be free and wild, no one would ever find out that my mother used her hands and her words to reduce me--that I was unworthy of love and inadequate and longing with a blazing passion to be loved...by anyone.

If I pretended to be confident and sure, no one would ever find out that I was starving myself to emaciation because the body I saw in the mirror was inflated by my own self-loathing imagination, a self-loathing birthed and nurtured by my mother's scathing commentary on my body and overall existence.

If I pretended to be carefree, no one would know that I was longing for my father's attention and not just when I fucked up.

I would not break, I would not shake or tremble--not me. You wouldn't make me cry--no. I would hold up my front like a fortress.

Fortunately, that 'front' began to crumble and behind her was a freshly budding, soft and fragile, courage, still pink from birth. Somehow, after all the messages to the contrary, I loved myself--I think I had to, for most of my young life, I was my only source of nurturing.

Somehow, at my core, I really liked me, really. And I admired how hard I had fought for my autonomy, for my voice to prevail those other voices before and around me, whirling like a soul-sucking cyclone.

Somehow, I knew I was unique in my ability to continue holding my head up with so many people and forces in my life hellbent to take me down. I was already keenly aware of my determination and trusted myself above ALL others.

Somehow...I made it.

Over time, the end result is me. Right where I am. Precisely who I am--a warrior willing and determined and able to fight for her right to be happy because I know nothing else, because I crave the breath within me and I anticipate the next, because I have seen the dark and much prefer the light, because I have hit the bottom and clawed my way to the top.

I marinated in unhappiness most of my young life but I always held on.

I held on to love.

I held on for love.

...all for the hope of love.

"We must get our hearts broken sometimes...it means we have tried for something." Eat, Pray, Love

Life is ephemeral and because every moment counts so much, count me in--I want to try for something.

We should never, ever, ever, force explanation or shame from another for the light they have inside. We don't need to. If you stand close enough, you will find enough light to borrow until you kindle your own again because the light returns.

I know this much is true...

...the light returns.

Prana Flow

I just returned to the office after a little walk outside to stretch my legs and breathe deep into my body, appreciating my health and hoping to ward off any ambitious, looming germs in my body that are getting any sneaky ideas (I'm experiencing a *slight* discomfort in my throat).

I love this time of year--it holds, for me, the perfect balance. Not too hot, not too cold--just right. I can feel the familiar peace settle over me that settles over me every year and I think it's a lovely bundle of how I feel about the holidays, the family time and the weather of this season.

Hope--hope simmers inside me and contentment abounds.

As the air begins to chill, it is ever more important to prepare the body before a physical practice, building heat and establishing a strong sutra of breath along which the body moves, the mind meditates and expression unfolds.

Last night I led my students through a prana flow as our warm up and share it here:

Setu-Bhandasana (Bridge) Flow
  • With the inhale, tuck the tail bone under, press into the feet and lift the hips--because we are cultivating prana, the rise should last the duration of the inhale and pause at the peak.
  • With the exhale begin to lower the hips, again, riding the breath down.

I offered the option of adding the arms (with inhale they reach up and over the body to frame the head and with exhale lift and lower to beside the body) or keeping them grounded.

Supine Leg Lift Flow

  • From your back w/arms grounded beside you, lift the legs, feet to the ceiling--inhale here.
  • Exhale and begin to lower the straightened legs until they hover over the mat (without touching)
  • Inhale and slowly lift them again, keeping a slight angle instead of coming all the way up to vertical really engages the core.

This flow not only marries movement to breath but builds warmth in the core that will radiate throughout the body.

Cat Flow

  • From table, inhale and lift the crown of the head and the tail toward the ceiling, pull the shoulders back and sink the heart as the back scoops out.
  • Exhale, round the spine, tuck the tail and let the head gently drop.

Back and forth with breath will warm the spine, preparing it for more movement.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I had dinner with a new friend last night and so much of what we talked about was very thought-provoking for me but one point in particular stood out.  She was talking about psychology and how she will often tell her clients that the counseling they are signing up to receive has the potential to change their life.

No brainer, yes?  Probably what they are coming for in the first place, right?

She continues.

The process of change could open a new path for them, they could realize that the person they are with is no longer who they choose, the job they have is not fulfilling, they could begin to think about things a different way, assert themselves in different ways, connect to new interests and people, find that happiness comes easier and seems to be a natural resting place.

The process of change could result in an about face as you tear down and rebuild yourself.

As she was talking, I realized I needed the same sort of caution for my students because this practice is NOT for the faint-of-heart.

Your boundaries will be tested in this practice, your comfort zone annihilated, your shadow side will stand face-to-face with the light in you as they both vie for recognition and truth seeking to be called forth.  The layers of your ego will be pulled back, one by one and revealed to you an essence that could very well take your breath away.

We are blessed that the practice is a process and the process is practice because we couldn't bear the truth if it were unveiled in its totality--we need it bit by bit in stages.

I know this much is true--if this practice so much as touches your soul, you will be forever changed.

Lose yourself in love...

I read this on Wa Yo Yogi's blog this morning--Leanne was recounting something Ram Dass shared, a teaching he had received regarding his meditation practice...lose yourself in love.

Ram Dass shared that if you are singing a hymn in church, without love and devotion the hymn rattles off like a grocery list...lose yourself in love.

I was moved by this statement, so simple yet so profound.

When I resolve in my mind to meditate, I won't just close my eyes--I will open my heart. I won't just position my hands into any ole' mudra that I've seen in a magazine or a book but that has no meaning to me--I will place my right palm on my heart because it feels natural, softening the space there, holding the rhythm, bestowing grace. I won't try to 'look' a particular way but will position my body to receive whether that is lying on my back, kneeling in surrender with my forehead to the mat or sitting with support.

Just like my asana practice, my meditation must be an expression of who I am, where I am, my limits and my abilities.

When I resolve in my mind to meditate, I won't just sit and close my eyes...

...I will lose myself in love.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Born again...

I am like a flower blooming open because it knows no other way to express the life force swelling inside.

I am born again.

Yoga on the Slackline

Along with my first ever tattoo to commemorate my 35th birthday, I have found what will be my new hobby--merging my love of yoga with my recent desire to explore my self-imposed limits.

Check out yoga on the slackline:

Looks like I can get my supplies here at Slack Line Express.

For more on this awesome expression of yoga and strength, you can visit YogaSlackers online.

Here's to slacking off!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Killer Stress

Night before last I was just flipping through channels, almost resolved to turn the tube off and find another plan when I stumbled across a National Geographic special on PBS, "Killer Stress".

This was a great one hour presentation on the effects that stress has on our lives and our health, presenting research on the link between stress and disease and even exploring the sociocultural causes or breeding grounds of stress (our position in various hierarchies in relation to power v. lack of power).

The following is a snippet from the PBS website summary of the documentary:

"The stress response: in the beginning it saved our lives, making us run from predators and enabling us to take down prey. Today, human beings are turning on the same life-saving physical reaction to cope with 30-year mortgages, $4 a gallon gasoline, final exams, difficult bosses and even traffic jams — we can't seem to turn it off. So, we're constantly marinating in corrosive hormones triggered by the stress response".

More on the documentary can be found here.

In thinking about stress, my own and in general, I was filled with relief that I have this secret weapon--not really secret, but underused for so many people. My yoga practice has equipped me with what I need to move through stress with grace.

I still succumb to flare-ups now and then but I have the tools within me to soothe my own soul and however slowly the peace comes, it does come--a truth I have come to believe in like I know the sun will rise tomorrow, just as today.

I seem to be in a place today where I am holding onto that truth like the string of a prized helium balloon so it doesn't slip from my grip into the beyond--just sitting on the edge of a quake, trying not to be consumed...so I breathe, balance and breathe.

Part of preventing stress from becoming an all-encompassing force in our lives too comes from our level of happiness or overall contentment with where we are at any given moment. Over time, I have become better at sitting with myself WHEREVER I'm at in my range of emotions and wherever I am in my life, physically or situationally.

This contentment is a practice, cultivated over time and for me, it was a matter of paying attention, showing up to life, especially to the moment and releasing the grip that wants to steer, control or 'attach' to a particular outcome.


This comes from an article in a Yoga Journal newsletter, featuring the wisdom of T.K.V. Desikachar:

“A lot of people are doing postures, but are they happy? They can do a beautiful posture, but their life is a big headache.” Mastery of yoga is really measured, Desikachar says, by “how it influences our day-to-day living, how it enhances our relationships, how it promotes clarity and peace of mind.”

This is my path of teaching right now--conveying the practice in a way that makes it relevant and significant off the mat, outside of the studio, for my students. I know, I know--they probably have to come to this on their own but I know what is in my heart, so where's the middle ground?

It's all good in the hood...namaste'

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mama you have to come see this!

This is what I heard last night a few minutes after I walked in from teaching my evening yoga class , just as I was turning on the oven to prepare dinner.

The kids had just walked out the door to take Lucy outside and my son was beckoning me.

At first I wanted to say, "buddy I'll see it later, I really have to get dinner started". Mind you, it had been a long day--early morning practice at 4:45 AM, worked until 3:30, walked on the river eating ice cream with my little man and taught an evening class.

But against my own inner resistance, I walked to the front door and saw him through the glass. He was beaming with the sweetest, most innocent smile--the epitome of wonder and delight--and he was pointing up toward our porch light looking back and forth between me and his find, eyes alight.

I walked over to the glass door and looked up to see the lime green tree frog that had captured my little boy's attention, stopping him in his tracks until he could share it with someone...me.

As I stood there appreciating the delicate little frog, I was so grateful for all the times we have stopped along the way to revel in the little things--for all the critters, colors in the sky, beautiful fallen leaves or flowers--because now, he takes in the world with an open heart, catching the details that might have gone unnoticed.

The fact that he wanted to share this with me is an honor and one of the many gifts of my day dare I slow down to receive.


Imagine cramming yourself into such a puny box of identity when you could experience your infinitude instead--Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert

I got chills when I read this last night because it aptly expresses why I purposely AVOID identifying with titles or limiting myself to a description of who I am by way of titles.

I am so much more than the lousy array of boxes I could put myself in--woman, mother, advocate, writer, blah-phooey-blah. I resist them, oh god, I resist them!

I am far too dynamic to be suffocated in a compartment to make classification and sorting easier, to accentuate the magnification of our alleged differences or to make sense of what is yet understood.

I dare you to reach out and beyond to

reveling in the shades of subtlety
shattering your concept of


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Day that Was...

I shouldn't have had that glass of wine...I blame the enactment of that decision for still being awake at this hour, knowing I have the alarm set for 4:00 AM to begin my practice and then my day.

Today has been a...day.

One of those that have the goods and the bads with no real definitive state when it's over because you are left with an undefinable feel about the general status of the day.

Ouch--I really live in the Facebook era don't I?

As if any day worth its minutes could be fiddled down to a status, a one-liner report, an attention-grabbing headliner.

If this day were a status it would read:

The day that was...

And the under story, the follow-through, the if-you-care-to-know-more would follow as:

...a new beginning for a friendship interrupted by the frailty and fallibility of the human condition.

...a heartache for a mother longing to bridge the gap between herself and her daughter, feeling her way blindly and misstepping more than right stepping deeper into a divide that swallows her courage to just drop to her knees, hands to her heart.

...a joyous reunion between mother and son, his smile one of sincerity and love, that begs for my presence and lightens my heart.

...a lesson in humility.

...a lesson in letting go in order to let in.

...a lesson in trusting myself.

...nothing out of the ordinary.

...probably not valued in the way it deserved.


There is SO much follow-up for the above but I think they speak nicely on their own behalf, in their own puzzling brevity--why bother?

The one I will speak to is the one that plays loudest in my mind--my daughter.

I am so fearful of losing her, emotionally, and this fear is intense--this fear sits on my chest and labors my breath, plaguing my mind and knotting my thoughts.

More than the physical practice of asana or the dumbfounding practice of meditation, this child--excuse me, this young woman, is going to burn away my ego, leaving me with nothing as a front. Nothing.

I will be left to stand before her and the world as only a pulsing, bleeding heart, raw and exposed, open to all the pain in the world, vulnerable as only a mother can be with her child.

This is where I usually blame myself for what I did and didn't do along the way. The good thing is, I don't get too far into blame because I know at this point in my life how counterproductive it is...a useless enterprise really as my thoughts and energy should be going to her and our relationship and how I make myself available to her, how I present myself to her and how much room I allow for her to be who she is--am I creating space for her becoming?

She can have my ego...if I can just get inside her heart.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some piece of work...

I feel so ridiculous--it's Friday night and after a long day of fun with the children, a little bit of work, teaching yoga, a little more work and a haircut--I'm in for the night.

In for the night trying desperately to settle my mind and not sink into loneliness.

Not being a +1 anymore, I don't have a back-up and when there's no one...there's really no one.

In the book I'm reading right now, Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert is talking about meditation and understanding what we can sit through without trying to change our experience, physically or emotionally.

So here I sit with my Sex & the City re-runs and red wine trying NOT to feel what is trying to come up...fear, embarrassment, uncertainty, loneliness, confusion--they're all here, inside, taking their turns vying for attention in order to have their way with me.

Have I mentioned just how alone I am--even the kids are away with my brother.  I am that alone.

I could have kicked myself tonight when I began to get concerned that I would never find someone else.


My partner and I just had the conversation and I'm worried that I'll never find love again?

Sure--it could be that I've lived without romantic love for so long in this relationship that I'm hungry for it now--sure.

Sure.  I could say that but I'd be lying.

I'm addicted to being in relationships--there.  I said it.

This is the hump I couldn't get over last time before I had convinced myself that perhaps I did want our relationship, yet, in hindsight, I know I made that decision based on other emotions/feelings that I was uncomfortable 'sitting' with.

I'm not sure I know how to breathe through something like this, I'm not sure I know how to surface or prevail and I'm quite sure I have never given myself this opportunity...

...so, here's to being a scientist of my own experience.

My hypothesis is I'm some freakin' piece of work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meeting Hostility w/Love

I'm going to need some help on this because I have yet to distance myself enough or diffuse my feelings enough to be clear.

I was working for a client today, as I do everyday.  As most know, I work with sexual assault victims and, depending on where they are in their healing or the levels in their personal reservoir of strength, they may need more or less of me at any given time.

Today, I needed to talk to a detective to gather the details surrounding an investigation and after a tug-of-war conversation where the detective took every opportunity to show resistance (read: puff his chest), I'm afraid I got nothing.

At some point in the conversation, he began to raise his voice while speaking to me in a tone of condescension and I interrupted him--this was enough.  I intended to redirect.


...he SLAMMED the phone down, apparently deciding on his own that this conversation was OVER.

How do you deal with someone like this?

We are supposed to be on the same team.

When you encounter people like this, what do you pull from to interact without chaos or anger? 

Life is good...

Changes are brewin'

I'm just trying to encapsulate them into writing--it is my writing that anchors me and enables me to make sense of and process my path.

For now, a quote:

There are many things to be grateful "for" but, as I ripen with the seasons of life, the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery. And, most deeply, I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing--Michael Mahoney

May you live from a place of gratitude.

Love to you on this day...

Power v. Strength

Lately, my practice has been one of tapping into my power--exploring those opportunities to test the waters of my hang-ups or fears, to go just a little further than I thought I might or imagined I could.

When I say practice, I mean on AND off the mat. On the mat this exploration of power has taken the form of exploring poses that I typically filed away as 'never going to happen'. Off the mat, I am beginning to take chances and break my own mold--saying yes, when I typically might have said no out of fear or resistance to change.

Let's start with asana--I was mortified of handstand, convinced that my arms would cave and I would nail the crown of my head into the floor snapping my own neck. (Can you say drama-QUEEN?) I had played with handstand from time to time but never with any seriousness, always telling myself that I was merely appeasing the instructor who had suggested we students 'play' with the prep poses.

'K--I'll play and I'll pretend that I might just make it, I might even, on a fluke, kick my legs all the way to the wall and remain for a few breaths out of sheer shock but this pose will never be a part of my practice. I simply cannot commit (make-me).


This is where my strength met my power.

From all of the various seeds of handstand and her prep poses sowed along the way , something sprouted--a genuine, personal desire to try, a curiosity to dare.

So I did and...

Like butta' I was able to kick my legs up, at least to the wall and, while there, in a kind of oh-shit-cool-I'm-still-standing (on my hands) I realized, with surprise that my arms gave no indication whatsoever of tiring or collapsing.



Now, sure. I should have practiced being a bit less attached to the outcome of that first successful handstand, recognizing each prep practice as the progression toward just another outcome but...


Now I'm a handstand junkie or in more eloquent, balanced yogi language--I practice daily...om.

The point?

My power led me there, my strength held me there--it was through mental determination that I even dared plant my hands inches from the wall, a little bit more of that keeping me from nose-diving out of imagined fear and strength that not only braced and secured my body but fortified my resolve.

I should have known that my arms (and more than that, my body) would not let me down. I gave into trust, dropping all resistance.

Which brings me to my off-the-mat practice.

I am trying to break out of the mold I have lived in for most of my (conscious) life.

Obviously, somewhere along the way, I became a slave to my fears--cry me a river, right? Join the club--I hear ya.

So lately, I have intentionally moved toward that which scared me instead of moving away. For example, I stepped out of an eight-year relationship and did not allow myself to be swayed by the unknowns--financials, ever being loved again, dying alone, etc. You know, the tiny details.

Another fear of mine has been to teach a community yoga class offered every Sunday by a yoga clothing boutique here in my city. It's a bit overwhelming as it draws a huge and diverse crowd of yogis and a touch uncomfortable as it's not quite my scene (typically). But I want to open my mind to the possibility that someone there might learn something from me and, even more, that I might learn something from them.

I don't want to limit myself or not pursue something because of preconceptions that I harbor.

So instead of over thinking it the way I usually do, I emailed them requesting to have myself added as an instructor for the last Sunday in October--done.

I am nervously thrilled!

Lastly, I am discovering and honoring my voice in my teaching by trying to break out of past habits and not over think the words that want to find their way out of me--just allowing them to flow, speaking from my heart because I know no other way.



One inspires the step, the other maintains the momentum--both show you places you never thought you could go and leave you begging, what next?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I have been a +1 for nearly nine years and except for a 3 month separation this time last year, we have been under the same roof, parenting and living a together life. However, while this life may have been under the same roof, our paths were drifting away from each other with the space between representing our irreconcilable differences.

This divide of our lives was not from a lack of love mind you. No, this was more a lack of interest in exploring what remains to be seen with the other.

Out of respect for my ex, I will not unpack the details that pertain to our separation...they matter less than the overall point.

I have stepped out of a comfort zone.

I have stepped up to another way of life without having to know first how that life will unfold.

I am invoking trust from the depth of my being that I will be left standing in the wake of so much change.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pink's 2009 VMA Performance

[I have a new link so this posting is updated]

A co-worker referred me to Pink's performance because I SO don't follow this kind of stuff BUT, I do LOVE Pink AND I take pleasure in all things beautiful and inspiring, thus the relevance to yoga.

Check out this Pink Link.

Quote of the Day

Every morning is like a new reincarnation into this world. Let us take it then for what it is and live each moment anew--Paul Brunton

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Big change is brewing for me--BIG.

The change is something I have been working toward for about a year now...maybe longer if I hyper-analyzed every minute action of the last two or so years but I don't have that kind of time.

I would freeze in place if I gave too much thought to the details, to the long run and how I might fair financially, emotionally, mentally, so I suppose it's best to stay right here, in the moment of initiation and then, I shall step into the next...figuring it out as I go, rather than succumbing to phantom problems or obstacles.

I realize that I don't have to have all the answers in order to lay claim to the life I want because even if I continued to sit in this spot, not daring to break free, I wouldn't know all the answers anyway.

So I dare.

And at 34, I'm taking my life off auto-pilot.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that our fear, hatred and depression can be considered 'compost' that, through meditation and mindfulness, cultivates the flowering of peace, love and compassion.

I will be exploring this further in another post.

Just wanted to plant the seed...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Looking closer...

People pass through our lives either becoming permanent fixtures or transients, offering varying degrees of impact in our lives.

I am coming to terms with this.

I had someone 'pass' through my life and since their passing, I have had a fair amount of clinging to the experience of our time together.

I believe I mistook the experience and the impact for something more, well, for something else.

When people come into our life, they bring to us a new understanding, a new way of looking at things, so a new perspective, a new level of awareness or a key to unlock the door of some possibility.

This person, in conjunction with an inevitable, impending change-a-brewin' inside of me, unleashed a hunger for a life that I wanted and just needed a nudge toward.

I have been 'stuck' on memories and recollections of this person, at times a constant feed and at other times, a mental deposit here and there. The 'stuckness' stems from the lack of resolution in our relationship and feelings that I have harbored--unfairness abounded on both sides and I am NOT a fan of leaving things undone.

More than harbored feelings, because of the resiliency of the 'feed', I am beginning to look deeper for what I learned, for the impact.

My conclusion thus far is this--for me, I want change and I mean BIG change. I started working full-time November of last year for the first time in my life. Until then, I had always been financially dependent on someone else at any given point in my life. Not anymore. I don't make enough to live luxuriously but I make enough to get by on my own and I don't ever want to go back. I am empowered financially.

I have homeschooled my children from birth and this has been an amazing, life-changing experience but with working full-time now and needing (and not being afraid to ask for) more time for my own growth and evolution, I am preparing to transition them from our private education to public education.

Furthermore, I have been giving serious consideration to returning to graduate school (again) and actually completing the program I start. Psychology seems to be an ideal compliment to the yogic path and there is a graduate program near me. This plan is still under construction.

There are so many more changes that I contemplate daily but suffice it to say I am on the move...and the impetus was a fleeting connection to someone else and the impact of our interplay.

The "Twist" in Me

twist: (n.) a peculiar attitude; eccentric turn or bent of mind; eccentricity.

I was thinking today as I was shuttling my children around town--drop-off my daughter for violin, then drop-off my son to acting, then pick-up my daughter from violin, then pick-up my son from acting--I'm typically just teetering on the edge of sanity.

I mean, really, if you could see the thoughts reeling through my mind and the course they take over an 18 hour period, on most days, I'm certifiable.

I take some sort of comfort in that, don't ask me to explain, I'm not sure I could--it's my constant and I'll take security however it comes. And, while I should be ashamed of it given my yogic path, I'm surprisingly, not.

I embrace it--it's why I chose my blog name. A word that summarizes the physical practice and the state of mind I work from.

I am twisted.

I succumb to rage.

When I drink red wine, I occasionally drink well past the happy place. Not to the drunken-sludge-making-a-scene-on-the-street-corner limit but well past happy.

I veg in front of the TV from time to time--guilty pleasure.

I peak at the headlines on trashy magazines.

I cuss like a drunken' misfit or...Kathy Griffin (love her!)

When someone shares good news, I have been known to have tinges of 'why not me'?



I also seek solace and peace in my mind, amid the craziness and the murky waters, and I actually find it from time to time through diligence and desire.

I feel deeply and often twist myself inside and out over an emotion but you won't find hate in this heart...I love with intensity and am led by my compassion. Life means something to me as do the people I share this planet and lifetime with.

I love with a devotion that even time or distance cannot dissolve--when you've made your way into my heart, you're a keeper.

So twisted--so very, very twisted.

So beautifully twisted.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mantras: Negative v. Positive

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of 'Eat, Pray, Love', says "The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I'm lonely... I'm a failure... I'm lonely... I'm a failure) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras."

This was posted on the Shiny Yoga blog (listed under my Sites of Interest) and I have to say, before I say what I came to say, that I need to give this book another chance.  I was given a copy by a friend and read the first few chapters only to be put off.  Perhaps I was jealous that anyone could have the flexibility to travel the world in search of the divine essence of life, perhaps I wasn't ready for such a truth-telling, perhaps a little of both.

Nevertheless, this book has crossed my path in many ways over the last few months, references made to, summaries of, etc., and ALWAYS, I am moved by what I read.  The time has come for me to get over myself and give it a go...again.

Back to the original clip I shared.

"The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I'm lonely... I'm a failure... I'm lonely... I'm a failure) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras."

What mantras are seducing you?

Is it possible to create new mantras that we will become monuments to?

Is it possible to resurrect our courage and dare to live into that which we can hardly imagine?

Is it possible to live before our time to die?

There are so many hang-ups tangling and hindering our progress.  These hang-ups stem from stories we have told ourselves over the course of our lives, our negative mantras.

We need new stories~we have been ghost-written for too long.  The time has come to author our own lives.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by its own fullness, not by its reception~~Harold Loukes


I have relentlessly been an individual who loves freely and quickly~the sting of such a characteristic gripping my heart with frequency.

So I have asked myself, at times, when I fall to my knees from unrequited love 'will I do it again?' and the answer is always, 'yes, yes and yes!'~much to my chagrin.

Because you see, I would rather practice the expansion of my heart over the course of this lifetime than the contraction or measure.  I would rather feel with passion and grace than stand hardened to the beauty that presents itself when the heart prepares to expand, embrace and bask in the presence of another.

I will surely be hurt again and I will surely continue to feel the shards of unrequited love from a time recently past but my heart loves on and on and on, the poor sap, and never ceases to swell from even the smallest act of beauty birthed by the divine.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where you'll find me...

Contemplating life before yoga and life after yoga.

Who knew that standing on my own two hands would translate into a screaming desire to dare more change than I ever thought possible...


Spending the morning alone...



enjoying the silence, the not having to speak.

Just read that 'Groundhog Day' may have Buddhist undertones...

...decided to watch (again), just in case.

Coffee is scrumptious

May have a yin practice later

Hey~Carrie Bradshaw's gay guy pal is in this movie...with hair!

I need to pee...

If I really think about EVERYTHING that needs to be done right now, instead of this movie, I might suffocate from the weight in my chest~the anxious weight...

Caught between the desire to accomplish and the need to be still...

Caught between the need to accomplish and the desire to be still...

...the want to be still?

Here we go...6:00 am, the alarm has just sounded with "I Got You Babe" by Sony and Cher.  If he only knew what was beginning...the conversation with random man in the stairwell that he gives little thought to...the breakfast bar and his unmet need for espresso and his unwillingness to meet anyone with authenticity.

This could be good...

...I shall see.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Call Me by My True Names

This spoke to me because of my service as a rape advocate and for those times when I forget that the person capable of hurting another, has a context from which they come, whereby they turn their own pain outward and on to another...

Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons
to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Not so little indeed...

The little things? The little moments? They aren't little...~~Jon Kabat-Zinn

This morning, I decided to take a walk at my favorite little park on the river after a brief spinal series to charge my energy channel.

A bus was sitting at the corner bus stop and just as I was about to cross the street to the park, a man in a uniform walked up with his breakfast in one hand and his coffee in the other. He offered a most pleasant and honest smile set upon a welcoming face with gentle eyes.

"Good morning ma'am, are you riding the bus this morning?" His uniform revealed that he was the driver.

"No, I'm just waiting to cross to the park, thanks."

"Okay then, you have a wonderful day."

"Thank you, you too," I offered back.

And just as I was taking my step, he said, "I love your hair, it reminds me of..." and he pulled open his phone to show the background picture of him and a beautiful woman with short hair, "...Anita Baker," he finished.

He had met her in Detroit and I told him how cool I thought that was, and it was the truth~~I might like to have my picture taken with a yoga instructor that I admire or the Dalai Lama, even Richard Gere, and put it on my phone.

My point?

He extended himself to speak to me and more than that, he ventured for conversation. Through his actions and sincerity, he had already made my day by setting such a tone.

As I was walking away, still crossing to the park, I felt emotions well up inside of me and briefly had a knot in my throat prompted from his kindness and courage to extend himself to others. It was touching yet unfamiliar to have someone so gracefully step across the boundary that strangers so often construct between themselves and others.

I continued thinking about my driver as I made my rounds through the park, the sky waking up with color. I really wanted to be on that bus because he is surely changing the world, one passenger at a time.

Not so little indeed...