Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Commitments for a New Year

Clean slates...

Fresh starts...

There is something refreshing and inspiring about the starting over, like turning a page, like being born again.

Well...for me, already I feel as if I have been born again and again this past year...change is my constant, I say it time and time again.

Change is my commitment - I do not fear it, I will not be moved.

I do not feel a need to set a resolution - fortunately I already live with intention, more or less guided by my heart, more or less living my least trying to.

Time is a human construct and the passing of time inevitable...we are presented with a "New" Year everytime time we consciously choose to engage in our life, when we set about to live in harmony with our truth.

However your clean slate presents itself, however your fresh start's to happiness, here's to authenticity and here's to jumping into our lives at any and every 'awakened' moment.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Patience w/Self...

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - everyday begin the task anew~~Saint Frances de Sales

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Viparita Karani...I think I love you

My mind was all over the place this morning and I already anticipated that it would be but in spite of feeling very drawn to my warm spot in bed, I resisted the pull and trudged to the shower.

Within 20 minutes, I was driving to the studio with barely enough space in between origin and destination to aptly heat my car but I was so consumed with berating myself that I hardly felt the icy cold.

I sighed on the mat and I closed my eyes to the studio around me, trying as best I could to find my center and to cultivate peace before our teacher began the invocation.

You can't strong arm peace but try telling that to my mind when she gets caught in a loop...geez.

We were called to standing and with palms pressed in front of my heart, while the others chanted along, I practically begged for peace, acceptance...anything that could possibly still the quaking inside, even if just to muffle the messages of inadequacy I was feeding myself.

All along, thinking to myself, this can't end well.

Sun Salutation A...the first was effortless and divine as I floated from posture to posture.

But then...

A buzz kill. Ujayi breath became irritating...literally, irritating the back of my throat. I live in Florida, I thought to myself, are we seriously lacking in enough humidity to moisten my breath for just this hour? The 'constriction' in the back of my throat tickled every time I inhaled...change the breath, you say? Hell no...I'm a serious yogini, surely I can create moisture there if I just swallow enough spit.

Focus Tina.

Calm the mind...soothe your practice with a gentle breath.

But I kid you not, if practices have themes--and I think, over time, themes emerge in strange ways, from day to day, practice to practice--this practice would be 'the spot in the back of my throat that moisture forgot'. Ideally, however, themes should be that which takes you beyond yourself and your tendencies to explore new possibilities, not turn your mind into one gigantic crock-pot, a veritable hot mess of stagnation.


Finally, nearing the end of class the humidifier was turned on and with every spare brain cell that wasn't occupied by the many available loops in my brain, I willed that wet, warm air my way.

Pray for moisture Tina and moisture you shall have.

The snot faucet swelled with what began as a tickle of impending sneeze pressure before graduating to a double-nostril slurpy clog with lousy surface tension as it repeatedly trickled beyond the brink of my nose.

Every forward folding of my body exacerbated the snot-predicament and my focus was shot, my breath was fragmented at best and worst of all, I wouldn't just take the 2 minute bathroom break for a good blow to get me back on track.

No, no. I stubbornly intended to stick it out. THIS, by the way, is precisely what I teach against in my classes--ignoring your body and all its various messages as you practice.

By the time we came to our backs, I was so distracted by the lingering sneeze pressure piercing my nose, I knew that my asana practice was over...I had fought the good fight and was going to call it quits...just as my instructor changed her usual flow and had us rest our legs up the wall.

This was it--no going upside down, no shoulder stand...just legs up the wall to restore the body, to cultivate healing and peace.

One more good wipe of my wet nose and I obliged.

And at that, the peace came as I settled into my space, warmed by my blanket and lulling my mind with the stillness.

Some days are 'quieter' than others in my head, some days certainly have an element of comedy but the practice continues...I hear all is coming.

Peace and love...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The pomander orange pierced with cloves and tied with ribbon.

My grandmother created this tradition for me when I was five years old...30 years ago at her kitchen table, my little brother at my side.

I have been doing them with my children along the way because I felt drawn to...because my grandmother's longing to share a piece of her tradition with me made it so.

This week has revealed to me the current of family that runs through my life like a invisible thread linking one thing to the next.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Prayer of St. Francis

I am in beautiful North Georgia visiting my parents and siblings with my children.

I will certainly post some pics tomorrow as we head toward the mountains but in the meantime, a story.

I went to church with my family this morning in a gesture of love - I thought it time to make peace with the church I left over 17 years ago.

Instead, I felt sound affirmation for my decision. Everytime I thought I might just be able to get on board, like maybe they loved and accepted all beings, like maybe they could love past differences, like maybe they did not need to change someone elses heart to have their own relationship with their own god...

...they would talk of successful mission trips where Muslims were shown the ere of their ways or how they referred to those, namely Muslims, who do not believe Jesus is the son of god, as living in darkness and it was their duty to redeem those fools the light.

It made me sad and depleted me as I sat through it because I love the color of this world, every shade, every hue...I find it freakin' brilliant.

To that end, for my own peace, I give you my favorite prayer...because I do pray...just not for manipulation of anothers heart or 'soul salvation'.

I pray for peace, for love, for happiness and contentment...I pray for all.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Pendulum..

Swinging back and forth.

Set into motion by forces outside of herself...

Subject to extremes,

Subject to unseens.

Fiercely and wildly craving,

Reason abandoned and caution to the wind...

She stretches toward the precipice, hands off her destiny, heart flailing like wildness and mind bent toward ecstasy...

For the touch,
For the satiation,
For the longing to subside.
For the wrecklessness to rest in the sweet receipt.

The center is her stillness...

Until the force stirs her into wildness, abandon and any restraint muddles through darkness for some sort of security that will never come.

The pendulum is her...and the wildness is her pulse.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


For the next two weeks, I am taking a hiatus from teaching. Fortunately, I have a great friend filling in for me as I take this much needed break that I have been harping about for the last few weeks.

I have taught with consistency for, almost, the last two years and for the last year, I have maintained full-time employment in addition.

Yoga teaching feeds me--it really does. However, I need to step back and focus more on my own practice and my own life in order to refuel the reservoir from which I give.

I have to admit, it's been nice coming home from work and knowing that the rest of the evening belongs to the kids and I--whatever we want to do--without knowing that I must leave again to teach, returning home with only a couple of hours with them before I call it a night.

Last night, I made an unhurried dinner--Mushroom Marsala cream sauce w/onions and pearled couscous (homemade). Then I made truffles, reviewed my little man's schoolwork and we played a family game. Not one second taken for granted.

As I embark on this break time, I find myself in a tricky situation, caught between what I love to do and what I must do.

Fortunately, my day job not only pays the bills but feeds my soul and affords me financial independence--something I have never had until now as I have always been 'taken care of' by my partner-at-the-time.

My yoga teaching feeds the soul but could never pay the bills--at least, not until I own the studio of my day.

I also love my children...dearly (duh) and recognize the importance of my being available for them. Part of mothering mindfully is striking that balance of self-fulfillment, self-care and preservation with...theirs.

I have much to consider in the next few weeks...much.

I had a similar conundrum upon completing my graduate course work--I had been accepted to a university in Atlanta for their PhD program and was prepping to make a smooth transition...until...I didn't.

After all of the go-go-go and hustle that I was clearly capable of during my two years of graduate study, came the downshift and we had time in our days, we had leisure and we had each other.

The more I write, the closer I get to knowing what I need to do.

I love being a mother and I have longed to be a mother since I was 5 years old putting pillows under my shirt and 9 minutes, versus 9 months, later, I would hold a freshly birthed doll in my arms and we would look out my ground level window to the street beyond with the sky on the horizon and I would silently promise to be the love for her I longed for, to be the fortress of safety that I didn't have, to listen to even the space between her words, to fill in every gap I perceived at that precious little age...I promised.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giving Space

This isn't my idea and it's certainly not a new idea but it came to me through a book I was reading, "Life is a Verb".

It one of those great books that you don't have to read from start to finish...pick it up anytime and open to any chapter and begin.

Until I read this book I never thought of 'space' as something we give, as that which can be given as an act of generosity.

As a rape victim advocate I have been doing this for years...holding space, creating space, facilitating space for her to fill. The rape survivor authors that space.

Creating space is certainly something we can do for our students...we should not feel compelled to create the experience for them. The practice will speak to each individual in a different way, in a different tongue and if we don't stand in the way of that, our students can receive in their own way, in their own time.

There are other ways we can create space and I seek out those opportunities throughout my days.

In conversations or other such interactions with others, for myself in the space between my words, recognizing that I don't have to fill every second with chatter. In my mind as I work toward using my breath to guide my mind away from negative or other such destructive thoughts or to calm a budding chaos.

This morning in yoga class my teacher mentioned that we have spikes in our practice as well as plateaus or periods of leveling out.

I may be at a plateau right now... But perhaps I can create space in which to better understand my path, where I'm going, what I have to offer and where I want to grow.

Stillness is not a bad thing so long as it doesn't reach stagnation. Stillness brings perspective and creating space is necessary if we are to have room to grow or change.

In love...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Sweet Release

I love to write.

For me, writing is like a giant exhale...a release or letting go, a deeper understanding or another take.

I am working on a pay it forward post that I was inspired to do by Ecoyogini's endeavor...and it's coming, I promise, but tonight I write for me.

I write because today I ran out of time and I ran out of patience.

I write because my new role at work feels surreal--like I'm an alien navigating a new planet. I know I'm going to love it--god, I know this. For's just different.

I write because I want to remember how refreshing it was to have dinner out with the children after not seeing them all day and wanting to soak up the space between the seconds because I longed for them ALL day.

I write to dance with express sentiment or ideas in new meditate on the expansiveness of language.

I write to process.

I write to remember.

I write to dance.

Most of all, I write to honor experience--ALL experience.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Paying it Forward...

We can be a pretty self-centered bunch-o-folks and I don't think it's intentional, perhaps we stop remembering that we are a small little piece in a gigantic whole, I dunno.

Perhaps we stop remembering that we can have an impact on someone elses life, or at least their day, through our actions or inactions, our words or our silence, the space we hold for them or the space we deny.

As a self-professed and possessed bundle of cocky, I can get a little caught up in me-ness. I'm still balancing the shift I made from it feels good to love me and lift me up. Whatever. It'll even out.

I digress.

Being of the happy-to-be-me variety, I am fed spoonful after spoonful of soul food when I do for others. I feel a part of something and I also feel as if it stirs a little awareness in both me the giver and my receiver of our greater interconnectedness.

This life is so, so good and we are in this hold the door for someone, give up your place in line whether standing or in traffic, surprise a friend or co-worker with coffee or hot tea, leave an anonymous note for someone you know well or hardly at all, write a letter to a loved one instead of a text or're creative, you get the idea.

With all of this being said...

I am thrilled to be one of three people in EcoYogini's 'Pay it Forward' practice and am inspired to do my own.

Want to be a part? Here's the low-down:
  • I will hand make a gift for the first three lovelies to express their interest in the comments section.
  • I have 365 days to create and send your gift--oh the anticipation!
  • What you receive will be a BIG surprise (and when you receive it, huh?).

The only catch is that you must have a blog to join in on the fun and you must do a write up of this 'Pay it Forward' on your space and then dive in by soliciting your own crew of recipients.

Sound good?