Friday, November 20, 2015

We Never Move in Only One Direction

As I drove to yoga class today, I was stopped at a light and my eyes were drawn to a young woman with a cane being lead across the street by a guide. This has happened many times before as the studio where I practice is near a school for people who are blind or visually impaired. But this particular woman's journey touched me immediately and immensely.
The scene transfixed me and I began to cry as I watched in what felt like slow motion. Could this be her first time to cross the street with a cane and a guide? Maybe, or maybe not. It felt like it though. Because the sheer force it took for her to take just one step and then another, was remarkable. I could feel it throughout my entire body and I wailed in response. I knew instantly I was watching a reflection of myself, perhaps of us all. Her head was down, her body crouched and leaning forward willing itself to cross, but the rest of her body and energy was pulling her back the other way. It was so clearly shouting, "I don't want to do this, this is too scary, I can't, I won't!" And yet, she kept going.
Maybe it was her guide there, ushering her across, holding her tightly, and whispering words of encouragement that got her to the other side. Maybe it was the power of her instincts moving her away from the dangerous cars that were about to come roaring past. Maybe it was the power of her will to try and live her life with bravery. I will never know. The amazing part for me was watching as she finally crossed the street. She did not loosen the grip of her fear. It was still holding her, and she it, even after she crossed the road. It all just felt so compelling, and so challenging, and so defeating, so heartbreaking, so life affirming and so...familiar.
I cried because I was inspired by the possibility and impossibility of all that is in any given moment. Even with my full physical sight some days I can't see, or I refuse to see. And I stop myself in my tracks. Some days I don't even try to cross the street. But most days I summon my inner courage and will myself to keep going. Some days it is because of my guides, seen and unseen, and their voices, at times gentle and at times louder than I can almost bear, reminding me of my steps, of my own voice. Some moments I feel so held, by hands visible and not and I glide through the day with ease. But some days, I am still gripped by my fear even after I've completed what seemed like the goal. No matter what, the encouragement never ceases, and that is what brought me to my proverbial knees as I watched the young woman today. The beauty and trust of that young woman and her guide, was profoundly moving. We need each other just as we need our own selves and it is ok. Receiving, to open to receive is an tremendous act of trust.
Moments later, as I listened to my yoga teacher lead us through our practice, my tears now transformed to sweat droplets, something else struck me.
We are never only moving in one direction.
As I stand in mountain, or sit in chair, or stretch in dancer's or relax into child's, or breathe into any pose, my body is reaching for opposite sides of the mat, or opposing directions in space, and that is the fire that ignites the magic of the movement. That is the balance of the whole universe in form on my mat. When I first began to practice yoga, I had no understanding of this. I just thought you put yourself into the position any way you can and hold it. Ha! I couldn't have been missing the point any more so. In yoga the energy must move in all directions to achieve a harmony in the body. But the focus isn't on what's happening in the body, it's what's happening in the breath. Maybe that's true in life too. No matter the hesitation, resistance, perceived struggle, or unease in our actions or inactions, our purpose is to be in each moment. Each crossing, each journey, every creation is an opportunity to feel the sensations of all we are experiencing and then to use our source, the life force within us that connects Us to us, to stretch ourselves beyond where we thought we could go. Beyond what's comfortable, and into the next movement.
As I walked through my day today, there was a lightness of being that penetrated me. Opportunities for learning are infinite and at every corner.
So, to us all...
Cross the road, and the next one, and the one after that. And keep going.
Trust your guides in all their forms. And let them in.
Keep breathing into all the contradictory sensations. Let them be.
Move into your next creation. Again, and again, and again.
May we all be warriors of the Light.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Part of Me

I spoke to a part of myself today who still believes 
I'm not enough. 
Who still thinks she is a 
something to be used 
and thrown away. 
Something to be manipulated 
and torn. 
Something undeserving, 
and ugly. 
Something shamed, 
something unworthy, 
something unloved. 

This part of me feels 
(eternally) sad, 
(infinitely) un-giving, 
purposeless, and unremarkable. 
She sees this reflection in countless spaces and faces all over this resentful world. 
She does not understand trust. 
She only knows fear. 
Anxiety. Guilt. Release. Possession. Manipulation. 
These are her tools. 

I sat with her today.
Instead of trying to change her or convince her of anything. 
I didn't even try to love her. 
I do love her, though, I just didn't want her to disappear once I offered over the love. 
So I just sat with her. 
And saw her and let her 

And as the tears welled up in my eyes 
my whole heart ached for all the experiences, 
all the things that happened 
or didn't happen 
to support her believing 
these stories of disgust 
and disappointment 
and despair.  

I saw illusion 
and I saw truth.
I saw light 
and I saw darkness. 
I saw beast 
and I saw beauty. 
I saw joy 
and I saw grief.
I saw nothing 
and I saw everything. 
And it was ALL 

There is no moral  
or mantra 
or big realization 
here to share. 
And I don't mean that in a cynical way, 
or maybe I do, just a bit 
but nonetheless 
there is just 
More of me. 
More of my Self. 
More expansiveness 
because of my willingness 
to see and be 



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Love Letter

I love myself.

Not because of what I've endured,

Not because of who I love,

Not because of who loves me.

Not because of the clothes or jewelry I wear.

Not because of the sound of my voice.

Not because of who I call my friends or who I consider my adversaries.

Not because of the music I listen to,

Not because of the meals I cook,

Or how clean my kitchen is.

Not because of how I have chosen to care for my family or who I have chosen for a partner. 

Not because of the real color of my hair.

Not because of how white my smile is,

Or how brightly is shines.

Not because of the color of my eyes,

Or the size of my boobs or how saggy or firm they are. 

Not because of the books I've read or the degrees I have or the letters after my name. 

Not because of the number of marathons I have or haven't run, or the time I spend practicing yoga or exercising each day.

Not because of my ability to endure physical or emotional pain to earn outward or inward acceptance. 

Not because I have a green thumb, or a brown one or a black one.

Not because of what I've grown, inside my body or out. 

Not because of how I earn money, now or ever. 

Not because of the number on the scale, or on the tag in my clothes or any other numbers that apparently define some aspect of who I am. 

Not because of my successes or failures in my eyes or anyone else's. 

Not because of the work I've done in service or in self-evolution. 

Not because of what I have sacrificed for the greater good of my family or my communities. 

Not because of my choices or my passions or my abilities.

Not because of what I say,

Not even because of how I think. 

I love myself. 

Because I am Spirit in a body. 


Because I am made of the same energy as the moon and the sun, the stars and the trees, 

I am life itself. 

My journey here is on Purpose. 

And surely that is worthy of my love and devotion. 

When I am in doubt, confusion, overwhelm, or other states of fear, I will practice...

When I am in joy, gratitude, alignment, or other states of love, I will practice...



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Walk On

I'm teaching myself to walk again 

Burnt and bruised 
Frayed and misshapen 
Blistered and torn 
Tattered and bloodied 

Step by step
I march 

Feeling my way though the darkness, the shadows, the pain, the fear, the raw open wounds 
Enlivened by every move 
Bringing more breath, more oxygen 
To each cell of my body 

The cells themselves have life 
They are encoded and encrypted with the energy of life 
Past, Present, Future 

They await my messages
They await my drive 
They await my momentum
They await my information 
They await my activation 

I will infuse them
With the breath of stillness
Of gentleness and ether 
Of the stars and the cosmos 
The heavens 
The depths of the earth 
The sacred dirt that rests at our feet
Waiting for us to move 
The earth which grounds us, restores us, gives us life and awaits the inhale and exhale of our existence 

I walk
I walk 

I can't recall when I have done this before, but surely my knowing does 
For the information is my own

I can all but see the path ahead except I won't allow it yet 
I am sitting in present time and learning again and again and again 
How to walk, how to breathe, how to move, how to make love to the world and all its inhabitants 

There are limitless gifts 
There are limitless possibilities 

Yet, I am lost in the unknown of it all 

But, I can find my feet 
My left and then my right 
One inch, one foot, maybe a mile and then a marathon

Where to? 

The destination is the journey, the path 
Of Self 
Of selflessness 
of unconditional love
of connectedness 
of One

Walk, my friend, I Am Here 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All Things Are Possible

the wind flows through us
into every crevice
washing away the old
cleansing our insides
purifying, enchanting, lovely

we feel the shift
the re-alignment
the return to center
we embrace ourselves
queens of the natural world
goddess of the trees
we are one, they are us and we are them
we breathe in, they breathe out
we mold, we continue

the light beckons
let me enter
let me shed upon the darkest places 
an eternal flame
you will shine
you will rise from where you're sitting
you will be enveloped by love
you will see that indeed 
all things are possible 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Birthday Blessing

I can feel the weight and weightlessness of all those who love me 
Who have ever loved me 
Who I have ever loved 
Urging me on 
Guiding me 
Holding my hand 
Encouraging me 
As I walk into these unknown places 
I hear Truth whisper 
You are never alone 


You are loved beyond measure 


We lift up one another 
Life has just begun 
In each new breath 
And again and again 
And so it is 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Starter Marriage

Thirteen years ago today on a beach in Bermuda, I got married. Surrounded by our closest friends and family, (maybe even you were there), we made promises, circled one another, exchanged rings, and broke a glass. It was a magical and enchanted night and weekend. I felt I was present for all of it, if not a bit intoxicated with the anticipation and longing for a life yet to be. After six years together we were ready to move forward. But if I'm being truthful, the caution signs were there, and maybe they were even big, red stop signs. But we both ignored them all. 

We celebrated one anniversary together and by that time I was a shell of myself. The specifics aren't important, although at the time they felt monumental, but by the time Halloween came around, I was out the door. It took me one week or even less to mutilate an entire home into only what I could fit into my car, along with my two canine companions. The last thing I remember seeing before I left was my $2400 wedding dress on the floor of the dining room, in a pile of dirt and dust, still in its plastic, still waiting to be taken to a special cleaners to be preserved. It never made it, I'm sure. I couldn't even look at it. There are still times when I'm in search of a family possession and when I can't find it, it hits me, I gave it AWAY, I let it GO, I couldn't care for it AND me. I chose me. Yes, I chose me. 

It took many miles (metaphoric and physical) and many years of healing to let go of those unfulfilled promises and lost connections. To let go of the feelings of failure, guilt, shame, blame. To let go of the life I thought I would have and grab a hold of the life I must have. 

Soon after my divorce was FINAL I read a book that called first marriages that ended quickly, happened in your twenties or thirties that came with enormous growth periods (i'm simplifying for blogging purposes) "starter marriages" and although it suggests a relationship with less purpose and roots than I believe is true of most of these marriages (mine included), I have used and admired the term ever since. 

Today during my morning meditation, upon realizing that today is in fact August 4th, this is what came bubbling forth...

Starter marriages are only for those of us who are willing to have our hearts broken wide open and who are willing to be left with nothing but FAITH that they will keep loving and being loved, again and again. They are only for those of us who need to learn that they ARE love and that the truest love comes from loving ourselves and that outside love is only a reflection of inside love. 

Starter marriages are only for those of who get that there is strength and power in changing our minds and following our guts and listening to our hearts and believing we deserve all that we desire to create, even if that means hurting people we care about and feeling utterly alone. 

Starter marriages are only for those of us who are okay with taking risks, dreaming big, and loving with whole hearts. They are only for those of us who get that the length of a marriage, or any relationship, does not dictate the effect it has on our learning, or on how deeply we care for another individual, or on how successful we have been in loving and being loved.

Starter marriages are only for those of us who understand intuitively that words and paper do not alone create meaning upon which an entire life can be built. They teach us that the foundation to create a lifetime of love and devotion begin only within the structures of our own spirit, soul, and body. 

And starter marriages teach us the sometimes awful truth that love just isn't enough to make a marriage work. Love for another person can't fill the gaps that are only there for us to heal, it can't illuminate the shadows within us when the only light we need is the one that shines from within. And as strong as the loving connection between two people can be, it simply won't stand in the way when those people understand that their time is through, even if they don't know why. And that is mainly because LOVE doesn't end just because the relationship does. In fact, I don't think it ever ends, but that's another story. 

Maybe you can learn all these things without ever having a starter marriage. I bet many of you have. We are all infinite beings capable of creating our own journey to discover what is TRUE for us, and this was my way. And maybe my "was-band's" way too. (Don't you love that term? - it's borrowed) Really, all that's left to say is how grateful I am for the EXPERIENCE of it. And to have had such a strong agreement with an individual who was willing to dare right along with me. And even more, I am grateful for the truth of HOPE which is clearly this - you can always BEGIN AGAIN. 

(For Mark - who stands by my side, and for whom I said "yes" again.)