Sunday, January 31, 2016

sunday grace: just for one day

this painting is propped on an easel in the downstairs studio.  i started it last september and it has been painted and repainted about six times.  its current state, still unfinished, still a bit of a mess, was inspired by my feelings following the death of david bowie.  i love that i know and experienced its understories.  all of them.  not one of the layers underneath the surface has anything to do with david bowie.

and yet they have everything to do with david bowie.

each layer we live, each moment, each transformation, each version and story of who we are, never leaves us.  they are all there beneath the surface, in the tissue, in the fiber, in the blood, in our individual and complex limbic terrains.

when we show up, they show up with us.

i take great comfort in this thought, especially on days like today.  i am uncertain and a little fearful today.  but i have had some courageous days.  and they echo in the back beat of my pulse.  today they will show up with me, in all my uncertainty and fear.    my own little gang of heroes.

Friday, January 29, 2016

five senses friday

it's been a while, five senses friday.


  • brilliantly white fresh snow
  • pink, purple and blue january sunsets

  • the sound of my own voice learning yoga asanas in sanskrit (my new favorite sound)
  • listening to my own "om"
  • last week i stayed in a hotel that played barely audible house music in the elevator and hallways, i still hear the echo of the beat.  

  • medicinal herb-infused bone broth
  • rose-cardamom syrup in hot cocoa

  • purple hyacinths on the window sill

  • each sacred ordinary object as i arrange and rearrange the tiny altars throughout the house
  • folding one thousand paper cranes

Monday, January 18, 2016

tiny memoir: best of my love

a boy and a girl, too young to be married, much less parents, sit in the parked car around three in the morning following one of his shows. both are exhausted from the endless arguing and disappointments. he is smoking a cigarette. she is desperately trying to figure out what to say next, what to do to lift them from this suffocating place. the familiar acoustic strums of best of my love drift from the radio. the song, already over ten years old, isn't a favorite of either, but they both know all the words by heart. because eagles music softly accompanied the raising of kids in southern california in the 70s. she leans her face against the window and stares up at the night sky, his gaze falls straight ahead and they begin to sing along. there is a moment of lightness, the magnetic pull of a shared story, but as the music fades out, they both know that singing that song is the last thing they will do together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the care and keeping of the yoga teacher trainee

in less than two weeks, i begin om yoga teacher training with cyndi lee.  i am excited and scared. i am ready and so not ready.  i've done my pre-training reading (twice), gathered notebooks, index cards, pens and pencils (i LOVE this bookish-girl part), and maintained a regular asana practice.  i've organized my calendar for the next six months; with increased out-of-town work hours, daily asana practice and weekend trainings, it's going to be full.

this morning i spent some time thinking about how else i can be more ready, how i can prepare in advance for the inevitable challenges that will arise.  i just kept coming back to the same questions:  what are the ways you can take extra care of yourself?  what things do you need to nourish and nurture your body and your soul?  it turns out, i already do and have these things.  i just need to be more intentional about using them the next six months.

for the soul
i chose a guiding word for this journey:  trust.  i know that self-doubt is going to creep in and i have to remember that i can trust my body, my mind, my teacher and my sangha.  i pulled three other art of attention cards (pictured above) in addition to trust that i know will support and motivate me:

  • see:  see your surroundings and lessons as blessings.
  • intuition:  your intuition holds ancient wisdom, trust it.
  • awaken:  awaken to another possibility
i am creating a little practice altar for meditation each morning before training.  here there is a little blue tiny buddha to remind me to have fun, ganesha to clear the path, a wood lotus to represent community, aqua aura quartz for clarity and spirit, and my little "be" ceramic stone.  to further remind me to just show up as i am that day, i will include flowers or greenery from my yard, whatever and however it is on that particular day of the year.

for the body
i need to stay well and capable the next six months.  not a simple task with winter colds bouncing about and lots of travelling.  in addition to my regular winter wellness support, i am adding or increasing the following:
  • bone broth (upper right corner) is kind of the perfect food, especially when you need something powerful but light so you don't have a tummy full of food during practice.  i do like to make my own at home, but i know the time involved is going to be an issue.  i've been testing packaged bone broth for the past few months and the winner is from bone broth company.  i have a feeling a hot cup of bone broth in the morning and afternoon during training is going to save me.  
  • hot water with raw honey, lemon and thin slices of ginger.
  • golden milk (lower left corner) every night before bed.  the turmeric softens and eases body tension and the magnesium promotes deep and restorative rest.
  • i am most worried about my lower back.  i've got a wee bit of a pinch on my sciatic nerve that flares up every once in a while.  in addition to a regular practice of asana specifically for my lower back, i've stocked up on arnica cream and made up a roller ball of doterra deep blue and almond oil.  
  • hot baths with sea salt, epsom salt, baking soda and ginger.
  • maybe a massage.  or two.  or ten.  
i know i can't prepare for every single thing that will pop up and threaten to grow my resistance, but i also know what when i don't take care of myself is when resistance has its tightest grip on me.  these little things give me a fighting chance to make it through with grace and resolve.

i'll keep you posted friends.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

sunday grace: tea + apathy

some days i struggle to stay engaged with the human race.

some days i only want to talk to my dog.

some days the world is too loud and too stupid.

some days the tired seeps into my bones and i just want to sleep for a week.

some days my hyper-awareness of the flaws of people overwhelms me.

some days i am overlooked, betrayed, fooled, manipulated.

some days i feel poor, even though i no longer am.

in these moments it's seductive to slide into apathy, to find ease and relief and comfort in not seeing, not knowing, not caring, not listening, not speaking, not acting, not connecting.  the balm of indifference.  the relaxed posture of passivity.

sometimes i indulge in little sips.  enough to remember that it's just not my cup of tea, that i will always choose to live with curiosity and courage and compassion.

Friday, January 1, 2016

a strange feather

{my first painting of the year and the first in a series inspired by poets and poetry.}

a strange feather

the craziness,
all the empty plots,
all the ghosts and fears,

all the grudges and sorrows have

i must have inhaled
a strange

that finally