Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the deep.

I drown in the shallows
come alive in the deep

i'm forced to float up there
finding others so sweet

deep can be quiet
but much more to keep

gather your soul friend
for you'll need it to keep

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let it Sink Quietly.

You will remember the shape 
of my footprints.

You'll take with you my sadness
and crash it about.

Transformed into joy and frothiness,
 let it sink quietly, bubbles in the sand.

Spread wide out to be baked 
by the warmth of the sun until it is no more.

Only what is left of me, the essence, 
you shall take into your very depths. 

And I shall smile.

Down and still down into your dark 
and sacred memory. Forever.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Juicy Lucy.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Got our tree today. Even though I felt like my head was going to explode. I think that the moving and being a bit rundown, some lack of sleep thanks to a new environment and two pets that also have a lot to say about it all in the middle of the night combined with people actually sick out in the public...have given me a run for my health money.

So the tree sits and waits patiently for lights and I lie in bed. And drink juice. Lots of juice and water. My choice of juice currently, anything with vitamin c. I love the Naked Juices and there is one called Power C Machine that I'm drinking now. Can't wait to get my real juicer for Christmas. 

Juice it up people. Let's not get sick, together. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

To New Beds, Christmas Trees and Breakfast!

I generally am not very materialistic. I'm really not. I was half into that phase for a minute and it gets old. Not very fulfilling.

I AM into nesting, however... and I have to say that after many years of wanting them, I finally got the Anthropologie bedding. I'm so excited about it. I'm pretty sure that all I'm going to want to do is snuggle in my bed all day in my new cute blankets. 

I can take my computer to bed. I can write there, mess with my new website, schedule trainings and retreats and whatever else I get myself into. It will kind of be like I invested in a new office. Right?

It's not so bad if you look at it that way. Plus I bought it when it was 25% off on Black Friday.     
(I get my thrifty, a.k.a cheap gene from my father, thank goodness.) But this was a spend worth the wait. When I get a bed that is not in a hotel next week, I'll post a picture of my office/bed. It's the simple things, people. 

To new beds, christmas trees and breakfast in your own kitchen!! 

Not my stuff. Just thought it was funny that it had two of three things I'm excited for. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yoga Shmoga.

Reading a book by Paulo Coelho. I rarely get to read fiction anymore, it's usually either a book about yoga philosophy or a book about the body. But I LOVE Paulo Coelho and since I'm on vacation...AND I no longer have a job even though I'm jumping in to start my Erin Kouvas, Creative Wellness business. 

It's interesting this book because it brings up questions of life satisfaction and the meaning of it all and it weaves in yoga. Of course, who doesn't weave in yoga these days? But the main character in this book is searching for something and she takes yoga classes but can't help but feel that it's all a bunch of malarkey. It makes me wonder if that's what some students in class are thinking. The odds are good that it must be happening for some. 

I never had that experience. It's always just clicked for me. Not all the physical practices did but certainly the message and the spirituality of it. And it's making me wonder what would be the difference between myself and someone who does it but can't help but think it's a lot of hoo hah. 

The fact that I have questioned the status quo, adults and religion since I was a young child maybe? Don't get me wrong, I love and believe in God but I have always doubted hellfire, all of the rules and certainly God's stern view of these children that he lovingly created. And even more than those stories, I questioned the fact that every religion said that it was right and that all others were wrong...even if they thought they were must just be the Devil confusing those poor people. Not us, though. We've got this shit down pat. Hmmmm, I thought, interesting... 

Either way, yoga and everything else in this world is something you have to decide for yourself is helpful for you or not. If you decide to try it, commit yourself to 10 classes and at least 3 different teachers and while we're at it, two different styles of yoga before you say no thanks. I truly believe that yoga is for everyone but that you just have to find the right teacher/style for you to get you hooked. It's physical, which helps you calm the mental which lets you tap into the emotional and experience the spiritual. 

It's a whole lotta good. Check it out, skeptics! ;)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mother Experience.

I get that things don't always go the way we want them to. 

I get that. 

I have seen in the past something that I really wanted burn into dust. I am sitting with something going on in my life at this very moment, a situation that I wanted to go one way...but is very definitely taking a turn in another direction. 

And it is because of these past experiences that rocked me and taught me, that I am able to sit in the midst of uncertainty and breathe. 

Thank you, Experience. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

All You Need Is...

       Love needs no words.   No explanation.     It just is.

Sometimes people need it to be qualified, quantified, proven like a mathematical equation.

Sometimes that happens. But when love is flowing, you just feel it, you just know. It doesn't have to be proven because you feel it in your stomach and your bones. 

Sometimes you will wait until seemingly the end of time for a person to say the words you've wanted to hear from the very first day you met them. And they just can't say it. Perhaps they've been hurt too deeply, they're too afraid. Perhaps they're waiting for you to say it.

Sometimes they say too much, too soon and you feel too much too soon...and then it all folds in like a house of cards that haunts you.

Whoever can write down the recipe for things turning out in the form of a perfectly baked relationship, well, that person deserves much more than the Nobel Peace Prize. Whoever can judge others'  relationships because they are and always have been perfect at relationships needs to stand up and be known. 

You must go through the ups and downs. You must climb the mountain and be knocked the hell off of it. Scrape yourself on every body part during the long way down. And hurt. And always remember that day, not by choice but because it sits in your body like a kidney stone.

But then. Be brave enough to do it again. Without knee pads and wrapped up in mummy tape, like the dead. No one wants to date a mummy. If you want to be one for a short time to heal, that's healthy but don't wait until your next lifetime frozen hard in there if you can help it.

No, be alive and fierce and weak and sweaty, nervous as hell but expecting only the best. Only the best.

Because someone wants to give that to you. And that person will show up, day after day. When you need coffee. When you're in the hospital. When you're the meanest thing in the whole wide world. When you claim that you do not love them, that you cannot, that there is simply too much that has happened and it will never, ever work.

When that person can root down like an oak tree and make you see the height of their strength and the depth of their love and it will make you shake. When they will wait and give you space and let you breathe your air, think your thoughts and feel your feelings, without needing you to be or do anything, you will know that you are loved.

We are all the assholes and we are all the heroes and the victims and the god blessed saints. What matters to you? Who matters to you? How are you showing up for that... how are you, you beautiful be-ing. May you be loved to the depths of your soul and the height of your amazingness. 


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Muddy Brack. Poetry.

Stillness hears your heart beat
silence hears your wish
the tightness of this moment
is capture to the fish

the moment that he's hooked
is when he knows somethings amiss
but when the air and sunlight hit
his muscles start to twitch

Let me go back...

Into the darkness
into the black
back to the coldness 
and the muddy brack.

it's safer there
there's no light to shine
on my scales and
the noises aren't pitched so high

i can hide, I can slither 
mud on my belly
and feel the cool comfort
ouch, you throw me around so carelessly.

it's over now
the deed is done
one moves on with the day
and the other becomes none.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dream State.

Sometimes I think that a whole separate world exists in our dreams. 

Our dreams seem to want to tell us something, don't they? Where do they come from? It seems like they might be just a jumble of pictures that have been in our head in some way or another, and then spit out in random moments while we are unconscious.

However, there are times when you dream about something or someone...and it seems impossible to shake. What does it mean? If only someone could tell you, wouldn't it reveal some greater picture in your life? 

I look up dream meanings a lot and mostly, they're disappointing. I find myself looking for a specific answer, which is absolutely ridiculous. If I have an opinion, then why am I searching? I am always searching. It is part of my DNA to want to understand the mysterious. The spiritual. The meaning behind the meaning. 

So dreams speak to me. I had a professor once tell me that you definitely have to interpret your dreams yourself. She had studied symbolism as well as a multitude of other subjects, written books about various subjects herself so I take her advice to heart. What do the items in the dream say to you, she would ask. 

For example, at one point in my life, I could not stop dreaming about alligators. I would be walking on their backs, swimming with them, seeing them in the water from the shore. It means something. Why alligators? Really doesn't make sense for a landlocked Ohio girl to dream constantly of this creature which she would never interact with. 

I felt like it was a symbol of my subconscious. Of wanting to go deeper. The thing that lurks just beneath the surface, always there, always waiting patiently. And when you least expect it, those eyes that pop up out of nowhere. Fascinating.

What do you dream of? Does it stick with you? Do you just brush it off like cracker crumbs? Does it mean anything? Or nothing at all?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Shit Carrying.

Sometimes people hurt you by the way that they speak to you, or by their actions. Take a beat. Take two. In fact, take a day or as long as you need. Write them a letter to get out your first reactions. 

See how much of what you're feeling is your stuff and not what they're saying to you. How much of what you're feeling are you feeling because it's old stuff that you believe about yourself and you're not being honest about that? A lot of times we react to people in a certain way because it reminds us of another situation from our past. They are not those other people, this situation is entirely new. So get some space around it to investigate.

And then be honest about your feelings in as kind a way as possible. Holding shit in only makes more of it in your life.

And in the end, you may find out that you were both wrong about your assumptions. And if not, if they really are just being an a-hole....which we all have the capability of.... just let them figure out their own journey. It's not your shit to carry. Don't carry the shit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Moment to Moment.

I've been sitting in traffic for over an hour and it seems like we could be here for awhile longer. They've stopped traffic coming from the other direction and there have been two helicopters that have landed and then flown away. There is a smell of smoke in the air. 

A feeling of sadness, or sickness has settled into my stomach and I've said a few prayers. Things like this always make you feel great big kindness towards people that you don't know. Make you focus solely on them. It's interesting. But for the grace of God, that would have been me. I stopped awhile back at the rest stop only because I didn't have any more cash for tolls. I stopped at the food counter and they took so long, so I thought at the moment. And now, I'm sitting in traffic a half mile to a mile or so away from a devastating car accident. I've been up since 6:30 am (16 hours) and have been in my car for 7 hours. Not even a small bit important. Not even a small bit. Someone's life is being changed or maybe lost in this moment. 

This stuff is happening all the time, of course, but being close to it always makes it so much more real. Palpable. I feel like this is why service to others in this life is really the only way to live. No matter what your career might be, there is always the opportunity to serve and lift others. 

I was watching The Power of Myth last night...Joseph Campbell... and in it he was telling the story of a man who was about to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge, and then a police officer grabbed that man. And as they were about to fall over the edge that the man had tried to jump from, a second police officer grabbed onto the first and saved them all. All the while, risking his own life very much in the process. And when asked why he did that, the man said I couldn't live with myself if I hadn't tried. He was willing to risk everything, his job, his family, his life, Campbell says because we all know at some very deep level that we are all one. That we exist within each other. One huge living organism. 

I had a coach once tell me that we are all cells in the body of humanity. I think he heard it somewhere, I can't remember where now. And to be a cell of be a cell that fights off the cancer. 

That's pretty deep. But we all do have the ability to send out energy into the world. What energetic field are we giving off? What ripple effect do our actions and words have on others? 

In a moment, it may be gone. Hopefully we give as much as we've got while we've got the chance.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

hero's journey.

Saw the movie The Judge tonight. 

So. Sad. 

But a beautiful movie that captures the complexity of family and regardless of that complexity, the love within. 

The best line goes to the ex-girlfriend when he goes home to visit for a rather sad occasion. 

The two of them are sitting in a diner and she says something like, I decided from then on that I was going to be the hero in my story. Does that sound cheesy? 

And he replies, no, it sounds epic. 

I want to be the hero in my own story. I want others around me that are the heroes of their own stories. I want to help lift people up to be the heroes that they are. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Just wow. 

You truly can never stop learning in yoga and in life. I'm in the midst of my accidental second 500 hour teacher training (I just love this teacher and her outlook and teaching style and beliefs, etc...and I have 3 years to finish if I want to) and, dare I say, it just keeps getting better. I just keep getting deeper. There has not been ONE boring moment in the two days that I've been in training and we start at 7 am and finish at 8 pm. So...there's that. And then there's the awesome people you meet and the fears you face and the growth that happens. All on the side of new knowledge and brand new teaching tools.

It would be easy to think that you know everything, when really you have only scratched the surface. How interesting life is. How much to know. How much to be curious about. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Asking the wrong question gets you nowhere. 
A good question is invaluable. 

Playlist Requests. 9/23/14 Gentle Yoga Playlist

Friend,  Sandy Rivers Remix by Silky Sunday
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
I Still Believe by Mariah Carey
Ascentia by Dub Sutra
Surround You by Echosmith
Shadowland by Nitin Sawhney
Priya (Beloved) by Michael Mandrell
Hero by Mariah Carey
Waterfalls by TLC
Breathing Soul by Gustavo Santaolalia
Butterflies by Michael Jackson
The Calming Mind by Yoga Tribe
I Won't Give Up by Lennon
The Promise by Tracy Chapman

Let the Wonder Begin.

I write because I have something within me that wants to come out. Something that wants to be said. I know now that I edit the message, many of us do, sometimes altering too much. I know now that I need to just let go and let the message speak for itself.

Because that is life. I want to be pulled towards things, not push nor be pushed. I want to let my life be an extension of my art, whatever that is. I want to love fully and be loved fully and let that love rain down on everything and everyone in my life.

I am a writer in my heart, but so many other things. I want to inspire others to find all of their parts, even if they have to chase after them a bit like papers scattered in the wind. Oh yes, this is mine.. oh yes, and this as well. 

Life is funny. We all have periods of ups...of downs...of silence...of discovery. And then, we begin to know who we are. Like watching a rose opening. Ah, we say. And once we do, the love and the wonder truly begin.

I kind of love aging. 
I'm beginning to love it. The physical part, eh...but the knowing yourself, that's the good stuff right there. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sleep Envy

No sleep for the... weary, wicked, lovely and amazing?? It's all in how you look at it...

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?

Ernest Hemingway

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.

Mahatma Gandhi

People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.'

If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen.

They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.'

So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.

George CarlinBrain Droppings

The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.

Poppy Z. Brite

I wonder why I don't go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

(Bathtub diaries).

Legs strewn around 
The bathroom strangely lit
Hanging from the shower rod
Chomping at the bit

Love lost in the underground
Never fakes the fit
The warmth pervades
The warmth, it makes me sit

The drops unknown
To you or me or...quit
If only life goes on my dear
Then that would be all over it

What do I say
What do I mean 
What meaning fills
The in between.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Courage to Make a Difference.

I have always considered the wars going on in our world. I live very far away from them but I know that they affect all of us, regardless. I watch the news shows occasionally, but to be honest, I don't always trust it. There is also the fact that I don't like constant negative spin by a lot of the media channels and thirdly, it does have a way of making me feel helpless. No one likes feeling helpless.

However, there is something about a photograph that can get into my system and never leave it. There is something true, something poignant. A moment captured, a reality revealed. When I was younger, I wanted to be a photojournalist. I had photos that I had torn out of magazines on my walls. Images that had captured me. My friend once told me as a teenager that I liked to be depressed because of the few images hanging there of children who were poverty stricken and maybe starving in Africa. It wasn't that I liked to be depressed, it was that I thought those children were beautiful and strong and deserved to be seen. It was a reminder of life and death and the human spirit.

I am and always have been a bleeding heart. I have witnessed the human condition since I was a child and wanted to help, protect and make people feel better. These are parts of me that are as real as the blood that flows through my veins. But I'm not a person who denies reality and I also have my dark side, shyness, anger and fear, to name a few of the demons that I've struggled with.

Recently, in this latest war that we are involved in, my mind was captured by James Foley, the first of the three recent beheadings by ISIS militants. And since then, Steven Sotloff and David Haines; although my attention has backed off because of a busy life and, honestly, just not wanting to be fixated on something that I can't control or know how to help. I'm guessing I'm not alone in these feelings.

My heart goes out to these men's families. These men who were only trying to help to better this world, to help the displaced citizens of that region. And when you start thinking of all of these displaced citizens and the life they are living, the heart cannot help but take a pause in it's beating for the uncertainty of how to handle so much? I saw recently some news coverage of food being dropped to people living in a camp and some of the refugees being urgently picked up by these rescuers who were accompanied by a journalist covering the story. All of them very much in danger of losing their lives by the ISIS extremists while doing so. 

Some would say, don't go there. I say, how can you tell someone not to go there when this cause is beating their very hearts? And how could it not? These images of what is going on are so much larger than any one of us. Lynsey Addario, a New York times photojournalist, recently described the importance of what she does and how she will do it again, despite having been kidnapped twice already by terrorists. "I will cover another war. I’m sure I will. It’s what I do. It’s important to show people what’s happening. We have a unique access to what unfolds on the ground that helps our policymakers decide how to treat certain issues."

Photo by Lynsey Addario for the New York Times. Click for more pictures and story. 

To quote Martin Luther King Jr., "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." The spiderweb of humanity, if you will.

I know why these people are there. It haunts them. And they have the courage to live what they are passionate about. I have only just begun to live this way, living my passions without fear. I have always been plagued by fears, since my childhood. But if I had not lived with fear as if it were a physical thing, at times, I may be one of these people putting my life in danger in a foreign land. And perhaps that was not my path. 

I quoted yesterday the quote by Rilke that says, “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

Wow. How to tie that into this story. Because when I posted it, I was thinking...'if only that were true' of what is going on in the middle east. And maybe it is. But even though I believe that everything can be figured out if the right people put their heads and hearts to it together, this is a problem that is quite large and difficult to maneuver. That quote resonates true for me on a smaller scale of our personal dilemmas with people in our lives. When placing those daily life images in our minds next to these images of war torn, starving and displaced individuals, one cannot help but think that we really need to step up to our non-survival problems in a bigger way. In our cases, "the only thing left to fear is fear itself." In cases where you are literally unsure of your minute to minute can fear not be touched, breathed, lived constantly? It seems like it could make a person go mad to have such a companion as constant fear.

Maybe that's how these ISIS people grew up, maybe they were violently abused or brainwashed, or something... I want to believe that these people doing these atrocious things could have been good if only it had been different. Actually, I do believe that. If they were born into a loving family, with loving belief systems, etc... etc...or exposed even at a later age to a different way. But they weren't. They are who they are now because of their experience, you are who you are because of yours, I am who I am because of mine. Yes, there is a core part of who we are, but if you grow up being treated like an animal, doesn't some of that animalistic behavior become who you are?

So now what?

I can only think to do my best and try to keep lifting myself and others up. One last quote, "to love. to be loved. to never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. to seek joy in the saddest places. to pursue beauty to its lair. to never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. to respect strength, never power. above all, to watch. to try and understand. and never, never to forget." ~ arundhati roy


dark mornings
alone at the keyboard
my dog snores
I'm just waiting for the word

why is this 
what i choose
at the midpoint
between night and day

QVC is on
so are all the old comedies 
i am certain
of finding something to waste time on

but it is here 
i sit and listen
and read 
and wait for grace

Friday, September 5, 2014

Imprint. (poetry by moi).

What is it that
I would say
if I could

that I loved you always
that I never knew
that you rolled upon me
like thunder, delicate like dew?

Inspiration comes and
To places
and from we cannot know

However, there are some things
that will never remove themselves
burned into wood.

I really feel that the writer/creator in me is dying to come out. Hopefully this is one of a million poems to come. I hope, anyway.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tyler Knott Gregson Poetry

Okay, I can't even with this new poet that I'm reading. Just sharing the first two things that I read that make me want to read everything he's written.

What if all we have ever wanted 
isn't hiding in some 
secret and faraway dream 
but inside of us now
as we breathe one another 
and find home in the way
our arms always seem to fit 
perfectly around the space
between us?

What if we are the answer 
and love is the question?
What if all this time 
it was us you were supposed
to find?
I am filled with wonderings
questions and doubt
but of one thing I am certain:
it will always be you
that gives flight to the 
butterflies inside me.
calm to the sea I have become
and hope to the darkness
all around us.
It is you and it has always
been you

You that soothes and excites 
and spreads joy like rainfall
on the already damp earth;
You that pulled me from the longest
sleep and kissed my tired eyelids 
If life is a question mark,
then you, my love, 
are the proud and bold period 
that is typed with certainty.

(I could just die. And with this next one, I'm dead).

Come here
and take off your clothes
and with them
every single worry
you have ever carried
My fingertips on your back 
will be the very last thing
you will feel
before sleeping
and the sound of my smile
will be the alarm clock 
to your morning ears.

Come here
and take off your clothes 
and with them
the weight of every yesterday 
that snuck atop your shoulders 
and declared them home.
My whispers will be the soundtrack 
to your secret dreams
and my hand
the anchor to the life
you will open your eyes to.
Come here
and take off your clothes.

Do with that what you will.

Poems by Tyler Knott Gregson

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reach for the Stars.

I've been thinking about relationships and how we have held the key to finding ourselves through each other all along. Seemingly paradoxically, I have really focused in on putting yourself first in your life. For years, I've used that metaphor of putting on your oxygen mask first.You are the most important person in your life. However, we are also all one represented as different faces of the Universe and should do all we can for others in this life. I truly believe that we are all connected, all faces of the same Universe manifesting in unique ways. Celebrate your uniqueness.

The last few years I have really come to understand that it is relationships that are our greatest teachers. But that you need to know and honor yourself before you can show up fully in that way for another. Great relationships require that we show up fully as our true selves or things go awry...and many of us have forgotten who that is, if we ever knew. 

I'm guessing that most of us knew at one point, even if that was only briefly in childhood. Days where things flowed, when time stood still with wonder instead of dragging or flying by. We may have convinced ourselves that that was just being a child and not something we can have the privelage of in our adult lives. I'm not saying it's always magic and stardust, but there is definitely more than we allow ourselves, myself included. 

That magic is there. The courage to be real, to be vulnerable, to seek the truth is what is needed and may be scary but not so scary as living your second or third or fourth best life. Live your best life. What do you know you need to do but haven't done? Who do you need to call or see? What do you need to say? What do you need to release or invite? What do you need to accept, or who? 

Take a minute with these questions. And then do one thing that scares you. One thing you know you need to do but have been putting off for another day. ♡

This was my 16th day of writing out of the 30 day challenge. Life did get in the way, what with moving and settling in, unpacking and travel back and forth to teach and life coaching and business stuff and writing an article for the paper....(just dawned on me...that's 17 days!) However, I still feel that I was successful because I wrote so many more days than I would have had I not done the challenge. Quite a fitting post for the day that I talked about reaching for the stars. Because when you reach for the stars, the only way to go is up anyway... Namaste, birds.

Day 17, #writingchallenge #writeyourselfalive #writeordie #justwrite

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Life and Death.

Well, I've been up for over an hour and so I thought...I really should get my writing in for the day. This so counts as first thing in the morning when it's 3:45. It's actually the hour that I prefer to write, 2, 3, 4 am. Everything is so quiet. Just me staring at my computer, waiting for the next word to come. Peace and listening.

I spoke with a life coach today, just to experience her particular style because I think she's amazing. As a person and as a business woman and as an inspirer. And basically, she just told me to do it. I have a slight smile on my face as I type that because...isn't that what it is for most of us? JUST FREAKING DO IT. What do you want to do? Do it! Say SO WHAT if you make a mistake, tumble, just move on, get up and do something else. Get like a child and experience your god blessed life. 

This thought leads me back to something else I've been thinking about. I was very weighted down for a couple of days lately after I heard about the journalist, Steven Sotloff, who is being held in the video that had been released where another journalist, James Foley, was beheaded. And then I heard about that man that was beheaded, James ...and I looked into it further online and saw his picture and read about his family and accidentally saw the shocking picture of him after his death. I don't normally like to look at things like that. It's not a refusal that things like that exist, it's that I had nightmares for years, really bad ones for most of my life. Night terrors. And I don't like to put more of those images in my head than I have to. 

Anyway, it was something that I just couldn't shake, the death of this one and the holding of this other one. I know things go on everyday that are terrible beyond our comprehension. But something about this man wanting to do something...make a difference...putting himself out there in a way that he knew was dangerous and then having that happen to him. And to the man that is still in captivity and there are thousands and thousands of people being held in places and situations like that. This man, in this moment became very real and present for me and the weight and sadness of it sat with me. 

And then I saw his calling hours and all of the people who came out to celebrate his life. I saw his mother and his father being strong for those at the calling hours. I saw the people involved really focusing it on the difference that he made in this world instead of focusing on the act of terror. And it helped. It helped because it is true that this man LIVED his life. He had passion for what he was doing and knew the dangers and did it anyway. I'm guessing that there were many moments in captivity where he may have second guessed those decisions. Especially because he was so concerned for the pain that it was causing his family. But he lived while he was alive and what a beautiful example he was for the rest of us. 

See, I really had no idea that I was going to write about James Foley when I ambled in here in the darkness. But he has had an effect on me and I think that is true for many people. Honor this life by living it, not in fear but in courage and authenticity. Thank you, James Foley for your example of courage and authenticity. I know that you rest in peace. 

It is amazing that we don't even have to meet people for them to inspire and ignite us, isn't it? Isn't it just possible that you are inspiring someone as well? What is the example that you are setting? And the thing is...we can choose that in every moment. 

Day 15, #writeeverydamnday #writingchallenge #justwrite #jamesfoley

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Body Patterns and Spine Health.

This morning I woke up really feeling and understanding the scoliosis and rotation in my spine. You can't see it if you're just looking at me unless you're trained to look at bodies. But I can feel it now in the way that I sit, stand and practice. The thing that has truly made me most understand what is going on in my back is doing these handstands for about 200 days. My body always pulls to the left from the top of my handstand and yet seems to pull back against itself at the bottom because of the small rotation. It is said that your yoga practice is like a mirror, even handstands are very telling of what is going on within.

And now I know that my body stance and patterns have adjusted to my body structure by the way that I hold myself and lay down at night. Or that my body patterns have helped to create my body structure. When did it start, 10 years ago, 20, 30?

How do you sleep at night that might be indicative of something that is going on in your body? What body patterns are you creating or following that are reinforcing bad structural choices within you? Is there a stretch that is easy for you on one side that is difficult on the other? Does one shoe wear down more quickly than the other, in the front or the back? These are all questions that show how you hold your body and therefore, what the structure looks like inside.

I always sleep on my left hand side, with my trunk twisted, belly down with my right leg kicked out. That is just such a great resting place for my spine for however many hours I manage to stay in one position (if you didn't catch it, that's sarcasm). But, my my my is it difficult not to lay in that position when I try. I'm really curious, now that I am more aware of this, how much change I can bring about in my body by trying to correct my habits and by experimenting with yoga practices on one side vs. the other. I know it can be done, I just don't know how much is it that my spine actually naturally curves vs. the pattern that I've created for it? If it's patterning, I can make a lot of difference.

Anything that I can do to make my spine healthier and stronger now, you can bet your ass I'm going to as I've seen the effects that an unhealthy spine can have on your life. Your spine is "the river of life" as I've heard it called by yogi, Rod Stryker. If you lose that, life becomes much, much more physically difficult. Life goes on, of course...but I think that we all want to be as functional as we can for a long time to come. 

Making choices that support your best health, as you are now and can be in the future, is key. We all make choices every day, some of them are almost unconscious like the way that we sleep. Some of them are willful decisions almost against the body because we know what we do is bad for us. But once you know better, you CAN do better. Not to do so is just foolish... I know that some people make the choice to ignore what is going on in their body out of a refusal that their body can't do something that they are used to doing. I know that can be difficult, especially for Type A peeps. But living with a permanently damaged spine is so much more difficult than not doing the thing that you want to. For you and for those in your life who will have to take care of you later.

Back to my little scoliosis and rotation. Wish me luck on getting things...maybe a little more straight. Either way, knowledge is power. As long as you use the knowledge you have, of course.

Day 14 #justwrite #writingchallenge #writeeverydamnday #writeordie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

in the wide.

visiting me in my dreams
images of yesterday
why they linger 
why they still

where do they sit 
at such strong will?
i do not call them 
yet they haunt me still

i believe in my soul
that things happen...
i believe that the happenings show 
themselves if they would

or could. who knows?

the ship is set to journey out
the ropes are all untied
the sun just breaks over the horizon
and there is so much, out in the wide

out in the wide...

Day 13 #writeeverydamnday #writingchallenge # justwrite #writeyourselfalive #writeordie

Friday, August 22, 2014

Needs, Wants and Coloring.

What do you want?

No, really. At your core. At your deepest level. Can you even form a clear thought around it? If you come up with an answer quickly, are you sure that it's true? Is that desire a result of what you have thought that you should want for so long that you don't even know any longer, or do you know what you want yet live in fear of what that could mean or what you would risk for it?

Are you uncomfortable? Good. That means this is something that you need to face, embrace and get comfortable with the discomfort so that you can actually get what you want. 

So, what do you want? I've been thinking and talking a lot lately about Anthony Robbins 6 human needs. And yes, there is a difference between need and want. But what you want is a symptom usually of something deeper that you need. Here is the list. 

The Six Human Needs

1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

Basically, he says that we all have these 6 needs, but that most of us focus on one or two in our lives at any given moment. Probably for years at a time. Some of us get stuck in one or two for our entire lives. 

Certainty is a big one for people who like to feel safe. Comfortable. Everything is status quo. Uncertainty is one for those thrill seekers, always needing to be on the edge. Two sides of a coin. An interesting dynamic, for me, because for the longest time these have been my top two. I always craved safety and comfort while a lot of my true nature needs variety and change. Now, I can absolutely say that my top need has become growth and the contribution part of my life has been growing and will continue to blossom. 

Anthony says that to be truly fulfilled, we need to bring more of those last two into our focus. I truly believe that, as well. If you're not growing, you're dying. If you're not something, you start to feel like you have no worth. I know, at one point or another I've been in both of these places. And I've spoken to people lately as a life coach and many people use the words useless or no purpose. Which is obviously not true. These are just stories we tell ourselves and then the stories take over our true selves. Bust out of the story.

But really all of these are needs that need to be met on some level. It's good to look at what need you are really filling in your life and if that is really FULfilling you. 

Back to what you want. Here's an idea. Sit down and write out your vision for your most fabulous life. Make it big, big, big. And then...take little steps towards that. If you give up on it...what do you think will happen. Okay, maybe you made it too big and what could be the consequence? That you don't get all of it and only a lot of it? So many of us waste our time and valuable life experiences by saying that we could never or it's just not meant to be. 

I want to start creating. No, scratch that. I want to continue to create (because we have created our current realities as well) but with even more faith, love, hope, joy and awareness than before. I want to use reds and purples, yellows and greens, bright and beautiful passionate colors with some nice resting colors in there as well because rest is necessary and feels so good. 

And see, what a beautiful world this is. 

Link to Tony Robbins page below.

Day 12, #justwrite #writeeverydamnday #writingchallenge #writeordie

Thursday, August 21, 2014

So Much Stuff.

T minus one day until all of my stuff is packed and out of this hotel. And I mean all my stuff packed except for the things that you use on a daily basis. Stuff that you can survive with for two to three months. 

I have so much STUFF. I'm sure if you have ever moved, you may have thought the same thing. Most of my stuff is books and kitchen stuff....and clothes of course. What if I'm in Alaska at a vodka party? This skirt and boots would be perfect for that...etc... Ladies, you know what I mean. 

It's just now sinking in that TODAY is the LAST day that I will come back to this room where my office stuff is and sit on my computer to do work. Isn't change interesting? We get so used to sitting in a particular chair, in a particular room, doing particular things. Adaptability is actually one of my strong points but...still. These rooms have become a part of me. I've worked here, slept here, cried here, laughed here, had dance parties when I'm celebrating. I've studied my ass off in this room for my 500 hour teacher training and for conducting my own 200 hour teacher training. 

And now, it will be something else. 

Change is good. Tomorrow, the walls will be bare of all of my cards, post it notes, certifications, vision boards and schedules but I hope that some of my energy that was built in this room remains and leaves behind a good feeling. 

Day 11, #writeeverydamnday #writingchallenge #justwrite #writeordie (I've been wanting to use this hashtag from the beginning. lol) 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lows, Highs and the In Between.

Wowzas...There is so much going on right now, that the only way I can hope to keep up with this writing challenge is to journal what is up. 

For those of you who don't know me, my husband owned a hotel, which we lived in for the last two years. Yes, I lived in a hotel. I'm sure that a lot of writing will come out of that experience in time to come. He just sold it and we have moved another hotel. We are now residing in Cleveland for a short time while we are planning where the permanent residence will be.

So, packing has been a large part of my life recently. And a great tip that my life coach gave me recently was that as I threw things away, to also attach to those things habits or actions or thoughts that no longer served me. I threw away old papers and indecision. I threw away half dead plants and sadness. I threw away needing things to turn out a certain way and an old shirt or two. 

It's a great practice. I felt my soul lift a little each time I lifted the garbage can lid. How many people can say that? 

I can tell you that I, like many of you to be sure, have had struggle in my life. My friends and family who know me well know all about that and thank God for them and their open ears and hearts. Yoga helped me through as well by helping me find my self, my voice, the beginnings of who I am now and the seeds of who I will become.

As I told a friend today, without that discomfort in life we never can be who we're meant to become. Within that discomfort is our magic that is waiting to bloom. Like a caterpillar that is so ready to become the butterfly, but is just not there quite yet. Life is a process of being and becoming. Being and becoming. We are already perfect and yet...we are also always becoming who we can be in the next moment. We can't ever really be done, can we? If you're done growing, what state are you in? Stagnation? Death?

We all go through discomfort, lows, hard places in life. If you are there now, just know...within all of us is that strong warrior, peaceful but ready for whatever life has to offer. We all have things, habits, beliefs that we can shed. What can you shed in order to become who you truly are in this moment?

Peace out, butterflies.

Day 11, #writeeverydamnday #justwrite #writingchallenge #writeyourselfalive

Friday, August 15, 2014

I am a Writer. I will be True.

I just finished writing my day 10 post that I will not be posting as I would like to turn it into a book.

The prompt that she gave (I didn't know that she was giving prompts, lol) was to write what you're afraid to write. Vulnerability is power. 

I entered the cave. It really needs to be a book, I think, because the subject makes me have a relationship with my laptop. I can feel my connection. It's like we're conspiring together over this topic. Sharing secrets. It becomes my best friend that I whisper to. 

It's an amazing, passionate feeling when words flow. Seeing your thoughts jump onto the screen a moment after you think them. Creating your baby. Creating a love. 

I think that I'm falling back in love with writing and it's been a long time coming. I want to commit myself to it, here and now. 

I am a writer. I will be true. I'm grateful to my angels for allowing me this gift. 

day 10, #writeyourselfalive #writeeverydamnday #justwrite #writingchallenge

Thursday, August 14, 2014

as it should be.

I don't need to know
what to say
because those who support me 
will know what i mean

i don't need to be perfect
because the world understands
that i do my best
and that is good enough

i don't have to do the right thing
or strike the right pose
as the thing i am doing 
is exactly what it needs to be

the next rock appears
and i take my step
and revel in the moment that is made
pleasant...or unpleasant, equanimous

those who are meant to be in your life, will.
those who are meant to hear your voice, will.
those who are meant to touch your life, will.

the only thing left to do is 

day 9, #writeeverydamnday #justwrite

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Pulse of Humanity.

I started my day the last two Tuesdays at a local nursing home and taught yoga and meditation to the residents there. It just always makes me realize how important it is to have people in your life who love you when I'm in a place like that. But you have to also be a person who loves your people a lot... that should help ensure that you have those people around you near and, well, at the end. But, the truth is that we can't ensure anything, can we? What if everyone died before us? What if we get alzheimer's and can't remember anyone? There are things that are variable like this in all of our lives. Roll of the proverbial dice. We can ensure that we have faith and give it to God. We can do our best. We can build our temples in our bodies and minds and hearts and love as much as we can, for as long as we can.

The truth is that there are a lot of people that end up in places like these with no one around in their later years of life. When I was 20 I got a job working in a geriatric psych ward as a nurse's assistant. This was a nice name for a cleaning lady, basically. I did most of the dirty jobs like changing bed pans and sheets and holding dirty hands. And you know what, I didn't care one bit. I didn't even think about it because more than caring about that stuff, the people who needed the help seemed like such the bigger priority.

Certain people are just built for different things. I think most people might not have stayed past the day I interviewed, looking back. On the day of my interview, I walked into those double locked doors that I had to be buzzed into. There was a whiteness as you entered that I had never encountered before. The whiteness of a clinical setting. Bright. Quiet with the hum of music in the background. I still remember walking past the eating area of the ward where a few patients were sitting randomly. One man was being fed his morning coffee by a nurse, as he couldn't do it himself. I remember being struck by the vulnerability of not being able to drink your own coffee. And by the beauty of someone helping him to do that.

I walked up to the desk and there was a woman sitting on a bench with a robe on. She looked depressed. She then stood up and completely opened her robe, exposing her naked chest underneath while being very verbal. I averted my eyes but it was obvious what she was doing to my left. I told the nurses behind the desk that I was there for an interview and the woman, with her robe half on/half off, walked straight over to me with a purpose. She said something like, 'thank god you're here,' as if she had been waiting for me. We immediately sat down and talked and the head nurse said that when she saw that, she knew she wanted me to work on her floor. 

I felt honored to have been chosen, even though the work was by no means glamorous.  The job only lasted 8 months for me, only because the psych floor had lost funding and jobs had to be cut. I didn't want to work anywhere else in the hospital. I even tried for a few weeks and ended up running to my car at the end of each day because I absolutely hated the same job in different areas of the hospital. It was those particular people who called to my heart there. And that experience will stay with me forever. 

Day 8, #writeeverydamnday #justwrite 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

poem for day 7, #writeeverydamnday

I kissed the seeds of the dandelion
And flew with them throughout the wind
They scattered into parts unknown
and where they went I followed

I stroked the face of the ocean blue
and together we rode the depths
on the backs of dolphins dived below
and listened to their bellows

I felt the ground shake with the elephant
Felt the warmth upon my back
The air clung to my skin as I clung to them
And I heard them whisper Om

What a world this is
an opportunity
yet we're around only ourselves
can't see our struggling spirit

when we look to the Earth
when we look to the Sea
when we look to the Heavens
it becomes clear, becomes one

with all of these beautiful faces
and individual personalities
we get tricked, we get stuck
we are one, it's such luck

with an opportunity to be ourselves.

day 7, #writeyourselfalive #writeeverydamnday #justwrite