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Emotions are inconvenient

Yesterday a yoga student shared with me the devastating news that her son had died suddenly.  As I hugged her I could feel my heart breaking for her.  She was living every mother's worst fear.  I didn't know how to respond when she said  "I don't know how to go on..."

A few weeks ago my own daughter experienced a life threatening event as a result of complications in childbirth.  One minutes we are in Kutztown celebrating my daughter's graduation from college and next I'm sitting in the emergency room at 1am with my son.  He had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.  I no sooner got him home and settled and I'm back at the ER with my oldest.  During the days leading up to and following the birth of my granddaughter I was running back and forth between the hospital with Amanda and home to check on Jake as he recovered from surgery.

The past month of working, teaching yoga, taking care of household chores while tending to the needs of my family has …

The lady in the purple gloves

Today we said farewell to the lady in the purple gloves.  What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable lady.  Her daughter wearing a red dress made me smile.  Earlier today I was sharing a story about MJ with my yoga class.  One day MJ came to yoga  wearing beautiful purple gloves.  When I remarked about how beautiful they were she replied  "I'm an old woman now so I can wear purple".  You see, only old women can wear purple gloves and a red hat that didn't go.... 
I was thinking about all the thoughtful little trinkets MJ would bring me when she came for yoga. The little angel medal, the prayer card from her pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, the little purple lump of clay with a smiley face, the mala bracelet, just to name a few.  I thought about bringing some of the trinkets to give to her great-grandchildren.  Instead, when I arrived at the service, her children had set up "Granny's flea market" so that everyone who came to pay their respects could t…

Words, words, everywhere!!

Tonight at dinner my daughter asked me why I haven't been posting anymore.  "You should start posting again, I liked reading it." she said.   So... Here you go, Tayler.

In January, I decided that this blog had come to an end.  I felt like there are so many people in yoga-land speaking so many words that it seemed pointless for me to add to the whirlwind of words.

I'm still not sure I have anything worthwhile to say that others haven't already said more eloquently than I but Tayler's words inspired me.

Words have power.  The way we use our words matters.  Interestingly, I've been learning about the power of words by keeping quiet.  Silence speaks volumes.  It's the act of listening that teaches us the power of words. I feel the power of them in my gut.   I've been using my ears as filters.  I have the power to choose which words I take in and digest and which words I let just pass right on through.

In yoga-land, we use mantras.  Mantras are sound v…

Reflections

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking,  because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself” – Unknown
Maybe it's seeing Facebook's "Year in review" posts or maybe it's that the New Year is fast approaching but I find myself spending a lot of time reflecting.   This morning the above quote came to mind.  "wings were made to fly" I kept thinking.  
2016 was a rough year but It's also the year I learned to fly
2016 was the year I got divorced but It's also the year I took my life back
2016 was the year of endings but  It's also the year of new beginnings
2016 was the year of hard lessons about friendship but  It's also the year I learned to be my own best friend
2016 was the year of sadness but  It's also the year I learned that I'm no longer afraid of the dark
2016 was the year of struggles but  It's also the year I learned how strong I am 
2016 was the year of financial c…

Love trumps hate

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I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse but I can feel people's energy within my own being.  I've learned to trust what I feel from people more than I trust what they do or say.  The past few days have been intense to say the least.  I've been resisting the urge to let my emotions motivate my words and actions. I've been listening mostly.  Listening with my gut and my heart instead of my mind and ego. 
On Wednesday I think I was in shock.  I must have been in denial or maybe I was naive.  You see, I have a very diverse circle of friends.  That is a blessing.  I have friends who are passionate activists for human rights,equality and our environment.  That is a blessing.   My friends are kind, compassionate and generous.  That is a blessing.   On Tuesday when I cast my vote I truly believed that good would prevail.  I believed that my diverse circle of friends represented the masses.  I was shocked and honestly, horrified as I watched the news the next day.  C…

I apologize in advance...

Yoga-land is all a buzz about Yoga Alliance's new requirements.  Apparently, you need to prove your credentials before you can claim to be a yoga therapist on their yoga teacher registry.  It's interesting that I see this "news" just days after I see a new Facebook post about yet another teacher promoting her/himself as a "yoga therapist/counselor".   A teacher that I respect asked my thoughts.  Truth be told, I hesitated to share my honest opinion on the matter. 
I've been told, more than once, that I am too hard on people.  I expect too much of others.  I have what's been called "a strong personality".   Apparently, some people are uncomfortable with my honesty and straightforward talking so I hesitated.  I'll apologize now if what I'm about to say offends anyone.   
When  I read the Facebook post I reminded myself that I'm not the fairness police.  I reminded myself that it's none of my business what others are doing.  I…

Uncertainty

Last week someone said to me "I'm struggling with the uncertainty of everything".   I could feel her pain while she spoke.  I could feel it so powerfully because I too struggle with the uncertainty of everything.  Whether it's about our health, finances, or even relationships, uncertainty is at the core of our struggle.

When I teach a yoga class I almost always share my own struggles as the theme for the practice. Having pondered uncertainty all week I decided to use it as the theme for today's class.  The focus of our practice was shifting the fear that comes from uncertainty to seeing it as holding the potential for something magnificent.  

The uncertainty I was thinking about was whether or not I would be staying in my house.  My mind has been so focused on the struggle.  I thought that I was on the right track when I started to look at the uncertainty as a great adventure but that was just the beginning.  Uncertainty holds infinite possibilities.

"Our gr…