Coming home… to you.

As we journey through life, we are sometimes flustered by what feels like a great delay. We may find ourselves frustrated by obstacles, shifting circumstances or loss. Conditions change and we find ourselves feeling uncertain, insecure and vulnerable. We feel like our path has been obstructed and we don’t like it.

Familiar?

This year has been a wonderful opportunity for all of us to recognize the ways we respond to conditions beyond our control. Most of us lost our routines. Many of us watched the means of our livelihood become inaccessible. We learned to work in new environments, to meet in new ways and to form connections across distances we’d never encountered.

We all had to pivot.

As we learned new choreography to the evolving conditions, many of us also started to see ourselves in a new light. Outside of our established patterns, our awareness suddenly expanded. We realized deficits that needed attending. We saw strengths that would assist us. Because we felt alone or stuck, we had to find ways to source resilience. We had to care for ourselves in new ways and we had to be creative.

I’ve listened friends and students in the last several months realizing how their minds get away from them, how they recognize habits that don’t feel healthy, how they can serve themselves better. I listened as new inquiries took shape. Instead of wondering how to move strategically through the world, folks are curious about moving more gracefully with themselves.

These questions are the start of friendships re-forming. People are befriending themselves again.

Would you agree with me that here lies a treasure beneath the rubble of these very challenging times?

If you do, please consider joining me for a series of exploratory workshops intended to reunite you with you– with the parts of you who are awaiting your attention and love. You may recognize these parts as your young ones. They are those aspects of your youth who helped you survive, play, and establish boundaries.

Coming Home: a restorative cakra journey will offer a framework to locate and befriend these precious aspects of yourself. These young ones may be directing our behavior in ways that are no longer appropriate and they may have important wisdom to share. We’ll seek to understand how they influence us and how we can invite them home.

Over three consecutive Saturdays, we’ll investigate the cakras as a symbol system for personal inquiry and discovery. We’ll remember and make contact with our young ones. We’ll learn what questions we might ask to learn with and through them. Through breath, simple movement, mantra and meditation, we’ll cultivate the space to attend to them, thank them and love them. Together, we’ll create strength and peace for ourselves.

For the purpose of this series, our exploration will be limited to three foundational cakras related to our early development. You will be encouraged to make notes in a journal to deepen your experience with the practices. All students who participate will receive a short workbook and a recording of a guided meditation.

In our time together, we’ll consider the unique ways we find our stability when the world shifts and discover that our path expands in marvelous ways with change. We’ll set an intention to be gentle and honest with ourselves as we call ourselves home.

If this sounds interesting to you, please join me. If you aren’t sure but you’ve noticed that you’re ready for something different, please join me. Our beautiful, neglected young ones sing out for attention in many ways. What if we honor their call?

If you have questions, please send me a note or use the form below.

We’ll meet Saturdays, October 17, 24, 31 from 10am to 11:30am Pacific. From 11:30 to noon, I’ll keep the zoom room open for discussion, conversation and connection.

A zoom link will be provided when you sign up. Suggested donation for the three workshops is $108 or as your heart desires.

Please share with friends and come along.

To improve on silence…

My friends, we persevere.

It isn’t always easy. This is the nature of life. We enjoy the giggles. We do our best to avoid the shit. Sometimes, we laugh so hard that we step right in it.

Oh life. How do we accept both the shits and the giggles?

Over the last few months, I noticed in myself a deep desire to persuade others to laugh with me. Like everyone else, I smelled the shit. I wanted to share joy in those places where emotions, thoughts, and behaviors were locking it out. I wanted to relieve some of the shit.

I may have tried too hard. It’s a pattern I know. I can be pushy. Check out the adamant love poems of 33 conversations if you need confirmation. And please laugh with me, if you like.

My intentions are good; that’s not an excuse. It’s a reminder to think carefully about the best way to express my good intentions. Sometimes, this means a fair bit of editing. When I hear someone expressing views that are distasteful to me, I don’t need to be the one who pushes back. I can be the one who expresses thanks for a point of view I don’t often consider. Or, if I have considered it, I may share my happiness that someone has made the hard choice of arriving at an opinion. I may even share an honest prayer that their conviction serves them well for as long as it must.

Because, after all, haven’t we all found ourselves in that clumsy moment when life presents a lesson that challenges a long-held belief? Haven’t we all stumbled and suffered from our attachments to thoughts, ideas and forms that no longer suit us?

In my experience, and please feel free to share yours, my learning has never followed someone’s aggression toward me. My learning escalates when I’m accepted and understood. I learn when I let my defenses down.

Sometimes, my best teachers have persuaded me with a gentle and compassionate silence.

These days, in the hullabaloo of politics and pandemic, rioting and race, some of us are trying to understand how best to create peace in our worlds. Some of us may simply be reeling in its absence. Both are fine. A decent balm to soothe the weary souls of either/or is an occasional, intentional quiet.

Silence isn’t a familiar practice for most of us. We may even associate it with loneliness or isolation. A practice in silence asks for your commitment. You host the silence for yourself. You welcome it, invite it within and listen to what it shares with you.

Consider setting a time this week when you commit to a period of quiet. Be kind to yourself. Start with 20-30 minutes. See what happens. And prepare yourself appropriately.

As someone with a partner, I’m careful to share my intention to be quiet. I want my partner to know I’m not escaping or ignoring; I let him know I’m going to be silent for a certain period of time. He can rely on my return and he’s welcome to talk to me in my silence, as he likes.

I enjoy taking a walk during quiet times. I practice smiling generously when someone wishes me a good day. I practice smiling generously when someone doesn’t. Either way, I’m quiet. And in my silence, I hear how most of my thoughts remove me from the experience before me. I let myself move more deeply into silence and learn from the peace there.

We are all in the adventure of a lifetime. It will last through your very last breath. Sometimes, in silence, we can appreciate it a little more completely. Sometimes, in silence, we learn how to carry its peace into our every expression on this adventure.

We share peace in both the shits and the giggles.

May you feel peaceful. And thank you for being you.

What are you learning now?

Among the extraordinary wisdom of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the very first verse is the guidance that calls me home every time.

Atha yoga anusasanam.

Now, the teachings of yoga.

Yoga Sutra 1-1

We start now.

In this beginning, we aren’t simply being introduced to the text to come. Sure, the teachings follow. But what’s first?

Now.

With this word, atha, we land in the now. We’re reminded that the moment has come, that every effort will be made in it, and we’ll have the opportunity to continue or amend our efforts with every ‘now’ we realize.

What is the effort we make? Yoga. We connect. We remember our relationship with every atom and all it has to teach us. We establish ourselves firmly with everything that is. We follow the guidance of our connections. This is the intersection of our experience and the experiences of every teacher, sage, saint, and friend who came before us. Now, we connect.

Now. Yoga. The teachings. Shared with and in and through every quantum.

We’re not guided to the past or future. We’re not consoled that yesterday has hidden the answers nor does tomorrow dangle a solution. We’re asked to arrive now. This is the precise moment to begin because there is no other moment but now. And now is here to teach us.

To be present right now is a big ask. Most of us don’t fathom how frequently our attention time travels. It’s out there navigating the past and we’re right here struggling under its weight. Or it’s bouncing into some anticipated future and we can’t feel the ground beneath us. Our attention travels and we’re just here, completely unaware of the wonder surrounding us now.

What if we return?

What if we connect? Now?

What if we turn our attention to this precise moment and experience all it has to offer?

It’s in this place of experience that we discover what has always awaited us. We’re abundantly supported by the ground beneath our feet. The ground teems with life and we’re life. We’re all lightly at play, all in community, all blessed to share this moment. We have no other place to be. What we do in this moment is less relevant than our commitment to experience it. Like the those who came before us, our engagement with the moment will lead us to cherish life’s abundance. If we’re willing, it teaches us perfection.

Always now.

As information shifts and fear circulates, as the threads of our communities break and reweave, as we strive toward compassion for those we don’t understand, now is the time to connect. Now is the time to realize how blessed we are to share this moment.

We are only now.

Now is the only time we can practice yoga. Now is when we practice life. Now, we are all together.

Will you share this moment with everyone? Take a breath, feel the ground, and savor this moment for all it teaches you. In the next breath, discover your new ground and the new light and learn.

Now, we learn together.

Deciding to love.

I realize, sometimes, that when I say the word ‘love,’ a vacuum can appear to suck up my credibility as a being of this world. I’ve seen how mention of the word ‘heart’ and direction to place hands over it often leads to a pause. In that pause, a brief internal struggle… will a simple gesture toward the heart leave me weak? Will I become vulnerable?

Weak, no. Vulnerable? Absolutely.

The strength to go to the heart is herculean precisely because the journey asks for a confrontation with our defenses. We believe we’re alone and must keep ourselves protected. At the heart, we realize our deep and abiding connection. We connect to our selves, to others, to the divine. It’s in the heart that we encounter our true mission in life and the longings that must be settled as we accomplish that mission.

An example from my personal life? I used to be a lawyer who wanted to help. I wanted to secure justice for those who suffered. I fought hard and argued often against the ways our systems impose inequities because of poor health, limited bank accounts, skin color and place of birth. It was important work. And it broke my heart. With every success, I watched, again and again, a new challenge arise to replace our victories. In grief, I left my career to heal my heart.

That was when I had to contend with my embarrassment and misunderstandings about the ideas of love, hearts, god, and self. I did it with the help of a few sage travelers: teachers, friends, trees, bees. I learned, over time, that my heart was always waiting for me. She is eternally patient and compassionate. And when I go to her, she gives me the whole world without a fight.

The only thing my defenses guarded well was my resistance.

Still, a resistance is a blessing. It gives us a rope to follow when we can’t quite see clearly. Eventually, I understood the route.

It isn’t always easy, however, to give myself to my heart.

It’s a decision. Daily, it requires that I catch myself in my judgments and opinions. Frequently, I find myself thinking I know better than love’s guidance. And rarely, but importantly, I land in a position of not understanding at all how to find my way back.

Which is when I learn the most. What I learn is this: whatever the situation is showing me is a path I’ve yet to navigate.

Unfortunately, the brutality committed by police isn’t a new path. I’ve seen this before. It precedes me even. And, in my own life, at 20, I was beat by riot police. It’s a horrifying display of power. I yelled and I pleaded as they held , threatened and hurt me. I settled a case against the police when I was 22. Several months later, the police shot a black man multiple times as he reached for his wallet. I felt the horror of my decision to forego trial.

I became a lawyer, in part, because I thought I owed service to justice for the injustice I accepted. As I practiced, I learned that justice doesn’t serve our hearts. As I recovered from my former career, I realized that love does.

Still, these last few months have challenged my choice to love. It isn’t just the murder of George Floyd that got me. I lost the path to my heart for a bit because watching Mr. Floyd die as others officers watched followed a string of hurtful realities.

Because in this worrying time of pandemic, we also witnessed the shooting of a young man jogging through a neighborhood. And we saw a white woman in Central Park seek to dominate a black man by means of police intervention. So when George Floyd was killed, the arising of rage was immediate. Marching behind: guilt, despair, sorrow.

The disproportionate use of force against black men and women is a hideous example of multiple systems that do not foster either justice or love. Our national inability to foster just and loving relationships between black and white (and all shades in between) speaks to our collective insistence to remain distanced from each other and the heart. We believe we’re meant to be separate. We even laud our great individual rights.

The greatest right of any individual is to discover that her free will may be exercised in removing the obstacles to her heart at any moment. Regardless of her circumstances.

In my life, as I exercise my will, I’ve learned to remember the many ways that our experiences complicate and obscure our path to love. I’ve learned to imagine how I could be as brutal as a provoked cop and to know the weight of the cruelty. I’ve learned that I would not wish that weight on anyone.

Still, in the last week, the return to love was hard work.

I had to follow the rope of my resistance. I worked with each emotion. Rage first. Guilt then. I understood the helplessness it was masking. Despair, because I couldn’t understand how to hope. And sorrow. The sorrow reminded me of love.

In the sorrow, I remembered to pray for George Floyd and his family. I knew there was love there. I prayed for the families of all those who have died or been injured by the police. I felt their love. I prayed for my black friends and reached out to share my love and thank them for the love they’ve given me. I prayed for all my friends. I prayed for my family and all those who are kind, generous, compassionate toward me. I felt the abundance of love.

I returned to my heart.

From there, I prayed for Derek Chauvin and his family. I prayed for the men who beat me decades ago. Love is also there. And though the weight of those actions is overwhelming, love lifts it. My responsibility in life is to decide to love, regardless.

Moving into the heart demands power. Practicing in the heart asks for patience and wonder. Being in the heart requires stability.

Thus, this word ‘love’ and its representation at the heart tries to be a bit of a vulgarity. The effort is great but each of us are strong enough. Just because something is hard does not mean we should reject it. Indeed, the challenge is for us to rise to it.

We seem to reject love because moving through emotion and surrendering ourselves to our true union means our identity has nowhere to stand. It cannot fathom that we stand together, completely connected without even needing to know each others’ names.

My friend, love is what we all share. It requires no particular time or place. It doesn’t require blood or passion or even proximity. These gifts are simply our training. Our vast connections await our decision to put love into play.

The reform we require is the shift to our hearts. The intellect will resist what it doesn’t fathom but we can navigate our resistance. It will take us toward the truth of love. It is our union and our unity. Love is what binds us.

Let us proceed, then, in love and see how we all transform.

Owe no one anything, except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans

Finding our wisdom.

I hope this post finds you well. I send you so much love.


The horrifying death of George Floyd, the important protests and unsurprising escalation of violence are lessons for all of us. We share pain. We share anger. We share grief. And when we don’t honor the presence of these emotions, or when we feel unseen in our pain, the expression of them can be overwhelming. 

We are meant to learn from our emotions. And we can never ask anyone else to do the emotional work that we haven’t. So I share with you my experience. 

I sit with my rage. It burns in my belly and tightens my heart. I invite it in. I say, ‘you are a welcome guest, free to settle in me.’ It hurts. It reminds me of the pain I’ve caused and the pain I’ve suffered. I see so many memories. I make space for them all and listen to them. One by one. I cry. I give them the home they need in me. These are the sources of wisdom in my life. I ask to learn what remains for me to learn. There is so much. And then I remember that I’m never alone in my suffering. And when I breathe out, I imagine the faces of those I love. So many beautiful faces! I feel this love and share it on my exhale with everyone who also feels anger. I do my best to offer the softening relief of love. I imagine it carries around the whole world. I imagine the love moving gracefully with the clouds, gently embracing us all.

Over the last 5 days, I’ve been doing this practice again and again. For five minutes, 20 minutes, a half hour. Many times a day. Whenever I feel the fire rise in me. I do whatever it takes for me to move into the place where I’m not pretending to be at peace but am feeling calm enough to share my love peacefully. The anger continues to teach me. It evolves into sadness. And this too issues its painful prick. So I invite it in. I give it space and listen to the memories and lessons. And then I breathe out my love. I pray you feel it.

In this life, I’ve been fortunate that my skin color has not been an origin of my hardship. It has, however, offered challenges to many who I love, respect and serve. I do my best to stand in peace with these friends, colleagues, and students, empowered by the wisdom of my own suffering so I can share my strength with them. I do my best to ask questions and listen to answers I could not know from my experience. I do my best to honor the lives of men and women who know different hardships and similar suffering. I do my best to stand in peace so my friends feel safe and supported as they invite their own emotions home. 

This week, I invite you to practice yoga with me. I’d like to move and breathe with you. I’d like to pray with you. Let’s be together so we can invite our emotions home. They have so much to teach us. The wisdom lives in them before it can thrive in us and be shared.

It’s time for us to learn together. Please join me for practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 throughout June. I’ve moved to Zoom and the link will be the same, weekly. 

Yoga for Us.
Time: Jun 2, 2020 04:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
        Every week on Tue, Thu, until Jun 30, 2020
        Jun 2, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 4, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 9, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 11, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 16, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 18, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 23, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 25, 2020 04:30 PM
        Jun 30, 2020 04:30 PM

JOIN CLASS

Meeting ID: 812 3376 3133
Password: 204057

I’m so grateful for you in my life. Please feel welcome to reach out if you’d like a friend around, if you’d like to breathe together, take a mindful walk or just share some jokes. Please be thoughtful about the amount of media you consume. Please eat wisely.

I love you.

The novelty of now.

Here’s a worthwhile bit of news: Now is good.

Folks here and there, around our world, may be singing along with a different chorus. Some folks are mad; some are scared; many are offended; some are ready to revolt. There are those who are sick, even, and we all wish them and their families ease and prayers for recovery. And over the quiet of our prayers, the chorus still sings, insisting that now ain’t great.

There’s so much more to our song.

I’m not talking about the opportunity to learn ukelele or organize the garage. Both are good intentions, but now offers more.

Now is good.

It’s absolutely real that we’re universally experiencing uncertainty. The cosmic punchline to that dirty joke is this: we are, always, at every moment, tossed into the deep-end of uncertainty. What we don’t realize is our manner of sinking, swimming or flailing about until someone gets us out. We don’t realize we can float.

Now is good. Despite every bit of tumult we may experience, now is very good.

So why don’t we like it?

What we prefer is to pretend security. We trust in our routines and believe the world is ordered by our service to them. We even prioritize our security in these routines over our peace – both inner and outer. We think we can organize our world with our patterns.

Our world is organizing us.

Not one of us knows what’s on the agenda, truly, for tomorrow. The house can burn, arms break, purses are snatched, birds poop on heads and headaches happen. We lose people to jobs, relocation, anger, death. We may not cross a single thing off the to-do list. The fridge may rumble to a halt.

This life you believe you’re living is actually living you. The best you can do is organize yourself in response.

Now is good.

Why is this part of the song so unsung?

Because most of us have forgotten how to become still enough to observe the only moment we have. We’re in constant motion. If we aren’t working, we want to play. If we aren’t playing, we work and wonder when we’ll play again. The body is in motion and our minds are in overdrive. In the midst of one project, we’re wishing it was done. We’re thinking of what we’ll do next. As we listen to a friend, our minds are considering how it’s always the same story, how our opinion is better, how we can solve their problem. We don’t hear a thing.

Our minds are trained to worry over the future and regret the past. When we ask them to stop and simply acknowledge the present, they quickly grow disinterested. They have no faith that now will nourish them.

Our shared reality is this: we are never nourished at any other time. Every moment is the treasure we’ve been seeking. Everything is now.

This novel virus offers a brilliant opportunity for us to behave in a novel way. It won’t be easy. It requires that we catch ourselves singing with the chorus and decide to change our tune. We teach ourselves how to listen to the song of now. Maybe we even learn how to sing along. It may be a ballad; it may be jazz. We can sing along. We have to practice.

When we sing along with life, we know that now is absolutely good.

This virus is a reminder of our shared vulnerability. It’s a phrase in our song. We all, each of us, suffer illness, sorrow, fear, anger and grief. We all, each of us, send quiet prayers that those who suffer will find relief. We share this nature. We may not acknowledge it and we may dismiss it but when we hear of someone hurting, we pause. We know that feeling. It reminds us that we exist in uncertainty together.

The best we can do is occasionally become still and remember that life swirls around us relentlessly. It delivers to us, in every moment, the gifts that will teach us more thoroughly about this nature we share. Our role as the recipient is to learn how to accept every moment and say thank you.

Thank you, I believe, is the song of every moment.

My uncertainty is also yours. Yours is mine. Someday I will die. And so will you. Long may we live. What if we cherish these lives while we honor our vulnerability, transience, potential?

May we discover the songs of every moment and sing these to others so they will be inspired to find theirs. And may the lives we lead be peaceful, joyful and wise.

May we remember always that now is good. It is the only space in time we ever receive.

Now is good. Thank you for this moment.

Note! If you’d like to spend some moments of stillness together, please join me for online yoga this week. Classes are by donation via paypal or venmo. I’d love to see you and enjoy the now together.

Yoga for Us! Tuesday!
Tue, Apr 28, 2020 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (PDT)

Yoga for Us! Thursday!
Thu, Apr 30, 2020 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (PDT)

A time to dance.

This is what’s on my mind lately: now is a time to dance.

We’re watching our world accelerate into change and suddenly its effects are clearly perceptible. We’re in an experiment of shift.

In other times, we might occasionally notice the fact of change for its irregularity in an otherwise predictable pattern. The truth is, we all undergo and experience change from one moment to the next. These days, however, change is stark and comprehensive. We are, most of us, impacted by a big and total shift.

The recent demands that we return home, maintain distance, close shops, and otherwise severely alter our routines has sharpened our awareness of how change strips us. We can feel like we’ve been skinned. We become angry, agitated, frightened, worried; we become vulnerable.

Maybe we feel a little raw.

Current events, on an almost universal scale, are provoking dramatic changes. Traumatic, even, if we insist on resisting them. These are those changes that sever our tethers, loosen our moorings and dissolve our cords. We didn’t necessarily decide to see our former patterns released but here we are… floating a bit, and also stuck at home.

Our hearts initially perceive loss. Our hearts will long for their friends and communities and places and roles. Our hearts will suffer their disconnections at first. This is grief. It arises with loss – big and small – and our willingness to see it, honor it and move with it allows it to process.

Grief is appropriate, requisite and beautiful. We’re meant to honor our losses for what they’ve taught us. Grief provides that awesome weight to sit in the vacuum of what’s left behind.

It’s also an absolute gift.

And so is our willingness to move into it.

So, now is the time to dance with our grief. Now is the time to learn how to explore it with curiosity, courage and compassion. However it presents itself, now is our time to dance. Which means we have to listen in to our hearts to hear the songs they’re playing. Grief is as diverse as our world’s music. And the songs of our hearts will all play differently. Even within one heart, the playlist will be diverse, dependent on experience, mood, context and the presence of others.

So we’ll all be dancing a bit differently. Not every song inspires the same movements. And if you’ve ever watched a dance floor, you’ll know that one song moves five people in five ways. As we dance with our grief, we can remember this and smile kindly at those dancing around us.

As we reckon with loss, may we recognize in our dance the instincts behind our bargaining, the energy of our anger, the sweetness of our sadness and the wisdom of our growing acceptance. As we dance, may we discover our heart’s treasures. We are beings who love and connect. We are beings who change and seek something unchanging. We are, all of us, dying from every moment to proceed to the next. This is life. We are alive. We are life itself, at our best when we learn how to dance gracefully as every moment comes and goes.

The universality of loss, and the emotional charge that follows, confirms our lovely, connecting nature. May we realize the intricacies of our connections – those gone and those developing – and remember ourselves amidst the support. Our solace develops as we feel ourselves supported and supportive. We feel ourselves dancing with every connection for however long the song lasts. And then we say thank you as we part ways.

Now is a time for us to dance together. Now is the time for us to learn the delight of moving through grief, and saying thank you. Again and again. We say thank you to every connection as it buds, blooms and fades.

Can you do it?

Of course you can.

You know how to dance. Even if you pretend like you don’t.

I love you. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to dance a little with me. Or we can chat about the goodness of grief. Or the things that keep us from feeling it and dancing as we go.

Think about how you rise.

A friend recently asked how he could stop feeling so negative about the imposition of a quarantine. Like a lot of us, his daily routines have been dismantled by the requirement that we stay home. Challenging this wonderful dude even more is the fact that he’d spent the last six months deep in the discipline of rising above a long-standing depression. His self-care routines have enabled him to shift his diet, strengthen his body, redirect his career ambitions, communicate effectively with his family and reach out for support when he needs a boost.

In short, he’s done amazing work on his own behalf. Understandably, he’s concerned about losing his momentum.

Now, his world is mostly in the home and quite a few of his new patterns are not. I told him, everything you’ve done has prepared you for this. You’ve learned how to rise.

The same can be said for all of us.

We all have the capacity to thrive through this. In fact, it is precisely in situations so far beyond our control that we can see most clearly how our response to it determines our bounce.

Please forgive me if this ruffles feathers but your resilience is based on every little thing you’ve ever done to rise above terror and into the wonder, the potential, the call of your entire life. In short, your bounce is based on a choice. Will you celebrate everything that life has to offer or will you stand in the posture of the victim? We don’t get to choose life’s gifts for us; we do get to choose how we receive them. What life gives you is reality.

This doesn’t mean we don’t all occasionally lament. And it doesn’t mean we settle. It means we strengthen ourselves to welcome life, moment by moment. We’ll have the stamina to participate in whatever change is yet to come. We’ll know how to respond.

Here’s an exercise for you. It requires your awareness, your honesty and a willingness to feel your body. Take a moment to dish out some serious lamentations. Say them out loud even. Here’s help: ‘I don’t like this at all. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to stay home. This ruins my routines. Why are they doing this to me? What if I have to be on a ventilator? This is scary and lame at the same time. I miss my life.’

Now, pay attention. Notice how you feel. What kinds of sensations are present in your body? Picture the many ways you might act out these thoughts. How do you behave with these thoughts in your head?

Is it awesome? Do you dig this person? I’m not saying that the situation we’re all sharing is easy. I’m simply saying that we might be more competent in our healing if we choose to experience it differently. It’s new and fascinating, if you choose the wonder over the lament.

I had this experience earlier today. I sat with my dog on a piece of grass beside the sidewalk. Balboa Park, just beside me, was closed. A cop cruised by and ordered everyone out of the park toward the sidewalk where I sat. They moved. We all shared a small amount of space now. My thoughts told me that the cop was absurd for putting us all in awkward proximity. Then I realized how tense I felt. I decided to welcome the fact that, like me, all these fellow wanderers had an instinct to savor the grass beneath their feet. I fell in love with all of us. We knew our bodies wanted the nourishment of sunshine and air and trees. We all scattered in our quiet, physically distant ways.

I had to shift my thoughts. The experience changed for me. I found connection, comfort and peace in place of the tension.

Try this now. Say the words out loud that offer the opposite of your lamentations. Like this: ‘I don’t mind this at all. I can get sick and will probably heal as I have before. I can stay home and be productive. My routines can be altered and adapted. I don’t have to worry about a ventilator right now and I pray for those who are using one. This is scary and I’m okay. This is lame and I’m okay. My life is ongoing and changing at every moment.’

Check in again. How do these words affect your body differently? How might you behave with these thoughts in your atmosphere?

If you know me, you know I’m a proponent of practice. I’m pretty sure the whole of our life is meant to be a practice in learning how to experience every moment without pretending it’s supposed to be somehow different. Every day, for as many moments as I can muster, I practice loving the world and all its inhabitants exactly as the package comes. I don’t always succeed. But when I fail, it’s great. When I fail, I know I’ll learn how to practice better.

So consider using this time to practice watching your thoughts and the effect they have on you. Your thoughts are powerful and persuasive. Please use this incredible time to learn how they convince you of your posture in life. Then look at yourself in a friendly way to see if that posture is really how you want to stand.

You can rise to this wonder. You’ll be strong and helpful toward yourself and all those you love. We’ll all heal together. See how it feels to let these thoughts settle in your head. This is our practice. We all stand together.

I love you.

Connecting through the distance.

In the last 10 days, we’ve had some changes. All of us. What a fascinating experience. We’re told to keep our distance so I invite you to connect. We’re all in this together. Let’s support each other and realize how we can be friendly toward each other.

My heart goes out to all those who are suffering. To those who are unwell, affected either by the virus or any other illness, may you recover into greater strength and find peace in the process.

To the caregivers, the responders and the medical workers, thank you for your attention and compassionate service. May you feel the community’s gratitude and may it invigorate you.

To those who are worried, may you remember to nourish your body and calm your mind so your resources are full. Reach out to friends and loved ones for support and laughter. Experience your surroundings with curiosity and interest. Notice something new. Feel your body supported by the ground and become aware of your breath. Let it deepen and lengthen and feel the difference. Now is the time to maintain your personal self-care practices and consider seeking assistance to further develop them. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out.

I love to remind myself that my personal practices are not intended to keep me well during easy times. They do, but they’re intended to go beyond. My practices are what prepare me for life’s challenges. These, I’ve lived long enough to know, are as predictable as weather. My practice reduces their impact.

To those who don’t know what to feel, may these events inspire you to look within. The whole world is experiencing a shift due to the changes of the last few days and weeks. A universal experience like this is a gift. It reminds us that change is absolutely persistent. Not a moment goes by that doesn’t change us. We simply forget to realize it.

A wonderful practice for realizing the constancy and necessity of change is to watch your breath. It comes and goes. It changes you, moment to moment. It moves you through life and moves life through you. Every movement of life around us is important and precious.

If you’re interested in learning to observe your breath in a gentle movement practice, please join me for online classes. Send me a note and I’ll send you an invitation. We’ll meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm, California time.

For those of you in Europe, you may be interested in joining me this Saturday, March 21 from 10am to 12:30pm for an online workshop to honor spring and build personal energy. Please let me know!

To all of us, may we all be well. May we all support each other. May we see the finest in each other and share our love unconditionally. May we connect over the distance.

Let’s always be there for each other.

Please share this moment with me. I’d like to share some love in this time of fear.

Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus are understandable and we are all wise to take important precautions. Let’s all keep clean and calm, give each other adequate space and honor the body’s need for rest and isolation if we aren’t feeling well. 

Likewise, I urge you to make your decisions for self-care appropriately. I care for you.

My care for your well-being includes supporting your will to ask for what you need when you need it. This means that if you’re scheduled for bodywork with me but feel nervous about submitting to touch, please know that I understand and support your choice to forego the experience. If you aren’t scheduled for bodywork but are overwhelmed by tension from reading or watching the hysterical news cycle, you’re most welcome to schedule some time with me for bodywork, mind work or soul work.

For those of you who feel particularly compromised, but sense that you’d be supported by some time together, please know that I’m more than happy to schedule online time with you via Zoom. We can meet virtually, chat, do energy work from a distance, move together, breathe together, chant and meditate. I use the platform regularly with several clients and it’s a wonderful way to cover the distance, when distance is required.

As always, I promote a pay-as-your-heart-likes fee structure. If you’re feeling low, don’t want to leave the house, but want to try a remote, friendly spirit check-in, please give it a go. It’s so much better to maintain those important self-care regimens when times are challenging. Indeed, these are exactly the times when our practices are most required and most profound.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, I give you my deep love and gratitude for every bit of wonder you’ve shared with me. Please keep me posted if there is anything I can do for you. And don’t think for a minute that this excludes even those little things you may require… a good joke, an errand, a book recommendation, a kind word. 

Let’s always be there for each other.

Also! Looking ahead is good as well… if you’ll be in San Diego, please mark your calendar for a spring equinox workshop on Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 10am to 12:30pm. We’ll consider some practices to bring balance to our bodies and our minds as we begin to turn our faces toward the sun once again.

At the NPTI Yoga Studio, 3252 Greyling Drive in Serra Mesa, CA.