Lawd, ya'll. It. Is. Hot. Historically speaking, August is one of my fave months. I'm not switching teams, but SERIOUSLY August, these last day temps are fiery. All I can think of is the expression "the dog day of summer." In my mind I have always pictured a panting, overheated pup, signifying the late summer weather, but guess what?! The dog days refer to the Earth's alignment with ole Sirius, the Dog Star, and the dates of that alignment are July 3- August 11(refer to my Lion's Gate post). In the true spirit of these last weeks' vibes, I have learned something new; we are not even still IN the dog days.
Whatever we call this time, I am laying low. Whether because of the heat, as in the weather, or heat, as in the seemingly never-ending dramas on the world stage and controversies churning in the public discourse, I am keeping my head down and just. showing. up. There is that sense that A LOT is happening within and behind the scenes, both in my psyche and spirit, and on a cosmic level. I feel slightly restless, itching to begin fresh projects, to usher in THE NEW, but that time is just not here yet. So, steady as she goes, people. Let's all simmer down. Despite the heat, let's keep it cool. Okay?
Follow the link to join yoga via Zoom.
How has your week been? I have felt full of ideas and energy, but also, somehow, outside of time. There is the sense of its passage, the churning of the wheel of days, the rising and setting of the sun and moon. But here I BE, in a kind of suspended animation. Remember in science class, during the unit on space and astronomy, we learned that as astronauts travel away from the gravitational pull of the earth, they leave its synchrony? Like in the original Planet of the Apes movie, Charlton Heston wakes up from deep space sleep and crashes to some unknown land. It's mostly deserted, a kind of a wasteland, an eerie wildscape with very few beings. The story ensues, blah blah blah, and he never can figure out where he is until the very end of the movie, when he encounters a portion of the Statue of Liberty, it having been destroyed in some mysterious apocalyptic event. He seems physically pretty much the same as when he entered his sleep pod, but immeasurable time has passed on Earth while he snoozed, outside of its power. Well that's me this week.
When I took a moment to tune in before sitting down to write, behind my closed eyes I saw a massive brilliant light, like a star, maybe our own Solaris, shining within a world. It was so intense and fiery, it had burned away all vegetation, all evidence of previous life form. What was left did not seem destroyed, but purified. I knew that when the evidence of life returned, it would include only those species that had evolved past the pull of the old creation. During my pre-write mind-quieting I also saw a giant bingo ball basket(haha, did that really just get written?!) spinning and spitting out new creative works and opportunities. The specifics of what's to come are still a mystery, but the message seems clear.
As of this week, I am committing to a few behavior tweaks to make space for creative exploration. Less streaming, more sleeping. A little fasting, and plenty of exercise. It's open season as to what will come of it all, so, as ever, I will have my shoulder to the work wheel, teaching some yoga and making bodywork magic. Click the link for yoga, or to make an appointment.
I hate to say I told you so, but....HAS IT ONLY BEEN ONE WEEK SINCE MY LAST POST?!?!?! When I wrote about the Lion's Gate last week, it was really just with a leo's love for all things leonine. I did not have a particular concept of how a "portal" might impact my sense of time and space. Yet it feels to me as though it has been eons since I sat down to compose my last post. Maybe it has been; all I know is that today I am feeling REALLY different than I did last week.
I began these weekly posts to let people know about the yoga classes I began teaching via Zoom in March of 2020. I started my yoga teacher training in 2009, and have had several gigs teaching, including co-owning an enterprise called Soil to Soul, which was a curated community space with yoga and other wellness education. While I love teaching yoga, the main focus of my day to day work life really centers around my massage and bodywork practice, Therapeutic Bodyworks. THAT career began back in 1995, and before that I worked as an assistant for a dear friend who is a hair stylist. And before that, in another lifetime, it seems, I had a five year career in retail. And even before that, I went to college with a focus in Design, my true love being art and photography, but, according to my parents, I needed a career where I could earn a living, and artists could only ever "starve in a garret somewhere." So yeah.
All this to say that where I have ended up is not where I thought I would be when my adulthood began. Career-wise, I identify mainly as a massage and bodywork therapist, yet I have never been ultimately satisfied with only that. As far as "careers" go, it has been amazing, no complaints, not one, and MANY MANY blessings, including the amazing people I have touched, and been "touched" by( reference this scene from School of Rock, iykyk). But it occurs to me that a career is a construct, and has only a little to do with what we humans are here on Earth to do. I am not searching for a purpose. Life is living Itself through me, and that is purpose enough. But Life has also planted a stirring in my spirit. That is what is at work again now, as many times before, creating IN me the sense that there is more to be created THROUGH me.
So, things are shifting. I am not sure what is coming next, but I am here for it. Check the link below for my new yoga class schedule.
Welcome to August 8th! As a Leo, according to the western zodiac, this is my season. Way back in July, I set my sights on the time between July 22 and August 22, and now that it is here, the sense of enjoyment and anticipation is ramped up!
If you have been reading my little posts for any length of time, you know that I am fascinated with the cosmos, both its measurable rhythms, AND the more mystical qualities hinted at from the unseen realms. To that end, I really pay attention when things line up. Any time I look at the clock and see repeating numbers like 3:33 or 11:11, I feel an inexplicable little thrill. So when I heard that the 8th day of the 8th month (my birthday month, no less) has been called the Lion's Gate by some, you can bet that I had to find out why! It turns out that on or around this day, there is an alignment between The Earth and the star Sirius, the brightest star we can see. As Sirius rises in the sky, it appears to come closer to Earth, amplifying the star's purported qualities of abundance, harvest, and fertility. While I don't necessarily believe those qualities are imbued by Sirius, they ARE definitely at play this time of year. A visit to the farmer's market is proof of the bounty of the summer veggie harvest. By my observation, no matter the cause, Nature has been kind this year.
So enjoy this Lion's Gate, friends. Summer is reaching its peak, as is my beloved birthday season. On my evening walks I notice that some leaves are starting to get crispy around the edges, and a few are even beginning to fall. While the days are still hot hot hot, they are slightly shorter, and we have even had slightly cooler temps at night. I hope you can get to the beach, take some time to soak up the sun, and enjoy these late summer evenings. Soon, students will head back to school, and before we know it, Pumpkin Spice will rear its head! My own staycation has reached it's end and I am back at it this week, so please click the link to check class times.
Here is something you may or may not know...I have three daughters. They are all amazing, and I can't really get enough any of them. If you have been reading my posts of late, you know that all have left the nest, the most recent fledged back in May. This was especially poignant because 2020 brought my oldest birdie back into the nest for a short period of time; an unexpected gift of the Panny.
Well, daughter #1 is back, this time in honor of their birthday on August 5th, which also happens to be the 53rd anniversary of the day I was born. You heard me. Same birthday. In honor of the occasion and the visit, I am taking the week off from teaching. I intend to resume classes next week, but in the meantime I invite you to check out offerings from my friend Amy Byrd. You can find her on the inter webs at www.byrdofparadise.me.
See you on the other side of 52.
Who is tracking moon cycles? Anyone? Well, if you are, you know that we just had a full moon last Friday. I know because I am taking a class on how to make flower essences. My assignment this week was to make an essence, and it was suggested that the energy of the full moon might add a little something special to the mix. So, like a good student, I did what was suggested; steeped some flower blossoms in clean water, in a glass bowl, under the sun or moon (see above for which one I chose) for 2-6 hours. I AM SO EXCITED. I can't wait to begin taking my flower essence to see what happens!
You might be thinking 1) "oh wow, how cool" or 2)"pfffff, PLEASE, that's silly, what's that gonna do?" There was a time when I was team #2, skeptical of things that I could not easily track with one of my five physical senses. While I felt like I was too cool for school, I associate that period of time with being less hopeful and excited about the day to day. Since joining team # 1, I am fully on board with many things subtle and less provable. In fact, while it may sound foolish or unlikely, an invisible power has brought order to what used to feel and be chaotic, energy and engagement where there used to be doubt and apathy.
It took some courage ( fear and desperation?! ) to take action to try to tune in to the subtle energies that are always at play around us. Maybe some faith that as I stepped out of my comfort zone, out of the mundane, something would be there to meet me. The payoff has been worth the risk. I have not been disappointed. While not everything I try brings big results, I am definitely more joyful and eager to see what each day brings.
I encourage you to try something new this week, even something foolish or unlikely. If nothing much comes from it, at least you can say you tried, that you shook things up a bit. And just maybe you will enjoy the experience.
I invite you to click the link to check out my teaching schedule this week.
I try to take a walk every evening. Sometimes in the heat of summer I make it a bike ride. But for real, after a long day working in my office, to tie on my sneakers(or saddle up on the bike) and set out for a few miles really helps me to shake "off" what may have settled "on" during the day. To reconnect my inner Nature to outer Nature; a kind of synchronization that helps me reset.
One day this week, while I was walking, I was really tuned in to that outer Nature. I had my phone with me, and my eyes kept seeing little vignettes, which I felt inclined to capture with my camera. It was like I was immersed in a matrix, where everything was lined up for me to see as I walked by, and it was all packed with some invisible MEANING, like Nature saying ,"Are you HERE? Are you AWAKE?"
Well I WAS awake, and I AM awake. But I haven't always been. Sometimes I've felt the need for portents or omens or a breadcrumb trail to follow. Know what I mean? You ever find yourself feeling disoriented or lost? Like there is something you are supposed to have or do or understand, but you can't get at it or make it happen? It can be a scary feeling, even terrifying, if it becomes entrenched.
But that day it was more like I realized(again)that, as Mooji says, "Life takes care of life...and you ARE Life." There is no place that I am that Life is not. So even when FEELING lost or disoriented, it's not TRUE. It is just a signal that I need to WAKE UP and RE-ORIENT. Connect the Outer to my Inner and reset.
One of the ways I strengthen my inner compass is through the practice of yoga. Click the link below to join me this week.
Here we are, people, it's HIGH summer. It's hot and humid at the beach, where I live, but lucky me, I have escaped to the mountains of NC! The scenery is different and the humidity is LOW, and I am enjoying the change, but my mental wheels are turning, considering the nature of time.
I have been coming to the mountains of NC for some 24 years. Over the course of time, my best friend moved here to Asheville from Lancaster, PA, and two of my daughters have decided to call it home as well. So for the past 11 or so years, I have visited regularly and have had a bed or couch to lay my head, the only cost being a few hours sleep as we have chatty time into the wee hours of the morning. Time seems to have flown; my friend and I gathering a few more lines in our faces, and my beautiful daughters have become empowered and amazing young women. But even still, there has been a rhythm, and flow, something predictable and even comforting as we measure the passage of years in hours on the road from door to door, and heart filling reunion, season by season.
Enter the year 2020. On this current visit, I am marking the first time I have spent the night at my bestie's house in A YEAR AND A HALF. The same floors, and fridge, and rich mountain views, but time warped and over 500 days and nights just swallowed into a vacuum, never to be recovered. It is working on me. Bending my mind a little. On the one hand, I am deeply aware of the toll that Covid(yes, I said it, the C word) has taken on our planet; lives lost, careers and businesses ended, global travel mostly halted. Sometimes bitter losses, exposed and rehashed, over and over again, in the media, and in FaceTime and Zoom conversations, like a scab we cannot seem to leave alone, to NOT talk about. The unthinkable made undeniably real, as the entire world shut down. I have no desire to relive that part of it.
But then, this morning over coffee, in public, at an airy coffee shop, unmasked, my daughter and I looked into each others faces and gently reminisced about the unique opportunity we had last spring and early summer, to live together for the first time in 8 years, to stay home, cooking good food, tending a garden, walking for hours, rather than driving to get someplace as quickly as possible. We had the chance to step out of the rat race life had become, and settle into a luxuriously unhurried pace. And it was truly one of the most nourishing times either of us has ever experienced.
Such a paradox, a mystery, how we can experience such extreme loss, and unparalleled gain within the same tracing of days. It's something to think about. It's what I love about this complicated life, both precious and sublime.
My teaching schedule is changed up this week, due to travel. Click the link to check the times.
What a full week I have had! It started with that overlap of Father's Day and Summer Solstice, and burgeoned into a week full of visiting family, birthday celebrations, and extra yoga under a (cloud covered) full moon. While the week has left me a little hungry for and appreciative of my day of rest, my mind is reflective, noticing that I still feel so filled up, even with all of the busy-ness of the past several days.
There is an abundant quality to the summer season. After planting seeds (figuratively AND literally) in the early spring, one visit to the local farmer's market is a testament to how Nature absolutely produces! So much bounty from the earth; tomatoes, cukes, summer squashes and zuchs, mushrooms, eggs, and so much more. So, after the pause of winter, and the promise of spring, summer has produced. Life, as Nature, is a giver.
And then there is the influx of tourism to our little beach town. It really feels FULL of folks, especially post-2020. After a year of a slower pace of life and staying in, we humans are ready to bust out. We are eager to travel, or really just GATHER, to look into the ACTUAL faces of our friends and family, not through the filter of the ZOOM screen or a mask. As the last traumatic year begins to fade in the rear-view, we are leaning in to Life with a renewed sense of its value, hopefully a little more grateful for all we have. SO, after a year of contraction, we are expanding again. Life, after contraction, is expansive.
I am beginning to see the pattern here. As much as I am willing to let go of limited/limiting ideas about how much I can have or produce, Life is here, giving as much as I am willing to receive. As I empty myself through the offerings of my work, and the give and take of healthy relationships, I am filled again. A never-ending rhythm, a flow, a dance. Life itself is generous.
I am honored to share from the heart this week. I teach yoga asana via Zoom twice. I invite you explore my website and other offerings. I would be happy to work you.
Happy Father's Day, my friends. It also happens to be....duh duhhhhhhhhhnnn...THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!!! So, happy Summer Solstice 2021, the longest day of the year. It's a lot for me to hold in mind, and I want to touch on all that I am intuiting this day....I can do it!!! Let's break it down.
I love my dad and am thrilled that I get to celebrate him a couple of times a year, on his birthday and Father's Day. He is one of the most upstanding and generous men I know, and I hope that he knows how much he is loved and valued. Let's hear it for the dads.
The longest day of the year, people!! That's 14 hours and 6 minutes of daylight for us here on the (b)east coast, the most light from our star in one day that we will see all year! This makes me happy. Maybe because I am a Leo, or maybe because I used to be low-key afraid of the dark, I just love the sunshine. So, more sunshine, more better.
And finally, the first day of the official summer season. Let's face it, there is just something super sweet about long hot summer days and sultry summer nights. Even though my kids are grown, it still feels exciting to think that school's out, people are taking time off for vacation, and life just feels more relaxed and spacious. We have about 3 months to soak it all in, so let's get busy.....taking it easy.
You have a couple of times to practice yoga with me via Zoom this week, and one chance to practice LIVE AND IN PERSON. Click the link for all the details.