.October is upon us. I don't know what you are experiencing, but it seems to me that the speed with which time is passing is fluctuating so much it could give a person whiplash! August was slooooow, but September flashed by. Now October is here, and the holidays are not far behind, so we will have plenty to keep us occupied in the coming months. I like to use this time of year to take stock of what has come to fruition, based on my plans/goals set way back in January. A little Q4 inventory, if you will.
2021, much like 2020, has been filled with proverbial curve balls and X factors. There is no easy or casual way to ascertain the toll that disruption and loss has taken on so many people. I am humbled to note that, through the wildness of the days, my personal experience has been quite calm and without much disruption. Different yes, but still steady as she goes. Not so much for some. One of my daughters graduated high school in 2020 and lost so many of the traditional milestones of a senior year. Her freshman year of college was completely derailed by the challenge of illness and changing campus policies, so 2021 has meant moving into her own apartment and working 2 jobs until her vision for the future calls her to a different path. We are two sides of a shared Life coin. I have heard so many stories, some of deep loss, some where circumstances have actually improved. While the landscape of our lives has been so different, maybe even scary due to the X or "novel" factors, we are still here. We have adapted. In some ways the challenges have even catalyzed clarity about how we want to spend the precious moments of our lives here on the earth, and with whom. Just today, two of my most long time friends have used the term "life is short" in our phone and text conversations. Another commentary on the measure of time.
Looking back over the bumps and curves of the first three quarters of 2021, I am mostly satisfied with the progress. I hope you are. As we rocket toward the end of the year, I hope you are caring for yourselves and feeling connected, within and to others. I invite you to join me for yoga this week, before I literally head for the hills of Blowing Rock, NC to share some of my gifts on retreat with the amazing Jennifer Smith-Kenny of JKS Yoga. Click the link below when the time is right.
Happy Harvest Full Moon from Los Angeles, CA. I hope you are reaping the fullness of all you have planted in the juicy ripeness of the summer season. Time to enjoy the fruits of your efforts, my friends. But let us remember that it is time to begin to suss out the seeds we will plant in the coming season. I know I am looking within, going deep, and taking stock. I will share more next week when I am back in pocket. Until then, happy moon bathing!
My dudes, we made it! Labor Day has come and gone, cooler temps are here, people are back to school... the summer season, and all its fruits, are moving in to the rear view. Nature is doing her thing. I have been talking a lot about change in the last bit of time, and whether it looks like it or not, we have made it through an invisible cosmic transition.
If you have had the joy and privilege of birthing a child, you will recognize the word "transition." For those of you who DON'T know, it is the stage in childbirth labor when the uterine contractions of the person giving birth have done their work, and it is almost time to push the baby out into the world. It has usually been a long haul, and the person feels DONE. Cooked. Exhausted. A partner or doula is useful to offer support and encouragement. The finish line is near, but not here. Close but no cigar, as the saying goes.
In the manner of a doula, I offer these practices as support during this time of cosmic transition.
1) Be Present: get still and witness
2) Be Aware: the mind is almost always active, giving commentary, replaying the past, worrying about the future. As you become aware of this mental activity, release thought, and return to step 1.
3) Be Creative: we are creative beings. That which is held in mind tends to manifest. This is not theory, but universal law. Are you creating your experience of the world consciously or unconsciously?(see step 2).
For better or worse, we are in this Life together; individuals creating our common experience. Ram Dass said so beautifully, "We are all just walking each other Home." As such, may we keep our minds grace-full and kind, encouraging and supportive of one another, so that the world we are birthing is vibrant and healthy. Not just for ourselves, but for the generations to come.
I am teaching yoga Monday, then off the following week. Click the link to join class or to book an appointment.
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.