It's been raining this week. A lot. If I have heard one person say "Well, we really need the rain," I have heard thirty. And I get it. It was blissfully dry and sunny for a couple of weeks in May. So now, as she does, Nature inevitably brings the rain, the water table will rise, and we will leave drought conditions behind. And I am thankful that she is on that, because if I had my way, the sun would shine exactly 365 days per year and the graceful balance of life would be totally out of whack. And we need it to be IN whack....right? Right.
Please join me for yoga asana this week, while we wait for these June showers to bring all that has been parched and thirsty back into lush and vibrant balance.
Welcome to the first full week of June! And with it we have a full Ring of Fire solar eclipse on Thursday the 10th. BOOM. We in the more southern part of North America will not be able to see the magic, but perhaps we will be able to feel it. As I did with the lunar eclipse a couple of weeks ago, I offer a link to a description of the purported esoteric and astrological aspects of solar eclipses. Even if you do not buy in to these esoteric perspectives, we can all agree that there is a thing we call a solar eclipse happening. As with the gravitational influence of the moon on our bodies, we can assume that the interruption of light, as it makes its way to us from Solaris, could have some impact we may be able to feel.
I like these cosmic events because it gives me the sense that we are all in this together. Back in August 2017, when we in the South were able to see the full totality of a solar eclipse, my bestie and I took my kids out to Franklin NC to get in on the action. We pulled into a scenic overlook that was packed with people from all parts of North Carolina and beyond. People spread out blankets and lawn chairs and picnic lunches. We walked around to stretch our legs and made casual conversation with people we would not normally meet and would likely never see again. Then, as the sky began to dim and an eerie pink light spread, sound took on a muffled strangeness, and we all began to quiet and look up at the sky. We watched as the moon slowly moved directly in front of the sun and into totality with awe and wonder. It felt like a sacred moment that was at once mysterious and shared. It was a peak moment of my life, whether or not the astrological predictions made at the time ever came to pass.
I invite you, the micro, to take time this week to tune in to the great cosmic dance. The meta. The macro. It is in the moments when I feel my own insignificance in the vastness of the space, that Mercy, ever making its way toward the meekest of souls, activates Grace within my heart, and I find myself beloved. I hope you can get in on that action.
Hello from Memorial Day weekend. I offer up thanks and honor to our fallen military brothers and sisters. As Jesus said, "There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for the sake of his friends." I am taking time to reflect on this level of sacrifice, and rededicate myself daily to act as a servant of the Highest Love in this life. While I regularly fall short of selfless behavior, I do intend that my life be of benefit to my fellow travelers, and the world in general, in some way. I hope that in the midst of enjoying some time off, perhaps spent with family and/or dear friends, we can/will all take some time to think about the deeper meaning of this day.
That all being said, I am teaching this week! Follow the links for times, and to join.
Deep into the month of May, and if your 2021 ride has not been wild enough, you had better strap in! There is a Full Moon on Wednesday and it's both a Supermoon AND a total lunar eclipse. What does it mean, you ask, and why should I care? Let's break it down.
This month's full moon is the closest to the Earth the moon will come all year. When it rises, it will appear HUGE, hence the term "Supermoon." Even if you are not aware of the subtle influence the moon may have on our bodies, just keep in mind that the ocean tides are under its sway, and we are more that 75% water...it's just physics, people. If that isn't enough to pique your curiosity, there is a total lunar eclipse that same day. Now we won't be able to see the eclipse from the (B)east coast, but those in other parts of North America will have a great view. Here is a link to the dates and times of both the full moon and the eclipse. And here is an interesting read on the purported esoteric significance of lunar eclipses.(I am not saying I believe this to be so, but it IS food for thought.) And finally, this particular moon is called the Flower Moon, for obvious reasons, you know, April showers bring May WHAT?! Flowers.
So yeah, there it is. In this week's asana practice, we will play with tuning in to the softer and more subtle energies of the moon. Link and times below.
Would we call it ironic that on the heels of Mother's Day, I find myself home alone, my youngest daughter having moved to her first apartment this weekend? Whatever we call it, it is hitting hard. No matter how many carbs I have noshed, no matter that I spent a lovely weekend on the water dog-sitting for a friend, nor the 90 minute drive to a nearby town to visit at a barbecue joint with a west coast bestie I haven't seen in years, now that I am here and just feeling into the relative silence at my house, I really feel ALONE.
Now ALONE and lonely are not the same, I have oft been careful to point out. As a single woman over 50, I am VERY happy, and spend a lot of time by myself. But until now, there has been a constant sense of myself as a mother, with duties only as far away as the sound of the garage door opening and footsteps clomping up the stairs. But now I am left with just myself and a couple of cats. Even though the feline needs are frfr(that's for real for real for those who are NOT parent to a gen Z or millennial) I feel heart-sore at the absence of those babies, turned toddlers, turned tweens, turned teens, turned young women ready to fledge. And I don't know if I am ready to like it yet. So I will sit and I will feel. I will not push away what I am beginning to recognize as grief mixed with love and pride. And I will practice the yoga of letting go.
Join me for asana this week by clicking the link below.
The month of May is upon us. Or we are in it. Or that which has gone before is now embodied in May. Anyway...
When I was doing a little research around what May has traditionally represented, I expected to read about May Day and the Maypole, the Celtic festival of Beltane, and maybe a nod to Mother's day. What I did not remember, or maybe never learned, is that May 1 is also International Worker's Day or Labor Day. I was intrigued, and continued to read about the situation in the US that lead to an 8 hour work day, and 5 day work week. These standards that are taken for granted by most people I know were not easily won. In fact, there was protesting, rioting, and violence, toward the police and by the police toward protesters. The year this movement toward workers rights came to a boiling point was 1886. Read more about it here.
All of this has me comparing what happened then with many of the other hard fought liberties and standards I take for granted today, that were won by the commitment, action, and bloodshed of others throughout history . Even the protests and actions that have taken place in the last crazy year. It also has me thinking that it is really when human beings unite toward a common goal that large scale change can happen. And while the powers that operate against the highest good and freedom for all work to divide and conquer, the option is still available to each of us to identify and embody Liberty, make a decision to STAND for it, and unite with others willing to stand along with us to create the change we want to see in the world. You might wonder "how?" There is a great unifying field that we can all tap into. That field is Love. We find it when we turn within and seek it. Once found it acts as an organizing force that attracts and draws to us people and opportunities that resonate with Love. There is more intrinsic power in Love than in any energy that seeks to divide or enslave. While this may sound too simple, I have found that simple does not mean easy.
I invite you to contemplate what "liberty" means, and why it is so foundational in our US Constitution. If it seems important or valuable, maybe go that much further and test the other idea I've offered up. In the meantime, I hope you will join me for yoga this week. Click through below to see my schedule and join a class!
The March Equinox has come and gone. I have really been looking forward to the transition from Winter to Spring. Transition...now there is a word that covers a lot of ground in these days that mark the end of a full year of dealing with the "C" word. At this time last year we heard "two weeks to stop the spread." Two weeks turned into two months turned into a year. Happily, we are beginning to see a transition out of the messy boundaries and extreme polarity that seemed to define(ironically) 2020. But even as we move forward, I sense a watery quality to my perspective, and that is what I want to address this week.
According to the yogic science of Ayurveda Spring is linked to the kapha dosha. Kapha Is a Sanskrit word which translates to "that which flourishes In water" and dosha Is a way of saying "constitution." The qualities associated with this dosha are damp, sluggish, and cold. Sound familiar? I know that I have felt unclear, weighed down, and filled with the urge to clean house, declutter, lighten the load!!! Maybe you have too. So if you are ready to gain energy, dry out the dampness, and move into the season of renewal, make a fresh start, and venture safely back out into community, I hope you will join me for asana practice this week. See you on your mat!!
As we enter this third week in February with rain rain rain here in Wilmington, NC, my mind is on President's Day holiday on Monday, also the celebration of George Washington's birthday. I remember what I learned about ole George in elementary school; something about chopping down a cherry tree, and that he had dentures made of wood. And these days he is a figurehead of "the Patriarchy," which is considered the root of the evils of this world by some. But as I continue to ruminate, up comes curiosity about the naissance of this nation, and the issues that drove a British colony toward independent self-rule(I am a Leo, and a 1 in numerology, if you are into that stuff, so...yeah). If you are ready to stop reading and scroll right past, I get it....enough with politics already. And really, a query such as this could go into so many sidebars, like the ethics of colonization, and whose land is the USA really built on, or is the Declaration of Independence even valid, as it deliberately excluded certain people from its benefit. But I will stick with a particular stream of thought, and I will keep it short. I promise.
Upon doing some light research into the gist of the Declaration of Independence, I came across this paragraph on the Sparks Notes website:
It took 14 months, military mobilization, persuasive pamphleteering, and the further abuse of colonial rights before all 13 colonies agreed to pursue independence. At issue were political as well as practical concerns. Upper class colonists tended to fear the lower class gaining too much power through revolution. Middle class colonists could not afford to see their businesses continue to decline due to trade restrictions. All colonists resented that the King and Parliament denied them representative government and their civil rights. However, they also doubted whether they would be strong enough to resist the British military.
I am struck by how some these statements seem to describe current day issues; the consolidation of wealth by large corporations and the world's wealthiest people, the merchant class experiencing challenges wrought by mandates created to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, average citizens feeling that their views and issues are not being represented in the governmental decision making process, and finally, civil and human rights abuses of certain groups of people. How can it be that almost 250 years later we as a country and a society continue to struggle with the same issues?!
While I haven't landed on a short answer, (and I did promise to keep it short!)I do glean that perhaps these are the challenges of living as a human on this earth in modern times. There appears to be no immediate solution or quick fix, and even long range plans, the fighting of wars, and the forming of new systems of government, have not ultimately solved the stated challenges. What can I as one person do? A big question, but the answer that arises is the same one that has come in response to other Big Questions that have come before. I can continue to challenge myself to be the change I want to see in the world. To work toward accurate self-appraisal, and to cultivate a willingness to acknowledge when and how I am falling short of a high standard of ethics and behavior needed to accomplish that change. I can determine to move in the direction of being and doing better. And instead of feeling cynical about Presidents Day, which can seem to highlight systemic hypocrisy and shortfall, I can use it as a reminder of the inalienable rights spelled out by the Declaration of Independence, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for myself and ALL beings.
Week two of February 2021 leads us inevitably toward V-day. Some people look forward to it, others loathe it, but no matter how you feel about it, get ready. I personally use it as just one more opportunity to give little thoughtful gifts to my beloveds, and I am all about giving a gift. Gift giving, I have learned, is one of five "love languages" as described in the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Though I have never read the book, it certainly rings true that we each express love in a way that is particular and natural to us.
Recently I had a bodywork session with a dear friend of mine. During our session, the Spirit moved to tell my friend that it is time to learn to express love in a new way, beyond words. It felt to us as though the Presence of Love itself was moving during our time together, as a Force that was stretching us and in-forming us both to a new way of BEING with those we care about. While the feeling eventually faded, I remember how blissed out and connected I felt during that time. I welcome the idea that I am ready to learn to BE in a way that allows the Force of Love to move through my life. During this last year of wild change, I have thought many times that I want so deeply to be a part of creating a new way of living in this world, that levels us all up to create the new systems where all beings are recognized as valuable and treated with respect and mutuality that reflects this. I have also had the feeling that if it is to be, humanity is going to have to be prepared to BE DIFFERENT. That bodyworks session showed me that it is possible, but I have to live in such a way as to "listen" to Presence, and be sensitive to this new Love language, trusting that I will learn it as I go.
I hope you have an amazing week, and that your Valentine's day is gentle and joyful. I am teaching yoga asana twice this week, please follow the link for my schedule.
Are you a quitter? I've quit many things in my life at different times; alcohol, sugar, eating animals, watching TV, unhealthy relationships... I have grown to believe that when I want or need to do a thing, whether for work, or money, or health, I am disciplined, I will be able to just do it. Ive got the evidence. Right?
Not always. In fact, not so much RIGHT NOW. So, I feel inclined to contemplate exactly what happened to me that shifted the locus of power from "out there" to "in here', how I accessed the belief and experience that I am indeed able to create the results I desire, to shape the landscape of my life into what I want it to be.
There were years of my life when the state of my mind, my inner thoughts, were dark and bleak. I did not like, much less love, myself. And I felt powerless to make changes. I was identified with myself as a creature that was not lucky, or happy, or lovable, and I did not know that I had the ability within to change any of it, to choose to be different. I felt like I just was the way I was, I was born that way, and that was the way things were meant to be for me. I lived in that state for many years, and overall my life and the will to continue on seemed to spiral downward. Truth be told, I barely made it out alive.
Looking back I see that I had to come to the end of that version of myself, small and finite. When I did, I did not just disappear...a new experience of mySelf was born. Slowly, over the course of time, everything has changed. Bit by bit, choice by choice, a new life, a new landscape, defined by different qualities; peace, purpose, happiness, joy, (yes they are different!)faith, humility. These days , when I want to create change, it seems like the power to do so just is.
Here in the third week of January 2021, I am NOT exactly where I want to be, in some ways. I am taking some time to reflect more deeply on what I want, and why, who in the world I think I am. I am looking at what is needed in the world and how I can make moves to be part of a hopeful future. While I feel challenged to keep daily disciplines, I realize it is because I have outgrown a particular version of myself. Where I am going, this old me does not belong. Time for new thoughts, new behaviors, new inner conversations. I realize I am excited to meet the new me.