The perfect prayer

I sit cross-legged,

My hands in prayer.

From my practice sweat glistens on my face.

My thoughts press in but I let them be.

On by, again and again, they race.

There’s something to say, I feel it inside.

I search for reasons, for words to be there.

My mind bursts with what I want from the Goddess, from the Universe,

but for now that’s not the message my soul bears.

I so want to feel something,

to say the perfect prayer,

and then there in the dark, I’m hit.

“Thank you,” I utter. All is still. My heart swells.

And that’s enough. I know those words were it.

 

 

Break Time!

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Moving is hard! Break times to play board games are a must.

Friends and followers, my family is in the middle of moving. A new poem and Strawberry Moon chapters will be up in the coming weeks- until then!

The Freedom Of Home

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.” Maya Angelou

My family is in the midst of a transition; moving to a new town, a new home. We’re spending time at our families homes before our move-in date. Currently, I’m in my hometown. I’m at the house I grew up in, driving the roads I’ve driven countless times in the past, sleeping in the bedroom from my teenage years. Only now I’m with my own kids and my husband.

From being here, and on the cusp of establishing a new life for my little family, the idea of “home” is on my mind.

People use the word “home” to refer to a house, a geographic location, a family, a feeling, often to the place of their upbringing. I think when we express the feeling of being “at home,” that we’re all referring to similar sensations; a state of feeling comfortable, accepted, loved, supported, and perhaps being surrounding by certain external circumstances that appeal to our particular preferences. It’s this sense of belonging to a people or place. I think this is a feeling that most people seek to have in their lives; to create a sense of being “at home.”

In my recent yoga teacher training, I thought about the idea of “home” a lot. As I was reading the words of BKS Iyengar, Baron Baptiste, and Ana Forrest, I kept coming back to this feeling that in my search to feel belonging in my life, in seeking to create “a home,” I had lost my sense of what that actually means. I was seeking it in the wrong places; particularly in things and people (my husband and kids especially). I can’t say that people and material things don’t contribute to our sense of comfort and homely feelings, because they do. But again and again, I was finding that on my mat, sweating like a nut, there would be these rare moments of presence where I was totally with all the struggles and ease of that moment. In those moments, I felt oddly safe- I felt a sense of acceptance. I felt a sense of belonging. I felt loved and loving. I felt “at home.”

From those moments, my definition of “home” has begun to change. It’s still evolving I think. But right now, sitting here in my parents cozy dining room with rain outside, my kids running about, I’m aware that despite my love for this place, it is not my home. The place where we’re moving is not my home. With my husband and my children, despite the wild love I have for them, that is not my home.

Home is within. Home is a state of being where all that you are right now, you accept it, maybe even love it. It’s a place of authenticity and self-love. To me, “at home” there is freedom. Home is the state of knowing that you belong everywhere and no where, that you are of no place, ethnicity, religion, and that these defining bits are mere shells. And when you can find that feeling of being entirely “at home” within yourself, then you’re suddenly free to love everything about the present moment and people in it without strings. Doesn’t that sounds like such a blissful freedom? For me, the challenge is to bring that feeling, that truth, off the mat and into my life.

What is “home” to you?

When do you feel “at-home”?

🍓 Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Strawberry Moon is posted. It’s added under the tab above. Click “Strawberry Moon.” Then scroll on past the synopsis, Chapter 1 and 2, until you hit Chapter 3. Enjoy and please comment. ALL feedback is appreciated!

The Search for Greener Pastures.

Early tomorrow morning, my family will be moving out of Texas. I moved here in 2009. Neither my husband nor I are from Texas but we met here in 2010, and with the exception of 2 years in Europe, we’ve been here. Now in search of cooler temperatures, nearness to family, scenic mountains, among lots of other hopes, we’re leaving behind something (and someplace) really good in pursuit of something great.

So this is what’s on my mind; Greener pastures.

When it comes to ditching something good in pursuit of great, I’ve felt both support and resistance from family and friends. I have no strong emotions or ties to either responses; these decisions are mine and my family’s. However, I’m interested in how diverse, how on very opposite sides of the spectrum (one being YES to changes, even big, life-altering ones. The other being NO. NO. NO.) many people are. I understand that adhering to structured beliefs, taking up a view of the world that is black and white, lends sense and organization to a pretty confusing place. But I’d argue that needing to consistently understand and simplify decisions and situations also robs us of vital growth experiences. The world is not black and white. We live in a world of grey. The trick, then, is to learn to see and judge your life and decisions with a sober view of what you have, what you want, to what degree various changes in your life could benefit you, and (in some cases) how much risk can you and your family take?

Happiness and contentment are not products of our outer worlds. But our environments, the jobs we do, the nature we are (or are not) surrounded by, the hobbies we enjoy, the households we create, the cultures we participate in- these things shape our lives, help us instill them with meaning, and simply help us have more joy. So from this perspective, I’d say that making changes that allow you to do more of what lights you up, to feel and see what lifts you up- well, that’s makes a lot of sense to me.

There are those who will endlessly be seeking something better, to have more, to be more, chasing something new to be happier, never still long enough to experience the joy of any given state. There are also those who will stagnate while defending their choices and fears using reason and “wisdom.”

And there is grey area, as there always is- the necessities for life do not allow many to up and ditch a job and lifestyle that is working and supportive. But the sentiment I’m aiming to share here is applicable on all levels; giant and tiny changes. Between the restless and stagnating folks out there, there is a world of grey. Where are you on this spectrum?

Are there changes in your life, small or large, that may give you a healthier, happier, or more interesting life? Are you so busy being busy that you never stop and smell the roses? Are there places in your life where the pastures are pretty lush if you’d only take the time to notice? In what ways do you feel called to growth? Do you resist change? Do you resist the moment you’re in right now? And most interesting to me, how do you judge and measure these things in your life?

talk to me.

 

That’s all for now- Strawberry Moon, Chapter 3 out tomorrow!

🍓 Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 of Strawberry Moon is posted. It’s added under the tab above. Click “Strawberry Moon.” Then scroll on past the synopsis, past “Chapter 1”, until you hit “Chapter 2.” Enjoy and please comment. ALL feedback is appreciated!

From one parent to another…

From one parent to another,
I won’t lie.
I’m afraid.
When again and again, repeatedly, we have days like today.
When we see loss and pain and tragedy,
And it hits so close to home,
And we seek some solace in our leaders,
But there are none,
We’re on our own.
From one parent to another,
I won’t lie,
My heart, it breaks.
I wonder how long we’ll fight for our rights despite who else’s rights and lives they take.
From one parent to another,
I’m appalled and mad and confused,
1 nation, divided,
Neighbors living worlds apart,
Our once-trusted systems abused.
From one parent to another,
Don’t turn away, it could happen to you.
So when it comes time to march,
To vote,
To take a stand,
To show up,
It matters that you do.
💜
#enoughisenough #santafeschoolshooting #guncontrolnow

💔

🍓 Chapter 1 .

Chapter 1 of Strawberry Moon is posted. It’s added under the tab above. Click “Strawberry Moon.” Then scroll on past the synopsis until you hit “Chapter 1”. Enjoy and please comment. ALL feedback is appreciated!

Take the first exit off of “Sane-and-OK highway” and you’ll be in “Ruts-ville” in no time.

Recently on a breakfast outing with G (my husband), over what I consider to be the city’s best chicken and waffles, I expressed that I was feeling a bit in a rut (hence the copious amounts of butter, syrup, coffee, fried chicken and waffles…). This statement got a whole conversation started on our “ruts,” what gets us there, why and how it happens, and how (if possible) to avoid them, or maybe more realistic, pull ourselves out when we find ourselves stuck.

I feel like we can generally point it out when we’re there; what I’m more interested in is the road that leads to “ruts-ville.” Cheesy, I know. In a long diatribe with the intent to track my rut-road (this really displayed my husband’s amazing attention-span) I suddenly saw it; I saw where that road began.

It’s one thing, one moment where you’re feeling a little sensitive, a little self-conscious, a little self-doubt, but instead of feeling it and then focusing on all the reasons to feel strong, self-confident, and assurance, we dive into that fear and begin a wild, swerving race down the road to “ruts-ville.” Ok, let me explain…

Currently there are various happenings in my life that are not entirely in my control. For all you other control-freaks out there, you know how challenging that can be. I’m waiting for a response from a literary agent whom I would Love Love LOVE to work with. I’m on the cusp of beginning to teach yoga in a new city, a new studio, as a new teacher. In short, these are two of many going-ons that have the possibility to flare up my insecurities. Days go by and I haven’t heard from Agent Lady. The conclusion I jump to? My poem-formed query was a stupid idea, I’m a lousy writer, and really just an all-around twat. In my yoga practice, the conclusions and fears I hover over are similarly bleak. I fall out of a pose, forget what’s next, you name it= you can’t teach. You’re a clumsy cow, who would see you as a teacher? Ugh, joke! Seriously, mean inner conversations happening here. Take these obvious visceral things and mix them with the intricacies of moving with kids, setting up a new life, and really just all the ins-and-outs of daily life…it’s a concoction for a serious detour off of “Sane-and-OK Highway” right on down to “Ruts-ville.”

The nugget of wisdom that made me want to share this is the reality that it all starts in a moment. I miss my alarm? Yep, that could do it. I’m late getting my kids to school? Yep. No emails from Agent Lady yet? Yep yep yep. My pants fit just as tight as yesterday meaning that yoga doesn’t work and I’m just an eternal cow? Yep.

It’s not about the moment that brings up that insecurity. It’s about what we do when that feeling arises. It’s about making the choice to focus on the empowering aspect of any given moment rather than the aspects that bring us down, the moments that we make mean all these other irrelevant things (I’m stupid, lazy, not enough…etc).

We then become hyperaware of any moment, interaction, feeling that might solidify our fears that whatever scary conclusion we’ve come to about ourselves is true. Example- I slept through the alarm. So we’re late for everything. I’m so lazy, pathetic. Ugh, the other moms won’t be late. You are incompetent. You’ll never accomplish anything you want. And then when someone beeps in traffic, I assume it’s at me. A look from a stranger…yep see? Every moment then supports what I fear to be true. And voila! Momma is in “Ruts-ville.” Anyone else do this? I know you do.

 

The trick, I suppose, is to catch the moments where your self-doubt is triggered. Feel it. But then, instead of following that feeling and ending up with some disempowering message that you’ll go on to seek proof of (and find of course), choose not to follow it, but instead, to let it go. Instead of focusing on what’s not happening, on being late or behind, or feeling out of shape, feeling that your work may be rejected; Instead focus on what good IS happening right in this moment. So you’re late? Don’t rush, vow to come up with a system to help you be on time, pat yourself on the back for caring, and let it go. Feeling behind or out of shape? You are where you are today. Can you find something you love about where you are? Fear that your work will be rejected? Can you instead focus on the joy of doing work you love and putting it out there? Can you congratulate yourself for being brave enough to share what you create?

Choosing to uphold the perspective and belief that “I am enough” again and again, I believe, is “the secret” to keeping-going on down that “Sane-and-OK Highway.” There is, of course, a necessity to be realistic and to see ourselves with enough clarity to be aware of what ways and habits don’t serve us. But to use that knowledge to beat yourself down helps no one and certainly does not set you up for more successes.

Do you catch yourself when your insecurities rise?

Do you feel when you’re beginning to lose control, beginning that wild ride down to “Ruts-ville”?

What do you do to bring yourself back? To keep yourself moving along the “Sane-and-Ok Highway” as smoothly as you can? I’d love to hear.

 

In other news, I’m posting Chapter 1 of Strawberry Moon tomorrow. 1 chapter a week. Whooo! Stay tuned.

 

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