Sunday, September 27, 2015

......the pope wave

You know the wave they do at big sporting events?  The one where  a few people stand up and wave their arms up into the air and then back down, followed by those next to them, and then those next to them. 

It takes a while to get it going.  First everyone has to notice that it is happening, then they have to decide to join in, and finally the timing has to be just right.  But when that all comes together it is a rush of energy that connects everyone there.
The pope’s visit reminded me of that.

This week began on Monday with International Peace Day and in last week’s blog I suggested that we all take a few moments that day to send out the energy of peace.  The following day the pope arrived.

I didn’t attempt the trek down into the city, but I could feel his presence right away.  Most were told to work from home so there was a pause in traffic and the frenzied DC rush.  The tv, newspaper and radio chronicled  his journey while  others who had been physically near him shared their stories. Everyone arriving  to classes with thoughts on his visit.  There was suddenly a lightness to the air.  An excitement. The wave had made its way into the suburbs. 

Possibly I felt the wave because I just completed leading the fourth week of Thank you September! – a month of guided meditation and gratitude. Or maybe it was these last two weeks of extremely deep heart opening movements that we did in classes.  Or perhaps we are all just finally ready to hear something new. 

No words of toughening, but instead of softening.  No speeches on the greatness of some, but of the good in all.  Compassion for others, not protecting ourselves.  Connections vs walls.  An open hand.  Tolerance. Love. Peace. A breath of fresh air.  The wave had brought a sense of hope. 

I noticed.  I decided I wanted to participate……..and I felt like the timing was perfect.  My arms are up in the air!  NY you were next and now it is Philly’s turn.  Have you felt it where you are?  Are you joining in?

I am at the beach and just returned from the store. A gay gentleman in front of me in line was saying ‘Pope for president’.  The wave has definitely made it to Delaware.

….posting a little early so I can go and watch the full moon rise!

There will only be peace when we find peace within ourselves,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

....what you send comes right back

Here I am.   Twenty days into the thirty days of meditation and gratitude that I am currently leading.  I am reminded how whenever you teach something, you learn.  Because whatever you send out comes back to you……………..
Our focus this month has been on noticing what we are sending out. We are energy beings and every thought, emotion, action and intention emits a unique energy vibration. A frequency which attracts the same frequency back toward you. Like attracts like. 

However when we live our lives unconsciously, it feels as if these things are happening to us, instead of us choosing to create them.  That is where meditation comes in.  Meditation is a pause. By taking a specified time every single day to sit and notice, we start to see our habits. We watch the stream of thoughts that pour through our minds becoming intimate with them, and recognizing what vibration we are sending out. Learning to observe without attaching. 

We each are made up of all of them…..anger, joy, frustration, calm, love, fear, anxiety, compassion. They each make us ‘feel’ different. So which of them do you want to cultivate and which do you choose to diminish?

The other night I was thinking of a friend and suddenly found myself feeling jealousy.  Not a sensation that feels very pleasant.  It would be easy to add in a story –  she looks better, has more, gets life handed to her, blah, blah, blah.  Until the whole evening now has a negative feel to it and I feel small.

Or when this happens – you notice (it’s a big step just to notice!!), watch it without judgment or a story, let it fade, and choose which vibration you want to replace it with.  At that moment I chose gratitude for all that I have and for her friendship, shifting my awareness into my heart until I could feel a spark of gratitude energy and then sending it out into the space in front of me. Being grateful draws more things to be grateful for right back. Now that feels a whole lot better!

Tomorrow, 9/21, is International Peace Day.  Everyone says that they want peace, but what does the vibration of peace feel like?  If we want peace for ourselves, in our lives and even in our world, we all must begin to vibrate at the frequency of peace.  Everyone.  We have to choose peace.  Let’s try it tomorrow! Whenever you catch yourself with a thought or energy that does not bring you peace….. stop, notice, watch, let it fade and tune into your peace vibration.  Send it out in to the world! 

Just imagine if everyone in the world did that tomorrow at the same time……

We can create anything that we want,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

.....I never kill a bug

I never kill a bug.

I have never been a big bug killer and I still remember my father carrying spiders outside. But I did keep a trusty can of Raid under the sink, swatted some flies and have been known to throw my shoe at a spider. In college my closet had camel crickets and I would spray them with Lysol (not exactly sure why…but not sure about a lot of the things I did in college). 

But I have noticed over these last several years that the longer I follow yogic practices, the further away I become from being able to take the life of an insect. To take the life of anything really. It doesn’t feel right.

Bee in my office – I open the windows get a broom and escort her out. Stinkbugs get scooped up in my hand and shown the door. Small beetles that somehow end up in my sink or tub and have spent all night climbing up the side only to slide back down, get handed a tissue to use as a ladder.  As ants arrive in the spring I find their path and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper which sends them marching right back out.  Bugs eating my garden - I look for companion plantings that discourage that particular insect. 

But what about mosquitoes?? I'm sure you give them a good slap when they land?  No, I simply shoo them away and kindly ask them to let me be.  Yes, really.   I actually energetically send out a message with my body.  Does that mean I never get bit?  No, but a lot less often.  And you know what?  Even when you get a lot of bites, they itch for an hour and then go away.  Killing mosquitos as they land on you is never going to end mosquito bites.  They need to eat too….and I have allowed the bats to nest in my eaves to keep the life cycle complete. 

It works with gnats as well.  This summer I actually made a study of observing people and their interaction with gnats.  When gnats are heavy I get stiller and again ask them to keep some distance.  Most people move and  swat and curse and try to kill them.  Many times they even go back inside.  You know what?  They get landed on a lot more than me.  Try it.  Get very still and relax.  Notice how they circle but don’t do a whole lot more than that when left alone to be gnats.  That which you resist……persists.

So this morning as I woke up I knew this was what I was going to write about.  I walked into my closet to get my yoga clothes and as I reached down a large striped spider ran onto my yoga bra.  Ahh!! Very funny Universe.  Testing me with something more challenging I see……   I took a deep breath.  But a bag next to him which he ran up.  Carried the bag ever so slowly (keeping a very close eye on him lest he decide to run up the bag and onto my arm), opened the window and set him on the ledge.  It felt right. 

Never is a such strong word.  Not one I am sure I can actually live up to…..but it is my intention.  And intention is what matters.

Saw my first praying mantis in the garden!

Making peace with all beings,

Sunday, September 6, 2015


It began on Friday.   What will I write about this week? 

I have been on vacation and in that mode of waking each morning only to that day.  Gliding through….run, tea, yoga, putter, beach, shower, drink on the deck, dinner, walk through town, bed.  Not looking back, but also not looking ahead.  So what was I going to write about on Sunday?

Each week there is some moment in time where the story begins to reveal itself.  But not this week.  Not on Friday.  Not on Saturday.  Not on Saturday night.  The whole night as I slept my dreams were new ideas floating up and then proceeding to pop like an air bubble.  Ugh, I will have to bring my pc to the beach and hope something comes to me.  But what if it doesn’t????? 

Oh no, my mind began to think – Writers Block!!!  It did feel like that.  Each idea hitting a brick wall - one after another.
So this morning in meditation I remembered what I teach.  I sat still.  I emptied my thoughts.  I stopped ‘trying’ so darn hard and asked and trusted that the Universe, as it always does, would guide me.  (just a note that after seven years this still takes a leap of faith for me…)

An hour later I am running and pass a beautiful blond and young guy at the bottom of a hill.  They were about to head up and I am coming down.  Obviously she was newer to running and he was coaching her along.  She was yelling “I don’t want to do this!” as he turned her up the hill.  She was laughing and loudly asking not to have to go up.  She yelled to me “you are heading downhill” to which I responded that I would very shortly be heading back up. 

‘Hills are your friend!’ I wanted to yell back to her as I would always remind my running group in our training runs for the marathon.  ‘Hills are what make you strong!!’

That was it, as the story came pouring in.  Crystal clear. 

Life is a series of hills.  Our challenges.  You may be heading up a steep incline and I may be breezing down a slow long slope.  But neither of us should become attached or begin to think that this is how life is, because in a blink of an eye you will be on the even flats and I will be putting my head down to climb again.    My supposed writer’s block was one such hill.  This time it was a mere bump and not a mountain, but who knows what the next one will be like.  Our hills are what bring us growth.  Challenge us to reach our potential.  Create our expansion.  Our greatness.  Without them we would be flat. 

So I will continue to remind myself over and over that ‘Hills are my friend!’......especially when they don’t feel like it.

No PC at the beach today – Thank you Universe,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

.......allowing life

‘Thank you September’ begins Tuesday!  Still time to sign up!  If you are on the fence…..take a chance and jump on over.

The other night in class everyone was dropped into resting half pigeon.  A pose of letting go, but one that can be quite uncomfortable for many.  The set up can be challenging for those with tight knees or hips, but the key to then being “in the pose” is to spend the next two minutes, just you and your breath,  allowing the body to sink down.

“Allow everything to be as it is”….. I said.  As the words came out of my mouth I heard them differently than I had ever heard them before.  Time stood still for just a second.

“Allow everything to be just as it is”   AAHHHHHH!!!!   But that is soooooo darn hard!!
The practice of yoga is merely a practice for life.  What we do on the mat is only as good as our ability to do it out in the world.  We focus on our breath in half pigeon and let that left outer hip talk loudly to us while we continue to focus on watching the discomfort without reacting.  Being with things as they are.

But out in the world!  Now that is another whole story.  How can I possibly be with everything exactly as it is???  I am not sure I can do that for even the two minutes we are in a pose, much less for a full day, week or month. 

Stop for a moment and say to yourself  - I am letting everything be EXACTLY as it is – look around and see what that feels like.  Everything.  My kids, my dog, my body, my job.   I notice my shoulders drop six inches as if a heavy weight suddenly rolled off.  An exhale escapes.

I had a song in my playlist last week called  ‘I will fix you’ and every time it played I was reminded how I catch myself trying to ‘fix’ others.  You know what I mean?  If only my son understood that……..  If only my husband would eat more ………  If she just realized what meditation could do for her.  If my friend would focus more.  Exercise more.   Once I teach them ……..  Basically – if everyone could be a little more like me J

We try to fix others, the house, the world, the way things work.  Do we ever stop for a moment and allows things to be exactly as they are?  Accept others as they are.  Allow mistakes.  Smile at frustration.  Gaze at our naked body in the mirror without one judgment.  Be ok with the hum of the Universe. 

I not suggesting that we don’t want change.  That is human nature and we are infinite creators. Change is dynamic and unending.  But what my lesson from the Universe was this week is that first we must “Allow everything to be as it is”.  When we can do that, even for moments at a time, our lens clears.  We see everything as it is – warts and all – not how we want it to be.  We befriend it.   And from that clarity we move forward.  Maybe, just maybe, not needing to ‘fix’ quite so much.

Allowing life,

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

INVITATION - Thank You September!

September is right around the corner and you can already feel her presence……cooler nights, yellowing plants, scurrying squirrels, acorns underfoot and buds on the goldenrod.   A time of transition.  A time of harvest.  A time of reflection.  A time for thanks!!

Join me in a month of meditation and gratitude!
…..did you know that cultivating gratitude can increase happiness and improve health?

Jump on board for our third annual September month of meditation.
When:      September 1 (Tuesday!) – September 30
What:       Daily emails with guidance on how to meditate and practices for awakening gratitude
Where:    The comfort of your own home
Cost:        $20 ($25 for two in the same family) – check or Paypal
How:        Simple!  Just send the email you would like me to use to            
What is asked of you:
Reading the email you receive each morning and 10 minutes of meditation daily!  Choosing to do the activities is optional but lovingly suggested to feel the greatest benefits J

Did you know that practicing gratitude can lower cholesterol, help you with sleep and improve your relationships?

Take the step as we together grow our “gratitude muscle” and have fun doing it…..all while making meditation a habit. 

Let me know if you want to participate!    All I need is an email and you will be put on my ‘Thank You September’ email DL with a lot more info to follow!  And please invite any family or friends who you think may enjoy this, or may benefit.  I would just need their emails!

Any questions?  Please ask!

Thankful for the incredible moon I just saw on my walk,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

......let's all take a pause

This week I offer more of an exercise than a writing.  It once again has to do with the pause.  So slow down…….

Become still.
Let’s all take a pause right now.  Visualize that we are all doing this together…..because we are.  As I write this I can feel all of you coming toward this pause.  And now you are in it with me.  Hi there!

Notice first how your body is feeling.  Any aches or pains?  Any holding in the shoulders?  What about that jaw or your fingers?  Any fidgeting?  Ask your body to relax and watch as a wave of relaxation slowly flows down from the head all the way to the toes.  Feel the temperature of the air on your skin.  Your feet where they touch the ground.

Slowing down.

See the room you are in.  The colors and textures.  The way you have placed things around you.

Open to hear what sounds are around you.  Listen.  First the ones that are close, and then reach for those further away. 

Arriving here.  In this moment.  Noticing now.
Observe your breath.  The rising of the inhales and the fall of each exhale.  The breath.  An ever present, patient and free, teacher that draws you inward.  You.  Here.  Now. 

Right now it doesn’t matter what your job is.  It isn’t important what kind of car you drive or where you live.  How much money you make or whether you have a twitter account is of little interest. The project due next Wednesday and the presidential debate are irrelevant .  Right now it doesn’t matter who you had an argument with this week or that you don’t like your new haircut.  To do list, parties, school supplies and the score of the game.

All of that is on the outside.  All swirling about and impermanent. Maya……illusion.  It isn’t you.

Drop back in.  Watch the breath as it traces your center.  Only here can you touch what is true and unchanging.  It is asking you to slow down and take a pause.  Arriving here.  Now.

You……. still.  The haze of daily life circling around you.  Here.  Now.  All ok.


Closing my eyes to immerse myself into the richness of now,