Tag Archives: meditation

To Gaffe is Human, To Hiss is Reptilian: When PC People are Just as Offensive.


While I consider myself somewhat deft with words, I can be “awkward” with them, not malevolent, nor an idiot, but well, ignorant. I’m one of the first people to point and laugh at myself. I take great pride in being able to condemn myself for being a complete buffoon at times.

‘nough said.

I was asked once to facilitate (pro bono — which is my pleasure) a meditation experience for a group of individuals associated with a suburban PFLAG community. I was honored to be asked and I considered it a privilege to serve. All I knew at the invitation was that I would be serving an arm of the organization which supports the family members of PFLAG members or otherwise activist.

I decided a yoga nidra would be best, for our first time together. Yoga nidra is “yoga sleep,” where you’re not actually asleep, but are in somewhat of a twilight state as the practitioner talks you through various states of internal physical awareness via muscle release and tiered outward cues such as the *awareness* of the sensation of the clothes on the body, the ticking of a clock or birds outside the room, etc..

So I arrived on time.

I went to the correct room.

I asked for the person I was supposed to meet. The liaison, if you will. I was taken to the liaison.

We shook hands and I was not introduced to the group, which I found a little confusing.

So I rolled out my mat (not expecting that I would be setting up in front of people, which is really sort of an awkward moment, because part of the cache of meditation — at least in my realm — is that you “encounter” it; you “discover” it — all ready and waiting for you. You don’t watch the practitioner set up, unroll its mat and arrange its chimes and then introduce itself. Almost every encounter I’ve had, the person is already there, in its pre-Zen state and waiting to facilitate. The exception was with Tara Brach, where the room was so big, and there were so many people (220+) that she came in when everyone was settled. (Sorta like Mass. But it wasn’t Mass. I’m shutting up.)


So I enter the room, put down my bag, seek the room for somewhere to place my coat. No one said anything. So … I take off my coat and place it on a chair. I wasn’t offered a hanger or assistance or anything. (And I’m a newbie! A GUEST! — The room started to take on a surly tone to me…)

So I gear up and just take it all in stride. After asking for consent, I spray a light mist of lavender and rosemary oil / water to help induce calm. I turn on my music (chanting monks) turn down the lights and do my thing, starting the nidra / awareness with a guided breathing exercise and then visualized relaxation from the top of the head to the tips of the toes and back up.

It lasted about 30 minutes.

Usually, people in a nidra go OUT in less than 10 minutes. That doesn’t matter because my constant chatter in a low tone helps them come in and out of the “zone” without any major disruptions. My voice is like a sound in the background.

At the end, I rang my chimes but kept the lights off.

I talked them through a gentle transition “back to the room” while reminding them to keep their eyes closed because I was going to turn on the light. I prompted everyone to cover their eyes so the light could slowly filter through their lids and that would be gentler for them. I prompted them to sit up for a final quote and closure.

I read a brief quote and we did our Namaste thing and told them to keep their eyes downward to reduce light shock. I packed up and left with the lights all the way up. (They were fluorescent which didn’t dim.) People were rubbing their eyes and exiting their various meditative states as I was slinging my bags over my shoulders, etc..

AS I WAS WALKING OUT THE DOOR, I said to the group, “Goodnight Ladies, thank you very much for letting me serve.”

The liaison whipped around, looked up at me, rushed me at the door and hissed, “YOU MEAN ‘GOODNIGHT PEOPLE OF ALL GENDERS‘ !!!”


You could have bruised me with a breath….

I was stunned. Speechless. Searching, frantically, in my mind for the reason for my error –surely this was my fault!– seeking preparation documents I read in my head for data that disclosed the details. None. None anywhere. I had absolutely NO idea I was working with a “gender identity” group; I was told I was serving an arm of family members of persons in the PFLAG community… I was NOT AT ALL AWARE I would be serving a Gender In Transition group. That’s when introductions and liaisons with an ounce of tact and who know what the hell they are doing come in handy.

What if I’d said ‘Guys!’ — would I have been cheered? Would I have been stoned? People say ‘guys’ all the time and mean no offense at all. The next time someone says, “Goodnight, Guys!” I’ll be waiting outside her car the next morning.

I’m a YOGA teacher. I’m all “about” peace love and kumbaya; I screw up but I … hell, I have close friends …no. I’m not going to say, “SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE _____.” Because that doesn’t matter. That’s NOT … this isn’t about ME. This, to me, is about humanity. That we all need to give each other a freaking break… No malice aforethought, then no malice whateverthought.

I may have screamed at my kids’ soccer ref, but I am NOT an asshole INTENTIONALLY. I’m very open-minded.

I was so horrified and mortified by my gaffe. Of course I said, “Yes! Absolutely! ‘Persons of all genders,’ of course!” But at that point, I felt as though I seemed insincere and just like a jerk (some of my best friends …’).

One of the other “leaders” in the group looked at me sympathetically. She It seemed to convey that she it knew I was so sorry. I began to feel sorry for her it that person because it had to work / see / breathe with the liaison.

I started to say, “I apologize. I had no idea that … of … I… I’m so sorry…”

But the damage was done — the liaison, who was 20something, hissed at me while smiling, “YESSSSSSSS” and closed the door.


Liaison: 1

Suburban housewife: 0

To them, at that point I’m sure I seemed like some assholic suburban hater who was about to go home and pray for their souls and for God to cure them.

I can tell you this: the sense of contempt I felt with when I entered that room at first to serve was directed at ME, prejudicially. I was discarded. I was not at all included. I was the “outsider.”

And that sucked. And that was ironic. Because if the whole philosophy of the energy of the world I’d like to say I inhabit is the one that does its best to see all things and appreciate all things and not be haters and be inclusive and all that… then … like … what the what?

There is no way, ever, to prepare yourself for the possible unintentional offense you are about to slew onto someone else and for which you will dearly pay JUST by being ignorant — not biased, not prejudicial — just unaware.

I forgot to add, that to me, all the participants in the room were clearly “female” in what I would consider gender cues: heels, lipstick, jewelry, and affect.

How was I to know:

a) that I was speaking to a gender-identity-in-transition group when it was never disclosed and
b) that saying “ladies” (based on nondisclosure) was the wrong thing??

This is where I’m awkward, but HUMAN:

If you have a person who is transitioning into “female” gender, and it “fooled” (irony, but get me a better word and I’ll take it) a presbyopic suburban mother like me, then wouldn’t that be a good thing, a goal? (Shoot me now?) How am I to know of any discomfort on the side of the person who is in transition? When does just being a person who serves out of kindness and for the greater good and says something apparently totally inappropriate turn into being a hater? When does my gaffe transition into NON-PC? Fodder for the angry rhetoric of people who just want to fight?

Because I was serving a meditation practice I felt I could sail with some assurance that the odds of offending the practitioners would be pretty high, given especially that I was not lecturing or reading… or singing… egads.

By the way, this whole post is based on a Facebook thread where some brave friends and I debated the use of “they” as a singular pronoun in common parlance per an article in the Wall Street Journal

One of my friends said to me that nothing I said was offensive and I answered,

Well, it was to them. Or her. Or … fuck. You know. That person. My friend who hooked me up with the group was disgusted by their behavior. She said their treatment of me was EXACTLY the opposite of their entire charter. I am sure I was not of their “ilk” which clearly offended — but how the eff do they know? It was boggling. The sad part is that I am reluctant to do anything like that going forward. Shit… if we can’t be who we are, warts and all, screw them.

Then we summarized with the simple Occam’s Razor: that some people are just ready to fight and that’s that. As another friend said, if we spent more time thinking about how we are alike rather than different, we’d probably get a lot more work done and have more peace.

The subject of diversity and inclusion and race and gender and personhood has often made me confused: if we see race / gender / sexuality / creed / ability and celebrate diversity then racism / division isn’t so far-off a call. On the other hand, if we include and endeavor color / race / ability / creed / gender / sexuality -blindness, then we risk being considered insensitive.

Everyone is unique.

Which means no one is.

But some people just want to fight and divide.
Thank you.


I wrote this on my Facebook wall:

this reminds me of a moment at the end of Jerry Seinfeld’s “I’ve Told You For The Last Time” when he returned to stand-up after the end of Seinfeld the TV show. 

After the monologue, Jerry came back out to the stage and said he’d be happy to take questions from the audience, and “entertain your curiosities.”

someone in the audience, a woman, shouted out “It’s my birthday!” and Jerry said, “It’s your birthday! Happy birthday… … what birthday is it?” 

the woman shouted back something unintelligible, but it was along the lines of privacy. she didn’t want to say how old she was. 

Jerry waits …. maybe a second or two and says, “Oh. So you want attention, but not *too much* attention…”

and to me, that is where we are at times. we want relevance, but not too much relevance. we want inclusion, but not too much inclusion. we want exposure, but not too much exposure. we want freedom, but not too much freedom. 

i am always grateful for the discourse on my wall. i have always thought that i have some of the smartest friends on the internet. (sometimes that’s not saying a lot…. HAHAH! that was a joke!) and there are plenty of people on my wall, lurking, watching the action, wondering how pear-shaped this conversation will go: will we start insulting each other? will we use ALL CAPS… will we take things personally? 

and i have to say, so far, the answer is that we’re all sharing. sharing our humanity, our experiences, our biases, our concerns. i think we’d all like to live in a world full of peace, where conflicts are resolved over rounds of rock-paper-scissors. but we don’t. and it’s unlikely we ever will. 

i adore all youse guys, gals, kids, babes, doofuses, brainiacs, dudes, geezers and peeps.

you all help me learn how to be a better me.

Ps — if you’re going to be a troll, buh-bye. I’m open for a sensible, respectful and rational dialogue.

How To #Breathe #Meditatively for #Health and to fight #Stress for #Free


Irony / paradox / inanity: I recently got into a Twitter tiff with a meditator over my sharing an article about the exorbitant fees associated with learning Transcendental Meditation®. The article is here and I happen to agree with it heartily. She came right off the bat with a defense, natch, because she is a TM® trainer…

Ridiculous prices? 500,000 folks learned TM free in past 10 years. The article is fictitious. Facts:

to which I replied,

I’m not so sure it’s fictitious entirely. There is truth to it; it’s investigative. I was asked to pay large fee to learn.

and I added:

and fact is this: ANY meditation can work; copyrighting one is unethical; it’s like “Jesus®” — Bikram® yoga® is example.

to which she replied

unethical? Only if all meditations were exactly equal in their effect. Science says otherwise:

and she added:

part of every TM course fee funds someone to learn who can’t afford to pay. If you can’t afford, there are scholarships.

and then said:

seems you’ve already made up your mind, which is okay, but if you’re open to another perspective:

to which I replied and to which she did not:

no dsgrmt on bens of . Do u see hypcrsy of “grading” & celeb endrsmnts? “we are all one”?! Do fees pay celebs?

And that was a dig, an intentional one, at the end. Transcendental Meditation® is, in my book, a crock. First tip-off: it’s trademarked®®®®, like Bikram® yoga is (and we all know about that slime ball). Second: celebrities are endorsing it by the magic carpet load… uh, why do you think that is? There has to be a kickback — please, someone tell me Jerry Seinfeld does things for free and I’ll take all this back. Third: you have to pay to learn how to do it.

My point is this: anyone can meditate and if it works for you, then why rock the boat®? Americans, especially, have this ridiculous notion that if we don’t pay a lot for something then it’s no good®, and the more you pay the better the whatever®.

Well, I’m here to tell you … you don’t have to pay $2,500® to learn how to meditate®. Also, there is no perfect way to do it — the point is simple: get you out of your head, release some stress, focus on something that’s NOT what you’re obsessing over all with the noble intention of simply giving your brain a break.

We freak out: AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? Well, did you forget where you were for a moment? Yes? Then yes. AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? Well, do you feel physically and emotionally better after taking a few mindful breaths? Yes? Then yes®. AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? Well, did your life blow up while you took a break from it? No? Then yes.

You can focus on a candle, on a water fountain, on a clock, on a cloud, on a tree, on your breath, on your pulse, on a sunny spot, on music, on the rain, on the snow, on a leaf on a tree… while you’re cleaning (no knives or heat), while you’re walking (away from traffic), while you’re running, while you’re dancing, while you’re rowing (sweeps is best, sculling is a little harder), while you’re yoga-ing… JUST NOT WHILE YOU’RE DRIVING. In the middle of a conflict, in the middle of a wedding (not yours), in the middle of a movie, in the middle of sex®, in the middle of an airplane trip (not piloting), in the middle of a meeting… you can do it on a plane in the rain on a train (that ba-dump rhythm is cool) or in the sea. You can do it in private or go off with your bad Zen self and whip out your detached awareness in front of others.

I recommend you do them seated upright and relaxed, but honestly, if that gets you all twitchy, just do it how you are. Try to become aware with each breath of the quality of your breath, where it gets “stuck” or where you find yourself losing your awareness. Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream…

The point is to start where you are.

Here are four no! FIVE of my favorite, proven, wonderful and twilight-anesthesia-like breathing meditation tactics in no rank, but just how they come to me… Do these sessions when you know you won’t be disturbed for at least seven minutes.

1) Alternate nostril breathing: This is maybe something you’d wanna do in private just because people will look at you funny…

Place your right hand on your face with your thumb closest to the right nostril and the index & middle fingers at the space between the brows and the ring finger by the left nostril.

Close off the left nostril — GENTLY — with the ring finger and you inhale through the right. when you get to the top of the breath, you pause, and you close off the right with the thumb and then you release the breath through the left side.

Then you inhale through the left with the right closed off.

When you get to the top of that breath, you close off the left, you pause, then release the thumb and release the breath through the right. (Y’see? We’re alternating here…)

Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream… You go a few more rounds of this to get to 10 and then you just sit for a few moments and let your brain balance. It’s AWESOME. I would say that’s my favorite one. The benefit of ANB® can be found everywhere. Here’s a high level link: http://www.livestrong.com/article/86731-benefits-alternate-nostril-breathing/

2) Nose / Mouth in / out: Very simple and totally transformative…

Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose.
Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the mouth.
Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth.
Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose.

Loop back up at the nose/nose and repeat at least four more times. Taking it to 10 would be ideal and really great. Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream… I’d say that’s my favorite one.

I’m going to interrupt myself here® and say that the point of all of this breathing stuff is to get us to a relaxed state, to induce what’s known as the “parasympathetic nervous response” which is a fancy way of saying “out of fight or flight reflex,” which is a state many of us exist in on a daily basis. RAISE YOUR HAND!® if you know what I’m talking about. 

3) Counted breaths: Inhale filling the lungs and then exhale mindfully, feeling the texture, the place of the breath, where you have catches and hitches… release the space between the brows. That’s one. Repeat… nine more times until you get to 10. Just think about the breath, how it feels, watch your shoulders for creeping up, any tension in the chest or hips. Just breathe and release. The point is staying with the count… it will do the work for you and take you into a nice relaxed state. Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream… I would say this is my favorite.

4) Increase exhalation: Same concept as above, in terms of body and breath awareness, but with emphasis on the exhales as they deepen and increase in count.

Start on the inhale from 5 reversing to 1 (“1” being full lungs) and exhaling 5-1 (1 being empty lungs) and then increasing your exhales by 1 each time… each inhale, you’re probably increasing the volume of the air, but NOT the length of time it takes to get there, so there’s this conscious deepening and opening of the chest and shoulders rolling down and back as you choose to sit higher in the chest. Between each extended exhale, give yourself a your native breath in and native breath out — the goal is to remind you that you are in control of it, but that you’re noticing some changes.

WATCH YOUR JAW and EYEBROWS and SHOULDER! We can tense up here, and that’s what we want to avoid, so just do little check-ins with yourself (I prompt my students on these very body part awarenesses as we work in yoga with the breath) and as you learn to increase your exhales, you will feel yourself soften, I hope.

Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream… Over time, as you near the fifth or sixth round, you might see that the volume of your air does not change, just your release of it and your awareness of it.  I would say this is my favorite. Wanna get competitive? In for 10 our for 20. I heard on retreat that Tibetan monks do something like 30 / 60. But they don’t have carpool and deadlines to deal with.

5) 4-7-8: This might put you to sleep. It’s very simple: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. This one is sort of advanced, I’d say. Or I would definitely go to it for a high-intensity situation, or for insomnia. Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream… Still keeping your mind aware of the breath, your posture, your jaw, brow and shoulders… letting the air flow as calmly as possible.

There are all sorts of alterations you can come up with: increase inhale, steady in and out breath… you can think of an alphabet letter with each breath; or an animal or fruit or state beginning with the alphabet letter you’re on… Thoughts will come in. Let them. Don’t judge them. Just let them float by like a leaf on a stream…

Oh — and what is Transcendental Meditation®? It’s chanting a two- or three-syllable word, like “pa-per” or “mu-sic” or “let-it-go” or “kay-ak” or “gui-tar” or “O-hi-o” or “med-i-tate” or  “be-lieve” or “Je-sus” or “can-dle” or “foun-tain” or “A-bra-ham” or “A-men” or “shi-va” or “boom-er-ang” or “trade mark®” or “car wash” (honestly!) with the exhale. Just try to make the word something neutral or at least pleasant — not a food — that will take your mind off your mind. The TM® people like to say these are “sacred®” words® and that only they can give them to you and you can never share them… ” from the link below:


Why would anyone pay maharishi $1000 for a word. In his early writings he said “any word, even the word mike can be taken…we find that any sound can serve our purpose of training the mind to become sharp…we select only the suitable mantras of personal gods. Such mantras fetch to us the grace of personal gods.”

If you want the grace of Maharishi ‘s personal gods here is the technique.

1) Pick a mantra from the following list used by *some* TM teachers:

but if you want to see some of them, go here. I love exposing things that I think are just trying to exploit people.

There is another (bazillion) methods; this one I like too, and it’s a lot like what I think  TM® is. It’s called “Japa meditation” and it’s FREEEEEEEEE!®

So if you want to add a word or a chant to the five methods I gave above, go for it. Look, whatever works is what works. Or go with the super-popular “Om.” Really… anything.

You don’t need TM®; you just need two minutes at first, then three, then five, then ten then twenty… and who knows…

Oh! There’s a great app too, http://t2health.dcoe.mil/apps/breathe2relax — commissioned by the DoD in cooperation with the National Center for something or other. Anyway, it’s free and is designed to help our returning veterans recover from PTSD and battle fatigue and stress of reintegrating into American life… it’s amazing. Check it out. (I’m sure the TM® people hate it.)

As I said above, the point is to start where you are. I would love to hear from you about this post — tell me if you start a conscious breathing program and let me know what you think! I love that ®®®® sign.

Plus, you can just go on YouTube and search for a ton of free guided meditations to listen to. There’s no reason anyone has to pay to feel relaxed.

Now get out there and SIT STILL!®

Thank you®.

Grief: One Breath at a Time


Today in yoga, when I got to have svasana, I meditated on compassion and the only word that came to me in response was “unfolding.”

Being on the web, with a blog, assures a certain vulnerability. My words are here for anyone to denigrate and yet I find myself buoyed by the kindnesses and trust of strangers.

Christmas is in a week and I miss the idea of wondering what my mother would give me as a gift. Would it be something I’d want? Would it be something she liked and she gave to me? Would it be something she’d give to everyone else or my sisters-in-law too?

I sit here, just a bit more than a year after her death and I feel emotions ranging from pure confusion about death to sadness that people, all of us, die; from deep guilt that I wasn’t a better daughter, to pure anger that she wasn’t a better mother; from a proud awareness that we are each others’ teachers to a sheepish allowance that we are each others’ pupils.

The human ego is such an odd, strange thing. It’s there to protect us from emotional harm, but for me, in the end all it does is delay the eventual pain when it protects too much. It elevates us, falsely, above and beyond our threshold of “value” so that we are uneven with that which hurts us. When we come down, to the reality that we are all connected, that we all breathe the same way, that we all eat with a mouth and chew with our teeth and fart and cry and poop and sneeze … it can be a lot to bear.


It’s a cold reality sometimes.

When I was a child, I held my parents to a godlike status. As I’ve aged, they did / are too and I see their humanity. I use the present tense with Mom, even today, because my perception of her humanity is ever emerging even though she has moved on.

I shared a dream, the only one, I had of Mom after she died with my father yesterday and it made me weep to share it. Not because she’s dead, but because it’s really a gorgeous message.

She was on a shoreline on a familiar Canadian beach on Lake Erie where we swam often. Her sylvan hair was in a chin-length bob. She was wearing a navy blue knit cashmere suit, her red cashmere sweater, a cashmere black, white, red and navy plaid scarf and these little blue leather loafers she loved but I hated for the same reason: because they were so shapeless. She was in her healthy early 70s. She was about one hundred feet from me, walking along the shore, just at the point where a receding wave leaves the sand still slick and wet and shiny. She stopped and looked over some tiny spiral shells on the shore. Her hands were clasped behind her back and her hair would sweep down over her face, I couldn’t see it perfectly, but it was her. The lake’s tiny waves were lapping at her shoes. She didn’t care. She bent over and inspected closer. Her fingers were glancing along the sand, turning over a little shell here, or a rounded, ancient pebble there. The sun had set behind me, behind the trees bunkering the white tent where a festive party was going on behind me, and I called out to her, “Mom! Mom! C’mon! You’re missing the party!” and she turned to me, and she said nothing. Her hair was clear off her face now. Stars were starting to show in the periwinkle sky. She beamed at me, this gorgeous wide smile she had. Her lips were red with our favorite lipstick she bought because I loved it so much. She swept up her arms as the wind swept up her scarf and her hair around her cheeks and she turned to the water. Her face looked up to the heavens and she looked back at me and shook her head “no” and instead lovingly and theatrically gesturing at all the glory of things I’d never understand in this lifetime as if to say, “No. You’re missing the party.”

I turned back to the party, to reference it, to say, “NO! It’s happening here! Mom!” and I turned back to her, and she was gone.

This is the Mom I never allowed. The one who bucked the system yet wore cashmere anyway. The one who I wanted fiercely to somehow morph into a rule-follower. The one who I wanted to tell me when to be home and to punish me when I wasn’t. The one who I needed to help me with my homework when I lied and said there wasn’t any. That one wasn’t there.

It’s hard to have so many conflicting emotions about the woman who brought me into this world. I loved her the only way I could, the way she let me. She used to say to me, “Maaaally, you’re conflicted. You’re ambivalent. You can’t ‘hate‘ me without loving me first.”

I hated it when she said that.


Because even though I used to tell her she was full of crap, she was so right. I loved her like … a child loves its mother; with a fierce, fearful, perfect and abiding love. She could do no wrong when I was young. It wasn’t until I was much older, that I saw her humanity … and I hated it. It broke me apart; her fragility broke me apart. She lived on a different plane; where there were no rules and that all of them could be broken. I was brought here to learn that.

I was going to make it with or without her; I laugh at that now. She was instrumental in hardening me for this world I inhabit now. So at this moment, while I miss her, and I miss the idea of wondering whether I would feel rejected or loved by the Christmas gift she would give me, I realize that the gift she gave me, all along, is life. With all its ups and downs, my mom gave me life.

If your mom is around in your life still, and you are in communication with her, tell her thanks from me for giving us you. And if you’re not in communication with her, well … say something nice about yourself because she helped make you.

We do not live one day at a time; we live one breath at a time. This is the ‘unfolding.’ This is the message from svasana. When we are still, things change.

Thank you.

30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 11: Expend Energy Wisely


Welcome to Day 11 of my ongoing blog series based on Judith Hansen-Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.” While the book has 365 quotes, I picked only 30.

My ambition is to keep the posts to less than 500 words.

Let’s do this.

December 6 — Remember to give your attention to what is worthy of it. If you care about nothing, your life will be lonely. Of you care about everything, you will live in a perpetual state of upset. Just for today, can you find the perfect balance between involvement and detachment?


So when I started teaching yoga, I wanted to hit every note, not miss any cue, be the perfect teacher and never screw up. Not surprisingly, this was MY very first quote I read to the class. I supposedly picked it at random, but we know how the Universe works, don’t we?

In those early classes, I was so busy worrying about being 100% that I attained maybe 70% of what I was aiming to do. In any one given class, I forgot to mention:

  • to select focal points for balance poses
  • to encourage people to feel their breaths
  • to bask in the moment of repose after a series
  • to mirror (use my left side when proposing the right for the students)
  • to turn off the lights (on one of my very last classes!) during svasana

I felt my classes suffered. Did they? People kept coming. So I guess the classes didn’t suffer. But here I am focusing on what I didn’t do… what about what I did do:

  • I am a stickler for form and alignment (people can get hurt)
  • I laugh at myself
  • I encourage others to smile (people take yoga very seriously)
  • I cut myself a break: I will always screw up; the world won’t end
  • I learn from each class I teach

Do you care about nothing and are bored? Apathy is a real bummer for the rest of us who happen to like things. No one wants to be around apathy. It’s like a snotty teenager who simply can’t be bothered to be bothered.

This is apathy:

anyone? anyone?

anyone? anyone?


Do you find yourself thinking too much about everything? Recycling, global warming, famine, Justin Bieber, addiction, corruption, open carry, American Idol, traffic, barking dogs, laundry, Sarah Palin, feeling unseen and unheard, cancer … (does any of this sound familiar from yesterday’s post?) and not devoting yourself and your energy to what really matters to YOU? Your spirit, your sense of Self, your boundaries, your values, your goals, your DREAMS?

This is someone who’s too involved:

mr. sidious.

mr. sidious.

Here’s me: CARE ABOUT YOUR DREAMS! get back on that bus! Remember what you love! Attract that back to your life and it will come! I can’t remember who said it, but it’s very profound: Watch your thoughts for they become words; Watch your words for they become actions; Watch your actions for they become character; Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

If you think about sadness and being overwhelmed and things that piss you off all the time, you won’t have room for thinking about the things you can change: you.

The only thing you can really change anyway is: you.

Your attitude toward things, your involvement with shit that REALLY doesn’t matter (oh my gosh! so much doesn’t matter! oy! it’s all ego traps!), any attraction to chaos and drama and how utterly depleting it is.

Right now: decide to dedicate your thoughts and energy to things that pay you back with kindness.

Take a deep breath, right now. I’ll wait.

Keep going, sit up tall, shoulders back and down, open the chest… and let it all in…


Now let it out, SLOWLY.

Now feel it, the release (’cause it’s there!) and ask: What really matters? Wait for the response (sometimes it’s nothing…) How can I effect my involvement in that? If your answer is “nothing,” then that means get involved in nothing: No Thing… How does that feel? Does it scare you to be involved in NO THING for one day? Hmm. Maybe consider the possibility that you’re control-oriented.

Now do it/the nothing.

Don’t like drama? Speak softer and encourage everyone to as well.

Don’t like fighting? Walk away and come back when you’re cooler.

Don’t like sad memories and focusing on what hurts? Here’s a twist: Don’t fight them, let them in… because when you do that, when you let them in, they can process themselves. Think of it as someone at US Customs… if you don’t process them, they stay at Customs all day… do you want that? No ’cause then you gotta feed ’em and put ’em up in a hotel… Accept and process your stuff, then it can go.

Thank you.