Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drive Home from Seco

Usually when I drive home from Seco, its dark and the lights of Taos guide me from their distance. I have lots of feelings on that drive. As I search through the night toward my tiny town where I landed, I can't help but think of the lights of a big city where I came from.

I'll get hit by a memory of a friend's smile or exactly how the air felt on a street corner as I rounded to a restaurant, the sirens and the laughter. For those few seconds or minutes on that drive those images will shove my heart into a sadness.
And I'll nurture that sadness. I'll let my heart fall down in it, let it sit in the car with me.

One of my teachers told me once that what's difficult about having feelings is that we think we need to do something about them. In fact, most of the time all we need to do is be okay with them. Be okay with ourselves for having them. Whatever they are. If you know the feeling you're having and you're okay to look at it, you get to watch how it changes. Just like lights in the distance. When you get closer, you'll be able to see what's really there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peacock Feet

Lately everywhere I go I see a peacock. There's one on my new bedspread, there's a peacock book stopper at my mom's apartment, a peacock was on the rug at the Christmas party last week. The list goes on.

According to Ted Andrews in Animal Speak, "Probably the peacock's two most outstanding features are the feathers and its eerie raucous calls. The call has a kind of laughter quality to it, as if the peacock is a reminder to laugh at life. One story I have heard in connection to its vocalizations is tied to the appearance of its feet. The peacock has ugly feet and there is a story that it screeches every time it catches sight of them." Andrews goes on to say that if the peacock is showing up for you, pay attention to your feet, their health can bring health to the rest of you.

Just the other day, I asked my mom to please start paying attention to each one of her footsteps. My mom is in transition: she just moved from her house of twelve years to a new apartment. Also, she's the boss of everybody at the Boulder Macy's and because this is her busiest season at work, she has not had time to focus on the fact it's also a busy season for her self.

In yoga, we have a lot of respect for our foundation. In this upright life, usually that's our feet. If you're in between jobs or houses or if you're traveling or even after you've arrived, its never a bad idea to meditate on your feet underneath you. Feet rule! Our steps can help us move from where we were to where we want to be. Hey thanks feet! Enjoy. Give yourself a foot rub or treat yourself to a reflexology appointment and if you don't have time, feel each foot as it steps the opposite of backward underneath you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Latter

Back when I used to live in Brooklyn, there was a church around the corner from my apartment that was for sale. It reminded me of a sign I stood under once that said, "Nothing is Sacred, Not Even You."

Sweet deal for me, now I live down the street from the famous Saint Francis Church in Ranchos.

I went for a walk over there the other day, that church is not for sale but there's a few opportunities next door just in case you're interested.

And this one.

Albert Einstein said "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." I choose the latter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Silence in the Noise

"No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently." -Agnes de Mille

Sometimes when I'm meditating or walking to work or eating my dinner I notice myself thinking about an event in the future that I'm worried about. I'll be thinking of all of the different possible things that could go wrong or how I'm not going to be able to HANDLE it. Next thing you know I've finished my dinner without actually noticing I was eating or my meditation timer dings and I haven't even meditated yet! I spent that whole time thinking! But with my eyes closed!

One time I was talking about one of these future disasters in my head with my teacher. I was telling her all of my concerns about everything that could possibly go wrong. She listened and then said the smartest thing ever in the whole wide world. She said instead of thinking about all of the noise and action around the event, to imagine myself in that future plot in stillness or in silence. Peaceful and easy me, not crazy batting bird me. ME. I know me.

The word "handle" is funny. It reminds me of a dog handler at one of those fancy dog shows. In this metaphor, my life is a chichi dog. I don't need to HANDLE anything. All I need (and by need, I mean want) to do is show up everyday and be 100% present. And IF I can be 100% present (based on info in this TandT, easier said than done) I trust myself to do the best I can.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sea Level is for Sissies

My friend Mike and I like to joke about our difference in age. I say "When you were ten I was zero," and he says, "You just like saying you were zero." He's right.

Years ago, I got a tarot card reading I really liked. The lady reading used beautiful circle-shaped cards called Motherpeace. I liked it so much I wanted it to come true. A big part of the whole deal was the zero from the round deck, The Fool. Moving from intuition more than thought I put The Fool on my altar. Its been there ever since.

Each day in my brand new life in New Mexico I am reminded of The Fool.

Angeles Arrien says, "The Fool is the universal principle that is associated with the state of consciousness that we experience before birth and after death." I like to practice this state whenever I remember, I know of it as "the space before thought."

In the space before the beginning, anything is possible. Arrien goes on, "(The Fool) represents the creative power of giving birth to new forms from a state of wonder and anticipation, rather than from fear."

For the longest time, I only did things that I was already good at. But then one day I quit. And now, a most of what I do everyday is stuff that I am brand new at doing. Sometimes I get tired and sometimes I get shy, but my friendship with zero gets deeper everyday.

I used to live at sea level, back then, I thought I was in good shape. Then I moved to 7,000 feet, I went for a bike ride and I lost my breath. From up here my ego was taken down.

I am reminded of a bumper sticker on the back of my mom's car from a race that she participates in every year, it says, "Sea Level is for Sissies." I always thought it was kinda judgmental, another expression of ego. But back when I only did things all day everyday that I was already good at, I was kinda a sissy. Just sayin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hotels in Russia

A few weeks back I was doin' some community. NOT "volunteering" but doing some community service instead of paying for a large parking ticket. I was having a ball! I decided to do my time at the local Community Against Violence Thrift Store. Man was that a good call! What a great place to work, get stuff done, meet cool people.

One of the people I met was also there doing community service. Her offense was little more serious than mine cuz boy did she had some TIME to do. She wasn't having quite as much fun as I was. Every time she finished a task she'd come and hide out by me, bide her time until 4 o'clock. I was busy cleaning the books. "How'd you get such a cool job?" she asked at one point, referring to the total slickness of me polishing every book and every bit of shelf underneath it. "I made it up," I said. Those books were dusty! She was pissed. She had been asking our superiors what tasks she should be handling and getting stuck doing totally boring things like mopping the bathroom floor.

This went on all day. She'd do something boring like move a mattress, then sink down onto the floor near the books and shoot the breeze until she got caught and then the whole thing would start over. I just kept cleaning the books. "Wow, you're weird," she told me at one point, she really thought I was going to town. "I like to do everything all the way," I said. "Yeah, that's weird." she said. And maybe she's right. But being weird has its rewards. On my last section of my last shelf, I started spiffing up a guidebook to Russia. Old as the hills that thing was in need some of my attention. Midway through my clean a piece of paper fell out. This one:

Folks, this is a magnetic key sleeve from a hotel in St. Petersburg that I stayed at when I was 15. The first hotel I stayed in outside of the United States or Mexico. Hotel Pribaltiyskaya. Say that five times fast. I love being weird.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breath in the Winter

A couple years back, I was walking down the cement staircase of an echoey loft building in Williamsburg and I was freezing. I said something about not looking forward to being cold for the next you-do-the-math months. My companion on the steps told me that I would let that go, it was not my nature to fear something as out-of-my-control as the weather. She put a spell on me with those words. Ever since, I've loved this stuff called winter. Just like that, I changed my mind, "She's RIIIIIIGHT..." I thought as I began to love wearing two scarves a sweater and a sweatshirt. I like tea and I like boots and I love staying in under the covers.

Sometimes when I leave my house in the morning there are two or three teenagers up the hill, waiting for the school bus . Before I can really see them or even hear them talking and laughing, I can see their breath in the cold sun. When I get closer, their quiet is louder and they and click their boots together in rebellion. But from down the hill it's all poetry in the silence of their exhales.

I still wear a memento mori around my wrist. Last week I went back to the hospital to visit the gentlemen who was my dad's roommate. He's still happy to be alive. He looked over his glasses at me and told me it was good to know who his real friends are. THAT'S ME! PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME! I WIN! And I still have one or two or a million things I haven't done yet because I'm scared. But living closer to the land in winter keeps pushing me not to wait: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." -Crowfoot

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

I had a fourth grade teacher whose first name was Parthenia, we didn't get to call her that, but it was fun to know. I was really into her, "I dig her style," the fourth grader inside of my head contemplated. She had big belts, long hair and a loud voice, "Groovy," I thought.

She taught us that on the first day of every month, when you wake up, before you say anything else, say "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit," and you will have good luck for the rest of the month.

I've been doing it ever since.

And I'm a pretty lucky gal. I also like the term "blessed."

If you're reading this and you want to join me in having a lucky month but you've already said something other than "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit," no big deal. Just turn around 3 times while you say it and fortune will still know how to find you.

Think Parthenia and I are nuts?

Well, she didn't make it up, this particular folklore can be traced back as far as the 1800s. And it still happens all over the world, in places like France, where they don't even call rabbits rabbits, and from what I hear, on Cape Cod.

My Animal Speak book discusses baby rabbits: "Within one month, 28 days, the young are able to be out on their own. They can stay in the nest, but they can survive on their own. This 28 day period again reinforces the lunar connection with the rabbit."

On my drive home last night, I followed the clear glow of the crescent moon. The moon is my favorite reminder that the only constant is change. I also believe its never too late for a brand new beginning.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So back when I used to be on a road trip everyday with my best friend we used to go hiking all of the time. We have a book called Animal Speak, and we'd start our hike sometimes by silently asking ourselves what animal there was to learn from that day. Sometimes we'd see grasshoppers, sometimes groundhogs, deer or falcons. When we got back to the car, we'd look up the animal in the book. Without fail: questions were answered and intentions were set.

Lately, I have a magpie on my deck when I leave in the morning or out the window in a tree during my headstand. Sometimes there's even two by my mailbox. According to the book, magpies help us to have faith in our occult knowledge, the portion in the book ends: "Do you have knowledge and are not using it? Are you employing whatever skills you have to get what you most need? (The Magpie) can help you to learn to use occult knowledge in responsible but effective ways." The word occult, for me, can sometimes bring up images of dark magic and scary things, but "occult" is used in the medical field to describe hidden processes. Oh my goodness I have SO much faith in hidden stuff: the images inside of my heart, my breath on a warm day, and OBVS the answers in nature. Good reminder, magpie.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Short List

"If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice."- Meister Eckhart

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Death Card

Gosh I'm such a goth. The whole time my hair was blonde, I didn't feel right unless my fingernails were black: black like my coffee, black like my boots, BLACK LIKE MY SOUL!

Just kidding. Turns out our souls are birds. Any color bird you want.
I spent the last two days at Holy Cross Hospital with my dad who got his appendix taken out. My dad is feeling better today and we're super grateful and no longer worried. Sometimes, however, I do worry about his neighbor, the guy in the bed next door.

Here I go again thinking about death, once a goth always a goth I guess.

In the Tarot Deck, number 13, the Death Card is also known as the Rebirth Card. Yesterday was the last day of Scorpio, the Death Card's sign. One of the symbols of Scorpio is a phoenix who rises to see from a better perspective who we truly are, what really matters. The Death Card in my Tarot deck is a scything skeleton, our bones the perfect symbol to cage our soul:
"The bird within our nature is the spiritual essence that is always free, vital and irrepressible. It is the part of our nature that prompts us to let go so that we can give birth to greater parts of who we are." -Angeles Arrien

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Props to all my homies out there exercising.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" -Constitution of the United States

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Dirt

If you have the willingness to sit in the dirt, sometimes the dirt offers you a chair.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


New York, New Mexico, I have a new friend named Crowfeather. One day we were talking and he asked me how new I was. I was like, "SUPER NEW! I just moved here on Halloween!" He was asking my age. Crowfeather is a Southwest Texas Apache. I like the math he uses to find out someone's age:

How many years ago the person was born + the season they were born in + NEW = their age.

My age in Crowfeather's math:

I was born 30 years ago + in the winter + new = I am 30 winters new.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Signs

Despite being on the fringes of unemployment I decided to take myself out to lunch yesterday. From my experience, it's a practice to keep doing what you really want to do under the circumstances of a budget. Lucky for me, every time I take that leap, I receive wonderful little signs from the world at large that I am supported in my decision. Yesterday, at lunch, I got three.

#1. One of my mom's favorite phrases to say is: "This is so civilized." And, for whatever reason, since the dawn of time, it drives me CRAZY when she says that. So, now, she says it FOR THE PURPOSES of driving me crazy. Then I say, "Stop saying that," and we laugh. Sometimes I abstain from the whole conversation and she goes through the whole thing by herself: "This is so civilized" she says. Then I quaver in disgust. "Stop saying that" she says in a mocking version of my voice. The whole thing is hilarious to us. Yesterday, at a table nearby, a mom and daughter sat. The mom was much older and the daughter spoke loudly throughout their lunch in order for her mom to hear. During their grand finale of coffee and dessert, the daughter said to the mom, loud as all get out, "Mom, I'm sorry but I have to say this: 'this is so civilized.'" The mom shook her head, "Ahhhhh, I can't stand that phrase of yours." They laughed and the daughter defended the phrase and then said it again one more time to their mutual amusement.

#2. I read in my book: "In my experience, the universe falls in with worthy plans, and most especially with festive and expansive ones."- Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way. At first I read EXPENSIVE ones. Expansive can be expensive and its also SO MUCH MORE.

#3. The sign to end all signs I found on the back of the restaurant's bathroom door. The restaurant I went to is called Dragonfly. Believe it or not they had won THE COVETED "Best Cafe in Taos Named After an Insect" back in 2000. Now do I know how to pick 'em or do I know how to pick 'em?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day of the Dead

Yesterday I was so busy I almost forgot to celebrate Day of the Dead. I had some friends over and after dinner we were sitting around singing with Paul Simon and taking pictures. I showed my friend a picture I had taken of him and he said nonchalantly, "Oh look, there's someone else's aura in it, must be a ghost." WHHHHHHHATTTTT??? A ghost in my new apartment? Oh my goodness!!! He might be right!!! The heater does make an awful lot of noises.

I woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning and started listening to the sounds my place was making: the heater again and the whir of the fridge. "Do I have a ghost?" I thought. As you can imagine, I stayed up a while longer, thinking about it. Yes maybe I do. Because these various indications of having a ghost are so far pretty minor, I think, its up to me to decide.

And if you believe it, it is so. I believe, maybe, I do, and if I do, she's really nice and we're going to be friends.

I also believe that there's nothing wrong with SMUDGING a person/place/thing any old time you're not sure of the energy in it or around it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Smoke 'Em

They say that hindsight is 20/20, particularly with Halloween costumes. So for next year a little unsolicited advice: whatever you're doing that day, USE IT!!!

I celebrated my favorite holiday by moving into my new apartment in Taos with 2 dear helpers and my dad. My brilliant friend Danielle suggested we be Movers for Halloween, and naturally when there's Movers there's bound to be Shakers.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em. And then ask them, kindly, to walk like an Egyptian.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Story of My Life

Stay with me here: more than once lately I've been walking the dog or through the hallway of a hotel or down a sidewalk by a cafe AND I'll hear someone laugh at what another someone has said and say: "You're telling me the story of my life." Last week, a lady dropped a huge box of papers accidentally out of the back of her car and the kind stranger who was picking up pages that had flown farther while walking up to help, said, super affirmatively, "Story of my life."
Not a huge eavesdropper typically, I've been tickled to hear people connecting on the story of their lives with PERFECT strangers so much lately.
It brings to mind one of my favorite phrases my teacher uses: "turn it over."
If you've got a recurring thought, if you're wandering down the aisles of a super-market looking for the jelly, if you can't believe whatever just happened just happened again: turn it over!! Chances are its happening to someone else too, or just by asking "Where's the jelly?", YOU find it.
Enlightenment is often defined as when one only see ONENESS, when there's no longer any separation between you and me, that cat or the table, the leaves and the open sky. If YOU'RE open and allowing, you may find little reminders of this everywhere. Maybe even all the time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flies When You're Having...

Gosh I've been having such a good time lately: getting along with my mom, riding my bike, freaking out about the gorgeous leaves, making new friends, hearing from my ex-boyfriend, meditating at the Shambala Center. Woah woah woah. Wait wait wait. What was that second to last one again? Oh yeah. Hearing from my ex-boyfriend. THAT goes on the fun list?
To be honest, at first I was like "OH NO!!! HALLOWEEN IS EARLY THIS YEAR!!! SPOOKS IN THE CANYON!!!!!". Don't get me wrong, I LIVE for Halloween. But I also love being in control. Paying-to-go-into-that-haunted-house-type-of-I'm-in-control.
I hadn't talked to this guy since we broke up over two and a half years ago. And I had been afraid of it because...because I don't even know why.
Sometimes the strong thing to do in situations like these is not respond. And sometimes the strong thing is to recognize an old teacher from the past and greet them and without fear: to re-engage. It is from re-engagement that you see how things have changed. Old fears ALMOST NEVER apply to right now. Time can go fast but it can also heal deep.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Memento Mori

Usually if there's one thing I'm really good at it's sleeping. Not so much lately. I'm a little too excited to sleep. Last night I took an herbal supplement to help me pass out. Nothing serious, but one of the ingredients is something called Skullcap. Ok maybe it's a little serious. I woke up today thinking about death. Death is actually a really great pointer for me because I have a hard time making decisions. Lately, I've been asking myself, "Well what would I do if I knew I was going to die in 10 years?" The answer is always the choice that inspires me more. Tell him I love him, quit my job, move to a new town, get an iPhone, go to Zumba for crying out loud.
Y'all know I'm not the first person to mention the idea of a list of things that scare you and then do them. Have you done it? Its also fun to come up with a list of so far your 5 favorite things you've ever done and do them as much as you can too. Trouble for me is one of my five favorite things I've ever done is sleep.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Thing About Path

A few months ago, I created my first ever facebook note. Its aim was to tell anyone who wanted to know about my plan. Fun Fact #1: My stories and jokes are occasionally long. Fun Fact #2: I get stressed out about plans, even baby ones, like where we're all going to meet for dinner. Fun Fact #3: I was totally nervous as I sat there and wrote that freaking note. To help myself feel better, at the very end of my story, I included something one of my favorite teachers Alison Cramer taught me a long time ago, "When you make a plan, God laughs."
I followed through with the first 3/4 of my plan: I taught my last few classes in the city, I packed up my stuff, I moved it to Boulder, Colorado, where I was going to move too, and I traveled for about 6 weeks. In those 6 weeks, I went to a lot of places, to name a few: Memphis, Lawrence, Los Angeles, Seattle, and a little town I had been to before in Northern New Mexico called Taos. The difference between all of those fine cities I mentioned and Taos, is that I haven't been able to stop going BACK to Taos. I've been there 3 times in the past 3 weeks. The second time I was there, people started to recognize me and ask me if I was moving there, my answer, to my surprise, was "Yeah! Maybe." The third time I went back I looked at apartments. One landlady liked me so much that she lowered the already very low price of the place I was going to take anyway!
The first time I was there, I was walking down a sidewalk with my best friend, Melissa. She stopped and pointed out a quote of Joseph Campbell's that had been taped up on the window of a card shop: "If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why its your path." I walk down that sidewalk every chance I get.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Road Trip Altar #2

"sa tu dirghakala nairantarya satkara asevitah drdhabhumih"

"When practice is done for a long time, without a break, and with sincere devotion, then the practice becomes a firmly rooted, stable, and solid foundation."

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.14

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frown Upside Down

I spent the weekend in Seattle studying a kind of therapy that I have been in for years called B.E.S.T.
Part of B.E.S.T.'s philosophy is there are 6 choices that we make, all the time, every day, that establish our level of health:
1. What we eat
2. What we drink
3. How we exercise
4. How we rest
5. What and how we breathe
6. What we think
Catch is: Number 6. is more important than the other 5 combined.
I'd like to take this time give a BIG shout out to yoga and the fine book that explains yoga, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
After many years of practice, I am able, some of the time, to be aware of my thoughts. And, the crazy news is, sometimes they are pretty darn negative. The fine people at Morter Health Systems (who invented and continue to do research in the field of B.E.S.T.) have studied the intense effect of negative thoughts on the body. To be super-big-time-brief, I'll do some math:
negative thoughts+the perfect machine that is our body=defense physiology.
a prolonged state of defense physiology=SYMPTOMS of ill-health.
Now I'm going to freak out again:
I love you, the Yoga Sutras, I love you, I love you.
Yoga sutra 2.33: vitarkabadhane pratipaksabhavanam. To remove the negative, reflect upon the positive.
Do you have a negative thought that plays over and over and over again in your mind?
I'll give you an example from my head:
I will fail miserably.
Flip it upside down and bring it into the present moment:
I am a huge success.
Your ego may find this cheesy. Sometimes mine does too. Your spirit, however, knows it works.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Makes You Happy

waves of indecision about living in Boulder + fears of disappointing my mom =
I choose wisdom from Liz Phair

"But don't worry, Mom
I met him in a restaurant
And all this time, I've been getting to know him

He's got an ex-wife in Pasadena
And sometimes she's a mess
To deal with
But mostly, we've been living here uninjured

There's a silence, and she says,
"Listen here, Young Lady
All that matters is what makes you happy
But you leave this house knowing my opinion won't
Make you love me if you don't care to"

I'm sending you this photograph
I swear this one is gonna last
And all those other bastards were only practice
I feel the sun on my back
I smell the earth in my skin
I see the sky above me like a
Full recovery

"Listen here, Young Lady
All that matters is what makes you happy
But you leave this house knowing my opinion won't
Make a difference if you're not ready"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Log in the Middle of the Road

Did I mention my best friend and I got a $500 parking ticket? It wasn't our plan to return to Santa Fe towards the end of our trip but we wanted to go to Parking Ticket Court rather than pay $500. Judge Ann is a big jovial woman, a direct descendant of the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet. She laughed at our story and flirted with us but she did not let us off. We were sentenced to 25 hours of community service. We'll split it, it'll be fun. Parking in Santa Fe is a very big deal. If you've ever driven a car in New York and you're used to something called "standing", I suggest you forget all about that. Weigh the consequences of every time you slow down and maybe want to get out to go somewhere, these are choices! "Intentional" is the word Jude Ann uses for every time you stop your car. And forget all about those lights called "hazard". No such thing!
After our sentence, we didn't so much feel like parking anywhere else in Santa Fe, so we got the hell out of dodge. Usually we made decisions to visit places because of friends there or because at least one of us had never been. We scrapped that and headed north for Taos. A place where we had both been, both loved, but didn't have a friend to visit. On our drive there, we spoke in one of my favorite languages, superlatives: our favorite pet, most unexpected turn of events, favorite town that was new to us. We decided pre-meditatedly that Taos was our favorite town that we were returning to.

Folks. We were dead on. Taos is not a town, its a hug. We made new friends, I took one of my all time favorite yoga classes, we went dancing and to see the very popular Taos Bob Dylan cover band. We stayed one extra day more and have already been back once in the past week and travel plans will take me there again next week. Yesterday, I spoke with one of my teachers about my pull to Taos and she laughed, "Follow those surprises," she said, "when you're walking along and a log falls down in the middle of your path, you have to look at where its pointing you to go".

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oy Vey!

Yesterday I networked at yoga, changed my address at the bank, got our car fixed, paid my taxes and struggled deeply with a decision to commit to a training program. It felt like a big day and it also happened to cost a lot of money. At sundown, my best friend put a damp dish towel over her head and lit the candles for our soul's new year. We ate apples and honey and drank wine she had blessed. As the evening came to a close I spoke with my teacher about my decision and gained clarity to release into faith. It was a step forward. But then I listened to a voicemail from the looney-but-deep-down-lovely-freaked-out-ex-boyfriend of my mom's who sold us the car. He had heard of the work that had been done on the car and assured me that I had been hood-winked. Oh no! Was it a step back? His message brought up a lot of fear in me. I lay down, listened to my breath and starting looking right into that fear. I went through the steps of the day, how I felt when I was told what was wrong with the car, (YOU GUYS! The car had been making a crazy noise! It needed to be fixed!) and how I made the decision of what needed to be addressed and what didn't. There is no reason for me to doubt myself and there is CERTAINLY no reason for me to let anybody else's fear jump into my brain. For crying out loud! The Jewish calendar totally had my back on this one! It was a perfect day to fix what no longer worked and move forward with what does! It can feel like a battle (I love you Bhagavad Gita!) a LOT of the time of fear vs faith. It has been my path and practice to keep coming back to faith so that's what I'll do. Nobody's out there to get me! We're in this thing together! Happy New Year! Today I will make a phone call and commit to that training.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garden of the Gods

The other day I went hiking in a park called Garden of the Gods. Great name. Justice served. It was about an hour and a half before sunset. The primary landscape is giant red rocks, all different shapes and sizes, cut against blue sky and white clouds. In honor of Libra, we chose a trail called Siamese Twins.
The red. The white. The deep, distant green on further mountains that turned a pale navy. It was sooooo pretty. My mind wheels were spinning from BEAUTY. I was drawn to looking east but then I thought I had better take in west as the sun let go behind a distant pink everything. It was so gorgeous and I loved it so much that I was actually kinda stressed out!
So I stopped, sat down and closed my eyes. And the view got better. I could still sense my favorite evolution from day to night, the waning sunlight opened more softly onto my skin and my ears opened peacefully to the sound of hikers talking closer than the whir of traffic in the town below. By sitting and melting into the now of it, I more fully experienced the beauty. I lived a love poem: "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along." -Rumi

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Road Trip Altar

"It takes discipline to be a free spirit" -Manorma

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shabooboo and #2

I've been traveling for 20 days. For the last two days, I have been in Los Angeles with some really good people and their seven cats and one dog. The cats are: Moomen, Newton, Zippy, Spooky, Applebee, Ethos and Thursday. The dog's name is Princess Shabooboo.

Fun Fact #1: When you're on holiday for 20+ days, you can do whatever you want AND there's no rush.

Fun Fact #2: I have a really big ego.

Its taken me about 19 days to make room for Fun Fact #1 and Fun Fact #2. For the longest time, I still really wanted to accomplish something everyday. Yesterday, I finally melted into vacation. I sat in traffic. I didn't get any exercise. Nope I didn't pick up the two things that I wanted from the store or see any old friends. And after doing nothing, I was done! I came back home to where I'm staying. Once home, I achieved my biggest feat of the day: I took Princess Shabooboo out. And we weren't in a hurry. She explored the different species of grass and chased her tail,
I saw this thing:

I am reminded often of the wisdom of the Tao de Ching: "There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger."

Fun Fact # 3: This is my time for being with Princess Shabooboo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Truce Card

I have many best friends. And I have one all time like woah, we do better the more time we clock, she's got my back, in-it-to-win-it, let's-do-this-thing best friend. Melissa is an Interfaith minister, an astrologer, a traveler, a tarot card reader, a writer, a documentary film maker and a vegetarian. Yesterday Melissa met her dad for the first time in 25 years. There is no way to prepare for this kind of event. Except maybe there is. Because after years of practice, abiding in faith and deep breaths, she was.

Thank you Melissa for teaching me about the Truce Card.

The 4 swords represent all you can do in any situation:
1. Show Up
2. Be Present
3. Tell the Truth
4. Don't Be Attached to Any Outcome

In every situation in life all we can do is our best. As Don Miguel Ruiz brilliantly points out in The Four Agreements, our best changes from moment to moment. That's why we KEEP STAYING PRESENT. The truth is freedom, end of story. And then the work is letting go. Inhale: LET. Exhale: GO. If you've done 1, 2 and 3, you're finished, relax.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Albuquerque Room

I've been traveling for the past 12 days and I've been on two trips. I call them Part One and Part Two. Part One was fast but we moved through it slowly. Deliberately we drove in a 16 foot truck, full of belongings from years in one time zone and two towns. We didn't spend more than one night in each place. I fell in love with every day and every person we met, each of them we knew briefly.
Part Two is deep, dark and bright in a fast car. Staying in one place (too) long sure can learn you quick. We spent 4 nights in Santa Fe and out of those nights we got: a mom with my same birthday, a ritual with fire, a Chimney Rock hike, a favorite band, a $500 parking ticket, a church service, two yoga classes, deep time with an old friend, our car fixed for free, a green juice, a pool game and mostly we got ready, ready to get out of there like you wouldn't believe. And ready to go back. We have to anyway, to contest our parking ticket.
Its good to be back on the road, staying one night in each place, last night we stayed in the Albuquerque Room with the Harvest Moon. This morning we're going hiking before we hit the road. Pam of the Lomita Motel just told me to look out for snakes and bears, she says she likes us and wants us to travel safe. The road's calling again for sure reminding us constantly what the great Tibetan Poet Milarepa says, "Never spend more than 7 nights with someone who doesn't know you can be enlightened in this lifetime"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anymore, Kansas

Thursday September 8, 2011

The other day my best friend Melissa and I drove from Lawrence, Kansas to Boulder, Colorado. About an hour outside of Lawrence, we saw a sign for The Museum of Oz. Some decisions aren't even decisions at all. We got off the highway and drove 9 miles north to Wamego, Kansas. The entry fee was $6 with our AAA discount. We toured around looking through Judy Garland and Munchkinland memorabilia. We marveled at the moon energy we felt from L. Frank Baum. At the apex of the museum, we wandered into a little room made to feel like a theatre where they showed the movie on repeat. It was the part when she's finally on her way back to Kansas with The Wizard, she says goodbye to all of her friends, they're sad to see her go but they understand. Then suddenly Toto jumps out of the basket and The Wizard takes off without her. Spoiler alert. The Good Witch shows up and tells her that she could have gone home anytime. She gets it. She clicks her heels together (holler back root chakra!) and then she's home.
I remember being homesick once. I told my teacher Jen. She nodded knowingly and reminded me about the home we build inside ourselves. And its just like any real house that you might move into. You gotta nest. Get yourself some new candles. Stay up late one night to open those last boxes. And if you need to, stop everything, sit down, and watch The Wizard of Oz.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dennis' Karma Yoga

Tuesday September 6, 2011

Setting: The Sivananda Center in the Bahamas.

Characters: Dennis and his karma yoga partner, Al. Dennis is my new best friend, I met him in Winslow, Arkansas. Al is a giant; 6'6", 220 lbs.

Setting: Dennis is exhausted. He signed up for his stay at the ashram looking forward to spending his days in asana and meditation. He has been there for a month now, working in the kitchen, cleaning mats, taking out the trash. We meet him as he is looking forward to when the karma yoga portion of his visit is over, so he can finally get on one of those mats himself. It's late afternoon on a small motor boat. The boat is short, the length of a long coffee table. Its square shaped at the back where the motor is and comes to a very small point on the opposite end. Dennis is manning the boat. The waters are bumpy and they bounce through them quickly. They are on an errand.

Dennis: Man, I'd really love to do some yoga later.
Al: You want to do some yoga? Ok.

Al gets up from where he is stationed. He goes all the way over to the furthest, pointiest front of the boat and gets into a headstand.

Careful what you wish for.
I love you Dennis and Anne!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Beginner's Mind Again

Yesterday was my last day living in New York City. I wanted to go on one last bike ride in Prospect Park and then return my friend's bike which I have been borrowing all summer.

After my ride around the park, I headed to my friend's apartment, a point a and a point b that I have never connected before. After a few turns that I had never taken, I realized that I was lost and that I had typed the wrong address into ridethecity, whoopsies, I think I said street and its an avenue. I wasn't far from where I knew I would be found (by me!) but I wasn't exactly sure how to get there.

Have I ever told you how much I love being lost?
I love being lost!

I took a right and then a few more rights and I knew where I was again, in my friend's neighborhood, but on the other side of the park from her house. I rode down one end of the park to head up the other end and I was sure that if I took one more right, I'd see her street there on the left.

After that last right, I kept riding and riding, looking for her street, I almost stopped to ask a lady jogging in place for the light to change. When suddenly I realized, I was ON her street.

Peace out New York! THANK YOU for teaching me everything I know! Which still ain't much!