Introducing ...

Look around you.  

You can tell a lot about a person by their friends and chosen family.  I’m proud to introduce you to the people in my life.  They inspire me every day and provide just what I need.  I chose them and they chose me.

I am fascinated by people’s stories.  I love to hear about their path to the place they’re standing and see where they’re headed.  I feel grateful for the paths that have crossed my own.  The people in my life, the inspiring tribe who holds me up, inspires me, challenges me, holds me accountable, and shows me who I am are mirrors.  They reflect different aspects of myself and the places I’ve been and want to go.  I’ve often wondered how I got so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people.  Every one of them is there for a reason.  I am certain.  

When I look around, I feel flattered and search for parts of myself and what’s possible.  We chose each other.  We serve each other.  

The people in my life are part of my story.  In telling my story, I offer a glimpse into my perspective by sharing the people in my life.  They arrived at exactly the right time.  

Starting not at the beginning, but in the present, I am happy to introduce you.


Morning Practice

I took my first breath for the sound of Om. I hit something hard in my belly - Manipura. I have been moving forward steadily for almost 4 years ... longer actually. I came to a point and had to leave everything I knew or thought I knew and step onto a new path. I always have my eyes open for what lies in front of me. I try to be open to the glistening path. The path that is calling me and forces me to do my work. These past few years have been a mixture of surrender, my strong sense of will, my mind trying so hard to be in charge and my heart winning. I find myself now at a new place.

Inhale. The breath can’t move deeper yet. My mind takes over and tries to dig back to a more familiar place. I am not there. I am here. It’s familiar. It’s me. I keep moving through the meditation. Surrender. I continue clearing the chakras, sitting for some amount of time that I don’t know. When I observe my physical body (what I can sense at this point), I notice my shoulder pain that has been constant for months has vanished. When I open my eyes and come back, it flows back in. Observe.

I see the path. I show up on my mat with eyes that have been tuned by the past few years. It’s familiar and new at the same time. As I start to flow, my body shows me the way. I can literally feel my way there. I feel my heart open, my belly softens, the breath can fill my being. I am discovering a new capacity for softness that opens the door for the depth of Uddiyana bandha. Each door leads to a new place that is subtler than the last and I know that the only way there is through. You can’t skip past the places you need to go. Even if you go around them, you’ll be back. This I know.

I absolutely love being in my body. Moving and breathing and observing how my whole being responds. My body confirms things I know and sometimes doubt. I am working to clear the things that are lingering from a lifetime. At some point, I’m lost in the flow that has emerged. I feel my body responding and melting through the hard layers that have formed while I’ve been struggling through. I didn’t know they ran so deep. I very naturally settle into savasana. Resting on my back, I feel my whole body surrender. I’ve never felt it so soft. Observe. I feel free in so many ways. 


A Moment in Meditation

As I sat for early morning meditation led by my dear friend Shannon, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to sit.  The days before had been so full of intense work.  We were all swimming in the bliss of spending precious time with our teacher, taking time away from our daily lives, and playing in the vibrant city of San Francisco.  On the first day of the training, I had been overwhelmed with happiness at our deep friendship and the years we had all shared together.  We had been working very hard and long days had meant very little sleep for us all.  So, on this morning, I simply showed up.

Partially to be supportive and partially to be fully receptive, I positioned myself directly opposite Shannon.  I sat on a blanket and immediately felt comfortable.  It seemed strange to be so comfortable so early in the morning.  Without questioning, I settled in, placed my hands on my knees and closed my eyes.  I was in such a grounded state - being reconnected with my teacher, with people I loved, and feeling very full.  As I listened to her words something began to shift.  I noticed that I could no longer sense my arms or the connection of my hands to my knees.  Instead of being alarmed, I felt completely intrigued with the sensation.  I stayed with the steady rhythm of my breath and with Shannon's words.  

At some point, we were sitting in silence.  I noticed that I had no sense of my body at all.  It was as if I was formless.  I felt a moment of panic and thought about opening my eyes to bring myself back.  I came back to my breath and decided to stay with it a bit longer.  The next few minutes were filled with curiosity and utter delight in the feeling of being something that wasn't defined by or confined by my body.  At once I felt the crown of my head as high as the ceiling - feeling unbelievably tall and at the same time incredibly small.  I felt completely free.  For a moment, I understood that I am not my body.  I am not my achievements.  I am not what others see.  I am not that.  

I began to hear Shannon's words again as she was guiding us back.  As I opened my eyes, I was reoriented into the room.  Here was my body, just as I had settled.  My legs had fallen asleep.   I reclined on my back and rested for a few minutes.  Feeling the sensation return to my legs and being fully aware of my body, I felt so grateful for the glimpse at something both inside and outside of myself.  It's so easy to get caught up in the external - how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us.  When we are quiet and still, those things become less important.  

Clarity comes at some of the most unexpected times and places.  I cherish those moments.