Sunday, July 25, 2010


Tree pose. Standing on my left foot, the right foot is pressing into the inner thigh of the left leg. Knee reaching out and to the right. Hands moving from prayer position at the breast bone into the air, over head.

Strength in the standing leg, softening the left hip. Surrendering the weight of the shoulders, reaching through the arms. The glance drifts upward to the hands.

Balance. The art of effort and letting go in a variety of ways.
Balance in its many forms appears from moment to moment.

Now -- off the mat.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


An employee quits so I won't have to worry about working around his schedule. A new employee, more training. Instructors trying to teach amid the chaos of changing groups, heat and the relative newness of it all. Youth trying to have fun with so many different ideas of what fun is. Parents looking for support. Registrations coming and going. Administering the van rental, the gear, payroll, schedules, communication. The future week preparation. This week clarification of who is where when. Planning for fall. An email from my son. An invitation from a friend. An email reminding me of a vacation to come.
In stillness I get it.
All these people want to receive from me. Opening to me. They trust me.
They believe in my ability to get it done and to do it well.
Maybe more than I trust myself.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Work

The sun is slowly creeping across the horizon and the clock ticks the seconds by. My legs are beginning to hurt sitting in this chair for so long. I could have gone for a paddle. I could have gone to meet friends for a glass of wine. I could have sat in the evening sun with one of many good books.

I watched Byron Katie doing The Work. Then I did.

She said, "Question anything that brings on sadness." "I am the source of my pain – only 100% of it."
My own pain seeps in behind thoughts like, "My son will want to leave me and live with his father.""I have lost my best friend." And "My abs are not what they were."

Is this true? Right away I stumble. Holding onto this thought - "my son will want to leave me and live with his father."I realize, my son always wants to live with both of us. He doesn't like leaving me and he wants to be with Nick. "I have lost my best friend." Is he my best friend right now? Do I know he doesn't still love me? I have left no room for him to love me in silence, in his own way. There is no room for me to be my own best friend. There is no room for a best friend.

What felt like lead in my stomach and pain in my heart lightens and lifts. I soften.

I am the one creating the story that holds up the lie that I am somehow responsible for what others choose. I could write a story about people loving me just because I am me. Fun birthday skype with my beautiful child who fills my heart with joy when I see him, a wonderful invitation to dinner with a friend, a glass of wine with another and an amazing gift of exploration with yet a third - so many blessings to count. I could write the love story of two people who respect each other more, forgive each other and choose consciously to work together to raise a beautiful child. I could hold in my awareness the strength of my body in my Yoga practice and climbing.

I am 100% responsible for the pain I have experienced this past week. I have chosen to see only one side of the many possibilities for everything I am experiencing.

I am working on it. I apologize to myself for not loving me. I am doing the best I can and I am enough for me. I apologize to all of those people who I have negative thoughts. It is my own story writing that creates this pain and I have dishonestly blamed you. In this moment it is clearer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Yesterday, someone said to me, "It is easy to speak kindly to the children, but not so easy with other adults." I agreed totally. I would much rather speak to children than to the adults. Why is that?

This morning it occurred to me that my ease with children is based on the fact that I do not expect them to behave in a particular way. I expect adults to know better, to accept responsibility. To act with integrity. I do not necessarily expect this from children because they have not learned all the rules yet. And I think I probably hold the parents responsible for teaching them.

We are all children to some degree, but maybe some of us learn different lessons. I learned that you do not let other people down. When I wanted to quit Guides after only a few months, I received a very stern lesson on the importance of thinking about other people. This was reinforced when I did not want to finish a meal --"think of all the starving children in Africa." In some strange way I was responsible for their life situation.

But I also watched for years as one teenager, young adult could leave a family dinner table, with seconds uneaten on the plate, and there was no expectation to help with clean up or even to say thank you.

Even as I write, I sense the disdain I have for people who do not look for opportunity to support others. But I also see how all the years of being raised as I was contributed to my sense of responsibility to others - even over and above myself. But if I continually offer of myself, as I have been doing at work for the past month, I feel sick and unhappy. I sense my fatigue and general with drawl from my own life. I am not grounded, making conscious choices, I am reactionary.

Can I remember that we are all the product of our life experiences and some we had no choice in?
Can I remember that balance in giving and receiving is essential to happiness?
Can I then hold myself and others with more compassion?

Fearful living

Every loving thought is true.

Today I received news that someone I am counting on, may not be there when I need them to be there. The thoughts are not loving ones. If only the loving ones are true and everything else is is a cry for help, what is the cry for help about? I trust this person, no, I expect this person to take on the responsibility they said they wanted. I expect them to fully participate. Now they are indicating a desire not to. I feel betrayed. But really it is not about me. He is not doing this because of me in anyway. He is just following what is important to him and clearly this other potential is more important to him than the commitments he has made.

My mind screams in argument, throwing around words like integrity and loyalty, participation. And there is some quiet part responding with words like, this is his best and he is not you.

Ahhh... as I paused to sip coffee, another thought arose...'this doesn't mean you are responsible to make it up for him.' Yes. That is what I am really angry about. I feel like it is my job to fix it for him. And I am angry because I already fixed it for me so I could go away and take care of me. Now he will no longer be there to take care of what I take care of. He is letting me down. But not me... he is letting down the other instructors, the parents, the kids, and the other employees. It is not my responsibility to be there instead. It is a choice I can make. I can choose to follow through on my plans or I can choose to be there. That choice has to be made by what I feel is right FOR ME in my heart. I can choose to fix this for him, or I can choose to ask him to take responsibility for it. And know he may choose not to.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Loving oneself

I stood in Warrior 2 feeling so comfortable. I connected with the spirit of stability, power with arms wide as if sending my energy across the room and through the hearts of others. My torso turned; my heart turned aside to the energy coming toward me, shielding me.

My mind began to judge. This is how I am in my relationships. Sending my energy out with great force and directness. I shield my heart from the energy coming my way. I stay grounded with the strength of my wide stance across many disciplines.

Camel pose... No No No... Fear arising quickly. I do not want to trust here. I ease slowly, not fully committing to the opening. Happy to come out. Quickly to a forward bend. Shielding myself again.

Balance on the arms - love the challenge. It is magic to move with the breath and just stay focused on the breathing, my arms strong and stable, my body knowing where to offer more opening. Holding it all in balance with the power of my arms, my core and a lifted heart - yes this is who I am as a mother. Always exploring, trusting myself to know how far to go.

The mat is such an extraordinary arena. The lesson, acceptance of what feels right now and then slowly to get curious and playful in practice, softening and opening my heart to that which it fears. That is real love for oneself.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Arena of life

I see the disappointment on the faces, one has his face in his jersey, another with head down and eyes looking to the floor. Still others are complaining, citing the litany of mistakes and unfair action. I just want to fix it. I look at all of them and say - "What an great game you guys played! What is your apple? Fynn tell me what is your apple?" There is confusion and some curiosity. Then the Dad's, the male coaches come in and the moment is lost.

The coach speaks and the boys heads pop up and their eyes gravitate to him. They look to them in a hopeful way. They are rewarded with acclaim and positive feedback. It counts. These little men, eat it up. It matters to them and they feel better.

What is this guy thing? Why do little boys look for affirmation from men? Why do they need to compete in physical prowess? They don't just go down a slide, they find a more dangerous way to go down a slide. Perhaps the physical power of their body is the way they relate to each other and themselves. Ahhhh... maybe it is because boys like to know where they stand in their boyness. Just as all humans like to know where they stand in their humanness.

So we are all just trying to define where we fit in this arena of life. We are trying to stake our claim and get a sense of who we are. And who we are not. Yet change the teams and usually that personal sense of who one is changes. We struggle constantly with this need to know, and yet we are each like a chameleon, constantly adapting to what we know now.

This is helpful. Input is processed to determine where I stand with that person, in this arena. I write these words to ensure I am understood by others. I look for comments and relate them to my own beliefs. But can I write for me, from my heart and not step into the arena? Can I remain constant, rooted in the spirit of my own heart allowing others to swirl in reaction, accepting all of it as helpful in seeing myself and others clearly?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Black or White

I awoke this morning to the thoughts of discomfort. Not peace. My dream involved my son careening down our hill toward the main road going so fast there was no way to stop. Out of control.

As I follow my morning routine, a message appears - "If you are reading this on a computer, you are rich. If you will be with people today, you are connected. If anyone knows where you are right now, you are loved."

There are all those little things we take for granted. Nothing is black or white. I am never completely out of control or alone. Nor am I ever completely in control. I alone am not the cause or root of anything.

Can I allow for uncertainty? When something doesn't feel right, can I pay attention? Can I allow the discomfort and be patient for the right answer to come?

Can I have faith that somehow, as long as I continue to be curious and I continue to act with honesty, kindness, necessity and the intent to be helpful, that it is the way it should be and I will be able to see it?