Saturday, January 29, 2011


Tonight I received an award. I was recognized for my contribution to the climbing community. One part of me was stunned and one part was hurt. There were many who have been involved to a lesser degree than I have for less time. I wondered about why I wasn't good enough to receive an award sooner. I beat myself up. 'It's my intensity. It's because I have such high standards I hold people to. It's because I am a woman.' Lot's to build a story around.

The truth. I was recognized for my contributions.

But then... I realized my contributions have always been for those who are other than those recognizing me. I have worked hard at engaging the youth. I have not been as connected to the adults. I am deeper than the grades. I am about the process. The growth.

I am about the feeling good for teaching people and I get more thanks from kids than adults because the parents can afford to pay.

One breath at a time.

I sit on my mat and follow my breath deeper into a forward bend. As I breathe in, I can feel the expansion of my ribs and the added physical discomfort. As I exhale, I become more aware of the lengthening of my hamstrings and the physical expression that come with it. As I twist to the right, I experience the combined compression and lengthening. To the left, slightly different, but still the discomfort is there. I enjoy this feeling of physical length and the muscular strain that comes with it. I have become very skilled at moving with it on my breath and that makes it possible and even enjoyable.

I reflect then on how this is really no different then moving beyond the challenges off the mat. It is difficult to move on and into new relationships, to move into a different career, to move into the challenges of growing children. Really challenge and discomfort are just challenge and discomfort.

Can I just ride the breath and take it one inhale and exhale at a time? Noticing the expansion that occurs with each breath. Can I just move one step, one breath, at a time toward the completion of a big hairy audacious goal, (BHAG), just as I ride one breath at a time into a pose?

Am I prepared to challenge myself to lengthen toward my BHAGs each and every day? You bet because I know one breath at a time, there is Joy and excitement in the discomfort.
Want to join me?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Achievement or fulfillment

These days things do not seem to be going exactly as I would like them to. The result is I feel quite out of control of circumstances. Then along came insight and I realized I really was free to have things a different way, AND that would mean I needed to be honest, brave and actually say what I wanted. I needed to take responsibility for what I want.

A little goal setting later and I a few uncomfortable actions and the wheels began to turn. In some aspects, I can see things happening. In others, I am at least more clear - clear I will not be getting what I thought I wanted. In steps disappointment. There is an inclination to halt forward movement with the response, "see I tried, and all I got was disappointment." Then the little voice in my heart asked, "Really? Or are you just ego bruised because you are like the child who didn't win?"
Yep, ego bruised. It wasn't about really wanting to give. It was about wanting to get.
Ahhhh... Achievement comes when we get what we want. Fulfillment comes when we offer our heart, regardless of how it is received.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Divine embrace

"In life’s sea of hassles and troubles we search for Grace. Most look where they can find it: pleasure, even if it’s the kind that has no staying power. Seekers comb for it, knowing that its rays beam brightly during certain phases of the swinging pendulum of mind. The sage sees Grace’s ceaseless blessing everywhere. What hardship? Life’s a Divine embrace, like so many sweet kisses from Eternity that never stop." ~ Rod Stryker

I am definitely one of the seekers, not yet a sage, but less frequently seeking pleasure to mask pain. It has become apparent to me that I am at war with myself. I am warring about what I see as the confines of my life. I am at war with the box I have placed myself in. The heart wants out of the box and yet the head is saying, "you can't... how will you afford your home, food?" The how's showing up, shows me that I do not yet have absolute faith in the Divine. I do not have absolute faith in my own ability to make my way in this world.

The solution... move in the direction that the heart directs, one baby step at a time. Cultivate faith by learning from each moment - open to what each moment teaches me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Yesterday as I stepped onto my mat, I allowed the thoughts to flow through my head...
"Everyone lives each day for him or herself, no matter what they did.
No one owes anything to anyone, no matter what happened.
And from this, what I hope you most get, is that whatever you do next, you do it for the joy it brings you.

No one owes anything to anyone. I could see how I think somehow people do owe me and that I always feel like I owe them. A friend asked for something from me and I felt I owed him. I felt uncomfortable because I felt I couldn't disappoint him. I argued with my self and him in my mind, justifying my defense with, "what's in it for me? You are not interested in helping me."

Stepping back from the mental game of thoughts, I moved into my practice. I moved into trikonasana (triangle pose) experiencing the pull at the inside of my groin, through my side body and my twisting ribs, my shoulder ached with staying. I could stay with the experience of discomfort, but I choose to move my awareness to the lengthening, to calming the breath and the lengthening of my front and back body. As my body opened, quieted, I became aware of my strength and flexibility, my personal power and joy bubbled up. No one owes me anything and I owe no one.

I was free to choose my response to my friend. I was no longer negotiating a deal for myself. I was free from my story that I could somehow lose or win.