Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Power of Sangha

In two days, I will be connecting again with beautiful hearts and shining lights in Colorado at a ParaYoga training with Rod Stryker. I long for these trainings and the connections they bring. In yoga, this is called Sangha. Sangha means "a community of noble ones." A community of seekers. Although this community is spread over multiple continents, it somehow has the power to jumpstart faith in the process, the goal of life... awakening.

Perhaps it is the freedom from daily worries of jobs, family and house chores. Perhaps it is the beautiful natural environment. Perhaps it is the nourishing lunches made with love. Perhaps it is the blessing of the experience seeping through my teacher. Perhaps it is all of these things at once. But it is in this place I feel life is truly worth living and thriving.

It is my prayer that each of you have such a refuge.
If not... come see us at 108;)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Black and White

This morning I am remembering a quote from one of my all-time favorite books, "If I defend myself, I am attacked." I am repeating this to myself in light of recent conversations with different sources and hearing the same complaints about my character. According to these sources,

I see the world in black and white. AND I am too independent.

I do see some things as black or white - right or wrong.
I would argue that the moment someone is calling me out on seeing a situation as black or white, they are seeing me in a black and white way - a right or wrong way.

I am too independent. True. Very true. I do not like being told what to do, how to do it and when.

It is that spirit of independence that has empowered me to do what I consider some of the greatest accomplishments in my life... to raise a child on my own and simultaneously become a 500 hour certified Yoga teacher. To climb at a high level because I chucked traditional living and lived in a car for multiple years to understand climbing. To become a traveling author and coach. I wrote articles and a book in the back of a Ford F-150.

Ironically, it is these very accomplishments these critics admire.

The moral of the story... exactly what people are annoyed by is also the characteristic they admire when it is seen in a different light. Never ever ever reject any part of yourself because you can be damn sure that at some point it served you well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


In Vishnu Smriti, the image of hope, morals and work is represented as the virtuous man who rides in a chariot directed by his hopeful mind to his desired wishes, drawn by his five senses, who keeps the chariot on the path of the virtuous, and thus is not distracted by the wrongs such as wrath, greed, and other vices.*

A hopeful mind is an optimistic mind.
A hopeful mind focuses on the desired outcome, and does not swerve with failed attempts and obstacles.
A hopeful mind may or may not have faith, it simply follows the dream rather than the fear.

~ *Maurice Bloomfield, The Mind as Wish-Car in the Veda, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 39, pages 280-282

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Waiting Wanting Worrying

Waiting for what we want.
Wanting the things that will bring peace.
Worrying about change.

Resistance means we are attached to an idea of how things should be. As long as we believe things should be one way it is very hard to appreciate them any other way.

This pretty much sums up FB conversations from my Nova Scotia community as yet another snowfall blankets the landscape in these early Spring days.

My early spring unhappiness about snow opens me up to looking at the lens through which I view other areas of my life. What am I resisting?
What am I worrying about?
What am I wanting?
What else am I resisting?
What would I be open to if I wasn't believing it should be a certain way?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

9 Days of 100 days of Happiness

Happiness is something you see in every moment or choose not to.
My Facebook page is loading pictures of new babies and a little older babies. So cute.
Even as I see them I recall those amazing first days of just LOVE. Nothing else.

I recall in my own young life a time of just boldness and endless curiosity that got me in perpetual trouble. Taking apart the TV, the phone, my siblings toys, bringing home strays, climbing cliffs and dragging my siblings along.

Where did she go? When did she go?
I am more tempered now. More aware of what can go wrong. Because I have seen things go wrong. I have seen broken bodies falling from cliffs and felt broken hearts. I have seen people who will take from other people for their own beliefs and gain. I have felt the pain of greed and the sorrow of death.

And yet in each moment, there was also new birth, new babies who break your heart with boundless love, blossoming flowers and an endless cycle of birth and death.
Where I put my attention will determine my happiness.