Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s no woo-hoo! anymore? One of my dearest friends was back in town recently, and this was one of our first topics of conversation. She is someone I used to woo-hoo! with. I mean girls night out, dancing on bars on 6th Street, house parties ‘til 3am kind of woo-hoo! (By the way, please read woo-hoo! like a cowboy swinging his hat around his head with a full blown Texas accent.)
Maybe it’s post-pandemic, maybe it’s maturity. Or maybe it’s that those things that used to make me want to shout woo-hoo! just don’t sound as fun as they used to. It’s not like I’ve become introverted or don’t love a good party. It’s that now I crave depth over thrills and connection over sensation. I think this is one of the side effects of yoga, once again.
Joy doesn’t look like it used to.
After contemplating this in my morning meditation,...
One thing I delighted in was reading on the beach every morning. What a luxury! In preparation for Walking With Divine Feminine, Teresa of Ávila, I read The Interior Castle, written by Teresa (1515-1582) and translated by Mirabai Starr in 2003. This book sang to me! It's a long explanatory metaphor comparing our inner landscape to a castle:
"It came to me that the soul is like a castle made exclusively of diamond or some other very clear crystal. In this castle are a multitude of dwellings, just as in heaven there are many mansions." ...
Why, you may ask, do I want to do yoga about Mary Magdalene?
Because to me, she is the rest of the story.
Growing up in the Christian church meant inheriting a spirituality and faith that was very yang, or masculine. I saw at the pulpit men telling us what mostly men said and did many years ago and how and why it matters now. This was enough for me...until I saw another way.
My yoga teachers were women. Wise women. They related all matter of heart-based concepts to our bodies. We didn't just learn stories and study the way to live. We placed it on our breath. We drew from our open hearts in meditation. We strengthened our courage as we strengthened our core. We stretched our chest and shoulders along with our capacity for compassion. For me, it was an embodied faith.
Mary Magdalene is the embodiment of faith. She was there the whole time--during Jesus' teaching, throughout his crucifixion, and she...
Bask in the sweetness of life.
Delight in life’s simple pleasures.
Take time to enjoy the good stuff.
How do you respond to these statements? Do you think, “Who’s got the time for that?” Or perhaps, “The guilt would kill me.” “That stuff is for other people.” Or “The last time I basked I hurt my back.” Maybe you’re even asking, “WHAT good stuff?”
We’re going to get into this. So right now, go get something sweet. Maybe some leftover Valentine's chocolate or a Girl Scout Cookie. Or maybe something savory, like a tasty olive. Whatever is in your kitchen (or hidden in your hideaway place) that is a delicious treat for you. Then I’ll meet you back here…
Got something? Good. Let’s meditate:
Several months ago I met someone at a little gathering and she just got on my nerves. I feel like I've already met her many times in my life in other versions, and I'm just not interested in having this person in my circle. And this might be a totally valid response, or I might be preventing myself from engaging with, or even enjoying, someone new. So I believe this deserves some inquiry, since that's what we do when we're in the self awareness game.
Interestingly, the word "resistance" keeps coming up in conversation these days, so I thought it was time to take a look at this issue from the angle of resistance. The kind of resistance I'm talking about is a sense of pushing back against what you know you should do, what you actually want to do, or to what you have to do. For example,
Have I mentioned before that I love teaching about the chakras? I've taught my chakra series for about ten years now, and it never disappoints. This year is no exception. Last Thursday in Hatha was Anahata day, or 4th chakra, located at the heart center. This is where we house grief. And there is PLENTY of that to go around these days. After class, several of us on Zoom stayed back and shared some tender moments. We realized how close to the surface our sadness is sometimes.
Have you every had someone tell you to "lighten up?" Did it help, or was it infuriating?
Do you ever feel like that space between when something happens to you and when you react is very, very thin?
I think what a lot of us are craving right now is some SPACE to LIGHTEN UP. The burdens of living in a pandemic and all that goes with it have a lot of us on edge. This is totally understandable! And I'm here to help you create some space for your mind to relax and your spirit to breathe.
Today I recalled a time when things were quite hard for me. Nick and I were starting our restaurant, our kids were very small, and everything was on the line. Nick had to work long hours every day for several months to get the business going, and my troubles and stress felt BIG.
For my birthday, my mom gave me a little sign to hang on my bathroom wall that said,
"Put on a little lipstick. You'll feel...
Something I've had fun doing this season is reading and trying new things. I've pulled books off my shelf that I hadn't gotten around to yet, ordered some new ones, and signed up for a couple online classes. And now they're making their way into my teaching, which is the way it is supposed to be :)
I'm currently practicing three different types of meditation, and I wanted to share them a little more in depth with you here. If you've tried meditation and didn't care for it, I encourage you to try again! Try a different method or have another crack at a style you've done before--you are in a different place now, and that can make all the difference.
Over the next few weeks I will describe or explain three different types of meditation. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a good start.
First, I'm trying the Buddhist practice of Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation. My resource is Pema Chödrön's...