• being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Giving Away Little Pieces of Me

    Out of sorts. Sad. Aggravated. Tormented by my mind. These are just a few emotions I’ve been feeling lately. I lean into practice. Every. Damn. Day. And yet I always end up right where I started. I sense that I’m not giving enough of myself away. I am not giving back to the world in any measure equal to what I’ve been given. It’s hard because everything feels heavy. The things I think up never feel big enough. Nothing ever feels like it’s enough. And I’m tired of feeling paralyzed; I’m tired of talking myself out of things because they seem small. Plus the divisiveness around COVID and the difficulty to volunteer have stopped me for too long; it cannot be the reason I do nothing. There is so much I do control. There are many small things I can do easily. And isn’t every small act a step in the right direction? Isn’t every bit of positive energy a good thing? Isn’t the act of loving attention toward others what God calls us to most? Kind words. Kind deeds. Helping when needed. We can’t all do huge things but as the wise Mother Teresa said, we can “do small things with great love.” As…

  • being human,  writing

    You Don’t Know Me

    “You don’t even know who I am,” I thought as I drove away the other night. This after a conversation with a friend––a friend I’ve felt less and less of a need to be close to, and I realized why in that conversation. Daily learning and growth is truly one of my top priorities in life and I have been asking God for a while now to send women who are similar in spirit, those who also wish to grow and become more of themselves than they thought was possible. I do not see this same yearning in the friend I write about. We are all different, thank goodness. But when friendship is based on conditions and small talk and unwanted advice, I’m simply not interested anymore. The funny thing is that I can see the ‘past me’ in her. Some of the things that makes me crazy about her are things I was guilty of too. The tipping point was a ‘should’ she placed on me, a should that did not resonate at all, a should that did not even remotely line up with who I am, and I realized that she doesn’t know me at all. After years of friendship, she has no…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    The Mess is the Way

    It is crazy, all of the ways I make things ‘not okay’ when everything is, in fact, a-okay. Divine. Sheer perfection, actually. I drive myself crazy with (what appears to be) the not-okayness of life. I see it and I cannot stop it. I cannot stop my brain (and I’ve done lots of work, life work, actually, to control it), but maybe that is part of the problem. Life (and even our brains) are not supposed to be controlled. Sure, we can do the work to manage our minds instead of letting our minds manage us, but perhaps a large part of the work is simply to build greater awareness so the lessons can slowly reveal themselves over time. Control is an illusion. My conditioning — the little me that works so hard to direct my life — expects perfection; it expects life to be handed to me in pretty little perfect packages … no messy floors, no weeds in the flowerbeds, a lawn that’s kept, hair that’s perfect, a beautiful body, a face that’s always pleasing to look at. Nothing out of place. Nothing less than ‘perfect.’ And it does this day after day after day. I see it but cannot stop it; the…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    In Search of My Best Life

    I am so incredibly blessed and grateful for this life. Truly I have everything I need. And yet, there is angst, depression at times, and a sense that things are just ‘meh’ a little more often than I’d like. WHY? I am perplexed by the human condition, these almost daily feelings of the ‘not enoughness’ of life itself. ‘It shouldn’t be this way,’ I think. But it is. To me, that is a cue to change, to shift, to make room for wonder. I know life isn’t perfect all of the time, but there should be true joy here, in the moment, for no other reason than my aliveness. And so … I am looking at myself, looking within, asking questions, seeking ways I can live life differently … starting a course correction, if you will … I reflect, meditate and pray every day. I am mindful; and I am completely mind-less in each and every day. I am not perfect, nor was I called to be, but I do have power and will and the ability to do better. I am in search of my best life, because this isn’t it. It is time for a reboot, starting today. I took a social media…

  • being human,  learning,  studio sage

    Soul Fabric Repurposed

    It seems auspicious that I named this blog soul fabric many years ago and that the name may turn into a small non-profit I’m thinking of starting. It absolutely fits. Let me explain … For about the last year, I’ve been contemplating ways I wish to give back to the world, and after learning the art of ‘thrift-flipping,’ it occurred to me that I could teach others to do it too. Specifically, I’d like to teach underserved populations both how to sew and how to thrift items (fabric) and flip them into a size that fits or into something else entirely, because I believe it’s a valuable lifeskill, especially if/when on a budget. Sewing my own clothes and accessories has given me such a sense of pride and accomplishment throughout the last year, so much so (sew, lol) that I now have a goal of hand making and/or flipping my entire closet by the end of 2021. It’s important to me for a variety of reasons and I feel called to help others learn to do the same thing, or a the very least, make a few well-loved items they can feel proud of while learning a skill that will see them through the rest…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    An Inquiry for Angst

    Low level agitation is the worst and it feels like I’ve been managing this state for years now. I pray about it. I practice yoga, embodiment and breathwork. I take nature walks. I do all the things. In fact, in years past I’ve even done several types of therapy, neurofeedback and other brain training to alleviate it. Everything helps but it always comes back. Fed up with daily agitation for the last few months now, I spent some quiet time this morning both praying and analyzing the current cause: Beautiful, amazing changes in my professional life––J and I are co-creating what we’ve talked about since moving to the 19 and work now looks different. Also conditioning and familial trauma related to my worth; the thought that if I’m not working (perhaps in the traditional sense that I’m used to), I’m not worth much. It is an untruth that my yoga practice has tried to train me out of with only partial success. The larger me often feels peace and ease, but the little me gets stuck in looping thought patterns that cause agitation. I also seem to be one of the unlucky ones who is prone to a little too much thought. It’s the reason…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    Love Allows Everything

    “Love is a paradox. It often involves making a clear decision; but at its heart, it is not a matter of mind or willpower but a flow of energy willingly allowed and exchanged, without requiring payment in return. Divine love is, of course, the template and model for such human love, and yet human love is the necessary school for any encounter with divine love. . . . If we have never let God love us in the deep and subtle ways that God does, we will not know how to love another human in the deepest ways of which we are capable. Love is constantly creating future possibilities for the good of all concerned—even, and especially, when things go wrong. Love allows and accommodates everything in human experience, both the good and the bad, and nothing else can really do this. Nothing.” Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation These were words I desperately needed to read today. Speaking directly to my heart, these words remind me to get out of my own way. They nudge me to drop my ego (if only for a short time because, damnit, it’s hard to push the ego out), and they help me to feel the importance of compassion…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    What Is Embodiment?

    From the dictionary––em·bod·i·ment / əmˈbädēmənt (noun) : a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling. “she seemed to be a living embodiment of vitality” … But what does that actually mean? The definition, to me, feels vague, and perhaps will change as more people experience the feeling of being embodied. It is truly not a concept that can be grasped with the mind. It must be experienced. I first became interested in the concept of embodiment when I stumbled upon an advanced yoga teacher training called EmbodiYoga. I enrolled and got a taste for about a year through that lens. The discipline incorporates yoga, somatics, embryology and body-mind centering. It’s an amazing practice that, in many ways, looks nothing like the yoga I taught or the yoga I’ve experienced in the studios I’ve visited. Since my time studying EmbodiYoga, I’ve been introduced to other non-yoga versions of embodiment that I now practice regularly. Embodiment, in it’s simplest definition, is living from a felt-sense of the body. It is direct experience. It includes all parts of the body (the brain too — we are whole, not our ‘parts’) and it seeks to know via the body itself. Writing this feels only a little…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    The Living School

    Today, I believe, is a turning point, a pivot toward that which I’ve been called to for a while now. God has been leading me, all along actually, but specifically for the last year, as I’ve had ears to hear and a heart ready to follow. I’ve had much more quietude in which to pray, listen and discern, though I’m still learning the fullness of what that means. I’m also better at not having to know everything, to follow my senses toward what feels right. I became familiar with the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) a few years ago and have immersed myself in study and practice ever since, from books to podcasts to videos to scholarly papers, I’ve been obsessed with learning more about contemplation, the lives of the saints and Christian mysticism. I’ve also been reading about and deepening my understanding of nonduality for over two decades, as it’s a primary concept of yoga philosophy and embodiment. All of my years as a yoga teacher and deep study feels like it is converging into a cohesive story. I have no idea where it will all take me. It feels auspicious and beautiful to live in the mystery. Last July, I began talking…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    The Realization Process

    I have been practicing somatic meditation throughout the last few years, though not as regularly as I’d like. Recently, however, I started a regular practice, specifically using Realization Process techniques. As a long time ‘dabbler’ in meditation, bottom-up approaches work far better for me than top-down and I actually feel like I’m making progress. I have been noticing small shifts not only in the practice but throughout my days. At first I wrote, ‘it’s not easy and takes effort’ but a more accurate statement is that ‘it takes effort only insomuch as I give time to it and get out of my own way.’ Today I thought I’d share a scholarly paper on the Realization Process developed by Judith Blackstone. It’s a bit heady but I’ve been studying yoga, meditation and other such topics for a few decades now. The following are excerpts and a link to the paper which briefly describes nondual reality and the process that helps us realize our part in it. “Although nondual realization itself is entirely effortless, entirely without any sort of contrivance, we need to do the focused practice of subtle inward attunement in order to let go from deep within ourselves. But then we are able to really…