• being human,  embodiment,  learning

    Making the World More Embodied

    When is the last time you felt your feet on the floor? Your butt on the seat? The tension in your shoulders? The spaciousness of your head? The quality of your heart? Embodiment, in it’s simplest form, points to these things––a felt sensation of the body. But it’s so much more. I have been immersed in yoga studies for over twenty years now and while I still read yoga texts, I’ve moved much more deeply into the topic of embodiment, a very real outcome of yoga if practiced this way. (Sadly though, some yoga moves us away from our bodies, even into a place of objectifying our bodies instead of owning them, feeling them. I personally am not interested in this yoga.) Embodiment at it’s core is about inhabiting the body and about celebrating the journey of living in a body. There is a lot of research and practice on the subject and it is growing in popularity, but at it’s core, for me, embodiment is about moving from my head/thinking/ego and dropping awareness into felt experience, into the body. I am an every day learner and the things I read, study and listen to are varied. While I’m moving more toward physical books, I…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Embodied Writing

    How often are you in your head, and can you, instead, reside in your heart or gut, or even your feet? Embodiment, in its simplest sense, is being present and ‘in’ the sensations of the body on a moment-by-moment basis. Another simple definition I recently heard is “living life informed through the sense-experience of the body.” Most of us, unfortunately, are foreign to this idea and we are in our heads quite a lot. We are thinkers and doers and overachievers (me included), but learning to drop into the body actually provides us with more information, more choice, a fuller life, and gives the brain a much needed break. Often we are participating in life but not fully participating. Have you driven somewhere and realized that when you got to your destination, you couldn’t recall the drive? Or been in conversation but didn’t hear what the other person said? Were you thinking about what you’d say next? What about being somewhere and simply wishing you were someplace else? All of these situations point to a disembodied state. Head is primary. Body is someplace else entirely. Practicing mindfulness is one solution; practicing embodiment gives depth and richness to mindfulness. Depression and anxiety are head-space ailments. Though they…

  • being human,  writing

    What You Think of Me is None of My Business

    I woke up this morning with a sense of dread, a feeling I am not unfamiliar with. The ‘dread’ was (is) worry . . . about what others think of me, specifically over the book I just published. It’s a normal human emotion, I think. It’s also worth dismantling. Publishing a book has been on my bucket list for at least the last decade, maybe two, and when I took a course last year on the publishing process, I decided to publish poetry that I wrote during a volatile time. I wrote these poems and called them ‘Love Letters for the Soul’ because that is exactly what they were to me, love letters for MY soul. . . . In them you’ll read about a scared, unsure, deeply sad yet hopeful little girl talking herself out of every bad thing, every negative emotion, every destructive self talk she found herself immersed in. She needed it. She participated in grief counseling, had her akashic record read, worked with a jungian therapist, practiced yoga, meditation and embodiment, drank a little too much, and finally looked deep inside, fully felt the pain and turned to writing to help her heal. . . . Once I published I decided…

  • being human,  reading,  writing

    January Books Read

    As I wrote in a previous post, I have a goal of reading 108 books and/or literary essays this year. Besides the ongoing books I’m reading throughout the year (which were listed in that post), here is a list of books and essays read in January 2021: Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Pray, Decide and Don’t Worry: Bobby & Jackie Angel with Mike Schmitz In the School of the Holy Spirit: Jacques Philippe Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Edward Sri We Should All Be Feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Stitches: Anne Lamott Intimations: Zadie Smith The Naked Now: Richard Rohr Turn My Mourning Into Dancing: Henri Nouwen Liturgy of the Ordinary: Tish Harrison Warren A Healing Space: Matt Licata Seven Brief Lessons on Physics: Carlo Rovelli On Likability: Lacy M. Johnson Obituary for Dead Languages: Heather Altfeld If you are interested in adding any of the books to your home library, please comment and we’ll connect offline. Every book I read and own is up for grabs, FREE, as part of my service to the world. Some of the books are audio which aren’t part of it, and the essays (the last two in this post) are part…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    The Whispers of My Soul

    Little by little, we are led toward our final destination, and yet words fail. ‘Final destination’ is not a reality for earth. To coin a phrase I recently heard and like a lot, we are ‘always on the way.’ This phrase, for me, means continued growth, an uncovering of my true nature, that of love. The problem here on the earth-plane is that of forgetting, at least that’s been my experience. I have been a writer for the entirety of my adult life and most of my childhood, if I’m being honest. I’ve made my living writing for others, but as I started my yoga journey, I deeply felt the need to write for myself. I started a (different) blog back then and wrote thousands of words for myself and others. These were words from my heart, passion for new things I was learning and a way to connect with those like-minded. Since that time, I’ve had a few other iterations of this blog and I believe this one is here to stay. The topic is pretty broad—humanity—but the subject often comes from that which I’m experiencing on any given day. Today I am feeling both joy and terror, a mix of emotions I am…

  • being human,  embodiment,  reading,  writing

    2021 Reading Goal

    Yesterday I wrote about my goals for 2021 and one of my biggest ones is to read more books. Specifically, my goal is to read 108 books. I have set this goal for myself every year—reading more, not 108–this is the most ever. With my intention to lessen social media (and a pretty good follow through so far), I am making excellent progress. Everyday reading is becoming a habit. I have read ten books in full so far and I have five that I’ll be reading throughout 2021. Each month I plan to list the books I’ve read. Below are the year-long books on my shelf: The Book of Awakening: Mark Nepo Do Something Beautiful for God: thoughts from Mother Teresa Radiance Sutras: Lorin Roche The Cloud of Unknowing: Unknown A Calendar of Wisdom: Leo Tolstoy I will list the other ten (and any others I read by January 31st) at the end of the month. So far, these are all books I own, either in print or digitally. I just sold a huge box of books to the Paperback Exchange in Lancaster and I plan to start buying second hand or borrowing from the library. I have five other boxes in my basement I…

  • being human,  embodiment,  reading,  writing

    Goals for a New Year

    For many years now I have set personal and professional goals at the beginning of each year. I did so again this year but they look much different from years’ past. I have ALWAYS had something to prove, the result of a not-enoughness mindset. Thankfully much of my life’s inner work has been about seeing/understanding not-enoughness, the insideous ways it shows itself, and dismantling its ugly manifestations. I never would have had the courage to publish Love Letters for the Soul without doing so. I don’t have to be the best at anything. I only have to be myself. So while I still think it’s important to set goals and work toward them, my stance has softened. To me, life has shifted from acheiving goals at some far-off date to paying greater attention to how I’m living today. My goals for this year are much more internal than external (well, except for a few … ) They may shift over time and that’s okay. As of today, here is my short list: Everyday presence, being fully connected to life, embodying it Everyday movement Spending time outside most days, even when it’s colder than I’d like Respecting and living within the seasons—of the year and my…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Optimistic Energy

    Optimistic energy attracts all good things because it believes those things are already on their way. In fact they are. Optimistic energy is a felt sensation in the body as much as it is a mindset (maybe more). Optimistic energy is expansive and contagious. Optimistic energy comes directly from spirit. Optimistic energy must stay present to itself in order to attract more optimistic energy. Optimistic energy sees the good in all. Even the ugly. Optimistic energy is a byproduct of love. Optimistic energy is the opposite of fear. . . . Fear is unbelief. Fear is a belief in lack. Fear is lack, not-enoughness, ego, limitation, reaction, a lack of love. Fear stops us from being our best selves, living our best lives. Fear has a felt sense too. It is different for everyone but there is always constriction in fear. . . . Please reread each section above, perhaps starting with fear then finishing with optimistic energy. Feel the words and the vibration in your body. Reread optimistic energy as many times as you need to and then go in peace, in optimistic energy throughout your day. Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    An Invitation

    I find myself in a place I know well—a place of seeking less, a place of letting go, a place of learning to simplify. It’s a place I know well because I return to it regularly, mostly because I forget along the way. Life, it seems to me, is a series of forgetting and remembering—even some of our core qualities, the essence of who we are and who we want to be in the world. In my life I’ve had major periods of growth as well as stretches of lifeless living—periods of time where I’ve been completely disconnected from who I am and where I’m going. Life changes all the time but while some of the change is initiated from within, from a knowing place, other times it is unconscious. I’m pretty sure I’m in a period of being fully (mostly) connected to life and spirit which, perhaps, explains why I KNOW where I want to go without knowing with my brain. It is in my body—in my bones and in my breath. And the place I want to go isn’t a place at all; it’s a state of being; it’s an attunement to the aliveness that is already here. But first: Letting go. Surrendering.…

  • being human,  writing

    Learning to Wait

    I am learning to wait, hopefully patiently. For the majority of my adult life I have pushed and strived and made things happen. I have set goals and conquered them. But I’m in a different place now, a place quite unfamiliar to me. I am in a place of quiet anticipation. I am teaching myself to wait. Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, yeah—no, it doesn’t feel simple at all. In this waiting period, I am noticing my compulsions and tendencies. I am noticing how much mindless scrolling I do as well as the tendency to pick up my phone for …. something, but what? I do not know. I just announced a break from social media today, something I’ve been thinking about for a while but have not had the courage to do. And how crazy is that? It literally feels like it is taking a great deal of courage to stop. It actually feels scary. I am trying to identify why and the best that I can come up with is that it is important to me that I connect with people and that in some small way I remain relevant. But that is a trap—all of us are relevant in our human-ness; our…