• being human,  breath,  embodiment

    Conscious Breath is a Superpower

    I work with breath every day, but today is an extra special one, a day of celebration. A human who once shared my very breath has been on the planet for twenty-one years today. Yes, I brought life into the world that day — a beautiful, blue eyed, red headed, breathing, loving, feeling human who has blessed me in unimaginable ways. And so, in honor of Madison, of life, of breath itself, I’d like to tell you a little story of how the day unfolded and why I think conscious breath is a superpower. I came into the pregnancy a novice yogi but could not find a prenatal yoga teacher to work with me, so I did what I knew I could to stay healthy and active: early in the pregnancy, I committed to regular breath practice and walked 5+ miles every day. I…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    Embracing the Right to be Real + Awkward

    I am real; I always have been. I am awkward too, although I bet most people who know me wouldn’t tell you that about me. I’m far too controlled to show it. I, probably not unlike you, have lived from my ego self for my entire life. And that ego self is very concerned with how I look and seem to others. I over drank for years to feel comfortable around people. I didn’t know I was doing it at the time. I just knew that I was fun and had a lot more things to talk about when I was drunk. I could also be my loving, generous self when drunk. I could tell people how I felt easily. The only way I could talk and feel comfortable in a crowd was if I was a few glasses deep. I am still not…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    Field Notes on Mystical Embodiment

    I am currently enrolled in The Living School through the Center for Action and Contemplation, and in a nutshell it is a living (alive, breathing, adaptable, embodied) school that deeply, methodically (thoroughly) explores the contemplative Christian mystical tradition. I applied and was accepted last year; the two year program kicked off with a symposium in July. Though my experiences feel really hard to process and write about, I plan to try during the time I spend in the program. As a deep seeker of spiritual truth, I’ve walked many roads in my life from West to East and back again. And the auspicious thing about it all is that the truth I’ve been seeking has been here all along. It was here in my eastern studies as much as west. It was here as I learned about yogic philosophy and Ayurveda and astrology and…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Permission to Feel and Heal

    I read something a few years ago that helped me heal from trauma significantly. It validated my experience. I remember my therapist saying to me that my type of trauma was the hardest to heal … low level trauma. I didn’t even recognize it as trauma until I was well into adulthood and life began to unravel. Here is the passage:  “It’s crucial to remember that no one but the writer can determine what might be perceived as traumatic nor is it essential that the experience be defined as ‘trauma.’ What matters is if the difficult experience produces a stress response––or a complex trauma response––and this can result from surviving an attack, being in a car accident, or fighting in a war. It also can come from the separation from parents, or living with a depressed parent, or being in a household with marital…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    Being Alive Takes Time

    Oh my, how I need to internalize this lesson …. “I am always surprised at the aftereffect of being moved deeply by something. I can be hurt or disappointed or feel the warmth of being loved or the gentle sway of being temporarily left, and then I’m ready to chew on something else, seldom allowing for the feelings to digest completely. In fact, I’ve come to see that much of my confusion in life comes from giving my attention to the next thing too soon, and then wrapping new experience in the remnants of feeling that are not finished with me. … Being alive takes time.” Mark Nepo: The Book of Awakening Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Words Harm. Words Heal.

    As humans, we are naturally feeling creatures. Emotions move through us every day, and unless we pay attention to those feelings, they can rule our very behavior. They can also make us use words to manipulate other people’s behavior. This very thing happened to me this week. A friend of mine, someone I know pretty well, used words in a conversation with me that made me feel uncomfortable. I don’t think she meant for me to feel this way, but I do believe she used her words to achieve a result, to make herself feel better. She was hurt by me, I believe. She wanted something from me I didn’t provide to her. She had needs and looked to me to meet those needs. When I did not meet them, she used words that felt like shame to me, deep in my body, deep…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    The Past Informs the Present

    Have you ever had an existential crisis? I’m pretty sure I just lived through one, and I continue to have glimpses of it flash into my consciousness periodically. An existential crisis refers to feelings of unease about meaning, choice, and freedom in life. I was thrown into this phase a little over three years ago, as mom was leaving her earthly body and my only child moved out of our home. I was in deep grief and sadness for well over two years. In my eyes, I lived through two deaths, of the most primal relationships I have. I wasn’t the same person I used to be and reflecting on it now, I can see that that period forever changed who I am. In many ways I am incredibly happy to be in this stage of life. NOW. (I certainly didn’t feel it in…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Our Practices Help Us Become Our Best Selves

    I’ve been thinking about practices, habits and routines. How are they different? Are they different? How are they similar? Each contributes to who we are, who we become and how we spend our days. Two quotes that come to me often are “How you do anything is how you do everything,” and “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” But habit gets a bad rap, rightfully so. It’s easy to slip into bad habits and they are hard to break. I also believe that good habits come from practice and practices are filled with intention. We envision who and how we wish to be and put practices in place that support those intentions. Done often enough, they become habits and perhaps routine. Practices are intentional whereas habit and routine can ultimately become less mindful. And I…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    The Courage to Join with the Universe

    Below are beautiful words I felt compelled to share. I haven’t been here as much and I’m hoping to write a bit more here … words that touch me and things I’m learning. Enjoy! “By honoring all things as living, the courage to join with the Universe becomes a manner of being that can happen even while sitting still. In knowing the world this way, there is no such thing as metaphor. The wind is not like God’s voice. The wind is God’s voice. Memories are not images of loved ones returning to us. They are the spirits of loved ones visiting us.” Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    More Real. More Raw. More of Me.

    This blog has served a purpose for many years; that purpose is shifting. I AM SHIFTING. I am tired of the highlight reel that is social media. This blog is a reflection of who I am, all that I am––the beautiful and the ugly. The subject is me, plain and simple. It is for me. It is cathartic. It is also for you, if you come along with me. I hope it is a way for us to connect, heart to. heart. I share my story in the hopes that you might see yourself in my words. We are all more alike than different. This blog is an attempt at improving my self-awareness. It is an act of courage. I wish to let my readers have a clear view of my human-ness: my insecurities and traumas, the unhealed aspects of myself I’m still working…