• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…