• being human,  embodiment,  learning

    The Mystery of Contemplation

    “The more you are free of yourself, the more you shall find light, truth and understanding …“ Meister Eckert  The practice of contemplation is more of an undoing than a doing and so confusing to the brain. I continue to practice each day. The following are excerpts that touched me from the Center for Action & Contemplation: Our blessedness does not lie in our active doing, rather in our passive reception of God … And so your unknowing is not a lack but rather your highest perfection, and passively to receive is your highest action. In this way you must cease being active and must draw all your powers to a point of stillness, if you truly desire to experience this birth within yourself.  Christ is the fundamental ordering principle of the universe, allowing things to be as they are and holding them together…

  • being human,  breath,  learning

    Connected by Breath

    I think most of you know that I am a yoga teacher, but what you may not know is that I stopped teaching–almost entirely–as my mom took her final breath just over three and a half years ago. In some ways I stopped breathing too; I couldn’t inhabit my body in my grief. Teaching yoga is a giving profession and I literally had nothing to give; continuing to teach would have been unfair to my students and to myself, even though saying goodbye presented another loss. For a full two years I grieved my mom, a daughter who came of age and a life I knew and loved. It was a dark night of the soul I’d never wish on anyone, but it was necessary. I devoted time to healing. I relearned how to fully inhabit my body and how to breathe again. Lots…

  • 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,  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,  learning,  writing

    Doing Hard Things

    Doing hard things looks a lot different than what it used to look like. Doing hard things used to look like exerting my will. It used to look like a lot of effort. It used to look like grinding out each day. It used to look like making a name for myself and being in the spotlight. It is so funny how all of the things I used to want I have zero need for any more. Living in a calmer, more quiet way is the thing that most soothes my soul. It is not that I have nothing to prove, it’s just that I have much less to prove to others than I have to prove to myself. These days, mostly what I have to prove to myself is that I have the capacity of becoming the person I am supposed to be.…

  • 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,  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,  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…