• 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 super comfortable in large groups of people; it’s just not my thing, but slowly I’m embracing the way it feels as part of life, as part of who I am as a person. My true self, as opposed to my ego self, is kind, loving, calm and interested in all sorts of topics (especially related to social behavior, psychology, the arts,…

  • 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 embodiment. It was here, inside of me. It’s in you too. In this post I hope to explain, as best I can, some of the mystical experiences that have been happening of late. At this point I’m not able to string the experiences into a cohesive story; they are much more fragmented. Yet, I feel they are linked; they are one.…

  • 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. And I am finding that word — becoming — a word I use a lot. Yet, as I ponder it, I see that it’s not as accurate as another word: UNCOVERING. I am uncovering who I was all along, through all the masks and the faces that I’ve shown to the rest of the world. My mind is almost never quiet,…

  • 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 the midst of it.) NOW feels more secure, loving, authentic and spirit filled, but I’d be lying if I said I miss nothing of my old life. Grief is funny that way, how it hangs on, if only in glimpses. As they say, ‘ignorance is bliss.’ I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was naive about the flow of…

  • 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…