• writing

    Commonplace Journal Inspiration

    As I was organizing files today, I came across a little info book I put together last year around this time. I read through it and decided I’d share it with you. As a longtime commonplace book keeper, here I provide a number of ideas for keeping your own. Download the guide here. Enjoy! Do you keep a commonplace book? If so, please tell me in the comments, and tell me what you keep in yours!

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Sacredness in the Mundane

    there is asacrednessin the mundane,in every daylife. we only have tos l o w d o w n . . . to see itfeel ittaste itbreathe itBE it. . . . I really believe this is my life’s calling. It’s a simple life calling, and a difficult out-of-reach one at the same time. My life’s calling is to slow down, to overcome the rush and anxiety that has pervaded me for the entirety of my years on earth, and to put words to the frustration and subsequent peace this calling elicits. Life is paradoxical … and simple and hard and beautiful and heart-wrenching and confusing and joyful. Ahh, this being human truly is a guest house, as Rumi wrote hundreds of years ago. We simply cannot know who or what to expect from one day to the next. I am most at peace and can exude that same peace to others when I am home, when it is quiet, in nature and/or when I am writing regularly (because if I don’t my mind is like a championship ping pong match). During these times I see the simple beauty that is everywhere. When my mind is quiet, I can feel the peace inside of me, a peace…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Feel More. Think Less.

    “Feel more. Think less.” Sound advice in almost all situations, and if I’m honest, not my first tendency. It’s auspicious, however, that nearly everything I’ve endeavored in my spiritual life also points to this truth. It’s also interesting how when you see something, you can’t unsee it. Words (the product of thinking) fail the full experience of life. Words are a means to an end. We use words to explain how we feel, to get what we want because of how we feel, and to point to the reality we are making of the world. Words, however, are not reality itself. Words are dualistic in nature. They come from the mind and the mind is better at comparing and contrasting than thinking deeply about wide open concepts that cannot be defined. It takes time to create the capacity to hold many things as true at once. Certainly I’m no expert but the older I get, the more I see many truths now aligned that I used to hold in direct opposition of each other. Truth is not known from the level of the mind. It is felt at the level of the body. . . . All that said, I am a words girl. I…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Learning to Love the Paradox

    Please be gentle with me. I am writing my memoir, one of them at least. I may never publish it but that’s not the point anyway. I’m doing it for me. I wrote for a few hours yesterday. It was painful. I could feel rage rising as I finished. I knew I needed to take a break; I knew I needed to attend to my self care. And so I did. I feel like I am pulling myself down into a hole, unwinding the past. I wonder why I’m doing it. I could stop, but I see that it is necessary for the next big phase I’m moving into. I don’t have to forge ahead without thinking of my self care needs, but I do need to keep going. I am trusting the process. I cannot tell you how many times in life I have felt so fucked up. I feel pretty fucked up right now, having written, and seeing my past so clearly. But I also know that’s a story I tell myself, the story of my past, the story that I can, will and am breaking free from. That’s why I’m writing after all. I see that there have been many steps forward…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Life Changes; It’s Good To Write About It

    “I was raised Catholic. Not really. Well, yeah, sort of. I, like you, am a walking oxymoron. Life is not black and white and each of us have unique contradicting life experiences that seem to make sense as we grow older.” . . . These words came me as I was hiking yesterday. My mind thinks in words, and lots of things became clear on this hike. Hiking and writing are the two practices that tend to do that – connect the dots in ways that weren’t connected before. I was contemplating my memoir, a memoir that’s not yet written and is waiting to be formed in my mind, and eventually on the page. I’m dragging my feet. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that others will think I think too highly of myself. I’m afraid to show that much of me. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of being brutally honest, both with myself and subsequently with others once it is in black and white. At the same time, I have a need to write, to express myself, to tell of my human foibles and triumphs. Writing is who I am. I have led an interesting life in my 51 years. There are lots of stories…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Truth Resonates in the Body

    I am being called to something new, to opening up to inner states that are beyond me yet are also already deep inside. The mystics are pointing the way into the great unknown, and yet there is familiarity here too. It is hard to describe at the level of words. I simply listen and know truth when I feel it. “The body never lies. The mind often does.” As a yogi and yoga teacher, I learned this truth firsthand and have said it multiple times to students over the years. With every fiber of my being, I know it is truth. I believe it is the truth that led me to embodiment studies and practice several years ago, as well as other disciplines I couldn’t have ‘thunk up’ on my own. Life is funny that way. We are somehow led to where we need to go. Let’s start with the term ’embodiment’ because it is elusive at best. While it starts with studying, visualization and somatization, it becomes a recognized felt sense in the body. Ultimately this sense leads to fully living through the body’s direct experience without the filter of the mind … but it takes work and practice. And as I write this,…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Precipice

    Sometimes words come to me. No, words always come to me. It’s the way my brain works. Words pop in, followed by other words; I had an entire blog post written in my head, in bed, this morning. Only it wasn’t entirely written – thoughts swirl and I know where I’m headed but I’m not always sure of the details or how the words will take me there, until I sit down to write. Precipice was my word this morning, the state I feel I’m in. Precipice literally means ‘a very steep rock face or cliff, especially a tall one.’ And metaphorically I am at a precipice in life. I have choices to make. Do I climb the mountain face? Do I jump? Do I free fall? Do I let the steepness scare me? Or do I see it as an opportunity to change everything, rearrange life by stepping into the unknown? One chapter is ending as a new one begins, but the thing is, I have no clear view of the direction I’m headed. I have ideas. I have hopes. I have aspirations. But I don’t have a clear path and, quite frankly, it scares the shit out of me. I have always been…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Slow Living on Some Land

    I’ve been working toward a slower lifestyle for many years now, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing; but each time I digress I am reminded of how important it is to me to live life in the moment instead of getting caught up in the minutiae. According to Wikipedia, “slow living is a lifestyle emphasizing slower approaches to aspects of everyday life,” and that is just one definition among many. ‘Slow Living,’ ‘Simple Living’ and the general idea of simplifying life is a movement that many are passionate about. For at least the last decade there have been many who have sold their homes, chosen nomadic lifestyles, or transitioned to tiny homes with a lot less overhead. I have considered all of the above. My husband, however, has other ideas. While he’s thrifty, frugal, and a saver to the core, he has his sights set on expanding our farm. We already own 19 acres with a nice home and separate garage, and are in the process of building another garage for the various tools and farm equipment we he owns. My one push toward a ‘semi nomadic’ simple life was the purchase of our Hiker Trailer, a cute, rugged simple camper we’ll be picking up next week. Their mantra,…

  • being human,  embodiment,  featured,  writing

    Life Changes

    A lot of things have changed over the last few months, but then again, life always changes. THESE changes, however, feel much more monumental––life altering, in fact. For whatever reason, I’ve recently been given the ability to see more clearly and to recognize situations I’m not willing to stay in. The entire dynamic is a privilege; I’m well aware of this fact. I have been struggling with hard decisions and I’m still in the middle of that struggle but life isn’t about constant ease. We struggle so we can work through our blind spots, change the things that aren’t working and hopefully come out on the other side wiser, more grounded and hopefully happier, having gone through the ordeal and arrived at a better place. The entire situation has provided me with the ability to put life in order, to reevaluate those things that are most important and to let go of the things that aren’t working. This is where I find myself today … still in the middle of it all but making decisions about the next best steps. Using the ocean as a metaphor for life, I’ve been in all of the depths throughout my years––riding the waves of the highs and lows,…