Many of us are vaccinated. As we begin to emerge from these months of hypervigilance and begin to dine out, to gather with friends and family, and to listen to live music, life is not as we knew it. A sense of isolation may linger. We are cautious, concerned about mask-wearing when they are no longer mandatory and about social distancing. This caution can contribute to a feeling of disconnection from our friends, our families, our communities, even from ourselves. That’s why tapping into that which is changeless is part of my daily routine. There are many portals I can open to sink into that boundary less sense of Oneness, and so can you. There is the absorbed state of artistic [...]
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So far Liz has created 17 blog entries.
As our hemisphere turns to spring, the thermometer registered 95F in Tucson. The desert is filled with birdsong, lizards, and ocotillo blooms. And yet amidst all the beauty, all the renewed energy of emergence, depression can linger. Do you sometimes feel like a late bloomer, the 'not yet ready for prime time' one? Friends have had varying reactions to the vaccine. Covid has taken its toll on some dear to me. We are on the other side now, and I am grateful. Throughout, my practice has been my anchor. Here is a pose that helps me face each day with renewed energy and trust. After practicing, I feel brighter and ready for what life brings. I hope you will too. [...]
Finally, Spring. I feel movement and a cautious release into new beginnings. Do you feel it? I’m thrilled to announce that Foreword Reviews has chosen Temple Dancer as a finalist in the 2020 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards! You'll find Saraswati's story here in Religious Adult Fiction. Though I wouldn’t call it religious, it IS a novel of spiritual awakening, sacred sexuality and intimate and eternal connection. Temple Dancer is steeped in yoga philosophy and spirituality. What do you think? Does that make it religious? Whether religious, sacrilegious or a mystery enveloped in magic realism, I’m proud to be a finalist. The Finalists were determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by teams of librarian and bookseller judges from across [...]
BECOMING SAFELY EMBODIED Practical steps to help discover an unshakeable core, a solid, steady, secure self.
I admit that when I first read Becoming Safely Embodied in manuscript, I had just upgraded to Windows 10, and I didn’t realize it was doing battle with my Adobe Reader program. Through no fault of the PDF Deirdre had sent me, it was hard to read the manuscript in full. So when it became available last week, I downloaded the book. Reading Deirdre Fay’s work in its entirety, tenderly uncoiled old feelings of unworthiness in a young silent part that still tightened my belly when I made a mistake. This is a beautifully written and thoughtful book that I recommend for self-care and healing, whether you have a history of trauma or not. Paraphrasing a question Fay asks in the introduction gives you [...]
Why do I say Joanne Spence’s new book Trauma-Informed Yoga is a must-read? If you, as a mental health, yoga or other healing professional, support people in recovery from a history of trauma and associated mood disorders, you will love this book. Stephen Porges, PhD changed our understanding of the body-mind’s response to threat when he published Polyvagal Theory in 2011. Deb Dana, LCSW brought that understanding into the treatment room when she published The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy in 2018, and in the simplest and most accessible of ways, Joanne Spence, BSW, MA, helps us non-neuroscientists take hold of the “Autonomic Ladder” and support our clients and students as they rise to safety and connection. When I read Trauma-Informed Yoga for the first time (disclaimer—I read it a [...]
Do you have trouble meditating? Does your mind seem too active to find stillness? Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind; simple, yes, but not often easy. When I began to meditate, I went on "rounding" meditation weekends, and the group practice made it easier than practicing at home alone. In fact, the depression that clouded my mind created a lot of negative self-talk, no matter if I practiced with my mantra or focused on the breath. When I closed my eyes, my self-critical part took the lead. Sound familiar? Later, when I added yoga practices to "give my mind a bone"--mudras, mantra chanting, pranayama, kriya, body sensing--I found a portal into a quiet mind. [...]
Tucson's feminist radio show “Broad Perspectives” is excellent. Have a listen! I want to share with you one of those interviews that just seemed to click. The interviewer, Aspen Green, asked the probing personal questions that allowed me to share my passions. In under thirty minutes (because they also let me pick a favorite song—Chris Williamson’s “Song of the Soul”) we talked about creativity, my journey from depression to published fiction (my new novel Temple Dancer) and the benefits of yoga for optimum mental health. I feel grateful to Aspen and to Kathleen Harris, the co-hosts, of “Broad Perspectives” on KXCI for offering me this opportunity. After you’ve listened, I hope you feel grateful to them too! [...]
Dear Ones, As we Americans face the inauguration, fear arises in many of us. Many have expressed the fear of the violence that may erupt in coming weeks and months. Most of us are expressing fear of the hate and distrust that has gone underground. What to do to create ease? I’m finding two things that are particularly supporting my sense of personal courage and confidence right now. One is taking a small action, any action, to serve in my community, and the other is a practice for calm strength and energy. My present action is here: The "Trashy Divas", a group of us in Tucson, gather every month to clear our favorite trail. Yes, it’s small in the scheme [...]
Rounding December 2020- incredible. I'm excited for new possibilities, and to farewell this remarkable year, I’ll be posting 15 ways to open the portal to creative flow to welcome in 2021, so grab a pen... As a writer, I thrive on connection to the source of creativity and love, and I know I'm not alone (despite these recent events!) Join me here each day, December 17-31, for a prompt, an inquiry, or a practice. Whether you’re a poet, an artist, a dancer, a chef, a gardener or you just want to infuse your daily life with more creativity, follow along with me for 15 days. Please share and let's "Open the Portal" to nourish creativity for the New Year! 12/17/20 [...]
Dear Ones, We’re heading into the holidays—Hanukkah first this year and then Christmas and Kwanzaa. This season can be a time of great joy and also great loneliness, especially amplified in 2020. Like everything in life, the upsides and the downsides. Can we extend our arms to embrace it all, without feeling overwhelmed or numbing out? That’s where a practice can help us stay balanced. Click >> the image for a simple practice to ride the waves of emotion and thought that I hope will help you navigate the ups and downs of the holidays. On Facebook, I see the amazing faces of the babies born and growing up in a Pandemic. I imagine the stresses and strains on their [...]