Loss in a time of Thanksgiving

Loss in a time of Thanksgiving. 💔 When life upends our plans, and the love and companionship we’ve cherished explodes into a toxic cloud, or we face some other inconsolable loss, there are two options: We can numb out and put one foot in front of the other. Or we can stay present and put one foot in front of the other. Either way, we keep going. Choice number one constricts the heart, literally putting us at risk for heart attack and immune system dysregulation. The second choice risks us burdening our friends with TMI, blubbering at inconvenient moments, and spending too much time in bed. Having spent way too many years unconsciously tamping down my feelings (a childhood habit [...]

Loss in a time of Thanksgiving2022-11-22T07:31:14-07:00

Where is Home?

Where is home? This summer was unforgettable - from the desert Southwest, to battlefields and southern mists, to the great Atlantic shore. It's been a while and I covered a lot of ground cross country! I camped along a river, visited family, tasted regional treats, and made wonderful memories. Do you ever feel that way after a temporary move or while traveling? Sometimes I don’t remember if the nightstand is to the right or left. And the bathroom…where is that? Down the hall? In the room? It only takes a few moments to orient myself to my current location and time zone, but in those seconds, if I let go of trying to figure anything out, I can truly know where [...]

Where is Home?2022-09-27T10:09:06-07:00

Perfection, Acceptance, and Dogs :)

Perfection, Acceptance, and Dogs :) We would love to be as accepting of life as it is, as our dogs, right? Jordy, my neighbor’s dog has leukemia and has only a few weeks to live. Yet she still loves to chase rabbits, go for walks, receive a good belly scratch and come to my door for treats. If she’s uncomfortable, she isn’t complaining. She doesn’t resent her owner when he says “no” to more treats, and she could care less that I have a Mezuzah on my doorframe. I’ll never be that comfortable with the here and now. We humans are works in progress. Perfection is the enemy of love. I wish I could help my precious granddaughter understand this [...]

Perfection, Acceptance, and Dogs :)2022-09-06T09:36:45-07:00

A Contemplation for Comfort

A Contemplation for Comfort. Each morning, the Daily Meditation from Richard Rohr, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation arrives in my inbox. Recently, this paragraph moved me: Ultimately, we do not earn or find God. We just get ourselves out of the way. We let go of illusions and the preoccupations of our smaller selves. As the cheap scaffolding falls away, the soul stands revealed. The soul, or True Self, cannot be created or achieved by our work. It just is, and it is already. The soul is God’s “I AM” continued in me.  “The Soul is God’s I AM continued in me.” Dear Ones, Whether you’re an agnostic, atheist, or a believer, the physicists tell us that we are all [...]

A Contemplation for Comfort2022-08-31T08:36:14-07:00

Facing What Is.

Facing what is. We can back away from the world, both our own personal dilemmas and the times we live in. But when we face them with presence, we can use these very same troubles as a pathway into a deeper connection to Self, to the place within us where we are deeply connected to each other and to the energy of the universe. I really do mean “the universe,” because if the physicists are right about the Big Bang, we are all the stardust of those first atoms. This chaotic world--with myriad crises and uncertainties, seems nonstop. This fog of collective unease, underlying our constant pressures and priorities is exhausting. Yet, when I was asked to write about releasing dread, I [...]

Facing What Is.2022-07-26T10:38:24-07:00

Feeling Vibrant

How do we feel vibrant, ageless and alive? For me it’s when I feel a loving connection. I can feel my heart expand when I am attuned to Shoshanna, my seven-year-old granddaughter, whether I have that rare opportunity to be in her presence, or even when I conjure up an image of her in my heart’s mind. Science corroborates my experience. Our hearts literally swell when we feel love, and they shrink when we grieve. Grieving is a natural part of our lives, not to be tamped down, but there comes a time when we must turn our faces to the sun, when we must let joy flow through the grief, even if it’s only a small stream. For the [...]

Feeling Vibrant2022-04-04T07:36:10-07:00

When Conflict Arises

When conflict arises, and when an incident disturbs our peace of mind, we have choices. We can turn the conflict over and over in the mind, our thoughts spinning ever tighter, like the bands inside a golf ball, as anxiety increases. We can attempt to forget it, just toss the betrayal over the fence. Both of these choices close us down. A part of the mind constricts. If we follow the first course of action, obsessing about the incident, we can lose sleep, we can be distracted from our work, and we can distance ourselves from our intimates. Eventually, the knotted ball of pain is internalized in the body, joining in with a chronic tension in the shoulders or neck, [...]

When Conflict Arises2022-04-04T07:36:10-07:00

NEW MUST-READ for Therapists, Yogis, and Self Care Seekers

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 [...]

NEW MUST-READ for Therapists, Yogis, and Self Care Seekers2022-04-04T07:36:13-07:00

And STILL, MEDITATION STILLS

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. [...]

And STILL, MEDITATION STILLS2022-04-04T07:36:13-07:00

Increasing Courage Amidst Fear

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 [...]

Increasing Courage Amidst Fear2021-01-19T15:59:14-07:00
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