Monday, March 20, 2017

Plant Your Garden

Spring is here! It's action time. Now you plant the seeds for what you wish to grow. What is left after the deepening Winter rumination? There were many little deaths of what was complete. You gazed upon the baron field of ties that no longer work or what has lost its usefulness with a keen and sober eye.

Now the open field is fertile. Well worn, soft and ready to receive the seeds of what's to come. Listen to the little voice that called to you from that thumb-sized cave inside your heart. What does that little voice say? The earth wants to know your dreams now. It wants to feel your fire, for the actions you take in Spring are swift and instant. It's time to be bold with your wants; with your actions.

As for me, I wait still, but with intent and with purpose. My discoveries have revealed mostly my need for freedom, but also connection. I found my passion for culture and travel in a grounded way where I could deepen my relationships with old and new friends. I visited neighborhoods unlike my own, yet walking the familiar path of daily tasks and joy seeking. More of this, please.

I want more "let's go!" more eye gazing, hand holding, laughter and simplicity. More cafes with chatter in the background, more nature trips in wild places, more conversation, food sharing and errands we can do together. More exploring on my own (thank you Waze and Google Maps) in between routines of exercise, making meals and meditation. These were my points of interest. The living life that I have read about in books.

More YES. More travel. More adventure. More play. More of me in the present moment. More and more of me. That's what I want.

When in Maui, I ate a papaya that was bigger than my head for breakfast. I found it in my friends' garden. It was sweet, juicy and delicious. I ate it all. I did not hesitate. I swam naked. In rivers, in the ocean, in the warmth of the sun. I took ecstatic dance classes and restorative yoga.

When in Paris, I walked in the rain on cobblestone, found a secret bar behind a taco place, drank coffee and champagne. I ate whipped cream, croissants and brioche. I saw great architecture, art and brushed by Anna Wintour in a hallway at the Ritz during fashion week. I practiced yoga in French.

When in the Bay Area I walked steep hills, went to a Turn On, attended an interview at City Arts and Lectures by Roxane Gay. I opened my mind, ate pizza, took spinning and hot yoga. Chatted with friends old and new.

I spent time with my friends, went to school basketball games, was served yerba mate and babysat. I cohabitated with many animals, mostly cats and dogs. I attended many funerals.

I meditated exercised and journaled daily for grounding. Everything else was up in the air.

Today I plant a seed here with you.
More please.
More of me.
More connection.
More joy.
More play.
More freedom.
More YES.
More fruit that is bigger than my head.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making Space

Creating. Producing. Working. Making. Doing. Consuming. Maintaining. Achieving. Striving. Providing. Fulfilling. Protecting.

This life can become a conveyor belt of actions, automatically re-energizing and defining who we have always been. At times, it becomes important to strike out and declare an identity. I am! What happens when the opposite occurs? When the need to release and let go creates an ego death that outweighs the productivity design, you must heed the call. I find myself here today.

I am a natural born doer. Even as a girl, I could never zone out to the television screen, but would require a number of tactile projects to occupy more of me. This feels like a primary need to me, resulting in great productivity. However, when what I do becomes who I am, the pressure to keep doing is equivalent to survival. The question arises: Who am I when I stop and become still, the way that I teach you to do? What happens when the teacher becomes the student again?


I stop. I become stillness. Stillness inevitably becomes movement. Life is cyclical and nothing is static. I am in a constant dance of becoming. There is no such thing as emptiness, because all of life is a movement. I begin to feel moved by nature. Not by my need to prove myself, or to keep what I have. I allow myself to let go; to release what I think I know. I hold space for something new to bubble up. I feel my own nervous energy and become more attuned to it; more comfortable with the feeling of the internal buzzing that charges my body like caffeinated consciousness. Something rises that isn't me, but it lives within me. Is it my spirit, my life force, or nature?


The way the light hits the building across the street. The cacophony of voices in the upscale coffee place where I write. My empty belly. The self I see tapping at the computer, mining my mind for a jewel of a thought. Who am I to say what is valuable? Streams of thoughts running through me and rivers of people passing by my eyes. I feel a part of. Today is a day when I feel merged with all. I feel no desire to define myself with achievement. I watch and I wait for the inspiration. Today it wants me to be present in the moment as a practice. I don't doubt or question. I trust it. I trust my path. I trust that this is where I belong.

It doesn't look like what is expected of me. It looks like a woman with a well-worn face, but feels like a little girl who is her own parent. It looks like someone you remember for some reason, someone you once knew in school...or maybe someone you've seen before, a friend of a friend. She reminds you of something. Was she your teacher? Was she your entertainment? Was she your support system? Your guide? A memory of....something you can't quite place.

Being. Allowing. Releasing. Opening. Sitting. Receiving. Feeling. Not-doing. Meditating. Waiting. Listening. Merging.

Making Space.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


As we conclude a year of many endings, we turn inward to regroup and to accept the barrenness that accompanies loss, endings and release. Winter is the time to hibernate, find stillness and enter a place of solitude~grieving as needed.  There is a beauty in stillness, an inner strength that stems from becoming rooted in the self mastery of peace in the face of whatever befalls us.

We have collectively lost many great artists, authors, musicians, writers and leaders in 2016. Many in my circle have lost relationships to break ups and close family members to death. On a global scale, we are  transitioning and losing the political leadership with which we are familiar. There is seeming unrest and distress across the world.

Personally, the matriarch of my family~my grandmother Bubbie Sonia who was a Holocaust survivor and a resilient bubbly mischievous woman passed less than 2 months ago. Additionally. I have let go of my typical daily activities and have settled into a period of waiting. It is a death of sorts. This waiting may feel like a forever sentence, but the slumber is where the healing is.

What can we say about loss and grief? It isn't flashy, bright or shiny. Were it not a required part of the process, very few would sign up for this course. Yet we are choice-less in this arena. Life moves in cycles. Even our greatest celebrities cannot escape the fate of death. No work of art, Nobel Peace Prize or amount of money in the bank can lift us from this harsh truth. Yet, it is this truth that inspires the greatest art, our most tender human moments and encourages us to come alive. But not before the grief.

Take some time to yourself to be still. You needn't force a feeling of sadness if it isn't there. What you find in the stillness; in the nothingness, will be the seed you plant for the next correct action. Do not be afraid of nothing. Nothing is the most creative space of all. It is where all possibility lives and it is where you will find all that you dream of.

Trust the process.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shadow Dancing

Meeting my shadow is essential to being comfortable in my own skin. My self acceptance is deep in my bones. Any parts of me that remain hidden have a subtle psychic hold of me. This has been a year of great depth for me, and I intend to go deeper. Where are these fears hiding? Deep within my body, I hear the cries of the child that has been abandoned. Then there is the reckless risk taker that throws it all away; avoids responsibility, knowingly setting the place on fire: my Inner Teenager. I have a damsel in distress who wants to be rescued, or drown in the endless sorrows and ugliness of her own overt emotions. There are parts of me that are apathetic and do not care. I have selfish parts of me that only do the right thing because I don't want to get caught. Lazy parts of me that don't want to do the work like everybody else or stay awake and aware to the things I need to work on. Let's open the doors and invite these demons in for tea, the way we say we will when we speak wisdom. Many of us talk about the shadow; however, it is often after the fact, once the issue is resolved and wisdoms have been gained. What if, today, we reveal the open wound that is not yet healed?  Let's face the place where there is no fast resolution. Sit in the discomfort and awkwardness of how truly vulnerable it is to be in the "I don't know". Today, I don't. I don't have the answer for you. 
Yes to yoga. To sitting and facing the darkness. 
Yes to hitting the edge. 
Yes to the feeling and emotions that arise in the meditation. To the awkward blankness that meets me in that 20 minute space today. 
Yes to green. Green tea, green vegetable juice and nature. To the choices I make that support self-love and transformation. 
Yes to being naked. Ridding myself of any habit that puts a wedge between my truth and the image I project. No coffee today for me. 
Yet none of these is the whole truth. Always, laying dormant beneath these routines is the darkness. 

It's scary to open my closet to you this way. I don't have a yoga trick for you that will eliminate the discomfort you feel in your life that doesn't quite fit anymore. I don't have the perfect "treat"meant for you. Or the treat that offers you no consequences.

My advice today is simply this: go deeper.

Find acceptance and embrace the parts of you that repel you most (clue: what disturbs you in another may be the very key to your own shadow). Invite them for a green tea and a shadow dance.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life in the Balance

The pendulum swings again. Yang becomes Yin. Day becomes night. Summer gets replaced by Fall. Today marks the Fall Equinox when light and dark get equal air time. The transition times require careful attention. The air thins, the shadows lengthen. My body readjusts after the extroverted Summer months. Life hangs in the balance. What next? After hard work, we must plan a retreat.

It is in these moments of recalibrating that we tend to fall, literally. Just as if I begin to lose my footing in a standing posture if I move too quickly into said pose, or if I avert my gaze towards something that is moving~the way my mind moves into the future, so can I throw myself off if I plan too far in advance. Presence is required. My attention on this moment. What is needed? Perhaps more energy, a stronger engagement of my thighs, or a shift in my gaze that brings my awareness an eight of an inch back behind my eyes. Balance is active.

What worked for me yesterday, may not work today. My routine was interrupted last week. Just when I thought I had the formula figured out for my self-care, I got thrown a curve ball: an injury. I had incurred a back injury just prior to my book tour, which magically disappeared for my entire Summer, yet as Mercury retrograded my old injury returned. When my body talks, I listen.

Flat on my back, and with no terra firma, I surrendered to the moment. My job is to find balance, and when I am injured, this is just a hint that I am not. What did I need to do? Ask for help. Accept my body as is. Inhabit my body in the present moment; not the way I want it to look or feel, but right now. Rest. Find ways to love myself without extreme action. Get touched in the right ways. Find enjoyment amidst it all.

I did it all. I used social media to reach out for rides to the doctor. I meditated from my bed. I asked my neighbor to bring me water. I had the TLC of my doctor who is hands on and hands down the best magician/healer and I even got myself to the concert that I had tickets for. I just got myself premium parking and brought a pillow.

There is a balance when it comes to self care. The body doesn't lie. It tells you daily what it needs. Each day we adjust to what the body requires. What felt good yesterday may not work today. Yesterday it was Summer and today, it is Fall. I hear the leaves rustling, my wind chimes singing. My allergies kick in, and I need a sweater on my walk. Moment to moment. This is balance.

In balance postures, we learn to live present moment. Energizing our stance. Stilling our gaze. Checking in. I used to wish I could just know how to fix it, get the job done, or do the right thing. But today, I love that life is constantly changing, forcing me to engage and dance with it like grace in motion. Life hangs in the balance. I dance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Self-care Intensive

I found myself waking up this morning in a post-Summer stupor. I really allowed myself to relax, expand, and let go over the past couple of months. After unwinding from my book launch and tour I just wanted to play and have fun. I wasn't overly concerned about being pristine in my diet or super rigid in my exercise routine. A little bit goes a long way. I love indulgence as a spiritual practice, but when I go unconscious it can turn right around on me.

I found myself 7 lbs. up and a little lethargic, so I know that I need to play the reset game. Today I put myself through an intense regime of self care. Here's how it went:

  • More than 8 hours sleep. Since I wanted to make sure of this and to rise early, I turned off all electronic devices and put myself to bed like I was my own baby at 9 pm. That's right, folks. 

  • Upon waking, I moved to my meditation area and spent 20 minutes in silent contemplation. Inhale. Exhale. Continue. 

  • Journaling for 20 minutes clears my mind of needless thoughts. When I keep running a thought through my brain again and again, I remember that I may be detoxing an idea, much like when I crave sugar it means that the sugar is actually leaving my body in that moment. Writing helps to usher my automatic thoughts out. 

  • Dry brush my body followed by Epsom salt bath. Look it up. Dry brushing is good for circulation and the lymphatic system. The skin is one of the major ways the body detoxifies. You can get a dry brush glove at your local health food store when you are picking up your epsom salts. 20 minutes to soak, if you have time. 

  • The work out. I did a 100 minute work out. Barre/yoga and spinning. I got my stretch and tone plus cardio. Ready to go! 

  • Green juice at the co-op and stocked the fridge with healthy eats. Lots of organic produce, Kombucha for a treat beverage, water water water....Drink at least 2 liters a day. 

  • Next, some creativity and writing. Reading and exploring some new ideas was possible after all of this opening and emptying. I was starting to feel really stretched out and receptive after all of the attention I gave to my physical body. The endorphins help to elevate my mood and stimulate my mind. 

  • Being of service is a huge part of what heals me and helps me to feel good. I set aside some time to mentor a friend. We are reasoning things out and prioritizing. When I reach out to help another by sharing my experience, I benefit ten fold. 

  • The rest of the day will be tasks like post office, bills, reconciling my accounts and work on the computer, followed by a field trip to a part of my city I rarely visit. I am taking myself to a class that I haven't been to~stretching myself to try something new is another way to reset myself. 

Even one of these activities can be beneficial, however as I reboot my health regime, I have decided to have a self care intensive once a week through the end of September. Join me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Creativity, Sexuality and Play

There are three primary topics on my to-do list these days: Creativity, sexuality and play.
As fun as all of this sounds, believe it or not, they are often the first areas of life that we shelve. Making money, taking care of children, being of service, health, relationships all seem to come to the forefront as adulthood responsibilities call. I have flung myself into the realm of juiciness and joy with fervor as a get my last gasps of middle aged life before (gulp) the third act!

1. Creativity is the life force itself. Creating is the song of my heart. Everything I am today is a creation of my own making. The culmination of creative energy has brought much to fruition: books, DVD, workshops, talks, and years worth of classes (my disposable art) under my belt. Even my former acting career has flowered and flourished bountifully. I am reminded each time I receive a $100. residual from Cheers, which I did thirty years ago, that my creativity lives on. However, what more is beneath the surface? It's been so long since I have painted for fun, written a poem or made a model city out of clay. I am craving the act of creativity just for the sake of creating! So I have begun. Each day, I take some time to write, draw or make a cake.

2. Sexuality. Oooh. Aaah. Yes. Feeling my body. Being present. Breathing. Feeling sensation. Sensing. Noticing where I am magnetically drawn and what repels me. The very same energy that is creative is sexual. We are all created from sexual energy. The dance of opposites and that play in its ultimate form is you and me. I've been making it a priority these days, mostly to be present in my body. Nothing to accomplish. Everything to experience and explore. When channeled, this energy can create an entire being, so the more I am connected and feeling alive~the more I am able to create.

3. Play. Yes! Play is the most important element in my life. In my work it has been paramount. I must enjoy and feel childlike in my dance with life. It is this feeling of exchange, of heart motivated movement that I come alive and truly become myself. My real self, the me that I have been since I was 6 years old has not changed. She needs fun. She needs to mix it up. She needs to approach life and feel its impact in this way. Just like a child. Just like a pet. Dance, cartwheel, make jokes with the barista at the coffee shop. Say something surprising. Give a hug. Skip across the street. Make popsicles. This life is a beauty to enjoy!

This homework is optional. This assignment is extra credit. I'd love to have some company. Wont you join me?