remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
remember the moon, know who she is. i met her
in a bar once in iowa city.
remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. you are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
remember your father. he is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. talk to them,
listen to them. they are alive poems.
remember the wind. remember her voice. she knows the
origin of this universe. i heard her singing kiowa war
dance songs at the corner of fourth and central once.
remember that you are all people and that all people are you.
remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.
remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.
remember that language comes from this.
remember the dance that language is, that life is.

joy harjo


last night after all of my friends had left my house after an evening of yoga, i realized something really strange—i miss myself. i've been so caught up in the hustle and bustle of yoga teacher training (yes, there's an irony in that), typing/hyperlinking/editing away at work, and all of the other things on my to-list that i've forgotten the beauty of curling up with a really good book, taking a long bath with a glass of wine in hand, or going for a bike ride just around my neighborhood. i may do these things, but many times i'm not really there. i'm off somewhere else imagining something else and worrying about something else. and in this crazy, busy, mixed-up little world where so many others are doing the same thing, i really think those little things are the most important moments to be present for. being in touch with who you are and what you want. being in touch with those you love and their true essence. being quiet. being present.

so as this month of ups and downs (mostly downs) comes to an end, i'm going to try and turn my utmost attention inward and figure out what it is that is fluttering around inside me. what's next. what's happening right now.

and i'm also going to really enjoy sleeping in on sundays.


what is your truth? ask your heart, your back, your bones and your dreams. listen to that truth with your whole body. understand that this truth will destroy no one and that you're too old to be sent to your room. move into your truth as though it were an old house. walk through each room. see, hear, and feel what it is to live there. try to love what you find, and remember the words that come to you as you explore. if you embrace it, if you are faithful to it, your truth will reward you with unimaginable freedom and intimacy with yourself and others. you won't land in a world made to order; some people in your life may not like what you write. but those who remain will be allies, people who breathe deeply and listen. it will feel good to be seen completely and loved as you are.

john lee


if we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

eternally blonde

may the long time sun
shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you
guide your way on.

kundalini yoga - farewell blessing

i woke this morning to a gorgeous orange-pink splashed sunrise and a phone call from my mother that my grandmother had passed on. yesterday we thought that was declining rapidly and suddenly she was sitting up in a chair talking to me on the phone. all she said to me was, "are you happy?" and i said that i was. i said i was very happy. she told me she loved me and i told her to hold on because i was going to be home soon. she didn't answer. mom said that she fell asleep last night sleeping peacefully and never awaking. this morning the doctor went it to give her her medication and she simply didn't wake up. she went peacefully.

my grandma has battled her entire life and up until the past few years it really showed. when we were younger she was still a wonderful grandma, but she was hard to get close to. she had walls up, especially with my mother. but as her alzheimer's and dementia progressed her ego diminished and all of those walls came crashing down. during this time we truly got to know grandma-her kind heart, her snapfire wit, her all-encompassing love for her family, especially her daughters and grandkids.

memories: the candy drawer, hair appointments at russells, the smell of her back porch with the bins full of gardening supplies, her love for hats, sleepovers, margaritas at maria's, long letters only about the food at the "home," her book deliveries, cinnamon and sugar on skinny bread

thank you for twenty-four years of love and support and laughs. rest easy my love.


my weekend.

From Deepak Chopra:

  1. Listen to your body's wisdom.
  2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have.
  3. Take time to be silent, to meditate.
  4. Relinquish your need for external approval.
  5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself.
  6. Know that the world "out there" reflects your reality "in here."
  7. Shed the burden of judgement.
  8. Don't contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink, or toxic emotions.
  9. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior.
  10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence.


this month has been downright difficult. usually january is my month of lofty resolutions and hot chocolates and breaking my resolutions and sleeping in, but that has not been the case. i don't think i've even had a chance to think about any resolutions. i read this quote today and it helped me to think about the space between my grandmother and i in a different way. she had a stroke this past weekend and is not doing well. i feel guilty for not being closer, not being at her bedside, but my family wants me to stay in dc. all weekend i sat in yoga and tried to send her as much love as i possibly can. i wish i could be there.

this has been a really tough month for my family. i think we're calling mercy.

"the way we define and delimit the self is arbitrary. we can place it between our ears and have it looking out from our eyes, or we can widen it to include the air we breathe, or at other moments we can cast its boundaries farther to include the oxygen-giving trees and plankton, our external lungs, and beyond them the web of life in which they are sustained."

joanna macy



from ashley:

i'm so so so so so happy it's snowing. i LOVE it. love it. love it.

i think it's a sign. when it snows everything is peaceful, and the world just sort of comes to a stop. people slow down, children start laughing and playing, grown ups leave work early, throw snow balls with their children, and then, when you lay down to go to sleep, you look out your window and the whole world is covered in a white blanket, and there's this unusual quite/peace to everything. it's a sign. it happened today for a reason. i think it's the universe's way of saying your dad is going to be ok.

Dirty Pain

Quitting Suffering from Dirty Pain
By Martha Beck

Think of a problem that has plagued you for a long time -- your weight, a loved one's bad habits, fear of terrorism, whatever. No doubt you've tried valiantly to control this issue, but are your efforts working? The answer has to be no; otherwise you would have solved the problem long ago. What if your real trouble isn't the issue you brood about so compulsively, but the brooding itself?

Psychologists who subscribe to acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) call "clean" pain what we feel when something hurtful happens to us.

"Dirty" pain is the result of our thoughts about how wrong this is, how it proves we -- and life -- are bad.

The two kinds of suffering occupy different sections of the brain: One part simply registers events, while another creates a continuous stream of thoughts about those events.

The vast majority of our unhappiness comes from this secondary response -- not from painful reality, but from painful thoughts about reality. Western psychology is just accepting something saints and mystics have taught for centuries: that this suffering ends only when we learn to detach from the thinking mind.

Get happy! Continue this exercise in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Judge not ...

Learning to detach starts with simply noticing our own judgmental thoughts. When we find ourselves using words like should or ought, we're courting dirty pain. Obsessing about what should be rather than accepting what is, we may try to control other people in useless, dysfunctional ways. We may impotently rage against nature itself, even -- perhaps especially -- when that nature is our own.

This amounts to mental suicide. Resisting what we can't control removes us from reality, rendering our emotions, circumstances and loved ones inaccessible. The result is a terrible emptiness, which we usually blame on our failure to get what we want. Actually, it comes from refusing to accept what we have.

Victory by surrender

Surrendering allows the truth to set us free. And how do we surrender? I recently watched television interviews with two actresses, both in their late fifties. Each was asked if she'd found anything good about aging. Both snapped, "No. Nothing. It's horrible."

A few days later, I saw Maya Angelou on TV. She said that aging was "great fun" and gleefully described watching her breasts in their "incredible race to see which one will touch my waist first." "Sure, the body is going," she said. "But so what?"

Ms. Angelou has said many wise things, but I thought "So what?" was one of her wisest. It expressed the sweet detachment of someone who has learned how to rest in her real being and knows that it is made not of flesh or thought, but of love.

The fruits of acceptance

There is enormous relief in detaching from our mental stories, but in my experience, the results go well beyond mere feeling. Surrendering leads directly to our right lives, our hearts' desires. Whenever I've managed to release my scary stories and accept the truth of my life, I've stumbled into more happiness than I ever dreamed possible.

When I stop trying to control my mind -- that verbose, paranoiac old storyteller --my thoughts become clearer and more intelligent. It's a delicious paradox: By not trying to control the uncontrollable, we get what we thought we'd get if we were in control. This thought pleases me greatly.

the strongest guy in the world


it's hibernation season and i can feel it all throughout my body. i want to stay in bed until noon. drink hot chocolates and eat fluffy pastries for lunch. i have a big almond latte on my way into work. take thirty-minute showers. but all i really want to do is curl up on my couch under a blanket and wait until it's time to unzip our boots and throw off our coats.



do this.

"The rain, it started tapping on the window near my bed.
There was a loophole in my dreaming, so I got out of it.
And to my surprise my eyes were wide and already open.
Just my nightstand and my dresser
Where those nightmares had just been.
So I dressed myself and left then, out into the gray streets.
But everything seemed different and completely new to me.
The sky, the trees, houses, buildings, even my own body.
And each person I encountered, I couldn't wait to meet.
I came upon a doctor who appeared in quite poor health.
I said 'There is nothing I can do for you you can't do for yourself.'
He said 'Oh yes you can. Just hold my hand. I think that would help.'
So I sat with him a while and then I asked him how he felt.
He said, 'I think I'm cured. No, in fact, I'm sure.
Thank you Stranger, for your therapeutic smile.'"

Bowl of Oranges, by Bright Eyes


"life is cyclical- we pass through different moods, we live through seasons, we have times of rich harvests and times of bleak winter. life uses cycles to create newness. we move from the old to the new only as we pass through the cycle of chaos. we need to let go of the old (which always feels terrible) before new life and capacity can arise. instead of fleeing from the fearful place of chaos, or trying to rescue people from it. leaders need to help people stay with the chaos, help them walk through it together, and look for the new insights and capacities that can emerge."

margaret j. wheatley

two thousand and eight

the new year has been a little rocky so far, part of that is my own fault and part of that is completely out of my hands. but though my vision has been more than a little clouded for the past week, i have so many little miracles in my life, so many small (and large) joys.

i found this blog post that i'd written when i was a freshman in college. i felt like i was taking advice from my nineteen-year-old self five years later.

"life used to be safe. i used to be able to predict my future that lie clear and concise like the lines on my hardwood floor. now i'm living day by day, always a little worried, always a little fearful, but finally living only day by day. i think i'm growing up. i know that beauty can only be found through a little conflict, a little confusion, never in monotony. (beauty can hurt, but beauty can change.)

as for the new year, i've decided to be a little easier on myself, my life, my friends, my family.. my mom has always said, "everybody's just trying to survive." that always seemed ugly to me, but it's the truth. it's why we let certain people in (and leave certain people out), it controls our every thought, emotion and motion. in previous years, my new year's resolution was to be perfect. ofcourse that never panned out. usually i headed in the opposite direction of perfect, and in the crazy span of life, that direction has lead me where i am right now.

i'm thankful for that."

"we don't, out of fear of the unknown, have to put up these blocks, these dams, that basically say no to life and to feeling life."

pema chodron


"i love every morning opening my windows and seeing you looking so pretty. and by windows i mean eyes."
-what said groggily told me this morning before i went to work



i wore my t-shirt with a rainbow on it today. i walked slowly. i tried to enjoy the scenery, the people, the decaf latte i picked up at starbucks.

then i got to work and a big sign with a rainbow that reads "have faith. things fall apart so that things can fall together" was stuck to my computer. it's a sign i gave to stefan a few months ago when he was having a hard time. it's my turn to remember that saying. there was also a card on my keyboard from my boss that said, "just a note to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts as your dad goes through this. from all that you have told me, i know that he is very strong and positive, and he will surely come through this experience even stronger."

how lucky am i? how lucky is my family? we're surrounded by people who love us and want to help us through this time. last night i told my dad that i'd asked a lot of people to pray for him. he said that he already knew that. he could already feel it.

i feel like i've been so negative lately but in the face of this news i'm ready to shift that perspective. negativity isn't getting me anywhere and it certainly won't help my dad. so today i'm going to walk slow and enjoy my latte and send lots of love to my family in iowa.

"the first noble truth says simply that it's part of being human to feel discomfort. we don't even have to call it suffering anymore; we dont even have to call it discomfort. it's simply coming to know the fireyness of fire, the wildness of wind, the turbulence of water, the upheaval of earth, as well as the warmth of fire, the coolness and smoothness of water, the gentleness of the breezes, and the goodness, solidness, and dependability of the earth. nothing in its essence is one way or the other.the four elements take on different qualities; they're like magicians. sometimes they manifest in one form and sometimes in another.... the first noble truth recognizes that we also change like the weather, we ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. "
pema chodron



From Jillian, a yoga teacher in New York City:

As the Maitri Upanishad states, "As is ones thought, so one becomes." Your intentions and thoughts create your actions. When you set an intention you become clearer about why you're doing something; what kind of attitude you want to commit to having; and what you hope to cultivate from the experience. In addition, when you are clear about our intention, you can more easily recognize any actions, reactions or self-talk that doesn't support you. But the thing to remember – the really important thing- is that you can recommit to your intention in any moment.

In yoga, we practice to cultivate presence so that we can be with each breath – in each moment. When we are present in this way, our actions most closely reflect our intentions. Our actions become the art that our intentions create.

Of course this is hard work! But when you feel that your intentions have flown out the window, you can pause, take a breath, and start again in ANY moment, ANY time!

I do this with my 4 year old son William all the time. When he acts out in an unacceptable way, (if I can catch myself from the knee jerk reaction of just yelling at him) I ask him, “Do you want to choose another way of saying that?” Or, “do you want to start again? Have a redo?” And he always chooses the opportunity to start over. This not only helps ME feel better as I have an opportunity to let go of my own anger response (and I always like his second choice better) but he also feels so much better because as he regains control of his actions and feelings. Plus he's usually so much happier with the response from everyone. (Starting over again, winds up being a win win for everyone!)

The good news is you don’t have to act out in a reproachful way to get a chance to ‘start again’. You can do it with at any time you feel a little of course. Each breath is a chance to be more conscious: Take a deep breath, pause, and choose to act in a way that expresses your deepest intentions.

After all... "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"

the great thing about change is that it absolutely, positively, always means things are going to get even better. even when you don’t know how.



the degree of love we manifest determines the degree of spaciousness and freedom we can bring to lifes events. imagine taking a very small glass or water and putting into it a teaspoon of salt. because of the small size of the container, the teaspoon of salt is going to have a big effect on the water. however, if you approach a much larger body of water, such as a lake, and put into it the same teaspoonful of salt, it will not have the same intensity of impact, because of the vastness and openness of the vessel receiving it. even when the salt remains the same, the spaciousness of the vessel receiving it changes everything. we spend a lot of our lives looking for a feeling of safety or protection--we try to alter the amount of salt that comes our way. ironically, the salt is the very thing that we cannot do anything about, as life changes and offers us repeated ups and downs. our true work is to create a container so immense that any amount of salt, even a truckload, can come into it without affecting our capacity to receive it.

sharon salzberg

more house daydreaming


well said

a refreshing entry from my girl bonkosi:

let go of the petty stuff that is seemingly ruinous. love more. love deeply. be open, ready, willing to start fresh. drink more wine. indulge in good food. be more spontaneous. don't take myself so seriously. breath...deeply. embrace a more healthy lifestyle {yoga, cycling, walking, h20, etc}. be a constant source of positive energy. smile often. laugh always. be grateful for amazing friends and family. embrace life and all that is has to offer. invest in my creative outlets. enjoy.

a new year.

a new year. a new house. a new roommate. a new walk to work. a new coffeeshop. a new walk home from work. a new bed.

all of these changes are welcomed and embraced. though it was said's birthday yesterday we spent most of the day cuddled in bed eating pizza and watching movies and recovering from ringing in the new year. we're in a state of bliss.

i got an email from the beautiful and always inspiring marie yesterday:

"may your moving day be free of icy stairs.

may your new home be full of color and light.

may your love grow.

may your year be happy."