Author Archives: Lorien

About Lorien

Mother, yogini, yoga teacher. Committed to teaching and living the path of yoga as a means of self realization.

Stay Here Now

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If I stay in the now,
everything is ok.
If I allow myself to regress to the past
or project into the future
I am filled with regret and shame
or anxiety and hopelessness.
Clearly the sane choice
is to stay in the now.
How do I do this?
I breathe, and I feel my breath.
I really look at my children
as they read, or play, or eat,
or argue with one another.
I notice my hands batting
at the insect that buzzes near my ears
as I walk in the humid forest,
earth floor damp,
ferns glowing emerald green
in the golden dusk light,
the beauty of it all.
Oh my mind,
I beg you.
Stay present. Stay with me.
Stay here now.

Is This Acceptance?

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I’ve arrived at that barely functional place
at the end of a long, busy day.
My body feels ready for sleep,
my mind is surprisingly calm.
I float in and out of awareness
that this house I’m living in
is no longer my house
and my children and I will have to leave
someday very soon.
The feeling isn’t as terrifying or devastating
as it was before…
Have I come to a place of acceptance?

Try Surrender

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The abandoned one (A0)
and the yoga teacher (YT)
have a conversation:
AO: I can’t do this. I’m too hurt. I’m too scared.
YT: Just breathe. In this moment you are safe.
AO: I hate him. I am so angry at him
for doing this to me.
YT: Breathe. Slow down. You are safe.
AO: I will never be happy again.
YT: You can only be happy now.
AO: I am broken. No one will ever want me.
YT: You are inherently whole and complete,
just as you are. Feel this. Feel this breath.

AO: I am depressed and anxious. I want to die.
YT: This is temporary, like the weather.
You will live, and this will change.

AO: I am worthless. I am so ashamed of my choices.
YT: You are alive! How fortunate. Breathe into
the center of this hurt, this sadness. Give it room.

Feel it, and then let this feeling go.
AO: This is too much work. It isn’t fair.
YT: This moment. This breath. Feel your body.
Feel your heart beating. What a miracle!

AO: I’m about to be homeless. I’m terrified.
No one is going to rescue me. I don’t know what to do.
YT: Slow down. Breathe. You are going to be just fine.
There is a roof over your head right now.
Love this moment. This moment is all you have.

AO: I’m just so tired. I feel so beaten down, unwanted.
YT: Put your hands over your heart. Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. You are infinite awareness.

AO: Why me? Why this? Why now? It isn’t fair.
YT: That’s only one part of your mind talking.
Listen to the part that is grateful for change.
Listen to the part that loves you.
Listen to the part that knows you are powerful.

AO: This is too much work.
YT: Yes. Struggling is a lot of work. Why not try surrender?

This Wonderful, Simple Day

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The day started
tensely
caught in my head
as I drove my children
down to the city
where the man who was once my husband
lives with the woman he left me for
After droping my kids off
I screamed some things in my car
that I won’t repeat here
in polite company.
I taught two lovely groups of yoga students,
came home, felt
exhausted.
Then a girlfriend invited us out
to spend the afternoon at the pool
with her and her kids.
I really didn’t want to go,
but I forced myself to.
And then…
I spent time with my friend,
watched our children playing,
ate food that was offered to me,
enjoyed the sun,
the perfect day.
Now I’m so tired
but so calm and happy.
And grateful for this wonderful,
simple day.

A Terrible Patient

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I give the good medicine that heals.
My voice carries magic
that soothes, uplifts and restores.
My touch brings life and renewal.
I watch as tension melts away
and peace returns to those
who come seeking the healing I offer.
I instruct them to remain present.
I remind them that we only have this now.
I can articulate perfectly
how our brains are hardwired
to remember negative information,
and how there is so much hope
in neuroplasticity,
our brain’s capacity to be reshaped.
I marvel at this ability
to give my students what they need,
to instruct poses that strengthen,
balance, reshape and empower,
to guide their breathing,
slow their heart rates
and allow the present moment
to blossom like a flower within them.
But when it’s time for me
to take my own medicine—
well, let’s just say
that I’m a wonderful doctor
but a terrible patient.

Beyond the Routine

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I’m still working on simply accepting this moment.
It may be a life long practice,
because as I really pay attention to it,
I notice that there is very little about this moment
that is like anything I’ve ever experienced before.
In fact, this moment is completely different
from anything I’ve ever lived…
and I realize that my mind that wants familiarity
was just painting a picture of the routine
over what I was living in reality,
and calling forth routine perceptions and behaviors
in response to the picture my mind has painted.
Every second that ticks by is a miracle.
Am I available to experience it?
This moment is a huge gift.
My children are changing, I am changing,
the weather is changing,
our circumstances are changing,
everything is constantly in flux.
Maybe I remove the blindfold
and see that beyond the routine
there is a fieild of infinite possibility.
May I awaken to my true nature there.

Did I Offend You?

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Oh, don’t mind me,
I’m just over here trying to figure out
how to leverage my gifts, talents and abilities
so that I can create a financially sustainable livelihood
doing what I love.
Oh, I’m sorry, did I just offend you?
Does it bother you when I suggest
that it’s possible to spend time working
at something you love?
Do you think it’s impossible,
preposterous even,
to spend time working
in deeply satisfying ways,
bringing your unique talents to the world
in ways that will serve and inspire others?
Oh, you think I should just shut up and give in?
Does my mere presence upset you?
Do I remind you of something you once had,
but lost a long time ago?
Yeah, I do feel a need to figure this out.
No, I’m not okay with just shutting up
and getting any old job
to make ends meet.
I have two kids to raise,
and I need to show them what is possible
when you hold to a greater vision.
I don’t want them growing up thinking
that adulthood means you sell your soul to the system
so that you can scramble along
frantically attempting to acquire
society’s symbols of success,
meanwhile feeling dead inside.
Dead inside is no way to live.
Pardon me while I blaze a new trail.
No, I don’t know where I’m going,
I have no clue…
I’m making this path one step at a time.
Does my weirdness scare you?
Yeah, I want to be happy…call me crazy.
Not just with a drink in my hand
or a man by my side
or for a week of vacation once a year—
I want to be really, truly happy,
from the inside out.
Do you find my lack of adherence to social convention
absolutely galling?
Good.
I don’t care what you think about me anyway.

As I go through this extremely uncomfortable period of imminent homelessness, I’ve had multiple people get pretty huffy with me, instructing me to take a job even if I don’t like the job. They seem to be insulted by my conviction that I can figure out a way to make money AND be happy while doing it…so insulted, in fact, that they seem to want to discourage me from even attempting to figure out an alternative to what they’ve suggested.

As I become more accustomed to living with uncertainty, I’m starting to see people’s resistance to my vision as a sign that I’m really getting somewhere. At the same time, I’m wanting encouragement and support, not criticism and judgment. It’s lonely over here, blazing a new trail throught the wilderness of my chaotic circumstances.

I don’t want people telling me I’m being unreasonable. I could reason with them that my kids are watching every move I make and they are learning from all of my choices.. When they’re older and they describe me, I’d love to hear them say, “Yeah, my mom took her crappy circumstances and turned them into an opportunity to grow, change and evolve. She taught me that I could accomplish great things by believing in myself and loving my dreams. She showed me that I was free to become anything I wanted to be. Her example helped me to own my own power to create a life in alignment with my truest self.”

The alternative would break my heart: “Yeah, my mom worked so hard. She barely ever saw us and was tired and angry all the time. She sacrificed so much for us. I wish we could’ve spent more time together…”

Ah well, only time will tell how this current difficulty will be resolved. My task seems to be cultivating a sense of okayness around all the chaos and uncertainty and going with the flow of life. If it were easy and fun, everyone would be doing it. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. It may as well be me…