When life asks you to change
by pulling the rug out from under you,
when your relationship falls apart,
when your health suddenly fails,
when a source of abundance suddenly dries up,
when nothing makes sense anymore,
to cling to the past is sheer insanity.
At that point, the most lucid response would be
to take a deep breath and feel into the moment,
to see what the moment is asking of you.
The answers are here, now,
in your beating heart,
in leaves stirred by an invisible wind,
in the changing of the seasons,
in the rhythm of your days and nights.
Release the past that is no longer relevant
to the person you are becoming.
Face your future with open arms,
and see what the moment is asking of you.
I was talking with a friend about wealth…
She said that I am far wealthier
than some ultra wealthy people
who have amassed incredible material wealth.
She said that I am far wealthier than they
in terms of my ability to feel happy and fulfilled
and to experience peace in the present moment…
And I got to thinking about my two children,
how bright, and healthy and beautiful they are,
and my yoga and meditation practice,
my work teaching yoga,
the talents God has given me
to write, to draw, to sing, to move
with my heart.
I thought about my bank account,
and although it’s presently modest,
I can feel grateful and proud about
how hard I’ve been working
to achieve financial stability,
several months of sobriety under my belt,
maintaining consistency in my spiritual practice,
gratitude journaling every night,
pausing and appreciating nature in its many forms,
the changes of the seasons,
the fact I can see and hear and smell and taste and touch
this present moment, alive in my body,
alive all around me…
And the connection, the human connection
that my work gives me,
spending time with beloveds who actually
choose me as their teacher,
who come back not because they have to,
but because they want to—
And I realize that yes, yes indeed—
I am ultra wealthy.
Focus on the positive
Even when you’re crazy tired
or feeling just plain crazy
This moment will pass.
Nothing lasts forever.
Everything is temporary.
Even when you think all is lost,
Flowers grow in the cracks of cement,
rains come to drench the parched earth.
The stars come out whether we see them or not
and the cicadas hum their strange song
whether or not we can hear them.
In this great medicine wheel of life
there is always something being offered by this moment.
Summon your courage
and be willing to take your medicine.
I’m writing this ahead of time.
By the time you read this,
I’ll be in the mountain forest
saying prayers for healing.
Please, take a deep breath and receive them.
I’m sending my prayers to you and all beings.
When you receive my prayers breathing,
when your pain dislodges, moves, and is set free,
we will evolve this planet, this universe, together.
Om. Amen. Shalom. Shanti shanti shanti…
She gets back up again
Maybe you thought
She’d become your
Beast of burden
Maybe you thought
Her body was your home
But you were just a visitor
And you overstepped
You couldn’t tame her
She is not meant to be
You couldn’t breed
The wildness out of her
And her fierceness
Scared the hell out of you.
Now you’re riding a new beast.
She seems docile enough,
She may tolerate
Your whippings, your
Bit and bridle
You use to steer her…
You might ride this one for a bit
Until she becomes old and fat and slow
But the one you left
Is still wild
You couldn’t break her
And every morning she rises
And runs with the sun and wind
And feels her free blood in her veins
And celebrates her escape
From your slavery
The tide has shifted
and I’m ready for change.
Somehow more empowered…
maybe my practices have coalesced?
Or is it the clarity arising
from 100% sobriety
100% of the time?
Is it that the Universe has aligned?
Is it that enough people have prayed for me?
I’ve begun to feel
that life is worth living again…
Is it the blessing of a thunderstorm,
cooling the air
after the sweltering heat of day,*
the look in my children’s eyes
as we pick wineberries
by the side of the road,
the hustle back home
as the storm approached?
Something is different.
There is more hope,
more conviction that somewhere,
this will all work out.
*My home’s air-conditioning system has be inoperable since May. If you are from around here, you know how godawfully hot and humid it is in these parts this time of year. If you’re not from around here, trust me when I say that it’s basically inhumane and cruel to not have air conditioning during the summer months…
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.