Mindset

“We’re moving into plank.” I’ve never been a fan of the plank. The minute my yoga teacher, Johanna McClain, says those words, “we’re moving into plank,” my mind and body freeze with a preconceived notion that it’s going to be hard - body stretched flat like a plank, arms strong, abs, and core stitched tight. Breathe. But, after many months of practicing yoga and meditation consistently, an interesting thing happened. A click. Recently, we were in a sequence of flowing between the plank and downward dog, back and forth, plank and downward dog, moving with the breath, plank, down dog. My mind and body started down the same pattern of oh-no-this-is-going-to-be-hard, when Johanna said, “find the place between effort and ease.” and something clicked. It wasn't the first time she used the phrase, but it was the first time it clicked into my mind and then my body. Find the... Read more →


My word and theme for 2020 was Connection. Ironic, considering. I went back over my intentions from a year ago and laughed out loud at what was at the top of the list: more mingling, less isolation. It almost feels like a cosmic joke after spending most of the last few months in more isolation than ever. But, the wisdom that rose up while reflecting on it is that it was a gift rather than a joke. The connecting that did take place, virtually and in small pods, was profound and real and set the stage for more, deeper, lasting relationships. It just looked different than what I'd visualized. The stagnancy that permeated for me during the pandemic was also very real, often stuck in place in a perpetual pause while wondering, like everyone else, when things are going to get moving again, when projects can go into production, when... Read more →


I’ve been thinking of putting 2020 in a box and storing it in the attic. I know so many others feel the same way. With all the year's suffering, fear, angst and frustration I was going to say 'let's burn it' but I found myself asking: what if I need something from that box? Well, what would be in that box that you would possibly need? Hmm. Good question… Deep breathing. I did that a lot, through stress and angst, all year long. Okay, deep breathing. take it out of the box now. Good idea. What else? I guess when I think about it there were things in 2020 that I appreciated and want to keep: I focused on getting healthier, got into yoga, lost 30 pounds, relished deeper connections with people, tried to help where I could, prayed and meditated a lot, loved on my fur family, and wrote... Read more →


I looked down at my hand which was draped palm-down on the book I was reading. What I saw was crepe-like skin gathered at the base of my thumb and soft wrinkles pooling around my knuckles. What I saw was my mother’s hand. What I saw was the merging of my mother’s and father’s hand. What I saw was my grandmother’s hand. My nose stung and my eyes watered. I blinked back a tear. What I saw was, again, my own hand. What are the tears? I asked. Yeah, that surprised me too, I said. Are you sad when look at your hand? No. Afraid? No. I looked again at my hand. My strong, long, lined, graceful, feminine, aging hand. I perused the corrugated map of lines on my palm and marveled at the deep life there. The tears are acknowledgment, I said. Appreciation. Love. All of that from looking... Read more →


What are you watching? Listening to? Thinking about over and over again? In other words, to what and/or whom are you giving your most valuable attention? I caught one of Elizabeth Gilbert's Instagram videos last week. While discussing the issues around trying to be creative during this pandemic she quoted her guru from India who said, "My senses are servants to my mind." Not the other way around. You direct and control your senses with your mind. Your senses don't control your mind. It got me thinking about the immense power we have over our own attention. I know I'm dealing with all of this pandemic business the way so many of you are, with divided attention and short attention spans. Attention. What a fibrous word. Attention is a noun meaning "the act or state of applying the mind to something." Or, "consideration with a view to action." Or, "sympathetic... Read more →


Expanding a little on this week's word-of-the-week from my Sunday Read: Resilience. Words, thoughts and ideas have more power than ever during a time of uncertainty. This is one of those most powerful words that I'm leaning on right now. Resilience in mind, body and spirit. I'm finding it has far-reaching significance. Resilience. What an empowering word. Resilience is a noun meaning "ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like." And "the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed." And, "the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened." Buoyancy. Elasticity. Flexibility. Pliancy. Adaptability. First used in 1620–30. From Latin resili(ēns), resilīre meaning to spring back, to rebound. Psychologists believe everyone has the capacity for resilience and the ability to learn how to build it. The American Psychological Association says: "Like building... Read more →


During the process of coming up with my word for 2020, I toyed with the idea of having two. An inner word, like alignment as in making decisions and choices that are in alignment with purpose… And an outer word, like visibility as in meeting more people and putting myself in experiences that will help elevate my relationships and work. A dear friend and I were discussing what our words might be; she said something to the effect that she wants to not isolate, to be out more with people. She suggested Connect or Connection as her word. I said, "Great word. Maybe it's my word too." I laughed, because, of course, it is. Connect is all things inner and outer! We connect. It’s what we do. Until we don’t. Several months ago I hit a wall of overwhelm. I didn’t know what was wrong. I felt cloudy and unfocused.... Read more →


Sometimes we need a little reminder. And, then other times we need more than that. We need a meaningful punch to snap out of it. To snap back to paying attention, paying attention to ourselves. I was fretting over a couple of situations recently where I had myself in knots about what to do, what to say, how to be. Enough so that it took a meaningful punch from a good friend, who said, "This is not your responsibility. You're acting like it is." And, when I say meaningful punch, I mean it's a welcome jolt of reality, something I often count on from this friend. It got me thinking about how subtle it is sometimes, the ways in which we can take on too much, diminish our sense of personal power, our self-worth. And, it can build until the little forms of self-betrayal become a way of being. It... Read more →


"Reading your own bio is more painful than looking at current photos." I've been helping a friend update his bio. Several days after sending him the first draft, his response email came and literally made me laugh out loud. "I am learning that reading your own bio is more painful than looking at current photos." I laughed because I related so much to the raw truth of his statement. My friend's career has taken a huge uplevel that puts him in the very top echelon in his field. And, while his ascent has been organic and based on decades of study, practice and proven success, the latest leap is the stuff of dreams personified. Thus, the need for a new bio. It got me thinking about how sometimes there are those comfortable parts of ourselves - as in the parts that fit-like-an-old-shoe - that aren't quite ready for the big... Read more →


It might not be what you think. DIANE LOCKHART: I’m happy. KURT MCVEIGH: You like narrating your life. ~ CBS’s THE GOOD FIGHT. I thought, ah, there's so much truth to that. We're always narrating our own lives, sometimes dictating, sometimes cheering, sometimes judging. It got me thinking about that most important conversation. The most vital chat being, to my way of thinking, our inner dialogue, the constant conversation we're having with ourselves. On the full moon this weekend some friends were texting about what we each wanted to release and let go of. It can be kind of powerful to do that as one moon cycle ends and another begins. No matter the woo, it's always something good to ponder and can lead to change. I said I want to let go of the attachment to the negative voices in my head. The naysayers in my internal conversation, the... Read more →