Friday, May 31, 2013

Pacha Mama

These mountains created
walls around me

& I keep thinking of them, the
mountains, the room of the
valley, the feeling of not being stuck but
being contained, held in energy, and earth
and the bowl of a sky

The bowl of the sky? I'd heard that phrase before it's
not mine but it never landed until
the sky was a bounded enclosure not
endless expanse

I've been in mountains of various
shades, ranging heights, and the scents of
cardamom or juniper or pine or the smell of fog
and snow. Sun. Fragrant sun.

These mountains helped me understand
words. Bowls of sky and the absorption of
Self into earth. “You approach the mountain until
you no longer see it. You are within it.” How are
you within a mountain? When it builds its walls around
you and when you begin to note it's exposed veins (drilling) and
they feel like your wound and you
feel the heat of water knowing
the warmth is coursing from the lava still
flowing within

I didn't know what Pacha Mama meant, who she
referred to-- I heard her sung I saw her written I
heard her name. I heard her name and wondered who

Maybe she calls you in. Maybe it's a siren's call
to be enveloped by her walls, sheltered
within the green, to be under the
bowl of sky


Pacha Mama, Mama Andes, these mountains that
are a spine, that hold the earth upright that keep me
upright my calves sore from climbing up and up
and still the bowl of the sky is far away I am
never absorbed into the sky just
these walls of earth of rock

I wanted to write words as soon as I
entered her
as soon as I found myself in the valley
within her walls within
her mountains within
I had words. I didn't know what, why, but there
were stories in me, in her
as I was in her I had a song to sing, I knew her

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the road from Ambato to Guayaquil

Early in the morning, the day after my 32nd birthday, Kevin & I wandered down the sleepy streets of Banos to the bus station.  We boarded for Ambato where we intended to catch a second bus south to Guayaquil.

We reached Ambato quickly.  It felt like a dusty outpost.  We wandered trying to understand where we could encounter a Guayaquil bus.  Finally, we realized we were a good distance from town center and the bus depot.  We caught a taxi to take us directly to the Guayaquil terminal.

As we entered Ambato I realized it's a real live city!  We had just missed the fruit & flowers festival.  Ambato is another mountain town with many varied micro-climates.  Within the city limits a plethora of edibles & bright bounty grow.  Happily, we found our bus depot and boarded.

Riding buses in Ecuador can feel like a roller coaster.  Within the Andes, highways generally hug the edge of the mountain & no one slows around the switchbacks.  Kevin read & blocked out our peril.  I kept an eye on what was beautiful & sometimes pressed my eyes tightly closed when we narrowly missed another semi.

The ride from Ambato to Guayaquil was somewhat otherwordly.  We descended and climbed mountains.  We skirted volcanoes.  Ultimately, we crept into jungle and then coastline.  I wanted months to repeat the journey, stopping along the way.

Outside of Ambato the landscape became truly impressive.  The Andes opened up to several valleys.  Most of the land was farmed & often by Indigenous practices of terracing.  As we rounded one valley I saw a woman standing at the edge of a cliff, wearing a magenta scarf.  There was no one else.

We slid into another valley where the highway created a C-curve framing out a raised soccer field.  As we rode around the field we saw a spirited and muddy game played between two goals fashioned out of naked sticks.  On the other side of the highway, to my right, an elderly Indigenous couple sat at a cliff over-hang to watch the match.

We saw signs for Riobamba and skirted the edge of Ecuador's tallest Volcano, Chimborazo.  The volcano is covered by glacial ice despite the temperate climate of the valley below.

Andes grasses gave way to orchids and the density of Jungle greenery.  Gradually this opened and the air became softer.  We entered coastal Guayaquil to a ocean-front thunderstorm.  The highway quickly accumulated a few inches of water while the humid air was cooled.  In Guayaquil we found a well-rated hostal and a Chinese restaurant for dinner.

Culturally, Guayaquil is distinct from the rest of Ecuador.  There are differences between speech and customs when you travel from Andes to Amazon, but none so profound as entering the Pacific coast.  It's so interesting to me that the coast always sets itself apart.  Coastal culture is always slower from the interior (though nowhere in Ecuador is fast-paced!), there's a thicker pattern of speech, colorful phrasing, and spicier food.  People look a little different, they walk with a more pronounced sway.

We didn't have long to experience coastal Ecuador because our flight to the Galapagos left the following morning.  I was somewhat wary of Guayaquil after all the trash talk we heard in Quito.  There is a HUGE rivalry between the two cities.  Politically, Quito has always been more conservative whereas Guayaquil has been a hotbed of Left-y politics & union organizing.  I had hoped to catch a Guayaquil v. Quito soccer game in Quito before we flew back to the States.  I shared my plan with a Quito taxi driver.  He advised, "Watch out for those Guayaquil fans!  They're crazy!"

Dude, I'm from Philly.

We wound up extending our time in the Galapagos and flying directly back to Quito to connect with our U.S. bound flight, so the soccer game never materialized.  Before leaving Guayaquil I popped open Kurt Vonnegut's dystopian satire, Galapagos.  The novel begins as the world ends.  The story starts in Guayaquil, where the protagonists anxiously fend off starving masses and a police state before seeking safety in the Galapagos.  I read hungrily in the airport waiting for our plane.  As I boarded, I really felt like this was the Apocalypse.

From jungle to mountains to sea to islands that feel on the verge of nothing.  Ecuador winds you through the landscape of human experience.  As I think back to my time on the equator I certainly remember people and food and the various flavors of travel.  But more than anything, I think of the land.  More than anywhere else, I feel like that land crawled inside of me.  The mountains and valleys and plants have an undeniably vibrant life.  They affected me.  They affect.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Subway Night

where life should grow
in a tunnel
in a steel cage
should be roots here
should be reaching
towards light
not speed and darkness
and horizontal lines
written in concrete
should be water and
worms and animals
and here I sit &
for movement

Friday, May 24, 2013

Creation Myth

There is a creation myth
that tells of one of two brothers placing
sound in the earth
placing vibration in the earth so
that when people lose the sacred they

My ear is pressed to soil
I am dug in, planted,
to worms bury and water saturate
and animals furrow and roots crawl further
and down and in and through and

There is a creation myth
that sound is sacred

I hear it
when I hear

The nothing of soil
of breeze
the nothing of plant
of leaf
of myself in land
planted, dug in,
to nothing
to the sacred

Thursday, May 23, 2013

may it continue

Revolutionary Letter #68 Life Chant

may it come that all the radiances will be known as our own radiance
              Tibetan Book of the Dead

cacophony of small birds at dawn may it continue sticky monkey flowers on bare brown hills may it continue bitter taste of early miner's lettuce may it continue music on city streets in the summer nights may it continue kids laughing on roofs on stoops on the beach in the snow may it continue triumphal shout of the newborn may it continue deep silence of great rainforests may it continue fine austerity of jungle peoples may it continue rolling fuck of great whales in turquoise ocean may it continue clumsy splash of pelican in smooth bays may it continue astonished human eyeball squinting thru aeons at astonished nebulae who squint back may it continue clean snow on the mountain may it continue fierce eyes, clear light of the aged may it continue rite of birth & naming may it continue rite of instruction may it continue rite of passage may it continue love in the morning, love in the noon sun love in the evening among crickets may it continue long tales by fire, by window, in fog, in dusk on the mesa may it continue love in thick midnight, fierce joy of old ones loving may it continue the night music may it continue grunt of mating hippo, giraffe, foreplay of snow leopard screeching of cats on the backyard fence may it continue without police may it continue without prisons may it continue without hospitals, death medicine: flu & flue vaccine may it continue without madhouses, marriage, high schools that are prisons may it continue without empire may it continue in sisterhood may it continue thru the wars to come may it continue in brotherhood may it continue tho the earth seem lost may it continue thru exile & silence may it continue with cunning and love may it continue as woman continues may it continue as breath continues may it continue as stars continue may it continue may the wind deal kindly w/ us may the fire remember our names many springs flow, rain fall again may the land grow green, may it swallow our mistakes we begin the work may it continue the great transmutation may it continue a new heaven & a new earth may it continue may it continue

Diane di Prima

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We're Wrong

Riding in a bus between the jungles and Andes of
Ecuador there was one thought landing
more heavily than any competitor: "We're wrong."

I look out the window at decaying
missions, harbingers of "hope" that sold
land, flesh, belief and
now NGOs and mining & drilling
companies who build schools and
hospitals to once again teach literacy
after contracts are signed

Teach lessons on construction sites, at the helms of
oil wells, in classrooms, on the labels of pills
prescribed at the clinic
teach how to live.
Teach how to live when the jungle is
gone when the mountains are blasted when
flesh and hope and belief  are

People who look like me staff
the embassies and company headquarters
and clinics and schools.  I could easily
get a job teaching how to live when
the other people who look like me
have auctioned off the land and plants and water
and air and flesh and hope

What do I know about how to live?  The way
I live doesn't work.  The way I live supports a
few people who look like me (not all) and

I'm told I have skills.  I can teach in schools
and clinics in places like this that are
being sold for parts.  I don't have skills.
I don't know how to grow food or build
shelter or birth or cook or be present

My parents hired people who had skills.  These
people cleaned and planted and built.  Why would
I then be exported to build and clean and plant
and teach?

The world is finite and bounded and I look
out the window of a bus traveling the
country from jungle to Andes in Ecuador
and I see companies from my home and I
know that earth, mineral, plant, substance will
be robbed here and mined and sold and
taken to where I live

and the people who were robbed and stolen
and whose lives were changed will be taught
how to live in the aftermath of theft, robbery,
rape, and destruction

I am watching from the bus window.  I am
grateful for teachers (who look like these people,
from the jungle, the mountains, the cities) who are
patient with me, who teach me.  I am grateful
for heart and space and room to not

My head leaned against the bus window it
rattled it bruised my temple and buzzed my skin
and my knees wrapped to my chest gently
resting against the seat back of the man in front
of me (I hope not digging into his back) and I saw
a sign announcing that this town was named "Shell."

(steven biko. nigeria. massacres and oil.  shell)

I passed the first manicured lawn I'd seen yet

(like the only manicuredmassacred lawn I saw in
all of Cuba, in Havana, at the U.S. Interest Section [housed
by the Swiss Embassy] where dark-skinned people
served iced tea on trays to light-skinned people)

I passed the first gated community I'd seen since arriving there
was a sign "Shell employees and guests."  I saw more visible
poverty surrounding this community than anywhere else
in the country.

On my lap, on this bus, jiggling through the mountains
and communities named
after corporations founded where I'm from a book written
by a NY Times journalist about Indigenous
struggles for land against powerful companies like
Shell and other multinationals busy drilling for copper
and oil or pharmaceutical companies looking for drugs in the rainforest
(and in their wake communities, ways of life destroyed
replaced by clinics and schools
and teachers teaching how to live in the aftermath
of oil and copper and drugs and progress)

We're wrong.  How I live (a life based on drugs, extracted from
these jungles, with technology, made from minerals in these
mountains, from exploitation, from globalization, from NAFTA)
is wrong
the story I was told that well-meaning people know
how to live can teach others
(in the jungles, on farms, in the mountains, in
the cities, in ghettoes)
how to live is wrong.

This is why I sit in buses and cross countries.  This is
why I take journeys into earth and jungle
and thick midnight and early mornings and ask and
thank my teachers.  I watch.  I watch villagers in
Vietnam rebuild and farm out of milk jugs and I watch
people in Guatemala build houses out of litter and
I watch people in Ecuador in the streets, in the jungle, from the
bus window, across the table

I know many point to statistics and life
expectancy and how well-meaning people who
look like me who come from where I come from vaccinate
and feed and shelter and change
and the statistical evidence of improvement
and it looks like this
it looks like the town of "Shell" and strip-mined
West Virginia and sold-for-parts Camden
and then gated communities and manicured lawns

I want to live differently.  I saw rain barrels on roofs in Panama
(and hear of workshops at home) I see teachers everywhere.  People
live in scale out of necessity and sometimes by choice.  Not saints,
not sinners.  The way to not see scarred earth & starved
inhabitants is to stop stealing.  That's the cost of making IPhones and
cars and drugs and toys.
I want to break my own addictions.

We don't have to steal and then teach
those who have been robbed
how to live
We can live differently
I can live differently
I can learn and be thankful and watch
and observe and
Stop taking from
or allowing the taking from
or permitting the taking from
and simply be here
(and let others be there)

Jaw locked

Jaw locked
I'm writing my jaw locked by
telling myself stories
of tension
control is an illusion
to let go
I have to remember to
to release
I know that soft, responsive
state was once my
default setting
Now I have to remind myself to
be as I truly am
(as I truly was?  Will be again?)
Jaw locked.  Shoulders tight.
Body re-telling the
narrative of limitation
Loose, loose.  Responsive.
Trees bend & sway in storms.
They let go
& survive

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Out of pain, into power

There was an attack two nights ago. Hadji Jones, a well-known and respected Philadelphia yoga instructor, walked home from teaching class and was assaulted. The following morning he rested, healed, and shared the experience on social media. As bewilderment and support rushed towards Hadji, he announced that he was transforming the attack towards growth. He wrote that a week ago he was approached by several organizations in Haiti. They invited him to travel to the island teaching and speaking with various populations, including gang members. At the time, Hadji questioned what he had to offer those who's experience is so distinct from his own. After the attack, Hadji felt a new sense of understanding and intimacy with the experience of violence and powerlessness. Rising into the fullness of his own strength and power, Hadji stated his intention of traveling to Haiti, working with the group's extending invitations, and inviting the support of donations and materials from his community.
The pants Hadji wore the night of the attack

Over a year ago my husband, Kevin Price, was robbed at gunpoint. He was with friends and colleagues at a political prisoner support event in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. As he helped a friend load his car, young men put a gun to his head and forced he and his friend to their knees. His friend lost two week's pay and his Ipod. Thankfully, both were spared their lives.

As Kevin reconciled the event, he encountered feelings previously unknown. He had a new sense of vulnerability. As a tall, strong, white man he was unaccustomed to the sense that he could be over-powered. As he considered that experience, and how intimately it's known by so many in the world, he began to write. He shared an essay about the attack that went viral. Noted Columbia academic and former Fox News correspondent, Marc Lamont Hill shared his words on social media networks.

A few months ago my friend, Erica, made her way towards the El stop to journey home. Visibly pregnant and alone, a group of youths began moving closer, and attempting to steal her purse. Thankfully, a co-worker had followed her and chased the youths away. When she discussed it with her boss a few days later, she suggested that the organization she works with  make space for these youths, by finding ways and opportunities for them to be involved in their projects. 

The following morning her colleagues asked how they could make her feel safe in the wake of the incident. She asked that a program be implemented to offer job training, internships, or some sort of participation from neighborhood youth within her workplace. She acknowledged that people without options, frustrated and feeling impotent, are often those who rob pregnant women. Erica said she would be safer if those young people have a place within her organization.

Buddhists consider suffering a “fruitful darkness” because it creates compassion. Suffering is not our essential state, but we have to know it to then extend ourselves beyond our own experience. Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga, considers forgiving those who cause our suffering an unavoidable step in growth. In the month of May, she's invited all Jivamukti-influenced teachers and studios to consider forgiveness in their practices.

The above stories illustrate that forgiveness is not absolving an attacker of responsibility for their actions. Forgiveness doesn't mean that battery, threats, or robbing are acceptable. Forgiveness demonstrates that holding onto rage, powerlessness, and frustration simply limits. To step into wholeness, we acknowledge that unthinkable acts can surprisingly empower. That most violence isn't “senseless” but rather motivated by thwarted opportunity and lack of consideration. To protect ourselves and one another, we have to find ways to understand others, even when that shakes us to our core. To prevent crime and violence, we have to open up and extend even towards those we deem criminal or “other.”

I am so privileged to know Hadji, Kevin, and Erica. Each of them has expanded past the pain involved in their attacks. They were affected. They are human. But they were able to pull upon a resiliency that transformed suffering into compassion, and compassion into healing for themselves and also for others.

I think about this process on a larger scale. It is obviously potent in each of our personal narratives. Part of our process is resolving personal traumas. What if we could extend this effort on a larger scale? Every day I read about “senseless” acts of violence-- often in disenfranchised, impoverished communities. I constantly hear about “terrorism,” most often attributed to dark skinned people in parts of the world considered impenetrable and beyond comprehension. What if the fear and pain in the wake of violent incidents compelled each of us to understand the aggressor? What if we began to listen and explore their stories? Not to absolve their actions or deny accountability. Not to say it's justified to hurt others. Rather, to know that we are all safer when we are all known. We are all safer when we create space for one another.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon attacks I saw powerful examples of people helping one another and healing. I also grew worried when I heard xenophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Prior to the attacks, I was well-aware of Chechnya, and of the brutal history Chechens have faced at the hands of Russian oppression. This conflict does not justify two individual Chechens allegedly bombing the Boston Marathon. But is there some way for those affected by the bombing to build towards a greater understanding of the motives of the actors? Can atrocity be transformed into greater stability, both for those in Boston as well as those in Chechnya?

I don't know. I know our personal transformations are powerful and collective transformation possible. Part of finding forgiveness, releasing the pain associated with attack, and healing is gaining a perspective, a vantage point, beyond the immediate feelings of victimization. Times of pain can simply be darkness. When our pain becomes impetus to rise into healing with affected populations in Haiti, to lift our voice and find words on page, to create space for the disenfranchised, the darkness is fruitful. Forgiveness transforms.

To offer Hadji financial support or donations for his Haiti project, email: or visit  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Intention is a Political Project

The other day I began to reconceive of certain political projects as acts of intention.  Specifically, I remember what guided me to certain parts of the world, like Cuba, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.  I wanted to go to Cuba to better understand the realities of socialism.  I went to Costa Rica knowing that a large portion of the wild is protected from development & also off-limits to humans for a day each week.  After learning that in 2008 Ecuador amended its constitution to reflect the rights of animals, land, and bodies of water, I booked a trip.

In each of these places there is still tremendous work to be done to live upto stated ideals.  However, in my own (limited) experience in these places, I did come to understand the power of these intentions.

I was an exchange student in Havana, Cuba for a semester in 2001.  I remember being so overwhelmed by the lack of privacy.  Any time I walked down the street someone would sidle up and walk alongside me, making animated conversation.  Now, those of you who know me know that I can talk.  This overwhelmed even me!  I'm accustomed to a certain level of anonymity on U.S. streets.  I'm used to being able to walk out my door, to a coffee shop, and reside in the privacy of my own thoughts.  That simply wasn't an option in Cuba.  I remember spending too much time in my room (much to my roommate's chagrin) simply because I wanted time with no questions, no conversation, no quick friendships.
My roommate, Kieu, across the table in Barrio Chino, Havana, Cuba

Finally, I asked one of my new best friend's why I couldn't have any privacy.  "Privacy?  Why do you need privacy?  This is a Socialist country.  We share resources and space.  What do you need for yourself?"  It was such an interesting response.  I had never considered the impact of economic organization on my interpersonal relationship!  Why did I deserve privacy?  What did it really accomplish?  Throughout the world people and animals live much more communally and much more publicly.  There are benefits and deficits to this just as there are benefits and deficits to having privacy.  It's simply a matter of what we're accustomed to-- the space to which we feel entitled.

There were so many similar lessons in Cuba.  I met people who had been part of the Revolution and recalled their ideals, their intentions.  Another aspect of no privacy was relentless cat calls, the ubiquitous, "Oya, nena!" accompanied by hissing sounds.  I found a feminist who had thrown molotov cocktails to oust Batista, alongside Che.  I asked her how she reconciled some of these ideals of equality with such prevalent street harassment of women.  She recalled having visited the U.S. in her youth.  "I felt invisible there."  She mentioned that in the U.S. catcalls often spoke to another type of aggression-- the threat of physical attack by men on women.  While these attacks certainly occur in Cuba as well, they're not always linked to verbal attention.  Again, I can't say I feel comfortable with men's vocal comments to women on the streets of Havana, but it helped me understand that it didn't necessarily signify the same as in the U.S.

Kevin biking on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

When Kevin & I traveled to Costa Rica, I was initially shocked to learn that most parks were closed for a day out of every week to give the land, plants, and animals a respite from human presence.  A troubling sense of entitlement bubbled up in me, "Why can't I go?  That's inconvenient for me to reschedule."  On second thought, I was able to grasp how little my convenience mattered in the larger scale of prioritizing the needs of the natural world.  Again, this policy of rest for these spaces doesn't completely combat the ills of human presence on the natural world.  It's a step, and a powerful step.  It shifted, greatly, my sense of the needs of the natural world.

Basilica Del Voto, Quito, Ecuador
On our first day in Quito, Ecuador, Kevin & I visited the Basilica del Voto.  This Basilica famously depicts many images from the natural world to best show worship to the divine presence in all things.  As the photos above demonstrate, any view might offer a turtle, toucan, goat, or tree.  The holiness of the natural world is brought within the walls of the Basilica.

Ecuador changed its Constitution to reflect the rights of land, water, air, plants, and animals.  Perhaps this intention is best demonstrated on the Galapagos islands.
Floreana Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
We were searched thoroughly before flying to the Galapagos.  Park security is vigilant to ensure that no foreign seeds, animals, or other potentially interfering matter is brought into the delicate eco-system of the archipelago.  Hiking through the Charles Darwin center, we found plenty of public restrooms, trashcans, recycing, and compost centers.  I was surprised!  Kevin pointed out that where there aren't publicly accessible restrooms, people make other arrangements.  This certainly will affect plant, soil, and animal life.
Heron, Tortuga Bay, Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador

Iguana, Tortuga Bay, Isla Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Tortuga Bay on Isla Santa Cruz, was our favorite beach on the Galapagos.  These iguanas sun, swim, & live throughout the beach.  Therefore the beach is only open from 6-6 every day.  After sundown humans are cleared off the beach.  This also gives the turtles opportunity to come on shore.

None of these policies has completely stabilized the intricate network of human, plant, and animal needs.  I don't know of a community that has found the balance necessary for optimal health for all.  However, the collective intention, the stated goal of care & protection for one another, and specific populations, shifts the attention of everyone within the community.  As a visitor to all these places, I was deeply changed.  I carry these lessons & work to enact them in my daily life.  I set intention and recognize the power and potential in that act.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Summertime Yoga Bonanza

Summertime & the yoga is plentiful!  I've got some wonderful workshops & yoga classes cooking this summer.  Join me!

Adjust & Assist: Standing Poses
Saturday June 1, 12:30-3:30 pm
Some of the best instruction we give as teacher comes through physical touch. It goes beyond mental understanding, and can help students cut directly to the energetics of the pose.

Strengthen and Expand your repertoire of hands-on assists for standing asanas through practical application and constructive feedback.

This workshop is geared toward yoga teachers, but serious students will gain invaluable insight into the alignment of the asanas covered.

$40. Yoga Alliance CEU's available-- let us know if you need 'em! Pre-register by two days before the session!
Early Morning Intensive
Monday June 10- Friday June 14, 6-7 am each morning
Early morning is the best and most auspicious time to practice yoga. It's a time of transition-- a time of transformation! Devote a week to getting up early and saluting the sun and don't be surprised if, by then end, your inner fire is truly stoked.
$12 per session. We think you should do all 5 days, but we know your schedule may not permit it. Sign up for the days you can do.
Yoga Mala
Thursday June 20 (Solstice!), 5:30-7:30 am
It's a traditional practice to enter into a seriously tapasic activity on an auspicious day. In other words: do something challenging to cleanse and purify yourself during a moment of transition so that you're really prepared for what is to come.

Here at Yogawood, we try to mark Solstices and Equinoxes--all very powerful days of the year-- with a mala of 108 Sun Salutations. We churn up the energy to prepare ourselves for the season to come and lose ourselves in the heat and breath of this practice. Surrender through effort. Purify!

$25. Pre-register. This is happening way too early for us to think about payment that morning!

Summer Series: Yoga for kids and the adults who love them
Pennsauken Public Library
Tuesdays June 18- July 16 & July 30- August 27

Awaken the Muse: Yoga to Unleash Creativity
June 23, 1-3 pm
Yoga creates space in the physical body & its energetic pathways, potentially improving our ability to communicate.

This workskhop is designed to illuminate the Vishuddi Cakra, the seat of your sound, and to unleash creative communication. Along with asana (poses) and partner work, each student will have an opportunity to create brief written snapshots, poems, essays, stories, or word collages. Give and receive feedback in a constructive and supportive environment. Through this challenging and loving experience, come to know how to shake loose your creative energy through sweat, meditation, and breath.

Pre-registration by two days before the event required. Yoga Alliance CEUs available-- let us know if you want 'em. $30.

There's more too.. stay posted on my calendar & I'll make sure there's a shout out here from time to time.  Any workshops you're dying to attend that you don't see here?  Let me know.  I'm happy to come on-site to your location, develop something new, & generally get creative.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Heal up the space between

Lay your hand on me
I'm blessed
Lay your hand on me
We marry
Lay your hand on me
I'm healed
Lay your hand on me
With intention
With intention I find an energy rising
A wound resurfacing and warmth
to seal, close, merge,
Lay your hand on me
Give me
Lay your hand on me
See or feel and
see and feel a story
in my skin in my flesh in
my life a story of pain and healing and
pain and healing
Lay your hand on me
there is a language in heat working between
how does this heat emerge? I
don't understand there is 
a thinking self that
claims order & clarity & linear progression in
yet here there isn't time there
is experience
and here there isn't diagnosis and patient
and anything that could be catalogued in
the DSM but rather
knowledge intuition touch story
Lay your hand on me
Lay your hand on me
I feel you
You see me
You know
I'm known

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Kevin & I went to the Free Library two weeks ago to hear Cheryl Strayed.  She authored Torch, Wild, & Tiny, Beautiful Things.  Wild has become a runaway success.  Oprah revived her book club to recognize the book, it's on NY Times best-seller lists, & has kept Strayed on tour for at least a year.  In Wild, Strayed details her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail & how that experience offered her healing from the death of her mother.  It's a raw, naked look at one of the darkest periods of Strayed's life.

During the Q & A, I raised my hand.  I said, "In many of your works, especially Tiny, Beautiful Things you make yourself available as a mentor to other writers.  I thank you for that!  As a mentor, I want to know how you balance divulging so much personal information in your writing with healthy boundaries.  How do you maintain your privacy?  Handle relationships that are exposed?  Grapple with readers who experience a sense of intimacy with the aspect of yourself revealed in your work?"

I really wanted to know.  I hold back from writing about a lot of my experiences for a number of reasons.  One, I want a private life.  Two, I don't know how to manage the implications for others involved.  Three, I don't want to be gratuitously confessional.  I want to be responsible with my own life & respectful of my own story.  Yet, these stories do have a larger resonance.  That's why we write.

Strayed acknowledged that she maintains healthy privacy.  She's considered in what she shares & why.  Thankfully, there hasn't been much fall-out in her relationships due to her writing.  Her writing has opened up conversations with some of those included in her work.

She also said that most people are incredibly respectful & acknowledge her privacy & boundaries.  Her authenticity makes interactions with others real, fast.  Readers are quick to share big, pivotal moments in their own lives.

& she mainly wrote about events that happened over twenty years ago.  She hasn't written about her marriage nor her young children.

My life is sacred.  My stories are sacred.  Yet, part of what helps me understand & heal is knowing how these stories resonate with something bigger than me.