Everything Else Can Wait


The snow storm is just really getting under way by the time I make my way home. Somewhere between getting the groceries in, and sending out an email to cancel the evening yoga class, I feel a deep pull starting to build within; a nameless urge to be in the woods and in direct contact with the extraordinary beauty and power of the snow. I know I must respond. I know I will respond. But first, there are the overly rational and fear-driven parts of the mind that must be dealt with.

There are cold and frozen foods that need to be put away. Right now. They might go bad. Your husband is away, so if something happens to you while you are out in the woods, no one will find you for days. It’s getting dark. This is not a good idea. What if an animal gets you? On and on it goes. This part of me always has something to say. Always a fear, or a harsh reminder of my responsibilities, or a “what if,” that it throws out with increasing intensity to keep me in line. To keep me adding up to other’s ideas of me, the culture’s standards, and even my own worn out versions of who I am, and what I need to be.

But on this day I know better. And what I know is this. The rational mind with all of its demands, fears, and shoulds will never be enough to satisfy the longing I feel within. It will never take me to the magic, the mystery, and the freedom that my soul yearns for. Demands, in fact, and must have in order for me to experience the vitality and the connection of this one life to Something More. It is so easy for that hunger to get drowned out in everything that must be done, believed in, and attended to, according to the rational mind.

But on this day, the woods mesmerize me with their magnificence. All of Nature is outlined and lit up in glowing white against a darkening sky. Every edge defined in light. Tunnels made by heavy snow and bowing limbs create endless passageways for me to move through. Thresholds into another world. The air is brushed clean, and so is my mind. Every noise but the sound of snow and wind has been subdued into submission to something greater. Time takes on another quality, and a honed presence emerges. So deeply still is this place, that I am swept up into it; dropped into an effortless meditation that never wants to end.

Over and over, in this place, I am reminded of what I am. And though I know I will forget, every experience like this brings me a little closer to the Truth. I need this. I ache for this. Everything else can wait.

Why The Abdication?


In the wake of the most recent school shootings, there has been a strong and widespread response from our teens for #NEVERAGAIN. They are taking to the streets, and to their social media outlets demanding that what is happening be addressed. Now. Some postulate that with these teens coming into voting age in a few short years, this has the potential to shift politics; putting our politicians on notice that they had better get serious about making changes around gun laws. Or risk being voted out.

So much possibility here. And if this were to come to fruition, how amazing that finally we would see some real movement on an issue long overdue for change. And yet, one question aches to be addressed and answered. Why have we left this up to the children? Why has this generation been so systemically left on their own? Why have we, as the adults, not been the ones protecting them? Not being the ones to get this, and other things like it, done on their behalf?

There has been a strange and harmful reversal of the roles between parents and children afoot over the last generation. Instead of the adults claiming their position as the ones to be the grown-ups in the relationship, we opt to be their friends. Instead of us setting and enforcing, necessary ground rules around what they eat, when they go to bed, how many activities they can sign up for, and how much technology they can use, we ask them if it is OK, or what they think we should do around limit setting. Instead of us drawing lines in the world on their behalf to protect them, we look to them to change the world for us. And for them.

What has happened to us? Are we too busy? Too distracted? Too overwhelmed? Too brainwashed? Too addicted? Too afraid? Too disempowered? All of the above? In order for our children to be able to take a healthy stand in the world, they must first have the experience of someone standing up for them in a healthy way. Too often, as a culture, we are dazzled by all that our children can do and have taken on without recognizing that we have forced the bud; and with it all of the consequences associated with putting children into the role of the grown-up long before they are emotionally mature enough to handle that level of responsibility.

Could this be why so many of our young people are so disproportionately suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, along with the overwhelming and bizarre fears they experience like no other generation has held in the way that they do? Let us never forget that when it comes to our children and the world they inhabit, it is always, and always will be, up to us.



It is a beautiful, blue, clear-skyed Sunday morning. It snowed several inches last night. My husband and I are going for a run, and I am pulling to do the “big loop.” Because it has been months. Because I am feeling it. And because with the snow topping everything, it will feel magical-mystical to be in the woods.

On the trail, there is so much beauty. And so much ice. I have already fallen once before getting out of our own driveway. It had not occurred to me that the trail will be a skating rink beneath a couple of inches of light, fluffy, easily moved past, snow, that will result in my footing being non-existent. But once I am in, I am in. Besides, I think, it can’t possibly be like this the whole way around. Oh, yes it can. As a matter of fact, each time I imagine I will get a reprieve, it only seems to get icier; at times so slick that it is near to impossible for me to move forward without falling. I stop counting how many times I have hit the ice-covered trail.

At some point I walk, which helps some, but not nearly as much as you would think, or more to the point, that I had hoped for. Even though I am crawling along, I am still wiping out. My husband has pressed on. I have thoughts that he may need to be coming back only to find my body shattered against some snow-covered rock. Mostly though, I am so frustrated. This is so not the vibe I thought I was going to be partaking in.

As uncomfortable as this is, I count on this. I need this. I need to be reminded over and over again that life is not supposed to line up with my version of how things should go. No matter how lofty my plans. And the natural world, with her complete lack of interest in bending to my will, keeps me honest, humble, and in my place.

With our need to control, with our need to technologize everything, with our growing fears and lack of tolerance for what is wild, free, natural, and beyond the scope of man, what will be big enough to remind us over and over again that we are not the most powerful force in the Universe? What will we have done to ourselves when we have eradicated everything except what we ourselves, in our limited vision, have created?

Where You Come From


I am taking a class with a woman who knows about the body and its original wisdom in a way I have never experienced before. And while the focus of the class is on movement that is organic, integrated, and effortless, I often find myself carried away with the metaphors around how she languages the body.

Recently, as we were working with a particular range of movement, she said; “In any movement, you can only come from where you come from.” Obvious on one level in terms of what the body is capable of doing. And at the same time, it reads like a set of instructions for how to live in both mind and body. For instance, to her words, “you can only come from where you come from, I added and where you come from in any given movement is created and guided by your habits, your skill set, your intentions, your quality of mind, your past…” And on and on it goes. Where we move from today is based on everything that has come before.

We are an accumulation of all the movements of the past. Equally, there is so much more to come, which in turn will be based on what has come before. It’s a loop that keeps circling and circling. And so, if we want our current movement to come from a place of greater integrity and ease, it requires awareness, adjustments, and the permission to move in new and different ways. This could mean a change in how or what you eat. It could mean interacting with yourself or others differently. It could mean shifting how you think about yourself or what you believe is possible. Movement in this way can come from anyplace, and be in the service of anything.

Where you move from in any given moment is always a choice, and the choice is always yours, and yours alone to make. And so, even though where you are coming from is based on where you are which is based on where you came from, there is always a point in the circle to make the choice to begin anew. It’s like the old saying; “If you keep doing what you have always done, you are going to get what you always got.” But when we learn to do other than what we have always done, we are guaranteed to get something new.

Right now, where in the endless loop of your movement through life is there a place to disrupt the conditioning of what came before in the service of creating a brand new way of moving, and therefore where it is that you ultimately come from?

Don’t You Dare…


I was at a family gathering last Saturday, and because it was the day before the Super Bowl, and because there were Tom Brady fans in the group, the conversation easily turned to this man and what he has accomplished, and continues to accomplish; despite the odds, his age, the naysayers, or the consternation experienced by those on the other side of him. At some point, someone in the group said, through a thinly veiled layer of contempt, that Tom Brady had gone off the rails believing himself to be immortal. As the person speaking continued with this line of reasoning, a subtext began to form and reveal itself. That being, that it won’t be long before Tom Brady gets his well deserved comeuppance, henceforth bringing him back to where he belongs; on the same level with the rest of us.

I pointed out that I do not believe that immortality is what he is after, but instead the fullest expression of what he is capable of. And that, yes, he is challenging the status quo and ideas around aging that wrongly decide ahead of time what a person will live like; even before they have lived it.

While in that moment I said what I needed to say, this individual’s response continued to rattle around in my mind, bothering me long after the conversation was over. Something inside of me felt so disturbed that I was unable to drop it. Then, in a glorious moment of revelation, what was bothering me revealed itself under the banner of; Don’t You Dare!

Don’t you dare be extraordinary. Don’t you dare go for the impossible. Don’t you dare challenge my view of reality. Don’t you dare show me up. Don’t you dare do anything that makes me uncomfortable. And don’t you dare make me come up against what I have not dared to do in my own life.

Why do we do this to one another? What are we so afraid of and so angry about that we would be glad when someone got their “just deserves,” bringing them back down to the level of mediocrity?

I’ll tell you why. We are threatened by what it reflects back to us about what we are and are not doing in our own lives. Otherwise, we would only want to see another person be as magnificent as they can be because it would remind us of what is inside of us as well. We would understand that when one person achieves greatness, when one person breaks the limitations of the status quo, when one person dares to reach for their own possibility, we are all lifted up and carried along to higher places.

Too many of us have forgotten this. Too many of us choose instead to attack, mock, or denigrate what is different, outside of the norm, out of the box, outstanding, and daring, in another. Too many of us sit on the sidelines content to watch greatness while we look for opportunities to tear it to shreds; using our precious life force to annihilate what is truly unique and amazing in another for no other reason than because we have not shown up for our own lives; finding it preferable to project our own failings onto the greatness of another.

Can you imagine a world where we support the very best in one another? I can. And I will tell you that I for one sure could use, and could have used my entire growing up, that level of support and protection for my own budding magnificence. And that each and every time I was on the receiving end of Don’t You Dare, it cut me to the core, took me down a peg, and made it that much harder to get back up and do what I came here to do.

The Earth. The Sky. The Wind.


It is a Wednesday morning and I am taking a yoga class. Over the course of an hour and a half, the teacher repeats over and over; Give your body to the earth. Give your heart to the sky. Give your mind to the wind. I am swept up and carried away on this mantra. It feels as though all the instructions I need to live a grounded, fulfilling, and extraordinary life are contained in these three simple phrases.

Give your body to the earth. Can I remember to release into the support of the Mother when my head would tell me to keep pushing forward on my own? Can I remember that like the earth, this body moves in phases, is renewed in cyclic and circular ways, and is the very essence of Life itself?

Give your heart to the sky. Can I remember to look up and open up when life presses in with its diminishing pressures? Can I remember that despite the constraints of being human, there is a vast spirit contained within that is as brilliant and expansive as the sky itself?

Give your mind to the wind. Can I turn over the endless stream of thoughts to the recognition that they come and go like the wind itself; sometimes forceful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes not there at all? Can I let my mind rest in my very own breath, even when, and especially if, it is demanding that I react to all the wrong things?

Steady on the earth. Open to the sky. Free on the wind. Prescriptions for living.



Have you been noticing how easy it is to escape from our lives through the way we are using the technologies? Nowadays there is always a way to get out of where we don’t want to be, or what we don’t want to feel, or what we don’t want to experience.Think about it for a moment. Exactly what is it that we are trying so hard to get away from? Exactly what is it that is so awful that we cannot bear to be with?

Escapism is defined as the need to get out of, or away from, reality. It is essential to register that the very same reality we are trying so hard to get away from, is in fact, our very own lives.These lives that we are trying to get out of are, in fact, the very same ones that we ourselves have created, and continue to create; whether we know it or not. Whether we accept that as true or not.

If you buy this, then the most obvious question here becomes why do we create, day after day, lives we are so desperate to get out of? And while reflecting on ourselves in this way can be time-consuming and difficult to be with, without this knowledge, we live as if our lives are something we would just rather not be a part of. Lived long enough this becomes the hallmark of our existence, and the legacy we leave behind.

Without the recognition of the painful “realities” we have been creating through stress, busyness, and distraction we wind up using the technologies as a perpetual escape hatch as opposed to a tool to uplift our lives. Through our escapist uses of the screens, we create the life-depleting belief that we are getting away from something. That we are getting ourselves to a more desirable “reality.” Virtually. When looked at through the lens of escapism, all of this is true.

What is also true is that we are individually and collectively creating a world that is noticeably and distinctively uninhabited by people. Without occupying the world of our own making, we live removed from the truth. That being that when we live at a distance from seeing and feeling what is not working for us, there is no opportunity to self-correct. That being that our lack of personal accountability becomes a loss not only in our lives, but in the lives of others as well. And if there are enough of us vacating our lives, what will that do to the ones who choose to remain?

Some of us will go on to live all of our lives like this. Some of our children are having their lives built on becoming exquisitely skilled escape artists. If this is you, one way out is to begin an honest exploration of why it is that you feel so compelled to create a life built on such inhumane levels of busyness and overload, that you are left with one, and only one option; get out of your life any way you can.

P.S. If you want a big reality check, find Generation Zapped; a documentary on the negative impact the wireless technologies are having on our health, and the health of our children.





Surrounded by so much information, so many images, so much noise, so much busyness, and so much cultural expectation of how we should be living, how are we to find ourselves living the lives that are only ours to live? In other words, how is it that we can come to orient ourselves more and more to what is within us as a way of navigating all of the nonsense, harm, and de-humanization that the world is offering up at ever-increasing rates, distracting us from the truth of who we really are?

The more that you can learn to look within as opposed to what others think you should do, the more you offer yourself a map for what it looks like, and more importantly, takes, to be the author of your own life. In turn, there is no greater gift that you can extend to another than to steadfastly choose on behalf of your own life. Sound selfish? Sound problematic? There is no doubt that there is much to be navigated here. There is no doubt that there are pitfalls and mistakes to be made. There is no doubt that you will have to create inner and outer litmus tests of integrity. There is no doubt that this will take a lot of work. And there is no doubt that there will be those who will not take kindly to you deciding for yourself how it is that you come to live.

If being your own person appeals to you, you must develop ways to bring opportunities for the discovery of who it is that you truly are, directly into your life. Regularly. Daily, even. One way to begin is to find some time when you can be with your own thoughts. Sit for several moments just breathing. Nothing else. Then, without thinking about it too much, or worrying about how another would respond, ask yourself some version of; “What do you want me to know?” Focus on your body as best as you can, while working to set aside unhelpful or critical thoughts.

Does something grab you in the belly or at the heart? Does your head hurt? Does something feel tight? Do images arise? Memories? What emotions present themselves to you? Keep feeling around inside. Use all of your senses and instincts. Notice that a part of you may want to get away from this. See if you can allow that to be a part of the exploration. Pay particular attention to emotions that arise that you typically avoid. They carry valuable information and guidance if you can learn to stay open and get curious about why they are showing up now. This takes practice to get skilled at navigating through all of this information and, you cannot do this wrong.

Allow this experience to transcend right and wrong, what others are doing, self-doubt, or what it is that the culture is selling today. These, and more, are all things you must learn to wrestle with in order to come to think for yourself. Learning to reference an inner knowing is no small feat and it requires your time, your commitment, your trust, and your courage.

Make a regular habit of sitting quietly, breathing, and noticing. The guidance and the information we receive in these moments is nothing short of miraculous in its capacity to cut straight through to the Truth; for if we are to have any hope of living well and living in integrity, both individually and collectively, the capacity to see what is true is an indispensable one indeed.









I am preparing, as I have been since April of last year, to go on a vision fast in May; traveling further from home than I have ever gone before. I am intermittently terrified, expectant, and ready. As I get closer, I am being asked by others why it is that I do this. I can see that the questions, and even the skepticism, is serving as a kind of preparation; with the questions posed reminding me, and even schooling me, on why it is that I do this. Why it is that I put myself out there. Why it is that I invite discomfort and risk exposure of all kinds.

I do this because in the safe haven of an environment that is built to support growth and transformation, I am always brought to the very best in myself; despite, or maybe because of, any struggle, doubt, confusion, or fear I encounter. There is just no substitute for being surrounded by outer circumstances that support your deepest work, and therefore your fullest expression.

I do this because whenever I set and then live for a time with a strong and clear intention for my life, without exception, I get whatever it is that I am intending, in the most profound, magical, mystical, and beyond my control of ways.

I do this because in the structure of a retreat experience, I can better allow everything to be exactly as it is; including it all and weaving it in through my intention. Through this level of focus and inclusion, I am made whole through the experience, no matter how difficult it might be. As a matter of fact, quite often the intensity of my emotions and experience is exactly what it is that breaks through the old conditioning, and lands me in a place that is new and ripe with possibility.

For a very long time, I did not understand why I was so compelled to put myself through all of this. Now I know. I do this because this is how I want to live in the day to day; focused on what I most want, embedded in what is real, and guided by the Great Mystery. I do this because in order to reach certain understandings about myself and Life, I must put myself in novel situations; recognizing that the more unknown the better when it comes to breaking away from old thinking and habit patterns.

And ultimately, I leave so that I can return.



Once, in the midst of struggling with how I was being seen and received by another, a practitioner said to me; “They are not a clear reflection for you.” Whew. That took an enormous load off to be given permission to not have to reference the wrong source. That truth allowed me to see that who I was, was separate from what another thought or reflected back to me. This has stuck with me ever since, and I find myself referring to it whenever I wind up in that struggle between me and another over who I am. And at times, more poignantly, who I am not.

In knowing ourselves, we tend to go back to the very first reflections we ever got regarding who others thought we were, or should be. In other words, our families, and other early teachers. To the extent that there was distortion in what was being reflected back to us, we will struggle with the truth of who we are because as children we usually do not recognize dysfunctional feedback as being off base And even if we do, we somehow agree to it one way or another. In order to stay in relationship. In order to stay safe. In order to stay valued. In order to keep from being kicked out. In order to be loved.

Worse yet, we tend to go through life winding up in the same reflecting pools, ensuring that we continue to see the same things about ourselves; even if they are not true. Even if it is harmful. Even if we have changed. This damaging and insidious feedback loop not only harms us, it robs the world of us.

I once received from a trusted teacher, the following practice. Put a mirror on your alter, or any other space that feels special to you. Gaze into your own reflection. What do you see? As a companion practice, you might also try saying some version of, “I see you for who you truly are,” every time you see your own reflection in a mirror.

A little terrifying at first, but absolutely necessary in the journey of creating a clear reflection.