Red Flags


This morning I did something I almost never do. I went online before my morning practice. It’s not like it’s an ironclad rule to never do this. It’s just that I know that when I start my day in reflection, I’m a different person. Closer to who I most want to be when I begin my day by checking in, as opposed to checking out.

But the allure today towards the screen was just too strong. A friend had told me about a meditation, and I got it into my head that this would make my practice better. Deeper. That maybe this would be what I needed to get over the hump of an obstacle I had been struggling with. Maybe it would get me closer to Source?

That right there should have been a red flag. But the temptation of the one-click-away to salvation was just too strong.

Once on the site and ready to buy the fix I thought I needed, for some reason the payment wouldn’t go through. So I tried it again. And then, again. And again. Actually a bunch more times. I even walked away for a minute, and then came back to try once more.

And so it was, with some sense of loss and disappointment that I headed into my morning practice. But not with my usual sense of commitment and eager anticipation.

Yesterday, I would have told you that I am far too experienced to believe that some meditation would fill some hole. Today I would tell you, some part of me does not know better. I would tell you that this whole business of what we need, and what we think we can get immediately via the screens is very, very seductive. In such an exquisitely insidious and invisible way that there’s a good chance you won’t even know it’s happening.

Why? Because the false promise of easy access salvation to a better life with just one click, flies under the radar of the rational mind. The part of us that believes we are in charge and know exactly why we are choosing what we do. What I am describing tells another story. One where our deepest longings, those places beneath the surface of awareness that drive us without us even knowing it, are easily hijacked by what is available across a screen.

It is so sobering to experience just how vulnerable we are to the belief that what we need is out there; in someone else’s hands, in an app, some purchase, a meditation download. This morning, I am deeply humbled by the ease with which I was hooked. Equally, I am deeply grateful for the daily reminder of my morning practice. Something that caught me today before I fell too far from Truth.

That Truth being, there are no quick fixes out there. No matter what form they come in. The real Truth is, it is in us. Whatever it is that we are looking for. Do we need help? We do. But the trick is, not to confuse the help (someone else’s map) with the answer we are seeking (which can only be found in the direct knowing of our own territory).

So yes, use what’s out there to spark you. But never, ever, believe something outside of you will do for you, what only you can do for yourself.

P.S. When in doubt about where you are in all of this, be on the lookout for the compulsion that you just have to have (fill in the blank) to be okay. Use that feeling of impulsiveness on your part to have something right now, as the red flag being flown to warn you off the lie you are about to buy into.



I was talking to a friend recently and she was wondering why it had taken so long for her to recognize that some of her long-standing friendships, ones that had fallen away over the past few years, had actually, never worked for her to begin with. Had always been too much work. Had never fed her. In effect, had left her empty.

I have spent a great deal of my life thinking about this very thing. More to the point, struggling deeply with needing and wanting more out of relationships when “more” was just not available. With breaking off parts of myself to make things work. Or lending parts of myself to the relationship to make up for what was not coming in from the other side.

Historically, I would stay and believe I should just be glad for what crumbs were available. Or, I would try and get the other “up to speed” so there would be the possibility that I could get fed in a way that made sense to me. And then, of course, I could chip the edges of myself off in the misguided belief that maybe this was the fix. Just be what they seem to want you to be, and maybe you’ll get what you want.

The message always being: Just slot in. Don’t rock the boat by wanting more. There is nothing more available. Take what is here and be happy you’ve got anything at all.

When it seems that crumbs (or even toxins or junk) is all that’s available to us, we will gobble up even the most un-nourishing of relationships in our desperate attempts to fill that need-based longing inside. We will convince ourselves that it is good enough.That it is what we really want.

To be clear, I am not talking about using others to fill a void that only you can fill. Nor am I talking about this from the consumptive, modern day model that says we all need more “friends,” followers and “likes.”

What I am talking about is the real, biologically-based drive to be in good company. To be seen and honored for who you are. To be in connection where all of you gets to be there. Never has this been more assaulted or relegated to the basement than in the past several years. Never have we been more lonely, fearful, socially awkward and prone to believing in sub par, sloppy second-hand substitutes like online connection and “social” distancing, as being the cure for what ails us.

All the while, the central dilemma that each and every human being will face, how it is that I can be fully who I am and have that be met in a satisfying way, gets twisted and distorted, rendering us helpless to know what it is that actually makes for healthy and satisfying relationships.

But as always, changing this lives right here, in this moment. Lives right in the next interaction you have that leaves you hungry, sour, and craving something else. What is that something else, you might ask?

Only you can know that. The trick is, can you be courageous enough to ask the question, listen for the answer, and then actually do something about it?

“Your Best Life”


I was working with a woman this week who was describing how tired she feels trying to “live her best life.” How she is trying so hard to do everything “right.” Not only is it not working, it’s backfiring. She’s not enjoying herself, and she’s not getting the results either promised to her, or that she believes she should be getting with all this effort.

I told her she was not alone. And I told her that there is a good chance that what’s driving her, does not even come from her own desires. Or from what her body or her life truly needs. Or even from an authentic source of what it actually means and takes to live your best life.

Not only is there a multi-billion dollar health and wellness industry intentionally cultivating insecurity in us while driving us to look outside ourselves in order to sell us lots of stuff, there is social media with its cruel drive to pit us against one another in a competition around living our best lives. And then of course, there is the entertainment industry with its warped, computer-generated, plastic-surgery-altered and starved-body version of beauty and health.

And while intellectually a good many of us would say that we know that all of this is not real or something to reference, we do so anyway because somewhere deep down inside of us, we have come to believe it. Or we believe others believe it and that we will be judged by those standards; leaving even the hesitant among us to go along with what we know is bogus. And harmful.

All of this has reminded me of something I heard a teacher say when I first started training in yoga. That being, Yoga is not about self-improvement. I had no idea what they were talking about. What do you mean it’s not about improving? Are you suggesting I don’t try and be a better person? Go for, in today’s parlance, my best life?

Yes. That is exactly what Yoga and any other Light-filled perspective, tradition or religious approach is saying. It has not, and never has been, about self-improvement with a little “s.” Instead it is about the Self with a big “S.” The one that needs no improvement. The one that has never been diminished by our choices or the ways of the world. The One that is an authentic expression of Source.

But what does that mean in terms of self-improvement? It means that whatever we choose to do, we do so in the service of our soul. In the service of our highest and best good. In the service of taking care of our bodies and minds that they may support us in being here in a life-affirming way. In the service of behaving in the world in a way that aligns with our highest calling, along with a deep and abiding sense of connection to All That Is.

Want to take this into practice? Get away from the commercials. Get away from social media that leaves you feeling less then. Get away from entertainment offering up plasticized themes and characters. But mostly, learn to source Something Greater than what a person is trying to sell you, mandate or demand of you in order to be seen as having value and a right to belong.



For New Year’s Eve I had the good fortune to be with a friend who was guiding an intention ceremony. As we moved into a meditation, instead of asking for something specific and of my own making, I found myself spontaneously asking the Universe what it most wanted me to know at this time.

The answer came immediately and brought up so much emotion, it was hard not to break out sobbing in a room full of people. What I heard was this:

Can you see the perfection in it All?

It’s so telling to me that my question was responded to with a question. I did not get some final and definitive answer, but instead an open-ended invitation into something quite profound. For in those first moments of more than hearing, but actually feeling that invitation down into every part of me, it was clear that I was being asked to set aside all the ways that I don’t see the perfection in Life.

All the ways that I think I know better. All the ways that I reject or twist away from what is because I don’t like it. Because it doesn’t fit with my narrative. Or because I believe it’s unfair, and therefore, should not be here.

What I knew to my core in that moment was that I was in no position to know what should or should not be. And not in a criticizing or punitive way that left me feeling bad somehow. But as an absolute Truth of existence that is always there whether I know it or not. And, that should I choose to align with that Truth, everything, literally everything in my life not only changes, but becomes possible; taking me to where I most want to be with myself, others and the world.

That being, at peace with it All.

So what if the choice to not fight with anything, to see it all as having a place, is the ticket to everything we all desire? Equally, what if our refusal to see the perfection in everything is why we are so unhappy, afraid, dissatisfied, sick and disconnected?

This is to be the energy of 2023 for me. Want to join me?

If so, start with low-stakes moments in your day. What I mean be this is, can you be open to the idea that the traffic, the unwanted post on your feed, the mess someone left in the house, the weather, etc., are not necessarily a problem, an irritation or an outrage? But instead, that what you consider horribly imperfect, and therefore unwanted and not supposed to be here, is in fact an act of Perfection.

This even goes for the moments when you fall back, can’t find the perfection, and then use your response as a way to either beat yourself up or rail against what is happening. In these moments, consider that everything, absolutely everything, has a kind of rightness to its existence. A kind of perfect fit and necessity. Even when we can’t or won’t see it. Even when we think we know better than Source and Life itself.

P.S. For anyone believing that this is condoning bad things in the world, I encourage you to look deeper.