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Monday, November 25, 2013

One Step Closer to Enlightenment

A few weeks ago some friends & I were discussing food allergies. One of them, a yoga teacher & Ayurvedic specialist presented a theory she had learned elsewhere that maybe food sensitivities come with heightened sensitivity in general. Perhaps, as we move into a higher level of consciousness and awareness we become more sensitive to the changes taking place in our food supply. Our bodies recognize the genetic alterations, chemicals and other man-made adaptations as something other than food. Our more subtle awareness recognizes these changes as poisonous and deadly and responds accordingly, by quickly sending us into an undeniable physical response severe enough to prevent us from ever considering ingesting these toxic, non-food items again.
This theory makes perfect sense in so many ways. It explains why food allergies are become more commonly diagnosed. We corrupt our food source more and more with each passing season and look at the things people are most commonly allergic to; wheat, corn, soy, dairy. These are the things our scientists have been manipulating the most and for the longest times. It also explains why children with sensory related conditions (ADD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Asperger's and Autism) frequently have multiple food sensitivities. As yogis and spiritual seekers we are working towards greater awareness, heightened sensitivity. I often tell my students, particularly my teacher trainees, that we can use the body to teach lessons to the mind. When we practice Warrior poses we gain strength, not just physical strength but also mental an emotional strength. When we practice tree we learn balance in the body and in the mind and spirit. Why wouldn't the opposite be true? If we practice meditation to become sensitive and connected to the subtle energies around us wouldn't our physical bodies also become more sensitive?
So today, as I bit into my gluten, egg, dairy, nightshade, nut, nitrate and shellfish free Tuna Wrap and learned the hard way that I am also allergic to tuna, I have to take a deep breath and consider if this is a good thing, a step closer to enlightenment? Since my response to that is pure attachment, "I don't want enlightenment! I like my stuff, my people, living in this physical body and experiencing it's pleasures. I want to eat pizza!" I'd have to say that this theory, while interesting, is still unproven.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fate Apologizes

(this is what I remember of my dream last night)

In a bar or restaurant or shop or someplace nondescript with Paul. I saw the exit door open and a small woman with a blue dress walk out. I grabbed his hand and pulled him along as I followed her.

"Come on!" I said. "She sees something. She sees something."

I knew her to be a Medicine Woman or Spirit Woman. She was small and old. We followed her out to a crossroads on the highway. As she walked up the embankment to position herself on the highway I was explaining to Paul that she came out here to see, then the things that she would see would happen. That's when I noticed she was dressed up. I was explaining to him that it was unusual for her to have her hair done and to be dressed up. Something important was going to happen.

Then I noticed there were cars on the road. They were going both directions on one of the roads. The other road, the one she was looking was clear and you could see for miles. She stood there on the road, looked at me and said, "I'm sorry. I have to do it."

Then she walked between the lanes of traffic, at which point it was no longer a crossroads but 3 lanes of traffic on one road. Two outer lanes with heavy traffic and she stepped into the middle lane which had been clear until that moment. At the moment she stepped between, a white pickup appeared in the center lane and disappeared from my sight behind the other cars.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gentle Reminder

The first time she came to me I thought she was there for Xander.

Baby boy singing and cooing to her as she carefully stepped closer and closer.

Later, much later, he told me she was there for me
not him.

"Mom, your totem is a Deer," said the Wolf Boy.

She comes as a gentle, graceful, and loving reminder
to be gentle, graceful, and loving.

Caught up in my thoughts,
windows down in defiance of the wind and clouds,
music loud.

At the stop sign she edged up to the car from the tall grasses in the ditch.

Young and exquisitely beautiful.

So small standing there too close to the road.
Looking at me,
not my car,
not the headlights.
She looked at me.

So still she could have been a lawn ornament.
But she wasn't.

As always, there at just the right time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


12 kids 8-14 in a 700 square foot apartment. Without the help of my parents and my BFF I would have lost my mind but as I waited for the coffee to brew, I overheard some gems from the kiddos that made me giggle. I'm sure there were more last night but I was too frazzled to notice. This morning things were quieter so I actually got to listen to (eavesdrop on) some of their conversations. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the birthday party of a newly minted 8 year old:

"Lots of things from the 80's have Disco."

"Xander, did you know that you can remove tarantula venom from your blood if one bites you?"

"May I have some coffee please?"

"Don't call Xander's mom old! She's not old, she's just a mom."

And, of course, the quotes from the parents when they dropped off:

"You are SO brave!" (as they quickly run out the door)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's going to be a good day

"Mom!" he whispered much too closely into my ear. I didn't need to look at the clock to know it was 0 dark thirty in the morning.

"Where do I put my dirty clothes?"

Oh great... an accident. He's almost 8. It's been ages since he's had an accident! At least he's big enough to take care of it himself now. He'll get changed and crawl into bed with me.

I drifted back to sleep...

You know that feeling you get when you're being watched? It woke me up. Before I opened my eyes I knew it was morning by the brightness shining through my eyelids. I also knew he was standing still & quiet, next to the bed, waiting for me to show any sign of waking.

"Mom!," he whispered, "Are you awake?"

"Um, not really. What's up?"

"Get up. I need to show you something."

Crap. This particular combination of words first thing in the morning is usually accompanied by some sort of mess needing immediate attention. So, I got up.

As I looked around I could see no mess. It was not just the lack of mess that was unusual, it was the lack of the usual mess. My bedroom floor was free of laundry and toys. His room was (gasp!) immaculate! The living room was clean.

"I did all the 'have to's' on our to-do list. Now we can just do the 'want to's' all day," he said with a proud grin.

I'm looking forward to a day of art projects, stories, games and snuggling on the couch!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Little Guru

I was forming the sentences for this blog in my mind as I drove home, hands shaking, unsuccessfully trying to hold back the tears of anger, frustration, fear and shame. How could I possibly put words to how I felt about being verbally assaulted by a complete stranger over a simple misunderstanding?

How would I present the complete absurdity of this bitter, angry man venting his rage at me while my child silently and fearfully watched as well as describe honestly my own full participation in the event? How could I admit that, not only did I not maintain the yogic ideals of non-violence, detachment, non-judgement, blahblahblah, but I completely went over the edge and dove head first into the very things that so offended me about this man; irrationality, anger, blame, rage and hate.

For every vile thing he said to me I had something equally vile to say back and then some, using all of the skill with the mighty sword of words to cut as deeply as I possible could. I wondered if my martial arts training would all come back if the altercation became a physical attack. I was afraid it would. At the same time I almost hoped for it.

Hours later at home, I talked to my son about the situation. I explained to him that some people are just miserable and they take out their bad feelings on other people. I told him we shouldn't be angry at this man for the things he said but we should feel sad for him that he is so filled with poison on the inside that he can't control his temper even over simple things.

As my boy reached over to hold my hand and look into my eyes I realized I was speaking these words from the saddle of a very high horse. I reminded myself that I was just as involved in the situation as this man. I had a choice. I could have ignored him, walked away or accepted his abuse with calm, compassionate detachment. I imagine the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa would have smiled graciously at him, bowed their head and apologized for any unintended offense. I didn't. I yelled, raged and swore like a truck driver.

At this moment I realized that I was still carrying this anger in my heart even hours later. I was reliving each moment over & over in my mind, letting the anger build. I remembered a quote I saw posted by Blogger, Single Dad Laughing, earlier in the day: "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die". -Buddha

I took a deep breath (I'm a yoga teacher-that's what we do). Then I squeezed my sweet boy's hand and came down off my high horse so I could look fully into his big brown eyes. He gave me the sweetest smile and I tried to let it go. It's going to take a little time, some meditation and many more deep breaths but I will let this go.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter Fun

I grew up living in townhomes and apartment buildings. The best part was the shared spaces, especially in the winter time.

The snowplows would plow all of the snow to the end of the street into a giant pile. We would spend days digging tunnels and perfecting our sledding hills.

The hill out the back patio of my apartment was one of the things that sold me on this place. It stood at the center, surrounded by townhomes and apartments. I knew it would be a great place for my boy to play.

After the first snow I was happy to see snowplows piling up the snow at the end of the street at the bottom of the hill. I watched from my window as the kids started to come out dragging their sleds and snowboards behind them.

Now my son is out there having fun and making friends just like I did when I was his age.