gratitude 4:6:16I’m hanging out, lingering on the edge of happiness and it’s weird. Mari, tall and beautiful: “My 94 year old mother was admitted to hospital. She won’t wake up. I think this is it….I’m strangely o.k. with it.” We cry, we hug, its shamelessly easy and cathartic and energizing. I can’t believe the audacity of a yoga practice that would invite such  tenderness in the face of such a profound loss. But here we are, Mari and I, Cathy and Steve on the periphery, rejoicing over the life of a woman that entered our awareness less than 10 minutes ago,  and celebrating her, mostly because our intention is to love, uphold and support Mari.

Honestly, this is yoga at its best; the yoking of mind, body and spirit. And I am hanging in there, once again, overwhelmed in the moment,  loving it. “Is there anything   else, Mari?” “No. I think I’m ok.” And so we begin, together, Steve and Mari and Cathy and  I, upholding, loving, supporting; breathing, relaxing, feeling, watching and allowing. Believing in our own  respective essential nature’s: Gorgeous, gracious, giving, loving and wonderful: Yoga……

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gratitude 3:3.16

Such a gift 50 degrees was today, and so, so bright. Outside on the back porch after I’d done a ball, blanket and strap inventory out of the barn yard doors of the Mini Cooper, I looked up and spied a ton of branches birthing leaves. The sky sparkled and even as the trees clicked and clacked with the gentle breeze, it was the Robins chattering away that truly caught my attention.

Bevie was setting up the new elevated bed for our garden. We talked about watermelon and I remembered a story about Laura Ingalls and a fever and eating the pink fleshed fruit, that made us both laugh. “You know when Pa said he was going into town it was Mankato, right?” We both kind of laughed again, realizing that our lives, in spite of these incongruous twists and turns, were actually manifesting way better than we had imagined.

Gratitude reveals itself in these impossibly irregular, infinitesimal ways, in complete opposite, oftentimes, to the magic mystery tour that loops inside my mind. Reality used to frustrate the hell out of me. “Whose life is this?” I would ask myself, wondering when the local news channel would be calling so I could be featured as the first person in the world who could actually prove she was living someone else’s existence. I’m pulled back by Bevie, showing me where she thinks the best place will be to plant the garlic.

Danielle, my gifted business partner texts with yet another awesome design for our Summer Promotion. I sip on a late afternoon glass of Chardonnay, the sun sweeping low on the western horizon. “Should we have the Panang Shrimp Curry with the Pad Thai?”, Bevie asks. I nod, seduced by the gentle warmth, the tartness of Spring all around me, incandescent, sharp, alive.



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gratitude 4:2:16

I spent the morning riffing on manipura chakra (3rd) and personal power. Oh my God, the challenge to love anyway; self, others, those who really, really don’t deserve to be loved, (from our perspective). Honestly, it’s scary, confusing, enervating stuff, and should, in my experience, always be discussed, explored and dissected with a firm hand to hold close by.

Here’s what we unpacked: Living a fully purposeful, connected and whole-hearted life encompasses this giant, tender, sweet, sweet love. It means cracking our hearts open to experience the nectar of our soft heart, feeling it all, and believing that within that witnessing lies the opportunity to more expansively live, beyond the resistance offered by the negative emotion. That’s honestly, really, really tough; smack your head on the table painful, sometimes, but so worth the surrender as it opens us up to a life that fully inhabits the spiritual journey that we were created to live. Inspired to manifest, born to blossom, uncontrollably unfurling into oblivion.

So, I love anyway. In spite of the obstacles, the pre-conditioned patterns of belief, the genetic predispositions, the desire to desire what I desire when I desire it. Because I know that my power to love exists energetically within me. I don’t need to be loved to love. I don’t need to see the love of others to love. I don’t need to experience love to know a deep, deep love deep within myself. And my journey, in this short life, invites me to energetically and powerfully and authentically express it outwards, so it reflects inwards; symbiotically vibrating in love. Over and over and over again, I surrender to it, in love.



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gratitude 3:31:16

I used to be addicted to accomplishment, literally. I could never achieve enough, There was always an opportunity to create more, and I took it, mostly because I thought it would make me happy. I wasn’t, it didn’t; but my exhaustion grew exponentially and I became irritable and unreasonable and disconnected without really knowing it.

Here’s what I did, and still do, to connect to my heart and open myself up to my own sense of happiness:

  1.   Build in rest periods into every single day.
  2. Lie on my back and breathe in guided meditation for at least 10 minutes a day.
  3. Reach out to my tribe and do an expression assessment. In honesty, daily.
  4. Let go of at least one bubbling resentment daily.
  5. Practice gratitude daily.
  6. Wear life loosely.
  7. Cultivate balance.
  8. Look myself in the eye and say I love you.
  9. Do the same to someone else.
  10. Honor the glass as neither half full nor empty, but just as a beautiful glass.  Again and again and again, daily.
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I’ve been working Truth all week. It stings a little. I’m not a dishonest person, I’ve said to myself, the dashboard of my car, my mother. But the truth is, really, that I am not always truthful. I skirt the edges of a deep and perfect commitment to the truth mostly because it hurts a lot, sometimes, to be there, and I just don’t want to do it. So I suffer, needlessly, separated from my True Self because of my own stubborn, sly intransigence.

As I drove home the moon was incandescent off the lake. I wanted to stop and peer over the edge of the bank and take a look at my face in the light reflected and manifest a more buoyant truth for myself; something less edgy, softer, easier to absorb. But I didn’t, because I knew that no matter how inconsolable my ego chose to be, my life was meant to be lived exactly as I was living it

There’s gratitude in the begrudging acknowledgement of that impervious, irreproachable, irrefutable truth. I sigh into it; softening, accepting, bearing witness. It’s not easy, but  it’s living; alive, heart broken wide-open, juicy flowing energetic me. There’s a lot of love there, swirling, co-inhering and glimmering with my truth. I think I’ll embrace it ferociously. It’s time.


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6th chakra image

Totally Spent…..Much gratitude!

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I’m zipping along, pedal to the metal, somewhere between Wayzata and Roseville, in-between sessions, thinking about invitations. Here’s a typical sequence of events in my head: That seems really interesting, I’ll wait to be invited…. I’m sure I’ll be invited…. I’ll work the positive energy in the moment to be invited…. I’m not asking….What’s the worst thing that could happen if I ask?…I’m over-thinking the asking….F*ck it, I’m asking.

And in the asking a door opens. Actually several doors usually open, and my life expands serendipitously, wondrously, unexpectedly,  EVERY SINGLE TIME!

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  1. I’m funny, in my own unique way.
  2. I know when to lie down.
  3. Saying No when I should is not a problem for me.
  4. I’m pretty passionate about almost everything that I do, but not annoyingly so.
  5. I eat everything with gusto.
  6. I can look you in the eye when I have to say the hard thing.
  7. I don’t say the hard thing unless I absolutely have to.
  8. My heart is always in it, broken open.
  9. I talk a good game but usually reveal that I am a quivering mass of jelly within a minute.
  10. I think I’m fun.
  11. I know how and when to be quiet.
  12. There’s a lot of good space all around me.
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gratitude 3:26:16

I’ve had a hell of a day of self-growth and opportunity for transformation and rejuvenation. Creating, cultivating and nurturing sattva (Balance) is often done quite simply for me by repeating positive affirmations. I use them as bhavanas (intention affirmations) that affirm my connection to the limitless, joyful, peaceful and free expression of me. I had to repeat all of them several times today:

  1. I am beautiful, inside and out.
  2. I am strong, vibrant and alive in mind, body and spirit.
  3. I am love and I am loved.
  4. I am breathing, relaxing, feeling, watching and allowing.
  5. I am peace, I am joy and I am free.

Namaste and thanks for all of the awesome support. So much gratitude.

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images-4.jpgI asked the intrepid yogis at Minnetonka Shores if they would be willing to do a group selfie of abhaya mudra for my MNYTI Facebook page. There was a polite, classically Minnesota 3 second pause before the down the line response was a resounding no; even from Carol, who likes a bit of fun, and plays the slots once a month with her sister at Mystic Lake. I think I heard her say, “absolutely not,” underneath her breath. I laughed out loud and thanked them all for keeping it real, even though, in my mind, each of them, in their own right, are the exact women I most want to emulate and see admired.

The collective age is 88. Today, Jean, Marilyn’s 60 plus year old daughter was our guest. “She’s a really good tennis player,” Marilyn boasts. I smile sympathetically at Jean and offer up only one life line:”This is not Grandma Yoga, Jean, hang onto your hat.” Even Norma, aged 90 who never laughs, smiles. Everyone else gives an empathetic glance towards Jean. And we begin.

Really, video at this point would be best. There are absolutely no adequate words to describe the wonder of bearing witness to women who break their hearts open twice a week purely because they love it. Ginny, newer to the group, who nursed her husband and her sister to their respective deaths in a 15 month time span has been practicing hard. “Look at you, Ginny!” “I bought my own strap at Walmart, Susan,” as she rotates her shoulders all the way on to her back. Marlene, age 88, two weeks off a mini-stroke exclaims out loud: “I’m not sure I’ve stood up this straight in 8 decades!”

We all laugh, even Jean, a little out of breath, struggling to keep up. Marilyn gazes over lovingly. “Way to go, Jean,” I offer up as encouragement. All of us, breathing and moving and flowing as best as we can. In this moment, everything is perfect, shimmering, so, so lovely. I want to take a picture, but I promised I wouldn’t, out of love and honor, and respect for the beautiful women that they are; the wild, wondrous and wooly woman they help me to be.

So much, so much, so, so much….I hope the words are enough.



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