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Stand up and Cheer!

I always cry at curtain calls. I just can’t seem to keep my eyes dry when the performers bow and the audience applauds.  It is such a beautiful display of mutual gratitude.  The performers put their hearts out for you to see, they make an offering of their talent and hope that it will be well received.  The audience is inspired, moved, elated by their offering.  In the end the audience claps as if to say “thank you, we received your gift and appreciate it” and the actors bow as if to say “thank you for being here and hearing what we had to say.” It is the perfect exchange of … well, of love. Read more

Languages

While out to dinner the other night, my Love and I were discussing goals for the New Year.  As he listed some of his, I reflected that he seemed to have several categories: career, personal development, artistic.  He stopped me and said, “ in my mind, its all language.”

At first this confused me because learning Spanish was in fact one of his goals, which in my mind was personal development.   But he went on to explain that all of his goals were essentially about learning, or getting more adept at, different languages.  For example; music is a language, getting better organized is a language, investing is a language. Once he explained it that way, I understood it.  The more I thought about it, the more I embraced this metaphor!

My list of goals also includes items that could be termed languages.

One is literal: I am determined to learn French.

Well, maybe two are literal: I want to expand my word usage so that I communicate more clearly, mellifluously, succinctly.

The others may not present obviously as languages but they certainly could be. Read more

Seeking Silence

Silence.  Listen for it.  Can you hear it in the space between words? Between the whir of moving vehicles, the cell phone chatter, the music, the voices wanting to be heard?

Our World is busy.  It is loud out there. Silence can get lost in the hustle. So can space. As in the space to process an idea before forming an opinion about it.  Or the space to ponder the answer before turning to Google.   Or the space to look at, really look at, the person with whom you are speaking.

I am a quiet person by nature.    That is not to say that I don’t enjoy cranking up the volume of my favorites songs, the street noise of a city, riotous laughter coming from a group of strangers.  I love those things.  But I crave pockets of silence and find that they are increasingly hard to come by.

We fill the spaces with glitter and fluff disguised as productivity and importance.  But the silence begs equal attention! We get so impatient with it, trying to change it into something it is not — like activity, words, noise.

But there is stillness to be found amidst chaos.  I remember walking the streets of SoHo at Christmas time many years ago.  It was so crowded and bustling that it overwhelmed me.  I was alone and decided (without deciding) to stop in my tracks and just take in the madness.  It became a beautiful moment as I witnessed that I could be in it without being swept away by it.  I could walk slowly and let people hurriedly brush by me.  I could look up when everyone else was looking down.

Our environment does not need to change in order for us to seek our peace within it. Read more

Who Am I?

My recent online Journaling Experience featured 10 days of questions designed to help us gain a better understanding of our identity, what drives us and what stands in our way.  We began with the simple (profound) question: who am I?

When we meet someone new we often lead with questions such as: Where are you from? Are you married? What do you do?

So, we answer: I’m from California, not married but happily coupled, I teach yoga and dance.

These are all perfectly fine questions and answers but how much do they reveal about who we truly are?

For the “Who Am I” journaling assignment I advised the participants to avoid biographical descriptions and instead use the writing to explore who they are in essence, to dig deeper in expressing their self -identity.

The experience of eschewing labels and focusing on essentials makes for a rich journey indeed.  For me, what showed up on the page was a riff on three core traits (peace, doubt, love) that are present, for better or worse, in all that I “do” and in my relationships.

My pen delved enough to expose unexpected aspects of these seemingly general traits.  I also played with owning them (I am peace)  rather than wearing them as adornments (I am peaceful). Read more