Hold Me Sweetly


Again, I am drinking my Yogi brand tea for Throat comfort, and again I am reminded that the best things come in small packages.

“Trust creates peace”

I have so many people mistrusting me lately for reasons based in their own fears. I realize now it was their own fears, but in the heat of the fire, I was panicked, unsure, anxious, doubting myself, which only played into their view (projection) of me. I alleviated the worst of it yesterday, and today was full of so many wonderful affirmations from professionals, friends, and strangers alike that I am the good person I thought, and not the monster these people made me out to be.

If trust creates peace, then mistrust creates hell, for everyone involved. Trust has to also include trust in yourself. Trust in yourself really requires trust in something larger than you. Call it what you want, but being able to trust that things are truly happening as they need to is not easy. It takes surrender.

I received a healing from my friend today, who used to train in Sufi healings, and it was interesting what came up. Not surprising, but interesting.  He told me to drop into my heart, and I honestly didn’t know what that meant. I still don’t, but I thought about opening, breathing into my heart, etc. At first, lights behind my eyes were billowing in and out, in the shape of a heart, and purple even. Then, I tried to envision my physical self, with the area of my heart expanding with each breath, and in my mind’s eye, that area was caved in. It just wouldn’t budge and expand.

From there, my body felt very large and heavy, like I was inside a giant rock, but it didn’t bother me, and I didn’t feel stifled. I transitioned out of that into something else…so much I forget it all. At one point, my friend told me to ‘feel completely supported’, and I was instantly brought back to one of the darkest, most challenging times in my life. It was one of the nights shortly before I gave up my dream of dance.

I had a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School, but I didn’t have any way to support myself. My body was shutting down. My hips were so tight and painful that I sat out of many classes. I never went to anyone for help. I called up my pilates instructor one night in desperation to alleviate some of the tightness and pain so I could take class.

She had me lie down on the floor of my little basement room and put my legs up the wall. ‘Now, let the floor completely support you. You don’t have to hold yourself. Feel completely supported.’  And as the floor came to meet my body and hold me, I broke down. Like a little girl running to her mom’s embrace, I sobbed. I had been holding my pride, holding my life together, holding in my hurt and pain, and my body reflected it. I wasn’t even able to trust that the ground beneath me would support me.

Today was a reminder to trust that the world around me will hold me. I need not resist or hold or brace against anything. That is lack of trust in everything in the world, which is really all one breathing soul with limitless manifestations. How can I not trust that which is of me? When I start hurting and feeling like things aren’t going well, that somehow I am not a part of this amazing world of peace and light, I will PAUSE, FEEL the earth and the space around me, SURRENDER to the moment, and be THANKFUL for this universe that holds me so sweetly.


When the heart speaks….move


I remember when I first started Anusara yoga, and the teacher said to ‘melt your heart.’ I really didn’t get it, and I am still in the process of “getting it.” In fact, I always will be, and that’s one of the wonderful things about yoga. Forever a student.

One of the first thoughts I had when I realized this was an actual theme in Anusara was of Gelsey Kirkland, a ballerina I idolized when my life WAS ballet. Her first book Dancing On My Grave fascinated and scared me. Her passion for dance and perfection drove her to severe anorexia and cocaine abuse. It scared me because I wanted that intensity. I wanted to let the passion overtake me and drive me, to give in completely to it and see where it took me.

Her next book The Shape of Love amazed me. In it, she was coaching a dancer in a role that she had herself danced. She was trying to get the dancer to stand up from a chair with her heart. Over and over, she told the girl to try again. I forget how long it took (over an hour), but she would not give up until the dancer initiated and continued her movement with her heart. Gelsey really strove to get to the root of things. She was obsessed, but the beauty of the purity of what she strove for changed my view of dance and ballet forever.

Now, half a lifetime later, I am again tapping into that part of myself in both yoga and dance. Some days are better than others. I am different now. I am older, stiffer, bigger (not saying much, since I was anorexic then), a mom of a teen, and a doctor of pharmacy. For years, I went against my heart, and instead went to school. I did dance for a bit during that time, but realized I had to finish my degree, so quit dance yet again.

During that long 10 years of my life, I tried to compensate by being a gym rat, running in a marathon, competing in endless triathlons, and then cycling.  When I broke my hip in 2008, I couldn’t swim or run, so I ended up sticking mostly with cycling for the next 3 years. For three years, I was bent over a book or a computer and bent over my bike, cycling ’round and ’round in a uniplanar existence. Head down, I plunged ahead toward my goal of a terminal degree, striving for excellence, pushing, pushing, pushing my limits all the time.

Now, my psoas is tight, my sciatica is flaring up, and my heart is barely peeking through it’s little house. So, I did what I always do when I need to get back to my roots. I started yoga class.

Enter Anusara Yoga into my life.

I found myself quickly emerged in a practice where the benefits carried themselves over into my life off the mat. I am learning to listen to my heart, to feel my heart, speak from my heart, and one day to move from my heart.

I bring this all up because of an article I read today titled Love As Alchemy.  It spoke of receiving love through our backs behind our heart. Our backside, the Divine, the unknown, where we build trust. The Love that is always there. I have had a painful tightness for about 2-3 weeks now right behind my heart, between my shoulder blades. I almost feel that if I bring my should blades together tightly enough, my spine would pop. Many times, I have wanted to ask someone to press on it, for it felt like if someone pushed really hard, my spine would pop and release there, and the pinching would go away. I figured it was from the kayaking I did, but I should know better. It’s my heart, which has recently been through a lot.

I had been thinking of being a channel of love, rather than collecting it behind my heart. I guess there are multiple ways to view it. You can move love through you, soaking it up to nourish your soul, then giving it your flavor and offering it back into the world. You don’t hold onto it like a material object, but it forever changes your make up. Your cells come alive and dance, and you FEEL love. Your heart swells and glows, radiates and pulsates, with the in-pouring of love. And love is all around us. When we open up, we can fill that well, nourish our cells and our soul and offer it back to the world.

It can be scary to open up our hearts, but we are only opening to divine grace, so what is there to be afraid of? Afraid of being fully me? Afraid of my own beauty and brilliance? That’s silly, and yet it happens. And so the mission to open and receive love so that we may transform ourselves and offer love back to others continues.

Dance of Desire

I have recently decided to dance more, express myself more, and play with movement, so I have been watching more dance videos and the like, drooling over the strength and fluidity some of these people have. Check out these folks:

So You Think You Can Dance?

I recently decided to stop avoiding the part of my life that has always brought me joy, which is movement, especially expression through movement. I love cycling, running, etc, but there is no expression of life’s emotions through it. I don’t bring a smile or tear to anyone’s face with that, and it doesn’t give me the deep down feeling of satisfaction and freedom that dance does. SO, I took my first dance class since 2005 tonight. It started with classical jazz, very showgirl like, then transitioned over to hip-hop with lots of fun attitude, and then to a dark, angular contemporary piece. I looked and felt good. The goosebumps were flowing along with all of the adrenaline of traveling through my body and through space to great music.

I can still dance! I bounced out of that class, sweaty and happy to know that I have started on my path, but also that I never really fell off. It’s still in me, and I intend to keep exploring and expressing myself through movement.

You Never Promised Me a Rose Garden

Today, I got my daughter and her friend out of the house. We headed out to Baldwin Beach for “Gratitude”, a free event with live music, DJs, hula hooping fun, and even fire dancers. I caught a few photos, but wish I had caught the last fire dancer. She lit up several parts of her hoop and did some things that even without the fire were impressive. I had a blast dancing to the first DJ, Del Sol. FYI, dancing in deep, loose sand can be a bit difficult, great exercise for the calves!

The title of the blog? It just happened to pop into my head.

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Not As Planned

This evening did NOT go as planned.

I first figured I would try a lyrical dance class, which is followed by a salsa class, at a yoga studio new to me. Well, it turned out I was going to miss the first class, so I decided I would go for a run, clean up, then take Keely with me to the salsa class. I figured she could watch, or maybe go shop at Rainbow Attic. Well, when we got there the studio was closed. I guess there was no lyrical dance class tonight. Finally, a guy with LONG black dreads walked up to the door and unlocked it. I figured he must be the salsa instructor. I asked Keely if she wanted to take the class with me, and off we went.

Keely had a really hard time getting even very basic steps at first, and when I would normally be frustrated, I was excited to be giving my daughter an unexpected gift. She REALLY needed some instruction. None of it was new to me, but all of it was to her. In just under two hours, she learned the basics, then cumbia, some turns, and some partnering. It was fun to watch her go from being very self-conscious and worried about messing up to being lost in the immediate task of picking up the movement and rhythm. I wouldn’t say she was lost in the moment. She hasn’t reached that comfort level. Oh, how wonderful it would be to see her reach that point!

This evening did not go as planned, and I am GLAD!

Sometimes, your day is just odd…

After work, I went for a quick run…it was really hot, so I wasn’t very fast. The beach running didn’t help. I made sure to end at the beach, where I approached the water slowly, just getting my feet wet first. It’s not good to drop your body temp too fast. Then, I knelt and stretched a bit, which felt awesome. I love looking at the grains of sand on my skin.

There were some older, larger men trying to boogie board there, and when I walked into the ocean in my running clothes, they looked at me like I was crazy. I can’t say how amazing it is to lie in the water, totally relaxed, and the outside world just vanishes. I hope to hear the whales someday.

The walk home was pleasantly slow, and then I had an interesting talk with my new roommate, M. I think we have something to teach each other, just haven’t had a chance to figure it out yet. Then, I showered and got ready for a night out in Paia. My running friend R had invited me to a tribal belly dance performance at Moana Cafe. My co-resident was going to go but backed out, so I headed out alone in my pretty feminine garb. My ex and daughter didn’t know what to do with themselves, so they showed up. I really had wanted to have time alone, and it took me a while to get over the fact that my night without my daughter ended up being the night with both my daughter and my ex-husband. C’est la vie. The dancing was nice, the music great, the food expensive but fresh and yummy. My favorite was the breadfruit. My new fave!

Walking back to my car, hoping I didn’t get a ticket, I was suddenly struck by the tall grasses on the side of the road swishing and swaying in the light of the nearly full moon. It seemed almost as if they were talking. Paia has an interesting energy I hope to experience more often.

When I got home, there was a HUGE moth flying around. I thought it was a bat at first, but thankfully it wasn’t. It was really whipping around, freaking out Keely. When I left it, it was hanging out on the cork board. I managed to get some good pics, but I wasn’t able to get it even close to the front door. My roommates also left food on the counter, which I am concerned about. Fruit doesn’t get left out, nor does an open bag of pretzels. I hope that by morning they are still okay and that my kitchen isn’t infested with ants.

Now, I am tired, as I have been for the last several daily posts. I really need to post earlier in the day, so that I don’t have disjointed sentences and undeveloped thoughts. In any case, I have a pet moth now, and I want to dance again. I want to move my body in all planes.  It helps me feel complete.

Yep, some random thoughts for your perusal. My eyes are drooping, so I must sign off.