getting my soul known again…

my hands in flora‘s class …photo by christine chitnis

i never seem to be able to put into words what squam does for me…i have the best intentions, writing notes to myself about this and that moment, and i get home tongue-tied because there is just too much…

but these words – sung by our jonatha, and originally written by woody guthrie  – have been running around in my head for more than a week now, and express it in a way that feels the best:

“I fully aim, to get my soul known again
As the maniac, the saint, the sinner, the drinker, the thinker, the queer
I am the WORKS, the whole WORKS
And it’s not ’till you have called me all of these things
That I feel satisfied, I feel satisfied.”


because it is there at S.A.W. that i understand that i have the soul of a painter, a poet, a mystic, a tree nymph, a siren, a seeker, a healer, a lover, a listener, a muse, a guide, a teacher and a student…and it is there that i can fully embrace the paradoxes. there is nowhere else on earth that i’ve yet found that satisfies all of these things like that lake, and those days, and all the amazing co-creators of that experience. we each show up, with our baggage both literally and figuratively and we look around at everyone else’s bag and say “you know, i have one that looks just like that, and here we are together at last. and i get you. i see you. where have you been all my life?”

S.A.W. breaks me down gently, with just enough (literal and figurative) discomfort to put me safely out of my comfort zone, to wake me up, to give me compassion for those that are cold or anxiety ridden or lonely or sitting in self-criticism, and then it fills me up in such a way that i walk through those woods tear-filled, love-filled, and compassion-filled with my arms and heart wide open and ready to serve…

and i know elizabeth’s vision calls to me…and i know my soul answers.



  1. Fantastic post Michelle. It was wonderful to meet you and a wonderful surprise to get to take your yoga class after all. For me, the power of SAW is that everyone who comes hears Elizabeth’s vision and takes a little piece of it home with them. xxx

  2. girl, poet indeed you are– and painter, teacher, yogi, student, artist, mystic, wood nymph, and may I say SUCH MY DARLINGEST SISTER FRIEND– god, you, my friend– how lucky am I?

  3. Beautifully said and you can tell it came from your soul.
    Though I did not take classes with you I saw you about the campgrounds and you had such a bright energy.
    Be well.

    Karen D

  4. michelle! i have had that song of jonatha’s (and woody) in my head all week, too! i’m really enjoying your writing and will add you to my reader, will look forward to hearing more. and thanks for the lovely gentle squam yoga class on thursday. xh

  5. Thank you very much for being so kind to me. I will always be happy to have been your “sister” even if only for a little while. I hope we meet again in the future. Thank you again.

  6. Michelle, your words are soulful and beautiful. So well said. Thank you for your wonderful class on Thursday. it was just the stretch I needed to spread my wings and fly.

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