surrender dorothy…

surrender is not a word i take lightly to…

i use it in my teachings…asking students to surrender fully to the pull of the earth… but it is always in a place of safety and trust. teaching them that the earth won’t let them fall…and to believe in it.

but see…i’ve been sick. knocked flat by bronchitis. i honestly can’t tell you the last time i had this – must have been my teenage years and i had no recollection of how hard of a punch this infection could land on you. and wow do i have a surge of compassion for anyone who ever has to get well from this. i have been literally 6+ days sofa-bound. fighting it all the way because it meant no teaching, i tearfully had to cancel the much-anticipated trip up to provy to see elizabeth, and no visitors as i was told i was uber-contagious. bryan and his dad were both travelling and that left nothing but the menagerie and streaming netflix to keep me company…i think i watched something like 15 movies, most of them a hazy nyquil-infused memory (though i was certainly drawn to chick flicks – before sunrise, after sunset, once, like for water for chocolate!)

the malaise alone was exhausting and it felt like my subconscious need and desire for white space and nothingness suddenly spun out of control and went into hyper-drive…enforcing a literal physical inability to do anything at all.

plus, what was making me so, so mad was that i had been doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS! resting well, yoga, good walks, eating healthfully, i felt so, so good…how could this happen? i felt so betrayed by my body, i felt anger, frustration and spent many an hour on the phone with elizabeth complaining. i was fighting it every step of the way…and then things changed.

early one morning, the sweet kitty who had been one of my furry nursemaids, found the perscription albuterol inhaler the doctor had given me on monday and knocked it to the floor…little eli thought it made a good chew toy and the strange hissing sound it made as his sharp teeth punctured the canister freaked all of us out. some google research, a call to the vet, watching him carefully and then within the hour we were in the vet ER with a case of albuterol poisoning…his heart pounding, he lay lethargic and panting in my arms as i drove to the vet…we almost lost him.

thankfully our vet is a toxicology expert and knew exactly what to do…it was like a triage center….nurses, tubes, blood pressure, IV… everything moved fast and he was stabilized quickly and actually home with me that evening**…both of us exhausted. all i could think was that if i had not been home when it happend he would be gone. followed by, had i not been sick, i wouldn’t have had the inhaler that poisoned him.

the riddle infuriated me and i spun it around in my head until at last i realized i just had to let it go. there was no other choice, nothing could be done so just let go of the anger, the frustration, let go of fighting something i had no control over and instead snuggle down into the sofa — gratefully — with the puppy and SURRENDER to our bodies natural process of healing.

and there i stayed. i’m still not fully well…but i’m able to spend a few hours puttering around before i need a nap so i know i’m on the upswing! eli is doing well, barely phased at this point though he does have a few days more on some blood pressure medicine that makes him a little sleepy. with any luck, i hope to get that provy trip back on for later this week too!

xo

**so cute, he was so happy to be leaving the vet in that eager, excited doggie way. but when the two of us actually got HOME he was even more excited. he was jumping up and down and wagging and rolling on to his back to have me rub his belly…as though i had just walked in the door from being away. when actually we had both just walked in the door together. it was this moment when i realized he understood what HOME was and that home is different from me. he’s a smart boy.

the physics of expansion…

just a moment that caught my attention…

there have been countless moments lately when i look up at the clock expecting hours to have passed when in reality – it’s only been a few minutes.

when i seem to be able to lose myself to the drifting of clouds…

or the sound of a heavy summer rain…

or a snuggle with eli…

or preparing my dinner…

or a daily chat with elizabeth

or creating a painting…

or reading a book…

see, time expands when you don’t fill it with endless amounts of busy…i had no idea. i had believed that time expands when you fill it with as much as you can and then tick it off on your to-do list or your bucket list…done done done. but i was wrong. so wrong.

earlier this year, when i traveled to indonesia i had such a hard time being on vacation. the downtime was incredibly hard for me with the lack of purpose, and the uprootedness of being away from home and my routines…i knew there was something to look at in all of that and mainly it stemmed from one uncomfortable emotion: guilt

so as i’ve been in transition this summer, having left my day job to take a leap and pursue a life more aligned with my values and dreams, i’ve somewhat slowly given myself permission to take this month “off” and allow my life to become empty…to not fill the white space in order avoid feeling discomfort or boredom and to see what shows up…

and i’ve discovered the ability to see again. really see – it’s as though my eyes had been cloudy and now there is a brightness and sharpness to my vision. greens are more green, the world is just…vivid. and because of that, it makes me want to look more closely, more often, more deeply. to study the contours and patterns of life…

i’m teaching yoga again regularly and stretching my wings leading a level II class which really challenges me. i’m seeking ways to explain skillfully and artfully how to mindfully enter more advanced postures. i’ve realized i haven’t given my students enough credit, and they are ready and wiling to be pushed a bit more than i thought. simultaneously, my own practice has become a fixture again in my routines. one of the things that had been sitting heavily on me while in bali and after was this thought that maybe i was done with yoga? it held no joy for me, i didn’t seek it out, and i rarely rolled out my mat. i think between working so much at my day job and running the studio plus the myriad other projects i had going on, i had just completely burned out. i had so much guilt around my lack of interest in yoga…and i’ve come to acknowledge and accept that we all wax and wane – but the yoga is always there, loyal and waiting for me to rediscover it. which i have and it’s better that ever.

i started painting again. this has been another source of guilt…as a pleasure delayer, the art always comes last after filling every last moment of my day with the things i “should” be doing, as such there was never enough time to be creative. with the space this month i’ve actually planted flowers, built a cool little display for all my earrings out of an old window from india, i’ve started a vision board…and i’ve got all my paints and brushes out and they are being used…i have three canvases leaning against the wall in my home studio and by having all my stuff out it’s really easy to just do something here and there, or spend hours working on something…whichever moves me.

and i’ve been doing a lot of thinking about, shopping for and creating healthy meals…most of the meals the past year have been out. grabbing lunch on the way back from a meeting, or grabbing a lunch meeting, pizza, the local hangouts…literally every day because it was too exhausting to think about planning and cooking. now…i’m in love with salads, and buddha bowls (and kris carr’s crazy sexy diet has been a huge inspiration), healthy smoothies, and loads of water with lemon (and a bit of wine too!). mostly i’m just really enjoying the time spent nourishing my body…

mornings are the sweetest time for me…i teach every morning and wake up a full two hours early (which means 5:30am sometimes!) just so that i can really enjoy the beauty of the quiet mornings…a small cup of coffee, my journal and a front row seat for the light show as the sun rises on the dune that is my front yard.

and i really do know how utterly blessed i am to have this time to allow this space. i am so so grateful…everyday i am grateful…every time i look up at the clock and see i still have the day ahead of me i am grateful…every time i bow to my students at the end of my classes i say…thank you for sharing this with me. thank you for co-creating this experience. every time an osprey flies by overhead carrying a fish i say thank you…and also to the rainbow i saw this morning, and the sunshowers, and to simone who woke me with her purring today, and to eli’s pthalo turquoise tail, to elizabeth‘s bliss in her new apartment, to my girls, to my muse, to time and vision and all of it…thank you.

thank you.

thank you…

xo

oh, and sweet MB (a beautiful, inspiring yoga teacher out in the venice/santa monica area) featured me on her blog recently… check it out…and keep going back, she shares so much loveliness there.