It’s been awhile since I wrote. Some of this is due to the places my mind has wandered lately, down dark and lonely roads. But some of this is also due to being out of practice.

My honesty has felt terrifying even to me, so I stopped practicing writing it out publicly and went underground. Found other ways to let it out – primarily the aforementioned dark places that my mind has wandered. Anxiety creeps out of the cracks of the mind-box I’ve tried to shove it in, and since I won’t create, my body trembles with the force of holding it in.

Previously, I would have bled out on paper. But I haven’t been able to. And then I got too tired. Writing felt exhausting. I didn’t lift a pen for a couple weeks. Then I started thinking about the practice of writing.

Writing doesn’t just happen when inspiration strikes.

but, you see, this is when I have usually written. And when inspiration doesn’t strike, I don’t speak, so I let it lie. Leave the ground barren and fallow, and all my blog readers drift away, tiring of waiting for me.

These are not excuses. These are lessons learned. Writing is not magic. Writing can be born of tired, bored moments, too. Not just the electric ones I wait for. In fact, maybe better writing comes from the mundane. The tedious, tenacious task of doing the same thing every day, slowly growing your skill from persistent practice.

My yoga teacher training lately has been talking about this very subject. Devoted practice. I’m finding out that I’m… well, not bad at it per se, but very undisciplined. I like to follow the shine and glimmer of newness. In yoga teacher training, I’m finding that it’s wearing off. Now I get to dig in even deeper (and with great love) to do the work. To stay consistent, even and especially when, I do not want to.

I’m finding that a big key to all of this is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.14: “Abhyasa, the practice, is the effort to remain firmly established in one’s own true Self; it is cultivated over a long time, through earnest and reverent energy, and with great love.”

So inspiration is still slow to strike. and I must admit that is again why I am here tonight, although now it’s 10:13pm and the inspiration that made me a lightning rod earlier is now wearing off. It’s taking a bit more effort to hammer out these words.

But it was my sister’s practice that inspired me.

See, she’s been taking a drawing class this semester. From the beginning of the semester until now, she’s worked hard and stuck with it, and her improvement is marked. Today, I felt a huge rush of gratitude when she told me how she was now using her talent to also process some personal things.

Besides the gratitude though, it reminded me of my own work. My sister… my lovely sister Grace who turned 18 on the 30th (holy crap! I remember when she was born!) pointed me back to my own work. And she reminded me that I can use even my darkest, most painful, most shameful feelings in a brave act of creation.

I’ve been scared to be vulnerable because


I’ve got some ugly shit going on in there and I don’t even want to see it. Me. The one who holds it in me. Yikes. That crap is too scary. My teacher talks about how yoga opens up the door to the basement where we’ve been stuffing crap forever. Well, the basement door got opened up for me and, really I’d rather just keep slamming the door and pretending it doesn’t exist.

Oh. And the other thing is, all that stuff in the basement reminds me that I have choices. Lots of them. All of them in fact, and all mine. For the first time in my life that I can remember, I am basing my entire life off of my own choices.

That thought in itself makes me want to hide forever. As awesome as that sounds, choice is dizzying. Decisions can make or break my whole life (I overdramatize sometimes). I’ve never picked up the pen and become an autobiography, instead of just a simple biography. I’m unused to the feel of my own fingers penning words I choose to ink down. Something about this, something about the idea of authoring my own story, scares the shit out of me. Something about the idea of choice is terrifying.

(I’m trying to be gentle with myself right now, because… sweetheart, so much new. and it’s okay, and I know this is different and hard, and like you’ve lived underground and you’re seeing the light for the first time. It’s going to be okay, I promise)

So, you can see why I’d like to stop practicing, frankly. Yawn yawn, nothing shiny and fun here, nope, just a basement full of crap I’d rather not deal with. I’d rather stay in boredom and allow that to lead me to something shinier, more electrifying. I’d rather chase the high. (As my teacher would say – isn’t that interesting? When the practice is finding your true Self, you’re… bored?)  Fear is… chilling, ghastly, panic-inducing. Give me something fun so I can keep pretending it’s not there.

This is where the going gets tough. I was warned this would happen. I’ve never before noticed how this happens for me, though. It’s not by just running away… boredom is the name of the game. Procrastination is another name it goes by. So, it’s time to practice with it. Keep showing up even though I really don’t want to. Even though it doesn’t seem important (BO-RING). Even if it seems to be too much effort. It’s time for me to make my bones.

Patanjali’s first yoga sutra: “Now, this is yoga.

Yep, now, in the fear, in the boredom avoiding the fear, in all the things I feel that I am afraid to become… now. this. is. yoga.

The night I wrote this, I practiced by expressing some things I’ve been afraid to. In an effort to continue that practice, I’m sharing it with you:

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That great love part in Patanjali’s I.14 sutra is very central, for me. I can muster up plenty of earnest and reverent energy. But I have found in the past that this results in performance. It’s only when I’m approaching my practice out of great love for myself, and for those around me, that I am able to continually remain firmly established in my true Self. Without that love, I am much too apt to stop showing up, because fear takes over.

So here I am… committing again to practice. With earnest and reverent energy. And great, great love.


Learning Love… Slowly.

When I was a teenager, I thought I had love all figured out. I wrote poems pretending I knew what love was. Mostly because I desperately wanted to know what love was. I wanted to gulp it down thirstily without tasting its essence. I wanted to believe that the person I was in love with was -The One.-

(He wasn’t.)

At 25, I’ve realized that I don’t know altogether what love is. Maybe because love can’t be pinned down in one place. It looks differently with each person. Love between sisters has a different shape than love between friends. Love between friends is molded differently than it is between lovers. For that matter, love for one sister may differ from love for the other, which we don’t like to say. Favoritism is an ugly word. But maybe it’s not favoritism… maybe it’s just that the shape is different.

Maybe love is like me and my kitty hanging out around the house. She lays down on my lap and falls asleep, content. Or, she runs around, batting at my pant legs, pawing my computer cords, hiding in the dark of my bedroom, or rushing around the living room like a cat straight outta hell. She can’t be pinned down, then, and if I pick her up she struggles to get down. She’s 2/3 adventure, 1/3 cuddly sweet kitten.

Sounds familiar. I didn’t pick her – I think she picked me. 🙂

Calm kitteh is in the bag

“MOM put me downnnnn…”

ATTACKKKKK!!! (she’s about to bite my hand)

“Mooooom stop using me for a photo op and let me bite your hand!”

Maybe human love and animal love isn’t quite so different. 🙂 Somehow you end up loving a creature that takes over your space and can be kind of annoying, but they’re so adorable you choose to keep living with them.

Learning to love yourself is similar, too.

One day, I might learn the exact exposure that love is imprinted upon, the colors and contrasts that make it up. And I might not. I’m okay with not knowing ALL the ins and outs of love. Some things should be left to mystery, to the journey, to learning what it means to savor instead of trying to gulp before tasting.

“One can’t understand everything at once, we can’t begin with perfection all at once! In order to reach perfection one must begin by being ignorant of a great deal. And if we understand things too quickly, perhaps we shan’t understand them thoroughly.” (The Idiot)

I think I prefer to understand things slowly, if that means I learn them thoroughly. Especially when it comes to love.

And now I want to say to all of you – Happy Valentine’s Day – from me and my kitty Hermione 🙂 I am really grateful for all of my readers; thank you for “seeing” me, even if it is through the internet! I am blessed by the words we exchange here; I find this place sacred so much of the time and it’s because of you all. May your Valentine’s Day be full of love; may you feel precious and cherished today, because you are.

I am the Key.

 Some wires got crossed recently, I don’t know when, and my brain has been a little bit haywire. Drunk on abandonment issues that keep waving little red flags at me.

My life keeps hinging on whether this person responds to me, whether this person shows up at this place or not, whether people come through for me. Last night, I ended up at a meeting and I carried a black cloud in with me. I felt like it was buzzing around my head like a beehive of yuck. Why? Well, I had been caught up in my own thoughts (problem one) and had gotten really upset about a perceived abandonment issue that has come up a few times now around a certain situation. I was brought to the verge of tears but I COULDN’T CRY DAMMIT which meant I couldn’t process it and move on. So from there it turned into rage-like intensity.

suckerpunch gun

This is a painful admission. I definitely threw my cell phone at the windshield last night in a moment of intense feeling. I am not sure if I would call it rage at people. It was more like PAIN. Pain that I didn’t know how to deal with, because I came to the verge of tears that I couldn’t cry.

Something niggling inside me constantly whispers to me that people are going to leave me, FOREVER. It will be the end. They all really hate me. They all talk behind my back about how inconsistent I am, and how crazy I am, and how this and that I am. They pretend they love me but secretly behind my back they’re saying things about me. They say they love me but when it comes down to it, they don’t show up for me.


At least, this is what my head says. And something in me is really, really tiptoeing around the soreness this causes in my heart. For that matter, my heart is really sore about it, and I’m not sure why so sensitive. It’s not always. But it has been lately.

Lately, when people have brought issues like this to me that they are dealing with in their own life, I have one piece of advice for them.

“How are you doing this to yourself? You are feeling this way about what others are doing to you, but how are you doing this to yourself?”

That’s what comes up for me here. I am upset and feel abandoned by others, or at least feel as if they will INEVITABLY abandon me. So – how am I doing that to myself?

Because honestly in the end, I don’t know if it’s so much about what other people are doing to me. It’s about what I allow, about how I take care of myself, about how I speak up for myself, and about how I don’t abandon myself. Not how others don’t do this for me. How I don’t do this for me.


I am the key.

So now I get to choose if I am going to fight for myself, or not. That’s what I’m working to remember; I am responsible for myself, and I am responsible for staying with myself. I’m working to remember to point the finger where it belongs – right at my heart.