I Have No Enemies

This week I have taught so much yoga to so many people of all ages, coming from different backgrounds, different generations, different mindsets. I watch their bodies but I see their souls as they sit peacefully, move slowly, and lie in stillness. I’ve watched the moon set as the sun, rising on the other side of the earth, casts a shadow that covered the full moon. I watched the moon rise again today, full and luminous. It is the same moon that is seen by people all over the word, of all colors, races, persuasions and religions. I’ve been an a place of deep peace, living, making my way in the world, just like all the students I have taught.

When I turn on the news and hear of great turmoil about memos releasing and opinion and words that spin around and around. Pause…I just imagine all of the people that I meet, making their way in the world regardless of all the categories we assign, regardless of all the places that they live and I don’t see any borders. And I don’t see any enemies. I just see souls and dreams and hope and struggle and people making their way on this earth just like I am, just like you are. Paraphrasing John Lennon,” I imagine all the people living life in peace.” Brene Brown’s research tells us “when you move in, it’s hard to hate.”

You may call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one. Peace out my friends. Love one another. Believe we are all one people living on the earth. We are all one.~Jai Bhagwan, Susan

If You Don’t Become the Ocean

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday. ~Leonard Cohen
The morning after Hurricane Earl kissed the outer edge of Tulum I left my beach side bungalow and walked to the edge of the sea. Despite the howling winds and pelting rain of the previous night, the waters were quiet, the sun shining softly. As I walked the beach the now tranquil waves flowed in and flowed out, the inhale and exhale of the Caribbean Sea. More evidence of the storm, an uprooted palm tree bobbed at the waters edge, displaying how closely intertwined was the cycle of storm and calm.
It was not lost on me that nature was a mirror of my inner experience, storm neighboring calm. Two weeks earlier I was shaken to the center by the sudden death of my closest friend. At that moment the inner winds were blowing, my mind swirling, seeking to find peace, meaning, answers. How inconceivable that life can be full and end so unexpectedly. How unbelievable that my practice asked me to ride the tide of loss and find inner stillness. How unimaginable that such tranquil beauty could abut a raging storm, yet how similar to our human experience.

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The Next Best Journey

Today, my 50th Birthday, I am reflecting on what I have learned over the past decade. The past 10 years have been greatly trans-formative, freeing, shackling, inspiring, illuminating, full of gain and loss. I entered the 40’s feeling strong, unbreakable, and courageous after overcoming the difficulties with health in my younger years. I felt unstoppable actually. Movement, challenge, change, exploring, creativity and passion were all themes that I explored. And grief, loss and inner searching entered time and again, bringing me to my knees in a new and different way each time. And now I come out at 50 know these things to be true for me, my truth today:

Be kind
Sit with great intensity
Adventure outward and explore within
Move slowly whenever you want
Pay attention
Practice gratitude
Surrender control of everyone but myself
Explore silence
Seek stillness
Create a simple, sustainable life
Trust myself and be trustworthy
Hold on lightly, everything changes
Love deeply even when you know it is not forever
Live in awe of Nature
Be willing to be WOWED by the Universe
Trust in the Greater Good
Be open to the next revelation, and then the next
Live in alignment with inner truth

Thank you all my friends for the wonderful birthday wishes.  Om Namo Shivaya. I bow to the highest Consciousness within. I am deeply honored to be on the continual journey we call life. I look forward to evolving into the next best version of myself. 

Jai Bhagwan,


Revealing the Hidden


Fallen leaves disguise the path, drawing my gaze toward the upper reaches of the forest.
Barren trees open up a landscape of tree trunks and branches in myriad colors of grey and brown.
Fingers of sunlight travel down jagged ravines, highlighting the remaining green and yellow foliage.
Rocky bluffs and cliffs appear, showing the rugged character of rock worn down by time.
The foundation of the earth is unmasked as November slips from colorful glory into quiet release.
Center stage, the forest’s scaffolding is exposed.
The hidden is revealed.

~sm 11-6-16

Yesterday I headed to the forest for a solo hike. Leaves crunching under my feet, the sounds of nature replaced the cacophony of voices, cars and technology. My eye was drawn upward to tree trunks and branches, the building blocks of the forest. With fall color receding, my attention was drawn to things I would never see during the “peak” of autumn color.
In yoga, the quiet practices of pranayama and restorative asana are similar to my experience in nature yesterday. When the body becomes still, the beauty of our inner essence rises to the surface. As we move from the distracted world of doing and attend to the subtle sensations of body and breath, we arrive in the world of Being. In stillness the hidden pieces of who we are can be seen. Transparent, there is nothing to hide the quiet beauty of our inner Wholeness. 
Meditation, restoration yoga, and quiet practices offer a gift; deeper knowledge of your inner song. Take time to listen to that melody. 
Jai Bhagwan. Victory to the Light of Awareness within each of us.

Leave Before I Stay, Stay Before I Leave

Photo: The first alleyCatYoga Studio, built with much help and support that led to one of the many “stay or go” crises of the past 8 years

This morning’s reading from The Book of Awakening hit very close to home for me. “If you try to teach before you learn, or leave before you stay, you will lose your ability to try.” ~Mark Nepo.

After an intense week of dealing with long held inner fear about safety over my health insurance situation, I found myself feeling like a deer in the headlights and simultaneously feeling like a caged animal, fighting for survival.  Living with a complicated chronic illness from my teens I now enjoy good health, yet the residue of the illness  not only lies in my body that requires care, but in the subtle places within me that store fear, manifesting as a strong need to ground, root, survive and feel safe in order to thrive. This fear, I realize, is always with me in small ways, always scanning for threat, always afraid to STAY lest what I commit to staying with be grasped out of my hands.

This past Friday as I dug through the details of the health insurance changes, the lack of adequate coverage offered in my area sunk in. I felt an anger come over me in a way that I have not felt in years. Anger towards those who have never experienced a fight for their life therefore holding indifference (knowing this is an assumption) regarding the dire need for healthcare for all people. Anger toward those who hold jobs that come with secure benefits resulting in the same indifference (knowing this is an assumption). Anger toward those who write the laws, those who profit from illness, those who hold judgement against me for using western medicine, those who have harmed me, against myself for choosing freedom and a creative life rather than remaining tied to heath care security. Anger towards those who label anger as bad, wrong, and un-yogic. Anger towards those who believe a teacher of yoga must always be centered and calm. Anger towards, Anger towards, ANGER TOWARDS…SO MUCH ANGER!
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