It is nighttime,
and the music of crickets
melds with the obscenities flowing out of my neighbor’s mouth.

Summer in Baltimore.

My body is tired,
and the whirr of my essential oil diffuser lulls me.
A cloud of frankincense and myrrh codistillate,
of lemon, neroli, and Eucalyptus globulus
perfumes my tiny room with the scent of heaven.

Fulfilled by the simple things,
grateful for this moment,
I remember that this is the only moment.

My mind wants to create so much,
to write, to express, to be meaningful.
My body reminds me how I’m not getting enough rest.

Caught between the heaviness of fatigue
and the fire of transformation,
what’s a yogini to do,
but sniff the essential oils and try to stay awake?

The Gift of Slowing Down


Slowing down has taught me some things…
I have learned that I don’t arrive any later,
but I do arrive more relaxed, more peaceful,
and I’m saving a lot on gas.

I see cars whipping around me,
drivers in a hurry,
hurrying up to wait
and I’m ambling along,
coasting to the red light,
catching up to them.

I slide into the spaces those who hurry leave behind.
I see the world around and I am peaceful.

There is much more of a flow now
as I am no longer swimming upstream
having given up the frantic pace,
the fight to keep up,
the fight against the current.

No more fight–I have let go.
I have allowed myself to be absorbed in the great ocean of being.

This is the gift of slowing down.

A Letter from Yesterday


Dear Lorien,

July 26, 2014 here.  Why didn’t you write during this, my day?
I waited for you, and I waited some more.
Waited for words to give me meaning.
And then my day came and went, and instead of writing,
you talked, and you listened.

You were at a friend’s house,
eating dinner with your friend and her husband.
You sat beside your husband,
laughing often with another friend who had come along.

You were missed, but now you are back home.
Give me some words so that I don’t float away into oblivion.
Let me live somehow in your words, your memory.

Sincerely yours,

July 26, 2014

Like a Good Neighbor


Impromptu date night.
My sister had watched the kids while I taught yoga earlier in the evening,
and she was willing to stay so that mommy and daddy could go out.
The kids were in bed,
and the hubby and I sneaked out for a dinner at the local tavern.
Rock star parking, right out in front,
and then bam!

Our neighbor called.
They’re a one car household,
and his wife and son were stranded a couple of miles away with a flat.

Without hesitation, we made a U turn,
and drove back to our street to fetch him.
He was so relieved and grateful to see us.
I squeezed between our kids’ empty car seats in the back seat,
our neighbor hopped up front,
and we were on our way.

I saw the flares first, and then the blinking hazard lights.
There they were, just waiting in the car, at night,
waiting for someone to help.
My neighbor leapt into action, jack, wrench, a few curse words.
We stayed with them the whole time.
I was the one who noticed the long screw stuck in the donut spare–
We were hopeful anyway.
The wheel was stubborn, didn’t want to come away from the mount,
but with lots of persuasion (male brute strength)
our neighbor finally got the thing off and mounted the spare,
which was also nice and flat.

So we drove behind them to the nearest gas station,
hazard lights blinking, 25 mph max,
where he discovered that the spare would hold no air.
One can of Fix a Flat later,
and we were once again following behind him
hazard lights blinking, 30 mph.

We drove like this all the way home,
and as we pulled up, my belly rumbling,
I thought, “How good it is to really help.”
The gratitude in my neighbor’s voice was priceless.

We had a fine feast of leftover pizza and pasta,
a meal fit for a king and queen.
My husband looked at me and said,
“I had a good time with you anyway, honey.”
It was a perfect date.



My work schedule has been out of balance for quite some time.  I have been missing my family, missing my husband, but wanting to further establish myself as a professional yoga teacher; priorities were skewed.  I tripled my number of classes in less than a year, and the strain on my marriage was growing more and more apparent.   I finally realized that it fell to me to make some changes in my yoga teaching schedule in order to regain balance with my family, with my husband.

Last night I wrote and sent an email to the studio manager, informing her that I would be giving up my Thursday evening classes and my Sunday evening class,  essentially cutting my schedule in half.  They are all  good classes with regular students; it felt a bit painful to have to give them up.

But then I thought of the fun things I’d be able to with my family with the additional free time, and I remembered that no amount of money could bring back the experiences I would continue to miss if I were keeping my focus of my career development.

Tonight in class I let my students know that I was rearranging my schedule in the effort to be home more with my husband and kids.  A few expressed disappointment, but they all understood.  One more week of Thursday night classes, and then I’ll be free to be with my family, to go on an outing to the library, or invite some friends over for a cook out, or take extra time reading my kids bed time stories, or craft, or just veg and watch a movie with my husband.  No amount of money is worth the time I spend with my precious family.

Cliff seems to be quite relieved that I woke up and realized how important it was to restructure our routine.  I’m glad I finally found the courage to do it.  I’m looking forward to the new adventures ahead, as I invest even more time into being present for my loved ones.


Come home to your self
Come home to your true nature, always waiting.
The changeless self in you wants you to come home.

Take a deep breath and remember who you are.
Remember the beauty that glows within.
Remember the changeless self.

Nothing in the outer world can satisfy you.
Don’t wait until your children are grown,
your family is gone,
before you realize that true wealth lies in your heart.

Share the love that you have
come home to your self,
the changeless self in you wants you to come home.

Slowing Down


And why was I running anyway?
Why do any of us run?
How did we get so speeded up in the first place?

When I slow down,
take a deep breath,
and look around with open eyes,
I see a beautiful life, my life,
watching me, wanting me to awaken.

Just observe how a dandelion seed floats on the wind,
or how the surf glides back along the wet sand into the ocean.
See the gentle ambling of a wide lazy river,
the way the willow leaves are rustled by the whispering summer breeze.

Witness the perfect unfolding of the sunrise, sunset,
the way the darkest of nights gives way to the light of day,
the way the coldest of winters melts into spring,
need I say more?

If I slow my body down
and move with my breath,
I notice subtle sensations I would’ve otherwise missed
in the hurried pace of the workaday world.
I see the gift of my body temple,
I am grateful beyond what I can say.

It’s in those little subtle places-
in those tiny little spaces-
where dance the mysteries of the universe.

Can you see them?
Those who hurry can not.

Let us slow down then,
and come back home to our true nature,
and remember that joy is here, now,
exactly where we are,
as we return to self,
as we once again embrace our own human being.


My husband told me about “hypermiling” the other day, how some guy holds the Guinness World Record for the highest MPG achieved in a vehicle.  Having traded in our gas guzzling Dodge Durango for an extremely fuel efficient Toyota Prius V just one week ago, I was intrigued to see what I kind of MPG I might be able to reach if I were to employ some of the hypermiling techniques.

Call it the inner nerd.  Call it the Mother Earth lover, who is feeling repentant for years of Type A driving.  Call it the kid who likes to play games with numbers…whatever you call it, I’m now amazed at the power of slowing down.

The most basic idea of hypermiling is to accelerate gradually and to anticipate traffic.  Take your time getting up to speed when the light turns green, and don’t exceed the posted speed limit.  If you see a red light up ahead, just allow your car to gradually slow down, which will save some wear on the brakes and decrease fuel consumption.  Take your foot off the gas going down a hill…

First of all, coming from where I come from, this is an entirely foreign–even scary–way of driving.  Both of my parents were pretty overt road ragers…and I’m exaggerating only a little.  Short of pulling out a gun and shooting people, or knowingly running people over, they pulled out every road rage trick in the book. As I child I would routinely hear curse words directed at other drivers, contempt for their choices, comments about their intelligence (or lack thereof), the assumption that they were actually trying to piss off the people around them.  I’d see my parents get red in the face often, make impolite gestures on occasion, and in general drive in a way that invoked fear the other passengers of the car.  I actually thought this was pretty normal, and would lash out in defense of this kind of behavior out of some kind of twisted loyalty to my upbringing whenever anyone would call me out for driving in a way similar to my parents.  It’s a miracle I haven’t gotten very many speeding tickets in my life time as a driver. I should have gotten way more than I did.

One of my spiritual teachers, Eknath Easwaran, recommends slowing down as an essential aspect of spiritual evolution.  He believed slowing down is so important that he made it one of the eight points in his system for spiritual living.  Whenever I have read about his idea of slowing down, I have thought, “Yes, I can do that. Yes, that makes sense.”  And I have  slowed down in many ways–while I’m attending to household chores, while I’m interacting with my children, when I’m listening to a friend, or grocery shopping, eating a meal, or teaching a yoga class.  But I never really managed to slow down my driving–not in a consistent manner anyway–until I learned about hypermiling.


Yes, it was precisely the moment that I decided to try this hypermiling thing out, and adhere to the speed limit, and coast along whenever I could, that I discovered how peaceful I can feel when I’m behind the wheel.  Whereas before I was pretty much a constant bundle of nerves, suspicious of other drivers, uttering curse words under my breath when alone and inside my mind when the children were present–now I’m taking deep slow breaths, listening to peaceful music, and seeing life around me.  I’m feeling more integrated with the other drivers, more in the flow of LIFE even.  How could this be?  But there it is.  I’m discovering that by slowing down I’m arriving no later than I was before, but I certainly am arriving more calm and collected.  And wonder of wonders, I’m actually enjoying the drive.

Yay, hypermiling.



If you’re interested in learning about hypermiling stats and techniques, check out Wayne Gerdes site,  Fascinating stuff.  Be sure to check out the rebuttal Wayne wrote in 2008 after AAA suggested that hypermilers are dangerous.



Just When


Let’s not fool ourselves–
Life will not wait for us to wake up;
Life will not wait for our genius to be expressed.
We must take life into our own hands,
and awaken, and express, because what else is there really to do?
We are not entitled to anything, not even ourselves–
but let’s search for the deepest self,
and discover the universal self within.

Let’s please remember–
once we have all the toys we think we need
once we have had all the experiences we’re craving
once we have been recognized,
once we have furthered our own interests,

what waits for us is the feeling that we get
when we help someone else,
when our life energy has benefitted someone in some small way,
when we realize that all of the world’s treasures pale in comparison
to the vast treasure of consciousness within.

Let us join together on this arduous path of awakening.
Let us help each other remember who we are.
Let us hold each other up if one should stumble
and together reach for the self we already are–
wise, loving, bright, clear, and kind–
infinite awareness, the universal mind.


Just when I thought I’d settle down to my writing at a reasonable hour, I looked around and noticed many things that needed to be done. I picked up all the children’s toys that had been mercilessly strewn around the back yard, I took out the trash and the recycling.  I picked up the living room, I cleaned the table, put away the remaining food from dinner, put the children to bed. I put away my son’s laundry, I went downstairs and got the next load from the dryer and put the basket near the dining room table to be folded.  In a life where there is always something to do, where does one draw the line and reclaim the energy to attend to one’s creativity?

I take a deep breath.  For tonight, just to ask this question–this is enough.  Now it is time to meditate and then dance my dream among the stars and moon hiding behind my eyelids.