If We Could Drop Our Stories

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I listened to a student express frustration today.
He said he hadn’t improved in his yoga practice
as much as he should’ve since he began
two and a half years ago.

Who decides what adequate improvement is?
Who tells us whether or not we are good enough?

What are the stories we tell ourselves
to keep us from becoming lovers with this moment?

If we could drop our stories for just a second,
we might behold our own magnificence
and experience the ecstasy of being

Now imagine what would happen
if we could drop our stories for two seconds.

True Abundance

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If you give a pile of money
to a dying person
in their last moments,
what good will it do them?

Give a baby
a stack of gold coins
and it will delight
in throwing them,
the sound they make
as they clatter to the floor.

Hand a hungry animal
a blank check,
it will chew it up
hoping for nourishment.

No, it’s not the money
that makes us abundant

Sit with the person
on their deathbed,
take their hand,
look into their eyes,
breathe with them,
listen.

Your loving attention
focused solely on them
will show them
the way to heaven.

Hold the baby close,
let it hear your heart,
let it feel your warmth.
It knows how precious it is
because of the quality of your presence.

Give nourishment
to the hungry animal.
Coax it to eat, to rest.
Watch how the dynamics
between you
change,
how much more willing
it is to experience
a deep sense of connection.

What is real abundance?
Can you feel it
down in your soul?

You Always Have Something to Give

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It doesn’t cost anything at all,
yet it is more valuable
than all of the treasure in the world combined.

You don’t have to run to a store to get it,
you don’t have to agonize about that
one perfect present.

It is always a perfect fit.
Always the perfect color, texture, and weight.

You take it with you wherever you go;
it is weightless; the perfect size;
it will fit everyone and everything.

Before you frantically shop for that one last gift,
remember that you  ALWAYS have something to give.
Your presence is more precious than gold.

Your undivided attention focused
on your loved ones
is the greatest gift you could possibly share with them.

Before you fret about ordering one last item
before it goes out of stock,
remember:

You always have something to give.
Give generously; the whole world
waits for your love, your presence,
your awareness.

This is Enough for Now

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What can I say
that hasn’t already been said?
If I waited to be original or inspiring
I might never say anything at all.
So I simplify,
and then I can express from my truest self.
I look at what is in front of me,
what is within me,
and I experience that.
I don’t try to understand, evaluate, or judge,
I try to just experience,
to breathe through the experience,
to know that this is enough for now.

Everyone Wins: Thoughts About Gift-giving

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Sewing lavender and flax seed eye pillows,
hoping that they will encourage
some dear ones to take time to relax.

Mixing up batches of delicious smelling body butter
to be used as a full body moisturizer, a healing balm,
a skin health serum. (Also great for massage)

ingredients, if you’re curious:

almond oil
coconut oil
cocoa butter
beeswax
vitamin e oil
rosehip seed oil
avocado oil
Essential oils of lavender and frankincense

Feeling satisfied making the gifts I’m going to offer,
Really happy that these gifts
hold the potential to help and heal.

Hoping that the gifts will be used by those who receive them

Recognizing that once I give a gift,
it is gone,
and whoever receives it is free to do whatever they wish to do,
whether it is use it for its intended purpose,
regift it
burn it
pitch it
or place it on a shelf to collect dust
and then be pitched in the future.

As I follow a recipe to mix the perfect body butter,
I know that I can follow an even greater recipe:

Love someone enough to make a gift
Give them the gift
And love them enough to respect their freedom
to choose what they do with the gift

Love them regardless.

Everyone wins.

The Gift of Presence

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It is the inturning,
the time of year
when much of nature
(in the northern hemisphere)
is hunkering down,
withdrawing,
anticipating
what is to come.

It is the holiday season,
the time of year
when we have extra responsibilities
social obligations
forced extroversion
things
calling us outside of ourselves.

It is flu season.
The time of year
when everyone’s immune system says,
I can’t take all this running around.
You need to rest!

If we could take our cue from Nature,
go inwards,
hunker down,
become still,
introspective,
quiet,
and just wait…

We might discover
that all of the running
we do this time of year
searching for that perfect gift
detracts from the ultimate gift
of our presence.

Popsicle Stick Meditation

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Sitting down to write
so late at night
or so early in the morning
depending on how you look at it.

Why?
you might ask…

I was painting popsicle sticks.

Why on earth were you painting popsicle sticks? you might ask…

I’m teaching a craft
to my four year old daughter’s
preschool class tomorrow
and popsicle sticks
form the frame of the ornament we’re making.

I also sorted glittery pompoms,
cut cardboard,
portioned out glittering plastic gems
hot glued ribbons on the back of the ornaments.

It was 10 o’clock when I began
and was amazed to discover
that the clock said 1:45
when I had finished packing everything up.

How time did fly!
I was reminded of how
truly spacious this moment is
and how quickly time passes
when you become fully absorbed
in doing something you love.

Tonight my meditation
was painting popsicle sticks,
but it could’ve just as easily been
washing the dishes
or folding laundry,
writing in my journal,
brushing my hair…

When you become absorbed
in the moment
the result is always the same–
remembering the peace
at the center of being
remembering the joy
that is your natural state.

Let’s make all of it
all of it
a meditation.
let’s see what happens then.

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Popsicle Stick Rudolph Ornament

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree ornament