Home Sweet Home

House sitting is a little bit like grand parenting (not that I have any experience being a grandparent, but I can imagine).  What I mean is that I move into a home, look after the fine furnishings, the houseplants and the mail.  I lovingly care for the cat, dog, or Koi in question and then – after a few days or a few weeks – I hand it all back.

House sitting is also a bit discombobulating.

Returning home over the weekend after my last extended gig, I believe I felt as disoriented and jet-lagged as the homeowners.  I had grown accustomed to their lovely house, the big kitchen, and the shaded deck where I shared meals with my friend.

It became very comfortable.

And now I’m back in the apartment that I am of course very grateful for but I have to admit – it feels pretty small.  It’s taken me a few days to figure out how to live in the space again.  I can’t remember where my “things” are, and I can’t figure out why I have so much stuff crammed into 200-square-feet.

It’s time to clear the decks.

I want to peel back the layers of detritus – the physical and psychic debris that litters my path and slows the journey.

 

 

 

 


The Care and Feeding of Your Spirit

If you do anything for yourself this year, let it be that you give yourself just one thing.  I’m not talking about a new car or a pair of shoes.  I don’t mean a night out.

What I mean is this:  give yourself that one thing that feeds your spirit like nothing else can.  And give yourself that gift as often as possible.

If I ask you now, “What is that one thing?  What is the one thing that feeds your spirit?” Do you have an answer?  Do you know?

Back in the 1980’s when I lived in Mountain View a morning walk at Shoreline to watch burrowing owls warming themselves against the rocks as they faced the rising sun warmed me, too.  Those were the days when yoga was a simple asana practice – the days before I understood the depth of yoga.

I walked the path at Shoreline almost every day.  Early in the morning, before anyone else and while remnants of dawn still hung on the water.  But I needed to have a reason for being there or else I wouldn’t make the effort.  Fitness. Weight loss.  Exercise.  There had to be a reason.  A walk at Shoreline was something to tick off my “to do” list for the day.  Another chore.

And then I moved a few miles up the road, my work schedule changed, and walks at Shoreline became less frequent and were finally forgotten.

A few months ago I returned to Shoreline.  This time around it’s different.  I walk at Shoreline a two or three times each week because I walk at Shoreline.  That’s it.  My spirit feels embraced at Shoreline. The flat horizontal lines of the landscape and the calm water soothe me.  I feel nourished.  After a walk along water’s edge I’m ready to walk back into the remainder of my work day.

If you do anything for yourself today find that thing.  Find that one thing that feeds your spirit.


And Now, a Quick Word from Our Sponsor: January Classes

I thought it was time for me to remind everyone where I teach, how to register and what to expect.  Currently I teach in two studios:  California Yoga Center and Avenidas Senior Center.  I work privately with individuals or small groups in the home and am also available to teach introductory classes and workshops at your school or office.

California Yoga Center

One of the first yoga studios on the Peninsula – and where so many of us were first introduced to yoga – CYC has locations in Palo Alto and Mountain View.   My classes are at 541 Cowper Street in Palo Alto between University Avenue and Hamilton.  I teach three classes at CYC.  They are on going.  Two are Iyengar-influenced “slow flow” style classes and the third is a Yin class taught in the Paul Grilley tradition.  If you’re still looking for a last minute gift you can purchase Gift Certificates for individual or a series of classes.  More information about purchasing gift certificates can be found on the CYC website.

Here’s what to expect from a class with Mimm:

Yin Yoga – Mondays 7:30 to 9:00 PM

Yin is a donation-based class.  Please pay what you can afford up to $17 (the regular drop-in fee).

The long-held stretches characteristic of Yin Yoga help to recover and maintain a full range of movement and flexibility in the joints and connective tissue.  The work is challenging but profoundly relaxing. While Yin should not be confused with Restorative style yoga on more than one occasion students have told me, “I have the best night’s sleep on Yin nights!”

I keep the studio very dark.  Soft futons and bolsters, blankets and pillows are used for support.  Sometimes I’ll use music to help set a tone.

Verbal instruction is kept to a minimum.  Nevertheless, enough suggestions and options are offered to create an environment that feels comfortable and safe.

All the work takes place on the floor and poses are held between 2 and 6 minutes.  For more information regarding Yin Yoga look here.

Iyengar-influenced Hatha and Slow Flow – Tuesdays or Fridays from 9:00 to 10:00 AM

The drop-in fee for these classes is $15.  A 4-week series is available for $52.  An 8-week series is available for $104.  Classes do not have to be taken consecutively and there is no expiration date (this applies to my classes only.  Other CYC instructors may have different policies).

In the beginning, there was Iyengar.  At least for me.  I loved the attention to alignment, the emphasis on safety and the slow, careful pace as we moved from one pose to another.  But things change.

I still love my Iyengar roots, but I also love moving with my breath from one shape to another.  We move at a pace that allows time to settle into the pose and to explore how it feels in the body.  I provide options for anyone not ready to take on the more challenging standing poses.

Both of these classes are Level I/II – suitable for beginning and intermediate students.

California Yoga Center has everything you need for a safe practice:  bolsters, straps, pillows, and blocks.  It’s recommended that you bring your own “sticky” mat.

Avenidas Center

It’s a misnomer to call Avenidas a “senior” center.  Yes, you have to be over the age of fifty to enroll in classes – but what’s a number?  Pre-registration is required, but you can enroll online or drop by the front desk at 450 Bryant Street (cross street University Avenue).  Classes are held in 10-week blocks.  Our winter session begins the week of January 9th, 2012.  There is no drop-in but anyone is welcome to visit and try out my yoga classes before enrolling.  The price for a ten-week session is $60 for Avenidas members and $70 for non-members.  Where are you going to find a one-hour class for $6.00 anywhere on the Peninsula?

I have three classes at Avenidas:

  • Mondays from 1:00-2:00
  • Fridays from 10:30 to 11:30
  • Fridays from 11:45 to 12:45

Because of student demographics these classes tend to lean toward the introductory level but everyone is encouraged to deepen into the work as their bodies allow.  Some students have had years of yoga experience and will have a more full expression of the pose we’re working in.  Others who are new to yoga are given modifications that help awaken the body.

All three classes begin with floor warm-ups, followed by a carefully planned standing sequence and then finishing with seated work and relaxation.  Because of the nature of my classes at Avenidas, it’s suggested that students be able to safely lower and then rise from the floor.  That being said, chairs are available to assist.

Unfortunately, equipment is limited at Avenidas. We have soft exercise mats but I recommend you bring a sticky mat and two bath towels that can be folded into mini-bolsters.  A strap is also handy – this can be a yoga strap or, if you’re on a budget, a man’s tie or belt.  Yoga blocks are helpful, too.

Individual Study

If you are recovering from illness or injury then I recommend two or three sessions of individual study.  Together we can see where you’re at in terms of strength and flexibility.  We can build a program that will support recovery instead of setting it back.

Some clients, of course, simply enjoy how individualized attention deepens their practice. You’ll discover the body responds to the work easily when hands on adjustments and personalized modifications are part of the program.


A Tale of Two Families…and Me

Tom and Thea, 2009

In the autumn of 1939 there was a heat wave in Northern California.  By September temperatures approached one hundred degrees. As the Bay Area sweltered, Hitler invaded Poland, New York prepared to play Cincinnati in the World Series and the minimum wage rose to thirty cents per hour.

Bill and Tom, beginning their freshman year at UC Berkeley, met for the first time that autumn on board a train traveling across the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.  Trains did that in 1939.

Seventy-three years later and the boys in that train car are now old men. Bill is tall and shockingly handsome for a man of ninety. Tom walks slowly, but his Irish/Italian eyes still sparkle.  Especially when the stock market is bullish.   He’ll be ninety-one this next May.

Tom and Bill teased one another, as young men will, when each fell in love.  While Tom wooed a beautiful girl on a picnic in the Berkeley hills Bill found love in San Francisco when he met a feisty blond.  The sweethearts married, and Tom’s brunette bride Isabel became best friends with Bill’s gorgeous Bobbie.

Both men served during World War II. Tom was an officer on a Navy tanker in the Pacific.  Bill was an infantryman in Europe who landed in Normandy not long after D-Day and entered Dachau two weeks after it was liberated.

After the war, their homes, one a shiny Eichler the other a rambling Craftsman and only a few miles apart, quickly filled with children. At last count there were eighteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

From time to time the families gather together for simple meals of crusty bread, Bobbie’s cherished homemade soup and bottles of Yellow Tail wine.  They gather to celebrate.  But when Bobbie and Bill lost their eldest and Tom lost his beloved Isabel, they gathered to mourn.

All from a friendship that began when two boys headed to Berkeley on the same train in 1939.

I met the couples and their children four years ago, before Isabel passed.  I was astounded their friendship could be measured in decades as my close friendships are only measured in years.  In fact, I don’t know that there will ever be another time when friendships begun by happenstance will endure seven decades of war, love, marriages, births, and deaths.

Of course I’m grateful to be a few mouse clicks from friends I knew in high school.  But that was almost forty years ago.  What do we have in common except memories?

I look at the lives of these two couples and all the good people they’ve brought into the world and I’m nostalgic for a way of life I’ve never experienced.  Our lives move artificially fast and in the frenzied wake intimacy borne of a shared meal or a family gathering is lost. We flit around the world and we forget people.  We forget moments.  We forget.

So strong is my craving for connection and the setting down of roots that I almost lost a friendship this week.  For me, it would have been a horrible loss.  The lesson I’ve learned from the past few days is that clinging to your idea of something is like trying to hold on to smoke.  It’s impossible.  I will never have the life-long love of Bobbie and Bill, Tom and Isabel.  I won’t have children, or grandchildren.  But there’s no doubt I will have love, connection and intimacy.  It’s possible I already do, but I’m too attached to what I believe those words should mean that I haven’t noticed they’ve been re-defined for the twenty-first century.


You Want Me to Breathe Into My WHAT???

Heart and lungs

Image via Wikipedia

“Breathe into your back ribs.”

What?

“Breath into the space around your kidneys.”

Seriously?

“Breathe into your big toe.”

Ok.  Now you’re just trying to be funny.

How many times have you been instructed to take your breath someplace considered physiologically impossible?  Yoga teachers give this instruction all the time, but it sounds pretty dumb, doesn’t it?  Our breath moves into our lungs.  Period.

Right?

No one takes the instruction to breathe into the soles of the feet literally.

Do they?

Because, the thing is – I’m one of those yoga instructors.  I’m one of those instructors who will ask you to breathe into places where the breath doesn’t travel.  But I’ve got my reasons.

When I provide the verbal cue to breathe into the back of the ribs I’m instructing my students to bring their awareness to a specific part of the body in a more efficient way than the cue “relax.”

Furthermore, by breathing into the back during a pose like Balasana (child’s pose), the student becomes attuned to the physiology of breathing.  They gain an awareness of the muscles involved.  The lungs may be the workhorse of breath, and the diaphragm our ‘third lung’, but there’s a whole lot more to consider.  Our intercostal muscles, for instance, extend and contract with each breath to move the ribcage.  Our internal obliques work in opposition to the contracting diaphragm.  The gift of breath – the art of breathing – is more than filling the lungs like a balloon.  It is a complex event with an interrelated team of muscles, organs and bones.

So if my verbal cue “breathe into your spine” sounds weird and maybe a bit ‘airy fairy’ – don’t laugh.  Go with it.  Like I said, I have my reasons.


Those Autumn Winds: Supporting Your Immune System

My last cold had me flat on my back for three days, hacking for seven, and speechless with varying degrees of laryngitis for six.  Of course, my last cold was in December of 2009 – so I really shouldn’t complain.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I can go a good year or two before a cold virus will hit me with a wallop.  Most folks will muddle through a cold every three or four months (and if you don’t believe that I’m knocking real hard on some wood right now – guess again!).

Besides good luck and good genes, my good health boils down to my being vigilant.  Not hyper-vigilant, but reasonable.  Especially this time of year.  As the days grow shorter and the weather turns cool we’re apt to spend more time with others indoors. And as we all learned in school, the virus responsible for the common cold is spread through airborne respiratory droplets.  It can remain alive on hard surfaces like countertops and desks for hours.  In other words our comfortable, centrally heated homes are more like oversized Petri dishes.

Ok.  I’m exaggerating.  But only just.

But factor in environments outside of our control like schools, offices and shops it’s a wonder we’re not all walking contagion zones, all red-nosed and dripping.

So what keeps us healthy? Hazmat suits?  Nope. It’s our ever-faithful immune system.

We usually don’t think about our immune system until something goes wrong. But consider this:  We run for cardiovascular health, lift weights to support our skeletal system and eat right to keep things running smoothly in our gastrointestinal tract.  What do we do to support our immune system?

Show Your Immune System Some Love:

Times are tough.  We want to stay healthy without breaking the bank along the way. But how do I figure out what my immune system needs without spending too much money on herbs and supplements?

My approach is to keep things as simple as possible. There are plenty of reasons why the immune system becomes compromised.  My first job, therefore, before I load up on supplements and herbal remedies, is to determine if my lifestyle is putting my immunity in jeopardy. If I want my immune system to defend me against pathogens, then I have to defend my immune system.  To stay healthy I begin with the tried and true – the stuff we’re reminded of each year around this time:

  1. I remember to wash my hands.  Up to 80% of infectious diseases like colds and flu are transmitted by touch. Simple hand washing with warm, soapy water is enough to rid our skin of viruses and bacteria picked up from computer keyboards, the cell phone or doorknobs.  If soap and water are not available an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective provided it is at least 60% alcohol.
  2. I do my best to get a good night’s sleep.  Burning the candle at both ends has never worked for me.  My goal each night is seven hours of quality sleep.  To achieve that, I turn off the television, lower the lights, and trade the temptation of Facebook for a soothing story (from a real book with pages!).
  3. I try to reduce stress levels.  I know.  You don’t have to tell me:  easier said than done.  Our spirits cannot match the pace of the 21st century.  But increased stress reduces our body’s ability to produce white blood cells.  And white blood cells fight infection.  So close your eyes and take a few deep yogic breaths.
  4. I watch my diet.  I have a confession to make.  Until recently I didn’t cook.  Most of my meals came from the community refrigerator otherwise known as Whole Foods.  Even then, and more so now that I am meal planning, I read labels.  I look for foods low in sugar.  I purchase locally grown and organic food when possible. And I try to eat seasonally. As we move into autumn my diet is shifting from green salads to roasted root vegetables, soups and stews.  Oh, and I make a point of staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh water and green tea.
  5. I accentuate the positive.  We all know there’s a mind/body connection.  While it’s not always possible to eliminate the negative, research has shown that our immune system functions much better when we are happy and optimistic.

Is That a Tickle I Feel or is That Virus Just Happy to See Me?

Just because I don’t catch too many colds doesn’t mean I’m not prone to the occasional sore throat. As a full-time teacher, I talk.  Incessantly. So when a virus settles on me, it settles in my throat. My throat is the gateway to any pathogen looking for a place to roost.  But the very moment I even suspect a tickle I pull out all the stops to knock that pesky bug flat before it has a chance to do the same to me.  This is what I do:

  1. Salt Water Gargle:  Yes, Virginia, it does work.  A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine enlisted 400 healthy volunteers.  For two months a percentage of subjects gargled with salt water three times per day.  At the end of the study it was determined that those who gargled had a 40% decrease in upper respiratory tract infections.  Furthermore, if they did become ill the salt-water gargle appeared to reduce the intensity of symptoms.  So there.
  2. Echinacea and Zinc Lozenges: My favorite three-dollar roll of lozenges is my go-to product even if there’s a chance the tickle I feel is a figment of my imagination.  I think the jury on Echinacea will always be out – some of us swear by it, some of us swear at it. There is, however, a bit of backbone in the evidence reporting the efficacy of zinc.  Studies indicate that zinc may help reduce the duration and severity of a cold.  The key is to take the lozenges within twenty-four hours of the onset of symptoms.  Like I said at the start, vigilance is key.
  3. Neti Pot or Saline Nasal Irrigation:  Remember when you were little and got “a nose full” at the local pool?  That’s what using a neti pot feels like.  I find it useful at the first sign of a cold as well as toward the end, when my nasal passageway feels done in.  It’s an acquired practice, though. There are folks who swear by their “daily flush.”  I, however, limit its use. Is daily colonic irrigation a good idea?  Probably not.  I rest my case.

The Perfect Storm – When Optimistic Hand Washing isn’t Enough:

At some point, unfortunately, it’s bound to happen.  There’s a deadline at work and a virus making the rounds at your child’s pre-school.  The stress is overwhelming; you’re not paying attention.  You didn’t notice the tickle.  You missed your window of opportunity.  Too bad, because within a day or two it’s not a tickle, it’s a cold. And you’re flat on your back.  What do you do?  Let’s begin with what not to do:

  1. Don’t “push through it.”  It’s not fair to your co-workers and family and it’s not fair to you.  During my last cold I curled up on the couch for three days and watched “ER.” The Clooney years.
  2. Don’t ask for antibiotics unless a doctor diagnoses a bacterial infection.  Remember – a virus causes colds.  Not bacterial.  Why take antibiotics if they’re unnecessary?
  3. But don’t avoid the doctor because you think, “it’s just a cold”.  If your symptoms worsen, if there’s a fever, or even if you just don’t feel “right” – see your doctor.

And in the meantime take plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

The Bottom Line:

Everyone has their own solution for supporting the immune system and fighting colds.  To prove my point, I asked three people what they could not do without when struggling with low immunity and illness.

Patty, a nurse in Texas said, “2000 milligrams of Vitamin C in powder form. I also mix ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar with 8 ounces of grape juice and take that daily.”  She told me this routine clears sinuses and relieves head colds.  “I also take Vitamin C regularly as part of my routine.”

Sudeepto, a solar physicist in California told me,  “Rest, steam and hot tea with Tulsi, ginger, lime and honey.”  Tulsi – also known as Holy Basil but not to be confused with Thai Basil – is a medicinal herb used in Ayervedic medicine.

Finally David, a medical herbalist in County Donegal, Ireland shared this:  “My three herbs for a strong immune system are Reishi, ginseng and Echinacea. Along with its general ability to strengthen the immune system, Reishi relieves chronic sinusitis. I believe it helps prevent the common cold and flu. I choose Reishi when ginseng is contraindicated – for instance in people who are hypertensive or anxious. In general, however, ginseng is excellent in cases of fatigue and low immune systems. Finally, Echinacea stimulates immunity but does not build immunity.  It’s like the gas pedal on your car.  It only has an effect if there is gas in the engine.  But it’s terrific at stopping infections at their initial stages and good at clearing infections.”

The real bottom line?  There is no cure for the common cold.  It’s a virus that we can do our best to avoid or wait for it’s to run its course if it finds us.  There are, as we’ve seen, lifestyle choices and commercial products that will boost our immune system and alleviate symptoms.  It will take a little exploration, but I’m certain you will find the ones that work for you.

Want More Ideas? 

All three sites offer balanced information on health, wellness, nutrition and fitness.

A version of this blog post originally appeared in Yoga Living Magazine


Making Butter

I made butter yesterday. I think.  I poured heavy cream with a dash of salt into a cold mason jar, tightened the lid and shook it until the slosh of liquid thickened into the thwip of something that wasn’t quite Kerrygold but was far removed from Cool Whip.  I don’t know if it truly qualified as butter but on the first rainy evening of autumn my friend and I smeared it on fresh-baked rosemary bread and washed it down with homemade soup. It was delicious.

Yep.  Butter making.  Soup making. You might say I have too much time on my hands.  My toilet has never been so scrubbed, my hide-a-way bed so neatly hidden, my laundry so freshly washed and my dishes so deliberately stacked.

And I have to be honest.  I love it.

At first, when I lost my ability to fill the space between appointments, I wanted to believe I’d lost my drive.  I wanted to believe I’d become lazy. Isn’t laziness easily remedied?  You pull yourself together, up the caffeine and step on the gas.

But the only thing rushing through life has ever done for me is blur my vision.

So, for now, I’m going to let life slow down.  I’m going to take a more considered path.  And I’m going to make butter.


Autumn Teaching Schedule

I love this time of year.  Summer is winding down and the last few weeks of August are rolling by slow and lazy.  Kids are anticipating the start of the new school year and so am I.

I’ve had a wonderful summer full of hikes, a trip to Point Reyes and a weekend with friends outside of Reno.  I’m ending my summer with four days at Asilomar for the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR).  I’ve never been to Asilomar nor have I attended a SYTAR conference and I’m excited to be doing both.

The following weekend teacher training begins at Avalon Yoga Studio.  Although I’ve been teaching for almost twenty years I’ve decided to complete this six-month teacher training to add to my knowledge of yoga and to fill any gaps in my education.  I’m looking forward to the new vocabulary one gains with learning.

Of course a girl has to pay the rent and so while all this is going on I’ll still be teaching my usual schedule.  I hope you’ll join me.

California Yoga Center:

With the exception of the Monday night Yin class, which is a fantastic practice for anyone, my classes at California Yoga Center are considered Level I/II – most suitable for beginners and continuing beginners:

  • Monday evenings from 7:30 to 8:45 – Yin Yoga
  • Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 – Iyengar Influenced Slow Flow
  • Friday mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 – Iyengar Influenced Slow Flow

You can find more information about these classes on my website or here.

Avenidas Senior Center:

As long as you are over the age of fifty you may register for classes at Avenidas.  The space is basic and we don’t have the same amenities as a yoga studio but you can’t beat the price.  You can find out more about Avenidas here.

  • Monday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 – Beginning Yoga
  • Tuesday afternoons from 5:00 to 6:00 – Improved Beginner
  • Friday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 – Beginning Yoga
  • Friday mornings from 11:45 to 12:45 – Improved Beginner

I am also happy to work with you on a one to one basis from the comfort of your home.  This is a good choice if you’re recovering from illness or injury, new to yoga or simply can’t find the time to travel to and from the yoga studio.  Working one to one gives us the opportunity to design a program specific to your needs and goals.


Breaking News: The World is Not Inside My Computer

Funny thing happened yesterday morning.  The alarm sounded at 6:00.  I hit the snooze button three times (per usual) and then leapt from bed at 6:15 with a song in my heart.  I sprang (yes, I’m a morning person) over to my desk with a skip in my step and opened my laptop with eager anticipation.

And waited…

waited some more…

Where are the bars?  Where are the little black bars?? 

This was the point where panic began to set in.

WHY ARE THERE NO BARS!?!?!  WHAT DO YOU MEAN CONNECTION TIMEOUT!?!?!

The Internet had abandoned me.  I was a woman alone on an island with no means of discovering what had happened in the world while I was asleep.  I began to blame myself.  What I had done wrong?  Did I stay up too late last night?  Did a crumb of tabouleh fall between the keys?  Did I forget to pay my bill?  My bill…that’s it…I forgot to pay…

I paced for a bit and considered going back to bed but the kettle was ready to boil and the Tazo Black teabag was in the mug.  I sent a text to a friend – the one with whom I have early morning Facebook chats with when I should be…wait a minute…when I should be writing.

Huh.

Well.

I guess I could write.

Great Caesar’s Ghost what a novel idea!

With a cup of fresh brewed tea and a few notes I managed forty-five minutes of sustained and even somewhat lucid sentence construction.

But then I remembered Pete’s Coffee.  Why, didn’t I drive by a Pete’s (if I took the slightly more circuitous route) on my way to my first client?

I arrived at a curiously empty Pete’s with an hour to spare before the real workday began.  I traded tea for the Coffee of the Day (with room for milk) and sat outside in the gorgeous morning sun, opened my laptop and…

Please enter your access code.

What access code?  WHAT ACCESS CODE???

Yes, I know that all I had to do was step inside and ask.  But then I realized:  it was a beautiful morning, the sun was warm, the coffee was good and I felt alive.  Something about breaking the routine; something about feeling the earth beneath my feet and listening to the commuter traffic one hundred yards away. I felt connected to the world.  A part of something.  Something my morning dip into the Huffington Post and scrolling through two hundred Facebook updates has never managed to do.

I closed my laptop, and then my eyes, and sighed.  It was a good morning.


Epiphanies and Death Trap Accordion Doors

I was so lost in thought at lunchtime yesterday that I narrowly avoided being crushed by the folding doors at Piazza’s Fine Foods.  The good news – other than I survived intact – is that had the doors had their way I would have died with a smile on my face.

Yep.  That’s right.  I was smiling.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to mention my smiling brush with death – and let’s admit it – it’s closer to death by embarrassment than death by automatic accordion door – it must be the Summer Doldrums.

I like the doldrums.  Life slows down this time of year. Work dwindles while clients and their kids take vacation breaks.  At first I fidget for a bit with too much time on my hands.  I worry about the dip in income. But then the hot, sunny days slow everything down to a gentle simmer and somehow being alive becomes more about embracing my ‘aliveness’ and less about my cold, strident race to the finish line.

Because the whole mad race to the finish line really isn’t working for me.  Not only does the finish line keep moving but I’ve realized that I’ve been so busy racing against myself that I’ve forgotten to experience the world beyond my doorstep.  I’ve been watching everyone else – my friends, my clients, my yoga students – live their lives.  Meanwhile I’ve forgotten to live my own.

And as long I can master the art of stepping through folding accordion door death traps, the truth is, life is pretty damn good.