Tulips are without a doubt my favorite flower, and I love all flowers. My birthday is in April so I feel an extra affinity for this jewel that blooms during this month. Just wanted to share some luscious pictures..
i had a really beautiful moment last saturday as i was walking down the street to go teach a yoga class. i was on 8th street, a corridor of shops and restaurants, and as i approached the corner, i saw a husband and wife and their very young daughter. she was maybe 2. dressed in her fuzzy petal pink leggings, a cropped soft wool coat, and the most impossibly tiny and stylish shoes. but the beauty of this image was that this tiny girl was stopped on the sidewalk, dancing. music was being piped out onto the street from the restaurant and she was peering into the air wondering where this music was coming from, and moving, bouncing, stomping, rocking and waving her arms. she was entranced and utterly engaged and unselfconscious.
so as wonderful as this scene was, the thing i loved the most was that her parents were letting her dance. they were not pulling on her arms and trying to hurry her to the destination, which is all too often the case. “no, we don’t have time for you to look at cars, or smell flowers, or pet dogs, or touch the rough wood, or the smooth wrought iron, or the warm stones or the cold water, or dance. we need to get to point B. NOW!” the only time in our lives when we are constantly delighted with the world around us and we are forever being pulled away from it’s magic. her parents did not do this. but smiled and laughed and danced with her. no hurry to move on. i stopped as i approached them and told them how they had made my day, and i told her to never stop dancing and being delighted by the world around her.
i am a pretty magically engaged person in the world around me, but lately have felt that i have been forgetting that. missing that. this was such a sweet reminder of the magic that is always there. to listen for the music and dance like no one was watching you.
as i went to teach class, i shared this story and asked that we find our playfulness and curiosity in our yoga. we do yoga because it feels good. because we want to delight in our bodies and in our senses, not because it is a punishment that has been foisted upon us. we need to remember that. each and every day. find the joy in your life and reacquaint yourself with your inner tiny dancer.
I first came across the word “kintsukuroi” a few months ago in a blog that Tommy Rosen wrote. The pictures of these pieces of pottery were so beautiful, so much more interesting in every way. Not long after I read this article I had the first of several experiences that made me relate to this concept in my own way.
Within a week, after reading this article, I was gifted a beautiful hand thrown mug by a client of mine who is a ceramicist. It is a vibrant burnt orange color, with glistening golden veins of lacquer running through it. It became my favorite coffee cup.
A few weeks later I was having an energy session with a friend and healer and we were discussing aging as women. She told me how beautiful and glowing I looked. (her words, not mine) She said, ” Although you look much younger than you are, I can see your strength and the wisdom of your years. I see your wrinkles, but your face glows as if the lines were filled with gold…”
At Christmas, I received a most precious porcelain tea candle holder. A delicate lotus flower. Upon releasing it from it’s tissue wrapping, I discovered that a couple of petals had broken off. The woman who gave it to me was horrified, but I found it in keeping with a theme…
Finally, a month ago, I knocked my new favorite cup over on my marble counter tops and the handle broke into three pieces. I could repair it, but not sure that I trust the handle would hold… best to just hold it firmly in my own two hands perhaps?
If you break and repair a plate, or cup or bowl that has been broken, the surface area actually is larger wouldn’t you say? The glue adding more substance to fill the cracks. A heart broken and reconstructed could conceivably hold more, albeit differently.
All of us are scarred and broken in some way. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Broken to different degrees, in varying numbers of pieces. I believe the defining factor in whether we will be stronger or be able to hold more in our beings is what we reach for to glue us back together. My glues of choice are yoga and love. Not that too much wine or chocolate, or macaroni and cheese or sofa sessions of “Dexter” or “Breaking Bad” might not make it into the mix from time to time… But by and large my choices are healthy ones. That will make me resilient, not disconnected and closed. Wiser, but not suspicious and wary. May I always strive to repair myself with the honey of love, the liquid gold of my yoga practice.
Find your own golden lacquer and do your repair work mindfully, with attention to detail. And may we all find ourselves more beautiful for having been broken, with more to give.
“and we are so fragile
and our cracking bones make noise
and we are just
breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.”
I worked long and hard on a Valentine’s Day posting and….it vanished as I was trying to publish it….hmmmm….
So I leave you with some sweet images and advise you to be loving to yourself first on this day. With every word, thought and action, ask yourself, “Would I treat someone I love like this?” Tend to yourself with your full love and attention, and then spill that out into the world.
Today, and every day. We will all be the better for it. Love, Jodeen
I realize it has been awhile since I have written, (I miss it, but other pulls as of late) I am writing one for Valentine’s Day, but in the interim wanted to share some glorious horse images I have found. As we just moved into the Year Of The Horse ala Chinese New Year, I went searching for images. I resonate with Horse immensely. Independence, wild spirit, nature, travel, movement, separate yet connection to the herd. I have had horses in my life, still ride when I can, albeit infrequently, still nothing matches being able to commune with that kind of power and energy. I swear that February 1st, I felt that I was shot out of the starting gate, mane and reigns and in hand and picking up speed each day. Finding very clear intention as I fly to see what lies over the next hill, surrounded with love…..hope you enjoy these.
I know it sounds funny, but shavasana is an acquired taste. It develops over time and takes a great deal of practice to reap the rewards.
How can laying on your back with your eyes closed be hard work you say? Especially after a challenging yoga practice. But being still and quiet and not sleeping brings up a great many things for most people.
I have seen from time to time, people who will roll up their mats as the rest of us are getting ready to lay down at the end of class. True, sometimes people need to leave early and tip toe out. But still others seen no reason for staying, when the “workout” is over. “You are doing anything anymore, so just leave. It is a waste of time.”
I have seen those who fidget and fuss, eyes open, sighing loudly., and when it is time to begin to “bring awareness to your fingers and toes”, they have sprung up to a sitting position and are ready to bolt for the door.
For some people, if they are asked to just be still with themselves, that is the most terrifying thing they can imagine. That would mean you have to actually be present with yourself and see what sorts of things might float to the surface. Thoughts that are easily kept at bay with being “busy”. You cannot hit a moving target, so as long as we remain in constant motion we won’t have to look at ourselves and see what is there. Quiet is the enemy. Sitting with yourself for too long will be your undoing…
My own personal experience was not that, but something else. I would finish a class, covered in sweat and suddenly not have the actual practice to focus on anymore. So my mind would spiral back to the outside world and all of the people, situations and things that made me insane and stressed out of my mind. On occasion I would drop into shavasana, that utterly relaxing in between space, not awake, not asleep, and I would begin to feel so blissed out. But then, I would pull myself away from it and think “you are wasting your time here pretending that there is bliss to be experienced. You are wasting precious time that you could be spending being pissed off and furious at how not o.k. Everything is! You almost fell for it. Just say “no” to shavasana.
So I began to lay there, sharply awake and use that time to mull over and retrace the laundry list of how I was being done wrong by the world and the stupid people in it. I began to look forward to this heightend time at the end of class to more finely hone my powers of discontent and plot the demise of my enemies. Amazing…
Slowly, ever so slowly, I would have experiences of going deep, sometims falling asleep, but sometimes dropping into a true shavasana. I would be weightless floating in space and enjoying the silence and I would begin to hear a voice. I would think, “Who the hell is that? Is it God? Why are they talking? I really need them to be quiet because I am so blissed out right now….” then I would realize that it was the teacher, and that I was laying on a rubber mat in a room full of people and that I felt like I had been asleep for hours. Reality: 5 minures.
As this happened more often, I noticed that I felt less and less inclined to “hurry up and be upset again at the injustice of it all. Time is a wastin’!” Then I began to notice that I just didn’t get as worked up over stuff the way that I used to. I was spending more and more time in a yogic state. On and off of the mat. The peace found in yoga is our natural state of being, the world outside the mat is actually more of an illusion. A contrivance. The scales had tipped.
I refer to shavasana as a time to “marinate in the juice of the practice”. It is like pushing the “save” button on the computer. It seals it all in. And in that time the body, mind and spirit can rejuvenate, reboot, rewire. Yoga changes us and shavasana seals in the newly edited version.
Shavasana is now my dear friend and a state that I can dip into whenever I need it. Whether I am laying on my mat or not. That is a sweet and useful life skill indeed.
Hello, now that I have your attention…..I just wanted to share my very favorite Christmas poem with you. A friend of mine wrote it the year my daughter was born and I pull it out to revisit every year. I love it’s simplicity and the last line bring tears to my eyes every time. regardless, of your belief system, this is a story of birthing light and hope into the world. I wish you all a beautiful holiday season and turn your face towards the light and move forward.
heavy with god
I walk beside the donkey
swaying in the dark
follow some star
never seen one quite like that
my carpenter husband
frightened with responsibility
holds my hand
and the donkey’s rein
finds us shelter
in a barn
no matter how he tries
things never turn out right
but I think it’s perfect
for God to take a human form
in an animal setting
the manger looks like a cradle
no birth is easy
not until the star’s straight up over the eaves
is the boy born
wise men appear
with gifts worth more
than Joe makes in a year
shepherds adore him
the light comes from everywhere.
I adore david whyte. love his words, the pictures he paints, the feelings he holds up to the light. the only thing I love more than his poetry, is listening to him read his own work. entrancing.
this poem has been going through my head a great deal lately, and as I was driving back from a yoga workshop in McCall across this landscape, it rang loud and clear. I wanted to share this. hope it touches you the way it has me.
the winter of listening
“no one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.
all this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
round every living thing.
what is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
what we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
what we have
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.
all those years
listening to those
nothing to say.
all those years
has its own voice
all those years
you can belong
simply by listening.
and the slow
is born from
silence and winter
has led me to that
so let this winter
for the new life
I must call my own.”
just some memories from the past and a reflection on my present…
….the thanksgivings of my childhood: often spent at a card table in the other room of a relatives house with cousins of unknown origin eating off of paper plates and drinking kool aid out of jewel toned anodized aluminum tumblers that left an odd clear metallic taste in your mouth…
David and I announcing our engagement to our families…
eating at a diner in San Francisco with a friend from Idaho on a rainy day before having wine and dessert with our new found “friend family” …
continuing the “friend family” tradition and all of us meeting up in Medford Oregon when one of the couples moved there…
on a remote cold and windy beach in Mexico with 50 people who brought all of the ingredients for a traditional spread…tequila and fireworks, sleeping on the beach, and driving home to discover multiple messages that my husbands father had died in our absence…(pre cell phone…)
on a bus traveling from Bangkok to Chang Mai and being given a small boxed “snack” consisting of some rancid drumstick from some unidentifiable fowl…
my daughters first solid food consumed that day at 6 months old, and the look of utter delight with each new taste…
cooking my first one alone 3 years ago…the last one with my grandmother…
and now, this one, a month after my final treatment and 2 weeks after my port was removed! cooking it with my daughter who is now 16. having the meal unexpectedly ready at 11:30 in the morning….Lily, my mom and I….a sweet surprise of having my roommate and her boyfriend join us…driving up to see my dad and stepmom at their cabin, sitting by the fire, rubbing my dad’s feet and admiring his new head of hair…singing Adelle songs loudly in the car on the drive…going to my boyfriends folks house and eating again that night and playing with the worlds most adorable kitten….miss hazzington. this Thanksgiving being Lily’s last one still living at home…college bound next year…
and so, I find myself grateful, full of grace of where I have been before that got me to where I am now. there is room at my table for all of it…