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Going Up?

How can I serve you?

I listened to Terry O’Reilly on the radio today talking about elevator pitches, which is the ability to sum up what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator. I’ve been trying to come up with one for ages. “I’m a yoga teacher” isn’t all that useful since, like, everybody is a yoga teacher these days. I’ve tried, “I teach yoga as a path to liberation from suffering,” which usually gets me uncomfortable silence and extra personal space. I’ve been working on a yoga manifesto, but so far it’s not very pitchy. Then I was thinking about cultural references that might communicate my aspirations: e.g. Ferris Bueller meets the Buddha, or Thelma and Louise do Eat, Pray, Love, or Amelie meets Thich Nhat Hahn. And then I remember that this is totally not about me.

The question is how can I be of service to you (within the limitations of my experience, time, and knowledge)? I will openly and freely admit to being a bit of an oddball who doesn’t always “get” the way North American culture operates. I don’t really see the point of keeping up with fashion, celebrity worship, or trying to look like a model (other than it keeps us chained to the never-good-enough treadmill). As much as family is important to me, I really believe in families of kindred spirits (since nuclear families can be a bit radioactive). I once did a two-year study of happiness only to discover that too much chasing after happiness can lead to misery. So having eliminated the beauty-card, the hard-body card, the do-it-for-your-family card, and the transcendent-bliss card I find myself in a bit of a corner, and here’s what’s left: I’d like to be the person who opens your mind, helps you feel healthier, pushes your creative limits, and makes you laugh. I’d like to be your mood elevator, and you can be mine. We could all use a little more joy.

I’d love to hear what your aspirations are (just reply to this email). Maybe there’s a place for them in my yoga manifesto.

Here’s to going up,
PS still working on the elevator pitch 🙁

Chuck Lorre’s post on meditation

I’m a big fan of Big Bang Theory, but I haven’t had time in a while to watch it. I checked out the plot synopsis online the other day and read a few of Chuck Lorre’s (the series creator) “Vanity Cards.” They appear in the final frame of the credits and are impossible to read unless you go online and look them up.
This one made me laugh:


I tried meditating on the beach today. After a few minutes of gazing out at the ocean these words floated up into my consciousness, “An impersonal, life-creating vastness that is ever-changing.” The metaphor touched me deeply. It seemed as if time stopped, or at least was on hold. A feeling of peace came upon me, or more accurately, from within me. Then a new thought wafted, “I am alive in an impersonal universe and I can’t help but take it personally.” Then another thought, “Life is sustained by eating other life. What’s up with that?” Then one more, “Ever-changing is just a pompous way of saying $#!% happens.” Realizing I’d strayed from my meditation, I took a deep cleansing breath and once again looked out at the ocean. That simple joy and serenity I’d felt earlier returned immediately, followed by a new thought, or rather, sensation, “I urgently have to urinate.” I looked around and saw no facilities. Not even a tree to hide behind. Desperate for relief, I looked back to the ocean and heard these words calmly whispered in my mind, “Impersonal also means I will never judge you.”

The water was cold, but I managed.
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Yoga and meditation teacher, writer, reader, cat-momma, environmental warrior, friend

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