In the Hands of Man

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“He who creates a poison, also has the cure.
He who creates a virus, also has the antidote.
He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.
He who sparks hate, also has the ability to transform it to love.
He who creates misery, also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates sadness, also has the ability to to covert it to happiness.
He who creates darkness, can also be awakened to produce illumination.
He who spreads fear, can also be shaken to spread comfort.
Any problems created by the left hand of man,
Can also be solved with the right,
For he who manifests anything,
Also has the ability to
Destroy it.” 

― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Once the horror and grieving is over, let’s get to work with our right hands to bring balance and peace.


Getting Clear about Transformation

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Most of us spend our time and energy trying to transform our experience of life. When things are difficult, we blame circumstances, someone else, or ourselves. We take on new things and make new goals. We may change jobs, move house, or get divorced, to move away from our circumstances.

We move away from the discomfort.

And we somehow find ourselves feeling the same way in the next job, the next house, the next marriage …

In this society we are constantly being pressured to focus on the external and to acquire things in order to be “successful” and to feel good about ourselves. The message is “you deserve better” or “this will make you happy”.

Instead of moving from job to job, wanting things to be different and wishing for events to change, pause and notice how you are resisting what you are experiencing right now. Are you telling yourself “I deserve better”? rather than trying to understand your experience.

It is the relationship with what is happening that is causing the pain rather than the situation itself. The relationship between you and the situation is one of resistance and frustration with what is.

But you are only changing the external situation, and the chances are you will start to feel the same again, unless you take time to look at what is going within you that is getting in the way of transformation.

What if our purpose in life is to understand our external experience and how we relate to it? or Seeing all of our experience as lessons in life?

When we start to look into our experience with curiosity and an accepting mind, we can bring about real change.

Its an inside out job.

Here are some powerful questions to ask yourself to bring about inner transformation:

  • How do I want to feel ….? at work/in my marriage/in my relations with my children etc. Imagine your future self and what it feels like.
  • How am I contributing to this situation? What attitude adjustment do I need to make?
  • What actions would support this? What do I need to do differently?
  • What support do I need to bring it about? What resources do I already have?


Update – Retreat

photo of white and brown owl perched on a tree branch

Photo by Erik Karits on

A month ago I would have been at Kripalu for a senior yoga teacher training program… but as we all now know, along with so many other plans, it was cancelled. The latest news is that Kripalu will be closed for the rest of 2020.

I have felt sad, with a deep sense of loss. This was a place for community, learning, and more than anything, a retreat where mind, body and soul can be nourished, cared for and restored.

And then I realized … I am on retreat right now.

The pace has slowed down and I have had lots of alone time in the garden and spending time in the woods. There is also a routine of teaching classes via Zoom, and finding connection with my yoga students and community – not to mention taking other yoga classes and dancing along with Kripalu yogis from all over. My WordPress friends are still here, as well as my Words with Friends gamers!

I have attended online conventions and community calls with SAND (Science and Non Duality) and a weekend of celebration and learning with the global Non Violent Communication Community.

There has been a sense of embracing this cocoon and nurturing myself and the relationships with those I care for.

My next venture is taking a writing workshop in July with Roger Housden. I have never thought of myself as a writer or been attracted to write a book, but I am being drawn to flex my wings  and to see where my next flight might take me.

I feel hopeful for a changed world still. Turbulence, pain and chaos are needed before transformation can happen. It was brought home to me this past week, as we faced two powerful flash thunder storms that devastated our neighborhood. We had some damage, but not much compared with some others. The power was off for five days and even the mailman couldn’t navigate through the fallen tress and downed lines. 

The power is now back on and I am grateful to have clean hair and the luxury of hot water and air conditioning. With the internet happily available, I may spend more time back here. 

I have decided to venture out more with some private yoga in people’s gardens and porches. 

Perhaps this butterfly is ready to emerge from her cocoon very soon.

animal insect macro butterfly

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Embrace this Liminal Space, Sing and Let Your Yoga Dance!

liminal space

Today I attended a powerful meeting via Zoom from Michael Meade and the SAND community. SAND represents the cross pollination of ideas from science and spirituality. Michael Meade is a renowned author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He took us into todays’s crisis and explored the myths and stories from ancient sources that can help us navigate this time of transition and transformation.

Where we are today is Liminal Space.

The word liminal comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, a time of waiting and not knowing.

Liminal space is where real transformation takes place. When we learn to look into the space beyond, we find new insight and can follow our calling in the next chapter of life.

Author and theologian Richard Rohr describes this space as:

“where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy. The threshold is God’s waiting room. Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect an appointment with the divine Doctor.”

A threshold of waiting. Between the step before that was the past and the step forward into the unknown future. It is often seen as a sacred time where we retreat and contemplate the world as we have known it, and our place in it.

It feels just right for these times.

As I was exploring I came across more inspiration:

Sing to the shadows, sing and do not fear

But sing them into love little by little.

Begin the song exactly where you are.

And so I start again here in the middle.

– Malcolm Guite, The Singing Bowl

Yes, sing and transform fear into love. Start in your Middle Ground.

Coincidentally (or not), yesterday I attended a Kripalu Let your Yoga Dance class via Zoom with Jurian Hughes. We paused, then moved, danced, breathed, sang and found our own joyous rhythm in community. It was so uplifting.

Each one of us can find the joy and open our hearts to love. Find your voice, your song, your passion, your joy and a new rhythm for these times.
I truly believe that when we do this we will be better prepared to meet the collapse of the old and embrace the new.



Inspiration – Gratitude and Yoga

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and yoga students 🙏

Photo from Yoga Journal

Gratitude and yoga go hand-in-hand, and both are essential to well-being.
Yoga teaches us to be grateful for the present moment.
It reveals to us how the union of body, mind and spirit can come together through our breath, postures and meditation.
It allows us to appreciate the full spectrum of life, from pleasure to pain and joy to sorrow.
Through the practice of yoga, the darker moments in our lives allow the lighter times to glow ever more brightly.
When we acknowledge each other with the word Namaste we are expressing our gratitude for the connection that we have with each other and the light that shines within us.

I am grateful for every moment of my life and for sharing the transformative practice of yoga with you.


* Life is Like … an uprooted tree

D.H. Lawrence describes humanity as being like an uprooted tree with its roots in the air.

Uprooted tree

“We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs.

We are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.

We must plant ourselves again in the universe.”

tree for life

I think many people feel like uprooted trees in today’s world.

When we plant ourselves once more we become nourished, rooted and interconnected.

Each of us can do this for ourselves and support others in finding inner nourishment, renewal and connection to our life source and Spirit.

I call it Findng Your Middle Ground.



Our Inner and Outer Purpose of Life

I am inspired this morning by a post from Ivon over at Teacher as Transformer. He talks about working in the world from inner inspiration. I love that!

In our explorations of our purpose in life, we often think we have to focus on what to do next.

We ask ” What should I do with my life?… What is the perfect career for me?… What am I on this earth to do?… What is my special gift to the world?”…

Eckhart Tolle has some clear insights on this in his book  “A New Earth”:

dawn of a new earth“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose.

Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary.

Outer purpose concerns Doing and it is secondary.

Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that.

You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity.

Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence.

Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person.

Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose.

It is the basis for true success.”  

This is the new dawn of inner transformation that supports us in our own evolution and making a positive difference in the world.

Our purpose can’t be found by looking outside of ourselves. The answer comes from within us. When we start to explore who we are, and accept all aspects of our ego and evolving selves, we allow our inner Being to expand. It becomes our guiding light for all our Doing in the world.

We can live fully in the highs and lows of life when we connect with our  inner Being  and share it with the world.

How does this resonate with you?

What Needs to Change for Change to Happen

I was talking with a coaching client the other day about change and how it can be difficult for most of us. Our conversation led me to write about it. I thought I’d share this with you as a practical resource for transforming your life.Transformation - egg

Why is Change Hard?

Three things come to my mind that are supported by scientific research:

    • We are hard wired to be in our comfort zone. It’s for human survival … and reinforced by how we deal with difficult emotions growing up. We react to the stressors with a fight, flight, or freeze response, then act out learned behaviors that we think will take away the discomfort and fear. Those behaviors often keep us stuck and in a cycle of disappointment and failure.
    • In some circumstances we may fail to see change happening already around us. Our own conditioning and filters prevent us from seeing what’s real.
    • Even when we really want it, its hard to break old habits and beliefs and step out of our comfort zone. In “Immunity to Change” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Laley they state that desire and logic aren’t enough. 

For example: In a recent study. Doctors told heart patients that they will die unless they change their habits – taking meds consistently, changing eating habits and getting regular exercise. The result? only 1 in 7 people followed through. Even when it’s a matter of life and death, the ability to change can be madly elusive.

We have a built in immunity to change.

For real change to happen there has to be an inner transformation. 

plant emerging

In my experience from coaching people from all walks of life, this is what is needed:

      • A compelling gut level reason. The one big thing! A vision of how you see yourself being. Craft an inspirational story with you in the lead – Become your own hero.
      • Engage your head AND your heart.  Connecting to your hopes will give you energy to propel you forward. Use your logical brain to see the benefits of change outweigh the cost of not changing.
      • Change takes time. It isn’t about flicking a switch.  Don’t try to change until your mind and emotions are ready.  Give the universe time to align itself around your new way of being.
      • Open up your mindset and options before experimenting and taking action. Be curious and explore. Use your imagination without editing or judging. (That’s your ego trying to keep you safe!)
      • Be purposeful and gather information to overcome assumptions and beliefs that get in the way.
      • Tap into your past success with change. What worked for you that you can bring here? What do you choose not to do this time around?
      • No one is successful by themselves. Build a team to support you, include the people that inspire you.
      • Be patient …. with the outcome you want,  and with yourself. In your inner exploration you will encounter resistance and fear. It takes time to be okay with this and realize it is part of the process of transformation.
      • Trust that the outcome you really want will happen when it is meant to.

So let go of those unrealistic new years resolutions, going cold turkey and taking giant leaps of faith.

Take a more mindful approach to change.

Find your Middle Ground and take the time to get to know your own inspiring self. This is the part of you that will bring about real change and transformation.

* A Message for you

message for you

In this journey of mine I have always thought that the main reason I blog is in order to express myself and share what I have learned along the way.

I am inspired to touch your lives so that you can return to your center,  connect to your inner wisdom, and find your Middle Ground. I believe that this is where inspiration, true transformation and peace lies.

The other day I realized that it is more than this.

Often I wake up with an insight for someone that I have met or spoken to or read about. It could be some one from a Yoga of Transformation Workshop, a yoga class, a fellow teacher, a coaching client, a friend, or a fellow blogger …

So when I post, I am usually communicating a message with a recipient in mind.

…. and it could be you.

This is also my way to feel connected to my fellow human beings out there!

I have lived a lot and learned a lot, loved a lot and laughed a lot … and I want to share this in the hope that it brings clarity or lightness in the highs and lows of life.

When I do this I feel connection with you.

And it fills my heart.

Thank you for all the goodness you bring to the world and for being such an inspiration. 🙂



* Where is Your Mind Set?……

Are you curious to know how evolved your consciousness is and how complex your mind is? Some time ago I read about research by Robert Kegan that showed that as adults there are three stages in mental complexity. It opened my eyes to seeing people in a completely new light – including my colleagues, friends and family.

3 treesThe work was oriented towards leadership in the workplace, but it can be applied to our growth as conscious human beings. This is a longer post than usual. If this topic interests you, hang in there!

I expect that most of us growing up, thought that once we were adults our minds were pretty much set. We could learn new skills, but basically our thinking would remain the same…..

Turns out it wasn’t so. Dealing with the highs and the lows of life  contributes to an increased mental complexity and different perspective on how we see others and the world. As adults our minds continue to grow and expand based on our experiences and how we engage our brains.

Challenges are good for us! I see the world differently and think differently from my 24 year old self.

Here are the Three Levels of Adult Mental development as I would describe them:

The Socialized Mind 
  • We are shaped by our environment and the expectations of others.
  • We align our selves to others and are strongly influenced by what we think others want us to do or say.
  • We are highly sensitive to others and what they think of us. Most of all we want to fit in and be accepted.
The Self Authoring Mind 
  • We are able to step back from the social environment and make our own judgments, evaluations and choices.
  • We align ourselves to our own belief system or personal code.
  • We are self directed, independent, take a stand on issues, and have strategies for our success.
The Self Transforming Mind 
  • We are able to step back from and reflect on our own beliefs, thoughts and actions.
  • We are friendlier towards contradiction and differences.
  • We seek wholeness or completeness, and align ourselves with multiple perspectives rather than opposing poles.
  • We appreciate the interconnectedness with others and are interdependent.

active brain Here’s the data:

The Socialized Mind …. 27% of adults

In between this level and the next …. 32%

The Self Authoring Mind …. 34%

In between this level and the next .… 6%

The Self Transforming Mind …. 1%

This is what comes to my mind:

* We are all capable of growing our mindset and increasing our minds complexity. (Now confirmed in neuroscience research into neuroplasticity)

* Most adults appear to be becoming more independent in their thinking and more “self” oriented. (Is there a correlation between this group and increased stress levels I also wonder)

* Going through each stage is a part of the journey. Remember, the levels relate to the complexity of the mind, there is no better or worse.

* The Self Transforming Mind is aligned with mindfulness, spiritual development, and the growth of our own consciousness.

* This study comes from 1994. If the research were to be done today I wonder what would the results show. Would there be more self oriented people or more people awakening to the connectivity of us all?

* Now take a moment and imagine the impact on the planet if humanity was to transcend into the Self Transforming Mind. … There would be inner peace and external peace. Everyone would be living from their Middle Ground.

* That’s something special to help bring about. And yes – I believe it would be a better world to live in!

I feel so much gratitude for being able to share my insights here. Thank you.

What comes to your mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

* Inspiration from Eckhart Tolle for the New Year

I’m in an Eckhart Tolle kind of mood today. At least in this present moment 😉  Enjoy!

Eckhard tolle quote

Wishing you a New Year of unexpected changes and emergence!