Two weeks away and I’ve been on all sorts of adventures! Want to see? This is what I’ve been up to…

AND as promised, here are playlists from the amazing Mary Linn Bergstrom who, in addition to the rest of the Nia team covered my classes while I was away. Big gratitude to them all and ENJOY!

Wed July 18 and Thurs July 19 GNO adapted to B.B. King
1. Need Your Love So Bad/B.B. King & Sheryl Crow
2. Sweet Little Angel (1990 Live at San Quentin)
3. The Thrill is Gone (1990 Live at San Quentin)
4. Every Day I Have the Blues (1990 Live at San Quentin)
5. Into the Night (1990 Live at San Quentin)
6. Rock This House/B.B. King & Elton John
7. When Love Comes to Town/B.B. King & U2
8. Let the Good Times Roll (1990 Live at San Quentin)
9. Whole Lot of Lovin’ (1990 Live at San Quentin)
10. Peace to the World (1990 Live at San Quentin)
11. Rock Me Baby/B.B. King & Eric Clapton
12. Come Rain or Come Shine/B.B. King & Eric Clapton
Tues July 24, Wed July 25, and Thurs July 26 Sexi adapted to Alicia Keys
1. Wild Horses (live version from Unplugged album)
2. You Don’t Know My Name (live version from VH1 Storytellers album)
3. She Don’t Really Care_1 Luv
4. Rock Wit U
5. Girl Can’t Be Herself
6. No One (live version from VH1 Storytellers album)
7. The Gospel
8. Pawn It All (CLEAN version)
9. Blended Family
10. Work On It
11. Superwoman
12. Holy War
Tues, July 31
1. Orange Sky/Alexi Murdoch
2. Nourah/Makyo
3. Qalanderi/Cheb i Sabbah
4. I Shall Be Free/Kid Beyond
5. Never Goin’ Down (Ben Chapman Remix)/Adamski
6. Yanni Hu Wey/One At Last
7. Piece of My Heart/Melissa Etheridge
8. Mercy/Melissa Etheridge
9. Free/Zac Brown Band



The rest of our August adventure!

And now it is so good to be home. I can’t wait to teach this week: Monday (Labor Day!) and Wednesday, 11a-1215p at acac albemarle square, Tuesday and Thursday, 840-940am at acac downtown!

transition 061116

When our girl was young, she hated vacations. She hated Christmas break and spring break and she really, really hated it when school let out for the summer. At the time, her vacation aversion was more than a little challenging, but I got it. Vacations took her out of the comfortable, familiar routine of school that she loved. All the unfilled, empty time of a vacation (or worse, leaving home to go somewhere else) made the poor girl anxious to distraction.

I don’t suffer from vacation anxiety, I love to get out and see new places and explore the world. What I suffer from, as a friend pointed out to me recently, is Vacation Packing Anxiety. It’s not the going away but the getting ready to go away that gets me. When I stop to think about my life, however, it’s more generalized than that: I have transitionitis.

As my husband and I get ready for a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, half a dozen lists are posted around the house. Even still I have loose ends and tendrils that I don’t want to forget twisting in my brain (pick up an extra bike inner tube, remember the food in the freezer, bring your Tevas). I have piles of books and art supplies in my office, stacks of granola bars and chocolate on the countertops. The kitchen floor is cluttered with bins half-filled with canisters of rice and quinoa, jars of olives and salad dressing, cans of tomatoes and artichokes. I keep tripping on my hiking boots which I’ve left out on the floor so I won’t forget them.

Transitionitis is in full swing. Lucky for me, I’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice with it since between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox, we will take four trips. Simply writing those words makes my heart flutter.

From a Buddhist perspective, I know that life is change. We are transitioning all the time whether we are conscious of it or not. So the opportunity to practice with so many explicit transitions is a healthy and helpful one…albeit uncomfortable and messy with a lot of shoes scattered on the floor.

Feelings, and in particular fear, are part of what we get when we land on the planet. Along with elbows and earlobes and eye teeth, we get emotions …all of them including worry. Just like sensations in the body, our job is to listen to them, give them our attention and respond to them with compassion. So when I find myself caught in the racy feeling that I won’t get everything done, or the tight fear that I will forget something important, that’s the time to pause, breathe, and feel whatever sensations are happening.

As soon as we pull out of the driveway on Tuesday, I know I’ll feel differently but for now I’m a bundle of nervousness. In the meantime, I’m checking things off my list and breathing. I’m sorting paper, colored pens and pencils and breathing. I’m stowing sandals, backpacks, bathing suits and breathing.

All the while, I’m reminding myself how lucky I am to be reluctant to leave the everyday life that I love for the traveling life that I also love. And I’m reminding myself that life really is one big transition, so bring on the practice!


TEACHING NOTE: I’ll be teaching on Monday, Jun 13 at 1045am at acac Albemarle Square and then my next class will be Monday, Jul 4 at 1045am! Please join me!

CR022314 004Time is a funny thing.  A sometimes slippery, sometimes sluggish thing.  On one level, time is what our lives are made of.  Time is what allows me to experience my life unfolding, moving, happening, changing.

Intellectually, I know that time is rigid and crisply measured:  60 seconds is 60 seconds, an hour is an hour, a day is a day.  And yet, I have a strange, fluid, ever-shifting direct experience of time.

When we planned our month-long Costa Rica adventure in June last year, it seemed so far in the future, it was almost as if it would never come.  But of course, it did.  Once we left, when we gazed out at a whole month away, it seemed almost like it would never be over.  But of course, now it nearly is.

I am doing my best to savor our time here.  To be present for this precious, delicious time together in a beautiful foreign place.  There are so many things that I am longing for at home:  my favorite breakfast, teaching Nia, taking yoga, all my people and my cat (just to name a few).  Yet, I find myself in the funny human place of resisting time’s passing.  Resisting letting go of the things I love here.  Of course I know this is silly.  Of course I do.

The slight heaviness and tightness in my heart remains.  Silly as it may be.

CR022214 004Today was a day filled with adventure and serendipity and wet activities (therefore another lazy one for the camera).  We are in the last few days of our month-long exploration experiment. I feel torn between sadness that this experience is almost over and excitement about getting back to my Nia and yoga practices, about getting back to my teachers and students, all my people, and getting back to the life that I love in Charlottesville.  While we’ve traveled, I’ve done some yoga and danced some Nia, and practiced some meditation and mindfulness, but not like when I’m at home.  A day like today reminds me that my practices are always with me, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

In the morning, we took the long hike from our hotel to the farthest end of the public beach — next to a busy road, then down a steep slippery path, then all along the beach.  Half-way down the trail, we noticed movement in the trees and saw a troop of howler monkeys, the only Costa Rican species we hadn’t seen yet.  There were a couple of juveniles who wanted to ride on their moms but the moms kept plunking them back on the branches and letting them go on their own.

At the beach, we playedplayedplayed in the waves and watched some beach soccer and cheered parasailers llifting off from the sand and drank coconut water right out of the durn coconut.

Last night, we took the public bus to nearby Quepos to see their weekly farmer’s market.  On the way there, we met Nick and Kristin who are both rafting guides.  They not only helped us find the market but they suggested that we raft the Churro (or “chute”) section of the Naranjo River.  It is a narrow river that runs down a canyon of rock and the water is low now since this is the height of a dry dry season but they said the river and the forest is beautiful and worth the trip.  So this afternoon, we had a big rafting outing.  Nick and Kristin were so right:  the forest was lush and vibrant, the canyon was sculpted stone, and the river rushed cool and clean and blue.  There was much squealing and laughter.

It was a wonderful day.  And it reminded me to take one step at a time, to be open and see what happens next, to expand my awareness to experience with all my senses, and to relax to enjoy it all.

CR022114 002We spent the morning at the beach.  We chose not to bring camera or phones so we could play together in the ocean without worrying about our stuff.  Here we find that we’ve shifted from observing wildlife to watching waves, from looking for monkeys to observing people, from photographing flowers to talking about books and travel and ideas.

Some things we saw, said, overheard:

  • Three little girls making sand “meatballs” and placing each one lovingly and carefully in “bowls” they made with their heels in the sand.
  • A couple arguing bitterly as they stood shin-deep in the blue water.  (Frank called it a “patterned fight” — we could just hear that it was one they’d had a thousand times before.)
  • We were talking about The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and how it is relevant to our current social situation.  Frank said, “America is the company store.”  I told him that was a great title for an essay and we talked about it for an hour.
  • We both agreed that the ending of  Huckleberry Finn was weakened by the entrance of Tom Sawyer and his silly shenanigans.  We noodled on how Sam Clemens could have done it differently.  We didn’t come up with much.
  • Frank created a new swimming stroke called The Run.  It’s not very efficient, but it sure does look goofy.  I created a new Olympic sport called Pool Dancing.  It sure does look goofy (but honestly, could it look any goofier than curling?) and we are the champions.

It all reminds me that no far you travel, no matter how exotic the location, go, no matter how long, it is always so that wherever you go, there you are.

May you be loving wherever you are right now.

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