Light That Menorah

I’m checking the ways I contribute to the growing violence, the ways I kick myself, accuse, and separate from others. It’s humbling; I don’t like it, but the work feels necessary, each of us tending our own light to create change.

This Hanukkah feels timely to light the menorah. To revere each day of increasing darkness, and take great care to shine. Practice non-violence, starting with your Self. Notice how you’re mean to you. The ways you terrorize yourself, start there.

Then everyday connect to nature; that is love. Make love, and choose it more often. Love when it seems crazy to, when you’d rather scream or hate; stop—our actions matter. How we treat ourselves, and people around us, is contributing.

 

One Love These Holidays,

 

signature

I Am 32 Flavors and Then Some

Definitely blown away by rapid teachings of late. Last month on the beach, post retreat sans media, I finally caught Adele’s new single watching the waves roll onto shore… “I’m in California dreaming, about how we used to be…”

Lyrics giving me lessons, phrasing changing my world, shedding truth to light. Music is a rescue. Rhythm and sound heals, and lyrics, like mantra–shift you. My teacher Dana says, ‘If you don’t like your life, change your mantra.’ It’s that simple. What you sing, what you recite, what you think–is what you get.

So put your Ani DiFranco on and repeat, “I am 32 flavors and then some.” You have the power to change within any moment. You can repeat lyrics of lack, or you can sing out, “Well, it’s a bittersweet–symphony, this life.” Because it’s your life, it’s your stereo. Make it rock.

*Grateful for ya’ll this Thanksgiving. Been a year of busting out, creating a new scene at Railyard, Santa Fe, NM. You have been there for me, huge–

Love and Respect,

signature

Livin’ The Dream

I was changed overhearing one of my 18 and Under Free kids at yoga, attending New Mexico School for the Arts in performance say, ‘When I’m older–I want to do what Emily’s doing.’ It struck me… I’m so used to striving, I forgot about arriving. That moment validated I’m there. I’m already living the dream.

Why do we hurry so? Or think that because it doesn’t look a certain way, we have more success to bear? Because most of us–are rocking it, being consistent and loving and actively free. Thank God, I leapt to Manhattan instead of teaching English back home. I got schooled in the way of soul, graduating from real world, and creative rights of passage. And of course it took a kid to remind me.

To get it through my thick Halloween skull that I’m here; I’m whole, and letting go. That this turning late thirties has become me, and I’m going to rest more and thank myself now. Take days off and not worry of getting ahead, go on writer’s retreats, teach on the weekends or not teach on the weekends; because we’re already living examples of our dreams in action. Just–keep–living it.

Bless,

signature

A Nineties Love Song

Like an ache for more nineties music; I mourn the letting go of summer. I’m not ready to talk crispness in the air, or turn to darker days… It’s not that I don’t love the beauty of fall and live for Halloween; it’s that summer’s end, makes me nostalgic for more. My desert mornings chilly now round my altar, the birds quieter…

I’m not sure why we get how precious something is when it’s leaving…why angsty, bittersweet songs are the ones that make most sense. We complain about how hot it is, how it gets dark so late waiting impatiently for fireworks, and then they come and we almost miss them; too busy in our lives to delight in all days.

And here we are, with kids in school and new schedules to balance; and my resistance like hearing new music; hesitant with this change of season…my heart, still under the Buck Moon; listening to Pearl Jam, and the very last of summer.

Happy Autumn Rising,

signature

Medicine of Pause

Venus Retrograde and Jon Stewart leaving us included, life has been interesting. Forced to participate in Western medicine, I spent a week on antibiotics I kept on my altar near Shiva to try and grace the pills into my system. Down and out with dental surgery and druggy traces of novocaine; I couldn’t really talk, or output myself, for weeks.

Recovered and back in the game I’m feeling hyper aware of tired patterns, truths about myself to be absolutely honored. Understanding and space for situations prior I wanted to fight, now falling away as if I never cared in the first place.

Take your medicine of pause, family. However it comes to you this month; stop talking and listen. The Universe gets louder the more silence you practice. Yeah – it’s scary. Because we’re brilliant at cocktail-ing our way through uncomfortable silence. We love not dealing with shit, but the gold is in you quiet, the pause before your next inhale; there’s a message there… Listen up.

With Love,

signature

The Wisconsin Kids

Something about the going home; way it takes you back to root in a most humbling kind of way… Marrying friends of mine together for twenty three years, I looked around our group of artists and soul family feeling honored to hold such space. I grew up with brothers who’ve still got my back today. Sisters, who know all of me; not just the yoga part or actor part, but the down home girl plunging into bay of Green Bay laughing part; hanging round the campfire dancing till three.

Having escaped rural Wisconsin for City, I come home ready to live life simpler. On the dance floor, shaking it with a dear brothers’ one year old was the place to be this past fourth of July. Driving home from the Tonet wedding as the sun came up to a field of deer running; flashes of back home had me smiling: family laughing, rooster crowing, Egg Harbor docking, late-nite jamming…

My tribe left our little town succeeding; living our art and childhood dreams, but the bloodline of Wisconsin runs deep I’m appreciating. Valuing more the inherent goodness of a Midwesterner, the solidness of their ethics; learning you can take the kids out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Wisconsin out of the kids – we earned that.

Peace,

signature

Life Practice & Popcorn

I’m not interested in your down dog. I mean, I wish you let your head go; melt your heart rooting palms and heals to Earth, but I’m more interested in how you practice out of studio… Out wild, in the West; where loving thy neighbor is still radical and everyday you’re tempted, thwarted, and caged. I want to know if you’re doing what you love. If you find time each day to jump up and down dancing in rhythm. Because music is the Revolution.

I want to know if your heart is bursting, like mine, with those encounters that inspire and fill you up for weeks after. As sun peaking to Solstice, you too shining spontaneous and in the flow. Yes – I can stand on my hands and balance free in air, but can I also come down…? Bow down to someone else; remind myself I’m ordinary, same, and not above anyone. Can I allow teachings of yoga to be given like friends, receiving my hugs, heart and pure wishes. Equally speaking, wherever we’re at.

Life Practice for me this June: Yoga.Cocktails.Cinema. In that order, an evening of all things I adore. Yoga out of the studio – practiced at a Santa Fe art gallery to a playlist of film songs. Cocktail hour and socializing at Jean Cocteau, cinema of George R.R. Martin and his Game of Thrones. Post class hang-time with community; followed by movie, and the power of story and art. Practicing this summer – life.

Love,

signature

Tune In and Turn It Up

A student asked what’s inspiring my teaching, lately. I answered not a new way of sequencing or how to talk about breathing… But a poetry reading from Cut + Paste Society up at an old gallery on Canyon Road; the way the lilacs smelled in the Spanish courtyard that Friday eve. Colleagues out of their stretch clothes into their real lives, speaking word and the kind of rearrangement of them I live for. The guts they shared, the artwork on the wall made the event epic in my memory, inspiring me still…

Nick Cave’s docudrama while finishing my latest book draft blew me away. Pure light on stage, his lyrics, a dying art sent me deep into his library which is what else inspires always – music. Psychedelic cowboy, Sturgill Simpson, new ambient band East Forest; yes please. And a random Wednesday night, Lensic Performing Arts with social activist, Naomi Klein. New editor of The Guardian and Naomi on climate change saying; we are connected to Earth, this is a spiritual issue. Whoa. That inspired me.

May is all about creativity. Look around. Your next inspiration is right in front of your eyes. Life is magic, blossoming and blowing through with wild color and ideas. Participate, engage in your life. Hang with interesting people and go to random events. Life is teaching all around you. Boredom is impossible if you’re paying attention. Tune in and turn it up, family; the music just got good.

Happy May Love,

signature

Yoga Teachers Aren’t Perfect

Been teaching yoga eight years this Santa Fe April; fifteen total. It’s been a blessing. One of my greatest gifts received during my Manhattan artist twenties, was a way to dial my creative flow and direct it. Yoga does that quick, and practices beyond asana/poses work like magic the more you repeat. My heroes have inspired me to leap, so I teach students same. Practice your free will. Close your eyes and trust more. Comparison is the thief of joy. Rest when you need. If it doesn’t feel right – don’t do it.

I’m not into the pedestal. And colleagues, I ask you to check it too, because what our job is as teachers is to empower. To mirror back faith for our tribe to make their own decisions. My mentor Dana’s motto, ‘Move Like Yourself,’ I repeat often. There’s no one outside of your own heart that has the answers. Not the book by your nightstand, or the goddess-like teacher whose haircut you envy. I’m happy to break it to you all, that yoga teachers – are not perfect. They’re not more evolved, or higher than star or prophet, so don’t put us there. We’re human. Flawed and freaking out some, just like you. Maybe. Maybe, I’ve mastered a few things along the way to stoke students inspiration and heal – but, you can too.

During these times that keep a changin’, during these eclipses of heart and question… Move like yourself. Don’t follow the crowd. Being kind to your neighbor is the sickest pose you can practice. Yoga off the mat, Jesus preached. Don’t let a guru or teacher spoon feed your medicine. I get more God meditating on sky some days than any class or workshop. I’m happy to keep on teaching, it’s my dharma, I love. But, I will continue to nudge you back – to the voice within you, answering.

In Service & Gratitude for You Family,

signature