Sunday, January 29, 2012


I remember getting hugs as a little girl.  My mom would ask me if I needed one and when the response was yes, she proceeded to look up her sleeve, pat down her pockets, peek in her purse, chattering away with, “Now let me see if I’ve got one here for you…hmmm…doesn’t seem to be one here.  Let me look here.  Nope.  Not there.  Now, I know I’ve got one for you.  I just have to find it.”

This would go on for a bit and the anticipation for this hug, this thing I was about to receive, would build ever so slightly with each place she “searched”. 

“Oh here’s one!  I’ve found one here for you!  Would you like it now?”

“Yes Mom!  Yes!”

Moms know stuff.  Moms can just look at you and know it’s a good time to ask you if you need a hug.

Sometimes a hug is a gift…a blessing you sink into even though you didn’t realize it was coming.  Sometimes a hug is a thing you need…the receiving of it can be just like medicine.  Sometimes a hug is a thing you wait for…the anticipation drawn out just a bit by being made to wait, no matter the reason.

A hug is a thing you receive.  A hug is a thing you give.  Hugs are not just about doing.  So many simple things we do for each other can be reframed this way.  So many things are not about the doing.  It’s about being a good giver.  Knowing what your people need and being ready with that thing.  It’s about being a good receiver.  Knowing that sometimes your people know what you need before you do.  Knowing that sometimes people give you what they need to give you…that being a good receiver can be about taking what you’re given.  Whenever, and however it comes.

I’m lucky.  I have gotten more hugs from my mom than I can possibly remember.  I’m lucky.  I have received what I needed more times than I can possible remember.

I’m lucky.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


A tricky one for me to be authentic about this week.  Although we have been very clear from the beginning of this blog/project that the pictures are hers to take and the words are mine to make, a concept as spiritually charged as Sabbath made me want to be as true to both of us as possible.  What’s true for me about the idea of a Sabbath is not what’s true for my sister, my Christian sisteror so I thought. 

I sat with this word for several days before I wrote a single thing.  I engaged in my own practice.  With yoga I am intensely committed to the work my body has to do but constantly struggling with the concept of satisfaction.  Am I doing it correctly?  Have I done enough?  Long enough?  Straight enough?  I try to let go of the striving and give in to the work my body can do, on this day, and then I must be finished.  I must step back from my postures and end with Savasana, the final pose.  Lay in complete relaxation while my body’s neurons integrate all the work that has been done.  This is very different from doing nothing.  

I opened a bible this week for the first time in…meh, not important to the story…and around about the beginning of the second chapter of Genesis, God looks out on the work that he has done and is satisfied.  So he rests.  He knows instantly that the work to be done, has been finished.  He steps back from the work and gives it time to all come together.  This is very different from doing nothing…and so I thought. 

There is a connection here.  There is a symmetry of ideas.  This concept of Sabbath has something to do with “doing" and then being satisfied.  Being satisfied that all that could be done, has been done.  Stepping back from the doing and resting in that place while your work comes together.  This is very different from doing nothing.  Sabbath.  Intentional non-doing.  Savasana.  Your choice.  After the work has been done.    

When you force yourself to stop and be satisfied.  Satisfied that the work you have done is all that could be done.  In this moment.  On this day.  

When you settle in to the relief and joy of knowing you have worked for your rest.  Rest that is very different from doing nothing.    

When you keep the Sabbath and let the work become a part of you, 

the rest will come.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Even.  A more difficult word than I realized.  I'm struggling a bit with this own fault because I suggested it...but I digress.

This word calls up so many different ideas for me.  Even vs. odd.   Even, as in what you get when somebody toilet papers your front yard.  Even, like all lined up.  Even as in Steven...who is that guy anyway.

I know this couple that has an epic score card of who did what, when.  If he goes out with his buddies on a Friday night and is gone for 4 hours, she is entitled to a 4 hour girl's night...soon.  If she goes on a run for an hour, he gets a workout of the same length.  His turn.  Her turn.  Her turn.  His turn.  Even.  Meh.

Even?  This kind of evenness just doesn't seem right to me.  In my mind the word 'even' is inherently linked to the word 'balance'.

But what you learn about balance, as you get better at it, is that balance doesn't always mean having the same amount on each side.  Sometimes you have to lean way over to one side and falling over is not an option.  So your body does this amazing thing.  It compensates.  When you have to lean, or carry a heavy load or reach down to hold a hand your body shifts to keep you from falling when your sides are not even.

This idea works in relationships too.  When you get better at relationships you realize that the kind of evenness that works in a relationship is not about having the same amount for each side.  In a relationship that's working, the balance is more important than the evenness.  And the balance comes when you learn to compensate.  A shift when the load is unbalanced.  A hold when you begin to fall.

Sometimes balance isn't always about being even.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


A knot binds you.  So simple.  Pieces of line, twisted and looped in just the right way.  So powerful.  A well tied knot lets you stay attached to what you need.  Keeps your shoes on your feet.  Holds your anchor in the storm.

But anyone who's ever seen a brightly colored balloon slip away into the summer sky, knows that a poorly tied knot can be just as powerful.  So basic.  Those cords bent around each other.  We are lulled by the simplicity sometimes.  Distracted by the festivities.  The music.  The chattering children.  The rush.  A loop, a twist.  We have done it a thousand times.  And that poorly tied knot lets a thing slip away.

Family ties.  What about those?  Knots that bind you to people rather than things.  Knots that are not always able to be untied.  Lives bent around each other in such a way.  Family ties are hard because we assume they should be so easy.  These knots are present from the moment of our birth, or even before, so we think we don't have to work at fastening them properly.  But that's the same thing as a poorly tied knot that lets a balloon slip away.

Simple lines and cords can hold fast to each other and be powerful but only when they are bound on purpose.  With purpose.  Knotted well.

To be stay attached to the things we need.

Start tying tighter knots.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Movement is an extremely powerful communication tool.  The way you move.  Can I recognize your intention from the way you move through space?

Launch.  Its certainly about being in the right vehicle.  But that's just part of it.  You have to have enough power to get off the ground.  Which might mean you have to borrow from somewhere else.  You have to be ready.  Buckled up.  With the right attitude.  People who fly talk about attitude in a different way than us common folks.  To them, attitude is about direction.  Up versus down.  Your place in space.

A successful launch has everything to do with attitude.  Are you pointed in the right direction?

What if you could apply the idea of launch to your life?  To anything you do.  Assemble all the right parts, power up, adjust your attitude and go?

Engineer your attitude self so you couldn't do anything but go in the right direction if you had the power?

Launch.  A great concept for a new blog.  A new year.