The other night, I was looking at my tree, decorated with the small number of ornaments that are meaningful to my family and me, and thought about how I grew up with a tree full of ornaments, each covering the one behind it. It was one of those moments of clarity for me, watching the tree in the dark of night with the lights sparkling: Less is more. Too many trinkets distract. It’s not about what you get or have. It’s about what you give, and the quality, not quantity behind that sentiment.
Around Thanksgiving, I’m drawn to the subject of gratitude and how to put it into practice on a daily basis. I have to admit, I’m not ready for the typical stress of the holiday season and am on a mission to keep the season as stress-free as possible with a mixture of appreciation for all that I have and awareness of all I can give.
This month’s film program is all about love and inspiration.
In Jillian’s Vantage, a couple on a blind date learn to see from one another’s perspective.
In The Most Beautiful Thing, two teenagers getting ready for the school dance teach each other about communication and compassion.
In Revelations, a man’s life is judged in an unexpected way.
Autumn has arrived, and with it, I always feel the need to turn within to find balance between the lightness I felt during the warm summer days and the sudden desire to stay cozy and warm inside, as the temperatures cool outside.
Watching leaves float to the ground is a reminder that our lives are a mirror of nature’s cycles and that everything is in a state of impermanence. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that no longer serve us.
The yoga practice is a glorious dance of the physical possibilities in the human body. An advanced practice can take your breath away as easily as it can expand your ujjayi. It can twist and turn in directions that make an artist quiver with creative jealousy and inspire even the heaviest of sloths to entertain a change of mind.
That being said — it can also be intimidating as hell.
I learned, trained, teach and practice in Santa Monica, California. It is the mecca of yoga these days and the cream of the crop when it comes to beautiful practices. It’s hard to find a level 2-3 class that doesn’t have at least one yogi soaring through the air in-between asanas or adding what appears to be a level-X variation to every pose. It can often be inspiring and mind-blowing but it can also be, in a word, daunting.
Spiritual Cinema Circle’s September films focus on the journeys we take to find love.
The Last New Yorker, starring veteran actor Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior in The Sopranos), asks the question: “Is it ever too late to find happiness?” This feature is a great exploration of a man looking at his life all over again.
When I was 19 years old a dear friend, Angel, began dating a man named Bill. It was perplexing to me because they were quite different. He was conservative and went to bed early. She was someone who loved to party and stay up late. He was a respected high-level court reporter who played by the rules and she was a teacher with a rebellious nature. When they decided to marry I was present and supportive even though I didn’t quite understand the match.
At some point in your yoga practice, you’ve probably been asked to set an intention or San Culpa. Setting an intention is a wonderful way to start your practice, your day, or any new beginning, but in doing so it’s always good to step back and ask why you’re doing it. What is intention? What does intention mean to me?
I have known for some time that negative or challenging energy is not part of me. At any given moment, I can choose to accept or reject something into my life, and I have often told my students that they do not have to accept old energy and thought patterns into their lives.
During the month of May we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a time when we honor our biological, adopted and surrogate mothers. It is a time when we remember the incredible and awesome nature of the “mother spirit.” Whether it is in the animal kingdom or the family of human beings, most mothers are fierce protectors of their young. They intuitively know when something is happening with their child. I was always amazed when my mother tuned right into me. This wasn’t always good news for me, but it most certainly reminded me that we were connected in an extraordinary way.