Big Snow Little Snow, Little Snow Big Snow

IMG00071-20110127-1115Growing up, my Dad, an engineer who wore a pocket protector for most of his professional life and tried to teach us all how to use a slide rule (to varying degrees of success), would offer little maxims as guidance. For instance, when we might have been frustrated with people or situations, he would pull out Abraham Lincoln’s “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” And invariably, the night before the first day of school he would provide Benjamin Franklin’s essential “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” I can confirm that neither resonated as a child as loudly as they do now as an adult. I guess, in looking back, he was sort of an old school version of #instaquote #inspiration.Continue reading “Big Snow Little Snow, Little Snow Big Snow”

Look Better Naked

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.   ~Pema Chödrön

I’ve been guiding yoga classes at David Barton Gyms in New York for a while now. David Barton Gym has been a fixture in New York for years; first in a rather unglamorous downstairs of an apartment building on 15th and 6th avenue and now expanded to numerous locations around New York and other cities. These gyms aren’t just boxes with workout equipment. They’re chic spaces, with dj’s, awesome equipment, and the hottest trainers in town, more akin to stylish nightclubs or sexy boutique hotel lobby lounges and are as much about community as they are about working out.Continue reading “Look Better Naked”

Life Out of Balance

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I’ve been playing a good bit of Philip Glass in my classes recently. If you’re familiar with Glass’ music, it can be downright tedious at times…foreboding in others. Quite frankly, I’m not sure most people would think it belongs in a yoga class. But I’m not most people. What I’ve long loved about his pieces is the way he layers something light and melodic on top of something angst producing and how his compositions seemingly change course in a beat. But this is neither a review nor critique of Philip Glass’ music.Continue reading “Life Out of Balance”

The Observer…and the Observed

IMG_2047“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. ‘Can they be brought together?’ This is a practical question. We must get down to it. ‘I despise intelligence’ really means: ‘I cannot bear my doubts.’” ~Albert Camus

Control

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“We all dread the helplessness of losing control, and yet real freedom lies in recognizing the futility of demanding that life be within our control. Instead, we must learn the willingness to feel—to say yes to—the experience of helplessness itself. This is one of the hidden gifts of serious illness or loss. It pushes us right to our edge, where we may have the good fortune to realize that our only real option is to surrender to our experience and let it just be.”

~Ezra Bayda, “The Three Things We Fear Most”

Life is profound if you’re awake to see it. It’s one thing to draw from culture, it’s another thing to be drawn so deeply into the culture that your true nature disappears. Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention. ~Seido Ray Ronci, “The Examined Life”

Baggage Claim

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The other day as I walked along the street and rounded a corner I nearly tripped over one of those wheely bags a woman was dragging behind her. While my initial reaction was to give the woman one of my signature smartass remarks, I looked into her face, already with a pained expression, and realized I didn’t need to add anything. Walking away, it dawned on me that we never really know when we’re going to get tripped up. Which in turn moved me to ask the question: Are we carrying stuff around with us that not only is a heavy burden to ourselves, but also begins to trip up others around us?Continue reading “Baggage Claim”