A 21st Century “Sabbath Day” Experiment

What if taking a Sabbath actually made all that is on your plate easier and relationships more fulfilling? Instead of a full plate feeling heavy, it could feel nourishing. I used to feel resistant to taking a day off, and now I don’t know how I could live without a Sabbath. If you are thinking that by Sabbath I mean a highly rule-oriented day of do’s and don’ts based on a religion, please keep reading because that is far from what I mean. Yes, a Sabbath does involve slowing down and refraining from constant activity, but it is more about a state of mind than said actions or non-actions.

Posted on July 31, 2017 and filed under Health and Wellness, Spirituality.

Cretan Labyrinth

The last sentence of my last blog almost a year ago was: “Oh, the discoveries that await!,” referring to the permanent walking labyrinth I was hoping to create the coming spring. Boy, did that turn out to be prophetic! I did create the labyrinth, last spring, and have been walking it, if not daily, regularly. It is one of my proudest creations because I was so convinced initially that I couldn’t do it.

Posted on May 10, 2017 and filed under Healing, Meditation, Nature.

Crystal Alchemy: Sweet Selenite

Selenite is named after the Greek Goddess of the moon, Selene. This delicate, soft, and serene crystal is one of "the" crystals to have around you to create peace, serenity, and calm. Some crystals can disturb your sleep, but you can put this gem on your bedside table. Because Selenite is restful and soothing, it can be used for helping with insomnia. Try it out and see. Use it for clearing your mind and emotions, and to release stress. It does wonders for relaxation and meditation.

Posted on March 14, 2017 and filed under Crystals.

The Extraordinary Power of Writing

The effects of writing are cumulative: what you write today may not tell you yet about yourself as a whole, but taken together with hundreds of other bits of writing, this piece of writing will eventually present you with a picture of yourself, and solutions to many of your problems. And sharing your writing with others only intensifies all of these results. How does writing do this?

Posted on February 6, 2017 .

Align with the Universal Vibration of 2017: the Year of New Beginnings

Excitingly, after an intense year of cleansing and completion in 2016, 2017 heralds a cycle for promising beginnings birthed from the heart. According to the ancient metaphysical science of numerology, 2017 has a universal vibration of a one (2+0+1+7=10, 1+0=1).  This is a collective influence that affects everybody. Perhaps, in some way, we can breathe a sigh of relief as 2017 will feel more vibrant and alive, and we will probably have more get up and go.

Posted on January 13, 2017 and filed under Numerology.

How Listening to Your Children Can Benefit You, Your Children and the World — A Review of 'Listen: Five Simple Tools To Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges'

Reading the new book Listen: Five Simple Tools To Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges
is a little like visiting an amazingly caring, honest, and helpful parents' group. Hearing the stories of other parents, readers will feel less alone with their parenting struggles. Parents will also feel deeply understood by authors Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore, who know parenting and families inside and out. They are down-to-earth and funny, like when they comment that when our children have big upsets, it’s like they are taking “emotional poops.” But Wipfler and Shore also take very seriously the lack of support that exists for all families and the strains that poverty, racism and other oppressions put on parents. 

Posted on October 26, 2016 .

What is 'Floating'? − Floating Free at Bloom Wellness

Each flotation tub at Bloom Wellness has 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, easily supporting a person's full weight in about 10 inches of water..Upon first arriving, I was handed a large, fluffy robe and shown to a very nice, very clean locker room.... Thus attired, I was then taken to a windowless room lit only by a flickering candle and enjoyed a turn in the Dreamwave Bliss, a completely engulfing shiatsu massage chair that massages from head to toe while a recording of waves crashing on the beach played in the background.

Posted on October 14, 2016 .

Traditional Naturopathy — What Is It, Really?

Traditional Naturopathy has been around in our country since the 1800s, as a drugless system of healthcare and medicine. A Traditional Naturopath — an ND —  is dedicated to utilizing nature's healing powers in a healthcare system to help others. The practice is distinguished by six well-established principles that underlie and determine education and practice protocols:

Posted on October 11, 2016 and filed under Naturopathy.

My Instrument Is Tabla, My Music Is My Own

Before moving to California I had only seen tabla in the form of a documentary video of Ravi Shankar and Allah Rhaka at the Monterey Jazz Festival. It was amazing to watch, but I never imagined myself actually playing those drums; it was too foreign, exotic, and different. When I arrived at CalArts in 1998, my experience with tabla became very real and accessible. I saw students perform together in a large tabla ensemble, followed by a performance by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, a living legend of the tabla who also happened to be the tabla guru at CalArts. Before the first month of the first semester was done, I had fallen in love. I was in love with the sounds, the spoken rhythmic language, and the fact that all the performance was done without the use of sheet music. It was all so interesting and appealing ... I joined my first tabla class in the fall of 1998 and never looked back.

Posted on September 23, 2016 .

Collective Consciousness

When two or more people get together, their thoughts are stepping stones to the consciousness they share. When we think, there are two components. First, there is the thought. Second is the consciousness that listens to that thought. Most people just focus on thoughts, but in a collective consciousness, they share the consciousness that listens to those thoughts. They don’t always have to agree, for their bond is strong enough that the disagreements don’t break up their shared consciousness.

Posted on September 20, 2016 .

Stress as a Vehicle for Evolution

What would you think if I told you that stress — that tension creating aching in your shoulders, shallow breathing, headaches, stomach aches, irritability and anxiety — also holds the key to your personal growth, healing, and evolution?

Posted on August 18, 2016 .

Women in Martial Arts: Different and Strong

When I was a teenager, I was (and still am) a passionate feminist. Back then, my views were very black and white. No one could bring up differences in the sexes around me without provoking a rant. Equality meant men and women were the same in everything of import. Then, when I entered college and at the same time got involved with martial arts, predictably everything got more complex.

Posted on June 17, 2016 .

Your Body Is Talking To You

Did you know that trying to overcome your emotions is a bit like taking down your mailbox so you don’t receive bills in the mail? Just as receiving an electric bill and responding to it keeps energy running in our homes, feeling and responding to our emotions keeps our own energy in flow. If we can see our emotions as messengers, like Karla McClaren recommends in her book Language of Emotions, then we can stop judging them and work with the messages they bring.

Posted on June 17, 2016 .

“Don’t Worry Baby!”

The playful flow of my emotions paused abruptly. The cereal-filled spoon, poised in my hand, seemed to stop of its own volition. I suddenly felt my inner antenna tune to a deeper part of my consciousness. As the words reached my ears from “Don’t Worry Baby,” from the Beach Boys, a subtle vibration filled every cell of my body. 

Posted on June 17, 2016 .

Java in the Woods

When I came out of the tent he was carefully pouring steamy water over a sock draped over a camp cup. The sock had coffee grounds nested in it and the water was slowly steeping and draining through the sock where it was collected on the other side. 

Posted on May 9, 2016 .

I just do.

Perfect practice isn’t the idea that you should create something without error. It’s the idea that, while the finished product may not be exactly what you had in mind, having the right skill set as you practice allows you to learn.

Posted on May 9, 2016 .

Snow Labyrinth

Springs feel to me like Saturdays, where you can really relax, go with the flow, and procrastinate with zero guilt, since they are followed by Sundays. Summers are the best, but there is a lurking awareness of transience that can put a damper on things. Even though falls in Michigan are rapidly becoming another favorite of mine, they are followed by winters, which require serious preparation for psychic survival. 

Posted on May 3, 2016 and filed under Nature.

Creature Comforts on the Camino — Do Real Pilgrims Take Cold Showers?

Tradition has it that pilgrims leave behind the comforts and security of their everyday lives to embark on a journey of the spirit. When I first walked the Camino francés in 2002, accommodations were basic, communications limited, and pilgrims who couldn’t strip down to the bare essentials had no choice but to labor under a heavy pack — or quit. This past summer, I discovered that things are changing fast, and these changes make it possible to enjoy the creature comforts of a fine vacation while on the pilgrimage trail.

Posted on May 3, 2016 .

The Door That Leads Everywhere, Or, What First-Draft Teenage Alien Novels Can Do For You

One Friday afternoon, I hear a story that ends with a tongue falling in love with a river. Another Friday, I learn reasons the moon doesn’t want you; then, a girl rides the bus into a world her family doesn’t think exists. Dragons can be wiped out by genetically engineered diseases. It turns out that there are words for love derived from cooking, spacecraft, and trees.

Posted on March 2, 2016 .