Bars, temples, massage parlors

Where do you go for sustenance? Relaxation? Oneness? Since I don’t drink, and can’t really claim a religion of my own, and my last massage sent me over the edge in not such a nice way, it’s hard to say. If you’re curious, stick with it to the end. Sing along with me, wontcha? 

Photo by suzukii xingfu on Pexels.com

“One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster

The bars are temples but their pearls ain’t free,” 

Rice Timothy Miles Bindon, Andersson Benny Goran Bror, Ulvaeus Bjoern K

If the bar is a temple, then perhaps the bartender is the gospel-spewer. They’ll listen, as long as you pay up. The bartender has also likely seen and heard it all, so you probably won’t be judged too, too harshly, at least not to your face. And don’t forget to tip! 

The menu is the Word. And the bar stool is a pew. And the bathroom is for rejecting those things that don’t agree with you. Clean-up, aisle you! Ew. (Ahem, that last potato skin, kitchen-sink drink, or suds, mayhaps.) Double yuck. 

And the fellow patrons are parishioners. Finally, the naysayers (teetotalers like myself, but more preachier) are the sin patrol. Renouncing, denouncing, announcing last call? You don’t hafta go home, but ya cain’t stay here. 

The line about “…everything but Yul Brynner” gave me pause. Yay for lyric websites. I looked him up and apparently he didn’t know who he was, either. Or, more likely, he may have, but he just wasn’t telling anyone. He claimed lots of different lineages and heritages. He played nondescript baldies with un-pin-down-able accents. The ultimate everyman? Or something sadder? Not knowing where you fit in is a real bear.

I grew up in the Irishist of Irish towns outside of Ireland, that is, which is located in a small hamlet in NY. So Hamlet, let’s play! You leave the car running while picking up takeout, parking’s a nickel, and they paint the streets green for the parade. Said parade, side note, is the 2nd largest in NY and 3rd largest on the east coast. 

We’re only part Irish, so that’s not my ID. We’re also sorta Jewish, so that’s not my ID, either. It wasn’t until way later, when I figured out who I am. No labels, thanks. 

The song talks about all the different goings on, but seems to center around chess. What a cerebral game! There’s also angels and devils walking and sliding about. More religion. Unfortunately, the song is whatever the opposite of an homage is, but it’s still catchy as heck. It talks about what a shame it is to be focused on the (chess)board as opposed to the, uh, earthly delights surrounding you. “…tea, girls, warm and sweet…not much between despair and ecstasy.” Side note because where would we be without digressionals? Tea girls, as in girls who bring tea a la cigarette girls, or tea, girls, as in tea that’s hot & sweet, and girls who are, too? Oxford comma, schmoxford comma, amirite?

Let’s keep going, shall we? 

The song talks about how the “muddy ole river,” or “reclining Buddha” aren’t as interesting or impressive as said game of chess. This could be Dharana, or Concentration, or Pratyahara, or Withdrawal of the Senses. Should we focus on what’s in front of us, or zoom out? Or both? Or neither?

The narrator is: “watching the game/controlling it,” much as Tamas, one of the three Gunas, is destroying things. 

“…but the pearls ain’t free.” Do the work, put in the time, and maybe, juuuust maybe, if you can survive a night among the tourists, “whose every move’s among the purest,” tumbling tough guys, devils, angels, and queens, you just may find your oyster after all. Who else gets their kicks “above the waist, sunshine?”

Saucha, or purity/cleanliness is what comes to mind here. This refers to literal cleanliness as well as spiritual cleanliness. Tourists are typically innocents. They don’t speak the language. They hold no currency. (“You can call me Al,” Paul Simon.) 

Now sometimes they’re wearing socks with sandals, cameras adorning necks, loudly tramping through ruins as if through some big-box retailer. Other times they’re reverent, dressed appropriately, whispering their awe to an underpaid bartender. Uh, tour guide 🙂 You decide. 

For me, sustenance comes from my yoga practice, my meditation practice, a walk with a neighbor, or grabbing that mic for karaoke…or back in the day, a standup set. Your turn! 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

It’s raining men!

“Hallelujah, it’s raining men!,” Paul Shaffer, and Paul Jabara

Now before you log off, laugh your asana off, or crank up this catchy tune from the early 80s co-penned by some sunglass-bespeckled baldie from nighttime TV to sing along, pop a squat, grab a cuppa whatever, and get comfy. 

This struck me as especially yogic. Read on to learn how. 

Let’s substitute “men” for whatever *you* wish it would rain. How can we bring more of that into our lives, whatever that is. Yoga has eight limbs: it’s not just yoga class. This falls under the Niyamas (observances) of Tapas, or Spiritual Discipline. The way to get there is by putting in the work. We need to light a fire under ourselves & get to woyk! I have been working with a coach who said that my manipura chakra, located at the solar plexus, is done-ski. Tired. Burnt out. Stick-a-fork-in-me, d-o-n-e. Go away, shop’s closed. Bark up another tree. What on *earth* does that mean? Maybe my fire has gone to embers. 

Personally I’ve been stuck in a rut for awhile, but have put some wheels in motion. I am continuing with my Yoga Therapist studies, am jazzing up my website (or more accurately am having someone gussy it up for me,) and have kicked up my self-care routine.* 

“Humidity’s rising…” apparently is something that happens when your system isn’t doing its job. Where is all that water coming from? And more importantly, how can we get it to exit stage left since it sure is heavy to carry around… Well, it was Kapha season not that long ago, but all that excess moisture should have been burned off in the Summer. 

For the lay people out there, this means we need to move ourselves. Take a hike in nature, take that new HIIT class, take a break from social. Fire burns off Water. 

“…barometer’s getting low…” dovetails nicely with this. It means that there’s not enough oomph to push the storm away. More fire, please! Time to put (gentle?) pressure on ourselves to push that storm outta the way. 

“I feel stormy weather moving in…’bout to begin.” How can we weather the storm, or as those cutesy home-goods-type stores intone, learn to dance in the rain? Tune into yourself. Go inside. Forward folds and longer holds transition us to allow smelting. 

How can we capitalize on this icky weather (literal or figurative) and doooooo something with it? Channel it someplace productive. We must examine our lives, warts and all. In comes Svadhyaya, or Self-study in Sanskrit. Who’s doing too much? Who didn’t learn to knit or learn ancient Aramaic whilst stuck at home during a global pandemic that keeps raging and morphing? Me! I didn’t. 

But, I am learning about ME, and that’s what counts. “According to all sources…” Can we quiet down, tune in to that teeny little voice niggling at us that something’s got to give, that it’s time to change, time to add, subtract, or some other mathiness to balance our equations? 

“I’m gonna go out to run and let myself get

Absolutely soaking wet!”

Enter Aparigraha, or Non-grasping. Leave your umbrella at home and soak it all in. 

*Comment below to ask about what’s working for me. Better yet, request a strategy session so you can get some, too. 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

Empty clubs, barkin’ dogs, canned DJs

“…even if the club was empty and your feet get tired/even if the resident DJ got fired,” Shake baby shake, Seeed

If you’re doing your thing, you don’t need an entourage. Even if no one’s there to snap a pic for your soshe (social media page/s), it still happened. Shake what your Mama gave you. It’s for you, no one else. 

If the bones grow weary and your dogs are barkin’, keep going. What motivates you? What inspires you? How can we keep going when there’s no music, when you’re tired, when Elvis has left the building? 

If the resident deejay has left the building, keep going. Who needs a guru, amirite? Hm.  The beat of your heart is music enough. It is will. It is amrita, immortality, nectar, nourishment in Sanskrit. 

Dig deep into Tapas, or burning zeal in practice, or spiritual discipline. Are you doin’ it for the ‘gram, or for you? 

“You’re never alone, ‘cuz you can put on the ‘phones and let the drummer tell your heart what to do,” Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through, Meat Loaf

Even though at first blush this seems contradictory, it’s not if we dig a lil’ deeper. Many of us put on headphones when we do not wish to be disturbed, even if they’re not connected to anything. This allows you to engage with Pratyahara, or Withdrawal of the Senses, in Sanskrit. Go inside, and listen quietly. That is the Anahata chakra, the heart center or unstruck sound. 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

What, granthi got your tongue?

“…hold your own/Know your name” Details in the Fabric, Mraz Jason Thomas, Wilson Daniel Dodd

Cat Got Your Tongue: The Literal, Disturbing Origins Of ...

Roughly 100 years ago (hyperbolically, ‘natch,) I gave a presentation about my philosophy on Yoga at a local library. First question for the participants: “who are you?” It’s no small wonder that the answers kinda stayed along a continuum. Some jotted down the role they fulfill for others – parent, child, aunt, whereas some responded with a title – teacher, conductor, fisherwoman, while still others responded with a given name, but-everyone-calls-me, or but-my-friends-call-me. 

But what’s in a name, Shakespeare? We are made of stars & schtuff (or mebbe star stuff, no and at all) so there’s no earthly way to boil us down to a single solitary word. Gift yourself expansiveness. Heck, go get a thesaurus and grab you some hyphens! 

To thine own self be true. Satya, or Truthfulness in Sanskrit, is the way to go here, folks/folx. In the 7 chakra system, the throat’s color is blue. It’s called the Vishudda chakra. Next time your throat hurts, maybe it’s a granthi, or a knot, literal or figurative, like a frog, or prior injury of sorts. *Mildly amusing, you-had-to-be-there anecdote at the end. 

When you know your name, you can revel in it. Take it back, take up space, take a break, take a dance class, take a yoga class, take yourself to the movies, take a deep breath. This is a hard-won battle for some of us. While you cannot, IMHO, nick-name yourself, what you can do is adopt a new moniker if it suits. Or not, if it doesn’t. And just because your name is unpronounceable wherever you hang your hat does not mean you need to change it. I don’t make the rules 😉 

Side note, ‘cuz it wouldn’t be one of mine without one. A few years ago, I was on retreat finishing a training module. To close and commemorate our time together, we sat in a huge circle and had to share a mudra, or hand position, and an om, one at a time. For those of you who know me IRL, I am rarely speechless. I was so humbled by those around me, both teachers and students alike, all that I had learned, and all that was shared during our very intense 9 days,  that I couldn’t for the life of me think of something to share. I also didn’t do my homework, since they probably told us to have one ready. Whoops! Of course, my NY-I’m-my-father’s-daughter kicked in, and I blurted out: “I must have a granthi in my tongue.” Let. me. tell. you: yogis left, right and center fell out. It was hilarious! If you were there, please comment & reach out so we can reminisce. 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

Shake it…or don’t…

“Do you wanna shake it/(yeaaah)

So come on shake it/(nooooo)

Say what/my pants are too tight

And I can’t let myself go” Tight Pants, Seeed

Seeed frontman Demba Nabé has died in Berlin aged 46 | Music | DW |  01.06.2018

My European better half introduced me to German reggae. Yup, that’s a thing. Granted, 3.5/4 of the words are unintelligible in the reggae I was so enamored with in college, so I’m pretty well lost most of the time. It’s only more woisah in a language I don’t actually speak. In this case, it’s that driving base, that syncopated rhythm and belting out the chorus. 

What on *earth* does this have to do with Yoga? Patience, dear yogis & yoginis. Y’all know I like to meander and take my time. (Does this story’s lesson have an ETA? Nope. Maybe. Sorta? Wth knows…)

The takeaway here: the lyrics. It’s always about the lyrics for me. And I sing all the parts. #latherrinserepeat

Tight pants are no fun for anyone. The VPL*, the penguin walk, the red marks after, even the getting into them in the first place! But these aren’t literal pants, IMHO. These are the rules that society imposes on us as women in particular, and humans in general. You must behave. Be buttoned up, be quiet, be stiff and overly formal, lest you be seen as too loose. 

How can we dance like that? “…if you can’t breathe I guess you better release…” 

Raise your hand if you, like many of us, slingshot your newly unhooked underwires across the room once home? Unpeel the shapewear? Unlace and step down from those absolutely gorgeous platforms? Unmakeup your face? Un, un, un. And breathe. It all comes down to breath. 

How can we live our Dharma, loosely translated as purpose from Sanskrit, while still existing in, ahem, polite society? “All you need is to get rid of that sh*t and move it”. Not that we should flagrantly flaunt the laws, but go ahead and put that hiddy pink flamingo in Bermuda shorts & dollar store shades on your lawn. Comfort is key. Comfortable in your surroundings, your company, and yourself. Wear flats. Don’t make up your face. Do your thang!!

*Bonus points if you know what VPL is 🙂 Please share below what you’re wanting to undo or scrap altogether. “I’ll show you, if you want to, if you’re ready to make a go, let me know it

(Can’t do it yourself? Just call me for help…” Come back to your mat and let. that. ish. go. 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

Map, schmap

“I used to have the stars in my pocket/now I just watch them on TV,” Rainy Day Parade, Jill Sobule & Robin Eaten

Discover the Best Views of the Hollywood Sign | Discover Los Angeles

When children are young, they believe. They believe in magic, in fantasy, in the goodness of everyone whom they encounter, and also somehow in monsters. (Didn’t Alice from Wonderland believe in impossible things?) If they just wish hard enough, are just good enough, just belieeeeeve strongly enough, that things’ll come true for them. This fades, and eventually disappears at some point, probably when it’s revealed that Santa is dear ole Dad, the Easter Bunny doesn’t come to everyone’s house, and the Tooth Fairy leaves a beseeching note to just pick up your ding-dang room, already, or stops coming altogether. Or maybe on some playground somewhere when the kid in your class’ older sibling is feeling particularly disillusion-minty. 

Sometimes it’s the realization that not everyone is special, and super talented, and a baby genius. Rude awakening to fall so far. 

This rite of passage, this peek behind the curtain, this shoving you into the deep end of #adulting is a cryin’ shame. It’s the so-called real world come to collect. 

We don’t stop playing when we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. 

The real travesty is when Māyā, the Sanskrit word for illusion (more or less,) clouds our eyes, shrinks our hearts, and shrivels our Spirits. 

We are force-fed images and ideals to conform to in every aspect of our lives: gendered clothing sections at big-box retailers, toys in certain colors, magazine spreads, and even the words and actions of older relatives. We learn not to trust ourselves, to fit in, and conform. Photoshop is no one’s friend, but it sure does sell! Magic? Poof, thar she blows…and away we go. 

The Melissa Etheridge song, “Map of the Stars,” from the album The Awakening, sums it up nicely, over several choruses and verses. It starts out with a small-town girl (hello? autobiography much?) who’s lauded for being pretty. She leaves home to study the map of the stars. Fast forward a bit, she’s gone Hollywood, and has made some pretty fundamental changes – eating less, drinking more, and even getting an agent. (She sells out and the local grocer she worked for is offended by what she’s become, but will gladly sell those magazines from his mom n’ pop shop if it puts him on the map.) She even goes under the knife! Eventually it all goes south. She is not being true to herself – no Satya, Truthfulness, here. 

What’s even woisah than woise is that she’s the inspo for the next generation. And so perpetuates the cycle. The stars came out of her pocket & are now on the silver screen. 

P!nk touches on this in her song, “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” off the Missundaztood album. “LA told me/you’ll be a pop star/all you have to change/is all that you are.”  

A perhaps lofty but nonetheless worthy goal should be to recapture some of that magic. That amṛta, or nectar in Sanskrit, is in there somewhere if you can. just. slow. down. Go outside and play. Take off your shoes and run barefoot through the grass. Jump in the pool with your clothes on (but leave your phone out of splash-range, ‘natch.) 

It goes back to my last post: question everything. Even/especially that which you’ve heard umpteen times. To paraphrase, imagine living as if eh-VUH-ree-thing was a miracle. But pay those bills on time 🙂

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

-M

Painting by numbers

“And we’ll paint by numbers ’til something sticks,” Kids by Guy Chambers & Robert Williams

Paint by numbers

Not many of us nail it on the first try, beginner’s luck notwithstanding. We have to fake it ’til we make it. “If you stumble, make it part of the dance.” The Wisdom of Unicorns by Joules Taylor. 

Does anyone, like N-E-1, like raheeeeeally know what they’re doing?, ’cause I sure don’t! I mean, there are areas of deeper knowledge, for sure, bordering on expertise, but truth be told, my experience is the only thing I like, know-know. And even that’s faulty, just like my sieve-like memory. “I talk myself in; I talk myself out…I get all worked up and let myself down,” Just Haven’t Met You Yet, Michael Buble. 

“I know that I know nothing, because I can’t trust my brain,” Socrates

It is important not to let Ego get in our way. Like the little outfielder who calls out in anticipation: “I got it…I got it…I gooood it…ugh, I don’t got it.” We must question everything that doesn’t ring true. Who’s in-tune with their Spidey-sense? Can we turn down the volume through meditation, intense exercise, journaling, sitting in the woods, a noisy cafe (ironically), or choose-your-own-adventure-type-a-way, and really listen? 

If you think you know, the Universe is coming for you. Not in a gotcha! kinda way, but more in a let’s-be-humble, my child, way. Take you down a few pegs. Nuttin’ poisonal, y’undastand. ‘natch.

That CEO who seeeeeems to have their schtuff all together? Nah, they’re picturing that mega-embarrassing moment from grade school that earned them that unrepeatable-in-polite-company moniker that still gives them chills & makes ’em queasy. 

That artiste who takes the stage in all their finery? Thinking about tripping over two left feet. 

The leader of the band? They’re thinking about the dying-cats-concert from middle school that their grandpa laughed so hard at he cried. 

How? Why? Who? keeps going? Those who examine, those who question, those who live, that’s who. 

If we “do the work” to get to know ourselves, like really, really, really get to know ourselves, Svadhyaya, this becomes easier, to be who we really are. 

If we maintain our practices, Tapas, those Spiritual Disciplines, and don’t get distracted by squirrels seeing squirrels, this becomes easier, to be who we really are. 

If we are Truthful, Satya-rich, this becomes easier, to be who we really are. 

We still may need those numbers to paint by, but who cares? Keep your training wheels as long as ya need ’em, poodle, but not one second longer.  Keep making forays, and mistakes in every category. That’s part of the fun. There’s no manual, and no one gets out alive. Enjoy by questioning. Be gneiss and don’t take it for granite. 

If this resonated with you, feel free to comment below. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

While there is time…

Time! | Christian Wallpapers

“While there is time, let’s go out and feel everything,” The Finer Things, Steve Winwood 

We all get the same 24 hours every day. No more, no less. Some of us make things happen, some of us watch things happen, and some of us wonder what the hell just happened? Not firmly planted in any one camp, I am wont to float or get yanked between those modalities. 

Sometimes I am the Energizer Bunny, putting in 10+ hour days, grading papers, planning lessons, fielding emails across the emotional spectrum. There might even be some domestic-type schtuff happening. Might

Other times I am Slothy McSlotherson, needing to recharge and am not good for much. As dear ole Dad says: you don’t have to pay me to be good; I’ll be good for nuthin’.  (Ahem, “rest is not idleness” is a good previous post to read if you’re new here. It’s from August of 2020.) 

Plus, ya know, chronic illness and penchant for junk food isn’t doing me any favors. Either way, I’m playing sponge, soaking it all in, to be processed laterz. Or not. Just scrolling advice columns & my IG feed. All good. 

Still other times, it’s a maelstrom and I’m a tugboat caught in the monsoon. 

It’s. All. Good. Does it feel good? Nope. Does that change the fact that it, whatever it may be, is happening? Nope. Will it end? Probably. Eventually. Maybe. Wth knows? Either way, feel your feelings and come out the other side. It’ll all be okay in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. 

Some say if you want to do something, you will find a way; whereas if you don’t want to do something, you’ll find an excuse. My jury’s still out, but let’s explore, shall we?

Santosha, or Contentment in Sanskrit, means being okay with what is. Not to the point where you throw up your hands and resign yourself to the situation, but okay enough to float in effortless effort until a plan emerges. 

“While there is time/let’s go out and feel everything…

For time is a river rolling into nowhere

We must live while we can…

The finer things keep shining through

The way my soul gets lost in you…”

As P!nk says, “when I’m happy and I’m sad, but everything’s good…it’s not that complicated I’m just missundaztood.”

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

There are no small parts…on acting and playing and schtuff

“If I am the play, I want you in every act,” U, Spellbound, by Paisley Park

Can you observe what happens to you as the Witness, or are you so lost in the weeds (the actors playing at someone else’s words, and the stage direction) that you miss all them purdy flowers (the events unfolding)? What if we were all the play,we all were the actors, we all were the (entire) audience, and we all were the and? 

Witnessing the events of our lives is not for the faint of heart, but comes with its own rewards. This’ll help you process, and weed-whack your way to clarity. 

Ha! Now do it without judgement, or ‘gramming it, lest no one believe it happened. 

How can we reconcile, or at least come to terms with, or at least-least be less skerred of this way of looking at our lives? Here’re some thoughts, but first a bit of background for grounding and context.

Prakriti, in Yogic philosophy, represents the female, and all that moves. It is associated with Shakti. 

Parusha, in Yogic philosophy, represents the male, the fullness of life, and its continuity. It is, by nature, still, steady, and true. It is associated with Shiva. 

*Note: this is (perhaps a gross), oversimplification, but for the lay people among us, there’s that KISS method again. Thank you for the guidance, my some-time Yoga-at-the-gym buddy and co-worker. All thoughts, inaccuracies, and tangents are wholly mine. 

Either way, Shakti and Shiva are intertwined. You cannot have one without the other. 

Each of us has a duality, to some degree or another. The most feminine among us, the most masculine among us, as well as the most not-quite-sure-what-box-I-check-but-also-boxes-are-stupid-and-confining among us, and the darn-your-stupid-boxes-anywayz’ have at least a dash of other, however many others there may be. 

We are the Witness (the audience), and the actor (the doer, not an inauthentic puppet) and the event. 

In this song, the narratress* wants to dance for U, the as-yet unnamed. Perhaps she wants to reunite, to join back into her whole Self. She has lost her way, and does not realize that while she has her own qualities, she is not alone. She is separate in her mind, not in reality. She is part of a whole: Shakti and Shiva. 

Shakti wants to move, to dance, to uuuuundulate. She offers herself to her love, Shiva. From the song: “u make me wanna dance for only u…all I want is u.” She sultrily issues an entreaty to him to watch her dance. 

Each of us has a duality, to some degree or another. We are the dancer, the dancee, the Witness to it all, and the music. The most masculine among us, the most feminine among us, and the most not-quite-sure-what-box-I-check-but-also-boxes-are-stupid-and-confining among us, have at least a dash of other, however many others there may be. 

“This is not fantasy, this is fact.” Hey, mebbe she’s not so far gone, after all, and will reunite with her love soon. 

*English lends itself to brokenness and make-up-ery. Why shouldn’t there be a gendered word for our storyteller?

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M

“If you’re not in it for love…”

“If you’re not in it for love, I’m outta here!,” (song title & lyric are one in the same), Mutt Lange & Eileen Lange

Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion. What lights your fire? What do you stand for? Who’s your book dedicated to? Think about what gets you up in the morning, what you’re commIIIIIIITTED to, what you never, ever, EVER miss, like, uuuh, ever, your raison d’être. Be it religion, spiritual practices, the latest fitness craze, family, choose-your-own-adventure. Ponder for a full minute your Why. I’ll wait. Take a seat, take a breath, and take a moment. They say if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. 

Got it? (Ahem, both the answer to the question and the concept, ‘natch.) Please comment below, wherever you see this, to share yours if you’re so inclined. 

Without getting too lost in the weeds, “The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj-…to worship…also means devotion to…faith or love, worship…,” gracias to the ubiquitous Wikipedia. 

Moksha, or spiritual freedom, liberation, salvation, is quite a lofty goal. If you don’t put the work in, it is elusive at best, and unobtainable at worst. It is a pah-RAH-cess*, my friends. There are books, guides, gurus, videos, audios, as-seen-on-TV-nesses, workbooks, worksheets, retreats, and yes, we’ll hornswoggle you out of your hard-earned cash-nesses’, and memberships, but ultimately, ya gots ta fly solo on this one, kids. There are no shortcuts. There are no refunds. It’s not a tee-shirt (one size does not fit all,) as everyone’s version will look different. It also takes forever, like literally. Not figuratively literally, but actual Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of forever. Maybe even not in this lifetime. Must be revisited a lot and often, lest it escape. #latherrinserepeat. It’s called practice, after all. 

Much as I’ve said before, it’s sorta akin to teaching a young child to ride a bike. You run alongside said bike, one hand on the seat, one hand on the handlebars. This is Tapas, or burning zeal in practice or spiritual discipline. You want the kid (your inner child? hm…) to meet with success, whatever *that* looks like. Fall down twice, get up thrice. You. Keep. Going. It’s called practice, after all. 

Eventually, you let go & hope that the kid will fly. Fingers crossed, but putting in the work is no guarantee. Bummer. *That* wasn’t in the brochure. That’s Aparigraha, literally non-grasping. (Ha ha! This strikes me as mildly hilarious, but I am over-caffeinated, fried from #adulting, and it’s probably close to bedtime. Punchy? Yes, please!) 

You kiss boo-boos, which is the healing in between scrapes. No one’s unscathed. Not to worry: it’s just life & no one gets out alive, anyway. (big, juicy wink) This is Dinacharya, or self-care in Sanskrit. You fall down, go boom, you dust yourself off, and get back on that horse. Uh, bike. Whatevs. Lick your wounds. Pause, reflect, take a break. But…You. Keep. Going. #latherrinserepeat. 

Love should fuel us. Imagine if everything was done with love, instead of pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony or sloth. (Anyone? Bueller…Bueller) If you’re not doing it (whatever YOUR it is) with L-O-V-E, why bother? The corner-cutter eventually whittled himself down to nothing. 

The song goes on: 

“If you’re not/Willin’ to give it all you got

If you’re not in it for life/If you’re not in it for love

Let me make it clear/To you my dear

If you’re not in it for love/I’m outta here!”

I imagine that that’s the Universe (capital U, to differentiate from the Science version,) talking. Put in the work, let go of the outcome. Don’t phone it in. If you do, you might just get there. It’s a nice place to visit, moksha, but no one lives there. Not in today’s modern world. 

BTW, this is a favorite of mine at karaoke, a real crowd-pleaser. Hopefully that will resume again once it’s safe. Miss my KJs! 

*Transliteration is hard. Those of you who know me IRL know that I write how I speak. And, man, do these go through a latte edits 😉 

If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.

-M