Sunday, January 30, 2011



I am a daydreamer at heart. In fact, daydreaming is one of my favorite pastimes. The site of my daydreams is a magical place to which I retreat when I want to embody a world of endless possibilities. It is a place where dreams can stretch and grow and my spirit can be renewed. There is no organization or defeatist thinking such as “that is never going to happen!” in a daydream world. This place is there for us to recover those dreams we had left behind in childhood and discover new ones that are beginning form.

The practice of yoga has opened up the old, rusted trunk where some of my old dreams had long been stored. The stretching, the breathing, and the visualizations that I have been practicing have brought new space to places inside of me that had grown tight, breathless, and withdrawn. One of those early dreams had been to be a writer. A lifetime ago, I considered myself one. Recently, I have dug up that daydream and that is how this blog was born. It is my first step. Do you remember how anything felt possible as a child? We could play and allow our imagination to take over. Or we could resort to daydreaming to take us to a place that we really felt we would reach one day. Impossible was not a word in our vocabulary back then. Why should it be now?

When we stretch our bodies, we stretch our minds. The movement, the fresh breath and the release of tension that was held in our bodies give us the ability to open doors that have been closed off by not living mindfully. Our society is built on a to-do list. It can be a habit to think of all the things we must accomplish in a day such as things to do, places to go, and people to see. Daydreaming does not work well in that kind of environment and it is easy to forget the joyful pleasures it can bring.

One of the ways that I connect back with my daydreams is to step onto my mat and take some deep, cleansing breaths. I keep a journal and pen close by. I stretch gently into the areas that feel tight and stagnant and allow those areas of tension to receive my breath. I notice how I feel. What is it that I need to release at this moment? Perhaps it is a thought or emotion that doesn’t serve me any longer. I write it down. One of my favorite ways to get back into my daydream world comes from a task in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. Julia asks us to think about our imaginary lives. This is not to say that we are unhappy with the ones we are living right now. It is just expanding it to include things we thought have long passed away. Julia asks the following question: “If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them?” Would you be a photographer, an artist, a cowboy, dog trainer, a gourmet chef? Try to keep your adult mind out of this process. Whatever comes to mind, write it down in your journal. There are no limitations. Continue breathing, stretching, and falling back in love with your dreams.

Julia Cameron is emphatic when she states that the next step is crucial. She suggests taking one imaginary life from your list and doing it this week. If you daydreamed about being an artist, sign up for an art class. If you envisioned being a photographer, could you spend one free afternoon this week taking pictures at the beach, in the city, or in a park and then offering the photos as gifts? If you imagined yourself a gourmet chef, plan a special dinner party in your home for a few close friends. No special occasion is necessary; you are simply living out your dreams.

Embracing our daydreams is to accept all the parts of ourselves that are visible and invisible. Practice daydreaming this week and notice what comes up. Invite an imaginary life into your world and play with it. What dreams have you forgotten about that you are ready to live and embrace again?

With love & light,

Image by miss mimee at d"Eviant Art

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Simplicity of Tea

My craving for coffee is slowly beginning to dissipate. I have been experimenting with a variety of teas for the last few days and there are a few with whom I am beginning to forge a relationship. Perhaps you have been thinking about kicking the coffee habit (or at least dreaming about it?) as well. Exploring is the first secret to tea drinking. Go on a journey of the palate and discover what is available. I have and it has been an eye-opener. There is more to tea than Lipton! The second key is preparation. There is something rather meditative and soothing about making tea. I try and remember to live the whole experience of tea preparation from selecting that special tea, to boiling the water, hearing the whistle, brewing the tea, and finally enjoying its mellow taste. Most of these teas can be found at your local natural food stores. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite teas with you here. Enjoy!

*Yogi Tea- Just the name "Yogi" helps me take a deep breath in relaxation! Yogi tea has many different varieties and flavors to choose from, so enjoy perusing! India Spice Tea is reinvigorating in the late afternoon after a long workday (no caffeine). It contains such delicous spices as cardamon, ginger, and cinnamon. Bedtime Tea in the evening before going to bed helps to wind down the day (it really works!). This tea includes valerian, a natural relaxant. If you struggle with digestive issues, Yogi Lemon Ginger Tea works wonders. A fun added treat is that each teabag contains a life philosophy quote. These are great to read and ruminate on while you are sipping this hot beverage.

* Traditional Medicinals- Every once in a while, I experience one of "those" days. What tea can we relax with to regain our equilibrium again? Organic Chamomile with Lavender is a gem when that occurs. Chamomile has been used for centures as a gentle medicinal tea that has been known to relax nervous tension and soothe stomach ailments. The magical addition of lavender, a revered gentle herb, helps to ease anxiety and mental fatigue. This is a lovely, soft, tea that just hits the spot.

* Organic India- Tulsi Tea is my new morning tea. There is 'Original', which has no caffeine, and 'India Breakfast', which has some minimal amounts in the tea. Tulsi is an herb that is deeply respected in India for possessing positive health benefits that support the body's immune system. The tea package shares that it "is a sacred plant infused with healing power." The Tulsi teas have a delicate, smooth palate. I find them heavenly!

Plants and herbs have been used for centuries as natural, medicinal aides. Drinking teas that contain lemon, ginger, tulsi, chamomile, lavender and other herbs can help to support our walk towards improved health. I invite you to join me on this journey. Tell me- what are some of your favorite teas? I'd love to hear!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The power of intuition is a very special to me. Is it to you as well? In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, intuition is defined as “the power or faculty of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without rational thought and inference”. In everyday lingo it is also known as the “sixth sense”.

Intuition is a gift that is often honored by women. As a woman, I discovered intuition at a very early age. I’d like to think that it was passed down from my mom who is the grand-dame of this often magical knowing. She has the ability to perceive what is below the surface and identify what is not seen with the human eye. Intuition allows us to notice what is underground, hear what is not said, and feel what we know to be true without explanation or cognitive processes. It is more than just a passing feeling or thought. The emotions and mind are not in charge here. It is our senses, our animal instinct, our inner knowing. Watch an animal as it responds to intuition. There is no thinking or analyzing. It is simply the most deepest and natural of responses.

Intuition can feel like an energy pulsating through the body. When I listen to what my intuition has to say, my body, mind, and spirit are in unison. On the inside, it may sound like the deepest part of myself that sometimes screams to be heard or whispers to reassure. On the outside, intuition has the ability to pick up signals from people, places, and things and offers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what is not seen with the natural eye. I rely on my intuition to guide me when the ‘facts’ aren’t enough. It is my north star. During those times when I choose not to listen to what my intuition/inner voice is saying, the results are quite obvious.

The good news is that the power of intuition can develop with a little bit of practice. Listening is honed in order to better comprehend what it is our intuition is telling us. Here are a few ideas that have been helpful to me:

Keep a journal – Start by writing first thing in the morning. Write freely and about anything that comes to mind. No self- censoring is involved. Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way highly recommends this practice. It is a time of day when your spirit is most free to communicate with you. The world has not yet begun to interrupt your inner voice. Get up a few minutes before anyone else and write. Notice your words. What are they saying?

Meditate- Begin by being still in a quiet room. You can begin with 5 minute sitting practice. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes softly, and begin to deepen your breath. If you have never meditated before, give this a chance. You may be surprised at what cobwebs can be cleared out in order for the inner voice to come through more audibly.

Conduct a body scan- Sit quietly and notice how your body is feeling. Start at your toes and move up the front of your body (inside and out) and down the back. Is there any tension or tightness? When we don’t listen to our intuition, the body responds. Bellyaches, headaches, and other ailments can be signals that our body, mind, and spirit are not in unison. Is your body speaking up and saying something? What are you ignoring?

Your intuition is a divine gift. Acknowledging its presence empowers the deepest part of you to shine through. Trust its insight.
Peace, Linda
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Breaking Up With Coffee

I confess. I am a coffee drinker. You might call me a one a day cupper. I pour a mug. Add milk, sugar, and a little vanilla flavoring. Delish! But me, a coffee addict? Nonsense! It’s only one cup a day. Perhaps you find that you are in a similar relationship. But now, I ask you. Have you ever wanted to break up? End it once and for all, cut all ties, and move on? I have, a few times in the past. But somehow, coffee and I get together (sometimes by accident!) and before I know it, we’re in a relationship once more. But coffee and I haven’t been doing well lately. Mentally, it’s been bothering me that I have been resistant to letting go of one cup a day. How hard can that be? In addition, my belly has been feeling ‘off’. My intuition is telling me it’s the coffee again. I am ready to agree.

The intuitive term, “I feel it in my gut” expresses the notion that a lot more is happening there than digestion. We may know things to be true, but often the mind takes over and creates a different story. My mind has been indicating to me that it can’t be the coffee. After all, it is only one cup. My practice of yoga has taught me a thing or two in recent years. One is to listen to my gut and what it has to say. It will always tell me the truth. Even about coffee.
Now I begin to take the necessary steps to dissolve this relationship. Step 1: Write these words down- I am breaking up with coffee. Check. Step two: Make it public (thank you readers!). Check. Step three: Put the coffee maker away. Check. Tomorrow I am bringing out the variety of teas that have been growing as a lovely collection in my panty and placing them in a pretty glass jar on my kitchen counter. I will softly boil the water and wait for the soft whistle. I will make a choice between Classic India Spice, Mountain high chai, and Tulsi original. I will gently pour the water in the mug and allow the tea to brew slowly. I will wait, sigh, and dream because there’s something about tea that allows for contemplation and softness. Coffee says “let’s get going, I’m ready!” Tea responds “What’s the rush? Sit and stay awhile”. My breathing will relax and I will understand that my decision was right yet again.

I invite you to take a moment to listen to your inner voice. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Place the palms of your hands on your belly. Breathe deeply and slowly. Listen. And wait. Are you in a relationship with a habit that you are ready to let go of? What words do you hear whispering to you today?
With peace and love,
(photo credit:

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Gift of Yoga Practice

The practice of yoga is cracking me open little by little. By nature, I am a very private person. I take small, baby steps not big, bold ones, to get to the next stage of my life. I am careful about friendships and tend to limit myself to an intimate few. The first year after YTT (yoga teacher training), I really did not pursue yoga teaching. I attended classes and workshops and I continued my own personal practice. To be honest, I was a little confused about this. Why was I not teaching? Lately, the crack has been opening alittle more. There was no need to rush. Everything has its own time. I had to learn to be patient, And that is where writing came back into my life. I had adored writing when I was a child and a teen (I was going to be a writer), but somewhere along the way, it trinkled down to nothing and disappeared from my life. Recently, I have rediscovered its joy. The freedom, the expression of spirit, and the way it makes me feel authentic and real. My yoga practice has unblocked and rediscovered the creative energy that lay dormant inside me. It feels wonderful! It started with journaling and has expanded to blog writing and writing meditations for friends and family. I started writing the blog in late autumn. It is still a work in progress. Going "public" was scary for a private person like me. So at first, no one knew about the blog. But now, I am feeling a desire to share more. To not be so private and careful, but to continue expanding, opening, and breathing. Trusting and knowing that my breath will be along on the journey. There are so many beautiful spirits out there I want to connect with. Do you find that too? My heart is directing me now. I feel that my yoga practice is inviting the partnership of writing in. All of a sudden, it feels right. "There are years that ask questions and years that answer" (Zora Neale Hurston) . 2011 feels like a year where answers will happen. I am now teaching a weekly gentle yoga class at a local venue in town. I have led a workshop on "ahimsa" at a local home studio and will be leading a"satya" conversation there in a February gathering. I am looking into "yoga and writing" workshops (I have found some great ones out there!) and my intention is to lead "yoga and writing" workshops for yoga practitioners and for "secret" writers like myself. I believe I have found my niche. Is this what my spirit has been preparing me for? Therefore, with a courageous, open heart and a trusting hand extended in friendship, I invite you to take a look at the beginnings of this, my blog writing. As cracks widen and more light begins to shine through, I intend to excavate and share deeper parts of my spirit with readers and the people in my life. You can subscribe to the blog and receive updated blog posts by e-mail. I welcome your comments under posts and hope to continue to learn from you as well. As my writing and yoga practice lead me back to the authentic corners of my soul, I expect my blog to evolve and grow as I will. I look forward to sharing this path of life with you. This reminds me of Rumi's wonderful quote: "Out beyond the ideas of right-doing or wrong-doing there is a field- I'll meet you there". What is expanding in your spirit right now?

With light and love and friendship,

photo credit:

What Are Your Dreams Telling You?

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I had a dream last night. It was the kind of dream where you feel like you don’t have control. I woke up in an anxious state. Have you ever had those kinds of dreams? I was teaching a high school class. The dismissal bell rang and as I walked out into the corridor and prepared to leave, I heard a commotion in the next classroom. Although the door was closed, I peered through the door window and saw that two girls were fighting. I felt my heart racing and tried to open the door to intervene. It was locked. I turned to shout for assistance, but my voice was locked and only a small whisper came through. I attempted to vocalize the word “help!”, but to no avail. Frantically, I ran down the hallway and found two teachers. Through the wild motions of my arms and charged look on my face, they finally got the message and followed me. They were able to separate the girls and brought them to the nurse’s office. When I went in to see how they were, I stepped back in shock. Both of the girls looked like me.

I have been self-analyzing this dream today. What was my sub-conscience expressing in my dream state? One of the last things I thought about last night before going to bed was whether I should open my blog writing to a wider audience. The self-exposure of thoughts is a scary process. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted my words ‘out there’. It made me feel vulnerable. I kept hearing two voices in my head challenging each other. My more liberal voice repeated, “Yes, do it!” and my more conservative one kept responding, “No! Why would you do that?” I believe those two voices were fighting it out in my sleep and voila! My dream materialized.

This morning I made my decision. I would share my blog with the bigger world. I began sending out e-mails. For some, this would really not be much of a decision. For me, it was huge. This decision asked me to accept my feelings of fragility and place trust in the process. I had decided to put my intention to express my creative energy through writing out there and now it was necessary to let the universe take it where it was to go. I felt excited, nervous, and brave. The decision felt right.

Dreams and the world we inhabit during our sleep are extensions of our deeper selves. Like a puzzle, they can express what our deeper conflicts and desires are. Experiment and observe. Take a look inside. What are your dreams trying to open your eyes to today?
xoxo Linda

Friday, January 14, 2011

Favorite Things

Thought for the day:

If you are feeling a bit of the winter blues, take heart- you are not alone! I am taking Julie Andrews' cue from the Sound of Music and thinking of some of my favorite things to help ease these chilly, staying indoor kind of days. As I buckle down for the deepest and longest stretch of this cold winter season, I make a decision to focus on gratitude.

Some of my favorite things of winter that put a smile on my face:

warm woolen mittens, a colorful knitted cap made by my mom, a cup of hot spiced tea (have you tried any of the Yogi teas?), cozy flannel sheets, a bowl of yummy lentil soup, warming ayurvedic therapeutic oils, bedside books I am reading now (Positive Energy by Judith Orloff and Everyday Dharma by Lama Willa Miller), a comfy afghan to cuddle in, the winter sky (the BEST stars- so clear!), indoor green house plants that remind me of nature & the outdoors, a low winter sun that casts great light in my front living space, hot oatmeal with bananas & a sprinkling of pure, winter maple syrup, and spotting a snowman that a child has built.

What are some of your favorite things of winter?

With love & light,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The New Year and Letting Go

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As with all beginnings, a new year opens a door and offers the opportunity to expand one’s life to allow fresh experiences, clearer perspectives, and glimpses into spaces unknown. But what if most of your spaces are taken up by things that fill the closets, basement, attic, and storage spaces?

This January, I have decided to face all of the “stuff” and begin to let go. In order to make space for new energy, the old must be dealt with. It was amusing to note how my first few attempts went. I would start in the basement, gloves and overalls on, ready to go. But then I began to find the stuff and well, one thing led to another and I would have to take a seat on the floor and reminisce; read through that old journal from 1996 (did I really think like that?), look through photos of people from another lifetime, and claim that yes, I think I could bring that old bowl back upstairs and fill it with fruit again. Did I really need 30 plates of various patterns and sizes to carry with me on my life journey? Of course! I could use them for Christmas, for Easter, one for….well, you see how things went. It was not a productive beginning. A better plan was needed.

So, I shifted into second gear. If I went down in the basement, I could not leave for one hour and not until I picked at least ten items to give away or throw out. Every time I entered my closet I chose one article that I could donate or offer to a friend. If it was unsalvageable, off to the garbage bin it went. I began organizing my teas (wow, I have a lot!) in the pantry and brought some boxes to work. I invited my brother down into the basement and told him to go shopping in my indoor market. He left with a variety of treasures that included an apple peeler (the best he’s ever seen!), a modern vintage red toaster (works like a charm!), an old TV, and some baking pans. This new plan was beginning to work.

From one perspective, letting go of “stuff” is like letting go of parts of me that no longer serve me. In the yamas and niyamas, yoga’s ethical guidelines, aparigraha (or nonpossessiveness) invites us to let go of things, grudges, clinging beliefs, old fears, and all that prevents us from allowing new breath, light, and energy from entering. Deborah Adele states this beautifully by reminding us that “Like the breath when it is held too long, the things that nourish us can become toxic”. We hold on for fear of letting go. But in the letting go and in that new empty, open space that arrives, energy is reborn and can begin to come alive again. Something is rekindled and the possibilities become clearer.

I have discovered that it feels good to shed some old skins. What was found underneath, I discovered, were dreams that just needed a little dusting off and reinventing. So, take a look around you and inside you. Do you have anything to let go of in 2011?

“I can’t go back to yesterday- because I was a different person then.” ~ Lewis Carroll