artemis42: (Sombre Dawn)
Seems I'm back in the cycle of change-of-season colds taking me out of commission for good chunks of time. Ah, New England. This is one of the things about living here that I didn't miss.

So, I get reacquainted with my abdominal muscles and my lower back as I cough my way to a six-pack, and try to sleep with only one open and breathable nostril. Wheee...

I'm glad that kirtan can still make my night, that I can participate in very low-key ways like playing harmonium or tambourine and take breaks when needed.

Now to get myself back into a healthy place fast enough to make up some of my missed work hours as soon as possible. Of course, I'll do that not by laying on the pressure, but by letting myself rest and recuperate. I actually slept most of Thursday, and with steady ingestion of medicinal tea, vitamins, Emergen-C and good food, I am desperately trying to avoid another hospital visit.

Wish me luck!


Fog rolls in and I greet the new day, knowing this day has never been before, and will never be again. Despite the dreams that echo from unconsciousness, despite everything I try to carry over from the previous day, I remind myself that this very moment is all I've got.

Tomorrow never actually comes, it's always today, always now.

Made cornbread last night with some leftover New England sweet corn and fresh cranberries. Baking starts to call to me as the weather begins to drift towards the inevitable snows of winter.

Today brings me out to Portsmouth, NH for kirtan and tomorrow I'll head to Norwich early to help clean out Gramma's apartment.. the building is only giving us 14 days to clear her space, which seems completely unreasonable to me, but what do I know?
Kirtan on Sunday afternoon is in Guilford, near enough to make helping out possible.

Time to go make some breakfast.


This moment is all I really have. This lovely cup of Earl Grey before me as I sit in the cafe for some wifi and breakfast. The color of the sky against the changing leaves.

Nothing stays still.. change continues to envelop every plan, each expectation we create.

My Grandmother's sudden death leaves me bereft, wanting another conversation, another hug... but that reminds me again simply to be more present now. No regrets. Love thoroughly right now, so that even if this moment is the last, it will be enough.

I could write about how amazing she was, how strong and loving and warm and wonderful she was, even when things were difficult. That would serve to share some of what she meant to me, but even better would be to live her legacy to me. To love those around me without compromise and to offer a compassionate ear and a warm hug to all.

To spend as much time and love and energy as I can with my mom and dad and the rest of my family while they are still around me.

If you love someone, tell them so now, while you still can. You never know when you or they might be gone, and we don't get a rewind button.


Another beautiful morning checking in with the online world over a scone and a chai tea. Wifi really helps, the internets are wicked slow at my place and thus I do not go online nearly as much as I used to. C'est la vie.

I continue adding rows of stitches to my second sock, and I look forward to finishing the laceweight alpaca project and moving on to some fun spinning with some of the beautiful roving that's been taunting me from the pile across my room.

I have absolutely no idea who might show up for kirtan in Manchester tonight.. it's been off and on there, and while I'm glad to come down and sing in my hometown and get to say hi to my family, it's kind of sad when only a few people come out.

Some areas seem to have large kirtan communities, and some don't. I'm thinking about doing a special kirtan combining a bit of asana practice, but I'd like to brainstorm a bit more about it.. they are both part of yoga, which is really the mindfulness of our union with the all in each moment in many different forms and practices. Asana is really only a small part of yoga, and we work with the physical practice to still our minds for deeper meditation. Kirtan moves our minds into the place of no-thought when we allow ourselves to let go and sing from the gut, just like the physical practice of postures can bring a yogi to that place of engagement with this instant.

My time at Webs continues to be productive and enjoyable, and my world is busy, full and happy. My thankfulness for each moment abounds, and spills over into each stitch, each posture, each breath.




Aug. 4th, 2009 04:27 pm
My left foot is wearing my first handknitted sock, finished about an hour ago, and I immediately cast on for the mate. The attempt to avoid starteritis is duly noted.

Running errands before tonight's kirtan in Northampton, work tomorrow and then the rest of the week unfolds.

May my surrender ever deepen.


My writing has slowed to a nearly nonexistent crawl, and I miss it.. being busy hasn't allowed much space for adequate sleep, and though I keep up with the outward aspects of effective self-care, I've noticed a recent tendency towards feeling overwhelmed by bills and to-do lists and things neglected for many months, and not giving myself a hard time about it all has been a struggle.

I finally had a chance to sleep in late this morning, something I haven't been able to do in a good long while, and I'm feeling much better, more alert and less achy.

Hoping to do some yoga before dinner, and perhaps some spinning later during a movie.

I have a hard time coping when I don't have enough money to meet my bills. It's like a matter of honor, and if I can't pay a bill on time I feel like I haven't kept my word. But allowing it to steal my peace and make me feel terrible about myself isn't working either, it's only leaving me with this trapped panicky feeling in my chest, worried about how to make one paycheck stretch across far too many needs.

I'd like to start teaching yoga, as that could increase my income a bit, but I need to register with the Yoga Alliance and get insurance coverage first, and I have so many other things in line waiting for funds.. you need money to make money.

If only I could sell some more yarns. Or let go of whatever is causing me to attach a sense of self-worth to whether I have any money or not. The former would be nice, but the latter seems like the real work I need to do. I lit a candle in January to set the intention of healing my relationship with money, and until now, I've been coping much better than times previous.

Anyway, I don't want to be a slave to job/bills and all that hamster wheel action.

The mind turns, and I can try my best to watch the turning and let it go.

Off to spin and feel productive.


I am sitting in a recording booth, nestled in on a cushion behind the harmonium under a red paper lantern and as we listen to the playback I sit in amazement.

The process, its intricacies and all the engineering.
Microphones and eye contact.
Engaging the witness...


Livejournal falls by the wayside lately, so busy that time to knit and spin and breathe becomes precious, but life continues here in the piney woods, and music surrounds my days and fills my nights with the Name.

The cauldron's depths hold us dear, awakening us to our own shadow and the ultimate lightness of being hidden there. We shift the shapes of our hearts to expand and encompass every experience.

My heart shattered a year ago, only to surrender deeply and open completely to life. Something dies and a new path is born. I have become a yoga teacher and harmonium player, and I live within the unfolding now.

I look honestly at my own dreams and realise they are mine to fulfill, and I set about the business of becoming.. filled with gratefulness for the indrawn breath, the opportunity to continue to learn and grow into wholeness.

Love and light to all.


Another Thursday morning check-in from the wilds of Northampton, chai tea and scone flanking my laptop like breakfast sentries.

Kirtan continues to deepen as I get slowly more proficient at the harmonium, and it is indeed a miracle life. The summer brings many exciting possibilities with Shivananda due to arrive from India in just a few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will all unfold. Now if I can just get my violin fixed up in time to learn from him while he's here...

Yoga teacher training ends in June, and I'll miss the monthly weekend yoga retreat, and especially this wonderful group of yogis. Thankfully, teaching opportunities are slowly unfolding on my horizon, and I can always offer myself the gift of one weekend a month of deep practice, wherever I am.

In the process of moving again, though I am still maintaining a crash space in CT, working in MA just makes it more convenient to be staying locally. My thanks to the wonderful friends that have hosted me on couches and in spare spaces while in transition these past months... it's meant a lot, and I'm slowly freeing myself from needing to be anywhere in particular.

In media consumption notes, I finally saw Star Trek and really enjoyed it, twists and all.. it felt like the pacing was pretty breakneck, but I guess as attention spans shorten, everything speeds up to compensate. I'm also happily memorizing Tori Amos' new album, Abnormally Attracted To Sin.

Now to get some work done.. hopefully I'll post an update to the Etsy store soon, once I've set some new yarns.

Love and light to all..


Looking forward to singing at my own monthly kirtan tonight, thinking about the difference between leading and singing response and reminding myself that it all gets offered up, even the nervousness.

Thankfully, my voice is mostly back, enough that I don't anticipate another coughing fit, and my body is much better, pulled muscles healing as my lungs clear.

Summer is in the air, and the leaves open themselves to the sun, filling the New England landscape with shades of green.

Each day is filled with blessings, as long as I can stop long enough to breathe them in.


Woke to a view of the Berkshires out across green lawns before a lake in the distance, reflecting the grey morning fog back up to the infinite vault above. Up and to a silent breakfast, introspective yogis contemplating toast and rice cream, eggs and orange juice in retreat space.

In a flash, watching someone scrape off their cafeteria place into the compost, I felt this deep love well up for all the familiar places that I had myself gone for retreat weeks, the memory parade of different dining halls and plates and compost bins and how this affection for the space arises when the universe hands you intense growth experiences there, a kind of summer camp sentimentality that tugs at something core.

So much history in this ashram space turned cutting edge yoga retreat center, and such an incredible honor to sing response for Shubalananda there last night. Still recovering from the lingering edges of bronchitis, but I made it through and only excused myself to cough at the very end. Part of me was so glad that we've sung together so much and in so many different places.. I might have been terribly nervous, but I was able to go to that place within where this kirtan is the same as every other one, just me singing to God/dess.. and somehow my throat relaxes, and the first note comes out clear, and the momentum pulls me, lost in cadence and rhythm and suddenly the closing chants are upon us again.

My neck is healing, and I'm hoping to get back on the mat soon so I can teach and get my hours made up before graduation in June.

Off to enjoy my day off before a busy weekend between Webs and Portsmouth kirtans.


This weekend's experiences in yoga teacher training took on an entirely new challenge for me. I somehow pulled muscles in my neck and back in the past week, whether from coughing or sleeping on it wrong, it's painful to even fully inhale, leaving me almost completely unable to do yoga.

Staying on the mat, present with the class and doing the little I could brought up a lot for me.. as I tried to still my mind, intense emotions and thoughts jumped at the opportunity to make themselves heard. Disappointment at missing the opportunity to take such awesome sequences, frustration with my body's limitations, the month-long illness that I'm still not quite over yet, financial worries after missing so much work, sadness that I only have one more immersion weekend with this wonderful group of yogis... all rushing around my brain and gnawing at me.

Good churning work, and hard to stay present for it all without dumping that energy on someone else or eating an entire cheesecake.

At the very least, I've come away with a renewed appreciation for the health and vigor I usually enjoy in this body, and all the backlogged concerns I might not have had the time to deal with mentally have certainly been meditated upon and digested. Ultimately, I am responsible for the way I deal with my frustration, and I can choose the contents of my mind.

Now to head out for the last part of this immersion weekend and then back out into the wilds...


Made sweet potato soup last night, happy to be in a kitchen and able to cook. Enjoyed a bit of the first fresh arugula of the season, dressed with lemon infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then tossed with avocado and pecans, and a little freshly grated parmesan.

Picked a fat handful of dandelions in my wanderings after leaving work, and they cheer up my space beautifully.

Friday finds me chilling out, enjoying the morning to myself, studying a bit for my upcoming yoga teacher training weekend, wherein I shall take an exam that I need to pass.

I think I'll go out and do some light yoga in the sun, then go deal with studying and paperwork and errands before the evening arrives.

Love and light abounds... breathe it in.


Feeling a little nervous.. still not feeling a lot better and I'll be co-teaching a yoga class tonight as part of my teacher training. I met with my partner last night and went over everything, and I feel good about the class we designed, but I can't help being a little disappointed by my physical condition. I want to be able to offer my energy and focus forward, and give great assists, but I might just have to teach from the mat and not offer assists for health concerns.. makes me a little grumpy.

However, I also have to be authentic and honor my body, and I don't think I'll be penalized for being sick.

Procrastination continues.. I wait patiently for the funds and time to catch up on things like getting my taxes done and doing my business inventory.

Spent a little time in Wickham Park yesterday, wandering through the Lotus garden, spinning and singing, loving the new spring flowers and the soft velvety moss under my toes.

Just sent out the kirtan calendar for May.. drop me a comment if you want me to add you to the email list.

Blessings and love to all...


Last week's stomach bug has returned with chest and sinus congestion, which is a drag, but I'm taking good care of myself, with tea and rest and Emergen-C.

Hoping to have my voice back in time for my kirtan on Thursday, which I'm looking forward to.

Being forced to rest has its own positives, I can get more work done on the spinning project, and maybe even some knitting.

Much love and light to all..


Mountain air agrees with my lungs as I sing the sunrise, late nights under the stars listening to the owls and the coyotes calling to each other. Staying with friends blossoms into adventure as I roam around New England, armed with harmonium and spindle.

Feeling better from recent illness and the moon tide washing ashore, I watch the opportunity for doing good work with myself in taking rest when I need it, retreating from the usual breakneck pace for a day or two of lying down more often, knitting another row, drinking another cup of tea, reading another poem.

There is never enough time in a day to accomplish everything, so I'll focus on being fully present for whatever I'm doing right now.


Processing change and living out of my car again, staying with friends and singing kirtan continually, writing sand poetry with each breath.

I've changed my schedule at Webs to give me at least one full day off each week, I'm glad it's worked out, I do really enjoy being there.

Various spinning projects continue, I'll be teaching another yoga class at the end of the month, and I'm looking forward to my kirtan next Thursday, it's come back around so fast.

Blessings and love to all.. may the stirrings of spring blossom our hearts into peace.


Remembering to stay present with my own experience, offering my heart forward today in yoga practice and in my life, offering myself the nourishment of drawing boundaries that help me to care for myself, that I may better offer my overflow to the lives and hearts of others.

Busy month ahead, I'll be teaching a yoga class in there somewhere, with a much smaller group than that first team teaching experience, and fitting that into my already packed schedule will be interesting.

Been reading through my writings recently, watching the incredible unfolding of the past 6 months, and I find that each and every one of my words echoes Osho in pointing me back to that inner silence. May I heed my own words and hang out in my own heart space, always observing.


Having a scone and a chai tea at the Haymarket in the Northampton morning, loving the surly baristas and amazedly staring at my new laptop as though it was about to blink out of existence, looking forward to getting some spinning and some kirtan practice in on my day off. The downstairs here is filled with an assortment of laptops, brand logos glowing, everyone simultaneously connected and isolated behind individual screens. We all filter our own existence in this way, behind the screen and behind our eyes.

My world shifts, swirls around me subtly and yet earth-shatteringly, and I feel a little like I'm dreaming, watching everything unfold in my life from a new place of silence somewhere within myself. Filled with gratitude and experiencing new dimensions within ishwarapranidhana.

Yoga teacher training awaits me starting on Friday night, then a movie at home with my mom, which will be a nice check-in and chill out space after a busy week. Saturday and Sunday will be immersed in yoga, and I'm looking forward to discovering what Matt and Anne will have in store for us.

Love and blessings to all.


Leading my second kirtan at Samadhi this past Thursday was really incredible. Much of the nervousness I felt during the first one has evaporated, replaced by a quiet confidence and a deepening reservoir of feeling. Continuous practice has certainly helped, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn everything I can and sing from my heart.

The amazing communities all over New England provide such a precious connection, a network of yogis to sing with, and I'm looking forward to watching it all continue to unfold.

More yarn gets made slowly, and I might even get some new skeins up on Etsy this month, since I'm taking a break from the sampler box.

Off and into the day..


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