Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Valentines. My Mom and Dad, Allie & Lou, in 1951.

When I look at this picture I feel lucky to be one of this lovely couple's (at the time imagined) children. In fact I was their unexpected tie breaker, their fifth child and third girl, born the last day of April in tumultuious 1963.
"The girls won!" my sisters cheered when they heard I wasn't a boy. After me my parents had two more children, my brother Michael and sister Jane.

When lovers see each other for the first time and dream deep into the excitement of sharing years together through sparkling eyes and beaming smiles, there felt is the current of cupids arrow searing into their hearts and lifting them into the wonderment of tomorrow with hope's halo surrounding them and love's bond uniting them- two hearts as one.

-just a little prose inspired by my mom and dad's love and the 60 Valentine's Days they shared, including this year, for love is held forever dear in the hearts of true Valentines.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Final Goodbyes to a Father We Adored... Frederick A. 'Allie' Briggs, Dad (July 28, 1928 - Nov. 12, 2010)

We were all by our father's side as he surrendered his soul from the gifted physical form his parents' blessed him with over 82 years ago. My father, Allie, left this world after leading a full life, rich with joys and sorrows, and he left a legacy far beyond creating probably the world's greatest donuts. His legacy was his story, now a part of my story, and the thousands more he has touched.

My Dad fulfilled dreams that his God granted soul blessed him with creating. He steadfastly took opportunities when his spirit stirred and his good karma offered. He had a sharp and witty mind that had plenty of time for contemplation (farm work and cutting donuts is very meditative). He gave back when he could, first providing for his family, and then the youth of his community and New England; he had fun when it was rightfully deserved.

My eight year old son Shane looked up at the clouds the other day while we were driving to town, and began to chuckle, and then robustly laugh out loud... he saw Grampa up in heaven, playing catch with his Uncle Ricky; "Mom, Grampa's waving to me... Oh no, he lost his shoe! Now he's running along side the car"- (probably to tell me to "Be Careful"), and then with a surprise-- my son jumped back in his seat and with wide eyes, joyfully gasped, "Mom, Grampa just threw me the ball!!"

Sweet!! Thanks Dad, I love you so much! I'm so glad my son got a piece of you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Re-structure your inner and outer lives, with harmony as your ultimate INTENTION during this autumn season and Libra sun cycle.

When we accept conflicting undercurrents inside and throughout, they don't take on momentous proportions when we regard them as natural, and sometimes fascinating. If the Buddha MarriedChpt 29, Feeling Peace

We have such possibility... all of us. It's inspiring to see our friends, students, work-mates, teachers and loved ones excel. It's even more empowering to feel ourselves rise to an occasion, working hard and long at something which reaps benefits for many.

This week The Alternative Food Coop, where I work part-time (although recently well over FUll time!), recently reopened after over a month of being closed due to structural damage which needed to be repaired in order for us to realign with our intention and be on a rightful path, ultimately serving the community with whole, organic food and products that are fairly, lovingly and sustainably created.

It has been encouraging to see so many of us employees, working members, loyal customers and even strangers enjoy ourselves even in the high stress pockets of this cleansing process. To destruct fully before repair was the hardest, but there was still so much laughter, conversation and companionship. There was satisfaction all along the way. These moments of remembering to enjoy ourselves will help us all to remember how it feels to put forth effort with an ease of attitude and a flow of grace.

This season, set a foundation to rise to your own occasion; to "re-open" if you will. What do you want to restructure, scrub clean and build again- with new sheen, illumination and purpose? Setting an intention to be in the flow of grace, recognizing the motivating power of having a good attitude, ready and steady and open to the possibility of healing, feeling good, achieving what you may have once felt was a long haul away, is half of the work. Remembering that You Already Are who you think you want to be, and practicing that remembrance, is the other half. Trusting in your foundation and Divine Goodness, will ultimately align you with the Universal flow of energy toward even more Grace, Bliss and full potentiality.

IN PHOTO: AFCoop workmate, Allison Kennedy, scrubbing shelf number 88.... we gave up counting and just kept on keeping on.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TEJAS - Bring out your Inner Light -


I recently opened an email from a yoga studio I frequent when in the bay area, and this illuminating image and the sanskrit word TEJAS beamed out at me. This paragraph followed (from YOGA TREE in SF):

In Sanskrit the word tejas means inner light, luminosity, or essence of fire. If there's anything that brings out your inner light—that bright, shining spark that makes you who you are—it's a regular yoga practice. Each time you unroll your mat or sit for meditation, some of the things that shield your inner light—tension, fear, insecurity, etc.—slowly begin to chip away, so your inner light can shine a little more brightly.

This Sept 24th, one of the first full days of autumn, will mark the beginning of a special 6 week yoga series I am presenting at RIVER BEND Athletic Club in Peace Dale, RI (401-789-9585
The series, titled 40 DAYS of TEJASE will immerse new and on-going yoga students in the revelation of their own INNER BRIGHTNESS and POTENTIAL, both on and off the yoga mat.

My foremost intention is to offer a clear and concise introduction to, and deeper familiarization of the style of yoga I practice and am training to teach, Anusara Yoga(tm). This series will be recorded as a part of my teacher training and Anusara-Inspired(tm) teacher certification process. Anusara tm), like many systems of Yoga, progresses it's teachers and students sequentially, just as Anusara(tm) Yoga's Universal Principles of Alignment(tm) sequentially deepen all students' physical and energetic awareness and alignment in postures.

As a student of Anusara(tm) Yoga since 1997, I have great respect for the style and for all of my teachers, including John Friend, Anusara's founder. My hope is that through the art of asana and practice of pranayama and meditation, along with each weekend's dharma (purposeful philosophical discussion on yoga's relativity to our day to day life) we will all beam brighter, just as my teachers have taught and encouraged me through the years.

Each Friday afternoon will carry into the rest of the weekend and ensuing weeks, transforming all of our lives along with the autumn landscape. Attending my other Pilates and Yoga classes through the week can enrich the Immersion, but is not mandatory, and Private Yoga Sessions are always available with me upon request.

Through my twenty years of yoga study in several lineages, and almost ten years of teaching experience, it has been over the past four plus years of intense Anusara Yoga(tm) Teacher Training and self study that I have become convinced of the importance of knowing consistent, safe and effective alignment principles. Anusara Yoga(tm) offers an elegant and heart centered method of alignment which can help students help themselves in the prevention, and often healing of injuries, especially those caused from trauma, or from repetitive movements in yoga, work or play.

I am also empowered by how setting and returning to an Intention, on and off the mat, can transform "doing yoga" into "practicing yoga" as a lifestyle. Yoga reminds us to attune to our own divine goodness and inner wisdom, to come from our center. This is a practice which is always challenging, for life naturally flows with waves of highs and lows, times illuminated with remembrance and dark with forgetting.

This first FALL Yoga series, 40 days of TEJASE, offers a unit of six 90 minute classes, which attendees must commit to. The series fee of either $48 for River Bend members, or $72 non-members, is divided between RB and me, for the extended class time. EACH week we will work on progressing deeper into using the UPA (Universal Principles of Alignment(tm)) during standing and arm balancing poses, pigeon pose variations, backbends and handstands. Other seated and forward bends that are on Anusara Yoga's Syllabus I, may also be practiced, and each student's individual needs will always be addressed.

Some of the classes will be video taped for my Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Certification process. My teaching and your progressive practices will be recorded for my training purposes only, and will not be published. If you prefer not to be filmed that can be arranged.

Each class will begin with the recitation of Anusara Yoga's Invocation (a non-dogmatic, cool chant that aligns our intention with that of the greater good, the wise teacher and divine light -tejase-within and throughout.) Discussions on aspects of Anusara Yoga's Tantric (non-dualistic) Philosophy will take place in a non-judgemental atmosphere conducive to sharing.

I look forward to working more indeptly with many of my regular students, and with new individuals of all levels of physicality and yoga experience.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. My email is
I am available before or after my regular classes at River Bend: Saturday 9:45-11 am and Sunday 9:45-10:45 am, and Thursdays 8-9 am Pilates. Through the fall I will also be teaching yoga Wednesdays 8-9 am and Fridays 9:15-10:15 am.

I provide private yoga, pilates and Thai massage sessions on request; time slots are arranged through me as scheduled in conjunction with River Bend's avail space, or in the comforts of your home. My Rates are based on a sliding scale $60-$120, and private sessions are 60, 75 or 90 minutes long.

Begin where you are, begin now, begin again!

Namaste, and TEJASE~ I honor your light within.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Missing Shane - the bicoastal parenting predicament

SHANE TURNS 8 tomorrow, August 11th and he's 3000 miles away with his Papa. I love him so much.
I'm glad he and his Papa are together, and I'm psyched they visited my dear friend Darrah today, so he at least got a Mama like love hug from her.

He's quite the charmer and sincere, sweet little character. She said he walked through her garden and said, "Wow, it's even more big and beautiful than last year!"... so Shane, always recognizing the beauty around him. A true reflection of his own bright light. Letting my heart find it's own inner light while he's away is my challenge this month, but it's both fun and a lesson in remembering who I am.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What an Anniversary Celebration:

58 years of marriage, and my Dad finally comes home after 3 and a half months in the hospital to a wife he promised to grow old with ("because the best was yet to come!") I'm so happy for my father to live again in the comfort of the familiar.

My prayers are now centered around the spreading of joy, peace and love within every thought, word and action in his world. I hope my sister Anne comes home to Rhode Island soon too, and that my mother and father get along, struggle free, with Grace and God, and good health, fully in their lives.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lives in Motion, with Slowin' Potion - My CA Girlfriends, grow with the flow, as my Father slows in his final years. Shiva/Shakti energy & God at work

Samantha Shakti Brown and three month old baby, Kiran, in their lovely abode, Big Basin Vineyard's Surya Chandra Temple Home, Boulder Creek, CA July 11, 2010

Cara Judea Alhadeff and I celebrate our friendship on her new apartments rooftop in downtown Oakland, CA (there's a playground right across the street, and a view of the Bay bridge and SF from on high. July 10, 2010

I recently went out to California where I got to spend brief, but quality time with two of my most inspirational and supportive friends, both yoga teachers of mine, both former travel companions and housemates, both friends twelve and eight years my junior. Both going through mid thirties life changes that are slowing their face paced world down.

Cara, the world traveler, yoga teacher, lecturer and erotic-art photographer, was my roomie when we lived in San Francisco's Haight (Janice Jopplin used to live in the same apartment building). Cara's an Iyengar Yoga teacher extraordinaire and an amazingly creative photographer ( with shows all over the world, from Amsterdam to Korea. Just three days prior to my welcomed arrival, she had left her east coast bases in NYC and PA to be carried over the threshold of a door newly opened to a world which has the hopes of 'settling' her down. With the hopes of having a child soon, Cara is prepared to be in a "slow me down" mode; let's hope she doesn't crack with the destruction-creation (Shiva-Shakti) faze that will or will not bring a calm to her chaos when the dust settles. Chaos, afterall, is often what we thrive in!

Samanthaji, married now for two full and happy years, gave birth to her first child, Kiran (ray of light), in April. (A confirming jolt of lightning struck moments after Sam asked her baby, then in belly, what he thought of her liking the name Kiran.) I found Sam and her husband Bradley absolutely glorious; happiness and Mama love radiated from Sam and her own bright light was as inspiring as ever. She hula hooped, breast fed, swam laps, breast fed, worked out with a boot camp video, and kept busy around the house, always present, always loving. Still the go-getter, Sam set an intention to "have fun through the process of loosing her Mama weight", Always filled with positive intentions to fill her life with grace.

The day after I left the VIneyard, Sam took a Mama break and went horseback riding (something my intuition told me seemed a little much...); her horse spooked, threw her to the ground, and proceeded to step on her leg and 'brake' it. Apparently, If a new born can't slow you down, a broken leg will. Sam is an extremely health conscious eater and with all the Anusara yoga and Universal Principles of Alignment her body is programed to it's ultimate blueprint, so it's no wonder that her soft tissue is healing well, and with the help of a plate placed in her leg, she is once again moving forward with the presence of Grace. Sam's text to me after the injury proclaimed with positive light, "this will make me a better teacher!" She's already a great teacher, and her positive attitude in the face of Shiva - Shakti forces is one of her best teachings yet!

What creative lives we live... every day a different page to an ever evolving story. And with the chaotic patterns life brings, moves, injuries, births, deaths, we need not let these chapters fix onto us, for we are separate from the stories. With destruction comes creation, with creation comes destruction, and with all the change is growth. Do not get fixed on one chapter, live as if the breath that moves through you. Enjoy your days with grace and a positive attitude, like Sam; open to the unknown and to possibility like Cara, and share in these two women's courage, a knowing consciousness, that life is filled with destruction and creation, Shiva Shakti energy. We must first be open to the breaking down of our attachments, patterns, and stories, in order to create something new, something different, something better... us.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Looking at the Big Picture ... How's your View?

Block Island, Rhode Island from Shane's and my airplane window.
Shortly after take off for our trip across country, we were fortunate to catch this beautiful sight of Block Island, RI, plopped 12 miles off the coastal beaches near our home in Matunuck, where Shane goes to school, September thru June.

It was as if we were flying over our "Big Picture", seeing our Rhode Island home pass below, as we flew westward to California where his father lives, and where much of our lives unfold and gather steam. This "Big Picture", living on and with the infulences of both coasts, has 'little picture' challenges that make relationships complex, finances stressed and work schedules strained. Yet, having both coasts in our lives, and his father's love and time, is indeed a big picture I hope we can sustain, without further undue stress and strain. I pray to be in the winds of Grace. I need to work more pointedly on increasing my earnings wherever I am, to get financially secure and comfortable enough to support a bi-coastal life, for both of us, without any reliance on friends and family, other than what should duely come our way from Shane's father (even if it means our time out west are only "visits.")

In my "big, big picture", I dream to be financially able to build a "green" home in the Pecos Mts of New Mexico, where I'll write, practice and teach yoga, and watch the sun set glowingly over the desert hues. To explore my wisdom years with the comforting echoes of pinions and juniper hollowed hills would be glorious. Hmmm... 'still unfolding these images. I currently, and actually have had on and off over the past five years, a love relationship with an interesting man that seemingly keeps keeping on and I really can't imagine it ever stopping. It's an odd one, but I do hope my relationship with this man continues, as long as it's an "us" relationship, well into our wisdom years and wildest traveling dreams. And I do hope and have intention to explore more of this great big wonderful world with my son Shane too. He is and I bet would really be an interesting sort to travel abroad with. These "big pictures within my big picture" have yet to be drawn in the clouds of our undefined, deep and abiding ways. My real goal is to now come truly into myself as a money maker while being of service as an Anusara (tm) yoga teacher, natural health educator, informational and creative writer, memoirist, mother and traveler.

In the mean time... Shane is now in week two with his Papa in the Redwood forest of northern Sonoma, with three and half more weeks to go. We talk daily at length, mainly about his day and LEGOS. I appreciate my relationship with my son, and value it's deep bond of respect, trust and love, and it's lighter level of joyfulness and play. I never tire of his company and although I miss him dearly, I am extremely happy for his growing time with Daddy, and with California (which is it's own separate relationship to be in).

I also got to be with my mother and father after my weekend in CA. It was a short, but expansive few days, from Tuesday to Friday, where I got to explore my relationship with my father while he regains what healthy days he has remaining in his vital but elderly and ill self. It's time warping, being with aging parents, as images and memories of my life prior to the time of my send off from "home" as a college student, clash with the years I became an adult afterward. My Dad's big picture includes almost sixty years with my loving, precious mother, and has led to his now old age and traumatic illnesses and triumphant comebacks (from Lung cancer and other ailments, that have occured since his April 7th admittance to the hospital). What a full circle we live from birth to death, what frameless pictures and stories we create as our souls intermingle and flow from body to body in God's glorious big picture.

Like the above Galaxies spiraling from energy centers to expansive releases, we live with so many unknowns, so many possibilities, so much chaos and so many patterns, of life and death, creation and destruction, beauty and beastiness. In Sanskrit, the language of yoga, we call the magnificent occurrances, Liela, the predictable ones Karma and the process of destruction and parrallel creation Shiva/Shakti energy. All the chaos creates "big pictures" and the true beauty is in the presence of GOD, the Supreme Intelligent One, whom connects the flow of our souls, so we are all ONE, in this Universe of Divine Consciousness together.

What is your big picture? Accept that it is to be filled with the chaos of the unknown, but project the images of a defined existence being lived with a fulfilled heart, and an ever burgeoning soulfueled story.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Open your Sails to the Winds of Grace

Shane and I have enjoyed some nice beach time. Here he is on Matunuck Beach with Block Island in the background. June and July in Rhode Island have been hot and sunny. But soon we're off to CA, and me to FL to take care of my father for four days.

We leave Friday, July 9th for San Francisco. Shane gets to be with his Dad for five weeks, and I'll get to visit Samantha and her new born baby boy, Kirtan, in Boulder Creek on Big Basin Vineyard, for a few days before flying to FL to take care of my Dad and relieve my sister Anne.

It will be nice to remember what it feels like to be a Californian again, if only for a brief time. The energy of the west coast is so full of Shri, It humbles my own energy with its majestic prowess and New Agey - in your face -spirituality; which I am drawn to, yet repelled by at the same time.

Shane is so looking forward to seeing his Papa and to being in the energy of MendoNoma county. His dad lives deep in the high redwood forest, northwest of the Dry Creek wine country, and twenty miles east of the Pacific Ocean.

As seen in this picture, the north Atlantic has a friendlier shoreline than the northern Pacific, both beautiful in their own magically natural way. In the distance is Block Island, and sailers catching the wind of Grace. I hope that through our week of travels- to CA, FL and back home to RI, we are in the flow of Grace, that our sails are open, and we are free from struggle and full of happiness and contentment.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Peonies in Springtime, Bursting with Lifeforce and Inspiration. And an Acceptance of Impermanance, with a Recognition of Grace and the Divine Within.

Prose for Peonies, from Mary Oliver... (also sited in my March 2009 blog)


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?

Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

~Mary Oliver

It's been a tough month or two, or three... Rhode Islanders are still recouperating from the flood, but I feel are ready to raise from the murky water to a blooming and abundant summer, full of more preparedness, aka acceptance, patience and Grace, less struggle.

And with spring in full force, inspiration is everywhere- in the life affirming blooms, green grass and fully open leaves. People are on the bike paths and driving less, hiking and surfing more- and not just the internet, but the waves of life and the waves of the Atlantic. Free from the dramatically detrimental Gulf oil spill, we must feel grateful for our still pristine wetlands and shore, and send out our hopes and prayers for the people and wildlife of Louisana. It's a scary time, but one when more than ever we must grasp the eternal, as we accept the impermanant, like a Peonies fleeting beauty.

My father, Allie, has not been well; since early April he has been in the hospital in FL, post op after lung cancer was removed along with two thirds of his right lung. Our Rhode Island and VA family members have been lovingly and sacrificially at his side. I am so grateful for them, and for the time that I was able to go and be with him, if only for a few days. I held his hand, and had mine squeezed all night, while he was in intense pain from an infection. I knew he wanted me there through the night, and I knew that was the only place I wanted to be... with him, and as closely as possible. I still wish I could be there.

I am grateful I was able to speak to him of love and Grace, and to feel his love back so deeply, and to see his smiles between the winces. I heard his whispers over the trache, read his lips, and his often terse or sweet and tender words perseveringly written on a clip board. Ah, he is a courageous one, stubborn as any Swamp Yankee has ever been, but a fighter with a true, and authentic heart, earnestly dedicated to his loved ones. He is also absolutely adorable, with his teddy bear like stuffing, fluctuating with his grizzly bear attitude, and muscular still strong physique. A superman. He's always been a doer for sure, and raised seven children, and a landmark business, while maintaining a loving relationship with my mother for the majority of their over 58 years together. He is still learning to let go of his anger, fear and might, so to reign in God's Grace and ever present compassion. I love my Dad, especially for his mostly positive example; his life is one full of inspiration, and even when I disagree with him, I learn from him.

On Saturday a local farmer brought Peonies to the Alternative Food Coop where I work, and their silky, lace-like beauty impressed me from the start. On Sunday I went back for them, then forgot them at the register. Slowly fading, their example of Shri, like my father's, is staying with me. In my heart, I am knowing how their scent and presence makes me feel even when they are not in sight, like the hero I see my father as, they inspire me. But surely my peonies' petals will wilt, their tips will brown, and the Shri will fade away with the wasting of a picked blossom does, as it is pulled from it's source.

I am memorializing my peonies before their time, but as the weekend of appreciating those whom inspire us, or fight for us, is upon us, my flowers are symbolic of the glory in the jewel like beauty of the presence, that Rumi speaks of. I will always be one with their Grace, because I have known it, and I will always be thankful for our mutual connection-the Shakti within us- that aligns us with the Divine. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Friday, May 28, 2010

Returning to Source, Body Flowing out of Spirit, Spirit Flowing from Body... In Memoriam with Hope

Listen to the story told by the
reed of being separated.

'Since I was cut from
the reed bed
I have made
this crying sound.
Anyone separated from someone he loves
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughter
and the grieving,
a friend to each.

But few will hear the secrets
No ears for that.

Body flowing out of spirit
spirit flowing from body.

13th Century Mystic Poet

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Working as a Flute & The Law of Least Effort

When you work you are a flute through whose
heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
... And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your
heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth....
~Kahil Gibran, The Prophet

Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others.

What Kahil Gibran prohetically wrote is of an exultation of spirit that arises when we are being of service to others, the ultimate goal of all goals. Drawing the threads of our day from our heart, our life's work can be worn like a cloak by the Divine.

It is a fortunate thing to be able to work for a good cause, or to involve oneself in work that moves energy and people towards positive actions. Life, even in the best of circumstances, isn't always perfect though, which can be a good thing if we grow in times of challenge, but if we feel stuck, then how do we get back to the flute weaving our work into music?
When we feel our spirit is crushed, or we feel derailed from purposeful tasks, how do we regain the rhythm of the heart? Sometimes the workplace is not a healthy place. Ask your self how you feel, content or undervalued? appreciated or manipulated? When do we know when to move on, or how to move on to more fulfilling occupations of our time? It is so important to do what you enjoy, but also to enjoy doing it.

Sometimes in the workplace we spend wasteful energy defending our position, or we become aware that others are being ineffectively defensive. The cycle can go round and round. The weave of threads in our day gets knotted, and returning to Grace with a responsible harmonious word, action or deed is our soul way back to the fluid weave of flute-like days.

As Deepak Chopra states in his early 90's best seller, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success , "When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation."... "These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else's fault." ~ Deepak Chopra

One of the components of Chopra's Law of Least Effort is responsibility. "Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Once we accept our circumstance we then have the ability to have a creative response as it is now."

ALL PROBLEMS CONTAIN THE SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CREATION OF SOMETHING NEW AND BEAUTIFUL, AND EVERY SO CALLED TORMENTOR OR TYRANT WILL BECOME YOUR TEACHER. Reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities will evolve. Deepak Chopra's The Law of Least Effort

In your yoga practice on and off the mat, try the The Law of Least Effort. Practice using a creative response to turning your problems and obstacles into a teaching experience, an opportunity for growth. And if you are not sure what the lesson is you are to learn, try this piece of poetic advice from Rumi:

Hear the wordless subtleties, and understand what catches not the understanding.

It takes meditation.
Before your yoga practice, set an intention to meditate on the silent subtleties.
Each morning, set an intention to meditate on what catches you, or what you choose to ignore.
Plant a seed, take a creative response, and Work as a flute, with the Law of Least Effort.

My father used to say how much he always liked to get up in the morning, because he loved what he was doing.
Twenty plus years of rolling dough, cutting doughnuts and selling thousands a day at his namesake business, Allie's Donuts, was what occupied a huge part of my father's best years (and mine growing up). These years were filled with people working hard along side him, with music and conversation, sweat and sometimes very heated arguments, but still the days were lively, and every one was different, though the patterns of the day stayed fluid. The fluid predictability of the day and the sounds of the bustling "backroom" and friendly "frontend", with its lines of anxiously awaiting, but profoundly patient Rhode Islanders in lines out the doors, was a weave of many thoughts, actions and deeds. People getting their Allie's dozen, jimmy donuts, glazed crullers, hot honey dip and chocolate frosted raise for a relative down at the beach or a nice neighbor. Serious stories were told while my sisters and I powdered donut holes, or silly jokes were shared to pass the monotony of trays of raised yet to be frosted. It all sang.

When bad moods arose, the moment would freeze with tension; the radio still played, but the music died. It was only when someone took responsibility for the moment, usually with humour or kindness, that our creative juices would continue to jam, and the customers would feel the positive, buzzing energy and we'd all be served a little more love.

This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again,
and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of
a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and
hast breathed through it melodies eternally
new .... Thy infinite gifts come to me only on
those very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and
still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

Friday, May 7, 2010

M'aidez Art Show and Mother's Day Gratitude

I'm so grateful to be a mother and to enjoy parenting so much. Today I volunteered at my son's school and at the end of the day they had their monthly Recognition Assembly. Well I'm glad I was there, because apparently for seven months my son has sat through his fellow classmates getting recognized for various achievements, which although happy for them, he's shared was also upsetting, an obvious unsettling to his self esteem, wondering, " why not me?" Well after talking to him about goals he can achieve with a little more effort, he got that it just wasn't his time to be rewarded. But today he beamed, happy and proud to finally be recognized, and he was So glad I was there! His turn and smile towards me lit up the world.

Another day to be proud and pleased came with great weather on top of it. Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous, and after a Saturday morning receiving a 7 am produce order at the Alternative Food Coop, and teaching an 8 am yoga class, I returned to beautiful downtown Wakefield with my son to enjoy a stroll along the Saugatucket River Walk admiring many splendid works created by South Kingstown's elementary, middle and high school art students. Above are some shots, my first graders piece that was selected he self titled, "Symbol of Life". Kids got some depth. I love it. I love him.

I love being a proud mom and a mom that's needed for the tough times too, like teaching him to return the coins from the money counting cup in his classroom (he wanted to give it to me because he knew times were tough and I needed money- oops!). I explained how "Instant karma's gonna get ya", as John Lennon sings, if you don't return the change and rid yourself of the heavy feeling of doing something you shouldn't have done. Well, he lost his DS charger soon after, and he does think it's his dishonest action of taking the change, as well as his inefficient clean up of play space, that has made him pay a consequence of no DS game playing for a while. (Yeah!-it's limited and not good, I know.)

Discussing karma, honesty, efficiency and respect, as well as compassion and love for all beings, are great value gathering moments. Memories that are deep seeded lessons, reflecting my love and concern for him. These times are just as moving moments of motherhood as are occasions of pride and joy. I wish such moments and impressions to all- may you experience the gratitude that comes with pride, joy and nurturing others. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The risk it takes to bloom...

"And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anais Nin

My spring seedlings are growing taller; their risk to remain tight and not germinate is one they haven't opted to take, instead they're sprouting, reaching toward my kitchen window's northeast sun, yearning to be cilantro, collards and chard. Are you still yearning to be more of who you know you are? What risks do you take by not going toward the light of that promise? Isn't the risk of growing, better?

I've taken the risk to direct my energies toward living in line with my Soul, teaching yoga, working in the "green" natural foods industry (again), and writing, writing, writing, spreading the good works and efforts of many, while being in support of numerous consciencous causes. The risk has meant doing so for less than I value my time at being worth. Not that there is not immense value at working for the heart, the cause, and the good karma. These are all wonderful reasons, for the risks of not being able to give and be of service is far greater than not honoring your path.

At the risk of not ever having a child of my own (and granted the path of parenthood is not for everyone) I chose to bare, and raise, a child as a single parent, often at the risk of being stuck in some pretty muddy waters. Like as of late, I finally made it through the muddy abyss of late spring; like a lotus flower rising forth from the murky bog, my roots have not had stable ground to hold fast to since the RI Flood, which occurred on the eve of April's Fool's Day. Alas though, I am out of high water emotionally and financially, and I'm back in black, regaining light and feeling growth again.

Money is a necessary nutrient to our spirit and livelihood, providing for our basic needs and helping to enrich our lives with opportunities. It's lack of and/or mismanagement of, can often mentally and physically hold us back from the growth we seek. I am grateful to have had some new shoots of income come to me this week. Plant the seed, and work to bare the fruit!

Another good sprout shooting up is that my father is doing a bit better; after over three weeks in the hospital following lung cancer surgery, he's hopefully gaining the strength and momentum to begin to breathe on his own again. My family is reassuring me that although I so very much want to be near my father, it's best I stay home where my son needs me most. It's a risk I'm taking, not ever seeing my father again, but my faith is feeding me on this one.

Another budding, is my relationship with the man I can't seem to get out of my heart. It's a risk I just can't stop taking, to love and accept what comes. As Rumi so poetically puts it, ... "Love flows down. The earth submits to the sky and suffers what comes, does the earth fare any iess for giving in like that?" I've got to just love him, the risk of not hurts too much.

I tend to always start blooming in late April, in sync with the trees, and my birthday. My mother's sweet card arrived for me today, three days early, but with perfect timing. It sang to me just when I needed it. Thanks Mom! My little guy asked me how old I'll be when he's my age. We imagined what life will be like when he's 47, and I'm 87... It was a very interesting conversation. I told him I hope he has a child, and he said he wants six! I said, "then you better keep doing your very best in school and make good money to support your family." He said he wanted to invent solar panel cars that hover, and be a palentologist and scientist. Reminded me of when my mom used to say to me, "you better marry a millionaire, Becky!" I always had a load of cool things on my plate, but somehow she thought I'd need a man to do it all. I kind of think that energy stuck, but I keep trying to disprove it. (Note, I was engaged to a millionaire I dated for seven years, but left that dream for another that loomed larger. Having a child and growing even more as an individual!)

When I think of the lessons I'm still either ignoring or practicing to learn, I wonder what lessons are instore for my son. I pray for Grace to help us both continue to age with joyfulness and intelligence. I pray for my son, and for all of the young and old yet to come, to risk to live out their dreams. To risk to learn their lessons, to make choices, to dive deeper, to spend wisely, to work harder, to listen smarter, to laugh when wanting to cry, to cry when wanting to laugh. To risk is to feel and give love, instead of live with the hard emotions of fear and anger.

To dream is to risk. To envision and define clearly what you want, is to risk it's arrival, and it's changing. And, to risk growing in the chaos of the muddy process, is to risk learning your lessons, for to remain stuck, is to risk not growing at all. Dive deep in the hazy waters, hold fast to your intentions, and bloom from the bud of your wildest dreams!

There are Love stories and there is obliteration into love.
We are walking the ocean's edge, holding up our robes to keep them dry.
We must dive, naked and under. Under a thousand times deeper.
Love flows down. The earth submits to the sky and suffers what comes.
Tell me, does the earth fare any less for giving in like that.

Jelaludin Rumi

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bhavana and Shri

Shri - Sh ree "life-affirming energy," "that which diffuses lights," the essence of spring!

Bhavana- the active resting in the natural unfolding beauty of being.

This weekend's yoga classes have a theme set around Shri and Bhavana. How can we carry the life-affirming energy of spring into each of our deeply set, personal intentions while living with both the necessary will and much needed Grace (no pun intended)? It's a process that takes practice, on and off the mat. To begin...

The mantra for starting any new ventures or undertaking any good and new works is:

Om Shri Ganeshay Namah

I came across this mantra when exploring the website of a new yoga studio that has recently cropped up with in northern RI. Yes, another yoga studio in little RI! Shri Studio in Pawtucket.

My own community yoga studio is still in the process of unfolding (in Matunuck at Broadview Yoga Barn or maybe elsewhere- we'll see!). It's still in the seed germination stage, and I must continue to put every thought, word and action toward it's bloom, while remaining patient. I must resist rushing the fruits of my passion, but rather have the patient unfolding, or Bhavana, along with Shri.

There is no need to rush the unfolding of a flower, to be in the beauty of the process, is to live life at its fullest.

Imagine seeing consciousness, our heart, mind and soul, our entire being, as a flower that is unfolding. Bhavana is taking an active role in one's opening, to consciously involve oneself in the process.

How does a flower open?
It opens when light, water and nuturients in the soil nurture it.

But why hurry to open?
Why hurry towards the so called end of flowering?

Bhavana is the active resting in the natural unfolding beauty of being.
Alan Clements,
as shared with me by my first Anusara Yoga teacher and dear friend, Hanneli Francis back in 2001

Om Shri Ganeshay Namah

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kid' ng and Caring

The sounds of my sisters conversing and breathing with my Dad, talking sweetly to my Mom, giggling amongst themselves and buckling down with the nurses where my dad is being cared for, is in a constant rhythm above my brow. I love this fun cellphone photo they sent from their "girl's night out", while attending Mom's bowling night. (That's a pic of me they're holding, a downloaded presence, since I can't be there in person.) I'm helping from up here, they say, and with the swift aide of modern day technology I've been able to send cheery Shane quips, and text'd synthesis' of my Dad's condition, via the very appreciated aide of my dear friend, "the doctor".)

My Mom's an awesome bowler... no kidding, 'though "kid-ing" is something we all need more of. As I'm sure my sisters are filling every available non-heavy moment with. I'm so glad I have my little guy to keep me smiling and laughing.

Today, I unpacked his backpack from a day at the Roger Williams Park Zoo (a trip he enjoyed with the YMCA spring breakers) and to my sweet surprise I found a rather wilted, but brillant bouquet of dandelions that he had picked for me on the playground at the Y. My heart melted. What a sweetie! He asked a friend for his empty gatorade bottle to stuff them in. Ragged and weary, they're a symbol of so much. Filled with the Shri of childhood and apparent warmth that sincere care can bring. They lit up my day, and his sadness at their condition was heartening.
Oh how I can't help but love, cherish and appreciate these wonderful days while my little guy is so darn cute and adoring.

May moments like these enrich the lives of every human. Love is something.
Here's to Care-giving of all kinds, and to what fills us up!

Good news too. My Dad's doing better... the tracheotomy today has helped tremendously, to bring him hope, his own breath and the recognition that there are brighter days ahead! Big love and breaths full of Grace to all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Open to Grace. WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY YOGA Practices/Classes - Dedicated to those needing wellness and to those as witness of process.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7th's and FRIDAY's APRIL 9th's yoga practice/class theme is Opening to Grace, with a dedicated practice for my father who is going in for lung cancer surgery tomorrow at noon. Grace and empathy is especially needed by health care givers, as they treat and aide elders and the unwell and often become hardened to the "care" side of health care. As much as Grace and faith is needed by the ill, it's needed by the nurses, radiologist and doctors. It's an often cold and lonely process, getting well, going in and out of hospitals, test after test, chemo, radiation.... To send out wishes of Grace for all those involved is hugely needed. Kindness is so underrated, and yet so valued. Please be tender to my father, and may all be filled with Grace and free from struggles of all kind.

Broad View Yoga Barn 1010 Matunuck Beach Road, Matunuck, RI
$5-$15 Sliding Scale Fee // Call for more info: 401-533-0116

Wednesdays (Beginning April 7)
11 am-12:30 pm & 4-5 pm
Fridays (Beginning April 9)
11 am-12:30 pm & 5-6 pm

Walks on the beach optional!! More classes to come. Comment with Email address to be on Mail list.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We are the Resurrection, for we Embody Christ and the Supreme Divine Consciousness dwells within!

Happy Easter weekend! And what a beautiful spring spell we are in, with temps in the 60s and long days of sunshine, you can't help but feel revived. After the deluge of rain, the grass is bright green and the scent, feel and sight of Shri permeates the air. The affirmation of life (Shri) is everywhere, budding from the bare grey bends of oaks, maples and elms; tweeting from the bright red cardinals that flit to and fro the branches till dusk, and infused in the play of children everywhere, on the rocky beaches, the egg sprawled grass and the sun speckled porches. We are blessed with a time to rejoice and are filled with the energy of the Divine, as we resurrect the embodiment of Christ in our own being.

This morning Shane and I went to Easter service at Peace Dale's Unitarian Universal Church. It was our first time actually making it there, we've tried before when they were on break. I am often teaching yoga on Sundays or busy at a Yoga Teacher Training or Workshop, childsitting friends' little ones, or watching over my son resting from from one of the viruses or bugs he caught this year.

We had a lovely Easter Sunday, after Church he enjoyed an egg hunt with the congregation, and another egg hunt here in our yard with the neighborhood kids. Then we enjoyed a neighborhood Easter dinner, as we each brought a plate, shared food and sat on our porches in the sun and feasted! Jeff baked the ham, yams and potatoes; Shane and I decorated an egg shaped cake and made Arugula salad, while Joyce had the twins and dished it all out lovingly with her big smile and generous heart. Before that we all went to the Green Hill Beach and flew kites, dug holes and stacked rocks.

It was a great day to celebrate life. Especially after a week of cleansing. Even Shane had carrot juices and fruit smoothies in place of breads and meats this week, and I did the full Master Cleanse for a few days easing in and out of the fast days with salads, juices, soups and wheat grass. I feel fresher, lighter and full of Shri! Coffee has no appeal to me- I sipped a bit today, and had to say no thanks.

I'm still cleansing and restoring myself emotionally, after letting go of yet another attempt to reunite with my x. It's been a challenging week. I also am deeply praying, as my father goes in for lung surgery this week, Wednesday, to rid his right lower lobe and windpipe of a centimeter of cancer. My mom went through a tough week as well, and spent a few horrible days in the hospital after what was feared to be a stroke/tvi. All is well now with them, although Dad's week awaits. It's very disconcerting to know they are going through so much. I am glad my sister Anne is flying down there today to be with them during this next challenging week. I pray that there is peace and Grace in every moment so we handle all fear, pain and longings with God's divine love, which we each embody, but may forget to embrace.

With that said, May we be filled with the promise of a renewed life, the embodiment of Divine Christ energy and the resurrection of Hope, as we bud and grow through the rest of springs dawning.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shri Me! Spring Cleanse

7-8 Day Program
3-day lead in, 1-2 day fast, 3-day transition off

Shri (shree) – full of vitality, and the essence of spring!

A safe and effective path to a cleaner, clearer, healthier you!
TO DO everyday of program (and of your life!):
1.) Eat organic!
You’re cleansing, ridding your body of toxins, so don’t add pesticides, herbicides and other unhealthy processes to your body.

2.) Drink fluids!
First thing in the morning, before lunch, dinner and bedtime:
Drink four 8oz glasses of water daily, some with lemon, all with no ice!

Can be in hot water, or in part in a cleansing tea like:
Traditional Medicinal or Yogi Tea formulas in tea bags, like
Cranberry-weightless, De-Tox, or Dandelion Root blends.

3.) Get plenty of rest, fresh air, exercise & time for reflection… Exercise is great for the body, mind & spirit, but be mindful you don’t overdue it while cutting down on calories (which fuel the body). Be sure to make time for silence. Stillness keeps us in tune with our intuition. Deep rest restores us, body & soul.

4.) Set an intention every day… be open to Grace and possibility.
It’s important to begin where you are, with acceptance, and not put off being well for some later date.
Life’s a daily practice in remembering who we truly are.

If you sometimes forget your divine goodness, and feel agitated, anxious, or self-sabotaging (with impulsive eating or over reactivity) sip calming herb tea blends with passionflower, chamomile, skullcap, St. John’s wort or kava.

Yogi Tea’s Kava, Stress Relief is my fave! Kava is also a gentle, cleansing diuretic. Milk Thistle seed (Silymarin), regenerates liver tissue and can be ground and sprinkled on food, or taken as tea or extract. Read all labels, and take as directed any medicinal herbal supplements/teas. If you have a chronic liver condition or frequently drink alcoholic beverages, ask your physician before starting a cleanse, taking supplements or drinking detox teas.

DAY 1 & 7:
I. Enjoy bitter, leafy greens in salads or steamed dishes (w/ little or no oils or dressings, a pinch of sea-salt is ok)
Whole grain rice, quinoa & vegetarian or bean soups are good, as are pale, low sugar, fresh (not dried) fruits/juices.

MEAL IDEA: Start the day with lemon water and a bowl of gluten-free complex carb (quinoa, amaranth, &/or brown rice) and have a lunch and dinner of steamed vegetables, and detox, herb tea. This helps push out toxins, and eliminates any foods you might be allergic to (wheat, dairy…)

II. Eliminate all dairy, meat, nuts and processed or whole grain breads, pastries and other sugary carbs (most fruits & fruit juices, cookies, chips and candies). Eliminate all grains on days 3-5.

Organic leafy lettuces and bitter greens, arugula, chard, chicory, collards, celery, dandelion greens, kale, parsley, spinach & wheat grass are all excellent during first and last days of a cleanse.
Organic avocados and low-sugar, high enzyme, pale fruits such as pears, pineapples, grapefruits and kiwis are easy to digest and good to eat on the first and last days of a cleanse (as whole, fresh fruit, not dried).

Note: The deep blue, purple, red, orange and bright yellow fruits (like bananas) are very sweet and can zing you out while cleansing, even though they are high in Vitamins A, C and other great antioxidants (the blues, reds & purples especially=proanthocyanadins and flavonoids). Bring them back gradually after the cleanse. Remember, eating organic, seasonal, local (when possible) fruits and vegetables is worth every penny, for your health, the environment and the local & global economies.

DAY 2 & 6:

I. Enjoy one or two 1 oz shots of wheat grass and/or 6oz carrot juices with added greens, beets & ginger, or eat lightly steamed, al-dente carrots & small amount of beets. Or begin the “Master Cleanse” drink, see recipe below.

II. Sip and savor warm veggie soup broths, detox teas and lemon water. (Rapunzel Vegan Veggie Bouillon, $3.29/16 serv.)

MEAL IDEA: keep it simple, mainly liquid & easy

FRESH, ORGANIC CARROT JUICE: (at home, or in town @Alternative Food Coop, 341 Main St.)
Carrot juice with celery = good in evening, very calming.
Carrot juice with beets, ginger and parsley = good during day.
Note: Vegetable juicing stimulates digestion and circulation (especially with ginger) and nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Note, beets turn everything red!

HOT VEGAN SOUPS: try one of the Coop’s 3 delicious vegan (no animal ingredient) soups, like Thai Tofu (soy) Stew (every Monday) or Carrot Ginger Soup. $3.99 eat in/$4.99 to go. 789-2240

*Odwalla, and other store bought juices, are often too sweet, but if the only way you will comply, go for it! Odwalla’s Superfood with Spriulina is best, if cannot make fresh juice.
*Carrots are naturally sweet, so watch your blood sugar. Add wheat grass, parsley, kale, lemon and ginger to balance out the sweetness.
*Raw (un-juiced) veggies have a fibrous cell wall that needs to be broken down before digestion, so that the assimilation of nutrients is possible, hence the benefit of juicing or lightly steaming before savoring. And chew well, as the "Juiceman" used to say, "Drink your food."
* Red apples are too sweet on a spring cleanse (they’re more suitable in the fall),
although adding a half of small apple to fresh carrot juice is common. Bananas are also very sweet, if adding to a non-frozen, fruit smoothie, be sure to include a veggie protein supplement, such as soy or spirulina to balance out the carb rush.

III. Eliminate coffee & chocolate (caffeine) consumption, gradually, if need be. Withdrawal Headache First Aid:
Sip ginger tea & massage peppermint oil into your temples!

NOTE: You can substitute coffee with Cafix or Teechino, yummy coffee like sensations, or with an earthy dandelion root tea. Wheat grass shots give boosts of energy and make you feel so green, a dark drink seems unpalatable. Drink detox tea blends, or veggie soup broths, and add the Master Cleanse formula on days 3-5, in place of your coffee time fix.

DAY 3 & 5:

I. Enjoy any combination of cleansing fluids such as the Master Cleanse, lemon water, herbal (detox & calming) teas, light veggie juices (no beets), wheat grass, or clear soup broths. An all MC fast is optional.

II. Eliminate all processed foods, sweets (no fruits, accept lemons), animal foods (meat, milk, eggs, cheeses), nuts, grains and caffeine.


Master Cleanse
from Dr. Elson Haas, author of Eat Right for the Seasons, and The New Detox Diet

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice
1-tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/10-teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces spring water

Mix and drink 8 - 12 glasses throughout the day. Eat or drink nothing else except water, laxative/detox herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea (for tummy health). Keep the mixture in a glass container, or make it fresh each time.

*Note: Rinse your mouth with water after each glass to prevent the lemon juice from hurting your teeth enamel.


I. Enjoy Master Cleanse, &/or clear fluids only - no fruit or veggie juices, accept wheat grass, and, if desired, you can add
one ounce shots of immune boasting, lymphatic draining herbs, Black Elderberry or Echinacea angostifolia (up to 4x/day).*

II. ADD shot(s) of Black Elderberry herbal extract if want to stimulate lymphatic drainage, especially if you have an imbalance of flora, (aka, an excessive nonbeneficial yeast growth of Candida albacans) or if you have chronic or acute cases of eczema, acne or swollen glands. This herb safely moves lymph, so toxins will move into the blood stream, and out of the body with ease and speed. (Herb Pharm Black Elderberry 1 0z )

II. ELIMINATE all of the same foods as in day 3, plus veggie juices and soups, accept clear broths. Eliminate any vitamin or mineral supplements in tablet or capsule forms. It is up to you how many days to liquid fast, 1-3.

III. VERY IMPORTANT – After fasting:
Take a Pro-Biotic supplement (preferably a high strain acidophilus, with FOS); try to get at least 12 billion strains of mixed flora. Pro-biotics restore your colon with the beneficial flora (good bacteria) that you may have flushed out of your system during cleansing (along with the bad bacteria).

BONUS: You can stimulate circulation and the removal of dead skin cells with a no water, pre-shower scrub down. Using a loofa brush start at your chest and scrub out to the peripheral, moving from the heart to hands and feet; end your shower with cold water.

1. Due to the huge quantity of today’s environmental contaminants, regular cleansing is vital to maximize the body’s energy and to prevent chronic illness.
2. During the winter we tend to eat a more acidic, high protein diet, which can cause the intestines to secrete a heavy mucous coating, decreasing the absorbtion rate of nutrients. Too much acidic food also causes the intestines to harbor harmful bacteria, toxins.
These two problems can lead to constipation and autointoxication, causing the intestines to re-absorb toxic materials back into the blood stream. A seasonal cleanse helps clean the colon and the hold toxins have on your life.

“Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you—all of the expectations, all of the beliefs—and becoming who you are. Not a better you, but a realer you.”

—Rachael Naomi Remen, M.D., The Human Patient (Anchor Books, 1980)

When we clean the physical body in a slow, meditative fashion, we simultaneously wash away negative thoughts and emotions. While engaging in the above detoxification techniques, think about the significance of a clean body, mind and soul as a way to better understand your true self and achieve greater success in your physical, emotional and spiritual life.

If you have comments, questions or just need some inspiration to stay on task and get through this cleanse, feel free to call, email or visit me. It helps to know you are supported in this effort to revitalize your life. It’s time to live with Shri- the essence of spring, full of vitality!

Rebecca J. Briggs, RYT, CN
Yoga teacher, Natural Health Educator, Herbalist, Thai massage therapist
Call: 401-533-0116
Visit me while at work:
@ the Alternative Food Coop 341 Main St. Wakefield
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 9:30-3pm 789-2240
In a yoga or Pilates class:
Yoga School of South County, across from Peace Dale Library SAT: 9-9:55 Yoga (with free childcare on site) $10
River Bend Athletic Club, Peace Dale ($12 Non-member rate)
SAT: 10:00-11 Yogalites / THUR: 8-9 am Pilates / Yoga every third SUN: 9:30-10:45 April 18th ~ join me for SHRI YOGA!

Rain, Rain...Shri Me! Spring Cleanse

It's raining. It's pouring, springtime is soaring
Soon stillness and soaking, start the ground poking

Then sunshine's warm haze, will brighten our days
with buds on the trees, Easter color and bees

Green grass and more trowels
Daffodils and more flowers

We cleanse and awaken
What we must not forsaken

Our planet and our body
Restart to grow hardy

We cleanse and renew
Feel fresh like dawn's dew

The Shri that we feel
Is life full of zeal!

Be full of divine Grace
Wear a smile on you face

Spring is here, life is dear
and a reawakening is near!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Create your reality

My Daily OM from yesterday was...

By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.

This affirmation is gonna last me awhile, and I think I'll teach it this week to my yoga students, since I teach best, what I most need to learn.

Indeed, "Our only true reality is the present moment", and it is in our best interest to not merely accept that life is happening to us, but rather, we can harness the power of our thoughts and actively create a positive reality. Through our thoughts we move the unformed energy of the universe into form, which gives us direction for our words and actions."

We can choose to appreciate the beauty around us, rather than focus on the crazy traffic. We can look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. We can see the time we used to spend at a job we may no longer have, as new opportune time to go deeper toward what we need serious contemplation to fully vison and hence create.

Throughout the day, practice creating a reality rich in possibility, by first monitoring your thoughts; you may catch yourself investing energy in limiting beliefs— instead pull your focus back to the infinite possibilities of the present. Taking a deep breath will help you center your thoughts on being in your body right now.

Beginning or maintaining a regular meditation is a way of gaining mastery over our minds. Yoga and mediation are practices that still thoughts to focus on the pureness of being. We may miss the experience of living in the present, by mentally dwelling on the past or the future. Setting and visualizing goals is wonderful, but we can bring our thoughts into our current experience by taking steps to create them now.

As the weather warms, and days lengthen with sunshine, the earth creates new life, rich with Shri - vitality, beauty and so much possibility. Be in the moment, spring forth with all that you want to grow, and nurture your garden with golden thoughts of loving optimism.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Velvet Tree and Wild Iris

Two sweet cell phone calls and text photos sent to Shane and I on Valentine's Day truly made our day.

The Velvet Tree Papa sent to Shane... This lovely moss covered beauty is up the hill behind Greg's house in Annapolis, CA. We ooh and ah'd, and then Shane proudly remarked, "that's in my back yard!"

He's talking lots about his father and adventures he's had in California lately. His stays with his dad over the summer are vital for the bonding and love to hold fast in his little heart. He said today he'd like to hug his six year old friend, Joe, when he gets back there this summer. Sweet. He's always talking about hikes with daddy and Max, "the 19 year old German" who shared time with Shane and his dad last summer. That friendship was golden for Shane.

The Wild Iris on the Pacific Coast was sent to me by dear and lovely friend Darrah, while she retreated to a quiet spot on the Pacific for a moment of pause and prose. She's an incredible poet.

The photos bring more than just a pretty scene, they bring a feeling. From 1996-2001 I'd spend two weeks every month driving from San Francisco to Williams, OR, while visiting natural food stores as a rep for Herb Pharm. I'd take Rte. 101 and loop around to Rte. 5. So splendid were those years when I filled many journals and took hundreds of photos to someday reflect upon. It's nice to know Darrah has those same feelings. I always knew that coast would be a part of my life forever, actually ever since I drove up and down it with my xhusband Mike back in the summer of 1986, when Elk and it's rows of Eucalptus trees made a dream like impression on me.

"Wildflowers don't care where they grow", sings Dolly Parten, well these lucky blooms and trees must have good kharma, as do all those who spot their glory blowing in the sea spray or hidden in the forest.

It really does make a difference when you share your love with messages, cards, photos, phone calls and a good old fashion visit or summer together! Family and friends are the best part of living - nature fills the compassion and makes the love even greater.

Make a call, send a card, snap a picture and share a smile. It feels good for all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Original Valentines' in the computer age!

How to get your computer crazed kid to cut construction paper and paper doilies... put some iphoto fun into the mix.
Shane and I laughed like crazy making these! Have fun!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Capturing Memories, Faces and Personality

Thank you technology for photography - what a treasure trove we sow as our youngins smile and grow! A recent e-news from friend and photographer, Robyn Ivy (, has spurred my desire to look back on my recorded life in celluloid and pixels.

Unfortunately, last March, my seven year old son accidently dropped my lap top, which caused my hard drive to irreparably crash. Yes, I lost a lot of unsaved docs and many, many photos, my fault- I wasn't the greatest back'er'upper.

I'm hoping that I have back up disks and digital photo cards tucked in a box somewhere, along with the zillions of pre-digital printed photos and albums I own. It's been a year, and I can't believe I haven't gone to my storage and checked.

Thankfully, I just flipped through my Facebook albums and found some precious favorite thumbnail photos of my son's first few years when we lived in our splendid home on Broad Rock Rd in Wakefield. A house that we sold just before his fifth birthday. He doesn't remember much of those days, so I'm glad these photos have resurfaced. Photos rock! To think of how we click away digitally, as if creating an ever ceaseless motion picture was something we've been doing for centuries, forgetting just how powerful preserving moments truly is.

When I see his little face in these photos I see the charming and funny little guy that he was as a baby and toddler; I also recall all the unknowns.."Will my little guy be respectful?"; "Will he grow to be a productive, happy adult?" HIs personality is in full bloom now, and I can see how he is his own little man, but also a sponge and keen observer of what goes on around him. Parenting is of course both fun and challenging. We need to uphold a responsibility to be good examples of habit and manner, while also allowing our children to develop their own sense of Self and soverignty.

Being the "involved" PTO and hands on kind of parent that I am; I've volunteered to produce his elementary school's yearbook, a collection of photos that I hope will add up to rich childhood memories for every one of the 400 students in his wonderful elementary school. If captured and shared, they're remembered... how you feel is remembered, how those around you felt. Photo collections carry emotion and are a powerful way to reflect on what we have imprinted on our lives. Snap away!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tea with Thomas Jefferson & Yoga with Intention

"It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation,
which give happiness."
~Thomas Jefferson

I came across this quote in Natural Home magazine, accompanied on the page by a beautiful pot of tea and an orchid. I tucked it in my journal with the intention to share it with my friends and students. I recently found the page outside my door, half buried in the snow, waiting for its duty to empower.

I've since shared the quote and taught the yoga asana, Eka Pada Rajakopatasana (one legged pigeon prep) as a physical expression of Jefferson's sentiment. The pose imbues a dove-like grace and knowingness of purpose.

How do you occupy your time? Do you love what you do, and do what you love? Do you make the time to go within, and find a place and time for reflection and tranquility?

Set an intention to live the life you want, and practice aligning yourself physically, mentally and spiritually with that intention. This mini yoga sequence, featuring the hip releasing and heart opening Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (one legged king pigeon pose), is a great place to start on the mat, encouraging you to feel secure, confident, courageous and abundant, off the mat.

Living the life you want, means a daily practice of holding fast to your true Self, the divinely good you. Start by being Open to Grace and to Possibility. Focusing on your breath, flow through Surya Namascar A & B (Sun Salutations) - to warm up, igniting the transformation of dormant intentions, creativity and passions to align into action.

Flow into Eka Pada Rajakopatanasana to begin to gently free up stagnate energy in the ligaments and joints of your hips and thighs, clearing the body's lower chakras so energy can flow upward through the higher level chakras to the heart, throat and brow. Eka Pada Rajakopatansasa in its most conscious, full expression, exudes a qualilty of grace and positive attitude, and is not a dormant pose, but one of action. Using muscular energy set your foundation (hug to the bones, from your periphery to your inner divine self). Root the front leg's shin down and back, isometrically, while also hugging the back leg in toward your mid line; this action keeps the muscular and energetic action of your limbs engaged for balance, and allows you to shine forth from a place of knowing. From this 'contained' place you can organically rise up more solidly, and pour your energy through the chakras with a direct flow.

In Eka Pada Rajakaotasana Bhekasana (one legged frog pose) variation, maintain the hug inward for stability as you bend the back leg forward in pose. Maintaining the hug of muscles to your bone, keep both side bodies long, and both hips squared, as you reach back and hold your same side's foot with your hand or elbow. Press the back foot and shin down toward your outer hip, while the opposite hand remains by your hip for extra support or reaches back to join with the foot.

In full Eka Pada Bhekasana> (frog pose) your foot may go all the way to the floor, or you can connect both arms and hands in a backbend, with your head touching your foot or feet in Dwi Pada Rajakapotanasana. Go easy; yoga is directional. Be where you are, accepting and breathing into the pose. This Eka Pada Bhekasana variation releases stagnate energy held in the upper thigh, which can relate to any unfulfilled or long held intentions. Soften your heart and then Hug your muscles to the bone and to your inner divine goodness. Sitting deep in the pelvis, tuck your tail bone to rise up through the lower belly, and then gently arch back tilting your head toward your back toes, dristi (gaze) to the sky - let your 'solar' plexus and heart beam, while breathing steady, Open to Grace.

"Listen with the ear in the center of the chest, and hear", as the 13th Century mystic poet, Rumi, says, "what's behind what i say.".

To help the back bend, Create an active loop of energy from your postures highest focal point, the upper palate through the back of your skull. Releasing your shoulders down your back and in toward your heart, looping the action back up through the center of your chest and back to the upper palate at the roof of your mouth. This loop will keep the back of your neck long, even as you gaze upward, allowing a clear passageway of prana (lifeforce) to move through the chakras, from your pelvis and hips, through your solar plexus and heart, and up through the back of the throat, to the Janu, or wisdom center at your brow, and then up through the crown of your head.

Open to Grace. Free yourself from struggle, in the pose and in your life, and soften your heart between your shoulder blades. With inner body brightness, beam like a white dove, full of peace and purpose. Maintaining the hugging in to your foundation and heart, offer your free hand to the sky, either with a wide open palm Abaya mudra (fearless hand gesture) or in the Janu mudra (wisdom hand gesture), thumb to middle finger, symbolic of the connection you are making to your higher self. Maintaining the shoulder loop, gaze upward and breathe deep in this pose for five exhalations as you organically lift your chest to the sky like a pigeon soaring high with a powerful message.

Take pause afterward, and rest your chest forward on the floor, over your front knee, opening your hips futher in this long holding, Yin pose (yin: feminine, cooling), a complement to the more firey nature of theYang salutes and back bending pigeon. When ready, release into Ado Muhka Savasana- (downward facing dog) and then switch sides.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
~ Rumi

Follow Eka Pada Rajakapotanasan with another downward dog for five breaths, and then swing forward into a seated postition. Sit tall in Dandasana (staff pose). Dandasana being symbolic of a staff used to climb a mountain of spiritual heights and dharmic fulfillment (your life's true purpose). After five breathes in Dandasana, plug your shoulders in to your torso, and then extend your arms over head; maintaining that same shoulder loop practiced in the pigeon pose, fold forward into Pachimottanasana (forward sunset pose), bowing in humility, for the opportunity we have during this lifetime to graciously walk the path of our Soul, is an honorable one. Let the forward bend be a chance to be still and look inward... to feel tranquil; sure of yourself, not anxious, but rather nurtured and content.

You may want to continue the practice with Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated twist) or Sirsasana (headstand). These poses offer the opportunity to root down and rise up while either "twisted" or "inverted". A worthy practice as life throws us many challenges.

As always, end your practice with Savasana(corpse pose), and allow for the ultimate in tranquility and occupation, the passing of our physical self into the continuation of our ceaseless soul's journey.