where am I when I’m not here

Took Luka for a nice walk; but while she was sniffing and rolling and ever present, I was lost in my thoughts and moving on auto pilot, unaware and anywhere but where I was.  Perhaps it is the new job.  As a milieu counselor to teens in a residential rehab, I have to be hyper vigilant and focused.  So much is happening at any one minute, and the mood of the floor and the emotions of the boys are always changing…always balancing precariously.  I really do love my job.  But when I get off, my brain turns off.

One might think this is a good thing, and in a sense it can be, but I lose mindfulness.  And today, as I walk the streets of my neighborhood with my dog I saw nothing I remembered.  I felt nothing but tired.

I took a bath after a small dinner, and pondered what had happened.  Where am I when I am not present?  What happens to that time, what happens to me?  I fear that I have lived many years of my life this way, moving with a momentum not my own, scrambling, racing, tired. And to what end? There is a balance to be found in everything.  I would like to be living mindfully most of the time. Knowing that might just make the difference.

A Hike in the Gorge….a photo essay

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the one who is at play everywhere

This morning I officially taught my first yoga class.  It was wonderful.  I was subbing for a friend of mine so I felt a little ease in that.  Her students are pretty regular, so I wouldn’t likely have brand new students.  And in fact I only had two.  They were gracious and in good spirits, I was so fortunate.

Class moved along likely a bit quicker than I had planned, good information to know. My students seemed to be following well, I noticed some heavy breathing and accommodated with some rests and tried to have a nice savasana. For me, it was lovely.  I hope so for them.

Lately I have been feeling the gifts of presence.  I have been trying to honor my limits, rest enough, eat well, find moments for pleasures.  And this has soothed me.  I often feeling as if that last forty years of my life have been sprinting towards this time.  And now, here, I want nothing more than to sit with a cup of tea, or have dinner with a friend, take a stroll with Luka, or catch up with my children.  I strive for nothing.  At least until school starts again…then sometimes I find myself getting caught in that achievement mind. I must remember how it is now.

The scent of this moment is enough to bring it back.

cleaning house

I have been busy these past few weeks.  I am working a new job as a milieu counselor with teens in a residential rehab. I really enjoy it and am grateful.  I have also been working a lot on my yard. I inherited a beautiful landscape..but it has gotten jungle like and I need to clear out a lot.  Not an easy feat when one lives in the city and has to bag and curb all the yard debris.  Hassles.  I am also beginning my yoga teaching, subbing tomorrow for my friend’s class, then starting new classes at TaborSpace next Friday. In between I’ve been knitting and painting. Today I clean the house…

pictures of my efforts to follow…

Burn Line

Things I miss about about living in the country…

burning my yard debris.


We’ve had our share of rain this spring in Portland.  While I love the greenness of this place, I welcome the steady sun of summer.  Sometimes we have summers in Portland that aren’t really summer.  The temperature goes up to the seventies, but the sky just never seems to clear.  Please let this not be one of those summers.

I have put off yard chores for too long now, waiting for that sun to show up.  But the weeds have only multiplied and the lawn is long and overdue for a mowing.  I have to push through, remind myself to go outside, realize that this might be the best of what we’ll get these next few months.

I do love the rain, I can settle in and read and knit.  The sky gives me permission to spin my wool or paint while I listen to music and wear my favorite sweaters..really what is so bad about that?

zen and the art of motorcycle riding

Nothing forces you to be more in the moment than performing a task which demands both your mental and physical attention.

This past weekend I took the Beginning Rider Class with Team Oregon. The weather was less than ideal, drizzly and not warm. I was nervous.  I’ve never ridden a motorcycle before.  But I learned.  I had to.  And there was nothing else I could do, my attention was entirely kept on the moment. It was often exhausting.

I found places though where effort washed away and I simply rode. Where thought and momentum and physical movement were just one energy.  And the bike and I were that…a single energy.

I am home now, pruned from a long bath, with a nice cup of tea, exhausted and a little bit proud of myself.


will spend the day painting. Some days I feel lucky to call myself an artist.  I try hard not to let the words define me.  What I do is not who I am.  It is easy to believe otherwise, sometimes I even want to.  I can imagine myself to be anything. Today I will not imagine myself to be anything.  Today I will paint, drink good tea, finish my laundry, take care of my dog, make my son dinner, feel love,  see what comes, and be..


Off the chart last night. What is it that I am so sensitive to?  I want to be frolicking outside, but there is something in the air that is causing an adverse reaction in my body.

A little yoga practice tonight relieved the pressure in my head.  Love my  Adho Mukha Svanasana, nothing works better to unclog my head.

the every day

“Enlightenment is  not a denial of the world.  Is is the experience of seeing deeply into the nature of existence.”   from Jivamukti Yoga

I once lived very manically, swinging from high to low, never spending too much time in the middle.  Mistakenly I believed my creativity lay in the extremes of my emotions, never understanding the obvious..that such extremes allowed me only to express the extremes of my emotion. It was all about me.

I found the middle to be mediocre.  There was certainly nothing to be found in mediocrity.  But I was wrong..on both accounts.  The middle place is full of opportunity and creativity, abundant in possibility.  And mediocrity, well the every day is quite beautiful.  In fact, the every day holds every thing. It is what inspires me.

I watched the news the other night and to learn that scientists had discovered the reason for the paper thin shell of the argonaut octopus.  I had never seen an argonaut before.  It’s a beautiful creature, an octopus essentially living in a shell,  a nautilus.  The shell is so thin it offers no protection, so it was puzzling why this octopus had made such an adaptation.  Scientists learned that the shell is used to trap air and used for ballast.  The octopus can control the trapped air and move about.  Pretty amazing.

I am captivated by this creature. But I am just as easily captivated by the squirrels in my yard and the tomato plants I just put in my garden.  I sat on the bench in my front yard last week, watched people walk by, listened to a sweet bird sing, and  admired the growth of the weeds and flowers alike. Life happens.  When I take a moment and actually  sit in the happening, I happen too. I recognize that I am in the middle of this. I am a part and whole of this All. This is Equanimity.