Visit us on Facebook!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hair Raising

I’m not much of a girlie-girl. Never have been, even when I wanted to be.

Oh, I can dress up; did the pantyhose, high heel, makeup thing for years. But it doesn’t feel very natural these days. Pantyhose reminds me of sausage casing (eeeww!), high heels unground my femurs and make me feel awkward, and makeup just takes too long to put on AND get off.

I do make an effort; only because it makes me feel better in my own skin; get my hair colored by my talented friend Julia, who is a magician. Put on a little mineral makeup to smooth out the skin; draw on some eyebrows, since my thyroid gland decided to make them start falling out; and put on some lipstick, so you can discern my lips from the rest of my face.

A couple weeks ago it was suddenly quite warm here – temps in the 80’s! Heading to take a yoga class, I decided it might be a good idea to (a) wear short pants and (b) shave my legs for the first time since, oh, last October.

Was bending over in parsvottanasana, breathing deeply. Glancing at my shin, I realized that what I had done was given my leg a Mohawk. Nice inch-wide racing stripe of LONG hair still left all the way up my shin.

It was not much comfort to do the pose on the other side and realize I had a matched set.


So this tells you a little bit about me as I talk about the hair on my head. I’m attached to my hair; I’m not one of those people who would look even remotely attractive without it. Been coloring it forever; it’s one of the few things I do spend any time or money on. And, wow, the last couple years, it has started to really change.

I think that thyroid gland has a little to do with it, but so does heredity and age. Breathing hard on 43 here; gotta expect a few changes to the body.

A year or so ago, I started to grow these white hairs on my head. Seriously white; glowing white; don’t-take-no-color white. And they are thick, coarse hairs. Some are straight as a board, others like a corkscrew; others go straight and then veer off at an angle. I call them “white wiry witch hairs” (no offense to witches, please). I would pull them out.

Now, as anyone can tell you, that works for a while. But when you reach a certain critical mass of hair, it becomes a problem. When they would grow in, they would all be the same length; and these are gravity-defying hairs. Sticking straight out, or up, depending upon their location on my head. I looked like one of those stick figure people with the little lines waving out from their head.


So, I decided the only thing to do was suck it up, and let them grow out; hoping that perhaps length would weigh them down, tame them.

Ha -- not so; these are untameable hairs; defiant hairs. Rebel without a cause hairs.

Interestingly, I am growing to like these quirky hairs, and I think it may be because I am growing to become more like them.

I am a lot less tameable than I used to be; definitely a little more defiant; tend to speak my mind and worry a little less about what others think. I have a tendency to rebel against the rest of those compliant, little lying down hairs. Oh, you can knock me down; but I spring back up pretty quickly.

I am apt to go one way, and suddenly, go another; sometimes I walk a straight, strong path to my goals, and other times, it’s a lot more like a spiral. I don’t mind being the one who is forging ahead, finding my own way.

I am more aware that my essence is colorless, pure; at the very core, unchanging and unchangeable. You and I, we may not look the same, but our essence is exactly the same. Hair that is wet may look different than hair that is dry; a pony tail is different than a buzz cut; there are different colors, textures and styles -- but at the end of the day -- hair is hair is hair.

I’m making peace with my white wiry witch hair; after all, I have earned these uppity hairs. Bring on more white, more gray, why not? Maybe it will become the beautiful silver or white color of my parents; or perhaps gorgeous gray like my friend Joyce. When it reaches a certain stage of evolution, hopefully I won’t feel the need to pretend it’s still blonde.

My hair -- and maybe me, too -- can be exactly who we are.



Monday, April 26, 2010


I sing a song of sorrow
Of pain, of loss, of separation
A song of desperation
Soul slowly comes unchained
A song of moving forward
Of change and ground that’s shifting
Her spirit, soul is drifting
It is time to leave this place
I sing a song of lessons
Of teaching and of patience
Non-grasping and acceptance
Hard lessons not in vain
I sing a song of gratitude
Memories whisper in my mind
Her lessons hard, but also mine
Goodbye my friend, my teacher.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Recently my husband and I were able to slip away for an overnight to celebrate his birthday. A leisurely drive, dinner and whole night without the children (22 hours, to be precise – and, by the way, it was FABULOUS).

A great opportunity to break out his new GPS system for the car – one of those little things you plug in and it tells you how to get wherever you are going.

So, I plugged in the addresses, and off we went. Snow still covering the ground, beautiful mountain terrain; grown-up conversation without any interruptions. Aahhhh, lovely.

We’re about half way to our destination, and our stern little school-marm guide tells us to make a right, onto a highway. But my husband, who has been to this town before, says “No . . . . that’s not right, that’s not going to get us there the fastest way.”

Believe the husband (my best friend, father of my children, the most patient, loving man ever – and he’s driving) or our little faceless voice?

Husband. All the way.

So, instead of right, we go left. And she is NOT happy about it.

“RECALCULATING” . . . she says – (sternly, I might add).

And we continue our trek. And she keeps interjecting. “Turn right” . . . . “turn left” . . . . But these directions make no sense in light of our current path. My husband, he’s been here before – he knows where we are going. I’m just happy to be with him, along for the ride. We keep ignoring . . . she keeps uttering . . . “RECALCULATING.”

At about the fifth “RECALCULATING” it becomes a running joke – we burst into laughter every time she says it (which is, often). But it comes into my mind that this is a very precise metaphor for my life.

Graduate high school, go to business school, get the exact job I wanted. And it stinks. RECALCULATING.

Fall in love; move away; job of my dreams; but my love, he has no work. So we move. RECALCULATING.

Wake up one morning and realize, I love the idea of this man, but not the man. He is cruel; childish; our whole life is a sham. I am going to be 25 years old and divorced. RECALCULATING.

Roanoke. Who wants to live in Roanoke? Meet an amazing man; fall desperately, totally in love. Marry; have 3 children and decide that this is a wonderful place to raise a family, and a beautiful place to live. RECALCULATING.

Husband has a great job and can support us. I’m going to be a stay-at-home Mom. Raise the children, bake the best cookies; have a fabulous, clean, organized home. The perfect garden. And then literally, one day, I wake up and say – “seriously, this is it?” RECALCULATING.

Take a yoga teacher training. Going to teach yoga only to children – I’m not going to teach adults. Teach a volunteer class to a group of amazing women; and decide to not only teach adults, but open a yoga studio – (seriously?!). RECALCULATING.

And so it goes. This is my life. Making decisions, choices; and then changing the rules. Being flexible, open; going with the flow, but swimming like hell. it’s working for me right now.

My little voice, it’s not sweet and sexy, like my husband says his Bluetooth’s voice is in his car – but it’s not as stern as our little GPS lady. It’s a kinder, gentler voice; sometimes it is mine, and sometimes it is my teachers. It offers guidance, suggestions, directions.

But at the end of the day, it’s ALL on me.




Monday, April 12, 2010


Each Spring, when I drive through my old neighborhood, it’s a little bittersweet. There, in the front yard, are two trees I planted with my own hands. Each small saplings; one special ordered and delivered – an oak, about six foot tall; one just plucked from the back yard and rather unceremoniously re-plunked in the front yard, a redbud, perhaps 12 inches tall.

Those trees really mark time for me.

The itty bitty redbud; it’s up to the second story now; a blaze of purple outlined branches; breathtaking. The oak – it’s beyond the roofline now, growing straight and true – it’s going to outlive me and my grandchildren, if allowed; it was so small, I have photos of my girls, tiny arms wrapped around it.

I think it’s true that you plant flowers for yourself, but trees for the future generations.

That whole yard tells a tale of my existence back then; no children, no business -- entire weekends devoted to gardening; hours digging, watering, hauling and lifting. Just as many hours dreaming, thinking and planning; scouring Martha Stewart Living magazine and various gardening books for ideas, inspiration. Ridiculous amounts of time watching Home and Garden Television.

The kind of life I wanted and imagined was quite different from what I want or imagine now.

I made the mistake of driving through the alley a year after we sold the house; just to check on my “babies” in the backyard– the three types of clematis, the rose bushes, the lilies, the trees, the perennials.

The huge, beautiful climbing rose – it was completely gone. No sign of clematis; at least the trees seemed to all still be there.

I took it personally.

It was an excellent lesson on letting go, which has seemed to be an extra credit course I’ve been taking in this lifetime that I don’t remember signing up for. Things come, things go; experiences, people, emotions, things. There is only one guarantee on the Earth plane; CHANGE. Either embrace it, or suffocate beneath its crush; either way, it’s moving on forward.

I’ve planted gardens and trees at our new home; the soil isn’t very good, so there’s been more preparation. I don’t have as much time, but I do what I can with what I’ve got. Which in itself has been a beautiful lesson; anything that is going to be inspiring, nourishing; anything you want to flourish, grow and create; it starts with preparing the ground and working with what IS.

This Wednesday, April 14, is the New Moon in Aries; an excellent time to begin preparing the ground for whatever it is that you choose to create or grow this coming year, and beyond.

Plan; dream; prepare; but don’t get too distracted by glossy magazines or television shows; maybe your version of perfect looks a little bit more unique, a little more real – but no less beautiful.



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Love of the Self

I do not possess one of those clap-trap minds; my memory, it’s a little touch and go. But I do remember this -- it was not much fun being a pre-teen girl. The feelings of awkwardness, confusion and fear are still fresh in my mind.

Knowing everything there was to know (ha!) about mothering before I had my children – I was certain I was going to be the kind of mother that somehow spared any daughters that pain.

My daughters would be brimming with self-esteem; know they were beautiful and perfect; have no need of makeup, complex hairstyles, name-brand clothing. They would feel utterly comfortable in their own skin, and never feel the need to measure themselves against their peers and the culture.
My plan – to the extent I had one -- has apparently not worked. And if you’ve figured it out, let me know how it’s done. Because no matter how sensitive I try to be; how understanding; trying to anticipate problems – it’s coming down hard at my house anyway.

And as my daughter is crying, and saying how she looks ugly in everything she owns – no jeans are right, no shirt looks good, nothingnothingnothingnothing looks good on me!!!! – I try to formulate the right words; the proper response.

What can I do? Or say? How can I convince her that she looks just fine; not just fine, but actually, spectacularly beautiful?

How can I show her the view through my own eyes; is there a way, a method, a technique to show her -- help her to see -- how beautiful she is?

So I think that maybe this is how God feels; when we’re critical of ourselves, when we’re hating on ourselves. Viewing ourselves in the mirror with a critical eye; peering back upon our life and seeing only mistakes and misgivings.

The Mother/Father God, she looks at us and ponders all the gifts we’ve been given; the choices we’ve made; pours on more unconditional love.

As we pile on the discouraging words; whining, fussing, complaining; spending hours, days – even lifetimes -- lamenting external things that often mean so much nothingness.

And the Mother/Father God thinks “How – how can I make them see how beautiful they are? How perfect, whole and complete? How can I show them their power, the majesty, the amazement of their very existence?”

I am thinking that maybe—just maybe – it will help my daughter to see how beautiful she is, when I am able to see how beautiful I am.

For us both to learn that self-esteem, self-confidence -- they are not something you are granted; they are something that you earn for yourself. Only you can create them; only you can take them away.

In the meantime, Mommy is working on her detachment and compassion. Ear plugs might help.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Most Beautiful Spring

As I get older, it’s almost like my eyes are larger, or able to take in more beauty.

Perhaps it’s just a deep, full appreciation of life, of nature; each season seems to be more spectacular every passing year. Last Fall, I kept thinking – wow – has it ever been this beautiful, this amazing?

This Spring, the tulip magnolias are so beautiful; perhaps I appreciate them more because many years a late Spring frost has burned their blossoms brown. Even the daffodils seems more cheerful. The hyacinths, more fragrant. The sky, more blue.

Watching the plain brown-gray of each tree turn to a shimmering burgundy, soft lime green; maybe an elegant coat of fluttering white flowers – each transformation induces an awe-inspired feeling deep within me.

The Sun itself seems brighter; the air, more nourishing to breathe.


Maybe, I am coming to understand how short a lifetime is. Maybe (just maybe), I am recognizing how delicate this balance is between life, and no-life. Earth; and no Earth. My time here; it is limited. That's the only guarantee on the Earth plane.

Maybe I do not fully understand or comprehend; but I am coming into a deeper understanding, day by day.

I think tomorrow, I will make the time for a long walk.


Uttara Yoga Studio, LLC. Blog design by Jessica Hedrick