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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bees (a poem)

I am the blogger who speaks for the bees
who seem to be vanishing, notice this, please.

Beautiful day, it is 80 degrees.
So from home I do roam to admire the trees.

Blossoming peach, apple, pear and more.
Circle the neighborhood, beauty galore,

trees cloaked in flowers, colors are glistening,
daffodils, hyacinths; something is missing?

Violets, quince, the humble dandelion;
but where is the humming? No bees are alighting,

I remember the Summers and Springs that have past
when trees were just humming, alive with a mass
of honeybees, bumblebees, small creatures with wings
who, we seem to forget, do important things,

which include pollinating the things that we eat.
And so when I walk, two miles, up the street
my heart fills with sadness; where did they go?
Down in my soul, I already know.

Chemical spraying for grass, perfect green.
People want produce looking pristine.
Purveyors of chemical, toxic solutions
persist despite all of our resolutions.

Go green! Earth first! On surface, maybe true,
but when it comes down to it, what do you do?
Are you buying organic? Not spraying your lawn?
Have you switched your dishsoap or still using Dawn?

I am the blogger, who speaks for the bees
and I offer this hopeful note to you, see
at the end of my walk was a huge weeping cherry
and there – there were bees! Though not very many.

Choose to act carefully; examine your ways;
be a blessing to bees in these coming days.

And maybe; just maybe; they won’t ALL go away.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So; how are you doing? It’s been an interesting year so far; my personal experience is time flying by; lots of chaos and busy-ness; progress, but with a price. And even from my insulated vantage point in Roanoke, the world is changing fast.

The rebellion and crisis happening in parts of the world is going to spread; this is really the end of many things, but the beginning of others. And crisis, rebellion and destruction are the themes.

I began writing this blog last Wednesday, before what went down in Japan, because of all the talk in astrology circles about this Friday’s moon being a “super moon” – very close to the Earth. As I drove home to write the blog, I saw that the government had put up a “preparedness” type billboard near my house. Interesting.

It is one thing to have the mind prepared; to embrace change, be ready to let go of your current reality; but it is quite another to actually let things go. And right now, the lines are blurry; real life, dream life; reviewing the past, contemplating the future.

These next few years, there will be plenty of environmental disturbance. These are fundamental suggestions, but from now on (I mean, from NOW ON . . .);

Have water on hand; enough for your family for several days. Have food on hand. Food that doesn’t need to be cooked or prepared; canned food and staples; food for your pets. Don’t depend on daily trips to Kroger or the Co-op because you are always out of something. Don’t go all end-of-the-world on me, but stock up, and then rotate your stock so there is no waste.

Create local food connections; find someone who raises chickens and will sell you eggs; register for a local food cooperative like Seven Springs Farms or Good Food Good People. Dig up a little garden bed, or fill some planters with herbs and greens. Realize there might be disruptions in shipments of food, gas, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Have a basic plan to pack up your car and be gone for a while. Have a check list of things you would not want to leave behind if you had to get out of town quickly. Basics like clothes, blankets, diapers; phone, charger; maybe one of those crank-up radios that doesn’t need electricity. A can opener; important documents; road maps; medicines; matches and flashlights.

Don’t let your gas tank get to below ¼ a tank; I know it’s a pain, and you don’t have time; but if something comes up and you need to get to a safe place, you don’t need to sit in a gas line. Time to be a grown up; fill up more often.

Have a little cash on hand – just a couple hundred dollars in small bills. You need to make sure that if computer systems went down you wouldn’t be driving around trying to find someone to take your debit card.

And most important; listen to your intuition. You get a strong feeling you should do something, call someone, go somewhere; whatever; go with it. Tune into that inner wisdom now, and always.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Current Astro Info

You think life has been flying by? Technology boggling the mind? Rebellion in the air?

Well, buckle up, my friend; the planet Uranus goes into the sign of Aries Friday, March 11, 2011, at 7:49 pm EDT.

Which means, um – what?

Well, first of all, Uranus is the planet of freedom, change, rebellion, electricity; Aries is the sign of the Ram; expect this energy to be as subtle as a sledgehammer.

Not necessarily bad; just quick, fast, and intense. Had a little more of a temper lately? Yep, that’s this force. Been feeling oppressed and ready to break free from something or someone? Uh-uh.

Savvy enough to know what house Aries is in your personal birthchart? Then you know what area of your life is about to experience some radical change.

How to handle this energy? Well, if you’ve really got it figured out, call me; cause I’m not 100 percent sure myself. But, I’m trying to embrace change; be open-minded enough not to freak out when it arrives.

I’m trying to embrace technology; because that’s about to hit the fast-forward button to the max. I’m totally open to other realms, other worlds; a tear in the fabric of the Universe as it were. I’m cautious but optimistic that we’ll embrace this period and use it to our collective highest good.

Trying to avoid people who are obviously stuck in the old ways; who are entrenched in their personal views, and unable to be flexible, open and optimistic. Cause we need to be sending out the positivity; with all the energies about to go down these next few years, there is no room for the “glass half empty” people in my life.

Going to do some journaling and review of the period 3/9 through 3/12; look at my world and the world around me for the proverbial “writing on the wall.”

And, vibe strong.



Yoga Instructor Burn-Out

Several years ago I overheard two yoga instructors chatting. One said “oh, I teach about 15 classes per week right now; it’s my livelihood, you know.” My mind immediately was critical. “How?” my mind judged. How could you teach that many classes a week and do it well?

As you might guess, in the beautiful way the Universe instructs us, in less than a year I found myself teaching 15 classes a week; or more.

Owning a yoga studio has been a terrific blessing, but also more work that I could have dreamed. The challenge of running the Studio and teaching classes to support it; raising three young children; maintaining a marriage and a spiritual practice; is very hard work , indeed.

There are days I’d prefer to have my old life of a stay-at-home Mom. No conflict between my schedule and their schedule. Have a clean house; have homemade cookies in the cookie jar. It is a tremendous gift to have children and be able to be home when they are home; to stay home when they are ill. My husband has worked incredibly hard for the years I had that priviledge, and now I more fully appreciate that gift.

All the rules have changed now that I’m working, and the challenge of staying on the “want to teach” side instead of the “have to teach” side is one I’ve met often, and will again in the days and years to come.

For me, the first order of business is to take care of my body. Along with keeping myself hydrated, well-rested, and eating as much whole food as possible, I get a massage every month. Consider it essential, like brushing my teeth. Constant giving and no receiving is unsustainable. Massage really keeps my physical battery charged, and immune system strong. Don’t have the cash for that? Try swapping a private yoga session with a local massage therapist. But, truly, it is WAY cheaper than the co-pay for a doctor’s visit and even one round of antibiotics.

When classes seem rote, or I’ve said the same phrase constantly, it’s time for me to take a class. Seems so simple, but too often yoga instructors never take another teacher’s class. For me to hear how they describe a pose, or see how they sequence their class can inspire a shift or change for me.

The other side of taking another instructor’s class can be to approach it as a mental discipline to just “be” in the class and not be analyzing it. (“Well, I would not have done that many backbends without a twist . . . . “ – instructors know what I mean!) To truly immerse yourself as a student helps me to reconnect to my original love of yoga; and the savasana is always sweeter in a class setting for me than at home.

Speaking of a home practice, if you are a yoga teacher, you’ve got to have one – even if it’s “legs up the wall” for twenty minutes. Teaching is not practicing. Your home practice has to keep evolving and growing, or your student’s growth will outpace you. That’s fine if it happens naturally, and they move onto new things, for but don’t let it be because you yourself have stopped growing.

Subscribing to a couple yoga magazines can be helpful; always go through and tear out the sections on poses and keep them in files; I have one labeled “sequences,” one labeled “inspiration,” and another labeled “poses.” When boredom strikes, or I feel like the poses or sequencing is stale, a look through these articles can help to find a new approach, or a pose that I personally wish to master. Your students are a mirror. Recognize you tend to attract people with the same issues you have either had in the past, or are dealing with now. Your personal growth, the poses that are helping you will in turn help your students.

Ask other teachers what good books they’ve read lately, and borrow them. A book on mudras inspired me to research and practice several of them regularly, and my students love them. A book on Yoga Nidra led me to using the scripts in some of my restorative classes, and again, the students really loved the experience. Then again, if your nightstand only has yoga books, it’s time to find something else to read. Don’t think everything you read has to be spiritual or yogic. A great escapist novel or learning something new and different – perhaps another language -- keeps the mind sharp, and allows you to let go of your attachment to your yogic persona.

And finally, for me, yoga is a spiritual experience. If I am able to stay connected to the Divinity -- remember that I’m a spiritual being having a human experience -- it allows me to be patient with myself and with my students. To remember to recognize that all is change. And that this body, this mind, this personality; they don’t teach yoga classes. The teachings flow through my vehicle.

It is my job to open up, and receive.


Uttara Yoga Studio, LLC. Blog design by Jessica Hedrick