I Wish

I used to have a massage therapist who was a yoga teacher.  I miss her. She was terrific.  Not only did she have amazing technique and intuitive abilities, but after my bodywork session, she would sit with me and tell me which postures I should do to keep myself un-kinked and open.

I wish everyone I dealt with about my health at least knew something about yoga.  Ideally, I wish everyone I dealt with practiced yoga, or had practiced yoga, or at the very least knew what yoga was about.

Today I went to my chiropractor, an okay guy, not in the best shape, and sort of proud of it, who talked to me for 10 minutes about the importance of good posture.

I wanted to say: “Dude, do you know what I DO?  Do you know what my life is devoted to? Do you see my posture?”

Instead I stood there and nodded.

The last time I had my annual check-up my nurse practitioner had never even heard of Ayurveda, which was okay, but then when I told her a little about it, the basic concepts, she mocked me.

It’s largely a function of the place I live.

And that is just one more reason I need to stay healthy.  The local health care providers don’t get it, or me.

Can I Help You?

Last weekend I went to Rochester specifically to visit the Apple Store.  I need a new computer and have always had PCs, but the time has come, I think, for the big switcheroo.

I know, I know…

So to all you “too cool for school” Mac people out there?  (You know who you are.)  Here’s your big chance to stand up and say, “DUH!?  What took you so long??”

Feel better now?  Good. Now sit down.

You know when you walk into a store and the clerk says, “Can I help you?”  And you say, “No, just browsing, thanks” even if you are looking for a specific something and could actually use some help finding it?

You don’t dare admit you need help because then that clerk will hover and bird-dog you around the store for the rest of your life, giving you no space, no peace, just being a big fat hemorrhoid.

That’s because in most retail situations the clerk isn’t there to HELP you; he or she is there to sell you.  He or she doesn’t care that the dress or the pants look terrible on you or don’t fit properly as long as the sale is made and they get their pathetic little commission.

So imagine my delight when I found out that in the Apple Store employees don’t get a commission, nor do they care about shepherding you over to the cash register to write up a sales slip. They realize most people will be customizing the computer of their dreams online anyway, so they can kick back and just be…helpful.

This makes them very happy—or at least this was my impression of my salesperson, Ethan. It was clear that he loved these Macs and he seemed genuinely tickled to talk to people thinking about buying one.

The first question Ethan, my salesman asked me was, ‘What do you like to do on your computer.”

And the rest of the hour and a half was spent talking about me and my needs.

Imagine!  It was all about me and my (computing) needs!  This is guerrilla marketing, people!  This is revolutionary!

This is …effective.

Today’s email brought me notification that my new MacBook Pro shipped today.




Full of Win

I got up and went to yoga early this morning.  First time in 2 weeks.

Do you know how many postures you can do if you can’t forward bend?

Not. Too. Many.

I got all entranced with Plank.  As well as Side Plank.

Child’s pose was good, too. As was Downward-Facing Dog (with bent knees).

I threaded the needle.  I did some kapalabhati.  I did a weak Bridge. I stretched out my hamstrings a bit with a strap.  I did a 10 minute round of Nadi Shodhana.  I attempted a headstand on the wall (fail).  I sat zazen.  I attempted Janu Sirsasana.  (huge fail).

(Please bless me father for I have sinned. I coveted my neighbor’s Paschimottanasana.)

One of my gurus, Natalie Goldberg, has this saying:  “Make positive effort for the good.”

The context is that you must keep your promises to yourself.  She’s a writing guru, not a yoga guru, so she says go and write everyday. You don’t have to write great stuff, she says; you just have to make positive effort for the good.  And that’s what I did on my mat today.

And it was full of win.



The Yoga of Injury

Here are the asanas I would have learned how to do (and teach) had I gone to my training this week:

Balancing Seated Angle

Balancing Stick

Bent Leg Tree

Bound Hero

Bow variations



Half Circle

Inverted Turtle


Lateral Angle


Raised on both arms posture

Reclining Stick

Rotated Jhanushirshasana

Rotated Lateral Angle

Sideways boat

Standing Angle

Standing Split

Toe Stand

Instead, I stayed home and practiced The Yoga of Injury.  I just emailed my morning Ashtanga group to tell them I would not be there until my injury healed.

Christine wrote  back saying: Ah, the  yoga of injury, the REAL yoga. How fortunate you get to have the real practice and not this easy stuff we do in the mornings.”

But to tell you the truth?  I stink at the Yoga of Injury!  I get up every morning expecting to bound out of bed and jump back into Chaturanga. I want so much to bound out of bed and jump back into Chaturanga!!!.

Instead, I get up and hobble to the bathroom.

The other day I was reading in Tony Robbins about “Tranformational Vocabulary.” He says (and I believe it) that the words we use to describe our experience SHAPE our experience.  So now I am not going to say I am injured any more.  Instead, I am reframing to “I am moving forward.”

Because it’s the truth. I am moving forward.  At a glacial pace (glacial before global warming when glaciers moved v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-.) but I am definitely moving in the right direction.

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”  –Joni Mitchell

I will never take my yoga practice for granted again.  You can (and should) remind me of this anytime I express frustration in any posture whatsoever.

I give  you permission.

Pollyanna Drills a Gas Well

The gas well drilling that is a constant clang in my (mental and physical) environment these days –and will continue clanging for the next 20 years until they finish sucking all the natural gas out from under us– is kicking up a lot of dust for me.  (no pun intended).

I have wanted to write about it here but have thusfar resisted, telling myself I will do so only when I can write without ranting, raving, or crying.  I am still working on this “re-frame.”

If I could make it go away, poof!  like that, I would.  But it’s not going away.  It’s a done deal. All the meetings and citizen action groups and letters to representatives in the world won’t stop it now.  It’s a runaway train.

Now I am going to put on my Pollyanna Hat and describe what I wish would happen or what would have happened.  What I wish is not so much an action as an attitude, a way of working, a way of being.

So here’s my fantasy.  In a bullet list (I know, I know, a bullet-listed fantasy, Kath??  It’s my anal Capricorn side coming out.  Humor me.)

  • I wish that the gas companies would have trained LOCAL PEOPLE to do all this drilling.  There are so many people around here who have no jobs, and would have loved to have been trained to drive big rigs around, and do this kind of work and GET PAID GOOD MONEY FOR IT.
  • These local people would have been STAKE HOLDERS in this operation.  It would have been their wells that would have been contaminated if things didn’t go right.  It would have been their fishing streams, their hunting grounds disrupted, their families kept up at night by the incessant clanging.
  • The locals love this area.  That’s why they’ve stuck it out here so long even when there have been few, and mostly poorly-paid jobs.  These local people might have approached drilling a gas well on a luscious piece of Pennsylvania farm land the way the Amish approach building a barn for a neighbor.
  • Fantasy Scenario: Hey guys, today we are going to drill on the Stolzfus land.  They need this income, as we all do, but they also need safe, clean drinking water and that little stream that runs behind the house is where their kids play and fish.  So let’s be careful out here today, ok?  The workers nod, set themselves to work with care and mindfulness.  When night falls, they quit and begin the next day, so the Stolztfus family can sleep.

“You may say I’m a dreamer.  But I’m not the only one…”  is going through my head right now.

But you know, I would, and could, feel so much better about the roar and the clang and the suck of this if I knew that the people doing the work were stakeholders in this land and not just hired guns who can hit and run if a mistake is made.



Morning Power Questions for Today

What am I happy about?    Sun in November, decent weather, a few blessed days off to heal.

Excited about?    Trip to Rochester tomorrow.  The prospect of a new computer.  Dinner party tonight with Tim and Jackie.

Proud about?    Maintaining my streaks with this blog (currently in week 13), writing in my paper journal (day 49 without a break), Holosync (day 328).  And most of all, staying true to my higher ideals.

Grateful for?   See #1 and add to that my relative good health minus this injury, a happy and a beautiful home, a supportive yoga community, and a few sweet friends.

What am I enjoying most right now?    Free time without lots of commitments.  Time to sleep and heal.  The sun!

What am I committed to now?    This blog. And Holosync.  And my paper journal.  I am also committed to getting better.  Eating better.  Sleeping enough.  Drinking fluids (can’t get enough of Get Smart tea!).  I am also committed to nurturing my relationship with my Inner Wisdom Guide.

That most of all.



Morning Power Questions. Evening Power Questions.

On the little table next to my Space Chair I have a pile of books.  One of them I picked up today on a whim because I was plumb out of ideas for my daily pen-scribble.

The book was Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins.

I have tried to read this book a number of times but always bailed because he is rather long-winded.  Good, but very “anecdotal.”

I picked it up again today, opened to a random page and read about Morning Power Questions and Evening Power Questions.

From what I gather, these questions will set your trajectory (morning) and cause reflection (evening).

I wrote them down and answered them as my write for the day.  I felt “sweetened” as a result.  Here they are.  Try them for yourself if you like.

Morning Power Questions

  1. What am I happy about in my life now?
  2. What am I excited about in my life now?
  3. What am I proud about in my life now?
  4. What am I grateful about in my life now?
  5. What am I enjoying most in my life now?
  6. What am I committed to in my life now?
  7. Who do I love?  Who loves me?

(substitute “could” for “am” if you get stuck.)

Evening Power Questions

  1. What have I given today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. How has today added to the quality of my life or how can I use today as an investment in my future?

Nice, huh?  I plan to practice with these for the next 10 days.  I’ll let you know what happens.