This Week: Unfolding

live up to the spirit

In my Wednesday and Saturday Classes
Wednesday at 5:30 and 7pm
Saturday at 10:30am

You can’t rush greatness. It is an eternal process of becoming. When you feel a sense of critical impatience at your own “slow progress,” think about a pearl, a mountain, a butterfly. Each requires an incredible amount of time, dedication, and—yes—ritual repetition of a singular process, to become what it is. It doesn’t happen overnight, nor does that process of becoming every truly end.

Your practice of yoga can support you in a continual process of unfolding, each time becoming a clearer and clearer representation of your fullest self. It is about continually digging deep into the present and the past to recall the lessons and cull the wisdom of your experience, so that each day, each cycle, each trip around the sun is more refined and evolved than the one before. It is about continuing to take a visionary perspective of the future, focusing clearly on what it is you want to become in order to manifest it.

You don’t have to make expansion happen, and you needn’t force revelation. You are made of the stuff of the Universe, and the nature of the Universe is expansion and revelation. So that is your nature too. Everything is unfolding exactly as it should, with Grace at the helm and you as the vehicle for unfathomable creation, infinite transformation, and irrepressible joy. All you have to do is steadfastly choose to continually commit to your own awakening by showing up, on your mat and in your life. The rest is the work of Grace, moving through you as you. You can’t rush it, but you can take delight in it. There is beauty in the unfolding.

Liberation: Four Years of Yoga for Queers!

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Four Years of Yoga for Queers!

Yoga for Queers and Misfits
All-Levels, Donation-Based Yoga
Wednesdays at 5:30 and 7pm
Click on the title for more info

Darlings

Can you believe it? It’s been FOUR YEARS since the very first Yoga for Queers and Misfits class way back on October 13, 2010.  In that time, so much has happened in my life and in the life of this community. It’s The Pulsation!

In these past four years, with a handful of exceptions, each and every week I have offered one to two all-levels yoga classes especially for queer and gender nonconforming folks in our community.  These classes have always been and will always be donation-based.  This is a political commitment that it central to the reason I began offering Yoga for Queers, and this will always be a fundamental characteristic of the space.

I offer these classes as one way in which I can concretely contribute to the individual, interpersonal and collective work of healing and transforming the trauma and isolation that can come with a being queer person…and in truth can come with simply being a person in this world.  It is my belief that we can heal ourselves and that we can do that together.  That’s why I show up each week.

And that why, I suspect, many of you show up each week.  In its four years of life, Yoga for Queers has welcomed countless (maybe hundreds…well, definitely more than 100 and probably closer to 200) folks into a space that we co-create.  A space in which we lift up the power that we have as individuals and community to transform our own realities, to choose strength and connection and health and healing over so many other options…a space in which we choose liberation.

Join me tonight as we celebrate four years of Yoga for Queers by revisiting the theme that I offered in that very first class: Liberation! I can’t wait to see you then!

This week: Mindfulness

In my classes: Wednesday and Saturday

It’s already October – time is really flying! Time is everywhere and nowhere, and is in fact our most precious resource. We can never go back, and we can never get it back. We can have no impact on the past, and the future is built upon this moment.

Socially and cosmologically we are living in an accelerated age.  Our psychologies and physiologies are literally not equipped to process the amount of stimulus and information that we are exposed to daily.  It creates the sensation–at least in me–of being unable to catch up.  Always behind at school, always a mountain of chores, always a expanding list of friends and relationships that merit my care and attention (thank goodness!)…I am forever behind. Which creates the tendency in me to want to move faster, to play into the illusory idea that I ever could actually catch up, could move at the speed that things in the world around me seem to move…that megabytes and money and political maneuvers move. I call this “defying the space-time continuum,” and I am frighteningly good at it believing I can do it.

Our psychologies and physiologies are literally not equipped to process the amount of stimulus and information that we are exposed to daily.

Paradoxically, the only antidote is slowing down.  The only way to get caught up is to be caught up in the moment. The only way to lead a full life is to fully inhabit each breath. Many traditions call this mindfulness: the *simple* act of being present to what you’re doing–whether it’s breathing or biking, washing dishes or working the land, living into your vocation or taking out the trash.

If you are constantly meditating on the past or the future, you are not really living as fully as you could be. If you are constantly lost in thought so as to move more quickly through the present task or to “maximize” your sense of productivity, you are not really living. If you spend more time wanting to be somewhere or someone else than who and where you are right now, you are not really living.

Mindfulness is also an incredible way to sit wit the truth of what is. In all my hurriedness, I do a lot of short-handing – I substitute doing with knowing; I swap out real self-knowledge with age-old illusions or familiar stories. Mindfulness is an incredible way to sit with the truth of who you are in this moment, beyond the stories you’ve always told yourself, beyond the familiar fall-backs that you’ve relied upon, beyond the limiting ideas of yourself. Sit and be. Breath and listen. Feel and know. It’s your nature.

Tonight’s classes will be about breathing in to this moment and everything it contains for you. All the joy, passion, possibility, mystery, and monotony of the moment. To truly observe, listen, and feel fully the sensations happening on every level is the best way to help you understand the purpose and meaning in your life, which supports you making choices that create expanding purpose and deeper meaning.  The future is made up of this moment. Will you remember it? What does it mean to you?

Sit and be. Breath and listen. Feel and know. It’s your nature.

This week: PRIDE – Fully Inhabiting Your Life

In my classes this week: Wednesday and Saturday

This weekend is North Carolina PRIDE, the annual opportunity to celebrate the lives and contributions of LGBTQ folks. Though today many queer/LGBT folks might live lives of relative ease, safety, and comfort as compared with days gone by, it is important to recognize that not all of us do – neither here in Durham, nor in other parts of North Carolina and the South – nor truly in the world as a whole. And even more important to remember that such ease can be taken away at any moment…and was hard-fought by those who came before us. Embracing an intersectional analysis of liberation, safety and inclusion requires us to recognize how far we still have to go to secure true freedom, equality, and transformation for our people, all our people.

The origins of PRIDE date back to the Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal moment in June 1969 in which members of the gay and trans* community rose up against persistent homophobia, arbitrary discrimination and police brutality. It is considered by many to be a crucial moment in the birth of a more aggressive, proactive, and visible LGBT liberation movement.

While PRIDE is the annual opportunity for folks to “come out,” to be more visible both as members of the queer/LGBT community and as allies, it is increasingly important that we come “out of the closets and into the streets” – as the Stonewall slogan proclaimed – not just during PRIDE but every day, in as many ways as we can.

In short, PRIDE can be an invitation and a reminder to fully inhabit your life.

When you accept the invitation to be your fullest self, when you choose to express your authentic self, when you are willing to take up space, to speak your truth, to stand in your light…you are giving everyone around you encouragement to do the same. When you fully inhabit your truth and your life, you co-create the space in which others may feel safe(r) to do the same. And when you do this in community, when you do this as a way of building intersectional power and chosen family, when you do this rooted in your lineage, when you do this to build containers for momentum and transformation…that is the work of liberation. That is you doing your part to fully inhabit your life, to recognize your role as an irreplaceable part of the workings of the Universe.

It starts when you take your place on the mat, when you stand tall and proud in your light. Join us.

This week: Wisdom

*At my Wednesday and Saturday classes*

The sweet time of fall’s transition has arrived: a time when the quality of the afternoon light begins to change dramatically as our planet turns slowly away from the sun. Outside and in, the environments are changing. With the winds of change blowing around you, your internal system can also experience some dramatic shifts.

Along with these seasonal changes come cosmic and energetic changes which all contribute to a lot of disparate energy in the air. It can be unsettling. It can be destabilizing internally (many folks are walking around with colds and experiencing some digestive adjustments as a result). It can also be humbling to recognize that for all our efforts to best and suppress Nature, Nature truly is in charge in so many ways.

This time, then, can offer a potent opportunity to accept the invitation of the waning sunlight and the less frenetic time of year to settle into a practice of deep awareness. Make a conscious effort to slow yourself down and take the time—daily if you can—to sit with and reflect on the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are present in you right now.

By learning to work with the cycles of the seasons and especially by deeply and keenly observing the subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes that the seasons bring about in your whole being—physically, emotionally, energetically, spiritually—you are tapping in to the potent light of self-awareness. You are accepting the gifts of the Universe in the form of revelations about your self and your nature—both your inherent nature as a whole, complete, and perfect being as well as your unique individual nature and how it responds to the larger cosmos of which you are a part and a reflection.

Knowledge applied becomes wisdom. Simply put, the practice of yoga, and other awareness practices, offer you a myriad of ways to learn about yourself and put that knowledge to work in your life, toward the end of experiencing radiant health, revelation, and abundant joy.

While transition is constant, you needn’t be constantly beholden to the shifts and changes of the world around. You can anchor yourself in the wisdom of who you are while staying open to the ways that you can learn through lived experience to clarify, amplify and intensify the light within.

Are you juiced yet? Let’s do it together!