The Best Time to Begin, The Need for Imagining, And A Few Invitations

A note from Erin:

Greetings from Cape Cod! Thanks for welcoming us to your inbox. Today, we’re waking up in this beautiful place on our annual visit with Carl’s family. I’m sitting on a breezy porch, watching swift-moving clouds cruise overhead, listening to morning birds and reflecting on a few things I’d love to share with you.

You know that great saying:
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
I keep thinking how true that is not only for tree-planting, but for other practices that grow over a lifetime.

When is the best time to begin a regular meditation practice? 20 years ago. The second best time? Now.

When is the best time to start radically befriending your body and grow a somatic practice – a non-objectifying, enlivening way of being in and with your body? At least(!) 20 years ago. The second best time? Now!

When is the best time to start dismantling structural racism in ourselves and the world? At least 200 years ago. The second best time is now. (Want to join me in reading some important books? Check out the 2018 reading list from Patti Digh.)

When is the best time to start radically reducing single-use plastic? 20 years ago. Second best time? Now. Right??? Isn’t it??

Just like the slow growth of a tree, these practices and their fruits take time to accumulate. And they are soooooo worth planting. Now.

Friends, I have a few invitations for you today, a few good questions, and two touching poems. 

First, the invitations: 

1. Women – would you like to join me on a powerful learning journey this fall? I’m so damn excited to offer an experiential deep-dive into one of my favorite somatic topics. I call the class: EmpelvisedEmbellied, Empowered.  I wish every woman could take this course! I made a page with all the details and even a short video invitation for you.Check it out here! And if you’d be interested in joining an online version – let me know. If there’s interest, I’d really love to share it with people near and far. It’s such a potent cultivation and one I wish I could share with women everywhere. When is the best time to start becoming Empelvised, Embellied, Empowered? 20 years ago. Or… join me in October! I’m offering an exciting bonus of a 1/2 price 1:1 session with me for people who register by Friday the 10thCheck it out! 

2. We have a wonderful group signed up to join us for a weekend of somatic explorations of two topics we loooove:The Art of Walking & Improving Posture Without Correction. Sign up here to join us! We’d be so delighted to have you in the room! You can also find details below.

3. Wouldn’t you love to travel with us for a wonderful retreat experience? Embody Your Genius  at Ghost Ranch is coming up in September and my dear friend, Nan & I would love to have you join us! And Carl and I would LOVE to invite you to join us in Costa Rica in January. It’s going to be amazing! Peruse the website for the retreat center and then contact us…. we can help you pick a lodging option you’d love. Transportation is organized for you and all you need to do is get yourself to the It’s such a wonderful way to begin a year! Come experience Pura Vida with us!

4. Local friends, feel free to join me on the new & full moons in August for a creekside meditation.There’s no cost and no experience is necessary. Please bring a cushion or camp chair to sit on and just come to picnic spot #1 in City Creek Canyon, walk down the wooden steps and I’ll be there creekside, likely with some flower petals sprinkled all around (because that’s how I roll.) We’ll sit together from 7-8am. I’ll guide a practice, though we’ll spend most of the time in silence, and then enjoy some optional time to connect with one another at the end. Here’s something I wrote about the recent Full Moon sit:

“Sometimes we don’t know what to do. So one thing we can do is this: Sit still. Together. In nature. Feel the feels. Stay. Make room for it all. Listen to the creek flowing by. Let your heart get even more tender. Then more spacious. More tender. More spacious. Silently greet the hummingbird who loves to visit the stillness. Breathe in suffering. Breathe out love. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”

So grateful for the radiant crew who showed up to join me for the Full Moon+Eclipse sit.


May any and all benefits from our practice ripple out as blessings.

Grateful to sit together supported by Mother Earth, supported by the Mother Space of Awareness, with the creek gently flowing by, with a visit from our hummingbird friend who comes every time we gather. Grateful to get a glimpse into what others are carrying so we can hold it together: Refugees, a world in flux and profound reorganization, tenderized hearts, aging parents, dementia, the huge job of caregiving, Nia Wilson’s tragic murder and the lived reality for so many of deep racism and violence in our culture.
From the peace of the canyon, from the gentle flow of the mountain creek, from the morning sky, from the depths of our strong and tender hearts, we radiate love and blessings and prayers for all who live.”

The next new and full moon sits will be held on August 11 & August 26th, from 7-8am at the creekside below picnic spot #1 in City Creek Canyon.

Please bring your own cushion or camp chair, and whatever you need to be reasonably comfortable, including perhaps a spritz of bug spray and water to drink. There is no charge.

Offered with humility, love, and deepest gratitude for these practices and for the beautiful canyon in which to gather. 

5. Join us for a daylong retreat of mindful movement and embodied meditation at Two Arrows Zen Center. The Art of Sitting on September 29th is now open for registration. We’d love to have you join us! Details arehere. 

6. Have you been listening to our wonderful podcast??? The conversations are so enlivening. We are SO happy to offer this resource and fount of inspiration to our community. Have a listen! 

 

A question to contemplate: 

What are you devoted to???
As Mary Oliver says:
“You too can be carved anew by the details of your devotion.” 

May it be so.

Here are a few poems that touched my heart this week, both by Maggie Smith

Good Bones

 

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.

Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine

in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,

a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways

I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least

fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative

estimate, though I keep this from my children.

For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.

For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,

sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world

is at least half terrible, and for every kind

stranger, there is one who would break you,

though I keep this from my children. I am trying

to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,

walking you through a real shithole, chirps on

about good bones: This place could be beautiful,

right? You could make this place beautiful.

Let’s Not Begin

 

Let’s not begin the poem with and,
though it begins that way

in spirit: one in a long list of—
let’s not call them grievances.

I’m trying to love the world,
I am, but is it too much

to ask for two parts bees
vibrating their cups of pollen,

humming a perfect A note,
to one part sting?

Worry and console, worry
and console: it’s how I stay

in shape. See, I’m sweating.
Some nights my daughter cries,

I don’t want to be in the dirt,
and this is what I call a workout.

My heart’s galloping hell
and gone from the paddock—

I don’t want to be in the dirt
because I’ll miss you—

and there’s no stopping me.
But let’s not end

with the heart as horse,
fear-lathered, spooked deaf.

I’m trying, I am, for her.
If I list everything I love

about the world, and if the list
is long and heavy enough,

I can lift it over and over—
repetitions, they’re called, reps—

to keep my heart on, to keep
the dirt off. Let’s begin

with bees, and the hum,
and the honey singing

on my tongue, and the child
sleeping at last, and, and, and–

 

Can you imagine listing all the things you love about this world? 
(I think my list might be as big as the world.)
Let’s do reps with them, shall we? Lifting our lists up again and again for each other to see. We could meet on the sidewalk, in the grocery aisle and say, “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

Can you imagine how you might make this world beautiful? 

Here’s another great invitation to imagine from one of my heroes, Brother David Steindl-Rast:

“Imagine a country whose citizens – maybe even its leader – are brave, calm, and open towards each other; a country whose people realize that all human beings belong together as one family and must act accordingly; a country guided by common sense.”

Let’s keep imagining, friends.

With love,
Erin

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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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