In order to help with legal fees (more info below) I made PausePaws🐾 tee shirts; American Apparel in all sizes in pink, grey and white, Men's sizes in grey and white. I also made tote bags. The shirts are $25 and the bags are $10.
They're great for yoga or for giving away during the holidays. I take cash, checks, Venmo, PayPal and even credit cards - just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you'd like and how you'd like to pay, and I'll get back to you with how to do so.
The story of THE POWERFUL PAUSE
Learning how to pause did not come naturally. I spent most of my life being a slave to my emotions.
Yoga was the first step in the direction of slowing down and It's no surprise that the class I started with was a Shiva Rea hot and sweaty class. I did every chataranga and NEVER opted for child's pose. I practiced yoga to shut off my mind, not to understand it and definitely NOT to quiet it. Everything I "used" to obliterate my thoughts; exercise, yoga, drugs, alcohol, relationships AKA drama, shopping, the list goes on, eventually stopped working. Meaning eventually everything I used and abused to alter myself stopped blotting out my mind and escaping was no longer an option.
In 12 step programs they say that with every year of sobriety we gain another second of pause. So, on my best day, I have a 5 second window where I can choose between reacting to something thoughtfully or not. On a bad day I revert back to my old self, sending an email I will regret, pushing send on a text that will cause harm or saying words that I will have to take back.
My teacher, Carrie Owerko was the first person who taught me about The Pause. I'm sure others tried to get me to pause but I finally heard it with Carrie. Pause before lowering one knee down before the other. Pause before talking to my friend in class as a way to get out of a moment of discomfort. She taught me about the 24 hour email rule. When I receive an email that upsets me I pause. I wait. Then I respond. It's so simple and it's MAGIC.
A few months ago I designed a t-shirt honoring The Pause. I sold a few, gave most of them away and then moved on to another project. For the last five months I have been involved in a horrible legal battle. I don't want to get into the details but I will say it includes deep betrayal, the resurfacing of my family tragedy and the potential loss of something valuable to me.
I have had to hire two different lawyers and as this continues I am in getting deeper into debt and I'm risking what meager savings I have.
Asking for help is challenging. I called two of my best friends, Chrissy and Paula for advice the other day. I could not stop crying, I felt inconsolable and helpless. I needed to ask for help and I hated it. I never want to need anything or anyone. "I've got this" has been my M.O. Even after years of self study and surrendering and eating a lot of humble pie, I STILL suck at asking for help.
What am I getting at? My lawyer says I take too long to get to the point so I'll get to it. I need your help.
I made more PausePaws tee shirts; American Apparel in all sizes in pink, grey and white, Men's sizes in grey and white. I also made tote bags. The shirts are $25 and the bags are $10. The money will go to my legal fees, which have become very steep. I take cash, checks, Venmo, PayPal and even credit cards - all you need to do is email me at email@example.com
The end is in sight and I have learned an invaluable lesson. Thank all of you so much for your support. And Chrissy Carter thank you again for reminding me that "all moments of intensity eventually end."
The countdown to my teacher training in Oslo is on! Only two more weeks until I travel abroad and I have some interesting new ventures coming down the pipeline including a few workshops in Amsterdam -- more to come on that soon!
I am obsessed with Maria Bamford. She has a new special called Lady Dynamite streaming on Netflix now. Watch it--she is everything.
If you don't have Netflix, please enjoy a couple of my favorite pieces from her. Play. Enjoy. Laugh (a lot). Repeat.
Again, I feel as though I have to keep mentioning Note to Self, only because I'm trying something really cool right now where I'm trying to limit my social media usage by doing their 5-day challenge. While it has been a challenge to say the least, it has had a profound effect on my ability to focus. I will write a short piece reflecting on the experiment in a few days!
Here is a link to the episode -- http://www.wnyc.org/story/infomagical-challenge-1 -- It's only 11 minutes long and they have 5 or 6 mini-challenges to try!
I have been enjoying the podcast "You Must Remember This" so much that I have gone back to watch some of the old Hollywood Classics like Sunset Boulevard and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof... and they just get better and better with time.
Here is another poem about suicide, a topic that is close to my heart and my life. This poem is particularly interesting as this was actually a plea written by the author to a dear friend of his.
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
Workshops with Carrie Owerko
I attended a three day workshop with Carrie at the Iyengar Institute this past weekend, 5/13-5/15. It was incredible and I learned so much. See photo with Carrie (wearing my new Pause/Paws t-shirt) being flanked my me and Moon.
She read this poem and I absolutely love it!
("I will walk the way of perfection." Psalm 101:2)
I have had it with perfection.
I have packed my bags,
I am out of here.
As certain as rain
will make you wet,
perfection will do you
It droppeth not as dew
upon the summer grass
to give liberty and green
Perfection straineth out
the quality of mercy,
withers rapture at its
Before the battle is half begun,
cold probity thinks
it can't be won, concedes the
I've handed in my notice,
given back my keys,
signed my severance check, I
Hints I could have taken:
Even the perfect chiseled form of
Michelangelo's radiant David
the Venus de Milo
has no arms,
the Liberty Bell is
Get Out of Your Chair with Air!
My teacher Carrie Owerko, has a new video up on Vimeo.
It's so much fun. It's all about the chair!! CLICK HERE to watch.
I finally read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking
It's a great resource for grief.
I'm still making my way through You Must Remember This, a podcast dedicated to the secret or forgotten history of Hollywood.
I learned about this one while listening to Madeleine Brand's Press Play on KCRW: Note to Self by WNYC Studios
- Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it - Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh
- Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?) - Verena von Pfetten
I was a little behind the eight ball and just saw the People vs. OJ and it was absolutely riveting. My cousin, Kate Aurthur, a journalist for Buzzfeed wrote an extensive article about the show which you can buy on ITunes or watch on demand on FX.
I am obsessed with this podcast about the secret and forgotten history of Hollywood.
One of the podcasts about the Blacklist features the story of Dorothy Parker. She suffered from depression and attempted suicide many times. She wrote this poem, which I love because it's tongue-in-cheek and morbid simultaneously.
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp;
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
I am a huge fan of Billy Collins. My dear friend Jesse Holland knows this one by heart and when I'm sad I call him and he recites it to me.
The First Dream
The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning
as the others stood around the fire
draped in the skins of animals
talking to each other only in vowels,
for this was long before the invention of consonants.
He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,
how he had put his arms around the neck
of a beast that the others could touch
only after they had killed it with stones,
how he felt its breath on his bare neck.
Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,
except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
and if you were there to notice this,
you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.