Monday, April 9, 2018

Tip the Scale

"One should see the world, and see himself as a scale with an equal balance of good and evil. When he does one good deed the scale is tipped to the good - he and the world is saved. When he does one evil deed the scale is tipped to the bad - he and the world is destroyed."
~ Maimonides

I came across this quote last night and it resonated deeply. I tend to live life from a place of positivity, optimism, hope. However, I am keenly aware that not everyone does.

Positive people live in a positive world whereas negative people live in a negative one. Same world. It is all about perspective. If we truly believed that every action can make an impact, how might it change us, our approach, our perspective?

I'm a believer that our intentions drive our actions... if we each live, intentionally, with positivity and compassion, we can collectively tip the scale to the good.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Assumption

I was recently asked to answer the question "What do people assume about you that isn't really true?". It was a thought provoking question, requiring me to see myself through others' eyes and reconcile some truths about who I am.

Newsflash: I'm an introvert.

Many people find this absolutely shocking given that I spend my days connecting with students, holding space for others, being their cheerleader, sounding board, confidante and creating community... but the reality is that when that part of my day is over, I turn deeply inward. I absolutely love what I do for a living, but it's really a curious thing, the rim of this two-sided coin on which I dwell.

If there is such a thing as an extroverted introvert, perhaps that is the space in which I reside. After intense social situations... and by intense I pretty much mean "any"... I have to decompress quietly in my own space. While I can make friends pretty easily because I talk to everyone, I have great difficulty maintaining these relationships, a fact that I'm facing and with which I am struggling. I realize that I am the common denominator in all of these friendships.

Thus, I believe that one of the biggest false assumptions people make about me is that I have a circle of close friends that radiates out exponentially. I simply don't... in fact, I find myself spending many weekends and holidays alone and often hear "I assumed you had plans or I would have invited you!" when folks ask "What did you do for Christmas/Easter/last Saturday night?". I know a lot of people, I interact with a lot of people, but my true social circle is decidedly small, consisting of a few women and men for whom my gratitude overflows. I can hold my own in any conversation, but I abhor small talk. I seek depth and connection and struggle with surface level chit chat. I don't mind being alone, and I don't usually feel lonely... that whole introvert thing is a great buffer, and without alone time, I suffer... but I am keenly aware of the importance of social integration and connection to overall health, happiness and well being.

So there it is. The assumption and my truth.

Monday, April 2, 2018


I went to a yin class yesterday. It was a lovely class taught by a lovely teacher who, truth be told, I'd previously avoided for no reason other than the fact that her boyfriend is a yoga teacher whose style really isn't my cup of tea. I realize that this makes absolutely no sense, however, it was my princessy prerogative, so that's that. Anywhoosle, there came a point in said lovely class where the teacher told us "under no circumstance should you turn your head while in this pose because you will damage your neck."

In typical rebel fashion, I proceeded to turn my head in not one, but BOTH directions. Repeatedly. Because that is how I roll in yoga. I am literally the worst.student.ever.

But here's the thing. Not only did I not hurt my neck, it felt GOOD to move my head a few times to release the yogi fireworks, the snaps, crackles and pops, before settling in. However, in wanting to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt, I did ask her after class to please explain to me why I should not move my head in that particular pose. OK, I confess, I already knew that there was not an actual scientific reason, but it fascinates me when teachers simply repeat what they have been told without ever considering its veracity. After some discussion, her answer could easily be summed up with "I am not sure" and "because my teacher said so."

Now I am aware that there are things my teacher says that I say, too. However, they don't tend to be made up things about anatomy and poses and what we are and are not capable of doing because, of course, the truth is, each one of us is different. What my body can do, yours may or may not be able to do, and vice versa... and that's what's so ridiculously cool about all of this stuff.

There are many "parrot" things teachers say... like "for the love of god, make sure your knees don't go past your toes!!!". Really? OK, next time you walk down the stairs, make sure your knees don't go out over your toes because obviously knees over toes = very serious injury (#goodluckwiththat). And as long as you're at it, take a moment to peek into a Zumba class and watch what's going on in there... it's a miracle they don't have paramedics on stand by for all those knee-over-toe offenders. Also, I once checked with my orthopedic surgeon and she told me she has not one time EVER done a knee repair from a tree pose gone bad... so we're probably safe in that one, too.

Tongue in cheek sass aside, it isn't just yoga teachers who parrot things they have heard without ever stopping to consider its accuracy. With all of human knowledge in the palms of our hands these days, we often believe anything and everything that pops up first in our google searches.

I'd like to think we are smarter than this. It is our responsibility to be better informed, to disseminate truthful information, to fact check, and to fully understand the ideas we share... whether it's about our bodies, our minds, our political views, our relationships, simply parroting something we hear as though it is an absolute is a dangerous proposition... because those who trust us will hang on our words, and repeat them time and again... and those who trust them will follow suit. And so on, and so on, and so on.

I'm all for passionate discourse, teaching, debating, sharing... but simply parroting what we've heard is part of the problem... let's be part of the solution.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Begin Again

Alright... so it's been a minute since I last threw a hissy fit around these parts. However, as I sit here, in the home I've "grown up" in over the course of the last 7 years, surrounded by boxes just waiting to be filled, I'm struck by the idea that the greatest mantra of all time is, indeed, Begin Again. So here I am, beginning again.

I'll never forget the moment that the movers left me here on that crisp November afternoon. I stood alone in the sun room, in all its bright, beautiful glory, and I felt a giant weight lifting off of my shoulders. I was finally free to be me... no more having to hide in the shadows of the pain and drama others created and cast upon me, no more covering for someone who didn't deserve to be protected, no more uncovering the painful lies I stumbled upon, one by one, and no more angst over how or where or why or what would be. Standing there, I fully understood, on every possible level, how liberation felt. It was a moment and an opportunity in which I could truly let go of all that hadn't served me for so long, and begin again. There will always be a special, appreciative place in my heart for the people who supported me through that and made it possible for me to land on my feet so I could face the unknown with courage, strength, grace and dignity and a strong sense of purpose. I recognize that it is in our darkest moments when we so very clearly see who our true friends are.

And then, the full spectrum of life happened, as it does to us all. It just happens. And it happens again. And again and again. At times, as it does to us all, life brought me to my knees... again. And again and again. Fortunately, I have a keen understanding that there is a curriculum I must learn, and that the lessons will keep coming until I have done so. I've always fancied myself a lifelong learner, so I suppose the "life lesson learning" should not be any different than the rest of of my education. Don't get me wrong... the number of amazing, inspiring and joyful moments far outweighs the difficult ones, and I realize that there are lessons in it all and am truly grateful for the highs, the lows and everything in between.

For it is because of the lessons that I experienced true, unconditional love for the first time in my entire life... but, more importantly, I learned not only how to love from the edges and depths of my soul, but also how to receive love. I cultivated mindfulness and worked on equanimity, and I understood with every fiber of my being the art of forgiveness and that it was I who needed to reap its benefits, not the people who received the forgiveness from me. I found my passion and fully recognized that my dharma was shining through in a new form, taking on a new shape, guiding me to a new life, and, even in the midst of a thousand sideways glances, I set out on a mission to make a career out of that which I love, knowing that I had no choice but to find a way or make one or else witness the slow death of my true self.

And throughout it all, the theme, the mantra, the overarching message has been, continues to be... Begin Again.

Each challenge, each stumble, each misstep, each heartbreak, each gut punching, knee buckling, back breaking moment is a test of resilience, of an ability to pick myself up, dust myself off, stand taller, prouder and, of course, Begin Again. After all, grit is, at its core, the stubborn refusal to quit, and perhaps it is the grittiest amongst us who learn to live authentically, peacefully, and fully, knowing that there are no guarantees, and that throughout our lives the curriculum presented to us will require us to begin again, many times over.

And so it seems only fitting, that on this Easter morning, on a day and in a season of symbolic and ritualistic new beginnings, at a time in which I've made the decision to downsize my car, my house, and, ultimately, my life, that I sip coffee from a mug I once wrote about in this very space as I enjoy the quiet solitude of the early hours of a new day, recognize that this morning's sunrise does not define itself by last night's sunset, and contemplate the opportunity that lies in front of me... the opportunity, of course, to Begin Again.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day

I've not left my kingdom, I'm still around... I'm just busy with life's ups and downs which, quite frankly, are far more pronounced when one is a single mom of three trying to make her way through the world, than they were in my more carefree married days.

Back then, I used to wonder how single moms did it. I always had a great deal of respect for them. I relied heavily on Prince Charming for a variety of things related to us, our future and to the kids, and simply couldn't imagine my life without him in it.

Silly princess.

What I believed then were the challenges, stresses, fears of single mothers did not even come close to the reality of that which exists. That is not to say that I feel regretful or unhappy; quite the contrary, actually. I know the decision was the right one for all involved, and even though I often wake with more questions than answers, finding the means and methods to forge ahead on my own has provided me with a greater sense of self and purpose than I might ever have had otherwise. I find myself more fiercely protective than ever not only of my children but of my heart, hopes, dreams and it makes me commit even more to the mantra with which I have lived my life since I was 8 years old: I will find a way or make one.

And so I say Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies out there. It's the hardest job we'll ever love. I'll add a special thought for single mothers: I hope you are lifted up and celebrated not only by your loved ones this weekend, but also by you. For you know, better than most, that you have lifted yourself up time and time again, but perhaps, in the process, forgot to celebrate the amazing woman that you are. You are.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cultivating Metta

Metta means loving kindness towards all beings. How different the world might be if cultivating metta was a priority for us all.

May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.

And may you stay tuned to Hissy Fits, and, perhaps, this blog, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
~ Albert Einstein

Who are you when no one is watching?

If you will lie about the small things, you will lie about the big ones. If you will take credit for something small that you did not do, you will credit yourself on a larger scale, knowing, deep down, it wasn't your original work or that those were stolen words or that you did not, in fact, complete the task.

How you do anything is how you do everything. If your integrity is lacking in small matters, how do you navigate through critical moments that require you to call upon your inner strength and know, clearly, who you are at your core?

What is the reason you build yourself up to others when you know it isn't authentic, when you know you are spinning a web of deceit, painting a pretty picture that, while you present it as realism is, in fact, just abstract pop art?

How often must you consult your inner-truth barometer... and how often does it scream at you to be set free from the prison you have created for yourself, locking yourself into the person you claim to be yet never have been nor will be.

What makes it so hard to love yourself enough to feel comfortable and confident just being you? What might life be like if you were wide open, honest, present, accountable, grateful and humble?

Imagine how good it might be to live a simple life of integrity.