Finally, the weather cooperated and New Yorkers were able to get outdoors and not get soaked. We've had many weeks of rain on the weekends so whenever the sun appears, we go to mountains, beaches and parks and welcome the warmth.
We go to the trees.
Weekends indoors were "productive" for us. We could catch up on reading, laundry, and cleaning out the garage. We could reconnect with creative projects: write, paint and slowly cook a meal.
I made a tree: https://linktr.ee/stefaniemaura
The Bryant Library in Roslyn, NY planted a Linktr.ee recently and introduced me to online silviculture. Share your tree with me if you have one!
Anyway, thinking of trees, which I do a lot, my attention goes to the roots. They grow in winter when the trees are bare. They live under our schools and houses. They do the unseen work.
This week's prompt is all about the roots.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2022: The Opportunities of Rooting
Last week we wore winter boots. Today, I jumped in my 10 foot wide pool. Good thing I didn't close it early.
Over the weekend, there was a street fair that had not been held in years due to weather and well, the pandemic. You saw everything from ski jackets to tank tops and no one really got it right. A few people fainted from heat.
Having a summer day in the fall is a gift if you love warm weather and annoying if you don't. We expect seasonal changes but lately the weather has been even more unpredictable. How do you deal with it? I will pull out the flip flops and just pretend fall never happened. I will sit by the beach and enjoy the sunset. Others will keep wearing fleece jackets even if it makes them faint. I wonder, can you avoid unexpected change by pretending it doesn't exist?
Not if you are truly mindful. If it's 80 degrees in October, please leave your winter coat at home.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2021: Write about the Unexpected Reversal of Seasons
There is a...
By some good fortune, I found myself working in the library. I didn't know librarians needed a degree in Library Science. I just thought anyone who liked to read could be a librarian and they can, but it takes some studying.
A compassionate reference librarian told me the deal. She was not condescending. I thanked her and years later when I got my MLS, I wondered if I would have been that kind to my younger self. I'd like to think I would be, but in any case, I'm glad to be surrounded by books in work and life.
As society gets busier and more stressful, the library becomes a sanctuary. If you are reading this, you probably agree. But why? Here is my list of reasons libraries are good for your mental health. If you have more to add, I would love to hear about it.
TOP 7 REASONS LIBRARIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
1. It's pretty much the only place you can go without a television blasting
2. You can find books about uplifting things...
For much of history, it has been tradition to burn journals of loved ones when they pass over to the other side. I would like that to happen with mine please. But what if you didn't have a choice?
I recently saw Eileen Miles speak about having her journals housed in the archives of Yale University. We were at the electric Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side of New York City. Apparently she didn't fully realize that once they were in the archives there would be no more edits! Oops. Her words would be preserved as is, like it or not.
Have you ever lost a journal? It can be pretty unsettling. Your precious words are left exposed on the café table, the back pocket of an airplane seat or buried in sand after rushing to leave the beach in a sudden storm.
It happened to me this week and I have no idea where it went. Will someone read it? Will they try to find me? I hope they respectfully toss it into the fire. But not counting on that...
It's never too late to go back to school! I took two graduate courses this summer, even though I have been an educator for over 20 years. Learning and teaching are inseparable practices. Plus, we all must stay current to thrive.
I became a librarian for the love of books and reading but there is little time for sitting quietly at the desk and reviewing new acquisitions these days. Librarianship sure has changed since I first learned manual cataloging using the Dewey Decimal System. Some change is for the better. No one gets shushed and we can practice yoga between reading to stretch our bodies and minds.
At the start of the school year we had district faculty meeting led by a yogi, business owner and Speaker, Regina Smith. “Take a breath; begin again," was her refrain. It resonated with us because we had learned to breathe while teaching through Covid. She was a stellar speaker. My work with teachers using yoga and mindfulness practices had been reinforced and...
What does it mean to live a luminous life? This question has been tossing around my mind for many years. Being luminous is a state of being, a way of life, philosophy, health care routine, presentation powerhouse, parenting energizer, and teacher motivator. It also can put us on the fast track to healing.
When the days get shorter, it is more important than ever to be in touch with our inner light. Think about the things you love to do and make sure to schedule time to make it happen. If you are short on time and money (and who isn't these days?), make a plan and put a date on the calendar. Having something luminous to look forward to can be a game changer.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2017: What is one simple thing you will do today to feel luminous?
Choose an activity from the diagram (breathe, dance, be kind etc). Go do it! Write about how you felt before you started and how you felt afterwards. What shifted? Write in your journal for at least 5 minutes. There's a new...
Wait, you want me to hang upside down? Hear me out, there are many ways we can change our orientation on the planet without going to the monkey bars. Yesterday, I did a simple forward fold, my feet were wide apart, my hands supported my weight on the ground and I noticed three things: 1) My head felt empty and free 2) My body felt calm and 3) My studio looked a lot better and cleaner upside down.
So next time you are in an inverted yoga pose, pay attention to what you see, think and feel. What does a new perspective reveal for you?
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2016: It's All About Perspective
Lumi Sit: Get a New Perspective
Walk around your home or neighborhood as if you were a stranger. Look at each object one at a time. What do you notice? Yesterday, I walked around my house seeing the rooms from upside down. Every single room looked nicer. I am sure there’s a scientific reason for this because when we are stuck in the...
Think of something you love to do. Do you consider it "creative." Cooking is creative. Travel is creative. Planning a party is creative. Pretty much everything you do in life requires you to problem solve and yes, that is creative! If you have a headache thinking about problems to solve, it's not as bad as you think.
When we are engaged in something we love, we can find joy in the struggle. Simply thinking about building a sandcastle, doodling in a notebook, or cooking while adding a dash of this and that, can bring a smile to your face.
Many people have told me, "I am just not creative." And I might remind them of an interesting meal they cooked or how fabulously they accessorized an outfit. Ordinary actions can be creative too. Take time this week to notice.
When you are in a creative zone, you can experience a multitude of emotions. Writing in a journal can help you recognize...
When was the last time you thought about someone and they called you out of the blue or showed up on line next to you at the grocery store? Or maybe you noticed something in nature that required multiple factors to make it happen such as the sun fitting perfectly between two buildings in a big city?
I took this picture of the sun on a walk in Manhattan this week and was filled with feelings of wonder and possibility!
We all experience coincidences and random happy accidents, but do they have any meaning?
Pretty much anything amazing that has happened in my life has been because I was in the right place at the right time. I'd like to think it is not by accident.
It is common for people who meditate to experience frequent synchronistic experiences. Maybe they are just more open to noticing them, but for whatever reason it seems to work in their favor. Things appear and effortlessly fall into place when move in a state that is open and calm.
Would you like to...
In yoga and meditation we often speak of "monkey mind." It's as if a monkey is swinging in your gray matter while your focus tries to follow. Good luck following that monkey. All you can do is slow it down because there will always be distractions.
My students created a pollinator garden at our school and when the first butterfly appeared last week I thought of that monkey. It didn't swing from trees, but rather flew from one flower to another very quickly and in no apparent order. The kids were amazed.
Back in the library, we thought of that beautiful, busy butterfly. Could it help us to quiet our bodies and brains?
If the thoughts are a butterfly, and there are so many plants to land on, how do you choose where to rest?
Let's figure it out using this week's prompts.
LUMI SIT: Butterfly Mind
Eventually, the butterfly will settle. It will find the plant with the best pollen, spot...