Writing, Yoga, Meditation, Retreats and SEL Professional Development
Register today for the next LIVE workshop!

Busted! But Officer, I was Having an Epiphany [Writing Prompt #217]

I was driving home from work when I suddenly and completely understood the mother of one of my characters. “Siri, take a note.” Bing.

I told my phone what she wore, the color of her bedspread, the pots and pans piling up in her kitchen sink. A fictional character was speaking to me. She was there right on Forest Avenue and I was lucky because I captured our ‘conversation’ with my voice recognition software. I didn’t even pause to breathe because pauses make Siri stop and save. I didn’t want to stop the thought or stop driving because I was having a full-blown epiphany! I was ecstatic!

Behind me, there was a Nassau County police officer.  My phone was in my hand. But I was not “talking on a cell phone.” I wouldn’t do that. It’s dangerous. I tell my kids how it is dangerous. People die from distracted driving. Could it be that I was breaking the law? Yep. $218 and 5 points on my license.

I didn’t know that talking...

Continue Reading...

When Must You Be a Warrior? [Writing Prompt #264]

Uncategorized Aug 23, 2020

When was the last time you felt really relaxed, calm, and centered? If you have a regular yoga and meditation practice, it might happen once a day. When you’re in the writing zone, cooking zone, or off on a run, you may forget yourself and feel as if you’re floating in a fluffy cloud. That’s what keeps me on the mat.

When was the last time someone really pissed you off? Even if you have a regular yoga and meditation practice, it can still happen more frequently than you would like. We live in an upside-down world where someone is always saying something stupid or doing something hurtful and wrong. You have a choice to take it personally or not, but sometimes we have to step in and speak up.

This is what it means to be a warrior. You have to be fierce and hold your position for as long as it takes to get the job done.  Sometimes not saying something is much worse than voicing what must be said, even if you wish someone else would say it instead of...

Continue Reading...

Do Vision Boards Work? [Writing Yoga® Mindfulness Prompt # 1001]

It used to be a big joke in my house. Mom’s got a vision board. Let them roll their eyes at me and my ‘little arts and crafts project.’ I don’t care. They work.

In 2015, I dreamed up beauty, wishes for my family, success and travel on a cheery pink piece of construction paper. I dreamed of love, determination, and kindness. It reminded me to live in the now and to practice all my practices daily (yoga, meditation, writing) wherever I go. Five years later, my vision is not exactly what I thought it would be, but life is definitely moving forward!

Why does it work? You see your goals happening as if they have already happened and a vision board helps to activate your imagination. Your brain can be fooled into thinking that what is sees is reality. It's a positive step toward the life of your dreams.

Week 2 Writing Yoga® Prompt:

Lumi Sit: Take 5 minutes to honor your inner dreamer. Close your eyes. See, touch, hear, smell and taste the life you will create....

Continue Reading...

The Art of Mess and Love: ‘Golden Venus of Rags’ vs. ‘Venus de Milo’ [Writing Prompt #210]

Venus stands in the middle of Dallas. She’s golden, glowing and powerful, but her bedroom is a mess. Could it be she has too much to wear? This artwork, Venere deglistracci dorata (Golden Venus of Rags), by Michelangelo Pistoletto was created between 1967-1971, long before Forever 21 sold disposable clothes.

I took this picture and sent it to my daughter by text, “This looks like your room.” Very funny, she said. But it’s true. It does.

What does it take to create beauty?  Naked, Venus is stunning. What transformation will be made by adorning rags? What is true beauty? What is excess? Do you really need all those clothes, Venus?

Write Venus a note. Begin something like this: Dear Venus, How far you have come from Botticelli’s shell. Or, Dear Venus, let’s sing to Bananarama and wear rubber bracelets up and down our arms. Or, Dear Venus, I’m sorry it took me so long to write, please forgive me for not understanding your...

Continue Reading...

Mothers, Mothering, and The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe [Writing Prompt #250]

Some of the best mothers I have ever known never gave birth. One is an artist who plays with legos and crayons on the floor at dinner parties with the host’s children. Another is a teacher who has raised thousands of children over her long career and now goes to her former student’s weddings.

There are some mothers who have many children but like the old women who lived in a shoe, these moms are totally overwhelmed. And there are the super organized mothers (they wouldn’t dare raise their children inside a boot!) who make it look easy, but that doesn’t mean it is.

Most of us, myself included, fall somewhere in between. No shoe. No every-project-my-child-does-in-school-is-stored-in-a-filing-cabinet either. I’m super proud of my two kids who are well into college and almost out into the world, but don’t take one day or even one minute for granted. Being a mother taught me how fast, scary, crazy, unpredictable, and wonderful life can be.

So…...

Continue Reading...

What Happened on the Roof? [Writing-Yoga Writing Prompt #223]

While standing on a line to a midtown diner in New York City (don't ask), I overheard a visitor from the South say, “Imagine if this was always your view of the sky?” She looked up, tried to find the horizon, but without it, she felt lost.  And I felt like I had been missing something my entire life. 

Maybe this is the reason we seek rooftops. That extra bit of sky, horizon, and light makes us feel a little less bemused.

A rooftop view is powerful. You are above it all. The worries are down below.

A rooftop is an ending. It is completion. It is the furthest a human can go in any one particular space of land before meeting the stars.

When was the last time you climbed up to the roof? Were you a teenager sitting on the shingles of a friend’s house? Did you race to the top of an abandoned building? Were you drinking a martini at a swanky rooftop bar?

How does it feel to be on top of the world? What discoveries can be made when it’s just you and the...

Continue Reading...

Cowboys and Pickle Carts [Writing Prompt #257]

A horse rides through the streets of Dallas. Soon he will be back on the range, dusting dirt off his jeans, but for now, he’s suspended in a painting on the 12th floor hotel wall.

I passed this cowboy on my way to the rooftop pool. He tipped his hat. At least I could have sworn he did.

The man pushing a pickle cart definitely tipped his hat. We were on Houston in New York’s lower east side. He was wheeling past, heading to Delancey and I was in 1899.

Every city has history and imaginary ghosts. What stories do the ghosts of your city tell?

I stood in front of the cowboy at the hotel. He would never have met the pickle man in New York City. I relate better to tenements than ranches, but both are far away from my life today. When we write about the past through the lens of a modern visitor, interesting things can happen in the mind and on the page. 

Lumi Sit:

Find a park bench in any town or city and visit it with your notebook.  Notice the people...

Continue Reading...

Yoga Journal Conference, NYC 2018. Masterclass with Master Teachers & How to Remove your Armor. [ Writing Prompt 266]

  One morning, I set an intention to go to the Yoga Journal Conference and just like that, a ticket somehow manifested for me on Facebook.  No joke. Cindy Mussman Valentine and Michele DeNocola of Yoga Shack in Bethpage had made an offer to donate a ticket and I was the lucky recipient.

The next day, I got a sub for my own class and arrived 30 minutes early for Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee's 8:30 am sequencing workshop. Question: Do I prop up against one of the pillars in the middle of the room, hide on the side, hide in back, or just go for it and put the mat right up front?

The workshop was like one long dance. I've taken many of their classes, online workshops, and yes, Rodney Yee's videos dating back to the VHS days over 20 years ago! Those two are a powerful, lovely team and when they alternate voices as one gives cues as the other adjusts students, it sounds like music and poetry.

Next up, a spring reset class with Jillain Pransky and live music by Scott...

Continue Reading...

Is the Torch Really Lit? A Writing Prompt on Labor Day

You have a better chance of visiting the Statue of Liberty if you DON’T live in New York than if you do. This post goes out to all the New Yorkers who can’t find time to visit and for rest of the world who is fascinated by the green lady with a very tired arm.

Zoom in to the fire. It’s copper, and covered with 24K gold that reflects the rays of the sun, but can’t you see it flicker? Can’t you smell it burn?

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor….

 

Thank you, Emma Lazarus. Now, it’s your turn to explore:

* What’s your torch?
* What do you carry around and wave for others to follow?
* Can you hold still and let the light find you?
* Who looks up to you?
* What responsibility does it hold?

Maybe you want to tell Lady...

Continue Reading...

A Table in the Clouds, after Robert Therrien [Writing Prompt #261]

Uncategorized Aug 07, 2017

I was in a castle. The castle was in the clouds. I stood under the giant’s table listening to the song of the harp and the sound of golden eggs dropping from a hen.

When was the last time you suspended belief and stepped into a fairy tale?

At The Broad art museum in Los Angeles last week, I walked under a table and all I could think about was Jack and the Beanstalk. I remember being a kid and sitting under the dining room table pretending it was a gingerbread house in the woods or a castle in the sky.

The artist, Robert Therrien, seems to want us to remember having that experience of living in the possibilities of the imagination. It worked.

Write about a setting from the point of view of a child. Pick a piece of furniture or object from your childhood. Crawl into a space that you would be too large for now. What does the world look like from there? How does it feel to be so small?


Done Writing?

Check out “Under the Table” by Robert Therrien here: ...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.