Jump in a jalopy, splash at the shore, or kick up the grass and go on foot because it's time to get outside and do something different. Whenever you feel as if you're standing still or moving backwards, try changing directions. Move forward differently.
What is one area of your life you would like to change? When we sit quietly, answers often appear as if by magic.
LUMI SIT: Summer Stillness
Relax, the days are getting longer in the Northern Hemisphere. Is there a question that has been weighing on your mind? Write it down. Close your eyes and breathe. Notice thoughts and feelings that arise. Do you feel sad, angry, betrayed? Emotions can only hurt if we give them the power to do so. As you sit quietly, imagine the ocean. We are so small in the big ocean. Take a thought and drop it into the sea. Repeat. Relax. Breathe.
When you are done, imagine any negative thoughts on an adventure. Use...
Studies show having FOMO, aka Fear of Missing Out, can increase anxiety and depression. The US surgeon general just released a report on how especially bad it is for kids. Social media, of course, is largely to blame.
No wonder; it seems like everyone on social media has the most fabulous clothes, hair, makeup and friends. They are wildly successful. And here you are just trying to get through the day.
I keep this quote near my desk, "Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." - Carl Jung
What does that mean to you? To me, it's understanding that we have the inner capability to do our best work in the world. The light is within us.
This week, go within. Experience JOMO, the joy of missing out!
LUMI SIT: Find a Place You Love and Go Alone or With Someone You Love
You don't have...
If you have ever visited or lived near a river, lake or marsh on North America, you have seen herons. With snaking necks that snap up prey, you never know when they will strike. All the while they manage to look so graceful and calm.
Most of their time is spent waiting. They don't rush, they don't run, they simply lift up one leg at a time to walk to fertile territory. With precision and a sword-like beak, they grab a fish, eat and walk away.
Few of us can wait as patiently as the heron. This week, we will explore some of their teachings as we sit, write and move in a real or imagined waterside habitat.
Be like the heron. Wait. Make a move. Walk away. Repeat.
LUMI SIT: Be the Heron
Set aside 5-10 minutes for this mindfulness activity. Find a quiet place to sit. If you have access to a park with a lake or beach, try this prompt in that setting. Close...
Before Covid, I taught several yoga classes a week and was either presenting Writing Yoga® workshops or planning them during every second of my spare time. I miss my yoga students! But I had no time to focus on doing the work I was meant to do. Now, I can serve even more people, take time to practice yoga and write more poems too.
Just a few lifestyle tweaks can work big magic. Mothers tend to be major multi-takers who put the self-care task at the bottom of the list. Mothers mother. It's what we do. Teachers, nurses, your BFF might mother you too.
The Writing Yoga® method is a powerful way to connect with your creative self, feel healthy and inspired, and still live a peaceful life. There are many working parts but ANYONE can do the essentials: 1) SIT & relax 2) WRITE in a journal and 3) MOVE the body in some way each and every day. Ultimately, they make us feel LUMINOUS or "Lumi" for short. Aka: Lumi Sit, Lumi Write & Lumi...
Who was the best writing teacher you ever had? What did they do to inspire you and get your thoughts onto the page?
A classroom community can elevate your thoughts, synchronize ideas, and produce profound writing. As educators, we have to work hard to NOT interject what we think. The best teachers are facilitators.
Does holding class outdoors make nature the true facilitator? Yes. If you are a teacher, leave the desks inside, grab some clipboards, unplug and write.
If you are not a teacher, leave the office at least once a day. I know you are busy, but nature has a way of making us more productive. City parks count as nature, so no excuses. If you find this to NOT be the case, I'll buy you a cup of coffee.
SIT: The Air in the Outdoor Classroom
The majestical poet and professor Marie Howe took 100 of us outside at the...
Greetings Readers, Teachers, Yogis and Librarians!
Library Week and Poetry Month both fall in April and with all of the yoga classes popping up at libraries over the past few years, you will have plenty of opportunities to sit, write and move! This is the special formula from the Writing Yoga® method that can help you to live a calmer, more creative and compassionate life. Each Wednesday there is a new prompt to help you do just that. Scroll down to get right to it.
When I was a kid, the library was my favorite place to be. It was quiet and calm and I could read all day long without interruption. When was the last time you got to do ANYTHING without interruption? Mindfulness was not in the dictionary back then, but the world moved slower without the Internet. Libraries today still have one of the few quiet public places anywhere. So take time this week to sit and mindfully read in your favorite chair or at the library. Maybe even try a...
The cranky man on the supermarket line has a lot to say about you and the terrible state of the world. Everything is going to "hell in a handbasket." The lines on his face detail decades of serious frowning. When someone he knows says, "Hi, how are you today?" The man replies, "Could be better" and goes on to list all the terrible things in his life and the world.
Of course it could be better and there is plenty wrong with the world, but what if you never answered, "I'm great, how are you?"
My nephew always answers this way, "I'm great! How are you?" It makes me smile and say, "I'm great too." Even if I am not great, at that moment I feel great, because optimism is contagious. Our brains go with the information we put inside them. Our bodies follow those instructions. You make your own instruction manual. Are your instructions: a) be great or b) go to "hell and an handbasket."
I am not encouraging forced happiness, fake laughter, and blind positive thinking. That can...
If you know me well, you know I am a tropical climate kind of human. You don't see turtles and egrets walking in snow. My family has been coming down to Florida for decades, not in a fancy kind of way, but in a swim in the gulf, grill some veggies and walk on the Pinellas Trail kind of way.
On a walk in this breezy easy part of Southwest Florida, a turtle blended in with the grass. Unexpectedly large, totally still, and hanging steady on the lawn, we watched her for a while. Was she alive? Where did she come from? How did she get here?
While we studied her shell, she suddenly turned her head at us and ran away.
Great to meet you turtle, glad you are on your way to bigger and better things.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2005: Keep Going, Turtle
SIT: Be the Turtle
Turtles can remain still for a very long time. How long can you sit before you need to adjust your shirt, scratch an itch or change your posture. In Transcendental Mediation, a...
Much of the year, most of us live and work in climate controlled environments. Bugs are not welcome. Spring invites us to get outside and create.
In the school where I work as a librarian, the kids are developing a native pollinator garden. I didn't even know it was a thing! The idea is to plant native flowers and hopefully attract native insects and birds to pollinate them. It involves dirt. The delicate among us might complain, but we will work together as a community to make it happen. The majority of my students do not have ancestors who know what the soil looked like 500 years here. Nature returns to Long Island.
Our students are anxious to plant, but the soil needs to be prepared. We are turning over grass and putting down organic mulch. The hardest part of it all is being patient! The ground is ready but the air is not.
What are you preparing for now? How do you stay patient when all you want to do is get close to the ground and plant?
A recent challenge with a coworker left me reeling. I often hear from clients and colleagues about serious challenges, inequities and outright mean-spirited behavior that they must deal with on a daily basis. Maybe that is you? I rarely experience conflicts and live in a way that makes conflict rare, but as a human, it can and will happen.
In this situation, I compromised, but also took a good look at myself. What could I do better? How can I validate their experience? Were they right? Well, no, they were out of line, outright wrong, but does it matter?
Acceptance is key. Having healthy outlets like yoga and a meditation practice discharge the negativity of others and so after steaming about the conflict and the injustice of it all, I am back in balance. I said what I needed to say, left them to think about it, and let-it-go.
Reading the Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell, really helps me think about balance and how to live in a...