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...
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...
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...
You can't blame the people of Long Island. Until recently, most cultural, literary, and historic landmarks were hard to find. As a reader of blog posts with Whitman in the title you might not believe me, but it seems that more Long Islanders have heard of the Walt Whitman Mall than its namesake.
For the record, Walt Whitman was born on Long Island and the mall came second.
When my children were younger, I would explore the small grounds of his birthplace, have a picnic and visit the museum and interpretive center. So much has changed! The WWBA now offers regular programing and some are over zoom so visits can happen without leaving your house.
I wrote the poem "Concrete Walt" with all of our multitudes in mind. In the spirit of Whitman, I imagined the Indigenous Long Islanders, the sailors and farmers, shoppers at the mall across the street, bugs and birds hiding in trees, the pollution below. All of it.
The land where the mall sits...
When have you been a beginner? It can be a little bit scary, but also exciting and invigorating to be brand new at something. Yoga teaches us how to approach arriving on the mat each day with a new attitude. Holding a beginner's mind can help us perform better as writers and teachers too. Do you agree?
Grab your journal and watch this 1 minute video to guide your writing. It worked for me and I hope you find it helpful too.
I look forward to hearing your ideas!
With warm seasonal wishes,
Even if you are not a teacher or a parent, you still can feel a back-to-school kind of energy in the air. Everyone seems to be running around trying to settle back into the routine of learning and more structured days.
If you are looking for quick ways to stay calm, focused, and find joy the work day, please watch my video.
Thank you and have an amazing 2022-2023 school year!
After working with thousands of students over the years, I know for certain that most people believe they do not have enough time, talent, or energy to live the life of their dreams. I also know it's just not true!
Keeping a journal helps us to consider our deepest desires, dreams, goals and challenges. People love writing in journals, but where to start? If you feel overwhelmed or unable to connect to the part of you that has big dreams, The Writing Yoga® Method can help. It is based upon the philosophy that life does not have to be overwhelming and complicated. In fact, we work best when feeling healthy, confident, and joyful!
Here are some simple things you can do NOW to get started with a dream-building and journal writing practice.
Before you start writing in your journal, take a "Lumi Breath." This is what I tell my young students and this is what I will say to you. A Lumi Breath is a deep breath that makes you feel luminous. When you take a...
Can you hear those sleigh bells starting to ring? Does the thought of the approaching holidays bring on some stress? Break out your journal and write for some instant stress-relief!
Yoga philosophy teaches us to listen to our instincts, stay focused, be a warrior for what matters, and show compassion for ourselves and others. These are great skills to help thrive during challenging times.
If it's been a while since you have felt healthy, creative and calm, here are some lessons from the yoga mat. Think of these words throughout the day and whenever you pick up a journal to write.
Mrs. Diller made me feel like I could do anything. It was first grade and we had class pets, peanut butter cookies, and lots of granola because nobody seemed to have allergies or be afraid of carbs back then. We had tables set up in each corner of the room. There was a red table with velvet cloth, a blue table with blue cellophane and a green table filled with plants in macramé holders. We had plenty of time to read and use crayons and imagination. We stretched during our morning circle. My teacher helped me to embrace myself and others. It was the best school year of my life.
Early teachers shape who we are. I see that now, and take my responsibility as an elementary school librarian very seriously. If my students love books, love to learn, and love each other, I will have helped shape who they are for the rest of their lives. It’s no small task and honestly, the responsibility scares me sometimes!
But it is a good reminder of how...