Checking In

Sitting now at a cafe with a group of strangers at a Shut Up & Write! Meetup. I’ve never attended a meetup anything before. I have attended silent writing groups before and thought it might be a good way to put some discipline into my writing practice. So here I am. 


Perhaps I’ll just start with a little free writing now to get the instrument warmed up. Let the fingers do what the fingers want to do. Let the eyes go into the blur and just relax my body. Pour a little more tea into the cup. Lick my lips. Feel my feet on the floor. Are my arms at a good height? Good enough. How’s the distraction level? Low. You can do this. Just write. How fucking hard does it have to be? It’s the thing you do. It’s the thing you’ve always done. It’s always here for you. Like now. Like always. Mind emptying onto page…


Unrequited love taking me down a path where negative seeds are watered. Bringing mindfulness to that situation. Calling on Thay’s teachings, and feeling weak when faced with habit energy. Knowing that change in condition helped in the past. 


Family tension inside my body dissipating. At dance workshop over the weekend. On day three I felt consumed by the thoughts of it, trying to dance it out and think through how to play the situation, like a chess game. I realized I was moving around a patch of floor like a chess board trying to outsmart my opponent. Unable to follow the facilitators' instructions. Feeling frustrated that being a member of my family requires this level of strategy and skill. Wanting to yank the board like I did as a teenager. Grateful that I can do that with my dance practice. I can bring in all the characters, and play out the patterns. Stomp and cry. After some time moving the pieces in my mind and with my feet, I was reminded of the dharma, and that it’s all empty. This situation is just something I’ve created and I can uncreate it. There is no self. It is my choice to put my attention on these disturbing patterns or to put peace, love, and compassion in my feet and move in the direction of nourishment. Once that came to me I was able to move across the floor to the other side of the crowded room. Peace, love, compassion. Once I reached the other side I felt free and light. Reminding myself that I can change the conditions at any moment. It’s all causes and conditions. 


Driving home Sunday feeling habit energy pulsing. I yielded. Disappointed. Mindful the entire time. Doesn’t help. Pushing myself to exhaustion, the only other option that meets habit energy. Forcing sleep and time to pass. 


Monday morning clarity. CHANGE THE FUCKING CONDITIONS! 


Step 1: Invite spirit children on retreat. Done. Likely won’t happen this year, but intention firm and in writing now.

Step 2: Purchase ticket to London. Done. Departing June 5.

Step 3: Write letter of intention for Experience Week at Findhorn. Done. Sent.

Step 4: Apply for Movement Medicine Summer Long Dance. Done. Accepted!

Step 5: Enroll in coaching training. Done. Beginning next week.


The other things that have occurred that seem relevant to take note of since returning to San Francisco:


  • Did a little editing of this messy site. Added ads. You should see one on this page to the right above tags.  If you see this, please click on an ad or two, and put a message in the comments about the ad you saw. I’m learning about how this works and would love feedback.
  • Morning group sits near home. Affirming the fact that I am a morning person and can make it early, and tend to not show up for the evening options around town (of just abut anything). 
  • Went to one Plum Village group sit in San Francisco. Loved it, but haven’t been back since timing isn’t great for my natural rhythm.
  • Went to one SF Zen sit. Sweet. Formal Japanese style.
  • Produced first Movement Medicine Workshop. Went well. Felt really good.
  • Asked to produce a three-day MM workshop next year. Plans underway for Jan 23 - 26, 2018.
  • Providing local support for vision healing class and workshop this weekend.
  • Offered support/consultation to three other workshop facilitators (none related to dance).
  • Accepted invitation to volunteer at the Plum Village Summer Family Retreat. This was a clear hell yes. It’s going to be an interesting challenge since I’m not into camping or kids. Hopefully, things will shift there. I feel honored to be asked and know there are lessons to be learned. Open.
  • Knowing I want to be more connected with my French cousins. Feel like it’s important to be there for a big celebration this summer, even if my attendance is brief. 
  • Spent a few weeks doing work trade in Ft. Bragg. Cured my desire to have a B&B of my own Loved being in the small town on the coast. Met lovely folks and felt connected quickly (that’s not unusual). 
  • Held a dear friend through a medical trauma.
  • Supported causes dear to my heart.
  • Home repair projects completed: washer dryer, shed, toilet. 
  • Brainstorming with one of my teachers about bringing choreographed movement to protests, as early as next month.
  • Continuing to be treasurer of my homeowner's association. Put a lot of time into that this past month. Moved our monies out of Wells Fargo, and into a credit union. Felt really good. Grateful for my Precita Palace community. 
  • Supported my Mom during her move from San Diego to Playa Vista. New chapter begins there.
  • Attended many dances. Aware of how lucky I am to be a member of this community of conscious movers. So grateful for this discovery.
  • Bought a new URL and have started working on a new website. Not ready for release. I need help with this!
  • Had a cold laser and Rolfing session on a Bemer mat that brought on quantum levels of healing. Amazed. 
  • Paid out of pocket for an MRI. Frustrated with the state of the American healthcare system.
  • Consulted with three orthopedic surgeons and one non-surgical orthopedist about my knee. Walked out on a fourth that had me waiting for over 80 minutes among an office of confused staff. Decided NOT to have surgery. Have set up sessions with multiple physical therapists to work on getting strong and in balance.
  • Trying to get my eye health regulated. They are extremely dehydrated, sore and unhappy. Makes me dread eye contact because I feel the way people react to the state of my puffy pained eyes, straining to show up.
  • Got clarity that I don’t want an office job right now.
  • Awareness of local issues: parking permits, pop-up homeless shelter, roots invading pipes.



Things I’d like to have done before returning to Europe:

  • Engaged/hired someone to support/design my new website (Vanilla Bean - if you’re seeing this - you’re hired).
  • Completed at least one, and hopefully two coaching modules.
  • Spent more time in nature, particularly in/on/near water. Maybe even my own garden! Garden direction needed.
  • Improve my overall hydration levels, which will support my eyes and joints.
  • Get into a good PT routine that I can sustain while traveling. 
  • Clean the living room windows.
  • Put some energy into home decorating.
  • Calm planning mind.
  • Dance.



Oh - and I recorded this video a few weeks ago. Posted it on facebook and figured I'd put it here so I can find it and so that it's easier to share. It's a little story about a learning experience I had at Plum Village in January. It has touched many people and feels right to share.