Life and Living

Be ‘Home’ for the Holidays

When I was a child, I loved the holidays for the stuff—candy, cookies, advent calendars, and, of course, presents. As a young adult, I wanted perfect situations: everyone feeling good, looking good, doing good deeds. This got so stressful that by midlife, I decided that I’d just focus on finding peace. I called it going Home for the holidays—not home as in a geographic location, but my real Home: a state of calm, relaxed being.

I didn’t expect much from this new practice of Homing, just a little stress relief. But it turned out I’d stumbled into some real holiday magic. [...]

What You Need to Know to Age Beautifully

I was lying on the floor with my eyes closed, diligently practicing a yoga posture called shivasana (“corpse pose”). Some say that this is the hardest to master, but I thought I was doing pretty well. Not to boast, but yoga teachers often take me for dead no matter what pose I’m attempting.

Anyway, as I lay there a random idea came to me. “How strange,” I thought, “that this body had three children.” Then I realized that it actually hadn’t. Since all our atoms are replaced every seven years, not an atom of the body I have now was present when [...]

Time to Transform

Any normal year, I’d be prepping for my annual pilgrimage to this place: Londolozi, South Africa. This year, though I can’t go there, Londolozi is helping me see this pandemic in a different light.

In the 1970s, two South African teenagers named Dave and John Varty were devastated by the sudden death of their father. The boys were advised to sell the family’s barren cattle farm in the bushveld. Instead, they decided to try something they called “restoring Eden.” Not realizing how crazy this idea was, the Vartys spent years repairing the terrain and waterflow, bringing native plants back to [...]

Like Violets in Early Spring

So in spite of everything, violets are blooming in the forest around my house. One day there were none, the next day, they’re everywhere.

I’ve been chatting about this with Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book BIG MAGIC, Liz cites a mathematician whose father told him to publish his ideas quickly, because “When the time is right for certain things, they appear at different places, in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.”

In science this is called “multiple discovery.” It happens a lot: calculus, oxygen, and evolution were discovered at the same time by different scientists.

Well, last week, [...]

Anti-Anxiety Practices

“Tell me,” wrote poet Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Which led meme genius, Sarah Lazarus, to ask, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious month between Covid waves?”

I laughed when I read this. Nervously.

We’re all a little nervous these days. In fact, many of us are flat-out panicked. Mental health studies show that diagnosed anxiety disorder has quadrupled during the pandemic. But just as we can minimize our risk of viral infection, we can reduce our anxiety with a few simple practices.

Anti-Anxiety [...]

There’s a Circle Around You

I want to tell you a little story that I hope will give you hope and comfort.

At a time when everything in my life was falling apart—my body, my finances, my family—I got onto a plane and sat down in a window seat. The shades were down to keep the Arizona heat out of the plane.

Sitting there with nothing to do, overwhelmed by panic and sorrow, I rummaged in my travel backpack for gum and found a little meditation book someone had given me on a previous trip.

I opened the book to a random page and found instructions for [...]

Site Design Lilt Creative
Development Alchemy + AIM