Friday, October 30, 2015


     Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop it!
     As a yoga teacher, I see a lot of the self-defeating habit of comparison. We do classic sun salutations (a flowing sequence of several yoga postures) in nearly all my classes. They are always the same, and I usually lead the students through them. Occasionally I say to them, "Do a sun salutation on your own at your own pace." Comparison bursts onto the scene. What if I don't do it right? What if I'm slower than so-and-so? I can't do it myself. On and on.
     There will always be someone smarter, quicker, richer, thinner, more creative, whatever (!!) than you or me. Each of us has plenty of challenge being who we are--there is no time or energy to waste trying to be someone else.
     One way to notice the ugly habit of comparison is if the words "should" or "shouldn't" are invading your thoughts or spoken word. These indicate dissension between how you want to be or behave and how you think you ought to be or behave, based on some comparison. For example, I really want to go to my local coffee shop and read, relax and have coffee. But I should clean the house so that my weekend guests will think I'm as good a housekeeper as they are. There's lots of stress involved in this scenario. Can I live with a not-so-perfect house? What will my guests think? How clean is clean enough? It's irritating that I can't do what I really want to do. On and on.
     See? Comparison is endlessly self-defeating. Stop it!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Joy in Kansas

     My friend Phil and I went on another of our favorite adventures yesterday... a day trip to a new-to-us spot in Kansas. It was so nice to have time to visit during the drive and not be on any time agenda.
     We started out at Carriage Crossing in Yoder having a yummy breakfast. We held off on a morning piece of pie. Then we drove to Sterling so that Phil could see what a lovely town it is and so we could investigate the beautiful Sterling College.
     We backtracked a bit and went to Quivira Wildlife Refuge. While we didn't see any whooping cranes, we did see several varieties of waterfowl. I was most impressed, actually frightened, by how little water there was in this wetlands area. Water levels were really low and there were very large areas so dry that the ground was cracked. It reminded me not to take water for granted.
     Next we drove to Hudson to visit the Hudson Flour Mills, home of our favorite flour, Hudson Cream. While we were not there on a tour day, we were able to see the informational film about the history of the Mills and how they make the Cream flour. It's a very interesting and involved process.
     Our (late) lunch stop was in Stafford at The Gathering Place where we had an excellent lunch, including the day-trip-requisite pie, coconut cream (Phil) and peanut butter (me). Heaven! Then to our complete delight, right next to the restaurant was a Mercantile. Not only did it have most everything one could think of, but there was also an old-fashioned soda fountain at the back of the store. It was a trip back in time, like going to the old 5&10.
     Then we headed back to Wichita. I am so grateful I live here. The soil is fertile, the spaces wide open, the people friendly, the sky magnificent. We are blessed!
     Go explore your world, be it Kansas or some other state. You DO have time, and you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."  Henry David Thoreau

     I am about to mark 60 years on the planet, so "old" has been in my mind a lot. I don't feel old, and this Thoreau quote gave me the reason why. I am enthusiastic about life.
     I am also quite enthusiastic about baseball. This year, not one, but TWO, as in BOTH my favorite teams are in the playoffs. The Cubs and the Royals. I am in baseball nirvana. Pretty often I don't even get one team in, but two?!?!? I am wildly enthusiastic. My brother even called this afternoon to congratulate me!
     I am enthusiastic about yoga, both practicing and teaching it. It has made a huge difference in my life, my spirit, and my body. It has brought the most amazing and wonderful and loving people into my life. What's not to love?
     I am enthusiastic about my family. I am blessed with an awesome husband and two terrific sons. I am dedicated to staying fit and healthy and hope that someday I may have grandkids to play with. There's some long-term enthusiasm for you!! :)
     I am enthusiastic about people. I enjoy smiling. I love to brighten someone's day with a "good job" or "thank you." Simple, kind interactions are the things a joyous life is made of.
     Ponder enthusiasm in your life. Get yourself jazzed up. I'm betting you'll feel younger!
             Coming to you from baseball nirvana,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

More on Perfectionism

     I continue to be distressed over the insidiousness of the mental obsession with perfectionism that is rampant in our society.
     "Everyone's striving for God, when they haven't even found their humanness yet." The late Goswami Kriyananda.
     Children are taking their own lives because they aren't "good enough." One more activity in my already too-crammed schedule will make me a better human, "perfect." People are isolating from others lest those others find out that their kids/marriage/job/financial situation/whatever isn't perfect. The fear of not appearing perfect stifles many a creative idea, opportunity for learning, and pursuit of one's passion.
     Yes, it takes one to know one. I am a recovering perfectionist, raised by a card-carrying perfectionist, who, truth be told, was a regular, full-scale human mess. (I did love, and still love my mom!)
     In my introductory statements to new students in my yoga classes, I say, among other things, "It's OK to laugh, it's OK to fart, it's OK to laugh if you fart, and it's OK to laugh if someone else farts." I often get appalled looks. Fart in public? NEVER!!! One of the reasons I love yoga is that it gets us in touch with our human bodies, with all the mystery and goofiness they have to offer. Really, if you are too uptight to fart in public, you may want to contemplate perfectionism in your life.
     Ironically enough, I think we all know intellectually that there is no such thing as "perfect." We know everyone makes mistakes, and I expect we can all recall something (many things?) really dumb that we've done. We came here to explore life, and it's a practice, every single moment. We have to keep breathing, cleaning, mowing the lawn, eating, walking, on and on--everything we do is a practice. Imagine if a baby, upon taking it's first step and falling, said, "Well, I can do that walking thing, so no more trying that for me!"
     I encourage you to pay attention to your thoughts. Key phrases evident of perfectionism include:
Not good/smart/young/old/rich/talented enough for ...
What will people think?
I might fail...
I can't...
So-and-so may not approve...
We don't do that in our family...
     Finding more of my humanness every day,