Love Hard

Love Hard

How do we live in the now?

How do we suck all the marrow out of the present?

How do we release from the past and future?

By loving it hard.


By loving hard

We welcome all

We embrace all

We thrive on all feeling 

On feeling all

The joyous and jubilant parts

And the crushingly painful parts.


We love hard by enjoying others

With all their flare

With all their quirks and ticks

With all their magnificence and glory.


We thrive on the rich nectar of the present flowering

With this passionate pouring into.

We fuel on the fantastic beauty of the radical affirmation of what is

By our devoted ardor.


We love hard by suckling at grace’s impartial, nonjudgmental

Cascading flow of milky, pulpy life.

We feed and grow on the dalliance of the fleeting,

yet indelible



We love hard by going all in

Again and again.

Even after losing

Again and again.

This is how we win

Again and again.


We love hard by cherishing and relishing in

The little occurrences

The grand happenstances 

The mundane of the middle.


We love hard by risking 

And stepping into the fullness

Of possibility.


We love hard by putting ourselves


Into the vulnerability of freedom

The vulnerability of loss

The vulnerability of awakening.


We love hard

Because intimacy is our deepest connection

With others

With source

With life 

With death

And resurrection.


We love hard by learning to fly without wings 

By soaring too high

By swooping too low

And navigating the turbulence even during a straight path.


We love hard by riding the wild emotional pendulum with

Fantastic highs and crummy lows

Crossing paths, on occasion, with the stoics

Who’ve mitigated a safe middle passage.


We love hard by igniting the flames of passion

By stoking the fire

Basking in the brilliance of too much

By allowing them to smolder

And crave for more.


We love hard by bursting on the scene

Fully ready for triumphant glory

And dastardly defeat.


We love hard by baring all

For all to see 

For all to feel

Even if all is only one.


We love hard because we choose to radiate 

Because we choose to experience 

Because we choose to feel.


We love hard when the stakes are high 

And not at all.

We love hard because we know the stakes 

And take them anyway.


We love hard because we can.

Because why not?

Because there is everything to lose 

And everything to gain.


Loving hard is that choice 

That presents itself 

Again and again

Over and over.


Loving hard

Is laughing loudly

Is crying intensely

Is holding tightly 

Is letting go swiftly.


It’s full throttle

At breakneck, 



It’s all encompassing 

To smithereens.


Loving hard...

Let’s roll.

Sometimes It's Not All Good...

Sometimes It's Not All Good...

A teacher of mine once asked in a light-hearted way: what in your experience lends you to believe that it’s all good?  Up to this point, I was outwardly happy with my new age, “it’s all good; human nature is all love; it all happens for a reason,” philosophy.  Deeper though, I felt something was off about this concept.  It wasn’t until the delivery of this query that I could no longer bullsh*t with myself about what was really going on.


Time to investigate a bit…


Where did this idea come from anyway?  Who said it?  Why was I, and so many others, believing, defending and living by it?  Aren’t the yogic, spiritual, positive, personal growth and development ones of us supposed to be compassionate, kind, loving and happy all the time?  At least on the outside, right?  I mean, it’s what we talk about, strive for, teach others — and I can certainly justify it. 


I wonder how often we shape the world around us to fit the narrative that is rolling around in our head.   I wonder how long I’ve been sunny-ing things that are grey and dim, just to try to convince myself that they aren’t the way they actually are.   


Why is it that I want them another way anyway? 


Why is it that they can’t just be the way they are? 


What’s really at stake here… my control issues, my personal philosophy, my world view, my reputation…? 


My it’s all good belief structure was rattled because many things in my experience appeared — truthfully — otherwise.   Now, must I change my limping philosophies of rosy-ing things up to come to a deeper acceptance of what I am actually experiencing.  Was this “oh… it’s all good,” somehow a quiet attempt to make myself feel ok with what actually doesn’t feel ok? 


Seems as though I could explain away anything with this model and willingly ignore the troubles of the world or deeper still, my troubles within.  I’m not sure how many times I’ve tried to tell myself:

I’m happy, when I’m not —

I’m peaceful, when I’m not —

I’m good, when I’m not —

Was I trying to save face?  Was I trying to manage the woes of my journey by plastering on a smile, just because I read somewhere that smiling improves mood?  What’s underneath when I peel off the mask?


I find the seed of the all love mindset rather important actually.  Swinging the scale from a rather in your face world that is competitive, commercial, unfriendly, fierce, difficult and/or scary can be a useful reprieve even if it’s momentary or imaginary.  Lightening the load with “love and light” can pacify and placate, but, again, is it actually true?  If not, what’s really going on?  Or, wait I minute, must I change?


If it is all good, would I lock my door, set an alarm, look over my shoulder or hang up on a telemarketer?  If it is all love wouldn’t we see it on the news, on the highway, in a political debate or at a sporting event?  If it is all gravy, would war exist, people starve, or…?


This new age aphorism, now seems a bit like a handsome beast. 


What I realized during this personal inquiry was that I was living in a dualistic paradigm of sorts.  Good/bad, right/wrong, black/white, light/dark.  Based on what I’ve experienced, it’s an “and” world.  It’s both good and bad, right and wrong…  The slow and steady release from this mindset allowed me to accept all of my edges.  I became empowered to accept all of the parts of myself that I had caste out because they were “bad.”  To a certain extent, I didn’t even know I was doing it.  Why live in internal fragmentation, when I could have it all?  Isn’t that what the human experience is about anyway, feeling the spectrum, being inclusive and connected?


To judge, based on our brain biases, lands us in a world of separation.


The teaching a sage once offered me was that the yogi, artist, essence of self… stands behind, beyond, apart from (but connected to) thoughts, feelings and experiences.  It’s the witness that knows neither sadness nor joy, fear nor courage, love nor hate, black nor white... it, simply, observes.  They are things “it” experiences. 


This poses an interesting concept because the universe is no longer moral or immoral, good or bad, black or white — its is both and neither.  A paradox.  It is amoral.  It is situational and subjective.  It is infinite shades of gray.


Where to go from here now that I’ve cracked my rose glasses?  There’s gotta be peace in here somewhere.  Perhaps being at peace means being fluid, accepting and content with what is, without grafting our belief systems onto its is-ness to make it better.


Radical self-acceptance means having the willingness to accept things as they are.  Loving them because of their ugliness and crunchiness and discomfort. 


So, all good, all love, all gravy, all happens for a reason, all light — is it really?  Perhaps maybe, hopefully… now wouldn’t that be nice.



Sometimes it's not all rosy.

Sometimes it's not all good.

Sometimes things just don't turn out

The way we think they should.


We try,

And work,

And give it our best.

We toil,

And trouble

Without much rest.


Life deals blows,

Bruises and bangs.

It’s gnarly with claws, fists

And great big fangs.


We march forward. 

We travel further. 

Are we there yet?

How much farther?


Sometimes lemonade is not an option 

When god is hurling lemons at our head.

Perhaps it's best to duck and cover

And simply hide instead.


Sometimes the rainbows are brown

And the unicorns are stabled. 

Sometimes tragedy

Ends a story so fabled.


The suffering, the pain…

Sometimes it's a disaster.

Do this and do that

Practice, practice

And you'll become a master.


Excruciating moments,

Confused and twisted,

Losing our breath

Like it never existed.


The strife in our world

Can make us upset

And oh, so sad —

War, conspiracy and disaster —

I want to be happy,

But I feel just mad.


Can't we just have peace?

Can't we just have fun?

Despite our greatest efforts

It never seems to get done.


The sun isn’t always shining,

Especially when the clouds roll in.

It certainly dampens the light

Grey and grim, cold and dim.


Whomever is happy all the time

Has something I want to know.

Is it something innate

Or can it be learned?

I want to be great!

I want to grow.


The pulse of life

Is ups and downs.

Laughter and tears.

Smiles and frowns.


Perhaps, I’m blessed to feel such highs and lows.

I guess this means that I’m fully alive,

If emotional journeying is part of the show,

Time to awaken and learn to thrive.


Perhaps one day I’ll find it’s all good

All rosy and nice and fun and sweet

In the mean time, I’ll ride the waves

To experience it all

And revel in the company I meet.


Advanced Yogi

Advanced Yogi

You know you’re an advanced yogi when you can

                        laugh when you fall over while trying to balance.

                        settle into child's pose when you're tired.

                        grab a block, after 15 years of practice, for triangle pose.

                        admit you can't do some advanced posture, while teaching a class of people who        can.


You know you’re an advanced yogi when you can

                        breathe into your belly when waiting in a long line at the grocery store.

                        meditate on an airplane.

                        accept your anger when driving in traffic.

                        compassionately and kindly manage children when you're hungry.


You know you’re an advanced yogi when you can

                        admit to yourself that levels only apply to skyscrapers.

                        unhook from being advanced.

                        fart in class and not blame it on the person next to you.

                        cry during savasana.


You know you’re an advanced yogi when you can

                        sit up straight at the dinner table.

                        go to a family reunion and enjoy every moment.

                        have a political, sports, sex, food and religious conversation without taking sides,                                    

                                  becoming self-righteous or combative.


You know you're an advanced yogi when

                         the pose becomes secondary and the feeling primary.

                         doing yoga, going to yoga, and/or practicing yoga goes away and you just are.


You know you're an advanced yogi when you can

                        accept yourself for exactly who you are, as you are, when you are.


You know you're an advanced yogi when

                       you dissolve

                               and we remain.




Open Mind

Open Mind

What is an open mind?

One that re-invents itself

upon meeting some new insight,

without a fright?

It ponders, pokes and prods:

maybe there is truth here?

Oh my, oh dear,

this is not what I want to hear?

Maybe, this could be real?

How does it taste,

how does it feel?

Must I now waste and replace

my old with something new?

Does it make sense?

How do I recompense?


Oh no(!),

I must forgo

my beliefs

and concepts

and ideals

to allow for alternative reals.

I reel,

in loss and confusion,

was I living in delusion?


Fake and fragile

my concepts break



The mind is torn, sliced, spliced and diced

with visions of newness and expansion and opportunity.

Wonder and awe and truth so bold,

the accoutrements of possibility

trimmed and dressed for all to behold.

Must I re-create(?)



For everything is fair play, everything in the game,

there is no shame or blame

to box-in with society's square frame.

Pandora, busting with curiosity, unleashes beastly designs

of an unendentured mind.

Looking on with wonder and amazement and even fright

it might be hard to delight

in the mystery of the unexplained.


Yes, ok, cool, interesting, hmmm

I am loose and free and open,

so here's to holpen.

Investigate the grand wide-open,

break free,

break through

cease(!), stop the mental doping

and re-open,

again and again.


Do I have the ability to accept change(?)

to re-arrange

a mind(?)

that might be deranged.

If I do,

I might just learn something new,

or remember something old.


Open and receive.

Open and receive.

A mind that is

open, yet skeptical

can believe

in anything

and not be fooled

or tooled

by the fabric of the mind’s stories’ spool.


Deciphering and discerning

diaphanous and learning

lucid and yearning

to be bent and toppled

and untrain any engrained drains

on the receptors for expansion

revolution and evolution.


Agile and soft

the open mind is a landing

and a launch pad

for delightful, cascading

cosmic creation –

a celebration,

a toss,

a cheer

and a round of a applause

to the kind

of mind


to shine.


* Image By Norbert, Gertrude and Chuck

* Image By Norbert, Gertrude and Chuck

Band Cohorts

Band Cohorts

This is my band of cohorts, my compadres.

My fellow schemers and dreamers.

My tribe, posse, parliament and parade.

My brothers and sisters.  

My mothers, fathers, nieces and nephews.

My elders and youngers.

My friends, folk, kin, and gaggle.

It's my pack, group, gang, clique, and cartel.

It’s my band.


We are thinkers and tinkers,

inventors and renters.

We laugh loudly and often

rousing rebels

and skipping pebbles.

We make fun out of the mundane,

we act insane

with our fortune and fame.

We wrestle and cuddle

and play in the mud.

Playing and jesting

while jiving and thriving

we contrive, wonder and desire.

We inspire and encourage,

educate and enhance.

We charm and romance

the rhythm of life

and the joy of being happy.

We tread lightly and brightly

on the serious goo and the smelly poo.


It is true

this consortium is made of me and you.

We see things through

to the finish, “to the end.”

Our path is winding,

it curves and bends.

Smooth and steady

all are called when dinner is ready.

We dine in a group, a gaggle, a pack

there is plenty for all

with nothing to lack.

We snack on the quorum

of quid and quo

imagining a future

with lofty glow.


If you need us

we are surfing cloud 9,

enjoying the cushiony breeze

feeling fine.

We shine

superly, duperly, and dandy indeed.


It is time to roll on

with God-speed

and Goddess-deed

the Great Spirit we feed,

our universal creed –

each other is all we need.


Come on.

Come along.

It is the group

that makes us strong.

Let go

and have some fun

in the sun,

rain and snow,

which ever way the wind blows –

all we need is us,

so off we go.


Band of Cohorts copy.jpg

Squeeze The Skin

Squeeze The Skin

Take 1:

            Squeeze the skin

            A hug, an embrace is how it begins

            Full and warm

            Safe from harm

            Ahhh, the comfort

            Of loving arms


Take 2:

            To greet those you love

            Press the flesh

            To express

            The motion of the heart

            Compress the skin

            Of your kin


Take 3:

            Press the flesh

            Hug the ones you love

            And the ones that love you

            And ones that are new

            And the ones made of gold

            That are ancient and old


Take 4:

            Hugs from the heart

            Hugs from the soul

            Make us filled-up and whole

            Our worries and cares

            Drift away

            Couldn’t we stay, here all day


Take 5:

            From mamas and papas

            Sisters and brothers

            Friends and strangers

            Companions and lovers

            All discover, all uncover

            How sweet it is to smother


Take 6:

            Press the flesh

            Squeeze the skin

            It’s easy, just jump right in

            Just do it, it feels really good

            Spread it around the neighborhood


Take 7:

Ensconced with embrace,

Surrounded by beauty

Nothing like a tender clutch

Now, that’s not really asking much

Just a sweetly simple touch


Take 8:

            Science even proves it so

            The more we hug

            The more we grow

            Brain chemicals are released

            Making us reside more in peace


Take 9:

            Try it

            Do it

            See how it goes

            When we’re skin to skin

            Everyone wins


Take 10:

            Having and holding           

            A truth unfolding

            On the surface

            Is a heavenly purpose

            For all to cling