A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

In January, as many of us do, I began a new exercise regime. I made a plan to meet my middle daughter at a 7:30am yoga class. Unaware of the time it would take to travel across the city on the first day of school after the holiday break, I was surprised I arrived to find the class door still open and time to spare. 

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She's Not Mine, by guest blogger Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

It’s 4:30 in the morning. Actually it’s 4:33, but who’s counting?

Obviously, I am.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m up because I’m committed to my yoga, or that I just finished my hour-long meditation practice, but if you’ve read this post here, or if you have known me for more than a week, you know that anything that requires “practice” is not going to happen.

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My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Driving into Arches National Park in Utah, I have this joyous feeling: I have never been so happy in my life! I am with my beloved husband and two glorious grandsons. It is a precious time.

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Ma Is Dying, by Guest Blogger David J Saffold

Ma Is Dying, by Guest Blogger David J Saffold

Tuesday, Crying Again!

This morning I found my eighty-four-year-old mother sleeping with her legs hanging off one side of the bed.  She has gotten much weaker and can't pull her legs up onto the bed anymore.  She could last week, why not this week?  She cries out in pain as I pull her to sitting position - I have to hold her back so she doesn't fall back on the bed.  Everything with her is a chore - hard labor!  I flinch when her pain makes her cry out.  Her hip muscle has stretched from lying like that all night.  I finally get her to her recliner and get some Tylenol down her throat.  “Ouch, ouch, ouch, everything hurts” is the song she is constantly singing.  I beg her to eat something but can only convince her to drink a little vitamin drink.  So I sit down on the couch and my eyes well up with tears.  I have a great urge to cry just like I cried yesterday morning.  I don't know what to do and nobody else knows either.  I am helpless and don't like being helpless - so I cry.  I guess I am not the tough-guy I like to think I am.

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The Light and The Dark, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

The Light and The Dark, by Susan Austin-Crumpton
"Sometimes shadows are the only light we see."    
                                   - Leo Kotke

It was my birthday.

I was at a Leo Kotke concert with my sweet husband and family.  The guitar music poured over me with quiet joy and contentment.  I was happy, the venue was just right, we were sitting almost in front, and it felt intimate and joyful.

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Awareness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Awareness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Before my mother died she said to me; “I wish you could stop trying to fix yourself!  Why can’t you just be more like me?!”

I have a dining room cupboard filled with dishes and china from relatives who have long since died.  I never fully thought about whose they were because my younger sister remembered it all.
She died six years ago.
 

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Making Lemonade of Life’s Lemons, by Larkin Oates, MA

Making Lemonade of Life’s Lemons, by Larkin Oates, MA

As I travel through plush lemony woods, I trip on life’s lemons just like anyone else. Sometimes it is comically obvious I cannot see the citrus for the forest.

Recently, I have been so overwhelmed, it seems as if part of my brain is offline. I bump into furniture which I normally navigate unharmed, and I feel like I am functioning outside of the normal timeline. I strain to consider my choices in these lemony situations, and yearn to make the proverbial lemonade. However, my juice has no sweetener. I am worn to a nub, as is my partner. Although we are ‘cup half full’ people, our cup has a leak, and I feel our lives rapidly draining out of it.

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Under the Moon, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

Under the Moon, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

On Sunday, September 27 the world experienced a total lunar eclipse and super moon, a natural phenomenon that will not occur again until 2033.  When my children were young, I would keep them up past their bedtimes or wake them from a solemn sleep to witness various celestial events similar to the current lunar eclipse.  I was thrilled that one of my four children remember these adventures from their childhood with affection.  It was special to look up into the vast universe and witness these beautiful and mysterious occurrences with my children as we created educational and unique memories.

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Pippin's Quest for Meaning Reveals Enlightenment at Home, by Larkin Oates

Pippin's Quest for Meaning Reveals Enlightenment at Home, by Larkin Oates

Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed the vibrant, acrobatic, and often humorous revival of the Broadway musical Pippin. The Cirque de Soleil backdrop for the story, added by Director Diane Paulus was brilliant. That coupled with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the show had us all spell bound. In this story, King Charlemagne’s son Pippin seeks his life’s deeper purpose. Historically set around 800 AD, the performance was a visually stunning mix of medieval, Barnum and Bailey, and late 1800’s steampunk imagery, punctuated by Pilates balls and aerial silks.

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