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The Best Way to Stretch Yourself is to Stretch Yourself

Yoga is a tool for embodied wisdom. This is the human superpower. Knowledge synergized through environmental feedback.

Yoga or any embodied practice incorporates centering and integrating life’s daily lessons right where you are, in the here, and now. Even when your mind is somewhere else. The practice of yoga brings you back to confront the awareness of this paradox.

You might be thinking yoga is not for me.

It most certainly is. It is for everyone – scalable – you are the challenge – your body – your awareness – your breath.

You might benefit from yoga if you sit a lot, you find it challenging to process emotions that are coming up, you are facing something challenging in your life or business, you are feeling stuck or low energy, your mobility is lacking, you forget what it’s like to play or crawl on the ground. You forget what it’s like to begin.

5 pillars of transformation through a daily practice, such as yoga:

Commitment: Show me your calendar and I will tell you where your priorities are. With so much distraction-on-demand committing to a daily practice forces you to cut the BS and organize your time for YOUR benefit. Process and progress over results teaches you to live in the present moment and is a major happiness flex. When we practice we always receive. Not practicing gets you nothing.

Discipline: Life is full of sacrifice and the challenge of life is not IF you will make sacrifice but what those sacrifices will be and for what greater good? Saying yes to something requires 100 little no’s. Saying a big yes, like 30 days of yoga, makes all those nos automatic, which saves you time and energy. You will have to get organized in your time, and learn how to embody that practice daily on the mat by learning how to stack your parts, balance and control your limbs, by organizing your flesh and bones.

Growth: A daily practice that incorporates the above will have an immediate, measurable, and personal impact on your spiritual growth. Working on you will benefit you and anyone around you and the projects that are important to you.

Fun: We are physical beings and moving our bodies is fun! Doing weird poses and contorting your body is a scaled up version of making faces. Why do we do this? Because it’s fun and because we can! It’s a way of exploring and expressing ourselves. Motion is the way way we create and process emotion and train the intelligence of the body. The opposite of expression is depression. Moving your body intentionally is the most natural way to change your mood. Rolling around on the ground through yoga is a form of play, like dance.

Health: The benefits of exercise for physical, emotional, and health are well documented. Yoga requires one tool, your body. In the age of technology the human body remains the masterwork of evolution that no app or gadget can replace. Yoga is scalable, meaning your practice hits the ground running literally right where you are. All you need is you and the floor, a mat or blanket/towel, and other props can help but you can be creative and find something that works to get started. Whatever the challenge in life is we must no let external circumstances be an excuse to not start right where we are.

30 Day Yoga Challenge Calendar (<-CLICK HERE)
Follow along with my journey, includes free video links and other activities


Yoga Matt / Towel / Floor

Yoga Blocks / Shoe box / Toilet paper rolls

*Affiliate links

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Cheerios on the French Broad River

I always dreamt of hiking the Appalachian Trail, so after spending the 4th of July in NYC I booked a one way flight to Charlotte, NC. I rented a mini cargo van as the most practical means to navigate remote Appalachia at my whim, while also providing a secure and mobile place to sleep amidst the unplanned, unfamiliar, and remote travel ahead.

I later made my way to Asheville, NC deciding to rent a bike to explore town and Pisgah National Forest. I googled some shops, but the rates were high, the availability low. I called some places on Craigslist, leaving messages since no one picked up. The odds weren’t looking good. I was getting fed up with the hunt so I took a break to get some food at one of the local craft breweries.

While sipping a juicy IPA, I received a hilarious text from someone named “Brewce” using an unfamiliar number. The relationship escalated quickly when he text me a risqué photo of a bike he had for rent. I called him and set a time to swing by. He promised to meet all my requirements for time, equipment, and price…”no problem.” It seemed too good to be true.

I drove over to his little unit in a storage facility just before the posted closing time. Brewce had the bike set up ready to go. Brewce, had steel-blue eyes, effortless shoulder length salt and strawberry hair, and like many cyclists, was trim, had perfect thrift-store style, sun-kissed skin, and an ageless smile.

Friendship is an unexpected thing, part vulnerability, part circumstance, one hundred percent magic.

When you connect with a stranger who immediately makes you curiously aware of your weaknesses and strengths, your frustrations and your passions, the before and after of your life disappear. Whatever you had imagined as possible is changed forever.

Brewce’s rawness and humility stripped me bare, and wrapped me in generosity and humor. What was left was space, infinite space, free of secret scripts, and imagined barriers. The byproduct of that vulnerability was intimacy, the intimacy that exists in friendship that usually takes years to build. This mirror allowed us to appreciate one another as part of the same beautiful, ridiculous whole.

I ended up renting the bike and staying in Asheville for longer than I had anticipated thanks to Brewce’s hilarity, hospitality, and friendship.

One day, Brewce invited me to join him and his girlfriend to go floating on the tree-lined French Broad River. Jennie Lou was a voluptuous and radiantly lively women with a personality that matched her curves. She was the woman I imagined Brewce would be with, a woman the original Hollywood dames would have drank  beer with. There we were under a highway bridge drinking beers as we chatted and filled up inner-tubes. It begin to rain, but just the perfect amount for a float in the hot, humid days of a Blue Ridge summer. The regal, yet flat and muddy French Broad was unlike the creeks and dry drainage channels we have in deserts and mountains of Southern California where I am from.

We carried on like old friends as we drank beers and enjoyed the cloud-filled sky, cool water, and warm intermittent rain. Brewce told stories as we drifted down the river like tied-up Cheerios in a bowl of chocolate milk: A woman drove off the bridge landing there four years ago. They just removed the car last year. Our place is over there. It’s kind of a dump, but it’s cozy and the landlord doesn’t suck. Home prices/rents have skyrocketed due to the breweries and artist moving in.

We landed at a perfectly situated river adjacent saloon where we dried off and enjoyed beer and food as banjo music played.

On my last day in Asheville I stopped by Brewce’s shop to say goodbye. The bike, the money I handed him, formalities. I told him he should charge more. I had found so much more than an affordably priced bike on Craigslist. We drank a few beers in his shop, and generally just enjoyed each other’s company and existence as we floated in the river of life that makes up this vast, mysterious world.

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Gratitude for Mister Fred Rogers – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Documentary Review

Feb 2019 Update where to stream:
Morgan Neville’s critically acclaimed Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is coming to HBO on Feb. 9, 2019.

Also on Feb. 9, HBO will honor Fred Rogers’ contribution and commitment to public television with a special presentation of the film on PBS’ Independent Lens.

Stream on FandangoNOW where “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” is the most-downloaded documentary in the history of streaming service.

On Amazon

Why the film was snubbed at in Oscar nomination? Law of Familiarity… obviously life changing let’s vote for something else that’s less obvious. This mistake is all too common. Post Gazzette


“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” highlights the pure magic of a fully integrated man, the creative genius, Fred Rogers. For over 30 years Mister Fred Rogers created deep conversations through puppetry and other forms of story telling. Through his revolutionary TV show, Mr Rogers Neighborhood, he taught children that “feelings are mention-able and manageable.”

Expect a lump in your throat and some volume of sobs if you call Mr Rogers an old friend. The warmth and authenticity of his character came back to me in a way I had not anticipated. It may be nostalgia, it may be a portal to the vulnerability of the inner child, or it may be the light and love that Mister (Fred) Rogers still exudes through the camera, in a way that very few, if any, video personalities do today.

One strength of this film is that it highlights the miraculous roles Mister Rogers played in the development of generations’ emotional intelligence:

  • Master of Technology (pioneering TV producer, music composer, puppeteer, child advocate, minister, TV personality)
  • Visionary (made his amorphous thoughts reality and set a standard for TV which no one else can/could touch)
  • Dedicated to his mission (protect and guide children with the care of talking to them one at a time)
  • Celebrate the human uniqueness of the human spirit (echoed by his reticence to be like other programs of the time, which the documetary contrasts as often violent, humiliating, or flat out make believe)
  • Alchemist (confronted pain and communicated human emotions with love and tenderness)
  • Resistant to racism and social/norms (washes the feet of his black friend, police officer Clemons)

Mr Roger’s mission was to be a nurturing adult who was also your friend. He lived that mission by talking directly to the individual viewer through his puppetry, music, acting, and vulnerable dedication to tackling some of the hardest topics troubling children and adults alike.

He ritualistically worked through everyday problems and reminded us that our uniqueness is a call to action. Beyond the way he started and ended his show. (Changing from work clothes to the classic sweater and sneakers) He also swam every morning and maintained the weight of 143 lbs most of his adult life to see “I Love You” represented numerically in the scale.

He showed that it is humanly possible to live in alignment with one’s mission and that kindness isn’t a weakness. He challenged us to choose how to repond to what is happening within and around us by talking about what is right and why, and that we “can stop of we want to” even if we are “mad enough to bite.”

He lived as a model for each one of us to express all the good within ourselves even though it’s often hard to be alive. He didn’t wish to shield his viewers from pain of an increasingly mean world. His show confronted the human experience head on. Mister Rogers worked tirelessly to be an example of compassion in a world that increasingly and unquestioningly profited through humiliation and violence.

We can best honor Mr. Rogers by living up to his challenge to “make the most of this beautiful day” and creating what he called a “neighborhood expression of care.”



What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?
By Fred M. Rogers

“What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman
And a boy can be someday a man.”

Watch Mister Roger’s Neighborhood – Original Show on Amazon Prime
More Randomness:

On Freedom

BY KAHLIL GIBRAN from The Prophet

And an orator said, Speak to us of Free-
    And he answered:
    At the city gate and by your fireside I
have seen you prostrate yourself and worship
your own freedom,
    Even as slaves humble themselves before
a tyrant and praise him though he slays
    Ay, in the grove of the temple and in
the shadow of the citadel I have seen the
freest among you wear their freedom as a
yoke and a handcuff.
    And my heart bled within me; for you
can only be free when even the desire of
seeking freedom becomes a harness to you,
and when you cease to speak of freedom
as a goal and a fulfilment.

    You shall be free indeed when your days
are not without a care nor your nights with-
out a want and a grief,
    But rather when these things girdle your
life and yet you rise above them naked and

    And how shall you rise beyond your
days and nights unless you break the chains
which you at the dawn of your under-
standing have fastened around your noon
    In truth that which you call freedom is
the strongest of these chains, though its
links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.

    And what is it but fragments of your own
self you would discard that you may become
    If it is an unjust law you would abolish,
that law was written with your own hand
upon your own forehead.
    You cannot erase it by burning your law
 books nor by washing the foreheads of your
judges, though you pour the sea upon them.
    And if it is a despot you would dethrone,
see first that his throne erected within you is
    For how can a tyrant rule the free and
the proud, but for a tyranny in their own
freedom and a shame in their own pride?
    And if it is a care you would cast off, that
care has been chosen by you rather than
imposed upon you.
    And if it is a fear you would dispel, the
seat of that fear is in your heart and not in
the hand of the feared.

    Verily all things move within your being
in constant half embrace, the desired and
the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished,
the pursued and that which you would
    These things move within you as lights
and shadows in pairs that cling.
    And when the shadow fades and is no
more, the light that lingers becomes a
shadow to another light.
    And thus your freedom when it loses its
fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater

A Song of Prayer

I wrote this poem after sitting in a medicine ceremony and feel called to share it and my story with you. I am reminded of the tome: no person is more courageous than they who speaks with the courage of their own convictions.

A Song of Prayer:
I trust in yOur Music
I am your drum
Thank you for trusting me to sing
Conviction is conviction
regardless of the decibel level

My heart sings as it beats
Air fills my lungs with unconditional love and abundance
The purest sign of intimacy
When I am open, I receive
Doubt is the shim, the space between trust and experience
Belief is an idea waiting to be experienced
Oh giver of life
I am your drum
Thank you for trusting me to sing
I am an empty vessel
I am gifted with the fullness of your love
My music is rippling harmonious vibrations
aligned with light
May I strike true
May I strike proud
May all my songs be prayers of gratitude
for this unconditional gift of life
Trust – Gratitude – Generosity – Love

A few months ago I received this message I am called to share it with you.
We are all gifted unconditional love by virtue of being born into this world.
Life is the ultimate gift
Yet we tend to walk around expecting things to be a certain way, even judging what is thus limit ourselves through our own beliefs, perspectives, and conditioning
Our limits make us what we are
And we choose what rules we play by even if we are not aware of it
Back to my story…
I was in a drum circle and felt called to pick up a shaman drum and play
When picking up a new instrument or engaging in any public action there can be a level of discomfort from doubt and unfamiliarity
But I picked up the drum and played through the internal crirical, judging voice.
I continued playing the drum and begin singing and dancing

I became aware of another whispering voice
I am a drum
This vessel I was gifted at birth
My skin is stretched tight across my bones
My heart beats and my lungs breath unlimited air
I am an instrument of God’s love
I am a drum
Thank you for trusting me to sing
We are bestowed with our own music
Thus we are all called to sing
We spend this life collecting experiences, things, desires…
Will you let your music out in to the world or let it die silently within?
You are a drum
Trust yourself to sing
People have often asked me if I’m a musician

Now, I tell them, “I am the drum”

“Even in the mud and scum of things
Something always, always sings”

MUSIC – Ralph Waldo Emerson:

LET me go where’er I will,
I bear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that’s fair, from all that’s foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There alway, alway something sings.
‘T is not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There alway, alway something sings.