More or Less Kills Me With Delight

A Note From Erin:


We returned from a wonderful week in Kauai a few days ago.

I tried to send you a newsletter last Thursday from the desk in our cottage below. (The view was spectacular, but my sending was unsuccessful. The Hawaiian technology gods were not smiling on me :) )

I was sending you major good vibes too. Could you feel it? ;)

My friend Andrea Scher shared this quote at a retreat I attended with her earlier this year. I love it:

“What I want is to open up. I want to know what’s inside me. I want everybody to open up. I’m like an imbecile with a can-opener in his hand, wondering where to begin – to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I’m sure of it.

I know it because I feel so marvelous myself most of the time. And when I feel that way everybody seems marvelous… everybody and everything… even pebbles and pieces of cardboard… a match stick lying in the gutter… anything… a goat’s beard, if you like. That’s what I want to write about… and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is.” -Henry Miller

I just love that.

I totally relate to that feeling of “imbecile with a can-opener” wanting to open everything and everyone up.
(Do you feel that way?)

Kauai was like that can-opener for me.

The beauty just kept breaking my heart open. Open. Open.

It was almost painful, you know? In that beautiful way like loving someone is painful.

Like, “Wow, I don’t think my heart can open any more. Ouchie, and Ahhh! it just did!”

And like Henry Miller, I also want to write about the marvelous of life.

More than that, I want to experience it.

I was sharing in our Embodied Life course last night that Mary Oliver is such a profound teacher for me in this way.

The way she looks at ordinary things makes them sublime.

To master the art of paying attention in such a way?

Yes, please!


by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

What a delightful take on mindfulness, no?

Cultivating the capacity to let the ordinary, common, “daily presentations” kill us with delight.
And how can we help but grow wise with such teachings as these?
And they are available always.
Such a great reminder.

Care to join me in this simple inquiry today?

What simple things might you allow to really touch you, to kill you with delight?

Here’s a post I wrote last year on Embodied Gratitude Practice, which can be super helpful to take this from a nice idea to an embodied experience.

Before I close, I can’t help but throw in a few pics of our recent trip. I’m filled with gratitude for all of it.

I’m looking forward to an ordinary day infused with the extraordinariness of grateful, sublime delight,and wishing that for you too.

Sending love and aloha,



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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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