On Getting Good At What We Practice

A note from Erin:

Hi friends,
I missed writing to you last week. My beloved Carl has been attending a professional training from 9-5:30 weekdays and it’s impacted us in a big way! One aspect is that you’ll just be reading my voice here for the next month or so as Carl completes his current educational adventure. We had an amazing, incredible, soul-nourishing time with Michael Meade at his Friday lecture and his Saturday workshop. After the event, we got to host a gathering with him and the volunteers for the Jung Society of Utah. We love what the Jung Society brings to our local community and are thrilled for our deepening connection where we can collaborate to bring some of our beloved teachers and mentors to town for transformative learning experiences and soulful gatherings. One of my favorite parts was when we gathered in our living room, guided by Michael Meade, around Machiel Kleirk, the founder of JSOU, who is stepping down as executive director after 10 years of hard work. We sang a song to him, directing blessings with our hands, as an expression of gratitude. I loved explaining to our son, “We are singing to bless a man who followed his dream in a way that benefited the whole community!” How precious to see this from such a young age. May we all follow our dreams in ways that benefit our communities, and may we bless and be blessed!

Today, I’m inspired to share two quotes from wise teachers that have been hovering in my heart for the past several months.

First, from Thich Nhat Hanh:
“I am inviting you to go deeper, to learn and to practice so that you become someone who has a great capacity for being solid, calm, and without fear, because our society needs people like you who have these qualities, and your children, our children, need people like you, in order to go on, in order to become solid, and calm, and without fear.” 

And second from Karen Maezen Miller:

“What do you practice? Whatever you practice, you’ll get very good at. Some people become more fearful or cynical; some more arrogant or vain; some greedy, some needy; some combative or closed-minded. That’s what they practice. And then there are a few who grow as solid as a mountain and as wide-open as the sky.” 

I aspire to keep noticing – what am I practicing?
Is it something I want to get very good at?

Today, I’m inspired to share the words Hafiz.
I’d like to practice like this. :)

Cast All Your Votes For Dancing

I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.

You can stay that way
And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved
And, my dear,
From the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours delight Him,
What actions of yours bring freedom
And Love.

Whenever you say God’s name, dear pilgrim,
My ears wish my head was missing
So they could finally kiss each other
And applaud all your nourishing wisdom!

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!

~ Hafiz ~

As I wrote recently, I believe the intentional cultivation of gratefulness is perhaps more important than ever. It certainly is in my own mind and life.

Impermanence is real.
We don’t know how long we’ve got here in this beautiful, awful, imperfect world.

I think of one of Deena Metzger’s books called Ruin & Beauty. Both are here. Always. Always.
Lately, as I tune to the news, I’ve noticed it’s been waaaayy too easy to forget the beauty. To get all jacked up about the ruin. What a loss!

Even while I make space for the full range of outrage and grief, I will lean and lean again into beauty.

This is a practice I want to get very good at.


Can I invite you to join me?

We started the Embody Gratitude course this week and you’re still welcome to jump in. Details right here and below. The cost is just $75 for the six-week course.

Let us go on, cheerfully enough. 

Let us go on taking the world into our arms.

Let us go on dancing!

With love,

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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.