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In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver, from American Primitive. © Back Bay Books, 1983.

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Sibley Subs… Again!

Namaste y’all! Once again I am honored to be subbing for Amanda McGee at Nirvana Yoga Studio in Grant Park. My new dates are June 17th 6 pm or a Nirvana Flow All & 7:30 pm Nirvana Yin Chill and then again on June 20th at 6 pm for another Nirvana Flow All. First-time visitors to the studio are FREE. All levels. Please join us!

 

yoga fun

 

P.S. Yoga is universal and appropriate for every body type and can generally be practiced with most body limitations. It does not discriminate based on age, gender, skin color or background. It’s not a gym workout so you can make yourself better because you’re not good enough. It’s a practice that teaches you that you are already good enough and perfect exactly as you are.

 

 

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Gratitude for Pop-Up Community Time

Thank you to my wonderful Grant Park neighbors, friends, and yogis who came together this morning for 75 minutes of community, sweaty yoga, and a good cause–Hotel St. Dunstan’s.

Thank you Nirvana Yoga for the studio space and for allowing free community donation classes to take place on a regular basis.

 

Rebecca, Tom, Carol, me, Adrienne, Elizabeth and Joanna for community donation yoga class at Nirvana to benefit Hotel St. Dunstan’s.

From the church website: “St. Dunstan’s serves as one of 13 host congregations that provide shelter and meals for up to four homeless families for a week at a time, four times a year. Sunday School classrooms become home for the families while they are here. Parishioners provide meals, serve as evening hosts, and spend the night. We are assisted by parishioners from Holy Innocents and St. Anne’s Episcopal Churches. Family Promise is a national organization, providing networks of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations around the country.”

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The clouds that wander…

The clouds that wander through the sky

Have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive

Thoughts floating through the mind.

Once this is seen,

Discrimination stops.

Clouds

Rest at ease your body.

Giving not, nor taking,

Put your mind at rest.

Maha Mudra is like a mind that clings

to nothing.

–Buddhist Tantric master Tilopa (988-1069 CE) in his “Song of Maha Mudra”

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Remembering Billy

I’ll get this part out of the way first—Billy was murdered where he slept behind a gas station near my house in Grant Park. Local media reported the cause of death was believed to be blunt force trauma to the head.

“Neighbors told Channel 2 that customers and workers at the gas station loved Bethune, who they said held the door open for everyone and did favors for people,” the short blurb in the AJC read as if trying to humanize someone whose life was already made meaningless by the headline: “Homeless man found beaten to death in Grant Park.”

Not that I am any better. Billy not only held the door for me but he knew my name and what I did for a living. He knew my son and where he went to school. He had a rough idea how much I gave him the last time I gave him something and when that was.

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Nirvana Yoga Community Donation Class to Benefit Hotel St. Dunstan’s

Lotus mudra and sunshine amid the fiddleheads at the Atlanta History Center.

Teacher: Sibley Fleming completed her RYT 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Nirvana Yoga in December 2018 and has been a regular student of yoga for the past five years. Her teachers include Leigh Anne Neal, Amanda McGee, Lucy Curtis, and Douglas Johnson.

 

 

 

 

Location: Nirvana Yoga, 464 Cherokee Ave SE #201, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Grant Park)

Saturday, April 13; 11 am -12:15 pm

Gentle all-levels yoga flow. Suitable for beginners.

Free/voluntary $5 donation to help support “Hotel St. Dunstan’s”

St. Dunstan’s serves as one of 13 host congregations that provide shelter and meals for up to four homeless families for a week at a time, four times a year. Sunday School classrooms become home for the families while they are here. Parishioners provide meals, serve as evening hosts, and spend the night. Hotel St. Dunstan’s is part of Family Promise a national organization that seeks to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

Here’s the playlist! 🙂

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“Breath” by Janet S. Wong

Breath is a broom
sweeping your insides
Smooth and slow:
You pull scattered bits of dream fluff
and heart dust into neat piles.
Short and quick:
You coax shards of broken thoughts
out of forgotten corners.
Breath is a broom sweeping you fresh.
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Wish I Knew at 22

There was an awesome challenge on LinkedIn this week in honor of #Internationalwomensday called

Mybeautifulpicture

At 22, I was intensely creative, unfiltered, dragged along as if by the invisible strings of constant and passionate inspiration. My brain would wake me at all hours of the night with full poems or paragraphs that had to be scribbled down on paper before it would shut back down and allow me to sleep. My tall Eiffel Tower frame–fine architectural wonder of Amazon flesh I had the potential to be–was left willowy and weak from body image issues and the attendant eating disorders.

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January: Not Ordinary Time in Yoga Studios

Last night before class, I asked the teacher, Amanda M., if now that the holidays had passed we had entered yoga “ordinary” time like in the Christian church calendar, those regular days when we go about the business of ordinary living.

January7

The first Monday of 2019.

“No!” Amanda responded emphatically. “It’s January. There’s nothing ordinary about January in yoga studios.”

“Really?” I asked. “Why not?”

“Because it’s when everyone returns to the studio.”

A major ah-ha went off in my head. It was true. I had been in some sparsely populated Monday night classes in December (I was keeping my eyes on my own mat so I wasn’t noticing overtly.) Yet Monday, January 7, the first Monday of the New Year, was full of people.

My youngest son’s girlfriend gave me a Yoga Journal calendar for Christmas that has daily practice tips, from how to get into Parsva Bakasana (side crow pose) to how to meditate. Most people probably view yoga as primarily a form of exercise like CrossFit, which is completely fine. I guess like other exercise routines, you start out great at the beginning of the year with the best of intentions and then life happens.

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