Self pity, so seductive

It’s the emotional equivalent of the rug you catch your foot on every time, even though you know the damn things is there and can’t believe you’ve done it again.

The diet is going soooo well until your boss yells at you, your train gets cancelled and it rains (you have half a dozen of those silly collapsible umbrellas at home, why don’t you just keep one handy?) The whole world is against you and the only solution is ice cream!

Your Abstemious April (Sober September/Dry July) is humming along until you have a minor car accident, the other driver abuses you...Read More »

'Tis the season for healthy shoulders

It’s cricket season Downunder.  The thwack of leather on willow and all that romance I just don’t get – even though I’m Australian and was brought up with it.  Fourteen years in Chicago and trips to the bleachers didn’t make me a Cubs fan either, however, so it’s no fault of the game.  It’s my inability to comprehend any activity requiring ball to make contact with bat.

I tend to agree with Bill Bryson who said “it’s not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavours look interesting and lively; that was...Read More »

The Mantra Made for Every-day Wear

My first cab ride back in Chicago fulfilled all expectations. The driver’s aggression crackled inside the stuffy car as he muttered under his breath about traffic, pedestrians, drivers and shoved his vehicle into tight spaces that looked impossible to me.  I sat in the back seat, sucking in my breath and belly as if to help the whole car to contract so it could slide through the gaps.

Jet lagged and wearing the clothes I had dressed in half a world away and 48 hours earlier, I was doing the last thing I wanted to do: go shopping for clothes to...Read More »

Boring as . . .

“Oh don’t go all yoga on me,” he said.  “I never thought of you as boring and I really don’t want to have to start now”.  I laughed.  And stopped myself from saying what I was about to say, which was something about yoga, which would have been breaking one of my own rules.

I learned early in my fascination with yoga that trying to discuss it with someone who does not share that fascination, in fact with anyone who has not asked a specific question about yoga, is a dumb idea.  My rule?  Only talk about it if they ask....Read More »

"I must go down to the seas again....."

Walking along the boardwalk by the beach yesterday I saw a young man, reclining against the beach wall with a spiral bound notebook.  No white ear buds.  No smart phone.  Just a spiral bound notebook and a pen.  It was so unusual I wandered closer so I was standing just above him and a little off to the right, looking around casually, trying not to appear like I was doing what I was doing — which is trying to see what he was writing.  (I call it curious.  My husband suggests voyeuristic tendencies…….)

On the pad was what...Read More »

The power of a hand gesture

I read this weekend that one of the most successful advertising campaigns aimed at curbing young male drivers’ reckless speeding behavior was an Australian ad that said, in effect: if you speed, people will assume you are compensating for a very small penis.  It was called the Pinky campaign.

I saw the ads when I visited Australia around 2008 and thought they were fantastic – and hilarious.  Young boys speeding, young girls crooking their pinky fingers and laughing with the tag line: Speeding, No One Thinks Big of You. It worked.  Research showed 96% awareness of the key message...Read More »

Does guilt-free consumption = contentment?

The new “holy grail”: Guilt Free Consumption

According to Trendwatching (an independent and opinionated trend firm”) we have become guilt-ridden consumers.  The implication for the suppliers of all the stuff we love is a new commercial holy grail: Guilt Free Consumption.

We want and we want and we continue to want (diligently supporting the economics of the consumer society we’ve built) but we have started to feel bad about the implications of satisfying those wants. Images of small children working in sweatshops, immobilized chickens bred for meat, workers jumping from factory infernos …. they have slowly increased our discomfort with exploitation,...Read More »

Vajrasana (with noodles)!

The go-to pose for healthy knees

Word count: 575

Estimated Reading Time: around 3 minutes

Everyone needs a go-to take-out dish for those nights when you’re tired, when it’s all too much and cooking seems an impossible challenge. (Mine is Pad See Ew from the local Thai restaurant.  Fat rice noodles with tofu and broccoli in salty tangy sweetish sauce.  Delish.) This is the go-to pose for knees that are tired and feel it’s all too much and the staircase seems an impossible challenge.

If you have trouble with your knees, try it for a month.  A few minutes a day is...Read More »

Mixing it up to balance it out – using your non-dominant hand

Yoga practices strive for balance because when we are balanced – physically and mentally – we can deal with the world from a stable foundation.

Everyday language reflects the discomfort of imbalance: “he put me right off balance”, “it knocked me sideways”, “I feel all out of whack”. It doesn’t take much – an aggressive driver, a throw away comment, rudeness on the buss – to destroy our equilibrium.

On the yoga mat, striving for balance is a mindfulness practice. We are encouraged to feel the difference between the left body and the right body in a pose, to feel how the...Read More »