Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Think about it.



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We humans like very much to point the finger outwards when things in our lives aren’t going exactly as we’d like.

Have you noticed that?

You’re getting fat because your job is stressful and doesn’t allow time for any kind of physical activity.  It has nothing to do with shoving piles of restaurant food in your mouth and driving to the corner store.  No, no!  It’s out….there.

Your relationship busted up because your ex is emotionally stunted and refused to do anything to help the relationship.  It had nothing to do with your sitting, glazed-eyed, in front of the TV for hours playing video games instead of helping a bit with the housework.  No, no!  Again, out…there.

You have no friends.  Nobody calls you or asks you to do things.  You’re so alone.  Of course it has nothing to do with your refusal to reach out to others, or that you’re a compulsively negative, unpleasant human being.  No, no!  Go ahead, guess where.  You’ve got it!  Out….there.

How many of us actually stop and take a cold, hard look at what we’re doing to help create the painful situations in our lives?  How many of us actually have the courage to look truthfully and admit to our contributions when we see them?  Acknowledging that you have a large part to play in your own misery feels like a heart-stopping, stomach-clenching shot in the face with a pail full of cold water, but is has to be done, folks, if any real change can take place in your life.

Go ahead, take a look.


Trust me, it only gets better from here.

My real work began the day the light turned on in my head and I realized that I was an abusive partner.  I was using the circumstances of my life as a (weak) excuse for my horrid behaviour.  I was dealing with my own abuse history.  My Dad was chronically emotionally unavailable.  I suffered from depression.  I thought I might be gay.  Blah, blah, blah.  Admittedly, all very stressful things to contend with, but as an excuse to use my partner as an emotional punching bag?  About as useful as saying, “I shot the guy because I didn’t like the weather.”  There was no valid excuse for my behaviour.  True, I was acting unconsciously up until the time consciousness smacked me in the face.  Then there was no going back.  It was a terrifying and nauseating feeling to realize I had been as abusive as my own abuser, only in a different way, and it was the best thing to ever happen to me.

If, according to you, your life sucks right now, I encourage you to take a deep breath, grab that mirror, sit down and have a hard look at yourself.  What are you doing to contribute to the muck?

Here are some of the muck-stories I’ve heard:

1)  There are no good available wo/men to date.  Really?  Is this true?  Beyond the very easy question of  “Have you put yourself out there,” I encourage you to dig a little deeper.  How available are you?  Are you clear and open to the possibility of love, or are you still hung up on, and bitter about, all the things you believe your ex did to you?  If you’re even a little bit hung up, my friends, you are not yet single and available.  You are still dating the ghost of your past partners.  Break up.  Don’t you think it’s about time?

More interestingly, ask yourself if you stand in this world as a quality partner.  If you were a stranger looking in on you, would you want to date yourself?  Do you have the kind of personality and attitude that draws people in, or repels them?  If you wouldn’t date yourself, you’ve got some work to do.  Become the partner you wish for.  Develop and harbour those qualities within yourself.

2)  I wish I had a friend to hang out with, but no one calls me or asks me to go places.  The friends I do have are all into games; nobody communicates. When was the last time you asked someone out for a coffee, or invited them over to your place just to chat?  Have you initiated contact with someone in your life just to see how they’re doing?  Are you playing games with the people in your life, dropping little emotional bombs on their doorsteps and then running away?  Are you communicating with your friends? Honestly, are you?

As you did before, ask yourself if you would have yourself as a friend.  Are you the kind of person others would like to befriend?  Are you warm, approachable and engaging?  Do people feel safe and energized in your presence?  Are you able to reach out, to communicate, to give?  If not, and again, you have some work to do.

3)  I can’t stand drama, but I have so much of it in my life.  🙂  Do you really hate drama?  I mean REALLY?  I used to have a good deal of drama in my life, although I lamented that I couldn’t stand it.  It took some doing, some gluing myself to the spot until I could see that I sucked drama towards me just as powerfully as my lungs suck air.  I used drama as an excuse, as a cover-up. I used drama to hide my fear of doing the work I wanted to be doing.  I used it as a way to avoid the painful reality that I was dissatisfied with the quality of the relationships in my life.  I created a whirlwind of drama when I felt bored or stagnated in my life instead of creating art.  I used it as an antidote to depression instead of working to figure out the root cause of my depression.  I used drama like a drug to anaesthetize myself, to numb me out so I didn’t have to actually make any changes in my life.

So, from one who has been there, I ask:  For what purpose are you using drama?  I’ll bet the farm that you’re at the centre of that maelstrom, conjuring up the forces to keep you from seeing something you don’t really want to see, or to get in the way of your doing something constructive about an uncomfortable situation.


What are you avoiding?

4)  My life would be so much better if…  Would it?  If you sincerely looked into yourself right now, is your internal environment receptive, even slightly, to things that are good, or are you committed to seeing nothing but the dark side of life?  Because, let me tell you, if you are hanging strong to the idea that the glass is perpetually half empty, there could be a conga line of good fortune parading in front of you, and you will smack it away as if it was an annoying insect.

Try this instead:  My life would be so much better if I realized how good my life is right now.  My life would be so much better if I realized how much I actually have.  My life would be so much better if I learned how to say thank you for simple wonders and small mercies.  My life would be so much better if I realized I’m here because of the decisions I’ve made so, if I don’t like it, I can choose differently and create change.  My life would be so much better if I allowed my life to be so much better.


It hurts to take an honest look at yourself, to see where and how you create your own misery, but it’s the only way to freedom.  To skitter around trying to change external circumstances, things over which you have no control, is positively futile and will only lead to exhaustion and collapse.  You cannot change the world; you are not that powerful.  And the world owes you nothing.  But you can change yourself, and maybe you owe yourself a little bit of peace.  The only way to do that is to look deep into the looking glass and to fall in.  There is magic in that space and your world will never again be the same.  You wanted change, right?

Now, dive.

Believing in your ability to float,


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It was a year ago, April 1, that I made the difficult decision to drop one day of work at the office and to, instead, devote that day to my writing.  The plan was very clear:  create pieces, enter them into contests and work to get them published.  I can say with pride that, but for a few days here and there, Wednesdays have become my writing days.  My loved ones have made the transition with me (Thank you so much!) and now support the time I spend locked away in my room.  While I may have “lost” a day’s pay at the office, I gained an extra teaching day and have managed to essentially fill my weekday classes; therefore, nothing, really, was lost.  After a relatively short time, I got to spend more time in my life getting paid to do what I love.  Amen.

Today another one of my pieces was rejected.  That makes for a 100% rejection rate.  One year later, not one single piece that I consciously put out into the world has been accepted by an outside source.  And still I write on.  I remember sitting with my teacher in a private session as I began the process. She was questioning how I thought I would manage any rejection of my work.  I recall saying, with absolute calm and certainty, that I would be okay.  I knew that, just because some judge in a contest did not choose my work, did not mean my work was crap.  There are all sorts of reasons for a rejection and, so long as no one was nasty to me, I would be just fine.  One year later I can honestly say that all really is well.

The whole experience has been very interesting and has provided me with a number of learning experiences.  I was approached by an online publication to submit poetry on a regular basis.  In questioning one of their policies, I discovered I was not particularly fond of their philosophy nor their style of communication.  That experience allowed me the wonderful opportunity to tell a publication that their product was not a good match for my work–I got to reject them…and it was fun.  I have also learned that the whole process of submission destroys a bit of something for me.  Adding an element of competition to my creative life gets me feeling like a crab in a bucket filled with other crabs dragging each other down as they try to reach the top. That’s not why I started doing this.  I started because I needed to, because, without feeding my relationship with the written word, I go a bit nuts and nobody likes that much.  I do it for the sheer joy of creating word-pictures, and for the challenge of taking the complex mess that’s in my head and straightening it out with words.  I do it because I love it, but the competition was killing that so, I’m glad it’s gone.  I feel no further need to compete.  I have my glorious little blog-home and, for now, that’s perfectly good enough.

If I could say something to the writers out there it would be this:  Don’t let anything get in the way of your love affair with words.  Don’t let the rejections stop you. Don’t let silence stop you. Don’t let others’ opinions stop you.  If you need to write, write.  If you love it, commit to it as you would a loving relationship.  Fight for it. Nurture it.  Romance it.  Just don’t let it go.  If you need to write, write, no matter what.  And if you need to share your voice with the world, start a blog, leave notes on public benches, slip a poem inside a book in the library, just do something.  You don’t need the outside sources to make your voice be heard.  The establishment writers once relied upon is gone.  If you need to share, self-publish, baby.  Go all the way!  😉

In honour of my one year anniversary, and of all the things I’ve learned thus far, I offer the very first poem I created back in April, 2012.

Many blessings, much love, and all the support in the world for your creative ventures,


Emergent “I”


Silent listening

            to water to wind.


stamp –presses down



skin.  I

soften outwards

— a tender pool of waves.

Wind-whisked water, warmed by sun,

nourishes the earth.


is my soul.

At the depths,

wind finds a crack and enters,  filling me

with pulse.

Dropping to open, I

ripple out

— liquid gold.

Liquid Gold by Deevona

Liquid Gold by Deevona

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Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Willendorf

It was a scene all too familiar–me standing in a changeroom, fluorescent lights casting shadows in a most unappealing way, cringing at the sight of myself in the lilac-coloured t-shirt I was trying on.  I could see rolls.  I could see belly.  I could see that I was no longer 16.  I heaved a deep sigh and decided that I looked too grotesque in the t-shirt and needed to put it away.

The sales associate, an attractive, funky, fuller-figured woman asked me how it went.  I could hear the whining in my voice as I explained how I couldn’t possibly purchase the t-shirt.  “I understand, hon,” she said.  “You’re having one of those days.  You’re feeling depressed so nothing looks good.”

“No,” I replied, “I’m not depressed.  I’m coming to terms with the fact that my body is not 16 any more and I’m having a hard time with it.”

“HONEY,” she said, loudly, “I’m 44!”  And she spread her arms wide for all to see.

Damn, she looked good in her loose royal blue top, black leggings and high boots.  There were curves there, and wrinkles, and, no doubt, her boobs would sneak down towards her waistline if she let them out of their sling, but she wore it all very well.  She wore it with pride even though, as she confessed, she wasn’t feeling so hot about herself that day either.

Why do we, as women over 40, do this to ourselves?

Then I saw this trailer and it explained so much:

Middle-aged women really are invisible, aren’t we?  TV is stocked with ads focusing on cute little baby girls, young women obsessed with buying the “right” tampon, and women over 50 who are smiling joyfully because their diapers held up when they pissed themselves in public, or they didn’t hoark their dentures into the birthday cake, thank you Poligrip!  So where are we, the perimenopausal queens?

Oh, we’re there and we’re horrifying.  Actresses whom I admired when I was a teenager, women not much older than I, are still showing themselves on the pages of magazines and on TV screens, but they’ve mangled themselves, all in the name of beauty and youthfulness.  Blindingly white porcelain veneers, facial skin stretched tight like plastic wrap, lips Botoxed into life preserver status, and boobs packed full of things that just can’t be good for you.  Yes, we, the middle-aged women, are the Frankenwomen, hacking ourselves to shreds so that we can go back in time, back to that 16 year old body.

Hate to tell ya, ladies, but it ain’t gonna happen.  No amount of mangling yourself will ever make you 16 again.  (I know.  That’s a hard one to take.)

So then, again, why do we do it?  I think it’s to be seen, to have a presence in this world, to be acknowledged again.  I understand that.  It’s horrible to feel like you don’t exist, like you could run down the street naked and on fire, and no one would see you.  Feeling like a non-entity is a certain kind of torture, yes, but attempting to make your mark by playing into a demented, youth-oriented, culture that sexualizes women, and throws them away when their “worth” expires, is equally as demented.  I say give it up.

Here’s the thing:  We can’t change anyone’s mind about us, but we can change our own minds.  Maybe the world refuses to recognize us but we can recognize ourselves.  We’re never invisible when we can see ourselves.

This morning I had a fantasy about starting a project (I love my fantasy projects.) In this fantasy, I would issue an invite to middle-aged women everywhere to send me pictures of their soft, scarred bellies with rolls.  Bellies that have held (and sometimes lost) babies.  Bellies that have grown and shrunk, and grown and shrunk, from persistent dieting.  Bellies that have undulated with laughter, and have folded in excruciating pain.  Grown woman bellies, the houses of grown woman stories, for the world to see, and if not for the world, then, for ourselves.  I think I would call it The Belly Project.  🙂

Here’s my middle-aged belly:


And how about yours?  Have you looked at yours?  Have you seen it with eyes of love?  Can you dare to?  I pray that, some day, you do.  I pray that, one day, I do too.

With much love from the full-bellied, middle-aged sisterhood,

(Chubby) Tabitha


If you liked this, you might also enjoy reading:

You’re gonna carry that weight…”

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heart doors open


My yoga teaching career began in the dusty corner of a church basement.  This was the same church I had gone to as a child and even though I had stormed away from the place at the ripe old age of 18, there was a certain comfort in coming back.  There was something special about offering the yogic path in a sacred space that was open to spiritual community, that was filled with the pungent scent of incense, and that, from time to time, offered the voice of the choir as background music.  There was an ease to those days when I would skip down the church stairs to the basement, bags of towels and blocks in hand, to clear the always-cluttered back corner and to make space for my students.  Eventually my series ended and my classes shifted to the professional space in my home.

Last June, I found myself back at the church to discuss the possibility of running another series in the basement.  I remember walking through the doors, rounding the corner to the hallway that led to the church offices and stopping dead in my tracks.  In 36 years of association with the place, I had never seen anything like what was facing me–WALLS.  Walls had been built around the offices, completely obscuring them from view, and the windowless door that led inward had a security keypad attached to it. There were no signs but the message was clear–KEEP OUT!  For the first time ever, I felt unwelcome in this place.

The meeting went well and it was decided that I would run another series come January, but a few things had changed.  I would no longer be able to simply arrive at any time and begin to set up.  The doors to the church basement were now permanently locked until 45 minutes before any session was to take place. More blockage…less flow.  All of this, the walls upstairs and the locked doors below were the results of parishioners not respecting the personal space of the priest upstairs, and community members thoroughly trashing the holding space downstairs that contained donations of food and furniture for those in need.  It makes sense, then, doesn’t it, to build walls and lock doors?

But does it?

Since we’re talking about a holy place here, I can’t help but think of the Christian, “What would Jesus do?”  Or Gandhi.  Or Mother Teresa.  Or Buddha.  Would these highly compassionate forward-thinkers put up walls and send out a  message to keep out?  I can’t help but think–NO.  Somewhere in my bones I get the sense that these great people would resist the urge to close down and would instead open themselves up further.  They would throw open the doors.  They would invite people IN to their homes.  They would wait in the space that has the goods-for-donation and open a discussion with those who had come to destroy.  I imagine them asking, “What’s going on for you right now?  How can I help you?”

That’s the hard stuff, isn’t it?  Staying open when we feel violated or betrayed.  Daring to allow for free movement and connection even when it makes us incredibly uncomfortable.  We humans don’t like that much.  Punt us out of our comfort zones or trounce on spots we take personally and we’re suddenly up in arms, defending “our” space, and rushing off to the hardware store to buy drywall and an alarm system.

When I told K. about the locked doors and newly built walls, and the reasons behind them, she asked, “Do you blame them?”  I was surprised by my answer:

I expect more from them.  I expect them to lead by example, to take the hard road and to remain open.  I expect them to demonstrate how to bridge the divide between people and, in that way, stand as true beacons of peace in this world.

But churches are, after all, places filled with humans with all of our foibles, and when walls are built against certain people, it speaks to me about the wounded hearts of those who lead these communities.  So maybe, then, it comes down to each individual, to you and me.  Maybe the task is for each and every one of us to take up the great challenge of staying soft and open even when we feel betrayed.  Maybe we need to learn to bridge the gap between ourselves and the ones with whom we quarrel.  I don’t think the end result is as important as the process, so maybe that gap will never be bridged but you, in making the attempt, have grown warrior-soft in the heart.  In that way, you help make this a better world.

I dream of the day when:


is replaced with:

you belong here


Can you imagine what that would do for this world?  I can, so I keep working to inch this crusty heart open.  Will you join me?

In love and daring,


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There are very few things in this world that baffle me more than the human relationship to money.  This really came to the forefront of my mind a few weeks ago when speaking with a self-employed friend of mine.  K. does great work as a one-woman home reno/decorating/painting/fix-it business. One of the things that makes her so great is that she cares–she cares about you, the client, and she cares about the quality of her work.  This is not just about money for her, it’s about helping people make their homes as safe and beautiful as possible.  But she always comes across the same feedback, “You don’t charge enough.”  (Not that you can ever win this game because there are always those who gripe that you charge too much.)  Admittedly, I’ve heard the same thing about my class fees.

What the heck does this mean?

“You don’t charge enough”  seems to equal:

– Your work is crap.

– You have low self-esteem.

– You don’t value the work you do.

Since when did this:  money






What if all of that is wrong?

I keep costs in my business low and I do it consciously.  I do it so people on fixed or limited incomes can still access the healing benefits of Yoga. I do it because I know first-hand how it feels to really need something and to not be able to access it because the cost was way out of my league.  I do it because I know the suffering of “not enough”.  In order to do it, I take on more responsibility.  I am the one who cleans, mops, vacuums and does the laundry.  I do my own bookkeeping.  I print my own advertising material.  I teach from the most affordable place in the world–my home.  I do this so I can prevent the bleeding of costs into my students’ lives.

None of this impacts the amount of time I spend on class planning or on continuing my education in order to keep me fresh and qualified.  My classes remain high in quality and are affordable and accessible.  This helps me adhere to my personal philosophy that the world would be a much better place if everyone simply asked for only as much as they need and not as their greed dictates.

I recently read an article where a company in London, UK produced the most expensive t-shirt ever.  For the cost of $400,000 US you can own an organic black t-shirt studded with 16 certified diamonds.  (You can read more about this here.)  Yes, the t-shirt is produced in an environmentally sound manufacturing plant, but does that warrant the price tag?  Some may think it’s a reasonable price to save the earth, but look underneath the sparkle. Look at the diamonds.  Diamond mines are environmental disaster zones and are linked to war.  There’s blood on them diamonds!  So, does this blood and war soaked t-shirt made in a high tech plant hold more value than the $15 t-shirt at the local farmer’s market that was hand-dyed using local plants grown and harvested in a neighbour’s backyard?  You tell me.

My take on it:


does not =





Money is a method of exchange. It helps you purchase a product or a service.  There are some who have the desired product or service who will charge an inordinate amount of money, not because it is worth any more than any similar product or service on the market, but because they know someone out there will pay the price.  I’ve heard it myself, “Some idiot out there will pay it.”  There are others out there, like me or K., who charge what they think is fair, asking only for what they need so that those who don’t have as much don’t need to be excluded from the experience.

We aren’t bargain basement service providers.

We’re ethical entrepreneurs.

There’s a difference.

Take your thinking, turn it around, and look at it from different directions.  Wonder about the origins of your thoughts.  Question the products you purchase.  Oh…

and don’t be the “idiot who will  pay for it.”

You’re better than that.




If you liked this post, you may also enjoy reading, “Why ‘Charging What You’re Worth’ is Bullshit” by Tad Hargrave.

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Water is Freezing

Yesterday I stood in my backyard and noticed a huge pool of water forming on the patio walkway.  We’ve recently had a good deal of snow…and then a thaw…then a freeze, some more snow, another thaw and some rain.  While the walkway has been cleared, with the ground frozen, the run-off from the thaw has nowhere to go, so the water pools ankle-deep.  Last night as I waited for my yoga students to arrive for class, I heard an odd crunching sound outside.  I opened the door to discover one of my students stepping through the light layer of ice that had formed atop the pooling water.  She was the icebreaker going through so others would have safer passage (bless her).

That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling lately–like a stagnant pool of water that’s begun crusting over.  So many hopes and dreams move through me, so many creative ideas, and in the cool of my mid-winter body I feel like these things have nowhere to go.  Instead, they build up inside, like fluid in my tissues.  They sit and cause pressure as the stresses of daily living create a thin crust on the skin of my psyche–nothing comes in, nothing goes out.

Mid-winter is a hard time of year.  You’re so far from the beginning of winter that you can’t remember the feel of warmth on your skin or the vibrancy of colours all around you, and you’re so far from the end of the season that you can sometimes believe it will never end.  The body grows stiff, the mind grows cranky, the psyche becomes easily overloaded and impatient, and the emotions break their snowy banks and spill out everywhere.  Mid-winter and mid-winter living is messy.

Nevertheless, beneath the crust of this season’s living and generally unbeknownst to us, there is movement.  Beneath the thin ice cap, water spreads out if it can’t sink down.  It moves around.  It moves through.  Water does not beat its way through obstacles; it continues until it finds the space that already exists and then it enters, replenishing that which has grown bone dry.

If only I could be as wise as water.

For now, it’s enough for me to acknowledge what’s going on.  It’s enough to sit with the sensation of pooled sluggishness in my body and mind.  It’s enough to know that, although a thin crust of cool has descended upon me, there is movement going on underneath.  Microscopic movement, like the fluttering of an eyelash in a slow, summer breeze, but movement nonetheless.  There’s not much more I can do now other than to sit and wait for the thaw to wash away the deep freeze of my soul.  To allow the waters of my hopes and dreams to sink deep and to spread out and, eventually, to spring up here and there in little green shoots of new life.  For right now, it’s all just potential with a low thrumming vibration at the centre of it all.  And for right now I’m crawling back into my dream-cave to emerge in the Spring with a scratch and a snort.

May we meet each other on the thawed path, at the place beyond mid-winter, and may we all be holding armloads of pretty coloured dream-flowers to share with the world.


Until then…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………..



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