The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

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Dessa – Warsaw

Dessa’s album Parts of Speech is all poetry balanced by raw conviction. If you’re a stranger to this blog, you should know that I admire and frequently profile fierce women who can weave their words together in a way that makes you look at English, a language you’ve spoken your whole life, and see it brand new: a prism of possibility, a vehicle for personality.

I love the more popular “Call Off Your Ghosts” best, but “Warsaw” has a darker, more addictive quality. I like this part:

Waive the charade, man, you lay it on thick,
It’s a dive bar, save the game: you drink and you sit
Easy to please, but hard to impress
I’m in the mood, new shoes, and a bulletproof dress
Sugar on the rim and a shot of mescal
Man it’s murder in the morning, but it’s good for morale

This part too:

And I’m still living by my maiden name
The name I came with, the name I made
And I’m bare-faced at your masquerade
Filled a flask up before I came

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25 Things I Love About Myself

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It’s my birthday today, so I’m all about that self-love good good right now. After years of intense longing and yearning to the point of self-abuse for a differently shaped body as a teenager, I now see my body more clearly for what it actually is: real, beautiful, powerful, healthy, and strong. Here’s a love letter I wrote to it in honor of my 25th year. I hope it inspires you to see the good in your own.

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Scavenger Hunt – Lost

This is kind of perfect. It’s like Robyn had a love-child with Chvrches. I’m not mad.

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Special Two-Hour Aromatherapy Chakra Flow Class at Yoga HEAT in Grand Rapids, MI

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Beyond excited to announce that I’ll be teaching my special two-hour Aromatherapy Chakra Flow Class in Grand Rapids, MI at the wonderful Yoga HEAT. The event is Saturday, March 29 from 1-3 p.m. at Yoga Heat’s breath-taking industrial space replete with reclaimed wood floors, vast windows, and exposed brick on Monroe Street. We’ll flow through an intense and creative vinyasa sequence targeted at opening each of your body’s major energy centers before dialing it down into more yin-like postures. All the while, your class will be punctuated by essential oil aromatherapy and detailed explanations of the chakra system. This is a great way to deepen your practice and treat yourself. I hope to see you there!

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Way Overdue Praise for Beyonce’s Eponymous Album

I’ve been loving on Beyonce’s most recent, self-titled album since it came out toward the end of last year. “XO” and “Superpower” (a collaborative track with Frank Ocean, another love of mine) have been staples on my playlists for class. Though I found the inclusion of recordings from the Challenger tragedy pretty tasteless, I love the passion behind “XO” and the ballad-esque, indulgently, sensually powerful yet calming effects of “Superpower.”
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Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Chakras (But Were Afraid to Ask)!: What Is a Chakra and What Are You Smoking?

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What is a chakra?
The Sanskrit word chakra (hard “ch”) translates roughly to energy “vortex” or “wheel” in English. Sanskrit words are onomatopoetic, meant to sound like the objects they describe. Chakra is a good example of this linguistic quality, the hard “ch” meant to set the energy wheels spinning. Continue reading

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Things You Should Put in Your Mouth: Organic India Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea

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My friend Rukmini is generous as they come. She moves gracefully, almost without sound; talks in a cool, earth-smooth voice through pillow lips and a gorgeous smile; and keeps her dark hair short. She came over for dinner a couple weeks ago when I was a little sad armed with red wine, Gail Ambrosius salted dark chocolate covered caramels & lavender tea. Three favorites of mine. She didn’t have to ask to know. We’re in tune like that.

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Playlist: Sun in Pisces Flow

The sun moved into Pisces on the 18th. It’s coming up on my 25th birthday. People born during this sign are said to be creatures of compassion & creativity. Weaknesses include oversensitivity & indecisiveness. True & true. The shift in signs & impending change in seasons (as far away as it might seem in the midst of this seemingly eternal winter, which honestly, my hot-blooded self isn’t totally hating) nudged me toward a new playlist for my yoga classes. This playlist is just a template that I’ll remove from & add to throughout the month depending on my own mood or my students’ moods, much like the sequences I create every few weeks. It’s about 52 minutes long, giving you 4 minutes of silence at the top & the bottom of your practice to soak in.

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Things You Should Put in Your Mouth: Coco Roons

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I know you’re suspicious right now. Gluten-free? Dairy-free? Raw? And they call themselves “macaroons?” Hear me out though. These bad boys are out of control good, even if they’re not quite how Laduree throws it down. I took a Bikram class last night with Laurie at Dragonfly Hot Yoga, who told me to settle my bones like sand at the bottom of a pool while I laid in my final savasana. I was into it. After, I sat ravenous on my friend’s couch, nursing a cup of tea and nibbling the spiced nuts she’d just finished making when she pulled out these game-changers. “You’ve got to try these,” she said. I eye-balled the package and had some of the thoughts you’re probably having right now. But then I took a bite.
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