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think different.

The Journey is the reward.

– Steve Jobs

I feel compelled to write about Steve Jobs death.  Not only because his creativity and intelligence re-shaped our modern world.  And not only because he passed onwards before we got to see what else he would dream up and how much further he could push inspiration and technology.  And not only because what he and his beloved company created was really, really cool.  I feel compelled to write about his beliefs and how he so seamlessly incorporated them into his work.

Many different things have been written about his core beliefs. Being a Buddhist- he was married in a Buddhist ceremony and was a Pescetarian.  He wore black turtlenecks and simple blue jeans most of the time.    But what really interests me is how he kept his beliefs as a guiding force in his business decisions…and more importantly how those beliefs rocketed him and his companies to the forefront of all creative and mindful companies in the world.

Steve used the Dalai Lama in an ad for apple in 1973 titled “Think Different”

It changed the way people looked at computers–and the way we think about doing business.  It was an announcement of a totally radical new way of integrating belief and sales. A platform of walking a path never walked before in thinking and in living.  In 2006, Steve ended his deal with McDonalds-stopping PIXAR characters from being sold in Happy Meals.  He said,”…there is value in tie-ins….but (there are) concerns as we become more conscious of some of the implications of fast food”.  He could have made a much larger profit by continuing to sell the toys, but it didn’t line up with his beliefs.  He managed to stay mindful and true to himself in the face of greed.

To me, Steve Jobs legacy will be the simplicity and out of the box thinking that is so evident when you pick up an iPad.  Simple.  Streamlined.  Intuitive. Beautiful.  It only arrived because he lived his truth and was strong enough to integrate his unique views and life path into his products.  Because he was drawn to “thinking different” -and doing no harm- and a simple focus-he created things the world had never seen.  He was certainly not perfect and neither is his company– but in this day and age of giant corporations literally bulldozing the world without consequence-his businesses remain a beacon of trying to do the right thing, inspiring the masses– and still making a profit.

I will choose to be inspired and honor his legacy by continuing to integrate my beliefs into my work and my thinking.  Yoga doesn’t end at the end of a class, and the sutras can only really be practiced by facing your challenges everyday and choosing to take the journey.  It clearly takes time and strength to hold true to your beliefs, your center.  But with practice and a open mind we can all change the world.

Welcome to the new Finding namaste!

Feel free to poke around–there are plenty of new toys to play with.  The site is still being updated- so feel free to email with any comments!  Thanks for reading.

be kind please rewind

My religion is kindness

-Dalai Lama

Sometimes it’s hard to be kind.

There’s a lot of crazy stressful energy zinging around right now.  When someone throws some particularly nasty energy my way-I admit-sometimes I throw it right back. It’s that knee jerk reaction to prove that you are strong and can stand up for yourself that happens in an instant.   I live in NYC after all- it’s a tough place right?

Or is it a place of possibility? At the very least, it is a place of practice.   I have made a promise to myself lately-to not give into other people’s energy so quickly.  I have taken a vow of kindness.  Kindness, not weakness- and it’s important to distinguish between the two.  Being kind doesn’t mean being weak willed.  Or a pushover.  On the contrary- it means having the strength to stop perpetuating any negative energy.  It doesn’t mean shrugging your shoulders and giving up-it means standing tall and emanating a positive vibe.

Someone I know recently remarked that it takes less energy to be kind than cruel and I agree.  To hold on to negative energy takes a lot of effort.  You must keep reinvesting in the negative to perpetuate it.  Being kind can be a reset button for yourself or a situation.  Sometimes it feels really good to throw someone a nasty look or lock eyes with a stranger that steps on your foot in a crowded subway.  Ha.  Take that.  But how do we feel when we are on the receiving end of the same look?  Angry, hurt, exasperated…..all of the above?

The Dalai Lama is a wise and inspiring man.  Kindness is very hard to achieve.  It means humbling yourself in a heated situation.  It means compassion for someone else who might be having a bad day.  It means a commitment to an open heart in a very hurtful world.  However, the wealth of positivity it brings and the ability to roll, unharmed with the punches of daily life is worth it.

My kindness quest continues.  Somedays, I am only human and a slip into an old pattern.  Thankfully, more and more I can embrace the new.

Join me?

more candles…more light

“It takes a long time to grow young”

Pablo Picasso

I just celebrated another birthday.  Another year of my life has flown by.  I had my cake and my celebration was small but meaningful- and I loved hearing my friends sing a little song in my honour.  The longer I spend on this planet, the more a birthday is a reminder that time is ticking away every moment.  That’s what most people can identify with.  Just getting closer to the inevitable?  The looming countdown clock that hovers over us all?

Well…yes.  BUT–this year I got to thinking…..Why do we have to focus on a decline?  I don’t feel like I am declining….on the contrary- I feel more present and radiant than ever.  I have a healthier lifestyle; I have life experience that allows me wisdom in stressful situations; I am continuing to look at my life in a deeper, meaningful way.  Our youth obsessed culture has skewed aging to the point where we are supposed to hide the number of years we’ve been alive?  Why?  Every year we live is another affirmation that we get another year to explore ourselves-look deeper-even fix things that have gone awry.  Corny….but, it’s a gift.

Our original birth-day–the actual day we arrive, bursting onto the scene so to speak–is not the whole story either.  When we are born we have already gone through a long period of survival and growth–the most important of our existence.  For nine months- we stake our claim on the world and grow at an astonishing rate.  On our birth-day we should celebrate our own will to live.  Literally.  Honour the brand new soul that worked so hard to have this life.

This year I will try to honour the years that have come before.  That have led me to this point.  All the mistakes and the triumphs-all the loves and hates–all the laughter and disappointments that make me who I am today.  Claim it.  Embrace it.  Wink at it.  And love the wrinkle that lingers….

comforts on the path-Sake bath

Fresh-Sake bath.

Another amazing product to share!  Ooooh and it’s a good one.

Detoxifying the body is very important.  Drinking water is the simplest way to ensure that your body’s systems are constantly replenishing and eliminating toxins.  Daily pollution, chemicals found in foods and helping the immune system to fight illness are all part of the detoxifying process.  Bathing is an ancient way to speed this process.  Working up a nice sweat and releasing all of the bad stuff has been practiced by almost every culture throughout history.

The great company “Fresh” has developed a bath soak that has become a necessity in my house.  The Sake Bath soak uses 50% real Sake along with real ginger, pine, and real peach extract for a toxin pulling, gloriously aromatic experience.  Apparently, the idea for the soak came from the tradition of Geishas.  They would bathe in sake and mix it with real peaches for a bath that left their reknowned skin soft and purified.

The liquid itself is a light amber colour and is somewhat close to syrup in it’s consistency.  You tip the bottle and pour the liquid under running water and it foams slightly.  A beautiful faint peach smell permeates the air.  Once in the bath, you will feel a lovely light coating on your skin underwater.  Sake elevates the body’s temperature, so you begin to sweat and the detoxifying begins.  20 mins later, take a moderately cool shower-using no soap to allow the benefits of the bath to thoroughly sink in.  I always feel rested and energized after my Sake soaks.

It’s definitely not cheap-a bottle runs around $80- but you use very little per bath and my full bottle usually last 3 months or so.  Treat yourself and enjoy.  Or give as a gift to someone who would love it.  Breathe deep and sweat it out!

in the weeds

“Head under water

And you tell me

to breathe easy for a while”

~Sara Bareilles

Easily overwhelmed lately?  Hi, nice to meet you.  Eternally feeling like you are racing to catch up to your own life?  Me too.  There seems to be one less hour in the day that I need to get everything done.  I try to carve out some time for meditation, grocery shopping, gym, yoga, teaching yoga, teaching dance, returning emails, walking my beautiful dogs—-not to mention being present in my relationship, connecting with friends, staying ambitious in my career…….aaaaaaand I am hyperventilating already just writing it all down.  Sound familiar?  Or maybe things are a bit perilous.  Maybe you’ve hit a stumbling block in life and you are swirling down and down.

Have you ever been physically pushing yourself to your edge on the treadmill or in a workout or yoga class?  In yoga classes, the exertion can be intense.  The mind says- I can’t do it!  Move out of the pose! Move your arms! It’s too much!.  Instantly the breath quickens and becomes shallow.  Heart races, adrenaline pumps and you focus on getting out of the situation instead of knowing it will be over and learning to breathe through the uncomfortable moment.

“In the weeds”.  The tall grasses grow higher and higher around you.  Your arms and legs get tangled up in them as you try to pass through.  Panic sets in….you thrash about trying to free yourself and you only become further enmeshed.  You can’t even see the skyline anymore, just everything closing in around you.

Why is it that we always go right for the panicked fight?  Never works.  Once you have exhausted yourself you find, huh……..if I just become still maybe it isn’t as bad as I thought.  In fact, when you are in the weeds- what else can you do but just stop and be still for a moment?  Slowly, figure out which body part is wrapped up and carefully slide out, using very little energy.  Take stock, plan your way out.  A simple path–much simpler than you ever thought- can lead you back out the the sun.

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and slowly ease your way out.  Feel the freedom.

power position

“Mana eva manushyanam”-  A man is according to his mind.

-Sanskrit expression.

Living in New York City, I am confronted by intensely powerful energy everywhere.  It is an aggressive energy.  It thrives on competition and makes you have to fight for yourself daily.  It is a good exercise in survival and basic reactions, but it doesn’t naturally foster an inward journey. You spend much of your energy focused on not getting lost in the fray.  I was thinking the other day, as I bumped and jostled my way down a very crowded street the other day; What makes certain people able to rise above the grind and actually tap into something greater?

Most, if not all of the people and figures that I admire in this world have that unnameable quality that makes them a magnetic, attractive and unique force. A personal power.  What is the purest and truest form of personal power?  How do you find it and how do you tap into it on a constant basis?  Especially in this world that seems to make us all question our own worth every day?

In his book “Light on Life” BKS Iyengar says, “Consciousness has to settle down with clarity, brightness, and serenity.  This renders a gratifying satisfaction to the conscience that is egoless and very close to the Soul.”  This echoes a feeling I have been having recently after I meditate.  I feel closer to my own very purest self and instead of feeling amped up – I feel quietly powerful.  There is a feeling that I don’t need to be anything more than what I am.  That by tapping into what makes me uniquely me, I shine even more brightly.

I am discovering that pure personal power comes from being aligned with the very thing that makes you, you.  And once you tap into that unique personal energy, you start to find that it feels better than anything else.  It’s familiar and perfect for each one of us.

The most successful people in this world, yogis or not,  seem to be those who stay close to their souls. No matter how far and wide their lives may take them, it makes them grounded in an energy that is eternal and brilliant.  And simple.  Simply powerful.

comforts on the path

I have decided to share with you, my friends and readers.  In addition to some of the pictures and words that inspire me…..some of my other inspirations along the path of life. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years now.  I believe in making your own personal choice when it comes to this, but,  some of the healthy stuff I find is really, really tasty!

I was on a very looong JetBlue flight a little while ago, and I had barely made the plane-and had no time to buy any food.  So halfway thru the flight I gave in and bought a pre made “meal”.  Some crackers and cheese and nuts and a small package of some kinda weird looking almond butter.  I squeezed it out of it’s little foil package and onto a cracker with a sinking suspicion that I was not going to like this at all.  Wrong!  A little sweet and a little salty.  Creamy.  Filling.  Yummy!  I almost licked the inside of the package.  I checked the ingredient list expecting to find lots of bad things…nope.  4 ingredients.

I got home and checked online.  Available in NYC at Whole Foods…yipeeeee!  I did some more research and found that Almond butter is considered more healthy than peanut butter–high in monounsaturated fats- and also due to a mold that grows on peanuts and can end up in peanut butter?  Yikey.

Anyway, who cares about health when it tastes this good.

Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.  In jars or little foil packets for on the go.  Yummy and healthy.  Try it!

constant craving

Change- to make or become different

Constant- unchangingly faithful or dependable over a period of time

-New Oxford American dictionary


My father spoke these sage words at the dinner table one night when I was a kid.

My brother and I exchanged a glance across the table and started laughing.  My father mimed a long beard and made a wise face—“Change is the only constant young warriors.  Now be well and eat your dinners”

It has always stuck with me.  We find ourselves living at a time in the world where you can’t count on anything.  There is no consistency in the weather, let alone the days of the week. Winters are warm and summers are cold.  We so desperately want to know what will happen tomorrow.  We drive ourselves crazy trying to predict the future and invest wisely.  All of our energy is put into looking ahead or looking back, obsessing over what could have been.  We make plans…only to have them dashed at the last moment by an unexpected circumstance.

Knowing that change is the consistency in the world, we can take the pressure off.  Life essentially is change.   Understanding that life requires us to be flexible, strong and adaptable all at once.  Ultimately, when you become inflexible and hold tight to life, it is like swimming against the current.  You must use all your strength just to go a short way.  It is our nature as human beings to look for routines or patterns in life and just slip ourselves into them, spending our lives coasting along.  But when the pattern changes unexpectedly, we become hardened.  We frantically search for what had become familiar–instead of embracing the new–and the possibility of something better.

Learning to expect change, and live in the present moment is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Embrace the unknown….crave the constant peaks and valleys.  Breathe deep.

Ready, steady…go!

STEADY – supported, balanced, regular, even, and continuous in development, frequency or intensity.

EXPAND – become or make larger or more extensive…broaden, widen, develop.

-New Oxford American dictionary.

I was in a favourite yoga teacher’s class recently and we were preparing to move into our sun salutations.  Standing in Tadasana, or mountain pose- we were focused on grounding our energy down through our feet into the floor.  Standing still, just standing, with feet together and allowing our bodies to align and find a stillness- is a deceptively difficult thing to do.

My teacher said… Find the stillness before we begin.  Soften and find strength.  You must be steady before you can expand.

Riiiight…..right!  Steady before expansion!  I almost started sweating in the rush that this profound realization brought.  Pure truth.  Have you ever watched a baby stand for the first time?  They finally pull themselves up to their feet and then they sway for a moment, precariously teetering between balance and their diapered bums plunking back down on the floor.  Innately, they have the sense that they should feel steady before they move forward.  Sometimes they get really excited to be standing and they fling their arms and try to walk…down they go.  If they try to do too much before they are steady on their feet, they find themselves back at square one.

In a larger sense, emotionally, we can apply this principal to our lives.  If you aren’t grounded in life, things feel unsettled– life comes at you and can knock you down.  Times are tough.  It is easy to feel like we are spinning wildly out of control; we grasp for anything, everything to steady us.  Instead of slowing down, this only speeds the tumble. We want to be out of our current situation, it is uncomfortable or not what we thought it would be.  There is more power in standing solidly on your own two feet, literally and figuratively, than trying to push yourself forward with an unsteady step.

Settle yourself.  Find a firm foundation to ground you.  Then grow out of that grounded place.  You can spread your wings more fully when you have a place to settle.

You must be steady before you can expand.  Firmly grounded before you can fly.