“I feel you feeling me.”         
Thomas Hubl

This simple quote nails it.  When I feel you the same instant I sense being felt by you…well, that is intimacy.  Which is a crucial building block for experiencing safe relationships.  The tricky part is that this reciprocal sensing is in constant flux, a moment by moment experience fed by fluctuating signals to and from our nervous systems. The raise of an eyebrow.  A quick glance to the left.  An arm covering the heart.  A step back.  Or forward.  Our bodies make adjustments and our nervous systems detect, interpret, respond.  It is an endless data streaming service that requires one key element to remain fully operational: presence.  Oh that.

Real time presence is demanding.  Presence asks us to separate our thoughts,  judgments, agenda and expectations from our ability to just be a witness. To simply rest in pure awareness.  Nothing better to do than be with you.  Open, welcoming, receptive.  In a field of presence, our nervous system is primed to guide us into attunement with another.   We might think of attunement as our ability to be absolutely present with our own inner world at the same time that we include another.

I remember feeling this utter conundrum—stay with yourself AND take a partner—identified that first year I inhabited the dance floor.  I’ve been practicing ever since.  I do not have it mastered.  But there have been strides.  And attunement took a leap this last week under the tutelage of Sylvie Minot  at a 5Rhythms teacher refresh in West Virginia.  The dance floor pictured above set the stage for development of a physical skill set.  Because intimacy is not something we can just read about and think our way toward.  An embodied practice is the only way I know to bridge the enormous gaps out there.  Gaps that feel ever-widening and sometimes almost insurmountable these days.

We can’t give up on this.  It’s utterly crucial.  We know what it’s like when we resonate with one another.  It’s a feeling in our bodies of tenderness, kindness, respect, safety, openness.  It can have the flavor of expansion, edginess, mystery, juiciness…fill in your own blank.  And we each sense it in different body parts, at different times and in different partnerships: in the soles of our feet, the pelvic floor, the belly, the solar plexus, the heart.

You know it when it happens.  It is as important for our health as food and water and exercise. And it has the opportunity to ignite when, in the presence of another, we open and become receptive to what is happening right as it is happening.  So come out and attune with me this week on Tuesday and Friday and Sunday.  And pay special attention to these two deeper embodied attunements in July:

Rhythm & Release  w/Bella  July 5
A moving dialogue between myofascial roller release and dance.  Our channel to heart, mind, soul, spirit is through the body.  You’re sitting in the only one we have. This is expert support for 5Rhythms practice which at times leads to physical problems and at times exacerbates existing challenges. This is also total support for a yoga practice that wants to take a leap off the mat.  Come feel.

Connections  w/ Lucia Horan  July 21-23
I have been studying with and assisting Lucia at Esalen for several years.  Her ability to catalyze a room into 5Rhythms practice is unparalleled.  So.  Much.  Integrity.  She articulates the experience in a way that never fails to completely move me.  Totally about attunement:  “we follow a path that can lead us out of isolation and into connection… learn to create the conditions for healthy connections between self, partner and community.”  Read the full description.  Enroll.  Do not miss this opportunity to spend a full weekend in the presence of a total master.

And in the meantime please know that I feel you feeling me.  And it feels good.


Touching home base just this one day before I depart once again. I feel drawn to the page, chock full of expression that begs emptying.  Bathing at Harbin Hot Springs echoes, first time teaching there since the 2015 fire.  Moving in me.  The pools survived the fire and they offer me so much solace.  There was time out from soaking to offer Roll & Release one day and, on the other,  5Rhythms.  Oh, I miss the Temple and the Conference Center. Instead, for now, a temporary trailer for all the myriad events.

I’ll be back, stay posted. Because if you come when I’m there, I have a standing invitation to join me in a bathing ritual I’ve practiced there countless times.  Seven times back and forth between hot and cold—in honor of the cardinal directions, the elements, the rhythms and the chakras.  Four maps that intertwine, reflect, illuminate and offer up a unique medicine each time I practice this ritual.  Do they match up exactly? Absolutely not.  And therein lies the magic of the seven repetitions.  Each time I surrender to this, different messages emerge.  This time, some bits of what I remember:

Into the hot for muladhara and earth, flow with the ancient wisdom of the north.  Receive the gift of feet firm on solid ground.  Seal that in the cold, knowing that even this icy plunge cannot shake this deep connection.

Into the hot water pelvic bowl svadistana, feel the connection of the bowl and the root, honor the swirl of emotion and in the cold feel the chaos of creativity bursting beyond the bounds of this bowl.

Into the hot, immerse level with the diaphragm solar plexus manipura.  Feel fiery nature, spirit of the south, rhythm of staccato. Launch right into cold and stir the pool into a torrent of passionate energy.  Tap into all still yearning to be expressed in this one precious life.

Into the hot, let the incoming water pound directly on to heart anahata.  Take deep breath steamy air. Open wide, walk the steps to the cold, face east, drop in, let the heart close.  Feel fetal beginning, shapeshift of lyrical,  fresh inhale as if for the first time.

Into the hot, right level with visudha throat.  Acknowledge the incredible growth opening here, how I listen crystal clearly, the release of the primeval choke hold on my voice.  Feel earth center support that freedom.  Drop into the cold and, for a moment, there it is: the frozen throat/neck of the past.

Into the hot, face west, let water encircle the temple, ajna chakra.  Appreciate the long journey to maturity that opened intuition.  Gifts of insight.  Stretch to the sky.  Descend into cold, let freezing water trickle right onto third eye point. Be ready for more….more dreams, more awareness, more clairvoyance.

Last plunge into the hot, feel as embodied channel between earth and sky, root to crown.  Rub crown open to spirit under the hot water.  Send prayers out upon the ethers.  Appreciate life experience morphed to hard earned wisdom.  Take that last dip into cold, let that seal the entirety of this experience.  Drop onto the deck in utter stillness.

This.  Seven repetitions.  So much medicine.  Maybe we will do it together some day.  Tonight I fly to West Virginia to dance with other teachers from around the globe.  Let’s be together when I return.

🙏🏼 Bella

On Saturday night I fell into the photograph rabbit hole, precious images archiving what it looked like to be a young family.  This greased the wheels for many tears on a Mother’s Day that skirted outside the bounds of Hallmark.  I’ve been a mom for well over forty years but it was only yesterday, as I danced on the Clara floor, that I recognized what a wave-like journey motherhood took me upon.

The deep flow of this experience began so innocently.  A dream, a vision, a longing miraculously manifesting as seedling.  My body incessantly changing into a life support vessel.  Exotic sensations: the weight, the tenderness, the swelling, the awkward grace of it all.  I had already spent thirty years in this trusty body yet never felt anything comparable.  And then the burst of birth, the suckling wetness, intertwining identities.  I lost myself, I found someone else, the inseparability, the fear, the doubt, the ecstasy, the exhaustion.

And then there was another independent being with distinct needs and desires and opinions.  Every staccato skill I had fostered stepped up to the plate.  The ditzy hectic years.  Another pregnancy, another infant.  Losing my own Mom just as this new chapter began.  And my brother.  Fevers and nightmares, stacks of library books, crayons, Play Dough.  Potty training, endless questions, bunk beds.  One devastating illness.  Day care and kindergarten and report cards.  Knee pads and uniforms and hoops. That upright piano and vacations and, oh yeah, earning a living, paying the rent, feeding the multitudes.  Finding time and space and love for my partner in life.  More exhaustion laced with joy and terror and pride and uncertainty.  It felt perpetual, Sysiphean and moving at the speed of light.

And then overnight our house began rocking in chaos with teen-agers and raging hormones and attitude.  Everything previously dialed in was not so reliable.  Our home  was loud with love and slammed doors and screeching brakes, raucous laughter, stumbling boundaries.  Unpredictable sophisticated re-plays of the Terrible Twos.  There was a lot of confusion and unsuccessful attempts at control.  And there was always hope and tenderness and devotion.  Ultimately there was nothing to do but let go, stay present, hang on for the ride.  And pray.

Somehow we all came through this portal intact and these seedlings launched.  They actually moved out of the house to take their first fumbling forays into adulthood.  Lyrical it was, the whole family shape shifting into what destiny had in store.  For me, the dance appeared right in this moment, age of fifty.  A Mama bear in an empty den.  An aching in my heart matched by a tingling in my soul.  My time.  At last.  Though the phone could ring at any moment.  And it did.

Now I settle into the stillness that book ends this wave of motherhood, at rest in a peace that sheds all over me.  I witness my stunning children as they make their own mark, find their own place in the world.  Good citizens of an ailing planet, contributing and loving in ways that buoy and astonish me.  In the eyes of my grandchildren lives the spirit of all who’ve come before me.  I breathe in the completion of this mothering wave, even as I feel the spiraling nature of it continues through time with them, my children.

Eternally grateful to my teacher Gabrielle Roth:

“Energy moves in waves. Waves move in patterns.
Patterns move in rhythms. Human beings are just that:
energy, waves, patterns, and rhythms…
nothing more, nothing less…a dance.

May the wonder of human birth and the sanctity of life continue to strike awe in the depths of our being….💗Bella


Holding space for 5Rhythms practice, a unique calling.  In the days preceding a session, I root through the mud of my life, digging for what’s most alive and juicy.  Then I massage this little tender fragment into the shape of embodied inquiry.  All this, before I find the right music and step through the door, in all vulnerability, to offer a group investigation.  It has been the perfect prescription for my own growth.

And there was plenty of growth this last week.  The collage pictured above was created on my birthday morning.  The Buddha with upturned palms came first and then the Thich Nhat Hanh quote leapt off the page at me.  It’s almost like a koan, is it not?  “ The tears I shed yesterday have become rain.”  So many ways that might work its way inside you.  That’s what happened inside me all week.  By Sunday that  quote was the alive, juicy, tender thing I brought to offer.

That fragment shaped into an embodied inquiry with the L Map.  I love the L Map.  You can actually sit quite still at your computer and feel this very quote filter through heart and mind with this map.  You’ll arrive somewhere.  But if you’re willing to move your body, maybe even get up on your feet, maybe even turn on something with a beat…you will arrive someplace different.  Because the body not only doesn’t lie, it is full of surprising truth. Ready?

Let it in: (if this quote doesn’t intrigue you, let in anything that is fresh and arising now.)  Inhale, feel your body mull over these words.  Cruise through each body part and allow the question, quote or whatever is arising to chime in.  How is your breath?  This quote landed in my belly and then leapt to my heart and brought memories of the tears I shed in the wake of my sister’s death.  And, as I moved, stories about this experience emerged from the depths.  I let it all in. Uncensored.

Let it out:  Take whatever you feel inside and allow it to become visible.  Let it shape you.  What body gestures happen on repeat?  Move as if you were in a conversation about it but had only your body as express agent, no words.  Communicate clearly.  This quote moved me in bursts of angry intensity, softened into tender clarity.

Let it go:  How convenient.  The element of chaos, the third rhythm, is water.  Ocean of tears.  Buckets of rain.  What happens if it all melts, liquefies, dissolves?  Release the story’s weight, surrender to the mystery.  I shook it out, a wet dog emerging from that ocean, quaking, shuddering.  I touched history that has shifted in me, shaped me, released what no longer serves. How much still softly nests intact.

Let go of letting go and then let it happen:  It is a practice to let go of letting go.  Sometimes met with reluctance.  It feels good to shake loose.  But once we cease letting go, the big whatever has room to appear. We can be so friggin’ serious. We might try lightening up.  Shape shift: be the rain, be the tears, be whatever is next.  I felt the perfection of my sister’s life, the integral way it weaves with mine forever, how deeply my life has been moved by her touchstone.

Let it be:  Can you allow it to simply settle?  Feel and breathe into the way it has shaped you because:

“….That’s what we’re looking for:
not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
without obliterating (getting over) a single instant of it.”
Albert Huffstickler

If you’re still with me, take a pause here.  I love the L Map.  Apply as needed.  The body not only doesn’t lie, it is full of surprising truth.  I hold space for that no matter where we meet.  Wednesday, Friday, Sunday are on the regular:

This week I’ll be up front for Wednesday Waves , an inquiry about gateways: resistance and surrender.  On Friday Kim Wagaman holds us in  Release & Realign.  The above poem excerpt was from her class last Friday; we are so often on the same page.  Sunday Sweat celebrates Mother’s Day.  Majica Alba, my partner extraordinaire, is absolutely the best facilitator for this offering.  Please bring your children (free) and mothers.

I am a bit amazed about how much is on the near and distant horizon. It feels like old times….but not.  If you know what I mean.

When your feet hurt, life is miserable. Our birthright: strong flexible feet that carry us wherever we need to go without being encased by Nike max-support. Think Kenyans running barefoot across the savannah. Many foot problems heal with dynamic intervention based in the principles of loose, long and strong. Learn to deep release adhesions in lower leg; fine-tune stretching; build foot power that connects to your core. All props provided for this fundamental work that will pay dividends over a lifetime.

Yeah…back teaching at Harbin.  Like old times.  Make your reservation for a day pass or overnight.  I’ll have all the toys for this practice that really meshes with the hot soaks.

Long time since I’ve played waves in these parts.  Wanna come?

A moving dialogue between myofascial roller release and 5Rhythms dance. Release feet and legs, ground into fluidity. Free up hips and shoulders, release into natural power. Unleash spine and head, feel the surrender. A two hour breathing moving journey into the joy of healing self-care and expressive movement. Varying density one foot rollers provided or bring your own long one.

  • Roll & Release Saturday July 8 11:00 & 4:00, July 9  11:00  Wilbur Hot Springs

Just like Harbin…but so much more mellow. Make your reservation for a day pass or overnight.  I’ll have all the toys for practice on their incredible yoga deck.  What a great match with the hot soaks.

So many tears, especially in these last few astonishing years.  So much rain, especially in this last soggy year.  Makes me wonder.  Makes me believe that all those tears we’ve shed may very well have become rain…


For the umpteenth time I listened to a physical therapy tale of woe.  Just last week I heard the story again.  With variations on body part, it pretty much goes something like this:

“My shoulder started aching a year ago.  The doc prescribed an anti-inflammatory that helped some, but after three months, when I stopped taking it, the shoulder just kept getting worse. It got to where I couldn’t even lift a carton of milk into the fridge.  So the doc prescribed physical therapy.  The therapist gave me some rubber tubing and an exercise list to strengthen the shoulder weakness.  And he showed me how to crawl my fingers up the wall to loosen the stiffness.  I stopped going after four times because when I did the exercises it made my shoulder worse.  I am literally at my rope’s end with this shoulder.”

If you have had a less than optimal experience in the hands of a physical therapist…well, you are not alone.  I hear this story time and again.  It breaks my heart.  Because I know what is possible.  When I probe a little deeper, I often hear that the doctor never physically touched the patient.  And even more shocking, the therapist was pretty hands off as well.  Physical.  Therapy.  The name is so indicative.  How did we arrive in this sorry state of affairs?

Just a bit of historical perspective.  With a final three months of internship in three different practice settings, I graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy.  That stint of clinical training, mentored by the best, filled with literally hundreds of patients…well, that’s where the book learning integrated with reality.  Hands on.  Face to face.  There is no substitute.  I was “grandfathered” in the early 90’s when Master’s level became the educational requirement.  Shortly after that it upped to Doctorate.  That’s a lot of additional years and the bulk of that extra education shifted to research.  Evidence-based treatment became the buzz word.  So important.  Sorely needed.  And conducting research trials and writing dissertations is one way to evidence-base your work.

There’s another way evidence-based treatment emerges: hands on, face to face.  I’m owning this personal bias.  And maybe what follows is purely coincidence.  But I began to hear the dissatisfaction stories around the time I opened Dreizler Physical Therapy in 1990.  And man did I hear these stories. Because we became known in town as a kind of “last resort” clinic.  Not sure why.  But we had an awesome group of clinicians.  Not a one with a Masters.  And we provided the best of individualized hands on physical therapy.  I’m proud of the work we did there for fifteen years.  And grateful that since then I’ve fashioned a way to follow my bliss with integrity.  Evidence-based.  Hands on.  Face to face.

I’ve been honing how to make this information accessible for years and I’m excited to turn you on via  Tune Up: best physical therapy practices Hands on.  Face to face.  Your human body is a miracle in motion. Until it’s not. Injuries, genetics, habitual ways we sit, stand, work, sleep….life creates challenges. And these troubles compound as the years accumulate. This is the norm. Neck and shoulder, back and hip, knees and feet share very common and often easily treatable patterns of pain and dysfunction.  In these 3 upcoming Saturdays at Yoga Shala you can join me for a self-empowering series or drop in to any single session.

BYO rollers and balls and/or I’ll have some available for trial/purchase.  Here’s how it will roll from 12:00-2:00:

  • April 22  Foam Rolling: Release fascia in neck, shoulder, back, hip, legs. Introduction to core power. Stretch out tight lower body muscles.
  • April 29  Ball Rolling: Quick review foam rolling. Fascia release with soft balls and double tennis balls. Focus on release, tone, length, asymmetry of central psoas.
  • May 6  Tune Up: Foam roller and massage ball techniques to create a body loose, long and strong. Special focus on releases for ankle/foot challenges.

To capture a flavor of how this rolls join me for a one-off Sunday morning April 23.  Sweat Your Prayers begins at 10:00 but I’ll be ready for you at 9:30.  Music playing, balls and rollers out there at Clara.  Me?  Just offering up whatever you want, whatever feels needed before we get up on those precious feet and start moving.

Because your human body is a miracle in motion. Until it’s not.   I’m all about supporting you in that moment.   ❤️Bella

Sea change: a profound or notable transformation.  Lately I’ve been curiously at watch as our communities of practice move through a sea change.  Something is different in this post-Covid spell.  Or whatever you call this relative break from pandemic-based living.  It feels like a paradigm shift and, for the last couple months, I’ve been trying to place my exacting finger on it.

In my non-practice, real world life, I’m continually seduced into behaving like this virus never happened.  Brazenly unprotected, despite the pile of masks moldering in my glove box, I stop at the store for groceries. I saunter by a hand sanitizer dispenser lingering unused at my sink as I head out to indoor dining.  I lounge in living rooms and chat with friends.

We, every single on of us, just moved through a world-wide plague.  An epidemic that took out so many of us and infiltrated every aspect of our lives.  It used to be the first and sometimes only topic of conversation. And somehow it just evaporated.  Man is inherently a meaning-seeking being, yet it seems that no one wants to talk about what it all meant.  Maybe it’s just too soon to have any perspective.  It feels like there is an unstated agreement, an undercurrent pull, to just move on.

But really, the fact that an entire global population proceeded through all the highs and lows of a shared traumatic experience is extraordinary.  It’s just plain weird that it feels relegated to the unspeakable ordinary.  But like I said, something is different in the communities of practice in which I participate.

Life can be counted on for delivering us to states of radical vulnerability.  Tragedy happens to us one by one or family by family.  In the case of catastrophic weather events and war, disaster happens to many in a geographic region.  But this huge and immediate drop into radical vulnerability affected every living being on the planet at the same time.

All of us stared down the gun barrel of our own mortality and for some of us it was the first time we even considered there was a gun.  I know this is so subjective, owning my own projections here, but there seems to be a deep hunger to get real, to explore and practice effective ways to deal with crisis and be with trauma.  And when we resonate with embodied practices like yoga and dance, we come in touch with the beauty available in this new state of radical vulnerability.  We have experiences in practice that can be passionately expansive, mind-blowing-ly transformative.

We’re emerging from a prolonged and painful isolation, looking for meaningful ways to connect.  There is a longing to belong.  I find the new students (of which there are many) incredibly open and courageous in this seeking.  I find the seasoned students deeply committed.  We are all actively looking for authentic ways to be with others and open to re-imagining skills that create real connection.  I heard the term “relational home” the other day.  The way we can be in community and provide a “relational home” for each other even in the face of trauma.  The practice floor is very much that: a “relational home”.

If you are ready to explore and expand, opportunities are listed here.  This Saturday, for the first time since Covid, I’m offering two hours fusing yoga and dance.  Come-as-you-are to this studio and leave with an embodied imprint, a visceral breathing experience of fluidity, power and surrender.  Rhythm and Release is for you, a perfect introduction, if you’re:

New to rolling and dancing: you’ll love learning the basics of releasing with roller and balls combined with a gentle drop into 5Rhythms dance.

New to rolling but already have dance experience: learn the self-love techniques that heal the kinks that keep you from fully falling into your dance (and life!).

New to dance but know how to roll: feel the joy of moving off the confines of your mat, so free after the releases you know and love.

Instead of going to practice being a thing to check off the to do list, this habitual thing to accomplish each week, it has become urgent.  Critical.  Fundamental for survival and well-being.  Indeed, it has always felt that way to me.  And a few others. But something has changed in the communities of practice in which I participate.  We are down for it.  And that feels good.


I up and quit my fresh from interning professional job after just 2 ½ years.  It was an absorbing chapter, sprawled on a floor mat, delivering therapy for youngsters shaped by cerebral palsy.  Wet behind the ears and guiding families in crisis.  Improvising solutions for the severely disabled in an under-staffed residential home.  Coordinating care with special ed teachers and advocating for kids in medical clinics.

One morning I woke up, felt my smoldering depletion, the depth of the bottom line of my chosen profession: being with people in pain.  And I grudgingly questioned this work as a life choice.  So in total youth innocence we dumped our few belongings in storage, plunked packs on our backs and pilgrim-ed 15,000 miles through the U.S. and Canada…without the benefit of a car.  Forging our newly adult selves in the raw cauldron of life on the road.

We returned to live in a VW bus outside a friend’s home and I waited tables at one of those 70’s fern and redwood restaurants.  Bringing people omlettes was the exact inverse of pain. Food delivery created so much happiness.  After six months, with a bit of perspective under my belt, I felt myself inextricably drawn back to physical therapy.  There was something there for me and I needed to find out what.

I’ve been dancing for decades with this unique destiny and after all this time, I’m clear that human existence includes chapters of pain. The challenge of living in a human body is overwhelming at times. It can be extreme. And in the midst of that extremity, despair can be so intense. These are moments when we are at our most tender, our most vulnerable.  When the human will to go on is challenged to the max.

And despair is not our only response; these can be moments of incredible courage.  Of tangible insight.  Of potent transformation.  This profession is not just about being with people in pain.  It’s about being with people in their stunning power-packed moments. Being a witness, breathing with, listening.  And, on occasion, touching softly the privilege of partnering in transformation.  This continues to be a powerful calling.  And I’m grateful that all those years ago I stepped back, took a deep look and consciously renewed my vows.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we’ve all been extra aching lately.  I’ve been with so many beings experiencing a world of pain…physical pain that spills over into heart and soul, deeply.  I’m versed in that world, personally as well as professionally.  I know how the fire of loneliness is stoked as we watch everyone go about their days with casual ease, lost in the notion that surely no one else feels like this.  I’m here to gently remind us that we’re not alone.

I landed on the dance floor Sunday with all this working through me and turned it into a two minute invitation.  This is an invitation you might invoke when the sheer loneliness of it all comes to call.  But it does require one thing, which can be a big ask in those vulnerable moments.  It necessitates reaching out toward another.  We need each other.  We simply can’t do this alone.  We need someone willing to be with and breathe.  Someone capable of being in the presence of pain and not giving advice.  Someone who does not feel compelled to fix the hurt.

We mindfully created that exacting partner presence on Sunday. We let spill whatever was challenging.  Physical pain.  Or heartbreak.  Or mental anguish.  Questions about our soul suffering identity.  Our impatience with platitudes about trusting the unfolding mystery.  Two minutes total: verbally and then in movement. And then two minutes to simply be there for the other.  It took so very little time.  And it created so much potent healing.

I spend plenty of time alone these days.  And mostly I enjoy the company I keep.  But I shine differently as reflection.  Not only do we need each other, we are glorified by each other.  We simply cannot do this alone and really, why would we want to?


Meditation: maybe this is on your shoulda coulda woulda list, lumped in there with proper nutrition and daily exercise.  It was on my list also for a long time.  But some time in the late 80’s, minding my own business, doing my daily exercise walk thing on M Street, Jack Kornfield entered my life.  A tape cassette series— Meditation for Beginners—summoned me from it’s perch atop a neighbor’s trash pile.  I snagged it and it, in turn, totally hooked me.  Eternally grateful to Jack and the random powers of the universe.  And to the producers of this handy dandy access:  Sounds True.

Ever since then I’ve regularly tuned in to Sounds True with their “clear mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom”.  I actually met Gabrielle Roth via VHS for the first time because of Sounds True.  Over the years that dissemination has morphed from tape cassettes to CDs and DVDs to downloads.  And now I regularly tune in to the podcasts, hour long incisive interviews with a full spectrum of practitioners, teachers and writers.  In Tami Simon’s words:  “transformational teachings that support and accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation.”

So recently I was just listening in to the Daniel Siegel interview while I danced around my kitchen cooking up some chili.  At a certain point, I had to put the whole stove thing on pause.  I sat down totally entranced and deeply absorbed.  His meditation approach resonated in me with so much clarity.  The fact that he self-identified as a clinician and a scientist and a dancer and the story he told of his harsh engineer father…you know how that is sometimes? I just connected.

So if a regular meditation practice has been on your shoulda coulda woulda list for awhile and you just need an easy access leg up, I have the most beautiful free resource for you today.  You don’t have to listen to his hour interview.  Just sit down for 20 minutes of his clear guidance. Do the basic wheel of awareness session first.  And, if it piques your interest, give the podcast a listen or explore the other guided meditations on this page.

Because basic awareness practice is totally foundational to any embodied practice.  You practice with eyes closed, utterly still.  Mastery of this is like attaining a white belt in karate.  When you incorporate this level of awareness while moving on your yoga mat, that’s like earning a yellow belt. And a dance floor practice?  Eyes open, room full of people, the beat of the music?  Sustaining this basic awareness as foundation…that’s a black belt.  And that’s the exact same skill we need to stay present at the grocery store.  You get my drift.  This foundation is a life changer.

So grateful to be in the world of “transformational teachings that support and accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation.” With you.  With us.  Let’s meet on that plane somewhere soon.  ❤️Bella

Evaluate and treat:  3 X a week for 6 weeks

So would read any number of prescriptions at the physical therapy clinic I owned.  The patient came in for assessment and then returned on the regular for hands on treatment and exercise progression.  Not unusual for this prescription to be renewed at least once.  Discharge was the ultimate goal, but there was no hurry.

This frequency was good for business, but over the years frustration was brewing underneath.  Increasingly I was present to the subtle way this frequency sabotaged the patient’s ability to take the reins of their own healing.  It felt like, for lack of a more tactful phrase, physical therapy babysitting.  And being a participant in this dynamic began to eat away at my soul.

So I sold that clinic and slowly, organically shifted to an entirely different business model.  In the fertile 3 year interim before I built the studio over my garage, I treated people on the fly, hauling my treatment table here and there.  The dual qualities of efficiency and agency began to intertwine and a more relevant way to provide health care emerged.   Both the patients and my soul thrived with this change.

Mostly I treat patients once or twice or thrice.  Our first consideration is to insure that commitment to healing is strong and, even more important, there is real excitement about taking the reins. What does that mean in practical terms?  To see me one-on-one there’s only one requirement: show up on your home mat twenty minutes most days for two weeks following that first visit and do the movements we phone video record.  That way, as you track shifts in your symptoms, we find out together if you’re on the right track.

Hands on follow-up visits are for progression, adjustment, modification.  And even when we arrive at a satisfying completion, things change over time.  People come back for tune-ups as needed.  A handful come for more frequent support: weekly for a bit or monthly.  Is this a lucrative business model?  Absolutely not.  Do I care?  No. There is such incredible freedom and honor and responsibility to be beyond that point in my life.

So let’s get a little more specific…..because it’s interesting how often our journey begins or eventually comes around to the psoas. Check this picture out:

Did you know they call this muscle the “first responder”?  Because in moments of perceived threat, the psoas comes on line to help you fight or run or maybe just freeze. Known as storage locker for stress and trauma, for me, in my medicine work, it holds the literal center. This Sunday afternoon I’ll be at Summer Moon Yoga for Centered: me & my psoasa two hour dive into the belly. A golden opportunity to go in there with expert guidance usually available only in one-on-one appointments.  A focused chance to feel, breathe, viscerally touch this place where gut instinct arises.  We have two tender loins (psoas’) and they differ from side to side.  Tending that difference is quite often a pivotal healing touchstone. Come with your curiosity, bring a roller if you have one.  I’ll have additional props and plenty of gentle wisdom to share.

If this is your time to take the reins I would be honored to be your coach and witness and biggest fan.  You inspire me every single day.


Is this a cautionary tale?  Family saga?   Exploration of skin as metaphor?  Without really knowing I’ll just begin as I sit here recouping from yet another Moh’s procedure.  If you know what this means, I’m sorry.   Having been the recipient four times in twenty years, I’m way too familiar.  Twice a year Mr. Dermatologist inspects for dry scaly areas, which he painfully freezes so new healthy tissue has a chance to emerge.

Sometimes these lesions require biopsy.  The dreaded squamous cell diagnosis means the skin cancer has gone deep.  On to Moh’s surgery where each layer of visible cancer is removed one at a time and microscope checked.  They continue cutting away until the the wound margins are clear.  So now I have a dime-sized crater in right shin and enough medical knowledge to know that lower leg wounds heal very slowly due to poor circulation.  Do not fracture your tibia!  This tender hollow aches under pressure and I am called to ghastly wound care once daily but other than that I am good to go.

Except I’m left to wonder about the meaning of this recurrent condition.  Left pondering the energetic quality of skin, this organ that completely envelops my being.  The ultimate line of defense between me and the rest of the world.  What does it mean that this flesh wall does not hold?  With all that I’ve learned about my history of being defended, with all the work I’ve done peeling away layers, with all my willingness to allow my vulnerability to show.  Is this some metaphorical sign from the universe that I’ve gone too far?  Not far enough?  I sure don’t know.  Just musing.

The intriguing story is that the medical roots of this issue reach all the way back in time to when those very lines of defense were arising.  Being carefully constructed layer by layer in order to survive a childhood fraught with peril.  And the truth is that, hand in hand with the peril, there was beauty as well. Because my mom and dad were deeply in love with the wilds of California and they fed me with this love.  Each spring my dad pored over topographical maps of the Eastern Sierras and every summer of the 1960’s we’d head out to Lone Pine or Bishop for two weeks of raw down to earth adventure.

Now, mind you, this was way before backpacking was a thing.  For us, there was no tent, no stove, no water filter.  We would just dip cups into rivers, cast fishing lines into pristine lakes, cook over fire, lay flannel bags out under the stars.  It was a literal paradise and these experiences instilled an intense appreciation for all things outdoors.  Ironically though, it was all those hours of high elevation sun exposure that set the stage for Moh’s.  This was before sunscreen and I never wore a hat…note picture above.  The cautionary part of this tale? Climate change makes sun exposure ever more perilous.  Sigh.

So there you have it: cautionary tale, family saga, skin as metaphor all wrapped up together.  Make of it what you will.  And may it serve to set you wandering/wondering about your own body tales. The weaving of history with the unique challenges each of us face over the arc of a lifetime.  Fascinating.