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Greetings, friend.

Yes, I’m two days late in sending this weekly newsletter. Tuesday was my uncle Ryan’s sixth anniversary of his suicide. It’s such a weird day. I still don’t really know what to do with Ryan’s anniversary: it sits heavy, but his death is so contrary to his living that I really struggle with the heavy emotions contrasted with his hilarious, kind, and ornery self.

So this year I cried the night before and then held Tuesday gently.

In thinking of this newsletter, I have pondered what to write, and I’ve settled on two of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from grieving, anxiety, and yoga:

  1. Be gentle with yourself, especially on hard days.

  2. Learn when to push and when to pull back. (In other words, learn your boundaries.)

Days that memorialize our losses can be tough. My grievings run the gamut: sharp and painful to soft and quiet. Sometimes the best way I know to deal with them is to simply get through them. There’s another day on the other side of this one, and occasionally all you can do is hold steady as time passes.

My yoga teacher has two things she says that have helped me in recognizing my boundaries: “Stretch without strain” and “Stay where you are or . . .” The former is her way of cuing how your body should feel in a pose. Yoga shouldn’t hurt; if it does, stop what you’re doing, back out of the pose a bit, find your breath again. Yoga should, however, stretch. I’ve learned the difference between stretching and straining: when I can go deeper and when I need to stop. Gift.

The latter cue is her way of inviting practitioners into another version of a pose. But sometimes you don’t need another version; sometimes you can stay put and be perfectly fine. We live in a society that prizes leaning into, pushing through, onward and upward. Nothing about that prizes listening to the body, the mind, the heart. I think that’s why we struggle so much with how to talk about grief and mental health: These two things require listening, respecting boundaries, slowing down.

So here’s my invitation to you today: Listen—really listen—to one thing your body, mind, or heart is asking for and give it that thing. A nap? A cookie? Water? A run? Three deep breaths? A hug? A silly movie? No judgment, no pushing, no straining. Simply gift your body, mind, or heart what it’s requesting. Then take a moment to sit with how you feel. Better? Uncomfortable? Weird? Observe. Then maybe try again tomorrow.

This is a bit of a longer note than I was intending to send. But it’s my voice, and as you decide when and if to take classes with me, I think it might be useful for you to hear that voice—or read it, as the case may be.

A couple points of business:

  • A new virtual Grief series (beginning early next month) is being added to the Events page as you read this. (I didn't time writing and updating right. Ha!)

  • A virtual Anxiety series is beginning this Sunday. There’s still time to sign up!

  • Spaces are still open for the in-person Grief and Anxiety series at the Collegeville Institute.

All of these can be found on the Events page of

I’d love to practice with you!

And now, Five Things I’ve Loved about This Week:

  1. Mornings at home. I was working as a part-time baker at a coffeeshop nearby for a few months. It was a delightful experience, but I’m happy to be sleeping past 4:00 again! (It’s also allowing our eight-month-old puppy a chance to figure out how sleep works. Bonus!)

  2. Returning to my own yoga practice regularly. Oh, that mat is a lovely place to be.

  3. Marvel movie marathons with my husband.

  4. The birds are singing in the mornings. Have you noticed?

  5. Snowy days. It’s March, and I know everyone is ready for spring, but there’s something delightful about hunkering down for these late-season snowstorms: comfort foods, fluffy flakes, the knowledge that soon it will melt. (It will. I promise.)

May you also find things you love in these days.



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