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Newsletter

Winter bliss

To me, winter is stunningly beautiful.

Crystaline. Clear. Brought down to the bare bones. Fresh starts and traces of stories to be told.
Trees show their skeletons, stripped bare of the leaves that festoon them all summer long. Now, on a cold day, I can see the variety of shapes, the patterns of twigs, the golden ratio of trunk to branch. I can see all the hidden beauty that is overshadowed on those shady summer days.
Fresh snow wipes clean the surface of the ground, covering all and creating a fresh start. Stories get told in the paw prints left behind. Was this a fox? Or two? Was it trotting by when it heard the sound of a blind mole beneath the surface, when it circled back to pounce? Did a friend come to join in the feast? Or to gloat, “Hah! You missed another!” And did the snowboarder scare them off or slide through when the drama had long since passed.
These things leave me in awe and filled with Winter-Love!
xo,
Amy
Categories
Podcast

The Pleasure Lab: Paris edition

Special edition of the Pleasure Lab podcast, as Amy and Alex wander down Rue Cler in Paris and take in the many sensual pleasures.
 

The Pleasure Lab podcast is supported by YOU! through Patreon.com. Please join the community of folks supporting this work at http://www.patreon.com/bodytrust. We’re super excited about this as a tool to create even more intimacy and community
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.
xo,
Amy & Alex

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Newsletter

Wintertime Air

Noses are portals, between the inner world and the outer world. The function of breath invites awareness. Each breath allows contact with the environment and points attention to our body.
Breathing wintertime air can be an experience of breathing air from over baked interior environments, to cool wet/cold dry outside environments. Wintertime is an opportunity time to tend to your nose, and tend to your awareness.
A simple practice of breath awareness is Alternative Nasal Breathing.
Place the thumb of the right hand over the right nostril, middle finger of the same hand over the left nostril. Cover one nostril and close it, exhale through the open nostril. Then inhale through the same nostril. At the end of the inhale, close that nostril and open the opposite nostril. Exhale then inhale through the same nostril. Do this cycle three times each nostril. Notice your breath, and the inhale/exhale.
I am breathing the moist air of maritime pacific northwest. What is your air like?
Alex

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Newsletter

Sweet Cave, Sweet Music

I’m still in a sweet cave of reflecting on the year behind and tilling the emotional-spiritual soil so I can plant things for the year to come.
I also have about ten projects in the fire, so part of my cave is pulling back and creating creating creating.
While I used to listen to tons of singer-songwriter kinds of music when I worked, lately I’m listening to a lot of sweet things, mostly instrumental, as they help as a kind of white noise but they aren’t usually very distracting.
I’ve used last.fm for years — it connects to iTunes and Spotify (and before that, my Windows Media Player) and tracks all the artists and songs I listen to. (I think my profile is public? You can look at it here, if you want to know more about my music tastes.) I just got my year-end report which said my most listened to album was Rise & Fall by the Sweeplings, and my most listened artist was Tori Amos (duh).
But in addition to that lovely music, I’ve really loved the few double-guitar solos that Jason Kertson has. Aside from everything else, that he’s playing two guitars is really cool!
How’s your January, beloveds? Are you in a sweet cave? Hope you are warm and cocooned and snuggled.
Love,
Zed

Categories
Podcast

Root Chakra and the Wonder Body: the deep potential at the bottom of it all

In this episode of Season 3, Amy and Alex explore the root chakra. They drop into the not one but two root mandalas in the coloring book and describe how those images ground them. Then there is always the place of breathing all the way down to your anus (or pelvic floor) and how awareness of the root can increase resiliency and relieve stress (“Better Living Through Anal Breathing”!). They offer some things you can do at home to bring more awareness to the critical central location in the body, both physically and energetically.
Share one of your colored “root” pages with us (download PDF). What do you see? We’d love to see through your eyes. 🙂
The Pleasure Lab podcast is supported by YOU! through Patreon.com. Please join the community of folks supporting this work at http://www.patreon.com/bodytrust. We’re super excited about this as a tool to create even more intimacy and community.
You can get your own copy of the Wonder Body Coloring Book! – http://wonderbody.us
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.
xo,
Amy & Alex

Categories
Newsletter Poetry

Her Message: A poem after the California fire

On the first day, the fires came without warning. Just a precession right down the middle of main street, hello, hello, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. The wind scattered sparks skyward. There wasn’t enough time to find the cat who has been stalking butterflies outside. There wasn’t enough time to check in with the elderly neighbor who shared photos of their grandkids and loved your pumpkin pie. There was only time for those who could to run.
On the second day, the smoke had already traveled hundreds of miles. The nearby towns and cities are choked with grey, including mine. We are told to get P-100 or N-95 masks. We are told not to go outside. We are told to close all the windows. And we are the lucky ones: we still have our bookshelves. Our car tires are not melted to the road. The air is toxic, but we are alive.
On the third day, I think about the smoke. It isn’t just ‘smoke’: it is the remnants of melted car tires, burned photo albums of baby pictures, charcoaled couches and guitars and lamps, burned human bodies of people who died in their cars trying to escape. I am breathing them in. They are becoming part of me.
On the fifth day, I order reusable N-95 masks online. I have been putting this off thinking that by the time they arrive, the smoke would clear, but the fire is only twenty percent contained. This is the third time I have needed this kind of mask since I moved to California. The fires are becoming a regular occurrence.
On the sixth day, the air is the worse it has been yet. I read about the cities whose air quality is always like this. Yes, San Francisco’s air is bad: 290. But Dhaka, Bangladesh is 465. Delhi and Mumbai are frequently above 290 on typical days. Kolkata, India is 208. Lahore, Pakistan is 207. What is it like to live with this as a daily reality?
On the ninth day, I realize that my bedroom is not at all sealed. The cracks in the windows and doors are completely open to the outside air. I think about sleeping on the couch.
On the tenth day, I read that the trees love smoke. Smoke is carbon dioxide, which is what they love to breathe. I read that areas where there are the most trees, the air is the highest quality.
On the twelfth day, I read that the air is so bad, it is the equivalent of smoking ten cigarettes a day. As a former smoker, I think, well that actually isn’t so bad.
On the fourteenth day, the rains finally came. The puddles become full of toxic ash. We are advised not to let the dogs drink from them, but who ever could stop a dog from drinking a puddle? Our deck is slick with the residue. The city glitters and shines, fresh from a bath, and I can see across the Bay again.
Every day, I think: Could the earth be any more clear in her message?
Paradise is burning down.

Categories
Podcast

Sense of Sight and the Wonder Body: the bully sense, soothing colors, and live action coloring!

In this episode of Season 3, Amy and Alex explore the sense of sight, one of the big 5. In a departure, they try and color the “sight” page while conversing about the sense (see if they can actually multi-task!). So you may find their conversation a bit more languid than normal as they try and choose colors and talk at the same time. Print out the page for yourself and join us at the coloring table.
Sight, how it works, and how it creates pleasure. How is sight used to take in information about connection to others and our environment? Is the sense of sight a bully that dominates the other senses? When does our sight become habitual and at what cost?
Share your colored “sight” pages with us (download here). What do you see? We’d love to see through your eyes. 🙂
The Pleasure Lab podcast is supported by YOU! through Patreon.com. Please join the community of folks supporting this work at www.patreon.com/bodytrust. Zed and Amy just came back from a Patreon conference and we’re super excited about this as a tool to create even more intimacy and community. Stay tuned for more on that.
You can get your own copy of the Wonder Body Coloring Book! – http://wonderbody.us
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.
xo,
Amy & Alex

Categories
Newsletter

To Rest is Radical

Yoga Nidra: A practice of resting into the center of your being, into form and formlessness.

Hello Beloveds!
The veil is thin and the days cooler, shorter and darker. Rest beckons yet we may resist. Recently I went to a Yoga Nidra event led by a teacher from the UK, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli PhD. It rocked my world! The approach she uses is very feminine, circular, non-prescriptive and inviting. The intention of the practice is to assist ourselves in coming home. I did not fall asleep, which is a common use of Yoga Nidra. I actually experienced an awakened awareness that connected me to my form and formlessness in an exquisite container of softness.

Here’s a sample by a student of Uma’s I really like. See what you think!

With all the business of life, a practice of conscious rest can be considered a form of activism.
With love,
Lizz

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Newsletter

what is the risk of living fully?

This is a little meta. Or maybe more a bit like taking the local bus rather than the express. But bear with me.
I want to point you to this essay about the film “Free Solo” (trailer). That essay will take you to the documentary itself, about climbing El Capitan alone and without ropes. From that stop, you’ll have your own journey about the questions of courage, risk, perfectionism, and purpose.
This movie, even just the thought of it, makes my body tense. I hold my breath. Yet I also feel seduced by an invitation to know the potential we hold within each of us.
If the veil is thin, shimmering and undulating in some psychic breeze, then that movement invites the question: what makes us feel alive and how much more room might we actually have in that aliveness?
xo,
Amy

Categories
Newsletter

honoring the process of death

Everything ends. Everything is fleeting, temporary. This feeling, this open wound, this particular phase of the moon — we want it to be the way it is, but it isn’t. It is the way it will be, and will be after that.
Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t get too used to one thing, because it will become another. Don’t worry. You won’t stay as you are, either. This body is not the same one you had a year ago, ten years ago. Have you kept up with who you are now?
What will you continue to teach after you’re gone? Who will have your name in their mouths? What if it is no one? What if you are never internet famous, what if you never run a start-up that is the next cover of Wired, what if you do not leave a patented invention? What will you do with your life if you knew all you had was just your feelings when you create, your connections, your kinetics?
The great divine energy that is all that is loves to experience. The divine loves experiences so much that they have shattered themself into an innumerable amount of beings, each able to feel and see and hear and taste and love in different ways. They are moving through you to explore all there is to explore in your unique form. Do not deny the world your insights.
Do not be so selfish as to keep your gifts to yourself — even if they, too, will be temporary, will end, and may never be what you want them to be.
When something is dying, what happens? A withering, a crash; a crunch, a soft fading. Sometimes, things to do not go between the worlds willingly. Sometimes there is struggle. There is struggle all around, right now, as the old systems are dying.
Rage, rage, into the dying of the light.
Is there struggle in you? What is struggling to die? What should you be letting die with dignity, but aren’t? What wishes to sing itself into the great long slumber?
Me, I am shedding layers built up and I cower feeling the wind on my raw skin. It is hard to believe this is better, that this is where I should be: to look at the hard thing that I know will gut me and do it anyway. And I do it, and I do hate it, and that hate fades, and I have done it. Everything is fleeting, temporary.
Everything ends.
This body, too, will be a corpse.
Merry Samhain; happy Halloween.