Sunday, February 25, 2018


"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." ~John Lennon

I've been thinking about plans lately, because I've got a lot of them this year. And, because so far, some of my plans haven't worked out quite as expected.

First there was my trip to Dallas for a weekend workshop with my teacher, during which I fell and sprained my ankle. Then, this past week, my friend, Irene, came for her annual visit, to which we both look forward all year. Even before she arrived, though, we knew that she might have to cut her visit short, because her brother had been diagnosed with a potentially life threatening illness. And indeed, that's what happened - she's on her way to see him now.

I've learned to try to find a balance between looking forward to planned events, but not getting too invested in them. That's not always easy, especially when you are really, really, REALLY looking forward to something.

But when things go awry, it also becomes easier to focus on what really matters. In Dallas, I had to totally shift my expectations away from how I had expected the workshop to go for me, and to embrace a whole different perspective on participation and learning - while also keeping my ankle safe!

And, as much as Irene and I had looked forward to a long stretch of hanging out together, as soon as the situation with her brother was clear, we shifted into letting go of the expectations we'd had and honed in on what was now important: making arrangements to get her where she needed to go in the timeframe she needed to get there. We had two lovely days together, and though we were sad to have it cut short, we both also felt good and peaceful that she was doing the right thing.

I don't know that there is any big message here other than not to hold too tightly too our plans. It's just what I'm thinking about, given these two situations coming within weeks of each other. And, of course, I'm hoping this isn't a trend that will hold for the whole year. But if it is, I'm sure I/we will adapt accordingly, because, well, that's Life!

For February, I've focused my classes on heart openers - or back bends - because we associate February with Valentine's Day and hearts and love and all that good stuff. In my more advanced class, we worked our way up to Urdhva Dhanurasana, or "Upward Facing Bow Pose," often called Wheel. We had fun exploring the dynamics of coming into this challenging pose: arm and shoulder strength, open shoulders, flexibility, long relaxed muscles and the front body's ability to stretch.

So, here I am, doing the pose out on our lanai.You can see that it's the shape of an archer's bow, facing upward - hence the name. And you can see how it opens and stretches the chest and the heart space. As I mentioned, it's a challenging pose, but one that makes you feel great! With openness in our hearts, we are more able to adapt to life's surprises - especially the curve balls.


  1. Dear Melissa, I so understand your pondering how to live with plans that go awry. For the past three Sundays, I have posted on what "tense" I've lived in. How I lived in the past until the publication of "A Cat's Life," when I immediately began to live in the future. It is only in a last 10 years or so that I've felt the gratitude that keeps me in the present.

    All the illness I've experienced since 2006 has taught me that I have little control over the events of my life. Really all I can control is how I respond to them, just as you did with your ankle and your friend. It's a great lesson to learn, isn't it! Peace.

    PS: I'm sorting my personal library and found your 2nd book! So I'll now reread it. My convent memoir is coming out--if all goes well--on March 21 and will be available on Amazon. I learned so much about myself as a young person as I wrote it. It was good for the soul. Peace again.

  2. Please remind me about the date - I definitely want to get it! Yes, it's definitely taken me most of my life to learn to be at peace with plans gone awry! When I didn't freak out over hurting my ankle during the workshop and instead switched to "ok, I came to learn so I'll just learn differently," I knew I had made some progress! Of course, don't ask me how well I'd have taken it had it been a broken leg or something really serious....still learning!!

    1. Dear Melissa, my oldest niece is getting the convent memoir ready for CreateSpace publication. Tonight she asked me if I could get any advance reviews. I'm wondering if you would be willing to read the ms. and write a couple of sentences that could be credited to you as author of your two books, which we could name. I need a review by March 8th, so that may not suit your schedule, but if you would consider doing this I'd surely be in your debt!!! Please let me know. Peace, Dee

  3. Hi Dee, I am not 100% about the timing, but I can try. Would you like to send it to me? You can send it to me at If I can, I surely will.

  4. Dear Melissa, so glad I came to your posting today. I'll send it as an attachment right now. Thank you so much. Peace.

  5. Dear Melissa, thank you so very much. It's going as "Advance Praise" in the published book and the ebook with your name and the titles of your two books. I so hope that perhaps some readers will read your review and order the books! Peace.


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