Theme for January: What Stays the Same in a Season of Change

On Sunday, January 5th, 2020, I began teaching a 7a yin class at the studio in Maplewood where I had a regular restorative offering.

I got there early, around 6, with a leather bound journal and cleared the room. I set the lighting dim, put the battery operated candles all around and covered the supply shelf with a blanket, added height and dimension. Once the room was set, I put books of ancient text, my mug of hot water and – of course – the leather bound journal & pencil – out on the floor and I sat in the space I created and prayed.

“Backwards, moving, warming. The words are underneath my brain all the while things kept moving…”

Those are the first words I scribbled in the journal, waiting for the flow to begin… to be told what to teach. I approached that Sunday morning yin class as a door for me and others – a sacred opening for us to maybe even come fully alive in a pose or in a breath – and feel that awesome feeling we get sometimes when we are truly fully present: that suspension and peace.

Each Sunday, I held myself to the same practice: preparing the space, sitting and waiting, sketching the thoughts and the poses. Until March 22nd, 2020 – the last class in person before we went into lock down. I remember the 9a teacher arriving early for her last class and our students mixing in the lobby… a few tears… what is going on? Are things really like closing?

2020 was the first year I started with a practice and kept it up until disrupted by the world. I remember considering continuing with a weekly morning email for folks to practice at home. Doing the same thing in my own home and sharing. But it did not feel right. So I did not.

Now we are on the 2nd of January – the first Sunday in January – and having a Sunday morning practice of sitting with an open heart and listening feels right. This year, it is not a yin class I prepare for, but the continual growth of and the four books I plan on putting into the world this year.

I am prepared to let go of any of those four books should the world force my hand while also I am confident enough in what they are and how I know them to say they are what I am doing. This is the balance of effort and ease. Trusting yourself to hold on to something with diligence while being open to the way they will be shaped, the way your hand may be forced to let go, the way creativity may ebb….

And so here lies the January theme:

What do you know well enough to allow to be constant?

What do you know well enough to allow to change?

We get our kids back over the course of this afternoon and the next couple of days from their other parents’ house where they have been for a week. David and I have had a week of hiking, eating well and rest. We feel good. I can tell we feel good. But, when you look around the house we live in – you would see our current crux: our “endless loop” of shifting a room’s purpose and furniture and stuff to work for our family.

Even with all the ideas floating around as to how to set up the family room, dining area and sitting area, I still hung four pictures in the corner of one of the rooms. Because it is where my desk is… This corner is my constant in my house of change. It’s an anchor that will baseline the evolution of how the rest of the house falls into place as well as how the year goes.

In closing, at 40 years old, I have gone through enough iterations of myself with full head on awareness of what I wanted to spin out of or step into that I know one of the tricks is to allow some thing to be constant. Overhaul as much as you want, but keep the thing that works the same. At least try to until the world forces your hand. Because even in that case, the sacred place and priority you gave it will make it fun to see how it comes fully circle.

I believe what you allow to be constant and what you allow to change is a reflection of how you keep your heart and – thus – what your life presents to you as the things you must work through. Think about it.

What is Frozen Spaghetti?

Over the past month, as I launched Apple Tree Magic (yay book is available HERE), “Frozen Spaghetti” and this whole blog forum has come up on my mental chopping block. What is the point of this domain?

Frozen Spaghetti began when I was in 8th grade. We were tasked to write an autobiography and I took it full on. I LOVED that assignment. I have the book on my bookshelf in our study even now. It’s a genuine legitimate thing in my life.

But it’s not Apple Tree Magic. Apple Tree Magic is my creative entity and legacy in the making. It’s my creative word, meant for us all to enjoy together. My work is not about sales and me as much as it is about getting us all together (on the same proverbial and literal page) and making space for something really fun, really magical to happen.

The people I know and love are awesome. I know intelligent, creative, insightful people with really REALLY good laughs. The food and drink they enjoy, the types of experiences they enjoy – are Ecclesiastical in their goodness, their happiness.

My vision, my hope for Apple Tree Magic is to fruit events and community like none other. For it to be a church of love, to a certain extent. Where people enjoy reprieve from the world’s very real chaos, can support other people experiencing the world’s very chaos and – perhaps – maybe balance out a little bit of the chaos that starts in our homes, in our hearts and in our minds.

“Gentleness” has been the common prayer request in my household. On our wall is written, “let us consider one another to stir up love and good works”. We are learning each other in ways that our chiseling our own understandings of ourselves. I believe each human being under my roof is actively changing and morphing as we speak. And, though it is true we are all actively changing and morphing all the time, to witness the extent of the maturation in my specific fishbowl is miraculous.

Think about it. Your home. Your family. Your teens. Your wife. Your husband. Your garden. Your animals. Your hobbies. Your yard. Your floors. Your bathrooms. Your health. Your vitality. These are things you specifically affect. You get to affect them positively, you might affect them negatively. And the biggest thing here is that – to really take that on? Humility is essential. Teachability, a gift.

So – Frozen Spaghetti, what are you? As I let ATM take me further into public life, community – walks and lunches, zooms and classes… Frozen Spaghetti remains to be my private philosophies. Where I cut my teeth on some ideas. Process out loud in written form some new thinking. Where I unfold a little bit. Where I understand myself a little bit better.

For that reason, you should know I might consider making Frozen Spaghetti a paid subscription service. I’m thinking a simple enough couple of bucks for this to be a little bit safer for me to try new ideas out and hold a little sacred space while I think through how I want to write about my personal life – on the internet or elsewhere…

OK. Basement organizing. Lead follow up for books. (I know I said it isn’t about sales, but mama wants a hot tub.) Veggie Cheesesteaks. A little bit of laying out Words that Rhyme Volumes 2 and 3. Create audio link for orders. Start up address labels for this week’s shipment. Look up some scripture. Journal on book 2 (a yoga devotional out next Easter). Oh, and invite you all to follow Apple Tree Magic’s publishing journey. Go to Apple Tree Magic dot com and check it out. Get on the audience list in the footer of the page for sure.

Alright. Tuesday. See ya, erin

Testing, Testing, 1 – 2 – 3

For starters, let me just say that I know people who get this and this particular Frozen Spaghetti pod is very special to my heart and so I thank you, very much, for the encouragement you show to my writing, my way of thinking and – in general – encouraging me to exist in my exact possible way.

I am in the final countdown to putting the email to my contacts out into the world. My goal is to send it to 100 people directly. Every time I add a person to the list, banking on them remembering they said I could add them, I question myself in just a little way.

It’s never full on doubt. Or lack of confidence or love of Words that Rhyme and Lullabies. It’s not really the whole “am I ready” for this thing, because – “what is this anyway” and / also, I was born ready.

But what it is is something unique to the experience of sharing with both hope and aspiration, with both “this is for me and my spirit” while believing in the way it connects with others.

What will this mean? What will my experience of numbers be? How can I communicate upfront about what exactly when there are still so many unknowns even about the coming months.

And – there you have it – I just need to know a little bit more. It’s time for the old give and take.

So I will be sending this email, coming soon to an inbox near you, that will introduce you to my first official creative work, pave the ways for the ways I am going to share it in its full color and dimension: audio, storytelling, baby holding, prayer.

I had a pulse of “nobody will want the last one” with a response of “or maybe everybody will”.

These three volumes of Words that Rhyme of Lullabies span the human experience as I know it thus far: infant hood, wonder, love and connection. Curiosity, identity and (yes) a little bit of trouble in volume 2, out Christmas 2022. Lastly, the final stages of life… the heart, grief and infatuation.

My first book is going to be sent to the printer next week and I will be better for it… having arrived in some way.

For now, just know I’m a little nervous. And I am thankful for this blog, Frozen Spaghetti – the name of my 8th grade autobiography – and the way it works as my shoebox on the internet; available to store ideas, feelings and – in general – whisper into.

If you are not yet on my mailing list or not sure if you are, go ahead and give me your details here. And forgive my lack of branding. I am under major construction. :)