Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

When you’re 3/4ths Irish, your middle name is “Erin”, and St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, well, spending time with your very close (and quite huge) extended family just makes sense.

leprechaunsLeprechauns old and young and in-between gathered today to watch my cousin’s college baseball game. The ball player’s name? You guessed it…Patrick.

I was dragging a bit today, feeling tired and a little overwhelmed by all there was to try to get done in the weekend and lamenting that there weren’t enough hours to do it all. Yet outside of my head, it was a beautiful sunny day, green mustaches and Irish swag abounded, and our family chatted and crowded the bleachers. In spite of myself, I had to marvel at my luck ‘o the Irish to be a part of such a crazy, wonderful clan.

And speaking of being cheered up, this little bit of Irish Yoga humor never fails to make me chuckle. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

irish yoga

Summoning Spirit

I found a technique for connecting to my spirit that takes advantage of my tendency to be stuck in thinking. I start by doing the opposite–conjuring up things I find delight in:

 


My family: both the people…


…and furballs


Where I live


Penguins (naturally)


Being out in nature

And my amazing partner, soulmate, and love of my life

Next, I take the love I feel when thinking about these parts of my life and begin to breathe and wash those feelings into my body. I connect the memories in my mind to the feeling they create in my body. It feels warm, comforting, and peaceful.

Is it as easy or as automatic as going immediately into self-criticism and fear? No. But this is where the practice part comes in. The more I practice connecting to spirit instead of the usual crap, the easier it will become.

Grinning Among Family

I love this old black and white picture not just because it shows the glories of an old 1970s yard swing, but because it shows me as grinning youngster among family.
More than twenty-five years later, I can say that some things don’t change. I am so grateful to still be surrounded by my wonderful family. My cousin Kristin, the older cousin guiding us all on the swing, now has two daughters of her own. Maya, now 9, just starred in a community theater production of “The Sound of Music.” Needless to say, there were more family members that could fit a theater row in the audience to cheer her on.As we gathered together to socialize after the show, I was struck by how lucky I am. Not many families would voluntarily trek across the bay area to watch a relative perform, much less talk and laugh uproariously together until we all looked at our watches and realized the late hour.

But this is hardly a unique occurrence. When my dear Great Aunt Agnes passed away, everyone was there to show their condolences. When I announced my engagement to my husband, the family showered me with congratulations and celebration. When the San Francisco Giants, a team long-loved by generations of the Keane family, won the World Series, I think the revelry of my family rivaled the festivities of the Giants ballplayers in Houston that night.

I am truly grateful that wherever I go in the world, whatever fears face me, and however the circumstances, I have the comfort of knowing that I have this amazing family out there rooting for me along the way. And speaking of family, I marvel on a daily basis how it is that I’ve been so lucky to get such a wonderful little family of my own that’s now a part of this larger family.

So much gratitude and I haven’t even gotten to all the other important people in my life: my Forrest Yoga peeps, my wonderful friends, fellow One Brick-ers, my students, terrific nonprofit folks I get to interact with on a daily basis at my job, and the list goes on.

Thanks to Epic Thanks for prompting me to put into words the gratitude I feel inspired to share. Happy Thanksgiving!