Robin's Blog

Passed Down


While checking out at the grocery store last week, I noticed that the lovely cashier seemed low and a bit out of sorts. I asked her how she was doing, to which she replied, “I had a very rough commute this morning.” I sensed that that wasn’t the whole story but continued to place my groceries on the conveyer belt while we engaged in small talk. She paused when she scanned one of the bottles of spring water and professed how much she loved the brand and how it made her feel. Isuggested that she try to take some breaks throughout the day and perhaps get a bottle to drink herself. She nodded her head, but I could tell she didn’t think it was a realistic option.

I paid for my groceries, slipped my hand into one of the bags, pulled out a bottle of spring water, and handed it to her. Her entire being lit up. She held the bottle close to her chest and asked, “Really? For me? Are you sure?” “Yes, of course, I am sure,” I replied, “but please just do me one favor: when you are feeling more like your beautiful self, would you kindly pay this forward?" The biggest smile spread across her face as she nodded her head yes.

My intent for sharing this tale is not to show off my deed but, rather, to highlight that I was taught to do this. It has been passed down to me. I witnessed my parents’ random acts of kindness, especially to the underserved, long before such actions came in vogue. I recently learned that my father helped pay the grocery bill of a woman behind him in line, and she ended up doing the same for the woman behind her!

In my parenting, I have witnessed that what I do is often more important than what I say. Let us commit to showing our children how to go first, take care of the other person, and keep our words and actions congruent. That way we can be proud of what we are passing down, and the world will begin to right itself.

Ahimsa


“Your hands are so old and wrinkly,” she said while we were in a Downward Facing Dog pose during a recent kids yoga session. To which I replied, “Oh, but I love them. I think they are awesome.” She seemed surprised of my response, but time didn’t allow a further explanation. 
What I wanted to share with her is that I love my hands because they map the journey of my life. I love every wrinkle, sunspot, and dry patch. 

These hands have held: 
pinecones, dirty rocks, sappy branches, wild watercress and blackberries, horse reins, bicycles bars, cross country ski poles, hockey sticks, puppies, kittens, dogs, tennis rackets, bibles, sacred letters, pictures of loved ones, our girls for their first breastfed meal, countless coffee cups.

They have: 
gripped my husband's hands while we recited our vows, rubbed backs, rested gently on my mom’s breathless belly, hugged my father’s aging torso, waved too many hard goodbyes and celebratory hellos, held me up in handstands, written love letters, made mudras, prayed and prostrated the earth, clenched with injustice, hitchhiked, made thousands of home cooked meals, built sandcastles, flipped baseball cards, massaged weary shoulders, and offered healing touch.

So, yes, my hands may look old to a nine-year-old but, they have served me so well. And that goes for the rest of my body – the wrinkles on my face, sagging seat, and softer belly. I love it all, this temple and container of light.

Integration



I recently participated in a mentorship course that asked its participants to craft sankalpas. A sankalpa is a present tense sentence often preceded by the phrases “I can”, “I will”, or “I must.” It is similar to a short-term goal that is achievable in 6-18 months. It represents one part that contributes to the whole (your dharma/purpose).
 
This is what I submitted:
 
I will be me.
I must be me.
I can be me.
 
The following email chain transpired between my teacher and me:
 
What does ME mean? Be more specific.
 
seeker, settled, brave, scared, honest, awkward, confident, deep, shallow, original, repeater, lover, comfortable, connected, going forward, staying still, earthly, dimensional, timely, trusting, in spirit, leader, follower, selfish, selfless, knower, known, caller, called, real
 
Superb - for me, it looks like:
I can prioritize me
I will prioritize me
I must prioritize me
 
While my sankalpa may seem obvious, its prework was extensive. I’ve spent the past 33 years, the last 10 in earnest, remembering and unlearning. I wrote this sankalpa so that I remember to allow opposing parts of myself to rest gently side-by-side, integrated. Life becomes softer, and we become even more available and open to others.
“You want to have your cup overflowing so you have enough to give to everybody else. You can’t keep giving from an empty cup.” Living my sankalpa and heeding Oprah’s wisdom means that the best way I can serve others is by giving from my cup’s overflow.
 
Magic lives in the overflow, and it is wildly abundant and generous.  As this summer winds down, my prayer is that everyone be first in line for very good care, fill their cups to the brim, and revel in the emanating sparkles.

2 Years


I’ve written this post and taken it down 3 times. Why? The honest answer is that I feared people would judge me. However, I know that the only people who judge us are ourselves. I made a commitment as a mother and teacher to be honest so that my family and students would meet with my humanity instead of an inauthentic image. I am no longer interested in appearing perfect; I’m interested in being connected and real. So, here it goes: 2 years ago yesterday, I committed to cleaning up my unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I chose to acknowledge the unsavory parts of myself and let them stand next to the beautiful ones. This is what we call Yoga - the place where light and dark stand on equal ground to create wholeness. I do not feel we are on this journey to be right, to defend, or to prove ourselves. We are here to spread our love and light. Please heed the advice of Brene Brown and stop hustling for your worth. You are already worthy.
 
 
 
 
 

Tickled Pink



In honor of the pink full moon on April 10th and the rebirthing energy of spring, I would like to (re)plant what it is I desire for this season.  The following is a very loose, incomplete, stream of conscious writing of what it is I truly want:
 
transparent communication to be taught in kindergarten, people to love themselves enough to peel away more of their veneer, to be kissed on the top of my head, to be dazzled by love, to randomly share hundred dollar bills to the underserved, to learn how my mom came to know GOD, to know every angle of the calling, everyone to accept where he/she is, to be wowed by animals, to understand the real meaning of the cardinals’ songs, to sit under the pine trees and sing loudly, “come on baby light my fire,” to bow to the completion of the parts of my life script that no longer serve me, a communal dining room table, fresh flowers in every room, organic food to be accessible to all, radiant alignment and perfect health, passionate collaborators, gentle expansion, to be a paradigm shifter, time to expand so I can host more women’s circles, to write a book, to slip into the next phase of parenting with pride and admiration and “please fly” permission slips in hand, to see colors in people’s energy fields, more marriage miracles and magic, more sister and tribe dates, Papa to write down all of his wisdom for the next generation, gROw Yoga to nourish what’s in people’s bones and hearts, to be known and to know, a world where people are kind, Yoga to be available to all, my prayer list for others to come true, to be tickled pink
 
The wise ones say that if we don’t have a vision, we perish. April’s energy is ushering in the desire to change and create. What will you choose?
 

Reflections on 2017



Thank you for gROwing with me this past year. 2017 was a celebratory year marked by our stronger systems, honed sensitivity, and resilience - byproducts of our committed practices. In our maturity, we learned that yoga is not just about bliss but also about gathering ways to flow with adversity. I know many of you came to your mats weary and, at times, worn out by life’s unpredictability. Together, we aimed to embrace these challenging moments, cultivate their messages, and mine their gold for a fuller life.
My wise mentor shared with me that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but rather certitude. This year, may you allow faith to inform your choices, paving a year with more openness, softness, compassion, and care.
 
Personal Highlights of 2017
 
- I banned the word “hard” from my vocabulary
- I focused on my freedom by allowing polarized feelings to exist in the same space, especially confidence and doubt
- I strengthened my sound current by promising to eliminate complaints and gossip from my thoughts and words
- I allowed my practice to be led by what I needed versus what I “should have” been doing
- I witnessed my unsavory parts, smothered them in love, and neutralized their charge
- I had my own back and focused more on presence than perfection
- I trusted my intuition and took on more private clients, weaving yoga, personal growth, and somatic healing work for some of my highest work to date
- I hosted more coaching circles and offered more techniques to children, helping them to embrace their bodies, minds, and emotions
- I apologized and confessed more and did multiple “re-dos” with my family for richer connection
- I continued to dissolve subtler layers of my conditioning, especially around themes of self-doubt, envy, and comparison
- I allowed divinity to run through a more clean, awake body and met negative sensations with grace
- I danced, streamlined my mind through meditation, got out in the woods, said, “I love you, thank you”, anchored even more gratitude, and opened doors to the wonder and innocence of life
 
2018 Offerings
 
- gROw talks: short video talks inspired by footage I helped to produce with fellow friend and yogi, Jill Sarkozi, founder of Safekeeping Stories
 -gROw Method workshops - http://growwithrobin.com/yoga/event-schedule
- gROw Yoga weekly Friday class - http://growwithrobin.com/yoga/grow-yoga
- gROw private healing work for adults and children