Good Day. Good Advice.

Mondays are rarely singled out as good days.

I mean, how can they be better than Saturday, right?

But, good days come in all shapes and sizes. And, this Monday was good.

Let’s check the “Good Day” box score …

Time in my day – and some jingle in my pocket – to sit down at Miso Sweet for lunch. Good!

miso sweet

Ramen. And, Donuts. Charlottesville. Very Good!

I know that not everyone has the time to sit down for lunch or the money to have a nutritious meal. It is not lost on me.

In the bathroom I find this note:

good advice

Good advice!

Photo: My trusty four-year old Droid. Permanent thumbprint on the lens. Not a good photo, but then, sometimes, even on good days, you are caught camera-less and only have one thumbprinty photo to show for yourself.

After lunch, I still have time to get to my Yoga studio for my own practice before my classes start. Awesome Good!

Yoga classes are full. Bountiful Goodness!

Sure, the Baltimore Orioles were swept by the Twins over the weekend. Sure, they will lose again on Monday night … and Tuesday night.  Sure, they look not so good and that’s six straight losses and the chances for Orioles baseball in October are looking a little like this:

cat gif

But, still. Delicious lunch. Good advice from a restaurant bathroom. Yoga.

All good.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

Early Is My Friend

New Year’s resolutions generally stink.

All good intentions to get healthy, go running, or eat better go out the window when a foot of snow covers your car, knocks out your power, but you still have to go to work.

You know it. I know it.

(There’s no resolution in the world strong enough to keep me from a piece of chocolate or a Diet Mountain Dew.)

Stevie Dew

Oh, look, Stevie’s a Dewbie, too!

If pressed, my New Year’s resolution is pretty simple – make it to 2015 and write on here from time to time. Because I love writing stuff for you. Really. Both of you. You’re both wonderful and incredibly good looking.

In the spirit of New Year’s let me tell you two honest things about me:

1) I cannot snap my fingers. I really can’t. It’s not that I choose not to. I would snap all day. If only I could. (There. Just tried again. Still can’t.)

(Editor/Husband says I snap my fingers like a second-grader. A paste-eating second-grader. I’m not proud of this.)

2) The only New Year’s resolution I ever kept was years ago when I worked in an office. I used to needle a colleague all the time. (She was a very nice person, but she didn’t know who R.E.M. was, for god’s sake, how could I not needle her? I was in a very sarcastic phase of my life. I know, so glad that’s passed.)

So, for New Year’s I promised her that for an entire year I was going to be nice to her. And, I was. I was so nice, fawning over her and always asking how her day was going (often interrupting her several times an hour just to ask), that I proved to be an incredibly annoying nice person. Imagine that!

Lisa became a successful – and very nice – lawyer. I write a blog with two readers. So, as you can see, sarcasm gets you nowhere, kids.

While I see the timely need to lard up this blog with some resolution jabber, it being a new year and all, you’ve probably already realized that I’m not really the best person to go to for advice or encouragement.


Unless you happen to own the Baltimore Orioles. Here are some resolutions for you, Mr. Angelos.

First off, get us some pitching. Spend some money … you can’t take it with you and you’re not getting any younger. You can never fully redeem yourself in my eyes after trading Jim Johnson, but you can make amends.

Let’s start with a Starter, ok? I mean, a real Starting Pitcher – a mean-as-cuss, ace-of-the-team alley cat who throws both fire and finesse.

A pitcher who understands that his day doesn’t end with the words “he was roughed up, again, in the fifth inning.” A pitcher who strives for “27 outs” … in a single game, not in a month.


Mountain Lion and Dr. Perky are cheap.

He won’t be.

At the risk of seeming greedy, pony up for another bat in the lineup and maybe a strong bullpen arm to replace the one you so callously and cruelly threw away. (It may be a new year, but I’m not over this Jim Johnson thing yet.)

In short, Mr. A, let’s spend some real dough so that the rest of baseball will stop thinking we’re the class weirdos.


# # #

So, you know how this blog is supposed to be about baseball and Yoga and life? And, how I talk a good game (always aiming for the bleachers) but rarely wrap them all up together? I feel bad about that.

Let’s fix things.

Earlier this year, I came upon four particularly useful rules. Or, resolutions. Call them what you like.

They were posted by a pitcher above his locker.

I love these rules. They are good reminders for a pitcher. They are good reminders for a Yoga student. They are good reminders for life.

Here they are.

early is my friend

~ Go 0-1. Must have action. Early is my friend.

~ Get the ball down. Strikes below the knees.

~ Manage the game. Slow down. Break a bad rhythm.

~ Take your time between pitches. Take a time out and reset.

That’s baseball talk, for this: Start 0-1. Throw a strike. Be confident.

Be in control.

Take charge and responsibility for your actions.  If you’re being a doofus, change.

And, always step off the mound and take the time you need to think things through when feeling pressured or else you may do something really, really stupid.

Which in Yoga I boil down to that one simple, most important resolution of all …

Don’t forget to breathe.

Sounds good to me. Let’s do this.

Happy 2014!

I Wrote This For You On Christmas Day.

Do people read blogs on Christmas Day?

Do people actually write on blogs on Christmas Day?

Is that a bad thing? That I’m still in my pajamas and writing on here on a day that is ordinarily set aside for family and friends and festive gatherings?

That, as I write, Editor/Husband is setting up the bigger, stronger Hav-a-Hart trap in the attic because he’s wondering if the mouse up there isn’t a mouse after all, but something quite a bit larger. (Like a squirrel? A raccoon? Possibly a bear? Who knows what comes into this house on its own. We once had a snake that lived in our toilet. I’m not kidding.)

(He’s baiting it with a waffle, in case you’re interested.)

(And, by the way, thanks, Cats, for letting mice – or whatever is scratching on the walls up there – live in the house with us.)

santa squirrel

This is a flying squirrel dressed as Santa Claus.  (So, don’t say this blog post isn’t appropriately festive.)

Oh, yes, Christmas.

If you happen by this blog and actually read it today … or from time to time … you have brightened my heart. You really have.

And, I wish you all good things during this special time …

May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends …

have a catch

Have a catch.

But, if they start to make you crazy (and they just might), may you find a little space …


May you find joy doing the things you love …


And, most important, may you find the quiet peace of your heart … (and, hey, snacks!)

sunflower seeds

And, for those of you keeping score … Just 51 days ‘til pitchers and catchers report.

Richmond Stadium

(I took all of these photos in 2013.  Camden Yards, Baltimore.  The Diamond, Richmond, Virginia.  Davenport Field, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.)

This Isn’t Baseball. This Is September.

Baseball is a wonderful game. Win or lose, it makes me happy. But, it can be especially stressful this time of year. Losing stinks in September.

I admitted to my friend Jay that a game earlier this week stressed me out so much I started to cry (just a little bit). He reminded me, “There is no crying in baseball.” My response: “This isn’t baseball. This is September.”

Just a few games left to go in the regular season. The Baltimore Orioles are hanging on … still in the running for the post-season. Just barely.

But, they need to win their next few games or their season will be over just as October begins.

If my team is going to lose a game, I ask just four things of them …

1) Don’t get no-hit.

2) Don’t get shut out.

3) Don’t get hurt.

4) Don’t take all night to lose.

They violated Rule #4 last night/this morning – taking 18 innings and nearly seven hours to lose to the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the longest game in Orioles’ history. Sigh.

After long games, Orioles Manager Buck Showalter will always say, “Sleep fast.”

Because there’s another game today. Another chance to win.

esta miguel2

Orioles Pitcher Miguel Gonzalez — starts today against Tampa Bay. Go Miguel!
photo credit: me!

It’s not over yet. Gotta find a new lucky shirt to wear (I’ve squeezed all the luck out of my few trusty favorites.)

And, I’ll sleep in November.

Always Cheer The Underdog & Other Good Advice From Mom

My mom would be delighted that this Mother’s Day post is early.

For her, being on time was as bad as being late. If you couldn’t be early, why bother?

I’m usually on time with things. Occasionally late. Never early. This drove her crazy.

If my mother were here she would never have seen this blog. She wouldn’t really have cared about it, except for one thing.

My dad has already been mentioned a time or two. But, she hasn’t.

And, that, to my mother, is as bad as being late for an appointment. I can turn from the beloved only child to utter failure with just a single unintentional slight.

So, today, I’m making things right. I’m early.

Here’s one for mom.

My dad didn’t care much for baseball. My mom didn’t either.

But, there are these two things …

FIRST, when I was about 10, it was her idea to make a birthday cake for me with a San Francisco Giant player made of sugar sitting on top of a Los Angeles Dodger “sugar man” that she had pushed into top of the cake.

“My” team squished my dad’s team right there in the frosting.

It was pretty funny.

The next year she did the same thing with a San Francisco 49er football “sugar player” sitting on top of a Los Angeles Ram. The joke was a little old by then, but since “my team” had defeated “dad’s team” yet again, it was still funny.

SECOND, and probably most important, she always, always, always rooted for the underdog.

Underdogs were golden and her reasoning was indisputable. If the underdog lost, well, it was pretty much expected. What can you do? But, if they won, then she had something she could lord over dad and the rest of the world for days.

This led to an out-of-the-blue decision one year that she would root for the New York Mets in the 1969 World Series. I was still pretty small. (However young you think I was at the time, I’m sure I was even younger.)

Mom decided that she and I would watch the Series, although, aside from “hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball,” neither of us really knew what we were watching. But, by golly, we were going to cheer the underdoggy Mets to victory.

Mom’s attention span for things like baseball turned out to be pretty slim.

Not only did my mother not watch an entire game, I’m pretty sure she never made it out of the first inning. As she would get up to have a smoke and move to other tasks, she would say, “You watch and let me know what happens.”  So, I guess, I became her personal Curt Gowdy. My memory of this is pretty dim.

When the Mets won the Series, they lost their underdog glamour. They lost my mom. She never rooted for them again.

But, I wonder if at that moment, the Baltimore Orioles – who fell to the Miracle Mets in that Series – creeped into my bloodstream.

Perhaps it was that decision by my mom that led to my own decision 19 years later. When the Orioles themselves couldn’t have been a sorrier team of underdogs, they became “my team”.

Like mom, I clearly have a soft spot for underdogs.

Mom & me, sometime in the post-Mets years.  She could rock those sunglasses indoors & out!

Mom & me, sometime in the post-Mets years. She could rock those sunglasses inside & out!

But, while baseball wasn’t her thing, good advice was. So, to make things right on this blog and to give my mom a well-deserved online “I love you”, here’s some sweet guidance she gave me:

  • When making pie crusts always use vegetable shortening and ice cold water. Use a metal tablespoon to measure the water.
  • When making pancakes always use an electric skillet.
  • When your hands and/or feet are cold, heat your belly with a hot pack. The heat will radiate to your fingers and toes from the inside.
  • When using your grandmother’s recipes, remember that she often left out “secret” – and essential – ingredients when she shared them. On purpose.
  • I named you for Jackie Kennedy, there’s no need to have holes in your jeans.
  • It’s never too early to start coloring your hair. You won’t look so obvious when you’re covering up the grey later on.
  • Don’t scrimp on nice clothes, nice shoes, and anything you put on your face.
  • Pets are the best friends you’ll ever have.
  • Don’t ever get a pet, they’ll break your heart when they die.  (She gave good advice, but that’s not to say she didn’t contradict herself from time to time.)
  • If you leave for church 40 minutes early you’ll have time to say your prayers before Mass. “Can’t I say them from here?”  “Come on, let’s go.”  Corollary: If you arrive early for Mass, you are entitled to leave early – directly after Communion.  Just keep walking and don’t make eye contact.
  • If you arrive for your doctor’s appointment 30 minutes early they might be able to take you early. They never did and this was one of the few pieces of extraordinarily rotten advice she ever gave.

Flash to April 14, 2013.

Editor/Husband: “Why are you working on this now? It’s three weeks until Mother’s Day.”

“Because, I don’t want to be sitting up at midnight on the Saturday before Mother’s Day trying to get this finished.”

“Oh, you will.”

No, I won’t. And, I didn’t. And, here it is.


Happy Mother’s Day to my mom up in heaven … and to all moms everywhere!


I always assumed that being “in a groove” came from the days of vinyl record albums when your needle needed to stay in the groove in order to get the music out. (This will date me, but I did tape pennies to the needle arm in order to keep it from skipping.)

Now, I find out – because I love Google – that “groove” is from Middle English and has evolved from “grove” or “groeve” which means a deep pit. (See, and you thought you weren’t going to learn anything from me today.)

So, being in the groove would seem to be a very bad thing.

A groove is also what baseball calls the juicy middle of the strike zone.  Groove one in there, Mr. Hanrahan. Just watch … click here.

That kind of groove is great for a hitter.  For a pitcher? Not so great.

Lots of ballplayers complained last week that they weren’t “in the groove.”  The ups-and-downs of Opening (Day) Week … day game/off day/night game/day game/night game … threw players out of their rhythm.

The first week of the season is sort of the weirdo week of a very long baseball season anyway.

It seems to be so important, and yet no one seems to be in the groove.  The games played in April are important, but aren’t really any more important than the games that will come next week, next month, or the month after that, or the month … oh, you get the idea.

Opening Day games sell out in the middle of the week.  Everyone wants to go, even when the weather is brisk.  An insanely chilly 38 degrees in Chicago for instance.  

(One of many things that makes baseball far superior to football is its devotion to being a warm-weather sport.  There is no place for snow on a baseball diamond. Well, now that J.T. Snow is retired anyway.)

Casual fans go for the hotdogs and beer, the ambience, and to say they’re going to Opening Day, which never seems to lose its nostalgia and luster.

Many just like an excuse to take a half-day at work, and really, who can blame them? Celebrities throw out the first pitches. The best pitchers in the game face off.

And, all the team Mascots are freshly laundered and smell like clean fluffy muppets, weeks away from the grimey, sweaty, mustard stained fuzz balls of mid-summer.

Dedicated fans and sports pundits wrestle with a scant handful of stats from a scant handful of games, but are still ready to make Playoff and World Series predictions, even though there are 156 games left to play.

Some players start off crazy-hot.  Homerun shmoosher Chris Davis, I’m looking at you.  And, you know it can’t last – won’t last – but you try to envision it anyway.  At one point last week, the Orioles’ Chris Davis was on pace to hit 162 homeruns this season.

(The only point to this blog post, really, was getting to say “the Orioles’ Chris Davis was on pace to hit 162 home runs this season.”  You can stop reading now if you want.)

Some players have very, very bad days that skew statistics in most awful ways.

When you’ve played a week and still are batting .000, or are a pitcher with an earned run average of 20+ runs a game, you know you’re definitely not in your groove. (Yet.)

We all have grooves.  We get in them.  We lose them.  We revel in them while we have them, pine for them when they’re gone.  Sometimes we don’t even know we are in a groove until we’ve fallen out and things start going wrong.

Every time I step on my Yoga mat, I know, probably within 30 seconds, whether I’m in my groove or not.   It’s easy to practice Yoga when you’re in your groove.  It is infinitely more important to push through your Yoga when you are not.

I guess that’s good advice for all grooves.

Grooves are fleeting.

Which is why it’s too early to give the Orioles’ Chris Davis the MVP trophy and the Giants’ Barry Zito (2-0, ERA 0.00 in 14 innings) the Cy Young Award (even though I’m a-ok with either).

And, it’s also too early to give up on your team just because they haven’t found a groove yet.  (Unless you’re a Miami Marlins fan, in which case the team owners owe you an apology.)

This is the FOURTH complete blog post that I’ve drafted in the past week and the only one that will see the light of day (true confession: I’ve written that on all the discarded drafts too, so there’s no telling if this one will even make it to the Editor/Husband “here, have a look” stage).

So, clearly, I’m not in my blog groove.  But, I’m still happy that baseball season is here.  And, I’m happy to keep unrolling my Yoga mat because I know there’s a groove hiding in there somewhere.

Not in your groove today?

Here, try this … it’s a guilty pleasure.  “Let the Groove Get In” … Justin Timberlake … definitely worth a spin.  Click here

Justin Timberlake

“Let’s All Go To The Lobby”


Do you remember how they used to have intermissions when you went to the movies?

Yeh, me neither. But, I’m told they did.

What a brilliant idea!

And, what a wonderful way to spend an intermission – head out to the lobby for something popcorn-y or chocolate-y or chewy or sweet.

Why can’t I get daily intermissions like that?

Don’t we all need a break in our day? Don’t we all need to head out to the lobby for a treat?

Here’s where sports excel. Extremely civilized break time.

Baseball’s Seventh-Inning Stretch … sure, a bit paltry. But, a nice idea. Love “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” (almost as much as I love the “Let’s All Go To The Lobby” jingle). 

But … here’s a random aside, as long as we’re talking baseball.

I may bleed Orange & Black for the Orioles, but I can’t think of a more miserable way of spending my seventh-inning stretch – my delicious break time – then standing around while they play “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. (I am, for the record, neither “country” nor “boy”, so I’m not sure why they insist I sing it at every game.) 

And, while we’re on the topic of baseball’s seventh-inning stretch, rumor is that the Yankees include a long, ponderous version of “God Bless America” during their stretch just to make the opposing pitcher sit and wait a little longer. I’d like this a lot better if the Orioles had thought of it first.   

Anyway, I hope your team has a better stretch time (and I invite you to tell me all about it in the comments).

Half-time at basketball and football games are ok, but still a bit chintzy.

Hockey does all right. Two luxuriously generous breaks between periods, and nothing to do but watch the Zamboni slide around, suck up the blood, and smooth up the ice. Very Zen.   

So, anyway, I wrote up my to-do list for this past weekend. The stupid thing was three pages long. THREE pages (double-spaced, but still!). That list didn’t even mention Christmas and all the additional things that are expected of one during this “peaceful” season. So, not only did I not decorate, or write cards, or wish anyone “Merry Christmas” … I didn’t even have time to put those tasks on my list.

Needless to say, I got very little on the list accomplished. So, I’m far behind, tired, and yes, a little annoyed by doing too much and achieving too little.

And, that’s what brings me back to the need for daily intermissions.

Yoga is great in that respect. We sit and breathe. Think of it like sitting and watching the Zamboni slide around (but without any hockey bloodshed). 

Sit. Breathe. 

That’s it.

That’s the daily intermission. One minute. Two minutes. Five minutes. Whatever you got.

Breath goes in. Breath goes out.

You can try it now. It’s pretty easy.

Or, you can take the next 39 seconds and watch this video and one of the greatest songs of all time … and, yeh, go get yourself a treat. You deserve it.

Oh, and by the way, writing something for you WAS on my “to-do” list this weekend. I’m a day late, but I’m checking it off the list anyway.

Breath goes in. Breath goes out. Breath goes in. Breath goes out.


I’m Thankful The Thanking Is Nearly Over

I am thankful that Thanksgiving is nearly over. Only a few more daily “I am thankful for …” posts on Facebook and Twitter.

I love my friends. I don’t mindlessly “friend” every person who bumps their grocery cart into me. I’m a selective Facebooker.

But, even so … the string of daily posted thankful messages can wear. When you’re thankful your manicurist convinced you to try “Berry Naughty”, well, really? Really? 

Deep down, I guess I am thankful for these thankful posts, even the seemingly frivolous ones — as they’re much better than the mean-spirited and loud political ones of the past few months.

First, there are the thankful people who have lived amazing lives … recounting their adventures, day by day. “I’m thankful for my time in the Peace Corps when I built a road for an isolated village in Paraguay.” “I’m thankful for my mother who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.”

But, even amazing lives peter out as the month goes on. What began as “I’m thankful for the people I met when I worked in an orphanage in Nepal”, by now has become, “I’m thankful the grocery store had Panko crumbs this afternoon. Dinner is saved!”

I love the spirit of these messages. But, there’s also an underlying sense of failure for the rest of us. I haven’t lived an exciting life. I haven’t done amazing things. Now, I just feel bad. Put on the spot, I’m really just thankful that my husband cleaned up Smokey Jo’s hairball this morning, allowing me a few extra minutes of sleep.

There’s another kind of serial thanker out there: The person who has decided to thank family and friends, by name, every day. This is a brilliant marketing strategy. We all tune in daily – hoping, expecting – that we will be named next.

I’m beginning to lose hope with one longtime friend, who has mowed through three, four people a day, and has now taken to thanking the birds who stopped by the feeder outside her kitchen window.

I’m thinking that perhaps I could draft up a nice little something about me that she could post. I could remind her of all the reasons why she ought to be thanking me, including that I have now saved her the trouble of writing up something about why she is thankful for me. I guarantee, your house finches will not be so thoughtful.

I am thankful. Honest, I am. I am thankful for every moment, at least I try to be. So what if I don’t feel the need to share every detail with the world? Because, when you’re so vocal in your thanks for the things in your life, you may be hurting someone else because they do not share your good fortune.

Grateful that your home survived Superstorm Sandy? Of course you are. But, remember that someone near you was not so lucky. Don’t revel. Don’t gloat by saying you’re thankful that your candidate won, saving the world from certain destruction. Conversely, don’t pout by saying you’re thankful that, while your candidate lost, God will save the world from certain destruction.

See? It’s hard to be thankful and humble at the same time. At least on the Internet.

This Mutts cartoon was published in 2002. It’s one of my favorites. See more wonderful Mutts cartoons at

But, I’m thankful for you.

Even if I don’t know you. If I DO know you, you have enriched my life in the flesh. But, even if I’ve never laid eyes on you, you’ve been kind enough to read these words from time to time. And, that is a very generous thing to do.

Really, I’m thankful for you.

My dad was a North Dakota farmer. But, he remembered most fondly his time in L.A. in the 1950s where he ran a string of successful gas stations. When he died, I found this photo and a letter from the corporate head recognizing him for having the cleanest, most efficient stations. His love of Los Angeles and L.A. sports never left him.

Six years ago, my dad died. On Thanksgiving Day. 

A friend said, “Your Thanksgivings will never be the same.” But I disagreed. My dad knew that I loved Thanksgiving (and the Macy’s Parade and the Rockettes. Oh, the Rockettes!).

He wouldn’t want to take that joy away from me.

My dad gave me my love of sports. Although he preferred the Rams (L.A. and St. Louis) and the Lakers (L.A., but not Minneapolis).

He would root for the Dodgers, if pressed, but he never quite understood my love of baseball. “You didn’t get that from me, kid.” But, he was all about sports, so I probably did.

For years, he would, in the name of economy, save his copies of Sports Illustrated and mail them to me – often with little snarky comments written in the margins, and pictures of his favorite NBA players circled in Sharpie. Sure, just getting me my own subscription would have been cheaper. But, not nearly has special.

So, I’m thankful for my dad.  And, for baseball.  And, for the off-season, which is a nice time to catch up with life, and start that beautiful longing for the next game.

And, you.  Don’t forget that I’m thankful for you.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ~ The Buddha

“Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.”

More reflections from my “Day with the Dalai Lama”

While His Holiness the Dalai Lama refreshes mind, body, and spirit with the nightly “good sleep” he recommends for all of us, he has a friend in India who, instead, watches television well into the night.

As His Holiness impresses on us how healing, revitalizing, and important a good night’s sleep is, he widens his eyes and laughs and laughs as he describes his friend who enjoys a good cricket match on TV.

“I prefer to sleep, not look at cricket,” the Dalai Lama says. “He can watch cricket all night.”

“Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.”

An average cricket match, by the way, can run about six hours a day – with matches lasting three to five days.  Those lengthy cricket matches are known for their utterly civilized breaks and tea times. No cheap 7th-inning stretch for these fellas.

By comparison, the average baseball game in America runs about three hours (unless you are the Baltimore Orioles, in which case, you could very well go on for 12 or 14 or 18 innings … and rival cricket hours, except no tea time.)

So, I’m wondering … how did His Holiness know that I watch way too much baseball?

Does he know that some games this season kept me up well past midnight?

Does he know that last Sunday’s hours-long rain delay in Baltimore meant I slogged through the next day with less than three hours sleep?

Does he know that a season of baseball is 162 games? That the Orioles (and your favorite team) will play some 500 hours a year (even more if they go to the post-season)? That’s a lot of baseball.

His Holiness doesn’t know my deep dark baseball-watching secret. Well, if he reads this blog, I guess he does now. But, I’m pretty sure he’s sleeping, not blogging.

Oh, sure maybe you don’t watch baseball (or cricket). But, maybe you have your own kind of baseball that keeps you up … reading, or knitting, or worrying, or work, or … reading blogs. 

I think many of us have our own cricket.

Many of my massage clients come in to their appointments tired. They tell me they might fall asleep on the table. Some tell me that the little nap they catch during their session is the best sleep they’ve gotten in awhile.

Some of my Yoga students fall asleep in class during relaxation. They drop right off. And, snore.

We are a sleep-deprived culture. And, we all know it. And, yet, many of us don’t make the changes we need to improve our sleep. (And, by “many of us,” I, of course, mean me … and  maybe some of you, but mostly me.)

So how much sleep is enough? “Eight, nine hours, I think, is good for health,” the Dalai Lama says. Ayurveda and Yoga, which call adequate sleep absolutely essential to healing, suggest seven or eight. Basically, everybody agrees that somewhere between six and nine would be great. My cat Stevie highly recommends 18.

Writing this has made me tired.

Oh, wait, Giants-Cardinals game is about to start.

I’ll sleep in November.

Stevie takes the Dalai Lama’s good sleep advice to heart.

Read Part One of my “Day With The Dalai Lama” … click here.

“I Feel Very Happy.”

When the Dalai Lama stands before you and says, “I feel very happy,” you believe him.  And, you wonder, why, oh why, can’t I capture just a bit of that simple, sweet happiness? A completely pure contentment that is based on nothing more than, well, being happy.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds you that happiness doesn’t come from acquiring stuff – either material things, or relationships, or experiences. It just comes from the belief that being happy is, basically, the right thing to do.

Being a good, decent, compassionate person is the key to inner peace … and happiness.


Then he smiles slyly at you. Because he knows it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. But, he smiles because he believes that you might at least give it a try.

The Dalai Lama was in Charlottesville, Virginia today – just an hour or so away from us. He spoke at two interesting and inspiring events and we got to go to both. I guess you could say I hung out with the Dalai Lama today. How cool is that?

When you’re in the presence of such a loving and genuine spiritual leader, you can’t help but feel blessed to be in the same space.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking – oh, hey! Did you see that, did you?? He looked right at me and blessed me … me … me.  I know he did. I know it. He picked me out of this crowded pavilion, held my eyes, and smiled. 

Did he look right at me? If I was sure he had, you can bet I would have mentioned it much earlier. Doesn’t matter, though. I felt the loving kindness of his presence. We all did, I think.

It’s the sign of a blessed person who can convey that sense of intimacy and kindness in such a crowded and anonymous place.

The Dalai Lama requests that he not be photographed during his events. I honored that request. His empty chair, however, didn’t mind.

I took lots of notes … I’ll share more soon.

But, I’ll pick out just one message from his talks for now. And, because I have learned the lesson of kindness, compassion, and fairness from His Holiness today, I’ll also let my Husband/Editor choose his favorite lesson, too.

From Me: “A healthy mind is an important factor for a healthy body.” 

It is our state of mind – our peace of mind – that cultivates inner peace and happiness. And, a healthy mind, nourished by happiness and mindfulness, can bring physical health as well. This is such a valuable reminder. A negative attitude can bring illness – even modern science has proven this connection.   A positive attitude can heal.

From My Husband: His Holiness was asked how he maintains his good health at age 77 while keeping a very full, busy travel and event schedule. His Holiness rested his cheek against his hands and closed his eyes. “Good sleep,” he said.

So the message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama that I share with you today is this – stay positive, get good rest.


P.S. Just for the record … I did not – did NOT – check the score of the Giants-Reds game until His Holiness had left the stage and the pavilion had begun to clear. But, goodness … Grand Slam, Buster Posey!

P.S.S. That thing about getting good sleep? Definitely. As soon as these late ballgames are over. Promise.


In Part 2 of “My Day With The Dalai Lama” report, His Holiness exposes my baseball-watching habits, recommends some “good sleep,” and inspires my cat Stevie. Click here.