Inventing the word Efforting

It was day 7 of a 9 day intensive training in mindfulness. There were 50 of us and many came from other countries and were immersed in teachings that were not in their native language. Several times one of them would speak about the mental exhaustion that came with learning this way. I gave myself a mental note.  I really focused on it.

“Karen, do not take a training in a second language. It is just too hard.” Reserving some of my limited mental space for this important directive.

Then, I remembered, “You don’t HAVE a second language.”

There was absolutely no risk that I might sign up for anything whatsoever in a nonexistent second language! I laughed at myself for putting so much energy into remembering something that required absolutely no energy at all.
On the last morning of the training I recognized how often I do that. How frequently I make something effortful that will unfold naturally on its own. I saw my habit of “efforting”; of outlining and planning and attempting to organize the future.

So often, what is called for is simply “being.”
Any effort that might be required will arise naturally out of the being.
A question I am holding when I am on my yoga mat now is
“Where am I efforting? Where I am trying to make something happen when I could relax into being and just watch what unfolds?
And how does holding that question shift things in my mind, body and breath?”


Photo by Mike Summers –

Another Way to Meet You on Your Mat

The three of us are sitting by a fire in the Cedarwood Hotel. We are on a planning retreat and contemplating our 10 year anniversary which arrives this June. Already we have repeated a favorite mantra of ours which has been joyfully proclaimed in the past while singing at the top of our lungs with Kirtan, dancing with a beautiful group of new training graduates, sun saluting amidst yogis and fishermen at the waters edge or whispered in the heart of a labrynth …
“We’re working right now.”

In 2005 we aspired to create a studio as a way to connect with others and build community around all things yoga. Time and again we marvel at the privilege of immersing ourselves in the practices that speak to our hearts along side others who share in that joy and inspire us at every turn. Yet through this decade-long journey we have found that running a business has a tendency to pull us away from our mats. We didn’t anticipate government audits, fighting to change tax codes, unreliable HVAC units , break-ins, and having to meet with so many professionals whose attire does not include yoga pants. Yet it was returning to our mats again and again that kept it alive and juicy and sustaining for us. We don’t get excited over paint quotes, but we are deeply fed by sharing what we are learning and practicing with you, who are willing to come and play.

Before we opened our doors, we made an intention that Three Trees Yoga would be a safe-space that builds community of like-minded hearts and minds and that the people who visit feel supported. Our intention now with this blog is to cast that net in a virtual way; for us to connect and continue strengthening our yogic community. In truth, we do it with trepidation. There is risk involved in putting ourselves out there in black and white with no take-backs; which explains why it has been lingering on our to-do list for a few years now. Yet something calls us to share our stories of how these ancient truths of yoga support and direct us in this real world of unexpected challenges and glorious surprises.   We hope this serves as another opportunity to meet you on your mat.

Suzy, Karen & Jeni