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How to Center in an Age of Turmoil


Our world today is a lot to take in. My husband calls much of what we see in the news “The Anger Movement” because so many people seem so violently upset.


How do we maintain our center and participate productively in this environment?


Last weekend, I attended an online meditation retreat with Zen Priest Angel Kyodo Williams, author of Radical Dharma and Being Black. She told us the single capacity that will never do us wrong is coming back to ourselves through sitting meditation. So much of the constant rush of our lives keeps us from feeling into our bodies. We’re habituated to take off and run away from ourselves. But by quietly abiding when we sit in meditation, we come home to ourselves. This is the antidote to a society and culture that wants us to forget our true selves, she says. Through mindfulness, through showing up for ourselves in meditation over and over again, we find the world that has always been waiting for us, that invites our truths and our complexities.


When we know who we are, when we can stay settled in our own bodies, then we can go forward in our world. During my recent week at Chautauqua, one speaker told of the remarkable and resolute African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, during the 382-day bus boycott who kept on keeping on. This is what I try and keep in my awareness – not outrage but inspiration and gratitude for the giants on whose shoulders we stand. I try and remember that how we are on the inside ripples out into the world and has an effect.


When our lives get difficult, as the Dalai Lama says, we need to meditate more. We also need to help others more and speak our truth more. Every little bit makes a difference. Everything you do makes a difference. Let’s encourage each other to keep promoting peace within and without because while it’s a solo journey, Rev. Angel says, the paradox is that we do it together.


Peace to Each of You,

~ Anne

Misaligned mannequins in a storefront
Even Our Mannequins Are Misaligned!!
I saw these mannequins the other day: hips forward, chests back, heads forward. Yikes! And they won't listen to me!

I Need Your Help!

Let Me Know What You’d Like Me To Include In My Book!


I’m two-thirds through the first draft of my upcoming book, 88 Wise Sayings and Daily Practices to Manage in an Age of Anxiety. If you have ideas or thoughts to suggest, PLEASE DO! Feel free to email me. The wise sayings are quotes, so I’m interested in your favorite quotes as well as your favorite practices and rituals that help you to ground and settle. I’m also interested in problems or situations you’d like addressed that are challenging for you.


To give you an idea of what the entries are like, here’s an example:



 “There are days when the carefully practiced tools just don’t work…(there are) scenarios that are beyond our tool box and we’re just not very resilient.”


- Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers, Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, site of a 2018 mass shooting killing 11 and wounding seven


There’s a sentiment in the wellness community that if we get a good therapist, do the right breathing, meditation and movement practices and lean into our self-care, we will always be resilient. From his personal experience as the rabbi of the Tree of Life Congregation, which suffered the deadliest attack on a Jewish community in our country, Hazzan Jeffrey Myers says this simply isn’t true. Regardless of how many tools we have in our self-help, self-improvement tool box, some days are just going to be horrible. We will have days where we feel as if we’re moving through thick mud that threatens to suffocate and overwhelm us. It can feel like marching into Mordor, the seat of evil in the Lord of the Rings. On these days, Rabbi Myers says it’s as if we are a rubber band that’s been put in the freezer. If we try to stretch the rubber band, it will snap. We’re not feeling our resilience. It’s as if it’s been hidden from us, buried somewhere under our pain and confusion.


Rabbi Myers says that that’s ok because guess what? We’re human gloriously and tragically human. Some days we’re laying in the underbelly of sorrow and all the escape routes seem to have mysteriously disappeared, like in a dream where there’s no way out. This apparent failure for any of our tools to work isn’t failure but just our own woundedness. Life, being the fun house that it is, can conjure up from our own personal underworld a scent, image or memory that sets us off into our loop of remembrance.


I’ve had some of these days recently. Today I encountered an older gentleman who looked a lot like my dad who passed 30 years ago. He had the same slick top to his bald head, the same perfectly creased pants, button down shirt and dress brown shoes. When I first saw him, my heart went up into my throat. I was overcome with the urge to hug him. Instead, I held the door for him. With a glint in his eye, he thanked me for my “random act of kindness.” In that moment, my gloom vanished.  His gentle humor had cut through my sadness with such clarity that I was drawn dramatically into the present moment. I could tell he was grateful for me. And I was profoundly grateful for him.


Practice: Visualizing Resilience


Rabbi Myers advises getting an actual large rubber band (he recommends you visit Staples). Hold the rubber band and stretch it and then let it retract. He says to say to yourself when the rubber band is stretching “this is trauma” and then when the rubber band comes back (slowly!) to its original size say “this is my resilience.” He says to practice this and remember that on days when you feel like your rubber band has been in the freezer, be kind with yourself until the rubber band gets back to room temperature (as mine did after my encounter with the older gentleman). Rabbi Myers also advises being patient, as it may take time for the rubber band to thaw out.

Regular Ongoing Classes

Email me for information and links


* Monday Functional Movement & Energetic Centering

9:30 – 11:00 am online


* Tuesday Therapeutic Functional Movement & Energetic Centering

9:00 – 11:00 am online and in person (with masks) at the Chardon United Methodist Church the first Tuesday of each month. Please contact me before attending in person.


* Friday Chair Yoga

Fridays 10:30 am – 12:00 pm both in person outside at the Chardon Senior Center Pavilion and online


September Workshops


September Free Online Restorative Workshop

Wednesday, Sept. 29 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Email me for Zoom link if not already on the list


September Move, Sit, Write, Read: An Embodied Writing Exploration

Thursday, Sept. 30 8:00 – 9:30 pm

$15 Email me for Zoom link or for more information



*Upcoming in 2022:

Online Chair Yoga Teacher Training

March 2022 through Yoga 108 - email me for details if interested

Books to Consider


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – a delightful, fantasy rabbit hole. I’m almost done with this series of six books!


The Cellist by Daniel Silva #21 in the espionage novels featuring Gabriel Allon, an Israeli art restorer who is also a master Israeli spy.


Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church by Megan Phelps-Roper – a fascinating look into the intense family dynamics that started the Westboro Baptist Church and one member’s decision to leave the church and her family.


The Hollywood Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal – #10 in the riveting World War II series about a female code breaker and spy.


On Women: From the Writings of Joan Chittister by Joan Chittister and Mary Lou Kownacki – Powerful reflections from one of the most popular and visionary religious voices in the world.

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