“return to normal”

On trying (and sometimes failing) to take note, observe, and notice the simple things during times of uncertainty

Let me begin this long awaited post by saying: This is not yet another quarantine survival story.

I’m not here to make anyone feel better, stronger, or more secure. It has taken over 6 months to work up the courage to write after what has been a feeling of continuous arrested development, and coping with shock, disbelief and at times crippling anxiety. I’m not here to serve up top 10 solutions on how to cope with the constant uncertainty. We’ve all read enough of those for the ages, and there are plenty of credible resources run by professionals who provide much needed assistance to communities that absolutely need it. Part confession part realization, part self obsessions. I’m not here to make it any better or worse because for now, what we have is what we’ve got. Making the most of it, is down to personal conviction and willpower. No one knows what’s next. Those who do claim to know, are wildly guessing and trying not to look panicked in the process.

Everyone is trying desperately to make sense of the invisible, the intangible and the bizarre. The invisible and visible enemies are unpredictable and divisive.

The ills of society are boiling up (again) to the surface everywhere we turn and because of a forced pause we’re called upon to actually look up from our navel, and actually pay attention to what is really going on.

As the weeks and months creep by, we’ve all been hit with a bout of nostalgia for a life we thought we missed, yet don’t really; and while the chaos is unfolding, the promises, the reassurances, the convictions that life will return to normal, are starting to wear thin.

What the hell is normal anyway? (and do we really long for it ?)

Did it really work for us the way we thought? Or are we called upon to let go of a life that was ill fitting anyway. This quasi reality is forcing some to reevaluate, for others to get lost, and for even more to get found. This is the new normal. It keeps morphing, and mutating everything we have come in contact with. Just like a (this) virus. Our perceptions of what normality is, are becoming challenged not only by it’s reversal, but by our ability to adapt despite the odds.

I don’t know what comes next.

I’m working on being okay with that, despite the panic and crippling fear of the unknown that we’re faced with, I’ve learned to understand that what I can’t change, I have no control over, what I can change I’m working to understand better. What will change, has to. Like many I’ve spoken with and listened to during this shift of consciousness, the common consensus is that something is desperately needed. Self reflection and mental and physical self care are at the forefront of this pandemic. Underneath all this the most important “anchors” being used to combat these moments of doubt and fear are knowledge and observation.

The answers to the questions keep shifting. What was real a few days ago seems like fiction now and vice versa. This ebbing and flowing of daily reality, is what we must adapt to in order to survive and thrive.

And adapt we have.

For the first 9 weeks, during the initial “pause”, I was compelled; driven even, to tap into moments of inner calm and inner focus, more than any other time in my life. It was never needed as much as it is now. Truth be told I lost my shit. Let’s be honest. Panic, fear, uncertainty, and crippling doubt, all came to the party. So I looked for the tools that I already had in my arsenal to find some equilibrium We all have the ability to tap into our inner anchors. Only then can we truly stabilize in the face of an outer (shit) storm.

Every week, every month every season has been different. Once equilibrium was reached, another wave of information, panic, doubt, fear and uncertainty has rocked our proverbial boats and a new tactic had to be implemented. I’m not a good sailor, these constant tacks, direction and course changes have left me dizzy, but after every change, like everyone in New York, whose lives have been changed . I had to become a better sailor by listening, being quiet and not letting the myriad of voices confuse my course.

Now as I write, in the early weeks of October, as the fall colors take over the streets of New York; its very clear that yet another shift has taken place. Many months into what seemed like a crazy experiment in human behavior, I turn to the things that stabilize me while turning away from things that no longer serve the current status quo. Now doubt and fear and anxiety have been replaced with a larger dose of conviction, determination and focus. The anchors dig deeper into the sand, in anticipation of another shift. they have become more staple in their purpose…

Now we must focus on the greater good. Not just personal gain.

Now we must focus on eradicating hate and division

Now we must focus on the next step forward.

Now after all this change, unrest, division and fear, the anchors are here to bring us home.

Stay tuned….

Join me on the socials 🙂

Drop by, keep in touch send a note and keep connecting.

Day 3 & 4 Aging Challenge Challenged Part 2.

How to deal with an aging body- not just an aging face.

Age ain’t a number at all. The changes we undergo on the surface like the wrinkles, the grey hair, the change of our outer “look”; is only part of the complex and quite revealing aging story. I’m not talking about getting old, because we all grow older; that’s inevitably what occurs to our cells after our bodies reach their apex; but building awareness, and becoming wiser, not only mentally but also in terms of how our body works or doesn’t; alludes us.

The folly of youth affords us the illusion that the body is going to last and carry us forever; on the other hand the wisdom of age brings with it the understanding that the body will carry us as far as it’s able, and as far as WE carry it.

As we age, we have to contend with a whole new set of rules; mentally, emotionally and physically. As our body undergoes the slow and then rapid process of aging, we can’t afford to be aloof and callous; so we have to find ways to understand and communicate with our bodies in ways we may not have imagined. As a young athlete and practitioner of yoga; I did pretty much everything my body allowed me to do, and whatever it didn’t do naturally, heavy handed adjustments took place. I loved them. I loved being pulled placed, and adjusted. Over the years I found that deep adjustments needed superior knowledge and listening abilities from the teacher as well as the student. Having been in, and as I continue to explore both of those roles; I’ve started to approach my personal practice and teaching in much more well rounded approach.

knowing what our limitations are is key to aging well versus growing old.

Our Bodies tell us things all the time. They change temperature when fighting the common cold, pain and how we react to it plays a vital role to understanding our nervous system, and hormones play a very important role in how we feel and react to the inside and outside world. What happens when the muscles start to fail us, or when old injuries we had long forgotten come back to haunt us? Our bodies take many beatings over the years; it’s no surprise that the well oiled machine we may have relied on in our youth, is taking its sweet old time in middle, and in old age. Yet with all the “limitations” our bodies face as we get older, and the time we need to recover and heal may be far longer; with that comes a deeper knowledge of how to cope, manage pain, create space for our bones and muscles to become stronger and live a life based on quality not quantity.

Folly gives way to wisdom and communication is key.

These are some of my go to “body listening” techniques that have helped over the past few years.

  1. Meditation- I can’t say enough good things about it. Quieting the mind and connecting with our breath is probably the most important tool for aging, stress, anxiety and a host of ailments that come with an aging body.
  2. Exercise- Endorphins rule. Weight training, yoga, stretching, swimming and any body activity that doesn’t cause further damage. As much as I love more physically demanding exercise regimes (and I’ve participated in a lot of them) some of them do more harm than good, and knowing when to stop is probably the hardest lesson to learn when you’re physically active.
  3. Change of diet. This is probably one of the most important aspects to understanding aging and the body. Anyone who wants to slow down, and or manage aging and pain has to take nutrition very seriously. Diet and super food fads aside (no more KALE!) a proper nutrition consultation is key to managing and caring for our aging bodies. Diner consisting of four dry martinis and a pizza isn’t really a healthy meal.
  4. Body work, acupuncture, pilates, yoga ( again).

Change is never easy and witnessing our bodies as they age can be a very difficult reality to compute. I for one plan to keep this engine running for many years to come; but knowing what our limitations are is key to aging well versus growing old.

Στην υγεία μας.



What have you noticed about your body over the years and what have you done to adjust, manage and live with its many changes over the years?