Bliss-ings in Disguise: smoke, a mirror and a few lost shoes


In a pool of water a lotus seed plants its roots in the murky, muddy floor. From that a long, flexible stem grows to the surface where the lotus flower blooms above…

No mud, no lotus. My mantra of late.

The concept is that no matter how hard or bad the experience, the mud, within that is a lesson. Lessons are really gifts. Gifts that give the opportunity for growth. Growth doesn’t come when things are easy. Growth comes when things are hard. The real challenge is discovering what the lesson is from each individual experience. Finding the gift. The lotus.

And then sending a thank you note. (Everyone knows it’s proper etiquette. Even for the gifts we don’t like.)

You see, a lot of that has to do with how we look at things. Our attitude.

I figure when mud starts being slung we have a choice. We can be a big, brittle stick in the yoga mud. Or, we can make a slide and learn to play in it. And when the mud settles, be like the lotus flower. Turn that mud into an enlightening foundation from which to grow.

Personally, I have learned to embrace the mud. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish for it. Sometimes it’s been so deep that I’ve lost shoes – no woman likes to lose shoes. But I’ve learned that sometimes the thicker the mud, the deeper the roots, the greater the growth. And from that, a more firmly planted, flexible me.

Now when the rain comes and I get a little mud in my eye, I just tilt my face up and let the rain wash the mud out. Because I know when the rain leaves, the clarity arrives.

From solitude, I have found self-reflection.
From disrespect, I have found confidence.
From betrayal, I know the real meaning of loyalty.
From my own mistakes and screw-ups, I have found humility and self-acceptance.
Compassion now trumps judgment a bit more often.

From my patience being challenged and behavior that’s been more than tactless,
‘holdmytongueasana’ is now officially a part of my daily yoga practice.

From doubt, I found my voice.
From other’s untruths, I found my truth.

Shoes that have been lost, I now realize I didn’t need. Some hurt my feet anyway. Now, I hold tag sales to get rid of things that are toxic in my life a bit more often. Which frees up a lot of good space in my energy closet.

Purchase policy: no returns, use at your own risk.

From all the fuckery, animosity and just downright hypocrisy.
I have learned to embrace life’s insanity, irony and sometimes hard to get comedy.
(If you can’t change a situation, change the way you think about it, right?)

From the imitators and posers who hid behind a thin layer of mud.
I learned to walk on a little faster, no need to be a part of that flash flood.

Keeping it brutally real is better than living in calm denial.
The smoke never lasts, the truth always makes a grand appearance.
We can run but cannot hide behind what we face in our own mirror.

And in the murky, muddy waters where sadness is so deep there is no light,
I found a bliss-ing in disguise by allowing the feeling over flight.

In the mud, obstacles became opportunities.
Mountains became possibilities.
Negatives became positives.
Looking out for myself, became looking into myself.

I’ve learned to sling a little less and sing a little more.

There will always be rain. New mud and new challenges. And some mud will take a little longer to wade through than others. But as the saying goes, if the mud ain’t flyin’, you ain’t tryin’. But we each get to decide whether to get stuck in it, or to slide through it.

And whether it’s mud that’s being thrown at me, or mud that I fall into all on my own, it’s a gift that just keeps on giving.

But you know what? The lotus is pretty damn fine.

So, thank you.

“…Without mud, you cannot have a lotus flower.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

(you can find the “No Mud No Lotus” tee at