Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Beginnings

I'm saying goodbye to this little blog, but it's not an end—it's a new beginning. To read my new posts (as well as the old ones) or to learn more about me, please visit my new website, When I started H(om)e, I wanted a place to express my passion for yoga and the domestic arts, and I hoped that this platform would help me get clear about what I wanted to say. It has done that and so much more. I'm grateful to all my readers for encouraging me to keep going. I have grown so much through this process and I can't wait to share this next chapter with you.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Jamaica Me Happy

I hopped on a plane to Jamaica right after Thanksgiving, strategically escaping the hustle-and-bustle-for-no-reason that hijacks the holiday season. It was very much a last-minute trip, which is totally out of character for me but pushing forward at full speed had taken its toll and I finally had an epiphany (breakdown) while standing in line at City Bakery. I had been working non-stop in every way imaginable for as long as I could remember and while all of this work had led to some pretty amazing and surprising triumphs, both personally and professionally, the sheer magnitude of my exhaustion in that moment crushed me with the weight of a million pretzel croissants. I booked the trip that very same night. Buh-bye. Comfortably sprawled on my lounge chair by the pool, mellowed by my margarita drip, I dove into the book I had started way back in June. Yes, June. I know. That's exactly what I said.

Admittedly it was hard to unplug but I made a concerted effort to stop efforting, even in my attempts to relax. I didn't go anywhere; I never even left the resort. In fact, the only day trips I took were the slow, aimless voyages on my raft from one side of the pool to the other. By the last day of my vacation, I had finally gotten the hang of this thing they call "relaxation". I realize how ridiculous that sounds. I teach yoga for God's sake. Shouldn't I, of all people, have a handle on relaxation? Turns out I am just like everybody else, if not worse, proving once again that sometimes people teach what they need most.

The truth is, I love to work. Just name it and I'm all in. Is my right gluteus medius weaker than my left? I have an exercise for that. Is my heart aching from stale beliefs? I can dig deeper. Are there gaps in my communication with my beloved? I will sit in the throes of intensity and try to work it out. I'm proud of my efforts to show up to my life everyday with the intention of working hard, but five full days of naps and margaritas made me think that maybe I don't like to work as much as I'd thought. I felt relaxed, which is to be expected on vacation, but what I didn't expect to feel were the serendipitous gifts of relaxation—clarity, motivation, and (most surprisingly) imagination. I was taken aback by the rush of creativity that seemed to come out of nowhere. Qualities I had been desperately grasping for in my life were now suddenly served to me on the same silver tray that delivered my pool-side cocktail. I realized that all of those months I had spent hanging on by a thread, wondering if I had permanently lost my mojo, were merely the symptoms of burn out. All work and no play makes for a miserable existence. Shortly before I left for Jamaica I sat with my teacher Carrie and, fighting back the tears, told her that I felt like I had nothing left to give. She said, "You need to respect how you're feeling and remember that these moments of contraction are sometimes necessary and are always followed by periods of great creativity." It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I don't need to tell you that rest is not respected in our culture. Devoting time to take care of myself triggers feelings of guilt, not delight. We're praised for being busy, for having a million things on our plate at once, and one might argue that many of us have become a little too accepting of all the pushing and subsequent exhaustion that has become everyday life. I watch students in Savasana, their eyes open and stricken with panic at the thought of spending one more minute doing nothing. I have long, heartfelt conversations with injured students who are overwhelmed with frustration because their injuries have not healed, and yet who refuse to practice in a way that would actually encourage the healing process. I have, on more than one occasion, sent students home who have come to class sick or exhausted because they just needed someone to give them permission to take the night off and rest. Just last week I told a close friend that she tends to shoot herself in the foot and needs to stop overcommitting herself. Carrie's words, so obvious and almost verbatim what I say to my own students, pierced through my haze of stress and rocked my world. To remember what it feels like to enjoy myself, to feel refreshed and full, was my biggest lesson of 2012.

Happily receiving love from my love.

Like my lazy days in Jamaica, I want to create the kind of space that allows for evolution. I don't always need to push my way forward, I need to float forward with the ease and grace of my pool raft. My friend Jillian Pransky sums it up beautifully. "So many aspects of our lives encourage us to 'do more'– to learn, succeed, earn, and obtain more. Even in our regular hatha yoga practice, we often wind up overworking and exerting ourselves as we strive for a new pose, a deeper ‘experience’, or a longing to achieve a classmate’s strength or flexibility. While exploring our fullest potential is intrinsic to growing and living comfortably in our society, we are rarely encouraged to delve into relaxation, 'to let go', as a technique for enhancing our quality of life." Letting go—doing nothing—should theoretically be easy, but my attachment to effort runs deep. Even on my mat I catch myself desperately chasing after ideals or taking actions to the nth degree ("Must push...Must get there...Must achieve"). And while striving to dig deeper is a worthy endeavor, it is imperative that it be tempered with receptivity and softness. My teacher Mark says, "Please relax into all your yoga. Every pose can be done with a uniform breath inhalation and exhalation. If you're pushing too hard, the breath will let you know. Listen to the wisdom and intelligence of your body. Don't listen to the images of a pose you might see in a magazine or online - there is a pose and a practice that is just right for you. And only you can hold that pose. And therein lies your beauty."

So I'll leave you with two questions, both of which I will be holding close to my heart throughout 2013 and beyond. What if by doing less, we could do more? What if by doing less, we could be more? Instead of plowing through each day trying to force inspiration, strength, or will to arise, I want to practice relaxation and trust that what I've often pushed myself to find will come to me without effort or strain. There's no better place to start than the yoga mat. Scan the body and let something go somewhere, then breathe into that space and enjoy the practice. "Just have a nice breathe," says Mark. Dig, explore, refine but remember that you are perfect—perfectly enough—just as you are in this exact moment. Achieve and know that there is nothing to achieve. Floating forward, like the raft making its way across the pool, simultaneously aimless and purposeful, I will bring the smurti (memory) of Jamaica with me as I embark on a new year. Jamaica me relaxed. Jamaica me happy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oignons Glacés à Brun

I have lots of ideas for blog posts I'd love to share with you this Thanksgiving. There's still a lot left to do in my kitchen and I may be a tad overzealous in thinking I can get it all done and write about it, so no promises. We'll see how it goes (but I'm feeling pretty optimistic)!

Personally, I think side dishes are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey's great, don't get me wrong, but when I go back for seconds (and thirds), I'm loading up my plate with sides. This year I'm making, among other things, pearl onions glazed in butter and sugar to create a deep brown color and a rich, caramelized flavor. It's called oignons glacés à brun. They're super easy to make and offer a big wow factor to enjoy.

Peeling pearl onions can either be the most annoying process known to man or it can turn into a meditative experience that comes from choosing a relaxed approach. When you focus on a repetitive process with the intention to let everything else go (in yoga, it's called japa), your parasympathetic nervous system steps in to help back you away from the cliff of stress. And who doesn't need a little calm, especially in the face of cooking Thanksgiving dinner?! Here's a trick: put the onions in a pot of boiling water for a minute, which will make the skins a lot easier to peel off. Leave most of the root in tact so the onions keep their shape (just shave off a sliver of the bottom with your paring knife to neaten them up).

Lay out your peeled pearl onions in a single layer in a sauté pan. Add a tablespoon of (unsalted) butter, a generous pinch of salt, and about a teaspoon of sugar. Fill the pan with enough water to come only half way up the sides of the onions.

You'll need to make a fancy contraption called a cartouche, or a parchment paper lid. The cartouche pushes the steam back into the onions, cooking them quickly and trapping in moisture. I swear we used a cartouche in every single class at the French Culinary Institute. It's an awesome little invention and I'll be sure to share other ways you can use it in your kitchen.

Fold a piece of parchment paper into quarters. Think of it like a little book and keep the "binding" to the left. The folded seams stay at the top. Fold the paper in half from the bottom to the top, and then repeat that fold two more times until you have what looks like a paper airplane.

Measure the circumference of your pan by placing the tip of your cartouche in the middle and then cutting the parchment where it touches the rim. Unfold your paper airplane et voilà, your very own cartouche! Très bien!

Snuggle your cartouche right on top of the onions and turn on your heat to medium-high. Allow the water to simmer down to almost nothing. The timing really depends on the size of your pan, but plan on checking in after about 10 minutes. If it's your first time, don't go too far. Stay on top of the situation. Stab an onion with the tip of your paring knife to make sure it's tender (and if it's not, just add a little more water and let it simmer a bit longer). 

Once you have about a tablespoon of water left, remove the cartouche.

As the water evaporates, the sugar will begin to caramelize and coat your pan in a lovely shade of brown. Get those onions to roll around in there so they don't stick. When things start getting really brown, add a little bit of water to the pan (like a teaspoon), give the pan a good shake, and you'll see the onions start to take on all of that delicious brown color. You can repeat this process—adding water, shaking the pan, coating the onions—until you get the color you're looking for. Any shade of brun tastes good, folks, so it's really up to you.

You can makes these in advance, store them in the fridge, and then just warm them through before dinner. This would be a great side dish to bring to someone's house. You could add some lardons in there for a salty kick to compliment the sweetness of the onions. I mean, lardons make everything taste ridiculous. Just have fun with the process; it's a great one to add to your cooking repertoire.

Ok, I'm off to make a pumpkin pie, set my Thanksgiving table, and hopefully share it all with you. If you don't hear from me it's because I got caught up in the moment. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Love in the Aftermath

Jersey City waterfront preparing for Hurricane Sandy. 

In the wake of hurricane sandy, I find myself feeling simultaneously grateful and guilty for how lucky I was to have survived unscathed. Besides some flooding in our basement and 48 hours without electricity, the only victims in my life were the containers of stock and soup and other frozen memories from cooking school that I had to heave because of the power outage. During our brief stint in the dark I was able to shower at my sisters' place in Brooklyn, where my brother-in-law made us a hot spaghetti dinner. Our power came back on just in time for my birthday and I celebrated (both momentous events) by baking a brownie pudding and an apple tart.

Just three blocks away, the sidewalks are littered with the contents of peoples' homes—furniture, clothes, and personal effects—and the owners are wrapped up in coats and scarfs to try and stay warm in their beds at night. Hoboken suffered considerable water damage. The Jersey Shore was completely destroyed; Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, and on and on are on their knees. Staten Island is a war zone. Thousands of people are now homeless and my heart hurts so much I don't know what to do. As I write this post from the comforts of my home, with the Food Network buzzing in the background and a warm meal in my belly, I feel completely removed from the magnitude of this collective pain.

My street.

My yoga practice reminds me that distance is an illusion; we are all connected because we share in this experience of being human and in the painful truth that pain is part of life. Hiding from pain (dvesha) is an obstacle (klesha) because it prevents us from experiencing the totality of our existence. Like the current gas shortage, perhaps there is a fear that if we get too close to the suffering of others we risk losing our precious (and perceived) commodity of happiness. To roll up one's sleeves and voluntarily wade through the flood waters of someone else's life takes courage, plain and simple. Inaction feels like the safer option, but it only perpetuates separateness.

Aftermath at Liberty Landing Marina. They've made an amazing recovery in the past few days.

The yoga of action/service (karma yoga) asks us to open our hearts to those who are experiencing the kind of loss that many of us may never know but, through acts of love, can hope to understand. The easiest way to help is to reach out to your friends, family, and community. For those of us in the hard hit areas, we need only to step outside and ask neighbors "What can I do?" Paulus Hook has been an inspiring place to call home: restaurants are offering free food, coffee, and internet; friends are cooking meals and hosting impromptu block parties; folks are stopping one another in the street to offer a hot shower or a warm bed. (Check out ways you can help Jersey City or Hoboken.) On the other side of the Hudson, fellow NYC YogaWorks' teachers Jeanmarie Paolillo and Paula Liberis are leading a huge donation effort at the Upper Westside studio to deliver necessities to devastated areas. Their actions are so inspiring to me and I'm very proud to be their friend. "Whatever a great man does ordinary people will do; whatever standard he sets everyone will follow" (Bhagavad Gita). One of my girlfriends asked me to donate clothes/home goods/anything to someone she knows in NYC who lost all of her belongings when her apartment flooded. And that's just a tiny snapshot of my own personal network.

Those of you who are farther away, get in touch with those you know who live in Sandy's path to find out how you can make a difference. Financial donations do help. For everyone, near and far, here are just a few options and resources I've found to help you get started.

Occupy Sandy Relief - This is a fantastic online resource of relief/volunteer information in our area. You can sign up for texts or emails to stay informed. There's also a volunteer update page that tells you what's happening on the ground and how you can help. - An online community that allows neighborhoods to efficiently come together to help those in need. There are pages for Red Hook, Astoria, the Lower East Side, and Staten Island.

Red Cross - You can text REDCROSS to 90999 and instantly donate $10 to Disaster Relief. Or you can donate online. For other ways to make a financial donation, click here.

NYC Service - An amazing resource for up-to-date opportunities to help.

The Salvation Army - To make a monetary donation. There are also separate websites specific for NY and NJ.

The Humane Society - It's totally inconceivable to me that many people were rescued from their homes but were not allowed to take their pets. You can make a donation to help the Humane Society's efforts in recovering animals after the storm.

Benefit Yoga Classes - Many of the NYC/NJ studios are offering benefit classes to support relief efforts. Check your local studio.

"God is attained by all those who see God in every action." - Bhagavad Gita

Ellie, doing her part to help clean up.

I find this metta (loving kindness) meditation to be helpful during painful times when I feel powerless. Repeating this mantra, with my whole heart at the wheel, helps me connect to myself and others in a positive way.

May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be content.

May (________) be filled with loving kindness.
May (________) be well.
May (________) be peaceful and at ease.
May (________) be content.

For those of you feeling the effects of anxiety, hopelessness, and fear, here are some yoga practices that can help.

Prone Savasana - Lie down on your abdomen, place a rolled blanket or bolster under your ankles. Turn your head to one side (switching half-way though) and cover yourself with a blanket.

Restorative Yoga - Supporting your body with props allows your nervous system to relax. Sand bags/eye pillows are extremely helpful in easing anxiety.

Exhale-based Breathing - Lengthening your exhalations has a calming effect on your entire system.

Forward Bends - These postures are cooling and calming. Seated forward bends can be held with the help of bolsters and chairs (or, in my case, with the help of a golden retriever).

Restorative Upavistha Konasana.

This experience is giving us the opportunity to practice yoga when it matters most. Taking action to help others is a powerful form of yoga and one we can practice in both little and big ways, everyday. As we come together—neighbors and strangers—to seek solace and support in our respective communities, I hope we can all remember the power of union. May we all be flooded with gratitude, compassion, and love in the worst and best of times.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Salade Niçoise

I took two hugely memorable summer trips to Europe as a teenager, accompanied by my whole family. We wandered through Italy, Switzerland, and my beloved France, exploring the tastes and sights as we traveled across the countryside in our rented Volkswagen bus. There were no reservations and no agenda other than the list of flea markets, organized by date and town, which my mother boldly used as our road map.

Les marchés aux puces are what I remember most about our trips. Each market gave us a snapshot of what life was like in that particular corner of the world. We would make a day of it, arriving early to snatch the best goods, resting for lunch in a nearby café, and then wandering a bit more until exhaustion forced us back to the car in search of a place to rest our bones. I always loved the moment when I stood at the threshold of the hunt, not knowing what treasure I might find buried in an unassuming box or strewn haphazardly on a table amongst a sea of junk. In life, that sense of not-knowing doesn't typically fill me with the same excitement and so browsing the flea markets is, in a way, my practice—a reminder to gaze into the unknown with awe and wonder. We frequented dozens of markets in our travels, and my eyes were soon able to scan the aisles like a pro, quickly seeking out the glimmer of silver or the softness of linen. I credit my love (and any skills I may possess) for design to those hours spent curating my own personal collection of flea market finds.

Fervent shopping was hard work and so we would all break for lunch, collapsing into an outdoor café, our mouths parched and our stomachs grumbling. My mother—a perpetual creature of habit—devoted herself to the tireless work of taste-testing the same lunch, day in and day out. Unbeknownst to the country of France, she became the unofficial connoisseur of her favorite dish: la salade niçoise.

To this day I have a special place in my heart for a niçoise salad. It's true that it is especially delicious in the summer, when the more delicate varieties of lettuce are in season. But it's also true that when you love something that much, it doesn't really matter when you eat it. What I learned from watching my mother enjoy the many incarnations of this meal is that there really isn't a 'right' way to make it. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I have adopted her love for cette salade. I like to be able to create a dish in much the same way that my mother planned our trips through Europe—with her passion and her instincts as her guide.

Salade Niçoise

Lettuce of your choice. Butter lettuce (Boston Bibb) or Oak Leaf lettuce are my favorites.
Can of tuna packed in oil.
Green beans, boiled for 5-8 minutes in heavily salted boiling water, then shocked in an ice bath. 
As many hard boiled eggs as your heart can handle.
Tomatoes, rough chop.
Olives (which I don't always use but sometimes they just feel right).
Potatoes, boiled until tender.


Whisk together dijon mustard (an oversized teaspoon), chopped shallots (let's say a tablespoon), red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in your oil as you whisk. Remember: 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

This brown transferware pitcher is one of my favorite flea market finds.

Like in a true salade composée, neatly arrange all of the components on top of your lettuce instead of tossing everything together. This is a great salad to serve guests because you can place the prepared ingredients into separate bowls and allow your friends to follow their fancy.

After a lazy lunch spent recuperating from our morning's adventure, we would gather our things and head back to the van. We must've been a sight—awkwardly managing our shopping bags and, like true tourists, maneuvering through crowded cafés and busy sidewalks leaving a path of destruction in our wake. Luckily my parents always packed garment bags (for oil paintings), duck tape (to secure boxes and the garment bags) and extra luggage (for all of our brocantes). In those days you could still lug bottles of olive oil on board a plane along with your other six pieces of carry-on. Ahh, those were the days.

I hope you enjoy this salad—a veritable meal in and of itself—as much as I do. Every bite transports me to those summers in our rented Volkswagen van, driving off to the next spot on my mother's map. I believe it's good for the soul to make something in your kitchen that reminds you of the sacred moments in your life. There is a little piece of my soul in this salad. Bon appétit!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

I've been eating tons of veggies this summer, thanks to the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share I purchased at the beginning of the season. Every Wednesday I receive a bushel of produce and I'm left with the challenge of trying to figure out how to devour it all in one week. Lest I remind you that my beloved doesn't eat anything green. He just watches me gorge myself on vegetables while he casually sips his Coca-Cola. My fridge is literally overflowing with the bounties of summer—beets, cabbage, sweet peas, salad turnips, swiss chard, and on and on. Sautéed greens in olive oil and garlic has become a staple in my diet (I especially love it over pasta with a little homemade pesto).

My problem (besides the fact that I struggle to eat everything before the arrival of next week's delivery) is that it's too freakin' hot to cook anything. Out of desperation, I created a summer coleslaw that allows me to throw everything but the kitchen sink into one dish. It has been a lifesaver!

To make the coleslaw I simply chop up summer cabbage and whatever else I'm trying to eat before its shelf life expires. Kale, summer turnips, radishes ... the sky's the limit. I would say the only required ingredients are cabbage (or some kind of hearty green) and shallots, which round out the flavors. The dressing is non-fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and dill. I usually start with about a 1/2 cup of yogurt and 1/2 lemon, tasting and checking that there's enough dressing to coat all the veggies, adding more as necessary. I finely chop the dill (I like a lot of dill, but any amount will taste fantastic) and then add sea salt and pepper to taste.

It is seriously the simplest salad in the world and it tastes so insanely fresh. I love recipes where there's no right or wrong because it forces me to trust my instincts. Have fun experimenting with different combinations of vegetables and savor your efforts with a perfectly chilled glass of white wine. It's heaven on a hot day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stoop Sale Cookies

Last month I decided to get rid of the storage unit I've been hanging onto for the past six years. Truth be told, I hadn't thought much about the unit (thanks to AutoPay) until I started watching the show Storage Wars on A&E. Being a flea market/thrift store fanatic myself, it's no wonder I like watching a bunch of reality show characters bidding blind on storage units in the hopes of finding something valuable amongst piles of unmarked boxes. I also find it endlessly fascinating that people could just simply abandon their belongings. This point is fantastically ironic given the fact that my storage unit had been all but forgotten save for Christmas when we would make our annual pilgrimage to retrieve the holiday decorations.

A few months ago I couldn't have told you what was in my unit. Sure, there were some large items I could see from the front door, like the mountain bike I bought on a whim that summer in the Hamptons when my house mates wanted to take a stab at roughing it. There was also some furniture I bought at the antique store where I worked on the weekends right after college; I thought it would be a great way to meet people and pay for the pieces I needed to furnish my first apartment. Besides what I could see from the threshold, I was at a total loss for what sat waiting in those cardboard boxes. Had my unit gone up for auction, I wouldn't have had even the slightest competitive edge over any of those Storage Wars personalities. Emptying the unit was a huge undertaking but I was highly motivated, not just because of the oodles of money I would save, but because it dawned on me just how ridiculous it was to hold on to things that I had no knowledge of owning.

Rummaging through all the stuff was like revisiting my past lives. Each object seemed to embody the spirit of another me, and although they triggered faint memories, it almost felt as if I was sifting through someone else's belongings. The good news was I thought I had superb taste! I found a whole box full of kitchen supplies and happily snatched up some beloved linens and books. The bad news was that for every item I wanted to bring home I found ten I wanted to throw away. How is it that I could have accumulated this much crap? The fact that I had paid to hold onto this stuff just added insult to injury. Surrounded by piles and piles of junk, I felt keenly aware of the yogic practice of non-hoarding which, up until this point, had remained completely illusive to me. In that moment I understood the value of non-attachment because each object I now categorized as junk had, at some point in my life, been considered precious.

I had to let go. There was no other choice. A wave of clarity washed over me as I sorted through the mess. Photo albums, college memories, and old letters went into the "keep" pile. The rolls of wrapping paper with only enough paper left to wrap a 1-inch square box, the clothes (oh my God has my style changed) and the manuals from my 200hr teacher training (although hilarious to flip through) went directly to the "Goodwill" pile. There were some things I loved but just didn't need, so I decided to have a stoop sale to make the act of letting go a little less painful.

We hung signs up all over my neighborhood, advertising my goods and bribing people with homemade cookies ("available only to those who BUY!"). I figured an oatmeal walnut chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with sea salt would help turn any ambivalent waffling into a final sale. These cookies were my first attempt at creating my own recipe for a baked good. The science of baking is totally lost on me so the task of figuring out the perfect ratio of flour/sugar/baking powder/egg was daunting to say the least. I decided the only way to figure it out was to try. Luckily I had many willing taste testers (like any good yoga teacher, I bribed my students with homemade cookies if they really gave their all in class). With a little tweaking, the feedback was unanimous ... the cookies are delicious!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream 2 sticks of room temperature butter, 1 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar, and 1/2 cup regular sugar. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Add the dry ingredients—1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt—only until just combined. Finally, stir in 3 cups of oats, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough into your hands, allowing the heat of your palms to form the dough into a presentably round shape. Once they were on the cookie sheet, I flattened the tops just a little and sprinkled each one with a bit of Maldon sea salt flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the upper rack of your oven, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Books for sale resting on top of a 1950's table.

A collection of shoes resting on a 100 year old trunk.

The stoop sale was a huge success, if you count my having fun as being successful. If you count my financial gains relative to how much I originally spent on each item plus the money I spent to store it all ... well, let's just not count my financial gains. Practicing Sutra 2.39 (aparigraha, or non-hoarding) seems pretty wise. We do not need all of our stuff. Moreover, we cannot find our sense of self in all of our stuff. We are not our cars, or our shoes, or our furniture. What was once your prized possession is later left collecting dust in some storage unit. It makes me think that non-hoarding is not simply the practice of letting go—of saying goodbye at the end of a long relationship with our forgotten belongings. Aparigraha is also the practice of taking a powerful pause before buying that special something you feel will fill the gaping hole in your sense of wholeness. It is the skill of knowing that the answers do not abide in the external, but rather deep inside. Clearly (as illustrated by the photo above), no amount of shoes will help you step forward in the direction you want to move. On a side note, no one bought any of my shoes, so I donated them to Goodwill. Someone is now walking around in a killer pair of Barbara Bui flats, and for that, I couldn't be happier.