Can we have a comfortable home, give and receive gifts, eat well, make decent money at our job without feeling the pain of letting these go?  Since our life is temporary, it is almost as if everything that we have is really borrowed to us from the divine, existence, and/or the earth.   Aparigraha is trusting that we will have what we need when we need it and so letting go or giving away excess.  I wanted to share a beautiful blog post by Sri Swami Satchidananda, which is below the photo.

 (Free boxes are vessels to give what you don’t want or need and receive what you do; this one I made and is at Core Essence Yoga).

Poverty Is In The Heart – December 26
Poverty is in the heart. You don’t own anything because you didn’t bring anything with you when you came, and you are not going to take anything with you when you go. It is all given to you by God. When you have emptied your mind of ownership, that is renunciation or poverty. I will give you a small illustration.

Once King Janaka was studying under a great sage. He used to leave the palace and go to the hermitage and sit with all the other students to study the scriptures under the guidance of a swami. It seemed to the other students, however, that the teacher was treating the king a little specially. Naturally they became jealous, so they were gossiping. The sage knew what was happening, but he allowed it to continue for a while.

Ordinarily in those days in the hermitages the swamis used to sit and teach under a tree. One hermitage happened to be on the outskirts of the king’s palace. One day the swami created the illusion that the palace was on fire. The ministers and servants from the palace came running saying that the palace was on fire and the fire was spreading. Immediately all the students got up and ran; but Janaka, the king himself, was just sitting there contemplating on what the teacher was saying. The swami was talking about the steadiness of the spirit, and Janaka was contemplating on that. He didn’t even hear what was happening.

So all the other students got up and ran. After a few minutes though, they all came back saying, “It was just a false alarm. There is no fire at all. We don’t know what happened.” The swami said, `Ahh, is that all? Thank God! Okay, sit. But when the palace was on fire, why did you people run to put the fire out? The palace is far away. Are there not people there to do those things?” “Oh, no, we weren’t worried about the palace. But our loincloths were hanging on a line very close to the palace, so we just ran there to save them.” “I see. Do you know who is the owner of the palace?” “Yes, this strange man; he didn’t even notice. He was just sitting here the whole time.” Then the teacher said, “You see, you were attached to your loincloths and ran to save them, whereas he just sat here. He didn’t even run to save his palace. So who is rich here, and who is poor? All you renunciates have is a loincloth. But he doesn’t even have that much. He is really the poor man. Nothing can shake him.”

King Janaka simply answered, “Well, there are people there to take care of it. This is a precious moment for me, why should I go?” Then the others realized how attached they were and got the lesson. It’s not possessions that make you rich. Even attachment to a begging bowl can make you a householder; whereas you can have a big family and still be a renunciate. It’s the attachment that makes the difference. So we should learn to empty our minds of the attachment, not of the things.
Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi

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Healthy Gut Microbiome 1st post

I am sharing the ways in which I know and practice and/or have researched to heal and maintain a healthy gut bacteria, or Microbiome.

Today I am doing a intermittent fast, limiting consumption to mostly water.  Just as we all need vacations once I awhile, our gut and Microbiome could use vacations too.

An intermittent fast can last 1-3 days and should be practiced several times a year.  In this time the gut lining, which partially consists of bacteria, repairs itself.  Also, the balance of different populations of bacteria is restored, it favors populations that prevent inflammatory-related diseases, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

More information can be read in Perlmutter’s book Brain Maker.

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Sri Yantra

I have been super inspired by the Sri Yantra, Sanskrit for “sacred instrument.”  It is a map for finding the way to the center of your being.




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Aquamarine Rings

Inspired by my last commission of turning old wedding bands into necklaces, I decided to make a pair of matching, tension-set, aquamarine rings for my love and me.  Aquamarine is a stone that promotes eternal love.     

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Old Bands

A friend of mine had asked me to upcycle his and his wife’s old wedding bands that had been tucked away for years in a jewelry box.  With no direct access to casting processes, I used almost all cold processes to take these precious bands and transform them into a fresh pair of matching necklaces that they would be able to wear again.  The metalsmithing processes were pretty foundational, but I was extremely challenged in terms of designing these pieces with the limited processes available to me.  I was determined though, because sustainability is priority and so upcycling materials is the starting place for 90% of the work I make.


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Manifestations of Yoga Jewelry

Morgan 99Photographer: Jeff Pearcy
Model: Morgan Herum (myself)

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Manifestations of Yoga at the Riverwest Cooperative!

My latest body of work is up in the Riverwest Cooperative Cafe now through the end of January! Go check it out!DSCN1219Manifestations of Yoga includes nine wearable pierced organic forms.  The designs originate on the yoga mat during my practice the moment my wet hair leaves a subtle and ephemeral relief print on the mat’s surface.  The prints were photographed, and then pierced in copper.  The elegance of line quality and design is preserved as an infinitely durable and tangible evidence of the yoga discipline that can be shared with others by being worn as a necklace, near the heart.  Yoga opens the hearts of its practitioners to love more fully, embrace life more passionately, and creates peaceful warriors, who then, like a ripple effect, grace their community.  These pendants embody yoga’s ability to enliven, uplift, and strengthen the spirit.

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