The Sound of Loss.

Feeling humbled and grateful to have my essay published on Jennifer Pastiloff’s website The Manifest Station

The Manifest-Station

The Sound of Loss. By Lyn Girdler.

cs-lewis-let-go-monkey-bars image courtesy of

There are screams you will hear in your life. Like the scream of someone stubbing their toe, or hitting their head on a kitchen cabinet; maybe even catching their finger in the car door. They are screams of visceral, cellular pain. There are screams of fear and shock; someone encountering a spider, or being jolted by a loud, unexpected noise or even the collective screams of a packed cinema house at a horror film. Those are screams that you hear and then let go of.

Then there are other screams, ones that will wake you up on a cold winter morning, seize your childhood innocence, and not let go of you. Like the sound of your mothers scream when she wakes to find your father giving CPR to her child as he lay there, breathless.

It is a sound…

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A new web home

It is timely that I move ‘grades’ or ‘homes’ at this time of year.  It is, after all, (at least in North America) the time of transition from summer to fall and vacation to school or work.

If you’ve been a loyal follower here on this wordpress blog site you will find yourself faced with a whole new visual.  I’ve moved myself to a custom website.  The address is the same

This also means that, if you’re signed up to get notifications that a post has been published, you will no longer get those.  I’m moving to a newsletter format that I might send out weekly.  Probably not more than that though – and quite possibly less than that.

There is a space on the front page where you can sign up to get these newsletters – I’ve also written a free little ebook on having a business you love – all the the things that I practice to keep me afloat and living a life completely sustained by earning my own income. You might find it useful (particularly if you work in a service based business).

You can also join the facebook page – if you don’t want to get newsletters.  I will always post the blogs here and any other information I find.  Twitter is very good for this too!

All the content on here will remain.  But it’s also been moved over to the new place.

I worked with the very talented Loren DePalma of for most of the design work and for web development and some design too.  Amazing people.

So, come on over to – the party is a lot more lively over there!

Have you lost sight?

This week I taught two yoga classes to two different private clients and neither session contained any Asana.  Not a lick.  No downdog, no Uttanasana, or Trikonasana not even an inkling of a thigh stretch or hamstring stretch.  Nada on the Asana!

Instead, my clients and I talked.  We got to know each other, imagine that!  I heard their stories and as the conversation grew my clients changed right in front of my eyes when I started to understand their motivations in behavior and the subtle ways in which they communicate.  Contact was lengthened, stretched rather than condensed to a short hello, an hour of asana and then a Namaste and out the door and ‘on yer bike’ (an Australian expression for getting on your way).

I basically got to know them as more than a lovely person in a yoga pose.

I didn’t mean for the sessions to go this way, in fact, I kept looking at the clock thinking “alright, I’ll give another 5min and then we’ll get started” but 5min came and went and the conversation was still happening.  And, thriving.  In fact, one of the clients, seeing me check the time, stopped mid sentence and said “This is yoga too, I’m getting a lot out of this, you’re doing your job”.

It happened like this.  I asked “How are you?’ and instead of half-hearing their response as I prepared to get them moving on their mat, I stopped, listened and gave total attention to the answer.  I spoke only when relevant (it was a conversation after all) and 75min later our yoga session ended.

What happened on the mat wasn’t a sequence of familiar yoga poses.  No, what happened on the mat was a sequence of connection that will most definitely turn those familiar yoga poses, in the near future, into something of meaning between the two of us.  When he, or she, struggles in a twist I’ll know it’s because of their own struggle to turn their life around.  When she goes into child’s pose and I see her entire spine expand from a deep breath, I’ll know it’s because she finally found a moment to devote to herself that day and after a lot of loss in her life, she’s trying to find more of those moments.  When he gets up, mid pose to look at something that caught his eye, I’ll know that he’s been doing this since he was a child – always curious about life.

When we, as yoga teachers, take our certification and step out into the world to be of service – it can easily turn into a career which feels a lot more like teaching an exercise class than one of connection.  The physical art of yoga is beautiful, watching someone surrender to the movement and flow is captivating – and being someone who can surrender to the art and flow of one’s own body is breathtaking.  People want to have that experience.  But, ultimately our job is to teach connection and yes it starts in the body and connecting an engaged thigh to a healthy hamstring stretch but then it has to move beyond just that.  Don’t you think?

Anyway, if I’d been so attached to yoga being only confined to the mat I wouldn’t have had that moment with my client, standing on his balcony, professional sling shot strapped to our arms slinging pellets at his surfboard (now being used as his target) sitting out on the water.  We wouldn’t have had that 10 minutes of laughing hysterically at the silliness of it and my surprise aggression toward wanting to hit that thing so badly!.  So much more fun than Warrior 2!

Sometimes we become so fixated on what something should look like that we stop being open to the many forms it can take.  Like any good relationship, any worthwhile connection, if we’ve become so attached to it’s original form then we lose sight of it’s potential, and then eventually – lose sight of any need for it.

What can you look at differently today?  Or, what are you so attached to that you’re not being creative enough to change it’s form?

Just because I love when people (who are yogi’s themselves)mock  the yoga world (an oldie for sure)

Never give up…except when you should!

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Muhammad Ali.

When I first started practicing yoga, one of the more compelling things about it was the autonomy it allowed.  It meant that I didn’t have to rely on anyone to win and, most importantly, no one had to rely on me to win.  And thankfully the only game I was trying to win happened in my head, it did not involve sticks, rackets, clubs, gloves, balls, nunchucks and most importantly, blood.

Yes, Yoga is a practice of the mind.  The swiftness in which a thought could take me down had to be matched with cunning placement of intuition and confidence to block it’s blow.  It’s a practice which requires will, builds strength of character and courage.  Most importantly it begs you to never give up.

This is also true of Martial Arts.

Now, I’ve never actually engaged in any kind of Martial Art (the blood!) but I do understand the autonomy, the will to never give up and the fight (in yoga, it’s usually for the good life – not against other people).  A Martial Art is about precision and requires complete attention.  Like Yoga, it encourages surrendering to the movement and form, not trying to force it.

Bruce Lee once said “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

I think the video below exemplifies this.  These men, regardless of their skill, when asked to be a martial artist – become a marital artist!  Most importantly, their will was most definitely more entertaining than their skill!

Never give up……particularly if you have a mild concussion and nunchucks.


**This will induce ridiculous laughter (which is also very yogic!)

Playlist ~ I’d rather post a song a day

So, clearly I’ve dropped the August Project though I have taken pictures every day.  I just haven’t had the desire to post them.  I felt inauthentic doing it so I’ve stopped and I’m ok with that.

There has been so much going on in the background to keep me pretty inspired anyway (so maybe it did work!); a new website coming soon, some new clients and, most exciting the launch of my Wholehearted project called We Are The Wholehearted.  I’d love you to take a look, I think you’ll really be inspired by the people I’ve interviewed.  They were so generous with their time and their willingness to be so completely honest about their lives.  I am still in awe.

So, a lot being planted.

That said, because I have my attention on a lot of things not much verbiage today so I gift you a playlist.  This is the “Abundant Moon” playlist.  I am sure it was compiled during a full moon – yes, I am usually that transparent!

Hong Kong ~ Gorillaz (I love kicking a yoga class off with this one)

How I feel ~ Wax Tailor ( I am Nina Simone (remix) junkie)

Lucky ~ Kat Edmonson (this is just such sweet, lucky, happy song)

Goin to the party ~ Alabama Shakes

Dixon’s Girl ~ Dessa (Introduced to me by one of my fav student, Ashly)

Que Sera ~ Wax Tailor

Bones ~ Michael Kiwanuka

How lucky we are ~ Meiko

Lasan ~ Michael Kiwanuka

Limit to your love ~ James Blake

An attempt to inspire (myself)

It’s a full moon tomorrow.  I like that it’s happening at the beginning of the month.  Something about that makes me feel like August has a proper start, a signal of prosperity or just something to measure its sequential days.

It feels like something, at least.

I’ve been struggling to write or produce anything that I’m truly happy with lately. Creatively, I’m stifled.  Bored with my own self.  Ironic, since I’m always banging on about finding our own greatness.  Truth is, I’m not convinced right now that life is all that great.  It feels mostly like one big run around the park, no stopping, no swing set, no bird watching.  Just run past, take a quick glance and then end up where you started.

So, in an attempt to inspire myself, once again, I’m taking on Susannah Conway’s The August Break project.  Basically, I’m going to post a photo a day.  I don’t usually do these type of things;  joining mass groups for public displays of inspirational process.  So, because I feel completely ridiculous and a stereotype doing this, I am going to do it.

I realize that the project isn’t about the photo one takes, it’s really about the practice of looking and seeking – and that’s truly where inspiration comes from.

So, this is my attempt ( just posted my first pictures on here)

For those of you who get an update on any blog post that happens, I apologize now.