Reflecting Presence

Leaping into the 21st Century I’m excited to navigate this new terrain called “blogging.” I welcome an interactive conversation on various topics as they arise.

This Body Called Mine

I was wrong, completely and utterly incorrect to believe or even swallow dozens of nutritional supplements based on that latest, greatest health book, email campaign, or what television’s doctors were tooting on “anti-aging”, forgetting that the alternative to aging is actually “dying”.

I was wrong, completely and utterly incorrect, to have considered that my amazingly sharp and very perceptive mind could analyze, investigate and even decipher the best foods, exercise regime, mattress or desk chair, without including my body’s unique, very opinionated “princess and the pea”-like kinesthetic point of view.

I was wrong completely and utterly incorrect to listen to the on going rants of my once vicious inner critic, as if the parade of Hollywood celebs that surrounded my West Los Angeles upbringing was the only standard of beauty.

I was wrong completely and utterly incorrect to value my Pusher’s overzealous drive to achieve and accomplish from the “to-do list” of my life, as if this way of life wouldn’t take it’s toll in time.

I was wrong completely and utterly incorrect to forget, as in not remember, the miracle of this “being human” and what a blessing it is to have landed feet first in this body called mine.

The Push

I always wondered what it would be like to finally
feel organized – as in arranged in a systematic way – a place for everything and everything in its place – an order to the things of life – resulting in – what Feng Shui masters might refer to – as pure harmony.

I always wondered what it would be like to finally create a Zen like simplicity – in my home and life – a freedom from complexity – as each drawer, cupboard or mental thought releases with a soft open and close hinge – resulting in the kind euphoria – usually limited to the sensation of love or lust but for me – the simple wellbeing of a well placed life.

I always wondered what it would be like to finally create a life and style where less is more and more is less and the gauge of things – as in furniture – is measured by what I can move with my own hands, feet and the help of my gliders – where a simple push – with ten fingers or less – moves furnishings from one wall or room to another with no strain, stress or physical effort.

I always wondered what it would be like to finally feel caught up – as in – on top of – my emails, bills, lists, calls, correspondence, mailings, printing, writing, reading and the most basic – minimum daily requirements for a well lived life.

I always wondered what it would be like to finally sleep at night, unencumbered by the weight of debt – as in the kind of mortgage where a palace becomes it’s own kind of prison and the passage out feels more like a bridge across forever.

I always wondered what it would be like to finally achieve a state of perpetual peace – a footprint so light that I could get lost without a compass – where a fresh fallen snow brushes clean – past fantasies or desires for anything more then the weight of my own presence.

Lead line “I always wondered what it would be like to finally…” by C. Lispector

The Push

A Practice of Presence

“A kiss. You call that a kiss?” Jane Fonda says seductively to her sexy co-star Robert Redford in the classic film Barefoot in the Park. Standing coquettishly in his nightshirt outside the honeymoon suite of their Plaza Hotel room, six days and nights after they took their vows. Redford gives her a peck on the lips and heads for the elevator – dressed and ready to get back to work. He explains to her, exasperated that he “doesn’t do this for a living.”

Beginning to unbutton the nightshirt clinging to her body from the top down, she impishly responds to him, “If you call that a kiss, don’t bother coming home tonight” and, ”If you don’t get back here right now and give me a real kiss I am going to…”

This scene is engrained so deeply in my soul and psyche. It’s a film clip that I have shown hundreds of times in my Level One Trainings to illustrate a certain dynamic in relationships. And judge as you may Jane Fonda’s co-dependence on her new husband – she knew the difference between a peck and a real kiss.

A real kiss? What is the difference between a kiss and a real kiss. Is it something only found in the movies or was this newlywed actually pointing to something bigger.

What is a kiss? Is it a noun or a verb. To kiss or be kissed: that is the question. There is the kiss of a mother with her newborn child or a dog owner on the belly of her pup, or the peck of friendship that is not gender-based or -biased.

Miriam Webster defines kissing as the touching of two sets of lips, especially as a mark of affection or greeting. Hmm, not to be confused with a kiss off, kissing up or a kiss ass or even the feared kiss of death.

William Cane in his book The Art of Kissing speaks of numerous kinds of kisses; from a first kiss, to eye kiss, electric kiss, lip kiss, teasing kiss, long kiss, public kiss, surprise kiss, etc. He also refers to kisses known from around the world including the famous French and Eskimo kisses, as well. Not to mention the technique of kissing such as to look or not look, talk or laugh or just what to do with your hands.

Why is it that, according to Cane, 90% of people remember their first kiss. What is the power behind the kiss? Why is it that for some people, including myself, kissing is far more intimate and powerful then sexual intercourse?

I think, for me, kissing is more like sky diving without a parachute, a kind of free-fall into the void of the moment.

I remember my first and second and third kiss as they span the time frame of twelve years! My first kiss took place when I was 4 years old. We lived next door to two boys my age and a bit older. Marty and his brother David and I used to peek at each other standing on our tip toes through the windows above our beds. I was smitten with him. And following that first kiss, or more actually peck, butterflies took up residence in my young belly and didn’t leave until we up and moved to another part of the city soon thereafter. And I never heard from my two brothers again.

My second kiss came when I was in 6th grade at a year-end class party that my parents were hosting in our backyard. My parents, who had the reputation of being cool, seemed to turn a blind eye as we kids began a game of spin the bottle, which ended as free-for-all kissing in the backyard. Michel, the most popular boy in our class laid a wet one on me and it felt like that same flock of butterflies landed back in my little girl belly and remained there throughout the summer.

And then there was my third kiss, which happened just before my 16th birthday on a cruise with my aunt and uncle from Victoria, Canada back to Los Angeles. Following an extraordinary winning streak with my cousin at Bingo, a young man took notice and I brought my 16th year in with a brand new flock of butterflies.

Yet, interestingly enough, the kiss I remember most of all was that of a stranger.

He was a young man I met one night at a gathering in my college cafeteria. I have no memory of his name or how we ended up on the lawn under the maple tree. All I know is that we kissed for over two hours and I mean just kissed. Maybe because there was nothing to lose and nothing to gain – a chance encounter with a young man who was willing to freefall into my mouth – I fell head first into his and one soul butterfly took up residence in the place called my memory. And kissing became a path to presence.

Klimt: The Kiss

Call it Forbidden


Call it forbidden – and why do we want it more –
Forbidden chocolate – forbidden love – forbidden fruit.

Our body’s arousal heightens,
we are intrigued,
curious wanting more –
more information, more details, more Truth —
inquiring minds want to know – more!

Maybe what keeps consciousness juicy is the
forbidden terrain that we travel —
hand in hand with our willingness to embark on an
inner expedition into the mystery.

We, psycho-archaeologists, traverse the lush jungles of our unconscious
– trailblazers of the human spirit we travel –
machete in hand, specimens of memories, webbings of time.

The past and the future fall away into presence
as the full moon rises over the lake on the eastern horizon line,
reflecting the forbidden shadow that we must know.


lake at dusk

Making the Darkness Conscious


Sitting – or more like staring uninterrupted – as if into night’s vast sky

You pause from the torment of tears that newly defines your once insulated life

It has been only days – but feels like years – no longer defined by time or space

The sofa – firm, but soft enough to hold the wobble in your bones – cradles you

The orange Buddha candle flickers through the darkness of the living room

A living room no longer – newly inhabited by your flailing heart

Lost – you fall silent to the sink hole now called your life

Catching the light – Buddha’s face pulsates between your breaths

Ignited – not just by a candle from within – but an unanswered call

It happened – “I died” you say – with no one there to listen

A death – not in body – but in a Self – full of false projections

All that has come to define you burns away – as a wet fog from the rising sun

Now naked of everything – that once described you

Your lifelong prayer finally comes to be heard

Not in the flair of fireworks – or the church bells of a Nirvana from beyond

Nor from a bliss state expressed by the experiences of so many others

You instead – wake up to the reality – of your lifetime of sleep

And sitting – or more like staring uninterrupted – as if into night’s vast sky

You fall fast awake


buddha candle j tamar stone


Selves Discovery

Swiftly driving home from my weekly Pilates lesson, followed by my restorative yoga class, foundationed upon a morning workout, I accomplish a quick turnaround in order to pick up my dog, so I can bring him with me to my chiropractor (only in Boulder), and then to my five pm dance class. This is a typical Tuesday in my life – and one of two days a week dedicated to my body.

Cell phone in hand, signal light to signal light, I pick up my emails, listen to my voice mail, and use the time to return calls to family and friends.

Describing my day to a friend as I head home for my round-about, I found myself suddenly stunned by his use of a term, which I had never – and I mean ever – applied to myself. “Tamar,” he said, “You are an amazing soccer mom – to your Self.” “Soccer Mom?!?!” I screeched – never having had children of my own. Soccer Mom – imagining a mini van and three boisterous children chanting in unison for my attention from the back seat. “Soccer MOM!!!” I repeated in shock. Then it hit me, he was right!!! After all the years of making my work my life, I had actually integrated an inner cheerleader, dedicated to the health and well being of my body.

Call it aging, maturing or just growing up, I have finally managed to put in place a trim tab, fail safe, security net to counter-balance my inner Achiever, Pusher and Entrepreneur – and her name is “Soccer Mom”.

Exceptional at the wheel of my SUV, she navigates my Tuesdays and Thursdays with the competence of a corporate CEO and I can relish in her faithful love, loyalty and commitment to my Body and Soul.

I dedicate this blog to all our Inner Soccer Moms/Dads who have been working on the sidelines of our lives and deserve our acknowledgment and appreciation.

Riding the Cosmic Carpet

I can’t say it was public although I know many people were saddened.  I didn’t know the day or time he died.  I wasn’t in his inner circle nor did I really know him very well at all.  In all actuality, I had only spent one weekend with him when I was in my early twenties and he was about 30 years my senior.  I had read several of his books on energy medicine and knew I just absolutely had to study with him.  So, being the seeker that I was, I traipsed up to Ashland, Oregon, to attend one of his weekend retreats.  My connection with him was instant – the kind of connection that transcended time and space, and as he said, “If he had been 15 or so years younger and me 15 or so years older…”

He was so tapped in – as if plugged into the power socket of life, his world was electrifying. Everything he did was experiential – it was as if we were riding a cosmic carpet through consciousness itself.  What I didn’t know at that time was that Jack Swartz was to be my liaison to Steve Jobs, and introduce me to the world of technology that was soon and over time going to have its way with me. I was going to learn to not only love it, but to feel the kind of gratitude that one feels to a close loved one, family member, or friend.

Years before I ever heard the words Apple, laptop, iPod, iPhone or iPad I was resisting getting my first answering machine because it seemed to be such an impersonal way to have one’s phone answered. Once I had it, however, I felt the excitement of my newfound technological friend. In response to my new answering machine superiority compounded with naivety, Jack whispered to me one of the greatest secrets of my life: “Never,” he said, “Never let yourself fall behind the wave of technology…always be riding the wave.”  I have come to see over the years, not only as a consumer of everything “i and Apple” that he was absolutely right.  His sage council has been a tailwind on my technological journey and where Jack Schwartz transitioned on so many years ago now, Steve Jobs ascended to his rightful place on the technological wave while I humbly surfed in his lovely wake.  To Jack and Steve, I am forever in gratitude for your vision, gifts and blessings!!!

The Defender

Pushed, or more like propelled forward by a gun—more precisely a Smith & Wesson 36 caliber revolver—lodged deeply into the center of my back.  My Pusher had plans for me.

Five o’clock in the morning my Zen alarm clock retrieves me from deep within my dream world, two and a half hours before my first client.

“This is the only time you have to work on your extra writing assignment due tonight,” the familiar voice screamed.

Dead to the world, I responded against the deep soulful silent wail of my flailing body by crawling out of my warm bed into the frigid autumn air.

My writing assignment—isn’t this supposed to be fun?  I struggled up the stairs to feed my meowing cats and then, coming back down the stairs—with the barrel of the Smith & Wesson pressed up against me—it happened: a stand off.

“Shower, dress, make a cup of tea and get to work, you know how much better you will feel when you finish.” My Pusher exclaimed.

The story of my life, I groaned. And then, to my surprise, I heard the words I had been longing to hear.

”You have got to be fucking kidding me! She’s exhausted, let her sleep.”

Someone in me had finally stood up against the strongest voice of all.  My Defender had surfaced in my moment of need. There’s hope, I whispered half-asleep.

Standing between the doorway to the bathroom and my beckoning bed, sleep caked between my squinting eyes, I took advantage of this stand off. Diving headfirst back into the comfort of my organic 400 thread count sheets I found myself back where I had been only minutes ago.

Re-setting the alarm for six o’clock I bought an hour.  As I re-entered the portal back to my dream realm, I knew that I found the topic that I would write about.  And an extra 60 minutes of sleep.