There’s a Transformation Happening. (Not Just Right Now. Always.)

An Announcement

There’s a transformation happening over here. It was in the works long before this moment (as transformations always are), and I know the pandemic has hastened its arrival. I’m thankful for this. This strange year gave me time. To sit, to feel, to wait, to think; to let go, hold on, cry, decide.

That long pause in the writing was reasonable; the tentative and shaky entrance into Advent, appropriate. Signing my recent posts with “The Universal Yogi,” necessary.

A few months ago I asked a friend and fellow seeker if she’d consider taking over The Catholic Yogi. It was the only way forward I could see, and I could not think of a better person to steward the mission of this online space. She said Yes. With enthusiasm! A few weeks later I texted another friend to share this life-changing news, the only person outside of my immediate family to know, and her response totally surprised me. She said she thought it was amazing that I was taking this “step towards healing.” This was crazy to me – I had no idea I was in need of healing until she said it.

There will be much more to come regarding the transition, which won’t be complete until July or August, 2021. In the meantime, Incarnation!

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on

Being in a Body

The Christian feast of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of divinity in a human body. I love this. What a sweet joy to know our sacredness in this way. I am divine because Jesus Christ is, and so are you. And so is every last one of us. The problem is that I forget this a lot. This is why even though it is always Christmas (God is always coming to us in a body) it’s helpful to celebrate it with intention.

December 25th doesn’t matter, of course. We can intentionally celebrate our embodiment any time we want. Every time we dance, bow, run, cook, build, carve, paint, sweep. Every time we perform surgery or a piano solo. Every time we collect the trash, address an envelop, hit send on an email, fill out a form. Every time we bring our attention to the sacredness of our being here, now, as part of the whole environment that surrounds us, it’s a chance to celebrate Christmas.

For Practice

The next time you decide to celebrate the sacredness of your humanity, try any of these suggestions for practicing embodiment:

  • Stand close to someone side by side and notice the energy of your own body. Then notice the energy of their body. If you like, hover your open hands close to each other without touching. If no energetic sensation is noticeable, each person can rub their own hands together vigorously creating some heat and then experiment again. My kids love this.
  • Do something that will truly help someone else (cook dinner and drop it off, spend and share time connecting on the phone, through text, zoom, or in person?). Notice how it feels in your body to do all that is involved.
  • Teach someone else how to do something for themselves (knit, bake, start the laundry, write a poem, practice yoga?). Notice how your body feels when teaching, listening, and learning.
  • Rest quietly and feel your breath coming in and going out. Let your hands rest on your body where the movement of your breath is the most obvious.
  • Think of something you do and then do it as a celebration of embodiment(!)

Practicing embodiment can feel like a transformation, like an “Oh! This is what it feels like to be alive. But transformation is a tricky word. Sometimes I think I actually mean an uncovering of what was always there, of what was becoming, what was waiting to be born, waiting to crack through the shell or to split open the chrysalis.

Wishing you many moments, happy or something else, of noticing that you are alive, being in a body. And not just today, but all the days. There’s a way of thinking of God as the Eternal Now, or, one of my absolute favorites, The Everlasting Instant. Implicit in these names is the concept of always. They scoop up every moment that ever was and every moment that ever will be and places them here, now.

Keep transforming,
Keep uncovering,


The Universal Yogi

For further reading, visit the Center for Christogenesis and the article by Diarmuid O’Murchu, Incarnation as Embodiment of Spirit.

Light, Power & Prayers for Today and Always

Christmas Lights

Dear Yogis,

Celebrate the Light!

Whether you are celebrating the ever-increasing light of day and the sureness of Spring,  a Festival of Lights, the Messengers of God on Earth, the  Incarnation of God through Christ Jesus — Keep on being Mary, Mother of God, manifesting Divinity by your very Presence!  Keep being Little Christs, Little Buddhas, Sons & Daughters, Children of the God of Your Own Understanding. 
Birth Your Very Self, the manifestation of Love.
Light your Candle. 
Yep, light ANY Candle.

All Love,
All Light,
Any Amount of Action.

May it be yours,
and may you know it.
May you have the strength to bear it.

Happy Practicing!

~ The Catholic Yogi

Advent’s Beginning

Today is the second day of Advent, a holy season of anticipation, preparation, and by the end, we hope, a readiness.

It is easy to get caught in a whirlwind of perfectionism in which we strive to meet unrealistic expectations of our own making or those of others.  It is even easier to strive and then compare ourselves and our families to everyone around us, including those halfway around the globe.  Are my spiritual traditions better or worse than my neighbors’ traditions?  Am I teaching my children less effectively, less ideally than my friend is teaching hers?  The perfectionist/comparison trap yields only two results, both unwelcome:  placing ourselves above others, or, putting ourselves below others.  Tons of judgment.

Image result for christmas tree

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali outline ten ethical principles, yamas and niyamas, or social and individual observances.  One of the yamas that might help with this perfectionist/comparison trap is aparigraha, or the practice of non-attachment.  This non-attachment extends to more than the material objects we surround ourselves with, but to all of our inner and outer experiences as well.  We can become attached to anything and everything, such as the results of our hard work, or the outcome of situations and circumstances we struggle to orchestrate.  This attachment is also described as a “hunger” or a “craving,” and we can crave the bad things as well as good.  We can strive to have the most tastefully decorated house on the street, give the best gifts, host the most entertaining parties.  At times we even hunger after noble things like becoming an excellent yogi, or a good Christian, or a Catholic saint.


While it is wonderful to have the passion and energy for virtuous pursuits, it does no one any good if we constantly judge ourselves as “not living up” and make every one of us miserable in the process!   If we can practice letting go of our attachment to any particular outcome or result, we give ourselves a great gift of grace.

Perfection comes in the fullness of time.  We can’t rush it or control it or demand it.  All of us ripen at different stages and in different seasons, and none of us will reach perfection this side of death.  But if we practice even a bit of non-attachment throughout this holy season, we might just find a contentment that feels like heaven.  And not only will we have a more restful and happy spirit throughout the holidays, we will have souls ready to celebrate the birth of Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom our perfection comes.

Image result for advent candles


The inspiration for this post came at church the week before Thanksgiving.  I picked up a copy of The Magnificat Advent Companion, a small book of blessings, daily scripture, reflections, and prayers, and inside the front cover I found a poem by Rita A. Simmonds.  It is simple and profound.  Enjoy.

This Advent

Prepare a Christmas list.
Don’t tell lies about what you want.
Go outside
and ax the dying tree,
watch it crash in the snow
leaving behind brown and green needles both.
Clear the cupboard of expired soups and noodles
old antibiotics
stiff marshmallows never melted,
and give away
the fresh box of cereal
the olives and canned tomatoes
flour, salt and sugar.
Don’t stuff a turkey
that’s already stuffed.
Make room in the refrigerator
for fresh fruit.
Clear your closets.
Give away blankets and boots
jackets and gloves
that no one has worn.
Confess the cobwebs
and skeletons
past celebrations
have kept and ignored.

Image result for christmas nativity

May we all be blessed with holy simplicity this Advent season.
Happy Practicing!

The Catholic Yogi

*All photos via google images.