Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bugs as a Protein Source

In today's newspaper, another story about eating bugs.  As I predicted in 2011, protein bars are among our first sources.  This particular bar has a low protein content!  So, probably not much cricket in it!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

If You Take Them, They Will Learn

Since my daughter was an infant, we have taken her to art museums.  At first she didn’t know any better.  As we strolled her through the galleries, the stone floors and big spaces were just rooms where she could test out the expansiveness of her voice -- its timbre, tone, and loudness.  She relished in the echo of her existence.

As the years progressed, in pre-school, she started to notice the objects in the space and on the walls.  She would run from room to room to discover the next find -- never really lingering long enough to drink in the beauty and the masterwork of a single item.  She was on a fast fix, quickly searching for the next play on color, light, form, and stroke.

Her early elementary years were filled with feigned interest -- a willingness to go because of the opportunity to spend time with me.  And she’s been to some fine art museums from the Cummer here in Jacksonville to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She’s 10 now.  And on a recent trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., she stumbled upon a series of paintings that she glanced at 4 years ago.  She was slightly intrigued then.  This time, she was captivated.

The series of paintings by Thomas Cole called “The Voyage of Life” are full of allegory -- and she sees it and gets it!  She even said to me, “Mom, I now know why you love art museums so much!”

It’s a reminder to me that we must continue to re-look at everything in our lives.   As our life station changes, so too does our perception, our understanding, our actions, and reactions.   What remains constant is the Truth.

The next 4 blogs are about each one of the paintings.  Enjoy!  And get out and re-visit your favorite places on Earth!  Illumination!  Illuminate!

first published online at  copyright 2006   Lisa A. Long

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Practice Every Where You Go!

No doubt, when we take our physical practice on the road or to the airport with us - we feel better!
A few hip openers, some shoulder stretches, a couple of back bends, forward bends, and twists can make a long journey pleasurable!

There’s so much we learn from our physical practice and our time on the mat that we can incorporate into our travels. - even if our travels are as far as Australia or as close as the local grocery store!

Be Present in the Moment

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Voyage of Life - Thomas Cole

My four-year-old son, Hugh, stands in front Thomas Cole’s first masterpiece in the series called The Voyage of Life.

In this painting, the boat flows out of the dark, solid, earthy mass of rock. The water actually flows backwards in this painting... back to the source in the darkness.

On board, is a baby. At the rudder, the large white figure is an angel. Golden angels are emerging from the water and taking form on the sides of the boat. At the helm is a golden angel holding an hour glass.

There is greenery and flowers on the banks. The plants are small and bright. The light is bright and diffuse.

Here Ava, my 10 year-old daughter, stands with one of her favorite paintings.   Artist Thomas Cole has removed the angel from the rudder and allowed the boy to take over steering.  The boat heads towards the dreamy castle in the sky.

Golden angels playfully cling to the boat with their heads turned towards the future. The landscape has matured and the light is bright.

Here I am, at age 41, facing turbulent waters along with Thomas Cole’s man on the boat.  The rudder is broken - no chance of steering out of the rapids! The man is in prayer position, but his back is to the source of  light. The white angel is up in the light source.

On the boat, most of the golden angels have fallen off. Two still cling to the side, but may not be able to hold on much longer. The vegetation is dry, brittle, twisted, and gnarled.

My mother, Marian Forma, willingly stood next to Thomas Cole’s painting even though she would not consider mid-60’s “old age.”

Here, the man on the broken down vessel is being guided home to the light by the angel.  In the light are a multitude of holy beings beckoning and welcoming. The man’s arms are open in a position of giving and receiving, no longer fearful.

The boat, with rudder missing  in “manhood,” has now lost the angel with the hourglass that was on the helm.  The only golden angel still clinging to the side of the boat is now turned inward  and literally hugging in with one broken wing remaining on its body.

In the darkness that surrounds the boat, there are still recognizable earthly forms, but they are not important.

originally published online at  June 14, 2006

Friday, April 5, 2013

100 Years Ago

You’ve heard the saying, “some things never change.” Well, in this case, it’s a true statement! The sculpture I am modeling the pose after is over 100 years old.  Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) had the right idea for how to start the day when he carved “Morning” out of marble. Artist, Rodin, is best known for his sculpture called the “Thinker.”

This shoulder opener is a great way to get in touch with your back body and its alignment.  Start by standing or sitting well - with a firm, rooted foundation. Place your hands over your head, fingers interlaced.
With elbows bent and palms up to the sky, isometrically try to pull your fingers apart.   Keep pressing you head back  in neutral alignment and lengthening through the back of the head.

Enjoy the feeling! Make your day wonderful!

first published online at in 2007