The Perfect Mushroom

A few days ago while walking the dog, I saw the perfect mushroom. It was all alone in a patch of Southern-Burnt-Grass, stark white, with a long stem and a perfectly formed bulbous top that was so elegantly crafted, it rivaled the dome of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. (I wasn’t born yet either, but if you Google the image it’s amazing!)

Finding the perfect mushroom is not incredibly exciting, especially when it’s not even edible. But still, I wanted to share this amazing feat of nature with my husband and girls. That silly mushroom gave me hope. Like the lotus, no matter what the conditions, nature can still rise above all.

Oddly, I didn’t have my phone. So I decided to snap a picture the next time.

The next day the mushroom looked even more impressive and its translucent top shone on a dark day. It made me smile, and forget pictures, I made a mental note to bring my girls back the next time.

The third day that darned mushroom stood strong against what felt like monsoon-like rain. I appreciated it, alone. I didn’t want to drag everyone out in the rain.

The fourth day it rested peacefully in the early morning shade. So I’d show them the mushroom after school.

On the fifth day, the mushroom was gone. And I had a gut reaction. Was it because I failed to take my family to see the perfect mushroom?

It wasn’t the mushroom that made my stomach ache, it was the knowledge that I was putting off until tomorrow what I should have done today.

Like my BIL who never found the time to try Indian Food before he passed at very young age, I just assumed there would be a chance to do it tomorrow.

How often do we do this? Maybe it’s a vacation, or maybe a new job. Maybe it’s embracing the life you want today. Before it’s too late.  

There’s never a “right time” or a “more sensible moment.” Life isn’t about waiting. Even with the fullest of schedules, we must create the time to do those things we were put on this earth to do, before those chances, like the mushroom, simply disappear.   

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Already There

Walking the dog in the rain yesterday, I looked down and glimpsed my rain boots sloshing through puddles while the puppy ran ahead, and I had the oddest thought: What if I’m already there? That place I always hoped I’d be? What if we all are?

I had always imagined my life going in a certain way, I think most of us do. But what I saw as the “finish line” –the teaching, the writing, the dog I never expected we’d have—the way I saw my “eventual-ness,” is possibly the way I am now. Whoa. That was an eye-opening moment.

In my yoga classes this week I have been talking about intention without attachment to the outcome. Deepak Chopra gives this lovely quote:

“You don’t give up the intention, and you don’t give up the desire. You give up your attachment to the results.”

Deepak Chopra

But how many of us actually live like this? What if we did? Of course we need goals and a means to live, but how often do we live not in these moments, but in the next? We go to work saying, “When I get the promotion, I’ll be…” or “When I write the next book it will be a bestseller and then…” But that’s attachment to outcome. What if what actually happens is so much better than we imagined? And if it’s not seemingly better, why is it so difficult to remember that things happen exactly as they should, exactly when they should? We are all on the perfect paths of our lives.

We are living exactly as we should be right now.

So I invite each of us to remember we are living for now, and not to attach to outcome. Because what if our “eventual-ness” is already here? 


The Whole Class

I’ve had a different experience in yoga class these past two weeks. I worked the front desk during the time of a class I normally take, and after check-ins and admin work, I snuck in to take class. 

I expected a bit of a harried experience, but then being able to drop into class immediately. The part I anticipated disliking was that I also had to leave before savasana – arguably, the best part of class.

What I discovered was very different than I expected. Showing up late to yoga and leaving early changes the entire dynamic of yoga class.

Now I understand why my extremely passionate and strict teacher on Long Island used to yell if someone got up to leave before savasana. Although I don’t mind if someone needs to leave my class early or come late (it’s life), I think I understand why he was so adamant on his position. 

For me, the best part of class is the theme – the message the teacher was inspired to bring that day. Dropping in and hitting the mat for high plank and chaturanga feels more like a boot camp workout then a spiritual practice for body and mind.

Yes, I take challenging yoga classes, and yes, I sweat, but I don’t do yoga for that. For a sweat session I could take a run with the puppy around the neighborhood. 😉 Yoga is the connection to the breath (pranayama) while linking body and mind. It’s leaving behind what no longer serves you. I paraphrase the quote by Judith Lasater: It’s not about touching your toes, it’s what you learn on the way down.

But when I’m only touching my toes, with no dropping into breath and no release at the end—with no permission to let it all go, then all I’m working out is my body. And that’s not yoga.

Yoga is a fabulous workout for mind and body, but what I’ve learned is that without the meditation, without the moments of silence, without savasana—chaturanga is little more than a pushup.

As for me, I will be taking full classes whenever I can, and I highly recommend you do too. 😊

Namaste.


Feeling Lucky

As today is St. Patrick’s Day, I was thinking about feeling lucky. There’s a lot of talk about luck today–namely, “The Luck of the Irish.” I’m not Irish, not even a tiny bit, but through the years I’ve considered myself a pretty lucky person nonetheless. 😉

I had heard somewhere that if you consider yourself lucky your luck increases. That a positive attitude begets a positive, happy life. I like to think this is true, that we can think ourselves to a happy life, and we probably can. By being happy and grateful for what we have, we see how fortunate we really are. Sure, I have plenty that bugs me during an average day, but trying to focus on the good really puts it all into perspective.

I close every one of my yoga classes with gratitude–asking my students to think of three things they are grateful for even if they’re not feeling especially happy that day.

I’ve read that Tennessee Williams said, “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” (I may be paraphrasing.) I think he’s right. So for St. Patrick’s Day, I wish you lots of luck, and hope you consider yourself lucky, too.




Finding Peace

Peace is different for each of us. I find peace in the West Village of Manhattan and on my yoga mat. For some, finding peace involves being outdoors or alone. Some meditate.

How you achieve peace for yourself is irrelevant. What matters is that you do.

Why?

When we come from a place of peace rather than chaos, we’re a better version of ourselves. Even as a certified yoga teacher with over 500 hrs of training, I often find myself in a frenzied state believing if I work faster and harder, I’ll do more.

Of course, quite the opposite is true.

I’m busy, just like you. I’m the caretaker of elderly parents as well as a mom of two young girls. And in addition to being a writer, I work as a yoga instructor. I’m lucky–my days are maxed by good things, but I’m often scheduled to the minute. And I can fly high at that frenzied level for some time, thinking I’m getting so much accomplished, but inevitably, I crash.

This weekend was one of those times. The crash was hard and ugly, and involved a lot of sobbing. 😉

That’s why this morning, I chose to put the weekend aside and start from a place of peace. I scheduled myself the time to take a yoga class, then immediately wrote a list of what needed to get done. (On paper means it’s off your brain and you’re more productive.)

Then I gave myself permission to be messy and understand I won’t have all the answers. I don’t need to. And neither do you.

The universe has a plan for each of us. We just need to take a breath, and allow.

Wishing you days filled with peace and contentment.



A Beautiful Class Led by a Beautiful Soul.

Last week I took a beautiful yoga class led by a beautiful soul.

An incredibly fortunate way to start a weekend.

It was a class much like any other—a good class, a strong class—a class filled with intention, designed with care, spotted with instruction, and speckled with humor. But it was more than sequencing or asana.

It was the instructor.

Time and again I have been called to her class. I have often tried to dissect her dynamic pull (and it’s not just me, her room is maxed), but I’ve been unable.

Until now.

Yes, she is beautiful outside as well as in. But that’s not her draw. She is small in stature, never caught in fashion trends or designer tights, her hair is short and her vibe—fierce. 

She is ten years younger than me, yet I find myself learning from her rather than vice versa.

But why? Because she is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.

If she were a map, she would be so complex and detailed she’d be nearly impossible to read. She’d be covered with all that’s required and beautiful: mountains and valleys, oceans and rivers. But she would also show the darkness: the obstacles, road work, and traffic jams; the hours spent behind the wheel, crying, dreaming, wanting more, with stale coffee in hand and screaming children in the back.

Her roads would undoubtedly lead to unknown destinations.  

She assures us she has good days and bad. Yet as she lives them, you cannot help but feel she is truly experiencing them—touching them, never glazing over them or turning away from either love or fear.

For years I wondered what it was about this beautiful soul that made her so dynamic—now I see: she just is. Truthfully, honestly, messily, bravely, and beautifully.

A lesson I hope to learn.

And my wish for you is that someday you also take a beautiful class led by a truly beautiful soul.


Pre-Order Giveaway!

I have a new release coming out January 21, 2019!

The Risk of Happiness:

The Punk Rocker

The Risk of Happiness: The Punk Rocker, is Book 3 in The New York Artists Series, but even if you haven’t read books 1 & 2, don’t worry! They’re all standalone so you can read in any order.

Blurb:

Bad boy punk rock star Reale Lynxx never expected to see his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Simmons, again. And after she’d stomped on his heart and walked out on him six years ago, he’s not so sure he wants to. Certainly Reale never imagined he would rescue Amanda and her son, Johnny, from drowning. But all it takes is one evening with her and Reale is ready to leave the past behind and try again.

Amanda never meant to hurt Reale and happily jumps heart-first into rebuilding their relationship. But when she confesses she left him to secretly raise their son, Reale grows livid, fighting her and gaining custody of Johnny…

When Reale realizes he was wrong for taking Johnny away, he tries to win Amanda back. But can she forgive the man who took her son? And can she ever trust Reale again, no matter how much she loves him?

Here’s the extra fun part:

There is a special gift for you when you Pre-Order
The Risk of Happiness: The Punk Rocker (until Jan. 21, 2019)! 

PRE-ORDER NOW!

Email me (cathrine@cathrinegoldstein.com) a copy of your paid receipt for
The Risk of Happiness: The Punk Rocker,
and I’ll send you TWO FREE GIFTS!

First! Receive a digital copy of
The Risk of Happiness Tour Lynxx poster
digitally SIGNED by Reale Lynxx!

Second! Receive an eBook of either one of the
first two books in The New York Artists Series !
Summer of Irreverence: The Rock Star

OR

To Be or Not To Be: The Actors

That’s getting TWO books for the price of ONE!
But this offer is for PRE-ORDERS ONLY!
Order today! I can’t wait to send you an additional eBook & digital poster!

Amazon

iTunes

B & N

I really love this book, and I hope you will, too!

Happy Reading!


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