Team Snail

Hello, friends! Thanks for your patience with my summer absence. I’ve been regrouping, in all ways and places. So good, and so very necessary.

Since my girl was born last summer, I’ve been wading around in what feels like murky waters. What was a reasonably well balanced life suddenly felt like (not unexpected) chaos. Mostly good. Some hard. All ping-ponging around my mind and heart and body.

That chaos pushed me, nudged me, cajoled me into listening hard to my gut. It’s given me a new sense of conviction and right action that can only happen when you have had exactly four hours of sleep, have a hundred-and-three items on your to-do list, and have forgotten how to wear pants with a waist.

IT HAS BEEN MAGICAL. Really. Magical. I love to sleep, love time to reflect, time for self care, etc. Love it, thrive on it. And living without all of those things for (most of) twelve months? It’s put me into a place I’ve never known.

I’ve thrown overboard my tendency to use caution and excessive observation as coverups for my fears or excuses to stall out on making my next move. I size up my options once, maybe twice, then I take decisive action – whether it’s picking a toothpaste or choosing how to respond in a stressful situation. There is simply no time or energy for unnecessary indecision or fear right now.

It. Is. Wonderful. I have a newfound trust in myself, a new capacity to look at fear (whether it manifests as mild indecision or paralyzing worry) with discerning, uncommitted eyes and say: I hear you, fear, but no – not today. I know what I need to do, and I’m getting sh*t done, even if I don’t do it in the most perfect or efficient way.

Which is not to say, of course, that I’ve completely quit with worrying or any of those other things that come with being human. They’ve started to shift from manipulative drags to instigators of courageous action more often, though.


My husband & I christened our family “Team Snail” a while back because we move slowly through things – usually by necessity, sometimes by happenstance. The more I think on it, the more spot-on that moniker is.

There’s nothing flashy, or particularly beautiful, or attention-grabbing about a snail, but they sure do stick to their missions, no matter how slowly they play out. They use an ingenious mode of secure transportation to maneuver a vast range of surfaces, steady as she goes. In a brilliant evolutionary move, they keep their shells (really stunning swirls, if you look close) on their backs. Home is right here, right now, in this moment. All it takes is a pause to pull in and regroup when the environment gets to be too much.

This summer, we’ve done a fair amount of pulling into our shells in these parts. Soaked up extra naps, carved out a some alone time, and even managed a little lakeside vacation just the three of us. We’ve caught our balance a bit, secure in the knowledge that it will be rocked heartily again soon. Because that’s how it goes (thank you, teething! and season changes! and new jobs!), and that’s what we choose, and that’s the way it was meant to be. Chaos moves to order, order disintegrates to chaos, repeat.

Trust, trust, trust. Open, open, open to what will be. My mantras, my meditation with each breath. Inhale trust, exhale open. Inhale trust, exhale open. It’s so hard, and so good.

As 2017 progresses and our snail family glides along, I’ve realized something that makes me really uncomfortable: The Gray Bird L.L.C. needs to fade away in favor of a website & business under my name. The current shape of things doesn’t fit what GB has become. We’re talking Big and Scary Stuff for this yogi, friends. Write, speak, and teach under my own name? I’m more comfortable under a lovely and distracting umbrella. You know my type – third row back in the classroom (not too far back, but nowhere I might get called on); or snugly and happily settled between my gregarious brother and my affable sister; or quietly doing my thing under the radar. That’s been my m.o. for as long as I can remember.

Here’s what’s emerging, though, to my equal parts relief and overwhelm: That snug and quiet cover is as useful and appropriate to me now as staying out past ten. [In case you didn’t get that: NOT EVEN A TINY BIT]. It’s time (no, really, way past time) to embrace that conviction of action and sense of self that’s been emerging and let it flow through my whole life: relationships, OT work, Gray Bird and all.

Side note: The gray bird graphic that graces these pages won’t be going anywhere, and this journal will remain the Gray Bird Blog. Because that story is the roots of the thing, forever and always. And I love her, the sweet thing. 

As we end the summer and greet the autumn, I’m willing to bet there are a few areas of your own life in need of a nudge (or maybe your willingness to let go?) into the next phase, ready or not. A role you’ve been skirting around, wondering if you’re “ready” – or one you’ve been aching to shed, but you’re nervous others won’t like it? An opportunity to do something that seems wildly, almost ridiculously outside your box – but that feels awfully good (like, down to your toes good) when you try on the idea? A steep jump in your commitment to something (or someone) that could take you to an entirely new place?

You know, I think. Especially if you try on Team Snail’s tactics for a minute – pull into your shell and see what’s happening.

Go Team Snail!

Our real journey in life is interior: it is a matter of growth, deepening, and of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts.

Thomas Merton


  1. Kathy Cox says:

    Oh, I’ve missed your blog entries! It’s so good to feel your wisdom back in my life! Well, I know it’s always been there, but I do like your blog entries! So wise, so loving. And I’m so blessed to have you in my life.

  2. Anna says:

    I was thinking of you the other day and realized I hadn’t seen a blog post in a while (completely understandable) which made me hope that things are going ok. I’m so glad to hear that things are going really well. All the best to you as you jump into new things and letting your light shine in the way that is best for you!

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