There’s Nothing We Can’t Do


I arrived at the gym yesterday and walked up to the front desk to check in. Right on the counter was a stack of cards titled “Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being”. The cards seemed out of place amidst weight machines and treadmills but the image on it intrigued me.

It was of an older woman with a glowing smile sitting in lotus pose wearing a red halter dress, arms over head looking to the sky.

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Curious I picked it up. The card, a promo for a new book, said that the woman’s name is Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is 96 years old and from her resume she appeared to be more active than most forty year olds I know. Among many other things to her credit, she is an award winning ball room dancer and holds the title for the oldest yoga instructor.

Then as I read on and I felt my breath leave me for a moment.

Her life mantra is…

There is nothing you cannot do.

These words struck me deeply. It is the same message I had been hearing all week, from numerous places..

A few months ago, my friend first told that he believes he can do anything. I secretly laughed. It sounded like boyish pride to me. He couldn’t become a champion belly dancer, I thought…or a master chef on a Caribbean cruise ship …my list of “preposterous” things grew. I thought how childish of a notion it was and I actually felt sorry for him for being trapped in such a naïve reality. Wasn’t he just setting himself up for failure and disappointment?

But on Friday when I talked to him, I started to see that he didn’t just think this idea…he KNEW it. This statement wasn’t out of arrogance, nor was it some sort of grand delusion; it was the source of his power. There was no doubt that if there was something in life he wanted to do, he could do it.

That same day, in the evening, I was speaking with another friend. Sue, at 85 has a youthful spark in her eye, a playful sense of wit and a curiosity that makes her appear decades younger than she actually is.

I can’t remember what we were talking about, but when I heard these words slip from her mouth: “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” I paid attention. She too was a believer.

And so, you can imagine, when I was at the gym just the next day, holding that little card in my hand, reading about a 95 year old woman who’s life moto is “There’s Nothing You Cannot Do” the message felt profound.

I believe it is time to not just hear to these words, but to be them… to dive fearlessly into life, nod at the things that scare us and keep moving forward. We can do whatever we set our minds to. The only thing in our way is us. This doesn’t mean things will be easy. Quite the opposite, but when we truly believe this truth, we can’t be stopped.

Don’t give up.  It’s in you.



Here’s a clip of an interview with Tao,


Waking Up


This morning I woke up in a horrible funk…once again angry at myself for all the ways I’ve declared myself a failure. It seems to be a pattern lately, waking up in despair.

So, since it’s Sunday and I don’t have to get the kids off to school I decided to try something different. I slipped on some clothes and walked down to the beach. When I got there the morning sky was glowing, rays of sunlight pouring through the clouds onto the ocean’s surface.

I stepped in the sand and did my morning “yoga” prayer to the sea, then settled myself on a step at the beach walkover. With no particular plan I ripped out half a page out of a notebook I had brought along. I then began scrawling all the things I “hated” about myself—all those things that ran through my head while I laid in bed most mornings…my neediness, my lack of order, the ways I’ve clearly fail my family, friends and myself….all my inadequacies. I didn’t hold back one bit.

Then with pleasure I shredded the half sheet into little pieces and stepped into the water. With a smile on my face I tossed the paper in, watching the little fragments flutter into the ocean like a flock of tiny birds on their final flight.

I then walked back to my seat, where my notebook and pen sat. In front of me was the remaining, blank half sheet of paper.


Looking at it I decided it needed to be filled. And so I began to write a response to those negative words that were now part of the waves:

This is you. The one here in this moment, connected to the ocean, connected to God. Fear is just a distant whisper—a memory of need and loss. It serves no purpose anymore.

You are here—magnificent, with all the knowledge you need in the palm of your hand. You are the light that streams through the clouds, the breeze that blows, the changing tide. Your heart breaths light.

Chaos and order are just perceptions. The world is both—neither good nor bad.

I hereby free you from your obsessions, your worry. These are distant calls. They are no longer needed in this magnificent place.

Now—tell this to your heart! Worry and self-hatred are no longer you.

You are beauty, light, and love.

And so, I came back from the beach feeling calm and clean, free from my worries.

It’s going to be a good day.



When Joy Slips In


I walked down to the beach this morning.  We live just a few blocks away in a wonderful, small beach town in Florida called Flagler Beach.

As I walked I felt this welling of joy.  Absolute happiness.The conditions were right, the air the perfect temperature, the sun hanging low in its morning position…but this feeling wasn’t coming from the outside, this was welling up from inside, percolating like a bubbling spring.

As I stepped barefoot on the asphalt, it hit me, like it always does. The fear.  The caution. I have been taught for most of my life that ecstatic joy is in fact a bad thing–a symptom of a mental illness.  You know, the M word: Mania.  Up until this past year I’ve been the most dutiful of bipolar patients..constantly guarding against the “craziness” that might slip in.

But something happened when I went out on the beach this morning.  Out there with my toes in the sand I did my routine sun salutation, like a yoga prayer to the rising sun.  And as I brought my arms upward and gazed at the crystal blue sky I heard a voice.  Not a crazy voice…just me in my most open state.

The voice said simply, “Don’t be afraid of joy.”  And I smiled.

This was not a crazy feeling.  In fact, it was the exact opposite.  This was being truly alive.  Connected.

So please, tell me what you think.  Should us bipolar folk regulate joy, our connection with the divine in order to protect against a treacherous down swing? Do you “normal” people out there temper your happiness in order to protect yourself from hurt?

I’d love to hear your input on this one.  In the meantime I’m going to savor this joyous glow…..

Peace and joy to you,