Category Archives: Namaste Connections

Lululemon Hit By Karma Train

Lululemon Hit by Karma Train

Lululemon Hit by Karma Train

The karma train was chugging down the tracks for Lululemon and it finally struck.  When you charge $100 bucks for yoga pants, the results are inevitable.  There has been a recall of the popular black Luon yoga pants that will create shortages of the trendy apparel. It is subsequently driving the Lululemon stock value down.  Supposedly a manufacturing defect has resulted in a ‘level of sheerness’ thus creating ‘see-through’ yoga pants. CEO, Christine Day is finally acknowledging the situation as ‘unacceptable’ even though the pants have been on the shelves since March 1st.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this company, it has definitely been enjoying success with the rising popularity of yoga.  The company’s shares have increased more than 380% over the past five years.  As a long time yogi, I find success resulting from overcharging for yoga apparel to be discouraging, to say the least. I am personally glad to see this misstep.  I know it’s not very “yogalike” to wish ill, but what good comes out of charging too much for yoga clothing?

According to $100 could feed a family of four in Malawi for a year.  Can you imagine what the ancient yogis would have said about people paying this sum for a yoga garment?  Where is the Yoga in paying too much for yoga practice clothes? Yoga means union and expensive yoga pants say exclusion.  If you want a decent pair of pants that will hold up for a couple years of practice, go to Target or better yet, there’s always a good selection at Goodwill.  If you want pizzazz, check out  Jelbel yoga pants are “upcycled”, made out of clothes that would have been otherwise discarded and added to landfills.  Now that feels like yoga to me. 

Sorry Lululemon.  Maybe you can turn this situation into a true yoga practice.  How about donating 50% of your profits to a good cause?  Create some good karma.  Then maybe I could say Namaste to you.

Pope Francis Offers Powerful Words for All


In his inaugural speech Pope Francis offers two moving statements.

We must not be afraid of goodness.

Let us never forget that authentic power is service.

Each of us holds great power.  May it be used for goodness.

Namaste Pope Francis.

Gabi’s – Where Everybody Knows Your Name

gabiYou’re always glad you came to Gabi’s Coffee Shop in Cornelius, NC.  Like the iconic TV spot with coffee instead of beer and mexican wedding cookies instead of pretzels, it has become a welcomed refuge for many.  When you come in the door, it is Gabi who calls out a welcome instead of a big guy drinking beer at the bar – way better than Cheers.  Sure you can find plenty of good coffee and authentic pastries all made by Gabi, but she and her regular customers are definitely the stars of the show.  Gabi was my first Namaste card recipient because she embodies everything the card says to me.  I believe it was her spark that started the fiery sense of belonging burning so brightly in the heart of this community.  Like a foreshadowing of what could be, my first trips to Gabi’s were a reassurance that I had moved to a place with soul.  I would dash in and out in my usual hurried state and started noticing familiar faces – all shades of the human rainbow, young and young at heart- talking, knitting, reading, working on laptops, holding babies.  I wanted to know more about these people.  Now I take my time, sit down and drink my coffee instead of splashing it around my car as I drive to work.  I have come to know the stories behind the familiar faces and they have come to know mine.  Thank you Gabi for your laugh, smile and light so central to the the heart of this community and mine.  Namaste.




L, L, Lord! and Laurinburg

meandchathie4When Mrs. Ollis, my favorite high school teacher from Scotland High School in Laurinburg, NC, was happy she’d shout out “L, L, Lord!” Not sure where that came from, but if you want to get it right, you have to say two L’s separately then the word Lord.  That’s it.  You’ve got it.  Wherever Mrs. Ollis was yesterday, she said L. L, Lord because Kathie Milligan Billing and I unexpectedly met again for the first time since high school.  Just saying, the last time we were together we probably were doing the “Bump” to K C and the Sunshine Band.  Do the math.  It was a long time ago. 

Both of us were attending an exposition for alternative healing businesses.  She came up to my booth and we just stared for a moment, knowing, but not knowing.  We began connecting the dots.  “What was your last name?”  “Cheeseman”, I replied.  Kathie said, “I’d know those blue eyes anywhere”.  I would know her smile and her blue eyes anywhere. 

Kathie had a few stories to tell.  She is a wife, mother, animal activist, wellness warrior, and 3-time cancer survivor. You can read more about her at  Her story will make you want to jump off your couch and get moving.  When I gave Kathie a Namaste card, she pulled out her roll of “You are Beautiful” stickers and gave one to me.  No.  I am not kidding.  Can I hear an  “L, L, Lord” ?

Kathie, you are right.  You can’t keep those women from Laurinburg down.  Until we meet again and I know it will be sooner, Namaste.

Local Love

deborah youngSign One.

It was local love at first site. Well maybe not for Deborah, but I felt a connection and knew that there was something special behind her welcoming smile. I met Deborah Young of Deborah Young Studio at  the Bella Love ‘Tawba Walk event in Cornelius, NC where she was taking pictures. Knowing she represented a business in the heart of Cornelius, her presence was an encouraging sign.  A sign that represented a caring spirit and the growing local connectedness of businesses in my community.

Sign Two.

Deborah was a speaker at the Lake Norman Women’s event organized by the Chamber of Commerce.  Her gutsy attitude rocked the house as she gave her time to provide straight talk business advice to women business owners.  How to stay alive in business?  Deborah’s advice? “Find your passion.” Not only does she care about local business, she cares about helping other aspiring businesses. A bigger sign labeled “Wow!”. I had to let her know how she inspired me. When I did, Deborah passed along an invitation to her local upcoming talk.

Sign Three.

The third sign should have been posted at the entrance of the Lake Norman Peninsula club. Inside Deborah’s brilliant passion for  community – this time a global one- made lights unnecessary. Her pictures and videos told the story of her work with war and poverty scarred children of Afghanistan through the organization Solace for the Children.  I learned about the generous spirit of more local big-hearted people who spoke fervently about the needs of these children and how their lives had been changed through knowing them. Countless people in our community have opened their homes with love, provided free medical care, and given their resources of money and time. This is the definition of humanity at its best. It is the very spirit that gives meaning to life.

I’m proud to know there are people like Deborah Young in my community.  Her type of caring erases dividing lines and brings people together, making the world community a better place. It makes the light in me shine brighter.  I honor the light in you Deborah Young.  I would have taken your picture with a Namaste card but your professional shot with the girls who were helped by Solace for the Children says it so much better.


(For information about Solace for the Children, contact There is a need for clothes, over the counter medical supplies, toothbrushes or even hosting a child.)

Bella Love

namaste-casePut on your sunglasses as I highlight the work of Case Warnemunde of Bella Love an originator of ‘Tawba Walk and other creative community making concepts.  Talking about sharing your light, Case has got it down.  As one of the masterminds behind Bella Love he has help to revitalize the downtown area of Cornelius, NC and brought the community together standing proud. Bella Love events – ‘Tawba Walks, Open Mic Nights, art crawls, community service activities, and evenings of creativity and performance – showcase artists, musicians and small businesses and give them a greater voice plus well deserved recognition.  In turn, all of our lives are made richer by the experiences. This high tech internet world leaves us longing for a deeper human connection where we can get to know the creative people among us and the local business owners who provide our goods and services with a personal touch. We want to know our neighbors, acknowledge and encourage each other. Bella Love serves that need.  They believe we all have something unique and original to bring to the table, and  if we all take ownership and responsibility for our community, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. 

“Uniting the community, inspiring local support, and allowing creativity to prosper… That’s Bella Love.”

They call it creative community making.  I call it a necessity. 

The vision of Bella Love is a huge and honorable dream that inspires me down to my very soul.

Bella Love will make a positive impact on local economies worldwide by uniting individuals through entertainment, service and the fostering of new ideas that benefit the community at large.  Through maintaining a strict, locally focused approach in all areas of operation, Bella Love will play a substantial role in launching careers, funding organizations, and providing future generations with new opportunities for personal and professional development.

You are right Case, we all have something unique and original to bring to the table, and now is the time to take action.Thank you for bringing what you have to the table and taking that action.

If you spend some time with Case Warnemunde you would reach for a Namaste card too. Join me in honoring him back.  Come to a Bella Love event. Do what you love and share it with others.  Namaste.


namaste-tracysmileYou can tell behind that mischievous grin there much to be told about Tracy Moore.  Though he is funny enough to give most comedians a run for their money, and that would be enough, there is so much more.  If you want a great listener, a shoulder to lean on, a big heart and an open mind, you have found the right person.  Tracy has had the courage to be the only man in the Pink Workout sessions and the yoga classes at work.  He handles any difficult student situation at our college’s campus and can make even the most outraged person calm down with his sense of humor and strong backbone. When I got my namaste cards, I knew Tracy would be one of the first recipients.  I admire and respect him and I am glad to call him my friend.  Namaste Tracy.

Namaste at Global Summit

jessicanamasteI had the privilege of meeting Jessica Tou at CPCC’s Global Summit today. We sat beside each other in an auditorium crowded with 400 people listening to Charlotte’s vision for becoming a world leader in training a globally prepared workforce.  There were many fascinating speakers and topics but the most interesting person was the one sitting beside me.  Before we knew it we went from formal introductions of where we work, Jessica works at Dezan Shira & Associates, to talking about our favorite books and eventually yoga.  Yep.  She is a fellow yogi struggling with that darn crow pose.  You can do it Jessica!  Soon we had to write notes to each other to keep from disturbing people around us.  I can’t wait to read the book Jessica recommended – Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami and I look forward to hearing what she thinks about the murder mystery – Gone Girl.  Jessica has lived in Charlotte for about a year and has found her way to yoga studios mostly in the Dilworth area of Charlotte.  One day we may attend a yoga training together.  I look forward to it.  I honored her light with a namaste card.  It was so the right thing to do.  I am glad I had my cards with me.  Namaste Jessica!

Cold Feet Warm Heart

namaste-pascaleHow very fitting to present a namaste card to my beloved friend Pascale Clement Salahie of AmeZar Creations who embodies the Namaste message of light. Pascale and I first met at an outdoor craft fair on a day that was so cold we had to wear bags on our feet to keep them warm. You can really get to know a person when you are huddling with them to keep warm! We have had a soul connection since that day. Pascale and I were meant to be friends and I am so grateful that the Universe brought us together. Blessings to Pascale for her creations that give heartfelt light to others. She truly makes the world brighter! Namaste

We Will Remember – The Work Begins!

“Have you heard about the children?” Speaking out loud those texted words from my daughter to my coworkers quelled the joyful chatter of our plans for a two week holiday break. In somber stillness we retreated back to our desks to search for information and found the unspeakable truth.  “Children, teachers, elementary school, 26 dead.” Gathering back together for the final goodbye, waves became hugs and wishes for fun and good times turned to “Please take care”.

It’s been a few weeks since those texted words shot through our office suite. Sitting back at my work desk on the first day following the break, the recollection of my last computer search saddened me.  While reflecting, an email popped on my screen.  It was an invitation to the home of fellow yoga teacher and friend, Carol Anne Lawler. At her home there would be a discussion between her fellow clergy and others about the issues of gun violence awareness, mental illness, and/or  increasing isolation. She hoped the conversation would spark the beginning of making a collective difference in the larger community. The light of 26 precious lives will shine on through good and caring people.  

We will not let them be forgotten. We will hug each other, speak out and work together to prevent senseless violence and loss. Today’s Namaste card goes to Carol Anne in honor of her light. Let it inspire you. Blessed be.
If you are interested in the work of this group, contact Carol Anne at for information.