Whirlpools and Windmills: I Choose the Present

I can be like a boat passing by and flowing onward or get mired in it trying to make it what it is not, and whirl around and around wandering in an endless thought process of, “If only.” I then get stuck on the rinse and repeat cycle, living reactively all the time, falling blindly into the holes of my history, until I give up altogether and get stuck on the riverbank of hopeless despair. OR, I can see. Recognize. Steer clear. Float over. Dance through. On, into the vast river of life. Mistaking the whirlpool for the river, I am doomed. And yet the only way out is to realize that the whirlpool and the river are made of the same substance, dancing. I am whole.

About Pam Ross Porcaro

Pam Ross Porcaro began her spiritual questioning at a very young age, inspired by her Lithuanian grandmother who was a devout Catholic. At the age of 17, she was discovered by a model agent in Washington D.C., and her fashion modeling career took off. She was represented by Ford Models in New York, where she lived for 11 years, traveling around the world, and working with many of the top designers, photographers, editors, and artists in the world, doing everything from editorial, to runway, to advertising; and appearing on many magazine covers, in catalogs and in ads. During her travels and interaction with many diverse people from different cultures around the world and her deepening spiritual questioning, she discovered and became fascinated with Zen meditation. She began a vigorous meditation practice, which changed her life, and awakened her passion and curiosity for all things Eastern Culture, including, Yoga and Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She studied and practiced Zen meditation (zazen) with Zen Masters, John Daido Loori, of Zen Mountain Monastery, and Eido Roshi, of the Zen Studies Society in New York and of Dai Bosatsu Monastery, in the Catskills. She moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and continued her Zen Studies/practice with Zen Master Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi at Zen Center of Los Angeles. She went to CSUN to study towards a B.A. in Religious Studies, focusing on Eastern Religions, as well as Women in Religion. Pam became a mother of two and subsequently became involved in fundraising charity work for her children’s school. In 2011, while delving even more deeply into her Zen practice, Pam had a chance meeting with Yoga teacher Steve Ross of Maha Yoga. Steve introduced her to Siddha Yoga, which opened up her meditation practice even more. In 2012 and 2015, Pam completed a total of 300 hours of Yoga Teacher Training under Steve Ross and Ish Moran. Pam attended many seminars, classes, and workshops with many renowned teachers, including but not limited to: Jack and Elissa Zimmerman, to learn the Way of Council; Candace Silvers, renowned life coach and human behavior specialist; Alison Armstrong of PAX Programs (A program that promotes peace and understanding between women and men); David Deida and Michaela Boehm; The Integral Center in Boulder (To learn the practice of “Circling”, or interpersonal meditation); The Art of Living Center (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; teacher); The Self Realization Center ( founded by Yogananda); Oneness Meditation. Currently, Pam is raising her two teenagers, continuing her meditation and yoga practices, and developing a project with life coach and healer, Sujon Datta. She is represented by Iconic Focus Models in New York, and Innovative Artists in Los Angeles.

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A Swan Song for an Expectant Mother

I used to read my horoscope occasionally just for fun, but I didn’t put much stock in it. In fact, I was skeptical of anything I considered to border on divination or the occult. Sure, as a teen, there were slumber parties with séances and Ouija boards, but I never took any of it seriously. […]

About Mary Novaria

Mary Novaria is a mother, wife and journalist whose work has been featured in numerous print and online publications including the Washington Post, Redbook, Country Living, Delish, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, Feminine Collective, Kansas City Star, Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Period! She writes about family, friendship and everyday life on her blog, A Work in Progress (www.marynovaria.com). Mary recently completed a “sandwich generation” memoir exploring the trials of raising an angst-ridden teen and, at the same time, caring for a parent with dementia, all the while trying to maintain her sanity, sense of humor and some semblance of grace.

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It’s Been Hell and It’s Been a Ride

How do you cram 60 years worth of living in 200 words or less?  Let me try. It’s been a hell of a ride or as my older sister likes to say, “it’s been hell and it’s been a ride,” beginning at age seven, with our family’s ten year “project”– building a forty-foot gaff-rigged schooner […]

About JR Roessl

After more than thirty years as a model and actor, JR moved to the Hudson Valley in 2006. She lives in an 1880 renovated barn with her husband and young daughter and three crazy bengal cats. She received her B.A. in creative writing from NYU and has written a memoir about her teenage years spent sailing on the high seas. She is thrilled to be writing for the Feminine Collective.

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Releasing Her Ego Changed Her Life

I used to be such a planner. Everything had to run on time, in an endless conveyor belt type manner. I would get restless when people took too long in line at the grocery store, or anywhere for that matter. I was a hamster that constantly spun her wheels, going nowhere quickly. Then I began […]

About Natalie Yeh

Liminal Spaces with Natalie Yeh -- aerospace engineer with a penchant for the spiritual, artistic, and cerebral -- is an attempt where she tries to accept her own messy humanity in exploring the gifts in her everyday stories and milestones with compassion, gratitude, and mindfulness. Gifts she believes we can all share and learn from when we choose to see our continuous threads of connection in our common humanity rather than uphold paper walls of illusions of separation that some treat as real. When she has free time, she loves to cook, shoot landscape photography, practice martial arts, write and dance. Her Chinese American background, bilingual upbringing, and transgender history all lend to her experiences in exploring the liminal spaces where her history, her present and her future are at odds and of a piece, creating herself and her writing as unique, cross cultural art.

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