What does welcome feel like?

Take your shoes off. Take a load off. Wash your feet. Sit and rest. A cup of tea to warm you up. A glass of water to cool you off. A hug. A handshake. A smile. Eye contact. Using your name. A pat on the back.

I feel welcome when I feel seen. By "seen," I don't mean going out dressed to the Nines and getting eyeballed and harassed by strangers. I mean when I arrive somewhere--the coffee shop counter, a meeting with my colleagues, the grocery cashier, my favorite yoga class, even the doctor's office--and I get a smile and eye contact. "Hi!" someone says, and they really takes me in. I feel welcome. I get a jolt of warmth; the air between us crackles in a way that communicates a sense of connection, a witness of our shared presence. In that small moment, I feel a little more present. I feel like I'm received.

I want to make you feel welcome here; but there's this computer screen that's in between us. It's tough for the air to crackle with anything: maybe static electricity, or the sounds you hear wherever you're reading this. The best I can do is offer you some info about what you can read in this space, and how welcome you are here. So, what do you need to know:

There's a lot on my mind. Often it's yoga, but not always. I think about art and creativity, about relationships, about community, spirituality and healing. I have passionate thoughts about justice and equality. I also frequently think about food.

I mean well. I make lots of mistakes, and this space may be a place where my thoughts could be muddled. It's likely, in fact, almost certain, that I'll write something in this space that will upset someone. I try really hard to achieve right speech, and as often as not, the balance between grace and truth favors truth. I'll try my hardest not to do any damage. But I always mean well. If you can be patient with me, we can communicate clearly.

I value connection. If you have a comment or question, I want to hear it. If you're local (Chicago) and you want to talk about what I'm thinking, I'd love to connect. If you want an opportunity to work with me, as a writer or storyteller, or as a yoga teacher, I'd love it. So consider this a place to facilitate interaction, whether analog or digital.

The rest you can get to know over time. I'm glad you're here, I've been thinking of you. C'mon in. You want a drink or something?