30 Simple Ways I Feel Happiness....

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30 Simple Ways I Feel Happiness…

 

1.   That first sip of coffee in the morning

2.   A good nights sleep

3.   My son’s laughter and hilarious stories

4.   Getting a text out of the blue from a friend letting you know they are thinking of you

5.   Seeing the power of 2 fired up moms and what they can accomplish in defense of their children

6.   Watching my curious son gain new knowledge

7.   Fall in Colorado

8.   Riding bikes with my boy

9.   Hikes through the trees

10. A really good gluten free cupcake

11.  A strangers smile 

12.  Feet in the sand

13.  The feeling of true surrender

14.  Morning silence

15. Chocolate chip cookies

16.  Fresh flowers in my home

17.  A successful trip to the thrift store

18.  Helping someone feel their body for the first time in a long time

19.  Feeling MY body for the first time in a long time

20.  Watching my son gain more and more independence and the pride he feels when he can now do something on his own (i.e. fill the ice cube tray, cut his hot dog, etc..)

21.  Sunrise

22.  Sunset

23.  Unconditional self-love

24. Hearing my sons footsteps come down the stairs in the morning and his beaming self come around the corner

25. A hot cup of tea on a blustery day

26. My house

27.  A good chat with a friend

28.  The change of seasons

29.  When social media actually serves

30.  The opportunity to be reborn over and over and over again

Independence as a Strength: A New Paradigm in Relationships

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How many times have I said over the years “I didn’t think I would be single for this long”? Countless. Repeatedly, both aloud and to myself. I have looked around me and seen person after person become coupled almost instantaneously after divorce. Blending families seamlessly.  Having great sex.  Deep connection. Living happily ever after. Again.  

 

I have been a single mom for 9 years after excavating myself from an abusive marriage.  The angst in my marriage had begun during my years of dating my son’s dad and I, like so many women, felt that the next thing – be it engagement or marriage or baby – would make everything better.  What I learned, is that not only as each level of responsibility increased but so did the already present issues. The abuse increased, my depression and attempts at numbing increased, and parting with him when my son was a mere 1 year old was absolutely the best option for the whole.  

 

Given that I was a single mom of a very young child (with special needs to boot!), stressed beyond comprehension to simply get through my days with us fed and clothed, scrambling to figure out what was next and how I was going to pay my bills, barely able to function much less get myself out into the world, feeling lousy about my postpartum body which had accumulated excess weight not only from the pregnancy but from the stressful marriage – putting myself out there in the dating realm was not exactly on the top of my list of doable.  

 

So, I have taken a different route.  An alternative pathway towards my quest of relationship and, what I can say now, at nearly 45 years of age, I have landed in an empowered and independent state of being. I have found my way into what I affectionately call a “new paradigm of relationship”.  

 

This goes against all of societal messaging.  Everything that I have been taught since childhood about growing up and finding a man, getting married for life, having a home with a lovely yard and children running around screaming in delight, having money to travel, and the stability of my man’s booming career while I tend to the children and cook and clean and be happy….you know that story?!? I did not even have that experience for a minute, nor did I or do I want it.  

 

I thought I did for many years.  I was at home with a temperamental child, working and trying to build my career, while getting a Masters degree, and keeping us fed with a roof over our heads. I was struggling on the whole.  I thought that if I could only have a man to fall into then everything would be better. If only I had a partner to share the load with, to raise our children together, to help take care of the bills, and take the trash out…then everything would be much, much better.  

 

For years, that is what I focused on.  It was: Operation Find Man.  I was obsessed and put myself online over and over and over again.  Each first date that was even remotely good (and, believe me, these experiences on the whole were subpar!), I would convince myself of their potential and immediately begin to place him into the crevices of our life as a trial.  What would it be like to come home to him every day?  What do I need to do to make this work?  To make him happy?  Would our children gel?  And on and on and on and on.  

 

I would cook for these men, sleep with them, tolerate the lack of communication, the criticisms.  I would focus only on when they would actually reach out and say something nice and ask me to do something and buy me dinner. I would pretend that the other stuff was unimportant and, in turn, slowly suck out the lifeforce of my own soul. I unintentionally compromised who I was at my core, did everything possible to become what each of these unavailable, condescending, judgmental, and subpar men wanted me to be.  

 

I own that this pattern, which was on repeat for years upon years, was in large part due to my lack of self-worth, my inability to believe in myself and my independence, and my obsession with finding that perfect partner to make everything all better.  A tough pill for me to swallow but one that has propelled me into some deep soul searching and a level of connection with myself that I only imagined was possible.  

 

I have found my own pathway in relationship. I have broken free from the cycle.  My relationship with myself is at the forefront.  After countless tears, years of angst, and entirely way too much energy spent in the quest for partnership, I have landed in the perfect relationship. 

 

I have found my way to the most exquisite partnership – one that is life-giving, life-enhancing, inspiring, encouraging, supporting, loving, accepting, compassionate, empowering, nourishing, and extremely satisfying on every level.  That partnership is with myself.  I am my greatest partner, lover, friend, confidant, support system, and encourager.  I have landed in a genuine space of connection with myself – that which I have sought from another for all of these years. 

 

Have I given up on the possibility of being in a life-serving partnership with another? Definitely not. However, what I have learned through my years on the frontlines of dating and in my quest for union, it is not worth compromising your integrity to meet another’s expectations.  It is not worth the energy and angst of trying to mold into what society has deemed the right path for relationships.  

 

The juice in surrendering to what is and focusing one’s precious life-force energy on cultivating the most magical and inspiring union with Self is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It is empowering, energizing, and the ultimate act of self-love. It is the way home to the depth of our hearts, to our bodies, and to the place of honoring who we are and exactly what we need as women.  

 

Landing in this space of pure self-love and self-acceptance is a pillar of strength. It is admirable. It is radical.  It is a new paradigm of relationship.  

 

 

 

To Be a Fully Feeling Human

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“The world is going to break your heart.  
We get to decide if it breaks us open into empathy or into sharp little pieces”. 

~Adreanna Limbach

We are living in tender times. Life is heightened for so many on a personal level and as a collective. Illnesses, health crises, death, birth, rebirth, heartbreak, loss, life changes, letting go of jobs and relationships... are all significant and prevalent during these times bringing with them choice and opportunity.

We are all trying to find our way in this new paradigm of human existence. We are being asked to continuously rise up and meet life exactly as it is with the whole of who we are.

To be a human means to have moments and opportunities to experience a wide array of emotion and to choose how to respond accordingly. Giving oneself permission and creating the space to feel the full range of human emotions is so critical to living a whole and embodied life.

So often we avoid feeling the harder feelings for fear that they will consume us, engulf us, and break us down. There is a fear of the unknown when faced with the opportunity to feel the grief, the sadness, the heartbreak, the anger – not knowing if we will ever come through to the other side. We avoid, we distract, we numb, we engage in addictions, we escape in any way that we possibly can to turn away from the discomfort.

Choosing to be a fully feeling and embodied human is messy, uncomfortable, painful, joyful, vulnerable, and incredibly beautiful.

Giving ourselves permission and creating the space to actually feel the whole spectrum of human emotions is a gift to ourselves and ripples out to those in our lives.

In my own life, I have found that depending on what has surfaced or occurred informs what I need to do to take care of myself. I am not afraid to feel all of the human experience, yet certainly have moments of not knowing if they are ever going to pass or move. I have learned over the decades that I have been seeped in personal growth and healing that different times require different responses.

The amazing thing that I find over and over again is that when I allow the feelings to come up and out, they shift and move and I am propelled into more clarity and connection with myself and with the world around me.

When we hold ourselves in those places of vulnerability, of pain...in the whole range of human emotions and experiences and we invite them in and welcome them all…we are whole. When we run from the discomfort, use addictive patterns (people, substances, work, food, exercise, social media, sex, technology, etc.), we are suppressing the natural flow of life and we become fragmented.

When we give ourselves permission to feel the whole range of human emotions we are dropped into a new plane of existence.

Moving these emotions through the body and with mindfulness is, to me, the most effective and palpable way of shifting whatever it is that we have going on in our lives. Our cells carry the imprint of the entirety of our human experience.

When we just talk about our life challenges we cut off the possibility of real healing and growth. Mindfully bringing the body into the picture is essential in creating a sustainable, effective, and embodied path towards healing.


Suggestions for navigating challenging terrain as a fully feeling human:

  • Keep It Moving: Do not allow yourself to collapse. There is certainly a time and place for stillness and quiet (see below: Rest ). It is a fine line of when to embrace the emotion and hold yourself in it and when begin to coax yourself back into motion and give yourself that gentle push outward. Coming into gentle movements of the body such as a slow, mindful yoga practice – tuning into your breath, honoring your body, and allowing the emotions to move as they arise and need to. Taking long walks with a focus on deep belly breaths. Include listening to sacred chants in headphones, taking in our natural world, and remembering the interconnection of us all.

  • Meditation and Mindfulness in Action: Quite often when we are going through something challenging it is hard to sit still in meditation. Bringing our practice into action through meditative walks, mindfulness in our day-to-day, free writing/journaling with intention, and working with the mind as we move through our days are wonderful ways to bring the practices into action and effectively navigate challenging terrain.

  • Rest: Creating experiences of intentional rest rather than collapse are proactive ways of working with uncomfortable feelings and challenging emotions. Putting your legs up the wall or lying over some bolsters and covering your eyes with an eye pillow or scarf are effective ways of being intentional in your rest time. Sleep more! Put yourself to bed earlier and gift yourself with a minimum of 8 hours of sleep during these times. Take naps! I am a big fan of the 20-minute reset nap. It can do wonders for your entire system. The most important aspect of all of these options is to let your system rest and renew. When we are moving through challenging times we need the extra rest. It is an opportunity for some of the work to be done without your effort. So much healing occurs when we are in a state of intentional rest as it provides the platform for a deeper unwinding of the nervous system.

  • Nourishing Foods: Feed yourself. Our bodies need the fuel to move through challenging states. Choose foods that are grounding and nourishing to your soul. I find that when I am moving through emotional times, my preferences shift as to what my body is actually needing. Perhaps use this time to tune into your body in a deeper capacity and check in with what your body is calling for. Listening to our bodies messages on every level is an important aspect of navigating this human life so open your inner ears and respond with honor.

  • Connect With Those You Can Be Authentic and Real With: Finding our people during these times is tremendously good medicine. Connect with those that you can be completely yourself with. Those you can laugh with, cry with, share your heart with…those who love you and accept you for exactly who you are.

  • Trust the Process: When we choose to feel our feelings and allow them to cycle through our systems, it is a process. This is not an overnight, quick fix approach. This is an invitation to truly be with the whole of the human experience – to feel the fear, take those deep breaths, allow the emotions to surface, and hold ourselves close. It is an opportunity to release outdated belief systems, trauma, and to open up to new possibilities of living and being. And, it is a process. Anything that you can do to remember that and to consistently remind yourself of that fact will only serve your capacity for navigating challenging terrain. Be gentle with yourself. Find and embrace the comfort in the discomfort.

  • Find Gratitude: When you are in the throes of a challenging situation, emotional upheaval, or anything that is bringing you to your knees, feeling grateful is the last thing you feel. These are the moments to dig deep and to find gratitude for even the simplest of things. Feeling grateful for simply being alive, for morning coffee, a roof over your head and access to delicious food, clean water, the sound of laughter, hugs... anything and everything you can focus your energy into a place of gratitude will support you in moving through these times. When we can remember the true blessing it is to be alive it puts everything into perspective and gifts us with the experience of the present moment.


There is not one way or path or formula. Everyone has their own unique journey and way of living and being and feeling and experiencing.

Honoring that these moments of challenge could require support. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We do not always have the the inner capacity to hold ourselves during times of intense sorrow, grief, anger, heartbreak, or any other challenging emotional state -- no matter how much work we have done on ourselves. This is when we seek our people, our community, and professionals who are skilled at holding the space for whatever needs to arise to arise.

We are each gifted with this precious life and all of the experiences that come with being a human… messy, lovely, and heart-breakingly beautiful.

May we use the whole of our experiences of life as fuel for our growth. For the opportunities that they are to become more connected to our own bodies and hearts, to ground deeper down into the truth of who we are, and to open ourselves up to the unpredictable waves of love—within ourselves and with others.

The Importance of Connection

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Just over a week ago I had the privilege of bringing together 19 brave and beautiful women to honor the Summer Solstice in retreat. These women chose to step away from their lives and connect deeply to themselves and to each other. They held space for one another with loving reverence, poured on the kindness and compassion, and engulfed each other with respect.

It was a truly magical experience filled with movement, breath, deep rest, intentionality, sharing, laughter, tears, hugs, and joy.

I am reminded of the importance of connection.


Connection reminds us that we are not alone.

Connection reminds us of our shared humanity.


This experience emphasized how crucial and powerful it is to consciously connect with other women. Heart-to-heart, soul-to -soul, truth-to-truth. Raw, real, authentic, and vulnerable connections.

Children, partners, jobs, and endless responsibilities keep us moving and grooving in life but too many of us remain in a state of isolation and loneliness. The village is gone and we have to consciously choose to take steps to create it ourselves.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like we are alone in our struggles and equally alone in our joys. The potency of coming together in a safe space where we can be exactly who we are is immeasurable. When the barriers of our shared humanity make themselves known, we are seen, and we have the opportunity to soothe our weary souls.

There is something miraculous that happens when we get into our bodies and connect with our hearts to each other.

Choosing to take the space to connect with ourselves in intimate ways and showing up with others from that integrated and embodied place is empowering. When we drop the pretenses of how we should be or do or act…our systems have the opportunity to reorganize and heal in new ways.

Retreat and other platforms of authentic connection are moments to drop in, to feel our wholeness, our brokenness, and our aliveness.

We can then choose to engage our lives integrating all of those pieces - shaping who we are at our core and dropping us right into that space of self-love. This is where we take up residence with our most genuine and truthful selves – real, raw, messy, beautiful, wholly embodied, and full of exactly who we are.

When we are in authentic connection we feel seen, we feel nourished, and we feel alive. The shame of our humanness lifts and we have the opportunity to gain the resource and capacity to step even further out into the world empowered and upright.

When we open ourselves up in a group and see that no one is running away and we feel how much closer we are as a result...that's where the healing happens.

When we are able to have those deeper level conversations and connections and are fully present for the whole gamut of emotions….that’s when the healing happens.

When we share our hearts, our tears, our challenges and tribulations, raw laughter and unabashed joy....that is when the healing happens.

May we create change on the planet beginning with nurturing our connection to ourselves and allowing that to ripple out towards each other.

May we continuously step towards connection, shedding our perceived barriers, and opening up to each other with authenticity and vulnerability.

May we continuously create moments of connection with others to remember our web of interconnection and shared humanity.

We are all in this together.

Show Up

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“You can
take the lead
and be
the hero
of
your
own story”. 

~Elizabeth Gilbert

June Greetings!

We are dancing towards the official start of Summer, the Summer Solstice, the longest and brightest day of the year.  The Summer Solstice symbolizes expansion, light, aliveness, possibility, fun, and connection.  It is a time to celebrate the fullness of life and of ourselves. It is a time to honor the potency of the physical sun and also commemorate the growth and expansive capacity within each and every one of us.  
 
It is a time to show up.
A time to appreciate our fullness as beings in constant evolution.
A time to tune into and honor the truth of who we are.
An opportunity to step into our lives, remember and reclaim our power and uprightness.
And an invitation to create new pathways and become the hero in our own stories.
 
Showing up for life is about showing up for yourself. It means taking those deep breaths and checking in with yourself before habitually responding to the world around you. It means pushing through any resistance that surfaces around your capacity and worthiness to make lasting shifts in your life.  It means answering the call and giving yourself permission to truly BE who you are. 
 
Showing up, especially when there are voices inside screaming otherwise, is a gift.  It is an honoring of who you are and an opportunity to share yourself with authenticity, vulnerability, and truth.  

It is a gift to the world when you show up in your fullness.  
 
There are many factors that can inhibit our ability to show up for life.  Fear residing at the top of the list, and, what I feel is the greatest inhibitor to healing and showing up for life on the whole.  Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of becoming too big or seen, fear of failure…the list goes on and on.  

Being scared of what might happen if we show up with the whole of who we are leads to addictive ways of living and being.  Numbing oneself out of the fear of being exposed is at the heart of addiction. This can show up in minor and subtle ways or can be massive and debilitating -- interfering with ones ability to function in everyday life.  
 
Showing up, taking the reigns of our lives, and becoming our own hero or heroine is an empowering act on our own behalf.  It is an opportunity to take that deep belly breath, walk tall in who we are, be exposed, and know that no matter what happens or how we are received, we are OK.  We are actually better than OK – we are blessed to be ALIVE.  
 
When we keep ourselves small and neatly contained to meet the expectations of others – so as to not ruffle anyone’s feathers or to keep those around us comfortable – that is when our life force dries up and we simply exist.  
 
Showing up for life takes courage and a willingness to be seen in connection to others.  It requires a dedicated inner dialogue with ourselves and honesty about the choices that we are making each and every day.  
 
When we choose to show up for ourselves and for our lives, we are attuned to the truth of who we are.  We are infused with the power to act on our own behalf.  We have the potential to feel our aliveness pulsing through our cells and life truly becomes a dance of beauty, love, and presence.  
 
Showing up is a conscious choice to be present and awake in midst of the flurry of life, to open our eyes wide and take in the whole of the world around us.  It is about meeting life in all of its forms from a place of acceptance, compassion, integrity, and equanimity.  
 
And, of course, it takes practice, work, devotion, and an unwavering faith in the truth of who you are to show up consistently for yourself and your life.  It is as if you are building a new muscle and it takes steady effort to allow it to take lasting shape in your being.  
 
Supportive questions to consider:
 

  • As our natural world moves towards its fullest expression, how can you move towards your own inner brightness?  

  • How can you show up and become even more full of the truth of who you are?

  • What do you need to do to remain connected and true to your own hearts while stepping more fully out into the world?

  • What does it feel like to show up in life with the fullest of who you are?  

  • What practices can you incorporate in your day-to-day to support your ability to meet your lives and show up with integrity and presence?

  • How can you become the hero of your own personal story?  


Life is full of opportunities to grow.  It is never too late to do the work to heal old and outdated ways of living and being.  
 
May we individually and collectively use this time of expansion to become bigger, brighter, more alive, and impactful.  May we SHOW UP for ourselves and for our lives, truly take ownership of our life’s path, and becoming the hero of our own story. 
 

The Power of Choice

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“If you are willing to experience
the gift of life instead of fighting with it,
you will be moved to
the depth of your being”. 


~Michael Singer

May Greetings!
 
As our Colorado Spring slowly takes shape, the school year winds down, and the buzz of Summer begins to percolate, May brings with it an opportunity to ground even deeper into ourselves.
 
Doing our own personal work so that we may show up with the whole of who we are and live our lives from our hearts, rather than in reaction to life events, is not easy but so critical during these times.  
 
I am consistently reminded of the power of choice both in my personal world as well as in working with clients.  When we choose to show up for life - in the hard moments as well as the beautiful ones - we may feel vulnerable but we are empowered. 
 
Life unfolds in unexpected ways and it is truly our choice as to how to respond. We can choose to approach life as a platform for our growth or we can fall back into unconsciousness and become victims to our circumstances.

To me, every life experience is an opportunity to grow, heal, and become even more full of exactly who I am. 
 
I step into a place of vulnerability as I share this personal story with you....

The 8th of May is a significant day in my world and is a reminder to me of the power of choice in responding to life’s events. My beautiful son turns 10 this year – marking a decade of mothering and 9 years of single parenting.  My devotion to my son and his wellbeing have always been my priority since his birth.  

Two years ago on this exact day, because of poor legal advice in a court of law, I was unnecessarily humiliated, degraded, and presented to be an irresponsible and neglectful mother. Additionally, I was stripped of custody and obligatory child support.  This poignant day has had rippling effects on my being (as well as my sons) yet I have remained in a space of choice around how I respond. I must continuously deal with the residual trauma and hurt in the best way that I can.  My practices, connection with friends and family, and taking the best care of myself possible in every moment, consistently serve my capacity to choose how I relate to the scenario and the resolve.  
 
I recognize that I could have chosen to collapse after this experience, yet through my practices I have relentlessly worked to keep my heart open and stay humbly grounded.  It does not negate the calamity of this experience as a whole, I have simply chosen to not allow it to penetrate my being and affect my ability to show up for my life and for my son. 

And, of course I have my moments of breakdown at the massiveness of what occurred.  What I can honestly say is that with each layer of healing that I go through I am gifted with a more rooted experience and appreciation for the full spectrum of being alive. I make the conscious choice, with each ripple, to embrace and embody myself and my life in a more joyful and grateful way and to show up in a way that has positive impact on others.  

I truly believe that we are shaped through our life experiences and that our pain and challenges have the potential to become our greatest medicine.  
 
I share this with you as a powerful example of a challenge that life has presented to me and the choices that I have made to use it as fuel to grow and heal on a deeper level than I ever imagined possible.   
 
Everyone has experienced challenges and varying degrees of trauma in their lives. It can be unbearably painful and few, if any of us, are immune.   
 
Trauma embeds in our systems, imprints our cells, and can be paralyzing to our growth.  Trauma also shows up in the ways in which we relate to ourselves and others in our lives and can affect our ability to show up for life with presence.  

Embodiment, self-reflective, and mindfulness practices give us the opportunity to resource ourselves so that we may access that power within and make the choice to be present. 
 
There is always the opportunity to tend to ourselves in a way that is honoring our aliveness and brings greater awareness to our actions, responses, and ways of engaging. We can make the choice to take care of ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, and our souls so that we can whole-heartedly show up for our lives. 
 
And, I believe that it is our obligation to do so. We are privileged to be alive today and therefore are responsible for the impact that we have on others.  
 
It takes practice, diligence in self-reflection, and a deep desire to live a happy and present life regardless of what is going on around you.  
 
I find myself wondering what would happen if we, as a collective, truly embodied the choice that we have at every moment to stop/pause, take a breath, orient to the present moment, and respond from that place? To resource ourselves to the present moment over and over and over again and live and relate from this space of openness, self-awareness, and vulnerability. Beginning one moment at a time...
 
I continuously ask myself these questions:
 

  • What messages/stories/patterns are keeping you from presence?

  • What is coming between you and your aliveness?

  • What practices are you willing to engage in to cultivate a deeper connection to your inner world? 

  • What actions can you take right now on behalf of yourself?  


The brilliant Maya Angelou said in an interview at the ripe age of 85, when asked about her life’s path and connection to Self: “I am en route”.  I love this so much.  
 
May we all remain en route, taking steps every single day along this route right into the heart of who we truly are, finding deeper presence in our everyday moments, and remembering the power of choice. 

Transformational Discomfort

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"Change is inevitable,
but
transformation
is by
conscious choice".


~Heather Ash Amara



When we choose to make changes in our lives, no matter how big or small, there is always discomfort.  Change can be daunting, disorienting, and uncomfortable. 

With each new experience, interaction, relationship, or life situation there is an opportunity to grow.  

When we choose to make changes in our lives, our systems reorganize and recalibrate. We have the opportunity to consciously let go of the old and step forward into the new.  

When we begin to stretch ourselves – trying new things, giving up our habitual coping mechanisms and vices that no longer serve, engage in new relationships – we open up the possibilities to grow, change, and morph ourselves anew.  

 And,change is scary. 

When we go through deep changes we are uprooted in many ways.  Our foundation becomes rocked and it takes a tremendous amount of work and effort to reclaim our ground and stand tall in the new version of ourselves that is being birthed.  

For many, it is easier to just stay in the same holding pattern rather than doing the uncomfortable work of growth and transformation.  Stepping out of our “norm”, making new choices, and letting go of what no longer serves requires taking bold steps with courage and a commitment to our personal evolution.  

When we choose to do things that shake up the comfort of our existence, there is a natural backlash.  What I know to be true is that tremendous growth comes when we allow the discomfort to just be there and step forward into the unknown anyhow. 

It is a true leap of faith that if we do, we will be held.  

As a collective, we are in a state of what feels like constant evolution.  We are walking on a tightrope of unknown.  We are being churned and asked to really take a look at how we are showing up in the world for ourselves, for each other, and for our lives on the whole.

So many are on the quest for change, for transformation, and are dancing right on the edge of new possibility. 

We either choose to hop on board the train, or not. 

If we want to continue to grow ourselves we have to be open to being uncomfortable.  We must continuously place ourselves in situations that stretch us to grow out of our comfort zones.  

Life is too short to not recreate ourselves at every turn.  

We, as individuals and as a collective, have a mandate to be in continuous transformation.  To grow ourselves in our capacity to love, to feel, and to show up for ourselves and for those in our lives.  

My life's path personally and professionally is about riding that edge of discomfort so that I may continuously grow and evolve and, in turn, support my clients and students to do the same. I have chosen to work through the body as that has been my vehicle for healing and growth.  I believe it to be an essential component in connecting to ourselves.

When we embody the changes that are occurring in our lives and truly invite them in to become the essence of the fundamental structure of who we are, the changes we go through become integrated and sustainable. 

As we turn more and more towards the light, as the earth comes back to life and we emerge from our cocoons, I invite you to begin to ask yourselves what Michael Beckwith calls “Empowering Questions” to support your personal evolution and growth process. 

Questions such as: 

How can I show up with more presence to create good on the planet? 

What impact do I want to have on those that I am blessed to cross paths with?

How do I want to use my precious time during my lifetime?

How can I show up every day even more full of exactly who I am?  


Every single day we truly have the opportunity to rise above the fear and limitations that we have imposed on ourselves and become brighter, more vibrantly alive, and more full of exactly who we are.  

We are all alive today for a purpose. Why waste another moment in self-doubt?  Why spend another minute of our precious life force questioning our value or our worth?  

The time is now.  

It is time to grow through the transformational discomfort and rise anew – embodied, whole, and gratefully alive.  
 

Embrace Transition


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You are allowed
to be a masterpiece
and a
work in progress, 
simultaneously".


~Sophie Bush




The Spring Equinox is on the near horizon bringing with it the return of daylight, warmer temperatures, the renewal of the earth, green trees, and blooming flowers.  
 
For so many (myself included!), spring could not arrive any sooner after a long, dark, and exceptionally cold winter here in Colorado.  A palpable sweet relief is in the air that the darkness and cold of winter is coming to a close.  
 
There is a sense of quickening, of things coming alive. The birds volume has increased, the days have begun to lengthen, and urge to emerge is prevalent.
 
Yet, we are in the liminal time in these last couple of weeks of winter (thank you Mother Nature for reminding us of this!). Although there is a felt sense of urgency, a pull towards the warmth and bounty of spring -- the time of rebirthing -- it is so critical to honor this in between time.  To allow things to simmer.  

Not forcing our rebirthing, rather choosing to be intentional, clear, and present we push ourselves out of our winter cocoon into the bounty of the springtime.  
 
There is so much wisdom to be gleaned when we give ourselves permission to really be during this transitional time.  There is the opportunity to utilize these last few weeks of winter to clarify exactly what it is we desire to birth when the season changes. 
 
How can we stay grounded in our bodies and present in the moment as we navigate this transition?  What action steps can we take to support ourselves in an easeful, peaceful and joyful transition into spring? How can we bring consciousness into this next season and enter spring intentionally?
 
I offer you some tangible avenues to support yourselves in transitioning out of winter in an embodied and intentional way: 

  • Breathe. Your breath is your greatest resource.  As the energy quickens and the impulse to move into action is strong, remaining connected to the breath is essential. Taking deep breaths into your belly, in through the nose, and out the mouth – allowing the exhale to lengthen – is the most impactful and effective avenue in remaining grounded and connected to yourself. 

  • Meditation. Cultivating the capacity to sit with ourselves during these times of transition can support our ability to meet the changes with the whole of who we are.  By connecting to our breath and thought patterns and consciously working with them, we have the opportunity to truly create our lives from a place of empowerment.

  • Visualization. How do you want your life to look?  How do you want to feel in your body, in your heart, in your everyday life?  Do you have a picture of the direction that you would like your life to take? Spend some time visualizing your life as you want it to unfold. Breathe it into your cells and invite in that felt sense of your dream life.  See it in your minds eye and feel it in your heart.  

  • Journaling. It is a potent time to be writing. I am a lover of morning pages or free writing.  Allowing whatever is alive for you to flow onto the pages.  Do not censor or correct yourself.  Invite in those subconscious and conscious thoughts, dreams, emotions, feelings, and experiences to land on your pages.  The soul speaks through our uninhibited writing and provides endless information and inspiration.  

  • Rest.  This transitional time of year calls for extra rest and sleep so as to stay healthy and balanced. Give yourself permission to go to sleep early, practice gentle or restorative yoga, and allow your body to rest in preparation for the upcoming time of rebirth. Just as a woman needs to rest when possible during labor and childbirth, as do we need to in preparation of our regeneration from winter hibernation.   

  • Nourish.  Springtime brings with it the desire to shift our food choices as we begin to shed some of our winter layers -- both literally and figuratively.  These next few weeks beckon nourishment and grounding foods so that we may be better prepared for our launch into spring.  Drinking hearty broths and soups, eating root vegetables, and cooked leafy greens in healthy oils are great ways to support your system during this transition.  


May we embrace this threshold into spring and honor the opportunity to pause and ground even deeper into our own truth and desires.

May we do the work to invite in clarity and conviction of the truth of who we are.

May we continuously be active participants in the creation of our own lives so that we can be a guiding light in this world so needing it and truly serve the greater good.
 
Spring Equinox Blessings!! 

Unconditional Self-Love

"If you want to hold the beautiful one,
hold yourself to yourself."

~Rumi



Our capacity to cultivate and nurture unconditional love for ourselves informs all of our relationships and how we move through the world.  

The greatest gesture of self-love that we can offer ourselves is that of self-acceptance, authenticity in who we truly are, and cultivating the capacity to not only hone in on our own needs but also honor them.  
 
And, there are so many conditions to love. 
  
There are always going to be reasons to justify not loving oneself. Always. It does not matter how far along you may be on your path of consciousness and healing.  

Regardless of what is going on in your life, in your relationships, in your body, in your heart, in your bank account...the invitation here is to be loving towards yourself. To remove the conditions and barriers towards living a life of love for no other reason except for the blessing it is to be alive.  

It requires tremendous courage to take that leap into a space of residence with deep love of oneself.   
 
In my own healing process, I found that until I learned to truly accept myself unconditionally as I was in any given moment, I could not heal.  When I removed the conditions of my existence, my abilities, and worthiness around healing my body and my life, things began to rapidly shift.  
 
When I was a naive undergraduate student, I nervously chose to attend a yoga and meditation class with a local teacher. This hour and half in a gorgeous old church with stained glass windows in the heart of downtown Lawrence, Kansas, changed the course of my relationship to myself and my body forever.  

Anna, a teacher with wings of an angel, stood soft, yet so powerfully strong in who she was. She moved through the room connected, embodied, grounded, and integrated . She modeled to me a new possibility of existing. Anna was not bone thin as I had been striving to be for so many years, yet was round with womanly curves.  She emanated peace and ease in her own skin in a way that I had never witnessed before.

In Anna's classes, I learned how to breathe into myself with kindness and love for the first moments of my life. My time spent with this beautiful soul has been forever etched in my mind and my heart. In the most potent way, I observed and gained the experience of the beauty of being a woman in a woman’s body.  I was gifted with the perspective of what I feel is the real purpose of the practice of yoga:  To connect to and be one with the truth of who you are. 
 
Over the years, I have continuously been a student of life, using embodiment practices and other tools consciously and creatively along my path of healing. I believe that it is a lifelong journey and we are never “done” with our work.  

It is a quest with no end point. 

Healing and growth happen in layers. As one heals a layer another one emerges…on and on and on.  It is a beautiful, rich, and deep exploration to choose this path of healing and awakening.

I am very excited to share with you that I have officially launched an online course: 
Embody Brilliance ~ Sustainable Healing from the Inside Out!

This 6-month journey is the culmination of my decades of experience and practice in the realm of embodiment (yoga, dance, & mindful movement), meditation, somatic therapies, and natural health and healing modalities. 

This course was created to support those whom are ready to cultivate that experience of unconditional love of themselves, inhabit their bodies, tap into their inner strength to meet life more gracefully, release addictive patterns, and embrace and own who they truly are.
 
Each month provides lessons with interactive guidance, 2 coaching sessions with me, and any extra support needed for success.
 

LEARN MORE NOW


Unconditional self-love is a practice. 
 
It requires a commitment and a genuine devotion to living a life of love no matter what comes our way. 
 
The work is to remain connected to our center – to the truth of who we are – and remember that infinite well of love that lies within.  When we love and accept who we are, feel a connection to our bodies and our hearts, and show up in that integrated space -- there is no gap.  We are who we are in every context. 

We can take those deep breaths into the core of who we are and feel a calm, grounded, and loving existence.  We can remember these moments at the times we may forget and we can hold ourselves in the space of loving kindness that we may seek from others. 

As we complete this month of love, perhaps we can collectively choose to take step after step towards ourselves and learn to love the whole of who we are.  May we invite in the experience of unconditional love and acceptance, beginning with ourselves, and share that affirmation with those we are blessed to cross paths with. 

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Motherhood.

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There is an overarching societal belief that when you give birth to a child you instantly become blissed out and deeply connected to your baby.  For me, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

It has been an arduous and lonely road stepping into mommy-hood with this being beginning from conception.

My boy is approaching double digits and I feel as though we have landed in our sweet spot. We have found our way into that bond that we missed when he was a baby.  Our hearts beat together and our systems have settled in unison.  As he reaches towards more independence in the world, he simultaneously is stepping closer to me and I to him. 

We have navigated over 8 years alone together and have a bond like no other.  We have grown together, laughed together, cried together, screamed together in anger and in joy. We have learned the art of relationship and the power of repair. We have held each other in the darkness and celebrated the light.  We are an invincible team.  I am reminded constantly that it is never too late for anything, even that deep connection with your child.  

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Trauma, post-partum depression, and the effects of abusive relationships can have tremendous impact on the ability to bond with ones child. 

Mothers need support, to be held in whatever state they are in after birth. They need compassion and community. They need love and acceptance.  I felt such shame that I couldn’t bond with my son – such failure as a woman and a mother that I couldn’t nurse my baby, comfort my baby, hold my baby with ease. I felt so much angst in myself at the unacceptable feelings that I was having about my new role as Mommy. 

The struggle is real for so many women.  May we look out for our women, for those that are becoming mothers, those that are in the thick of motherhood and reach out without judgment. May we remember the massiveness of this “job” and honor it in all of its flavors.  May we approach the women and mothers around us with reverence and kindness – knowing in our hearts that no matter what one’s outer situation is we have no idea what is going on inside of them. 

May we hold the space for others to step out of the shame and into empowerment of their life situations and circumstances. 

And may we remember that we are never truly alone, even in those times when it feels the most lonely.

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A New Beginning

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"And suddenly you just know...It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings". 

~Meister Eckhart

I am a big fan of everyone being exactly who they are.

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My teaching, coaching, and facilitation are all influenced by my navigation of and healing from trauma, an eating disorder and other addictions, the trials and tribulations of single motherhood, and other life’s challenges.  I truly believe that from pain comes wisdom.

I take pride in my capacity to share with authenticity from a raw and human place -- breaking down the barriers to our humanity. It is always my intention and hope that inspiration can be gleaned from hearing of my healing journey and the transformational impact that this work has had on my life; shedding light on the dark.

My strength and competence in supporting others in their personal healing is a direct result of my personal experiences.

My life’s work is to bring those that I have the privilege of working with, closer to that raw experience of their human existence.  To support them in releasing debilitating addictive patterns and to be real, authentic, vulnerable, and accepting of themselves.  To own who they truly are and to share themselves from that place of embodiment and aliveness.

At the turn of every year there is that opportunity to begin anew.

To step more fully into our uniqueness as humans alive on the planet right now.

We have the fortuity to gain clarity and awareness around that which we would love to change in our lives, what we want to let go of, and the vision for how we want to be living.  It is a powerful time of reset.

The prevalent path at this time of year is to take on many ambitious goals, to jump into making them a reality, and then to tank after a few weeks.  I am certainly not immune to this scenario.

What I am interested in is how to create sustainable change.  How do we actually decipher what it is we want to shift, morph, let go of, call in, and create in a way that is sustainable?

To me, the key to doing so is to embody our intentions.  To take in all that is being asked to shift and breathe it into our bodies, into our hearts, and into our souls.  To palpably feel how we desire to feel in our lives.  To discern what it would feel like if we start exercising more, or limit our social media intake, or change careers, or…

Whatever it is that you have on your plate to shift this fresh New Year, perhaps take a moment and feel into the direction that you are moving in? Can you hone in on what steps need to be taken while remaining connected to a felt sense of where you are going?

Once we are able to feel in our bodies, our hearts, and our souls the direction we want to move in – we create the imprint and have that as a reference point as we continue to navigate life.  We can continuously come back to that felt sensation and check in with ourselves.

Does this particular action feel aligned with my embodied intentions and the direction I desire to move in?

From that place, the potential of sustainable healing, change, and creation are abundant and an exciting new beginning is inevitable.

"Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life".

~John Lennon

The Power of Gratitude

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"When I started counting my blessings my whole world turned around".

~Willie Nelson

The astrology as of late has been swirling, churning, and digging up some skeletons.  I certainly feel it and hear stories of a similar flavor from clients and friends.

In midst of the chaos of the times how can we remain centered and grounded in a space of love towards ourselves and those around us? Always an inquiry and opportunity to drop more deeply into our practices and create small yet potent ways in our day-to-day to access that space.

Can you infuse your body with love?  Can you meet each moment with a feeling of gratitude and trust that all is truly unfolding exactly how it is supposed to? Can you tap into that sense of joy and appreciation in even the most mundane of moments?

Remembering that it is up to us to make that choice to shift into a space of love and gratitude, especially in those moments when it is hardest to access.

Giving permission to slow down, tune into your breath, put your hands on your body and remember your presence and aliveness.  Orient yourself in whatever way possible to the current moment and find something to feel grateful for. Anything.

Gratitude and appreciation are contagious and when we begin to appreciate our lives the gratitude builds and infuses our everyday existence.  We create the opportunity to cultivate the space to live in appreciation of this magical existence we call a human life.  This is where the good stuff lies.

Where the expansion and possibility intertwine and the rightness of who we are is undeniable.

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Fear or Love?

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“She was powerful,

not because she wasn’t scared,

but because she went on so

strongly,

despite the fear”.

~Atticus

Keeping it real!

NO ONE is exempt here.  Fear is a natural and normal part of the human condition.  It is part of the territory of growth and healing.

Growth can be scary.  Sometimes it feels as though you are about to jump off a cliff and do not know if there is a net to catch you.

It’s what we choose to do with the fear that is crucial. We can oblige and pull the covers over our heads OR we can step in and step past the fear into possibility.

When we choose to continue to step forward into the unknown – despite the fear – our strength builds.  It is always an opportunity to build our confidence in who we are as our upright and whole selves.

It is scary to let go of sabotaging patterns. Addictions serve to some degree and we consistently make the choice to step out of them – away from the cycle – what is left is so pure, raw, and often foreign.

I have witnessed in myself on my own path as well as with clients over the years the tendency to collapse into fear during a big growth spurt.  When we are being reorganized and healed from the inside out it is foreign territory and naturally our fear-based survival instincts kick into gear.

What do we do in those moments? 

Continuously meeting that fear and taking steps forward on your own behalf is the work.  There is that moment, that pause, that I call the “sweet spot” in which the opportunity to allow in the space, the breath, the self-soothing to interrupt the cycle. These are the moments that become golden opportunities to sustainably shift patterns and step more fully into who we are. To feel ourselves through the fear and to cultivate that strength and faith and to continue on despite the scary unknown.

The step out on the other side brings another layer of strength and perseverance. 

Holding ourselves closely with love and unwavering support to become bigger, brighter, and more full of the whole of who we are.

The opportunity to stand taller – to speak clearer – to move out of the fear and into the place of love.

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The Gift of Meditation

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"To meditate means to be there.  To be with yourself”.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

I have been an avid early morning meditator for many years. It has been my non-negotiable, daily ritual keeping me balanced and sane while navigating single motherhood and running a business.

Meditation has been the balm for my soul and the blanket for my heart.

It has become a part of me - a limb - and has sustained my capacity to remain connected to my breath, my body, and the present moment as life has unfolded.

My time on my cushion is stabilizing, enlivening, and enlightening.  Not always easy or comfortable, yet I feel held during the quiet and stillness by my own arms and more upright in who I am.

My 9 year-old son, Kai, has had special needs, which have challenged him in his ability to self-regulate, sensory integration, and other behavioral issues. He has witnessed my practices over the years and has been averse to joining in in any context – making endearing comments about my alter, asking me why I am so “spirit-full” (a favorite!), and telling me that I am a “weird” yoga mom.

A few months ago I offered to buy him a deck of Animal Spirit Cards as the cards that I draw noticeably intrigued him.  He enthusiastically obliged and what has unfolded since then has been incredibly beautiful and powerful to witness and be a part of.

Kai has now set up his own alter with meaningful stones, a candle, and draws weekly Spirit Animal cards, which have potent and positive messages on them.  A couple of nights a week we light our candles and sit together for 10 minutes. He rolls out his own yoga mat with pride, wraps a blanket over his shoulders, and sits quietly (with the occasional outburst of laughter or a burp!).

Recently, as the timer indicated the completion of our meditation, my son said “I felt in synch with you”.  I felt it too.  After our many weeks of sitting together we have landed and the result is palpable.

Observations since beginning our practice together:

  • Kai and I are more connected.

  • Kai is more present and engaged when we are talking.

  • He makes eye contact more consistently.

  • He has become more resilient.

  • He is more relaxed in his body and able to receive physical contact.

  • He is able to self-regulate and calm his system more rapidly.

  • He has become more flexible and open with the flow of life.

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It is affirming to me that anyone can meditate and the crucial nature of exposing our children to these life-altering practices early on.

During this time of giving, consider giving yourselves and your children the gift of a meditation practice.

The benefits are infinite.

Are you interested in bringing a meditation practice into your household yet do not know where to begin?  As a gift to you, I am offering FREE 15 minute consultations to get your practice started.  

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear”.

~Baba Ram Dass

What does it mean to "Embody Life"?

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What does it mean to "Embody Life"?

The name of my evolving business, Embody Life, was birthed after what I had experienced as many stressful and compromising years unwinding from an abusive marriage, severe postpartum depression, and navigating single motherhood with a special needs child.  I was brought to my knees so often and really was forced to dig so deep into my well of practice, inner strength, and knowledge to survive.  To remain embodied in midst of life became my focus.

Then early 2016 arrived with a house fire and set into motion an unbelievable sequence of events that truly gave, Embody Life, a whole new meaning. 

I was gifted (and, yes, I do consider them all gifts!) with opportunity after opportunity to put my decades of practices into action and to meet the trauma, the heartache, the fear, the upheaval with a steady and embodied presence.  I most certainly had moments of forgetting and succumbing to the overwhelm, yet, I did not crumble.

I did not collapse.

I did not take on the role of victim or martyr.

The events that unfolded include: coming home to my house on fire, a grueling advocacy on behalf of my son in the schools that led to an excruciating 6-month battle with the school district, an horrendous attack in a court of law by an unconscious and aggressive male attorney representing my sons dad, and a near death experience while traveling alone in Mexico. I met them with equanimity and with presence.  I allowed myself to feel my feelings without numbing or suppressing them. I moved the energy with consciousness, and I connected to those who could hold me and reflect to me with love and compassion in those moments.

To me, that is Embodying Life.

With each experience I deepened in my capacity to heal myself, become more upright in the truth of who I am, and embody my life. 

So often when life unfolds in ways that are less than desirable we resist, numb, check out, push against, and therefore find ourselves in a revolution of addiction that has the potential to grow unless we consciously choose to step out of the cycle.

I very much understand.

When I chose to check myself into a treatment center at 23 years of age, that was my first of many, many more interruptions of a cycle.  I had no idea at that young age, the path that would be laid out for me from that point on.

My business and who I am personally are both reflections of this incredible path I have walked.  They are me at my essence and are laden with the wisdom I have gleaned on the front lines of life.

My business and I are one. We reflect the decades of work done in the realm of healing through embodiment.

So, what does it mean to Embody Life? 

Facing every single day, every single life event with courage, strength, and conviction.

Remaining connected to the truth of who you are in midst of the ups and downs of life.

Meeting life with unwavering belief in the power of humanity and the capacity that each one of us has in healing ourselves from the inside out and truly living an embodied life of brilliance.

“My life is my practice”

~Ram Dass

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We Retreat to Remember

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“There are times when we stop, we sit still. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper”.

~James Carroll

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As I was facilitating my most recent retreat experiences, I kept hearing the phrase “We Retreat to Remember”.  When we retreat, in any capacity, our cells have the space to heal. We create that breathing room in our being to remember who we truly are. We have the opportunity to carve new pathways in our minds, our bodies, our hearts, and in our lives as a whole.

When we give ourselves the space for quiet and stillness, we naturally slow down and tune into that deep, intuitive voice. We transition from doing into being. 

As a working single mom, I have learned that I cannot afford to wait until that opportune moment to exit my life and go on a bigger retreat. I have created what I call “retreat moments”, that give me the opportunity to remain connected to myself in midst of day-to-day life.

During my “retreat moments”, I remember the crucial nature of creating the space in life to listen, to acknowledge, to honor, and to heal.

“Retreat moments” are an opportunity to reset and remember.

Some of my favorite “retreat moments” include:

  • Stepping outside, taking some breaths, and orienting myself to the natural world around me.

  • Pausing for a moment while cooking dinner, putting one hand on my heart and one hand on my belly, closing my eyes and tuning into my breath.

  • Taking 5 minutes and lying on the ground, coming into my breath, and feeling the connection of my body to the earth.

  • 20 – 30 minutes of early morning quiet meditation.

  • A spontaneous yoga session of a pose or two in the middle of the woods while with my son.

  • A mindful walk around the block focusing on my breath and my steps.

  • A candlelit hot bath with Epsom salts and soothing essential oils.

  • A long restorative yoga practice abundantly using props so that my mind can quiet, my body can soften, and my heart can unwind.

When I am consistently creating “retreat moments” in my life, I feel resourced, present, and grounded.  I am a better mom, am more resourced and connected, and am able to meet life with equanimity.

“Retreat moments”alwaysencompass tuning into my breath, bringing awareness to that quiet space inside, feeling my body, and tapping into the stirrings of my heart. From there, an embodied wisdom is invited to emerge.

We must slow down to tune in. 

It is truly a radical act of self-care.

It is a declaration of love to breathe into our bodies, inviting in that space to heal, grow, honor, and celebrate the fullness of living an embodied life.

There is much wisdom and potency accessible in cultivating silence and stillness.  By practicing daily, in small or larger moments we strengthen that muscle which keeps us steady in the face of difficulty.  We have the opportunity to enhance an unwavering belief in the truth of who we are and the rightness of our life’s path.

As we dive deeper into the winter months, may we cultivate these moments of retreat to listen and inform what is to come. May we bring consciousness into this time of darkness and allow ourselves the space to heal.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear”.

~Baba Ram Dass

The Epidemic of Self-Doubt and Breaking Ingrained Patterns

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The Epidemic of Self-Doubt and Breaking Ingrained Patterns

Our challenges in life have the potential to be our greatest medicine and gifts to the world.  We must be sharing our stories and experiences and having these conversations to heal.  We must feel ourselves in relation to others to lift the shame and break the cycle. We must remember that we are not alone, not even for a moment and although others may not resonate with our version of the story, we all have our stories.  We all hold variations of the stories and carry with us the pieces to the puzzle.  Our stories are powerful and have formed the foundation of who we are.  Sharing our stories is pure liberation and provides the opportunity to shed layers of shame and angst, heal, repair, embrace, and embody who we truly are. 

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I work with women and men who struggle with disordered eating, those unwinding from trauma and those who are searching for peace in themselves.  The overarching theme that I continuously witness is a tremendous feeling of self-doubt.

Somewhere along the road of their lives they internalized the message that they are not worthy, not good enough, and have nothing to offer those that are blessed to cross their paths. These are highly successful professionals whom have had a tremendously positive impact on others, yet the feelings of self-doubt consistently reign and are being played out in their abilities to nourish and nurture themselves.

I get it wholeheartedly.

As I was gearing up to begin my physical descent down to Taos to work with 4 different women intensively over the course of 2 weekends, my old stories, programming, and messages about my abilities – my capacity to do this deep work, and my own personal biography in the realm of disordered eating and unwinding trauma, were screaming.

I was in self-doubt hell and it took every ounce of my connection to my true Self and my decades of practice to continue forward despite the cries otherwise.

What unfolded felt nothing short of miraculous as I pushed through my wall of self-doubt and landed embodied and upright in who I am. My experience affirmed my strong beliefs in the power of consistent, meditative practices which provide the the capacity to sift through what is truth and what is old messaging.

I am also reminded of the crucial nature of authenticity and being exactly who we are both personally and professionally.

I share this with you as a bridge – as an offering of a gateway towards our humanness – and, as validation that not only does everyone go through times of doubting the self, but that each of us truly have our own unique voice and story to share.

Please do not allow the voices of self-doubt to stifle who you are in the world.  Your experiences in this lifetime are of equal value to those who may be making millions public speaking or those who have 10,000 Instagram followers.

You are important.

We are important.

Now, more than ever, the world needs the light from each of us – first honoring that light that lies within, our true Self – and then honoring the light in each other.

"Be kinder to yourself and then let your kindness flood the world".

~Pema Chodron

Tell the Truth.

“The healing and recovery for all addictive behaviors includes learning to cultivate a discipline of telling the truth, first to oneself and then to others”.

~Katherine Woodward Thomas

I love this quote.  It encompasses for so many of us recovering addicts the void that is missing from our lives. Our life situations, life experiences, our feelings, thoughts, emotions, and the actions that we have chosen to take as a result of are rarely based upon truth. Truth is generally not what is presented to us, what is accepted, and we are not given the license to live from that authentically and unwavering place of truth.  We are taught to suppress, stuff, numb, distract, and hide all of the confusion and angst that we experience as young ones.

Rarely do we meet those adults whom were supported and encouraged to be who they are – the whole of them – the messy and unappetizing of them – the ones who were taught to open their hearts and share their unabashed souls.

A disclaimer here:  This is not about blaming the adults whom raised us.  Not about blaming ourselves for the choices we have made in living our lives.  We have all done the best we could given the human experience and situation that we have been gifted with.

I truly feel that.

I do not spend a minute in blaming others for my lifetime of addictions and I will never support anyone in doing so.  We all have wounding – it is the nature of being a human being.  We all also have choice as to how we respond to these wounds.  Personally, I feel the importance of self-responsibility.  Of removing ourselves from the space of what others have done to  us and moving in the clear direction of what choices we have made on behalf of ourselves.  It is a hard pill to swallow when we move in that direction and take ownership for the creation of our lives, yet, in my experience, it is the only way to truly heal and move forward wholly embodied and operating from your heart.

I spent decades trying to decipher what was mine and what others had done to me.  It got me nowhere and set me up for many years of struggle and an inability to land in my body and in my heart.  It kept me distracted and disconnected from the actuality of who I am and the beauty of my life, right now.  As it is. 

Shifting into a state of ownership, acceptance, and yielding into the mode of receptivity has been a game changer.  It is not an overnight process, mind you, yet worthy of the time and efforts it takes to attain and sustain what I consider to be true and embodied self-acceptance.

The unconditional loving of ourselves in every moment, even in the times when our imperfections surface – especially when we fall off the path as that is where the good stuff lies. 

When I can have a moment of angst around a less-than-respectful text message received from my son’s dad and my breath becomes short, I become short-tempered with my son, I dig into the ice cream pint or eat my dinner so fast I haven’t even tasted it – when I have those moments and then a potent moment of acceptance, which usually comes in the form of slowing down, finding my breath, putting my hands on my body, apologizing to my boy for my impatience, and remembering who I am and the truth of the entire scenario……those are the nuggets of gold.

Those are the moments that escalate our growth and capacity as humans.  Those are the times in our lives when we have the choice to pour the love onto our humanness and watch the flowers grow. 

I was walking into Whole Foods the other day with my son when I ran into an old acquaintance that I haven’t seen in awhile.  Mind you I saw him from afar and was trying desperately to diverge our course so that he and I didn’t end up aligned, yet aligned we became.  As we walked side-by-side into the store I noticed my old story surface about how irritating he was and how triggered I was going to become as he touted about his new living situation of residing half the year in Hawaii and half the year in Boulder.  Oh, and then about the girlfriend, and blah blah blah.  You get the picture.   I was bracing myself and was holding my son’s hand tightly as if he could “protect” me from the conversation and provide me with the security that I was longing for in that moment – or perhaps in my life.  The assurance that the past 8 + years have not be for naught.  That I am where I am in my life as being mommy has been my absolute priority and that I didn’t need to make excuses for myself…..

What happened though was dramatically different as I softened into my being, I relaxed my body, I opened my heart and walked tall in the pride of who I am.  I was met with such graciousness from this man. I was given the most incredible compliment of recognition and I left our interaction feeling fabulously empowered and alive.  To me, it was a moment of sheer self-acceptance and the proof or reminder or affirmation, whatever you want to call it, that our intention and the ways in which we carry ourselves, our hearts, and our beingness matter.

When we believe in ourselves and love ourselves and accept ourselves, we magnetize goodness.  We draw out the positive aspects of those that we are blessed to pass on our paths and the divinely timed event in our lives become more apparent.  We are open to the good, so the good will come.

When we are living from our truth, healing is inevitable.

When we make the choice to stop hiding behind our addictive ways of living and being, anything is possible.

This truth may stir up fear and that is completely understandable. This is uncharted territory for many, many adults whom only know how to live from one addiction to another.

I understand.  I have been there.  I lived that way for most of my life.

For me, cultivating the deepest sense of self-acceptance in the totality of who I am – the unconditional loving presence for myself that I have longed for from others – the fierceness to love and accept myself flaws and all – has been powerful beyond words.  It feels like a gift to have so much more of life to continue living even thought I spent so much of it berating and obsessing, punishing and abusing. Sometimes it takes a crisis of sorts to “snap” one out of it.  Sometimes it takes intensive process and therapy.  Sometimes it takes reminders from those whom have walked the path before you.  Sometimes it’s an inspiring resonant book.  Often it is a combination of it all.  We have the opportunity every single moment of every single day to tap into our resources.  The choice is alive.  Living a fully embodied life is always an option.

There is no perfection here.

No end point.

It is a work in progress and every day there lies infinite opportunities to surrender, soften, love, accept, yield, receive, and accept our beautiful bodies, hearts, and souls.

Tuning into the greater flow of love and abundance and keeping our mind chatter out of the equation.

Cultivating daily practices which support this state of being are essential -- meditation, yoga or other embodiment practices, mantras, and a commitment to our inherent wellbeing – must take precedence in the busyness of being a human.

When we put our own truth and healing at the forefront of our existence, anything is possible.

 

 

 

 

Step IN.

“Step out of the history that is holding you back. 

Step into the new story you are willing to create”.

~Oprah Winfrey

 

We all have our stories from the past – the imprints that these stories have had on our bodies, our hearts, and our psyches.  It is so easy to allow those storylines to run rampant and inform how we move in the world.  It takes great courage and commitment to step out of the old stories and into the new.

Getting clear about the new path that you are wanting to walk on and then taking those steps onto it.  Feeling the timidity, the shakiness, the uncertainty, and stepping in anyhow.

Pushing past the bubble of fear, the fog of indecision, and declaring how you want your life to look and feel.

Now.

Right now.

Shedding the old messages, stories, and doubts.  Making the choice to claim who you are in all of your glory, embrace your unique gifts and quirkiness, and truly own your story.

Own it, but don’t give it the reigns of your existence.

It is so important to acknowledge and honor our histories, those experiences and situations in life which have shaped us up until this moment. Share them, celebrate them, grieve them, and then shed them.  With heart and with honor. 

We are not our histories, we are not what has happened to us.

We are whole and powerful.

Every moment is this precious choice to step out of the old and into the new.

With presence, with compassion, with the deepest self-love.

Breath by breath, moment by moment, we have the opportunity to stand taller in who we are – more upright – clearer – more open and soft and powerful.

Each moment that opportunity to acknowledge our past and step more fully into our present with perspective of a bright and enlivened future. 

 

 

Love in Action.

“If one wishes to know love, one must live love, in action”.

~Leo Buscaglia

 

 

This quote landed on my fridge after my near death experience while traveling in Mexico.

 

The wake up call that I experienced was like nothing I could have ever imagined possible.

 

It cracked me open, woke me up, and has impacted my every move in life.

 

I have become hyper aware of when I shut down to those around me and when I am soft and open.  I realized in that moment of thinking I could die, that I hadn’t been really living, not in a way that I wanted to be.  Not from my heart, not from a space of openness to humanity, and integrity and honor of who I am.  I had been dimming myself, apologizing for my existence, and not appreciating the goodness that lives within.

 

We cannot be selective about who we are loving to. 

 

I do not say this lightly as my son’s dad is the most challenging person in my world and being loving to him sometimes feels impossible.  What I can say, with all my heart, is that I truly do strive to live love in action. I work every day to keep my heart open and to meet those I encounter with that space of possibility, of acceptance, of compassion, and of connection.  Choosing to give love without the expectation of it being returned. Everyone has their struggles, their inner and outer battles, the things that they are ashamed of and hide from the world.  Life is not always pretty, I know this one quite well.

 

 

Not knowing if you are going to take another breath in this physical body puts everything into perspective….The magnitude of the preciousness of this human life, the everyday interactions with those in our intimate world and also with strangers, the motivation to be healthy and whole, the inspiration to make a fucking difference in this incredibly broken world…

 

Live love in action.  Share the love.  Be loving and kind.  Make eye contact.  Ask people how they are.  Open your eyes and appreciate all of the beauty around.  Find gratitude even in those painfully hard moments.  Hold your little and big people close. Hug as much as you can.  Cry when you need to.  Open your heart.  Heal yourself.  Live your life.  Live love in action.