Sunday, February 28, 2010

Creating a Sacred Space

Today my reading was about creating a sacred space. I decided to share this one because I think it is so important. This is a space to celebrate, concentrate and consecrate our inner work. It can be small or large. It can just mean carving out a certain space of time each day. But I am starting to understand how an actual physical location can be so valuable. It's funny because I created a sacred space to nurture other women (and men and children too-- but especially women) through my studio. But I never use that space just for me. Several times I have had the thought to go in there to do my morning and evening routines, but I have never actually done it. I asked myself why today and the answer came simply in a feeling of resistance. Why do I resist using that space to nurture myself? The truth is, I am still learning to give myself permission to really and truly shut everything else out but myself, and totally take care of me. I am scared to do it. I avoid it. I have put my toes in the water, even waded in mid calf or thigh. But I won't jump. I won't let myself dive in and float up on my back and actually envelop myself in my own sacred space, truly connected to my authentic self. Doing my inner work and totally tuning everything else out seems like it's not ok. It's ok to steel away a few minutes, as long as I am still available to the outside world. In case the phone rings, the baby crys, the doorbell rings. Someone might need me. Or I might miss something.

Sarah Ban Breathnach says it doesn't have to be a whole room. it can be a small cranny or nook, a table or bench. If you have limited space, open yourself to discovering how you can create this kind of space with what you have available. Make it beautiful. Fill it with sounds, smells, pictures, flowers, fabric, colors--whatever inspires and brings you joy.
She says of her space, "Love created this space for me once I became open to allowing it in my life. The objects displayed on the table represent all that I love and for which I am grateful."

"In order to stay easily and happily creative, we need to stay spiritually centered. This is easier to do if we allow ourselves centering rituals. It is important that we devise these ourselves from elements that feel holy and happy to us." Julia Cameron

This week I will be travelling again. I am ecstatic about a seminar I will be attending in New Jersey. But I have two days left. I promise myself I will add a few sacred, inspiring, hope filled, items to my sacred room. I will make it a little more nurturing and inspiring to me. And I will allow myself to enter it alone, consecrate it and find my own safety in that space. I will take the plunge.

I'll give you a tour when I get back from my trip.
Id love to hear about it, if a sacred space opens up for you in your life.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Do It Now

This last weekend I put on a retreat for 4 single adults. I called it the "Live your Best Life" Single's Retreat. It was awesome! I have been doing retreats for affluent families in a very specific process and setting for several years and have recently decided to branch out. This was my first try at it. I didn't know what to expect or if the participants would be happy with the outcome so I felt nervous and stressed about it. But when it came time to start, I knew just what to do. It felt really natural and I completely enjoyed sharing information, inspiration, ideas, education etc... with this group of people. I enjoyed teaching them and providing resources and tools for them to help them better their own lives, as well as sharing things I have been learning on my own journey. I also loved making the atmosphere and food and putting in the special touches to make it nurturing and special for them.
It was so cool to do what I love, to earn money doing it, and to push myself to go out on a limb and stretch my own limits personally and professionally.
What is something you have always wanted to do/become but were too afraid to actually make it happen? You might be amazed if you follow your heart, how it can open doors for you and others, in ways you could never have imagined. Come on-- just go for it! What do you have to loose?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I said I would be back Monday and it's already Wednesday. No excuses. I didn't keep my word and I am sorry for that.
I recently took the Integrity Pledge which goes as follows:

“If you make a commitment, honor it.

If you make a promise, keep it.

If you set a goal, achieve it.”

This may be something you have already mastered in your life. I have not. I have always considered myself to be a person who strives to live with integrity. But as I have been doing a lot of self-exploration and personal development, and as I have been examining my life with a magnifying glass, I have found a lot of ways in which I fall short.

It's hard to look at and change. It's uncomfortable. It causes me to feel guilty and inadequate sometimes. Which then gives me the chance to offer myself love and kindness and acceptance, along with a gentle push toward improvement. I can already see how even trying to improve has made a big difference in my life. So, I'm looking at it. Working on it. Experiencing growing pains. Feel free to call me on it if you see where I fall short...But please be kind. ;)

And as for our adventures? I promised to tell you about them. So stay tuned for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm going on a trip

I'll be gone for the weekend and won't be able to blog. I'll be back Monday with lots to share about my adventures.
Thought for the day:
" Solid success stands on top of the mountain of failures that’s built only by a person who doesn't understand the meaning of give up."
Written in 2009 by Johni Pangalila --- Australia

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Love 2010!

This year I set some really amazing goals.
Setting these goals and moving in their direction has SHOVED me out of my comfort zone mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally... and it has opened up whole new worlds of thought and experience to me.
Many times it has felt exciting, exhilarating, energizing.
To be honest it is SCARY as hell sometimes too. Pushing my own limits, exploring my borders and boundaries-- forces me to hit zones and regions of myself I haven't hit before. To see things that are hard to look at, as well as things that are really amazing too.
Some days--some moments it feels heavy. Overwhelming. Discouraging. Sometimes I wonder if my goals and dreams are even possible. Other times I feel like I could literally fly--and I feel so empowered.
It's definitely a ride.
So my reading for today was particularly comforting...
" have embarked on an adventure as exciting as that of any explorer. Uncovering the source of the Nile or charting the course of the Amazon are outward parallels to the inner journey you are on today--a safari of the self and the spirit.
In Africa, to go on Safari--the Swahili word for journey-- is to leave the comfort and safety of civilization to venture in to the wilderness. Each time you listen to the woman [or man] within--your authentic self-- you do the same. Remind yourself of this often. " You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition," Alan Alda advises the inner explorer in you. "What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself."

My time in Texas fit into this description. I literally went into the wilderness. I left everything I knew behind. I survived without many of the things we take for granted in the first world. It was a truly amazing journey. And I believe it set the stage for the journey I am on now. It showed me an inner strength I didn't really know I had. It taught me a lot about the difference between wants and needs. To let go of everything and still survive and then come back to standard civilization and bring with me the lessons of that time and place was something I will never regret.

This journey though. millions of times scarier. It feels so much riskier to me. I can do tents and chiggers and mold and rain and heat and humidity and poop in a bucket and shower outside. Honestly, compared to this self excavation-- piece of cake.
But I wouldn't have it any other way. I know deep inside it will be well worth the risk.
So here's to scary safari's.
Bring. It. On.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Do you have a gratitude journal? I started one at the behest of Simple Abundance Author Sarah Ban Breathnach. I write in it every night as part of my nighttime routine. Here is an entry from February 13th.
1. Slumber party with my sister and nieces
2. Kodiak Cakes in my new waffle maker
3.Gary Ryan Blair's 100 day challenge and his call to honor and integrity
4. That I am brave
5. Thriving Now website grounding exercises
6. My purple tulips in my orange fiesta pitcher
7. Dad taking the kids for a walk today so I could have quiet time hanging with Heather
8. Quiet time in the house for napping
9. Weleda Calendula Bath products at wholesale prices!
10. That I am learning to be a prosperous spender :) (see free e book download of Attract Money Now by Joe Vitale)

I bought a really beautifully crafted little book to use for my gratitude journal. I really do it everyday and I am so happy that I am making this part of my daily life. If you don't have one already, go buy a pretty notebook that you really like and start writing about what you are greatful for. It will change your life! I promise.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have you ever had a massage?

If you haven't you should get one. Don't say you can't afford it. Don't say you don't have time. Just find someone that charges reasonable prices and go get one. You are worth it.
We store things in our bodies. We deal with and process things THROUGH our bodies. And when we allow ourselves to be connected with the healing power of the human touch...we are telling ourselves we are important. We matter, It's ok to take good care of ourselves and be connected to our physical bodies in ways that teach us about ourselves.
Once when I got a massage, the therapist started working on my "wings"-- the shoulder blade area and I just started crying and didn't even know why. She told me that pain and tension in that area comes from carrying the weight of the world on yourself and feeling like life is a burden.
When she said it, I felt the truth of it. I did feel that way but was so disconnected from myself I really wasn't aware of it. It felt good to cry, let it out and then be aware of it so I could find ways to work on it. There are lots of resources on the web for connecting our physical problems with their underlying emotional causes.
Another example; Yeast problems. Used to be the plague of my life. The underlying emotional connection: Denying yourself of your own needs. Not supporting self. Oh yeah that was me. I was happy to do it for other people and wanted other people to do it for me, but had no idea how to do that for myself. The good news is everyday is fresh and I can start today!
If you still aren't convinced about getting a massage. I hope you will at least find some way to be more connected to your mind/body/spirit, and do something loving and nurturing for yourself.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Pictures coming soon. The whitewash over the sailor blue made the perfect effect! Especially with the adorable pillows I found on sale. Pictures coming soon. What I learned from this? Being open to the creative process means not having to be rigid and stick to a predetermined vision-- but rather have an idea in mind, listen to yourself, try it, and then stay open until you get where you want to go. The whole thing is an organic journey...

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Remember the blue color I bought for my chairs? Well tonight I finally got to painting the color onto the chair. And I don't love it. So that made me really think. Since I loved it when I bought it. And was so happy and proud of myself. I was surprised. I hauled the chairs back into the studio and the color just didn't go with the other colors in the room. It didn't create the feeling and atmosphere I wanted it to.
But every obstacle is a hidden opportunity and I am learning to trust my instincts so I opened myself up to this quandry and a few cool things happened. One: I went with a suggestion from my sister and put the leftover color on the little table in the room and on the table-- it is perfect, and I do love it. As for the chairs, tomorrow I am going to put a light white sheer over the top of it, see if it tones it down...maybe then I will love it! Even if I don't, I am allowing myself to be creative again and find creative outlets, and painting is therapeutic and calming. It's almost like meditation. I can try another color if this one doesn't work. Really? It's ok to "make a mistake"? Hmmm...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Little me

Last night some painful childhood memories came up. Then this morning my daily reading was about thinking back to childhood- to the time when we still trusted our instincts and our own thoughts, when we didn't second and third guess ourselves and make decisions based on what our mom or our sister or our friend thought, but by our own stars. Then I did the 7 minute meditation and as I was doing it I connected in my minds eye with the little 3 year old me. She sat right on the couch next to me and I reached out and held her hand (she didn't flip me off but that picture made me laugh so hard I had to include it). I looked at her as an observer but also as a mother. I thought of her like I do my own son and I just wanted to scoop her up and hold her and kiss her head and tell her how remarkable she was/is. Then I saw her as an awkward adolescent and I just imagined myself sitting with her and letting her ramble and tell me all her deepest secrets and truest thoughts and feelings and I visualized giving her lots of love and acceptance and smiling at her and hugging her and telling her jokes to lighten up her life. Then I saw myself in college and grad school at times when I felt so alone and so unsafe. I visualized myself being a friend to that girl. Sitting on her bed next to her and playing with her hair and laughing with her, crying with her. Somehow in this spiritual way I was able to give things to myself that I needed in the past but wasn't able to give myself then. Basically love and acceptance. It felt so good. It may sound whacky to some of you. But it was healing goodness for me. I choose to trust my own instincts. I choose to be bold and brave about who I am and what I think and feel and believe and about my life choices. Sometimes I care too much about what other people think, or what they might be thinking, or what I think they are thinking-- when I don't even really know. Sometimes they tell me what they are thinking and then I start to question myself and my own thoughts and opinions. I am going to stop doing that. There is no one else on the planet who knows what is best for me, and what is best for Ezra, better than I do. I may make mistakes but really I'm the best man for the job-- as they say. I choose to continue to learn to connect more and more with my authentic self, and to allow myself and others to see and know her.

Please do this meditation

the three ages of woman
gustav klimt

It takes 7 minutes. When your babies are napping. When your lover is gone. When you can steal away 7 minutes just for you, please take the moments to do this. I'll be back tonight to share on how this meditation and my daily reading were so connected today and how they guided me this day.
I promise to be boldly compassionate today.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I figured it out

Tonight I had two opportunities to make a difference for someone in inspired ways that felt good-- and I figured out who I wanted to send my email to.
I'll start with my email. I sat and thought for a long time about who I might send an email to and express how they have made a difference in my life. When the right person came into my mind I knew instantly. I opened up a fresh email and just started writing. I started thinking about how this person has been there for me in some really traumatic moments and how inspiring she is to me in the way she lives her life and shares her passion and truth. It felt good to share with her. To not hold that kind of expression back and keep it all to myself. It would be easy for me to be jealous of her because she is so cool. It would be tempting (and has been sometimes in the past not just with her but with many people) to compare myself and then minimize the things I like about her because they could make me feel less and smaller and inadequate and like I could never be as cool. This is something I have struggled with many times in my life and often given into. But thankfully, tonight there was none of that. There was genuine love, appreciation and gratitude, and a sense of joy in giving my compliments freely, and expressing genuine gratitude and love, without holding back or comparing.

Now for my two people.

The first one turned out to be my son. I have been working so hard on changing our life, trying to create a better life for us, on following my dreams and passions, and on trying to learn everything I can, that I have unwittingly put Ezra on the back burner. I am ashamed to admit it. I have felt guilt and regret and embarrassment about it. But last night when I was planning my most important tasks for today it came into my mind that Ezra needs more time and intentional attention from me. So I decided I would do two things for him. One-- take him for a walk today and two-- make sure he gets some vegetables since I have been slacking of on making sure he gets proper balanced nutrition. I used to be so good about that. Lately it has been a challenge to make sure he gets enough fruits and veggies and not just do the easy quick things I know he will eat. Anyway, I took him out to eat and after we ate I decided to let him run in the mall. I have never let him do that before but I felt inspired to take him where it's warm and there is plenty of room to run and explore. It was so cool because people were setting up for an antique show there this weekend and there was a whole store dedicated to old john dear tractors. They let him actually sit on one and "drive" it. HE WAS IN HEAVEN. He played on that thing for 20 minutes. Pulling all the knobs and buttons and steering it. He actually threw a fit when it was time to leave. I think he would have been perfectly happy to sleep on it. I was so grateful that I LISTENED. That I followed that guide that comes form deep inside. Who better to make a difference for than my own child? I can do better at meeting his needs. And I choose to do that. I'll let you know how it's going.

Person number two turned out to be a woman at the place we went to eat. She had two toddlers and was trying to hold onto both of them and carry all her food-- and folks, she looked exhausted and overwhelmed. I felt a huge pull of empathy toward her. I know that feeling when your hands are full and you just can't keep it all together. MOM's are amazing. The thing is she looked so worn down and overwhelmed and my heart really went out to her. There really wasn't much I could think to do but I went and asked if I could carry her food for her. She turned down my offer but as I was walking away she said. Thank you so much for the offer. That was very kind of you. I appreciate it.

You just never know. But I choose to make a difference in big and small ways whenever I feel inspired to do so. I choose to open myself up to those opportunities, and invite them into my life.

Who you are makes a difference

To me.
I've been thinking a lot about the most influential people in my life. People who have had the greatest impact on me. I sat down and made a list. One of them was my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Engleking. Why was he important to me? I had to think for a few minutes about what it really was. And what I realized was this. He always treated everyone in my class, including me, with respect. I never saw or heard him talk down to anyone. He was positive and friendly and somehow portrayed to us that he had HIGH REGARD for each of us. Even though we were sweaty, stinky, emotional little beings, he found a way to affirm in us that our ideas were good and important. That our feelings and thoughts mattered. That what we wanted and needed was important to him. That made me feel safe and valuable and important. So, I asked myself who needs that from me today? Who can I pass that along to? I plan to look for someone today and tomorrow and when the inspiration comes, I promise myself I will act on it.
I can't really find Mr. E to let him know, but there are others who have influenced me and some of them I can easily contact. Today I will send an email to a person in my life who made a difference for me just to thank them and let them know. And as I said I will also find someone that I can make a difference for. I'll let you know what comes of it all. I'd love to hear about someone that has made a difference for you, and how you let them know that. And also about how you purposefully tried to make a difference in someone else's life today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Seeds and Opportunities

Today the seeds I realized I was planting were ones of choosing things that bring me joy and happiness, and choosing to listen to my inner voice. It really is a choice. I went to Lowe's today to buy a few spring flower bulbs to learn how to force the bulbs to bloom in pots indoors.
I also chose a new paint color to paint the chairs in my coaching studio. I usually have a really hard time choosing and committing to colors, or choosing and committing in general. So today I decided to see what my little inner voice might have to say. I sat in my coaching studio and just quietly took it all in. Then I went to Lowe's and stood in front of the paint colors until I saw a few that I pulled out. When I picked one particular color up I heard the voice in my head say-- this is the one! I doubted myself. Will I really like it? Is there a better color? Of ALL these beautiful colors is this really the one? I heard myself say again in my mind, You are going to love this color! Just buy it. So I did. No long deliberation. No agonizing. I just did it. And guess what? I do love it! So that was the seed I planted: the art of getting still and quiet, and the practice of listening to and trusting myself. (You can see the color I chose on the walls in that picture up there- sailor blue)
I also literally planted some seeds too! Wish me luck in my newest venture. I have never tried to make anything grow from a seed like this inside my house before.
And as for the obstacle that became the opportunity today? I emailed a mentor/coach I have been working with and asked them for some input on how to begin a new business venture. The response was that they would love to help me but I would have to pay them a lot of money I don't yet have in order to get the information. Instead of feeling rejected, overwhelmed and discouraged, I asked myself; how could this be a hidden opportunity for me? The answer came, google the thing you want to know more about and see what you can find on the internet. I found all kinds of cost free and low cost ways to learn about the information I need. I even found a few other potential resources for guiding me in this venture that I would not have ever found had I not gone into that search. How cool is that???

Monday, February 8, 2010


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Every Obstacle is a hidden opportunity.
Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.

Tomorrow all day I'll be searching to be aware of seeds I am planting. I'll be looking for hidden opportunities. I'll be back to tell you what I discover...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My "Risk"

I went shopping today and bought myself a new pair of jeans. The thing is, I went into a store I have not gone in for at least 10 years because I decided a long time ago I could not afford their jeans. I walked in the store and went right up to a really cute girl that worked in the store and I said, "I want you to find me the sexiest most flattering pair of pants. I DID NOT choose my pants by the price tag. I chose my pants by the ones that were flattering and attractive on my body. I chose the ones that I am excited to wear. I love them. I am excited about them. I also loved asking someone for help and enjoying the whole experience of "shopping" instead of viewing it as a burden and a stress and then feeling upset about how much things cost. It was liberating for me. When I saw my body in the mirror at the store I said thank you for it. I let the sales girl see my lumps and bumps and decided to feel beautiful WITH all my imperfections and not feel like I had to hide them and be ashamed about them. This was risky for me. It was mentally and emotionally risky. AND IT FELT GOOD.

Simple Abundance

I'm reading a daybook. I started it in January and I read it once a day. I call it my pink bible. I LOVE it. Part of today's entry...

Psychologist Susan Jeffers suggests we "take a risk a day--one small or bold stroke that makes you feel great once you have done it."
Today, take a real risk that can change your life: start thinking of yourself as an artist and your life as a work in progress. Works in progress are never perfect. But changes can be made to the rough draft during rewrites... Another color can be added to the canvas. Art evolves, so does life... The beautiful and authentic life you are creating for yourself and those you love is your art. It's the highest art. "Since you are like no other being ever created from the beginning of time, you are incomparable," Brenda Ueland reminds you.
Hold that thought.

YOU ARE LIKE NO OTHER BEING EVER CREATED. Do you really get that? I am starting to. Wow.
I'll be back tonight to tell you what risk I end up taking. I can't wait to discover it...I want to hear about yours too.


Everyday this little soul brings me home. He is pure light and pure joy and pure goodness. I love being his mom.
La vita e bella. E vero.