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Living Life in Full Bloom

Blueiris Living Life in Full Bloom

I love finding symbolism in life while honoring practices. Both of these actions have helped me experience peace in times of grief, stress and loneliness.

About 16 years ago my husband and I were trying to complete our family with a third child. My other two pregnancies were moderately smooth, so I was shocked when I suffered a loss. This miscarriage kicked off a couple of very stressful and grief filled years. I remember after one of the three failed pregnancies, sitting on the kitchen floor crying. I felt completely lost, even shattered. I tried to keep it together for our two daughters.

My life became filled with blood tests, doctor’s appointments, hope and stress. It was also during this time that each Fall I would plant some flower bulbs. This is truly out of character. While planting the blue Iris bulbs I found a little symbolism. The bulbs go thru a very long, dark and cold winter and magically in the Spring new life shows up. If you are lucky, that new life will be in full bloom in the early Summer.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: In Our Nature

orchidslipper Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: In Our Nature

As skin will stretch and mend a cut, kindness will heal all our divisions in time. Just as something cellular and internal causes trees to grow and fish to develop fins, something equally cellular and internal causes the heart to open. This openness is what releases the enzyme we know as kindness. And while being vulnerable opens the heart, that earned tenderness yields a wholeheartedness that reveals all forms of kinship. It’s how Grandma Minnie made her way from Russia as a girl and became a strong weed growing in Brooklyn. I will never forget her broken-English dignity, sitting proudly on her stoop, no matter what came her way. She was always ready to weather the next storm with kindness, ready to welcome the needy and to speak up against cruelty. I don’t think she thought of this as brave or altruistic. It was just part of her nature, part of our nature as living beings. Her innate kindness helped her endure. It is the strength of our kindness that roots life in the world. It is our initiation through kindness that lets us grow from I to we. I only know that every time I give, I receive more. Every time I give, the act illuminates my soul and I am enlarged out of hiding, the way an orchid opens to arrive as itself. So, when in doubt, give. When dark and confused, give. For your doubt and darkness and confusion are cuts that reaching out with heart will mend.

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5 Parenting Tips to Raise Your Children for Success

balancing-work-and-life-picture-id603995942 5 Parenting Tips to Raise Your Children for Success

Success is no accident, it takes hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

For parents, success is something that children should be encouraged to achieve. However, in order for children to be successful, they must first be given the tools and habits that they need to benefit from the advice and words of wisdom from their parents.

Here are five parenting tips that will give you the guidance that you need to help your children be more successful in their current and future endeavors and it can improve your relationship with your child.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

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Manifest a New Future by Revisiting the Stories of the Past

familyhistory Manifest a New Future by Revisiting the Stories of the Past

This week’s reading brought two goddesses together that inspired me to talk about how the stories of the past inform what we manifest in the future. I was going to wait a bit but when the Greek goddess of memory and the past and the Norse goddess of the future showed up in the reading side by side, they revealed to me that perhaps the time to share is now.

I took a DNA test that rocked my world. Forgive me in advance for not giving you the full details just yet as I have some more digging to do and intimate conversations to have with family first. Suffice to say that my results were not what I expected and has led me to question so much. I’m still digesting and integrating the information. But here is the gist of it.

The core elements of the story that defined my mother’s life, her deepest fears, traumas, guilt and identity and consequently what has defined my identity and the story I’ve come to believe, tell, and act from is something very different than what she believed and I was told. I know that sentence is a mouthful. But if what I have discovered is the real truth than much of the story that has defined me is not a true story.

Have you ever considered or even questioned your history? I am doing that right now and it’s astounding to consider that many of our choices may be based on false information.

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Love Is Truly Ever Lasting

sunflowers Love Is Truly Ever Lasting

As a tribute to all mothers, whether they are here or watching over us from the Other-Side, I’d like to share a special story for Mother’s Day, just over a week ago!

A few years ago, I was in Seattle, Washington for an event and took a stroll along the city’s famous landmark, Pike Place Market. As I passed by a floral shop, a certain bouquet of sunflowers drew my attention. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I knew I wasn’t about to purchase them just to take home on the plane the next day! Still, I felt this overwhelming urge to buy them. It was a clear signal.

Over the years, I’ve learned it’s best to just go with my gut at times like these. Of course, I purchased the sunflowers right away. At the conference center, I asked the organizer to have them put on the stage with me.

When I walked onto the stage, I launched into my introductory lecture and explanation of how I work. All the while, I was aware of the mass of yellow sunflowers on the table beside me. I had barely finished my lecture when I felt the presence of those on the Other-Side draw close. Today, they were lining up as though waiting for a Black Friday sale! It was going to be a busy afternoon.

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Is Addiction Your Family’s Fault?

addiction Is Addiction Your Family’s Fault?

I’ve written here before about my conversations with Dr. Gabor Maté, and his life-changing book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a comprehensive exploration of what addiction is, its causes and consequences, and much more. As well as being a bestselling author, Dr. Maté is a renowned speaker, highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, including addiction, stress, and childhood development.

I was curious about family members who are dealing with a loved one’s addiction. What can they do for those who are caught in the grips of active addiction? It mattered to me because when people are that deep in addiction, they’ve lost themselves—they’re gone in a way. I know I was. I know there was nothing my family could have done no matter how much they wanted to help me.

Gabor didn’t agree with me. According to him, “You don’t know that. What you do know is what they tried didn’t work, but you don’t know that there’s nothing they could have done. In one sense, you are 100 percent right: There’s nothing they can directly do to change your mind. There’s nothing they can directly do to change your mental status. There’s no way that they can talk to you, advise you, control you, beg you, accuse you. That does not mean there’s nothing they could have done.

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The Spirit of the Holidays: 10 Tips to Dial Down the Drama

embracingsnow The Spirit of the Holidays: 10 Tips to Dial Down the Drama

The holiday season is upon us- and no matter what and how you celebrate you’re likely going to face some family stuff! And, while this time of year is meant to be full of joy and excitement, for many of us it’s also the harbinger of family tension, stress, weight gain, and emotional upheaval. So much gets triggered at this time of year, especially for those of us who are empaths and feel all the subtle forms of energy around us, and the obvious not so subtle energy as everyone behaves in extremes.

Over the past week, it seems everyone I’ve talked with is on edge about the holidays. So, I’m going to share how you can create a better experience for yourself this holiday season, and any other stressful time for that matter. First, let’s talk about the joys of family gatherings.

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Families Are Messy!

Blog-Header-121118

I hope your holiday season has gotten off to a beautiful start. For me, the holidays are my favorite time of year. I love the lights, traditions, celebrating with family and friends, and, of course, all the new Hallmark Christmas movies! Although we all know how the movies will end, there is something so heart-warming about being invited into these charming and magically decorated small towns where families sit around the kitchen table decorating Christmas cookies, helping their one unwed daughter who has come home from the big city mend her past heartbreak, so she can open up to finding love with her old flame, who just happens to be the boy next door.

 

Always being a person who had a desire for my life to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, there is a part of me that has always craved Hallmark’s picture of family. Even after I got divorced, I still had an idyllic picture of what I wanted my future family to look like. I imagined myself and my partner sitting connected on the couch as our blended families excitedly rushed in and out, sharing about their day and easily interacting with us and each other.

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Honoring A Life Well-Lived

golden-ears-of-wheat-on-the-field-sunset-light-close-up-view-picture-id1042484864-1 Honoring A Life Well-Lived

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” — Ernest Hemingway


There are some weeks when I wait until the very end to write my “I’ve Been Thinking…” essay for The Sunday Paper. That’s because I like to have time to really reflect upon what I’ve experienced, what I’ve felt, and what has stayed with me over the past week.

There is so much coming at us these days that it is often helpful to pause, catch your breath and ask yourself, “What really mattered to me this week? What will I remember most? What was most meaningful to me, and why?”

This week, one thing that was really meaningful to me was that I got to attend the World Dementia Council Summit in London. This was a gathering of world leaders who came together to discuss what we can do to wipe out Alzheimer’s in our lifetime.

I attended the event so that I could speak about the global impact of Alzheimer’s on women. As I’ve said before, women are at an increased risk for this disease and they are also the ones who do most of the caregiving around the world. I see this as the ultimate women’s empowerment issue, and I’m glad I got to bring this important message to the global stage.

I was so inspired by all the scientists, researchers, politicians and advocates who gathered to discuss how we can better collaborate, innovate and speed up our goal of finding a treatment or a cure. I’m grateful and humbled that our work at The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement was included in this important discussion and that it was recognized for its game-changing work on behalf of women.

While I was honored to be a part of this global gathering in London this week, I also know that back home our nation was mourning the loss of former President George H.W. Bush and remembering his legacy. As I flew home on Thursday, I found myself returning over and over to former President George W. Bush’s poignant speech about his father at the funeral.

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Experiencing Protection

fallen-picture-id868954706 Experiencing Protection
I stepped into the shower, noticing a glass bottle of vinegar that someone had used on their hair. Once again I made a mental note to not leave glass in our stone shower.  

 
While enjoying the warm water I was thinking about my day. I put conditioner on my hair enjoying the luscious smell. An ominous sound entered my awareness. I then began to feel the shower move underneath my feet. We were experiencing an earthquake, a big earthquake. 

 
No time to turn off the water, I grabbed a towel and bolted. My son, the dogs and I ran down the stairs and out the door. Before the power went out I noticed art work on the ground or hanging precariously on the walls. It was like looking at everything in slow motion. I could hear the sounds of shaking and falling. I could see the destruction. Time stopped.

 
Once outside I stood barefoot in the snow hugging our son. Our dogs were completely confused, one ran away. I don’t remember even feeling cold. I had practically nothing on, wet, in 20 degree temperatures. I regrouped and took a deep breath. 

 
As I hugged Finn, I reminded him we are always protected. We will be OK. As the Earth beneath our feet calmed down, we went back inside. There was no power and the sun was not up yet. I returned to the shower to rinse my hair. The after-shocks continued. 

 
Finn looked for the run-away dog. I walked through our home. It could have been much worse. Only glass objects were broken, no structural damage was apparent. I touched base with my husband and other family members. We were all in semi shock, but doing fine. 

 
As I cleaned up pieces of glass I thought about protection. What is this protection I promise myself and our children? Today called for me to dig deeper into my spiritual beliefs and reckoning on protection.  


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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Each Time We Grieve

memories1 Each Time We Grieve

I’ve lived long enough to know that every

sigh opens a story, the way a mouthful of

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How to Celebrate with Peace

peace-meditation-love_orig How to Celebrate with Peace

My son and I touched down in Anchorage at 3:30 in the morning. I was relieved to see the streets clear of snow; it was an easy drive home. I was looking forward to the feeling of being settled. At home, I lit some candles, exhaled and experienced peace.  

The last few days I had noticed some feelings of stress. The holiday season had arrived. Thanksgiving was just a few days away. I could also feel the pressure of every day matters. I had emails, appointments and family obligations that had piled up over the last week. 

This historically has been a personal struggle of mine. Is it possible to stay connected to peace during the holiday season? This is the time of year that is often depicted as magical. It can be amazingly wonderful; but it can also difficult to stay connected to the most important aspect; love and peace.

The next morning before I started my meditation I recognized how much I enjoy our home. It is filled with good feelings. The energy from our prayers and meditations fill my favorite rooms. The mountains are visible thru the windows. The trees behind me share the energy of protection. I easily slipped into a deep meditation.

My awareness shifted. I was greeted by love, a version of each of us.  The veil evaporated. Everything fell away except the feelings of love, peace and protection. I was home again. There are no limitations of time, size, or quantity.  It is simply recognizing heart and soul. This is where our true self is. 

I say simply... because it is with the gentle shift of awareness that we all fall into peace.

My morning meditation reminded me of my personal need to bring the holiday season back to my heart, my center. It is here that I am able to bring love into my actions that create each day. 


To experience the holidays with joy; I keep my energy focused on my heart. I keep it simple. When I begin to feel scattered or spread too thin, I bring my awareness back to my heart. This is where I need to be, to pull the magic into my holiday experience.  

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Mystic Spinning of Threads

silhouette-of-woman-dancing-and-rejoicing-to-god-at-sunset-picture-id523033651 The Mystic Spinning of Threads


I wonder where you are tonight.

Each of you. You who I lived with

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Accentuate the Positive, My Mother's Gift

IMG_3683-1200x900 Accentuate the Positive, My Mother's Gift

A song written and recorded in 1944 that was popular with my parents’ generation had the refrain: “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.” Those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II often developed one of two responses to life: fear or hope, or perhaps a mix of both. You can see hope in songs like this one. And I definitely saw it in my mother when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. Without fail, she always looked for the positive in any situation, person, or event. If someone behaved in an unpleasant manner, my mother’s response was inevitably, “She means well.” And then she would find something nice to say about the person.

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How To Deal With Losing or Outgrowing Friends and Family

we-no-longer-have-anything-to-talk-about-picture-id527237466 How To Deal With Losing or Outgrowing Friends and Family

It’s never an easy thing when friends or family you were close to or once loved grow out of your life.

It can be quite painful.

You might feel some guilt or false loyalty if you feel you have outgrown them.

Or you might feel abandoned, betrayed, hurt, sad, angry, grief. Or a combination of all of the above.

Understand that you initially attracted your friend into your life because:

A) You were vibrating at a similar level of consciousness and were a vibrational match at that particular time.

B) You had certain lessons to teach each other’s souls. Your friendship was an opportunity learn those lessons and serve each other’s growth.


Friendships last as long as both of your souls need, as long as your personalities think they should.

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1544 Hits

Gifts of the Full Moon

gifts-of-the-full-moon_orig Gifts of the Full Moon
Understand your very being is surrounded by love and protected by all that is...  Rest in knowing you are never alone and always, only one thought from peace.


A little over a year ago I began working with a young woman that was seeking significant changes in her life. In one of our first sessions together my client, Dalia, wrote down her very defined goals.  Through the year she quickly moved through her list. She was blessed with much success.  Her greatest desire, a second child, is on the way.   

 
As I write this we are moving into the full moon of August. Dalia has felt her body preparing to bring new life into our world. It is the perfect time for her new baby girl to bring joy and love into the lives of others. It is also the perfect time for this baby to meet her family and experience the human connection through love.   

 
At one point in my life I worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery. I discovered every birth to be a powerful experience.  Each start of life is different and each one carries a powerful story. All deliveries bring new energy into our world.

 
A mother and new baby experienced a transition into an eternal relationship. Even if the baby is not raised by the biological parents, a relationship has been established.

 
Spending time in OB Triage, where prenatal ultra sounds are provided, was one of my favorite jobs. The ultra sounds allowed us to peek into the babies’ world while they grew. The fluid movements and the maternal connection through the umbilical cord always fascinated me.  It seemed so magical; and truly it is.
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Making Memories That Last a Lifetime

Making Memories That Last a Lifetime Making Memories That Last a Lifetime

I’ve been thinking about how to make each and every day matter. How to make each and every day memorable and meaningful.

 

If the last week or so has taught us anything, it’s that people are super fragile. All of us are, at one point or another. It’s hard to know what’s really going on inside the hearts and minds of others, including those we care about most. So, the most important thing any of us can do with our lives — and with the minutes of our days — is to try our best to make them matter for ourselves and for those we care about.

 

On this particular day, Father’s Day, I’m thinking a lot about my father and the memories we shared during the time we had together. I’m also thinking about all the other fathers I know who are stepping up, showing up, and trying to be as present as possible in their children’s lives. Happy Father’s Day to you!

 

Like motherhood, fatherhood is the job of a lifetime. And, like many mothers, there are fathers who also doubt themselves and struggle with their role as a parent. They wonder about their importance and their influence on their children. They wonder if they’re getting things right, or if they’re messing up. They ask themselves, “am I better at this than my own father was?” So many men tell me that’s their hope and their desire. They also wonder, “What will my children remember about me after I’m gone?”

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Ask More Questions

ask-2341784_1280 Ask questions — it's one of the best ways to listen well.

What are you learning?

The Practice:
Ask more questions.

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How Can We Use Our Familial Relationships to Get Free?

How Can We Use Our Familial Relationships to Get Free? How Can We Use Our Familial Relationships to Get Free?

There are two kinds of relationships that we enter into. I tend to call them, “Given” and “Acquired.”


Given relationships are your parents, your children, you can’t trade them in. They’re given. Friends on the other hand are acquired. You can drop them. Marriages are an ambiguous place; you can look at it either way. We changed marriages from a given karmic situation into an acquired karmic situation, where you can change it if it doesn’t work well.


When you have relationships that are “given” karmically, you have people that are from all different levels of consciousness. You’ve been thrown together with them, and it becomes about, “I can’t understand why we’ve been thrown together.” It’s the chance to see the way in which you have catered to your personality, and a chance to push against it a little bit.


I’m playing with such a delicate and uncomfortable edge, which is the idea that fulfilling roles brings freedom, and the roles are not just responding to your personality desires and yourself.


Gandhi once said, “Civilization is the art of voluntary renunciation.” Which means you give up certain things in yourself in order to be able to play a part in a dance.

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849 Hits

What is the importance of investing in family?

What is the importance of investing in family? What is the importance of investing in family?

Over time we have ended up with a lot of confusion in ourselves about our roles in relationship to our families.


So why would you invest in the family?


You would invest in the family because you understand that part of your incarnation and part of being in the way of things is to find your function within family. Now it doesn’t mean lockstep, it doesn’t mean that every mother is the same mother or every father is the same father. You have to hear your unique way through, but unique doesn’t necessarily just mean personality desire. What is appropriate in view of my skills, opportunities, needs of the family, economics, political situation, and so on?

When you’re poor, and a family of six is living in one room, it’s a very different set of roles and demands than if you’re living in a situation where everybody has their own room they can go in and lock the door. It’s hard to face, because we think we won that affluence which has given us the privacy to have our own rooms, but it’s really a mixed bag. It’s given us the privacy to become very isolated and cut off from each other and very private and very secretive and very ashamed and very embarrassed and very uncomfortable, with a whole lot of stuff to carry around with us.

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