It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

Join Soulspring for conscious insights... ...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

And receive this very special audio recording from Panache Desai on Breaking Bad Habits.

Work Harder or Play More in 2021?

Each new year, many set out goals for what they want to achieve or experience. 2020 has challenged us in all-new ways — both personally and professionally — but our essential need to find balance in work and life still remains. How will you use your time in the year ahead? Will you cling to the need for work more than ever, or will you prioritize play and free time that feeds your spirit? 

As you look ahead to how work and play will factor into your time, it is worth reflecting on how different cultures and time periods have treated this issue. Perhaps you will find your personal key to work-life balance somewhere in the midst.

Work to Live, Live to Work

Europeans like to remind us that they work to live while Americans live to work. They believe their lifestyle of more emphasis on leisure than work is superior to the American way. After all, it is filled with less stress and it’s less materialistic and less dehumanizing. 

With more free time, Europeans feel that they can focus on nurturing their families, building their communities, and cultivating their minds. Frenetic Americans, on the other hand, don’t seem to have much time for such a rich life.

Continue reading

The Spirit of Hope and Expectancy

The spirit of hope and expectancy is very much alive during this season; which is often called the most wonderful time of the year. This season is a time when many faith traditions and religions are celebrating the magic of high holy days. There is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, just to name a few and so many more celebrations. Most, if not all have stories that are about the miracle of life and hope. These stories have unexplained or miraculous phenomenal occurrences articulated to help inspire people and give them a sense of hope.

Many of these stories are based on mystical or magical journeys. I personally believe these stories are not just for the time period beginning with Thanksgiving at the end of November through January 1st each year. If we are willing to commit ourselves to carrying the stories’ spirit of hope and expectancy, we can experience their meaning through every day of our lives. We can experience wonder, possibility, and hope as our new normal.

Continue reading

We’ll Be Home for the Holidays—and That’s Okay!

I drove around my neighborhood the other day and noticed several houses already decorated for the holidays. Seeing the colorful twinkling lights around the windows and giant inflatable Santa Clauses waving from front lawns puts me in the holiday spirit.

But this year, as we all know ... things are different. A nasty Grinch called Covid-19 is trying to steal Christmas from us. With more lockdowns in place and more cases prohibiting us to cross borders and visiting our loved ones, the classic holiday song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is literally coming true for 2020.

I wanted to share some interesting parallels I learned about this popular song and our challenging year fighting the pandemic.

People were singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” when we were involved in another tough battle—World War II. The lyrics were written in the voice of a soldier serving overseas who is reminiscing about the holidays—surrounded by family and friends. This soldier looks forward to coming home and asks specifically for things that represent the holidays: Please have snow and mistletoe, and presents by the tree. The song, however, ends on a melancholy note with the soldier saying: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”

Continue reading

What Really Matters

On this day 31 years ago, I became a mother for the first time. Happy birthday, my sweet Katherine! You have become an amazing young woman and, now, a loving mama as well. I love you to the moon and back.

I love celebrating my children. I love celebrating friends on their special days. I think it matters when you celebrate a person. It matters when you know their favorite meal, their favorite TV show, their favorite song, their favorite dessert, etc. It matters when you take the time to let them know what you love about them, what you see in them, and why their presence on this Earth matters to you. 

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on all of our lives, and it has made it harder to celebrate the people and things we love. That is why I think it’s more important than ever to celebrate those we love no matter the day—their birthday or otherwise. Celebrating someone doesn’t have to involve a big party or material gifts. What it should involve is an intention to celebrate them and share everything you appreciate about them. 

Tonight, I’ll do that with my daughter, but I also want to do that more in the coming days with others I care deeply about. After all, there is no time like the present to celebrate those you care about and who have left a footprint on your heart. 

Continue reading

Colette's Holiday Gift Guide

First off, can we just say that if there’s ever been a holiday season when we all deserve to treat ourselves and each other… it’s 2020! 

As I’ve been looking for gifts to treat my friends, family, and — okay, I admit it — myself, I’ve been naturally pulled towards those that help us create a cocoon of self-care and nurturing (doesn’t that sound amazing?!).

So pull up a squishy chair, tuck your pajama-clad legs underneath you, grab a mug of something warm, and let’s do some self-care gift shopping! 

Colette’s Spiritual Self-Care Gift Guide

Continue reading

Still Standing

"The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us." —James E. Faust


I've Been Thinking...

I awoke at dawn on Friday. The early morning, like my home, was dark and quiet.

I looked out my kitchen window as I brewed my coffee. I always look at the same tree in my backyard whenever I’m feeling off balance or out of sorts. It has been an inspiration for me as long as I’ve lived in my home.

When there were wildfires in California earlier this fall, I looked out at my tree in what felt like slow motion. Several of its beautiful branches came crashing to the ground. I was told it was just too hot outside and that the branches buckled under the weight of the heat. I held my breath as I watched them fall. I thought the entire tree might fall before my very eyes. I was already mentally preparing for what I would do without it.

I tell this story because, in some way, I think many of us are holding our breath right now waiting for something to fall. We are preparing for things to keep changing, or to live without something we love.

Continue reading

Five Ways to Make Your Home Shelter-in-Place Friendly

How long have we been stuck at home now? Has it really been months? Ask your home how it feels from your climbing its proverbial walls, and it may well be ready for a refresh too.

Recently I’ve gotten serious about “refreshing” our house, from having the carpets cleaned to replacing some furniture, filling boxes with books to give away and clearing clutter.

Surprisingly, one of the things that made a huge difference was buying a new doormat for the front door! For the past fifteen years, I’ve walked across an old, ugly, cat hair covered door mat. Now I have a beautiful, dark red mat that makes me smile.

Who knew such a simple change could bring so much joy?

This happened after a quick consult with my friend, Stephanie Bennett Vogt, MA, who just happens to be a leading space clearing expert, and the author of four books including YOUR SPACIOUS SELF and A YEAR TO CLEAR.

I’ve asked Stephanie to share with us her best five “one minute” tips on how to make sheltering at home more beautiful and more friendly. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Homeward Once More

After two and a half years in Florida, my partner Anne and I are moving back to Massachusetts. It is a decision of the heart. We are choosing to be closer to family and old friends and to remembered places that fill us with great love and appreciation. We are returning home. A few weeks ago, as I was on hold while buying our airline tickets to Boston, Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Homeward Bound” began playing in my ear. The synchronicity was unmistakable. I burst into tears.

Continue reading

My Favorite Lockdown Distractions

TV, Books, Beach walks and Travel Memories are all the top of my list of how I’ve been keeping myself amused this summer. FYI, none of these activities fall into the category of spiritual or personal growth.

TV – Brian and I have fallen into an early evening routine of watching a couple of hours of TV together. Since we can’t go out to the movies, we have a found some series that are just as exciting. Our favorites are on Netflix. We’ve watched all of the episodes of White Lines, a decadent, sophisticated mystery of drugs, sex, and murder on Ibiza.

Next we watched Money Heist (created by the same producer as White Lines, Alex Pena who’s storytelling chops are spectacular). It’s a thriller of crazy bank robberies in Spain with an eclectic, captivating cast of characters.

Continue reading

Where Is Your Home?

The coronavirus mandate to “stay at home” has meant different things to different people. For some, it has meant freedom from external-world busyness and distractions and a return to inner peace and quiet. To others, it has felt like unwanted confinement and loss of in-person social contact. Some have lost their jobs and incomes; others, like healthcare workers, have had no choice but to leave the “safety” of home to provide critical services, despite the risks. All of us are suddenly facing issues of life and death. Our entire world, inside and out, has changed radically and continues to do so. In the midst of these huge ongoing changes, what does home mean?

Continue reading

More Joy, Less Stress

“It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.”  -Henry Ward Beecher


I've Been Thinking...


I can’t believe it’s December already. I mean, oh my gosh. How did that happen? I’m anxious already!


Most years, I find myself waking up a bit bummed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I wake up feeling a bit down. Why? Because it sinks in that my favorite holiday is over again. It’s also a day when my youngest son goes back to college, and when my other kids go back to their respective lives. Ugh.


When the anticipation and excitement of Thanksgiving are behind me, I know that it means the stress of Christmas is ahead of me. It stares me down in a way that makes me feel like I’m out of breath.


I know that I need to take a deep breath as I look ahead to December. I need to ask myself, “How can I do better at managing this time of year? How can I be less anxious? How can I be more centered in joy? How can I focus less on stuff and less on checking my list?” (I don’t just check it twice, by the way. I normally check it at least 500 times…)


I’ve come to realize that the stress and anxiety of the holidays are really of my own making (although all the ads don’t help). But, I can make a conscious choice to change how I handle it all.

Continue reading

A Season of Giving

I've Been Thinking...

I’ve been looking forward to Thanksgiving all year. In fact, I’ve been counting down to it every day since it happened last year. Why? Well, as anyone close to me knows, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I love the days leading up to it. I love the atmosphere surrounding it. I love that it’s a holiday all about gathering around with family and friends for food, football, and faith. I love that it means my house is full of laughter, and that my table is full of people expressing gratitude for this moment in their lives. I love that friends find comfort and a sense of belonging and home at my family table on Thanksgiving each year.

I also love that Thanksgiving isn’t about going out and buying gifts (which I’ve come to realize just stresses everyone out, anyway). No, Thanksgiving is about celebrating the gifts that are within us. It’s a holiday that’s about honoring the gift of friendship. It’s about recognizing the gift of family. It’s about opening your heart and your mind to the larger picture of family. It’s about reaching out to those who might not have a family or a place to go and inviting them to the table.

I’ve written many times before about our collective need to belong, and how we all feel a need to be invited and included. Thanksgiving is an opportunity for all of us to recognize not just our own internal need for those things, but the need that our loved ones and neighbors have for it as well.

Continue reading

Keep Calm and Carry On

Honey, are you keeping up your meditation practice?” my husband gently inquired. “This is such a stressful time. I really think you should try to exercise and do some good meditations.”

Yeah, well, I’m using Insight Timer and doing a meditation for going to sleep every night,” I replied.

“I don’t think that’s enough,” he lovingly suggested.

I’ve been sleeping on the couch at my Dad’s apartment, hanging out with my sisters as we watch and wait for this beloved, elegant, and generous man to transition from this world. Today I realized that I was out of contact lenses. I drove home (a blessed 10 minutes) to replenish my supply.

Once home, I wrestled with the choice to either burrow under my covers in my cozy bed or get my butt on the elliptical trainer machine. Go down, ahh… Go up, ugh… Hearing my husband’s whisper in my head, from miles away out at sea, I stepped up on the elliptical trainer, put Donna Summer radio on my Pandora App, and let my feet follow the beat. I am so fricking out of shape; I stayed between level one and level three, working up a sweat for 20 minutes. Then I walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes. After stretching and doing a little yoga, I chose a 20-minute guided meditation from Insight Timer called “Coping with Grief’s Difficult Emotions,” led by Heather Stang.

Continue reading

The Gift of Caring

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” — Mother Teresa


I've Been Thinking...

November kicks off National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and National Family Caregivers Month. For us here at The Sunday Paper, it's an opportunity to focus on the huge issue of caregiving (in all its forms), as well as on the value and importance of care. 

My mission is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and I’m relentless in my pursuit of it. That's why you often see curated news from the Women's Alzheimer's Movement (WAM) featured in this newsletter. My father passed away from the disease in 2011, so I know first-hand what a toll it can take on families. That's why I'm determined to do everything I can to stop it from happening to others.

Yesterday, WAM held its big annual event Move for Minds, which works to educate and empower you with the information you need to care for your brain health and prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. It’s also a chance to raise funds for much needed women-based research, and to honor the work of those caregiving for someone with this mind-blowing disease.

Caring for another human being is God's work, and how one cares for another person tells you a lot about them. It tells you whether or not they value the concept of care. 

Care can be exhibited in so many ways, but what I know to be true is this: when a person feels cared for, the world suddenly feels a little less scary and a lot more OK. When you feel cared for, you feel soothed. You feel secure. You feel safe. And trust me, feeling safe is huge.

Continue reading

No Visible Trace: Vanishing of the Past

I seem to be living through a time in which everything previously experienced in my life is falling away. In the midst of these changes, I find myself standing face to face with a truth that has always existed but is now front and center in my consciousness: There is no past. When we have lived an experience, it disappears from this dimension. It may continue in another dimension, but here, now, in the present, it quite literally no longer exists. In our memories, it shape-shifts and eventually fades as well. We are left with this moment, nothing else.

Continue reading

Resignation or Surrender?

What’s the difference between resignation and surrender? To me, resignation seems to have a hopeless aspect to it, giving up on possibility. Surrender doesn’t have that flavor. It’s more a letting go of control, so that life can bring possibility to you instead of your clutching at it. Yet, perhaps there is more to resignation than first meets the eye. What if you have to go through resignation to get to surrender? What if in resigning yourself to life not turning out the way you thought it would, you let go at such a deep level that complete surrender is at last possible? In expecting nothing, you open the door to everything.

Continue reading

Returning Home

What does “home” mean to you? A place? A group of people? A memory? Or is it a feeling deep inside that touches your heart and soul? All of these perhaps. Our own life experiences define what home means to each of us. I grew up in Illinois, later lived in California, and then settled in Massachusetts for more than 30 years. Massachusetts is where I met my life partner, Anne, and where we were married. I’ve always loved both coasts, but I didn’t realize how much the Northeast had become home for me until I moved away and then returned for a visit.

Continue reading

Having a Sense of Home

What’s your deepest nature?

The Practice:
Having a Sense of Home.

Why?

Throughout history, people have wondered about human nature. Deep down, are we basically good or bad?

Recently, science is beginning to offer a persuasive answer. When the body is not disturbed by hunger, thirst, pain, or illness, and when the mind is not disturbed by threat, frustration, or rejection, then most people settle into their resting state, a sustainable equilibrium in which the body refuels and repairs itself and the mind feels peaceful, happy, and loving. I call this our Responsive mode of living. It is our home base, which is wonderful news. We are still engaged with the world, still participating with pleasure and passion, but on the basis of a background sense of safety, sufficiency, and connection.

Continue reading

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.  


Continue reading

Getting Your Internal House in Order

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” — Deepak Chopra

As I watched the news unfold on Thursday about the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, here in California, a woman on the treadmill next to me at the gym said, “You know, you can’t go anywhere in this country anymore. Nowhere is safe.”

I’ve always known life is fragile. As someone who grew up in a family where two uncles were gunned down, I had that message drilled into me at a very young age. It’s one I have never forgotten.

But the idea that nowhere is safe anymore is a terrifying reality, isn’t it? How does one “live” when one feels that nowhere is actually safe to live? That’s a question each of us must ask ourselves these days.

For me, it’s all just another reminder to get my house in order. I don’t mean my physical house, per se. (Although getting my house in order over the summer really did help center me.) No, I mean my house of relationships. Because the truth is, you just never know.

Continue reading

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind