Embracing Inner Light AND Dark for Whole-Hearted Living

You are light, and you are dark. You have light in you, and you also have dark in you. Both are equally as important to learn from. Both are equally as important to get to know, to work with, and to use as guidance forward.

You are innately made up of light, this true, magnifying light that lives inside of you, and all around you. A light that we can call forward, ask for support from. A light we can ask to be purified with, a light that can guide us, that can drive us. And you are also innately made up of dark, of your shadow. The parts of you that feel shame, the parts of you that feel fear, disappointment, disbelief. Your shadow are the parts we typically wish to hide. The parts we feel a semblance of embarrassment from not because they’re embarrassing as much as because we’re afraid, or unsure of what embracing our shadow, our darkness might look like.

What if today, in this moment, you decided to wholeheartedly embrace all versions of you? What if today you decided to ditch the labels, ditch the understanding you have previous had and open to new possibilities? What if you decided to simply be with all that you are, as you are? No semblance of understanding from a single other person needed because the only understanding required for your wholehearted living is your own. If you were fully to embrace all versions of you today, in this moment, what would that look like? Is there a big hug, a deep breath, a deep thank you you’re in need of giving you? Maybe wholehearted self-acceptance comes from so deep within we can relate the feeling to true inner peace. Maybe giving yourself that inner peace is enough to spark the trigger of support you need from you.

Choosing to believe in ourselves is as simple and as complicated as that. We must make the choice to believe in ourselves if we’re going to manifest all that we desire. We must choose to believe in ourselves if we’re going to call in sacred love, sacred family, sacred work. We must choose to believe in ourselves over any label, over any outside perspective, opinion, or circumstance. We must choose to believe in the Universe, in something greater, bigger than us that is lighting the path for us. We must choose to believe in our light and in our dark so we can use them both to guide us forward. We must choose this belief and allow this belief to create the plan beyond that.

Some thoughts….

Write down all that you desire for this year as though it is already happening. Make your vision board, be specific about what you’re calling in. Listen to meditations to calm the chatter telling you you can’t, it’s not possible, I’m afraid, but what if, what if, what if. Work out and picture that desire so clearly in your head it’s hard to tell that it’s even a vision vs. reality. Write down your dream team of doctors, support systems that if money weren’t an issue you would want to spend on to support you. A therapist. A business Coach. A healer. A writing Coach. An acupuncturist. Physical Therapy. Personal Trainer. A Breathwork Coach. The list could be endless. Take a look at that list time and time again, is there one of those individuals that you see could really support your steps forward in believing in the life you want to be creating?

Creating the life we desire, the life we dream of begins with believing in oneself. To believe in oneself, we must acknowledge, accept and embrace all versions of who we are. Our light and our dark. They are a part of us, and we can use them both to guide us forward, to manifest all that we desire in life. Embrace your light. Embrace your dark and allow wholehearted living to be more than just a dream or a vision, let it become your reality.

On a separate but related note…

The idea of embracing our light and our darkness came from a breathwork vision I had. In this vision I had the sudden inner realization that there is no difference between the two. The light within me merged with my own darkness and created a new color, a color I could not quite see but felt. It was peaceful. The light/dark swirl was all consuming. It flowed through my veins like blood, like water feeding me, nourishing me from the inside out. There was a peaceful explosion above my head that allowed the energy to shoot through my body, out my feet rooting me into the earth. The light/dark swirl told me that embracing the darkness was about allowing the darkness that I don’t understand to be there, allowing myself to not understand it and allowing myself to be immersed by it all. We are all light and we are all dark, and there is no difference between them.

You are not alone

Some words of love if you’re feeling less than jolly this holiday season...

My holiday’s 5 years ago and every year before that were incredible. I never understood the mentality of The Grinch because I hadn’t experienced anything that had truly hindered this spirit. I had experienced heartbreak, and I had certainly had my fair share  of lessons, pain and turmoil, but not to the depth that 5 years ago brought me. It wasn’t until then that I understood this time of year being nothing but full reminders of our pain, sorrow, abandonment, grief and so much more. I’m saying this because I hope that this may act as a reminder that you are not alone. It’s to remind you that if this holiday season has been, and continues to be difficult for you, for your heart, you should know you are  far, very far, North Pole far, from being alone. If you are in the process of parsing out pain, of feeling your sadness, your sorrow, it’s okay. Hold yourself tight. Take a long bath. Walk on the beach. Ask a friend or a loved one for a hug. None of these things will make it better, but you will be reminding your body that you are loved. If you’re ready, reflect on the pain of your trauma, of your year. Emotions, the pain has to come up in order to make their way out. And out they will come, just doesn’t always fit within our expected timeline. But they will come out eventually, holiday’s will be fun, joyful even, again. And if you are not in this grieving place, may you offer a huge to a stranger, a friend of a friend. May you reach out because we never know what one has gone through to get to where they  are today, and these kind gestures can go a long way for a grieving heart.

All that matters is LOVE.

At the end of our life, we lose function of our bodies as we have known them. We lose we our basic motor functions. We lose our ability to communicate like we have known, and we lose our ability to interact with the world the only way we have known how. Our society has put bountiful amounts of importance on verbal communication, we’re mad when someone doesn’t understand us, when we’re inconvenienced by someone else’s cultural backgrounds and can’t communicate clearly, or aren’t understood or understanding someone else. Language is an exceptionally powerful tool, and as a writer, a healer, an analytical being, and mostly, a talker, I myself love the power of words. Yet as time goes on, we completely lose this skill, we return back to younger ages of development, and eventually we also love our movement, and control of the most basic of functions.

So if everything we learn, if our communication, the main tool we use for connection, our ability to hug one another, our memories fade away with time, all that we are left with in  our final days is our love. We’re left with love.

As I sat at the bedside table of my dying grandmother, I felt the light pitter patter of her heart beating, and the small, and the soft inhales and exhales of her body moving. Every few minutes she would open her eyes, sometimes it would be soft, but mostly it would be a full body jolt as she opened her eyes only to see that she was still on this earth.

When she would look at me, every now and then I’d see, feel a recognition cross over her face. I held her hand lovingly between both of mine, and would tell her how much I loved her. My grandma, like most people I suppose, never liked talking about death, she never liked accepting her aging self, so we never talked much about what would happen next, we always just enjoyed the moments we had together. As I sat there, I wanted to tell her how wonderful our life had been together, how much better my life has been because she’s been in it. But I don’t, she wouldn’t want to hear that, it was too much of an acceptance of what was happening next. So instead I just tell her I love her.

LOVE, when the word leaves my mouth I swear I could see her comprehending it, and ever so slightly, she squeezed my hand. We sit there looking at one another for another few moments before her eyes drift closed again, a heavy breathe escaping her lips telling me that she’s fallen back asleep, she’s gone back to the other world.

She’s happy in this other world I tell myself, she’s with grandpa now, she’s with her best friend Eleanor. I wonder if they’re holding each other, smiling, laughing, happy to be together again. I look at my grandma breathing in this world but drifted into the other, and think about how small she looks. This whole life my grandma has lived. Married for more than 60 years to a man who was in the War, a man she didn’t love as she walked down the aisle, yet grew to love more than life itself. A family history filled with anti-semitism, pain, the great depression.Two grown kids, five grandchildren. So much happened in her lifetime, so much love, loss, happiness, and growth. So much to worry about in the day-to-day of life, and so much to do, yet here she is, lying in this bed at the end of it all, crossing between two worlds and all that really matters is love.

The only word she responds to is when I tell her I love her. The only thing that matters in her days are the visits from the people she loved, the people that love her. The only thing she is left with is the language of love, the love in her big, beautiful heart, and the love she is leaving this world, and entering the next with.

So, life through love.

Let it all be.

Let it all go.

Let love thrive.

Chase your dreams driven by love.

Break through the fear with unconditional love.

Heal with love.

Feel uninhibiting fear and let love reign.

All that matters is love.

So may you life through love in every moment of everyday.

The Last Moments...

Why is it that you never know when a moment in time, something that’s become a regular part of your life, is going to be a last moment?

Some things you get to say goodbye to. Some things make it clear that you’re on your last with them, and you have a moment in which you get to bid farewell. Like when you’re traveling and you’re saying goodbye to a city you’ve spent a few days in, you have a flight and as you’re packing you’re saying your goodbyes to that city. Or when you’re moving out of an apartment, and you’re able to look around you, consciously watching as the final chapter of this last life closes and you move on to the next. Or when you have a clean breakup with a loved one and you both look at each other, seeing love in one another’s eyes and you lean in, kissing each other for the last time.

When we get to say goodbye, when we get to honor the finality of such profound moments it creates opportunity for seamless closure as you close one door and look towards the next. This type of goodbye, although sadness may exist in the moment, and  we may mourn the loss, the changing of the tides, it can also result in a sense of wild freedom in the allowance of the time needed to process and move forward.

Other lasts you don’t get to choose and it’s bewildering to me as to why some lasts we are aware of and others we aren’t? Why are the lasts that we don’t anticipate often so much more difficult to heal?

Why don’t we typically remember the last...

kiss with a significant, soul-shaking romantic partner?

family dinners with everyone there?

holiday celebration filled with traditions and all the right people in the room?

words from grandparents, ex-lovers, family members, departed ones, loved ones?

gathering at a childhood home?

party in our old college apartment, or home?

single girl/guy night we had before settling down?

happy moment before a painful tragedy?

laugh we had with an long-lost, old friend?

Why don’t we typically remember these last significant moments?

Although I considered researching the science behind our brains, memories, and understanding what stays with us and what doesn’t, the more I ask this question, the more rhetorical it feels. It’s not about the why as much as it is creating the space for questioning. It’s not about the answer as much as it is processing strong emotion, and building a container for pain to be felt.

Treat every moment like it’s the last. Have an awareness of every moment, grand, and mundane. Not drenched in melancholy but rather an allowance for every moment with those that we love to burst at the seams with love. If we make the choice to consciously be aware of the kiss with our partners as they walk out the door for work, saying out loud, I love you, feeling inside the power of the kiss rather than the monotony of the routine, maybe this can soften the pain of the lasts we don’t remember. Maybe by allowing love to drive each and everyone of these moments we are treating like the last, we can imprint the everlasting love on our minds, our bodies and even if it’s not the last, when the day comes that that act is no longer with us, we are able to remember one of those powerful love-bursting moments and use it as fuel to move us forward.

Love always fuels us forward. No matter the chapter we’ve said goodbye to or are about to enter, live fully so that we may treat every moment like it is the last and let bursting-love be forever.

Being a good person.

I’d like to think of myself as a fairly good person. I’d like to think that throughout the time I’ve been alive on this planet I’ve been fairly awake, making fairly conscious decisions rooted in a basic value system that my mother helped instill in me at a young age. I also of course know I’ve hurt people. I think it’s safe to generally say those actions were never acted upon from a cruel place where my intention was to hurt another, although even as I type that I can feel the defensiveness surfacing in my body. When it comes to acts of hate, do our intentions really matter?

In light of what’s been going on in our world culturally, I’ve been pushing myself to take a look at a deeper connection with self. I’ve been looking at how this motto of mine, Choose Love, has come to mean so much to me, and how in reflecting on my life, how I might not have always acted from this place. I’ve never been a hateful person and therefore I never saw any old actions as acts  of hate. Yet in looking back I know there are some people that deserve an apology from me. There are some people who I hurt because I myself was hiding, and there are some people I hurt because I was following my heart. Whether my perspective now leans more towards the, I was young, immature, and didn’t realize what I was doing, I know I have caused pain for some people and that my intentions were not felt from their side, and therefore, don’t entirely matter.

My memories of my childhood are completely wrapped up in being myself. I see now that what I remember as being myself was something that others weren’t quite comfortable with themselves in so it created a certain status for me. I simply  remember not caring what others thought of me, I remember not caring who talked to me or who didn’t, but rather, given my extreme like of people, just enjoyed the socialability of middle school. This friend of mine told me it was true for elementary school too, and I couldn’t help but feel like she was telling somebody elses story. Although who is to say she wasn’t inserting some of her own bias, I do know that during that time of innocence, I used my comfortability with people, my social skills, and unique for the age we were, extroverted nature to have fun. I remember fun being my number one priority, no matter what we were doing. My best friend and I used to play by this magical grandmother willow tree making potions out of the dirt, we would play dress-up with my mothers many, many trunks of fun dress-up clothes and create entire world’s in which we were high-schoolers, school teachers, or fight over who was the Blonde Spice Girl. Looking back, my desire for laughs were definitely used as something to stand behind.

I only remember his first name Timmy. Timmy was a couple years younger than us, and a small for his size type of kid with big teeth. We called him Timmy the Tooth, and we were relentless. I remember we would play hide and seek with Timmy, and we’d call out his name on the soccer field, searching for Timmy the Tooth. We chased him chanting this name. When he would hear us he would run away with his hands over his ears. The weird thing is I remember genuinely liking Timmy, and thinking that Timmy must like the attention of the older girls. Cleary I was justifying my behavior to myself. As an adult I still don’t think I was aware I was torturing him, and I know I owe Timmy an apology. I hide behind my desire to laugh, to make others laugh at your expense. I hid behind my own comfortability with who I was by picking on you, mocking you, and trying to make others laugh because it felt good to make others laugh. I’m sorry Timmy. I’m deeply sorry for leaning on hate in every way.

I’d like to think I’m a good person today. Someone who stands up for what she believes in, someone who stands up for others, who supports, heals and helps others however I possibly can. I know this doesn’t erase the ways in which I acted as a kid, but I do know that this is where we learn how to choose love over hate. I do know this is what I can teach my children, and maybe one day they will be braver than I was and stand up for value, for kindness and for what is right. I know that we can get really lost along the way and the only thing to do is to keep trying to right it, to right ourselves.

Bringing Mindfulness to the Bossladies Conference

When the founder of Bossladies Chelsea and I first met, I knew we were in for some future friend dates with long conversation over tea. And I was mostly right, except it’s sometimes tea, sometimes coffee, and more often wine. We can talk for hours. It’s not often you connect with someone in adulthood who on your first friend date together you laugh, you cry, and you dream together all in the first 5 hours. The best part is, all this happened after Chelsea and I had met, after she asked me to lead a meditation at her first ever Bossladies conference. The reason this is the best part to me is because Chelsea and I knew right away that sparks were flying. We had some magic to discuss, magic to share between us, and magic to share with the world.

Bossladies has a successful women’s magazine featuring women that are changing the world, a massive social media following, sold out co-working sessions and new groups launching all over the world. Women everywhere are intrigued by this simple, inquisitive, and powerful brand Chelsea has created. So, when we talked about her vision for her first ever conference and she mentioned her energetic intentions, I wanted to be a part of it.

The day of the conference was beautiful. An hour past Malibu, at a beautiful home in the canyons, ~100 women gathered together for a day of inspiration, connection, and authentic networking. As I met and hugged (because hand shaking is too formal for this group), fellow women creators from designers, to artists, and curators a plenty, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the work we’re here to do on this planet.

We sat through a day of speakers who had created business in their garages, who had been turned down time and time again by white, male venture capitalists who didn’t believe in a woman’s vision, who had been unemployed and desperate for money. As the day went on, we became clear with new ideas on future gifts for women, clearer on how to show up in the world, and full of thoughts on scalability. When I stood-up to wrap-up the conference, the group was fried, full, and one bite away from being too full. We had been holding space for ourselves to be ourselves, holding space for our dreams, and the group had reached their cap on the information they could receive.


I asked everyone to wiggle out there bodies, stretch, change seats, then close their eyes. Get focused on their breathe. Feel the earth supporting them. Feel the insides of their bodies full, complete. Acknowledge that they’re one bite away from too full. Then I asked everyone to focus on a future moment in their life, a moment they’ve been wanting to do, create or change about their life. I asked them to hold space for themselves to be themselves, to let the dream be expansive, let it be bite size, let the dream be the size that it is.


As I lead them through a breathe meditation focused on visualizing, truly being in this future moment, in this dream of theirs, I reminded them that the body, the brain, doesn’t know the difference between reality and a hyper-focused visualization. I guided them to expand beyond the dream, to see themselves in the moment so clearly that they could see the colors, the people, hear the sounds surrounding them in this future moment. When we were done and opened our eyes, the glimmer was brighter than before. The gleam was uplifted because they were uplifted, they had held space for them to be themselves in this very moment. To believe it was possible, to know that it was already happening. In this moment, every woman there knew that their future gift to women was the gift of themselves and their creations.

This is the work we are here to do on this planet. We are all artists of life. We are all just trying to create a life we want to be living, and maybe even get to share some of our hopes and dreams with one another. We are here on this planet to be the Life Artist we were meant to be. We are here on this planet to evolve beyond our stories, our patterns, our comparison syndromes. We are here on this planet to create a loving life together, and to leave this world a better place than when we came into it.

And before we knew it the day was over, and we took our full spirited selves to our homes for rest, self-care, and to get ready for the next creation to be built.


This conference was one of the best conferences I have ever taught at. Not only were the women receptive to the work, they were hungry for healing, open to guidance and interested in learning more about themselves. We can often talk at one another, especially at networking events, or conferences, and there can be extreme power in presentation, in talking at. But on this afternoon, the power was in coming together and feeding the energy of our visions. The power was in the group’s ability to push beyond insecurities, self-doubt, old stories and patterns, and to simply show up as the Life Artist that they are. It’s such an honor to speak, and teach at conferences, and to be a part of Bossladies first annual conference was no exception.

Mindfulness and Healing work are powerful when we step into it alone, and they’re even more powerful when we step into it together.

Working with resistance

Resistance can be a tough cookie. She’s not always pleasurable to be sitting with, and she’s usually the advocate for staying where you are, working hand-in-hand with stagnation. And yet when resistance comes around it’s usually a tall sign that you’re working with just exactly what you’re meant to be working with.

Oftentimes working with resistance for me means complete acceptance of starting just exactly where I am starting. That means, no matter how much further along in the process I want to be, or how frustrated I may feel with not knowing or understanding the ride I’m on, that I embrace with complete love where I am in the process. AND more than that, I must completely surrender to where I am in the process, with love, always with love.

It can feel heavy. It can feel overwhelming. It can feel expansive. It can feel daunting. It’s a dance. A dance between all the emotions that come through. A dance with yourself, your better half and your darkness.

There  are two types of resistance that feel most prominent in my life: a) resistance in connection to my own healing journey and to the deeper wounds that I’m working with, or b) it can be resistance with the creative project I have in front of me.

If it’s resistance that I’m feeling when it comes to my own healing journey, I first FEEL IT. LIVE IN IT. SURRENDER TO IT. This surrender isn’t the waving of the white flag surrender, it’s the melt into it type of surrender. When I melt into the emotion and allow it to have its feelings, the emotion loses its total control over me which has usually lead me to the face-off with resistance in the first place. Only then do I begin to accept the nonlinearity of it all.

If it’s a creative project that I’m resisting, if it’s the creation of anything, whether this be in physical form or not, I sit down to write a list of the reason this idea, this creation has to come through me. The reasons I’m grateful to the project. Even if this doesn’t begin a flow of continued creation, it gives me a new outlook, a complete reframing encouraging my heart to feel fulfilled by the desire to continue the creation.

Resistance shows up in many ways and it does the exact same thing in breathwork. The idea is to not get defeated with resistance but rather learn to work with it. Whether that be pushing through it, past it, or sitting in it momentarily, it could mean breathing into it, claiming the resistance and doing the work anyway. The best way to  work with resistance is to learn to see it for what it is, be willing to work with it, and let it stimulate all that you’re meant to be opening and working with.

Tools for finding balance in the hamster wheel

When this question was asked in a session the other day I was reminded of how many of us can feel like we’re all alone on our journey’s to working with balance. When we’re running between meetings, chasing after promotions, RSVPing to weddings, baby showers, and birthdays, and jumping between texts, trains, and roads, finding balance can almost feel like a myth. Or sometimes even, a complete lie.

“I had to remind myself I’m not superwoman”, a wonderful client of mine said. She’s right! We’re not superwomen so it’s time we cut ourselves a little slack. Yet, with everything we have on our plate, with all that we are tackling, the business’ we’re launching, the friendships and relationships we’re cultivating, with just exactly who you are today in this moment, you actually are a SUPER woman. Maybe it’s time for you to recognize the SUPER-ness about you, to acknowledge who you are in this moment, and maybe at the same time, there’s also an opportunity to connect with the daily cultivation of balance.

The cultivation of balance.

I don’t think balance is a myth, but I do think our vision of what having a balanced life looks like might be a bit skewed. What I mean by this is, balance is not something we achieve. It’s not attainable as in something for us to check off our to-do lists. Balance is a state of mind. When we’re able to feel into this statement and connect with balance from the inside out, that’s when we create balance while on the hamster wheel of life.

I used to think I was a busy woman. Two years ago I was working a full-time 9-5 corporate job which was really more like 9-midnight, working my side hustle, taking clients, cultivating my new live-in romantic relationship, healing my heart, studying more healing, trying to eat healthy, be healthy, have a social life, spend enough time with my family, and the list goes on. Sound familiar to anyone? Today, I’m no longer working the 9-midnight corporate job, but I am running my own business which puts busy into a whole new light. Busy today means something different than it meant two years ago, and yet it still persists. My friends who are new moms, have toddlers running around, talk about busy in a completely different light. The things we are doing, accomplishing, healing, on a daily basis, make us SUPERWOMEN. That’s why balance to me is less about finding it and more about creating it, connecting with it and reminding ourselves of this connection through tips/tools/easily accessible action, on a daily basis.

Here are some of my favorite tips/tools that I either have used, and/or continue to use to connect with balance daily:

  • Meditate. Daily. For real, daily. Meditation is an extremely powerful tool for you to access on your own, at any moment, of anyday. When you meditate you give your body and mind permission to detach. This in turn slows the nervous system and the highly active thoughts running through our minds, and opens up an opportunity for you to connect with inner peace. It doesn’t mean you’ll be happy/get happy in every 5 minute meditation, and it takes practice, but I promise you this, YOU are NOT a BAD meditator. You just need practice, maybe some guidance, but you can do this. Meditate in the morning, meditate in the middle of the day, and meditate in the evening. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, take that momentary break from living inside your own head and allow yourself time to connect with the peace, with the presence of the moment, and you’ll feel connected to a more balanced life

  • Create space for your life to be lived. What are your basic needs? Are they being met? Maybe you can check-in with yourself once a week, are you sleeping, nourishing, moving your body this week? What can you do to create space for your basic needs to be met? We need to meet our own basic needs in order to show up for the world around us. When we neglect ourselves we’re only doing a disservice to our loved ones because we become more irritable, and less likely to enjoy the life we’ve built. Identify what it is that you need to do, to have, to create time and space for in your life in order for love to flow freely from you and around you, and find a way to make them happen.

  • Identify your non-negotiables, the things that are beyond your basic needs that make you feel good, are they being met? I believe this connects with getting clear on your boundaries as well. What is vitally important to you today, tomorrow, this week, that must get done? Be clear about what that is and set a clear boundary around it which doesn’t allow for you or anyone to get in the way of that experience.

  • Move your body. The number attached to this will vary per person, but for me it’s at least 3 days a week. If I’m moving my body at least 3 days a week I’m much more likely to feel like myself. If I’m not moving my body, sweating, stretching, I feel out of flow, out of sync with the flow of the Universe. This could fall under one of your non-negotiables like it does for me, or maybe it’s about walking, stretching, or getting out from behind the computer to take in 5 minutes of life moving around you. Identify what moving your body means to you, how that feels and create space for it.

  • Clear communication. There are times when parts of your life will need more of your time and attention than others. When you’re launching a project, a business, or when you and your partner aren’t on the same page and your relationship needs some serious TLC, communicate with the other strings, people, things pulling at your attention and let them know where you’re at. You don’t have to tell them the details of what is going on, but some communication from you can go a long way in retaining your relationship. Plus you’re giving yourself permission to tend to what you need to tend too, to spend more of your time, energy, money on this one particular sector of your life. If those people really truly love you, they will understand, love and support your endeavors to the end.

  • Spend 2 minutes doing nothing every day. This is a personal preference, something that puts the rest of the world, the guilt, the pressures into perspective, and therefore, has become a habit. Allowing myself to sit and look at the world around me pass me by, see the trees rustling in the wind, listen to the birds, people watch, gives me some perspective on life and all that it brings so I don’t go giving too much weight to any one thing

  • Identify the guilt and work with it. When you’re feeling guilty for spending too much of your time in any one place, identify where there is guilt, and allow yourself to dig into it. What is the guilt really about? Is it connected to any sense of self-worth, of not being enough? Is there any opportunities for you to get clear and communicate clearly both with yourself and with those around you what your priorities are so you can fully give your attention to what’s needed? Is there an opportunity for you to ask for help? To make a change? Take a look at the guilt that you feel and work with it so you can comfortable put it in the backseat recognizing that it’s there but not to be the driver at the time.

Honor Yourself

To honor oneself is to acknowledge the steps one has taken thus far, the achievements, the heartaches, the winding roads, and to not only recognize where we are today, but to accept with appreciation that this moment, is just exactly as it is to be.

I generally believe that people are good at recognizing what they are feeling, when they are feeling it. Even if you’re one that’s not good at claiming your emotion, you have an awareness of the happiness, the sadness, the loneliness, the comfort that exist in and around your life. I feel we’re generally good at embracing the ups and downs that life brings us, and we’re aware, noticing the things we want to be changing, growing about ourselves and our lives. Why then, as fairly awake individuals can it feel so difficult to honor ourselves, to honor our emotions, our experiences?

Honoring our story, honoring our sadness can not only feel challenging, it can often feel like a downright betrayal of our past and all that we’ve successfully held onto all these years. Maybe you’re not ready to let go of your pain, your sadness? Maybe you’re not ready to let the story become redefined, and as a result you push up against the emotion each and every time? That is, until that no longer works and you’re pushed open to honoring your state of being.

photography by:  Rachael Reiss

photography by: Rachael Reiss

That’s where I’m now. It no longer works for me to keep this firm grip on my pain, the emotion wants out of the container I’ve kept it in for the last few years, and it’s time to honor its needs.

For me, much of honoring myself has been about honoring my soul’s desire. When my soul is in need of some rest, some down time, honoring myself looks like listening to the easy life. It’s slowing down, it’s taking a break from the busyness of life, and all the productivity that is pulling at my attention. Recently it’s also been about allowing the container for which I’ve held my sadness in, to expand. In other words, the space that has held my own healing, my pain, my sorrow has held me for a long time, and it’s worked for me for a long time as well. Suddenly, it stopped working for me and I found myself unsure of where to put my sadness so it began pouring out into the streets in a completely unorganized, sob story kind of way. Okay, I’m being dramatic. It hasn’t really poured out onto the streets, I just really liked that sentence. It is true however that I found myself unsure of how to express my pain, my healing journey, and it did pour out at some unexpected times. It was only then that I realized it wasn’t about figuring out “the right”, linear way to express, but rather was about HONORING the emotion for what it was. The emotion was like an alive living creature inside me that has been playing in it’s usual playpen, and it wanted, no, it needed, to spend some time in a different playground, this time in the light of day. So when it wanted to be felt, I felt. When it wanted to be explored I explored. When it had no words, I allowed it to be what it was as it was. This type of emotional honoring of my pain was, still feels new to me, but I am willing to explore it in the name of my own healing journey.

Honor the emotion. Honor your accomplishments. Honor your story and make way for even deeper love to enter, to flow through your life.

Honoring ourselves can look like honoring the place we are at in our journey, it can be about taking pride, and acknowledging ourselves for how far we’ve come, or it could be about recognizing our own accomplishments and celebrating. Honoring ourselves could be about honoring our stories, all that has happened to get us to where we are today, it could be about honoring our pain, our sadness and allowing the emotion to exist without the need for immediate solution, or it could be about honoring the joy, the happiness we’ve created within our lives.

Honoring oneself all leads back to recognizing the steps we’ve taken on our journey thus far so we can meet ourselves just exactly where we are today. When we empower ourselves with awareness of our life, of our beingness, of our souls, we set ourselves up for (more) success, abundance and more importantly, more love for our tomorrow.

Creating with MY OWN TWO HANDS

Yesterday, the final day of Mercury Retrograde, a New Moon underway and no current midlife identity crisis, or upheaval in the midst, I could not for the life of me understand why I was consumed with so much unruliness. I still don’t entirely understand it, and yet this morning, just a merely 24 hours later, my body feels an extremely heightened sense of groundedness, open and connectedness to the Universe. I feel massively different than where I was yesterday morning and all I did over this last day was - I made time for me.

I made time for me and I did so in a completely different way than I typically do. I didn’t choose to spend time by the water with a good book, likely a self-help book rather than what for me feels almost entirely indulgent, a fiction book. I didn’t spend my time writing or working on my book. I didn’t spend time with my love, connecting deeper on truths about this life. Instead, I spent time with my hands creating.


I had signed up for this workshop with HER SOCIAL CLUB almost a month prior thinking it would be a fun, creative day, but more than that, that it was something I needed to do for work. I would be networking with other like-minded, powerful ladies, and knowing the amount of magic I’ve had come from those experiences before, I figured if nothing else, I would meet a few more empowered women in Los Angeles.

The artist Mimi Haddon began the day by discussing how as a society, we are no longer using our hands. We use our hands for talking, for typing, for working, but it’s become a rare commodity putting our hands to work creating. We were given a bunch of driftwood, colored yard, ropes, shown how to tie certain types of knots that would hold, and told to get after it. I’m a crafter, always have been. I’ve been making scrapbooks since I was a teenager and we used to print off all our photos for the memory banks, I’ve created and experimented in the kitchen with baked goods, quiches, you name it, I’ve crafted dream catchers for friends and family members as gifts, and painted using many different forms, materials and equipment including newspapers, stencils, free-hand and more.

As I was leaving this magnificent day I realized it has been over a year since I’ve opened any of my crafting materials. The last time my craft boxes were opened they were sprawled out on the living room floor at one in the morning and I was having a mental breakdown because we had just moved in, and I had no place to put any of my crafting materials. One whole year went by without me using my hands, something I’ve always loved to do and I never even realized it.

Don’t get me wrong I love all of the things I have done this last year. I love clean eating I have doven into, I love the work I’ve done on my book, and the healing writing I’ve done expressing my voice and my traumas, I love the business I’ve developed, the people I’ve met and the creative sessions I lead with my private clients and in group settings, but I had lost the joy in making things with my hands and as  result lost inspiration and drive from my life that I couldn’t even see was missing.

As I sit here able to free-flow write this post with ease, excited about diving into my book again, I can’t help but smile when I look back on Friday. I was forcing myself to put pen to paper, didn’t feel I had anything to say and was completely drained from the week. A drastic difference from what I’m used to given I’m typically energized by my work, I’m reminded of the importance of reconnecting with my humanity in relation to the physical world. Using my hands, creating, opening, living creates a strengthened tangible bond between me and the Universe. It separates me from the digital world if only for a brief moment and creates more understanding of who I am as a human being in this world, of who we are and the purpose behind all the breathing moments.

With this New Moon energy we’re working with I invite you to explore what new beginnings are you in need of reconnecting with? What past creations do you feel the drive to reconnect with? What creativity are you drawn to but have never explored before? What needs to be expressed, and do you need to use expression differently than you’ve done before? What could this open up for you in your life?

I have always loved the Ben Harper song “With My Own Two Hands”, today it holds completely different to me than it has over the years...

"I can change the world, with my own two hands -- Make a better place, with my own two hands -- Make a kinder place, oh with my, oh with my own two hands -- With my own, with my own two hands -- With my own, with my own two hands -- I can make peace on earth, with my own two hands -- And I can clean up the earth, oh with my own two hands -- And I can reach out to you, with my own two hands -- With my own, with my own two hands" - Ben Harper

Wholehearted LIVING


As I was working out this morning recovering from a long weekend filled with lots of un, and not much of my regular practice, Danielle Laporte’s White Hot Truth book came on shuffle. I’ve listened to it so many times I would have skipped it if I hadn’t been in the middle of an exercise I wasn’t willing to put on pause. And as always with these Universal ways, I heard a sentence I’ve heard a million times, in a completely new light than I’d ever heard it before. The funny truth is I can’t quote it perfectly given that I don’t even know what chapter it was in, or how to find it but the sentiment stuck with me and it felt important to share. “I would rather be honest than consistent.”

I used to struggle a lot with the balance of my various personality types. Never quite sure which side of myself to embrace more than the other almost always feeling pulled in different directions, consistency wasn’t something I would strive for but whole-heartedness was, and subconsciously I felt the two were intrinsically connected.

Wholeness has been something I’ve always worked to achieve, something I’ve strived for, and softened into for quite some time. About a year ago it all sort of clicked for me, wholehearted living was about embracing all sides to who I was, and doing so at all times. Wholehearted living was about living out what felt right deep in my gut, it was about following dreams instead of fears, and it was about doing so in a way that only I could create the path for me. That was my truth, that is my truth, and if I wanted to continue on the path of honest living than I had to tell consistency to screw off.

What makes me laugh today about hearing this sentence from a fresh perspective is that a whole year later, consistency is back and it’s back in a big way. It’s come full circle. I’m sure I’ll lose my way again, that’s just a part of the path but today it feels good to know I feel connected to my own wholehearted living, and I believe that’s in part because I let consistency slide away for awhile.

Living honestly is what connects us with open, wholehearted living. If honesty and consistency seem to line up for you today, amazing, but if it doesn’t today, tomorrow or ever for you, who's to say that’s not okay too? Living your most authentic life means living honestly you. When we’re doing that, everyday is like drinking sweet juicy nectar from the tree of life.


My Sister Tribe

There are so many relationships that contribute to who we are, who we become in life. From an early age our parents are the first to begin to shape us. Then we have other adult mentors, babysitters, teachers, older friends or the neighborhood kids. Later in life our inner circle are the people that affect us the most, our romantic relationships, our best friends, and still our parents always and forever in one way or another. As impactful as all of these people can be, there is no one in life quite like your SISTER TRIBE.

When I say sister tribe I’m talking about all of the female relationships in your life. I’m talking about the people that you choose to hold closest in your heart. The women that are your tribe, the women that inspire you, challenge you, shape-shift you, the people who help make us who we are, and help craft us into who we want to become. My sisters are the most important people in my life. I am lucky enough to have two blood related sisters who are my best friends, mentors, angels in my life, to have a mother who is a guiding light, my moral compass and pillar of strength, and at least two handfuls of other ladies who no matter what phase of life I’m in, seem to always trust me, push me, and ask the hard questions to ensure I’m living the best life I could possibly live. These women don’t just inspire me to be a better human, they aren’t just role-models in the workplace, and in the home, and they aren’t just leaders in their fields, specialists in all the roles and titles that they hold, although they most certainly are all of those things as well. For me, these women are influential in driving me to become the woman that I am today, they have changed the course of how I’ve envisioned my life would be tomorrow, and helped me manifest my tomorrow from a place of abundance today.

On International Women’s Day this post goes out to my SISTER TRIBE. There are so many to name, but I’ll start with a few who have been staples in making me the woman I am today. These women have been consistent threads either from the beginning, or entered later in life with a splash, all making an everlasting impact.

Women's March 2017 with my mama

Women's March 2017 with my mama

My mother.

The woman that holds space for me to be, feel exactly what I need to in each and every moment. The woman that gave me life. The woman that through her strength, her words, her guidance and her love, shows me first hand how to choose, to come from, a loving, present place with every action and every path life takes me down. My mother who has part of her heart in mine, and mine in hers, has given me more courage than she may ever know. Courage to work, to face my fears, courage to let go, to forgive, courage to love, and no matter how many times I’ve fallen, courage to stand back up again. Courage to be me, all because of her love, because of our love.

My blood-sisters.

Two of my biggest teachers. Forever looking up to my big sister, and overly protecting, yet also always looking up, my little sister, we sure have our differences and yet they have been my life’s greatest mirror. Pushing me to see alternate perspectives, to open my mind to other ways of being, other ways of action, of healing, words don’t ever have to be spoken between us, all is understood. You ask the hard questions, you keep me true. In the presence of my blood-sisters, I am most accepted without judgement with these two. I feel the closest feeling to my heart living out in the Universe with the existence and intrinsic connection between my blood-sisters.

My Life & Business Coach, Sarah Khambatta.

This woman has been holding me true to my essence for the last 2.5 years. Never quite knowing what or how she’s going to help me get out of my own head, she always seems to help the flowing tears make sense. She guides me to see between my own words, helping me gain clarity on major life decisions while also empowering me with self confidence when I’m not sure where it went. Together we turn my dreams into action, helping me manifest all my visions while always leaving room for more dreams to come true.

My high-school English teacher Mrs. Nickerson

The first female role-model in my life outside my family. You taught me to trust my words, to trust my heart. You showed me that creative writing could be used for healing, and you taught me that my writing mattered. You reminded me I would never be alone, that there was always someone out there with a story who can relate to my own, that no matter how much pain my heart may feel, that I would be able to get back up and keep living a beautiful life.

My sister-friends.

You are my soul. You are my chosen family. You remind me that community tribe exists. Through thick and thin we will continue to choose one another as our chosen family because we know we want, we choose to do it together. You guide me when you’ve been down the road before me, you comfort me when we’re on different paths because we know we don’t have to experience the same experiences to know, to believe in, to love one another. You motivate me to be the best person I can possibly be.

Every single one of these women have changed the course of my life for the better. There is no one I would rather stand with, hold, hug and do this life with than you beautiful beings. And to all woman out there, may you continue to feel inspired to speak your truth, to stand in your light and to dream until all your dreams come true, and then dream some more! We are in this together!

A Walk in the Mountains...

walkin mountains.jpg

Feeling the need for some me time, and faced with a decision that quite literally had a clock running against it, I went on a hike yesterday. I drove myself up to the local mountains and spent the morning and afternoon amongst the trees, the earth, the birds and the wind. Anxious and unsure about what was brewing inside, I spent the entire hike up the mountain hustling, sweating, completely out of breath. It felt incredible to push myself up against the physical boundaries of my body. Once I got to the top, I decided the walk down was going to be leisure, a long meditation. It would be about observation, embracing, and allowing all that needed to come through to come through. I started right where I was, sat down to admire the stillness of the ocean from so high up and pulled out my journal. The hike up had been about the desire to sweat, but it was also a quest for clarity. A big business decision, investment was on my mind and I couldn’t see, or tell if this was what was right for me. Not feeling the words come through, I sat with the view before me. Feeling dis-ease about this decision, afraid that my lack of decision would ultimately be my decision and that had not felt good when executed in the past, still feeling unsettled and traumatized by it before. I looked down at Mother Earth.

Our choices reveal our intentions.



Things change.

Every one of these were written on a rock deep in the ground. Almost unable to see them anymore the writing had faded over what must have been years, yet incredibly clear to me, these words fell out of the earth. I read them and understood them in this order.

Our choices reveal our intentions.



Things change.

Funny how the Universe gives you signs, for me they’re never quite in the form of a direct answer, yet they always indirectly reminding me, giving me comfort or confidence in the answer I know they’re supporting.

Alright, I thought. Message received loud and clear, right? Somehow my decision still felt unmade in my body. Frustrated because how do words just fall out of the earth like this and I still not know in my body what the right way forward is? I began my slow, conscious, descent down the mountain. Birds chirping, trees rustling in the wind, animals scurrying away when hearing my footsteps, I stopped on a flat piece of the trail. The sun shining down on this one little spot between the trees, I closed my eyes and listened. I let myself meditate. I asked for answers, got still and then felt frustration again. I wanted more clarity Universe, couldn’t you just give me an answer directly!? I sat there what felt like eternity but was likely around 15 minutes, before moving onto my next stop. Stopping whenever my body wanted to stop throughout the whole trail. I stopped looking so abruptly for the answer and started simply enjoying the walk. Meditating on tree branches, watching the birds fly from treetop to treetop, feeling the wind in my air supporting me, I found a beautiful carved bench at the end of the trail, and laid down for some Breathwork. Crying, laughing, I opened my eyes under the trees. Butterfly number six flew by in that moment.

“There is no wrong answer.”

It was clear as day. There is no wrong answer. Smiling I sat up. I felt comforted, supported, loved. The decision itself still sat above me and when I allowed my mind to go there it would still  cause unsettled discomfort from my insides out, but I recognize that I will allow it to come to fruition when it’s ready. And now I know, I feel, that no matter what, there is no wrong answer.

Funny how the Universe provides messages, and if we’re looking for them we can see them, find them and maybe even interrupt them exactly how we want to interpret them. We might even doubt what we have received, feel insecure about it, unsure that it’s what’s right and talk ourselves out of it, but to me, the most glorious piece of all is knowing that when the answer is meant to come to you, you will hear it loud and clear, clear as day.

The following day, which just happens to have been this morning, I went to a spiritual coffee and chat conversation with a group of like-minded ladies. At the end of the chat one of the women asked me how I got the courage to follow my dreams, to make such big changes in my life and to do so fearlessly. I smiled, feeling my insides light up with fire at the word fearlessly. I told her and the others the story of my hike yesterday, of hearing from my inner guidance, and then making a choice to listen to it, whatever that meant. I told them I didn’t believe in fearlessness, that I have yet to have met anyone that does not have fear, but rather I meet a lot of people who choose to move forward with fear in the backseat. I explained how for me it’s about the baby steps, it’s about being open to hearing from my inner voice, and then being courageous enough to listen to it, to act on it and to do so in whichever way felt right to me and for me in the moment.

Me in this moment knows the right decision for me and it makes me a little sad. I wanted the answer to be one way and it’s just not. I promised myself a long time ago I would always honor my intuition, and I haven’t had conflicting branches with what my intuition wants and what my conscious mind wants in awhile. I forgot that sometimes they’re not aligned and that it’s okay. It’s my journey to lean into TRUST and to trust that my intuition is telling me this direction for a reason.

Some of my favorite things about changing my relationship with food...

Over the last 6 months I’ve been changing my relationship with food. I’ve been working with a nutritionist, learning things about my body, cutting out booze and sweets altogether, and for the first time in my life actually looking at my relationship with food.

I used to be incredibly irritated by people who talked about clean eating, superfoods, eating consciously, and all the other buzzwords that surround the food and wellness community. And although I still find myself slightly triggered by them, if I’ve learned anything in this last half year, it’s that when I put things in my body that feel good, I FEEL GOOD. I know magic right!?

One of my favorite things about this whole experience has been the gift of clarity. (Well that and the fact that I lost 15 pounds overall, 6 of which were in the first 2 weeks, that feels pretty damn good too.) Without constant stomach aches all the time I could feel myself able to tap into this crystal clear vision. It was as though I suddenly had significant more time because I wasn’t constantly trying to solve my stomach aching, or figure out what I ate that was wrong, or worse, come up with yet another remedy that I knew would only be temporary until the next stomach ache. Eating different foods, trying different recipes and overall putting things that feel good to my body has created this genuine clarity within my body giving me stronger insights in my life, direction, actions to take, and more intuitive hits for my clients and the people I was surrounding myself with.

Even more than all these incredible benefits, I finally feel like myself again. This is probably my favorite part of this whole experience. It’s this feeling that has made every single night I brought my own broccoli soup over to a friend’s house, or sat there with a club soda while everyone else was hammered, absolutely, 100% worth it. Feeling like myself again has allowed me to stand in pictures and not cringe when I see them, to wear a bathing suit and not completely want to die. Don’t get me wrong I still have my self-conscious moments, and I can hear my monkey brain jump to all my own self-judgements in both of those situations, but I’m able to bring myself back to the reminder of how hard I worked. I’m able to see what I’ve done and allow myself to keep living my life in a way that feels right to me, while also not hurting myself anymore.

It feels good to feel like yourself! That to me is the moral of this story, and if I need the reminder again, I have this beautiful post to come back to.

Lanston Sport video shoot, feeling completely, authentically ME!

Lanston Sport video shoot, feeling completely, authentically ME!

Whole Balance

“It’s a myth. Balance is a myth.” - my bestie, mother of a 2-year old and creator of a beautifully curated online and pop-up vintage store called Folk & Cup.

WILD HEARTS: A virtual journey to create more balance in our lives!

WILD HEARTS: A virtual journey to create more balance in our lives!

People live their lives striving for balance, following balance around, always reaching for and maybe sometimes, although I’d say rarely, obtaining it. It’s something that seems to sit just out of reach and I’m not sure that it’s at the fault of anyone  else, but rather that balance isn’t something that’s sitting there waiting for you to begin with. My bestie is an entrepreneur, a mother, a wife, a best friend and has many other labels and roles to play in her life. On a daily basis she can be pulled in many different directions, stepping into entrepreneur role while her toddler naps, keeping the young-one entertained as he explores and learns the world around him during the day, and preparing dinner for her family at night so she can have an hour or two of quality time with her hubby when he gets home. All the while sneaking time in between everything else to keep an active social media presence for her brand, bringing in new opportunities to bring her pieces to the best shops in her town, and creating a beautiful set-up when she pop-ups at flea markets. Just calling attention to the many things that require her attention makes me feel a little unbalanced and as a result feel like maybe she has a point, maybe balance really is a myth?

Last week I saw Arianna Huffington speak at a conference about “Thriving in this Digital World”. Already a big fan and follower of Ms. Huffington, I was diligently taking notes throughout her speech feeling all around great about how I’m currently choosing to live life and what I’m doing for myself to ensure I’m THRIVING. When commenting on “work-life balance” and what that means to her she said, “It’s not about working longer or working harder. It’s about working smarter…” She went on to say that it’s not about finding work-life balance, it’s about creating the life you want to live for yourself. My bestie’s belief on balance started feeling more real.

After spending more than a decade in corporate America myself, there’s a lot of talk around the subject of work-life balance, and yet seemingly significantly less action. When it comes down to it, the company needs you to do what they need you to do. As middle to upper management, never quite the big dog on campus myself, our roles and responsibilities never changed no matter what was in front of us. The number of mental breakdowns some of my team members had around me feeling overwhelmed by their work-load, yet never wanting to vocalize where they were coming from for fear that there was someone right behind them in the cue ready to step-in and give their everything to the position, broke my heart. You shouldn’t give your everything to your company. You should work smart, be clear, give your heart, but keep your soul for yourself. Keep your soul for your family, for your loved ones and for the life that is waiting to be lived around you outside of your office doors.

Arianna speaks a lot about balance in the workplace, and creating a shift from within the company culture as that’s the only way companies will create true impactful change. But as individuals, what can we do to ensure that balance doesn’t slip between our fingers? How can we take control of balance in our own life?

I believe it begins by feeling into what balance means to you across the board in your life. Do you feel balanced in your healthy lifestyle, do you feel balanced with your time and how you spend it, do you feel balanced with your friends, social life, family, spirituality. There are so many ways for balance to bleed into your life, and just as many ways for balance to feel like a lie. No option is wrong, I think it’s about choosing what balance means to you.

For me balance in healthy living, healthy eating, exercise, has always been a struggle for me. Having participated in weight watchers on and off since I was 16, always feeling like I was overweight and struggling with self-control, somewhere along the line I began telling myself this story that balance with food for me would always be a struggle. After 15+ years of  telling myself that story, not so weird that it became the truest form in which I lived by with food. I would fall off the wagon and get back on more times than I could count - (a story every food battler knows well). When I started working with a nutritionist now 6 months ago, I thought - THIS IS IT. This is the big change I’m not just looking to make, but I’m CHOOSING to make in my life. AND, this isn’t just a change momentarily, this is a lifestyle change. And change it certainly did. I spent the last 6 months hyper aware of what I was eating, finally drinking enough water, eating enough vegetables and generally working out as I should be. I lost 15 pounds, exactly what I was hoping for, and felt like myself again, confident and comfortable in my own skin, and although the voice saying “you  shouldn’t eat that, you should eat this” was still going on, she became much smaller. I was talking to myself like I loved myself again.

The funny thing about this massive change though is that it’s not one and done. (I know, of course right? Silly of me to think otherwise) I guess I had hoped that because I had made such huge strides forward, had done such deep work on myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually and all in connection with my relationship to food, I thought I would heal my mind and maybe that little voice would get so small that one day she wouldn’t be there. Then one night, I had a few too many drinks, ate things that don’t feel good to my body and Monday morning I’m back at it, feeling frustrated with myself, and little voice has gotten louder again. The shift I’m choosing to make today that’s different from before is I’m choosing not to berate myself. I’m choosing to accept the choices I made, I enjoyed myself nonetheless snf I do tend to have an overindulgence side to me. I’m comfortable with that, at least for now. But today, I choose balance again. I haven’t lost balance, she’s not something to reach for and pretend that she’s attainable in tangible form. But today I choose balance within my body and for my body, balance with what I’m eating, with what feels good and I’m choosing to act on what feels good.

Maybe it’s not that balance is a myth as much as it is a state of mind as opposed to something to be striving for. Balance today feels like a feeling, a core desired feeling because when I feel balanced, I feel unstoppable, authentic, and in flow.  Maybe finding balance or connecting with balance is about implanting, choosing the lifestyle that comes with whatever the word itself means to you, in your life and for the betterment of your life.

End of the Year Analysis

It’s the end of 2017. That means we’ve almost made it through 12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours and I’m not positive about you, but I know for me and I’m assuming you, that A LOT has happened! Some of us have more sadness in our lives than we had hoped 2017 would bring, while some of us have more love, created bonds and unions with new people helping us see more of the beauty and love in this lifetime. Or maybe you’re like me and have experienced both sadness, and deep darkness in juxtaposition to all your happiness and love. No matter where you are I know one is for sure, you changed, you evolved and you right where you are to be. Where you are right now in this moment of your life, is exactly where you are supposed to be. To clarify, it’s not that I think “everything happens for a reason” because that would insinuate that bad things happen to good people for a reason. However, I do believe that there is a gift to be seen in pain, just as much as there is a gift to be seen in happiness. It’s okay if you’re not yet ready to look at the gifts behind your pain, you will be one day and if you so choose to do the emotional and mental work you can, you will, transform your pain into power.

All of this is my incredibly long introduction to something I’ve had so much fun doing these last few years, and that is - an end of the year analysis. Doing these exercises have been incredibly helpful in wrapping my head around how it could possibly be the end of another year, while at the same time reflecting both on all the successes, gratitudes, lessons and creating a path forward from this place of abundance with today. In hopes of inspiring you to reflect on your wonderful life, wounds, scars and all, I’m sharing my year end analysis with you, and I encourage you to do your own analysis. These exercises are a combination of love from spiritual guide Danielle Laporte and my recommendation for a Life Coach, Sarah Khambatta.

End of the Year Analysis Overview

  1. Reflect back on this past year, what really mattered to you? What was the most important moments, experiences, from 2017?

  2. Reflect back on the changes you would like to make in your life. This isn’t about regrets, it’s about noticing where you are physically, where you are emotionally, and calling attention to the changes you would like to make in your life

  3. Stop Doing List: what in your life is completely out of whack? What could you stop doing to change that? What do you want to let go of and not bring with you into 2018?

  4. Gratitude. Gratitude because it brings everything into perspective. Bringing forthw hat in your life you are grateful for allows you to notice all the beauty that surrounds you, be sure to claim why you’re grateful, specificity creates more abundance within your gratitude.

My End of the Year Analysis

Reflect back...what really mattered about this past year

  • Pushing my practice forward

  • Moving in with my beloved, I love the life we’ve built, and continue building together and I look forward to many more memories with him

  • Making progress on writing my book

  • Feeling like I’m on a path of creation


What do I want to change both about where I’m at physically and emotionally

  • Continue to hold space for myself as I heal my own wounds and scars

  • Eliminate stressing about money

  • My calendar: it often feels burdensome, I’d like to allow more time for me to be creative with my time

  • Physically, I’d like to make progress on finding a spacious house, with a backyard, a healing center, additional rooms for my family to grow into, more storage and closet space


Stop Doing list // What’s out of WHACK that I don’t want to bring into the New Year...

  • Negative self talk and this layer of soft rage I give to myself (emotionally, physically, the works!)

  • Comparison Syndrome and/or Competing Syndrome

  • Procrastinating on standing big, expanding into my light

  • Texting and driving

  • Eating dairy and gluten

  • Letting other people decide if I’m doing a good job or not

  • Harking on my man

  • Complaining about having a lack of time

  • Saying, or feeding the energy of “lack of money” in any way shape or form

  • My sleep schedule, continue to allow myself 8 hours, and go to bed reasonable times so that I can get that

  • Continue with exercise I have been on for the last few weeks


Conscious Gratitude, be specific and explain why

  • I’m exceedingly grateful for my mobility because it’s how I’m able to be creative, how I express myself when I’m feeling heavy, it’s how I sweat and improve how I feel about my body, it’s how I connect with nature having my feet on the ground and feeling the earth inside me

  • The deepest of gratitude for my Breathwork practice and my Breathwork community because they help me feel me, they make me feel open, loved, they help me reconnect with me and remind me, without even saying a word, of my own authenticity

  • Love. because love is what has gotten me through my darkest days. Love with people, from people, love with the world, with nature, it’s love of myself knowing when to listen and when to help myself. Love.


Loving the Way I FEEL AND What I Eat!

I love food, I always have. I love food the way it tastes, I love food that is good for me, I love the sociability, the act of getting together over a delicious meal, I love enjoying food with other people, but mostly, I just love food that tastes good. When I decided to go on a detox almost three months ago now, it was because I knew something needed to change in my life. I had completely become unaware of what I was putting in my body, and I knew I was beyond dieting. I needed support in changing my relationship to food. 


Over these last three months, I can feel my relationship to food evolving. I do still crave cheese, and I’m not sure anything, losing weight, any feeling, clarity or otherwise would be enough to make me not crave cheese, but I don’t crave it as much as I did in the beginning. And, I definitely don’t sugar as much anymore. I’ve curbed the sugar habit quite strongly actually, and that feels really good. I saw people eating chocolate chip cookies on their plates at a meeting the other evening, and although I kind of wanted one, at the same time, I really didn’t care. I cared more about wanting the tuna and mayo sandwiches than anything which is so funny. I just miss mayo. I know people aren’t supposed to miss that because we all know it’s so bad for us that people just cut it out, but I do, I miss it and I know how bad it is for me but I still miss it.

My mother has always used to ask me, “you really NEED to have each and every meal you eat absolutely delicious don’t you?” and I really did because I’ve always felt like why the fuck not? This is the one life I get to live and I want to enjoy food. Now, I don’t want to be obese and I don’t want to be overweight so I can’t fully overindulge, at least the way I have been, but I do still want to enjoy my meals. And if that means enjoying french fries, then I'm going to order some! But on this detox I've had to find alternatives to french fries, other foods that could potentially fulfill part of the craving so I wasn't left feeling deprived, while also not filling my body up with fried foods. Luckily, I really am enjoying my meals with the way I've been cooking. For Thanksgiving I even made homemade dairy, gluten and soy free mashed potatoes, stuffing, AND gravy. And to add to the mix, I made a dairy, gluten and soy free creamed corn casserole dish to share with my whole family and everyone loved it! There wasn’t even any leftovers the next day of the vegan dish that I brought to the family dinner! It really was an incredible experience to have a delicious Thanksgiving feast, and yet not feel like I was missing out on anything. AND, the best part, I didn’t hate my body or how I felt the next day.

Figuring out how to eat meals elsewhere, going out and at friends houses, has not always been fun, but it certainly has been an interesting challenge. What’s really fun is when I find a meal, or create a meal that is absolutely delicious, and yet it has no cheese and an incredibly healthy balance of proteins, vegetables and little to no starches or carbs. That feels like true accomplishment! Tasting the detailed flavors in zucchini, squash, brussels sprouts, and really enjoying the flavor/addition of olive oil in a way I never really noticed before, actually feels a little embarrassing to admit. Mixed in with this embarrassment is pride because I finally feel like I’m treating my body the way it should be treated and I'm enjoying food along the way! I’m proud of where I stand with this shift I’m making, and I love the way I feel. And that, is without a doubt, the best part of my changing relationship with food, loving the way I feel!

Shifting The Energy Around My Relationship with Food

To set the stage, for the last 2.5 months, I have been on a full body detox. That means for 2 months I removed alcohol, coffee, dairy, gluten, refined sugar, and most carbs and starches. Contrary to what you may be thinking now, I actually have been okay without all of this. There are certainly some stories, late night cravings, intense realizations, but generally, I've been doing just fine. More to come on the 2.5 months, my experiences, my food journaling etc. but for this, I want to talk about my relationship with food. 


Shifting the energy around my relationship with food has been a lot harder than the 10 pounds I’ve lost. It’s harder than saying no to the cheese quesadilla with a flour tortilla {I know I’m such a daredevil} that I’m craving so much. It’s harder than all these things because this is about changing the way I feel and think about myself.

I preach a lot of SELF LOVE, both to my students in my own profession, and for myself as a way to ensure I still feel, am connected to me on a daily basis. I believe I have a solid foundation of self love, however, when it comes to my body I’m used to always being overly critical. I look back at pictures of myself when my beloved and I first started dating, {about 4 years ago now} and I think wow I was skinny and looked good then. And yet I KNOW for a fact, when that picture was taken, I remember looking at it thinking I was overweight. Changing this energy around my relationship with food and what I think about myself is and has been the hardest part of these last few months of this nutrition detox. I’ll stand in a beer garden, at the local pub all day with people drinking and eating fries around me if it meant I didn’t have to work so damn hard on shifting this energy, but then again, so it goes.

In an effort to continue shifting this energy, I’m to come up with a different name for my Fat Jeans. You know, the pants you bought and the only pants you wear now because you’re a solid 15 pounds fatter than you’ve ever been, and the rest of your pants don’t fit but you refuse to buy any more pants because you will eventually fit into all the rest of the wardrobe again. No...Just me??  Okay, ya right. Anyway, my Fat Jeans. I had to roll them the other day! A full, complete roll just to keep them up, which was nothing less than FUCKING FANTASTIC! And yet, I’m still calling them my fat jeans. So, I’m coming up with a different name for my Fat Jeans and will feel the empowerment energy rather than the negative, self-deprecating talk energy.

Here’s my brainstorm:

Overweight Pants

Hefty Pants

Not Me Pants

Too Big Pants

Larger Pants

I think I’m getting better, kinder to me as this goes on. I’ll keep going…

Holey Baggy Pants

Boyfriend-Looking Jeans

Attractive-On-Me Jeans (I think I’m meant to be a wardrobe namer)

Comfy, Sexy Baggy Jeans

Sexy Jeans!

I feel good about the direction of that list and can feel the energy shifting inside me even as I just write out new potential names for these jeans. Here is to an ever growing, ever changing, but mostly ever evolving healthy relationship with food!

Talking to Our Inner Little BadAss

Source:  Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

When that movie “Inside Out” came out, I walked out of the theatre with my family smiling from ear to ear. “Genius!” My sister screamed, “that was absolutely genius!” I’m not going to lie as much as I loved that movie, I was also a little jealous. I was jealous because years prior, I’m talking a solid 8 years prior to this movie, I had told a friend, when I was living in Spain about the little girl that lives inside my head. I was jealous because I had been meaning to write about this little girl, to tell people about it in some way and I felt like this movie stole the idea from inside my body. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the power of this in her book “Big Magic” how this is how it works with creative ideas. That if you have a creative idea you need to execute on it, otherwise the idea will travel to someone else and they will execute it. Ideas want to be born, and that’s what happened. Although in truth, my idea was, still is, very different, it was rooted in the same thinking that there were little people inside our heads helping us live our life.  

This little girl that lives inside my head, holds the very important job of managing me. She manages my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, my experiences, my memories, in essence, she manages everything that happens with my mind because that’s her job. She spends her days driving around in my mind on a fork-lift filing away memories, thoughts, emotions, storing different experiences, all with the intention of helping me keep them all straight. If I forget I’ve met someone before, and the name escapes, or I’ve forgotten a key memory, or I just can’t seem to recall an experience, it’s because my little girl either took the day off, was taking a nap, on her lunch break, meditating or maybe had a little too much to drink, which sometimes happens, and the memory was filed in the wrong cabinet, or it fell to the floor {I don’t think it’s all that organized in my head}. I certainly don’t blame my little girl, she has a very exhausting job, managing me and all, and she really is quite good at her job.

Over the years, I’ve built/am building a deeper relationship with her. Everything I experience, she experiences too, and to the tenth degree because it’s her job to help me manage the experience. All the sadness that my body processes, she feels too. When I fight with my beloved, she feels it too. When I’m flourishing and ecstatic about the evolution of my job, she’s up there jumping up and down on her forklift chair. Everything I feel, she feels, and she always has my best interest at heart.

I spoke to her in a meditation session once. I saw her standing there, this time not in my head but in my belly, below my belly button deep in my sacral chakra. She was looking up at me with sad eyes. She wanted a hug. I hugged her, I told her I was listening, she nodded, she doesn’t say much, I do all the talking for us. I told her I know. I promised her I heard her wishes, and then I asked if I could have more time. She empathetically nodded, and we hugged. My body exploded with love in this embrace between us.

In that embrace she reminded me of one simple thing - LISTEN. Listen to my heart, listen to my deepest desires, listen to my body, listen to my emotions, listen to my intuition, listen to my inner little girl. We all have a little person inside of us just waiting to come out, to be discovered, to be listened to. They’re there as our companion, a friend to help us navigate the world, and they just want to be heard.

Feeling Feelings

“If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao medium.com

It's true. It's so true and yet we forget this truth in an effort to fit in, not stand out too much and to live a "normal" life. Although none of us truly know what normalcy really is I do know that normalcy is what you decide to make of it. Your normal can be as weird as all hell to your pal on your right, while their normal makes absolutely no sense to you. It doesn't matter. You live your life by the definitions you choose but the one thing you cannot stop, or decide to live without is feelings.

Feeling feelings. It's the worst of times, it's the best of times. When we're happy, feeling our feelings is incredible, we think nothing of it and embrace the happiness with our everything. When we're sad, when someone hurts us, when we hurt ourselves, when we hide our feelings, pushing them way down to the dark abyss that is our bodies, we're emotionally stunting ourselves at a place in life when these emotions happened. Everything after that is a result of not allowing feelings to be felt.

They say time heals all wounds. I believed and sometimes still believe in this. But what's to be said about letting time pass? About allowing the pain and the wounds to dissipate, {if they do} until you find that one day you're simply floating through the motions that are your life? What then? Do we allow for time to continue to pass even though the time that has passed has yet to have healed the wounds? Sure the wounds might have gotten better but the pain doesn't dissipate. 

Balance. It's a balance, it's always a balance. Life is a balance and when we live in harmonious balance with taking action to drive our lives forward, to heal us, AND give control and power to the Universe allowing it to lead us, that's when the magic happens. It's true when we're speaking about our lives, about love, and it's especially true when we're feeling feelings. 

Sometimes there is no action you can take to make yourself feel better. There's certainly a lot of action we can take to numb our pain, {insert your device of choice here} but there isn't always a devised plan ready for you to step into to soothe the pain and when that happens, the only way out is to FEEL your FEELINGS.

I know I want to live an extraordinary life and if this means giving up my expectations of what to do with pain, of what to do with the difficult emotions, I'm all in. I give myself permission to let it all be felt, to cry in the car when it comes, AND to laugh erratically at a grocery store. It will all come through and that to me, is creating the parameters for me to live an extraordinary life. 

Feel your feelings. Give space for healing. Take action. Believe. Give space for healing. Let go. Live in balance. Give space for healing. Live. Live. Keep living.