I have been trained in and have practiced Yogic and Shamanic techniques and philosophies for many years. In ancient times, both were part of one root in India; sharing essential world views and spiritual sensibilities. While I love so much about both traditions, perhaps my favorite of all is the concept and practice of intentionality that I use to create a foundation for how I live.

Living with intention is a deep practice; resulting in the ultimate knowing that the “how” and the “why” of what we do is more important than anything. The “what” of how we live pales in comparison to what lives behind it.  Every single time. This is vastly different than the way modern living is obsessed with the “what.” What you look like. What you do. What you give. What your credentials are. What others see in you.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the ways that the “what” of something can be very deceiving. How it can be a false representation of someone’s true intentions. In other words, something can look very, very good in the what and be an absolute abomination when it comes to the intention behind it all. Easy examples are the marketing strategies that convince us that the companies care about us or the planet when all they are doing is trying to sell us something. Or how about the leaders in life, on all levels, who present as so caring when all they want is your vote. Or your silence. Or to remain in charge without challenge.

In a world that so rewards the “what,” even when it costs us all far too much than we should ever pay, it can feel like too much work to be fully intentional in your actions, your thoughts and in your exchanges with others. There may be no immediate reward, no external benefit or prize given. It may even cause you lots of extra effort or cost you in terms of something.


Because to live with more intention requires a kind of honesty and whole-heartedness that the world does not always recognize, or appreciate. And because this way of living demands an unwavering focus on getting to the bottom of why you do what you do, why what matters to you matters to you, and then cleaning up your act when you are out of alignment between the why and the what of how you live.

Motherhood was by far my greatest and most strenuous teacher in this regard. Interestingly enough, as the world grows more and more insane, I find myself at the threshold of another time of great teaching in terms of what it means to live with intention. No matter what. What this means for me is that I cannot use the outer circumstances of the world to dictate to me the why of my what.

Instead, I am working on building my muscle of intention ever stronger by being as focused and deliberate as I can be; even in the midst of destructive and unreasonable times that would say there is nothing I can do.

Maybe you’ve noticed it too. All the ways that there are more and more demands being placed on us to live a certain way, to believe a certain thing, to line up with a particular narrative or ideology. With the penalty being, if you do not express the what in the way it is mandated, you are a (fill in the blank with the latest of social media’s accusations du jour).

The antidote to this is to choose “for” something, and then to line your life up with that. Every thought, every action, every word. This is not easy to do in a world with so many damaging choices and so many harmful demands to slot into the what of someone else’s ideas of what your life should look like.

Being intentional is to be discerning. It is to be fearless in the face of your own fears around how others will feel about the why and the how of what you do. It is to stare down the voices within you that would say you do not have permission to choose your why and how you live. It is to know when you are crumbling in your attempts to live with more intention because you do not know whether or not you are worth such an elevated existence.

But the Truth is, it’s already there inside you. If you doubt it, just look at the ways you admire those in life who have really chosen to focus their attention to live more intentionally. Maybe it is an athlete. Or an artist. Or a great teacher. More likely, it is someone you know living a “regular” life. To see this in another is the experience of the seed recognizing the plant. So I would ask you, what is it that you admire about them and then look beyond “the what” to their why and how for clues as to how you might proceed.

Finally, since you already possess within you the seed of living with greater intentionality, what is one small thing you could do today to tend to that seed? And then, what is one small thing you could do tomorrow? And then, the tomorrow after that, and after that…

For to live intentionally is a lifelong pursuit.



When the Wrong Things Are In Charge


Because I grew up in alcoholism, I am highly sensitive and keenly attuned to what I will call, “the wrong thing being in charge.” What I mean by this is that my internal radar picks up on people and circumstances in the world promoting, even mandating, that what is harmful be accepted as the norm. I know intimately the devastating and far-reaching impact the wrong thing can have on us individually and collectively; robbing us of satisfying relationships and a sense of ease, faith and security in the world.

The upside is, I carry this sensitivity with me everywhere I go. So it is very easy for me to spot other versions of the wrong thing being in charge. For instance, this capacity allowed me to see decades ago the interference screens would have on the health and well-being of our kids and our families; which is why my children were not given cell phones, why they were not allowed on social media and why their screen time exposure was kept to a minimum.

Spotting the wrong thing running the show is why I got out of conventional medicine, conventionally grown food and any other misaligned systems where I could figure out a way to opt out. Recently, when the University I taught at required that I, a student and teacher of the breath, wear a mask while I taught, I said no. These are my most obvious examples. There are more. Both large and small.

Whether you agree with my interpretation of what constitutes the wrong thing being in charge doesn’t matter. What matters is this: How often do you agree to something that in your gut, you know is wrong? It doesn’t even have to be some main stage world issue. It can be as simple as not saying something when someone near you is promoting the wrong ideas, or asking the wrong things of you.

When we allow the wrong things to be in charge in life, we play the role of the victim. The one who has no say. No power. Believe it or not, we derive benefit from this. How? By believing that because it is not up to us, that someone else is in charge, we can abdicate the responsibility of our lives and our actions to someone or something that is outside of us.

This disempowering abdication asks, Who am I to say something is off? Who am I to challenge the status quo?

Who you are is someone who can look around to see how all the wrong things we have let be in charge, have left us ill. Right down to our very souls. We are sick with the acceptance of what we know is not right.

Lest you believe this is far beyond you and your little life, it is not. We are sensing beings who know immediately when something is off. This is a built-in knowing that reveals itself to you every single day. And you don’t need to have grown up in alcoholism to come by it. Why? Because your capacity to know down deep the right and the wrong of something is within you. It is only a matter of whether or not you will tune into it.

Maybe it is that small tug in your gut. The feeling that something just doesn’t add up, or smell right. It is akin to the record skipping, or the moment in The Matrix when there is a visual glitch in the program.

To be clear, this is not about pointing the finger or shaking an angry fist at the news. Instead, it is choosing to see when something is off, and doing whatever is yours to do. Whatever is within the scope of your power to right that wrong. To stand as a beacon. Not as one who calls out another’s behavior for their own glory, but because it is so.

We deny this role in our lives for all kinds of reasons. We don’t want to be “that person.” We are afraid others will not like us. Maybe they will mock, leave or ridicule us. Maybe we will lose something. Whatever our reason, we have become complacent and lethargic after so many years of being enslaved to the wrong thing. It has become the new “normal” now to just go along.

To be mediocre, silent and compliant.

But if you want something else, begin to pay more attention to the radar that lives within you, and learn to act on it. Tap into that feeling that something is “off.” Even if you cannot articulate why. You will have to pay very close attention here because it is very easy to miss. Especially since so many of us have grown so accustomed to accepting the wrong things, and believing that this is just how it is now.

My advice? Be willing to be the one, in whatever way you can, to say “The Emperor has no clothes on.” Not as a way to elevate your status on social media, not as a way to lord something over others and certainly not as a way to put yourself in the position of deciding right and wrong for another. But as a bona fide acceptance and hard won capacity of growing into being an adult who lives by a solid personal code of right and wrong. And who carries that with them everywhere they go.

No matter what.


An Intentional Life


I am recently back from guiding a women’s retreat in the mountains. As we got close to the end, what seemed to be on each woman’s mind was, How do I take what I have discovered here and bring it back into my life? Even more importantly, How do I make it stick?

These questions have been on my mind ever since. Because really, what does it matter if when you go away, you can tap into what you really need and what’s most important to you, but can’t integrate it into your life on the daily? Who cares if you are up on all the latest and the greatest that the Internet and the apps have to offer, but find yourself cycling through endless experiences of trying the next thing out there that’s trending; with no real enduring change for the exchange of your precious time and energy.

Not to mention the disappointment, and maybe even self-loathing, when once again you can’t get the changes you want, to stick.

I can only say what has worked in my life. That being, getting very, very intentional about how you are living. Getting clear about what matters most to you, and then lining up everything, absolutely everything, to that. Through time, trial and error, and yes, effort, you begin to create a life that is holy. Why? Because it is based on what is most important in all the worlds. It is created by living through and above the ups and downs, the fads, the busyness, the mandates, the pressures, the marketing, the constant allure of the screens, and every other manner of distraction out there.

Living like this requires digging deeply over and over again to get to what you most want. This applies whether or not you are tired, feel like you have the time or are worth it. And it absolutely applies no matter who you are with. This is not easy to do. It’s like training for an ultramarathon that will take you through all kinds of terrain, some for which you will be prepared and some for which you will not. And oh by the way, it never ends.

Hearing this can feel overwhelming. As in how could a person possibly get to this? Well, there is no getting there. Only a kind of commitment that strengthens over time; ultimately giving way to greater and greater satisfaction such that the efforts pale in comparison to the return. That return is you, and a life well-lived.

Thinking about this all week has brought up a bunch of gems I’d like to share with you. To live intentionally…

  • Is to want more and to go for it.
  • Is to learn to stand for something. No matter what.
  • Is to let go of old ideas and habits. Again and again.
  • Is to learn to see every challenge to your intention as a chance to strengthen your resolve.
  • Is  to let the very best in you be called forward.
  • Is to be stronger than the naysaying; both within and without.
  • Is to let yourself be shaped and forged by a larger vision for your life.
  • Is to give up trying to belong based on fitting in.
  • Is to believe you are worth it.

So now we cycle back to the beginning question, How do I stick with it? I would say, figure out what you want more than anything else in the world and hold that as your enduring and unrelenting focus.





A Tarot reader I work with and love introduced me to the concept of Alchemy. She described it as the resolution of opposites and the birth of Something New being the essence of this ancient and esoteric practice. Historically, alchemists used something called an athanor; an oven that heats at a high and even temperature to transmute substances.

The discipline of alchemy has gotten me thinking this past year of how it is that we put seemingly unrelated things together, and then “heat” them up until they merge into a Holy Union.

I’ve been thinking about this not from the perspective of physical substances, as in turning lead into gold, but instead, in relation to the process of doing one’s own deep, and often difficult, psychological, emotional and spiritual work in the service of creating a new substance.

In other words, how do we take what we have been given and become the Alchemist in our own lives?

I believe this would require being willing to pay very, very close attention to ourselves. Not in the anxious, fear-based, judgmental ways that seems to be currently in vogue. But from the perspective of someone being deeply interested in themselves. As in, what makes me tick? Why do I do what I do? Why do I believe what I believe? Why do I say what I say?

This is about a close examination of one’s self and the life you are living. Not as justification to find fault, penalize or fall into victimhood, but as a daring and courageous attempt to go for the gold!

This requires allowing yourself and your life to be the athanor; the strong, steady and heat-resistant container for changing one thing into another. But instead of gold, the coveted prize is to Know Thyself. Something of this nature requires a willingness on your part to look, to spend time with yourself, to wonder about how it is you are living. It demands diligence, courage and patience to undertake such a lofty endeavor. For there will always be many, many reasons to quit the work of the Alchemist. Many voices, distractions, fears and dead-ends to undermine your commitment, that must be combatted.

But if you are up for it, begin to consider this: What in my life needs alchemizing? What feels impossible, but in need of transmuting? Begin your experiment there. And then, What happens if I try this? Or how about that? What if I turn it around and look at it like this? Or that?

Be willing to let go of the demands of how things are supposed to look, or even turn out. (This one shift alone is perhaps the greatest game changer. Or deal breaker if not tended to.) Instead, open yourself to the preciousness of your own life, and what is just begging to be transmuted. This requires learning to see that every unwanted piece of lead or scrap metal in your life is, in fact, gold in disguise. Just waiting to happen.

*Vici Williams is the Tarot reader I work with and she is not to be missed. Be in touch with me for her contact number at


Caring in The Modern Age


As someone who is here to be of service (actually true of all of us), I am regularly wondering what that really means. Regularly coming up against all the ways that how I serve, how I care, is fundamentally flawed; whether in my motivation, or my execution. I don’t blame myself for this because I don’t know if it’s actually possible to be completely clear on how it is that we offer care.

It’s not easy to really care about others without our own blindspots, traumas, fears and needs getting mixed up in what it is we believe we are doing for others. That is why I am a firm believer in continuously checking in with what we are doing when it comes to helping others. Otherwise, we can get really derailed in what we believe passes for care. Can convince ourselves, and others, that we are doing something for them, when in fact, we are doing it for ourselves.

To keep from feeling alone, afraid, out of control, you name it.

There’s never a problem with doing something for ourselves in the service of aiding another. Where the problem comes in is when we convince ourselves, and everyone around us, that we are purely in it for the greater good of others. That our words and actions are only about helping others.

Caring in The Modern Age has gotten very, very complicated, confusing and rife with mixed agendas. I would even go so far as to say, hijacked. By guilt. By the need to be publically virtuous. By the need to be right. By the need to control. By the need to manufacture a kind of safety that does not exist.

And sadly of late, by a kind of legislation around what it looks like and what must be done to care.

Not to mention that there are so many things to care about. Too many, if we are being honest. More than any one human being could possibly do. But given our access to everyone and everything around the world via the technologies, we have come to believe that we must be tuned into suffering everywhere, while suffering ourselves as confirmation that we really care.

But the Truth is, caring is an intimate act and can only be offered to just so many. It is an orientation to ourselves and to the world that has nothing to do with guilt, coercion, sympathy or demand. It is not offered as a badge of honor. Nor can it be enforced.

And it does not grow in magnitude based on how sad and overwhelmed you feel by the world’s suffering. Which by the way, whether you know it or not, you use as a way to indicate to everyone around you just what a caring person you are.

To care is to be concerned. It is to provide what is needed by way of sustenance. A kind of tending to that can take many, many forms and expressions. To offer and to receive care is to be human. It is wired into us and needs not to be forced or distorted into happening. It only needs our connection to Self, Source and Other to pour forth, naturally.

But in order to get to what is innate within each and everyone of us, we must run the gauntlet of the times; finding ways to shed and steer clear of what has been falsely constructed when it comes to what it looks like to care.

Red Flags


This morning I did something I almost never do. I went online before my morning practice. It’s not like it’s an ironclad rule to never do this. It’s just that I know that when I start my day in reflection, I’m a different person. Closer to who I most want to be when I begin my day by checking in, as opposed to checking out.

But the allure today towards the screen was just too strong. A friend had told me about a meditation, and I got it into my head that this would make my practice better. Deeper. That maybe this would be what I needed to get over the hump of an obstacle I had been struggling with. Maybe it would get me closer to Source?

That right there should have been a red flag. But the temptation of the one-click-away to salvation was just too strong.

Once on the site and ready to buy the fix I thought I needed, for some reason the payment wouldn’t go through. So I tried it again. And then, again. And again. Actually a bunch more times. I even walked away for a minute, and then came back to try once more.

And so it was, with some sense of loss and disappointment that I headed into my morning practice. But not with my usual sense of commitment and eager anticipation.

Yesterday, I would have told you that I am far too experienced to believe that some meditation would fill some hole. Today I would tell you, some part of me does not know better. I would tell you that this whole business of what we need, and what we think we can get immediately via the screens is very, very seductive. In such an exquisitely insidious and invisible way that there’s a good chance you won’t even know it’s happening.

Why? Because the false promise of easy access salvation to a better life with just one click, flies under the radar of the rational mind. The part of us that believes we are in charge and know exactly why we are choosing what we do. What I am describing tells another story. One where our deepest longings, those places beneath the surface of awareness that drive us without us even knowing it, are easily hijacked by what is available across a screen.

It is so sobering to experience just how vulnerable we are to the belief that what we need is out there; in someone else’s hands, in an app, some purchase, a meditation download. This morning, I am deeply humbled by the ease with which I was hooked. Equally, I am deeply grateful for the daily reminder of my morning practice. Something that caught me today before I fell too far from Truth.

That Truth being, there are no quick fixes out there. No matter what form they come in. The real Truth is, it is in us. Whatever it is that we are looking for. Do we need help? We do. But the trick is, not to confuse the help (someone else’s map) with the answer we are seeking (which can only be found in the direct knowing of our own territory).

So yes, use what’s out there to spark you. But never, ever, believe something outside of you will do for you, what only you can do for yourself.

P.S. When in doubt about where you are in all of this, be on the lookout for the compulsion that you just have to have (fill in the blank) to be okay. Use that feeling of impulsiveness on your part to have something right now, as the red flag being flown to warn you off the lie you are about to buy into.

“Your Best Life”


I was working with a woman this week who was describing how tired she feels trying to “live her best life.” How she is trying so hard to do everything “right.” Not only is it not working, it’s backfiring. She’s not enjoying herself, and she’s not getting the results either promised to her, or that she believes she should be getting with all this effort.

I told her she was not alone. And I told her that there is a good chance that what’s driving her, does not even come from her own desires. Or from what her body or her life truly needs. Or even from an authentic source of what it actually means and takes to live your best life.

Not only is there a multi-billion dollar health and wellness industry intentionally cultivating insecurity in us while driving us to look outside ourselves in order to sell us lots of stuff, there is social media with its cruel drive to pit us against one another in a competition around living our best lives. And then of course, there is the entertainment industry with its warped, computer-generated, plastic-surgery-altered and starved-body version of beauty and health.

And while intellectually a good many of us would say that we know that all of this is not real or something to reference, we do so anyway because somewhere deep down inside of us, we have come to believe it. Or we believe others believe it and that we will be judged by those standards; leaving even the hesitant among us to go along with what we know is bogus. And harmful.

All of this has reminded me of something I heard a teacher say when I first started training in yoga. That being, Yoga is not about self-improvement. I had no idea what they were talking about. What do you mean it’s not about improving? Are you suggesting I don’t try and be a better person? Go for, in today’s parlance, my best life?

Yes. That is exactly what Yoga and any other Light-filled perspective, tradition or religious approach is saying. It has not, and never has been, about self-improvement with a little “s.” Instead it is about the Self with a big “S.” The one that needs no improvement. The one that has never been diminished by our choices or the ways of the world. The One that is an authentic expression of Source.

But what does that mean in terms of self-improvement? It means that whatever we choose to do, we do so in the service of our soul. In the service of our highest and best good. In the service of taking care of our bodies and minds that they may support us in being here in a life-affirming way. In the service of behaving in the world in a way that aligns with our highest calling, along with a deep and abiding sense of connection to All That Is.

Want to take this into practice? Get away from the commercials. Get away from social media that leaves you feeling less then. Get away from entertainment offering up plasticized themes and characters. But mostly, learn to source Something Greater than what a person is trying to sell you, mandate or demand of you in order to be seen as having value and a right to belong.

Instructions For The Times


When I think about the times we’re living through, I see vast, vast possibilities before us, standing side by side with the devastation of a world crumbling to pieces from the inside out.

I know it’s only natural to drop back into fear, anger, despair and outrage. I know it’s only natural to lash out in blame. I know it’s only natural to separate ourselves from one another. But what I also know on a deep and personal level is a place of possibility that I have visited many times in my life. That being, when you can allow for the breaking down, for the coming apart, for the falling to pieces, for the going up in flames, something new will be born.

Every. Single. Time.

Personally speaking, I am up for these times. I am up for more of us getting pushed to the brink of what is no longer working. I do not wish upon anyone the suffering that accompanies these kinds of tectonic squeezes and shifts, but I do wish for a struggle born of a big enough and noble enough cause that forces us to wrestle with creating an honest look at our lives. Individually and collectively.

To that end, I pass on a phrase a friend shared with me recently that I believe has the potential to act as a set of instructions for how to go about living through the breaking apart of the world:

Get Your House In Order

Get your house in order. If you let it, the words carry the resonance of a Truth that is deeply and uniquely powerful and personally impactful for each and every one of us. A code, if you will, that is personalized to who we are and what it is that needs to be done next. And then what needs to be done after that. And then, after that. And after that.

So, without trying to figure anything out with your mind, first, just say that phrase to yourself. What does it move in you? Repeat it to yourself in the days, weeks and months to come. Let its vibration work on you, guide you, and ultimately, inspire you to take action. You might also flip it around and make it a question. One posed on behalf of your own life and that of the world.

What do I need to do next to get my own house in order?

If you can be with this, I promise you this: Your life will be the better for it, and so will everyone’s around you. For the world can only find order when each and every one of us has figured out how to get our own house in order.



As I write this, today is November 11th. 11.11.  In many places in the world, it is a day of great significance. In the U.S., it is the day we honor our veterans. And in many circles, today is known as a portal day. A day of personal and spiritual significance. A day to pay attention to. A day to set powerful intentions on.

A day to move closer to the Truth of who we are and why we are here.

Funny, how typically I would have been writing yesterday on the 10th. But the writing just wouldn’t come. So I set it aside. Now I know why. I was supposed to be with this day in this way. I was supposed to be willing to do something different.

This small example sums up what a day like today is all about: An opportunity to be different than my usual habits and preconceived ideas. A day to move and choose and talk and be with more intention. More reverence. More awareness that there is Something Greater at play in my Life than how I would have it.

But in order for us to be available to these more sensitive threads in the universal order of things, we must not only pay attention, we must be committed to leaving some room in our minds, our schedules, our wants, for these sacred threads to reveal themselves to us. Not just in specific times like a holiday, a death, a birth or going to a service, but in the moment to moment unfolding of our lives.

We are missing something when we believe we are too busy, or that there are only certain times we can be more available to a holy opportunity.

It is there in how you eat. How you speak to another. How you think about those you fear or disagree with. How you consume things. How you stay when you should go. How you remain silent when you should speak. For it is there. Always. And in All Ways.

What we are talking about here is one moment in time, a momentary portal, to remind us all to be more One, more unified, more whole in all that we are and all that we do. For it’s easy to do it on the “special” days, and much, much harder to keep the commitment going over more of the days of our lives.

So even when the day passes (which it already has as you read this), can you remember to look for 11.11 more often? Can you remember to let it’s significance reveal something to you in any given moment? Can you commit to making more room inside of your life and mind for the unexpected that shows up when you live more as One than 2 or 3 or 10 or 200…?