I recently found myself in a strong conversation with friends around vaccines. As we all know, this is one of those topics that can get heated and divisive. Fast. As I pondered this conversation, spending the day that followed reflecting more deeply into what lies behind such trouble spots between us, especially when you factor in that we all want to do right by our children, this is what I came to.

It occurs to me that beyond the divide of which side you find yourself on, beyond the heated arguments, and beyond the entrenched beliefs that give rise to so much intensity, is an issue of power. As in who currently has it, and therefore gets to decide, frame and orchestrate how things go. Interestingly enough, this is being reflected everywhere right now. Whether we are talking about Black Lives Matter, the political divide, wearing masks, education, medicine, guns, war, food, you name it. It is all up for grabs as many of the current structures holding the power are being challenged.

Power and how it is concentrated, and therefore behaves and enforces, is right at the heart of everything we as a people are facing at this moment in time. Of course this has always been there, visibly or not, but interestingly enough, it is now being magnified to such an extent that we cannot ignore inherent, unfair and unjust power differentials any longer. Beyond the discomfort, the chaos and the break down, it has all become so much easier to see, track, and therefore, address.

And so, as we step forward, an important element to keep in mind is that when you are under the umbrella of the current power structure, you are given protected status. No matter what. Whether you are right or wrong, fair or unfair, and even whether or not your beliefs and actions are life-saving or life-depleting. And when you are not under the umbrella, your views, needs, wants and vision are dismissed, demonized, denigrated, ignored and sometimes, even outright punished.

Because power misused marginalizes and disenfranchises whatever does not fall in line with its agenda, whatever challenges it or falls outside of its tightly held scope, is given the boot. One way or another.

Power concentrated in less than life-giving and life-affirming ways can feel so ugly to those of us seeking a world worth living in for all. One that includes a range and diversity of acceptance and respect that extends well beyond even the important conversation we are having right now around race. Because at its best, what we are coming to is a way to be in relationship with one another that honors All. All beliefs. All needs. All visions. All ways of being.

To bring it directly into something more manageable within each of our lives, where do you refuse to honor another perspective? Where do you demonize those holding an opposing position that you not only cannot understand, but that somehow feels like a threat to you? You do not even have to go to the “big issues.” Just watch what you do in the daily around feeling angry or threatened by those choosing differently than you. Pay particular attention to how you are able to do what you do based on whether your “party” is in power or not.

And could you, for even one moment, consider that just like you, the other side is doing what makes sense to them? And could we decide to land there with each other instead of either taking cover under the umbrella of the current power structure, or falling outside of that shelter, feeling victimized or defensive.

This is never about whether or not you believe “my side,” but instead, that all sides get a place at the table; whether they fall under the protected status of the power in office, or not.

(And to those who were part of this conversation recently, thank you for helping me to get more clear)

Trust & The Times


“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”

This powerful line by Goethe has been one of my most steadfast reminders and mantras for almost two decades. I ran into this profound guidance just when I needed it most. As in, just when I was open enough to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, it was up to me to decide how I got to live. How I got to feel about myself. How I got to choose what to believe in, what to want, what to need and how to be.

This was all happening at a time when I was just beginning to wake up to the idea that my life would remain the unhappy mess I often fell into because of my outer and other oriented approach to Life. Or, I could find another way. There was no choice as far as I was concerned. As a new mother, I was up against the harsh reality that Life as I had known it, was over. And even though a great deal of me wanted to hunker down and force things through per usual, another wiser, more trust-worthy part knew that somehow this was my chance. Though at the time I could not have told you what that chance was that was being offered to me.

But I can now.

And what I can tell you is this. That “time” I am referring to is here now for all of us. Whether we want it or not. Whether we are comfortable or not. Whether we feel as though we can do it or not. The time is now and it is here. And it cares not for our ideas around how things are supposed to go. It is here and it is asking one question, and one question only: Will you be with it? Will you let yourself be shaped by the times, carried by them, smashed to smithereens by them, squeezed out empty by them? With no guarantees offered. With little foreshadowing available. And with lots of confusion, frustration and missteps, along with lots and lots of hard work.

This is not easy and writing it makes me wonder who would ever sign up for such a thing? The answer? None of us. Not one of us. Which is why the big shifts in our lives come in ways we have no control over. In ways we did not see coming, nor would ever ask for. And yet, somewhere in all of this there is a hidden promise. That being, that if you can learn to navigate the unknown and the unknowable, exactly as you and only you can do, mistakes and all, you will be gifted with the most profound of all capacities: self-trust.

Self-trust gifts us with the colossal ability to go inside, to go below the noise and the external pressures of those around us, as well as our own fears, hang-ups and limitations. And in the going beyond we come to a place where the most exquisite answers and guidance reside. A place that does not answer to the status quo, consensual reality or mass consciousness. A place that despite the way it moves against consensual reality, offers up, for all of us when even one of us gets there, the most supreme of all perspectives; a flowing, never-ending Source of information that transcends the 24-hour news cycles, social media feeds, the fears du jour, and all of the rest of the inner and outer noise that we engage in that takes us away from ourselves, each other and the Truth.

Do you feel called to help the place we individually and collectively find ourselves in now? If so, the greatest act you could ever take would be to learn how to trust yourself. To learn how to think for yourself. To learn what you need and then, how to satisfy only the realest of those needs.

How to begin? Make a commitment to yourself that you, and only you, can decide what is right and true for you. Then, watch what happens. And when you come to all of the places where you allow others to tell you what to believe in, what to want, what to feel, and how to be, know that your work has just begun. And when you come to the place that believes that to do this would be selfish, know that your work has just begun. Best of all, know that it will be the most valuable and finest work you have ever done.

P.S. Get away from the mind-numbing and incessant messages that distract you and that you take as your own, without even knowing it. Question whether your thoughts are your own, or are something you have picked up from outside of you. The only way to do this is two-fold: get agenda-free time on your own, and fast from outside versions of “truth,” in whatever form they take.

New Normal


I recently heard author and women’s health advocate Christianne Northrup describe what we are going through right now as “The Great Awakening.”  Yes. You heard it right.

With that said, could you, for even one moment, open to the possibility that everything that is happening now, all of the chaos, the pain, the uncertainty, the fear and the break down, is Something exquisitely and intentionally designed just for you? As Something not meant to punish, but to promote the very highest and best in all of us?

I know, it can feel like a stretch. Or even an insult or an outrage. Or something too New-Agey to take seriously.

But what if it were true? What if this was our one big chance, for all of us here now, to do something different. Something life-affirming. Something beyond what we would have thought possible, or been willing to do when things were less intense. More “certain.” More to our liking. More “normal.” What if all that is happening is precisely what is required to wake us up to the truth that each and every one of us is here at this very moment for a great and powerful reason? And what if, even if you think I am full of it, or this makes you mad, that you might decide to play along just to see what would happen by picking up such a powerful and profound perspective.

That perspective being, that what you do matters. That how you meet up with Life matters. That this is your one life, and this is what is here now, so what will you do? Will you bemoan the fact you are here? Will you live feeling as though you have been cheated from your life? Will you lash out because it is not what you wanted? Will you hunker down in terror?

It puts me in mind of a new favorite quote of mine: “The will of God is not for weak people.”

Several months ago, just as all of this was really getting started, I was traveling back and forth to Florida to be with my mother. In the midst of the fear brewing, the uncertainty of what was happening with my mother, the proximity to people I feel challenged by while finding myself moving through a medical system that feels inhumane at best and downright harmful at worst, every day, every single day, I would ask for a miracle.

And every day I got one.

Some days it would come in the soft sweet singing of the woman who was drawing blood from my mother’s terribly bruised arms that brought me to tears for the sheer humanity and tenderness of the moment amidst a brutal health system. Other days it would come in the form of a song that was playing as I turned on the radio; where the line being sung at that exact moment, spoke directly to where I was at and gave me all the hope and reassurance I needed. On other days it came in the form of the pre-dawn quiet and all that was conveyed to me in that space. I am filled with emotion as I write this; being instantaneously brought back to a perspective that gave me life when it felt as if there was so little to be had.

It is easy to succumb to fear, doubt, panic and negativity. But what is encoded in any Great Awakening is the strength, the endurance, the courage and the grace you need to pass though something you do not believe you can pass through. And it is in the faith, the foresight and the grit to recognize that in the dismantling, Something, somewhere, must be trying to tell you something.

By whatever name you go by, turn to the vast perspective of that Something and wonder what it is that is wanting to be awakened in you. Open to a perspective beyond your wants, desires, habits and fears. And do it every day. Every single day. Until this, and only this, is your new normal.


**Quote by Baba Hari Dass


Reality Testing

Reality Check: Something that clarifies or serves as a reminder of reality; often by correcting a misconception

Does worrying about others keep them safe?

Does worrying about getting sick keep you healthy?

Does fearing what you or another might be harboring keep us all safer?

Does fear and worry equal how much love and caring exists between us, or serve as proof that we are doing the right thing?

It really is as simple as that.

What’s difficult is letting go of the misconceptions that we individually and collectively harbor that distort Truth. What’s difficult is becoming aware of where we use the wrong things to keep us safe. What’s difficult is letting go of the fallacies that justify the wrong choices. What’s difficult is realizing what is within our control, and what is not.

What’s difficult is recognizing that when the worry and the obsessive fears arrive, it is never the time to give in to that “reality,” and always the time to ask a more penetrating question of the reality that begins with a capital “R.”

Meeting Up


When my kids were younger, and then especially during the teen years, there would be times when they would offer up some hair brain scheme with great enthusiasm. With great justification around why it was such a good idea. With great hope, excitement  and even specific “well thought-out” plans around the soundness of what they were proposing.

Along with great denial around what my response would actually be.

At those times, I would sweetly respond to them by saying “Excuse me, have we met?” This was my comical, appropriate and parentally responsible way of saying, NO FUCKING WAY! Are you out of your mind? You surely must be to even think I would consider something like that. To which they would skulk off, knowing the conversation, and any further debate, was off the table. With the message being that what they were wanting was so absurd as to not even be worthy of further debate.

I loved it. It worked. It kept the relationship intact. It kept my sanity. And it kept the hierarchy of the relationship status in full view. As in who it was that was actually in charge of keeping things real. Supportive. Protective. And in line with what makes for a healthy response to Reality.

Which brings us to the point here. That being the challenge around meeting up with Reality with a capital “R” all on our own. The one we do not want to see. The one we do not want to be with. The very one we feel we cannot be with. The one we deny, distort and demand that it be other than it is. And the very same one that only by the Grace of Something More than us, Something Bigger than us, can we get back on track. That we can feel contained enough, guided enough and supported enough to turn and meet up with What Is. Despite our fears, denials and perhaps most of all, our lack of capacity and maturity.

Do you have this in your life? Some structure, some connection, some Presence that you recognize and honor as being more in the know than you are? As holding a far Greater Wisdom than your hair brained thoughts are capable of? Something Big enough to hold the feelings and the denials that you cannot be with? A Reflection that allows you to meet up with yourself as is, while holding you accountable to something more real?

If you have this, lean into it. If you don’t, open to it. There is no greater time than in the midst of widespread uncertainty than to find your way back into Something more mature than you. Something more knowing. Something with your best and long-term interests in mind. Something that would never, ever, allow you to go on, going in the wrong direction, unchecked.

To turn towards ourselves with some version of “Excuse me, have we met” when deranged thoughts and unhelpful feelings are running the show, is exactly the place to start. It is a choice that admits that our minds can so easily be deceived by the wrong ideas, and that what we most need to do is to submit to something bigger. Giving over, surrendering to, the healthiest of all developmental progressions that takes us from immaturity to maturity.

What if it is not about accessing more of your own crazy mind, or the crazy mind of those around you? And instead, everything to do with coming under the protective wing of Something that is not swayed by your lack of maturity and all of the immature demands and denials that emanate from that.


I teach the art and practice of Mindfulness. My favorite definition coming from Jon Kabat-Zinn who says that, “Mindfulness is being present moment to moment without judgment.” If you have ever tried to wrangle your mind into the here and now, you know that being present is hard enough, and when you factor in the “without judgment” piece, it gets even harder.

For the longest time, I thought of judgment as a problem. Maybe even the problem. As in, the enemy of humanity. Of close connections. Of a well-lived life. The very thing that needed to be dealt with and ultimately eradicated. A scourge deserving to be wiped out and wiped clean from our minds. I thought of it as an indictment against how we were doing as people whenever and wherever it showed up. A kind of relational, self-esteem and spiritual shame that needed to be concealed. Or even better, annihilated.

But after years and years of my own practice along with years and years of working with others, I have a different story these days around judgment, and it is one of growth, repair, inclusivity and forgiveness. It is an understanding that as humans we are always judging; for both good and ill, with the truth being that judgment is not just a wart on humanity, it is also an integral and essential aspect of the human experience.

At its best, judgment is a kind of discernment of the mind that is absolutely necessary for not only physical survival and where we put our precious attention and spend our time, but it is also a prerequisite for emotional and spiritual well-being to make the determination that something, or someone, is not in your best interest. Not worth your time or energy. And as judgy as that may seem, it is not. Instead, it is a crucial and necessary determination that speaks to, and supports, the preciousness of your one Life.

Right next to discernment is learning the signs of when judgment has gone south; turning us against ourselves and the world. This is where mindfulness, a kind of noticing and paying attention to our thoughts, comes in handy. For without a recognition that we are judging, we run the risk of letting something harmful, go unchecked.

So, while in certain circles, judgment has gotten a bad rap, the real question to ponder is, when is it life-giving, and when is it life-depleting? Where is it a necessary response, despite the judgment you may impose on yourself or have imposed on you? And when is it based in ignorance, prejudice, fear and unhealthy conditioning?

One way to move through this is to begin to pay attention to the thoughts you are having as you go through your day; particularly the ones that seem to elicit a big charge. The ones you ruminate over. The ones that make you angry or frustrated. The ones that put you at odds with yourself or another. And when you find that you are in a judgment that is not life-affirming, say to yourself “Oops, pardon me.” And then imagine withdrawing yourself from what you are focusing on.

When I do this, I see it as though I have inadvertently stepped on someone’s foot. Maybe even my own. And that as soon as I feel the weight of it, I withdraw the pressure, back off, and say “Sorry, I’m in the wrong place.”  No more and no less.




Ever heard someone say, or maybe even said yourself, “I really need to create better boundaries.” Typically, a statement like this will come up whenever we feel as though we are being taken advantage of, or maybe because we are giving away too much of ourselves. Likely we have all been there. It seems only natural that there will be those places where we will need to draw a better line, keep something back for ourselves, say “No,” or just in general, do less.

Or maybe more to the point, do only what is ours to do.

How do we even begin to figure that out? For surely if we really knew what was ours to do we would not be in need of creating better boundaries. So perhaps there is more to this whole boundary thing than just keeping something out. Or in. Depending, of course, on how you do what you do.

Boundary setting can feel as though something must be erected; built strong enough in order to keep things out. It might even feel like it is something placed outside of us; like a giant, electrified fence with a big “KEEP OUT” sign and some barbed wire at the top. It can feel like this especially when we have let things go too far. So far, in fact, that we imagine ourselves on one side of our fence, with others on the opposite side; feeling like if we do not get very strict with ourselves and others we will be taken advantage of. That something will be taken from us, or that another will enter where they are not welcome. Or that we will abandon ourselves, giving away too much, doing what is not ours to do, only to be left depleted, resentful, and used up.

Seeing it this way though misses the point. Partly because it puts us at odds with both ourselves and others; creating a kind of battle where there is a winner and a loser. Someone protected, and someone protected against; with the subtext being that it is because of the other person, or our level of sensitivity and openness, that we must guard ourselves by drawing a hard line. That something is being done to us, as opposed to us choosing for something. As in ourselves. For when we place the emphasis on the boundary itself, we miss the most important thing of all. That being, that when we are fully with ourselves, fully occupied in who we are and what we are feeling, fully accountable for our experiences in life, right-sized boundaries naturally, effortlessly, precisely and perfectly arrange themselves moment by moment by moment.

But this can only happen when we are fully inhabiting ourselves. Fully sovereign unto the  experience we are having. Fully occupied, as in, not having left ourselves vacant. It means not having extended beyond ourselves, nor having shrunk back leaving a void for something or someone else to occupy. When we inhabit ourselves in this way, there is no leaking out, or invasion in, for there is quite literally no room for the territory of you to be overrun, occupied or given away because you are so fully filled with who you are.

This is not easy to do. Many of us are so used to confusing our needs and wants with other people’s needs and wants that it can be very, very tricky to figure out where I end, and you begin. It can feel almost “natural” to give ourselves away. To over-do. To overcompensate. Which is exactly the point. For when we are fully claiming who we are and where we are in any given moment, we do not extend ourselves erroneously, nor do we leave a void to be filled by others expectations or demands. Instead, we create the long sought after journey of fully being all in with ourselves. Which then leaves interactions with others more clear. More known. Less confusing. And with far less boundary-problematic co-dependency between us.

Here is something to try. As you move throughout your day, occasionally stop and ask yourself, “Where am I?” If you find that you have left yourself out of the equation, are doing more than your share, are taking the brunt of something, if you feel overrun by what other people think or want from you, come back. Right then and there. Come back. Locate into yourself in that very moment. Connect to what you are thinking, feeling and sensing. Then proceed.




I have a friend who picks a word to work on for the year. While it has intrigued me, it was not until this year that I decided to give it a try. Initially, I chose “gratitude.” Sounds good, right? Who could argue with being grateful as a focus for the year? Well, I could when it turns out not to be your word. For on the very same day I chose “gratitude,” I was in an end-of-the-year yoga class, and I got the very clear sense that my word was not gratitude, it was surrender.

When it came to me, I was moved to tears. I felt so connected to my life and to Source. So ready to surrender it all. Until that is, several hours later when my laptop died, and I was convinced that my daughter had initiated the demise.

It was truly amazing to watch how just a few short hours after the calm surrender of the yoga class, I was instantaneously catapulted so easily straight into an all out war with the reality of the moment. The exact opposite of surrender.

You see, I “needed” that lap top to get a playlist together for a class I was teaching two days later in a brand new location. Right away my mind went to what it would mean about me if I wasn’t ready to teach. Right away my mind went to the “fact” that my laptop had been working just fine until my daughter downloaded an app on it. And right away my mind went to that at least it had been working in a limited way until my daughter got on the phone with the Apple tech, who after he instructed her to do something, left the computer unable to even turn on.

Oh! My! God!!!!

As all of this played out, I swung between irritation, anger, resentment and moment by moment mental reminders to let it go. That it was not a big deal. That it would all work out. Except, that I did not really, actually believe that. That is, until my husband called to share some difficult health news about a friend, at which point I quickly hung up and went to tell my daughter that I was not mad at her. At which point both she and I both burst into tears while we stood there clinging to each other like survivors of some catastrophe.

I am emotional just writing this. For in that moment, what revealed itself was that all the fighting against reality had put me in a position of being at odds with someone I loved. And how often do we all do that? Make some stupid thing more important than the relationship. But when that perspective shift came in, I could not get to my daughter quick enough. And God did it feel good. Right. Exactly where I most wanted to be. Much better than being the one wronged or inconvenienced. Much better than being upset with someone. And much, much better than being right.

Admittedly so, I am a little worried about what I have signed up for. And yet, I know that I am all in because of what transpired between my daughter and I in that moment. Don’t we all need this? A way into where we most want to be that is stronger than the habits and conditioning of the ego, with all of its plans and strategies for holding and defending a position?

Want to join me in this “little” experiment? I know it won’t be easy, but this experience that I am writing about has clued me into something. That being, that when we are not clinging to the wrong things or trying to force Life to turn out a particular way, there is more space for… EVERYTHING! Including most of all what it is that we want most of all.


A Careful Time


So, here we are again at that time of year. That being, the time of resolutions. The time where we set intentions and make commitments to ourselves and others with so much hope and resolve. Equally, it is the time when our resolutions can become lost and forgotten as firmly as they first came in.

Recently, while away at a training, every day as I went to class, I would pass this quote: “You are carefully designing the person you are right now. It’s time to take ownership of that creative process.” Yes, I would think inwardly each time I went by it. Yes, this is what I want more than anything else in the world. Yes, I resolve to take this up with a firm commitment.

Then, Life would show up in the form of longstanding thoughts, beliefs and habit patterns that ran contrary to this lofty and much desired resolution. Life would show up in the form of interactions with other people that challenged the process I was trying to carefully and deliberately design.

And there’s the rub. Creating a resolution or intention is one thing. Living it is an entirely different matter. Which is why it is so easy to make one, and so very, very challenging to keep one.

What I have found is that in order to deliberately create a new habit, belief or way of being requires a breaking down of the goal or the aim into the down and dirty of the moment. As in, how does this commitment show up in the gritty reality of Life versus the fantasized version of what it will be, look like, or take.

What that meant for me was breaking that quote down into the specific qualities of the person I was intentionally designing. For me, this broke down into two categories: Being who and what I am, and being a well-wisher of others. With that as my guide, each time I noticed my mind cycling back to old thoughts and patterns, I would wonder to myself, “Does that thought/feeling/action/belief get me closer or further from who and what I am? Does that thought/feeling/action/belief make me a well-wisher of others? When the answer was no, as it was each time that I tuned into what was happening, I would shift away from what I was thinking or feeling. I would drop it as quickly as I had noticed it.

It was exhausting, constant and time-consuming to work with myself in this way. And, it was powerful, life-changing, and exactly where I most want to be. That being, in alignment with taking full and complete charge and responsibility for who I am and how I move through the world.

Try it. What do you want for yourself this coming year? Once you have it, break that down into something manageable that you can reference in any given moment to discern whether you are there or not. For instance, looking for love? Where and when do you push it away, or set yourself up as unlovable? Looking to be seen? Where and when do you hide or diminish yourself to yourself or others? Looking to feel healthier? Where and when do you indulge in the wrong things?

The trick here is to catch yourself in as many moments as possible acting out of alignment with what you most want. Not in a punitive or judgmental way, but as a correction. One meant to take you back on course and towards the person you are carefully designing yourself to be, in a way that most lines up with the satisfaction and the magnitude of fully claiming the creative process of your life.



They say that hindsight is 2020. They also say that what we do not learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat. And as a yoga teacher I love recently said, “We need to wrap things up in order to unwrap their meaning.”

Here we are at the threshold of a New Year. One deeply imprinted by an arduous and demanding past year. How we navigate transitions is always important. But perhaps this year that truism is more relevant than ever? If that’s so, it bears spending some time “wrapping up” what has been, so that we can step forward wisely shaped by what we discover. Not an easy thing to do. Especially as we still find ourselves inside of the ripple effects of something so wide sweeping in its impact.

And yet, step forward we must.

Transitions can be many things. They can be smooth. And they can be perilous. They can be welcome or not. Known or unknown. Isolating or community building. Within our control and beyond our control. How then can we influence how it will go?

By remembering that Life comes and goes, ebbs and flows, and not by our design alone.

One of the things I have come to deeply appreciate and acknowledge in my own life are the ways in which the very worst of my life has built me into the woman I am today. Experiences that viewed now through the perspective of time, maturation, and a steady choice to accept more and more of what Life brings, has brought me to not just accept what I did not want, what I felt hurt me, what I felt should never have happened to me, but to the very powerful recognition of the absolute necessity of it All.

It has been nothing short of Grace to learn how to include it all. Taking me from a refusal, to a begrudging acceptance, to forgiveness, to a place where there is nothing to forgive. Because it was all, always, exactly as it was meant to be. That being, that “All things are equal under creation.” While it might seem utter madness to say that anything that happens is equal to anything else, it is for sure the way out of suffering. Of fighting. Of blaming. Of trying to control Life to show up on your terms.

With that said, if it were years from now, and you were in a place where you no longer felt overwhelmed, afraid, frustrated or anxious by what has been happening this past year, what would you know to be true? What learnings about yourself and how the world works have occurred that only could have happened through an experience this big? And this unwelcome.

And if it were true…If the painful was the same as the pleasurable. The difficult the same as the easy. The unwanted the same as the wanted. What gift could you unwrap for yourself by wrapping up any of the ways that you have refused what this past year has brought? What might you have received that you could not have gotten otherwise?

And what would it require of you to take that knowing into this next year?