Intentions are a powerful way to focus a mind that loves to dwell in the limitations and pain of the past, along with the apprehensions and anxieties of the future. But more than anything, intentions put you into direct contact with what you really want in life. Which then puts you into direct contact with all of the ways that you undermine what it is that you really want in life.

This past year, I have bumped up my intention setting to include a monthly ritual on each new moon to get very clear about something in my life based on the astrology we are in. Basically, I am aligning myself with my own energies as well as larger Universal forces; helping me to accelerate whatever it is that I am navigating towards.

Then, I spend the following weeks bringing myself back over and over again to what I have intended. This helps me to navigate by a True North (what it is that I most want) and gives me something to align with when I have gotten off course (what it is that I don’t want).

Given the long list of distractions and addictions available in the culture at this time, without a clear intention of what you most want in Life, you will be doomed to keep repeating over and over again what is not working for you.

This month the new moon was in the sign of Virgo. I have a special feeling for this sign as it is all about the body. Not only one of my favorite topics, but the very cornerstone for everything I do in life. And this doesn’t just apply to me. We cannot be here without a body. Nor can we enjoy ourselves or have energy to create what’s important to us when we are in a body that feels like crap.

Does it not make sense then, to create a special relationship with this one body of yours?

One way to begin is to let yourself imagine what it is that you really want when it comes to your body. This month, I did that by creating an intention for myself at the new moon: May I know what it is to live in this body feeling fully blessed, loved, protected, understood and seen.

As I go through my days, I can pinpoint the moments when I am in alignment with this deep desire, and when I am not. As always, it breaks down to my state of mind. Am I in an old place when experiencing my body, an anticipated future, or am I here right now? And when I am here through the lens of the present versus the past versus the future, what is my experience like in each state when it comes to how it feels to be in this body of mine?

I will tell you something that holds true for all of us. No matter what your body is feeling or experiencing, when you are only in the present moment with what is happening, not only is the experience doable, you will find more sustenance and support than when you are imagining past or future scenarios about what it all means. Further, only when you are in your body now, as is, can you experience feeling fully blessed, loved, protected, understood and seen.

No matter what is happening.

Your One Body


You only get one body, and you will be with that body for the rest of your life. The relationship you have with your one body will be the most enduring one of your entire embodied existence. Does it not make sense then, to cultivate a deep and trusting connection with this one body of yours? One that transcends doubts, self-loathing, fears, worries, distrust and agendas that undermine its healthy functioning, and your ability to feel good about being in a body. 

It can be easy to believe that our high rates of disease, illness and overall bodily disconnection are just the way it is now. But what if there is much, much more to this story? What if essential pieces have been left out when it comes to the basis of your health and well-being? And what if some of those missing pieces have to do with who it is that is actually responsible for your health, what your body truly needs and what it is that your symptoms are really all about? 

There is an ever-growing awakening that we have strayed too far from what is good for us, and that our current main‐stream medical approach appears to be incapable of saving us from the ill health and bodily disconnection that are far too common now, and that seem only to be accelerating; with greater levels of suffering on the rise now as we seek answers and quick fixes outside the realm of our very own embodied know-how. 

This can be hard to hear. It can feel so much easier to believe that the fixes we seek for the body will be in a piece of machinery, an expert or a pill. That what these bodies of ours need most will come in the form of something far more intelligent than these bodies of ours. Something more infallible, orderly and guaranteed. Something safe because ‘everyone’ else is doing it, or because our doctor says so. 

But what if this view is wrong? What if the reason so many of us are suffering so much in our bodies is because we have not started with what is real and true about who we are and what we most need? What if what we actually need is not complicated at all, but as simple and as close to us as our next breath? Or a well-placed question? Or a tending to one of our body’s most basic and non-negotiable needs like hydration, real food, rest, movement or connection? 

In a world that has normalized harming and mistrusting the body, sometimes even requiring this as a way to fit in, doing things differently from those around you requires great courage. We have such a powerful, survival-based need to belong that it can feel impossible to do anything but conform. To do what others are doing. To do what we are being told to do. No wonder it can feel so unsettling to trust these bodies of ours if it means doing things differently than those around us. 

But how good is it for you, or the community for that matter, to continue to go along with what does not serve the very best in you? Or that even downright violates your body’s most fundamental requirements and your trusting relationship to it? Learning to trust your own body is a lifelong process and is as basic and in the now as asking yourself throughout the day, What is my body experiencing, and what does it need?

Excerpted from my book, Trusting Your Body: The Embodied Journey of Claiming Sacred Responsibility for Your Health & Well-Being

Who’s The Expert?


There’s a lot in the air these days about who’s in charge when it comes to our health. Given the divisiveness and the accusations that abound here, it feels a little dicey even putting it out there. But if we don’t take a deeper look at who is the ultimate authority when it comes to the health and well-being of our bodies, we will not only continue to be at each other’s throats, we will have missed the most important question of all:

What makes for true health, and in whose hands does it belong?

Thinking about this, I was taken back to a time when I was working as a therapist-in-training. There were so many rules about how to engage with a patient. The proper boundaries around interactions that we had to set. The legal requirements around how to practice, and how to keep from being sued.

And then of course, and perhaps most ‘important’ of all, was the agreed upon (and often unspoken) narrative that drove the therapeutic interaction: The therapist is the expert and they know far more about the patient than the patient knows about their own life, what the trouble is and what they most need. In other words “I’m the expert and it’s up to me to tell you what’s wrong with you and how to fix it. It’s your job to do what I tell you.”

This never sat well with me, though at the time I could not have told you why. But now I can.

To ever presume that you are the expert in another person’s life is to not only create an imbalanced relationship that carries with it the promise, or at least the possibility of abuse, is nothing compared to what you will have robbed that person of. That being, their experience of learning how to claim their own inner authority.

For any of us to come to know a sense of full adult status, we must traverse the difficult terrain of claiming full responsibility for ourselves; the choices we make, and the lives we create through those choices. It is by engaging with all of the decisions that we must make as an adult in charge of our own body that we reap the power, clarity, strength, autonomy and authority that we require to live in health. And that our communities require of us in order to create healthy communities.

Becoming the bona fide expert in our own lives is the single, greatest contribution we will ever make to our life and to the lives of those around us.

Just as every parent must understand that to keep a young adult child tethered to us and our expertise may feel safer than letting them figure out what they must on their own, to do this is to cripple them. It is to rob them of a sense of self-trust and inner authority.

It is no different with the health of our bodies and with those who would appoint themselves as the ‘experts.’ We must, each on our own, be allowed the space and the freedom to decide what is best for us, mistakes and all. To do anything less is to cripple a populace. It is to keep them infantilized to parentified and controlling outside authorities.

In the end, it is to undermine the richness and the possibility of a world based on a kind of organic health that seeds itself in individual expertise, that then goes on to blossom into health for all.

Bodily Reflections


“How can I stand without gripping?”

I am in my morning practice as I ask myself this question. Why this question? Because I am noticing for the umpteenth time the way I am clenching and gripping the muscles on the outside of my hips to hold myself upright.

At this point in time, I know enough to know that not only is this not necessary in order to keep me standing, as importantly, this pattern serves as the root cause of the pain I often get in my left hip and lower back. And yet, all these years later, it’s still there. Hence my question.

Posing this question is significantly different than imposing something on my body. Like trying to force it into a new position. It’s also different than medicating myself against and away from what my body’s messages of pain, imbalance and discomfort are. These approaches never work because they are not including the most important ingredient; my body and what it’s telling me.

I have come to know that when I wonder about something with my body, it always gives me information. The most fascinating thing of all being, I never know what it’s going to reveal. I know this can be a source of fear for a lot of us, but I will tell you:

There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the messages of your body. If you are willing to be open to truth.

Today’s truth for me had nothing to do with reminding myself over and over again to release muscles. Instead, the truth being spoken today had to do with releasing an old way of meeting up with the world. One where I am hanging on for dear life to take a stand in a world I perceive won’t be interested in what I’m offering, or will somehow be hostile towards what I am bringing forward. (With the bodily gripping being a way I shore myself up for the perceived assault.)

You can see then, that no amount of reworking my muscles or taking pain medication will ever resolve what is happening in my body, unless and until, I address a pattern far deeper than the way my muscles grip.

This way of being with ourselves not only changes the health of the body, it takes us directly to a greater Truth of who we are and why we are here. To try and control or  medicate against our bodies in order to shut them up, is, in effect, shutting up our very existence.

The Healer Within


When you think of the word “Healer,” what comes to mind? Someone in a white coat? A shaman? Or maybe something in between?

I am guessing though, that whatever your image or definition is, it is likely, not you. That for most of us that word conjures up someone else. Something outside of you. Someone more knowledgeable and more expert than you.

When I looked up the etymology of the word “heal,” it comes from the Old English. The definition, in the exact order it was given in, goes like this: Cure. Save. Make whole. With a “healer” being one who heals. 

In other words, a healer is one who cures, saves, or makes whole.

A lot is revealed in the order of the wording in the definition as we go from cure, to save, to make whole. I think the order speaks directly to where we are in our own healing evolution; both individually and collectively. As in, when we believe that health is about curing and saving as opposed to making whole, we find ourselves in a more primitive (dare I say outdated) evolutionary model of health and healing.

Personally, I believe that there is an essential distinction that needs to be made by more of us if we are to make the necessary evolutionary leap beyond the illness model we now subscribe to and into a greater and vaster possibility.

Without using being cured or saved as the litmus test, what might happen if more of us began to see what health is, and how we heal from a more advanced perspective?

We know all too well, having done it for far too long now, the experience of being cured, looking for a cure, feeling incurable, with all of the shame, frustration, and fear that goes along with this. We also know all too well its companion; outsourcing our authority to someone who “knows better.” Someone who can save us.

This place of looking to be cured by a savior is nowhere more prevalent than in our conventional medical system. But what if this paradigm is incorrect in terms of where the real healing resides? And what if healing is about so much more than just health? 

These are enormous questions to contemplate. Even more challenging to put this mindset into practice. We are so conditioned to look for cures in the hands of someone other than our own. Which is why we need new ways of thinking about what healing is, and in whose hands it actually belongs.

If you’re up for it, try this: Spend some time in a quiet moment thinking about a challenging health issue in your life. If you could take the worry and the someone-else-knows better-than-I-do out of the equation, what would healing mean to you if it wasn’t about being cured or saved by someone else?

Specifically, what would healing look like, feel like, and yes, require from you, to make whole something about you and your life? An evolutionary shift that would help open you to the possibility of being your own Healer Within in the service of a greater experience of wholeness.

In my world, that would be a true advancement in modern medicine.


P.S. If you are wanting to explore more deeply your own Healer Within, please visit

Embracing Obstacles


It’s not easy being in a body. There are so many sensations, pressures, thoughts, beliefs and experiences that go along with how we feel about our bodies, and what it means to inhabit them. That’s why it can feel preferable to “leave” them. Or let someone else be in charge of them.

It has become a socially condoned way of “living” to leave our bodies and what it is we are experiencing. Take my college students and the way that they “party.” The way they use drugs and alcohol to knock down the stress. To keep them from feeling what they don’t want to feel.

I know this place. All too well. It was how I lived for years. Partying, eating and exercising to excess and as punishment. Self-loathing and worthlessness arising out of the choices I was making. It was only when I began to feel how horrible what I was doing to myself felt, that I was able to shift. Only when I was willing to encounter the obstacles to good and fulfilling connection with my body did things, slowly and steadily, begin to change.

While incredibly difficult, excruciating and sad to come up against the obstacles that were keeping me from myself, it was real. Most of all, it was true. Obstacles are an absolutely unavoidable and essential part of the journey of being at home in our own body. So that’s where I began. With what was real by way of what was in between me and my body. In between me and my ability to be at home in myself. 

I know the current thinking is to get away from what feels bad. I would even go so far as to say that it is built into us as mammals to get away from what causes pain. That it is a necessary part of our survival and coping mechanisms to avoid what hurts. This life-giving tendency most certainly has its place. However, in modern day living where our pains are often self- and culturally-induced, with no connection whatsoever to real physical survival requirements, our wires have gotten crossed when it comes to avoidance. 

The basic, primal instinct of avoidance has gotten flipped on its head, and is now bringing harm rather than relief, while being met by a world all too happy to sell us things that keep us from ever having to feel what it is to be in our own bodies. 

Given the cultural mindset that says “Take this to get away from feeling what you are feeling in your body,” to hear that in order to be at home in yourself, you must go towards what you typically avoid, can sound paradoxical. Or even insane. But if we don’t include this part of embodiment, we’ll miss out on some of the most important information we need when it comes to the body and how it is that we are treating it. Not to mention that it is pure fantasy to try and avoid what we would rather not know. 

Acting as if something is not there, does not make it so.

It is only when we include what does not feel good, what is not working, what is keeping us from a good relationship with ourselves, can we see that what we’re doing is actually not working. Maybe even hurting. That any of the denying, diversions and medicating we’re engaging in, outweighs any “benefits” they may bring in the short-term. Worst of all, that what we’re choosing through our avoidance may actually become the impediment itself to healing what ails us.

In the end, keeping us from not only the health we desire, but the opportunity to know ourselves fully through the empowered journey of learning to trust and care for ourselves. 


The Words We Use


Our precision (not perfection) at naming the moment to moment and daily truths of life in a body, will determine how well we can respond to what it needs and what it is saying; which will determine the overall feel and quality of our lives. The words we choose about our bodies carry great weight. They shape the stories we tell ourselves, revealing powerful belief systems about how we really think about ourselves and the world.

The words reflect not only what we think is happening, but what we believe is possible in terms of health and healing. Most of all, the words we choose determine how we feel about these bodies of ours, and what it means to be alive.

When my mother was still living, we had this bit we would do. She would disparage some part of her body (the stomach that was never flat enough because of the four cesareans and one hysterectomy, the skin that was too loose because she was in her 80’s, her weight on any given day that she tracked repeatedly by daily weigh-ins on the bathroom scale), and I would look at her and tilt my head. To which she would respond, “Oh yeah, I’m not supposed to say that.” 

It was funny. And not. After years of us doing this bit together, although she had come to know that if she ran her body down in my presence I was going to challenge her, I don’t think she ever actually knew the extent of what she was doing to herself. I don’t think she ever allowed herself to feel the impact of maligning her body, sometimes even with great disgust at its inability to measure up to some externalized state of perfection. I don’t think she ever got it was her own self she was running down.  

I will say here to you what I said to her: Your body is listening, and the words you use about it hurt or heal. If this makes sense to you, practice being more mindful about the words you use in reference to your own body. When you catch yourself using hurtful words, say, “I’m sorry. I take that back.” 

If we use pejorative, fear-based, and negative phrases about our own bodies and what is happening for them, our ability to see clearly will be grossly obscured and misleading; rendering any “observations” we make, inaccurate. False. Potentially even detrimental in outcome because we have misnamed them. Meaning, we won’t be able to take good care of ourselves. 

Not only that, any ongoing negativity towards, and about our bodies, will have a detrimental impact on the overall experience of being alive. As in, it won’t feel good to be here. 

P.S. If you’d like to feel better in your body, consider joining my health and healing community at:


A Manifesto


I am in the midst of exploring, very deeply, what health is. What supports it. What undermines it.

The deeper I go, the more I come to see that there are fundamental perspectives that must be embraced first. That before we can even decide what healthcare or medicine looks like for each of us, we must first develop a way of being in relationship with ourselves and all of Life that comes as close as we can to working with basic truths around what it actually takes to be healthy and to thrive.

Here is my attempt. Run it though your own system. What resonates? What challenges? Where could you begin?

 The Embodiment Manifesto:

A Revolutionary Commitment To Redefining How We Care For Ourselves

Mission: To explore what is possible when we learn how to recognize and honor real human needs, live according to life-affirming values, express the Truth of who and what we are.

As Fully Sovereign & Embodied Beings, We Believe That:

  • Who we are and how we live matters.
  • Our health is our own responsibility.
  • The single greatest contribution we will ever make to the world is how we take care of ourselves.
  • Honoring real human needs is the basis for how we know and care for ourselves.
  • Self-Care is built-in.
  • Everything is Connected.
  • The body is Intelligent & any signs or symptoms we experience are worthy of our attention.
  • Claiming bodily sovereignty is a healthy act.
  • Valuing our own life is valuing all Life. 
  • Good Medicine is always in the hands of the people: For the people, by the people, and of the people.


Breaking Open


I think a lot about the body. More to the point, I spend a lot of time with my body, and with the bodies of others exploring what they need. What it is that we cannot do without. And what it is that we should learn to do without.

What both fascinates, and yes at times greatly frustrates me, are the signs and symptoms of a body out of balance. Mine or another’s. What it does when it’s sick or things hurt. All of the ways that the body conveys to us each and every day, what is working, and what is not.

In other words, the language of our very own body.

To be clear, this is a language. As a matter of fact, before we could talk, this was our very first, and only, language. It is not the same (although they do overlap) as the language of the mind. More to the point, we often get into trouble with the body because we allow the conditioned rational mind with all of its bodily hangups to run the show when it comes to what we’re experiencing: Yuch, what’s that? I don’t like this. That’s gross. I’m afraid. Make it stop. What if it never goes away? Make it go away. I hate you. I’m not listening. Shut up. I don’t want to know.

Sound familiar?

But what if the symptoms of your body are essential and vital information? And what if learning what message was being sent was a way into something beyond what you could even imagine?

I have this very experience over and over again in my life. Something comes up in the body that I’m not comfortable with, or that I flat out don’t want. Anger, frustration, and fear arise. But when the tantrum of the resistance to what is happening blows over, the feeling of injustice and despair passed, an inner surrender sweeps in. And always, always, some gift appears.

Beyond any of the specifics of what I am dealing with, and whether or not what is there goes away,  I am made whole again. The feelings of being at odds with myself vanish. Which is why I honor the language my body speaks. Even when I hate what it is saying.

Try this: In a quiet moment (for me it’s in bed or in my morning practice) let yourself recognize something in your body that doesn’t feel good. Put your hands there, and for a few breaths, just be with it. No forcing. No fixing. No looking for an answer.

When you feel more settled, ask yourself, “What do you want me to know?”

Pause and wait without reaching out for the answer. Sometimes I get a memory, a song, or a flash of something I once read, or something someone once told me that is somehow related. Sometimes nothing comes. Or it shows up later in the day. No matter.

What always tells me though that I’m onto something is when I burst out crying. Or am deeply moved somehow. This used to freak me out. Now I know that whenever something breaks open, in the “brokenness,” I am made whole again. Exactly where I always wanted to be.

So how could I ever vilify how it is that the body gets me there?


Bedside Manner


I sometimes like to imagine what healing was like before we got so focused on machines, lawsuits, and pharmaceuticals. A time before your physician was more intent on getting the “right” codes into the laptop in the seven minutes they were allotted by the conglomerate, than actually being with you and getting to know you.

A time when the human body and the human soul was at the very center of the healing relationship. A time when we knew we were all connected, both within and without. A time when our physicians felt honored to be of service to us, instead of answering to the bottom line profit demands of a corporation.

A time when our healers were naturals at bedside manner.

That unique capacity to be with another human being; next to them, holding their hand, looking into their eyes, being with them as they made their journey through life. In both, as they say, in sickness and in health. What an honor to be privy to the deepest, realest and most raw experiences of another soul.

And now, what a devastating turnaround that it has gone missing. Only to be exchanged for not only poor substitutes, but for a form of “care” that is most decidedly devoid of care. Even at times, dangerous. What could possibly have replaced what we need most? Money incentives, efficiency, standard protocols, separate specializations, insurance codes, following the rules, and fear. Yes, fear.

Fear that they will miss something or make a mistake. Fear of being ostracized, sued or fired for stepping outside of SOP. Fear of getting too involved. Fear that they cannot help us. Perhaps worst of all, fear of their own humanity, and of showing that to us.

We need this. We need those in the healing profession to reclaim the human roots of their calling. Visionaries. Those with the courage to do less technically in the service of doing more healing wise. Those willing to break ranks with anything that violates their sacred obligation to us, and to what it is that actually heals.

Those willing to claim the power and the healing Presence of such quaint and outdated practices as the art and science of bedside manner: A genuine and authentic relationship built on care that transcends any agenda other than that.

Maybe this has never occurred in history. Maybe it’s pure fantasy on my part to believe in its existence. But this is what I yearn for: Medicine built on integrity, real care, and most of all, a healing relationship with a physician who trusts that connection above all else.