How to Make the BEST Sandcastle | Summer Beach Resort

Impermanence.  That which is not permanent.  How quickly in your mind can you make a list of things that are impermanent? How long would that list be?  Answers:  quickly and long.  That is life.

I am always surprised but never really shocked at how my morning readings and meditations flow together.  Today for example, my app that I use to do a quick morning meditation in my miracle morning routine focused on the idea of impermanence and how children might react differently to a sand castle being taken by a wave.  Would you the child who cries and grieves the loss or would you be the one to pick up the shovel and bucket and begin again?  How many sand castles have succumbed to the crashing waves and we repeat the same reaction?

The book of Ecclesiastes and my beloved part of scripture that talks about there being a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun became my morning bible reading and reflection.  God had made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11.  Life may be unpredictable, filled with separation, disappointments and frustrations.  These are not permanent just as the joys, celebrations, successes and friendships are not.

I take great comfort in knowing that all of the ebbs and flows of my life, the hard times and the joy filled times all take place under God’s gaze.  There are seasons in nature, seasons in a life, seasons in the beginning and ending of an individual day.  I believe we are only asked to be present to the moment – each one as it comes and goes, knowing that neither the pain or the joy will stay.

I pray you can learn to pick up your shovel and pail when your sand castle topples over, watch with wonder as the place is washed clean and being fully present, take the next moment to begin again.

The Way Forward is Through

What Blocks Your Personal Growth - A Path Appears

“The world has been turned upside down, and we’ve been whipsawed, not just by a pandemic, but by the fast-moving stories that went with it. It has disrupted our families, our lives and our projects as well. George Floyd’s murder became a wake-up call, a story that we can no longer ignore, a call to action as we each seek to make a difference. These tragedies remind us that we have work to do, but also that we are not helpless. We can speak up, stand up and lead, on whatever project is dear to us. We can create the future we want to see.

The way forward is through. Through empathy and through practice. We are each charged with standing up and telling our story, a true story of possibility, as we weave together a better future.”

Seth Godin

During my morning routine this morning I took a moment to read Seth’s blog post. There was an invitation to head to a different site where he was encouraging readers to sign up for a writing workshop to learn to be an effective storyteller.  Sounds amazing but I have to pass this round.  It is not the right time for me and while I would love this challenge, I believe it is also important to keep an eye on your priorities, goals and objectives.  For me, I have a huge learning curve with several projects right now that must take the front seat.  So, I am going to put this in the back pocket for when I can devote more time to it.

Back to his intro. I read these words and they resonated so I wanted to pass them on.  Everything he says here is true to me.  The world does feel upside down.  I miss and can literally mourn my life pre-covid.  But grief can carry us a couple of ways.  Grief can make us stop or it can propel us forward.  I am up for the challenge of the latter!  I started with the stop to be honest and that just did not sit well with me.  So I am welcoming this time to create the world I not only want to live in, but one I can see and help others thrive in.

The only way forward is to move…. move through. Practice is not perfect.  Fail forward.  Just don’t stop moving and growing and planting seeds for a better day for everyone.

Simple Pleasures

The Human Obsession With The List | Get Better HeadQuarters

Do you like lists?  I do.  I love to make a good list.  It can be anything from the mundane grocery list to what I need to accomplish this day.  Once I found a card in the store that had a cute list of things to do that were joyful.  I bought the card (I think it was for a birthday celebration) and placed it for a time by my computer.  It brought me joy.

There are so many little ways you can create happiness but I think there is also something to be said about enjoying the simple pleasures in life that already exist in your day. When I take the time to really relish these moments as they present themselves, I find that the simple pleasures are what bring great happiness to my life.

So maybe today you might take a piece of paper and write a list.  Just try it.  It’s super easy and see how it makes you feel. Today I will put a list here of things that come to mind when I think about simple pleasures.  Covid has forced us to do less, to stay home and to change our routine.  Simple Pleasures are beginning to mean so much more.

A small piece of dark chocolate.

Watching the sun rise.  Watching the sun set.

Writing a letter with pen and paper.

A cup of freshly brewed tea.

Taking a bath.

Cuddling under clean sheets.

Curling up with a good book in a comfy chair.

Playing with the dogs.

Listening to music.

Dancing around the kitchen

The feeling you have after a hard workout.

Picking flowers.

Morning coffee.

Stopping to appreciate nature.

Driving with the windows open or the top down.

Fireflies on a summer night.

Flip flops and sundresses.

Having a good laugh.

A chat with a dear friend.

Spending time with people you love.


“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” – Paulo Coelho


Independence Day 2020


July 4, 2020.  A very different Independence Day than many we have celebrated in the past.  Throughout our history, this day has stirred up unrest, vulnerable feeling and opened the door (even a crack) to the injustices we still face as a nation as we go about our celebrating, picnicking, and shooting off fireworks.

Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Kaepernick and others have made efforts to shed light on the racism and injustices we face as a nation.  The death of George Floyd, while many consider, the straw that broke the camels back, came during a time when we, as a nation were already feeling out of balance, vulnerable and unsteady.  Covid 19 brought a set a problems unknown and uncomfortable to ALL Americans.  Perhaps even acting as a catalyst to empower Black’s and White’s alike to stand up, go out and protest for the injustices and inequalities we must face if this nation is to remain or maybe find greatness.

Douglass mourned, like generations before and after him, the tragedy of a country whose national creed of freedom and liberty were in fact rooted in the bondage of Black souls and the exploitation of Black labor. King believed Black Americans had historically received a “bad check,” yet refused to believe “that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” That same speech ended by King arguing that when America at long last fulfilled its original promise, matched word on paper with public deeds in action, it would give new meaning to patriotic expressions of love of country. Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest in support of Black humanity by proclaiming that Black Lives Matter in taking a knee during the National Anthem has at last moved others to kneel in solidarity.

Will July 4, 2020 be seen in history as the Independence Day where our country is no longer in the grips of anti-Black racism and white supremacy? Can we acknowledge our history without celebrating it’s meaning? Can we finally take away the statues and the flag that represents racial inequality and replace it with something new? We must continue to confront our past in order to create a new future – one that includes all with equality, vulnerability, understanding and love.

There are tensions within a national holiday professing freedom by a country built on slavery. I don’t know if that will ever disappear but the hope of this massive moment in American history belongs to the courage of ordinary Americans — those people whose passion and beliefs have moved them to show up in demonstration and protest,  feel anger and empathy,  and have created a generational opportunity to confront legacies of racism that touch every aspect of our society.

We must continue to confront the past in order to create a new future big enough to include us all.  So on this July 4th, my prayer is we can embrace America’s past holistically.  Our goal remains freedom.  Freedom FOR ALL.  Maybe we are finally at the day we can agree the have failed to live up to our nations creed written in our most sacred documents –

With liberty and justice for all.

That all men are created equal.

Time will tell how this is written in the book of America’s history.

God Bless America





Miracle Morning


Yesterday my husband and I drove the second leg of our trip to see my brother and sister in law in Ohio.  This is only the second time in our ten years together that we have traveled to their home.  As I write this, I am sitting in their sunroom with the glow of sunrise coming through their windows.  There is a lovely patch of wildflowers just outside the glass and a dew gently glistening over the field.  It is so peaceful.

Back to the car ride!  So, on a recommendation, Jon and I listened to a book.  A short book but in my mind a powerful book.  What struck me after finishing it just as we pulled into their driveway, was that the ideas Hal shared are things I was already doing in my life but I don’t really think I was doing them with all of me.  With commitment.  With a true belief in their power to transform.  I have been going through the motions, one toe in, so to speak.  And I chose to accept his challenge to find a buddy and to work this with 100% all in, laser focus for thirty days.

So, this morning, I woke up at 5:30.  Yes, 5:30 AM… on a holiday to begin my first morning miracle morning.

Perhaps, like me, you have a deep desire to be 100% IN your life.  You want to manifest an amazing life for yourself, your family, and to be of service to those with whom you come in contact.  Miracle Morning may be a good way to begin.  Check it out and let me know if you are all in too!



Thoughts on Happiness

George Orwell said, “Happiness can only exist in acceptance.”

Happiness and self acceptance go hand in hand.  You enjoy as much happiness as you believe you are worthy of.  Self acceptance is unconditional.  Taking a long, hard look at yourself and seeing the original truth of who YOU are.  It’s important to recognize weaknesses and faults, yet not have those interfere with your ability to accept yourself.  I believe it is when we stop judging ourselves that we can secure a more positive sense of who we are.  A dear friend likes to remind me, “stop measuring yourself against someone else’s yard stick.”

We must learn to love ourselves, show self compassion and take a broader view of humanity.  Find a way to cultivate wholeness, not seperateness.

Believing I am enough!

This mantra gives us the courage to be authenic, vulnerable and imperfect.  Learn to let go of what others think and then shed the false ideas of perfectionism.  Strive to be non-judgemental.  When you stop judging yourself, you become more accepting of others.

Rumi, a 13th century Sufi mystic wrote:

This human being is a guest house

Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness

Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Perhaps accepting all aspects of ourselves is where true happiness lies.

Happy Monday

Love and Light


Christ-consciousness in the time of Covid-19

With nothing but time, as the world grinds to a halt to ward off the crippling virus, Covid-19, I have been reading and meditating on the idea of Christ’s second coming.  The bible tells us we will not know the time or day and I am beginning to come to a place in my heart where I believe it won’t be this appearance of Jesus coming down from heaven or being born again either.

The idea shared by Christian mystics, like Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, believe that the Christ-consciousness, is born in each one’s own experience and understanding as we attune our consciousness to Christ. This kind of second coming will be the “birthing” of this Christ-consciousness in millions of beings, who turn toward pure love and take the supreme risk of incarnating divine love-in-action on Earth.  Raising the vibration of pure love throughout the planet will bring about a radical shift in how we live.

De Montfort shares a great mystical truth; “that the Christ- consciousness (love), in all its tenderness and radical passion, is born from as complete as possible an adoration of the sacred feminine.”  In the last hundred plus years, the Virgin Mary has been appearing all over the world, warning humanity of the danger of living without God and without love and trying to open all beings to the truths of the Heart.  SHE has been preparing the ground for the birth of Christ in ALL of us through prayer, unconditional love, wonder and service.  He sees at the potential end of history, Mother and Son, returning in a new and revolutionary dance of love and wisdom whose consequences could be completely transforming.  Mary, the biblical mother of Jesus, physically “birthed” a human son who carried in him the the vast Christ-consciousness, the omniscient intelligence of God and the perfect reflection of God the Father.

In the bible, John tells us that all souls who become united with Christ (Love / Christ-consciousness), by faith are rightly called sons of God.  So, if we can grow in communion, communication and self-realization by reading, studying and meditating on the words of Jesus, the great sages and mystics, the desert fathers and mothers along with ancient texts like the Bhagavad Gita, we can invite this Christ-consciousness into our hearts and then manifest into the daily living of our lives.  We can radiate this heightened love vibration out into our neighborhoods, jobs, communities and the world.

Mantram of Unification

Humanity is One, and I am One with All.

I seek to love, not hate;

I seek to serve and not exact due service;

I seek to heal, not hurt.

Let pain bring due reward of Light and Love.

Let the Soul control the outer form,

and life and all events

and bring to light the Love

that underlies the happenings of the time.

Let Love Prevail – Let All Kind Love


The Sermon on the Mount

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


I hope you can be inspired to read some of the great works during this time of stillness.  The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, writings of Francis of Assisi, Eckhart, Merton, Terera of Avila, Julian of Norwich and many more!




Why I Love Teaching Yoga

Let me start by saying here that some days I truly feel like I have hit the jackpot when it comes to the work I do!  Imagine being able to spend your time and energy on something that fills your heart and fills your soul and you get paid for it.  I could just pinch myself some days – especially those days when I am “on the scene” taking photos of families and corporate folks, brides and grooms full of love.  Then I get to add in the hours I spend sharing and teaching yoga at The Zoo and Golds Gym, Bliss and Holy Cow.  Of course there are also those amazing, kind and so wonderful ladies at SeaIsland Preschool.

The road was a twisty and turning one getting to this place in my life.  I love holding the camera.  Meeting new people and seeing old familiar faces that trust me year after year.  I love getting people to smile and relax enough to show their light.  I love putting on yoga pants (they are SO comfortable) and sharing this practice far and wide.  I love how every day is never the same.

I wanted to take a minute to share some of the reasons why I feel that my yoga training and teaching is so much more than a job and more of a blessing in my life.

Everyone has the most beautiful light shining in them.  The more we come to the mat, the practice of yoga facilitates an experience of the self and opens us up to our personal power and potential.  We being to see our light shine brighter and our minds open to the infinite possibilities of life! As a teacher I get to be witness to that and it so rewarding.  As a student, I know how it feels and the power it has to heal and transform.

Then I get beyond jazzed by the idea that I am being of service and always prayerful that I am making a difference for someone.  I love the fact that I can offer something to someone that can be helpful, inspirational and of service.  I wholeheartedly believe in the uplifting power of yoga and I feel myself, and can some times see in others, yoga’s transformative, rejuvenating, restorative and healing power that keep us coming back.

This November I am offering my first retreat out of the country to my dear friends, Marc and Dayna’s resort in Nicaragua called Verdad!

Perhaps there is someone reading this that will feel the spirit moving inside them to come along!  That YES this is perfect timing for me and I am ready and open to this adventure kind of feeling.  I hope you will reach out to me and come along.  I have so much I want to share with you.

My Yoga and Self-Renewal Retreat will be a way for you to unplug for a week.  There will be opportunities to practice, to be still, to be pampered, to play, and to be in community with some amazing people.




The Key to Wonder


What is the key to wonder? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Honestly I had not until recently when I came across a verse in Proverbs that said, ” On the heels of humility comes the wonder of God.” (Proverbs 22:4)

As I sat with this statement in mediation it became clear that only through humility can we truly experience wonder. Humility is not a feeling per se.  Humility is a trait of character more than it can be considered a state of mind.  I believe humility grows and flourishes within one’s self only after you discover the interconnectedness of all things.  Can you allow yourself to feel a part of every living thing on the planet? Every blade of grass, every bumblebee and worm, every animal and tree.  Humility comes when we bring to light the transient nature of our being.

I believe that as humility grows, wonder deepens.  We can see ourselves as temporary expressions of God’s timeless and infinite unfolding. We all die. We all have a common fate and through that realization a compassion to embrace all beings grows.  So as we awaken to the unity of all in ALL, we discover that our will is now one with the Divine Will.  There will be a sense, a desire, to go out and heal the world through lovingkindness and you will want to choose what is right over what is wrong.  As your actions display genuine humility – when you stand in solidarity with all and in wonder of God, when you stand empty of self and mistakes in which “the self” is prone – then the Divine is revealed with and around you.  Then you are alive to the glory of creation and live the life of the world to come NOW!

In opening your mind and heart to the manifestation of the world to come being in the present – here and now, we not only create and manifest heaven on earth but we grow humble in the process allowing our pride to melt away as wonder embraces you.  Pride deludes you into separateness and you come to believe you are alone in the world and that you do only for yourself in the world.  Your success, your wealth is yours and yours alone.  These are lies because there really is no “alone.” You are a part of the other, and all are a part of the ONE.

Did you become wealthy alone? No!  At every step, others helped you.  Whether you have recognized this or not, your success was on the backs of others aiding you.  Even the clothes we wear and the food we eat, the homes we live in and our knowledge came to us from the minds and hands of others.  How can we not recognize and appreciate this while accepting this is a debt we can never repay.

From this debt humility grows and owing the world leads to respecting the world.  Knowing that you are who you are and have what you have by the grace and sweat and toil of others, you cannot help but embrace the world and all who dwell on this earth with compassion and generosity.

So maybe the next time you find yourself in prayer or mediation, try and empty your mind of thoughts.  Empty yourself with the desire to be filled with God. We can do this by emptying thoughts, focusing on breathing, allowing the breath to quiet the mind and still the body, and then releasing our self or soul from the falseness of separateness.  As you come into prayer or contemplation, let your hearts desire move you toward gentleness, humility and peace.




Sermon on the Mat #6: Tonglen

Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist practice.

It takes the typically egoic way of wanting to avoid pain and gravitate towards pleasure, and turns it on its head. Instead, we learn to breathe in what’s uncomfortable and painful in the world, and breathe out blessings, comfort and happiness.

Tonglen meditation is truly transformative, putting into perspective the pains and pleasures of all living beings, while taking the attention off of our small egoic selves. It’s also an effective way to work with difficult emotions.

Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun, teacher and author, in her book The Wisdom of No Escape, is a true expert in tonglen and I encourage you to pick up her writings if you want to delve more deeply into this practice.  So what exactly do you do in this practice?

Tonglen is a meditation practice.  A Tibetan word, tonglen means “giving and receiving.” As such, the concept of this meditation technique involves giving and receiving, which refers to taking in the suffering of the self and others and giving compassion and support to those in need. In this way, Tonglen meditation increases compassion toward others and develops the ability to aid in addressing another’s distress.

The Psalmist speaking to God in Psalm 104 writes, “You set forth your breath and renew the surface of the earth.” This is what tonglen does; uses the breath to transform the suffering of others.  Tonglen is this art of transformation.  This practice reveals that “spacious mind” has room for infinite suffering.  Just like the sky is never filled with clouds but is always greater than them, so the spacious mind is never filled with suffering but holds it within a greater love.  It is like the crucifixion of Christ.  It is a way to take upon oneself the pain of the world and transform it into love.  Christ came to earth to die for our sins.  He took on the sins of the world so that we could be saved. With this practice, we can learn to hold the suffering but not be diminished by it.

What if when we encountered suffering we “breath it in” and in turn breath out “infinite peace”  The suffering does not stay but transformed and returned to the world as love.  So too am I: love.  We begin to feel love for both ourselves and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and others. Tonglen awakens our compassion and introduces us to a far bigger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness of shunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being. At first this allows us to experience things as not such a big deal and not so solid as they seemed before.


When you do tonglen as a formal meditation practice, it has four stages:

1.First, rest your mind briefly, for a second or two, in a state of openness or stillness. This stage is traditionally called flashing on absolute bodhichitta, or suddenly opening to basic spaciousness and clarity.

2.Second, work with texture. Breathe in a feeling of hot, dark, and heavy-a sense of claustrophobia-and breathe out a feeling of cool, bright, and light-a sense of freshness. Breathe in completely, through all the pores of your body, and breathe out, radiate out, completely, through all the pores of your body. Do this until it feels synchronized with your in-and out-breaths.

3.Third, work with a personal situation-any painful situation that’s real to you. Traditionally you begin by doing tonglen for someone you care about and wish to help. However, as I described, if you are stuck, you can do the practice for the pain you are feeling and simultaneously for all those just like you who feel that kind of suffering. For instance, if you are feeling inadequate, you breathe that in for yourself and all the others in the same boat, and you send out confidence and adequacy or relief in any form you wish.

4.Finally, make the taking in and sending out bigger. If you are doing tonglen for someone you love, extend it out to those who are in the same situation as your friend. If you are doing tonglen for someone you see on television or on the street, do it for all the others in the same boat. Make it bigger than just that one person. If you are doing tonglen for all those who are feeling the anger or fear or whatever that you are trapped in, maybe that’s big enough. But you could go further in all these cases. You could do tonglen for people you consider to be your enemies-those who hurt you or hurt others. Do tonglen for them, thinking of them as having the same confusion and stuckness as your friend or yourself. Breathe in their pain and send them relief. Tonglen can extend infinitely. As you do the practice, gradually over time your compassion naturally expands, and so does your realization that things are not as solid as you thought. As you do this practice, gradually at your own pace, you will be surprised to find yourself more and more able to be there for others even in what used to seem like impossible situations.


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