“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

– Vincent Van Gogh

We have all had that initial beginning of something.

That first time taking a fitness class, embarking on a new way of eating, beginning a mediation practice, or as simple as increasing water consumption. Sometimes the first class, or the first recipe, or the first time you sat with awareness is often the hardest.

If you are embarking on a new something consider these 5 tips:

1. Remember it is about the journeyWhile enthusiasm is fabulous, it can be so easy to jump from your starting point with only the end result in mind.  Whether you are looking to lose weight or increase your overall well-being it is imperative to enjoy the steps along the way.  If your only focus in losing those 20 pounds, I guarantee you will miss the joy in planning, shopping, cooking and eating that amazing meal. The tastes you experience are the end result, but the joy that can come from loving what you are creating is the journey.  Enjoy each step.

2.  Stop and breathe. Every single day find 10 minutes to simply breathe.  Inhale. Exhale with intention and awareness.  This practice will keep you grounded as your life changes.  As you embark on a new way of being, people around you will challenge you.  It is imperative that you have this tool in your tool box.  Breathe.

3. Be tender with yourself. Yes, you will stumble.  And you will miss the Yoga class because of work.  Yes, you will eat that cookie the kids leftover.  Yes you will choose soda over water.  It happens.  Start again without a litany of negative self-talk.  Instead remember that the sun does come up tomorrow and you can begin again.

4. Ask yourself those hard questions. As you begin anything new it is key to get into your heart and know what it is that you are seeking. Are you doing this for you or for someone else?  Are you doing it with the hope that you will be happier? Do you have a goal in mind or are you wanting to just explore the experience?  Are you willing to make choices and changes?  What are you willing to do to make those changes?

5. Be open to a mind shift. Do you notice that you have a series of limiting beliefs about yourself or your life? You know, things like “I don’t have enough time or money”, “I am not flexible”, “I can’t sit still long enough to meditate”, “I don’t like the taste of plain water”.  Consider what might happen if you turned those limiting beliefs into statements of hope—“I have the ability to choose where I spend my money”, “I choose to make the time, because I am worth it”, “I honor my body in a Yoga class and not compete”, “I am capable of sitting for 5 minutes today”, “I am grateful to have fresh, clean water to drink”.  Consider shifting to a belief of positivity and hope.

Why? Because YOU are worth it.

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Gratitude = Joy

It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.

Brené Brown

Think about that. So often we misunderstand that if we had all the things and our life is packed with goodness, we would then be grateful.

Actually it is not that way.

I have read and even taken a course with Brené Brown and yet I still continue to learn and soak in more every time I hear her speak.

Last night I was watching a talk she gave to teachers and other leaders. She was describing what happens when we think that we cannot be happy with what we have and we are constantly seeking joy through external things. We have all heard “when I take that vacation” or “if I could have that ____”, then my life would be good. This is called scarcity thinking. Scarcity thinning is when we think what we have is not enough or what we have will be taken from us.


Years ago I had that mindset. Thankfully through the work I’ve done I no longer have that reaching for something. If a moment sneaks up on me and I do start to feel that what I have isn’t enough, I just have to go to my office and grab one of EIGHTEEN years worth of gratitude journals to see that my life is really quite full.

For some a gratitude journal feels daunting. That’s okay. There are countless ways to cultivate a genuine gratitude practice. Here are some great ideas:

  • pause before eating to recognize all that took place to bring you that plate of food
  • step outside and look at the sky and just breathe for two to three minutes
  • look at a stranger through the eyes of peace
  • say thank you throughout the day as doors get opened, people say hello, words are exchanged
  • smile more
  • before you begin your busy day sit for five minutes and gaze around your space and not see the tasks undone, but see instead your roof, your furniture, your safety
  • exchange gratitudes of the day with your family or friends before eating

Research shows that with a genuine gratitude practice, we can shift from scarcity thinking to joy. Imagine your life shifting from disappointment to deep appreciation. Think about how your relationships and business could flourish with an attitude of enough.

More than enough.

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Always Enough

I have come to realize (again) that our human brain wants to believe that there is not enough resources, not enough time, not enough love, not enough money, not enough opportunities, or whatever else we desire. Our minds want to keep telling the same old story that there isn’t enough which in turn causes us to act as if we need to live in a mindset of scarcity and lack. Think storage units on every corner, jumbo size everything, jammed packed big box stores where people get more, more, more, more.

The truth is the human spirit and inner heart must KNOW that there is always, always, ALWAYS enough. When we sink into faith and trust the process, and align with the greater good we can actually feel that there IS indeed enough. Always.

Open your heart, open your mind and get ready to receive all that there is. There is ALWAYS enough.

An Old Friend

It has been awhile since a certain old friend of mine made a strong appearance in my life although as I dig deep I can say that I have felt her presence for months. A decades go she had stuck around for many years and then disappeared, or I guess maybe she just stepped into the shadows for awhile, but I always was aware that in a moment of vulnerability she would step back into my life.

This friend of mine is smart, as well as sneaky, in how she can slip into my life and easily take over. Her presence is big even though she has a tendency to come incognito and honestly, I didn’t really recognize her this time until the middle of the night whispers invited me to take off the blinders and see the truth.

My friend has name and it is control with a middle name of addiction.

Last fall as I was starting to experience more physical pain that I liked, I started walking far more than I normally do. My friend convinced me that this was to manage pain. She told me that the more I walked the better I would feel. She was right. For months and months I walked further and further each day and indeed the pain felt less. My mind felt clearer and I was more content. Being outside for a couple hours a day walking was balm to my pain.

At first my friend cheered me on and celebrated with me the miles and miles I would walk. She was step by step with me and the conversations we had were about overcoming the physical pain and building confidence in my body while not letting the pain be the focus, but instead to see and celebrate what my body could do.

In her incredibly manipulative way, soon the walks weren’t enough. She convinced me that I had to have more. My friend persuaded me to attach an outcome to a number of steps and if I wasn’t there, then I was shamed and begrudged for letting pain win. Years ago she had convinced me that if I could just walk a certain amount of steps a day I would be amazing and that anything less than that number was weakness. It took a real friend at a beautiful restaurant in Sedona to shed light on the fact that a silly number was stealing joy from my life. That day, I let my friend control go and she stayed away until last fall.

As I have been teaching the yoga yamas and niyamas this month (the ethical principles and attitudes that the philospohy of yoga is based on), I realized in the quiet moments of the night that I was allowing this so called friend called control to blind me from ahimsa (non-harming) and asteya (non-stealing). In demanding my body to perform at a certain level each and every day, I was stealing joy from myself. My walks have become no longer about nature, quiet meditation, health or connection, but instead about speed, distance and numbers.

Control + Addiction = Stealing joy.

And in doing this for months, I have also turned an eye to non-harming. Yes, walking is the best thing I can do for myself. It DOES reduce my pain greatly. It does clear my head and help my mood. But many of my recent walking has also become a space for shame, anxiety and unworthiness. The addiction to performance and outcomes has begun to overshadow the benefits. The panic that takes over when I am not close to the target increases my agitation and negative thoughts.

Control + Addiction = Stealing joy.

One the best feelings in the world is my ability to trust in my inner wisdom to acknowledge it, listen to it, share it and own it. This awareness is the antidote to control and addiction. It also helps to have the real and honest friends who rather than join the negativity and shame just listen and give advice that is from the heart and from that space of truly seeing me.

This morning as I walked that old friend called control and addiction was thanked because I know that she shows up every once in a while to reel me back into living the authentic life I want to live. She comes around occasionally to help me peel away another layer of self-worth and doubt to reveal an even clearer and brighter version of myself.

I will keep walking everyday to manage my pain and to bring me joy. I will no longer allow the numbers to steal my joy and harm my heart. Instead I will notice the birds, the changes of the season, the aliveness that is in and around me.

I told control and addiction thanks for the insights and until next time…

Pay Attention and Practice Gratitude

I think we get so caught up in life events having to be extraordinary in order to be happy, but I am with #brenebrown on this one that happiness is right in front of me when I am paying attention and practicing gratitude.

When I look back at my week I can say with certainty that it was a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, and it was also a week of ordinary moments in everyday life that can either be celebrated or denied. I had beautiful work, a profound experience with a dying woman, a pretty disappointing doctor’s appointment, amazing workouts, playing in my garden, driving over 750 miles for work, celebrating my sweet granddaughter’s birthday, and quiet moments on the patio.

Ordinary moments of life experiences, yet so amazing in many ways. I am grateful for my life in all of its craziness–the observing of joy and sorrow, celebrating small successes, experiencing humanness, giving and receiving love, and being the witness to the cycles of life. All of it deeply embedded in my heart.

Hope you have a moment to pause. To breathe. And to notice all that is good in your life. Try paying attention and feeling gratitude. It just may surprise you how ordinarily awesome your life is.

Mindset Generosity

I keep stumbling upon the word generous and I began to want to cultivate a deeper understanding of the definition.

Generous is defined as characterized by a noble or kindly spirit;  liberal in giving ; marked by abundance.

Recently during my times of walking or while spending time on the mat, I have been really looking at how generosity shows up in my life and how I can continue to bring awareness from the inward grasping of obtaining to an outward flow of giving.

Here is my mantra prayer:

If I am generous with my faith, there is no space for fear.

If I am generous with my love, there is no space for separation.

If I am generous with my money, there is no space for lack.

If I am generous with my presence, there is no space for distance.

If I am generous with my listening, there is no space for indifference.

If I am generous with my attentiveness, there is no space neglect.

If I am generous with my understanding, there is no space for ignorance.

If I am generous with my compassion, there is no space for judgment.

If I am generous with my patience, there is no space for frustration.

If I am generous with my time, there is no space for feeling overwhelmed.

If I am generous with my health, there is no space for illness.

If I am generous with my light, there is no space for dark.

Going into a much deeper level of the understanding of generous feels so free to be no longer in the mind-set of obtaining, but instead an outward flow of bestowing. My abundance allows and permits me to be generous.

How wonderfully simple.


Oh my gosh, YES! Mindset is everything!

I mean face it, the last couple of years have been hard. The word pandemic was not everyday lingo and I don’t know about you, but I never thought about the impact a virus could make on the day to day. Before this pandemic, I had a basic understanding of political differences but the depth at which the country has gone the last few years is startling. The division is palpable in our cities and even in our homes.

Along with the collective challenges that we have all endured we each have our own unique challenges layered upon the big challenges. How we face them determines the quality of our lives. This isn’t to say that putting on a smiling face everyday will be the answer, but our ability to shift our mindset and not hold onto the things we have no control over can certainly help our happiness factor.

Truth is for me personally, I am a self-employed yoga teacher who has had to navigate how to continue to earn an income during these hard times; going from full-time teaching in long term care facilities, my own studio and a large health club to virtual only was a huge hit financially and had a big impact on my ability to feel fulfilled teaching. It is doable, but hard to connect through a screen, especially with individuals with special needs. I am also a full time caregiver for my special needs daughter; so her programming went all virtual which meant not only was I her primary caregiver, I also became her primary friend/peer/teacher/support/transportation/provider, which was hard on both of us. My last major daily hurdle is I have three health conditions that cause me to experience tremendous pain and fatigue. Managing my pain and being able to show up for my students and my family takes grit some days.

Most of the time, my MINDSET allows me to handle it (somewhat) gracefully and I choose to make the best of this precious life. I have a few must-do practices to keep my mindset in the right place:

I am committed to my health and fitness. I begin and end my day with a walk. I also walk on my lunch hour and anytime during the day I have sat too much or the burdens of life feels heavy. Some days I get over 25,000 steps and that is okay. It works for me. I find walking manages my pain better than anything else. I also practice yoga and do strength training 3-4 times per week.

I am committed to constantly changing my business model for the changing times and am open to always working hard. I have learned to be flexible (haha, no yoga teacher joke intended). I navigate the demands of the audience and am constantly learning how to best utilize my skills in a virtual world. I also invite small groups into my studio and while the income may not be what a large group is, I feel connected and inspired and that fulfills me. I work nearly 7 days a week either teaching, marketing, following up, promoting, etc. I am committed to this gift.

I am committed to seeing the best in every situation. Some people have told me that my rosy lenses aren’t accurate for the world, but I love them. I choose to look at both sides of the situation and try to find the small nuggets of wisdom that may be there to learn. I avoid situations that are filled with hatred, division, anger and judgment which means my circle of friends is small, I spend a lot of time by myself and I avoid the news.

I am committed to saying YES! I have found that when we live in a state of pessimism (I spent decades there), we attract the very things we dislike. When we learn to say yes to the best possible outcomes, we attract that. If you don’t believe me, try it for a month. Say yes to new opportunities, to new experiences, to new friends, to abundance and then sit back and enjoy the ride.

I am committed to a daily Gratitude practice. It is so easy to get sucked into the unfortunately popular culture that much of the world sees as not enough (time, money, resources, love). When we shift our attention to what we actually have plenty of, we get more (time, money, resources, love). Look around and notice the abundance of color, texture, living things, and feelings. There really is plenty to be thankful for.

It is a choice and although some days it can be harder to stay in a positive mindset given the status of the world, it is possible with a little changes to our thoughts. My mindset has served me incredibly well.

That’s my mindset, what is yours?