...do you hear that?

Let’s take a pause together…….Become very still.  Completely still. Even stiller. Now listen.  What do you hear?

Listen more.  A layer deeper.  What else is there? Expand wider.

I am sitting outside and while I wrote the above I heard the buzz of a bee, a neighbors voice, several birds, a fly, the sound of my typing.  Then I listened more and could hear the cars on the beltway, the rustle of leaves and someone walking.  Wind chimes, a car door and a plane.

I go deeper.  A ball bouncing, phoebe’s tags.  My breathing. 

I went to hear Dr Eric Pearl speak on Friday.  He founded what is now known worldwide as Reconnective Healing after suddenly receivingthe ability to heal others through the use of a connection with the Universal energy.  Most of his healings are instant and last a lifetime.  He began his talk by having us practice active listening.

We all hear a lot.  In fact almost too much as our society becomes louder.  But hearing and listening are two distinctly different processes.  We hear naturally and most times as the noise translates in our brain to a word, we aren’t even aware.  It is a receptive process.  With active listening you are engaged.  You are the doer.  Reaching out with not only your ears, but the whole body.  Once you find a sound you stay with it for a while to hear it’s levels, quality and how it changes over time.  All of this done with your eyes wide open.  It is a tuning in.

It is no different than the vast difference between looking and seeing.  We look in a mirror several times a day but how often do you actually ‘see’ yourself.  When is the last time you ‘saw’ a piece of broccoli or the color of your walls.  Look to your left right now.  What do you ‘see’?

So I have been practicing active listening as I garden this weekend.  What I am finding is by tuning in through one sense, the others also become heightened. The mind slows. Suddenly your surroundings become more alive.  More vibrant.  That is the frequency on which the Universe communicates.  That is where Dr Pearl discovered healing.

See the toad above?  As I leaned in to scoop out even more leaves from the garden he came leaping out.  Both days from different piles!  I sat with him for a while. Listening. 

No, I am no going to ‘hear’ the toad’s voice but in ‘seeing’ him and ‘listening’ we both relaxed.  I watched his throat move in and out.  He watched me continue to work and I had a chat with him while I held his photo shoot.  I thanked him and was sure to leave him an uncleared patch in which to hide. 

For me it has been the plants that have been my teacher for this process.  They are constantly sharing new information with me……but only when I actively engage with them.  Slowing down to move at their pace.  Listening, Feeling and Seeing.  Meeting them at their vibration.  They have a lot to say.

As humans we are loud.  Find the time to be quiet and listen to the world.  It has a lot to say.

Now what do you hear?

.....a garden life lesson


My garden never ceases to teach me.  Any time I am in there on my knees, hands in the dirt is like taking a course at Plant University, and it is without doubt part of an advanced degree……..

This was cleanup weekend.  That time each year where I have to remove all of the leaves and sticks by hand as a rake is much too harsh for all my newly emerging friends who are seeing light for the first time. Then it’s time to dig out the weeds. 

Let me start by defining weeds.  Weeds are simply plants in a place that you don’t want them.  Most of them are quite beautiful if you take a moment to really see them and many have incredible health benefits, but some of them have a habit of taking up more real estate than I carved out for them.  So I dig away and of course some of them are a little stubborn and it takes some elbow grease.  I am in there for quite a while.

Each year there will be one type that has managed to fill much of the empty space.  I don’t ‘want’ them there.  But the more I dig them up the more of them I find.  But this year I realized something. 

What do I want there?  Nothing remains empty.  The Laws of the Universe don’t work that way. So what is it that I would I love to see when I remove that wet clump of leaves?

Each year as I have discovered new medicinal plants and brought them into the circle they  become established, fill in and take some of the space that the other plants used to hijack.  The brand new red bee balm that I had always wanted was given to me by a friend from her garden this winter and is taking root nicely.  The St John’s Wort which was planted by seed three years ago with no success finally took off running last year.  Another friend’s Lenten Rose seedlings bloomed beautifully this year on large stems for the first time.  All in spots where my previous focus was on ‘getting rid of.’ 

I have been setting intentions on what I didn’t want instead of what I do want.  We do that in life all the time. 

There will be something in life that is no longer serving us.  We worry, plan, struggle against all in the hopes of getting rid of it.  Pushing it away, when instead we could be using that same effort to visualize and step toward what we do want.  When we fill our minds with a clear vision of what we do want, the negative thoughts have no space to root.  Each morning when we rise and do one thing in the direction of something we want, that which we don’t want begins to be slowly crowded out.  But if I leave that space empty and leave it to chance, then I get what I get.

The more I can fill my life with all that I do want even while the unwanted remains, the sooner I can claim the space as my own. Don’t spend time merely pulling the weeds.  Plant seeds instead!

Our life is our garden.  Plant it with care……

Thank you garden!

......the march (part 2)

When I was eleven I had a t-shirt that read“Girls can do anything boys can do better.” 

I loved that shirt! I wore it with pride and quietly hoped boys might notice it because in seeing it they might see me. The me that always believed being female was an advantage. A gift. I remember never wishing I was a boy (in fact feeling slightly sorry for them.)

A girl had it all!  I could wear a dress one day and ripped jeans the next. Makeup when it felt right but the next moment hike in the creek and end up with mud on my face. I was smart and capable and could beat most of the boys in the swimming underwater contest since I could always hold my breath for quite some time. And best of all, when and if I chose, I could produce a baby and give birth.  I had the ability to be a mother.  I could do it all.  Yes, an extraordinary gift.

Now of course I have come to realize that my mother was able to install that sense of limitless power in me because of all of the millions of women who had gone before me. Our grandmothers. The wise women.  The ones who had that same inner spark, but at a time when the outer world wasn’t ready to see it….but they went forward anyway. They lit the path for me. So yesterday was my turn to do that for all of the little girls that will come behind me. 

Women are gatherers and yesterday was a gathering beyond imagination. Yes, there was a march at the end but the feeling tone was more of us all coming together. Being together with a purpose. The purpose yesterday was to demonstrate to the world that we don’t walk backward. 

When there is a concern, it is the women that mobilize. A sick friend……the meal making chain is put in action day one. A neighbor in crisis…….collections are done, items bought, things delivered…..all accomplished with a few emails. Yesterday happened because of one women’s post on Facebook. That’s all it took. We gather and we get the job done. 

Women form circles. Sacred circles where we sit, talk, share, cry, laugh. Be it book clubs, meditation groups, knitting circles or early morning running groups.  We find our tribe and  are fiercely loyal. Yesterday our tribe grew beyond imagination. Cities across the country joined us, but also women on every continent on this earth, our mother. I even saw a picture of a group with signs in Antarctica!  We circled the world.  But there are still many women who don’t feel included so we have a lot more reaching out to do. We are good at that, so let’s do it. Each of us. Leave no one behind.

But what struck me the most, and what will remain with me forever was the sense of complete peace downtown. Hundreds of thousands of people together for hours on end, often pushed against each other in human sandwiches where no one could move, yet not one harsh word.  No pushing. No irritation or impatience. I would glance into the face next to me as we waited to be able to even free our arms and they would simply smile. Everyone shared a vision and we were walking toward it hand in hand. That is the feminine power of creation. 

If I were to have that t-shirt  today I would tape over the words ‘boys can do better’. This isn’t a contest. We need the masculine but it must be equally partnered with the feminine if we hope to create the world we want. A softer, kinder world.  An open hand instead of a fist. The world has been male heavy for too long but I feel the pendulum beginning to swing back. The goddess has been awakened. 

My shirt now would simply say “Girls can do anything” because they can. And they will.    

Pink is the new black,

....old man winter


No matter how many years fall turns to winter, it catches me by surprise every time. This was the week old man winter paid a sudden visit to our area. 

Thursday the temperatures plummeted. Friday began in the teens and only inched itself up into the twenties, with an unforgiving stiff breeze, and finishing off with a light coating of freezing rain. A walk around the block left my face and fingers numb. But he can be a little fickle. Saturday and Sunday brought balmy temperatures once more, but he is back in town this evening.  

It’s as if I got a tap on the shoulder and turned to find him winking at me. ‘You didn’t forget me, did you?’ he seems to say.  But the truth is I had. I had forgotten once again the bite he can deliver. That desire to dive back into bed and pull the covers up over my head.  No amount of layers keeping me from shivering.  

It reminds me of when I went into labor with my second son.  My first experience had been like most first births……. 24 hours long and amazingly painful. It took a few years for the memory to fade. Thinking I remembered what it felt like, but I didn’t. Which is why second and third children exist……  But that first labor pain with my second child was like the tap on the shoulder bringing it all rushing back in. ‘You didn’t forget me, did you?’ But honestly I had. 

This week in my Friday night ‘time for me’ as I stuck my body out the bedroom window I braced for the bitter cold.  I closed my eyes to breathe it in. As I opened them back up I noticed how once again, with all of the leaves down and the air so clear, I can see the houses that surround me.  Together the back of our homes form a circle with the woods as our center.  All of us with back walls comprised mainly of glass.  Close enough to be able to sense movement and life within each, but just far enough that none of us feel compelled to limit our view with any curtains.  A community – yet we haven’t met.  All waking each day to the same view and falling asleep to the same noises. When the leaves fill back in…..I  will once again forget. 

As I lean out, my heart racing, exhilarated by the cold on my skin I can hear the scamper of the fox playing. I know the squirrels are all burrowed deep in their nests high in the trees. I sense our small herd of deer will pass through soon. They too can now see us all. 

And old man winter is right in there smiling.  ‘Time for us all to get reacquainted’ he says with a wink. 

Now I remember,

.....a hurdle


Tuesday afternoon and Phoebe is having her daily playdate with her doggie boyfriend.  Blue sky with that unmistakable feeling of spring in the air.  The dogs are wildly chasing each other through the large fenced yard, her with her body crouched low like a greyhound to reach maximum speed, when a large lounge chair is suddenly in her path.

Without hesitation she lifts high into the air with the grace of a gazelle landing lightly on the other side, not missing a beat.  It was beautiful to see.  As if the chair wasn’t even there.  She cleared it with ease, ears blown back by the wind and her nose pointed with purpose.

I was trying to describe it the next day to a neighbor and I said it was as if she had jumped a…………. I couldn’t think of the word.  You know, the things those runners jump over.  The word escaped me.   Yeah, he said, I know what you mean but I can’t think of it either.  A…….a………

It finally came to me.   A hurdle.

Little did I know that a large one was about to be plunked down directly in my own path.

For this past month life’s curtain was drawn back to show me new possibilities.  A peek into what could be and I liked what I saw.  The potential for change.  For letting go and moving forward.  Scary, exciting, unknown, freeing and messy all mashed together on a plate laid on my table.  It appeared that one of my visions was about to manifest and I was ready.

But Friday the curtain was abruptly pulled shut.  A lumpy, heavy, unmovable life hurdle was put in its place. 

We all have them and they so often come out of nowhere, with little to no warning.  We are making our way around the track with grace and ease, feeling in control of the race until…..we aren’t.    So what do we do when we turn that corner and find one right at our feet?

Well first I cried.  A lot.  I would stop and get myself together until only moments later it would all come rushing back in.  Like waves.  I spent the day letting them flow when they arrived, since trying to hold a wave back is like asking to be knocked to the ground and you end up with a nose full of water.  My nose was full enough with tears, thank you very much.  And when I finally felt cleared, I stood up and shook myself off.  And went to yoga.

This is a moment in time we have a choice to make.  We can remain a puddle on the floor, we can get angry, we can turn around and go backward, we can blame the hurdle/someone/the world/all of the above, or we can root down to lift off and clear the hurdle with forward momentum.  I am choosing forward.

I write a lot on trusting the Universe completely.  That everything happens for a reason.  While I am making my way over this hurdle I am having an extremely difficult time seeing the reason, but that is where faith is put to the test.  Can I let go and continue following my heart. Continue seeing my vision.  Not allowing the actions of the outside world to determine the state of my inner world.  Am I able to do what I teach.

This hurdle is not life threatening and I know I will land on the other side – although perhaps not quite as gracefully as Phoebe.  But I have now glimpsed what is behind the curtain.  I have tasted it.  Now it is up to me to find my own way there.  And I will. 

Continuing to step forward and watch for guidance………………and keeping the tissue handy.

Seeing what I want,


I’m back from a fabulous week soaking in the warmth of the sun!  Sleeping in a large tent perched on a dune at the edge of the beach.  Eating all meals in beach bars and restaurants without walls, my toes in the sand floor.  Surrounded the entire time by only the sounds of surf, the wind, birds and the night bugs.  Nothing manmade.  No music, tv, computer or live entertainment.  No distractions.

Which all meant you had only two choices…….. sit in silence immersed in the sounds and sights of nature, or actually talk to others.  Both wonderful choices that have somehow become less and less frequent in our high tech age. 

Which brings me to the TV.

Since my return the subject of the role of television in our lives keeps crossing my path.  The tv has become a fixture in our homes.  Very rarely just one of them.  Sometimes one in almost every room.  Turned on more than turned off.   Even when no one is watching……. It has become a sort of white noise.  A replacement for the crashing waves and the crickets.  A welcome distraction from our busy lives.

One friend responded to my last post on Savasana sharing that she and her husband realized that each evening as they came home exhausted from their day, the tv would go on and they would find themselves sitting in front of it.  But it suddenly became clear that it was too much noise.  They are going to consciously leave it off for their first couple of hours home to provide the space for reading, puttering or even talking. 

I was also told a story shared by a local Irish bartender that in Ireland the new trend is putting televisions into the pubs.  I have not been to Ireland but from everything I have ever heard, my vision is that pubs are the thread that weave together the community.  Where you gather, share stories and connect with others over a pint at the end of your day.  Take a moment to imagine the shift that will take place with this new technology direction.

8 years ago I went cold turkey.  No tv.  It wasn’t so much a decision as an inner voice  that whispered to me to turn it off.  Most people can’t imagine doing this, and even though they know I don’t watch they still can’t help but ask if I have seen a particular commercial or follow the newest series that has everyone addicted.  What I found in the process is that suddenly I had so much new time!  And like anything you give up, after a few months you can’t imagine going back.  I truly don’t miss it at all.

I’m not suggesting you all go as far as I did, but just to notice how often you are sitting in front of it, or can hear it in the background.  Do you turn it on without even realizing you are doing it?  Can you go even one day a week without it?  What will happen if you don’t have a distraction from your thoughts?  Oh my…….

Watching television removes us from our lives.  But I often have to wonder why we all so often crave that. 

On our trip, each place we went I left knowing several new people, all with interesting stories…….since there was nothing to distract us from being right where we were.  All of our toes together in the sand and the sound of the surf our serenade.

Still hearing the winds in my dreams,

.....locked within


Did you ever have a diary as a child?  I think back then it was generally a girl thing.  I had a few over the years.  Small hardback with the little lock on the front.  And of course, a key.

But even with the lock and key I never felt comfortable putting my deepest innermost feelings in there.  I just couldn’t bring myself to be that vulnerable.  To opening myself up on paper with that slight possibility of someone breaking in.  So most of my diary entries went something like this…..

Dear Diary,
I went to school today.  I love my math class but the English teacher is such a nerd.  Janet’s hair looked really bad today.  After school we worked on our new club.  I told everyone that I would be the president……..and so on.

This year I wanted to give a gift to each of my students and the message from the Universe was ‘give journals.’  So I did. 

They are hard bound lined journals with beautiful covers, but no lock.  No key.  So it brought up some diary talk amongst the classes.  Stories of brothers breaking into them and writing comments.  Of being taunted with the diary held up in the air.  Or like me, never feeling they could write anything weighty. 

Journaling is special and is a tool used on the spiritual journey.  It allows us to take what it is that we want, that we feel, that we long for, and form it into words.  It gives voice to our inner creativity, taking what is within and bringing it forth in a magnificent flow.  It is where we state our intentions and let go of our grief.  Question our beliefs and note the messages we are receiving from the Universe.  Journaling is our partner in the manifestation process we call life. 

When I first began journaling eight years ago it read much like my old diaries.  No risk taking.  No courage.  BORING.  Letting the absence of a key or a good hiding place hold me back from expressing me.  From being me or stating my truths.  From exposing who I am hidden deep within this Sarah costume.

When you stop to think about it, how crazy is that?  That somehow i don’t want anyone to know the deepest most vulnerable parts of my soul.  The places that are most real.  The places that if unlocked would make me whole.  What exactly am I afraid of?

Instead we prefer to float on the surface where it feels safe.  Wearing our masks and speaking what we know those around us will be most comfortable with.  Why?  What will happen if we tear ourselves open for others to see?  Exposing our inner light.  As my mother always asks, ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’

As one women was leaving class after receiving  her journal, she turned and asked, ‘But what if someone reads it?’

I paused.  Yes, what if someone reads it indeed.  Perhaps then the genuine conversations and real healing could begin.  Maybe just maybe our connections could all come from a much deeper place.  Our souls could converse.

Two days later my husband walked up the steps saying  “Look what I found….”  He was carrying two spiral notebooks.  He handed me the one that said Sarah Jackson on top.  These were the notebooks from our Pre-Cana weekend which was a requirement for a Catholic wedding.  I was 22.  Gulp.

Very funny Universe.

…….more to follow

Do you have the key to unlock me?

....my secret lover


This week we dove off the solid banks of earth into the watery realm of Svadhisthana …..our sacral chakra.  The element of water.  Our creativity, moisture, fluidity, desire and sensuality.  The feminine.  Interestingly enough, the Post ran two articles this week on the impact of aging on women’s sexuality.

Yes, as the years go by, and life piles on, women tend to want sex less often than men.  Sometimes dwindling to the point where the urge can feel nonexistent.  Usually we are told that it a “known fact” that women’s libido decreases, which has led to the development of medical treatments and the pink pill.   But do we really need more medicine?

One of this week’s article stated that older women’s wants were different and that intimacy became more important than a good orgasm.  PLEASE.  Are they serious?  Since when did I have to choose one over the other?  I want a deep soul connection and an earth rocking orgasm, and that isn’t too much to ask.  But when it isn’t happening we begin to believe that is just how things are. 

Several years ago I was listening to Christine Northrup MD, an expert on women’s health issues and menopause, and she commented that the best cure for a stalled sex life is a new partner.  It stopped me in my tracks.  What, as my ears perked up?  She then went on to say that the new partner can be you.  It makes perfect sense.  If I don’t clearly know what it is that I want, how can I expect anyone else to fulfill my desire?

I offer yet another angle to this threesome.  That the new partner can be the Universe.  A secret, juicy, wild, messy love affair with all that is……..

Sensuality blooms from within.  We ourselves need to feel free, wild, open and untamed, in order to share that with another.  And the Universe is eager to help.

But somehow the old 9-5 job, carpool, emails, meetings and chores pull many of us away from our primal nature.  Our attention is spent on matters of the mind and doesn’t venture down nearly enough to our pelvic floor where the Shakti energy resides.  Our breath becomes shallow never reaching the depths below where the spark waits patiently to be lit. 

The Universe is a willing and available partner.  Make a standing date to keep the pilot light burning.  It can be entire evenings, lazy afternoons or stolen moments during the day. 

As you sit reading this  note, spread the knees away from each other, and notice where your attentions goes.  Take a bath with lavender and salts by candlelight.  Turn on your most sensual music and move to its rhythm.   Get drunk from the smell of roses and warm from the blaze of the fire.  Stand under the full moon and draw down her power.  Look up to let the stars sparkle in your eyes.  Face the sun spread your arms wide and shine back with all of your heart.  Let the beauty of the sky at sunset bring you to tears.

Get dirty….really dirty.  Wear what makes you feel sexy, or nothing at all.  Close your eyes and feel the full body embrace of the wind.  Let the hoot of the owl touch you at your very center, and the bitter cold make you shiver.  Let the night noises lull you to sleep.   Lie down spread eagle on the floor in the middle of the room.  Place your hands on your belly and send the breath down….down….down.   Notice your pelvic floor often.

Life is to be lived.  Felt.  Explored.  Swallowed.  Tasted. 

Make love to the Universe.  Only you will know……


....I never kill a bug

I never kill a bug.

Never kill a bug

I have never been a big bug killer and I still remember my father carrying spiders outside.  But I did keep a trusty can of Raid under the sink, swatted some flies and have been known to throw my shoe at a spider.  In college my closet had camel crickets and I would spray them with Lysol (not exactly sure why…but not sure about a lot of the things I did in college). 

But I have noticed over these last several years that the longer I follow yogic practices, the further away I become from being able to take the life of an insect.  To take the life of anything really.  It doesn’t feel right.

Bee in my office – I open the windows get a broom and escort her out.  Stinkbugs get scooped up in my hand and shown the door.   Small beetles that somehow end up in my sink or tub and have spent all night climbing up the side only to slide back down, get handed a tissue to use as a ladder.  As ants arrive in the spring I find their path and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper which sends them marching right back out.  Bugs eating my garden - I look for companion plantings that discourage that particular insect. 

But what about mosquitoes?? I’m sure you give them a good slap when they land?  No, I simply shoo them away and kindly ask them to let me be.  Yes, really.   I actually energetically send out a message with my body.  Does that mean I never get bit?  No, but a lot less often.  And you know what?  Even when you get a lot of bites, they itch for an hour and then go away.  Killing mosquitos as they land on you is never going to end mosquito bites.  They need to eat too….and I have allowed the bats to nest in my eaves to keep the life cycle complete. 

It works with gnats as well.  This summer I actually made a study of observing people and their interaction with gnats.  When gnats are heavey I get stiller and again ask them to keep some distance.  Most people move and  swat and curse and try to kill them.  Many times they even go back inside.  You know what?  They get landed on a lot more than me.  Try it.  Get very still and relax.  Notice how they circle but don’t do a whole lot more than that when left alone to be gnats.  That which you resist……persists.

So this morning as I woke up I knew this was what I was going to write about.  I walked into my closet to get my yoga clothes and as I reached down a large striped spider ran onto my yoga bra.  Ahh!! Very funny Universe.  Testing me with something more challenging I see……   I took a deep breath.  But a bag next to him which he ran up.  Carried the bag ever so slowly (keeping a very close eye on him lest he decide to run up the bag and onto my arm), opened the window and set him on the ledge.  It felt right. 

Never is a such strong word.  Not one I am sure I can actually live up to…..but it is my intention.  And intention is what matters.

Saw my first praying mantis in the garden!

Making peace with all beings,

......closing one door to open another


Two days ago we closed on our house next door which we had owned for 28 years.  It was a home more than a house.  It had character that wrapped you in it’s warm loving embrace whenever you entered.  Within its walls we raised 3 boys, 1 dog and countless hamsters and hermit crabs.  We lived through three major renovations of its physical structure and it supported my journey through major life changes.

I entered that house at 25 years old.  A very young mother leaving my maiden years behind as I  juggled a full time sales job, a 3 year old, daycare and daily life.  I left it 20 years later with 2 children out of the house and my youngest already in high school, and me beginning my own physical and spiritual transition from mother to wise woman. 

Over these past 7 years the house has been called home by two other wonderful families but it was time for change.  The house deserves its own permanent family to love and infuse it with new fresh vibrant energy.   

All week I was asked if I was sad but I wasn’t.  I felt it was a natural transition and I was excited to be responsible for one less property….and one less mortgage payment.

So why did I find myself suddenly sobbing in the tub that evening………………

One moment I was humming to the music and the next my heart clenched, my breath caught and I felt a wave of sadness rushing through.  I wasn’t sad in the traditional sense.  I didn’t wish I had held onto it and I had no plans to ever move back in.  Instead it was the sorrow of a door closing.  The other side of the same coin as joy.

With the fire energy we began to manifest what it is that we want.  Causing the change that comes with transformation.  With every change there is a natural closing of one door to make room for the opening of another.  And in the heart we experience the emotions that move with both.  Honoring what we leave behind with tenderness and welcoming in the new with infinite love.

Two close friends lost parents this past week.  A different transition, a  life changing event.  Deep grief over the loss of the physical presence, the hugs, the phone conversations and the laughs.  But when there was illness or suffering, also a sense of relief and peace that their spirit is now free and unbounded by this human condition.  The love of everyone coming together to remember and the laughter that comes with those memories.

A few people used the word bittersweet this week.  I looked it up and it means “pleasant but tinged with sadness”.  Or “both pleasant and painful”.  Isn’t that true of most of life’s transitions?  Salty tears of both sorrow and joy pouring from our deepest well.  

And as for my own physical transformation into this third phase of a women’s life – the wise women –  leaving behind now both maiden and mother…..bittersweet.  But just in time for the opening of yet another door – becoming a grandmother in August!

Honoring both sadness and joy with an open heart,

...I have a vision


I am right here.  Present, aware and grounded.  I feel…..and I want.  Earth and Water. 

Next stop on the journey…..fire.  Where we begin to create, by taking desires and transforming them into reality.  First step - seeing clearly what I want. Everything begins  with a vision. 

This weekend my youngest son graduated from college.  Young, educated and boundless.  Memories were pouring in of my own walk to the stage so many years ago.  All of the exams, papers and parties behind me as I stepped into this new undefined open space.  Everyone asking……..What’s next?   What type of job are you looking for?  What are you going to do with your life?   I, much like my son, really didn’t know.  Anything was possible but the “wants” weren’t clearly shaped.

But isn’t it evident what we want after spending tens of thousands of dollars on schooling?  A good paying job, right?  Success.  Putting the new found skills to the test.  Or maybe something as simple as finding any company that will take me?  Yes, all worthwhile and important but only if my life once I have created them is fulfilling.  Has meaning.

The keynote speaker for yesterday’s ceremony was the owner of an extremely successful deli/restaurant near the university that has become a must visit area attraction and has grown into a group of companies known not only for its mouthwatering Reuben sandwich, but also its philanthropy.  He spoke of that clear canvas in front of the graduates on which they can create whatever it is that they want, and asked what was on their list.  But then he also asked them if joy was on that list.  And if so, was it at the top.  Joy.  Quite a different vision than we had  heard in the preceding speeches.   

Whatever it is that we want can be manifested by first creating the vision.  Seeing it clearly as if it is already here and walking forward in life with that image always projected on our life screen.  This natural law of the Universe works not only for financial success, jobs, promotions and new cars, but equally well for something as inherently beautiful as a life filled with joy. 

Isn’t that what we are all searching for when we dig deep?  Aren’t many of the wants we have only a means to feeling the bliss of being happy?  As humans we easily forgot that true lasting joy is not something that can come for the outside.  But his words were a reminder.  The joy already in us can be called forth at any time.  So why not go for the gusto!  If joy is what we want let’s create that vision and walk toward it.  No longer waiting for it to come to us via material rewards or the recognition from others. 

Was joy on my list when I graduated?  Was it on yours?  As the speaker pointed out… joy is an incredible high, it is natural and legal.    A great reminder for me and my hope for my son was that he too was hearing that joy should lead him in this new phase of his life. 

I believe he may be headed in the right direction as he decided to remain in Michigan for a little while waiting tables.  He wants to soak in the warmth of the bustling summer life which the frigid school year only provides small glimpses of.  He wants to pause in joy.  The corporate world can wait a month or two…..

I “see” joy,

...a wish and a want


The more I get out of my head and into my body…..the more I feel.   The more I feel……the more I sense the stirrings of what I want. 

We all have wants.  We all wish for things.

I wish I could lose these last ten pounds……I wish I had more time for me……I wish I could sleep better at night…….I wish this hamstring injury would heal…….I wish I could do a handstand……I wish I could pursue my love of drawing…..I wish I could make a career out of my passion…..I wish…..

Wishes are like the dandelion seeds carried by the breeze when we blow.  Light and airy, and typically not grounded.  A little too fluffy.  When you wish for something, do you expect it to happen?  Is a wish followed by effort, or just a hopeful waiting? Do you even believe in your heart that what you are wishing for is possible? Do you even remember what you wished for? Feel the energy when you say “ I wish….” And fill in the blank.  There is no oomph.  No juice.  No ownership.

Now a true “want” on the other hand comes from deep within.  It isn’t fleeting and it doesn’t fade.  It is the soul’s desire to move forward.  Our spirit’s way of letting us know that we are capable of more. That we ARE more.  Wants are good!!   I WANT.  This type is not the least bit self-centered or egotistical and has deep roots.

So how can we differentiate between the two?   It’s quite simple. 

When we feel a want…a longing…a deep desire – we are willing to change for it.  To transform.  To create something new.  If not, it merely remains a wish.

I wish I didn’t have allergies (as I do nothing new, begin to believe I need allergy shots, and complain about them to anyone who will listen).  I want to be free of allergies so I can fully enjoy the spectacular beauty of spring with all of my senses (as I drink my stinging nettle and use my netti pot daily).

Neither is right or wrong….just notice.  Hold up the mirror.

So what is it that I want?  Sit quietly, close your eyes, slow the breath and soften the pelvic floor so you can awaken feeling.  What is it that I want?   Let it rise from below. Not a thought but an inner longing. 

…..and are you willing to change for it?   

I have a small metal block in my bathroom with the saying – “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail.”   A perfect question to guide you on this portion of the path.

Next week we move up to fire. Our power of transformation. 

I know that I am even more,

....I am what I feel


For the last two weeks we let go to the downward pull of the earth’s energy.  Slowing down, grounding and reclaiming our natural state of inner peace.  Choosing calm.

What you find when you slow way down is that you notice more.  Awareness becomes keen and everything is clearer. What you want becomes more evident. You know what I found when I slowed down?   That….

I want to feel it all

Moon Goddess 2.png

Water.  That life giving force that transformed my back yard from a brown barren wasteland to a green oasis with just one good soaking rain. Moisturizing and loosening the earth so life could burst forth.  In us the water energy is our aliveness….our juiciness.  What makes us feel.   And…..

I want to feel it all

Our water energy.  Movement.  Moisture.  Malleable.

To me water is that wildness that often seems just out of reach in my corporate, suburban life.  Not the definition of wild that our culture has incorrectly sold us….the one of “Girls gone wild”, partying, that image of out of control, sloppy and taken advantage of.  No.  The wildness of being fully in my  body and experiencing everything that this humanness offers up.  Connected to the earth and its ways.  The sensations of rolling in the sand, running in the early morning rain, soaking in a tub with salts and rose petals and dancing alone naked in the candle light.  Being awakened by the hoot of the owl and feeling the pure rush of adrenaline when lightning strikes the earth below my feet .  The awe of a fresh rainbow or a pink sky at night.  Hugging another so tightly that our two hearts meld into one. 

Sensual.  Creative.  Flowing.

In a world that has become somewhat “uptight”, I want to be loose, flexible and open to receive.  Where academics are held in the highest regard so even the existence of recess is being threatened, I want to run with the wolves.  Does it even matter how much I know and what I learned if I can’t reach in to touch my deepest longings? I want to lean into the caress of the wind and hear its wisdom.  I am not my thoughts.   I am not what I know.   I am what I feel. 

Water.  Wet.  Wanting. Wonderful.


I can feel you,

...choosing to exhale


Here I sit once again.  Back in my rock circle.  Sun warming my back, birds singing and squirrels searching the piles of fallen leaves for any hidden treasures.  Outside.  It feels soooo good.  I have missed this!  Earth.

These last couple of weeks I became ungrounded. I lost my connection.   It is bid season for public sector customers, and I do the pricing for bids.   It happens to all of us.  Those days, weeks or sometimes even years where life becomes a bit of a blur.  Each thing we do simply leading to the next thing we are going to do.   Always “on the way”.  Alarm goes off, into the shower, dressed and heading for work, meetings back to back, a bite to eat at the desk, a conference call, driving home, stopping at the store, cooking dinner, personal emails cleared, bills paid and off to bed.  Only to do it all over again….  Do you ever feel like that?  

It’s ok, I will relax on the weekend.  I can’t wait for that vacation next month when I can slow down!  In five more years I will be able to retire and THEN I will have time for me. 

But what about now?  What about right here, right now?  What about this moment?


I am not willing to give away 5 out of 7 days.  Or the 9 hours that I work out of the mere 16 that I am awake.  I don’t want to wait for a vacation to relax.  I want to feel connected and aware and at peace every single moment………..Is that possible?

I believe it is.  It is our natural state.  Earth energy is part of our being. But it takes choosing that and practice and patience.  You living life, and not life leading you. 

When I was deciding on a name for my yoga studio I chose Serenity because it means “the state of being calm, at peace and untroubled”.   The state of.  Hhhmmm.  Not “traveling to somewhere calm and peaceful”.  The state of.   The inner world.  Being serene.  No matter what is happening on the outside.  Choosing relaxed and having the rituals that connect me to the energy of earth as a daily priority.  

Sitting on my rocks.  Stopping during my work day to walk Phoebe for 5 minutes.  Pausing to notice my breath.  Doing my yoga practice at lunch time.  Taking off my shoes once the weather changes.  Drinking my stinging nettle.  Taking big, slow, long, conscious exhales to drain everything out……   Trust me - your company and family will not collapse if you take these little breaks.  In fact after them, you are more settled, kinder and focused.   

Bid season comes regardless.  How I choose to live in it is my choice.   And I am choosing calm.  I am choosing to exhale.  I am choosing relaxed, because it feels so incredibly better than the alternative. 

So the next time you are in that “haze” of life (traffic jam, angry client, line at the store), remember this email (earth is our past), stop suddenly to observe, feel your feet on the ground, take two slow breaths, look around at the beauty that surrounds you, and step back in relaxed and serene.  Over and over and over……………..

The trees seem to have this concept down pat,

....I'm safe

Dear yogis,

Did you play tag in your neighborhood when you were young?  Or maybe group hide and seek? 

I can still feel those warm summer evenings after dinner being out there until the sky darkened.  I remember hiding behind trees or under bushes until whoever was “it” would see me.  Then my heartbeat would quicken and I would run as fast as my little legs would carry me.  Weaving in and out so as not to get tagged.  The rush of being chased.  Out of breath, taking that final leap to reach my hand to the big oak tree.  Base.

“I’m safe!”

home base

No one could touch you if you were on base.  You were safe from being chased, tagged or being told you were “it”.  On base the heart rate slows, a big exhale is released and the muscles relax.  No longer anxious.  No need to look over your shoulder.  Home plate in baseball offers that same release. 

Base is equivalent to the energy of earth.   Relaxed, grounded and heavy.  Coming to a stop.  Home.  Able to let go and reconnect……..

This week in classes we started the chakra journey yet again.  Dropping back down to earth.  Muladhara chakra.  The beginning.   Located at the tailbone, the energy of gravity.  Downward pulling and our s..l…o..w..e..s…t  vibration.  It is our innate ability to relax………….

Stop for a moment and notice anywhere in your body that you are holding.  How is your jaw?  Your shoulders?  Belly?  Slow your breath.  Take a big conscious exhale and ask the body to soften.  To sink.  That wave of relaxation you feel is earth.   When we connect to it, we feel safe.  No looking over our shoulder. 

We each have our “base”.  That place we feel safe, relaxed and able to let our guard down.  What is it for you?   A special place in your home.  The garden.  Lying on the beach.  Your special chair.  A fuzzy blanket you wrap around you.   I have many, but when I feel unusually scattered or emotional, my bed is my cocoon.  I go up, close the door and lie face down sideways, across the bed.  Here I can sob, release a pent up anger or have a heart to heart with the Universe.  No longer being chased by life. 

We need earth energy….but it can often feel just out of our reach.  The ability to relax is a true gift.  But how do we tap in?   Not only when we have that special blanket around us, but when sitting in rush hour traffic late for an appointment?  How do we touch base anytime and anywhere that we choose…..

I will give you a hint.  Tune inward.  You will never find it by searching in your daily life. More next week……………

I am right here,

March, March, March


March….March….March……what a tease you are.

I find March to be fascinating.  Frustrating.  Unpredictable.  Different every single year. 

Thursday we were in the 70s.  I took my walk to the river and passed people in short and t-shirts.  The birds were singing and the air had a giddiness to it.  Spring!  I feel you.  But as we laid in Savasana at the end of class that very evening, the sound of the rain and the wind blowing through the open windows signaled that a cold front was not far behind. 

Friday we were told to expect 50 degrees so I put on two cotton layers, believing I had left the real winter clothes behind.  I tried to pretend it was warm as  I huddled in my work chair.  But I was clenched and shivering.   Finally after lunch I gave in.   I marched upstairs and put my wool sweater back on.  Saturday I added back in the leggings under the jeans.  Not yet….


I have been talking about March as a transition and she revealed a few new insights this week. 

First, that during transitions we are much more aware.  In the winter when it is cold we just assume cold, dress accordingly and pay it little attention.  Once we are entrenched in summer the heat becomes an expected norm.  But in the transition from the two we are acutely aware of the weather each day…. And sometimes even hour to hour.   What should I wear?  Do I need to bring a hat?  Will I be outside or inside?  Stopping to feel the air each time we walk out the door.  Watching for buds on the trees every time we look up.  The same is true in life.  When we are in a time of change – be it in jobs, homes, lovers or even exercise routines – our senses are on high alert.  We tune in more.  There is no status quo and so we pay attention.  It is in this unsettled space that we experience the most growth. 

The second has to do with signs from the Universe.  The March Manifestation that I am leading is coming to a close this week.  Tomorrow we will be working on watching for signs from the Universe to guide us on our chosen path.    These signs are like glimpses.  A sudden unexpected thought.  Hearing from someone we were thinking about or coming across an article about a topic we just decided we wanted to study further.  These pointers from the Universe let us know that we are indeed heading the right way (or not) and provide us with the occasional touch point that what we are manifesting is indeed coming.  Just like March!

In March even in the bitter cold we know spring is coming.  Everyone keeps saying, “I don’t think spring will ever come.”  But do you ever truly doubt that spring will come?  We see the signs.  Daffodils beginning to rise up from the ground.  Days like Thursday – even though a day like Friday comes right behind it.  We hold a vision of spring and we get some quick glimpses behind the curtain to assure us that it is on the way.  And when the curtain is then drawn back over, we continue to move forward anyway without doubt.   It is fine.  We can sense spring’s imminent arrival even when the thermometer reads 28 degrees.  This is no different than watching for signs on our own personal journey. 

And finally….March allows us to take two steps forward in growth, but then take a big step back in retreat.  Straddling the worlds of earth and fire.  I am wanting to garden and I even buy the pansies, but now I think I will go back in and read my book.   Long walks one day followed by sleeping in late the next.   Salad….but then one more batch of cabbage soup.  March is not for leaping.  It is for stretching out the creaky bones from a long winter’s sleep and turning our face upward to find the warmth of the spring sun.   

Enjoying these dwindling days of not doing.

My winter hat is remaining on the coat rack,

.....scratching the surface

Dear Yogis,

“Oh my God, he’s got me!”

That’s me yesterday crouched over in the mud trying to upright a badly leaning 6’ tall rose bush.  He had my ponytail.  I had crawled under and was using my upper back and shoulders to gently push him up to stand while I attempted to reset the metal trellis that had originally been his base.    A deep forward fold with my face looking backward between my legs and my ponytail now intricately woven into the thorns.  Help!

My husband came running just as I managed to extricate myself from the grip.  He cautioned me not to get that close…..as any seemingly rational person would have responded when faced with a gangly thorny rose bush.  But it caused me to pause.

“That would be distance gardening” was my response.  I had one of those “aha” moments where I understood that I am anything but a distance gardener.  When I am with my plants….I am all in!

We are in the process of selling our home of 24 years next door and with a Sunday open house looming, the ground now finally visible, clearly needed some attention.  Sticks, branches, composting leaves and mud……lots and lots of mud.  So for several hours we raked, spread mulch, trimmed and spruced. 

Now the rake can get around the base of the plants and bushes, but leaves a clump smack dab in the middle.  This is where the real work comes in as it requires climbing back into those dark, damp, somewhat scary places that we all have behind the bushes, in the corners, under the porch.  Crawling in the mud, reaching through the spider webs and being ok with a slug ending up in your hand. 

By the end of the day I have dirt from head to toe, am covered with a thin layer of sweat and can feel the flush in my face.  This is when I feel the most alive.  No distance for me…..going deep.  Just like life. 

There is so much stimulation in the world today.  We are all “connected” by technology and can pay people to do everything for us.  Our “friends” are on facebook and the internet provides snippets of everything going on everywhere.  Guides on how to be thin and beautiful, pills that will keep us healthy.    It has become so easy to live on the surface.   But I don’t want that.  I want to scratch beneath the surface……………..

I want to feel it all.  I want to be connected to others at my core where no words are needed.  I want to dance so freely that I tingle.  I want my heart to be wide open where I can befriend not only joy, but the deep sorrow as well. I want to put myself out there even at the risk of being rejected.  I want to quiet the stimulation so that I can sit in silence and hear the stirrings of my soul. 

As I peeled off my gloves I saw the dirt deeply embedded under my fingernails.  Hmmm…..  Looks like I am digging deeper. 

Only when I am silent and lean in can I hear the plants,

......my new bff




I do.  All of it…….

Garden end of June 2.jpg

I didn’t always believe this.  No, I take that back.  It wasn’t about believing.  I didn’t even know such an idea existed!  I thought we all just lived our lives, enjoying the good parts, making the best of the bad parts, and somehow getting through the lows.  In some ways this made things easy.  I could complain about others and choose not to see my role in the world around me.  My focus was narrow and didn’t involve responsibility. 

These past 7 years my view has changed!  I now know that I CREATE MY REALITY.  I not only feel it or believe it….I do it.  Daily.  Certainly can’t say I am an expert at it by any stretch of the imagination.  More like a middle school student.  I understand the basic laws of the Universe that make it work, I can visualize the path, I have felt the results and I am excited by its potential.  But just like school, I have to go every day, practice what I learn and do my homework.  This is a path of study that I am motivated to follow through to the master’s program!  Maybe even a PhD in manifestation!

But this creative potential requires a partner.  The Universe.  Your co-creator.  You can’t do this alone.

One clear example of this is planting. Your vision is to turn that barren corner of the yard into a  small garden.  You place seeds under the bare earth and the Universe delivers the rain and shines its sun.  In almost no time at all living beings rise.  The new plants each with their own personality….the welcoming sunflower, the romantic rose, the calm lavender and the clingy burdock.  The squirrels and birds drawn in for food and shelter, their pecking and clawing aerating the soil.  You weed and trim, placing cuttings in a vase to bring some of the joy into your home .  The colors attracting the bees and butterflies who then spread this new life far and wide in their travels.  Together you all took nothing and created an oasis.  You and the Universe…hand in hand.

This relationship is no different from any other.  It is one of give and take, respect, humor, consistent and honest communication, and spending time together.  There are so many ways to deepen it…….here are just a few.

  • Pick a tree that is in your yard or on your daily walk.  One that you see often, but now “see” it.  Stop and give it your undivided attention.   Say hi.  Touch the bark.  Stand at its base and look up to its top.  Sit beneath it.  Take a picture of it.  Be friends with your tree. 
  • Sit by a river or creek and watch its flow.  Stand above to see your reflection.  Throw in some rocks and notice how it “receives” them.  No pushing back. Observe a leaf or stick floating on its surface and watch its path. Put your hand in.
  • Each morning as you wake up, look out the window.  Good morning Universe!
  • As you lie down to go to sleep, look back over your day and find the little golden nuggets that you weren’t expecting.  The call from a friend, a hug from your child, the laughter, the new song you heard on the radio.
  • When you walk outside, stop, close your eyes and feel the breeze on your skin. Lift your face to the sun and soak in its warmth.
  • Lie in the grass and watch the clouds sail by.
  • Always know what phase the moon is in and where it will be when you wake in the middle of the night. 
  • Talk to your plants and smell the flowers as you pass by

The Universe, like all of us, loves to be noticed and loved, and anything that you give will be returned, and then some.  Hang out together.  The closer you become the more you will be taught, the more you will laugh (the Universe has a fantastic sense of humor), and the more you can create.  And you no longer ever feel alone.  Imagine feeling that the Universe, with its infinite potential, is your best friend. 

Hhhmmmm……what should we create next?  The Universe is all ears.

Best friends forever,

.....the turning tide


For those of us in the eastern part of the US we are in the shift.  Did you feel it?  Just like that we went from days on end of bitter cold and frozen ground to the hint of spring in the air.  You could feel it yesterday as soon as you walked out the door.  The brilliant sun blinding as it reflects off the snow.  Rubbing the sleep from the eyes as if awakening from a long slumber.

The animals of course felt it too.  Robins hopping across the lawn and the black squirrels scampering through my garden in search of seed. A new sense of lightness. Neighbors emerging from their homes to walk their dogs.   A defined shift in energy which told us clearly that although we may still get some, or even many, very cold days or some flakes falling from the sky….winter is now moving into the rear view mirror. 

The flow of the Universe.  The hum.  Did you feel it?

I am leading “March Manifestation” this month, a program of learning and playing with several of the natural laws of the Universe  that allow us to consciously create our reality (since we each create our lives we may as well do it consciously).  We are on day number 8, deep in the energy of water uncovering what we truly desire.  Not “wish for”, but WANT from an inner place of longing.   Wanting, when it is from within and not from the mind, is the soul’s desire to move forward.  To create.  To pull towards.  An ache.

So what do you want?  But here is the key question……what are you willing to change for? 

We each individually create our lives.  But on a much larger scale we do this as a population.  Even as a species.  In the media we are always seeing displays of what we collectively want, but are we willing to change for it?  Hunger is a perfect example.  There is enough food for all of us.  All of us.  The blockage is found in money, politics, distribution channels, crime, education and so on.   So we all say we “want” to end hunger……and have been saying that for a very, very long time.  But it won’t be, it won’t manifest, until we collectively want it from within.   Not a wish.  A longing.  When it is no longer even imaginable to us that one of our own is starving.  Then we will feel the shift.

I liken it to the current marijuana shift in the US.  I don’t read the paper or watch the news, so I get snippets from when I log in to mail, or talk to a friend, or overhear conversations in the store.  I felt it.  Strongly.  The shift in energy.  Not just because one state made it a standard commodity, but because whether you personally are for or against legalization, the tide has shifted.  The criminalization is quickly moving into the rear view mirror.  The government didn’t do this. “We” decided that it is ok to personally choose to partake or not and therefore created the change.  We crested the mountain and now it feels like the beginning tremors of an avalanche.  Gay rights and marriage have also turned their tide. 

So what do we each want for our own lives (because in order to help others, you yourself must be complete)…….and then what is the next house of cards we as human beings want to shake at its base?  What change do we long for, and more importantly are willing to change ourselves for.   Nothing changes on the inside without the shift on the inside.

The flow of the Universe.  The tide.  The hum.

Mmmmmmm….I can feel it,

.....patience of a snail


It’s back……  For some reason I believed that I was going to make it through the whole winter without its return.   Why wouldn’t I believe that?  February already drawing to a close with spring a mere three weeks away.  I was sure this year would be different.

But no. I was mistaken.   It’s back……..


I saw it as I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror.  The winter belly.

All of my life I have been fairly slim, with the needle on the scale never moving more than 10 pounds in either direction.  But when the needle is trending in the upward direction, the extra weight always settles itself comfortably into my belly.   A roundness.  Or as we women so affectionately call it (not!) the muffin top.  A sure sign of a long winter. 

Yesterday while walking through the back yard I stop to notice my garden.  Packed thick with crusty snow and ice, only the remaining brittle brown stems and leaves of last year’s plants poking through to form some contrast.  No birds.  No squirrels.  Complete and utter stillness.  A deep quiet.  A sure sign of a long winter.

The season of winter is the energy of Earth.  Grounded, quiet and still.  The energy of landing in this moment and noticing.  Nowhere to go, nothing to do.  Earth energy is the death……but is also the source of life.   Our beginning and our end. Earth is the field of pure potential from which we rise and to which we will return. 

I look a little closer at the garden.  Dead would be the word most people would use.  But is it?  How incredible is it that only 3 weeks from now when the snow has melted and I push aside the brush there will be new life rising to greet me.  I imagine it saying something like “Thank God!  I thought you might have forgotten about me!”.   The garden is dead only in that it has let go of the past.  Released last year’s flowers and seeds to make room for the new.   But as I sit here writing, the roots below are quietly continuing to strengthen and gain nourishment so that when the time is right, they can take what appears to be nothing, and create the stunning beauty that is my summer wheel garden. 

The Kaya Wellness studio that I go to in Rehoboth sent out an email this week that spoke to this late winter earth energy and its connection to the snail energy.  I liked this:

Snail medicine speaks of patience and steady progress towards a goal. Snails are also highly sensitive. Nature shows us that although spring is eminent, we practice patience not to emerge too soon and risk a damaging frost. The lesson for you to follow is to act when the time is right. You may be eager to throw the windows open and start spring cleaning, or don a pair of shorts for the boardwalk. Perhaps you have other projects in the eaves. Be patient. What areas of your life are you rushing through?

Snails call to us to practice awareness and mindfulness. The entire body and antennae are a sensory tool. As you beckon nature to hurry up to meet your demands, it is a prime time to observe your own being. What is keeping you from living in the now? What are you escaping? The shell of the snail is a spiral pattern that shows you the path inward.

As for my belly……..like roots, it too is being nourished and building an inner power so that when the time is right  I can burst forth and create the expansion I have been sensing.  But like the snail I won’t rush it.  For now I will continue to meditate, read, move slowly in my practice and notice my unlimited potential.  And….continue to have the 4 ginger snaps with my tea each evening. 

Accepting this moment exactly as it is,