One Week To GO!


Last fall I was in a small shop in Boulder and saw a dish of safety pins on the counter where the “take a penny, leave a penny” dish usually is.  A note attached said something like this… take a safety pin and wear it as a reminder to ensure safety in your life and be willing to stand up for the safety and protection of others. I took one and wear it now.
I think sometimes we take advantage of the value of having safety and security in our lives, a roof over our heads and feeling protected in our relationships. We may also not be aware of not feeling safe or having allowed people, places, things or thoughts to be on autopilot that are really not promoting safety, security or positivity. I like the idea of a small totem in a common household gadget to remind us that we deserve to be safe, it is our right, to feel safe, to speak up to protect our safety, our children, to protect the people around us and stand up for what is right and good in the world. This includes speaking our mind and taking right action even if it goes against the grain. This includes positive self-talk as a norm not as an exception to the rule.
There are some associations with the safety pin movement as a post-election action or anti-support and an association as a white persons movement and not supported by some people. I see this as a “pro-kindness” movement and have the intention of using that as my motivation behind wearing a safety pin reminder. In kindness we can offer support, have confidence and courage to “ be the change in the world.”
We all need more kindness in our lives.
What can you do to support “pro-kindness?”
Do you feel safe? What offers you that in your life?
How can you participate in spreading that feeling to all people?

Much Love and Peace *



Grace~ Sending out kindness, 
Random acts of kindness to others and yourself 
            I read this article in the NY Times last year and saved it for this very day to share a sweet expression of human kindness. How a small act can change the course of someone’s life or your own!
Dear Diary, 
I witnessed a verbal altercation between two women on the subway today. One was about 60 years old; and the other was probably in her early 30’s.
The younger woman had a big bag around her shoulder and was holding onto a pole as the older woman entered the car.
“Don’t you dare push me” the older woman yelled.
“That is your perception,” the younger woman replied. “ I did no such thing. You bumped into my bag.”
The older woman insisted that the younger woman was wrong and escalated the argument. I tried to make eye contact with her to encourage her to calm down, because I could sense the situation was getting out of control.
Then, to my surprise, the younger woman did something remarkable while trying to keep her cool: She asked the older woman, “Do you need a hug?”
“Why yes I do,” the older woman said.
The two women embraced and forgave each other.
~Beth Bengualid
I love this, and for anyone that has spent time on the subways of NYC you can feel the energy in this exchange! One small turn of events, a change in approach, being open to receive, being willing to lean in…this is a beautiful display of grace.
Do you need a hug? Do you have one to share!
Compliment a stranger today, offer a smile and see what happens!
Are you open to receive?
Much Love and Peace *



I love this passage by Oprah and had to share…
I’ve always thought of myself as a seeker. And by that I mean my heart is open to seeing—in all forms—the divine order and exquisite perfection with which the universe operates.
I am beguiled by the mystery of life. As a matter of fact, on my nightstand I keep a book called In Love with the Mystery, by Ann Mortifee. It’s full of tranquil photographs and bite-sized reminders of the preciousness of the wondrous journey we’re all on.
Here’s one of my favorite passages:
“Let the power come. Let the ecstasy erupt. Allow your heart to expand and overflow with adoration for this magnificent creation and for the love, wisdom and power that birthed it all. Rapture is needed now—rapture, reverence, and grace.”
I find solace and inspiration in these words. Too often we block the power that is ever-present and available to us, because we’re so wrapped up in doing that we lose sight of being.
I often wonder what Steve Jobs saw when he uttered his last words: “Oh,wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.”
I wonder if it was the same vision the mother of a 26-year-old cancer patient shared on my show years ago. With his last breath, her son had said, “ Oh, Mom, it’s so simple.”
I believe we make our paths far more difficult than they need to be. Our struggle with and resistance to what is entangles us in constant chaos and frustration—when it’s all too simple. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And remember Newton’s third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The energy you create and release in to the world will be reciprocated on all levels.
Our main job in life is to align with the energy that is the source of all energies, and to keep our frequency tuned to the energy of love. This I know for sure.
When that is your life’s work, mystery solved—or at least, the mystery no longer mystifies you. It only heightens the rapture, reverence, and grace.
~Oprah Winfrey, What I know for Sure: Awe, p.155.
Share the love today.
Are you committed to pure true love of self?
What do you need to do to align your head and heart and keep your frequency tuned to the energy of love?
Much Love and Peace *


 Humility is strength not weakness”
4 Ways to Control Your Emotions in Tense Moments
 ~by Joseph Grenny
Twenty-three years ago, one of my employees — I’ll call him Dale — asked for a private meeting. Dale was serious and bookish and had very strong opinions. His work was fastidious. He rarely socialized with colleagues, but he was impeccable in his commitments to others. And he was skilled at his job.
As I closed the door to our huddle room, he came straight to the point, “Joseph, I’d like to offer you some feedback.”
I had expected a different agenda. But given my professions about candor in our culture, I was somewhat trapped. “Please do,” I said cautiously.
“Joseph, you are arrogant and difficult to work with. Your first inclination is to shoot down criticisms from me and others. That makes it impossible for me to do my job as an editor.” And with that, he was done. He looked at me calmly.
I compressed an hour’s worth of emotions and thoughts into mere seconds. I felt waves of shame, resentment, and anger. In my mind, I made a frenzied inventory of Dale’s defects — as though assembling a case to rebut an aggressive prosecutor. I fantasized briefly about firing him. My chest felt tight. My breathing was shallow. Through it all, I did my best to fake a composure I clearly did not feel. My tacit logic was that confessing hurt would telegraph weakness.
An overwhelming majority of the bad decisions I’ve made in my life were impulsive. They weren’t errors of faulty logic or ineffective deliberation. They were avoidable mistakes in moments when I was unwilling or unable to manage potent negative emotions. Likewise, the most consequential progress I’ve made in my development as a leader has been not in professional but in emotional competence.
The career-limiting habits I entered my profession with were a direct result of my inability to deal with emotions like anxiety, embarrassment, and fear. For example, I routinely procrastinated on tasks that provoked anxiety and a lack of confidence. I reacted defensively when embarrassed by criticism. And I struggled to speak up when my views were at odds with powerful colleagues.
The ability to recognize, own, and shape your own emotions is the master skill for deepening intimacy with loved ones, magnifying influence in the workplace, and amplifying our ability to turn ideas into results. My successes and failures have turned on this master skill more than any other.
But can you strengthen this core muscle of your emotional anatomy? If your impulses tend to override your intentions in cherished areas of life, is it possible to make the converse the norm?
Four practices have made an immense difference for me at important moments in my career, like this one when I faced “Dale.”
Own the emotion. Emotional responsibility is the precondition of emotional influence. You can’t change an emotion you don’t own. The first thing I do when struck by an overpowering feeling or impulse is to accept responsibility for its existence. My mental script is, “This is about me, not about that or them.” Emotions come prepackaged with tacit external attribution. Because an external event always precedes my experience of an emotion, it’s easy to assume that event caused it. But as long as I believe it was externally caused I am doomed to be a victim to my emotions.
For example, my anger following Dale’s criticism had nothing to do with Dale’s criticism. His statement could have corresponded to feelings of curiosity, surprise, or compassion as much as resentment and anger. The fact that I experienced the latter rather than the former was about me, not him.
Name the story. Next, you need to reflect on how you colluded with the initial event to create the present emotion. Emotions are the result of both what happens, and of the story you tell yourself about what happened. One of the powerful practices that helps me detach from and take control of my emotions is to name the stories I tell. Is it a victim story — one that emphasizes my virtues and absolves me of responsibility for what is happening? Is it a villain story — one that exaggerates the faults of others and attributes what’s happening to their evil motives? Is it a helpless story — one that convinces me that any healthy course of action (like listening humbly, speaking up honestly) is pointless? Naming my stories helps me see them for what they are — only one of myriad ways I can make sense of what’s happening. As I sat with Dale, I realized I was deep in victim and villain stories. I was thinking only of reasons he was wrong but not of how he was right — and I was attributing his criticism to his personal flaws, not his legitimate frustrations.
Challenge the story. Once you identify the story, you can take control by asking yourself questions that provoke you out of your victim, villain, and helpless stories. For example, I transform myself from a victim into an actor by asking, “What am I pretending not to know about my role in this situation?” I transform Dale from a villain into a human by asking, “Why would a reasonable, rational, and decent person say this?” and I transform myself from helpless into able by asking, “What’s the right thing to do now to move toward what I really want?”
As I pondered these questions in my interaction with Dale, I saw how my impatience and… gulp… arrogance, was a big part of why he was saying this. As I asked, “What is the right thing to do…” I felt an immediate release from resentment and anger. A calming humility emerged. And, I began to ask questions rather than present my defense.
Find your primal story. Over the years, I’ve wondered why the stories I tell myself are so predictable. In my research with hundreds of leaders, I’ve found that most people have habitual stories they tell in predictable circumstances as well. Early life experiences that we perceived at the time to be threats to our safety and worth become encoded in our potent memories.
For example, perhaps a classmate in second grade coaxed you to an unsupervised place in the schoolyard and bullied you in a traumatic way. A parent may have shown you less approval than a sibling. From these experiences, the most primal part of our brains code certain conditions as threatening — physically or psychically. And from that point forward, you don’t get to vote on whether you’ll react when those conditions are present. When a larger work colleague raises his voice, your brain might connect with the old bully experience. Or, when Dale accuses you of being arrogant, your parental criticism triggers flare. I’ve found greater peace over the years as I’ve become aware of the primal origin of the stories I tell — and learned to challenge the perception that my safety and worth are at risk in these moments. When my chest got tight sitting across from Dale, simply thinking, “This can’t hurt me” and “Humility is strength not weakness” had an immediate calming effect. Reciting a specific script in moments of emotional provocation weakens trauma-induced reaction that is not relevant in the present moment.
Dale and I worked together productively for years after this episode. I’ve failed as many of these moments as I’ve mastered — but by working intentionally on these simple exercises, my successes are far more common.
Do you have the ability to recognize, own, and shape your own emotions?
Own the emotion.
Name the story.
Challenge the story.
Find your primal story.
Much Love and Peace *


Laughter is the Best Medicine

In medical school I did an immunology study on laughter and how it affects our health. Norman Cousins was an inspiration to me for the project and I highly recommend in his book Anatomy of an Illness. A highly successful editor and affluent man in the world was diagnosed suddenly with a crippling disease called ankylosing spondylitis where the spine starts to fuse together and become rigid inhibiting most movement, is irreversible, extremely painful and deadly. He denied the diagnosis and was determined that stress was the cause and if stress could make him sick, de-stressing, or laughter could make him well. He convinced his doctor to allow him to engage in High dose Vitamin C dosing as well as laugh therapy. He watched funny moves, three stooges and enlightening humor from his hospital bed daily. He swore the only thing that rendered him pain free for 2 hours at a time enabling him to sleep was deep belly laughter for periods of time and daily. In six months he was walking again and in tow years in full remission and back at work!
If that isn’t enough for you!....studies have gone on to prove that laughter really is the best medicine. Your immunoglobulins(triggering positive immune responses) stay elevated for up to 48 hours after laughter or being exposed to humorous material. Subjects in a waiting room were allowed to watch funny videos or some what boring travel shows and then their blood was tested at that time, 20 minutes, 2 hours and 2 days later and sure enough the people who laughed and had a positive exposure had stronger immunity for up to 2 days!
What brings you humor and joy in your life?
How can you expose yourself to more rolling, deep belly laughs?
Funny movies. Old girlfriends and ridiculous stories. Fart machines always drop me on the floor laughing : )
Forget the vitamins, Laugh more!

Much Love and Peace *



Namaste ~ to honor the light in another person
Lettuce Be Grateful
By Natalie Fee
Whole Life Times, January 2009 | Life, the Universe and Everything
Something very beautiful happened to me the other day.

Something beautiful is happening all the time actually, but for the most part my mind is too busy thinking to notice. But on this particular afternoon, I did notice. While walking my son Elliot home from school, I was presented with a perfect opportunity to employ a technique I’d learned earlier that week from a CD by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. It was a simple way of practicing awareness — when a disturbing emotion arises, you stop, don’t act, and breathe. The idea is that the simple process of becoming aware of the emotion — be it anger, fear, sadness — is enough to begin a transformation, turning the emotion from “negative” into something more beneficial and useful.

In my case, I had a whining child pulling on my shopping-laden arms, demanding I hold his hand/carry his lunchbox/buy him a treat. And I felt angry. Angry that he could be so insensitive. So desirous of things. But instead of shouting or snapping, I took a deep breath. “Breathing in, I see I am angry. Breathing out, I see anger is present in me…” and so on.

I didn’t stop feeling angry there and then, but I did feel that just by shining the light of my awareness on the anger, I had set wheels in motion. Then I forgot all about it. We got home and did the usual play, dinner, bath, bed routine. Just before bed, he asked if he could look at a toy catalogue before I read him a story. Mistakenly, I said yes. Before long, he was crying about how he wanted it all now, wished his birthday was here now, and was beside himself with tears of frustration. 
I felt the anger rising in me again. But this time, I remembered something else I’d heard on the CD. It was the part where Thich Nhat Hanh talks about growing lettuces. He says, “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It’s the same with people. People are lettuces too.” 

With that premise in mind, I jumped on the bed, lay down next to Elliot, and started talking. I asked him if he knew what the word “grateful” meant. He didn’t. I explained it’s a feeling of “thank you” to someone or something. I asked him what had happened that day to make him feel “thank you” — and he started talking, telling me things about the day I’d not heard him mention before. I then shared what I was grateful for that day. Within a few minutes, Elliot had moved from angry and frustrated to happy and glad. And so had I. Then he fell into a peaceful sleep while I was still rambling on about something or other. 

It wasn’t until later that I realized what had happened that evening wasn’t a stand-alone event. It was part of a series of events. I’d heard the CD, which gave me new insight. I practiced the technique, which had — although I’d not felt it at the time — transformed some of my anger into wisdom. Then, later that night, I’d been able to apply that wisdom to a situation, which in turn brought peace to someone else, which in turn brought it back to me. And that’s the magic of awareness. It’s a truly transformative energy that can be used and cultivated by anyone. 

So now, I practice saying “thank you” with Elliot each night before bed. I’ve since taken some time to understand why Elliot was developing an unhealthy attitude towards toys and shopping and made some changes in my parenting approach. I realized that although I can’t protect him from consumerism, I can do things with him to help him be grateful for the things in life that aren’t things. Hopefully, in some small way, this will help him develop a sense of well-being and joy — no matter what toys he’s got. 

Parenting is increasingly becoming part of my meditation. Every situation becomes an opportunity to grow. Living life in this way turns even the most challenging circumstances into my guides — showing me parts of myself, in this case anger, that are ready to be transformed by the light of my awareness. Elliot is my teacher, as is anyone who brings up my negativity.

It reminds me of another quote from Thich Nhat Hanh:

“One day in Paris, I gave a lecture about not blaming the lettuce. After the talk, I was walking and overheard an eight-year-old girl telling her mother, ‘Mummy, remember to water me. I’m your lettuce.’ I was so pleased that she had understood my point completely. Then I heard her mother reply, ‘Yes, my daughter, and I am your lettuce also. So please don’t forget to water me, too.’ Mother and daughter practicing together. It was very beautiful.”
What are you thankful for?
Lettuce be grateful!
TED Talk: Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.
Much Love and Peace *



Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts,
words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that
happiness and to that freedom for all”
Adapted from Jivamukti by Sharon Gannon
Let's look more closely at the meaning of each word of this invocational mantra:
lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now
samastah: all beings sharing that same location
sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering
bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence
antu: may it be so, it must be so (antu used as an ending here transforms this mantra into a powerful pledge)
This is a prayer each one of us can practice every day. It reminds us that our relationships with all beings and things should be mutually beneficial if we ourselves desire happiness and liberation from suffering. No true or lasting happiness can come from causing unhappiness to others. No true or lasting freedom can come from depriving others of their freedom. If we say we want every being to be happy and free, then we have to question everything that we do-how we live, how we eat, what we buy, how we speak, and even how we think.
Karma means "action." It covers all actions-thought, word, and deed. The law of karma says that for every action there is a reaction. Albert Einstein was reminding us of the law of karma when he pointed out that space is curved. Whatever is thrown out there will eventually, but inevitably, find its way back to its origin. So we should be careful about what we choose to think, say or do, because we will be revisited by our actions in due time.
We each weave our own tangled web of karma and will most certainly become entangled in it, as our reality is being created from our own actions. When we chant, speak or even just think the words lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu, if we include all the other animals with whom we share this planet in our concept of "all beings," including the animals we use for food, we can start to create the kind of world we want to live in - a kind world.
The first step toward understanding the link between how we treat others and our own happiness and liberation is to look at the deeper aspects of what our actions or karma are revealing.
-Sharon Gannon, adapted from Yoga & Vegetarianism
Adapted from Jivamukti by Sharon Gannon
What can you take from these last 40 days to move forward and be happy and free?
What can you leave behind as you move forward?
Where are your actions taking you?!

~Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Listen Here! Beautiful~ 

 Thank you for going on this journey with me! I am so grateful for your dedication and participation. It has been a long road, sometimes bumpy and sometimes quite liberating. I would love to hear your feedback on how your process went and how to make it better in the future. If you have time please fill me in! You canemail me and give a quick top three pros and cons or any expression of you that works best. I would be so honored.
Until next time!  I will leave you with this poem:
For A New Beginning
     By John O'Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Namaste ~ Much Love and Peace *