We are right in the thick of it.
That magical time of the year when dreams come true and long held wishes solidly land and flourish.
This is the time of manifestation magic.
In the plant world, Spring is the prime time for planting seeds. In the Fall we enjoy a bountiful harvest. There are similar cycles in the realm of inspired human creativity.
For us, Spring is a time of inspiration. It is a season of fleeting new visions and fresh inspiration. These seeds of inspiration are being planted within us by our own soul. When these Springtime impulses are recognized, embraced and nurtured, they naturally flourish and come into greater expression in the embodiment cycle that unfold in the Fall.
Most people go through these yearly creative cycles without even knowing about them, much less consciously working with them. Attuning to these natural creative cycles involves going with a flow that is much greater than what we could ever hope to muster on our own. Embracing them is a powerful way to invite more grace and ease into you life.
We are now fully immersed in the time of embodiment and manifestation magic. It is time to harvest what we have been nurturing in recent months.
Working with these cycles is like learning to catch a wave at just the right time... and then letting the powerful force of the ocean carry you blissfully to shore. Catching the wave is way more fun than paddling all the way to shore on your own.
Catching these waves of inspiration demands that we clarify where and how we are using our creative energies, rather than letting them be diffused and scattered.
What new vision has been calling to you in recent months?
This new vision may be a way of being that you are cultivating inwardly. Deepening trust, anyone? Yearning to express more loving kindness in your life? More calm and clarity? Or maybe the vision has to do with creating a new home that supports you more fully, or deepening authenticity in your relationships, or expanded service in your community.
Whatever your inspiration is taking you, this is the season to name it and go for it.
Take a moment to deeply consider what you are giving birth to this fall.
My attention has been on self acceptance, vitality, and expanded service in recent months.
People around me are focussed on embodying and manifesting these qualities and experiences more fully during this year’s embodiment cycle...
Creating a Podcast as a platform for expanded service.
Renovating a new home.
Once you have clarity about the nature of what you are embodying and manifesting in this year's creative cycle, focus with all your might on that inspired vision.
Do not let yourself become distracted from this soul inspired creative work.
All kinds of circumstances will come along to disrupt your flow and knock you off your board. Drama and trauma in your life, and in the world can easily get in the way. You may be distracted and overwhelmed by circumstances over and over again. Elections, natural disasters, and health challenges are distracting many during this year’s season of manifestation.
In the midst of it all, this is the most important point to remember…
Do not lose sight of the inner vision. Even if you have fallen in the water and feel like you are drowning. Do not waste the precious inspiration and soul momentum you have been nurturing (consciously or unconsciously) for months.
You always have the power to refocus on what matters most and paddle like crazy to catch the next big wave coming your way.
We all love to dream.
Imagining a better future for ourselves and our world is a powerful way to activate our innate creative potential.
Maybe you’re imagining and working toward a new job, an inspired creative project, a cozy new home, or a more fulfilling relationship. Dreaming and working toward those dreams can be expansive, fun, and fulfilling.
Whatever you're yearning for, here's an idea to consider that will make your dreams even more satisfying…
It involves focusing on inner embodiment as well as the outer manifestation of your dreams. With this approach, you let go of focussing solely on the outer form of what you want and go for what lies at the heart of your dream.
Inner embodiment is about developing the internal state of being you are really yearning for, rather than just chasing after the outer package that looks good and desirable right now.
Our dreams are really avenues to experience new inner states of being. We often get this turned around, thinking we will feel content and satisfied if our dreams materializes. All too often the satisfaction we feel when a dream comes true is fleeting. And then we're off to chase another dream. Our inner state of being is what creates a rich and sustained state of fulfillment, whatever is happening in your life.
If you learn to embody and more fully live the inner state or quality that lies at the heart of your dreams, outer experiences naturally come into your life that resonate with and express the new inner state you have embodied.
If you want more abundance in your life, cultivate the inner capacity to give more abundantly. Give more time, more presence, more money… whatever you have.
If you want to receive more, practice and embody the capacity to receive more. Let life in, all of it... the light, the dark and all the interesting shades in-between.
If you want to manifest more love in your relationships…. become a fuller embodiment of love. As you do so you will naturally draw out more love in your current relationships and probably magnetize some new loving relationships as well.
We are incredibly magnetic.
We constantly attract what we carry within our psyches, whether it is conscious and unconscious. The undercurrents of your psyche will eventually show up in your life, even if you have spent years trying to deny, repress, or hide an inner conditions you don’t like.
If you feel weak inside, you will, sooner or later, attract outer experiences that validate this feeling.
If you feel strong inside, you will naturally attract experiences that validate this feeling.
If part of you feels strong and part of you feels weak, you will experience a sometimes crazy making mix of experiences in which you feel both weak and strong. This is where most people live.
Feeling unloveable? Experiences will come around that affirm this… no matter how much you tell yourself you are lovable.
The undercurrents of our psyche are magnetic, even when we cover them over with a veneer of positivity and affirmations.
Every part of us is magnetic. The life we are currently living is the life we have naturally magnetized from the inside out.
It gets a bit tricky when you are on a path of growth and spiritual evolution. As you change inwardly, the outer life you have created begins to feel too small. Some days you feel like you are walking in shoes that are way too tight. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. With every step.
That kind of pain just means it is time to dream bigger.
It is time to dream of walking in shiny new shoes that actually fit and express your expanding inner radiance. The challenges come when all parts of your psyche have not caught up with the bigger dream.
This is the time to work and grow inwardly to fully embody what you need to step into the bigger dream.
So let yourself dream big. At the same time, put just as much energy into cultivating and embodying the qualities and ways of being that live at the heart of your dreams.
A powerful spiritual opportunity is coming up over the next several days. The upcoming full moon is considered to be the spiritual highpoint of the year by many people around the world. This week is a powerful time for deep reflection, contemplation, and inner stillness.
On the day of the full moon, as well as a few days before and after, potent energies pour forth on subtle levels. This inner light can be consciously received, embraced, and used as a catalyst for awakening, growth, creativity, and the fuller embodiment of your most heartfelt vision for yourself and the world.
Illumination is the keynote of this full moon. The abundance of inner light present this week makes it an opportune time to be particularly open and receptive to the deepest impulses of your soul.
To make the most of this opportunity, take time to pause. Lighten your schedule if possible. Give yourself permission to do less and to simply be. Create time and space for meditation, writing, and quiet time in nature. Let yourself be carried by light and inspiration over the next week, rather than obligations and busyness.
The full moon is this Sunday, April 29th at 5:58 pm PDT. A group will be meditating here at Sweetwater Retreat at that time. I invite you to join us, and so many others around the world who will also be meditating at the time of the full moon.
In the light of love,
Happy Summer to you, wherever you are!
These early days of summer at Sweet Water Retreat have been filled with so many joyful times already. Slowing down and catching up have been front and center in my life recently. I have had cherished friends and family come to visit from far and wide. We have been basking in the long warm days and cool nights that are common in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, throughly enjoying sweet summertime activities. Sharing relaxed meals on the deck, hiking in nature, dangling feet in the cool creek, and enjoying live music in this charming small town have been deeply satisfying. Life simply doesn't get any better.
Our most joyful experiences often occur when we feel deeply connected with others in nourishing ways. Yet, we sometimes unconsciously stop ourselves from deeply connecting because the pain of disconnection can be intense and hard to move through gracefully.
We have all felt the sting of disconnection, in large and small ways. At some time or another, you reached out to someone and they turned away. A once cherished relationship ended or radically changed. Someone you believed in betrayed your trust. Maybe your child grew up and moved away. Or your beloved partner, parent or friend died.
And there you were feeling the pain of disconnection, longing for the warm glow of healthy intimate connection. Instead you felt empty, alone, and sore to the bone.
The unresolved pain of feeling disconnected robs us of joy and sometimes keep us from creating new connections.
Yet, disconnection isn’t inherently painful or sad. Sometimes holding on to the ideas about how life should be unfolding is more painful than the actual experience of disconnection and separation. One of the reasons disconnection can feel so bad is that we often believe in the myth of 'happily ever after'.
The myth goes something like this...
Anything good should last forever, right? And if it doesn’t, something went horribly wrong.
But, what if the myth of 'happily ever after' isn’t even remotely true?
What if the temporal nature of experience is one of the elements that makes life so good?
What if the experiences of connection and disconnection are essential parts of the natural cycles of life?
Connection and disconnection are like night and day. They are complimentary polarities, each with unique gifts to give. What if it is perfectly natural for one cycle of connection to end and another to gracefully begin?
We don't cry when the sun goes down, because we have faith that it will rise again. And in the meantime we get to enjoy the cool dark of night.
Can we learn to face the pain of disconnection with calm abiding, confident that we will again experience the warmth of intimate connection?
As hard as it can be, disconnection also opens the door to creating rich and nourishing new connections.
Maybe the biggest myth of all is that disconnection even truly exists.
When we really get that we are always connected to everyone and everything as parts of this one magnificent life, that's when the real 'happily ever after' begins.
In loving connection,
This week I’m honoring the bountiful life of my beloved, Douglas, who passed away suddenly five years ago.
We had a deep soul connection that is rare and precious. On his birthday I scrolled through photos of our rich time together. I smiled all the way down to my toes as I remembered the nourishing and crazy beautiful times we shared. And then the waves of tears came. They were tears of remembrance for all that was, and tears of deep longing for all that might have been. They flowed even move intensely when I thought of all the life experiences he is now missing.
As I was remembering and loving him, I suddenly felt his strong presence all around me. An intense quickening moved through my whole being that brought goose bumps and overwhelming gratitude.
I felt his presence, his love and support, and his deep acceptance of the turn his life had taken.
It felt like his strong hand was on my back, holding me and reassuring me of the power of the connection we share, then and now. In that moment I was humbled by the strength of his soul and his ever-present commitment to loving. It was a moment to cherish forever.
Feeling his presence since he passed out of his body is very different from being hugged by Douglas while he was alive in his tall strong body. Yet, the essence of the connection is clearly the same.
The outer connections from body to body may be severed, yet the true connection, soul to soul, never dies.
This is true whether someone has crossed over or not. So why not take a moment right now, and send a wave of love to someone you are connected with, soul to soul. You might just make their day.
In loving connection,
Recently, I went to the birthday party of a bright and beautiful 16 year old. Rather than having the typical sweet 16 birthday party, this free thinking young woman wanted the dozen or so people at her celebration to sit in circle and share.
After feasting and listening to music, we came together and were asked to answer a series of engaging questions. Each questions brought out delightful answers from those gathered. The more people shared, the more everyone in the group opened into deeper trust and authenticity. As time went by, eyes lit up and smiles got brighter. Fond memories, deep wisdom, and much laughter were shared that day.
It was deeply nourishing to be part of this birthday gathering. I came away feeling inspired and over the top optimistic about the future of our planet after months of grim political and ecological news being blasted from every media outlet. Being at the party felt like being rubbed down with a deep healing salve.
One of the questions asked that day was: “What do you wish someone had told you on your 16th birthday?”
At the time I said something about the importance of following your heart and soul. I still stand by that answer. Absolutely. Always.
Since that day I have pondered this question many times and have found another answer that resonates just as deeply with me.
So here goes. What I wish someone told me on my 16th birthday:
Develop the habit of turning towards connection. Connection is what matters most in life. Connect and you will be fine.
Connection has the power to heal and soothe whatever ails you.
Deepening connection with yourself and with the people around you is the powerful catalyst that transforms us into what is most real, valuable and true.
If you lack anything, connection is the next step, and the ultimate answer.
Master connection and you master life.
Wishing you a beautifully connected holiday today.
In loving connection,
Our hesitation to really know and be known by another is the greatest hindrance to full blooded, exuberant love. Yet knowing and being known by another comes with the territory.
Revealing yourself, especially your tender parts, is inherent in love, and it is rarely easy.
We have tender hearts that can be broken. We have egos that can be bruised. We have long standing wounds that do not want to be disturbed, much less be poked at. So we hide.
We hide our tender parts. And rightly so sometimes. There are times when self protection is a healthy practice. When you are in a hostile environment, self protection may be the best approach.
Yet, an open heart knows that which is real can never really be hurt.
Feelings come and go, thoughts come and go, and life circumstances come and go. The internal stories we tell come and go. Yet the essence of who you are is resilient and enduring, and strong beyond measure. Realizing there is something within and through every part of you that cannot be wounded can bring about an openness that invites deeper love and connection. This knowing can give you the courage to love boldly, even in the face of an unpredictable response. Even in the face of possible rejection, hurt, or abandonment.
If you want to love more (and who doesn't?), a great place to start is by letting yourself be known more fully. And to honor the inner longing to know life more fully, even when it comes in a crazy array of expressions; some dark and some pretty, some barren and some lush.
The answer is always... just love.
What does this mean to just love? It means being willing to open and unite with all that is within you and outside of you (as if there really is an “outside”). It means loving every sensation, every person, every sound, every sight. With nothing resisted and nothing blocked out. Nothing.
Can you embrace every experience, trusting all has come into your sphere of awareness with a reason and a purpose; as a gift and an opportunity for awakening?
To your beloved’s messiness… say YES! Merge with it until it doesn’t matter.
To your longing for peace.... say YES! Embrace it in the midst of chaos.
To your children’s whining... say YES! Unite with it and really hear it for the first time.
To your anger... say YES! Allow it the space it needs to teach you.
And most of all, to your pain…. say YES! Embrace it and allow it to make you more humble, real, and tender than ever before. Just love.
The invention and wide spread use of PCs was definitely a game changer. The world wide web was another game changer that most people couldn't have imagined not that many years ago. The iPhone was another game changing technology that has radically changed the way we live, connect, and create.
It is hard to imagine what communication was like before these game changing technologies became as commonplace as telephones, paper, and pens.
Most of us are plugged in most of the time now. Maybe you love your devices and all they do for you, or maybe you simply tolerate their necessary presence in our cyber drenched, fast-paced culture. Either way, there is no denying their usefulness in our day-to-day lives.
In recent years, these kind of rapid advancements in technology has been happening in many other areas as well. In medicine (think X-ray to MRI), in transportation (the gas guzzling 1960s station wagon to the new Tesla), and also in the area of psychospiritual growth and transformation.
In this field, which I so dearly love, powerful game changing technologies have emerged that can radically changing the way we live and grow. There are innovative new techniques available to reduce stress, rewire your brain, and heal unhealthy relationships patterns so you can experience greater health, well being, and happiness. These innovative techniques can help you choose more positive and life enhancing responses to day-to-day challenges.
These powerful tools are key elements in the emerging field of Energy Psychology, which is being hailed as a powerful new force in individual and collective transformation.
One of the keynotes of Energy Psychology is that it can actually change your physiological responses to stress, leaving you calmer and more capable of finding healthy, life enhancing solutions when challenges inevitably arise on a day-to-day basis.
In 50 peer reviewed scientific studies of numerous techniques of Energy Psychology, there were positive outcomes in 48 of those studies!
These are overwhelmingly positive results, suggesting Energy Psychology is a power force for healing and growth.
I have found Energy Psychology techniques to be powerful tools for creating rapid positive changes in my life and in the lives of my clients. Energy Psychology has helped clear long standing, debilitating issues for my clients, sometimes in as little as one or two sessions. These techniques are easy to learn and practice with a trained guide. Once you have been taught the techniques, you can use them on your own to accelerate your growth, healing, and awakening. Contact me if you would like to explore this leading edge psychospiritual technology.
As a young woman, my ideas about love were throughly conditioned by the romantic notions of Western culture. In my young mind, love was all about "happily ever after." The height of love was an idealized version of romantic love with my perfect partner.
As I went through life’s inevitable challenges, I began to have a wider, richer understanding of love. As fulfilling as romantic love can be, a bigger and bolder version of love began to bubble up in my awareness. As my internal vision of love expanded, I looked for ways to bring fuller expressions of love to each moment and situation, rather than perpetually looking for love to show up in the ways I expected and projected.
As I began to look at life through more loving eyes, situations that used to seem hopeless and disappointing became powerful opportunities to share love.
How I defined love kept getting bigger and bigger until one day I realized love encompassed every interaction, every thought, and every feeling I ever had. Period.
Love truly is everywhere, in everyone.
Even the painful disconnected moments that don’t feel very loving are part of love's ever present dance. Every heartache has love at its core. And every person is the embodiment of love’s ever expanding grace.
The moment we realize love really IS everywhere, wanting more love shifts to realizing you already have it.
When we really get this, the ultimate love challenge shifts from finding love, to igniting a fuller, richer expressions of love in every situation.
Searching for the perfect lover is transformed into exploring ways to activate the sometimes hidden and elusive love within and all around you. Wanting love is transformed into being love, and shining its warm radiance in every direction.
Love is the very substance of our world. It is the essence of earth and air, fire and water. Love is the essence of every human heart, mind, and body, however ailing and pain ridden they may be.
Love is the essential force that unites all and make us whole.
Love's mighty force is activated simply by recognizing it. In a world that seems to be turned upside down with perpetual suffering, recognizing love can seem like a small and insignificant act.
Yet, the simple act of recognizing love unleashes its miraculous healing force and activates the creative power we’ve all been searching for, whether we know it or not. This simple act can have profoundly positive consequences in our collective evolutionary journey.
The simple recognition of love has the power to heal, to awaken, and to transform lives.
On this Valentine's Day I recognize you and me, and all the chaos and suffering in the world as love in the process of bursting through into greater expression.
In the light of Love,
In celebration of Valentine's Day, I'm sharing a video that is near and dear to my heart. Several months ago, my daughter and her sweetheart were married.
Although I have married many couples over the years as a licensed non-denominational wedding officiant, it was a profound honor to marry my daughter, and to share deeply in this heartwarming and really fun celebration. This joyous day was incredibly inspiring, and one of the high points of my life.
I share this with you with the hope that it will inspire you to awaken and cultivate greater love in all of your relationships. Enjoy!
I like to write. When I write I feel calm, clear, tuned in, and vibrantly alive.
A few friends and clients have mentioned that some of my blog posts are too long for this fast-paced, plugged in era. So I will be writing periodic posts that get right to the heart of the matter. Short and sweet. I love digging deep and getting to what is essential. So here goes!
On the first day of the new year I played at the beach. I walked upon the sand on a bright and sunny Southern California day, pondering how I would navigate the year ahead.
Contemplating a multitude of attractive options, I felt like the man on the beach waving a metal detector, patiently waiting to hear the sounds that would hopefully lead him to gold. As I walked, I keenly listened with heart and soul to discover where the rich veins might lie in this new year. Few concrete goals or intentions called out to me this year. Instead, I felt drawn towards more fully and completely leaning in to my life, just as it is.
In 2016, I will lean into the vastness of life. Not just the pleasant, happy, or consciously chosen experiences, but all of it.
So many times I turn away from what is right here, right now. There are moments when I turn from fear, and also pain. I even turn from love sometimes because it can be all consuming and jarring to my sense of safety. The shift away is often slight and subtle, yet this turning is clearly a way of saying "no" to what the vast intelligence of life is constantly offering. Turning away is softly saying “no” to the fullness of the sacred journey I said “Yes!” to long ago.
Turning away comes from a lack of trust. Trust in myself and in life itself. When I am harnessed by a lack of trust, I miss so many incredible gifts and opportunities that are sweetly being offered in every moment.
Each time we turn away from what is right in front of us, our lives shrink. Our hearts get a bit smaller, our choices more limited, and our sight narrows. Each time we lean in as fully as possible (especially when some part of us doesn’t want to), we find unknown strength, fresh wisdom, and wide eyed expansion. Always.
In 2016 I vow to lean into confusion and not knowing, as well as clarity and vast knowing. I will lean into tedious tasks and mundane moments, which I often try to avoid. I vow to lean into bill paying and wild ecstatic dancing with equal enthusiasm.
I will lean into kale with as much passion as I give my favorite salted caramel dark chocolate bar. I will lean into my reckless yearning for love and my pettiness; my trembling guarded heart and my bountiful giving heart.
But most of all, I vow to lean into trusting that whatever is right here, right now, has a place in this wild sacred ride. What are you willing to lean into in this new year?
Happy Spring, my friend.
The first few days of Spring are always a vibrant and joyful time. As nature energetically bursts forth anew, our enthusiasm for living is sparked like no other time of the year. Anything seems possible at this turn of the yearly cycle. As the warmth of the Sun increases, we are given the strength and optimism needed for renewal and expansion after the inward darkness of previous months.
To remain fresh and fulfilling, our relationships need continual renewal and encouragement.
The fiery warm inspiration that is naturally abundant this time of the year can be a powerful catalyst for strengthening and deepening our closest relationships.
Recently, a longtime friendship went through a challenging period. For years, this friendship had been naturally and easily loving, fun and enriching. Yet in recent months I was feeling discontent with our time together. I was sad and deeply disappointed about what I perceived to be a lack of compassion and understanding in my friend’s attitude towards me. As I was contemplating the situation I remembered some relationship advice I was given when I was 18 years old…
“When you want something that you are not getting in a relationship, the most powerful first step is to freely and abundantly give what you want from the other person, to the other.”
This sounds so simple. Yet the moment I heard this powerful idea I knew it was a game changer. This has proven to be true over the years as this simple idea has been immensely helpful over and over again. Embracing this idea has melted resistance, ended power struggles, and opened up more positive experiences than I could ever count.
By simply giving what you want more of, the relationship turns into a fertile field where the very quality you desire can flourish for both of you. When we quit wanting what we aren’t getting, the other person often gives that very experience back to us without even being asked. In this simple act of giving we move into the heart, which brings a loving, giving quality to the relationship. As the energies of the heart flow more freely in the relationship, everything changes for the better.
If you want more respect, give more respect.
If you want more acceptance, give more acceptance.
If you want more kindness, give more kindness.
If you want more nurturing touch, give more nurturing touch.
I’m happy to report that as I gave my friend more compassion and understanding, she gave it right back to me in beautifully enriching ways. Without drama and trauma! Sometimes additional steps are needed to deepen and strengthen a relationship, but this is always a great place to start.
Maybe you have a relationship that could benefit from this kind of renewal. Probably more then one. :-) So why not give this approach a try? I would love to hear how it works out for you.
With love and warm wishes for your Springtime renewal,
I recently returned to my home in Northern California after traveling for several weeks, visiting family, friends and clients, working along the way. There were so many highlights from my travels; warm holiday celebrations with family, the engagement of my daughter to a man I adore, long savory meals with dear friends, celebrating my birthday with a lively dance party, and laughter galore. It was also deeply nourishing to enjoy city life and all it has to offer — the stimulation of new art, concerts, and fabulous meals; and to appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature during beach walks, hikes in the coastal hills, and hot air ballooning over wine country at sunrise.
As I savor the afterglow of my trip, a Danish word comes to mind — hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’), which loosely translates as a mental state of “togetherness” and “coziness.” According to Denmark’s official tourism site: “The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Enjoying family and friends is hygge too. And let’s not forget eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and the small things of life.” Appreciating and cultivating hygge explains why the Danish people consistently rank among the happiest people in the world.
When you think of hygge, think warm, fuzzy, happy heart; think of everyone you really, really love, laughing in a puppy pile on a soft fluffy cloud drinking hot cocoa.
Awe, hygge…. that cozy feeling that emerges in the warmth of loving connection.
One day towards the end of my trip, I had the sweet revelation that a fuller experience of hygge had become my new normal. Rather then hygge being a momentary experience sparked by warm and loving encounters, it was pulsing through me in a new way — as a sweet, silent offering, gently enriching every moment.
Each person I visited had been a catalyst for the fuller expression of hygge that spontaneously emerged within me.
I am home now, sitting alone on this rainy winter morning, yet hygge reigns in my head and heart, and even down to my toes. Hygge is holding steady as a whole being lovefest within and all around me. Even during the moments when I feel frustration, or fear, or disconnection, an undercurrent of hygge remains. I have a new understanding of this state, which transcends and yet includes momentary feelings of warmth, coziness and safety.
Hygge is the natural state of our hearts and souls, embodied and felt as loving unity with all life.
In this delicious connected state, so many day-to-day concerns and problems seem to drop away. In a state of hygge, every encounter and sensory experience takes on a new richness as warmth prevails.
Cultivating this deeply connected and satisfying inner sense so that it blossoms into a whole-being sustainable experience is an opportunity that lies before us all. Doing the inner work of healing and awakening is a vital part of this process because it helps create a fertile field where hygge is likely to emerge and expand. Doing your inner work is like putting compost on your garden. When you enrich the soil, you know whatever grows there will be more resilient, fruitful and beautiful.
The really exciting part of this hygge process is that when this inner cozy state emerges in new ways, it naturally enhances our relationships.
Our inner condition sets the tone for our relationships. Integrated Energy Psychology has proven to be a powerful catalyst for growth and healing, which creates a fertile field for authentic loving connection to naturally arise and expand in relationships.
If you are intrigued by the possibility of deepening your experience of hygge, I would love to support you in this process.
With big love and warm blessings,
It was more magical than I had ever imagined; a paradise with lush green vegetation, rock outcroppings forming a natural amphitheater, a meadow graced by wild flowers and fruit trees, a sunny spot for a vegetable garden, a large deck, and best of all, there was a vigorous year round creek flowing through the back yard! As I stepped inside the house and was greeted by a wall of windows that looked out upon the garden and the lush forest beyond, I knew I could be happy in this place.
This house was exactly what I had been looking for. There was a great room with high beamed ceilings, three bedrooms, two baths, and even a loft for doing yoga and meditation. The land was private and quiet, with no other houses in sight, yet it was close to downtown. After months of looking at houses for sale, there it was, and even in my price range!
Built in the 70s, the house needed updating, yet this seemed to be a small price to pay for this slice of heaven. I felt a great big “YES” ripple through me as I continued to marvel at the possibilities that could emerge if this property became my home.
This house had the potential to be all I imagined: a cozy home, a place of joyful connection with friends, family, and community, a serene sanctuary of transformation and inspiration; and a haven for living harmoniously with the nature spirits of the land.
I sat in the meadow beside the stream, meditated and asked inwardly if this was the right place for me to live. I felt the land and the life all around me responding with another great big “YES”. It felt like the land was embracing me and inviting me to be there. With “YES” rippling through me inside and all around, I hastily put in a full price offer and crossed my fingers.
I soon discovered four other eager buyers had put in offers as well. I wondered how I could set myself apart and increase my chances of getting the property. I was inspired to write to the owner of the property. In the letter I let her know why I wanted to live in her home. From the deepest, most authentic heartfelt place I could find, I wrote about how much I loved the property and how I wanted to bring the garden back to its full glory. I shared how I needed a healing and inspiring environment for myself and my clients, and how I imagined my yet to be born grandchildren playing in the creek on warm summer days.
As I sent off the letter, I realized I have never loved or wanted a home as much as this one. At this point I had given it my best shot and there was nothing more to do but trust that if this was indeed the house for me, all of the details would work out.
Over the next few days a ferocious bidding war with five eager buyers ensued. There were multiple offers and counter offers. I was anxious and excited all at once. Finally, my realtor called to say that even though there was an offer for $5,000 more than mine, the owner had excepted my offer!
As the dust settled and we opened escrow, I felt intense gratitude and awe. With four other eager buyers, one who offered a higher price than I had, how did this house become my home?
It was the authentic heartfelt connection with the owner that made the difference and set my offer apart from the others.
In my letter to the owner I wrote straight from my heart. My realtor later told me that when she read the letter there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and the owner immediately said she wanted me to have her house. Having someone who would love her property meant more to the owner than the extra money.
Whether it is in personal relationships or business transactions, bringing your most authentic and heartfelt truth to the table elevates every human interaction.
This takes courage and the willingness to be vulnerable. This is risky business for us humans. Yet the rewards are great when we really allow our deepest heartfelt truths and desires to be known.
This week I’m celebrating and remembering, a year after opening escrow on my house. It is now in the final stages of being remodeled (that’s another story!), and I am more grateful than ever for the opportunity to live in a beautiful, magical place. This is a lifetime dream come true.
As I write and remember this powerful experience, I am reminded that the journey into deeper connection and heartfelt communion with others can continue each day if we choose to be our own catalyst by asking:
What heartfelt truth do I need to share today?
And then courageously and authentically communicate whatever it is. This is not always easy, yet it is so very liberating, no matter what response we get. And who knows, we may even get exactly what we want and need. :-)
With love and gratitude,
I feel deeply humble these days after coming through a challenging time. A few weeks ago I was brought to my knees by a nasty winter bug. After wrestling with this illness for over two weeks, I finally emerged triumphant and healthy. Yet the healing process was not easy.
I am usually the one who doesn't get sick.
When everyone around me is dropping like flies, I keep on flying. I once went 15+ years without a cold or flu. When I start to feel sick, I simply shift into healing high gear. Out comes the elderberry syrup, echinacea tea, and vitamin C. I go to bed early, do energy healing on myself, and by morning all is usually well.
Well, not this year. I was absolutely miserable for over two weeks with headaches, fatigue, body aches, interrupted sleep, a nasty cough, and endless congestion. This doesn't sound so bad, does it? Just an ordinary winter bug, right?
To get an idea of just how bad I felt, tune in to day six. As I tossed and turned in the middle of a very long sleepless night, I actually had the thought, "Am I ever going to feel better? This is as bad as childbirth!" I was stuck in that place where you feel like the pain and misery is never going to end. If you have ever been in labor or stood by someone giving birth, you know exactly what I mean.
What made this ordinary illness so miserable that it was reminiscent of child birth?
Drum roll here……. ISOLATION. I have lived alone since my beloved passed away over a year ago. Though I am normally very social and have many loving people in my life, when I was ill I stayed in bed for over ten days. Alone. My only contact was with my acupuncturist and a friend who brought over chicken broth and tissues. When the phone rang, I had little energy to answer it. My emails stacked up. I felt utterly alone in my misery.
This was definitely self imposed isolation. I have friends and family who would have come in an instant if I had reached out. Yet I didn't have the energy to do so. And I certainly didn't want to expose anyone to this nasty bug.
So I stayed home…. alone, alone, alone.
Coughing. Blowing. Sneezing. Sniffing. Alone, alone, alone.
We've all been sick and somehow made it through. Of course, I made it through and now feel good again. Looking back I see that the despite the misery and the days in bed, there was a great gift in this experience.
This illness reminded me that the most powerful healing force is loving connection with others.
When a friend dropped off groceries, my pain eased. When I saw my acupuncturist, my pain eased. When a friend came to walk my dog, my pain eased.
The moment we reach out and share our pain with others, light rushes into the raw and tender parts within us that are in need of healing.
This is true with different kinds of pain -- physical, emotional, or mental. As I write, this seems rather obvious. Yet it is worth shouting from the rooftops.
Even though we may know the most powerful healing force is loving connection, our competitive, consumer-oriented culture encourages and celebrates the lone-wolf mentality. The accomplishments of the ones who are in the limelight are often honored more than the team that stands behind them. We often feel like we have to tough it out on our own, rather than humbly ask for the support we need. This is slowly changing as humanity evolves, yet we have all been conditioned by the lone-wolf mentality, which often inhibits our capacity to reach out when we are in pain.
We all have pockets of pain and suffering that are seldom, if ever, shared.
Yet there can be tremendous liberation in sharing these tender parts with a compassionate listener. Today, I invite you to bring light to those painful places within that need love and compassion by embracing the process of inquiry and asking a few simple questions….
In what areas of life do I need to reach out for empathy and support?
What feelings am I suffering alone with?
Who can I call upon to hold a loving space for my pain, without trying to fix it?
By facing our own tender painful parts and opening to the care and compassion that is all around us, we create a loving, compassionate healing space for ourselves that is much bigger than our isolated pain.
And don't forget to ask these questions as well…
Who around me is suffering alone?
Who needs my attention, love and compassion?
How can I be there to help ease their pain and suffering?
By extending loving attention and empathy to others, we become a mighty healing force, sending waves of love around the planet. So let's use all this vibrant Spring energy to reach out and do this for each other, bigger and bolder than ever before.
Shining big love,
P.S. I'm here for you.
Winter Solstice is my favorite day of the year.
It is the shortest day of the year, often filled with dark, crisp wonder. It is the turning point when the light of the Sun begins its return to fullness. At the Solstice I often gather with friends, light candles, do simple rituals and sing out in the stillness. There is a depth to this time of the year that seems to give every word, image, and action deep meaning and significance.
At the Solstice, we complete one cycle and are given an opportunity to consciously begin anew. During the Winter Solstice, as well as the days before and after, inner silence often comes more easily than at other times of the year. Some years I bask in the silence. Other years inner silence remains elusive, more like a faint whisper than true silence.
This year the deep silence of Solstice came early and decided to stay a while.
Two weeks ago, I heard a snow storm would soon arrive in my hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is my first winter in this quaint town among the evergreens. Being born and raised in Southern California, I have lived most of my life close to the Pacific Ocean. A full blown snow storm would be a totally new experience. As soon as I heard about the storm, I drove around town, bought chains for my tires, stocked up on groceries and water, and even bought an oil lantern in case the power went out. I asked a friend to wrap my pipes and I pulled out my warmest clothes. By the end of the day I felt like I was ready for anything. Bring on the snow!
Around dusk the next afternoon, white flakes began to fall silently from the sky. As I watched the powdery snow cover my yard, I felt absolutely giddy. I sat mesmerized for hours, basking in delight as my deck and the garden beyond were completely cover in white. Late in the night I finally turned out the lights and went to bed feeling more peaceful than I had in months.
The magic continued the next morning as more snow fell until everything was covered with sparkly white snow. That afternoon when the snow stopped falling, I ventured out for a walk with my dog, Bosco. As we walked across the meadow and down towards the creek that flows through my back yard, I was immediately enveloped in awe and wonder at the utter silence.
I had never before experienced such profound and extended inner and outer silence.
The euphoria induced by this white powder was like none other. Paradoxically, in this profound silence, it felt like every part of my being, and every other being in my sphere, was humming this peaceful message in unison, "all is well".
In the midst of this powdery white stillness I touched something so deep and pure it could not be denied, discounted, or lightly skipped over. I touched upon the deep silence of my essence.
Touching this deep presence is always possible, yet in my experience it is more likely to happen during the days around the Winter Solstice. In the doorway between seasons, between light and dark, past and present, the old and the new; fresh possibilities to experience that which transcends all duality quite naturally emerge.
Unfortunately, in the busyness of the holiday season we sometimes miss the silence and the accompanying "all is well" choir sweetly humming within and around us. Yet these experiences of "silent humming" strengthen us for what lies ahead. Those moments of silence in the snow left me knowing anything is possible. Literally.
Over the next few days, I invite you to be on the look out for those moments of "silent humming", and to bask in them. These experiences of deep presence often sneak up on us when we least expect them.
May these precious moments be a delightful reminder that even though the Sun waxes and wanes, there is a deep radiant within you that ALWAYS SHINES.
Shining Big Love,
To read about how to make the most of this time of year, click here.
here is a particular flavor of love that grabs you firmly, lifts you up, and takes you for a wild, tumultuous ride.
When you touch the earth again you realize all the bumps and bruises and otherwise painful moments of your entire life were all part of love’s caress. Every touch was kneading the fear and sadness from deep within; leaving you open and tender like never before so you could, at last, truly know big, bold love.
After this kind of love has its way with you, your whole being feels soft and supple like babies’ skin; free from the inevitable weathering and scaring that used to tell your story. This kind of love writes a new tale on every cell of your body.
When it ripples through me I want to shout out my delight and tell everyone I meet the good news about how totally freakin' amazing life can be. This super charged kind of love reminds me of my favorite flavor of ice cream, Mint Chip. Refreshing, sweet and creamy, interspersed with the stimulating promise and richness of dark chocolate. Yum.
Being deliciously cherished doesn't mean you wake up one day to discover the ideal mate or the perfect relationship; or that the inevitable challenges and flaws that take you away from love's deepest pulse aren't regular visitors in your home. It simply means that everything that transpires in the relationship is held within a particularly rich and satisfying context.
Imagine having a warm cup of cocoa on a cool winter night. Are you savoring it? :-) Well, now imagine that same cup of cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Assuming you love whipped cream (and doesn't just about everyone?), that cup of cocoa is going to rise from being really good to being magnificent. That is what being deliciously cherished feels like. Love with whipped cream on top!
I first experienced being deliciously cherished when I was a young woman. At that tender point in life I didn't recognize this kind of love for the rare and precious gift it was. In my ignorance, I let it go. To be more accurate, I repeatedly stomped on it, and then ran far, far away. Years later I came to know this kind of deeply penetrating love in a more mature and enduring package.
My deepest wish is for all women (and all men!) to know this kind of bold love, and to be liberated by it potent force. This is the most profound and enduring kind of Women’s Liberation, having nothing to do with equal pay or equal opportunity. For once a woman is deliciously cherished, she inevitably becomes a liberating force for others, magically opening doors to greater love and kindness and creativity wherever she travels. And the man who cherishes her becomes the recipient of gifts unimaginable as her particular flavor of feminine magic is sparked and set free.
Deep love between men and women is quietly accomplishing what our political and educational systems have not been able to do with much success. It is ever so slowly and quietly changing our world for the better.
I say to men everywhere: if you want a better life, if you want to make a difference, if you want to experience all the riches of this world.... then love a woman like she has never been loved before.
When you discover a woman who is ready to be cherished and is longing for You, and only you (and only you can know if this is so), soften the protection around your heart and love her with “no pads on”. Silently lay down your defenses, and risk to love with everything you've got. Love her as if this is the most profound and significant action you could ever take.
When you love her wholeheartedly, despite her particular flavor of “craziness”, her love handles, or her neediness; your world will be rocked and enriched like never before. And so will mine and every other creature on this planet. The ripples really are that big.
Shining Big Love,
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.