I Am Love

Love is not something I do.
Love is not something I get from you.
Love is not something I give to you.

Love is who I am.
Love is who you are.


As I feel into this,
I notice my brain wants meaning.
What does this mean?

As I feel into this,
I realize my heart KNOWS.

Without words.
With a softening of my body.
With a slowing of my breath.

Experiencing myself as love.
Experiencing you as love.

I Am Love
Experiencing this road, this snow, these clouds, these trees as love.

Experiencing the air I breath as love.
Experiencing the sun upon my face as love.
Experiencing life as love.
Experiencing. Love.

What about you? What’s your experience? Post your experiences below…

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

When I first moved back to New Mexico two and a half years ago, I created a wonderful, ever-changing art project for myself. I filled a white, ceramic, shallow, baking bowl with fine black sand and created a new Zen “rock garden” daily, or as inspired.

On my daily walks, I would notice which small rocks wanted to come home with me to play in the rock garden. I loved collecting various sizes, shapes, colors and textures. The interplay between matte finishes and shimmery finishes delighted me.

I put all possible rock players in a basket in a drawer beneath my butcher block counter top. Whenever I felt like it, usually while waiting for my coffee to brew, I would take the current rocks out of the garden and arrange new ones. Sometimes the basket got too full to close the draw and then some of the rocks would go back outside.

I loved the ever-changing parade of rocks in the consistent, stable environment of the white bowl with the black sand. One of the best parts of the ritual involved picking my “favorite” rocks to play with on any particular day.

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

After a few months, the same rock garden would stay in place for weeks or months. One day last summer, the wind kicked up through the open widow behind the rock garden and, in a moment, black sand was all over the kitchen. After I had cleaned up everything, I put the bowl and what was left of the sand into a cupboard.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I felt inspired to put the rock garden back in service. Once again, I was enjoying the ever-changing art. Then, spontaneously, a few days ago, I decided to change it up. I had pulled the rocks out of the sand and was beginning to choose the next rocks to play.

Then I had the thought, “why don’t I pick the rocks that want to play without looking at them?” So I did. When I looked at the rocks I had picked without looking at them, I felt disappointed. I wondered, “How could I make any beauty with these rocks?”

Boy, was I wrong. I placed the rocks and THERE it was: Beauty where I thought there wasn’t any!!! Turns out that when I allow and receive, it works out as well or better than when I choose “my favorites.”

For fun, I’ve included photos of three different rock gardens. Which one of them do you think has the “random” rocks rather than the “chosen” rocks?

So what about you? What might be the value for you in releasing control in a particular area of your life right now?

How to Look for Happiness in All the Wrong Places

We tend to think our happiness lies in the predictable and permanent instead of being present with life when the tide comes in and when the tide goes out.

How to Look for Happiness in All the Wrong Places

In Pema Chödrön’s book, Comfortable with Uncertainty, she says, “We become habituated to reaching for something to ease the edginess of the moment. Thus we become less and less able to reside with even the most fleeting uneasiness or discomfort. What begins as a slight shift of energy – a minor tightening of our stomach, a vague, indefinable feeling that something bad is about to happen – escalates into addiction. This is our way of trying to make life predictable.”

What’s so strange to me: I KNOW that nothing’s permanent and yet, I still try to arrange things so that, finally, I’ll have something I can “count on.” Ironically, I can count on the ebb and flow of life, but that isn’t what I want. I want to make the unpredictable predictable. Ah, one of the many faces of trying to control . . .

As much as I’d love to be in control, it has yet to yield anywhere near the amount of happiness I think it should! So, I’m practicing sitting with the uncomfortable feelings. What’s so amazing to me: I often experience a sublime peace when I’m not fighting what is.

I’m also practicing enjoying the adventure of chaos. As I’m going to yet another pet store to get new food and more remedies that might help my kitty Miles feel better, I surrender to not being in charge.

When I’d really love a particular thing to happen, I notice that attachment doesn’t feel good. So, I say to myself, often out loud, “It will happen. Or it won’t happen.” And, I’ve found happiness in releasing attachment.

What I’m noticing more and more: the sweetness in life, even when I feel uncomfortable and even when things aren’t as I wish they would be.

What about you? What does your relationship with discomfort, predictability and permanence look like? What do you notice about happiness for you? Please share below . . .

What If There’s Huge Value in Not Reaching Our Goals?

Two of my clients didn’t reach goals around their health this year. Another didn’t reach his financial goals. I had high hopes for getting my two-year-old cat, Miles, healthy by the end of the year. We aren’t there yet. This may sound strange coming from a coach who makes her living helping clients reach their goals.

So, here’s the thing: When we don’t reach the goals our human ego sets, we have the opportunity to create a deeper, more intimate relationship with ourselves. We become a new person on the way to achieving the human goals. And, we get further in those human areas than if we hadn’t set the goals.

The two clients who have goals around their health are becoming far more self-compassionate, self-loving and their own best friends.

The client with financial goals is learning to give himself credit for being in the process. He’s also learning about his inner security as he works on his outer security.

What If There’s Huge Value in Not Reaching Our Goals?

As for me and Miles, I’ve gotten to experience his unconditional affection, no matter how he feels. I’m learning patience and accepting what is. I’m learning that me being nervous and frustrated affects both of us poorly.

For all of us, we have the opportunity to set new goals, perhaps with a bit more wisdom about ourselves.

So what about you? Are there goals you didn’t reach this year? If so, how might you find the huge value for you?

As always, I’d love your thoughts and comments below.

Happy Solstice!

What Is the Value of Experiencing the Air Outside?

This week, I’m on vacation in California, visiting two of my sisters and their families. Whether I’m at home or visiting somewhere, I love being outside. One of my favorite rituals while staying with my sister Julie involves walking to my favorite coffee shop on the planet, 99 Cups.

They live 6 blocks from the beach and the walk to 99 Cups is about a mile. While walking today, I was particularly aware of how different sea air feels compared to high desert air. And, I love both.

What Is the Value of Experiencing the Air Outside?

Whenever I’m available to notice the natural elements, I become more present, any anxiety melts away and I feel more connected to all life. I’m reminded how healing it is to be outside.

What about you? When were you last outside? Have you noticed all that’s available to you in the crisp, late autumn air, the clouds drifting by or the slight warmth of the sun?

I highly encourage you to get out into nature in whatever way feeds you. Allow the elements to restore, re-calibrate, reawaken, remind and reinvigorate you.

As always, I’d love your thoughts and comments below.



Ah, to the majesty of the
Norfolk Pine on a rare
clear day at the beach.


What Happens If We Keep Our Hearts Open?

Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart . . . Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.
Michael Singer
From the book, “The Untethered Soul”

Recently, I dated a guy for a few weeks. It was an incredibly challenging relationship. We often got along beautifully and had a great time together. And, at the same time, we both kept getting triggered in deep, painful ways.

I’ve dated a lot, I’ve been in many relationships and I’ve never experienced anything like this. Neither of us knew what to make of it.

At one point, when I couldn’t take any more triggering, I sent him a short, “No need to go any further” text. A couple of days later, I realized there might be value in being more mature and less reactive in my communication.

I called him and we agreed to have a closing conversation a couple of days later. We met in a park under a magnificent tree. One of the many things we have in common: a deep connection with trees.

What Happens If We Keep Our Hearts Open?

Maybe the tree worked his magic on us.

We had a wonderful, heartfelt conversation about closing the romantic chapter in the story of us and continuing the connection of our friendship. We sat and talked under that tree for two hours.

I felt strangely neutral. I came away from our time together with a deep appreciation for each of us and our connection. And totally clear that we’d made a great decision.

The next day, I read the Michael Singer quote above. It startled me. Maybe I’ve become more willing to keep my heart open regardless of circumstances?!?

So, what happens if we keep our hearts open? For me, it feels life-affirming, empowering and kind of like how it’s suppose to be . . .

I’d love to hear your experiences . . . post them below in the comments section . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

What If We Didn’t Fight Ourselves?

After studying A Course of Love for 10 months, I finished reading it a couple of months ago. At the end of the book, it instructed me to begin again – read it a second time!

Since then, I had resisted rereading. After all, it is not light summer vacation reading.

Then, a couple of weeks ago in my study group, I was guided to re-read several specific chapters. In the past two weeks, I have repeatedly read and re-read seven chapters.

These chapters addressed what to do about not liking several situations in my life. My takeaways: I do not have to like the circumstances, but rather I need to accept how I feel about the circumstances.

What If We Didn’t Fight Ourselves?
Homage to an Audi.  I loved this car, my dream car.  Such a beautiful car and an amazing driving experience.  And a few weeks ago her engine died.  To say I didn’t like this is a ridiculous understatement.  I’m still grieving.  And, I have accepted that I’m still grieving.  And yes, I know she was “just a car.”  A car that I loved.

This has been life-changing for me. I quit fighting myself and my feelings.

I wonder if every war there ever was, internal and external, was started to get away from feelings we didn’t like.

What a simple solution to accept that I feel sad or mad, lonely or hopeless, envious or not enough rather than wage an internal battle against these feelings or try to get away from them.

As I’ve accepted my feelings, I’ve felt this new tenderness for myself. It’s also been heartwarming to witness how quickly my feelings shift as I am willing to embrace them. And, I’ve noticed that I’m advocating for what I need and desire in a more clear and direct way.

I highly recommend accepting whatever you are feeling.

I’d love to hear your experiences . . . post them below in the comments section . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

How to Create a Stress-Free Zone in Our Lives

I learned earlier this week that my car needs a new engine. And, I learned this the way I learn many things – experientially.

Sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA, I realized that, as we always do, I had a choice. I didn’t have the choice I wished I had – choosing my car to get back on the road, drive to Whole Foods and then drive home.

I did have the choice of where to focus my thoughts and attention. My human inclination was to think of all of the things I should have done differently in the past to have created a different future.

And then I heard, clear as could be, “we spend our lives trying to manipulate the future to correct the past.” In that moment, as I felt the cool evening breeze coming in the car window, I realized the insanity of that.

How to Create a Stress-Free Zone in Our Lives
How rich are our lives when we truly receive the moment, moment by moment?

We have the opportunity in any moment, no matter how much we assess the situation as “bad,” to receive the gifts of the present.

When we are willing to let go of our thoughts about the past or the future, we create a stress-free zone in the present. When we are willing to focus on what is right in front of us, we don’t need to manipulate or change anything. How freeing is that?

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

What Is the Secret to Life-Work Balance?

Several of my clients asked me variations of this question in the last couple of weeks. Two are working full time and starting a new business in the evenings. One is scrambling to keep up with the unexpected rapid growth of her business. Another wants to be a better father. Yet another is grieving a sudden loss and feels concerned about spending so little time in her business.

The answer is the same for all of them: this is the wrong question.

Balance rarely exists. Balance might happen for one second in time. The very next second, the teeter-totter will have tipped in one direction or the other. Sometimes dramatically so.

What they really want to know: how can I be effective at all I’m doing and feel good about it?

The answer is super simple. Be Present. Judge nothing.

When my clients are present at their day jobs, present with the kids before they go to bed and present with their businesses in the evening, they feel alive and fulfilled. When they judge nothing, they don’t feel pressure that starts them thinking about life-work balance.

When I become too focused on work without enough play, Jasmine, my Director of Play insists I become present to her and to playing. When I judge nothing, I do as I’m told!

When my client is present with each task involved in her rapidly growing business, she enjoys her work and success. When she judges nothing, she knows everything is fine as she takes time to go for a run.

When my client allocates time every day to spend with his son, he’s happy about being present with his kid. When he judges nothing, he’s happy to work a bit later into the evening.

When my client is present to and compassionate with herself about her grief, she accepts what is. When she judges nothing, she trusts things are working out with her business, knowing she’s doing the best she can right now.

So what about you?

When you think your life is out of balance because you’re spending too much time or not enough time at work, what might you become more present to? What might it be like to judge nothing? I’d love to hear from you . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)

What Keeps Us from Loving Ourselves?

What stands between us and self-appreciation, self-compassion, self-love? We behave as though our thinking is real.

What if we didn’t believe everything we hear in our head about ourselves? What if we didn’t believe our judgments of others (projections about ourselves)?

When we hear in our heads:

  • You shouldn’t have . . .
  • You should have . . .
  • There you go again . . .
  • You’re so _________ (you fill in the blank).
  • When are you going to change _________ (again, you fill in the blank)?

What if we didn’t engage with those repetitive, dead-end, self-loathing thoughts and instead used them as a mindfulness activity?

We could:

  • Take a few deep breaths and compassionately remind ourselves we are always doing the best we can.
  • Pause and notice the habitual nature of the thoughts and simply give them some space.
  • Byron Katie style, question the thoughts. “Is it true I should . . .?” “What is a turnaround for that thought?” “Who would I be without that thought?”
  • Take a few seconds to appreciate that we noticed the thoughts and didn’t engage.
  • Take ourselves lightly, smile and go on about our day.

What keeps us from loving ourselves? The human thoughts that tell us all the reasons we shouldn’t.

Orange Daisy Gerbera

Ah, to recognize our own beauty and divinity as easily as we recognize
the unique beauty and universal divinity of this daisy
. . .

Why might we love ourselves anyway? To honor the spiritual truth about us: that we ARE love.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)