What Helps You Be More Aware of the Bounty Surrounding You?

This morning this exotic iris popped out into full bloom. It’s never bloomed the whole time I’ve lived here – four springs now.

We’re in such a severe drought right now that the Forest Service is closing Santa Fe National Forest tomorrow. It will remain closed until we get a significant amount of rain to radically reduce fire danger.

What Helps You Be More Aware of the Bounty Surrounding You?

Do irises thrive during a drought? I don’t know. And, the evidence is clear about this glorious one. It’s thriving right where it’s planted because of, or in spite of, the drought.

Just after I heard of the Forest closure, I noticed this miracle. What miracles are surrounding you right now? Even if you’re in the middle of a tough time, as many of us are, what’s calling your heart?

I’d love to hear from you. What bounty is in plain sight at this moment?

Join the conversation – comment below.

How Do You Answer the Call of the Season?

This time of year endlessly fascinates me with the contrast of the natural call to go inward and the consumer call to run around out there.

I opted out of the consumer call almost 30 years ago.

And this year, because it’s been so warm and we haven’t yet seen our typical snow here in Northern New Mexico, I’ve been more outward-focused than usual.

Last night it occurred to me that I didn’t want to miss the sacred opportunity of this season.

How Do You Answer the Call of the Season?

How wonderful to notice that even many beautiful lights are held in deep darkness this time of year. (As seen on one of my neighbors’ house in Eldorado, New Mexico.)

Opportunities I’m noticing:

Waiting in stillness.

Receiving the gifts of solitude.

Embracing long shadows.

Slowing down.

Reflecting deeply into the night.

What about you? What are the sacred opportunities of this season for you?

As always, post your comments, experiences and insights below . . .

Happy Sacred Solstice!

3 Quick, Awesome Ways to Dissolve Stress

Come to Mama
When was the last time you laid on the ground? If you have to think about it, stop reading now, run outside and plop yourself down. Lay there and take in the support of Mother Earth holding you and the expansive infinity of the sky calling you. If your neighbors ask, “Are you alright?,” invite them to join you.

Play Hard
Grab some kids, a dog or your lover and get down to some old-fashion play. Tag, wrestling, throwing a ball . . . Bonus points for doing it outside.

Shake Your Booty
Get all that tension out of your body. Now. If you need a guide, let Rochelle Schieck, founder of Qoya, support you in completely shifting in less than 4 minutes.

Those are my ideas for today. What about you? What are 3 of your favorite ways to dissolve stress? Let’s get a great big, juicy list going . . .

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.


How Do You Restore Inner Peace? In Just a Few Minutes?

You may not realize this, but chances are good you already know the answer for you!

Let me tell you my answer, and then let’s explore yours . . .

A few days ago, several challenges occurred on top of each other, minutes before I was to meet with my next client on the phone. Instead of attempting to resolve all of them in that time, I instinctively went outside and laid on the ground.

I am still astonished by how quickly Mother Earth restores my inner peace even though I have known this since I was a little kid. And, I love that my job requires me to be in a state of inner peace!

During those few minutes of laying on the ground, anger dissolved into love and open-heartedness around one situation. A second challenge became easily resolvable. I found kind wording for dissolving a third challenge. And, the exhaustion I had felt disappeared.

All that in less than 10 minutes and I was ready for my client a few minutes ahead of schedule.

That’s how I restore my inner peace.

At some point, this conversation comes up with almost all of my clients.

One realizes that walking her dog, even just around the block, almost always does the trick. Another puts on loud music and dances like crazy for 3 to 5 minutes. Yet another asks himself, “What is the Big Boy response here?” Years ago, one of my clients took her kids to the park. Now that they are growing and grown, she goes for a run in the park.

So, what about you?

For many of us, it’s a physical thing. For a few, it’s some kind of mental challenge. For others, engaging in or reading something that touches their heart or stirs their creativity. For some, it involves extending kindness or care to another.

I challenge each of us to make a written list of our top 3.

How Do You Restore Inner Peace? In Just a Few Minutes?
In addition to laying on the ground, I find sitting on the ground and stacking rocks brings me back to inner peace.


  • Laying or sitting on the ground.
  • Shaking out every part of my body to an energizing song.
  • Singing along at the top of my lungs with one of my favorite songs, currently “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon.

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”)

Mild Preferences Free Us

All suffering comes from our need to have things a certain way.

I can hear your protests. I can hear them because I’ve had them, too. I still sometimes have them. “I’m suffering because of this illness or physical pain.” “I’m suffering because someone I love isn’t available to me.” “I’m suffering because I don’t have enough money.” And our lists go on.

When I feel sick or experience pain, even chronic pain, it is my thinking that causes the suffering. “I shouldn’t be in pain. I’m tired of this. When will I feel better? I can’t take another minute of this . . .” When I accept what is, when I allow things to be as they are, rather than how I think I need them to be, then the suffering stops.

I may still be uncomfortable with the pain and that too will shift. When I have a mild preference for being pain-free, then I create more space for the pain to ease or for me modify how I do my day even while experiencing the pain.

When we feel out of control, we tend to have strong preferences. We become very attached to those preferences and when they don’t happen, we feel even more out of control. Quickly, we spin into a downward spiral.

If instead, we can use the feeling of being out of control as the signal to dial back our preference to mild, we then begin an upward spiral. “It would be great if I felt better. And, I don’t feel well at the moment. And, this is what I can do even while feeling this way.”

Last summer, I had an extremely strong preference that this spider hang out somewhere far, far away from my bathroom window. Since he was on the outside of the screen on the second floor, it would have been quite challenging to offer him my typical spider “relocation package.” So, instead, I experimented with befriending him with the safety of the screen between us. I eventually was able to downgrade to a medium preference . . . 🙂

Mild preferences move us toward accepting, even sometimes loving, what is. Because the preference is mild, I’m fine even if I don’t get what I prefer in a moment. My own personal experience of working with dialing back my preferences to mild: what I would prefer often naturally comes to pass. I suspect this happens because I don’t have such heavy, attachment energy involved in the mix.

And sometimes, whether or not I get what I prefer, I experience this sweet vulnerability and aliveness because I have surrendered to what is. In this vulnerability, I feel my connection to the human race and a simple compassion for me and those involved in the situation.

The more I align with what is, whatever that is, the more I am connected – to myself, to life, to those around me, instead of causing my own suffering by railing against what is.

Ah, the sweetness of mild preferences . . .

What Is the Wonderful Value of the Darkness?

This time of year I tend to notice I’m in the minority with my love of snow and cold and darkness. As we approach the winter solstice, I love to reflect on the value of winter and the dark.

Winter calls us inward. The darkness asks us to slow down. The cold invites cuddling. Snow quiets us and requires we pay more attention to our driving.

House in winter

Hibernation season offers this wonderful opportunity to be with ourselves. Contemplating, reflecting, pausing and becoming. Very different from the accomplishing, moving, striving and doing of the “holiday season” and our culture in general.

When you pause for a moment, can you hear the quiet invitation to go inward? To become still? To allow? To be?

And, it’s totally cool if you’d rather do it on a sunny beach!

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

On the Scenic Road to Church

As I mentioned last week, I recently gave a talk at church.

From the Catholic church of my childhood, through Christian mysticism, Quaker meeting, Dances of Universal Peace, Unity churches, Kundalini yoga and communing with the natural elements, I shared my story of knowing that we are always held.

If you’d like to hear the talk, click the microphone (21 minutes).


My Intertwined Paths to the Divine

Last Sunday, I gave a talk at church about my two intertwined paths to the Divine. The more formal, worship and body prayer path and the church of nature path.

The worship path
From the Catholic church of my childhood, through Christian mysticism, Quaker meeting, a dozen Christian church field trips, Dances of Universal Peace, Unity and Religious Science churches and Kundalini yoga to Celebration Church in Santa Fe (a non-denominational, co-created church without a minister.)

The church of nature path
As a child, I spent hundreds of hours laying under a tree watching the clouds. I also wiled away many summer afternoons on the banks of the Roaring Fork and Crystal rivers making smithereens. As a teenager, I was mesmerized by the stillness in the trees while skiing.

In my late 30s, I discovered the sacred vastness of New Mexico. This is the second time I’ve lived here because it’s the home of my soul. It feel easier for me to know God here – in the earth and the rocks, the sun and the moon, the sky and the stars, the sage and the rocks, the trees and the wind.

When I lived in Denver, I wrote most of the prayers in my first book while sitting under trees in City Park. I would drive up to Red Rocks when I was in a funk to hang out with those awesome red rocks. And, I climbed high enough to look out over the entire city, which consistently shifted my perspective.

It has always been natural and easy for me to connect with the Divine in nature, through nature.

Confluence of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River.  Who could  not find God here?!?
Confluence of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River.
Who could not find God here?!?

Back at Celebration Church last Sunday
I loved giving the talk. And what surprised me: 6 or 7 people told me that my story was their story. At first I was puzzled. Had they too visited Quaker meeting and several fundamentalist Christian Churches? Did they know how to make smithereens? Did they study to become a Unity minister?

Then I realized what they were saying – they too are seekers. They too had looked in churches and alternatives to churches and had often found the Divine in nature.

What about you? What has been your path to the Divine?

I would love to hear a bit of your story below . . .

Mindfulness: Why Am I So Happy?

In his new book, “The Millionaire Master Plan,” Roger Hamilton writes about his own practice for creating his day each morning.  He shares eight questions that he asks and answers himself every morning.

I have been playing with his questions.

My favorite, by far:
Why Am I So Happy?

This question presses me to find my happiness and gives me infinite opportunities to name it.  I’ve also noticed that I am becoming more aware of happiness as my natural, innate state, even when I temporarily feel unhappy about something.


How could I be anything but happy as
I stare into the face of this pure Beauty?

How great is that?!?

What about you?  In this moment, why are you so happy?

Post your comments, insights and progress below.

Thank you for playing with me today!


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