Is 2018 Your Year Of Spiritual Breakthroughs?

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

“Within you lies opportunity to grow in spirit. Keep your feet on the Earth, but lift your face towards the heavens. Surrender to the Light with a tranquil mind, and a heart full of the love of God.”

~ White Eagle

If you felt 2017 was a tumultuous one for you, I have some great news about 2018. Many of my clients have gone through some recent shifts that are all in alignment with spiritual awakening. If you’ve had a bumpy 2017 then you too might be on that path.

2018 is designed to be a year of transformation, as it adds up to the Master Number of 11. Now, even if you don’t believe in Numerology, which is the study of the mystical significance of numbers, you can look at 2018’s Master Number of 11 as an archetype of transformation.

Master numbers are repeating numbers that have special significance. In Numerology the 3 Master Numbers are 11, 22 and 33. They are significant because they have double the power of the repeating digit, 1, 2, or 3, plus the power of the digits added together, 2,4, or 6. So extra power equals extra significance.

So numbers are symbolic messages that are easily translated to our subconscious. Often I will experience a rash of repeating numbers like in one day seeing 11:11 and 1:11 on the clock, seeing it on the license plate in from of me, and seeing it on the door of a shop I was entering. In fact, just as I’m writing this I looked up and my clock read 1:11!

Repetition is how the Universe grabs our attention and lets us know to look for something: a synchronicity, a lesson, a message, or an answer to a question.

The shifts I have been witnessing have led me to understand that 2018 is ripe with the potential for spiritual awakening to all who seek it. If you’d like to know if you’ve begun your journey down this path, here are some of the most common signs that deep transformation is happening in your life.

Your Belief Systems Have Evolved

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~ Cynthia Occelli

Do you still believe the same things you did 5 or 10 years ago? Or even 18 months ago? As we travel our path our experiences bring us the necessary lessons needed to upgrade our belief systems. While these experiences are essential to our growth they are often not fun.

Belief systems evolve not through rainbows and unicorns but instead through tough times and struggles. Imagine the headache that poor chick must have by the time it has pecked its way out of that shell. However, its two choices are peck away, even though it’s hard and painful, or die. But what a reward it is to emerge into a beautiful new world when the shell finally gives way and the chick is free.

You Live Simply

“Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”  ~ Osho

As you evolve spiritually you are naturally detached from “stuff”. You are more focused on your inward treasures instead of accumulating status symbols. That’s not to say you don’t have nice things, it’s just to point out they no longer define your success or worth.

You are able to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you without any need to strive for more and more.

Your Life Is In Flux

“Just keep going like crazy and look back when it’s over. Otherwise you just get confused.” ~ Cliff Burton

Things you used to be sure about are in transition. Careers that fulfilled you might not feel as important now. Friends you were close to might feel distant.

This period of transition is difficult because you are in the middle: dismantling of the old has begun and rebuilding of the new is not finished. The middle is an uncomfortable place, but when you are in an uncomfortable place, keep going!

You Are Drawn To Nature

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein

Have you been feeling a yearning to be out in nature? To sit by the ocean or hike in the woods? When you are surrounded by nature, does everything seem more vibrant and alive? Do you notice all the subtle shades of green or blue or yellow surrounding you? If so, it’s because you are tapping into your connection to the pulse of energy that flows through the earth. You feel more and more in sync with nature’s vibration of life, abundance, and harmony.

You Are More Empathetic Towards Others

“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

As you begin to open your heart you become vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of others. This is a normal place to start, but with practice you will learn that taking on their pain is not necessary in order for you to feel empathy for their plight.

As you mature spiritually you will understand how to be fully engaged with another without trampling your own boundaries. However, if you’ve had some emotionally draining times because of your increased sensitivity to others know that it’s part of your spiritual maturation process, signaling you are up leveling your intuition and connection to the Divine.

You Are Mindful of Your Body

“Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn

Cravings used to rule your diet but now fresh is sovereign. You no longer feel the need to consume empty, sugar-laden foods to boost your mood. Instead you want fresh, whole, organic foods that vibrate at a high level.

You are connected to the nourishment they bring you and you feel deep appreciation for the life sustaining gift they gladly give to you.

You Feel All Your Feelings

“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Before your awakening you shied away from “bad” feelings. Now you no longer retreat when these come up. You embrace all that you experience, loving the experience rather than judging the feelings attached to it.

When you are in this place of loving what is in your life you know you are awakening your divine nature. Spiritual maturity allows you to trust that all experiences are working toward your highest good, regardless of the emotional package they arrive in.

As you greet 2018 know it brings with it the possibility of spiritual awakening for you. The energy is aligned and ready, all you need to do is step through the portal and open yourself up to the divine transformation available to you.

As always, love is waiting just over the threshold, ready to embrace and envelop you, acting as your constant companion along this journey.

If you need a more earthly companion to help you navigate this process, please give me a call. I would be honored to be part of your spiritual awakening team.

Abundant Blessings,







Top Photo Credit: Newborn Monarch by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren





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Holiday Fun With Your Garden Elf

“I left Santa gluten-free cookies and organic soy milk and he put a solar panel in my stocking.” ~ Author Unknown

“For Christmas this year, try giving less. Start with less attitude. There’s more than enough of that in the world as it is – and people will usually just give it back anyway!” ~ Anne Bristow

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.” ~ Shirley Temple

“Christmas sweaters are only acceptable as a cry for help.” ~ Andy Borowitz

Can you believe it’s December already? I wanted to wrap up this year of advice about your Life’s Garden with a fun look at the holiday season.

Nothing drains the joy out of the holiday season faster than fighting traffic, looking for a parking spot at the mall, a rising credit card bill, and having to say “no” to your kids every 4.7 seconds. So here are three ways to relax and have more fun this holiday season.

Ditch Your Worn Out Traditions

“One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” ~ Professor Dumbledore

We all have holiday traditions. Some of them are lovely and some of them we repeat year after year even though they’re no longer serving us. We do them just out of habit. Traditions and rituals are important parts of our celebrations, but if there are some that are no longer useful then please trim them from your holiday.

If your kids used to get together with their cousins and put on a play when they were little but now don’t want to do it anymore because they are teenagers, then please stop pestering them. That just adds more stress to the family get together. It’s OK to let some things go to make room for new traditions to take their place.

Sprout A New Personal Tradition To Connect With Your Inner Child

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” ~ Erma Bombeck

This year capture the joy of the season by creating a new tradition that connects you with your inner child. It’s easy to get busy with shopping, baking, decorating, and cleaning house. Yet we forget to schedule in fun.

What tradition would recapture the child-like wonder of the season for you? Is it sledding or building a snowman? Making a handmade ornament? Or perhaps writing a letter to Santa, God, or the Universe, believing that all your wishes will come true? Start a new personal tradition that lights you up this season.

Cultivate Non-Perfection

“If you can’t wrap Christmas presents well, at least make it look like they put up a good fight.” ~ Author Unknown

Instead of holding yourself to an impossible expectation of everything going perfectly this season, revel in your imperfections. Don’t just allow them begrudgingly; look for them and enjoy them to the fullest!

Did your cookies come out as one big blob? Break them into large pieces, dip one side in frosting, and proudly serve them. Post them on Instagram. Who knows? You may start a new holiday cookie sensation.

This holiday season let your mantra be, “What would be more fun?”. Let that be your guide when faced with choices on your focus, time, energy, and money.

Reclaim your child-like wonder this season by playing in your life’s garden with your own personal holiday garden elf, your inner child.

Thank you for allowing me to be your Master Gardener this year. I have enjoyed teaching you how to grow all the good things you want to reap in your life.

I wish for you a holiday season filled with wonder and awe, and if there is anything I can do to help increase your joy this month or beyond, please give me a call.

Abundant Blessings,






Top Photo Credit: Holiday Elf by Joel

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Harvesting Your Bounty

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” ~ Tecumseh

Thanksgiving comes around once a year, but gratitude can blossom in your life every day. In the spirit of this wonderful time, here are 5 ways to tend a gratitude garden that reaps a harvest of beauty and love in your everyday life.

  1. Notice All The Great Things In Your Life

We notice what we focus on, so focus on all the things that are right in your world. Once you begin this practice you’ll be amazed at how many wonderful things show up in your life everyday. Notice that beautiful cloud formation, that uplifting call you had with your best friend, or those lovely flowers your spouse brought home for no reason at all.

Notice all the great moments in your day, both big and small, and then be sure to capture them in either a journal or a gratitude jar. When you take the time to record these things they become more important and they multiply in your life.

Recording these events allows you to relive it, which makes it more significant to your subconscious – it’s like it happened to you twice.

  1. Focus On Your Silver Lining

We all have bumpy spots yet there’s always a way to plant a seed of gratitude, even during your stormy times. When faced with a difficult situation ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”, or, “When I look back on this later, what will I be grateful for?”.

  1. Don’t Dilute Your Gratitude

Gratitude has the power to create positive outcomes in your life, however if you dilute its power with complaining, gossiping, or criticizing you dig up all the good you planted. Commit to having a week free of all negative behavior. If you catch yourself slipping into a negative pattern, just stop and recommit. Give yourself the gift of a gratitude-powered week.

  1. Spread The Love

The most wonderful thing about gratitude is how it makes you feel. So spread that around as your contribution to making your world a better place.

Make it a point to give someone a complement every day. Or share your appreciation of something to enhance it, like, “That’s a lovely sunset, isn’t it?”. The magical quality about gratitude is it increases the more you share it.

  1. Share Your Gifts

One of the most effective ways to really understand how much bounty you have to harvest in your life is by helping others. When you reach out and give your time or talents to better the lives of others, you can fully appreciate all you have.

If you are ready to reap a bounty of good in your life but just need some help harvesting your field, give me a call and I’ll let you borrow my Master Gardener tools.

Abundant Blessings,







Top Photo Credit: Fruits and Veggies by Joi Ito

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Fruits Or Veggies? The Paradox Of Choice

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” ~ Kevyn Aucoin

“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~ J. K. Rowling

“I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s. I have nothing but choices about how I react to it. In those choices, there’s freedom to do a lot of things in areas that I wouldn’t have otherwise found myself in.” ~ Michael J. Fox

Choices, choices, choices. Our lives are inundated with choices. We are overwhelmed with options, information, and decisions. In the 1970’s people saw an average of 5oo ads a day, today you and I see about 5,000 ads a day.

How do we cut through the clutter and make choices that serve us? By eliminating the external noise and starting with your end in mind.

Eliminate The External Noise

“I think most of us are raised with preconceived notions of the choices we’re supposed to make. We waste so much time making decisions based on someone else’s idea of our happiness – what will make you a good citizen or a good wife or daughter or actress. Nobody says, ‘Just be happy – go be a cobbler or go live with goats.’” ~ Sandra Bullock

If you want to make a clear choice then your first step is to eliminate all the external noise by turning inward. If you focus outward you put yourself in a position of deciding by comparing options based on imagined outcomes, which locks you in a spinning pattern of indecision.

For instance, if you desire to live a healthier life but struggle with the day-to-day decisions you face, you are basing your decisions on the options before you, which is an outward focus. However, if you tune out all the external noise and go within you base your choices on who you want to be instead of what’s available, thus eliminating your struggle.

To illustrate this let’s take this scenario:

You’ve committed to yourself you are going to live a healthier lifestyle this year. You want to eat better and exercise more. Everything is going great but then donuts show up in your office break room.

If you use an external focus to decide what to do, you end up wrestling with deciding to eat one and workout an extra twenty minutes, or not eat one, or say screw it and eat one and skip your workout, and on and on your inner dialogue goes, weighing one option against the other.

However, if you use an internal focus and come from a place of being a healthy person, you just act in a way that a healthy person would. You not only pass on the donut but also feel good about your choice because it was made from a self-supporting space.

Focusing externally decides by doing something, focusing internally decides by being some way.

Start With Your End In Mind

“The key to making healthy decisions is to respect your future self. Honor him or her. Treat him or her like you would treat a friend or a loved one.” ~ A. J. Jacobs

When you base your choice on “being” rather than “doing” you project your end result into the future and reengineer from there. You strip away the external and step into your choice as your future self. From this vantage point you easily know which choice draws you in that direction.

In the above example you’ve projected forward being healthy and then the choice needed to arrive at that place was clear without much consternation. This process easily and smoothly navigates all the options you face.

Decide who you want to be, and from that place navigate what you do. If you decide you want to be a more loving parent then choices around your work hours, how you speak to your kids, and the actions you decide are a priority will all be obvious. You will no longer wonder what to do or what choices will produce the best outcome.

If you’d like help cultivating your future self, give me a call and together we will plant seeds of possibility in your life’s garden.

Abundant Blessings,







Top Photo Credit: Which Way? by fogcat5

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Grow What You Love

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.” ~ Rumi

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”  ―Joseph Campbell


Grow what you love is a concept based on the idea that the more you look toward your loves, strengths, and happiness, the more you will see those things. You are in a position to speak your future into being by what you focus on and how you frame your life.

So how do you grow the things in your life you love? By deciding to become that which you love so you are in a vibrational match with it.

For example, if you want more love in your life, focus on the parts of you that are loving. The more you focus inward on being loving and appreciating the loving thoughts and actions you put out, the more external love will show up in your life.

“To manifest your hearts desires you must be what your heart desires.” ~ Joy Page

To break it down into a gardening metaphor, think of it this way:

Thoughts = Seedlings of Either Weeds or Flowers

Focus = Your Fertilizer

Appreciation/Gratitude = Water

Emotion = Sun

When all these elements are in alignment then you manifest beautiful things. However, when your emotions are in a negative spiral it’s as if the sun scorches your tiny shoot, burning it up before it can bloom. Without appreciation or gratitude the seedling dries up and withers, and without focus there is no nourishment to take the seedling from just an idea to fully blooming in your life.

We are all taught to focus on the problem. Take today for instance, how many times in your day did you pay attention to a problem and how many times did you focus on what’s going great in your life?

Why does this happen without us even thinking about it? Because we live in a problem-solution society; we focus on illness instead of health, we focus on war instead of peace, and we focus on the things that upset us instead of what we love about our life.

But just as you can change what grows in your garden by planting different seeds, you can change your life by changing what you focus on day to day.

So this month catch yourself when you turn your focus to something that annoys or upsets you. Do a turnaround and shift to something you love.

For example, if your teenager has left their dirty clothes on the bathroom floor for the umpteenth time and you feel yourself getting annoyed, pause for a moment and think of the qualities you love about them. You can still speak to them about picking up their clothes, but it will come from a very different place than before. And it shifts your emotions from annoyance to connection, planting a different outcome in your day.

So to grow what you love, tend what you love.

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

If you need help pulling your thistles and planting flowers instead, call on me as your Master Gardener so I can teach you some easy techniques that cultivate what you love in your life.

Abundant Blessings,







Top Photo Credit: Growing Heart by emily792872



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Unearthing The Roots & Fruits Of Your Family Garden

“Pick a dysfunction and it’s a family problem.” ~ Robert Downey, Jr.

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” ~ Frederick Buechner

Family is where we begin our journey on this wonderful spinning orb that flies through space. We are born into a grouping of people with their own issues, strengths, weaknesses, and inherited beliefs. As we grow up we are formed by these peculiarities and they become the foundation our future grows upon.

So how do you keep the best and weed out the rest? By digging deep into the soil of your garden to take an analysis of what’s there that serves you and what’s there that is stunting you.

All families have drama, experience hardship, and cause each other pain. These situations are part of the human experience. However, it’s the quality of the soil your family plants you in that affects how things blossom in your life.

For example, if you have a mother who is bitter from her life’s hardships, she may pass along to you an acidic way of seeing the world, thus soil that has too much lime in it so it burns every tender shoot of an idea that tries to take hold in your life.

As a child when you brought her ideas about what you wanted to do when you grew up and she shot them down with a, “That’ll never work” she’d dumped a load of lime in your garden plot.

A little lime is supportive, but too much is deadly. So the more she does this the more you grow into a person whose ideas never work out. Why? Because you have an underlining message that loops through your mind of doubt and resignation that overpowers the positive energy you put into things.

If you have recurring patterns of loss, of things not working out, or disappointments then you are probably carrying negative family beliefs in your subconscious that are ruining the soil that your dreams and desires are planted in.

How do you recondition your subconscious soil so it becomes fertile again? It’s a two-step process of soil analysis and soil reclamation.

Soil Analysis

“Family is supposed to be our safe heaven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

First of all, you need to identify the toxins in your soil. You do this by noticing and recording them. Sit down and write out all the thoughts that loop in your head. You know, those nagging voices you hear when you have a new idea, want something, or feel ready to take a big step.

What do those voices say to you that cause you to pause, falter, or turn around and retreat? Those are the statements I want you to capture. Carry a small notebook around with you to snag the ones that pop up unexpectedly, like when someone complements you or you are handed a big task at work. You must be vigilant because these toxins are buried deep in your subconscious soil so grab them when they bubble up.

Once you have your list of pervasive pollutants analyze these statements’ value by asking if they are true, kind and/or necessary. Understanding the reason for these voices will help you silence them.

For example, the “That’ll never work” statement is a protection statement; it’s purpose is to keep you from getting hurt by failure. So is it true that what you want to do won’t work? No – you can’t know that before trying. Also, what’s work actually mean? Sometimes things don’t go as we planned but good things still result from our actions so “work” is relative.

Secondly, is it kind? No. It’s a statement that makes you feel defeated and dismissed. Thirdly, is it necessary? No. You are no longer a child that needs protecting. You now have lots of life experience and can make sound decisions without someone hovering over you.

So based on these three guidelines you acknowledge this statement is no longer serving your highest good.

Soil Reconditioning

“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” ~ Deepak Chopra

The next thing you do is recondition your soil by adding beneficial statements that neutralize the toxic ones. Affirmations are a great way to replace negative beliefs with positive ones.

Affirmations are short, positive present tense sentences that begin with “I” or “My”. So an affirmation to emend the “That’ll never work” thought you get when you have an idea could be, “I am grateful for my creative inspiration and know all outcomes are for my highest good”. Your affirmations are unique to you so make them serious, silly, plain, or colorful. The more they sound like you, the faster your subconscious will accept them as your new truth.

As a Master Gardener I’m an experienced subconscious soil reconditioner, so if you need help enriching your soil so your roots are strong and the fruits of your labors bloom and produce, just give me a call.

Abundant Blessings,







Top Photo Credit: Veggies at Corvallis Farmers Market by Friends of Family Farmers

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Are You Sowing Seeds Of Resentment?

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~ Carrie Fisher

“The worst resentment that anybody can have is one you feel justified to keep.” ~ Louis Gossett, Jr.

“When you blame, you open up a world of excuses, because as long as you’re looking outside, you miss the opportunity to look inside, and you continue to suffer.” ~ Donna Quesada

How much of your life’s garden is taken up by the thorny presence of resentment? Are you so overgrown that it’s painful for anyone to get close to you? Is it painful for you to even be with yourself?

Resentments are often expressed as gripes. You know those little snide remarks, the eye roll, the gossip, and the unexplained outburst at what seems like a small offence.

Gripes are a passive-aggressive way of communication. It’s a behind the back, negative pattern that leaks out sideways. What is the reason we sow these seeds? We martyr ourselves at the altar of victimhood. We get so wrapped up in being a victim we convince ourselves that our resentments justify our bad behavior.

How do you get released from this cycle and start sowing seeds of love and connection? By cultivatating clear, loving communication.

  1. Intentionally Catalogue Your Gripes

Becoming aware of your gripes allows you to effectively release them. So get a pen and paper and write them all down. All of them. Start writing and don’t stop until you are completely out of complaints.

Start in an easy place like your boss or your spouse and get all the way down to that teacher in college who gave you a bad grade that messed up your GPA. Record every annoying habit and every slight. Get it all out.

  1. Intentionally Connect With Your Underlying Feelings

Look over your list and one by one identify the feeling that sprouted that gripe. Usually it’s a version of fear, anger, or sadness. Uncovering your underlining feelings does two important things; it shows you that your gripes have 100% to do with you, it’s not the action but your perception of the action that spawned the resentment, and it helps clear those underlying feeling by acknowledging them.

  1. Intentionally Communicate

Once you are clear you can communicate in a way that connects and creates change. For example, if your husband has put on a few pounds recently and he plops down next to you on the couch to watch some TV and he has a bowl of Haagen Daz ice cream and you turn to him and say, “Really!?”, that is communicating from a place of resentment and judgment. Now I ask you, is there any good that will come of this exchange? Doesn’t it just create more hurt and resentment and probably make the initial situation worse?

Now if instead you were clear about your feelings and you responded with, “Honey, it makes me sad that you are not taking good care of your health”, how much different would that conversation be? How would that type of conversation shift the outcome?

When you clean up your inner landscape, clear out your judgments, and get to a place of openness then you can create the possibility for change. Without that you will continue to spin in place, letting resentment create more and more of what you don’t want.

And as always, if you want an extra pair of clippers to help you prune away all these thorns, I’m here to help.

Abundant Blessings from your Master Gardener,







Top Photo Credit: Thorns by Daniel R. Blume


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Developing Your Mental Zen Garden

“When a garden is used as a place to pause for thought, that is when a Zen garden comes to life.  When you contemplate a garden like this it will form as lasting impression on your heart.” ~ Muso Soseki

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee

Your mind is a wild, overgrown patch. By taming this land you can strip away all the clutter and create a space of beauty and serenity. A Zen garden is a wonderful example of mindfulness that you can cultivate to bring more joy and freedom into your daily life.

“A well-constructed Zen garden is an evocative work of art that draws the viewer into a state of contemplation…and the viewer’s mind eventually comes to rest in a state of emptiness, which is the goal of Zen practice.” ~ Chris Deziel

The best way to construct your mental Zen garden is meditation. Meditation is as simple as setting aside twenty minutes each day to relax, close your eyes, and quiet your mind. It is an act of acceptance and stillness. You will have thoughts, and that’s ok. Just allow those thoughts to float into your awareness and float away. Keep coming back to a space that is uncluttered and serene, just like a Zen garden.

The most important aspect of this practice is repetitiveness. The more you do it the greater the benefits. For example, imagine your mind as a plot of land with large boulders. These boulders are anger, resentment, judgment, and past pain. Without meditation your mind is full of thick vines that are interwoven with these boulders, using them to prop themselves up. When you have a situation arise your mind reacts from this overgrown, entwined place. Meditation goes in and clears away the vines of your busy “monkey mind” and creates rivulets so when a situation arises your mind can bump up against these boulders and effortlessly go around them, like the flow of water. You now react from this open, flowing space to the events in your daily life.

What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Here are three benefits for cultivating a mental Zen garden through meditation.

  1. You Glean The Gifts Before You Right Now

“Zen lives in the present. The Whole teaching is: how to be in the present; how to get out of the past which is no more and how not to get involved in the future which is not yet, and just to be rooted, centered, in that which is.” ~ OSHO

A Zen garden is fully formed right now. Since there is nothing planted, there is no waiting for growth. Why is that important? Because it is perfect in the present moment. There is no need to travel to the future to imagine growth, or cast back into the past to remember it’s full glory after everything has died. Right now is all there is. Right now everything is perfect.

Often when you experience any feeling that limits your freedom, constricts your body or mind, or causes you anxiety you are not in the present moment. By being here now and you are able to experience the perfection before you. Meditation helps retrain your mind to be present instead of wandering all over the place.

  1. You Radiate & Reap Stillness

An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside.” ~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Have you ever experienced someone who was angry when they entered a room and then got everyone else in the room angry? That’s because we are vibratory beings and the vibration we send out affects others. You can have that kind of power, just on the opposite end of the spectrum. As you cultivate a mental space that is uncluttered, serene, and quiet, you radiate stillness. When you walk into a room you will elevate the energy with your energetic transmissions of peace and serenity. Practicing meditation allows you to be in this still place for longer and longer periods of time, until it becomes your default.

  1. You Harvest A Sense Of Serene Detachment

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.” ~ ECKHART TOLLE

Cats are wonderful role models of detachment. They just watch what goes on around them with an amused coolness. They don’t take on what they see, they just observe. You too can go through your day without taking everything personally by landscaping in some space between what you see and how you interpret it. By putting in a gap between action and reaction you create a pocket of serenity.

What does it take to be good at this practice? Concentration. The act of raking the gravel in a Zen garden is an act of concentration for the monk. It is not easy to get clean, straight lines out of rocks. So the monk must really concentrate on the task in order to have a great outcome.

In the same way, if you concentrate on taking a breath before launching a reaction based on the knee-jerk assessment of your monkey mind, the more beautiful your outcome will be.

Meditation helps slow down your racing mind so you are able to pause for a breath before reacting. It is the rake you use to tend your Zen garden.

Meditation is simple but often not easy. However the benefits of a consistent meditation practice are worth any initial discomfort you bump up against. If you’d like an experienced Master Gardener to help you weed out your vines and clear your space, please let me know.

Abundant Blessings,






Top Photo Credit: Zen Garden by Nina



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Is Your To-Do List Overgrown?

“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.” ~ Mason Cooley

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

This month we are going to prune back our to-do lists by addressing the issue of procrastination. Let me start by saying everything you’ve been taught about procrastination has been proven to be incorrect. Procrastination has always been considered a time management issue when in fact it’s purely emotional.

So, if you’ve spent years trying to manage your time more efficiently by using the latest planner or system, then this is good news for you. Consider yourself officially off that hamster wheel! Instead, let’s examine what’s really causing procrastination to sprout up in your life.

Studies show you procrastinate in order to feel better now. When a task presents discomfort at the outset, you shy away from it by turning your attention to something that feels better in the moment. Ironically, this short-term fix has greater long-term detrimental effects.

Procrastination increases your stress level, lowers your self-esteem, and decreases the quality of your finished product. There is no upside to procrastination yet we all do it. Why? Because we have been looking in the wrong place for the solution.

If you are determined to lop procrastination out of your life stop managing your time and start acknowledging your feelings. By turning your attention to your feelings you are getting to the root of the problem.

How can you put this into practice in your daily life? Well, here are 4 steps to overcome overwhelm and put off procrastination:

  1. Take a deep breath.

There are lots of breathing techniques that reduce stress but here’s a quick one. When you begin to get stressed, relax and let go. Lift your shoulders, let them drop, and take a big breath. This will bring you back to the present moment. Then recognize your urge to put off the task ahead because you feel some discomfort around it. Does it seem overwhelming? Do you have some negative emotion attached to it?

For example, you know you needed to do your taxes last month but filed for an extension because last year you tried to start a business and it just never got off the ground. You are embarrassed and uncomfortable when you think about seeing all the money you spent on that venture, so Facebook seems like a better use of your time. After all it’ll only take a second to update your status and see what’s going on with your friends. You avoid the unpleasant feeling by focusing on something you like to cheer you up and distract.

  1. Focus on right now.

How can you face those unpleasant feelings so you don’t have to distract yourself? First, notice where you are in the room; feel your feet touching the ground, notice where the top of your head is, and feel your fingertips. These steps will bring you back into your body and ground you.

Then acknowledge what you are feeling. If you need to take a quiet moment to ask what you are feeling, do that. Sometimes we feel discomfort but don’t stay with it long enough to really identify it. Say what you feel out loud. Say, “I’m embarrassed about my business failure and now I don’t want to look at my expenses.” Or, “I’m overwhelmed by my mound of receipts and bills so I don’t want to face the task of doing my taxes.” By stating our loud what you are feeling you are shining light on a dark spot, thus brightening it up so it is less scary.

  1. Take one baby step at a time.

Break down the first thing you can do to get started into a small baby step. Feelings are like clouds, they drift in and out. By beginning a task, no matter how small the step, you give your uncomfortable feeling the room to float away because the feeling is anchored to the thought of facing the task, not completing it.

Remind yourself that even though you are uncomfortable, this feeling will subside. Your urge to distract is just a knee-jerk reaction that will make you feel even worse in the long run. If your receipts overwhelm you, then begin by organizing them into piles. That way you are beginning the task without having to get emotionally involved in the actual numbers. If you’re overwhelmed about cleaning your house, then just clean one small room.

  1. After finishing one micro task take a moment, breath deeply, and appreciate the completeness.

For example, when you’ve sorted your receipts in into piles, take a breath, and say to yourself, “Wow – it feels great to have all these receipts organized!” or maybe, “Wow if feels great to have my hall bathroom clean and ready for guests.” This reinforces your willingness to keep going. Plus it ups your enthusiasm for the tasks because you are feeling good about them instead of wanting to avoid them.

Remember, procrastination is a sign you’re feeling stressed out by a negative emotion. When you feel an urge to avoid a task, go back to these 4-steps to center yourself and move forward. Trying less and feeling more is the way to eliminate procrastination from crowding out good feelings from blooming in your life’s garden.

Abundant Blessings from your Master Gardener,







Top Photo Credit: ivy cycle by Erich Ferdinand



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Cultivating Your Heart of Courage

“Only thing greater than the power of the mind is the courage of the heart” ~ Anonymous

April is the month we are cultivating your “courageous heart”. In this month’s training on leaning into your courageous heart, I will incorporate some of the teachings of Brene Brown, who is thought leader in this realm.

What is courage? According to Brene Brown,

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”

It takes courage to leave your busy mind and move into your heart, where your innate wisdom thrives and grace resides. It takes courage to be vulnerable, to stand up and to express our authentic self. Life invites us every moment of every day to be aware of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors so that we can face and weed out any fears that show up. We often tend to be rooted in the negative stories from our past, making it impossible to bear the fruit of our joyful courageous being.

It takes practice to be willing to be vulnerable, to be willing to make a change, to be willing to speak your truth and to walk your talk even when you’re scared~ this is courage of the heart.

“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.” ~ Brene Brown

In moving through major changes throughout my life, I have always chosen to practice courage by speaking from my heart. When I was 23 years old, I opened and solely operated, “A Pinch of Thyme Catering”. I created my company out of my passion to serve and nurture others through custom designed events with delicious food. What I loved most about my catering business was the cherished relationships with my clients and employees.

My company grew to employ 80 amazing people. Because of this tremendous growth I had to move from the one-on-one client relationships that I so enjoyed into a higher-level position of management. My emotional and physical health was compromised due to the everyday managerial stress. My health showed my discontent; I was stressed to the max, infertile, diagnosed with IBS and multiple allergies. I felt like a failure, even though my business was thriving.

In 1995, I made a decision to listen to my heart. I realized that my heart and health were crying for a change. I was ready to make a commitment to heal. I knew that this meant selling my company despite the fact that my family, friends, and clients would be upset with this decision.

This leap was extremely scary for me. I had the limiting belief that in order for me to be valued, loved, successful, and important to others, I needed to work hard and long hours. Also, my identity was wrapped up in my business. If I no longer were the owner of “A Pinch of Thyme”, who would I be? Yet I knew I couldn’t continue down this path; I had to make the jump and trust the Universe would catch me.

In order to get to a place of readiness, I took inspired action by seeking guidance, healing and support in the holistic world of Energy work, Qigong, Meditation and Life Coaching. I went from a person who was spinning through life to one who was more centered, calm, and clear. From this space I sold my business and stepped into the unknown.

A miracle happened, after 14 years of infertility I became pregnant and had my first child. I reversed my IBS and my allergies went away. Plus, working one-on-one with clients as a Holistic Life Coach/ Energy Therapist renewed my passion.

“Heart of Courage ~ If you make a decision from your heart, you will benefit as well as everyone around you even if they don’t see it right away”. ~ Rose Sloan

What part of your life is crying out for you to take action from your courageous heart? What plunge are you willing to take to make your life better?

Here are 3 steps you can take to tap into the courage of your heart.

  1. Connect Your Mind & Body

Find a peaceful spot, close your eyes, quiet your mind, relax, and settle in to your chair. Take 5-7 deep breaths. Then bring an issue in your life you’d like to shift to mind. See it in 3-D in your mind’s eye. Then scan your body and notice where you feel the most tension and focus your energy there. If there is no clear spot, focus on your heart center. Just rest there, connected to those feelings, taking deep breaths. The purpose of this step is to redirect your focus from outside of you to becoming connected and centered in your body. Your body is a great storehouse of wisdom and guidance so I want you to reconnect with it and allow it to direct you.

  1. Connect to Your Courageous Heart

From this centered place, ask yourself if you are ready to take inspired action to move forward with the changes you are being so clearly shown you need to make. Remember, you are only asking if you are ready to take inspired action, you are not asking if you feel like you know what the next step is or know what outcome you want. The purpose of this step is to just get to a place of acceptance and willingness to take inspired action.

  1. Connect to Your Loving Support System

If you don’t know what your inspired actions should be, get help. You might have some blocks or fears that are preventing you from moving forward. These are keeping you stuck in a misdirected effort to keep you safe, when in fact they are creating more pressure and anxiety.

This is where Energy Therapy helped me the most. I was able to work with someone who helped move me through these blocks without having to dig up old dramas or rehash old wounds. My Energy Therapist gently and easily guided me past my rocky points to the fertile ground of possibility and choice. From there I was able to make the hard decisions and take the actions I’d been avoiding for some time without the angst that was paralyzing me.

If you do know what inspired actions you want to take, awesome, but I would still advise you to get help. Big changes are more successful when done as a team effort. Too often we get started with great intentions only to be thrown off course by the first obstacle we encounter. A coach in your corner can guide and encourage you when you need it the most.

Your beautiful Self is ready to blossom as your heart leads the way.” ~ Kathy Grace

April is a fantastic month to shower your life with one baby step at a time. Step by step you will prepare the way for beautiful blooms of change to spring up in your life. May, June, and July will show up, the only question for you is whom do you want to be when they do?

As your Master Gardener if there is anything I can do to help tap into your “heart of courage” please give me a call.

Abundant Blessings,


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Is Your Life Garden Full Of Weeds Or Clover?

“Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience, and resourcefulness.” ~ Naomi Wolf

“We have to embrace obstacles to reach the next stage of joy.” ~ Goldie Hawn

As this is the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I thought we’d look at how we view the shamrocks in our life’s garden.

Did you know that prior to WWII clover was a much-desired part of every lawn? It was purposely mixed into lawn seed because clover does such a great job repairing the soil and thriving under poor conditions. So what happened? Herbicide companies, whose goal was to kill weeds, also killed clover, thus leaving large unsightly brown spots in lawns. So what was the solution? Add clover to the “weed” list to literally weed it out of lawn seed.

From that time on, clover has been looked upon as a problem to eradicate. Why? Marketing! So how does that show up in your daily life?

Clover was sprinkled into seed bags to be an integral part of the whole system of growing a lush lawn. You know what else is an integral part of growing a lush life? Obstacles. We actually fail forward. Failures, obstacles, and problems are just part of the process, yet we view them as something that shouldn’t be there – as something to eradicate.

Why? Marketing! We have sold ourselves on the idea of how things “should” be and when that expectation isn’t met we struggle, not because of what’s in front of us but because of our resistance to it.

“It is clear to me that one of the biggest obstacles we face as human beings is the pain we put ourselves through when we resist and wrestle with our emotions.” ~ Debbie Ford

Shamrocks have been revered since ancient Celtic times because of their beneficial properties. They provide essential nutrients to the soil, helping things grow more; they are great sources of food for livestock, helping increase one’s abundance; and they are tenacious, as they keep coming back even after being cut down.

How are these good things for you when applied to problems?

Problems provide essential nutrients. It’s from the rich soil of problems and obstacles that we grow the most. Think about every point in your life there was a major shift – didn’t it come from some uncomfortable spot? Without occasional discomfort our lives would feel flat and meaningless.

Problems up level your abundance. Abundance comes in many different forms: compassion, health, wealth, love, understanding, and creativity. When you are on the other side of a problem you have expanded one or all of these in your life. The rubs of life are where you wear away your limits and hone your ability to expand.

Problems keep coming back, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. The lessons problems bring are gifts; problems, like clover, are tenacious in their commitment to bring you these offerings, even when you run, avoid, ignore, or attack.

“The gateways to wisdom and learning are always open, and more and more I am choosing to walk through them. Barriers, blocks, obstacles, and problems are personal teachers giving me the opportunity to move out of the past and into the Totality of Possibilities.” ~ Louise Hay

So this month rebrand your problems as essential steps toward an end. By eliminating your expectation of a smooth ride you are more open to recognize and accept the gifts presented as problems.

“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure…I think.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres

Shamrocks are a symbol of the magnitude of love and support available to you, if you’ll just open up to it. The Universe is always seeding your garden with supportive ground cover; yet if you see them as weeds you miss the guidance they offer.

Carry a Shamrock around this month to remind you to shift your perspective from resistance to openness, curiosity, and expectance. Look at the presence of clover in your garden as a pathway instead of an obstacle.

And may the luck of the Irish always be with you!

“You have to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket – you might have caught a fish.” ~ Darrell Royal

Abundant Blessings from your Master Gardener,







Top Photo Credit: 4-leaf clover by Jay Sturner


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Cultivating a Boundless Open Heart

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” ~Charles Dickens

February is the month of cultivating and growing our heart energy! How do we stay heart connected in our “Garden of Life” amongst the day-to-day stressors and the uncertainty of our present day world? We can start by being centered, balanced and Self-Loving. This will require us to “mindfully tend” to how we are feeling emotionally. Remember that what is going on in our inner world is creating our destiny in the outer world. Cultivating bountiful heart energy means planting seeds of heart-centered thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is where we feel compassion for the world, for the people we know, for the people we don’t know, and for our beautiful Self.

What can we do to open up our hearts so we can be there for others?

I am so inspired by a dear friend of mine, Ted Falcon, a Rabbi from Seattle, WA, is on a passionate heart mission. He has a foundation called “The Inner Faith Amigos” and he, a Christian leader, and a Muslim leader have joined up and travel all over the world connecting peoples’ hearts. They go all over the world presenting heart-centered seminars. In these seminars they pick one person from every background, race, religion, socioeconomic statuses, etc. They all sit around a table and one person at a time is asked a different heart-based open-ended question. Everyone else sits quietly and listens with an open heart, as the person shares their point of view. They each become beautiful witnesses to one another’s truth. By the end of this amazing seminar everyone in the room has fallen in love with one another because they realize that they all want the same thing in life: to love and to be loved.

Love does not obey our expectations, it obeys our intentions. ~Lloyd Strom

What are things we can do to cultivate the opening up our hearts and grow bountiful heart energy?

Self Care:

Having a good night’s sleep, eating foods that are good for us, staying hydrated with clean water. When we think about our life as a garden, we think about the loving tending that goes into a garden so that what we produce is healthy, vibrant, and abundant. Tend well.

Cultivate your own garden and let go of your tendency to examine and judge how others cultivate theirs…Stay busy and involved in your own life projects and pursuits and you will be far too busy to care, much less compel others to believe and live as you do.

~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Daily Mediation Practice

We share many words but the silence we share is One. The ancient psalmist said be still, be quite and remember the deeper wisdom that arises from within you. ~Ted Falcon

Meditating every day helps us to quiet our busy minds so we can hear our heart speak its wisdom. Meditation allows the left, analytical, brain to turn off and the right, creative, brain to turn on. When we listen and speak from our hearts, our voices sound different. We are able to convey words, wrapped elegantly in our heart-centered feelings. When we get out of our heads and into our hearts, things become easier, lighter, and more possible.

Here is a simple yet very effective meditation: Breathing through your nose, focus on inhaling from your navel up into your heart while thinking the word “peace” then pause for 4 seconds. Exhale from your heart back to your navel and hold for 4 seconds while thinking the word, “calm”. Repeat this cycle 9 times. In doing so, you will end up with 18 moments of beautiful stillness. This can be done with your eyes closed in a relaxed position or while walking.

Heart Journal

Each day, go on a scavenger hunt to find five things for which you are grateful or something that touches your heart and write them down, making sure they are different each day. As we practice gratitude and realize how very blessed we are, it is very easy to turn around and do a random, loving act of kindness to someone we know or even someone we don’t know.

When we are cultivating anything in life, we have to mindfully tend and consciously take action to achieve a bountiful harvest. In the month of February, I ask you to tend well to the garden of your life in the cultivating of your boundless open heart. I am here as your Master Gardener to coach you every step of the way in reaping the harvest of your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Abundant Blessings,




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How Does Your Garden Grow?

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” ~Abram L. Urban

Happy New Year and Welcome 2017! During this year, we will be exploring our “garden of life” and examining ways we can plant seeds of change now in order to reap a great harvest by the year’s end.

Many of us make New Year resolutions in January, only to find them waylaid by February. Why is this? We join gyms, begin diets, quit smoking, and attempt to reduce stress in our lives. Yet, these resolutions fall quickly by the wayside and we get discouraged and quit. What if, this year your New Year resolution came to “forwishen” (fulfillment, achievement, completion, perfection, and results).

 Planting Seeds of Change:

Before change can happen, it’s important for us to realize that our outer life is reflection of our inner life….meaning that the harvest we reap in our outer life is a reflection of the seeds that have been consciously and most often subconsciously planted and cultivated in our inner life throughout a lifetime of seasons.

Are your ready to create a new garden of life?

Here are 3 steps to start reaping your great harvest of desired resolutions this year:

 1.Set Clear Intentions and Then Create Your Plan

Just in the same way that you would not plant cucumber seeds to grow tomatoes, you have to have a clear intention and plant the seeds of your desired results to achieve the outcome you intended. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, set your intention by knowing why you want to lose weight and what it would feel like to be at a healthier weight. From that feeling create your plan. This could include cutting out sugar, reducing simple carbohydrates, and adding more nutritional dense foods into your daily diet. The mere resolution of losing weight is not enough to bring about a change.

2.Take Action and Implement Your Plan

Take action and do it repeatedly so your new seeds of change take root. Be creative and plant “outside the box”. For example, if you want to get into better shape, find a fitness facility that offers a variety of activities, walk and skip each day, take dance lessons, or take up a fun community sport like Pickleball. Will you dare to take action and do it repeatedly to create your new life garden.

3.Consciously and Consistently Cultivate

Planting seeds isn’t enough. They must also be cultivated and tended. This can translate into being mindful. Being mindful allows you to bring your attention to your internal and external experiences happening in the present moment. By coming from a place of mindfulness you will find that a valued action will come with ease.

Is it your intention to plant seeds of change in order to reap more peace, more kindness and more love this year? Are you wondering how to bring about this great harvest of change?

Here are some examples of how to reap such a harvest:

To obtain more peace in your life, you must cultivate peace within yourself. How? First make peace with where you are right now. Take time to meditate. Practice yoga, Qigong or attend your place of worship. Spending time in nature is a great way to cultivate the peace that exists in all of us. And be sure to share your seeds of peace with others.

To obtain more kindness in your life, you must cultivate kindness in yourself. How? Be kinder to others. Just begin by smiling at others whether you know them or not. Be mindful of your reactions towards others, and purposely respond with gentleness in your tone.

When a difficult situation arises, we can ask ourselves: Is this kind? Is this true? Is this necessary? If the answer to all 3 is yes then go for it. If less then 3, then reconsider.

Using this process cultivates clarity in order to make the right valued action for your intended results.

Words we say to ourselves and others are like planting seeds. They are powerful and can hurt or heal. If our intention is to heal, being mindful of our words is paramount.

To obtain more love in your life, you must cultivate love for yourself. Sometimes, we can barely like ourselves, much less love ourselves. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with valued actions, this can be achieved. How? Weed out negative belief systems. Give more love to others, volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter; give what you can to help those less fortunate. In time, this cultivating of your loving spirit will pay off, and you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you”… “Thank you”.

 Your Great Harvest

Whatever you are seeking to create and weed out from your life this year it must be tended like a garden. A clear intention and plan (Seeds) must be planted then implemented (Action) and a conscious effort (Cultivation) must be brought forth daily. By year’s end, progress will be seen (your great harvest).

As your master gardener, I look forward to mentoring your life garden over the next 12 months and bringing your New Year’s resolutions to full “forwishen”-(fulfillment, achievement, completion, perfection, and results.)

Abundant blessings in 2017,


 “Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers” ~May Sarton







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Give Yourself the Gift of Peace

“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.” ~ Dada Vaswani 

“I’m concentrating on staying healthy, having peace, being happy, remembering what is important, taking in nature and animals, spending time reading, trying to understand the universe, where science and the spiritual meet.” ~ Joan Jett

I committed to making 2016 a year of joy-full lessons in order to help you expand you life.

As we enter December, I want to close with how you can give yourself the gift of peace. This is the greatest gift because it is in this space that joy, love, happiness, and heart-connection can take place. You can’t be very loving or joyful when you are harried, stressed out, overwhelmed, or at the end of your rope.

So here are three ways to give yourself a big gift this month. And as with all the gifts you give yourself, this one also positively affects everyone in your life.

Notice This Moment

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

This moment is the only time you actually have. No other time exists. Right now is all you have. So if you are not feeling peaceful, scan your thoughts and see if you are in the past or the future. The past evokes feeling of pain and the future evokes feelings of anxiety.

When you are feeling these things that’s your signal you’ve stepped away from the present moment. When that happens ask yourself, “Right now, am I ok?” The answer will almost always be yes. In this moment you have everything you need. Everything is ok. Take a few minutes to pause and let that sink in. When you do, notice the sense of peace that encompasses you.

Notice Your Story

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~ Buddha

One of the quickest ways to avoid the gift of peace is to listen to your story about what things mean. You can have peace of mind or your story, so you need to decide which is most important to you. You can’t feel peaceful and listen to the story in your head of why Janice got that big project and you didn’t. In fact, you have no idea why, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking that you were passed over for something you should have gotten, or feeling slighted, or being miffed at Janice and your boss.

All these things rob you of peace, and they are all illusions. So the quickest road to peace is paved with trust that all things are working toward your good. The more you lean into the idea that the universe is on your side, always and in all ways, the less you need to create mind chatter to explain why each and every thing is happening to you.

Notice Your Awareness

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~ Buddha

Are you trying to make other things stand in for peace? Are you numbing out to gain peace? Are you hoping that that vacation will bring you peace? Are you masquerading happiness as peace? Finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk will make you happy, temporarily. Happiness comes and goes. Hoping things will bring you peace always disappoints. Looking for peace in too much TV, or that glass of wine, or those pain pills will not deliver what you seek. Peace is only able to exist in an alive awareness of this moment, your thoughts, and your natural defenses. Allow peace a foothold in your life.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” ~ John Lennon

December’s joy-full lesson is peace like a river flows, but only if you don’t dam it up. If you do not have the gift of peace right now, pause and scan yourself. Which one of these things are you not doing? What can you do in the next moment that would break the logjam and create a rush of peace into your life? Do you have an idea? Great, now go do that, right now. You deserve to give yourself the greatest gift of all this holiday season.

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Create A Curious Thanksgiving This Year

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~Johannes A. Gaertner

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family gathering days we have, so while the intention is closeness and love, the reality is often stress and upset. So what can you do differently this year? Add a little curiosity to the Thanksgiving menu.

The stress of Thanksgiving stems from built up hurts, from miscommunications, and past resentments. The way out of conflict is curiosity. Like light and dark, conflict and curiosity cannot occupy the same space at once. So this year uninvited conflict and invite curiosity.

Here are three steps to transforming your Thanksgiving celebration:

  1. Get Curious

The way to add curiosity to your holiday ritual is to ask questions. There are things that gripe you every year. You know what they are. So take a moment and make a list of them. Really write them out. If there is a boatload of them write down the top ten things that cause you holiday heartburn.

Ask questions about the things on your list. Act as if they used to upset you; like they are in the past. Today you just want to know more about them so you have a richer understanding.

So if your husband is from another culture and his parents always eat from the serving utensils, find out why instead of silently fuming each year. Ask about their celebration traditions, how they serve party food, and what customs they consider to be complementary.

In addition to asking everyone about their family traditions, ask what part of the holiday is most sacred to them. Are there special dishes that mean Thanksgiving to them? Are there rituals that are important to them? Dig deep and you might be amazed at the treasure you might find.

  1. Get Composed

Curiosity cannot flourish in a sea of judgment so slip into neutral gear. Suspend your ideas of “right” and “wrong” and just accept “what is”. If your brother is chronically late, accept that’s just who he is. Instead of getting upset or trying to accommodate, set a plan and go with it. If dinner is a 4pm then sit down at 4pm. If he arrives at 5:30pm he can eat then. It gives you all an excuse to linger at the table longer, which is where all the good conversation happens, so it’s really a gift!

  1. Get Crafty

Examine your set rituals. Do they all still feel right or is there room for improvement? Are there some you do just out of habit? Can they be tossed so new ones can be incorporated?

Especially after asking others what they do, are there some fresh ways you’d like to approach the holidays? Is there something you can do to help someone else feel welcomed and appreciated?

Ask yourself and see what comes up for you. Let go of your fear of change and really be open to the possibility of something better coming into your life.

“My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.” ~ Mario Testino

November’s joy-full lesson is find joy in crafting your holiday any way you like. Too often we just do what we’ve always done and that leads to a rut. So shake something up this year. Allow curiosity to guide you in creating a Thanksgiving worthy of celebration.



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