Monday, February 23, 2009


Starbucks is introducing instant coffee. Phooey. I had a very strong negative reaction to this announcement, even though I am not a coffee drinker. My immediate reaction was frustration with everything in this day and age needing to be fast, convenient, quick, and instantly gratifying.

It's true that companies are catering to a demand for these kinds of products...a demand from the consumer. Our freezer at the office is crammed full of instant lunches that take only a few mintues to heat up in the microwave. Here in Cincinnati they have drive-thrus to purchase beer on-the-go. Fast food joints litter the main streets of our downtowns. My resume proudly boasts that I am an excellent "multi-tasker". Time has been squished into a tiny box, and we feel there is never enough of it.

But doesn't rushing take the joy out of the moment? What are we rushing toward? You can't focus on the present moment when you are constantly hurrying toward the next one. I fondly recall sitting down to dinner with my family every night when I was a child, discussing what we experienced during the day and just SHARING. One of my wishes is that we start to regard time as a friend, instead of an enemy.

When was the last time you ate dinner with your loved ones at the dining room table?

Choose love,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Joyful Abundance

My sister recently commented on my blog posting and asked me to write about "finding a balance between saving money and enjoying/living life to the fullest!" Here you go, Karen!

The consciousness and self-awareness books and information that I've read lately reiterate the same idea over and over again: You can have anything your heart desires! It is only your belief that you can't have it that holds you back from getting what you want. In simple terms, it's all in your head. I'm in no way implying that you are crazy for thinking you need to save money. Obviously, it's hard to live from a place of abundance if you are living "paycheck to paycheck" or just scraping by financially, but the fact of the matter is, the more you think about being poor, the more poor you will become. It's a simple cycle governed by the natural laws of the universe.

So I would rephrase Karen's question about finding balance between frugality and joy to be: "How can I change how I think about money in order to support the lifestyle that I desire?" I have a few ideas for you.

First, be grateful for what you already have. This helps you to experience life from a place of abundance, rather than a place of lack. Next, trust that there is plenty of abundance for everyone (more than enough to go around!), so there is no need to hoard what you do have (which links back to my blog about giving). Another important piece of this equation is defining the word "expensive". People often place different definitions on the same word. Perhaps you can change the word "expensive" to something like "valuable". This slight change in adjective shifts the meaning from "financially unreachable" to "something important to me that would be worthwhile to invest in." Then you could do a visualization or meditation on how it would feel to actually HAVE the thing that you want. The energy that you bring to the surface when you do this will create more abundance in this area. I also love creating discovery collages to help guide my subconscious thoughts toward my desired outcome. I have found them to be incredibly effective ways of manifesting my dreams. I created a collage before my yoga teacher training that has truly inspired me along the way. So cut out images of the things you want, glue them to a piece of paper, and hang it in a place where you can look at it all the time. Feel like those things are ALREADY YOURS. Say thank you. And let the magic unfold...

What language can you change to bring you closer to abundance?

Choose love,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Baby!

My sister snapped these photos of my darling 5 mo. old niece, Melody, almost practicing her first yoga pose...awww...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sole Searching

I was waiting in line at Panera bread, and I noticed the guy in front of me was wearing Dansko crocs. I asked him how he liked the them, and he replied that he can't live without them. He's on his feet all day, he told me. I modeled my Earth shoes (which use negative heel technology to straighten your spine & strengthen your leg and core muscles) for him and told him how much I love their support and comfort.

Many years ago I had a chiropractor warn me to stay away from high heels because they lead to knee and back problems. Honestly, I couldn't walk in heels anyway, so it wasn't much of a sacrifice to give them up. But I remember my first job in a corporate office, where our dress code was "business attire", and my fellow female co-workers donned power suits, thick make-up, guessed it...pointy high heels. I remember agonizing over the fact that I wanted to fit in so badly, but couldn't find any heels that were comfortable (which in my vocabulary means they simulate what it would feel like to walk on a cloud). I thought that if I didn't find some snazzy, feminine footwear, I would stand out like I sore thumb. I endured many self-inflicted frustrating excursions to shoe stores like Parade of Shoes and The Shoe Factory, where I always left empty handed.

In the midst of my searching, I came across an article about being true to yourself- and the fact of the matter hit me like a ton of bricks. The article delicately reminded me that being yourself is supposed to be easy, so if what you're doing doesn't feel comfortable and good, it's probably not a reflection of who you are. I do not feel good when my toes are squished together and start to go numb after 2 minutes from loss of circulation. This neverending struggle/battle to squeeze myself into this mental image of a corporate businesswoman was leaving me feeling miserable and depleted. When I made this discovery, I decided to let the mental image go. So I went out and bought myself a pair of cute black flats and couldn't stop beeming all day long from the relief I felt at embracing my inner truth.

This shoe lesson brought me one step closer to achieving santosa, or mental ease. Santosa is contentment with your self, a part of the 2nd limb (niyamas- self observations) of Ashtanga Yoga. You know how people offer up "Cheers!" when raising glasses high for a toast? I want to recommend a new word to say when toasting: "Santosa!" May you find comfort within yourself and be grateful for all the bountiful blessings in your life.

What healthy change can you make today to bring you more inner peace?

And on a slightly comic (but serious) note: What are your favorite brands of comfy shoes?!

Choose love,

Monday, February 9, 2009


There are two common responses I get from people that have never practiced yoga when I suggest that they try it:

1- I'm not flexible.
2- It looks boring.

Please allow me to try to dispell these false ideas...

There's a myth that yoga is only for people with super flexible and bendy bodies- that's because the images of the great yoga masters (gurus) that brought yoga to the West are usually ones where they've twisted themselves into tight, frightening-looking pretzels. But you don't have to be GUMBY to practice yoga. The only thing you have to be when practicing yoga is YOURSELF. You have to be willing to work with your body exactly the way it is. I have tight hips, and I can't sit in lotus position comfortably, but I still do yoga! I trust in the process and know that over time, my hips will probably loosen up. And if they don't, that's ok, too. It doesn't matter. There is nowhere to "get to" in yoga. That's why we call it a "practice."

We live in a world of constant stimulation and activity where multi-tasking is an important skill and stress is an expectation of everday life. So when you put someone new to yoga in an empty room on a mat, ask them to focus on their breath, and start to stretch out all the tight places in their bodies, feelings of panic may rise to the surface. This space and silence is not familiar and certainly not comfortable! The urge to "DO something" bubbles up. But this process of finding your flow as you move and breathe is anything but boring. And the beauty of yoga is that you take it to whatever level you want to. There are many modifications for each pose, so you can uncover as much challenge as you desire!

So maybe now when you hear the word "yoga," you won't be so quick to write it off. Try it before you make a decision. Be open to the possiblities!

How flexible are your thoughts on trying new things?
Choose to love yourself,

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I taught my first yoga class on Tuesday night! It was both terrifying and exhilerating. I chose to weave a theme about light into my script for the evening. This was my introduction:

Close your eyes, and visualize a small, glowing ball of light at the center of your being. It's about the size of a tennis ball, and it can be white or any color of your choosing. This light symbolizes love, space, comfort, peace and any other intention you may have for your practice. Now visualize the ball expanding to double its' size. As you move and breathe today, allow the ball of light to spread throughout your whole body. If you are struggling in a pose, breathe light into any areas of discomfort. Trust in your light. Be grateful for your light.

Our inner energy, spirit, soul (whatever word you'd like to use to define the center of our being) is always accessible to guide and support us.

"...We do not need to bring our real Self, our higher Self, into existence. It has always been there, yearning to be out. An incomparable spark of divinity is to be found in the heart of each human being, waiting to radiate love and wisdom everywhere, because that is its nature. Amazing!" -- Eknath Easwaran (from "Timeless Wisdom")

We proclaim "Namaste" at the end of every class, which can be translated as: the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

How can you share your radiant light with others today?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


With the sinking economy, I think it's the perfect time to discuss giving money away! Yes, you read that statement correctly. Give, give, give! My parents programmed the importance of giving into my psyche at a very young age. I remember having a special piggy bank for the money that I would drop into the collection basket every Sunday at church. I am very thankful that I learned the importance of this lesson early on, but I am also very aware that it's not always easy to give money away as an adult with "big" responsibilities. I will admit that financial stresses tend to be one of the biggest ongoing challenges that I face. How we deal with money is a huge topic with lots of emotional undertones, so today I just want to focus on the concept of sharing. If money troubles seem to follow you around everywhere, leaving you anxious and depleted, start to give a little away. I totally understand that it's hard to think about contributing money to someone else when you feel as if you don't have enough for yourself. And I'm not suggesting that you completely drain your bank account. But when you tithe (specifically defined as giving one tenth of your income away) voluntarily and with a happy heart, the abundance will boomerang back to you multiplied. It may not be in the form of cold, hard cash, but you will be showered with blessings in ways you may never expect. It helps to give money to an organization that supports your values. Taking care of the earth is important to me, so I often make donations to groups like the Sierra Club. Or you can start on a smaller scale (but still of great value) and buy lunch for a friend. Throw some loose change into the guitar case of the dude on the corner that sings his heart out every day downtown. There are countless ways to spread the green love around...

Who will you give to today?

Choose love,

PS I read somewhere recently that there is a yoga studio in California where there is no charge for classes! They work on a "give what you can" system. This can be quite a balancing act when your business is your livelihood, but this dude has made it work, and in my book, he's a rockstar!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What do you see?

Take a moment to look around you right now. What do you see? Notice the variety of colors and hues, check out the quality of light, and observe the various objects nearby. You may have noticed something new, even though you probably have sat in this exact spot a million times before. Checking in with your surroundings helps to bring you into the present moment, which is the only place you need to be.

"Commonplaces never become tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative...[we] find it is not a new scene which is needed, but a new viewpoint." Norman Rockwell

I often spend my days rushing from one thing to the next, feeling like a robot on autopilot, completing task after task with no break from my habits or routine. I forget that my gift of sight can bring me something new every day!

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau
But it's not just about seeing our surroundings in a different light. We can use this message to help us embrace people as well. Sometimes we pass judgement by someone's appearance: the way they look, the clothes they wear, the style of their hair. But there is often much more depth to a person if you look them in the eye and accept them exactly as they are.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)

What can you see differently if you change the way you look?
What do you see when you look inside yourSELF?

Choose to look with love,