Embracing Wisdom

Life, food, wellness and love

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Volunteering in hospice has opened me up to so many truths that have been tucked away in me for probably my lifetime.  Each time I go in for my shift I leave a more grounded and whole being.  I know for sure that the gifts I receive from my time with those who are dying are worth every second of fear and uncertainty.

  1.  Intimacy. I have witnessed the most beautiful moments of intimacy.  The tenderness and quietness shared between people during this process is remarkable.  I have been privilege to be in the room during intense moments have cracked me open.  Watching as the spouse rests his head on her pillow, the tender reassurance  a daughter gives her father and the simple hand-holding between partners.  I have learned how special moments of intimacy can be.
  2. Noise. Some families choose to have the television on for their loved ones during this process.  Perhaps this is their own way of distracting themselves and coping, or maybe it is just a habit to have noise on. The gift in observing this is that I know that when I die, I do not want the noise of news or television to be my last few days. I want to hear my beloved speak to me, listen to the voices of my children and simply hear my breath.
  3. Embrace. I have seen people in the dying process struggling with the reconciliation between mind and body.  It is an often long and grueling process of letting go and embracing the comfort of what may be next.  I want to make sure that I have created peace with myself and others each and every day because we never know when we may be having to reconcile.  I want to know that I have left no unfinished business every day and embrace my life, including my death.
  4. Identity. Watching people through this process it is evident that although memories and life experiences are part of who we are, at the moments of death it all really does not matter.  All of the awards and accolades go away. All of the labels and titles fade.  What is left is the peeled away and raw soul.  No longer is it important what identity we have given ourselves or have been given by others.  We simply are.  I want to live each day without labels or definitions.  I just want to be.
  5. Love. Give love.  Receive love.  Be love. Seeing the young people and lives yet to be fully lived, I know for sure I want to live my life in way where love is embodies my actions, my thoughts and my words.  I want to love myself and others in a way as if today was my last day.  Life is a precious and incredibly short experience that is often so wasted on petty arguments and judgements.  Just love.

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Make a Wish

Have you ever made a wholehearted wish? The kind children make with all the belief in the world that it will come true? 

I wish for the kind of heart bursting happiness that almost makes you stop and ask if it could be real. I wish for hours of belly laughter and for moments when tears come out of pure bliss. I wish for contentment so real that fears never invade my thoughts. I wish for the reciprocal dance of love that only a few ever truly know. I wish happiness for my children and that they discover their purpose. I wish for a life well lived and a death that embodies compassion for self and others. 

What is your wish? 


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For the beginning meditator, a great way to introduce the practice is to use mantra—a repeated word or phrase.  This form of meditation can allow the person to learn to focus on just one thing–the mantra–and quiet the noise of other thoughts. 

Sometimes referred to as Japa meditation, it is a beautiful thing to hold in your hands a beaded mala  and repeat the mantra as your finger slides over each bead. 108 times you will be repeating a word or phrase so be sure the mantra is positive, clear and concise. 

Some examples of mantra are:

  • I am
  • Om
  • I am love
  • I am health
  • Happiness surrounds me
  • I am worthy
  • Abundance is mine
  • Peace for all  

By starting out your day with mantra, you call into your life an awareness of what already exists in you. Try it and be amazed and the positive outcome you will have (and your furry meditating companion may also benefit). 


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I have been looking at the idea of non-attachment while on my morning walks in the glory of nature.  A common misunderstanding about the concept of non-attachment is that you become unemotional and cold.  I have considered this at length the last few mornings and I have come up with some pretty opposite truths to this misinterpretation of the practice of non-attachment.

  • Expectations no longer rule your life. You are free to live in the exact moment of the now and expect nothing from others or from situations.
  • Emotions stay in check.  Sure, they arise, but you have space.  You have perspective.  You are non-reactive to things and much more centered and grounded.
  • You relate to the world as it is rather than to your ideas of how it “should” be.
  • You do not get bothered by much, but that does not mean you tolerate behavior that is hurtful.
  • You no longer chase endlessly after happiness.  Your realize you are happiness at your very core. Rather than chasing, you have learned to enjoy external happiness when it’s present, and release it when it dissolves.
  • You have a clear mind so you’re able to see the truth of all things. There is no longer distorted mistruths about reality.
  • Controlling life situations is no longer your thing. You’re able to allow life to unfold without needing to control everything.
  • You don’t stop loving, in fact you love everything enormously more.
  • Your heart only grows bigger and bigger and bigger for those who suffer unnecessarily.
  • You give of yourself freely and you’re not attached to the outcome of reciprocation.
  • The sense of spaciousness and freedom you feel bring a genuine contentment that can never be found in temporary experiences.

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Sacred Space

One of the most important things in cultivating a personal practice is to carve out the space within your home for yourself.  No forgotten toys, no unread mail, no clutter.  Truly a sacred space. Placing items that are special to you on a bookcase, alter, or even a breakfast tray is a great way to create the sacredness that will allow you to have a meaningful space to unroll the mat or come to stillness.

Turn an unused corner or area of your home into your space to connect with you.  Place items of meaning, books, and anything else that will be a reminder of the goodness that dwells within.  For me, I have rocks from a special place in nature, a mala that was made for me, candles to remind me of my inner flame, and a Ganesh (remover of obstacles).

What about you?


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Ditch the resolutions

I say resolutions are set ups.  A harsher description is that they are premeditated disappointments. Why would anyone walk into that mess?  Well, perhaps because the world is often about evaluating who we are (or are not) and attempting to redefine ourselves based on an outcome.

Be done with that.  D.O.N.E.

Instead, open up your heart to who you are today.  However, if you must follow suit, work to becoming a more polished version of you.  Your weight, your bank account, your home, or your car is not going to define who you are. Are you kind?  Are you authentic? Are you realistic?  Are you listening to the internal yearnings of your heart? Are you truthful? Do you love yourself?

I have found a great way to stay on the course of being the greatest version of myself is to follow a few simple life habits (not resolutions).  Check it out:

  1. Make time for silence every single day.  Turn off the TV, close the computer, lose the headphones, turn off the smart phone.  Be in the silence of yourself.  Explore the delicate caverns of your soul.  Listen to yourself speak.
  2. Journal. Record your thoughts a couple of times a week. Let the words flow effortlessly without a thought of right or wrong.  Doodle, draw or records words that reflect your mood and your internal self.
  3. Move. Walk, practice yoga, tai chi, or other rhythmic movement that links your breath to your body.  Find the connection mind and body, through the breath.
  4. Gratitude. Every single day find at least three experiences to be grateful for.  Look for the kindness in others, the bounty of color, seek out love.  Appreciate it all.
  5. Flow. Move effortlessly in your life.  Roll with the punches and flow around the obstacles.  Allow yourself to move with the continuance of your life.  Stay when you need to learn and then move on.




No more sugar

My weight-loss journey and dedication to health began about nine years ago and throughout those years I have been a vegetarian eater, a paleo eater and a few things in between. The last two years I have eliminated most dairy, grains, some meats, legumes and a host of other items.  Through all the choices, I had held on to a belief that I needed wine and chocolate. Never in a zillion years would I have considered that I would not be eating cookies and dark chocolate regularly. A daily glass of wine, or two, was standard.  Until the last two months.

I have had a total of about three glasses of wine in the last two months. Up until I taste-tested a holiday cookie yesterday, I had been completely cookie and chocolate free.

Was it worth it? Not at all.  The cookie tasted horrible despite my family raving about its goodness.  Totally not worth it.

Our bodies are amazing in the their ability to adapt to what we put into them and how we nurture them. I have learned through this recent change that sugar is indeed a powerful addition that can be overcome.  Since ditching the sugar I have noticed clearer thoughts, better sleep, increased energy, and overall sense of well-being.  I was certain that before the wine and chocolate elimination I felt great, but it has become evident to me that now I feel really great. Clean, clear and no longer at the mercy of sugar.

Give it a try.  Really, give it a try.  You can get off the sugar drug and you can increase your vitality.  It is not easy but once you are over the withdrawal hump, it is amazing how easy it is to say no.