Embracing Wisdom

Life, food, wellness and love


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A Habit of Gratitude 

We are headed into the season where gratitude and thankfulness seems to be on everyone’s radar a bit more. What if instead, we all chose to make gratitude a habit everyday! I often teach that it isn’t about being grateful for the obvious—those are great—but what if you started to look closer for the less obvious things to be grateful for? 

Today, I am grateful for being called on my cranky mood because I got to make a choice to shift. I am grateful for the ability to treat myself to a house cleaner so I can rest my body. I am grateful for understanding. I am grateful for opportunities. I am grateful for consistency. 
What are you grateful for? 

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A simple reminder of peace. A knowing that there must be an acknowledgment of the mud in order to witness the blossom. 

For myself I am realizing again that life is a balance of  evolving and being still with what is. 

When pain strikes, pausing to feel that I am alive. When joy comes, taking it all in as beautiful light. When worry takes over, coming back to the present breath. 

Ponder the idea of blossoming from the mud in your life, and taking part in being present when life show up. 


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Calling 

About 15 years ago, I began to listen to my intuition and to what my soul was calling me to do. I knew I was here to do great things, as we all are. 

It is my belief that we are all here to serve and make a difference in some capacity. Sometimes we get caught up in the thinking that it has to be something grand or famous, but the truth is even the simplest of lives can be the most impactful.  It isn’t about being seen, but rather meek in your actions to create a world that is more peaceful and more full of compassion and unity. 

When I began to get the nudges to look deep inside, I did so without an intention of a return. So often our culture teaches that you give to get. I was certain I was not going to fall into that. Instead, I listen to my gut and lived in a way that served my highest food with zero attachments to an outcome. 

Eventually, I was able to leave my day job (and a dysfunctional relationship) and now I do what I am called to do, and that is share yoga and wellness with people who are living with a disability. I specialize in brain injuries and seniors but I enjoy all types of people and my client base includes a spectrum of abilities and interests. 

My services include adaptive yoga, wellness coaching, essential oil education and level 1 healing touch.  Each day I head off to work I realize that this isn’t work, it is soul. 

Have you found your calling? If  you are still seeking, stop thinking so much and instead try a few of these ideas: 

  • Ask yourself this–“I am best when I am ________”. Be truthful. 
  • Journal about the things that bring you joy. They may be subtle like children laughing, making sure neighbors are taken care of, cooking, nature, laughter, etc. 
  • What are you passionate about and where do you speak up? Sometimes those “triggers” lead you toward something. 
  • Start to identify your everyday actions and interests that could lead you to a life of meaning. Cooking, sharing success with others, natural living, yoga, teaching others a skill, and more. 
  • Practice gratitude.  Just you being you is a worthy adventure. Celebrate who you are by identifying things about yourself you are grateful for. 
  • Stop comparing yourself. Your life journey is yours and yours alone. Remember that when we fall face down, that is often when we come up even stronger. Wipe off your dust and keep at it. 


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Disorder to Contentment

A childhood where the state of fear, anticipating reaction from others and a consistent undercurrent of stress was my reality. My earliest memories involve being on edge; wondering what others thought, fearing the verbal explosion of divorced parents, worrying about being good enough and sensing the financially woes of my single mother.

As an adult I am looking at how easily I find myself with an overbooked schooled, continually looking at my budget, rushing from one job to the next and rarely sitting still. Is it possible that I became addicted to the adrenaline rush that living in the constant state of flight or fight causes?

When I look at my adult life and the patterns that I am so easily drawn back into, it is easy to conclude that it is very likely that I am in fact addicted to the feeling of unease.  The hormone that is produced when stress is present gives that rush of explosive energy that says GO. Recognizing this recently I realized that when my life becomes settled, I become uncomfortable.  When my life is chaotic, I am in my groove but my body, mind and spirit eventually suffer.

Catching myself feeding on adrenaline, here is my game plan for easing into a life of contentment:

  1. Meditate before my feet hit the floor.  I tend to jump out of bed with a burst of energy and do not stop until I crawl into bed 14 hours later.  Although I do meditate every day, it is often rushed through to get onto the next thing on my list.  By rolling over and taking that first really intentional breath, I am able to slip into an easy and open meditation before my mind has a chance to get busy. I set my intention of ease and balance for the day and I spend time with spirit and gratitude.
  2. Review my calendar. Five minutes looking at my day and setting a game plan for the day.  Knowing what is ahead is much calmer than getting the abrasive alerts on my phone, then reacting with a surprise that then causes a flurry of activity, which leads to more adrenaline and more chaos.
  3. Say no more often. Whether it is the extra trip to the grocery store for the unnecessary items or getting distracted on the internet.  It is imperative that I say no to the things that cause me to be late, rushed or stressed.  I tend to squeeze as many tasks as I can into the least amount of time. The result is I am often late and that feeling feeds the flurry of chaos.
  4. Practice, practice, and practice. Yoga is key for my mind, body and spirit to stay aligned.  Five minutes on my mat will alter most states of disorder. I have my mat rolled out and waiting most days, and I am learning to consistently go there for solace and to get grounded.
  5. Breathe.  Simple right?  Pause and breathe.  Often times just taking three really good breaths I am able to take the internal state of pandemonium and create a calm and serene feeling.  Watching the breath come in and watching the breath go out.  Affirming with each breath that all is well.

Check in with yourself and explore the possibility that your current lifestyle and pattern of chaos may be rooted in the addiction of adrenaline.  Look for ways that you can move away from the craving of disorder and into a dependence on contentment.


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The Journal Tool

Keeping a journal can be one of the best tools in your mind/body toolbox.  Why?

  • Writing down your thoughts can be a place to purge emotions, judgments and all the yuck in your head that has a hard time leaving.  Your journal entries can be as messy and scribbled as you racing thoughts, and that is okay. What matters is that the thoughts–and often worries–are moved from your internal state to an external state which often leads to release and the clarity.
  •  Reviewing where you have been can foster a sense of growth and accomplishment.  Sometimes reviewing what you were feeling during a certain time period can be refreshing to your current outlook.  I find that reviewing my journal a few times a year grounds me and reminds me of my goals and vision.
  • Taking the time to write down what you are grateful can be a wonderful reminder on those days when you feel hopeless or lost.  Simply seeing that on a previous day what you were grateful for can lift your mood and remind you of your purpose.
  • Begin with intention.  I take my time in choosing my journal for the year.  I am mindful about which journal calls to me.  It has to feel ‘right’.  Then at the start of a new year, I sit in meditation and get really quiet.  My intention for the meditation is to find a word that will be embedded into my coming year.  Usually this has little thought and is a much more a heart-centered intention.  Most times I have no idea how ‘the word’ will show up, but upon review of my year it is sometimes startling to see just how it did.
  • Journaling can help to cultivate your dreams and vision for your life.  Simply writing down what it is you desire can help you to bring those ideas into fruition.  Similar to a vision board, a journal can be doodles, words, or pictures of the vision you have for yourself.