Dwell in Possibility

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’That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.”

“Dwell in possibility.”

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”

– Emily Dickinson

What do you think this living thing is all about? Do you stop to consider it from time to time like I do? So many mysteries and magical things happening at any given moment. Many that we easily brush off as commonplace. When we stop questioning do we also stop marveling? Do they link arms these two?

The other day I watched a YouTube video of two young men being timed by their parents as they tried to figure out how to dial a phone number from a rotary dial phone. It was a hilarious struggle. We now have devices that hold all our music, photos while also being able to connect us to almost anyone, anywhere at anytime. Do you still stop and wonder how the hell is it possible to do what it does? We often scroll and scroll and refresh as a way to pass time. Out of boredom. Bored with life?

How does that happen? How do we get bored by the extraordinary ordinary of our day to day lives. You could wake up in one part of the world and go to sleep in another. Something that was once inconceivable.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein.

Which camp are you currently residing in? Remember it’s a choice. Check in with yourself and if your current perspective doesn’t light you up. Choose again. Choose differently. Choose the miraculous.

You Miraculous Miracle, You!




plural noun: miracles

  1. a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

    synonyms:wonder, marvel, sensation, phenomenon, supernatural phenomenon, mystery"his recovery was a blessed miracle"

  2. a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.

You are here. That is truly miraculous yet often treated as commonplace. You have been here as long as you have been here, but do you fully grasp all the things that had to happen to bring you into being? To this very time and place. What might your life feel like if you treated every day and circumstance as miraculous?


Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
        with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
        quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
        ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

Ritual in the Rote

Photo by  Ben Kolde  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

Intention is a person’s design. Don’t you just love the sound of that? Intention, the energy that infuses our actions. How often do you stop to intentionally design what you do? Setting intentions does not have to be elaborate. In fact it can only take a moment. How do you want your mornings to feel? You may live alone or in a house full of noise with small humans who need wrangling.

In either scenario you can design how you engage with your space. If your intention is for peace in the midst of chaos. How might you invite that in? Could you get up when the house is still sleeping and make the tea or coffee (better yet program your maker to start brewing before you even wake). Take a moment to notice the scent of the coffee, reach into the cupboard for your favorite mug, light a candle, sit facing a window that has a tree outside it or a plant perched on your windowsill. Take 3 slow, deep breaths and imagine yourself in a bubble that allows you to be in the stillness. Time contracts and expands with our attention. If you want to feel engaged rediscover what engages you.

First the intention. Then the attention. Infuse your routine with ritual. It will change your life.

Common Ground

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The holiday season is here. Many of us will soon be sitting around tables, breaking bread with friends and family which in this current political climate can feel like navigating minefields. Discourse can be dangerous.

I experienced it acutely back during the Charlottesville protests. Watching the men and women chanting, carrying torches was something out of my nightmares. Having it unfold in real time was horrifying and to say I was emotional would’ve been an understatement. I’d expected *my people* would feel exactly as I did. Watching the footage, scanning their faces for reaction and determining that they were not as upset as me left me nonplussed, raw and reactive.

The gift of time and hindsight allows me to see how poorly I navigated the experience. They were each having their own unique experience and I missed out on the opportunity to hear what was happening for them. I was not listening. Only blasting my opinions and feelings. I made it personal.

My leadership training introduced conflict resolution. We used The Anatomy of Peace as a guide to learn how to have challenging conversations. It showed us how to engage in our connection and commonality before ever trying to reach agreement. Agreement is impossible when we are locked into our opposing positions.

One of the reasons it is so hard to disagree productively is because we become attached to our ideas. We start to believe that we own them and that by extension, they own us.
— Julia Dhar

When we know better we do better. We are all in this together so here’s to leaning in, getting curious, listening to hear one another.


Photo by  Ihor Malytskyi  on  Unsplash
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
— Albert Camus

Freedom is generally defined as the condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance. 

In my life, freedom is a core value. It serves as my rudder. My deep belief is that we are each here to live fully expressed lives aligned with our values and on our own terms, allowing us to fulfill our greater purpose. It’s why I chose to leave a lucrative job at a Fortune 500 company to become a life coach. 

They say if you want to find your purpose you should look for what breaks your heart. What breaks my heart is imprisonment of any kind, be it literal or self-imposed. People locked away from their potential and soul-desires due to fear, circumstances or limiting beliefs for any reason -- personal, familial or societal. 

Back in my days of production and corporate life I felt imprisoned. I’d wake up feeling already behind. Always looking for pockets of time during my hectic work schedule to claim for my own. Wanting to meditate, take morning walks, write morning pages, or simply do nothing at all, but the white rabbit refrain of “I’m late! I’m late” was running on a loop. I desperately wanted to be free to live a life of my design. When I finally left, I had all the time, but no clear plan for how to manage it. I soon discovered that having too much freedom was overwhelming me almost as much as having too little free time.

True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.
— Mortimer J. Adler

As a first-time business owner, I signed up for all the programs to quickly get up to speed on how it all worked. I was excited. I’d discovered my calling and couldn’t wait to begin living it. When I first logged into the Facebook group of a popular business program the feed was flooded with people just like me. Others may have seen kinship and community support, but I only saw a glut of quick start marketing plans (and ploys) promising 7 figure businesses, so many tips and tricks, impossibly shiny headshots and glossy coaching packages. 

My first reaction was overwhelm. Then sadness, which quickly devolved into apathy. It all felt so flat and formulaic and I found myself frozen. I decided I would simply do things my way and all would be fine. My way quickly became me questioning everything and doing next to nothing. Eventually I cobbled together a website, did a little outreach and then sat waiting for my clients and the magic to find me. While clients did begin to find me, and when I was connecting with them, I was fully present and felt on purpose. But oh, the empty space between those calls! That is where I realized I was truly in uncharted territory.

Learning how to design my days with intention, while keeping them feeling fresh and free is an ongoing process, but it’s one I’m much more comfortable navigating today. I believe in order to do our best work we must be able to hear and understand ourselves better.

It wasn’t until I took Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies quiz and was typed a Rebel that I learned what had been holding me back. Though conventional paths never interested me, I would never have called myself a Rebel. Yes, I embraced the idea, but I lacked the sharp edges to be called one or see myself as one. Further, Rebel types don’t usually like labels (or being told what to do by anyone, including ourselves) but she was able to explain it in such a way that led me to better understand how I’m wired. What I learned is that for a Rebel type reframing is everything. A challenge with purpose motivates me much more than an expectation ever would. 

Posing something as an opportunity and choice rather than a “have to” is much more likely to bring about a desired result. That simple realization was a turning point in both my business and personal life. While your wiring is likely different from mine it is still important to understand what makes you tick so you can create the hacks that will serve you and your work.

Creating a life on your own terms is by no means an easy path. Joseph Campbell said, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.” Simply put, there is no map to follow!  When you’re standing at a thicket, intimidated and with no idea where it leads or what you might encounter along the way, it can be pretty tempting to stay safe and small in the familiar open meadow doing what everyone else is doing. 

But what if we live with the belief that freedom is our birthright? And what if we embrace the paradox that to live freely, aligned with our values and on our own terms, we also need the discipline to understand our unique wiring and nature to do the work we are here to do, as only we can do it. Here’s to your freedom being a powerful force and source for good in the world.


Photo by  Joshua Newton  on  Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

What is it about sitting around a fire that brings out the bright truths of us? Perhaps it's the primal desire for communal sharing or the way our voices deepen and are amplified by the hushed stillness around them. Feels reverent somehow. Prometheus knew fire's power. 

Our stories matter. The ones we share certainly but also the ones we tell ourselves. We can get so locked in by a story we forget that we are also the author. We have creative license. Our perspectives shape our experiences.

If you feel stuck in your life try looking at the story you are telling. Ask yourself if it is true? Does it still feel resonant or is it a record skipping? This is not about dismissing experiences but rather about being intentional as you continue along in your story. These are merely chapters. Let's not get trapped in one. Let it inform your life but not close you off to what is still to come.

What stories are you currently telling? What stories do you want to tell next. If you want someone to listen, help explore what was and what can be with you let's set up a chemistry call to see what's possible for you from here. Sharing our stories is one of the greatest gifts we have as humans.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

Center Yourself

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To be self-centered is generally considered to be a negative thing and with synonyms like egotistical and self-absorbed it's no wonder. But what might it mean to center yourself in your life? Does being self-centered have to mean selfish? 

Definition of self-centered
1 : independent of outside force or influence : self-sufficient
2 : concerned solely with one’s own desires, needs, or interests
— self-centeredly adverb
— self-centeredness noun
— Merriam-Webster

As a recovering people pleaser I would like to challenge that notion and offer that placing yourself at the center of your life doesn't have to mean that you are solely concerned with yourself. It can also mean you are aware of yourself and choosing to put your oxygen mask on first. It is about having a sense of agency. Being Self centered allows you to get clear on what matters most to you so you can align with your values. It allows you to recognize and hear your voice clearly over the din of the collective which allows you to make conscious choices. 

Centering yourself in your life is similar to the mast of the sailboat. It is placed at the center of the boat for a reason. If it was put it at the front or side it would be unbalanced and easily capsized. 

Being centered allows you to keep your sights on the horizon while still being a good host to the others onboard, riding the high seas of life with you.

Center yourSELF first so you are better able to experience your life fully while also showing up and supporting others.

Go Rogue. Be Remarkable.

Photo by  Jamie Street  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

go rogue: To cease to follow orders; to act on one's own, usually against expectation or instruction. To pursue one's own interests.



1. notably or conspicuously unusual; extraordinary:

2. worthy of notice or attention.

My coach asked me what broke my heart. Simply put it is whenever a living being is deprived of the fullest experience and expression of their life. Many of the systems, circumstances that inform our lives would prefer us to stay small, keep it simple, walking the well-worn path and that we not ask too many questions. When people go out of bounds flags are thrown and whistles are blown.

Going rogue challenges the status quo. You are a remarkable human being! Unique and here for a purpose. Sit with that for a long moment. You are REMARKABLE! 

Now for a follow up question. Are you acting like it? If not, what needs to change?

What would living the fullest experience and expression of YOUR life look like? 

Unapologetically You!

Photo by  John Baker  on  Unsplash

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

When I was a teenager a friend of mine had a dog. I think her name was Molly? As a sort of party trick my friend would look into her eyes and say really sweetly, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She would stare up at him with the most loving expression. Then he would say, "I'm NOT sorry" and she would lose her ever-loving mind. Barking and spinning in circles.

Her seemingly righteous indignation was the embodiment of a twisted internal relationship I had with anger and apology. If you bumped into me I would immediately apologize. It was pure reaction I didn't have to think about it. The kids I hung out with would get so annoyed. Whenever I apologized they would roll their eyes and say, "Ugh! Stop saying you're sorry!" and I would immediately apologize for my apologizing. I don't know when this emotional nervous tic or why began. I suspect my desire for peace meant that I would do whatever it took to keep calm seas. Confrontation unsettled me. I want to go back to my younger self and give her a big hug and then tell her to please snap out of it already!

Thankfully I did. Though it took conscious, consistent effort to break the habit. Substituting 'Pardon Me' for those times when I bumped into someone or genuinely felt an apology was needed when I did something thoughtless. Apologies are great for acknowledging our behavior and making amends. They are not great when we are apologizing for taking up space. We don't owe anyone an apology for being.

You are here. You get to be here. No good comes out of shrinking ourselves or trying to be less than to accommodate other people. If you feel yourself wanting to play small ask why. 

A simple tool I use when I am around people and in situations is to check in with my body. I treat it as if it were a phone battery. Do I feel like I am plugged in, being charged up or does it feel like I am being drained and losing bars?


A Squirrel in Underpants


The other day I was standing in the doorway of my office staring at the back wall. A wall on which I had painstakingly arranged 30 framed photographs to make it look pleasant and professional. It was technically fine, but something was off for me. In fact it occurred to me that since I had done it I spent less time in the office. Choosing to take my client calls in other rooms and working in coffee shops around town. It just didn't really feel like me. I flashed to my old corporate desk which looked like one a 5th grader and aspiring life coach (totally me) would set up. There were always random toys, quotes, even a squirrel wearing underpants that I was especially fond of, gifted to me by a friend who just gets me. I was a grown, professional woman and yet that desk spoke to the part of me that wanted to celebrate play, irreverence and joy. While I took my work seriously those elements made sitting down in a row of uniform desks more bearable. I could do serious work while staying connected to myself. It wasn't superficial. It spoke to something deeper.

We can often leave the qualities we enjoy most in ourselves behind when we undertake the "serious work" of Adulting. While certainly what lights me up is not necessarily going to light you up. That's okay. What's important is that we are lit up and not letting others define how we are supposed to show up. 

Without a plan I removed all the frames and then started putting up images, cards, quotes, colors, rigging small toys in ridiculous ways. It happened so easily. I was in The Zone that athletes refer to all without having to get winded or sweaty.

The flow state as described by Wikipedia, “In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.
— Wikipedia


So what is my point in sharing this? Certainly not to give decorating tips, but rather because I think it serves as a reminder that when we can embrace ourselves more fully, especially the quirky bits we connect to our essence and can do even more in our lives.

When you try to be the same as everyone else, it’s boring. When you try to fit a mold, you become forgettable. When you try to be “normal,” you become dull. Just be yourself, because no one is like you. If you’re a little weird, own it. The right people will like you for it.
— Vanessa Van Edwards, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

My Yogi teabag wisdom from this morning was, "The purpose of life is to know yourself and love yourself and trust yourself and be yourself."  

Here's to full permission to show up fully, in your own fabulous, unique and perfectly imperfect ways.

Befriending Fear


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I had an epiphany. Well, it didn't start off quite that breezy. It began with my waking up in the middle of the night because it felt like something was sitting on my chest. It took a hot disoriented minute to realize I was in the grip of an anxiety attack. Since I normally sleep like the dead this was deeply disturbing. The short of it was that there was something I was not dealing with that needed attention and my approach thus far had been to ignore it and wait for it to resolve itself. This approach was clearly not working. In fact it was becoming larger and more unwieldy the longer I ignored it. It was Fear that shook me awake in the wee hours and it was doing me a massive favor.

It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

What if we stopped trying to distance ourselves from Fear and instead tried viewing it as a practical old friend and valuable resource? Now I don't think anyone should have to listen to a belligerent, surly voice that hurls judgements and criticism. That is something else entirely. Shame is not the same as Fear and does not make for great conversation.

What was most notable for me is that even in the midst of the anxiety I didn't feel judged. It was just a clear, measured message of this can not go on and you need to start looking at it in order to find a solution. Turns out there was a solution, a relatively simple one if I had only looked more closely. While that might not always be the case I am so grateful for the pointing. Sometimes our best lessons are the most uncomfortable. My avoidant behavior had not been serving me so Fear stepped in, casting light on the shadows by opening a window. 

In coaching we often label limiting beliefs as inner gremlins. It allows us to personify the ways we hold ourselves back, making them seem less vague. Fear is often lumped into that category but I want to take a moment to advocate for it because it gets a bad rap. What if Fear, concerned for our safety, just wanted to talk things through first so we knew what we were getting into? What if it is exactly what we need to push off against in order to get ourselves unstuck and move in the direction we most want to go? 

What might your Fear be trying to show you?  



Less Really Is More

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Last year it started to feel like I was going through the motions in my daily life. With clients I could easily drop in and be present but everywhere else it felt like time was slipping away in a blur of tasks and routines. Tried to multi-task wherever I could. When walking Leo I would also listen to podcasts, during breakfast I’d check email, and post on social media. Truth was that on those morning walks I was constantly rewinding the podcast to catch what I’d just missed or tripping over uneven sidewalks and tree roots because I wasn’t looking where I was going. Annoying at best, risking bodily harm at worst. Breakfast happened but I didn't taste much.

One of the practices I highlight with clients is to create rituals around things that feel routine. Turning the rote into something special and memorable only requires attention and intention. I decided to apply that practice more broadly by experimenting with only doing one thing a time. So began my month of mono-tasking. It seemed pretty straightforward though I was skeptical that I would get much done. What I’ve discovered has been nothing short of life-changing. Not hyperbole.

What does it look like to only do one thing at a time? When I drink my coffee that is all I am doing. Sitting at my breakfast table, looking out the window, listening to the birds, watching the sky. When I read I only read what is in front of me. No frenetic moving back and forth between the 50 open browser tabs. Now when I eat there are no distractions of books, phones or television. When I walk, I walk. No podcasts playing or phone conversations. It is just me, the dog and the natural world. 

Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.
— Deepak Chopra

What was initially supposed to be an exercise has heightened everything. Explained to a friend over tea that it feels a bit like I am high while fully sober. Everything seems sharper. I am present. Fully present. Where before when I would grab a snack I chose what my mind wanted and then would eat it while doing something else so didn't notice much beyond the thinking. Now I find myself reaching for crudités over chips almost every time. Because when I'm not distracted by other things I can tell what my body actually wants and needs. 

There have been surprising unexpected benefits like weight loss, getting better sleep and having more free time. Initially thought I would have less time but the opposite has been true. I get way more done because I am focused, less distracted. Also I am reading books again – from start to finish. It's magic. I thought my brain was broken as I had been struggling to drop into one and stay there. 

If you are curious you can start with one thing or if you are feeling saucy do what I did and go all in. Either way I think you'll find it well worth your time. Would love to hear what you discover so report back in the comments or send me a note.

On Being Seen

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We all want to be seen, we all want to know that we matter. And the most you can ever do for somebody is to show up and allow them to know that they have been seen and heard by you.
— Oprah from The Wisdom of Sunday's

The other day when checking out at the grocery store, making small talk I mentioned to the clerk that I worked from home. She asked what I did and when I said I was a life coach her face brightened and she looked directly at me. She said she wanted to write children's books. There was no hesitation. She went on to say she was taking classes, learning everything she could. She was resolute. I said keep writing, then write some more and thanked her for the books that will surely be coming. This exchange took all of two minutes. When I took my bags I felt lighter and more connected. How often do we allow transactions to be merely transactional? What if they could be so much more? Because they can. All we have to do is be open to them.

It is easy, even commonplace to be annoyed at all the anonymous people ahead of you. Which implies you are behind somehow. Behind them. Behind schedule. They are in the way instead of with you in a shared experience.

Do you remember this short film that brought David Foster Wallace's beautiful 'This is Water' piece to life? 

Now I want to make sure that every day I connect with someone new in some way. Perhaps I learn their name and something about them? Perhaps it is something else. The intention is deeper connection. Discovering that my desire for a sense of community is less about finding one and more about building one person by person. We are all connected in our humanness and taking a moment to stop and really see one another is just one way to experience it.

'Tis the season. The season to run around preparing, purchasing, trying to get it all done in time. Heads down focused on the tasks at hand. Eyes on the phones clutched in those same hands. Our phones allow us feel connected to all the things and all the people all the time. Lately though I've been thinking more and more about the people around me. The people in my periphery when my attention is elsewhere and with whom I am not obviously connected and yet aren't we though?

What might you discover about another human being today? A name? A dream yet to be realized? Their eye color? A book that made them laugh out loud? Donating our time is a wonderful way to give of ourselves yet know that making a difference in someone's life does not require you add anything to your swollen calendar. All that is required is looking up and being curious. 

If you take an extra moment to notice the eye color of the person across from you whether they are taking your coffee order or sitting at your table it is like a concentrated dose of being seen. It feels electric because seeing eye to eye creates a powerful connection. Even in our most intimate relations we can forget to look closely. To really see. To bear witness to them in our rush. We are rushing to start or finish and yet there is something else available. And it only takes a moment.

How might you open for more connection in your day?

What If You Do Know?

Photo by  Bryan Minear  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

“Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth.” 
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Somedays it feels like we are expected to know all the things happening around us and in the world at large. Which could be why we try to ingest the glut that is our news feeds. Trying to keep up and know all the things is exhausting. When it comes to our personal lives it is easy to start crowdsourcing, search engining, reading other people's accounts of their things before we even check in with ourselves to see how we might feel about things. 

My superpower used to be being able to walk into a room and know what was needed. My focus was on making sure everyone else was happy first. I mean every. single. one. So while I was focused so intently outside myself I was ignoring my own needs and desires which were getting lost in the din. Over time we risk losing faith in our ability to make decisions on our own. 

Remember in The Runaway Bride (riiiight...me neither) when she didn't know how she liked her eggs? She’d become so accustomed to going along with what was put in front of her she didn’t know her preferences. Being mindful of others or sourcing is not inherently wrong. It can help us to feel less alone while we search for our own answers. The point here is to go inward first. Because the more we search for a consensus or experts outside of ourselves the more likely we will lose our voices. We can become overwhelmed by choices, inadvertently making other people the authorities.

How often do you answer, "I don't know" to questions asked when you are feeling stuck? I have a simple tool I use with clients that is both amazing and perhaps a smidge annoying. When I hear "I don't know" I ask, "What if you do know?" In my experience every. single. time. that is immediately followed by an answer.

There is a voice, an inner knowing, that resides inside each of us. An internal super computer that has been collecting data since the very beginning, tracking our moves, preferences, delights and disappointments. It has been privy to our every happening. We just need to give ourselves permission to stop and listen.

Many of us are terrified of making mistakes. With so many options, opinions readily available it can easily cause analysis paralysis. Yet our mistakes can be some of the most valuable learnings. We can't skip the work and no one knows us better than we know ourselves. Others can offer guidance and opinions but at the end of the day the decision should be our own. That is how we ensure we walk our path and not someone else's.

What is it that you don't know right now? Now what if you did? 

The Longest Day

Sitting in the sweetest coffee shop contemplating the energy of the summer solstice today. A "wide open" aperture allows all the light in. Living from this place of opening to the light especially when there are dark days is an empowering one. I looked down and saw this sweet knothole in the wood by my table. The Universe was offering me a visual aid.

Today is our longest of the year. May you soak in the fullness of your life today. Let the lightness of being fill you while also slowing you down to savor and appreciate it. The slowness of summer days brings to mind playing in the sprinklers, lolling about on the grass, swinging in hammocks and forgoing shoes whenever possible.

Plant a Kiss

How many more times, then, do I get to look at a tree?” she asked. “Let’s just say it’s 12,395. Absolutely, that’s a lot, but it’s not infinite, and I’m thinking anything less than infinite is too small a number and not satisfactory. At the very least, I want to look at trees a million more times. Is that too much to ask?
— Amy Krouse Rosenthal

How do you properly honor someone who made an indelible mark on your life and yet you’ve never met them outside of their art? Amy Krouse Rosenthal was a woman who shared so generously of herself that I felt like I knew her. Like, knew her knew her. Thankfully the beautiful Sherry Belul created the Plant a Kiss kindness project in Amy's honor.

Today I ran around a rainy Portland hiding notes at bus shelters, under trees, next to dog bowls and under a condiment holder with her messages "Make the most of your time here" and "Peace means no one is worried about anyone else's cookie...In this moment we are all quietly content with the cookies we have" the latter were left at a Max stop and bus shelter along with a box of cookies. All the notes were sealed with Plan Be. 

I went to Powell's Books to buy some of her children's books with the intention of taking them to a children's hospital. More on that in a moment. Earlier in the week, I'd hoped to find a yellow umbrella which was from her Beckoning of Lovely meetups in Chicago but sadly hadn't come across any.  As I waited at the register I glanced over and there was a small rack of umbrellas and wouldn't you know there was one single, bright, perfectly yellow umbrella waiting for me. Thanks, Amy! As I was driving around the thought popped into my head that the books wanted to go to a family. As I rounded the turn I spotted 2 little girls running ahead of their mother who was pushing a stroller with a third child. Of course! I had left notes inside each book to remind the young reader that they were so very special and loved. That there was one book for each of the children confirmed that they were absolutely the family who were supposed to receive them.

Amy's memoirs Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: not exactly a memoir are two wonderful windows into her world. If you have not yet read them I say drop all the things and make some time for them. 

I've decided to hold onto the yellow umbrella for awhile longer so it can serve as a reminder to approach every day with wonder, curiosity, and generosity. ATM: Always Trust Magic. Until I feel the pull that it is time to pass it along.

Thank you for the gift of you, Amy Krouse Rosenthal! You will live on in the magic and memory.

Here is a StoryCorps Extra she recorded with her daughter Paris in July of last year. They had just learned her cancer had returned and it was touching, tender and a beautiful exchange of love.

Let's follow Amy's lead and be sure to make the most of our time here. Look at trees, share the love, beckon the lovely and always, always trust magic.


The Space Between

LIMINAL. Oh how I love this word. The Oxford Dictionary defines liminal as an adjective used to describe a transitional or initial stage of a process; occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

This liminal space is the coaching arena. Where the work of setting your course and taking stock can be done. It is the Now. That space between what you have already experienced and what is yet to come. For some, it may feel like an island respite while for others it is the distance between trapeze bars with no net below. In the Co-Active® Coaching model one of the contexts we work with is 'deepen the learning and forward the action.' This is about allowing things to settle so we can truly be with what was and is, before taking our next steps.

How do you feel when you look at an empty canvas or blank page? Are you lit up by what is possible or do you feel paralyzed or uninspired? I have been in this liminal space many times and yet each time has been different – perhaps because each time I have been different. Age and circumstance inform this space and if your gremlins happen to be DJ'ing the affair it can quickly become a dissonant disco.

Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There IS a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.
— Joseph Campbell

Coaching allows us to stand together in this middle place of Now and intentionally design what could be next for you. While you can’t predict or choreograph life events outside your purview you can decide how you want to respond to them. When you make choices that are aligned with your core values you will be connected with your inner wisdom and from there you will be setting out on your unique path.

So if you find yourself in this space I recommend taking some time to simply be with what is. This is not about finding fault or criticizing, but rather gently noticing what has served you well and what in retrospect you might do differently in the future. 

Here are three tools I use when I find myself or clients lingering in the liminal space:

Tune In  

Spend some time noticing how you are feeling. You can do check-ins throughout the day where you simply note your physical energy and body's alignment. Notice when you feel constricted or expansive. Who is around, what are you doing? Are your shoulders relaxed or is there tension? Your body is your emotional first responder. Listen to what it is telling you. 

Get Curious

If you are unsure of what your next steps might be put on your Sherlock cap (flaps up) and start sleuthing. Who do you admire and why? What books are stacked on your nightstand? What subject do you never seem to tire of? Have any people, places or topics popped up on your radar and then inexplicably kept showing up? Do any themes emerge? The brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert gave a lovely Super Soul Session The Flight of the Hummingbird that speaks to the act and art of getting curious in our lives.

Ground in Gratitude

Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for in your life.  Melody Beattie says that gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. It is easy to take the bird in the hand for granted. Our society likes us to keep our eyes on the horizon for the next next's and yet we have so many gifts in our daily lives. Even on a seemingly terrible day we can appreciate a hot shower, clean clothes, family and friends who love us. Sometimes it is the little things that can surprise us by meaning the most.

Taking stock of where you are and, where you have been are the prequels to figuring out where you want to go.  Be present with what is, notice how you are feeling. If you are struggling with the imagining or perhaps you already know, but need help bringing it to life I'll happily meet you there.

What threshold will you step over? 

Pleasure Principle

Had been struggling with my meditation practice. Although that is not a wholly accurate depiction because in order to struggle with something it has to be present. Mine was a phantom practice. The idea of time and space devoted solely to quiet with a gentle noticing of thoughts passing while bringing attention back to the breath. That was the dream. Dreamy. So very dreamy. And there I was drifting off to sleep again. 

Imaging myself like this.

In reality was more like this.

Recently a friend of mine recommend the book, Meditation Secrets for Women: Discovering Your Passion, Pleasure, and Inner PeaceIt offers that women's meditation needs could be different than men's and if we lean into those needs it can make finding pleasure in the meditation experience much more accessible. It invites us to get in touch with our body’s natural rhythms and gifts instead of trying to deny or quiet them.

Now when sitting I have permission to notice the cool sensation of morning air on my skin, the tightness in my neck (from sharing a bed with a beast who must dream he is a crossbeam), feeling my lungs expand as I draw in breath and then following the release. This brings me deeper into my awareness of my body and breath and the hamster wheel of my mind slows. I sink into the space of presence and Voila! I be mediating. Slowing down not only quiets my thoughts, but it allows me to appreciate the rich sensory experience of it.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the Pleasure Principle is the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. If seeking pleasure is a manufacturer built in for us humans what happens when we find it? When we have that delicious bite in our mouth is our utensil already preparing the next one? What is that about? Fear of scarcity? Focus on completion? Not focusing at all? Am I scrolling through a feed? Distraction is becoming the norm. So much information coming at us from our technology and times. We are busy and that busyness serves as blinders to our surroundings. Our auto-pilots get us from our beds to our baristas and we miss all the beauty in between. 

My hairdresser described how she was in her car when another car slammed into the side of her's. The young girl who hit her, understandably upset, said she was distracted and just didn't see her. Didn't see what was right in front of her. I don't say that with judgment or surprise. If we aren't paying attention we can't really see. 

What if we tried to slow down a bit more today? What if each bite was treated like the only bite? What if we were able to notice the smells and sounds while we walk, the faces of the people we pass, the colors on our plates, the firmness, support of the seats we occupy? Can we meditate on the pleasures of life as sensory experiences? Let's practice!

The Helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
— Mister Rogers

We have brilliant, brave, amazing, heart-centered, engaged and energized helpers of the highest order. The influx of information, opinion, facts and otherwise is enough to make most of us wanna pull the covers over our head. Thankfully we also have people who are using their platforms to unite us, steadily serving, showing up, not giving in while the alarm bells sound. I can not thank you/them enough. Just doing the next right thing and showing us what we can do to participate. Chop wood, carry water, call your representatives, find organizations that need extra support right now, step out of your comfort zone, listen to hear and not to respond, don't interrupt assuming you know, let people speak even if you do, take many deep breaths and long walks through neighborhoods and in nature. Look up, look around.

We are not on opposite sides. We are all seeing what is in front of us, choosing our perspectives. Remember there is much more that connects us than divides us. I am choosing to feel the love and look to the supporting forces today. We might not agree on policy or principle, but I know that we all want to feel safe and loved and be seen and heard and be part of a strong fabric that can support our families, friends, and future. I choose that today.