Book Reviews:

Despite my new addiction to the Rich Roll podcast, I have read some books you might also be interested in:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown If you’ve ever suffered from FOMA (Fear of Missing Out) and/or you are a chronic overachiever, then this is a great book for you. I read a lot of inspiring books, but it’s a rare gem that will actually propel me to take and sustain actionable steps and even change my belief system. Highly recommend.

The Priest and the Medium: The Amazing True Story of Psychic Medium B. Anne Gehman and Her Husband, Former Jesuit Priest, Wayne Knoll, Ph.D. by Suzanne R. Giesemann This book chronicles the lives of two people as they grow up and eventually meet and marry. As a Catholic and psychic, I found it fascinating, particularly the Q&A session at the very end of the book. For any Catholics out there questioning the metaphysical, this could be a helpful read. It’s so genuine and sweet and honest and I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. This is definitely a library rental as opposed to a run-out-and-buy-right-now book.

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Realityby Pam Grout This book floored me! So much so, I asked my husband to read it and even he remarked, “this is a good book”, which, for a quiet Swede, is a strong recommendation. If you were interested in “The Secret” when it came out, you’ll appreciate this hands on, practical, easy to read, guide to conscious creation. Highly recommend.

Eat Nakedby Margaret Floyd  I happen to love nutrition so this might be one of those books where you need a strong interest to enjoy, but since I learned some fascinating new information that I hadn’t realized before, wanted to at least mention here. Yes, it would be difficult to try to implement everything she suggests all at once, but at least if you have the knowledge, you’re making conscious, informed decisions and not just routine ones out of mindless habit. All of these things help us live a more “awake” life. Meditation is great when you’re on the mountain, but we need to find ways to implement that mindfulness in everyday life and I found this book to be a great impetus for doing just that.

Eat Raw, Not Cooked, by Stacy Stowers I’ve read a bunch of vegetarian and raw cook books lately because my daughter is passionate about all living creatures, to the point of deep sobs when even a little ant or fly is compromised, much less cows, pigs, chicken and fish. I told her it was fine to be a vegetarian, but that vegetarians actually eat vegetables! To this she responded, then I’m not a vegetarian, I just don’t eat animals. Oh my…

In any case, in an effort to support her beliefs, while also helping her body grow, I’ve taken on this new endeavor. There are some fantastic resources out there and I’d be happy to share some, but this book in particular, is brilliant for anyone with kids/spouses who love their ranch dressing, mac ‘n cheese, and many other popular processed items. On the top of each page is a picture of a popular product along with it’s ingredients and why it’s a problem. On the bottom half, she gives a recipe for a real-food version. I learned so much from this book and actually made some of the recipes which, if you know me, is almost miraculous. But the best benefit, was that my daughter and I made the bright and beautiful spring rolls together and, drum roll please…she loved them!

As always, I hope you are learning and growing and being present to all of life! Enjoy!


Yogi Bling and Offer

Have you ever met someone, or even luckier, do you you have a friend who is genuinely unique and magical and amazing, and every time you’re around them, you leave inspired to be happier, lighter, more fun? They put so much light into the world that anyone in their presence is inevitably affected.

I am blessed to have such a friend and as testament to her imperturbability (I recently learned that word and love it!), she still talks to me even after sharing a house between our two families for a week once (Frankly, I’m just not that easy to be around 24/7). I would have dumped my sadass quicker than a hot potato–psychic?!, haha–more like psycho!! Cringe, I shudder at the thought…

Anyway, Rise has recently decided to share her wonderful wit and wisdom with a mutual friend of ours who designs beautiful jewelry. When I found out they had a Yogi Line that even included a Chakra Lariat and Chakra Pendant, I had to pass it on to my peeps! Rise and Kim liked the idea and even granted us a special offer of 25% off any order from the Yogi Line. Just enter Soulful into the code section at check out.

Now that I have you all thinking of those special people in your life that ignight your inner joy and you’re just smiling at the thought of them, go ahead and take a minute to tell them how awesome they are. While you’re at it, remind yourself that what you admire in others is a reflection of something inside of you! You are the igniter, too. Now go light it up and enjoy your own awesome self:)!

Robbed and a Good Reminder

Last Wednesday was unusual, but I won’t go into all the oddities. Some would call them coincidences, but I don’t believe in coincidences.

To keep it simple, I’ll just say that my oldest son had a last minute volleyball practice added to the schedule across town. I usually would have left my other two kids home while I shuttled him to practice so they could do homework, but this time, I just felt like it was too far and for too long in case traffic backed up. Intuitive hit? I’m not sure, but I made them come with me much to their consternation. I brought along our dog as an appeasement.

Low and behold, when we returned an hour and half later, we found our house had been burglarized. I could feel the negative energy from the burglars in addition to being able to see where they had physically pulled out drawers and left open cabinet doors during their search.

I immediately started grounding our house even as I walked around trying to figure out how they had broken in and what had been stolen. When the Sheriff arrived and asked for our IDs, we realized my wallet had also been stolen. I’d not noticed it out of my purse when I drove off to pick up the kids. As my husband and I jumped on our phones calling the credit card companies, I knew I wasn’t in a place to get mentally quiet enough to do as much energy work as was needed right then, so I put out an APB to two of my psychic friends and asked for their energetic assistance pronto!

Everything is energy and it’s important to keep that energy clear. For example, when you move into a new place or have had some work done to your dwelling, it’s always a good idea to do a home cleanse. I once did a cleanse for a family before they moved into their newly built home and found huge amounts of dark energy in the garage. I told my client about it and she reported that the workers had used the garage as a toilet during construction. Oh my. Even if you bring in new or antique furniture, go ahead and ground off any energy it may have with it so it can be neutral in your home.

Anyway, after a couple of hours, the Sheriff finally left and I was able to regroup with the kids. I asked them to ground themselves and help me ground our home. It was a good reminder that I’d not talked with them about using their energy in awhile. They still felt uncomfortable and ended up sleeping in our room that night, but at least we’d discussed ways to ease the fear and I believe it was lessened by their grounding.

The next morning, one of my kids (the sensitive one mentioned in the last post) told me, “Mom, I just don’t want to touch anything they touched. It feels icky,” providing yet another good opportunity to bring up owning our personal space, making separations with the burglars, increasing our grounding, etc.

During the whole ordeal, we all remained remarkably calm–thanks in large part to my friends supporting from afar. There were no tears or hysterics, just gratitude that no one was home or harmed in the process. For me at least, I felt strongly that we were a small piece of a much bigger picture.  Every morning, I ask to be of service no matter how that looks, and I had an inkling that this was just part of that service as strange as that sounds.

Yes, I’m in complete denial about the long lines at DMV to replace my ID, but that’s about it. Oh, and I’m leaving our newly appointed guard dog home more often:).

I hope this inspires you to ground, ground, ground!


Do What’s Right for You

This morning, I had to do the difficult job of letting our gardener go, we’ll call him John. While John’s a nice guy and I’ve enjoyed working along side him on various projects for the past couple of years, he just didn’t have the level of knowledge we needed.

Yesterday, when I finally made the decision, I automatically started playing a tape of negative thoughts such as, “how can you do this, he has two little kids? He needs the money. He’s not going to take this well. He’s going to be angry. I feel so bad doing this to him.”

Once I became present enough to become aware of my thoughts, I consciously chose to change them.  “It’s my right to hire and pay someone based upon their qualifications, not their needs. Who am I to know what is right or good for John? He may accept this well. It might even be good for him.”

Early this morning I sent John lots and lots of love. I intended that he’d take the news well and understand that it wasn’t him personally, but simply his lack of knowledge for our particular needs. Despite it being the first week of the month, I decided to pay him for the full month so that he’d have a small cushion. I sent us both compassion for the situation.

Before he arrived, I decided to share with the kids that I was letting John go and, of course, they wanted to know why. I explained that some of the trees were dying, the roses were pruned incorrectly, and things were generally not getting done. They accused me of being unfair, asked why I couldn’t just teach him, and said I was a mean person–exactly what I’d been thinking all day yesterday. I tried to use this as a teaching moment — that difficult situations can be handled peacefully, with good intentions, and love. And, that it was the right thing to do despite it seemingly being mean. They weren’t buying it outwardly, so I’ll just have to hope the seed was planted.

When John arrived, I increased my grounding, got in the center of my head and heart, and walked out to speak to him. These are good things to do for any meeting, but especially something potentially confrontational. With a smile and love, I explained the situation and handed him the check. Surprisingly (or not?), he understood completely, asked me a few questions which I honestly answered, and we departed on good terms. As I walked back to the house, I was filled with emotion so I went to my bedroom and allowed the tears to flow.

I didn’t want the whole day to be uncomfortable because I was suppressing pent-up emotions. While I felt great spiritually, I needed to acknowledge my body’s reaction–sure I’d done the energy work and things went well, but still, it brought up a lot–mainly “nice girl” pictures–and I wanted to let those go. It just took a minute or two to let them out, reground, center, take a deep breath and feel immensely better.

The reason I’m sharing this story is mainly because I wanted to talk about doing what’s right for you. We’re often taught to think of other people’s needs before our own and this is completely backwards. When I became hyper-conscious and present this morning, I suddenly realized that I’d known John hadn’t been working out for more than a year, but I’d put blinders on because I just hadn’t wanted to face all those negative thoughts about me being unkind, selfish, etc. Also, I’d just assumed on auto pilot that he needed this job. In other words, I was putting his needs above my own.

If I had been truly kind and loving, I would have dealt with the situation a year ago when I’d first realized he wasn’t working out. Now he’s gone a whole year thinking he’s been doing a good job. Maybe, had I let him go back then, he’d have figured out he needed more experience and knowledge and done something about it possibly getting even more referrals, better jobs, greater income, etc. Who knows, maybe he just bought a car or something since he was counting on my income and he wouldn’t have done that a year ago.

There are all sorts of scenarios that could have played out had I let John go as soon as I realized I should. I didn’t because I hadn’t allowed for any positive possibilities since I was so unconsciously certain that I needed to help him. Wow, that’s pretty egotistical isn’t it? Yep, and that’s exactly why doing what’s right for you is the most loving choice because it sends the universe the message that you want others to do what’s right for them.

Ok, that was/is confusing so we’ll have to discuss that another time, but this second awareness surprised me even more and so, despite, this becoming quite a long post, I’ll share it quickly.

After I re-entered the kitchen all calm and collected from my re-grounding, the three kids were still pretty mad at me and accusatory, which was understandable. One of my kids, however, became really angry and started taking down the quotes we have on our walls and shouting at me, “your fired!” Since I was still in hyper-present moment, I didn’t become angry or defensive, but rather looked at this child quietly and noticed he/she was desperately fighting back tears. I’ve always known this kid was super sensitive, but it hasn’t been at the forefront of my consciousness with all the business of our lives lately.

My heart went out to him/her and I just sent them love and compassion. Now it makes more sense why this child lashes out and we’ve had some growing conflicts recently. I’d chalked it up to age development, but now I see with crystal clarity that he picks up on everyone’s emotions and that’s a heavy burden to carry. Rather than fight him, I need to make sure I’m keeping my own energy in check and clean. It’s also a good reminder for me to revisit with the kids how they can own their energetic space so they are not so affected by other people’s emotions. In the meantime, I can have much more empathy for this particular child with my renewed awareness of his/her extreme sensitivities. Sometimes when we’re so busy getting through the days, our awareness of the depth of life can become dulled.

As difficult as this morning was, it served as a wonderful wake-up call for me to be more actively and intensely present. I hope you’re inspired, too. Now go out and do what’s right for you!

My New Favorite Podcast

I have been absolutely loving the Rich Roll Podcast and wanted to share it with you in case you hadn’t come across it yet. This podcast is long-form so most of the episodes range from one to two hours. At first, it annoyed me how Rich meanders around during the interviews, but now I have developed more patience and enjoy how the conversations flow. I listen to them while driving, cleaning, walking the dog–anywhere and everywhere. Hence, my book recommendations have dwindled a bit.

Topics center around nutrition, fitness, spirituality, environmentalism and entrepreneurship. I am a newbie so I downloaded the free app since you can only listen to the most recent 50 episodes on iTunes. We’re all incredibly busy so I’ll just share some of my favorite episodes so far so you can get a taste and see if you’d like to pursue more on your own:

# 102 Amanda Slavin–this gal is incredible! Trust me, you’ll be fired up after this one.

#103 Preston Smiles–super inspiring!

#97 Dan Harris–this is good for anyone who wants straight, basic talk about meditation (I am still recommending this one despite Dan’s slight digs at Deepak and Eckhart)

# 86 Timothy Shieff–this guy is extremely talented. I showed one of his videos to my kids and am hoping to entice them to listen to this session as well.

# 120 Michael Gervais–meditation consultant to extreme athletes.

If you’re into running, there are a bunch of ultra marathoners you’d enjoy hearing from and if you’re interested in heart health, there are several doctors interviewed as well, but I’ll let you find those on your own. I could go on and on, but as I mentioned, I want to be respectful of your time. Let me know what you think and/or if you are passionate about any podcasts you’re currently enjoying.


le piece de resistance

Wow, it’s been more than 2 months since I’ve posted! I’ve had so many ideas and insights that I’ve wanted to share, but I’ve been in a state of resistance (every time I say this, I hear in my head le piece de resistance from The Lego Movie) and the more time passed, the more powerful le piece de resistance became.

Alas, now that I’m sitting, where on earth to begin?!? Let me start with Thanksgiving since I had really wanted to share about that experience at the time. My family is great, but sometimes (ok, let’s be honest, often) being around them lights me up one way or the other. I have done so much personal growth work, yet put me with my family, and babam! I revert back to the bratty, bossy, self-righteous witch of yore. I was meditating two, sometimes three times a day to try to bring myself back from the dark side, and while several times it helped, too many others, I stood by incredulously watching, but not stopping, the monster-me devour whomever was in my way.

It was ugly. No, I, was ugly. Did I immediately go down the dark hole of  self-judgement and self-criticism when I returned? Nope, I’d already started that during the long drive home. Double, babam!

Luckily, I have a regular appointment on Mondays with a psychic friend where we trade looks for each other. As the universe so perfectly arranges, that particular session was my chance to ask questions, so of course I asked about what had happened over Thanksgiving. She told me what she saw, we did some energy work around it, and lo and behold I had a huge shift.

Remember, I’ve been doing this sort of thing for almost 15 years, yet, I was still able to experience an incredible release; so much so, that by the time Christmas rolled around and I was right back in that same environment, it was a completely difference scenario–and drum roll please, might I dare say enjoyable?!!?

I like to think of growth work as an onion–you peel back layer after layer and at some point to get to the core of the issue. It can feel like you’re not making progress when the same or similar issues keep coming up over and again. But more than likely, you are just moving through the different layers making more progress than you realize. I distinctly remember telling my friend that memorable Monday, “I’m so sick of this issue, I’m done, I want to move on,” and so be it. Am I “cured”? doubtful, changed? definitely.

This experience left me fired up!!  Energy/spiritual work, or personal growth, or whatever you want to call it, can be incredibly powerful and rewarding. It also reminded me about the difference between doing the work and walking the walk. There’s a Grand Canyon-sized gap between reading a book about running, for example, and running; reading about meditation and meditating; wanting personal growth and growing; wanting to write a post and writing it.

There, it’s written! And it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d made it out to be in my head. Here’s hoping I can get to New Year’s before Easter rolls around.

Happy 2015 Everyone!

$50 and $.50 Continued…

A few days after receiving my reading about the strange $50, I was at the thrift store with my kids who were looking for items to create their Halloween costumes. While they were busy perusing the treasure trove of possibilities, I wandered around as well. I came across a tiny bookshelf in the glassware section–a different floor, even, than their normal large book section. Curious, I bent down to check out the books and was surprised to find a book that I had been reading from the library, wishing all along I had my own copy for my personal reference.

That book, by the way, is “Anatomy of Spirit,” by Caroline Myss. I had devoured the first few chapters and already then wished for my own copy so I could highlight important insights and otherwise mark it up. But then she gets into some heavy work on each of the chakras and I was having a harder time getting through those chapters all the while running out of time on my library loan. Earlier that morning I’d received the dreaded, items are due back soon email thus creating my current “wish” for my own personal copy.

Fast forward back to the thrift shop that afternoon and of course you know that the first book I spotted was “Anatomy of Spirit.” I pulled that out as a little “sign” and smiled and thanked the universe:). Then I saw another book I’d read, but had loaned out, but never received back, and another that I’d wanted to share with a friend, but wasn’t willing to give up my own copy, and yet another that was a great read that I’d given away. As I contemplated buying all four books, I tried to find the prices on the inside cover because this thrift shop is either bizarrely expensive or I’m still living in the 1970’s. I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but as I started to put the other three books back on the shelf, I “just happened” to notice a sign above the book case saying each of these books was…drumroll please…yep, you guessed it, 50 cents! Wow, wow, my heart soared, this stuff is so fun!

Did I mention that I’d found two quarters, ie, 50 cents, at the gym that morning as well? Yep! True…