Lead Your Life

Awake, Aligned, and Grounded In Truth

I’m not stressed…. November 2, 2017

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Stress is a creeper in our lives.  We are so busy “doing” that we don’t notice all of that “getting it done” is coming from a place of fight or flight.  When (if) we stop, we finally notice that we are worn out, exhausted, sleeping poorly, and anxious.

So what to do?  We feel more stressed trying to solve stress because we know what to do, and with best intentions, most of us aren’t doing it.  No bubble baths, daily meditation, counting our breath.  No funny movies to replace the news (facebook), no earlier bed time, and no daily yoga.  So, we keep “doing”, busily checking off the to-do’s on our list all the while giving ourselves a failing grade (judgement) on our self-care habits.

Sounds like a fabulous way to treat the person with whom we have our most intimate relationship, huh?

I’m an advocate for all the “things” we can do to reduce stress with a particular affinity for breath work and a physical yoga practice.  These are miracle workers in my life, and there is something even simpler that requires no extra time or special outfit.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to
choose one thought over another.
-William James

Where we place our attention expands.  For most of us lowly curious-about but not yet enlightened souls, our thoughts bubble up without us noticing.  This idea of choosing our thoughts seems almost laughable as our thoughts are grooved deeply into our subconsciousness and then, via bullet train, blast through to our consciousness.

What we can do is observe the thoughts upon arrival at the station, and then decide which to leave on the train, which to reshape, and which to embrace.  Sometimes the thought is deeply seeded, negative and easily refutable.

Think the “big story” in your life: I’m not good enough, I’m not smart, I’m too fat…..  These stories require intentional abandonment moment by moment and replacement with soul speak.  I am enough exactly as I am, I love myself as I am.”  Thich Nhat Hanh teaches to say “Dear One, I am here for you.”

Sometimes the thought is about the daily happenings, our perceptions of others, or our ruminations on the past and future.  Think “I can’t believe he said that, and she thinks I’m….”

I practice reframing these thoughts into questions.  How true is that?  What am I making that mean?  How can I contribute to something better in this situation?

There is one tool that can be used in almost all situations:  gratitude.  When your mind is swimming, just begin speaking aloud your blessings.  There’s something powerful about hearing your voice say thank you over and over that quiets the mind, expands the heart, and drains the negativity.



What does love breathe? September 21, 2017

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I am blessed to have parents who have been married almost 51 years.  As a married woman, I understand that love’s oxygen is a carefully woven blend of commitment, presence, and compassion.

Living our love is different than simply loving.  I can love another and still mistreat with unkind, impatient words.  In the important moments of our life, those that wake & shake us, living our love seems easier.  In these moments, we so easily take a stand for one another; with big love, big hands, and big hearts.

However, most of our life happens in the small moments that feel undifferentiated from the last.  It is easy in the routine of our day to allow the seepage of irritation and ribbing.

As we navigate dinner, moonlighting as uber drivers for our children, we may fall asleep to the impact we have.  Does it mean we love less?  No.  It does, however, mean we are living our love less.

So here’s my experiment.  For one week, I will practice staying awake to the miracle in the mundane & to living my love.  It is a small way to build a big habit & to retrain my mind to elevate above the fray so that meaningful connection, radical compassion, and unconditional acceptance illuminate every moment; even the one navigating school drop-off.  Will you join me?


The journey home September 8, 2017

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It is part of our human experience to lose our center; sometimes just a small step out of line & other times long, slow fades away from our truth.

From a place of curiosity, scan just today.  Can you see moments of light, dark, loss of presence, grasping, illusion?

Now breathe.  Breathe out your judgement of it, breathe out calling it good or bad, and breathe out your mind’s desire to want this to reinforce your story.

Now connect.  Follow your breath up and down the center of your body.  Follow your breath to the nucleus of your heart.  Give yourself permission to feel exactly as you feel and forgive yourself for the habit of self-judgement.  Be strong enough to treat yourself gently & with kindness.

Now decide.  In this moment, who am I?  For me?  For others?  For the world?

And be that, be you fully, just be.  It is from this space that we create positive change and live a life in love and light.

The beautiful thing about being human is we can gently take hold of opportunity even if we squandered it in the last moment.  We can teach ourselves to reside in a place of joy and participate fully in a world that is sometimes dark, sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes not what we visioned.

Each of us possess passions, places we are called to make a difference, take a stand, and set an example.  Imagine if we all took a breath, honored our truth, believed in ourselves, and then got busy manifesting our passion.   Choose Well!



What is the sweet spot? June 26, 2017

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middle path

One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is the idea of walking the middle path in our life. Life is not entirely this or that, all action and no rest, total elation without sadness.  Wholehearted living calls us to find the sweet spot of harmony; the ebb and flow of the middle path.

The same is true as we think about allowing our life to unfold and take shape.  A life without   intention dilutes our impact; our days a whim or hope.  A life without dreaming and space is an over-engineered structure too heavy and complex for freedom and flexibility to survive.

Can we find the sweet spot; both allowing and willing, creating and surrendering, leading and following, architecting & dreaming?

When you find your mind planning, strategizing, and structuring the future, remind yourself to embrace flow and grace & to be totally present in this moment.  That’s where the magic lives, yes?  It is right now that we create, cultivate, and celebrate.   In this moment, take a deep breath and let that breath go.  As we slow our breath, we slow our experience of time.

Take a moment and consider where you are living at the outer edge of your continuum; creating an imbalance.  Shift towards the middle path, & sink into the sweet spot of both creating and being created.


The Brilliance of Doing Nothing July 5, 2011

This morning, I read a fantastic blog published by Six Pixels Of Separation that touted the brilliance of boredom.  Many roads take us to boredom, but the type of boredom I am talking about is better defined as a MENTAL TIMEOUT. This is a conscious choice to – for a period of time – ban input & just be. What qualifies as input? Email, text, surfing the web, reading, talking, and any kind of “doing.”

I’m not sure about you, but I know very few people who personally embrace quiet time with any discipline.  However, it is in these moments that ideas hit, brilliance percolates, and solutions come screeching out of nowhere. 

When we are taking info IN, we are recyling other’s thoughts & weaving their opinions through our minds.  This is not OUR wisdom – it is their’s.  Thus, while a big fan of education & learning, there is a fine line between input that creates true growth & input that prohibits you from hearing your own wisdom.  We all know people who are so full of other people’s wisdom that it’s impossible to know what they actually believe.  “Tony Robbins’ said this….,”  “John Maxwell recommends…,”  “Napoleon Hill believes….”  Great.  And the world is flat. 

When we are DOING, our minds are active & engaged, but because most of what we do is similar to what we have done in the past, we are recycling our own thoughts & further grooving our beliefs of the “AS IS” into our minds. Thus, we repeat the same patterns, sit in the same chair in meetings, have the same conversations with the same people.  And we try to solve the same problems with the same thinking we’ve used for the last 5 years. 

We have all witnessed a leader who has tried tirelessly to address an age old problem, and a role change happens, and bam!  The new leader immediately solves it.  This isn’t because one is smarter than the other.  It’s simply because one is thinking in a new way. 

How do you stop the INPUT?  Shut everything off & sit focusing on your breath.  As your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath.  If you want to get up and DO something, notice that & continue to sit.  If your mind starts making lists of tasks, notice that and return your focus to your breath.  Call it centering, meditation, or just boring yourself, it is in these times of silence that quantum stuff happens.  I promise you, you will notice a marked improvement in the quality of your thinking immediately & you will be shocked that you sustain this more creative, empowering, wise thinking for a period of time. 

If you base your DOING on the foundation of your time spent “BEING,” your results will go through the roof.  DOING is the root of all movement but BEING is the root of all advancement.  But it takes discipline & a conscious choice to build space into your day.  Especially when those around you don’t get it.  But trust me, the fact that you “get it” will serve you well. 

People always ask me how long they should “sit.”  Here’s my INPUT (aka: my wisdom for your consideration – not blind adoption).  23 Minutes / 1 Time per Day.  Twice a day is fabulous.  Why 23?  There is some research that shows 20 minutes is a significant marker in meditation as time is needed for our brain chemistry to shift.  23 for me because it takes me 3 minutes to simply talk myself out of springing back up & into action.  Many “sources” recommend 30 minutes.  If you have 5 minutes – take it.  You can shift your state & calm your mind with 90 seconds of intentional breathing. 

My last piece of advice?  This is easy in theory & difficult in practice.  It forces you to surpass very conditioned patterns of behavior like ceaseless activity & circular mind chatter.  28 days to form a habit.  If you are going to test drive this, commit to at least a month of daily boredom. 

Here’s the link to the blog post mentioned above: http://www.twistimage.com/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/2494