Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oh, the places you'll go.....

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know.
And you are the one who'll decide where you'll go.
Oh the places you'll go.”
― Dr. Seuss

What a weekend!
I am finally a graduate of DePaul University....class of 2014---wooo hoooo!!!
When I began this journey several years ago I had no idea how much the experience of completing my college degree would change me.
A friend introduced me to the program that would allow me to complete my college education in a manner that was accessible and manageable with my full time job. The curriculum was creative and flexible and I jumped at the opportunity to register.
During my time there, I learned how much I enjoy writing and that I'm pretty good at it. My curiosity for learning was reignited and I developed confidence in myself in a way that I hadn't been able to before. Another friend who attended my graduation yesterday remarked that this accomplishment is something that no one can ever take away from me. 
I agree...
But it's more than that.

I've realized that I can do anything I set my mind to.
I've learned to push past the boundaries of what I believe to be possible....there are NO limits to what can be.
I know that I have an incredible support system....many of whom showed up yesterday to cheer me on as I accepted my degree.
I've learned that my actions can serve as inspiration for others to pursue their own dreams...which shocked the hell out of me.
I learned that it's never too late to begin something new...

I am so very grateful for the support and good wishes from friends and family and others from all around the globe.
YOU inspire me to take risks and to be better than I was before.
YOU give me courage to be myself even when I don't know exactly what that looks like...
...and when I stumble, you love me in spite of myself.

You allow me to speak from my wide open heart, and for that and so much more...I thank YOU!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

What a difference a day makes....


Thirteen years ago tonight, my life was very different than it is today.
People who know me now might not recognize the person I was then.

I was sick.
I was broken.
....and I didn't even know it.

I knew I was scared.
I knew I hated myself and my life.
I didn't know there was a way out.

There is.

That night I prayed for help to anything that could hear me.

I was desperate.....
and I was also heard.

When it seems as though all else is gone, please remember that hope is always there. If you can hang on to even the teeeeeniest bit of hope, you've got a chance.

Ask for help.
Share your fears.
There are other people who understand and can help.

You are not alone.

Miracles happen every day.
I'm one of them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lifting me higher....

I am a firm believer in quality over quantity...especially in relationships. I would rather have a few, good know, the kind of friends who you can call at 3 a.m... the kind who you can count on in good times and in bad...honest, trustworthy friends.

I always found the phenomenon of social media interesting in that regard...some people seem to collect "friends," as if whoever has the most at the end of the game, wins.
I get media isn't real life, but it's an interesting glimpse at today's does this relate to real life relationships?
Do folks put as much effort into building & sustaining relationships as they used to? Have relationships become so transient that they've become disposable?
This is not the main focus of tonight's post....just some food for thought.

I went off on this tangent because I had the privilege of spending a few hours this afternoon with a dear, dear friend of mine, who was in town on a layover. She left the States last year and is back for a short time. One of the many things that was so special about this visit is that, even though we haven't seen each other in a very long time, once we were in the same room, it was as if no time had passed. Of course, we had all sorts of stuff to catch up on....but what is truly important, the deep connection that we share, was just as strong as it was when she left...maybe even moreso. I am so grateful to have people like this in my life.

These are the type of relationships that I want to cultivate.

I would much rather surround myself with people who are positive, gracious, and full of integrity...people who inspire me to be a better version of myself. And people for whom I can do the same...
I am so very fortunate to have some amazing people in my life like that. They are an integral part of a support system that I can count on. We are available for each other and encourage each other through good times and bad. We celebrate each others successes and provide comfort & strength during the rough times.

Today I want to say THANK YOU to all the special people that lift me up every bring inspiration, love, and joy to my life and I am forever grateful for your friendship!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Round & round.....

It's been an "interesting" few weeks!
Suffice it to say that there have been some surprises and not all of them good.
I have learned (yet again!)....that things are not always what they appear to be. Masks are not only worn on Halloween and "Mean Girls" was apparently based on real life events...(cue the "Law & Order" theme music....)

I have felt like I'm on shaky ground lately, not fully trusting my judgment of certain people in my life.
It's not a comfortable feeling for a number of reasons and I don't feel completely comfortable admitting it, but it's the least it's my truth. 
My secrets keep me sick and I am sick and tired of feeling sick, so I'm letting go of some of my secrets.

I've recently started to address some behaviors that no longer serve me. I'm starting to learn new coping skills to help me deal with people, places, & things over which I have no control... (everything!)

I'm finding myself in situations where I have the opportunity to practice NOT taking other people's words & actions personally. It's REALLY hard!
It's making me crazy (I'm making myself crazy, is more accurate...)because these situations are appearing in almost every area of my life & it's becoming increasingly difficult to convince myself that I am NOT the cause of the "crazy".
I'm spinning and obsessing and completely "up in my head"....that dangerous neighborhood that I should not venture into alone.

I am SO grateful that I have a few trusted souls with whom I can confide this stuff!

They remind me that I am exactly where I need to be and that I'm being taken care of. There's a bigger picture that I am not privy to and I need to focus on what's right in front of me in this moment...and this one...and then this one...and so on.

I need to take care of me....and turn my focus inward. I need to stop getting so involved with other people's "drama."
I have enough of my own, thank you...don't need to add more to it!
Back to basics with meditation, prayer, yoga, rest, and spiritual connections in all their many forms.
I need to reach out instead of shutting down, which is what I want to do. 
I need to get off the hamster wheel and focus on what I have to be grateful for....the list is endless!
I need to remember that I need to take care of myself and setting boundaries is one way to do that.

Today was a great day!
Happiness was definitely the priority du jour....

Sweet dreams, friends!

Monday, April 21, 2014


This weekend I completed my 2nd month of yoga teacher training. I had the pleasure of spending one evening and two full days learning about various esoteric and practical components of yoga practice. There are few things I enjoy more than spending time on my mat, with my yoga buddies....

People from so many different backgrounds walking on the same path. People come to yoga for different reasons, but the one thing that keeps them coming back is that they feel better.
My yoga mat is one of the only places where I can go to escape the chatter in my head. More often than not, I am able to stay present on my mat. I find clarity and peace on my's definitely more than just a physical practice for me.

One of my most poignant memories is from a painful period in my life, coming to accept that I could no longer remain in a relationship. I attended a regular class with a dear friend, and she knew what I had been dealing with. In class that night, as I went through the ansana sequences, I made the decision to end the relationship. I cried through each pose because I knew that in order to take care of myself, I had to walk away. It was a painful realization, but I knew in my heart that it was what I had to do. The repetition of the familiar postures soothed me as I found the way to my heart on the safety of my mat. My heart told me the truth and led me to the decision I had been trying so hard to avoid.
As we lay in savasana,  the final resting pose, my friend reached out & took my hand. I knew then that everything would be OK.

Yoga means union. It joins us together and helps us to remember that, at our core, we're really all the same. Different outsides, different life experiences, but we all come from love. And at the end of the journey, that's what we're all trying to return to: love.

We're all just walking each other home. ---Ram Dass

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Slowly, slowly I feel like I'm coming back to myself.

I know that sharing my experience (strength and hope) in the format has definitely played a major part in this shift. It's so interesting...since I started this blog just a week ago, I've I've received such incredible support & feedback and have found that a dialogue has begun. I'm talking to more people about my experiences and more people are sharing that they too have been having similar experiences in their own lives.
Just by the simple act of sharing our struggles (and successes!), we can help each other simple and so profound.

I'm so grateful to be a part of this process!

Here are a few of the tiny(HUGE) shifts I've experienced this week:

1. Sharing my deep dark secrets about the way I'm feeling shines a light on them and helps me to see what's true. Fear ALWAYS has a way of making the monsters in the corner bigger than they really are.

2. Acceptance helps me to loosen my death grip on the things that keep me stuck. 

3. When I stop trying to control everything, everything falls into its proper place.

4. Forgiveness...even just a teeny step in that direction...frees ME from the choke hold of resentment & fear.

5. Looking at my life through the eyes of gratitude completely changes what I see.

I have an amazing life today! I am truly grateful for every little part of it, even the parts I don't like because they're part of what make the great stuff that much more amazing!!

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone...I am especially grateful for YOU!


Thursday, April 10, 2014


I am blessed to have some very wise women in my life. Big hearted, loving, kind, FABULOUS and wise women....I'm very fortunate.

In the last week or so, I've shared my recent struggles with them and am grateful to have received an inordinate amount of love, support, and perspective from each of them in different ways. I'm also grateful that they allow me to work through my process in my own non-linear way and have patience with me while I do so.

A wise woman once told me that my secrets will keep me sick. I have enough experience in trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up appearances, while inside all hell is breaking loose, to know how deeply true that statement is.
As much as I like to pretend that I have some semblance of control over the people and events in my life, every so often, I need a reminder of how delusional that is. This time, I feel like I got slapped upside the head....I'm getting it from all sides!

That's where my fabulous ladies come in.....

I shared my "crazy" with some trusted friends and heard just what I needed to hear.  I also learned that there is more than enough crazy going around lately, so I would like to share some of their insight with you, in the hopes that something might resonate and be helpful for you too.

1. Would you rather be right or happy?
2. You can't see the BIG PICTURE so you don't know how this is going to play out in the end.
3. God is your employer, they just sign your check.
4. It's not what you say, but maybe it IS how you say it.
5. Resentment is like drinking poison & waiting for the other person to die.
6. You can't fight the current.
7. Tell that "crazy b**ch in my head" that it's not a good time for her to stop by.
8. Breathe
9. Restraint of pen & tongue works wonders.

On my walk today, I saw the first crocuses of the season...those tiny flowers broke through that hard winter soil and are starting to blossom. 
It's a good sign...

Monday, April 7, 2014


Shifting my perspective in tiny increments sometimes feels like crawling across a vast desert.
But tiny increments add up and some change, no matter how small, is better than staying stuck in a place I don't want to be.

I believe that there is innate wisdom deep inside each of us, but the noisy chatter in our heads is sometimes too loud to hear it.
For me, that chatter is like a hamster wheel, spinning faster and faster, serving no purpose  and succeeding only in making me dizzy and keeping me stuck.

If I can take a step away from that noise for a moment, I can catch my breath and, sometimes, even receive a moment of peace. 

I mentioned in my last post that I had run into a friend of mine,quite unexpectedly, at the grocery store. As we caught up over tea, I shared some of my recent issues with her and she reminded me about her daily gratitude practice. We agreed to become each others' accountability partners and today was the first day.

Opening myself up to another person and sharing my struggles honestly created a tiny shift which inspired me to start this blog...and I am definitely grateful for that!
Instead of jumping back on that hamster wheel, I reached out to others and felt truly engaged again. I asked my doorman about his weekend and his family as we commiserated about the lousy weather. I contacted another student in my teacher training group to check in on her progress with our assignments. We're making arrangements to form a study group, for support and motivation. I felt truly connected to the other students in class tonight and even introduced myself to our new neighbor....and her sweet dog.

I realize now that I was living in my heart rather than my head. 
I allowed myself to be guided from my true Source rather than the analytical chaos that exists between my ears.

I felt like I was back in my body, rather than disconnected, which is the way I've been feeling lately.

I felt like me.....

Glory hallelujah!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seasons of change

 Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver

This has been a particularly harsh winter in the midwest (and other parts of the country). I don't know about you, but this winter has had a profound effect on my outlook and mood. I've become increasingly more aware of how much I want to hibernate, and how challenging it is to get out of bed in the morning.

I have a great life. At long last, I'm graduating college, I have started yoga teacher training, I have remarkable friends and a loving family. I am employed and have a roof over my head. I have more than enough food and am in good health. Plus, I have the sweetest furry "daughter" on the planet (, I'm biased!). I have weathered my share of painful experiences and am so grateful to have come out the other side...a little bruised maybe, but gaining wisdom and strength in the process.

And yet.....

I'm not happy. There, I admitted it. I feel guilty for saying that out loud, but there it is. And the messed up thing about it is that I don't even know exactly why. I'm engaging in behaviors that I know aren't in my best interests: self-pity, resentments....all those toxic, unhealthy things that I thought I gave up long ago. But those bast**ds are back with a vengeance...and they have their hooks in me.

I've written blogs before and received encouraging feedback from friends and colleagues who read my posts. My intention has always been to share honestly, in the hopes that my experiences might 
help someone else.

My intention for this new blog is the same. I will be as open and honest as I can be...that is a promise.

Over time, I've learned that...for me...there's fear and there's love....everything else is a by-product of those two emotions. If I'm angry or my feelings are hurt, when I peel away 
all the layers, it always comes down to fear. My heart has its share of scars from the past, but I'd rather risk another scar than keep my heart locked up behind an impenetrable wall....I lived too much of my life that way, thinking it was's not. I would rather love big than not at all. 

I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking. However, I have also learned that life is cyclical and there are seasons of life that mirror the seasonal cycles of nature. I have to surrender to the fact that some seasons are not filled with rainbows and sunshine. Some seasons are as harsh, dark and bitterly cold as this winter has been.

But...regardless of how harsh the winter has been, spring always comes. 

As I walked home tonight, after a serendipitous meeting with a friend, I noticed that the trees were starting to show buds and new growth! The next phase of the cycle is slowing starting to emerge.

As a wise person once said, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

I know that this is true. The sun rises and the sun sets. Everything changes and nothing lasts. But that's OK. It's the way it was meant to be.