Category Archives: Mindfulness

Staying Grounded in Tricky Times

It’s hot.  There’s a global pandemic.  The election is 96 days away.  Racial and general unrest is rocking our cities.  The short- to mid-term economic outlook is, at best, uncertain.  Tempers flare.  Sparks fly.  Blood pressure rises. 

I am privileged and the fabric of my days has changed dramatically since mid-March.  I go to the market, occasionally get a take-out coffee or meal, meet colleagues and friends on Zoom, and enjoy family photos and phone calls rather than in-person visits.  I wear a mask when I’m out and about.

Strengthened by meditation & prayer

After witnessing a few particularly charged interactions, I decided to share practices that are making it easier for me to stay centered in the hope that you’ll share some of yours as well.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • For the last 54 days, I’ve risen early and started my day with 45 minutes of meditation and prayer,
  • I’m drinking lots of water – regular and coconut – aiming for roughly half the equivalent of my weight in ounces,
  • I do my best to spend at least as much time performing activities like reading, writing, cooking, weeding as I do on the screen,
  • After dinner, weather-permitting, I spend 20 minutes in the hammock staring up at the clouds, hummingbirds, owls, leaves, butterflies, bees, or whatever is right in front of me,
  • Three to four times a week, we take a 20+ mile bike ride to enjoy nature and move our bodies,
  • Three or four times a week, my yoga mat and I spend an extended time together,
  • When friends come to mind, I send cards, usually by local artists,
  • Appreciating, purchasing, preparing and serving dishes of organic, locally-grown produce has become a daily ritual,
  • I’m working more intently than ever to align my work, purchases and contributions with my values,
  • Sometimes because it’s so energizing, I just let it all go and act silly, laugh and be weird.

It’s definitely true.  There are serious matters at hand.  There have been for centuries and, with any luck, there will continue to be. 

My intention has become to FIRST appreciate the joy and beauty of living and what is working and then move from that place.  I don’t know that the new patterns I’ve formed will change as our world does and I don’t know that they won’t.  My plan is to enjoy them while I can.

Be well, all,


May I Remember to Pray

When my partner and I were looking for a home to purchase together, we made a list of needs and wants, a budget, and agreed how we would handle differing priorities. After several months of looking at listing after listing online, stopping at open houses, and touring homes with our real estate broker, our discouragement was palpable. We had been commuting between three locations and it was starting to take a toll on both of us, yet we couldn’t see ourselves living in any of these homes. We began to wonder if buying a home was the right move at this time.

It came to me to pray, to ask for help, to seek Divine guidance. Less than 24-hours later, a listing popped up on my screen. I opened it expecting once again to be disappointed. But I couldn’t believe my eyes. This listing seemed to include everything we needed and wanted, was in our price range and I could see us living there.

Enter our front door and you’ll pass by a cross we received on the occasion of our house blessing, which was officiated by an Episcopal priest and a group of visiting Tibetan monks.

Trusting the Outcome

The daughter of a real estate broker, I know buying property on impulse seldom pays off. Fortunately for us, my partner was out of town for 10 days. Our realtor arranged for me to the see home first. We made an appointment to see it again in 10 days when my partner returned. I loved this home so much I feared we would lose it. In an attempt to quell my anxiety and to help us make a prudent decision, I prayed that if the house was meant to be ours, everything would work out and if it was not, for the ability to accept the circumstances with grace. Long story short, we now live in what we call our “Dream House” or “Casa di Sogni” in Italian.

Tibetan Monks blessing the Dream House . . .

Too often, I forget to pray. Life tosses me around, as it will, and I choose to struggle. Sooner, but more often later, it hits me. Ask for help from my Higher Power.

I’ve prayed daily for a number of years. However those petitions are general and often for people or organizations in need.

Praying for myself is an act of humility. It is an admission and a remembrance that I need help during times of a global pandemic and in everyday life and work situations.

I pray for the wisdom to remember to pray.

With gratitude,


Acknowledging the Divine in All

What path do you choose to walk in the world . . .

About 20 years ago, it came to me “to see the Divine in each person.”  This would prove far harder than I realized.  It’s easy for me to see the Divine in those I hold dear or who share my values and life experiences.  But in those with whom my views clash or with whom common ground has not been built?  Well, that’s another story.  My ego is remarkably adept at jumping in to instantly justify the beliefs I hold, my solutions, or the validity of my position.  None of which really matters in this particular endeavor.

May you walk in the world with your grace . . .

Steps Along the Way

This intention has taught and continues to teach me 1) to step back and take a breath or two or three, 2) to check my judgments, 3) to listen deeply internally and externally, 4) to ask questions without attempting to shame or persuade, and 5) to seek to understand.  I have also learned that this resolve doesn’t demand that I agree with, condone or excuse.  It simply requires me to move through exchanges, encounters, and situations acknowledging the Divine spark which I choose to believe resides in each person. 

May you move in a way that honors you and all you meet . . .

Building Relationships

Initially, I found myself engaging in “idiot compassion,” an implausible practice I now define as allowing myself to be harmed or taken advantage of or being too kind or mute when, in fact, a situation required a response or accountability.  Over time, I came to see that denying the Divine spark I bring to a situation is no more helpful than denying the Divine spark of those around me.

The partisanship of our day can make this a dizzying, and seemingly impossible, path.  However, I have noticed that I am at my best when I knowingly take time to forgive myself when strong opinions swamp me.  For me, gentleness, curiosity and forgiveness pave the way for building relationships and, more often than not, witnessing the Divine.  

Deep gratitude,