Scattered Ashes


We scattered the rest of my husband, Mitch’s, ashes... Well, all but what remained in a small hand-carved wooden urn, those I’ll save for Ava and Amelie for when they’re older (at Ava’s request). I hadn’t been able to keep the large brass urn in my room anymore, the sight of it made me feel sad, and gave me a heavy feeling in my body. So, they were in my mom’s closest, hidden away, and out of my sight. But I knew they were there, waiting to be released.


I thought that perhaps I’d scatter them in the ocean from Mitch’s friend’s boat, and then all of a sudden Mitch’s Birthday came. My ritual of celebration for Mitch’s Birthday over the last years was to gather flowers, go down to the beach, write letters to him in the sand, let the kids play, pray, and offer the flowers to the sea in memory of Mitch. And then this year, dear Ava suggested we include scattering the rest of her dad's ashes in the ocean, as a part of the Birthday celebration.

I had to think about it for a little while before I was able to respond.  I knew that I had been wanting to, but I felt a little apprehensive. I hadn’t opened that urn since the night before Mitch’s memorial service, and my goodness, that process had been so painful that I had to call on my uncle and brother to help me. But, my intuition told me that it was a yes. The time was now.

I packed the urn in Mitch’s old backpack, and me and my girls walked down to the beach and gathered flowers along the way.

Opening the urn wasn’t as scary or painful as it had been nearly 3 ½ years ago when we first opened it. I poured the ashes into the forest green velvet satchel that the urn had come in, we prayed, and then me and the girls began grabbing fistfuls of ash, and tossing them in the ocean. It was a windy day, and so by the time we finished, we were all dusted with Mitch’s white ash. The girls were joyous as we let go of what we had been holding onto.  

His backpack that I carried home was a lot lighter, and so was the feeling in my heart.


Journal Prompting

How can you honor both a loved one who has passed and your own grief through a sacred ritual that you create?

What needs to be released in your life that creates a feeling of heaviness and sadness?

How can you include your children in the process of grieving and healing the loss of a significant loved one in your life?


Dating a Double Amputee


He will always have prosthetic legs.

That will never change.


He’s chosen to embrace it, he’s chosen to embrace the thing that’s made him different. He uses the story of his injury, and his positive outlook on life to inspire and motivate others. He wears shorts without giving it a second thought. It’s been seven years so he’s had time to work through any self-consciousness he’s felt. He’s made peace with himself just exactly as he is. And if you ask him, he’ll say that he wouldn’t change a thing about the accident or his injury, because it’s made him into the person he is today. And he really is amazing.


But I’ve had my own process to work through in dating this man, this double amputee that I’ve fallen in love with...

~Seeing him without his legs on- Everyday he takes his legs off before he goes to sleep at night, and puts them on again when he wakes up in the morning.

~Worrying about whether or not he'd fall in yoga class, and worrying about him feeling embarrassed if he did.

~Getting comfortable with the attention he receives, because everywhere he goes, people look and people ask.

~And wondering, would the kids feel embarrassed at the attention he receives, at the playground or at school?


The worries and the self-consciousness made me feel guilty. I felt like I was being shallow.


And then I wrote about it. I finally moved through the writer's block I'd been having and wrote about what had been just underneath the surface. I took my feelings out of hiding. Surely he had had his own process of embracing his legs, embracing the attention, embracing the falls, and I would have mine too. Instead of feeling ashamed of my feelings, I met them with compassion and understanding. And I was honest with him about my feelings. I spoke from the heart and I was met with love.


And now instead of feeling self-conscious, I feel proud, thanks to a friend’s loving advice. His legs are a symbol of all he has been through, of all he has overcome.


Ultimately it’s about accepting him for ALL of who he is, and isn’t that the magic ingredient for unconditional love, and isn’t that the challenge in so many relationships? Accepting the ones we love just exactly as they are? And isn’t that what we’re all here to do- support, love, and lift each other up?


Yes, I believe it is. And a part of the process of accepting ALL of him has come from accepting ALL of me, and meeting my real feelings with compassion and understanding, instead of judgment. 


Inspired, challenged, and filled with gratitude for this path that I’m on, and in love. I am in love with a man that is teaching me how to love better.


A letter to my husband

Dear Mitch,

Today is when I found out you died, today, three years ago. My whole world came crashing in on me. But, your death opened up a whole new world for me and many that knew and loved you. And while your death brought me to the saddest and darkest times I have known, it also led me to some of the very brightest and most joyous. I have learned the language of your spirit and that is a gift. Your death taught me how to love life so much, and it showed me that the only way to transform regret is to change the way I live in the present moment, because there’s no going back, and guilt doesn’t right any wrongs from the past. I will remember the inspirational lessons you taught me about life by the way that you lived… I will continue to work towards making my dreams happen, while remembering that timing is everything. And anytime I start to worry about our little girls, I will remember that you have sent a gang of angels to watch over them with love and light! I miss you all the time, but I have made peace with our destiny. I love you, dear one!

What's all this talk about awareness?


What's all this talk about awareness? Well, whether or not we are aware of our feelings, our thoughts, or our body’s felt sensations, they are affecting us in one way or another… So, perhaps we are not aware of our sadness, because we don’t want to feel sad, so instead, it manifests as a short-temper, or as a sluggish, heaviness in our body, or as a weekend-long Netflix marathon in our jammies with Ben and Jerry…  Or perhaps we have this underlying fear of rejection that is just out of our awareness, originating from when our parents got mad at us when we were children, and they ignored us for weeks on end, and as a result, we felt totally isolated and rejected, but since we’re not quite aware of that, our fear of refection manifests as an obsessive need to please, or as an anxiety about people being mad at us and an intense fear of confrontation…

Awareness is empowerment. Awareness illuminates what was just below the surface of our sight, but that was causing all kinds of varying reactions, without any understanding as to why… Awareness empowers us to respond to life, rather than react to it in an unconscious way.  Like, when we’re mad, and it’s clear to others, but when confronted about our anger, we deny it, we shove it away, “no, I’m not mad,” we say through clenched teeth and intense upper back pain, and the thing is, we may not even be aware that we are.


Awareness reminds us that we create our experience from the inside out, and that all the peace, love, security, and courage we’re seeking comes from within.  Now, at first, it might feel like an impossible task, to sit quietly, and listen to thoughts, feel feelings, tune into our bodies felt sensations… or it might feel scary to sit, perhaps we're afraid of what we’ll find when we do.  All the more reason to do it.


And the truth is, when you’re first practicing awareness, you’re going to all of a sudden, see, feel, sense things that you may not have before, but that were always there nonetheless… So, despite what you may find, when you’re sitting quietly and listening to your body, your heart, and your mind- always remember that in order to feel love, open your mind to inspiration and creativity, feel healthy and well, you might have to feel the sadness that’s been weighing you down, hear the negative self-talk that’s been making you think you can’t, or feel how sick and unhealthy you really feel in your body.  

And awareness isn’t just about uncovering negative, painful stuff, it’s also about how good and nurturing it feels to connect with that stillness, that awareness that you find within, because it’s in that space that you tap into your inner-guidance, to that wealth-spring of love and peace and joy that some wisdom traditions, and religions refer to as your soul, Spirit, God, enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, Buddha nature, Christ consciousness… It’s from this space of stillness that dreams are remembered, connections are made, pain is released, and we see ourselves in all of our humanness. If any of this strikes a chord of truth within your heart, peaks your curiosity and has you wanting to explore, then register for my online course, Awaken, Envision, Release. I help you open the door to this awareness.

My Story

Mitch and I on our adventures together in Costa Rica.

Mitch and I on our adventures together in Costa Rica.

My life was changed in an instant when my husband, Mitch, the love of my life, suddenly and unexpectedly died in December of 2012. We had a two year old daughter named Ava, and I was six weeks pregnant with our second daughter. I dove into the spiritual world, I needed to find him. And thankfully I had spent the last four years in graduate school studying Counseling and Transpersonal Psychology, so I had the tools I needed to help me cope. I also attended long meditation services, listened to countless webinars from mediums on how to connect with spirits, I cried, I danced, I sang, I wrote, and suddenly I found him- in toucans, falcons, butterflies, moths, cats, and in the whispers of the ocean that held so much of my sadness. I had found him in nature, and I heard his voice as he spoke to me in meditation and through friends, I had visions of him in dreams, I channeled conversations with him regularly as I walked the beaches, I felt him as warm tingles on my left side body, and I felt him through music.

My daughter Ava, and pregnant with Amelie, in Costa Rica.

My daughter Ava, and pregnant with Amelie, in Costa Rica.

Days after he died, I received the inner-guidance to return to Costa Rica, the place where my husband and I had spent several years together and had cultivated a great community of friends. It was like a light that was guiding me toward my own healing. And 10 weeks later, we made our move. I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to stay, so I practiced trust. I trusted my inner-knowing would guide me as to where and when I would need to go next, just as clearly as it had guided my move to Costa Rica. And so everyday I processed my grief. Everyday I wrote, I cried, I called on the support of my community, and of friends and family. I walked the beaches, some days I felt like a ghost…I meditated, I prayed, I let nature heal me, day by day. I talked or wrote to Mitch everyday for many days. He had become the bridge to a deepened connection to my very own soul.

Baby Amelie.

Baby Amelie.

And I prepared to birth our second daughter, the way I had dreamed of ever since I had read a book of home birth stories by Ina May years before. I rented a house on a little birthing farm in the rainforest, run by an OBGYN from the U.S., that was close to a hospital (just in case). And I spent the weeks leading up to my due date at that little house, just me and Ava, enjoying that special time, just the two of us, before the arrival of baby sister. And it was perfect, as perfect as it could have been without Mitch there, but he was with me in spirit that day, July 22, 2013, the birth day of our second daughter, Amelie. It was a peaceful birth at home, delivered with the help of a midwife and doula while Ava slept peacefully in the next room.


A sacred altar at one of my meditation workshops.

A sacred altar at one of my meditation workshops.

Then, busy, busy, busy. I dove headfirst into the physical world, rearing one toddler and a newborn. And I began sharing what I knew about meditation, emotional process work, embodied healing, and spiritual exploration and growth with my community of women through workshops, classes, and private sessions. I began to come into who I was as a practitioner, as a transpersonal guide. In addition to writing (I wrote daily and regularly in my blog), I felt I had found another piece to the puzzle of what it meant to live out my purpose.



Me and my girls in Hermosa Beach, Costa Rica.

Me and my girls in Hermosa Beach, Costa Rica.

We healed in Costa Rica for one and a half years. My daughter attended my friend’s Montessori preschool, we went to the beach, swam in waterfall pools, practiced lots of yoga, drank lots of smoothies, ate gelato, let our friends and community hold us in love- and we healed, we had come through the saddest time I had ever known- but even though it was the saddest time in my life, it was also the most grateful, the most enlightened spiritually that I had ever felt. The blessing disguised in Mitch’s death was that I learned to love life, so, so, so much, while also learning how to let go…

Ava and Amelie in Southern California.

Ava and Amelie in Southern California.

And then there were lots of signs (that I ignored at first), that it was time to return to California, to the embrace of our family. But, I had learned to listen to my inner-voice and it was time, and so with gratitude, we said our good-bye’s to our Costa Rican community and our Costa Rican life. We returned to California just in time to celebrate Amelie’s first Birthday with our family. They had been incredibly supportive of my decision to move to Costa Rica, but were overjoyed at our return.  It felt like a victorious homecoming. I had just been through the most difficult time of my life, had birthed our second daughter, and now I was feeling stronger and clearer than ever before, and it felt like a welcomed relief to receive the helping hands of family with the girls. I allowed myself time to settle, recalibrate, reflect, and envision. And then it was time to create the platform for my work, in which I envisioned workshops, online courses, published books, and a steady stream of private client sessions…

So now, my girls and I reside in Southern California, where I practice mindful parenting by day, and write, create, and guide by night, and whole-heartedly embrace the support of friends and family, while I create the vision for the next part of our lives…

Finding My Way Again.

Sifting through a life of dreams, he was the captain of our ship, and when he died, all of our dreams seemed to die too, or were just lost in the confusion of it all… which were mine, which were his, and which were ours?

In an instant, 2 ½ years after his death, it all comes flooding back to me as I walk though the campgrounds across the street from my house. And there it was, a symbol of all we’d dreamed, in a 6x12 homemade camper. My heart swells. Wait, that was my dream too. He opened my eyes to a whole new way to exist in this life, and it always seemed like his. Until I saw that little camper, and I remembered my own heart. Dreams of  homestead living in the redwood forests of Northern California, mine, consciously living in harmony with the Earth, mine. Oh my gosh, my heart sinks into the pit of my stomach, a deep ache for all that I’d forgotten that I loved in this life. He showed me the way, yes, and then he died, but these dreams were still very much alive in my heart. He awakened in my heart these dreams, and they were mine now too. He opened the door for me to finally walk through, and with tears, I find the love again, and I release a little bit more of the ache. Oh love, disentangling myself from the pain that came from the loss. I feel my heart open a bit more. Scared as hell, I decide to let my heart lead anyway, with a new commitment to myself to remember my heart, and to follow the path of love.

"I think God thinks that's funny..."

I overheard Ava telling a little girl at the library that her daddy died. I couldn’t hear the response from the little girl, but can only imagine through Ava’s response that it must have been sadness or shock, because here’s what Ava said in a soothing, and loving tone, “It’s ok, everybody dies, it was just his time.”

So, a few days later, I asked her if hearing people’s responses to her daddy’s death was hard… She said it was. I told her that so many people are afraid to die, and that they’re afraid to die because they have forgotten that they have a spirit. Well, she thought that was quite amusing, and said, “ I think God thinks that’s funny. And I think Daddy thinks that’s funny too.” And so it is.

A week in generosity...

This past week, our intention for the week was generosity. Generosity was the intention that my four year old daughter, Ava, chose. And so the week began, and I found myself overly correcting her, critiquing her for the ways she was not being generous…. “Not sharing? Well, that’s not being very generous, right?” After a few minutes of this, I quickly realized that if I kept on going about it this way, it wouldn’t be fun for either of us, and the lessons in generosity would be lost. And so I decided to live and breathe and embody generosity as much as I could throughout my week and teach my daughter through example. And so as I started letting generosity flow in and out of my day, naturally it began to flow in and out of conversations I had with my daughter. I began noticing ways in which I was not being generous, ways that I had not noticed before. And the beautiful thing was that with that awareness, opportunities were created to begin to cultivate that quality more deeply. I picked up my sister-in-law from the airport in Long Beach, an hour and half away, and instead of dreading it, complaining about it, I embraced it, took it as a opportunity to practice being more generous with my time, and with my love. And I volunteered to drop her off at the end of her trip as well. I also volunteered to offer my room to my grandfather during his planned visit the following month, something that I may not have offered before. And I noticed that Ava grabbed toys out of her baby sister’s hands much less often. There was less screaming and more sharing, and that was without micro-managing generosity throughout Ava’s week. Simply setting the intention, and having conversations was good enough. And now, for this week’s intention, patience… Stay tuned. :)

Sometimes, strength is just about showing up.

Strength. I'm taking an online class to learn how to intuitively connect to the major arcana cards of the tarot, the symbols and archetypes that play out in our lives. When we arrived at card #8, Strength, after spending a few days being with and getting to know this card, I learned an invaluable lesson about strength. Sometimes, strength is simply about showing up. Showing up to yoga class, showing up on the page to write, showing up in relationship even when it feels hard. Even when we feel tired. Even when we feel weak, uninspired... Just showing up. Being present. And remembering that in time, everything does in fact pass. We are sad, we are happy, we are angry, we are stuck, and then the feelings pass... so, not to get too attached to any one particular feeling, either loving or hating it, but just allowing, noticing, staying calm, and showing up. Being present. And today, I noticed with great joy in my heart that now, nearly two years since my husband died, there are more days of happy than there are sad. There was a time when there were more sad days than happy ones, and I would worry and lament over these feelings, wishing they would just go away, being hard on myself for what felt like steps backward when I would feel sad after a few days of happy... But, the grief had to move in its own time, and what I have learned from the sad, I would not trade for the world. Learn to have gratitude for it all. Rich lessons for us to learn in all of our experiences.

"Where do we go when we die?" Answering the questions kids ask.

.“I don't want to die,” “I don't want you to die,” “I'm scared to die,” “Can I take my stuffed puppy with me when I die? I think Amelie will take her favorite blankie,” “I miss daddy.” The latest questions and conversations from my nearly four year old daughter. Death has become something very real in our family. It has been nearly two years since my husband died and my daughter's understanding of what it means to die changes as she gets older. In the beginning, I explained death through the spiritual lens only. Daddy is free as a bird now, he's like an angel watching over you, available to you at all times in spirit. While also being real about how sad those of us feel who are left behind, who also feel his physical absence. No daddy to hug, go on dates with, cuddle with... And then explaining that death is beautiful, we are completely free, returning to the place we left before we were born, pure love, pure light, peace, and joy. Pure God. “I can't wait to die,” she says after I explain the beauty in the transition to death. Hold on, I tell her, there is much beauty and purpose we have here on Earth before we die. And I tell her I feel like I'm not going to die until I'm old, which is truly how I feel, but then I also tell her that none of us die until it's our time, until our spirit is ready. She seems satisfied with these answers. But death is on her mind. I leave the door open for conversation. At such a tender age, feeling her way through understanding the very real questions that all of us have about what it means to live and what it means to die. To live with this truth of both our immortal and mortal reality, well, I think it helps us live more fully, with greater meaning. These are the questions people have been asking since the beginning of time... As we move through our own fears about death, we will be more prepared to answer these kinds of questions posed by our children from an honest, heartfelt space.


Another anniversary... how long do we go on counting after someone dies?

Driving to Tustin to visit with my mother-in-law, flooded with memories. All those times before when I would drive to Tustin, to see Mitch, it's different now. I drive now to see his family, the living connection to my husband, to our daughters. The girls sleep on the hour drive and I listen to music, I sing along, I cry a little, but it is good. It is a cry of knowing, of allowing, of surrendering to what is. And I enjoy the drive, the coming home, a house that is another home to me and my daughters, a place where I feel at home. And I remember that this week marks another anniversary, of the time we met. So full with possibility, mystery, excitement. This week, it would have been 11 years of togetherness. And then I wonder, how long do I go on counting the would have's, should have's, could have's...? I guess as long as I count them, as long as I remember them... The push to move on, to move forward, to be through with the pain and sadness... But I realize there is happiness in the remembering of this particular anniversary. The anniversary of when we met, when we first started dating, because it wasn't all wrapped up in a dream, in expectations of forever, of growing old together, like our wedding day. It was just a beautiful moment in time full of possibility, of mystery, of excitement... So, there is faith there, that when the time is right, I will experience true love again in a new form, something very different from what once was, but something just as beautiful. Although hard to imagine anything comparing to the love I had with Mitch, I remember that there are no comparisons, when we compare someone always loses... each person, each relationship, unique, beautiful in its own varying way. And so this week I decide to celebrate a life full of possibility, mystery, and excitement. I toast to what was, what is, and what will be.

Letting go in the form of hurling my i-phone into the ocean

After someone close to us dies, there are certain physical things that we can literally hold onto that give us comfort, that remind us of our loved one, that represent them in this physical world, that provide emotional comfort. But when that thing which was once was a source of comfort becomes a source of angst, sadness, anger, heaviness, or stress, it signifies that it is time to release that which you were holding onto, it is time to let it go.

This just came up for me in my own life. After my husband, Mitch, passed away 14 months ago, I began using his i-phone after mine “mysteriously” broke the morning after I had a dream that I dropped it in a pool of water. I held onto his phone like my life depended on it. I relished in all of his music, his photos, the messages we had sent back and forth to one another. I held it so close to my heart. Magical and mysterious things had happened with that phone, a new playlist surfaced weeks after he passed entitled, horses, and I felt every song was from his heart to mine. I looked at the otter-box cover with the camouflage coloring and I felt him. And then about 10 days ago, I asked Mitch to help me in releasing him a bit more, I asked him to help me release another layer of sadness in my heart, I asked him to help me let go a bit more. And then shortly after that, the i-phone no longer held a charge. I had to keep it plugged in in order for it to maintain a 1% charge. I panicked. I performed reiki (energy healing) on the phone, which worked for a short time, until the battery just slowly died once again, but held onto that thread of 1%. I called a friend and reiki healer to meet for a walk on the beach yesterday. I brought the phone in hopes that she, being a master, could heal my phone for real (in simply changing the battery, I risked the entire contents of the phone being erased). So I asked her, but then shared that I wondered if this was another lesson for me in letting go. She concurred with the latter. She encouraged me to release the phone. She held it before my eyes, assuring me that Mitch was not in the phone, the phone was not Mitch. The tears flowed, and flowed, and flowed. Deep in my heart, I knew she was right. I knew this was a lesson in letting go. She asked me if I was ready to release the phone, I knew the answer within was a yes as much as I cried. We walked to the top of one of the rocks along the rocky part of the shore. I looked down at the sea and was reminded of all the courageous things Mitch had always encouraged me to do, always stretching me to challenge myself, to step outside of my comfort zone, and jumping off a high rock into the ocean had been one of them. I smiled. A few butterflies swirled around me in the winds, the sea spray from the waves crashing against the rocks urged me that the time to release the phone was now. I looked down by my feet and saw a beautiful flower that had fallen from the tree above me. I picked it up, held it on top of the phone, said a prayer, wished Mitch release and freedom and myself the same. My friend stood beside me as my support, and I let go. My tears had dried and I hurled the phone into the ocean. I smiled. I thanked Mitch. And I immediately put the intention out into the universe that I was open and ready to be gifted with a new i-phone, as that had been my only camera. So for those of you reading that may have an extra that is looking for a home, I will willingly receive it with open arms and an open heart. I hugged my friend. I walked away feeling a little lighter and a little braver. And now I ask you to ask yourself, what is it time to let go of in your own life?


Feeling the feelings we avoid like hell...

The feelings that threaten to topple over the whole tower of cards... the feelings we avoid at all costs, the feelings we try and push down, the feelings that we're afraid of.. the anxiety that we experienced four years ago that kept us awake at night... so that any glimpse of anxiety that shows up now, we run the other way, we drink an extra glass of wine, smoke a bowl, take a pill... Or for me, the sorrow I experienced all year, the pain so deep it physically hurt, the pain that kept me from tending to much else besides me and my kids... When we deny that anxiety, or that sadness, or whatever other feeling it is we don't want to feel, well, when it shows up, it has so much power over us. Just surrender to the feelings when they arise, sit with them, get to know them, offer them love, and then let them pass through us so they don't get stuck, or else they are always there in the background, threatening to topple over the tower. If we just surrender to them, without fearing them, without fearing that we will drown in them, while staying connected to our spiritual center, our source of love, and realize that the ups and downs of the emotions we feel are a part of being human, well, then we can simply notice when they arise, without stuffing them, fearing them, denying them, resisting them, just let them come and see what it is they have to teach us. And then offer ourselves comfort and compassion with a inner-knowing, a faith so strong, reminding us that we can get through anything... And being honest with ourselves, yes, there are days, there are moments, when it hurts, when we feel our humanness on every level, and the best thing we can do for ourselves is just be there in loving support, and hold the candle as a reminder that this too shall pass.

And today I woke up with sadness as I awoke from a dream. I dreamed that Mitch and I were re-united, like he never died, like he had been away somewhere... And the embrace, oh so real. I woke up with a closed heart, an aching heart, and at first I avoided it, so that all I felt was anger and constriction in my heart. And then I decided to move my body, move it through me. I played a Pink song, and I started to dance, and intuitively began to open my heart, open my chest, and then tears. And then after a little while, the tears passed. I chose to meet my feelings with courage (my only other option was to feel anger and constriction), and they literally moved right through me as I danced. And this is life, there are no perfect persons who feel perfectly happy all the time, we can learn to find our center of calm, and know that our ability to feel, that our feelings are the source of both love and pain in this life. To feel; it is a part of the human experience, and if feeling pain allows us to feel the love too, well then, it's a no-brainer, gotta feel to really and truly be fully alive to this experience of life.

Beach Pondering and Poses that are Heart Opening

As I walked along the beach this morning, I noticed my shadow, for the first time noticed it was just me, just my shadow, no pair, no partner walking beside me in this physical realm. I didn't cry with this seemingly simple revelation, just noticed, but for the first time really. As connected as I feel with Mitch in the spiritual realm, in this earthly physical realm it was just me now, I was no longer a part of a couple. I straightened by spine and stood a little taller with each step, admiring the reflection of my own strength, my own poise, and continued walking with a humble sort of pride in my step, I was proud of who I was. And as I walked I pondered how I didn't feel alone, everyday I engaged with my Self, everyday I engaged with my children, and everyday I engaged with a blessed friend or family member. This year I had learned to be “alone.” It was the most pained year I had ever experienced, and yet the most blessed year I had ever experienced.

And then I went to a yoga class, and what do you know? It was exactly what I needed, although I can't say I was surprised... The theme of the class today was love, and each pose we did was intended to open the heart. By the end of the class as we lay in shivasana, or corpse pose, I began to cry, I cried as I felt the tingly sensation that connects me to Mitch, that connects me to the divine. I cried tears of thanks for his presence, and leftover tears of sadness for his physical death, it felt like the emotional cleanse I needed. Ah life, this life, bringing me exactly what it was that I needed this morning, but then it always does one way or another, right? And so I let the tears flow until they were done, and thanked the teacher and my dear friend for inviting me to the class, and then went about my day with my heart just a little more opened than it was when I arrived.

Another layer of healing exposed

How much time is enough, what's too long, what's too little, to grieve a loss such as this? Well, honestly, I have processed my husband's loss every night ever since it happened last December, every night I meditate, or I write, or I blog, or I call a supportive someone. I have kept a candlelight vigil for my emotions to find expression, held them long into the night, cried to the ocean as I walked along the shores like a ghost, I have howled at the moon begging for another chance, I have connected with his spirit, heard his voice felt his energetic embrace, I have screamed in anguish, gritted teeth, danced, I have sung him songs of my love and sorrow, I have birthed our second daughter, I have doubted the spiritual world, I have experienced the spiritual world, and here I stand nearly a year later feeling more whole and beginning to see myself emerging from this. But, how long is enough? Well, last week I re-read a piece I had written a week before and realized I was tired. Tired of writing about it. Slight panic, is this what it feels like to let go of yet another layer of the heaviness of this grief? Is this what it feels like to inch closer to accepting him as a spiritual being, as a guide to me now? Is this what it feels like to stop wishing for things to be as they were? Yes, it seems so. I move through my fear of shedding yet another layer of this, and stand back and look at where I've been, all that I've done. Ok, he knows if he were here physically I would be just as in love with him as I always was, but he's not here in that way anymore, I know he wants to see me healing. I know he wants me to feel whole again. I stand tall, I stand proud. There is light. Thank you.

Living life fully awake

And just when I think the day's work is done, I remember that there is still more to do, and then I remember to surrender to the work so that it becomes no better or worse, no more or less than what I'll do when I'm done with the work. Surrender to it, accept it, so it becomes a part of my meditation, a part of my spiritual practice, and then I realize this is what I have to offer others, what I have given to myself that has helped me out of the darkness. So, what has helped me? A daily spiritual practice, which happens to be writing, learning the art of being present and still through a meditation practice that has allowed me to bring this way of being into other parts of my life, being committed to seeing the spiritual in all things, circumstances, and roles, allowing emotions to move through me without judgement or resistance, the same way we birth our children, without resistance to the pain, but rather by surrendering to it, allowing it to move through us, our children, our ideas, our emotions, our thoughts, without guilt, without struggle. Finding a way of creatively expressing my emotions, leaning on friends and family that support me, lift me up, letting go of ways that no longer serve me (first becoming aware of those ways), and really allowing myself to be silently drawn to pull of what I really love -Rumi, and making that my career. Five years ago, googling spirituality and psychology and discovering a perfectly suited educational track and creating a career for myself based on how I could best serve others while utilizing all of my gifts, passions, joys, and learning how to follow my bliss, my peace, and my joy. Yes, we can all live a life fully awake, with hearts wide open to let in love and let go of pain.

Moments to start anew

Yesterday, I nearly got carried away on waves of bitterness, resentment, and in general feeling low and very sorry for myself. It is very easy to get over-identified with one particular emotion or thought, especially if it is a very potent one. Yes, yesterday by the end of the day, my back hurt from carrying around my newborn, my toddler had two accidents on the floor (very uncharacteristic of her), it was three days into a brand new routine of my toddler returning to school, and nearly marked two weeks of adjusting to caring for the girls without the help of my family, and oh yes, without the help of my husband that passed away nine months ago. Yes, I began to completely identify with my negative feelings... And then I remembered my meditation practice. I am experimenting with a chanting mantra meditation right now, and so I did that. It reminded me that I am also experiencing many other thoughts and feelings besides those that threaten to take me down a not-so-nice rabbit hole, and that helped dilute the potency of the bitterness, resentment, and victim-mentality that was starting to build. I began moving my body into yoga stretches to ease the pain of my back and hips, I washed the dishes from dinner, and then I called a friend with whom I could vent with, cry with, and then finally laugh with. Yes right now is a challenging time in my life, but is also providing me with an opportunity to grow and evolve through it. And now today is a new day, filled to the brim with moments to start anew and see the silver lining...

Wings to fly

In my dream I jump off a high mountain peak, at first I am free falling, my stomach drops, I feel fear. And then all of a sudden I realize that I can fly... I begin to do somersaults through the air, I spread my arms wide, I float along freely and after a while, I land safely on the Earth. This feels like a visual metaphor of my life right now, I must simply spread my wings and trust I will fly, and for me spreading my wings means sending letters to editors to publish my writings, it means creating more therapeutic workshops, and it means fully embracing my life as it is right now with my two little girls knowing full and well that I will triumph above adversity and fully realize all of my dreams. Yes, we all must jump off that mountain peak, or we'll always wonder what it would have been like to feel the wind beneath our wings and step outside of our fears. My dream also reminded me that I am already being carried, even if I am afraid to fall. I'm being carried by my loving family that came in rotation to help me with the girls for the first five weeks. I'm being carried by my friends who are taking turns cooking me dinner this week while I transition into flying solo without the help of family. I am being carried by the faith that others have in me, which gives me strength to have faith in myself even when life seems a challenge. Yes, I will rise to meet the challenges that we all face during this life, and I will spread my wings and fly.

Take a leap of faith off that mountaintop

What does my life look like these days? My life is in transition right now. I gave birth four weeks ago, have had lots of help with family that have flown in from California (I'm in Costa Rica), and now I am preparing to go it alone... Well, not alone, I have a wonderfully supportive community and group of friends, but the last of the family members that have been helping me with the cooking, cleaning, and caring for the little ones will be gone a week from today. I feel ready. Each day I feel stronger, more focused, more confident, and more trusting in my ability to not only care for my little ones, but to thrive while doing so. I am also feeling more and more ready to embrace my unique gifts in order to serve others, and financially support myself and the girls in the process. Yes, I have come a long way in the past four weeks since I gave birth. My mom arrived the day after I gave birth four weeks ago, and I think within days of her arrival I was already crying about her leaving two weeks later, and thinking, how the hell am I going to do this without her, and then ultimately without the full time help of anyone? Well, I cried to her about it, and then had the strong thought that my knowing that I needed to move to Costa Rica was so strong and clear six months ago, and that in the ensuing weeks and months to come, my knowing of what do to and when to do it next, would be just as strong and clear. And at this point, what choice do I have other than to simply trust it will all work out as it should? I know too much to allow myself to fall down the rabbit hole of angst and worry about tomorrow... For right now, I am right where I am meant to be. I will look to tomorrow with hope, with trust, and with excitement for all that is unfolding. I honor Mitch's spirit when I remember to live that way, and I teach my girls to not only trust in themselves, but to trust in life itself. And so for now, I take a leap of faith off of that mountaintop, and trust that my wings will carry me to heights greater than I ever could have imagined, and I go where the winds take me...

Receptivity and intention to light up the darkness

Ava and I arrived at the birthing house nearly two weeks ago, and I have found myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually preparing for Amelie's entrance into the world, as well as grieving another aspect of the loss I feel over Mitch's passing. My intention for the stay at the house was to enjoy the heck out of Ava, really make it a special time of bonding for the two of us, connect to the special surroundings of the house, the mountainous rainforest, feel very connected to Mitch's spirit, and welcome Amelie into the world. At the start of our stay, upon Ava's request, we watched a very up close and personal video of Mitch, and it had me reeling for the next several days, and very focused on all of the ways he was not here... I struggled with connecting to the ways he was here with us, and then one afternoon while Ava was napping, I was sitting outside on the patio looking out into the vast mountains and tropical forest. A strong, calming breeze came over me, and in that instant, I could feel him, I was overcome by an overwhelming feeling of peace and joy. And then one evening a mutual friend of Mitch and I's posted a music video called “shine on,” that she felt called to share with me when she was all of a sudden filled with thoughts of Mitch and I. In those three of so minutes of watching the video, again, I very strongly could feel Mitch's presence, and was so grateful for my friend who was able to send me his message and remind me to have faith. And then one evening of instant messaging with a friend, with such a knowing, she reassured me that Mitch was with me in that moment, and would be with me during the birth. That faith that she had helped cast any shadows of doubts that I had in that moment of his absence. I was truly amazed at the power that her faith had in helping my guiding light shine just a little bit brighter. And then this morning, I was gently drawn into the town church, and although I am not a church goer, I have an appreciation for all places deemed holy. Upon entering into the church, I was overcome with feelings of a beautiful, compassionate, forgiving, divine presence that brought me to tears. I am sharing this out of pure gratitude and awe at the sometimes subtle and obvious ways that Spirit present itself to us, if we are simply open to receiving. As the days have passed here and I feel more connected to the sacred, I have found myself more and more ready to give birth and begin the new chapter of our lives... I believe that with receptivity and intention, we can allow healing and miracles into our lives.