The OM Blog – old

Part-ay your way to more confidence!

So last night I had the pleasure of attending a Confidence Cards Party hosted by the lovely Hannah Bennett and put on by Dr. Lyz from Visionistas by Design.

Dr Lyz is a Licensed Psychologist in Nazareth PA and Hannah is a senior at Bloomsburg College studying to be a Psychologist.  I also know Hannah on a personal level as I met her through her beautiful mother and good friend, Joy.  Dr Lyz created the Visionistas by Design series as a place for women to get together, share their experiences, connect, inspire, and increase awareness to psychological concepts that affect our well being, relationships, and energy.

I personally think that when people are mean to each other, verbally or physically (whether its woman to woman, child to child, adult to child,  man to man, or man to woman) – it typically stems from something inside that is “off” and maybe they haven’t found the desire to yet look within or the ability to handle their emotions first before approaching someone else and building healthy relationships and communication that ultimately  contain conflict, resolution, unity, growth and love.  To me, faith and confidence are an inner fight not an outer fix yet we live in a world that may sell us stuff to fix ourselves or boost our confidence ALL THE TIME.

Personally, I have struggled for years with body image and acceptance and have finally hit a turning point about 6 or 7 years ago (both cancer and having a baby helped me lean into this) – where my internal world matters a lot more than my external world.  And my inner gifts are there to share despite what my external world looks like.  Do I want to build a better body? Sure.  Do I sometimes see my greys – sure.  And I work on myself every day.  But I work on it from the inside out and from a place of love and nourishment not punishment.

I remember a priest once describing God’s love as this cloak he puts over you.  One of protection, of light, of acceptance, and of joy for who you are.  He went on to say that sometimes that is what a husband provides to his wife.  And as independent as I am, I found that when I moved to Switzerland leaving my job and old identity behind, I found comfort when he was there with me to meet new people and explore new places.  Was it empowering to do some of this alone – for sure! But was there also something very amazing and very human – that we could be that cloak at times for one another, if we let ourselves be vulnerable and let each other in to our dark.   However, I also realized that the more I strengthened the person under that cloak – the less I had to rely on him or others and the more I could provide that cloak to those in need.  This was pivotal.

And so strengthening I have worked on now for years and I can also say it has helped in my marriage.  I remember Stan and I watching Brene Brown on Netflix talk about her and her husband on vacation getting into a spat in the middle of a lake because they were both going through their own individual blame and shame game at the same time which is a recipe for an argument.  Yet they had the tools to address what they were feeling with one another after they calmed down and could see how off they were in their interpretation of the exchange.  That feels so much healthier than calling one another names, insulting each other, or saying things that may hurt.

So the party was about strengthening our cloaks by making this little book of inspiring quotes to remind us how wonderful we are, how beautiful life is, and how even though we have struggles – we are resilient.  Hannah went over some key tips on taking care of ourselves during COVID and as the world opens up because there WILL BE social anxiety experienced.  We haven’t hung out in a while in large groups.  We have had time to sit on our own or with our family and for some of us it has been life changing and strengthening and for some of us – it has been dark and weakening and maybe for some – a bit of both.

We shared quotes and played music and got our creative juices flowing TOGETHER.  Hannah used these adorable fruit coasters to put hers on and I used scrap book paper I found in my basement and tied them together with a curly ribbon.  Another woman clothes pinned her cards to a cute little string to hang in her art studio and pull down one when she needs to.  I even found this pic using lights!

And boy – do I love Christmas lights.  Since some of the quotes had to do with super hero’s that typically wear cloaks or capes – I had some extra time whilst on the call (I looked up my quotes previously) – I drew these two pics of Joy and I as our own super heroines.  This may sounds super cheezy to some but I love me some cheeze. 

Words of affirmation is my love language so finding quotes to talk to myself in this way – I find amazingly healing, empowering, human, a way to face my suffering and overall – right up my alley.  You can keep this “confidence card book” in your purse for anytime you need a boost.  It’s a bit different than a pill or soda or a piece of chocolate.   I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite quotes that I found.  Feel free to comment and share yours!


“Letting go is the hardest asana.”

“See the beauty and grace in the world around you.  Recognize it and appreciate it.  Then see the beauty in yourself.” – Kino MacGregor

“You alone are enough.  You have nothing to prove to anyone.” – Maya Angelou

“Be Yourself.  Everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde


Please check out future virtual events sponsored by Visionistas by Design on Instagram @visionistasbydesign

and Hannah @ hannahbennett99


Interview with Karen Verbeeck, Owner of Steps4YouNutrition

Okay Wellness Warriors, Workers, and Advocates – besides the blog I also send out a monthly newsletter that features a yoga teacher, studio owner, or wellness peep that I have been blessed to have had our paths cross in some way shape or form and have learned something from.

Historically- I have not included the interviews as blog posts but this one is so informative and interesting I wanted to share here as well.   I met Karen when living in Zug, Switzerland and when I met her, heard what she did, and saw the passion & knowledge behind her starting Steps4You, I was immediately intrigued, moved, and wanted to know more.

For those who feel like they have been trying and trying to feel better but have no idea what direction to turn – she or someone like herself can help.  A lot of times people go to the doctor and know something is off but are told everything is “in line” so they proceed.  But for those of us that are a bit more sensitive, we know what it feels like to be well and to be a bit off and those markers are general guidelines but not a one all way to prevent and sustain optimal health.   With the rise of alternative medicine, “lifestyle” doctors, etc. – I think we can all recognize that our modern busy world can take a toll on our health if we don’t take care of ourselves well.  This often requires time, knowledge, education and a bit of dabbling to find what works for you and your system as well as the agility to know that it changes and shifts.

Karen stumbled into this as well in her own life. She saw when she had a family how important it was to make cooking and eating fresh meals part of their lifestyle.  The convenience food can be for when you are on the go – but it is not sustainable for the long term for most of us.  There is always the outlier right? The guy who lived to be 95 but ate pork belly fat his entire life.  Yes, I get it.  And just like with the COVID data, we see outliers – random children – stuff we don’t have total control over.  BUT, in my eyes, when it comes to my body and my health – I value it so much and want to take the utmost care of it.  I don’t want to ignore any of its cues esp after having had cancer.

So below is a snipit from our conversation.  I hope this finds you well and gives you some ideas on how if you are getting some cues of feeling a tad run down, especially with the recent shifts in schedule and for some increase to computer time and decrease to people – then maybe it’s time to take a closer look at how you are fueling your body during this time.  What I learned most from working with Karen is a reminder to eat the rainbow, check in with yourself periodically, and that is isn’t just what you eat, it is your relationships, how you breathe, how you connect to your community and how you live. They all have an impact to your health and to each other.


Q:  Can you give me your definition of wellness and if it has changed in recent years or over the years?

A:  It is a lifestyle where you feel you are healthy and can go forward in body/mind.  25 years ago –I believe it was seen as more of a diet but those are proving not sustainable.  Living well has to have some consistency and a want to nourish yourself from the inside out with healthy well balanced meals, relationships to food, our bodies, our planet, and each other.

Q:  For those that don’t know you (yet), can you tell me about your background and education in science/nutrition?

A:  Sure.  I started studying engineering at university but it didn’t feel very human so when I came in contact with a Masters of Nutrition I felt this combined the science with applicable human bodies and application.  I could learn about how the body works, what it needs and how the food industry affects general health population.  I noticed my children when they ate too much prepackaged food – they had health issues arise.  My family then moved to France and I had time to cook with seasonal fresh ingredients and we all noticed a positive difference.  This intrigued me to continue my study of the body’s cells and responses to certain foods.  I then started to study the digestive system and the microbiome down there and it’s affects on the brain and overall health of people.  An unhealthy gut can lead to allergies, asthma, depression, brain fog and all kinds of things we are seeing.

Q:  When I first came to you for an overall assessment, I was intrigued by the machine you used – can you tell me about it?

A:  Sure.  It is called an OligoScan and it measure minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, heavy metals, oxygen levels, and the overall health of the cells.  It is the basis I use to start and then give guidance from, reference at a later point.  It is a spectrophotometric measuring which helps tell what is actually going on and more stable than a blood samples( influence by what you have been eating the last days).  We see what is actually been the overall status quo for the past approx. 3 months of nutritional intake and behaviors of the body.  We can then make a plan and use this again to reference at a later point. It doesn’t take long for your body to really like and change if fed well and overall stress monitored.

 Q:  Have you seen any trends in your patients that related to geography?

A:  Yes, amongst the Swiss population a good percentage are deficient in vitamin D and lack iodine which makes sense because of the degree of the sun and soil with low salt (iodine levels)  In California – heavy metals were prevalent which linked to obesity and stems from plastic bottle consumption and microwave usage.  Lifestyle studies are so important to understanding how we take care of ourselves affects our communities. I love working with people to identify trends and set goals and small steps towards healthy changes.  And I get to see the changes with them!

Check out Karen’s Website for more info:




Let’s Talk Tabata

Okay so I went on vacation last week to OBX and prior to leaving I started doing these hip hop tabata workouts and found myself loving them.

So I have done some research on tabata and would love to share for those of you that have never heard of it and/or never tried.  I am intrigued with all types of body movement and the workings of the inner body/mind/spirit.  I think that we all have the capacity to heal and build our best selves.  It is definitely a process and definitely takes work but can also be SO fun and So interesting and the more I learn the more grateful I am for this house of mine.

For me, yoga was what opened me up to the idea of how moving in different directions and in different ways than normal everyday typical movements – really created space inside for me.  The whole saying – if you don’t use it, you lose it.  So I want to keep my body the most well rounded and well oiled machine that I have to carry me through my day to day world and through times of stress.

I personally had heard of tabata a while back – probably in the 90’s and it was touched on again during a wellness retreat I attended a couple years ago.  We did one tabata session and I remember thinking in terms of efficiency to my life – there were no excuses that I couldn’t carve out less than 10 minutes a day.

Upon further research – Tabata is the first workout born in a lab.  It consists of 20 seconds of high intensity movement followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times.  The results after this 4 minute workout included a 28% increase in anaerobic fitness while an hour of cycling showed no improvement.  Tabata’s formula was also compared to other HIIT (High intensity interval training) type training and the results were still better.  Tabata also appears to have an after effect burn on the body for up to 12 hours post exercise.  This form of exercise was developed by Izumi Tabata, a leading sports scientist.  Dr. Tabata credits Olympic Speed Skating Coach Irisawa Koichi for pioneering the technique.

If you are looking or wanting to give it a go – I personally LOVED Keaira LaShae’s Pop Sugar Hip Hop Tabata YouTube video workouts.  They are 25-30 minutes because they do include pre-stretching, cool down, and a water break in between exercises.  She does 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (repeated 4 times) for about 6-7 diff moves.  I am amazed at how much I sweat, how fun they are, and her commentary is also fab.  In one video – you move from one “club” to another with song changes.

So if you are looking to add some high intensity to your workouts – give it a go and comment and let me know what you thought!

Hope this does your body well!



Cocokind – Morning Mocha Latte

A friend of mine told me a while ago about this company that has amazing face and skin products in Target so I starting following them on Instagram or sometimes I like to say “the insta”.

The more I read about the company and saw their posts – I was drawn in.  The company not only has a wide array of natural skin care products available, it has also created the cocokind impact foundation that provides financial grants to female entrepreneurs in the health, wellness, and sustainability industries who are focused on creating social impact changes through their businesses.  I noticed after George Floyd’s death – they immediately starting donating money each day to a different organization including ones like Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective, Bay Area Black Owned Business Relief Fund, Black Aids Institute and this list goes on.

So when I saw that they added Beauty Bevs (short for beverages) I was keen to try especially one called the Morning Mocha Latte.  So I purchased this and the Detox Chlorophyll Tonic.  Upon arrival – I was excited to try both.  The detox chlorophyll tonic is designed to harness the power of chlorophyll and digestive enzymes to cleanse and refresh the body.  It also encourages a natural glow.  Loving yourself from the inside out – I love this!  And I have to say I have tried my fair share of green powders and this one tastes good.  It has a slight lemony flavor that I enjoy.  One scoop in water in the morning is a great way to start the day and prep the internal world for your external connections.

The next one I tried was adding one scoop of the morning mocha latte to my coffee to give it a slight chocolate-ey flavor while providing my body adaptogens to start the day off strong.  I made my coffee first and then mixed it in and then added my steamed milk froth cloud of happiness to the top.  My daughter Kira said that it looked like hot chocolate and asked if she could have some one day.

The morning mocha latte has prebiotic chicory root, chia seeds, and adaptogens to help start the day well without jitters or a mid morning crash and the taste did not disappoint! It is delicious!!!


You can check out more products that cocokind offers on their website.  Link below.  Or on their Insta page!

Hope this finds you well!!


The Plus side of Crying

Last Friday during my Friday Nights Writes workshop – the prompt was about tears.

Tears are your body’s way of trying to help your body balance out it’s internal world.  Scientists have studied tears and different types of tears (happy, sad, angry) and found that they all have different chemical compositions and are your body’s way of literally trying to “wash” you a bit cleaner.  Yet I think we fight them.  I know that I do sometimes.  Maybe I feel like I am not in the right place to allow them to be seen or sometimes I don’t want to show them to my daughter.  Yet as I watched her grow – those first few years – children go through SOOOO many changes and yes – they cry a lot.  Good always came on the other side of these tears.  Almost like a rainbow after it rains.  And these tears both mine to her and her to mine helped our connection.  When you can support someone experiencing a deep emotion like this and not back away, get impatient, or angered by it – deep connection stems and love grows. So that night I wrote the below and wanted to share because at this time during all these changes and craziness that can consume us – just maybe – we are all being washed a bit cleaner?
When I see someone else cry – whether it’s a child, an elderly person, a teen, a stranger, a friend, someone on tv – there is a piece of me that can relate to this deep emotion and therefore draws me closer, there is a piece of me that wants nothing more than to hug and support them through their process as I know good comes on the other side.  Lightness – release, acceptance, resolution.  Yet for some reason, it has taken me years to have that reaction towards myself and my tears.
When they are happy tears, I am okay showing them but typically I hope they are more of a sprinkler flow than a faucet and that they don’t ruin my mascara. But when they are sad painful tears – I still try to toughen up , suck it up, wait til I am alone, or be strong.  Why?
Why do I expend so much energy hiding from being vulnerable?  Why do I hold on with such force and try to control my experiencing of a deep emotion?
I think it is because for years I have heard things like “she’s too nice” and it was often said as if this was a fault of mine.  So in an effort to not be weak – I held.
But in my heart, that kindness was always me being me.  Was it sometimes not advantageous to be as open and giving as I was?  Did it bring me hurt? Would I change it?  No.  In some moments I would have maybe wished I had found words to express how I felt but it has also brought me to a deeper level of acceptance and understanding of myself and others.  I have compassion towards those suffering and I know that sometimes it only takes a small spark and that when shared – that spark can light up another, or a room, or even for some the sky.  And I know this because I have explored my darkness.  It is like an opinion, we all have them.
It took me years to re phrase this kindness as a strength, sometimes my superpower, my relatability, and something I can hold dear. What I needed all along was to honor and accept it , cherish it, and drown out the noise.
Tears are a release of the armor that disconnects us and they form a flowing bridge destined to draw us closer to each other.
Humanity needs tears sometimes.
Humanity needs space to process tears.
They can be a catalyst for change,
a source of deep connection,
an inspiration to create
and a path to better understanding
So cry, cry the ugly tears that shake your soul
cry the happy ones that make your heart dance with joy
cry the angry ones that make your soul or voice shake with rage
Don’t numb out.  cry.  it may be part of your path to freedom

The Benefits to Juice-“ing”

If you are looking to increase your intake of nutrients while also giving your digestive system a break – drinking juice without additives is a great option.

For ex. – let’s say you overdid fried yummy foods this fourth of July and are feeling a bit sluggish or are one of the people contributing to the spike in pizza sales during Covid – eventually this will catch up to you.  So a good balance out maybe after a night of bread and cheese is a good ole juice.  And trust me, once you start tantalizing your taste buds with nature’s nutrients – you may feel a shift towards better food options overall and better lifestyle choices.

My first experience with juices (other than Capri Sun as a kid) started back when I was diagnosed with cancer.  I read Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Cancer and was amazed at all of the nutritional information available to helping one support their body’s natural line of defenses.  I had never before looked at food as a means to my health.  I had simply looked at calories and stayed away from fat.  Fat is bad.

Now in the era of Covid- We have the masks and we have sanitizing spray – but what are you doing from the inside so that your body can fight off germs and illnesses?  I also followed a blog called How Chris beat Cancer – he has a book now – by Chris Ward and he used juicing instead of chemotherapy that was recommended.  He is alive and well.

I am going to review some benefits to juicing as well as some of my favorite juices plus their particular healing properties.  You are your best coach, your best doctor, your best advocate, and your best investment to both yourself and those around you.  Be well!

The first benefit is that you get MANY nutrients per ounce.  It is packed full of goodness.  Consider it like a supplement but without the powdery stuff in the middle and a shell capsule.  This is coming straight from the garden, maybe even your own garden.  Another benefit is enhanced absorption.  It is not being processed the same as a whole food that needs to be broken down in your digestive tract.  Let’s say your digestive tract is covered in slime or sludge and therefore your body isn’t actually absorbing much of anything.  Until you clear that out – juicing can help!  The nutrients go directly to your blood stream to feed your cells and aid in your body’s processes, including digestion and may help remove any sludge.  Juicing also removes toxins – it is like sending in the immune boosting good stuff to clear out any debris.  And lastly for those that hate veggies – it is a good way to mix the veggies with some delicious fruits and create a juice that is tasty to your buds.

Some of my favorites are:

  1. Celery juice- I think it is amazing to do a morning only celery juice for breakfast for a few days if you are feeling a bit off.  It totally resets the clock in my opinion.  It helps reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation and fight against oxidative stress.  As we age  – we tend to take in less oxygen.  There are a lot of reasons for this – more wear and tear on the body so therefore peeps live with some pain and unfortunately when you are in pain or uncomfortable or carrying emotional tension – you don’t breathe as well unless you spend time each day focusing on breath work or yoga!  Now some people find the taste of celery juice to be mc-nasty and if this statement speaks to you – try adding one piece of an apple to provide a little sweetness.
  2. Carrot/Ginger juice – this is great for healthy skin and boosts collagen production.  It also serves as a good source of vitamin E which helps protect the skin from too much sun exposure.  The ginger is an added bonus as it is anti-inflammatory and also helps fight colds etc.  Ginger also helps with nausea and good for digestion.  Refer to part on sludge above.
  3. Cucumber/Apple/Carrot/Ginger/Lemon – This combo is hydrating, anti inflammatory, and cleansing.  And tasty!  With most juices – I suggest to keep the fruit content to one fruit and more of some veggies.  You get a bit of sweetness while getting the most nutrient bang for your buck and for your body, mind and soul.

Also – this is a great time to get adventurous in the store and the kitchen by using all colors and types of fruit and produce.  You can even add some jalapeno for a bit of heat.

Juice on!


Shop Green Beauty At The Detox Market

Fireworks Breath

Okay, so this post is a little late but it’s never too late to celebrate independence and freedom with a new breath move! 

Kira and I learned this from a video search as we were preparing for the Fourth of July and I was preparing for teaching the weekend rotation at Easton Yoga outside.  This breath is guaranteed to have you be a little silly which I think helps us free ourselves from any fear of judgement and connect deeper with our inner child and imagination.

I don’t know about you but I always loved watching fireworks on the fourth.  There was something about being outside all day and then culminating the event at night by shooting sparkly explosives into the deep night sky and having them light up the dark and send sound vibrations to your ears and body as well.  You can feel them and when you have a ton of people sitting around looking at the same fireworks display – it connects them and creates community.  This is all stuff I love.

So to start the fireworks breath – first come to a comfortable seat.  Imagine that red plaid blanket under your tush and the green summer grass all around you.  Close your eyes.  Feel all parts of you connected to the ground and listen to your natural breath.  How does it feel? Describe it.  Smooth? Relaxed? Labored? Short? Fluid?  No judgement, simply observe.

Then come to bring the hands in prayer in front of the chest.  On the inhale wind the prayered hands up into the air following the entire inhalation up as if the firework is shooting into the sky.  Feel the movement in the wrists as the firework winds from side to side making its way up and up and up until it reaches overhead.  Feel the full length of the arms as they lengthen out from the shoulder joints.  Then – CLAP – the firework explodes into the air!  Imagine all that space above you lighting up.  And then, for the exhale let the hands part and drift slowly down by the sides as if you can envision the particles of explosion softly drifting downward and downward until there is nothing left but a bit of dust.  The explosion has ended.  The excitement has ended.  The palms are resting on the knees or thighs. Take this in.  Let it soften you.  Let it free you.  Let it keep you connected to the present moment.  Let it awaken you.  Let it flow through you.  Try it for a few rounds and notice how you feel after.

On this fourth of July and onward – may this movement bring you peace, joy, and a sense of freedom.


Let’s talk about milk….baby….

Okay – so I have found it interesting recently that a lot of people are quoting science about the masks and the spread of COVID 19…. yet we still have an existing climate change and health problem that has been occurring for years and is a threat to our planet and all of us.

Do we see it on the news as much? Maybe the two are connected?  Maybe they are both wake up calls to say hey – we aren’t living so well – this is not normal – get it together.  Reduce consumption, reduce addiction, reduce stress, increase health.

So I find the dairy industry history very interesting and have recently been loving this plant based milk company’s milks and wanted to share.  The company is called Elmhurst and is based in New York and was founded by Henry Schwartz who previously was part of his family’s dairy business delivering milk all over NYC.  It was established in 1927 making the kind of milk from cows and in 2017 became a company who’s mission was now:

“By simply changing our diet, we can make a substantial and lasting impact upon our Earth. Swapping half of your meat and dairy consumption for plant-based alternatives can help manage climate change, conserve land and water resources, and protect animals and ecosystems. We are calling on each of you to take the 50% challenge and help spread the word!”

I think it is incredibly brave and courageous of him to realize that the American diet/lifestyle is making a lot of people far from well and wanting to shift the mission even though it was a family tradition.  The name carried on, the quality and care behind the finished product carried on, but the shift was made to better take care of people’s health and the changing landscape and animal/people balance.  He saw an issue.  He sensed an issue.  And he shifted.  He didn’t try to hold on for dear life – he changed with the times.

He partnered with Dr Cheryl Mitchell to create a line of plant milks with fewer ingredients and more nutrition.  There is even a barista line! Which I totally dig for making my morning froth pictures.  I also love it in smoothies and can be added to cookie recipes as well.  The Barista line does have a small amount of sugar added.  I have also tried the cashew, almond, hemp, and oat and I have to say I love the taste.  It is the only plant based milk I have found with this few of ingredients and just tastes clean.  When drinking, I feel like I am giving myself the fuel my body needs & helping support a greater change that needs to be taken by more of us.  If you can’t find it in your local grocery store – you can also order online.  I live in PA and mine arrived shortly!!

So if you are thinking of taking a look at your diet and your health – let me leave you with this quote also found on the Elmhurst website and can be found at the bottom of this blog post….

We can spend decades arguing over eating meat or not and eating cheese or not – but I think we can take one look at America and say that our lifestyle is causing a lot of our issues.  Change starts at the individual level.  Be part of the change.  It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy ice cream, yogurt, etc.  It means you honor the connection of taking care of yourself, each other, and the surrounding lands.

“The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest”





This one is for the moms…..

This one is for the moms…..

Okay so motherhood was definitely the biggest life changer I received.  I thought cancer was and some people say it is easier to look back and think something was easier but you forget how hard it was during.  But to me, the plus side of cancer was in many ways – I got loved and taken care of.  I didn’t ask for it to happen and I sure wouldn’t want it to happen again but I received presents, was told to lie down, rest, eat well, and take care of me.  I received fluids to make sure I was hydrated and prayers from all over.  Now motherhood – well – to be honest – it is not always the most refreshing thankful job and I think I have raised Kira well.  Now when mommy is sad – yes she gives me love but the day to day is me providing love, nourishment, physical exercise, support, clean clothes, school supplies, play dates, etc etc etc.  Even my watching of Hart of Dixie or anything that fuels my fire is taken over by the Inbestigators.  So it is easy for me to lose me in the WE.  And yes, it is also the most purposeful and rewarding job I have ever had and a love like no other – don’t get me wrong.

But – sometimes a girl needs time to just take care of one peep.  Herself.  I probably should have realized I needed this (but atlas, live & learn) back when I got a speeding ticket in Switzerland and upon receiving/translating the letter, I realized I had two options.  One was to pay 600 francs and the other was to spend 3 nights in jail and I actually was intrigued by the second option.  I thought to myself, clean, free of clutter, minimalistic space all to myself while being fed possibly some delicious rosti covered in cheese made by all natural cows with a tie to the land and no need for lactaid here my friends – sounds like it could be good!  Maybe like a silent meditation? But I went the payment route and proceeded.

So when I had the blessing of 2 weeks to myself while Stan visited Oma in Colorado and Kira got some Omi’s time – I was excited.  I returned to the simplicity of taking care of one being and filling up my cup so that I could center myself, spend some time appreciating slowness and stillness, and mend some of the emotions I had stuffed in an effort to support my family.  And here is what I wrote about those amazing 2 weeks:

These past two weeks – I said yes to me in the kindest, most gentle way possible.  A way unknown to me, never taught and never programmed into my psyche.

I said yes to facing the tears and the fears that I have stuffed down in an effort to BE STRONG.  I said yes to eating a slice of pizza and a beer.  I said yes to finally staining the deck and when my tired limbs got too weary – I said yes to a break.  I said yes to laying on the couch and watching multiple episodes of queer eye in which I pretended they would come and help make me over.  I said yes to sitting with some of my pain and allowing my physical body to soften as it passed through and I reminded myself that I had it in me.  I said yes to wearing the blue dress to my Godson’s graduation even though my legs aren’t the size I may long for right now and who knows if they will be again.  I said yes to exploring the fear I have for this world right now and giving myself the reminder of faith – not wishing for an outcome yet honoring the process and wishing each individual, family, country, and community well as they evolve.  I said yes to every piece of me.
I have pondered why it is so easy for me to love others yet I need space and time to love myself, completely as I am, in this moment, not reaching but actual acceptance.
And I can honestly say it felt GOOD.  To settle into who I am at my core, to grieve the life of yesteryear, to pause at my intermission, to let go of guilt and shame, to own my mistakes, see my accomplishments, and awaken the pieces of me that dream.  To do simple things with so much gratitude, to feel peace, peace in saying yes to me.
So in conclusion – it is so easy as members of one family to become a little dependent on one party or one source of love.  But it is part of the most healthy relationships and family dynamics I believe for everyone to have some space completely as an individual again – as they were before they were part of something.  I was so pleased to welcome my family back, exchange stories on our adventures, and I hold that space that I had with such love.

Moodstruck Mascara

Can your mood be struck by mascara?

Okay so I took a wee bit of a break from writing.  The creative juices were just not-a-flowing.  And if I have learned anything on my path to living well – it is that breaks are necessary, healing, needed, warranted, and just part of a full life.  As parents it sometimes feels like “you don’t get to” but I think we all can and we all benefit from keeping our moods in check and our bodies signals followed.  I am back and refreshed and ready to write about a few different things this week.

First off – MASCARA!!  Mascara is something that I absolutely love and is probably one of those things I would bring with me to a deserted island.  I would forgo certain food groups before I gave up mascara.  I used to think this was “vain” but now I accept that we all have our passions and it is one of mine.  I also love eyes.  I think you can tell a lot about a person from looking at them in the eyes.  It is of course “the window to the soul” and I cherish loving deep and living deep.  So I feel like mascara is like the shutters to a window.  A good mascara not only serves as a mindful moment in the morning, it lifts the opening to that which frames the eyes.  Your connection to other human beings, even more so now with masks.  How many people do you see wearing masks that are looking down or hurriedly getting their items to purchase as if they have no want to connect to another human being or acknowledge the person behind the counter?  To me, this could lead to one lonely lonely world.  But I have even with the masks on exchanged “eye smiles” with people behind counters letting them know how much I value their existence and their continued work in this world.

So when my friend Cathy told me she was selling Younique products and this included mascara – I was immediately intrigued to try one.  First she told me a little about the company and I did some research as well.  In my older or shall I say wiser years, I like to know who I am buying from and what their story is – it gives me a personal connection in a world where like I said we run the risk of becoming lonelier.

First things first – I loved that their mission included “to uplift, empower, validate and ultimately build self esteem in women around the world.”  That totally speaks to me.  While looks are definitely not everything and so much more is in the internal work – sometimes having that moment to pamper yourself before you leave the house and apply some mascara is mindful, mood boosting, and gives many women an extra pep in their step to face the day.  And I am all for that.  The company is founded by a brother/sister duo-cheers to healthy sibling relationships!  Melanie was a 16 year stay at home mom of 4 and understands the struggles and challenges inherent in this role and is so proud of the limitless power and work ethic that women possess and wants to highlight by providing products catered to them towards making women feel good about who they are, what they do, and what they bring to the table.  Her brother Derek was a software developer and together the two visionaries paired to create this mission FIRST company.  The mission is to help survivors of sexual abuse heal and realize their inner strength.  Trauma makes it difficult for these women to move on – so many are burdened by teen pregnancy, thoughts of suicide, high school drop outs, mental health illnesses, and/or alcohol and substance addiction.  10% of the profits of the sales goes towards helping these women rebuild.  It is apparent to me in the numbers of depression/addiction/mental health issues in the US – that a lot of trauma resides among us so companies that are using their profits to help people deal and heal are giving people hope and helping all of us to rise.

So when I first opened my mascara – I even like inspecting the packaging and the wand inside.  I had no idea that the one brand “better than sex” – the wand is thinner in the middle and the lady at Sephora once told me it was hourglass shaped like Marilyn Monroe – who woulda thunk & man I wish I came up with that?!  Anyways so I was pleased with the pretty purple box, the name “Moodstruck Epic4D” just sounds dramatic saying it which is how I like my lashes and then the mascara itself is sleek and sophisticated looking.  Now opening it is the second step and taking the wand out you really see if a slow and steady hand allows for the extra goop to go off as you unveil the wand to apply.  I was pleased with this part as well.  Application – I used about 2-3 swipes on upper and lower lid and was super happy with the results!!  And…I applied this morning and it’s about 1 pm and I have been running around in heat and taken the dogs on a walk and it is STILL intact.  

So thank you Cathy – this YOUnique product has brightened my day and my lashes!! If you want to try it out – go to & join Cathy’s facebook group and you can get discounts, play games, obtain tips, AND she even makes awesome videos on application, etc…