Connected Through Change


A million miles away, through a stained glass window of change I’m still learning to appreciate, looms the landscape of my heart. The cement walls don’t cave in on me anymore, but the weighty doors feel ancient, and I need help pushing them all the way open. The sunlight of the universe’s infinite love shines down through my crown and warms my soul to the core. I finally feel connected.

Connection means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Connecting my feet to the ground didn’t seem important before I read some of Jeff Brown’s books. Who was this guy, walking barefoot through the woods? Turns out that it didn’t matter, because the guy walking through the woods is all of us.  Now, as I close my eyes and look up to the sun, crisp mountain air in my lungs, and firmness of wet dirt under my bare feet, I start to see what he meant. It’s not just “grounding and centering,” as I have been taught in meditation with the skilled David Stevens. It’s not just being in nature, absorbing every essence of the senses I can, connecting flesh to flesh or flesh to mud, or hands to heart. And it’s not only as I’ve learned from Pema Chödrön, breathing into the space, accepting and feeling until it expands and becomes bigger than you, until you are truly connected to all that is.

It’s all of these things.

The idea of organized religion never appealed to me because it was frowned upon to “pick and choose.” I was raised with the idea that if the Bible says it, then that’s it. End of the story. But when I started realizing that who I was contradicted quite a few bible verses, the shame rolled in and the fear dominated my life. As I was healed by the spirit of love, and as I grew stronger in recovery, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt…I was loved. I knew, I heard and I felt in the depths of my soul, when I handed my life and will over to my higher power, that I was loved exactly the way I was. 

I’m not here to describe what I think God is or isn’t. And I’m most certainly not here to agree or disagree with ANYTHING. I am here to connect, to bear witness, to carry my torch, and to surrender to the idea that we all have a story, and that story really matters. Hearing other people’s stories in my darkest days saved my life. And I am compelled to keep sharing mine, no matter how terrifying that may be sometimes.

Guess what? Your story matters too. I know this in the depth of my heart. Don’t ever think otherwise. You are so blessed to be alive and share this journey. Your unique and compelling journey to find who YOU are is universal. Don’t hide it under a mask or a in a deep crevasse…let your light shine through.


The instants where I am self doubting or insecure are more fleeting and less heavy. I have smiles, joy and exuberance, even when I am alone. The idea of any kind of mood altering substance seems extreme and worthless- now that I have found something different- an awakening.

alchemist eyes

No artificial high could ever duplicate the intense passion that breathes life into my heart and soul day by day. Never have I felt so much gratitude. Never have I been able to breathe and be lighter. My priorities have shifted dramatically. I am taking action from a space of love and acceptance, not fear and shame. I am reaching out in the spirit of service- not out of obligation, but out of gratitude. I’m truly connecting.

To me connection is the reason we are on this planet. If I’m not real, I can’t connect with you, it’s as simple as that. The connection to myself has to first be established in a concrete way. My connection has to then expand to include the infinite love that surrounds us all. Before I can embrace you, I  have to embrace me, and vice versa.

You can’t buy connection; It’s priceless! And you can’t fake it. This is the real deal. The whole enchilada. I am so thankful I don’t have to lie about who I am anymore. I don’t have to fake a smile, or say what I think people want to hear. Today I have the gift of self awareness and authenticity. Owning up to exactly who and what I am opens me up to allow my creator to foster a deep soul connection on a daily basis. Being willing to grow and learning to trust my source means I can surrender and accept the change that makes connection with my family, friends, mentors, heroes, and greater community possible. Without connection my life is an empty journey through a meaningless vacuum. And I know for certain I am here on the planet for much more. You are too. ❤

Holding Out for a Hero

Holding Out for a Hero…

S_A-hero-is-someone-who-has-given-his-or-her-life-to-something-bigger-than-oneself.For the first time in almost 20 years, I am single, and although I’d ideally love to be in a committed romantic relationship someday, I am truly grateful. You know why? It’s a new paradigm. I have learned, through harrowing experiences the last few very intense years of my life to be grateful for EVERYTHING. Cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment? Grateful. Flat broke? Grateful. Recovery? Grateful. Divorce? Grateful. Homeless? Grateful. Am I a crazy woman? No. I am a woman with a lot of faith, and finally and for the first time in my life, my faith comes from personal experience, not from a mentor, teacher, preacher, pastor, bible, book or billboard. It comes from getting down on my knees in inexorable pain and surrendering to a power greater than myself, the daily practice of step by step healing that has carried me through the most difficult period of my life, and from an amazing support group of people who love me for exactly who I am in this moment, not for anyone they want me to be or change into.

How can I be grateful for something seemingly bad, like having no money? Or getting cancer? The simple fact is this. These situations are opportunities to rely on the power of infinite love in the universe. Some people choose to call it God, the divine, Source, the Infinite…but no matter what we call it, we can all agree it is a pure energy of light and love that surrounds us when we can’t stand and lifts us up. It is this divine presence we must call upon in our worst moments and darkest hours. And then, somehow, if we are able to ask for help, and let go of our expectations of how things should and shouldn’t be, let go of how things are “supposed” to be, this amazing power comes in and heals us, changes us and transforms us. That is my experience, and I am not alone. Any person who truly wants this life of happiness, joy and freedom can have it if they are willing to surrender.

As a result of this recovery, healing and gratitude, a shift has begun, deep down in my bones. My self-deprecating sense of unworthiness has fallen away, shard by painful shard, and the scales over my eyes which previously blinded me from my own lovability have fallen away. For the first time in my life, I can honestly look in the mirror and say that I love myself. It isn’t a bullshit affirmation. I am not faking it until I make it. It’s raw and vulnerable and real and almost feels as if I am outside myself looking in. It comes on the heels of over 2 solid years of the most intense spiritual and personal work I have ever done. It comes as I finish 19 months of a battle with breast cancer. It comes as I have said finally without reservation, “to thine own self be true,” and refused to stand one second longer in inauthenticity. The road to my change is littered with the bodies of those who could not choose to follow me, but here I stand, naked in my truth, gulping the fresh air, knowing I am loved beyond measure by the spirit of the universe and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I am connected to you, though love, through pain, though humanness and through our journey together on this beautiful planet.

same essenceHaving said all of this, and knowing in the depth of my heart it is the truth, I also know today that I can hold out for a hero to share this all with. I’m not searching to fill a void in my soul that no human can fill. I am not looking for a soulmate, or the perfect match on my vision board to complete me Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise style. You don’t have to either. Let’s join, and hold out for a hero together.

We don’t need a disney hero, or a knight in shining armor to rescue us or to save us. We crave a true hero. A hero dedicated to something bigger than just themselves. Someone who is real and raw and vulnerable and allows their partner inside and underneath all the beautiful to the ravaged and damaged. This person isn’t afraid to be real because they don’t base their self worth on any approval or disapproval. They don’t need romantic connection or human love to be whole. They know who they are and where they are going, and they know it in the darkest depths of their imperfect human soul. When they struggle they ask for help and search deep inside for the answer, without blaming their environment, their loved ones or their circumstances. When things become disjunct, this hero can look you directly in the eye and has the courage to tell you exactly what you need to hear for growth and change, then quietly listens as your voice speaks in turn. The two of you link arms, lock down and hold on to this roller coaster called life not because you don’t want to die alone, but because it’s much more exciting to share life’s ups and downs together.

You-are-beautifulFor the first time in your life, choose to know that you are worth all that. Knowing this places you in a state of grace and acceptance. There is no loud click of the biological clock, no white picket fence you need to install and no Caribbean cruise awaiting your decision. It’s the peace and comfort of infinite love and the space to be authentic which we revel in. And whether or not some beautiful person shows up to join with us on this path today, tomorrow or never, we are joyously content holding out for a hero. The paradox is this: You needn’t even hold out; the the true hero is YOU.

Feeling Loved during Pain

pain gibran

We all need love. Perhaps the times we are in pain, we need it the most. The nature of the human condition is such that we have a divine desire to give share and accept love. But sometimes, the circumstances of our life overshadow that. I have experienced a way out…

Before you complain about Meditation, let’s talk nitty gritty. Or TMZ. Seriously though, meditation has been embraced by enough celebrities! So, what more reason do you need? I mean, how weird could it be if Katy Perry, Sting, Hugh Jackman and Ellen DeGeneres all do it? 😉  Most 12 step recovery programs include meditation in their steps and daily practice of a spiritual program. I knew last year I needed to meditate. I tried to learn to meditate. I tried to quiet the endless spinning locomotive of tangled thoughts in my mind, to clear some space and listen. But I was still in resistance. I still didn’t really want to yet. What was blocking me? It’s not like I was trying to achieve nirvana or everlasting peace. I was just trying to sit quietly for a few minutes.

Perhaps NOTHING was blocking me. Maybe it wasn’t yet the right timing. Have you ever tried to force something before it was time? Honestly, that is the story of my young adult life. It’s exhausting trying to over manage and make things fit when you aren’t in the FLOW of the universe. But thank the beautiful heavens, the universe is patient. If something isn’t fitting, we can relax, breathe in and let our heart expand. We can get quiet and let the presence of the divine lead. It is truly amazing how patient the universe is to wait for the timing that would best enable our comfort and joy. It takes a lot of practice to trust that timing, but if we LET GO and ALLOW our lives to happen, they become so much richer and fuller.

My timing came at an “I Can Do It” conference, completely by surprise. I thought I was there to hear world-class speakers tell their story. The universe had decided my tree was ripe and the fruit of meditation needed to be plucked, and bitten into, until the juices ran down. I finally meditated successfully for the first time. Coached by Wayne Dyer, Panache Desai and Davidji, the stars aligned for my sun from within to finally begin to shine again.

Perhaps the most shocking gift of meditation is the paradox that follows. When I get quiet and take time to listen to ME, I become more deeply connected to YOU. We are of the same light, the brilliant light that connects us, that beautiful energy that holds you so that you know you are not alone.

For me, if I’m honest, God is not a bearded Jesus or a noble man sitting in the heavens on his white throne. Although many Christians take refuge and gain great spiritual help from the traditional teachings of the Bible, my path has proved different. The cross and the commands do not comfort me, but rather have been a source of deep shame I have had the courage to work through.

But this process of meditation is different. It connects me with a higher power that isn’t an idea, it’s an EXPERIENCE. It connects me at the soul level, at the heart level and through my entire body. It gives me a simultaneous peace and joy that I have never felt until now.

My struggles with relationships, work, fighting cancer, self identity, spirituality and the constant hope and search for a life path have all had the darkest of days. But from the other side of the tunnel, I am here to report that these excruciating moments in my life have paved the way for the road to beauty.

deepest pain

Panache Desai calls it, “stripping the emotional density.” It’s painful to let go and to change. But this change and acceptance allows us to truly BE who we are called to be.

The only way I know to LIVE through these intense moments is to go within. To sob, to hold the space, to be in the moment, to be all that I am and know that I am not what I am feeling, creates a tiny crevice of light. Into this crevice seeps in the beautiful energy of the divine when I relax and surrender. I meditate; I heal; I breathe I surrender. I close my eyes and breathe deeply into a vibrational shift. I experience the vast nature that connects us all, and even in my pain I feel loved. May you find this sacred space in your own way and time, and experience the love that connects us all. Namaste.