Life By Your Design.

Experiencing life from the soul’s point of view is what drives and sustains me. I’ve made it my mission to revere soul through the enormous gift of the senses. They offer nourishment and sanctuary to my body, yet also deliver the wonder needed to be continually engaged by life.

My own journey has taught me that enlightenment is not a destination – it’s a philosophy of living. It means cultivating a fully considered and continually evolving life, then luxuriating in its everyday resolutions … with passion.

Honoring the wisdom of my senses has required an unwavering faith in their ability to orchestrate my decisions. My soul yearned to be seduced by an honest connection to the Divine. I call that grace. When I surrendered to being impassioned and replete with soul, grace saturated my life.

I strive to live there every day.

We’re joined to each other by our collective craving for beauty, serenity, and meaning. My senses are my refuge, my way into those cravings. They’re a tangible connection to a union with my self, my family, and my surroundings.

I’ve always been a mind-body-soul seeker, but my refuge wasn’t always assured. In my early 20s, I was usually mired in a stack of self-help books that either explained how to chase my toddlers while smiling or how to lock the door and have a bath to engender balance. I was continually searching outside myself for answers. I was an overwhelmed, exhausted, single mother so deeply entrenched in caring for others that I’d forgotten to nourish the innately essential me. I’d fallen away from the wisdom of my senses.

So I began to revisit my physical self through my love of movement. I realized it was the one thing I instinctively trusted for safe exploration of my soul. My senses awakened in soul. I discovered that the human body demands refuge within itself for authentic exploration. Physical connection to the outside world is the soul’s yearning to reengage the senses. Doing this became the driving force behind my sojourn back to me. That revelation changed the direction of my life.

I pledged my faith in the wisdom of my senses to unearth my passionate human soul … and I’ve never looked back.

What’s meaningful to me is cultivating a deeply authentic and passionate life of sensual harmony.

 

View my original interview with LifeByMe.

 

It’s A New Moon… Dream. Desire. Trust. Go.

The moon is chock full of fabulous energy. Use it.

 

Consider the moon for a moment…tides shift because of it, women menstruate on its cycle, wine tastes differently when harvested with the moon, and even scientists are trying to mine moon energy to use on our dying planet. So, if you’re already open to the idea of manifesting new pleasures and dreams into your life…set your intention and let it grow. The new moon is about renewal, birth, re-birth, dreaming and growth. You don’t need to get all witchy-woo-woo, chant at crystals and wear Birkenstocks, in fact, please don’t. You simply need to surrender your grip on the ever pushing ego. What do you have to lose? Simply suspend disbelief long enough to dedicate a wish/dream/desire to the mysterious unseen forces that for abSOULutely certain exist in this world…and let go.

The dark side of the moon creates a fertile new ground to manifest a new direction in your life. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, easily and without strain, until you have some clarity of mind, then write your intention*. The written word carries more power – it just does. By the way, you have a full reign to write as many moon intentions as you would like. When ink has touched page and you’ve put your pen down, take another deep breathe. Exhale fully. Then release any worry, judgement or expectations around your intentions. Trust that your soul seeks to blossom toward the light and toward your greatest good. So after you’ve planted your new moon seed(s), step out of the way and watch them grow. Dream big. Live long & prosper. (Not a trekkie, big bro is though. Couldn’t help myself.)

* A word to the wise…be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! Be sincere, be succinct.

 

Here are your simple steps. Go.

  1. Close your eyes + allow your REAL wish/dream/desire to bubble up. Not the one(s) you want, but the one(s) your soul needs.
  2. Open eyes, inhale, grab pen, exhale, write. Always write your intention in the present positive.
  3. Finish. Put the pen down. Trust the universe, it’s conspiring in your favor.
  4. Place your paper somewhere private + safe. Step away.
  5. Carry on with your day.
  6. Smile.

 

2012: It’s your year…Get Real

 

HAPPY REAL NEW YEAR           How is 2012 treating you so far? Are you happy yet? Did everything change at the stroke of midnight? Resolutions solidly on the get-up-and-go train? Have you completed + checked-off the items on your 2012 vision board? Awe shucks. Give yourself a break. You always have this NOW moment to create change. Today.       Oh thank goodness for small favours.

I’m thinking that you’re thinking it’s time for you to spread your wings and fly. Right?! But not just fly…Soar. The sing your song loud+clear and glide above the clouds kind of soaring. Right on…I knew we were thinking the same thing! Prosper, create abundance, inspire, spread peace, parent brilliantly, work efficiently, love extravagantly and live with passion. Keep adding to the list, go on and on…*sing your song from the depths of your soul. YES!

How exactly is all of that going to happen? I’ll let you in on my secret. Here’s the real deal…HAPPY is an adjective. You know, those words from your carefree days of Mad-Libs and Tab Cola that describe something. You could have just as easily picked goofy, fast or scratchy to use for your fill-in word. “Happy” is the winning adjective we’ll use today. Cool. But the inherent problem with the fun, flirty + dangerous adjective words is that they’re not actually something, or truthfully anything, on their own. They simply describe + modify. Hmm. They don’t stand on their own. Double hmm. Let me rephrase that for dramatic effect…they’re kinda needy! What the heck? Screech. Not my aim for 2012. Alrighty then, let’s get real.

REAL is something authentic, absolute, physical, honest and undeniable.

I’d be remiss to say that your search for happiness makes you some kind of co-dependent needy fakey nightmare, it doesn’t, it makes you a seeker. I like seekers. The only problem is that seeking happy often intimates the search is somewhere outside of your self. Now we’re getting somewhere. Your happy simply needs a foundation word, and that word my serenely-evocative-soul-seeking friends is called…PLEASURE.

PLEASURE is alluring, enchanted, sensual comfort. It’s pure solace.

It’s Joie de Vivre.  It’s sacred.

I like the sound of that. That’s more me. That’s certainly more me after another year of living purposefully via the spontaneity of my soul and the fortitude of my heart. It’s also more me when I’m authentically in tune with my physical body and strive to honor my senses daily. Let 2012 be the year where every minute detail of every single day becomes the simple yet bombastic poetry of your life. Now doesn’t that sound a little more delicious than happy? C’mon, you’ve gotta be honest…every day cannot be adjective happy anyway no matter how hard you meditate. Would you really want it to be unicorns + butterflies all the time? Yikes. Boring. How would you appreciate and celebrate life’s revealingly soul-filled ups+downs? What happens when the shit comes down and happy is not an option until possibly you wake up the next morning and start all over again after a night of affirmations + rituals to get you there? That’s where pleasure comes in to save the day. Yippee! It’s about living in the shit storm, in the shadows, in the challenges and not only growing from the experience, but encountering pleasure while you’re there. Ah yes, the fertile soil of a soul unfolding. You see, the soul craves mystery, sensuality, challenge + evolution. Nurturing the soul is the sacred art of allowing your abundant imagination to become one with your innate body; it’s a philosophy of living. 2012 will unfold, that’s guaranteed. Just how it unfolds is up to you.

Are you ready + willing to be seduced into a life of everyday sacredness?  Yes!?!  Then boy-howdy do I have a revolutionary idea for you.

Don’t get happy, get Real.

It’s what I call…  The Pleasure Principle

 

 

*A little piece of wisdom to help unfurl your wings:

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer – it sings because it has a song.”   -Ancient Chinese Proverb

 

 

S stands for Sensuality + Solstice.

Let’s stay on the S theme for a wee spell: Splendor,  Solitude, Simplicity, Seduction, Solace, Spirit and for today in the apex of this celestial Season…

Let SOULstice stand for a moment to reflect in the Stillness of Self. This powerfully dark day can be used as a reminder to simply stand still with your soul and breathe into the wisdom that only serenity can offer. Use the absence of light to reflect inward and connect authentically with your inner Divine. The dark has a way of opening our eyes, and after all, the eyes are the windows into the soul. YOU are waiting. Seek.

CULTIVATE YOUR LIGHT FROM WITHIN.   

Each day, until today’s solstice twin in summer, will grow longer with light. So take advantage. Sit with your darkness now. Sit with your woulda-shoulda-couldas. Sit in the refuge that only darkness provides in order to see the light. Seduce your deepest thoughts, feelings, senses to come out of hiding and allow their honesty to warm your soul. When I say seduce…I mean it. Let your senses take over and be impassioned with peace and meaning. And Self. You’ll create room for the profound shift that awaits your Divine spark. promise. It’s a profound simplicity, but you must fully and completely surrender into it.

I’m a big believer in ritual. The soul craves it, family & friends bond around it, and it marks moments on which to reflect as you delve forward into change. So get hot tonight. Seriously. Surround yourself with fire as a symbol of your own light. Peer into it and get lost in its mesmerizing life force. Sit quietly in the stillness. Watch. Listen.

Crackling fire, single candle, lots of candles…just get out the matches (safely please people) and discover your light.

Got it?  Good. Go explore. I’ll see you in the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

A wee bit of “Life By Me.”

 

Enlightenment is Sexy…So Are The Senses. Share.

Unplug and Connect.

Sometimes the soul needs a reminder…just for itself. A soul wake-up call of sorts. Not a reminder for you, that would be a conscious thing and somehow would then get attached to the need to fit into your appointments on iCal or figure out a way to squeeze in over the weekend. Nope. The soul needs a reminder specifically so it can caution you NOT to do all of that nonsense all of the time. Your soul needs to breathe and it needs room to inspire you. We all desire a life teeming with more balance, beauty, sensuality, time to chillax and space to enjoy the people we love, but how do we fit that in when we’re bombarded 24/7 by tweets, pokes, todo lists and bills to pay? Well, we don’t. And that sucks. But we can. And that’s rad. Trust me, I get it. So for today…I give you permission to put worry aside, turn off your electronics…and connect. Start there. Choose to connect to your self or choose to connect to others. Just do it. The good news, either choice will melt seamlessly into the other and that’s a beautiful thing.

My reminder was delivered at 6:43am using my gangly yet adorable 6’3″, 150 lbs., 3000 calories-a-meal consuming teenager as its messenger. It went something like this…

“Yes my sweetheart angel of a child, I actually woke up from my very short yet deep slumber to cook a hot meal for you simply because I love you. I abSOULutely adore you. And yes…of course, selfless motherly love is enough to brighten even the foggiest beach morning while you ignore me. So even though you’re grunting and only half awake, I’ll keep humming my fave wake-me-up Kate Earl song while I rub your back and tell you how great you are. Sure, you love me and you’re tired, and I know full well that later tonight we’ll sit in the spa together and crack-up about the insanity that ensued in our respective days. But even taking all that into consideration, on this particular morning as I stare at the top of your very tall and lovely head I can only think of one thing to say….put your f**king phone down before I scream bloody murder and throw it in the jacuzzi while your eggs find their way into the dog’s bowl! Uhh…oops, sorry, growling mumma hasn’t had her Illy latte yet my sweet love. What I meant to say was…could we please share a slightly more involved than a one-word answer conversation between bites before you head off for your day?”

Anyone out there with me? I mean really, does he know how early I got up in order to make this particular morning happen? Before my Pearl Jam iPhone alarm woke me up, I went to bed exactly 3.7 hours AFTER he did because I had the ever-so plentiful amounts of first week of school and club volleyball paperwork to fill out on top of completing my workday. Ahh…love. Parenting is…love.

But that was today, on the other days I’m blessed and beyond luckier than most of the nightmare stories I read about in the trashy rags proffered when getting my bi-monthly pedicure. Thank bejeezus for that. This gangly youngster, almost 17, is my last child at home. He talks to me about everything, smiles when I hug him, and totally gets it when my final answer is…”because this way cultivates your soul my angel” or “that’s just straight-up sexy” or “let me meditate on that, have some one-on-one time with God, and I’ll get back to you.” Not so bad. I’ve never had a “terrible teen” in my house. Knock wood. But…this one is addicted to his iPhone. Umm…confession time…Apps have changed my life forever, so maybe I have a bit of a co-dependency problem as well. It seems once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. But, technology has its place, and thankfully so does soul. Lucky for that ever-morphing relationship…it goes both ways. So my real point is, teens aren’t the only ones looking down at something small when they’re walking, rather then gazing in amazement at the stunning world we inhabit daily. Soul thrives and blossoms from a deep sense of connection to the outside world. It craves beauty, sound, touch, laughter and sensuality. The soul yearns to be enraptured by the senses and looks for moments to deeply gaze into something it recognizes as love. That is inspiration at its most authentic. Give it a try as you head into your weekend. Create time to allow your soul to be cultivated within the obstacles and confines of our techno lives. You can have both. I promise.

So here’s your homework: Do yourself, and those around you, a favor…put the smart phone down for just a couple of minutes. But do it AFTER you watch this video link below. Ha! Funny, but not kidding.

Connect. Give. Love. Share. Be. Enjoy your week’s end, together.

 Thai Commercial – Disconnect to Connect

Beauty, Fear + Teaching …From the Soul’s POV.

Think back to January of 2007. Does anything you were doing stick out in your head? Did you stop to smell a flower, take a whiff of fresh-baked bread, laugh with a toddler, listen to music in the metro or in the park? Were you teaching or were you learning? And furthermore are you asking yourself, “Why the heck is she asking me about 2007?” Quite simply…awe and envy. One of the beauties of technology is that as quickly as I can one-finger peck my keyboard, I can access anything I have saved to my hard drive for the last decade. The awe and envy is from a single incident of non-accidental random music.

Random Tangent: Thank goodness the memory capacity for technology keeps growing at rocket pace, or someday I may have to figure out how to delete doubles, organize “stuff” into folders or God forbid purge things I’m not even sure how to find, but for now all is safely tera-bitten and floating somewhere in the clouds. Or is that just, cloud?

I’ve read a few different articles and opinions on the urban yet oh-so-true legend of Joshua Bell playing an unrealistically intricate piece of music in a Metro station in DC. Oh yeah, by the way, his instrument…a $3.5 million dollar Strad which had been hand carved to perfection with love, patience and a humongous dose of soul centuries earlier. (How’s that for artisan dignity we just don’t see any more?!) I’ve watched the video of this event umpteen times, and each time I think to myself…how in the hell did more people not notice this dude? Then I think…would I have been living truthfully in my body enough to be pulled into his sublime world of art and beauty OR would I have been too fill-in-the-blank to notice? I’m filled with envy not only at the chance to have witnessed Bell’s musical genius in rapturous pleasure with Chaconne, but also to have had the chance to put my own soul-directed life principles to the test. Practice what I preach, know what I mean? Hmm…I wonder.

Whether if it’s for my movement classes or for a workshop on cultivating a sensually soul-directed life, there are obvious umpteen lessons I could riff on from this Metro experiment and the debates therein. But for today, the below excerpt describing a thought by Bell that morning hit home for me as a gorgeously honest question for any artist, healer, teacher. It demands a look into why we are often more able to give fully and authentically when we charge for it. Stay with me. Here goes:

“When you play for ticket-holders,” Bell explains, “you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I’m already accepted. Here, there was this thought:  What if they don’t like me? What if they resent my presence . . .”  

Wow. And that coming from a true master, known and respected world-wide, who literally plays for kings and heads of state, and whose name is often breathed in the same sentence as ‘genius’. Good stuff, that gives a little dose of healthy perspective for the rest of us. And here’s where I went with it. I know for me, guiding a free first class or introductory series is always more nerve-wracking than the first day of a paid-in-advance series. It’s exactly what he said, but different. I build it up as this is my one shot to transform someone. My one shot to express why I’m so deeply passionate about my work. And at Bell’s $1,000 per minute rate we obviously differ on this one, it feels like my one shot to not completely blow it because they may never come back and then how do I pay my bills? Anyone out there ever have any of those ridiculously unnecessary fears?

Random Tangent No. 2: I was told long ago by someone wise enough to know better than to live in the ugly place, that FEAR meant: False Expectations Appearing Real. Love that. Use it.  

The reality is, when I teach I am simply sharing my truth with someone searching for theirs, and we may or may not be a match. Out of my control. It’s that simple. And at the end of the day, my honest truth just wants everyone on a path of transformation of some kind. So what I can control is being OKAY with charging for my time and wisdom, knowing that I’m earning what I’m worth, and simultaneously I’m encouraging students to step up and invest in themselves as well. You did. I did. Joshua did. Time, money, heart and many soul excavating hours of cathartic introspection later, my passion became my calling. That’s worth something. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching for free when it’s appropriate, that’s just good karma. And I still know that at the beginning of each and every first class (whether free or not) my heart will race, my cheeks will flush and I’ll need to breathe deeply into the huge-ness of the moment, because I realize I am in the position to shed light into someone’s darkness. That’s a humble miracle, and the rational fear is that it should never be taken lightly. Healthy jitters are the soul’s way of saying ‘stay present’. As we continually work to become more clear, we continually realize that it’s work. And we’re worth it. So for today, know that beauty speaks its own language when we are being of service through our work. Know that healthy fear reminds us to seize the brilliance of every moment. And know it’s more than okay to let your bills get paid as long as your soul is leading the way. Ubuntu.

If you have a wee bit of time and love a philosophical puzzle as much as I do…read further, dive into your soul and explore this article link. It’s a relevantly beautiful discussion about this Metro incident and thoughts on culture, beauty & the modern world. Maybe put on some Bach first, pour a cup of tea, and inspire a deep breath. Enjoy.

Not-so Random Tangent No. 3: I love this quote, it’s so very Sense[u]al Soul Whispering:  Interview magazine once said Joshua Bell’s playing “does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live.”

See for yourself…here’s the video of that January 2007 morning. Like I said…total envy.  Stop and Hear The Music.

Cultivating Soul With A Handwritten Note.

Yes, I know. E-cards are so dang easy, but c’mon people…soooo not sexy. Close your eyes and remember back to the day when you walked, ran, sprinted to your mailbox hoping to find a letter addressed to you. Those were the days. Someone took the time to write you a note, lick a stamp, and drop it in a box – for no other reason than to bring you joy. That’s just plain and simple love, and who doesn’t want that? Don’t get me wrong, I think technology is a fabulous blessing of efficiency, but that being said, it also sucks the sensual pleasure right out of soul. So why not get back in the soul groove and give it a try. Send some stamped joy to someone. I would bet a bottle of my favorite rose-water that you derive just as much pleasure as the person on the receiving end. It’s a win-win people…so get bold…send a handwritten note. Smile.

Dirt Nerd Alert…I even go to the Post Office and choose a stamp that best suits the person it’s going to. Try it. Geek fun. Here’s a bonus…you’ll even get to know your neighborhood postal workers. Cultivating community IS cultivating soul. Now that’s a good time!

Aren’t convinced? Need more reasons? 

  • Revive the art of the hand-written note. Be first to be retro hip.
  • E-cards kinda suck.
  • Support an entrepreneurial woman makin’ it in the world.
  • A box of cards is a gift that just might find its way stamped and back in your mailbox someday.
  • Cultivate authenticity and feel how liberating it is to be genuine.
  • Let your fingers hold a pen again…it just feels good.
  • Send love. Make someone laugh. Spread peace.

Click here for some sassy, irreverent, sleek & sexy choices. I dig these cards big time!