Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Say the Thing

Thursday May 12, 2022 was the last time I saw my mother alive. It had been a rough week for us. Mum was struggling very hard with the fact that she had died briefly in the hospital. She couldn’t understand why there was nothing and no one there waiting for her in the afterlife. I think she felt terrified and completely abandoned. She kept asking me all sorts of hard questions for which I had no answers. She also kept asking me about the phone call from the hospital telling me, “Your mother had a hard night last night.” Hard indeed! The proof was on her chest which was the most horrifying mix of black and blue from where the nurse basically stood on her while performing CPR. What Mum didn’t realize was that every time she brought that up, my own trauma around losing her was reignited. So we were both at each other that week, traumatized, feeling alone, reaching for something we couldn’t find, and aggravating the crap out of each other in the meanwhile.

But that Thursday was soft, or at least that’s how I need to remember it. Mum finally made it back to her beloved Thursday morning Yoga class. She was standing in the upstairs hallway after class (I had the privilege of teaching beautiful souls out of my mother’s house.) wearing a blue hoodie, jeans, and her funky opalescent blue Birkenstocks. I stopped as I was coming up the basement stairs and caught sight of her in the doorway. In that moment, she looked so good. She looked calm and at peace. She looked stylish. And I said, enthusiastically, “Don’t you look sporty?!!!” She sputtered and chuckled and replied, “I’ve been called a lot of things but I don’t think ‘sporty’ has ever been one of them. But thank you.” That may have been the only time my mother ever accepted a compliment from me. It was awesome. And then we parted ways, me continuing to tidy up before I left her place to come home to mine, Mum to contemplate what to have for lunch.

When it was time for me to leave, Mum saw me to the door, as she always did. She walked carefully sideways down the stairs and crowded me in the front foyer. I grilled her about how she was feeling. “Are you sure you’re feeling okay? You’re not having any weird symptoms? You’re sure you’re feeling okay about being on your own? Because I can stay. You’re not lying to me, are you?” She assured me she felt perfectly fine, offering me her wrist so I could feel her strong and steady pulse. No more arrhythmia. It felt reassuring. As she leaned in to give me my kisses on the cheeks, I could feel her whiskers poking me. Then came the warning, “Watch out for the idiots on the road!” I told her I would, I promised I would try not to be one of them myself, and I walked out the door.

My family never said, “I love you.” We knew we loved each other, we would write it in cards, but we would never say it out loud. Such was the family dynamic. But when my mother left the hospital, I made a point of saying, “I love you,” whenever I left her.

Except that day. Except for Thursday May 12, 2022.

I could feel my mother’s presence at the door behind me. I could feel the words “I love you” burning in my throat. I could hear a strong inner voice saying, “Tell her you love her!” I even felt a desperate urge to turn around to rush back to the door and blurt the words, but I didn’t. I choked. I let a long, weird history get in the way.

I broke my own heart that day. I think I even cried a bit in the car on the way home. Why, I asked myself. Why did I become paralyzed? The truth is, I don’t know. If I had known, though, that I would never see my mother alive again, if I had known that the next time I walked through the door to that house I would find her dead, I would have thrown down my bags and run back to her full tilt, awkwardness be damned. I would have held on for dear life. I’m not sure I would have let go. I would have memorized her smell, the sound of her voice, even the pores on her skin.

And I absolutely would have said I LOVE YOU!!!!

So I’m here today to say this: SAY THE THING! Not the crappy things. Lord knows we say and hear too much of that. Say the soft things. Say the things that scare you to say. Say the things that make you feel vulnerable. Say:

  • You are my everything.
  • I’m scared of being here without you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I love you.
  • (Fill in the blank with your own heartsong.)

Just follow the whisper of your pure heart and say the thing.

I love you,


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Have you ever noticed which leg/foot you tend to use when you walk up the stairs or over a curb? Do you generally put the same arm in first when putting on a shirt? What happens when you brush your teeth? Have you noticed? I’ll bet most of you start with the same side of the mouth each and every time. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, of course. In fact, it makes good sense. When we establish these patterns, the brain doesn’t have to work as hard to get things done; it’s efficient. But there are some drawbacks. For instance, it allows us to operate on auto-pilot so that you’re not really aware of what you’re doing or where you’re going. How often have you brushed your teeth and been thinking about something else entirely? It can leave you wondering whether you’ve brushed your teeth at all!

Leading with the same arm or leg can also create a muscle imbalance between the sides of the body. I remember looking at a sneaky photo my friend took of me during my morning practice. I was stunned to see how one calf muscle was significantly larger than the other. These imbalances, over time, can create uneven wear patterns in the joints. And this cycle tends to perpetuate itself.

Try this: Change it up. It’s that simple. If, in the morning, you brush your teeth starting on the bottom left side, begin with the top right the next time you brush. If you find yourself starting with the right foot as you go up the stairs, change sides from time to time. And find out for yourself how interesting it can be to put the less familiar arm in your shirt first the next time you get dressed. The bonus? It can help smooth out any systemic imbalances AND it works to keep you more aware and conscious of what you’re doing.

If you give it a whirl, I’d love to know how it goes for you.

All the very best,


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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As we move closer to the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about letting go, emptying out, and making space for new stuff to grow.

Phrase Number 1

Last night, one of my besties sent me an email. She had pulled a card for me and wanted to send me the reading. The card itself centered around the idea of leadership, and the write-up contained one particular phrase the got my back up – “Don’t play small.” I’ve heard that phrase so many times, and it’s even been directed at me, but, really, what the hell does it even mean?

I know how it often gets interpreted. It is often used to tell people that they aren’t doing enough, they aren’t reaching enough people, they aren’t using their gifts enough, etc. The core of it is often “not enough”.

But what about this: What if we are exactly enough in this moment? What if we are the exact size we need to be? What if we are reaching the perfect number of people or expressing our gifts perfectly?

What would happen to ourselves and our lives if we could simply accept where we are in our current evolution? Do we berate seeds for being too small? We know the acorn holds all of the potential for the massive oak tree. We know that if we force things to sprout too quickly without providing for all of the necessities in the environment, that the seedling will be spindly and weak and is not likely to survive, never mind thrive. What if we are the seed simply waiting for the right combination of things to occur before we begin to transform and change shape? Can we not be okay with that? Because it’s not really in our control anyway, right? Because it’s not we who cause the seed to sprout. So maybe that applies to us as well. Maybe we can leave it to the larger forces that be and simply enjoy and appreciate who we are and what we have now?

Phrase Number 2

Which leads me to the next phrase that irks me – “They’re so broken.” I actually have to work hard to calm myself when I hear this phrase because it gets me so worked up. “They’re so broken” is usually used to describe someone who is having an extremely difficult time. I get it. But “broken”? Really? That word is so final, so fatalistic, so end-of-the-road. To my ears it sounds like, “They’ll never get out from under it. tsk tsk” But is it true?

What if the human spirit and the human capacity to heal is so much more powerful than we can imagine? What if it’s one of the most powerful forces in the Universe? Try that one on for size. What if the only time we can’t get out from under it is when we exhale for the last time?

Have faith in people. No matter how battered and bruised they may seem, so long as they’re breathing, there is possibility for change. Some people just take longer than others and may need extra support. I want to say, “Dear God, please stop looking at people as permanent victims. Stop taking the possibility for change away from people. If we take away hope, what is left?”

The Ritual

If I could, I would ban these 2 phrases from ever being used again. I know that I can’t control what others do, but I can keep a lookout for these phrases as they creep up to my lips, because they do. One thing I might do to reinforce ending the use of phrases I find debilitating or hurtful is write them down on paper and ritualistically burn them. Just burn them to cinders and watch them transform into something else altogether.

Words to ashes = space for something new

This is an easy and simple ritual to do for anything we humbly wish to transform and/or release – mindsets, relationship patterns, obstructive emotions, memories, habits, use of language, etc.

How About You?

If you could release anything right now, what would it be? Can you write it down and then burn it, setting it and yourself free? Are you willing to try?

Here’s to healthy clearing and lots of empty space for the new stuff to grow.

Lots of love and best wishes for you and your loved ones in the new year and always.


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