30 Day Challenge

I have been thinking a lot about habits lately.  In order to have higher level thinking our brains need to go on auto pilot at times, imagine if you had to really think about which leg you were going to put in your pants first, every action of tying your shoe, how you put your key into your car?  We would be mentally exhausted before we even leave our driveway!  Habits are helpful.  Unfortunately we can develop other habits that aren’t so helpful such as checking your phone at meals, worrying about what could go wrong, cracking your knuckles, pouring that drink at the end of a long day.  You can see how these habits could impact your health, your relationships, and your sense of self. 


Creating a new habit involves focusing on 3 things, cue-behavior-reward.  Such as when I pull in my driveway (cue) I will sit for five minutes (behavior) and then I will feel more grounded to greet my family (reward).  The habit experts agree that linking a desired habit with a regular cue is the most effective way to integrate a new habit.  The other key is to give yourself a challenge.  You probably have heard a lot about 30 day challenges recently, that is catching on for a reason, sometimes it sticks.  My challenge for you is to choose a cue that you can pair with meditation and challenge yourself to do it for 30 days.  The mediation can be as little as one minute (yes, you can do this!!).  Find a time of day that works best for you, and give it a try.  Let me know how it is going.


Here’s to a mindful 2019!


With Gratitude,


Life is Messy


Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful- Insight Timer

I use the insight timer app to meditate and really enjoy the quotes they post on Instagram.  I thought this one was perfect for a chilly mid-December post.  I hear over and over from friends, family, my students, my colleagues about the pressures to make it all come together, to have a memorable holiday or vacation, for it to be “perfect”.  We all get the joke right?  There is no “perfect”!  It’s just we humans doing the best we can with the skills we have.  So why do we pressure ourselves so much?  Are we all so impressionable that we are influenced by the holiday movies (that always have a happy ending), the shows, and the songs?  I say yes, yes, and yes! The key is knowing that “perfect” is not real.  Real is messy and loud, real is falling and getting up, real is making mistakes and saying sorry.   


Take some moments over the next week to reflect on your expectations of the holidays.  Are they realistic or are you reaching for the impossible?  Check in with your body to see where you hold expectation, anticipation, disappointment, and of course, joy.  Once you know where and how you feel it, you will be much more in tune with where you are at emotionally, so you can enter the holidays with clarity. 


Have a great holiday season! 


With Gratitude,




“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~ Deepak Chopra

This quote certainly caught my eye this week.  So many people I talk to are in the thick of it, wrapping up Hanukkah celebrations or preparing for Christmas, it all goes the same,  “I’m exhausted”.  “I can’t do it all”, “I need a break”.  I too went too many years falling into the trap of ‘getting through’ the holidays, rather than ‘experiencing’ the holidays.  Many years ago, I made the decision to start small, bring awareness to my senses.  I started looking around at the beautiful lights, breathing in the chilly outside air, sending love to my fellow shoppers who are just trying to show their appreciation for their loved ones with the perfect gift.  Of course, taking in the smells of baking or a well-cooked meal and, my personal favorite, closing my eyes and listening to the laughter and love of my family and friends being together. 

 I encourage you to find your inner stillness this holiday season though experiencing all your senses.  Greet each opportunity with an open heart and gratitude.  You will never experience this moment again, it deserves to be cherished.


With gratitude,




My weekend was much like many, filled with chores and errands, demands and obligations.  On Saturday my husband and I cleaned up our yard (again!) and did some major organizing as well as other chores.  At the end of the day my mind was swirling and my body was aching.  After a dinner of take out my sister called me, clearly upset.  She had just heard the news that one of her second grade students had died in a tragic accident.  It is amazing how our brains can so quickly shift from the worries of the day to day to the sense that life is so precious.  I worked to calm my sister by asking her to feel her feet on the floor, to feel her hand holding the phone.  She was completely grief stricken and overwhelmed.  I also gave my sister permission to grieve, to set aside her worries about how she will manage in school on Monday, seeing that empty desk and supporting her students. 


A mindfulness technique that came to mind when speaking with my sister was the overwhelm formula.  It involves getting grounded in your environment and giving yourself a break from the thoughts.  The practice is identifying three things you can see, three things you can hear, and three things you can touch and feel.  Go slow, and rather than just stating objects notice the experience rather than the idea, use describing words.  For example, if you see a flower, note that you see something yellow and green, if you hear a truck, note that you hear a rumbling sound.  Repeat the exercise until you feel more settled, you can do this silently or out loud. 

Wishing you a settled heart and strength in difficulty.

With gratitude,



This time of year is focused on giving, doing, receiving, giving some more, and doing even more!  Our calendars fill quickly and the to-do list can be uncomfortably long.  Bringing awareness into our everyday lives can bring a sense of calm and steady to the lengthy demands.  Most of us will have an opportunity to stand in line for longer than we would like in the coming weeks, what if you were to gently close your eyes, feel your feet on the floor, listen to the layers of sounds around you?  Perhaps connecting with someone and sharing a smile, or that knowing look (yes, this stinks!).  If we allow awareness to infiltrate the mundane, it naturally brings a sense of wonder and peace.  Give yourself the gift of mindful attunement this holiday season. 


With Gratitude,



Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reflect on our lives and muster a sense of gratitude. I admit I do love this tradition but it does not always come easy, especially when faced with the to do list, negotiating the different personalities that we will be sharing the holiday with and digesting the mounds of food that we don’t typically eat.

So, I have learned to start with gaining a sense of what gratitude feels like. Often we mindlessly say thank you to someone for daily gestures like opening a door, delivering an item, or giving a compliment. How often do we pause to notice where we feel gratitude in our body, what thoughts accompany a thank you, as well as what emotion is evoked? I challenge you to notice at least one time you say thank you to someone and pause to experience the moment.

In addition, the holidays are times that practicing self-care can be crucial for maintaining a healthy balance. A co- worker shared the following exercise with me and I loved it:

If you are the person who has the pleasure of peeling the endless pile of potatoes, or other such tasks, while you are standing at the counter, breathe in these affirmations, or make up your own positive self speak that will help get you through.

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying strong

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying balanced

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying happy

Breathe in saying I am........Breathe out saying peaceful

With Gratitude (really!)


Self- Compassion

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.” – Pema Chödrön


I love this quote since it speaks so clearly to love and acceptance.  When practicing meditation we gain a deeper understanding of who we are, what is working in our lives and what is not, and how to have compassion for ourselves.  As you move through your week notice your beauty, your worth, and be kind to yourself.


Gratefully yours,



I had an opportunity to have dinner with a few friends over the weekend and was taken aback by the sense of connection and love in the room. When you don't look for it, it can be overlooked. A gentle smile, a playful nudge, inside jokes, they all convey a sense of belonging, trust, and connection.  As you go through your week, keep a watchful eye out for the genuine connections in your life. Feel free to share how you connect with others.

I am also including this article about the power of group mediation.  I run mindfulness meditation twice a week in Plymouth. Please reach out to learn more or find me on Meetup.

Gratefully yours,




Getting Started

As I further develop my vision of sharing my passion for connecting my community in a compassionate and meaningful manner I decided to start a blog!  I envision this blog as having some insights that I have gained along my journey, as well as resources for everyday mindfulness integration. 

As I bring more awareness to my life I am finding that gifts flow into my life with more ease, and when they do I am profoundly grateful.  Like everyone I can become overwhelmed and consumed with the daily grind, the financial pressures, balancing family, friends, and obligations, maintaining relationships and being present in my interactions with those around me.  And, usually, last on the list is me!  

I have worked over the past few years to schedule in those activities that nurture my soul.  I meditate daily, but also exercise at least five times a week (sometimes that is to give my dog a much-needed walk), I listen to great music, laugh and share with friends, and try to connect with my big crazy family as much as possible (did I tell you I am one of eight siblings??).  

I challenge you to pick one thing that nurtures your soul and give it the attention it deserves for two weeks.