Is it really that you’re tired? Or are you maybe dehydrated?

“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine”  Slovakian Proverb

Hydration vs. Just Drinking More Water

Hydration happens at a cellular level – in every cell of your body.  Thirst basically happens in your mouth/head.  The bottom line is if you feel thirsty you are likely already significantly dehydrated (unless you have a condition, i.e. diabetes – that thirst is something different).

Full body hydration occurs when a few things happen simultaneously – movement, intake of water, consumption of juicy fruits and veggies and believe it or not, proper rest (which can be dehydrating but not if you stay well hydrated throughout the day).

MOVE – Being still (aka NOT moving) causes our systems to become sticky, sort of like all of our muscles, organs, blood vessels, and other parts become haphazardly velcroed together.  Movement – of almost any kind – can slick up our insides as though the hooks and loops (Velcro) have all suddenly been shaved off.  We feel more space in our bodies, more freedom, more ease.

       Action:  Set a timer by your work station (or relax station aka tv, surfing, napping) for every 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes (avoid sitting for more than 60 minutes – it’s apparently as bad a smoking!).  Every time your alarm goes off take a few sips of water AND get up and move your arms, legs, hips, and spine around for 2 – 5 minutes at least – walk, stretch, wiggle, dancebreak, Tai Chi, whatever, just sip some water (not chug) and move!

Drink water – I talked about sips above – sipping water gives your body an opportunity to actually assimilate the nutrients of water across cell walls.  Just like when you eat too much fat at once, the excess goes directly to fat stores, when you drink too much water at once, the excess makes a beeline to and through the kidneys (which is a ton of work) and gets stored in the bladder ready for elimination.  All that water you just drank doesn’t make its way to the cells (to help “slickify” the tissues – see “Being still” above.)  The difference is sips are less demanding on the kidneys and bladder and give water the chance to get broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, ready for transfer/exchange across cell walls rather than simply passed through the organs of elimination.

       Action:  fill a one liter container with pure water, sip it throughout the day and when you take your movement breaks (remember above?)  Bonus:  add a straw to your container and chances are you’ll sip more.  Double Bonus:  refill when empty 🙂

Eat juicy fruits and veggies – When I worked in the desert, cucumbers were served at every meal and were usually available any time the DFac (dining facility) was open.  You can drink water all day long in a desert environment (or your home/work/play environment), but if you add juicy fruits and veggies you’ll get the benefit of cellular hydration – similar to the sipping of water – plus you’ll get a ton of nutrients as well.  In fact if you ate the recommended servings of fruits and veggies from the juicier ones, you would likely be able to drink much less water and remain healthfully hydrated.

       Action:  eat a plentiful mix of these fruits and veggies daily – there is so much water and so few calories that you probably can’t over eat them.  Fair warning, when you up your consumption of any fruits and veggies your constitution usually becomes more active (i.e. you poop more often).  Give these a try: cucumbers, melon [watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.], lettuces [especially iceberg – I know!  It gets a bad rap…], zucchini, summer squashes, pears, plums (ripe!), peaches (ripe!), mango (ripe!), pineapple, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes (if you can take the sour & acid).  Ripe is important in that unripe fruit isn’t usually as juicy (hydrating).  What are some of your favorites not listed here?

Quality sleep – The vast majority of our healing, repair, regeneration actually occurs while we are sleeping.  So… one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, energy level, HYDRATION, etc., is to sleep well, sleep deeply and sleep as long as your body needs to.

Action:  Create a bedtime ritual that discontinues digital exposure early in the evening (before 9 PM or even earlier – watch the sunset then read yourself to sleep for example) and gets you into bed at the same time every night.

Additional Bonus:  Is it really that you’re dehydrated? Maybe you are just oxygen depleted?

Breathe – New theories suggest that the 2 -4 PM slump may not always be a sugar drop but instead a lack of oxygen – especially if you sit most of the day.

Action:  Play with this breathing pattern for 8 cycles (if you feel dizzy or light headed, be sure you are sitting down, stop the cycles and breathe your normal pattern).  Exhale completely and calmly then wait (i.e. don’t immediately inhale).  When you’re body tells you, inhale calmly and fully then wait (i.e. don’t immediately exhale).  The “waits” don’t have to be long, one to three seconds, you decide and play with the pattern.  Notice if you feel re-energized.

Occasional grogginess around the 2-4 PM time frame is usually no big deal and can be diminished by these four habits (plus the additional bonus!).

Chronic tiredness, especially even if you’ve had a good night’s sleep, might be well served by a quick check in with your health care provider (to rule out deficiencies or conditions).

Share the energy below (in the comments) other ways you manage your afternoon slumps.

feel free to email or find me on FB (link) for any questions or concerns.

big love and juicy hugs,


Dance, play, heal? Right now? Are you kidding?

how does one dance, play and heal during or in the after effects of a pandemic?

how does one dance play and heal while caregiving one’s parent?

how does once dance play and heal while when someone you love is very near the end of their life?

how does one dance play and heal when contemplating the threat of a world war?

At the moment dancing, playing and healing often feel completely inaccessible to me.

This morning, as I write, I can barely think past brushing my teeth, or getting the dogs fed – much less writing a coherent piece that might (hopefully) end up helpful for myself or others.

What I do know is that “dance” can be anything we choose, including the dance of figuring out how to find our feet during or in the aftermath of a pandemic. Finding our feet might be napping, or diving deeper into work. Finding our feet might be actually dancing, or deep cleaning the refrigerator. Finding our feet might be meditating (in the countless ways available) or immersing ourselves in a great book or bingeworthy series. Only our self knows what finding our feet means to us. Recognize that finding our feet can change moment to moment, day to day, event to event.

What else I do know is that play also gets to be anything we choose. Playing can literally be playing with our child or grandchild, or losing ou self for a moment in woodworking, guitar playing, snowboarding. Our work may actually feel like “playing.” I like to think of play as inviting our mind to let go of the worry, anxiety, or control for a bit and relax into something enjoyable, however brief (and letting go of any guilt).

What I consider healing is noticing when some part of us feels better – even if fleetingly. Catching ourselves smiling accidentally at an old episode of Friends, stretching part of our body and noticing any spaciousness that results, sensing that we took a deep breath.

This shizzle is HARD – it’s so easy to swoop down the spirals of despair and hopelessness and this slide can begin to feel like our norm – our new normal.

Here’s what I do – and I’m not sayin’ it works all the time or will work for everyone. It is, however, harnessing the involuntary part of our biology with a voluntary practice:

Breathe in as deeply as comfortable
Exhale slowly
Notice while you do it

When we breathe, our parasympathetic nervous system (the one that allows us to rest and digest) knows we are safe. Your brain might tell you you’re not safe but your breathing sends a different message to the rest of your body.

Breathe in deeply
Exhale slowly

Repeat a few times (or a few thousand times) as needed.

Breathing isn’t the only answer – but it is a great place to start.

big hugs and deep breaths,

One Morning of Life in the Time of Coronavirus

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou

“Be kind to one another.” Ellen

It’s still early days. We are one week and two days since the initial stay home “suggestion” from the current administration.

I’ve been scared, and I’ve been relieved. I’ve been numb, and I’ve been agitated. I keep deep breathing, both for calmness and to see if I still can. I’m worried about my father who lives with me and my mother who lives alone four hours away by car. They are both 83 this year.

My last trip to the grocery store was calm, the people were calm, I was able to buy what I needed in that moment – and yet I began crying in the parking lot on the way to my car. I’ve since been able to order groceries and my lovely boyfriend has dropped off a few other things.

We have six rolls of toilet paper left – and 24 machine washable cloths if this toilet paper desert continues.

That’s probably enough in the statistics department.

I have so much trust in people. Even me, the eternal fatalist, has faith that we will make it through and probably pretty fast (especially in the grand scheme of humans being on the planet for only a short while anyway).

I’ve been asking, what can I contribute during this time? Mostly I feel like the answer is – not much. But that’s not the reality. The truth is I can contribute, I can use my words for those who enjoy reading to remind us all (because, of course I write to reassure myself) of a few things:

I am ok right this minute (I realize you might not be… see the next thing)

This too will change and there’s a good chance I’ll be better or still ok in the moment

Nothing stays the same

Our response to what’s happening is likely the only thing we have control over.

I’ll be the first to admit… I am not my best self when it comes to my demented father with whom I had been estranged before circumstances brought us to such close quarters three years ago. So when I am sharp to him after the same question the 100th day in a row, I breathe more deeply and find a way to be kind. The blessing of his dementia is that he likely won’t remember the sharpness in an hour.

Give yourself a break, breathe a little deeper if you can, know that however badly life might feel in this moment – there are joys to be witnessed, gratitudes to be felt, kindnesses we can bestow and receive Every. Single. Moment.

So much love and trust in you,

F%*K Willpower!

“My obsessions used to be my protectors, but now they have taken me prisoner.”
Mason Cooley

There is no such thing as will power. You might want to argue that – especially if you’ve been successful at dieting, or quitting smoking, or getting off drugs or alcohol. But the reality is if you’ve done any of these things, yes, you do have to have resolve (which might be a synonym for will power). But it can’t be just a resolve to stop, it has to include a resolve to replace: to eat for nutrition instead of a numb-out or go for a walk instead of hang on the couch, to knit or make instead of smoke, to
go to meetings or call a sponsor instead of drinking or drugging.

Our brains “wire” when they “fire.”  What this means is that our brains change when they get a new stimulus, a new “hit.”  Once the wiring is in place it takes a HUGE amount of energy to rewire, so our brains resist in a way that is separate from our conscious or thinking mind. So when we want to make a change for anything we HAVE to create new wiring, new neural pathways. Our brain can do this – it’s called neuroplasticity (a current-ish buzzword).  And even though our brains have neuroplasticity we are also wired for energy conservation. The energy conservation portion of our brain is wired throughout our DNA from waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in our earliest upright ancestry.  The energy conservation written on our DNA is a major reason why willpower doesn’t work (and also why fat foods taste so yummy to us – lots of calories for very little effort 😉 ).

Rewriting neural pathways takes a ton of energy – think stroke patients, (some) spinal cord injuries or brain traumas. There are miracle recoveries – or small wins – but most of them that involve our nervous system (brain and spinal cord) take many weeks, months, years or decades.

And it is the same, just less traumatic, when you want to change how you consume food, begin a movement program, quit smoking or stop drinking or taking drugs.

At every crossroad it’s a choice. Sometimes it’s a very difficult choice, sometimes we need to choose extra help to get us to a point where we are able to make another choice (for example, my dad needed hospitalization to support his choice to stop drinking).

Planning is really helpful in this regard. Planning lights up our brain and tells it that something new is on the way. As an example meal planning is awesome for nutritional changes, but here’s the deal. You also have to have several plan Bs and Cs about how you are going to handle the inevitable cravings, parties, workroom donuts, and days when you’re hungry and somehow without the food you’d planned. I can’t speak as well to quitting smoking since I never did that and alcohol and caffeine were both pretty easy for me to quit as the consequences of each were way more painful than just letting them both go. But food – sugar especially – well that’s another story 😉

So I beg of you to stop beating yourself up about not having will power – nobody does, really. Some people are just better at planning (which is such a learnable and practice-able skill), and some people are probably in more pain (emotional and mental as well as physical) than you are – which might make them seem more successful, but really they are just more motivated.

Trust me, when you get in enough pain, you will make different choices. Until then, play around with planning and then executing your plan to the best of your ability. Change takes DOING – so when you can, plan – then stop thinking and start doing.

Addendum: Ok – so you’ve make a plan, you’ve executed it, and you’ve blown it. This is a good thing, not a failure. It’s an opportunity to realize that the plan wasn’t exactly right for you. When you get new information you get to make a change. Instead of blaming, shaming or should-ing yourself, take the so-called “failure,” unpack it and make some changes to the next plan. Did you make a plan that worked for someone else (but in reality doesn’t fit you, your family, your life, your likes, your strengths)? There are a billion diet and exercise books on the market for a reason – no one plan works for anyone. You have to find YOUR OWN WAY. Experiment, any action is better than no action. All attempts give you new info. Be kind to yourself, let go of a timeline, trust that when you are really ready to change, you’ll be able to and there won’t be any will power required.

So much love and trust in you,

Combating Self Fraudulation

“What’s talent but the ability to get away with something?” Tennessee Williams

Unless you are a complete narcissist, socio or psychopath, chances are you will (or probably already have) experience(d) some form of – “oh my gosh, they are going to figure out that I can’t do this.” It’s called imposter syndrome. And it’s just your ego/psyche/internalcrazymaker trying to take you down. I don’t know (and neither does science) exactly why this happens – maybe it’s some culture phenomenon (“don’t you get too big for your britches” was what I received growing up). In any case here are a few things to consider when you’re feeling especially fraudulent:

1) Reminisce (in your head) on all the people who have appreciated your work-service-knowledge-skill in whatever it is you’re feeling particularly frauddy about. Better if you can create a “feel good” file (paper or digital) of the thank yous you’ve received over the days, weeks, months, and years you’ve been at your particular fraudulentness.  I recently listened to an interview of Tim Ferriss  who has an “Awesomeness Jar.”  He throws awesome accomplishments into the jar (sort of like fortunes from cookies) and pulls a few when he is feeling less than stellar – can you believe that happens with HIM!?!

ACTION:  TAKE IT IN (key action, allow the accolades into your mind).

2) Call a good friend (notice I said good friend) and share that you’re feeling a tad unsure/insecure in the particular situation.  Let them GUSH about how great you are. Ask them to help you remember SPECIFIC examples.  Note:  some mothers can be great at this as well – think Everybody Loves Raymond.

ACTION:  TAKE IT IN (key action, receive, receive, receive).

3) Review your favorite projects.  Look back over work you are particularly proud of and bask in those yummy feelings.

ACTION:  TAKE IT IN (key action, relive (re-feel) the feelings you had at those accomplishments).

Taking It In: Nothing will work if you are adamant about wallowing. I think it’s super important to feel feelings fully.  What’s less helpful is getting stuck in any of them for too long.  Bonus ACTION:  Give yourself a set amount of time to feel all the stuff around being an imposter:  yell, cry, fidget, worry, etc., and when the time beeps – let it go and get to work.  Each time I do this, I run out of “feels” before I run out of minutes, lol.

Don’t worry, be playful

It’s likely you are having momentary self-consciousness and doubt. Trust you, trust your work, you’ve got this. And when it doesn’t feel like it, follow points 1, 2 & 3.

Now, if in fact you are literally being fraudulent, well then, stop that. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

Share the love (in the comments) of other ways you rise above your self fraudulation.

Email or find me on FB, personal or biz, for any questions or concerns.

big love and imposter-busting hugs, j

Fear of Anticipated Suffering

“It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.” Epictetus

Fear and I have been in relationship for as long as I can remember. A quarter of a century ago I had an experience that unveiled to me just how much Fear had been making the decisions in My life.

This week I had another head to heart epiphany around my old buddy Fear. Unfortunately there aren’t enough words to describe what went down, mainly because it was just a massive head conversation including offshoot thoughts about how I didn’t feel afraid of dying – but I was afraid of being in pain or being permanently impaired.

After MANYMANY twisting turns in that headchat, my head said, as it has so often before, “it’s a mindset, you are ANTICIPATING suffering… suffering that is probably not gonna happen.”  My heart finally got it.

My current BIGGIE Fears include a) one relationship in particular, b) money and c) my canine boys. When I shine the light of mindset on them, though, they are 98% “anticipation of suffering” fears. The K9s are fine, I can cover the bills that are due today, and the relationship isn’t physically hurting me. What IS hurting me is worrying about how I’m going feel or how I’m going to handle either of the K9s dying or getting hurt (neither of which is imminent). What HAS got my guts all topsy turvy is fretting about how I’ll pay next month’s bills (uhhh I’ve covered them for about 30 years). What I AM freaking out about in the relationship is how much I might suffer if I walk away from it.

The thing about the relationship – anticipating the pain of walking away – is that this particular relationship currently feels like it’s causing me quite a bit of real emotional suffering.  Simultaneously, I worry that walking away from this relationship might cause MORE suffering than I already feel.

The big shift this week was What If – What if, just for a moment, I stopped anticipating the pain of walking away from this relationship. What if – What if all this flurry around the possibility of suffering was just that – a possibility. What if – What if any suffering that happens from making a change is LESS than what I anticipate or, even better, LESS than what I’m currently experiencing???? See what I mean – MINDSET. Fear is all mindset. False Evidence Appearing Real.

In the spirit of transparency – I did NOT go right out and:

Set the dogs free in the street (so they could run and be dogs),

Charge up all my credit cards (like I don’t have financial obligations),

End the relationship.

What I did do is

1) begin to notice when I’m making a decision based on my anticipation of suffering,

2) reflect on past decisions, how many were fear based and where I might make different or new choices now, and

3) occasionally contemplate how much more FUN might happen in THIS moment if I stopped worrying about everything and anything that might cause me pain in the future.

It’s a journey.

How’s your journey?

big love and fear free hugs,

Please let me know how I might be of service. My passions include:
plant based nutrition (especially busting the myth of how much protein we really need ;),
TRX (it’s helping me move forward on my American Ninja Warrior dream),
reminding you of your awesomeness (cuz you are, you know),
the undisciplined girl’s guide to successful dog training (you just gotta play with purpose several times every day),
books on CD (my “capped” mebomian glands make it difficult to read paper books these days),
and connecting with optimists and optimist-wannabes.

feel free to email or find me on FB


I am a restaurant junkie


My name is Joy,

and I am addicted to eating out.

Can I please just blame this one on my mom…? Or my dad…? Of course not. Growing up we didn’t eat out that much as a family.  But in my defense, while I was forced to practice piano 15 minutes every day AND dust and vacuum every Saturday for my allowance, I was never forced to participate in the kitchen. I’m not sure I was ever even invited.  If I was invited it was with great speed and teenage angst that I declined.

I imagine that, at the end of her long, on her feet for 8+ hours, OR nursing day, my mother was more than happy to be free of distracting hands, a multitude of annoying questions and invariably occurring messes and spills as she was attempting to create a meal that no one would complain about.

Sometime in my 16th year, my dad took over the cooking (and everything else). It was 1979, four years before Michael Keaton would make Mr. Moming cool, and my dad rallied with homemade (not from a box) brownies after school, fresh baked (not from a machine) bread and cooked breakfasts.

When both my parents worked we ate at McDonald’s maybe once a week – as a treat. As a single income family, we ate out on the occasional birthday but mostly we celebrated with home cooked favorites:  chow mein, lime broiled chicken, lasagna, beef tips, and made from “scratch” Chef Boyardee pizza.

I made some forays into the culinary arts while living at home.  I did pretty well with the lasagna I adored.  Baking came easy to me and I made chocolate chip cookies as often as I had time and we had ingredients.  But if I ever had to feed myself on the fly, it was usually a sandwich or cereal.

In high school I took COE (Cooperative Office Education) instead of Home Ec.

My dad cooked almost all of my meals through my junior year in college, when I finally moved away.

First year away from home I lived on campus and had that fabulous Dining Card. Talk about college fast food heaven! Yep, I gained 25 pounds and never saw a pot or pan the whole year.

Moving off campus was the beginning of my culinary edification: mostly pasta with butter and steamed or boiled broccoli with Parmesan cheese (from that plastic shaker can). If there was extra money, I would eat out. And I was blessed to have a good friend who was a great cook and he invited me over fairly often.

All the men I ever dated could cook, seemed to enjoy it and never made any noise about me cooking for them.  Probably because I had served them all one of my home cooked meals and they realized the problem…

Once I began working full time, nearly every mid day meal was out with colleagues or lunch meetings where food was brought in. Breakfast was cereal and dinner was from the lunch doggie bag, or crap snacks, or often skipped altogether.

When I moved into my current home I made a conscious resolution to learn to cook. I now had a place of my own I could entertain in.  I asked friends who were great cooks if they would come to my house and let me watch and help them create a meal for us. They told me the menu and gave me an ingredients list. I bought the groceries, provided the kitchen and then cleaned up after.  It was great fun, I learned a few things and we split the leftovers.

Still, I didn’t cook.

That was eight years ago.

I still don’t cook.

Cooking isn’t my zone of genius, plus the end result, while edible, isn’t usually very palatable.  I have inadvertently created occasional meals that taste yumtastic to me so I believe there is hope for me yet.

I think there is a journey of healing in store for me if I can begin to honor myself by feeding myself with my own hands, my own service to me.


I’m creating and DOING my own personal restaurant junkie rehab program. For 30 days I plan to eat at least three meals per day, nearly every one of them prepared by me in my kitchen. Ideally they will include something cooked in at least two of the meals each day… not just smoothies and salads with canned beans.  I am willing to make exceptions if other people would like to cook for me <hint hint>. And I’m willing to revive the “please come cook at my house” lessons.

FYI – I expect to fail a few times, especially since I am surrounded by dear ones who LOVE to eat out. However I am unwilling to quit or give up.  Here’s why:  In May of 2014 I had an awesome experience visiting a friend of mine out of state. Part of my desire to visit was based on all these recipes she shared (and actually cooked herself) on Facebook.  I wanted to hang out while she cooked and eat like she ate – vegetarian.  She let me know before I arrived that we would be having lunch with several different friends of hers during the course of my stay. To me, lunch with friends means restaurants. When I got there though, we ate every meal at her house or one of her friend’s homes. For 8 days I ate every single meal from pots and pans I could see and touch, ovens I could peer into and lids I could lift. It was fantastic… beyond nourishing for both my body and my soul. THAT’s what I’m interested in creating.

I could really use your support, especially in the form of veggie friendly, plant strong recipes that are light on oil, creatively yummy on seasonings, uncomplicated, quick and tasty. Hmmm… is that too much to ask? Be sure and post (or link) in the comments so everyone can share the home cookin’ love.  🙂

Also, let me know if you’d like to play along… I’m creating a FB page, Restaurant Junkie Rehab, where I’ll post every day on my progress and you can too (on your own progress or mine, lol).  First update Thursday, Feb 19.

I am giving myself a few days to plan and prepare – especially since the only “real” food I currently have in my house is left over white rice from a local Thai restaurant, two apples, a bag of frozen seasoned potatoes, seven cans of beans and five overripe bananas.

big love and immensely nourishing hugs,

Pleasure vs. Satisfaction

In 1997 I took a movement class who’s credo was the pleasure principle. The deal was if something felt good, keep doing it. If it was painful, make changes for more pleasure.  There was an added invitation to take what you learned in class and apply it to life.

As a long time “aerobics” teacher, I loved the idea of getting fit through pleasure and demolishing the idea of “no pain, no gain.”  I was also curious about this fitness thing I could apply to my life.

Years pass, I study, I choose pleasure – A LOT.

Guess what?   I weigh more than ever, I struggle financially, I’m barely able to organize my day and I’ve become a masterful procrastinator.  Additionally, I’ve been pretty depressed for a while.

Initially I “blamed” all these problems on Post Traumatic Stress from a few months I spent in a war zone – I’ve been deprived, I deserve pleasurable experiences, foods, things.

Next I blamed this condition on doing work I didn’t like and that didn’t bring me pleasure – My job sucks, let me engage in pleasurable mindless movies, TV, internet surfing

My friends perimenopause and menopause took their turns as scapegoat – My body’s going through second puberty, I’ll nap the days away.

Lately I’ve blamed everything on feeling purposeless – I have no reason to get up in the morning, think I’ll have some ice cream.

A few weeks ago, I made a list, got some uncomfortable, sometimes unpleasant shit done. To my surprise and delight I felt  satisfaction. I did this a few days in a row – if it works keep doin’ it – and, in one of my favorite “revelation” locations – the shower, I got it that satisfaction is waaaaaaay better for me than simply pleasure. That actually having some frustration and challenge made the accomplishment even more satisfying. I’ve know this my whole life, but conveniently forgot when I tried on this pleasure thing 17 years ago.

For many there is a real need to make choices for more pleasure.  I’m not denying or judging that.

For me, though, pursuing satisfaction feels like a healthier journey.

I can have a pleasurable bite of chocolate, or I can feel incredibly satisfied about 20 minutes on the elliptical. I can enjoy a favorite movie or I can feel great accomplishment in building, maintaining and regularly updating my own website. I can take pleasure in watching my dogs run and play in the backyard or I can beam in satisfaction that my dogs behave wherever we go from the training we’ve done every day.

For some of you maybe this is all basic life stuff or maybe pleasure and satisfaction are the same.  For me the difference feels revolutionary.  Today – second blog post since February – I feel a boat load of satisfaction.  While pleasure is yummy, I’d choose satisfaction every time.


big love and immensely satisfying hugs,

Please let me know how I might be of service.  My passions include plant based nutrition (especially busting the myth of how much protein we really need ;), MELT (live free from chronic pain without drugs), TRX (it’s helping become my own version of an American Ninja Warrior), reminding you of your awesomeness (you are, you know), the undisciplined girl’s guide to successful dog training (you just gotta play with purpose several times every day), books on CD (my “capped” mebomian glands make it difficult to read paper books these days), and connecting with optimists and optimist-wannabes.

I’d love to hear about your relationships with pleasure & satisfaction in the comments, via email or on FB.


I bought a couple of lottery tickets this week.  I play the lottery for two reasons:

1)  A part of me still wants some sort of prince charming to show up and take care of me (sorry mom).
2)  I believe in giving the Universe all manner of opportunities to stream income my direction :).

I don’t like to play the lottery very often.  I get too wrapped up in the fantasy of winning and how I would spend the dollars and the rest of my life.  Then, inevitably when I don’t win the jackpot, I  crash.

This time, though, as I was buying the tickets, I had an inspired idea, “what if I choose to FEEL as if I’ve already won?”  To be clear, I mean FEEL, not ACT.  I did not go on a buying binge, window shop or internet surfing as part of my FEELING like I won the lottery.  Instead I tapped into HOW I would feel if I won.  My number one, hands down FEELING is security, followed closely behind by relief – whew!  For most of my adult life I’ve equated more money with increased security and I don’t think I’m bad, wrong, irrational or alone in this.  I imagine many people might associate a certain dollar figure with security.

But…  Is that where security comes from?

I’ve read and viewed countless real life stories of people that I’d consider in abject poverty, who see themselves blessed, abundant, rich, and happy.  I, myself, have been near six figures and at less than zero.  No matter how much money I’ve had I’ve experienced  happiness and fear, exhilaration and pain, calm and anxiety.

Even more fascinating:  I might have slightly less money now that I did, say, five years ago.  But I still have waaaaaayyyyyy MORE assets than I did 10, 15, and 20 years ago.  Yet many times I feel waaay more anxiety now than I ever remember feeling back then.  WTFudge?!?

Here’s what I’m learning – I can choose to feel secure no matter what my bank account says.  I can choose to feel happy no matter my circumstances.  I can choose to feel panicked regardless of my net worth.  I can choose to feel sad no matter what is happening.

So… I’m having all these thoughts and practicing FEELING secure, happy, and excited to write my mortgage check:  “Yipee!  I get to pay my mortgage,” rather than “Gall dang!  I have to pay my mortgage.”  And I’m super productive:  handling tasks, doing some previously procrastinated business marketing, spending more time training my dogs, MELTing regularly, excitedly preparing for Nia & Pilates classes and clients (interesting how FEELING secure frees up more of my time and fills me with energy to DO my life  🙂 ).

The morning after the lottery drawing arrives.  Instead of playing my normal waiting game for days and days to delay the deflation of my fantasy, today I happily check.

I’ve WON!   The Universe, in its predictably hilarious way however, has sent me a message:

My quick pick numbers:  10   14   30   38   42  –  01

The winning numbers:        9   15   24   39   41  –  01

I’ve been laughing ever since and FEEL grateful that the Universe has shown me I am closing in on winning it ALL.

I’ve felt so good during this experience that I plan to continue FEELING secure, abundant, philanthropic, happy, and excited to write my mortgage check even though I only won $1.

I’m becoming my own Princess Charming.

Best lesson ever.

big love and lottery sized hugs,

Please let me know how I might be of service.  My passions include plant based nutrition (especially busting the myth of how much protein we really need ;), MELT (live free from chronic pain without drugs), TRX (it’s helping become my own version of an American Ninja Warrior), reminding you of your awesomeness (you are, you know), the undisciplined girl’s guide to successful dog training (you just gotta play with purpose several times every day), books on CD (my “capped” mebomian glands make it difficult to read paper books these days), and connecting with optimists and optimist-wannabes.

Would love to hear from you in the comments, via email or FB

No Thinking

I blame it on the stars. I’m a Gemini, so I’m verbally chatty and, unsurprisingly, I have a constant dialogue going in my head as well.  If not dialogue then a song or a prayer – never silence, never nothing.

It seems like I’ve known about the word “meditation” for all of my life.  In the last few years I have had experiences of moving meditation which I now think of more as a mantra (cutting the grass with my human powered mower is always effective).  But it was in Nia that I heard for the first time the concept of “no thinking.”  When we played with it in the experience, I couldn’t do it – AT. ALL.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the chatter volume in my head increased by 10 fold.  And I didn’t care, really.  I didn’t get how “no thinking” could possibly be useful to me.

Occasionally, over the ensuing years, I’d play with “no thinking” to see if I’d gotten any better at it (no).  And always there was, “what’s the point of not thinking?  It’s my thinking that is moving me forward to where I want to go.”  My  journey has been quite pleasant, fun and sometimes extraordinary.  “Thinking” = “success.”

Enter perimenopause and complete loss of connection to my purpose in life [for years].  It was (and sometimes still is) the most debilitating experience I’ve ever worked through.  I can rehab, rest, eat right, connect with friends and all the other “stuff” <aka actions> to feel better or get through or heal my body.  But not knowing why I was getting up in the morning was (and sometimes still is) my dark night.

I’d experienced this “why am I here?” dilemma before, but never to the menopausal level.  I was completely passionless, literally more interested in the couch, chocolates and TV than anything else.  In fact not really even interested in those, but it was an easy default.

Near the end of the monumental hormonal swings, a dear friend told me the one thing that she felt like had made the  most difference for her over the last year.  It was sitting quietly every day, even if it was only five minutes.  She was specific – not lying down or  walking – sitting quietly.  So I started to practice sitting quietly every day a couple of weeks ago.  I have to say, my life has been feeling easier.  The biggest relief is that I feel WAY calmer about not knowing “why I’m here” at the moment.  Now whether this is hormones balancing or quieter mind – I’m not sure.  Probably quieter hormones helped give space to explore quiet mind.  And most times, chatter mind is still ON and LOUD, but I simply notice my inhale, notice my exhale and whisper a mental “not now” to any thoughts that begin to enter.  (Just writing it out for you makes me feel better – thanks!)  I’ll let you know how it goes.

What about you?  I’d love to hear how you are taming the conversation in your head.  Or – how it feels when it’s empty up there. 😉  Please tell us your story below.

big hugs and quiet love,