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St. Valentine’s Day

Today is a day where we wish everyone love, with love usually being of the romantic kind. When I see this picture, it represents love to me. The tree that supports all kinds of love and life: family, friends, earth, the animals, birds and insects on the planet, and the planet herself. To have a day that represents love in all its guises is to ask us to remember what that feels like. Love is not many things, such as judgment, criticism, separation and superiority. Love is an open heart. A great exercise for this day is to think of someone or something that is not lovable, to your mind, and just open your heart to their heart. Lay judgment aside, and simply send love, wishing for that person or place to feel your love. Breathe into it. That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to get a response, [...] MORE

Making Friends with Death

In September, I was asked to be a guest on a radio show hosted by the amazing Janet Conner. Both of us are great lovers of the work of John O’Donohue. She had decided that in the month of Samhain and Halloween (October) she would have a weekly guest who would talk about “Making Friends With Death.” I was to be the guest on the third week. At that time, I was in a joyful place anticipating the marriage of my son Christopher and his beloved Annie. Though I teach and coach people through grief, this was a step deeper then I had ever gone. Make FRIENDS with death? Really? And then I re-read John O’Donohue’s beautiful book “Anam Cara”, which translates as friend of the soul, where he proposes that death is born with us–though ignored in the celebratory surroundings of birth–and walks with us through our life. I began to [...] MORE

Thoughts on Loving Ourselves

  Today has been a strange synchronicity of blogs and notes and meditations that all turn to the same subject: loving ones self. In the first example, the writer agonized over the “evil little voice” that spoke to her of her imperfections and whether or not–not–anyone could possibly love her if they knew who she truly was. I am currently participating in a 21 day meditation with Deepak Chopra, and the subject was loving our self. Recently I wrote about the silencing, at least temporarily of our ego voice, and these three things came together in a great Aha! moment for me. I put this orchid photograph here because the orchid is not trying to be beautiful or desirable or right in its place because it just is. The difference? The orchid doesn’t have that ego voice in the head that tells it that it is not beautiful; not desirable; not right [...] MORE

Finding the Gift in Grief

Small Griefs Add Up

Today I am having to deal with the grief that comes with a health challenge facing a loved one.  In loving this person, I go to the compassionate place in my heart. But as  Miller Williams talks about in his poem “Compassion”–we cannot know what goes on down where the blood meets the bone. This is a place we cannot go, no matter how we empathize with someone. We can’t be “in” the person, experiencing their focus, their reservoir of fear or sadness. We see the friend or loved one from our own perspective–not theirs. In this place, we can’t possibly know what choices they “should” make in their medical care, their communications with family, or any of a dozen other decisions they are making. And yet in this world of  brain dominance, we are encouraged to prioritize, put things in perspective, stick with the left brain and don’t let the emotions [...] MORE

Global Grief in America

“Wild Sage” by Catherine Tappouni Burkee Every single day we are inundated with the tragedies and sorrows of people around the world. Recently, several tragedies have come to us in our home, the United States. Boston has been added to the burden of grief we carry after Newtown and Hurricane Sandy and Colorado. It is impossible to watch and listen to what is happening around us without taking the emotions of grief, sadness and loss into our bodies. Our cells store these emotions, often with our personal emotions of grief learned throughout a life of losses. We feel what the survivors are feeling, and we grieve with them. This connection with others is part of our human-ness, but it’s important that we recognize when we are accepting more than our body can handle. We Signs that this is true can be as simple as finding ourselves sighing deeply throughout the day [...] MORE

Easter Thoughts

The Easter story is one that we read all the way back to the Babylonians—the miracle of Spring, the death of the plants and the eventual resurrection of Mother Earth. It certainly triggers hope, and we can imagine how it brought joy in the early peoples as they waited to see if green would reappear. In my book “The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss,” I believe that the broken heart is similar to the frozen cracked earth of winter, and the gift is the greening of our hope and faith in what is to come. We are forever a hopeful species, and as the dark clouds of war and anger bring winter to our spirits, so can the gifts of love and kindness bring the spring. May each and every one of you find the joy in the story, and in your own life. I [...] MORE

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The Gifts of Grief book has arrived!

I am holding in my hand the beautifully created book from Hierophant Publishing titled “The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss.” It’s now available in the store on this website, and will be in all stores in April, including an ebook format. The MP3 of my voice and the amazing music of Michael Hoppe and Heart and Soul Meditations by Lance Ware is also available to lead you through the healing visualizations. There are no words for the feeling of having your life’s work going out to the people who are ready for it. The world is awash in grieving, not simply from our own losses as individuals but from the sadness that comes into our homes and electronic devices every day as we see children executed, people homeless and hungry and at war, lives washed away in tsunami’s and earthquakes and even the evidence of global [...] MORE

Staying Optimistic

The times are difficult, for sure, with all that flows into our lives via television, videos, games, phones and other things I’m not even cognizant about. If we choose to, we can focus on those things that are positive in our world, such as friends, walks in the neighborhood, family that we love, and many more. It’s hard to over-ride the messages of the world to allow in the love of the Universe, but it can be done. Simply find a quiet time to sit alone where you won’t be disturbed. Take this time to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders and your body, and just begin to notice your breath going in and out. If you have a lot of thoughts chasing around inside your head, tell them you’ll get back to them later, but would appreciate it if they would take a temporary backseat. Then begin to breathe in [...] MORE

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In with Breath, Out with Stress

I’m excited to have you here. My goal is to present you with useful and loving information to inform and improve your daily living, and to respond to your questions and feedback. In this blog, I’ll focus on HeartMath®, and later I’ll include my other trainings. Several years ago, I added the title of Licensed HeartMath Provider to the modalities I use with clients. The excitement of being trained in a science-based modality that uses the heart-brain and its connection to the head-brain as the source of wisdom fit in so beautifully with what I have always believed to be true. MORE