Send Your Roots Down Into Soil That Nourishes Your Soul

Overnight my phone rang at 3 am.  It was my daughter who lives in Nashville TN.  Over the past few weeks she and her fiancé have been through a tornado which destroyed their new neighborhood of east Nashville. They have, as all of have, made many difficult adjustments to their lives due to the spread of coronavirus.  And last night – the phone call.  Their living roof caved in and collapsed on their dog crate (yes – dog inside) and all over their living room.

Strength, Gratitude, and Loving Kindness

A lot to cope with.  And yet, when I spoke to her this morning her attitude was upbeat, they had a friend helping them store some items, had saved their artwork, and prepared their home for the contractors as they pack up and head to Montana to wait out this outbreak. They are safe and un-harmed, and the dogs are safe and unharmed.  Thank goodness. The new couch is completely ruined.  That, we can handle. We are so grateful.

I was reminded of a phrase my father has shared me often when I have faced difficult times.  “God never hands you more than you can handle.”  I know this to be true.  We are all stronger than we think we are.  There will be pain and there will be loss. There will be days where it feels like the roof is collapsing over our heads and spreading dust and chaos everywhere.

We do not move through these times by avoiding the conversations, by resisting our fears, and ignoring our emotions.  Brain science and the mindfulness research teaches us that facing our fears and acknowledging our emotions is the key to moving through the stressful, anxiety ridden moments in our lives.  And there is no greater time then now to practice gratitude for what we do have and to show loving-kindness to those around us, and through meditation, to those around the world.

Important Strategies for the Days Ahead

  1. Communicate.  Call family and friends. Write Letters. Gather virtually for dinner and parties.
  2. Listen with empathy and without judgement.  Everyone is going to experience these days differently and with various lenses.  Just listen. Let people feel how they feel.  Let people share their opinion even if you disagree. Listen and hear.  “I hear you.”  “Thank you for sharing.” “I understand your feelings.”
  3. Move, Move, Move.  Everyday.  There are tons of online yoga and exercise programs out there.  I am offering a GENTLE YOGA CLASS on Tuesday afternoons from 3 pm to 4 pm through ZOOM beginning Tuesday the 24th of March and ongoing for the next 5 weeks. 
  4. Get outside and get fresh air.  Talk a walk, go for a run, or go hiking.
  5. Practice mindful meditation and learn more about “mindful living.”  I am going to be offering Mindfulness and Meditation on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8 am to 8:30 am through ZOOM, starting on Tuesday the 24th.
  6. Practice Gratitude and Loving Kindness.


Here are three quotes that are inspiring me each day – I hope you find a light in reading them.

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.”

How can we each be extraordinary as we travel the road ahead?

C.S. Lewis

“I am stronger because I had to be, I ‘m smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I learned.”

Now, more than ever, is the time for us to practice gratitude, to be kind, and to know we are more capable than we often believe ourselves to be.

Nick Schluga

“Storms make trees take deeper root.”

Send your roots deep into your faith and into the soil that nourishes you.

Dolly Parton

Freedom to Balance

It is easy to avoid doing things that feel really challenging or that we are afraid of.  The crazy thing is that when we do step through a challenge, or face a fear, it actually diminishes.  I was massively afraid of heights in certain situations and one day, while at Six Flags with my daughter, I decided it was time to face my fear once and for all by doing a bungee jump.  Since this was an activity at a theme park, I figured that it had to be safe and the worse that could happen is that I would be really really freaked out.

As we got hauled up into the air, I was so scared.  I could not pull the cord that would release us and allow us to fly straight toward the ground (what was I thinking. Lucky for me, my awesome daughter Jesse was there and she managed to find the cord and off we went.  Once the initial shock wore off and I opened my eyes it was actually a really cool experience. AND,although I do get shaky and sometimes feel really challenged by heights, I am more easily able to work through it.  Facing the fear, lessened the fear. (more…)

Is Recovery From Chronic Pain Possible?

“One of the lessons of yoga is that the body, mind, breath and nervous system are all intertwined. In yoga, we use the body and breath, which we can control to some degree, to calm, stimulate and ultimately strengthen the nervous system and the mind, which normally are beyond our control. When your nervous system and mind are balanced in this manner, you are poised to react to whatever challenges arise.”
Dr. Timothy McCall, Yoga as Medicine: The Science and Practice of Therapeutic Yoga

The American Academy of Pain Medicine describes the condition of chronic pain as follows:

“While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.”

Over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.  Chronic pain can severely diminish quality of life and many turn to opioids. Over 11 million people are on long-term opioid therapy that has contributed to a national epidemic of opioid overdose deaths and addictions.