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Thursday, March 31, 2011

ready for a change of season

i'm in a slump.  i've been here for a good week.  hormones, boredom, stress... all guilty.  but the biggest culprit, i think, is winter.  jack frost has worn out his welcome and i'm trying to emotionally brace myself for the foot of snow that's coming to new england tomorrow.  because unlike mother nature, i am ready for spring.  and i know i'm not alone.  we're all rolling our eyes, wishing we could drop our snowblowers from the roof of the pru and drag our lawn furniture back out for the season.

even while we curse the great goddess of weather in the sky, we know that she's the boss.  she wears the pants.  and we just have to "thank-you-mam-may-i-have-another" her until she puts the paddle back in the closet.

i guess even though winter can super-suck at times, forcing us into seasonal depression and really unflattering outerwear, we new englanders are insanely lucky to witness mother nature in all her glory.  she's such a show-off, really.  every season has its spectacle of beauty.  the sweet smells of spring, the glorious flowers of summer, the radiant leaves in autumn and the glistening white snow in winter.  really spectacular.  that said, i'm going to ask mommy dearest a favor on behalf of all of us (eyes squeezed shut, hands clasped in desperately grateful prayer)... 

dearest mother nature, you are so talented and graceful and merciful.  nor'easters are such fun, especially in april, but you don't have to send us one tomorrow if you really don't want to.  we all know your power and bow down to your greatness.  seriously, no proof necessary.  may i make a suggestion, oh natural one?  might you save your energy for next year?  maybe send down a nice blizzard in december or january?  we are so excited now to enjoy your singing birds and yellow daffodils and warm breezes.  you do sunshine so well.  and have i mentioned how gorgeous your magnolia trees are?  if you're not falling for this flattery, how about you let all that snow fall on the ski slopes but leave my painfully long and hard to shovel driveway alone?  thanks for your consideration.  you servant, no, slave for eternity, vanessa

cross your fingers and hope this works!  ;-)


p.s.  if mother nature doesn't listen to my prayers, i might start a smear campaign.  found this online.  do you think it's too negative?  ;-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

man, i feel like a woman

i love being a woman.  for so many reasons.  the way we dress, our curvy bodies, the universal sisterhood, the burning desire to make everything pretty, the intensity of childbirth, the gossip, the camaraderie, the responsibility of motherhood, the natural feminine creativity, the squealing.  oh, how i love the squealing.

to men, the squealing probably sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  but to me, it's bliss.  example.  on any given thursday, you can walk into the indoor tennis courts in winchester and be greeted virtual silence broken up by intermittent loud whooping, yelping, laughter and squealing.  it's chick city, baby.  all of us house fraus playing tennis and having a great old time.  sometimes competing, sometimes stumbling, but always ready to whoop it up.

we are so lucky.  girls have emotional releases all day long and we don't think twice about it.  we comfortably share intimate stories with the lady at the check out counter, dance spontaneously between sets at the gym, scream window-shatteringly loud into the phone when a neighbor calls to announce baby news, tell friends how much we truly love them.  we are expressive beings without filter or apology.  for this, i'm so grateful for being born into this body.

love you girls!!!!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a little help?

spreading the word for a dear friend of mine, jessica meikle davis. she sent me this email a few days ago and i wanted to pass the word.

"Hi friends. I am writing you as a cry for help for a VERY dear friend of mine and sister by choice, Danielle Lenihan Kunkel... Danielle is battling a very aggressive Stage Four Metastatic Lymphoma B Cell Type E Cancer. This is a non curable cancer, but Danielle continues to fight each and every day with every cell of her being.

Danielle is currently in Germany for treatment and things are not going well. She continues to fight and she continues to give to everyone else she knows with a vitality that she doesn't have the energy for...

We cannot take away Danielle's cancer, but we can help ease some of her $1M+ financial burden. For those who know Danielle, we stand in awe of the way she has cared for others despite her own incredible journey."

here's the website where you can donate if danielle's story resonates with you:  like i said, jessica is a dear friend of mine so i am confident these donations are safe.  i do not know danielle personally, but i donated b/c i just can't imagine experiencing excruciating pain like that and dealing the stress of owing over a million dollars in medical bills.  but i know my little bit, every little bit, helps.


spring cleaning

a few weeks ago when i was in stowe with friends, we stopped for lunch at Green Goddess Cafe.  cute little place with great food and a very sweet owner named sheri.  i noticed she displayed a new age sticker on her cafe door so we got into a conversation about chakras.  she gave me a quick lesson in chakra cleansing.  you can do this if you're feeling emotionally weighted down or if you note that you are feeling sluggish in a particular area of your life.

(if you forget what chakras are click here.)

chakras spin clockwise.  (does this change south of the equator, like water down a drain?  if you know the answer please post.)  when you are in the shower, shut your eyes and focus on the first chakra and physically spin it counter-clockwise.  of course you can't actually touch it, but cup your hand in front of the area of the body where the chakra is located and "spin" it.  that easy.  all clean.  then spin them back clockwise again.

at an acupuncture appointment, linda taught me that you can also spin your chakras faster in the clockwise direction, giving your energy a boost.  she also treated my chakras with a colored light wand.  very cool.

here's a link to Chakra Balancing on ehow where a guy shows you how he cleans his chakras.    it's all a little weird, i know, but good information just the same.  you can go to you tube, too, and see how other people do it.


Saturday, March 26, 2011


Posted yesterday about coincidences and thought I'd share a fun one today.

This summer in Paris I made friends with an extraordinary woman, VB.  My entire family fell in love with her and we spent loads of quality time together.  We were shopping one day with all the kids and she said, "Oh you have to get these charms - you can only get them in Paris.  I want to get them for your family."  The charms have Mary during the Assumption on them.  We passed by the shop but it was closed.  So we continued down to the supermarche and while deliberating at the lunch counter VB grabbed my arm and said, "Oh my god, look at that!"  She bent down and picked up the very charm she wanted me to get me.  It was brand new - blue - still in its little ziploc baggie.  She snatched it up and immediately attached it to the clasp on the necklace I wore everyday.  I said, "Do you think we should turn it into lost and found?" and VB was like, "No way, these things cost like 50 cents."

VB loved my necklace so for her birthday (which is strangely very close to mine) I mailed her the same one.

I continued to wear my necklace with her charm until I bought a new necklace with a donut-shaped charm that read "Be the change you wish to see in the world".  I switched VB's special charm onto my new clasp and wore the thing every day for 6 months.

So last week I went to Miami and one day we packed up the family and went to Islamorada to visit Theatre of the Sea and swim with the dolphins.  We were asked to take off all of our jewelry so I gave my rings and earrings to my hubby and tucked my favorite necklace in my pocket.  When I was putting it in my pocket I had a feeling I was touching it for the last time.  Weird.  But I dismissed the feeling.  Anyway, it vanished.  Now I'm not overly attached to "stuff", but I was still sad b/c I loved that necklace and especially that little blue charm VB gave me.

When I arrived back home to Winchester, I settled in, lugged in bags, checked voicemail and collected the mail from the front door.  Amongst the newspapers and bills and junk mail was a package for me.  I opened it up and pulled out a little wrapped box with a note from my dear new friend KC.  Yay!  A prezzie!  I opened the box and found a necklace with a little charm on it that said "Be the change you wish to see in the world".

An hour or so later, while unpacking my son's bags, I found a little purple charm with Mary in the Assumption on it.  The one VB bought for him in Paris.  It had gone missing after our summertime overseas adventure but here it turned up and was looking at me from the bottom of Xavier's backpack.

So cool.

For me, the underlying message was this:  Change (in this case loss) is inevitable.  Embrace it.  Everything will be okay.


Friday, March 25, 2011

only two symptoms

found this quote by deepak chopra in 11:11 magazine last month and i have found that it rings so true for people who are practicing mindfulness.

"according to vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness.  the first symptom is that you stop worrying.  things don't bother you anymore.  you become light-hearted and full of joy.  the second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life more and more synchronicities.  and this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous."  chopra said this in his book synchrodestiny. 

i've found bits of this beginning in my own life and it is so very exciting!  though at times "things" do bother me, i find that i am able to push through negativity faster and easier, and sometimes not feel affected at all.  my perspective is changing b/c i am interpreting my experiences through a happier mind. 

and meaningful coincidences - puh-lease!  happening almost everyday!  sometimes it's a confirming coincidence and other times it's a motivational one.  the question is, what to do in these moments.  answer the call or ignore the ringing?

typically if i ignore signs over and over, something so obvious comes bashing down on my head that i can no longer turn away.  then i surrender.  but i don't think of giving in as a weakness, i think it's a deep level of confidence in my faith mixed in with a little bit of a risk - amusement park style risk.  my belly gets squeezy and i scream my bloody head off but i partake in the motions knowing that my cart is secure to the track and when the ride's over i'll have faced a fear, collected fodder for a good story and prepared myself for the next experience.  

to me, these two "symptoms" along the path to enlightenment serve as proof that there really IS something more to life than just living.  the proof is in the joy that results!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

please drop in now and zen

My friend AB and I spent Tuesday evening visiting a drop-in guided meditation at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.  The practice of choice there is Vipassana, which we'd both heard was a type of Buddhist meditation that values stillness.  Being so still that if your foot falls asleep in the middle of your "svaha" you've got to internally suck it up and not move a baby toe.  This tortured stillness, however, is not what we experienced at CIMC.

A sweet woman named Maddy led a group of 60 or so Yogis (most brand new to the practice) through an hour-long mindful, beautiful group meditation.  She started with a brief anecdote about Buddha's 18 hour long meditative war with metaphorical Mara armies while sitting still as a statue under the tree of life.  She then talked about what it means to be mindful, defining it not as a state of mind or a goal to reach but the act of being present without judgment.  We then attempted to become so.

We started by just rooting ourselves in sitting position and being aware of ourselves.  She then asked us to stand up, look within, and check in with how we felt in that moment.  (I felt deeply grateful and happy to the point of tears.  I don't know why I cry so much when I meditate.  It's weird.)  Next we did a walking meddie for a few minutes, shuffling around the room and being mindful of the way it feels to walk.  The setting down of the foot, the other foot gliding through the air to meet the floor and propel the body forward.  She asked us how we felt.  (I felt safe and grounded.)  Then we sat down for a longer meddie.  We relaxed our muscles then Maddy suggested we focus on one body part - ie. the chest rising and falling, the sound of air in and and out of our noses, our lips touching each other, our pointer finger and thumb connecting.  We stayed like this for some time, Maddy guiding us back to the present occasionally, allowing us to acknowledge stray thoughts and come back to focus on our pre-selected body parts.  She asked us how we felt again.  (I registered connectedness, openness and beautiful love... and a major curve in my spine.  I lost my posture, resembling a 90 year old lady with massive scoliosis.  And my right ear dropped like an anvil to my shoulder.  Gotta work on that.)

For me this was a good meditation.  Not earth-moving but peaceful and rich.  I knew coming into the center that night that it would be a positive one.  I was in a good place mentally so it was easy for me to get "there".  But it's not always easy.  Surely another day I'll walk in with a busy mind, struggling to beat off the Mara armies.  And that's okay, too.  We change in each moment.  "This, too, shall pass". 

AB and I completed our first meddie at CIMC feeling pretty great.  We had a shared yet individual experience and both left energized, connected, open and hopeful, expressing our connectedness to the strangers who surrounded us and our appreciation for the power of meditation.  And we both plan to return.

If you can sneak away on a Tuesday evening, this is a great place full of wonderful energy and like-minded people.  6-7pm.  $5.  331 Broadway, Cambridge, Mass.  They also have a full menu of courses and programs for members.  See more at


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the universe has spoken. haha.

so yesterday, literally the minute i posted my blog about feeling void of creativity and desperately in need of universal-connection, i received an email from one of my very best, super fab, brilliant and loving friends.  she forwarded me the you tube post below.  if this ain't the universe at work i don't know what is.  look at the link then come back to this message........

 <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3

okay, so do you love it, or what?????  i immediately picked up the phone and squealed to my homegirl how much i love her for sharing this with me (and countless other reasons, of course) and asked her if she wanted to go hug a bunch of strangers with me in boston one day.  being the natural hugger she is, she quickly agreed and now we are setting out to embrace the city.  wanna come????

if you, too, are a happy hugger and would like to join us for this random-acts-of-lovefest, please respond to this post with your name and enthusiasm.  if you are in another city and are interested in joining this loving effort, please let me know so we can get word out to friends in your area.

let's hug 11am - noon on sunday, april 17th.  in boston, it's the day before the marathon so there will be lots of people in town to cozy up with.  we can grab lunch after!

meet us at 10:30 in faneuil hall in front of quincy market by 60 state street.  we'll spread out from there.  friend me on facebook (Vanessa Gobes) and i'll post any changes or updates there. 

btw, if you don't like to touch random peeps but want to participate in the fun, please volunteer to videotape this so we can post on you tube!  

yay!  so fun!!!

Free Hugs in Sondrio, Italy

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

writer's un-block

a lot of people say to me, "how do you come up with something to write about everyday?"  some days it's really easy.  my fingers flutter over the keyboard, anxious, excited and eager to translate thoughts into words.  other days the process is tedious and difficult.  i start out writing about one thing and by the end of the blog i'm onto another thing, entirely different.  on these unfocused days i let my train of thought slowly lumber down the track until i pull into a random station.  and admittedly, to me the blog post feels forced, deliberate or overworked.  you, as a reader, may notice that, too.

i haven't yet made time for meditation this week and notice that my thoughts are really scattered and incomplete.  what i consistently find, though, is that after i meditate i write more interesting blogs with more powerful messages. 

this applies to you and your daily tasks, too.  when you feel blocked or in a rut, look within.  universal knowledge is available to you at all times.  you just have to access it.  easier said than done, i know.  but when you need help the universe is there, waiting patiently for you to reach out.  

there is an infinity of inspiring ideas to create, discuss and share.  these ideas will change our lives and better the world.  we just have to open ourselves up and receive the them.  and be quiet enough to listen when the universe speaks. 


Monday, March 21, 2011


hi guys!  i missed you last week!  did you watch 60 minutes last night?  one of the reporters did a piece on the new sanitized version of mark twain's american classic "huck finn".  in this latest edition, the publishing house replaced the word "nigger" with "slave".  there was a big debate about whether changing the word diminishes the learning opportunity.

some students and teachers shared their discomfort with saying the n word aloud in class.  it was a mixed bag of opinions and reactions.  a couple of black boys interviewed said use of the word in class made them uncomfortable.  the white kids didn't seem to mind it, likely b/c they'd never felt dehumanized by the word.  a charismatic university professor gave a thrilling argument that the word should remain in the novel for a long list of viable reasons.  but he also said that the callous use of it by non-blacks is not acceptable b/c they do not share the african slave's heart-wrenching history of abominable subjugation and struggle.

being the reincarnation junkie that i am, i couldn't help but think about my own past life racial experiences.  i've been practicing hypnotic regression with brian weiss' cd "through time into healing".  (i actually have it on my ipod, too, and always get a good chuckle when it pops up in my shuffle.  my kids are like, "mommy, what the heck is this???")  

anyway, the more i practice the better i get at digging stuff up.  sometimes i'm not sure if it's fantasy or real regressions, but regardless of my state of mind, i feel more complete each time i set out for self-discovery.

if my hypnotic regressions are truly that, and not just fantasy, i spent my last life time as a really tall black guy who was murdered by a white gunman in the 1960's.  most likely i entered my current lifetime with some residual emotions from his experiences and now (in a really weird way) i share a small piece of civil rights history, too.  or do i not?  i don't know.  but it's fun to think about.  and it does remind me that we are all connected.  we all share in the same history, but you have to have your eyes wide open to see it.  and i still won't use the n word.   

side note:  i've definitely spent a few lifetimes fighting for basic human liberties, and getting painfully punished for it.  i think this is why compassion and acceptance are such a strong characteristics for me in this lifetime.   and why i wretch when i see any kind of torture scene in a movie.  so far i've seen myself as chinese and english and african-american.  there are more for sure but i'm still exploring and learning.    again, the message is clear - we are all the same.  we are all in this together.
oh, and as far as huck finn goes, i think the word should remain in place.  when people start to rewrite history (in this case literally), the lessons are lost.  we can't candy coat the world and expect our children to effectively evolve.  we learn from mistakes. our kids will, too.  lucky for them, these mistakes are not their own.

what do you think?  one either subject.  have you ever regressed?  do you think huck finn should be cleaned up?  dare to share.  anonymous or otherwise. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

worst fear

apologies for radio silence.  i'm in miami this week and have had trouble getting online to post.  getting personal today.  nervous to share this message but my gut is saying i should.  here goes.

japan.  "i'm alive but i don't know if it's good or bad.  i don't know if it's good or bad that i survived."  this woman on the street interview was taped by CNN this week.  she is living my deepest fear and it breaks my heart. 

since 9/11 i have have horrible nightmares and sporadically obsessive thoughts about various types of disasters - terrorist attacks, tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns and such.  even though i live in new england, a relatively benine area, these thoughts have plaqued my mind for years, affecting me to my core.

a couple of years ago, i made the mistake of watching a history channel show about 2012.  mayan calendar predictions, polar shift, natural disasters, world's end.  not good.  this information sent me into an emotional tailspin.  i became sad and privately depressed.  when discussing future plans i'd think, "oh, it doesn't matter, we won't make it that far anyway."  my kids would say things like, "how old will i be when i have babies?"  and my eyes would fill up with tears b/c i didn't think they'd live to see that day.  all i could think about was "the end" and i stopped living in "the now". 

this next part is embarrassing to me but i'm going to share it b/c i think it's such an obvious example of the universe at work in human reality. 

so when this melancholy was peaking, i developed an enormous abscess on my chin.  it was the size of half a golf ball.  it was horribly ugly and painful.  the skin was stretching and aching and i holed up in my house for a couple of weeks.  after several trips to the dermatologist and weeks of antibiotics, the atrocious lump drained (gross) and flattened out but the scar literally remains. 

as i began to physically recover, i became very aware that the timing of this abscess was not a coincidence.  i truly know that this was god telling me loud and clear, "LISTEN UP, YOU FOOL!  These thoughts will be your ruin!  TRUST IN ME!  TRUST IN YOU!" 

so i started working really hard to make a shift in my thinking, to beat off the fear with a big fat stick by reprogramming my mind to think more lovingly at its center.  i read books like "the secret" and "messages from the masters", "your soul's plan" and "be the change".  and a change started to happen. 

i found a loving and open core through trust in the universe.  i began to understand that i planned this life for myself.  whatever happens in the future is exactly what is meant to be.  i am here to learn and evolve.  when i'm done with this lifetime, i will "go home" and continue my evolution.  until that time, i need to live NOW, in this moment.  it also helped that my husband directed me to websites and materials that said simply, "the mayans ran out of ink.  we'll all be fine."

unfortunately i've had a relaspe since, b/c change, as we all know, doesn't happen overnight.  change is an insanely long, at times grueling process with ups and downs and big setbacks and small victories.  case in point, last summer those horrible fears crept back into my mind.  i started reading ominous websites, tossing and turning in bed, losing sleep, thinking stormy thoughts.  and surprise, surprise.  my skin brok out again - this time perioral dermatitis.  oh yes, the universe doesn't fuck around with me anymore - God goes straight for my vanity.  "What the fuck are you doing, Vanessa???  Stop thinking about this bullshit!  You are destroying yourself and your family.  Remember why you are here and the beauty present in this moment!  Do your best NOW!  Now get with the program, woman, or I'm turning your face into a pepperoni pizza."

okay, okay, god, i get it.  i freak out, i break out.  simple cause and effect.  i internalized the message and spent a month clearing up my visage with super strong antibiotics which tore up my stomach and i ened up suffering extraordinarily painful heartburn for 2 weeks, lost 15 pounds and asked santa for a case of prevacid for christmas.  lesson learned.  whew.  considering what other people have to suffer through when the universe bitch slaps them into sanity, i'm not going to complain too much. 

i've been in a good place for a couple of months... and then japan.  i'm trying not to watch the news too much b/c i know i'll feel it too deeply.  but i occasionally get a glimpse of my worst fears coming to life.  seeing this gigantor mess unfold has actually brought some closure for me.  it happened.  i can see it.  the japanese are pulling their shit together.  they are inspiring the world.  those who are gone are safe at home in the universe.  those who are still here on Earth are here for a reason.  they need to help each other, heal each other.  they will rebuild their homes and schools.  it will be hard but they will connect again, smile again, continue on.  they will live their now and discover their destinies.  the same destiny that they planned out themselves before they were born. 

being alive or dead is not good or bad.  it just is.  those who survive have more work to do - a little more time to fulfill their life purposes here on earth.  others have finished their earthly jobs and are safe in heaven.  i know it's not that simple for those living through crisis, but each of us possess this beautiful light that shines even in the darkest hours.  that's why we are here - to shine. 

fear sucks.  love trumps all.  thanks for "listening".  share if you dare.  xox


"Start brining out that Superpower - that energy, spirit and wisdom we have." 
(yoko ono with piers morgan talking about her peeps on CNN monday night.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

shameless plug weekends

With several hubs worldwide, Hay House is sort of a catch-all for transformative books, services and products.  Through HH, really inspiring teachers/authors are able to reach the masses via seminar series.  If you are looking for some inspiring reads or you'd like to connect with your favorite new age author, you can most likely do it here.  Such an incredible resource.  Check them out at:


Friday, March 11, 2011

today's daily om - subscribe at

March 10, 2011
A Bad Habit
Being Hard On Ourselves
When we are hard on ourselves for any reason, we send our bodies the message that we are not good enough.

One of the key components of human consciousness that most of us need to address and change is our tendency to be hard on ourselves. We do this in ways that are both overt and subtle, and half the work sometimes is recognizing that we are doing it at all. For example, if we find it difficult to graciously accept compliments, this is probably a sign that we tend to be hard on ourselves. Other ways in which we express this tendency include never feeling satisfied with a job well done, always wanting to be and do better, and getting mad at ourselves for getting sick. Getting mad at ourselves at all indicates that we need to rescue ourselves from our learned ability to be unkind to ourselves.

In essence, when we are hard on ourselves, we send our bodies the message that we are not good enough. Whenever we do this, we do damage that will need to be addressed later, and we sap our systems of much-needed energy. Being hard on ourselves is a waste of precious time and energy that we could use in positive ways. To begin to understand how this works, we can think about times when someone made us feel that we weren’t good enough. Even just thinking about it will create an effect in our bodies that doesn’t feel good. We may be used to the feeling, but when we really tune into it, we instinctively know that it is not good for us on any level.

Like any bad habit, being hard on ourselves can be a challenging one to release, but the more we feel the burden it places on us, the more motivated we will be to change. At first, just noticing when we are doing it and how it makes us feel is enough. As our awareness increases, our innate impulse toward health and well-being will be activated, moving us out of danger and into a more positive and more natural relationship with ourselves.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the case for god (in school)

look out i'm on a rampage.

god belongs in school.  this is why.

"one problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious.  sometimes it even seems as if those who are not highly educated, those who are less sophisticated in terms of their educational training, are more innocent and more honest.  even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds.  the proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within and develop a good heart."

not my words.  the dalai lama's from "the art of happiness".  

i don't know the stats, but we've got to be one of the only countries that goes out of our way to completely ignore god in the classroom.  we americans are so liberal, so rich in material wealth, so forward-thinking and leading the world in so many ways.  but we, as a community, seem to have forgotten the source of our humanity.  if what i see on tv and read in papers is a reflection of my country, it seems that to the vast majority of americans, god is an inconvenience.  we have no time to think about the universe.  no time to meditate or pray.  no time to take care of the planet or our bodies.  no time for wholesomeness.  no time to take a break from work.  we're too busy doing important "stuff" in this country. 

isn't it time to EVOLVE?  to push this "stuff" aside and give god props?  keep in mind i use the word god loosely.  i'm not talking about the Power of Him or Her - more just US.  all of Us with our diverse spiritual beliefs and deep Love for something greater than ourselves. 

but how can we make spirituality a clear focus in our daily lives?  i think we need to start the routine at an early age.  why are academics more important than spirituality?  how do we use math and science to create a better future if we are not thinking daily of world peace and prosperity?  won't we just create the same old crap we've been making for a hundred years?  do we really need more CFCs, nuclear bombs, and slutty pop stars?  it's time to up our game, america. 

i'm not suggesting that any one particular god should reign on high over the public school system, but some mention of the universe would be appropriate during our children's formative years.  if the idea of universal belonging squeaked into the classroom to remind our children of morality and basic human kindness, would it be so bad?  can't we take a vote on this or something?  our kids learn about war and drugs and sex and politics but not god?  huh???? 

i'm not a holy roller.  i don't want to convert the world to my very merry un-religion.  and i'm very liberal.  i not only tolerate an individual's spiritual choice, i embrace it.  but you know what?  jesus is a bad ass.  so is muhammad.  and buddha.  and countless other late spiritual leaders...  gandhi, mother theresa, martin luther king.  even today's trailblazers like deepak chopra, brian weiss, ram dass, bobby mcferrin, doreen virtue, elizabeth lesser, the man famed by oprah, john of god...  the list goes on, of course.  their ideas and lives are fascinating and beautiful and so worth teaching our little children. 

there is nothing more important on this earth than our spirituality.  spiritual evolution is the sole purpose of the human experience.  why is the mention of it so effing taboo???  why do the atheists' votes ring loudest?

if we teach all ideas with equal respect, then no one is alienated and our children have a chance to accept one another before forming prejudices against one another.

i know i'm being idealistic.  the actual process of creating this sort of curriculum would be an absolute knock-down-drag-out and virtual impossibility on a federal level.  but i'm of the utopian sort and just had to purge that thought.  thanks for humoring me.  and please share you thoughts!!!  do you think this could ever happen?  do you idealistically think it should?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

goody two-shoes

okay, friends.  i'm totally hesitant to share this b/c i'm going to sound like a resident of that black and white movie town "pleasantville", stuck in 1952.  but i share a lot of darker parts of myself, too, so i'm hoping this just balances out.

i food shop daily.  i'm a fan of the stop & shop in winchester.  (love nature's promise.)  between the bevvy of friendly house fraus and sassy ladies at the check out, the local grocer provides me with a little pick me up during the daily grind.  while i'm there, so long as i'm not rushing, i try to consciously return that yummy energy by helping out others.  in the parking lot, i grab bags from old ladies and help put them in their cars... collect stray carts and drag them back to the entry...  pick up litter...  stuff like that.  (gag reflex still in tact?) 

it's very easy to do and takes barely any time.  and when i do it, i'm collecting good karma.  just picking it off the karma tree.  plus, old people eat it up and i find their big dentured smiles and sweet little taps on my hand absolutely irresistible. 

sometimes i'll offer my arm to a random elderly lady on the sidewalk downtown and walk her to her car.  i make the kids carry her bags if she has any.  (i've never told anyone this before but i seriously do this whenever i see an opportunity.)  the lady of the day will inevitably grab me appreciatively and chat away cheerfully about this or that...  thankful for the attention and the human touch.  the connection is fleeting but beautiful and it is lost on no one.

so considering i actually found clip art of someone helping an old lady with groceries (below) i can safely assume that many of you quietly do these goody goody things, too.  can you share some of the seemingly simple ways you help others out?


Monday, March 7, 2011


meditation is the process of finding balance between the left and right sides of your brain, allowing a clear connection to the universe through your own consciousness. the concept is pretty simple, but what you can achieve through its practice is extraordinary.

from a book called be the change by ed and deb shapiro...

with a practice of self-reflection we have an opportunity to see [emotional or psychological concerns] in a clearer light.  in mindfulness meditation, awareness shows how our thoughts are reflected in the world around us, that we are not separate from each other, that what affects one person affects us all.  releasing attachment to ourselves by seeing the illusion of solidity means that we are then able to heal negative thinking and transform it into care and kindness, both towards ourselves and others.
i try to meditate every day.  i have a little altar with a lovely, happy buddha, bell, applicable crystals and occasionally a flower.  but i don't use it.  ;-)  because i've learned that, for me, the altar is just a tool.  and i don't need the altar to get where i want to go.  usually i end up meditating in ordinary places.  in my car in a parking lot.  on my living room couch.  between chapters of a book.  or, like today, in the waiting room at the chiroprator's office.

meditation does not have to be a drawn-out exercise.  and don't beat yourself up if you only clear your mind for five minutes - or less!  it's called a practice for a reason.  for some people capturing that feeling of balance is very easy and for others it takes time and effort.  but it's effort worth making as the rewards are life changing.

if you'd like to start and just don't know how to do it, try this.  find a quiet moment in your day.  any moment.  (have your kids do it with you if you can't shake them off.  kids LOVE to meditate!)  empty your head of thoughts.  block out your ever-present to-do list and the fight you had with your spouse this morning.  just sit there and BE.  if stray thoughts pop into your head, acknowledge the thoughts then literally blow them away.  visualize this.  some people focus on the flame of a candle to help clear away unnecessary thoughts.  some people look at the night sky or sit by the ocean.  i like to shut my eyes and look at my third eye (the back of my forehead between my eyebrows).  to go deeper, focus on your breath, your relaxed body.  find a little peace.   

when you open your eyes you will feel clarity.  you will have fresh ideas.  you will find solutions to problems.  you will be more patient.  you will feel more love, as you have just received a direct dose of it from the universe.  you will!  really!  over time your core will become stronger and more loving, allowing you to live fearlessly, become more open, and encounter more fortuitous coincidences.

do you meditate?  how do you get there?  has meditation changed your life?


Saturday, March 5, 2011

shameless plug weekends

am blogging from stowe vermont this weekend and have to say...  holy shit the new stowe mountain lodge is fabulous...  

skiing.  sitting by fire.  drinking local beer.  enjoying beautiful friends.  listening to live music.  does not get old.  if you are looking for a terrific weekend retreat this is the place...

btw...  writing from my droid.  punctuation not working.   argh.

Friday, March 4, 2011

compare and beware

I read in a book recently that a man defines rich as having a hundred dollars more than his wife's sister's husband.

It's all relative, right?  We settle ourselves into a superficial version of security by comparing what we have or who we are to the people around us.  I am healthier than her so I'm OK.  I'm handsomer than him so I'm OK.  Our kids are smarter than theirs so we're OK.  Then other thoughts start to creep in...  He makes more money so something's wrong with me.  She is a better cook so I'm a failure in the kitchen.  He's a better athlete and I'll never measure up. 

See where I'm going with this?

We are who we are.  And we ARE for a reason.  If everyone had equal strengths we would not be able to grow and evolve.  We all have special gifts.  And we all have shortcomings.  And your wife's sister's husband's money has absolutely ZERO to do with YOU.

Trying to be better or stronger or richer than your neighbor will not help you evolve as a human being or as a spiritual being.  Try to focus on what makes you special and work at your own pace to achieve the qualities that make you happy.  Life is not a competition.  Life is a growth experience.  Rather than define happiness by how well your friends are doing, blaze your own path and define your own happiness.  Because this life is really all about YOU.

Your friends and neighbors will achieve extraordinary things.  When they do, realize that these are their personal victories, not your defeat.  Support them.  Pat them on the back.  Tell them they are smart and pretty and athletic and wonderful.  Build them up.  And when it's your turn to kick ass they will do the same for you.  The more love you give, the more love you get back and love lifts the vibrational energy on Earth.  Ain't it beautiful?


Thursday, March 3, 2011

meant to be

This is a question posed by a reader back in January:  

So one of my many questions for you is, is the concept that every moment, encounter, etc. in ones life is preplanned? I would love to hear more about what you think about this concept. Not sure where I stand on the subject but I do find it very interesting.

This was how I responded:  

you've gotta read this book - your soul's plan. here's an example... imagine sitting down in front of a giant checkerboard. if you make this move then that happens. if you choose a different move, the other thing happens. each move, leads to a string of other moves. in this way "everything is written".  the choices are infinite, but the so is the Universe so it's okay.      

while life is played out, the moves you make are called free will. YOU, your personality, decide each step. and your soul family shifts around to accommodate you.     

this is reminding me of a great book by brian weiss called "only love is real". it's about two people who have traveled through several lifetimes together but are strangers in this one. both end up in therapy with dr. weiss in miami. during respective private regressions, he realizes that they are recalling similar stories. they are soul mates! dr. weiss wants them to meet but he can't introduce them for ethical reasons. they never meet in his office. if i remember correctly, the guys lives in miami and the girl ends up moving to boston. one day, they are both traveling and get stuck in logan airport. they are attracted to each other and start chatting. they soon figure out their commonalities. they are married now with a little girl.   

the point is, they were "supposed to" meet. she made a free will decision to move away but the Universe brought them back together. 

This is a clear example of why we should use patience while living our lives.  The Universe will allow things to happen when the moment is right.  Time is an illusion (bear with me).  Time isn't really the ticking clock, it's just a series of probable events laid out by YOU before you were born.  The Universe is there to make sure everything happens when it's supposed to.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

modern hippie

yah, man.  peace.

There's no doubt we are embarking upon a full-blown second coming of the hippie movement.  Question is, will this one stick?  My spidey senses say yes...  

I think the first hippie movement faded out because too many of those involved were too drugged out to be believable to mainstream society.  The hippies of the 1960s and 70s  oozed peace and love, political change and planetary concern.  They had great ideas and a viable longing to universally connect but were so doped up that they ended up looking like freaks.  

I know, I know... not all of the original hippies were stoners; don't get mad at me if this was your generation.  I'm not pointing a finger.  And honestly, knowing my personality, I'd have been right there with the extremists.  I'm just saying, the peeps who dabbled allowed skeptics to create a stereotype and gave the mainstream a reason to disbelieve.  

Today’s hippie is not costumed in bell bottom jeans, mood rings and garland wreaths.  Modern hippies are ordinary people like you and me.  We are well-educated, motivated, clean and diverse.  We like pop, rock and country.  We are doctors, teachers and salesmen.  We don no defining look, do not live in communes or march on Washington, and most likely do not regularly drop acid.  We understand the scientific and have faith in the metaphysical.  We share a deep concern for the planet.  We quietly strive for peace.  We try to live mindfully.  We hope to reduce our carbon footprint.   We have consciously and responsibly decided know better, do better and live better.

So cheers to peace and love 21st century style!   


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

thoughts on compassion from hh the dalai lama

he's just so darn cute.  gotta love this guy. 
Such an extraordinary, humble, funny and inspiring man.  Some beautiful words from HH The Dalai Lama courtesy of The Art of Happiness

“Hatred, jealousy, anger and so on are harmful.  We consider them negative states of mind because they destroy our mental happiness; once you harbor feelings of hatred or ill feeling toward someone, once you yourself are filled by hatred or negative emotions, then other people appear to you as also hostile.  So as a result there is more fear, greater inhibition and hesitation, and a sense of insecurity.  These things develop, and also loneliness in the midst of a world perceived as hostile.  All these negative feelings develop because of hatred.  On the other hand, mental states such as kindness and compassion are definitely very positive.  They are very useful…

“Well, I would regard a compassionate, warm, kindhearted person as healthy.  If you maintain of feeling of compassion, loving kindness, then something automatically opens your inner door.  Through that, you can communicate much more easily with other people.  And that feeling of warmth creates a kind of openness.  You’ll find that all human beings are just like you, so you’ll be able to relate to them more easily.  That gives you a spirit of friendship.  Then there’s less need to hide things, and as a result, feelings of fear, self-doubt, and insecurity are automatically dispelled.  Also, it creates a feeling of trust from other people…  I think that cultivating positive mental states like kindness and compassion definitely leads to better psychological health and happiness.”