As we head into 2020

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions but in the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed picking a word as a sort of theme for the upcoming year. For 2019 my word was aligned, and I’ve decided to carry that word over for 2020. My intention is to make every decision based on whether or not it feels aligned for me; whether it brings forth my ‘Core Desired Feelings’ that I’ve discussed in prior posts: Connection, Quality, Simplicity.

This time of year can be challenging for many people and many feel pressure to create lofty goals, resolutions and plans for the new year. I encourage you to dream big, have a plan and take action, but do it all from the place of what feels right for you and you alone, not for anyone else. And pay attention to what your body is telling you – listen to your inner voice – it will never steer you wrong.

In the new year, I wish for more people to find inner peace and joy that spreads out into the world and creates lasting change. Below are three links I hope will be useful in getting us all closer to that worthy goal.

Recommended links:

A film about listening to each other – and the movement for change it inspired

Digital minimalism to bring you back to really living your life

Beautifully written wisdom from the natural world: what the planet needs now

Equinox and acceptance

The fall season begins tonight in my corner of the world. I’m learning to welcome the shorter days, the cooler weather, the return of the rain. In the past I’ve resisted the half of the year from late September – late March as ‘not my favorite time of year,’ but in the past few years I’ve begun to embrace the opportunity to go within more, to rest more and to ‘hunker down.’

When my son was small I used to tell him often, ‘what you resist persists.’ a phrase we’ve all heard but may not have taken to heart. My encouragement to you is to try being curious about accepting what is without trying to change or control it. Be open to the possibility that the rhythms of the seasons, one of many rhythms in nature, are a natural unfolding – after all, resistance does not stop the seasons from changing. We all have our personal preferences, but even if long, warm days are your favorite, there is deep significance in more time spent in quiet, reflective pursuits and more rest.

I wrote last time about the importance of my (mostly) daily savasana ritual and that has continued to be very healing and restorative. I’m excited to begin 4-week Restorative yoga sessions at my studio in the woods next month, and to sharing the magical benefits of incorporating Restorative yoga into daily life as a way to ease and flow with transitions, including the changing of the seasons.

I wish you a restful and restorative fall season.

Recommended links:

Satya: A Practice of Truthfulness

5 Lessons the Fall Teaches Us About Life

Just for fun: dance to this song of fall!

Lessons from my dogs

I’ve often said that my dog Lucie, who was one of those truly special dogs, was one of my greatest spiritual teachers. She was pure love. Below is my favorite photo of me with her.

We always told her she was the world’s best dog.

Lucie and Miele (the Italian word for honey, pronounced Mee – el – a) crossed the country with us when we moved to Vashon Island, and unfortunately, Lucie died suddenly just before our house and studio were ready. Miele, now probably about 12, developed arthritis in the past few months and it’s been a lesson in aging gracefully to watch how she’s dealt with this new way of living. We are fortunate to have a wonderful school of animal massage on the island, and today Miele had her first session as a demonstration dog for the massage students. True to form, she was a big hit and hopefully will be able to go back often.

Miele giving a massage student a big wet kiss.

Our pets are with us for far too short a time, but in that time they teach us two of life’s most important lessons: Live in the moment, and always love. The simplest lessons are always the best.

Recommended links:

Northwest School of Animal Massage

Animal stories like these always make me cry

Fabulous dog photos guaranteed to make you smile