I recently heard the word “lifeways,” in reference to indigenous ways of living in harmony with the natural world.

Something in it really struck me and reignited my desire to live in lifeways, in ways that are nourishing for me and the natural world.

Now I’m applying it to this huge process Dave and I are in—


We have been prepping our house for sale and sifting, sorting, packing, and moving our belongings to Port Townsend, Washington State… We just got back from a trip and our house is in the process of being sold. Please keep your fingers crossed for us that this part is quick and easy!


As we’ve been in this process, I am aware that there are ways of moving, just like there are ways of living. Some of the ways are more in harmony with the natural environment and some not. Since we humans are part of this natural environment, too, it’s also about how we can stay in harmony with ourselves in the midst of this uprooting, chaotic process.

Below are some MovingWays that have really help me—because even in the midst of 18-hour work days and LONG driving days, we can always practice!


I LOVE this word! Look at the etymology—it’s all about being IN joy. We have a choice, every day, every evening, every morning, every moment to be IN joy. Why not enjoy the process? It’s certainly happening, full force…

Here are a few ways I’ve been doing this as I pack:

As I sift, sort, pack, and let go, I remember the joy I had from items, and feel it in the moment as much as possible, regardless of what I decide to do with it…

Marie Kondo’s “Does it spark joy?” helps with the letting-go phase as you sort and pack. If it sparks, keep it; if not, let it go. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for me as too many things spark joy! So, I practice feeling the spark and letting things go anyway…

Another one that has been really powerful for us is letting things go and imagining how that item will bring others joy (lots on Craiglist for free and Goodwill).

In fact, that’s what’s so awesome about putting things on Free Craigslist—you actually get to meet the people that you are gifting the item to, and they are so HAPPY to receive it. We gave away an old video camera and the young man in his late twenties that came to get it told us how thrilled he was—he remembered his parents videoing him and his siblings as they were growing up. And he just got engaged and wanted this to film his children. SWEET!

Time—Chronos AND Kairos

Plan enough Chronos (linear) time! Everything takes longer than you think!

We had a 5-year plan to make this move, but we didn’t really start working on the house until the dining room wallpaper removal and painting 2 years ago. Then at 1 year, everything got more real and we started in earnest, beginning to go through things, too. But we still didn’t plan enough for all the repair work we would need to hire out, and that made things really stressful at the last minute!

Planning enough time also means you can work on recycling, gifting, and selling your belongings instead of throwing them away! This way we don’t create more waste that our natural world has to try to manage. With enough time, you can go through files and recycle or reuse the old paper, giving away the binders, reclaiming the paper clips, etc. With enough time, you can find a home for all that extra yarn or cloth in the attic… We weren’t perfect at this, but we did a LOT, and it felt so good to not just contribute more garbage to our struggling earth.

If you have the Chronos time, try Marie Kondo’s way of sorting before you pack—spread everything from a like-category out in one place so you can see it all while you are making decisions about what to keep (for example, all your shoes, all your summer clothes, all your kitchen jars 😊).

If you simply don’t have enough Chronos time, you can draw on Kairos time in these two ways:

  • Let Kairos time draw you into a project when the moment feels right and trust that process.
  • Use the linear allotment of time available and within that structure, give yourself Kairos time to flow within that structure, to commune/be with each project, each item, each belonging that has afforded you this way of living.

Both kinds of time are necessary for not feeling overly rushed—play with them to weave a sense of wholeness in the process.

Be in Abundance

Neither Dave or I feel abundant about money most of the time. We choose to work part-time so that we can spend more time doing things we love to do, but this also means that most of the time, we have to be careful with how we spend.

In this moving process, we have both been giving away things that cost a lot. We originally thought we would sell them, but when it came time, we just didn’t have time, so we gave them away.

We totally didn’t expect it, but we’ve noticed that by giving away something that would otherwise be really expensive to buy to someone who couldn’t have afforded it, we not only receive the gift of their joy, but we feel more abundant!

Dave recently donated a very expensive racing bike, and I gave away a harmonium. The act of giving these away helped us realize that we actually have enough—enough to be able to give! We have abundance. This helps us be in our abundance—and that feels yummy!

Sing/Sound/Give Voice

You don’t have to be a singer to make sound—and we’ve been making a lot of it lately! Sometimes, we sit down at the dining room table and before we say our metta-prayer grace, we let whatever sounds need to come through out. Sometimes it’s low growls; at other times, squeaky-sounding energy, or even a long, airy sigh.

It’s a way to voice what is happening inside. We’ve been so busy, working, repairing, tracking, taking care of so many things that some feelings haven’t had a chance to be totally felt. Giving voice to this helps them to move up and out and thus feels complete and released. (This is Full Voice work.)

It’s also fun to sound together! It creates connection (more on that next!).

We’re also singing together more—little made-up ditties, or little songs. Choosing words that express the reality we are living and give us hope—like There is work to be done, which also acknowledges that we are in it together or The only way through is through, which needs no explanation(!)—or words that help us remember ourselves, like Endless boundless gratitude, which gives thanks for the food we are about to eat.

Stay Connected

We are doing this moving thing together. It’s really easy, when stressed, for me (as a Self-Preservation One) to sit back into myself and get all independent and self-sufficient. I can clamp down my emotions and just get into doing mode, not wanting interruptions of any kind, even a touch… Dave has his own version of this, too.

What we’ve found, though, is that we need to go against these personality patterns. We need to consciously reach out and stay connected–via touch and words. We need to remind each other, over and over again, that we are in this together, that we are supported, that we don’t have to do it alone.

No matter how adult we think we are, there is this little inner child part that really needs this support and thrives with it. If we ignore this part of ourselves, we get more stressed, more withdrawn, more moody and anxious… it’s no fun! But reaching out to each other calms this all down and makes the process possible.

I had someone ask me recently if we were sitting together on the flight home after taking a weeklong UHaul moving trip to our new home. I said, of course! She was surprised to hear we feel closer than ever to each other because of this practice of intentionally staying connected.

Sleep, Eat & Move as Well as You Can!

We prioritize getting as much sleep as we can given each day’s schedule. Dave was actually sleeping on a friend’s couch as I wrote this since we were locked out of our home for an openhouse and showings all afternoon.

Eating well looks different depending on the day. We brought a cooler in the moving truck so we could bring easy noshing food for the trip. At a supermarket in North Dakota, we got a broccoli salad that was too sweet, but it was green and fresh! And I got a quart of uncooked pickles. For the trip, I brought wakame and a container I could hydrate it in so that we could add greens to our hotel egg breakfasts, as well as my own GF homemade bread.

Sometimes eating well means going out to eat and getting a meal made for us so that we can relax and receive. In that case, it always includes eggs if it’s breakfast and a big salad for any other meal..

And we always bring our bamboo utensils and napkins so we don’t have to use extra paper, plastic, or Styrofoam, even at the hotel breakfasts. Next up is to get some lightweight natural-material, reusable plates (just ordered!).

Move your body in many different ways! Packing, carrying, repairing… it’s hard on your body! Break up the type of work you are doing–stand up, sit down, go for a walk and swing your arms and legs, lie down and relax, stretch… I bring tennis balls in a sock in the truck and use them to work out sore muscles, which really helps… Listen to your bodysoul and pay attention to what s/he needs, if not out of love and care, at least so that you can keep going without being injured!

Ask For & Receive Support!!

When I asked friends who moved 2 years ago what we needed to know, this was the biggie!

We, honestly, could not have gotten this far without the help of our friends! A group helped us load and a group unloaded us at the other end. Friends came to help stage, to check on the house, mow the lawn, and tend the gardens after we left.

We are calling out DEEP thanks to Phil and Steve H., who loaded the truck with great care, Larissa, Gregg, John, and Steve C., who helped load it, Elizabeth who spent hours breaking up boxes for recycling, Gregg who came back to mow for us, Ellen who checked in on and made the gardens look as good as they could, Cheryl who helped with the staging before and after the cleaners inadvertently rearranged things, and let us crash at her home when we couldn’t be in ours… And the unloading crew of new and old friends—Becky and John, Margie, Bill, and my parents!

Not only did receiving this support relieve the stress of trying to figure out how to do it ourselves, we felt so held, part of community, not alone, so supported. And SO GRATEFUL!

We also asked contractors to do more than they originally contracted for, and most were willing, including Ian, who even volunteered to put a fresh coat of paint on the deck of the porch and the basement stairs and came back in to put the corner-round on when the painters neglected it.

Receiving this support was AMAZINGLY nourishing and has helped us to continue on with what must be done…

Keep Your Practice Going

Whatever it is that you do to return to your center, your sense of being in Love, of okayness with the world, of contact with your deepest sense of Self, do that!!

You may need to spend less Chronos time on it to make space for the reality of all that needs to be done, but you absolutely MUST continue something to fill your well.

At first, my morning practice time got shorter. Then when the 18-hour days hit and I let go of that time, I still read something short and inspirational to help my mind, kept presence practices woven into my day going, and practiced everything mentioned above. Staying connected to that deeper wellspring is critical for staying sane and well!

I’m sure there are other MovingWays, ways of living in harmony while you are moving, but these are the ones that are top-of-mind as we continue living this process. (Final move planned for early July.)

I’d love to hear how you
have made it through
so that your moving process
was life-giving and part
of your mindful life journey!

Tea & Be

Tea after water when I first awake.

Tea as a meditation.

Tea on a walk through the neighborhood.

Tea while I work.

Tea in the afternoon with a creativity break.

Tea shared with friends.

Tea in the evening before bed.

I wrote this post on the airplane on my way to visit my sister’s family in Alaska, accompanied by… tea! I always bring an empty thermos or travel mug and my own tea and get hot water once I’m through security.

Why this love affair with tea?

Considering the Camellia Sinensis plant–black tea, green, white, oolong, and more–tea offers a well-balanced mix of relaxed alertness.

The caffeine is about 1/3 less than in coffee, and it contains an amino acid, L-Theanine, that promotes relaxation. It’s the only nourishing hot drink I know of that can help your nervous system wake up and become more alert while relaxing you at the same time!

Tea’s warm liquid soothes your throat and nervous system and can be flavored to suit your taste. It invites you to slow down, to savor, to appreciate–even in the midst of a busy or stressful day.

Tea’s many forms accompany me through my life–black in the morning, green or white in the afternoon, and herbal tisane in the evening.

What other hot drink can shape-shift to match the needs of your day and balance your nervous system quite so well?

Watch my calendar for
opportunities to practice with tea!

ripening into harvest’s fullness

Our bodysouls are always doing their best to move toward their fullest, wholeness in any moment.

Even when we get pneumonia unexpectedly, when our bodies have pain we don’t understand, when we feel exhausted…

In the Diamond Approach, we call this the optimization of Being–Being is always moving to evolve, to be as fully expressed as possible through us, through these fragile, earthly, human bodysouls.

We can choose how much to participate in this flow, in this optimization, by how we live our lives.

Call it life force, kundalini, chi, ki, spirit, shakti, or prana,
it is the unimpeded circulation of energy that gives us
health and satisfaction…Life [Being] is generous;
it wants to flow through us amply and freely.
~ Maurine & Roche, in Meditation Secrets for Women, p. 91

So, how do we allow and cooperate with this natural, ample, free-flowing movement of life?

It’s about more than physical movement. Yes, finding enjoyable movement that strengthens, aligns, and creates flexibility and resilience in your physical body is important.

And, it’s about more than what and how we eat, though being aware that EVERYTHING you put in your mouth becomes your bodysoul–your tissues, bones, blood, emotions, and thoughts–might help you to choose food that supports your wholeness.

It also includes your psycho-spiritual practices–how you are in relationship with your bodysoul: sensations, emotions, thoughts, and soul.

  • Full expression of the pulsing movement of life includes listening to and responding to the body’s sensations.
  • Free-flowing optimization means paying attention to and working with ALL emotions to undo blocked energy (stuck patterns) from your history and personality.
  • Natural, free circulation means mindfulness of the monkey mind and learning not to believe everything you think.
  • And all of this affects the wholeness and ripening of your soul.

The secret is to cooperate with the process and provide
the right environment. Staying physically and emotionally
fluid is key, and awareness is the magic ingredient.
~ Maurine & Roche, Meditation Secrets for Women, p. 92

And it includes being curious and open to exploring our edges so we don’t simply stay in our comfortable, cozy nest where we don’t need to challenge our way of being, but rather ripen into our fullest harvest of wholeness.

The way I’ve been doing this recently is by
exploring my voice!

Even though I’ve always sung and have learned to love my pretty, pure tone, in the last few years, it’s become clear how attached I’ve been to singing in this one way. My voice–sung and spoken–has been another way of keeping me in a familiar, comfortable way of being, in my Enneagram type One personality.

In January 2017, I started exploring how to reclaim more of my voice–originally due to a really difficult situation I was going through (read more). I didn’t know that I would be challenging my tried and true way of singing, too! This journey continues to be an amazing one, opening me to not only fuller range in my singing and speaking, but also in my whole bodysoul.

Because I’ve been loving the work so much, I’m training to include Full Voice Coaching as part of my coaching work–so I can share this beautiful, life-transforming, ripening-into-fullness work with others.

there always, something sings

“…in the muck, in the scum of things, there always, something sings.”

~ Michelle Isaac from her song Something Sings

I spent July 15th – 20th in the hospital in Ithaca, New York.

A monthlong on-again, off-again headcold was brewing into pneumonia unbeknownst to me, and the pleurisy that abruptly awakened me at 5:30 am on Sunday the 15th was so painful and gripping my left upper chest and back that I feared I was having a heart attack. Various complications, including fevers spiking daily, kept me in the hospital longer than usual for pneumonia…

After the initial fear for my life–not a heart attack, not a clot on my lung, and later, not MRSA…, I found myself settling into an amazing experience of holy refuge and practical, hands-on love everywhere–through the ongoing expressions of support, care, blessing, and prayer from facebook when I posted to my friends that I was in need, and through the daily, attuned attention and ministrations of the nurses, aides, and doctors on 4 North, where I was convalescing.

the singing

I felt so much gratitude and appreciation for all the care I was receiving. Even in the depth of pain on every breath, even in the fear of the unknown, even in the sadness of this happening–without any effort on my part, love brimmed over like a waterfall from my heart, flowing over me and over others.

Why not see the good in everyone and be kind? I was feeling so supported, so I kept letting people know how much I appreciated their kindness. This created a beautiful reciprocity of kindness meeting kindness.

After many meals, I spontaneously wrote a thank you note on the slip of paper that had my order on it. Each day, I got a menu to choose from for the next day, and on the back was the typical “My Plate” diagram from the US government about healthy meal proportions. One day, I wrote a note and drew an arrow to the “My Plate” and said I wasn’t able to fulfill my need for vegetables at breakfast. Within a half an hour of taking my tray, someone from the kitchen came up and asked me what I’d like and from then on, I had a salad with every breakfast! Kindness meets kindness.

I was able to truly receive the care offered to me-all the little things that the nursing staff did as a matter of course to care for me, and all the things I asked for. I let them care for me in ways that in the past I would have apologized for. I would have maybe not even asked for fear of being needy. But by asking, I got to receive their care and love.

Food is healing! As I ate my very simple, mostly protein- and veggie-based meals, I felt their life-giving power. How chewing made the vitality of the food accessible to my body. How eating slowly and reverently helped me receive the bounty of each bite. How I never felt like I had to be a “clean-plate clubber” and eat it all, so I could listen to what was the perfect amount in the moment for my healing.

The view of the lake. I was so lucky to get a room that had a view of the lake and to be in the bed by the window so I could see it! As soon as I could, I asked my care team to turn my bed so that, instead of the TV, I had a view of Lake Cayuga. The “leaping greenly spirit of trees and the blue true dream of sky” along with the water saved me (e.e. cummings)! I could feel their life force blessing and healing me. It was so odd–they said no-one had ever asked for this before!

Grief. Yes, grief is part of the gift, too. Since I was sick in my lungs, I realized grief might be a component. In addition to grieving being so sick, and missing not only my family gathered for the wedding, but also the concert I was supposed to sing and all my friends I was going to see that week in the Hudson River Valley, I found a well of grief that still needed to be felt about losing my brother in 2016. I let myself grieve his loss–that we could not save him, that he was so unhappy, that this was how turned out. The tears, the deep feelings helped me release another layer of this painful loss.

People, relationships, connections matter more than work! Joy matters! Singing! Laughter! Time for pleasure! Work is not the most important thing to prioritize in the day. This was so evident while I was lying around healing, receiving all the love from facebook friends, from the Unit, from my family and friends. It’s the heart-full connections that were healing. I barely touched the book I had with me that was related to work. I instinctively reached for the connection… 

Asking sincere questions creates real connection. I loved learning about the lives of my caregivers–the nurses, aides, and Brendalee, who was in charge of the meals and kept coming to check in with me.

I found out Brendalee keeps chickens, pigs, and rabbits for her grandchildren so they will have a chance to have animals in their lives. In her home, there’s a basket by the door and everyone puts their cell phone in when they enter in order to have a chance at real contact. Her love of cooking is passed along to her 4 yro granddaughter through cooking together in the kitchen and through her service at the hospital. What a gift to feel the heart connection of so many common values and desire to be of service under our very different exteriors. We both felt filled by this connection.

Spaciousness around everything. Nowhere to go. “Nothing to do or undo, nothing to force, nothing to want, nothing is missing” (Venerable Lama Gendun Rinpoche). There was so much time for rest. I saw how all the things I love and all the ways I want to live create stuff to do and track and manage–they take up time. I want time in my life–to rest, to connect with friends, to sit with tea and take in beauty, to sing, to pray, to heal, to journal… to be. And NOT just in the hospital! 🙂

Singing gives me life. Even when I was sick, in pain, and had almost no breath from the pneumonia, humming or lightly singing a healing song carried me. The tune and words lifted me, bringing conscious intention for my mind, attuned contact with my heart–whether grief or joy or longing, and holy vibration to my body. Singing accompanied, companioned, and inspired me, surrounded me with the healing life force of my bodysoul. The primary song I sang as I did my “rounds,” (walking around the unit) was originally a birthing song, and I changed some words to birth my healing:

I am trusting my body to carry me through carrying you to me, I am trusting.
My body wide open, the veil lifts, my heart is filled, my mind it empties.
Wide open, I am wide open.
Welcome breath into my lungs, welcome flow into my muscles, welcome joy into my organs, welcome qi into my cells.

Click the link below for the song.
It is meant to be sung as a round.
Listen below for the separate parts I sang to save my life.

I Am Trusting My Body

(A birthing song, learned from Kathar Grant, who learned it at the gathering, Singing Alive. I changed the words to make it a birthing-my-healing song while in the hospital with pneumonia.)

Weed or Wild Nourishment?

I’ve spent a lot of time pulling weeds.

Starting with the most common ones—Creeping Charlie taking over the whole backyard when I first moved in with Dave, grass growing in garden beds, plantain, dandelions, and here in Minnesota, those purple bellflowers that seem to spread everywhere…

Other weeds that have caught my attention include all the ways my Enneagram type One personality judges that I (or others) need weeding. Over the years, I’ve dug out my messy emotions, pulled up my gut instincts, rooted out my raw and uncontrollable sexuality, and excavated all the wild impulses that might lead me astray.

“Got a dirty eye, see a dirty world.”
~ Mark Nepo, in The Book of Awakening

I think we all have dirty eyes—in the sense that our vision is clouded from seeing life as it is. Perhaps it’s Enneagram type that clouds, or maybe it’s family upbringing, or maybe it’s trauma, or our culture or religion…and most likely a combination of all of the above.

This clouding keeps us stuck in one way of seeing.


But what if that plant, instead of being a weed, is Wild Nourishment?

Over the years, as I started realizing there was such a thing as wild nourishment

I dug up the dandelion from my yard, ate some, and transplanted the rest into its own bed in my backyard. I enjoy eating it all summer, but especially when it’s tender in the spring (now!).

I pulled out the plantain and dried it for use in tea and herbal salves. (Internally for indigestion, externally for skin ailments.)

The grass spreading into flower and veggie gardens I still weed out—and the Creeping Charlie, too!

I gave up on weeding out the purple bellflowers—I still manage them in some places, but in others, I let them be a lovely, green ground cover, and on our front stairs, their purple bell flower welcomes people to our home. (Dave’s youngest helped me get this—I was madly ripping them out one summer when he said how he missed the greenery and flowers on the bare concrete stairs, and I realized I did, too. It has saved me a lot of work over the years!)

And my own inner weeding?

I am finding the gifts of wild nourishment of my fuller self—

How my unedited emotions, my instinctual-knowing, my juicy sexuality, and my spontaneous impulses don’t lead me astray, but nourish and bring more wholeness to my life.

I feel more alive, more embodied, more present on this earth when I embrace all of me in this way.

How about you?

Are there ways you see through dirty eyes and try to weed out parts of yourself that are unacceptable? Or the world around you? How could those parts you are pulling out be important to your growth into the fully alive human being you are?

with roots, we rise


magnificent trees, their root structure spreading horizontally twice their height.


icebergs, 90% of their mass underwater.


deep sleep, providing the substrate for your body to integrate, heal, and grow.


real, nourishing food, feeding your cells, creating your bodies, emotions, and thoughts.


movement, pumping blood and air, forming flesh and bone.


inner practice, deepening your connection to your whole bodysoul.



These are the roots you need to rise up
and live your life.



Winter is the time to nourish your roots:


Read or listen to a grounding meditation to deepen your inner roots.




Try my Parsnip-Burdock Breakfast Bowl to feed your belly roots.




Consider joining The SHE Schoolstarting todaya 9-month journey
of like-hearted women who wish to root and rise.
(I’ll be mentoring in the program and this is my personal link.)

Savoring Dave, Chocolate & Summer!

something different: a little, rhyming summer poem for you!



Even though we rarely eat sweets,

Dave’s 60th needed a




Something summery, simple, and


to follow salmon, salad, memories, and stories.


The family in the garden all gathered together,

sipping and supping with laughter and



The chocolate pots cooled to luscious perfection,

We savored each spoonful of blissful confection!



To taste these Chocolate Potstry the recipe AND


Join me at Healthy High Tea in the Garden, August 20th!



How are you savoring these precious days of Summer?

Summer Sweetness

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Don’t you love summer?

The light, the green, the blossoming, the beauty?

And how about the fun?

Swimming, biking, dancing, vacationing, picnicking, hammocking, camping, hiking, gardening, time with friends, playing outside!!

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Drink it in!

Let it fill your bodysoul to the brim. Savor it with all your senses. This beauty, this fun, this pleasure…this sweetness is your birthright!
Learn more about the value of sweetness and pleasure in your life!

A Recipe for Joy

joy and gatefulnessNotes

First things first.

Clear your counter—or if you have a well-used space that has everything you might need nearby, at least make some room for the mixing bowls and other utensils needed!

We’re mixing up Joy, so consider the ingredients you need for the recipe today. You can make another version another day. What do you need right now?

My Ingredient List

Sacred Time
Spiritual Practice


Creating Sacred Space

  1. Create sacred space for this time in your kitchen. You may want to light a candle or say a little prayer or intention for creating Joy. It could be as simple as taking a breath and saying, “May I open to Joy.”
  2. Take a look at your ingredients. If you want to mix these particular ingredients together, what mixing bowl will you choose? Make sure you choose one that has MORE space than you think you need. You’ll need room to stir the ingredients together—and, who knows, there may even be some kitchen magic from the combining, so you’ll want to save space for that!

Preparing Your Joy
Keep Reading!