with presence, you get presents

december-snow-thru-windowthe title of this blogpost is a quote from my primary Enneagram teacher, past boss, and friend, Russ Hudson.

with presence, you get presents…i know i have made it much harder than that in my life!! one of the biggest stumbling blocks to presence for me is moving too fast, trying to do too much, which i talked about in my last blogpost.

the other big obstacle is one most of us have been taught from an early age:


“Take care of others before you take care of yourself.”


our family of origin, trying to mold us into good citizens who will be acceptable in the culture we live in, tells us not to focus on ourselves, that it’s SELFISH.

as women, we get the message that it’s our job to care for others, whether it be calling, texting, emailing, visiting, or even accepting an invitation or overstaying so as not to hurt someone’s feelings.

and men have their own version of this: they often feel pressure to provide for the family and make their women happy.

this time of year, we’re all encouraged to focus on finding and giving the RIGHT gifts—that we research, shop for, spend money on, or hand-make. even if we truly want to make our loved ones happy with the perfect gift, it is so easy to lose ourselves in what can feel like a frantic search.


as an adult, i find that one of my favorite memories of Christmas was doing a 1,000-2,500 piece puzzle together as a family.

yes, we were dedicated puzzlers! 🙂 my parents hung a round, particle-board tabletop on pulleys in our living room so we could sit around it and puzzle together and then pull it up to the ceiling to make space for other things.

what i remember most is the gift of calm, together time.

we didn’t talk a lot. we simply joined each other at the table and were present together—sometimes to put a piece in as we were passing through, sometimes for longer.


i’m not suggesting not to invest some time and money in gathering hands-on gifts for your loved ones.

  • but see if you can return to yourself over and over again while you do. fill your own well with the gift of your mindful presence. if you need some tips for how to do this see babysteps for presence.
  • as you spend time with others over the holidays, stay connected with the internal presence of you—the felt sense of your feet on the ground, the breath in your body, the way your heart is touched by their presence.
  • also when with others, practice taking their presence in. see them freshly—breathe in their beauty, their unique way of thinking and being. you might want to try a version of this savoring practice to help you really tune in.

as you do any of these practices, you are giving yourself and the person you are with the gift of presence—of yours and theirs.

with presence, we get presents.


because i know how hard it can be to practice presence,
i’ve created an opportunity for us to practice together,
to make a fresh start in the New Year:


in these five days together, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of your everyday life and try on mindful practices to create more presence in your life. we’ll weave in more meaning and sacred intention so that you are crafting a life you want to live.


Please join me! I’d love to journey with you!




receiving the moment

i recently immersed myself in the book Three Faces of Mind by Elaine de Beauport with Aura Sofia Diaz. in the section on the different intelligences of the neocortex, the “human” brain, i found a really helpful explanation of one of the ways of thinking i really struggle with.

practice makes perfect

as an Enneagram Type One, one of the ways my ego feels safe is to quickly discern what is right/wrong, good/bad, etc. i notice whether things are done well, put in the right place, or expressed clearly. i notice if people follow-through, act with integrity, speak the truth… i notice this in others and even more in myself.

i know it might seem like it, but this is not just me being picky or judgmental. it is an attempt by my ego personality to always know how to align with the Good, the Right. this not only makes me feel safe in the world, but keeps a sense of myself, my identity going.

unfortunately, it also separates me from myself and from others. when i am discerning, if there is any hint of “i’m better” or that i’m standing on higher moral ground, then what i’m really doing is judging, not simply discerning the differences between things. and people feel this.

Elaine talks about this way of thinking as a less healthy version of Rational Intelligence. we most definitely need the capacity to discern, to think linearly and rationally (left brain), but when it becomes about judging, it is a hindrance rather than a support.

she suggests developing Associative Intelligence to be more whole (right brain). associate thinking is about receiving life as it arrives without judging or even discerning. it is about taking in the fullness of the experience—be that a person, something in nature, a situation, and in this openness to life, to discover something new. it is about connecting as opposed to separating. (there is less healthy associative thinking, too—like getting overwhelmed and lost in the amount of life coming in.)

this is a helpful way for me to understand the practices that i have felt called to take on.

one of the big ones these days has been this RECEIVING of life. when Dave walks into my office to share something or check-in, instead of going into my personality habit of feeling interrupted in my rational working process, i turn away from my computer and toward him. i breathe him in. i listen, i look, i feel into him as much as i can while staying grounded in my body and heart. (this invites my heart online, too.) i receive his presence in the moment instead of blocking it to stay focused on my linear task.

this feels much better to me, and is resulting in deeper connection and communication between us. and i can still use my left brain to limit how long of a break i take, while showing up completely, openly, softly for the time that he is here.

i’m not always very good at this, though! (my rationally intelligent left brain discerns and judges this, too. 🙂 ) i’ve been going through a rough work transition lately, and i’ve found that my rational mind’s conclusion that the other side is wrong, acting out of integrity, and untrustworthy can really keep me from engaging in associative intelligence. i recently had the opportunity to try to connect with the other side, and i was too loaded up with the conclusion that i’m being wronged to allow associative intelligence in.

so, i work with it after the fact in the hopes that i will have more choice next time.

what could associative thinking have looked like?

  • i could have breathed into my feet and belly and up my spine, connecting with my own grounded strength first.
  • i could have breathed down the front of my body, softening to receive the other person.
  • i could have focused softly on including the other person’s experience.
  • i could have listened without immediately jumping in to respond.
  • i could have found something i could connect with in the other person—some glimpse, some feeling, some energy.

how could this have supported me? perhaps i would have learned something new about the other side of the situation. perhaps they would have been more open to listening to me. perhaps i could have spoken a deeper truth from that place of deeper connection.

there are many benefits to practicing skillful associative thinking:

  • it can re-awaken interest in someone you think you know through and through.
  • it can open you up to appreciating something you would have overlooked.
  • it can help you make your own meaning by sensing how something is affecting you.
  • it can build a deeper relationship with your body and heart, as well as with other people.
  • it can open you up to new non-linear creative insights.

how do you practice Associative Intelligence?
does it come naturally to you? i think it is definitely easier for certain Enneagram types as it supports their self-image and basic needs more than Rational Intelligence.

in my holistic life coaching, we explore how to draw on a more whole way of living, using both rational and associative ways of being. we definitely need the healthy version of both!

if you would like some support in practicing presence to feel more at home in your body and at ease & resilient in your life, i’d be happy to offer you a free Discovery Session to explore my coaching program.

p.s. do you have friends who would like to feel more mindful? i’d love it if you would share this post with them on Facebook!



letting go

practice makes perfectA couple of weeks ago I was having a really HARD time letting go.

We were innsitting for the first time in a year, so I was feeling a bit rusty on all the procedures and protocols necessary to run the Inn.

This new website was supposed to be live, but it wasn’t yet.

And I was under deadline—that’s always creates the most pressure—or my old website would quietly slide into oblivion without a new one to take its place…Ugh.

And it was my birthday, but the restaurant I wanted to eat at was unexpectedly closed and I had no bandwidth to enjoy it even if it had been open…I had been working all day. On. My. Birthday. I couldn’t let go. I had to work, to get the site done. Even on my birthday.

This created the most stressful experience I have had in a really long time.

I was doing everything right—working hard to get all the myriad details needed to get my site live. And I kept running into roadblocks. Unexpected outcomes. New things to learn. More support to ask for…and support people not as readily available as needed—at the same time that I was managing guests checking in and out, cleaning guest rooms, feeding guests, and trying to have a relationship with myself and my husband…

It all came to a head the night I was planning to make my site live, when the software I was using to build the site became really glitchy.

I was going over the last details to make sure all the pages were really ready, and I found I needed to add a period—one small period.

I opened the page, added the period, updated, and took a look.

And ALL of the paragraph breaks were gone on the whole page! Even in sections that I had not opened! ALL of them!!! My page was one huge chunk of text, unreadable, and certainly not going-live ready…

Over the next hour, I patiently added the spaces back. And each time, while one space would be there, another would disappear. It was a nightmare! It literally took an hour to fix all the mess that adding one period created!!

And then I had to go on to other pages and the same thing kept happening…

I was using all my mindfulness practice tools. Sensing my tense body, noticing my thoughts, feeling my anger and frustration…I even got up and jumped up and down yelling out my anger, shaking, punching, and letting it course through me. Dave held space and witnessed this for me. (Thank you, honey!)

By the time I got to the last page, there were still a few spacing problems, but most of it was OK. It was late and Dave was headed to bed. I told him I had to stay up and finish it. I had to fix this page. It had to be perfect…No matter how tired I was, no matter how tense my body felt, no matter…

And he challenged me on this. This is the beauty of conscious relationship!

Dave knew that I have a completion compulsion. It’s part of my Enneagram type One personality, I’m afraid…It serves me well in many ways, but following it in search of the ever-elusive perfection of this page was potentially opening up a huge can of worms, perhaps even another hour of fixing (and jumping up and down)…

My ego personality SCREAMED internally that I HAD to stay up and fix this before making my site live. I couldn’t make it live if it weren’t perfect!!

And instead of listening to this habitual message, I took a deep breath and agreed with Dave. I could live with that imperfect spacing. I could let go of needing the site to be PERFECT before making it live.

I made it live. I did not announce it quite yet, but making it live and imperfect gave me a chance to let go even a little more. I could breathe more deeply. I could get more rest. I could stop filling every moment inbetween guests with computer work.

I. Let. Go.

Of something that felt so familiar, so seductive, so comforting in its own way.

And it created space. Space for me to experience more life, more ease, more joy. More, not less.

It’s like instead of continuing to toil around the outside, I quickly jumped into the center of the collage. (If you click on it, it will expand so you can see the details.) All that perfecting and perfecting wasn’t getting me there, even though I was efforting like crazy. Letting go dropped me there. In that openness. In that bounty. In that ease.

How do we let go?

I have often argued that we can’t do it with the will alone, which is why it can feel a bit crazy-making when someone tells us to just let go…If we could, we would have already! But realizing it would be healthy to let go and actually being able to are totally different things.

I love what my Diamond Approach teacher says about this—we practice so that we can be available to grace. I think it’s grace that allows us to be able to let go, not will.

I have been practicing for many years to open to grace. In this case seeing my perfection pattern over and over again, allowing more imperfection in small ways, feeling the pain of the perfection push, feeling the ego distress of not perfecting something, feeling healthier and happier when I don’t let perfection rule my life…

These years of practice allowed me to be open to the grace that Dave reminded me of in that moment—to relax my ego’s grip and drop the perfection pattern, to let go.

Fall is a season for practicing letting go. As we look back at what we’ve grown since the Spring, and consider what we want to bring with us, we also discern when it’s time to let go. For me, it’s a long-held habit, a way of knowing myself that needed to go. What is it for you?

If you’d like to practice letting go with me, I have a few beautiful opportunities for you:


Greetings from a Peony

This amazing peony.
Right here.
Opening, graceful, present.

How can I not look at it?
How can I not stop and drink it in?

Now, it says.
I look.
Yes, this.
I drink it in.
Come again.
I sink, I dive, I am drawn in.

The beauty.
The simplicity.
The “isness.”

This simple peony.
From my garden.
In a vase.
Sitting on my desk.

Inviting me.
To stop.
To savor.
To be.


And now.

And, forever, now.

This, too.

Practice Loving Kindness
Practice Loving Kindness

Kindness, compassion, unconditional friendliness… What do these words evoke in you?

Of course, it’s good to be kind to others. It’s good to be a compassionate person, to be friendly…that’s what we’re taught, by our parents, at school, in our faith traditions, by our culture. Being a good person, a nice person, an appropriate person includes being kind.

But what is kindness? And what does it mean to be kind?

  • To do kind things for someone?
  • To say kind words?

What if we aren’t feeling or thinking kindness?

There’s something to be said for practicing kindness whether we feel it/think it or not.

  • But if we only practice kindness toward others, we’re missing something.
  • We may never really feel what we’re doing/saying on the outside if we are not also practicing kindness for ourselves on the inside.

This is the place we need to start. With ourselves.

Are you kind to yourself?

  • Think about the last time you did something you wish you hadn’t—it could be something small like unintentionally hurting a friend.
  • How did you treat yourself?
  • Most of us have learned to judge ourselves in some way: “Why did I do that?” “Messed up—again.” “What’s wrong with me?” “I shouldn’t have done that.” Or maybe something much stronger…
  • Is that the way you would treat your friend or a child?
  • Is it kind? Is it compassionate? Is it friendly?

Meditation teacher Tara Brach has a beautiful book called Radical Acceptance in which she describes another possible way of living that includes learning to accept rather than resist (judge, ignore, deny, etc.) our experience.

Accepting our experience is the ultimate act of kindness.

I’ve been playing around recently with one of her practices, which she refers to as “This, too.”

  • When I unintentionally hurt a friend, I breathe and sense my body and heart and say “This, too.”
  • Just by saying “This, too,” instead of moving into a habitual judging or doing response, it gives me a pause.
  • What is this “This”? What is my experience from causing hurt? What is actually happening in my body, in my heart?
  • Perhaps I feel fear or sadness or disappointment…How does that sense in my body? What are the actual sensations and where are they showing up? …This, too.
  • The mind will have a lot of ideas about this and may want to jump in with stories or judgments about me, about what this means, about what to do… I don’t need to try to stop those—that’s futile anyway! I simply keep returning to how I feel in my heart and body when these thoughts arise. …This, too.
  • I might notice that from staying with myself in this way, some feelings of closeness with myself, of welcoming myself, of being friendly with myself arise. …This, too.

This is being kind to myself. This is accepting my experience in the moment. And this is what will organically lead me into heartful, mindful action if needed.

As Tara says, “All that matters on this path of awakening is taking one step at a time, being willing to show up for just this much, touching the ground just this moment.” (p. 324)

As I practice this at various times during my day, I feel softer, gentler, more aware of what is actually going on inside me, creating a sense of intimacy with myself. This, too.

Then when I’m kind to others, this kindness feels congruent. It arises from a place of knowing kindness with myself. My inner and outer experience reflect each other. Kindness is real and truthful. This kindness ripples into the world. This, too.

May we all practice loving kindness.

If you’d like some support practicing kindness, I’d be honored to accompany you:

Saying Yes to Love—Part II

This is Part II of a 2-Part Series on Love for the month of February. Part I explores how essential it is to say Yes to Love in relationship. This second post focuses on practicing Love. Although originally written for dear friends whose wedding I officiated, and, thus, about the personal Love relationship between two people, everything here applies to Love in any relationship—with yourself, with your friends, with your family, with an animal friend, with a partner, with the Beloved. Read the poem that inspired this exploration.

Practice Loving Kindness
Practice Loving Kindness

Saying Yes to Love also implies unconditionality.

I practice Love which is not dependent on whether or not…

  • Dave remembers to put the toilet seat down,
  • Or brings out the garbage,
  • Or pulls the sheets off of me to his side of the bed in the middle of the night.

It’s not an “if” you do this kind of proposition!

Even if he hasn’t done something I had hoped for, I still look at him and say “I choose you.” I still say Yes to Love.

Because saying Yes to Love is choosing to live a life that is worth living.

When I say Yes to Love, I open myself to something greater than my limited understanding—

  • To the possibility of both of our growth and transformation,
  • To the mystery of the depth and breadth of the heart,
  • To this moment of limitless possibility.

In order to do this, we have to be willing to feel and allow everything—

  • The old wounds that will get retriggered by our partner,
  • The shame of doing the same unskillful behavior over and over again as we try to learn a new one,
  • The pain of not being able to open our hearts in the moment,
  • The suffering of being stuck and unable to see our way through,
  • As well as the amazing joy, gratitude, and bliss of Love.

For feeling is the language of the heart. And sharing these feelings with our partner is the language of intimacy. It is Love saying Yes. It is saying Yes to Love.

So, I encourage you to say Yes to Love every day, every moment, every chance you get. As Gregory Orr encourages us in his beautiful poem:

Later for “but,”
Later for “if.”

Only the single syllable
That is the beloved,
That is the world.

Yes. May we always choose to practice Love.

What are some concrete ways you practice Love?
With yourself? With others?
How could you deepen your practice?

Read Part I of Saying Yes to Love.

Saying Yes to Love—Part I

This is Part I of a 2-Part Series on Love for the month of February.
This first post explores how essential it is to say Yes to Love
in relationship. The second focuses on practicing Love.
Although originally written for dear friends whose wedding I officiated,
and, thus, about the personal Love relationship between two people, everything here applies to Love in any relationship—with yourself, with your friends, with your family, with an animal friend, with a partner, with the Beloved.

 VDay card for Dave 2014
By Gregory Orr

If to say it once
And once only, then still
To say: Yes.

And say it complete,
Say it as if the word
Filled the whole moment
With its absolute saying.

Later for “but,”
Later for “if.”

Only the single syllable
That is the beloved,
That is the world.

Yes. Unequivocally, Yes.

Conscious relationship, for me, is about learning to say Yes, over and over again, to Love.

Love can open in us as a gift, as a grace, but for the most part, Love is pretty hard work!

I find that Love is a practice of choosing to say Yes to the needs of the relationship, to being and acting as Love in each moment.

  • Even when I’m tired and just want to fall back into the comfortable slumber of “my way,”
  • Even when I feel disconnected and would rather lick my wounds,
  • Even when it would feel better to pretend everything is OK when it’s not,
  • Even when I’m not feeling very loving…

Because Love is bigger than a feeling. Love is a choice.

  • Love chooses connection.
  • Love chooses trying to understand.
  • Love chooses generosity.
  • Love chooses hope.
  • Love chooses to accept my partner’s reality, even when it’s not only different from mine, but might seem downright crazy or misguided.
  • Love says Yes.

For a long time, practicing Love, I would find myself saying Yes, but…

  • But what?
  • But you don’t see the whole picture…
  • But that’s not really what I meant…
  • But I would do it this way…
  • But…

Dave called me on it—many times—and he still may have to from time to time. It is a pretty engrained habit!

  • He let me know that when I say “Yes…but,” he only hears the “but.”
  • He no longer feels heard or acknowledged.
  • It’s like that “but” negates everything else I’ve said.

I have come to understand that the “but” is a turning away from Love, a choosing to separate a part of myself from the Yes of Love. The togetherness of Love. The generosity of Love.

I’m not saying we have to agree about everything—we don’t!

  • If I have a different idea, I share it.
  • But I try not to before acknowledging the Yes.
  • Yes, I see and hear you.
  • Yes, you are right in your truth.
  • Yes, I value and respect you and your expression.
  • AND here is my truth…

This is practicing Love. I won’t always get it right, but I will continue to practice.

How do you say Yes to Love? With yourself? With others?

Note: Part II of this Valentine’s Day blogpost came out at the end of February, so we can remember to keep practicing, even when the romance of Valentine’s Day, or falling in love, or a candlelight dinner is over….

Vivian Speaks


Include me.

Include my fear.

Include my confusion of not knowing how to be when mom told me at 16 that it looked like my eyelids were growing mold when I first tried eye shadow—blue to go with my eyes, whose color and size I was always praised for.

Include my self-imposed banishment from the circle of other teenage girls who knew the tried-and-true steps to becoming a woman in the society I found myself growing up in.

Include my innocence that was broken by his unwanted touch in the night, and my subsequent frozen withdrawal from his heartfelt apology, from his owned ignorance, from his unintentional hurt of me—and from my own budding beauty.

Include my disordered eating—my attempt to know and control and stuff my feelings deep down where no one else, especially me, could find them so that I could go on living a good life.

Include my yearning for something more—to live for, to grow into, to speak, to sing, to embrace, to be.

Include my sadness when I cannot express what is in my heart, when my words hurt another, when I feel unseen for who I am—whether I myself can give voice to it or not.

Include my willingness to dive deep to uncover these stories, to turn them over and over again with loving curiosity, to understand, to offer them to myself and you.

Include my resting into myself, my leaning back into my sensual bodysoul in the perfect form she is expressing right now.

Include me.

Include life.


**Vivian is the name of my inner teenager.

**Image Credit: Dive Deep is the top blue painting of a woman diving, from the beautiful artwork of Leah Piken Kolidas: http://www.bluetreeartgallery.com/dive-deep.php. Used with permission.

NN(G)FT and A Virgin Pedi!

virgin pedicureNN(G)FT is a term I learned this week from business-strategist, marketing-maven, spiritual-ass-kicker with-a-side-of-hip-hop-swagger, Maria Forleo! I’ve added the “G”, which emhasizes the importance of the “Girl” in Friend Time when you’re a woman, anyway…

I’ve been so busy this past year studying to practice as a Holistic Health & Wellness Coach with IIN that I haven’t made as much time for my girlfriends as usual, and I’ve really missed it! I hereby commit to making it non-negotiable!

There is something so supportive about getting together with a girlfriend to talk, to be heard, to share about what’s going on in our lives. And even better, to get together and have it be my first time ever to experience a pedicure made it even more fun!!

(I know, it’s probabaly hard to imagine that in my 50s, I had never had a pedicure, but I wasn’t brought up in that world and never really understood what a pleasure it could be…until now!)

In my mission to add more pleasure and fun into my life over the last few years, I have enjoyed painting my own toenails. But I always use the same dark red, and I often go a long time inbetween painting them.

So, today, at my Virgin Pedicure, I decided to try a different color—a lot lighter and oranger—to break out of the box a bit and invite more fun in!

I was surprised how much I enjoyed entering this new world! I joined a tribe of women who knew something I didn’t—a way of taking care of themselves that is even culturally sanctioned!

We ranged in age from girls of seven or so (for a wedding, sitting in really fun pink kittycat chairs—can I sit there next time?) to women in their 80s, seemingly from many different walks of life. Some came in pairs, like my girlfriend and I, but quite a few came alone. We enjoyed each other, complimented the colors chosen, and settled into the ritual. We all belonged—as women, as women who were taking care of themselves, as women who were seeking some pleasure in connection, in fun colors, in touch, in relaxation, in community…

I still have such a warm feeling of wellbeing from this participation in the tribe of women! It really did feel like an initation of sorts for me—an initiation into a new form of pleasure, mutual appreciation, and relational connection of womanhood I had not known.

Do you have NNGFT? How do you bring more pleasure and fun into your life?

life practices: summer solstice 2014

My intention is to blog once a season about Life Practices in order to share what I am practicing in my life, and to suggest opportunities to join me, as well as ideas to use in your own practice.

floweringSummer Solstice is almost upon us! The daylight hours have been growing since Winter Solstice, each day becoming slightly longer until now, when seen from the North or South Poles, the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and appears to stand still (Latin “sol” or sun and “sistere” or to stand still). In 2014, the Summer Solstice occurs at 5:15 am CT on Saturday, June 21st.

Here in Minnesota, we’ve had a long cold Winter and a very unpredictable Spring—cool, hot, windy, thunder-stormy…but everything is growing and really green!! It turns out that the earth knows how to grow and follow her natural rhythms regardless of how crazy the weather is…

Summer’s glory—blooming radiance—abounds, with a new flower coming into bloom almost every day. We’ve passed from Spring’s early blooming bulbs to Lilacs, to Azaleas, to Lilies of the Valley, to Peonies, to Poppies and Clematis, and more…and now Evening Primrose and Daisies are smiling their sunny faces just in time for the Solstice!

How are you preparing or being prepared to bloom this Summer? What are some ways you can support yourself so that you, like the earth, can flourish this Summer?

You may want to write in a journal, or try a short ritual alone or with friends that could include the following:

  • Sitting outside, on the earth if possible, light a candle, red or orange in color.
  • Take a few deep breaths into your connection with the earth—into your feet or bum or legs, and breathe that connection up into your belly.
  • When you feel grounded, look around you and find one beautiful thing—it may be a flower opening or the light or something else that moves you.
  • Say gently to yourself “Beauty sees beauty.” Feel yourself, as beauty, seeing beauty. Own this, breathe it in…be beauty, breathing in beauty…
  • Continue to breathe as you look around, acknowledging and welcoming more beauty within and without. You might also want to try a different verb—”Beauty sees/hears/touches/senses…beauty.”
  • When you feel filled and beauty-full, say thank you and blow out the candle.

Remember that as this day comes to an end, the days will very slowly become shorter, until at Autumn Equinox, the day and night will be balanced, and by Winter Solstice, we’ll be back to the longest night. Savor and enjoy your own flourishing and beauty with that of the earth this Summer season! May you welcome and find grace in this changing of the seasons.

Being Woman-crpd2Collage as a Practice. My collaging has slowed down recently as I pour more creative energy into my studies (more about that below), my daily practice, the garden, creating healthy meals and new recipes, and other projects.

Being Woman explores the luscious, life-giving, instinctual, ever-renewing, deep Feminine ground that not only supports us but also gives birth to our many human expressions. We arise from and return to Her.

How does She live and arise through you?

KatyNourishing Wholeness: My New Holistic Health & Wellness Coaching Practice! I am so excited to be starting to practice as a Holistic Health & Wellness Coach—it feels like the fulfillment of my life’s journey thus far! Studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I also bring my years of practice and training as a Certified Riso-Hudson Enneagram Teacher, an ordained Interfaith Minister, a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, a Diamond Approach Student, and an Assistant in Sara Avant Stover‘s Red Tent, as well as a Student in her Way of the Happy Woman Certification Program.

I will be taking more clients—both in person and via phone or skype—in September. Please check out my new site: www.NourishingWholeness.net, sign up for my newsletter there, and be in touch if you’d like to set up a free discovery session to talk about your dreams and desires for your health and well-being. I would be honored to support you on this path!

dandelionsFun, Healthy Eating as a Practice! How about instead of battling with the dandelions in your yard, you picked them and ate them instead? Over on my new site, you can read about how to prepare and enjoy dandelion flowers as part of your fun, healthy eating practice! You can also read more about healthy eating and lifestyle tips.

Are there wild things growing in your yard or on your property that you can harvest and eat? I’d love to hear about it!

poppy-tpWomen’s Practice. As women, there’s something we rarely talk about. We pretend it doesn’t happen. Some of us are ashamed by it. Some wish it would simply go away. Even in the most “evolved” and “spiritual” communities, it remains taboo.  Have you guessed what it is?

That’s right: it’s our moon cycle. (Or period or menses or whatever your favorite word for it is.)

Last year, with the guidance of my teacher, friend, and yogini, Sara Avant Stover, a group of really brave women began changing this conversation. This “Moon Tribe” got real and raw about how their moon cycles affect them, their work in the world, and their relationships. It was edgy. Real. And especially valuable and healing—for thousands of women across the world.

If you missed I {Heart} My Moon Cycle last year—or if you’re ready for a booster shot of feminine empowerment—this is for you!  I {Heart} My Moon Cycle is now available as a free, 28-day online immersion. Treat yourself to it, right here: https://bg156.infusionsoft.com/go/moon/a15. Read more on my Nourishing Wholeness blog.

Poetry as a Practice.

Bare branches and silent winter days
are but a memory
as we near summer solstice.

Shades of white snow and crystal blue
have given way to relentless green.

From dormancy rises
a summons to grow
that keeps us on our toes.

No longer shoveling
instead we mow, pull, whack,
and make our choices
around what to trim and tame
and what to let grow wild.

What we know
most especially this time of year
is that everything and everyone
shares this boundless call to grow.

Seasons and cycles give us
quiet reflective times
and periods of busting out.
A pull toward green sprouting
boisterous courageous steps
further in and further out
in this world.

If its inspiration you seek
as you feel the push / pull inside you
of steps in perhaps frightening new directions,
look to the grace of branches
swaying with the weight of vibrant leaves
heavy from new growth and recent rains.
See the way buds stretch skyward
readying for bloom
as if extending a cupped hand
to hold the sun.

You can trust the trees, the flowers,
the bursting green of this season.
Just as you can trust your own yearning
to set your wild spirit free
and grow in directions that call to you

Chris Heeter, Leadership Speaker, Wilderness Guide, Poet
The Wild Institute


Blooming and Flourishing Summer Blessings,
Katy Taylor, Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Nourishing Wholeness
nourishing wholeness