Winter Wisdom

A patient (a teacher, really) reminded me that presence is the best gift I can give to myself, yet the beautiful gift is that everyone benefits. I can dramatically slow down my day when I become aware that I am speeding through it. I then take a deep breath to slow my thoughts and body down. Bringing myself back to the moment through breath, and shifting my thoughts to now—instead of the next moment or of previous ones—I create presence.…

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10 Rules for Being Human

A good conversation piece for the dinner table... 1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period. 2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life." 3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work." 4. Lessons…

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The Gift of Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward It's no fun to wake up at 3 AM with a headache. That's exactly how I started today. In my very awake state I listened to a talk by Marianne Williamson, whom I know by name but have never read her material. The message: Today I will start the day with this question, which will be answered over the course of the…

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No, I Don’t Have a Tissue

The energetic of Spring is UP and OUT. Observe what nature is displaying all around you. Yes. We are still receiving reminders of Winter, as if this season is offering another pause – a not-so-fast question that asks: "Are you really ready to spring?" The added message could be: "Go back into Winter – recharge and don't come back out 'til you're rested. You need deep resources to bloom brightly in Spring."  As we close in on warmer temps, the blossoming trees, flowers and shrubs,…

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Good Medicine: Acknowledgement

Something about him caught my attention. Maybe it was because I was in a happy mood, and I can be acutely aware of others who aren’t. After being escorted to our table by the hostess, we were greeted by a young man. His interaction with me and my friend, who I was meeting for lunch, was lackluster at best.  No eye contact, and a big fat zero in the banter department. It seemed he was there to do his job. Distracted. The…

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Keeping Score

A construction site is developing at the soon-to-be-torn-down house across the street from where I live. And by “across the street” I mean that, standing at my front door, I could toss a rock and hit this house. Left-handed. My neighborhood consists of less than 20 historic mini-homes that line a single-lane, gravel road, better suited for horse and buggy than cars, let alone excavation equipment. It’s a unique hamlet, an anomaly in Chevy Chase. We’re surrounded by parkland and…

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Winter and Confessions of a Christmas Curmudgeon

Newsflash:  It's Winter. Some will argue that this is not the case. They will point to the calendar on the wall that says the Solstice is the first day of winter, usually on December 21. This makes no sense. The day where the light is the least of all days, followed by days of more light is not the dawn of winter. It's the midpoint – a gentle nod to the teeny tiny glimmer of a Spring yet to come.…

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Happy Autumn!

Or maybe not. Maybe you’re not so thrilled with the turn of the season. Many people are uncomfortable with this time of year. You may love it because it brings relief from the oppressive heat and humidity of late summer (well, maybe not this year) and it’s refreshing to embrace the cooler weather and beauty of the season. But you may cringe from it because you love summer’s warmth and activity. However, the Fall season brings necessary reflection and opportunity.…

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Guided Meditation: If you’ve been intending to have a regular meditation practice, this may help. It did for me.

  It might surprise many of you that I'm fairly new to practicing meditation - like two months ago new, and I mean consistently. It takes a lot for me to sit still. A LOT.  I squeeze as much as I can in a day, and truth be told, the first thing I want to do when I get home is watch HGTV's Fixer Upper.  I'd reassure myself that I’d be going to bed soon anyway, so I'll do it then. Yea, right.…

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How the Act of Cooking is Medicine

I have been cooking a lot lately. Like with all recipes, it's one part distraction, two-thirds therapy and a whole lotta play. It started the week of the February storms that swept along the east coast. I was excited for the interruption the weather would bring and the extra accumulation that provided excellent raw material for the design and construction of a frozen lawn ornament. Even when play is the activity, such as with cooking, for me the activity has…

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