Getting “Off the Grid”

Last week, my family and I headed up to the mountains of Vermont for some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here in New England, my children have an entire week off from school every February over Presidents’ Day, and my family looks forward to this break every year. After loading up our van, we drove three hours north with great anticipation. We settled into our room and immediately loved the remote location where we could see the majestic mountains and towering pine trees from our windows. We spent most of the week relaxing by the fireplace, playing games, and watching movies, but we didn’t spend the whole time indoors. With the unseasonably warm weather, we also played snow football, sledded down rolling hills, and hiked along wooded trails with many breathtaking views including the stunning Quechee Gorge. We had a wonderful time hanging out together, just the four of us.

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Love Yourself from the Inside Out

This past Monday night, I led a soul circle on the power of love. A soul circle is where women of all ages gather together for a time of connection, inspiration, and healing. Through meditation, movement, group activities, and small group discussions, soul circling provides a safe place where women can unconditionally support one another. Since this is the month of February, I chose to focus on love and the impact it has in our lives. When we think of love, it comes in many forms: romantic love, family love, friendship love, pet love, universal love and everything in between. But the most important love of all is self-love, which forms the foundation for all other types of love. If we cannot truly love ourselves, how can we truly love others? We need to believe in our own worth and value, learning to listen and trust our inner voices. We must love ourselves for who we truly are – perfect, whole and complete. There is nothing we need to fix, change, convert, or heal. All we have to do is be. Through accepting, allowing, and loving ourselves, we come to know we are worthy and enough just as we are. And once we believe in that, we can openly share our love with others, no longer needing to find love outside of ourselves.

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Watch the Magic Happen

Last week, I finally began writing the first draft of my next book. I had been thinking a great deal about this writing project for the past few months, and I had several ideas percolating in my head. But during this time, I was never able to actually start the book. It seemed whenever I would sit down at the computer, something else would always need my attention. I would check my emails, write my blogs, make flyers, read the news, feed the dog – there were definitely plenty of distractions. As this kept happening, I was frustrated with myself and my inability to write. But as I examined my feelings a bit more closely, I realized that there was a reason I was procrastinating. I was nervous about my future as a writer. I wondered if perhaps the inspiration for this book wouldn’t come as easily as it did for The Refuge. In that novel, the story flowed through me quite easily. Maybe that wouldn’t again. And what if when I finished this book, it wasn’t as good as the last one? Would that mean I wasn’t meant to be a writer? These fears were holding me back. It was time for me to face them and move forward – no more procrastinating.

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Dance the Night Away

Music can reach us in deep and meaningful ways. Its melodies can stir our very souls emitting every range of emotion. Music can make us laugh, and it can make us cry. It can even take us back to simpler times. When we hear certain songs on the radio, they remind us of places we have been or people we have known. One song can take us back to a time in our lives that we had long forgotten. Music moves us in powerful ways. It can reconnect us with our past and inspire us for our future. And music can even change the way we feel. Uplifting music can bring smiles to the glummest faces, and even our angriest emotions can be calmed when we listen to gentle, soothing melodies. Through music we feel all our emotions, and that is how it helps us heal. 

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Sacred Intentions

The winter solstice is the darkest and longest night of the year. But once that night is over, we begin to move back toward the light as the days gradually begin to lengthen once more. The winter solstice reminds us that if we can survive the darkness, the light will always return. This can also be said about the experiences in our lives, for even when things appear at their darkest, there is always a flicker of light and hope within us. Reflecting upon this inner light, we can help bring forth our hopes and visions for the future. And the best way to do this is by setting our sacred intentions. Sacred intentions are what we hope for or want to have happen in the coming year. They are sacred because they come from our hearts and souls rather than from our intellects. We feel their importance within us and know they are the very things we want to create next in our lives. The winter solstice, when we come through the darkness and into the light, is a powerful time for setting our sacred intentions.

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