Thursday, December 31, 2015

Changing my perspective on the new year...

     I must confess that I've lost interest in goal-setting. Too many "didn't make it" instances, I guess. At this point in life, setting a goal feels like pushing a river upstream, and all I really want to do is go with the flow.
     The following is a quote from Christian Sorensen:
Prayer too often ends up being directed at something outside of the self with a request for a change in conditions. Imagine the difference if your prayer was a communion with the Infinite. You would no longer be petitioning for anything to shift. Your only desire would be to know God better. When practiced in this manner, you are no longer looking for an answer that fulfills a limiting question that fits nicely into one of your preconceived rooms of thought. When you are in tune with the Infinite, you experience the unfoldment of an expanding consciousness that blows the walls out from your box. There are answers to prayer that your requests can’t even begin to articulate, Divine Connections ready to deliver the goods beyond expectations and a love that brings a peace and security only the soul could know.
     My only desire in 2016 is "to know God better." No forcing, no demanding, let Life take me where It will. It's done a damn good job so far, and I'm excited to see what the new year holds.
     Joyous 2016 to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Simple Smile

     It's crazy out there! Loads of traffic and crowds of shoppers, folks thinking there's too much to do and not enough time.
     When I'm out in this mayhem, I make it a point to smile a LOT. It reminds me that I'm not in a hurry and all is well in my world. And I really do get lots of smiles back. It's almost as if seeing me smile reminds the other person that it's all OK, a tiny joyful wake-up call. Simple kindness is a wonderful thing.

Friday, December 18, 2015


     Listening is a very valuable skill, one that I believe we can always develop more strongly. I know I can always use improvement in that skill. I can get lost in emotions, or figuring out a response, or simply thinking about my to-do list, and then I'm saying, "Could you please repeat that?"
     This shows up as today's topic, as I had the experience yesterday where I was not listened to, and that's quite frustrating. Our garage door opener failed, with my car inside, of course. And I couldn't get the door up manually due to the nature of the failure. We have an odd opener set-up due to the architecture of our house, and it has baffled repairmen in the past, to the point of them damaging the actual garage door in failed efforts to fix things. So when I called the repair company yesterday, I explained the unusual set-up and past history of repair difficulties, and asked that an experienced technician be sent out. So a youngster shows up who immediately says, "I've never seen anything like this." Someone wasn't listening to me!
     It will all work out eventually, and I take away the gentle reminder that listening is quite important, and a very valuable way to have successful interactions with other humans.
     Paying attention,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


A Note from the Universe by Mike Dooley:
Happiness isn't a destination, it's a realization that things couldn't possibly get any better than having the freedom to perceive as you please and to think as you choose, in a magical, adoring Universe.

I've been playing with an awareness that I've spent most of my life doing stuff to try to be a better person, to please others or God, to be worthy. It's an impossible task, because we are already there--there's nothing we can do to be more loved than we already are--we are infinitely adored by that "magical, adoring Universe." Therefore, with this realization comes the knowing that everything I do is simply a choice. I don't HAVE to do anything. I don't have to tithe, or serve others, or be nice, or smile, or say "yes" when I mean "no," or anything else. Those are all choices, and therefore, it's all within. There's no more blaming anything outside myself for the choices I make. We shall see how this develops. Right now, it feels like a very empowering realization. 
     Enjoying the magic,

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Rock Star" Yippee! Fun!

     There is a very informative yoga blog that I enjoy very much called Yoga for Healthy Aging. My photo is one of the featured pictures in the latest post!!! Go here:
     My sweet husband now calls me "rock star."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Simplifying Life

     This blog, with all its pages, is now my website. So links to and to the blog will both bring you here. I'll get more pages added soon. One spot to maintain, woohoo!
     Today's inspiration is from the Dalai Lama:
"Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."
 Joy and blessings!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rest, in December?!?!?! YES!

     So December is close upon us. Folks tend to get crazy with stuff-to-do in December.
     Rev. Christian Sorensen asks, "When was the last time you just sat and watched a bird for an hour doing its bird thing, without feeling rushed inside or as if you were wasting precious time?"
     If you look back over past Decembers, chances are extremely high that everything that HAD to get done, got done, and you don't remember what did not get done. This year will be no different, especially if you choose to take some breathers in your busy pace.
     Two things to consider: 1) time and 2) necessity.
     First, time. It is a human invention. We create time, and we (i.e., you) can create as much as we need. If this sounds wacko, I refer you to the book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. Read about "Einstein time." Speaking from personal experience, it works.
     Second, necessity. What a great idea to use the occasional breather to decide if some task really is a necessity. Habits tend to overload us, and if we can simply take a few moments to consider a chore, we may find that it really isn't necessary or could be accomplished in some other way.
     Peacefully enjoying the Christmas season,

Monday, November 23, 2015

It Matters, It Doesn't Matter

     I am writing this to record a point of grace in my own spiritual journey, it feels a bit jumbled, but please bear with me.
     I am studying the Ultimate Freedom teachings of Robert Scheinfeld (author: Busting Loose from the Money Game), have just passed through a 2nd in-depth study of Emotional Currency (EC, Kate Levinson), and I am enjoying Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. My stress and uptightness relative to money has been greatly reduced as a result of the self-exploration induced by EC. And yesterday, in both Scheinfeld's and Gilbert's work, I hit on "it matters, it doesn't matter."
     Both Scheinfeld and Gilbert are about being who we truly are, creative spiritual beings, and letting the results go. As in, it matters what we do, doing it because it is our nature to create, to fully express who we are, but what doesn't matter is the outcome, people's reactions, etc. We live our wholeness, and that takes care of the rest. This is Ultimate Freedom, per Scheinfeld, and I think Gilbert would agree.
     Scheinfeld talks about the need to Experience this, that simply being told about it doesn't work. And as I read and listened to his work yesterday, I realized I have experienced it, and I get it. Here's my Experience...
     I am a yoga teacher, and at one of the places I teach, I am paid based on the number of students attending. I went through a (money-stress related) period in which I prayed, forced, demanded, and pouted to the Universe to deliver me more students so that I'd make more money. This offered very random results, and my mood went up with more students and down with fewer.
     Then, one day a couple months ago, probably as a result of my EC work, I awakened to the fact that the number of students... "It doesn't matter!" What does matter is to enjoy teaching yoga as only I can (which I had been doing anyway), and let the results (i.e., number of students) go. A huge weight lifted. Being the spiritual learner I am, I am letting this wisdom spill over into other areas of my life, and it truly does feel like Ultimate Freedom. It truly is a spiritual practice to be present, flow with life, and let the results simply be. And, oh my, it surely does feel great!
     Thanks for listening!
     Learning and growing,

Friday, November 6, 2015


Here are some excellent words about giving written by Dr. Christian Sorensen:
"Are your thoughts filled with appreciation? Are your words ones of gratitude? Are your actions filled with joy? Do you serve with a sense of appreciation? Do you give without expectation of return? Or is that all too exhausting to think about and too mind-boggling of an effort to pursue? But that is exactly how you activate the affluent flow. Giving is not about duty, religion or manipulation; it's a spiritual practice that is intended to be the natural state of being. It's an extension of your consciousness. You are being the activity of the abundant flow through your life."
     Where might you give with joy this ThanksGIVING season?  Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A New Word

     Wellelujah! Well and hallelujah combined. Knowing all is well (no matter what appearances may seem to indicate) and feeling the joy of hallelujah. I came up with this yesterday morning as I was swimming a mile. I LOVE to swim, and I'm so grateful for the wellness that enables me to do so. I also love one-word reminders of how great life is.
     Wellelujah! The KC Royals won the World Series last night in yet another thriller. Congratulations, Royals, and thanks for a fabulous, fun, exciting season.
     Wellelujah! I am immersed in a Higher Power that loves and supports me always. You are, too! Cause for great celebration, I'd say.
           Joyous Monday,

Friday, October 30, 2015


     Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop it!
     As a yoga teacher, I see a lot of the self-defeating habit of comparison. We do classic sun salutations (a flowing sequence of several yoga postures) in nearly all my classes. They are always the same, and I usually lead the students through them. Occasionally I say to them, "Do a sun salutation on your own at your own pace." Comparison bursts onto the scene. What if I don't do it right? What if I'm slower than so-and-so? I can't do it myself. On and on.
     There will always be someone smarter, quicker, richer, thinner, more creative, whatever (!!) than you or me. Each of us has plenty of challenge being who we are--there is no time or energy to waste trying to be someone else.
     One way to notice the ugly habit of comparison is if the words "should" or "shouldn't" are invading your thoughts or spoken word. These indicate dissension between how you want to be or behave and how you think you ought to be or behave, based on some comparison. For example, I really want to go to my local coffee shop and read, relax and have coffee. But I should clean the house so that my weekend guests will think I'm as good a housekeeper as they are. There's lots of stress involved in this scenario. Can I live with a not-so-perfect house? What will my guests think? How clean is clean enough? It's irritating that I can't do what I really want to do. On and on.
     See? Comparison is endlessly self-defeating. Stop it!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Joy in Kansas

     My friend Phil and I went on another of our favorite adventures yesterday... a day trip to a new-to-us spot in Kansas. It was so nice to have time to visit during the drive and not be on any time agenda.
     We started out at Carriage Crossing in Yoder having a yummy breakfast. We held off on a morning piece of pie. Then we drove to Sterling so that Phil could see what a lovely town it is and so we could investigate the beautiful Sterling College.
     We backtracked a bit and went to Quivira Wildlife Refuge. While we didn't see any whooping cranes, we did see several varieties of waterfowl. I was most impressed, actually frightened, by how little water there was in this wetlands area. Water levels were really low and there were very large areas so dry that the ground was cracked. It reminded me not to take water for granted.
     Next we drove to Hudson to visit the Hudson Flour Mills, home of our favorite flour, Hudson Cream. While we were not there on a tour day, we were able to see the informational film about the history of the Mills and how they make the Cream flour. It's a very interesting and involved process.
     Our (late) lunch stop was in Stafford at The Gathering Place where we had an excellent lunch, including the day-trip-requisite pie, coconut cream (Phil) and peanut butter (me). Heaven! Then to our complete delight, right next to the restaurant was a Mercantile. Not only did it have most everything one could think of, but there was also an old-fashioned soda fountain at the back of the store. It was a trip back in time, like going to the old 5&10.
     Then we headed back to Wichita. I am so grateful I live here. The soil is fertile, the spaces wide open, the people friendly, the sky magnificent. We are blessed!
     Go explore your world, be it Kansas or some other state. You DO have time, and you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."  Henry David Thoreau

     I am about to mark 60 years on the planet, so "old" has been in my mind a lot. I don't feel old, and this Thoreau quote gave me the reason why. I am enthusiastic about life.
     I am also quite enthusiastic about baseball. This year, not one, but TWO, as in BOTH my favorite teams are in the playoffs. The Cubs and the Royals. I am in baseball nirvana. Pretty often I don't even get one team in, but two?!?!? I am wildly enthusiastic. My brother even called this afternoon to congratulate me!
     I am enthusiastic about yoga, both practicing and teaching it. It has made a huge difference in my life, my spirit, and my body. It has brought the most amazing and wonderful and loving people into my life. What's not to love?
     I am enthusiastic about my family. I am blessed with an awesome husband and two terrific sons. I am dedicated to staying fit and healthy and hope that someday I may have grandkids to play with. There's some long-term enthusiasm for you!! :)
     I am enthusiastic about people. I enjoy smiling. I love to brighten someone's day with a "good job" or "thank you." Simple, kind interactions are the things a joyous life is made of.
     Ponder enthusiasm in your life. Get yourself jazzed up. I'm betting you'll feel younger!
             Coming to you from baseball nirvana,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

More on Perfectionism

     I continue to be distressed over the insidiousness of the mental obsession with perfectionism that is rampant in our society.
     "Everyone's striving for God, when they haven't even found their humanness yet." The late Goswami Kriyananda.
     Children are taking their own lives because they aren't "good enough." One more activity in my already too-crammed schedule will make me a better human, "perfect." People are isolating from others lest those others find out that their kids/marriage/job/financial situation/whatever isn't perfect. The fear of not appearing perfect stifles many a creative idea, opportunity for learning, and pursuit of one's passion.
     Yes, it takes one to know one. I am a recovering perfectionist, raised by a card-carrying perfectionist, who, truth be told, was a regular, full-scale human mess. (I did love, and still love my mom!)
     In my introductory statements to new students in my yoga classes, I say, among other things, "It's OK to laugh, it's OK to fart, it's OK to laugh if you fart, and it's OK to laugh if someone else farts." I often get appalled looks. Fart in public? NEVER!!! One of the reasons I love yoga is that it gets us in touch with our human bodies, with all the mystery and goofiness they have to offer. Really, if you are too uptight to fart in public, you may want to contemplate perfectionism in your life.
     Ironically enough, I think we all know intellectually that there is no such thing as "perfect." We know everyone makes mistakes, and I expect we can all recall something (many things?) really dumb that we've done. We came here to explore life, and it's a practice, every single moment. We have to keep breathing, cleaning, mowing the lawn, eating, walking, on and on--everything we do is a practice. Imagine if a baby, upon taking it's first step and falling, said, "Well, I can do that walking thing, so no more trying that for me!"
     I encourage you to pay attention to your thoughts. Key phrases evident of perfectionism include:
Not good/smart/young/old/rich/talented enough for ...
What will people think?
I might fail...
I can't...
So-and-so may not approve...
We don't do that in our family...
     Finding more of my humanness every day,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Closing

     I'm taking a leap of faith here. Yes, that's brave.
     Some background... the overwhelming number of bad events in my life have happened in the month of September. So much so that it's fairly freakish to me, for instance, my mom and dad both died on the same day, September 24, 21 years apart.
     Pretty much I've gotten over my fears of the month, through considerable spiritual work and thought management, but nonetheless, I am generally glad when the month is over. So my leap of faith is breathing a sigh of relief that I had no personal disasters in September this year. Keeping my fingers crossed for the last 17 hours. My mantra for the day...
     Life is good, life is good, life is good!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Young or Old?

     A short "food for thought" quote from Ernest Holmes:
"You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair."
     Mighty words, those are!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Money, Money, Money, Money

     I'm working with a group of courageous folks who are using the book Emotional Currency (Kate Levinson, author) to explore their emotions relative to all aspects of money.
     I've been through the book already, doing all the exercises, and these are a few of the things I've noticed about myself and my thoughts and beliefs relative to money:

1. While I will buy things at the grocery store that are not on sale, I get a bit of a rush when something I intend to buy IS on sale. I also always do the math relative to sizes and prices to make sure I'm getting the best deal.
2. My first consideration on whether to buy something is nearly always (99.9%) based on price.
3. I LOVE a good deal. I did know this before, but I see how emotionally-charged a good deal is for me.
4. There are certain money-related "unmentionables." These are thoughts I have (and I believe we all have) relative to money that we consider embarrassing or shameful, and we would never want anyone to know we have them.
5. I, personally, cannot separate love from money, and this stems all the way back to childhood. This was a huge realization, and something that will be a topic for much introspection over time, I'm sure.
6. I knew I was spoiled as a child, but that spoiling went way far beyond what I had initially realized. Please note that I consider "spoiled" to be a compliment (smile).

     Emotional Currency is quite a worthwhile book!

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Best Day Yet"

     This blog title comes from a story by David Goldberg, wherein a friend of his family, when asked how he was doing, consistently said, "Best day yet!" That phrase struck a very harmonious cord with me, and I've been using it repeatedly in my head and out loud for over a week now.
     One result I see is that even if a day is fairly "ordinary," including such basic human tasks as grocery shopping, laundry, tidying, etc., with "best day yet," I have a greater appreciation of being able to do those "ordinary" things.
     There is also the aspect that as life continues to get better and better for me, every additional day on Planet Earth is a huge blessing. Granted, my life has its down times, too, and overall, eventually, I am grateful to be here to experience even those.
     I just finished leading a hugely successful Forrest Yoga retreat weekend at a retreat house about three hours from Wichita. Driving home, I was feeling "best day yet" all over my spirit and body. And believe it or not, "best day yet" got even better. There is great power in using that simple phrase.
    What happened? I had entered a contest and won... tickets to this Saturday's KC Royals game, transportation via the Royals Fan Express bus, Royals shirts and hats for two. This baseball nut is squealing excited.
     Where will "best day yet" take me next!?!?!?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Perfectionism rears its ugly head

     Being a person who likes active meditation (as in, I don't do well sitting still for many minutes), I decided that an adult coloring book would be the perfect means to still my mind and take pleasure in one of my favorite things in life, color. There is a great selection of these books out there now--it's "all the rage."
     I was drawn to the one titled "Secret Garden," and I spent some time this morning going through my coloring supplies from my stamping and card-making stock.
     As soon as I pulled the cap off a pen and approached the paper, perfectionism reared its ugly head. What will I do if I mess up? Leave the page a mess? Are these markers fine-pointed enough for these tiny spaces? Why didn't I get something with bigger spaces? And I kid you not, there are youtube videos showing you how to color in this book! Good freakin' heavens!
     I see that this was the perfect purchase for me, and I am undaunted by my "inner roommate" ragging at me. I shall have great fun putting color to paper... lines, what lines!?!?!
     Colorfully perfect,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tribute to Bev Wake

     Bev Wake passed into her next life experience on August 9. I've known Bev for many years as my favorite yoga instructor at the YMCA. Not very many weeks ago, she was diagnosed with cancer, and her beautiful light was extinguished all too soon.
     Bev's yoga teaching was inspiring to me, and I credit her classes with generating in me the desire to become a yoga instructor also. I have completed nearly 700 hours of teaching thus far, so Bev's life really has had a very profound effect on mine, for which I am eternally grateful.
     I was able to express my appreciation in a card to her after I learned of her illness. Due to my own yoga class teaching schedule, my contact with Bev had lessened quite a bit over the past year.
     This all leads me to a suggestion (of course!)... if someone has been important to your life's path and enjoyment, let them know. It's a win-win for all.
     Joyful for Bev, though missing her light,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

No worries on vacation, to be continued

     I'm joyously back home, after a vacation including 20 days, 10 states, and 3,696 miles driving.
     I'm not much of a worrier most of the time, and my worries hit an all-time low as I was lying in the pool and walking on the beach at the Outer Banks, North Carolina. I spent a week there in a huge house beside the ocean with 19 assorted friends and relatives. We had outstanding weather. It was great. Though I would have preferred to stay there much longer, I did leave with a very peaceful feeling that all is well, and there's nothing for me to worry about.
     In one of my daily readings this morning, I hit this line, "Worry is praying for what we don't want." (David Goldberg) Well, there's some incentive not to worry!
     I can feel in my body, still, that feeling of calm, relaxation, "everything's fine." It feels good to recall this feeling, and I plan to revisit it often to keep the great feelings of vacation flowing through my "regular" life. It also helps to re-visualize the full moon rising over the ocean, another treat from the trip.
     "Don't worry, be happy,"
 to the beach... 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Speaking of Brave... Change

     I'm experimenting with changes in how and what I eat. This is very brave for me, because I'm a recovering food addict and messing with my food is pretty terrifying at a very deep level for me. I've come from a place where food was totally my best friend, and using it enabled me to survive a chaotic childhood. Note that "using food" is not the same as eating for sustenance.
     Getting to this point has been a long journey for me, supplemented enormously by my yoga practice and teaching. I am becoming increasingly willing to make dietary improvements, not because I SHOULD, but because it's the loving thing to do for myself.
     Then there's the rebellious part of me. I will NOT give up __________! I've given up so much already, why do I have to give up something else?!?!?!? I don't know if I can live without ________. Why be on the planet if you can't enjoy one of life's major pleasures--food that tastes good!?!?
     So you can see, bravery and fortitude are called for. We shall see how it works out. Baby steps. All I have to lose is the ache in my left hip, and hopefully some pounds.
     Drinking lots more water,

Monday, June 29, 2015


     These words are from the pen of Ron Fox:
"Too often we mar our relationships by seeing separation. We isolate ourselves. We build prisons around our hearts. The basic message Jesus was trying to teach was about our oneness, not just with Spirit but with one another. He challenged us to see divinity in all people. He taught us to treat all people with love, honor, and respect."
     How unfortunate is it that much of the perceived separation we experience nowadays is encouraged by religious beliefs?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Success and Peace

These words are from Mark Nepo's work, The Book of Awakening:
Much of our anxiety and inner turmoil comes from living in a global culture whose values drive us from the essence of what matters. At the heart of this is the conflict between the outer definition of success and the inner value of peace.
Unfortunately, we are encouraged, even trained, to get attention when the renewing secret of life is to give attention...
The longer we try to get attention instead of giving it, the deeper our unhappiness...
It leaves us with these choices: fame or peace, be a celebrity or celebrate being, work all our days to be seen or devote ourselves to seeing, build our identity on the attention we can get or find our place in the beauty of things by the attention we can give.
     While I like to consider these points by Nepo, I don't necessarily think success and peace are mutually exclusive. What if we can simply be happy with whatever our lot in life is? That's wildly successful as far as I am concerned.
     I love Dr. Chris Michaels' definition of success: 1. Have fun.  2. Learn something  3. Help someone along the way. That's an easy-to-do success, and I can be very peaceful and happy with that.
     Simplify, simplify,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Dad, Your Dad

     My dad passed from earthly life in 2000. I think of him daily and still miss him very much.
     I want to offer a Father's Day gift suggestion that I expect your dad will like. Pick an outstanding quality that he demonstrates and tell him how much you appreciate that in him. This isn't hard, it will come to mind right away.
     For my dad, that quality was GENEROSITY. He was always willing to share what he had, both monetarily and otherwise, with others. He gave of his time to such things as going door-to-door collecting for the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. I do not ever remember him telling me he didn't have time for me. I owe my investing prowess and business savvy to his generous guidance. (Also my good looks and beautiful silver hair, hee hee!)
     My dad frequently said, "The Miller family has been incredibly blessed." That was, and continues to be the truth. He felt it his blessing to share his blessings. I love you, Dad!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Life Does Go On

     From Maya Angelou: "I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow." (See my previous post about Tanya Tandoc's murder.)
     Ms. Angelou's words are ringing true for me relative to the shock of Tanya's death. We simply have to "pick up the pieces" and move forward after such a horrific event. What choice do we have? Well, we do have a choice, to hang in misery, or go back to life and know each day does get better as we heal. It's a brave choice, to go back to full-out living.
     One of my favorite daily items for "keeping things in perspective" is the Astronomy Picture of the Day ( These are astoundingly beautiful photos of astronomical phenomena. I love the beauty, but I am also reminded daily of the incomprehensible vastness of our universe, and that there's something WAY bigger than me that has everything under control. If It can create galaxies, It can handle my small requests. I find it comforting to believe that even though my human perspective is so limited, there is some "rhyme and reason" to events in human life that are beyond my current understanding.
     Enjoying Monday and our beautiful universe,

Friday, June 5, 2015

A first I wish had not happened

     For the first time in my life, a person I know personally has been murdered. Tanya Tandoc, owner of Tanya's Soup Kitchen, bellydancer, generous spirit, loving woman, was killed last night. And to make matters even worse, we know the suspected killer who has confessed.
     This event has stunned Wichita, as Tanya is very-well known and loved here throughout the city. I've felt all day as if I've been punched in the gut, and I doubt that feeling will leave me soon.
     This event requires two things of me, both challenging. One is to continue to believe that people are good, no matter what the appearances are. The other is to remember how fragile and not-guaranteed life is, and to live it to the fullest each day we have here on Planet Earth. And there's a third thing, not so challenging... let everyone you love know it loudly and clearly!
     I love you, my readers, friends and family!

Monday, June 1, 2015


     I love lilies, and I have many of them in my garden. This is the time of year they bloom. They are a beautiful reminder of my favorite passage from the Bible. It's in Luke 12:
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
     And this passage is my ongoing reminder that there's something bigger than me that has everything in divine order, and I need not fuss or worry about a thing. All I need do is keep in fit spiritual condition, and that is certainly my pleasure! And, yes, gardening helps me with that.
     In love and beauty,

In our front yard

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Allowing "strangers" to stay in my home. Brave? Yes and no.

     I am an Airbnb host ( I love it. Some folks are repulsed at the idea of strangers staying in their home, focusing on potential problems. To them, I may seem brave. To me, I'm just doing something I love which supports my belief that people are fundamentally good.
     Airbnb invited us recently to write about our experience with Airbnb for a Federal Trade Commission workshop on the sharing economy. Here's what I wrote:
Airbnb has been of enormous benefit to my family since I began hosting in September, 2013. We are “empty-nesters” and have very comfortable, welcoming space for guests. The money earned in a year from Airbnb guests is proving to be sufficient to cover our homeowners insurance and real estate taxes. We are headed toward retirement and are very much looking to Airbnb as a supplement to our income.
     My favorite thing about Airbnb is meeting folks with whom I would not otherwise have ever come in contact. To date, I have hosted 27 sets of guests (individual or couples) and it has been a delight to meet every one. I have met folks of all ages and from all over the world.
     I truly appreciate and marvel at the system that Airbnb has created to make this all work so well. I’m especially grateful for the attitude of “it’s my home, I set the rules, availability, price, etc.” Airbnb personnel have been consistently responsive to my requests for help and information. The system provides the security I need to feel comfortable having folks stay in my home. The review system between hosts and guests is very much self-regulating. Airbnb is based on the philosophy that people are fundamentally good, and that matches my life view nicely.
     As a traveler, I love Airbnb. I have stayed with two hosts and have already made another reservation for this summer. Staying with Airbnb hosts has been comfortable, economical and fun. Hosts provide knowledge of the local area that is extremely valuable to travelers. The variety of options available in lodging via Airbnb is outstanding.
     On a practical note, guests typically support our local Wichita restaurants, and if staying multiple days, support local attractions, rental car companies, etc. Airbnb is a win-win for all!

     I'm excited for our future as humans with examples of creativity, innovation and a win-win mentality such as Airbnb and Uber. Bold ideas put forth benefiting so many, now that's brave!

Monday, May 18, 2015

No Confirmation

     This writing comes from Mark Nepo:
"I have a young friend who speaks of the time when he reads stories with his daughter as a time that needs no confirmation. There is wisdom in his phrase: a time that needs no confirmation. ... where nothing need be approved or accepted, where no rejection or criticism need be overcome. The experience itself is all the authority we need."
     I, too, felt that way about reading to my young sons.
     I feel that our society places such extreme emphasis on being perfect that we are constantly feeling the need to justify our existence and our actions. This mentality takes courage to resist.
     One example of "no confirmation" for me was attending yesterday's Royals-Yankees game in Kansas City. I LOVE baseball, and I had an easy opportunity to go, so I went. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. "The experience itself is all the authority we need."
     What are some of your "no confirmation" experiences? These feed our souls, and they are important to identify and enjoy regularly!


Friday, May 15, 2015

I can't do yoga, I have no balance

     As a yoga teacher, the title phrase makes me crazy when I hear someone say it. Improving balance is one of the reasons one practices yoga! I have NEVER seen a human that can hang out for hours like a pink flamingo can!
     I recently had a request for comment from a yoga practitioner who is frustrated with what she considers slow progress in improving her balance. This is my response:
People generally expect way too much of themselves regarding balance. It is extremely variable day to day. This is related to two things: 1. Gravity. It's relentless :) Even with the smiley face, I'm quite serious. There is ALWAYS a force pulling us down. 2. Balancing (in the many ways we may be called upon to do it) is not a natural act, and therefore, we're not balancing all the time. We maybe practice it a few minutes a few times a week. If we did it for hours a day, we could do the pink flamingo thing. Telling yourself, "I can't balance" will just get you more of "I can't balance." What you focus on expands. There is great value in using the mantra: "My balance is improving" when you are practicing balance. Your body listens, and will take that positive intent and make it happen. I often say to my classes that it's a good thing I don't have to have perfect balance to teach yoga! Some days I'm sturdy, some days not. That's why it's called a practice.
 Balance is just another of the many places we "beat up" on ourselves, and it's a great place to stop that practice. After all, our natural, organic state on all levels IS balanced.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day--some brave words

     Mother's Day is a gooey, heart-warming holiday where all mothers are appropriately honored.
     I shall be brave here and say that's not always the case.
     Mother's Day is challenging for me. My mother transitioned many years ago, in 1979, when I was just shy of age 24. When Mother's Day arrives, it seems that everyone else on the planet has a living mom except me. I know that's not true, but that's how it feels.
     I've put a lot of pressure on myself to "love" Mother's Day, but truth be told, I'm glad when it's over. I'm not sure if I'll hear from either son, so that's makes the day dicey right there. Usually I do, but they work most Sundays, so if I do hear from them, it's much later in the day.
     The past few years I've held my focus on how incredibly grateful I am to BE a mother, and that's helped me through the day with much more ease. With this focus, it doesn't matter what Mother's Day stuff happens around me or for me. It has been an honor, a privilege, and quite an adventure being a mom!
     Grateful for life and love,

Friday, May 8, 2015

"Make my day" or Don't Take Your Clothes Dryer for Granted

     I visited our two sons in Fort Collins, Colorado, last weekend. They have a lovely home that they rent with a friend. It is comfortably complete except for a working clothes dryer. They have been washing their clothes at home, then taking them to the laundromat to dry. Not so much fun.
     They were working while I was there, so I decided to investigate used dryers. LSS, I found them one, purchased it, and gave them the paperwork with instructions that it had to be picked up within a week. (Actually, it was two weeks, but I'm a mom, I know better!) Yesterday I received a text photo showing the old non-working dryer gone and the new one in place.
     This afternoon my younger son called to say that it works great,and they are so appreciative, that it makes life so much easier not having to go to the laundromat. "Thank you so much, Mom!" The call made my day, as I was anxious to hear this good news. He also said, "You don't realize the stuff you take for granted until you don't have one."
     So what are you taking for granted that your life would be so much more difficult without? Worth considering... car, washer, dryer, spouse, toilet, shower, computer, the list is endless.
      Enjoying a full, blessed life,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Self-Exploration Bravery

     I am currently working my way through a book titled Emotional Currency by Kate Levinson. The subtitle is "A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money." It is a well-written and interesting read. It is also packed with self-exploration questions. That's the work I'm doing, exploring with writing and contemplation the many different ways I experience money.
    It's making me aware of how emotionally-charged money can be for me, as well as how pervasive money-thoughts and issues are in my life. I've also discovered that I have a few money-related "unmentionables"--ideas relative to money that are quite embarrassing or even shameful that I would never speak aloud. Except I did share them with a trusted person, as that's how we release the shame--express it and let it go. That took some bravery on my part. The point is that we all have these "unmentionables" if we take the time to identify them.
     Money is "core" issue with me. Even that's curious to me, as I've never not had enough. Exploring my relationship with money is making me more aware, and that's the first step to change. I can feel my angst relative to money lessening. That's enough encouragement to keep me bravely plowing through Emotional Currency.
     Bravely exploring,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our overflowing abundance

This is today's Note from the Universe by Mike Dooley:
If you just look at all that already exists in your life, all that you already have: unlimited air to breathe, ample lighting to see, music to hear, books to read, stars to dream by, trees to gaze at, floors to dance on, friends to cavort with, enemies to befriend, strangers to meet, woods to walk through, beaches to comb, rocks to scale, rains to cleanse you, rivers to float you, animals to comfort you, you do have to admit, there's more of it than you could ever, ever, ever spend.
 But try anyway.
Makes me feel rich, indeed!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

More thoughts on brave, love to my sister-in-law

     I traveled to Pennsylvania from Kansas last weekend to attend the graveside service of my s-i-l, Mary Ellen, who passed away in January. It was a lovely service in a magnificent area of central PA, and I delighted in seeing neighbors and family I hadn't seen in several or many years.
     I cry at any such "closing" ceremony. It doesn't matter whether or not I knew the deceased well. The sadness of loved ones missing that person is overwhelming to me, so I cry.
     I had written a tribute to Mary Ellen and her importance in my life, accompanied by Ted Bear, a gift from her to me some 47 years ago. I was given the opportunity to share it at the luncheon after her service. Of course, I cried. Others did, too. This act was brave for me, because I didn't know if I could get through it. I don't fear speaking before a group, but this was an important act of closure for me, and wanting to honor Mary Ellen in a manner that her powerful love deserved. I did it. And I'm so glad I did. It went very well.
     Releasing a loved one is a supreme act of bravery, maybe one of the most challenging ones we face in this earthly adventure. And then there's the ongoing bravery of continuing to live without that person's physical presence. This is where the idea of "we are stronger than we know" comes into play.
     Being brave sometimes,

Monday, April 6, 2015

New Believe Enterprises Website--it's live!

     I think I finally got a handle on the new godaddy website builder and have come up with a new website I'm really happy with, mainly because it is considerably simpler in design. (I also like the colors!) Please check it out ( I'd love to hear any feedback you care to offer. Thanks!
    Also, please scroll down and read yesterday's post about being brave.
    Have a great week, dear readers!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What does "brave" mean to you?

     I'm working on a new website, and it uses the "Brave Broad" theme and looks at the concept of "brave." I would love to have your comments on what "brave" means to you. It may be a phrase or two, or paragraphs, whatever you feel inspired to write.
     For instance, for me, it was extremely brave to skydive. But that's often a once-in-a-lifetime brave. It has taken much more bravery for me to learn to say "no" when I truly want to say "no," to stand up for myself consistently, to buck the opinions of so-called "experts." Really, just living each day well on this amazing planet full of amazing humans is brave.
     I encourage you to think back on your life and note times of bravery, and give yourself lots of credit for them. Ponder "brave" and if you feel inspired, please comment. That will be quite brave of you!
     And, if you are willing to have your comments show up on my website at some point in time, please indicate that. I won't use any names with the quotes, initials at most.
     Brave new website coming soon...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Allowing Yourself to Rest

"Work when there is work to do. Rest when you are tired. One thing done in peace will most likely be better than ten things done in panic... I am not a hero if I deny rest; I am only tired."
                            --Susan McHenry

     I often remind my yoga students that they are not less of a human being if they choose to take a break or rest. This is true both on and off the yoga mat. Too often we get caught up in the need to empty our to-do list, bringing ourselves to exhaustion and frustration rather than satisfaction.
     It is a practice, and a worthwhile skill to develop, to take a rest when you need to. One more thing accomplished does not make you a better person. We are human BEings, not human DOings.
     If you are a parent, remember that you are setting an example for your children by your actions rather than your talk. Do you want your children to run themselves to exhaustion or to learn to live at a comfortable pace that they enjoy?
     I am a dedicated napper. I consider napping one of my hobbies. Occasionally a day goes by when I don't take a nap, and those days are noticeably less productive. Naptime is my "stop the world, I want to get off" time, and it clears my head for productive, late-afternoon tasks.
     Notice when you are tired. Recognize that you have a choice in what you do each moment of your life. Make the choice that brightens rather than dims your spirit. Practice, practice, practice!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Bit of Melancholy

     I have been an avid gardener for many years, but as my other interests have expanded and my body has aged gently, I have come to realize that my garden is too big for my somewhat-waning interest. Last fall I returned a 20'x20' section to lawn. I am doing the same now with a section that is about 16'x24'. Trust me, this is a lot of work. It's uncomfortable both on my muscles and my spirit, with several mixed emotions.
     Because of our lovely trees, there is so much shade in the yard now that growing vegetables is no longer possible. That first ripe tomato each season was always an item of enormous anticipation. Now those come from the Farmers' Market (for which I am very grateful). Feeling overwhelmed with the size of the garden makes me feel old. There's definitely some discomfort in that, especially since overall, I'm very strong and healthy. And there's the ever-present reminder of how quickly time has passed, even though it seems like yesterday that we moved in here (1985), and there was nothing but grass--no trees, no flower beds.
     While I know this effort of returning the area to grass will make my life easier, and enable me to enjoy the remaining garden area, I still feel some sadness. Life is precious and too short.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Salute to DJ Newbill

     DJ Newbill is a senior basketball player for Penn State University. He has been an outstanding player on a team that is learning to be great. Penn State lost a lot of really close games this year. The Nittany Lions lost their last game of this season yesterday to Purdue in the Big 10 Conference Tournament. They had two very improbable victories in the tournament before that season-ending loss. Incidentally, I follow this team because I grew up in central Pennsylvania very close to Penn State.
     During his stellar basketball career, his mother passed away. That's tough to deal with at any age, but he was 20 when she died. It seemed to inspire him to new levels of greatness.
     Following yesterday's loss to Purdue, however, is my reason for saluting him. Many of the victories that Penn State had were as a result of DJ's heroics. He is a strong young man who carried the team many times. After the loss, his last game in a PSU uniform, DJ, in tears, hugged his coach and mentor, Patrick Chambers, and then doubled-over, sobbing. It was a very emotional moment, and he allowed his emotions and tears to flow freely. In a society that teaches young men, especially athletes, to be tough and poker-faced, this was a stellar display of simple, honest human-ness. What a great young man! I expect his strong character will lead him to ever-greater heights of achievement.
     So grateful to be human,

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Born Again

The title of today's blog comes from John Fogerty's Center Field:
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We're born again, there's new grass on the field
Roundin' third and headed for home
It's a brown-eyed handsome man
Anyone can understand the way I feel
 Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield.

I just finished washing my car, in our driveway, in shirtsleeves, and I didn't freeze. It's a beautiful day. It's March, and I'm mad about basketball, but nevertheless, baseball season is coming, being "born again!" I LOVE spring, partly because of baseball, but also because of new life and new possibilities in general. It feels so good to have sunshine on my skin (an important health item). And of course, "you can't beat fun at the old ball park." And as a Cubs fan, maybe this year is THE YEAR we always hoped for last year!!!! I'll bet it was a Cubs fan that coined the phrase, "Hope SPRINGs eternal." (My apologies to whoever really made it up!) 

Note the second part of the quote above. Are you ready to play? Are you willing to throw yourself fully, passionately, into the game of life? Are you willing to offer your authentic self to the world, to be "centerfield"? There's no better time than right now. 

Loving the sunshine,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March ON

     We in Wichita received about four inches of snow yesterday. Let the whining begin: I don't like February--for the shortest month, it sure seems the longest. I'm sick of cold and snow (even though we haven't had much). I wish I was back in the Bahamas. Yada, yada, yada.
     Then my inner wise woman offered this to me this morning, "Consider the beauty you see in your back yard. You know, you are not guaranteed to see another winter in your lifetime. Maybe you can appreciate this moment as it is, rather than wishing it was different." Good one, thanks!
     Lovin' life, spreadin' joy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


"When feeling urgent, you must slow down." Mark Nepo

     I love this very succinct way of stating a practice I remind myself of frequently. I know from my life experience that if I am pushing, or forcing, or rushing, some part of me is out of balance, and if I continue on that path, the results are generally not satisfying, and I get worn out from unnecessary expenditure of energy.
    Some examples... if I'm in hurry to get somewhere driving, I hit every light red, get frustrated, and may not be paying attention to what I'm doing. If I tell myself I am NOT in a hurry and calm down, I arrive at my destination in fine time and fine emotional shape.
    I also tend to be a person who feels, in the moment, that things aren't happening fast enough in my life. That would be impatience. But in hindsight, everything always works out perfectly. Slow down, Leta.
    Folks tell me sometimes that yoga is too slow for them. My response is, "If yoga is too slow for you, you need to slow down." See Nepo quote above.
    Faith is an integral part of the slowing down process. There's something to slow down and ponder!
            Relaxed and peaceful,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Whining, or not

     I recently returned from an awesome trip to the Bahamas. What a magnificent spot on our glorious Planet Earth!

     I went from sunshine and temps in the 70s to cold and snow back in Kansas. I awoke to an inch of snow, and began mentally whining about it, even though I knew it would be gone in a matter of hours. Sure wish I could have stayed in the islands!
     Then I opened my daily meditation book by Mark Nepo, and this was the day's reading (in part):
"If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective... We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe.  
"Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day--the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening? ... It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. ... When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. ... So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts."
      Quite the wisdom there. So I stopped whining and went to the YMCA and climbed into warm water and had a great swim. Life is good. Perspective broadened!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Word fun

Mark Nepo: "There is no greater act than putting yourself before another."
What is your reaction to that statement? "Selfish" may be the most common term to come to mind.
Now here's the whole quote:
"There is no greater act than putting yourself before another. Not before another as in coming first, but rather as in opening yourself before another, exposing your essence before another. Only in being this authentic can real kinship be known and real kindness released."
This way of living that Nepo suggests is the essence of my vision for my life: Whole heart connection. It's a practice.
If you don't put yourself fully before others on a regular basis, why not? It's a question worth pondering.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What's Wrong? What's Right?

     I just finished watching the movie, I AM, by Tom Shadyak. It's definitely worth the time, about 75 minutes. He starts out with the question, "What's wrong with the world?" He ends up with the question, "What's right with the world?"
     This is an invitation to pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. Note how you feel when you say or think, "what's wrong with ...?" For instance, "what's wrong with me?" Is there anything about that self-judgmental statement that feels good?
     Now let's practice, "what's right with ...?" Your thinking or your conversation moves in a whole different direction. It feels uplifting. It feels hopeful. It feels encouraging.
     Imagine if each of us started viewing our lives and our immediate surroundings and those we come in contact with from the standpoint of "what's right with ... ?" Every single moment and interaction is more enjoyable. Life becomes a simple state of contentment rather than a problem to be fixed.
     What's right with the world? I am, and you are!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spring please...

     I'm excited for spring to get here. (I will confess, sure, nature is wonderful, but I LOVE March Madness and Opening Day of baseball season even more!)
     So I've read ahead a bit in my daily reader, The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo. Here is his writing for April 5:
All the buried seeds
crack open in the dark
the instant they surrender
to a process they can't see.
What a powerful lesson is the beginning of spring. All around us, everything small and buried surrenders to a process that none of the buried parts can see. And this innate surrender allows everything edible and fragrant to break ground into a life of light that we call spring.
In nature, we are quietly given countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which ultimately is an awakening that is beyond all imagining. This moving through the dark into blossom is the threshold to God.
As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way. 
Love and blessings,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


     I am a airbnb host, one of my business ventures that I truly love. ( The company recently sent a total of $1 million out to hosts (I received $10) to go out and make "one less stranger." That's one of the things I love about the company--it's all about connection, all over the world, making peace one interaction at a time.
     Here's the story of my OneLessStranger adventure this past Sunday morning:
I've just returned from a lovely morning adventure to Starbucks.
Dan was my first new contact, as he was the employee I gave the money to for treating customers. Also working there is a neighbor, Tyler, fun to see him. Despite the early hour (7:15), the folks there were in a great mood. Fun environment. I sat there for a couple hours and read E-Squared, working on my upcoming class.
Thanks to the two folks who left their money at my house Thursday night, I had $65 to play with. I left $10 in tips, and the rest went to customers.
I met Locke, a young man with whom I had a great chat. And yes, I approached him, not the other way around. I am delighted to say that I have, via an informal survey I am undertaking, found another person besides me who likes surprises. When I asked Locke if such is the case for him, his face lit up and he said "yes" without hesitation. More fun!

Kindness rocks.
Smile. It's a great OneLessStranger starter.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


     Am I the only person on the planet who likes surprises? I'm beginning to think so. I had a powerful lesson just this past week that most people do NOT like surprises.
     As a former card-carrying contol freak, I understand that there are personalities that don't care for surprises. Why is that? Lack of control? Expecting bad things to happen? Unwillingness to believe good could happen? Plain old fear? Embarrassment? I want to expand my understanding.
     I love surprises. Trust me, I've had some less-than-wonderful surprises in my life. I guess it comes down to Einstein's very important question: Do you believe the world is a friendly place, or not? I definitely believe it is, and I believe people are inherently good, and life supports us in every way.
     How about you? Do you like surprises? I plan to do more informal research on this topic, so there's more to come...
     Life is good!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Make 2015 a Year of Discovery

Words from Margaret Stortz:
"Our spiritual ground zero is the recognition of our own natural holiness, the basic goodness inherent in us because of our oneness with Spirit. Once we allow that this truth is our truth, we can stop beating ourselves up. We can let the self-forgiveness and healing take place as necessary. Then we may discover that ours is more a task of discovery rather than fixing. The spiritual raw material is always present for us."
     What if we just drop the idea that something about us needs to be fixed? What if we approach our lives as a process of discovery of new ways to be and behave? Discover what works for us? Discover what makes us happy? Discover what we truly care about in life? Discover what we really want to create in our lives?
     Doesn't "discover" feel much better than "fix"?
          Joyous discovery to you in this glorious new year!