Blessed by Saint Francis

*This is a repost that was accidentally lost and deleted*

I am amused but not surprised that today, October 4th, is the day we celebrate the work and ministry of Saint Francis. It’s so divine and synchronistic considering that I’ve been feeling imbibed by his spirit since my return from Italy and Assisi a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t even know it was the day of his feast until I happened to come across the notice in someone else’s feed. When I did, I knew that I have been struck by grace once again.

Let me share a little of my one day in Assisi. Nothing dramatic actually happened in Italy, but ever since, my heart has been broken wide open by the presence and power of this saint. I never knew! I’m not even a practicing Catholic, which is why it has struck me so. I’ve learned that no matter your religion, race or creed, if you open your self to the grace of the great mystics, saints and sages you will be touched.

I went to Italy purely for vacation, with no mission but to simply visit and explore. Little did I know that I would have one of the most mystical and profound experiences of grace that was no part of a plan besides that of the divine. When we arrived in Assisi, the first evening we explored and settled in. I wasn’t allowed to enter the Basilica of Saint Francis because the shorts I was wearing were too short. The next day, more properly attired, I entered the Basilica alone without the rest of my family. Wasn’t planned this way, it just worked out that way. I went down to the lower level where lie his remains and felt a sublime invitation to go kneel beside his tomb. With no intent or prayer in mind, I knelt. Then came a very strong vibrational feeling of his presence. It was then that I realized I was in a supremely Holy and Sacred space. After kneeling for a little while in quiet, I felt like I should pray something so of course what comes to mind is the Prayer of Saint Francis. I recite to myself a few time “Let me be an instrument of thy peace.”
That was it and apparently that was the only invitation I had to give for him to come in and blow my heart wide open. After I left his tomb, I felt all hot, sweaty and strange inside. Instantly I knew I was in for a ride.  I said to myself, “Uh Oh, what did I just do.”

To dig it in deeper (not on purpose), later that day my family and I visited the Basilica of Saint Chiara who worked very closely with Saint Francis during his time. I also felt very strongly her presence down near her tomb. Within one of her sanctuaries is the original crucifix of San Damiano that St. Francis and St. Chiara would pray to. As I was approaching the crucifix, on a table to the side was a brochure that said at the very top “PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS BEFORE THE CRUCIFIX OF SAN DAMIANO.” Of course, this I could not resist, so I sat before the crucifix repeating whole heartedly the prayer several times,  and to add to the mood it was storming outside with the lights flickering on and off the entire time. With that prayer, not necessarily intentionally, I had sealed the deal. I knew instantly after I was done that I had opened myself to something much bigger. These are the words to the prayer:

” O most High and glorious God,
   enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me right faith,
certain hope,
perfect love
and deep humility.
O Lord, give me sense and discernment
.in order to carry out your true and holy will.”

We capped off our time in Assisi by visiting the beautiful location where St. Francis went to retire in the wilderness.  The next day we left Assisi and continued through Florence and Venice before eventually coming home. It wasn’t until arriving home that I would begin to feel the exhaustion, movement and agitation stirred from the trip and “initiation”… days of confusion & fog, followed by brief moments of clarity & understanding… granted the jet lag didn’t help at all. I craved solitude while loud places aggravated the hell out of me. We had some work done on our house while we were gone, so when we returned, our home was in disorder with everything misplaced and a lot of our stuff, including junk pulled out of the closets. The state of our home mirrored the state of my insides, as if everything had been brought to the surface from the deep closets of my subconscious. I spent the next few days clearing and reorganizing physically, mentally and emotionally. Moments of unhealed, heartbreak would come flooding to the surface and the release, even though painful, felt so sweet, nourishing and healing. I could see how I was contributing to my own feelings of disappointment through my thoughts, actions and behaviors.

Then P E A C E.. sweet, beautiful, peace that needed absolutely nothing from me to exist, swept through.  It would come and it would go. During one of  my hikes, when I would look down at my feet to see where I was stepping , through my mind’s eye I would see sandals and a robe stepping with me as if they were also my feet. It was strange,  yet very comforting in affirming that I was not walking alone. I could feel the essence of contentment and peace… pure grace in motion. Through out the days, more agitations would surface, then peace. Peace was definitely a theme. Then  just a couple of days ago, while on one of my hikes, I was in a place of  significant self doubt, when I had an encounter with a sweet little bird on the top of a mountain. I saw it and felt it begin to get unusually close for a wild bird. It must have been attracted to the rubies in my ring because it came to my hand and pecked at the stones! The encounter continued for about 5 minutes as it climbed on my shoes, pecked some more on my ring, stood on top of my phone (because I just had to record) and looked straight at me turning its head side to side and eventually flying away. I was divinely kissed.

I knew that one of the symbols of Saint Francis was birds as he is also considered the patron of animals and the environment; and birds have also always been greatly significant to me as symbols of my own freedom and power. As I settled down that evening, I read somewhere on line that for Saint Francis, birds symbolized spiritual freedom and growth. That the birds were a message from the Divine to keep on, to keep preaching and to not give up on his path of ministry and service.

The message became suddenly clear! My self doubt didn’t matter. We keep on anyway.. not for glory, fame, success, accomplishments or validation.. not because we are striving or trying to achieve a goal. We keep on simply for ourselves and for the liberation of our own truth as an instrument of Thy peace. A couple of days later, after that sweet encounter, is today, the day of Saint Francis. How divine it truly all is!


Resolve to Evolve || Happy New Year!!

When I visited my grandmother this past summer in Peru, who by the way is 96 years young, I was struck with how well she took care of herself. No one had to remind her to take her medicine, eat her vegetables or to avoid unhealthy habits. She never had  excuses and she said something that drove it home for me- “If I don’t take care of myself, then who will.” Sure, other people encouraged and helped but it was very clear that she stood for herself, in her own power as her biggest advocate.

As a new year rolls in, we are often inspired to make changes in our lives that will align us with our happiness, health and well being. We get pumped up, all excited and ready to go, but after a couple of weeks our enthusiasm begins to wain. We start to give into the old inner voices and feelings that have been our biggest ball and chain, enslaving us to our unhealthy habits. It is when we reach this slumbery state that in fact, we have the grandest opportunity to stand for ourselves and become our biggest advocate!

Be Your Biggest Advocate!!

It is easy to to direct change when we are full of excitement, but the true shift happens when we move beyond the enthusiasm and begin to stand up against the old judgmental, critical voices that want to keep us the same. We must stand up for ourselves, for our health, for our dreams and our highest desires because no one else can do it for us.

Be the one who cares the most about how your life unfolds!! Keep going even when you don’t want to.. ESPECIALLY  when you don’t want to.

See you in 2016!!

Being still is taking action!

Invite stillness into your life everyday.

This may not seem like an action step, but quiet reflection is a purposeful action that awakens you to your inner thoughts. Only then, can you consciously begin to rearrange your mind so that it serves instead of sabotages you.

In my own stillness, I became aware of how my mind sabotaged me.

In trying to protect myself from hurt, my mind was brilliant at coming up with ways to keep me small so that no one could fully see me. In the stillness, I began to notice all of the excuses my mind had made up to keep me tiny, protected and a prisoner to my fear.

“You don’t need anyone so don’t reach out. No one wants to hear what you have to say anyway. Take that extra nap instead. You don’t have enough money. Don’t try so hard because you are going to fail anyway.”

My mind was full of these diminishing thoughts and even though challenging, I had to quit believing them. I had to quit taking advice from this part of my mind telling me NOT to fully live.

The light in me could no longer stand being diminished so baby steps I took:  I began to write a little, call up some friends and speak more from the heart in the classes I taught. The life in me wanted to be expressed and that was reason enough to break through.

Stillness speaks loudly!! I’m so glad I listened.







A Fall Time Reflection: Let That Shit Go!

Nature is so wondrous that thousands flock to the woods and mountain tops to simply witness her glorious display of “letting go!” She exemplifies the possibility of transitioning through the seasons of life with grace and beauty. It is the ultimate fruit of non attachment.

May we learn from her how to do the same as nature always reflects what is possible for us… so just breathe and let all that dead shit go!!




I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend celebrating Independence Day!

Freedom has  been a big theme in my life and personal practice. Look at the the title of all of my yoga classes and you will see! Early on, I didn’t know what I was seeking freedom from (I only knew that I felt bad), but it became clear that it was my self imposed bondage that had me under lock; with shame, unworthiness and burden holding the key.. All deceptively coated with my idea of what perfection should be.

My body and mind felt the heaviness, in that I did not want to fully participate in my own life and escape seemed easier. But luckily I am stubbornly determined and wasn’t giving up.

As I was going through a particularly Hellish journeying with a shaman, she kept saying to me, “Feel what you are doing to yourself. I am showing you this so that you will stop!!”


I have heard the message before and at that point, I think it finally sunk in. I began to identify all of my stories and how strongly I was holding on to them. I had been feeding them for so long that they were powerful and deeply entrenched. It took all of my practice, surrender, humility, presence and determination to disempower them and it is still a journey in progress.

In doing so, life seems softer somehow with nothing to prove.. nothing to run from or to run to.   Even though I can still feel the tentacles of my old beliefs creeping in, telling me that I am not OK and that I still must prove something, I pay them no mind. For once, each day can  simply be a naturally unfoldment- sometimes profoundly beautiful and other days, deeply sad. 

Some days are wonderfully inspired and other days are painfully empty. I have also come to know blissfully empty, which is a new one for me. I mean, I have heard of it but thought it was just a myth.


Freedom from the bondage of  my old stories and freedom to just be, are what fuel my practice and teachings. I hope that you are well on your way to finding yours!


The Efficacy of Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is an inner journey that goes beyond just building a flexible and strong body. Here are a few means, aside from checking asanas off of your list, which measure the effect your yoga practice is having on your life:

  • A natural desire to make healthy lifestyle changes- ridding yourself of habits that are unhealthy.
  • A shift in the way you relate to others- more patience and forgiveness; increased honesty and authenticity; more collaboration and less competition; meaningful conversations and less gossip; being present with others.
  • Taking responsibility for your own life and happiness- no longer blaming others and outer circumstances for the way your life unfolds; looking inside yourself instead.
  • An increased appreciation and ability to see beauty, even in the smallest things that you may have taken for granted in the past. Everything becomes a miracle.
  • More sensitivity and compassion to nature and all living things. Making more conscious decisions so not to cause additional harm and suffering.
  • A growing sense of purpose and knowing that you can make a difference; even if it’s in the way you cook dinner and fold laundry. Instead of looking to gain meaning from outside of yourself, you are able to infuse meaning and care into all that you do.
  • More power in your words. When you speak, your words are more potent and people want to listen. Your words become truthful, authentic, uplifting and trusting.
  • Having frequent moments of feeling peace and fulfillment RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for something to happen or change to bring you contentment.
  • Increased enthusiasm about waking up in the morning because life seems less burdensome and heavy. You have acquired a discipline to be more present and to not let your thoughts go unexamined because you know that an undisciplined and unexamined mind is hell’s playground. This discipline keeps you from falling for the same mind tricks that have weighed you down.
  • Feeling more integrated and accepting of yourself and all of your shadows. Being comfortable in your own skin therefore more accepting of others and their own unique qualities.
  • Increased synchronicities. It just happens and it is the coolest thing.
  • Becoming less self-centered and more thoughtful without taking things so personally. Instead of impulsively reacting, you are able to “see” without looking through the lens of your own unexamined and therefore uncontrolled emotions. So instead of always making it about you, you can see that perhaps the other person is hurting and then are able to interact in a more meaningful way.
  • Increased steadiness and centeredness- Life is designed to be messy and will always have challenging moments, so it’s not that these challenges go away, but your response to the challenges begin to shift since most likely, you have cultivated strategies to help you through. You begin to see that obstacles are often growth and learning experiences. Even though you feel pain and discomfort, you learn that if you lean in and hold steady in your truth, your perseverance will refine and soften all of those hard edges, making you all the more wiser.
  • Having the most profound and mind blowing experiences of the Witness and “I Am” presence that is inside and all around. These moments of grace are the sweetest moments of all.

From Baby Steps To Infinite Possibilities

“Anything you think of doing, however insignificant, should be done immediately. Spur yourself on and carry it through without becoming discouraged. If this becomes an ingrained habit, things you thought were impossible will become possible, and closed doors will open, as you will discover in many ways.”

Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education

I dedicate this post to my beloved 9 year old son who is one of my greatest teachers. As I watch him unfold into a vivacious young boy and musician, he reminds me of what is possible when we choose NOT to buy into our limiting beliefs that tells us we are not good enough. Of course we get discouraged, as I have seen many tear filled tantrums come from this child.. and let me tell you that practice ain’t always fun, BUT when we hold to a vision of what is possible and we allow ourselves to be carried by the current of our dreams, then magic happens.


Earth Day Blessings!! A Message from Pachamama

Every day, we wake up with an opportunity to make decisions about how we are going to show up on this beautiful planet.  As I am sure you have already experienced, this world is wonderfully yet paradoxically designed to both bewilder and enlighten us. The beauty of this human ride is that we are ALWAYS blessed with the freedom to choose which way want to go, so our time here is DESIGNED for us to make stupid, dumb and bad choices. Then perhaps, we become motivated to wake up and choose differently. Seriously, if we wanted to be enlightened all of the time, we wouldn’t have been born, as our light is already a given.

For this reason, I have no desire to tell you what is right or wrong and what you should and shouldn’t do for our planet because honestly, my belief is that our magnificent earth will survive just fine with or without us. In my years of communing with our beloved mother, she has whispered to me time and again that our need for her far outweighs her need for us and that we would destroy ourselves way before we could destroy her. So what’s the point of all this and why bother being concerned about our planet, you may ask?

Because my friends, our sanity, our healing and our opportunity for moving out of our own suffering become far greater with her appreciated and intact.

Because she is a constant holder of consciousness and through her display of beauty, perseverance, abundance and freedom, we are reminded of our own.

Because in our darkest hours, when we are shattered in pieces, she wraps us in her sweet embrace and puts us back together again.

Because she lovingly holds the parts of ourselves that we have discarded until we are ready to once again claim them for ourselves.

Because, through our relations with her and all of her creatures, we learn compassion and unconditional love so that we can in turn be a vessel for compassion and love.

As Eckhart Tolle so beautifully says, “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”

I say, let nature teach you that Life’s ONLY promise is the unfoldment of your consciousness. When Nature blooms, she does not bloom for recognition or entitlement. She blooms only for Life itself. We let go of struggle and destruction when we remember that our planet, even though she gives us everything, OWES us nothing. Living for Life itself, without expecting anything in return- now that is an ultimate lesson.

Perhaps think about honoring, appreciating and taking care of this beautiful earth not because you have to or because she needs you to, but because by doing so, you get an opportunity to make a choice that reflects not only a love for this planet but a love for yourself.

Earth Love = Self Love

How wonderful is that!! Earth day blessings to you all!