In Praise of Ease

Up until now, pain is seemingly a non-negotiable, but suffering is a different matter; it is a choice.

Instead of suffering and struggling, we could choose the path of ease and joy. Suffering comes from resisting what is happening. Ease and joy comes from flowing with it. Every time you experience suffering, it is a sign that you are off track and have stepped out of the flow. Suffering comes from pushing our bodies to perform beyond the balance point that preserves your wellbeing. Continuing to work in this “danger zone” further stresses, depletes and exhausts you.

With so many choices and responsibilities in life, you may find yourself pushed to your limit, unable to relax when you do have a moment and disconnected from the people and activities you most enjoy. What’s perhaps even worse is that you always feel stalked by failure, fear, anxiety.

One popular solution is to live a simpler life, but, what if there was a way to navigate your life in a way that allowed you to fully show up for the people and activities that truly matter to you, and let you refuel, reboot and rejuvenate along the way?

A few benefits: When your body is at rest, you are your most creative, powerful and strong. When stressed, vision closes down and reduces your options; when you are relaxed, vision opens up and you are able to see many choices. Stress creates more problems; you get to waste time cleaning up your messes, instead of getting it right the first time. Ease and joy become ways you navigate through life; course correcting each time you
recognize you have chosen off path.

I was lucky that in my late 20’s, I heard a term that really got my attention: restful alertness, the ability to be deeply at rest in the midst of activity. The teachers of this meditation practice were
peaceful and yet dynamic, and charismatic. Later, I explored the idea of being “comfortable in my own skin” through a process of grounding and centering. These two practices have become a way of life for me. My life partner added another, “Don’t hold unnecessary tension in the body.”

I keep my choice for joy and ease top of mind. My body is now a tool of discernment. I trust it completely. Its innate wisdom helps me determine what I want to do (my body opens, moves
forward, feels upbeat) and what I don’t (my body contracts, moves away from and feels overwhelmed). My body also lets me know when it needs a break; I lose the ability to focus, feel restless or start yawning. These breaks can be as short as 5-10 minutes, time for a walk around the garden, drink a cup of tea mindfully, or close the eyes for a few minutes.

If you believe that life is a struggle, remember that Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”


Relationship Versus Relatingship

We are all familiar with the term relationships, we talk about them all the time. We talk about relationships with our loved ones, kids, family, friends and clients. We talk about the potential to improve our current relationships, while for some, the topic is finding the relationship of their dreams.

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

We have a relationship with our work, with nature, with time, the list is endless. The word, relationship, is used thousands of times a day without much thought.

The definition of relationship (noun): the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people: the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

Even though we have contact throughout everyday in one way or another, many people are finding themselves feeling disconnected and unfulfilled.

What is it that keeps so many going through the motions of relationships and finding they have a longing for so much more? What is the missing piece? I believe it is relating that brings a deeper connection that leads to fulfillment.

The definition of relating-ship (yes, I made it up): The verb, relate, means “to make a connection.” If you can relate to someone’s story, something like that has happened to you or someone close to you. Relate also means “to give an account of something verbally,” like relating details of something important to you. That meaning of relate comes from the Latin word, relatus, meaning “to recount, tell.”

Here is a simple example of relationship vs relating-ship:

Recently a middle-aged man with two cats moved into the unit above me. When we passed, I would always smile and say hello. He would lift his eyes for a moment, mumble hello, and lower his gaze as he walked by. He was not unkind – only reserved, and I realize that not everyone wants to know their neighbors.

This went on for a number of weeks – it was our relationship. I wasn’t expecting anything, knowing that I will always say hello as I pass by. Recently a large new shiny silver truck replaced the sportscar in his parking spot. I smiled and acknowledged the change with “nice truck.” He responded with a smile and “yeah.” The next time we passed on the sidewalk, I said “good morning” this time he changed. He looked up, smiled and started talking about how cold it was. He was on the way to work at the Hyatt hotel where he is employed. I shared that I had worked at the Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa in the past – we were now relating. He shared that he may move to Tennessee and work at a Hyatt that is being built there. I commented that his truck would be perfect in Tennessee, and a big grin crossed his face. His last comment was “I have a heavy walk, I hope that I don’t disturb you when I am home, I try to be quiet.” Yes, we were relating.

To be in full disclosure, I often wish that he would take off his shoes when he came home. I wished he went to bed earlier so he didn’t wake me, I agree he has a heavy walk. After we had a relating moment, I don’t mind the noise as much; I have connected with the person, it made a difference.

To relate means to share, to relate means to love. To relate requires a certain level of vulnerability.
Using a nature analogy: two seeds cannot relate, they are closed and protected there is no space for relating. Two flowers can relate, they are open, they share their fragrances, they bask in the same sun and blow in the same wind.

We each have the opportunity to allow the seed to open and become a flower. It is your choice and each moment the choice has to be faced; each moment you are at a crossroads. Millions of people decide not to open or to only open within their comfort zone. How can they relate? It seems safer to keep a distance, at least to some degree. The flower is exposed, to the elements. Anything can happen to the flower, everything can happen to the flower. But to remain a seed is not to live fully, which is the price of staying secure as a seed.

Relating is a process, avoid doing relationships and go deeper and deeper into relating. Life is not a noun it is a verb, it is living. It is not a song, it is singing. It is not relationship, it is relating. It is not a dance, it is dancing. It is not love, it is loving.

To live your life consciously there is always an invitation to go deeper; if it was easy we would be doing it already. Look at what you say you want and may not have in the moment and ask how you are contributing to that outcome; it takes courage and vulnerability to look within. There is strength in vulnerability and it is essential for relating-ships.

Before you can relate with anything or anyone else, relate with yourself, find your center first. That is the basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled. With it, nothing is impossible. Relate with a flower, with the wind, relate with a child, relate with a friend or a lover, relate with laughter – yours and others – just relate.

I invite you to choose one area that you are willing to deepen and move from relationship to relating-ship.

Share your area in the comment section or email I look forward to creating a relating-ship with you.

Love and blessings,

Karen & Aimee

Living From Pleasure to Pleasure

Have you ever wondered why two people who face the exact same set of circumstances in life react in very different ways? One appreciates all that she does have; the other focuses on everything she doesn’t. One changes everything she has the power to change in her circumstances; the other complains bitterly about being dealt a poor hand.

Many years ago, I had a breakthrough in my thinking when I realized that the quality of life is all in how you hold it. We know that what you put your attention on expands and yet, many of us do not question the context of our lives. For example, do you believe that the Universe really does mean you well? That it is always partnering you by bringing you what you say you want through your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions? That it really does conspire to shower you with blessings? Or, do you spend your life living in fear, waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Growing up in England, I didn’t understand that I could choose again if I didn’t like the consequences of a choice I had made and that I could choose again and again until I did. I was taught that “Once you’d made your bed – you had to lie in it.” But, luckily, once on the spiritual path, I learned that you navigate your life through your choices, most of them unconscious.

Bringing my choices into conscious awareness was my first step and recognizing that the quality of my life was dependent on the quality of the choices I made was the second. I started weeding out or delegating what I didn’t love to do and releasing the people in my life that brought me down. I let go of should do’s and have to do’s. I replaced them with want to do’s. And, then a truly radical idea occurred to me: I could choose to live my life from pleasure to pleasure! What a concept! I saw how from the moment that I awoke, setting the energy of my day through meditation and gentle stretching, enjoying my morning tea in a beautiful cup and then nibbling on delicious fresh berries, I moved effortlessly from pleasure to pleasure throughout my day.

I could say that I am fortunate to love my work but more truthfully, I take responsibility for constantly redefining it, along with my client base, even my business partners – with each change increasing the quality and my pleasure. I am fully present with each activity and each client; before moving to the next one, I refresh my energy through grounding and centering so that I am always presenting my best self. In this way, I have energy left over for my evening with my intimate partner.

If I am not experiencing pleasure, I recognize that I must have made a wrong choice and simply choose again.


Reflecting On The Richness Of This Year’s Journey

Isn’t it amazing how fast the time has gone?

Photo by Sascha Berner on Unsplash

December is already upon us, ushering in the end of 2017 and the perfect time to look at what you want to complete or let go of, an essential component to align your energies for the New Year. I hear you groan, “How can I add one more thing with everything I already have ahead of me to make it through the holidays and this year.” Just for a moment, contemplate what it would be like to not only get through this month, but to actually thrive and enjoy it fully.  With the tendency to add more to do’s and pressure to your life, it is more important than ever to slow down and connect within. If you are overextending yourself and just getting through the days you will miss the opportunity for reflection. How you began the year was important and how you end it is just as important.

The past year has provided many challenges; no one has been immune, we have experienced energies that have never before been present. Each day became an adventure in learning how to navigate new territory. Along with the challenges, that at times were very intense, came miracles and breakthroughs in relationships, heart openings, in business and in every area of life; capturing these moments will show you the richness of this year’s journey.

You know where you started, so here are a number of questions for you to consider as you move toward the finish line of 2017. You may decide to walk with one question at a time, jot down insights that come up during the day allowing your inner guidance to direct you. Or, to block out some quiet uninterrupted time (my favorite tool) to deeply reflect. We often forget to reflect on what went well, where we were courageous, vulnerable and loving, only to focus on what didn’t quite measure up.

What specific results have you achieved so far, this year?

  1. Are you healthier, wealthier, (wealth comes in many forms not only money) and wiser? Describe in detail.

  2. Are you making progress towards your life’s vision or holding ground?

  3. What results are you committed to achieve by the end of the year?

  4. How have you grown and what have you learned this year?

  5. Is there any unfinished business that needs to be tended to in your life?

  6. Are you actively pursuing what’s most important on a daily basis? If not, what is holding you back?

  7. What habits do you need to change to ensure better results?

  8. What is the key issue that inhibits your ability to perform at your best?

  9. What is one thing that you conquered this year and would like to celebrate?

I suggest you give yourself the time to answer and honor the questions above. Make a list of everything you want to leave behind by December 31st and a list of what you want to have manifesting in 2018, because when it comes to the last days of the year, every day and everything you do counts.

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to

Love and blessings,


There is no denying that we are experiencing chaos worldwide. On October 9th, wild fires broke out in Northern California spreading devastation, loss of life and at least 8,500 homes/businesses destroyed.

The fire was stopped 1 mile from my home, I was evacuated for 9 days. My story is a fairy tale compared to others and yet it was my own personal harrowing journey and there was trauma involved.

The collective trauma sits heavy in the air, grief, loss and uncertainty prevail. Many people lost their homes and their jobs at the same time, there was nothing to return to in either place. I hear stories of families needing to leave the area to stay with friends or family even if they have a job, there is no housing for them here. Our community is strong and determined to rebuild, and yet, it will be years, one moment at a time.

We experience chaos every day in large and small ways. The car won’t start, traffic is at a standstill causing distress that we will not make an appointment, sick children, aging parents with unpredictable needs, heartbreak – the list is endless. As I was getting ready to for my Developing Alliances in-person event, the power went out, while I was in the shower! Chaos is in our daily lives period!

Why would I say chaos is good news? Chaos creates the openness where things fall apart and new creations arise. When you nearly crash your car, or slip and nearly fall you are immediately thrown into present time and can experience open space. This space allows us to “wake up.” During any given day, we can see where we are just going through the motions, lost in the past or the future, doing what we always do. The fires provided an instant awakening; fearing for your survival will do that. When I went to bed, Sunday night, I fully expected to wake in the morning to accomplish my Monday schedule, as usual.  At 2:30 a.m. I opened the front door to witness utter chaos, and within 20 minutes I was driving away from flames moving quickly in my direction. What Truly Mattered was completely evident, picking up my dog at the pet sitter and getting the two people I love and treasure, and get us all to safety. In that moment, possessions meant nothing.

Another way chaos is good news is that when things seem very bad, there is a big opportunity for something good to take place. During my time of evacuation, staying in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, there was one directive I heard from people I passed on the street, simply, “stay safe.” Even as I write this it brings tears to my eyes; yes, let’s all stay safe. Hearts were open and love was flowing everywhere. My prayer is that this will continue.

The pain and confusion is now so vivid in the world that we have no choice but to acknowledge it. The possibility exists that we will all come to our senses and collectively discover and make higher level choices. Only by staring at the confusion and chaos while examining it, will we discover a way forward. To enlighten means to “fully illuminate.” We see the problem and find a solution. Being unaware of the problem is not being enlightened, it is being ignorant. Even on a personal level, when we have challenges in our life, the answer is already there; we just need to embrace it. If we are tired, rest; if we are overeating, stop and eat with moderation; if we are lonely, make a connection with another.

Every morning we get to contemplate what we are doing in our life today and choose the energy we want to bring to it. Are we adding to the fear and anxiety or are we adding to the positivity, compassion and encouragement?

When we consider that chaos is good news, whatever comes our way -good or bad- has less power to throw us off track and obstruct our progress.
When chaos is in your midst, be kind to yourself and be kind to others. JUST BE KIND.

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to

Love and blessings,

Reclaim Your Power: Transforming Overwhelm

I know with absolute certainty that if you are reading this, you are a powerful woman, so having power is not the issue. The question is: how is that power being drained throughout the days, weeks and months as you navigate business, home, family and spiritual lives? All aspects of your life can be inspiring and engaging and too often you may find yourselves frazzled, questioning your abilities, lacking creativity and overextended.

We are living in energetic times that are stretching each of us in profound ways, often with discomfort associated with it. The old ways of navigating life don’t seem to work anymore or can’t be counted on and can lead to overwhelm.

Let’s begin with the definition of overwhelm: to flow over the top of and submerge or cover somebody or something, besieged, snowed under, inundated, weighted down.

We have all experienced overwhelm at one time or another, either for short or long periods. You know the feelings of frustration and exhaustion at having to put in the time to grow your business; sometimes the constant daily demands prevent you from remembering what inspired you to start it in the first place!

Overwhelm takes on many forms and is different for everyone. In a state of overwhelm some people may find their personal relationships suffer. They no longer find the time to connect in meaningful way with family and friends. For others health begins to suffer. Sleep patterns are disrupted; lunch is eaten on the run or at their desk while checking email. Their body is feeling lethargic from sitting in front of the desk or computer for long hours at a time; exercise feels like a luxury item.

You know you are in a state of overwhelm when:

  • You don’t love what you do as much
  • You have difficulty getting to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night with business or challenges on your mind
  • You find yourself thinking if you just did more and worked harder you could make it all come together
  • Multi-tasking seems like a positive strategy
  • You feel like a computer with too many windows open

When you are in a state of overwhelm you need to make different choices. The actions you would normally take to move forward are not necessarily the best ones to get you out of overwhelm

Albert Einstein said, “A problem cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Part of the issue each of is facing right now is our expansion of consciousness. It can feel at times that nothing makes sense when you are in the middle of a shift. The key here is to allow more space and not tighten when you feel uncomfortable. Notice your self-talk and meet it with curiosity, asking, is this true?

I am a very organized person; it is my nature and how my mind works naturally. For example: visualize the grocery store you frequent most often, see the layout. Do you organize your shopping list by the layout of the store – I do (see what I mean by organized?). It has always been second nature. Recently I have to reach for the ease of organization that once was readily available. I was becoming stressed and overwhelmed by my lack of ability to do regular tasks with ease and efficiency, and organizing my calendar, planning and facilitating the set up for an event was taking effort. As soon as I acknowledged this experience was actually a very good thing, an expansion in conscious, I relaxed and was able to meet the new normal that was unfolding.

The following strategies will assist with transforming overwhelm along with the essential spiritual integration.

Know your “overwhelm set point”:

The first step is to recognize when overwhelm is creeping in. We have often been pushing for so long that we think it is normal. Each of us has a set point that is present before we are overextended. This is the line between being happily busy and productive to being overwhelmed.

To discover your set point, think back to a time when you were happily busy and productive, functioning at the top of your game. Aaaah! What were you doing? How many projects did you have open at any one time? How many hours were you devoting to outside hobbies or volunteer organizations? How was your home and spiritual life supporting you?

Discovering your set point may also require an internal journey to discover how you really want the rhythm of your life to unfold. By knowing your set point you may notice yourself getting off track more quickly and will be able take corrective action.

Prioritize Differently:

When in a state of overwhelm there is a different way of prioritizing that supports us, more of a crisis intervention than “business as usual.” Rather than looking at the most important items on your list, begin with the easiest to complete. By clearing smaller/easier projects off of your desk your mind will be creating a sense of accomplishment and energetic space. Once you begin feeling this shift you will have the focus to accomplish the larger projects with greater ease.

Focus on the inner journey:

The state of being overwhelmed begins with a state of mind. Thoughts come in like,

“How am I going to get all this completed?” “I don’t have enough time for myself?”

“What is going to happen if I don’t focus on my marketing?” Feelings of fatigue,
irritation and frustration are telling you are running on empty.

When you are driving your car and are running out of gas, do you keep on going? Do you say, “I don’t have time for gas?” Do you get angry because the car is running out of gas?

No, you pay attention to what is true in the moment and take the first opportunity and fill up the car.

Are you mindful of filling up your own energetic tank or do you ignore the fact that you are running out of gas, which are energy, vitality, creativity and joy? If you recognize that your positive emotions are missing, give yourself the time and attention necessary to bring yourself back into balance. Check in with your emotions and notice what you are feeling. Give yourself a healthy dose of attention and appreciation to shift your emotional state. This is also a good time to ask for help to assist with your shift.

Vacation Days:

Just as your body needs to recharge so does your mind, which requires rest on a regular basis. In order to accomplish this, I suggest you take one vacation day a week. Notice I did not say a weekend day. Our weekends are usually filled with more obligations, laundry, grocery shopping, catching up in many areas (including friendship and business) and we get the leftover time for ourselves. Vacation days hold a very different energy, of recharging, refreshing, relaxing, carefree and fun. Take a moment to visualize a typical weekend day and now visualize a vacation day, which would you rather have?

When you work too many days in a row without recharging your battery, you move into functioning from a mechanical zone. In this state, you can be relatively productive and get some things accomplished. However, if the unexpected arises, you find yourself on the brink of overwhelm in a flash
By taking a regular vacation day, without focusing on business, you are supported in keeping your creativity high and have the ability to meet whatever presents itself in a positive manner.

Take Inspired Action:

An inspired action is one that you look forward to or that brings you joy. Look for the reason this task has merit or how it will benefit others. When you find yourself pushing and forcing yourself to just get one thing done after another, overwhelm and exhaustion can occur. Every task, no matter how mundane, can have a component of inspiration within it. Look for a way to create an inspiring environment to accomplish the tasks that are more challenging. If a task is not inspiring release it for a time and see what emerges when you return to it.

I love this quote from Notes from the Universe:

“What if every job was seen as an adventure in creativity, an opportunity to change the world and a means through which to discover one’s power. And if every task was seen as a present to unwrap containing unknown rewards, we would no longer call it …work”

State Changes:

Sometimes the only thing we can do in a moment to work with overwhelm is a seemingly small thing, these are called state changes; change the state you are in. Stand up shrug your shoulders and breathe. I use music and movement to get me singing and dancing, for example, Motown or my favorite African Drumming CD.

The idea is to interrupt the overwhelm or discomfort you may be experiencing and make a conscious choice to change it, right in that moment.

All we have is the present moment. Don’t let a bad moment become a bad day!

I invite you to choose a strategy that will get your started with transforming overwhelm. As you enhance one area of your life others will automatically become enhanced. There are times when no matter what you do overwhelm is going to present. At that time, I focus on my favorite quote “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.”

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to

Love and blessings,

Freedom: Releasing Negative Beliefs


I am going to get personal today. I feel compelled to share a recent journey as, like many of you, I have been on a spiritual and healing path for a very long time. With my 65th birthday approaching, I chose to focus on two areas I wanted to have in place before that momentous occasion.

First, I wanted to be comfortable in my body at a balanced weight. I was not looking for a specific number – only that my body felt right. The second part of the balanced weight equation was that I would have my food dialed in.

What that meant to me was to know exactly what to eat that provided nutrition in the correct portions to sustain my energy while building health and vitality in my body. I desired to be off of the rollercoaster of highs and lows caused by sugar and processed foods which kept me fighting a daily battle with cravings and huge energy fluctuations.

Sometimes I was able to stay strong and other times, the cravings for ice cream won. I have been on this journey for years of ups and downs, can and can’t have; you know the story!  I craved peace. 4 months before my birthday, I discovered (I am not receiving any rewards for sharing their information), it turned out to be exactly what I needed and wanted.

The tag line is happy, thin and free. I was more drawn to happy and free, although if thin could be in the equation all the better. By my birthday, I was living all three with ease, dropping 14 lbs. in the process.

Secondly, I wanted to use the current energies available to move out anything that was holding me back from clearing my past hurts. I wanted to be living more fully than I ever have before. Since I began this journey 45 years ago, some would ask, “Isn’t that good enough?” and while I understand the question, I knew life could be even better.

When Aimée and I work with clients and they hit that really hard place again, we often see tears, frustration and downright anger. They express, “Haven’t I already looked at this, and dealt with this? I am so sick of it!”  Yes, they have looked at it, just not from the place they are now, as they go forward to expose another layer of the onion, it takes courage to carry on. We have a value in our business that we don’t teach anything that we do not know firsthand. New information was coming in from the guides that showed us a process to do even deeper clearings, that were more focused than ever before. I needed to do the process for myself.

Through a process of inquiry, I was shown by the guides that I had 6 negative beliefs that connected to a core belief. Core beliefs run under the surface and can affect everything in your life, often keeping you locked in an invisible jail cell you will not be aware of.  As I began reflecting on the question, the first beliefs that came to mind were more superficial, beliefs I was already aware of. I kept asking the question, “What are my negative beliefs?” as I wanted to get to the real deep core belief. When I finally did discover this suppressed belief, I was stunned at what was revealed. At that point, a movie of my life was being played in front of me showing how this belief had created so much unnecessary drama, trauma and pain. Memory after memory emerged, all created from one deeply buried core belief.

The most surprising piece, besides the belief itself, was I had never had the awareness or the thought before. Often when doing deep clearing work, you realize an issue was hanging around on the outskirts of your awareness for a long while, often most of your life. Some examples would be: lingering anger, depression, feeling unworthy, or that there is something deeply wrong with you that you must hide, etc. I wondered how it could be that I have never thought of this before, not even once. It is just like a shadow that followed me everywhere undetected.

After two days, I was drained from releasing the emotions and tears and yet at the same time I felt light and freer. For the first time in my life I felt an internal peace that continues to strengthen each day. Friends and colleagues are commenting on how different my energy is even though they did not know anything about the clearing. I am seeing the world in a new way as if a film has been removed from my glasses. I am confident that this shift is permanent!

Why am I telling you this? I came from an extremely abusive background. Once I left home I took over abusing myself, it was all I knew. At age 32, I finally decided to stop blaming my past circumstances for all my problems and stopped drinking and using drugs to numb the pain. Once the substances were removed the pain showed up in full force. Clearing the wreckage has been the driving force of my life. I am committed to having the life I was meant to have before the abuse and conditioning set me on a different trajectory.

I never believed I could feel the way I do now. What if I had decided that my life was good enough and had not taken this next step? That scenario is far more upsetting to me than diving deeply into whatever is presenting to be cleared. Don’t ever give up, your miracle could be in right here right now.

What does this article bring up for you? I invite you to share a comment here or email

Holding you in the love and light you deserve.

Love and blessings,

Creating Chaos to Discover Bliss

I recently cancelled vacation plans, or more accurately the plans cancelled me.

For many months, I planned to attend a 10-day retreat that required an extensive application process. I had completed all the details except one, pushing send. No matter how many times I returned to my application I could not push the send button. I took some time for self-reflection and realized that what I really wanted to do with my vacation time was to stay home. I felt so light and even giddy when I decided to stay home and immediately cancelled my application.

Once I made the decision what was emerging contained two parts:

  • I wanted to have open ended time each day to see what arose. Making time for rest, walks on the beach, reading, dance and most importantly simply to be.
  • I wanted to organize and simplify my home, giving attention to every closest, cabinet and drawer.

I wanted my living space to become a nurturing space for my body and spirit and I wanted to have my space accurately reflect who I am as an individual. My intention was to make my home a sanctuary, everywhere I looked to be soothing and uplifting. I had been giving my inner world the attention it needed and yet the outer spaces were suffering. No matter how positive and creative I was with my inner world, if my home or work surroundings presented irritations or energetic barriers, I was on edge.

In order to achieve both goals I had to be okay with having my living space turned into a disorganized mess for an indefinite time period in order to allow the spontaneous desires of the day to be fulfilled at the same time as the organizing project. This is not an easy task, especially for an organized Virgo.  I slept on the couch a couple of nights when the bed was covered with clothes that were being sorted. I only focused on my home when I was connected to the purging energy, in between, I had walks on the beach and took long naps while allowing my nervous system to unwind. Each day was a lesson in letting go of my plans for the day and allowing the energies to guide me.

By paying attention to the flow of energy around me, I was able to align my inner intentions with my outer realties to create a conscious space to live in. Now, at the end of the day, I come home to a space that supports me filling up and preparing for a rejuvenating night’s sleep.

Your home can be thought of as symbolic metaphor for your life. A neglected space may correspond to an area in which you are experiencing lack of growth in your career or a relationship.

Questions to ponder:

  • What is irritating you regularly? It could be a rug you trip over or lack of beauty in your surroundings
  • Does your living/office space support peace and relaxation?
  • What is one area in your home or office you could upgrade easily now?

Choose one area to shift and begin today, the results may astound you.

Leave a comment or email to share your intention so I may hold it with you.

Love and blessings,

Are You A Good Listener?

In a world moving at warp speed, we have lost many of the finer aspects of communication. Many of us grew up in families in which getting a word in edge wise was an Olympic sport. We didn’t even realize that there was another way of communicating other than everyone speaking at once or talking over whatever was being shared. Good communication is a two-way street: speaking and listening.

Photo Credit: Lea Dubedout

Listening doesn’t mean just not speaking. To be an effective listener requires certain behaviors and attitudes. Listening is an action word. Listening is also an act of generosity. Being a good listener is a gift we can give to other people.

Letting someone know he or she has really been heard is one of the finest things we can do for each other.

In our monthly event Developing Alliances: Professional Gathering for Extraordinary Women, we have two activities designed for communication, which includes sharing something, business or personal, and being received by the person actively listening.

Often ladies are moved to tears by the experience of being fully received, acknowledged, without being interrupted.

Find out how good a listener you are by answering the following questions:

  1. Listening means paying attention. When I listen to someone, I focus my attention on the speaker. I look directly at him or her, and concentrate on hearing what he or she is saying.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  2. Listening means accepting what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I withhold judgment and accept what he or she is saying “as is.” I acknowledge what the person is saying without labeling it right or wrong, good or bad, true or false.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  3. Listening means being interested in what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I invite the speaker to give his or her opinion, say what’s on his or her mind, or say how he or she feels about the topic or issue.

    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  4. Listening means confirming and clarifying what I believe I heard. When I listen to someone, I ask specific questions such as “What I heard you say is … is that right?”
    or “I think I understand what you said, but will you elaborate on …?” or “When you say …, do you mean…?

    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  5. Listening means being empathetic. When I listen to someone and I begin to feel defensive or impatient or angry, I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and appreciate what he or she might be going through.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  6. Listening means letting go of control. When I listen to someone, I don’t jump right in with a solution, or try to fix things, or have to say the “right” thing.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  7. Listening means not judging the speaker. When I listen to someone, I do not get distracted by the delivery, I allow others to find their way through their communication.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  8. Listening means withholding any rebuttal until the speaker is finished. When I listen to someone, I listen to the entire message before I begin to share my feedback. Then, I wait a beat or two before I begin speaking to make sure I’ve let the speaker finish, and I am centered in my response.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  9. Listening means paying attention to the whole message. When I listen to someone, I take in their non-verbal messages, too — facial expressions, gestures, eyes, tone of voice, and posture because I understand these can contradict or confirm the words that are used.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


  10. Listening means being present. Sometimes I’m unable to give my full attention to someone. When this is the case, I let the person know by saying something like, “I would like to give you my full attention and now’s not a good time for me to talk about this, can we discuss it later?” then agree to a specific time to have the discussion.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____


After you have scored each area total your responses.

  • If you scored highest in most of the time or always, congratulate yourself. Make a note of the areas where you could be even more effective
  • If you scored highest in sometimes or never there is much room for improvement.

Remember, just because we’re born with ears, doesn’t mean we start off life as good listeners. Becoming a good listener is a skill we learn, and like other skills, it takes practice to get better.

Inspired Action Step: Choose one area that you will focus on to ensure that you a good listener. Celebrate your success and choose the next area of focus until you are very satisfied with your score.

I’d love to hear from you, if you’d be willing to share at

Love and blessings,

My Defining Moment

From time to time, I’ve found myself sharing a profound experience I had many years ago, but this is the very first time I’ve ever written about it.  That said, let me set the scene for you: I was in my late 20’s, newly divorced, still living in England and working in a bank.  I remember looking at some of the other female employees who had worked there forever and wondering if that would be my fate.  Already, I had spent 11 years of my life in those same four walls, and living in the same town that I had grown up in.

Obviously, my soul was communicating to me that it was time for a change and so it was unsurprising that within a very few short months, I had resigned my job and said, “yes!” to a new opportunity that seemingly came out of the blue.  Some months prior, I had begun a formal meditation practice and attended a follow-up course of instruction.  At the end of this course, we were presented with a chance to interview for a work-study position in France and Switzerland.  The agreement was that for every 3 days worked, I would earn one day of my teacher training.  Jobs were assigned as needed and could be changed on a moment’s notice.  It sounded like the exact antithesis of my life as it was and was extremely appealing.

I had begun dating again after my failed marriage and my boyfriend was also on the meditation course with me.  He was clear that he also wanted to sign up but was adamant that we needed to make our decisions independent of each other, as we were early in our relationship.  I agreed to this, understanding that what he was saying was, “Don’t count on me to be there for you.”

My first assignment was in Courchevel, a ski resort on the French/Swiss border.  I was to be second cook for a group of 30 women who were on a vegetarian diet of soups and salads.  “I can do this,” I thought, as I was already vegetarian and had packed some of my most favorite cookbooks in case I was assigned to a kitchen.  On my breaks, I sat on a mountainside, thoroughly enjoying the beautiful change of scene and my own willingness to change up my life.  My delight, however, was short-lived.  Just two weeks later, the word came down that we were moving location and everyone was to pack our belongings and board a bus heading to Vittel, a town in the Vosges, Northern France that was known for its healing water.

On the bus, one of the coordinators came to sit with me to discuss my next assignment.  “We want you to be the chef of the Nouvel Hotel, serving 300 teacher trainees.  You are responsible for the hiring of servers, food preps, and other cooks, as well as managing our vendors.  You will design all the menus and staff schedules.  Oh yes, and we need to know now if you will do it?”

I remember my heart pounding with fear, my stomach lurching, and thinking, “Well, I’m either going to sink or swim – and I’m not going to sink!”

When I arrived at the Hotel Nouvel, I found that my boyfriend had accepted the job of hotel manager but quite honestly, we were both so busy that we hardly got to see each other.  There was a manual of dreary-looking recipes and a set of deep dish serving containers that looked like troughs!  Hardly appetizing to eat food out of, I thought.  I kept looking.  I found a set of oval stainless steel platters and talked to my servers.  I explained that we would garnish every platter and serve each meal as if it were a banquet.  I knew that it would mean more work for them but would allow them much more pride in the work.  They agreed.  Then, I poured over the cookbooks I had brought from home – could the ingredients be multiplied and still retain the integrity of the dish?  I decided it was worth a shot.

My kitchen was quickly dubbed, “Aimée’s Love Kitchen.”  Not only did everyone want to eat at the Nouvel Hotel, everyone on the work-study program wanted to work in my kitchen!

What an amazing 10 months of my life!  Highlights includes making fresh pineapple juice, cooking 300 artichokes in a 5-foot long steamer, cooking corn fritters in a copper paella pan that was over 2-foot wide, defrosting turkeys the night before Thanksgiving and serving them for breakfast the morning afterwards, eating frog’s legs with my head of the maids and her husband the grounds keeper, and couscous with my Moroccan pot washer and his family.  Oh yes, and did I mention I met my next husband?  Yes, he so wanted into my kitchen that he pretended he could cook – he produced an incredibly beautifully decorated rice pilaf in just 15 minutes for his interview – only to be busted when I tasted it and of course the rice was uncooked!!!  He still got the job!  I’ll never forget the look on my boyfriend’s face when I told him that I was leaving him – priceless!

When, I realized that I was now ready for my own Teacher Training course, I reflected on what this experience had taught me.  I realized that, if I could do this – I could do anything!  

The next years of my life gave me pause to remember this defining moment.  I told myself that if I could be the Director of Service Quality for Citibank, I could be a Service Director in any industry, without knowing that industry.  True!  I became Director of Corporate Service Quality for Charles Schwab without knowing a thing about the brokerage industry.  Did I succeed?   I won the Presidential Breakthrough Achievement Award.

Then, I was invited by a former peer to join her as a senior consultant in an International training company.  I told her that I knew nothing about training and undaunted, she replied, “You’re a natural.  I can teach you anything you need to know.”  Little did either of us know that our mandate was about to be changed and we spent our first year in the company learning how to design multi-media training courses.  “Why,” I kept asking?  I soon found out.  My first job as an entrepreneur, four years later, was to be a partner in a multi-media training company!

A defining moment is a point at which the essential nature or character of a person is revealed or identified.  I found out what I’m made of – and I like it!

All of us have these defining moments that fuel us in our professional and personal life and support us marshalling our courage to leap into unknown territory, as needed.  They allow us to trust in our process and to take appropriate risks in business but also in matters of the heart.

I’d love to hear about your defining moments, if you’d be willing to share at

Love and blessings,

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