Can You Appreciate All That Shows Up?

Welcome Spring and all that is new.

I’ve been reading and contemplating a beautiful passage about arrivals from Rumi this week (as interpreted by Coleman Barks).

It helped me see a challenging situation in new light…and a door opened.

Perhaps it will open a door for you, too.


“This being human is a guest

house. Every morning

a new arrival.


A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and attend them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of all its furniture, still,

treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

For some new delight.


The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.


Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


Welcome difficulty.

Learn the alchemy True Human

Beings know:

the moment you accept what troubles

you’ve been given, the door opens.


Welcome difficulty as a familiar

comrade. Joke with torment

brought by the Friend.


Sorrows are the rags of old clothes

and jackets that serve to cover,

and then are taken off.

That undressing,

and the beautiful

naked body underneath,

is the sweetness

that comes

after grief.”


~ Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks, in The Illuminated Rumi, ©1997 Coleman Barks & Mich


What doors open for you as you contemplate this passage? Let us know.


To Your Wellth,



Wellness Coaches: What’s YOUR Brand of Overwhelm?

overwhelmed businesswoman

A Head-On Look at Overwhelm

If you follow the trends of “focusing on the positive”, it may seem odd to you that I’m illustrating this post with a photo of a business woman literally hitting her head against the wall and experiencing (what I imagine is) overwhelm. Instead, you might have expected that I’d use a photo of someone in a zen-like state and then hoped I’d go on to tell you how to attract that state. Nope.

Even though I incorporate the Law of Attraction into my work and life, I’m not much for skipping over what’s so and I’m really not much for trends. I’m more about what works and as far as I know, what works is always about first looking squarely in the eye of what’s so. So let’s talk Overwhelm.

What’s So

It’s a new year. You’ve got big plans for your Wellness Coaching business. You’ve printed out my 2011 Wellness Coaches planning calendar, looked through all 16 pages, seen the year’s worth of to do’s and gotten right down to it. You set your 2011 business vision, outlined your Q1 plans, started in on a huge list of marketing calls you’re committed to making, and you’re already juggling client work, writing blog posts and have outlined plans to develop new mp3 downloads.

Chances are, you have a ton of unread email in your in-box, a stack of juicy but unopened mail on your desk you’re dying to get to, and between it all you’re trying to fit in your own fitness routine!

(By the way, how’s your breathing right now? Just checking.)

You want to join a new networking group, spend more time on social media, order products, and sign up as an affiliate of your favorite big cheese. You also plan to hire a virtual assistant so you’ll be more efficient and work less hours. Of course you also have to place ads, read resumes and interview people… Whew!

How’d You Get Here?

Overwhelm. We’ve all been here. Some of us tend to hang around the place longer than others, but even the infrequent visitors know it well.  And while your brand of overwhelm is as unique as your thumbprint, it’s just about as likely as the sun coming up tomorrow that your version of overwhelm contains some element where you’ve lost your focus.

In fact, I’d bet on it. You probably arrived here at Overwhelm by trying to get your arms around the whole enchilada of your Wellness Coaching business all at once. So, slow down. Breathe. Focus in on just this post for now. We have work to do.

What You’ve Tried

When it comes to “Managing Overwhelm,” you’ve likely tried many ways of rearranging the external circumstances in your business and life to get “it” (as if Overwhelm were an entity) under control. Guess what?

You’re not overwhelmed because you need to work harder to manage your current activities. And we know you’re not overwhelmed because you’re slacking in your effort to try to get “Overwhelm” under control. You do plenty of both.

Neither task works because they’ve both got a faulty premise…they both assume that the content and circumstances of your life cause “Overwhelm.” Not so. “Out there” is not where you need to look.

Where the Work Needs to Be

You don’t “manage Overwhelm” by manipulating the external things in your life. Actually, you don’t “manage” Overwhelm at all, and you can’t “catch Overwhelm” from your To Do list. It’s not a virusas my friend, mentor, founder of The Gremlin Taming Institute and author of Taming Your Gremlin®, Rick Carson is fond of saying. Rick also says, Balance and Pleasure are primarily an inside job. This is key, as Balance and Pleasure are the opposite states of Overwhelm as far as I’ve experienced. Balance and Pleasure are the Big Kahuna of life. So let’s look more closely at that “inside job” of yours.

A Trip Inside You

The question is, what is your brand of Overwhelm? What’s involved when you do it? No, I’m not interested in those things outside of you that you consider to cause you Overwhelm. Those things could look the same or absolutely different for each one of us and some of us would or wouldn’t Overwhelm ourselves in response to them. I am interested in what you do on the inside of you. How do you overwhelm you? What do you do to you?

Actually, I’m inviting you to participate right here in one small component of Rick Carson’s powerful Gremlin-Taming® Method. I’ve studied and practiced the full method for years and teach it to my clients. Here, I’m inviting you to do as Rick taught me and Simply Notice.  Yes, I want you to Simply Notice how you Overwhelm you.

The Exercise (To be done when you’re alone and not driving.)

I’d like you to take a break right now and give yourself some time to do this exercise. Get comfortable to start. Turn the phone ringer off, put the cell phone away, and hang a privacy sign on the door. Great.

Let’s begin. Imagine I’m there with you right now.  I want you to Teach me how you Overwhelm yourself. Yes, teach me. Only you know how you do it. And until now, you probably haven’t been aware of how you do it. We’re going to shine a light on the whole mess right here, right now.

Notice every detail of you and your experience of overwhelm one by one. Do so as if you were writing a guidebook on how to create your brand of Overwhelm. Take big time to notice. Get into your best Overwhelm state. What are you doing to you? What are you doing with your neck? Your shoulders? Your jaw? Your eyes? What pray tell is going on in that mind of yours? What messages of exasperation are you chanting over and over again to yourself?

Notice I’m not asking you what the external circumstances are that you’re using as a reason to overwhelm yourself. Nor am I asking you what you think “causes” your overwhelmed state.  I’m asking you how you are overwhelming yourself. Only you do that to you. Exactly how, step by step, do you do this to you?

Go slowly. Play up, highlight, and exaggerate every smidgeon of the routine you go through.  Don’t judge, just Simply Notice.

Stay with it and see what happens.

Need an example?

Okay, I’ll do the same exercise I’m asking you to do, right here. This is risky because you might be tempted to try out my exact method for “Overwhelm.” Please don’t. You have your own way. That’s enough for one lifetime. So read “my way of Overwhelming me” at your own risk. Then be sure to do the exercise for yourself. Meantime, here’s a description of “my brand” of Overwhelm:

My No-Fail Step-by-Step Guide to Overwhelming Myself:

1. First look at every detail on my new 2011 business plan.

2. Now scan my entire To Do list for the week.

2. Be sure to open my eyes really wide. Then wider still.

3. Alternate this with a frown, squinted eyes & a wrinkled brow as I…

4. Dart my eyes around the room from one thing to the next. (Tricky, but heck, I’ve been practicing for 54 years.)

5. Make my focus go rather fuzzy so I don’t see any one thing very clearly.

6. Make my breathing very shallow or even better, hold my breath.

7. Scrunch up my shoulders.

8. Keep staring at the clock and internally remind myself how little time I have to do “it” all, whatever “it” is.

9. Keep telling myself I’ll never get to “it” all and that others are going to get “there” before I do.

10. Say aloud how overwhelmed I am. Repeat 10+ times per hour.

What Happens?

Once I’m aware of my brand of overwhelming myself, and I exaggerate it just a bit, until I really see how I’m making myself miserable, 99% of the time magic happens. The other 1% of the time I just have to stick with it a bit longer. But the magic always happens. It will for you too. More on this when you come back from doing the exercise.

Now It’s Your Turn

Go ahead. Head on back and do the exercise. Really. I’ll wait.

About the Magic

Good job. If you took the time to do this, and played it up big time, something happened after awhile. You likely noticed that, like magic, things shifted. Rick calls this phenomenon The Zen Theory of Change which he describes on page 10 of Taming Your Gremlin as: “I free myself, not by trying to free myself but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment in which I am imprisoning myself.” It’s magic indeed.

Now What?

My number one recommendation for Wellness Coaches, and anyone else experiencing Overwhelm, is to take a breath, and Simply Notice how you overwhelm you right in the very moment you are overwhelming you.

It’s as simple, and yet as challenging, as that.

After You’re Centered Again…

The exercise above, truly a life-long practice, will take you quite far when next you Overwhelm yourself. When you come back to Balance, consider some of these tips for staying a bit longer in that Balanced state:

1. Breathe. Do it often:)

2. Put your focus on just one thing. Stay with that one thing for an extended period of time. Even if it’s 30 minutes. Just the one thing though. No distractions. No fuzzy focus on a million things at once (which is impossible anyway.)

3. Phone a colleague or shoot a quick email and declare that one thing you’ll be doing for the next half hour, hour, or more. (Make it short and sweet. Don’t get distracted with the call.) Tell them you’ll be leaving another message when you’re done. Or hire an accountability coach and do the same.

4. Take some time to re-look at your priorities. Frequently. Ask yourself: What’s important? Perhaps it’s time to revisit this, right now.

5. Get a copy of Crazy Busy by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Take your time and read it. (Jane Massengill, LCSW MCC, Director of the Gremlin-Taming Institute, told me of this book just days ago. I ran off and got a copy. I’m drinking it up. Thanks, Jane!)

6. Remember that “NO.” is a complete sentence. You can use it whenever you want to. Doing so makes saying “YES” to your priorities all the more delicious.

7. I’ll say this one again: Get Rick Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin®. Go slow. Read it for just 15 minutes a night before sleep. Go ahead. I dare ya. And if you already have it, re-read it, or grab the sequel, A Master Class in Gremlin Taming. Seriously. Read or re-read either one or both. Don’t let your Gremlin tell you this isn’t important. It is.

‘Til Soon,



This post was born from your ideas. Many thanks for the requests and suggestions you sent or left in the comments on the We’re Refurbishing and Haven’t a Clue post. I appreciate you and your presence in the community.

As you can tell, I ask you to bring your whole being, body, mind and spirit to the party when reading my posts or working with me. It’s a physical experience that you and I and all the other travelers on the planet have this go-round, and I make sure we work with that physical experience. My approach was first  built on years of study and practice of the Bio-Energetic work of Stanley Keleman at the Center For Energetic Studies in Berkeley, CA.

I have grown since then and my work has been deepened tremendously by the year-long studies I did at Rick Carson’s Gremlin Taming Institute in Dallas, Texas. My work and writing continue to evolve through the on-going studies I do with Rick to this day. As you can see in many of my posts, as well as when you work with me, I fully embrace Rick’s Gremlin-Taming Method®, weave it into all I do, and am honored to be doing this work in the world.

Spring Wellness – Time Out for Pondering

contemplation-photo.jpgOnly We Know What’s Best for Us
The best wellness advice I ever received came in the form of questions for me to ponder…questions that helped me uncover my own truths.

As a wellness coach, there is no input I can provide here for you that is more appropriate than the wisdom you’ll receive by checking in with your own body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you. I believe this is true regardless of the source of any external advice.

Take Time to Go Within
In the spirit of quiet contemplation that the peaceful image above inspires, take some time out to look at your current level of wellness. Explore what you really need in each area mentioned below and let that information gently direct you to take appropriate action or non-action. Allow your body, mind, spirit and heart to speak to you.

I like to go through this gentle process of self-exploration each spring and let the natural healing forces and wisdom within go to work. Enjoy!



What areas of you need my attention?
Which foods would nourish you?
What forms of rest, recreation or replenishment do you want today, this week, this month, this year?
Do you need additional tools for rest and relaxation?
What activities would you enjoy at this time?
Are there any new healing/wellness modalities you want to experience?


What is intellectually stimulating and engaging for you?
Do you get enough of this?
How can I give you more of what you need?
Do I need to provide you with more rest?


What helps me feel connected with my source?
What is my spiritual anchor, compass or rudder in life?
What daily/weekly practices serve my spiritual life?
What things make my soul sing with appreciation for Life?


Who do I consider to be my “tribe”?
Who is in my closest inner circle?
Who do I love?
Who do I count on?
Who knows my heart?
Where am I expressing love?


What can I do to further your greatest expression?
Where have I abandoned you?
What am I pretending not to know about you?
How can I love you?

Hope the pondering leads you to new layers of awareness. Love to hear what you discover!

Wellness Made Simple

open-your-heart-stretch.jpgI simply wanted to write a quick blog post about wellness. I’d been writing lengthy posts lately (as you know) and just wanted to break them up with something short and powerful.

I thumbed through pages of notes of “good ideas” I keep in a folder. I chose one topic after another. I started and stopped ten times. I just couldn’t land on something simple. No matter what I tackled the post grew larger, longer and more complicated. Frustrated, I took a  break and headed over to Twitter, vowing I’d make it a short visit.

Keeping that vow was simple. At the top of my Twitter stream was a wonderful Swedish Proverb, shared by  “Escape from Cubicle Nation” blog writer Pam Slim (@pamslim on Twitter). Pam received the gift of the proverb from her friend @desireeadaway. When I read it, I knew it held every piece of wellness advice I could ever hope to live by or to share. Thanks, Pam. And now, dear readers, I joyfully pass the proverb on to you:

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours”

What are some simple words of wellness wisdom that you’ve recieved lately?

TOP 10 INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS IN 2008 and Free Teleclass: Part 3 in the Cornucopia Series

home-library.jpgI admit it – I’m as addicted to books as Carrie Bradshaw was to Monolo Blahnik shoes. I’ve usually got at least three books going at any one time, and a stack of new ones waiting in the wings. This is a good thing because books add greatly to my Well-Being.

For this 3rd and final post of the Cornucopia Series, I’m sharing the top 10 books that have inspired me in 2008. These are the books I’ll make a permanent part of my home library (in some cases they are already have been a part of my collection but I read them a second time this year and was re-inspired!) I’ll donate all the rest I’ve read this year, along with ten from years past, so I can still see the shelving☺

Hope you find something here you’ll want to add to your own collection. (I have no interest in linking you to my affiliate amazon account in this post. This is strictly an overview of my favorite 2008 books as a gift from me to you.)

Because you are busy with year-end tasks and may just want the “ top ten list”, I’ve placed it below (the books are listed in no particular order.) If you want to see what it is that I found inspiring, a detailed description for each book is in the blue box below the list.


1.    The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

2.    Balancing Heaven and Earth – A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations by Robert A. Johnson

3.    Merle’s Door – Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

4.    The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Creating a Cash Machine for Life by Loral Langemeier

5.    Money and the Law of Attraction: How to Attract Wealth, Health and Happiness by Esther and Jerry Hicks

6.    The Confidence Factor – Cosmic Gooses Lay Golden Eggs by Dr. Judith Briles

7.    A Master Class in Gremlin Taming: The Absolutely Indispensable Next Step for Freeing Yourself from the Monster of the Mind by Rick Carson

8.    The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life by John Assaraf

9.    Lottery by Patricia Wood

10.    What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith


1.    The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

In a nutshell: Tsukiyama’s book explores life in Japan before, during and after WWII. The story follows two brothers through the tragedy of war and the difficulty of postwar reconstruction. The boys are orphaned and raised by their grandparents in Tokyo. One dreams of becoming a sumo champion, and the other finds he is passionate about the fine art of making Noh masks. Tsukiyama is gifted with her exploration of relationships, weaving history throughout, and crafting a novel that was lovely to read. It reinforces the idea that out of  hardship, new strength is born.

2.    Balancing Heaven and Earth – A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations by Robert A. Johnson

In a nutshell: One of my all-time favorites found its way into my hands again this year. This memoir of Jungian Analyst, Robert A. Johnson has changed my life and each time I read it, I am deepened and changed again. By viewing Johnson’s life, dreams, and synchronicities there is no way to finish this book without your own soul being touched. I love the reminder Carl Jung once gave to Johnson, “…it is what you are that heals, not what you know.”

3.    Merle’s Door – Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

In a nutshell: If you are not already a dog lover, you will be after just a few chapters of this book. Ted Kerasote is a prolific writer. His work has been in more than 50 periodicals, including National Geographic Traveler and the New York Times. This is the true story of Ted’s relationship with his dog Merle. The back cover says it best: “Their journey is part adventure, part love story, and part insightful explanation of how sharing leadership with your dog will make him a better best friend.” The inspiration to love and be loved deeply is woven throughout the book. Warning: Will cause tears…have plenty of tissues on hand.

4.    The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Creating a Cash Machine for Life by Loral Langemeier

In a nutshell: Turn your skill set into a cash machine. Millionaire Maker® Loral Langemeier wrote her best book yet when she wrote this one. A no-nonsense master financial literacy coach, herself a self-made millionaire by age 35, and one of the most high-integrity people I know, Loral is a real pro. This book contains actual case studies, step-by-step plans of action, and powerful questions to make you dig deep and check on your own commitment level for entrepreneurial success. As a graduate of Loral’s programs myself, it was this book that inspired me to give back to the community and do some part-time coaching for LiveOutLoud™ each month.  The book is a must-read for all clients, though most read it many times, as I have also done.

5.    Money and the Law of Attraction: How to Attract Wealth, Health and Happiness by Esther and Jerry Hicks

In a nutshell: Don’t be fooled by the main title; pay attention to the subtitle instead. Esther and Jerry present the teachings of Abraham (you will learn more about this non-physical collection of energy and wisdom) in key Life areas. If your mouth isn’t hanging open at every new page, I’d be surprised. A free CD is included and its one you’ll listen to more than once. You’ll discover the power of creating a “new story” for yourself in the arenas of wealth, health, relationships and happiness. In doing so, you’ll change your world. Sits prominently in the resource section of my bookshelves.

6.    The Confidence Factor – Cosmic Gooses Lay Golden Eggs by Dr. Judith Briles

In a nutshell: This self-esteem-building book shows us the model that resulted from a nationwide survey of 1300 men and women: “10 Steps to Building Confidence.”  It contains stories of people rebuilding their lives after their confidence was destroyed as a result of what Dr. Briles calls “cosmic gooses.” These stories are from “average” people, as well as popular celebrities (Tiger Woods, Oprah). This book now also sits on my resource shelf and will be one I share with clients again and again.

7.    A Master Class in Gremlin Taming: The Absolutely Indispensable Next Step for Freeing Yourself from the Monster of the Mind by Rick Carson

In a nutshell: The “narrator in your head” is what Rick Carson calls your Gremlin. That Gremlin is no small animated character, he’s responsible for using millions of strategies that cause you to get in your own way – to get in you way of experiencing joy, emotion, success, and well-being, to name a few.

Early on in the life of this blog, I wrote a post describing the power of Rick’s first book, Taming Your Gremlin®. This year, Rick presented us with his advanced techniques on the subject in A Master Class in Gremlin Taming. This is the book that those of us who study personally with Rick use in our Mastering Your Craft groups. Read and put into practice and it will help you further Tame your own Gremlin and show up more fully in the world. (Entrepreneurs,  join me for a Free Teleclass to discover how this approach is a powerful tool for your business and life)***

8.    The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life by John Assaraf

In a nutshell:  Keys for getting innovative when times are tough. Learn how to create your own business blueprint for success. Hone in on your unique abilities so you can more rapidly achieve your business goals. John Assaraf says, “…[it’s] a proven business-growth system that we have used over and over and over again to help people just like you get from where they are to where they want to be.” I was inspired with new ideas to launch and I’ll bet you will be too.

9.    Lottery by Patricia Wood

In a nutshell: This novel centers around Perry Crandall, who narrates the story. Perry has an IQ of 76, but is not retarded, as he’ll explain quite clearly: his IQ would need to be less than 75 for that, and he is well aware of the difference even if others may not. Perry is 32 and has lived with his tell-it-like-it-is grandmother, Gram whose belief in him has helped tremendously. But when Gram dies, Perry’s money-hungry family members, who previously wanted little to do with him, swindle him out of the proceeds from the sale of her house. When Perry wins $12 million in the Washington State Lottery, they come back for more and suddenly take an interest in being his “family” again.  Perry discovers who his true friends are and also abilities he didn’t know he had. Quite inspirational and a joy to read. As I was, I’m sure you’ll think twice the next time you try to convince yourself you can’t do something.

10.    What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

In a nutshell: This has been sitting on my stack of books to read since it came out almost two years ago. I wish I would have gotten to it sooner but regret is one of those things that won’t get me where I want to go:) The wisdom in this book may be aimed at executives, but it is just as valuable for those of us who are entrepreneurs and/or small business owners. The 20 bad habits that can sabotage already successful careers or personal lives are not so new for those who understand the importance of people-skills, but it is an honest, inspirational and straight-forward reminder for all of us.

Getting Out of Your Own Way – A Success Strategy for Entrepreneurs.

Write up by Julie Hood, CEO of
“A 30-minute experiential-exercise-based teleclass with master coach and strategist, Erica Ross-Krieger (she’s my business coach and has helped me get through some major obstacles over the past 18 months).  Cannot be done while driving as there is some closed-eye work.

The main goal is to introduce you to a tool to help you get out of your own way and access more of your true nature.”

Monday, January 5, 2009
1 pm Pacific, 2 pm Mountain, 3 pm Central, 4 pm Eastern

Enrollment is limited, please call to register: 925-933-7445

“Open Your Heart, Change Your World”: A Meditation from Spring Forest QiGong

open-your-heart-stretch.jpgI was in the midst of writing the last post of my 2008’s Cornucopia of Resources Series today. I was stressing out to get the post up and give you the list of books I’ve found inspirational this year.

Somewhere along the way, I caught myself tensed up, hunched over the keyboard, with shallow breathing and a furrowed brow (familiar at all?). Noticing this, I stopped. I took a deep breath, pushed back from the computer and went to get a glass of water. A few more deep breaths and that glass of water later, and I vowed to re-enter my office with another mindset..or rather, another “heart-set.” I reminded myself to slow down and write from my heart.

When I returned to my desk, I took another minute out to check my email in-box. And there it was. An email from my friends at Spring Forest QiGong (SFQ), containing a special gift – a 15 minute meditation form SFQ founder, Chunyi Lin called, “Open Your Heart, Change Your World.”  I had just affirmed I’d go about my writing with and open heart, and so I took 15 minutes out right then and there to close my eyes and listen to the meditation.

Chunyi Lin’s meditation did indeed help me to Open my Heart and Change my World.

I’d like to pass the message and the meditation on to you.

Click this underlined phrase here to listen.

And be sure to read the note below that came from Chunyi Lin along with his gift.


Hello Friends:

Many of us are impacted by the troubles in our world as this year draws to a close and are looking for better ways to cope with the challenges in the coming year – be they economic, emotional, physical or spiritual.

At Spring Forest Qigong, we wondered what we could do to help. We decided to create a special healing meditation by Master Chunyi Lin as our gift to you and to others this holiday season. It’s our hope that this free 15 minute meditation might be useful to many.

This podcast is our gift to everyone. All you need do is download and listen. After listening we hope you will want to share it with everyone you know.

Imagine what would happen if 1,000, or 1 million, or 1 billion people practiced this simple, openhearted exercise every day. We would change our world!

In peace,

Your Spring Forest Friends

On my end, I’ll get back to working on the inspirational books post and have it for you soon. For now though, I hope you take time out to enjoy this meditation. There’s no better resource I know at this moment, to help you open your heart and change your world.

p.s. I am not an affiliate or in any way compensated by SFQ. I am simply an advocate of their wonderful work in the world.

Call me to set up a 30-minute wellness coaching session during the holidays. You’ll be sure to find the peaceful oasis within your own heart. 925-933-7445


RESOURCES FOR YOUR WELL-BEING – Part 2 of 3 of the Cornucopia Series

giving-resources.jpgIn this second post of the Cornucopia series, you’ll find the quotes, websites, blogs, a healthy recipe, and meditation tools that inspired me and enhanced my sense of Well-Being in 2008. How do I keep track of them all?

I keep a notebook set aside to list my favorites each month. Nothing fancy, nothing electronic. A composition book and a pen. Then at year end, I sit back with a cup of tea and my laptop and revisit all that I noted. It’s a fun way to wrap up the year. And as I said in the first post of this series, this year, I’m expanding my annual tradition and sharing my favorites with you…it’s better that way!

So, browse around and find just the right something to strengthen your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season. Enjoy!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes — those that I’ve used as inspiration this year. I keep many quotes on stickie-notes in a fat file folder…things I tear from magazines or notes scribbled from something I read somewhere (even from my own book if I think I need a reminder:) I pull one quote out each week that I want to sit beside my computer. These four came out from the file more than a few times to encourage me this year:

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope
that if you just show up ad try to do the
right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and
watch and work: You don’t give up.
– Anne Lamott, writer

We must be the change
we wish to see in the world.
– Mahatma Gandi

We must be willing
to get rid of the
life we planned, so
as to have the life
that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell, author

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.
– Alan Alda, actor


WEBSITES and BLOG POSTS (including a healthy recipe:)
Like you, I read a ton of blog posts and browse a gazillion websites each week.  Keeping track of my favorites isn’t easy. But I enjoy doing so. And with that, I’m happy to name the posts and sites below as some of the big contributors to my well-being this year:

1. Blog:
Favorite Post this year: Living Simply: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Your Clutter
I enjoy the simplicity of Leo Babauta’s writing. And there are many of his blog posts I have flagged as favorites this year. But this one from November, contains a tip that’s recently made a world of difference to me.

My floor-to-ceiling bookshelves were overflowing. When it came to books, Leo’s article helped me explore the habit that I needed to adopt: the “One in, Two Out” rule. It’s a long blog post, but this one tiny tip is worth more than it’s weight in gold to me!

 2. Blog:  Ramblings From a Glass Half Full
Favorite post this year: The Real Secret of Life, August 3, 2008
Terry’s blog just flat out makes me smile. What better key to Well-Being? I especially loved this post in August, reminding us to “Never grow up”, along with the 7 keys to happy and successful adulthood. You’ve got to read this post, from Terry’s Category “Half-Fullism.” (P.S. Although the glass is already half full in this post, I’d add Toy Stores to item # 1 in the post! Enjoy:)

3. Blog: Levite Chronicles by Jon Swanson at:
Favorite post this year: February, 2008 “Good Intentions

One of my morning office rituals is to read three posts from 15 of my favorite blogs. I rotate and alternate the 15 and vary which three blogs I read each weekday. When I get to Jon Swanson’s Levite Chronicles blog, I can always count on a post that will touch my soul and give me something delicious to think about for the day.

Back in February, Jon wrote a post called, “Good Intentions”, about shooting free throws at the basketball court. I’ve marked many of Jon’s posts as my favorites, but this one still sticks with me. It’s about daily practice. It’s about the daily practice of your relationship with your soul, God, your heart, love, and life. I commented on this post, but my mere words can’t really capture the way it touched me. Whenever my daily practice is a struggle (often:), I think of Jon shooting free throws…and keep on keepin’ on.

4. Blog: Successful and Outstanding Blog(gers) by Liz Strauss at
Favorite post this year: April, 2008How to Have Positivity and Confidence Making Tough Decisions
In mid-April, Steve and I were looking at a real estate investment and stuck in the decision-making process. That week, I read Liz’s post about making tough decisions and the ah-ha light went on…looking at what your Head and Heart have to say about a tough decision can be enlightening. This post and some quiet contemplation helped us move forward. You’ll probably want to bookmark it…I did.

5. Website: ‘s Healthy Recipes
Favorite Recipe: Chicken and Asparagus Tossed with Penne and Goat Cheese
I found this recipe in 2007, but it remains my favorite in 2008. I substitute Purcell Mountain Farms‘ organic brown rice penne pasta for the wheat pasta, fresh tomatoes for the canned (especially if it’s heirloom time), use free-ranmge organic chicken, and if it’s not asparagus season, I use broccoli. Good, hearty, healthy comfort food:)

6. Website: filled with juicy gems, this inspirational membership site was founded by Gail Lynne Goodwin
Gail’s Blog: InspireMeToday at http://www.InspireMeToday/Gail
Favorite post this year: November’s “Born to Fly
Gail’s November post, “Born to Fly,” came juist at the right time. I’d been considering a new internet business venture for three months, and was a bit fearful about taking it on. Gail’s words, ”…when the passion is louder than the fear…” were all I needed to step forward. Enjoy the entire post here:

1. Holosynch®
by Bill Harris’ company, Centerpointe (click sidebar for link to free CD)
Why I love it:
I’ve been meditating and sitting zazen for 15 years. I’ve been a student of Maharaji for three. I love my daily practice. And when I heard Bill Harris say that Holosynch can “help you meditate like a monk at the touch of a button” I was intrigued. Couild I go deeper with my meditation? Could I sharpen my brain’s ability to focus? I did some research, tested out his free CD, and fell in love with the Holosynch® system and technology. More important though is that it’s helped me deepen my existent practice. The fact that I get to weave in my own powerful affirmations with the patented subliminal technology is icing on the cake. (As you can see on my sidebar here, I’m such a proponent of Centerpointe’s Holosynch® program I decided to become an affiliate. I don’t do so unless I use and love a program or product myself.) Try the free CD and let know what you think.

2. Meditations for Optimum Health CD by Dr. Andrew Weil
Why I love it:
When I want a brief pick-me-up meditation during the day, I turn off the phones and computer, close the blinds, put my feet up, sit back with my ipod and play a selection from this CD. The beautiful music in the background and Andrew Weil’s soothing voice reminding me to focus on my breath is all it takes for me to recharge and renew.

—   That’s it for this installment. Next and final post of this series will have more resources that inspired me this year! Stay tuned. And let me know:

What’s inspired you this year?

A Cornucopia of Wellness Resources – Part 1

cornucopia.jpgThose of us committed to deepening ourselves and learning all we can from our life journeys, are using this passage of time right now to say “Yes we can.” Yes, we can focus on all we have in our lives, all we aspire to, and all we have to share and give.

In this spirit of abundance and plenty, I’ll be sharing some of my 2008 harvest in the next few posts. I’ve gathered together some resources that have contributed to my own Well-Being this year. So feel free to dig around in the next few posts. Find just the right something within the bounty of quotes, websites, blogs, stories and snippets of thought I’ll share, that will contribute to your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season.

I give thanks for your readership, your comments, your inspiring progress you’ve made through our coaching sessions and teleclasses and wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving…

Today’s Harvest brings this Snippet of Thought that meandered through my mind just the other day:

Simply Enough

I sat at my desk, facing my computer, navigating around the internet in total physical tension and mental overwhelm. With lightening speed, thoughts racing through my head screamed, “So much to do. So much information coming at me. So many email messages to read. So many new e-books to read, CDs to listen to, tele-events to attend, marketing actions to take. Other people are out there making giant headway…will I ever get enough new and useful information and get it fast enough?”

I did what I know to do when I hit this stage. I pushed away from my desk, took a breath, left the room, got a glass of water, and went outside.

The crisp autumn air greeted me. A sudden glimpse of a hummingbird, dancing in our red-flowering bushes, helped me forget my tension and brought an ear-to-ear grin to my face. I took a deep breath, looked up at the wide blue sky, grabbed another deep breath and stood there just Being.

Gently, a thought floated into the space of my refreshed mind…

“Wait a minute, Erica. What is the rush at your computer? You take a deep lung-filling breath of air here, not worrying about whether you grabbed enough, or worrying if there won’t be enough air for you, or that someone else will get to it first, or hurrying to grab the next breath. All the air you need is right here. All around you. Why not approach the internet and information the same way. In fact, why not approach life this way?”

I stood still and appreciated this short but life-altering moment. I had a deep visceral understanding that, in this age of information, our job is to discern what we need, take it in, use it, and gently let the rest go. And just like it’s not ours to worry if we get the right bite of air, or worry if we’ll run out of air, or fret that someone else is getting better or more air than we are, it’s not ours to try to take in every drop of information. Ahh.

I took another deep lung-full of air, stretched toward the sun, and headed back inside…forever touched by what I’d breathed in.

Are you “taking in all the air you need?” My friend, Gremlin-Tamer, and coach, Rick Carson, is fond of asking this question. When I’m not breathing, or I’ve squelched my breath in a moment of worry , he reminds me to take in all the air I need. How is your breath at this moment? Are you taking in all the air you need? Are you remembering that there is plenty of it available?

Grab a bite of holiday coaching with Erica this holiday season. Call for an individual session or join others for the December Teleclasses, “Why Weight?” and “Sacred Attitudes for Stress-Free Holidays“. Space is limited. Offices: 925-933-7445

Fitness at 50 and Beyond – Seven Sacred Attitudes® for Baby Boomers

Immediately after publishing my post, Fitness at 50 and Beyond, I was interviewed on her BlogTalkRadio show by FeistySideofFifty™’s powerhouse, Eileen Williams. In 15 minutes we covered everything from the highlights of this blog to Seven Sacred Attitudes for Baby Boomers. Take a wellness break, have some soothing tea, and listen in. Enjoy!

The Heart of the Matter: YOUR Well-Being First

human-body-drawing.jpgDuring the emergency safety procedure rap on airplanes, we hear flight attendants tell parents: “…put on your oxygen mask first, then place masks on your children.” Sure, you can use this statement to remember that you can serve others better when you take care of yourself first…but you don’t have to frequent the skies more often to get a daily dose of the same message. You’ve got a “built in” reminder much closer to home.

Did you know that your heart already gets the idea? Yup. Your heart is a more intelligent pump than you may realize. When your nice bright-red oxygenated blood returns to your heart from your lungs, your heart bathes ITSELF first with that newly oxygenated blood, before pumping it out again to the rest of your body. This is no small matter. Your heart takes care of its own well-being first. It “knows” how important it is to do so.

I invite you to use this information as a metaphor this week. Stop often during the day and place your hand on your heart. Breathe deeply. Imagine the newly oxygenated blood nourishing your heart first and then the rest of your body. Take a moment to think about the metaphor and take care of yourself. Whether it’s stopping for a glass of water, getting some fresh air, or stretching your limbs, YOUR well-being must come first. It’s written in your heart.