As we move into the holiday season, once again I’ve decided rather than dread the darkness of winter I will invite it into my life as I would an old friend. While this time of year can feel heavy and dank, I have noticed that it is also embedded with tremendous opportunity. The most wonderous thing about it, especially these weeks leading up to the Solstice, is that the veil between worlds is thin. In my imagination I see it as a beautiful silvery mist that undulates between us and what lies beyond. If I listen deeply I can hear the voices of the ancestors and the spirits of those across the mist, and I’m often given precious guidance and always receive great love during these moments.

I love giving gifts and this season is laden with the opportunity to express love and appreciation in this way. I spend a lot of energy planning gift-giving. Last year I made many of them in the kitchen. It was messy but fun, and I was able to infuse love into each concoction. My gift-giving is always purposeful, so I’ve spent a lot of time making a list and checking it twice – three times – changing it – checking again and so forth.  I’ve loved the whole online shopping thing, though I can see how easily one can become “drunk with power” with a laptop, a keyboard and a credit card!  As a Leo that’s my kind of fun. A little scary, but a tons ‘o fun.

The impulse to slow down, be silent, and go within is probably running even with the gift-giving opportunity. I have a busy life, juggling many different pursuits. And while the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years have been frenetic in the past, I finally realize that I don’t thrive in “frantic” and have adjusted my pace to reflect that truth. As an empath and a highly-sensitive person (HSP) this means that all the noise, lights, and pumped up energy can be detrimental to my sense of well-being. I’ve learned to manage my exposure by making conscious choices, like shopping online rather than hitting the mall with a gazillion shoppers and listening to the same Christmas songs blaring in my ears for hours and hours. (Don’t you feel sorry for the sales people?) I love stillness and the winter months have asked me to be still. So, I get still. I wrap myself in my cozy blanket and sip a warm drink or eat some fresh hearty soup. I may draw or paint, meditate or doze, read or watch a great movie. And maybe I’ll just sit and be still, watching rain or snow, stroking Sophie and allowing my mind to be the wandering fool that it is. Allowing these winter stillness moments gives me energy for my winter days activities.  It also allows me space and time to dream and contemplate. My thoughts often go to the people in my life and the blessings they bring. My primary spiritual practice is gratitude, and in the winter I find that practice enhanced. Perhaps it’s the extra space allotted for stillness.

I am also finding myself awakening earlier and earlier. Perhaps it’s the desire for more light, except I’m often out of bed before the sun. The early morning hours are my favorite. In these hours I feel closest to my parents. In these hours I also hear the heartbeat of the planet and can feel into the essence of what I call God. During this time I find I can open my heart and mind more fully to hear what the Universe wants me to know. And while I feel that every moment of every hour is holy, these hours feel infused with “extra”. I find peace.

As you move through the days ahead my prayer is that you find time to nurture yourself, to go within, to find your way to stillness and peace.

Until next time.

STRETCH:  As you move through the holiday season, consciously schedule time – even if it’s only five minutes or whatever is realistic in your life – to stop, breathe, be still and release. Allow yourself to relax the muscles in your face, the ones that become tense as you focus on all you need to do.  Notice where tension resides in your body and with each breath consciously release it, even if only for these moments. Allow your mouth to curl up into a gentle smile. This gesture relaxes the muscles of the face – and a smile is always better than a frown.  Do this as often as you can.   It will make a difference.



Photo Franne Demetrician –

My last two posts have been sort of “downers”. Not surprising since most of the people I know are doing their best to climb out of the depths of disappointment and concern that have been the results of our illustrious election. This one, however, will be different. This one is about joy and giving thanks, and there is so much to be thankful for.

Personally, I am surrounded by blessings and I am spending as much time as I can thinking about them, looking at them, being conscious of them. My husband, best friend, partner in life and in service, my more – I am one lucky woman to have found him again in this life and that we have been sharing this life and way of being together. My daughter, Melissa. No mother could be more grateful than I. She is sweet, bright, funny, clever, compassionate, a wonderful mother and wife, and a gifted and talented teacher. And she is a friend to all who know her. She and her husband Daynon are amazing parents to my precious grandson, Logan, who is becoming a very conscious young man because of their love and guidance. He is a master baseball player, a bright student, and a kind and gentle boy.

When I think about all that I am grateful for I include my extended family and the deep relationships we have forged over the years together; my parents and ancestors; my dear and beloved friends; my workmates and students; the work I’ve been called to do. I am grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read my posts and receive my thoughts and feelings. The list is endless and goes on forever!

So, this year at Thanksgiving I am envisioning myself wrapped in a beautiful golden mist that is sparkling with the energy of everyone and everything that has come into my life and enriched it with light. I am basking in that glow and intentionally reflecting its luminosity back out into the world with the intention of illuminating anything in its path. I am affirming that gentle peace and kindness will inform all our steps as we move into the holiday season and a new year. I am inviting fun, laughter, good times with people we love and open-heartedness to all we encounter. I am looking forward to living into new opportunities to create; to music and art; to stepping deeper into my truth and to offering my service to anyone I can help step deeper into theirs.

Essentially, Life Is So Good, and I am so grateful to be here every day to live it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Holiday Love

Thinking of all of you this Christmas Eve and hoping everyone is gathering with family and friends to celebrate. Also thinking of the many people who are lonely, sad, homeless, grieving or ill and surrounding them with hope and blessings. From my heart to yours ~ May your days be merry and bright.
~ F