In Gratitude

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve sat down to write a gratitude list. I’d like to think I’m penning one in my head and sending thanks to the heavens pretty regularly but I love sitting down to the write these as well.

Feeling oh-so-grateful for:

For sunny afternoons with Baby A at the park looking at turtles, throwing rock or just looking up at the trees.
For this song.
And this one too.
For taking a break from teaching yoga and realizing how important it is in my life. Coming back to it like whoa.
For a week with my parents and Baby A. Watching him grow together has been such bliss.
For this checklist which reminds me of the magic of summertime.
For my breath. I’ve remembered to take deep breaths so much more often as of late.
For date nights with my man.
For best friends who are family. You know who you are. Thank you.
For a little baby boy who is about to be born to my brother and sister-in-law.
For having the time to write in a coffee shop on a Monday morning. So simple, so needed.

Meet Him Anew

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I use my practice to get out of my own way.

My coach Shelli asks me to meet my husband each morning anew. That when I cover him with imagined Post It note labels of who I think he is and how I think he should be, I don’t actually experience him. Just my idea of him.

Am I great at this? No, I’m not. But I’m learning. Do I still have moments where I wish he was different? That I was? For sure. It’s part of being human and in relationship. But the practice, whether it’s happening in a coaching session or one yoga mat, is where I return to reflect and work to change what isn’t working for me, for us. We aren’t perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and we don’t need to be. All that matters is being in the work. Together.

In Relationship With Me

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On retreat our yoga teacher, Ally, said that self love means being in relationship with yourself, your whole self. It’s not about always being in a space of self love. It’s about allowing it to ebb and flow.

Here’s how I’m reinvesting in my relationship with me as of late.

1. Getting quiet. I’m spending more time with my journal, on my meditation cushion, even just enjoying those ten uninterrupted (sometimes) minutes in the shower.

2. Forgiving myself. I can’t do it all and beating myself up about it only makes me feel worse. I use my values as a way to get clear on how I can show up for my family and for myself. And then I do the best I can with emails and meal planning and friend dates.

3. I practice. I return to my mat again and again as an act of kindness to myself. I get on my mat, even if it’s pigeon pose I’m half asleep in, returning to my mat always means returning to myself. Pausing to breathe all throughout the day helps me maintain a baseline of calm-ishness.

How do you return to you?

Here To Be

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There are no words for how exposed I felt in this moment. I stood in front of everyone at the lululemon Immersion and I spoke my purpose statement. The one I had ninety seconds to write.

The moment I stepped into stage I pictured Baby A and I felt the last year and a half swell up inside of me. I showed my underbelly, absolutely nothing polished or inauthentic about it. I was shaking, heart beating out of control, tears running down my face. Hot mess express. But also fully human.

This is what I said:

I’m here to be a stand for authenticity and for soulfulness. For walking your talk.

A stand for the unconventional path to motherhood through foster care.

A stand for opening to uncertainty and impermanence with wide open arms. For growing your heart extra big and using up all of it.

A stand for being uncomfortable. For the introverts who have too much to say and do to sit back and be quiet.

A stand for family that encompasses way more than blood.

Here to be. For me and for you too.

Mother's Day

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I didn’t grow you in my body for nine months. I wasn’t there the day you were born. I didn’t even know if you’d stay. But this was ten minutes after meeting you, after having my heart expanded and obliterated all at once, loving you more than words could ever say and being born into a Mother.

I was racked with uncertainty about having children. I couldn’t picture myself pregnant. I didn’t feel particularly connected to motherhood. I had a lot of doubt and mistrust.

But then the wild, uncertain path of foster adoption was revealed and there was no doubt in my mind, just piles of paperwork and anticipation.

A year and a half later, our story is still being written. I thank God over and over again each day. You are my greatest teacher and and my greatest adventure. I am so honored to mother you.

Hard Work and Endless Gifts

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“The peace that we are looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.” – Pema Chödrön

Oh, foster care. I’d like to think I picked this path but I have no doubt it chose me. Some days I’m seriously exhausted by staying in relationship with the unknown. Some days I have (mostly inner) temper tantrums and just wanna run away. I’m a human and this shit is beyond hard and I honor that.

But I’m being taught again and again that the only peace to be found is in the present moment. Not in wondering what got me here or obsessively imagining the future. Not in placing all my happiness on external factors. Just staying here. Right here. Minute to minute.

Foster care is my way of receiving life’s medicine, life’s lessons. Our paths and our storylines may look different but the lesson is the same: the way to experience peace is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. None of us are guaranteed a thing. None of us are exempt from uncertainty.

Hardest, most important work we will ever do. And the work is never done but the gifts are endless.

Less Screen Time

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You determine the course of your day. Not someone else’s requests, not your email inbox, not your text messages or voicemails. I don’t know why I need to be reminded of this so often but I do.

I recently read that in one single day Facebook users were spending a collective 39,757 years worth of attention on the site, in one single day. This is from a study done in 2014 by the @nytimes. I’d imagine by now it’s even crazier.

My question for myself this week is: what am I paying attention to?

And I don’t want it to be a screen. I’m going to spend time working at the park. Watching our rambunctious little guy run barefoot in the grass. Drinking a matcha and doing nothing else. Dreaming about a future of fresh air and close friends and adventures and seeing the stars every night. That’s what I’m going to pay attention to. Otherwise I’m going to be paying attention to someone else’s life highlights and someone else else’s needs and miss the whole damn thing.

I Believe in Magic

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My intention on this retreat was to not only hold space but wholeheartedly receive whatever I was supposed to.

And receive I have: through this group of vulnerable women, through my Reiki sessions in this beautiful space, through Maca smoothies at Esperanza, through afternoon conversations with my best friend, through sunshine and laughter and surf and tears and tacos.

I’m leaving with this commitment, knowing that it’s true right now: I am worthy, abundant and I trust the timing of my life. I believe in magic and I believe in miracles.