Hi and welcome to my blog. I've been involved in natural health for over two decades and I've had the privilege of sharing my wellness knowledge with millions of people. And I look forward to sharing my knowledge here with you. Some of these posts will be education, some entertaining and some touching. But my intention is that you will walk away from every one with some insight into your own life, inspired to make a small change that will lead you to better health. Thanks for joining and please let me know how I can help you in your journey to improved health.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Letting your light shine in 2017.

This is the transcript of the speech I gave in La Place, LA. (here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/7WnHE9odz38)

Enjoy and happy new year! 

You can focus on the darkness of the sky or you can see the stars.

2016 has been a difficult year for many. We’ve had the most tumultuous election ever. And no matter what side of it you were on you can’t deny the chaos and fear that it raised in many. We saw natural disasters, fires ravaged my area in California, the floods in Louisiana, which is what we gathered to support right now. There were several attacks around the world, close to home in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and with our allies and friends in France, Brussels and Turkey. We could say that there was much darkness this year.

And with the backdrop of that darkness, we’ve gathered here in this place, at this time to celebrate the light. Christmas and the other holidays associated with this time, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice. All of these holidays are about light. I mean the Wise Men even followed the light of the brightest star to find Jesus the Christ. Winter Solstice is that time where the wheel of the year turns and we leave the darkness to welcome back the light of the sun. Sun God, Son of God. 

The days get longer and that mystery of night shortens. And in welcoming back that light we can leave the fear and the worry, the hate and the prejudice. Every day the power of that light grows, not just in us, but around us and through us. We all have a powerful light inside us. In lighting our own light we illuminate those around us. The light mingles and grows. It shines on those who feel like they don’t have their own torch. Perhaps it’s just a spark from a match that quickly peters out, but if we join our light with the light of those around us, we get a spotlight that illumines the entire sky. 

Darkness cannot exist in the light. Sadness, fear, hatred, anger, cannot exist in the light. That’s what this time of year is about and as I walk through this world I picture dropping sparkles of light that those people around me may feel it when they need it. Maybe it’s a smile, a hug, holding the door for someone, raising money or donating your time. Sometimes we doubt our light, we have a rough time, challenges. We’ve all been there. We can all stand in solidarity to acknowledge that sometimes we are just spent. That’s when we can rely on the light from those around us. There is enough for all. 

And that’s what this time of year is for. Gathering in your community, your church or temple, with your family and friends to share yourself and your light.  Each and everyone one of you. Look around, see the light in those people, because by acknowledging it in others, it grows, just like the Grinch’s heart. Feel it, let it out. Let your light shine, combine it with others, share your light and glow.

And as I list a few quotes, think about expanding the reach of your inner light, your Godness, your Christ consciousness and your love.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. MLK jr.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. Plato

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. Yogi Bhajan

Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light.  Rimpoche

It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. Eleanor Roosevelt

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.  Buddha

And finally: In him was life and that life was the light of men.    I am the light of the world.    I have come in to the world as a light, so that no on should remain in darkness.   Bible

As we move through this holiday season and in to 2017, remember your light. Be generous with your light. Because the light always triumphs darkness. Love and blessings and much light to you all! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shhhhhhhh, my experience at a silent retreat

Many people have asked me about my experience during my recent silent retreat. I returned to Lake Shrine-Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades for my second go at three days of silence, no alcohol, vegetarian food and long bouts of meditation.

I started going to Lake Shrine way back in 1993. It became one of my favorite places to go and spend some quiet time. The gardens are amazing, the lake is beautiful, complete with ducks, turtles and swans and there are many little nooks where you can meditate amongst the flowers.

I started looking at the end of 2015 for a retreat where I could just go and commune with spirit and nature. I stumbled upon the retreat at Lake Shrine and immediately signed up. I don't think I knew it was silent at first and when I realized it a little wave of terror went over me. Could I really not speak for three days?

Windmill meditation space

In reality that was the easy part. No one is speaking so it's not like you're going about your regular day, in your regular life, with your regular friends and your regular job unable to speak. The only people who speak are the monks who are guiding you through prayers and meditations. 

The first awkward moment was mealtime when, normally you would be speaking to the people around you. On my second visit just a few days ago I looked around at the other attendees. I could tell who the first timers were by the look of terror in their eyes at what had they got themselves into. I wondered if I looked that scared my first time. It's interesting how people change their behavior when at a silent retreat. Everybody walks very slowly with their eyes cast downward. The awkward mealtime becomes placing things very gently on the table as if trying not to make any noise at all. It actually struck me as funny how exaggerated people's movement had gotten and I'm sure I looked like that my first time too.

I found on this second visit I was able to sit for longer and longer periods of meditation and got deeper and deeper in my practice. I had some amazing insight and beautiful messages, some to be shared with others and some privately for myself. The strangest thing about the silent meditation is you spend three days with about 10 or 12 other people. And everyone is anonymous. No one has an identity. You don't know who they are, what they do, what they believe and where they work. In a society that is so tied to our identities it struck me so strongly this time that I didn't know who these people were. At the end of the retreat when the monk dismisses us many people gather in the courtyard to introduce themselves where we get to hear them speak for the first time. 

Outdoor temple area with swan

I was surprised at how many foreign accents I heard, learning that a few of the attendees were from the UK and Mexico. It was exciting to get to meet these people and just get a glimpse into their lives. My husband to make this time from ashram to real life world, especially with all that's going on politically and globally. But I'm trying to find ways to carry that piece of peace with me throughout my days to spread to others. Maybe a three-day silent meditation retreat at an ashram isn't for you, but try a silent meal or a few silent moments. You'd be amazed at what you hear. 

Some people find that scary, they don't want to know what's inside. But whether you acknowledge it or not it is there and will bubble to the surface one way or another. Self realization, self exploration and self actualization is what's going to propel us forward as a society. Kindness, love and peace need to permeate what is going on in this world. Now is the time to shine your light outward not to be shy about what you believe. 

Buddha on the hillside

Light your torch and let others see the glow of your spirit.