It wasn't the clean air or the clear starry sky nights that were the most nourishing. It wasn't the fact that I got to spend 5 days camping with my best friend or that I hiked on smooth flat rock with gorgeous views that made me feel alive.
All of those things made my heart sparkle and glow.
But what surprised me the most was the quiet. The stillness.
It was startling in a way to be in complete soundlessness. I had forgotten about being out in the middle of nowhere how quiet life can be.
I realized that living in a city or town, the sounds from the freeway are running in the background, even though for me, my house is nowhere near the freeway.
It was the stillness and deep quiet without the background noise that soothed me the most.
Canyonlands with Dear Friends
We started in Canyonlands, Utah, with 5 other couples. Now a delightful annual affair, we hiked, ate together, talked and laughed, did yoga up on a...
May is Mental Health Month and we all know it's crucial to prioritize our mental well-being, especially as we age. Yet setting boundaries and saying no are things that we may not think of as essential parts of self-care and it can be challenging to know where to start.
In this post, I’ve created a fictitious woman who like so many of us knew instinctively that she needed some practical self-care ideas to help her prioritize her mental health.
I’ve named her Effie who has the same name as my beloved maternal grandmother who never stopped giving to others. A woman whose way of living took a huge toll on her as she ended up with cancer.
Grab a cup of tea, take a deep breath, and let's get started.
Once upon a time, Effie realized she needed to take better care of her mental health. She knew that setting boundaries and saying no were important pieces of taking care of herself but she wasn't sure where to start.
She heard about...
March 2023 satellite photos of both Cyclone Judy and Cyclone Kevin
Vanuatu...the tiny island nation where my son and my 3 grandchildren live has been hammered by two back-to-back cyclones in the past few days. Cyclone Judy and Cyclone Kevin, category 4, cyclones slammed across the island within 24 hours of each other.
If that wasn't enough to make your head swirl, somewhere in between these two cyclones, the country shook from a 6.5 earthquake. There was a lot of damage. It was brutal.
In 2015, they were battered by a category 5 cyclone. Cyclone Pam was ruthless. The recovery took years.
In 1987 when I lived in Vanuatu, Cyclone Uma was a force and wreaked immense havoc. I remember a sleepless night, trying not to be completely freaked out that the roof was going to blow off while I held my 15-month-old toddler on my chest and my husband held our 3-year-old.
It was a long night to hear...
“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this." Nayyirah Waheed
As women, we’re taught from a young age to be dissatisfied with our bodies. We’re expected to fit into an ideal of beauty that is impossible to achieve and have so much pressure placed upon us in today’s society because of it.
This constant battle can leave us feeling emotionally drained and exhausted…as I know all too well. But instead of continuing this vicious cycle, it's time to put down the weapons, stop fighting, and start listening to what your body has been trying to tell you all along.
My story is not that different than many of you reading this.
I think about the times I’ve been so hard on my body and how I’ve fought to stay thin because, I too, bought into the cultural expectation that thin is...
When it comes to taking the next step in your life...whether that’s starting a new career, taking the trip of a lifetime, having a hard conversation with someone you love, or something else entirely...many of us suffer from procrastination.
We tell ourselves we'll do it “one day,” when the timing is just right. But what if now is the perfect time for you to make your dream a reality?
What if this moment holds infinite possibilities and you can't afford to wait any longer? Don’t listen to the self-doubt that holds you back. Trust yourself.
Living your best life means taking risks and it means not waiting for the right time.
Not waiting to go for your dreams and live on your own terms involves pushing past fear and doubt.
It's scary to think that we can actually get what we want, which is why it’s so common for us to allow our inner critic or saboteurs to convince us to wait for the right time to do what we want.
The new year is a time of new beginnings when the slate is clean and we get to start over. It's the time when people are making goals, going on fitness programs, and deciding to start the year in a blaze of activity.
It may not be that way for all of us.
If you're like me, you don't want to do anything except take a nap, lie down, be quiet, and read a book. Raise your hand if you feel like this.
It’s stormy and rainy in northern California right now and all I want to do is go slow and not think about what I "need" to do.
Normally I have loads of energy and I'm ready to start the new year full-on with goals for what I want to achieve and do. I've usually figured out my word for the year to remind me to stay on track.
I decided to ask my future self (something I do every morning) about why I feel so slow and she said, "well, think about it, Jo."
"To reach real peace in the world, we will have to begin with the children."
It started during the pandemic.
Three of my grandkids were on lockdown in the South Pacific.
My other three grans were "local" but with the pandemic we had limited visits at a distance and with masks.
Christmas was happening and I felt the sting of being separated from all my grans. I wanted us to all be connected and not forget each other so I had to come up with a plan.
I had to consider the time difference. The Vanuatu family (in the South Pacitic) is 18 hours ahead of the US.
There were other obstacles like ensuring I could hold the kid's attention the whole time.
Yesterday we had Gran's 3rd annual Zoom Xmas party.
The two Davis grans, Avery and Andy, came to my house and we celebrated the winter solstice together.
I had decided to also have our Zoom Christmas party on the same day. Why not?
As the winter solstice approaches here in the Northern Hemisphere, let us take time to be still and focus on our inner being on this longest night of 2022,
This is a time to reflect on all that has happened in this past year and gain clarity for what lies ahead of us.
Imagine for a few minutes letting go of the busyness of the holidays and being in listening mode rather than doing mode.
Listen to Mother Earth and what she says. Listen to your heart and what it says.
Nature shows us her own form of rest as leaves fall away from trees so they can conserve energy during this season with little light or warmth.
Though it may seem like we're losing the light right now, winter brings an invitation not only to observe but also receive, allowing ourselves moments where no plans need be made nor expectations fulfilled.
EVEN THOUGH the holidays are here, we must remember how important...
Last night I was on a call with a circle of Green women. We're a group of mothers, grandmothers, and women from all parts of the country who care about the planet, the climate crisis, and everything that links to it.
Our conversations are powerful threads of information, inspiration, and concern for our shared experience of living on the planet during these challenging times.
On our call, we discussed the holidays and how to view them in a different way, rather than the constant rushing around and the overconsumption that we can easily fall into.
Our leader, Helene Van Manen, leads this group and has 3 monthly calls that are completely free. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please join us. The link is here. It's powerful to be in a group like this and a golden opportunity for you to share your ideas and to be inspired.
I think you probably care a lot about the earth and the climate crisis. Maybe, if you’re like me, you sometimes don’t know...
There's something we all know but sometimes need to be reminded of.
Christmas isn’t about the big presents and the fancy decorations. It also isn’t about cramming in as many activities and festivities during the month of December as you possibly can.
It isn’t about having the biggest Christmas party or the biggest tree. It's not about the presents.
Instead, Christmas is about being with loved ones, exchanging meaningful gifts, having a meal together, and enjoying each other’s company.
Start by slowing down this holiday season. It’s hard to enjoy everything when your calendar is so full that you’re simply rushing from one event to the next.
Instead of trying to fit it all in, do it all, and go all out on everything from decorating the house to hosting various Christmas parties, slow down. Take a breath and look around you.
Savor this time with your family. Snuggle up on the couch and watch...
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.