2006 on my way to Europe
There was a time in my life when I was fed up, burned out, and stressed. I didn’t really like how my life was going and I was way too busy to figure out what to do about it.
I was working as a psychotherapist in a clinic with children and their families. It was hard, challenging, and emotionally draining work. I’d been at this clinic for eight years and I felt like I made a difference in the lives of the children and their parents. But there was a cost.
Somewhere along the line, I began dreading getting up day after day, driving 30 miles to work in traffic. Some days it was hard to walk in the door because I was already tired.
Even though I felt like I was helping children and I worked with wonderful colleagues who supported each other, I kept hearing that nagging voice inside me say, “you're not doing what you love and this job doesn't really bring you joy.”
I was afraid to let...
On March 9, 2011, I was lamenting not being able to celebrate my birthday the way I wanted. I was finishing up my work on an Air Force base in Japan. I realize now what a champagne problem that was...to have a stressful day on my birthday.
Two days later I would experience one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in history.
As I huddled inside the door frame that Friday afternoon on March 11, I tried not to panic.
On that afternoon, I walked up the outside steps to the 2nd floor of a building on the Air Force base where I’d been working for the past three months.
Immediately I was met by four women whose faces were panic-stricken. “It’s an earthquake!” they shouted. I tried to calm myself. But I immediately felt afraid.
It took a second and then I felt the scary, unnatural sensation of the building rocking and shaking. I HATE EARTHQUAKES. I've been in enough of them to know that you have absolutely no...
In 2014, my husband and I climbed Mt. Fuji, the highest volcano in Japan at 12,388 thousand feet. Little did I know that this experience would help me be able to deal with the current troubling times.
This was an epic trip for me. In the telling of this story about our adventure, it’s important to give you some background on what it’s like to climb Fuji-San (Mr. Fuji).
Mt Fuji is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1708. It was a Buddhist monk in 700 A.D. who first climbed Mt. Fuji. A temple was built at the summit 400 years later. It became a pilgrimage site for Japanese.
In 1860, the first foreigner climbed Mt. Fuji. In 1868, Lady Parkes, an Englishwoman, defied a ban on women climbers and ascended the peak. The ban was lifted afterward. What a badass woman she was!
It was my husband’s idea. Thom had dreamed about this climb even before we moved to Okinawa in 2013. He’d always said, “I’m gonna climb Mt. Fuji."
Let’s get real. We all live in an over scheduled world with endless to do lists, and an overload of technology.
Our brains have had it with trying to deal with the pandemic and adapt over and over again.
If you find yourself like most people, you’re wired and tired. And you may even feel like what’s the point?
That’s when you know that it’s time to take a personal retreat.
What the heck is a personal retreat?
It’s the time you take to step away from your ordinary life and just be with yourself so that you can reset and come back refreshed and be a better version of yourself.
The outcomes of being on a solo getaway personal retreat are numerous.
Even though you think, I don’t have time to stop, this is the very moment to get away.
"The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. " Sydney J. Harris
Learn more about the benefits of going on a personal retreat and my story of how I...
Here’s a story about how easily things can change, unexpectedly, and without warning.
I believe life is easier if we know that we might have to change course when things happen out of our control.
I think it’s a matter of three things: staying calm, allowing yourself to feel disappointment, and feeling grateful.
Here’s what happened.
It was going to be a test run. We had just purchased a rooftop tent. This tent camper sits on a rack on top of the truck and with the push of a button and in less than a minute, the tent is fully upright and ready to sleep in. There’s a ladder that attaches to the truck to get you up there and voila! Instant camping.
We decided that Death Valley would be a great destination as the weather was going to be idyllic for the desert...highs of only 80 and cool nights.
We were on the road by 6 am as we knew it would be long 8-hour drive....
Trusting your inner wisdom isn't always easy, but if you don't you will miss out on experiences in life. This is my story about trusting myself and my inner wisdom, and three ways that you can start listening to and trusting yourself more.
Full disclosure: I’ve never really trusted myself.
I’m not proud of this.
And besides that, this not trusting myself has caused me problems my entire life.
But I’ve changed all that.
I’ve learned that rather than going back and forth and making myself crazy, I've learned to take a breath and listen to myself.
So, for instance.
When I really want to do something and that desire keeps nagging at me, I know that this is something I must do.
I’ve never gone wrong by listening to my desires.
But it’s hard to sort out why I hold back unless I give myself a chance to sort it out...what’s keeping me from just doing that thing that I want...
This is Part 2 of the story about two people in my family who were caught off guard away from their homes in March by the pandemic.
Their story is one that will inspire you. If you didn’t have a chance, you’ll want to read Part 1 of the piece I wrote about how they got stranded. You can read it here.
She waited and waited for months for a possible opening to fly to Vanuatu, her new home.
The borders to this tiny country with no covid have been closed since March.
In September, a repatriation flight from Auckland opened up.
It took a boatload of emails and phone calls to the Vanuatu government and the New Zealand government in order to coordinate the tricky business of getting Bev on that flight. Stephanie, Bev's daughter, worked hours and hours to get clearance for Bev to fly.
There were so many on and then off again moments...for weeks until they knew that Bev was approved for the flight.
If you missed Part 1 of our adventures, you can read it here.
On Tuesday 24 March we landed in Auckland from Christchurch, a bit harried and very grateful. But our flight back to San Francisco wasn't for another five days, and New Zealand was preparing for total lockdown.
It was an hour by hour world we were in and no one seemed to know what would happen next.
Would planes fly? The response from everyone we spoke to was that no planes would fly in or out once the country was in lockdown, within the next 48 hours.
We decided to go directly to the Air New Zealand counter and see if we could change our reservations to an earlier flight - maybe we could even get a flight out that night. (As stressed as we had been, it didn’t deter Thom from taking pictures.)
We had another surprise as we approached the international terminal. There was a long line at the...
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.