From Clutter to Clarity


This is an image of a clear deck overlooking green grass and a clear blue sky

© Skylines/shutterstock


Time to spring clean our lives?


Happy spring! This is the time of year when nature demonstrates the miracle of regeneration and renewal. The days are brighter and longer, and we begin to see new growth everywhere as brown grass turns green, bare trees regain their leaves, and flowers push through the soil and blossom. Sensing the invigorating energy of spring reminds many of us of the need to revitalize our personal environment.  It may very well be the time to do some spring cleaning within our lives!


About two years ago I made a conscious commitment to simplify my life and decided to do a major downsize of all my material possessions. I had thought about it for many years, but I knew the time had come to move past feeling overwhelmed and take action. I was actually feeling physically bogged down by all the stuff that had accumulated during the 23 years my husband and I lived in our home. Our house was clean and organized, but I constantly had the cumbersome awareness that we had too much of everything. While I knew that de-cluttering and downsizing would involve a lot of time and energy, I had no idea what an enormous impact this project would have on my life; emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.


The process of de-cluttering, downsizing, and simplifying my life was such a life transforming experience that I would like to share with you some of the many things I learned in the process. Hopefully, my recount of this experience will inspire you to stop procrastinating and take action on that long overdue decision to move out of clutter and into clarity.


Consciously surround yourself with things

that make you feel good.


Emotionally: I came to realize that clearing space can help to heal emotions. Material things actually hold energy of past memories and events. Sorting through your things is the ideal time to acknowledge the many emotions that are associated with the material objects surrounding you.  I found that allowing myself to feel the nostalgia was very healing and allowed me the choice to let go of the past and become more available to the present moment. Downsizing and de-cluttering affords you the opportunity to consciously decide to surround yourself with things that make you feel good. I also discovered that sorting through my “stuff” was a very special time to express profound gratitude for everything and anything. I realized that both the positive and negative experiences helped to make me who I am. Then there was the wonderful quality of generosity in donating and sharing items that I no longer wanted or needed. Words cannot describe the joy I felt in asking my children to choose what was special to them; driving around and dropping off items at homeless shelters; and donating furniture, blankets, clothes, bedding, and towels to veterans organizations, animal shelters, and thrift shops.


Mentally: I became aware that we need to clear our minds, as well as our physical surroundings, in order to be peaceful. Though we tend to associate clutter with material things, we live in a world where our minds are immersed in an endless sea of communication overload: emails, voicemails, text messages, faxes, computer games, and the list goes on and on. It feels like everywhere we turn, we are inundated with information, requests for an immediate response, and overall mental stimulation. I decided to create some time every day, away from technology, to be with nature; or, at the very least, to sanction an hour each day to be in a peaceful, quiet space where I can simply take some deep breaths and clear my head.


Physically:  I became aware that it was much more relaxing to be in a room with “less stuff.” The things that I had chosen to take with me to my new home were only the things that I either liked, needed, or wanted. When I sorted through my belongings, I asked myself three questions:


          1. Do I need this?

          2. Do I like this?

          3. Have I used or looked at this within the past two years?


If the answer to any one of these questions was, “no,” I knew I was kidding myself about needing to hold onto it. I also came to realize just how temporary situations in life tend to be. Sorting through massive amounts of paperwork was a particularly poignant example of this. Many papers that at one time contained important information had become obsolete. If also felt good to get these papers out of my personal space and back into the mainstream through the process of recycling.


Getting rid of clutter frees the soul.


Spiritually: I discovered that getting rid of clutter frees the soul. Clearing your physical space actually brings in more light and opens you to a whole new world of possibilities. Whether we are aware of it or not, it takes a lot of time and energy to maintain, look at, use, move around, and store “our stuff.” Freeing up this energy creates a void. Since the nature of life is to fill voids, open space is the optimal environment in which to be creative. Without so many visual distractions, we can look at life from a new point of view. It is literally easier to breathe in a clear, uncluttered environment.


While I have shared all the positive aspects of de-cluttering my life, I must, in full disclosure, share that this process of downsizing and moving was one of the most physically demanding projects I have ever tackled. It was a huge undertaking because I chose to truly downsize (I donated, recycled, or trashed about 2/3 of my physical belongings) to move to a smaller, more manageable home. Even the enormity of the project proved to be a spiritual lesson because I realized the power of teamwork and cooperation. Many of my friends and family members pitched in to give me tremendous assistance. Note: Do NOT attempt to downsize by yourself!


That being said, deciding to downsize and de-clutter my life is proving to be one of the most healthy choices I have ever made. Because I don’t have to clean, maintain, and deal with so many things, I have more time to spend with friends and to do things I enjoy. I feel more healthy, more creative, and free. Most importantly, when I wake up in the morning, I no longer feel that awful cloud above my head reminding me to clean up my life. I have finally honored my commitment to myself to “lighten up.” Like spring, I am in the cycle of regeneration and renewal.


Love and Light,



The Precious Downtime of Winter

This is an image of two skiers in lounge chairs looking out at a sunny mountain range



Winter is a Gift



This is the time of year when many of us go into the doldrums – it’s cold, the days are shorter and there is too much darkness.  We are longing to see our friend, the sun!  We are so accustomed to being over stimulated, that it may be difficult to identify this as being the perfect time to change our perspective and to see the winter as a gift. Awareness is the first step! Below are seven insights that may change your perspective to see the wintertime as a blessing:


1. Go Within


Just as we have a tendency to stay indoors in the winter, it is a perfect time to go within ourselves to clear our minds and nurture our souls. This can be done through meditation, by reading a good book, or watching a favorite movie. The important point is that we get quiet time to relax. Really what you are doing is planting seeds for the longer and brighter days of tomorrow.


2. Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down


This time of year offers us the space and time to slow down. We often find ourselves craving a comfortable couch and a roaring fire. It makes us feel warm, happy, and sleepy. Also, there is nothing like staying in bed a little longer, snuggled up under the covers, enjoying the warmth.


3. Appreciate the Silence 


The winter offers clarity in silence. It is truly amazing to step outside after it snows and notice how crisp the air is and how quiet your surroundings are. It is a blanket that softens everything around you and creates a pause that allows you to appreciate the true beauty of silence.


4. Spark Your Creativity 


The void of darkness sometimes gives us the room we need to allow our creative mind to come alive. It is like having a blank canvas with infinite possibilities. Have fun! This is the time to start an arts and crafts project, enroll in a woodworking class, or simply cook a meal that is out of the ordinary.


5. Savor the Simple Things


This quiet time offers you the opportunity to notice the small wonders of life such as hot soup, the texture of sheets, the warmth of a good fire, or how much fun it is to make a snow angel – even if you are an adult!


6. Catch up with Friends 


This is a wonderful time to get together for coffee, tea, or lunch. Precious time with those who truly know us brings joy to life.


7.  Embrace the Cold


Enjoy a brisk walk in the cold. It will heighten your awareness and make you feel alive. You will be amazed at how invigorated you feel.


Enjoy what is around you right now! You don’t need to “get away” literally. Most of us need to “get away” from our daily lives and our frenetic pace. You can do this anywhere, including right where you are.


Love and Light,





Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2012

In compiling a year in review, I couldn’t help but notice a tragic theme woven through many of these news events. While this has caused some people to feel sad and lonely as the year draws to a close, it’s a powerful exercise to take a deep look at each of these stories and uncover the lessons that can better our own lives in 2013.


As a collective humanity, let’s look back at what we’ve learned this year and bring those lessons to the present:


10. Facebook goes public: May 18, 2012


This is an image of

Credit: 1000 Words /


Summary: With much fanfare, investors scrambled to snatch up shares of this highly publicized IPO. Almost immediately, the price of Facebook shares began to drop sharply leading many to wonder what happened to the powerful social media giant.


Lesson: When we say that we are all one, this includes even Wall Street. Even a “sure thing” like Facebook could not escape the global economic trend. Put simply, our security has never been rooted in money, it just became more apparent in 2012.


9. London Olympics: July – August, 2012


This is an image of the Olympic rings.

Credit: Sergei Bachlakov /


Summary: Everyone’s eye was on London, England for three weeks this summer as the world’s finest athletes convened for the 30th Olympic Games. The U.S. managed to land 104 medals, the highest for any participating country.


Lesson: With a common goal and a commitment to teamwork, individuals are truly stronger as a unit than they are as a single entity. The Fab Five became media darlings, mainly because they exemplified working together for the good of the whole (remember, Jordyn Wieber heartbreakingly failed to qualify for the individual all-around, yet quickly regrouped to help her team win the gold medal.)


8. General Petraeus scandal: November 9, 2012


This is an image of the CIA.

Credit: ruskpp


Summary: A highly decorated general and respected CIA Director sees his reputation crumble before him as allegations surface of an extramarital affair with his biographer.


Lesson: We tend to judge others when we don’t agree with their choices; however, it’s actually the ultimate test in compassion and forgiveness. Imagine putting yourself in the shoes of his family members for a moment to understand how the media frenzy might be perpetuating their emotional trauma.


7. Aurora theater shootings: July 20, 2012


This is an image of an empty movie theater.

Credit: hxdbzxy / Shutterstock


Summary: A seemingly everyday event such as going to the movies exploded into chaos when a midnight showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ turned deadly. All told, the armed gunman took the lives of 12 innocent victims in Aurora, Colorado that night.


Lesson: In that moment, heroes emerged, as friends and family members put their own lives on the line to protect their loved ones. Even in the face of death, the power of love can be seen through the murkiness of tragedy such as this unforgettable event. Social media also played a huge role in the healing of a community.


6. Whitney Houston passes: February 11, 2012


This is a photo of Whitney Houston.

Singer WHITNEY HOUSTON at the Soul Train Awards where she was presented with the 1998 Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement.
Credit: Featureflash /


Summary: The pop icon was pronounced dead on the eve of the 54th Grammy awards, an event attended by many of her friends and close colleagues. The circumstances surrounding her death were suspicious after she was found in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.


Lesson: The Hollywood community paid a dignified tribute to a fellow performer at the gala Grammy event the day after Whitney Houston passed. This serves as an example of strength of the human spirit to move forward with grace in remembrance despite profound grief.


5. Unemployment rates remain high: January – December, 2012


These are newspaper articles about unemployment

Credit: Shutterstock/justasc


Summary: Despite decreases in unemployment in 2012 as compared to the previous year, many Americans found themselves out of work and in long lines at the unemployment office. As of November 2012, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 7.7%. In fact, people in every socio-economic category have been hit.


Lesson: The impact of losing one’s job reaches far beyond the wallet. Studies have shown that self-esteem is extremely impacted by this type of life event. As a culture, we’re learning that we are not defined by our careers. The next step is for an inner strength to emerge that many of us did not realize we even had … the choice to define ourselves by our values.


4. Colorado wildfires: June – July 2012


This is an image of the Colorado wildfires.

Wildfire threatens homes during the High Park Fire in northern Colorado.
Credit: Ryan DeBerardinis


Summary: In the summer of 2012, persistent droughts throughout the middle of the country led to dangerously dry conditions as record temperatures soared. The result was a series of devastating wildfires that ravaged Colorado for weeks, destroying 347 homes and claiming one life. The process of rebuilding has been tough for the communities of Colorado Springs, Boulder and others.


Lesson: The images of these fires cresting the majestic mountains with all-too-vulnerable homes in their path will not soon be forgotten. As heart wrenching as it is to witness, material possessions are not permanent, just as everything in life is subject to change. Yet, we know that destruction precedes creation. It gives us hope for renewal in the fertile grounds of new possibilities.


3. Elections 2012: November 6, 2012


This is a button depicting the 2012 election.

Credit: Thomas Pajot/Shutterstock


Summary: With the economy in turmoil, Americans had a major decision on their hands. President Obama and Mitt Romney differed greatly on subjects such as job growth, tax rates, women’s rights and the environment, and the voters turned out in record numbers. But Americans all agreed on one thing — they were sick of the division between the Republicans and the Democrats causing paralysis on issues of key importance in Washington.


Lesson: At the end of 2012, we face a fiscal cliff where tax cuts for the majority of Americans will simply expire. Bipartisan unity is required to avoid this outcome and the country is coming to realize that nothing can be accomplished without blurring party lines completely.


2. Hurricane Sandy: October 29, 2012



This is an image of the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Serious damage in the buildings at the Seagate Beach club due to impact from Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn, New York.
Credit: Anton Oparin /


Summary: Termed “The Perfect Storm,” Sandy had almost every ingredient necessary to strengthen a horrific weather event. The devastation surpassed even the most pessimistic predictions, wreaking havoc on the Jersey shoreline and New York City and killing at least 125 people in the United States. The photos of the destruction are still indelibly etched in our minds.


Lesson: Despite massive loss, the communities in New York and New Jersey came together in touching ways to support one another. An entire nation felt called upon to lend a hand with food, clothing, and medical supplies. When stripped of everything, we remember what counts most … loving one another.


1. Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Newtown, CT: December 14, 2012


This is an image of the Sandy Hook shooting memorial.

Elementary School shooting. Flag of Honor, December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
Credit: Ron Frank /


Summary: A nation was rocked to its core as its most innocent members were the targets of a lone gunman in Newtown, CT. Teachers and faculty protected the children, bravely shielding them from the barrage of bullets. All told, 26 people were sadly killed that day.


Lesson: Surely, this event went directly to the heart of every person who saw the news that day. Our natural inclination is to be angry; however, the words of one brave father, whose daughter’s life was taken, echo in my mind whenever I think of this senseless tragedy. He had the grace to display the ultimate forgiveness in reaching out to the family of the shooter and asking everyone to remember not to identify with the crisis but to remember that love will heal us all.


We have the choice as to how we carry the memories of 2012 into 2013. We can focus on the pain or instead, realize that there is one common theme throughout everything we’ve just discussed. Oneness.


Did I miss any major events from 2012 that you think should be added to the list? Feel free to drop a comment and share with us what that lesson is as well.


Love and Light,



Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

So here we are – the second day of our 7-day preparation for the Great Shift of December 21, and the topic I had chosen for today is how to feel peaceful in the midst of chaos. The tragic shootings in Newtown, CT have only just occurred and the wounds are raw for everyone who has been touched by this horrific event, and by that, I mean all of humanity.


At this moment, you are most likely asking yourself some pretty deep questions: “Love unconditionally?  Remain centered?  How can anyone remain loving and peaceful while we are still experiencing the shockwaves of losing our dear children and beloved teachers?  Quite simply, WHY?”


There is no explanation I could possibly offer that would rationalize the massacre of 28 people.  Mindlessly killing anyone, let alone children, is an act of violence that rocks our sense of morality to the core.  This feels like a nightmare, except when we woke up this morning, it was still true – it really did happen.


Yesterday all I could do was sit with my feelings of grief and shock.  Wanting to honor my commitment to bring the message of inner peace to this blog today, I got up this morning, sat in silence and asked:  Is it still in the greatest good that I write about inner peace today?   What am I (and all of humanity) to learn from this incredibly sad situation?  The answers came through clearly.  I share some of them with you now:


  1. Remember your direct connection: We all have a direct pipeline to our Creative Source that is unconditionally available to every one of us all the time.   Creation is innately unconditional love; therefore it is the true spiritual nature of humans.  The violence we are witnessing is most certainly not being imposed by a Divine Creator in order to punish us.  It is the result of humans blocking this flow of love by forgetting our Divine Connection. Create times throughout the day to sit in silence and allow the love to flow to and through you.
  2. Choose to be peace: Peace is not a condition of life we find when things around us quiet down.  It is a perception we need to consciously choose, no matter what we are experiencing. In order to BE peace, we need to create the time to sit in silence periodically throughout the day so that we can re-train our minds and bodies to remember how it FEELS to be peaceful. By doing this we can collectively create a center point for those who are incapacitated through trauma and pain.
  3. Open your heart: Feel your feelings.  Tragedies remind us that each one of us is connected with everyone and everything through the energy of our hearts.  We are remembering compassion.
  4. Tune into your values: Tragedies profoundly reflect to us how much we can hurt ourselves and others when we make choices that defy our spiritual truth. Rather than focusing on how this violates your values, allow such events to remind you of what is most important to all of us: love.
  5. Connect with each other through your light: We can create a force field of divine healing energy by working through the Power of our Oneness with our creator and each other.  We need to work together to transmit this Field of Light to anyone and everything in need of healing.  Envision Light moving into the top of your head, oozing into your heart, then streaming out to connect with everyone and everything, especially the pain that hovers over Newtown, CT.


We unite our hearts though the power of Love and Light and envision a force field of divine energy is now healing everyone.


Remember, it is far more powerful to hold a center of peace and calm in the midst of a storm than to allow your boat to take on the waters of chaos.


Please feel free to use the comments section on this post to add your blessings for the victims and their families.  We all join with you in your vision of healing.


Love and Light,




Preparing for December 21, 2012 

Day 1: End of the World? No. Beginning of a New Reality? Yes.

Day 2: Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos