Entries Tagged as 'Inspirational Stories & Interviews'


The Twenty-fourth. Missing You.

Two months tonight since you said good-bye, Kara.  Not a single day has passed where I have not found myself in moments of stillness thinking of you and thanking you for the roll you still play in my life. I am angry, confused, and sad when I try to understand why you were taken so soon. I miss you and can sometimes hear the sound of your voice in my head. I am often able to laugh when I think of you too. The day we drove to say goodbye to you, can you believe you were actually able to make me laugh in the middle of all of the tears?  The girls shared the “angry yoga teacher” story you told them about me. I wish I knew this story when you were still here and I want to tell you that it makes me crack up and smile whenever I think about it.

It occurred to me during my Winter Solstice practice that the 24th was approaching.  As I lay in Savasana with the lights turned down I felt my tears on my cheeks. I thought about what you taught me when you were here and what you’ve taught me since you left.  As I drove to yoga this morning my heart ached. While I flowed through practice I remembered how warm it felt to practice next to you.  Sometimes I don’t really believe that we will never do this together again.

You entered the world on the 24th and you left on the 24th. I know I will associate the 24th of each month with you for many months ahead. Perhaps I always will. I am thinking of you throughout the day and thinking of your family. I love you, Kara. Merry Christmas.




Winter Solstice. Moving into a New Year.

Winter Solstice Yoga Philadelphia

December 21.  The Winter Solstice means the shortest day of the year is here which also means we begin to receive one extra minute of daylight every day until we spring forward again. I meet myself on the mat to greet the summer and winter solstice.  I began this morning with my new weekend ritual arriving the yoga studio one hour early on either Saturday or Sunday with a light Vegan breakfast, coffee, water, and something inspirational to read.  Fifteen minutes before class I enter the heated studio for meditation while I lay down usually choosing Supta Baddha Konasana with blocks (heart bench). This beautiful pose will lift and open your heart while gently opening your hips and shoulders. It occurred to me during this time that the solstice fell on the beginning of the new holiday week which also means I welcome a significant new age in the days ahead. Birthdays are an opportunity to reflect, give thanks, set new goals, and celebrate all that we have become.

Justine led an incredible class this morning which was one of my strongest practices of the month. When I refer to strength in yoga I not only refer to physical strength but also to mental and spiritual strength. My practice today was graceful. As I flowed smoothly I became fully aware and in tune with my body, my breath, and the strength and grace of my practice. Physically graceful. Internally graceful. As the year draws into the the final days all that was in 2014 fades away as many sit at the fireside feeling the heat anxiously trying to get it “all” done, realizing there is much we have not done. Pausing, let’s take a moment to realize it is now of no matter and give thanks for all that has been. Stop. Connect. Breathe. Three words to help ground you and connect you during a season that can sometimes lead to more stress and anxiety, than joy and cheer. Funny how the word “holidays” can be synonymous with leaving behind the stress of your daily life, to be filled with the stress of obligations that don’t quite feel like much of a holiday at all. The year has been both light and dark. On the darkest day of the year, may I ask you to consider taking a few moments to reflect on what this word “holiday” truly means to you? I invite you to create space for the things that mean the most to you. Focus on creating time for yourself and for those who are important to you. Fill these final days of 2014 with love, joy, movement and connection to yourself and those around you as we move gracefully into the new year.

With love and light this holiday season,



Detour ahead. Change required.

Embracing change

In order to move forward change is required.  It often includes a high dose of fear and excitement too. I caught up with a wonderful friend on the phone today who I met through the 2012 Belize yoga retreat.  I let her know some things I haven’t shared with too many yet about where I am now and where I see myself going in the year ahead.  It felt wonderful to share with someone who I knew would understand in some ways. Her feedback “In order to move forward change is required” and everything else she said made complete sense. We also discussed how the fears that surround great changes also bring excitement at the same time. Opportunities are usually filled with both fear and excitement. You choose what to focus your energy on.

As I sit here with a cup of homemade coconut chai latte I feel grateful and happy after sharing a few of my dreams and goals. Hearing it out loud and listening to feedback made it feel even more real.  I’ve invested a whole lot of time, money, and heart into what I do for a living and having worked for myself for the past 13 years I’ve confronted the ups, downs, and changes of running my businesses. It’s the ups and downs that have made me grow as a business person and also in my personal life. Change becomes your greatest teacher, but only if you choose to look at it and learn from it. Starting a new company is not easy, but when you are passionate and believe in what you are doing it’s oh so worth the rewards. I have come to a turning point where it’s time for me to move forward and grow. It feels like somewhat of a difficult decision at times yet it’s really an easy decision because it feels like the right thing to do.  Even putting this in writing tonight and reading it as I go feels like a step forward. It becomes more and more real.

I’ve learned to embrace the impermanency of parts of my life and the opportunities that come my way. It’s important to acknowledge change rather than approaching change from a place of resistance. I am never stuck in something and when I allow my intuition, goals and passions to drive me I will always move forward. Acknowledging this out loud today with my friend and in writing tonight was a big step.  If I could predict the future (which I can not) I would say that I believe a lot is about to change in a very short period of time. Embracing change and creating new opportunities has brought strength, courage, and believe it or not more inner peace into my life. I welcome the change, opportunities and challenges.  I look forward to the experiences ahead. I know it will be my newest teacher.



Gratitude Gram

Thx Gratitude Gram

The John Templeton Foundation just launched Elements of Gratitude encouraging people to express gratitude and thanks through free, customizable gratitude grams. Organizations and individuals are invited to upload a photo or video and add a message of thanks, and to share their gratitude gram on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or by email., encouraging people to express gratitude and thanks through free, customizable gratitude grams. Organizations and individuals are invited to upload a photo or video and add a message of thanks, and to share their gratitude gram on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or by email.

I created two gratitude grams today and ask you to please share at least one thing you are grateful through a gratitude gram tonight through Christmas Day on December 25, 2014.  In this mornings Thanksgiving Gratitude Yoga Class for Charity I mentioned that feeling gratitude without expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.  Share what you are grateful for with family and friends through a Gratitude Gram.  Here’s my first two gratitude grams.  Please share yours with me.

Yoga Peach Gratitude Gram 1         Yoga Peach Gratitude Gram 2

Gratitude Gram


It’s been one month.

1 month tonight. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought of you and heard your voice in my mind. I struggle inside when I think about how I will never hear your voice, see your smile, or feel your hand again. I wrote this three days after you passed away but I still feel the same. It’s still hard for me to believe that we won’t share times together again. I miss and love you, dear friend.




8th Focus On: Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma and Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

8th focus blood cancer event

Thank you Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Luekemia & Lymphoma Society for today’s incredible 8th Focus On: Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma and Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplantation. The conference was held in Philadelphia at the Hilton and presented cancer experts throughout the day, speakers on the latest research and clinical advances being made in the treatment of blood cancers and where it is taking us in the future, and sessions including Acute Leukemia (ALL, AML) and Myelodysplasia (MDS), Allogeneic (Donor) Bone Marrow Transplant, Autologous Stem Cell Transplant: Everything You Need To Know, Cellular Therapies, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and Myeloproliferative Diseases, Follicular/Low Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin Lymphoma and T-Cell Lymphomas, Mantle Cell, Large B Cell and Other Aggressive Lymphomas, Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) and Asymptomatic Multiple Myeloma (AMM) and Multiple Myeloma (Active Symptomatic).

After the luncheon a panel of patients along with Holly Auer, Selina Luger, MD, David Porter, MD, Stephen Schuster, MD, Edward Stadtmauer, MD provided The Patient-Doctor Journey and offered us a chance to hear people’s experiences, insight and inspiration through doctors, blood cancer survivors and caregivers as they shared their stories.  Thank you, Penn’s Abramson Cancer CenterLuekemia & Lymphoma Society, the event planners, volunteers and patients for hosting this incredibly inspirational and educational event today.

While I was at the event I met volunteers and patients involved with Philadelphia Multiple Myeloma Networking Group. I look forward to volunteering with PMMNG and offering yoga and wellness events along with assisting them in future event planning.  I also look forward to my first meeting at the Penn Abramson Cancer Center next week with Integrative Medicines and Wellness Research and Education. It is my hope and intention to volunteer, assist with event planning and teach yoga at Penn Medicine. If you are involved or have suggestions I would really appreciate hearing from you.


Dream, dare, leap

Yoga in Belize

I haven’t had a single moment to blog over these past 10 days. I’ve barely had a chance to slow down and catch my breath. That doesn’t sound right as a yoga instructor, does it? I’m taking time to blog this morning so I look back at this next week as a reminder of something important to me. Lately I have thought a lot about how I live, what I enjoy most in life, what I dislike the most, and what needs to change. I’m away for work right now and when I return I look forward to taking some risks, following my passions, and creating new opportunities. We have choices. It is my responsibility to create opportunities. Choosing to be positive and grateful for the opportunities ahead will determine a huge part of how we live our lives.

I wake up just after sunrise most days here. Today I made time for a Deepak’s “Flexible Conciousness” meditation before I got out of bed. Today’s meditation was about manifesting the life you want and understanding you won’t always see the big picture because life is unfolding experience by experience. Receiving what is, surrendering to the flow, and staying flexible along your path will lead you to the highest expression of yourself. Letting go of attachment to a particular outcome can be challenging or sometimes nearly impossible but makes a difference in each of our experiences.

There is one thing that makes a dream completely impossible to achieve… lack of action based on the fear of failure or fear to move forward. Looking forward to keeping my mind open to all of the possibilities and taking a leap forward.



I miss you.

Goodbye friend

If I had known then, what I know now
I would have seen you sooner
Three days have gone by
I think of you most of the time
People say time makes the pain go away
But I know I will always think of you
Every time a tear forms I try my best to smile
Knowing you have met your mother’s arms again
The sun has shined every day since you left
You always shined so bright
I miss the things we used to do
My dear friend for life you will always be
What I would give to see you smile again
I wish I could hear your voice
I wish I could tell you how much I miss you
I wish I could tell you how much I admire you
I wish I could tell you how much you influenced my life
I wish I could tell you I love you
“I love you” were the last words we exchanged
I think of you, each and every day.

In loving memory of my friend Kara
May 24th, 1980 to October 24, 2014



Fear.   It’s one of the most powerful factors that holds us back and can also drive us to achieve our full potential. Fear is a feeling, not a fact. It’s just an illusion that doesn’t exist. We create most of it.  It’s all in the mind.  We often experience it as a result of our past, the unknown future, and our current thoughts and emotions. Work on the inside and the outside will fall into place.

Fears are completely normal. We all have them at one time or another. They’ve come up for me at times recently. Yep, they have. They can sometimes be a good thing when we acknowledge them and chose to use them as a vehicle to get to where we want to be. When our barriers are up because of our fears, however, that is when our lives become limited.

We often use our fears to protect us from something. So what is it that we are afraid of? Being wrong? Failure? Rejection? Being hurt? Being judged? Starting a new hobby?  A career change?  Taking steps to improve our health? Making new friends? Commitment?  Being taken advantage of?  Are we afraid of taking the steps that could lead us to something completely incredible? What could we learn by moving through fear even if things do not go as we hope for? What are our fears holding us back from?

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Know this. Rather than allowing your fears decide your future allow your dreams and goals be bigger than your fears. Make your actions larger than your fears. The road we travel may be a bit scary at times. We can allow our past experiences and current fears to work their way into our future or we have the choice to learn from them and steer ourselves around the fears and uncertainties as they arise. It’s okay to be afraid. Take a look at your fears though and work up the courage to see what’s just beyond the door in front of you. Walk through it.  Keep walking….

Happiness and love to all,


You never know which door leads towards your dreams until you have the courage to walk through it… Lillian Vernon

let go of fear



I reflect on my actions over the past year and ask for forgiveness. I’d like to think that I try to see the best in people. For the most part I believe those in my life who at times chose less than desirable actions did so unintentionally. And so even though it’s not always easy…I forgive. The hardest person to forgive, however, is often yourself. Asking for forgiveness can sometimes be even more challenging. Nothing that I do makes me feel more sad than when I’ve affected or hurt others. People matter to me. And people’s feelings matter…my own as well.

A person does not have to commit a major wrongdoing to have regrets and ask for forgiveness. To have treated our friend unkind or to have offended someone we care about is enough. People sometimes underestimate the power of words and actions. It may seem like the smallest thing to you that leaves a scar that necessitates forgiveness and atonement.

As I put my spiritual needs before my physical needs today, I reflect on my actions over the past year and ask for forgiveness. I know that I can not say a prayer, go through rituals, or simply say “I’m sorry” for just one day for this to have true meaning. This is a time of reflection, introspection and atonement. Was I good? Was I good enough? Was I being good a daughter, sister, and friend? Who have I hurt? Who have I offended? Where could I have been better and where can I be better in the future? What do I want to change? How can I grow as a person? How can I help the community? How can I do my part to help those who are healing? And how can I be kinder…even to myself? So I will try to reach out more, be more thoughtful, and be considerate of other people’s situations. I want to be even more understanding and to be truer to myself.

This day is about forgiveness. It’s all about personal repentance and forgiveness and then extending forgiveness to others. I think about how I can make today part of my every day life and how to live each day with great intentions, compassion, love, and forgiveness. I love this quote that I found in the footnotes of the Mahzor today…

“If we can be courageous, one more time than we are fearful…

Trusting, one more time than we are anxious…
Cooperative, one more time than we are competitive…
Forgiving, one more time than we are vindictive…
Loving, one more time than we are hateful…

We would have moved closer to the next breakthrough in our evolution.” 

—Jonas Salk


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