These are my personal stories of this bumpy life I have and my attempts to be a little more intentional and a lot more present.
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HOLD PLEASE. I caught myself doing the thing I always do when I am stressed- holding my breath. I can honestly say I haven't taken a deep breath in weeks. Even when I am teaching/practicing on my mat I get winded easily because my body's response to stress is breath holding.

If you have ever been thru a tech rehearsal you hear the words 'hold please' a lot. And I mean A LOT. You wait, frozen while they adjust a light, a cue, a dancer and then you start again. My summer before my Junior year I busted my butt to get a part in the spring musical. I signed up for a ballet class and jazz class. I took extra singing lessons and researched and memorized songs from various decades of musicals. I managed to finally get called back. I landed the ONLY part in No No Nanette that had zero singing and zero dancing 🤣 I managed to get the part doing something I have been great at my whole life- making things up and making people laugh.

Hold please. The outside world is on hold and for the past few weeks I have been required to study hard and learn new things- did you know I am a teacher and videographer now?!- to prep for what is to come. Since no one told my brain to 'hold please' it spins out of control and I find myself holding my breath....again.

HOLD PLEASE is hard. It is really flipping hard, but rather than learn a new thing I am going to try doing the things I am good at and allow me to breathe deep- design, play games, crochet, yoga, make people laugh, walks with the boys, check in with friends, make desserts (lazy Betty pie is up next!). The world is on hold. My brain and heart are not. You are not. Your talents are not. Your love is not. Your strength is not. Get upset. Cry about the unknown. Catch yourself holding your breath. And then adjust the lights and start moving. HOLD PLEASE doesn't mean forever. It means until the next cue. ♥️

TEACH. I want to teach my kids to be kind, to stand up for others, to try their best, that it is okay to cry and okay to fail. I can only hope my mistakes won't stand as what they learn from me. I hope that my constant singing and dancing bring them joy and that they can't always see when I hold back tears as they fight back their own when they are in pain or scared.
Yesterday I spent 10 hours at the hospital- Danny boy is fine, but has a skin/tissue infection on his ankle- and it was one of the best unplanned Danny/Mama days we have had. We sat and talked and watched movies and he rolled with every single thing....until the MRI. He was scared, and so was I. I held his hand and calmed him down. We squeezed hands to the rhythm of the clicks and bangs. 10 hours in the hospital isn't ideal, but at the end I realize that while I am teaching Danny kindness and New Math (what?!) He is teaching me to be brave, to be fearless, to roll with the punches, and that an unplanned day at the hospital can make you in awe of a 9 year who is turning into everything you want him to be.


STEP BACK. When my oldest was just under a year I decided I needed to do the laundry right that second. Not when he napped, not when he was in bed or securely fastened in his high chair. We headed out the back door and as I went to grab his little hand he stepped down and since I was balancing the laundry basket on my hip I missed. He fell head over heels down 6 wooden steps onto the landing. I will never EVER forget the sound and the way my stomach felt at that moment. There wasn't a scratch on him- confirming that children have their own guardian angels sometimes. All these years later I still have trouble taking a step back from what needs to be done right now.

What I HAVE learned is that laundry can wait. I don't need silence to unroll my mat. I don't need an hour to practice. I don't need calming music *turns up anything by Leona Lewis* I can do yoga with two of my boys happily building Legos in the next room. I can leave my house a mess. I can design for this season not next. I can leave my hectic life at the door to make space for those who took the time out of their day to come to class. I can let E play 15 more minutes at the McDonalds play place. I can take a STEP BACK. I can be there for any hand that needs held and still take care of myself.
Take a step back. Put the basket down. Crank some music and breathe. And if you fall...and fall you might....maybe quit running forward. STEP BACK.

REMIND. I was fired, cast in my first paid show, and got engaged in the same week. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I was fired sitting at a small table by the Dunkin Donuts of the Merchandise Mart from a job I had come to hate, but yet I was crying. Not crying, bawling. Tears streamed down my face and I kept having to grab another Dunkin napkin to wipe my nose as people tried not to stare. I had never been fired before. (I had also never been told while I was being fired 'you would really like who we hired for you'- yes- I thought it was odd too) I was an outside Salesperson for rugs. Expensive rugs. My first sale was a $17,000 rug...yes for the floor...that people were just going to walk on! I could barely afford my car payment at the time. I left the Mart that day not upset that I was fired, but upset that I had been rejected. I drove straight to meet @geoffreyacarlson where we toasted not having to work there anymore even though tears still stained my face. Today- 11 years later- the location of the Mart is a place that has brought me such great joy and accomplishment. The Dunkin isn't even there anymore but the reminder is. The reminder that things happen for a reason and a place of such disappointment may be a place of joy someday. I try to remind myself of how far I have come. Remind myself of the life I have created and remind myself that every day I will encounter people who may have just gotten fired, cast in a show, or engaged (or an emotional state comparable to). I REMIND myself that I could sell $17,000 rugs without heart or I can pour my WHOLE self into designing, teaching, and creating. REMIND yourself that your yesterday brought you to today and that's okay- even if it involves a snot nosed encounter sitting by a Dunkin Donuts.


#remindyourself #youvegotthis #yourefired #intention #dailymantra #ididntwanttoworkthereanyways

FIND THE QUIET. Listening to the sound that is farthest away... traffic, a movie in the other room, an aunt laughing her distinctive laugh? Bringing that awareness closer- An iPad playing a movie next to me on the couch. Monopoly being played at the table. Bringing my awareness INTO me. My breath. My heartbeat. My muscles settling after a long car ride to get here.

In a room full of holiday, and love, and noise- Find the Quiet. Like snow falling it isn't a sound. It's a feeling......and I wouldn't trade it for the world ♥️


#quiet #intentions #dailymantra #aroomfulofnoisylove #poems #yogapoem #meditatewhereyouare
#calmitdown #bemothoughts #mybrainisabusyplace

ANANDA. It means joy, bliss, or happiness. When I first started doing yoga and the teacher said to 'set an intention' I would always think about two things: patience and world peace. No, I am not joking. Both of them are very lofty goals. My fuse is fairly short and my boys would probably tell you that I yell a lot 🤣

At this very moment my middle son has a temperature of 102 degrees. Joe and the other two headed off to the Christmas concert without me where Eddie will sing for the first time at it. I always tear up. Christmas and my singing children are two of my pieces of 'ananda'.

Here I sit on the couch and in the bathroom I can hear my middle son sniffing and coughing and then a slow quiet sound. He is howling. Howling like a wolf as he lays in the water because he can hear the echo against the tub. ANANDA.

World peace and patience? Yes, those would be great to have but maybe to get there I need to find the little specific pieces of ANANDA along the way- my three sons at Halloween, double crochet stitches, an amazing husband who knows I lack patience, hot coffee with a touch of whole milk after class, the song Next to Me, thrifted $1.70 pink shoes, custom designs for a birthday girl, .....a slow quiet howl from a 7 year old in a bathtub.

What is your ANANDA?


#mantra #intentions #startsmall #sanskrit #thelittlethings #yogawriting #yigajournal #mantrawriting #intentionsetting #ananda #createandflow

POCKETS. The pocket in my brain for trivial pursuit facts has a hole in it....and I am okay with it. There is not a place where I can store random details about an NHL team or the height of various mountains. Instead, the little pockets of brain carry memories and thoughts and advice and stories that I can take out and hold when I need them:

Family Pocket- I once asked my dad what I wanted to do with my life and he responded with the best answer ever 'I don't know. What do I want to do with mine?'

Anti-anxiety Pocket- Watch your breath. This is a newly added favroite piece of calm repeated in class by @jfstemper on Sunday night at

Useful Pocket- My grandfather taught me to wrap my paint brush in a plastic bag if I was going to use it again the next day so I wouldn't constantly be washing and drying it.

I am always working on not filling some of the pockets so full- Regret, impatience, fear- and then sometimes I can move a memory from one to the other.

Regret to Acceptance Pocket- I have not spoken to my older sister on the phone or in person in over two years. We text and send messages and even mail gifts and cards every once in awhile. The sound of her voice is still strong in my ears, my heart holds a place for her. The 'I wish we' transformed into 'I love that we'.

Fill your pockets. Move the memories. Let the hole in a pocket not needed empty it.

I love pockets....whether in my brain or on a dress. I hope you fill all of your useful pockets today and pull the items out as you need them♥️.


#pockets #mantra #intention #thoughtoftheday
#sisters #yoga #yogawriting

HONOR. The first line of Amazing Grace caught in my throat. I knew it would. I averted my eyes away from the flag covered box, the aunts and uncles, my children, and the rest of the large group that gathered to honor him. I turned my gaze to the desert cemetery and took a breath. Next to me was a man who fought in two wars seeing sites I can't imagine and yet sang Oh What a Beautiful Morning as loud as he could to wake us up in the morning. He spoke with passion and conviction to his weekly Bible study class. He commanded respect thru his words and actions and loved his grandchildren unconditionally. He taught me to work hard, to love big, and to always ALWAYS honor who I was made to be. In his final years he stumbled and would lose his balance but I never once saw him not turn into a new 'dance move he had been working on' that ended with a cowboy boot stomp and a clap. By the second line of the song the words found their place. The first line was sadness that was stuck...the rest of the lines would honor a man I miss with my whole heart. May we find the song behind the lump. May we find the dance in the stumble. May we find the strength to sing after a war. May I remember to honor everything that has led us to this moment. It is where we were meant to be.


#honor #grandpa #amazinggrace #intentionsetting #intentions #mantra #ohwhatabeautifulmorning