The holidays can be a magical and wonderful time, full of food, family and togetherness. They can also be a time when we face a lot of stress, anxiety or sadness over food, family and togetherness. :) With the potential for so many triggers, it can be easy to let our spiritual practice fall by the wayside. One triggering comment from a family member or negative ego thought can easily take us out if we’re not careful. Not to worry! I’m here to arm you with four simple tools to help you stay calm and centered this Thanksgiving holiday.



1. Give gratitude. Let’s face it, the holidays are a time when many of us can feel really sad or lonely, and it can be easy to allow that sadness to overshadow all of the good in our lives. I’m not suggesting we ignore those feelings — they certainly warrant some compassionate exploration. However, it doesn’t do us any good to wallow in that space. By focusing on what is good in your life, you put out more positive vibes into the world to literally create and attract more good. Plain and simple. Start your morning by sitting down with a hot cup of coffee or tea and listing 10 things you can feel truly grateful for. Got more than ten? Fabulous. Keep going with it! Let your heart feel full.

2. Set your intention. While you’ve got your journal out ;) , take an extra moment or two to set an intention for the day. Ask yourself, “What kind of person do I want to be today?” Then write that down in the present tense. For example: Today I choose to be kind, loving and joyful. By putting your intention in writing, you are making a powerful commitment to a different way of being. Whenever you feel yourself getting triggered, simply repeat your intention and bring yourself back home.

3. Let go of the human drama. Sometimes (ok, a lot of times) there can more friction than fun at family gatherings. We’ve all experienced this. In these situations, when we have a lot of different personalities coming together and the potential for conflict is high, it’s so important to remember that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We all have our own wounds and triggers that cause us to act or behave in ways that are less than our best. The tool here is to witness everyone (including yourself) through the lens of compassion. If you feel yourself being triggered, take a deep breath. Then mentally step back and ask yourself, “What is the deeper issue here?” For example, maybe your mom snaps at you and you know she’s just stressed about preparing Thanksgiving meal for a gazillion people. Instead of firing back, kindly ask what you can do to help. We can’t control how people behave towards us but we can control our reaction. If you need some extra help, say this prayer: Please help me see this with compassion or love. If you’re feeling extra triggered, simply remove yourself from the person or situation for a few minutes (or longer) if you need. Responding in attack will only make you feel worse in the end.

4. Be present. Too often, we’re so caught up in worrying about the future or thinking about the past that we are unable to appreciate what’s right in front of us. Being present opens you up to fully and completely experience and enjoy the holiday. The number one thing you can do to set the stage for a mindset of presence for the day is to meditate first thing in the morning. After you set your intention, close your eyes, center into your body and breathe deeply. Imagine yourself going through your day feeling calm and centered, having loving interactions with everyone you encounter. If you’re new to meditation, it may help you to focus on mentally repeating your intention. You really only need to do this for about 5 minutes to create a huge impact. Then, throughout the day check in with yourself. Whenever you notice that you’re feeling anxious or distracted, use this simple prayer to bring yourself back: Thank you for helping me stay present and grounded. Don’t be afraid to head out for a solo walk or even sneak away to the bathroom for a quick meditation if you need a reset. I use this trick all the time. ;)

I truly hope these tools serve you! Wishing you a calm, centered and peaceful holiday!




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My only purpose is to give love and be love.  

This has been my mantra for the past several months. Whenever I have a decision to make, whenever I find myself faced with fear, feeling triggered by a specific situation or worried over whether my life is moving in the “right” direction, I’ll repeat this mantra to myself.

My only purpose is to give love and be love. 

A little over two and a half years ago, I made a commitment to love. I made a commitment to digging deep and decluttering everything in my life that is not aligned with love. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. It’s a constant, ongoing process. It’s the work of my life.

No, I’m not perfect (nor do I expect I’ll ever be). I still struggle (daily) with fear, judgement, worry — all of it. But I brush myself off, I forgive, and most importantly I keep moving forward because I am deeply, and unwaveringly committed to love.  For me, love = God = enlightenment = peace and happiness. Sounds pretty amazing, right?


Making love a daily practice: Well that sounds simple enough, and it is at times. But sometimes it can actually be quite difficult — like when we’re feeling triggered, for example. It can be easy to lash out when we feel hurt or attacked. But the more we practice giving love the easier it becomes.

So how do we practice? By serving up love like it’s a full time job! By committing to love on a moment to moment basis.

Some suggestions: Be kind. Really listen to people when they’re talking. Look people in the eye. Hug your Trader Joe’s grocer. (I do. And while we’re at it, give genuine hugs —- the kind where you can actually feel your heart connect with another human being’s. None of these one-armed, half-a$$ed hugs. Ain’t nobody got time for that.) Give people the benefit of the doubt. Forgive them when they make mistakes. Forgive them, even when they’ve hurt you. Let go of grudges and past pain. Choose to see only the love that was given, because that is all that is real.

How do we embody love? By stripping away the barriers to love’s presence one by one. A Course in Miracles says, “The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.” Um, yes please. Gimme some of that.

Whether the Course is your jam or it’s some other spiritual text or practice that lights you up, it all boils down to the same idea: when you strip away your barriers, walls and false identities you become more of who you really are, which is love.

Take time to get to know yourself. Meditate. Work on healing your own wounds. Recognize when you’re being triggered and pause before you react. Purify the thoughts and beliefs that are coming in and out of your mind on a daily basis. Take the necessary steps to become an emotionally mature and responsible human being. (I know, I’m preaching to my choir here. :) ) The more you strip away and become more of who you really are, the more love you can give and the more that love can serve the world.

Did this post strike a chord? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment below!



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