Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is very different this year for many of US. In a strange way, it presents a unique opportunity for all of us to return and remember the root-essence of this beautiful holiday GRATEFULNESS
Instead of my words, I’d rather leave it to the poets, mystics, artists, healers & spiritual teachers and share with you a couple of my very favorite offerings that celebrate GRATITUDE & MIRACLES
Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been one of my very FAVORITE holidays! Growing up, the day consisted of food family football! There was prep the day before- getting out the traditional “orange plates” that were handed down from my great-grandmother and used only on Thanksgiving. (My brother Todd’s family now has those plates) My MOM made several homemade pumpkin & apple pies the day before and her homemade topping hard sauce which was lots of butter & sugar. The 25 pound turkey went in the oven first thing in the morning so dinner would be ready mid- afternoon after my brothers football games. My father carved the turkey. We said GRACE. Lots of tradition & special side dishes = LOTS of dishes to wash. The girls washed dishes and the boys watched football games on TV...endless football.
Up until a few days ago, I was very excited about Thanksgiving this year. I had a plane ticket to Florida. Along with several of my siblings- we had planned to rent a big house and have thanksgiving with my MOM. She’s had a challenging year health wise and recently had a heart procedure. At 87 years old, I know that her time with US is precious. With the uptick of this crazy pandemic looming, I made the decision to cancel my flight and stay home. As much as I’ll miss being with my Mom & family, I know it’s the right thing to do. I remind myself that the right decision is often not the easy choice.
Every now and then, we hear or read something that stops us in our tracks. I first heard this read out loud at a conference about 5 years ago. It popped up again recently and as I read it, I realized that I have a whole new relationship with LETTING GO!
The truth is I’m a recovering perfectionist (former control freak) BUT I know for sure that I’ve come a long way! Without a doubt, I have left scratch marks on many things in the process of letting go. We sometimes know that we must let go, but it’s not easy. It sometimes feels impossible. There’s been times when I struggled hanging on so tightly, all I could muster was a whisper/prayer “I am willing to let go..help me please!”
This morning I met a nice gentlemen hanging out with his grandchildren in Bay Head's Centennial Park. He mentioned he was renting for the first time in Bay Head and how it felt like he stepped back in time and landed into a Norman Rockwell painting of an idyllic beach vacation.
The truth is that LIFE goes on here at the Jersey Shore amidst this weird pandemic time.
A lot here looks the same but a lot feels very different. Bay Head has always seemed like a BUBBLE to me and it still feels like a safe little COCOON in this wild crazy world. I feel very lucky & blessed to live & work within a 1/2 mile radius and ride my bike to work everyday.
This summer I’m keeping things SIMPLE. We have returned to basics at Therapeutic Touch and are only offering MASSAGE.For now, we have taken all the SPA treatments and facials off the menu. It’s a time to keep it simple. Clean & Simple. We’re following ALL the CoVid regulations and guidelines. Check out the video here for more detail and quick tour when I got a massage 😊
My commitment to SIMPLICITY continues to deepen. I recently had to leave “the bubble” for a short trip to the north shore of Long Island. My dear friend Kathy from college lost her husband suddenly. NIKO sat on a log on his beautiful beach overlooking the Long Island Sound. Neighbors and fiends saw him everyday up there with his coffee as they they walked the dogs and enjoyed the beach in the morning. On this day, Niko finished his coffee, put the cup down and took his last breath. A neighbor saw him slumped over. It was a Cardiac arrest- he was gone in an instant. There are no warning signs...you don’t even know its coming. Niko was only 62 years old and had just retired two years ago. He was a brilliant and very dedicated research scientist/engineer with a PhD. He worked very hard for long time. Like many of us, he and Kathy had lots of dreams for the future.
Niko sadly left his family & friends way too soon. Kathy shared a beautiful heart felt eulogy about their last day together and the GIFT he left behind. They had been quarantining at home with their 23 year old daughter Anna and hadn’t left “their bubble” in over four months. On that last day before he died, Kathy’s sister and husband came out for the day from NYC. Niko was very excited to have family and company for the first time in months. As they got ready & prepared GREEK food that morning, he said “KATERINA the sun is shining, we have family coming, the pool is clean, the gardens look beautiful. Lets have a wonderful day!” To which they both locked eyes and agreed...”GAME ON! It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY!”
Kathy shared with us how the whole day was MAGICAL. From start to finish, the day was filled with sunshine, conversation, laughter, wine, good GREEK food, swimming, napping, and lots of GRATITUDE!
It sounds so cliche but I I returned from Long Island and Nikos funeral INSPIRED & committed to living each day as if it’s my last. What does that mean? It means I’m wanting to REACH for more ZEST. Be more present. Not dwell on the past. Let go of worrying about the future.
The bottom line is that no one knows how much TIME we have. All we have is NOW. Hard as it is...don’t make a habit of geting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. It’s hard to know up from down these days. I don’t know 'bout you but it seems as though this crazy upside down world is turning most of us inside out. Hang in there. Reach out. Stay connected. Be real. Stay present.
NOW is ALL WE HAVE. BE GRATEFUL.
My heart is filled with JOY as we reopen Therapeutic Touch. It's been such an incredible time for ALL OF US and I wanted to share some of the BIG CHANGES we have going on here.
WHO KNEW when I started the 2020 NEW YEAR off with my family in Southern California that life as I knew it was about to radically change.
To make a very long story short, for several years I’ve been wanting to SIMPLIFY MY LIFE which included downsizing Therapeutic Touch. On New Year's Eve day, I notified my landlord that I would NOT be extending my lease and moving out by 3/31/20.
Have you ever made a BIG decision that you know is right BUT it’s still really hard and very scary?
I knew for sure that it was time to LET GO & SIMPLIFY but I still didn’t know what the other side of letting go would look like. IMAGINE THAT....a recovering control freak jumping off a cliff not sure if I would CRASH, BURN, or FLY!
I went to bed that night praying for PEACE OF MIND & GUIDANCE hoping it would all somehow work out.
When I woke up January 1st, NEW YEARS DAY, I declared that I was hereby RESIGNING AS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE UNIVERSE! 💪🏼
Not totally sure what that meant, but yep I knew I had to completely LET GO....It was time to SURRENDER🌟TRUST🌟TURN IT OVER🌟WORRYING NOT ALLOWED🌟(HOLY SH*T what the HELL did I just do?)
I thought I had a plan but all I can say is that it ALL FELL APART and then somehow CAME TOGETHER in such a way that I could have never imagined.
We were in the process of getting permits for building walls, electric, and plumbing for the place we thought we were moving to, when the Bay Head Municipal Office was shutting down due to COVID. Two weeks turned into three months...
Looking back, I recognize synchronicity, serendipity, and the grace of GOD at work all along. A series of many delays and weird things happening that held things up which perhaps were a blessing in disguise. Have you heard the definition for coincidences....GOD’S way of remaining anonymous!
Everything fell apart & somehow came together. Feels like a MIRACLE to have landed on my feet in a place I hadn’t planned on.
We’re re-opening in a kinda new space...downstairs at 92 Bridge Ave (directly across from the BH Cheese shop) It’s not completely new because we’ve had our upstairs ANNEX overlooking TwilightLake since 1999 but we always kept it a BIG secret so people wouldn’t get confused thinking we moved. FOR NOW HERE WE ARE! It’s a month-to-month deal and honestly that feels PERFECT right NOW.
LIVING DAY TO DAY FEELS REQUIRED & ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!
It feels like a gift when we move from the dark side of the moon to a sunnier place. I still don’t know what the future holds but that’s okay. I do know that CHANGE is inevitable. It’s an illusion to believe that we have total control over our lives. Of course, some things we do control AND a lot we don’t and that’s okay.
Buddhist nun, Pema Chodren wrote a book called “WHEN THINGS FALL APART”. I started re-reading it and couldn’t get past the first chapter “Intimacy with Fear.”I read that chapter every single day the first week of quarantine. She states that suffering occurs when we are attached to life and things staying the same. But she says that things come together and then they fall apart. Things fall apart and then they come together. Over & over...that’s life. She says in chapter one, FREEDOM comes when we’re able to be present and allow all of our feelings including fear and allowing life to unfold. We’re free when we can welcome EVERYTHING.
Hang in there... take extra good care of yourself! I believe that we can do hard things...I know we can and we will. We’re not alone...We’re all in this one together!
It’s hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is here and we’re kicking off the summer season at the Jersey Shore with so many changes. I pinch myself that I’m not dreaming. While most of us thought this quarantine time would be a short sprint, its turning into a grueling marathon. I remind myself of every marathon runner I’ve ever spoken to mentioning “hitting the wall,” the moment when you want to give up but push through and something mysteriously clicks and you get a “second wind.” I hope you’re surrounded by family and friends near and far that will help carry you through to the finish line. The truth is we’re all in this one together. My hope and prayer is that we continue to dig deep and persevere. Somehow I know we’re not alone and we will get through this!
I’m thrilled that we got the green light for BEACH YOGA and start this weekend. Come join us...we’ll be keeping social distance during class on the beach and also while coming off and on the beach. We’re adapting to some minor changes and ask for exact change and VENMO is available. I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing all our Howe Street YOGI friends.
Stay tuned for news about Therapeutic Touch reopening but looks like it’ll be awhile before it’s safe to resume giving and/or receiving massages. This is hard for all of us but I know and trust we have the capability to be resilient.
Our world has changed....this is for sure. Last weekend Timothy Shriver hosted “CALL TO UNITE,” a 24 hour online telethon with over 200 thought leaders, spiritual teachers, artists and healers. I caught the first couple hours and my big takeaway was hearing Oprah and Eckert Tolle talk about our present crisis as an opportunity to see the world differently and to unite. It’s a global reset.
For me, the last few months have been a time of deep reflection. It’s as if the Universe/God has sent us ALL to our rooms for a “time out.” We’re all being forced to stay home-like it or not. It reminds me of my rebellious teenage years and getting in trouble- being punished- grounded, not allowed outside or to see my friends. It was painful and grueling then, and it’s been grueling and challenging now to say the least. At times, it’s felt extremely difficult and very scarey. We all like to feel we have a certain level of control over our lives. And when we don’t, all HELL can break loose.
Has anyone else been feeling way out of their comfort zone lately? Yep, me too!
I love the book “Emotional Equations” by Chip Conley. In it, he presents our emotions with a brilliant equational concept that helps to explain how and why we feel the way we do.
I’m reminded of and love his emotional equation for Anxiety....
ANXIETY = UNCERTAINTY x POWERLESSNESS
Doesn’t that help explain why we’re all feeling a little (or maybe a lot) anxious? Especially if we’re taking in and watching too much news. Lots of uncertainty and a feeling of powerless. So of course we feel anxious.
So how can we navigate and get through this time?
I’m being Uber-present to how I feel and being extra kind to myself these days.
I’m choosing to not live on auto-pilot right now. Hopefully not anymore.
I’m giving myself a pass to not have to strive for perfection anymore.
I’m done with that.
I’m reaching out to stay connected and ask for HELP when I need it.
I’m choosing to listen more to the inside than listening to the news/media.
I’m giving myself quiet time that allows me to hear the whispers of my soul. To listen to my gut and to follow my heart.
I’m choosing GRACE & GRIT.
I’m asking myself...
How can I best use this time?
How can I uplevel my life?
How can I see the world differently?
I hope you’ll join me in uniting, coming together and seeing the world differently.
In the Chinese language, there are two symbols/characters that are brought together to create the word CRISIS....one is DANGER & the other is OPPORTUNITY.
That’s where we are my friends, and I hope you’ll join me in using this time of crisis as an opportunity to REBIRTH a NEW WORLD. A REBIRTH for YOURSELF & HUMANITY.
I’m sharing a short video with a very important message I received from GRANNY, a very wise ORCA. Maybe it was a coincidence how and where this came but I know without a doubt that coincidence is just God’s way of remaining anonymous, and I know I have to share this urgent and beautiful message with everyone.
Sending LOVE & LIGHT,
We’re half way through winter already and I’m fully surrendered to the much slower pace that comes from living in a beach community. It’s time again to welcome the quiet, the gray days and all the open space and leisure time winter brings.
I was introduced to Chinese Medicine in the mid 80’s and loved the way it incorporated Nature and living in tune and in rhythm with the four seasons. But I must admit, it’s taken me decades to fully embrace the YIN energy of winter. That Yin energy is slow, passive, soft, dark, female, intuitive.
Its a challenge in our modern lives to shift into YIN mode and to move over to the slow lane. But we risk getting out of balance if we always stay in YANG mode a.k.a. living life in the fast lane. So in order to stay healthy, I surrender to winter and I’m quietly happy to slow down and welcome my favorite yin things...
After re-reading an old favorite, I’m sharing a poem from:
“You Can Heal Your Life”
by Louise Hay
Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of LOVE, I now allow this love to flow to the surface- it fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to be multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give-the supply is endless. The use of love makes me feel good. It is an expression of my inner joy. I love myself; therefore, I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing food and beverages. I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy. I love myself; therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it. I love myself; therefore, I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people whom I love and who love me, and earning a good income. I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people-for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am. I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free. I love myself; therefore, I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure-for I am a beloved child of the Universe, and the Universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more.
AND SO IT IS!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Be good to yourself!
Wishing you PEACE & LOVE
Holiday greetings from the Jersey Shore! 🎄
I bundled up this morning to get outside for some fresh air, take a walk on the boardwalk and beach to gather some positive energy to take into the day.
Take a look at our lovely HOWE STREET BEACH all decked out for Christmas. This is a labor of love every year from a local elf (📸 Thank you John McCabe)
Even though the beach was quiet and empty, it felt festive. There was a joyous feeling of celebration in the air welcoming any and all. There’s even a sharpie pen left on the sidewalk to sign a painted seashell and offer up a wish. With imagination and intention, a sense of beauty and festivity was created. Its these simple things that can potentially inSPIRE and LIGHT us up and even create a sense of community and belonging.
Isn’t that what the world needs more of....
a place to unite and come together.
Without a doubt, this can be a hard time of year for many. The Holidays bring it all. You’re not alone if you’re feeling overstimulated and pushed and pulled in all directions. There’s the hustle and bustle YANG energy of the season with so much to do pulling us outwardly and simultaneously we’re feeling the natural pull of the winter YIN energy calling us inward.
That’s the YIN & YANG of the holidays. So knock yourself out being crazy busy to exhaustion and then allow yourself to stay in your jammies all day, napping and chilling watching Netflix or Hallmark movies.
This holiday season give yourself permission to be human.
Do what you need to do. Let yourself feel how you feel. Make room for it all.
I found this inspiring LOVE note below in an antique store in Point Pleasant Beach back in the 1980’s....it’s still one of my favorites and I love sharing it this time of year.
This holiday season, Mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer. Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise. Find the time.
Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy.
Listen. Apologize if you were wrong.
Try to understand. Flout envy.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind.
Be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice.
Decry complacency. Express your gratitude.
Go to church. Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonder of the earth.
Speak your love. Speak it again.
Speak it still once again.
Much LOVE & Peace to ALL!