ripples in existence

I’m typing this minutes after just witnessing a bad auto accident on the side of Interstate 5…we were going northbound and saw a coach bus askew on the opposite side of the highway…upright but definitely off-course. as we crawled by in holiday traffic, we approached another car in the middle of the median and several police vehicles. what we quickly realized was a brand new emergency situation, maybe five minutes prior…

My husband was driving and was able to see further than I could from the passenger seat. he said, “uh oh, this is fresh, there’s a person on the ground.” As I saw the car in the median I said, “He probably got tossed from the looks of it."

I couldn’t expect my reaction as within seconds the scene unfolded...

Three injured people, their bodies spilled across the grassy median. Two young ladies in shorts, laying on their sides in the shadow of their smashed car. One man, his broad bare chest exposed, actively receiving CPR.


“Oh that car is SMASHED. I hope they’re okay. 

These poor people... I'm sending healing love, protection, blessings.”


Quickly I felt that it was NOT enough to just mumble a prayer as we passed. I needed to FOCUS and really send my ENERGY to those people. 

"oh my gosh they’re doing CPR on him. oh my gosh," it’s really bad!"

I didn’t expect to see how HARD the rescuer was pounding on the man's chest. Or how quickly my adrenaline, attention, breath, and tone of voice escalated. I didn’t expect to see vivid future dreams of myself having to resuscitate a fitness client, how much stress and intensity I would feel at that moment, fully responsible. I saw myself immediately at the recent CPR and first aid course I took, felt IMMEDIATE a shift in my perspective of how important that piece of paper was. I was RESPONS-able when no one else might be. I felt the plastic chest of my dummy bouncing around with an automatically buoyant rib cage from my memory. I didn’t expect to feel the sternum crack under my fists as I imagined pounding my energy into saving "a real person.


"oh wow, its four people, they’re all ejected... 

i’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!

oh my god its so bad, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry..."


i could feel my neck, chest, and stomach seize in tension

i wept;  i cried out “I’m so sorry” as tears poured

i couldn’t speak, and i couldn’t see the accident anymore.

i could only feel. heartache. worry. stress. responsibility.


i thought about how much i was impacted by this passing scene. that i might dwell on these thoughts, these emotions and these bodily imprints for hours, days even weeks.

i thought about the traffic on our side of the highway, how others were witness to what i'd just seen. maybe they would care, maybe they wouldn’t.

i thought again about the victims. 

i’m so sorry, will you survive? will you start to recall this very moment in time in many hours if you’re alive…will you become a memory of so many others? 

i thought about the rescuer i had seen saving the man’s life. his blue gloves reminded me he probably knew what he was doing. how intense his energy must be, how strong he must be, how exhausting this day will feel. i thought about my friend who’s an EMT, how he never really talks about his job and how grateful i am for his dedication, his care, his commitment to saving lives…

i thought about the Greyhound bus, the driver and if she was injured or not. i thought about all the people inside that bus, i felt their fear, shock and frustration as they now sit on the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere on a hot, sunny day in Central California. memorial day…how will this affect their plans? who’s babies will be crying for them when they’re late coming home? what consequences will incur with regards to people's fear, their insurance policies, their pillow talk late at night with their beloved? who’s relatives will be worried when they hear there’s been an accident..."oh my gosh are you okay?

i felt all of their subtle energies, rippling out from the bus, from the smashed up car, from the rescuer’s labored breathing to my own shrieking cries. i felt a tidal wave of ripples from all the passersby on the road and even ancient reverberations from other accidents, deaths, shifts in plans, moments in time, individual decisions, even solitary breaths. i felt every single vibration.

and, as i held my heart, slowed my breath, and stepped back from my thoughts, i witnessed the ripple of impact from that very moment expanding, like a plume of smoke. i firmly connected my mind and my heart to the heart of the man receiving CPR. that my loving kindness and energy would sustain him, just for a few more seconds. that he might be able to use my energy, connect to it, heal with it. i felt my chest swell, i literally felt my breath stop, i felt my hands upon my chest not as my own, but as gloved, capable hands…

i recognized that this moment is sketched in eternity, and also i watched it dissolve and pass. i knew, during that moment, without a wavering doubt, that each and every one of us here and now is connected. that every single event, however major or minor, impacts every other event, person, thing and action around us. that we need to be, and are capable of being, responsible, aware and grateful for every moment, for every thing and all things. we have NO idea how far and wide the ripples might travel that we cast through our thoughts, our actions, our reactions...

i took a huge breath and knew something had shifted. i opened my eyes. i saw two ambulances rushing down the highway. just breathe…help is on the way. 

may you be AWARE. may you know that you are not ALONE. may you make every ACTION consciously, striving to create positive or energetically uplifting impact in your life. may you pause, frequently, to notice how CONNECTED you are, how much is SACRED, how POWERFUL and RESPONSEable you are. 

in memory,




Strong Silence

Lumsden Campground

[just inside Yosemite Nat’l Forest]


I bathed in the river this morning, the cold, rushing water my baptism. Skin, soles, and spirit refreshed, I feel energized and washed clean of all they held from yesterday’s sleep.

Now as I drink my morning brew, I listen to the roar of this river's mighty flow. It is far from silence, which I crave after being in the city for weeks on end. This sound bath is a different kind…vibrating continuously and stirring up every single cell in my body.

We’ve become weekend warriors, my beloved and I. He battles diligently in the office all week until that god sent golden Friday finally arrives, when we already have one foot out the door. Our truck stays mostly packed with overnight essentials (clean underwear, Mexican ponchos, toilet paper, sunflower seeds, a jug of fresh water, jackets, good maps, and headlamps), and we transform from urban foot soldiers carrying the dreams and burdens of corporate America into wild warriors of the frontier, searching for solitude, adventure, and solace.

The coffee is strong, the sun is brilliant, and my soul is never as happy as it is on these silent mountain mornings.


5 Suggestions for Healthful Holidays

The holidays don't "stress me out" anymore. Do they stress you out? I've created a certain amount of stability in my life by integrating yoga, movement, and compassion into my daily practices, which helps me reduce my reactivity and maintain a sense of groundedness. I don't freak out about hosting extravagant dinners, setting busy social agendas, overindulging in decadent treats or binge-purchasing gifts for everyone in my network. I actually don't do most of those things anymore, but if I do, I certainly try to enjoy my experience!

What DOES stress me out is seeing other people get super stressed out by the holidays—a time when really, we should all try to slow down and enjoy all these beautiful facets. I've compiled five simple suggestions for you to consider as you approach this holiday season. May these ideas keep you happy, healthful and less stressed this year.

1) Plan your work, work your plan—set an intention for your fitness/wellness that seems reasonable through the holidays, and do your best to stick to it. Plan out a few fitness classes in advance. Instead of taking on new goals like marathon training or new studio memberships, keep things simple and make time to move your body every day.

2) Have compassion WHEN things change—being active means that its a part of your life. Life changes ALL the time, so workouts and schedules are likely to change too! Don't be too attached (or hard on yourself) if you miss a training day or plans change. It's all good, and you might need the rest anyway!

3) Curiosity feeds consistency—take advantage of holiday travels, and time off to get curious! Visiting family in a new city? Explore the neighborhood by taking a long walk together. Open your eyes and notice more things. Have a full agenda of evening parties? Try planning early morning workouts or practices if you normally fit them in after work. 

4) Leave a little space— this applies to your plate of food, your social agenda, the bags you pack for travel and especially the 24 hours you have of each day. Leave a little space empty, unfilled, unplanned, clear and open. You can always fill it up with (insert _____ food, clothes, parties, coffee dates, glasses of wine, every hour of every day) but this leaves room for spontaneity, for clearing your head, and for actually slowing down enough to be p-r-e-s-e-n-t. 

5) Get outside! Run, hike, bike, walk, play frisbee, skip down the street, go window shopping even if its a blizzard, shovel snow, climb rocks, lay beneath trees, practice yoga on your patio. Try to spend 30 minutes outside everyday—your body AND your holiday spirit will thank you.