Meditation Made Easy with 10 Simple Steps

Want more peace? Get more presence. 10 Simple Steps to Help You Get Started.


Presence is good, but control is even better.  How you get control (over your mind) is coming into the present moment and diverting your thoughts into the ether so you can rest the mind – just for a bit.

The science is in and it’s proving that meditation has many health benefits, reduces stress and provides an overall sense of peace. It’s the cheapest way to find serenity and yet so many people feel as if it’s this elusive thing that you can’t find or afford.

All you need to get started is 5 minutes. Look at your calendar and see where you can fit in 5 minutes. Preferably 10. It will take you a couple of minutes to get settled in a chair, seated against a wall or lying down on your back. You do not have to sit up in a “cross-legged” position to meditate. You can sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor OR you can lie down on your back and relax. Bring a timer – I use my phone timer.

  1.  Find your quiet place, where you can be undisturbed (by anything or anyone) for 10 minutes. Set your  timer for 10 minutes.
  2.  Get into your comfortable position either on a chair, back and seat against a wall or lying down.
  3.  Lay your hands on your belly or by your side.
  4.  Bring your awareness to your breath. Don’t even deepen it…just raise your level of awareness and notice  your breath. Notice the rise and fall of your belly. Notice the cool air entering the nostrils and the warm air  exiting. Feel your bodily sensations as you notice your breath.
  5.  Allow your shoulders to relax and release tension consciously through your exhales.
  6.  Let go of any expectations…just continue to breathe and enjoy the quietness/solitude.
  7.  When your timer goes off, notice how you are feeling and ask yourself, was that long enough?
  8.  Look at your calendar and find another 10-15 minutes when you can repeat the above process.
  9.  Repeat the process at least 2 more times. See if you crave more time in quietude or less.  I usually crave  more.
  10.  Work your way up to 30 minutes, just focusing on the breath. There are no tricks…when you pay attention to the breath, you are less likely to focus on your thoughts. As you notice your thoughts, notice them, then get back to breathing. Do not judge your thoughts or place any emphasis on them. Commit to being with your breath.

That’s it. You set aside some time, give it a go and see how it feels. It will never be bad for you. It might be hard for you to be still. You might really hate it (I doubt it). You might really love it. It could change your life and bring you more peace, serenity, balance, kindness, patience, joy, fortitude, love and all kinds of good things. And who doesn’t want more of those things? Harmony is what I’m going for – in all relationships – and meditation helps me have more of that. This is a mind-body practice/tool that can help you find more inner peace.

I hope this helps you realize how simple this process really is. There are many ways to meditate, but this is the simplest way to get started. If you like it, then buy yourself a book on meditation and learn all the different techniques, but for now, just give it a try!

Post a comment here if you have tried meditation and either like it, love it or hate it.



10 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

beat holiday stressYou can choose to feel good and be happy throughout the holiday season!

What makes you think this time of year is stressful? Could it be past holiday seasons where you really did feel the weight of the extra activity? Do you feel overwhelmed with work, kids AND shopping/entertaining? Are you worried about money? Do you feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all done? Before I get into 10 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress, check out this home-based business opportunity for helping you attain More Free Time!

I believe that our attitudes make a huge difference in how each day unfolds before us. This means that setting the intention for a smooth holiday season will be your first step in realizing a smooth holiday season! Let’s think more about managing our stress through 10 Simple Ways that we can take care of ourselves during the upcoming holidays.

    1.  Plan ahead.  Make lists of people you will be entertaining or buying gifts for. Start shopping early and reduce the last-minute store runs that add stress to your life.
    2. Look at pretty things.  I recently found some beautiful cards from GraceScapes Designs…hand-made note cards made by my friend Linda. She did all the photography herself and used phone applications to enhance some of the cards. They turned out so beautiful I had to buy some as a gift and a few for myself. I enjoy looking at her pretty cards as I enjoy looking at the full moon, a gorgeous sunset or pretty pictures from around the world. Looking at pretty things makes me happy and calms my spirit.
    3. Relax and Read. Find a quiet place in your house and keep your favorite books stacked up. Choose a 15-30 minute time block, set your alarm and read for your allotted time. Allow yourself to be absorbed in your book and enjoy soaking in a story or some knew knowledge that will enrich your life.
    4. Take a long walk. I’m talking about a long slow journey. Set out to enjoy the scenery, clear your mind and perhaps meditate on something positive. This would be a 2-5 mile trek that gives you enough time to get away from the rat race and enjoy just being you.
    5. Restore and renew with a restful focused yoga class. The two that come to mind are Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra. I’m not a huge fan of Yin Yoga, but if you prefer that, go for it. Restorative and Nidra are designed to help you calm your nervous system and slow down the brain waves to allow for natural healing in mind and body.
    6. Play soothing music. I love Hilary Stagg who created beautiful music with the harp. You can see pretty things AND listen to soothing music here:

7.  Start cleaning now. Take one room at a time and organize or clean until it’s done. Move onto the next room. Or take one cleaning action for one day and make that your only cleaning activity. One day could be mopping the floors. The next day vacuuming. Dust on the third day. De-clutter on day four. You get the picture. Try not to leave all your cleaning for one day or for the weekend. This will free up your mind and allow you to make room for restful or joyful activities. One thing I have done is hire someone to help me clean and organize when a room or closet becomes too overwhelming for me. It’s worth the money and will free up your mind big time!
8. Meditate 10-15 minutes a day. Set your alarm and sit for your allotted time. Keep your awareness on your breath, lengthening and listening to help clear your mind. As you receive thoughts, move back to your breath. Choose a mantra if you want, but focusing on the breath is easy and soothing.
9. Get into nature. Go to a park, forest, river, lake, stream or any place away from the city. City life is great, but it’s good to get out and connect with nature. It’s so healing. Plan a weekend away or even a local picnic day. Take a book or take pictures!
10. Plan some fun outings. Look at your local calendar of events and see what’s happening. Perhaps you want to see a holiday show or check out some new bands in town. Girls night out with happy hour and appetizers is always fun. An alternative would be to plan a wine tasting party or a pot luck with your friends. Conversation and laughter is such a great healer. Make your holiday season fun with the people you enjoy the most.

I always recommend using essential oils during the holidays. Diffuse them into the air to make your house smell great and assist your mind in releasing any anxiety. Add some to your unscented lotion to create a unique aroma and natural perfume. Add to your holiday food such as Peppermint or Cinnamon in your brownies.

Not all oils are created equal. To get 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, CLICK HERE or fill out the form below:



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How to Lose Weight – 5 Simple Tips for Healthier Eating

save calories by cutting this out...bread and potatoesIt all comes down to what you really want.

For me, I want FREEDOM.  Freedom to move quickly, bend over, touch my toes, go upside down and do practical chores like making the bed without hurting my back. I want to be free from disease and over toxicity and I want to have energy. So before you read the rest of this and you think that you only want to lose some weight, please give your reason for losing it some more thought.

So many people say they want to lose weight, but they don’t really want to change their habits.  I’m talking about the bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle so many of us have grown accustomed to.  I love to eat…just ask anyone who knows me. But I’ve learned to trade certain things that I don’t need for the things that I really crave.

See the picture above?  That plate of food might look like it’s missing something – which it is – the food that I actually ate.  What’s on the plate is what I left behind.  I left behind half the carbs this dish offered.  I ordered an egg sandwich with bacon and avocado, some cheese and arugula.  The bottom half of the bun was pretty small, so I ate that along with the rest of the sandwich. After one cup of coffee, a glass of orange juice and my sandwich, I was pretty full.  I didn’t need the bun and potatoes that would only make me more full and add over 100 calories to my meal.

Here’s the trick…either cut your meals in half or eat only the things that are going to fill you up with nutrition but not extra calories. Here are some ideas for you to consider if you really want to lose weight – for good.  It requires thinking a little differently about food consumption, how much you really need and how to be satisfied in the long run. But it’s habitual…keep it up so it becomes part of how you live.

Five simple tips to move towards your goal of dropping those unwanted pounds.

Tip #1:  Order half of what you normally order when you go out to a restaurant.  My husband and I do this all the time.  The question comes up at almost every restaurant meal we encounter…”do you want to split something?” Usually, we can agree on what we both like and then share that meal. If one of us is hungrier than the other, we order an extra salad or side to go with the meal.  My daughter and I do this also. We often share fajitas because there’s usually so much food and it’s more than enough to feed the both of us. We might also share an appetizer, so it’s not like we are starving ourselves. One of the benefits of doing this is saving a bunch of money. It has gotten so expensive to eat out and I always feel good about spending half of what we would normally spend on two full meals AND drinks!

Tip #2:  Eat only the most nutritious part of the meal and leave the junk food behind. This would include the top of a bun, any extra bread or toast, potatoes, french fries or other side that would mainly just fill you up and make you fatter.  (I love French Toast, but never order it because it is so full of carbs and sugar.)  Once in a blue moon I will have one piece if it’s part of a buffet or something. Fill up on the healthier stuff like salad, vegetables and protein.

Tip #3:  Skip dessert. My husband and I NEVER order dessert – unless we are on a cruise or we get one for free and I just have to have it because it’s creme brulee or something equally as delicious. Stash up on dark chocolate or fruit and yogurt for when you get home and have your dessert there. That will also save you money. If you are someone who must have sweets or dessert, try to eat lean protein for dinner and a salad – no extra carbs.

Tip #4:  Drink one extra glass of water per day than you are now.  I’m not telling you to drink 6-8 glasses a day; however, you’re probably not drinking enough as it is.  This tip includes eliminating soda from your diet almost completely.  Treat yourself once in a while until you realize how bad this is for you and you just don’t want it anymore.

Tip #5:  Move more. You knew that was coming, right? You should move well and by that I mean doing physical activities that you enjoy. Join a softball team, take a yoga class, walk, run, hike, go to the gym, rock climb, go dancing…whatever it is you enjoy doing…just make more time to do it.  Your body needs to eliminate waste and toxins from the body and it needs your help. As you get older, the body has a harder time doing all this, so you must prepare for this time and get moving now.

I have been able to feel physically free and healthy by following the tips above. I’m not perfect at this. Sometimes I struggle with what I want to have versus what I know I should have. I enjoy certain “bad foods” and mainly I just keep those at a minimum so I can enjoy the things I really want to have – like chocolate and certain breads. Know that you are not alone in your desire to have what you want. We all want what we want, but in the end…it’s what we REALLY want that matters.  What do you really want?

Self-Care Couple Reveals Secret to Inner Peace and Bliss


You don’t know people until you talk to them.

It has been a blessing to me that Byron and Gwen Holler have been attending my yoga nidra classes for a couple of years.

It wasn’t until recently that we had time to strike up a conversation. I thought it was very cool that this couple would attend yoga nidra regularly. Many students do come often. They discover the very tangible benefits of conscious deep sleep – the ability to “let go” and connect with the healing core of their being. 

Yoga nidra is spiritual, physical and practical. It’s a guided meditation that offers great healing powers. We don’t move. In fact, we remain as still as possible while journeying through the body until we are in the space of “turiya”, what the ancient yogi’s call pure consciousness…fully present, yet in deep rest. There are many positive effects from a yoga nidra practice.  i.e., physical and emotional healing, better awareness, a relaxed and calm disposition, deeper rest and more energy to name a few.

Often after attending yoga nidra, Byron and Gwen will stay for the next class, a level one yoga class designed to engage people in the fundamentals of yoga. It occurred to me that it was kind of special that they would stay for another hour or so to expand their practice and even expend their energy after a nidra session.







One day recently, we started talking. They told me that they not only do yoga often, but also have a massage every other week. Both of them!  Together!  In fact, they’ve been having massage therapy for 20 years. It started as once per month and now they have it every other week. Byron eventually built a couple of massage tables, so they often massage each other on the perfect apparatus.  

When I learned about this serious commitment to self-care, I had to ask them some other questions to see how they had arrived at this point.

Byron and Gwen just celebrated 30 years of marriage. To celebrate, they are going to Italy in October for a yoga retreat.  🙂

It was Gwen who first started a yoga practice and Byron followed several years later. Gwen has scoliosis and from the time she was young, suffered with back problems and a lot of pain. She learned early on that certain physical movements such as exercise were helpful in the management of her pain, so she has always stayed active.

She started practicing yoga 15 years ago at her office and found that it helped her back and gave her some peace. 

Byron had his own health issues.  He has been a house renovator as a master carpenter and master cabinet maker since the early 70s. He suffered a lot of injuries. In addition, he contracted Lymes disease and dealt with chronic fatigue.  Back in the 70s, Byron practiced Transcendental Meditation to cope with some of his issues. It helped him deal with life and gave him peace, but he quit after about eight years.







Slowly but surely, through the practice of yoga, they have adopted a healthier lifestyle. They no longer eat meat – except for fish. Gwen walks three to four miles per day and attends yoga classes four to five times per week.  She is 59-years-old and feels better than ever.

Byron said that yoga nidra, in particular, has been a tremendous help to him. Gwen affirms that when Byron is consistent in his practice, he is calmer, nicer and less reactive. He credits his practice of yoga nidra for getting back to his meditation practice. He feels he’s a better person and can deal with situations in a calm manner. It also helps him to get a deeper night’s rest and let go of worries or concerns. 

He uses a mantra that was given to him back in the 70s by a master meditation guru. He doesn’t know the meaning, but continues to use it and he’s confident it’s assisting him in his spiritual journey.  Since re-igniting his meditation practice, Byron has become keenly aware of certain things like receiving special messages from beyond. He’s a very practical guy, but he also listens to his deepest self to determine what his actions will be. At 65, he is fit as a fiddle!

While most people view massage as a special treat, those who are educated on the subject know that it is more of a therapeutic tool, much like yoga. Gwen and Byron both used to see a chiropracor regulary but don’t anymore. Yoga and massage have been the tools that help keep them pain free. Gwen feels her back “self-adjust” while doing yoga and credits the practice with keeping her back healthy. 

The couple are looking after Gwen’s mother who is older and needs a lot of care. They are motivated to stay well so they can be care givers (in addition to working) and remain healthy and happy as long as possible.










I asked them how they have stayed together for so long.  They both agreed couples need to keep trying. Keep working at it. Gwen’s philosophy is to always be willing to use these three words: Please, Thank you and I’m sorrry.  Byron’s philosophy is to always communicate, compromise and treat people with respect.  

This self-care couple is an inspiration to me. I will be sticking with my yoga and getting more massages for sure!

Monday Mantra – Relax, Refresh, Renew

Monday Mantra – Relax, Refresh, Renew

Monday Mantra R, R, RToday's mantra is fuller than you might expect when you start to define these three simple words. I like to use them together as a reminder to take care of myself on a daily basis.

Some of the definitions of Relax mean to make less tense, rigid or firm…to make lax, to diminsh the force of something. I like to think of relaxing as bringing relief from the effects of tension, anxiety and stress.  One way to relax is to reduce or stop working at least for a little while.  Rest and recreation can bring relaxation.  Allow yourself to let go of inhibition, worry and tension.  The Latin root of the word is relaxáre, meaning to stretch out again – to loosen, slacken.

To Refresh means to provide new vigor and energy by resting, eating well and drinking plenty of water. You could also think of the word reinvigorate.

To Renew means to begin or take up again, to restore or replenish.  Revive, recover and restore to a former state or make new again all help to define what it means to "Renew". 

So today, allow these words to seep into your consciousness for a little while – long enough so that you will begin to (maybe even subconsciously) start doing things that will help you find some restoration.  It's always nice to feel as if you've rested – like after a good night's sleep.  Sometimes you need to replenish the energy you've used up so you can re-charge and get on with your day or week.  

Say it now…Refresh, Relax, Renew.  

Fragrance Friday – Cardamom Essential Oil

doterra cardamom essential oilThe Oil of Clarity

Cardamom is known as one of the world’s most expensive spices. Cardamom essential oil is steam distilled from perfectly ripened seeds.  

Aromatically, it is uplifting, refreshing and invigorating. It may be beneficial for clearing the mind and confusion and could bring you BLISS!

The body systems affected by cardamom are digestive and respiratory.*

  • Cardamom may help ease indigestion and maintain overall gastrointestinal health.*
  • It promotes clear breathing and maintains respiratory health.*
  • It’s a flavorful spice for cooking and baking for great Indian flavor.
  • You can take cardamom internally to help alleviate occasional feelings of stomach discomfort.*
  • Inhale for feelings of mental clarity.
  • Breathe in for a sense of openness and clear head.
  • This oil may deliver a cool sensation on the skin.
  • Cardamom blends well with other oils such as bergamot, cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, orange, rose and ylang ylang. 

Not all essential oils are created equal. Taking oils internally requires having the purest oils and knowing how to use them.  To obtain 100% Pure Certified Therapeutic Grade essential oils, CLICK HERE or fill out the form below for more information.



Oils Info

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.