when do you feel GREAT?

meditate quote

I know what you’re thinking … she can’t be the only person to quote that. You’re right, at least (5) 10 year olds have as well. It’s not the wisest thing I, or anyone on this planet, has ever said. But, gosh darn it, it sure is true!

One morning last week, I had finished my Deepak meditation (the 21-day meditation series is in full effect right now), and this “quote” popped into my head. I chuckled after I said it, as it was so simple and corny. Still felt the need to share it though. I can be simple (meditate = get out of my head = simpler life … always working on this). I can be corny. I can think like a child. I’m cool with it. Especially if it makes me laugh.

Laughter and meditation … honestly, what else do we need in life? OK, love, connection, etc etc etc … Whatever it is you need in life, make sure it’s GREEEEEAT!!!

PS – Feel free to quote me.

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MINDFUL hiking workshops …

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Figured I’d share this on my blog as well cause you never know what other Arizonans follow my blog or will find this post, riiiiight!?!? I’m looking forward to guiding desert dwellers through a healing meditation and small group hike. And looking forward to being a desert dweller myself … again ;)

My website has a brief explanation of each theme and a shop for you to sign up. If you have any individual questions, please reach out as I’d love to hear from you!

See you on the trails! XO

the TRUTH is in the stillness …

The truth is in the stillness. When you can be quietly with yourself, all sorts of things will raise their tiny heads (I’m changing the expression to make it nicer). Good and not-so-good things. However, the “not-so-good” is necessary to lead you to the good, so embrace it all. I had a massage yesterday, which was one of my moments of quiet. An hour long moment with my body and mind (well, and a massage therapist). For example, I relearned that I like having my face touched, in a gentle way of course ;) and I realized that my body is so far along in its healing process that it almost feels “finished” and I realized that there are places of tension I didn’t know were there and I realized that I can relax and be still for an hour now! And other things that didn’t stick around for long but served their purpose in the moment. It’s not always easy to be silent, even for a few seconds for some people. Yet, that silence could open up so many pathways to healing. So try for just a few seconds. And then a few minutes. And then get an hour massage ;) And just notice. And listen.

traveling CHAKRAS …

Following my reiki session tonight, I had the idea to post photos from my recent trip alongside each of the 7 Chakras. I suppose it’s no coincidence that there are 7 rocks in this photo I happened to also take on my recent trip. Nor is it any coincidence that there is a very contemplative, explorative, adventurous fella journaling or sketching on 1 of the 7 rocks. He and I were energetically in sync, obviously. I am grateful to you, fella to which I don’t have a name. You made my photographic creation complete – in its meaning and in its composition.

The first Chakra will arrive in your inbox tomorrow …

mindfulness leads to CHANGE …


Every move I make, no matter how slight, comes with excruciating pain (like moving my arm 1/4″ to get to the letter u on my iPad keyboard to type the word excruciating. And no, I’m not exaggerating.). My right shoulder. Ouch doesn’t quite cut it. If I actually allowed myself this, I would be emitting a heart-wrenching  scream at every move. Instead, I squish my face up tight, then remember to stand up straight, release the tension in my face and breathe breathe BREATHE. Breathe into the pain in order to be able to move my arm a teeny tiny bit. Then take another deep breath and move it a tiny bit more. This is how it goes to pull up my underwear and shorts after going to the bathroom. Talk about being mindful. I’ve never spent that much time in the bathroom…ok, fine, but my focus was on something very different. Sometimes, I watch myself in the mirror because it gives me more strength, and sometimes I cry from the intense pain and from literally facing myself as I work through it.

So, now for the background story. My right shoulder has had limited mobility for give or take 10 years now. That was a long time ago, plus I don’t remember much from a long time ago, so I’m not sure if anything obvious caused this initial discomfort in my shoulder. I lifted weights a lot back then, and I ignored a lot back then. So any pain I may have caused myself (physical and/or emotional) that landed itself in my right shoulder, I ignored. For give or take 8 of those years, I continued to lift weights hard, practice yoga, throw my niece in the air, do anything I needed to do, regardless of the fact that these things often irritated and inflamed my shoulder. But dealing with whatever was going on in there seemed far too daunting. A couple of years ago, I did a year of acupuncture for emotional healing and a couple of times, I had my acupuncturist work on that shoulder, because it was extra irritated for whatever reason at that moment. This was when I started to make more of a mind-body connection to this long time issue of mine. I hate using the word issue in my vocabulary these days, but I’m going to roll with it here as that’s what it was to me 2 years ago.

Life went on, I continued to do all of those things that irritated my shoulder, once again, seemingly ignoring it. Although with a small tinge of something else telling me there is more to this. In the past 2 months is when a bright ass lightbulb popped out of my head along with a thought bubble saying it’s time to deal with this shit you’ve been storing in your shoulder for 10ish years!!!! (Using “-ish” somehow takes away from the strength of this statement.) I was participating in the Deepak Chopra/Oprah 21-day meditation on “Getting Unstuck,” which is when I made the connection to the various areas of stuckness in my physical body. Ohhhh, so those stuck areas are holding me back from moving forward in life too?!?!? It’s not just the more obvious emotional and mental areas?!?!? Hmmmm. And if I shift this stuckness in my physical body that could totally aid in shifting some stuckness in my emotional as well!!! Epiphany, say whaaaa! Or as us spiritual peeps call it…intuition.

I decided I’d start seeing someone for Reiki on a weekly basis to shift this negative painful energy and be free of it once and for all. I knew this wouldn’t be quite as easy as that sentence made it seem, but I was ready to go there. A week ago, I found out that the yoga studio I frequent (well not right now, obviously) has Reiki practitioners I can work with. Perfect. Then, I got busy with work and life (i.e. excuses) and put off making an appointment for a few more days. Not. A. Good. Idea. Friday, I woke up unable to move my right arm unless of course, I wanted to feel sharp stabbing pain throughout my shoulder. Apparently, I waited one day too long and my body said fuck you, enough already. I’ll show you, Dawn. If you don’t take care of me, I’m going to stop working for you. Oddly, my arm felt like it was just hanging there, like it wasn’t even a part of me anymore. My friend Lauren and I joked that it was trying to run away. Shit, I would too.

Well, I listened. I had no choice. I booked a massage for that day and emailed the yoga studio to book a Reiki session for early in the week. As I was wincing to get dressed for my massage, I was thinking this is such a waste of painful energy to get dressed, then have to get undressed and dressed again afterward. But driving naked is apparently frowned upon, and I don’t own a bathrobe or a trench coat. Looking back on this now, why the hell did I put a sports bra (or any bra!) on to drive to my massage? The pain did overpower some of my brain cells. For reals. I haven’t been thinking clearly or quickly for the past few days. My mind is very much focused on healing my pain and not so much on the everyday routine I call life.

I have been forced to slooooooow down. Every movement I make is mindful and precious. I took for granted needing my limbs to dress myself or wash my hair or pour a glass of water or drive my car [safely] or type this blog post. I am having to utilize my left arm to help with all those things … well, and everything pretty much. Ambidextrousness (and yes, this is actually a word), here I come! I still can’t move the top half of my arm so I just have the bottom half to use and even that is awkward cause it’s kind of connected to the top half. When I am healed of this, I’m going to give gratitude every day for having 2 working arms by high-fiving everyone I see!!! You just wait.

 “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”   – Socrates

let it FLOW …

When I run after what I think I want,

my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;

if I sit in my own place of patience,

what I need flows to me, and without pain.

From this I understand that

what I want also wants me,

is looking for me and attracting me.

There is a great secret here

for anyone who can grasp it.

~ Shams Tabrizi

FREE yourself and the rest will follow …


I was freely hand-lettering the other day while sitting outside on a bench at Blue Cliff Monastery enjoying the beautiful surroundings, warm sunshine and calming energy. What better place to create. So I was scrolling some letters around the page of my sketchbook and the word free (as shown above) came to be. 

It seemed appropriate on this day of freeing myself from my usual day activities to take this adventure to Blue Cliff to join the monks for a gorgeous morning walking meditation, a dharma talk and a mindful lunch in silence. Sure, there were moments of feeling trapped in my head or in the discomfort of lunching in silence with a person sitting right in front of me, however, it was all exactly where I needed to be and experience at that moment and it was perfect and peaceful…and free

let out a big SIGH …

I’ve been seeing a whole bunch of cars with license plates starting with “HAH.” The other day, I was feeling really f’ing tense and pulled into a parking spot next to one of these HAH cars, and I thought shit, that’s my reminder to breathe! So I took a deep breath and let out a big ol’ sigh … haaaaaaah. I had to see a bunch of these license plates before realizing why I was seeing them, but sometimes I need things thrown in my face more than once before I catch on. It’s all good. I’m human.

Funny story: As I was pulling out of the parking lot where I saw the car that caused my epiphany, I thought “I should’ve taken a photo of the plate to accompany my blog post.” But, I was already pulling away, and we were the only 2 cars in the small lot, and I wasn’t looking for creeper-status that day. Now this idea was in my head, so I had to have a photo. I was walking to my car yesterday after work and went down the farther aisle (not anywhere near where my car was parked), away from store entrances, to seek out one of these plates.  Creeper-status in effect. Walked the whole row and nothing. So I turned in between 2 cars, and as I was saying “oh well, this blog post isn’t meant to be right now,” I looked down at the car to my left and guess what????? There she was. HAH. I smiled. I breathed. Thanks universe. Then I crouched down in between 2 car grills like a total creeper and photographed some random person’s license plate, all the while hoping they didn’t come back to their car at that very moment (or anyone else in the surrounding area!). Click, click, click. Go! Like I was never there …

2-dimensional BUDDHA …


3-legged Buddha … maybe this is making reference to mind, body and spirit; maybe to the three jewels of Buddhism; maybe to both; or maybe to whatever each individual who views this sculpture connects with in their own spirituality. Just cause I think it’s cool to share and cause I’m guessing many of you don’t know what the 3 jewels are (I didn’t remember myself, honestly): the Buddha, the Dharma (the teaching of the Buddha) and the Sangha (the community that follows the teaching).

As you can see from the teeny tiny people in the background, this Buddha is massive and overpowering. It’s definitely got something to say, it’s just a matter of whether or not we all listen …