Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Another year has gone by, filled with memories as I decorate the tree once again. It's the same decorations yet when I take them out of the box, one by one, I look at them and hold them with great intention. Each one brings me a smile, a feeling, a thought and sometimes a tear that fills me up with all that life holds for me in the moment. I place the crystal dove on the branch and it never fails, the vision of my mother walking through the front door with her smile, so happy to give me this special ornament. The moment becomes alive with her presence and even though she has been gone for almost a decade, her love fills me with that beautiful memory. I continue to place the crystal icicles on the branches, hearing the voice of my husband Steve, who left this world 4 ½ years ago, telling me how these precious pieces of glass were made. His stories run through my mind as I take out the fishing Santa Clause or the many fish with wild smiles and cartoon like faces. I touch the little ballerina dressed in white and place it by the white tree ornament and my daughters smile grabs me like the moment she found it in the store and picked it just for her. The singing Elvis makes its way out of the box as I remember my son, finding that figurine to adorn our tree. 
There is so much love from friends and family hanging on my tree as I turn on the lights and darken the room. I sit on the couch with Robert,  gazing at the beauty that brings me home to all of the Christmas's of years gone by. I am filled with wonder, like a child. The lights of every color reflecting in the clear glass balls, pulls me in and I am lost in the presence of creation.
Can we be like a child and open to the day with wonder and curiosity? Can we allow the moment to bring us something new as we look in to the eyes of the ones before us? Too often we arrive with ideas and thoughts of criticism and judgments that only block our hearts to what truly is here for our highest good. Life is full of surprises and with our willingness to listen, we can receive the truth that can guide our way like the brightest star shining in the night sky. 
May we open the present of this moment with a grateful heart, holding the hands of the ones that we are with and listen. Let us be open to receiving this incredible life that love offers us. Let us be the prayer for peace as we welcome in the new and arrive here now, conscious and awake to be the instrument used for the highest good of all.
Take a deep breath inward as you settle into your body. 
Be curious about what is here within you as you enter the body with full awareness.
Feel yourself most tenderly and allow the moment to bring you deeper.
This body, so precious holds all that is waiting to be let go of. 
Feel your breath inside breathing you.
 Sink deeply into the heaviness of the physical.
 The quiet of the moment calls your name as I AM.
Here you merge with the oneness of all things where nothing is hidden.
As the false burdens fall away.
Rest now.
You have arrived back home to your heart where God is.
Your soul is unique and longing to enter this world with a childlike nature.
Open this day like a present and walk beautifully on this magnificent earth.
Love is all around you. 
May you be blessed and find a wonderful love in yourself.
Now share it as you touch the heart of humanity with your gaze and with your words.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Joyful Celebration with Life

It’s quite another world, walking the streets of Sicily as the energy begins to come from everything I see, touch or hear. I feel like time is standing still all around me as the cobblestone path below my feet keeps me present. I have practiced being more present with all the falls and stumbles I have had walking while distracted by so much to see and take in. I stand and watch the faces of the men and women who joined Robert and I for our first Nourish Your Body, Mind and Soul tour. Sharing this adventure with others just seems to amplify the experience. My heart gets so full as I gaze into the eyes of the ones that seem like children, soaking in the new life of these very special days.

We are surrounded by ancient history with the churches and all the different styles to caves where tombs were still visible thousands of years before Christ. We enjoyed the 400 year Aztec tradition of Sicilian chocolate making as we walked down the streets of Modica. I loved sitting at the archeological site in Syracuse, where ancient Greek ruins created the sacred space as we meditated together overlooking the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. The temples, so massive and mosaics so old yet still vibrant in color and detail. The artist in me was inspired. Then after taking in the art of these artisans in medieval towns built in the rocks of mountains, we would listen to our guides tell us the stories of ancient times. We walked and climbed and together moved from big cities to little historic towns. Everyday we were nourished by the energy of the present moment with circle of light meditations and yoga. We ate like kings and queens as our chefs, including Robert, shared special dishes from Sicily and even the gluten free people were happy with every detail and sensitivity acknowledged so that everyone had an amazing dining experience. It surely was an Italian culinary tour with the nourishment of so much more.

We, as a group became family with each other and the beautiful souls of Sicily who took care of our every need. How blessed we were to travel to this place together and share such a rich and transforming experience. There is so much to see in this incredible world and as we all looked deeply at ourselves we softened the hold on some of our own past and let go into our greater beings. What a beautiful journey we had together.

We won’t forget the smiles of the Sicilian people as we found out how we are all soul family just waiting to meet each other as the ancient world met us with open arms and we welcomed in the new.

This is the month of thanksgiving as my grateful heart humbly bows down and I say,
Happy Thanksgiving

With love,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fall in Love with Life

"Love is always patient and kind; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful...Love is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes." Corinthians
Fall is coming and with the all the energy of August's two eclipses, with the Full moon on the 7th and the Solar Eclipse on the 21st,this is a force for change as we tap into the deeper qualities of presence. We can become a clearer space for our everyday living.
It's been a powerful time for me as I let go of some of my old dreams as well as cleaning out my closets and drawers. The biggest letting go for me is finishing the book I have been writing since Steve transitioned 4 years ago. Reading the words that I wrote daily that helped me grieve now seems like I am using the spirit of death as an ally. I am inspired by all that released the emotional baggage I was carrying around before and after his death. Through it all, I realized more deeply how the feeling of fear can take over and swallow me up in a blink of an eye. In the pain of all that was changing it was very difficult to see or even imagine the new self I was becoming. My mind would replay every detail of all the bad moments until I was exhausted. My conscious breath would land me back into the present moment where I was safe inside again. Despite all of my endless limitations I could return to the feeling of being new and become one with the energy of God or the Divine.
Falling in love with life can be one day at a time. Our spiritual field is rich and fertile when we let go of what just doesn't work anymore and we can become ready to release the richness that this life offers us. It's so easy to overthink our life until we feel stagnant and overwhelmed. Sometimes the only way to find out what is ahead is for us to step into the unknown which can build confidence for this life that is unfolding.
We don't have to go out and search for love. We just need to be still and let love in. Love will find us. As the Bible says, "Perfect love casts out all fear."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer Breeze

I receive a phone call and the news on the other end takes me by surprise. I know what to do. I know that staying present is what I need. I listen deeply. I feel my fears begin to show and yet listening brings me deeper inside. I watch my mind dive into the past. I hear a voice that begins to worry about the future. I breathe and listen to the moment. How easy it is to slip away into the mind that seems to keep me a prisoner of the past! The conversation was cut short and I was left in worry. It just doesn't feel good to obsess in that mind that thinks it knows what I need to do.

I set the phone down and I feel myself. Slowly I walk outside. The touch of a summer breeze gently brings me back to the moment as I take my walk outside to my lanai. I pray for peace and clarity as my eyes gaze in front of me and there is the largest butterfly spread against the screen. I am reminded that this world is being used by God to bring healing. I feel the quiet come over me like the hand of God just lifted me up into a sweet embrace. I stared at this gift that spoke to me of transformation. I felt touched by this love from the heavens that filled me with hope.
In the moment of this stillness, I remembered a time when I was filled with confusion about a major life decision. I had been on a retreat at Mt. Shasta, California. A week of introspection and transformation. After the week of intense letting go, a few of us decided to go camping for a couple of days before heading back home.
I woke up that morning with a high fever and flu-like symptoms. My head was pounding and I knew that I couldn't join the group of friends that were going to hike up the mountain. After everyone left I decided to walk down the path to a stream. It was a hot summer day and with the way I was feeling, I needed to get out of the heat. I could hear the sound of water rushing over rocks in the distance. It was like music calling me and guiding me to come. As I got closer, I could feel the summer breeze that gently moved over the meadow. I couldn't wait to slip into the stream. I slowly made my way into the freezing cold water that was flowing from further up the mountain. Surely there was snow way up high where my friends were hiking.
I fully lowered myself into the icy water and laid there until I couldn't stay any longer. I made my way to the river bank and sat cross legged. It was so quiet and peaceful. I began to stare at the little bush in front of me. As I focused my attention on the leaves I saw this bush was filled with bees. So many bees were sitting on the leaves and branches, buzzing around. I thought of St. Francis of Assisi who would be a magnet for all kinds of wild life. He would be so still and allow the energy of all beings to come close. Birds would sit on him as if he were branches of a tree. Animals of all kind would never be intimidated by his presence.
I closed my eyes and without fear of being stung I knew that in my own stillness I was filled with peace. I breathed into the moment, communing with the lovely bees that were on the branches and leaves before me. Then I slowly felt guided to open my eyes and now all those bees were sitting on me. I was covered with them and some were buzzing around me. I continued to breathe in and out calmly and settled more deeply inside. It felt like their presence on my skin moved me deeply into my body. I had no busy or aggressive mind hindering my receptivity. I was overflowing with a profound joy. I wanted to laugh out loud but I didn't want to move. I felt a calm so deep within me that the experience was so full of life. Then slowly the bees lifted off like they were helicopters taking flight. One by one, I watched these insects leave as they went on their merry way.
I was in gratitude of what happened, as obstacles that might have been in me before were now dissolved. I got up and walked back to the camp site and I felt well. My fever was gone and my energy was back. It was as if these bees were pulling out my sickness with their presence.
Sometimes a gentle touch is all we need. We just want to be touched because it heals us. We carry a whole world full of experience as we walk through the streets of our ordinary lives. As we brush up against each other, we are touched by a gaze, a smile, a thought or words. Touch can be the language of love for another and in giving we are receiving.
When life brings me to my knees as I watch my children on their own climb up the mountain top, I can listen. It is the language of the heart that speaks from this unending stream of consciousness where I can become still and wait. The truth of my own deepest being is touching me and guiding my way back to love. 

All my love, 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What's On Your Bucket List?

"You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather..." - Pema Chodron
Traveling around in my mind like a whirling dervish, I breathe into the familiar where my body meets all the feelings that daily I am having the great pleasure to receive. Sitting at the window beside my desk, I gaze out at the trees that surround my property. I listen to the birds that blare out sounds so loud that even with the windows closed, it is music to my ears. I am serenaded by the songs that bring me deeply inside the moment.
It's so early, the light is not quite up yet and the clouds are hiding a lot of the dawns beauty. It's another kind of beauty. The greyness of the day begins to show itself. The in between where the light is dim. The coverings start to unveil as I breathe deeply in and out without missing a beat.
How magnificent it is to just have another day to realize something that has been nudging me all week long. That's why I come here, in contemplation, remembering that within this silence that I so long for, I hear what brings me truth. All the memories that crowd my heart sometimes hold me back but mostly everything grounds me into the now. When I feel it as real as anything, the pain is all part of me until I focus on what is true. The little aha moments as I let go of figuring it all out as I watch the weather come and go and the days pass by before my eyes. How easy it is to get lost in the struggles of my own human existence instead of accepting that all will weave its tapestry and one day, like a blanket it will give me the comfort and wisdom of its making. Peace comes when I turn my attention to my heart that reminds me how blessed I am to be human.
I love the morning when everyone seems to be asleep and there is an intimacy with the day that brings me back to what is important. June is a month that brings so much for me. It's my birthday month and it is the anniversary of Steve's passing. Birth and death always seem to walk hand and hand.
Last night my daughter and I watched the movie, "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It's an oldie but goodie and with all the humor and beautiful words of wisdom that passed through the mouths of these great actors, we were touched by our own impermanence.
Lane and I laughed and we cried and at the end of the movie we held each other with tears gushing from our eyes. Rubbing my daughter's back, I melted into her love. How incredible it is to watch your children transform through their own life challenges? In a timeless moment, I enjoyed the peace that flowed through our embrace and once again I am reminded how life brings us back to what is real. Love is all that is real and through all the ups and downs we can return.
We are given these incredible lives to live fully and not let a day go by without remembering how precious it is. Why wait till we have life threatening news, to wake up and smell the roses. Why do we stay asleep and forget to allow ourselves to watch the sunrise? Why do we put off those dreams that are tucked away in the bottom drawer, forgotten or dismissed? Why do we settle for the crumbs when we don't have the courage to rise and speak our needs? I've been all of that and more and that's okay until I open my eyes and listen to the truth that lives in my heart.
I have wanted a salt water pool for forever. This is my birthday present to myself this year. It's a big one on my bucket list and for so long I found ways to push that dream away. Even now, there are many road blocks that seem to be in the way. How easy I find myself dissolving in the fear of doing this project? How easy it is to just say never mind?
So, last night, as I watched the movie, I realized I am not getting any younger and my life is precious. I know that many of Steve's dreams did not get realized because of his early death. If there is one gift he gave me, and there has been many, it is to live life fully. Of course, I can do it without a pool, that's not the point I am making. I just know that sometimes all my fears can get in the way of living life fully.
As I sit here, this early Sunday morning, I hear my dad's voice inside my head when he was on his death bed. He leaned into me and said, "Frannie, get a pool, it was one of my regrets." Even though those words were spoken 6 years ago, they speak louder this morning as a voice of truth that guides my way. I hear him like it was yesterday. 
Who cares how long it takes us to climb that mountain top! Let's just listen to what is held so sacred within. Let's allow this incredible tapestry of life to bring us all that weaves it together as we touch the mystery that creates through it all. To reach inside and birth what has been within the void, wanting to show itself. Like these words that spilled onto the blank screen from my fingertips. Letting it all rise and become something tangible is the gift received. In between the space where nothing and everything exists, we are here. Here on this precious earth where we experience messy human love. It's not always perfect like Divine love but it's what we are. We are human after all.
All my love,

Union with Your Inner Being

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,

the whole world belongs to you.  -Lao-Tzu

Being here now - worthy and in love with self. It's beautiful here. Right here in this moment now. 
Wherever we are is a blessed gift. Even in health challenges or loss. Even when the world outside of us is struggling. Even when our children are hurting. Even when life gives us the worst terrible news.
Even when life isn't exactly the way I want it to be, I realize that I wouldn't want to trade places with anyone. I can be content with who I am no matter what. It just helps to surrender to the way things are. 

So, I breathe in and allow life in. Breathe out and let go of the fear of the unknown.
How deeply moved I am by nature. It seems to hold me, whenever I enter the garden. Here I sit with my daughter in the backyard. It's Mother's Day and I watch her doing yoga when moments before she was in despair with her struggles about her new health challenges. I watch her like I watch the snowy white egret standing by my table - so close - I can take her beauty in with every detail, bringing me closer to what is real. All she needs is to be listened to and held. This love that has no conditions. This love fills me up like nothing else. 
It is this union with my inner being that holds all of me. Here I touch what is so human and real. How easy it is to slip into a mind that can keep me a prisoner of the past. 
I watch Lane move through her life with eyes of wisdom. I trust the journey. It's not always easy.
Being alive in the Now is what nature shows us. Being here in all our humanness is all we have. The past has been the escort of this presence, bringing us back home, into the only moment that is real. 
Life continues to flow and I might as well join the party of creation, as I sit inside this sacred holy place where I commune with what is here. How I look at it seems to be the ticket, to be a part of the flow and momentum that carries me into what will be. 
Loss happens to us all. Yet to me, it has served my evolution to become more. I am grateful that the doorway is open. I step through and watch it all unfold.

All my love,

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rebirth Into Your Fullness

As the months of inner hibernation have helped you to let go of what was, you will now blossom. The fruits of your labor will bring aliveness and delicious parts of you into the world. Your body is the vessel of this infinite life that will continue to give to the world.  - Frannie (from my upcoming book)

Just a few days ago, I sat beside my friend Charlotte, holding her hand as I received her fully. I was taking her in, every part of her. In my heart I knew this might be the last time I get to touch her physical body. Her smiling eyes reflected back the magnificent beauty of her life. I gazed at her every movement and listened to every word and in the silence of my mind, I felt the love of just being in her presence. I wasn't wrapped up in the fear of her dying. I was held in a love that had always been there since the first moment I met her. I looked into her clear eyes and saw her determination to do whatever she needed to do. She was on her last days and her breathing was so labored especially when she took off the oxygen.
Charlotte still believed a miracle could happen. She had faith and hope and surrounded by all who loved her, she was learning her greatest life lesson. She said to me, "I am finally learning to receive." Robert was sitting beside me and together we meditated with her and the peace and illumination of light filled us. We were in the womb of God's loving embrace, not knowing the future. She looked at me and said that she wasn't afraid to die only the panic of suffering.
Yesterday, I felt her leave. Maybe not her body fully yet. I felt her presence in nature while going for a walk as I spoke to her. She might have been visiting the other-side and checking it all out in the moments of sleep. The energy filled me and tears rolled down my face. Yet the pain of her leaving wasn't choking me. It was filling me up with an incredible love. I knew her children and family were around her. I had a plan to go to see her with Robert the next day, yet deep down inside I felt she was going to leave. I looked at the clock and it was around 6:00 pm. The feeling came back. I knew I wouldn't see her again. Yet, somehow I just didn't want to take that in. I went on cooking and being with myself, not wanting to go anywhere. My thoughts were with Charlotte and in my way, I believed I was with her. I was in a mindful, prayerful place.
Then I got the phone call from Robert, "Charlotte passed, surrounded by her family around 6:00 pm." As the tears flowed from my eyes, I was grateful she did not suffer. I cried as the tears opened me up. I cried because I won't be able to go and have that luncheon date we planned. I cried because I won't hear her laugh and hear the words of wisdom that would spill out of her. I cried because I loved her and in my short time on this earth with her, I knew she was a real friend. She was herself and shared her heart so easily. She wasn't afraid to engage in any conversation. It was intimate to be with someone like that and the quality of time with her was a lifetime of truth.
This woman was Robert's best friend and she was the one who brought us together. She was the one who sat beside him the first time he saw me. Charlotte was an angel here on this earth. She was an inspiration to many and just looking at her, you didn't see all she accomplished in helping serve our world. She was a doer. When her daughter died 20 years ago, she allowed life to move her into creating a foundation to send children to camp. Meeting her, you fell in love with yourself because she was pure love.
We leave our imprint on this earth. Just like if we laid upon the sand, there our form would be. Just like walking on the beach, our footprints would remain. Just like a flower blooming, it's fragrance would be left for us to take in. Just like the hug from a friend or a handshake, we feel the presence and experience the imprint of our life upon this world.

Nature reminds us to return to ourselves. To take good care of our state of being so that when we are filled up we can give from our fullness. Then when we go out into the world we can stay long enough to gaze into the eyes of another without having any agenda at all. Just to receive another and listen and hold them for that precious holy moment is sacred. We can't do it if we are continuing to run around and be distracted with saving the world or thinking in any way that we could fix it.
We are here to learn self-love. In receiving every part of our humanity, all the darkness and the lightness, we can stop judging and begin allowing life in.
In the middle of the night I woke up to feel Charlotte's presence, brilliantly shining in my room. She was so free and happy. My heart filled up with her spirit.
My friend Charlotte has been reborn into her fullness and as Spirit she sees how loved she is.
Her love shines through her imprint that was left on our hearts. She gave to this world selflessly. Now she is in the arms of her God and her darling daughter.
In the morning I decided to go to a restorative yoga class a block away. I call Cindy at Island Yoga Space and ask her if there is room. With a yes, I walk down the street with my yoga mat on my shoulder. Looking up at the clear blue sky I hear Charlotte's words that are echoing in my heart, " I am finally learning to receive."
I am finally learning to receive.
There is a balance between giving and receiving. Nature receives until it is so full then it bursts into giving us the fragrance and beauty of its presence.
It's springtime and Easter. A time of renewal and rebirth. A time to let go and breathe into all that I am.

This life is precious. I can open up and let myself take baby steps into the next moment. With this conscious nurturing, I can... we can flower in an instant.
Now open and bloom!

All my love

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Art of Conscious Loving

We are people who need to love, because love is the soul's life, 
Love is simply creation's greatest joy. - Hafiz
 The sunrise must be happening even though outside of the window it still looks dark. The birds are singing so loudly this dawn and what I keep hearing is, "wake up, wake up!"  How easy it is to sometimes just pull the cover over my head and not face the day because of the disappointments or fears that come rushing in. Being aware of the suffering in the world can truly dim my light and keep me from my hopes and dreams.  
It takes courage to uncover the dreams that were once buried deep inside of our hearts. There can be lots of excuses, detouring us away, rejecting or missing opportunities.
The phone call came in the middle of my day and the news was unexpected. I could feel my heart sink into despair. How easy I could forget my heart's desire and get caught up in the emotional charge of being rejected. In just one moment I felt the hurt rise up in me. I breathed in as I hung up the phone. There was nothing I could do but be fully present. Mollie, my puppy, was barking and letting me know that a client was walking into my office. Deep down I could feel the sadness and anger yet consciously I knew that this was just bringing me truth. I was okay and able to continue to let the day unfold. I bow to my clients who always bring me presence. I overcome the resistance and a feeling of true power enters me. I can be myself. It's such a privilege to live this life and know that a plan was happening here. 

I learned a long time ago that this world is my messenger. A meditation practice continues to support me and bring me back to neutrality. If I am reacting to the circumstance at hand, I will spiral into negative thinking and keep myself a victim. Connecting to my feelings with compassion will help the suppressed emotions to pass by and slowly I can become more aware.  I can be angry, sad or disappointed even though its uncomfortable and underneath it all there is the guilt or shame that is so hard to touch. Yet this moment is a breath away from feeling free. I lean into it all without judgment and connect right away to my source. God is here as love. I am here in the most loving way and I align with what is true- I am a child of God, worthy to be loved.
The very thing that upset me can be a beautiful opportunity to release the past judgments and receive this moment. I can choose to stop controlling or sedating my inner experience. I can be fully present with my Self, just the way I am and this calms me and dissolves the misunderstandings. I can't control the world or the things outside of me but I can trust in what Spirit is telling me. I can listen to the inner guidance showing me the way. 
This morning the dawn woke me up with the sounds of birds singing. They just would be singing no matter what was going on. These birds aren't waiting to see who is listening. They sing and I am awake to hear their offering. I listen in the quiet of the morning and being myself is the message I receive and that always gives me life. How simply it can be!
I love this entry into myself as I breathe in and receive all that is here. It seems that a new day can always bring new insight and an opportunity to see this world with a sense of God where nothing is between us and the life around us. I have a choice in how I will be today.
So, like the bird singing this morning, the flower radiates its beauty or a smile from a stranger gets my attention and fills me up.  I get wrapped up in a piece of artwork and get lost in creating or reading a favorite book. When I begin to get quiet, I get a nugget of wisdom that changes my thinking. Receiving this world as it is and all that is magnificent can return me back to love. In a holy instant, I choose to be with myself fully in my experience of this world. Life is the gift and I can share it through my expression no matter what the conditions are.
As I stand at the counter in my kitchen, with oldies blaring out of the speakers, I chop the veggies for tonight's dinner. At the end of the day, even though I am tired, I rest in my heart and will not forget my dream because the ember is still glowing in my soul. I live in union with it and the miracle is in the letting go.
The door opens and my boyfriend, Robert walks in with his smile that wraps me up. We dance in the living room without saying a word. Being ourselves, we come home to the love that just wants to be shared. The art of conscious loving is being ourselves, unveiled and authentic. Those birds know how to just be, as we are reminded again and again to love ourselves right now.
Happy Loving Ourselves and Each Other Day!
Take a deep breath.
Feel what is rising within.
Love is the way.
Soften around what is resisting and let go.
Loving yourself is the pathway.
Lean into everything, then the resistance can leave.
Now you are at the entrance to the threshold.
The doorway is your heart.
Trusting in the power that comes from source/God.
Walk through and love greater.
Love is the answer.
The happiness that is you is your true nature.
Now open and allow your light to soften your gaze on the world.
Looking into the face of humanity, you can feel the love that is you.
This is the art of conscious loving.

All my love