Namaste, Larry

I found out on Facebook last night that Larry Schultz, my yoga certification teacher and the founder of It’s Yoga, passed away recently. Such sad, sad news.

It was four years ago in March 2007 that I graduated from the It’s Yoga teacher certification program in SF. I have such fond memories of practicing in the studio. I can still hear Larry saying, “Where are your hands and feet?” as he walked around with his yard stick making sure we were paying attention to our alignment. You could tell who was an It’s Yoga TT because we all had a black sharpie line drawn down the center of our mat with dots for, you guessed it, our hands and feet in downward dog. But mostly I remember his mellow spirit and sage wisdom.

I was fortunate enough to lead several Dream Box Workshops through the teacher training program. Larry invited me to run these sessions after I shared my wish box with him during one of our training sessions. I’m forever grateful for that opportunity!

Larry was a pioneer in bringing Ashtanga yoga to the states and in particular growing the vibrant Ashtanga and power yoga community in the Bay Area. He was also the yoga teacher for the Grateful Dead for many years. And he trained teachers from around the world and developed an amazing practice called The Rocket.

Larry’s life and passing remind me how important it is to be living your passion and making a difference. He was doing his legacy work and his teachings will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all the people he has touched. Namaste, Larry!

Hip Tranquil Chick Retreat in New York


Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Kimberly Wilson’s Hip Tranquil Chick Retreat in New York.  Two-plus days full of creativity, yoga, journaling, meditation and lots of other yummy activities – who could ask for more?  Oh yeah, and some retail therapy (Kimberly brought pieces from her spring line of TranquiliT eco-clothing) so, of course, I had to pick up a few things!

I took Kimberly’s Yoga and Creativity workshop in San Francisco last year, so I enjoyed getting a whole weekend to bask in the hip and tranquil lifestyle!


There was a dreamy library brimming with books written by women.  I loved how there were lots of cozy corners in the farmhouse.  My intention for the weekend was self-care, so I went to bed early and slept in late and took every opportunity to nourish myself.


On Saturday night we made vision boards while watching Sex and the City.  It was lots of fun!  On the floor in the front, there’s Mary Knebel founder of Self Help Goddess, a website that brings together the best of self-help resources.


Kimberly invited me to lead a section of the retreat.  I guided the group through a visualization to meet their Inner Muse and we broke out the crayons, markers and glitter glue to create Inner Muse portraits.  What a treat to see the creativity flowing and to hear some of the personal discoveries.  Thanks, Kimberly for an amazing opportunity!!


Lesley Williams from the Creative Cookie and I paired up to discuss how we can improve aspects of our “Wheel of Life.”  It was great to share ideas for living a healthy life!


Kimberly had us do our vision boards on folders.  What a brilliant idea!  My vision board focused on finishing my book and book proposal with ease and flow. So many ideas bubbled up for me during this retreat and I’m excited to start working on them.  Also, participating in this retreat and getting to lead a couple of hours helped underscore for me my goal of leading retreats for women in the future.

Me with Kimberly Wilson and Sharon Burton

I had a blast getting to chat with Kimberly throughout the weekend.  And I was thrilled to finally meet my blogging buddy Sharon Burton in person!  We’ve been connecting on Twitter, Facebook and our blogs for some time and Sharon’s also taking my Right-Brain Business Plan Teleclass, so it was really cool to hang out with her!


And here are all the magnificent ladies!  I met such cool, amazing and inspiring women and I’m really excited about what they’re up to!

If you’re wanting to go on retreat either away or for a few hours at home, check out Jennifer Louden’s The Women’s Retreat Book which offers some great suggestions for designing your own personal getaway.  I highly recommend going on retreat at least once a year to clear your head and to relish in relaxation and rejuvenation.

(Note: last five photos are from Kimberly Wilson and Sharon Burton).

The Vision Board Book Launches

The inspiring book “The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life” by Joyce Schwarz launched today.  The book features nearly 100 artists’ vision boards from around the world and outlines a process for envisioning and living the life you truly want.  I’m one of the featured artists with full color images of my wo-manifesto, Right-Brain Business Plan and a workshop participant’s Unfolding Your Life Vision collage book gracing the pages.

Joyce somehow found me online earlier this year and asked me if I wanted to be featured in the book. Of course I said, “YES!” In fact, about two years ago I wrote in my Ladies Who Launch expanded vision that I created my own book on visioning that included images, collages and paintings made by me and my clients.  I’m currently plugging away at my book so it’s super cool to have the opportunity to be part of this project along side some of the teachers from “The Secret!”

I hope you check it out!!!

I *Heart* Heart is Hot

Sahara Damore inspires us to pay it forward with her ingenious Heart is Hot hearts.  I discovered Sahara on twitter recently and totally dig what she is up to.  Sahara created these beautiful recycled glass hearts as a way to help us follow our hearts, create connection and change the world.

You can purchase a heart online and then pass it on to someone in an inspired moment.  Each heart has a unique number (the one I just bought is #918) that you can log and track on her site.  If you receive a heart, you can re-gift it to someone else when you’re so moved.  As the heart passes from person to person, you can follow the story of how this heart touches each individual’s life.  There’s one heart that has been passed 10 times and there are even hearts in Australia, Spain and Brazil!

I loved learning about what sparked this heartfelt idea and how Sahara turned that moment of compassion into a brilliant entrepreneurial venture with social change at the heart of its mission.  She also donates a portion of the profits to charities.

I look forward to gifting my heart to someone very soon and to seeing the heart go on its journey.  Plus, I’m going to be ordering more to have on hand at home and on-the-go (in my Butler Bag, of course!) for when I’m inspired to show my appreciation to someone, to let someone know I’m thinking of them or simply to brighten someone’s day.

What are some ways that you pay it forward?  How has it impacted you and the other person?

The Anatomy of Peace

A few months ago, I was working with a client using some of the concepts from the powerful parable Leadership and Self-Deception.  He valued the learnings so much that he looked into Arbinger’s second and equally-profound book, The Anatomy of Peace, which I recently checked out.

The Anatomy of Peace paints a poignant and engaging picture of how we unwittingly create conflict.  And how we can resolve that conflict on an individual and even global level, which is very timely given the challenges our society currently faces.  The key lies in how we “be” more so than what we “do.”  You can read an excerpt from the book on the Arbinger Institute site.

When our heart is a peace we see others as people who have hopes and fears just like we do.  From this place of being, we naturally have a sense/desire to help or extend ourselves to others. When we betray that sense, we then see the other person as an object as we find ways to justify the fact that we went against our urge to help.  We put ourselves in the box and our heart goes to war, creating a vicious cycle of blaming and self-justification.

I realized that recently my heart was at war with my husband, Brian – poor guy!   He took last week off for a “staycation” (a.k.a. – a vacation at home).  I had all these thoughts about spending time with him, but I ended up choosing to work a lot instead. I spun into a “better-than-box” of “I am just sooooo busy” and an “I-deserve-box” of “Gee, don’t I get a break, too?!!!”  I thought, how could he be laying on the couch reading when there was so much stuff to do?  It was not pretty and made it difficult to enjoy our time together for part of the week.  It’s a rather mundane example, yet it can be those day-to-day triggers that build up and lead to more significant discord.

The Peacemaking Pyramid depicted in the book shows that we must spend more time helping things go right (starting with a heart at peace) rather than dealing with things that are going wrong (i.e., correcting the other person).  I mean really, how can I “correct” something that probably isn’t “wrong” in the first place.  Of course it’s just “wrong” in my mind because then that makes me “right.”  So, just by noticing I was “in the box” toward him, I was able to be in relationship with him as a person again.  Get out of the box and come from a place of peace.  It sounds simple, and it is.  AND the challenge is continuing to choose to stay out of the box.  Awareness obviously helps, as does practice.

I highly recommend both books to help with individual relationships as well as group dynamics.  And I also highly recommend The Coaches Training Institute’s Leadership Program (where I first came across Leadership and Self-Deception).  Check out their new video.  You’ll see that much of the program is about the “being” of a leader and coming from a heart of love and peace.

What do you notice about being in the box versus out of the box toward other people?  What happens when you come from a heart at peace rather than a heart at war?

Yamas and Niyamas

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the Creative Action Center with my friend and fellow Lady Launcher Laura Parker.  Given the busy week I had, it was really nice to just hang out, create and connect.

Last month when I took Kimberly Wilson’s Yoga and Creativity workshop, Kimberly highlighted the yamas and niyamas.  We studied them during my yoga teacher training, but I appreciated the refresher since I have such a hard time remembering the Sanskrit words.  So, I created two pieces to stay connected to these spiritual guidelines.

Yamas are ethical observations or how we interact with our outer world.  The five yamas include:

  • Ahimsa – nonviolence
  • Satya – truthfulness
  • Asteya – non-stealing
  • Brahmacharya – moderation
  • Aparigraha – greedlessness

Niyamas are self observations or how we interact with ourselves in our inner world.  The five niyamas are:

  • Shaucha – cleanliness
  • Samtosha – contentment
  • Tapas – fiery discipline
  • Swadhyaya – self-study
  • Ishwara-Pranidhana – devotion to the universal

This week I’ll be focusing on Samtosha (being grateful for what I have) and Tapas (to keep me on track with my goals).  I invite you to pick one or two of these teachings to play with this week, too.  Namaste.

Backyard Yoga and Dream Boxes


It’s been another full week and challenging for me to keep up with all the great things going on. I did make a point on Wednesday to take advantage of the gorgeous spring-like weather by practicing yoga in my backyard. With the sun shining overhead, birds chirping in the trees and the cool breeze on my skin, I was in yogi heaven! I’m amazed at how the fresh air brought me so in touch with my breath and my body – wonderful!

With another Ladies Who Launch Incubator that started last night, I’m reminded to get creative about doing more nice things for myself. After all, pampering is part of the lady launching way! So, I can’t wait for more sunny days like this to do backyard yoga ‘cuz that sure counts as a nice thing.


Today I was at It’s Yoga for another dream box workshop with a new circle of teacher trainers. It’s hard for me to believe that it was almost a year ago that I completed my yoga teacher certification. So many wonderful things have manifested since then. One being getting to lead this workshop at the studio!!!


I had fun laughing and hanging out with the group. They were a playful and engaging bunch! And I loved hearing about their dreams and seeing the unique ways they all decorated their dream boxes.


One of the students crafted her own “guru-in-a-box” with a pop-up Sri Swami Satchidananda to offer inspiration and wisdom! How cool is that?!

Mandala Magic


Our Creative Playground met at Laura’s lovely home for an afternoon of mandala making. A mandala (which means means circle or completion in Sanskrit) symbolizes wholeness. Laura explained that in Sanskrit, bindu means particle or dot and is the center point of the mandala. It’s a place of infinite capacity. We are always moving toward this point. It is a journey.

We circled around a table on Laura’s front porch while she led us through a visualization to our creative center. Then, to warm us up, she invited us to pick up oil pastels and chalks and quickly create our first mandala in 10 minutes. I loved the freedom to just intuitively let the colors flow. During the visualization I was reminded of some powerful insights I had while listening to someone from the Strozzi Institute speak about body-based coaching at SF Coaches earlier this week. The presenter led us through a centering practice to get us really grounded in our bodies. We aligned from top to bottom, lengthening while grounding. We became aware of our width, meaning how we show up in the social dimension. And then we noticed our front and back, where we’ve come from and where we are going. Throughout Laura’s visualization I imagined that energy surrounding me like a globe and that’s what I depicted in my first mandala below. This piece felt very airy and dreamy.


Once we were done with our warm-up mandala, we moved on to a more focused project. I decided to play with brighter oil pastels against a black background. I explored feeling more in my body and more grounded and bold by using the vibrant, warm colors of the lower chakras. The mandala of the yellow, red and orange blossom emerged.

Mandalas come in all types. Some are very symmetrical and others, like mine today, are very organic. What’s amazing is that mandalas show up in nature all around us. Think of the rings of a tree trunk, the spirals of a sea shell or even planets circling the sun in our solar system.

What connects you to your center or bindu? How can a mandala help you journey inward and expand out? For more ideas on creating mandalas, check out Mandala: Journey to the Center.

Out of the Box Part II – AEDM Day 10


Today I was at It’s Yoga again leading the dream box workshop for the weekend teacher trainers. Cozying up with crafts and some cool jazz was the perfect antidote to the pouring rain outside. I can’t believe that I get to say this is my “work!” – it’s so much fun and I love helping people tap into their inner teacher and creative wisdom.


The snapshot above is of one of the student’s dream boxes. She wants to create a green yoga studio in her community to bring together yogis in a beautiful, peaceful and sustainable environment. I want to come visit!


Now that I’m home, I realized I needed to do my art for today. So, I decided to do the final steps of my dream box that I created yesterday. In my workshops, I have participants write their dream on a lavender card (honoring Larry Schultz‘s lavender dream pillow). So, I wrote my dream of bringing a new approach called Art Visioning or Expressive Arts Coaching to the coaching profession at large (including writing a book and offering training on how to use creativity to manifest your vision and dreams).

I then used small cards in the colors of the chakras to write down strengths I see in myself. That way, if I’m ever doubting my dream, I can pull out a strength card and remember that I call on this quality to keep me moving forward. I had fun doodling some images to go with the words.

What strengths can you draw on in yourself to keep you connected to your dream? If you’re having trouble thinking of any strengths, ask someone close to you for their insights. Often times others are able to see things we don’t see in ourselves.

[tags]National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, Art Every Day Month, It’s Yoga, Law of Attraction, dream box, art visioning, expressive arts coaching[/tags]

Out of the Box – AEDM Day 9


I have two back-to-back dream box workshops at It’s Yoga. Just got back from the one today with the 28-day Teacher Trainers and had such a blast with them. Each group has it’s own energy and this one felt gentle, inviting and playful. I loved hearing about all their different dreams including opening up a retreat center in the woods, singing opera and much more!

I dove right in, too, and made my own dream box this time. This new box is about being a leader in Expressive Arts Coaching. Participating in the Art Every Day Month challenge has been a great way to really get my creative juices flowing and I’m so excited about where this new direction is taking me in the coaching community.


Back to the yoga studio tomorrow for the weekend warriors!

[tags]National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, Art Every Day Month, It’s Yoga Teacher Training, dream box, Law of Attraction, Expressive Arts Coaching, art visioning[/tags]