The Lotus

Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower. Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty.—Suzy Kassem

Monday night I peered at my phone before slipping into bed and saw that a friend’s father had passed away. While I knew he was in the hospital, I didn’t expect it to be his last visit. When I reached out, she described feeling exhausted and numb. Ah, those familiar waves of grief.

Monday was also the five-year anniversary of losing my beloved Gramma and Facebook sends regular memory photos of my dear pug Louis that fluctuate between a punch to the gut and nostalgia. Today’s was a photo of us at the local dog park enjoying the snow two years ago.

As I type from a desk overlooking Costa Rican flora, a butterfly skirts past. These beautiful beings’ lifespan is an average of two weeks. Yet they fly with all their might, unaware that they only have a matter of days.

Loss and change are two constants in life. And it’s during dark times that our resiliency is tested. Will we break or will we bend?

When I snapped the above lotus in the fountain on Monday morning, I was mesmerized with the way the sunlight hit and how the lotus seemed to be growing toward the light. In the afternoon, I stopped back by and another lotus had bloomed. That evening, both had closed and returned to buds.

The lotus is a symbol of perseverance—the rising from a dark place into beauty. It grows in muddy water and yet produces delicate, fragrant blossoms. The murky environment allows the lotus to bloom. Chinese Philosopher Confucius said, “I have a love for the lotus, while growing in mud it still remains unstained.”

While most of us seek clarity and would prefer less “mud” in life, using the lotus as inspiration may help us have patience during the murky times. Could it be that the darkness is paving way for some sort of light? Possibly deeper self-understanding, the shedding of something that isn’t working or we’ve outgrown, a reminder of life’s fragility, or deep gratitude for what’s been lost.

Maybe the murkiness serves a purpose after all. By providing us with a ripe environment to pause and plant seeds, we’re given the tools to bloom.

The lotus reminds me of a Victor Hugo quote, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” May our blooms be a precious offering to the world. Bisous. x




Tranquility du Jour #390: Making A Transition

In this week’s episode, “Making a Transition,” I chat with Melanie Feeney about my decision to go back to school in social work, the associated challenges, and tips on making tough transition decisions.


TDJ390- Making A Transition

Direct download: Tranquility du Jour #390: Making A Transition


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Upcoming Events

Virtual Retreat
: March 11

Tranquility du Jour Live: March 30

Yoga + Art in West Virginia: May 19-21

Writing in the Woods in West Virginia: October 20-22

Featured guest:

Melanie Feeney is originally from Ireland and resides in Provo, Utah. A project manager by trade and a breast cancer survivor by circumstance, she believes that life is what you make of it. She spends an inordinate amount of time snuggling with her dachshund and cat on the couch while sipping tea and reading a book. She loves being organized and is passionate about the learning journey of life itself. She believes that we can choose transformation, and we can learn lessons and grow from anything that life throws at us. After recent breast cancer treatment, prophylactic surgery and reconstruction, she is ready to embark on this new phase of life, and is excited to discover what the next few years hold for her.

Tranquility du Jour


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Week{s} in Review

Week{s} in Review

The sun has yet to rise and I can see a pretty half moon outside my window (or is it a streetlamp?!).

In a few hours I’m off to Costa Rica to lead a week-long retreat I’ve been hosting since 2002 and I woke up before the alarm with last-minute packing concerns: “Omg, you forgot a glue stick!,” “Did I pack enough washi tape?,” “What about ribbon for the gift bags?”

Clearly the big questions in life were plaguing me.

Before Tim and the pups drop me at Dulles, I wanted to pen a quick bon voyage. While away I’ll post pics on Instagram, release a podcast on making a transition, send a Love Note, and may share a blog post or two, so please join me on this voyage in spirit.

Wishing you a respite from the day-to-day in whatever form feels most appropriate. Bisous. x

Over the past two weeks I collaborated with clients, spent a long weekend in West Virginia, taught mindfulness and a Writing Lab at Tranquil Space, met a friend in Miami for a three-day mindfulness training with Jack Kornfield, prepped for Costa Rica retreat, coordinated the spring TranquiliT photo shoot {video}, had dinner with a friend, released a podcast, listened to eight memoir readers at Politics & Prose, savored rose macarons at Ladurée and yummy raw cuisine at Plant Food & Wine, walked the Miami boardwalk, read in a pet-friendly cafe for hours, met a long-time online friend in person over tea, submitted a speaker submission for an animal rights conference, enjoyed a vegan Valentine’s lunch with Tim at Fare Well, and practiced yoga.

Pics in Review

  1. Bookstore Love in Shepherdstown, WV
  2. Mookie hearts his green dinosaur
  3. Gold Buddha snow globe gift {thanks, Carol!}
  4. Creative space
  5. TranquiliT’s spring shoot {collection launches early March}
  6. Cozy night at Tranquil Space
  7. First stop in Miami: Ladurée
  8. Legs up the lounge chair
  9. Miami view
  10. Valentine’s Day vegan cupcake at Fare Well

Savvy Sources

17 Books I Read in 24 Hours or Less
Flow, The Secret of Happiness {Ted Talk}
World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher Shares Mantras She Swears By
A Zen Master’s Advice on Coping with Trump
15 Stirring Book Recommendations For Women Who #Persist
David Foster Wallace on Ambition
24 Pieces of Bookshelf Porn
Why Is Trump Covering Up Animal Cruelty Cases?
Why to Get a Paper Notebook
5-Minute Movement Practice To Start Your Day
10 Mindful Attitudes That Decrease Anxiety
DIY Hibis-Kiss Bath Bombs
How Changing Your Diet Helps Wildlife
13 Tips To Feel Good Today
Glitter Guide’s Must-Read List for February

Weekend Wish List

Safe travels to Costa Rica
Settle in
Eat lots of papaya
Host inspiring start to retreat