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Taking Time Out

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.—Albert Einstein

Saturday afternoon we packed up the pups and our vintage camper to head into the mountains for the weekend. It was the two-year anniversary of losing our beloved pug Louis and being in nature is therapeutic.

As you’ll see from the photo above, I packed all the “essentials:” washi tape, books, magazines, Moleskine, journal, water bottle, flowers, and lavender oil. In between an evening campfire, afternoon nap, and a morning walk, I did peruse most of that stack. These tools serve as a baby bottle of sorts—always nearby for comfort.

On the anniversary we headed off for a hike around the campground in search of a spot to honor Louis. We made our way to the Appalachian Trailhead as a warm afternoon rain began to fall. Tim wanted to head back to camp so the pups wouldn’t get wet, but I wanted to leave a bit of Louis at that trailhead.

During one of our last outings with Louis, we hiked a small part of the Appalachian Trail so returning felt apropos. We sprinkled a tiny bit of the ashes, expressed gratitude, and shared how much we missed him before heading back in silence.

Grief serves as a continual wake-up call to focus on what’s important.

While going deeper into the woods, we lost cell service and for nearly 24 hours we were disconnected. Disconnected not only from social media, the studio, or friends, but disconnected from the constant buzz of life. I look forward to returning to that spot.

Over the next two weeks I’m traveling—out West for a wedding and to the Southwest for a writing conference. My plan is to take time to disconnect, so my next Love Note will be mid-May and blog posts will be sparse. I’ll be posting images of my adventures on Instagram in case you’d like to follow along. Otherwise, look for a reemergence in a month.

Of course I’ll be packing up all my travel comforts with an intention of listening within. I look forward to the space and scenic settings to explore.

Wishing you a glorious month with time in nature (even lunch in the park counts) and moments of disconnection. Bisous. x

During Times Like This

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This morning I sent a brief love note out to our Tranquil Space team:

“Fresh back to the states after hosting a writing retreat and was shocked to hear of the tragedy in Orlando. I’m writing with an intention to sprinkle compassion and an invite to help make a difference.

As we move through this week following such senseless loss, I wanted to share a quote that I hope will inspire:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

The smile we offer a stranger, the assist we give a yogi, the way we greet others at the front desk, the hand we offer a colleague—these all have the potential to change someone’s day, possibly even their life. We have an opportunity in times like this to elevate others. And, I believe, it’s our duty.

Wishing you a safe transition into this week. Be gentle with yourself. May you feel the compassion of your studio community helping hold you tight.”

I offer the same sentiment to you. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Let’s keep ours brightly lit and, ideally, help spread light. Bisous. x

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson

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Prince was my first boyfriend. It may not have been a mutual relationship, but this poster hung on the back of my bedroom door in 1984 and was the last thing I saw each night as I crawled into bed.

From exposing fantasy in “Darling Nikki” (I still know every word) and his movie Purple Rain, to helping me choose between two neighborhood boys—Rudy or Raphael (I chose Rudy)—with “The Beautiful Ones,” to dancing into the wee hours to “Gett Off” after one too many libations at a Phi Delt party, to playing “Nothing Compares to You” in yoga classes, Prince helped me come of age.

Although this sexy man wearing white ruffles in the poster was later replaced by Stryper during my Christian rock phase (“To Hell With the Devil” . . . seriously) and then Guns N’ Roses during my rebellious phase, Prince has always been integral to my journey.

Seeing him live in 2004 was nothing short of monumental. While we could only see specks of his flamboyant outfits and high heels from our stadium seats, it felt as if he was playing directly to us. That’s a true gift of an artist and that August night remains a highlight of adulthood.

I got yesterday’s shocking news via text. After clients and yoga, I headed home to sip wine and sing along to Prince’s The Hits past my bedtime. Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette, Kiss, I Would Die 4 U, Let’s Go Crazy, 1999, Pop Life, 7. Losing him feels like losing a part of my history.

What is it about losing artists such as Prince that touches us so deeply? Is it recognition of our own mortality? Is it the mourning of a spirit that accompanied our journey through life and somehow made it easier by simply existing?

I’m not sure. But as I fell asleep watching Prince videos with tears in my eyes, I realized it was a much stronger reaction than expected.

Although he didn’t know he was my “boyfriend,” it feels like I’ve lost a first love and I don’t seem to be the only one. Apparently he had many, many girlfriends all over the world who are also mourning a deep loss. Bisous. x