10 Adventure Quests with a Toddler

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. — William Feather

Yesterday I awoke with a few limiting thoughts and a lack of excitement about the day with my toddler. I decided to do something different. I asked the question: How can I make today an adventure!? How could we make it more fun!?FullSizeRender_3

I thought: Make it a game. We will go on 10 quests today. I shared the idea with my son and then, we sat down and wrote out our list. He contributed the park, store and making the pumpkin porridge, the rest were my ideas that he agreed with.

We started our game at 10:30 am and ended at 5:30 pm. Below is what we did in the order we did them. 🙂

1. 7 minute Whole Body Vibration Plate workoutWe  have our own little home gym so he did his own little “workout” which consisted of not wanting me to workout, playing with legos and doing a little bit of rowing. 😉 (If you’re interested in the vibration plate there is also a less expensive one on Amazon you can find HERE!)

Image-1-12. Grocery Store — Here we got a green juice and kale chips to power us up for the start of our outdoor quests. We also stopped by a sign that I’ve walked by many times but have never read. It was pretty awesome to see people’s desires. Made me smile.

3. Find a feather — We went to the metaphysical store down the street from our house and serendipitously saw a Image-1-2bunch of feathers. #Score! I also got some more frankenscience incense and a little memento to put on my desk. Oh, and I bought a magazine which is something I pretty much never do. I know really daring greatly. HA! FullSizeRenderI thought the cover was brilliant!! 🙂

4.Discover something new — We stopped to ask two construction workers what they were fixing. We learned all about how the water actually gets into our homes so we can use it. Amazing how many people help our lives run smoother. WFullSizeRender_4e also discovered this cool free library someone created on the street outside their house and made a note to go and donate a book.

5. Walk down a different street — While we were walking down our quest street we met a local author, Robyn. If I wasn’t in the adventurous spirit I probably wouldn’t have said anything. But, we were on a quest so I said: I think I have a book you wrote. Did you write a book? She said: Yes! We talked about her book/work/parenting/etc. Then, I shared how much I appreciated her commitment to unabashedly be herself. We had a delightful conversation and hugged as we both went on our way. (Her book is Go Only As Fast As Your Slowest Part Feels Safe To Go).

6. Go to the park and do 10 different activities We visit the park at least once a day. I sometimes play but mostly just hang around and watch my son play. I wanted to get in on the action so I committed to doing 10 different activities. I went down slides, climbed walls, attempted pull ups, jumped, etc. It was so much more fun. Good reminder we can inspire play wherever we go. Don’t let the joy stoppers limit our fun!

7. Have a picnic  — I was thinking we would rock this quest in the afternoon but FullSizeRender_2it ended up raining. Later I told E we still needed to do our picnic quest. He said we already did it when we sat on the floor eating our pumpkin porridge. Indoor picnic on the floor? Works for me! 🙂

Then, it was about 4:45 and it was chilly and slightly raining and I really wanted to just stay inside. But, we still had a few more quests to complete. E said: Let’s Go! So, we put our jackets and hats on and headed out. It was actually amazing.  No one was out and it was beautiful from the recent rainfall with lots of puddles to jump in.

8. Help someone — I am reaching with this one because it was more just being helpful rather than helping a specific person. But, we are counting it. We found 8 pieces of trash and picked it up and put it in the garbage. The best part was how excited he got when he found a piece of trash and then preceded to put it in the garbage. Never would have guessed picking up trash could be so fun!

9. Climb a tree — My son is only 3 so we don’t climb that high. But, we did climb up a smaller one and explored 2 really big tree trunks. While we were sitting on one of the trucks he decided he wanted to have a pretend picnic. Great idea I said (kids are awesome!). He then went and got some leaves and some sticks and we pretended to 1079_25_gratitude-quotes-gratitude-quoteswebhave some apples, porridge, cashew butter and green juice.

10. Savor and gratitude practice —  We savored all the fun things we did before his nap. And, then, before bedtime we talked about all the adventures of the day and what we loved about it and a couple of things we were grateful for.

Bonus Quests:
* Make pumpkin porridgeE got the canned pumpkin out of the cabinet and wanted to make something with it. I haven’t eaten grains in 3 years and occasionally I miss porridge/oatmeal. So, I had the inspiration to try to create something similar. We both FullSizeRender_1*loved* the experimental creation and are going to make it again today. Will share recipe soon!

* Sprints — When we were outside completing our adventure quests I said: Let’s get some sprints in too. Wanna run? He enthusiastically said: YES! And, off we went running down the bike path, stopping to rest and take a few breaths and then starting again. So great.

Whew! What an awesome adventure! It would have been a totally different day if I would’ve believed my grumpy thoughts from the morning. I might’ve even felt kinda bored with the whole at-home-mothering thing but we turned it into a wild adventure. Happy I chose something different.

We both got lots of nature time, talked with a bunch of people, had a lot of fun, discovered new things, moved our bodies a lot, and nourished ourselves with some good food, gratitude and the joy of helping ourselves and others! I was a much happier Momma today because of it! 🙂

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P.S. Any other ideas for our next Adventure Quest day? What would be your quests for the day? 🙂

Celebrating Dave Pearson

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
Rumi

1618288_10152277762450318_5614038683655496594_oOne year ago today our beloved friend, Dave Pearson passed away. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. We have a family ritual that whenever we see birds flying we celebrate him. My son will say: There’s Davey! I will pause and smile and say: There he is. Soaring through the sky!  My heart smiles and cries at the same time.

The tears roll down my face thinking about him. Feeling so much love for him and his wife and for Life. What a gift it is to be alive!! What a gift. And, that man celebrated life. Bigtime!! 🙂

Today I honor and revel in 1934518_118477035317_7042737_nhis spirit. His spirit lives on in each one of our hearts. I have been changed by being in his presence. He is embedded into the very fiber of my being. That never dies.

May I be courageous enough to live the lessons he so generously taught me! I can’t hear him laugh or get a giant bear hug from him but I can play these and laugh and connect to his joy. 🙂


I wrote this a few days after his death (reading it made me feel closer to him):

The art of letting go…I can’t say I am thrilled about learning this lesson. I know it’s one we all need to learn. And, sometimes it just hurts my heart. One of our dear friends David Pearson passed on October 28th in a speed flying accident. It was devastating for so many. He has been one of our biggest supporters with en*theos – as an investor and a part of the team. He’s always had pure enthusiasm for everything we’ve ever done. 

I k10712843_10205409621298917_5555399648809237825_nnow you can’t control life and who lives and who dies but this just felt way too early. Waaaaay too early! I want to believe that everything happens for a reason. And, it’s hard to accept. How could someone so full of life die at 38 years young? I want to believe he is soaring on the other side and yet it feels really hard to let go and let him fly. 

They say there are 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression + Acceptance. I so wanted to deny it. I got off the phone and didn’t want it to be real. How could that happen? No. No. No. Listing all the reasons that God couldn’t take a person like Dave from the world. I thought of his wife and my dear friend. I couldn’t breathe. My heart broke open. I couldn’t even imagine her process. I wanted it to all go away. I wanted him to come back. I wanted him to be OK. I wanted him to get up after he fell to the ground. Open his eyes, take a deep breath and smile. Awww Dave!! Living the life doing what he loved!

I’ve gone through moments of all 5 stages. Asking questions like: How did it happen? Why did his equipment malfunction? Could we have done something? Why did it have to happen to him? Why did he have to love speed flying so darn much? I experience fear, anger and sadness and then so much love. He loved life. He was such a passionate and fun soul. We were kindred spirits both being a 7 on the enneagram, full of curiosity and + our love of play! 🙂

I smile thinking of 3 moments I loved dearly and will forever cherish. The first is 11206802_10204906082864082_683228341288346941_othe the day I met him. It was just over 7 years ago when Brian and I first started dating. I stopped at B’s house and Dave was there. I remember thinking I dig this guy. B’s got awesome friends. 🙂 Every time we got together there was lots of laughter and joy. So many great memories! I can hear his laugh now! #‎Bestlaughever‬

The second moment was when I was 6 months pregnant and he came with us to get our first ultrasound. It was me, Brian, Uncle Dave + Zoey (our dog who passed last month.) He filmed it and took pictures and celebrated in the health of our sweet baby boy, Emerson! I remember him being so grateful and honored to be a part of it. I loved that he was there! His enthusiasm was off the charts amazing and I can still feel how happy he was for us.

1397391_10203787552941533_7757834811718594802_oThe last and most powerful moment in time was when he married Beth. Brian and I were in the wedding party. I was like 8 months pregnant. The joy on his face as he stood there looking at his bride. Breathtaking. So much love, radiance and happiness.

I remember sitting there envisioning decades of happiness as a married couple. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. He was just beaming with light and the kind of love that can only be radiated when you’re marrying your soulmate. Pure love, beauty and joy!

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(Blessing the wedding rings with little E in my belly)

As I reflect on who Dave was for me this is what comes…He was one of those gooooood guys! One of those people that everyone *loves*. You felt like having fun just being around him. So full of life and adventure and always pushing his edges of growth in all areas of his life.

He was an explorer. He inspired and he loved  and he cared for so many. Every time I was with him I felt important. He had a way of being with you that you felt like you truly mattered. He loved people. He could connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. He genuinely cared. He was one of those friends that if you needed him he’d be there. Oh, and I always appreciated that he thought everything I cooked was awesome. 😉

1016886_10153316377223242_7701237387055295650_nThese are some of the lessons he taught me that I will carry with me:

1. Laugh big, hard & often!! 🙂 He had one of the best laughs. Such a wonderful childlike spirit!

2. Live fully. Live your life like a grand adventure. Explore it all with curiosity, joy and enthusiasm.

3. Love deeply. The love he had for his wife, family and friends was inspiring and touching. Everyone loved Dave. How could you not!? 🙂

4. Love and appreciate our planet. He loved being out in nature. It was his element and he thrived and delighted in all her beauty and did his best to be a good steward by being as conscious as possible.

5. Be grateful for all the awesomeness that is life. It’s the simple things in life. Savor them. Appreciate them. Delight in it ALL!

He was a big fan of Vipassana Meditation. I’ve done 2 ten day meditation retreats and one thing that is said over and over again is: “Anicca, Anicca, Anicca.” This is a Buddhist term that means impermanence. It reminds us that “all of conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, or in a constant state of flux.” Just like the breath rises and falls so does everything else. Everything passes. I’m doing my best to practice. To breath deeply and surrender to Life unfolding…accepting reality…embracing the mystery and trying not to resist and grip.

Some moments are better than others. Some moments I smile and some moments the tears run down my face. I cry because I will never see that smile again or get a 1797378_10152167090100318_1248667039_nhug from him…I cry for his wife, Beth…I cry for all of his family and friends…I cry because Emerson won’t be able to play with his Uncle Dave as he grows up…I cry…then, I come back to my breath. Breathing in and breathing out. Breathing in and breathing out. I breathe it all in and I let it all go.

Mr. Dave Pearson, I am sending you so much love and gratitude! It was an honor to dance and play with you while you were here. Every time I see a bird soaring in the sky I will think of you. The world was a better place because you were here!! Blessings on your next adventure. I love you!


365 days later and I still wish he was here. I have thought about him, his wife and his family a lot in the last year. I know this is the cycle of life and yet I miss him. I kept the last few texts I received from him…holding on to the thread of connection not wanting to let him go. For weeks after he died I would call his cell phone just to listen to his voice. It really is the little things we miss the most. I cry as I look at the lessons he embodied and I think: Thanks Davey!! He is still inspiring me to live out loud.

This evening we went for a family hike. I watched as my son played so freely and reveled in the beauty of the natural world, just like Dave did. I looked up in awe of the mountains and the sky. Smiling and holding him in my heart. He knew what Rumi meant: This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.

The best way that I (we) can all celebrate his life is to embody the energy and passion for life that he so exuberantly demonstrated. I feel grateful to have known the one and only, Dave Pearson. May his light continue to inspire us all!

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Don’t rush the moments

What do we want? When we get still enough what are our true heart desires?

My son and husband are asleep, it’s 8:40 pm. Tears are streaming down my face as I sit in the silence meditating/contemplating and feeling into my life before I go to bed. I believe we all want to feel alive, like really alive Joseph Campbell style:

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

When I can touch the tenderness of this desire the tears steam so easily. This joyful aliveness is in the moments, in our connections, in the small acts of kindness. If we can slow down enough we can feel our innermost being vibrating with aliveness.

I sometimes notice as a culture we are looking for the big. If this BIG thing happens then everything will be OK. I will be OK. So…we strive and we look forward. We quickly move from one thing to the next so that we can hurry up and get there.

What if by all of this rushing to the “next thing” we missed some of the most loving moments? What if the biggest wins were the times we found the gold shimmering in the slivers of time as we pursued our goals? What if we really did enjoy the journey instead of rushed? This sounds cliche and easy but as a real life practice it can challenging.

I wonder why…it seems like it would be easy right? Savor, soften, open, love and enjoy! Easy enough. Yet, I notice the holding back, the protecting, the restriction of my natural flow. Sometimes I wonder if it’s easier for others? But, then think: I’m pretty sure this is something we all work with. If you don’t please share your sage wisdom!:)

I relish the moments like tonight where I intentionally slow down, pause and feel my heart in such a big and powerful way. It’s like a veil lifts and I want to forever open up my heart big and wide. Knowing this is where the magic resides.

I think it’s important to do things we are proud of, and cross the finish line and feel accomplished. This helps increase our sense of aliveness, but there is more. What about resting for awhile where we are — playing, meandering, looking for the simple beauty, relishing in the appreciation of all that is good now. What’s the rush?

My life isn’t perfect. I am not floating on some cloud with complete peace and joy. But, it’s mine. All mine to create as I choose. The sacredness of our unique lives is astonishing and yet so ordinary. I felt this tonight as I was enjoying some time with my son before he went to sleep. Something pretty much all Moms do…we support our children in getting to bed. But, I was touched by the holy honor it is to be a mother.

After we read our 4 books he said: “Cuddle Mommy.” I cuddled in and he snuggled up next to me holding his green “blankie”; which is one of my dresses that he turned into a blanket because it “smells like Mommy.”

As we lay there in the amber glow from the nightlight he is shining like the angel he is. I softly stroke his hair and face doing my best to enjoy this moment. I feel the pull to go and get ready for bed and I breathe. I don’t want to rush this moment. Not tonight.

I listen to him breathing. I’m acutely aware that one day he will no longer want his blankie or me to cuddle him to sleep. I soften. These are the moments where the divine lives. This is heaven on earth. I watch him slowly close his eyes. I stay awhile longer reveling in his perfection and then, gently get up and walk out the door with a heart full of love.

Tonight as the tears drop down on my journal I write: Open sweet one. Open. It’s really ok to feel this much! I pray to stay open to the wonder of now. Help me see the world through my heart. May I stand in all that is real, true and beautiful in my life. Help me stay connected even when I want to close. Help me love and play even more. Allow my tenderness to heal my soul.  May I feel the presence of grace everywhere, even if I don’t want to and sometimes feel scared. Let me surrender to the LOVE! I breathe in the joy and gratitude for this day. Thank you!

I know there is no getting to a perfect state of grace all the time. I know there will be days and moments the urge to rush will win. And, yet, I hold the intention to continue to remember. Remember to pause and not hurry the moments. This simple practice guides me to more fulfillment. I celebrate these moments like tonight where my heart feels like it grew. I also know I will get triggered and close. Then, I will open. Then, close. And play somewhere in between…thus, is the dance of life.
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Meditation + Dance Party (w/ my son) = Joyful Momma

be-still-in-the-now-picture-quoteMy son said he wanted to make me feel better today. He got out his healing glove and told me to come into his hospital and lie down on the bed so he could help me. He’s really into firetrucks, hospitals, doctors and caring for me these days. So sweet!

He “buckled” me in and then got some legos along with a few other toys and put them on my belly and touched my head with his glove. I laid there for a few minutes and then said I was going to get up. He said: No Mommy don’t get up. I’m not done yet. Be still. Don’t move. 

I laughed and said: Yes, good advice. Be still. I took a deep breath, laid back down and smiled. Who says you can’t meditate with a child? I had a whole 5 minutes of deep breathing plus a “healing” session. How does it get any better
than that? 🙂

In the last few months I’ve occasionally awoken before E (we co-sleep) and I’ll be meditating in bed when he wakes up. I tell him I’m meditating and he can sit with me if he’d like. Most of the time he comes in and cuddles up in my lap and patiently waits while I “practice.” Sometimes he’s ready to get up and I flow with that too.:) The more I slow down, listen and be still the easier life becomes. In the stillness I can hear the voice of silence gently guiding me towards peace, love and freedom.

After our healing meditation he wanted to listen to some music. So we turned on the “Let it go” Pandora station and rocked out to: Part of your world + Uptown Funk. Love me some dancin’ and singin’! (You can find a 5 minute video on how I make dancing a workout HERE).

The lesson I am remembering today is there is always time and space to do whatever nourishes our soul. We just have to keep our intention at the forefront so we can see the opportunities when they arise. Otherwise we miss the joy hidden in the mundane because we are off to the next thing.

So…my fun challenge for you, SuperBetter style, is to take a minute or five to be still, breathe and tune into your innate awesomeness and pick one of your favorite songs and dance and sing your heart out. Dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth. — William W. Purkey

Now, I’m off to make dinner!

Dance on Goddess,

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P.S. I’m always on the look out for new songs to rock out to. If you feel inspired share some of your favorite tunes in the comments below.

Power of Passionate Presence – Interview with Catherine Ingram

Catherine Ingram is an author and international dharma teacher. She is a mentor and dear friend, whom I cherish deeply. Her love, presence and wisdom has been such a gift in my life.

These are some of the topics we covered in this interview:

  • How to know when you are out of alignment with with your true self
  • How to create the habit of silence
  • How death can be our alley and inspire us to savor our lives more
  • How to cultivate passionate presence
  • How to create a truly nourishing and authentic life

Hope you enjoy!

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Nurturing Your Soul – Interview with Renee Trudeau

This is an interview with the lovely Renee Trudeau. She is an internationally-recognizedRenee Headshot coach and consultant, speaker and author. She’s also the founder of Renée Trudeau & Associates and sister company, award-winning Career Strategists.

Her coaching team has helped professionals and entrepreneurs create passion-filled careers and come into greater work/life alignment through integrating who they are with what they do.

We explore these topics in this interview:
   *  Why self-care is a spiritual practice
   *  How to connect to your Wise Self for guidance
   *  Why energy management is more important than time management
   *  The importance of creating a support network
   *  How we can create more joy and get more done by slowing down

It’s been a process to give myself permission to do what helps my mind, body and spirit thrive. I’ve noticed that in order for me to feel deeply nourished I need a lot of self-care.

A practice that I’m adding to my morning wake up routine is doing a quick body scan and then asking these 3 questions:

  1. How do I feel?
  2. What’s the biggest thing I need today?
  3. What’s the biggest thing I want today?

How can you give yourself the self-care you need? What do you most need right now in your life to flourish? What are some practices that help you connect to your Highest Self?

I actually have an eye mask on while typing this and I will be taking a nap (while my son’s napping) as soon as I post this. Yay, for naps! 🙂Photo on 7-2-15 at 12.40 PM #3

Big Love,

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Soul Pleasure – Interview with Alan Cohen

Do what gives you life! — Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is one of my favorite people/teachers and a dear friend. I am so grateful to have interviewed him for an online conference I created called the Pleasure Advantage.

We talk about soul pleasure and how to give and receive more joy. One of the many things I admire about Alan is his ability to craft a his ideal life and contribute and create abundantly.

Hope you enjoy. You can learn more about Alan here: http://www.alancohen.com/

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