A Gift

From suffering to peace.

In an effort to make sense of this holiday season, today I started to think about what are the gifts that 2016 stands for in my life. As life unfolds, every year really does make for a different experience and gives us a different reference point.

Christmas Eve is such a fun day. It feels like the gift of a moment when your real life is put on hold and you can take a breath to maybe tap into something that you don’t get to because of the usual hustle and bustle. No surprise that I headed to yoga to take this day on. And on my mat was the usual gift of tapping in to a level of my life that I rarely find possible in other settings. As I waited for class to start, I closed my eyes and thought what is the gift I would ask for if I really did have the luxury of sitting on Santa’s lap and the dream that it would come true. And there it was just as plain as day…the tears. Tears that you thought were gone and had been cried enough. It was the tears of missing my brother. This is the 6th Christmas that I will have without him. My heart can make it through so much. This year was no exception. And when Christmas rolls around I realize I need nothing…but, if I could be asked what do I want? I want my brother back.

Just that simple. 

He was the one piece of my heart that still aches. 

He is the one person that could make this holiday complete. But acceptance is all I am left with. After the tears poured, it brought me to another place of understanding. The reality that life is hard. That when life is hard, we get to accept the invitation to find softness in our heart. Maybe the suffering that we face as humans is only to make us learn how to feel the true peace in our heart and to start the most treacherous journey of acceptance. 

All of this to make me realize that Christmas time is nothing more than a chance to see what we can bring to our lives in that metaphor of a manger. What is the little child that you want to foster in your heart and grow into something larger in your life? What is a tiny spark of light that is in you? What can you bring to this planet that is something only you can do?  

Through the chapters of pain and loss, it is still our job to find our way. As I keep walking down this path of life, I will use this holiday season of lights on trees to remind me of that tiny light in my heart that remembers love and joy even when sadness can feel overwhelming. 

Maybe light a candle. Maybe just stare at the Christmas tree. Just a moment to connect with your heart and what is buried there to feed your soul for another year. With love and joy. Happy Holidays!


Holiday Season

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Peace and Joy!

All I can think of this season. Remember the days when you made your Christmas list? All of the favorite things you saw on the commercials that you needed to make your life complete. Hoping Santa would read that list and at least bring a few of the items you dreamed of. And of course, a couple of big surprises were also necessary to make that Christmas morning complete.

As time goes by and the December flurry of shopping, decorating, wrapping of gifts begins, it is interesting to feel the difference of seeing the season as a time to celebrate your gifts that are in your life instead of dreaming of a list of packages to open on Christmas day morning. How many gifts do you get to experience every day? Who makes your life feel like you have been given a present that you had dreamed of Santa bringing? I thought of this today and realized that peace and joy seems to be what runs through all of my thoughts. Peace in my heart, peace on earth, peace in the hopes that good is going to outweigh the bad.

Then I took a quick recap of what my 2016 gifts included. And it became as simple as looking back at my lunch on Friday. And my 2016 gift that topped my list is laughter. I have a group of people in my every day that I can truly sit and laugh with. Most recently, my lunch hour has been filled with the silliest of lighthearted conversations. How can it be that laughter is the gift that can bring you so much joy? And if that is what Christmas is, my season is complete. The laughter begins with that smile, a circle of friends and the freedom to just burst into the rip roaring giggles that fill the air and your heart with that one and only feeling of joy.  

Maybe your joy is different and maybe it comes in a different form. But, joy is top of the list for me this year. The light of heart that lets you feel the gift of joy. Seeing friends and family and really sharing some time together. Laughing, talking and maybe just being in the same room together. Joy. Three letters. Pretty simply. Find more, share more, seek more – joy!!!  ‘Tis the season.



Breathe More, Talk Less

Today I went to yoga. Boy, did I need it. I had been traveling most of last week, so nothing felt normal. And not to mention last week as election week and nothing was normal.

With my water and mat in hand, it was going to make everything better if I could stretch back to normal. Class started and I realized that what happened last week was the ever famous event called “change.” And what we have all grown to understand about change is this little equation.  Now, I did not learn this in any math class, but it is a universal law I know:


Someone help me. Is this a law of physics? Chemistry? Neuroscience? Did Freud write some fascinating human behavior model that taught us this? Or, is it just that basic thing called “life”?
So I kept doing what the teacher was telling me to do. The poses were the same, but I was still changed. Changed by weeks of rabid talk from the two sides. Changed by sleeping in a different bed. Changed by knowing I had to travel in a week to go see my mother-in-law who has suffered from multiple strokes.  

As my thoughts rounded the corner, I realized it is time to think about Thanksgiving. Still doing all of the downward dogs, balancing poses and more – Thanksgiving finally hit my radar.

I guess the election helped us all forget it was November. Then my equation of “change=new normal” took me for another spin.

I love to set the table for Thanksgiving. I like to set it days earlier so you can walk by and start to get excited about that day. The day of cooking, feasting and cleaning. Hanging out with family, friends, neighbors – whoever you end up chowing on turkey with that year. Such a special day of together with friends and family.

And what has changed in your life since you thought about setting your Thanksgiving table last year? Who is still in your life? Who is gone? What was making you smile last year this time?  Who would you sit next to this year for that Thursday in November?

And in the middle of all of my thoughts, which by the way, you are not supposed to be doing when you are taking a yoga class, I heard the best words I had heard in weeks.

"Breathe more and talk less" – the teacher said loud and clear.

And I realized maybe that is the change I need right now. Just breathe more to get through what has changed in your life and in your heart. There has been enough talking this month.  

Let’s just all breathe more.

Maybe that will help us get to our Thanksgiving table and know we are blessed.

Breathe more talk less. Your new normal is waiting for you. 

We can do it!


Find some joy today & carry hope!


Make today a good one.  Stay positive even when the air waves are filled with other options.


You Can Run Alone!

On Sunday my daughter told me these amazing words. We were signed up to do the Race for the Cure with a group of hers from school. It was moms and daughters. It was dark and we were gathered at the steps of the capital waiting for the walkers to start the race. I watched the timed runners as they started the 5K journey. Everyone running because they want to remember someone that had breast cancer, celebrate someone, or just be there to support someone that this disease had touched. As we took pictures and stood around, I asked a few women if they would run and they laughed. I was trying to be in the group and spend the day chatting, maybe meeting a new friend. But, my heart felt restless. I had so much on my heart and ever since I lost my friend Leslie I have avoided this race.  She lost her race with this disease and I have been pretty grumpy about that. So I have avoided the Race for the Cure because I was still heartbroken.

As Hallie and I wrote on our race bibs that morning, a wave of intensity washed over me. There is a blank on your bib that says “I am running for_____________.” As I pulled out a Sharpie and wrote Leslie Walters it became that horrible truth that she was gone. My daughter saw me fill in that blank and said. “Oh, Mom do we fill that out?” She, too wrote the same name on her race bib.

As we drove to the race, I shared with Hallie how much I missed my friend. How certain chapters of my parenting journey, she was the one friend that held so much compassion for me. She was always home when I needed to stop by and gather support and courage to face another chapter that was really hard. At that moment my voice cracked and Hallie said to me, “Momma, you can run with Leslie today. You do not have to stay with the group. Run with her.”

Oh, how a 17 year old girl can give you permission to do what you need to do will always give me pause.  

These words were all I could hear as the race began. Hallie and three of her friends burst ahead in a sprint and all I knew was that my feet were doing the same. I had to run. I had to pound that pavement. These four girls were giggling and contemplating when they were going to stop running and just enjoy this morning moment. I knew in my heart I had to keep going. It was something I needed on so many levels. To just go. To act like I could run to be strong. To push my limits and prove that I can do this for my friend. I could carry her 3 children and her husband as my living memory of her. For that entire family, I was going to sweat out their journey that this terrible disease had cast on their lives...our lives.

It was hot. The sweat did pour. I passed people and people passed me. It did not matter. I had to be alone. No one else understood that this was a moment I needed to love my friend and honor her. I could not do small talk today. I could not spend time trying to make a new friend. I was there to honor my friend. And I was going to run with her. Every step of the way.

Thank you Hallie for letting me go run. Or, for letting me hold my heart in the space of great love and the memory of someone that is still so dear to me.

Maybe today you get to remember someone you really love. It is okay to run alone. It is okay to be alone. 

Maybe a moment alone is all we ever need to help our heart feel love.

With great love to Leslie and her family. If you have a dear friend, tell them you love them.
It is precious to have someone in your heart that you will never forget.

I am forever thankful for having her as my friend.  

She touched my heart and will always be with me.

Wear your bracelet and know it is with you…even when you are alone, it is holding that dear memory.


Weather You Like it or Not!

Today I busted out for a walk. Sometimes the freedom to just head out the front door to take a walk during the day is such a gift it makes me giddy. This was one of those days. September in Austin is still summer. So I was preparing for the bright sun and the sweat to start rolling.

What a surprise. When I turned the corner off of my street a huge cold breeze blew into my face. How could this be? It was such a surprise. Which got me thinking...being outside and experiencing the weather is about as close to being a human and experiencing all of our internal emotions as you can get. Okay, this might be a stretch for many. But, if you have heard it once you have heard it 100 times, “spending time outside is one way to keep your mental health in check.”  That is what I felt today. My whole emotional experience changed when that cool breeze blew across my body.  

Weather is a reflection of every emotion that we all experience.  From stormy to bright and sunny!!!  We can all relate to how parallel the outside can reflect some experience we have had on our insides.

I was instantly so thankful I was outside. My thoughts that I had been carrying from inside my house after reading the paper were instantly changed. I started looking at the flowers, the colors, the leaves that were blowing on the street. It brought me blazing into this moment and this very place in time it was like I was given a gift. Outside is the best place to shift your insides.

I believe it so strongly. The people I know that spend time outside gardening, exercising, walking around Town Lake, etc. All of them carry a different feeling of carefree and joy. Try it for one day.  Just go somewhere. See what the breeze has to offer. Let the sun kiss your face. Walk somewhere that you can see the different plants and leaves as they blow around your feet.

It could hardly get easier. A gift from the earth, weather you like it or “knot!”
Just a Healing Knots moment.

Have a beautiful day!


The Special Club – H.W.

This morning I went to yoga. The miracle of a Labor Day weekend and the gift of getting Monday off from work. The class was full and you could tell a lot of the students were sweating out the football game and all of the concessions that go along with that. The teacher is one that is rather militant and the class is a strict series of poses that she barks you into; not a class that is touching and fills your heart with kind words. So ready, set, go is how the class starts.

Well, today was a day where that worked for me. I needed to just get the exercise on my mat and leave my heart out of it. As we went from downward dog and onward into other poses, it was humble warrior that caught my attention today. Both of those words became just what I needed to think about. For this past week was a week that held a lot of challenge and change in my family. When times get tough, I realize only a few people can stand with you and let you weather the storm. And with that, I realized that very special club of people that are the Humble Warriors in my life. It is amazing how you get into the club. Never do you imagine that your life will land you there. But, these things happen to all of us...these feelings of loss, sadness, despair. Losing control of something or someone in your life and realizing you must just surrender and accept the outcome. Re-writing your story to include something that changed the course of your life and knowing that it will be forever changed. Landing on the other side of these events is how you get to the place of Humble Warrior.

The humble part – not proud or arrogant: modest. Courteously respectful.
And add that to the warrior – soldier: a person who has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness.

The place where these two come together and you become that person. Weathered by the storm and changed forever in your heart by the experience. In these moments it gives you the amazing capacity to love and care for others that are facing something that is changing their lives and breaking their heart.

To all of my humble warriors out there, you are the hands that reach out even when your own life is unstable and you are facing challenge. But, you can hear others' pain and let them know they are loved and safe sharing. The humble warrior does not try to fix your problem. They just know that they can stand next to you no matter how scary it might get. No shame, no judgment. Just support and understanding.

The pose is so very telling. The grasping of two hands, the bending over towards the earth, almost like a surrender. Both feet planted firmly and the legs using all of their muscles to hold you up to maintain the experience.

Thank you Humble Warriors for being able to do just that.

Today I can celebrate a day off to stop and move into the grounding and inspiring pose of humble warrior; at the same time, to take the time to honor those in my life that are my humble warriors.

Blessings and thank you.

Be strong and carry on!!



For so many writing was something you were forced to do in school. The dreaded English class in high school, or the freshman composition class in college that was required for all majors, the letters home from camp; so many ways we were told to write that did not really give us the freedom to share what was on our hearts.

My father wrote. He wrote me letters when I was starting my family in Texas. One Christmas I gave him a kit of stationary and I called it “LTT”. That stood for “Letters To Texas.” All I asked him to do was to write me letters. So I have a file of letters from him during those early years of me becoming a mother and growing these babies up in the state of Texas while he was in Alabama. He also wrote a toast for my rehearsal dinner. Just recently my step-mother found the written version of that toast. This is where the act of writing becomes part of your family fabric. There is nothing more precious than seeing these words on paper that came from my father who is no longer with us. These words can remind me of that special night in Palo Alto at the Italian restaurant when all of my closest friends and family gathered to celebrate that I was going to marry my sweetheart, Bob. My father’s handwritten toast is now history. Written history of a glorious moment in my life.  

My father and I did not have the perfect relationship. We had some chapters that are not really worth sharing. But, that night he spoke with love and great support. Now, 28 years later, I can read those words and feel his love. My children can see the words that their grandfather spoke that are filled with love and kindness about their father. It is a true full circle moment. All of this because my father wrote. So maybe that is why I started to write. It was something that I had watched and felt the beauty of what might not appear in a face-to-face encounter can sometimes be shared and felt on paper.

I started buying books that would instruct me on how to write. Not because I was in school, but because I felt a part of my heart pour on paper that did not have a place to speak in my life. The words that fly from my heart to my fingers are so different. In fact, there are so many times when I read something I have written and I do not even remember that being a thought of mine.  I think writing sometimes bypasses the brain where there are so many critics and rules. Writing goes from heart to hand to paper. And maybe that is one of those great moments of “grace.”

Today I want to just share with you the part of your life that rests in your heart…pick up a pencil and grab some paper…just put words on paper. They will bring you to another state of living. Gratitude, appreciation, happiness. Open your laptop and just start with “Today  I….”  Writing can help you understand what matters in your life. Writing can help you find the tiny voice that never speaks up but is always inside of you. Writing can bring you a wonderful understanding that your brain is not always able to process.

These are some of the amazing books that can help you have the courage to just DO IT!

I know you can do it.
Write something today…maybe it will be found in 28 years by a relative of yours that can’t remember you. Maybe those words on paper will bring comfort to a child that has forgotten a special moment in life. I promise this is all possible.

Pick up a pencil and go write…
Have a beautiful Sunday!
Write on…


Hope is in the Air

Today, hope is in the air. On page #645 in the dictionary sits that wonderful word “hope.”

"Hope – the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out well. . To feel that something desired may happen. To believe, desire, or trust."

Today is filled with hope because someone I love very much is starting a rehab program. Why certain people get stuck in a downhill spiral and find every habit to keep their soul entrenched in pain and substance abuse is something that will forever break my heart. But, today we get to be filled with hope. Hope that something new will be happening. Hope that the dark cloud of bad decisions will be lifted. Hope that the amazing person we all know and love will start to come back.

I am fully aware of the challenges of making dramatic lifestyle changes. Change is the hardest thing we can ever do even when we want it with every cell in our body.

But today the sun will shine and my heart will be filled with hope.

Hope is a long lost friend that I refuse to dismiss from my life. Hope is what makes us keep facing each day. Hope is what gives us the spirit of forgiveness. Hope is on my heart today. May it fill yours, too.

Happy Tuesday…let hope fill your heart.


Summer of 2016!

This is final. Tomorrow school starts around here. That is the true end of summer. Oh, how can summer go so quickly? We say that - but if you start thinking back to early June it does feel so long ago. Then the sweet memories that only summer can hold start rolling through my mind:

  • No traffic 
  • Sunday afternoons by the pool 
  • Dripping bathing suits in the shower 
  • Piles of beach towels to be washed 
  • The simple morning routine with no rushing out the door to practice or class 
  • The tank top and shorts outfit that you wear when the temperatures peak in the 90’s 
  • Summer birthdays 
  •  Trips to the beach 
  • Sand in your car 
  • The smell of sunscreen on your skin 
  • Late dinners on the back porch 
  • Remembering the days gone by when your summer memories were so simple and childlike

I think summer washes over all of us and gets you to relax and play outside. Maybe it is only to run from your air conditioned car to another air conditioned building. But summer is in the air…no matter what you did to fill those sun-filled days.

There is no denying summer is special.

This year summer was special. In it’s own way. It is my favorite season. So slow, so relaxing, floating in a pool or the ocean is my favorite way to feel alive and happy.

Take today and make it a great last day of summer. Sun-kissed and summer happy!

Don't forget your sunscreen & bracelets! 



Happy Thursday! This is such great food for thought via Daily Calm!



We're soaking up all of the fun & sun this summer! Follow along on Instagram @healingknots!


Circle of Love

5 sisters loving and healing.
The circle of love never ends.
Bracelets to hold each other when life gets hard.

Healing Knots sends love and support to all!


Peace, Please

When there aren't words for what is happening in the world...
When the world needs peace & lots of it...
We turn to this book for inspiration!

Find a way to promote peace within yourself & your world today and every day!!!