Meet Sam!

I met Sam at a kundalini yoga class a number of months back. I was instantly drawn to her effervescent and energetic spirit! Samantha is a kundalini instructor, body talk practitioner, a business matrix magician, and co-owner of a super cool studio space in Vancouver, Washington called Enlightened Brilliance Studios. The space offers yoga, workshops, kirtan, astrology, dance, mind-body wellness services, cosmic inspiration and more! 

Samantha and I will be leading a 10  Day Winter Cleanse together at Enlightened Brilliance Studios, kicking off on Saturday February 13th. We will couple the nourishing, curious and cozy winter cleanse with kundalini kriyas designed to bring in the light and warm up your bod!  

I asked Sam some of my favorite q's about cozying up to winter, nourishment and her personal philosophies on food, health, wellness and everything else! Enjoy getting to know Sam! 


As soon as I wake up I make a conscious decision to embrace being joyful. What works for me is asking the question: "what sorts of awesome, amazing, magical things will I do today?” I like to leave things open and ask "How will my life take shape?” This is a practice.

I know that I worry easily, especially if I try to plan and strategize too much. So I try to practice going with what the day brings instead of worrying so much about achieving my plan. I find that this allows me to cultivate presence and embrace surprise.

I also like to listen to fun music. I drink almond milk + wheat grass. I visualize my shower as rainbow light. Small daily things that I do that I think of as little meditations.


Winter is a time of contraction. It creates more coziness, more togetherness. People tend to come together more in winter.  Winter is more contracted and more internal—this inward focus  helps you to see your internal thoughts, and notice your dreams. We spend more time indoors and we spend more time tending to our inner worlds. 

I also think winter is a fantastic time for incubation and ideas and inquiry. Winter is a good time for restructuring, redoing, looking at your life, looking at your business—and asking--what do I want? What will I put energy towards?


I love baths. Salt baths with essential oils. I like to bring my journal into bathtub and listen to fun music. When I am feeling low I write. Writing helps me to get the message that is causing my upset. If I can get the message I can let the rest dissolve. Cry it out. Cuddle myself and give myself space….


The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal. This is a book that I have turned to again, again! I actively use this book to change my feelings in the present moment. So in that way, I see It as more of a transformational tool.

I’m also enjoying the book  Outrageous Openness, Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver. This book has been fun to read as I participate in the form that Enlightened Brilliance Studios is going to take!


Someone that is compassionate -- so that they can feel what their students are feeling. Someone who has empathy — and is actively curious about where their students are coming from. From this place they can really begin to listen. Listening is huge because it can lead to  what really needs to be addressed.

A good teacher can tap into the information that the student really needs, and can present it so that the student can receive  the message themselves. Almost to the point that the student thinks that they figured it out themselves. This sort of deep knowing can be really transformational--it's amazing to see people own their knowledge!


To acknowledge that there is fear and pressure as part of growth—and to accept it -- to decide that it is ok. Choosing to be clear and present in the moment instead of giving in to fear, pressure and distraction. Continually moving forward and taking action.

I also think that it is important to believe in yourself/your vision/your cause so much, that your inner current is stronger than the energy that pops up to get in your way.


How my stewardship of Enlightened Brilliance Studios will unfold. We took over the space on 11/11/2015, and right now it is all new and open and exciting! I’m very curious about what it will settle into.

Personally I am curious about how my food paradigm will change. How will my relationships change? How will I change? What will my life look like once everything is how I would  L O V E  it to be -- infused with joy, excitement and fun? Rather than operating from a place of obligation or fear of loss. 


Well…how about a favorite dream?

I am with a group of people and we are climbing a number of stairs into the sky. The stairs are made of real gold and they are quite soft, so when we step down it effected the step, left a little indent. It was delicate and precious. Once we got to the top, a bunch of gods and goddesses are there, and they are celebrating and dancing and are beautiful.  And then a buddha begins rising up behind it all -- just like the sun. Everything about it felt so real!


Everything is food: the people you are with, the place that you are in, the music you listen to. Everything is food and it is all feeding your soul. Prioritize feeding yourself that which will nourish and lift you up.  Be mindful to protect yourself and be gentle with yourself.

Meet Sweets!

I sat down with Sweethome to talk routines, winter, coziness and dreams -- to get us all pumped for the upcoming Winter Cleanse.  

I started practicing yoga with Sweethome at North Portland Yoga in the fall of 2014. I had just moved back to the Pacific Northwest, was building a tiny house, was unsure of what would come next—and I deeply craved a spiritual practice and a space for me to investigate this new time and this new place. A dear friend brought me to a class with Sweethome and I was hooked. Sweethome offers a strong yoga practice, but what I love most is the space that she creates for inquiry and connection. Connection to ourselves, to “that which knows us better than ourselves”. Connection to each other, through the blending of our voices in chant and the honest (and rare)  conversations that follow. And connection to place-in the Pacific Northwest, on this planet, in this universe. She’s the real deal. 

We will be leading a Winter Cleanse together that will blend 10 days of Ayurvedic cleansing practices and support with 10 cozy mornings practicing yoga and meditation with Sweethome. It's all kicking off January 16th at North Portland Yoga -- Register Here! 

Until then, get to know Sweethome a bit better!



I am up early, 4-6 am. I light the candles on my altar. I make a cup of coffee. I do some writing. I practice mantra and the lovingkindness meditation. Now I am also pulling tarot cards. It is always changing. Sometimes just meditation, sometimes gentle movement. 

And then I move into my day. I take care of my animals. I teach yoga throughout the day.I am cultivating a discipline of writing. I am always thinking about how I am going to make connections throughout the day. Sometimes that is through collaboration. I have video, music, and service projects that I am involved with at this time, but sometimes that collaboration is through simply participating in the world. I just love the interactions that I have with strangers. 

Sometimes I forget to eat. Sometimes I make dinner and sometimes I don’t. Though I get great satisfaction when I supply my girls with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. And I like days where i make a big pot of food for my household. I have a minimalistic life, and I like it that way. Sometimes I don’t have a good handle on being organized and efficient, but in general I do feel prepared for what is to come. Sometimes I get a lot done in a day and sometimes it feels like simply living.

I feel fortunate in the big picture—even when I am fumbling.



One of my favorite things about Portland in the winter is that one week when it snows, and the city shuts down. In those moments, you have nowhere you have to be. No where to go.  You are always in the right place because that is where you are.

The winter sort of stops things.

I also like the sky in winter, the light of winter, there is a softness to the light.  The softness of the rain. Winter is a soft time of year, an internal nesting time.


I love to give and giving is a part of this whole season. I love to give the things that I make  with my hands: bead work, knitting, in the summer it is the fruits of my gardening.

I also like “New Years” and the invitation to set intentions, to investigate the unknowns of what is to come.  In winter, I take care of my inside world, the inner psyche—and our surroundings are an expression of that. During winter I take care of the inside of my house—the inside of myself. I clean up. I prepare. 


Right now I am reading a tarot book and the Sun Magazine. I have also been listening to the On Being podcast, I recently enjoyed an  interview with the poet Marie Howe --- It made me want to be a student of hers. 


Someone who can begin with a subject and talk you into a sweeping expanse touching upon many other things, you forget where it all began, but then they bring you back and it all connects . A good teacher reminds us that everything is connected when we don’t see it. We might get lost but a good teacher brings it all back together. I think in order to do that, a teacher needs to be loose enough to not be preoccupied by their own self involvement…they don’t have to prove their point or be too rigid, because what they actually say is not as important as what is speaking in everybody else.


Allowing yourself to be scared….if you are not willing to be scared you will never be in a situation where you need to be brave. 


I experience play when I am teaching. I am in love with the world when I am teaching. When I am biking, that is a sort of play. I had a great day the other morning because every interaction with strangers was funny and witty and we felt connected. 


I don’t have a favorite—they swim in and out as needed.

I am teaching a class at SunGate studios “Mantra for Life” and with it I want to establish a practice of mantra that supports health wellness, so that is where my focus is at now.


I see an old friend. I am happy to see him. I walk up and we hug but my left arm is tucked up to my front side like someone with a broken arm in a cast, yet my arm was not broken. We held each other close, but my arm was there, separating us. I hold people close, yet with distance. I know this about myself.


Hmmmmm…. I’m curious about how my life will shift with one of my daughters leaving for college. She and I have a close relationship and have since she was born.  

I am also curious about where my business will take me—my work is a big part of my life and my lifestyle. I am curious about how my work can be more impactful to the world. 

Thank you Sweethome! Find more info about Sweethome's classes, events and more at

And if you are interested in participating in the Winter Cleanse with Sweethome, sign up! It's going to be a juicy one!

Finding Balance : Making Space : Seasonal Clothing Cleanse

  SEED Find Balance Make SpaceFinding balance | Making space | Appreciation | Clarity | Witnessing truth

This New Libra Moon is all about balance, space, kindness, appreciation, and clarity -- Clear  eyes, minds and hearts. I celebrated the new moon by doing one of my favorite space making activities: a wardrobe cleanse.

This little ritual started a few years ago, after I had realized that almost daily I went through the excruciating decision-making gauntlet that was: WHAT SHOULD I WEAR today/tonight/to this thing I have to go to/etc. I am already painfully challenged with decision making, and having gobs and gobs of clothing options did not help the toil. I had clothing that I had collected from others or for various occasions, or for a lifestyle that just wasn't mine anymore. Clothes were spread across different rooms, and storing them was a total chore. This little bit of chaos made me feel crazy and weak and amplified my indecisive tendencies to a deafening roar. So began the methodical, border line obsession, that is the Clothing Cleanse. Essentially, seasonally I curate a  small selection of clothing, hang it in it's place-in my space, and I put the rest away. Out of sight, out of mind.

This ritual allows me to feel in control and intentional-about where I put my money and what I spend mental energy on in a day.  It encourages me to be creative with what is, and imagine what could be. Having fewer, yet appropriately curated items, means that the things that are showcased are things that I love--that really work for me. I don't have space for things that are just so-so. This brings a deep appreciation for those items that I get to enjoy for a part of the year--I take care of them and treat them well. Because items rotate and new things come into my consciousness a few dedicated times a year--I break free from that graspy feeling of always wanting something else. And, decision making is more or less effortless.

Now, I live in a tiny house, so having the essentials on hand-- and only the essentials in my space-- is, well-essential. Pictured below is the clothing storage that Oliver and I share.  That's not a lot of space! That means I need to be particular about what is going to take up space.

iny House ClothingThe seasonal wardrobe is in the house and the rest of the items are in a small storage closet, in 2 plastic storage containers. This includes all off-season clothing, coats, shoes, scarves, and accessories.

When it comes to "seasonal" clothing, there are plenty of items that are good for all seasons-- this means that I have to store some of those basics so that the wardrobe is manageable. I love this aspect because inevitably I will be delighted later in the year when I "rediscover" some of my favorites. This also means that the longevity of the clothing and shoes is preserved, which is great! Less stuff to buy. Speaking of which, this whole practice  makes going shopping way less interesting as I get to "shop" my existing wardrobe a few times a year. I still get those little "yay--new stuff" sensations when I pull out a scarf or a sweater I completely forgot about!

This whole ritual is incredibly satisfying, and is something that has removed much stress and decision fatigue from my life. You may not be as crippled at decision making as I am--but I assure you that you would benefit from lightening your clothing load.  It clears so much space!

SEED WardrobeAre you feeling pumped about cleansing your own closet?  

Here are some steps to consider:

Set up

  • Make space. You're going to be spreading stuff all over and depending on how much you have to deal with, it could take a while.
  • Have dedicated bags ready for items you are ready to:
    • donate/swap
    • items that need to be cleaned/repaired
  • Have storage containers for off-season items. I have one for "Spring/Summer" and one for "Fall/Winter". I like those plastic rubbermaid storage containers.
  • Most importantly--pour a glass of wine and turn on some tunes! Celebrate this space-clearing ritual. It doesn't have to be a chore!

Then begin to sort!

How do you choose what stays and what goes?

  • Some items will be no-brainers--Get those items out of the way ASAP:
    • Items that are clearly the wrong season (store it)
    • Items that are the wrong size (toss it--unless it is reasonable to believe your size will change in the next year)
    • Items you never or rarely wore when it was in-season (maybe toss it or set aside).
  • Are there some items that you love, love, love--and are really looking forward to wearing?
    • Put the lovers in the center of your space so you can really see them. There are usually a few pieces that inspire the whole collection, or pull the whole thing together.  The pic below has a few items that I was really excited about...and the colors in the floral arrangement just screamed autumn to me and inspired a palette.
  • With what is left, consider the items holistically:
    • What shapes and lines do you like to carry this time of year?
    • What's your lifestyle like this time of year?
    • What are your shoe options for the season?
    • What jackets do you have?
    • Start to add complimentary items to the outside of the circle--so you can see what you are working with!

SEED Wardrobe InspirationBe a sleuth.

  • Look for patterns in your go-to selections.
    • Are there recurring fabrics or colors?
    • What do you like about these things?
    • Where do you imagine yourself wearing these items?
    • What are you doing in them?
  • Look around at the other items that you own and decide what REALLY compliments the items you have already chosen. Add those items to the mix.
  • Now look over the remaining items. Could you live with out them for a few months? If so, put them away. If no, set the remaining items aside.

Place the keepers in their new home.

Once you have selected what will stay, put them away in your closet. I have a finite number of hangers and drawer space. Everything must have its place or it is too much... This may mean you will need to be a bit more ruthless about what items stay and what items are stored.

Pack away the rest.

Now, for the items that are going to be packed away in the tub:

  • Make sure they are clean and not damaged.
  • Make sure you have tossed a few things that just didn't work so that you don't have to reassess next year.
  • I will also note anything that I wished I had had for that season but never came across. Those items go into a notes app on my phone, in a note dedicated to items to look for when I happen to be out shopping. This makes shopping more purposeful and allows for screaming deals, as you may be the only one looking for certain items off season. Last spring I scored some autumn booties at 75% off. Stoked.
  • Once that is done, toss in a  little satchel of lavender and love will forget about some of these things and will be delighted when you open up your storage container next spring!

Now, things get really creepy!

I think this is my favorite step:

  • Assess the goods that make up your current duds! I love to sketch out the different silhouettes and general outfit ideas I have. For me it is all about creating nice shapes. So fitted tops, big scarves and flowey skirts or boxy tops and matchstick pants with booties. I also assess my color palette and make sure it is still feeling harmonious. One year I might make paper dolls to take this to the next creeptastic level.

Wardrobe SketchAssess what it missing from the collection to take it from great to wow:

Sometimes a new scarf or a jacket will pull all the items together in a magical way. So I keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to pick those up. I don't shop much throughout the year, but when I switch out my wardrobe I usually shop a bit for very specific items: things that are going to work with what I have going on for the season. Shopping in the way feels more gratifying.

And that's it.

This is a commitment, but the time and energy spent up front, make way for clarity of mind and spirit and ease of decision making. Plus, I LOVE not being hungry for clothing items all year. I have never been a huge shopper, but I am certainly no stranger to that desire for "something new"--whatever that is. This little ritual builds in something new a few times a year--and often are items that I already own. I love that most.

Anyhow, if you're feeling inspired--- Give it a try!

Baby steps would be packing away summer shorts, tops, sandals now, so that they don't clutter your closets. You'll be able to see what you have more clearly...and you will have the delicious element of surprise next spring/summer when you pull those babies out again.

Put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and get down to business. It feels so good to simplify your day to day choices by cleansing your closets, and with it--the angst of decision fatigue!

P.S. It is my D R E A M  to help people to do this. So if you want someone to help you decide what goes, schlep things to storage, or just sit there and drink wine--you know who to call.




Simple Daily Practices To Transform Your Health Happiness


It can be really hard to pick up new habits. Though, I think it tends to be easier if you are already engaging in some “disruptive behavior”. Ooooh! Sounds so naughty! This is one reason that I include some simple, yet highly effective, daily practices into any period of intentionally “disruptive” cleansing. Not only does the motivation to do them come a little easier, they also tend to stick around a lot longer after the fact!

I try to give some extra love to the major elimination organs of the body, during any period of cleansing (and really most any time is a good time to keep these guys clean as can be). So here they are in all their purifying glory:

  • Skin Your skin removes water soluble and fat soluble toxins. To keep it clean take in sunlight and sweat through exercise or sauna.
  • Lungs We exhale out body fluid through our breath and breathing out gases in our body. It is important to keep the lungs clean by taking in clean air and consciously purging the stale air in our lungs.
  • Kidneys Your kidney removes water-soluble toxins through urine. Good clean drinking water, and lot’s of it, can help to flush toxins that may accumulate in the kidney.
  • Colon The colon removes the fat-soluble toxins. Keep the colon healthy by eating fiber rich, unprocessed foods and having healthy bowel movements.
  • Tongue A coating (white, green or yellow) on the tongue is an indication of an imbalance in the digestive system and typically toxic build up. Scraping that junk out of the mouth before ingesting food or water is a great way to keep a suprising amount of toxins out of your body.
  • Brain Ok, not quite an “elimination organ”, but good to pay attention to this one! It is believed that your brain consumes upwards of 5,000 media messages daily. These messages are just about anywhere you look, but are especially pervasive on the television, radio, online, print media, billboards—etc. Best you can, try to limit your exposure to some of these channels, and see how you react. It may be tough at first, but once you get past the withdrawals from constant stimulation, you may find yourself sinking into the beautiful bliss of your own thoughts and wisdom!

As a bonus— here are some of my favorite Ayurvedic practices that keep elimination organs radiant!


Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning

This one is stupendous! After cleansing your mouth: teeth, tongue and gums, add some warm water to the juice of one fresh squeezed lemon. This simple step is a great way to start the day off right—which encourages us to remain on course for the rest of the day! If you want to be absolutely crazy (in a good way) add a sprinkle of organic cayenne pepper. It will wake you with a zing!


  • Lemons are packed with vitamin c and potassium, both of which are good for the immune system, optimal brain function and clearer skin.
  • Lemons are very alkaline, thereby balancing acidity in the body, which if left unbalanced can teeter over into inflammation and disease.
  • Lemons and warm water aid digestion.
  • Lemons and lime are high in minerals that loosen toxins from the digestive tract.
  • Lemons act a s a diuretic, so they speed up the process of releasing toxins from the body.


Belly breathing to wring out the lungs

Just taking the opportunity to take some really deep full breaths with a deep full exhalation can do wonders for wringing out the lungs.

Pay attention to your breathing—try it right now! What do you notice? I bet it is pretty shallow and coming more from your chest rather than deep in your belly. That shallow breathing can leave the lower lungs with a lot of stale air. Take a d-e-e-p full breath, one that makes you belly stick way out, and then let all that air out. W-a-y out. Open you mouth wide, squeeze your belly in, stick your tongue out — get that air out of there! Repeat, repeat, repeat!


Morning Pages

This comes from Julia Cameron’s most awesome book The Artists Way. Spend some dedicated time in the morning writing stream of consciousness thoughts, without judgement (wonderful while sipping your warm lemon water!). Be sure to put pen to paper, rather than use the computer.

It’s good to limit this activity to a set amount of time or a set number of pages. I think 15 minutes or three pages is optimal. Let your mind go wild, release all the jumbled thoughts that are kicking around to the page.  This will do wonders to keep your mind fresh and clear, ready to start your day! You may choose to write about your dreams and spend a little time trying to interpret what your subconscious might be trying to tell you. Either way this sweet little practice can bring a lot of clarity and calm to the rest of your day by giving yourself the opportunity to tap in and be mindful.

These are just a few suggestions for optimal health and happiness! I have many more included in my Spring Cleanse. Details coming soon!