Happy New Year!

I hope that the last few weeks have been a rich and nourishing time for you with the celebration of holidays and the ushering in of 2016. I just returned yesterday from two weeks of vacation time with friends, family and lots of travel, including a beautiful backpacking adventure in Maui.

Transitions of any sort–seasonal changes, switching from work to play, or vacation back into routine, the passage into a new year or even sleeping to waking life– can bring both excitement/renewal and also some bumpy terrain wrought with anxiety and trepidation. I encourage you to be gentle in the face of these transitions, giving yourself permission to take your time and also offering some extra love and tenderness to yourself if things aren’t feeling as smooth as you might have hoped.

Four of my favorite gem companions these days that are supporting me as I clarify and align towards my vision for the new year are the following:

1. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo: This book is totally revolutionizing my world. Kondo’s approach and perspective on the physical objects in our lives and how our relationship to them shapes our broader experience is helping me to release everything in my life that doesn’t support or enliven my deeper truth and sense of well-being. I have just about finished our entire house and I can’t wait to be officially complete! If you are having the urge to purge your belongings and do a little new-year’s organizing both inside and out, I highly recommend this book!

2. When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams: Another small book that packs a big punch, this beautiful work of art by Williams is a moving read that is poetic and profound. The cold winter months are supporting me to fall back in love with reading and this book touches on both the challenge and power that surrounds a woman’s process of losing/finding her voice–I highly recommend!

3. Tara Brach’s Podcast: Ten years ago I had the honor of meeting Tara Brach for a precious and private meeting at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. I recall sitting in a lovely small house with her and a friend of mine. The three of us sipped slowly on our tea and we had the opportunity to ask Tara questions about anything that was troubling us in our lives. It was a rare and special opportunity–Tara’s equanimity, generosity of spirit and big heart were radiant and I felt completely held and seen by her. Tara is a psychologist, author and Buddhist meditation instructor, blending Eastern and Western psychology and mindfulness practices–her audios are a great tool for cultivating some peace and inner resilience, especially at the beginning or end of a stressful day.

4. Playing Big: Find your voice, your mission, your message by Tara Mohr: If you’ve got some big dreams, goals or desires getting cooked up for the coming year, I strongly encourage you to take a look at Tara Mohr’s book on Playing Big and how to support yourself when those nagging voices of self-doubt, fear and impossibility start to creep in. Her voice is full of wisdom and practical tools for how to start taking authentic action whether it is in the personal or professional domain of your life and most importantly how to befriend yourself in the process of courageous acts. An absolute game-changer!

Now, I’d love to hear from you, what are you most excited about for 2016 AND what are some of your current personal gems that are supporting you right now, other women in our community would love to hear about your treasures, so let us know!

Wishing you a brilliant start to this new year!

With my deepest respect and appreciation,