B.T.W. (Breathe. Travel. Write.) Yoga & Writer’s Retreats may just be what you need to get inspired! I’m excited to announce my next retreat: May 23-30, 2020 in Tuscany, co-led with Literary Agent and Author Paula Munier. Retreat location is near Lucca and Cinque Terre at the estate Il Borhino. Interested? We have 18 spots. Send me a note and I’ll provide pricing details. You have plenty of time to save miles for a flight! After an initial deposit, payment plans are possible for this intimate retreat that includes daily yoga classes, all meals (vegan & gluten-free on request), writing and publishing workshops, as well as the opportunity for consultations and chapter reviews. Lets do this. You are worth it. XO
… So, what are you waiting for? Hope to see you soon! 🙂
I’m thrilled to share my recent article published in MindBodyGreen.
This stems from our Easter trip to Honolulu when I was able to visit an organic farm that also provides college scholarships and training to Hawaiian youth. I was conducting research for my next novel (Not a book about the Hawaiian region, which the MBG editor incorrectly inserted into this article, lol! But another novel (fiction) that happens to have a huge chunk of the story occurring in the Western Hawaiian mountains and on a co-op farm.) The boys and I spent a day on the farm that is backed by Michele Obama and Jack Johnson for its efforts to help impoverished youth garner education and to boast the health and wellbeing of all Hawaiians.
Here’s a link to my article that is the beginning of MBG’s summer series about travel with a purpose. Click the link below. Mahalo. L xo
I am WOEFULLY behind when it comes to writing in this blog! I have so much fun, anxious and exciting news to share. 🙂 So, I went to Peru. Yup. There’s that! I went with the TUT Notes from the Universe guy Mike Dooley and his amazing brother Andy, a vibration activation master! As well as 60 other folks. It was crazy inspiring. I could write at least 10 blog posts based on our adventures and all the TUT talks we had, connections made, dreams forged…but I’m a little distracted today. ha ha
I’ve been a writing maniac this past week home. I’ve written for TUT.com here. It’s an article that I was working on a few weeks back called: 5 Signs You Are Addicted To Your Wounds. I got inspired to write this based on some observations within cancer support groups at a hospital where I teach writing & yoga, as well as within yoga and various support groups. Within the healing field, it’s common to meet people who are suffering from loss and seeking comfort, spiritual connection and healing. Within this environment, my own issues can also bubble up to the surface. I started reviewing how I dealt with the traumatic loss of my marriage, my mother, my dog, my job all at once. I didn’t deal with it all so well. Today I’m on a path of writing and moving forward. I hope this article can help you—especially if you’re rebounding from injury or loss.
I’m also writing in a focussed way on my 3rd novel entitled Between Thoughts of You. In fact, I aim to have the first draft of this novel completed by mid-May. Fingers crossed! My second novel, Uriel’s Mask, I sent to two amazingly talented agents today. One agent has represented some of my favorite writers like Ann Tyler and Eudora Welty. If I think too much on it, I can get crippled with thoughts like, “Who the Hell do I think I am?!”
And to that, I take a deep yoga breath and let my inner voice reply: “I’m just a writer and an artist who may see things a little differently. My eyes and ears see and hear things that you may not. I am not better than you. But if I take a picture of a tree, I will be more interested in how light dances between the branches at the very top, or where the roots reach and who has sat upon these roots and whether or not the light filtered through the tops of the branches and danced upon their face as they sat on those roots. My photos and my stories may well be different than what yours could be. And with that, I am just a writer with southern roots seeking a break to change the direction of the sails for herself and her two boys.”
I’m off to teach Monday night yoga to some beautiful souls.
I took this picture just before sunset last night, July 4th. I felt such a pang of sadness just before taking this shot—as I miss my boys tremendously. The night before, I woke up at 1 a.m., dying to talk with them, and went outside and tried to call my oldest. When there was no answer, I sat on the steps and listened to the insanity of the loudest cricket orchestra on the planet. Tuscan crickets remind me of hecklers at a Yankees game. They seemed to be screaming at me: ‘Suck it up! Be a big girl!’ Anyway, it worked. I said a prayer that my boys are happy, lifted it up to the heavens, and went back to bed.
I’m learning that letting things go is a process. It doesn’t just happen when one day you decide that it’s a good thing to do. There are habits of behavior and longings and regrets that just don’t die away the moment you want them to. The boys and I will no longer have in-tact family vacations. Mommy and Daddy, after 2.5 years of separation, are nearly divorced. And as I spend time with my boyfriend’s children, who are adorable, I recognize their own longing and sadness that they try to hide. Family vacations always brings up the past. My goal is to be able to fondly recall past memories of our in-tact family holidays, and to be able to create and embrace new ones with a multi-family dynamic. I’m striving to move towards acceptance of my situation and to make peace with where I am. With each picture I shoot, and with each family dinner, I wish I could share it with my boys. But I have to let it go. I’ll be back with them in August and thank God I spend most rest of the year with them!
As many of you may know, I used to live in London and traveled quite a bit. I moved back to California in the summer of 2008, when 7 months pregnant. Southern California is a great place to be when you’re sleep deprived and in need of sunshine and fresh air. But lately, I find myself starting to get that twitchy foot. The itch that, in the past, would make want to purchase a last minute rail ticket for a weekend excursion to somewhere in Europe. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss my old life at all. I really do believe that I was supposed to go through this mess: this divorce, this single motherhood thing and that it’s all part of a plan. It’s forcing me to grow and realize my inner strength and I have embraced that better things are yet to come. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes need to GET AWAY.
Now that I’m regularly sleeping through the night, (isn’t it marvelous when your child finally lets you??) I’m feeling the urge to hit the open road. I crave getting into my car and driving for long periods at a time with no real destination. I recall reading Ann Tyler’s book Ladder of Years where the main character, a 40-year-old mom, took a walk and just kept walking until she moved to another town altogether. I loved it. (Although I adore all of Ann Tyler’s books.)
Don’t worry, ya’ll. I’m not about to do that. But I realize that I need vistas. I need to explore. It’s always been a part of my DNA. My Ex hated that I rarely planned or structured our trips beyond arranging a house swap or renting a flat or house somewhere. I liked to meander and discover things—to sit at cafes and people watch or talk with a chatty local and get the low-down on where to go that evening. I miss spontaneity. In college, I’d take off and drive from Georgia to Maine with no set stopping places in between. I’d stop where it felt good to do so. I naturally gravitated to journalism as I liked the constant change of scenery or new voices. As a child, I wandered in the woods and horse trails. I love discovering by happenstance. With that said, I’m literally and financially too grounded to take off as a single mom of two kiddos.
But I’m realizing that I can still get a little bit of that flight feeling by opening my eyes wider and exploring closer to home. By being present and taking in my surroundings or taking short excursions with the boys, we can explore. So, I’m rarely without my camera these days. I’m far from a photographer, (and none of my pictures were taken with special lenses or have been touched up in some way) but I find that shooting pictures of the beauty that surrounds me in Southern California reminds me there are things to discover in my own backyard. It helps ease that yearning for an excursion I can’t have right now.
There will be days ahead for faraway travel. But for now, I’m going to keep drinking in my sun-kissed part of the world. When I take pictures and look at them later, I’ll remember to thank God for second chances at a new life. I am grateful to stay put at the moment. I am grateful to have the time to create and discover what beauty surrounds and lies within.
AloneTogether: Single Moms Support Group (This is a closed group, please say you found their site from me, Laura Roe Stevens, when requesting to join.)
The UCLA Family Commons: http://www.uclacommons.com/
Single Parent Housing: www.SPAOA.org
Pell Grants For Mothers: PellGrants.ClassesAndCareers.com