Friday, July 31, 2015

LoVe !$%##

Hey fun free folks! 

Have you ever noticed that many people spend a lot of their time focusing on things they don’t like or what bothers them. Sometimes, we are that person . . . either focusing on negative stuff about ourselves (mean inner (S)ELF) or other people. If we don't catch it, this behavior can drain us of our energy FAST!!!! Today let's celebrate: 
WhAt We LoVE!

Here's an amazing video from 
(of the OprahWinfreyNetwork)
a team of people who basically share the love,
and who 
ask life's BIG questions!
I personally like to write stuff down in a journal every day. Do you have a journal? If you want, take out a piece of paper and for each category, list three things you LoVe; otherwise, just think about the stuff on this list.

3 activities you LoVe:

3 foods you LoVe:
3 people you LoVe:
3 books you LovE:
3 songs you LoVe:
3 objects you LoVe:
3 things you LovE about your life:
3 things you LovE about yourself:
Did you know that our thoughts make a huge difference in how we feel, and if we choose amazing thoughts, it can help us feel, well . . . amazing!

What if: Every time you felt mad, or irritated, or even sad, lonely, or tired.  .  . You looked at your list of things you LoVe and chose to focus on being psyched for all the good stuff  instead of being miserable?
What amazing shifts might occur?
Just sayin'...
Lots of LoVe!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

I LiKe (funfree)Me!

Hey All!

A few days ago, I wrote about being perfect, and Guess What!?

I have tried to be perfect all my life and, of course, have never gotten there (cuz it doesn't exist... DUH!!!@#@#@#@#@#@#$@) . . . AND I have been constantly been frustrated and mad at myself . . . be cuz' of:
here it comes . . .
                        here it comes . . .
                                                wait for it . . .
                                                                   wait for it. . .
my inner mean voice (which I am going to start calling my inner mean (s)ELF, by the way--after all, elves are a little bit naughty, aren't they?). Your inner mean (s)ELF is that voice inside of you who is constantly bugging you about not being (fill in the blank) enough. Some grown-ups and therapists and counselor types alsocall it (s)ELF-talk.

Here's a picture of one of these naughty little elves, drawn by my daughter, Chloe (she told me mine is a boy, and I believe her . . .  ):
So, part of my growing up has been accepting myself, being nice to myself, and learning how to like me, myself, and I . . . which is not easy! ;)
Often, it's easier to be mean to yourself then to actually be kind to yourself, especially when that inner mean (s)ELF voice gets really, 
                                 LOUD  and SaSsY !#?!
TOP SECRET INFORMATION (don't tell anyone...): I have a friend who actually hugs herself first thing every morning! And even if that sounds SO RaNdoM to you . . . it just means that she is learning how to like herself (BTW--she is a grownup, if you can believe it!).

I'm not saying you should actually hug yourself in the morning (although I highly recommend it...); I'm just asking you to think about whether you act like U LIKE YOU!? 
In the meantime, here is a FaBuLous video for you---HUGS to YoU . . . and BoNuS . . . they are FREE!

FrEe HuGs!

I hope you have a beautiful day!

hugs and hugs and hugs!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happiness . . .

Tell everyone you know:
“My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.”
And then demonstrate it.
Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. 
Practice feeling good, no matter what.
And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel — 
and then, you’ll love them all.
Because the only reason you don’t love them,
is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.
—- Abraham Hicks

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


"Perfect: 2" 2011, acrylic on canvas, 8" x 10"
David Culver, amazing artist

I think we all struggle with trying to be "perfect" from time to time; but isn't it true that some of us actually make it a full time job?
(...I feel sTreSs coming on just writing that!).
Do you feel like you have to be
Do you expect others to be
What does that mean, anyway?

I see kids in my classes every day who have a tough time being anything less than perfect. This looks different depending on the kid:
  • Some kids are so stressed about being "perfect" that they show me their work over and over, asking, "Is this okay?" (and repeating the same question over and over throughout my English class). Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?
  • Other kids are so scared they won't get an "A" that they get stuck, like, on a writing assignment, before they even begin...these kiddos sometimes sit in my class and are kind of paralyzed from the beginning. Painful, huh?
  • Another way this shows up is with kids who pretend they don't care, or say the assignment is stupid, so they make excuses about why they won't even try the assignment. They would actually rather not even try than maybe not do it perfectly. This is a really tough one!
My heart goes out to all these kids. I GeT iT, because I did that stuff when I was in school, too (but not the third one, because I tried to be so "perfect"that I would have never disobeyed a teacher or turned in a late assignment). 
SO . . . what's the deal, anyway?#!

Where do we get the idea that we need to do everything perfectly? Like, have perfect bodies, look perfect, act perfect, feel perfect (in other words, not ever have negative feelings)? I don't get it.
(insert deep belly breath, here . . .)
Trying to be perfect is pointless because we can never get there! It doesn't exist because we are human and we screw up! 
(surprise!...Note: Your parents are human, too, so don't expect them to be perfect. either. Thanks!)

Anyway, I know now that to be human is to be imPERFECT... and THAT is PERFECT! (and it takes the pressure off, too.!). That means accepting things just the way they are, even if they're not perfect.

I've noticed that when I resist what IS, I create HUGE StReSs for myself. Honestly, I create this stress by how I think about it--which means, I do it to myself (kind of like the inner mean voice, remember?). Yikes, that means I'm responsible and I'm the one who has the power to change . . . change how I think about this stuff! (oh, that's kind of a relief, actually). . .

Here's how: for example, if I am waiting in a long line:
  • I can sit there and get mad and start making up stories, criticizing what is going on and complain about the situation. And guess what? If I look for crappy stuff about the situation, I just see more and more evidence to back my made up stories or thoughts and that will make me miserable! As Eckhart Tolle writes, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”   A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
  • Good thing I have a choice. I would rather stand in line and look around, smile at others, make conversation with people around me, plan an adventure, and enjoy myself! I get to pick my own reaction! Whew!
Whatever is in front of me, whatever happens, is, indeed: perfect (even if it's not).

Yesterday, I read an awesome blog by an amazingly inspirational guy named Kute Jackson "Trying to be perfect is a waste of time" (click on the title if you want to check it out--it's a little more of a grown up read).

I'm so glad I'm finally getting that perfection doesn't exist...that helps me breathe better. And it allows me to be more accepting of others (for not being perfect) and myself (for not being perfect), too.

When I focus on growing from situation (instead of doing everything perfectly), I can live a happier life! Being PERFECTly imPERFECT!

Lots of LoVe!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

gOt mAsTerY?

Dear FunFreePeeps!

I have to come clean about something--mostly to myself, but also to you awesome peeps who read my blog: I often overcommit myself, and then go into overwhelm and self-sabotage . . . and I have been beating myself about it.

My truth is, that I have a pattern of committing to TOO MUCH, and doing TOO MUCH for others, for that matter. 

That pattern, along with perfectionism, sets me up for disappointing myself time after time, and puts me in a self-fulfilling cycle of feeling kind of crummy (focus on the PAST) because I can't meet my own expectations--but it also creates a cycle of WAITING (for some future something), which takes me out of the present moment.

I am so grateful that I'm realizing this! YAY!

And I am also grateful to know that I am truly doing the best I can . . . but I still need to work on being kinder to myself and maybe not expecting SO MUCH and not expecting it all to be PERFECT.

Can you relate?

When I was talking to one of my mentors last month, he was talking about how often people are perfectly comfortable being DABBLERS, when they could be becoming MASTERS. Today something hit home for me about this: my PATTERN of overcommitting (trying to do TOO MUCH), along with my PERFECTIONISM, keeps me dabbling in too many things rather than mastering them.

I want to give myself a better chance of mastery, not dabblery!

How's that? And . . . I'll write more about that in the coming days.

Just sayin' . . . and learnin' . . . LOL!

Friday, July 24, 2015

fUn is, wELL . . . fUn!

cartoon illustration of laughing heart Stock Photo - 8591961

My life has been one great big joke.
A dance that's walked,
A song that's spoke,
I laugh so hard I almost choke
When I think about myself.

~Maya Angelou

Hey All--

What's your DQ? What I mean by that is DRAMA QUOTIENT! I don't know about you, but sometimes I take myself too freakin' seriously. Anyway, what I think is really important is to have so so so much FUN! And laugh!

I'm so lucky that I have a job where I laugh with my students on a daily basis! I wonder if that's what keeps me feeling so young?       ( . . . or maybe I'm just immature . . . not a bad thing!)

Laughing is the best medicine. And I know that I've written about Laughter Yoga before. SO here we are again: Check it out!

Laugh at it all! Detach and look at your life as a movie . . .   and laugh at it . . .  all!
Love you in Laughter!
;) dana booger

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Be wHerE U aRe . . .haVe fUn!

hEy tHeRe!
. . . about the name funfreeMe--today, let's focus on FUN. . . today . . . (and for the rest of our lives!)!

Most people who know me, (especially kids in my classes), know how rAnDoM and wEiRd I can be . . . 
. . . cuz basically, I lOvE to laugh and have fun!

Life is short. So, I believe we should have as much fun as possible, and laugh long and hard LoTs!@#$#!

For example, I like to randomly dance and skip in the hallways at my school just cuz' I can (and I hug my students, too . . . shhh don't tell!). Here's an insane video of me doing the ugly dance that was sent to my blog a couple of weeks ago. Thanks a lot! (I think . . .):

mS. cUrRy doInG tHe UgLy dAnCe!!!

LOL (x 3) @!#!

Don't you love laughing, especially when you can't stop? Laughter can be contagious, and it goes viral in a group! It aLsO feels good and is awesomely Go(o)d for you & our health!

. . . today, I challenge you to laugh and laugh until your belly hurts! I laugh until I cry almost eVeRyDay... and just so you know, I also cry-cry almost everyday---years of sadness pouring the yucky stuff out. It's okay; I am gathering my tribe.

We are always where we're supposed to be . . . always. My best friend reminded me of that this morning. Thanks, Keith--you are amazing.

and thank you, Go(o)d.

Go(0)d times!

;) dana
p.p.S. Leave me a comment and tell me what makes you laugh your butt off!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

gOt bReaTh? jUsT bReAtHe . . .

Dear Ones;

As I was picking up my son from school yesterday, I glanced ahead of me and saw this bumper sticker and took a picture of it. It reminded me of another one I saw last year in Wisconsin while I was on a run. Remember this?

A couple of days ago, I blogged about PEACE, and how signs of peace seem to be showing up for me constantly lately. It reminds me that peace always has to begin with me as an inner state, and it's up to me to have ritual and routine in my life so I can maintain or return to a state of peace when needed rather than react to life. 

It's like I want to respond with intention (choice & power . . . yay!) instead of recklessly reacting (no choice and no power . . . boo!) In other words, . . . it's living from the INSIDE:OUT.  

I've noticed that there are some practices that can almost instantly help me find a state of peace; one is just returning my attention to the very thing that gives me life: my breath! 

Which brings me to my very first:
YoGa LoVebOmb!
A yogic practice for calming and cooling is sitali pranayam, or sitali breath. To practice, curl the tongue and stick it out of the mouth, like a little tube. Inhale slowly and deeply over the tube tongue, and exhale out the nose. If you can't curl your tongue, inhale slowly and deeply through the circle-shaped mouth.
Practice 3--31 minutes for relaxation, calm, and soothing. 

Loads of YoGa LovE,


Sunday, July 19, 2015

imPerFecKtLy . . . iMpRrrRUFFrRfeCT!

Dog is God Spelled Backwards!
"Live life fully while you're here. 
Experience everything. 
Take care of yourself and your friends. 
Have fun, be crazy, be weird. 
Go out and screw up! 
You're going to anyway, 
so you might as well enjoy the process. 
Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes:
find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. 
Don't try to be perfect;
just be an excellent example of being human." 

- Anthony Robbins, best selling author, speaker, and advisor 


So yesterday I was writing about how looking back, some of the tough stuff in my life actually turned out to help me deal better—much later (super much!). But I have to totally admit that while the yucky junk was happening, I couldn’t see the blessing(s) ‘cuz it felt too intense, painful, or just plain hard.

We may not know why stuff is happening or why relationships are challenging, but deep down, we can always trust that there is a plan we can’t see or imagine. And, if we choose, we can look at life as a series of lessons (yeah! I'm learning!) rather than hardships (OMG! life and everyone in it is against me!).

Knowing that, it might be a bit easier for us to forgive ourselves for stuff we didn’t do perfectly—‘cuz we were doing our best.

Side note: Last week, my daughter Chloe (one of my greatest teachers, of course!) and I were making one of our favorite food groups—homemade garlic & butter croutons with fresh basil (yes, we have a bowl of as a snack, and even as a meal sometimes . . . shhh . . . don’t tell anyone!).

Anyway, I tasted them, looked at my daughter, and said, “OMG! These are perfect!”
[Well, we are trying to take the word perfect out of our vocabulary at our house, so when Chloe looked at me, her eyes wide open and her mouth curled down, I corrected myself . . .]

“Oops! I mean perfectly imperfect!”
And then Chloe came up with the best idea:
“Mom, I know! They are imperfectly imperfect!”
Of course, they were . . .

So anyway, if we are constantly learning and growing, and making new contracts with ourselves about what kind of people we want to be, we can breathe easier and live in each moment as if it is a great gift.

This is also called FLOW. When we are in FLOW, we are in LIFE moment by moment, we are PRESENT, and we are in-JOYing ourselves, and we can have gratitude for all of it if we choose-—even if we’re stuck in traffic (gratitude says: I am so lucky to have a car and a job to go to), crying (gratitude says: I am glad I am allowing myself to cry instead of holding my feelings back!), or (sorry, this is the worst . . .) AT THE DENTIST getting a filling (gratitude says: I am so blessed to have a doctor who can help me care for my teeth and insurance to help me pay her!)!

When we are in FLOW & gratitude, time kind of drops off, and we lose track of the day, the clock time, and guess what? Life feels easy and flowing! And (bonus) we have all the time we need & more!

I am so glad to be human instead of perfeckt . . . 

Have a beautiful day!
Lots of Love, 
;0) dana

Saturday, July 18, 2015


beware...the content of this blog may apply to gRowN uPs ;)

One thing I have said to my own kids and my students, too, is that: 

everything happens for a reason. 

We may not always know the lessons in the stuff that happens to us, and that's because we sometimes get so caught up and attached to what WE WANT TO HAPPEN! 

In other words, WE WANT CONTROL, RIGHT????

FLASHBACK to my chubby, freckly, middle-school self: 

I can remember trying to get other kids to like me or be nice to me. That sounds so weird to me as I write it down as a grown up (although I must admit I still catch myself doing it!!!! YIKES! Please don't tell anyone!)

In 6th grade, I remember "liking" a boy named Kenny (last name to remain anonymous... shout out to Kenny if you're reading my blog!), and I wanted him to "go" with me (whatever that means in middle school...). I gave him, like, over 20 packs of gum, wrote notes to him, took ridiculous detours through my school so I would see him between classes, and lots of other cRaZy stuff.
...what we do for love... ;)

GUESS WHAT?...Kenny never "liked" me back :(  sad face  and, of course, in my mind I made up that it was because I was chubby and freckly (he never told me that, though--he barely talked to me at all)!  

DANG!@@#^%&% ...that was a lot of gum...

I know you can all relate---like, for example, thinking:
If I keep kissing butt to the kids who (I think) don't like me . . .
  • maybe they'll stop treating me like crap
  • maybe they'll quit taking my stuff or copying off my homework
  • or even stop hating me on Facebook
  • or at the very least maybe they will LEAVE ME THE HE(LL)CK ALONE! (I can remember actually praying about this one as a kid...)
When I was really in a fantasy land, the stuff I made up in my head was even more wishful--like, for example, thinking:
  • maybe they'll invite me to their lunch table (that's a huge one!!!!)
  • maybe I'll get to go to one of their sleepovers
  • maybe we could go to sUmMeR CaMp together!
You get the picture, right? 
Trying to manage what other people think or feel about us is living from the OUT:SIDE IN. Living from the OUT:SIDE IN is, quite frankly, a butt load of work. But here's the good news:

You can relax... (actually, take a deep breath now! I am controlling you! LOL!)

Living from the IN:SIDE OUT, not the OUT:SIDE IN, is much easier! And, (top secret information) even some of GrOwN uPs don't know this...but you can share it with them, if you think they are ready...

What I know now, is that I can't get other people to like me, be nice to me, or anything else! My job is to be myself (who, BTW, is very likable!), like myself,  and surround myself with others who like me for me. I don't actually have to DO anything; just Be myself. Whew!

I wish I would have known this stuff earlier...(which is one awesome reason I started this blog, really).

Actually, knowing now that this stuff is just plain out of my control is such a relief! 
And guess what? I get to relax, enjoy myself, and just be the best person/mom/teacher/friend I can be... and I think I actually do a better job of all those things when I am not freaking out trying to control things on the OUT:SIDE all the time!!!!!

Hope you are all enjoying this blog! I am LoViNg writing it!
Let me know what your thoughts and feelings are!

Love and Light,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

LoVe U . . .

A couple of days ago, I wrote a letter to me from my higher self pledging to enter a period of Revolutionary Self-Care. Today, I was reminded about the importance of creating spiritual practices to ground and support our daily lives; in Sanskrit, these practices are referred to as "Sadhana." In order to practice beautiful self-care, we each must find solace and peace in our own godly presence. Rituals help me sustain and build a relationship with myself and my inner goddess, and are part of my journey to becoming my own best friend.

Our spiritual practices or rituals don't have to be fancy; in other words, we don't have to sit in meditation for hours, do a 30-day juice cleanse, do hot yoga, climb on top of a mountain, or go to an Ashram to practice our spirituality (although these can all be amazing). Our daily practices can be as simple as engaging fully in the tasks before us--as simple as

being fully present.
It's the best gift we can give ourselves,
and the people we love.

I was reading from MoonCircles; interesting coincidence (not!) about daily spiritual practice. April Kent writes that we must infuse our daily lives with spirit, and "reorganize your daily routine to support spiritual objectives. Seek spiritual opportunity in chores and details." That means to giving attention (or, attend-ing) with full presence to seemingly mundane chores like washing dishes, matching socks, ironing school uniforms, or cooking.

As I do such chores, I imagine infusing love into the act of service I am accomplishing. For example, when I cook a delicious meal, I give my full attention to the creation of  loving, nourishing food for the people I love; I interact fully in the process of cooking with all my senses, sampling and adding flavor when needed, and following my intuition as I chop, stir, grate, and serve. This is a great act of love and service for me.

Rituals can provide us with grounding as we encounter the business of our daily existence. Today I described how just being present can offer not only a daily spiritual practice, but a gateway to LIVING A SPIRITUAL EXISTENCE-- .

Sadhana, or daily ritual practices, support us as spiritual beings; We can work on finding the blessed spiritual work in the mundane of our daily lives--which sounds weird, at first, but is actually a blessed disguise about how the spirit is woven throughout our moment to moment existence. COOL!

When I create a picture of my self-care, I chunk stuff in 4 different categories; the thing is, they all overlap, especially because I try to live a spiritual existence, MOMENT TO MOMENT. Here's the deal:

SpIriTuAL: I try to do spiritual practices everyday--like, meditating, praying, writing in my journal (doing this blog is actually part of my spiritual practice--I'm so lucky! ThAnKs!), doing gratitude rituals, doing daily readings that push me spiritually. These practices also include being in nature, going for walks, and gardening. Finally, I have mentors and friends who also are on a spiritual path, and those are really AmAzIng and important connections!

PhYsiCaL: I eat well, take vitamins & antioxidants, and drink lots of water. I'm even giving up drinking pop (I almost typed poop!). It also includes running, yoga, walking, and (hard for me sometimes . . .) talking a day off or two when my body needs a rest! It also means taking pride in the way I look (cute is good!).

EmOtiOnAL: This means getting in touch with my gut and my heart to see how I'm feeling about life, relationships, my schedule, and trying to keep everything in balance so I don't have a freak attack or get . . . depressed! Also, giving my feelings voice and actually sharing them with important people in my life whom I trust. It also means knowing I don't have to do everything perfectly, so I can allow myself to screw up and learn from my screw up, too!

InTeLLecTuaL: I believe we humans are here on Earth to learn! I personally am a teacher, so I of course love to learn and teach! But it doesn't stop there! I try to do things I'm afraid of, and learn about new stuff. I'm even back in school now for business (not sure why yet, but wHaTeVer!). I surround myself with others who are curious travelers in life, and look to the Universe with the eyes of a child! Luv ya!

Whew! There's so much to learn.
Life . . . is so go(o)d.

So, how do you take care or YOUR beautiful SELF? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Have a ONE-derfuL, heart-filled day!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015


"When in deep water, 
become a diver."
~Ralph H. Blum~

BlOOp bLoop (fiSh sOuNd . . . )!

Have you ever started something, and you really didn't exactly know what they heck you were doing or where you were going? But you knew it was the right thing to do, anyway?

It's not so easy to continue on a path when you're not sure where you are headed. 
It takes 
and it takes
 (which is the subject of this blog).

Sometimes we have nO iDeA what we are doing, but in our hearts it's the right thing and we can feel it! Has this ever happened to you?...It's kind of like listening to your gut, which I don't always do . . . at least I do it more than I used to!

Sometimes, we just need to tell ourselves
"stop bugging me!!!!!!!!!"
about why I 
can't or shouldn't 
(fill in the blank).
stop listening to kids and other stuff (like the media!) that could discourage us.

Yep!#%?  I know that's tough stuff when your a kid or a teenager, and guess what? It's also tough for grown ups!
 Living from the 
IN:SIDE OUT and not the OUT:SIDE IN 
takes courage and faith.

Ram Dass (a super cool spiritual leader) once said that belief is up in your head (be careful about listening to your thoughts? ...WATCH OUT! they might not be true!); he also said that
on the other hand, 
comes from your heart.

What do you want to listen to: your head? your heart?
Imagine they could have an ice cream together and actually have a real conversation!

I don't know about you, but I have spent a lot of my life up in my head thinking...and not always trusting my heart (aka feelings). My head sometimes talks me out of listening to my heart, and I am sick of it! I am learning how to tell my head to 

As Carl Jung once wrote: 

“Your vision will become clear
only when you look into your heart … 
Who looks outsidedreams
Who looks insideawakens.”

PICTURE THIS's a super sweaty day... and you are dying of heat! Would you rather stand on the end of the dock for hours thinking about the whether you should jump in? Or, would you rather just jump in and get your booty into the

cool water?

Just sayin' . . .
;) DiVe In!

Lots of LoVe,