Thursday, December 31, 2015

gOt 40-dAy pRacTice?

Dear AweSomE pEEps!

 I've decided to commit to a 40-day practice starting tomorrow for a Revolutionary Self-Care Reboot for the New Year! 

Rituals can provide us with grounding as we encounter the business of our daily existence. I know that the power of simply being present can offer not only a daily spiritual practice, but a gateway to LIVING A SPIRITUAL EXISTENCE-- throughout the next forty days, I'll share some of the more spiritual self-care practices I infuse in my days to help guide me along the way. I'll also share how difficult it can be to keep up such practices--but the benefits are transformational!

Sadhana, or daily ritual practices, support us as spiritual beings--and spirit can be woven throughout our existence. In my self-care practices, I chunk stuff in 4 different categories; note that even though I put my intentions in categories, they all overlap because living a spiritual existence happens MOMENT TO MOMENT. Here's my plan:

Weekly Practices:
  • I will write my blog.
  • I will journal.
  • I will walk in nature.
  • I will listen to amazing music.
  • I will pray and/or meditate; this will look different each day depending upon what I need.

PhYsiCaL (and spiritual)
  • I will awaken each morning, meditate, and set intentions for the day.
  • I will take vitamins &/or antioxidants each day, and drink lots of water. 
  • I will abstain from drinking pop and alcohol, and eating sugar.
  • I will run, do yoga, or walk, for 30 minutes each day.
  • I will take time off when my body needs a rest! 
  • I will take pride in the way I look (cute is good!).
EmOtiOnAL (and spiritual)
  • I will check in with my gut and my heart to see how I'm feeling. 
  • I will give my feelings and thoughts voice and share them with love when appropriate. 
  • I will intentionally check in with the people I love most and try to be more available and connected.
  • I will practice gratitude on a daily, if not momentary basis.
  • I will practice healthy boundaries around relationships, and people and practices that drain my energy.
InTeLLecTuaL (and spiritual)
  • I will do the crossword once per week.
  • I will do puzzles with my kids.
  • I will read about effective relationships, and soul purpose. And some good fiction, too!
So there it is! I know it's a LOT--but I am capable of so much . . . and I have let Sadhana by the wayside for awhile.

What daily practices can you commit to? Leave us a comment and share your dreams!

Lots of heart lOve!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

w(HERE) r U? U r HERE!


I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading lately about being present, and today I had kind of an AHA-moment (also known as an EPIHANY in the world of English literature . . . just ask my students about it . . . they are so sick of me bringing this up! . . . but they're really smart!)

Today I was feeling really happy! Yay! And I felt so so so so so so good. And, because I was so happy,  I was friendly, and smiling, and chatty (and I assumed I am smart and capable, and everybody likes me, and oh!-- I am cute! JK! not).

And my AHA moment was when I realized TIME-BENDING.

I was so present, that my past and future dropped off. SO AWESOME!

For those of us who have spent much of our time in REGRET (pain around our past) and WORRY (pain around the future), TIME SEEMS FOREVER DAUNTING.
  • we relive past pain
  • we lose sleep
  • we are up in our heads
  • we feel fuzzy
  • we are out of touch
  • we make up stories in our heads and believe them
  • we are not paying attention
  • we are scared and nervous
  • we are sad
  • we keep re-wounding ourselves
  • we continually beat on ourselves

I noticed today that when I give the players around me my full attention, LIFE comes ALIVE; I am not breathing, but life breathes me. And I am able to be in the moment, present with that which simply IS, holy in front of Me.
I AM (fully) HERE.

In my life, I have spent a lot of time and energy wishing:
  • I was with someone else
  • I was smarter, cuter BLAH BLAH BLAH
  • my body was different
  • I had more _____
  • my past was different
  • ANYTHING was different
  • EVERY FREAKIN' thing was different
When my vibration is negative, I call in experiences, people, and events that mirror this vibration.

It's a HELL of a lot of "NO!"

When I celebrate and feel gratitude for all that is before me (even the total CRAP-aliscious CRAP), I bring in goodness and light. I celebrate the NOW.

It's a HEAVENLY "YES! ( & thank you ) . . ."

This, my superfriend, is an amazing shift. 

Note to self: the woman who changed my oil today told me she missed me already as I was driving away; I yelled, "I Love You!" as I drove out.

Where is your vibration? How can you command a HEAVENLY "YES"--even to the hard stuff?
Please share in the comments . . . we love you!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Walk with the Courage of your Heart . . . Gratitude!

I felt moved this morning to share with you that I am beginning a 21-day meditation tomorrow that revolves around the practice of gratitude.

Three hundred years ago, Guru Gobind Singh,
a great master and the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, said,

"If you want to walk on the path of love
 . . . place your head in your hands
and walk with the courage of your heart." 

I really believe the practice of gratitude to be a transformational way of being, and appreciating what we have affirms the Law of Abundance as well as the Law of Attraction. Last week I read some wise words which basically stated that when we say to ourselves,

"I want _____,"

the Law of Attraction brings us more WANTING; however, when we offer up gratitude for what we already have, saying to ourselves,

 "I am so blessed and thankful to have _____,"

the Law of Attractions brings us more BLESSINGS and more for which to be THANKFUL.

It's a small but transformational shift in energy.

What are you thankful for today?
Lots of Love,

Monday, December 28, 2015

cHaNgE yOuR vIbRatIoN . . . cHanGe yOur LiFe!

"A belief is only a thought you continue to think.
A belief is nothing more than a chronic pattern of thought,
and you have the ability --
if you try even a little bit--
 to begin a new pattern, to tell a new story, 
to achieve a different vibration,
to change your point of attraction."

--Esther Hicks 

Yesterday I was listening to a CD from Esther Hicks called "Ask & it Will be Given." It is about energy and The Law of Attraction, which basically holds that whatever we put out into the Universe as a vibrational state comes back to us. I was really grateful to be reminded that we all have a natural state of well-being, and we can choose to either resist or allow that natural state.
It also discussed that we can gauge how connected we are to Source by our emotions; in other words, the better we feel, the more in alignment we are with the Yes!, the I AM. So we can watch with detachment our emotions like a guidance system. We also can listen (with detachment) to our thoughts, which are our vibration--the point of attraction.

So (this is totally mind-boggling), if we want to attract something different in our lives, the place to start is by changing our thoughts! And, if we are having resistant thoughts, we can change them to from resisting to allowing.

Wow. I think I have been seeing this backwards for much of my life. 

As Hicks puts it (paraphrased): 
We look our whole lives to control our outside surroundings and attach ourselves to what we observe; we think that when we have __________, we will finally feel better.
The reality is that our natural state of well-being is always available to us because we can learn to CHOOSE better feeling thoughts to feel better--before  our negative vibration manifests in the world in the physical form.
These are the processes we must pay attention to consciously if we wish to become intentional, deliberate creators.
We must awaken.
We must shed our unconsciousness.
We must raise our collective vibration.

In Gabrielle Bernstein's newest book May Cause Miracles, guess what she writes about? Energy

Here are some of her words:

"Your body is a molecular structure that is always vibrating energy. That energy is positive when thoughts are positive, and it is negative when your thoughts are negative. Our energy fields are like magnets; they attract their likeness. Therefore, if your energy is negative . . . guess what? You're attracting negativity into your life. [ . . . ] The miracle-minded approach shows you how to shift your thoughts and energy, thereby attracting positivity into your life."
Bernstein, May Cause Miracles, p. 7

So, whatever energy we put out into the Universe in the form of thoughts comes back to us in the original state--in the same form of energy. Ask yourself:

Can you shift your vibration from negative states to focus more intentionally on service, gratitude, forgiveness, and love?

Can't wait to hear from you!
Lots of love,

Sunday, December 27, 2015

wHo is yoUr trUe seLF?

"Prayer to Heaven(s) on Earth"
Baker Park

So, after living from the OUT:SIDE IN for a good part of my life, I personally enJOY spending time with mE, now. While I used to be sOsOSoSoSoso scared of being aL(one), now I long to BE, & BE quiet, and listen for what makes mE, mE! Some daily practices that help me get centered in mE are mEditating, BEing out IN nAtUrE, prayINg, and writINg in my joUrnal.  

RAther than jump out of bed into the shower every morning in  a huge rush, I try to lie in bed and breathe, and look to my day with gratitude in advance for the amazing experiences and opportunities the You-niverse has created FOR me! 

I love the meditations from the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and here's one about listening to and getting to know your true Self (it's kind of groWnUp, but try it if you's amazing sTuFf!). 

"In this week’s meditation, we’ll begin cultivating the inner stillness and silence that allows us to tune into the voice of our true self or soul. While our ego-mind’s dialogue tends to be laden with self-judgment, anxiety, or limiting beliefs, our true self speaks in the language in the language of love, peace, acceptance, possibility, and joy. The meditation is led by Kyla Stinnett, a certified Primordial Sound Meditation instructor, and the Communications Editor for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing."

In this meditation, Kyla talks about listening to your true self: ". . . when you listen to its quiet wisdom, you will be led to the fulfillment of your highest purpose and deepest, heartfelt desires."

What is your deepest heartfelt desire? Mine is really simple: to love and belove(d). That's it!
How about you? What is calling you? Are you listening?  

Hope you have a beautiful day!
Love and more love!
;) dana

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I think I can, I think I can . . .

Hey All--

So I am in the process of finishing organizing my writing--feels a bit clunky and new, and, to be honest, scary.
The good news is, I am telling myself that I CAN DO THIS, even though it may take a little bit of time and patience.

Anyway, like I was writing this past week, I'm not letting my fearful thoughts get in the way of taking baby steps toward my goals; and when I think about it (thoughts . . . ) I am reminded that fearful thoughts are usually about the future, and they take me away from being present and engaged in chiseling away at the task or moment in front of me.

 I am also reminded of one of my favorite childhood stories called "The Little Engine That Could" by Watty Piper. The little engine had a powerful mantra: I think I can--that served him well and led him to conquer what others believed was insurmountable. 

The power of positive thoughts can serve us in a similar way. What is your power mantra? As usual, leave us a comment and share your power!

Lots of love,

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Full Moon Christmas Solstice!

Full Moon

Merry Christmas All!

I'm going to take a little break today, but I wanted to share with you the link to a blog I receive: Mooncircles. 

Tonight is Christmas, and marks the full moon. Coincidence? Of course not. 

Read Dana Gerhardt's blog to meet the full moon with grace and sacredness!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

iMaGinE iT aLL . . .!

trUst in bUtTerFlieS!

hEy aLL-
Have you ever had an animal friend keep showing up for you over and over until it gets your attention!?  Interesting (and no co-InKY-dInK) that bUttErFLieS have been showing up for me again lately.
Sometimes animals can be called totems--- Webster's Dictionary defines a totem as: "A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated [respected] emblem or symbol, usually a means of personal or spiritual identity." 
The butterfly is a symbol of transformation and change (yiKEs! cHaNGe scary!@$@!@#$# but not really . . . remember the You-niverse catcHes uS?) 
The butterfly is also a totem of trUst . . . in yoUr gUt and yoUheart and the butterfly reminds us that we have the ability to transform in our lives; in other words, we get to change the crappy stuff that doesn't work for us anymore--like relationships, behaviors, patterns, and stories that no longer serve us and become something from our most amazing possibility and iMagInatioN! 
go(o)D news: WE GET TO CHOOSE! Will you answer the most important cALL? yOUr own? hOneStlY. . . I may have put mySelf on CaLL WaItinG for quiTe awhile waiting for mY tImE! I jUsT wasn't ready!
The only thing in life that is constant is cHaNGe! 
(English teacher need to note iRoNy, here).

takes time



that nAtUre

KnOws WhaT it'S


Anyway--we are all butterflies. Find your flight pattern!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

gIvE of yOu!

Give yourself entirely to those around you.  Be generous with your blessings. 
A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.
 ~Steve Maraboli
Dear Peeps!

This holiday post is inspired by the Purpose Fairy--another blog I receive every week! Today, she wrote the following:
There are so many things we can all offer to those around us and believe it or not many of these things are free. If you have material things you would like to give away to those who have less than you do, give it, and if you feel like you don’t have any material possession to offer, give them your time, your knowledge, your love and support and many of the things you have that cost you nothing but they value a lot.
A woman who was traveling alone in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, the woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his great fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
The woman smiled, “The joy of giving!”
What do you have to give? I personally want to make a commitment to give to every person I encounter . . . that can be as simple as a smile!

What can you give?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

bE pEaCe . . .

hAPpY DaY ffpps!

The last few days have been thinking a lot about peAce, and how to calm ourselves  and become present enough to get quiet and clear . . . so we can JuSt Be . . .

We can get quiet and get present in a lot of ways . . . I think I've described meditating (below is a turtle meditation about getting quiet within yourself . . . like a turtle goes into it's shell!:)  
Sometimes, going inside (like a turtle) is so necessary . . . either to protect yourself  from people or situations with gross, icky energy; just to check in with yourself to refuel and get your "stuff" back together; to calm down; or to just rest. Isn't it nice to know that you can do this FOR YOURSELF whenever you want? Whew! and YAY!

I totally believe in breathing deeply, laughing, doing your passion, and spending time with children and pets! There are many ways to experience peace (and it ain't outSIDe of yOu!); PEACE is an INside job! 
Sometimes going out into nature is the best remedy for finding peace; when I want peace, I can go for a walk, look at the trees, smell the flowers, and feel the wind. 

Take a few minutes today to find a little piece of peace . . . 
Have an amazing, fun-filled day (and liFe!)...

pEaCe iN!
;) dana

Monday, December 21, 2015

bE gO(o)D to YoU!

dear fun & free pEOple . . .

I have to say that I've been a bit anxious lately (which you probably already know, if you follow my blog). I keep making lists in my head, and worrying that I'll forget something important.

Well, yesterday I did something (r)EVOLUTIONARY!

First, I wrote down major categories: husband, kids, friends, school, house, funfreeMe, and LIFE! And then, I downloaded everything out of my brain and barfed it onto the paper.

You know what? . . . I realized that my list isn't even that long . . . and I was getting so overwhelmed. Even just getting it on paper calmed me down a TON!

In the past, what I've tried to do is get everything done superFAST so I can actually relax, instead of moving through my activities, and giving each my full attention and presence, trusting that I'll know what the next right thing to do will be--

Somewhere along the way, I learned that if I'm superBUSY and get things done superFAST in a superPERFECT way, I'll get extra credit or something. TOTAL VICTIM of busYness and PERFECTION!

Same with suffering. I used to believe that if I held onto the past and kept reliving pain, I would get extra credit for my extra suffering. TOTAL VICTIM of pAIn (in the butt) and DRAMA!

Secret information: We are human BEings not human DOings. We need to enjoy life along the way and not freak out over all the stuff we have to do, after all, there's always more stuff to add to our lists.

"In Micronesian, there's a word, kukaro, which has no corresponding word in English. When people say they are going to kukaro, they mean they are going to relax, sit around, and hang out. They are being, not doing."
--Eli and Beth Halpern

I sure don't know any Micronesian, and I don't even know where it's spoken, do you? Leave me a comment and let me know! but I love the idea of kukaro, and I'm going to put more kukaro-ing into my life!

xXoXox0x dana

Sunday, December 20, 2015

bE wHaT u SeeK!

“You can’t expect to draw people into your life who are kind, confident, and generous if you’re thinking and acting in cruel, weak, and selfish ways. 
You must be what it is that you’re seeking--
 that is, you need to put forth what you want to attract.” 
- Wayne Dwyer

Dear FunfreePeeps!

Have you ever had a friendship that you were struggling with and you make the other person WRONG? (. . . and thank goodness! OMG! YOU get to be supremely better and right(eous)?)And, you keep BLAMiNG the OthEr person for all the crappy stuff in the relationship, but you don't really take a lOOK at your own part in then crappy-ness?
It's really easy (and kind of a bad habit) to always blame other people for the problems or patterns in our challenging relationships . . . 'cuz there's usually a piece or the pattern that belongs to us (remember the  MIRROR:RORRIM thing?). If it weren't a part of us, we wouldn't see it, right?

What if instead of making someone else wRonG, we figure out what our piece of the problem is, own up to it and forgive ourselves - - and then apologize to the oThEr person first?

You know, Gandhi once said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," which means, sometimes we may need to do things that might feel 

    sdrawkcab, inside out, 
E     N
                                                     D   W          or another goofy
                                                     I      O             manner . . . 
                        S     D
btw--it doesn't really matter what the outcome is--like, as in, whether or not they fOrGive us . . . as long as we've claimed our piECe . . . we can find our ownPeAcE? get it?

So today, I did something really super brave. I have had a really challenging friendship that went pretty bad. I actually spoke to my old friend and described what my own experience in the relationship was, took ownership of my ISH in the whole thing and I apologized. Felt great'cuz I really meant it and I actually felt lighter!

Can you actually imagine paying something forward by BEcoming what you SEE(K). You might just SEE it coming back to yoin your future!

Feels go(o)D!
Have an amaZING day! XoxoXOOxoXOoxO! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015


"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you,
and to give thanks continuously. And because all things
have contributed to your advancement,
you should include all things in your gratitude."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey fUn frEE pee(haha)ps!
Many of you know I'm a grateful teacher, and today during the holiday season, I asked some of my 8th grade kids about what they are thankful for. Here's what some of them wrote:
  • I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends. Through rough times we help each other even thought we don't have to. I am thankful most for my family. My mom can always make it work even though she's single. I love them all.
  • I'm thankful for love and chocolate!
  • Being able to be myself.
  • I am thankful for my amazing friends. They are amazing, funny, and I can tell them anything. I am also thankful for my family. They are very supportive of everything I do, and they're always there for me.
  • I am thankful for everything and everyone I have ever met!
  • What I'm greatful for my family and getting loved. I know so many kids have familys but sometimes I think about the kids who dont have familys to live with or they get abused and i feel so thankfull that i have a family that takes care of me and loves me . . . And thats what im greatfull for.
  • I am thankful for my family, friends, and my new house.
What are you thank-FULL for? Leave me a message & let us know!

ManY ThaNkS aNd mUcH lOve!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

GR(attitude) is GR*8!

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.”
Hey funfreeme followers!

Hope this blog finds you in a hApPy space! I have been doing a lot of reading lately about living with a sense of awesome gratitude. 

Gratitude isn't really something we are taught to cultivate from an early age; as a matter of fact, with the media and pressure at school & work, we often compare ourselves to the made up information we create about what other people have (and it's usually more than what we've got, ain't it?).

I can remember when was a kid believing that a lot of times, ALL THE OTHER kids had all the GooD StufF--like cool clothes (which in my day was red-tag Levi's--we didn't dare wear the orange-tag Levi's!), parents who gave them everything, expensive shoes, awesome vacations, and the list goes on. On other words, I used to compare what I had to what others had, and feel like I never got my StuFF!

I know you are thinking OMG she must be SoOoooooOO oLD! But really now, times haven't changed that much . . . (although the shape and cost of the stuff has changed a lot . . .). 
instead of wondering 
where your stuff is? 
instead of
expecting someone else to give it to you?
painful :( ],

do you ever
. . . pause. . . 
to be 
for what you DO have, 

Hmmnnn . . . maybe we can switch our attention away from what is painful to what is awesome

With much love and gratitude,