Optimism is a State of Mind

Optimism is not something that happens to you. It has little to do with the external world providing you with goodness and perfect outcomes. Optimism requires a disposition prior to favorable outcomes. It requires you to have faith and hope and to choose to believe it will all flow the way it should be, before an reassurance is given. It is to see goodness in moments, even when goodness seems absent. It is to honor celebrations whenever possible, to offer a laugh whenever it can be inserted. It is choose to see kindness, even when it is hidden. Optimism is a state of mind – which means it is something you must develop internally. It is a choice on how you hold the mind. And if you practice centering the mind upon the state of optimism regularly – it will become your automatic disposition.

When we choose to hold our state of mind in optimism, then joy and happiness will follow easily. If we choose to be in a state of mind of optimism, then we don’t require the external world to always entertain us. Because if we require the external world to be the way we find joy, happiness and optimism, then we will find it costs an extreme amount of finances and usually only lasts a few moments at a time.

A state of mind is a disposition. It is the platform we develop for the mind. When we train the mind to build from the root of optimism every day, eventually it becomes an automatic response.

Last week, my husband and I went to New Orleans. And when in New Orleans, you must integrate into the party – there is no sitting on the sidelines. We went out every night, ate good food and walked the partying streets. One night, we went into a risqué bar and found our way to their roof top balcony. Hanging off the railings were lines and lines of Mardi Gras beads. Now I’m not sure if they were there for future moments, or for the employees or hanging there with full permission for just any person to throw. I chose to believe they were there for the taking. So taking we did. For well over an hour, my husband and I began throwing beads down to people walking along the street. Some people looked up with enormous smiles and glee, screaming for a $1.00 plastic Mardi Gras necklace. Some laughed with full on excitement and some did not. Some people literally slung beads off their arm in pure disgust. Like it was a snake dropping from the sky. Some people acted like they were in church and it was preposterous that someone even suggested they wear beads in New Orleans. It was very interesting watching people’s automatic reactions. And here is the most interesting observation, the group of people that became the most excited to get beads were the senior citizens! They were the ones who automatically flowed into optimistic joy. Laughter and Glee. And the groups that struggled, were the young, dressed up, pretty peeps – waiting for the outer world to reach a higher level of entertainment to create a smile or an optimistic energy.

You see, if you let go a bit and settle into the goodness of life you can have an automatic good reaction majority of the time. If you train your mind to believe that fun things do fall from the sky and celebrations are always available to be had – then you will find joy and happiness easier to invoke within. If you train the state of your mind every day. Saying, “mind we are good, the world is good, all things will work out”, then this will become your state of mind all the time. Your automatic reaction to the world will not be one of despair or anger – but instead with smiles and softness and optimistic energy. Start training today.

Teach your mind to be in a state of optimism. Train every day. Tell the mind to rest in positive light and believe in positive ways. Then watch how this becomes your natural disposition every day.

We Have More than Enough

One the most damaging things we can do to ourselves is use words of limitations, believing in the less than: scenarios, using vocabulary that enhances scarcity.   To believe we have “more than enough” eliminates fears, anxieties and rash decisions.


The truth really is that we have more than enough.  We really do.  If we choose to believe this.  Sometimes we just need to begin with the mantra.  Reciting the words, “I have more than enough”.  The mantra does not have to specific to love or finances or solutions, but instead just the simplicity it provides.  You have more than enough.  You more than enough strength, more than enough patience, more than enough freedom.  You have more than enough.  All you have to do is wear this mantra for a short time in your mind.  Then eventually the mantra will drip down into the heart.  You will not only feel full of possibilities, but full of faith and wholeness. 


My friend Bihn Tran was a prison of war for over 10 years. He knew first hand the feelings of scarcity and less than.  But he choose instead to believe he had more than enough.  Years later, he made his way to America and he talks about how the grocery store here looked like Paradise. The aisle filled with “more than enough”.  We have places like this all over America.  Places that remind us we have more than enough.  If you have just one person who loves you, this is more than enough.  If you have one good day, this is more than enough.  If you have one delicious meal, this is more than enough.  Just believe this mantra in a small little moment.  Sit with it.  Recite it out loud.  Over and over again.  And then guess what?  You just might shift this to your truth.  Before you know it, you will no longer focus on your scarcities.  You will no longer use words that seem less than or fearful.  You will no longer speak with phrases focused on “not having”, but instead celebrating with acknowledgements of what we do have.  We need to stop speaking with limitations and sing with a more comforting truth.  I have more than enough.


Try this today.  Just state the mantra as many times as you can.  When you eat.  When you pay for things.  When you speak of your love.  When you notice the caring acts that people do for you.  Stop and remind yourself, I have more than enough.  Pretty soon you will truly believe this and the fullness will set you free.  Because there is more than enough freedom to share. There is enough blessings to be given and enough prayers for us all.  There is more than enough.  Let’s all choose to wear this statement softly on our soul.  It feels better than the tightness of scarcity. 

It is the practice alone you need.

Where there is loss of faith, the practice is imperative.

Sometimes we lose faith.  It happens. Mother Teresa has stated that she once lost faith for over fourteen years, but she kept serving.  It is not easy always keeping faith. Life oftentimes contains large amounts of suffering and difficulties. We can feel that we are doing everything we are supposed to do, yet the world is not providing a cradle for us to rest our weary heads any longer.  So, we feel defeated, angry, tired – we simply lose faith. And when this happens, it is imperative we still practice, we still bow down, we still show up, we still pray.

It is the practice itself that will provide the relief. It is the ritual itself that will provide the cradle. We may not have the mind purified.  We may not even want to be in practice. We may even feel that the practice is worthless. But we must continue.

My favorite part of all spiritual and religious foundations is the rituals. The ritual is always there, even when the faith is lost.  The ritual we know. We find comfort in the knowing. Even when we have become lost in direction, lost in emotions or lost in mind, we know how to stand on the mat, we know how to place our hands in prayer, we know how to breathe and close the eyes in comfort.  We know how to do our ritual. And it is the ritual itself that will unveil what we are incapable of generating on our own.

I have graduated over 100 teachers in the Teacher Training Program and upon graduation I tell every student the same thing.  “It is not what you have read in your books or the notes you have taken I hope you remember. It is not the postures or the benefits.  All you need to remember is to keep a practice. Do not stop the practice. Stay in practice. The practice is all you will ever need.”  The practice alone will unveil the lessons, the wisdom, the calmness, the peace. It is the practice itself that will take you to Divine.  All you have to do is show up and continue the steps in the ritual. It is that simple. It doesn’t require anything else. I wish I could tell you every student hears that.  Because my studio would have to take reservations for spots in the room every day. But for some reason, us humans forget how simple the answers are. We like to complicate things. Thinking we should be doing more, or less, or studying more, or we simply get lazy and forget.  All you have to do is keep the practice. All we have to do is keep the ritual. When the faith is lost, the ritual alone will bring you home.

Faith is a difficult connection to maintain to sustain at all times.  All sages, scholars, swami’s and Guru’s know this. That is why the answer lies in the practice.  No matter what – don’t stop the practice. Mother Tereasa kept going for 14 years, even without faith.  Her faith returned and thankfully she was right where she was supposed to be when the sensation of pure faith returned.  In the meantime, she stayed in practice. Many times the practice will be the only thing you have. The ritual will be the only fiber of hope left.  And the practice will always be enough. For it is the practice itself that can take you home – not really anything else.

I hope to see you in practice soon.  Standing in our ritual. Feet planted, hands in prayer, breath smooth, eyes quiet and the mantras there to sing the words we simply cannot sing for ourselves.  The ritual restores us and I feel that is a blessing one should allow themselves to have every day. Don’t lose your practice. The practice is all you need

Never Travel Over to the Enemy Line

In The Bhagavad Gita, an ultimate battle is to take place. A battle between good and bad – a battle of our own mind – a battle of faith – a battle that not one of us should ever lose.   On one side of the battlefield, representing the pure and good, is the warrior Arjuna and God himself, represented as Krishna. On the other side of the battlefield is the sons of “blindness” and wicked ways, representing our bad habits, our fears, our internal worries and misguided thoughts and ways.  On the eve of the battle, Arjuna begs Krishna to take him over in his chariot to inspect his enemy line. He wants to know who is there, what they have and what to expect. Krishna tries to tell him this is not a good idea – but Arjuna is adamant. He wants to see. So off they went. And just as Krishna warned – it was not a good idea at all.  The moment Arjuna saw the other side he panicked. He became riddled in fear. He felt inadequate, weak and frightful. He saw faces he could not believe were there. He saw more weapons, more soldiers, a stronger army to fight. The only thing he gained by looking at the other side – was a lower belief in himself, conflicting emotions, confusing compassion with attachment, and of course tangles of fear.  Arjuna became so lost on what the competition had – he was unable to see all the blessings and skills he possessed. He had even forgotten he had the ultimate source of power – he had God himself riding in his chariot with him. Oh how quickly we can forget our blessings – when we are peering into the yards of others – adding up all our inadequacies, measuring ourselves in fruit less comparisons – or peering over with angered judgements or seeing things with tainted delusions.   The truth is this…..It is irrelevant what others have, say or do when determining your success or development of your own greatness. The only thing that is relevant is who you are, what you believe in, what works for you, and how you should behave. You have to focus on your own skills (often times very different than others), ways in which you can offer goodness to the world, how you can be a service to others, how you can develop your own character. It is irrelevant what others are doing – when you are developing your own authentic plan, your own secured personal belief system.   

Everyday you will face competition, you will face others that appear to have more, you will face others that judge you or even have unwarranted irritations or anger with you.  You will see it on Instagram, at school, at the office, even in your own family dynamics. We can quickly start to feel less than or irritated or even more dangerous “full of ego and better than”, if we are not aware of ourselves peering into other’s fields.   When we look at others to determine how we should be behaving or thinking or reacting – we lose sight of authenticity We have to be learn to be fully responsible for ourselves – regardless of how others act. My favorite line is this…….”Just because someone else acts like an a**hole – doesn’t give you the right to act like one too”.  There are fields and fields and fields of other people’s worlds surrounding you. But if you busy yourself studying their “plans”, or feeling agitations with what they have, or what they say or do – you will lose focus on the development of your own greatness. 

You have all you need within you.  It is irrelevant what others have. Your success is fully within your own being because it is specific to you!  And if you let faith and Divine lead you – even blindly into the unknown future – you will stay connected to the greatest power you shall ever need.   Trust in your passion. Trust in your belief. Trust in the gifts you have to give to the world. Trust that you are unique. Trust in your destiny, even if you cannot see it today.  Trust in your own story, even if they future paragraphs feel unknown. Trust in your ability to serve, love and be truthful and kind. Trust in your greatness. Trust in your blessings to come.  What others are doing – is irrelevant to your story. Close your eyes and hear the whisper of God….”I am in the chariot with you – what on earth do you have to fear”. Stop looking at other people’s fields.  Your field has all you shall ever need. Focus on your field and you will feel all the blessings pulsating in the now and all those blessings in process to come.

Trust in the Divine

Trust in the Divine is a simple affirmation.  Oftentimes the only affirmation you will need.  Now an affirmation only works if it is generated from your soul, not from your mind.  Many times, we create an affirmation from our mind and hope that we can get the rest of our being to actual believe what we are saying.  But most of time we do not. We struggle.  Our human mind can create a blockage from the affirmation.  Take for example something as simple as “I am full of wealth” as an affirmation you create in your mind.  You try to recite this affirmation over and over, but you know for a fact in your human life you are struggling financially, and you really do not feel full of wealth.  The mind just cannot accept the affirmation with the facts of the external world pushing a different agenda. An affirmation created in the mind and forced into the soul is not authentic and difficult to feel its powerful truths.  

When an affirmation is created in the soul, the power can merge into the mind.  Sitting quietly in meditation allows the mind to rest and hear the soul whisper words that can bring relief.  True relief. In meditation the affirmation is released from the heart and the soul and the mind will listen to its wisdom.  The soul will whisper the affirmation and the mind can fall into its cradle.

The soul knows things. The soul has the answers.  And sometimes the answer is that we simply must trust.  We must trust in a power that sees more and has plans for the current situations – even if the plans cannot be seen with our human eyes and mind today.

Life contains so many injustices.  So many unfair situations.  The mind knows this. Humans know this.  I am 45 years old and I have never had to become involved in our judicial system before.  I have lived, I guess, like an entitled white woman with a halo on my head thinking that our judicial system is fair. That it is responsible for making wrongs right and that they do in fact bring justice.  But recently, I have had a privilege of learning this is simply not true.  Our judicial system is flawed.  It does not make wrongs right.  It functions with high degrees of unfairness.  My situation prompted me to do some research and I discovered that our country has over 118 billion dollars in unpaid child support.  In 1975, child support was designed to assist mothers in the transition of divorces, but over the years the child support system continuously failed.  In 1996, a minimum mandatory support fee what set forth for parents who choose to not work or were incarcerated yet were required to pay child support – the fee was determined to be $215.00 a month. Fair – right?  Because everyone knows a parent can raise a child on $215.00 a month. My point is this…..the system is flawed.  There are millions of women who face this fact every day. And this is just one example of how the judicial system cannot make a wrong right.  So, what should a human do?  Create a mantra – an affirmation in their mind – knowing the world cannot always deliver? Knowing humans are flawed, injustices continue, and situations remain difficult.  No, a simple optimistic mantra on an Instagram post or a hallmark card probably won’t do the trick.  That is the mind just reading something.  Instead, we must go within and bow down the ultimate justice system.

The best remedy – as always – is to Trust in the Divine.  The Divine is the ultimate system. It does not make mistakes.  It governs always with a plan. It has a jury that sees everything.  When we trust in Divine, we are trusting in the order, in the plan with patience and faith. We trust that wrongs are turned to right – at its own pace. We trust in the purpose and destiny that was designed specifically for us. We trust if we serve the Divine – it will serve us.  We trust in times of need and we celebrate when we know it has delivered us a blessing.  We trust in its ability to keep us whole, even when we become broken.  We trust that our path is flowing in the right direction and that our purpose is never forgotten.  When we develop this affirmation in our soul – it will bring relief to our mind!  The soul will cradle the mind. The soul will remind the mind that all things will be rectified.  Even if the outer world, with human flaws shows differently.  The soul reminds us that Divine is in Charge and we will be taken care of.  This affirmation will bring the ultimate feeling of calmness.  Trust in the Divine – many times this will be the only source you can trust in.  For it is the ultimate King and Ruler of all order.  It never fails and it always delivers.

It has been my honor dedicating my life to yoga.  Meet me on the mat and feel the Divine presence.  It is here all things become right.  All stressors fall away.  All you have to do is stand on the mat!!!


Meditation is Sex

We love to be seduced.  We are seduced by food, beautiful people, luxuries, products, commercials, even drugs – almost anything that holds a sliver of possibility that we will feel a moment profound happiness – even if it is for a singular moment of gratification.  Seduction is everywhere – and let’s be honest…..we all love to be seduced.  But what if I told you that in Meditation – a pure and undeniable feeling of seduction is occurring?  And the seduction is so tantalizing that it is identical to Sex – yet even Holier. 

Meditation is the art of being seduced by the Divine Energy and not just teasing in union with the force - but fully becoming unified.  Where one cannot find a beginning, nor an ending to the dual forces; the forces become inseparable. The act itself creates the entwining of one.  All of you falls into Me; "Crave only Me, know only Me, feel only Me, breathe only Me".  If you can understand the experience in sex - then you can understand how to stimulate this euphoric experience within ourselves.  It is called meditation. 

There are many arenas in our life that a rational mind should be the driving force to connect with successful outcomes.  Yet on the other hand, there are a vital few areas in which the rational mind is a distraction, literally preventing us from achieving the goal at hand; such as in the arenas of spirituality, faith or love. During the 1970s Richard Alpert (also known as Yogi Leader Ram Das), along with Timothy Leary conducted a "spiritual experiment" in which hallucinogenic drugs were administered to quiet the rational mind and allow a spiritual feeling to be actively stimulated within.  Of course, this was a radical experiment - but it did open the doors to a persuasive debate.  Can the dark ways (sex, alcohol, drugs) assist us in understanding the pulsating feelings of divine peace within us? And if we agree yes - wouldn't it be even better if we could be granted these “high’s” without ever having to take a drug, purchase an item or even require a partner to achieve the same effect?  And better yet, this High we would be healthy, calming, beneficial and void of any “crash” or a heavy guilt ridden low.  

Meditation surrenders the rational mind and craves only the connection.  It is the merging of two breaths.  It is the quieting of the mind and letting only a sensation of euphoria to be present.  It is the closure of the distractions and the unifying all thoughts and desires into one single minded feeling.  And when you can understand this practice within the unity of two bodies - then it is easy to understand this concept regarding the merging of one soul into the Soul of Life (God/Divine/OM).  Meditation is Sex.  It is surrendering and allowing The Higher Power itself to seduce to a place of love and peace.  Why would you want to be seduced by anyone or anything else?


​BanokBanok Ban Jai

If I had to have a favorite mantra –


I think this may be the one.  This mantra was handed down to my Guru, ParmahansaYogananda from his teacher.  Loosely translated, it means “striving, striving, behold”.  The mantra is not meant to be a forceful mantra to encourage the harshness of work and work and then receive, but something more softer and kinder.  It is meant to be a lullaby when you really feel you cannot keep going, when you feel all your efforts are unnoticed or that you just cannot keep going.  It is a reminder from the Highest Source, that you are moving forward – even if it feels you are not.  It is a reassuring whisper from Divinity” I see you, I notice you, you will become”.

“BanokBanok Ban Jai”

holds layers of lessons.  The first part is to remind us that most things in life, and especially difficult things, require endurance.  There will be times you have to just keep pushing.  You will want to sit down and give up – but deep down you know that will do nothing.  So instead you must endure.  You must keep giving effort, you must stay with your morals, you have to try to keep believing, you have to try tokeep doing. All that is asked is to the best you can.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Where there is effort – progression is occurring. It may be small effort – with small progression, but something is happening.  The second layer of Banok is patience.  ERRRR  Patience.  We must remind ourselves greatness does not appear quickly.  It happens after endurance, and to be honest after lots and lots of endurance.  Greatness happens after many mistakes.  The mistakes were part of the education.  Patience is there to teach us faith.  True honest faith.  We have to keep believing in ourselves, believing that goodness does prevail and the effort does produce.  We must plow the fields, pull the weeds, endure the aches and pains and sit with true patience.  The type of patience that only comes with faith.  BanokBanokBan Jai

There have been so many times in my life I have felt like all my work went un-rewarded, that all my efforts produced nothing.  I have felt that I just could not endure one more day of feeling tired, poor or alone.  Or times that I felt like life was just plain old unfair.  But then I remember the mantra.  The mantra whispered like a lullaby, it is going to be OK, effort alwaysbeholds.  Hang in there, keep going, keep believing.  BanokBanok Ban Jai.    Today hear this sweet mantra.  It’s meant to feel good, like a caress from the Ancient Mother herself, reminding you to keep going, because you will one day BEHOLD.  And then…..you will truly understand endurance, patience and faith.  To everyone out there today that needs to hear this…..BanokBanok Ban Jai!!!!  I believe in this mantra, I believe that kindness and good character prevails, I believe in dreams and I believe in you.  BanokBanok Ban Jai

Listen to Silence

Listen and silent

The two words contain all the same sounds, all the same letters and all the same meanings.  Silence has a voice, it has sound, it has something profound to say.  Inside the center of silent we become calm, we gain a sense of clarity, we center the senses.  It is in this space of silence we listen. We listen to the hum of Divine. We listen to the inner swirls of peace.  We listen to our own energy and quickly we understand this energy as a force greater than our mind, greater than our worries, greater than ourselves.  To be silent is an intoxicating state of bliss that pulls the consciousness inward to rest its excess behaviors.  Today actively choose to listen.  Listen to your breath.  Listen to the inhale.  Listen to the exhale.  Listen to its calmness.  Listen to its truth.  Listen to silence.  In this space the mind can surrender. 


Today create space to listen – a space to be silent.

Before you speak – be silent – listen – then speak.

After you listen – be silent – use a space – then speak.

Create space to be silent.  Create space to listen.

This is ever, ever so IMPORTANT.


Please do this as many times as you can today!!

Sit.  Be very silent.  Observe while you listen.  

You will be amazed at how much quietness in your body, mind and soul this simple task will unveil.