Monday, December 23, 2013

‘Twas 2 Days Before Christmas

By, Poppy Spencer
Coach Poppy Ornament

December 2013

‘Twas 2 days before Christmas,
And all through the streets,
Every kid in the country
Longed for Dr. Dre Beats.

Their stockings were hung
By the fireplace by mothers
They’d all pick Apple products,
If they had their druthers.

Other devices were nestled
Securely in their cases,
While people walked around,
Averting human faces.

With my cell and Mac Book
And others with a phone,
We sat together in the room,
Together, but alone.

The moon on the drive
Was beautiful and bright,
And people were caught up,
With things that were trite.

When from under the tree
There arose such a shout,
I set down my iPhone,
To go check it out.

It was nothing but some ornament,
That had fallen and broken,
Hand painted by Aunt Kate,
It’d been years since we’d spoken.

The iPhone chirped
No doubt it was a text,
And I wasn’t at all prepared
For what happened next.

There holding my iPad,
iPhone, and Mac Book Air,
Stood a familiar figure;
And all I could do was stare.

The cords were all draped
Over his red velvet suit,
And one even was tangled,
In his black leather boot.

“Oh Smartphones! Oh Samsung!
4 G’s. iPhone 5 S’s!
What on earth has gotten you
Into these messes?

He spoke so softly,
Yet clearly undone.
“Technology has caused you,
Not to have fun.”

“You claim you’re together,
That you’re just hanging out,
But everyone’s plugged in,
So what’s that all about?”

I looked down at the ground,
Shame stung my every pore,
I knew he was right,
As he continued with more.

“Human kindness is felt,
In the heart, not a device.
Please try to be mindful,
You know, maybe think twice.”

“A tweet or a text,
Even a Facebook like,
Can never replace
A hug from a tyke.

“So consider shutting down,
Completely log off,
So what if your friends,
Ridicule you or scoff?”

“You’ll know you’re real,
You communicate face to face;
The virtual world’s okay,
Yet it has it’s time and place.”

“So call your Aunt Kate,
No email or tweet;
Tell her you miss her,
Now that would be sweet.”

And suddenly he collected
The ornament’s shattered bits,
And held them for me to see,
My mood was in the pits.

“I feel badly,” I said.
“That was a favorite of mine.”
He shook his head smiling,
“Look. It’ll be fine.”

In a flash, the pieces
Flew together as one,
The ornament was intact,
Like magic. No glue gun!

“How’d you do that?”
I whispered in awe.
“That was the coolest thing,
I think I ever saw.”

“Well you won’t find it on Google,
Nor anywhere online,
It’s merely my inspiration,
A token, a sign.”

“To give of yourself,
Share in real time with others,
Openly interact,
With your sisters and brothers.”

He handed me the ornament,
I was riveted in place,
“There’s nothing that beats live action,
No emoticon. No winky face.”

“Enjoy one another!
Kiss, hug and touch!
There’s nothing more blessed,
Be grateful for so much.”

“No matter how tempting,
I won’t post or tweet.
I’ll engage with loved ones,
And hug all I greet!”

“Thank you, St Nick!”
I yelled up the flue.
“You’ve made our time special;
Merry Christmas to you!”

May you embrace the joy in real time of the Christmas season and in the New Year!

Mindfully Yours,


P.S. With appreciation to the author of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Clement C. Moore, whose great nephew is a dear friend.

In January, Coach Poppy will be moving to a new location, and we will keep you updated. Thank you all for sharing J

Thursday, October 31, 2013

If I Only Had a Brain. Memo: We Have One.

October 31, 2013

"You don't call. You don't write."

Actually, that's partially true.

I haven't called yet I have written. Just not to you. I apologize.

This is a heads up that I have been heads down. My husband, Geoff, and I are writing our book, 1 Billion Seconds. We have a wizard of an editor and have been writing and editing nonstop.

Since the last blog I have been inspired at least 63 times, yet, although well-intentioned, have not transcribed those inspirations. With the arrival of Halloween and merry masking, today seemed a good time to pause and share.

This week in my Psychology classes at Ringling College of Art and Design, I posed the question to my students:

"Why do so many of us love to dress up at Halloween?"

Bright, animated faces emerged from behind their laptops. A myriad of answers came bursting through.

        "Because it is takes you back to simple times."

        " is one day when you don't have to feel responsible,"

        "You get to be playful...nostalgic...good memories.

        "Halloween is a perfect occasion to become someone else."

None of their answers surprised me, really. I just wondered if they recognized their motivations for wanting to "be someone else."

At the end of the year, I assign a final that asks the simple question: "Who am I?" This both intrigues and confounds the students. They are intrigued initially, but when they have to peek behind the masks that… well…we all wear…they become a little frazzled. It is uncomfortable to remove the masks, to look beneath, to scrutinize the different masks of defensiveness that we sometimes mindlessly choose to reveal to the world.

Why do we wear masks?

I believe the answer lies in evolution. The human species is here for two reasons.

To survive and reproduce.

The fear center in the brain, specifically the amygdale, is prepped and ready it seems, at all times. It serves as a 360 degree beacon, a scanner on a 24/7 lookout for all possible threats and dangers. The woolly mammoth and other dangerous beasts could take out our ancestors at any moment. The amygdale had to be alert, to defend against the enemy that would eliminate the human species.

Survival of the fittest was alive and well a gazillion years ago.

But that was then.

We have evolved as a species... we have the most complex and most evolved organ of all the species. A brain. Scarecrow did have it, after all.

The Cowardly Lion had a highly activated amygdale. He had perceived threats run amok. We also perceive danger when we ought not to. Our ancestors were very concerned about their physical survival. We have taken that same intense focus for physical survival and transcribed it to our emotional arenas.

Hence, we put on masks. A ton of them.

I acknowledge that we perceive emotional threats and dangers. It is others who impose their thoughts and opinions on us that we take to heart. I am boldly suggesting that others perceive us exactly as we want them to. Whatever mask we put on, others serve as a mirror and shine it back to us.

I politely disagree with Doug Coupland who was quoted in Psychology Today as saying: "If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween."

Why wear them at all, I wonder.

Why not mindfully access the other parts of our brain, that highly functional organ and consciously choose to be real…to be genuine…to be vulnerable and humble…to act with the Tin Man's true heart?

Why not trust as Dorothy finally did, that we have the answers all along? Why not expand upon the wisdom of our ancestors with our really great brain that we have today, to bag the masks, the false personas and fake selves, and showcase instead, the true us?

A what-you-see-is-what-you-get-self?

We can still dress up as Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, yet we do so with a purely playful intent. We are the real deal underneath the costume and mask. We have authentic grounding with our glittery red slippers.

Consider being mindful of the days before and after today, when we, in our lack of self-awareness, put on a mask that really doesn't need to be worn.

The smoky wizards behind the curtains, the emotional wooly mammoths and vampires are also wearing masks. Don't let them undermine us by placing their fears in our laps. Instead we stand in compassion and with an art of detachment, where we can lovingly and empathically acknowledge the fears of others, without taking them on ourselves.

They are not real for the mindfully evolved us, right? Boo yah to them.

Happy Halloween!

Mindfully Yours,


P.S. We are transitioning the Coach Poppy Newsletter to a new site in the next month. I'll let you know so you can come along ☺

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Face to Face with Grace

           July 31, 2013

“So…you are like an athletic coach?”  The 93 year old woman asked me yesterday in the in Produce Specialties aisle at Publix Grocery.
            I explained that I had transitioned from my role as an art therapist to a Professional Coach.
            “Like sports?” She continued, eager to fully understand.
            “No…I work with people who have a willingness to improve and enhance their professional and personal lives – to nurture healthy relationships with co-workers or family relations.”
            “Ohhh!”  She brightened.  “So you make connections in relationships.” She confirmed, her sparkling indigo eyes smiled.
            “Yes.  Connections.  And relationships.  Those are highly important to me.”
            “Me too!” She smiled.  “I used to be a social worker in Massachusetts, so this is very intriguing to me.”
            I studied this vibrant woman whom I had just met less than two minutes ago.  She was with her aid, a CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant, Sherry, whom I had known for 6 years.  Sherry had lovingly cared for a woman with whom I had facilitated art therapy sessions for over 7 years.  When our beloved Rose passed, we consoled one another through sobbing wordless nods.  I had not seen Sherry since Rose’s memorial.
            This is my new ‘Rose,” she announced proudly as if showing off a new born baby.
            The 93 year old gracious woman, named Grace, said she hoped she would be half as admired as Rose.  
            And in the Produce aisle in Publix, I got to thinking about relationships and connections.
            At 93 years old, Grace was still making connections, and cultivating new relationships.  And there was a passion I picked up immediately from Grace: to make connections, to continue to learn and grow…to not stop until understanding is reached.   Grace was a “relationship thriver.”  I believe her 93 year-old purpose was to flourish as a connector. 
Grace cares deeply about making meaningful sense of things in her life.
I believe the desire to connect is innate.  Certainly we see that desire manifested online. 
But there is a subtle difference between connecting online and connecting face-to-face (F2F).  It prompted this question in my mind:
How can one tell if one is mindfully present online? 
I am sure there are subtleties and nuances that the culture of Millenials and Digital Natives understand.   In my Psychology of Social Interaction class this past spring, we examined and compared social behaviors online and face-to-face. 
We discovered that virtual language and F2F communication are from different planets.
And while many ages are now text-savvy, has that savviness put us in a socially isolated predicament – where we are so arms length from one another that we have forgotten - or worse – never learned - how to engage the human spirit? 
Have we painted ourselves in an emoticoned corner where our happy smiles, hearts and thumbs up are the only ways in which we communicate our appreciation and loving thoughts?
I found myself so refreshingly engaged with seeing Sherry and meeting the intriguing Grace.   There is nothing like seeing the sparkle in wise eyes, witnessing her authentic interest in what we were saying by the way she stood up a little straighter and leaned forward on her walker.  Her voice inflection took on a richer tone.  She gestured with her hands.  She was animated.  Sherry and I hugged.  Grace and I physically touched one another when we shook hands. 
I could see Grace breathe beneath her beautiful Monet-like painting on her soft blue and pink blouse. 
Yet, I cannot see my friends breathe on face book.  I can’t tweet a real hug.
Even if Apple or Galaxy GS came out with 30 more icons and emoticons, I still don’t think we would have this kind of connection.  The energy transmitted in our human race exchange is far more powerful than the energy output from any tech app.
Consider your communication patterns for one day to determine if your virtual communication outweighs your F2F.  Notice the disparity.  Ask yourself in which exchange do you think you are more comfortable and why. 
Which connection feels better?
What will you do with that feeling?
Next time you find yourself bumping into a familiar face in the Specialty Produce aisle – at what F2F human specialties will you pause to look?

Mindfully Yours,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nicky, the Sentry

08.20.01 – 05.20.13

May 23, 2013

Transitional space – that space in time where we sometimes feel angst and uneasiness because we don’t know or don’t want to know what happens next.  It feels like being in limbo; no man’s land.  And this causes us some discomfort and fear.  If we had one word to describe what gets us through transitional space, I believe it would be: courage.  The Cowardly Lion had it all along. 
Three days ago, our dog, Nicky, died.  We would apply that one word to her as well.  While she suffered silently for quite some time, she never showed us; she held a brave front.
As she was dying, we nestled her in our bed, on a stack of towels like Princess and the Pea.  Her breathing was quiet then severely laborious.  We don’t know whether or not our soothing words made a difference, but we lovingly ushered them to her one after another in a steady soft rain of gentle words.  The desire to do something in the space of another’s suffering is huge. 
We want to do something to bring relief to one who suffers.  Dogs have the amazing capability to know when they are sick, to know that they have disease in their body.  They just keep it to themselves- unless it’s you who is doing the suffering – then they let you know.  They have highly developed non-verbals.
9 years ago, I had knee surgery – a small piece of my femur had broken and was floating around in my knee.  For 7 weeks, I was couch ridden with a CPM – Continuous Passive Motion machine that moved my knee for 8-12 hours each day.  Two weeks after my surgery, our 2 ½ year old dog, Nicky, was run over by a car: she was on the inside of the tires as the car continued to run over her. 
She had gotten out because she couldn’t find me- in my wheelchair - when we were visiting my parents.  I went into a larger door; she went out a smaller door to go to look for me.  When she couldn’t see me, she retraced her steps back to our home, and in crossing the street, she was struck by a car.  Caught under the wheel well, she was run over by a minivan, who in cowardice, did not stop.  The car behind her with a pair of good Samaritans stopped and lifted the wounded Shih Tzu from the street to the grass.
In a space of a few moments, I was looking for her as she was looking for me.  When I cried out for her, she didn’t come.  The emergency vet was neutral on her condition – not optimistic nor pessimistic.  I called every hour during that Sunday night to check on her: she had a broken eye socket and a broken rib or two; her internal injuries were inconclusive at that point. 
Our wonderful vet the next morning, said it was a miracle she had lived through the night; it was a miracle looking at her xrays, that had she been struck 2 mm’s away from one of the ribs, she would have been gone; that it was a miracle that the car actually drove over her – that she must have crouched so low, that the axle actually cleared her in parts as it slid over her.  Miracle.  Miracle.  Miracle.
She had had a purpose though.  She knew I needed tending to. She came home with me, and we sat on the couch every day for the remaining five weeks and healed one another.  She lay protectively and courageously on my stomach and chest, and we recovered together.  (Non-judgmentally, I share with you that I watched six seasons and every episode of Sex and the City.)
When my mother and father and neighbors came by to see me, she sat protectively, like a sentry at the foot of the couch holding up an invisible sign: Don’t come any closer.
When she had been struck, my father had been the one to drive the car to take her to the emergency vet that Sunday evening.  He drove barefoot there – so uncharacteristic – since he wasted not a second to jump in the car to make a fast getaway.  Later he would say that she was so smart, that she knew he had helped to save her.  She adored my father and would sit for an hour or two, keeping vigil with him as he slowly declined with the cancer that had ravaged his body.
Nicky was courageous – okay, I am not going to lie- except when there was thunderstorm.  She came to hide and burrow her way into and under our covers.  I imagine from her perspective, the sky really was falling, so I always cut her some slack.
In the primitive fight for her life, this week, she did not throw in the towel.  She was a warrior, much like my dad whom she adored.  Her heart was strong – her liver was diseased and was poisoning her brain.  She still was valiant.  She mustered courage from the depths of who knows where, in her 11 pound body.
Near delirium several times, we soothed and calmed her as she made her transition to a better feeling space.  Being a place holder when someone is in that transitional space is a loving thing to do.  They are in the grips of raw and primal fear – and many times - there is an unsolicited cry for help.  Being mindfully attuned to this is one of the most courageous acts we can do for another.  We let the other know that: “We are here.  We are in this together.  It will be ok; you can let go.” 
And, especially that they are so good and so loved.  This is a repeated mantra.  Over and over again. 
And again.
In all of our interpersonal relationships we have opportunities to step up empathically for another. 
This is courage: to muster your own in the face of another’s fear and/or suffering and still be there.  Not to suffer along with them, but to be strong and resolute - to be a sentry for them.
And if and when they eke out little bits of their fear, that you are there to take it, replace it, and recycle it - with courage.

Mindfully Yours,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Being Belle is Beautiful

 April 30, 2013

“Can I please have my pen?”
My newly-turned three year old granddaughter asked the cad, Gaston last weekend during an autograph signing on his rounds in the Magic Kingdom.  Gaston, completely in character as the somewhat arrogant, and narcissistic – albeit - shunned prospect of the lovely Belle from Beauty and the Beast, was, unyielding.
"Give me a kiss,” he smirked wryly pointing his massive gloved index finger to the center of his right cheek.
"I don’t want to kiss you; I just want my pen."  She dug in her Cinderella-princessed foot.
"Well then, kiss me, and I’ll give you your pen." Gaston was relentless.
"I don’t really want to kiss you today."  The Cinderella-gowned three-year old firmly announced, yet added a glimmer of promise for another day.  She too, could play the game.
Gaston reluctantly returned her pen and leaving his character for a moment, turned to us and said:
"You better watch out for this one...she's trouble!"
And it got me to thinking about this “pretend” exchange.  While we watched on in amusement, I couldn’t help wonder if this standoff wasn’t indicative of what we encounter everyday in our non-fairytaled lives.
Teaching the theories of child psychologists, Piaget and Vygotsky in my Psychology classes at Ringling College of Art and Design, I was fairly familiar with the levels of child development – (Although, I am not so sure about the understanding of the suave-acting Gaston.)  The three year old princess likes to dress up and imagine and play, yet she is also at her young age, mindful of the Golden Rule and boundaries.  (She definitely exercised her child-given right to confirm and identify the exact location of all boundaries every half hour or so.) 
That’s one way children learn, grow, find solutions, make decisions, and evolve into autonomous, collaborative beings. 
As I reviewed the themes from Beauty and the Beast, I was struck by the some of the adjectives used to describe Belle, in her role as a non-conforming, modestly beautiful young woman.  She wasn’t easily taken in by superficialities; she was strong, outspoken, brave and intelligent.  When she left her provincial French village and castle in search of adventure, her father was taken prisoner by the beast.  She returned home to save him, and not only face the beast – but insert herself as the hostage so that her father could be freed.
When I looked with a wider-angled lens at my granddaughter, I wondered if she, herself, wasn’t completely in character as was the self-absorbed, Gaston.  She was not going to succumb to bartering when her possessions clearly belonged to her.  She was resolute; not collapsing to pressure.  There were no tears, no quivering of her voice – just sheer and polite assertiveness. Had there not been others waiting in line to queue up for kisses with the debonair character, this stalemate might have lasted much longer.
Why do we sometimes allow others to shove us off our game – to let external influences direct our decisions?  We permit others to take advantage of us- to try to pull a fast one on us.  And even when we know it’s happening, we acquiesce.   We conform to fear, rather than step up and respectively review and restate the personal boundaries we have.
Why does it take a three year old to remind us of this?
She was not only empowered, she was comfortable and secure in her own empowerment.  She wore it like her Cinderella dress she wore around the clock - wearing it to Disney and to bed.
I thought it was compelling that Gaston labeled her “trouble,” merely because she repeatedly requested her personal belonging. 
Is that why we cave when someone else in our interpersonal relations doesn’t get their way?  Is it because they might feel badly?  So even though it does not align with our own moral code – we don’t want to relinquish something that we own just because the other is bullying us - we ultimately get worn down, give in, and essentially dishonor ourselves in the process.
Taking a page out of this three year old princess’ book, I would ask us to consider how beautiful it might be if we were to respectfully hold our own when challenged to surrender something of value to us – even if it is just a pen.

Mindfully Yours,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Roaming “Charges”

March 11, 2013

One of the biggest surprises and highlights of our family cruise from which we returned yesterday, was how we were “charged” and energized by 8 days without texting.  It is commonly known that roaming charges off the grid are astronomical, and the bandwidth onboard a cruise ship should not even be called bandwidth; the “bandwidth” is very slim.  While we roamed, we engaged, connected, shared, touched, and became charged by non-virtual connection – face-to-face - the old fashioned way.  Wow, what an exhilarating phenomenon for all of us –especially the college students who are fluent in Textese.
My husband and I immediately noticed that we were not looking at the part lines on the top of our kids’ heads; we were actually speaking to them while looking into their eyes.  Perhaps Verizon and AT&T are doing us a favor: making quality time a pricey endeavor by demanding a hefty surcharge at approximately $3.03 per text.
And it got me to thinking of how Roaming Charges ironically provide tremendous value to our lives.  Here is the priceless gift we received for our 8 day “non-virtual immersion” course:
  • F2F conversations with our loved ones 
  • Solution seeking opportunities: kids plan meet-ups without texting, practice social skills in a non-virtual setting, and meet people the old fashioned way with verbal communication
  • Presence: mindful thoughts are occupied with the present – no virtual distractions for escape/withdrawal
  • Widening creative possibilities: looking forward and up; spanning horizons for new possibilities
  • Fine motor skill break: thumbs and fingers were also on vacation
  • Challenges: being off the grid opens gateways for new risks and challenges to inspire us
  • Develop proficiency in nonverbal human communication: body language, micro expressions and intonation
One of our twenty-something children sported a pen and ink party invitation on his arm (pictured above), which speaks to the desire to belong, to be included, and to share interpersonal connection.  With offline behavior being in the back seat of much of our daily interaction, I believe many of us are starved for “real time” experiences.
The human desire to connect serves an essential purpose: it overrides any fears, inhibitions, and obstacles that are often virtually subsumed by digital natives.  When confronted with an awkward social scenario, it is very easy for many of us to cast a downward glance to the Holy Grail of technology – the cell phone – the eyeball landing page for all of our uneasiness and discomfort.  There in the palm of our hands, we can redirect our sense of feeling negative emotion with a focus on the cell phone. 
This escape into technology affords many of us an instant opportunity to divert managing and dealing with uncomfortable emotions that are part of our human experience.  Sometimes, we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to practice working through the slight awkwardness that arises when we are in unfamiliar social territory.  So, we immediately bail by looking away and having an immediate container for our discomfort – the coveted smart phone.
We do this not because we are lazy, but because we are out of practice with human face-to-face exchanges.  And rather than stepping into a place of unfamiliarity, we have a knee jerk response to shirk the opportunity and slink away into our well honed virtual relationships.  We miss the essential component of our human interaction – the body language and voice inflection that reveals 93% of the human spirit.  The words are mostly irrelevant, accounting for a mere 7% of our communication.
How refreshing it was to see our offspring - spring into a somewhat unpracticed human dynamic with courage and resourcefulness.  They enjoyed finding - their new/our old - ways to communicate.  Their discovery gave them a new language to speak, and while they may be at a 200 level, we have no doubt that they will become fluent - and charged as they roam - with more immersion into F2F communication. 
Mindfully Yours,


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Do You Have a Cassie and Greg?

February 28, 2013

Two years ago this month, my husband and I married, and then celebrated our honeymoon on a Caribbean Cruise.  When we embarked, we immediately met and adored, Neville, our Maitre’ d, whose guidance we enlisted to find dining companions for our 8:00 dining time.  On the 2nd day of the cruise, Neville said: “I think I have found someone for you; they too, have approached me with the same request.”  And that is how we met Cassie and Greg, aboard the 3000+ passenger cruise.

At our first dinner that Monday night, we were so engaged that we hadn’t realized that the entire restaurant had cleared out – that the tables were being set up for the morning breakfast.  We learned that Cassie and Greg live in Connecticut and also had a vacation home in Sarasota where we live.  Yet most importantly, we discovered that we were both “Soulmate couples.”

Many people will say that it is rare to find two couples where all four parties get along seamlessly, yet that’s how it was, and still is, with Cassie and Greg.  Last night – on their first night in Florida after leaving cold gray Connecticut weather, we all met for dinner and felt like we had just seen one another hours before.  Giddiness and mild squealing erupted as we greeted, and the very first thing Cassie and Greg asked was: “We want to hear all about what you are doing; what you have been up to!”   And then they leaned forward, arms folded over elbows, and earnestly listened as if we were sharing a secret code we had just broken.

Who does this?

Who listens to you as if you are the most important being on the planet?  Who ever-so-gently interrupts to ask: ‘Wait…this is so cool; I want to hear more details!”  And it got me to thinking – that perhaps, not many people do this. 

Cassie and Greg have a special and unique gift; it is a gift of empathic graciousness.  When Greg asked a question about our kids during their visit for my July birthday – post cruise - two years ago, Cassie would answer: “Remember Honey; we didn’t meet their son because he was working at the Firework’s store.”  Cassie remembers details of our five children, even though they have only met one of our children.

Humbled and honored all at once, my husband and I couldn’t stop talking after dinner last night.  And once again, having closed the restaurant – we discovered that not only did we have a Soulmate-to-Soulmate connection with Cassie and Greg, we felt like they were lifelong friends whom we have known all of our lives.  Their grace, their ease, and their love for one another after 23 years of marriage, just seeped out of them, and well…it just feels so good to be with them.  They are ‘feel good’ people themselves who make others instantly feel good.  You cannot feel badly when you are with them; it is nearly impossible.

So what is the magic ingredient they have, I asked?  Greg and Cassie leaned inwards to each other and mused.  After a few moments of reflection, Greg said: “I think we always give care to each other every day, no matter what.”  Cassie said, “We have hills and valleys, but mostly we enjoy and remember the hills.”  Greg nodded and said: I think you need both.  In fact, we share openly with our children who will see disagreements and witness us openly problem solve.”  Cassie nodded and said: “And we always seek resolution, and we believe that is a good model for our children.”

We left them with such joy and peace in our hearts and appreciated how fortunate we were to have them shower their loving energy all around us.  Our smiles were endless, the collective joy unmistakable. 

We received a great gift last night: a reminder that effusing grace and attentiveness in that present moment, is the most beautiful present we can give one another.  Whether is with your Soulmate, child, parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, or boss, the gift of honoring someone with your genuine attention is invaluable.  Thanks, Cassie and Greg, for being the poster kids for gracious caring.

Mindfully Yours,