choices, determination, dreams, holiday, New Years Eve

Leap: 2013, We’re On Our Way


In the movie Ratatouille, Linguini sets his mind to pull it together and go after his dream with the help of his wee partner in crime. His simple declaration “let’s do this thing” has been my mantra this year.

And what a year it’s been. It was a leap year for me in every sense. I put some old demons to rest. I went after the craziest of dreams. I took big risks. I pushed myself far beyond any limits I thought I had. I won and lost in equal amounts, and I wouldn’t trade a single one of those experiences. I take John Lennon’s advice to heart every single day – I don’t want to die with the music still in me. In every area of my life, I took the chance of looking like a fool because I don’t want to have any regrets. All of these leaps have been totally worth the effort, regardless of the outcome.

Now 2013 is upon us. Rather than making any specific resolutions, I’m taking my cue from Linguini. 2013, I’m coming for you and I mean to make this year a break out year on all fronts. Happy New Year everyone – let’s do this thing!

charity, yoga

Leap: Help Compass Yoga Get More Yoga to More People in More Places in 2013

155022412144196817_GnjUJDhx_cYesterday Compass Yoga, the nonprofit I founded to provide the therapeutic benefits of yoga and meditation to people who otherwise would not have access to the practice, received its first completely unsolicited donation from one of our wonderful students.

In 2013, we are expanding programming to additional branches of the New York Public Library, creating Compass Guides, mini-publications that explain how to use yoga and meditation in a holistic treatment plan for a wide variety of health challenges, and crafting a community health clinic concept to help people discover, learn about, and access alternative care. Donations like the one from our student yesterday will make this work possible.

All donations are 100% tax-deductible and every penny helps. To make a donation of any size, please visit this link:

From the entire team at Compass, we wish you a joyful, peaceful, and prosperous new year!

commitment, courage, dreams, passion

Leap: Unleash Your Inner Hero

155303887121906606_PANzROxo_cWe study others to learn the secrets of their success – how they rose to the top of their fields, created a product or service we love, or created an admirable impact in the world. While we have much to learn from others, when it comes to crafting and breathing life into our own dreams we’d do well to be our own heroes, teachers, and advocates. When we believe in our vision, stand by our convictions with passion and grace, it becomes much easier for others to believe in it, too.

Once we decide to be our own heroes, others will be inspired to do the same. And when that happens, people not only meet their potential but exceed it. It’s that achievement that has the power to change the world. To experience real change, we all need to show up in the world as the very best version of ourselves, roll up our sleeves, and strengthen our communities from the ground up. With all the challenges we face, we need everyone at the top of their game and the only one who make that happen is you.

Christmas, cooking, food, gifts

Leap: My Favorite Christmas Gift – a Pasta Press presents I love the most are ones that are old, passed down through loving hands, and put to good use immediately.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on the skill of making homemade pasta. I’ve tried a few different recipes, purchased a couple of books, and signed myself up for a class here in NYC (more on that once I complete the class.) There’s something very satisfying about crafting food with my hands that gives me a happy glow. I love the feeling of kneading the dough, forming the pasta with my hands, and then watching it float to the top of a pot of salty water to meet its destiny on a plate covered with homemade sauce and freshly grated cheese.

Hearing about my new-found pasta creation hobby, my mom boxed up the pasta machine pictured here out of her own kitchen. It’s older than I am, simple to use, and gets the job done when it comes to noodle making. I’m not sure where this new hobby is leading me – perhaps in the direction of another entrepreneurial venture? – but I’m planning to cook and eat my way wherever it goes. (Thanks, Mom!)

If you’re up for enjoying a plate of homemade pasta with me and giving me feedback on the recipes, come on over for dinner!

gratitude, thankful

Leap: Holiday Flight Delays Lead to Enlightenment and Gratitude

194006696417450729_dbovQ3tr_cI was in the airport security line yesterday for my return flight home that was delayed by 3 hours. The line was moving at a snail’s pace when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Is it okay for everyone to go through those fancy 360 degree body scanners?” a woman asked me.

“I know that if you have a pacemaker or oxygen tank, you should avoid the machine.”

“I have end stage liver disease. Is it safe for me? I hate to ask because I don’t like anyone to know I’m sick.” Without hesitation, I tossed up a silent prayer for this woman while feeling like a jerk for worrying about my travel delays.

She went on to tell me that she was flying to New England to go to Yale University Hospital. She needed to have her levels checked to see how high up on the liver donation list she could be. She has a grandson who is 10. Her name is Camille.

And here’s the real kicker: she looked as healthy as can be. I wouldn’t have guessed she even had a case of the sniffles much less end stage liver disease.

“I will make sure to say a prayer for you. It’s a wonderful hospital,” I assured her. “You will get incredible care there.”

“Thank you so much. You have a happy new year,” she said with a smile and we parted ways.

Nothing like a dose of someone else’s reality to push my worries to the periphery and make me abundantly grateful for all the blessings in my life. On the flight home I said a few prayers for Camille, and a few thank you’s to the Universe for once again letting me know that I am one lucky duck. Far luckier than most, and I won’t forget it nor take it for granted.

calm, courage, holiday

Leap: Make the Resolution to Keep Calm and Carry On in 2013

263671753155567547_mSQFUXiU_c In the aftermath of Christmas and the realization that the Mayans somehow miscalculated our demise, we’re about to get crazy with resolutions. I’ve been making my list for weeks.

I took a good look at that list over the weekend and here’s what I found: I’m basically going to carry on as I have this year. As in 2012, I will invest in my writing, yoga teaching, and creative projects in the name of good causes. And that’s enough.

You don’t need to get sucked into the frenzy either. Think about the things that gave you the most joy in 2012. Do those more often in 2013. Think about the people who inspired you the most. Spend more time with them in 2013. Think about those things that you put aside because they seemed too scary, too risky, or just plain impossible. Resolve to take just one step toward breathing life into those ideas. That’s all the resolution you really need.

Carrying on in this tough world (especially in the face of difficulty), staying calm, and continuing to smile and breathe is an achievement in and of itself. And these simple things work wonders. They change lives.

choices, dreams, priorities, time, to-do lists, work

Leap: All the Work We Need to Do

230274_480168285369181_1941994014_n We all have our lists: what to do, where to go, who to see, what to plan, what to look into when we have some spare time. I have apps on my phone where I keep lists of lists. And this is why I love this picture from Startup Lab so much.

When we really get down to what matters, what remains when every last list is either complete or discarded, this is all that counts. Did we love what we did with our time? Did we improve someone else’s life just by being who we are? Did we make ourselves useful and helpful?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then rest assured that you are on the right track to a good life. And if the answer to all of those questions is yes, then make sure to give yourself a great big hug and a hearty round of congratulations because you are living the secret of life that everyone longs to learn. It’s so simple: do what you love as often as your can, be your best, unique, beautiful self every day, and make the world a little brighter for someone else.

This is all the work we ever really need to do.

courage, creativity, customer service, determination, generosity, gratitude, thankful, time

Leap: You Don’t Need More


My friend, Adela, posted this on her Pinterest board and it raises a question that I’ve run through my mind so many times this holiday season. It’s fine to wish or hope for something though every person I know who is happy has two qualities in abundance: gratitude and determination. They don’t pray for things to get better; they work hard and make them so. They recognize the value of who and what they have in their lives and they share with others.

Here’s what I’ve learned – everything, absolutely everything, can be figure out. We can find a way into a new job or field. We can solve challenges, locally and globally, by extending our hands and acting together. We can find love by opening our hearts. We can improve our world, for ourselves and others, by shutting down our devices, leaving our homes, and rolling up our sleeves. And none of this requires that we have more stuff. It requires that we have more heart, more concern, more courage, more confidence. It requires us to understand that we have everything we need to do everything we want to do. The question is what will we do with it.

This Christmas, I hope we all get just one thing in our stockings – the strength to decide that the helping hands we want are the ones we already have.

feelings, future, time

Leap: Open Your Heart. Get Better.

From Pinterest
From Pinterest

“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” – Haruki Murakami

When we are hurt, our natural reaction is to take refuge, to hunker down and shelter ourselves from any additional harm. This is a useful reaction in the short-term because it jump starts the healing process. Our wounds scab over and we begin to regenerate what’s been lost. For a while we need the bandaid to prevent infection.

But sheltering is only helpful for a brief period of time. A cut only fully heals once we take off the bandaid and it is exposed to the air again. Eventually, we have to crawl back out of our shells to find the sunshine again, to take in goodness. Yes, there is a chance of being hurt again. However, we will most certainly be hurt if stay tight in a bud for too long. We need the air. We need the light. We need love.

This Christmas, open your heart and get better.