Top Three Apologies Owed to my Daughter

Many more apologies apply, but if I stick with the top three, I won’t feel the gut wrenching guilt that plagues me every day. As a six year old, she has endured more upheaval and drama over the past seven months than anyone should. And while I am sure she will be a better person for all of it, it still sucks for her in the meantime.

So, my dear, sweet girl, my sincere apologies for the following:

1.) Disrupting your life with chaos, uncertainty, frustration, neglect, confusion, noise, emotion, and absenteeism.

2.) Making you feel that anyone or anything is more important than you.

3.) Losing my shit WAY too many times.

You WILL be a more understanding, compassionate, and mature person having experienced this chaos. You are, without question, THE most important person in my life and ALWAYS will be. I will lost my shit many more times. Just do one of two things: laugh at me or give me a hug.

top three

Gratitude for Full Moon Yoga

After already feeling gratitude for my Full Moon Yoga class last night, I was extra pleased to come outside and see the moon between the clouds. We had tapped into our divine feminine energy and filled the indoor space with such beauty. Now the sky was gorgeous as well.

Rarely do I capture a decent shot of the moon, but these aren’t too shabby. At every stop light on my way home, I took a few shots. The street lights often got in the way, but some views were spectacular. Of course, the camera never does it justice.

It really never seems to matter how my day has unfolded. I can be frustrated, uptight, sad, angry, discouraged when I arrive at the studio to teach. But, a mere five minutes in, it all melts away. It is the sacred space, the people, the breathing, and the energy that soothes and restores me. Gratitude.

Here is a wonderful article by Jen Reviews about the Benefits of Yoga.


One Way to Approach the New Year

As this new year approached and I was inundated with suggestions to leave my troubles in 2017, look ahead to 2018, come up with a resolution for the new year, and be excited about it, all I could feel was the need to be left alone.

The last six months of 2017 were horrendous for my family. My 86-year-old father underwent heart surgery on August 1st and due to medical malpractice, suffered a brain injury. Before this, he was a healthy, strong, intelligent man who went to the gym three times a week, completed the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle, and rode a tractor almost daily through acres of farm land. His heart is now as healthy as can be. His brain is not. Although he has progressed a great deal from being unable to walk, talk, eat, and control his bodily functions, our family has been through pure hell taking care of him. He and my mother now live with my family.

So, when faced with the anticipation of a new year, I simply felt stuck in the hardship of 2017. How can I not be? It’s still happening. So I wanted to put this off.  Could we just wait another six months for a new year? I’m just not ready.

So I turned to thoughts of yoga: love, light, peace, and truth in body, mind, and spirit. And that was my turning point.

New Years Day passed without a thought. I celebrated without the need to have discovered my resolution. Daily tasks were carried out in plenty of time. The house was transitioned back to normalcy from all the decorations, baked goods, and Christmas music.

What I had to remember is that this year has been difficult for me. And 2018 will continue to be the same, at least for the time being. In addition to the events surrounding my father’s injury, I have lived with anxiety and depression since the age of 19. I turned 50 last year. In fact, my 50th birthday celebration was brought to a screeching halt by what happened to my father. It’s been a struggle to keep my anxiety and depression at bay.

So I gave myself a break. A big one. I removed this huge need to identify what I desired for 2018 and gave myself the time and space to let it come to me. I created an opening to allow its entrance.

On January 1st, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, it flew right in. I saw a word I hadn’t seen in a while and had forgotten about: Sankalpa. This is a Sanskrit word in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire. It is an intention or a resolve to do something. It comes from deep within and is often an affirmation.

new year

On January 2nd, I taught a yoga class using this idea as my theme, informing my students that they had one of four options:

1.) Use a resolution you’ve already created and transform it into a Sankalpa.

2.) Create your Sankalpa during class today.

3.) Be open to receive your Sankalpa if it is not easily coming to you.

4.) None of the above.

I had already chosen number three and I still haven’t been able to put it into a concise phrase, but I now know what I want this year. I want yoga. Not just the physical practice of yoga but all of the spiritual healing and connection that comes with it. I want to feel as much love and peace as possible every day, in every moment. I want to be able to surround the sadness I feel for my father with light and transform it into joy. I want to be true to myself and allow the time and space needed for all of this.

I can do it. I know I can. And I’m in no hurry.


Wonderful Places Where Yoga Heals

Project Balance

“Our Mission is to bring mind-body wellness to the children and families of our community through partnerships, education and outreach.”

Yoga 4 Change

“Yoga 4 Change is a non-profit organization that achieves meaningful change for veterans, incarcerated individuals, vulnerable youth, and those dealing with substance abuse. Our purpose-driven yoga program enables us to heal and empower these under-served populations, creating healthier, safer communities, one class at a time.”

The Recovery Village 

“Our patients reside in beautifully designed, private and semi-private rooms with comforting accommodations and amenities. We provide a rare retreat for our patients with a serene landscape and top-notch amenities to promote a healthy recovery environment.  Our full continuum of care reaches past your stay at our residential facility, ensuring continued success in your future.”



Three Ways to Take Care of YOU During the Holidays

Three Ways to Take Care of YOU During the Holidays…

As you get busy during the holidays, don’t forget to take care of YOU!

Follow my FB page Peace and Calm with Shanti Mom


Learn more about doTERRA’s Essential Oil Products by visiting my website and requesting samples.



Order one of my books from Amazon or under Non-Fiction Author on this site. They are both honest, raw, and personal accounts of the changes experienced since becoming a Yogi and a Mother. After you read them, please leave a review on Amazon.

Thank you!

In So Many Words                                                           

                             She Waited For Me


Practice yoga with me at the Nocatee Fitness Center on Mondays at noon and Thursdays at 9am. Affordable class cards for residents and non-residents available at the Nocatee Resident Center by the Splash Park.

If you’re not local, find a Gentle Yoga Class in your area.


How I Deal with the Naysayers

How I Deal with the Naysayers

My husband and I picked up my parents last weekend and moved them to Florida.  Our five-year-old daughter stayed with a friend. It took us two days and about 20 hours of driving.  We made it safely and without any major incidents.

My father suffered a brain injury on August 1st and has been through ICU, additional surgeries, Rehab, Therapy, and pure hell since then. The injury was caused by a grave error made during heart surgery. His heart is perfect. The rest of him is not. He is not the strong, sharp, healthy 86-year-old man he was when he walked through those hospital doors almost three months ago. My mother, age 78, and quite healthy, is not the same either. She is exhausted, discouraged, frustrated, and sleep-deprived.

For these reasons, my husband and I are now taking them into our home for an indefinite period. Yes, this is daunting. Yes, it required a great deal of discussion and planning. Yes, it will change our lives. Yes, people are saying that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.

But here’s what I have to say:

  • The next person who tells me that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into will get slapped.
  • I am an extremely positive person. This is the way I choose to live. This puts me at a distinct advantage.
  • I am pissed. Those doctors screwed up my father. I am determined to help fix him. Anger helps motivate me.
  • I adore my parents. They have bent over backwards for me my entire life. It is my turn to do the same.
  • Their granddaughter is the light of their lives. Why not let them bask in her light and soak up some of that youthful energy? And in the meantime, this is an opportunity to teach her compassion, patience, and understanding.
  • Everything is temporary. Accept it. Enjoy it if you can. Move on.
  • I am strong and I can do anything. Why not this?

So, as we move through this new and challenging journey, I will continue to be positive. I will teach yoga. I will use my essential oils. I will cry when I want to. But most of all, as hard as they knock on my door, I will not let the naysayers in.

how i deal


Ten Steps to Getting Your Manuscript Ready for the Editors

Ten Steps to Getting Your Manuscript Ready for the Editors

ten steps

  1. Get everybody out of the house.
  2. Diffuse one of your doTERRA oils: Balance, Anchor, or Serenity.
  3. Create a comfy space in your big red chair.
  4. Print out your manuscript and grab a pen.
  5. Read your manuscript out loud. This will help identify sentences and phrases that don’t really sound like you. And if you trip up on something, you probably need to change it.
  6. Make corrections with the pen.
  7. Take a break when you need to.
  8. Make corrections electronically, checking them off on the hard copy as you go.
  9. Do NOT print it out again. Be done with it for now.
  10. Send it off to your gracious editors and go do something fun.

ten steps

tens teps

How a Simple Phone Call Broke My Heart

A little background to prepare you…

My father had several surgeries in July and August. During his second surgery, the medical team made a grave error which caused either an ischemic or anoxic brain injury. This surgery was on August 1st. He is still unable to do lots of things he was fully capable of doing when he walked into the hospital that morning. It has been a long, hard road.

The following is an email I wrote to my four siblings and my Mom after a phone call from my Dad, while retrieving my daughter from school.

Dad called me and said that he had a message for me to relay. He said he had been trying to contact his family to let them know he was on his way home. That he couldn’t find Mom, to tell her he loves her immensely, and he will come home to her soon. (She was sitting right next to him in their home.)

I said that he might not understand this, but he was actually home with Mom. That he didn’t have to go anywhere. That he was being taken care of.

He said, “So you’re telling me I am home.” And then he kind of laughed in disbelief.

After a few nonsensical things about traveling, he said he was trying his best to get to me. I told him that I would come to him the next time we saw each other.

I told him that maybe some day he would be coming to Florida to live. He said, “Oh really! That would be good for me.” I agreed.

I heard Mom’s voice in the background, so I said goodbye and told him to hang up.

I had already lost it from his comment about loving mom ‘immensely’, so I needed to get off the phone before he heard the tears and sadness in my voice.

My heart is breaking.

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough…

There I sat with the blood pressure cuff on my arm feeling pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t high.

On my right, the markers my daughter had just slammed into my hand after getting frustrated with her project, saying, “Here, keep them for 15 years!”

On the TV, the news coverage of Hurricane Irma.

Directly in front of me, my view of our palm trees blowing in the 25 MPH wind, not even from Irma, but from the nor’easter.

Five simple words repeated like a mantra in my head.

I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more.

Not the kind of mantra I prefer, but it remained.

The tears began to flow. The short and sharp breaths joined in.

I can’t take much more. I can’t much more. I can’t take much more.

I thought of my father.

My mother.

My failures as a mother.

My hives.

The breaths got longer, deeper.

My eyes closed as I wiped the tears.

The cuff came off.

The markers were released to a hiding place, most likely to emerge before the 15 years is up.

The mantra slowed, faded, remained.

I can’t.

And I won’t.

how to tell if




Moana and Hal Leonard Teach Us Lots of Ways to Keep the Beat

Moana, Maui, Pua, and Heihei are beloved characters in our house already, but now that they’ve taught us all of these new drum beats, we love them even more! The Beat of Your Heart is a musical activity book full of culture, fun, sound, and creativity. The rhythms progress from simple to difficult and are introduced along with percussion instruments like the fala, pahu, and fa’atete, which can all be constructed with household items.

Thank you, Hal Leonard, for our complimentary copy of your book in exchange for this review. We will have lots of fun clapping, patting, and drumming!

Visit Blog Mom Reviews for Mickey and Rapunzel’s musical exploration books from Hal Leonard.

moana moana



From Hal Leonard’s website:

A Musical Exploration Activity Book

Disney Learning

Series: Disney Learning
Format: Hardcover Media Online
Author: Various
Feel the beat inside you when you play along with the Drums of Motunui! This beautifully illustrated book with online music, video, and drumming allows children to discover beat, rhythm, and the sounds of Motunui’s drums through activities and creative play with characters and artwork they’ll recognize from the Disney movie Moana. Includes online activities such as: video read-along, audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers. Singing and making music provide important benefits to children as they grown and learn. EXPLORE MUSIC books encourage children to be free to explore, play, and develop musical ability at their own pace which can establish a life-long love of music.
$14.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00160410
ISBN: 9781495064791
UPC: 888680622664
Width: 8.25″
Length: 10.75″
32 pages

Label Daddy Spruces Up My Swag

label daddyLabel Daddy always makes me look good in business. This time, I purchased their small oval labels to put on my Play Doh tubs I give out for free at my Fundanoodle Vendor Shows and Play Dates. We use Play Doh to trace the letters on our Muscle Mover cards. These labels allow for an easy way to direct potential customers to my website. Thanks Label Daddy, for my complimentary labels in exchange for this review.

Get your discount code at Blog Mom Reviews.

label daddy

label daddylabel daddy

Label The Things You Love

Want an easy way to keep track of all your kids’ stuff? Get organized with Label Daddy’s peel-and-stick labels for everything from books, clothing, lunch boxes, shoes, toys, sports equipment and more. Our peel-and-stick labels are scratch-resistant and waterproof, so you don’t have to keep labeling things over and over again!