Boldly Follow Your Dream


It’s time for you to boldly follow your dream – you know the one, it might be a grand idea that has been in your heart for years, it might be that essential project that has been on your mind for months.

You have the dream and now it’s time to follow it and make it happen.

Want to know the surprising secret to following your dreams boldly in a huge way?

Small steps.

Small steps taken every day is the path to making your dreams come true.

Here are 3 tips you can use to make sure your BIG dreams come true taking SMALL steps every day.

1. Start at the end. When you know your goal, when you know what you want to achieve, take a look at the steps you need to take starting from the end (reaching your goal) and working backwards to the the very first action that needs to happen right now. This is called Reverse Engineering and the most successful people have been using this method for many years.

2. Schedule it! Now take a look at those steps and put them on a realistic schedule taking small steps every day towards your goal. If your next step is on your schedule, you have a much greater chance of accomplishing it. As Marie Forleo says, “If it isn’t on the schedule, it doesn’t exist.” Get it on the schedule = Get it done!

3. Plan to change the plan. Be clear about your goal, be prepared to do the hard daily consistent work in small steps…AND give yourself the flexibility to adjust as needed.

Put this into action and watch your dreams unfold into reality.

Beware the one arm pirate!

Having spent years training in Aikido,  it is inevitable that injuries occur. And when they do I am amazed by the story and lessons I get to learn.

For the last few months I have been nurturing a rather severe injury in my shoulder. It has limited my range of motion considerably as well as being a source of near continuous pain. The result is that I am not able to move as freely as usual and I am a bit cranky at times.

In our dojo, it is up to the injured person to decide the level of training that is safest and the partners agree to abide by those restrictions. Recently I got on the mat with my right shoulder wrapped tightly to my body to keep it immobilized and safe. On the surface it looked like I was unable to do much in the way of self defense.

Yet something interesting happened. Each person that I trained with discovered that I was not helpless, and in fact my throws were exceptionally potent from my one good side. It was a revelation and delight to be able to train both extra carefully and fully engaged.

One training partner after another came in with strikes, grabs and punches and I was able to manage them all with considerable and surprising ease. In the middle of throwing one of the young guys vigorously across the mat, someone called out playfully, “Beware the one arm pirate.”

So how does it happen that even in pain and with one arm strapped to my side unable to move, I can still throw a guy twice my size clear across the room?

Well, here is the thing. When we are injured we compensate for it in other ways. This situation forced me to rely on other skills, like clarity of my footwork, speed and agility. It also required that I place no effort into strength. Even on my best days, all of these guys are significantly stronger than I am. No, instead I had to look for the opening, the opportunity, the moment their balanced was compromised and then move in swiftly.

My job was to move carefully but confidently, trusting what I have learned through years of training on the mat, years of falling down and getting up, years of being thrown across the room and figuring out how to do that with safety and elegance.

In an odd way, my injury provided me with a shiny moment of triumph. Which quite frankly, I accept and enjoy because the rest of the time it has been just pain and physical therapy and loss of movement. And none of those things feel very good.

So here is my question for you to think about, to ponder, to consider.

How can your injuries, that place where you feel vulnerable or pain, cause you to have an advantage?

Where in your life does it look like all odds are against you, but when you reach inside to your years of strength and skill and life’s victories, you find you have an over flowing well of personal power?

Find it, tap into it.

And enjoy it.

Best blessings to you,

It is no accident that I had no accident

It’s no accident there was no accident for me.

It happened this morning on my way to the dojo. There is a particular route I drive most days. Drop off the kids at the bus, stop for a cup of coffee, maybe there is time for an errand or two. You know the drill – it is all part of the daily routine.

As I was on my usual way, I was surprised when out of the blue, clear as a bell, I hear this thought in my mind: change routes now.

For a brief moment I resist.

But then I give into this seemingly absurd notion and pull into the left hand turn lane to take a different highway to the dojo.

And yes, sure enough, it happened right before my eyes.

It was a typical accident. A van pulls out of the parking lot and rolls partially into the street. The small car in the lane closest to the van swerves to miss it. But unfortunately, there is a light truck in the next lane. As the truck is knocked into the oncoming traffic, bits of car parts are sent flying over the road into all 4 lanes.

In slow motion I see the truck heading straight for me. Right where I would have been. Except I am not there. I am in the left hand turn lane a few car lengths back. Out of harms way because I listened, trusted and followed my intuition.

(Remember the story when I listened to my intuition, but didn’t follow it…)

This time it was such a visceral experience since I saw the accident happen right before my eyes. The results of my choice were clear and immediate.

Wheh! That was a close one. It turned out that no one injured.

It was a relatively small accident, but one that still left everyone shaken. And thankful that no serious harm was done.

So this is a good time to increase your awareness: next time you hear your intuition giving you an odd command, listen to it. Trust it. Follow it.

It could save your life

Take good care of yourself.
And drive safely.


Sometimes The Best Way To Teach Is To Get Out Of The Way

People often ask me to teach them how to meditate and so I always prefer to give simply the most basic instruction necessary.

In my classes, what I am doing instead of teaching how to meditate is giving you the opportunity to experience it. Holding the space to make it easier or even possible. And I think that counts for a lot.

It happened today when I was leading an Aikido class where a third of the class was made up of black belts who have been training for many years longer than me (talk about intimidating!)

Instead of trying to “teach” them something, I demonstrated a series of familiar techniques and created the opportunity for the experience of vigorous training.

All the students trained according to their own capabilities and the result was a tremendously satisfying class.

Often times when we are in charge of a situation, we feel inclined to instruct to such an extent that our words become a mandate.

This is especially true for me if the person that I am instructing happens to be my teenage daughter. I really really want her to get the information I am giving her so she can learn it already!

But just like the meditation classes and the Aikido class, my best teaching is not teaching at all. It is a thousand times more effective if I give her a few guidelines and hold the space for her to safely experience it on her own.

This is an exceptionally ripe opportunity for paying careful attention to what my intuition is telling me – often it is telling me to Stop Talking!

It can seem unproductive to only give the slightest amount of instruction, but in reality all the words in the world are not nearly as valuable as just doing it.

So maybe you have a situation in your life like that – a child, an employee, a co-worker or a student. Maybe instead of teaching them how to do something, just give them a few choice guidelines and lots and lots of space to safely explore, experiment and experience it for themselves.

Give it a try.


Don’t Listen To Your Intuition!

Don’t Listen To Your Intuition!


OK, I should have said “Don’t ONLY listen to your intuition.”

It is not enough to just listen to your intuition. That is the start, for sure, but you must go further than that.

Listen to your intuition.  Trust your intuition.  Follow your intuition.

All three of these are essential and they are each a little different. Let’s take a quick look at them.

Listen to your intuition. This is the first step. Your intuition is that small voice that is telling you what is best for you. It can be so small. Not a big deal at all, but it is your voice and it is your truth.

When we start out (and even when we have been at it a long time) we may listen to our intuition, but sometimes not trust it and ultimately not follow it.

Let me give you an example – this happened to me just this morning.

I was driving to my class at the dojo and on my way I passed the bakery where they sell wheat-free pizza that my kids love. Now, as it turned out, I was planning to get pizza for them at the bakery for supper this evening. But I knew I would pass this way later in the day on my way back home.

So far, no big deal. I’m just driving along.

But as I got closer the bakery, I heard a small voice inside say, “Stop and get the pizzas now.”

“That is weird,” I think to myself because I never go shopping in the morning, I always pick up in the afternoon. “Stop and get the pizzas now,” I hear.

Can’t be bothered. “Get them now.”

They will get too hot in the car. “Get them now.”

I’ll be by here later. “Get them now.”

I had LISTENED to my intuition, I surely heard it and I knew exactly what it was telling me, but I didn’t trust it and I certainly did not follow it. I kept driving.

So what happened? Yup, you guessed it. I got to the bakery in the afternoon and all the pizzas were sold out. “It’s so strange,” the sales clerk said, “we never run out this early in the afternoon.”

Ok. So the consequences of this example are not really such a big deal. Plan B for dinner.

But what happened is that eventually my inner voice stopped telling me what to do in this situation. I ignored it and just kept driving.

This story is a micro-picture of what happens when you continuously stop paying attention to your intuition. If you ignore it enough, it stops informing you.

So the first step is to listen to your intuition. But in order to get anywhere with what you hear, you must also TRUST your intuition.

Know that your intuition is completely trust worthy.

In all situations.

Every time.


Your intuition will never lead you astray.

When I get to the point where I feel like my intuition is leading me someplace weird (picking up pizzas early in the morning) that is when I (usually) just say aloud to myself, “I trust my intuition.”

By saying this, it allows that extra moment or two to collect myself and it opens up the opportunity for the next step.

And the next step is to FOLLOW my intuition.

This is the juicy action, this is the good stuff. This is what keeps you from second guessing yourself. This is what directs your life to what is very best and true for you.

Sometimes there is no explanation in the results to suggest what would have happened if you did not follow your intuition.

Like the pizzas, had I gone first thing in the morning, I would have never known that later they would run out. It’s just a matter of trusting that your intuition is right.

So actually, yes, listen to your intuition.

And by all means, trust your intuition.

And most importantly, follow your intuition.

It may lead you on some big adventures and a few off the beaten track errands, but it will never lead you astray.



Difficulties Are Sacred

While I was preparing for my Second Degree Black Belt, there was one day in particular that was really difficult and dark. It is hard to describe why, but it was just one of those days when I was struggling, I couldn’t remember any of my skills or techniques and I lost all my confidence.

We were training really hard and I got slammed by the bokken (a wooden sword) a couple of times. So in addition to my frustration, I was sore, bruised and uncomfortable.

When I walked in the door at home after training at the dojo, my head was hanging low and my body was feeling dejected.

But somehow in that place of truth, I knew it was a sacred moment. I knew it was better if I did not “just get through” this time.?? Instead I had to just but be IN it. Stay with it and feel it and allow it to be so. The words or thoughts that “it was all going to be ok” did not help me (even though I knew they were true.)

So without trying to cheer myself up or brush off the struggle and discomfort, I decided to just be in it.

Eventually it went away, the bruises inside and out, my fears, lack of confidence and frustration all worked themselves out by the time I took my test.

I am so glad I stuck with it and allowed myself to feel all the pain as well as the accomplishments.

And on Sunday August 21, I did it – I passed the exam and received my new rank!

Thanks everyone for all the good words of encouragement, I really appreciate it!