Thursday, December 11, 2008

Giving back...

This is a picture of my sister's kids. Collin (left), Eliana, and Alec (right). My sister and her husband adopted Collin from Romania. He lived in an orphanage for the first 3 years of his life. He had a pretty rough beginning to his life. I had the great fortune to go with my sis to Romania to bring Collin home. I saw the orphanage where he once lived. It was heart breaking. They are grossly under staffed. They use 2 wash cloths for all the children. One to wipe all their faces and one to wipe all their bums. There is not enough staff to hold the babies and they're often left in their cribs all day. Romania is a very poor country with extremely limited resources for the thousands of forgotten children. My sister's family gave Collin the gift of a loving family, food, and opportunity he never would have experienced otherwise. We are so blessed to have Collin in our lives. Every time I think of Collin I'm reminded of this, but can't help to think of all the many, many children left behind. Millions of children that will never know a loving touch, a parent or mentor to help them make their way in this complicated world, left to fend for themselves without any skills, support, or family. Opportunity will never exist in their vocabulary. I look at Collin and see a young boy with the world at his finger tips. I can't help to think of the thousands of children I saw begging in the streets in Bucharest for any kindness someone might give so they can put some food in their empty belly or scavenge for some shoes to protect their feet through the long winter.

My mom gave Collin a pair of snow boots for his first Christmas with our family. He opened the package and hugged the boots! Then he put them on elated and content. Of course, not thinking of or looking for the many other packages under the tree with his name on them. Meanwhile the other cousins were opening and discarding package after package. That was one of the many lessons in gratitude that Collin has taught our family. He still carries this innate gratitude with him today, always showing unconditional appreciation and love to us.
Have I tugged on your heart strings enough? Consider giving to a charity for those less fortunate. If you would like to learn more about how to help the children in Romania I encourage you to visit This is a foundation to help Orphans in Romania. My sister personally knows the people who run this foundation. So be comforted knowing that your money truly does reach your chosen child. Often we think of little ones, but there are so many teenagers that need help too! So, so many.
A few years ago we decided among some good friends of ours to sponsor a child through a charity rather than give each other gifts. We've been doing this for 3 years now. It's amazing how much we've been able to help another with our money and at the same time relieve some of the holiday giving stress.

This year my husband's family has decided to do the same thing. Rather than buying gifts for each other, we're taking the money we would have spent on each other and donating to a crisis nursery in Arizona where my sister-in-law works. I've found that this has started some great conversations of gratitude in the family, and again, I don't have to waste hours wondering among items produced in China figuring out which one to purchase for them.

In this time, when people are talking recession and how hard things have been it's a great reality check. Sure money is more tight than in the past, but I never have to think about how I'm going to put food on the table or figure out how to get through the winter with out shoes! Next time your in a big department store trying to figure out what to buy those on your list that don't need anything, consider this option. There are so many in need locally and globally.

If this doesn't quite speak to you then give of your time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And the race is on...

Christmas is on it's way. I guess in many ways it's already here. For the days leading up to the big day we would like to share with you some holiday gift giving ideas that cost little to nothing monetarily, and hopefully mean quite a bit to the loved one's in your life.

In my family we have a tradition we call the 12 days of Christmas. Twelve days before the 25th we choose a person or family in the community and leave an anonymous gift for them each day until Dec. 25th.

Yes, this can be an investment if you choose. It's really fun to get creative and not spend a lot of money. How about baking or giving a nice loaf of bread, or any kind of food? Other ideas I like are poems or inspiring quotes, pictures, socks, scarves, gloves, a journal, or playing cards. There are so many ideas. If you have kids, then your craft options are endless.

I love this, because it is so much fun to be sneaky and watch your chosen receivers ponder over who in the world is thinking of them. I find that the actual gift doesn't really matter. The fact that someone is thinking of them means the very most.

Maybe you don't want to commit to 12 days. Maybe one day suits you better or a random act of kindness. Maybe you go to a rest home one day and give out hugs! That's a good one! The possibilities are as endless as joy you and your receiver will feel.

I remember one time I was walking through the parking lot to a grocery store and a person that appeared to be homeless passed in front of me and his bag of belongings broke, so I gave him my canvas grocery bags. The bewilderment on his face was great.

May your heart be filled with kindness in this giving season.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hands that shape humanity

Ok, I admit it; I've fallen for Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It all started when Bono sang about of him. I thought, "Who is this guy? If Bono feels the need to sing about him then I want to know more!" Thank you, Bono.

Then years (dare I say a decade) later, I was looking at pictures of Dr. Emoto's water crystals and I found the photo of the word Ubuntu (a previous blog.) When I googled Ubuntu, Desmond Tutu's name came up. My interest was piqued again.

Later, I'm searching through the Iconoclast series (Sundance Channel) and I see there's an episode with Desmond Tutu and what's his name (Richard Branson, a really incredible guy too). I watched and was captivated by Desmond Tutu. He is playful, joyful, and so cute, and I just want to hug him! He lives his truth. He lives the art of letting go, while living intentionally, responsibly, and for the greater good of everyone! He's got it goin' on!

Tonight I decided to google Desmond (so much better than TV), which led me to This is one of the most incredibly beautiful, artistic, and fun positive intent project I've seen. Their message displayed reads "If there is only one message of wisdom you could leave behind for humanity, what would it be?" Hmmm, thought provoking.

I invite you all to ponder this question and the word Ubuntu this holiday season. Consider giving your time, attention, and love. The most precious gifts aren't objects. Recession can never include acts of kindness or Ubuntu. In fact, the more Ubuntu you give, the more there is! What an exciting thought!

I hope you all give plenty of Ubuntu this year and catch the Tutu fever!

In peace,


Thursday, November 6, 2008


The word Ubuntu is Dr. Emoto's featured water crystal right now. Ubuntu is defined as the ethic or humanist philosophy focusing on people's allegiance and relations with each other. It is a word derived from Africa.

I love this picture of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, as well as their definitions of Ubuntu...
Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu by stating that a person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
Nelson Mandela says Ubuntu is when a traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is ~Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?
What thought provoking philosophies. What does Ubuntu mean to you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hope and Change~For the People, By the People

Be the change you wish to see in the world

Ghandi said it best~ "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

We have unfathomable power through our words, thoughts, and intent. They literally create our world, our reality!
Hope and Change~By the People, For the People is a project that encourages community to collectively set an intention of a peaceful and fair election process and for the safety of our newly elected leaders as they go forth in service to the greatest good of our planet and its people, restoring balance and harmony.

Do your part wherever your are, whenever you can. Have friends over to your house for a potluck and discussion on what a positive election process is and what strong, healthy leaders look like to you. What does liberty and justice for all mean to you? Do something through your school, your community, your church. Just do something. Change begins with yourself. Now is the time!

People worldwide are setting their intentions for change! Check out the following link:
In Peace,

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Power of Sound, Intention and Love

I just returned from an amazing Shamanic Sound Healing Workshop with Chilean Medicine Woman Luzclara. Together we, twenty-eight women and one gentleman, embraced our connection with one another, the earth and spirit through meditation, breathing, sound, dance, chanting and drumming. The sacred space we created through our intention and love was very powerful. I really had no expectation going into the workshop. The power of sound in healing keeps coming up in my meditations and sessions with clients and I knew I needed to explore that more. So, I opened myself up to expansion and clarity.

Several participants had cathartic healing responses during our meditations and ceremony. It was an honor to hold the place for them as they let go and allowed their light to shine brightly, to heal. I thought, well, this is cool. However, I was a bit surprised that I did not feel as connected to the process as the other participants did. But, I knew I was supposed to be there, so I let go of judgement and continued to be present. Then it hit me like a lightening bolt striking my heart center, opening me up to the universe and reminding me of my purpose, no joke! This happened when Luzclara briefly spoke about her country, Chile, and the intensity of her life through years of living in the face of fear, fascism and the whims of dictators. As she spoke, my heart opened more and the tears flowed. She spoke of Pinochet and the the violence of his leadership, the men and women who were imprisoned for speaking their truth, others that were murdered or disappeared. She spoke of her discovering the power of prayer and intention and how it transformed her anger into love. She spoke of how her sisters, 3,500 of them, came together for one week with one intention. They, through the power of sound, intention and love, would pray that Pinochet would leave without bloodshed. They drummed, cried, healed, danced, chanted, ate, celebrated life, sent thoughts of love, peace and harmony out to the universe for 5 days straight. There were no cries of "down with Pinochet" or battle cries, only chants, thoughts of love and peace. Then they went their separate ways. But, continued to hold the intention in their hearts and thoughts. Within 2 weeks, Pinochet upset our government and long story short, an election was demanded and the people voted him out and he left without bloodshed. This occurred 3 months after the women concluded their ceremony.

I was riveted. I was crying heavily and there was an understanding in my heart. This was the story that I was to hear that day, this was what I was to bring home with me. Luzclara awoke in me, with her story, a need to be more responsible, a need to lead without fear, to help make the change we so desperately need on our planet and to wake up and step up to my purpose.

Whoa...was I up to it (fear talking again!)? Where do I begin? I drove home in silence and listened to my heart and mind formulate ideas, letting them come and go without judgement and fear. It was no surprise to me that when I checked our blog for entries last night that Jodi had also found herself in a place of wanting to hold a place of peace during this election time. I told you that we often come up with ideas at the same time, finish each others sentences....I love that!

We have decided to hold the space for our community to collectively set an intention of a peaceful and fair election process and for the safety of our newly elected leaders as they go forth in service to the greatest good of our planet and its people, restoring balance and harmony. Can you see it now, can you feel it, breath it? Ahhhhh...

Check back in a couple days for details on how you can join us, be empowered during this election process and help to create a peaceful planet!
In peace and light, Erin

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Please vote

We are in full swing of the election season... just in case you've missed this somehow.
Is it just me or do the campaigns seem more negative than usual this year? I'm turned off more than ever by the candidates this year (yes, even the one's I support). So, so disheartened am I! Their ads are all about how bad the other guy is. Why don't they just tell us what they stand for and what they're going to do if elected? Worse yet, we all get wrapped up in this. It's challenging not to.
In this time, when negative campaign ads run as rampant as bunnies on park point, let's all focus on sending positive thoughts to our political leaders. Now I know that this can require a significant shift in thinking. Just don't get wrapped up in who you want to win or who you want to see go down. Focus on the idea of political leaders that have our country, state, (and while we're at it, world's) highest good as their agenda. I personally don't care so much if they're Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Who actually knows "Joe" and has his/our best interest in their heart? Is their anyone out there???
Meditate for peace, honest politicians, qualified leaders.
Please do your part and cast your informed vote during this important upcoming election. Do a little research. Vote for issues that matter to you!
In peace, Jodi

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What I learned from my mom

I'm a lucky girl. My mom, (Mama Mary) and our friend, Vesna (mom #2) came to visit last week. We had such a great time relaxing in Duluth.
Things I've learned from my mom:
Unconditional love, Conditional love, Beauty, Grace, Strength, Open-mindedness, Organization, Strong work ethic, Loyalty, Importance of family, How to play Yahtzee, How to enjoy life no matter your circumstances, When to speak your mind, When to bite your tongue, Deep appreciation for Neil Diamond, Not so deep appreciation for the movie Out of Africa, Deep love of popcorn, How to play fun games with kids, How to pull pranks on friends, How to be a good friend, How to be responsible, How to drive, How to bake cookies, How to make Taco Salad (Catalina dressing is a must), How to thoroughly enjoy a day at the beach, How to face my fears (like needles!), How to make people happy when they're sad, How to be clever, How to dye my hair, How to wear makeup, How to second hand shop and look good, How to ride a bike, How to smell good, How to dress up like a witch for Halloween (cotton balls under tights are essential), she loves me no matter how many tattoos I get, She loves me and accepts me for who I am.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Joy factory

This is my niece Eliana Joy Healy. She is so, so cute! My sister, Ginger says she looks like me- what a compliment!
My friend Shane Bauer owns laughingstock design and makes these awesome t-shirts among many other creatively delightful items. He gets it. He understands the importance of words and thoughts. He decided to create a positive line of t-shirts called Happy Space Positive Wear. They're so cool! Check them out at for some fun eye candy.
Our words and thoughts create our reality. Become an observer of this theory, and you'll find it to be true, and if you choose, to serve you.
Be mindful of your thoughts. You might be surprised by how your internal dialogue reflects the life you live. What's your joy factory? Do you have one? If not, start building one today- in your mind, where it all begins. What brings you joy?
Have a joyful day,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Power of Intent

I've wanted a scooter since I was a little girl. They always looked so fun to me!

A few years ago, I decided I was going to focus on a way to get a scooter- not just any scooter- a Vespa.
So half joking, I decided to set my intent on owning a Vespa scooter. About a month later a new grocery store opened up next to one of our Papa Murphy locations. So I went over to the grand opening celebration and put my name in a drawing for a wave runner. I didn't want a wave runner. I never have had much interest in them, but I love to win things!
Well, about 10 minutes later, a friend of mine who was in charge of the drawing came over to our store to tell me I was the proud owner of a shiny new wave runner! "Awesome," I thought to myself, "I just won a Vespa!"
Well, I sold that wave runner (having never used it.) With the money I received from the wave runner I was able to walk into the Vespa store in Minneapolis and choose whatever scooter I wanted! What a cool feeling, to be able to walk into a store and pick out your dream ride!
I feel on top of the world when I'm riding Vito. (That's his name. I named him after the Godfather, because Vespa's are made in Italy, and as you can see from the picture, my scooter is obviously the godfather of all scooters!) I love feeling the breeze on my face, and taking in all the scents of summer time in Duluth. I think of my scooter rides when I meditate. It's a great anchor to invoke feelings of love and joy.
Dreams really can come true! Try attracting something you've always wanted into your life! What do you have to lose? Hang a picture of your dream car or the Caribbean somewhere where you'll look at it daily. Then think and feel how fun it will be to experience the joy and satisfaction of having that thing in your life! Remember the feeling part of the meditation is key! If I can make it happen, so can you!
Follow your bliss,

This picture was taken by Nate Lindstrom. He's a very talented and creative photographer in Duluth. Check out more of his work at

Friday, August 29, 2008

I can do it

Dr. Musaru Emoto is known for taking pictures of water crystals. He puts water in a dish, then writes a word on a piece of paper and places it beneath the dish. He then freezes the water and takes a picture of the water crystal. Every crystal is Unique! This is picture of "I can do it." "Beautiful" is quite beautiful, and guess what "hate" looks like. "Try" is only partially formed. He has several books out and is featured on the movie "What the bleep do we know." A movie everyone should see. And by everyone I mean everyone!

Our internal and external dialogue creates our reality. What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror or face life's challenges? Next time say "I am beautiful" or "I can do it." Think "Peace" rather than "No War." That is where change begins.

At our last community meditation we spent time thinking about all the things in our life we are grateful for. Thoughts of chocolate filled the room with smiles. Then we spent time thinking of our dreams... that trip you've always wanted to take, that career change you long for, slowing down, looking for agates on Lake Superior. Feeling how it would feel to have those become reality.

Richard Gordon the founder of Quantum-Touch suggests that when you think about what you would like to have, create, or change, think about all the consequences of the new reality. If you want to live in a different home, think of all the consequences of being there. Is it comfortable to have that extra space and beauty around you, the ease, comfort and convenience?

The trick is to feel completely at peace with the consequences of what you wish to have in your new reality. Live in the vibration of the consequences of that success and you will find that reality will flow in your direction far more fluidly.

I have a peaceful, easy feeling about the consequences of knocking the wall out between my kitchen and living room.

I've been a devout fan of U2 ever since I saw them on MTV playing on a rooftop in NYC. My favorite quote of all time and personal mantra is from the genius Bono-

"This is your future. The only limits our the limits of your imagination. Dream of the kind of world you want to live in. Dream out loud in a high volume. That's what we do for a living."

Maybe it's the Irish accent I find so inspiring. Either way it sounds like a good idea to me. Bono's full of good ideas!

Winston was on to something...
One minute each night during WWII and advisor to Churchill organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped.
There is now a group of people organizing the same thing her in America. If you would like to participate: Each evening at 9:00 Eastern, 8:00 Central, 7:00 Mountain, 6:00 Pacific, stop whatever you're doing and spend one minute meditating for people around the world, the people of the United States, for peace in the world, and the upcoming election.
We can do it!
In Peace,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Techno Storms

My brain feels like it has been pan fried. The website is almost up and running and I am cross eyed. Good thing I enjoyed an hour of meditating with some super cool Duluthians this eve or I would be out like a light.

Speaking of which. The skies are singing and the lights in my house are flickering. The sound and smell of rain are amazing, electric light display over Lake Superior, drumming of thunder in the air. LOVE it! Do we live in a cool universe or what? Time to trade this screen in for a better view.