Category Archives: Health + Wellness

Making space: holding the container open, empty, and ready.


Cleaning out sometimes feels a bit like a death.

Whenever I pack up bags to give away, it feels as though I'm going through old remnants of my past self, closets of things that represent who I used to be, and parting ways.

Lately I've been cleaning out everything: getting rid of extra toiletries, clothes, miscellaneous things, even most of my books, in an effort to minimize and make space.  Sometimes giving things away feels ceremonious and I'm glad to be letting go of things. I joyously depart from practices that no longer serve me.

Other times, it's downright painful to leave a city you love behind and jump off the edge into unknown territory and build your next life.

Change can be painful, emotional, and difficult to embrace.

Christina Rasmussen, an author I stumbled across last year and who I have come to adore, started a similar conversation about letting go. She pointed out how these shifts happen across not just our physical lives, but our digital, connected, and spiritual lives:

"During the last couple of weeks I have been unfollowing some people I admired years ago. It is not that I no longer admire them; I am just looking for another place for my eyes to land. Facebook can be both a horizon and a wall. When you start seeing the wall, you know what you need to do."

I couldn't agree more. It is more than fine to unfollow. Unfollow to make space for your own brain to think; slow down to cherish your own heartbeat; let unread books become donations to people who will read them. And in the digital world, while the work people are doing may be beautiful and wonderful — it might not be the vibration that you need in your life anymore.

Even when cutting feels aggressive, by doing so, you make space for new beautiful souls to wander into your life. And better yet, you make new space for the same two souls to mature independently and for you to meet again in the future, on another level, with a new relationship.

By nature of existence, we both accumulate and eliminate.

Growth comes with death. Each year, living things cycle through similar processes. We all grow, evolve, shift, and change. What you love and need one year is not the same as the next.

Just as Kate Northrup writes about deadheading as a growth practice, making space is about removing what's dead in your life so new growth can flourish. It is through this cutting, this elimination, this space-making, that we make room for us to grow beyond our container.

To expand.

What is grace and why does it hurt so much? (what I learned about emotional resilience through a 10-day detox retreat in Ubud, Bali).

“The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.” — Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul On the black sands of the Java Sea. The waves crashed over my limbs as sobs heaved in and out of my chest. IContinue Reading

You don’t have to do it alone. [an epic resource + event + spiritual program guide.] All my favorite programs for you, right now.

Many of us want similar things in life. Freedom. Love. Money. Safety. Security. Happiness. Depending on where you are in Maslow’s theoretical hierarchy of needs, your next immediate problem might either be finding a meal to satiate your hunger—or it might be reaching out to new meetup groups to make more friends. It might be heading out onContinue Reading

Finding the little bliss(es): this is it.

Where is happiness? Where do you find it? The $7 coffee pot we bought the day we moved in together–because we knew that functioning properly as a team might require adequate dosages of caffeine in our morning routines. Stretching my toes against the curb while waiting for the light to change. High-fiving the blinking walkContinue Reading

What have you done to take care of you?

The line between happy and crazy is very thin. The distance between joy and depression is fragile. A short story. “What are you doing tonight?” He asked. “I think I’m going to write, do some yoga, drink some lemon tea, and try to head to bed early–I’m a bit tired.” It had been a long day. OrContinue Reading

The Bali journey: in photographs.

I’m a little bit at a loss for words. I’m back from Bali, landing back in the USA after a flight pulled me 13 hours backwards in time, depositing me into the winter hemisphere. While I was gone, our city decorated the streets of Brooklyn with holiday lights, and folks have pulled out their hatsContinue Reading

The power of breath: why breathing happens before anything else.

It’s not always easy to breathe. Breathing—the intake of oxygen and the exhalation of carbon dioxide—is life’s essential force. It’s the first step our physical bodies take towards making all other actions possible, including thinking. In swimming, the rhythm of breathing is essential: you only have a few opportunities to catch a breath; it’s aboutContinue Reading

What would you bring with you into the woods? Reflection questions on your own fire, the art of creation, the necessity of destruction, and your intrinsic value.

Central Park by Vivienne Gucwa on NY Through The Lens. Reflection, rejuvenation, and three questions. This weekend, I left the city to join one hundred other entrepreneurs, creatives, and innovators to shake off some digital dust and retreat in the Poconos Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. In addition to the typical packing instructions — sleeping bag,Continue Reading

When is the right time to make change? The changing of seasons is the perfect time to re-fresh and re-invest.

When is the best time to make change? The shifting seasons are a perfect time to reflect on your year, create new intentions, and let go of past problems. It’s time to start clean, and embrace the next phase of growth.Continue Reading

Do you observe your thoughts, or judge them?

A few weeks ago, I was teaching some of Spring’s early-season open water courses down at Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. A group of new swimmers stood, shivering, outside of the water while the coaches and I explained the process of getting acclimated to cold water temperatures and critical things to knowContinue Reading