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A month ago I had the privilege to journey to Nicaragua on a Seva/Yoga retreat. Going into the trip I didn’t know what to expect, I was walking into a world that would be completely new to me for the first time, and I was scared.When I landed and looked around two thoughts came into my mind as my worries vastly went away. The first thought was what a beautiful place I was seeing before my eyes, the second thought was that I could not wait to go out and give a helping hand to such a loving beautiful community. I knew with my confidence, my love, and my desire to serve I could help impact those that were around me and I couldn’t wait to begin. The second day was when we were able to meet the children from the local orphanage, this was my favorite day. The children were so eager to be loved and cared for and it brought tears of compassion to my eyes as I saw the impact that a simple “hello” had to them. Bringing my children on this trip with me was the best idea I have ever had, they returned wiser, more empathetic towards others, and eager to help and make a difference in the lives around them. I am so proud to have such loving children and to have had an opportunity like this one that brought us closer and stronger to not only each other but to the world and the potential that we could reach from becoming united with one other. The yoga portion of this retreat was just as remarkable as the rest of it. I studied new poses and new methods as well as being able to really connect with my inner self. I truly believe that yoga brings out the best in people, it is important to honor yourself because that will lead to the true honoring of others. I encourage you all to go out and try to submerse yourself into another culture at one point in your life. I promise you the result is worth the fear. Attached to this post I figured I’d leave some photos from my trip, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Blessings to all of you, Namaste.

Tipping my scale and regaining my truth, Ownership!

I returned from our trip to Nicaragua three weeks ago.  We embarked on a family vacation up to Maine a week later.  I was very relaxed and in a great place in my mind and body.  I still am which is a skill that I have worked on for quite some time.  I feel that I have found balance.  There are numerous articles and blogs about balancing your life.  I was so out of whack with my balance that reawakening after the drugs I found myself going to the other extreme to find peace.  I conducted a bit of an experiment this past year.

So, I was very critical of everything and everyone for pretty much my entire life.  I really was not nice to “me”.  Is that something anyone else falls victim to?  It is exhausting.  My experiment hypothesis was this: “Can you find love for your body and mind whether you are in shape or soft and fuller n shape?”  I am here to say yes you can, and yes I did.  I dove into my yoga, vinyasa flow, and I continued to do exercise outside with biking and walking.  I kept up a bit of small weight intervals at home but overall I let go of the fire to be ripped and fire like.  I am a fire like and excitable person when I don’t have balance.  I found that by changing my speed, working on Mindfulness with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach in a Power of Awareness class, and yoga that I stopped the critical, painful judgmental voice in my brain.  I also became empathetic toward myself first and then I was able to step out in my life and honestly have no critical thoughts towards others.  The stories had disappeared in my head and I forgave myself for hanging out with the stories for the past 35 years.  We learn them and they get imprinted.  It is work to rid them.  I can’t even begin to explain how this letting go and balance virtually turned my life around in a very short time once I believed it.  I repeated mantras and thought of positive and loving thoughts to myself and others.  When the critical voice steps in now I stop everything, sit somewhere, and get quiet.  I ask my god to open up to peace.  “Where is this coming from?”  It’s useless pain and I am directed by my path of love and honesty. at my timeframe.  Seriously, the good stuff will come along daily if you only chill out and reset.  Be open to balance and be free.

Now, in August, I’m back to my fitness classes and yoga.  I will probably never return to power weight, crossfit workouts ever again.  It’s too fire like and just makes me anxious.  I love feeling grounded, equalized, and at peace.  My experiment was a success and I am now getting back in shape.  It’s healthy to be fit and I’m sticking around for a long time period.  This is empowering and when you are in flow you are able to pursue your passions. Thank you my husband for never giving up on me.  Thank you to all my teachers, and to all my readers.  I am fueled to serve and I am open to what lies ahead.  Love, Mandy  And….thank you Lexi and Lara, you are my beauties and I am so grateful every moment for you girls.  You are gorgeous inside and out.  Go chase your dreams and serve with love. #daughtersrock!

More on Nicaragua and service to follow soon, promise.


Power of Awareness, by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, Fall 2015 online course through