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I will never forget the day when I heard the phrase, “But that’s not your journey.”  It was a late Fall day and my kitchen was filled with the scent of apple pie. I had been baking all day in between laundry, driving the kids to/from school and phone sessions with clients.  I knew I was overloaded with my own thoughts and plans, but my awareness did not stop me from being annoyed at a friend of mine who had called me to whine about splitting up with her boyfriend.  She (we’ll call her Alicia) was taking their daughter and moving into a motel about a mile away.  With the phone perched to my ear and my arms up to my elbows in pie dough, I listened as she ranted about what he had done to her.  She complained about how he was making her move out and how she had no choice.  It really bothered me that she was choosing the victim route, but she was not in any space to hear me so I just listened and tried to be the friend she needed me to be.

After the call, I was thoroughly agitated.  I then called another friend who happened to be a psychologist.  I explained how the whole situation was wrong and how much it bothered me that Alicia was choosing to allow all this stuff to happen to her…and as I was rambling on and on about Alicia- I heard my friend sigh.  I stopped talking.

“What?”, I asked.

“Ya know, Leslie, you can only be responsible for your own journey and your own choices.  Alicia’s journey is hers to have and to learn, not yours.”

Suddenly 2 things occurred to me that never had before- 1) My apple pie was burning and 2) this one thought released from everyone else’s shit.

And then yet another thought occurred to me- I am solely responsible for my own journey.  I am solely responsible for my own journey.  One more time for effect- I am solely responsible for my journey.  Since I was not taking blame or responsibility for any one else’s life choices then I was the only one I could blame for my own.  I couldn’t blame my husband or my mom or my sister in law for anything.  It was only me.  There was an overwhelming sense of power with this knowledge as well as that sinking feeling of being expected to be a grown up and do all of the things grown ups do.  Grown ups say their sorry and they say it first, grown ups try again when they don’t succeed the first time and grown ups are role models for the little people who were looking to us to teach them everything.

I thought a lot about Alicia for days after that and I made a very unusual decision.  I allowed my communication with Alicia to cease.  With the knowledge that I am responsible for my own journey and that she is responsible for her’s, I was not comfortable about her life choices and I no longer wanted to be included in the negative energy she showered on me on a daily basis.  I could remember at least a dozen conversations Alicia and I had that left me agitated or down which caused me to be in a reactive state with my kids and my husband.

I call this the trickle down theory.

The trickle down theory is what happens when one person says or does something to you or around you that causes you to house and hold onto the negative energy and then release it onto another situation or person.  Here is how I explained this to my daughter, Grace,  who was having a challenging morning and seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the planet.  She was snapping at her little brother, Leo, who was asking her a totally innocent and innocuous question.   I tilted her little chin up to my face and explained the domino effect that would be happening.

“Your mean words,” I explained, “will place a small piece of negative energy into your brother’s body.   You may feel better after releasing it, but now Leo carries it.  Sometime today he will need to let it go because it doesn’t feel good to keep bad energy in our minds and bodies.  So, in response, he may be mean to one of his friends.”

She asked the inevitable question, “Then HOW do I get rid of my negative energy, Mommy?”

“Excellent question!”  I grabbed her arms, put them around my waist and hugged her close.  She melted into my embrace.  I kissed the top of her head and we rocked gently for a moment.   From the front of my sweatshirt I heard a muffled voice that said, “Are you going to tell me now?”

“How do you feel now?”  I held her away form me to look at her face.

“Much better!” she smiled then looked thoughtful for a moment.

“So, when I am feeling cranky or angry, I should hug you?” she looked absolutely young and beautiful.

“Exactly!  But not only me…you can hug Daddy or the dogs or even your brother.  Nothing changes negativity like positive touch and affection.”

She wrinkled her nose at the suggestion to hug her brother, but then she looked up at me again and asked, “Will anything else get rid of my negative energy?”

“Another excellent question!  You can do something energetic like jumping jacks or running around or even tell a funny joke.”

My son then started doing jumping jack and screaming, “Knock knock!  Who’s there?  Banana!  Banana WHO?  Knock knock!”

Grace and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes and laughed.

I do a visualization with many of my clients when they seem to have lost their sense of their journey.  I guide them to picture a pathway underneath their feet.  The pathway contains words, pictures and phrases that are meaningful to them.  I add words and concepts we have already discussed such as, “Peaceful” and “Joyful”.  I guide them to notice how the words are glowing bright with warm energy and that their movements are flowing and relaxed.  Each time they take a step, the energy from these words are absorbed into their feet and pulled up into their bodies.  With each step they take, the energy grows and they can feel it seeping into each part of their bodies, flowing with their bloodstream reaching to the furthest points of their body.

This guided imagery allows my client to make the connection with their subconscious and conscious mind that this, indeed, is their pathway.  They are choosing to glide along with each footstep bringing the energy of their own goals and aspirations into their minds and bodies.

Keeping your nose out of everyone’s journey frees up al that time and space spent on judgement and negativity and allows the focus on your own, beautiful pathway to the incredible journey that is your own.



Noise.  Stimulus.  Static.  Chatter.

I realized the other day that when I am alone, I subconsciously put on my head phones and pick something to listen to.  Sometimes it is music, most often it is a book I have downloaded and I obsess over until the end.  I was on my porch last weekend painting a cabinet while the rain lightly pattered on the roof.  Having finished my latest romance audiobook, I did not automatically reach for my iPhone for something to listen to.  After about 15 minutes I was deep in thought and my very next thought was how long it had been since I allowed my mind to wander.  I was amazed at how good it felt and how much space I cleared by just…..thinking.

I know that when I run, I use the noise to distract me from hearing my legs screaming at me to stop.  When I stopped for a moment to count how much I use noise instead of allowing my own thoughts to guide my experience left me feeling a bit ashamed.  I truly felt bad.  I also realized through no coincidence that my meditation practice had waned the past month and I felt overloaded.  It was the proverbial snowball that the more overloaded I felt, the more I tried to fill the silence with noise.  I was working against myself in every sense of the phrase.

I also have been studying energy healing as a modality to offer my clients and I also learned something that was synchronistic.  Layers.  We build up layers of stuff which then need to be removed.  Layers prevent the flow of energy which prevents us from moving forward.  The more layers we pack on, the longer it takes to remove them.  This is what I tell first time clients who ask how many sessions it will take to release blocks and past experiences that prevent them from succeeding.  The more layers, the longer it can take.  Some people plow through layers quickly and some prefer to peel each one away and examine it thoroughly before throwing it away and removing another layer.  Whatever way we work to remove those layers- whether through hypnosis, energy healing, meditation, exercise or some other preferred method- it is essential to progress.

I like to explain to my clients how the space of time right before we wake is a time of space clearing in our mind.  The subconscious throws out any details it doesn’t find useful and opens it up for the next day of taking in more details.  This is also a time our mind works on issues that may be challenging or not settled.  I like to think this is where the phrase, “Things will look better in the morning” came from.  It is because our mind has had some time to release clutter and process issues without distraction.  The subconscious mind has an amazing way of giving us exactly what we need at all times.

This is why, I suppose, the Universe is sending me the message of quiet.  I will honor this message and focus on the sound of the birds and the feel of the sun on my face.  Danielle Steel will have to wait. 🙂


I work everyday with fear.  I work with my clients on how to overcome fear and anxiety and how to release the fear that is caught within us.  I picture fear in our bodies similar to an artery blockage.  Fear blocks the flow of love, the flow of progress and forward movement.  Fear is the opposite of love and, therefore, needs to be released in order for each and every one of us to be living our true path.

But change creates fear.  I know this to be very true since I am dealing with many changes within my own life right now.  I feel blessed to be able to work at the release of the anxiety and self doubt that change may bring about, but I know that this is something that everyone can do.  Although I hypnotize my clients in order to be able to dig deeper to release fear, it is something that we can do alone and it doesn’t take a ton of time.  The results, however, are huge.  As an example, this one simple exercise can allow for a clearer mind and more relaxed body if you do it with intention.  What does “doing it with intention mean?”  It means to focus fully, concentrate on doing the exercise from beginning to end and only then you can expect the results.

Here it is:

  1. Find a quiet space, one that you will not be disturbed for at least 10 minutes.  Set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone for 7 minutes.
  2. Sit with your feet on the floor or on the floor with your legs crossed beneath you.
  3. You can light a candle and say a prayer if you wish.  I do, but it’s not necessary.
  4. Take a deep breath and close your eyes.
  5. All you need to do next is to listen to your own breath.  You don’t need to change it.  It doesn’t need to be loud or exaggerated, just let it be.
  6. If thoughts come into your head, just allow them to flow in and flow out.  I always suggest that if thoughts seem to be pushing their way in then it helps to focus on a blank screen behind your eyes.  Listen to only your breath.
  7. Do this until the timer goes off.  Open your eyes and stretch.  Thats it.
The purpose of this exercise is to practice to be in the moment.  It is a very short meditation.  When you experience the moment, every single moment, the fear does not exist.  The more you are able to focus on your present moment, the more you are able to release your fear.  All of our love and all of our fear is under our complete control.  We create it.  So why not choose to release the fear?  Why not make the choice to be present and change the negatives to positives?
To reiterate my mantra, “Everything you ever want or need is already inside of you.  You never need to look anywhere but inside yourself”.

My Dream

Last night I had the most amazing dream.

It sounds like a song, doesn’t it?

“…I fell away to China…on a little row boat to find ya…and you said you had to get your laundry clean..didn’t want no one to hold ya…what does that mean??” That is a song from the 80’s that I know has some of you scratching your head.  That was, however, NOT my dream.

My dream involved a healer- a woman who was working on me by performing Reiki with her hands and with her energy on my back and the middle of my body.  There were other people there.  Faces I cannot remember, but what I do remember is the actual healing.  It was like instant relief from pain, although I don’t know if I had any physical pain at that moment while I was sleeping.  I can also describe it like euphoria.  I felt 2 waves of it around my heart and lungs and a lightness I imagine that results from taking pain meds to relieve pain.

I woke up with energy and joy.  That part is not totally unusual since it takes a lot for me to wake up crabby.  Annoying as it may be, I am definitely a morning person.  I love the sunrise.  I love that first cup of coffee.  I love a quiet house and, much to my chagrin, I find that working out in the morning also agrees with me.  After working in bakeries since the age of 17, getting up at 4:30 am became my way of life.  The aroma of croissants baking and coffee brewing was like coming home for me.  A psychic once told me I lived above a bakery in France in a prior life and I also worked in the bakery as payment for my apartment.  It answered a life long question for me as to why I always felt a certain and subtle deja vu every time I walked into a bakery no matter where I was.  It still happens to this day.  It starts with the smell and it seeps down into me as if my whole surroundings are familiar.

Back to my dream…..I woke up feeling amazing and, well, healed.  I thank the woman, whomever she was who took the time to travel through the Universe to bring to a higher place and I send her back much love.  It all just reminds me that the best way to find love and light is to give it away without expectations and with full abandon.

Which reminds me of another song…a song that reminds me of love and longing.  A song that inspires many more dreams……

Desert Rose – Sting

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
And near the flames
The shadows play in the shape of the man’s desire

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing’s as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
The rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of hidden hearts and souls
This desert flower
This rare perfurme is the sweet intoxication of love


Yummy Vegan Recipes

I have had some requests for recipes lately so I finally put them somewhere everyone can see them.  I have a ton more, but these have been my obsessions lately.  Let me know if you have any questions!  Bon Apetit!


2 cans black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can northern beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

1/2 sweet onion

2 garlic cloves

1 slab extra firm tofu

chili powder

onion powder

1 small can chipotle peppers


olive oil

s & p

  • Heat 3 T olive oil in large pot.  Dice onion and garlic and saute on medium heat- do not brown.
  • Chop 1 chipotle pepper and add to the pot.  Also add 1 T of the juice from can of peppers to the pot.
  • While that is cooking- take tofu and buzz in cuisinart until mealy- not smooth.  Add to pot and mix.  Cook mixture until tofu gets a bit browned.
  • Add 3 T chili powder, 1 t ground black pepper, 1 t garlic powder, mix and saute.
  • Add in all of the beans and tomatoes (with juice) and mix.
  • Depending on the size of the pot- add enough water to be about 2 inches above mixture.   Stir and simmer until mixture has reduced about 1 inch.
  • Add another cup of water and simmer for about an hour.  The whole reducing process takes about 2-3 hours.  This can also be made in a slow cooker- set for 4 hours and yum!  Taste for salt and adjust as necessary.  The flavor is intense and satisfying!

I serve it with gf cornbread and/or garlic toast.  This recipe can be doubled for a large crowd- serves 4-6.


5 cup oats (please make sure they are certified gluten-free)

2 cups coarsely chopped almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (we used apricots, sour cherries, and golden raisins here)

3/4 cup maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Mix together the oats and almonds.  Make sure you use a large baking sheet or roasting pan for this. (I prefer the roasting pan, because you can really swirl around those ingredients without spilling them on the floor.) Sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top. Stir it up.
  • Toss the bite-sized pieces of dried fruit over the top of the oats mixture. To be honest, you might want more than 1 1/2 cups here. I kept throwing more on until about 1/2 of the surface of the oats had fruit on it. Use your own judgment here. Stir it all up.
  • Drizzle the maple syrup or honey evenly over the surface of the oats mixture. Do the same with the oil. Stir it all up until everything is well coated — not too sticky, but not dry either. Done? Great. Throw it in the oven.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, then stir up the granola-in-the-making, then put the pan back in the oven. Repeat this process three more times (it could twice or four times for you, depending on your oven). You’re looking for the granola to be not-at-all wet, golden brown, with a bit of crunch.

Makes 10 cups or so.


This is by far my favorite dish.  I love eggplant and I missed bread stuffing.  The pretzels give this a savory, Thanksgiving- like taste and it is so satisfying!  Use any fresh herbs you like- I like thyme and parsley, but you can also use rosemary or sage if you prefer.

2 medium sized italian eggplants

4 large button mushrooms

2 cloves garlic

1 small bunch fresh thyme

1 small bunch fresh parsley

2 cups gluten free pretzels

dash of black pepper

2 T olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Half the eggplants and scoop out about 1/2 the middle with a spoon.  Put in food processor
  • Throw in mushrooms, pretzels, herbs and pepper and garlic
  • Add olive oil and buzz until almost smooth- add more oil if it seems dry
  • With a spoon, fill eggplant middles with mixture to form a mound and place in nonstick baking dish
  • Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes
  • This recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger groups



Since I am a gluten free vegan, I miss out on some things I used to have like mayo and sandwich spreads made with dairy and/or egg.  I created this dipping sauce for when I steam my artichokes.  The leaves are just a vehicle for the yummy dip anyway!

1 c vegenaise- any kind or brand you prefer

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lemon

1 t kosher salt

1 t onion powder

1 t chili powder

1 t ground black pepper

1 t paprika

  • Mince garlic very fine or use a garlic press
  • Mix all ingredients and let sit in fridge for about 20 minutes for flavors to meld.
  • This can be served with steamed or raw veggies or used as a sandwich spread.



As an appetizer- this is a satisfying dish that can be served warm or room temp.  The dipping sauce is cooling and sweet.

6-8 medium sized red potatoes

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 T curry powder

1 t paprika

juice of 1 lime

1 T rice flour

kosher salt

1 t chili powder

canola oil- enough to fry the fritters

  • Soak chia seeds in a glass in 1/2 cup warm water
  • Cook potatoes whole until soft when pierced with a fork- about 20 minutes
  • Rinse potatoes with cold water and peel gently to remove most of the skin- place in bowl
  • Add in chia seeds and all other ingredients
  • With clean hands, mix together potato mixture until all ingredients are full incorporated
  • Heat oil in pan- about 2 inches
  • Rub hands with oil and make fritters into medium balls- about 1 1/2 inches around
  • Gently place into oil and fry until brown and crispy, turning often
  • Serve with dipping sauce



1 cup vegenaise

1 T lime juice

1 T chili powder

1 t celery salt

1 t honey

Mix all ingredients and serve with warm fritters.


I was recently in one of my favorite places in the world- the bookstore.  I like to wander the aisles without my kids and seek out every interest I have.  I look at music, cookbooks, health, trashy novels and, of course, the metaphysical or “New Age” section.  Interestingly enough, the only book on hypnosis that I found was in the New Age section.  Really?  It wasn’t in the health section or even the self-help.  It was placed between books about talking to the dead and discovering your inner fairy.  I thought about this for quite a while.

Now, I know that hypnosis comes with it’s preconceived notions.  TV shows, movies and cartoons all make fun of hypnosis and often characterizing the Hypnotist as evil and manipulating.  Mind control makes people nervous anyway, but allowing someone to get inside your subconscious requires trust on many levels.  It is always so amazing to me the first time I hypnotize someone.  The process is a combination of making their mind go in several different directions by asking them questions as well as providing them with wonderful visualizations of relaxing their body and their minds.  I take a lot of time with my clients to answer any questions for them and alleviate any fears they may have.  Hypnosis sometimes is a last resort for some people, but I often hear, “I wish I would have done this sooner”.   For me, I focus only on my client and try and be present and in the moment.  This allows me to tap into their energy and adjust my script and my tone.  I watch for eye movement which tells me how deep they are.  I watch for hand or leg movements which can be factors in how agreeable they are to what I am saying.  For instance, if I am guiding them towards letting go of a fear, like flying, I will bring them through a very positive scenario of going on a plane, continuously suggesting they are calm and relaxed and if at any point they flinch, I understand that they are still holding onto their fear on some deeper level.  This tells me how to proceed and what direction to go in.

Hypnosis is very much a science and also an understanding of humans and the fact that we hold onto so much we are unaware of.  The answers all lie within our subconscious or unconscious mind.  Unlocking these answers is merely allowing your mind to let go.  Again, this involves trust.  I do welcome skeptics, though.  It does not make my job any more difficult if someone isn’t fully on board with whether or not they are able to be hypnotized.  In fact, it helps to explore all aspects and angles of the process before I start the relaxation process.  The more information, the better.  To reiterate a previous point- all of the answers we seek are inside of us.   Right now.  As you are eating breakfast and wondering why you can’t eat better or lose weight or as you are driving and wondering why you are so afraid of driving on the highway.  The keys to unlocking these fears or blocks is all inside our subconscious.  Sometimes all it may require is understand where a fear comes from.  Just the knowing allows us to logically acknowledge it and it will go away on it’s own after that.  Sometimes digging into our past brings certain behaviors into light.  If it is something from our past then we can work directly on that and allow our mind to let it go, sometimes piece by piece and sometimes all at once.  I’ve had clients tell me, “I don’t care where it comes from, just get rid of my fear”.  This is certainly possible on many issues.  But I will say that there is a reason that block is there and if we are not at least aware of why it exists then removing it will only be temporary.  Denial is a huge factor in mental and physical health.  Denial of emotion pain can lead to fears, phobias or a physical ailment.  The physical pain is very real.  The difference is it does not respond to meds or physical therapy.  Letting go of the issue will allow the block to be released thus releasing us from the pain.

This process can be a long one for some.  Short for others.  I had a client who had a fear of heights for 20 years and really wanted to go zip lining on her vacation.  She called me two weeks before she left.  We set a plan for 2 sessions about 5 days apart.  I provided her with a CD to listen to at night.  During her sessions we focused on the places that made her the most anxious and fearful.  Last I heard, she had the time of her life in Mexico and that zip lining was the most amazing thing she had ever done.

Other clients have sessions 2-3 weeks apart to refocus and refresh themselves.  They don’t always have the same goal.  I always ask, “What do you want to accomplish today?”.  It can be different as the last session or totally different.  One week they may want to focus on eating better and the next week it may be dealing with a difficult coworker.  The possibilities are endless truly.

Hypnosis does force some people to examine their past, present or future in a very real way.  It also poses the question of changing.  Are you willing to work on changing some habits once we acknowledge the blocks?  Hypnosis is not magic.  Hypnosis is life changing.  Hypnosis is natural and refreshing.  The journey, I have found, is never, ever without reward.  Knowing yourself is they key to your happiness.

Are you ready?

Can You Hear That?

The past week has been an experiment of sorts.  My husband and I shut off the tv and disallowed the internet (meaning- no one was allowed to use the computer for anything other than Word or Excel).  We allowed video games like the Wii and XBox and play on our iPhones.   The purpose of this was not to torture ourselves or the kids, the purpose was a Spring cleaning of sorts.  Winter is a time of dormancy…..of shacking up in front of the TV or surfing the internet for hours on end because going outside most days was not a good option.

The results?  I am so fascinated by how much my kids did not care about the TV being off.  Just to be clear- we told them the cable company was working on our service and it was basically “broken”.  I think my daughter- who is 8 1/2 asked me twice, “When will the TV be fixed?” and when I responded, “Hmmm…I’m not sure”, she just shrugged and went back to reading her book.  Sure we watched a few movies on dvd so it wasn’t like the whole tv experience was lost, but what we were missing was the sarcastically overdramatic teen angst of iCarly and Wizards of Waverly Place.  For those of you who may not know what these shows are, they are Disney Channel answer to the Brady Bunch, but since 1979, kids have become disrespectful and completely irritating.  I found that my kids were imitating certain phrases and mannerisms of these shows.  Even SpongeBob became so overwhelmingly familiar that even he needed to go away for awhile.

So what really happened in my house this past week?  I know for myself that I did something I haven’t done in 6 months….I read a book.  An entire book.  Now, in the past, this is not something that is unusual.  My daughter has carried on this tradition passed on by my mom in that we can and will sit for hours with a book we get sucked into and not look up or respond to another human being until we finish it.  On this particular day, my kids had friends over and I curled up on my couch and read.  It was a delicious chick lit book full of stupid romance and over-dramatized sex scenes and it was wonderful.  When I was done, I closed the book, got up and made dinner for my family.  The vibe in my house was relaxed and low key.

To continue what has been happening in my house for others is that my son has rediscovered his costume drawer and become Captain America again and even the long lost Woody the Cowboy costume made an appearance.  We sit on that beloved couch everyday before school and he reads to me (my 5 year old is reading!!).  These would be times when, even if we were not focusing on it, the TV would be on in the background.

My daughter began taking piano lessons 2 weeks ago so she has been practicing piano and poring over her library books from school.  Yesterday she suggested we take out their bikes and ride around our new neighborhood.  I grabbed a hat, put leashes on the dogs and off we went on a great walk at sunset.  I love it even more that it wasn’t my idea to do this.  The mere 40 degrees was not a hindrance to us, but a relief from the 10 degrees my van registers on the way to school each morning.

My husband has been hiding under the covers watching some Sci-Fi show on YouTube on his phone. 

So, for the most part, most of us had an easy time adjusting to no tv or internet.  I have been in contact with my clients through email on my iPhone and found how I was able to put my phone down at night and play a game with my kids easier than I had before.  Am I still addicted to social media and technology?  Yes.  I will not give up my Facebook and my Angry Birds.  But I really did find that letting my thoughts wander on their own instead of being “guided” by commercials in the background and silly cartoons was a much needed break in the energy of my home.

Was what we did revolutionary?  Certainly not.  But I can say that my plan is to continue the “broken” cable and internet for one more week and see where it goes from there.  I have enjoyed the voices of my kids singing and laughing so much more than SpongeBob’s.