Enough Already with "not enough"!

Back in August, I started the second annual

101 Days of Gratitude

.  The idea is to post something that you are grateful for everyday.  Last year, I did this to both create meaningful daily content on my

Facebook page

(the key to social media success, so I hear) and to force myself to work through my aversion to social media. It worked really well! I got more fans, even had a few people join in with me, and surprised myself on how fulfilling posting things online can be.

This year has been different

. I started this project with the intention to start to create a community around my ultimate dream of creating the Upward Spiral Center for Healing and Transformation.  Earlier this year, this dream started to look like a reality and I have been working hard to make it happen.

But that's a lot to juggle.  The creation of the center has brought some core issues of mine up to the surface and that's caused some breakdowns and needs to withdrawal. For the past month or so, I've taken a step back from major work on creating the center, because I realized"

If I'm going to create the Center, I need to first find my own.

There is this saying in Chinese Medicine that

"one can not inspire a virtue in someone else unless they first possess it themselves."

Since I came across this thought in my Daoism and Chinense Medicine class back in 2009, it has infused much of my thoughts about work and therapy.

One basic issue for me (and I know for a lot of my clients) is essentially that

I'm not enough


And the silent belief that follows is that

no one will love me


To create the center is to affirm the opposite:

I am working to create a space for all of US to explore what our healing journeys can become

. To do this, I will need lots of love and support from my community.  It can not happen with out it.

In addition to really slacking on my own gratitude posting during this year's project, I publicly admitted the other day that I miscalculated 101 Days.  The intention is to lead up to Thanksgiving, but I started a week early. So its 108 days instead. Thankfully, its a symbolic number!

I've still felt alot of 'gratitude guilt' (which essentially traces back to "I'm not good enough") about neglecting my gratitude and miscalculating.

I was overjoyed at the responses I got after posting about 108 Days. You can see some on our

Facebook Event


I had a guy write me a personal message and say:


no embarrassment needed ... I just kept thinking how is my counting wrong !?! lol its an awesome idea and has brought joy to even more people than you'll ever know ... it's fabulous and I wouldn't change a thing"

I also had a friend of mine tag me in a post:

"I am grateful for 

Nyssa Rhiannon Hanger

, a great friend, and someone who has the imagination, thoughtfulness, and work ethic to do something good for her community. Or better yet, to get us to do something good for ourselves!"

How can I not feel loved and enough reading things like this? I am bookmarking this page for the next time I feel bad : )

I don't know if I can really say "ENOUGH!" to "not enough," but I'm sure gonna try. This is what I hope to inspire in others eventually at the


, but for now I'm going to continue to work on me and inspire the community I already have.

Thanks ya'll, for all your love.


One of the cornerstones of the Artist's Way is morning pages. Every morning during the 12-week course you write 3 pages long-hand.  It seems simple and maybe even like a waste of time, but it is actually the opposite - incredibly difficult but rewarding when you actually take the time to do it. 

I don't know how this is for other people going through the Artist's Way, but for myself and many others I hear from, it is not something that happens everyday. Even when it does, I don't always get to 3 full pages.  

I am both interested in that which is in the way of our flow but I also know there's another part of me that is happy to turn away and look at something pretty and distracting. 

This is why I am writing about it. One thing I've learned from the pages is that they will uncover things.  You start to learn about how you feel, what's preoccupying you, where your thoughts go. Instead of being in the thoughts, you can see the thoughts. That is two different experiences. It actually has quite a lot of parallels to meditation and is the reason why I incorporate both into my workshops. 

So my observations:  I can see how the block of writing my pages is the same block that keeps me from posting my gratitudes.  I started 101 Days of Gratitude 2013 last August, and am just coming out of a recent bout of not posting. 

Once I get past the negative self-talk about feeling bad I'm not keeping up with my own project, I start to look at what's keeping me from posting. Here's my list:

  • I don't like going on social media - I've written about this before, I feel an anxiety often when I go to post something online. It almost seems to increase the more personal my post is. Yet, I see this as a great tool for connection and want to celebrate it, which is what keeps me posting.

  • I forget - simple answer but its true. I'm juggling quite a bit at the moment and at the end of the day, when I usually spend a few minutes reflecting, I'm ready to let go of the whole day. I will think that I will "do it tomorrow" and that has turned into next week a few times now.

  • I can't think of what to write - Sounds unbelievable, but it goes with the first point. I start thinking about how others will perceive my post and over-think it all and then can't think of what I really want to post.

I posted these on my wall

above where I write my gratitude

so I will see them everyday and remember.

Now with my excuses out of the way and I can see how ridiculous they all are (the value in writing things down!), I want to make some resolutions.  I work a lot with affirmations and believe they are a powerful way to change our thinking and lives. Here are mine for right now:

  • What I have to say has value, even if its simple, silly, or superficial.

  • There is enough time for all tasks to be done each day.

  • I am in the beautiful flow of life.

Maybe this will help : )

The Return of 101 Days

So, tomorrow we are starting 101 Days of Gratitude again. I'm super stoked for this new project. I've got more help and others who've come on board to make this a true community project.

This year, instead of writing a blog post everyday, which was obviously too much to keep up with, I am going to post on social media (#101gratitude) and contribute to the gratitude walls. Not only are we going to have

one at my office like last year

, but we will also have them at

Kaleisia Tea Lounge



, and

Cafe Hey

. And they will be handmade mounted chalkboards. This is turning into such a beautiful project already.

When I look back I see how deeply transformed I was through the project last year. It really helped give rise to a ton of amazing things in my life and I can't wait to see what it does this year for my lives and others!


how to participate here

and if you are on Facebook,

join the event


Closing Out, Looking Up: Days 99-101

So it is time that I close-out this 101 Days of Gratitude Project. I slowed down a lot the past few weeks in my posting, but been grateful none-the-less! Here's the gratitude tribute for my last few days.

Day 99: Morning Walks

If it weren't for my dogs, I would probably never get up and walk in the morning. But as soon as I wake up, the pups are all ready to walk out the door and greet the day with sniffs and pees. Pretty persistent little buggers, so I find I can't help but appease them.

I find that more and more I am happy to be walking out the door, even though only a few minutes before I was tucked away on a comfy bed enjoying the last moments of my slumber.  I find that being outside, seeing the morning unfold in its own unique way, and getting my body moving feels to be one of the most natural and necessary ways to start the day.  I think my body likes it as much as my dog's do.

Day 100: Brunch with my Parents

In the past few years, I've started this weekly ritual with my parents to meet them at brunch. We go to this place, the Riviera Restaurant  up in North Tampa.  We've actually been going to this place since I was a little kid, and some of the staff has been there that long too.

Though we've been patrons of this place for over twenty years, our weekly ritual is fairly new in that time span.  My parents started to go out weekly on Sundays and invited me out once; when I found out they had been going every week, I didn't want to be left out!  Its been our regular thing ever since.

It's great because it give us a regular chance to see each other and catch up. Without something like this it is easy to get caught up in life and not see them for a few weeks.  I like them too much to do that. As much as they are my parents and by virtue can annoy me sometimes, I also know that our Sunday times together is something that I will come to cherish. Wait, it is something that I do cherish. They won't be around forever, so I better hang out with them now.

And hey, breakfast is part of the deal, can't argue with that!

Day 101: This Project!

It only seems appropriate to acknowledge my thankfulness for getting myself to do this project.  It is amazing to see all the transformation that emerged from strengthening my 'gratitude muscle.'  Now, it is a lot easier for me to recognize my gratitude for small to big things.  It is harder to not acknowledge my gratitude even for the unfortunate things, which ends up making them not-so-unfortunate. I find that is even a little bit easier to receive the gratitude of others, because I know what that really means.

May this not be the end, but a new beginning!

I hope I have inspired some others to incorporate more gratitude into their lives in one way or another. And I plan to do this again, next August. Can't wait to see all that I will be grateful for then!

Day 98: A Full Night's Sleep

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to be getting 6 hours of sleep per night. Part of this was due to over-scheduling myself and not allowing time for rest. As much as I am thankful for the abundance of work the universe has given me lately, I have to tell myself that I can only do so much before I start to suffer from it.

Then something happened last week. I don't know what exactly, but I found myself yawning after 9pm and crawling into bed before 10 - almost every night! I have never been one to go to bed early until last week. And it was great! I started getting 8+ hours of sleep every night and wondered how I was managing before.

Night time has often been my time to write and post my gratitude over the past few months, and going to bed early is part of what has kept me from finishing this project. And I am totally okay with that. As much as I believe it is important to keep with my word to myself and finish my project, I think my health is a little more important.

Here's to sleep and right decision-making!

End of 101 Days! Well, Not Quite...

101 Days ago I began an ambitious project to to celebrate gratitude daily for over 3 months on several social media outlets. I would post a picture on Instagram (which would also post on Facebook and Twitter) and I would write a blog on here. The gratitude part is easy, but I hadn't realized when I began how I could get caught up in the putting myself out there part.

When I reflect on where I was coming into this project, deciding to embrace social media and dive right in, I see how it lead me to create this challenge. And it did what I hoped it would. It got me to write and reflect more, share that with other people, and even inspire some others to start their own gratitude lists. This practice has also helped me to become a better writer. I've also seen some incredible transformations in my life since I began including substantial increase in my work schedule, submitting for my first TEDtalk, publishing a chapbook, and just feeling great most of the time.

I also see how I have farther to go. But I think that's just the way things are. There's no end to the upward spiral, just an ever wider and fuller view of from where you've come. I had a conversation with a client that was asking about what to do about the tendency to beat themselves up inside and reflecting on my own experience all I could offer was that you have to move through it. We learn how to maneuver it. Maybe it becomes less like a struggle and more like a dance.

Gratitude is a good tool to change things up inside. For me it gives my awareness something new and positive to focus on rather than the negative. The more I strengthen that gratitude pathway, feeling genuine in my appreciation, the easier it it for me to draw my attention to those things even when I want to feel down. This is a constant practice that will hopefully go on throughout my life. This reminds me of something else I have reflected on recently...

So since I am still a few days short of 101, I have decided to keep posting when I get a chance until I reach 101. That okay with you? I knew you'd understand.

Now the question is: What are you grateful for?

Day 97: Time Off

As I have expressed in previous posts recently, it has gotten difficult to find the time and energy to post on here everyday.  I have been blessed with more work than I had been used to the past few months, and that has caused me to get behind a bit in my gratitude project. But I have still been grateful everyday for all kinds of things, and that is what really matters. Besides, I can't help but wonder if my increased gratefulness over the past few months is part of what has contributed to my abundance of business all of a sudden. Hmmmm....one will never know for sure, but I'll be grateful for it anyways.

One big lesson from the past few weeks has been scheduling time off for myself. I started working 8-12 hours a day over a 6 or 7 day stretch mainly because I was still in the attitude of taking business whenever business is there and had neglected to schedule myself regular days off.  Phew! Since I most often work on Saturdays, I have decided to let Monday be my day off.  It won't fully go into effect for the next few weeks, but going into 2013 I will no longer take appointments on Monday. Whoo-hoo!

I also scheduled for myself a week at the beginning of the year to rest and recharge. I am not sure exactly what I will be doing with this time, but I know it is there and that foresight of relief is really all that matters.

Day 96: A Strong Relationship

Things have a way of getting uncomfortable real quickly, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can turn discomfort into deeper connection in no time.

My boyfriend and I had a brief miscommunication tonight and had about 10 minutes of uncomfortable-ness between us. It was a small thing that didn't need to be a big deal but we were both in a place that we got easily emotionally charged about it. Before I knew it we were both upset and neither were helping to make it better.

I have observed enough about the world to know this is not a unique scenario to only us. Every couple has moments like these, and though they are not fun, it is always an opportunity for growth. At least that is how I see it.

I am blessed to be in a relationship where we sort of have an unspoken policy: no one leaves upset. Even though that is exactly what we want to do sometimes, my boyfriend and I have a habit of staying with the discomfort, of holding on through it, of coming out the other side still loving and caring.  I believe this makes all the difference, creating a stronger bond each time.

And that's what we did tonight. It is amazing how hurt and blame can so quickly turn into love and adoration.     The next time you are in a situation that has become uncomfortable, if it is not dangerous to your well-being,  see if you can just stay with it for a bit.  If it is with someone you care for deeply, chances are those feelings will begin to trump any pains to your expectations, beliefs, or ego and you might feel your heart expand just a little more. I did and will say it was all worth it.

Days 88-95: Time that Flies By and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

I can't believe it is already Monday and that by the time I get to actually posting this Monday will be practically over. It might already be Tuesday, who knows [and as it turns out, this didn't get posted until Wednesday]. All I know is that it seems overnight, all of my time has gotten accounted for.

My last post was Wednesday and everyday since then has been filled with productivity and a whole lot to be grateful for.


: This was my doggy's dental appointment which turned out to cost me much less than I thought it was going to. In addition to this great financial outcome, I saw one of my regular client's this day who bought herself a new package and included in her check a VERY large tip. Having seen me for over 100 sessions, she has given me a gift like this once before and both times my jaw dropped. In the note on the check she wrote, "Happy Thanksgiving!" Happy Thanksgiving indeed. Let's just say that it would pay for several doggie dental bills, but it will probably just pay off my credit card debt, which is such a blessing. My day ended with an amazing open mic night at Cafe Hey where I felt honored, cherished, and loved. I left early because I was exhausted and had several long days ahead of me.

I was thankful

to have someone else who can run the show and give me time to go home and relax, since that time has been few and far between lately.


: I started my day at Gaither High School, my second school this year in the Arts Council's Poetry Jam program that I get to do every year. I am one of the Arts Council's poets that visits schools around the county and share a love of writing and the power of poetry and the spoken word. AND I GET PAID FOR THIS.

I am eternally grateful


Gianna Russo

, my poetry teacher, who suggested my name to the Arts Council when they were looking for poets.  These often involve me being at high schools before 8am, but I don't care. This is one of the best jobs I could ask for; the only part I would change is to be able to do this all year long. I was at Gaither until 2pm, then had a little time off before an evening client. It gave me time to go to the bank, stop by Kaleisia for some tea and a snack and take a little time to review the final proof of my chapbook that will be debuted this week. What an amazing Friday...

Saturday and Sunday

: I spent all weekend in the first workshop in the CranioSomatics training program. Back in 2006 I started studying Structural Energetic Therapy, developed by my teacher Don McCann, who combines cranial releases with deep tissue bodywork.  Don learned the cranial work from Dallas Hancock, the creator of CranioSomatic therapy. Now I am learning the cranial work for my teacher's teacher, and it is blowing my mind! I am only at the beginning of the training but will say that touching the cranium will never be the same again. I spent two days filling my head with all this new awareness of the cranium, and it is a good thing we did some releases on each other because frankly, I need a little more room in there to fit all this information! It was great to reconnect with some of my previous class mates and fellow therapists and I am SO excited to integrate this work into my practice. Six months ago I decided that this would be the next step for my practice.

I am thankful

that it is finally coming to fruition (and I should also mention, that my mom helped me pay for the class!).


: Here we are at Monday. I am writing this is the morning but know that the day will bring me more to be grateful for. I know this because I welcome it. If there is anything I've learned from this continuous gratitude practice is that when you are open to the world, it opens for you. I have had so many opportunities emerge in the past few months that I can't do anything but be thankful. Something that takes almost no time at all, makes the biggest difference. So

I am thankful

for today and the time I had to write this post.


Now it is Wednesday and I haven't even posted all this yet! Let's recap and get back on track.


(revisited): Monday turned into a great day! I saw three clients and got to try out some of my new techniques, with great success.  My day ended with seeing a bunch of my family at Skipper's for a big fundraiser concert. Though I am sure the musicians that night were super talented and deserved respect, I was really only there to hang with my family.  And I was glad they were there because I made a bad choice for my parking spot and got my car stuck in a bunch of sand. My male cousins knew exactly what to do and got me out of the hole, which involved rolling back up over a steep step, scraping the bottom of my car and popping off the corner of the front bumper. But here is where gratitude comes in:

I was super thankful

that it wasn't any worse (like leak-inducing or something) and that I already had plans to take my car in the shop the next day for routine maintenance. All in all, it turned out okay.


: I woke up not feeling too well and wondering if I needed to cancel my work. I went to work anyways and was relieved to find out my first client wasn't feeling well either. I moved my second client (who was coming in for a double session) to another day and had the whole afternoon to catch up with things. It was just what I needed. Though

I am grateful

to be so busy with work I am also grateful for understanding clients. I felt good by the afternoon and stayed to see my last client for the day. It was the second time I had seen her and the session was incredibly powerful.

I am thankful

to be increasingly working with clients on all levels, mind, body, and spirit.  This is truly what I am here to do.


: Now, here we are. Today I am thankful for some time to just be. My days have gotten really full, as the rest of this post explains, but I am learning more and more the lesson of finding that quiet time within. I was able to take some time this afternoon to just enjoy and breathe, which was a great way to get ready for another Tea + Meditation at Kaleisia this evening.


Yay! I am glad to be back on the wagon. Only a few more days to go before the end of this project. I suspect, though, gratitude will continue to be a driving force of positivity in my life. After these past few months, it seems like I can only see it as essential.

Day 87: My Period

Okay. This one might be a little personal, but its my blog! I can totally get personal. And I imagine that people have written about way worse things on the internet.

Yes, I am thankful for my period (which I did start today, btw). I didn't always feel this way. Hated it, really, for the first 10 years or so of having it. But over the last few years something changed.  I started to see it as the cleansing process that it is. There's a refreshing quality to the monthly shedding.  Like the change from summer to fall, I see it has a mark of another turn of the wheel, another rotation in the cycle. It's not the earth's cycle or the clock's cycle, it's MY cycle.

And it's the affirmation that I am, indeed, not pregnant, which is probably the source of the joy most women feel when I see their period has arrived. That's something that I am thankful for right now too.