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“do you check your smart phone before you pee in the morning, or while you are peeing?” ​
~the social dilemma


I​ think about that question a lot. then ​I think about the thousands of folks who have come for healing sessions because they feel so ratcheted up all the time, unable to relax, who had this strong feeling of ‘something is missing in my life but I don’t know what.’

in those sessions, I started seeing a bigger pattern of disconnect.  over and over, I heard folks say:

‘I’m on my phone all the time’ (usually followed by how much they hate social media, but participate anyway)

‘I can’t seem to relax and slow down’ (usually followed by awe or yearning over a weekly Sacred Day of Nothing)

‘I feel like something is missing in my life’ (usually followed by an incredible litany of how busy they were)​​


this bigger pattern of disconnect I was being shown is more than social media/phone addiction. personally, I don’t have social media accounts and am away from my phone most of the time…and I live a happy life. those things are connected.

but there’s more to being happy than avoiding what hurts us.

the missing piece – and I saw this literally thousands of times with clients and students – is the absolute lack of space in most lives to stop, and discover who we are now. not yesterday, or ten years ago, or who our parents or peers think we are/should be, or the person we hope to become in the vision board. who we are real-time.

are you curious? do you know who you are, today?  especially if you hold space for a living, have you given yourself space and time to find out?


I had this wonderful art teacher 25 years ago. we students would be painting our hearts out and he’d pop up like some gleeful art gnome at our elbows, and whisper right in our ears ‘get some perspective!’ before dragging us physically about 20 feet back from our work to see with fresh eyes.

I still hear his words – get some perspective!

so now we’re playing with two powerful ideas – do you check your cell phone before or during your morning pee, and do you give yourself space to get some perspective on your life?

they’re linked, these ideas. I offer that the same dopamine addiction that has the average american checking their phone 344 times a day (holy wow!) has us wired to avoid spaces where getting perspective is even possible…where we can explore and understand who are are, real time. (eep!)

if we don’t know who we are, how can we build beautiful lives?


if you know me (laughter), you know I’m going to clamber up now on my tiny little podium and cheerlead something so sacred, so vital, so important, so life saving…

the art and magic of personal retreat.

I am PASSIONATE about the need for regular personal retreats as a form of radical self-care and self-liberation, and this is very very especially vital for anyone who holds space for a living.  no matter if you’re a firefighter, elementary teacher, therapist, acupuncturist, doula, shamanic practitioner, author, artist, or healing arts teacher, there is request and demand (in seen and unseen realms) on your time and life force.

as a helper, healer, leader, or teacher, personal retreat – or your version of it – is vital.

I’m going to share a wondrous this: every single colleague, friend, client, or student who has done a real-deal personal retreat has fallen in love, and goes on to do more of them, once they learn how.

there are articles sprinkled throughout the dreaming otter about different facets of personal retreat, and I periodically offer short workshops on creating personal retreat.

retreat is the singularly most effective way to come home to yourself – especially if you hold space for a living – that’s available to you in our times.

you are beautiful, and worthy of a life where you know who you are, and have spaciousness enough to find – and live – your own magic and truth.

I’m a personal retreat geek!  if you’d like help creating your version, or learning how to help your students, clients, and audiences create them, holy wow please email and we’ll do that together in session or workshop, or create some fun container just for you, depending on what you’re working with.


ps – do you know one or two folks who would benefit from receiving the dreaming otter articles?  if yes, please encourage them to subscribe to the email list here.  I would be so grateful – thanks, and may that kindness return to you a thousandfold.

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