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Tracy Chapman’s Grace and Soulful Music

February 6th, 2024

I am still processing the Tracy Chapman moment at the Grammys. As soon as I heard the first chord, I started crying. Fast Car brings up so many emotions and memories.

After listening to the replay of the Grammys, I cried again. I think Chapman’s peaceful, humble grace gave me permission to exhale. Her smile and gratitude gave me permission to feel joy. Luke Combs’ awe in her brilliance felt like a collective awe. What a beautiful moment to witness. Tracy Chapman’s music and voice is soulful and transformative.

The song has continued to evoke tearful emotions days after the Grammys. Was it the memory of a time in the past? Was it her voice that pierced right through all sense of vulnerability? Was it her smile that lit up the room? Was it Luke Combs bow to her that felt long overdue from all of us for the wisdom she gifted to generations?

As I reflect more, I have realized Tracy Chapman’s music is a reminder of how we are all reaching for belonging—whether in 1988 or 2024. And just as I take a deeper breath, her lyrics hit me, “And I had a feeling that I belonged. I had a feeling I could be someone. Be someone, be someone.”

As I watched Tracy Chapman sing Fast Car, I was filled with expansive grace. And we could all use more of that. Deep bows to you, Tracy Chapman.

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Posted in Storytelling | Toning the Om

The Stories We Tell

January 11th, 2024

The mountains and the rivers carry the echoes of stories written in the earth, in their currents, and in the wind that carries them. We carry our stories in our hearts — the ones we feel and the ones we tell ourselves. May the narrative of the stories we tell ourselves be messages of inner resilience and endurance, of love and compassion, of peace and stillness.

What narrative are you telling yourself? What story of the heart are you sharing? 

We live between our stories. The one we have experienced and the one we are anticipating.

Our new story is right here, right now. 

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Posted in Letting Go | Toning the Om

Baseball Life and Career Lessons

October 6th, 2023

I love baseball. I am so looking forward to the baseball playoffs. Baseball has been my favorite sport since I was a kid watching the New York Mets play and going to games at Shea Stadium with my dad. The Mets gave me (too) many lessons about life including resiliency and handling disappointment. The game of baseball has provided me with many career and workplace lessons. Celebrate others, cheer on your team, lean on each other and step up to the plate with joy and determination. And, play ball! 

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Posted in Toning the OM | Toning the Om

We Are the Sky—Everything Else Is Just the Weather.

August 22nd, 2023

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

―Pema Chödrön

I was reminded of this quote as I have listened to and experienced a variety of emotions the past few days and weeks. As emotions come and go, and we start to feel deeply our pain and our joy, it is important to remember that we are this great blue sky that the weather rolls through. At times, it may feel too cold or too hot. Sometimes we may feel like a flood, sometimes a drought, sometimes a quake, and sometimes a hurricane. And then it passes. The weather changes and we change.

And sometimes it’s just right. We feel the ideal temperature, notice the most perfect golden light or a glowing red sunset, or feel the lightest of breezes. Yet, we know that this too will change.

As we feel the fullness of ourselves as the sky, we know that our hearts are so immense that we have the space to hold ALL of it. There may be times we think we don’t have enough to carry it all, and then we realize it is moving through us. As we feel the tenderness and the tough times, the love and sadness, the strength and the vulnerability, the forgiveness and kindness – sometimes all at the same time, we come to realize we are just the sky—and everything else is just the weather.

Sometimes we just need to sit in the emotions or notice the sky and in our stillness, we may come to a place and realize we are all of this and more than this. It’s a daily practice of noticing, watching, and being – and then it all passes into something else.

Notice the weather of your heart. Notice the forecast and how quickly it changes into something else.


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Posted in Letting Go | Toning the Om

Returning to Meditation. Again.

January 25th, 2023

In 2012 I downloaded an app called Insight Timer. I set up a daily timer for about ten minutes to an hour to meditate daily. After using it for a couple of years, I set up my own quiet daily practice of meditation. I forgot about the app and eventually deleted it as I wanted less time being on my phone.

For over 20 years I have facilitated and led meditation retreats and have taught people various meditation practices (hoping to do more of those again soon!).

My daily routine even included getting to my office early so I had time to sit and meditate. I also prefer quiet mornings and easing into my day. I was even able to meditate on the subway!

Then COVID-19 happened. My meditation practice came to a screeching halt. Almost all of my daily or weekly practices stopped. I couldn’t meditate, read, or journal. I gave myself permission to be in this place. Although I didn’t think it would take 2+ years to come out of it.

I discovered that my daily walks became a meditation practice. And the more I walked, the more I noticed everything. I noticed more colors, more trees, more birds, more nature, and more beauty. But something was still missing. I wanted to get back to my meditation—even if it meant starting over with two to five minutes of daily meditation. I downloaded the Insight Timer app again. Sitting quietly, I began to listen to guided meditations. It was as if I never left. My body was able to relax first for brief moments and then eventually for longer periods of time.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to let something go and have it return as something new. When meditation (or any practice) feels like a chore, pausing and waiting for it return in a new way can help. If you’re like me and have wanted to return to a mediation practice, feel free to start over, again.

And if you need support starting a meditation practice or growing your current one, please reach out to me.

Suggestions: for those looking for apps that support meditation, try Insight Timer, Ten Percent Happier, or Calm.

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Posted in Toning the OM | Toning the Om

Toning the OM Receives 2021 Best of Bronx Award!

September 17th, 2021

Toning the OM has been selected as the Winner for the 2021 Best of Bronx Awards in the category of Local Business! 

Each year, in and around the Bronx area, the Bronx Award Program chooses only the best local businesses. They focus on companies that have demonstrated their ability to use various marketing methods to grow their business in spite of difficult economic times. The companies chosen exemplify the best of small business; often leading through customer service and community involvement.

For most companies, this recognition is a result of their dedication and efforts as well as the work put into building the business. Toning the OM is now a part of an exclusive group of small businesses that have achieved this selection.

The Bronx Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Bronx. Their mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public.

Thank to everyone who has supported Toning the OM through the years–whether you have attended a workshop, sacred circle, retreat, coaching or meditation session. And am also grateful to everyone that has shown support and love by sharing and promoting Toning the OM and sent encouraging words. 

Most of all, am grateful to my parents who taught me the value and meaning of service. All that I do and all that I share is in their memory–as I know they are always watching over me.

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Posted in Toning the OM | Toning the Om


August 10th, 2021

When I can’t find the words to say or write, I look in nature. 
When life seems overwhelming,
I pause.
When I need to understand, I take photos. 

I find meaning in images.
I find connection in nature.
And I find peace in the stillness.

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om


March 25th, 2021

I have been thinking about hope the past few weeks. Perhaps it is the new season of Spring and watching the flowers burst through the earth. Perhaps it is because I have been watching the birds return to the cherry trees out side my window. Perhaps it is the light that lasts longer each night. Perhaps it is knowing that family and friends are getting vaccinated and I too will soon get the vaccine. Perhaps it is because I feel like making plans of things to do or places to go for the first time in 12 months.

Or perhaps I have been meditating on hope because it is the season of renewal, miracles, and the Easter season of resurrection and new life. Perhaps it is just my faith reminding me that hope returns (or perhaps never left) that I am given constant reminders of hope in nature. All I know is that any time I have been asked how I am dong the past few weeks, the only word that comes out of my mouth is “hopeful.” I am hopeful of new beginnings and of miracles. I am hopeful that I can live more fully out (especially after a year of having to live fully in). I am hopeful that I can soon see people and hug my family. I am hopeful that so much goodness is waiting for me — us — you. 

Even with so much still unknown and a year that will bring a lot of change, I still feel hopeful. And of course that doesn’t mean I don’t get scared or cranky or worried. I am hopeful that my voice will return and my writings will be expressed. I am hopeful that I can be quiet and still. I am hopeful that my inner compass will show me the way and love will lead me home. 

And I am choosing to be hopeful. It’s a daily practice — and some days I am better at it than others.

My faith reminds me this time of year that from the darkness comes the light. Without the dark earth, flowers would not bloom. And so I too am rising from the dark earth with new life, new blooms, and new eyes. What are you unearthing? What is blooming inside of you? What has been waiting to bloom inside of you?


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Posted in Gratitude | Toning the Om

Savoring the Light That Seeks Me

November 2nd, 2020

Each morning, I have a series of rituals. While my morning rituals often include making a pot of coffee and putting on my diffuser, it also includes looking out the window. I look at the trees right outside my apartment and notice the light. I notice the mornings that the sunlight bounces off the trees. I look at the cherry trees, the pines, the maple trees and savor the moments of morning light.

In the afternoons, I take walks in my neighborhood. One of the gifts of working from home is being able to notice all the flowers that have come and gone since March. I do not think I have ever noticed flowers as much as I have this year. As I photograph the various flowers, I often capture the light on the flowers.

As evening sets, I am often at the end of my street, capturing the colors of the sunset. As I pause to look at the sky, the flowers, and the sunset, I realize that I am often seeking light. And then I discover that through it all, it is the light that seeks me.

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Posted in Toning the OM | Toning the Om


August 25th, 2020

I live near water and often go to the end of my street to watch the boats sway as the sun sets. Each night brings a new experience. Some of the boats seem adrift without a destination or port to dock in. These past few months, I have felt this way too. I seem to be adrift and swaying in uncharted waters. Finding the shore at times seems too difficult. I find myself feeling like I am lost in the middle of the ocean—with no destination.

Like an unmoored boat, I am in the sea of the unknown. Searching for anchors, I turn to books, journals, and walks in nature. At times, these bring comfort and other times, I just wade in the waters of the unknown.

Sometimes when I feel unmoored, what is needed most is rest. It is the constant search for answers and solutions to the unknown that has made me feel exhausted. I have had to practice focusing and concentrating like never before. It’s the struggle of finding a place and space just to be that brings the course back into sight. As I work daily to change course, to stay grounded, and to return to the shores of my heart, I try to stop controlling and solving. I am learning how to appreciate how to sail in uncharted waters.

I still feel like an unmoored boat swaying. But for today, the sea and sky will guide me. And my anchor is my faith showing me how to set sail in the open sea of life.

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Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om