practicing presence. like the piano.

Practicing presence is kind of like practicing the piano. It’s best to take baby steps, start with the easy stuff and squeeze in short sessions throughout the day. Five to ten minutes of scales or a few measures of a song are all you need to do.

You’re after muscle memory, so repetition is key. It might even better than those 1-hour sessions you never seem to have time for.

 photo via Pinterest

So, how can you create glimpses of presence throughout your day?

  • Tune everything out and tune in to your breath. Just for one minute spurts. Notice it without judgment. Do you need to online casino deepen it or even it out?
  • Scan your body. Breathe into the tightest areas. Notice it as resistance. Soften into it. Set your alarm to remember to do it.
  • Create space in your day to do what you need to do. You know how much better it feels when your schedule flows, when you allow for the unexpected.

Before you know it, you’ll play like a pro.

You”ll find yourself pausing before reacting, taking note of what’s really happening around you, without judgment. When resistance arises, you’ll naturally soften, letting annoyances flow through you.  You’ll take action that feels right to you, without anxiety or fueling anyone’s ego.

How would you go about practicing presence?


a-ha's from A New Earth Chapter 3 tele-chat

Chapter 2 showed us that while “what” our ego obsesses about is unique to each one of us – it operates the same.  It thrives on separation, complaining, resentments, being superior, inferior, right or wrong. Understanding this same-ness shifts perspective, causing healthier, more neutral mindset and reactions.

Here are a few a-ha”s from our chat about Chapter 3:

I didn’t think I complained very much, but I”m realizing that even if I’m not saying it out loud, or projecting it at others, there’s a lot of complaining going on in my head, especially about myself.

I’m watching people in a different way now, with less judgment, less assumptions. My reactions are slower, more thoughtful…

I”m becoming more compassionate when someone hurts my feelings. I don”t have to condone what they”re doing… having a deeper understanding of Other hair test for drugs used in addiction treatment, like naltrexone and acamprosate, are specifically designed to reduce cravings and prevent relapse rather than relieving withdrawal symptoms. where they”re coming from helps me not take it as personal or let it affect my day.


When it comes to my children, worry and fixing are innate. But, I”m starting to see that the act of worry doesn’t fix anything. As teenagers surrounded by teenage egos, they need me to be grounded, rested, able to listen. I online casino australia can”t do that when I”m exhausted and depleted from no sleep and nervous eating.

The idea of “what you resist, persists” makes more sense to me now. The ego makes a battle out of everything. It”s what makes us eat foods we “know” are bad for us.  If you do as Eckhart suggests and mindfully, slowly, enjoy the chips, there”s no resistance for the ego to stand upon and chances are, you won”t eat as much …


Sign in here to join us for Chapter 4 and end the year well on your way to A New You!

a-ha's from A New Earth chapter 2 tele-chat

This week”s tele-chat was all about ego… it”s content, structure, what makes it make us crazy.  Here are a few of the a-ha”s:


I”m seeing that presence and stillness aren”t about peace and butterflies. It”s a more neutral place of acceptance and awareness … and that seems easier than trying to be “happy” all the time.

In focusing more on what I”m saying to myself and what feelings accompany those thoughts, I”ve been able to stand back and watch it roll by. It has lightened my mood along with my energy….”

People live like the present is an enemy… constantly waiting for the next thing, or to get out of whatever online pokies situation they’re in…traffic, lines, jobs, relationships. Whenever you find yourself waiting, try “being” with it instead.

I would love to go back in time and help my kids not be so quick to walk by beauty without even recognizing it, as we all grow to do. I don’t think I’d tell them “this is ‘called’ a tree, as Eckhart suggests – that might get some strange looks. Instead, I might ask them what they like about the tree, or have them touch the tree, just to encourage a depth beyond labels or names.

from pg 45 – “How do you let go of attachment with things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. In the meantime, just be aware of your attachment to things.”


Check out Chapter 1 a-ha”s and End the Year a New You by signing up here for our free chat

practicing presence. shimmer and shine.

Chapter 2 shone a big bright light on what makes the ego thrive … things, looks, abilities that make it better than others. It loves to compare, judge, always searching for places it thinks it will shine.

One of the hardest things for it to accept is aging.

Our ego encourages us to do anything we can to preserve our youth, despite the fact that no matter what we do, our bodies are going to change. They’re even going to stop one day.

But, we’ve all seen people in their 80’s and 90’s who say that inside, they have the same child-like wonder, passion, and zest they’ve always had. They sparkle.

The source of that sparkle is stillness.

It’s a place free of ego, comparison, judgment and wanting… It’s a perpetual state of acceptance of all that life has to offer, each and every moment, the gifts and the lessons.

If you find yourself not believing that, tap into your inner body.

Feel the aliveness inside you.  Eckhart suggests starting with your hand… just feel it tingle.

Or, do this yoga pose 
while listening to this song

A beautiful reminder by Shawn Mullins that

“we were born to shimmer,
we were born to shine,
we were born to radiate”

Sign up here to join our A New Earth tele-chats every Tuesday nights and end the year A sparkly New You.


a-ha’s from A New Earth Chapter 1 tele-chat

I asked “A New You with A New Earth” tele-chat-ters to share an a-ha from Chapter 1 during this week’s call.  I was touched by their genuine desire to become more present… and toasted them with a snapshot of skinny margaritas from Dr. Weil’s True Food Kitchen.


(I hope you’ll join Chapter 2’s chat on Tuesday, 9/25. If you’re intrigued, but can’t make it, sign up anyway for the call-in info and links to previous call recordings. You’re welcome to jump in for any chapter.)

Here are a few of those a-ha’s:

The idea of practicing acceptance vs trying to figure out why something is happening is comforting to me…”

I realized that no matter who you are, what situation you’re in, you’re always going to have to ground yourself so you can grow…”

The more you make your thoughts or beliefs into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself… This resonates with me as a mother, trying to figure out what role religion will play in our family.”

Before I had my son, my workaholic tendencies were always future focused. Pregnancy forces you to slow down. Having the child made me want to slow down. I see how present he is and I’ve been trying to be more present for him. This book confirms I’m on the right path.”

You do not become good by trying to be good, but by letting the goodness within you emerge… from pg 13 reminded me of Michelle Obama saying, ‘Being President doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.’ This theme reminds me that trying to be good is more external. Allowing goodness to emerge taps into an internal quality. Our actions reveal who we are.”

I started the book as part of a weight loss program in 2010. Even though I didn’t finish it, I caught a glimpse of what it was like to live more in the present. I felt in touch with everything around me in a whole new way. Over time though, that sensation left me, like a tire with a slow leak you’re not aware of. I’m excited about this workshop because I want that back.”

Growth is a blessing, but it’s also a process.

It’s helpful to have a space where you can share your a-ha’s and feel supported. We’re all in this together. I hope this workshop can be that space for you.


p.s. Part of the process is “practicing” presence… here’s a suggestion or two.

Practice presence. Notice moments.

After reading Chapter 1 of A New Earth, it seems that this “New You” we’re after is going to have something to do with becoming present, still, aware – whichever term you prefer.

It’s going to depend on our ability to create space between the craziness in our head and the stillness at our core. Eckhart says that just by recognizing, or “awakening” to the notion that we can become aware of our thoughts is progress.

The goal is to cumulate more of this “space” in our day. When we have that space we give ourselves perspective and more time to form reactions. We create a more graceful way of getting through the day than analyzing and worrying, which is exhausting and unproductive.

Finding ways to create more space, to become more present is important. It’s not hard, it’s just going to take some practice.


Eckhart suggests starting with nature because stillness requires us to “be” with something without labeling, naming, or judging it. It’s easier to do that with a flower than our friends or family who have just as much craziness going on in their head as we do.

If contemplating a flower isn’t connecting with you, try keeping an eye out for moments.

I took a photography class which became less about the camera than cultivating an eye for moments. It doesn’t matter how fancy the camera is, or how much experience or knowledge is behind the camera – it’s always the heart behind it that captures the best shots. Those are the shots that stop us. And in that moment, that tiny space, we’re connected, by stillness.


Practice noticing more moments and watch how this spills over into your life. 

p.s. If you feel like capturing them on camera, post them on Instagram (I’m at deneseb) or Facebook. Share what’s in your heart.

End the year A New You by joining our chapter by chapter Tuesday night tele-chats on the book Oprah and Eckhart made famous, “A New Earth.” Join anytime, it’s free. Just sign up here for call-in info.

How to read A New Earth

I hope you”ll be ending the year A New You, by reading “A New Earth” with us in our chapter by chapter tele-chat, every Tuesday, 8 pm MST, through November 20th.  Sign up here at any point along the way.

Here are some tips on how to experience A New Earth:

  • I like to read a chapter, then listen to Oprah and Eckhart’s web cast on my IPhone while walking my dog, Bisbee in the mornings. (This isn’t being very “present” of me, but it’s how I choose to do it at this moment 😉


  • I’ve downloaded each chapter’s podcast on my phone, which you can do by going to ITunes, searching Podcasts, and entering “Oprah”s Book Club.”


  • Scroll down and you”ll see Chapter 10, Chapter 9, Chapter 8, etc. and Audio, Small screen and Large screen versions for each. (These are dated March through May 2008.)


  • Make sure you download the Audio version, vs the video, unless you want the video… Those take a while to load, and I’m not that patient, nor would I watch the video on my phone. I’d rather watch it on my laptop.



  • Each episode is 90 minutes long, which sounds like forever and I’m sure you can’t possibly set aside 90 minutes to watch this. Watch it in spurts and before you know it, you’ll have watched the entire episode.


highly recommend reading the chapter and listening to or watching the corresponding webcast. 

They do such a great job of simplifying the concepts
and the callers bring up every real-life issue you can imagine…

paying the bills,
setting goals,
emotional eating,
choosing a career,
And believe it or not, Eckhart can be kind of funny.

Chapter 1‘s web cast starts off with some pretty big issues … 

  • What role does this book play in religion?
  • What’s the difference between spirituality and religion?
  • Why is this book so relevant and imperative now?
  • Is Eckhart supposed to be our “guru”?
  • Who does he think he is writing a book like this, anyway?

If, after experiencing Chapter 1, you don’t get it, don’t agree with it, or want nothing to do with it, that’s just fine. 

It’s not going to be for everybody and you’ll know pretty quickly if it’s for you or not.

I would however, recommend that you give Chapter 2 a shot.

It gets to the heart of what the book is about…understanding how our mind works, our ego and the dysfunction it causes.

If you still don’t connect with it, let it go.

There are many other books and methods that will help you along the road to your best self. This one may not be for you.

p.s. If you know someone who”d like to read along with us, forward this and have them sign up here so they receive future updates.

A New You with A New Earth

What is preventing you from becoming Your Best Self?

You”ve read the books, you do yoga, you might even eat kale and meditate (sometimes). You”ve made progress, but still struggle in one area or another –  especially when you”re in the midst of change or pondering possibility.

What if we worked on this together, Oprah-style?


A group of us did just that. We  took 10 weeks, from September through November, to chat about the book Oprah covered years ago, “A New Earth.” Millions participated in her live webcasts where she and author Eckhart Tolle,  offer ways of cultivating a more present, grounded, confident, lighter, healthier, less-stressed, worry-free life.

Read our chapter-by-chapter a-ha”s online casino here:

Chapter 1 a-ha”s

Chapter 2 a-ha”s 

Chapter 3 a-ha”s

Chapter 4 a-ha”s

Chapter 5 a-ha”s

Chapter 6 a-ha”s

Chapter 7 a-ha”s

Chapter 8 a-ha”s

Chapter 9 a-ha”s

Chapter 10 a-ha”s

All of Oprah”s webcasts are still on her site, free! We took advantage of them. You can too.

– While the tele-chat is over, you can start by reading the book, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life”s Purpose

Watch or listen to Oprah”s free webcast on that week”s chapter. (More tips on how to read A New Earth here) 

It takes a village to become your best self. Send me an a-ha or two and I”ll share them with the group via the Your Best Self e-newsletter. Subscribe and you”ll also receive tips on practicing presence and nutrition.

Keep me posted. Stay present and take extra special care of yourself.








if you've ever wanted to experience yoga, India-style

If you”re a yogi and have been to India…

or, you”ve ever pondered going to India…

or, you”re simply interested in experiencing the Indian yoga culture…

chances are classes with Jayasharee and Narasimhan will cross your path at some point.

Wherever you are on your yoga journey, my dear friend and yoga teacher, Lisa Schrempp has made it possible for you to take classes with these wonderful teachers, right here in Tucson.

Bisbee getting a little frisky with Lisa... Both wearing the bindhi's (red dots) I placed on their foreheads to celebrate the week-long Indian food cooking class we'd just completed.

Lisa and Yoga Flow are hosting a 3-day workshop with Master Teachers Jayashree and Narasimhan over Labor Day weekend.  Here”s a rundown of the schedule. For more, click here or visit their Facebook page.

Friday, August 31, 5:30 – 8:00. The Goal of Yoga… exploring Yoga Sutras 1st chapter, along with a 45 minute asana practice. ($35/$30 early reg)

Saturday, September 1, 1:00-4:30.
 Yoga Stories of casino online Enlightenment… chanting, storytelling, philosophy, along with a 60 minute asana practice. ($45/$40 early reg)

Sunday, September 2, 1:00 – 5:00. 
Bring Your Yoga Home… Indian cooking class, how to set up a home altar and meditation class. ($85/$75 early reg). THIS ONE”S AT MY HOUSE …. IT”S ALREADY FULL, BUT WE”LL SQUEEZE A FEW MORE IN!

When I went to India, I took a meditation class from Narasimhan that simplified the process so much that it”s been an “almost” daily practice for me ever since.  He had such a way of taking the complicated-ness out of yoga and meditation. Many of my friends have taken Jayashree”s sanskrit, cooking and chanting classes… Both offer a chance to learn from teachers actually living the yoga culture of India.

If you have any questions, just let me know. Take care and I hope to see you there.

Just finished the Superhero Photo course…

I just finished the 6-week Superhero Photo course. While I didn’t participate as much as I’d have liked, it did leave me more inclined to take my camera everywhere and more aware of what catches my eye throughout the day.

capturing the sunrise through the window...

I have enough exercises, technical tips and inspirational insight to last me for awhile. The only thing holding me back is getting more familiar with my camera, which of course just takes practice… the answer to pretty much anything worthwhile.

pretty little flowers in an ugly bush

Thank you Andrea, for sharing your gift with us through this course. Andrea Sher is the co-author of Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting from the Heart.  She specializes in helping people (even the non-pros) capture life’s precious moments, with whatever camera you have.

sunday mornings, sleeping in (my favorite picture)

Remember, it doesn’t matter what creative project you choose…. photography, cooking, singing, piano, knitting or basket weaving. Creativity keeps you connected to your heart, to life, to love. It keeps you looking for beauty and in a loving mindset.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Take care,


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