Kneeling Youth at AFI

What are we to make of Belgian artist George Minne’s solitary kneeling youth and how might contemplating this work illuminate something of our own condition? 
You notice the little card doesn’t help us much. 

Let’s discover together at the next Art for Introverts (AFI). Get your tickets here!

See you at the museum!


What Holds YOU Back? Request for questions

“If we become addicted to the external, our interiority will haunt us. We will become hungry with hunger no image, person, or deed can still. To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity.” (John O’Donahue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

Maybe you’re feeling a little disconnected from your own self. Maybe your own complexity feels terribly overwhelming sometimes. 

It happens. No harm. No foul. 

But now that you’ve seen that about yourself…you can never un-see it. We all know how that is.

So, what’s a person to do? 

There are so many good Ways, so much wisdom to help us back to the whole self. 

And lots of ways to get side tracked or confused.  

I plan on writing a weekly blog that addresses questions and concerns that you all have in addition to my own musings and journey for cultivating ongoing wholeness and health, the fullest integration of my various aspects I can muster. 

So I really want to know, what do you feel gets in YOUR way? 

What holds you back? 

What would YOU like to change, want support in changing? 

What questions do you have about how to proceed on the path to remaining true to your own vulnerable complexity? 

What confuses or perplexes you? 

Do you try to establish good habits and then feel them fall away and wonder how to maintain them? 

Do you think that meditation is an act of DOING, just one more pesky thing to cross off your already very full to-do list? 

Do you feel a certain tyranny that your cell phone holds over you and sometimes wonder where all your time has gone? 

Have you read every self-improvement book on the shelf and still wonder why things feel kind of fucked up? 

There are no small or stupid questions. The only bad questions are the ones that go un-asked. 

Please send me your questions here in the comments or if you want a more private communication, send me an email or private message. 

Your questions will be the fuels that inspires new articles in my website and for a new weekly project on Medium

Make an amazing week folks! 

I can’t wait to see your questions and hear your thoughts. 

May you all find peace and fully become the artists of your lives you truly are.



4 Ways Meditation Changed Her Life 

Something that makes me super happy in working with my coaching clients individually or in groups, is when people are able to identify for themselves the many positive influences and benefits that formal meditation and (less formal) mindfulness practices, bring into their lives. 
It’s so exciting when people can see for themselves the many profound changes that they’ve experienced. 

Today one of my wonderful clients was able to identify for keyways and what her life was better: 

1. Able to deal in healthy ways with school and relationship challenges 

2. Able to remain more focused and less distracted by worry or anxiety 

3. Increased overall social engagement and wellness 

4. Emotional intelligence has increased significantly, resulting in much more emotional control and resiliency. 

One of the things that I think is so important to keep in mind, and I feel like it’s a niche that my work really occupies, is that frequently people think mindfulness is another item to check off a to do list. 

It’s not! 

It’s something that can be a seamless part of everything we do enhancing our happiness and appreciation every day of our lives. 

There’s only one thing we can control in life and that is our reaction to what’s going on. Mindfulness can help us to drop the catastrophe brain and be happier no matter what.

Wishing smooth sailing to all.

#Mindfulness #Meditation #Happiness #EmotionalIntelligence #Resiliency #Chicago #HappyChicago #onelife #CalmChicago #metta #eyeoftheheart #everydaygratitude #ChicagoCoaching #ChicagoLifeCoach #ChicagoCreativityCoach #SpringTimeReboot #SelfCare #SelfLove

Mindful Metta Mondays In Evanston

So excited, humbled, honored to announce that I’ll be teaching at this amazing place, The Heartwood Center, in Evanston.

Mindful Metta Mondays start Monday June 6th, 7-8pm at the Heartwood Center!
Four-week sessions in June, July and August. $72 for the month or $20 drop in. Registration will open in the next day or so. Each session will integrate meditation and writing to help us cultivate Metta or loving kindness for ourselves and each other.

The Sun is a Miracle


The sun is so far away (92.95 million miles to be precise) and its exact location in relation to us is so precise that one little hair this way or the other way and we do either cook or freeze.  

So when you step outside today, won’t you please join me in pausing and feeling the sun, seeing the sun falling on things near you and appreciating this beauty, this miracle.  

Make a beautiful day everyone. 

What do I do?


Because this spring season is just bursting with energy for growth and transformation, I’ve been digging into my own soul a lot. This has been in many ways a very hard fall and winter. Here’s a list of some stuff that happened. Please note that at the time they occurred, my natural impulse was to label them as BAD, as unwanted, not desirable experiences. I was enjoying Full metal jacket aversion.

  1. I fell down 21 tall wooden stairs and smashed butt, ribs and left elbow (OUCH!)
  2. We moved our home and business into one space during a blizzard (wanted the move, but OMG stressful! And SNOW!)
  3. I got really sick over Thanksgiving (about the same time as the move)
  4. I had to work with someone who was super toxic for 16 weeks
  5. The grad program I started with full tuition waiver grad assistant/teaching assistant lost all that funding, effectively killing off my ability to go to grad school (clinical psychology – Illinois state budget crisis)
  6. I woke up one day with a total inability to move due to huge muscle spasms in the back and a pinched femoral nerve.
  7. David Bowie died

Well, it turns out that each of these things was a teacher for me. Though some of it felt kind of challenging to say the least, I was able to remember that it really is true that every single thing is our teacher, is what we need, is part of the Divine. (Thank you Swami Sankarananda for the reminders about that piece.)

I know that I’m not the only one to struggle with things like this. Have you had some experience lately that made you think, Argh! I hate this! I don’t want this right now? What a pain in the …? 

When things like that happen it’s natural to want to push them away or shove them under something, a pile of laundry, under a rug.

But this only prolongs our agony.

So, why and how did I turn that list of crap experiences into something good?

It was simple really. But required deliberate intention to learn, to see what I was doing and be open to new ways of perceiving.

  1. Falling down? I was rushing and really I had no need to. This is a habit of mine. Impatient by nature, I need constant reminders to slow down.
  2. The move was something we really wanted and we had lots of help making it happen. It’s good to remember when things are difficult, all the things that are in fact going well – those things for which we can offer specific, direct gratitude. Like in this case, the fact that a lot of people help us move through a blizzard and did it cheerfully!
  3. No use to fight about getting sick. It was an early sign that I was totally over doing things. Which I ignored at the time. (Did I say sometimes I’m slow to catch on and stubborn? I am!)
  4. This was the hardest one, but was a gift in two major ways. One, it helped me see what I do not want to be and two, it helped me work on my loving kindness or Metta practice, which went a long way to showing me that the person I had to deal with was suffering tremendously and needed my compassion.
  5. Losing the funding was hard because I had worked for two years really getting ready for grad school, taking pre-reqs, reading and studying so many books, and having to give up the direction which I worked so hard to claim a stake in. But, it also did two beautiful things: One, it showed me that I really didn’t want to be a psychologist, though I do want to help people and two, it shoved me back into my writing life asking me to pair that with my desire to help others.
  6. The back thing was my body screaming at me to pause and take stock of my life. I had pushed too hard for too long and the body had had enough and decided to send an unequivocal message. Stop! Intermission! Plan B!
  7. David Bowie. (Well, more on this in another post later) the main thing I want to say here, is that his death helped me embrace who I  really am and what my gifts really are and take actions to begin to manifest that in ways which are good for me and others.

All of which is to say, that one of the big things for me this spring has been to go through a process of discovery, contemplation and reinvention. I have new, better, more clear answers to the question, “So what do you do?” And that’s not even the main point though it is helpful to be able to speak that truth with clarity and certitude.


I have come to realize that my gift as Stephen Cope puts it, is in my presence as a wounded healer, who helps people find their true calling by helping them discover what their unique gifts are and how to bring them into fruition, and all that in order to help make the world a better place through that action.

What the work I do does, is to inspire compassionate transformation using meditation, writing and movement. I work with writers of course, to help bring out their strongest work but also lots of other people, human beings who want to grow and develop their fullest potential using these lovely tools.

Here I offer few of the phrases and quotes which guide me and may inspire you in this work.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
– Jesus Christ

How will you feel if you do not do it?
– Dani Shapiro from February Kripalu retreat

Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation he can only be one person: himself.
– Thomas Merton

Do you answer no to the question – Do you feel like you are living your life to the fullest possible?

Or yes to this question, – Do you feel like have a special gift or purpose but are not quite sure what is it but have a burning desire to know this truth inside you? 

Then please contact me and let’s work together. Free 20 minute consultation.

312-714-4563 or email me at calmchicago [at] gmail [dot]com


Spring Transformation Course


Spring into Happiness: An Introduction* (Sign up here with a click)

Mindfulness Meditation, Movement and Writing!

Spring 2016 DATES:
Sundays 9-10:30

Let’s start spring with a spiritual clean out. After a long winter it’s good to cleanse not only the body but the heart and mind too. Get ready to move closer to finding your own unique gifts and the capacity to share them with the world.

Bring your open heart and discover how you can compassionately transform a month of mindfulness can bring you.

1.5 hour classes are mini-retreats featuring guided meditation, mindful movement and writing.

You will learn:

  • to cultivate gentle yet sharp and clear awareness of the body and mind
  • how to apply the lessons of your newly developing awareness from formal practice to your every day life  
  • how to hold yourself with greater compassion and acceptance
  • how to work with “negative” emotions
  • how to create greater sense of flow in your life
  • how to find your own happiness right here and now

The best attitude to come to the class with is this: simply open curiosity to see what will happen. I can’t tell you what will change for you, but I can promise you that if you commit to the course, something will indeed change.

Sound good? Sign up now!
Tuition is just $160 


Registration and payment required  to reserve your spot.

 What to bring:

  • wear soft, comfy clothes- layers are good

  • journal or notebook

  • something to write with

  • yoga mat

Other Details:

Where: 1839 S Halsted St (just south of 18th St.)

When: 9-10:30am Sundays starting March 6

Got any questions? Shoot me a line and I’ll be glad to help you out.

Registering for the class indicates your commitment to the entire program which supports your own development as well as the group as a whole. Refunds are available before the course commences.

We are easily accessed via public transit or have free street parking is available.