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.




The Art of Conversation 

Mindful conversation is about being present and listening instead of plotting our own next conversational slight of hand. 

I think that impulse comes from our fear. Fear of being seen as foolish or stupid. Saying something dorky and being shamed. Real conversation requires vulnerability and that is scary!

So, how can we lean into the vulnerability of listening with a don’t know mind? 

Here’s one way to create a pause in a challenging exchange. We can always listen, then pause, saying something like Huh! Now that’s interesting. Let me think about that for a moment. 

Then take three slow deep breaths, if you can, through the nose. Let each breath be a bit longer than the previous one. See if you can extend each exhale longer than the inhale. On the third breath, pause if you can and hold the breath for a moment or two, then slowly releasing, letting go. Then offer your response. 

What do you do to maintain a mindful awareness in conversation with others? Share in the comments what works for you.

Thank you for stopping by.

Carpe Diem Carpe Pacem 

Make today amazing!



Vulnerability 101: Inspiration and Tribute to LYL Creator Scott Dinsmore

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” – Neil Gaiman

OK. Here goes. I am scared. Sigh. Big breath. In. Out. Okay.

I read this in the comments from a guy named Matt, in response to Scott Dinsmore’s post titled, “Painful Authenticity: 35 Honest Personal Stories, Fears & Facts You Don’t Know About Me.


And that I found because somehow through the mysterious serendipity of the universe I found Scott’s TEDx talk, an amazing, breathtaking challenge to all of us to do what we love to help make the world a better place in any way that feels honest and authentic regardless of what it is. So like, you don’t have to aim for the nobel peace prize. Do small simple things too. That’s totally okay and awesome. I saw it yesterday for the first time and felt like my heart and mind were on fire with happiness and desire to share and was Oh My God, this is exactly what I’ve been trying to say and sort out how to articulate for years and now this guy’s done it! And I immediately did what I always do when I get super excited. I shared that talk EVERYWHERE and to everyone I knew who I felt they needed to hear this right now!

And then the gut punch. My friend Katy, (a life coach, who’d recently quit her job to pursue her dream, which is awesome) sends me a note Facebook Messenger telling me Scott had died just last Saturday while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I cried and cried. A LOT. Considering this is someone I don’t even know personally. But it was just like this bright light of amazingness was gone? NO WAY. So I checked and sure enough, it was true. And I can’t even imagine what his wife, family and friends must feel.

And I had the thought, wow, well, he died doing what he loved. And inspired so many people all over the world in a wonderful healing way. So, there’s that. And then I also remember that I’ve been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, “no death, no fear,” in which he reminds us that truly, there’s no death, no birth, only transformation of energy. Nothing is created or destroyed, only transformed. Our lives are just the way we manifest as part of the great everything, for a time and then when conditions are no longer there to support that manifestation, we no longer appear that way. But transform and appear other ways. SO that we could really now, see Scott and everyone else we’ve ever loved and lost, literally EVERYWHERE.  But this is hard of course, we have to learn how to do it and that takes time, and so meanwhile, we struggle and cry and do the best we can. Because after all, we were really attached to that particular manifestation. Darn. This is hard shit. So we can cry and practice and keep at it. Till we feel in our bones and cells the truth and can rest in fearlessness.


And, so I’m inspired to write a post soon, sharing my own Vulnerability 101 and I will. But I need time to think and write. But I promise I will do it. (One story involves me almost drowning on Lake Superior in a sailing accident involving too much wind a lot of sail and loss of upper body strength.)

For now, I leave you with this. My own impression now is that if anything all this reminds me that the time we have is so very precious and I remind myself and implore all of you out there, let’s not waste it. Carpe diem, right? Because who knows what tomorrow will bring? No one does. So, let’s show up authentically ourselves and try to help others do the same and please God let’s share hearts of peace and love everywhere the best we can with everyone. When we do, we make the world a better place. And the ripple effect of even one smile is endless. Let’s honor Scott’s memory and the memory of all those we have loved and who’ve taught us so much, parents, teachers, friends, people we never knew but who lit the flame of inspiration and held is high for the rest of us stumblers, by going for it every day the best we can and holding the light for others. Here’s the link to his website, Live Your Legend. Check it out. There’s tons of great tools to help you find your way. For those already bravely forging ahead, let’s keep helping each taking those risks and steps. Thank you for the generosity and gift of your presence.

Heart of compassion begins with us. (And maybe you’ll end up doing some handstands, or something.)

Have fun. Love like crazy. Go do what you gotta do.

Love, Hillary

PS. Here’s a crazy dream. I’m in grad school to become a clinical psychologist. Huge career change. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be like a sailing psychologist? Is that even a thing or could it be? (More on that later.)