Mai Pen Rai


As I relaxed on my sunny front porch the other day, enjoying the serendipitous music coming from a stranger as he sat on the back of his car playing the cello, I was struck by the myriad of emotions that passed in front of me as I looked out at my neighborhood. There are beautiful gardens to enjoy, kids playing basketball and laughing and bits and pieces of longing resting on my heart for folks from my old ‘hood that I miss waving to.

In front of me is the key phrase.

It used to be that emotions hit me in the gut. Now, with time and compassion and understanding, on a “good day” the emotions come up and pass by. In front of me one moment, gone the next. Mai Pen Rai, I say. It is what it is.I learned of Mai Pen Rai, when I came across the article below. As you will read, “Mai Pen Rai” is elusive in its meaning and description and can be understood to mean any of the following: it’s OK, it doesn’t matter, no worries, or it is what it is.” I loved the way the author described the saying, and way of life, prevalent in Thailand.

No matter the culture, religion, country, etc., there are many ways to hold perspective of situations and relationships. My grandmother used to say in Yiddush, Gumzalatova – it’s all for the good. Caroline Myss, spiritual teacher and medical intuit, says that situations and people show up to teach us what we need to learn. The Bible, the Torah, books of other religions, spiritual teachers, columnists and psychologists all have their spin. The spin hardly matters. What I find important is the peace in whatever piece I choose to learn from.

I love metaphors and often find my home to be a powerful reminder of what I need to learn and what I know. Outsides change – cloudy days, sunny days, we move, others we love move, too. Insides give us the chance to control a little more – rearranging furniture (re-framing), creating a sense of ourselves with color and light (illuminating our insights), making space to sit and welcome friends/family (lessons) and ourselves.

What goes on outside of us goes on. What we do with it inside is up to us.

 How do you MindFULLY learn that it’s OK? Let us know!


MindFULL Freedom


Tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is not a religious holiday, as much as it is a Spiritual one.

Passover tells the story of the Hebrews release from Egyptian slavery and how they wandered the dessert for 40 years enroute to the Promised Land. There are rituals and details that expand dinners  (known as Seders) from the usual quick 30 minute routine to, in some homes (like my Great Uncle Oscar’s), over 4 hours. The holiday lasts for 8 days, during which no leavened products can be had. Families and friends gather, stories are told, questions are asked and courses keep on coming – each one with different symbols and spins on old favorites.

There are so many interpretations of the holiday. One gist for some celebrating is the notion of freeing ourselves from our own bondage. As my friend Vesna says, “It is the one time when you should take things personally.” What she means is that it can be a personal holiday – one where you actually get to make it about you – seeing ourselves reflected in all of the different figures of Passover. As it is said, of all the Hebrews to be freed, only 20% left – 80% stayed. The devil they knew was better than the devil they didn’t.

So, where do you stay back? Inspite of all of the miracles you’ve seen in your life, where do you still lack the Faith you need to move ahead, physically, spiritually, emotionally?

Where are you like Moses and take yourself out of narrow places and face your fears?

And where are you like Pharaoh? Nice to some and wicked to others? Holding them slaves for your kindness, when you dole out beatings more often?

There are so many questions and metaphors to explore during this time. And it doesn’t matter if you celebrate Passover or not. The invitation is to simply reflect on your own life and where you are a slave and where you want to be free.

My wish for you, no matter how you celebrate (or don’t) is: May you be free, May you have Faith, and May you see the miracles that surround you. It’s pretty simple. Maybe that’s why the story has lasted for thousands of years. It’s a tale we could all learn from.

 How will you MindFULLY set yourself free this year? Let us know!



It’s Spring! Finally. And for me that means I get to sweep off of the winter dust, fluff the pillows on the porch and see what the decorating magazines, Pinterest and Houzz are showing. Let me grab a vodka seltzer, extra lime, and kick back…

Woa! What’s with all the high prices?

Recently, I saw a pillow that I thought was cute. It was $125. Seriously? No way. I am gonna make it. At least that’s what I used to do. Lets see if I still have it in me:

  1. Went to Ikea and bought a pillow cover – $6 (they give their stuff away)
  2. Went to Michaels and bought iron on letters
  3. Cut out a heart from extra iron on border
  4. Ironed it all on!

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OK, MindFULL readers? What do you think?

Now that Spring has sprung, what MindFULLY creative ideas will you make?

Let us know!