Free The Monkey!

I love signs. Both metaphorically and physically. I look for them everywhere. When the clock strikes 11:11 (which is crazy that I happen to notice it so often), I see it as a sign to set an intention. Years ago I made this little reminder sign and keep it on my shelf – Choice. It’s Yours. Use it.


So it was a sign to me that on Saturday, Ken and I happened to take a road trip to Salida, a small creative town about 2.5 hours from Denver. We had never been and were looking for something different to do for our anniversary (after 28 of em, you have to keep coming up with new ideas, right?) It was a beautiful, vast blue sky, open plains kinda drive. Along the way, we played music and shared stories from the week.

I told him how I learned an awesome metaphorical story from one of my favorite people, and Kabbalah teacher, David. David and I had been talking about Letting Go. He told me about the study of monkeys in the jungle and their bananas. Seems traps were set by placing bananas in cages with small slits just big enough for the monkey to put his hand through and grab a banana. The kicker came as the monkey, while holding tight to the banana tried to pull his hand back out. No can do. The tighter the grip, the less space to pull, and thus, the monkey was stuck.

All the monkey had to do to be free was let go of the banana.

So imagine, my delight when strolling the Salida Art Walk a few hours later and Ken pointed out this sign!


The next day, at 11:11, I set an intention to Let Go and “drop” several bananas. Here’s to one free Monkey!

How do you MindFULLY Let Go ? Let us know!

Ooops, I Did It Again

A few weeks ago, I once again got caught up in my “downsizing/cleaning out” mode and ripped through my closet. 14 trash bags later, I rushed to GoodWill before I could change my mind.

Darn! In the bags were 3 things I wish I had kept. Red suede loafers that I bought to celebrate my Masters Degree in ‘95, high heeled loafer work shoes that were made for “working women” and a gold lame’ sweater set that gave me a silly sense of elegance. It also made me look like the “Mother of the Bride.” It had to go. The loafers had been re-soled four times and the insides were peeling onto my feet and socks. The high heeled loafers were hard to stand in for more than 10 minutes. Still, I miss them.

I sense a freedom in letting go and also a bit of sadness.

Such has been this sense, after last weekend when my daughter and I spent a rainy and cold Yum Kippur afternoon in the basement, working on journals and talking of atonement and insight. Rather than attend holiday services in the same old way, we lit a candle, turned on the lava lamp and created a new Pandora station. As we cut and pasted into our New Year Intention books, I couldn’t help but think about all of the different ways we had celebrated holidays in years past.

I had the same mixed bag of feelings when I looked inside my closet.  Stuffed with clothes that no longer fit, I took them out and gratefully passed them on to a place that would ensure someone would enjoy them. I realized that an old way I used to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays no longer fit, and gratefully let it go with blessings for the community I used to be part of. I felt that sense of freedom and sadness.

Change is hard. We hold onto things and people, thinking we should; we will wear it again or we will “see them soon.” And for some, that is true. I’m not advocating giving it all away. Heavens no! I have a few wonderful items that I carefully keep tucked on a shelf and many friends/family who live here and around the country that I truly hope to “see soon,” in spite of the time that separates such good intentions.

No, no, no…I am talking of the long brown satin dress that I wore to the fundraising Ball two years ago. The one that a friend held up and quizzically snickered, “How long ago were you a bridesmaid?” Or the group I used to work hard to be part of and now realize that I had given my best intention/love/loyalty/creativity to and  for a variety of reasons, some theirs, some mine, I am no longer part of. For me,  the thing about clearing out is that I make room to add in – the friend I made by being on a new Board, the memory I created by giving an old tradition a new spin, the new clothes I bought that are appropriate for my age, but still make me  look fun.

As my friend Vesna says, there is great peace in Gumzalatova – a Yiddish saying that means “Its all for the best.”

It’s hard to know that when your heart hurts or you long for those old comfortable shoes.

But there is some ease for me in knowing that what I have is what I should have, Today.

A funny, hip and straight shooting friend of mine, who used to be in retail, says the new color combo for the season is gray with brown, taupe or black and that if you add a scarf for zip, you will no longer look like the “Mother of the Bride.” So, I  splurged and bought myself a great scarf at Nordstrom’s last week. It was my metaphor for wrapping myself in something that fits and that I delight in. I wear it, draped around my neck in a new knot, as I look across the table and see my husband and daughter —  and in that moment I know that all of the choices I have made in my life, to let go or to hold on, are right. And that knowing is worth keeping.

Now if I can only clean out the “what if” voice in my head. Where is that trash bag?

What can you MindFULLY clean out of your real and proverbial closet? Let us know!

To The Right, To The Right

How many New Years’ Resolutions did you make this year? How many revolve around money, fitness, how you look and feel? What if you could touch on making these intentions come to be with one simple action – would you try it? I did.

Last week, I cleaned out my closet and got real about what I was keeping. Too big? Gone. Hiders? Gone. Tired and pilled? Gone. Too tight across anything? Gone. That didn’t leave much. And frankly, what was left still begged the question, “Really?”

So, I took it a step further and moved everything that was hanging to the left side of the bar. I folded all my t-shirts and sweaters and moved them to the left side of the shelf. I folded all my “intimates” and moved them to the left side of the drawer. And then I made a deal with myself. I would pick whatever was first on the left and wear it that day. If I felt good in it, I’d move it to the right. If I didn’t, I’d get rid of it.



One of my friends, who is committed to losing 10 lbs had a great idea. Ya know those few items that you look at everyday and say, “I am going to wear those again”? She suggested hanging them together and tying a colorful ribbon around them. Instead of looking at them and feeling badly because they don’t fit, simply look at them as if they were gift-wrapped with a ribbon and dedicate your fitness goal to wearing one piece by Spring. You get to “cut the ribbon”!

Years ago, I had these beautiful Kenneth Cole sandals. LOVED them. Cute, great price, perfect color. One problem. They scrunched my baby toe. Finally, I knew I had to let them go. So, I walked to the Boston Common, kissed them and thanked them for being awesome and left them next to a garbage can by the Swan Boat line. I knew someone would find them and hopefully, enjoy them. There wasn’t anything wrong with them. They simply didn’t fit anymore. Time to make space for something that fit, TODAY.

My daughter is reminding me of this lesson as she clearly lets go of dancing at a wonderful studio she has loved. The grown-ups are struggling with the decision. She is crystal clear. There is nothing wrong. It just doesn’t fit any more. Why should we force her into it? To learn lessons? Pisha. She already knows. If it doesn’t fit, thank it and let it go.

This year is about staying aware of what fits for me, physically and metaphorically. Clothes, stuff in my home, relationships, ideas. If it doesn’t fit, I pray for the courage to gently move it to the right and trust that I’ll find what does. After all, there’s a whole world to choose from. Someone has to have my size.

What could you MindFULLY move to the right in your closet and life? Let us know!