How to Say Good-Bye


It’s not easy to let things go when we need to or even when we have to and have no choice.

The first thing is to begin to adjust to the idea that what needs to let go of will be going away and get used to the idea.

This first step will be difficult because no one likes change but we must accept it, as it is a big part of life. We all must accept changes every day, some big, some small, but as they say, it’s the only thing that’s constant.

Next is to begin to imagine experiencing life without the person/place/item/situation and accept that it will no longer be there. Take the time to adjust yourself to the upcoming void and welcome a new norm. It won’t be easy. Picture what life will be like or how it will feel and begin to reflect on how it served you, for both good and bad.

After counting your blessings, reminiscing about the things you are grateful for and what you learned, take time to look long and hard at what you are saying good-bye to just as it is, not dressed up in false hopes or inflated or deflated in anyway. See it for exactly what it was. Realize that you will never be the same for having experienced it and “it,” whether it be a person or place, will never be the same without you either.

Now the grieving starts.


The most difficult step of all is feeling the loss, feeling the sorrow for what once was that is or will be no longer. Even if that something that you’re letting go isn’t healthy or good for you, it’s still difficult to let it go of if you felt connected or attached in some way.

Let the sadness and grieving stay for as long as it needs to, coming and going as it will, and you’ll most likely go through the bargaining phase, flowing back and forth between not wanting to accept, feeling helplessness or regret, and then hopefully feeling gratitude for the positive things you gained.

Finally you will reach acceptance and the new “normal.” By this point, you have said your big good-bye and begun to make peace with the loss and you’ve begun to move on.

Perhaps something new has entered the picture, something that can serve you even better in some way, or bear new gifts.

The old will hold a special place in your heart, you will learn to cherish the memory and hold on and continue to learn from it, even if you still feel some sorrow for what was lost. It’s now balanced out with new energy and an added richness and depth since you value it more and since you can appreciate how it served you in becoming the person you are today.

Change is hard and saying good-bye is too. Sometimes I feel like a child wanting to have a tantrum in protest but then I realize that I have no choice but to accept it. Then I thank it for what it provided to me, for the opportunity to have the experience, put my big girl pants on, dry my eyes and say my good-bye for good. It’s bittersweet but in the end I know that nothing lasts forever.

That’s why it’s so important to take it in while you have it, and savor it as much as you can before it goes away.

Taste the sweetness of life, let time and distance be a teacher, and then let a new flavor come and go as it’s meant to. And if you need to, keep a memento or take some mental pictures, relive the goodness from time to time so you never forget, and always remember what was once loved will never be lost.


My Collections…


  • I collect tea, all kinds from all over the world some labeled in mason jars, some in zip lock bags, some in boxes and tins and others hidden in the back of the drawer for safe keeping.
  • I collect pictures of places, loved ones and memes on my phone to encourage me and keep me focused.
  • I collect books, many I will probably never read cover to cover.
  • I collect memories and refer back to see different sides as I expand my perspective.
  • I collect clothing from souvenir t-shirts to designer pieces for nostalgia’s sake.
  • I collect my journals.
  • I collect photographs and moments both behind the lens and in my mind’s eye.
  • I collect ideas for stories to write about or things that I’d like to learn about.
  • I collect places I’ve visited that have touched me and where a memory was created.
  • I collect songs and music CDs. They serve as a soundtrack of my life.
  • I collect letters and cards from loved ones and keep them in a special container.
  • I collect light and the changes it makes throughout the day and as season’s change.
  • I collect rainy days and use them to turn inward and slow things down.
  • I collect flavors with an array of spice mixes to bring in The Orient, Africa, the Middle East, Mediterranean or even Texas when the mood arises.
  • I collect conversations with friends and family to savor the sweetness of connection.
  • I collect hopes and dreams.
  • I collect emptiness, stillness and spaciousness and try not to hold on too tight.

On Being Brave

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin


A lot of people say I’m very brave. Some have even called me ballsy. One friend described me as being someone that seems like I am conservative and afraid of trying new things but  when they get to know me, they realize it’s really not the case.

Someone else told me that I’m brave but not so bold. It’s true. I’m a risk taker, and I love adventure but I’m also terrified at times to really live big. I’ve lived on the safe side of risk. Daring but not delving. Jumping but not flying. I take enough of a risk that it’s considered daring, but not enough to actually go all in.

Until recently.

I got tired of playing it safe. I truly felt it was time to bloom. What I didn’t expect was the amount of backlash and terror I’ve had to overcome in order to take these steps. Walking through this fire has been the most exhilarating, painful and rewarding risk I’ve ever taken.

It seems simple, some of the things I’ve done to challenge myself. Go to breakfast alone and sit at the bar. Call a friend instead of e-mailing or texting. Ask just a few more questions and show that I care. Not react, dare to be seen, be vulnerable and express how I really feel.

I try not to compare myself to others, but it’s hard not to when the things I’m taking a chance with are considered so fundamental or normal for everyone else. Or so it seems.

The fear is real. The trembling, the frantic feelings, the overwhelming anxiety is excruciatingly painful. At least at first it is, until slowly I’ve come to realize that it’s safer than I thought. The man behind the curtain isn’t real.


What I’ve also learned is that I don’t have to go “all in.” I’m learning that it’s okay to take baby steps. But it’s funny because the baby steps are actually the most difficult.

What I forget sometimes is that it is “normal” to be anxious about certain things. I somehow expect that I “shouldn’t” feel anxious or nervous. I’ve jumped over the discomfort because I didn’t want to feel it. I never learned that it was “okay” to be myself and feel my natural “normal” feelings.


Why do we feel we have to be an expert at things we’ve never tried before? Why are we so hard on ourselves for feeling the natural feelings that come up in different situations? Why are we afraid to feel our own fears and embrace ourselves for exactly who we are?

When I feel just how debilitating the fear was when I first started taking these baby steps, I totally understand why I wanted to jump. But it is precisely in these steps that I am learning to be truly courageous.

Now, I’m really being adventurous, not with the risk I’m taking but with feeling my way through the fear of doing it. Testing my limits, holding back when necessary, taking steps forward when I feel ready. Playing the edge instead of letting the unknown scare the bejesus out of me.

I’m taking it nice and slow, and now I am learning to ENJOY the process, learn that it’s okay, and it’s opening up a whole new world.

Finding Happiness


“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Maori Proverb

Sometimes it is that simple.

I was washing up and feeling a bit disgruntled at the task when suddenly I looked down and saw Mr. Smiley Sponge. In an instant, I decided to change the way I felt about what I was doing and all of a sudden the energy in my body changed.

I went from heavy and constricted to a feeling of lightness.

I realized how easy it really is when we change our relationship to something we dislike, or have an aversion to, and accept the task at hand.

The truth is though that I was tired. I didn’t have the energy to do what I was doing but I had to find the strength inside from somewhere. I HAD to finish the task, I thought.

Maybe it was this precise pressure that I put on myself that made me feel squeezed and this is what caused the negativity and constriction?
Maybe instead of just deciding to put on a happy face, I should set the dishes down and go rest, come back to it later when I have more energy?
I don’t have to do it all at once!
Giving myself this permission slip could be the key to my happiness. Maybe next time I won’t feel like it’s as much of a drag if I don’t pressure myself to do it all in one go?
Maybe I don’t need to do mind Jiu-Jitsu after all!
Sometimes “all” that’s needed is changing our relationship to something, but sometimes maybe it’s as simple as becoming aware of why it might need to change or be changed in the first place and honoring how we feel.

Random Things About Me

As part of the new focus of my blog, which is to write more about my personal life and projects, I decided  to list some interesting tidbits, loves, quirks and peculiarities that make me, well, me.

Jeg Kan Tale Dansk (“I can speak Danish”). When I was young, I used to say I could speak two languages, “regular,” since I was from Pennsylvania, and “Texan,” since I visited family there often. Later, I studied Spanish and then Danish while living in Denmark so I can now understand some Swedish and Norwegian too. While in Europe, I learned a few words of many other languages to connect with the locals.

Once a Cheerleader, Always a Cheerleader. Perhaps one of my  greatest gifts is encouraging people to do their best and cheering them on along the way. When I was in second grade, I said I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, and later went on to become one in grade school and high school. cheer-3

I Love to Write…A lot. I started keeping a journal in high school and I never cease to be amazed at the magic of writing. I also wrote a lot of letters, really, really long letters with my best friend in high school (we would compete to see who could write the longest one), and with a pen pal in California whom I’m still friends with to this day.

Music Makes My World Go Around. I would feel something was missing if I didn’t listen to music every day. It all started with Queen, Pink Floyd, Men at Work, DEVO, AC/DC, Billy Joel, and the Sound of Music. (Side note: I played the part of a nun in “The Sound of Music,” at the local playhouse and got the part by singing a Madonna song!!).

The Messiest Neat Freak You’ll Ever Meet. Yes, I am a walking contradiction. I am very neat and organized but at the same time, I am like a tornado when I work and travel. Everything just explodes around me and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Organized chaos liberates me.

I’m a Nomad. Okay, Maybe More Like a Gypsy.  Originally from the small town of Erie, PA, I’ve lived in too many actual dwellings to count, but my list of cities include, Dallas & Austin, Texas (Go Longhorns!), NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Denmark, and now back State-side in lovely San Diego.

Tea is My Drink. I love tea. Especially herbal tea, and green & white tea, but lately I’ve been venturing out and exploring Oolong and Pu-erh, pronounce “poo-er”. I have a tea collection and love making infusions. I was turned on to herbal teas after visiting a spa in Austria that had a “tea bar” with a variety of medicinal teas providing various health benefits. I’ve been hooked ever since. My latest is nettle, fennel seeds and passionflower.

The Silly One. I like to laugh and find humor in just about everything, and try not to take life so seriously all the time.


Dreams Are the Key to Everything. I’ve been a vivid dreamer for as long as I can remember and have learned various ways of interpreting and and working with my dreams. I truly believe it is one of the most powerful healing tools there is, and in fact, it is the one of the oldest healing methods dating back to Greek & Roman antiquity.


Nature is my Drug. I was gifted with an appreciation for nature from my father growing up camping in Canada and swimming in Lake Erie, and thankfully it’s stayed with me. Water is my element.




I’m Just a Girl in a Boy’s World. I am the only girl of five children. I was surrounded by boys growing up and I guess that explains a lot of my boy-ish tendencies, and why I am not your average chick!

I Can Take a Licking &  Keep on Ticking. Broke my collar bone playing tug-of-war with my brothers (they thought it would be funny to let go), pulled my hamstring doing a split (in front of the entire school when I was 13), fell off a 4-wheeler not wearing a helmet, hurt my knee skiing down a double black diamond ski slope, and hurt my ankle doing a handstand. Still going!


When in Rome. I’ve had pizza in Pisa (I know it’s not from there, I just like how it sounds), where we had to spend the night because we didn’t get to the parking lot in time, and Parmesan cheese in Parma. I’ve had the world’s best gelato (supposedly) in San Gigmignano, Italy, seen lavender fields in Provence and walked among the sunflower fields in France. Yes, I am a true romantic.

Foodie till The End. I am married to a chef, so I have an appreciation for good food. I also was fortunate to be an author of a Fodor’s Guide to Scandinavia and sample many of the finest restaurants there. Yes, I’m spoiled.

PR is My Jam. I love to write, which is what made my study Journalism, but I decided to go into public relations because I love helping others define and deliver their unique message to the world. One of my more recent projects was helping Tokyo during the Olympic Bidding Committee meetings in Copenhagen and authoring a few chapters of the The Beer Book.

Björk  Made Me Do it. I am a huge fan of the singer Björk and it is because of her that my life’s trajectory took me to Scandinavia. I have followed her work throughout my life and continue to be amazed at her creativity and the way she innovates and pushes boundaries.

Story Teller Through and Through. I love telling stories, and I especially like to tell them through photographs. I have been taking photos for as far back as I can remember and because of this, have a unique view of the world.



Björk Album Released…and New Dreamy Swedish Music

I’ve always loved Scandinavian music. In fact, my infatuation with the Icelandic singer, Björk is what led me to travel to and explore the region and eventually settle there for a while. Big news from Björk is that she’s released her new album, Vulnicura, two weeks early on itunes.

The new album release coincides with a new exhibit at the MoMA in NYC starting March 8 that will chronicle her work “from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums.”

Another country that produces some great music and has had a long reputation of doing so – think ABBA, Ace of Base, Roxette – has an upcoming artist that’s gotten the attention to Flavorwire. The group, The Amazings’ third album Picture You will be released in February and the album’s single sounds a lot like the dreamy, soft, melodic-type music of other great Swedish bands like Kent.

Have a listen! Tak og Njuta (thanks and enjoy!)