What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say

Have you ever noticed that the modern world hasn't done a good job of equipping us to handle death, longterm illness, sadness, or grief very well? Most of us are unsure what to say or how to be around someone who's had a loss. Sometimes, avoidance is the standard response.
 
Ever the optimist, I believe we can do better. Tragically, we're not taught how to handle this; our parents don't likely know, so how could they have taught us? School often seems to skip over the...
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How to Raise the Love Vibration

A few years ago, Olivia and I created a game of "Spread the Love."

We look for people who may be having a tough day/moment, catch their eye, smile and say, "I love the way your ____ highlights your _____." or something like that. From their response, it seems like it can shift their whole day. 

Here's an example: Recently, I saw an elder woman with the most gorgeous blue eyes that were extra vibrant because of the reflection from the perfectly matched blue jacket she wore. I made...

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How to Be More Generous Without Getting Depleted

Today, I've got a (hopefully) inspiring and heartwarming story for you.
 
Early last week, I made a quick stop at the store to pick up a few things. On my way into the parking lot, I saw a couple of men (in their 50s or 60s) asking for donations next to the stop sign on the way out. It was dark and cold out but I kinda forgot about them while I was in the store.
 
Getting back to my car, I set the big bunch of organic bananas (and some household things) onto the...
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Why Not to Give Farmed Animals as Gifts

This year, our family has chosen to donate to others for the holidays in place of the usual gift-giving to each other. We've had the opportunity to support items to both animals and people affected by the Camp Fire, local organizations for families touched by domestic violence, and various online requests from friends requesting donations for organizations. In the past, I thought that donations were only valuable if they were large. I'm taking a new approach this year, and it...
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Serving up kindness along with your gratitude...

Your outpouring of love, comfort, and words that you found meaning in the very personal Love Letter I sent a couple weeks ago soothes my soul. Thank you. I'm sad that many of you share a similar pain. 

It's been a rough week here in California. My attention is extra close to home as Paradise is just 90 miles away. We've heard from friends and their families who have lost everything, many of whom barely escaped. There's no way to really know what that's like from...

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Remembering

 

Two months ago, my brilliant, big-hearted minister, Reverend Kevin Tarsa invited me to perform a dance to this song, "Sanctuary," by Carrie Newcomer, with an umbrella. He told me it would be part of our Unitarian Universalist October theme of Sanctuary. I hesitated. I couldn't exactly imagine how I'd do a dance with an umbrella. Not to mention that even though I teach Nia, my dancing is for me and not a performance art anymore (the last time I did that was decades ago when I was 15)....

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Adding a pungent and tangy flavor dimension, these pickled onions are one of my favorite toppings for my DIY Salad Bar. So easy to make and even more amazing with vegan bacon bits!

Quick Pickled Red Onions
By Allison Rivers Samson 

Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced (try my easy DIY Salad Bar technique!)

Directions

  1. In a mason jar, combine vinegar, water,...
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When was the last time you had a peak experience?

I thought I'd be terrified and nervous.

Instead, as I donned the headset and stepped into the magic that pulled me like a wave, I surfed ecstatically in my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. 

With ~50 students, including 38 of my fellow trainees, I got to occupy the esteemed spot of my teachers, right up front and center, as I taught in the bright studio I've long held in deep reverence.

Immersed in my own self-care in one of my favorite cities, I spent 6.5 days...

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I can't keep quiet. For anyone. Not anymore.

I'm curious. When were you first silenced? Do you remember how old you were? Were you told to settle down, shut up, or act like a lady? Were you labeled as stubborn, difficult, rigid, or inflexible? Did anyone ever tell you to smile because you're so much prettier when you smile?

If you said no to all of that, my guess is that you may be one in ten million. More likely, you said yes to more than one.

Back in March of this year, I first heard a song that is now my anthem. Although my story...

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Vegan Recipe: Mango Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait

A 30-foot mango tree. 1977. Coral Gables, Florida.

One of my favorite things to do at my grandparent's house was gather mangoes from their 30-foot tree. At least that's how big it seemed in my kid mind. Funny how different our perspective can be when we're smaller. Maybe it was only 20 feet, but it was HUGE!

One day, I decided to collect the juicy treasures and sell them on the side of the road. Lemonade stand? Bah! I was 7 and my entrepreneurial genes had been activated....

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