21 October 2016

Love Announcements

Oh, I love writing these Love Announcements for you when I have something especially good to share.

Today, these recommendations come from our amazing guests at the recent Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador.

You know what happens when like minded people get together?? You meet people that you want to just be best friends with. And recommendations start getting shared day and night because we often love so many of the same things. It's so fun. I sit there with my phone handy and keep writing things down. I love, love learning all I can from you.

Natural Beauty:

-Living LibationsOne guest with glowing skin RAVED about these all natural/organic face oils. Highly recommended: 'Best Skin Ever Rose Oil' and 'Best Skin Ever Sea Buckthorn Oil' - to use with the oil cleansing method (my favorite).

-Dry BrushingOne woman had extremely good success with dry brushing her tummy while pregnant. The result was no stretch marks at all (even though she was prone to them prior.) Her theory: the brushing breaks up the skin layers that are holding tightly to each other, making it more likely that the skin can stretch more freely.

-Frankincense Essential Oil - Add to Your Dry Brush. Frankincense is very good for the skin and heals imperfections, so it's great to add a little something extra to your dry brush routine and it smells amazing.

-Vegetable Detoxing Facial Mask by 100% Pure. This was highly recommended for a great mask to use a few times a week.


-Deepak & Oprah's 21-Day Meditations.

-Everyday Detox: 100 Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturallyby Megan Gilmore of Detoxinista. A guest brought me this cookbook as a gift, which was SO NICE. The recipes look amazing. Danny & I have already highlighted the stuff we want to make including: Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese With Roasted Broccoli, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower Flatbread Pizza, Almond Butter Freezer Fudge. YUM. Want to come for dinner? :) 


-The Spiritual Purpose of Relationships on Super Soul Sunday, by Marianne Williamson. "So, SO good," says my friend.


-L.L. Bean. I didn't realize that they offered FREE shipping and FREE returns for life. So, if there's a problem with any of their products into the future, they will take it back. Worth perusing their site, for sure. They are always reliable for great stripes, basics, pajamas, and they have the best selection ever of DUCK BOOTS (I think they're so darn cute).


-WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source, by Alisa Vitti. This was highly recommended if these topics are of interest to you! Becoming a power source sounds pretty amazing, right?

-Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I think I need to read this book. ha. I'm thinking I'm definitely more of an introvert, opposed to my dear Danny who is as extroverted as they come. Though I've never read anything about introverts/extroverts and haven't really used the labels very much. But I'm interested to know more!

-Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey From Pain to Enlightenment, by Marianne Williamson. She is a goddess. And this book is definitely up my alley.

-Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. I think Glennon is gifted. I've heard her speak several times and that woman speaks TRUTH. A guest gave me this book at the retreat as she had just finished it. It's an intimate story of a woman's life and marriage - very intimate, in fact - and I'm thankful to read of her experiences. I applaud her sharing her story all these years.

Hudson Valley, NY:

-Cold Spring Apothecary. Natural remedies and natural beauty products in small batches. They also have a robust online shop!

-Old Souls (Cold Spring, NY). Curated and beautiful outdoorsy products for stream, field, camp, and home.

-Cold Spring General Store. High quality provisions and seasonal produce from local farmers.

New York City:

-Kesté Pizzeria on Bleecker in the West Village. They got named the #1 PIZZA IN NYC!!! (By none other than NY Magazine.) And, THEY OFFER GLUTEN FREE CRUST!! Can I just be transported there right this second, please?

-Amy Laurent: Relationship Expert and Executive Matchmaker. I say why not?! It sounds efficient. If you had the money to hire a pro to help with this, I think it could be amazing and worth it. Amy essentially goes on dates for you to vet people, potentially saving you lots of time- and she has an 88-90% success rate in finding you a serious relationship within the first 3 months. (You can also sign up to get into her system as a potential partner for someone looking.)

Gosh, how I love these people (and all the others not pictured.) It is beyond my wildest dreams to be able to know so many of you in real life. I love you. And I cherish our friendships and memories.

Now we're off to watch HAMILTON on PBS!!!! Happy Friday!



P.S. Anyone else looking to come to Body+Soul CampYes?! :) See HERE for an important update on it. 


06 October 2016

Is Married Life Without Kids Fulfilling?

Someone asked me recently if married life without children could, indeed, be fulfilling. 

She was anticipating that she might be in our shoes soon and wondered what it was really like.

Well, I can say YES, we feel fortunate to say that our lives have been extremely fulfilling. I don't take that for granted for a minute, though. I had always dreamed of feeling this someday - and it's a dream come true to have felt it.

So where has this fulfillment come from?

Well, the two of us tapped into a passion to bring hope to others and that moves us, motivates us, and keeps us going each day.

I think it's important to feel a passion for something! Otherwise, I can see that life might begin to feel unfulfilling, no matter what your situation.

Before I started the blog, I remember once sitting at a desk job that was not meaningful to me - and at the same time it was becoming clear that my efforts to have children were not looking promising - and I began to really question the meaning of my life. Like, who would care when I died? Would I just disappear? I would have no one to leave my legacy with. In a way, this desire felt almost like an innate instinct - this desire to somehow leave a mark or leave the world a better place. I also had truths in me that I had learned from my life experiences. They were a gift. And I always felt they were meant to be shared as it was such a miracle to me to receive them. If I didn't share them, they would one day be gone. And yet, there I was sitting at that desk job. And the vastness of the unknown years ahead of me put the fear in me. I didn't yet know how I was going to do it. I didn't know how I was going to be able to live a meaningful life. So I would sit in my living room with Danny and brainstorm what that life might look like.

And then one day, I got pneumonia.

I didn't think I was going to die or anything, but I was so physically weak that I saw the end of my life. I felt the grace of every breathing day that I had. And I felt an urgency to share my truths; the best of what I had been blessed with in this life. And so, I began writing my first blog posts. I could barely keep my head up. But my thoughts were like a faucet and the ideas kept coming, so I kept writing.

And that was the beginning of my blog.

That was the beginning of my meaningful work.

What I can recommend to you is this:

Believe that you can have a fulfilling life if you don't have children OR if you do. Rest easy. And believe with all your heart that the way will become clear. Believe that you WILL tap into a passion (or several). Allow some space and time for that to unfold. Don't doubt it. It is in you. Trust this! And believe that you'll have the creativity and energy to fuel this work, whatever it is. The work itself will fuel you.

And also, as you think of this fulfilling life unfolding, consider if you feel more full of light or more full of a heavy, fearful, doubtful weight. Because light is what will shine on our foot path and make our future feel bright and possible. Fear and doubt will sabotage the unveiling of our life's work. Because we might have mud on our windshield and we can't see beyond what is right in front of us. We might be in survival mode. We might feel like victims to our current situation. We might have voices in our head that say we're not good enough. We might not trust that a path will open up. And all of that weighs us down completely and drains our energy.

So, regularly clear out any fearful, untrusting, doubtful energy as it arises. Do this every day. I do it through music, meditation, yoga, walking, and most importantly: re-writing my beliefs. I rewrite that script in my head until those old beliefs are pushed out. And this helps me to feel full of light and hope again for my future.

I hope I can feel this for the rest of my days. 

I'll be doing my best.



(Photos from our visit to Utah. We saw some moose while on a hike! And we got to experience the glorious beginning of Fall!)

P.S. Love Mentoring will be on hold until Oct. 19! We'll be at our beloved Body+Soul Camp next week and will be going on a little adventure after that to Cotopaxi National Park. We love you! And we look forward to chatting with any of you who are looking to transform your life.

05 October 2016

The Brooklyn Event I Wish I Could Go To...

OK, friends - especially you New Yorkers or ones who have NY connections...

Want to help a sister out in a huge way?!

One of my friends from afar, Mindy Gledhill, has the coolest band with her brother-in-law, Dustin.
It's called Hive Riot.

I've posted about Mindy a few times here because I love her music and admire her efforts - and she happens to be one of the most soulful, beautiful, kind women around. She's also a mom of three, in addition to being a literal rockstar.

Anyway, her next show is in BROOKLYN on OCTOBER 20. She would love, love, love your support by having this show SELL OUT AT THE SEAMS!!!

I promise you that you'll love seeing Mindy & Dustin perform. Mindy's voice will take your breath away. And Dustin is the kindest soul AND a piano virtuoso who has been traveling the globe performing since AGE THREE (crazy, right?). And the music is all about letting go and being true to yourself. Kinda perfect in these parts, don't you think?

So, here's what we can do:
  • Buy your tickets HERE.
  • Bring your friends or a date or your rockstar kids.
  • Share this post with your NYC connections.
  • Send me a pic if you go so that I can live vicariously through you!
  • Get all hot and ready with this song about KISSING!!!!!
  • And, um, did you see 80s costumes are encouraged?!?
I would so love to see this lovely woman & amazing guy succeed. I know personally how much work it takes to make your dreams happen. And they are giving it ALL THEY'VE GOT.

Best of luck, Mindy & Dustin!!!!

We love you and we're rooting for you!!!!


With Love, 


P.S. See their Undercover video HERE. Listen to Hive Riot on Spotify

03 October 2016

There's More to Say...

I didn't quite get it all out with my last post.

Because I wanted to say this:

LGBTQ people are some of the greatest examples to me.

Because they have to do SO MUCH WORK to come out and to be true to themselves in our society.

I think that level of authenticity and vulnerability and bravery is something most people never even come close to.

Most people are living in a shell, to some degree - living in fear of being themselves completely, worrying so much about what people think. I know I have areas where I am not leaning in as much as I could (like hello, on the dance floor, for example. I so need to take my hip hop dancing lessons again - evidenced by my abysmal performance when one of my gay friends from Brooklyn took me to the dance floor at Affirmation. haha. :)

Anyway, I'm just feeling inspired by LGBTQ people -  and I also send my love to those who are still struggling to embrace who they are. I love you. I root for you.

And I hope that all of us - little by little - can lean in to our uniqueness and celebrate who we are.

With Love,


Ok, what is one area where you want to lean in and be more authentic or brave? 

On my end: we have a videographer coming from NYC to film our Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador next week. Time to lean in to teaching bravely with a camera on my face!! :)

(photo is Wendy, of Mama Dragons, and Goran, the husband of the Affirmation president.) 

-Love Mentoring with Danny & Mara 
Available Now. Sign-up HERE

-Stay Tuned for our 2017 Retreat Schedule. 
Let us know if you have a city request 
or want to volunteer to host us!

01 October 2016

Because We Love the Mormon LGBTQ & Allies

*We are smiling big over here.*

Danny & I just gave an opening keynote to the largest audience to date (650 people!). It turns out it was one of the most amazing, holy, spiritual experiences of our entire lives. Preparing to speak there was some of the most important work we've ever done.

The audience meant a lot to us: they were beloved LGBTQ people who share our Mormon roots, and they come together annually for an International Affirmation Conference in Provo, UT. This community has been through a lot because of oppression and discrimination within the church, so I can tell you we felt massive pressure to knock it out of the park and bring a message of hope to them. It was an honor to be there and give it our best shot. Here's our talk:

We spoke about finding our worth from WITHIN instead of ever looking to another person or institution to provide that for us. When we can stop looking to the outside for our worth, we can live our lives more authentically and we can love more fully.

But let's get to the heart of why this conference was one of the HIGHLIGHTS of our year...

Our favorite moments:
  • We met SO many people in our amazing human family. Many gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, nonbinary, genderqueer, gender fluid, straight, and many others. Meeting people throughout this gender and sexuality spectrum and hearing their stories was one of the greatest experiences ever. I'm learning so much - and I owe it to these amazing human beings for telling their stories. The uniqueness of all humans is incredibly beautiful to me. (Here's a panel of Trans Mormons.)
  • It was exquisite to all feel united as ONE - to witness complete love and acceptance for humanity. At one point, the audience sang, by heart, the Mormon hymn: "As I have loved you, love one another. This new commandment, love one another. By this shall men know, ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one to another." That kind of love is breathtaking. 
  • We met a church-going gay man in his 70s who finally decided to come out publicly for the first time. After the church issued a discriminatory policy last November, this man felt it was his duty to humanity to not hide anymore and to make himself known, even though he felt so much was at risk. Wow. So brave and inspiring!
  • We met an older gay man who had the most roof-raising musical talent you've ever seen. We're talking Amazing Grace on the piano like you've never heard in your life!!! And after speaking to him, we learned that his musical gift was non-existent for most of his life before he came out. His creativity and his gifts were in a shell until he learned to love himself and live authentically. And then his talents just exploded!!! 
  • Many guests traveled in from Chile, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia and it was so heartwarming  (& heartbreaking) to hear them say how liberating it was to see LGBTQ Mormons hand-in-hand, out in the open, and to see that some were even MARRIED (ahhh!!!) These dear Latinos were blown away, as perhaps in their towns or cities or in their Latino Mormon communities, being gay is less accepted.
  • It was inspiring hearing transgender/transsexual individuals say they had once been suicidal or had even attempted suicide, but then they decided to start living according to the gender that felt innate to them and they are now ALIVE and living happier than they've ever been. I wish this for all our trans brothers & sisters. It was the most beautiful thing ever to see their JOY and LIGHT and TRUTH just beaming!! And you just sat there feeling so grateful that they made it through and so grateful that the world gets to have this human being here as part of the human family and that we can be blessed by all that they are. What a gift. 
  • We met several gay men and lesbian women who had spent 10, 20, 30 years or more in heterosexual marriages that ultimately didn't work out - and now they have come out and perhaps were now even dating someone of the same sex! Ahhh! IT WAS SO, SO ROMANTIC TO SEE THEM. They were just giddy beyond belief...and they were quite literally learning what it was like to be in a romantic relationship for the very first time. They had no idea that love could feel like that. I mean, can you even imagine the butterflies? It was really, really fun to see and I'm just so happy they get to experience that. 
  • There were 70 YOUTH at this conference!!!! That is unreal, folks. Get this: 3 years ago, only 4 youth were in attendance and 2 of them were straight siblings. This is some MAJOR progress and I'm so happy to see more youth coming out and feeling the support of this community. Many of these youth came with their families, also, which was just about the best thing I can imagine.
  • After our keynote, we did a Love Meditation with everyone, which Danny led. We had each person stand across from someone and exude love and acceptance. Ahh! Hardly a dry eye in the room. We were talking to a guy from Brazil about how that experience was for him...and he said the woman who was doing the Portuguese translation for them over the headphones was just sobbing as she repeated the words of the meditation: "Dear one, I am here. Dear one, I see you, and I smile at your presence. Dear one, I see that you're suffering, that is why I'm here. Dear one, I'm suffering, and I need your help." 
  • They had a youth night where many of the youth sang, performed, and spoke. The speakers were hands down some of the best youth speakers we've ever heard. (And perhaps best talks ever.) That level of wisdom comes from expansive life experience, pain, and transformation at a young age. It was extraordinary. And I'm thankful for these young pioneers who are speaking out, living authentically, changing the world, and paving the way for others. 
  • We got to connect with some of our favorite people. These friends below are fierce supporters of LGBTQ and it's been a highlight of my life to cross paths with them and join with them in our endeavors. (Here is Thomas Wirthlin McConkie, Gloria Pak, Cody Startin, Thomas Montgomery, Wendy Williams Montgomery. And below: Dustin Gledhill and Mindy Gledhill of the coolest band, Hive Riot.)

Lots of love to ALL!

And, we're happy, as always, to discuss and answer questions you might have.

But I'll just say this: Equality is love. Equality is humane. I wish this for every LGBTQ person. I wish this for them WITHIN Mormon families, churches, doctrines, and temples. I hope that day comes, as there continues to be more heartbreak within this community than you could ever imagine. There's a lot of work to be done.

With Love,


P.S. Something really cool: The person who invited us to speak at Affirmation was a former guest of one of our Love Boot Camps! After the retreat, she said she wanted us to speak at the conference, which was such an honor. We owe a lot to this audience for helping us with these kinds of connections and opportunities. Thank you all so much.

-Love Mentoring with Danny & Mara Available Now. Sign-up HERE

-Stay Tuned for our 2017 Retreat Schedule. Let us know if you have a city request or want to volunteer to host us!

02 September 2016

September: A Month That Has Truly Changed My Life

I apologize to our followers on Facebook, because I shared most of this post over there. Sometimes I get carried away with writing on our Facebook page, and my dear mother-in-law once said, "You practically wrote a post! You should have posted that on the blog!" I think she's right. 

Today, I just wanted to celebrate September. 

I can feel and smell and taste this month more than any other. 

Just take a look:

-I was in Manhattan on 9/11/01.

-I bought my first piece of NYC real estate in September.

-September was my first month alone after my first husband left.

-I emailed Danny for the first time on 9/11/09.

-We adopted ALL of our three doggies in September.

-I started 'A Blog About Love' in September.

-We hosted our very first retreat in September (which felt like a massive accomplishment at the time!)


What on earth?! This blows me away. So many pivotal experiences in one month! 

I'm so grateful to see where each of these experiences has taken me. And I'm reminded now how beautiful life can be, no matter what hardships we've experienced. Cheers to September.

Do you feel the presence of a certain month, more than others? Perhaps due to a pivotal experience that is forever seared in your brain?  

If you want to read more about that time after my husband left, here is one of my favorite posts of all time, "When the Air is Clear", written, of course, on September 11.


Don't Miss:

1-Day Love Boot Camp, Sept. 17th in Salt Lake City, $395
7-Day Body+Soul Camp, Oct. 9-15 in Ecuador, $2,750
Love + Happiness Mentoring by Skype (or phone) - anytime, $150

See the reviews! This is my favorite page on the internet.

01 September 2016

5 Year Anniversary: What I've Learned From Sharing My Voice

This September, I will have been writing blog posts here for FIVE YEARS!!! Starting with this post

The experience has been extraordinary to me. I can't thank you enough for being a part of this. We've experienced a lot together, huh? I wouldn't trade it for anything.  


Today, what I've learned from sharing my voice:

  • What you say often comes out imperfectly. It's okay. People will usually still be grateful for your attempt to share. Our imperfection encourages others to be okay with their imperfection. Do you know how many grammar mistakes I have in this blog? haha.

  • There is enough room in this universe for ALL of our unique voices! I repeat: There is room for all of us!! What we have to say hasn't "been said already." What we have to say isn't better or worse than what someone else is saying. Our uniqueness is beautiful, and we should be sharing whatever it is we've got.

  • It's certainly not necessary to share your voice all of the time. I'm in favor of honoring your ebbs and flows. Sometimes moments call for retreating, creating, renewing. And that's a beautiful thing. There is no shame in this. It can sometimes lead to flourishing creativity.

  • Exercise/Movement and Sunshine seriously improve your creative abilities and brain power. (And also Fish Oils, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin B, in my case. These totally help me!)

  • Some people will love what you say, others will not. It's not necessary, ever, to please everyone.

  • "Finding your voice" is nonsense to me. As if your voice is somewhere else or needs to be crafted or strategized or correlated. Your voice is your voice. Whatever your voice needs or wants to say at any given time - well, that is your voice. "Finding your voice" is when things get so choreographed that your actual voice is no where to be found.

  • It's best to delete hateful words on the internet. They can surface anytime anyone shares their voice. I do feel for people who are in that state of spewing, but I'm also in favor of boundaries here. Because hateful words are just poisonous and they are polluting the internet everywhere you look. So I do my part and delete words like that on my site or social media - not just for me, but because of the energy they generate for others. DELETE. GOOD-BYE. (Luckily, this audience has been incredible all of these years. We feel lucky to say that our delete button has been used very, very rarely. Thank you all!!)

  • You do not have to be a writer or a professionally trained speaker to share your voice. While it's enriching to read an award winning essay or hear a viral Ted Talk, it's also beautiful to read or hear the words of someone's heart. There's room for all of us.

  • If someone does not like what you say, it does not diminish the value of it or the influence it has on others. Stay focused on those you are looking to connect with. Keep sharing! Share even more! Like-minded people will find you. 

  • As a woman, stepping into your power or sharing your voice threatens some people (both men and women). Perhaps you are a reminder to them that they don't feel empowered. Or perhaps you're a reminder that one might not have control over you. (These are just guesses.) But I've definitely seen that it can be uncomfortable for some to see a woman in the arena. I get it. I know we, as women, have historically been silenced, held down, and not valued. I get it that it can feel like a betrayal or a threat if someone breaks free (to any degree). May we forgive along the way, and continue sharing our voices and truths regardless.

Can you relate to any of these as you've shared your voice out there? I'd love to hear. 

Register Now For:

1-Day Love Boot Camp, Sept. 17th in Salt Lake City, $395
7-Day Body+Soul Camp, Oct. 9-15 in Ecuador, $2,750
Love + Happiness Mentoring by Skype (or phone) - anytime, $150

Read lots of reviews here. This is my favorite page on the internet. :)
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