Prince's Lesson In Gratitude

Le sigh, Prince.

Like a lot of the world, I’ve been in mourning since I heard the news. For a good part of these last few days, there have been moments where all I can do is watch Prince videos on YouTube and weep.

On the bright side, learning about Prince’s altruistic pursuits – and that he kept them under wraps out of humility and respect for his faith – has been very cool and moving. Comforting, even. He was a philanthropist, activist, patron of the arts, humanitarian, and as close to God as perhaps anyone working with inspiration could be.

I loved his connection to spirit and faith. At the end of his first television interview on MTV, he shared with the world: “I pray every night. I don’t ask for much. I just say, Thank You.”

Prince’s daily practice was gratitude.

All of this was heavy on my mind as we went into the weekend. It was a weekend I was simultaneously dreading and looking forward to.  

On Saturday, it was my brother’s 34th birthday. A cause for celebration under normal circumstances, but ever since Matthew passed away at age 15, April 23rd has been difficult to deal with.

The worst was four years ago.

On his 30th birthday in 2012, I was in the most pain I’d ever experienced in my life. Laying in a pitiful heap on the living room floor of my Peace Corps house in St. Vincent, I was suffering from an aggressive staph infection in my right leg, and I didn't exactly have my wits about me either. There was a boil the size of a small volcano on my shin, and a frightening amount of bodily fluid oozing out of it.


Not long after that, I was medically evacuated from St. Vincent to DC, where I started to do my deepest inner work and healing.  I was willing to do anything in order to heal so over time I tried many different approaches. Yoga, psychotherapy, antidepressants, essential oils, meditation, shamanism, crystals, herbal medicine, bodywork, energy healing, acupuncture, acupressure, cranio-sacral… I could go on and on.

Fast forward four years later.

I’m standing on a beautiful roof deck overlooking Lake Merritt with the yoga community I’ve become a part of. Our first gathering as a sangha, and it was serendipitously planned for the evening of my brother's 34th birthday. Looking around I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I connect with each person and it dawns on me that each of us has our own story and reasons for practicing. Yet, we were all drawn to the same daily practice. In getting on our mats alongside each other nearly every day, we show up for our individual healing, and we also contribute to the collective healing of the group. As my fellow yogini Luna wrote to me in a birthday card, “We are in this together.”

I think back to four years ago and I see how much has changed. From injury and illness to healing and health. From loneliness and isolation to friendship and community. From grief and mourning to appreciation and gratitude. I realize how much I’ve healed, and I can’t help but be grateful.

Thank you for this practice.

Thank you for this body.

Thank you for this life.

Thank you, Prince.

Thank you, Matthew.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.




Curious about essential oils? Not sure how to use them? Want to know how they can help you?

Hang out with me at one or both of my FREE Essential Oil 101 classes this week:

Tuesday 4/26 at 4pm Pacific

Thursday 4/28 5:30pm Pacific

I'll be sharing great info on essential oils, why I love doTERRA, and my personal essential oil routine.

Email me ASAP at so I can send you access to the classes!


Change your life in Nicaragua!  Take a break from the daily grind, make space for your healing, and be nourished by nature. You'll come back a new person. (Or at least more tan.)

6 nights in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Thu Oct 06 - Wed Oct 12, 2016