noun – a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief:
to toil without respite.

I cannot thank you all enough for all the emails, posts and feedback you gave me after Kane’s passing last week to Dog Heaven. Over 70,000 of you now know Kane’s story and that feels really important. I hope you will indulge me one more post about the process today.


After a very sad week, DH whisked me out of the country for a relaxing few days that included a beach, cocktails, sun, sleep and a few more tears. It felt like a healing time and even more so, like a time to reset my intentions. I spent my mornings praying and meditating while looking out into the vast ocean. I listened to the words of Deepak Chopra on learning the keys to happiness in his book The Ultimate Happiness Prescription. (I would highly recommend it if you are chasing a happier life like I am.)

As you know, I wrestle (or knock out drag out fight) with my anxiety. I want to live a life that is simple and peaceful and when I am bombarded with relationships , work, and family chaos it is very hard to keep centered. I grew up very aware of mortality and the constant presence of death – that life is temporary and we are to live a life that is deeper and richer. This is not only a more complex way to live, but it can also add fear into the mix when trying to walk through my life. I want to be aware that this world is temporary without living with fear that my life can all fall apart in a single moment. What is the balance here? Deepak suggests that the key is adaptability.


If I could get to the point where I know that life ebbs and flows like the tide before me and that to keep anxiety at bay I need to be able to BE OKAY with the waves moving. If I can do this then happiness will be more within my reach. Nothing stays the same. Ever. Bad things not only happen to good people, bad things happen to all people. Just like good things happen to all people. Even people in remote countries with very little feel great happiness that is comparable to the comforts I experience. It is relative.

I have to be okay with the movement of these sad experiences and the rise of good things. I have to be buoyant. I have to not waver, but know that it is the motion of the universe and me in it. This is how God has designed us and our world. Kane’s death is the ebb that I have to sit still for, breathe through before the flow comes. It is to sit in the uncomfortableness that will make it tolerable. It hurts and feels so awful in my stomach right now, but if I do not run from the feeling, if I sit with it and do not push against it the feeling will dissolve on it’s own. Right, Deepak? To fight against the feeling makes it worse. Breathe into it.

I am trying. There is always a lesson to be found in these experiences. Today I will go out into the sunshine and paint to calm me. I will take 15 minutes to myself to practice my breathing and I will sit with the sadness or any feeling that comes up. I will work at my adaptability.


“As you embrace the present and become one with it, and merge with it, you will experience a fire, a glow, a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every sentient being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens of defensiveness,
resentment, and hurtfulness… then you will become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.” – Deepak Chopra

PS – Want to talk more about emotional balance? Meet me at The Safe Nest – a safe, anonymous support community.




  1. Lauren Schmautz says:

    Beautiful tribute to your loyal family member Kane. Hope your family finds peace. So sorry for your loss…

    I love your work! You have inspired me!

    Lauren Schmautz

  2. Linda Maribito says:

    I am obsessed with your style and website. I love french shabby chic. I saw a video you had posted and actually love the color of your house, not sure how old this tutorial is. We are painting our house in a little over a week and a half and I am struggling with colors (think I know every color now). Looking for a french shabby chic greige with gray shutters. Can I ask you what color and trim your house is? Also I am going to take the challenge on and distress my older son’s bed that is brown wood and try the Annie Sloan chalk paint. Wish me luck. I will hopefully send you pics. Scared but excited too. My deadline for picking an exterior paint color is the 20th of June so if you could provide me that color, I would love to check it out. You have great style and very talented. Sorry to hear of the passing of your dog. Our animals show so much unconditional love and when they leave it is very hard. Take care and I will be sending your website along Facebook to my styling friends.


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