TO- DO LISTS & Purposeful Planning

What’s the difference between to-do lists and purposeful planning?

EVERYTHING! one can be BORING and annoying and give us the ILLUSION that we are actually in control of our lives. To-do lists NEVER EVER END and once something is crossed off- something else appears. These lists FEED our addiction to being busy, help us feel as if we have REALLY accomplished something ( which may or may not be true), and all at the same time- leading us into a TRAP of low level anxiety and never enough-ness, not to mention they also give us a false sense of control over our world.

Where did this come from? Looking back on my own history- I think I saw other people doing it and then just assumed that was how I was supposed to live to have a good life.

Once I started practicing awareness in my own life on a daily basis I was able to see that the practice of creating and crossing off lists was actually HARMING me and my actual life rather than helping me- so I have actively taken steps over the past 5 year specifically to change how I plan and thus, how I live- How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

I often wonder why women tell me they don’t have time for themselves, for meditation, for art, for dance, for dreaming, for LIFE- and I remember back to the days when I did not either- of course there are MANY factors involved but for most women it’s b/c most of there life is about everyone else. ( I’m also super interested in the topic of control and boundaries but more on that in another blog post)

Okay- picture this- 15 years ago, I was the MASTER list maker. And do-er. The list never ended. There was always something else I could add that HAD TO BE DONE. It felt like I HAD to spend the Saturday afternoon getting the new work shoes, picking up dry cleaning, working, doing, doing, doing. I would put everything on there JUST so I could cross it off- sound familiar? DO MORE! BE MORE! ACCOMPLISH MORE! RARELY, if ever did the lists have creative, interesting, juicy fun self care or soul filling ideas. I really did not know what that could even look like ( or FEEL LIKE).

Meanwhile- I felt pretty dis-engaged with my spirit- my body and my monkey- mind was REALLY all over the place!  Here is how it made me feel- pseudo accomplished and then restless at night b/c I would look at the list for tomorrow, if the list got too short- I would make stuff up- organize photos, clean closets, schedule an appointment, join a committee at work or at Temple or in the community. Now, let’s be clear there is NOTHING wrong with these list items IF they bring you joy- IF they truly need to get done but.. they most certainly do not make MY heart sing- I could never find time to paint or dance or take long walks in the woods. I was TOO BUSY DOING list items.

The list NEVER ended and my energy around it was intense. I was missing lots of  other areas of my life – in order to get back to the list. YIKES. After years of yoga practice I was able to see this pattern in my life- my yoga practice taught me a lot ( and continues to teach me) about the habits I have that ARE NOT HELPFUL and do not feel good or truly help/ serve anyone.

Fast forward to today. My lists look different. They are full of dreams and poems. Of wishes and sometimes goals .. but to be honest I don’t really live by them anymore.

And the ones I have look and feel SO DIFFERENT.

With my old lists- I felt reactive to life- I felt like I could never keep up. If the list go too small- I started making stuff up to put on it.

With the new way- I feel energized by the proactive -ness of my life- my dreaming, my visioning and my mission..felt so INTENTIONAL.

I also changed it up to do the 3 top things a day list ( I keep post its next to my bed and the night before I write down the 3 most important things that have to be done the next day in my life sometimes it is work related, sometimes it is life related) – I get to throw out or delete the list that day, once I finish those items! And I also allow myself to play, create, enjoy life if and when those 3 things get finished.

NOW, let me be clear I use WUNDERLIST to organize myself.  To make a few longer lists for work, for our family, the books I want to read, the places I want to travel, the updates we need to do on the website. BUT I DO NOT interact with these lists daily. I do not use them to RUN or manage or dictate my life or my worth. And most days I barely look at these lists- but I have them to drop ideas and they keep me moving forward when I schedule in my allotted “update wunderlists” time  monthly which I do- then I also see how my projects move forward, change and evolve.

I hope these topics helps you also be able to release the list and live more in your actual life, as YOU want it from a pro-active/ values based lens.

want to talk more? – let’s talk about how to make this work FOR YOU.

ENERGY. the energy around planning your days and your life is such an important part of the process. are you frenetic? are you rushed? are you anxious? do you give your self time to rest and wonder and be alone and DO NOTHING. if not- start here. notice everything. how does it make you feel when you do nothing? bored? anxious? lonely? sad? yep. okay- time to sit with that. FEEL IT IN YOUR BODY.. so many of us are racing around chasing our tails b/c we don’t want to feel those BIG feelings that come up when we get quiet.

SHIFT. As I shifted from TO DO LISTS to creating my days intentionally- the mood changed. I slowed down enough to put on good music, light the candle, make a cup of tea and REALLY listen to my soul. WHAT DOES SHE NEED AND WANT. BEFORE, I was literally making lists in the car- while shoving lunch in my face, smoking a cig and yelling at someone out the window. not really the image of the person I WANT to be- nor is that really setting the stage for space, peace, clarity.. which are USUALLY on the top of my values and “ways I want to feel” lists. Also- by setting the mood for planning with things I LOVE in places I love – I started to tell my brain, yep- planning my life is FUN! I started to send the message- THIS FEELS GOOD. and then, I wanted to do it more!

INTENTION. My intention changed. Once I realized that life is not ACTUALLY a to do list ( or an email inbox) I began to ACTUALLY live my life- from a wider more expansive- truly more loving place.  MY to do list was a way to rush through my life, I was missing out on so much. Now, I allow myself the planning time and in fact it’s SUCH a big part of my life- and one of the things I LOVE most about life. dreaming, planning, creating, mapping out this weeks self care practices, journaling, nature walks, etc AND GUESS WHAT? I schedule in admin time for my family and my life and do it THEN! During my “family admin time” that’s when I fill out paper work, make doctors appointments, pay bills, whatever- but it is NOT ALLOWED to leak  over into my REAL life ( reading, walking, moving, being with my kids and friends)

SPACE. And once THIS changed.. whoa- I found myself feeling like I Have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to really, truly do what I want! I found time to do some community service, found time to play a game, cook meals, write a book, take care of myself EVERY DAY. once I tightened up on the leaking of energy into all areas of my life- I realized that my planning time was actually creating HUGE SUSTAINABLE FLEXIBLE changes for the rest of my life. Now I feel like I am in the habit of doing what I need to no matter what happens in my schedule and my life TO ALIGN with my highest values- there is SO MUCH MORE JOY. EASE. BEAUTY. LOVE.

DOTHEWORK. Also, please note… I HAD TO THE DO WORK around WHAT ARE MY VALUES in order to align them! Again, taking time to talk about my values, to map out what I want to feel, to be, to do to journal and share with others and then I could feel how it was all connected.I really started to see the magic happen with living an awake life- with sacred ordinary living and the lists fell away- stopped being created.

BALANCE. I don’t believe in the balance bullshit. NO SUCH THING. we cannot have it all or BE IT ALL ( it’s not sustainable.our bodies. our emotions. our health. something will suffer)  we HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES in our lives, ALIGNED WITH WHO WE ARE – to FEEL GREAT. We have to learn how to shift things on our VERY full plates when we add new things. WE CAN NOT KEEP ADDING without stepping back and looking at what needs to be de-cluttered- let go of- and released. We live in a time where illusions of other people’s happiness and joy lead to us feeling like crap…less then, never enough AND we compare, we keep going and doing and it does not feel like good. It’s sad b/c we look around and think- well, she is doing it! what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do it all? little do we know- that “superwoman” also has a sadness, a yearning, a desire and thinks “IS THIS ALL?”

FEAR. It’s TOTALLY part of the process. If you are experiencing tension right now on this issue ( feeling OVERWHELMED or STRESSED by your life) step back and let something go- even if it’s hard. say no. cancel. THIS IS THE MOMENT of truth. Here is your opportunity for greatness. You are being called to shift, adjust the sails. And instead of wasting the time you get back on netflix or shopping- go actually do something that will fill your soul. or do nothing. get in the habit of DOING NOTHING and see what arises. grab a journal and write down some dreams you have for life- no matter how crazy or unrealistic. not something that you can’t ACTUALLY do tomorrow on a list. STRETCH YOURSELF.

StartTODAY! Put the things at the top of your list as your HIGHEST priority. HYDRATE. MOVE. Meditate. Journal. Dream. Make healthy food. whatever it is… make room today- then see what mundane things fall away. I noticed that when I REALLY lived from a place of my own soul- so many non important things FELL AWAY. I did not actually need to get them done TODAY nor where they helping me feel connected to my work, my life, my children. The more you do this- the more amazing you will feel.  ( also, I noticed that SO MANY areas got simplified without me even trying. I stopped comparing myself to other mamas or biz owners, I started TRULY engaging in my strengths in the world and feeling ALIVE in my body, not just my mind.. and whenever I go back to feeling

Does this seem WAY TOO hard for you? read essentialism

Okay love, I know there is a LOT to think about here- and I’m still in the process of unpacking it for you. I truly want to hear from YOU about what this brings up in your heart, in your mind, in your soul. WITH LOVE- P.

summer reading. 

this year,  my summer reading will be an adventure in going back through books I love and books I want to go deeper into…

some of these are for classes I am creating and some just for my passion in wellness, wealth & wisdom. enJOY!


let me know if you have read any of these… or need a specific reccomendation based on something you need/want/ are thinking about in your life.. I’m happy to give you a few suggestions based on your specific situation..  or write to me and let me know  what is on your list this summer.♥️

It’s almost here…

I am 3 days away from leaving my home, my bed, and my life for over 6 weeks.

On Friday, we pack up and head north for a summer of family and adventures. I will mostly be single parenting as my hubby will be staying in DC.

Since May, I have been planning and making a list of the things I NEED TO DO in order to keep my cool, stay mentally and physically healthy (please note, not making lists of things I need to pack for the kids!)  while care taking and trying to enJOY myself as well. You see, it’s not ALL about them!

So let me give you some of my  insider tips on how to take good care of yourself this summer while traveling, for when schedules are crazy and for when mama needs a break!!

  1. Plan, plan, plan- look AHEAD to what YOU need for the summer. Have a crazy week with family coming and kids home? Great, try to take out everything else from your schedule.  And plan to clean and move your body and drink lots of water the week BEFORE they come so that you are READY and feeling in flow when they arrive. Partner going to be away for the week? NO PROBLEM- line up childcare NOW for the time they are gone so that YOU still get the time YOU need to feel good in your body.  EXTRA CREDIT!! Start thinking about Fall now to0- here is the question I use when thinking to the season ahead.. how do I want to feel? What are my values and priorities for my family and life this fall; what needs to go and what can stay? I often put reminders in my calendar for the year ahead so that I can remember what last year felt like and if I need to make any changes.
  2. What makes mama happy?  What do YOU need in your daily life to help you feel good? Hint- my list includes essential oils, candles,  WATER, and a journal. As long as I have these things around me I know I can drop into my body and breathe deeply and support myself when tough things come up or when I want to experience a bit more joy and awareness in my daily life.  So since I’m leaving for a while I have a bag of my goodies all packed up and ready to take with me. This year I am bringing my twinkle lights so that I can set up a little meditation space at my grandmother’s house to sit this summer.  This will allow me to feel cozy and like home.
  3. HYDRATE. I know, I know- this is so simple. BUT if you REALLY, TRULY got enough water so many things would flow better in your body and in your life. Most of us are de-hydrated which leaves us feeling BLAH (low energy, bad skin, slow digestion, and feeling stagnant in our lives, etc).  In fact, we also know (research says!) that we tend to make poor decisions in other areas of our health when we don’t drink enough water (multiple cups of coffee, anyone?).  So for the summer I am committing to making sure I drink enough water while I am away.  I find it SO MUCH easier at home where I just refill all day!   I bought a new great water bottle at a discount store that will do well in the summer sun during my travels.  I don’t like to use plastic water bottles and just realized we have so many from Spring events! I don’t want to use plastic when the car gets hot, etc).


PS. Here is a call link for this topic— taking care of yourself this summer! I share all my best tips and practices. Listen and enjoy! Oh and come back to it when you need a reminder this summer.

PPS. REGISTER TODAY for THRIVE- the online wellness course that will SUPPORT YOU ALL SUMMER so you can truly be awake and engaged in your life. Registration ends FRIDAY!

What does it mean to THRIVE? 


What does it mean to THRIVE?

For me, it means this: the picture above. Thriving means smiling, loving, FEELING the world, hearing my friends and family, being ALIVE, being real, seeking truth, playing and holding hands. Thriving is embracing what is.

I experienced all of this on the night I was closing the studio. A night that I never pictured COULD happen. A place I loved so much CLOSING?!?!  This night brought me to tears and to laughter. My mouth hurt the next day from smiling so much, my eyes hurt from crying. What a glorious, beautiful evening.

What got me through it all?  All of the conflicting emotions and the ups and downs? My well being practices.  These are the ways to keep your life in check, in flow and truly manageable EVEN when your entire world around you is changing, EVEN when things are hard- especially when things are hard.

Here’s what happened:  as I started going through the process of closing the studio, I tightened up on some regular practices that I KNEW I would need to get me through an emotionally and financially difficult time. I became very grounded and rooted in these practices as a way to truly process the BIG emotions I was having. And these practices, while having been in my life for years now became MORE POWERFUL than ever. And this is what I want for YOU.

As soon as I got over the studio closing and embarking on new projects, I broke my foot. I had to check in with all the Thrive Principles again!  This was another experience that COULD have  been miserable, but my THRIVE foundation has taught me how to gracefully handle ALL the things that life brings to me.  Thrive principles teach me how to sit with fear and anger, how to nourish myself when things get hard, AND how to prioritize my own health and well being so that  I feel healthy and clear about where I am in ALL the areas of my life. Honestly, this feels like an invaluable gift to my life and also to those around me!  I want to share this gift with you.

Choose Joy. Find Ease. Keep it Simple.

Thrive is all of this. Thriving is a WAY OF LIFE. A WAY TO BE where you feel empowered and in your body. Where your connection to yourself DEEPENS and even when tough things come your way- you navigate them with strength and grace. People have asked me for years what do you do? How do you do it? And so, Thrive is kind of a pulling back of the curtains, showing you, and giving you all the tools and resources I use (books, articles, podcasts, journaling prompts, recipes, and more). It’s a behind the scenes where I get up close and personal as a way to inspire you, to support you, to give you ideas and to establish a way for you to see THAT YOU CAN HAVE/ BE/ DO this all too! It’s already inside of you- it’s already part of who you are, as a human, as a woman. So let’s uncover it all together… you deserve this!

Thrivers use SIMPLE AND EASY well being practices to engage in their lives. That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing promised to you or for you. The group support and engagement and process is ALL UP TO YOU.  YOU take the reigns for your life, you learn HOW to engage in these practices and overcome problems and challenges and mindsets that are LIMITING YOU from THRIVING.

You see, because if I want it more than you- it won’t happen. The Thrive course is for people who KNOW IT IS TIME to figure out a way to be healthy EVEN when life is full and busy and distracted and confusing. Or for people who want to establish evidence /science-based practice for health and living well in ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE.  It’s all connected- how we spend our money, eat our food, move our body, treat our children, envision our lives, and the thoughts we think.. . these are the things that make up our days and our lives.

We all have self-limiting thoughts or perceived obstacles and once we start to SMASH them… WOW! We realize, “Hmm this is not so hard! Learning how to care for myself can be FUN and interesting and the benefits to all areas of my life are TRULY limitless.”

Limitless possibility. That is what YOU TRULY are.  All of us are limitless.

Want in? Sign up here.  Registration ends Friday, 6/17.

Here’s what one Thriver wrote:

“We all know we need to eat less and move more, but I was looking for a more comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle. Thrive is a course that focuses on all aspects of wellness – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Over the eight weeks, I learned the importance of establishing healthy routines in every area of my life and that these routines become habits over time, which then become automatic. All of Pleasance’s research-based advice is invaluable, and includes strategies for establishing healthy bedtime and morning rituals, which enable better patterns of exercise and mindful eating. I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed and benefited from the week on meditation. Never having explored a meditation practice previously, I couldn’t have imagined the mental clarity and calm that comes from just 5-10 minutes of stillness in my day.”- AB

Another Thriver shares her experience here.  Listen now.

PS. We ran this class in the Spring and you know what- THEY ARE ALL TAKING THE COURSE AGAIN THIS SUMMER! I give my THRIVERS lifetime access and they are all coming back to take it again! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?


Healthy Home Tips..behind the scenes.

I have used essential oils in my life, my home and with my children for many years now but in the past few months decided it was time for me to share out a bit more around HOW I use them, WHY I use them and to SELL them so I can help other families and mamas up- level & enjoy the benefits as well!  Here is to your HEALTH. email me to talk more OR check out my oils page. ( My current daily favorite oils are lemon, wild orange, frankincense)

My friend and mentor Hilary and I jumped on the phone to talk about what we love about the oils – how we use them- a bit more about the brand we use and MORE.

Listen HERE.

I thought this would be helpful for YOU!  Yes, I filmed in my BATHROOM! HA!

A Contract In Love {Dear Saylor}


A Contract in Love.

I agree to show up, to see you, to hold you and to be your MOTHER. {I am not your friend}

I agree to lay in bed and rub your back,  to pour you tea when you need it, I think this helps both of us.

I will nurture your spirit with essential oils when I don’t know how else to support you, as a way to show you love, to slow it down, to breathe it in. I notice it makes us both feel better.

I will invite you into my yoga and meditation practice, always. Even when it’s hard and I want my own time, I want you to know these practices as accessible to you for your whole life.

I agree to explore who I am, to try my best to live from love & intuition & truth and strength because I notice when I do, I can take really good care of you.

I agree to see us as separate beings who have different paths, our own journeys.

I commit to my practices as a way to help give me perspective about being your mother, so that I can see you WHOLE and ALIVE as you are, perfect. {with strengths and weakness, challenges, anger, joy, sorrow, grief, silliness and #allthefeelings}

The more I study and learn about my own life, thoughts, patterns and care the more I can appreciate you as a human being, and I can see all the ways in which we  naturally flow and I can enjoy you as you are….. {Without too much stress or worry about what you SHOULD become or do or be}

I can trust in the harmony of life.

The human-ness of our experience.

Suddenly, BEAUTIFULLY, we are every mother and every daughter that has ever lived.

The more I love me, the more I love you.

*Save the date*

March 9,10, 11 2017

Mother Daughter Retreat , Middleburg VA- MeadowKirk Farms Retreat Center


38 is.

A sense of home. of comfort. of life. of connection.

As the summer draws near and our big adventure awaits- I’m aware of the repeating patterns and mind chatter that arises. What will be? What will happen? Is this good enough?  I read a meditation about WORRY last night and realized how much of my current thought patterns are around my work, teaching, writing and biz.

More questions than answers, as usual. More wondering and curious-ness as I spend the days prepping and planning to be away from home for 7 weeks. ( I’m mindful that this means being away from my art-love filled office, most of my clients, my home yoga studio, my teaching, my leading, my morning and evening routines and rituals in the spots I love to do them, away from my dog, my bed and my bed.) And the question is- what CAN I do to help/ take care of myself with all the changes. I’m ready to step up and practice what I preach. Take the CALM with me, b/c it DOES NOT exist in this material home or this well planned out schedule. The peace, the strength, the awareness lives withIN me and I have access to that at all times. In fact, it’s the ONLY thing I have control of 24/7. How I respond, how I engage, how I relate. In fact, I feel so passionate about this process and awakening that I’m leading a free call about it this week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still making lists of what I will need to take with me in order for me to feel healthy, nourished, aligned. All while planning work projects for the FALL and the WINTER which feel like millions of miles away.

So instead I sit here.  On the chair and I wonder how much it all means or matters.

As I create and craft a new biz model that supports me in all areas of my life ( financial, service, community, health, well being, sustainable) I play with the ideas and dreams that meander in and out of my day. The world is noisy- and I want to be quiet.. so how does that work? I don’t want to retire or take time off or let it all go.. but can I do/ be/ create as I want to- without all the noise.

I keep thinking and saying, “is my best work behind me?” ” I’m only 38!” And then I take a deep breath into my belly, close my eyes and feel the ALIVENESS of my energy. Of the season.. I drop into knowing and feeling and BEING with TODAY. I drop into the body and repeat.. I TRUST that I am on the right path for me. I trust my heart and my intuition. I live in abundance and I want to feel my way through this. Navigate. Pivot. Explore. No clue as to what will unfold. It’s all possible. ALL OF IT. The dreams I have, the WOW this is my life.. with intention, with meaning, with purpose.

AND YET, This way of being, the process of exploring the thoughts while feeling my way with no pre-determined outcome, of course brings up DOUBT and FEAR.

It lives in us all. Even those of us who jump, take risks, fall, get back up, fall back down, plan something, love someone, live, breathe, start over and over and over, it’s part of being human. But I can’t let her stop me from trying. I can hear her say “why you?” ” go GET A JOB” ” NOT ENOUGH” and I see her and acknowledge her and hug her and thank her. And she moves on, for now. I know the next time she returns.. it will be less painful, less intense. I don’t believe her.

You see, I can feel in my bones that I meant to do EXACTLY what I am doing right now. It’s ease-full-joy-full- challenging- beautiful- stimulating- and  not to mention, I hear from the woman who have been or  who are students about how potent the teachings are. As I learn and absorb and then surrender, facilitate and share, I can feel the shift. They say, ” I feel lighter. I feel more alive, more awake. I notice more. I feel my body. ”

It’s also part of the reason I am scared. Stepping into your strength, power, calling and greatness can be well- rather overwhelming for someone as sensitive as I am.

But it’s also why I know I’m on the right path. I can feel the energy in my belly, in my days, in my heart.

WHY? b/c it’s the “road less traveled” the road I have always been on.

So, for now I write and I dream. I journal, I vlog and I try with my whole heart to live with the utmost integrity to what I believe and who I am. I want to stretch my body and mind and feel ALIVE. And see where this leads me…

For now.. it’s in events like this.

Retreat like this.

And courses like this.

Stay Tuned..

I have been creating a wellness framework to piggy back on Delight and Thrive books & programs and I can see it all coming together. It’s so fun to dream of how to bring this work forward- and HOW I CAN HELP OTHERS DO THE SAME MAGIC MAKING IN THEIR LIVES. I want to roll up my sleeves, hear what people want- get them to start dreaming and see it come into action… it’s incredible.