Last year, my mom moved from Alabama to Denver to be close to our family after she retired from a prestigious career in education at Montgomery Academy.   I couldn’t be happier that she lives minutes away from me now.  Mom, or as she hopes Otis will be able to call her soon, Vivi, is diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that has moved into her lungs.  A scary diagnosis indeed.   But her will to live, thrive and spread joy daily is a remarkable thing to watch, and I wanted to compile some of her daily medicine and ways she moves through the world.  These are teachings she has stood by all along, but they are absolutely helping to keep this cancer at bay.  And I believe they are universal teachings for us all.

What would Vivi do?


Put your lipstick on.

 Growing up as a southern girl, this was a cultural thing.  She actually meant for me to go put some lipstick on.  But she also means to go brighten myself in whatever capacity I can to be of service.  That’s the ask: To be of service to the room, to my child, to my yoga students, and to my family~ or to whatever is in front of me.   It’s like a good long handstand or a heavy, overdue cry.  It cleans out the gunk and offers a  fresh face forward to breathe into the present moment.  She applies lipstick several times a day, both literally and metaphorically.  I love that about her.  And, it works every time.

Eat/Enjoy/Indulge in Moderation. 

Mom is very polite as she navigates all the gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free/plant-based/paleo/anti-inflammatory shenanigans that my husband, myself and my friends put her through in Denver.  She laughs as she […]