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Is Home Your Happy Place?
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I Love You and Thank You

It's been three months since Michael died. When The Beautiful One returned from her last visit with him and his devoted life partner Jody, she knew much more intimately the . . . [Read More]

Unruly Books: Is Home Your Happy Place? (June)

We are going to read my book Is Home Your Happy Place? together. I know, I know. How exciting might it be to read a book about clutter? Well, it's not . . . [Read More]

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Unruly Rants


There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.

But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.

This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way.  My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.

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November 10, 2015

We Still Can’t Buy Happiness: An Open Letter To Oprah Winfrey


If you’re hunting for the perfect sofa to nap, lounge and roll around on all weekend long, go for the couch with a depth of 36 to 42 inches. – Joann Pan, How To Make Your Home Your Happy Place on

Oprah, this article makes me want to pull my hair out. This is 2015 and you are still talking about how buying more stuff is the way to cultivate happiness in our lives. Still. STILL. 

How is this even possible? Look around.

We’ve been buying more stuff (and the containers and systems to try to live peacefully among it) for years (MANY YEARS) and the search for happiness continues. Most days, it feels like we are further from it than before.

If stuff could make us happy, we would have long ago burst into flames from the intensity of it all. We are overloaded with stuff. Still, not happy.

No, it’s not the extra deep couch, nor is it the layered rugs, or even hotel room bedding trickery that can make home a happy place. And it’s damn sure not the hard corners that will make or break us.

And yes, plants can bring a place to life as little else can but please — for the love of all things glittery — please bring me the person whose home was wildly happy EXCEPT for their crappy lighting. Please. Because I want to meet the person who lives one set of recessed lights short of conquering their happy threshold. Bring them to me and I’ll buy the lights myself!

Now, I’m not saying that these six tips are completely useless. Who doesn’t love a little softness thrown into nice square space. But is happiness what you’re pitching here? Because it feels more like pretty or warm or welcoming, or even  magazine-ready.

Oprah, is this what the women you came to this planet to serve really need to know about cultivating happiness in their lives? 

Maybe it’s time for you to hop back into that sweet bus and tour the humble homes of some of the regular folks in this country? 

Too long, O. It’s been too damn long. 

While you were holed up at HQ making advertising deals with Stuff manufacturers, I’ve been out here trying to pick up the pieces with the women who are drowning in this bullshittery. And let me reassure you, we’ve got ourselves the makings of a crisis here.

They are up to their eyeballs in dishes and laundry, carpool and co-op, homework and holding their families together.  Paper is kicking their collective asses. They are numbing with trips to the mall and Target and the thrift store, convinced it’s nothing like when “addicts” do whatever they use to attempt to feel better.

(Lots of them are numbing with the stuff “addicts” use, too, so don’t go thinking this is not a big deal.)

These women are struggling. Like *really* struggling. They turn to you for guidance because you’re OPRAH. And you keep giving them one more round of buy-more-shit-and-then-you’ll-feel-complete.

I’m dying here. We’re all dying here. Our planet is dying here.

Please just give me one issue about releasing what no longer serves us. Show us how to discover the real reasons why we keep doing so much harm to ourselves and our planet, and then show us how to heal those wounds. Show us how to reconnect with ourselves so we can see what’s true for us, and how the rest is simply holding us in old patterns of the people who no longer want to be. And please, really please, help us figure out how to keep from teaching our children that Stuff will make them happy or this is never going to end.

Oprah, you can do better than this. Let’s have the courage to get REAL with one another. Let’s admit that what we’ve been doing is not working. Let’s admit that we’ve already bought the stuff that was supposed to fix us and we are not yet fixed.

Call me, or read this. We need to cultivate a real solution. Together.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.