The World’s Embrace – A Poem + I Won a LIT PRIZE! + Goodies for Your Heart

The World’s Embrace

You can listen to this poem here and download it for on-the-go listening here.

by Rebecca Villarreal

All I want to do is stick my face in a blueberry

or a toothpick with a sail

and shrink to meet the fae 

as they navigate the frothy waters

or perhaps I’ll slice a garden tomato

marking the circumference

like a kitchen timer

pomodoro raft

reclining and licking

the Maldon salt

in all its pyramid popping

defying the laws of the courts of saline

perhaps I’ll drift onto land

bouyed by sourdough

lightly toasted

and begging for Irish butter

for now, I send you a poem of produce and dough

to save you from despair

you see just when the world seems masked by indifference

or perhaps so much difference

you’ll ask for a poem when

you didn’t know your heart yearned for one


The clay of our ancestors knows

your feet once had roots

your navel was the hollow of a tree

where wrens nested

and eggs hatched




for the cosmic mother

ancient and complete

to send you a blueberry sailboat

a tomato raft

and an island of sourdough

to assure you that you are loved

the soil is your succor

the earthworms your symphony

and the ink of my pen

a love letter to remind you 

that your heart is full

your soul is waiting

and you deserve 

the world’s embrace

I hope you felt lifted by the poem and took the time to listen to the audio version so that you could feel the world’s embrace.


I’ve posted links to 88 Cups of Tea, founded by Yin Chang before. Yin has built the most amazing, supportive, loving, boundaried and NON-COMPETITIVE writing community I have ever witnessed. Consider supporting her Patreon account.

You can hear my name announced at the 1:08 mark in this podcast. I am so honored to be one of three people out of 151 submissions selected for our community’s 5-Year Anniversary Celebration. I had to fill out an application including the first pages of my first chapter of the sequel to The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship as well as a synopsis and the goals of the book among other questions. I won a conversation with Holly Root, of Root Literary Agency. You want to see tears of joy on that one? I came running over to my husband and he was all, “What happened?” And I kept saying, “I won! I won! I won!” and then I played him that moment when my name was announced.

Being a part of the 88 Cups of Tea community has been transformative for my writing. We gather several times a month and write together. And one of my fellow writers told me about Heather Demetrios’ Flow Lab. After completing it, I now write an average of one hour a day, 5 days per week! I just printed my manuscript yesterday and I have forty chapters either started, midway or completed! And the podcasts and articles are like having an M.F.A. for free!

I am sending a HUGE thank you to everyone who has read my first novel, and reviewed it, purchased it and requested it at your local book store or library. I was thrilled to learn that Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon had 20 copies in stock! Recently, I received the most beautiful request from a family based on Oregon. They donated their copy to the fire relief fund in their community, and asked for the best place to purchase a copy so that I would get most of the profit because they needed to have one handy for rainy days! These kinds of stories really keep me going. I can’t wait for you all to read book 2! Hurley has a much larger role and the magic is amazing! And of course we get to travel to Italy and Morocco among other adventures in Chicago.

Goodies for Your Heart

And in other news, this morning I passed the time celebrating life, drinking mint and yarrow tea from my garden, and thinking of Mama Chelo, my grandmother who passed away several years ago at age 105. If you’re a long-time reader, you may remember this poem I wrote after her passing, her 5 Life Lessons post and her Guacamole recipe. This past week I did a cooking demo of that recipe here. A downloadable PDF of the recipe is here.

As I was pouring the tea in the glasses below, I remembered when Mama Chelo was visiting me in Washington, D.C. and we went to Dean and Deluca. She bought me a small basket and two glass tea cups. The cups have been broken for years now. When I got the glasses in the photo below as a free gift for purchasing tea, I jumped at the chance to recreate that special experience with my grandmother again. This morning, I kept pouring the tea as I thought of her. I spilled it all over the table and didn’t care as it was all part of visiting with her in my heart and mind.

The vision I had as I began cleaning up the tea was “The Affliction of Joy.” It’s this feeling that there is so much delight inside of me and it is inextricably tied to the fact that I’ve also experienced great sorrow. It’s almost as if my appreciation for joy, ecstasy and little moments of happiness has been enhanced by the dark times in my life.

As I’ve navigated the drowning grief from the loss of my brother in August and prior to that, my uncle and Godfather in May, I’ve learned some valuable lessons, not only in resilience, but in navigating joy and sorrow and embracing impermanence.

First, take good care of your adrenals, folks. I’m including a photo of some adrenal support snacks from my doctor. (Yes, it’s been on my fridge for months so it’s worn!) What that means for me is concentrating on good sleep and enjoying my caffeine in the morning. What happens if I overdo the afternoon caffeine is that I experience an enormous high that inevitably attracts a big low or dramatic drop in energy. That crash becomes fertile ground for a STUG. What’s a STUG? It’s a Sudden Temporary Upsurge of Grief. You can read about it here. And frankly, it sucks. I had four days of STUGs in September and I literally felt like I was drowning in tears. I called a helpline and spoke to a counselor and, as per my usual, listed the twelve thousands things I do for self-care and my experience navigating trauma and resilience. And though she didn’t tell me anything new, it was helpful to speak to a compassionate professional and focus on myself–not empathy for another person’s experience.

All this is to say that I have also been focusing on the idea of impermanence. My teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh has helped me to understand the idea of no being. In his book, No Death, No Fear, he focuses on the ideal conditions for something or someone to manifest. When I think about the people I’ve lost, whether my grandmother at 105 years old or my brother at 39 years old, I’m getting to a point where I understand that the conditions of their lives existed to support them in their human form for their lifespans on earth. I believe and feel them inside of me now. And I feel them everywhere. In the mint tea I spilled on the table, and in the good fortune I had to win a literary prize. Thich Nhat Hanh compares this to a cloud, which can manifest as rain or as snow. When the rain comes, if you’re looking for the cloud and mourning its passing, you miss the beauty of the rain and the nourishment of the plants and food all around you. Speaking of food, I have learned so much from gardening these last years (Gardener was my word of the year in 2019) and the Cherokee Purple tomato and Jacob’s Cattle Beans in the photos above are grown from the seeds I purchased from Slow Food.

Another very valuable coping strategy from Thich Nhat Hanh can be found on page 101 of his book No Mud, No Lotus. I am including a photo of it below. Of course, I love the very clear connection to trees!

Finally, I recorded the video below for you because I decided that I was going to launch my personal #4monthsoffun where I focused on the inner and outer health of my body (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), my book and my money! I recorded it on September 8, and you can join at any time and make it your own. I linked it to my Mystic Athlete approach. October 8 would make it three months of fun for you, so we can celebrate together on January 8, 2021–that’s the day I officially return to social media.

Continue reading

And For No Reason

A poem inspired by a Hafiz Poem of the same title for my brother, Joey

And for no reason

I write to you on old index cards

except for the reason that you did the same as soon as you could form the letters

‘I Love Beccu’

Master of Phoenetics

with the humor only the King of Pudding or Tuna could muster

You took me to a Midsummer Night’s Dream in roller disco in New York

where all my 1970s flashing-light-fantasies came true

You became the mountain

and the sea

before I was ready for your ephemeral exit

now you’re everywhere in everything

the library book arriving just in time

to save me from the insomnia of sorrow

the quick reflex catching my glasses before they fall

into a watery grave

the mega giant hummingbird visiting the lavender

I say, “Thanks Joey”

Thanks for my broken heart

for loving you as a brother and a son

for rollerskating in the living room

for pointing to the radio and telling me it’s time

for dancing after dishes

our last hug one year ago

Me telling you

I need you to stay

I know what it is not to want to show up

We need you

I love you

And so you gave us one more year

A year of embraces

and another birthday

laughter through the magic of machines

I hold you now

My good luck charm

even as the possibility of a Hafiz verse undoes my grieving heart

and for no reason

I choose to be again

waiting for you to help me find my keys

Of Hope, Waffles, Writing and Kindness

Hello My Bountiful and Beautiful Readers!
I’ve had so many blog posts rolling around in my head and have also wanted to share that 5, count ’em, FIVE friends of mine have started wildly different podcasts since our world has shifted. You can scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the thumbnails and find them on your favorite platform!
Thank you so much to those of you who joined the Coming Together While Living Apart Conference–I saw your names in the chat and it gave me that boost of confidence I needed as I journeyed through an amazing day.

What’s up with me? What’s up with you?


I left social media for six months to work on the sequel to The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. It is going great! Selma’s 5th birthday is August 8, 2020. Mark the date and do something magical for yourself that day! Or read my book or gift it to someone! 

I’m a lucky duck as I have joined the Patreon account of 88 Cups of Tea. The creative director, Yin Chang, hosts write-in sessions called “Tea Time with Yin” and I’m in one right now! In case you’re a new reader, Yin Chang is the host of the podcast 88 Cups of Tea. She brings a level of enthusiasm and curiosity to interviews with writers of diverse backgrounds and genres and always leaves me with so much inspiration! It’s like having a portable M.F.A. in my phone 24-7. And the writers in the community are so inspiring, welcoming and full of resources too. I recently learned about Heather Demetrios FREE 30-day Flow Lab and I start that tomorrow. She has a bunch of wonderful free resources available on her site. I also had a geek attack when I stumbled upon this conversation with David Abram in Dr. Sharon Blackie’s This Mythic Life. 

Another book to book conversation I’ve listened to twice is between Alicia Keys and Sue Monk Kidd. If you’re a writer, you might want to join the Author Accelerator Inside Outline webinar on August 14.  My new editor and I are delving into this and other resources as we excitedly collaborate to finish my second novel!

I have also been reading, reading, reading. Right now I’m enthralled with Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman. She is the author that made me decide to pursue writing for the rest of my life. It was her book, The Beet Queen, that was the deciding factor for me. She has an ability to create characters who live outside the books. When I read her work, I think about them and I wonder what they’re doing in that moment or what they will do next. That is the absolute magic of her work. I aspire to create that kind of relationship for you with my characters as well. Another book I’m enjoying now is Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorram. There’s an immediate empathy for Darius and his inner journey as well as an actual family journey to Iran that has kept me gripped. I have also completed the Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi and the Storm Runner Series by J.C. Cervantes and finished Rebecca Roanhorse’s Race to the Sun —- all wonderful adventures that have taken me through action and Hindu, Mayan and Navajo mythology, respectively.  

And please remember the new section of my blog called, “Will You Take My Hand?” It’s chock full of Black Lives Matter-related resources for BIPOC and more.


Lots of folks have been making sourdough (did it), cooking more at home and finding their way through our new normal. I have lots of cooks and bakers that I follow and will save that for another blog post down the road. I have a deep affection for waffles but have never owned a [working] waffle iron until now. My favorite waffle mix is Simple Mills. I add vanilla extract and lemon zest to the batter. The one above got a little crispy and was delicious!

Who cares?

Here’s the lesson in the waffles…they were always this treat that I got outside of the home. (Yes, I know about frozen waffles and they have their own nostalgia for me but they just don’t do the trick.) I borrowed a neighbor’s waffle iron one weekend to see what it felt like to make waffles at home. It was easy and brought me so much joy. AND I watched Scooby-Doo cartoons while eating them on Saturday morning. My husband sat there right with me in his own waffle heaven and said, “Let’s get the same waffle iron right now!” It was a little over $20 and it has brought this “diner brunch” experience into our home. And I can’t wait to try some savory waffle recipes!

When I think about wishes and dreams and embodiment–a.k.a. borrow the waffle maker, see how you feel making them at home–it reminds me of how I have, in small incremental steps, done this sort of thing my whole life. I love the water, the ocean and nature. While living in Chicago–I looked for that sweet weedy flower pushing its way through the concrete. I found time to walk by the Lake and I went to the recreation center to swim. None of these experiences were the full deep immersive hiking and boogie boarding life that I have now. But I wanted this life so badly. And so I created pieces of it with my imagination and with the ingredients available to me.  Then I saved, planned, wished and LET GO. There’s a surrender experience to wishing that involves releasing “grasping energy.” The grasping energy keeps you in a tailspin of why you don’t have the job/home/partner/money/peace that you want.

To that end, bringing it back to the waffles, find something small and free that offers you the seed of experiencing what you want. My mentor, Lindsey Pera, calls this the prism process. I had been doing this my whole life, thanks to my imagination and doggedness. It has led to my greatest travel adventures to Spain, France and Italy–mostly for free. My husband really wants to go back to Italy and you can catch him practicing his Italian with free YouTube videos every single day. If you want to learn more about my journey to manifesting magic, you might enjoy my Secrets from the Olive Grove post 

This is me in front of La Torre Rossa in Itri, Italy. The tower dates back to the 13th century and the giant wheel below is part of the olive pressing process–and you can see my book just hanging out there. I’ve been deep in the writing sections in Italy and as a result have been cooking Italian dishes, drying my gorgeous oregano from the garden and drinking a glass or two of Italian wine!

All this manifesting hasn’t been as easy as it may look. Upon reflection, it could have been easier, if I rested in a level of trust and ease. And another element is focus. To that end, you might want to check out this video by Dandapani. He offers free mental health tools on his site as well. I have been using his app for a tiny short daily journal in the evening and at night. I also have enjoyed this loving kindness meditation on Insight Timer by Manoj Dias. This meditation is powerful as it helps you to direct loving kindness to yourself and then to others. If you are hard on yourself, it’s especially helpful in exercising your kindness muscle toward your own precious heart. I also have listened to lots of meditations by Andrew Johnson as well. Oh and I just did the loving kindness meditation today (on the same site) by Heather Demetrios (of the Flow Lab mentioned above) where you send loving kindness to yourself and to other writers! Very cool. 

Finally, I share with you this photo taken just the other day in a moment of ecstasy, gratitude and pause. I am in the water, mermaiding it up and knowing that this kiddo from Philly who got to body surf in the ocean at the Jersey shore a few times each summer — can now smell the salt water of the Pacific and jump in the pool daily. I know this is all a gigantic privilege. While in some sense, I could say that I have paid a lot of dues in grief and trauma–I don’t have to justify my joy for this life and you don’t have to justify your quest for happiness. Take those small measured steps into the life you’ve always wanted for your heart, mind, body and soul. The world needs you to realize your dreams, no matter how big or small. They are part of why you were put here on this earth.
And for some tools to realize your dreams, I present to you…my amazing friends! 

Your Sacred Wild Soul: Monica Garcia and M. Ruth McCants are two PhDs who will give you a level of love, compassion, clarity and straight talk about what’s moving through our universe at the moment through the lens of Tarot and Astrology. Monica is one of my best friends and has a superpower for empathy and intuitive insight. And Ruth knows astrology like she was born with it in her DNA.  

Walk Inn Beauty: Ho’omalamalama Brown and I co-facilitate a monthly mastermind together. She is an amazing and inspiring human who touches upon Hawaiian culture (you get to learn a new word each episode), and generational wisdom about health, wealth and relationships, creativity, planning and so much more. Her episodes are short and sweet and joyful.

She Will Not Be Silenced Women’s Leadership Podcast: Keisha Shields and I spent one full year together in an intimate mastermind experience led by Lindsay Pera. Keisha has given me some of the most profound and insightful advice for my life and business as it relates to my personal story and the legacy I want to leave in this world. Her gentle and direct approach comes through in the episodes I have enjoyed.

Hey Girl, Thrive: Samaria Williams partnered with Akiva Harris, both therapists in this recently launched podcast. In full transparency, I haven’t listened yet! There are only two episodes so far–but I will say this: Samaria was a featured speaker in the conference I just co-hosted for the Intergenerational Grief panel and she is a lovely, compassionate and knowledgeable human being. She has held my hand through some painful moments and done it with grace, faith and again, a deep knowing of my suffering and how to help me out of it.

The Giant PauseCatherine Solomons is co-owner of 28 Well Hung in London and is doing such important work in the world for our food systems and the earth. She’s brilliant. Her podcast focuses on: “Creativity in a time of corona. Inspiring responses during lockdown of local business and communities – mainly in South London – pivoting and thriving in the strangest of times.” 

One day, Catherine said this to me, 

You are the cosmic mother that you need. You are ancient and complete.

I was all, “whaaaaaa???” And honestly, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and kept it front and center for weeks. Just yesterday when I was navigating some disappointment in a loved one and the hurt was a familiar old hurt, I paused, noticed and observed my feelings rather than cause my own deep suffering (all over again because let’s face it, I’m an expert at that). I remembered what she said. Through all of our wounds and grief, we can heal ourselves with compassion and ascend into a new level of consciousness so that we don’t have to live in the past and be limited by it. And also, WAFFLES!

Sending you love with butter and syrup! Go forth and build that life. YOU DESERVE IT!

Please Join Me on June 30!

Nourish Your Heart. Expand Your Mind. June 30 – Register here.

Friends, this is a first. I have never ever shared an event from my job on this site. And here’s why I am sharing it–this upcoming day represents the intersection of all that you read on my blog and how I earn my living. It’s what my mentor Lindsay Pera (and Buddhist tradition) calls Right Livelihood.

I will be speaking at the beginning of the conference about my personal experience in  Resilience Mapping: Transforming Trauma into Joy. This is what we call a #viewsmyown kind of talk offering approaches that you can use to thrive, especially during these times.

You can register for this free event here.

Coming Together While Living Apart is a free virtual conference focused on creating hope and connection and providing practical tools and knowledge you can use right away. And you’ve read about Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, How We Meet and Why It Matters in a previous post of mine. She is one of our speakers! I’ll be hosting her in a fireside chat at the culmination of the day.

When you visit the registration page, you can view the schedule for this live event (as well as the bios of the panelists, moderators and speakers) which runs from 12:00pm ET-3:45pm ET with a break in the middle. Find your local time zone here.

Here’s the journey

12:00 PM Welcome 
Audrey Grove, Director of Community Services & Social Accountability, Masonicare 
Resilience Mapping: Transforming Trauma into Joy  
Rebecca Villarreal, AARP Advisor, Office of Community Engagement  

Connecting Mind, Heart, Body & Soul through the Expressive Arts  
Moderator: Gary Ware, Breakthrough Play
Jennifer Fijal-Brevik, Instructor for the Adult Chamber Choir at the University of Hartford’s Community Division 
Juan Brito, Artist, Composer, Musician, Editor and Social Worker
Susan Holmes, Expressive Arts Facilitator for Masonicare Home Health & Hospice 
Marissa McInerney Expressive Arts Therapist Center for Discovery

Creating a Path for Zero Isolation  
Nicholas R. Nicholson Jr., PhD, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC, Associate Professor, Quinnipiac University School of Nursing 

1:45 PM 10 minute BREAK  
1:55 PM Gather

Thriving in Troubled Times: How We Can Normalize Acute Stress 
Dr. Richard Kamin MD, FACEP University of CT Health Center 
Unlocking Creativity: Your Path to Joy & Mastery  
Gary Ware, Breakthrough Play 

The Presence of Absence: An Intergenerational Response to Grief 
Moderator:  Claudia E. Oakes, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, University of Hartford
Mala Matacin, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Hartford
Samaria Williams, Licensed Psychotherapist/Adjunct Professor, Co-Founder, Hey Girl, Thrive podcast

Beverly Bryda, MSW, ACSW – Director of Social Work, Masonicare Healthcare Center 

How to Be Together Apart Virtual Fireside Chat
Priya Parker, Author, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
Rebecca Villarreal, Community Organizer, AARP

Wrap Up and Gratitude 

Rebecca Villarreal, AARP 

I hope that you will make time to join all or part of the conference!

Personally, I’ve been on a journey to health after illness, grief after the passing of a family member and rage and anguish over the collective suffering of people due to the pandemic and the ongoing injustice and suffering of our black community. Check out my resources of support on my new page Will You Take My Hand?

I think this conference will be healing for me and for so many. Let’s come to the table, learn and celebrate a future where we can be together, together.

The Book of Loss and Learning

—for the Mothers

You can listen to this poem here.

By Rebecca Villarreal

How many shares would blond blue-eyed darlings get

if wearing hoodies got them killed?

or jogging?

Would we see documentaries flashing back to soccer teams

and lemonade stands?

Would the lineup of captured offenders parade your feed?

How many vigils?

How much b-roll of crying family members?

Now we get hashtags

for black and brown

searching for systemic change

root cause

If there were superheroes to re-plant our origins

where might the story shift?

Our First Nations families might have fed our love of the land

rather than moved, contained, separated and boarded

now man camps and pipelines

snake their way into cracks in the earth

where women and girls turn to shadows

And what of the lettuce, strawberries, melons

now in a world six feet over?

The hands without documents can stay because we need food

and we need hands to pick the food

but their children go in cages

where there are documents of dying, abused and touched

The braid of being

Black in America

First here Wisdom Keepers

and Brown and borderless

Let us remember the all of Asia

and the fear of blame for the crown worn across the globe

If Gaia could speak

and in truth she has

there might be her own sort of lineup

A red thread connecting us

the nations are none

soil and seed

sun and rain

vitamins nourish

our one heart

She decided to make us see

You are not immune

You are

You shall thrive

You shall not

the lines are divided by us

by the funds for personal protection

What if the world spun on service?

What if money was not the currency of power?

What if kindness took the helm?

What if love rose up from Mauna Kea?

What if the mothers took over?

In a dystopian film there might be grief camps for offenders

so they could feel the heartache of losing the babies we raised for freedom

The mothers would pivot away from assault rifles in protest

Lock hands

Roots in

Wings up

Read you The Book of Loss and Learning

So we may

clean the wound

speak the unspoken

whisper truth in song

until it becomes

one with

our pulse

Our One pulse

hand on your heart

feel it

mirror the earth




© Rebecca Villarreal 2020

*Sculpture Artist Unknown – please let me know if you know.*

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #13 – The Secret Whisper Tree

What wishes might you share with the Secret Whisper Tree? What are some of your biggest and boldest dreams? After being asked that question while listening to the interview of Glennon Doyle by Marie Forelo featured in Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11, I’ve been contemplating that quite a bit–especially when it comes to how I spend my time and my overall lifestyle.
Many of us around the world are home bound right now. Many folks also struggle with insomnia or anxiety due to current events. Why not channel some of the monkey mind time into answering, “What is it that I really truly enjoy?” You can make a list. For example, I’m wrapping up Spring Break staycation and one of my favorite things is to linger in the morning and read with zero commitments while sipping tea and eating my Scafuri Bakery cookies for breakfast. Yup, pure decadence. Is that dream too small? Can I live that dream right now? I can make it happen on the weekends.
Of course I have even bigger, bolder dreams of time and space to work on my novels and seeing them on the big screen. I can imagine a world where I have all of the financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and magical supports I need to foster exactly the kind of lifestyle I enjoy. I also love to garden and grow my own food.
Here’s the thing about dreams: you can start to live them inch by inch by embodying the things you enjoy doing. For me, that’s planting vegetables and herbs and then cooking them. Do I have a lot of land or know a lot about gardening? No and no. Am I doing it anyway? Yes. Before my first novel, had I ever completed writing a book? No. Did I plug away at it for ten years while working full-time and raising an amazing human? Yup. The point is: whisper your dreams into that tree and try something–even while at home. If you want to live in France–research the country. Learn the language. Watch movies that take place there. This in-between time can at least partially be turned into a gift.
If you are a front-line worker in the medical field, farming, grocery, public safety, delivery or any other essential role, I say thank you! I realize that you may not have the bandwidth to dream right now, but know that I pray for you and give thanks for you every single day. And I also don’t underestimate the stress for those who have lost their income, so dreaming does not necessarily feel like a practical option. But maybe, just maybe if you let yourself wish a little, maybe there will be an opening for you to try something new or build a new skill or further develop a talent that could lead to a new and better job. Again, I’m not minimizing here, I am just trying to find some light beams to keep us all going.


Onward to this week’s resources featuring real talk for navigating these times by Brené, vulnerable and valuable insights from my friend Samaria and fabulous fashion for family dogs from my friend Mona:

  1. Brené Brown on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 myth and Settling the Ball
  2. Mama Fuel: How Can We Make This Moment Meaningful? Samaria Williams on grace & writing your own narrative
  3. Small Business Feature: Flowerchild – In the interests of lifting up creative people and supporting small business owners, check out Flowerchild’s dog jackets below. You can custom order or Mona might just have a design that fits your pup. You can check her out her site or Instagram and send her a DM or email her at

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. *Quick request: I have done this weekly experiment for 3 months now and I’m analyzing whether to keep it weekly or move to monthly. Please let me know if you still want this weekly or if switching to monthly makes more sense. You can comment or shoot me an email that simply says “weekly” or “monthly” at
  2. Navigating Grief and Joy at the same time: If you or someone you know is struggling, check out my resources page for help.
  3. Dream a little and share your wishes with the Secret Whisper Tree.
  4. Practice taking a nap this week–even if you don’t sleep, rest your body for 10 minutes straight–or even 5.
  5. Take a break from the news for one day. Notice how your mind, heart and body feel. Write 1-3 sentences about what you notice. 
  6. Tell someone that you love them. Remember that I love you.

That’s all for this week! 

Look for the magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!

Flash 60-minute Magical Writing Session Now

Greetings from my magical writing lab,

It’s Thursday, March 26 at 12:30pm PT.

Join me now for 60-90 minutes or whenever you find this to jumpstart your writing today – link below

I’m on Zoom transcribing my novel. I won’t be talking much. If you want focus and company while writing, let’s go.

At the end of the hour, we might chat a bit to share what we got done. That’s totally optional.

Click here to join.


Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #12 – Feed the Love

Greetings to the whole human race,

We’ve come to see each other again, haven’t we? We now deeply know what it is to break bread together side by side. And we are finding new pathways to nourishing community as well as reconnecting to mother nature. This week’s Magical Mondays is themed “Feed the Love” — just the way you feed sourdough starter. Let’s offer hope and take back our individual and collective power by supporting each other. 

Here are resources for this week:

  1. Chapters 2 + 3 Reading in the Woods of my novel The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. As I write the sequel, it is important for me to go back and read my own book to make sure that I don’t confuse even the most minor details. So I figured, why not read it aloud to you? You can view the “live” reading of Chapter 1 here.

  2. Brené Brown’s new podcast Unlocking Us features a wonderful concept: FFTs – trust me and listen. It’s perfect for these times.
  3. Journey into the world of Jackie M. Wood, self-proclaimed messy painter: Jackie and I are in a monthly mastermind together which I co-facilitate. She offers some inspiring and affordable abstract mini art prints here.  I got to follow along with her recent cross-country trip via Instagram as she captured landscapes on her journey. Enjoy the gentle beauty of her work!

  4. Free Wellness Classes and Connections: Check out Creative Live’s Free Health and Wellness Classes here. Or join me every weekday with Ho’omalamalama Brown as she offers a 5-minute morning burst of exercise daily at 6:30am-ish PT to get you going. I don’t always catch them live but I do them when I wake up and it’s just the encouragement I need. You can sign up for more info here and then you’ll get the link to the private Facebook group where she streams every weekday.Then I move into my home yoga practice or have some fun with Tabata

  5. Music – Follow D-Nice and Quest Love on IG or YouTube for some amazing music during this time at home. Check out a glimpse here. Musicians like Nahko have also offered concerts where each view leads to a non-profit donation.
  6. Get Some Yummy + Support Small a Small Business: My favorite Italian Bakery in Chicago is Scafuri Bakery. I am thrilled to let you know that they are still shipping online orders of their amazing cookies and loaves. Get a discount with the code SMILE2020 for the rest of March. Pictured below is the Cuccidati, Pignoli and Chocolate Orange Ricotta Pound Cake Loaf. Say that last one fast three times with your mouth full of cake. I dare ya!
  7. Free Slow Food Live Webinars: Learn to Plant a Seed on Thursday, March 26 at 11am PT/2pm ET by registering here.You can register for the Zero Waste Minestrone webinar on March 27th at the same time here.
  8. Bethany Webster’s 3P Method: She is the world’s leading expert on The Mother Wound, author of the forthcoming book, Discovering the Inner Mother, and wrote a very helpful post called, “The Holy Simplicity of Sitting with Our Pain.” She also recently shared the following approach in her newsletter:

Here is a quick process to help you feel safer and less anxious during this time of uncertainty.

I call it the 3P Method:

Pause, Pivot, Provide tender holding.

1) Pause:

Stop in the moment and notice what is happening for your inner child. You may notice an underlying panicky feeling, a negative inner narrative, or a feeling of being trapped or unsafe.

2) Pivot:

After you pause, turn to the distressed inner child. Here you become the inner mother self, bringing a sincere, loving curiosity to her and what she’s feeling in the moment.

3) Provide tender holding:

How is the little one within you?

I invite you to consciously bring her or him lots of nurturing, reassurance, tenderness and gentle calm.

You can simply say:

“I’m here with you Little One. I can see you’re scared right now, which is natural and normal, given what you’ve been through. I’m here with you to keep you safe. All is well.”

Consider signing up for her newsletter if you like her work. She even offers a free e-book called What is the Mother Wound?

Okey dokey, I have more, but I’ll stop before Monday turns into Tuesday!  Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Leave a note of encouragement outside a neighbor’s door.
  2. Stay hydrated with water and warm liquids.
  3. Try a new class online.
  4. Rest.
  5. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. Assume a well of good intentions as people navigate the new normal for now.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday! There are clues everywhere!

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #11 – #CampFTC

Greetings from #CampFTC,

Looking for some magical distraction? Watch and listen to me read Chapter 1 of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon:

Stay tuned to my Instagram account where I’ll keep you posted on my next chapter reading.

I have a lot of fun resources for you this week and in case you missed last week’s edition, do check out some of the nourishing resources here.

I hope you’ll join me at #CampFTC by using the hashtag to share creative ideas on staying home for those with non-essential jobs, as well as going out into nature for a breath of fresh air. I also want to acknowledge small business owners who are doing what they can to stay in business and to stay careful during this difficult time. If you’re wondering what FTC stands for, it’s Flatten the Curve. You can read Flattening a Pandemic’s Curve: Why Staying Home can Save Lives and this message from concerned physicians to gain a deeper understanding into the importance of our collective choices. These articles are particularly helpful for individuals who are still in denial about the pandemic. We have a chance to significantly slow down the community spread. And if nothing else, this interview with Michael Osterholm, an internationally recognized expert on infectious disease epidemiology will give you the scientific details needed to convince anyone who is doubting the value of social distancing and washing hands as demonstrated in this video.

And most of all here is a List of Personal Things You Can Do to Stay Well.

So let us all know what you are doing with the hashtag #CampFTC — no idea is too small:

  1. Organizing your spice rack
  2. Dance alone in the living room
  3. Dress your cat in fine attire
  4. Cook something you’ve never tried before
  5. Write a poem
  6. Use the telephone to have a live conversation with someone
  7. Sing at the top of your lungs
  8. Hike in nature

Here are this week’s resources:

  1. What’s your one truest dream? This and many more questions are asked in Marie Forleo’s interview of Glennon Doyle Melton regarding her new book, Untamed.

2. Inspiration from Sir Isaac Newton – he was homebound for a similar reason and guess what he did.

3. Armchair exploration – Here’s a link to virtual tours at museums around the world. And here are virtual field trips. And you can enjoy an epic 12-hour mix charting the history of spiritual jazz here.

4. The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker – how can we take the approaches by Parker and apply them to a virtual space? Let’s get creative! You can listen to a wonderful podcast interview with her, titled “Gathering as a Form of Leadership” here and here. Or look on your favorite podcast app and search for the Sounds True podcast to find it.

There’s always more to share, but for now, I invite you to stay close to home, let’s bring our globe back to a level of health and think most about those with compromised immune systems. 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Share the resources in this post.
  2. Create anything.
  3. Sleep and rest as much as possible.
  5. Try to stay nourished with nutrient-rich foods.
  6. Practice social distancing (6 feet or more between people), stay home and get out in nature — and wash your hands thoroughly.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday — there are STILL clues everywhere.

Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #10 – Eat

Hello Hungry Hungry People,

We are hungry for food, hugs, love, naps and why not be hungry for inspiration? I’m hoping that this week’s edition of Rebecca’s Magical Mondays fills up your hearts, bellies and minds.

I’ve fallen into a big rabbit hole following Samin Nosrat, author of Salt Fat Acid Heat thanks to an unexpected delightful stop on the way home from the Nahko and Medicine for the People concert at Plenty on Bell in Los Alamos, CA where I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich, perfectly strong iced tea (and I’m picky about that) and THE BEST peanut butter cookies of my entire life — think nutter butter for adults! Photos are below.

And amazing news! You are invited to a monthly mastermind that I’m co-facilitating with Ho’omalalama Brown of — our next online gathering is Saturday, March 21st at 11am Pacific Time. (You can calculate your time zone here.) She is an amazing and inspiring multi-passionate entrepreneur who always brings new, creative and practical resources as well as deep roots in Hawaiian culture.

Here’s how it works: a group of entrepreneurs, writers, artists and creatives gather online for 90 minutes. During the first 20 minutes, we state our goals for the session. Then we stay online together and at least start on those goals, then come back for the last 25 minutes and share what we accomplished. We get feedback and ideas from the facilitators and participants if we need help solving for something or advice on next steps. It has been so motivating for me. And get this: you can drop in monthly for only $20. You can click on my PayPal link or Venmo if you would like to join us! It is so energizing to know that I can count on a monthly gathering to kick start me to get that project done–be it transcribing my novel, crafting a production schedule, revisiting and getting clear on my goals or organize my finances.

Here are this week’s resources:

A. Samin Nosrat interviews I love: For simplicity’s sake, I’ve shared links that work no matter your device, but you can find these interviews on your favorite podcast app:

  1. How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
  2. Keep Calm and Cook On with Julia Turshen

These are two of my favorites–but I’ve listened to at least six interviews because I am a complete Salt Fat Acid Heat nerd.

B. Alexis Saloutos of Chakredy is offering a free webinar on March 11 at 11am PT on Energetic Grounding for Collective Anxiety. I like the way Alexis shows up in the world and believe that she will offer helpful approaches to navigating these times.

C.  Booklists at Social Justice Books – A Teaching for Change Project – Explore!

I hope you explore this! I loved learning about all of the American Indians in Children’s Literature books. In case you didn’t know it, since the publication of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon in 2015, I have donated 5% of all net profits to Teaching for Change.

D. Slow Food – Plant a Seed Kit – I thought that if you haven’t already explored Slow Food, you might like to learn more about it. Either way, their plant a seed kit is just the hope some of us need right now. The links provided are for the U.S. but there are Slow Food groups all over the world.

Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Cook something delicious! Check out the resources connected to Salt Fat Acid Heat to explore a new approach if you already cook or try something new if you are a novice in the kitchen.
  2. Tell someone about the chance to join our monthly mastermind by sharing this post.
  3. Explore the booklists above — they cover everything from Activism to Gender Identity to Arab Americans to Voting Rights!
  4. Deep breaths this week loveys. Here’s a quick video of me at the beach. And in case you need more ocean sounds, I recorded this 10-minute Ocean Meditation.

And remember, look for magic in the everyday. There are clues everywhere!