March: The Month for the Meditative Mind

Welcome to March, with flowers, fun, and the chance to get out with nature. This is the month to practice being in a neutral state, a meditative state to see the whole picture...

Frankly, writing for this month has been very challenging. I have seriously struggled with finding those empowering and healing words until today. Instead of neutral, I have placed myself in a mental box, not being very neutral at all, and seriously stuck... grrrrr.

Today I met with my monthly group of wonderful and supportive women for our regrouping breakfast. While we are gathering to update each other on our lives in general, we are also slowly working through a book called "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck. (A very fun book).

The most important part is that this day reminded me that through community and with the power of the feminine: I need to laugh more, have fun, see life as play, have an adventure, practice non-reactivity, be a good listener, stay meditative many times through the day, keep the story of empowerment alive, and in all ways seek joy. Through these things, we raise the vibration of not just ourselves but everyone around us. It is for sure the most win-win lifestyle we can do.

As a bonus, today is International Womens' Day: who knew? Happy Women's Day!!!!!
There is nothing more empowering than women coming together with the intention of raising the vibration of the world.

So, as I am renewed, I hope you are able to feel this heart-blessed vibration and pass it on. Our intention to heal and our intention to vibrate at our highest and most joyful selves IS how we change the world. AND it seems apparent that it is the feminine energy of the heart that will accomplish this goal.

February 2017: The Month of ideas to build on...

Here we are in February and if you have learned about polarity, yin-yang, true-false, action-reaction, diversity, and what feels bad vs what feels good, then you are acutely aware as I am, of the unprecedented challenge yet sincere desire to feel and remain inspired and grateful. As almost every emotion is torn open like a gapping wound to be dissected, we seem to be left with enormous resistance, fear, depression, and discord.
How does this cycle break? The lower vibration of 'fighting" a cause, simply begets the same low vibration in a perpetual spiral down. We need, instead to be able to see the polarity with curiosity, set our sites on what makes us happy, and attract that energy to us. NOW!!!
Not so easy? Pick a project, see the good outcome potential in the best interest of all involved, grow a feeling of momentum in your mind with this project that leaves a sense of feeling good, refuse to dwell on what feels bad about the project, and fly with that every day.
Be the observer and when you feel good, build the momentum. When you don't feel good, pause through meditation, breathing techniques, prayer, or a nap. Then return to the focus of what feels good and uplifts others.
Yogi Bhajan once said among many other things that: We must understand through compassion or we will misunderstand the times.
Below is a letter written to me from my niece, Elisabeth, describing her beautiful experience of participating in the women's peace march in Washington. Her account is refreshing, personal and seen through and for beauty. Please enjoy. And blessings.

"Hello dear ones,
I'm not sure what the march looked like on the news, so here's my report from the ground.

We boarded our bus at 8pm on Friday night from a school parking lot in Rockport, ME, loaded down with snacks, funny hats, cardboard signs, and lots of enthusiasm. There were 52 peppy Maine women, as well as 4 men who made not a peep on the journey. One of the men took the seat beside the bus lavatory, which was the first sign of widespread male deference that carried through the weekend.

The first stop was a rest area in Massachusetts. Upon discovering the squalid state of the bus toilet, we all decided to hold it until the bus stopped, only to discover the women's restroom locked. Fifty-two women stormed the men's bathroom. I made a joke suggesting that our fight lie here, at this brick artifice, where we would protest tirelessly until the women's bathroom was open to all! Unfortunately, I had not gained adequate report with the group for my joke to be well received--or maybe everyone was too occupied with the state of their bladders.

I would be surprised to learn that anyone slept on the way to D.C. The uncomfortable bus seats combined with anticipation was too much for us. Every few hours someone would walk around with a box of mini-whoopie pies, a Maine delicacy donated to our cause by a local baker. I abstained from sugar and nibbled on radishes, dried cranberries and hard-boiled eggs. Day broke to grey mist, and spirits were still high. We sang a few songs, passed around more treats, and also a black Sharpie so everyone could write their name and an emergency contact number on an arm. This was sobering for me. In the months leading up to the march, I've intentionally blocked thoughts of what could happen to a large crowd of women in these strange times. I heard friends say they weren't going because what if someone drove a truck through the crowd, what if someone put a bomb in a trashcan, what if Trump has us all arrested, what if what if-- The Sharpie moment passed quickly and without discussion. We talked about whether to carry rain coats, how much water to bring, who has a roll of duct tape...

Because of bus traffic outside D.C., we were 3 hours late arriving, disembarking in the stadium parking lot at 9am. I formed a small group with Elizabeth, Lee (my friend and boss), and four others. The six of us merged into the river of women and some men which flowed for a few miles to the capitol building. As we walked through residential streets of D.C., many people were outside their houses waving and showing support, or offering paper cups of coffee. We passed an African American church where parishioners filled the steps, cheering us on, and offering us use of their bathrooms. The atmosphere was absolutely joyous. Law enforcement were respectful and respected, guiding the way, offering alternative routes to the capitol, returning smiles and waves. We weren't even to the rally yet, and people of all ages and backgrounds were singing, meeting each other, photographing each other's signs.

When we passed the capitol, we entered the deep mass of humans, crushed into the street from building to building. Soon, near the park by the National Gallery, we couldn't move. Shoulder to shoulder for hours. We couldn't get anywhere near the rally, so we missed all the speakers (which I finally heard recordings of yesterday). It was uncomfortable and unnerving to be stuck like that, but the crowd remained joyful, kind, and respectful. If someone needed to move through, the crowd found a way, everyone--without exception in my experience--made space with politeness and consideration. Singing, chanting, and raucous cheers moved through the streets in enormous waves. After awhile I felt like a little buoy bobbing in a sea, and I had to stare up at a bare tree to get my bearings and combat dizziness.

After a few hours it seemed we might not get to march. Rumors were passing through the crowd that the march route was already packed with people so there was no where to go. Even with this, people were optimistic, saying that it didn't matter if marched. What mattered was that we were all standing together in huge numbers. But we all faced the direction that the march was supposed to move and waited. Soon, a miraculous wave passed down the street, where each person said, TURN AROUND!, spun 180 degrees, and in an instant we all about-faced and in minutes the crowd began to march! I wonder how this happened. We headed off in the other direction, turned a corner, and walked for hours, apparently filling many streets, converging and diverging as long fluid rivers of people! We marched parallel to the Mall in the direction of the White House, which had been completely blocked off, and then zigzagged through the city for miles.

It's true that many people were angry. I've never been so angry. Many people are frightened. I'm frightened. Many people I walked with have much more reason to be angry and afraid than I am. Women in headscarves. Women of color. Transwomen. Women who fear deportation. Women who fear for the future of their children and grandchildren. The day was physically challenging for me, yet there were women with walkers and in wheelchairs. There were women carrying children. The news says there were more than half a million of us in D.C. There were no incidents of violence that I heard of. When we passed armed young men in National Guard uniforms, the crowd cheered for them and they smiled like little boys. People are angry and afraid, but what was so extraordinary was how those feelings en masse transformed into a great strength and that strength produced palpable JOY! I've really never experienced anything like it. I don't know what will come out of this day. I heard an estimate that on January 21 more than 4 million women and men who support women marched worldwide. What will come of this? Hopefully more women will run for office and take on leadership roles in our communities. Hopefully we'll remember what it felt like to walk with kindness and respect beside those who look different from us. It was so wonderful reading all the signs people carried. What does this individual woman care most about? Many women were outraged that our country elected a man who has spoken so disrespectfully, contemptuously and unapologetically about women and people of color. Some signs were about clean water. Some were about reproductive rights. Some were about civil rights for Blacks, Natives, Muslims, Latinas. Many women are terrified by climate-change denial. I loved seeing the thought and creativity that went into each sign, held high on aching arms, and how the crowd made space for and carried along all these messages. Hopefully some of us will remember that feeling of anger turning to joy.

Around 4:30pm the crowd began to really spread and people started mingling in groups or looking for food. Somehow, the original six in our group had managed to stay together, although often we'd had to form a chain so we didn't drift apart. Elizabeth, our new friend Pattie, and I decided to turn back toward the stadium. We figured it would take a few hours to walk back. The rest of our group planned to find dinner and take the Metro back, but I wanted to stay outside and above ground. We were able to squeeze against buildings and work our way slowly back against the current. It was amazing to see how many thousands of people were still marching through streets we'd passed hours before! We passed the Trump hotel, where protesters were leaving their signs in great drifts against the chain-link fence that barricaded the hotel entrance.

As evening fell, we passed the Capitol building again, back into the residential streets. Some people stood in front of their houses handing out bottles of water, snacks, and offering directions. Locals mingled among us and asked how far we'd traveled and if we needed anything. We got back to the bus and nestled back into our uncomfortable seats, just glad to be sitting. As each Mainer boarder our bus, we cheered. At 8pm when we were all accounted for, we depart D.C. I fell asleep immediately, woke at a rest stop in Delaware, then slept straight through until first light, when the dreary half-frozen salt marshes outside told me we were in Maine. A wonderful sight. We arrived back in Rockport at 7:30am on Sunday morning. Friends and family had set up a table with hot coffee and donuts. Elizabeth and I drove to a diner and ate poached eggs.

I thought of so many loved ones when I was marching. All the people I wished were with me, or who I wished could feel some of the power and joy of the day. I also kept thinking of this poem, which my mentor Joanna published a few years ago. So I'll leave you with her poem, which expresses better than I can the way I want to be in this world, whatever this world may be. Love, Elisabeth"

PROCESSIONAL (by Joanna Klink)

If there is a world, let me be in it.
Let fires arise and pass. The sky fill with evening air
then sink across the woodlots and porches,
the streams thinning to creeks.
In winter there will be creatures half-locked in ice,
storms blown through iron grates, a drug of whitest ardor.
Let the old hopes be made new.
Let stacks of clouds blacken if they have to
but never let the people in this town go hungry.
Never let them fear cold. If there is a world,
let it not be temporary, like these vague stars.
Let us die when we must. And spinelessness
not overtake us, and privation,
let rain bead across tangled lavender plants.
If there is a world where we feel very little,
let it not be our world. Let worth be worth
and energy action--let blood fly up to the surface skin.
If you are fierce, if you are cynical, halfhearted, pained--
I would sit with you awhile, or walk next to you,
and when we take leave of each other after so many years,
the oaks will toss their branches in wheels of wind
above us--as if it had mattered, all of it,
every second. If there is a world.

January 2017: the YEAR of Starting ANEW

Here we are in 2017 after a whirlwind year of closure and completion. Now we begin a new cycle of growth. This is a beautiful start to a year of much change and plenty of opportunities to develop a sense of flexibility with a neutral mind.
This year requires that we look straight at the previous year events and forgive all the hurts with open heart. That is very important in order for us to reap the benefits of seeing life through the lens of higher consciousness.
It is a time of continuing to forgive while not attaching to the perceptions that 'we know best'. This is a divinely inspired time whether we want to believe that or not and if we are open, we will learn the best lessons regarding the need to see and experience polarity in order to advance.
For us to have a peaceful, sustainable and global community of higher consciousness, we need to achieve a neutral mind, teaching ourselves to not attach to the outcomes but instead bless all our attachments as curiosities. Only then can we act with heart and compassion for the changes that represent the highest good as we envision.
This requires that we still our minds and breathe deeply from the diaphragm every day.
And then stand up in faith, trust, and a commanding courage to shine with radiance. From there we can begin empowering everyone we are in contact with to expect and intend the very best for all inhabitants (inanimate and animate) on our marvelous and precious planet.
Many warm blessings on this journey,

December: Creative and Intentional completion of 2016

Here we are at the end of 2016. A year to stir, clean, donate, observe, heal, forgive, contemplate, plan, consider and in all ways prepare for the new beginnings of 2017. It has been a heavy year for most with lots of turmoil, lots of attachments, lots of areas of feeling stuck. If this month feels scattered and overwhelming, you are NOT alone.
SO: this is the month of December to back up, let go, lighten the load emotionally, have some fun, believe in magic, discuss plans, develop ideas, begin to manifest, nurture community.
This is the time to surround yourself with those who share higher consciousness, higher thinking for good, take the higher ground, and all with gratitude.
What can you imagine for the sake of joy?
How can your make it happen for 2017?
What does it take to start fresh?
The answer begins now with slowing yourself down and adding creative fun in this month. Add curiousity too.
Get out in nature, see the unique in every walk you take.
Serve others, donate time to causes that you are passionate about and that fill you with joy.
Focus on what you do want, and begin looking for that in every word, every breath, every coincidence in your life.
Begin now to manifest thoughts of what you really do want for your world so that those plans can develop in the coming year.
My intention for next year is to begin presenting again, to write again, to begin anew with fresh passion for new beginnings in 2017.
I wish you great blessings for a easy flowing, fun holiday, and a magnificent New Year.

November: The Divine Month Within a Completion Year 2016

So here we are along this journey of life, deeply set into the month of divine inspiration and intervention (November). During this month of miracles we are shown another opportunity to pray and meditate for the highest good of all.

Prayer is asking for what you believe to be the most important insights and wisdom.
Meditation is the process for being still long enough to hear the answer to the prayer.

Now is the time, in this very volatile, emotional completion year of 2016, to sit back, be still, pray and meditate. Then let go long enough to realize the divine plan that is for the highest good of all concerned: man, woman, child, plant, animal, water, air, sky, earth. Imagine that there is a much bigger agenda awaiting our future than that which is caught up in so many unproductive words and deeds that distract us.
Be the steward, the steady adaptive self, the light worker for the best we can be or become.

Hold to what you believe is the very best and then be curious and grateful to receive even better than that.
Remember in the end, we are not in control of much more than our breath and our word, so let go and let God.
Take care with your words: you DO get what you ask for....

During this miraculous month, find family, friends, and community to give thanks. Move flexibly, tap into your higher selves, be kind, experience peace, and feel gratitude for a plan that is divinely determined with your prayerful input.
Happy and blessed Thanks-Giving.

October and the Color of Completion

Welcome to October with all the mystery of completion within a completion year of 2016. If you haven't already had the urge to clean up your home and any emotional baggage that weighs you down, now is a great time.
August was a good month for me to take a break and September was a very challenging month for so many as we wove and dodged miscommunications, frustrating attempts to move forward, volatile and violent behaviors all around. It was a great month to remain still, go within and contemplate places to find gratitude.
NOW OCTOBER: This is the month for clarifying and completing the intentions you laid out for this year. Carry integrity, pray for the highest good in all ways and for all. With that in mind, it is time to set your intention for what you do want moving forward.
Take care of the vibrations and moods you attract, and take care to surround yourself with those that are harmonious with the intentions you sent.
Given this month of active completion, I set my intention to revisit and forgive relationships of my past. I wanted this so that I can release old patterns and begin to prepare for new beginnings with new thoughts and beliefs.
In answer to my prayers, I have had an enormously profound representation of what I asked for.
With some trepidation, I decided to join in on the celebrations of my 40th class reunion from high school. I continued to carry some scared feelings of rejection and the like from so many years ago, so this idea was complex and stressful.
Well, with intention, I asked that I could see, address, and release as many layers of emotion that held me back. Sooooooooo I was gifted with so many symbols that I have been overwhelmed a bit. I had the opportunity to address my childhood, grade school, high school, undergraduate studies, my time in the ER, all in the span of one week.
The serendipity began when I got a call in the middle of a week from a woman who I have not heard from for more than 20 years that represented my undergraduate studies. (So Freya, if you see this, please call back because I was so shocked that I forgot to get your number)...
At the reunion: so many memories, fears, anxieties which all became dissolved among such amazing and beautiful people I spoke to during this weekend event. As well as high school memories, I had a flood of grade school memories at that reunion to relive ad release.
Then I visited the chapel where I got married: lots more emotion. Memories of my dad: even more. If that weren't enough, the universe provided one more view of my life. One of the most kind and caring physicians I have ever had the privilege to work with, came up to me at the chapel to talk and remind me of my E.R. days which were so important to my life. Thank you Dr. Reinhart.
My take home? Absolute gratitude and thankfulness for all the beautiful and generous souls I have had the privilege to work with and play with over my life thus far. I feel so blessed, so full of hope.
May the highest and most noble good be a part of your life now as you intend, reflect, close, and prepare for an amazing 2017.

End of June: End of yoga... for now

Welcome to the official half way mark of 2016. It has been quite a ride so far eh? I say eh because that seems to be what one does when one first returns from Canada.

The purpose of that trip was to attend a retreat with the Cree nation, spearheaded by Bruce Lipton. This was an opportunity to look deeply at a tradition that honored life of all creatures and the balance of all aspects of the natural world for true and sustainable healing of mind, body, emotion, spirit. This event was called the Sundance Ceremony.

I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity, and come away with, among many things, a true appreciation that what I learned there also relates well to the yoga concepts of healing the whole self.

This Wednesday, the 29th of June is the last day for me to teach yoga at the wonderful studio of Elizabeth Keith.
I will take a break from teaching yoga for the summer at least.
So join in this Wednesday, the 29th at 6 pm for a soothing and relaxing stretch, breath, and gong...

​I will continue to sen​d out thoughts or upcoming presentations once a month. Please reply cancel if you no longer wish to be on this site.

Thank you all very much for all your support for the last year and one half...

June 15, 2016: father's day, polarity, solstice

As so many others, I am struck with the seemingly random tragedy of meaningless loss of life recently. For me to wrap my feelings around any event like this, I look for the root and the context. What of the fear, the anger, hate, and particularly the polarity of right vs wrong, my view vs your view???
And also what do we make of the magnificent compassion, love, and caring that has poured out from this.

I have also chosen to look at this Sunday's Father's day as a microcosm of the outside world view. Fathers have historically been the protectors, providers, breadwinners, decision makers of the family community...
Now fathers, thankfully, have been in the process of redefinition to represent themselves as nurturers, healers, caregivers, and cooperative contributors to the wellbeing of the family unit.
Embracing this gentler paradigm in the family unit demands that we open our hearts to that belief outside of our homes. Those that can not adapt to this new time become fearful and insecure.

Somehow, in the deep sadness, I must find compassion for all involved.
I see this polarity of ideals as a significant cross road to our future.
Do we want to be a community of isolationists, intolerant of others' truth?
Are we going to choose to stand by voices that encourage this behavior and outdated thought?
If we can imagine that what we feed grows, then what energy do we want to feed?
Where do we want our collective emotional energy to go?

Join this Wednesday, the 15th of June at 6pm for a moment of peaceful yoga including the vibration of the gong. See for location
cost $15.00

June: the month of play

Welcome to June, 2016.

This certainly seems like year for changes and inconsistencies.
What does this month offer?

What if this is the month to step back and support some real breaks in the day or weeks rather than putting our bodies under so much stress that it screams out in an unhealthy way to slow down?

Could that be the root of dis-ease? The body forcing action when our minds won't choose to take a break?

This is the month of kindness in word and deed.
Consider a good detox, build the immune system, jump in the water to ground, speak kindly with the highest values and integrity always in mind, give a hug.

Like the deer I found in Sedona just watching, observing me, find peace and stillness, comfort, and protection with your surroundings.

This Wednesday only, the first day of June is free yoga at 6pm. No fee, just show up for a peaceful breathing, yoga, and gong experience..

The Month of May, 2016

Here we are in May with hints of summer weather alternating with reminders of the cooler months.
This is the month to finish clearing the unused or not needed goods around the home. Last minute weeding? I know that is my nemesis.
This is the month for being emotionally and especially physically active, flexible, and agile.
While planning the summer events, begin now to implement some of the physical and mental changes while the weather is more tolerable.
Get out now while the environment is warming up as this allows the body to acclimate to the inevitable summer temperatures later.
Ready yourself for tentative plans for the summer knowing that this is the year that plans will certainly change. That suspension of attaching to the outcome allows for an increase in your overall agility and flexiblity to face the summer with gusto!
Join in on a soft yogic breathing technique, stretching and the vibration of the symphony of the gong.

April: The Month of Changeablility

April is a month full of new and fresh ideas as well as deadlines. All around you: see changes in decisions; changes in weather from gardening to snow and back again; changes in work with great projects that suddenly take a back burner to old projects needing completion; changes in travel plans, once going, then not, then a different time.

What does it look like to have strong intentions for this month while not caring or attaching to the outcomes of those intentions??? If that mindset can be accomplished, the adventures will prove very important and the outcomes generally better than the original idea.

This is the month to get outdoors to ground in nature and away from the city.
It doesn't matter as much how the adventure looks on the surface as the plans change and morph.
What matters is how we adapt to the changing landscape figuratively and literally.

Balance your breath and soul with yoga and the grounding sounds of the gong.
Wednesdays at 6pm...

March: Creative or Burnout

Well here we are in the month of March: The month of clearing the junk around you with flexibility.

That means dump the clothes and knick knacks that don't serve, pull those weeds stuck in the yard and in the mind.

And all the time realize that all plans right now are merely suggestions....
Everything can change on a moment's notice: flexibility and no attaching to outcomes are the key terms....

This is a potentially fun month, or you could be feeling overwhelmed pretty easily.

Join in on one way to calm the nerves through stretch, sound, gong.

February the month of endings and new beginnings

Isn't it amazing that we are half way through February already? This has been a huge transition month so far.

If you work with numbers: This is the year of completion called a nine year. So get cleaning those closets and also the cobwebs of your mind.

At the same time, the Fire Monkey chinese year begins by asking for flexibility in finances and in life and reflection on self.

This is also the beginning of Lent which has a very similar theme of reflection, sacrifice, fresh starts and oh, clean the closets???

Adar is a jewish celebration of joy and completion as it ends the jewish calendar year preparing for new beginnings.

Oh, and Mars retrograde? always meant for a time to reflect, gather information, think before acting????

The culmination of such diverse paradigms have a common thread: Don't attach to outcomes, remain flexible, move forward with agility, forgiveness, gratitude, intuition, trust....

Join in for light Yoga with the sound of the soothing gong Wednesday night at 6pm. ($15.00) See for the location at 40th st. and south of Bell.

Kathleen Benjamin Rickard, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Doctor of Nursing Practice / Family Nurse Practitioner

Very Best 2016 and a fresh start in becoming more flexible

Welcome to 2016!!!!
This is a good year to contemplate on all the strong opinions and actions of 2015.
What do we want for our future, of what do we need to let go???
Remember to remain flexible in thoughts and in actions this year.

Join us in a stretch and relaxation for increased flexibility of body and mind...

Although I have moved my place of employment as a nurse practitioner,
I am still at the same location for yoga class on Wednesdays at 6pm

See Locations tab on the website for directions to Yoga location.



Welcome to my New office for a New Year: 2016

Essential Family Health and Wellness
with Susan Del Sordi, DO and Sara Huschke Emery, ANP.

Location: 7425 East Shea, Suite 100 in Scottsdale
Phone: 480-285-2180


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