Tied By The Sea: Lessons On How We Are Connected And Why It Matters

I love the ocean. It has always, and continues to be a big part of my life. I have always felt a strong connection to it, and to me it serves as a symbol of family, oneness, and clarity. In fact, I learned recently that my middle name, Morgan, means “of the sea”. That explains my love for dolphins and many hours spent in the ocean growing up. It all makes sense 😉

So, when I had to choose a Natural Science course this semester, I picked Geoscience 40, also called The Sea Around Us. My professor began the class by stating how the ocean is a powerful connector. And it made me immediately think of the above quote by John F. Kennedy that I had read in an article about him. As a lover of the sea himself, I found this insight to be remarkable. “When we go back to the sea….we are going back to whence we came”. 

The way that I look at this, is as a reminder. A sign of affirmation. And while the ocean may mean something different to everyone, it at least can be a symbol that reminds us that we are all connected by something much larger than ourselves. And it is important to remember that. The following quote is by a centenarian. In fact, this centenarian is from one of the Blue Zone regions of the earth, the island of Sardinia in Italy,

“I try not to worry. I just try to live.” 

When we can slow down enough to see the truth and the beauty in that simple phrase, we see that choosing to truly live each day is the best decision we could make. Choose to see the wonder and the love and the possibility in each day. There may always be distractions, worry, and anticipation. And that’s okay because it keeps us on our toes. But know when it’s time to just live in this moment for all that it is. And always choose to trust in life, in ourselves, and in each other. We are all tied together after all.

And if you need some reminding, take a trip to the ocean. 

“On People, Moments, And Stories: Everything Happens For A Reason”

So, there is this playlist that I oftentimes will listen to on a cold winter day. Now, if you heard it you would probably consider it odd timing as it consists of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Jimmy Buffet, and Jack Johnson to name a few. And while I do love winter in New England, sometimes it is fun to feel like I am on a feel-good tropical island somewhere. My favorite is to listen to it while jump roping. Seriously, it’s an awesome combination. Anyways, a song came on by Bob Marley called “Wake Up And Live”. And it got me thinking….

“Wake up and live”. Yes. Waking up each day with a purpose. With an intention to leave it better than it was when you woke up. To inspire someone else. Even to inspire yourself. And at the very least, to experience life for all that it is that day. That I believe, is what it means to “wake up and live”. 

So this has made me think about a quality that I believe separates ordinary lives from extraordinary ones. The ability to realize the beauty in making the choice to consciously live each day, rather than merely walk through it. And so much about living, is appreciating those whose lives intersect with ours.

I want to use the example of two powerful women whose lives have had a special and unique way of intersecting with mine. I have written about Rebecca Timlin-Scalera before on my blog and the impact that she had on everyone who knew her. And while I never had the opportunity to meet her, learning about her story and legacy have inspired me in profound ways. And a recent conversation with my friend, and mentor Vivian (Rebecca’s sister) got me thinking about how all of our lives are inextricably connected. And in a moment of mutual gratitude, I started to think: Isn’t it amazing how in this life, we come across people, stories, and moments that end up having such an incredible impact on us?  And if you think about it, out of all of the people in this world to meet and become inspired by, the ones that we do, are most definitely, for a reason.

Let us take a moment to think about this. Whether it is our family, our best friends, or people who come into your life for a special reason. It is all on purpose. It always has been, and it will always continue to be. Take the time to express your gratitude to them. To my family, oldest and dearest of friends, new friends, mentors, etc., Thank you for your touch on me and my life.

And I find it most fitting to end this with a quote from Reb, as she was someone who chose to live every day to its absolute fullest and touched an incredible number of lives.

“I have an innate and very strong sense of how to love and enjoy life, and I truly try to make the most out of every minute I’ve been given. Finding fun, joy, love, adventure, and gratitude wherever possible.”


“It’s A Beautiful Day, Don’t Let It Get Away….”

Neuroscientist Joe Dispenza says:

“How you think and how you feel creates your state of being”.

Our state of being. Our experience. Our way of seeing the world. The way the world sees us. What a priceless, sacred thing. Well, how often do we think about this? How often do we remind ourselves that each day, we have the choice to turn our state of being into anything that we want it to be?

Our state of being is determined by our energy. It is the energy that we manifest within ourselves, and the energy that we release onto others and the world around us. The energy that human beings give off is a more powerful insight into who they are than perhaps anything else. It is not what is spoken, but rather what is felt. The way in which we carry ourselves throughout our life is completely up to us.

And why spend the time that we have in a negative or unsettled energy space? Of course, we all have our moments of doubt, anxiety, and fear. But what if we could train ourselves to live in a space of positive energy? Of hopeful and abundant and grateful energy? Once one makes the choice to consciously live in this space, it is realized that it is actually quite liberating. And awesome.

What are the dreams that you have for your life? Where are you now? Does your energy in the present line up with the intentions for your future? If so, then keep it up. And if not, it’s totally okay- because YOU have the choice to change that for yourself. 

And while you get excited about your future, don’t forget to appreciate life for all that it is, right now. If you tap into your greatest energy and spread that everywhere you go, you just may inspire everyone around you, to do the same.

“Is This Love…. Is This Love….Is This Love That I’m Feeling?….”

Who else is singing the rest of this familiar island tune? I love this song. I find it to be not only a summery jam, but also a feel-good anthem. So as I was listening to it as I was running by the ocean yesterday morning, it got me thinking. And this song felt perfect in the spirit of the New Year. It speaks of love and togetherness. And this week, I have been experiencing just that. During an amazing week away with my family, I have been reflecting and thinking about my intentions for this new year and what I am grateful for right now, in this moment. 

It is a bit surreal to think that tomorrow, a new year will be upon us. With all that this year has brought, I believe it has made us stronger, more resilient, and it has truly, and perhaps most importantly, showed us all what we must be grateful for. What we have been blessed with the opportunity to be grateful for. Growing up in a large extended family, I have always been used to often being around each other, often. And so, as I sit here, surrounded by family, for what seems like the first time in forever, I am feeling the love that is around me. And as Bob Marley would say, “….is this love, is this love, is this love, that I’m feeling?” Yes, it is.

So…. What is my intention for 2021? Many things come to mind, but I know that many times, simple is often the most powerful. And yesterday while I was running, as the best ideas often come to me then, I thought: my intention for 2021 is to make sure I do not forget the single most important lesson 2020 taught me. And that is: each day, each experience, and each person that I love is a golden blessing and opportunity. A blessing to cherish and an opportunity to lean into life. For all that it is, and all that it can be, at any moment. It’s up to us….it always has been and it always will be.

So I say, Happy New Year! No matter where life takes us this year, may it never let us forget to appreciate this life. Or as Bob Marley would say….

“One love, one heart….let’s get together and be alright”.

Oh There’s No Place Like Home…. :)

“Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”- Polar Express. 

Christmas. My absolute favorite. I am the girl who starts listening to Christmas music in October, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies shortly thereafter. Ever since I can remember, I have had this intense joy for the holiday. And the older I get, the more I realize that it is the feeling of Christmas that I cherish so much. It is a feeling unable to be expressed in words, but rather in a shared nostalgia that I am sure we can all relate to in one form or another. The nostalgia of family, traditions, recipes, places, and anticipation. A time that seems to stand still. A time that no matter where life takes us, still feels familiar.

And now, at 20 years old, I ask myself: why do I love Christmas just as much now as I ever have? Well, I think the answer lies in this: Christmas has a way of reminding us. Reminding us about who we are, who we want to be, and why we are here. It reminds us that room will always be made for the things that are the most precious in life. And Christmas can be found everywhere when you look for it. From the streets of New York City, to the snowy mountains of Maine, to the shores of the Caribbean (as Jimmy Buffet would say “ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum, Santa’s run off to the Caribbean, He thinks about boat drinks and fun in the sun, ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum”)…. it can be found anywhere and everywhere. 

And so, on this Christmas Eve, I hope that you are able to find that warm, familiar, nostalgic feeling and hold onto it. I hope that you can find joy in the smallest of moments, traditions, and places- because that’s what it’s all about. And remember that Christmas….it’s a feeling. One of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Enjoy every moment of it. 

I think Jimmy Buffet would like this one!

Lessons From My Professor And Why We Are Better Together….

Our life is a collection of moments, people, places, and wisdom that we gain along the way. I believe that every person and every experience that we have has a special purpose. There are just too many people to meet, too many places to go, and too many  experiences to have for it not to all be for a certain reason. And so, with the insight we gain along the way, it is our responsibility to share it.

Last night, I finished my final class in Business Management 301 at Penn State. Normally, this class would have taken place in a large lecture hall of 300 students. Before the semester began, I wondered to myself how my professor would bring the same kind of enthusiasm and engagement this time around. I think I have figured out the secret to his success. My professor was aspiring to inspire each and every one of us, every Monday and Wednesday. 

It would have been so easy, and quite acceptable for him to simply deliver the class material and content and call it a day. But instead, he chose to connect with us. Throughout each class he would share pieces of poignant wisdom, funny stories from his own life, and pieces of advice that he has learned through his own success. And at the end of each class, he would say “promise me you are going to be safe and responsible”. It was a sentiment for the times, but also a thoughtful statement that showed how he cared for his students.

At the end of this last class he said:

“Make sure for the rest of your life, if I don’t see you again, promise me you are going to be safe and responsible. And have a great life.”

This simple message reminded me that at the end of the day, what is most important is that we live life in the best way we know how. And always, always share it with others.

Take a moment to think about the family, friends, and people in your life. Even the people that we meet in passing, by chance. Like my professor who made an effort to show us that he cared. That he believes in us. We have the power to change the lives of those around us. In big ways and in small. And, afterall, isn’t that one of the most beautiful parts of life…. sharing it together. 

On Golden Moments And Winter Intentions….

There is an Italian proverb that goes,

“Those who sing through the summer, must dance in the winter”.

I love it. Yes, let’s dance at every chance we get. Why wouldn’t we? I have always had a love for this time of year and the feelings, traditions, and moments that come along with it. It is a time that reminds us of the importance of slowing down and appreciating the “golden moments” that the season brings. 

Recently, I traveled to Camden Maine with my mother for some quality mom-daughter time. I have always loved to travel, as my parents were always wanting to show me new places. And somehow, all of these places seemed to have a meaning behind them. They had a way of attaching a sentimentality to each adventure. My mom went to college in Maine and I grew up listening to the stories of her days on the shores of Sebago Lake, visiting coastal fishing villages and experiencing the snowy winters there. And so, I wanted to see this part of her life. It is interesting to think of her there at the same age that I am now. I find these kinds of things special- to share unique parts of our lives with the people we love.

Maine in December is the quintessential image of a New England winter. The right mix of coast and Christmas- two of my most favorite things. We stayed in a beautiful Inn called the Camden Maine Stay Inn. It has an uncanny resemblance to one you would find in a Hallmark Movie, with innkeepers who by the end, felt like old friends. And….it just happened to snow when we were there. Things just have a way of working out perfectly sometimes. And in a world where perfection is far from attainable, you begin to appreciate the smaller, genuine moments that seem pretty close to it.

And I walked away from that trip with a renewed reminder that oftentimes golden moments come when we least expect them. And that it doesn’t take a whole lot to create them either. It is about appreciating whatever season you are in, at the time that you are in it. So, whether it is taking a trip down memory lane with your mom or even just down your neighborhood lane, make an effort to find the golden moments. Find the connection with the people and moments and places that feel like home to you. And even though a festive house packed with family and friends isn’t in the cards for most of us this year, we can still create moments of warmth, love, family, and friendship. 

So, here’s my intention for this winter: let’s dance as often and as much as possible. For the big things and the small moments. And as one of my favorites, Jennifer Lopez says, “I wanna dance, and love, and dance again”. Sounds pretty good to me 😉

Why Holding Onto Joy Is Brave….

Joy is defined as “gladness not based on circumstances”. 

When I first read this quote, it got me thinking about this idea of “gladness”. It’s a word often related to the Christmas or holiday spirit. It seems to go without a second thought that joy just comes as part of the package this time of year. But I have a feeling that most of us have this idea of joy a bit wrong. We tend to think that it is a feeling that is dependent on what is going on around us. But, in reality, joy is an internal state. And I don’t mean living in a state of unwavering happiness and peace. What I mean is, is that it is about the feeling that you carry inside of yourself and can trust in. And you see, that is the difference between joy and happiness: one is determined by external factors (happiness) and one is determined by internal factors (joy). 

In fact, it has been found that joy is a form of resilience. And that is why it is brave. If life went smoothly all of the time, we would never be able to appreciate the power of joy. The challenging and trying times of life, in many ways, end up showing us that we have the power to tap into joy at any time that we choose. We can use it to better ourselves and inspire those around us. It has the power to open our eyes to the preciousness of the moments, the people, and the places that we choose to fill our time with. It has a way of re-centering our minds on what is most important. Brene Brown says, “Joy comes to us in moments- often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments.” Brene highlights something very important here: the moments of the most profound joy most often come in the ordinary moments.

So, as we move into the Christmas holiday, remember to pay attention to the moments that bring gladness….that bring joy. It is maybe the bravest thing we can do.


“Life Never Stops Changing, But Some Things Never Change….” (Thanksgiving Edition)

“….Thank God for this Thanksgiving Day….”- Ben Rector says in his hit, The Thanksgiving Song.

This day always evokes a feeling of reflection and gratitude. And while each year is special in its own way, this one stands on its own. As someone who comes from a large, loving family on both sides, I have grown up with a profound appreciation for the holidays. They are made up of moments when time stands still, and we are reminded of what matters most: the people that we love and the memories we make with them.

While this year looks different to all of us, perhaps it is the greatest opportunity to realize all that we have to be thankful for. Life is an ever-changing, constantly evolving experience. But the things that matter most….those never change. And maybe that is what the holidays are supposed to remind us of, each and every year. And whether you are surrounded by a long table of loved ones, or are making a dinner for one, take a moment to remember what you have to be grateful for. We have all been given this day to use in whatever way we choose- let it be something good.

This time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. And I think it is important for each and every one of us to look towards the end of this year as an opportunity to find the magic of the season despite things being different. It is a time that may not have brought us everything we hoped for, but it has granted us with an even greater blessing: a chance to see all that we have. And it is most often the things that we take for granted that deserve the most gratitude. Find joy in the small moments- maybe it is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, baking pumpkin bread, calling a loved one, or clinking your glass with someone sitting across the table. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving from mine to yours.

“Simply Because We Don’t Look Up….”

Branford, CT.

“I wonder how many beautiful skies we miss simply because we don’t look up”. Justin Baldoni, best known for his role as Rafael on Jane The Virgin shared this insight the other day. A video of him and his family sitting outside, looking up at a clear blue sky, asking this question. And I think that this wisdom, while simple, is actually incredibly profound. How many moments, conversations, stories, people, feelings, or skies like the one in the picture above do we miss simply because we do not see them? Even when they are right in front of us…. 

It is easy to be distracted. But how can we break from the habit of distraction and overwhelm that takes our attention away from these moments? Well, it comes down to being intentional and present. It is about taking a breath and looking around at what the world is offering. My favorite Motivational Speaker, Mel Robbins once said:

“The truth is…. life isn’t passing by in years, its passing by in moments. Very powerful moments.”

She’s right. Life is made up of a collection of moments. Moments of joy, love, connection, struggle, growing, and learning. All unique and all incredibly powerful. Perhaps one of the most beautiful ways to look at life is like a story. Each one of us has been given the opportunity to truly write our own story. Remember, we are the captains of our own ship. And when we steer it in the direction of the best, most authentic life we can imagine, it inspires others around us to do the same. Relish in the moments of joy and be present to them. Do not let them pass by. And lean into the moments of challenge. They are there to teach us something. Do not let those pass by either ;).

It is said that the smallest moments oftentimes turn out to be the most amazing ones of all. Look around. Look up at that sky, out at that ocean, over at that friend, and even in the mirror at yourself. Our experience is determined by the lens we use to see the world. See if for what it is: amazing.