living our dreams


September 11, 2010

While this is a somber day of prayer and remembrance for our world, and like you, I have been feeling all the feelings that it evokes, it is also the anniversary of a day of profound joy for me.

Five years ago, on September 11, 2010, I officiated my first wedding ceremony at Channing Memorial Church in Newport, Rhode Island.

My training was a combination of a communications degree, years of professional writing, yoga teacher training, Reiki training, an online minister’s certificate, a year of mentorship with the amazing Rev. Deborah Catherine Faith and a deep desire to serve this world as a (different kind of) minister.

Five years later, as I sit here reflecting on this journey, my own marriage has ended (earlier this year), I am about to begin my second year of Interfaith Seminary and I am pursuing additional training so that I can offer a formal marriage preparation program to my clients.

I really don’t know how many couples I have worked with over the past five years (I am SO not a numbers person) but I do know that each of my clients have touched me in a deep and personal way and that I have grown so much through our work together.

Tonight my heart is filled with peace and deep gratitude for all who have guided, supported and walked with me on this path.

Namaste, friends.



On this first day of 2013, I am sharing a look back at my first wedding ceremony as I eagerly anticipate the celebrations in the year to come…

Photos: John Goodman, Kathy Barrette, Michael Coutcher (and me).

Second to last photo is of me with my mom and dad shortly after the ceremony.

* * * *

When I performed my first wedding ceremony on September 11, 2010 at the Channing Memorial Church in Newport, RI, much of the experience felt like a dream.

In the months leading up to that day, I had been quietly studying the basics of ceremony creation and delivery with my mentor, Rev. Deborah Catherine Faith, when my mom called to say that her good friend’s daughter was getting married in September and wanted to talk to me about officiating the ceremony.

I wavered back and forth with excitement and fear as I went through the steps I had learned — meeting for coffee, getting to know the couple, gathering pertinent information, writing the ceremony, leading the rehearsal.

Even on the day of the ceremony, I could not quite shake the feeling of being a little girl in her mom’s high heels playing “dress up” as I put on the beautiful stole my mom had made for me.

And yet I knew, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.

* * *

Before the ceremony began, I was in a small room behind the altar with the groom and his groomsmen, when one of them asked me about how I came to do ceremonies.

I smiled. Gave the short version of my story. And admitted that he was about to witness my first ceremony.

After the ceremony, which went beautifully by all accounts, he found me outside the church and congratulated me.

“I would have never known this was your first ceremony,” he said. “You are a natural.”

* * *

I have performed dozens of weddings since that day — each one a joy, an honor, and a gift — and can honestly say that I feel more comfortable and ‘at home’ in my minister’s attire and in the role of ceremony officiant than I do in most any other setting.

And I still know, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.



“What if people laugh at you, Mama?”

by eringoodman on December 12, 2012

in living our dreams

Self-portraits used to make me crazy-uncomfortable. (What will people think of a lady who walks around taking pictures of herself??) Over time I’ve come to love them and see each one as a gentle act of bravery and truth.

* * *

Yesterday, as I was about to click the button to finalize my tracks and art work for my CD, I called my children into the room to be part of the moment.

“You stand over by the door, Lily, and give Quinn’s hand a squeeze. Then he’ll give my hand a squeeze. When I feel that, I’ll click the button.”

(This is what I do. When I’m scared or nervous or uncomfortable. I make up games. I call in support. I ask people who love me to hold my hand.)

And so there we were, stretched out across our cozy, little home office like a bucket brigade, all set to go, when Lily yelled out.

“Mama, wait! You can’t do this. Please don’t do this.”

I took my fingers, which were trembling with nervousness and excitement, off the mouse and pulled both of my children in closer.

“I’m scared,” Lily said with tears in her eyes. “What if people laugh at you, Mama? I don’t want people to laugh at you.”

Quinn, who had expressed a similar concern a few days before, seconded her objection by covering his face with his hands and nodding his head.

* * *

I took a deep breath (three of them, actually), hugged my children and shared with them what I know to be true in my heart.

Some people are going to laugh.

There are always going to be people who will sit on the sidelines and point and laugh.


Any time we put ourselves, our ideas, our art out into the world, we open ourselves up to criticism and laughter and hurtful comments.

But that’s not a reason to keep our best ideas and our best work and our truest selves hidden inside us.

Because for every person who laughs or criticizes, many, many more will be touched and moved and inspired and healed by our efforts.

* * *

One of the things I love most about crossing over into this new genre of producing an audio CD, is the language that surrounds it.

CDs are released into the world.

Not launched. Or blasted. Or pushed.

They are released.

And it is from this place of beautiful, sacred release — with the knowledge that my words are not meant for everyone, that some people may laugh at me, and with the help of my two children who did indeed hold my hand to support me — that I offer my first audio collection.

From my heart to yours.


Three Deep Breaths will be available for digital download later this week / early next week. Click the image to the left (or right HERE) to preview the introduction track — and be sure to subscribe to my e-mail list to receive a “postcard” as soon as it is available for purchase!




Sunday Still Life is an evolving mindfulness project; an weekly invitation to pause the busy of our days, to re-center and celebrate the beauty and depth of life. If you are inspired to join in, please leave a link or share your thoughts in the comments below.

We’ve just finished five minutes of shake-everything-you’ve-got style dancing.

The kindergartners are excited and not quite ready to settle down for the next series of poses I have planned.

Thinking out loud, I say . . .

“I’m feeling like my body is full of energy and still wants to move, and yet it is time for us to to settle down into quieter poses.

“I wonder how we could slow our bodies down?”

Immediately they stand a little straighter and begin reaching their arms out for Flying Bird Breath.

The energy instantly shifts and in just a few moments the room is so quiet that we can hear the birds singing outside the window.

As I move through the breath and movements with them, my body softens and time slides away.

This is my yoga.

* * * * *

How about you?

Where did you find moments of softness and ‘sliding time’ this week?

* * * * *


Registration is open for my August Yoga 4 Classrooms teacher workshop, which will take place on Sat, Aug 4 at the Child Development Center at the University of RI. Visit Yoga4Classrooms for details and registration.


Sunday Still Life is an evolving mindfulness project; an weekly invitation to pause the busy of our days, to re-center and celebrate the beauty and depth of life. If you are inspired to join in, please leave a link or share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo: Lisa Flynn

It was a spontaneous road trip.

Planned between Wednesday evening and Friday morning.

Just Lily and Mama.

Twenty four hours away to visit our friends at ChildLight Yoga and experience a little taste of the amazing-ness that is Circus Yoga.

It was in this moment — relaxing, laughing and ‘hanging out’ with my sweet girl — that the floodgates of gratitude opened and I realized just how much I needed to be here.

This is my yoga.

* * * * *

See more photos from the night over on the ChildLight Yoga Facebook page (including one of me “flying” with Circus Yoga Co-Founder Erin Maile O’Keefe).