Dear Girls,

Letters to my daughters about self-awareness and mindfulness

by Cathy Cassani Adams

Dear Girls
Personal Reflection
Family Stories

The Beatles Connection

November 11, 2016

Art touches our intellect, but it mostly appeals to the heart. It’s not always about taking sides or arguing to be right, it’s creatively offering that pain is pain, disconnection is disconnection, love is love. It’s common ground....


Mindfulness is like a library

August 24, 2016

I’m not sure how everyone else’s brain works, but I tend to think in pictures. I see things and do my best to explain what I’m seeing. This may be true for you, too, or maybe you see or feel words. There’s no right way, however y...


Loneliness and Wabi-Sabi

July 16, 2016

  Our front porch is one of my favorite places. I watch the birds and people, I get quiet and usually end up deep in thought. Sometimes I laugh out loud, sometimes I cry. You’ve caught me in my teary moments. Even if I tell you I’m O...


Empathy and the ability to feel your feelings

July 5, 2016

  We were built to feel our feelings, even when feelings don’t feel very good. Anger, sadness, feeling left out – not enjoyable. But we all know these feelings intimately, they come and go throughout our lives. They are wonderful tea...


The choice and power of words

June 22, 2016

In a moment it can feel really good to yell at someone, to release the anger through words. It’s like unloading heaviness onto someone else for awhile, like a momentary relief. But later we are left feeling guilty and ashamed, with the...


Find What Fits

June 2, 2016

When things don't fit we need to trust that there is not one way. What is true for you can only be felt by you. What you decide to do with it can only be your choice....


Practicing Contentment

March 18, 2016

Searching outside of ourselves for contentment will disappoint. It’s not a thing we can “have”. Instead, it’s a practice of paying attention, appreciating, refocusing. No one promised us contentment. It’s nobody’s job to give...


Feeling afraid? Create light.

November 16, 2015

I told my girls about the Paris tragedy. I explained that a few very angry people chose to harm and create fear, but their actions actually led to compassionate solidarity all over the world. They thought they were spreading hate, but in...


You look much better in person than you do on paper

November 2, 2015

My dad fell and has been in the hospital. Actually he’s fallen several times over the last few weeks, but this big fall led to him being taken away in an ambulance. In the emergency room the attending physician walked in and said to my...


You are wired for connection

October 23, 2015

Over the years I’ve become geeky about neurological development and brain-wiring, and my absolute favorite wires are mirror neurons. These lovely links allow us the capacity to feel and experience what others are feeling and experienci...


Letting go of our junk

September 25, 2015

Deep down our inner workings are good. What’s not good is all the junk piled on top of the good. The history, defensive mechanisms, trauma, judgmental thinking, biases, prejudices, and pain that blocks the good. Life is not a process o...


The Party

September 10, 2015

As long as I can remember, I’ve been at the party. As a kid, I loved the party. The new stuff, the swirling ideas, the workings of the imagination. I played with all of it, I was the center of attention. Joy and dancing, ideas and beau...


Overthinking What People Think

April 23, 2015

Too often we pull back from an innovative idea, allow ourselves to be treated poorly or decide to not try something new because we find ourselves thinking, “I don’t want people to think that I’m…” What? Too successful? Too outs...


Roots and Wings

February 15, 2015

The definition of love requires constant re-examination. It means one thing when we are young, one thing as we look for a partner, another when we find work that speaks to us. It especially requires re-examination when we have children. ...


These are the things that terrify me…

November 8, 2014

Fear – because it’s irrational Fear wakes me up to misconceptions, untrue stories about myself or others, untrue stories about the world. Fear makes me stop and think, fear pushes me to breathe and contemplate. Fear can feel brutal, ...


Love what we see

October 20, 2014

I have met people who make poor choices, people who act out of fear, people who demonstrate the negativity they feel. They aren’t inherently bad. They’ve just forgotten who they are. Pieces of themselves have been harmed, shamed, or ...


Losing Greeley

August 25, 2014

  As I held my bunny for the last time, I couldn’t help but think about Will Gardner. I read that when the writers of The Good Wife decided to have Will die, they didn’t want it to be a typical television death, they wanted it to be ...


Want Change? Then Rethink

August 14, 2014

  It’s been a tough week. How do we process what we feel? How do we change circumstances? Dialogue and posts are great, but they tend to fade away once we accept what has occurred. I don’t want to oversimplify the complexity of the w...


Back to school: The normalcy of anxiety

August 8, 2014

Kids are heading back to school in the next couple of weeks and they are feeling it. We parents are feeling it, too. We all have different feelings and experiences when it comes to school, but the word I am hearing the most right now is ...


Are you meeting your obligation?

July 28, 2014

This weekend one of my dear friends said something I can’t get out of my head. She said, “My dad taught me that we are obligated to live a good life, to give back in some way.” This resonated so strongly, I literally felt the words...


Throw away the litter, find the goodness

May 30, 2014

I took a walk with my almost-done-with-Kindergarten-6-year-old today. At her suggestion we took a garbage bag with us because she wanted it to be a “litter walk”. She explained that we pick up litter as we move and talk. And that we ...


A No-Clock Day

May 26, 2014

I have to work really hard to create a no-clock day. I have to say no to a lot of things, sometimes I even have to reschedule a thing or two. But it’s worth it, it’s always worth it. Having one day a month, or preferably one day a we...


Living with turtle energy

May 14, 2014

I love the energy of the turtle. The real turtle, but also the cartoon turtle that lives in my head – he slowly glides through the water, smiling at everyone he sees. He gets to where he needs to go at his own pace. I have a picture of t...


Crying is real, crying is strong

April 8, 2014

I used to be uncomfortable in emotional movies because I’m a crier. I am moved very easily, I have always been moved very easily. So during a movie, or when witnessing an act of kindness, or when hearing a touching story, I would hold ...



March 5, 2014

Amy Duffin is back with another great guest blog! Some great reminders here for anyone who is trying to be everything to everyone…. SUPERWOMAN.  We’ve all seen her.  She resides in many of our towns. Sometimes she is in magazines or ...


What I tend to forget over and over again

February 18, 2014

As I sit in front of the ocean I think about the smallness of me. I am humbled by the vastness of the water. I think about when I would play in the ocean as a kid and the tide would take me under. As scary and uncomfortable as those mome...


Working the Work Life Balance

January 27, 2014

By Guest Blogger Amy Duffin Work Life Balance.  I am not sure who came up with this term, but to most women, it’s something we dream about, but find it difficult to have.  As valuable as a winning lottery ticket, achieving work life ...


The teacher needs a teacher

January 15, 2014

Early yesterday morning I taught my college students. We talked about how they need to take care of themselves so they can best utilize their skills. In the middle of the day I worked with elementary school students.  We talked about ho...


10 Harmonious Practices for 2014

January 6, 2014

1.       Quiet meditation (quiet time, going inside, call it what you want) When I don’t do it, I can tell. I get impatient faster and I get annoyed more often.  It’s more difficult to recognize how I contribute to every situa...


What do you want to practice this year?

December 29, 2013

I think resolutions are great.  Until they aren’t.  Too often they turn into another burden, another opportunity for self shaming, yet another attempt to do it all perfectly this year. While I am always interested in deeper awareness...


Teaching 5th grade girls to love themselves

December 16, 2013

What do 5th grade girls need? They need to know they are OK and not alone. They need to know they have adults who will support and understand them.  They need to know they are worthy and valuable, just as they are. Venturing into the wo...


Believing in Santa

December 4, 2013

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I remember lying in bed on Christmas Eve thinking about Santa. The funny thing was I wasn’t really envisioning gifts or the way he would get in my house, I was just feeling so, so, good, and everything seem...


It’s Time to Waste Some Time

October 31, 2013

Like the rest of the population, I get a rush when I complete tasks and work toward my goals. I have dreams and a vision, and I get excited to move forward and check things off the list. But I simultaneously believe in wasting time.  I ...


Balance is a Living Thing

October 23, 2013

Sometimes I add, but I forget how to subtract. Sometimes I realize there is a lot I want to do, but only so many hours in the day. Sometimes I remember that a brain can only hold so much, and that with every over-reaching “yes”, I risk s...


Advice to Anyone Who Has Made a Mistake

September 25, 2013

When someone else makes a mistake we usually understand, but we tend to have difficulty forgiving ourselves. I used to deny mistakes, and sometimes I would blame others.  Or sometimes I would sit in my mistakes for days, just to punish ...


Teaching Children to thank the Earth

September 24, 2013

My girls and I were in the car a lot on Sunday. When we pulled up to our final destination, they all said they were car sick.  Nobody moved, my youngest looked like she was about to cry. Since we were parked right in front of my sister...


Where joy really comes from

September 13, 2013

I picked up my daughter from Kindergarten today and she said, “I just feel so like me today….I love feeling like me.” As we walked to the car she held my hand, skipped, and hummed. Today she wore hand-me-down clothes from her siste...


Want to be happy? Be happy for others

August 27, 2013

It’s so common it has its own name: Schadenfreude – finding pleasure from the misfortunes of others. And although few will admit to it, it’s a very human experience.  If we see others fail, we feel better about ourselves. This is on...


3 Myths About Introverts

August 23, 2013

“Introvert” tends to bring up an image of a shy person in a corner, or an insecure person at home alone.  But over the years I have learned that introversion isn’t about shyness or insecurity, it’s about where and how you derive...


Back to school? Be here and roll with it

August 18, 2013

Back to school tomorrow and I am appreciating a beautiful afternoon with no schedule. Part of me grieves losing summer, it was definitely a good one, but part of me doesn’t feel like longing or being sad, it just feels like smiling and...