Do It Now

When I was learning to meditate, after each session, I felt so much more mental clarity.  That’s what has kept me going all these years later.

Even if my mind is full of (not so zen) thoughts, by the end I feel grounded and able to think through and organize my day.

The layers of distraction, memories, and anxiety are sliced through and I feel myself alive in the present moment.

In 2002, my close friend Anita Stoll and I began collaborating to create Yoga and Talk Therapy® groups, as yogis and psychotherapists.  Before meeting to discuss creating and publicizing the groups, we would often meditate.

Afterward, as we went through our lists of “to do’s” we encouraged each other, especially if it was something that had been put off, to “Do it Now.” So that our goals and dreams could take form and not just fantasy.

We understood that the mental clarity gifted us a (time limited) opportunity to take action, unrestrained by distractions, self doubt, or a desire to procrastinate.

Could having cancer, facing great loss, or a life threatening illness or injury be clarifying?  Can it help you ask for what you want and need more directly and be open to receive when your community or the universe gives to you?

I have found that facing the nearness of my own mortality, or a loved one’s, can have much the same effect of cutting through the day to dayness of my busy life.  And the exclamation Do It Now rings in my ears.

Of course,there are plenty of times you feel foggy, from medical treatments, chemo, insomnia, fear, worry about family, grief (including anticipatory) at losing beloveds. 

 These feelings of anger, terror, grief, and loneliness are aspects of the cancer experience that my JoyBoots therapy groups attempt to acknowledge and address honestly. We have the belief and experience that speaking the truth about what you feel is powerful and allows for connection, meaning, and transformation.

The reality of fighting cancer, both as a patient and a loved one, is that it really sucks.  It destoys your illusion of things “working out for the best”

And yet, most of us also find moments of insight, meaning, and even joy along the way.  Through connection with who we love and care about and our own relationship (even if it’s a questioning) with God or the Infinite, however you may imagine this to Be.

With the Summer Solstice passing last week, comes the reminder that life is flowing and that everything is impermanent.  

This can and will sadden us.  And it doesn’t always have to. 

Recently, as happens, I’ve faced the deaths of people I loved.  One was a dear friend and another was a JoyBooter client. I learned and benefitted so much from my relationship with each of them.  

And their loss changed my perspective.  

Right now,

It’s a clarity that tells me to “Do it Now” and it cuts through my normal hesitations-both physical “Can i handle this?” And mental/emotional-“Can I really do this/have this/offer this?”

And right now I’m listening to the Do It Now and moving forward with it.

This includes today! This Monday my 15 year old daughter and I are traveling to Spain for a trip we dreamed up in the Spring. We are very excited and not allowing worry to hold us back.

What is calling to you this summer?

What actions do you want to Do Now?

What’s holding you back from these?

I’d love to hear! XO

Real Healing Requires Community

“The reality is things may never be exactly the same. Be honest with yourself about what you are feeling and find community who allow you to show up just as you are” from the Healing Well Course.

This Wednesday on June 21, 2023 we have the last JoyBoots Yoga class of the summer. It’s been such a pleasure to reconnect with so many old friends and to meet new ones as well.

I will be away June 26-July 24, 2023.  After the summer break, that’s when you can count on our weekly class continuing…

JoyBoots Yoga is unique in that we address, experientially through our practices, some of the more challenging aspects of living with cancer or after treatment.  These are:

  • feeling gripped by fear (of recurrence, physical pain, our own mortality)
  • negative circular thinking that can’t be easily stopped
  • tension and stress you hold in your body
  • anger you pretend not to have (that comes out inadvertently)
  • desire to understand yourself and your precious path forward so you can make meaning of life
  • chance to deeply breathe and strengthen your relaxation response
  • feel more grounded and emotionally balanced

Being able to show up just as you are to find a seat for you at the table helps heal loneliness and isolation.

It’s hard to heal emotionally when you feel alone.

I’m excited to bring a variety of JoyBoots programs forward beginning the end of August.

My online therapeutic course, Healing Well: Reconnect to your Life After Cancer starts in September 2023 and will be available to take at your own pace.

By request, we will also have some In Person Workshop and Meet Up Opportunities beginning in the fall as well.

Please join the JoyBoots Community (free) or email me at for more information or for an individual session.

Stay Cool this Summer!

What Gifts do Your Bring?

In her podcast Incurable Joy, my dear friend Joy Engel asked the question of us all: what unique gifts can you offer a friend?  And who are your “troops” that can be called in?

Take a listen to her story here:

Does it have to be an emergency for you to open up to connection or assistance from a friend, doctor, therapist or loved one?

When I was going through a year of active treatment for breast cancer, as a new mother with an infant, I had to learn to ask for help.  Not because I wanted to-I was much more comfortable being the helper.  I learned how to accept help because I was faced with no other choice.

Receiving help can feel so vulnerable. You may feel that it shows weakness or gives up control.  

But softening your attitude towards help and helpers opens space for deeper connection and realization of our shared humanity.

Check out this yogic exercise that helps you embody the feelings of giving and receiving help:


JOY BOOTS Yoga is BACK for 4 weeks starting May 31, 2023!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?  We were still deep in the pandemic doing online classes when I had to take a hiatus to rest and care for my middle school daughter and my husband following his devastating surgery.

Thankfully, my family has reached a moment of stability.  My daughter finished her freshman year in high school and my husband is doing well and on a break from further treatments for the time being.

I’ve been getting lots of inquiries about our JoyBoots Yoga class, groups, and community and I have missed you! What’s happening in your life?

As mine has stabilized, I’ve turned to the question of What Now? How do I want to spend my professional time?

My mind always returns to the JoyBoots Community and the pleasure I get in our connections and in offering groups, classes, and individual sessions.

I started thinking of the ways yoga, meditation, and therapy all help us move from anxious to grounded, calm, and hopeful.  Check out this previous post on 3 Key ELEMENTS everyone should know:

Join me in practicing easily accessible movement, breath work, and meditation to shift your experience of the present moment, stabilize your mind, and open your heart.


With the present moment being all we have,

I felt inspired to offer my JoyBoots Yoga Classes for

4 weeks beginning Wednesday May 31, 2023 – Wednesday June 21.


I hope to be back in person this Fall, but these classes will be ONLINE and DONATION based, pay what you can.

Suggested Donation is $20 per class (Venmo or CashApp). 

To sign up for notices of the class, please email me at with YOGA in the subject line.  I will add you to my weekly list of people to receive the ZOOM LINK. Then you can drop in as you wish (no obligation) and donate only if you attend.

More info about the class here:

8 Week Online JoyBoots Therapy Group starts soon!









The cancer experience is a challenge that continues to unfold as you integrate the painful moments as well as the heart opening ones.  Whether you are still in treatment or finished, in my experience, the emotional work is not over and, in fact, is a rich part of your life’s journey. You don’t just “get over” your deeper awareness of the fragility of life and the desire to find greater meaning from your life and relationships.

That’s why I’m writing to invite you to join a special 8 week therapy group for cancer survivors that will meet (online ZOOM) beginning February 16th.  Because we are online, you can join from anywhere!

This group touches on a new theme specific to the cancer experience each week with the goal of moving you forward on your emotional healing journey.

Themes include:


This therapeutic group integrates simple movement and yoga for strength and energy and provides a unique space to begin to share, integrate, and heal.

I’m looking for people who know the value of acknowledging and sharing feelings and have an openness to begin with yoga and meditation. This is a group for working on and uplifting YOU!

$50 per 1 hr 30 minute group or $375 for the 8 week series. Compare at $150 for a 50 minute individual therapy session.

Move beyond the “new normal” to a place of greater support and healing. For additional details, questions and to register for the required individual session (at a reduced rate), please email 

The individual session is for me to understand your experience with cancer and to be sure the group is a good fit for you at this time. I’m also happy to answer questions by email prior to scheduling your session.


An Invitation to Seek a Place of Rest

In The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully, Frank Ostaseski, the co-founder of the Zen Hospice Center, shares what he has learned through his work with people facing grief and loss, s well as his own life experience and spiritual practice.

He distills a lot of wisdom into the Five Invitations. They are principles that show us how to wake up more fully to our lives and appreciate life’s preciousness.

I suspect many JoyBooters will relate and enjoy delving into his ideas and stories. In these days of societal stress and polarization, and for people facing the challenges of illness, recovery, or loss, one invitation stands out to me this week:

The invitation is to find a place of rest in the middle of things.

The place to rest might be physical or how you feel in the company of a love one. It may even be available to you in your own breath in which you let go with each exhale. If you don’t let go, you can’t fully take in your next breath or be fully present to the next moment.

Here are a few nuggets he teaches about the breath:

  • Breathing is a living process, constantly changing and moving in cycles- inhale, pause, exhale, pause. Each breath has a beginning, middle, and end. Every breath goes through a process of birth, growth, and death. Breathing is a microcosm of life itself.
  • While we might believe otherwise, there is nothing boring about being with the breath. When we open to the miracle of breath and sense directly the process of oxygenation, we appreciate how, through a creative collaboration with our blood, air reaches every cell of our bodies. 
  • The breath invites us to rest, restore, and be revitalized.

I invite you to practice letting your breath to breathe you. Click here to practice with me. Notice how the breath moves your body and the path it follows as it enters, nourishes, and leaves you. Each moment is totally new. Each breath is unique, purposeful, and essential to life….

Challenging Times call for MORE Support

COVID-19 is affecting everyone and no one is immune. But for those of us who have undergone cancer treatment, are currently under the care of cancer specialists or are caring for someone with cancer, there are even more precautions to take to protect ourselves and those we care for. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve compiled cancer-specific information you should know so you can reduce your exposure risk, stay healthy and be prepared in these uncertain times.

What do cancer patients need to know about the coronavirus?
According to Miriam Falco, Managing Director at the American Cancer Society, the COVID-19 outbreak is still new, and there’s not a lot of specific information on how it impacts cancer patients. But doctors do have a lot of information regarding the risk of infections in general for cancer patients and they agree the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is especially important for cancer patients because they are  at higher risk for serious illness. Patients who are in active chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant patients are at an even higher risk because their immune systems are suppressed or eliminated by treatment. [READ MORE] The peer-reviewed medical journal, The Lancet, published a study in mid-February which concluded both current and former cancer patients are at greater risk from COVID-19. The study looked at 2,007 cases of hospitalized COVID-19 patients from 575 hospitals in China. Out of that group, they found 18 patients with a history of cancer they could track — some currently in treatment, some years out. Nearly half of those patients had a higher risk of “severe events” (defined as admission to the ICU, the need for ventilation or death). “We found that patients with cancer might have a higher risk of COVID-19 than individuals without cancer,” the study authors wrote. “Additionally, we showed that patients with cancer had poorer outcomes from COVID-19, providing a timely reminder to physicians that more intensive attention should be paid to patients with cancer, in case of rapid deterioration.” [READ MORE]

How can you protect yourself from getting COVID-19?
Keep these points in mind and make protecting your health a priority. Liz Highleyman, Science Editor for Cancer Health shares common-sense precautions to take.

  • Avoid close contact—meaning within about six feet—with people who have a cough or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Healthy people do not need to routinely wear face masks to prevent infection, but use a mask if you are caring for someone who is ill.
  • Get the flu vaccine. Older people should also consider getting vaccinated against pneumonia.
  • If you think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, contact a health care provider promptly if you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Before you go to a clinic or hospital, call ahead so the staff can take appropriate precautions.


What extra precautions should you take?
As shared by Cancer Care, there are several everyday measures you should take to protect yourself that the general population may not be as proactive about.

  • Try to obtain extra necessary medications in case your community experiences an outbreak of COVID-19 and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time. Consider using mail-order medications, if possible.
  • Be stocked with over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies, such as tissues and medication good for fighting upper respiratory ailments. Stock enough household products and groceries to reduce the need to leave your home.
  • Work remotely from home, if possible, or make other plans for work.
  • If you can, use the help of others to fetch or deliver anything you might need, including food and medical supplies. This reduces your exposure to others as much as possible. Even when using this help, ask for them to disinfect themselves and then clean any deliveries you might receive. Caregivers should use the same precautions in public that those with a cancer diagnosis do.

How long after chemo has ended, does a patient’s immune system return to that of a non-cancer patient?
Cancer and cancer treatments can weaken the immune system. The immune system is a complex system the body uses to resists infection by germs, such as bacteria or viruses. When the immune system is weakened, there is a higher risk for infection. Because of this, infection is a common complication of cancer and cancer treatment and certain types can be life-threatening if not found and treated early. If you’re getting treatment for cancer, your cancer care team will talk to you about any increased risk for infection you may have, and what can be done to help prevent infection. Usually the risk is temporary because the immune system recovers after a period of time, but each person is different. For cancer patients who finished treatment a few years ago or longer, their immune systems have most likely recovered. But this depends a lot on the type of cancer you had, the type of treatment you received, and other medical problems you might have that can affect your immune system. [READ MORE] Dr. Gary Lyman, an oncologist and health policy expert at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, states that those who have finished cancer treatment should also be mindful of their increased risk. “The risk extends beyond the period of active treatment,” said Dr. Lyman. The after-effects of treatment don’t end when people finish their last course of therapy or leave the hospital after surgery. The after-effects of cancer and the immunosuppressive effects of treatment can be long-term.” [READ MORE]

How does COVID affect oncology and patient treatment?
Call your health care provider and follow their guidance on whether or not you should continue with your current cancer treatments if you’re receiving them. Some hospitals are pre-screening patients for Coronavirus symptoms over the phone prior to their appointment, then screening again upon their arrival to limit any potential spread of the disease to other patients. Jo Cavallo of The ASCO Post, wrote that in the oncology community, the response has been swift to protect health-care providers and patients with cancer, who may be especially vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus because of their systemic immunosuppressive state caused by their malignancy and anticancer treatments, including chemotherapy and surgery. To reduce the risk of infection to patients and staff members, several cancer institutions, including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, have canceled all international and domestic work-related travel for meetings or conferences. [READ MORE]
Distress related to fear and depression is familiar to most people who face cancer.  What happens when you add the additional uncertainty of unfolding current events? I’m hearing from many JoyBooters who find themselves trying to prioritize self care, but feeling alone with fears, worries, and sadness.

These times call for more emotional support, even in this time of unprecedented physical distancing.

I’m offering some antidotes to the isolation.  Please join me in choosing an online group opportunity to share more personally and deeply and to stay buoyant in these challenging waters:

Weekly Support Group – Weekly on Thursdays 7pm -must have previously attended taken Kelly’s programs. Email me for invite. Begins April 3.
Healing Well Course – Intro Course Beginning May 3rd for people who completed active treatment or are at a stabilized point in ongoing treatment.

If you are a member of Capital of Texas Team Survivor and attend Kelly’s Wednesday Wellness Warrior yoga class (or wish to be) please send me an email at to be on the list for weekly reminders AND THE ZOOM LINK to my free online JoyBooter Yoga classes for the duration of our physical distancing.

This online class is open to JoyBooters from anywhere (not just Austin). Once you are on the online class list, you will receive the reminder and link each week.

More information on how I teach yoga can be found in previous VLOG posts that share meditations and kundalini yoga practices.

Stay home and stay safe and reach out!

Don’t minimize your own feelings and needs.

Fragmentation to Integration

“Everyone experiences fragmentation.  But not everyone knows how to re-integrate and heal.”

Dr. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa


In the midst of treatment for cancer, I looked in the mirror and felt shocked at how changed I was on the outside. “This is me?” I had no hair, no eyebrows, pain and fatigue. Deep lines had appeared out of nowhere and there were dark circles under my eyes. I hadn’t spent much time in front of the mirror before, barely wearing makeup and not interested in the latest fashions. But now I did and I could see my soul. 

When trauma occurs, you feel fragmented. Feelings get pushed aside in favor of survival. Parts of your experience are forgotten, the changes in your body create unfamiliar and unwelcome sensations. Your identity shifts as well as your sense of who you are.

As uncomfortable as it is, this fragmentation is a normal response to a traumatic, life threatening experience. The problem is that you don’t always get to re-integrate and integration is vital to healing. 

In order to integrate, you have to acknowledge all aspects of your experience – changes in your body, relationships, undesirable memories, big feelings, and find ways to integrate them. When you’re integrated, you no longer feel numb, and have access to your emotions. You are more in charge of how you act and react and you can talk about your experience in a coherent way.
What creates a feeling of integration when you’re fragmented?

  • Feeling truly seen, heard and witnessed by another person is one way.  And personal reflection through meditation invites your inner witness. When you include others, they are your witness. When you are meditating and/or being the observer of your own experience, you are your own witness.
  • Movement that gets your circulation moving, balances your energy and the hemispheres of the brain is another way. Yoga practice can also balance and integrate the functions of the brain stem (which controls survival) and the frontal lobe (which manages emotions and executive functioning).

Here’s a simple practice to acknowledge the many parts of your body and your Self:

In my upcoming workshop, we’ll explore the concept of fragmentation vs. integration and how integration helps you center and heal.

Registration  now open for the workshop on February 27 and I hope you’ll join me.

Open to all! Cancer survivors, oncology professionals, mental health professionals, yoga teachers-anyone who is interested in experiencing the Kundalini Yoga approach to integration and healing.

Register Here:


Falling Apart is Part of the Cycle of Life

Looking to nature helps me appreciate the cycles of life.

The lush abundance of a cool early summer with lots of rain, has moved into stifling heat this year and the grass is turning brown.

Over the past month, as my husband and I waded through medical decisions and his surgery approached, I felt more than a trace of desperation. I found myself falling apart in the face of the unknown. I didn’t know the outcome of my husband’s surgery and leaving my daughter behind as her new school began, to be cared for by relative strangers, felt like a terrible choice.

I appreciated the many good wishes sent my way through email, Facebook and the ethers. They helped to sustain me.

As happens in all moments of falling apart, the process did have an eventual end point as my husband emerged from a successful surgery and is recovering well. My daughter showed great independence and resilience, even while snapping right back into her basic “tween” attitude as soon as we returned.

As with all feelings and states of being, nothing is permanent. Not the dreaded pain and fear, nor the moments of joy we wish we could hold onto forever.

Falling apart is an essential ingredient in the cycle of life. The seeding or germination is followed by birth and Life! And then there is a falling apart (slow or quick), a death or endpoint, which in nature always leads to a transformation or rebirth. If you don’t fall apart, is there transformation?

One of the classic meditations in kundalini yoga, Kirtan Kriya, directly includes the awareness of this cycle of life. The Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation has been studied at UCLA and found to lower inflammation and improve memory. It is now being studied at the UT School of Nursing to understand it’s possible impact on cognitive function after chemotherapy.

Kirtan Kriya is a powerful meditation for clearing your subconscious and bringing you into the present moment. With each 4 part phrase, you acknowledge the beginning, middle and end of all parts of life and your experiences.

Here’s a link to practice it with me:

Or here for an audio recording:

As I begin this week in an improved frame of mind and with stronger energy, I’m grateful to the part of me that was willing to allow the experience of falling apart.  I’m going to need the strength to fall apart again and again.

Resistance to acknowledging your feelings of fear, sadness, grief and anger, can freeze your feelings and make you feel numb inside. It also, at least in my case, keeps me from acknowledging that I need help and asking for it.

Falling apart is uncomfortable but essential.


On Falling Apart

“How can we pull ourselves together when we haven’t allowed ourselves to fall part?”

Elizabeth Goble

My husband’s cancer experience is giving me the chance to revisit how my 6 Principles for Emotional Recovery and Resilience (6 Principles) work. To be honest, things have been hard. We are getting ready to go to Houston for a series of surgeries while my daughter starts middle school in a new environment where she doesn’t have friends yet and we don’t have any systems in place.

The disruptions and surprises keep coming and the underlying uncertainty is a challenge. In this moment, I’m reminded that I don’t have to fight against allowing the experience to affect me, my schedule, my goals, our relationships and my life. I’m aware of surrendering my tight grip on trying to be in control and I’m back to basics with Principle #1: Getting Honest about how the cancer experience is/has impacted you. If you don’t let yourself fall apart physically and emotionally, you simply remain frozen, incapable of moving past this.

Right now, my cancer experience is affecting me and I have to make a lot of adjustments. There are some professional and personal goals that have to be shifted. I’m tired and worried about my family. I’m falling apart so I can put myself back together. I’m feeling some relief in admitting that, to myself and to you.