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opening your heart & giving thanks


We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

~ Frederick Koenig

Just a quick post to thank you.

Thank you for connecting with me – for allowing me to touch your life and for touching mine.

I wish you a wonderful week – full of peace, love, joy and gratitude!

Give yourself the gift that comes from slowing down.
Celebrate the life you are living – in this moment.
Rest, be still, breathe deeply, smile and soften.

Have grace with yourself.

If your life isn’t going quite how you want it to or how you thought it would “turn out” – it’s ok. Let it go. Let go of the ideas of how you think your life should be so that you can see your life in a new light.

Your heart is ready to release the past so that you can see the beauty that comes from forgiveness and gratitude.

There is beauty all around you.
Sometimes you have to open and soften your heart a little so you can see it.

Let your light shine bright this week.

Feel your heart expand with gratitude and share that love and appreciation with all those you meet.

It will make a difference in their lives.
And it absolutely will make a difference in yours.

Happy Giving-Thanks…

And thank you, my friend, for being you.







I have opened registration for Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery from now through December 4th!

inside-out-ecourse-graphicTo learn more about the course:

Once you enroll, you will have access to the full 8-lessons, guest posts, Q & A bonus videos and more for an entire year. You will become a member of our Inside Out private online community for a lifetime.

Gift Certificates for the Holidays are now available!

*Please note: In 2016 I will be raising the registration fee. If you were planning to take the course in the near future, now would be a good time for you to take advantage of the lower price.

invest in yourself

We are the only creatures that seek out guarantees, and in so doing, we snuff the spark that is discovery.

~ Mark Nepo

This is my last post this week to simply remind you that if you are planning to join us for Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course and community – sign up today. REGISTRATION ENDS TONIGHT, Midnight, C.S.T.

Class officially starts Monday, October 12th. Because I stay home with my kids and work around their schedule, I need this week to dive deeply into all the amazing course content I have lined up for you. And I get to play, play, play with all my art journaling supplies! I’m so excited to set down the computer, step out of my head, relax and feel the joy that comes from playing with paint – without any care in the world what it looks like or how it turns out.

Because none of that matters. Perfect is so boring.

Keeping ourselves from enjoying the amazing healing powers of creativity and art…well that’s just plain silly. Because life is too short to feel restricted. Life zooms way too fast to be consumed by fear, stress and overwhelm.

I’m dedicated to blasting the doors wide open in this lifetime.

I want to break free of my silly mind that tells me I’m not doing it right, I’ll never be as good as her, or I’m not good enough.

You are good enough.

In fact you are better than good enough.


Keep sharing your awesomeness with the world…please…beautiful you.
Because you have gifts to share with us.

We need YOU.








To enroll in Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery, VISIT HERE.

To see the video that makes you want to dance, VISIT HERE.
To see a video where I talk about the program and why it’s so near and dear to my heart, VISIT HERE.
To read rave reviews from Inside Out grads, VISIT HERE.

stop self-doubt; let go of perfect – it’s time to live the life you were born to live


(SEE BELOW for winners of the big give-away & a NEW video for you. Also, I’m offering two FREE Life Coaching sessions if you register for Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery by Saturday, October 3rd!)

Today, I simply want to reintroduce myself and share my journey of healing.

Many of you have known me for a long time. We’ve created friendships and deep connections over the years. Many of you have just discovered me, maybe stumbling across my website on a Google search or by the recommendation of a friend.

We all have one thing in common, we want to live a happy life.

We want to move beyond our own self-doubt, worry and fear. We want to stop devaluing ourselves. We want to feel more joy, peace and calm in our day. We want to express our creativity and walk through this life connected to our purpose and the things that matter most. We want to break free from stress, overwhelm and exhaustion so we can have more fun!

I’m a holistic life coach and a yoga teacher. I’m an artist and a lover of life. I’m a wife and a mom and an entrepreneur. I’m a reformed self-doubter and an encourager of creativity and joy.

I’m an observer and the creator of my own life.

I’m a woman…just like you…and I’m on a journey of self-discovery.


My life used to be filled with self-doubt. I didn’t believe in myself and I let fear keep me from making decisions and taking risks.

Somewhere along the path to adulthood I learned how to stay quiet, watch from a distance and please others. I learned to put my needs last and serve others first.  I never believed I was enough. I never felt I had value. I was disconnected from my own worth and my inner creativity.

But things are different now. I’m on a journey of healing. I’m living a life of contentment, creativity and gratitude. I’m a free spirit.


This journey has let me to find my inner strength. My inner wisdom. I’ve found peace. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m connected to my authentic self, and I’m able to believe in myself, trust my intuition, and follow my heart.

I’ve learned to face my fears and accept mess and chaos as a part of life. I’ve learned the ultimate joy that comes from letting go of perfect and embrace the beauty of imperfection. The joy of leaving fear of failure behind me and simply beginning…

My healing comes from creativity and the creative process.

From time on my yoga mat, stillness and self care. From observation, exploration, and my journal. My healing comes from connecting with my inner creativity and building relationships with the people around me.

I’m living A Free Spirit Life. And I want to share my journey with you.

I created A Free Spirit Life to help you feel happy and become your authentic self in this world…to inspire you to reconnect with your inner creativity, find contentment in the present moment, and achieve your dreams by creating a life you love each and every day.


Right now I’m a mom, and my days are filled with the antics and excitement of three young boys. My husband is the love of my life. My heart is full of the joys and challenges of my family.

Maybe you are a mom like me. Maybe you face a different kind of chaos. It’s ok. You’re welcome here.

A Free Spirit Life & Inside Out e-course are for you if you’re…

* stressed, exhausted and not sure how you’ll manage tomorrow
* physically hurting and not sure how to care for yourself
* wishing you could just be playful and creative
* finally ready to take care of yourself so you can care for others
* at a crossroads in your life and not sure where to turn
* want to live with more peace, joy and contentment
* ready to shed self-doubt, follow your dreams & create a life you love

You matter. You belong. You are ok. You’re welcome here.

How can we continue sharing this journey of self-discovery together?

Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery is an online experience that will change your life.

inside-out-ecourse-graphicThrough art, writing, relaxation, guided meditation, and community connections. Through inspiration, reflection, and creativity. Through awareness and journaling and mindfulness.

I believe in finding contentment and joy in every season of life.

Here’s what happens when you give yourself the gift of Inside Out:

You will learn a simple system, using stillness, relaxation and creativity & you will create a visual guidebook that will help you:

* trust yourself again
* connect deeply to your intuition
* face fears & live with courage
* create a mindful action plan to make your dreams happen
* and so, so much more

To learn more and to enroll, VISIT HERE.

If you enroll by Saturday, October 3rd, you will receive two Life Coaching email sessions with me for FREE!


What it means to live from the Inside Out – join us October 12th! from Shannon Kinney on Vimeo.

I made this video for you!
End the struggle and live the life you know you are ready to live – fully, boldly and freely.

Life is a journey of healing and self-discovery. This do it together!







Thanks to all of you for entering to win from these great prizes. I so appreciate you taking the time to share and connect with me.

The winners of the random drawing are:
(I will email you all personally with details!)


give-aways, inside out guest contributors & periscope party!


It’s time for a party! How about a party that gives you a chance to win all sorts of nurturing prizes for your soul?

Today I’m launching a big give-away party, because it’s just fun to give things away!

My generous guest contributors to this all new Inside Out are gifting you a chance to win some wonderful prizes.

Before I share all the fab prizes, make sure to check out these amazing guest contributors to the upcoming course. You can learn all about them HERE.

You will find the women on this list are from all walks of life – sharing their personal stories of challenge and triumph. These are women who have gone through health scares, divorce and more. These are women who know what it feels like to be paralyzed by fear, and who have found the courage to reconnect to their creativity, listen to their intuition and shed their self-doubt.

These are women who are passionate about giving, passionate about creating their lives and who share that passion with others through coaching, teaching, writing, healing, art and more.

I feel blessed to share their teachings with you.

Visit HERE to see the list of wonderful guest contributors you will enjoy when you register for Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery.



For your chance to win give-aways from our lovely guest contributors to this session of Inside Out:

1) Simply share the Inside Out course link with your friends and followers:

You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. The more you share, the more chances you have to win. After you share, email me ( and let me know, and I’ll enter you in the drawings!

2) Join me on Periscope – either LIVE or for the replay – this week.

(If you haven’t already, simply download the Periscope app to your smart phone, create a login and follow me @ A Free Spirit Life.) I’m planning to go LIVE at 10 a.m. C.S.T every day this week! If you can’t catch me live, not to worry. The replay will be available 24 hours after it airs.

Winners will be announced Saturday, September 26th!

Here are the list of fabulous prizes:

Thank you for helping me spread the word about Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery new-bio-photoe-course and community and for supporting our guest teachers.

To enroll today, VISIT HERE.

I can’t wait to share this experience with you!


mothering with heart podcast #2 (& winner announced)

Today I’m sharing my newest Mothering with heART video podcast.

This episode touches on the topic of slowing down, self-care and knowing when you’re reaching your breaking point.

These videos are simply a glimpse of my personal reflections in the moment. They are unedited, unscripted, unplanned…baby babbling and nature sounds in the background for your added pleasure.

I hope you find this video journal inspiring. Share with me! Subscribe to my new Youtube channel, post a comment or email me privately.

And check my A Free Spirit Life Facebook page to see the winner of one month of e-coaching with me (more details about my monthly life-coaching services coming soon). Thanks to all of you who filled out a survey. If you’d still like to share your ideas, visit the link below.

Mothering with heART Survey 
I appreciate you deeply.
Take care of yourself today…and always.
Your Personal Reflection:

Do you have a morning ritual that supports your needs? How can you nurture and take good care of yourself to feel more balance in your daily life? Do you know what truly nurtures your soul?

Take some time this week to notice how you feel. Slow down. Find a moment of stillness and check in with your body. Do you feel tension in your head, neck or shoulders? Some nervousness in your stomach? Are you feeling healthy and vibrant or a little run down? Notice those feelings – without judgment. Be kind to yourself. Simply listen to what they are trying to tell you. Journal about it!

celebrating joy in the every day (& two give-aways!)


I don’t know about you, but cooking three meals a day – every day – can leave me feeling, uh, rather uninspired.

I really do have a passion for healthy eating and cooking.  But doing it day-after-day-after-day in the midst of changing diapers, nursing, schoolwork, piano lessons, cleaning, folding clothes… I know you can relate.

It. gets. old.

So I’m excited to see that my friend, Leah, and creator of the Season’s Eatings e-course, is offering a new session.  I’ve taken Leah’s course in the past and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorites because not only does she offer fabulous PDF’s full of easy and yummy recipes, but she is in-tune to how to make mealtime more meaningful while connecting more deeply to your children.

Cooking three meals a day doesn’t have to feel like a burden, and Leah, reminds you of that.

Her course will help you get grounded, centered and inspired so you can really enjoy the pleasure that comes from feeding and nourishing your family.

Leah says, “I believe that cooking can be a source of joy, fun, and connection in our lives. I know how good it feels to have a repertoire of delicious dinners you can whip together to feed a few or a crowd. And I believe that one of the secrets to enjoyable family dinners is to include everyone, especially the kids, in the preparations, rituals, and routines of the evening meal.”

Just from re-reading Leah’s course description, I can see that with the addition of our new baby, I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut over the last few months when it comes to mealtime.  I still cook healthy foods and have found ways to simplify my time in the kitchen – like prepping for the week on Sunday, buying similar ingredients for several meals, and making the trusted family favorites that I know everyone will eat.

But…I haven’t necessarily felt as much joy about YET ANOTHER MEAL that has to be prepared. Yes, it’s true, mealtime happens again and again, but rather then dread or lament it, there are ways to make it more fun.  And with Leah’s inspiration, you can bring back a sense of play, laughter, connection and JOY to this daily routine.

Are you ready to be inspired?

To learn more about Leah’s wonderful e-course, visit Season’s Eatings. (If you are ready to sign up for this course, use the discount code: FREESPIRIT.)

The Give-Aways – How to Enter:

Leah is giving away one spot in her upcoming Season’s Eatings e-course.


mothering-with-heart-logo 200
I’m giving away one spot in my NEW Mothering with heART e-course, that runs April 28th – May 16th. (Registration is NOW open!)

I’m SOOOOO excited to share this journey with mothers who are excited to bring more love, courage and joy into your life with your children while you follow your heart, TRUST your intuition and nurture your creative dreams!

For your chance to win a spot in one of these courses, leave a comment on this blog post and let us know:  Where do you find inspiration in the midst of motherhood?
For an extra chance to win, stop by and “like” A Free Spirit Life Facebook page.

I’ll announce a winner on Monday, April 14th.

Bring on the joy…

(REMINDER: Visit THIS POST for your chance to win the Simple Parenting & Play Planner!)

celebrate your life


The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

~ Oprah Winfrey


Well, I certainly don’t have it all together. I’m still working on stuff…daily. Struggling and fumbling along the way.

But I gotta say, I sure scored in the husband department.

These photos are from my recent birthday celebration. The boys were so excited to surprise me. The rule was: under no circumstances could I come down to the basement. While the boys were busy building this birthday cake present masterpiece out of boxes, I took baby Grayson to the grocery store (which is always a treat just going with ONE kid) and then to mommy/baby yoga (which is so comforting and relaxing).

I took a nap in the afternoon (which is always heaven).

And made enchiladas for a small party with my family. All I really wanted this year for my birthday was a quiet evening with my family, eating good food and playing games. It was awesome. The boys could not contain themselves – pure joy and excitement. So they pulled me downstairs first to reveal this amazing gift. Or gifts rather. 39 presents for my 39th year. Isn’t that the sweetest?

And not only were the presents awesome, like a new journal, a smash book, coffee mugs…but each box had a note from the boys and my husband sharing what they love most about me.

I truly felt showered with love!


It was a birthday I will never forget. One full of love, fun and abundance – for sure.


my bday collage 2013


And the birthday celebrations have continued, for my husband and my oldest, who turned 6 today!

This is YOUR one life…celebrate your breath.
Celebrate the ones you love.
Celebrate YOU.

Because YOU and your life are worth celebrating.





*Photos by my love, Chris Duh.


Inside Out Logo

Now that the birthday celebrations are just about over, I’ll be turning my attention to Inside Out.

There’s still plenty of time to join us! My 5-week e-course begins January 27th, 2014.
For more information, visit:
Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery!

sending you joy


From my free spirit family to yours…

sending you peace, love and joy.

Happy Holidays!


let go of “perfect”


7 ways to reduce clutter this holiday season

Christmas Presents

To continue my efforts to Reduce Clutter; Make SpaceI have to be more conscious of the decisions I make this holiday season.  For me, reducing physical and mental clutter is about being mindful. I didn’t get rid of so much stuff this year just to acquire more. So I really want to be aware of the things I buy, the things I give, and the things I receive for Christmas.

Many of my family members want to keep the gift giving simple this year, too.  In fact, instead of giving each other big gifts, we adopted a family together.  Although we won’t get to see the kids open their presents, it sure feels good to give without expecting anything in return.

Here are some ideas and small changes you can make to simplify your gift giving while keeping the true meaning of the holiday season in perspective.

1) Bag the Gifts

How about instead of buying gifts for friends and family, you find a local family in need of the necessities.  That way you ensure your gifts won’t go to waste and you’ll be helping those who truly need it.

2) Give Experiences, Not Stuff  

How about giving a zoo membership to that special family in your life, or offer to baby-sit for those new parents, or consider planning a potluck game night with your best friends.  These types of experiences are so much fun and usually way more memorable than the stuff. (What about an e-course? Gift certificates are available for my new session of Inside Out!)

3) Limit the Dollar Amount   

I mentioned that my immediate family decided to adopt a family rather than give big presents. But we still like surprises and opening gifts.  So we’ve decided to draw names and buy one gift each for $25 or less. Limiting the dollar amount will help you to not go overboard and it actually forces you to be more creative in choosing the right gift.

Felted Coffee Cozy
4) Recycle, Reuse and Re-gift!  

What can you make using recycled materials?  Did you see my felted sweater projects?  Check out Crafting a Green World for more ideas.  And I know some of you may think re-gifting is taboo, but think of it this way:  Look around the house for something that is very special to you, yet it has served its purpose and you are now ready to let it go.  I’m not talking about giving a white elephant gift or something you don’t like, but actually consider giving something you love that you are ready to pass on.

Hand-Made Wrapping Paper

Another idea:  How about making your own wrapping paper out of brown paper bags and your tags out of scraps you find around the house?

5) Avoid Plastic  

It takes hundreds of years for plastic to decompose.  Isn’t that horrifying when you think about that stuff filling up our landfills?  Look for natural and organic items when possible. Check out Hip Mountain Mama’s shop for ideas.

6) Buy Local & Support Independent Artists  

If you do plan on spending money, consider doing so in your own area and from independent artists and businesses.  This is a great way to support your local community.

If you don’t know many artists in your area, check out Etsy or online shops.  There are many amazing independent artists who offer beautiful and unique products!

Here are a few of my favorite online shops: ArtsyvilleAmpersand Shop, Blue Tree Art GalleryGypsy Forest, Hand Grown GoodsInfinite Life Learning photographyKreative Notions, Lani Light JewelryMishmish Market, Muses of a DaffodilNicole Warrington Fine Art, and Tenacious Lace.

Lavender Bath Salt
7) Make Gifts With Meaning  

I’m a sucker for handmade gifts.  I love receiving things made from friends and family and I really enjoy making gifts, too.

Lavender Bath Salts
* glass jar
* 2 cups Epsom salt
* 2 T baking soda
* approximately 20 drops of lavender essential oil
* contents of two chamomile tea bag
(makes one jar)
Mix all of the ingredients together and fill the jar to the top.  Another option: add olive oil to the top of the jar for added moisturizer.  Remember to make an extra one for yourself and treat yourself to a relaxing soak in the tub!  

Check out my Pinterest board Holiday Fun for more ideas.
Olive Oil Salt Scrub

I’m by no means an expert in this area, but reducing clutter over the last year has been a wonderful learning and life-changing experience for me.  I am fully enjoying the season and don’t have the stress that can be so prevalent this time of year.

Simplifying this year’s gift giving will help you reduce clutter and create space for the quality time we all so desperately need.  Let’s give presence, rather than all the presents, and make our celebrations more mindful, meaningful and memorable!

Your Personal Reflection:  

Are you getting caught up in the frenzy of the holiday season?  What simple changes can you make this year to be more present with your loved ones?  Take a deep breath, slow down and find stillness…doing so will be the greatest gift you can give yourself.


Be well and enjoy the season!





*This post is from my 2010 archives.