“Hati… hati”

| LOCATION: in the garden at my bungalow in Amed, Bali overlooking the Java Sea |

“Slowly… slowly.”

They tell me this in Bahasa with careful caring eyes as I “jalan jalan”–journey.

It is significantly more work to cultivate and practice simplicity than it is to “acquire and fill up” our time and space.

Simplicity requires slowing down.

When I came to Amed last year, I was healing the intensity of a powerhouse year. It worked wonderfully.

I make a practice in my life of “not going back,” though.

So as I came to Amed today, I had wondered all along why I was coming again to where I’d already been.

Met by the staff at my bungalow with the love and greeting of long-missed family, and frangipani flowers arrayed on my bed in a giant fragrant yellow heart with pink blossoms spelling Welcome in the middle. I was awash with joy in their bursting smiles.

It was a few hours later that I felt… what?

Sitting on the crisp white sheets now, careful to not disturb the sweet flower heart that takes up half the bed, I stare out into the garden, sounds of geckos and frogs calling in the early evening. It is the deep quiet that catches me. Without trying, everything has slowed. I’ve slowed. Sitting amidst the simple life not fixated on squaring every corner, fixing every pothole, or enforcing mosquito-free zones.

Even the wifi is down tonight, reassuring me that life is securely beyond my control as always, and it is time to Let Go, Carmell.

I get the clear sense in only a few hours here, that I have not come back, but rather returned after my initiation.

I am ready for a deeper silence this time. A measured clarity of my life as it is now. Being schooled in balance and discipline between the water that flows over and through every part of life here, and the lava running a constant fire beneath my feet from the moment I stepped foot on this island.

I’m right here.



| LOCATION: Lying on a bench in the Starbuck’s in Chiangi Singapore Airport waiting for 7 am |

As I prepared to be out of the country again for several months with the loosest of plans, I kept feeling the pull to stay home.

“Your bed is SO comfortable… It’s the only thing you miss when you’re gone.”

Or the little half-thoughts, “There’s so much to do with your company. So much easier to stay on track if you’re just here instead.”


“How much less stressful will it be–no packing!! Everything you need already right here. No getting ready to sublet. You’re right at the crunch-time of your rebrand, you could just wait–”

“How many hours of flying?!!”

A dear friend said last week, Carmell, you’re living the life so many want to live. And I asked him, Really?!

The truth is, every great kind of life requires sacrifice of some sort. And from what I’ve learned, that ALWAYS includes sacrificing comfort.

From the outside, our life may look like business as usual or it may appear glamorous, but if it is something great, you will find sacrifice in it.

I don’t use this word lightly. I’m not a martyr or a victim.

I choose in.

It took only 7 hours into my 30 hours of flying–I was somewhere over the North Pacific toward Russia–that I felt the shift. The return of my hard-won love affair with Relocation.

Leaving where I am for something new again, struggles and challenges in the simplest daily needs, wonder and creativity off the charts. The anxiety (and exhilaration) of not knowing.

I write this as I made it by minutes onto my Tokyo–Singapore leg, then spent the last 4 hours sleeping on the Starbucks sofa from 1:30-4:30 am waiting to check in for my 7 am flight. Last leg 😉

We all long for home. But that’s not the same as comfort. And confusing those two might keep us comfortably stranded on a tiny familiar island for years or decades, dreaming and never doing.



| LOCATION: My cozy flat in the Lower Avenues, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA |

I just got a voice text from my dear client and friend on the road who hit I-15 closures out of St George, Utah on her way to Thanksgiving the next day. Taking the detour and backtracking, she messaged me with tears running down her face as this literal detour brought her to the very edge of her frustration with the loneliness and detours of her life.

My heart broke because I know this place. I wrote her back:


Be soft and sweet and gentle with yourself. Life is detours.

Maybe we need a different word so that we don’t keep thinking that we are off-track. As painful as it feels, you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and the resistance you feel inside to that–to being exactly where you are right now

–comes from your heart hurting, being heartbroken.

The only thing to do is to go down into that beautiful heart of yours and be soft and gentle and sweet with her.

Listen to her, hold her, and understand her. She knows that you are on the right track. And she knows your desires because your heart is where those desires come from.

It’s in the places of total unknowing, and being with the sadness and loneliness, that you truly trust the path that you’re on and… open in REAL un-resistance to the future that fills all your heart is longing for.

Something in you knows better than what you think you know.

And when that something takes the driver’s seat, it usually looks like detours.

Trust yourself, trust life with your whole heart. Let the tears come and let go and trust. It will be better than you could ever imagine

…surprising and thrilling you just like it has before.


A Year That Answered

| LOCATION: Alive and happy on the corner of 3rd and N Street |

Six years ago.

Moments like this saved my life. It’s a simple picture with the biggest loss of my life happening like a raging underground river barely beneath a very thin surface.

We think we know who we are, what we are doing, where we are heading…

But what we know is just the safe zone we call “right now.” We can pretend we are one thing. We can try valiantly to remain who we think we are. We can be so clear on where our life is taking us or where we want to go.

We are not a book to read the same stories out of to ourselves at bedtime. Even our history changes as we change.

The truth is, life is a mystery living itself out from inside our bodies and souls. Simultaneously heartbreaking and exultant, the victor and the loser.

We are all blind authors.

Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”

Rilke wrote, “Learn to love the questions, and live them…perhaps someday you will find yourself living into the answers”

I love the woman named Carmell sitting here in this sunny Sunday morning bed, and looking back at my own tragedy beneath the surface of six interminably short years.

I am sure that is an answer.

Kindness Never Runs Late

| LOCATION: Sitting in utter relief waiting for United Flight 632 at? |

Arrived just in time at JFK, looking for the United terminal…

There is no United terminal at JFK.

But there is at LaGuardia.

A terrified and frantic taxi ride later, I checked in one minute late to get my bag on the plane… And they said Yes!!

I am thanking God and the universe and all the powers that be for my beautiful, steel – nerved taxi driver with his old big band music playing, and the crisp New York air, and my total trust as he wove us expertly through New York rush hour traffic and pulled up at 5:05 on the dot ❤️🙏🏽😅

I want to mention that as we were stopped at a light waiting, a homeless man with a sign saying he was hungry, was standing to the side. My driver silently rolled down his window, picked up the tied bag of carry-out food ready for his own meal, and waving the man over, handed it to him with a smile and well wishes. My heart was too full for words.

I thought as we waited for light after light to change, I wouldn’t have missed that moment. The same deep effort at life he was putting into getting me to LaGuardia was what he quietly offered to the man on the sidewalk in the midst of our rush.

Thank you to the United check-in duo who got me in and through instantly! I said to her as I ran for security, “That is a ONE-TIME mistake. Period.”

We laughed!


The Truth of Who We Are

| LOCATION: Nashville Airport staring out at the most beautiful Southern sky |

I’m sitting in the airport in Nashville having just completed an intense 3-week rollercoaster of business failures and successes, amazing relationships and connections with people, training and coaching from my core genius more than ever before, and… reflection with myself.

I watch so many people I meet struggling in a certain relationship or life circumstance—struggling to be present in their lives. I’ve sat talking for longer with so many because we are all giving so much to life… and at times that giving can be heartbreaking.

I’ve asked myself, why do we find it so hard to let go? Why do we resist moving down into our hearts, and trusting–ourselves, other people or Life itself–in those crucial moments? Why do we stay locked into the tight cages of our comfort zones when what we most long for is to be free?

I’ve gotten the reputation from so many of you who have coached with me or simply conversed, of causing people to cry 😉 I will own that even though I don’t try to make that happen. Yet it does. And as I sit here in Nashville today waiting to board my plane, I’ve begun to try to put words to why tears come when we connect.

I believe it’s because I love you so much. You know you don’t have to BE anything—just yourself, finally. In your eyes, I see that undaunted beautiful soul figuring him/herself out like I am. Like we all are.

So why does this cause us to cry together sometimes? I know it is because you are seen, appreciated for simply being, understood as magnificent, and finally because all BS is ripped away. No excuses. No hiding. No playing small. Just the real stuff. The stuff that matters between us. The truth of who we really are that words can never fully express.

That truth whispers, “…Life is happening RIGHT NOW!” Getting hung up, resistant, untrusting, dissatisfied in our comfortableness is trying to stay far away from the raw joy and sometimes the pain of being fully alive right now, nothing held back.

I feel the incredible men who are secretly afraid they are not enough. They love so much and work so hard for those they love, yet feel so distant from the moments of love that connect them to those they are wholly committed to.

I ache for the powerful women who give and give every minute of the day to make life work better for everyone, yet who can’t feel the deep truth of peace in themselves—who are afraid what they give won’t be enough for the happiness and thriving of those they love.

So when we talk, I feel this. And I know the truth. Gently, I expect you to stop, to listen to your own heart, and to know the same. I know that life is simultaneously intensely joyful, beautiful and grateful,… and heartbreaking—if we’re really honest.

That relief brings tears.

Cynicism, anger and fear shut the heart off from the brain. My first mentor said to me nearly 2 decades ago, “Tears are sacred.” She said this to the woman (me) who had resisted crying for so long believing it was weakness.
It is not. It is honesty. It is an open heart. It is sacred.

It took me awhile to stop being afraid of my own tears, but once I did, I found a paradoxical gift. I could sit with others and truly see them—in their most secret hopes as much as their deepest despair or shame. And not be afraid.

I thank you for who you are, for your truth, and the honesty of your tears. May you be free. May you be blessed.

On the Crazy-Making Edge of What You Want

| LOCATION: On the sofa bed in the charming southern Paris flat of Morgane et Pierre-Etienne |

So. You’re on the verge. You’ve set out to create that massive step up–the huge leap in your career, publishing or launching your life’s work or a new business, the jump to leave your safe job and travel the world, or the moment of opening your heart to the relationship that could break it for real.

You’ve been preparing. You took each next step. You thought you were ready. And all of a sudden, you wake up in the middle of a Class-4 tornado. Everything is shifting, and fast. Your every day feels like earthquakes where everything you depended on as solid is suddenly swaying, concrete is rolling in waves–wha–?! Nothing is as it was. You can’t stay here one minute longer–and you can’t see what’s next! Make that jump? Into what?! Where’s the safe landing? Where is ANY landing?!!

Welcome to the external perimeter of your subconscious comfort zone. Like that? No? I’m not surprised. This is where you question everything. I mean everything. Is black, black? Is it raining or sunshine?–I don’t know! Do I love him? Is this really the city I live in? Maybe this is a Vonnegutesque dream where nothing is real…

Even your skin feels foreign.

It’s crucial right now for you to clarify. Ask your heart and intuition WHERE it is you want to go next. What you want is a feeling before it is actual. Tell your head to butt out.

What you want may mean money–a financial feeling. How much do you require as you take the leap, or maybe what you want coming in is the leap. You’re NOT in a place of having to scrap and shift. Let go of the poverty story when you’re on the cusp of what you want. It will screw things up. Let it go now. It takes real bravery to think Big and to hold onto that firmly.

The change you’ve set in motion can work FOR you if you access your deeper presence–use the tornado.

Be the tornado instead of being in the tornado.

You can do this. The feeling of instability, or the constant shift and challenge haranguing you, is part of the shift. Breathe. And keep breathing.

Your focus must be on the feeling and the new reality you are so clear that you want. WANT IT. WANT IT every single moment. This is where your bravery kicks in and you hold bravery in your hand like it’s a fist full of solid gold. 24 karat.

What you’re really confronting is the Imposter Syndrome–your Ego’s hail-mary-go-for-broke play to get you to stay where it’s comfortable.

Remember, you hold all the cards. Don’t suddenly think otherwise. YOU hold all the cards. And they’re your cards.

You are already equipped to do what you want to do on the level you want to do it. Do not sell out now. This is where you practice holding that gravity inside–that gut tightness of what you want. It’s showing up, it’s there. You can feel it even though you can’t see it. You can taste success, fulfillment, happiness, exhilaration. Keep tasting it. That’s all you. You can do it.

Once it’s happened, once you realize that dream or goal, you’ll look back and laugh–it wasn’t so hard or as big as it seemed.

…or maybe it was 😉 But you did it.

Sending my love and hugs and my total belief that “You’ve got this.”

WARNING: Carmell’s 2015

| LOCATION: Looking down at the Black Sea from 36,000 feet, flying from Indonesia back to U.S. after 3 months away. |


I’ve been staying in Amed. A quiet hardly-touristed village on the upper eastern coast of Bali as 2015 ended.

I like to look at my year not in terms of what I’m going to change or better, but in terms of what I want to build, create, experience, support, and grow. The truth is, I really love who I am just as I am. That’s the life I want to experience.

I’d returned in Dec. 2014 from 3 months traveling Europe to open up the next chapter of my life (it’s what I do) and working as I went–a huge leap of faith outside my comfort zone. I had decided for 2015 I would complete my book, launch my international retreats, and begin taking my business global. …I had NO IDEA what was about to happen!


This is what happened. #highlights


Fell in love with a professional community of women entrepreneurs #eWomenNetwork
Decided on one February afternoon to go to India for the 1st time that May
Submitted to TED-x SLC.


With a day’s notice, jumped into Bridget Cook Burch’s Inspired Writers’ treats. (thanks Heather Laughter)
Took on the NY Times Bestselling author Bridget Cook Burch as my book coach.
Began creating my international women’s retreats


Major progress on my BOOK!
Forgiveness and Yoga Retreat
Emily London Miller photoshoot 2 days before leaving for India


Spent my birthday in Frankfurt Germany with my sister Rachel Bessey
Attended the Women’s Economic Forum in Goa India with women from 25 countries.
Traveled alone without a plan in India (which it turns out is hard to do)


Traveled the Rhine Valley in Germany.
Returned to the US and created the India Inner Journey Retreat for October 2015.
Family Reunion, Bear Lake Utah.


Joined the All Ladies League as U.S. Chairperson for Travel and Influence
Performed marriage of Rachel and Mayk in SLC


Had my first booth at the E-Women Network’s International Conference in Dallas where I launched my India Retreat (thank you Patricia Thompson!)
Performed marriage of Kate and Nick in Millcreek Canyon


Worked with so many of my beloved friends and clients at the doTERRA Convention (this year, the largest convention SLC had ever held)
Created the SLC launch of Oprah’s Belief Series with Tia Walker (whom I met in India)
Booked the Rose Wagner Theater for the event I was producing!
Had my name on an ArtTix ticket with Oprah Winfrey!#didnotseethatcoming
Worked with documentary filmmaker Heidi Gress in creating a short doc of local people and their incredible lives for our Beyond Belief event


Participated in the Parliament of the World’s Religions SLC
Interviewed ‘The Grandmothers’
Beyond Belief was an incredible success Oct. 19th. THANK YOU to all the amazing performers and people who worked to make it happen!!
Left 2 days later for 3 months to India and southeast Asia (packed in under 20 hours).
Amazing Success with my India Inner Journey Retreat!! (Thank you Mansi Mahajan and family!!)
Discovered I don’t move like a white girl #Bollywood 😉


Diwali (largest celebration of the year) with my Indian family
Traveled to the Himalayas and to the southern beaches of Goa in India to begin restoring myself.
One night in Bangkok. (which was actually 2 nights)
Arrived in Bali.
Rode a scooter through the backroads of Bali, received the Blessing from the Water Priestess in the mountains, watched the Barong ceremony in Padang Bai.


Bali. Finishing my book. Creating and launching my Bali Retreat. Spiritual adventures. Balinese family. Coaching young female Balinese entrepreneurs. Scuba diving for the first time (faced my fear). Restoring myself.


NONE of this was on my radar a year ago.

If you’re quite serious about living a dream you’ve had, write it down and begin taking 1 action today toward opening the space for it to happen. Be willing to let go of where you are. When you jump, BOTH feet must leave the ground. It’s the only way.

Anything is possible from where I stand now. I just look at my year and decide what I want to create or make happen in it. Then let go of How and start with first steps. One at a time.

I focus instead on living today what I want to experience. Create what thrills me. Make a living at it to support living free, which really just means living from my heart. It truly is more simple than people realize. It’s just where we put our gravity.

If it’s on security, then that determines pretty much everything. The velvet handcuffs of my comfort zone. If it’s on living my heart’s desires, well… then it becomes easier to test the waters of risk and passion and learn how to swim in them.

The worst that could happen is I fail and have to start fresh. I’ve done it already. You’ve done it too. Not the worst situation we’ve been in…

I let go of all the “insurance” mentality because it’s all bull***t anyway. I get on a scooter and ride in Balinese town traffic or along cliffs without guard rails (I’m afraid of heights)! I head out to the other side of the world without a plan, but with a purpose. Start new big projects without having done them before. Ride in India traffic in tuk tuks and cars without seatbelts because there aren’t any.

There’s something in realizing the world doesn’t insure life, it just lives it.

A Sort of Balinese, Zen-Buddhist, American Thanks-Giving Prayer…

| LOCATION: Relaxing at Menari Coffee on the side of the road amidst rice paddies in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia |

“May you laugh, even with your tears. May you be loved. May your smiles be returned, and the goodness of others flow to you. May your abundance bless even those you will never meet. May your life hold quiet fulfillment, and abounding joy in others’ successes. May you know those who can simply sit with you in your grief. May you see the dawn and remember the feeling of beginning life. May you see others with love, and in them, yourself.

Years past, I read the poem of an aging Japanese Buddhist nun from 4 centuries ago knowing that the autumn that year would likely be her last.  She wove the careful words of her love for having lived 66 autumns, each unique and exquisite to her.  At the last, her quiet anguish broke through at how 66 seasons is so brief.

The memory of her poem has stayed with me. Forty-six autumns seems so few when I think of each autumn of my life. 46. It makes each one, and each day of it, more precious to me when I see it this way.

We celebrate Thanksgiving each fall, but I want instead to celebrate Gratitude. Even in my most terrified or private heart-wrenching moments, gratitude has brought me back to myself and opened my heart to life–magnificent and fleeting as it is.

So as I sit here near the equator tonight, the moon full and bright in the November Balinese sky, I am so thankful for each of you I share life with in one way or another. We are connected–and to me this immense gift both humbles me and utterly delights me.

It has made 46 autumns so rich and blessed.

Guilt Kills Gratitude and Self Respect

| LOCATION: My cozy flat in the Lower Avenues, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA |

I had an incredible session with a dear client this morning (the eve of Thanksgiving) and we spoke about her amazing Respect List: a list of personal statements that deeply affirmed and empowered her respect of herself at the next level of her life. (She’s seriously cool!)

She had listed, “I am not guilty” as one of her statements of self-respect, and it caught my attention. Guilt plagues us in both a full-on frontal attack, as well as subtly woven into something that looks good or innocent on the face of it.

I think guilt is my #1 killer of gratitude. And so…

Gratitude is my AMAZING discovery for transmuting guilt into something beautiful and useful.


When I first discovered this years ago at my office, I was running late getting to my next client. I’d been doing a lot of work on guilt and as I walked over to greet her, instead of apologizing profusely for my lateness, I instead said, “I appreciate your patience! Thank you for being so gracious.” And I knew I meant every word. I felt Great, not guilty!! She smiled broadly and we got down to business.

This is true over and over, whether it’s something I’ve done, something someone else has done, or something just inside of me. Gratitude.

The moment I reach out and find gratitude, nothing held back, my guilt–or my need for someone else to feel guilty–vanishes and my heart is FULL.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed that in finding gratitude, I also let go.


I trust.

And I feel life move forward instead of sliding back which feels all kinds of good to me.