January 2018 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Reclaim Our Hope

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. “ E.F. Schumacher.

In this world of natural disasters (fires, hurricanes and earthquakes),  #MeToo revelations, gun violence, new tweets and policies from Washington, I seem to start each day wary of what will be revealed next.


My biggest worry is the crisis with North Korea. My son and daughter-in-law are teaching in South Korea at an international school. I watch powerless as two leaders rattle their sabers. I want to scream that this may be a game of strategy to you but to me it is the safety of those I love most in the world.


I wake each day wearing a cloak of despair.


I ask myself: “How will I survive 2018?”


I realized that I first must recognize that these crises ultimately distract me from what’s really important.


So what is most important? Where can I start?


What if what we can do is start by reclaiming our hope?


What if we begin by fostering hope within each one of us?


I have a vision of our hope rippling outwards and touching others. I believe that it is from this base of hope that we can begin to find our way though the year ahead making a difference one person at a time.


May you be a blessing…..


May you be a blessing to yourself, your loved ones,

and the world.

December 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

By the Numbers


During the hustle and bustle of this season I wanted to share with you three simple practices to hopefully bring calm, peace and presence into your holiday.


When I start becoming consumed by my ‘to dos’ at this time of year, my husband always asks me: “Leslie, please remind me… What is it that you teach?” He supplies the gift of a question to bring me back to myself and to what matters most.


My gift to you is a way to discover that calm, peace and presence amidst the busyness of the season.


My Gift: By the Numbers 5, 3 and 1.*


  • For 5 minutes a day, meditate or consciously breathe.


  • Write down 3 good things that happened each day.


  • Do 1 act of kindness each day.*


Give this gift to yourself and watch as it spills over to envelope your family and friends.


Give you and your family

the gift of peace and calm for the holidays.


* Shilagh Mirgain




November 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Harvest Your Joy!


I recently attended a Cheryl Richardson Retreat in Maine.  For one activity she asked us to share with each other when we feel the most alive.  This is what bubbled up for me.


My Joys:

  • My two grandsons running to me when I arrive with outstretched arms exclaiming: “Nana, Nana, I missed you!  I love you!”
  • My four year old granddaughter chatting away about her day in the back seat on our way to the children’s theater.
  • My eight-month old granddaughter crab crawling from the play room through the kitchen to get to her Nana, raising her arms up so she can be picked up and cuddled.
  • Walks through the vibrant woods with my husband.
  • Basking in wonder at the wisdom of the women in my life.
  • Laughing on a king sized bed late into the night with my sisters.
  • Traveling to new, exotic and distant places with my soul mate.
  • Walking by the ocean listening to the waves, feeling the sun on my face.


What are your joys?  When do you feel the most alive?


Imagine scheduling your life around where you feel the most alive?


Imagine choosing joy…..


Experiencing pleasure and joy in your life can be an antidote to your addictions of:

  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Busyness
  • Chocolate
  • ____________


What if you create new ways of being in the world and choose what gives you pleasure instead of those obligations that are sucking the life out of you?


Follow your heart….


Follow the yearning of your soul…..


And see where it takes you….


“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves,

and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” -Agnes Reppier

October 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Lean into Your Fear

“Lean into Your Fear.” – Luke M.


Years ago my husband and I went to Paris with our children. We took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower only to be greeted by lines looping endlessly for the elevators up each leg.  One line was shorter so of course we chose that line. We got up to the entrance only to find out that the reason that line was shorter was because it was not an elevator but metal stairs – the kind where you can see through to the ground all the way up!  I am so terrified of heights…so do I walk away? Do I walk up with my family? Do I lean into my fear or succumb to my fear?


This past summer my husband and I took a white water rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho. It was the trip of a lifetime.  I learned so much about myself through the decisions and choices we all needed to make each day.


Early on, the rafting leader was instructing the guests on how to paddle the small rubber kayaks called ‘duckies’. He explained that in the “duckie” when you are in the rapids you “Lean into Your Fear”. In other words, you head right for the rapids and hit them head on.  Otherwise you will get tipped over and you will be swimming  through the churning water.


I thought that this sounded like life. How often do we shy away from facing our fears? It is too scary to face some of those fears head on. We would rather pull back and we end up “swimming’ in our fears - churning, being tossed around, out of control.


What if we had the courage to face those fears head on?  What if we had the courage to lean into our fears?


What if we leaned in and felt the fear, let is wash over and around us? Became aware of what was in the fear? Came to an understanding and acceptance of  the fear?


Then, what if we made choices on the other side of the fear – in the lazy river of our life? After the rapids, after the terror?


What if we choose the next steps of our life, not based on fear, but based on our understanding of ourselves, what we value, and who we want to be?


“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"

-Eleanor Roosevelt