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

September 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

On the River, Thank you Comes in a Can!

“On the river, thank you comes in a can.” – Joey H.

How do you say thank you?


We recently went on a rafting trip with Sun Valley Adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho.


The trip of a lifetime!


On our second day on the river we came across a private river rafter who was horribly stuck on a huge boulder and could not break loose. One of the other adventure rafting companies observed, and then chose to drift past. I was so proud of our guides. They stopped and rigged up ropes to pull the private rafter off the rock. It took almost an hour and huge amounts of ingenuity and muscle.


This private rafter announced, when our guides arrived, that this same thing had happened to him last year, so this year he brought a gun! If he couldn’t get off the rock he would shoot the raft!  My response?  Maybe blasting away a problem that keeps coming back isn’t the way to go?  Maybe:

  • asking for help….
  • considering another path….
  • learning from past mistakes might be the answer?


Several days later, the man from the stuck raft came up to our guides handing each a can of beer to say thank you. Our guide, Joey, accepted one even though he was a Mormon, saying “on the river, a thank you comes in a can.” He planned to use that beer in the future as a thank you  - he would pass on the thank you.


It got me to wondering. How do we say thank you? What are all the ways we can say thank you?

  • A hug
  • A meal
  • A thank you note
  • Flowers
  • Saying a heartfelt “thank you”


Is there someone in your life that you have neglected to thank? Someone who helped you get unstuck? Someone who helped you to get off that boulder in your life and on your way?


What does your thank you look like? Why not, say thank you now?


August 2017 Oasis Odyssey

by Leslie Ackles

Sweet Dreams?

How many of you have trouble getting to sleep at night?


How many of you wake up in the middle of the night with worries or thoughts flooding in and sleep becomes a distant memory?


OK – How many of you couldn’t sleep so got up with your partner to test drive your current car (the old Altima from last month!) to see if he can assess what is wrong? Oh, did I forget to mention that this was in the middle of the night (2am!), in your pajamas?


This has all happened to me. I notice it especially when my life is crazy busy and stressful. It seems as if I can’t sort things out during the day so when it gets quiet at night my brain decides to take that opportunity to gnaw through issues – over and over again – as if that will solve everything.


Do you find yourself doing this as well? Believing that you can solve something by going over and over it?


When I am ruminating instead of sleeping I believe that:


“Maybe if I could just figure out why this person did what they did I would understand and could respond?”


“Maybe if I could just figure out a solution where I don’t have to hurt anyone it will be okay?”


What to do?


I came up with this ‘brilliant’ idea: “What if I allowed quiet time during the day for these issues to percolate instead of waiting until bedtime?”


This idea was followed by some trial and error and culminated in my

Sleep Formula:

  • Write three pages in my journal (Morning Pages) each morning
  • Allow quiet time (even if only for 10 minutes) during the day
  • No computer/ no email after dinner
  • No “scream worthy” TV shows at night
  • Read a book before turning off the light
  • Calming breath


What do you do that works already or has worked in the past? What can you add to this list? What would you like to try?  How badly do you want to sleep and what are you willing to try in order to get that sleep?


“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”

William Black



Other Possible Sleep Suggestions:

I recently co-taught a workshop series with a woman who created a segment on sleep. Here are a few of her recommendations:

  • Set a sleep schedule and stick with it
  • Exercise but not within 4 hours of sleeping
  • Cut caffeine after 2pm
  • Write down your woes
  • Take time to wind down
  • Do not drink alcohol within 2 hours of going to bed
  • Listen to relaxing music or meditations before bed
  • Take a hot bath or shower before bed
  • Stop watching TV or engaging in screen technology at least an hour before bed
  • Breathe deeply
  • Consider kicking our furry bedmates
  • Drink tart cherry juice or eat tart dried cherries or pumpkin seeds before bed
  • Aromatherapy: spritz lavender on your pillow