Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

The Web of Love and 5 Beautiful Bloggers

The web of loveUnbelievable as it may seem, I was disconnected from the internet for 3 years.

No, I wasn’t in prison!

When I reconnected just less than a year ago, I discovered an entirely new world –  the blogosphere.

At first I was enamored by the practical side of blogs.  Whatever I needed to know, I could find a blog about it.

Then I gloriously stumbled upon the web of love.  It all began with the indefatigable Tess Marshall at The Bold Life.

The Web of Love

If you haven’t met Tess yet, let me introduce you to this extraordinary and spirited woman. 

Tess Marshall is “…a wife, mother, entrepreneur, speaker, author, workshop and retreat leader, spiritually-based, fear shattering, calculated risk taker, obsessed with being happy, courageous and bold, witty, big-hearted, loving, passionate, runner, world traveler and ADHD hyper human being.”  She’s also a counselor and coach.

When I wrote a guest post for The Bold Life called Be Wisely Selfish, I suddenly became interlinked with her wild and woolly community of joyful love-obsessed bloggers.  This led to more wonderful encounters of the extraordinarily positive kind.  Thanks to these brilliant new interconnections, my life is constantly suffused with love.

Surround yourself with love. It’s easy to do in the blogosphere.  It’s a powerful medium for expressing and receiving love, joy, compassion, kindness, and clarity.  This bedazzled web of love has the power to  transform the world around us.  Of course, the point is not just blogging about love, but to genuinely be of help to others. To do the best we can to be loving in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Now Tess has kindly bestowed upon me and 4 other fabulous female bloggers who are changing the world the “Beautiful Blogger Award.”  Thank you, Tess.  I am so moved by your acknowledgment.  And I appreciate being part of the fun.

7 things about me

As part of receiving this award, I am asked to share 7 things about myself.  Here goes:

1. I was born in the windy city – Chicago.  I’ve also lived in California – Orange County, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.  Then there was a stint in upstate New York near Albany followed by time in the South of France.   I now live on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

2. Going to the library was one of my favorites activities as a child.  I felt the calling to be a writer and as a teen I devoured Writer’s Digest.  But life took a different turn.  I became the Executive Director for a nonprofit.  Years later, I actualized my childhood dream by becoming a freelance copywriter.

3.  One of my biggest challenges is thinking too much.  This is one reason why I love meditation.

4. I have an aversion to exercise.  I have to push myself to do Qigong and Yoga, but always love the experience and the result.

5. A few of my favorite movies:  Harold and Maude for its humor and life lessons.  Ms. Congeniality for its hilarity; I seriously thought I would bust a gut.  Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring for its beauty and profundity.

6.  I believe in healing.  It may not always be possible to heal the body, but we can still heal the heart-mind and spirit.

7. The Dalai Lama is my role model.  I aspire to actualize his ocean of compassion and wisdom in my very own being.  It’s possible – for me and for you – because we all have the same essential nature – the fundamental heart of goodness.

Sharing the love and the fun

Now the fun and hard part.  It’s my turn to pass the Beautiful Blogger award on to five other bloggers, but only five.  There are far more than 5 bloggers that inspire, delight, educate, and inform me.  I hope you will visit my blog list to discover more of them.

Here are 5 beautiful bloggers who regularly light my fire.  The envelope please…

The Beautiful Blogger Award goes to:

Now its your turn Beautiful Bloggers to tell us 7 things about yourself and to pass the award on to up to 5 bloggers of your choice.  Have fun!

Dear readers, I would love to know if you have you found love and joy on the internet?

Stayed tuned: I will continue the series on Changing the World:  Advice from the Dalai Lama with my next post.

If you liked this article, please share the link on Twitter, Stumble Upon, Facebook, and the like.  Thanks so much, Sandra



A Net of Brilliant Jewels


Do You Take Your Thoughts & Emotions Too Seriously?


  1. Thanks so much, Sandra! I’m honored. I have definitely found love and joy on the Internet. The blogosphere is an amazing place! I also like that you included one man, and did not exclude the award to women only. I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon the blogosphere, to meet fantastic people like yourself and other beautiful bloggers. Thanks for all you do!

    • Lynn – I’m so glad to include you as a “beautiful blogger.” I’m really learning so much the series of interviews you’ve had on your blog of late. Thanks for that gift.

  2. Thanks for sharing all of that about yourself. I am a huge over-thinker too (and I also combat it with meditation!)

    On top of that, I try to go to the library whenever I become interested in a new subject, which is more often than most people.

    I also think of the Dalai Lama as an incredible role model. I recently saw a great speech he gave at a University about civil responsibility and compassion. You can check it out here on YouTube:

    It’s really heart-warming, and he is also so funny!

    Thanks for sharing some stuff about yourself. Looking forward to reading more soon!

    • Hi Steven,

      Thanks so much for sharing this link to the Dalai Lama’s talk. I also love his great sense of humor. We’ll at least we’re not alone in thinking too much – we have each other! 🙂

  3. Sandra! I thought I was the only one who likes Harold and Maude! Absolutely love that movie!

    Slight side note, I just got back from a talk by the Dalai Lama. He is here in Atlanta for a few days, and doing talks and workshops at Emory University. Interestingly enough, yours is one of the first blogs I read when I got home and fired up the computer.


    • Joshua,

      Oh, there’s 2 of us! When I lived in France, I often walked in a an expansive field at the edge of a cliff kissing the sky. It reminded me of the final scene of that film and it’s been in my mind ever since.

      I’m so happy you were able to go to the Dalai Lama ‘s talk! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

  4. Sandra, thank you so much for the award! I really love this idea and I’m definitely going to join in on the fun.

    The blogosphere is so full of passionate people who are ready to share love, compassion, and positive energy. Connecting with beautiful people like yourself has been one of the most rewarding results of diving into this community and I’m so grateful for all your wonderful support and contributions! 🙂

    • Thank you, Raam. The great thing about this award is that if we each give it to 5 people eventually every blogger in the universe will have it. That’s such a great metaphor for how we can spread love and compassion too.

  5. Thank you so much Sandra. I am honored to be included in your list of Beautiful Bloggers. I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon your incredible site. You are most certainly a Beautiful Blogger too. Thank you for all of your thought provoking and insightful posts. Your contributions to the blogosphere are appreciated and cherished. Thank you for all the support you have given me. I’m feeling the love-thank you for making my day. I will be sharing in the love and fun very soon……

    • Thanks for your kind words, Lori. My favorite thing about your blog is that it’s so loaded with practical information and also hip topics like the greenest yoga mats. So happy to include you here.

  6. Sandra,
    You truly are a beautiful blogger!! So…being here today and reading this brings a huge smile to my face! And then…to learn more about you – so awesome!! I’m in a yoga class right now (the first time doing yoga) and I’m loving it – especially savasana, which we close with. So peaceful and meditative….

  7. Hi Sandra,

    Thank you so much for honoring me with the Beautiful Blogger award. And it is all about love, isn’t it? This web of connection is one thing about blogging I never expected. And I love the unexpected!

    I am happy to pass this honor along.

    • Hi Gail,

      Love is good! I also never expected this web of connection when I first entered the blogosphere. All the best to you.

  8. Dear Sandra,

    What a treat to learn all these new things about you. They all make you uniquely YOU. I was fascinated by the whole thing.

    I always loved Harold and Maude and have watched it over the years a few times. It was a favorite of my husband; he told me about it. I missed a whole decade of movies during my rainforest time. And I really didn’t miss much at all, but I am glad I saw Harold and Maude. So real, refreshing and human. I could do with a good laugh so I may watch Ms Congeniality sometime. I rarely watch movies but love comedy.

    I too do yoga and love it. The thing I’ve noticed is that the more I do it, or rather the more consistently I do it (most mornings with hubby, right out of bed, first thing) the more I WANT to do it. It takes a while of doing it then I start to naturally WANT to stretch and bend, and if I don’t do it my body misses it.

    I agree with Lance, you are one of the great bloggers, Sandra, not only in content, but in how you treat people. I always feel loved and safe in your presence. It’s a beautiful gift. Hugs, Robin

    • Hi dear Robin,

      Like you, I rarely watch movies any more, but it’s nice to get an infusion of fun or inspiration now and then.

      That’s a great tip about how you approach yoga. I completely love it too but just have to remind myself each and every time…so far!

      Thank you for your sweet words.

  9. Hi Sandra,

    You know, one of the reasons I enjoy watching this beautiful blog award spread around is that I get so many extra little insights into each recipient. It’s so much fun learning more about the woman behind the blog. 🙂 For starters, I didn’t even realize you were living in Hawaii…that’s so awesome! I really hope to make it out there one of these days. I’ve heard the snorkeling and scuba diving are just incredible.

    Second, I love being introduced to so many other wonderful bloggers that I haven’t come across yet. My community of inspiration just keeps growing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Adrienne,

      I also enjoy getting to know a little more about the people I’ve connected to on the internet via this award trail. I’m very fortunate to live in Hawai’i. It was a dream ten years ago, but that wasn’t the right time. When the right time came, it just seemed to happen naturally. I don’t scuba dive but I have enjoyed the beauty and color of the ocean’s beings snorkeling.

      Happy to here that your community of inspiration is expanding!

  10. Sandra,
    Thanks so much for your kind and loving words. I love Chicago! I’m from MI and I still love to meet my grandchildren for fun in the windy city. I just never tire of that place. I have an aversion to yoga and I want to learn to love it. So I think I may try to do what Robin does and begin first thing in the morning. Love and peace to you! xoxo

    • Hi Tess,

      No wonder we have a connection – we’re both Mid-Western girls! And we share an aversion too. Thanks for being you and for all the love and joy you share.

  11. I share in your love of libraries, healing and Gail as well as look forward to checking out the other bloggers mentioned here. Congrats on being a beautiful blogger and for passing the love forward. 🙂

    • Hi Emma,

      I love your last post on shaking it up! Great idea. So nice to be connected with you via Gail. Welcome and wishing you graceful balance always.

  12. Hi Sandra! Congrats on this award. You totally are a beautiful blogger. I was impressed by how many things we have in common,except for the aversion to exercise which I love to do. The Dalai Lama is also one of my role models for many reasons. I also love the three movies you listed. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your fav bloggers with us. Loving blessings!

    • Hi Andrea,

      It’s so nice to have things in common with such a brite light like you! A big hug is coming your way.

  13. Thank you, Sandra, for this distinction and honor! I read this post while at my son’s home in Minneapolis. Being with him and his family is such a special time for me, and your award added icing to my delicious cake, if I can use a food metaphor.

    I will be happy to “pay it forward” .


    • Hi Kathleen,

      My pleasure. I’m so happy this was the icing on the cake! Am looking forward to your beautiful blogger post. I liked the idea of sharing the award in difference communities like the world of food and green living too.

  14. Hi Sandra, I LOLed at your prison comment! I really got hooked on the internet back in 1998 when I was able to diagnose my own endometriosis (something the doctors refused to consider).

    Thanks for introducing me to some bloggers I wasn’t familiar with, and for sharing a bit more about yourself. I also was constantly in the library as a child, and I’m reluctant to exercise unless it’s part of a fun activity. I think too much also, but I can’t seem to meditate by myself. The universe is clearly telling me to watch Harold and Maude, as not only have you been the umpteenth person to mention it, but Ruth Gordon (Maude) reminds me of my beloved late grandmother. 🙂

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Isn’t it awesome how so many people have been able to find their correct diagnosis after waiting years and years for doctors to get it right. The internet definitely adds to our self empowerment when it comes to health. I’m not advocating self-diagnosis but it sure helps when we can point the doctor in the right direction.

      It often helps to have the support of a group – in person or online – to get going with the practice of meditation. As a meditation instructor, I’ve found that people have very common challenges when they begin to meditate, but about half way through a weekly course there’s a big shift. It’s always incredible to see.

      • Hi Sandra, that’s a relief to know that other people find meditation difficult to learn. The advice I’ve gotten is “clear your mind,” as if that is sufficient explanation. I guess for some people that is. For me that seems as possible as running a 4 minute mile.

        • Hi Jennifer,

          You are totally “normal”! It’s not easy for most people. In fact, in the beginning when you start to pay attention to your mind all the chatter and busyness seems to get worse. It’s not really worse, often you are just really noticing for the first time. One day I will write more about working with challenges in meditation.

  15. Hello Sandra,

    It was great to learn more about you. I love to learn of others and about the things that make them “tick”.

    The point about you thinking too much. Boy, can I ever relate to that. Sometimes I think I am the master at over-thinking something! Through practice though, it can be controlled. 🙂

    I agree with you about Tess. She is incredible and has been an inspiration to me for nearly two years now. The others you mentioned I am just now discovering and I am excited to get to know them as well.

    Thank you Sandra!

    • Hi Keith,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your love of Tess. She is so inspiring. I agree – through practice we can calm the mind and put thoughts and emotions into perspective.

      It’s so nice to “connect” with you. All the best.

  16. Sandra,
    I love the way the Beautiful Blogger award makes its way through the blogospere. I’m so glad you got the award! It was also great to learn more about you too.

    • Hi Angela,

      I was first introduced to the “beautiful blogger” award on your blog!!!!!! It is so fun to share the love. I figure that if we each give it to 5 people, eventually everyone in the blogosphere will have it. Hugs for you!

  17. gutsywriter

    So glad I found your blog via Annabel’s post on simplifying your life. My family moved from OC, California to Belize for a year, and what an amazing transformation. I am so happy my three sons, including teenagers were uprooted from OC materialism, and learned about gratitude.

    • Hi there,

      I’m so glad to connect with you too. What an amazing way to make a positive shift. It shows the value of bringing teens to other cultures. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. All the best to you.

  18. Dearest Sandra, congratulations on this award – you deserve a thousand more, you are such a blessing to the blogging community – thank heavens you decided to come back online.
    I still want to watch your favorite movie # 1 and still want to try Qigong.
    Beautiful post from a beautiful blogger!

  19. Tess spins good web.

    On thinking too much …

    Growing up, I wanted to be a kickboxer and a chiropractor — I wanted to combine brains and braun. I was always a fan of the mind-body connection and I never wanted to be too cerebral or get stuck in my head. I think I saw a Star Trek episode or some movie with a brain in a jar and I thought, I never wanted to just be a pickled brain … I want to build a strong body and strong mind (something has to lug the head around, eh?)

    Interestingly, Edward de Bono calls out two flavors of people … Doers and Describers.

    I’m definitely a doer by nature, but I continuously work at the art of describing … it’s a way to share and scale expertise. When I describe too much without doing, I get antsy … and if I do too much wtihout describing or sharing, then I feel the urge to step back, and share what the learnings.

    I think the doer in me started early with a lust for adventure and somebody told me early on that life is not spectator’s sport and that stuck.

    • Hi J. D.

      It’s so funny to think of what makes impressions on us as we grow up – like Star Trek episodes and pickled brains.:) It’s clear that you were already a personal development genius as a child!

      I love this idea of the two flavors of people. There are so many interesting ways to look at the world. I agree though that balance is almost always a good thing.

      I really enjoyed your comment so much!

  20. Congratulations, Sandra! You’ve done an amazing amount of work in under a year. What a great little corner of the internet you have set up 🙂

  21. Hi Sandra,
    As I read this, I was struck by your beauty..your expansive spirit and beauty…
    And I smiled because I’ve been part of Tess’ troupe since I began my online journey and I think how fun indeed:)
    As for love and joy..I feel both strongly so tend to reflect and attract it, online as well as in “life”. I’ve opened my heart and home for Tess, Jay, and Megan… and there is an invitation for anyone who would like to visit my area…I have just returned from a conference in NY in which I reconnected with Megan and met Simon, Evita, and Jenny. These bonds span we celebrated here, Spirit celebrated everywhere. What I experience through these connections and through many others that so far remain “online connections” enriches my life so that I may create according to my heart whispers and open my heart fully to love as I continue to embrace all around me..

    • Hello Joy,

      What a beautiful piece you’ve added here. Thanks for your incredibly kind words. I’m so happy to be interconnected with your joy and love infused heart thanks to Tess, I bet! I’m so happy the conference in NY was so enriching for you and I totally agree about the incredible web of love. You are such an uplifting soul. Thank you!

  22. Congrats!

    I keep seeing Tess Marshall on blogs I visit, so just a few minutes ago, I visited Tess!

    Too funny I should see her mentioned here!

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