style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
It’s the last day of Write 31 Days 2017. Somehow this final post always sneaks up on me. It’s bittersweet. I love the connection of being in your inbox every morning...but the rest of my life takes a back seat while I type. Thank you for sharing this month with me. Let’s finish this!
I’ve always been a dedicated recycler. I’m careful not to litter. The compost bin in my kitchen is considerably larger than the trash can. But even with a bunch of positive practices in place, my family of five produces A LOT of trash.
I’m not sure where we stand in comparison with the average family in the United States. I’d like to think we’re doing our part to keep it the planet clean, yet I’m beginning to believe that we could do even more.
I honestly never gave much thought to a Zero Waste lifestyle….until recently.
I’ve poked gently around the concept of Zero Waste in the past. Primarily because the stories of people who live a Zero Waste lifestyle are so incredible. Their extreme tales of generating only a tiny amount of trash are eye-opening.
A year’s (or four) worth of trash in a Mason jar?
How is that even possible?
It usually takes a real-life example to nudge me into action. I’m inspired by people I know personally, who are making a ‘big idea’ seem attainable.
As is often the case with a new curiosity, once you begin to ponder it...the Universe begins to connect you with people who can help lead the way.
Since September, I’ve met a few such guides.
After listening to their stories, I’m intrigued.
I’m interested in learning more.
I’m ready to get my feet wet.
Here’s what I know at this early point in my research…
You can do more. There is a more Zero Waste option for basically everything in our daily lives. Granted, those options to further reduce waste might not seem initially appealing or affordable or practical...but they are available.
Small steps matter. I believe that every little thing we can do to reduce the amount of trash we create is a win. Begin with changes that you feel you can manage.
It gets easier. Like most change, once you become comfortable with the ‘new’...it’s hard to imagine any other way. For instance, composting food scraps was completely foreign to me 20 years ago when I stayed with a family in France who kept a compost bin on the kitchen counter. Today, I live in a town where compost is picked up on trash day.
Someone knows the answer. Questioning where to start? There great information available on how and why to live Zero Waste. Spend some time online. Research and learn what shifts might be possible for you and your family.
Fun factor. In the process of adopting new practices, you might discover that you love crafting your own lotions and candles. Maybe you awaken your mad ‘thrifting’ skills and find joy in repurposing second-hand treasures for your home. Your kids might eagerly join the Plastic Police and take pride in pointing out alternatives made of wood, glass or metal.
Being resourceful helps keep our creative juices flowing.
Without really trying, I’ve begun to see our trash differently.
A switch has flipped.
Lately, I find myself evaluating everything as it relates to my trash footprint.
In my beginner enthusiasm, I mentioned to my family that I’d like to try some Zero Waste practices in our home.
There’s been some resistance:-)
They were quick to point out our current Zero Waste practices...
We only use cloth napkins
We store leftovers in glass containers
We actively compost and recycle
We bring our own bags to the grocery store
We consume very few processed foods
I assured them that we’re off to a great start...but challenged that we can do even more.
I'd love to add these…
No more produce bags at the grocery store
Eliminate paper towel use
Use handkerchiefs for basic nose wiping
Non-paper gift wrapping options this holiday season
I tossed out a few others, but according to my family, these Zero Waste options are probably never happening...
Install bidets systems on our toilets
Make our own almond milk and almond butter
Make our own toothpaste
"Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (and only in that order) is my family’s secret to living waste-free since 2008!"-Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home (note: Bea makes Zero Waste look sexy and chic)
In examining the five R’s in the quote above, I realize that we’ve been taught to recycle and compost...but the more important components are found in the first three steps.
Refuse - don’t take the item in the first place
Reduce - use, buy, toss less
Reuse - always repair and repurpose before replacing
The topic of Zero Waste is super far-reaching. It covers basically all the consumer goods we encounter as humans. There’s too much to explore today...I’ve already begun outlining ideas for future posts:-)
My oldest son believes we're devolving.
I prefer to think that we’re bringing back the lost art of giving a hoot.
I’m discovering that small, simple changes can have a profound effect on our lives and the life of our beautiful planet.
Big thanks to Kym Ventola, Founder of NINE for opening my eyes to so many Zero Waste possibilities. FYI...Kym's amazing! You can learn more about her here and here.
Please share your thoughts on Zero Waste or any of the posts from this challenge.
I welcome your comments! I so love seeing you in my inbox!
Hearty thanks for following along. It means the world.
I'll settle back into weekly posts soon. First, I'm taking a breather and beginning work on some exciting changes for the blog and website. Stay tuned...
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I took my very first yoga class over 18 years ago when I was about four months pregnant with Greta. I recall welcoming the feeling of being really present in my own body. And I loved the sensation of the baby moving as I did the postures. For many years, I enjoyed strengthening my body, mind and spirit through my yoga practice.
Then something changed.
I found myself checking the clock during class. I was impatient. Hot. Tired. Uncomfortable. I wasn’t flowing with the flow.
I'd hit a wall. Yoga wasn’t doing it for me.
So, I rolled up my mat and hit pause on vinyasas. Thankfully, yoga wasn't my only workout. I'd always relied on multiple types of exercise to keep me from becoming bored. I like lifting weights. I tolerate short runs.
I kept active without yoga. And every so often, I’d revisit my mat and discover my heart still wasn’t in it.
I was irritated with myself for abandoning yoga. I live in Boulder. Everyone here loves yoga!
Then I cut myself some slack and gave myself some grace.
Do you, Kristen.
So I did. I turned my focus to HIIT workouts, weightlifting, TRX and running. All good.
And then ...
I attended an early morning, outdoor yoga class with a Rocky Mountain backdrop. Greta made the arrangements and invited me to go with her...calling it a ‘last weekend before I leave for college, mother-daughter activity’.
No matter how I felt about yoga, I certainly wasn't going to miss that opportunity!
That baby inside my womb when I first unrolled my mat, was now an adult sitting next to me on hers.
That spectacular morning, before my first downward dog...something shifted.
I realized that I missed my mat.
Since then, I’ve been doing a little yoga about once a week. At home. Welcoming YouTube instructors into my bedroom.
My current favorites are...
Sean Vigue - He's a bit wacky, but his yoga is solid. Great workout! And he films outdoors in Colorado!
Five Parks Yoga with Erin Sampson. Great variety of vinyasa flow classes. Erin films outdoors in Costa Rica and Colorado.
Maybe I pick yoga videos based on where they're filmed...
Yoga with Adrienne - She films indoors:-( but her channel is well-organized, making it easy to find a video for every type of yoga.
I’m slowly coming out of my yoga slump.
It feels pretty great.
Do you practice yoga?
Have you ever needed a break?
Oh, my goodness. October is almost over! Tomorrow is the final day of Write 31 Days. I can't thank you enough for following along. I welcome any and all comments about this month-long challenge and any of the topics I've shared.
To be honest, X words are always tricky. I didn't feel like getting creative to make X fit into this Write 31 Days. So instead, I decided to share a few fairly useless bits about me. However, while doing a little X research, I did find this awesome post on Mental Floss, 40 Words That Start With X. It's actually a fun read. Who knew there were so many cool words that really start with the letter X? Probably my English PhD sister:-)
Here are some facts you might not know about me...
Wooly-bear caterpillars remind me of my dad.
My favorite movie is Pretty Woman.
I think Praying Mantises are amazing.
I’m really good at the game Headbands.
I’m terrible at Clue.
I spread avocado on every bite of pizza.
I take pizza seriously.
I wish I could do a split.
I loved natural childbirth.
I’m trained as a doula.
March is my least favorite month.
I prefer the aisle seat on airplanes.
I love House of Cards, Ray Donovan and Homeland.
My father pierced my ears with a #14 sewing machine needle.
I don’t take enough baths.
I was a cheerleader.
I dream of speaking French fluently. (Here's where I need the X word- XENOGLOSSY. The ability to speak a language that you’ve apparently never learnt.)
I enjoy chocolate cake most when it's in a bowl with milk.
I'm excellent at covering text books with paper bags.
I love olives!
Okay, your turn. Please share something about yourself!
Thanks for being here. Only two more letters....
Today’s post has no particular value. It’s more of a mother’s stream of consciousness. For some reason W made me think of a t-shirt I saw in Logan Airport recently. Printed on the front of the shirt was “Wicked Smaht”...as in Casey Affleck’s line from the incredible film, Good Will Hunting…’My boy’s wicked smaht”.
I love a thick Boston accent. If you crave a dose, I highly recommend an episode or ten of Ray Donovan. Followed by a whiskey.
Once you’ve heard a great Boston accent, it’s impossible to read the words ‘Wicked Smaht’ and not smile a little. If you haven’t seen Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and the Affleck brothers, I urge you to watch it. Superb flick.
Anyway...13 months ago, I took at trip to the east coast with my daughter Greta. This kid who’d always dreamed of attending college in NYC had exercised her womanly prerogative and changed her mind.
After completing an internship in the Big Apple, she realized that NYC wasn’t her place.
As a high school senior, it was crunch time.
Greta needed new options.
Our 'east coast college tour' began in Boston. The first night of this adventure that was stretching us both well beyond our comfort zone, I introduced her to the above mentioned classic. Good Will Hunting. As we snuggled up on the sofa at our Airbnb and watched this powerful story unfold, I had a sense that Boston would soon become her home.
Fast forward to now. Greta lives in Beantown.
She lights up when she talks about her new city. And though homesickness sometimes makes her heart hurt, she’s happy and she’s where she belongs.
I have two teenage sons at home. One sixteen and one fourteen.
Next year I’ll have a high school senior again.
There will be college tours and decisions.
Peter will pick his town.
There will be stretching and homesickness.
And then there will be one.
We’ll do it all over again.
We’ll know the drill,
but there will still be stretching and homesickness.
I’d love to think it will get easier each time one of my kids leaves home. But the tears streaming down my cheeks as I type this tell me otherwise.
Motherhood is not for sissies.
Greta chose the land of Wicked Smaht.
Right now, I’m not sure where my boys will end up...but I’m sure we’ll find a film that highlights their new place. And I’ll learn the lingo and practice the accent until it makes me smile.
Here’s to stretching and growing and manageable bouts of homesickness.
Okay, mamas...where are you in the process?
What tips can you offer to help us all be Wicked Smaht when it comes to letting our kids go?
Thanks for being here. More tomorrow...
Many decades ago, I first heard the Beach Boy’s song ‘Good Vibrations’. Even as I type this, I can hear the tune in my head:-) The lyrics tell of the good vibrations being given off by a certain girl...and the way the sunlight plays upon her hair.
Today, I’m more aware than ever of the importance of maintaining ‘good vibrations’.
Since I’ve already revealed my current obsession with Abraham Hicks, it shouldn’t surprise you that I pay close attention to my vibration.
Our vibration, or the frequency of our personal energy, has everything to do with our mood and well-being
And if you subscribe to the Law of Attraction, you believe that these vibrations are directly responsible for what's present in your life.
We create our circumstances based on our vibration.
It all comes down to feelings. At any given moment, what we're feeling corresponds with a vibrational frequency.
Feeling crummy = Low level vibration
Feeling awesome = High level vibration
The full-on, deep dive into how our frequency creates our reality is for another post. For now, the image below will give you the basics....
Can you focus in and identify where you’re currently vibrating?
My first real lessons about vibration came from a woman named Christie Marie Sheldon. She hosted a webinar on the importance of learning to raise your personal vibration.
Christie Marie Sheldon's website, Love or Above is named after her belief that we should all strive to operate at the vibrational frequency of love or above.
(Note: If you refer back to the rainbow chart, you'll see that the vibration of Love is 500. Over halfway to Enlightenment:-)
I listened to Christie Marie Sheldon's meditations on repeat. I quickly began to identify my own vibrations by paying close attention to how I felt throughout the day.
At the time, I was struggling with intense anger and fear. I was allowing circumstances to keep me in doubt and worry. I was a mess.
Opening up to the idea that I could (and do) control my vibrations was liberating. I now understand that when I’m stuck in a feeling on the scale anywhere below love...I’m not good.
The easiest way to start shifting your vibration is to reach for hope. Find something to feel hopeful about and you'll be vibrating around 400.
If you can cultivate a solid practice of gratitude, you'll find your frequency move way up the scale. Gratitude has a vibration of 900!
By visualizing the actual vibrational scale, I began to relate how I feel to a place on the chart.
The goal is to hang in the range of love or above. The sweet spot.
I’ve since discovered another way to really identify where I’m vibrating.
Be aware that this method seems a little wacky. But, please don't judge until you try it for yourself:-)
Intrigued by the idea of truly being able to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ where I’m vibrating, I grabbed a wire hanger and two plastic drinking straws.
This video will show you how to make your own.
Here’s what I know about my energy wand practice…
It is impossible for me to move the wires when holding the straws. The wire hanger spins freely inside the straw.
When I use this device to check in with my energy...I can physically ‘feel’ how much better it is to operate at a higher vibration.
By ‘testing’ my mood, thoughts, attitude against the energy wands, I can easily tell (both by the direction of the wands and by how I feel internally) what’s going on with my energy.
I’m not sure I’d have believed it without trying it for myself. It’s the coolest thing! Like a grown-up science experiment.
Please try this one out for yourself and share what you discover! I really, really want to hear about your experience...
Thanks for reading. Write 31 Days is winding down. Only a few more letters.
If you haven't already, you can sign up here to continue receiving weekly posts in your inbox after the challenge wraps up.
Have an amazing day! More tomorrow...
Oh, where to even begin. I’m so utterly and completely intrigued by the Universe that it often hurts my brain to ponder the great unknown. I’m in awe. I love the idea of being a part of something so immense that it has no end. The mystery of the cosmos truly takes my breath away.
I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t mesmerized by the vastness of the Universe.
Since I don't have any plans to travel into outer space, how do I get my fix?
Visit a Planetarium- I’m lucky enough to have an incredible planetarium on the college campus right in my town. I welcome any opportunity to lean back, look up and learn more about the great beyond. Next on my list? A Black Holes show!
Books- I’ve been known to announce that in my next life I’ll be an astronomer or a professor of Quantum Physics. I’m fascinated by all the science surrounding a space I can’t even fathom.
Recently, I read...
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. This book isn't specifically cosmic, but instead explores the idea that there is a Universal force always at work to help us out, if we let it. I love that!
You Are the Universe- discovering your cosmic self and why it matters by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos. This one is filled with incredibly cool facts and explanations! I felt like I was in school again, in all the best ways!
The Milky Way - There aren’t many things I love more than the Milky Way. I vividly recall the first time I experienced this natural wonder. Even though I was shivering in the frigid night air, I couldn’t make myself go inside. As I stood gazing upwards...I was dumbfounded. Breathless and forever changed.
Few things have the power to affect me this deeply. The Milky Way gets me every time. (So does Paris, the view from the summit of a 14er and witnessing the birth of a baby)
If you haven't had the opportunity to see the Milky Way in person, go follow @milkywaychasers on Instagram. Or opt outside. Find a spot far away from city lights. Settle in and tip your eyes up. Prepare for a jaw drop:-)
Wish on a star - How long have I been doing this? Since I was a little girl. How long will I continue? Forever. There’s something magical about sending your wish out into the dark sky and placing your faith in the Universe. Like the classic song from Pinocchio..."When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are...anything your heart desires will come to you."
How do you feel about the Universe?
Thanks for reading. More tomorrow...
All things holiday are starting to arrive at Anthropologie. This week, we’ve been unpacking ornaments, stockings and lots of great gift merchandise. As I scanned a cart of new stuff before it hit the sales floor, my eyes stopped on a familiar book. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Felt like I was seeing an old friend. I immediately remembered embracing this small but powerful read in July, 2014.
Back then, I rallied the troops at my house and we carefully followed the KonMari Method as we performed our giant tidying event. My enthusiasm was met with groans and complaints as we made our way through every single drawer, closet and cupboard.
In the end, I discovered there is pure magic in the method.
My kids and I worked the KonMari Method through our entire home. Once we finished, the initial impact was hard to ignore.
Everything was tidy.
We had less stuff.
The stuff we kept, sparked joy.
Our belongings had a specific home.
Over the year that followed, I noticed some areas of our home were beginning to gather junk. I felt myself becoming discouraged. Ugh...was this just another method that didn't really work?
As I looked more closely, I realized three issues were causing the new clutter:
Then, since the Universe always has your back...we moved. Our lease was up and it was time to move.
There’s nothing like the prospect of packing everything you own into boxes, schlepping it and then unpacking it...to make you strongly consider what stuff you truly love!
So...we put KonMari to work for a second time.
And you know what?
This round was much easier. We had less stuff!
Less emotional attachment to things.
Less effort to decide what sparks joy.
Maybe there was something to this method after all. My faith in Marie Kondo was restored:-)
We’ve now lived in our current home for 21 months. I recently began to see some areas (linen closet, kitchen, basement) that needed some KonMari love.
So, one recent Saturday morning, I accepted that my entire day would be spent decluttering and tidying. I set my timer and started with linens…
Then something amazing happened...
I finished each area much faster than I’d planned. We have so much less stuff, that tidying what we do have...takes a fraction of the time it took before!
If you haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon of this delightful, pint-sized Japanese guru. Don’t wait!
I’m an organized person. I’ve built my business around helping women become more organized with their wardrobes and their lives.
The KonMari Method works.
Better than everything else I’ve tried.
What seemed like a crazy big claim...Life-Changing Magic...has proved to be just that.
Questions about how to get started?
Stuck on a certain category?
Thank you so much for following along this month. Writing for 31 days straight is indeed a challenge for me. It helps to know you're here:-)
If you aren't already signed up, don't miss the last week of Write 31 Days.
I’ve written plenty on the act of decluttering and tidying your surroundings using Marie Kondo's instructions. Get a glimpse of my experience here and here. And for a chuckle, check out my very first YouTube videos...on the KonMari Method.
I’ve been pretty good at incorporating elements of self-care into my life since my children were small. I’ve always made workouts a priority. I’m an excellent and regular napper. I’ve even been know to treat myself to a mani/pedi for no reason. But I’ve recently been ‘turned on’ to a whole new world of self-care. One I've been desperately seeking...
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very hard time seeing myself as sexy or even sensual. Despite an active, wonderful sex life, I've struggled to really identify with my sexy, feminine side.
Sure, there were times when I’d feel a wave of ‘sexy’ wash over me but they were fleeting and infrequent.
In an effort to understand (and eager to shift) my thoughts and feelings in this area, I began looking at the 'story' in my mind. I now recognize the history that created the limiting beliefs I held about my body and its lack of apparent sexiness.
In no particular order...
I’m not curvy
I was considered a prude in high school
I’ve always been angular
My lips are thin
My breasts are small
I’ve had only a handful of lovers
I had no healthy, sexy role models
And so, for the past several years, I’ve been working to discover, claim, invent and unearth the sexy side of Kristen.
What a long road...littered with lots of negative self-talk.
One very helpful experience was a photo shoot with a loving boudoir photographer. That giant step outside of my comfort zone and the resulting images, enabled me to see myself and my body through fresh eyes.
I’ve been blessed to know some very sexy women. Women who always seem wrapped in a soft, sensual cocoon. Without trying, everything about them is sexy. Not blatant, overt, tacky sexy...but that genuine...'I want some of whatever she has' kind of sexy.
The funny thing is, I know sexy women who have the same physical qualities that I feel are holding me back...small breasts, angular bodies, or thin lips.
I once asked my husband if I was ever sexy and if so, when?
His reply says it all…”Yes. When you think you are.”
Thankfully, I think I finally get it!
A sexy self-care practice has been helping me see myself differently. I highly recommend it, especially if you'd like to rewrite your story.
Here's what I've been incorporating into my life...
Foot massage - I do this at least once a day, as a result I've developed a profound gratitude for my feet. My entire body is more relaxed after a foot rub. I'm working sensuality in from the ground up:-)
Morning sexy cat-cow - First thing out of bed...I drop to the floor and do a few slightly R-rated cat-cow stretches...moving my hips and chest with each breath. (Another take-away from Nine Revolution. Thank you, Morgan Day Cecil:-)
Breast massage - Once a day, in candlelight with a skin-friendly oil (I use Jojoba Oil). This practice already feels life-changing. I didn't realize how much my bad attitude towards my small breasts was affecting my body image. This incredibly simple massage practice has completely shifted my thinking. I now accept the size and shape of my breasts as a beautiful trade off for years spent nursing my three children. I see my body in a brand new way! Want to try? Here's more info. (And more wisdom from my One-on-One with Morgan at Nine Revolution...follow this goddess on IG:-)
Essential oils - Get yourself a diffuser and fill your home with a scent you love. I'm still a beginner, but I'm discovering that a sensual scent filling the air goes a long way to changing how I feel.
Body love - Gratitude and a full-length mirror. Get naked and offer yourself some kind words. Look past what you don't like and give thanks for all that your body can do. Having trouble with this? Check out Jade Beall's- A Beautiful Body Project.
How do you practice sexy self-care?
I welcome your thoughts and ideas.
Questions? Comment below or feel free to email me at email@example.com
Thanks for following along this month. As you may have noticed, I'm not holding back. Authenticity seems more important than ever. Thank you for letting me share. I sincerely that hope my words are helpful to you.
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I’ve always been a romantic at heart. I believe in epic love and grand gestures. However, I also subscribe to the notion that romance can (and should) be present in the smallest slivers of our daily lives. The Old English Dictionary defines Romance as ... A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. I’m all for finding that feeling as often as possible.
There was a period in my adult life...during the baby, toddler, elementary school years of my three children, when Matthew and I discovered that finding the time and energy for standard romance was a big ask.
With a trio of little people in the mix, what we previously knew as ‘romance’ was often pushed to the back burner in exchange for tending to the seemingly endless needs of our small children.
Thankfully, we still found ways to be romantic...
dry erase marker notes on the bathroom mirror
dates to the grocery store or Home Depot
nightly adult dinner with candles
periodic overnight getaways
Now that we have three teenagers, our schedule is more flexible. We have more time and energy to spend on romance. Yet, sometimes it still slips through the cracks.
I love the idea of living a romantic life. I believe in bringing a sense of romance to places, objects and people...not just in the space of being a couple.
I’m currently intrigued by this concept of infusing romance into all areas of my life.
One of my very favorite Instagram accounts belongs Morgan Day Cecil. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Morgan in person at Nine Revolution. I'm now honored to call this beautiful soul my friend. If you don’t already follow her...you should! Morgan and her husband Ron are walking the walk. They consciously choose a life of Romance and Adventure every single day…and they inspire others to do the same.
Last April, Morgan posted about 'living life as foreplay'. Her words really hit home. I absolutely love that idea.
I’m actively working to infuse all areas of my life with a little romance and adventure. Within the seemingly mundane, there can almost always be a sense of foreplay. Arousal of the mind and heart, not just the body.
How am I doing that? Good question…
I’m incorporating elements into my everyday life that make me feel playful and romantic. Things like...
I feel best when I approach my days with enthusiasm and excitement. I'm able to break up the monotony by tapping into an internal desire to spice up my life.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change- Dr. Wayne Dyer
A fresh outlook is all it takes.
Imagine how your normally dull day would feel if you were sharing it with a new lover. Go ahead and play along...
Unloading the dishwasher would be foreplay. Folding warm laundry would be sensual. Sharing a simple meal would seem like romance.
I challenge you to bring those feelings into your current life...exactly where you are today!
Dive into 'life as foreplay' and wake up your sense of romance.
I’d love your thoughts on living a life of foreplay...do you think it’s possible?
How can you begin today?
Thanks for being here.
Catch the final week of Write 31 Days. Right here.
Over the past several years, I’ve read countless books. I think the majority of them would fall under the category of self-help. I didn’t set out to do such vast research on how to live a better life and how to become a better person. Instead, one book led to another and led to another and so on...until I began to anticipate the next ‘breadcrumb’ that would direct me to a new title.
I've always enjoyed reading.
But I've never belonged to a book club and I rarely devour the latest bestseller.
While there was a time when I chose mostly non-fiction and read for pleasure and entertainment. After having children, I discovered that in most areas of my life, I wanted to know more.
I'm curious. I crave fresh information and perspectives. I love a book that guides and teaches me.
I still welcome a great novel, but I’m picky. I’m careful not to waste my time reading a book that I don’t find utterly captivating. Those stories, for me, are very rare.
The last novel I loved, pure and simple was...All The Light We Cannot See. Thank you, Smitten & Swoon for the share:-)
Over the past decade, I began to feel a sense of urgency...and my self-help library expanded accordingly. I had a deep need to ‘figure it all out’ or ‘get my act together’ as the name of my company suggests.
Thankfully, I’ve all but dispensed with the urgency.
I now realize that I’m not behind. I’m exactly where I should be at this place in my life.
I’m soaking up new beliefs and ideas like a sponge and loving every minute of it. I’m elated that learning, and then evolving, is a lifelong journey.
We can always master a new skill or challenge the way we’ve forever done something.
What a beautiful part of being human!
In our modern world of abundance, there are books on absolutely every subject you’d ever care to explore. And, on the off chance that there isn’t a book, there’s definitely a website to read. No excuse for not continuing to expand our knowledge, even though 30 minutes of nightly reading is no longer mandatory.
I was once told that Sagittarians are usually reading several books simultaneously. So true for me.
Here’s what’s on my nightstand right now (all started and being actively read:-)
Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting
The Power of Now
What are you currently reading?
What new subject is wiggling it’s way into your thoughts?
Thank you for following along and for sharing your comments below. I'm always looking for my next book...
Have a super day!
If you know me, you know that I’m not quiet. In fact, I’m usually a little loud. My voice tends to be loud. My actions are loud.
I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love and completely identifying with Elizabeth Gilbert when she finally donned the silence badge. She longed to be the 'quiet one'. She was thrilled it was her turn.
However, soon after taking the vow of silence, she was asked to step into a new role of welcoming everyone arriving at the ashram.
I certainly don’t want to completely silence my voice but I do wish to adopt a softer, more quiet way of being.
I’m learning to welcome and embrace less sound. Both internal and external quiet.
Like so many of the things I’m exploring right now, it’s a practice. One that requires my attention many times each day.
I’ve found that by simply being more intentional with my movements, I’m actually a lot more quiet. If I take my time and stay present, I’m far less likely to drop or crash into something.
Thus making less noise.
I’m still working on cultivating my indoor voice. I tend to become easily excited and my volume increases with my enthusiasm.
I’ve sometimes been envious of women who speak softly.
While I don’t plan to completely alter my distinctive booming voice, by being aware of it, I can make a deliberate effort to speak more softly.
It feels nicer, more intimate and more feminine.
All elements I’m happy to increase in my life.
Internally, I’m also welcoming the silent space between my thoughts. It's a different kind of quiet, but still sought after.
I’m finding that there’s real peace in my mind when I listen to the stillness.
Funny thing is, it’s always there. That silence. Beneath the continuous flow of thoughts...there is quiet. Lately, I seek out that empty sliver whenever I can.
Are you quiet or loud?
How do you find quiet in your daily life?
Thank you for being here.
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Oops. A few technical difficulties at The Together Act headquarters today! So sorry for not knowing the alphabet:-) P was easier to write than O...so I had two partial posts in the cue... I think I'm back on track. We'll see. Have a super day!
The older I get, the more I realize that I know very little and very much at the same time. I’ve lived long enough to have experienced and collected gobs of information about several subjects. I’ve even become an expert at a few things.
And yet, I understand that from here forward...it’s all about how open I can remain.
Being open to something requires that we put what we think we ‘know’ aside and let a potentially new point of view be seen.
I’ve been considering the humans I know who are ahead of me by a few chronological years. I’ve watched and listened to them with intense curiosity.
What makes someone seem old and out-of-touch?
Why are some people more vibrant and interesting?
I believe one main difference is their willingness to stay open. Open to the possibilities life offers at every age and every stage.
Just think about how much we’d miss if we refuse to stay open…
I’m going to continue working to keep the following things wide open in my own life…
My heart - I know that love breeds more love. I have nothing to lose by offering love freely. I learned recently that it’s entirely possible to welcome 47 strangers into my heart without running out of love. In fact, quite the opposite is true. My heart is more full than ever before.
My wallet - I haven’t ever given generously due to old limiting beliefs about lack. Shifting now. There are endless ways that I can give to others. I’ll start small, if necessary. But I will start. Boulder offers many opportunities to help the homeless. I have an envelope in my car that I’ll keep stocked with cash. I will hand it out freely.
My mind - At the moment, my mind is wide open in many areas. I’m thirsty for information and ideas. Learning new skills and concepts is important to me.
I think I struggle with keeping an open mind in areas that are more routine. Like how my sons clean up their rooms:-) When ‘my way’ is challenged, I sometimes dig in and refuse to see the other side. That’s not an open mind. I’m going to work on this. Gently easing my mind open when someone offers a point of view that challenges what I believe.
Are you good at remaining open?
I'd love to know your thoughts on staying open to new things, especially as we age.
Thanks for being here. More tomorrow...
A while back, I discovered the Pomodoro Technique while seeking ways to improve my time management skills. I felt scattered and overwhelmed by my very long (and always growing) to-do list! I needed a method to keep me focused, minimize distractions and help me recognize just how much time I was spending on certain tasks.
I quickly fell in love with the the Pomodoro Technique, also called the Tomato Timer. It's ridiculously bare-bones and simple to use. It promotes specific increments of time for working and resting.
I readily embraced the idea of a finite chunk of time to actively work and then a designated rest period.
I use the free tomato timer on my laptop and my cell every single day!
I’m a bit of a timer nerd.
I work well under pressure. I take pleasure in knowing there’s only a certain amount of time to complete a task.
The Pomodoro method is super basic. There are only three options...5, 10, and 25 minutes. The 25 minute chunks are the work periods. Followed by a short or longer break.
If a task requires additional time, you just reset another 25 minute chunk. And so on...
Please note: taking the 5 or 10 minute break is crucial.
Initially, I would simply reset the timer for another 25 minutes and not bother with the break period.
Oops. Bad move.
I now realize that I’m actually happier, more focused and much more productive if I take the small breaks in between.
I love using the Tomato Timer for writing, bill paying, answering emails, decluttering a space, etc.
By using a timer, I’m able to better understand how long a task or job really takes.
My perception of time has often been skewed...I imagine something will take 10 minutes, when it actually takes 45:-)
I also find that I work harder during the 25 minute blocks. I can easily eliminate all distractions, because most everything can wait 25 minutes.
Then I use the short breaks to start another load of laundry, grab a glass of water and a snack, stretch, send a few texts, check Instagram or just breathe:-).
When the timer rings, it’s back to work. For me, the gentle discipline is helpful. I'm a rule follower...the timer rules.
What about tasks that require considerably less than 25 minutes?
For quicker tasks, I love The Fly Lady’s method.
Side note: If you aren’t familiar with this interesting woman, please check out her website. However wacky some of her methods appear, I have no doubt that if you try her tips...at least a few will stick. It’s crazy, but true. I first read her book (Sink Reflections) about ten years ago and I still practice things I learned from The Flylady, aka Marla Cilley.
Ms. Cilley relies on a 10 minute block of time for basically all everyday tasks. She might be a bigger timer nerd than I am:-)
I was skeptical at first, but actually so much can be accomplished in just 10 minutes!
If I’m left to clean up a messy kitchen after everyone has headed out for for the day, I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes.
Without rushing, I mindfully rinse and load the dishes, put away whatever needs straightening and wipe off the counters and admire my work.
It’s extremely rare that the timer beats me.
I love knowing that what seems like an impossible mess, can actually be transformed in a matter of minutes.
I’ve been using timer with my kids since they were little. Ten minutes of tidying goes a long way with three small helpers.
Plus, the timer assures children that they won’t be spending all afternoon cleaning up. And it also helps them appreciate how much time a job really takes to complete.
My son Henry and I recently cleaned out the refrigerator (like full-on, drawers and shelves out, complete wipe-down) in 10 minute increments.
We worked quickly and efficiently...hoping each ten minutes would be the last.
In the end, it took us about seven 10 minute chunks to finish the fridge. Now we know for next time:-)
Do you use timers to help keep you on task?
Do you have a favorite timer app?
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Next month, you can hang around - new post every Friday - or unsubscribe. Your choice. Happy you're here today.
Thanks for reading. More tomorrow...
“Nature doesn’t hurry and yet, everything is accomplished.” I’ve always liked this quote by Lao Tzu. I first read it many years ago and it has long served as a powerful reminder to me when I'm lacking patience. Nature doesn’t hurry. The notion that nature could even hurry seems absurd. And further, makes humans look a little silly for so often being caught in a constant state of ‘hustle’.
What’s the hurry?
How does it help to rush?
Why is patience so hard sometimes?
There aren’t many things I regret from my children’s early childhood days. But I remember a lack of patience. I believe we hurried a lot.
We rushed, when probably we didn’t need to move quite so fast.
We hurried, when in hindsight...we would have arrived here, in their teenage years, unscathed...even if we’d slowed down a bit.
Little people move slowly sometimes. They dawdle and they meander. They’re taking it all in. While they aren't always patient themselves, children are excellent patience professors for the rest of us.
I remember urging my children to move faster.
I recall wishing the days would pass more quickly.
It's a shame, really. Lots of moments missed because I lacked patience.
After years of life experience, I’ve noticed that most adults are rarely patient.
They try. And then they squirm. And fret. And complain.
Our patience is short-lived. We’re good at being briefly patient.
Short red lights.
Swift moving lines.
24-hour turnaround time.
Patience is indeed a virtue. I want more of it.
Breathing helps. When I return to my breath I find it easier to wait.
Currently, my impatience is usually with myself. As I strive to continue growing and learning...ultimately to become a better human, I realize I want it all to occur now. I don't want to wait for the improved version of me!
I want the changes I’m working towards to happen and stick. I don’t want to wait. Time is passing. There’s only so much time for me to figure it all out.
And then I shift.
I remember that life is in the ‘figuring it out’. I offer slack to my impatient self.
Breathing helps. A build-in, instant reminder to pause. Allow the inhale, permit the exhale. Rushing would result in hyperventilation. That seems unnecessary. So, just breathe. Practice patience.
How’s your patience?
Thank you so much for being here for Write 31 Days. It means the world.
Yesterday, I shared the idea of building your momentum for a great day in the first 17 seconds. Well, the same principle can be used at night to help you release the day and enjoy a peaceful sleep. I’ve always loved sleeping. I’m happy when it’s time to turn in for the evening. But now, instead of being out like a light the minute my head hits the pillow...I keep myself awake for an extra moment and end my day with this simple practice.
I give thanks.
A quick (often repeat) rundown of what I’m most grateful for that day. A few seconds of breathing and releasing whatever feels stuck...stress or issues that certainly aren’t going to be solved right then. I replace thoughts of concern or worry or doubt with thoughts of things I love and am thankful for.
It might go something like this…
“I am so grateful and thankful for my children. I am so grateful and thankful for Matthew. I am so grateful and thankful for my good health. I am so grateful and thankful for my safe home...
...for the food in my kitchen
...for my extended family
...for the sunshine
...for my comfortable pillow
...for my dependable car
…for my friendships.”
The idea is that all of the gratitude leaves no place for the worries.
And even more than that, it changes your frequency (Say what? More on that in a few days…) or your vibe so that you begin to attract more to good into your life.
These shifts to the way I start and finish my day have begun to bring about cool changes in my thoughts.
It's much nicer to welcome the morning on a positive note and wrap up the night by letting go of the day with such a simple practice.
Do you have a nighttime practice for giving thanks?
How do you settle your mind down for sleeping?
Do you often wake up worrying in the middle of the night? What helps?
I love knowing how others handle these human realities. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
So happy you're here.
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Oh, this one has been game-changing for me! I've adopted an awesome new wake-up protocol. This manageable practice sets the tone for your day in the first 17 seconds after waking up. It seems (according to The Law of Attraction) that our minds do a reset while we sleep and upon waking, we have the beautiful opportunity to start fresh. The stream of negative thoughts and constant worries has lapsed. During the first few moments of consciousness, we can set an intention, give thanks and start a positive flow before we're even out of bed.
This practice has been incredibly helpful to me. I quickly became aware of how automatically the stressful thoughts from yesterday would reappear and take hold in my mind in the morning. It's not hard to change the cycle...it requires less than a minute of your time and a new set of thoughts.
How to do it?
But...I caution you that it’s not always easy. You might find that you only make it a few seconds before the old, worrisome thoughts worm their way back into your mind. That’s okay...gently start again.
Below is a recording of Abraham Hicks sharing how to start your day with the 17 second practice. I believe the instructions start at about 7.50 minutes in, but I'd suggest listening to the entire video.
I'd love to know if you’ve ever tried this exercise.
If not, please do and report back here:-)
I'd love to know what kind of day you have when you start with this practice?
Thank you for reading. I've reached the halfway mark! This Write 31 Days challenge is much more fun knowing you're following along.
This one's for you, babe. I believe there is an art to listening. The unselfish act of allowing another person to speak freely and completely is a gift. Sometimes I have trouble giving that gift. I don’t think I’m a terrible listener, I just usually adopt a more continuous interaction in a conversation. Constant banter, if you will:-)
My amazing husband, on the other hand, is from the school of let a person finish their total thought before you utter a single sound. This has caused some tension in our home over the years. Especially as he tried to teach our children not to interrupt...while I have a tendency to do just that.
Matthew feels that you can’t possibly know what someone is going to say without letting them first finish their sentence. I sometimes disagree...I mean, when you’ve lived with people for decades, you might truly know what they’re about to say before they actually spit it out.
However, I know that’s not really the point.
I now realize that one of the most loving gifts you can give to someone is your complete attention.
Not your attention until you think of something super important to blurt out prematurely.
Your full attention. Nothing less.
So, I’m committed to changing my faulty listening ways.
I feel that I know Matthew extremely well. We’ve been married over 20 years. Our communication is open and honest. I often think I know what he’s going to say before he’s finished saying it...so I chime in with my (often congruent) thoughts prematurely.
I take my turn before it’s given and in doing so, I unintentionally shut him down.
And now that I’m paying more attention to this bad habit of mine, I’ve noticed that I’m sometimes way off base with what I thought he was going to say. I cut him off before he can finish his thought and my interjection takes the conversation in a different direction than the one he was heading.
It’s time to zip my lips and bite my tongue. At least until I find a new listening groove.
I want to be a better listener.
I don’t feel I quite as guilty of this with my friends and clients as I am with my immediate family. Though, if I am, please tell me!
With family, we’re so close that my mind tends to race ahead (clearly not staying present and in the Now:-) and want to jump in with my two cents.
Bad habit. Not proud.
Time to improve my listening game. Starting today.
Are you a good listener in everyday conversations?
Any tips for a girl who’s trying to reform her listening skills?
Thank you so much for following along.
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Kindness. So simple and yet sometimes not my first instinct. I'm thinking the Dalai Lama has this one right..."Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." He has a point. Kindness is a choice.
I'm also good with "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Makes sense to me. No wonder the Dalai Lama always looks so chill and happy. He lives and breathes kindness. Life goals.
I’m renewing my commitment to choose kindness. Over and over and over until it becomes the only choice I know. Sounds easy, but I know it’s not.
In general, I consider myself a nice person. I try to help others. I strive to make those around me feel acknowledged and appreciated. I tend to think the best of people.
But, am I always kind? Embarrassingly, no.
I certainly slip and choose the grouchy response or the crabby voice. Sometimes the un-kindness is directed at others...and sometimes it’s directed at myself.
As a result of cracking myself wide open during the past four years, I’m more aware than ever of how it makes me feel when I’m not kind to others. It feels yucky. And my guess is that it doesn’t make them feel all that great either.
The same crummy feeling occurs when I’m unkind to myself.
When my inner voice speaks harshly or is critical, it stings. And yet...in this situation, I've created the unkind thoughts and then directed them at myself! What's up with that?
Kindness isn’t difficult. And I do believe that practice makes it easier.
Being kind is basic and fundamental.
Kindness is contagious.
And, let's face it, kindness feels good whether we're giving or receiving.
Kindness can be found in the smallest act and also in the most grand gesture...but I think it’s the little stuff that really makes a difference in our everyday lives.
We're conditioned to be nice on someone’s birthday. Or to turn on the kindness when someone's in a tough spot.
But what about all of the days in between? That’s when a dose of kindness really matters.
Hold a door.
Offer a smile.
Lend a hand.
The Golden Rule still applies. Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Be kind. It’s cool.
Maybe think of one new way you can be kind to others today...go out and try it! And while you’re at it, choose a kindness to offer yourself:-)
Do you have a signature way of being kind to yourself or others?
Thanks for being here this month. Have an awesome Saturday!
Today’s post might freak a few people out. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone...I’m just exploring my truth and sharing it here. Initially, when we’re introduced to a concept or idea that’s entirely new and different, we tend to tuck it away in our minds...figuring maybe we’ll want to learn more later. Then sometimes, a ‘tucked away’ idea keeps appearing in our path. We can’t seem to avoid it. That little seed of a concept takes root in our thoughts and begins grows.
And finally, there’s an ‘aha’ moment when we realize that we’ve become curious enough and it’s time to learn more.
This is where I am with the Jade Egg.
I keep reading about this magical stone and how it can improve vaginal health and provide other wellness benefits.
As a gemstone, Jade has the following properties...
"Jade is a symbol of serenity and purity. It signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility. It increases love and nurturing. A protective stone, Jade keeps the wearer from harm and brings harmony. Jade attracts good luck and friendship. It stabilizes the personality and promotes self-sufficiency. Soothes the mind, releasing negative thoughts. Stimulates ideas. A “dream stone”, Jade brings insightful dreams. It aids emotional release, especially of irritability. Jade encourages you to become who you really are."
Caryl Haxworth, Charms of Light.
So, I’m on a mission.
Gathering information. Seeking expert opinions. Eagerly researching this ancient, secret object.
You might be familiar with these egg-shaped stones made of jade. They’ve been in the spotlight since earlier this year when GOOP (Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog) interviewed Shiva Rose and introduced its readers to Jade Egg Practice 101.
In the press, Gwyneth Paltrow caught a lot of flack for GOOP’s post on jade eggs. As with many non-mainstream practices, there is controversy surrounding the use of a jade egg. Some say they’re safe and some say they’re not.
My feeling is simple...this is a highly personal decision.
I’m not for or against the use of jade eggs, I’m merely interested in exploring the topic further.
Shiva Rose has the following to say about the benefits of a jade egg practice...
“Jade eggs can help cultivate sexual energy, increase orgasm, balance the cycle, stimulate key reflexology around vaginal walls, tighten and tone, prevent uterine prolapse, increase control of the whole perineum and bladder, develop and clear chi pathways in the body, intensify feminine energy, and invigorate our life force.”
I haven’t ordered a jade egg yet.
When I do, I’ll be ordering from Layla Martin.
A dear soul who specializes in all things sexual wellness, recommended that...when I'm ready...I purchase my jade egg from Layla Martin. Note: Just peeking at (that dear soul's) Morgan Day Cecil's website and Instagram will make you feel more sensual and empowered.
If you’re feeling bold, Layla Martin has quite a collection of informative videos on YouTube.
Okay, back to the jade egg.
I'm almost ready to place my order...here's why:
~ I had years of cervical issues. My first abnormal pap was over 10 years ago. I’ve tested positive for Human Papillomavirus many times. In the past decade, I’ve had several colposcopies, two LEEP procedures and a Cold Knife Cone Biopsy. Not pleasant.
My last pap was clear and normal! Woohoo! I want to keep it that way.
~ I delivered two big babies (9lbs, 9oz and 8lbs, 15oz;-) vaginally (my first was a c-section...9lbs, 11oz). As a result, I deal with some occasional incontinence...think trampolines, jump ropes and hysterical laughter.
~ My mom dealt with the prolapse of some internal organs after a hysterectomy. She then had vaginal mesh surgery.
~ I want to continue having a healthy, passionate sex life with my hot husband.
~ I’m doing the real work to improve my life in many areas. Why not include increased vaginal health?
Okay. I’m in!
My apologies if you’re squirming while reading. I’m certainly not trying to make you uncomfortable. As I explained on day one of this Write 31 Days challenge, this month is about Simply Now- knowing, learning, yearning.
Currently, I want to learn more about the jade egg.
Go ahead. Let me here it.
Are you curious?
Do you already use a jade egg?
If so, please share your thoughts!!
Thank you for following along.
Sometimes the stars align and you’re fortunate enough to be in the presence of someone truly incredible. A human being so passionate and raw, so honest and humble, so full of life and conviction, that you are in awe. I recently had such a blessed experience.
I’ll save you the time it takes to Google her...here’s a link to learn more about this amazing woman.
Jade was a speaker at Nine Revolution. Another of the many reasons why that week-long retreat was so powerful for me.
She is a gifted photographer, an empowering speaker and a total rockstar.
Instead of recapping her story (since you can learn more about her online), I want to share how her presentation affected me.
The female body is...
What do you think when you read that sentence-starter?
Do you imagine something positive? Negative?
Do you see a model-perfect figure? Or a saggy, lumpy shape?
Are you proud or embarrassed?
As a speaker, Jade is utterly captivating. Even without seeing her photographs, I would have been deeply moved by her words.
But it was the slideshow of images Jade shared in her presentation that made me realize...I've spent far too much time judging women’s bodies.
Including my own.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a harsh critic of my physical form. I’ve wished it different countless times. And in countless ways.
I’ve judged others. I’ve been jealous of women who have what our American culture has deemed ‘the perfect body’, ‘the sexy body’, ‘the fit body’. I’ve been too quick to pass judgement on women who don’t fit the socially accepted norm.
Shame on me.
Then I witnessed Jade’s photographs and my entire perspective shifted.
The intimacy of the images had a profound impact on me.
Every single woman was so stunningly beautiful that big joyful tears fell from my eyes as I viewed each new slide.
What is wrong with us? What’s happened to our society?
How have we taken something as precious as the human form and twisted our thinking so that it’s something to shame? Or hide. Or apologize for...
The female body is a work of art.
Regardless of size, color or shape.
My eyes are wide open. I see things from a completely different angle since Jade’s talk.
I’m actively choosing to celebrate women and their majesty. When I feel my mind beginning to compare, I pause and remember Jade’s images.
We are ALL divinely gorgeous beings...regardless of cellulite, stretch marks, saggy breasts, skinny arms or lumpy bottoms.
I’ve begun celebrating my own body. I’m consciously erasing the internal tapes that have been on repeat for decades. I’m now seeing myself with a fresh perspective. I welcome my own image in the mirror. I give myself grace and most surprisingly, I see beauty.
How do you feel about your own body?
Do you compare it to others?
Are you comfortable in your own skin?
I welcome your thoughts...
Check out Jade's A Beautiful Body Project.
Thanks for following along on Write 31 Days.
Each day in your inbox.
You may have already experienced this feeling even if you weren’t aware that it’s really a ‘thing’ and having a 'moment'. Not that our culture needs to latch on to any new issues...but I do find the Impostor Syndrome very interesting.
Do you suffer from this condition?
The Impostor Syndrome is easy enough to self-diagnose. It can be described as...the nagging feeling that you aren’t qualified to be doing what you’re doing.
When doing what you do best, you find yourself feeling like a fraud.
An unqualified phony.
You question your skill set, your knowledge and your abilities, making it hard (if not impossible) to move forward and thrive. This is so silly, because 9 times out of 10...the Impostor Syndrome is entirely imagined.
The outside world isn’t thinking you're an impostor.
No, it’s your own mind that fabricates this idea in a desperate attempt to keep you safe. And small.
Marianne Williamson said it best.
'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others."
Do yourself and those around you a big favor and step into your power!
Let go of any feelings that you’re not the real deal. You are.
If you feel called to do something, do it.
Don’t you dare hold back because you feel you’re not entirely qualified.
Do you shrink instead of rising up?
Does that little voice get the best of you when it’s your turn to shine?
I'd love to know your story...
If you're new here, this is Write 31 Days.
My topic this year is Simply Now- knowing, learning, yearning.
I'd love to have you follow along. Sign up here.
In yesterday’s post, I touched on the world of manifesting. I've long been deeply intrigued by The Law of Attraction. So, I figure I might as well flow right into a post about my borderline obsession with Abraham Hicks.
My apologies if this post is a little too ‘out there’, but I feel compelled (or led by my inner guide;-) to share my thoughts.
Also, 31 days in a row is a lot of writing, which means a wide range of topics...so some of my posts might be a bit unusual. Thanks for hearing me out.
I think I first learned of Abraham Hicks back in the spring of 2007. Oprah Winfrey interviewed Esther Hicks during the heyday of The Secret (The Law of Attraction bestseller by Rhonda Byrne was published in November, 2006).
I recall being mesmerized as I listened to Esther Hicks speaking as Abraham Hicks. Abraham, Esther explained, is a group of non-physical entities whose message she shares with the world.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
The human being, Esther Hicks, sometimes speaks for/as a collection of non-human beings. Those beings are known as “Abraham” and Esther speaks their thoughts and energy to the physical, human world.
Utterly nuts. I know. And I agree.
I certainly couldn’t wrap my head around it and still can’t, but I remain captivated by their message.
What Abraham Hicks shares is clear and concise and simple.
It makes sense.
What you put out into the universe, you get back.
Followers of the Law of Attraction know this concept to be a universal law. Absolute. Like the Law of Gravity.
"That which is like unto itself, is drawn."
If you believe in the Law of Attraction...then you believe that circumstances cannot happen any other way. Ever.
Like attracts like. Period.
When I hear this message as it's delivered by Abraham Hicks resonates with me.
I hear it. I get it.
Curious? You’re in luck.
If this concept is completely foreign to you, I’d start with some basic background, available here.
Ready for more?
There are hundreds of recordings on YouTube. They’re free and easy to find. Just search Abraham Hicks. Go ahead. Give one a listen…
I find it hard to argue with the simple logic that like attracts like.
I know this topic is a big step away from functional wardrobes, but I find it so interesting. Hope you do also.
Please share your thoughts about The Law of Attraction.
What have you manifested lately?
Want to manifest Write 31 Days in your inbox? Sign up here:-)
Thanks for following along.
About four years ago, I did a powerful visualization exercise. I was listening to a Lisa Nichols webinar and she guided me on a journey twenty years into the future. Seeing your future self is mighty powerful! I recently did this visualization again Nine Revolution...still amazing!
In this exercise you’re gently instructed to arrive at the door of a home you picture in your mind’s eye. You knock and when the owner of the home opens the door...she’s you. Twenty years from now.
Note: There are several recordings of this visualization available on YouTube. The link above is to the written script for doing this exercise. I suggest that you record yourself or someone else reading it and then use that recording to do the actual meditation. Or you can try this version from YouTube.
If you can really lose yourself in the visualization, it takes your breath away.
It’s fascinating to ‘meet’ yourself twenty years older.
So...I as I listened to the webinar, I took a deep dive into this exercise and I conjured up my future self.
Visually, the most striking thing I recall about her was her hair.
It was soft and curly. Feminine and sensual.
At the time, my own hair was very short and straight. Platinum blonde and spiky. I liked it. I’d been wearing it that way for about 4 years. After years of stressing about my hair and what to do with it, I really felt that I had found my forever style.
During the weeks that followed the webinar, the vision of my future self stayed with me.
Specifically her hair.
I was puzzled by this ‘imagined’ hair and what it meant.
Fast forward about two years. I was feeling the pull to change hairdressers. A friend recommended her stylist. I was eager to try someone new.
I decided to book my appointment a few extra weeks out to give my hair some time to grow a bit. I figured it would be better to have a little more length when I first met my new hair guy!
While the weeks passed and I waited for my appointment, something unusual happened...my hair began showing lots of wave.
Some areas were almost curly.
This development was most bizarre because I’d recently moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania, leaving curl-boosting humidity behind for very dry air.
When we finally met, my new hairdresser said, “Please tell me we’re not cutting off those curls”.
I assured him it must be a fluke. I didn’t really have curly hair.
I do now.
During a recent haircut, I asked my stylist if he thought my hair was getting curlier since it seemed to me that it was...he said, ‘Yes, your hair is definitely getting curlier’.
What the heck?
Logically, I’m figuring these new curls must be a combination of hormones and additional grays.
But there’s a part of me that wonders if I manifested hair that matched my future self.
Freaky and kind of nuts, but the fact remains that my hair is now full-on curly.
I’m still new to curly hair, but want to share a few products I’ve found that works well to care for and define my recently developed ringlets. If you currently have straight hair...you never know, you might find yourself with unexpected curls one day:-)
Be Curly by Aveda - I work a dime-sized dab of this into wet hair. Comb through and air dry. Awesome definition and super light hold.
Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel- I use this product the same way I use Be Curly. I'm still trying to decide which one I prefer. They are both really great for soft well-defined curls.
Moroccan Oil - I apply a dime-sized drop to wet hair in the evening after I shower and let my hair air dry. This stuff helps to keep my curls from becoming too dry.
Microfiber head wrap - I use this instead of a towel. Cuts down on frizz. I bought mine at TJMaxx. Brand doesn't matter.
Easy Rider by Kevin Murphy - I use a little bit of this cream/paste on dry curls. I rub the product in my hands and gently squeeze my curls. Provides definition and reduces frizz.
Davines Oi Oil - This stuff has the most amazing fragrance! I rub a tiny drop on my palms and gently squeeze my curls. Adds shine. This is the last step for my curls.
Curls Passionfruit Curl Control Paste - This stuff looks like orange jelly. I don't use it every day, but it creates really defined curls. Like ribbons.
Be careful what you wish for….
Have you ever manifested a physical change?
Have you done the future self exercise?
If so, please something you learned about your future self...
Thanks for being here for Write 31 Days!
I've come to believe that we all have an inner guidance system. A powerful light inside that will always lead us in the right direction. An internal compass that knows the way even when our mind doesn't. Problem is, we either don’t realize that it exists or we ignore it.
I was thinking that this idea...each of us being equipped with our own personal inner guide...should be taught in school. Ideally, in elementary school.
And then one day it dawned on me...most of us did learn it as children…
We learned it by way of the cinematic gem, The Wizard of Oz.
Glinda the Good Witch explains to Dorothy at the end of the film…
“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”
It’s that simple.
Each one of us has the power and wisdom. We have an inner guide available to us. Always.
When we tap into that energy and really allow it to move through us and into our lives...we are beautifully guided. We ask the right questions, we discover solutions, we tune into our heart and pursue our desires.
Our very best selves begin to emerge and our very best lives can be lived.
When we follow the flow of our own inner guidance system, we become unstoppable.
But how can we connect with it?
Quiet your mind.
Guidance is yours for the asking.
I understand that this topic maybe seems a little new age and woowoo. If that’s not your thing (it's not really mine either), no worries.
Instead just call it 'intuition'.
Recognize this force and try to live your life with consideration for that ‘gut feeling’. I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve felt a sense of internal guidance at some point in your life.
There’s a certain feeling when you’re in the ‘zone’ and things are falling into place with ease. It’s the ‘feeling’ you get when you can sense that you’re on the right path.
Pay close attention to that feeling. Follow it…
Here’s a very recent, real-life example:
This week, I was working at Anthropologie when a customer called looking for a sale item. It was a ceramic trinket bowl with tiny cat feet, ears and tail attached to it. Sweet and silly.
Our inventory showed that we had two in the store. I placed the call on hold and went into the stockroom to search for the item. No luck. I asked several managers if they’d seen the cat bowl. They all knew exactly what I was asking for, but assured me that our inventory was wrong. They had looked for other customers. Definitely no cat bowl.
I returned to the phone and explained that I hadn’t found the bowl. But I felt a strong urge to ask the customer for her phone number, in case the bowl turned up before I left at the end of the day.
I just had a feeling.
It was a busy Friday, I completely forgot about the call and the cat bowl.
As I was preparing to leave the store at the end of my shift, I felt a very strong pull to look for the bowl one more time. The tug was difficult to ignore.
I went to the stockroom. A different manager assured me that she had just seen 'one of those cat bowls'.
I bent down and peeked on a bottom shelf. There they were. Two cat bowls.
I couldn’t help but smile at the incredible power of my very own inner guidance system.
There is a force or a voice or an energy inside each of us that knows the answer.
It’s a bit like the game of ‘hot or cold’ we play at our house during an Easter egg hunt:-)
In life, I believe you can tell you’re on the correct path when you feel the ‘getting warmer’ vibes from inside. And when you change directions and veer off course, you’re met with a quick vibrational cool-down.
Anyway, this is new to me. I’m learning to follow my gut more often. I think my inner guide has been trying to get my attention for many years...I’m finally tuning in and listening.
Do you sense the presence of your inner guide?
I’d love to hear your story...
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Note: Given today’s word, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas last week. I cannot imagine the sheer terror felt by those present on Sunday night. Their fear is on a scale I can’t even begin to process. I had already chosen my word for F prior to the start of this challenge, so I’m going to stick to plan.
My heart aches and my prayers continue for all those affected by the world's recent terrifying events. .
The fear I’m exploring today is internal fear.
Fear that holds us back. Fear that keeps us small.
Jack Canfield had it right, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
(Fun Fact: Author, Jack Canfield holds the Guinness Book World Record for having seven books simultaneously on the New York Times Bestseller List)
I’ve been outrageously fortunate. The bulk of my fears have been entirely fabricated in my own mind. For decades, I’ve lived with fears of my own making. My fears aren’t unusual. They aren’t unique to me. I share my fearful thoughts with most humans.
Fear of not having enough.
Fear of not being enough.
Fear of someone I love being hurt.
Fear of being hurt.
Fear of failure.
And the super sneaky, fear of success.
Basic, common, normal concerns.
It took me years to recognize that fear was preventing me from really thriving.
I didn’t realize how often the same unfounded fears reappeared in my mind.
My fearful thoughts about one topic have always been like a runaway freight train...
For as long as I can remember, I viewed all things financial through a distorted lens of lack. A few years ago, some very specific events served as concrete reinforcement that my fears were warranted. My mind seemed to breed thoughts of 'never enough'.
The habit was insidious. I placed my ‘financial lack filter’ over every thought. Every day.
I was tired of living with the constant fear of not having enough.
I began the grueling work of excavating this fear and shining a very bright light on it.
The process of shedding the old thoughts and beginning to let go really began after reading May Cause Miracles- A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein.
If you deal with recurring fears, financial or otherwise, and haven’t read it...I suggest that you grab a copy and prepare to crack your internal stories and limiting beliefs wide open!
This book invites you on a 40-day exploration of your fears and teaches you to see things in a new way. The lessons I took from this book are with me daily.
My fears no longer control me.
Here’s the thing...when we take a good hard look at our fears, most of them are completely imagined. We create the negative stories in our own minds. Then we choose the worrisome thoughts over and over and over until they become our truth.
Not only that, but our minds are masterful at weaving a grand tale...so we embellish and elaborate and fertilize our stories until they are GIGANTIC!
But still imagined.
Any lingering fears I have are never about what’s actually happening in the moment.
When I’m anchored in the Now, my fears have no place.
Instead, fears thrive on the momentum of past circumstances and they become super-sized when projected into the future.
Larger than life. Worst case scenario.
The human mind is utterly remarkable.
So why don’t we use our minds to picture the Best Case Scenario?
That’s always a possibility also.
Why not imagine that outcome? The awesome one.
And then keep adding to that 'awesome outcome option' until it shines so brightly that no dark fear can take root.
As I’ve been clearing out the crazy fears that definitely don’t serve me, I’ve begun to feel immense gratitude. There are so many people in the world who face legitimate fears every single day. People whose realities I cannot even fathom. Just that realization has done much to shut down my recurring thoughts of make-believe fears.
When I sense the old familiar fears creeping back in...I turn to gratitude. I give thanks for my ability to see things more clearly now. And I send love and peace to those whose fears are not imagined.
What fears are stuck on replay in your mind?
Have you found a way to sweep them away?
I’d love to know what works for you. Thanks for your comments. I'm so happy you're here for this challenge..
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