Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Post Spotlight:

Howdy folks!  

This is the time of year where people are looking to create long lasting change in their lives.  I'm in the process of writing a piece about how routines and rituals can truly help us with that.  I'm doing a little experiment and plan to report my revelations in the next post on January 28th.

This morning, I watched Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live, on the Kelly and Michael Show.  It reminded me about the importance of making healthier eating choices.  I remember the last time that I did a cleanse.  It totally kickstarted my initiative to eat healthy.  In that vain, I present the Post of the Hour.

Post of the Hour: "Big Diva at the Farmer's Market"

About: How the farmer's market is a great option for eating healthy, supporting your local community, and saving money.

Inspiration: After I tweaked my knee, I got an important lesson about gratitude.

Favorite quote:  
I went off to the meat counter where I picked up some smoked maple turkey bacon, which had to be the BEST turkey bacon I've ever had.  Across the aisle was the cheese counter where I picked up some goat cheese and cajun cream cheese with lobster and crabs.  I also grabbed some almond butter, whole flaxseed, chia seed, jasmine and saffron rice, big bags of pretzel crisps, freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice, and dried strawberries.  I ate like a queen for weeks:  steamed salmon and asparagus, smoothies and fresh fruit and vegetable juices, creative salads, and healthy snacks.  I have to say that I am forever a fan and search for farmer's markets in different cities to find healthy food and great deals.

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Quiltsalad

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What Is Your Theme Word For the New Year?

December 31st.  The last day of the year...

A couple weeks back, you were tasked with figuring out your one word theme for 2015.  The purpose of this assignment was to set a simple intention for the new year.  

In 2014, my word was simplicity.  I had hoped that I would work at making things simpler, so that I could move through the year with a sense of ease.  I might not have focused on it throughout the year, but the intention was out there and, as if by design, things were noticeably simpler.  

For 2015, my word is release.  I chose this word, because it is time for me to let things go.  

For this new year, I intend to release any attachments to possessions, associations, and emotions that do not serve me.  By doing so, I am making room for abundance, opportunities, growth, and positive energy into my life, my heart, and into my home.  

I know wholeheartedly that 2015 will hold so much joy for me.  Between achieving goals that I've set and being blessed with successes that I never dreamed of, the magic is happening for sure.  Release means that I am making room for all of these blessings, which makes it easier to receive them.  It means that there are no other distractions around to take the focus and shine from the things that will flow into my life.

You can't put great things on top of a foundation of crap.  This new year is about letting go of said crap and making room for all of the goodness that is sure to come.

Show and tell time: What word did you come up with???

Did you base your word on a lesson that you've learned in 2014?  Is it a word that you hope to embody going into the new year?  How do you plan to apply this theme to 2015?

My Prayer and Wish For You

Whatever word that you have chosen as the theme for your new year, may you realize that intention and may you be open to all that that word brings you. 

Raise your glasses and let us honor our 2014!  Take this moment to reflect on your year.  From losses to gains, sorrow to greatness and heartache to love.  From pieces to peace, happiness, and prosperity.  May our hearts be full for every moment of every day that we experienced in 2014 and may we be touched with hope and faith in all that 2015 will bring into our lives. 

May you be blessed.  May you be well.  May you be filled with love and joy now and moving forward.  Peace and many blessings!  Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Almost the Last Post of 2014!!

Photo by Guy Mayer

Sweet minty Jesus! It's almost... 2015!

I cannot believe that another year is just about over.  It went by so fast!  I'm starting to think that the older I get the faster it goes.  :-(

First, I'd like to welcome all of the new readers and subscribers!  Because of you, this post is the most viewed post on my site since I started this blog a little over 6 years ago.

I am so grateful to all of you, old and new readers, for taking the time to read, post comments, like the FB page, and share posts all over the "interwebs".  I hope that my words have helped you in the way that learning, (or at least recognizing), the lesson has helped me.

Before I start crying, onward!  

Tweet: 2014 is just about over... What's your one word theme for 2015? Read more here:

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my theme for the new year, simplicity.  I started out strong by moving my desk out of my bedroom, then I lost focus.  

A few days ago, I realized that even though I wasn't as focused on the theme, throughout the year I was working to simplify quite a bit personally, and at home and work.  It became clear in that moment that setting a theme for the new year is a way to set your intentions.  It seems to play out naturally, whether you focus on it or not.  

I plan to do this again next year and I want you to do it with me, so your homework assignment:  Decide on one word as your theme for 2015.  We have one more post before the new year starts, which is going up on December 31st.  We can talk about it before you all go out and start partying.  :-)

If you need a little help, check out Susannah Conway's free workbook called Unravelling the Year Ahead: 2015. It certainly helped me come up with my word for 2014 and I am sure that she can help you too.  

Wishing you all a wonderful and joyous holiday season!  See you on New Year's Eve!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

To the Left, to the L-EFT

Photo by Mark Nye
It's been four years since I first started using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and it has been a wondrous ride.

Since that first day, I've experimented with various EFT practitioners, Brad Yates, Robert Smith of Faster EFT, Carol Look, Nick Ortner, and David Childerley.  I followed their videos and scripts that targeted some of my issues and things that I wanted to bring in to my life.  I said statements out loud and tapped on acupressure points to clear negative emotions, harmful behavior, and make positive changes.

It looked stupid and I honestly didn't think that it would work at all, but I noticed a shift the first time I did it.  I thought, well if this worked, then what other things could I tap on?  Since then, I've used it to:
  • forgive people who hurt me;
  • heal after a break up;
  • grieve the loss of a beloved pet;
  • work through my nerves when I was asked to do a pitch for a potential client at the last minute;
  • clear cravings;
  • deal with my fear when asking for a raise;
  • deal with anger; and 
  • much more.
Since it has helped me so much, I've been sharing it with my family.  I tapped with my mom after our cat Milo died.  At the time, she couldn't even say his name without breaking out into tears.  After we tapped, she has been able to talk about him to others without crying.

Right before I published this post, I was feeling extraordinarily overwhelmed.  I have a work trip coming up, reports due, a speech to give at work, and a laundry list of things that need to be Olivia Pope'd in the next few days.  I felt myself shutting down, so I found this video and followed along.

I felt more relaxed, focused, and my migraine even went down to an intensity that is manageable.

Whenever people come to me with their problems these days, EFT is usually my first suggestion.  Some aren't really interested, which is fine, but for those that have tried it, they have noticed changes.   They feel more relaxed, calmer, symptoms lessen or disappear completely, and they feel better physically and emotionally.  It is so great to see how it's worked for them.

It has been so helpful to me.  I know that it can be helpful to so many others, especially young people who have trouble working through difficult emotions like sadness, anger, grief, and loneliness.  One of my goals is to become certified and offer EFT as a tool for healing our communities.  

Until then, here are some other videos below to help you through some of the emotions that we tend to go through during the holiday season: overwhelm (see above), loneliness, needing to forgive, and having a happy holiday.


Feeling Lonely

Needing to Forgive (a root cause of MANY issues)

Tapping for a happy holiday

In the comments, please let me know if you'd like to hear more about EFT, see more EFT videos, and please share your experiences with EFT.  As always, your comments are helpful to every one here, so please comment and share with others.  Happy tapping everyone! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Kindness of People

Photo by Viewminder
NOTE:  I published this post on November 5th, but I see that it didn't post for some reason.  My apologies everyone!  


The decision had been made on Monday.  Our cat Milo would be put to sleep in two days.  I held it together on the ride to the train station, but once the car pulled off, I couldn't stop the tears from rushing forward.

Upon greetings, one of my train companions knew something was wrong.  She hugged me.  Rocked me and allowed me the space to cry.  She talked to me.  Comforted me and made me laugh.  She hadn't even asked what was wrong.  Even though she wasn't really keen on the cat, when I was able to tell her, she was so compassionate and sympathetic.  

I called to talk to one of my colleagues about a project.  Milo's health came up in conversation during the obligatory hellos and how are you's.  She offered to stroll with me during lunch and in that time, she shared her own experience with having to do the same with her 14-year-old dog.  Just hearing her story made me feel a little better.  Others with whom I had shared the news, whether pet people or not, have been nothing but supportive, compassionate… Kind.  People have shown us kindness.

Someone once told me that I am a bedroom crier, as in I am strong for others in the light, but I cry alone in the darkness.  This has been true since forever, but in a moment where the tears just couldn't be contained, I was met with kindness, words of encouragement, a shoulder, support, prayers… Love and positivity.  

My heart is open and overflowing with deep gratitude.  Your presence and kindness have meant so much.

Milo has shown vast improvement since this post was written and the appointment was canceled.  May my Handsome Man continue to get stronger and live a long and happy life.  :-)

Update: November 19, 2014
It is with great sadness that our Milo passed away yesterday morning.  Our Handsome Man came to live with us in June and provided us with so much joy in the short time that he was here.  He will always be in our hearts.

Thank you all again for your kindness, support, and prayers.  Peace and blessings all.

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Viewminder

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Post Spotlight: Back to Gratitude

Hey guys!  I hope that your week is going well so far!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in a yoga fundraiser at Dhyana Yoga for BeGirl.World, an organization centered around empowering young ladies to get out into the world and broaden their horizons through travel.

I feel so strongly about the importance of travel, because of how it has shaped and continues to shape my life, so I had to support an organization that wants to make this a reality for the group.  (You can support too by clicking here.)  Not only did I support a cause that resonates with me, I supported my body through yoga, which I haven't done in a while.

Our teacher started the session by asking us to close our eyes and settle on an intention for the class.  I decided that my intention was that through every movement, I would acknowledge my body.  Through every exhale, I'd profess my gratitude for all that it does.

That class kicked my butt, but in a good way.  So much so, that I am still a little sore.  I'm grateful for that.

Photo by Chris Lofqvist

Post of the Hour: "Back to Gratitude"

About: How gratitude can heal you.

Inspiration: After I tweaked my knee, I got an important lesson about gratitude.

Favorite quote:  
I am grateful.

I am grateful for my knees for being an integral part of moving me from place to place.
I am grateful to my knees for supporting all of me throughout my life.
I am grateful for this pain.
I am grateful that my knee is telling me something that I need to hear.
I am grateful that I am still able to walk without much pain.  Things could be a lot worse.
I am grateful for the sign that I need to take it easy, otherwise I would be at the gym possibly causing more damage.  
I am grateful for the sign that knees are fragile, need care, and strenghtening.
I am grateful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lassoing Time

Photo by angelamaphone
Let's talk about time today folks!

Time is finite.  There are only 24 hours in the day and 365 days in a year.  Everyone knows this.

I don't want to spend most, if not all, of my waking hours on work.  Yes, work is necessary, but I'd rather work on things that I enjoy, things that I am good at, and things that are aligned with my purpose.  I don't know too many people who would disagree with me.

By becoming more efficient with my work time, I will have plenty of time to truly enjoy my life.  I'll have time to spend with the people who are important to me, express my creativity, travel to meaningful places, and connect with, give back to, and help others.  

So how can we get there??

According to The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, a solution is available and below are just a few of his tips for ending the need for strict time management and getting things done in a lot less time.  

1.  Start the day with a written to do list of a few tasks.
Three is a bit hard right now, so I'll start out with no more than 5 tasks and cut down from there.

I also noticed that when doing something that I really don't want to do, it is easier for me to procrastinate.  If this describes you too, maybe breaking it down would be helpful to stay on task.  That way, you can spend less time working on it and can keep the rebel in check.  You're less likely to FIND distractions if you're on to the next thing.  

2.  Limit multitasking
It's been said that multitasking is the devil for many reasons with the two biggest ones being that it takes longer to complete things and the quality of work is likely to suffer due to the lack of focus.  Tim suggests cutting out multitasking completely and work on a task from start to finish.

This makes sense.  I admit that when I just buckle down, focus, and get it done, I am so happy that it is off of my desk.  But for someone who is on the phone, typing, listening to a podcast and taking notes, and doing research all at the same time, going cold turkey may not be the right move.  There has to be a middle ground to make this work.  

I decided to that breaking a task down into smaller ones might be the place to start.  See the example below.

Scenario:  It's Monday and the Quarterly Report is due on Friday.  It will take 16 hours, or 2 days, to complete it.  Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to get it done on time.  :p

Tim's Suggestion
To do Monday: Quarterly Report (8 hours)

To do Tuesday: Quarterly Report (8 hours)

To do Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: Other tasks (24 hours total)

My Intermediate Solution
To Do Monday:  
1. Section 1 of the Quarterly Report (4 hours)
2. Other tasks (listed out)  (4 hours)

To do Tuesday: 
1. Section 2 of the Quarterly Report (4 hours)
2. Other tasks (listed out)  (4 hours)

To do Wednesday: 
1. Section 3 of the Quarterly Report (4 hours)
2. Other tasks (listed out)  (4 hours)

To do Thursday: 
1. Section 4 of the Quarterly Report (4 hours)
2. Other tasks (listed out)  (4 hours)

To do Friday: 
1. Other tasks (listed out)  (8 hours)

In both cases, the report still takes 16 hours, but those hours are broken up, so as to allow time to work on other tasks and give yourself a break from something mundane, should you need it, like I do. 

3.  Light the fire.
Tim mentioned a scenario that we have all encountered: the I-have-got-to-get-this-done-before-I-leave-for-vacation scenario.  Whenever there is a tight deadline, like COB (close of business) on the Friday before your vacation starts, no matter how much you need to get finished or what gets thrown your way, you're become some kind of workhorse warrior and manage to get it done.  We get laser focused on finishing the task, because there is no other option.  We tend to function better and do better work when the boats have been burned and there is no other option but to finish it or die.  Ok, maybe not dies, but you get the point.

Tim suggests shortening your schedule and creating tighter timelines, which helps you to become more focused on completing the task, producing greater quality work as a result, and finishing tasks faster, which leaves more time to do the things that you like.  

I know you're saying, "That sounds all well and good for some spoiled socialite, but I can't do that.  This doesn't even take into account the constant interruptions that come up for me!"  The book goes into great detail about how to systematize and ultimately eliminate them, but I just haven't gotten to that point yet.  :-)  For that reason, I highly recommend checking it out.  It has really revolutionized the way that people work and do business.  

How do you manage your time?  What are some of the things that you've incorporated that have worked out the best for you?  How have these tips / tools affected your work and/ or personal life?  

As always, your input is valuable and very helpful to the community.  Please feel free to comment and share as well.  Thanks and enjoy the rest of your week!

Here are some quotes that help me put it all in perspective:
He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo
You cannot run at full throttle when applying your mindset to all of the different things running through your head. Focusing is the key to manifesting your desires.” – Stephen Richards
Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst.” – William Penn
Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.” – Frank Knight
Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freedom Felt

Photo by Alice Popkorn
I started working on this piece a couple days before my birthday.  I posted a sneak peek to get some feedback on what I'd written so far.  It is my pleasure to FINALLY share the finished product.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as that moment felt to me.




I took myself to lunch today.  Alone.  

I travel by myself often, so I am used to eating and exploring alone.  This time is different.  I am home.  I don't have the visage of security and anonymity that you get when you're out of town.  When you're away from home, fear of how others view you and what they may think about what you do doesn't matter. You feel more comfortable being authentic.  You can be anyone you want to be when no one knows you. 

It can be harder to be alone at home.  The minute that you get back, the every day mask gets reattached to your face.  You become more sensitive, but you hide it behind the mask.  

You're not quite as anonymous as before.  There is this need to invite someone to come with just to avoid the solitude.  To escape the voice in your head that tells you that you are standing out for all the wrong reasons.  You are different.  Something is wrong.  Someone may see you and think that you are some lonely cat lady with no friends.  That inner voice can be relentless.

So here I am, two days before my 37th birthday at a cute little restaurant around the corner from my job.  Alone.  As I was being ushered to my table, I notice a table 3 women in the corner.  One of the women is staring at me in wonderment.  I  smile softly to ease the rising discomfort.  The waitress clears the second place setting and smiles.  I bask in the sunlight from the window nearby, then I take out my notebook and start writing.

Any time I've eaten at this restaurant, I've only ordered an entrĂ©e.  It's a rarity that I get an appetizer with my meal, but since I was taking my favorite girl out to lunch, I thought that the occasion deserved a little something extra.  If the restaurant wasn't a BYOB, I may have even ordered a glass of wine.

I sip my water and glance around to find the same woman staring at me.  I ignore her and continue writing.  I can hear them talking.  *whisper whisper* " herself."  *whisper whisper*  "She's writing." *whisper whisper*  
I found it amusing and a little sad that dining alone or being alone in general is frowned upon or not normal.  I wasn't expecting that from the ladies.

It turned out to be a very pleasant experience.  Instead of focusing so much on the reaction of others, I focused more on being in the moment.  I heard the music, thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my food, and wrote until my heart was content.  Surprisingly, I felt a sense of freedom.  For a moment, I felt as if I wasn't working a full-time job.  I didn't even notice anyone else around me.

I had control of my time and space.  I was able to spend my time doing what I wanted: to eat great food at a cute spot.  In that moment, I felt freedom.  There was quiet.  There was light.  There was peace and everything just ... was.  It was everything that I've ever dreamed.  

Have you ever had a moment where you felt freedom?  Was it your hope to experience it in that way or was it unexpected?  What have you done to feel that way again and more often?

We'd love to hear from you.  As always, your comments are very helpful to the community, so become a part of the discussion!

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Alice Popkorn

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Post Spotlight: Much Ado About Goals

Travel season is coming to an end... for now.  I'm currently in North Dakota wrapping up my work trip today.  My rebalancing act starts when I get back.  I can't wait to get back into the groove!

Leaves aren't quite changing, but fall is coming soon.  New summer wrap up post coming up next!  Have a great day everyone!

In the meantime, check out this week's post spotlight.  :-)

Photo by Kfuot001

Post of the Hour: "Much Ado About Goals"

About: The importance of setting goals the right way

Inspiration: It was the beginning of spring, the perfect time to set goals

Favorite quote:  Now some of you may be wondering what my beef is with resolutions.  Actually, I have no beef at all.  I'm glad that people thought about something that they hope will change in the new year, BUT a resolution is just a start.  People tend to make them and then stop there.  In essence, it's simply a wish.  You wish that you would lose weight or quit smoking or cut down on spending.   

After the wishes are made, people wing it and hope for the best.  "This is my last pack of ciggies and then I'm going cold turkey."  "I will only eat vegetables and drink water for the rest of my life.  Yeah... I'll be skinny in no time."  "I'm cutting up all of my credit cards.  That should keep me from spending."  Clearly, all of these are pretty extreme.  They are desperate plans: not well thought out or realistic.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Touch of Hope

So much is going on these days.  People are angry.  They are hurting.  Fear and sadness is being spewed all over the internet and it is catching on.  Everyone is fighting.  The negativity is closing in.  Then, I came upon this quote by entrepreneur and author Brendon Burchard:

Do not say there is no hope; for breath is hope, this moment is hope, that there is a sky and a single human alive with a soul burning with love is hope.

Do not say hope is lost; for hope is incapable of disappearing or diminishing. Hope is an eternal spring flowing through humanity, sourced by an infinitely deep and divine well. A refusal to step into its cooling waters does not diminish its reality or power any more than an oblivious husband lessens the beauty and strength and grace of his wife who is admired by all. 

Those words were like sun rays peaking through dark clouds.  Bask in those rays.  Close your eyes and lift your arms to the sky.  Open your heart cavity to hope.  Feel the warmth of the rays and breathe it all in.  
Reading that quote in the midst of all of that chaos was a breath of fresh air to me.  I felt reinvigorated.  I hope that it did the same for you too.

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Nikhil