Posted in Awesome Stuff

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Update: 21 Day Manifesting Challenge

So, as I mentioned previously, I signed myself up for Gabby Bernstein’s 21 Day Manifesting Challenge – and so far, so good! 😊 A real highlight for me has been the Facebook community….the people in the group are so wonderful, interesting, open…it’s been beautiful to read their stories and what brought them to the challenge. I love it!

Since the 1st of the year, Gabby has sent out an email each day with tasks to complete, and I have kept up – woot! woot! At the beginning of the challenge, we were asked what things we wanted to manifest, and to be CLEAR about those. My list included financial stuff (of course), improved health (not that my health is bad – for a fluffy person I’m in surprisingly good health!), and a way forward with my side interests. There was other stuff on the list, but these are some of the big ones. The main thing that I’ve taken away thus far is the importance of ‘clarity’…you can’t put something out to the universe and hope it will happen, if you aren’t 100% clear on what that something is! It just won’t work!

A second thing that Gabby frequently reminds us of is the intention behind the desires we have – and I think this is key. One of my items was that I want to improve my financial situation – the reason for this is that I don’t want to have to worry about money so much, I don’t want to be always running short on funds for things, I don’t want the stress and the worry… I want to be comfortable and happy, so that I can focus on enjoying time with my family (and not obsess over what everything will cost). I don’t want a heap of money so that I can buy strippers and drugs all day long – that would not be a great intention. I think my motivation is sound ….and I’m hoping like hell that it works!

“I’m worthy of my desires, and attracting what I want will bring more joy to the world.” – Gabby Bernstein

Here’s some other things I’ve made notes of to share with you:

When things get difficult…

  1. Notice the negative thought pattern. Take a deep breath and feel into whatever feelings come up for you. Then exhale.
  2. Stop the spiral of negative thoughts by silently repeating this: I choose to see peace instead of this.
  3. Close your eyes, breathe long and deep as you silently repeat that phrase for at least a minute.

Your energy creates your reality. Consciously choose new thoughts and you’ll raise your vibrations.

When we make feeling good our priority, everything else can flow.

Be unapologetic about how you want to feel.

I will keep you posted on how things are going as we continue through the rest of our 21 days – loving this!!!😊

xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Around the Bend

I’ve dabbled with yoga off and on over the years, and I love it so much that I honestly don’t know why I don’t do it all the time – my own damn laziness, I suppose. Anyway, one of my promises to myself for the year (since I am not doing resolutions) is to get back to yoga, so… that’s what I’m doing! The plan is to do it at least three time a week (and hopefully more!), and see how it makes me feel. It’s been too damn long since I practiced, and I have suffered not one but two broken arms in the past two months (because I’m special like that), so I knew I needed to start slow and easy. I hit up my absolute FAVORITE yoga teacher Adriene Mishler (https://yogawithadriene.com/), and as usual she didn’t let me down. I began with a simple, easy introductory session that got the muscles moving, focused on the power of the breath, and didn’t cause me much discomfort in the aforementioned broken-but-healing arms. It will be awhile before I’m doing anything too complex, but the first session felt GREAT! Now to keep it up!

If you aren’t familiar with Adriene, check out her YouTube channel (and join the other millions of us who subscribe and follow her!) – she’s got videos for everything, her dog appears sometimes, and she’s so encouraging that you will feel like you’ve had a warm hug when you’re finished. She’s awesome! 😊

Namaste!

xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

From This Moment On

Yesterday I was talking about flipping the way we plan for the new year – instead of talking about all of the things we will do without, how about we focus on all of the great things we are planning to do? I love it! As promised, here’s the start of my list for the new year:

  1. Spend more time reading! Plain and simple, it makes me happy – so why not do it more often? Yaa!
  2. Get back to yoga! I’ve been feeling stiff and shitty lately, and it’s not getting any better…I need to get my arse back into a regular yoga practice. I predict it will make me feel better, inside and out. I’m not going to go crazy and declare that I need to do it daily, because I know that won’t happen (sadly my schedule isn’t conducive to that!). I will set the target for 3 times a week, and consider anything more than that a bonus. Yaa! I’m excited!!! 😊
  3. More time writing – keeping a journal is an excellent thing for my mental health, and I’m going to do a better job of writing regularly in 2020. I started keeping a daily journal in March of 2019, and I wrote in it at least 5 days a week every week for the rest of the year – I noticed a difference in how I felt about things, and I noticed a significant difference in my stress levels. Success!
  4. Take up meditation once and for all – I keep dabbling, trying it out…but nothing ever sticks, and I have to say that I often feel like a failure when trying to meditate. I get so easily distracted (it’s ridiculous), and then I get disheartened and give up. Not this time.
  5. Eat better – I quit eating meat in September 2019, and it’s made a significant difference in how I feel. I have been eating seafood, and for now I will keep that going on – but meat is out. I’ve been working on getting more fruits and veg into the system, but that remains a struggle for me – I don’t know why. Actually, that’s a lie – I do know why. I like vegetables when somebody else prepares them for me, but I can’t stand them when I prepare them – go figure. It’s dumb. I’m going to try to do better with smoothies and get the fruits and veg in that way – as well, I will continue experimenting with supplements and see if I can’t improve my nutrition that way. All of the experts say that cutting out dairy is the way to go, but…it just makes me so sad. I love dairy – cheese, yogurt, cheese…. It’s all just so good. Yum.
  6. Stop sweatin’ the small stuff – this will likely be the biggest challenge for the year, you know that? I’m a world-class fretter, and I can worry about nothing like it was my damn job. I’ve noticed that in the past year I’ve been able to let a lot of shit go that previously would have caused me to obsess, but I’ve still got such a long way to go. Hopefully this will be the year that I quit reacting to stupid shit, and only focus on what really matters.
  7. Have more fun! I plan to embrace the idea of the return of the Roarin’ 20s with a passion – learn to dance the Charleston, wear a flapper dress (I bought a 20s style dress recently, actually…it’s gorgeous!), drink more gin, listen to more records, visit as many speakeasies as humanly possible, watch Midnight in Paris on repeat….all of it. Bring on the 20s – I’m ready!

This list is really specific to me and the things I want to focus on from a personal development perspective – of course I plan to spend more time with the kid and the family, enjoy them more, etc etc etc, all of that good stuff. I’m excited about all of it! Yaa!

What are you most looking forward to in the new year, friends?

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Play That Funky Music

For whatever reason (or about 253 reasons), I’ve been super-deep in my feelings this week. I’ve felt overly sensitive and on the verge of tears about a hundred times; I actually turned my phone off on Christmas Day rather than have one more text full of questions from friends that I didn’t want to answer. I don’t know if I’m overly tired, suffering from allergies (that has been a big part of it, I’m sure of it), or what is going on, but…this week has had me riding the emotion train – and I’m not loving it. At all. My arse has fallen into a tremendous funk, and I need to find a way out – but how?

According to this list, getting out of a funk is so easy you can accomplish it in 15 minutes! Crazy, eh???! I know! Here’s the list:

10 Ways to Get Out of a Funk in 15 Minutes

It’s all about mind over matter. Here’s how to take an off-day and turn it into a productive one.

By Paresh Shah

This story first appeared on The Muse, a web destination with exciting job opportunities and expert career advice.

We all have off days from time to time. It’s human nature. But barring the occasional disaster or tragedy, a bad day is really only bad if you decide to stay in that frame of mind. As Martha Washington put it, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.”

In reality, there are some simple actions that can put a positive spin on things and flip your switch from “ugh” to “awesome.” Here are a few things that can help you turn your day around.

1. Create Your Own Talisman

I have an electric guitar in my office. I’ll slap my headphones on and play my guitar to snap out of lethargy or bad moods–or to simply help my brain start solving problems. Find a physical object that you puts you in a happy, energized state. In A Few Good Men, Lt. Daniel Kaffee needed his baseball bat to think best. You likely have something similar, and it’s not only OK but essential to use props like these to get out of a funk. If you’re stumped, consider Play-Doh, a doodling pad, or a toy you loved as a child.

2. Make Connections

Instead of glancing over your News Feed, try making a connection with someone real. Even chatting with the barista at your local coffee shop can help put you in a good mood. (Here are a few conversation starters.) At my company, we make it a habit to touch base with one another before getting down to business. Sharing something that’s inspired us or that we’re grateful for during the day not only helps form human connections and build a positive atmosphere, but also makes our meetings shorter, more productive, and action-oriented.

3. Make Someone Else’s Day

Choose a person–whether you know him or not–and decide to make his day with a random act of kindness. Leave a note to brighten someone’s day, pay for someone’s coffee in line, or buy extra muffins and distribute them to your team members. Ask a co-worker if you can help her with something. Giving to others and appreciating what we’ve been given are two of the shortest paths to shaking yourself out of a bad mood. On that note:

4. Express Gratitude

Whether you do it in person, over the phone, via social media, or just in your own head, taking a moment to express gratitude leads to improved health, happiness, relationships, and income. A popular restaurant in Los Angeles, Café Gratitude, has its staff practice this every day, and it has one of the highest levels of customer and worker satisfaction in the business.

5. Daydream

Imagine what you might be doing if you were six, 10, or 15 years old. Draw it or write it down, then take a moment to find a photo online that captures its essence. By accessing part of yourself that’s younger, you tap into a time before your aspirations and dreams were reshaped by society. Better yet, spend time with a child. Just watching and spending time around a child opens you up to the freedom and carefree feeling of being young. 

6. Breathe

As one of my yoga teachers says, shallow breathing results in shallow experiences. Deep breathing, on the other hand, helps clear your mind, reduce stress, and reset your mood. An easy way to get started is by downloading The Mindfulness App, which Healthline called “straightforward and simple.” The quiet alerts, regular reminders, and customization options can make breathing such a routine part of your day that you may even find yourself needing to take mood-calibrating breaths less often.

7. Avoid the 4 Cs

There are four things you need to avoid to stay out a funk (not to mention office drama) in the first place: comparing, competing, criticizing, and complaining. If you catch yourself engaging in one of these unhealthy behaviors, redirect your attention to something happy, like a funny video, for an instant mood booster. (Just make sure the funny video doesn’t lead you to the latest dark headline or celebrity drama.)

8. Find a Quiet Space

Even if it means taking refuge in a bathroom stall, find a place where you can have a moment of quiet or move around and shake off the negative thoughts and feelings.

9. Listen to Music

Everyone has a few tunes that never fail to lighten their spirits. Put on some headphones, and crank it up. Better yet, play it out loud in your car, and sing along.

10. Take a Walk

Go for a walk, or try having a walking meeting. In addition to the health benefits, walking has shown to have amazing mood-boosting powers. Sometimes you just need a quick change of scenery to improve your state of mind.

There are a variety of other techniques that can help you shift your day from bad to better. Sometimes escaping a bad mood is all about remembering that, as author Regina Brett put it, “No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.”

A bad moment is just a tiny fraction of your entire day, and a bad day is just one out of your entire life. The more good moments you create, the fewer bad days you’ll have, and the less glaring the bad ones will seem.

So the next time you feel like your day is going south, put these tips into practice, and let the good days commence.

There’s a few things here I can work with – taking walks usually helps improve the quality of my day, as does listening to music. I’m ALWAYS seeking quiet spaces to be (another anomaly with me – I find the world entirely too loud these days…I want more peace and quiet), so that one makes sense as well. I keep hearing about the magical restorative powers of deep breathing, but…I struggle to make that one work for me. I find myself getting light-headed sometimes (especially during cedar season, which has hit my part of Texas with a bloody vengeance)…maybe it’s just me. I think the big one for me is the 4 Cs…comparing, competing, criticizing, and complaining. I’ve actively worked on the complaining bit for years – and I’m still trying to cut that shit right out of my life….it’s hard, though. I’m trying. I don’t think I’m much of a criticizer (out loud), so that’s one thing. The big struggle for me is the comparing and competing – I ALWAYS feel like I’m in a competition with other people, and I don’t.know.why. I don’t know why I have to compare myself to others ALL THE DAMN TIME, and why I ALWAYS come up short. It’s frustrating. It’s no joke that comparison is the thief of joy – but how do you overcome that? If you have ideas, please send them my way – I need the help.

 

I hope that you’re managing your holiday time with as little anxiety and stress as possible. It’s almost time for the new year, and it’s a new decade to boot! Exciting!!! Bring on the ‘20s…time to roar!!! 😊

Xxx

 

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Thank U

I always thought that in order to engage in something like a gratitude practice, you had to be all fancy and formal, get yourself a Tibetan gong, some incense, and a flowy tunic – turns out I was wrong. I got a new planner a year ago for Christmas (I’m hoping for one this year!!), and every day I sectioned off an area and labeled it ‘Gratitude’ – every single day I would write three things I was grateful for. Some days it was profound stuff, other days it was things like sour cream and onion chips, cold beer, and the popcorn smell of a puppy dog’s feet (for realz – smell their feet, they smell just like popcorn). I have done this task every day for the entirety of 2019 – and, let me tell you, this has been a motha of a year, so taking time to focus on gratitude was a good idea. I added an app to my phone (Grateful) that is pretty much the same idea. I like it, but still prefer writing my gratitude down in a notebook.

Here’s some great ideas on how you can make your life exponentially better by focusing on gratitude:

Last month I got the om (ohm) symbol tattooed to my left shoulder – it looks like this:

I LOVE it – and when the kid asked what it meant, I explained it this way: om (ohm) is the sound of the universe, and it’s important to be quiet in order to hear it….I told her it’s kind of like the lines from the musical ‘Hamilton’ – talk less, smile (and listen!) more…and it will help remind me to remain in a peaceful state, to focus on kindness, compassion, calmness and joy. I love it and thing it looks awesome on the front of my shoulder – Yaa! ♥️

What are you grateful for, friends? I can’t wait to hear how you practice gratitude in your life!!

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Funk Soul Brother (Sister)

I’m always talking about doing things to soothe my shattered soul – I’m sure the fam-jam thinks I’m being dramatic (yet again), but I’m totally serious. A lot of days find me feeling delicate inside, like my soul is made of a blown out eggshell, and I’m trying really hard not to let it break. A variety of things make me feel this way: watching the news, seeing children hurting, my lunch order being wrong (an exaggeration, okay….but a slight one)…but, I keep on, and so far my soul hasn’t shattered. Yet. I’ve been trying to focus on doing more for myself and my soul – which sounds ridiculous, I know, but…every little bit helps. I came across this article and wanted to share it with you – it’s full of GREAT ideas of ways to feed your soul, EXACTLY what I need!

1. Make this daily 10-minute date with yourself:

Meditate right after you awaken.

2. Take a leisurely magnesium-replenishing bath.

Epsom salts, y’all!

3. Heed the mind-body-spirit connection.

4. Serve somebody.

5. Lose yourself by reading.

6. Forgive someone.

7. Play with a pooch or cuddle a kitten.

8. Smile!

The mere act of putting a smile on your face influences your feelings, studies suggest.

9. Breathe the clean air of nature.

10. Scope out new scenery.

11. Try the inspired self dialogues journaling technique.

12. Spend a day with a young child.

13. Lunch in the light.

14. Immerse yourself in music you love.

15. Regularly do good deeds while expecting nothing in return.

16. Indulge in artwork.

17. Ponder a poem.

18. Move to music.

19. Clean/de-clutter.

20. Change the environment of hurrying the kids to school into a meditation.

21. Feel the spray of a waterfall or crashing surf.

22. Inhale an aroma you love for 30 seconds.

23. Imagine your life as a pie.

24. Go fish.

25. An elevating elixir. Find a soothing drink to calm you from the inside out.

26. Practice gratitude.

Make it a daily habit to jot down five things you’re grateful for.

27. Strengthen body and soul through yoga.

28. Drop the perfectionist, all-or-nothing attitude.

29. Get a massage.

30. Lose yourself by watching live theater.

31. Live fully in the present.

« When you aren’t distracted by your own negative thinking, when you don’t allow yourself to get lost in moments that are gone or yet to come, you are left with this moment. This moment—now—truly is the only moment you have. It is beautiful and special,” Sydney Banks asserts in the chapter he contributed to Handbook for the Soul. Banks also says that if you stay present “and stay connected to your soul and remain happy, you will find that your heart is filled with positive feelings.”

32. Gaze at the stars, maybe through a telescope.

33. Keep dreaming.

« Dreams provide nourishment for the soul just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies,” says Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist.

Tons of good ideas here, eh? I know!! I’m going to pick two to focus on this week – I think I will start with #1 – Meditation and #2 – Magnesium Bath…seems an easy, attainable start to the list, don’t you think? I’m excited to get started – rub-a-dub-dub, I’m heading for the tub!! 😉

What will you try to soothe your soul? Can’t wait to hear about it! ♥️

Xxx

Posted in Awesome Stuff

Better (Wo)Man

I’ve been reading self-help books for over 20 years…you would think that I’m all helped and totally fixed, right? You would be wrong…I’m nowhere near fixed, and likely never will be. I prefer to think of myself as a work in progress – some days my progress is akin to the pace of the hare from the children’s tale, other times it’s a tortoise’s pace for sure. The good news is that I’m mostly going forward (mostly), so…there’s that. Positive thinking! 😊

Speaking of which, lately I’ve been working on the power of positive thinking – an oldie but a goodie! I recently read Gabrielle Bernstein’s ‘Super Attractor’, which I really enjoyed. In the past, I’ve found some of her books a bit too « woowoo » for me, and they’ve been tricky to get through without feeling cynical, as if I will never be in touch with my spirituality enough to be able to hang with the stuff Gabby is saying. This book felt different, though…I found it more accessible, and it really meant a lot to me. I was reminded that thoughts become things, and all of the crap that I regularly think about myself was likely part of the reason that things have often been difficult for me.

Since finishing this book, I have made conscious efforts to think more positively, to think about what I want (instead of what I DON’T want), and to focus on the great things that I do have. I can’t be certain, but it does seem that I am feeling a wee bit better about things – which is AWESOME. ♥️ It’s a start – every day is a new chance to make something magical happen…and I am really leaning into it and giving it a go. 🙏

I am really REALLY looking forward to the new year. It’s the ‘20s!!!!! I LOVE everything about the 1920s style and culture-wise, and I am bloody determined to make the 2020s just as great! I’ve been looking forward to this for AGES – this is going to be my decade, i just know it! 😀 To put my money where my mouth is – and to get my year off to the right start – I signed up for Gabby’s Manifesting Challenge, which begins January 1st. Every day for 21 days, I will get a daily lesson on manifesting, there will be challenges, homework assignments, training videos, and printable worksheets. The purpose of this 21 day challenge will be learning how to focus on the things I want in life, to help make those things a reality and not just one of the many dreams that I have but never do anything about. I am looking forward to doing the activities, to focusing on myself for once (instead of everyone else in my life) – I can’t wait to see how this will positively impact my life and make me better!! Exciting!!! Stay tuned!!!! 😊

What kinds of things do you do for your personal development and well-being? Yoga? Meditation? 2020 is going to be the year that I FINALLY master meditation – I’m getting better at it, I’m doing it more and more regularly, but I need to really make the time and commit to the practice. That’s my #1 New Year’s Resolution for the upcoming year – screw the standard ‘this year I will lose weight/grow out my hair/blah blah blah’ BS…the next year will be all about MOI, and working on being the best me that I can be. Can’t wait! 😘

Xxx