The Day I Stopped Being Passive

I have never been “into” politics. It is not a sport to me. I never felt incredibly passionate about one party or the other. In fact, I silently resented the predominantly two party system of the U.S., feeling societal pressure to pick sides when I have always felt it is so much more complex than that. continue…

If You Want Someone Else To Change, Be Like the Sun

Tidying is naturally contagious, but if you try to force it on someone else, you’ll only be met with harsh resistance.” – Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

In Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, there is section about how to influence household members to be more tidy:

“Recall Aesop’s fable about the north wind and the sun: the wind failed to blow off the traveler’s coat while the sun got him to remove it simply by shining. It is far more effective to be like the sun.”

We can all point to a list of ways we would like the people around us to act differently from time to time. The nearest conversation will point out that everyone wants someone to be different in someway. It’s practically like breathing.

But what if the only way to get them to change is to change ourselves? And what if changing ourselves isn’t a guarantee that anyone else will change? Would it still be worth the trouble? continue…

The Life-Changing Magic of a Tidy Closet

After I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I couldn’t wait to get started on my own “tidying marathon”. I still haven’t finished tidying the whole house and I started this process over a month ago. But I KNOW it is possible and am so excited about finally getting “tidy”.

I’m not sure how long Marie Kondo’s tidying marathons last, but if she were in the US or I were in Japan, I would love to enlist her services to keep me focused on tidying for however long it takes. As it is, I am doing this myself, motivated by the version of Marie Kondo in my head who paints a picture of me surrounded by only things that bring me joy, sipping tea in my perfectly tidy home and making time to do yoga and take a bath before bed at night.

Following the KonMari sequence, I started with clothes, then moved on to books, then papers, and am currently on “komono” (pretty much everything else – which is a lot!). Today I share my dramatic closet transformation. continue…

Travel Yoga: Flagstaff and Las Vegas

 “Remember: You are your own fire keeper.”

– Rachel at The Yoga Experience, Flagstaff, AZ

A year or so ago I set a goal to start going to a new yoga studio each time I traveled. Sadly, I only sporadically kept this promise to myself and hadn’t been living up to my full travel yoga potential until recently.

There are so many great things about going to a yoga studio while traveling. Depending on the style of yoga, you will get at least some level of exercise. Whether it’s a strenuous class or a class meant for relaxation, there are physical benefits that are certainly welcome with the change in routine that comes with travel.

Every time I have gone to a yoga studio while traveling, I have been so glad I did. There is a serene ambiance at a yoga studio that you don’t exactly get at the airport or the gas station.

When I think back to the times I have gone to yoga studios while out of town, I can remember how the studios looked and, more importantly, how they made me feel. Each studio is fresh in my mind no matter how much time has passed.

While I have missed out on travel yoga opportunities over the past year, I am happy to report that I got to attend yoga class in both Flagstaff, AZ and Las Vegas over the past few weeks during weekend getaways. continue…

What Do a Mirror, a Camera, and a Bridge Have to Do with Your Dreams?

Where you are now was once in your mind. Do you believe that statement? Is it true for you?

It certainly is for me. All the things I like and dislike about my life are things I have thought about in the past. It makes playing the victim kind of difficult.

Whether I wanted to or not, I applied to pharmacy schools, went to one, graduated, got jobs, and everything I did led me to my current job. I created my current, and past, life circumstances. I look around at my house, and I think of the me only a few years ago, and am astounded that I am now living in a beautiful dream house. I am married – something I dreamed of for years. I have acne, still, after like 20 years of dealing with acne. I don’t have to tell anyone how often I have thought about acne over the past 20 years.

When I look at my life, and look around my current environment, I can tell you how I attracted each and every thing into my life, either initially or how I have kept it going in my life for however long it has been here.

It’s interesting to think of the law of attraction from this retrospective point of view. It makes it a little bit more believable for a skeptic because the proof of the power of thought is already physically visible. When we talk about the law of attraction and the future, it can seem like “yeah right” sometimes.

But looking backwards, we kind of can’t argue with the fact that we did certain things that led to our current circumstances. and all those actions were preceded by thoughts. Hence, manifestation.

After looking into the past to see what we have created, we can then look into the future and decide what we would like to create differently. And create change. continue…

No One’s Perfect, Not Even the People on the Internet

It’s such a weird position to be in: here you are, living a normal, sometimes boring, often not perfect life, yet one glance at any social media site has the power to set off feelings of inadequacy that might have stayed in check if it weren’t for the megaphones of perfection that are Facebook and Instagram.  Or is that just me?

I recently wrote about taming the feelings of envy that the internet tends to set off. Today, I am reflecting on this concept of the inaccurate portrayal of perfection on the internet, particularly on social media.

One of the most inspiring sessions I attended during Alt Summit Summer this past week was entitled “Blogging with Bravery: Finding Courage and Your Authentic Voice in the Online World” presented by Tiffany Han. Let’s just say Tiffany Han is my new idol.

Even if you don’t have a blog, you probably have Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest, or all three and more. Tiffany’s message about telling your real story is for anyone on the internet, not just bloggers or entrepreneurs. It’s for your kids, too, as I will explain later. continue…

What Does 2 p.m. Feel Like for You?

How do you know when it’s time to stop working? Do you start to feel the need to nap around two or three in the afternoon? Or is that when your energy starts to kick in?

I recently finished reading Loving Yourself to Great Health by Louise Hay, Ahlea Khadro, and Heather Dane. One of the main themes of this book was developing a strong sense of intuition; learning to listen to what our bodies are telling us. This line in the book jumped out at me:

Ask your body when it’s ready to stop working for the day.

I was immediately excited by the prospect of actually doing this in my own life. You mean I have the power to quit when my body has had enough?

This book is the antithesis to what so many of us have been taught or coerced into by all kinds of outside forces all our lives. We are called by marketers to buy products that we don’t actually need to solve problems that don’t really exist or have more simple solutions, by our employers to push ourselves past the point of healthy work-life balance, and by ourselves to prove to everyone that we are better and can take on more than humanly possible.

Stop working when we feel like it? Is that even an option? continue…

How Do People Keep up with Everything?

Do you ever feel totally, completely, utterly overwhelmed by…everything? This is how I used to feel. All the time. Now, I am getting better. And I would like to share what I am doing to feel excited about what I have to do rather than squished. Because who likes going around feeling squished all the time?

The Seasonal Review

The seasonal review is my process for reviewing all the things I have to and want to do in my life four times a year, at approximately three month intervals. In the past, I have done this at times that made sense to me, not necessarily coinciding with the financial quarters.

This year, I am kicking off my seasonal review with my birthday. This puts my other seasonal reviews this year at mid-April, mid-July, and mid-October. I like these times because there isn’t much out of the ordinary going on in my life in April and July, and October is a good time to gear up for the holiday season (yes, I am already thinking about the holidays…too soon?).

The seasonal review is a time to check-in and see what direction you are headed in, and if that is actually the direction you would like for your life. I get sad when I think about weeks, months, and years going by with no real progress being made. Who wants to look back and wonder what they have been doing for the past five years?

But I get excited when I think about my ideas and what I would like to see change in the future. I like to do the seasonal review to get myself motivated to take action on my ideas that might otherwise get neglected, lost to the shuffle of an overly busy lifestyle. No thank you!

I want my to-do list and days to be filled with things that make me feel joyful and peaceful. How about you? continue…

A Mantra for Greater Productivity

I’m always looking for new ways to motivate myself to get on top of everything in my life. Whether it’s more efficiently getting through email, staying on top of household chores, or getting my to-do list to zero, I am motivated by the feeling of not being bbackhind/overwhelmed. I’m going for the opposite of overwhelmed/nervous breakdown.

As I was clearing out my email on Friday for the weekend, I was about to leave five to ten in my inbox to deal with Monday morning, and then I was reminded of this phrase:

How you do anything in your life is how you do everything in your life.

I have been hearing this here and there for years (unsure of the original author), but never felt like I had enough space in my life to take the time to truly consider doing everything in my life in line with my values. I was kind of just scraping by, which isn’t exactly the picture of joy and inner peace. continue…

Stop Saying This Phrase for a More Peaceful Life

Ever catch yourself saying “I’m busy”, and wonder if there will ever be a time again that this phrase doesn’t apply to your life?

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much my thoughts contribute to the overall feel of my life, particularly the feeling that there is never enough time and always too many tasks. It is not only thoughts, but also the spoken words those thoughts generate, that are creating our realities.

The popular phrases that come to mind are:

“‘I’m busy.”

“I’m too busy for/to [blank].”

“I was too busy to get around to it.”

Sound familiar? continue…

How To Handle An Adult Bully

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. There will be plenty of programs with an emphasis on prevention of bullying in schools. But what about the adult bullies among us?

Kids look to adults to be their role models. If kids see grown-ups engaging in bullying behaviors, they may be inclined to model that behavior. Even worse, adults might model bullying behaviors of other adults in efforts to be accepted or fit in with their colleagues, friends, or families. Today, I would like to address bullying behaviors in adults. continue…

How To Not Think About What You Don’t Want

“I was taught that we become what we think about, like it or not.” — Serena Dyer

I have been reading Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents by Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer’s daughter) and loving it. I am about two-thirds done, and one of the main focuses has been on the major impact our thoughts have on whether things in our lives change to what we want or stay the same. 

While walking this morning, I was trying to focus on feeling the feelings of what I want, as if all my dreams had already come true. While working on switching gears when thoughts of things I don’t want started creeping in, suddenly it hit me that I don’t go around thinking about those things that I used to wish would go away that have already gone away. continue…

What I Want for You

I have been looking forward to Labor Day Weekend all summer. Last year, around Labor Day, I decided to start reviewing my goals more frequently than once a year at New Year’s. I decided to start a seasonal review process, in which I would review, refresh, and revamp my goals and aspirations in the core areas of my life four times a year at the start of each season.

Time for a Plan & a Change

I am a planner, and I thoroughly enjoy the seasonal review process. Probably even more than I enjoy actually doing the things I say I am going to do! This summer has been okay, but I haven’t felt like I have been functioning optimally and doing the things that I really want to do.

I feel like I have been eating unhealthily, sleeping in late, and generally worrying and not feeling like the best version of myself. I had been looking forward to Labor Day Weekend as a time to really focus on getting back on track with my goals.

Yesterday, I got up early and set out to do the seasonal review. I knew deep down that there was no way I would accomplish the task of planning out the next three months in a few hours, or even in one day. I decided to be okay with that. continue…

Moving Series: 7 Things to Do After a Move

“The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.” – Rosabeth Moss Cantor

We moved into our new home the Friday before Memorial Day, and got engaged that same evening in Sedona, AZ. It probably isn’t surprising that it has taken almost two months to get settled into our new home, and hardly one item of wedding planning has happened.

Over the past few weeks, I have started to feel overwhelmed by the various tasks associated with moving that I wanted to have completed by now, as well as the wedding plans that I have the same feelings about. Today I am planning to wrap up my post-move tasks and to also move forward on wedding plans and other personal tasks over the next few weeks.

Ever since before we moved, I have kept a list of things to do before, during, and after our move. Looking back, I am grateful that we have accomplished so much. I tend to feel bogged down by unfinished tasks and projects, but when I look back at what has already been completed, I can remember feeling the same bogged down feeling when things that are now complete were incomplete.

For example, when we lived in a temporary apartment and were looking for a house, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed by the task of finding a home that we liked. Fast forward a few months, and here we are! I have to remind myself that projects in progress often feel uncomfortable, and become comfortable with that temporary feeling of discomfort.

Here are a few items either already complete or currently on my reminders list related to our move: continue…

How I Set Goals for Summer: Seasonal Review

The summer seasonal review will round out my first year of doing seasonal reviews. I have really enjoyed the process of reviewing my goals roughly every three months, corresponding with the changing seasons. I feel much more in touch with my goals than I did with the concept of New Year’s resolutions, and I don’t feel overwhelmed by a too frequent review such as weekly or monthly.

As with each of my seasonal reviews, I will be reviewing my affirmations by my core value categories. If you are interested in establishing your own core values (highly recommended!) I would suggest Tina Su’s Discover You Now ebook. There is an exercise in this book that led me to establishing my own core values. This was the first step in defining what my goals are, because I had to figure out my major life categories before determining specific goals.

I only write affirmations at this point. I write about 3 to 5 in each core value category, and I read through them immediately when I wake up in the morning most days. I quickly scroll through them on the Evernote app on my phone. Any actionable steps related to achieving something in one of my core value categories go on my reminders or rituals lists. If you want to read more about my use of affirmations, click here.

Of note, my life has gone through a few dramatic (good) changes over the past few weeks and months, with a recent household move and engagement! These are all exciting changes, but have also caused my many lists to explode and call for the creation of a few new lists. I am still working on catching up to everything, as I have fallen out of some of my routines while we figure out where to put everything in the house and now where to have a wedding. I hope to stay on track with my personal goals while remaining flexible with the many upcoming changes.  continue…

Moving Series: How to Use Evernote to Coordinate a Move

Evernote has come to be my constant planning and idea capturing companion. When it came to all the little things that add up to the one big thing that is a household move, I immediately turned to my friend Evernote to help me manage it all.

A move is not just one day that happens and then goes away nicely. There are weeks and possibly months of planning and preparations leading up to the big day, and then more weeks and possibly months to follow filled with remaining transition-type tasks and activities.

I have written a lot previously about my hipster and how the Evernote app serves as my one single planner in life. For the move, I am using my reminders and rituals notebooks to keep track of tasks I want to make sure get done. My boyfriend Michael and I also have a few shared notebooks which are helpful for storing information we both want to be able to access.

Today I will go through each of my current Evernote notebooks that contain information related to the move, and how they are being used. continue…

Spring Seasonal Review: How I Planned Out My Goals for Spring

I am so excited that my long-awaited spring seasonal review is finally here! The seasonal review is my new system of goal-setting and reviewing that I came up with this year, in which I review the goals I set for the previous season, and look forward to changes I would like to make in the upcoming three months. This is my alternative to setting annual New Year’s resolutions. If you would like to read more about my thought process behind my seasonal review, click here. continue…

Meditation Mondays: Trading in Thoughts

“He calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” – Romans 4:17

Lately I have been consciously trading in some of my constant recurring thoughts for some better ones. I have relied on my meditation time as the primary pocket of good thoughts during the day to bring about my dreams, despite predominantly negative thoughts, or thoughts of what I don’t want, throughout the rest of the day.

This is not good enough. Just twenty minutes a day or less of uninterrupted peace is no longer enough for me. I need constant peace. And it starts with my thoughts.

Thinking About Not Living the Dream Kind of Seals the Deal

My constant recurring thoughts for the past five to ten years have been primarily about things I didn’t want. Although I have a lot of good things in my life right now, there are still some results from my past limiting beliefs and thoughts in my present reality.

I recently listened to one of Wayne Dyer’s latest books, Wishes Fulfilled. After reading Wayne Dyer’s books over the years, I have noticed that one of the common themes to his message is that thinking about what you don’t want is pretty much a recipe for continually getting what you don’t want.

It seems so obvious. But why would anyone think about things they don’t want to keep entering into their life? continue…

Why I Will Not Be Setting New Year’s Resolutions This Year

“You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late, and never to sick to start from the scratch once again.” – Bikram Choudhury

It’s New Year’s Eve, the day of celebrating, wearing party hats, and sharing New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s is a time of hope for the future. Unfortunately, that hope is often short-lived and quickly forgotten about midway through January.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Tend to Fail

Lately, I have not been very fond of the concept of setting New Year’s resolutions. A year can be an overwhelming period of time for pursuing any one goal. More than that, the concept of New Year’s resolutions is hardly personalized. It is something we do because it is conventional, not necessarily because it works. New Year’s resolutions probably do work for some, but I know from personal experience that it is easy to set goals on New Year’s Eve that don’t even have a fighting chance come February.

There is so much to do in our lives. There is so much that is left undone from year to year. We are busy, and we have so many obligations and expectations we feel the need to fulfill. Our long term goals might get relegated to the back burner as time moves forward, leaving our hopes and dreams in the dust. continue…

Rewards for Good Behavior

I have read many tips in books, magazines, and blogs about the concept of rewarding yourself for doing something good. I have tried to keep lists (I guess I am kind of a list nut) of ideas of rewards for myself to choose from whenever I am trying to convince myself to do something I don’t really feel like doing.

My rewards aren’t all that extravagant: a bath, time to read, a trip to Starbucks, watch an episode of Parenthood or Glee, or watch my favorite YouTube channels. I kind of do these things on a regular basis these days anyway. I am working on associating them with other things I sometimes don’t feel like doing, but want to have done. continue…

A Trick to Start Good Habits

Some things that are good for us aren’t particularly fun. I don’t love taking vitamins or flossing my teeth, and even though I enjoy yoga and walking, many days I don’t feel like it. But I almost always feel better afterwards.

It takes work to maintain health and peaceful surroundings, but once the work is done, there are generous rewards to those who put in the effort. continue…

Finding the Inspiration to Make a Lasting Change

Inspiration is all around us, we just have to tune in to it. Tuning in is hard work, especially when it is so easy to just remain complacent, or dissatisfied, with the status quo. The good news is that for as hard as it is to challenge ourselves to see the good, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.

Inspiration can be found in something as simple as a spring breeze, or a welcome change in the weather, if only for a day. Books, magazines, TV shows, movies, strangers on the street, a cozy cup of tea, and a beautiful photo all hold within them the seed of inspiration that has the power to change our lives. We just have to open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to receive their messages. continue…

Chances Past and Arbitrary Deadlines

“A counselor once told me that it doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in the past or if you are trying to forget the past, what matters is what you are doing in the present, that’s why I try to soak it up as much as possible.” – Malerie Baggs in the movie Struck by Lightning

I think (from personal experience) that we have a very hard time making major changes because in  some ways changing who we thought we were is kind of like admitting that we weren’t exactly living our best life for how ever many years we wanted to change but couldn’t find the courage to do so.

I will say for me, it actually feels like admitting that I was wrong. Like I was wrong to not write everyday for the past year, and have a book written by now. Or to not have blogged everyday and have a solid blog platform working for me at this point. I know that may sound harsh, but it’s okay; it’s about to get good. continue…

Spark a Change

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  – Anais Nin

What does it take to ignite the spark to make a change? I wish I knew the magical formula. I have been trying to figure it out for years. Some days I have tried so hard to get inspired to try something new, almost forcibly so, only to be overcome by my doubts and fears.

I think there must be some kind of breaking point that, if we are lucky, we can reach eventually – where enough is enough, and we know that we are at a crossroads: we can either keep doing the same things, or pivot our direction. continue…

Our Comfort Zones of Discomfort

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

I suspect that wanting to make some kind of change is fundamental to being human. Wanting to change is the easy part – it is making the choices it takes to become different that is so hard, and sometimes can seem impossible.  continue…