To Be Perfect, or Not to Be Perfect

I had a goal. More like 50 goals simultaneously, and it was hard to ever focus on one thing because I wanted all 50 of them to have been done about 3 months ago.

I tried to be perfect. To have the perfect planning system, the perfectly organized home and garage, the perfectly checked off to-do list, and perfectly emptied out email inbox.

I still aspire to all these things, just not quite so perfectly. And now for my own personal satisfaction, rather than to prove to others that it can be done.

Releasing the need to become perfect has created space for me to be me. Which is so nice.

It is liberating to allow myself to continue to discover what I am good at and what I am not good at, and to accept those things the way they are. continue…

Why Being Lazy Is Good for You

All our lives, “lazy” has been mostly a negative term. Sometimes we can get away with a lazy day here and there, but in general it has a derogatory connotation. But what if that were different? continue…

No Good Thought Is Wasted

It can be hard to believe that our thoughts have any impact on our lives, especially when things don’t seem to work out, even if we were thinking positively. So why bother? continue…

How Hard Is It to Feel Good?

Who doesn’t want to feel good? And why do so many of us go around choosing the alternative? This is a question I have been seriously asking myself lately.

I’m working more on watching what my thoughts are about and categorizing if they are geared towards things I want in my life or things I don’t want. More than the thoughts, I’m focusing on identifying the feelings the thoughts are creating.

Because it’s really about the feelings. The reason we want anything in life is because we believe we will feel better once that is our new reality.

So, if it’s all about how we will feel in the future, why not feel that way now? I often find myself caving in to the saying “easier said than done”. But is it? continue…

Release the Need to Judge and to Be Judged

I don’t know about you, but for as much time as I get to be alone, my mind is a revolving door of what I’m thinking other people might be thinking about me.

I work from home and absolutely love it. The being at home part. I probably need to get out more, but I’m truly happiest relaxing at home. Yet I find my mind going in circles throughout the day with thoughts of what other people think about me.

I partially blame Facebook. It reminds me of people who I might not have seen in years or who I might only be acquainted with and their thoughts about the world and other people. And then my mind starts to wonder: what do they think about me, then?

This sounds pretty selfish, now that I’m writing it out. Because clearly these people aren’t going around thinking about me all the time, if ever. But still, my ego insists on begging the question – just what do they think of me? continue…

Let Go To Make Space for Something New

“I promise you: whatever you let go will come back in exactly the same amount, but only when it feels the desire to return to you.” – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The other day I was thinking a lot about my recurring not-so-positive thoughts, and how they were not only annoying and driving me crazy, but holding me back from moving forward. This was spurred on by something I heard Esther Hicks say on her YouTube channel the day before.

I am always so focused on trying to think about what I want, I sometimes forget how detrimental it can be to let my thoughts spiral and dwell on things I don’t want. Abraham/Hicks was saying that you want to stop thinking about things you don’t want because that creates space for what you do want to come into your life.

I liked this perspective, because it takes the pressure off of trying to stay so focused on things that don’t appear to exist just yet. Rather than working so hard to trick myself all the time into thinking I’m already future me (which can also be fun), sometimes all that needs to be done is putting a stop to anything that is not that, or that goes against that.

A much simpler concept. Let go of what is not wanted first. continue…

A Mantra To Let Go of Recurring Thoughts

You know the ones. Those thoughts that you know aren’t helping anyone but that you can’t seem to shake anyway.

They are super annoying, these thoughts of things we do not want. They are pesky little mosquitoes that just won’t leave us alone.

They are the suckers of our positive energy, the bringers of negative energy. Even if it doesn’t feel all that negative, it definitely doesn’t feel good.

It doesn’t feel good to not feel good. So why the thoughts? Of the things we don’t want. continue…

Meditation Mondays: A Mantra to Let Go of Negative Thoughts

I wish I had taken yoga more seriously 10 years ago. I wish I had taken better care of myself last year, or even last week.

These are thoughts I often catch myself thinking, wishing I had done something differently in the past so that my present would be better.

Last night I was thinking about things I wish I had done, as I often do. And then I thought about future me. I can’t go back 10 years or 10 days to do things differently. But it’s not too late to do some of the things I wish I had done in the past that the version of me five years from now will thank me for.

Consider Future You

A year from now is going to happen, whether we do good things for ourselves now or not. I know that a year from now I will feel happy if I am looking back on time that I took good care of myself and did the things that took me millimeters closer to my vision for myself each day.

But sometimes those ugly thoughts creep in. And they can completely take our good intentions down.

They are sneaky, these insidious thoughts of regret. They take up so much mental space and energy that before you know it the version of yourself that felt motivated to do yoga or clean out a drawer is dozing off for a nap.

I don’t like it when my mind replays things without the consent of the happiest version of me. Really…how rude!

So I try to think of words or phrases that I can think to remind myself that those thoughts are not welcome. Me a year from now will totally thank me. continue…

The Life-Changing Magic of a Tidy Home

Having a completely organized life is one of my big dreams that has seemed just out of reach for years. I actually thought I was pretty organized when it came to physical items, and most people who visit my home would probably say that I am.

After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, I finally get it. Being organized isn’t about organizing. It’s about learning to let go of the things that no longer bring us joy. The rest falls into place.

Marie Kondo refers to this process as tidying. This book is different from other books about organizing because it asks us to make decisions about the stuff in our homes based on one simple question: does it bring me joy? continue…

Meditation Mondays: Meditation Time is Me Time

I noticed the other day that the word “meditation” starts with the word “me”. Not to be all there is no I in team but there is a me about it, but I couldn’t help but notice how meditation time really is me time.

Self-Care Required

The idea of me time has become more and more accepted in recent times. Our culture, or at least some people in it, used to be all judgy of those who took care of themselves. I mean, how dare she take time away from her children to go to the gym?

I think as we evolve a bit, more and more people are finding that self-care is not only not selfish, but more like essential to survival. Inherent in taking care of ourselves is taking a little bit of me time. More if we can manage. 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…

One Way To Decide What To Do Next

How do you know if what you are about to do next is what you are supposed to do? The thing that will be for your highest good, propel you towards the life of your dreams? Or at least not result in catastrophe or other unpleasant outcomes.

This morning I woke up remembering that there was a free yoga in the park event today at 9 a.m. I hadn’t signed up for it yet, but it was in my calendar and I told myself yesterday that if I got up in time, I might try to make it.

I didn’t set my alarm or anything, since these days I am all about getting the maximum amount of sleep (I slept for nine hours last night – go me!). But I woke up a little more than an hour before the event.

Getting excited that I could possibly make it (the town is only about 15 minutes away), I hopped on the website to see if I could sign up. I did, and then got a message that they would be contacting me shortly.

Unfortunately there wasn’t an automatic email message, and the exact address of the park wasn’t included in the event information. I called the studio, but no answer (not surprising, since the first class wasn’t until 9 a.m.).

So, I sat there. My phone telling me if I left at that moment I would arrive at 8:51 a.m. But I still wasn’t ready. And I still didn’t know at which park exactly the outdoor yoga would be taking place.

I had a choice to make. I could try to rush around, brushing my teeth, washing my face, throwing on yoga clothes, grabbing my yoga mat. Only to arrive with probably no minutes to spare, and the possibility that the location I was thinking was right was actually wrong. continue…

Do you have enough time to sleep enough?

How much sleep do you get each night? How much do you wish you could get? How much do you think you need?

I have been listening to Thrive by Arianna Huffington on audio book. I could have used this book about three years ago. But as it is, I found it after I already found my way out of an overwhelmed existence. There is only one word that comes to mind as I listen to Arianna’s insights into the downfalls of the chronic stress so many people find themselves buried under: validating.

I thought it was just me. I thought I was the only one who felt they had too much to do and not enough time to do it all. Not even if I stopped sleeping altogether (which I seriously entertained as a temporary option).

Somehow, over a period of time, with a big thanks to meditation, I developed a more balanced approach to my life. I started to realize that I was not the only one who could do all the things I felt obligated to. And that I could let some things go and make my world a much better place in the process.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far there has been a substantial focus on the importance of mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and sleep.

I have a pretty good grip on my yoga and meditation practice. Unfortunately, I have viewed sleep as a more optional component of a healthy lifestyle. 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…

Next Time You Feel Envious, Remember This

Envy is an ugly word. No one ever wants to admit they feel it. But sometimes it is irresistible, even if we don’t talk about it to others.

Especially with social media blaring how wonderful and perfect everyone else’s life is, it can be easy to slip into the feeling that our lives might be better if we were someone else.

Sometimes I struggle with this when looking at other bloggers who have “made it.” I think: what have I been doing for the past three years while all these other people have been building successful businesses?

Just Stop

Then I remember my one golden weapon against envy: continue…

Three Tips for Easily Maintaining a Decluttered Household While Saving on Taxes

Do you have a hard time getting rid of things, but desperately want a streamlined system for de-cluttering your home on a consistent basis? Or, does tax time come around, leaving you to guess what you donated to the Goodwill last June?

Today, I share three tips that I have come to integrate into my life to easily & quickly maintain a clutter free home and a current listing of items donated (& their individual values) for tax purposes. Aren’t you excited? continue…

It’s Now: What Are You Manifesting?

Ever notice yourself going to that funky place of funky thoughts, thinking that nothing is going your way and you feel like you are going no where fast, faster than anyone else you know in real life or online?

Hello, thoughts, you tricky tricksters you.

Now, do you ever notice when you are feeling good, you feel, well, good? About everything in your life, like you know good things will happen. You believe they will. So they do.

You know how The Secret depicts (somewhat cheesily) a woman staring at a necklace, and then receiving that exact necklace, or the little boy with the picture of the bike, and then that bike is literally delivered to him?

While I firmly believe that such things are possible (because no one can say they aren’t possible, because we aren’t fortune tellers…well, unless you are), I was thinking the other day, with some relief, about how it isn’t so important what the specifics are. continue…

Why Conquering Setbqacks is Essential

Ever sit down at your computer to happily pick up a project where you left off, only to find that your progress mysteriously didn’t save? Or finish cleaning the floors, only to drop and shatter a light bulb? Killed yourself at the gym, only to gain a few pounds?

E + R = O

I love this equation, from Po Bronson’s book What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question. The E stands for Event. There are many events that we cannot control, such as the weather and external circumstances. We also cannot control things that have already happened. We might be able to change our behavior in the future, such as using a more reliable system of saving files, being more careful, or making dietary modifications, but we cannot change the past. We will assume for the purposes of this equation that the E has already happened.

The R stands for Response. Events beyond our control (or even within our control in the past) have happened. Now we get to choose how to respond. Do we get angry or give up? Or do we, in the words of Clark W. Griswold, press on?

Finally, the O stands for Outcome. This simple equation sums up how we are truly products of our choices. There is one piece of that equation that we have true control over. Which piece, you ask? continue…

Try This Next Time Someone Says Something Negative

I used to think there are negative people and positive people, good people and bad people, people who deserve to be loved and those who aren’t contributing anything positive, so why should they deserve good things?

I am so grateful to have learned that it doesn’t have to be this way. And that it simply isn’t. What a relief to give ourselves permission to stop thinking there are people out there that we have to position as our enemies! Having enemies is exhausting.

I have come to realize that there aren’t negative people. I try not to outright call someone “a negative person” anymore for several reasons: I know this to be a false statement, and I know that by putting that out there, I am not only calling out my own negativities but also attracting more of that stuff back into my life. No thanks!

No one is perfect. We all have our negative moments. We all say things that we think will feel good, but then they either end up not feeling good to us or they end up dragging down others.

Having recognized that there are not completely negative people, just negative moments, it is essential to our inner peace to learn how to deal with the negative moments. I learned the following trick for dealing with negativity from one of Gabby Bernstein’s You Tube videos. This was a totally new concept to me, but when I tried it, I was hooked. continue…

Five Steps to Overcome Resentment

Do you ever wonder how to make significant life changes, to get yourself out of a rut, and to once and for all leave behind the aspects of your life that you feel no longer serve you? What is holding you back?

Resentment Redefined

Here is my new definition of resentment:

To re-send back into our lives.

If you want to take it a step further, next time you are resenting someone or something, think about this:

I meant to re-send you back into my life again in the future.

Now how much do you want to continually make that person or thing your focus?

Maybe this is a bit of a stretch on re-interpreting the English language, but this new definition captures what resentment is capable of producing in our lives. Let’s say there is someone you work with who you resent. Maybe she sends snarky emails, doesn’t give you the praise you feel you deserve, or just plain drives you crazy with her opinions. You can’t stand it, and you resent her, or at least her actions.

I believe that what you resist persists, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to those things we resent. Resenting something absolutely is just like saying a prayer that it will keep showing up in your life.

So how do you get out of this cycle and move on to a more peaceful existence? Read on my friend! continue…

Meditation Mondays: All the Words Are Already Written

Yesterday I had the best meditation I can remember in a while. I know we aren’t supposed to judge our meditation sessions as being either good or bad, but sometimes they feel more luxurious, probably more likely on the weekends. An ideal meditation session for me is 20 minutes, with the first half spent going through in my mind what I am grateful for and then my intentions, and the second half spent melting into the floor and the space of nothing.

Yesterday I realized that I could simplify the first half even further, going though anything I want in my life as if it were already here. I do this a lot, but realized there is no need to separate what I want from what is already here during meditation. Why not act as if already?

Meditating for Creativity

That part was fun, but the really great part was the second half. I have read many times that one of the great benefits of meditation is the creation of increased receptivity for creative ideas. The nothingness portion of meditation is where creative ideas might come to us. Or, by creating a bit of space between the constant recurring thoughts, we might increase our chances of receiving creative ideas at other times throughout the day.

During my meditation time, I suddenly felt very content that the creative ideas I hope for are already out there somewhere, I just have to tap into them. I realized that any words I might dream of one day writing are already written. There is no need to strive or fret that creativity might never touch us. It is out there, waiting to connect with us and be used for the greater good. continue…

How to Remain Centered While Traveling

Yoga is my movement of choice. More than any other activity, this exercise takes into account the complete person. Not only does yoga perfectly address the body’s physical needs for health and well-being, it also considers the need for balance of the mind and spirit.

After falling out of regular yoga practice for several years, I have noticed tremendous benefits from getting back into a practice in my own home. I currently don’t regularly attend classes at a yoga studio (although I plan to get back into that habit soon!). I have been keeping it simple with at-home videos, primarily those available on Hulu (Yoga Zone is my favorite).

Traveling Yoga Mat

Earlier this year I got the idea to start traveling with my thinnest yoga mat folded up in the bottom of my suitcase so I could maintain my morning routine of yoga and meditation away from home. It worked quite nicely, and got me thinking about taking it a step further and seeking out yoga studios at travel destinations on a regular basis. continue…

Meditation Mondays: An App to Keep Your Mind on Track

“You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. ” – Pamela Bruner

I love using the Meditation Timer app on my phone each time I meditate these days. I used to use the regular timer on my phone, which annoyed me because it was like waking up to an alarm. The benefit of using the app is that the alert sounds are very peaceful, and also turn off on their own (as opposed to an alarm that requires you to physically turn it off). The Meditation Timer app allows you to set as few or as many minutes as you would like to spend meditating. I even use it as a timer for daytime naps now too!

I use the timer because it is very easy to fall asleep during meditation, and usually I don’t want to spend more than about 20 minutes meditating. On the other hand, it helps me to know I am getting my 20 minutes in, because it is also easy to feel like 20 minutes of meditation is an eternity. Some days there isn’t a full 20 minutes in sight to lay down and “do nothing”, and the timer comes in handy at these times as well. You can choose to time 5, 10, or any amount of minutes for a meditation session.

Breaking Up a Meditation Session

The way I have come to think of a meditation session is broken into two parts: the first half I spend going through what I am grateful for, and then my core values and any related affirmations/dreams/goals/intentions. Some days I go through everything, and other days I just want to focus on one thing, like “I am living in our new house.”

About halfway through, I recite in my mind “I release my intentions out into the universe. I trust in the infinite organizing power of the universe.” This signifies the start of the second half of my session, which is where I focus on having no thoughts at all, only breathing.

Sometimes I will think the words “in” and “out” corresponding with my breath just to block out other thoughts. I also sometimes substitute other words like “let” (inhale) “go” (exhale), or “peace” (inhale) “love” (exhale). I attempt to have a completely empty mind, but when thoughts inevitably enter, having specific words to focus on really helps. continue…

Everything In It’s Own Time

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

I am majorly into planning and organizing. Sometimes I fear that that means there is something psychologically wrong with me, like I have control issues. Actually, it is more that I fear other people might think that about me. I feel like I know the difference between trying to control everything and letting go.

Or so I think. This week I am listening to the Hay House Start the New You Now webinar, and I am so grateful to have the time each day to do some soul-searching. I am discovering that in order for me to accomplish the things I have planned, there are many more changes I must create within myself first. Namely, my constant thought track. continue…

Hipster Series: Paper vs. Digital Planners

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” C. JoyBell C.

I am addicted to lists. I love making them, re-writing them, and especially crossing things off of them. If you are not familiar with the hipster, I have written an overview post here. The hipster series will be a series of posts going more in-depth into the categories of lists that I keep in my hipster. First, I wanted to talk about my thoughts on paper-based vs. digitized planners. continue…

Take a Moment to Detach

“Attachment is the root of suffering.” – The Buddha

As I was meditating this morning, I was reflecting on the concepts of attachment and detachment. One of my meditation thoughts is “I am unattached to the outcome.”

Being unattached to the outcome of anything is sound advice to follow. It is also quite a challenge, but doable with practice. But I was thinking of another kind of detachment: detaching from that which I don’t want. continue…