Half Birthdays & Weekends

Today is my half birthday! I’m 34.5.

For the past several years, July 15th has caught my attention because it signifies the halfway point between the vision I had for myself at my last birthday and my designated deadline for said goals.

July 15th still gives me the luxurious cushion of six more months to go to translate my dream vision into my reality. continue…

How Do You Know When a Dream Comes True?

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung

This past year has been filled with long-time dreams come true. We got married, traveled to Europe for the first time together, and now own two orthodontic practices (husband being the orthodontist). Still, I felt that my dreams had not yet “happened”.

This weekend my sweet husband took me back to the resort where we got married in Sedona and we enjoyed a very peaceful, serene, reflective weekend together (I will be posting pictures on our website this week for anyone who is interested). My plan was to spend time thinking about what I would need to do in the upcoming year to make my dreams into my reality. continue…

The KonMari Method of Tidying Books

I love books. My favorite job ever was a student job working in the library at the University of Rhode Island (probably because I never worked a shift more than a few hours long), and my favorite task was taking a cart of books to be filed on the peaceful upper floors.

I still love going to bookstores and libraries, even though I usually get books online now. The library has seriously come a long way in a few short years in their ebook and audiobook offerings.

Still, it’s nice to keep a small collection of books that were purchased during the years of reading books not on electronic devices. I am not a huge re-reader of books, so the bookcase is more for decoration and the happy feeling it gives me to look over at it than functional. continue…

Feel Good Through Breakfast

I recently started reading Co-creating at Its Best: A Conversation Between Master Teachers by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Esther Hicks. One of the points that has come up several times in this book is the importance of feeling good immediately when waking up in the morning, and then sustaining the good feeling for as long as possible through the day.

Feel Good Little by Little

One suggestion in the book is to work our way up to feeling good all day in increments of time. Focus on feeling good for the first minutes, then hour of the day. Work on feeling good through breakfast at first, then work on extending the feeling through lunch, and eventually through the entire day.

The idea of feeling good through breakfast at first makes the idea of converting from a person who feels good only part of the time to one who feels good the majority of the time seem much less overwhelming. There is a momentum of our thoughts and feelings. Good feelings make it easier to have more good feelings, while not-so-good thoughts and feelings tend to lead us down the path of more not-so-good thoughts and feelings. continue…

Book Nook Review: Ask and It Is Given

“Pay attention to the way you feel, and deliberately choose thoughts – about everything – that feel good to you when you think them.” – Ask and It Is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks

If you have ever felt a negative emotion and wished there was a way to train yourself to get out of that place, and either enjoy or at least tolerate metaphysical discussion, this book is certainly for you!

Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks (The Teachings of Abraham) was sitting on a shelf in an adorable little bookstore called Kate’s Books in Jerome, Arizona. This shop is basically an attic turned used bookstore, and the owner was peacefully crocheting squares for an afghan when we visited.

We were in Jerome for my birthday weekend in January, and it seemed like the perfect book to enjoy in the bathtub (which I did for a good part of the next day!).

At the time, I had only cursory awareness of Ester and Jerry Hicks and “The Teachings of Abraham.” What does that even mean? I had heard about Esther Hicks from a friend several years ago, so I had watched a few videos of her on YouTube. I still didn’t get it.

I will keep this explanation brief and let you decide for yourself: Esther Hicks claims to be a channel for “Abraham” which is an entity from the “beyond” that speaks through her.

And that is all I am going to say, because I don’t think I can really explain it without sounding crazy myself (which I assure you I am not). Regardless, I loved the book and am excited to share all the positive messages. Here we go! continue…

How to Choose a Mentor for Your Dream

Who is the one person in the world you are absolutely fascinated by? You look at their accomplishments with awe, and think that if you could only achieve a fraction of their success, you would be ecstatic.

When I set out to lose about ten pounds almost ten years ago, I chose Oprah. I have never met Oprah or corresponded with her on any personal level, but that didn’t stop me from mentally channeling her positive energy and sound advice in every single moment that I was tempted to eat a cookie or sleep in and skip the treadmill.

I read everything on the internet that she had written about weight loss, soaked up her whole philosophy about the emotional component of weight gain and weight loss, and followed her trainer’s (Bob Greene’s) weight loss plan, which they freely shared online, to the letter. I heard her voice in my mind every day as I battled all the messages from the world to buy a candy bar or eat yet another a piece of birthday cake at the office.

At the time, I didn’t think of her as a “mentor.” I always thought a mentor was a person who physically met with their mentee at regular intervals, providing advice, going out to lunch on occasion, maybe attending an awards ceremony of some sort. At least someone who provides direct correspondence via Skype, phone, or email. Right?

A Different Kind of Mentor

This morning I was noticing thoughts coming into my mind that I didn’t want, but I was struggling batting them away and thought about how nice it would be to have a person in my mind with advice that I could choose to focus on instead.

I decided it was worth a shot, and I made a list of the people who I currently admire as I work on my writing dream. Here is the list I came up with: continue…

What Expansive Feels Like

I have come across the term expansive here and there over the past few years in my unending quest for continued personal development. The most recent example I have is in the book Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup.

There are several exercises in the book asking the reader to decide whether a certain purchase or money decision makes you feel expansive or contracted. For example, you might take out your credit card statement from last month and highlight in pink the purchases that make you feel expansive, and highlight in yellow those that make you feel contracted.

I got the concept: one feels good, the other, not so much. But I also wanted to get the physical sensation along with the logical thought process. continue…

To-Do Lists & Dreams: Is There Enough Time for Everything?

I am obsessed with getting my to-do list to zero. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I totally understand that I am not going to get my to-do list to zero and it is just going to stay like that forever. That isn’t my goal. My goal is to clear out my to-do list on a regular basis, keeping it clear to allow space for new things to come into my life without the weight of old tasks from like three months ago. Or even three weeks ago.

Reading through Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks has helped me more clearly shape my perspective on clearing my to-do list while allowing ideas of new things to do to come into my life.

What My To-Do List Means To Me

My to-do list used to be a thing of complete dread, shackling me from enjoying life because I felt so behind all the time. I couldn’t see getting out from under the pile of stuff, no matter what I did. Not a good thing.

Today I am still working at chipping away at a few remaining tasks from several months ago, but I can see that my dream of having a regularly cleared to-do list is within reach. I am so excited about that every day!

I see my various to-do lists as simply a system of reminding myself what to do next, so I don’t have to store all that information in my brain. To-do lists are meant to liberate us from the constant cycle of remembering and forgetting things that still need to be done.

My goal for my to-do list is for it to eventually hold only items to do that I feel purposefully passionate about. I want my life to transform so that everything I do feels on purpose and exciting. I get all tingly just thinking about that! continue…

How Audio Books Can Help You Get Things Done

I used to think listening to audio books was somehow cheating, not giving the written words the full, undivided attention they deserve. Until I read The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen, founder of Levenger.

Prior to reading this little book, I had checked a few audiobooks out from the library and occasionally listened to them while driving, but still felt that the books I listened to somehow didn’t “count” as much as the ones I sat down and cleared uninterrupted time for.

After reading through Leveen’s tips for getting more reading into our lives, I had a new perspective, and was convinced that books listened to have the same weight and merit as books read visually.

Audio Books & Productivity

Even just a few years ago audio books weren’t as accessible as they are today. With apps like Audible and Overdrive and the prevalence of smartphones, audio books are more accessible and versatile than ever. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, with Overdrive, you can easily listen to library audio books through your computer.

When there is something to do that I don’t particularly want to do, like ironing, yard work, washing the dog, and sometimes preparing dinner, I often psych myself up for the task with the thought that I get to listen to my current audio book. One of the best things about audio books is that they allow you to multitask on things that don’t take too much thought. continue…

2015 Reading Challenge

I haven’t signed up for reading challenges in the past, but I was recently inspired by another blogger to bite the bullet and go for it this year! I get so super excited when it comes time to choose a new book. I almost get more enjoyment out of browsing through the countless books available to read than the actual reading. The possibilities are endless! I am particularly stoked about the ridiculous amount of books available in eBook and audiobook format through the library. I used to love going to Barnes & Noble and browsing the shelves (and still do!), but now with so many digital titles available at my fingertips for free, I can have as much fun spending a whole evening in the comfort of my own home, plotting out my reading list for eternity.

My 2015 Reading Plan

I am aiming to read about one nonfiction (most likely self-help) and one fiction book per month in 2015, with a goal of reading 25 books (because it sounded better than 24). I participate in the Hay House Book Nook Blogger program, where I receive free new release self-help books in exchange for my honest reviews of the books. I haven’t participated as much as I would have liked in the past, so I hope to up my game in 2015! This is a perfect program for self-help book lovers if anyone is interested. I still entertain the idea of writing young adult fiction at some point, so I will probably plan to read a mix of young adult fiction and other types of fiction.

Audiobooks

I am not currently a member of Audible, but have been in the past and would join to buy an audiobook if it weren’t available at the library. I love having the OverDrive app on my phone to listen to audiobooks for free through the library. I’m not sure about other library systems, but mine has over 11,000 audiobooks available for free…insane! I am wrapping up The One and Only by Emily Giffin via library audio, which was a new release in 2014. Definitely check your local library to see what you can get before buying a book, you might be surprised what they have to offer! I can’t say enough good things about audiobooks. Having the audio reading option is largely what is giving me the confidence to even take on a reading challenge this year. Twenty-five isn’t really a ton of books, but I figure if I end up reading fifty I will feel better about myself than if I said fifty and read twenty. continue…

Anyone Can Learn Anything

I have been hearing the advice for years to read everything you can get your hands on if you want to be a writer. I have been a casual reader, but didn’t really grasp the intention behind this advice until recently.

Setting out to accomplish any large project is usually majorly overwhelming, and the largeness of a project can be what sinks us before we even start. I am a person who wants to write a book, but how do you write a whole book? I still have no idea. There is plenty of logical advice out there, but when it comes down to it, every time I have tried to start I have gotten overwhelmed by the thought of writing a book and quit before giving it a fighting chance.

I get excited that maybe I will read three books in my genre and then I will have a grip on what it is to write a young adult series book. Ya, right. Just to finish one book typically takes me at least a week. I also get discouraged that I want to have written a book like last year already. Why bother starting again if I couldn’t get it done before now?

These are the questions that trap me into thinking I’m better off not bothering. continue…

How to Find More Time to Read

It amazes me to think that we could never be bored with so many books out there to read. Overwhelmed? Yes, perhaps. But certainly not bored. With such busy schedules, the secret to getting more of these friends into our lives may not necessarily be through our eyes, but through our ears. continue…