Gratitude Tuesday: Good Things That Happened Last Week

Check back this coming Monday for the launch of a related series called “Everyday Miracle Monday Weekly Recap Series,” in which I recap my everyday miracles from the previous week.

Gabby Bernstein introduced me to the concept of an everyday miracle. According to Gabby’s work, largely based on the teachings from A Course in Miracles, a miracle can be simply a shift in perception. When you are in a bad mood and have an epiphany that it doesn’t have to be so hard, that could be your miracle that day.

Last year, I randomly found out Tara Stiles would be teaching a yoga class down the road from my house, and was able to attend and even meet her that day at her book signing! It was right around that time that I started noticing the little and sometimes big good things that happened in my life everyday.

We have access to experience a miracle everyday. It might be a little tiny shift in perspective, or the universe might come in and hit us with a lucky stick. The exciting thing is that we never know what this day will bring. Who knows? You might get to meet your favorite author later today! Or get a perfect parking spot at the store. Or an unexpected opportunity might sail right into your life at 3:06 p.m. It could happen!

Weekly Miracle Recap

I have had this idea of recapping my own everyday miracles on a weekly basis for a while now. My “Everyday Miracle” series will be a recap of one good thing from each day during the previous week that I identify as being my “miracle” for that day. Some days it will be something that I could never have dreamed of, others it will be something relatively small but still good.

While I haven’t kept a gratitude journal before, I feel that this aligns with the idea of keeping a gratitude journal in my own way. I also want to inspire other people to look for their own little or big miracle everyday. I believe that by expecting good things to happen each day, we are more likely to attract them into our lives.

This past week, I forgot to keep track of my everyday miracles until Thursday, when a big one happened for me. That’s when I realized I really have to start keeping track of these and do this blog post series. So here goes, my everyday miracles from this past Thursday to Sunday (next week will include the full week): continue…

4 Free Apps That Will Motivate You to Be Healthier

It’s exciting that there are so many ways for us to choose to be healthy, and probably just as many corresponding apps to track everything. Everyone has their own personal health and wellness goals. Having a plan is what makes those goals attainable.

My personal health and wellness plan rests on the foundation of daily yoga, meditation, and drinking lots of water. I continue to work at incorporating daily walking into my routine. Whether you have already developed your chosen healthy habits or are looking to step up your game, it’s probably a safe bet that a free app already exists to both motivate you and help track your progress.

Today I share my favorite health and wellness apps and a few more that might be interesting to try. continue…

Make Time to Move Forward

“Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize that everything in your life is exactly how you allow it to be.” — Melanie Moushigian Koulouris

I get all bogged down by my excuses more often than I would like to admit. There are so many things I want to do in a day, and my most common complaint and excuse is that I don’t have enough time.

Not enough time to cook a low carb meal, not enough time to work on my blog, not enough time to go for a walk. I suppose the counter argument could be that I am trying to do too many things in a day, but what if I’m not? What if it is the perfect amount of activities and just letting go of my excuses and complaining would bring in that extra touch of time I needed all along to get things done?

Procrastination Battles

Things either get done or they don’t. Perhaps an over-simplification, but I am so tired of procrastinating. The worst thing in recent times is that I have somehow repackaged my procrastination as a lack of time. I tell myself I am constantly busy and just couldn’t get to it, which leaves me feeling confused and betrayed. 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…

How to Go on a Mini-sabbatical This Week

A few weeks ago I started getting up at 4 a.m. I tried this a few years ago, but felt like I couldn’t sustain the insanely early hours, so it didn’t stick. This time around, I feel completely different about it.

I have gone back and forth about what to do with this time. The two hours before I have to start my job is just about enough time to get in 20 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of meditation, and about 40 minutes of walking.

How early is too early?

I also would like to have a good hour or two in the mornings for my writing. I attempted to get up at 3 a.m. one Monday a few weeks ago. I was very excited about the idea of getting in three extra morning hours to work on my dreams.

Getting up at 3 a.m. didn’t seem to work as well as 4 a.m. has, at least for me at this time in my life. I know there are people out there who do it, so who knows? Maybe someday. I found that I had a hard time sleeping because I was so preoccupied with waking up on time, and then later in the day my whole body felt off and very tired. So for now, 4 a.m. it is.

I haven’t run into the same issues with getting up at 4 a.m. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I have more energy all day after getting up at 4 a.m., even if I got to bed late the night before, than if I got out of bed with hardly any “me time” to spare during the weekday mornings.

Turning Early Morning Hours Into an Ongoing Sabbatical

Have I mentioned my obsession with the idea of a sabbatical? If I could do anything in life that I wanted, I would go to Europe for one year to write my first book, à la Emily Giffin. As it is, I have other things that call my attention away from writing, and taking a year for my writing is not exactly in my foreseeable future at the moment. continue…

Why Exercise is Essential, Found Time, & a Blogust Status Update

Over the past few days, I have revisited creative ways to find the time to go for walks and get in reading on even the busiest of days. I was inspired by Robin Sharma’s video on You Tube the other day in a moment of desperation for a glimmer of hope and insight into how I might get on top of my life.

Why Making Time to Exercise Matters

He mentioned the power of exercise. These days I am not big into exercise that requires excessive amounts of exertion and sweating, but I do enjoy light yoga and moderately paced walking. The idea of getting up even earlier popped into my mind, and I have been doing it ever since. continue…

I Am Not Getting a Sabbatical Anytime Soon, & I Have to Accept That

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

I remember when I was younger thinking that older people who took sabbaticals were really boring. Ha! What I wouldn’t give for a sabbatical!

I have dreamed of taking a sabbatical for years now. I’m not even really sure what the official sabbatical duration is, but I am guessing it’s at least a few months. I actually took my own mini-sabbatical this past January.

I loved it. I loved every second of it. I took a nice long walk almost every day, I woke up early just because I was excited to have the whole day to do whatever I wanted, and I did yoga and meditated almost everyday. During the day I got to spend time reading and writing, and had the time to take care of the house and get things done. And felt relaxed!

Yesterday, I fell slightly ill and ended up sleeping for pretty much the whole day. Mostly feeling depressed about all of my nagging tasks and wondering how I would ever get them all done. Hence the first Blogust fail.

Why I Want a Sabbatical

I want to feel like I have time to write my book, make my blog a success, take walks, do yoga, meditate, and take care of all of my personal tasks (including planning a wedding). Not to mention crocheting. I love to crochet! When does a working girl have time to crochet? I would like to know? There are winter hats to be made, people! 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…

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…

This Time of Year

Christmas is upon us! Merry Christmas Eve! ‘Tis the season of joy, giving, and feeling overwhelmed and majorly stressed.

Things never seem to be just perfect at Christmastime, as much as we might like them to be. I know I do. This time last year I could not begin to get a grip on relaxation. Fast forward one year, and there is no comparison for me. I have still felt behind on my Christmas preparations, but this time I am continually reminding myself to relax and it is actually working.

Prepare to be Calm

I attribute this feeling to a few habits I have been working to develop over the past several months. This past fall I sat down and converted all of my goals and tasks into a personalized system (my hipster) that I created to suit my unique needs (based on recommendations in productivity books). For so many years I could never get a grip on my to-do lists, especially my work-related to-do lists.

Over the past few months, working from my new system and a renewed sense of self-worth, I am proud to say that I was able to truly get my work-related task lists down to zero before my month long mini-sabbatical that I am currently enjoying. It is an amazing feeling to know that I have done everything I needed to, and to be completely free from the worry that overflowing task lists and inboxes can induce.

Exactly one year ago, I had arranged to have a week off over Christmas, but ended up not enjoying the time at all because I had so many unfinished work tasks that I unfortunately spent my whole vacation worrying about. Never again! continue…

Extra Room Organization Series: Angels’ Den Additional Storage & Decor

“You deserve to have everything in your life exactly the way you want it.”How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

Click here for an introduction to the Angels’ Den if you have no idea what it is.

The Angels’ Den is so special to me because it is the space in our house that I can call all my own and decorate and organize in whatever way I want. Although the closet is the bulk of my organization system in the Angels’ Den (which I will go through in detail next time), other areas of the room also serve as storage for a few items that either don’t fit in the closet or just don’t make sense to be in there. 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…