Tools to nurture your creative spirit.
It's powerful to cultivate a life that has spiritual discipline built into it's daily rhythm. What’s our other choice? To keep railing against the inevitable suffering of life; to scatter more anger, hate and violent thoughts in the world?
Rather, we can choose to acknowledge our suffering, pain and anger; while simultaneously holding peace, love and joy. Holding this duality takes practice.
We can practice this skill with each breath; each breath is an opportunity to begin again, to practice being patient with our lives and ourselves.
If we take 3 intentional deep breaths per day
We gain 21 chances each week to begin again
1,096 chances every year to practice being patient with life, in all of its messy contradictions.
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Do you have a hard time saying “no” to requests from family, friends or co-workers? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list? Are you overcommitted? I’m a multi-passionate person, and sometimes find myself stretched way too thin. I know things are getting out of whack when I wake up and just want to pull the covers over my head. That’s usually my cue that it’s time for some serious paring down of activities!
Lots of us interact with lots of different people, wear different hats, and have a decent amount of responsibility. Family commitments, work commitments, volunteer gigs; whatever your world looks like, it’s easy to find it too full. We’re too busy being tired and cranky to be of service.
One strategy I’ve been using to honor people’s requests, while simultaneously allowing myself time to process and consider committing is one magical phrase,
“I’d be happy to consider your request.”
Then, I usually give a time commitment for my pondering, something like, “I’ll let you know on Monday.” This strategy accomplishes three things:
- First-it takes away the pressure of feeling like we have to answer immediately.
- Second-it gives us the gift of time, during which we can consider the request.
- Third-it supports the other person through an immediate and positive response, and gives them a timeline for when they can expect your response. Win-win.
“I’d be happy to consider your request. I’ll think about it and let you know on Monday.”
Try it, and see if it begins to clear a little breathing room!
When we choose to move towards our dreams, the simple act of writing our intention down begins to lay the path for our growth.
Clarifying and writing your intention carries power. It is not just a hopeful fantasy, a woo-woo idea that your dream will magically manifest just because you wrote it down.
Rather, the act of connecting your heart to your written word tunes your awareness; you will be primed to notice small moments of possibility that can transform into grand opportunity.
If you’ve ever worked out a gym, you’ve probably noticed folks on the treadmill. Sometimes you’ll see them watching tv while they walk, or reading a book.
What skill are these folks training? They are training inattention and mind-body disconnection.
What is the point to allowing your body to do one thing while your mind does another? How can you celebrate the miracle that is your physical body if you’re not paying attention? If the book or tv disappeared, maybe you’d notice hundreds of muscles working in concert, the miracle of joints that support you and propel forward motion, the way your lungs tirelessly provide oxygen, the thousand ways your body quietly supports your endeavors.
Perhaps the treadmill walk could become a celebration of being alive; a walking dance.Perhaps this is the only kind of exercise that matters: exercise that celebrates and amplifies the glorious wonder of being alive.
Put down the book, turn off the tv, and meet me at the gym. Time to celebrate you!
My dogs refuse to let a morning pass without taking me out to the woods for a run. Let’s be clear: they run, I walk. At home if I dilly-dally they’ll pace, whine or bark until I throw on my shoes and head to the hills. If I’m being a particularly annoying human and insisting on coffee before the run, then the Young One (Zoë, pictured above) will begin to steal-her preferred items being my socks or shoes. As if she’s making a point: here are your shoes, here are your socks, I’ve got them all ready for you so let’s go, woman!
I think they are onto something. Even when the mornings are dark and grey or cold and blustery, I always feel better after our morning walk. Fresh air infused with the energy of nature is one of the best healing tonics I know. Movement in my body replaces stuck thoughts with forward motion. My always-tending-towards-anxiety patterns become dispelled as the chickadees twitter in the pines above our sandy path. It’s hard to be a grumpy human when I see their joy romping up a hillside, hard to get stuck in worry while the river birch patiently drinks the morning sun.
So my dogs refuse to let a morning pass without taking me out to the woods. Their wisdom surpasses my own, and I am grateful.
We spend so much of our timing wishing and striving for what we don’t have; when what we need is often under our noses. When if we paid a bit more attention to nurturing the the parts of our lives that are working, we’d find gratitude for all the gold we already posses.
I snagged an hour the other day, grateful for the mild December weather, to neaten up the compost heap. My hubby has been complaining about it for weeks, after I asked him to help me dump it out this summer, I left it in an untidy heap. Rightfully so, he was a bit tired of looking at it every time we take the dogs out. As I shoveled the black gold into my wheelbarrow, I came across this amazing bunch of swiss chard, flourishing when all other vegetables have long been harvested. I must’ve thrown this extra guy into the compost heap back in the heat of summer, thinking it’s crispy remains dead. I think it liked all the composted kitchen scraps, waste turned to nutrient rich soil, because it resurrected itself.
Like all good ideas that I find tossed on the scrap heap, I admonished myself for neglecting and overlooking this little guy’s potential. I spaded it out of the ground and popped it into a nearby raised bed. Some night soon, when December starts to rear it’s wintery head, I’ll harvest the leaves, maybe sauté them in some olive oil with rosemary sea salt. And I’ll remember to stop, look around, and nourish all the beautiful things that are right under my nose, quietly and steadfastly supporting me with their presence.
She's the pint-sized Doberman that never stops moving! Zoë! She's been working on waiting patiently for breakfast...we'll get there!
Along the way, she's helping me practice my patience, too!
Hello my lovelies!
Managing your productivity can be super challenging in today's busy world.
The Challenge Decoded
When faced with an epic to-do list, massive work project, or unending house chores, many of us bear down, push through and work work work. Unfortunately, this level of effort is rarely sustainable for long periods; it leaves us cranky, tired, and less productive!
Check out my video for a quick 2 minute tip to boost your productivity. It's a trick I've used for the last twenty years, it really works!
Of course, there are some cute dogs in the video, too!
Learning how to let go with grace.
The Challenge Decoded
So much of our suffering comes from clinging onto that which no longer serves us. We know the drill, we've got a nasty habit that we want to change, but sometimes hanging onto it is preferable to the unknown. Or, we cling to people; we are so afraid to lose them that we begin to act all "crazy town banana pants" in an effort to keep them close! We usually end up making ourselves, and those we love, nuts in the process.
Practice letting go with small easy stuff; when we practice letting go every day, we are in training for those Big Moments when life wallops us.
The best way to practice is to take a deep breath and exhale...click the video below for three minutes of nature inspired letting go.
Watch the video for my best quick tip for letting go...plus gorgeous New England autumn views! xox
Finding an easy way to use essential oils that's quick and effective, especially if you've never used them before, or would like to expand your repertoire of tricks!
The Challenge Decoded
You can find essential oils in most drugstores, especially the popular and relaxing lavender. Read on for more...
I made this video for you-it's got my Top 3 easy tips for using essential oils today to help you feel more peaceful & healthy. And, a special invitation to a free online class that will show you countless ways to use essential oils for cleaning, balancing, and healing your home & life. Led by my friend, an amazing yoga teacher and power mom, Sarah, this class will run exclusively on Facebook, Monday-Friday, October 5-9. Here's what she has to say:
"An introduction to Young Living essential oils…from the comfort of your own home!
This class will cover the basics of essential oils and how you can use them in your everyday life! It will feature eleven of the most popular EOs in detail, but please feel free to ask about any other oils that have caught your attention. Please do not hesitate to post any questions you may have, I would like this to be as interactive as possible. The more questions, the more opportunity for great discussions!
If you have a more personal question, feel free to private message me and I will answer you one-on-one.
This event will occur on Facebook on the wall of this event page. You can check in to see posts throughout the day. I will make about three cluster posts with information each day! Feel free to pop in whenever it is convenient for you!"
Sounds great, right?! I can't wait, I'll be right there with you to learn from Sarah. If you're not "friends" with me on Facebook, just reply to this email and I'll get you invited to the event!