Friday, February 20, 2015

Lunch, Books, Journals and a Lenten Discipline Revealed

I didn't wake up today inspired to discover how I was going to observe Lent. Today just to be a normal work day that included a lunch break with a dear friend.

After a lunch at Simmzy's of great food and even better company, I enjoyed the shops of Long Beach's Belmont Shore, also known as 2nd Street.

My first stop was Apostrophe Books. I saw the fabulous display of journals as I walked in and made a mental note to return to them to make a selection because it had been quite a while since I had journaled. 

I strolled around the store and came to the wedding section. Usually I'd pass right by but this is a new era. You see, I got engaged this past Valentine's so I am looking at the world through a different set of lenses. 

The book, Running of the Bride by Rachel Eddey caught my eye as it wasn't the usual shmoopy, shmarmy, sickening wedding stuff that is out there. I grabbed one of the last 2 autographed copies and finished the tour of the store.

I returned to the journals section and made my pick, a Miro Canvas Series notebook. I know it's not the most delicate, pretty or fancy of journals, but it was perfect for my on-the-large-side handwriting style and it just felt right. 

Tonight, I was writing away in my new journal and it felt really good. I was on page 3 of 3 when it hit me. I can take on daily journal entries as my Lenten discipline!!! 

You see, I had been struggling as what to do to observe Lent. I have done the coffee & chocolate thing. I had considered trying out the Weight Watchers Simply Filling plan where you eat Power Foods (lean proteins, fruits, veg etc). It's very close to clean eating and it seemed like a good idea. The thing about good ideas is that if you don't plan/prepare for them, the idea will fail. The "prep work" for journaling is done. I have the journal. 

In the immortal words of Hannibal Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together" even if it happens in unexpected, mysterious ways.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

14 Days Left to Make Donations of Unwanted Items - Get a Receipt

As of December 17, you have 14 more days to donate any items to charity for 2014.

Gather your items, take a picture, write an inventory of the items (your tax person will love you for this) and then take them to your favorite charitable donation drop off center.

DON’T FORGET!!! Ask for a receipt.

It’s better to go sooner than later. Trust me, you don’t want to be at the donation drop off area of any charitable organization on December 31st. It's not pretty.




Monday, December 15, 2014

Address Book Decluttering – The One-Year Rule

 It’s that time of year when people are sending cards to loved ones with holiday greetings. 

Don’t worry if you haven’t already sent your cards. This post isn’t about shaming you into sending cards. I would actually suggest that if you haven’t done it by now, just let it go. Oh, yes, this is an intentional plug for my last post about taking a hard look at your holiday traditions.

Whether you have or haven’t sent the cards, this is a PERFECT time to take stock of your address book, whether it is digital or analog (aka paper). 









To declutter your address book, ask yourself this very simple question… 

“Have I had any communication with this person in the last year?” 

This is such a simple question and yet it is so hard. This isn’t the time to play the guilt/blame game. Dare to be bold and remove the person from your address book. 

By making room in your address book, you can make room for new entries (aka new people in your life) and you might just save some money on buying less holiday cards and stamps next year. 

Want more ideas/thoughts on decluttering your address book? Check out last year’s post on this very topic: “Easy Way to Make Room for the New – Clean Out Your Address Book.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let it Go…Let it Go…a Hard Look at Holiday Traditions











Let it Go…Let it Go…a Hard Look at Holiday Traditions

Make Room for the Amazing in Your YOU-tastic Life

No, I’m not going to channel my inner-Elsa and belt out the entirety of Let It Go. If you need to hear it, you can go here Let It Go – sing-along version or reach out to any 6-year old and they will be happy to sing it for you.

I’m here to challenge you to look at your holiday “traditions” and see what you can give up.

Break out a piece of paper or create an Excel Spreadsheet for my techies and take on the below steps. If you are solo, complete these steps by your self. If you are coupled up or in a family then complete these steps together.
  1. Create 4 columns.
  2. In the first column, list all of the traditions you observe.
  3. In the second column, list why you observe each tradition.
  4. In the third column, list if you are happy about observing each tradition.
  5. FINALLY, for all of the “not happy about” traditions, consider letting them go. 

Be prepared! There will be all sorts of reasons flying around tempting you to keep these traditions:
  • “My nana or mom or grandpa (or whoever) always did this.”
    • Guilt plays a big part in keeping traditions connected to relatives. Having guilt as a motivator does no one any good.
  •  “It won’t be Christmas or winter or Hanukkah (or whatever) if we don’t do this.”
    • Being stressed out fulfilling a tradition you don’t like serves no one. Traditions are meant to celebrate, NOT stress.
  •  “I can’t deprive my kids, family, friends, co-workers, etc.”
    • This is a biggie for bakers. I’m not saying to stop baking. However, if the baking is more stress than pleasure…Let It Go!

 This is YOUR holiday season and YOU get to choose.

Now here’s the trickier, and most important, part of giving up a tradition…don’t add a new tradition in its place.

Enjoy the free time, the reduced stress and the open room for the amazing to show up.

#let_it_go
#holiday_traditions
#make_room_for_the_amazing
#you_tastic_life
#jaxtastic_life

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy World Gratitude Day 2014!!!



Today is World Gratitude Day!

For the last 21 days I played with sharing my gratitude each day. This exercise taught me a few things.

First, I had fun playing with what gratitude I shared and what I kept to myself.

Second, I got that it's ok to be grateful about the occasional shallow things like morning lattes or Fridays.

Third, even on the "challenging" days, I could find something for which to be grateful, see #2.

Fourth, people will mock the activity. At first reaction, I took the mocking personally but then I reminded myself that every voice has value. I also got that it wasn't about me.

Fifth, and most eye opening, was that not everyone wanted to play and didn't appreciate getting the suggestion to celebrate or feel gratitude. Again, I let go of taking the feedback personally and honored their voice.

I am thankful for this exercise and what I learned. I am also thankful for all who participated in whatever form was true to them.



Check out www.Gratefulness.org for more history of World Gratitude Day as well as discover ways to experience and express your gratitude.




Enjoy World Gratitude day. May you find an abundance of opportunites to feel and express your gratitude today and always.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Pushing Through" a Rest Day



This morning I'm killing some time at Starbucks before heading to breakfast.

I'm near my gym and a little voice inside my head is screaming, "You could totally kill this time working out at the gym." However, another voice is screaming, "NO!!! This is a rest day, you have worked out 6 days this week. REST."

This Shape magazine article gives excellent points as to why rest is so important for any athelete, from weekend-warrior to pro.

I'll let the mental battle continue as I sit resting and recovering so I can hit a nice big, yet relaxing, bike ride tomorrow.


Friday, August 29, 2014

21 Days of Gratitude - September 1-21, 2014

Last night, I was reading the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens and came across a short mention about World Gratitude Day on September 21st.

I LOVED the idea of expressing gratitude at a time other than Thanksgiving when, as Michelle Bommarito (@MichelleRoseFit on Twitter) shared, "usually people are only really thankful for food."

I then got to thinking back to my friend, Angie, and her 100 days of happy she shared during the summer months.

With all of this in mind, why not celebrate 21 Days of Gratitude leading up to World Gratitude Day on September 21st?

I will be expressing my gratitude September 1-21 in a variety of ways. I invite YOU to join me. Below are some ideas to get you and me going.

Share how you are expressing gratitude. OR Keep it to yourself. The most important thing is to express it.

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