Creating our own luck

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Creating our own luckBalance—that elusive entity that twists and turns and topples more than it should with a name like balance. It seems to always be out of my grasp; however, I recently learned you cannot find balance, but rather you must create it. And out of the same thing we all begin with—1,440 minutes, or 24 hours—in a single day. Yet it appears my quest for a balanced life in 2015 looks more like a hodgepodge of personal development classes and “how to” be fitter, happier, healthier, etc. To that end, I’ve been taking dance lessons, practicing more yoga, decluttering and decrapifying my home, playing in a brass worship ensemble, attending volunteer seminars and author readings. Most recently, I participated in a workshop called “lucky in life,” which centered on the law of attraction and how to consciously create the lives we desire, crafting vision boards to jump start our dreams—even if they just begin with balance.

What’s your secret to living a lucky, balanced life?

[Image credit Iamnee and freedigitalphotos.net]

A hokey pokey life

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hokey pokeyOne foot in and one foot out. That’s how I feel—not fully invested in any one thing. I multitask, read a snippet here, tackle a household project there, brainstorm a story idea (or four) for a few minutes, attend this or that function but hesitate to commit to anything more—like ownership or membership or some other kind of ship. Limbo. This is where I’m held prisoner in a familiar cell and I’m not fond of the scenery. It’s always the same: gray. And suffocating. Every second of every day I fill with mindless chatter and running and tasks to keep me from taking risks—from ripping off the band aide and allowing myself to bathe in a life of color, fluid and ever-changing. If I remain too busy, there’s no time to think about what I’m missing. If I keep my eyes fixed on the to dos, I will never have to acknowledge that it’s always been my choice.

Are you living a hokey pokey life?

[Image credit Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Wanting and doing are two different things

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ID-10098825The saying, “It’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time,” is not a new idea. As I focus on the concept of balance this year and what it means for my life as far as work, play, fitness, relationship with self and others, as well as the pursuit of my dreams, I’m reminded that if I want to do something, it takes more than desire; it requires deliberate planning. When I don’t set aside time to tackle the task at hand, something else is bound to be more appealing or easier or convenient. Just like I make a regular commitment to practice the yoga, which can fill up 2½ hours of my day including the commute, I must pencil in time for the other priorities in my life—whether it’s journaling, deepening my connections with family and friends or decluttering and decrapifying my home and my life (see https://miscellany14.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/the-40-bags-in-40-days-challenge/). If it’s important enough, I will make the time.

What will you make time for today?

[Image credit Stuart Miles and FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Self-love your way to happiness

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In honor of the LOVE month, ask yourself when the last time you practiced self-love was. Can you recall when you most recently did something to make yourself happy—to illustrate your love for self? This will, no doubt, look unique for each one of us. A weekly afternoon cat nap might be your go-to happy place, while mine, on most days, is found in the yoga hot room, or sprawled on the sofa lost in a fantasy world of fiction. I used to think self-love was a selfish endeavor—that my own happiness was secondary. Self-love even begins with the prefix of the word selfish. My own Christian beliefs advise against doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to humbly consider others better than ourselves. However, I think if we fail to practice self-love, we have little love to share with others. But, when we are happy and feel loved, it is so much easier to sparkle brightly.

How will you practice self-love today?

[Image courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

Get a grip

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Get a grip

The other day I read an article about how to create a paradise and daily balance within our homes (for free!). The steps listed in the piece revolve around applying a vacation mindset to our everyday lives (instead of waiting until we’re actually on holiday). This includes removing clutter from our surroundings, retaining only those things that bring us happiness, establishing rituals in our home that invoke peace and tuning in to whatever makes us excited to jump out of bed each day. I feel like I already live in a paradise of sorts, but there are so many areas I want to transform both internally and externally that I don’t know where to begin. Instead, I do nothing and then wonder why I’m in a funk… again. I know all about the take the first step, make one change today mentality. But I feel like I’m wearing waders and I need to get a grip before I sink.

What one thing makes your home a daily paradise?

[Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

If you ignore the warning signs

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Last month, I was over it—sick and tired because I had overcommitted and overextended myself. But I learned when you ignore your body’s warning signs, it will raise the flag of surrender when enough is enough. After 26 days of putting up a good fight (my doctor’s words), I needed help (also her words). On the bright side, while I spent two full days in bed, I read two books from cover to cover, logging in over 650 pages [read Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer if you get a chance]. On the less than bright side, let’s say it wouldn’t be unreasonable for me to hire a cleaner to overhaul my home. And, although I have a few obligations lined up for February, most of the month is open—because this time I’ve learned my lesson thanks to countless missed engagements, reduced time in the hot room and little headway on advancing my goals. Yet.

What does it take for you to learn a lesson?

[Image credit: photostock, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Advancing our goals

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advancing our goals

I can’t wait to turn the page of my monthly calendar to Feb. 1. Just like I was excited to exhale 2014 and inhale 2015, I’m ready to chalk this month up as a dress rehearsal for the year—a chance to test the waters and adjust my approach or focus for the next brand new month ahead of me. Maybe you got a slow start in January or you need to come up with more realistic resolutions. Whether it’s a new year, new month, new week or even the promise of a new day, it’s always the write time to make a change that will advance your goals and a choice that will turn your frown upside down. If everything has stayed the same for you during the past 30 days [read: looks exactly like last year], then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make just one deviation from the norm and see what happens.

How has the first 1/12 of the year gone for you?

[Image credit: digitalart, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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