Kudos for making a change: how do you know when it’s right?

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Have you ever noticed that oftentimes when you make up your mind—to forge ahead on the road less traveled or release what no longer serves you—affirmations of your decision begin to appear in myriad ways? It could be the topic of that day’s devotion or an inspirational email that shows up in your inbox, or even this blog post. Or, you hear a song on the radio that resonates with a recent change you’ve made, or a friend makes a random comment validating your resolve. Some people believe these apparent coincidences—or signs— signify that life’s puzzle pieces are moving into proper alignment. Maybe it’s as simple as “confirmation bias:” the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. Whatever you call it, it can spring hope eternal when you sense you’re on the right track. And offer the impetus to keep on keeping on even when you trip along the way.

What kind of confirmation bias have you experienced lately?

Image source: https://www.inspiredtoreality.com.

Time is running out: make it matter

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There are three months

left in this decade.
In. This. Decade.

If you’re on social media, you might’ve seen the above words pop up in your feed. Now tack on the phrase: “Take that risk” or “I think you should go for it.” As humanity collectively stands on the cusp of a new season, I’m reminded of the patterns that accompany the inevitable changes, whether in nature or our own lives. A well-known Bible scripture begins: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Once trapped in a cycle of repetitive behavior and thinking that prevented me from moving from past to present, over the last year I’ve experienced both loss and gain—culminating in acceptance, forgiveness and blessed freedom from bondage. I’m ready, now, to take that risk. To go for it. To make it matter before time runs out.

Are you ready?

Image courtesy of krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

PSA: From victims to victors

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Five thousand, four hundred seventy-eight days—or 15 years ago—a driver, impaired with nearly three times the legal alcohol blood concentration in Arizona, runs no less than two red lights before slamming his white Dodge Ram into the driver’s side of my husband’s two-month-old black Honda Civic. Each August, on this day, I relive those memories, snapshots strung together that recount our story: Police ring my doorbell to deliver the news. My 12-year-old daughter and I arrive at the Level 1 trauma hospital where my husband undergoes emergency surgery and spends the next 59 days reclaiming his life. Over time, our family learns to navigate a new normal amidst the deficits resulting from a diffuse TBI, crushed hip and other myriad physical, emotional and mental trauma. Heartaches and highlights serve as milestones that color our collective journey from victims to victors. And it’s on the anniversary of my husband’s “death” and “re-birthday,” that I once again implore readers to make the right choice: don’t drink and drive.

Resigning ourselves to embrace each season

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Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Over the past few years, I’ve learned a little something about “Club 50.” It comes with a tiny downside called menopause. While I’ve been navigating this new season of empty nesting, adventure seeking and pre-retirement planning (the countdown is on!), the sneaky little “M” visitor swooped in under the radar and stole my life as I knew it—leaving behind a lack of ambition, fatigue, mood swings, hot flashes, excess weight, acne breakouts and an outcropping of coarse and curly sparkles. And that’s just the beginning! Thankfully, there’s hope. Or so I’ve been told. Because I still have a lot of living to do, embracing each moment even on the days when I must dig deep and fake it until I make it. Or the days I simply laugh my way through because it beats the alternative.

What season must you embrace?

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part VI, the glue + tip #2

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Words we speak about an experience become the experience.
~ Derek Hough

In my post, “…Part V and thinking SMART,” I review nighttime routines and working smarter. Plus, I promise to reveal the glue that holds it all together: consistency. If you’re not seeing results, crushing your goals or manifesting your dreams, try sticking to a consistent habit, goal or practice until 1) either change occurs or 2) you need to try something new. Oh, and tip #2 that KM gave me at the start of my 45-day challenge? Quit complaining. The hard truth: complaining attracts negativity and misfortune. Don’t believe me? Try this at home (aka everywhere): Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it each time you complain and then switch wrists. But attempt to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days and watch what happens. Bonus: incorporate five minutes of focused gratitude into your morning routine. Check out these other resources: James R. Doty, simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/examples/goals, zapier.com/blog/smart-goals/.

Are you ready to attract abundance?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part V and thinking SMART

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In my last post on taming the monkeys and “… what ‘not’ to do,’ I stress the importance of keeping our a.m. routines simple to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I also promised to touch on our evening routines. So why is an evening routine important? It prepares us for a successful tomorrow. Key focus areas in the p.m. might include: 1) spend time with family, 2) work on a task and/or goal; 3) review the day and 4) prep/plan for the following day. In addition, working SMARTer, not harder, is vital to success in every endeavor (in my opinion). And a second equally important component—or glue—holds it all together. But first, how do we work SMARTer? Create plans/goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (Trackable). Over the past month and a half, I’ve discovered myriad planning tools, but here’s a good place to start: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm. More planning tips and the glue that holds it all together next time.

What does your evening routine look like?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part IV and what ‘not’ to do

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In my post, “Taming the monkeys, Part III… ,” I began sharing insights on planning, plus a link to time-management thought leader Ben Hardy. Several of his articles tout the importance of planning because, according to another Ben (Franklin), If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. First thing’s first: plan a morning (and evening—more on that later) routine that sets you up for success. As Hardy says: You make or break your life before 8 a.m. Bonus material: here’s what not to do: change too many things at one time. Keep it simple, or you’ll become overwhelmed. Hardy, himself, swears by these straightforward steps: wake up, drink water, take a cold (optional) shower, get dressed, meditate/pray, visualize/set goals, create/work. Personally, I skip the cold shower and incorporate yoga stretches into my mornings. But allow Google to be your friend as you plan a customized routine. For more ideas, visit https://21dayhero.com/morning-routines-guide/ and https://www.scienceofpeople.com/morning-routine/. Coming up: think SMART.

What three things comprise your morning routine?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Showstopper alert: Kicking your booty back into gear

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I interrupt my “Taming the monkeys” blog series with a showstopper: What happens when we’ve planned our routines, morning (and p.m.—more on that later) and, well… life? Many of my past ramblings talk about going with the flow, practicing flexibility, yada yada. But sometimes. It. Doesn’t. Work. Out. And that’s okay. The other morning, smack dab in the middle of my a.m. ritual, my husband dropped a bombshell. Uhm, now? Although the unplanned convo ate into my schedule, I opted to stick to my free writing session and forgo the bed making, albeit a little less in-your-face confident. Although I felt knocked down a peg, I refused to allow the temporary derailment to define my day. Incidentally, all got resolved, and that evening’s 60-minute hot Pilates practice followed by 45 minutes of hot barre kicked the “token old lady’s” booty—which kicked me right back, or close to, that higher vibrational frequency I’ve been operating from for the past several weeks.

How do you handle the showstoppers?

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Taming the monkeys with practical tips: how to ‘unstick’ yourself

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Thirty-seven days ago I felt stuck. Questions like: What am I doing with my life? Where do I even begin? wrestled each other in a mind full of monkeys. And then a new friend I met during a recent writers’ retreat—I’ll call her KM—“checked in” with me online. I dumped. She listened. And then she “counseled” me with sage guidance and a personal challenge—with contract—if I chose to accept. Although only eight days remain in my challenge, I’ll continue practicing the advice KM shared. I’m not only more grounded and less anxious overall, but the gains have spilled over into my daily habits and interactions. I knew the retreat was life-changing. But with my limited experience and expectations, I never could have guessed to what extent. Stay tuned as I share, over the next several posts, how to get unstuck by incorporating two practical tips into your daily routine… and change your life. If you accept the challenge.

Do you need to get unstuck?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Jokers to the left of me, clowns to the right of me: reality’s call

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Since I attended a writers’ retreat last month—see “The power of networking…”—a mirror image of me moves throughout each day disconnected from reality. The crux of the matter is that my mind and heart still reside in the space I created 1,527 miles away. Yet my body continues to travel on autopilot through the motions of everyday life. Like the old song lyrics go: I’m stuck in the middle… Because if I evaluate my circumstances from the outside in, I observe a 50+ woman striving to serve as a productive member of society, love her family and friends, care for her health and make a difference in her small corner of the world. But the reality is that—even so—from the inside out, I’m stuck on pause as I contemplate my next move and attempt to answer reality’s call: Is this as good as it gets? It’s in this crossroads, I’m certain, where it’ll all begin to make sense.

Are you stuck in the crossroads?

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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