A self-help junkie finds simplicity

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Self-help junkie

 

I suppose you could call me a self-help junkie. My latest venture is a 33-day path to purpose, passion & joy through Panache Desai’s book: Discovering Your Soul Signature. In my post, “Dialing down the distractions,” I talk about the benefits of tuning out interruptions. Prior to picking up Desai’s guide, I disconnected from the internet for a short hiatus. Although unplugged for a short time, this exercise in self-control removed a bit of the external chatter to allow me to take a step back and focus inward with fewer diversions. To become more connected with myself. I know I can do all that and still keep up with social media but, as an all-or-nothing type of girl, a fast from Facebook helped me move one step closer to the balance I seek in my life. And it reminded me of an important factor I almost forgot: what simple feels like. I’m excited to see where my new venture guides me.

What does simple feel like to you?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Just keep swimming

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After nearly a month of illness at the beginning of the year, I’ve made several lifestyle changes. More sleep; less commitments. More yoga; less worry. More leafy greens; less processed foods. Reading more and writing a new book (which hasn’t made it from my imagination to paper… yet). Getting more organized and less cluttered; spending more time serving others. Doing the good stuff while eliminating the bad stuff, all in the name of balance. I start each day with positive intention; I end each day with gratitude and an asana. But now I’m sick again. Up until January, I had not been sick for over three years. Yet even though I’m doing everything I should be, there are still no guarantees. Once again, the single thing we can control is our response to any given situation. And at the end of the day, we only have three choices. We can tread water (get nowhere), sink (give up) or just keep swimming.

What’s your choice when the water rises?

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Manifesting positive results

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Vision Board
Balance… simplicity… happiness. Only a fourth of the way into the new year, and I’m beginning to realize the manifestation of these elements as I actively pursue them. When I recently mentioned to a girlfriend that I wish I could clone myself to be in three places at once, she said: Just do one thing good. That advice, along with the vision board I crafted (see creating our own luck), is my new impetus. Rather than multitask a boatload of to dos, I’m honest with myself about what I will spend my time on. I might accomplish less, overall, yet I’m focusing my attention on those one or two things and “doing them good.” I also feel reduced pressure to say “yes,” and to go with the flow, instead. The days still fly by but, with a slower personal pace, I’m able to live more fully in each moment. Which makes space for a more simplified, balanced life. And a happier me.

How have you simplified your life?

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]

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.]

I’m over it

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I'm over it

We’re almost one month into the new year already and it’s been a big fat bust so far. First, in my quest for balance, I jumped in feet first and overextended and overcommitted myself (see #12 in Confessions of a fraud), and second, my immune system suffered because of it. Not only did I miss several days, I flaked out on multiple commitments. It seems that with everything I want to do and yes, even need to do, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed and deplete my reserves. Yet, when this happens, I am crabby and zero good to others. I cannot expect to run on autopilot with no respect for my energy levels. So how do I find balance? I need to ask myself: What drains me and what feeds me?—then eliminate the one and do more of the other—because if I don’t start practicing self-love on a consistent basis, my sparkle might begin to dull with time.

When is enough, enough for you?

[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Re-evaluate, release and repeat

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Re-evaluate repeat
With more than a week logged into the New Year, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate the resolutions, goals, lifestyle changes and [fill-in-the-blank] dreams many of us employed on the first of the month. My challenge—to focus on balancing it out—has turned into a juggling act of sorts. In a good way: It seems the more my passions and goals line up, the more I’m able to squeeze into any given day. For instance, the practice of yoga is an emotional and physical balm for me, but when I added a spiritual outlet into my schedule, my world became a little more rounded. Some days, however, it’s all I can do to shuffle vehicles after a recent car accident left my family with limited transportation, while on others I feel like Wonder Woman. And it also requires the conscious release (by me!) of preconceived expectations to “do it all” when time runs out in the day.

How is the New Year shaping up for you?

[Image credit: jesadaphorn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Make it happen in 2015

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Make it happen

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

We’ve had a few days now to get our feet wet in the new year. Some of us have jumped into new resolutions, and/or revisited old ones, as we face a pristine slate ripe with possibility. I recently heard a statistic that only 10 percent of people who resolve to make a change in any given new year actually succeed. Personally, I’ve come up with some lofty goals in 2015 to realize a more balanced life and, if last year was one filled with insight and personal development, this year is destined to overflow with manifestation (I can feel it!). So how do we ensure we’re one of the scant few whose resolutions come to fruition? I think it first begins with a theme or focus, like balanced living, healthier eating, fitness, etc., and then a realistic plan of what *needs* to happen to make it happen. But it’s also important to allow for wiggle room when *life* happens. And be forgiving.

What are your resolutions this year?

Exhale the old, inhale the new

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jan 1 2015

 

[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

So far the best saying I’ve stumbled across that pertains to the New Year is: Exhale 2014, inhale 2015. I love the visual this invokes: Shed the old in order to fill up with the new. But I believe that in order to make room for more of the good stuff, it’s important to acknowledge the bad stuff and then let it go. Didn’t get everything crossed off your bucket list? Pare it down this year, make it more attainable. Loved and lost? Give thanks for those who made you feel alive. Ran head first into a few hiccups on your journey? Learn and continue to live. Each moment is an opportunity to love more, forgive more, appreciate more… be more. My personal focus for the New Year is balance—while at the same time doing more (of the above). And remember: Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product (Eleanor Roosevelt). I’m ready.

What is one area you plan to focus on in the coming year?

Balancing it out

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Balancing it out

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Life is a constant give and take where many of us strive for balance as we navigate our individual journeys. Some might be led by an all-or-nothing mentality, others with moderation as their guide. Personally, I’m on a mission to better balance my overall well-being. While Bikram yoga has been my go-to safe place to nurture my physical and emotional health, as well as share in a sense of community among other yogis, I’ve recently begun exploring additional ways to bring cohesiveness to my everyday life. This may look like time carved out to enjoy a new hobby, practice self-love over a glass of wine and a good book or find solace in prayer or corporate worship. Just like one food cannot provide the nourishment we need to maintain healthy, fruitful lives, we cannot expect to sustain our zest for life if we invest 100 percent of our energies into a single endeavor. It’s about sometimes taking the scenic route.

What different ways do you balance it out?

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