Cold Hands Warm Heart

Tips for Making Every Day Routines Sacred

When I was little my aunt used to tell us, “Cold hands warm heart,” whenever we put our icy hands in hers. She would come in from outside, we knew we were getting gentle and cold fingers on our necks and big hugs. It was such a part of our winter routine that now I say the same thing to my kiddos, “cold hands warm heart,” and bury them in my arms. It is a ritual and a memory, a simple way to make common occurrences sacred. 

This winter I am striving to create more meaning in my daily practices. My showers, skin-care routine, the way I go to sleep and the way I wake up. These are daily events that I often rush through. Time lost in the past or in the future – Did I put the clothes in the dryer? I need to pick up milk. The saddest part is that this happens every day. By focusing on our anxieties or worries we loose opportunities to create nourishing rituals.

Tips to make small moments brighter.

  1. I purchased a small box of mindfulness cards that I open each morning to give me a mantra, intention, or reflection that I can use to intentionally begin my day.
  2. Adding sweet smelling soaps and lotions to my showers and skincare routines. They add delight to the experience and remind me to slow down.
  3. Cookies! After my meditations I am savoring chocolate shortbread cookies with strawberry icing. These sweet treats being a little taste of summer into my chilly winter afternoons.

None of these shifts is monumental or expensive. Yet they are excellent tools for making my everyday routines sacred. I am feeling hot water raining down on my skin, smelling coconut and remembering summer, beaches, and fun. The biggest revelation is the practice of staying in the moment. I am not just going through the motions. Beginning my day engaged and delighting shifts my perspective and improves my mood.

The simple act of enhancing my daily practices makes my life richer. It is wonderful to be able to brighten my own day and surprise myself. It is the little things that make life nice and remind us of the many joys of being alive. We don’t always have to remodel the kitchen or take off on vacation to feel special. Sometimes all it takes is a cozy reminder – cold hands warm heart, have a hug, we’re so loved. 

What little gifts can you give to yourself that would make life more lovely? How do you make your daily routines special? What scents bring joy to your heart or what loving sayings did you grow up with in your home?

Staying Present: Opossum Invasion

We’ve been invaded. The double edged sword of living in such close proximity to nature. We love the beautiful trees, the expansive vistas and looking out our windows at nothing but green leaves and sky. But this also means we are right in nature’s lap. The first things our neighbors warned us to watch out for was the wildlife. Our yard is apparently a parade route for foxes, coyotes, and a family of albino opossums – just to name a few. 

This afternoon I took the dog out and walked into the garage when I decided to check on my son’s toys. The door from the house to the garage was not closed tightly and I wondered if he had perhaps left a mess that might inadvertently result in one of his toys being run over or someone tripping. While looking on the far side of the garage I noticed that our blinds had fallen. Then I noticed a face looking back at me. 

A distinctly rodent face that looked too large to be a mouse but was shaped like one. It looked lighter in coloration so either an albino opossum child or a rat. The doleful and kindly eyes lead me to believe it was an opossum but I promptly moved to open the garage to let whatever it was escape – as it was clearly attempting to do through the window.

The garage door is open and I am now reflecting on what items will need to be brought in from the garage – which items I hope and pray have not been nibbled or burrowed in or soiled. Shoes, toys, golf clubs, my hope is that the little invader was only in there for the night and is just hungry and trying to find their way home to their family. Still the idea of some animal in and among my things uninvited makes me squirm. I do not like rodents and least of all rodents in my space and unexpectedly wreaking havoc in my home. Oh, yuck, yuck, yuck. 

I know it is we who are at fault as it must have wandered in while we were outside in the yard. I hope it did not make its own way into the garage as that opens up a whole new crop of items to address. Still if it has, we will deal with it and I am grateful to have learned this lesson so early and in the spring months. I am grateful that it was me who found the intruder and not one of my children who could have been scared or worse yet bitten just because they didn’t know the animal was there and scared it. I’m grateful that we have the ability to send the little beast on its way without harm. I’m grateful that we live in this area and delighted that nature always finds a way. 

I have been searching my lawn night and day these last few weeks hoping to catch a glimpse of a fox, coyote, deer, or opossum and the sweet little darlings brought the show to me. God has a sense of humor. These are the unexpected moments that truly make us feel alive and bring us into the present. There’s nowhere else to be when confronted with a furry faced friend in the dark of a garage. I hope it finds its way home safely. I hope I did not scare it too much with the noise of the garage door and yelling for my partner. I’m grateful for the lesson and will be glad to take it with me as we forge into spring – oh the gifts are many. I’m so glad we’re learning them now. 

What lessons has nature taught you recently? 

Making Meaning in an Empty Day

I write a lot about what to do when there is too much on your plate. Long weeks and heavy work loads seem to be the name of the game lately but every so often the universe gives us the gift of time and space. The trick is not to fill it up – as we are often so tempted to do when we catch a spare moment. The day will pass, time has a way of marching on even when we feel stuck or busy, but we can choose to use our unscheduled time with intention.

Free time is our opportunity to rest, recover, and reflect but so often the way we spend our free time leaves us just as drained and exhausted as if we had worked a full day. Therefore when we find ourselves facing an empty agenda it helps to take a moment to think and set an intention for the day. 

Setting my intention – Do I want to feel energized? Do I need rest? What does my mind, body, heart, spirit ask of me today? These are some excellent questions I use to figure out what I need for myself in the day. This way I don’t loose myself in social media or in a Netflix binge and wonder where the day has gone and why I am so hungry. For instance, today I have noticed our family is a bit on edge and so we took a trip to the library. New books always put us in better moods and having an adventure that doesn’t cost anything but feeds our minds and souls is one wonderful way I take care of my family and myself. 

Eating well – What foods do I like or need to feel nourished? In our house a diet consisting of primarily meatballs and meatball derivatives would satisfy half of our household at all times. For those of us who prefer more variety than just ground meat this includes indulging my cravings for a hearty salad and vegetables. It means making cookies on cold days or preparing soups that we can warm up later in the week for a satisfying non-meatball based dinner. 

Making space for fun – I already talked about watching mindless television and how that can suck my energy without leaving me feeling particularly satisfied but I do want to offer a caveat to that rule. I feel better when I watch something that I love – if I cuddle up to watch any film in the Norah Ephron or Nancy Myers Library, Sabrina, or recently Good Omens by Neil Gaimen – these creative endeavors leave me feeling inspired and engaged. 

When you watch something fulfilling, or write an extra page in a journal, you indulge yourself and give yourself the space to think differently. Activities that allow us to imagine and play leave us more refreshed and alive than had we just vegged out in front of a stressful news program or show that doesn’t particularly interest us. Don’t waste your own time, give yourself the gift of being attentive to your intention and doing something that brings you joy.

Being productive – If you insist on being productive or completing a task give yourself a time limit. I sometimes find when I have a day where nothing needs to be done I fill it with errands – grocery shopping, deep cleaning the stove, or starting a small home renovation project. Don’t fill your day with obligations but if you do need food in the house give yourself a time limit. Take an hour to run to the shops but be sure to honor yourself and your own time and be home to lay out on the couch with a good book and a hot tea. Show up for what you need not just what everyone else wants. 

Quality Time – Quality time can be by yourself or with a friend, partner, child, whomever you like and admire and want to share your time with on this day of nothing. If you’d like to call a friend and catch up or hide in your bed and read both are acceptable and equally valid uses of your time. I have decided to dig out a recipe for fall cookies that my grandmother used to make and I plan to make them with my children this afternoon. It’s not a huge undertaking or a difficult task. There’s sugar involved so we’ll all have fun making snickerdoodle cookies. It will be nice to share a piece of my childhood with my children and celebrate our shared family history together. And then we’ll have cookies for dessert later, which is always a good way to end the day.

Early to bed – Sometimes when I start having fun painting or reading it’s difficult to stop and the day whips away from me more quickly than I realize. Before I know it, it’s 6pm and I need to eat, the house needs to be tidied, and I’ve lost a day – it’s like a good day hang-over. To avoid getting into that situation where instead of savoring and celebrating the end of a good day I regret or beat myself up about how I chose to spend my time I make sure to set the alarm – just a reminder to have a good dinner, share some cookies for dessert, and stick with my regular bedtime routine. I may even add in a face mask or some luxurious treat for myself before bed. Make it sweet and simple and get some good rest so that I can enjoy reflecting on this day of leisure and rest joyfully for the rest of the week and maybe make more time in my schedule for days like this that really nourish and fill me up.

Patient Progress: One Bite of the Bear at a Time

This week the progress on our new home has shifted into slow-mo. It feels like every moment I am working and when I am not working I am preparing food. Meal planning, ordering, and preparation while a necessary task is also an obligation that requires time and attention and energy that feels as if it could be better spent unpacking and organizing. With extra hands here we had the support necessary to accomplish several tasks at once. The speed at which we could work was accelerated and now that we are just two adult hands on deck, and both of us working full time, it feels like we are constantly being pulled in opposite directions. If we are eating, our children want to play. If we are working, they want to be with us. If we are attempting to organize or unpack a box, they are at the opposite end of the house unpacking whatever cabinets we have just organized.

It is incredibly frustrating and it feels like everyone wants a piece of my time, of my energy, of my day. I am trying to stay grounded, to focus on one task at a time but that is difficult when I hear a crash in the other room or the raised voices of children in conflict because their parents are otherwise engaged. 

Crock pot meals rise to the top of my list and the thought of potentially hiring a nanny. These are tempting thoughts that would make things easier in our household. I’m also working on taking one bite of the bear at a time. I am trying to order one necessary item or one easily solvable problem to address each day. Unpack a box of towels at lunch – this is quickly done and it is one more box done. On the weekends the goal has been one room a day but that progress has slowed significantly as I no longer have our nanny here to distract our children, run interference, or do the heavy lifting that requires a quick solution that I am too overwhelmed to find myself. 

I am grateful for the help we have had over the past couple weeks. I am grateful for the support and am realizing now how necessary and valuable that added pair of hands is when they are competent, deft, and eager to assist. That level of intervention is not only necessary but appreciated. My goals may have shifted from the completion of an entire room down to a single box or drawer but I am getting there. Progress is being made. And while the larger projects like power washing the porches and walk ways, building the cabinet that holds all of our guest blankets and towels, purchasing furniture to fill all of the empty spaces in our home will have to wait. In this moment and at this time I am taking baby steps. I am moving forward slowly but surely. 

The big shifts will come eventually. Right now the goal is just to keep moving forward. To rest when we need it, to relax and hold space for ourselves. To recognize and appreciate that progress comes in small steps and as we downsize a box here and a bin there we are still creating space in our home for the right things to find us. We are crafting the life we want in our dream home and that takes patience and time. It takes constant and gentle progress to move ahead. We cannot always move in leaps and bounds. Some days we must plod and some days we must sit still, but we continue to move forward. We continue to find our way toward our shared goals. We will make it. This too shall pass. Everything arrives at its appointed time, my only duty is to enjoy the ride, to savor the sweet and wonderful moments, to make progress where I can but also to trust the process. It is working, just as I continue to work. We each have a job to do and we will get there at the exact right time. It just takes faith, trust, and patience and I can practice each of those. 

How do you take time to rest and recover? How do you show patience and kindness to yourself as you work towards a larger goal?

Abundance and Gratitude at Thanksgiving

Today as we prepare for the coming Thanksgiving holiday and all the bounty of harvest, hearth, and home, I am reflecting on abundance. I am reflecting on the wealth and beauty that we have in our possession already. I am full. I know I often reflect on gratitude and this is the perfect week to remember all of those things and people that I am grateful to have an hold. I also want to hold still and absorb the abundance of joy and connection this time of year brings. 

Like many of our holidays since COVID-19 took hold nearly two years ago this year’s celebrations will be scaled back and shaped differently than years before. On Thanksgiving 2020 we took a totally different route to our celebrations. We usually gather with extended family and even borrow chairs from the local funeral home to accommodate the crowd that gathers at our long tables. Last year, instead of that annual gathering of cousins, family, friends, and long lost relatives we stayed home. We hosted no-one and celebrated our own small family gathering. It was gorgeous. I broke out the fine china, used a fresh cocktail recipe, and old traditional foods. Everything was smaller than usual, but it’s intimacy made the experience so much richer.

Because there were so few of us, we did not have the constant flow of conversation or people popping in and out, we prepared our meal, dressed for dinner, and when the days preparations were done in the blink of an eye we let the children bathe and put their jammies on early. We decorated the tree, we savored each  other’s company and when we toasted our health we truly meant it. Our time as a family took on a new sacredness under the light of our small hearth and the glow of Christmas lights. 

This year we have yet to determine how we will celebrate the day. Like many families, not everyone in our circle is vaccinated and while our children cannot yet be vaccinated we will not be gathering. Instead of seeing this as a disappointment, we are going to focus on our good fortune. How lucky are we that we have so many people in our lives with whom we wish to spend the day? How fortunate we are to have enough to food to share. We are truly blessed with health and love. We are surrounded by the spirits of those who have gone before us and by the love that fills each of our hearts when we are together as well as when we are apart. We are also fortunate to know and love so many people with so many perspectives. The diversity of our community is what makes us all stronger. 

I am grateful for all of these things and more. I am surrounded by wealth and abundance. It is my good fortune and joy that there is so much food, family, love, and light to share on these shorter and shorter days. There is nothing easy about this disease but it has given us a new perspective. It has given us back to the outdoors and spending time outside with friends. It has given us opportunities to deepen our connections with those friends and family that truly fill us up. And it has given us the time to draw comfort and consolation from the world by rekindling the love we build in our homes. How fortunate we all are and how grateful I am that this season is upon us and that we have such an abundance of blessings to celebrate together either virtually or just in our hearts. 

What are you looking forward to this holiday season? Are vaccinations making it easier or harder for you to gather with loved ones? What are you most grateful for this year?

How to Incorporate Discernment into Your Daily Life

This week I have been rushing from one task to the next, attempting to manage, contribute, complete, and resolve every project, task, email, etc. I am jumping from one fire to the next, never stopping long enough to consider if, perhaps, the work that needs to done is not the rushing from task to task but rather that I need to pause and reflect on my priorities. Perhaps by considering what duties are most important I will find that the work I am doing is possibly not serving me. 

It’s what Brenee Brown calls, “hustling for worthiness.” I am eager to prove my value and hoping that by jumping through all of these hoops I will prove my worth. But that’s not how worth works. First, it doesn’t come from external sources. Second it is intrinsic, it is not given or bestowed, I have value (and so do you!) simply by virtue of being present and alive) and that’s it. The rest is choice – am I going to continue to choose to be reactionary, rushing from one task and to do item to the next? Or am I going to pause and use discernment to find my best way forward?

Discernment is the right answer, always. Discernment asks us to look inside for answers rather than outside. It is not allowing every wind to blow us off course. It is pausing and holding still, rather than chasing every passing thought or idea. Discernment is an inner knowing, a trust in our individual compasses to guide us. It is soul, it is heart, it is listening. Discernment is connecting deeply with ourselves to know our way forward.

For me personally discernment looks like meditation, schedule, good food, and rest. When I have those boxes checked then I am free to listen. I often practice discernment by writing. I write to know what I think and whenever I doubt that I have a path I re-read what I have written and am often surprised by the clarity, the obvious path that leads me forward and through difficult times, happy times, and large and small decisions. 

Discernment is when it makes no sense but you know it’s the right thing to do. It is trusting yourself and that tiny voice that is begging to be heard even when the world is shouting for you to go one way, discernment will illuminate the path is truly yours.

How does one discern? For me I get a feeling of excitement when I am pursuing something that feels good and right. When I am on my path it feels like a homecoming, a comfortable and well worn path, and it’s easy. Choosing myself and my own path feels right and good. If you have to push too hard that is not the path. When everything seems to magically fall into place, that’s when I’m in the right place doing the right thing. I am discerning and not forcing. 

Discerning is also listening before you begin, it is not charging ahead or rushing, it is rest and reflection, it is taking a deep breath and listening to what your heart beat is saying. Discernment is trust and faith, it is balance and breath, it is knowing, feeling, trusting. Following your own drummer, taking care of yourself first is calm, humble, and freeing. 

Discernment does take time to learn because in our culture we are so fixated on what the world and others think or believe about us that we sometimes listen to those shouts instead of the whispers of our inner knowing. I made discernment part of my annual goal a few years ago, to practice discernment when making large and small choices. By practicing I got better and through practice I learned how to trust myself first, rather than to the outside world. This practice has been uplifting and freeing. It has helped me to not only attain personal and professional goals, it has kept me in the right frame of mind, it has kept me present and focused. This practice has reminded me that what I think, believe, feel, know is important, necessary, and vital to my personal success. It is necessary to my growth and my journey. It is what keeps me honest and helps me keep the faith. Discerning what my next step is rather than checking boxes, or reading from a script, has helped me to get where I’m going and feel confident that the steps I am taking, my journey and my destination. 

How do you use discernment in your everyday life? Is there a method or tool you use to connect with yourself and listen? How do you know your path when you see it?

Happy First Birthday Blog!

A long time ago when I was in college, I wanted a tattoo. It was trendy and many of my peers were doing it and so I felt the desire that so many people do, to get a little ink. Well, I heard a story from a family friend who got her first tattoo on the back of the bus on the way to Woodstock – original, not 90’s Woodstock – and I don’t know how one gets a cooler backstory than this. Anyway, she shared that now that she is older she does not remember what the tattoo was originally. Also that it is safe to say that no matter what the tattoo was intended to be it now most closely resembles a lop-sided eight ball. 

With this story in mind I decided that I would wait. If I wanted the same tattoo in the same place on my body, in the same size for a whole year then I would get it. Until then, I would just stick to creative piercings. Well, suffice it to say, I never wanted the same tattoo in the same place for more than a year. It turns out, that when you think you’re being original you start seeing that “original,” idea everywhere. The trinity symbol and Irish knot that I admired, showed up on rings, necklaces, and the thighs of friends. The symbol was likely everywhere all along, not just on the doors of my childhood church. But nevertheless I never noticed it so many places as when I wanted it to be unique and my own. I never got the tattoo and now I am grateful for it – as my body has grown and changed over time, I am grateful not to have my own lop-sided eight-ball to remind me of how much change has happened over the years. I’ll leave the photo albums to their own business.

The only other time I have used this rule has been with this blog. I started this blog as a test, to see if I would be able to stick with it and find a theme by writing what I know and what I think. I figured I would find my path as I went along. First, I want to thank all of you for joining me on this ride. I want to sincerely thank you for reading, writing, and engaging with the material, it has meant and continues to mean the world to me. I believe the act of creating only comes full circle when we share it with others and hopefully it touches or transforms the world in some small way.You have been a part of this circle and I am grateful beyond measure. 

You have watched and helped this blog to grow and transform. It has gone from sporadic posts at random times to regular posts at predictable intervals. I have written weekly as much as possible from the jump but now we have our regularly scheduled posts coming out in a timely fashion. I am learning this work as I do it and I am grateful for your patience as I strive to improve and grow. 

That said, unlike the tattoo that never was, this blog has stayed the same and I have stuck with it for a year. Which means that it is time to invest in the work and the community that it has drawn into my life. I’m very excited to share that this means I will be adding some exciting new content, branding colors, domain, and a logo. These are small things to the world but also my own little ways to tattooing this site into our shared consciousness. I hope you’ll let me know how you like the updates. Pleas also let me know how we can improve and make reading, sharing, and visiting this blog a joy and more easy for all of you. My goal is to make the site as fun, hygge, and useful as possible. Thank you for being with me for this first year, I am truly grateful. I can’t wait to share all the exciting things that are coming in year two! 

Cheers to another year of blogging and sharing. Thank you for being the other half of my circle and letting the words I write into your heart and your head. It is a privilege for which I am truly grateful and honored.

Back to School

We are heading into the new school year and the time is coming for new routines. This includes family breakfast, homework, and packed schedules. I have always loved the fall and its new beginnings. This annual renewal coincides with our new home and it feels right. It feels so good to have this opportunity to build something different, to craft a fresh agenda, to create a list of our goals, meal plans, and strategies for the months to come. It’s exciting to be in our home and building something vibrant and different. This time just feels holy and alive with possibility. 

As I anticipate the future I like to remind myself of the basics, the tools I need and use to keep myself in the best and healthiest frame of mind. There’s a lot of big regular stuff I do to stay grounded. I have found that what helps me function in a busier environment is taking care of myself and making time for the things that are important to my daily health first. 

  1. Quiet time for reflection and work. 
  2. Meditation and eating well. 
  3. Getting enough rest.
  4. Drinking enough water, and 
  5. Giving myself the things I need to feel good – comfy clothes, a safe environment, and healthy boundaries with others.

The joy of crafting meal plans and adding new adventures to our schedules is drenched in anticipation. We get to pick and choose what we devote our time and energy to attaining. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to build something new. I am also grateful to be coming to this fall with a deeper sense of self and self-awareness. Using the guiding principles above, I hope to keep myself healthy and strong so that I don’t get distracted from my own goals or overwhelmed by the annual pick-up in activities.

I do not know what this fall will bring but I am sure that it carries joy, opportunity, and laughter with it. We are ready for what comes next – and I do not mean that we are organized or our boxes are unpacked. What I mean is that we will be be able to build and create something great out of the materials we have now. I know that we can do it. I know that you will join me and I am excited to see where this fall takes us. What are some of your goals for the new school year? What are some of the fall delights that you look forward to enjoying? Does this time feel sacred to you too?

Manifesting Your Best Life

One of my favorite things to do is manifest my best life. For me manifesting means that I envision what wonderful things I want in my life and then I celebrate when they arrive. I dream, envision, and picture. Here are some of the ways I make Manifesting work for me. 

Set a clear intention and Pinterest – Not everything I want is present and accounted for in a perfectly curated board but much of it is. Yes, some of my boards are big imaginings that will take years to accomplish – my chateau based retreat for women, that is vivid and strong but not what I’m working on right away, that’s a 15 to 20 year dream. I use the site to envision my next home and my dream for a writer’s cottage – the result is a next home that looks cottage-y and will encapsulate all of the beautiful hopes and dreams I have pinned and imagined already. 

Sidebar: I couldn’t be more excited or thrilled with what awaits me and my family in our new home.

Curate the Pinterest board. While I’m building the dream I grab everything that remotely connects to my vision. Then I go back through my pins to find what truly speaks to me. I edit. I delete. I save from other sources and really hone in on what I love in each image. Do I love the design of the room or the furniture? I want to see an image and have it consistently reaffirm my vision. I don’t want to be confused each time a picture pops up, and when that happens I remove it because it clouds my vision and I want to be super clear and deliberate in what I am manifesting in my own life.

Reframe the desire. I write this out in my journaling and I ask the question out loud so I hear my own voice asking – “How did I get so lucky as to have (insert your dream here) a seven bedroom, seven bathroom, home close to downtown with enough space to host lacrosse practices, a pottage garden, and walking paths similar to Versailles?” This is a lot closer to the vision that I have than you would believe. And these are the things I want. Now, did I get all of these things? No! But I got closer than I ever thought possible.

The trick is the framing of my Manifestation as a question, “How did I get so lucky?” Because then instead of some random imagined future that is beyond reach now my brain now sees it as a question. A question is something unfinished that needs an answer. The brain is a magical tool and by framing what I want to manifest as a question my mind starts to work on the problem. It starts looking for opportunities and solutions that it wasn’t looking for before. My brain looks for patterns and options and even when I am not thinking about Manifesting specifically – like when I am asleep or out with friends – my brain is still looking for answers to this question, and in this way I make my own luck. My mind is constantly looking for ways to solve this problem and eventually, it finds a way to do it!

Write down your wish list. Long ago when I was single lady I sat down to write out what I was looking for in an ideal partner. I typed up a list of the qualities I wanted in my life partner – not just tall, dark, handsome but makes me laugh, shares my values, and loves children. I called it my, “Husband Position Description,” and I got detailed, detached earlobes were on the list as were a preference for eating the other half of the Chex mix – the pieces I don’t like. No sense letting half the bag go to waste! 

I wrote the list and I forgot about it. Saved it to a file and didn’t think about it again, until years later when I was living with a man who would become my husband and came across an old document. I read through that list again and my partner checked every box on that list. That was a powerful moment, because I did not know him when I wrote that list, I only imagined that he was out in the world waiting for me to find him and then I lived my life. I met and dated men who were not him, I went to work, and out with friends. But my brain was on the look-out. My sub-conscious was weighing and measuring, checking and comparing, because it was looking to hire the perfect candidate for this position opening. And when I had found him, my sub-conscious reminded my conscious of the list so they could confirm and affirm what my brain already knew, I had found the one. 

Have faith. The biggest part here is the faith I have in the universe and God. I am a firm believer that what you put out into the universe is what comes back to you. If you send out doubt, fear, and insecurity that is what you get in return. Therefore, it is super important to send out only what you want most for yourself. Send out your hopes and blind faith and trust that what is meant for you will arrive and that which is not meant for you will pass you by. This means that even when something is taking longer than you think it should to arrive or when there is an unexpected detour you still trust and believe that your Manifestation is coming. It’s keeping that energy, that trust, that commitment to your goal. 

We must believe and trust that, “Everything arrives at its appointed time.” Your manifestation will arrive at its appointed time. You will get what you are looking for and it can feel like a perfect fit or a magical surprise when what you want shows up but God does not give you a dream that you cannot fulfill. There is no longing in your heart that was placed there to be unattainable. Everything you want, wish for, desire is within your reach. You just have to trust yourself, you mind, and your God to work those miracles for you. Pursue those goals, manifest those dreams, it’s what you are here to do! You are not here to be miserable, small, and sad. You are here to reach for stars, to build pyramids, and dance. You are here to fulfill a purpose, don’t waste your time doubting it, that serves no one. Trust yourself, you mind, and your God and watch for what you will Manifest next! 

Strawberries Low Hanging Fruit Harvest

Listening Within – 4 Steps to Focus and Recalibrate

Today it has become aware to me that I am moving in fast forward. I am so eager to finish, to make progress, to get things done that I am not listening to my inner voice and to what would bring me joy. To do this requires only some small simple steps. But I am chasing that external satisfaction that comes from a task completed, scratching an item off of my “to do,” list. 

I am also procrastinating the simple tasks that do not bring me as much joy or satisfaction. I am delaying the simple choices that would bring me the most peace. I am putting off RSVP’ing to events and clicking send on a grocery order. I am creating an environment that produces more stress in my own life and i don’t want to do that anymore. Not that I will never do this again, but I can make it better today, for now. Here’s what that looks like for me: 

  1. Take a deep breath. This sounds simple but so often I rush through the day and forget to take a moment to breathe. I get distracted and caught up in my phone, emails, or tasks and instead of following one task to completion I find myself doing a little bit of a lot of things and not finishing any of them. Therefore, my first move is not to complete any of these things but to breathe deep and still myself so that I can decide what to do first.
  1. Find the low hanging fruit. What items on my list are easiest to accomplish? What is there that I can complete right now. Some items are as simple as moving a pile of documents from where they are sitting – on my dresser, to where they belong, stowed with the sentimental memory boxes I have across the room waiting to be organized. It’s a lot easier to organize when everything is in one place. These are small victories but they set the right tone and get my momentum moving in the right direction. It’s easier to snowball one victory into another when I’m not overwhelmed by too many major tasks and can just resolve one quick thing at a time.
  1. Let go of perfectionism. There’s going to be things I miss or foods I intended to purchase that just get skipped on the grocery list. These things happen, even when I meal plan and that’s ok. Right now I’m transforming our family diet and routines. We’re coming up on a new school year and I want to make more balanced and healthful choices for our family. This includes shifting the way we eat and the foods we consume. This is not easy as it involves tracking down new recipes and trying new cooking methods. It’s tricky, but it’s not impossible. And my first step needs to be to let go of my expectations of being a professional vegan chef on my first try, and instead remember that incremental change is still change and shifting our family in the right direction.
  1. Celebrate what you have already accomplished. This final one often gets steamrolled by the urgency to do more or the feeling that I didn’t accomplish enough today. That feeling of too little time, too much to do, pushes the goal post further back the moment I reach it. Doing this only leads to feeling more depleted and drained. Taking a moment, an evening, a week – whatever it is that you need to feel celebrated and proud of yourself for how far you have come is a worthy investment.

Letting go of scoring ourselves or rating our performance by the imaginary yard stick of perfectionism or worse yet, imagined competitions between ourselves and what someone else posts online, is not only unreasonable but it is also hurtful. We’re hurting our selves. Celebrate what you did today – you showed up, you did your best, and that is enough. That is exactly all anyone can expect of you! Look around at all you have and at all you’ve done already – isn’t that a reason to celebrate?

I like to think back on the me of a year ago, or read a journal entry from this time last year and see what my priorities were at that time. How far we’ve come in a single year! How magnificent all that we have done in a single day! That is cause for celebration!