21 Days Without Complaining: I Am Gratitude.

During this morning’s meditation, Deepak told me that my true self sees only gratitude. This got me thinking. How would this view change the world if we saw only gratitude in all situations? Along this line of thought, Adventure Sister Emy recently inspired me. After a March where I just couldn’t seem to get going, Emy inspired me to use April to refocus on myself. By going back to all the healthy initiatives that I had been working so hard on recently. Daily meditation, avoiding refined sugar, financial wellness, 40 day yoga practice, and 21 days without complaining. Then it hit me! How does gratitude change these things?

Of all of the health initiatives listed above; the 21 days without complaining has been the hardest for me. I believe what you think about you bring about. So it makes sense that if I was focusing on not complaining what I was actually attracting was more and more complaining. What if, instead of 21 days complaint free, I work on 21 days of gratitude? When a situation arises that I may be tempted to complain about, I will instead look for something within it to be grateful for. Find the underlying blessing or lesson in each situation. This is not a new idea or concept, just a new way to focus on my life, in order to live it to the best of my ability. To be the best person I know how to be. I do not want to be that person who drones on and on about things I am not pleased with. I want to be grateful.

Last night, I once again placed my purple bracelet on my wrist. This morning is day number 2! I will flow through the next 21 days with gratitude in my heart. I will change the way I see the world. I will know that life loves and supports me while I love and support others. I will know that when something or someone pushes my buttons; there is always something to be grateful for. Noticing these opportunities to embrace my deep and true nature, will propel me forward to success in this endeavor.

Many of you have reached out to me to let me know you would join me on the 21 day adventure to a more positive mind set.  Are you still with me? What success have you had? What things helped you stay the course and get you to new days without moving your bracelet? For those of you that are new to this adventure, please click on the embedded links to learn more. I would truly love updates on how you are doing on this path to a world were gratitude rules.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find all the blessings in your life, as if by magic.

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6 Tips to Decrease Procrastination

I have long been a procrastinator. Are you? My dad always said, “Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow”. I guess I took his funny little statement to heart because I would put everything off until the last possible moment. Telling myself that I work best under pressure. Let’s explore procrastination and see how it fits into our overall wellness.

People who are prone to procrastination tend to procrastinate until it becomes more painful to “not” do something than to do it. It is all about stress and pressure. We may think by avoiding doing something, we can avoid the stress and pressure of it. However, the stress and pressure of not doing it will be come worse by avoiding it and then we will eventually submit and dig in and get it done. When I was young I often quoted Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With The Wind. “I can’t think about that today. I will think about that tomorrow”.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize that not doing things till the last minute does not actually give me any more peace. It actually just gives me, as my daughter would say, “Low key stress”. Instead of avoiding the stress, it just simmers under the surface, causing a little bit of subconscious pressure, until the task is completed. I even feel a little guilty about those things I put off, along with a bit of anxiety that I may miss a deadline or forget about it all together.

Over the past few years I have made a real effort to decrease my procrastination. Here are some of the techniques I have been using:

  1. Just Do It – When I need to write reports at work I start them and keep adding information to them as I go, so I can turn them in when my site visit is done, rather than having them hanging over my head.
  2. Use Natural Rhythms – I know morning is my most productive time of the day, so I work to jump out of bed and keep the momentum going. Using times that I know work for me, helps me to check the boxes and get things done.
  3. Make a List – I love to work from a checklist.  I use an orange highlighter to cross off what is done, because orange is the color that makes us feel most productive. Checking things off a list is also a nice visual way to see what you have accomplished.
  4. Notice How Good It Feels –  Notice the big relief you feel when you have everything done and nothing is hanging over your head.
  5. Rewards! – I like to give myself little rewards. I get to go for a walk if I get XYZ done on my “to do” list.
  6. Start With The Easy Stuff – Dave Ramsey suggests a debt snowball starting with the smallest debts first so you can feel that first success early and quickly. It is the same with procrastination. Do the easy stuff first so you can feel the success of getting stuff done.

I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I would say I procrastinate 50-60% less than I used too. I definitely feel less stressed in life by getting things done as they arise (at least a little more often).

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find tasks easy to complete timely, as if by magic.

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Not All Hero’s Wear Capes: A different perspective

My daughter recently sent me a series of cartoons that depicted an abusive relationship. The artist who created them, was not someone I was familiar with. Her name is Polly Nor. The series of drawings shows an abusive relationship and all of the garbage that so often is a part of that unhealthy dynamic, including affairs, trying to get out, and blaming the victim. They are some very powerful images.

The series shows a progression. There is one image where the woman believes she has found a way out. In the next image the abuser becomes suspicious of what she is doing and her attempts to escape are foiled. Then there is an image titled “Not All Hero’s Wear Capes”. In this image another woman is having an affair with the abuser allowing the other woman to escape. This image really got me thinking.

I have been in abusive relationships, both physical and emotional. How does it change things if we look back at those who where the extra person, who had an affair with one of the people in the relationship and caused that relationship to fail? If we look at that person’s role, on a spiritual level, they may have indeed been a hero. A divine being who came down to cause a distraction to enable our escape from an unhealthy relationship.

The Lovers Tarot Card often depicts 3 people. The reason for this is because a choice must be made. It often represents a love triangle. When you look at the scenario we are discussing, you can see how this love triangle may be a blessing in disguise. We spend a lot of time being terribly angry at those people who get involved with our partners. We often blame them for the break up of the relationships, but it changes things when we look at it in this way.

Polly Nor’s work is powerful. I did not see the image I am speaking of on her website but I did see it on her instagram. I appreciate her powerful work which me this different perspective. I send love to all those divine souls who come in to help break the cycle of abuse, when we feel so horribly stuck and fail to get out on our own.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find it in yourself to be your own hero, as if by magic.

*Photo taken in Tigard, OR

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Doing the “Right” Things

When I was young, what was “right” and “wrong” was easy. Listen to your parents and teachers, don’t lie or steal and do what you are “supposed to do”. As an adult this is much less of a sure thing. Words like “right” and phrases like “supposed to do” can take on different meanings. Those elder, who you love and respect so much, may have different opinions and views on topics than you do. So, how do you do the “right” thing? How do you know what that really is for you?

Even as young adults we look to our elders for advice. This is wonderful. They have a lot of life experience we do not yet have. Do they always know what is “best” for us? There is no way they could, even with all their history. As we grow older, we have to take the reins of our life in hand and make the best possible decisions we can, in the time and space we are in. We can and should certainly consider all of the advice given to us that our wise elders have offered. Ultimately though, it is up to us to make the final decision. What was considered the “right” things to do in the world those elders were born into, may be very different from what you feel is the “right” thing to do today.

When you feel that pull, deep down in your core, that is your divinity guiding you. Some call it the “still small voice within,” intuition, gut feeling, higher self, or your conscience. At times that voice can cause you to make decisions that seem counterintuitive, but it will not lead you astray. It does, however, take some practice to learn to hear it. There is some learning involved to understand how it speaks to you and become able to hear it over the sound of your mind; which is always trying to protect you. Start by practicing with small decisions and notice how those turn out.

Once you get good at listening to that inner knowing, it may ask of you some difficult things. It may ask you to make some choices to do the very thing your elders and friends are telling you not to. It may ask that you go against the advice of many trusted people and this requires great strength. When your Spirit is screaming at you to choose this path and everyone else strongly believes the other path is correct for you; it takes real personal power to stand up and say; “Thank you for your advice and concern for all involved, but I must go my way”. All of these people just love us so much and want to keep us safe. We are truly the only ones who could ever possibly make these decisions for ourselves.

As you become more comfortable listening to that deep part of yourself, you will know without a doubt, what you are really supposed to do. Ultimately you get to choose to listen or not. Believe in yourself! Be brave! Follow your gut! You may find it brings you much happiness; with your dreams waiting for you at the end of that decision.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! may you hear your inner knowing clearly speaking to you, as if by magic.

*Photo taken at Agrigento, Italy

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Family Roots

Having placed a child for adoption, changed my life and changed me. It formed the way I think about things during a very formative part of my life. Maybe changed isn’t even the right word; maybe germinated things inside me is a better way to say it. I think, as a young person, it was not something I thought about a lot. Family was family.

It has given me new insight as I watch my daughter figure out who she is and explore her roots. The stories that I have heard my whole life about my ancestors, were not taken for granted by her. She, in fact, has a whole group of ancestors not even related to her by blood but rather by the heart. Because she has ancestral stories from the family who raised her as well. This does not makes these stories any less powerful or any less important on her journey.

I was recently having a discussion with a relative, where I stated people who are adopted need to find their roots. She shared with me that she was adopted. I had never known this about her. She told me she had completely bonded with her adopted family and felt no need to look for her birth family. I am so grateful that she shared this with me. It has taught me that the need to know blood ancestral stories is completely individualized. She does not have that yearning, that so many other people I have spoken to seem to have.

Since I grew up with my birth family, I cannot even begin to guess how I would feel. My grandmother used to talk about the importance of blood and family. I do know though, that family is much more than blood. There are soul families, who are not blood in this lifetime but may have been in past lifetimes. There are friends who feel like family. There are non-blood relatives like aunts, stepchildren and adopted parents that are every bit a part of who we are, without the blood connection. The face of what family looks like today is constantly changing and evolving. Who shows up to holiday meals can be a wonderful, changing, eclectic group of people that we call our family.

Family roots ground us. They hold us deeply to the earth. They can be like a blanket telling us who we are. However family roots, whether blood or not, do not define us. Allow yourself to be more than your story. Your story formed you but it is not you. Your story contributes to your view of the world through the experiences you have had, but allow that view to be ever changing.

I am blessed in my family heritage stories. They are full of examples of strength, comedy, and lots of love. They are not without their share of times of struggle, but it is that pressure that makes us into diamonds. As the parent of a child placed for adoption, I have spoken to many other birth parents over the years and it has been my experience that placing a child for adoption is a gift of love. Myself and other birth parents think about that little soul out there in the world. We send them love, wish them every happiness, and wonder how they are doing often.

However you define your family or who you chose to claim as your people, remember that those stories are a part of who you are, but you are much more than your family roots. Just as the roots of the tree hold it to the earth, nourish it, and allow it to grow; so do our roots. However, a tree is so much more than it’s roots and is shaped by so many things that have nothing to do with the dirt in which it’s planted.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your roots give you comfort, as if by magic.

*photo was taken in Bellingham, WA

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Family Secrets

 

About a year ago I had my DNA processed with the 23 and me testing. Because of connections made through my DNA being tested, I have learned some family secrets. This is not as new to me as one would think.  As a hospice nurse and a tarot card reader, I have often been privy to other peoples family secrets. I feel that these “secrets” can sometimes be very toxic and eat away at the inside of a family. 

As a hospice nurse I have watched people decide to unburden themselves to their family at the very end of their life. When this happens, some families accept this with grace and move forward to heal. While other families are forever hurt and confused by the revelation of this secret. Either way, it can cause so much confusion and brings things from the past into question. 

The truth usually always finds its way to the surface.  I feel it is so much better to be honest and upfront; I myself have never been one for keeping secrets. I will keep confidence with other peoples information but in my own life, and with my personal story, I see no reason to keep secrets. If I make a decision which seems like a mistake, I fess up and ask for forgiveness because keeping secrets is exhausting. 

Often secrets are just kept as a way to keep pain from affecting those around us. That pain though,  can be so much worse, when the lies and deceit are piled on top to keep that initial secret. 

I am learning more about my family through my journey with DNA testing and the connections I have made with relatives are rich and true blessings; learning more about my family’s past and interesting ways they lived their lives. These past experiences do not have to be painful if we remember that everyone does the best they can in the time and space they are in. Then with this in mind, even though we may not agree with what someone has done, can still offer forgiveness and love to that person. I find that the things I am learning make me wish that my ancestors were still alive to ask them questions, because there seems to be so much more to the story that probably has its own beautiful lessons and connections related to it. 

People are usually stronger that we give them credit for and we are also stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Instead of hiding it, share things with those you love. They can handle it! Often times the secret you’re holding, is not as much of a secret as you may have thought. Often times others already have a sense of it but still love you just the same. People many times just need to process the information you share; but wouldn’t you rather trust them with the information than continue to have to hide it? 

I can think of only one possible exception to this and that is if you will not be safe to reveal the secret. When you truly fear some type of abuse or severe punishment as a result of the reveal. If you are in a relationship, where you would expect abuse (physical of emotional) as a result of sharing this information, then I suggest you seek professional help. 

Perhaps I have over simplified all of this, because I have been accused of doing that in the past. I think with love and acceptance all things are possible. Always trust your intuition and follow your inner guidance. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you be free from the burden of secrets, as if by magic. 

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Raising the Vibration of the Planet

Our happiness raises the vibration of the whole world. Think about that. When we vibrate with joy and happiness we actually affect the world around us. By raising our own vibration we actually improve the world. When you think about it that way, it is easy to see how your joy is important. It is more than that. Your joy is also not a egocentric. When you are pursuing joy in your life this is not self-centered. When you are taking care of yourself, this is not selfish. Because we are all connected, therefore, your joy affects all of us. 

Raise your vibration to raise the vibration the world! Embrace your joy in order to spread more joy to those you interact with. When the people you interact with see your joy, how can they help but smile? They will see your joy but also feel your joy. The vibration of it. In turn their joy will increase. Then what happens? Well when they interact with people their joy will spread. Like the giant spiderweb that we all are, one person being joyful will affect many and it will continue to move out like ripples on a pond.

In 2000 there was a movie called Pay It Forward. It was a brilliant concept. Person number 1 helps 3 people. In exchange each of these 3 people have to help 3 other people, and so on. Everyone who is touched has to do 3 random acts of kindness for 3 other people. It is the same concept but without having to do anything more than feel joyful. Don’t try to hide it.

I often find that people don’t want to know you are joyful. They may make sarcastic comments or respond with complaints. Then our reaction is to put a cover over our joy. We dim it so our joyfulness does not shine on this other person and make them feel uncomfortable. I have caught myself doing it. Even voicing complaints of my own to fit my vibration to theirs. It does not make sense does it? But we all do it.

Let’s try and be aware of these moments in the future and instead of lowering our vibration lets continue to shine brightly and see if we can’t pull that other person up to vibrate joy with us. You may just surprise yourself when you see how much power you really do have after all.

Our happiness, our joy, it can change the world. It can make the world a bright place and shine light into the shadows. Keep smiling and keep spreading joy! I believe in you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you radiate joy, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in the mountains of Oregon.

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