10 Steps to Get Stuff Done!

Do you ever have those days that you feel blah – you just have no get up and go. There is plenty of things you could be doing, maybe even things you feel you”should” be doing. How do you push past this and get moving.

1. Allow yourself to rest. Maybe you just need a break. Take some time for yourself. Go sit in the garden with a cup of tea or take a hot bath with a great novel.

2. Make a list. I personally love lists- just ask my kids. I love being able to mark things off. I use and orange pen or highlighter to mark off what is done. Orange is a color that helps you feel productive.

3. Try doing something easy. Once you have a list to work with pick the small things so you can mark something off. You could even put “make list” on the list and then you have something to mark off right away.

4. Start with some you enjoy. Sometime starting with the creative project or at least a task that seems fun will help you get up and get moving

5. Turn on some music! When I have tasks such and cleaning that do not require a lot of thinking I like fast paced played at a higher volume. If I am doing something that I need to concentrate on I like quiet more peaceful music. I find it helps me focus to play tunes.

6. Choose a reward. How many things do you need to get done in order to get a treat? Pick smaller rewards for smaller numbers of items completed and have a grand reward at the end of the list. (Although having everything done and off you plate may be reward enough).

7. Clean or organize your space. If you have a clean and organized space to work you mind will also be less distracted and less cluttered.

8. Stay hydrated. You will feel better and you will find you brain is better lubricated. Plus if you keep sipping on some water you will have to go to the bathroom which will keep you moving and give you little breaks during checking off your tasks.

10. Celebrate- hooray you did it! Brag about all you accomplished – post on social media, tell your friends, celebrate with a family meal at the end of the day.

It is amazing how the momentum can get going and suddenly you will notice you don’t feel so blah any more.

Have fun checking off those tasks my friends. I wish you a life full of completed “to do” lists! I love you!

Finding a Connection

Whether you use the word God, Universe, Creator, Spirit, or some other term we are all talking about the same thing, that force of life that is in all of us, that guiding force that lets us know there is something greater than ourselves that we are part of that. It is not something separate but something that connects us. For me, it is important to feel this connection. That does not happen by going through my mundane life, plodding along and checking the boxes. It takes an effort on my part to attend events, connect with others on the same spiritual path, and go to locations where I can feel that connection. This weekend I had just this sort of event on my calendar, because a friend had reached out and asked me to attend with her. I am so glad she did. It was an amazingly moving event that inspired us and left us fulfilled.

On Saturday night we went to a Kirtan. What is Kirtan? According to Courtney Amundson and Chi Johnson (the people lead the Kirtan we attended) “Kirtan, also called Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion), is an ancient practice that stems from India. The call-and-response nature of Kirtan involves both performers and audience, setting a unique and sacred space that quiets the mind, reduces stress, and awakens your spirit within. Kirtan is open to all people, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs!”  It was held in a beautiful space. A yoga studio in the lower level of the Compass Center in Stillwater, MN. The people in attendance ranged from an infant to seniors. Some people sat on the floor and others in chairs. The music was beautiful. The voices, raised together in song, created a beautifully energetic connection between all in attendance.

The music moved my body. As I sat on my yoga mat, I could not help but feel my body swaying in response the rhythms that filled the room. My voice raised signing/chanting the response to the call from the facilitators. I do not feel I have a gift for singing nor do it in public, but on this night, my voice would not be silent. I was a part of the communal energy. The vibration that resonated through the studio. The 3 month old infant was mesmerized by the music and her tiny foot also moved in response. The beauty of this experience even moved some to tears. When I had entered the room, my neck was tight, full of knots, and uncomfortable. It had been a harried day of trying to get projects completed, readying for the arrival of winter, and keeping promises to friends. I walked into this beautiful room, stressed from rushing about and with a headache. As the music and the voices were raised, as I was picked up within the loving, supportive vibrations and everything changed. The stress dropped away. The knots in my neck seemed to melt and released. The headache disappeared. I felt renewed. I felt energized. I felt connected.

I am grateful that my friend reached out to share this experience with us. I am blessed to have a husband who will try new things and is open to attending events like this with me. My life is magical. This spiritual adventure was one of the many blessings that flow into it everyday.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with events that fill your cup in whatever way you need, as if by magic.

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7 Tips to Help When You are in a Dark Place

I saw a meme that my niece posted on Facebook. It said, “When you are in a dark place you sometimes tend to think you have been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom!” When you think about that, I mean really think about it, that is so true. I believe this! Those dark places that life takes us to, causes us stress and pushed us to change! It helps us transform from who we were to who we are becoming. You may be saying that, this is all great in spirit, but going through this type of transformation is painful and really stinks. How can we nurture ourselves through these dark places? How do we keep putting that one foot in front of the other while we are moving through these times? What can we do to keep our spirits up while our world is falling apart? Here are some thoughts to help you keep looking for the silver lining in these difficult, sometimes even terrible situations.

  1.  Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Remember the song from the play Annie? The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow! Whether upbeat songs from musicals, pop culture, or your favorite local band; music can be a great way to change your mood, remind you of a brighter tomorrow, and just help you keep going.
  2. Meditation. When things are falling apart, it can be hard to imagine they will ever be whole again. It can be hard to imagine that you will ever be whole again. It can be easy to dwell on the past and imagine a dismal future. Meditation is about being “in the now.” Just staying present in this moment, can help you step back from past regrets and future fears, at least for a little while.
  3. Do kind deeds. Sometimes when things seem bleak in our own lives, we feel we need help and it is easy to get stuck in this feeling of need. By doing kind, random acts for others, whether they be strangers or friends, can help our self-esteem and give us a chance to feel valuable in the life of others.
  4. Pet Therapy. Play with puppies, pet a cat, or cuddle a bunny. I personally do not have any pets and I am very happy in my pet free existence. But there are few things as stress relieving as the unconditional love of an animal. When I go on walks, I will often ask to pet the dogs. My friends’ dogs are usually happy to see me come visit because they know I have lots of love to share with them. Studies have shown that animals help reduce stress, anxiety, pain and even blood pressure when interacted with. You don’t have to have your own pet. I bet you know someone who has one that you could share some love and affection (and scratching) with.
  5. Feel your emotions. Feel your emotions and realize you are safe to have these feelings. I think this is one of the hardest parts for me. Touching those painful emotions seems so scary. I wonder if I truly allow myself to feel them, will I ever be able to come back from that precipice. Remind yourself that you are safe! You can stick your toe into the river of emotions and feel the cool wet water without having to get washed away by it.
  6. Journal. There are many different journaling techniques.
    1. There is Free Writing, where you do not sensor, just let whatever comes, flow out of you and onto the pages.
    2.  There is a technique referred to as the Divine Witness Journalling. This is one of my favorites because you can see your own wisdom (the advice you give your friends) come back to you. In this type of journaling, you give your wise-self a name, then you write notes back and forth. You write your question or whatever you are struggling with, on one page to that wise part of yourself. Then on the next page you allow that wise person to respond to your note. You will be amazed at the the wisdom that pours out for you.
    3. Gratitude Journaling is another that can really help change your mood. It shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. There is always so much to be thankful for. Looking at the positive things in life can help shift you towards a more positive tomorrow.
  7. Get out into nature. There is just something about being in the forest, hearing the birds sing, and watching a creek gently meander amongst the trees; that is so refreshing. Depending on where you live, “nature” may look very different. It may be hiking up a mountain, riding your bike in the desert, walking on the beach, cross country skiing, or sitting on a park bench near some roses. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to be with nature. I remember driving through downtown Minneapolis one morning and seeing the sunrise reflected on all the skyscrapers. I realized then that nature is all around us. From the vegetation growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk and pigeons landing near the sidewalk bistro tables, to the squirrels racing up and down the trees along the street. Nature is always there for us, even in the city. We just have to notice her. Find a quiet corner of your city or a peaceful place in the country and allow nature to refresh your spirit.

If you are in a dark place right now, I am sorry you are experiencing this. I hope these ideas may help you push out of the darkness and force your beautiful, authentic self; up into the light. We all spend some time there, so know you are not alone. I love you and I am proud of you for continually moving forward, even on those days when it seems next to impossible. We are with you in spirit. You are not alone.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be happy and joyous, as if by magic!

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5 Hints to Find Peace in a Noisy World

I am in the airport waiting for my next flight. There is music playing over the speaker system, airpot announcements, a man talking on his cell phone, a TV playing the news, a women watching something on her iPad, people chatting, someones cell phone ringing, and the electric cart zipping around making its beeping noise to warn unobservant travelers. Have you ever noticed how much noise seems to be around us all the time? At night I like to sleep with a fan because it’s noise downs out some of the other noise. So how can we find peace in a world that is always buzzing and beeping?
1. Recognize that peace lives inside of us. This may be easier said than done. If you choose to focus inward, the busy world can fad into the background.
2. Use ear buds to listen to something of your choosing or white noise to block out other distractions. I like to match music to my mood: Yoga music for meditation, Running playlist to get things done and “how I feel” playlist music when I am more emotional. If you have your playlists set, you are always ready to tune out the outside.
3. Understand that even in a quiet forest there is noise. It is just noise we find more acceptable. When we think we can make the noise stop, we feel frustrated when we can’t. By understanding that noise just is, and we have no control over it, we fight against it less. After all, “What we resist persists” ~ Carl Jung.
4. Use Mantra. Repeating a mantra silently in your head can help you go within and stop noticing all the exterior noises. In Kundalini Yoga we use Sat Nam, which means I am truth. You can use any mantra that works for you. Even the name of Jesus or a favorite saint or goddess can be used.
5. Exercise! Working up a sweat will help you find that inner peace and sweat out your demons. Whether you are a runner, walker, biker, or dancer you can use moving your body, as a way to feel better and find inner peace.
I hope you have good luck finding your inner peace today. Happy Monday and Peace to you!
What do you do to find quiet in a noisy world? What suggestions do you have for others who are distracted by the noisy world around them?

Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a day of peace and as productive as you would like it to be.

 

 

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