9 tips and tricks to stop being so busy!

I have recently been repeating the mantra “I am so busy” and “I have no time.”  I finally realized what I was doing when other members of my Toastmasters group started saying to me, “Wow, you have had a busy week” or “I am busy too”. We are all busy right?! Why do I think I am so special, that my particular type of busy is worse than anyone else’s? And furthermore, why do I want to manifest being too busy? It was quite the eye opener for me to realize how I sounded. So, how do we change our use of time into something more healthy?

1. Change your thoughts and change your world ~ Norman Vincent Peale. Instead of reminding yourself how busy you are, try this mantra on for size; “I have plenty of time and endless energy”.

2. Make time for yourself. My husband and I were talking this weekend about how easy it is to be busy. You can always find some project, chore, or task that needs to be worked on. Luckily, you get to choose how you spend your time, so make some time for you on your ‘to do’ list. The chores will still be there after you spend some lazy time in the hammock.

3. Less multitasking. An article shared by one of my Toastmasters friends suggests that multitasking is part of the problem. It says rest time should be that also. Don’t use your “me” time to get a couple more things done.

4. Watch out for time stealers. I spend lots and lots of time on airplanes. In the past I have used the time scrolling through FB or playing games on my phone. These activities are time stealers. The time spent doing things like this can be shifted to other activities. Reading a book, completing some work, researching something, or taking a nap (reenergize!) can replace them and help you have more time when it really counts!

5. Appreciate the moments you do get. This weekend my husband and I were working on projects and getting things accomplished. Most of Saturday was used in getting things done. Saturday night we drove out of town (not far, just far enough to get out of the city lights). We laid in the grass and watched the meteor shower together. I so appreciated this quiet time, just lying there, looking at the sky. There are so many little moments like this when we get a break and have room to breath. We only need to recognize that we have them.

6. Look at your busyness in a different way. What is it you are spending your time doing? I spend time getting together with friends, making improvements to our homes, traveling, and blogging, in addition to working (a job I love) of course. In addition there are the Toastmasters groups, books we are writing, and spending time with family. What of these would I be willing to cut out of my life to be less busy? None! These are the things that make my life glorious and blessed!

7. Stay in the now. I often remind people when they feel overwhelmed, “How do you eat an elephant?” (not that I would want to as a vegetarian) “One bite at a time!” It is easy to get caught up thinking about all we have to do. By just staying present, the stress and pressure of all the other “to do’s” will not seem so looming. Lao Tzu said; “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

8. Make a list! I am a list making person. I love watching my progress as I cross things off. Using an orange marker to cross off items is my go to color, because orange makes you feel more productive. Another great thing about a list is you don’t have to think about what you need to do. Once it is written down you can forget about it until you finish that task. Otherwise it will be there waiting for you until you do.

9. Meditate! A Zen proverb says, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” It’s a great way to become more present, reduce stress, find some space, and connect with source.

I hope these tips and tricks will help your life feel more manageable. They may not change what you need to do or how much is on your plate but hopefully you can slow down and take life one bite at a time. Don’t just chew through it quickly, trying to rush to the next bite to get done. Take your time and savor it. Life is magical!

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you have plenty of time and endless energy, as if by magic.

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Feeling Great, Improved Health, and Being Proud – That’s what doing “it” can do for you!

I have done it with lovers, I have done it with co-workers and friends, I have done it by myself, I have done it in a group, I have even done it with family members. My husband told me of his plans to do it today. It made me reflect on times in the past when I would do it on a somewhat regular pattern. What is it? Donating blood! After I would make my donation, I always felt like a hero! Have you ever felt like a hero? When my husband told me what he was doing today, it reminded me of times in my life when I felt like a lifesaving hero! I congratulated him on his hero status but he just smiled and laughed it off.

Blood donation is not just good for those receiving your blood but it is also good for you. According to OrganicFacts.net; blood donations improve your health by reducing your risk of cancer, decreasing risks of diseases cause by iron stores (building up in the body) and decrease risk of some heart and liver diseases. It also stimulates your body to burn calories and can help support weight loss efforts. Additionally it stimulates your body to make nice fresh blood. I would also add the “good feeling” you get in your heart for making a donation is the best benefit of all!

Another type of this kind of donation is Plasma. Connectusfund.org has an article that lists the pros and cons of plasma donation. Many look down on this practical because of the financial reimbursement for the donors time. This has health impact for the donor as well and many lifesaving medications can be created from the plasma. It is used for patients who have suffered burns, are fighting leukemia as well as a number of other illnesses.

Plasma donations can be made up to twice a week, where blood donations are limited to once every 8 weeks. I personally have no issue with the reimbursement for these donors. If they are giving up some of their precious time and a part of themselves to help others, why not allow them some help too.

Whether you donate blood or plasma, I think you are a hero! I don’t judge. I currently cannot donate either one. My veins are too tiny for the plasma donations and my iron to low to donate blood. My hat is off to those of you who give of your time as well as of yourself, to save the lives of others this way!

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you have the opportunity to feel like a hero in your life, as if by magic.

I love you!

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“Week 7” check in – Weekly Meditation Adventure

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here’s how week seven went for me.

What I have learned: I have learned that if you wait for the ideal time to meditate it might never come. Sometimes you have to meditate in the midsts of everything that is going on around you. In the image (above) on this blog I was at the lake with my grandchildren. It was nonstop talking and action. There was no quiet moment to sneak away. My infant grandson was happy to sit next to me while I meditated and my 4 year old granddaughter was intrigued enough with the process; that she decided to sit down and try it. She didn’t stay long but long enough that I was able to get my meditation in even with all of the activity around me. 

Experiences during the week: Sitting outside, while practicing meditation, was delightful. The sound of the birds, the feel of the breeze on my skin, and the warmth of the Sun with the smell of the grass, all served to enhance my experience. This has been my best week of meditation since the challenge began. I have stuck to my Kundalini Yoga mediations as my preferred technique. I find that it really helps me keep my focus. I still have a mind that wanders from time to time but the combination of mantra, mudras (hand positions), and intention; really improves my experience and decreases my frustration.

My weight: I weighed myself on Friday morning and I lost 0.6lbs since the last time I weighed about 10 days before. Could this be a reflection of really getting into the grove and having a commitment of daily meditation? I would like to believe so. 

How I feel: I feel proud of keeping my commitment to myself and completing daily meditations this week. There were even a couple of days that I got in 2 daily meditations. I feel a deep sense of calm on the days when I meditate in the morning and the evening. I plan to make this the goal for the next week. 

How it is affecting my life: This week the daily meditation enhanced my life. While on the road I made it a point to do meditation in the morning before leaving the hotel room. I feel my thoughts are clearer and my calm stays with me more often throughout the day. I find that I am less stressed by the idea of daily meditation. Where the previous week, it was something that was on my “to do” list, this week it was something I looked forward to. I feel that this shift in my daily meditation experience has the potential to make sustainable improvement in my life.

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you found your preferred meditation style? Do you have a preferred meditation space?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of finding the perfect time even when not sure there is a perfect time to meditate.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Week 6 check in – Daily Meditation Adventure

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here is how week number six went for me.

What I have learned:Because of the struggles I have had with calming my monkey mind to meditate, I have gone back to what I know best. I went back to Kundalini Yoga Meditation. This has been much more effective for me. I more easily get into a calm state. I have learned that when I feel anxious and have a lot on my plate, this is the meditation that works best for me. I think because it includes mantra and often movement. It gives the monkey mind something to focus on to keep it present and not off trying to plan the rest of my life. 

Experiences during the week:I found a nice deep sense of calm in the midst of the meditation. During one, I had visions of color swirling and clouds moving. This morning, I was feeling quite anxious. I needed to get my blog written, coordinate with family at home, find time to meditate and get to work on time. I was working feverishly to get it all done. Then I stopped and did my meditation. I chose one with the mantra “Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung”. It had a very calming affect on me and allowed me to see that it will all get done in Divine Timing. This is a very healing mantra and pulls the energies of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and Universe into our bodies. It can be interpreted to mean “God is within me”. It is a nice way to find some morning calm and let some of the anxiety of everything on the “to do” list go. 

My weight: I forgot to weigh on Monday morning and I am in Nashville this week so the update on my weight will have to wait till next week. I do feel as if I am swollen, perhaps from the heat and humidity. My rings are tight on my fingers.

How I feel: My back pain is resolved. I found that the Kundalini Yoga Meditation was very helpful in controlling my back pain.Acupuncture resolved it totally. I feel a sense of calm after my Kundalini meditations that is not a typical part of my day. I feel more centered. 

How it is affecting my life:

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” -Zen proverb.

 I have struggled to get once a day meditation in; so now I am working to increase it to twice a day meditation. This has helped me be more successful in making sure I get it in at least once a day. I find when I am home with family it is harder to make time for myself and I “poo poo” the importance of it. I need to recommit to me. I need to understand that it is not selfish for me to take 15 – 20 minutes twice a day to find my own inner calm. It allows me to be better with the world around me. 

I would love to hear your experiences with this. I hope you are having a more profound lift with shifting experiences. If you are snuggling a bit, like I am, it’s ok! Don’t give up! We’ll get there!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of finding the calm amidst the storm.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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I Wanna Help!

I am involved in a lot of stuff. I mean really, a lot of stuff! I work hard and I play just as hard. At work, home, and with various things I am involved in, I find myself volunteering or being ask to volunteer to take on more and more. I find it difficult to say, “no”. I wanna help and I want to make my corner of the world a better place.

That is why Emy and I wrote the 3 books. Yes, we have both felt the call to write since we were young girls. I have always know that somehow, in someway, I would eventually be an author. But, Lessons Through Joy, Lessons Through Forgiveness, and Lessons Through Magic were written with a genuine desire to help others. It is a part of the calling to make the world a better place. That same desire, swirling inside my soul, is what drives me to write this blog. It is what pushes me to get something posted 3-5 times a week. I want to help people. I want to make the world a better place.

That same desire is why I go speak to high school students and share my story of placing a child for adoption. I want to share with them an option. When I was young and not prepared to support and raise this child, that was growing inside of me, I had to make/find my own options. By sharing my story, hopefully I can help some other teen see there are other ways to give your child a good life.

My desire to help is why I am the administrator for my local Buy Nothing group. Have you heard of Buy Nothing? It is a movement to keep items out of the landfills and build community by neighbor giving to neighbor. When I first heard of this, I thought the concept was brilliant. Sadly, my neighborhood didn’t have a group. This bothered me; it was simply not acceptable. So I contacted Buy Nothing and offered to be the administrator for my area. It is one more way I can help make my little corner of the world a better place.

I do it at work too. When I see something that needs to be worked on, I often volunteer for the project. I want the company I work for to be a better place also. I want to help things be smooth and easy for others who work there. It is one more way I try and make the world a better place.

I joined Toastmasters last fall to try and make myself a better speaker but I found it was a place I could share important messages also. I try to write speeches for my little group that can help them or that they can share with others. Important messages about loving yourself as is and how forgiveness can improve your life.

I couldn’t take care of the world around me without taking care of my friends and family. So I try to be available as a shoulder to cry on, ear to listen, helping hand when needed. My husband and I worked hard to renovate our own home and now a home for our daughters. We are also using this work to providing encouragement and lessons on being the best version of himself to our teenage son. We want to make the world a better place by helping him grow into the kind of man who will stop and pick up litter on the street, help an elderly neighbor shovel snow or haul in groceries, smile at strangers, and give without selfishness. We spend hours with our grandchildren, helping them to also grow into caring people and build lasting memories for both them and us of play, creativity, and love.

With all of these efforts (and more not mentioned here) to help the world around me, it is easy to get bogged down and feel pressured and feel like I do not have enough time for me. Somehow, I manage. I do feel badly when I have to turn down a request or a project either at work or through some other avenue, but if I do not take a minute here or there for myself, I will be tapped out and not able to continue to give the best of myself. Half an effort is not good enough for me. If I am going to take something on, I need to know I can always give it the best of myself.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you have healthy happy boundaries.

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Self Care: a series – part 3

In part 1: we talked about healthy boundaries. Part 2: encouraged you to take time for yourself. Now let’s discuss self talk. Self talk is simply the things you tell yourself. Some of the things we say to ourselves are worse than anything you would ever tell another human. Even people we really don’t like, we would seldom talk to the way we talk to ourselves, at times. We give ourselves messages about our ambitions, our intelligence, and the way we look. Why are we so hard on ourselves and how can we change it for the better?

When you look in the mirror what do you say to yourself? I know I used to look and see a fat, very plain looking woman. I would tell that woman how discussing she was. I would be angry with her for how much weight she carried and let her know I thought she was a fat pig. These are things I would have never said to another human being. Thanks to Louis L Hay and other teachers like her, I began to recognize that this was not a way to treat or talk to myself. Louis was a big advocate for “mirror work”; looking in the mirror and telling yourself. you love yourself. “I love you Stacy”. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is a great first step to start shifting how you talk to yourself.

The next thing you need to start doing is noticing the negative self talk. Once you began to notice how you talk to yourself, you can start to shift it from negative to positive. Notice what you say, think about it, would you ever say this to someone else? Does it pass through the four gates of communication? “Is it kind?” “Is it truthful?” “Is it non- harmful?” “Is now the right time?” I am not sure who to credit with the four gates of communication but we need to apply them to self talk, as well as talking to others. When you say something to yourself like, “you are a lazy”, think about; is it kind? Nope. Is it truthful? If you examine it you will likely find that it is not. You may be depressed, busy, choosing other things to do with your time at that moment, but not really lazy. Is this statement harm free? Can’t pass through this gate either. Negative self talk hurts our self esteem and self worth. There is a lot of harm caused by saying mean things to ourself. As for the final gate, “is it the right time?” , there is never a right time to be mean to ourselves.

As you examine the things you say to yourself, if it can’t pass through even one of these gates, it is time to send yourself a positive message.

It is time to start shifting what we say to ourselves. Start to praise yourself for the things you are doing. Start to notice things to love about yourself. Tell yourself you are proud of you for how hard you’ve worked on a project. Start to notice your attributes, you are a great artist or provide loving care for someone. Begin to tell yourself loving things about how you look. You have great legs. Your nose is really cute. People are drawn to your smile. Every time you notice yourself saying something negative to you, replace it with 2 positive messages. Make a list of all of your skills, positive attributes, and loving kindnesses you share. By making that list you will accomplish two things. Firsts you will see all of the really great things about yourself. If you get stuck, ask friends and family. They will easily and quickly share nice things about you with you. The second thing is that once you have noticed these things and written them down, they will be available for you to pull on to quickly replace the negative self talk. The list will grow and you will replace the way you talk to yourself with loving kindness.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I wish you a life full of loving kindness, from yourself and others.

 

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