Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Lesson Learned by Just Be-Ing

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beingAs I write this, this is my first official day back to work after my Spring Break – a Spring Break I spent sick, lying on my couch trying to breathe. It was not how I had planned on spending my Spring Break, but it was actually quite wonderful. No anxiety, no to-do lists, nowhere to go.

I was talking to a friend of mine about it this morning. “I wish I could feel like this all the time – minus the sickness,” I told her. “Yes,” she said. “That's the goal.” She challenged me to carve out more time for myself everyday – time for me to rest, play, and just be. In addition, she encouraged me to slow down in other ways – to get out of hectic going and doing like I'm on a hamster wheel mode.

Here are the possible strategies we brainstormed to help me with my objectives:

  1. Take the time to prioritize daily objectives. Each morning before I start working, I ask myself, “What are the 3 most important things (MITs) I need to do today?” Then I usually make a list of 5-10 things. Inevitably, I don't finish my to do list and then feel bad about it, which defeats the whole purpose of the 3 most important things. No more! I am going to allow myself to list 3 and only 3 things. Then I focus on those 3 things. Yes, interruptions will occur, but I find if I write them down and put them by my computer, it helps me remember what I am supposed to be focusing on.
  2. Cut internet use by half. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a FaceBook junkie. Then I complain about not having enough time to do the things I want to do. Of course, if I spent less time on FaceBook, Twitter and my email, I'd get more done… My friend suggested I close out my email account when I’m working so I don’t get distracted. Ditto with Facebook. Without the constant notifications pinging at me, my work space should be much quieter, and thus make it easier to concentrate to my 3 MITs!
  3. Enjoy nature. I try to get outside every day – especially when it’s nice out. A mid-day quick stroll or a few minutes in my backyard at the end of the day go a long way to restoring my sanity. Since my dog Kolby always knows when it's “time” to go for a walk, he holds me accountable. 😉
  4. Eat More Slowly. Confession time: I am eating my lunch at 3:00pm while I write this blog post. Clearly, this is not conducive to get digestion or getting the most nutrients out of my food. I need to stop doing that.
  5. Connect with family and friends. I’m not talking about Facebook either. I’m talking about one-on-one time when you can actually enjoy each other’s company, sans smart phones.
  6. Make time for yourself. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “But I don’t have time for myself.” Yes, you do. Cut down on Facebook by 10 minutes a day and do something relaxing for you. Have 15 minutes? Take a relaxing soak – even 15 minutes will do wonders for your sanity.
  7. Give yourself more time. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, try to factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks. And, if you're anything like me, you tend to underestimate how long this will take. So this will allow you to feel less harried trying to get things done “on time.”
  8. Take the scenic route. Hate rush hour? Me too. So I drive the ‘long’ scenic way to work. It’s so much more refreshing than sitting in traffic. Occasionally I even see a deer! I also listen to music and dance during my commute – when I get to work I'm already in a good mood!
  9. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. I start each day in prayer. I ask for guidance. I ask for God/Goddess/Universe to guide my thoughts, sight, words, voice, heart, hands, and body. And then, and only then, do I start working. (This also works well when you're dealing with a difficult person!)
  10. Remember your goals and aspirations. It's so easy to get sidetracked by all the little time wasters in life. Those 3 MIPs should be taking you one step closer to your goals. If they're not, they're not MIPs.

How do you take time for you and get off that hamster wheel each day?

Spring is Here!

By | Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

spring

I love Spring! It's my favorite season. Not only are the flowers blooming and the weather warming, but I just feel more vibrant – as though I am coming out of a deep slumber.

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and planting the seeds, physical and metaphorical, you wish to harvest in Summer. But before we do that, we must first get closure over what we learned in Winter.

Winter is the time to go within, to hibernate, to be still. If you're anything like me, the holidays are often wrought with ‘issues' that make you rethink your life. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have these ‘issues' from Winter mucking up my time for growth in Spring. So let's do a little release ceremony, shall we?

Getting Closure on Winter

Take out your journal and answer the following questions:

  • What issues came up for me in the Winter months that I may have not fully dealt with (e.g., holiday conflict, death of a loved one, fight with your significant other)?
  • How has this issue affected my life and the way I see myself?
  • What lessons did I learn about myself having been through these experiences?
  • What am I ready to release (e.g., what do I not want to carry forward into Spring with me)?
  • Is there anything else I feel I need to say or do to get closure on Winter?

Embracing Spring

Here's the fun part! Take out a new piece of paper and answer these questions:

  • What do I want to create in Spring 2015?
  • What do I want to have accomplished by Summer 2015?
  • What do I want to have accomplished by December 2015?
  • What will allow me to accomplish these things?
  • How do I want to feel this Spring?

Intention Setting Ritual:

You have two options here (probably more than two, but this is what came to me for now):

1) Burn the closure list, saying, “I bless you and release you into the light” 3 times.

Then burn the embracing list, saying, “Goddess/God/Great Spirit, I ask for your help in meeting my intentions. Please send to me whatever opportunities will help me meet my goals and please take away that which would distract. I embrace my new way of being (say the last sentence 3 times).”

2) Get two helium balloons – one black and one whatever color you prefer that makes you think of Spring. Tie the closure list to the black balloon and release the balloon (and your list) to the sky, saying, “I bless you and release you into the light” 3 times.

Tie the embracing list to the other balloon and release it, saying, “Goddess/God/Great Spirit, I ask for your help in meeting my intentions. Please send to me whatever opportunities will help me meet my goals and please take away that which would distract. I embrace my new way of being (say the last sentence 3 times).”

If you get stuck at any point, call upon the Goddess Ostara for help.

 

Now go enjoy the first day of Spring!

 

Featured GODDESS: Ostara

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ostara

Ostara

Goddess of the Radiant Dawn

“Spring is here! It’s time to come out from hibernation, release old ties, and celebrate new beginnings.”

 

 

Traits Ostara Embodies:

  • Rebirth
  • Rejuvenation
  • Dawn
  • Fertility
  • Awakening

 

How to call on Ostara:

Although Ostara’s parentage is up for grabs, one thing is clear: with her trusty hare as her sidekick and the egg as her symbol of fertility, the Anglo Saxon goddess Ostara’s traditions were adopted by the Christian church and renamed Easter. After all, everyone loves bunnies and colored eggs, so why mess with a good thing? Regardless, Ostara is the Goddess of the Spring Equinox, when the days are becoming longer than the nights, the light overtakes the dark. This is a perfect time to dust off the cobwebs of winter, come out of hibernation, and set your intentions for what you want to manifest this Spring.

 

Prayer to Ostara:

Ostara, Goddess of the Radiant Dawn,

Queen of Spring,

Bringer of Light,

Hear my Prayers

In this time of awakening,

I call upon you.

I ask for your help with releasing ______ [insert your issue]

So that I may manifest ______ [insert your issue] in the coming months.

In this I pray,

Thank you, Ostara!

 

Tribute to Ostara:

Like Easter traditions? Ostara loves them! Have some deviled eggs, chocolate, and pet a bunny. Ostara will surely smile upon you.

 

Why Are You So Unhappy with the Woman in the Mirror?

By | Body Love, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

sad woman
We’ve been talking for weeks about Facing the Woman in the Mirror. But have you really looked at her?

Recently I was a guest on a TV show called Idaho Living. We were talking about what happens when we go try on swimsuits in front of the dreaded dressing room mirror. True confession: the last time I tried on swimsuits was 4 years ago and I almost had a meltdown when I realized how big of a size I had to buy.

But I guess that’s the reality of living in a size 00 world (Seriously? How can you be a size 0, let alone a size 00?). If you’ve never heard me hop on a soap box, this is it: we keep getting told that we have to attain standards that aren’t even realistic. Even Cindy Crawford recently came out about this and released un-photoshopped photos of herself. Yes, she’s a gorgeous woman. But, guess what? She has a belly, stretch marks, wrinkles. She’s human! Not that you’d ever know that from looking at a magazine cover featuring her – all of those ‘flaws’ have been airbrushed or photoshopped out. (And don’t be fooled to think that men have it any better – just take a look at Men’s Health or GQ).

I am not immune to this pressure. I was a senior in high school when I realized I was fat. My love of desserts started catching up with me (my way of coping with my father moving in with his mistress). My skirts were getting tight, people weren’t telling me I could be a model anymore, and I started hating the woman I saw in the mirror. Then I discovered the gym, and that began a 24-year battle with an eating disorder.

As I’ve recovered from that eating disorder, I’ve realized how important it is to love the skin we’re in. Our bodies are amazing miracles. They allow us to breathe, our hearts to beat, our food to digest, and we don’t even have to think about it. Yet, we criticize the woman in the mirror for not being perfect. Kind of silly when you think about it, huh?

That’s why I decided to devote my academic career as well as my company to fighting this unrealistic standard of ‘perfection,’ of ‘beauty.’ To learning to love that woman in the mirror again. And you can too. It doesn’t have to be this way. Stop the struggle. Learn to love the skin you’re in. Learn to love you

Re-Inventing Yourself: How to Be a Goddess

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When I first started awakening my inner Goddess, I had to figure out what that meant for me. In today's video, I explain just how I started that process. Because I was coming from a place of low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, people pleasing, perfectionism, being a doormat and ruled by my eating disorder, it was a bit like “fake it til you make it” for awhile. So I decided to create my own Goddess – a version of my higher self. And because I had such a hard time envisioning Mary as a Goddess, I even called her a different name: Zerafina.

I hope my Goddess journey inspires you to go on one of your own. 🙂