Busy is for the Bees–Not Me!

It’s been 7 months since I last posted here. My, how time flies by! I haven’t been active here since I dedicated my time to other areas of my life during that time, and I admit that it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been busy!
In fact, I was so busy I kept telling myself and others how busy I was and guess what happened? I just got busier! 
For people that understand the power of our thoughts and feelings, it should come as no surprise that as I practiced the story of being so “busy,” I kept getting busier and busier.  For what we think, feel and speak about becomes our reality. That’s the process of creation and I wasn’t being very deliberate about it in my “busyness.”  
Suffice it to say that while I was working long hours and days and weekends during this time, I wasn’t taking care of me very well. While I was busy as a bee, I wasn’t making time for me.  So then my story became how “exhausted” I was, which led to more exhaustion! 
I reached a point of extreme contrast in this exhaustion that served me well in that I’d had enough. I got so tired of being busy that I made a conscious decision to shift my energy to better feeling thoughts and to make time for me everyday. These are things I know, practice, mentor and coach, but I let my “busyness” preoccupation get in my own way of self-care and self-love. 
So this week I am taking a break from it all to reflect and relax. I’ve been reading Teal Scott’s book, “Sculptor in the Sky” and came across this quote that served as a reaffirmation of how being busy does not serve us. She writes, “You must simply remember that constant busyness will not satisfy you. It is the reason for a good deal of suffering.” 

Intellectually and intuitively I knew this all along: I just got on a roller coaster of focusing on all the “action” of my days and nights and less on the “stillness” of the present moment. I can now reflect and appreciate the busyness for its reminder to make peace with where I am right now. Making peace and appreciating “what is” is an important practice in finding happiness and creating a space of where we want to be.

But the contrast can also be appreciated.  Teal writes,  “If there is no dirt, there is no flower.” I appreciate all those circumstances in my “busyness” that allowed me to experience new things, meet new people, and to clarify my ideal working environment. I am very appreciative of these experiences within my busy days and nights and can truly say that without the bees, there’d be no honey for me!

So let’s leave the “busyness” for the bees (and find time to appreciate that they do it so well), so that we can taste the honey sweetness of life! Find time to be still, relax, breathe, exercise, and appreciate what is happening in your life at this very moment: even if it’s not the sweetest thing right now.  There is always something, someone or some aspect in your current situation to appreciate. It’s a practice that I intend to remember the next time that “busy story” shows up on my bookshelf.

P.S. I started a new space in Google Plus called The Appreciation Station. You’re welcome to stop by and post there, and/or join to read the good vibes of others who post. Relax and rejuvenate in an energy of appreciation and joy!

Get Happy: An Act of Self-Love

I have a nice 3-day weekend from my day job and took advantage of the opportunity to schedule one of my “Giggle Fest & Manifest!” calls during the daytime hours (instead of night). Attendance “live” on the calls has been spotty lately. I guess that people are not seeing the value of laughing on purpose – for no reason other than to get happy.

Today’s call was all about playing with the 22 emotions on Abraham-Hicks’ Emotional Guidance System. While I’ve felt disappointment (#12 on the scale) in the past in not having a consistent attendance on these calls, particularly from the high-vibing community at GoodVibeUniversity, today really felt different. I’m not disappointed at all.  In fact, I feel so good after my call that “disappointment” isn’t even on my radar.
My purpose in doing the scale was to “play” with the emotions we often take so seriously. It was intended as an act of self-love, as making the decision to get happy on purpose is really an act of self-love.
So on the eve of Valentine’s Day in 2012, I’m happy I cared enough about my well-being to honor my commitment to do the call alone by intentionally raising my vibe to one of joy, love, appreciation and empowerment (#1 on the scale). 
How will you love yourself today?
To listen to the recording of this call or past calls, you can find it below.

Making Room for Abundance: Clearing Clutter

For some time now, I have been on a de-cluttering mission. It is part of my personal self-development and my expansion as a creative soul.  I’ve studied the psychology of it and started a private Facebook group about it.  As you can see from this blog and my website, I also came cross a wonderful coach, Sue Rasmussen, and she has really made a difference in my life. (You can learn more about Sue by looking at the “Clearing Clutter” tab at the top of this blog.)

Sue has a monthly “Clear Out” day as part of her Streamline Your Success program. My work schedule rarely allows me time to participate “live,” but I do get the recordings to listen to later and do at my own pace.  So this weekend, I worked on the call from October (now THAT’s a sign I have too much “time clutter!”) October’s focus was on the bathroom, linen closet, master bedroom and guest room.

I knew going into it that I wouldn’t get to the second bedroom, or finish the master bedroom either and that was fine with me. I just needed to get started and I did make significant progress. My energy feels so much lighter now that my bathroom and linen closet have a lot of extra space. I threw away things that absolutely didn’t delight me: expired over-the-counter items were especially pleasing to get rid of. People who know me, know that I rarely use the items anyway.

I’ve now got a basket full of toiletries to give away to people at work. I started that practice a couple of years ago, where I bring in things and quietly put them in a basket on the window sill of the women’s bathroom. People clear that out in a heartbeat!

I’ve also some things packed up to give to charity. With a pick-up scheduled in a few weeks, it will give me a chance to go through more things between now and then.  Although Sue recommends you take the items to your car or to the charity right away on a “Clear Out Day,”  it feels ok with me to take it out of the bedroom and set it out of the way until pick-up day.

“Tolerations” are things you put up with, but that drain your energy. In physical terms, they could be seemingly little things, but that have a huge effect on your psyche. (Examples: missing buttons, lightbulb burnt out, broken items you’ve been meaning to repair, etc.) The things in that charity donation bag were “tolerations” to a certain extent: I had been meaning to either sell them or donate them, but they hung around for months because I never “got around to it.” Knowing that they’re now temporarily occupying another space until a specific date doesn’t feel like a “toleration.” Had I not had the opportunity to live in a place where some charities come to your home for pick-up items, it would turn into a “toleration” as I’d probably never “get around to it.”

With all that clearing of space, my energy is feeling wonderful and open to new possibilities. I’m excited for the changes that are coming and particularly as it relates to my bedroom space.  Perhaps the biggest clearing path for abundant blessings I cleared was my broken bed. I’ve been putting off dealing with it, as I have other places to sleep, but this broken bed had become a HUGE “toleration” for me. And I believe I got to the point with myself where I’d had enough of putting up with it!

You could say I got fed up with it! So yes, I decided this week that I wanted my bedroom back! First, I worked on fixing the bed frame, only to discover that it broke again as soon as I laid down on it! So I dis-assembled the thing and took it to the garbage, while ordering another frame online. It should come this week and I can’t wait to have my bedroom back!

After going through all of these emotions and feelings with the energy that I allowed to leave my home and the new spacious energy that replaced it, I find it interesting that my bedroom was an area where I had a huge toleration going on, given my recent relationship challenges. I know that by clearing the physical clutter and this toleration I am really paying more attention to my own self-care. And in doing so, I’m loving myself and that only means one thing: I attract more love to me!

19,106 EMAILS!

Have you taken a look at your email inbox lately? I have! Yesterday I had 19,106 emails in my GMail account and by the end of the day, I had reduced it to 11,664. While that number left may seem high, I am so excited and relieved to know that I cleared out 7,442 emails, all in one day! It feels really good to clear out a big chunk of that “virtual clutter,” and now I’ve learned some useful tools to continue to clear away the rest.

What does clearing out emails have to do with spirituality and why am I writing about it here on my blog? Isn’t it just an example that I’m disorganized?

A lot has been written about clutter and “getting organized.” There are professional organizers who assist people in clearing and organizing their “stuff.” There are shows on television that help people “get organized.” (The hoarder shows are dealing with deep, psychological issues, so I’m not including them in this list.)  If you look around, you will find many articles and magazines usually giving space to “getting organized” or “decluttering.” So it’s clearly a topic that most can relate to.

Yet when we buy into the idea that we are disorganized and need to “get organized,” we run the risk of not loving ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with becoming more organized, but too often I’ve heard people criticize themselves over their lack of “organization” of their physical clutter. So there’s often a lot of self-hatred going on associated with clutter and the notion that we are “less than perfect” when we don’t know how to “organize” it. So if you’re feeling a sense of “I’m not good enough” (or) “There must be something wrong with me” associated with your need for “organization,” that’s a clue to be easy on yourself and more loving.

So I decided to share my journey with clearing my inbox publicly so that others can see that they are not alone: that there is nothing wrong with them that needs to be “fixed,” and that the clearing process is really an act of self-love. Once you start to feel that shift toward doing this as a way to honor and love yourself,  you can more easily shift and accept tips from “organizers,” too.

One can be “organized” and still have “clutter” in their lives. What physically appears “organized” may actually be draining your energy if you no longer love it, for example. Clutter is not always about our physical “stuff,” either. Clutter can show up in our relationships, our minds, our bodies, in our energy and in our inboxes! I’ve been learning a lot from Sue Rasmussen, a life coach whose motto is “Making Room for What Matters.” As part of her “Clearing Out Day” for July (which is part of a larger 12-month program called Streamline Your Success), we focused on virtual clutter. I chose to work on my Gmail account.

It was my first Clear Out Day, so I was excited. I actually had organized many of my emails into folders and could easily find the topic and the email threads I was searching. Did I have time to read all that came into my email box? – No! Had I spent a lot of time lately not bothering to read most of what came into my email box? -Yes! So these were signs to me that my Gmail account was no longer serving me, I no longer loved it and the entire thing felt “heavy” and “overwhelming” to me, so I knew it was time to clear it out.

While I go to my Gmail account often and knew I had a lot in there, I didn’t realize how “cluttered” it really was until I did this exercise. I felt a bit embarrassed to see 19,106 emails in there (and I wasn’t even using the “archive” function!), but I quickly got over that, because I’m doing this for me: to make room for more joy in my life, to rid myself of background clutter that doesn’t serve me anymore, to clear the energy so that I can allow more love and joy in. In essence, it is part of my personal development journey-part of my journey as The Spirited Strider and totally related to loving myself. In clearing clutter, I can more easily be me.

Since I had so many emails, I decided to go with Sue’s “fast pass method” which is a quick scanning of items and quickly making decisions about them. I wanted to feel better fast, so this worked for me. (I have become quite good at this lately, as I recently cleared out my mother’s storage unit and had limited time to do so.) For the items that I couldn’t make a quick decision about, I utilized Sue’s filing system to label them to peruse later. I quickly realized that I was subscribed to way too many ezines and newsletters so I began by labeling them into a folder that I returned to at the end of the day. At the end of the day, I had 53 items in that folder, and went back to “unsubscribe” to 34 of them already. So that folder is now down to 19 items that I will make decisions on over the course of this week.

Deciding to unsubscribe from newsletters is not always an easy task. I have connections with many of the people, but honestly, I had way too much clutter to actually read their work! So I made a decision to only keep a few: those that I always read at this current time. I attracted Sue and her “Streamline Your Success” program into my life and her newsletter is one I’m keeping! While many of other newsletters I used to read, I had way too many to read them all now. I can always go back and change my mind again. I am of the mindset that if it is beneficial to me, it will come back to me and if I’m inspired again to subscribe to it, I will. Besides, by that time, I may find that my list of “newsletters that I always read” may change. But now I have the tools I need to feel good about my inbox and clear it more regularly so that it doesn’t pile up like it had these past few years.

What was really revealing for me was the amount of emails I had from forums at my favorite online places to hang out: GoodVibeUniversity and Facebook. Most of those emails were notifications from forum threads I had “subscribed” to or from Facebook email notification settings.  I had long ago changed my Facebook settings and this past week or so, I changed the GoodVibeUniversity forum thread subscriptions. What I had NOT done was to go back and delete all those emails, however. Thus, there were many, many emails in there that were easily cleared.

I discovered the easiest way to find these emails was to do two searches using “notification” and “notifications” in the “Search Email” tab on GMail. Hundreds and yes, thousands of emails appeared when I did that! You can quickly scan to be sure there isn’t something you want to keep (as other notifications may appear there that you want to keep), but it was very fast and easy to clear when I realized it half-way through my Clearing Day.

When we clear the clutter around us and within, one can feel the energetic shift. While I felt a bit in shock at the initial site of 19,106  emails, I quickly shifted that to excitement that I was going to feel a whole lot better after this exercise–and feel better I did! I felt like a weight had been lifted and I felt quite inspired to share with others. This process is empowering!

I also found that I was really tired at the end of the day: not only because I was at the computer doing repetitive work, but also because I had cleared a lot of clutter energy that had been weighing me down.  I had made some decisions to rid myself of virtual clutter that I previously I had no time for, yet had been very aware that it was there. So listening to my feelings about my inbox let me know that I needed to feel better about it by clearing some of that clutter out. In essence, that feeling of “I have to get around to reading that” was gone and that was a huge relief and I’m feeling excited to clearing more.

Abraham-Hicks knows the power of reaching for a feeling of relief to feel better. When we reach for a feeling of relief, we are moving up the emotional scale and raising our vibration.  That’s exactly how this process felt to me: each round of Clear Out Day felt like moving up the scale toward more relief, more relief, more relief…and then feeling really good about the day in general.

When we feel better, we attract more things and people that make us feel better.  So while I have 11,664 emails to go, I’m feeling great about 7,442 that are gone and from what I’ve learned from this process. I now have the tools to work on the 11,664 that remain and can’t wait to make room for more excitement and joy in my life!

Please feel free to share your own insights, comments and suggestions for others on this common type of clutter or how you regularly reach for a feeling of relief!

Appreciating What Is and Loving It for Change

So many teachers remind us of the importance of love and being loving if we want to better the world and ourselves.

Here are a few:

“Step number one for changing the entire world, is falling in love with it as it already is. The same is true for changing yourself.”
Mike Dooley

“Be the change you want to see in the world. “

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”  
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How are you seeing the world you’re in right now? And what words do you use to describe yourself in all of it?

If you want more friends, be a friend to someone. If you’re wanting more abundance, start appreciating the abundance that is already in your life and give generously, without expectation of a return. When you operate in a state of love, joy and appreciation, you cannot help but attract more joy and love in your life.

So what kind of change are you seeking to see in the world? What kinds of changes do you want to make in yourself? Find that place in love and joy by appreciating what is (both in the world and in yourself) on a regular basis and you’ll see your life change.

Making Love: A Daily Routine

Making Love: A Daily Routine

Aw, the title got your attention? 🙂 No, this is not a post about making love between two people, but rather a post about loving yourself, which will also improve the love in your life as well. I invite you all to take a look at my latest article, published through Triond at Socyberty.com. I thought it was interesting that they chose to categorize it under “relationships” rather than “spirituality.” But then I realized that the relationship that we have with ourselves is one of the most important relationships we have. When we love ourselves, we are better at loving others as well at receiving love. So I invite you to learn about how I daily make love by reading my article. Just click on the link above to go to Socyberty.com to read it. I hope that it will make you smile and think of ways that you can be making love everyday, too!

Changing My Motto-Where’s the Love for Me?

I’ve been writing on this blog and with this “Spirited Strider” handle for a few years now. It all came about as a result of a process within my own personal development and study of all kinds of materials on the power of prayer, self-help, spirituality, and the law of attraction. Through an inspired idea, I came up with the name of “Team Spirited Striders” for my fundraising group’s name for the first ever Memory Walk I did for Alzheimer’s Association research. A few days later, I created this blog, a mission statement, and a motto for myself as The Spirited Strider. That motto has been “Serving others in love, one step at a time.”

I’ve gotten lots of beautiful feedback from people these years about my service to others and had been generally happy with it. I thought this was my purpose. This blog has been about uplifting others, offering a positive point of view, and often is just silly stuff that I think bring smiles and laughter to people so that they can feel good.

Personally, I’ve gotten quite good at shifting my feelings to better-feeling thoughts and many new and exciting people, places and opportunities have arrived in my life, as I became better at aligning myself with who I truly am. My blog has served me well by making me feel good when writing here.

Yet, despite my growth in my own personal development, I find that I am still challenged by some of the things I want for myself the most. I realize that this is often the case that when we really, really want something we tend to have challenges in getting it because we are so conscious of where we are (now) vs. where we want to be (our intention), so we have a hard time truly “feeling good” about where we are and “acting as if” we’ve already achieved it. In law of attraction talk, it’s called “resistance.”

So I hesitate to spend too much time on the subject because I do believe that you attract what you keep focusing on and feeling. Anyone who sees me can see that I have some extra baggage on my physical body and that is one of the biggest things on my list of intentions that just doesn’t seem to move very fast. But wait–this post is about my motto, not my weight!

Or is it? Serving others in love, one step at a time. Hmmm….I was posed a question or thrown a food for thought (pardon the pun) by a member of Good Vibe University in response to my issues surrounding weight, who asked me if I was serving myself in this equation. What about me?, she wanted to know. Am I loving myself, one step at a time?

Wow, that hit me because I knew my answer was “No, I’m not.” Even though I’ve been a big fan of Louise Hay’s work and practice some of it often, I haven’t been paying attention to the “one step at a time” equation in my motto. I would do mirror work and then later in the day, engage in negative self-talk about my body, or feel terrible when I can hardly pull up my jeans, or feel like I’m so fat when it gets harder to climb stairs quickly…But like I said, I don’t want to focus on all of this too much…

So I know what I need to do and I’m doing it now. The first thing I’m doing is changing my motto! It’s now “Serving in love, one step at a time” and that means anyone and everyone, but especially me!

P.S. I have to give a “shout out” to “Georgeousophie” at Good Vibe University for being the spark that I needed to light the fire within me on this one! Thank you, thank you! (Good Vibe University is a beautiful creation of Good Vibe Coach, Jeannette Maw.)