Celebration of Life

On Friday, I celebrated 14 years cancer free.  A day does not go by that I do not give thanks for being alive.  I am forever grateful and thankful that I am blessed to continue experiencing Life.  Not everyone does. Every year I continue to send a card to my incredible doctors thanking them for their contribution to my Life – Dr. Lynda Roman, Dr. Stuart Garber, Dr. Grace Bautista.  Without them, I would not be here today.

Why does it take a jolting experience, so often an illness or some type of physical, mental, or emotional condition, to make us realize what a gift Life is?  And when we are given another chance, more time to Live Life, it is the perfect opportunity to review how we live, how we think, how we act, who we engage with, what we do, and don’t do!  Priorities shift.  Preferences are reviewed.  Adjustments made. We reconsider what is really important.

I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle through my choices – right thinking, right eating, exercise, Loving relationship, successful career, good friends. When I was diagnosed, I did not dwell on “Why Me.” (Well, maybe for a very brief moment) I knew deep down that would not help me get through it. I continued to remain positive, committed to Living because I wanted to. And for those that know me, you know I am determined to find the way – fix the problem, find the solution. That is who I am. However, I needed to Reflect, Renew, Refresh!  Just like my journal title so clearly states.

After my successful surgery, I recommitted myself to healthy foods and nutrition, running, yoga, time for me.  I recommitted to spending more time with my husband and enjoying our adventures, experiences and pleasure in each other’s company. I recommitted to balancing work life and personal life. I continued to focus on positivity, optimism, the power of the mind. I watched what I read, what I listened to.  I ensured that our home was a sanctuary of peace and Love.  Every room has reminders of Love, Life, Peace and Harmony with sculptures, paintings, photos of us on our travels, books of our spiritual and Life coaches and so many treasures that bring Joy.

Every day I affirm Life.  Before I even get out of bed in the morning, I recite my affirmations.  Throughout my runs, I give thanks, and before I fall asleep, I give thanks and appreciation for another day to Live my Life.

I encourage you if you are going through a rough time, if you are facing a challenge, affirm what you desire.  Stay positive, stay committed, do what you need to do to bring the right outcome.

Surround yourself in Self Love and Acceptance.  Surround yourself with Joy.  Take the time to Reflect, Renew, Refresh your thinking and being. Embrace your life.  Be appreciative and grateful.

With Love and Life and Gratitude,

Karen

 

 

 

What’s your Pace?

“Pace is the Race!”

I have truly believed that both in my personal and professional life. However sometimes we associate pace with more speed. I realize that there are times when I need to slow down for awhile, other times I need to pick up the pace.

What determines the change? It could be an internal feeling or an external influence.  Do I always take note of it and make the adjustment?  No I do not. However I am learning that for peak performance, it is important to acknowledge the conditions and make the appropriate changes- whether to speed up, slow down, or even be still. And for me, peak performance is not always the fastest or the first.  It is accomplishment set according to my values, priorities, preferences and goals. Mine – not anyone else’s.

Listen!  Take a moment to reflect on what is really happening. How do you feel? How does your body feel?  Are you stressed, enthused, happy, sad, confused, uplifted, motivated or tired? So many variables to look at.  What are the external conditions? Is it cold, hot, humid, dry, windy, sunny, raining, snowing? Is there a traffic jam, a canceled flight, a road closure, rough seas? Or is it clear sailing, great hiking trails, wide beaches, no delays, no red lights? Is it morning, noon or night? How do you adjust to all the conditions around you and inside of you?  You do what is best for you!

Set the pace for you! Do what feels right for you. Of course, take into account everything, then make your decision. For you! For now.

And remember that it will change. And that is okay. Be flexible and adapt accordingly. And Love yourself throughout all the various paces of your Life.

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

Control or Let Go?

We are all faced with how much control is the right amount to achieve our goals.  We are driven to succeed.  We want everything to be perfect.  We oversee every detail to ensure it is so. However, sometimes we need to just “Let Go.” Let the process  continue with our guidance.

Once we have put in the work, we should be able to release and allow for the completion.  Do you? Do I? Sometimes not.  I am continuing to learn that to be truly successful, we need to step back and allow.  Let the project unfold the way it is suppose to. Which is not always the way we thought.  When we realize that, we have an urgent tendency to FIx It. Breathe! Listen! Calm yourself! Detach! The answer will come to you.

And at that point you know that “Letting Go” is key.  I have found that to be Flexible and Flowing, Adaptable and Adjustable, serve me well.  Especially when you really do not control anything. There are situations that come up – totally beyond our control that if we try to “Fix”, we become angry, frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed.

I believe structure, strategies, plans and roadmaps are important as the starting point.  They are tools.  And we have control to make the appropriate revisions, adjustments and tweeks as necessary.  And that is perfectly okay!  In fact it is more okay than following the plan just because it is the plan that has become irrelevant.  So, think things out.  Write them down. But remember, you can delete, erase, change the color, change the size, start over!

You get to choose. That is where your control lies.

With Light and Love,

Karen

Opportunities or Problems?

Let us always remember how powerful our attitude is, and to take a positive attitude into whatever is unfolding.  I consciously choose to use the word opportunity versus problem when they arise.  It is a subtle but powerful method that shifts my thinking.

(From “Take a Moment”  Inspirational Darts to the Heart)

How do you see and interpret apparent problems?

How we view things forms our responses, directs our actions, and determines the outcome.

We need to set the right intention to achieve the right outcome. Things do not just happen.  Somewhere in our consciousness or subconsciousness we had the thinking that determined the result.

We really cannot blame anyone else.  We all do though, don’t we.  Not every time, but sometimes.  It takes practice, commitment, consistency, and determination to accept our responsibility.

Once we do that, all is possible.  We change.  We overcome.  We thrive and prosper.

It is not that we only see the positive, only see the rainbow, only see one side.  We take in all.  However we decide how we want to continue.  By seeing the opportunity in the problem, we create space for new thinking, new solutions, new ways of being and doing.  The haze or fog gets lifted.  We see things that we were unable to see before.  We step out of our comfort zone and experiment.  We are inspired and motivated to “Fix It”.

We know we can do it, even if others do not.  So what? Let them be who they are. Do not let them deter you from succeeding.

You can do it. We all can.  If we but shift our thinking and set our  intention.

Here’s to your seeing the Opportunity in the Problem.

With Light and Love and Endless Opportunities,

Karen

 

Continue Trusting

Several years ago my husband and I were embarking on our move to San Francisco from Pasadena.  Our house sold in record time! (3 days) We were undecided on which area of SF to move to.  I was thinking about the areas around Golden Gate Park and the Outer Sunset neighborhoods. However we really didn’t know.  And I needed to consider my commute downtown.  So we thought we would take out a month to month short term lease on an apartment, search the neighborhoods during my month off between positions, and then move into our perfect right place. Due to limited time, I needed to sign for an executive apartment on Nob Hill sight unseen!!!!!  My only info came off the internet.

To say I was nervous and had reservations puts it mildly. I almost flew up to see the place.  Then I was given a message that sealed the deal.

I was turning in my phone and computer to the company I was retiring from, and while on the phone with the IT gal working through the process, she said to me – Karen, just continue trusting!!!!!

WOW! What a relevant message not only to what we were working on – but to my situation on taking the apartment sight unseen. Of course, one must do their due diligence, research, and fact finding.

And sure enough, sight unseen, we ventured up to our temporary apartment which was wonderful.  From there we were able to daily scout the neighborhoods and decide where would be the best location to settle into life in SF.

The neighborhoods around Gold Gate Park and the Avenues were too foggy and too far of a commute. We loved the Nob Hill, Pacific Heights areas as well as the Presidio and Marina.  We found our perfect place diagonally across from our temp place on Nob Hill!!!!! It was the ideal location, good floorplan, great view, reasonable walking commute to the office. It served us well for the time in SF.

Since that time, when I am faced with indecision, skepticism, or doubt, I hear the words – Continue trusting!

Sound advice for all of us.

With Love and Light,

Karen

 

“Good Job”

We all appreciate being told “Good Job” from a boss, colleague, partner, friend.  It feels good!  It boosts our confidence.  It makes us want to do more, do better, be better.

However at times, even though we know we have done a good job, no “Good Job” acknowledgement comes our way.

How does that make you feel? Do you get upset that they do not see it?  Do you feel underappreciated, less than, angry? Do you want to change jobs, move away, discontinue the friendship or partnership?

Just because you know the importance of encouraging others, showing appreciation to others, and giving feedback, doesn’t mean that everyone does. For whatever reason, some people never learn the importance or the impact that a positive  acknowledgement or compliment makes. Sure, as much as we want praise from others, it does not always happen.

What is most important is to acknowledge ourselves, say “Good Job” when we know that we have done well. Give yourself a pat on the back, a high five, a thumbs up, a “Yes!”.

We need to rely on our own selves to boost our confidence, acknowledge what we have done, be proud of who we are and who we are becoming.

Look inside yourself.  That is where the truth lies.  That is where your biggest admirer and critic is.  And that is who is most important!  How YOU view yourself.  How YOU encourage yourself.  How YOU inspire, motivate, and elevate yourself.

Don’t wait for others to give yourself that much deserved acknowledgement.  Boost your own confidence!  Celebrate you! Hug yourself!  Love yourself!

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

The Art of Communication

Yes, speaking is an art form.  When we speak we have the power to influence, motivate, inspire, assist, comfort, and encourage.  We also through our words and tone, can harm, upset, bully, aggravate, and frighten.

Remember too that the Art of Communication relates to all forms – phone, twitter, facebook, instagram, emails, texts, all messaging vehicles. They all reflect your voice.

We have a choice!
We can decide how we want to speak to ourselves and to others.
Have what you say be in alignment with who you are.

Words are powerful.

I read an article earlier today which reminded me of how to best communicate. It discussed the Buddhist principles of Right Speech. The four elements of right speech means you use words that are true, balanced, necessary, and kind.

How do you interpret them?
Does that mean you never argue, never be loud, never be critical?  I personally do not think so.
Based on the situation, you may have to raise your voice and speak in a more direct, harsher tone than usual.  However what is important is your intention.  You are doing so to “get through” to the other person.  Not to harm them – but to break through the resistance they have to truly hear you. Do what is appropriate for the other party.

I make a practice of being careful with my words and my communications.  Yes – it is a practice.  I want always to be truthful, balanced, communicate what is necessary, and always be kind in my delivery. Do I succeed 100% of the time?  No, I do not. Sometimes I am multitasking and in a rush and could come across as uninterested, short, and not as sensitive as I would like.

So I continue to practice, wanting my words to convey Love, Light, Encouragement, Motivation and Inspiration. That is my voice.  That is my intention.  That is my purpose.

What is your voice?
What is your intention?
What is your purpose?

May you find yours and may you develop your Art of Communication.

With Love and Light,
Karen

Do What you Love!

If you aren’t doing what you Love and Loving what you do,
your power of intention is weakened.
Wayne Dyer
Love what you do!
Sounds easy doesn’t it?
However I have found that too many people do what they do not love.
Why?
They are doing it for their parents.
They feel it is the only profession for them.
Or I hear mostly for the money.
Is that what it is all about?
Think about it.
Of course, money is important and necessary to living a life you desire, deserve, and need.
However how much?  It varies by person.
What is important to reflect on is how you want to earn your money.
What is your purpose?
What is your true passion?
What do you enjoy doing, are good at, and would want to spend time devoting so many hours a day to?
How do you want to imagine, inspire and motivate yourself and others.
It is your Life!  You get to choose!  You get to create it!
Don’t just do it for the money.
Do it for the right intentions – pride, purpose, fulfillment, achievement, doing good.
Do what makes you happy. What brings a smile to your face?
For when you are happy, then you are able to thrive, to succeed, and feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.
Who wants to live in misery? Who really wants to work in an environment they are not suited for just for the money?
Life is too short to not do what you want.
Live in Joy. In peace. In contribution. In sharing what is positive, meaningful, helpful, nourishing and with good intentions.
Love what you do.
Love who you are.
Do not settle for a life being unhappy, doing something just for the money.
Take time to understand where you are and where You want to go.
Wishing you a Life filled with Light and Love, doing what you Love.
Karen

 

Do the Right Thing

I have had incredible mentors and teachers throughout my life.  The above quote continues to resonate with me and influences my daily decisions.

Do what is right!

It sounds simple – however sometimes it is not easy.

  • The right thing could cost more money than budgeted.
  • The right thing could upset someone.
  • The right thing could take longer.
  • The right thing is not what you want to do.
  • The right thing takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • The right thing could mean walking away, leaving behind all you know and all you have.
  • The right thing may look like you are being selfish. (and maybe you are and need to be)

However, the right thing is Always the Right Thing to Do!!!!

  • Face your fear head on.
  • Don’t listen to others.
  • Do what you know, what you feel, and what your gut is telling you.
  • You are coming from your true and authentic self.
  • Listen to the little voice within you, guiding you in the right direction.

So when you are faced with making a decision and you are not sure which way to go:

  • Breathe deep.
  • Calm yourself.
  • Take a few minutes to go within.
  • Then Ask yourself – What is the right thing to do?

You cannot control how others will react. However, know that when you stand for what you truly believe in, and for what is right, it will all be okay.

  • Hold your ground.
  • Be strong.
  • Your intention is pure.
  • Be proud of your conviction to move forward.
  • Do the Right Thing!

With Love and Light,

Karen

 

“I Dwell in Possibility.” Emily Dickinson

HIking up to the cliffside Tigers Nest, Bhutan (10,000+feet)

I admit it.  I look at things from the perspective of “Yes, I can.”
Have I always been like that?  For most of my life I believe yes I have.
I was born 6 weeks premature and weighed a little over 4 pounds.  I guess I just couldn’t wait to come into this world! I feel that arriving early has instilled in me:

  • Persistence
  • A will to thrive
  • Sensitivity
  • Compassion
  • Gratefulness
  • Curiosity
  • Independence
  • Self Reliance
  • A go for it attitude
  • Excited for all the possibilities

Aside from some articles that speak to less than optimum character traits that could stem from being premature, I am thankful to be who I am.

Regardless of whether you were born premature or full term – You can choose how you think, feel and live your life.

Everyday we have the ability to shift our thinking, choose our thoughts, and create our lives.

We decide whether to be happy or sad, positive or negative, optimistic or pessimistic, thankful or resentful, being accountable or blaming others.

Of course, life happens and situations and conditions appear that we have to deal with. It is our attitude, our approach, the course of action we decide upon, that create how we get through to the other side.

And we will get through.

I have found that self-talk is key.

  • How do you talk to yourself?
  • Are you encouraging, inspiring, uplifting and motivating?
  • Or are you condemning your behavior, scolding yourself with the should haves, calling yourself negative names?

Take a few minutes to reflect on your self talk.  By shifting what you say you will dramatically change.

It is all up to you. Dwell in possibility or dwell in impossibility.  Your choice!

As Audrey Hepburn said: Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible!”

To a Life filled with Possibilities!

With Light and Love,

Karen