Creating Memories

Happy Holidays Everyone!
At this time of year, whether you are gathered with friends and family, or by yourself,what kind of memories are you creating?
What experiences are you having that will remain with you forever? What sights, sounds, and scents are you seeing, hearing, and smelling? What are you doing to positively impact your life and the lives of others?

The Holidays are a time to reflect on the past, enjoy and be in the present, and make memories for the future.

Here are some of my memories being made:

  • I am enjoying running into friends during my daily runs along the beach and wishing each other well.
  • Seeing the Xmas lights at the harbor and watching the children look at them in awe – (me too)
  • Spending time in the afternoon enjoying Holiday coffee (coffee + liqueur) with my husband – listening to Xmas music with the scent of candles burning throughout the house.
  • Finding joy and happiness in talking about origins of our decorations- the homemade sequined and beaded ornaments that my Mom made so many years ago, the needlepoint ornaments that I made while single and living in the desert, the Baccarat crystal angel from my former regionals (they knew me so well), the many gift ornaments from customers, vendors, colleagues, friends. The many Reindeer, Nutcrackers, Santa’s, Stockings, and so much more acquired over the years from various venues.  So many wonderful stories behind the decorations. Some ornaments even go back to my early years at I. Magnin!
  • Enjoying dinner or lunch with special friends.
  • Thinking of where our travels will take us next year – fondly remembering our last Xmas in Alaska, our Thanksgiving this year in Bhutan
  • Sending off Xmas cards commemorating our travels this year to family and friends and wishing everyone Joy Love and Peace.. 
  • Receiving Xmas cards from friends and family near and far in varying formats – cards, emails, texts, voice messages, social media.
  • Seeing and enjoying the festivities and decorations at local resorts, especially the Gingerbread display at the Ritz Carlton.
  • Taking the time to watch the gorgeous sunsets unfold before our eyes.
  • Hearing the waves crash during high surf warnings, especially early morning and late evening.

All incredible times making special memories. The joy, love, peace and good will of the season permeates through everything.

Try to keep that feeling alive and within you even when shopping at the busy mall, ordering that last minute gift on line, grocery shopping, driving in traffic, rushing to catch that plane.

Remember the memories being made. Relish the experiences. Cherish the moments.

May LOVE + LIGHT + HARMONY + PEACE + JOY + COMPASSION surround you.

Enjoy this Holiday season and make yours special in whatever fashion you choose, creating new memories forever.

With Light and Love,

Karen

Joy Love Peace

Our Holiday card this year reflects our feelings and emotions which have been heightened  by our recent adventure in Bhutan.

We were transported back in time to experience cultures and traditions, see sights and hear sounds totally different than ours.
We did not have cell service (by choice) and only used WiFi for a limited time at the hotels to check on things.
Our days were spent hiking to monasteries, temples, dzongs (fortresses), farmers markets, villages, Buddhist Universities and more. The people, culture, spirit and beauty of the land is ever present and felt so good! Everywhere you see prayer flags and prayer wheels that we would turn to send off blessings to all.

We had to adjust to the altitude variances from low of approx 2500 feet up to 9300 feet with the ascent to Tigers Nest. (Our commitment to healthy living, especially daily running and hiking at home, definitely helped us).

We hiked slowly, climbing over rocks and uneven terrain, watching where and how we placed our boots.
Our guide whistled while we followed his lead.
Sometimes conversation, sometimes not.
We were surrounded in Peace, Harmony and Beauty.

Life appeared to be simple. Of course in the capital city of Thimpu is was more built up. However you are always close to nature, green forests, mountains, rivers and streams.

As we walked through the monasteries, we heard the monks chanting prayers and performing their rituals.

Joy Love Peace

My husband and I continue to feel the presence of Bhutan within us and surrounding us.
Even with the pace and festivities of the Holidays, we remain calm and spend more time enjoying living at the beach, the beauty of the ocean, the waves crashing, the sunsets.

We are blessed and thankful.

May this Holiday season also bring you Joy Love and Peace for now and always.

With Light and Love,
Karen

Is More Really Better?

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During this Holiday season, one of the to do’s – is to shop, shop, shop for perfect gifts.
It should be a fun, happy experience.

However so many feel stressed with the number of gifts to buy for each person on their list, and how much money it will cost.
And the email, social media, and marketing messages keep coming and coming! Hurry Hurry! 2 Days only!  For a Limited time!  20% off everything!  50% off today only!  Just for You!
Just Click Click Click.  Never been easier to buy and keep buying. So we do.

However, is More really Better?

A personalized, thoughtful and meaningful gift touches the receiver in so many ways.
They feel the love and know it came from your heart.

Sometimes just a card will do.
So many beautiful, well written ones are on the market – and you can also make your own.
The choices are endless.

Give thought to your shopping list. Don’t just do it because you always have.
A carefully selected gift – and not one that needs to be expensive – can bring so much joy and create memories.

If you are a great baker, give a gift of your specialties.
If you are into crafts, make a special ornament.
If you are a writer, gift your books.
Find out what a person’s interests are.
If someone loves beauty products, you can find that perfect lipstick shade or eyeshadow palette.
If they like fragrances, gift them with a new scent.
If you love being with friends and family, host a party or get together.
Make a donation to your favorite charity or cause.

As I was decorating our home, and carefully unwrapping the ornaments, I cherished and smiled at every one of the decorations.  Incredible memories of places, people, and underlying it all – LOVE. I felt it.  It surrounded me.  So beautiful.  With holiday music in the background, the scents of pine and fir throughout the house, the twinkling of lights – all so magical.

That is the true meaning of the holidays.  Share Love, Be Kind, Show Compassion, Be at Peace, Find your Joy, Help Others in Need.

Embrace the Season with all the festivities.
And remember to Enjoy.  Reduce your stress.  More is not Better.

With Love and Light,
Karen

Turbulence

turbulence

Unsteady movement, conflict, confusion.

On a recent flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, the pilot announced before departing that we would make record time with the tail winds, however we would also experience more turbulence!  And yes, he was so right.

The Good with the Bad
Ying and Yang
Black and White
Sour and Sweet
Cold and Hot
Left and Right

Opposites do co-exist and at times join together.

I chanted and prayed quite a bit during that 12 hour flight in which we did experience long lasting turbulence.  I realized that in our day to day life, we also experience similar turbulence.
It could appear as emotional or physical discomfort.
It could be something visually scary or unpleasant.
It could be barking dogs, noise from trees being cut down, thunder, wind, cars honking, sirens blaring.

So many outside influences that can disturb us.

However I have found that all these things are part of living.
It is how I choose to handle them, react to them, that make the difference in my state of being.

So as I chanted and prayed through the flight turbulence, I promised myself that I would use similar techniques when dealing with the turbulence in life.

Take a moment to breathe. Acknowledge what is happening. Make the decision of how to handle it that will keep you the most calm.

As we are in the Holiday Season with all its festivities, joy, love, harmony and celebration, Remember that we could also feel confused, lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, and pressured.

Take a moment to step back.  Reassess the situation.  Write down your plan of action.  Ask for help.  Delegate.  Say “NO”.

You can handle it.

It may be a bit rocky at times, but you will get to the other side.
The turbulence is only temporary.

With Love, Peace, Harmony and Joy,
Karen

Holiday Happiness

Holiday-Happiness

‘Tis the Season!     For what you ask?
It is usually said…
To be Jolly
To be Happy
To be Merry and Bright
To buy, buy, buy presents
To decorate, decorate, decorate
To eat and drink and then eat and drink some more
Sometimes though it is…
To be stressed
To be overwhelmed
To be tired
To be depressed
To be lonely
What if we focus on…
To be Thankful
To be at Peace
To take the time to Recharge
To go out in Nature
To show Gratitude
To be Appreciative of the Magic of the Season
So in this Holiday Season, remember to find your balance.
Go out and enjoy all the festivities, acknowledge when you do not feel up to it, and refresh by tuning into yourself, finding comfort and happiness in the quiet.
Happy Holidays,
With Light and Love,

Karen

 

Giving Thanks

roseparadeveges

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
At this time of year, we celebrate. We give thanks for all our blessings and in remembrance of and gratitude for the Pilgrims first harvest in the New World in 1621.
We all celebrate in different ways, however family, friends, food, and gratitude seem to be consistent with everyone.
However, this year seems more challenging, especially with recent events.
The impact of the fires here in California and the recent shootings, have devastated communities and families. What is beautiful is hearing how everyone is coming together to help in whatever way they can. People are putting their differences aside to assist and be neighborly, showing compassion, empathy and support.
Why does it take tragedy to bring out the best in people?
We are all one.
What happens affects everyone.
The destruction of complete communities will take years to repair.  Can one really go back? Some find it healing to rebuild, others will move on.
We all deal with Life in our own way.  There is no Right way- it is Your way.
Do what is best for you.
Follow your truth. Listen to your heart.
Do what you can to help others. A Smile and Hello go a long way.
And at this time of year, give Thanks.  Do not take anything for granted.  In an instant, it could all change. Give thanks for being alive, for your health, abundance and inner peace.
I continue giving Thanks everyday for my life and for being a cancer survivor and thriver.
I start my morning, before getting out of bed, with my affirmations, being thankful and appreciative.
I am grateful to awaken to a brand new day and I intend on making the most of it.
And at night, I give thanks and appreciation for the day, for my continued good health and well being.
So, however you celebrate this Thanksgiving, remember to send healing blessings to all and give thanks for this gift of Life.
With Light and Love,
Karen

My Closet Discoveries

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Every few months I take the time to go through my wardrobe and edit items out.  I have to admit it is not easy for me. I have had great success and fun in mixing and matching clothes from years ago with new finds that work beautifully! However since semi retiring, I have found that some items I just do not need anymore. I also found that either I shrunk or the clothes got bigger! Maybe a combination of the two.  So off to the tailor to take some things in if possible.  As for the rest ………. time to clear out and donate!

How many black jackets and pants do I need? True, black was a staple and sometimes a required color in a business setting.  So I needed options.  Now, with a simpler life style and more casual dress, I can let some of them go.

White T shirts – some not so white anymore! Bye Bye.

Tie dye and bright colored tunics for over leggings – adorable and great – however have not worn in years!  I tried them on and even though the outfit was cute, it wasn’t me anymore. I realized that my preferences at 65 are different than when I was in my 40’s.  I contemplated repurposing some into bathing suit cover ups – I was trying my best to hold onto them. What a conversation! End result – Toss!

Since I like to protect my clothes, some are hanging in garment bags – of which are not see through. So I forgot what was in them!  I found some real treasures that I will now wear.  It was like going shopping!

I have to admit though that I even found 2 items with the store tags still on them!!!! How many years have I had them hanging in my closet(s)? About 3 moves ago!!!! WOW!

What else have I been holding onto that no longer serves me? True, most of the clothes are in good condition.  Since I prefer quality and unique designs – not fast fashion, clothes are able to go from season to season, year to year. However if I am not using them, someone else could.

In addition to letting go of clothes, I thought about what else I was holding onto that no longer was necessary.

Lots to think about.  Cleaning out my closet helped me to clean out old thinking, reaffirm my desires, objectives and dreams.

I realized that taking this time to clean, refresh and adjust was important on so many levels.

If you have not done so recently – I encourage you to clean out your closet.  Or your drawer. You will have fun, learn a lot, and feel so good afterwards.

With Love and Light,

Karen

 

 

 

Vibrations

vibrations

As we set our clocks back 1 hour on Sunday or before bed on Saturday evening, I forgot about how the adjustment would impact me.  True, I was looking forward to earlier sunrises and morning light.  However, not so excited about the earlier sunsets and onset of darkness in the evening.

I definitely noticed the shift in my energy and vibrations and the vibrations around me in just a few days.  I woke up earlier, excited to observe the morning light.  I wanted to get out earlier and feel the days warmth radiate through my body and soul.

We are all connected!  We pick up on the energy and vibes of people, places, things and activities. Notice next time how you feel when you are around negative, grumpy, rude people.  Then notice how you feel when around positive, peaceful, inspiring people.  Big difference, right?

Then notice how you feel when you are stuck in traffic, hurrying to catch a plane, late for an appointment, caught up in a frenzy.

Far different from when you are running along the beach, taking a walk in the forest, cooking, meditating, listening to soothing music.

You are feeling and responding to the vibrations around you.  Choose wisely.  Gravitate towards people and places that energize and uplift you.  That is why my husband and I live at the beach! It is our energy field that best resonates with who we are and how we want to live our life.  Even if you are unable to make it a reality for you now, dream and visualize it and believe that it will come to fruition.

And when you are in a circumstance where the vibration is not comfortable, remove yourself from it, or at least protect yourself by surrounding your aura in light and love.  I call it my invisible shield.  It protects me so I am not negatively impacted by what is happening around me.  My shield though, is flexible enough to allow me to remain sensitive and compassionate in my dealings. My shield has helped me through many situations through out my life, and I have recommendated it to many colleagues.

Reflect on your vibration and energy field.  Identify what works best for you.  Develop your strategy to make it your reality.

With Light and Love and Healthy Vibrations,

Karen

 

 

 

I can because I do!

DOIT_Logo_RGB_without_anything-300x249

In reading an article recently about aging joyfully, I came across this quote:

“I can because I do”.  

I was struck by it as we usually say it in reverse – I do because I can.

However Take a Moment to reflect on this powerful statement:  I can because I do!

Last week, I wrote about riding a bicycle and the importance of moving forward to stay balanced and upright.  You continue pedaling and with each rotation are moving and doing. We go from bicycles with training wheels, to 2 wheels, and for some 1 wheel! We practice, practice and practice some more. And finally – we stay up. I can because I do.

What does it mean to be doing? It refers to the activities in which a person engages, putting forth effort.

Synonyms are: performing, carrying out, accomplishing, achieving, implementing, completing.

So what are you doing?

I have always been an advocate for exercise and activity as components of a healthy and joy filled life.  It doesn’t matter what the sport, whether you are competitive or just  a casual for yourself participant.  The important thing is to participate.  Do not just sit on the sidelines watching others do it.  Of course, one can be inspired by the achievements of others.  Use what you observe in others as the motivator to find your own exercise passion.  Whether it is dancing, yoga, running, walking, cycling, skiing, surfing, triathlons, football, baseball, hockey, golf, swimming – there are so many activities to choose from. You can go solo, or find a team sport, find a gym, sign up for a class, watch a video.  So many options and available resources at all price points – even FREE!

Once you begin, the magic happens.  You may feel awkward at first, get a few sore muscles, feel like everyone is staring at you.  So what!  Keep at it, have some fun and LIVE LIFE.

Find what interests you and like Nike says in their tag line – Just Do It!!!!

And just like from “The Little Engine That Could (an American fairytale existing in the form of several illustrated children’s books and movies) – the phrase “I think I can”, for me has converted into “Yes I can”!!!

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

 

 

Riding a Bicycle

bicycleriding

I came across this quote in a Daily Wisdom email from Darren Main, a Yoga and Meditation Instructor and Author.
I had the pleasure of taking his weekly yoga class while living in San Francisco a few years ago.  The venue was incredible – Grace Cathedral!  I loved how the sun setting light illuminated the stained glass windows.  We practiced in the labyrinth surrounded by statues, candles, music and devoted yogis. A very special experience and a memory I will have with me forever.
 
Now onto the quote!  At first you make think that to keep your balance, one must be still.  However it is just the opposite.  When riding the bicycle, one must be engaged, focused on pedaling forward and steering to stay upright. Similar to balancing poses in yoga – concentration is necessary as well as engaging your muscles to remain in the pose and also relaxing into it. Focus and Breathe!
 
Cycling has been a joy throughout my life.  Even though we have not been as active on our bikes recently, preferring hikes and runs, both my husband and I have had many adventures on 2 wheels.
 
From neighborhood rides through Pasadena, the 50 mile annual Ensenada to Rosarita ride in Mexico, our many week long rides with Backroads throughout Utah’s National Parks, the Canadian Rockies, the San Juan Islands, and many many more.  A great way to not only get exercise, but to see the world. 
 
To start every ride, we have to get up on the seat and pedal!  Shift gears as necessary whether going up hills or down, stop for lights, cars, pedestrians, and identify the best path to take to get us to our destination. And try to look around and take in the beauty.  Just remember to pull over when you want to take a picture!
 
In life, we also have to get up and go – instead of pedaling we use our 2 feet.  We pick up or decrease the pace based on the circumstances around.  Are we rushing to catch the train, be on time for work, meeting a lunch date, or just enjoying a leisurely stroll.  Sometimes detours along the way bring us more interesting experiences and new adventures.
Sometimes we fall or get a bruise, but with determination and commitment, we get right back up. 
We know that to succeed we keep going, keep moving, just like on the bicycle.
 
Enjoy your ride and keep moving!
 
With Love and Light,
Karen