Love What You Do

On loving what you do:
“I call it the hum. I get this hum in my head where I feel like I could write forever. Like a frequency where you go from exertion to exaltation. There’s just an endless joy for me. Where I feel like I could write for the rest of my life… It’s really lovely, a real, true happiness.”
—Shonda Rhimes 

Do you hear your hum? Are you doing what you love?
We are now midway through the 2nd month of 2020. Goals have been outlined, Vision Boards have been created, Resolutions have been started and some have already been stopped. Where are you on your path to maximizing your potential and doing what you love?

Are you stating your affirmations each and every day – perhaps first thing in the morning, midday, or before you drift off to sleep at night? Are you visualing what you wish to actualize by reflecting on your Vision Board or other medium? Or do you need to make adjustments and refocus? 

Some of my former colleagues over the past 2 weeks have been impacted by the restructuring and layoffs at Macys, Kohl’s and other retailers. They have had to definitely make adjustments to what their goals were for 2020 and do a reroute. Many are rattled, shaken, nervous and very upset with what happened. 9 years ago, I also left Macys. I knew that eventually my position would have to relocate to NY and I did not want to move back east.  Great memories of growing up there, however my life is in CA. Therefore I decided to retire and then embark on new adventures. I was nervous but very excited. Doors opened and opportunities arose that were beyond what I thought possible.  I found my hum again!  You will too.  I encourage you to take time to reflect on what you truly want to do and utilize all resources available to you.

Yes, it will take some time. However stay the course and do the work. As many have commented on Linkedin, there is a whole world out there with unlimited opportunities. And the training and experience you have will be invaluable in your next role.

Set your intention and develop the steps necessary to achieve your desired outcome. Keep the faith, stay focused, committed and motivated. Surround yourself with friends, happy places, inspiring words and nourishing activities. Stay positive and optimistic. And remember to take time for your self care – exercise, eat right, rest, reflect and renew. 

Here’s to finding your hum and Loving what you do!

With Love and Light,
Karen

 

Imagine This…

It all starts with imagining. Years ago while we lived in SF, my husband created a 4×6 card for me.  He wanted it to remind me daily of our desire to live at the beach. The card’s “Imagine This” graphic was from a training seminar I put on years ago. The bluff image was taken off the internet. Every day for 2 years while in SF, I reflected on the image and imagined our life by water, waves, sand and cliffs. I could see it, smell it, taste it, feel it. We both knew it would come to fruition, however exactly where or when was still a work in progress. The Universe knew though! We just had to keep believing and imagining.

Then almost 7 years ago, we found our house and moved to Monarch Beach.  Even though it took 9 months and almost appeared as if it would not happen, It did. Thanks to our great realtor who would take videos of properties and send them to us to review and would be available anytime to go see something that I found on line. We all know how pictures on the internet may not show everything and can distort the truth. She was incredible!

I think I knew every house in the 3 mile radius that we focused on. And based on our great working relationship and how she zeroed in and knew exactly what we wanted,  we were able to jump on a property that popped up unexpectedly. We closed the deal within days on what is now our beach home. It was meant to be! We made an offer without seeing the house in person! Only videos from our realtor. At first the owner was skeptical, however Cathleen convinced him and vouched for us. 

Now back to the picture! As I run along the beach daily, my course takes me right by the bluff you see. One day, I came home from my run and picked up the card that I still had from my husband. I gasped! The picture on the card was our bluff.  The beach is our beach. However the picture that my husband had used was taken from the internet. Since the resolution was not sufficient enough to post here, I replaced it with a photo I took a few years ago after moving here. Trust me though, it is almost the exact same. Except for the houses now along the Strand that were not in the old photo. 

Here we are! Living at the beach and Loving every moment. I strongly believe that visualizing and reflecting on the card daily, moved us to where we are today.

So be careful and mindful of what you focus on, what you think, say, feel and do. It creates your world.

Here is to your imagining……………….

With Light and Love and Gratitude,
Karen

 

Live Life to the Fullest

Seize the day! Go for it! Just do it!
This is your Life! You get to choose how to live it.

This past week has been filled with many emotions – joy, happiness, sadness, grief, excitement, frustration, anxiety, and many more. There was the Grammy’s celebration, the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, the news of Kobe Bryant, daughter and friends killed in a helicopter crash, the impeachment, earthquakes, the Super Bowl hype and more.  We all have experienced the roller coaster week in our own way, and in different ways. It was unsettling and caused many of us, including me, to not feel 100%. One message I kept hearing repeatedly is to Love! Love yourself, Love one another, tell someone you Love them. Be kind and have compassion. For one never knows what someone else is going through and what tomorrow holds.

Appreciate your life. Be grateful for it. Do not take things for granted.
This is a good time to reflect and recommit to truly living your best life. And considering it is now the 2nd month of 2020, review your vision board, your goals, your resolutions and your desires. Make modifications if you need to. That’s okay. We sometimes overcommit and then have to adjust.  I see that a lot with people’s resolutions to daily run or walk along the beach. In the beginning of January, there is usually more people on the trails and sand. Then after 4 weeks, the “regulars” are still out there, but the “newbies” start to dwindle in number. Remember, it usually takes at least 3 weeks to form a new habit. Stay the course.

Another realization for me was to amp up my focus on finding the good, the uplifting story, the inspirational quote. I am deliberate in what I will listen to or read. For what we focus on, becomes our reality. Be aware of what is happening, do what you can, but do not let negative outside circumstances run your life. Keep letting in the sunshine. It may be behind the clouds or fog bank, but it is there!

Here’s to your Fullest Expression of Life!
With Light and Love,
Karen

Beating the Winter Blues

Here we are coming to the end of the first month of the New Year. The weather is colder, the days are shorter and many struggle to maintain a happy, healthy mindset. Is it just post Holiday blues? This time of year, during the cold, dark months of winter, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, sets in for many people. According to Psychology Today, they often suffer symptoms like extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, low motivation and weight gain. The good news is, there are ways to manage symptoms of SAD and depression. Here are a few ways you can battle the winter blues:

Eat Healthy – Take your vitamins
Exercise – Stay active whether in a gym, yoga studio, or outdoors
Surround yourself with good, like minded people 
Check something off your Bucket List
Spend time warming up by the Fireplace or Firepit
Manage your Screen Time – detox from social media
Get Fresh Air and Sunshine – Be outdoors in Nature
Seek Help

The above is quoted from an article in Forbes last year. I was not that aware of it. I was wondering why I was feeling like I was this past week. I was more tired, less energetic, just not my usual self. Although I still managed to run five out of my 6 days, a bit slower but still out there. I felt cold, and bundled up in Uniglo heattech under layers and made sure when out in the fog, had a neck scarf, head band and gloves on. However I must admit, living in SoCal with morning temps this week in the low 40’s and daily highs in the low 60″s – I really had nothing to complain about. Considering that I have lived here more than anywhere else – now over 40 years, I feel the cold dampness and bundle up accordingly. And then I see people in swimsuits, shorts and tank tops running and walking on the beach!  Everyone feels the weather differently. I can not imagine living in colder climates anymore. My husband and I will though venture into the cold when we vacation – like Alaska, Canada, and in the future, Iceland and the Antarctica. But only for a week or 2! We can enjoy the change, experience the wonders of the areas and then return home. I much prefer warmer climates and sun filled days with blue skies, puffy clouds, and a little ocean breeze.

Based on the above article, I realized that weather and climate has a definite impact on all of us. Once we are aware of it, we can take the steps outlined to improve the way we feel. Then, we can continue to enjoy being alive – healthy, happy and whole – feeling grateful and appreciative regardless of the weather outside.

With Light and Love and Overcoming the Winter Blues! Only 54 days till Spring.
Karen

 

 

Celebrating Life

This past week I have experienced both deep sadness and great joy. On Monday, I heard news of my sister in law’s passing and then on Tuesday I celebrated my husband’s 79th birthday. Yes, the cycles of life are inevitable – we are born, we live, our physical bodies then grow old and die, however our spirit remains forever.  Not everyone may believe as I do, and I accept that. I flash back to my youth when my grandmother passed away and I was reading a book on reincarnation.  It made sense. I gave it to my mother to help her in her grief, and she playfully threw the paperback book back to me. It was beyond her comprehension at that time. But it rang true for me.

We all experience Life differently. When faced with cancer 15 years ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would get to the other side. Every day I am grateful and thankful that I get to be here and live Life.

My Love and prayers go out to my brother, his children and grandchildren, other family members and friends. Losing a loved one is not easy. However when one is suffering and not truly living, transitioning can finally bring peace and healing for all. There will be grief, sadness, anger, resentment, loneliness. However there will also be forever the memories and special moments.  People have been posting quotes, pictures and sharing their love.  It warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.

And then to celebrate my husband’s birthday was truly special. So how did we celebrate? We did what we Love to do. We ran for 79 minutes along the beach! We spent the day together – walking, talking, appreciating Life and Love outdoors in nature. Having good health and feeling at peace are the foundation to our Life. We want to continue to share Life together, travel and have fun, being grateful and appreciative for the gift. 

So here’s to my sister in law Judi and my husband Charles. May you both continue to radiate and shine brightly. I celebrate YOU!

With Light and Love and Grateful for Life,
Karen

 

Stay the Course

We are almost 2 weeks into the New Year, and everywhere I look, I see and read about firming up one’s New Years’ resolutions, committing to achieving one’s goals and desires, and taking responsibility to live one’s Best Self. I love it!  Take a wellness cruise, attend a yoga retreat, plan an active vacation of hiking and biking. There is encouragement all around – motivational quotes, podcasts, books, seminars, classes and groups actively engaging in bettering themselves. Fitness and nutrition become 2 of the main focuses, and rightly so. Even with the emphasis on a plant based diet and the importance of exercise, too many people are sick, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. Not eveyone has realized the importance of being and staying healthy. Or perhaps they do not know how to begin. I firmly believe that good health is the foundation for an enriched and joyfilled life. 

I want to live to 105! However only if I can continue to be healthy, strong, flexible, active and involved. I want to continue to run along the beach (or maybe later on walk instead!). I want to remain curious, try new things, travel and spend time together with my husband. I want to continue to eat right, exercise and live in a peaceful, calming, and nurturing environment. Yes, there is chaos, disruption, and tragedies happening. Life is not a perfect linear event. There are highs and lows, peaks and valleys, successes and failures. It is how we deal with them that is key. I try to always come from a place of Love, Gratitude and Appreciation. Not always easy to do, however It is a core belief and guiding principal for me.

How do you want to live? What desires do you want fulfilled? Are you happy with the way things are? Remember, you have a choice! You get to decide what is right for you. 

So if you are one of the millions that have recommitted to being the Best you can be this year, you will need to Stay the Course.  Even when you are tempted to not follow your intentions, breathe a few deep breaths, reread your goals or look at your Vision Board. Let it all in. Feel empowered and enlivened to continue what you know is best for you.

With Light and Love and Commitment to Stay the Course!
Karen

Creating my 2020 Vision Board

 

Even though we are a few days into the New Year, I am still fine tuning my 2020 goals and objectives. I am sure I am not the only one! It takes time to reflect on what has happened last year, identify what is still relevant, and more importantly, include additional, meaningful new goals for this year.

In the past, I have listed 3-5 items in 3 categories to focus on. The categories have been for my personal life, my consulting business, and my writing. Aside from images of my logos, the one pager was just words. This year I have decided to create a Vision Board of pictures that reflect my objectives, my desires, my dreams and intentions instead of the lists.

I want to see the images instead of just the words. It suits me as I am a very visual person.  It matters a great deal to me what my environment looks like, feels like and how it enhances my life. I want to surround myself with a peaceful and calming space in our home, our gardens, our community. I purposely choose my trails when running to always get to the beach so I can run along the waters edge, hear the waves crash and be in nature. When driving, I will take the scenic route even if longer versus being in freeway traffic. 

I post my goals in places that I would see them every day, several times a day. One goes in my closet and one is posted in our reading room/den/writing and creative space. I usually take time to read through aloud each of the items listed by category.  Daily reciting of them is key, however I have not always been as consistent as I would like. (I am making note of that for this year!)  I do find that speaking them aloud impacts me more. I feel them more and it empowers me. As I am still creating my Vision Board, I will probably put a brief description for each of the images so I can continue to say them to myself aloud.

I would love to hear how you are defining and creating your 2020 Goals and in what format it will be. Perhaps a Vision Board, video, song, list or other creative way. You get to decide what it will look like. The important thing is to do it! Solidify your thoughts and create your perfect version of 2020.

Here’s to a fabulous year.
With Light and Love!
Karen

 

 

New Year, New You?

It’s that time to kick off a New Year! A marketing slogan that has been and continues to be used is “New Year New You”! It seems the perfect tag line to inspire and motivate customers to buy the latest and greatest item to recreate themselves.

However as I reflect on the slogan this year, I want to replace the word New to Improved. I do not want a brand new me, I want a better version of me, incorporating some new things to blend with those that are still relevant.

That could pertain to thoughts that we think, feelings that we feel, habits and routines, exercise programs, hobbies, what we read, write and listen to. It could be  the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the people we associate with, the job we do, the places we travel to.  It is all part of who we are. Or who we want to be.

This is the perfect time as we bring in the New Year to Reflect Renew and Refresh. Take the time to sort through what is working and what is not. Make the necessary improvements and adjustments to create your Best Self.

During my career, I learned so much from the amazing mentors that I had of how I wanted to be and also how I never wanted to be. I would incorporate traits and leadership skills that I valued. I practiced those behaviours and put my own spin on them. I was able to build upon what I had already learned to become better at what I could do.

Build on you! Evolve into the improved version of yourself. Make adjustments as you go along. And if you have to make a left turn versus a right turn, then do it. Find your path. Be the Best you ever! Take a little from here, a little from there, mix it up with what and who you currently are, and Voila!!! Be the Masterpiece you have created!

With Light and Love and wishes for a Happy New Year,
Karen

Sharing your Happy Place with Others

After reading last week’s post about Finding your Happy Place, my husband reminded me that sharing your Place with others is a very special experience. Maybe they have the same feeling about your Place or maybe they don’t. However by sharing it with them, they can see, feel, taste, and hear why it is your Happy Place.  Then, they get to identify one for themselves or share theirs with you!  For my husband and I, we share the same Happy Place! It is wonderful to experience it together all the time! 

By sharing your Place, you extend to others the peace, calm, and joy that you feel everytime you are in or even just think about your Happy Place. It stays with you. It can help center you. You can always reflect back on the last time you were there and look forward to the next time you go. Sharing the joy bestows a good feeling to others which is so needed today and at this time of year. Holidays can create stress, anxiety, pressure to do it all, buy it all, and outdo others.  Take a pause and go to your Happy Place. Savor the time you spend there. Invite others to share it with you. You will be creating a memorable experience for your self and others that is beyond any store bought gift. Share your Love and Light. Add a sparkle to someone’s day.

One caution – You cannot force someone to experience your Happy Place if they do not want to. Maybe they are in a state of sadness, anger, resentment, jealousy, hurt, or frustration. Maybe they do not know about the benefit of experiencing a Happy Place. They may not even know what that is or understand it. Their energy is not conducive to enjoying and getting the benefit of your Happy Place. All you can do is make the offer. They need to decide if they want to participate and share in the joy.. And you will know whether to make the offer or not. We are all sensitive to the energy of others. We may not totally understand it, however at some level we gravitate towards those in our energy field. What you give out, does come back to you. So radiate Love, Peace, Harmony and Joy. Be Grateful and Thankful. Appreciate. Not just at this time of year, but every day, always. 

With Light and Love and Joy in Sharing your Happy Place!
Karen

 

Finding your Happy Place

My happy place is at the beach.  I love being able to run along the waters edge, dodging the waves so I don’t get my shoes wet! I love watching the ebb and flow of the tides.  I love the sound of the waves crashing, and I love seeing the seagulls, the adorable snowy plovers scurrying around, the pelicans, the dolphins, the whales and so much more.  I love seeing how happy people and children are when they are at the beach. As long as it isn’t too crowded! And I love that I can enjoy my Happy Place every day.  I can within a few blocks, get on the trail that takes me to the beach and back.  That was a condition when we bought our house. In fact, great running trails close by have always been a determining factor with all our homes. Walk out the door and go!

I have always loved beaches.  I grew up on the East coast and would go by myself especially on cold winter days and just walk and walk. And now, living on the West coast, I get to enjoy the beach all year long.  I am grateful.  It truly is my happy place. I love sunny crisp days, and even rainy, cold foggy ones.  As long as I do not get too wet and can run in comfort. Just remember to dress appropriately for it.

Happy Places are so important to have as your sanctuary to go to when needed. Even if you go there only in your mind, you can still feel it, see it, smell it, and have the benefit of really being there.

Happy Places are good to relieve stress, depression, anxiety, sadness and so many other feelings that can get you down. Always remember that you can find relief by going to your Happy Place. Maybe you have multiple Happy Places.

In the Daily Positive, Bernadette Logue writes that “There is a “Happy Place” for each of us. It is the place we can go, no matter what is happening in our lives, and we find peace there. It’s a reliable safe haven for happiness, the place that allows us to breathe a deep sigh of relief when we arrive and much like comfort food, it warms us from the inside out. Remember – everything in this world, tangible and intangible, is energy.  Every place, space and experience has its own energy. Your happy place gives you that sense of peace because of its energy, and how the energy of that place/situation aligns to your own unique nature and energy signature.

It is true that we can find our inner peace wherever we are, by going within, meditating, being still and present. We can be at peace in the most chaotic of places.  We can create our happy place within our minds and go there in a split second and experience very real physical and emotional benefits by doing so. And yet, that still doesn’t take away from the fact that at certain times it is incredibly refreshing and a gift to yourself to physically go to your happy place and to let yourself be there just because you can.”

So, what is or where is your Happy Place?

With Light and Love and Finding Peace in Your Happy Place,
Karen