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

 

 

Uncovering Roadblocks to Progress

 

Lessons are everywhere!
Yesterday, I went to trade in my iPad for a newer version. Since I had not backed up to the iCloud in quite some time, I was advised to do so and then go back and complete the transaction. That way, the data transfer would be easy and take less time.

Sounded simple…….until I got home to actually do the backup. I spent hours trying to figure out why the backup feature was greyed out and not working.  I was up past midnight trying all the steps that could resolve the issue to no success.  Then this morning, I called Apple support and spent another hour with 2 techs and a supervisor to fix the issue. I had been able to backup via iTunes to my computer, however wanted to backup to iCloud to enable a smooth transfer of info during my trade in.  Finally Success! The issue had been 2 profiles on my account that were preventing the backup to iCloud.  I did not even know they were there. They dated back to when I set up a work email through my former employer more than 6 years ago. Once I deleted the profiles, and restarted my iPad, the backup process worked. 

What other things are there under the surface that we are not aware of that could potentially do us harm? What physical or mental roadblock causes us to make a detour or completely turn around? I realized that I needed to check myself on why I do certain things, think certain thoughts, and behave in certain ways.  Was it because I wanted to or was it a condition that was run by something from my past?  What habits, patterns, thoughts, feelings, and routines are from previous conditionings that prevent us from moving forward and that no longer serve our best interests? 

Identifying those conditions is not a one time procedure.  For me, I need to routinely look at them and make sure they are still relevant and worthy of my attention.

Just like cleaning out a closet – of which I have on my list of To Do’s. We change, our cirumstances change, our lives change. With that comes reassessment of values, ethics, priorities, wants, needs and desires. 

Take the time to uncover the roadblocks that could prevent your progress and your fullest enjoyment of life. I truly believe that things happen for a reason. Lessons are all around us if we let them in.

With Light and Love and Clearing out what is no longer needed,  
Karen

Being Thankful – not just on Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
Being Thankful though, is not just a one day celebration. Although showing appreciation and gratitude on Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition, the feeling of being thankful can happen every day. True, the holiday does bring family and friends together to share in the bounty of food, fun, and festivity.  However for many, it signifies the start of the buying frenzy.  For others, it creates feelings of loneliness, sadness, and hardship.  So many different stories.  So many different experiences. 

Since 2015, REI, the outdoor coop that offers top-quality gear, apparel, expert advice, and rental equipment chooses to close all their stores on Black Friday. They give all their employees a day off to #OptOutside with family and friends on the busiest retail day of the year. They believe in putting purpose before profits. They encourage their employees and all of us to get outside, get active, take actions to reduce their impact on the environment, and leave the world better than they found it.

I love that!  Having been a retailer for almost my entire career, I know how important this time of year is.  I also know the stress it can create.  The shoulds take over. The guilt comes into play.  The desire to out do others is at an all time high. The pace, the commitments, the spending, the parties, the not enough time feelings cause burnout, fatigue, illness and frustration.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Remember, you get to choose.  You get to set your boundaries.  You decide what is important to you, what you want to commit to doing.  

So let’s kick off this season by continuing to feel thankful and appreciative. However let’s do it everyday.  Step back from the frenzy and enjoy the moments of silence. Take a walk and enjoy nature whether it is cold and snowy, rainy, or sunny and warm.  Whether you are at the mountains, in the city, country, or by the ocean, enjoy being one with the world.  Volunteer, help others, donate items for the needy, smile and say hello to those you see.  Make a difference. Be grateful. Life is truly a gift. 

I continue to give thanks each and every day for being alive, being healthy, being happy, being at peace with where I am at this stage of my life.  Sure I have moments of doubt, however I have learned to challenge those thoughts and quickly override them with an affirmative and more positive statement. And to reconfirm how blessed I am. How thankful I am. How appreciative I am for this, My Life! I never want to take it for granted. You may want to consider starting each day, or during the day, or at night to end the day, acknowledging what you are thankful for. What you are grateful for. For in each moment of our lives, there is something that is worthy of giving our thanks.

With Light and Love and Thankfulness every day,
Karen

 

Traditions – Have to or Want to?

 

Traditions play an important part during the holiday season that is upon us.  However I recommend we all take time to review our existing list of traditions. Let us ensure they are relevant to who we are today.  And most importantly, do you really want to continue them?

How often do we do things just because we have in the past? Are the traditions a have to? A should do? or a want to?

Change is the only constant in our lives. It is okay to make modifications to what and how we do things.  It is okay to discuss with family and friends your feelings and your desires.  Why do we hesitate?  Are we afraid of what others will say? Will we upset someone? The most important person to consider is yourself!  Be true to you. Be honest in evaluating what works and what doesn’t. Make your traditions this year more meaningful to who you are today.  

1 –  list out the current traditions.
2 –  prioritize them from the most meaningful and worth doing to the least favored.
3 –  identify some new traditions that you would like to begin.
4 –  create your new list of want to do holiday traditions.
5 –  schedule a get together to share your ideas with family and friends.
6 –  Agree on what traditions go forward, what gets added, and what no longer serves you. And remember that some of what you want to do others may not agree to. And that is okay.  Do those then by yourself. If it is important and meaningful to you – then definitely enjoy them and make them your very own.

I wish you and yours a Wonderfilled Holiday Season, making new memories and enjoying the old and new traditions.

With Light and Love and Memorable Traditions,
Karen 

 

Pressing Pause

 

We live in a super charged, fast paced world today.  Even when we simplify our lives and seek calm and quiet and harmony, the energy around us can easily disturb our peace. So what is one to do?

Press Pause! Hit the snooze alarm for another 10 minutes! Take 5!

“I can’t” you say! So much to do and not enough hours to do it all in.  Really? Or is that just what your mind is telling you or what you keep hearing from everyone else?

We are all connected.  On a subconscious level we internalize not only what we are going through, but also what others are experiencing.  And on some level, that impacts our thinking and our decisions on how we view life and how we live life,.

We get to choose.  It is okay to press Pause and take time for you to Reflect, Renew and Refresh. In fact it is a critical component of well being.  First,  know that it is okay to take a time out.  Second, actually take it.  What works for you may be different than what works for me.  However the result we are seeking is the same.

In a Thrive Global article today,  Arianna Huffington commended Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce for incorporating mindfulness zones on every floor of their new SF Tower. To quote Marc, “employees can retreat to the mindfulness zone any time they need to press Pause.” He is a firm believer of the positive impact mindfullness and meditation have; how they can inspire and rejuvenate you.

I encourage you to press Pause! Take a moment for you! Recharge your being!
You will invigorate and nourish yourself to easily navigate through all the twists, turns, detours, noise, pace, and craziness around.

With Light and Love and a Moment for you!
Karen