National Day of Unplugging

What a great idea! Sign me up!

On the first Friday in March, National Day of Unplugging kicks off a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.

The Day of Unplugging was created by Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish community that was originally established in 2003. It is now under the leadership of the Unplug Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that supports educators, leaders and organizers who want to see their communities elevate human connection over digital engagement.

According to Pew Research, the typical American family contains approximately 5 connected devices. Media, friends, entertainment, education, work, and more are all at our fingertips. The amount of information available to us is at an all-time high and the amount of connectedness goes with us everywhere. And during this past year and into the first 2 months of 2021, we all have relied on technology so much more. Disconnecting or unplugging from our devices offers us an opportunity to reset. To destress. To simplify, renew and refresh ourselves. 

Can I really tune out for 24 hours? I say, yes you can! Yes, it is a scary thought for some. We rely so much on our devices. However, we all can benefit from detaching.

Allow me to share an experience I had when I was forced to unplug. It was March 6, 1992. I remember it all too well. The Michelangelo virus totally erased my work computer data upon booting up in the morning. The virus, named after the famous renaissance painter who shared the same March 6th birth date, was a pre-internet era, first ever public malware scare in history. This was before I had the opportunity to back up all my files. Everything was gone! I felt it was a sign. I went for some fresh air, thought about what happened, and felt I needed to resign from my position. I felt lost, disconnected, and I feared I would not recover. My chairman at the time, who remained calm, recommended that I take some time off, reconsider and advise him what I needed to rebuild everything. And that is exactly what I did. With a strategy and game plan and the people that could assist in rebuilding my world, we were able to recover. We also put in security Best Practices company wide to avoid any future issues. (For I later learned, my system was not the only one impacted)!

That experience profoundly impacted my relationship with technology. Yes, we depend on it. However we need to not become totally reliant 24/7. There is more to life and living.

Practicing self care and detaching is important for me, for you, for everyone. Therefore, I am marking my calendar to unplug from sundown on Friday, March 5 through Saturday, March 6th.

I will spend the time Friday evening practicing yoga, doing some reading and getting a great nights sleep. On Saturday, my husband and I will hike and run and enjoy the outdoors, especially time on our beloved beaches and trails.  Perhaps some gardening is in order too. The options are endless. Clean a closet, rearrange your cabinets, clean out what no longer serves you. Go hiking, cycling, have a picnic, walk the dog. Smile (through your mask) and make eye contact with those you encounter. Say hello.

So as you consider unplugging March 5-6, sundown to sundown, put it into perspective. It is only for a day. One day that will give you so much more.

Trust me.

With Light and Love and to an inspiring, enlivening and enriching Day of Unplugging!

Karen

 

Life is a WOW!

Every morning my husband and I share coffee and talk. We discuss what is on our mind, how we slept, any dreams, what is planned for the day, how we are feeling, and most importantily, what we are choosing.

As we reflect on the state of the world, everyday we conclude that we are in a state of momentous change and transformation. Every aspect of Life as we knew it is rearranging, revising, being renewed. We are adapting and adjusting, being flexible and flowing with what at times appears as chaos. It seems that for the past year, a day does not end without one of us or both of us saying, ( like my husband did this morning as he was walking up the stairs),  “Life is a WOW!”

It truly is. According to the dictionary, WOW is used to express strong feeling (such as pleasure or surprise). It can mean a striking success. It is used to excite one to enthusiastic admiration or approval. And although most of the time, WOW pertains to a positive, it can also reference something negative or shocking, like Covid 19, climate change, racial injustice, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

The key here is realizing that every moment of being alive has the potential to be a WOW! A Life Lesson and Learning experience.
Consider some of the following WOW”S from recent news headlines as well as from daily Life observances:

  • As Texas emerges from a deadly deep freeze, some people are getting power bills as high as $7,000.
  • Tesla bitcoin gambit already made $1 billion, more than 2020 profit from car sales. (Note: at last check, a single bitcoin traded near a record at $54,827)!
  •  U.S. nears 500,000 Covid-19 deaths.
  • After an awe-inspiring landing, NASA’s newest Mars rover is checking out its forever home and beaming back stunning photos from the red planet.
  • Lancôme (the beauty brand) is now presenting a full-scale simulation of physical experiences as a part of its e-commerce. It will allow customers to interact with goods and customer service represen­tatives. They have been using ByondXR’s platform to create true-to-life immersive pop-up experiences for Lancôme consumers around the world.
  • 25% of US malls are projected to close within the next five years.
  • The doves are back in our garden, on our roof, signifying peace and love.
  • The recent high tides closed off some beach access like never before.
  • Our pink jasmine is abundantly blooming earlier than usual.
  • California housing market momentum continues in 2021.  Existing, single-family home sales totaled 484,730 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate,  up 22.5 percent from January 2020.
  • Awards season arrived a little later this year, but with the upcoming Golden Globes, it’s officially in full swing. The show, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now set to take place live on Sunday, Feb. 28, with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
  • Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO and taking on the role of executive chairman of Amazon’s executive board. He intends to stay engaged while devoting more time to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post and other passion projects.

We all have WOW moments that are of significance to us. Take the time to see them, experience them, learn from them and appreciate them.

With Light and Love and WOW moments,
Karen

Not “If” but “When”

I recently read an interview with Michael Strahan, former NFL football player, current TV personality, journalist and successful businessman, where he spoke about the invaluable lesson he learned from his father. Replace the word “If” in your vocabulary to “When.”
Michael’s father would always set him straight whenever he used the word If while talking about his dreams. “If I get a scholarship. If I make the NFL.” ” No, son, not if. When,” Gene (the father) would say. That mantra was repeated so often during Michael’s formative years that it became hardwired. And it clearly impacted Michael’s fulfilling his dreams and continues on today.

WOW! What a lesson he learned and what an impact those 2 words can have on one’s achievements. By reframing his words he adjusted and fine-tuned his philosophy on life. He affirmed what was to be and chose to believe it would come about.

We all get to choose. We can bring about what we think about. We can create our world. Whether you believe that to be your truth, is truly up to you.
The self-talk we engage in matters. To some reading this, switching 2 words may appear as insignificant. I encourage you to try it out. Work with it. Interchange them. See what happens.

I am not a clairvoyant, however I know the power our daily conversations with ourselves have on our Life. On what our outcomes are. On what happens. How are you talking to yourself? Are you a pessimist? A realist? An optimist? A victim? An achiever? 

How are you transforming your life in today’s environment? Or are you paralyzed by what is happening and feel stuck?

You can change it! It all starts with your self-talk and self care. Build yourself up. Empower yourself. Encourage yourself to try, experiment and risk. Sure the journey will be crooked, some trials and errors, detours, and u-turns. However, with persistence, determination, and affirming your intention, you will manifest your dreams and goals.

For they will come about. Hold steady on the goal, be clear on what it is you truly want. By referring to “when”, not “If,” you will identify all the possibilities and all the solutions that you need.

Your self-talk is key. As you become more aware of positive self-talk, you will realize it is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence and curbing negative emotions. People who can master positive self-talk are usually more confident, motivated, and productive.

So choose your words carefully as they definitely influence how you see things.
If you say “When” something happens, you imply it definitely will happen, though you may not know the precise timing. That is affirming it.
If you use “If” you imply that it may or may not happen. That is uncertainty. 

If” carries a connotation like something MAY happen, but there is a chance that it may not.
“When” denotes that it WILL happen, it is just a matter of at what point in time the event will carry itself out. 

Technically, “when” presupposes that it will happen, while “if” merely assumes possibility. IF vacillates between yes and no. WHEN affirms it will come about.

Since our objective is to speak to ourselves in the affirmative, “When” becomes your go to word, replacing any and all “If’s.”

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

Daily Bread

Recently, I received an email from a very special friend and former boss who simply said, “I appreciate your Daily Bread!” I was touched. MZ is always forthright and honest with his comments as I have also received ones that have said, “this is BS!”

Even when we have different opinions and feelings, we can still share and remain friends. I guess that is a perfect example of how to interact with everyone we know or meet. We may not always agree, however we can still discuss, agree to disagree, and move forward.

I enjoy sharing my Daily Bread with others. After publishing 2 inspirational books a few years ago, I have continued with my weekly posts as well as sharing the inspirational and positive FB posts of groups and others I receive.  I feel that if I get benefit from it, others can also have that opportunity.

One never really knows the impact one has on others. Or what a smile, a glance, a kind word or behavior will do for another. I just know how important it is for me to nourish myself with my daily bread. It sets the tone for the day. It penetrates by being and grounds me. Calms me. Inspires me. Saying my affirmations and reading inspiring work puts me in the best frame of mind to tackle anything and everything.

Don’t we all need that kind of Daily Bread or nourishment?  We need sustenance to live, to thrive, to be alive and well. That does not mean just the food we eat. It is thoughts we think, the feelings we have, our self talk, the people around us, the habits we form, the music we listen to, the projects or hobbies we take on, the language we use, the home, office, or other space we live in and sometimes share with others, the entertainment we enjoy. All of this nourishes our entire being, it is our Daily Bread. And depending upon the type of your Daily Bread, it can either nourish you and enliven you, or make you feel not so good. It is your choice. 

There are all kinds of flavors: Whole wheat, rye, sourdough, gluten free, multi grain, rosemary olive, sweet bread, soda bread, yeast free bread, savory bread, the list goes on and on. So what kind of Daily Bread are you serving yourself with the thoughts you think, what you listen to, what you engage in, what you surround yourself with? How does it all make you feel?  Negative, Angry, Lonely, Sad, Resentful, Depressed, Regretful, Revengeful, Mad, Unsuccessful, Envious, Jealous? Or does it make you feel Empowered, Enlivened, Successful, Happy, Joyous, Upbeat, Enriched, Nourished, Positive, Loved, Compassionate, Kind, Helpful, Thoughtful and Grateful?

What we focus on and involve ourselves with impacts everything we do, everything we are and everything we become.

We have the choices available to pick the best for us. We all have different likes, dislikes and preferences. And that is okay as long as it is beneficial for you. You have the power to choose. So sample it all and then decide what is best for you.

With Light and Love and a slice of Daily Bread,
Karen

 

 

Love is in the Air

As we are entering February, the month of Valentines Day, I feel we need to not only focus on a love for our spouse, partner, lover, friend, soulmate, but also for our own Self.

Some may think that seems selfish and self centered. I consider it of utmost importance to lead a Life worth living. For it is only when I feel my best that I can then give to others. I am not sure whether we as women feel it is our responsibility and our role to take care of others first. Or that if we do not, we are less than. Not the healthiest feeling. The guilt, the should, the have to, the just because……. Let it all go! Be You! Do You! 

I understand how torn some of you are, especially considering the times we are living in. That is all the more reason to practice Self-Love and Self-Care. I have seen many more articles regarding this topic than ever before. In fact one article I read spoke about taking care of oneself, pampering oneself, loving oneself, is really a form of self maintenance, not a luxury meant for a select few. This body, this soul, this heart, this mind, this being, YOU, is in need of your attention all the time. We are responsible for its upkeep.

Those of you that have read my posts for a while may recall that I learned this lesson early on in my teens from a friend of my older brother. I was feeling guilty about wanting to do something for myself instead of participating in something with my family. He looked at me straight in the eyes and right to my heart, and said, “Karen, if you do not take care of yourself, who will?” WOW! I was so moved by what he said. I have continued to live my life holding that statement dear. It has influenced my decisions in many ways – however sometimes I have not paid attention and learned the lesson. The hard way. I am sure we have all been there.

So this Valentine’s Day make it also about you!  While it does hold a special place for lovers, it’s meant for everyone. It’s not just a day for passion. It’s a day to lift others out of the cold drab of February and warm them with a dash or more of your kindness and attention, remembering to start with yourself. LOVE Yourself. Hug yourself. Give yourself flowers! Chocolates! A Glass of Wine! Go on a walk, a run, practice yoga, do what you want to do for you. And then after caring for yourself, share your Love. Share your kindness. Show your compassion. Smile. Be nice to others. 

Happy Valentines Day to one and all and to Yourself!❤️

With Light and Love Love Love,
Karen

 

DIY

Are you a newly proclaimed DIYer? I am. With the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions in place in our county, we have been challenged in many ways. Out of necessity, we are thinking outside the box, creating what we need by ourselves. I personally have been amazed at my ability and creativity.

A few of my recent endeavors include:
Making my own nut butters which are healthier and tastier than store bought

Making a delicious Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream without preservatives or sugar
Trimming my hair
Self Manicures – I love mixing colors together to create my own signature look
Reinforcing rabbit screening to keep them out of our backyard
Converting to online yoga classes which allows more daily practices at home

Before Covid, DIY was defined in Wikipedia as:
The method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. DIY behaviors produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions as well as performing tasks (landscaping, cooking, exercising). DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness).

The term “do-it-yourself” has been associated with consumers since at least 1912 primarily in the domain of home improvement and maintenance activities. The phrase “do it yourself” had come into common usage (in standard English) in reference to the emergence of a trend of people undertaking home improvement and various other small craft and construction projects as both a creative-recreational and cost-saving activity.

Subsequently, the term DIY has taken on a broader meaning that covers a wide range of skill sets. DIY has been described as a “self-made-culture”; one of designing, creating, customizing and repairing items or things without any special training. DIY has grown to become a social concept with people sharing ideas, designs, techniques, methods and finished projects with one another either online or in person.

Now, being 1 year into living with the presence of Covid-19, we are redefining, restructuring, reshaping and recreating the how, why, what, when, where, with who parameters of life. So, DIY fits perfectly into that world. It is no longer just a hobby or a recreational activity with one’s children or grandchildren. It is not just about the money. It is a way to accomplish things, staying safe, socially distant, healthy and happy at home. It is meeting a need within us to get things done by ourselves. Of course, we will continue to collaborate with others, work with others, learn from others and rely on others, and at times need to seek expert advice. (and You Tube and Google are only a click away!) However we are learning how self-reliant we can be. We are stepping up to the challenge and becoming stronger, more adaptable, more resilient, and more resourceful than ever. As I was discussing this with my husband, he coined a phrase that is spot on: “Life is a DIY project!”

What’s your DIY project?

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

I Have a Dream

On Monday, January 18, 2021 the US celebrates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. 
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

Although his life ended, the work that he had accomplished changed the nation. King will be remembered not only for his commitment to the cause of equality for African Americans but also for his profound speeches that moved so many.

In reading some of MLK’s quotes, I feel inspired and enlivened. Today,  I would like to share excerpts from his “I Have a Dream” speech and a few of his famous quotes My reason is to inspire and enliven you to stand up for what you believe in and follow your dreams. Too often, we become discouraged by what others may say or how they react to our ideas. Or we sabotage ourselves with negative self-talk. 
Do not let others or your inner being talk you out of what is meant for you. What you truly believe in. Affirm everyday that you can and you will succeed. You are your own coach. Of course, if you are like me, I thrive on reading positive, encouraging and enlightening quotes, phrases, books, lectures, teachings and writings. I focus on that. It nourishes me. It supports me. It strengthens my resolve and commitment to continue on. We can all benefit from that. It may not be easy at times. But it is worth it.  So Dream on!

King’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. 

“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”

And througout his life, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. resonated and inspired others to follow their dreams and stand up for what they believed in. He was so gifted as a communicator and was able to positively evoke activism and right action in those that heard him speak. A few of his quotes:

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

“You will change your mind; You will change your looks; You will change your smile, laugh, and ways but no matter what you change, you will always be you.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

“We cannot walk alone.”

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.”

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

Martin Luther King Jr. truly left his mark on society and inspired the human race to strive for harmony among all people. His tragic death shocked the nation, but his words and his dedication to equality continue to inspire all generations.

May his thoughts and words and life inspire you to be a Better You.
With Love and Light and a Dream,
Karen

A New Meaning for DBA

DBA is known as the acronym for “doing business as.” It relates to a business that operates using a name that is different from the owner’s name or from the legal name of the partnership, LLC, or corporation. 

However, I recently learned of a different way the acronym could be used by all of us. And what a great tool it is as we embark on a New Year.
It is the theme for the 2021 Pasadena Rose Parade. Since the parade as we have known it was virtually reimagined due to the Covid restrictions and safety guidelines, it was decided to carry over the theme into 2022. The theme is:
Dream. Believe. Achieve! 

Although the theme references the Pasadena Tournament of Roses commitment to celebrating education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives, it presents a great acronym for us all. 

These three words have powerful meanings that we all can benefit from and incorporate into our daily lives. Let’s look at each word individually.

Dream 
A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Dreams are not fully understood, although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout history. Dream interpretation is the attempt at drawing meaning from dreams and searching for an underlying message.
Opinions about the meaning of dreams have varied and shifted through time and culture. From Freudian’s theory that dreams reveal insight into hidden desires and emotions, theories suggesting dreams assist in memory formation, problem solving, or simply random brain activation, to the theory that dreams are a connection to the unconscious mind. Dreams can have varying natures, such as being frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual. Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.

Believe
Believe comes from old German words meaning to have trust. 
Belief doesn’t require proof, just acceptance. 
To believe can mean having confidence. If you believe in me, you think I can do what I set out to do.
Believe can also mean to think that something is true, correct or real. Think that a fact is true. Have opinion about what is true or likely. Accept as true.
Have faith or confidence in the existence or reliability of something.
A strong belief in yourself can bring you many benefits: ​You recognize your ability to accomplish goals. ​You’re optimistic about the future as you set goals and achieve them. ​Deep down inside, you know you can do anything.
Believing in yourself affects everything you do. Everything. From your professional life to your personal life to your solitary life. In your relationship with yourself and in your relationships with others, both personally and professionally. In the choices you make and in the dreams you dream. How you view yourself, how you measure your value, how you assess your potential and how you determine your worth all combine to create the life you will live.

Achieve
Successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective, level, or result) by effort, skill, or courage.
Carry out successfullyAccomplish, attain the result, reach your objective
Conclude, bring about, win, manage, obtain, attain, work out, accomplish, end, enact, do, complete, reach, produce, gain, realize, earn, resolve, settle, solve.

Success magazine published an article in 2017: 7 Steps to Achieve Your Dream
Step 1: Dream it. Everything begins in the heart and mind. … 
Step 2: Believe it. Yes, your dream needs to be big. … 
Step 3: See it. The great achievers have a habit. … 
Step 4: Tell it. One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. … 
Step 5: Plan it. … 
Step 6: Work it. … 
Step 7: Enjoy it.

Dream  Believe  Achieve or DBA has also been written about by Ed DeCosta, one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. Here are some excerpts from How can you become the best possible version of you? 

Step 1  Dream
Begin with dreaming (conceptualizing). You have to think about it, and feel it first. You have to think about what it is you want to achieve. Not only do you make those commitments and focus on what they are, you need to understand why it is important to you. The “why” is a step that you would be foolish to skip, because if you don’t think about and really fantasize about how it will feel when you do the things you put down on your plan, then you are likely to lose momentum. You are likely to lose the enthusiasm that you generate during the planning process.

Step 2  Believe
Believe you have to have high enough self-esteem. And if you don’t? You can get it from elsewhere. Borrow others’ belief in you.
Ultimately, it has to rest inside of you. You have to understand your destiny, your fate, your potential, and what your purpose is. You must believe that, with the right level of effort sustained over a significant period of time, you can, in fact, do it. Be inspired by other people who have overcome bigger obstacles than you are facing. Most likely, you will be able to find them. But you have to believe you can do it.

Step 3  Achieve
Once you’ve dreamed it, and believe it, then set concrete goals to actually achieve it. Break it down by quarter, month, week, day, and, literally, by the hour. Use timers, create a vision board as the physical representation – a manifestation – of what your goal is.
Do you want to manifest your own destiny? It has to start in your heart, then go to your head, and then get reduced to paper. Once you do that, you are well on your way to achieving the kind of results and the kind of life you want.

The Tournament of Roses, Success magazine, and Ed DeCosta have all tapped into the power of Dream  Believe  Achieve or DBA. Now it is your turn.

With Light and Love and DBA,
Karen

 

 

 

It’s a New Day…a New Year…a New Beginning

I have read many articles, posts, headlines and comments these last few days about ways to kickoff 2021.

So many varying thoughts on whether or not to make resolutions, set goals, define your intentions, create your vision board, set your priorities, write in a journal, do yoga, meditate, exercise, eat healthier, practice self care, and so on.

Who is right? Well, it all depends on you. What feels right for you. Identify what will work for you. And so important, for all 365 days of the year. Not just a week, not just a month, but for the entire year. 

During the month of January, I usually encounter more runners on the beach that are not familiar faces. These are the newcomers that have made a New Year’s resolution to be more active. I applaud them and do wonder how long I will see them. No surprise that when February rolls around, most of them are no longer out there. What happened? For whatever reason, their commitment could not be sustained. I do hope though they find the activity that is right for them, for we all benefit from daily exercise (physical, mental and spiritual).

Take the time to reflect on 2020. What did you learn? Yes, we all were dealing with so many negative and disturbing issues; Covid, racial injustice, political unrest, police brutality, the economy, the election, unemployment, wildfires and other climate related disasters. However, we survived. We are getting to the other side. In a way, we were forced to develop greater resilience, persistence, determination and resolve. And while many felt paralyzed and unable to cope, others prospered, succeeded and started new ventures, learned new skills and sought out ways to be culturally entertained. 

I think we should pat ourselves on the back. Difficulties that we overcome do make us stronger. We realize what is truly important. Personally, being a cancer survivor of what will be 16 years in March, I am grateful for each day of living. I give thanks for the natural beauty around me, for a loving partner that encourages me, inspires me, and challenges me. For friends and family. For all the experiences of my Life up to this point and still to come. I never want to not appreciate the gift of Life.

During the past year, I have also heard and read more people talking about kindness, compassion, Love for self and Love for others, respect, peace, and harmony. Collectively, this energy will continue to gain strength and impact all of us.  For regardless of whether we agree with someone else, they deserve as you do to feel respected and accepted. 

So however you decide to make 2021 your Best Year Ever, begin the journey. Continue to evolve. Continue to seek out adventures and experiences that will enhance your Life to be the Best you that you can be. Even though we are still working through all the issues that developed in 2020, adventures and experiences are still available. It just takes a little creativity, imagination, technology and your willingness to be open to the possibilities. 

With Light and Love and wishes for your incredible journey into 2021.
Karen

 

 

Winter Solstice

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the longest of nights and shortest of days of the year. Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere is having short nights and long days. 

The 2020 December solstice moment – when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky – will happen on Monday, December 21, 2020. No matter where you live – no matter what time the solstice happens for you – it’s your signal to celebrate.

For us on the northern part of Earth, the shortest day comes at the solstice. After the winter solstice, the days get longer, and the nights shorter. It’s a seasonal shift that nearly everyone notices. My husband and I recalled that a few years ago we experienced the solstice in Alaska. As it was getting dark at 3:30pm, we were so excited to start enjoying more daylight. And everyone around was celebrating! 

According to Forever Conscious, “The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.”

In looking up the significance of the Winter Solstice on various websites,  I related to the concept that this is a time of quiet energy, where you get the opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what you want and need. It’s a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year, to examine and let go of our past, and to make changes within ourselves. The solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening. Probably the most important spiritual meaning of the winter solstice is that this is a time meant to reflect and recreate yourself. 

So on Dec 21st, spend some quiet time with yourself. Light a candle, keep the lights off, and embrace the darkness. Turn off all your devices. It’s okay to have soft music in the background. Take some time to think deeply about yourself, your past, and what you want for your future. Write in your journal, think about what your Vision Board for 2021 will look like, focus on what is important to you. Be thankful and grateful for your Life. I cannot think of a more perfect way to close the chapters of 2020 and creatively write your story for 2021.

With Light and Love,
Karen