Unprecedented to Pivoting

Considering what we have all been through the last 6 months and are continuing to go through, it is interesting to listen to and hear everyone’s perspective. What becomes apparent are the buzz words to describe what is happening.
I have noticed we have gone through unprecedented times to now focusing on pivoting to the new realities.
Within the last week, I have encountered this word and action in so many ways.

  • During my yoga practice the teacher directed us to pivot right to transition into a new posture.
  • On an email I received from a recruiting outfit, the CEO indicated how quickly their clients have pivoted and adapted to what was required and needed to thrive.
  • In Tony Robbin’s tag line for his World Summit Live Virtual Events, he states how the 3 full days will enable you to gain the knowledge and confidence to pivot your life, business or career to thrive in today’s shifting world.
  • A local news headline states how pivoting to outdoor workout classes brings back a sense of community and normalcy.
  • Entrepreneur Andy Shallal and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Victor Mullins at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business recently discussed pivoting business strategy in the midst of a global pandemic, economic distress and racial protests in the webinar “Pivoting is the New Normal.”

So what does it mean to pivot? To pivot is to turn or rotate, like a hinge. Or a basketball player pivoting back and forth to protect the ball. When you’re not talking about a type of swiveling movement, you can use pivot to mean the one central thing that something depends upon.

The term pivot has become a buzzword referring to a significant business change — ranging from mild to dramatic. A pivot is usually intended to help a business recover from a tough period, or survive after experiencing new competition or other factors that make the original business model unsustainable.

It also refers to how all of us have pivoted in our personal lives and have redirected and reimagined our routines and rhythms, making new ones as we go along, shifting priorities and setting new parameters.

So although the word is being heavily overused these days, it is so spot on in communicating what is of paramount importance right here, right now. We all have to do it, one way or another. We can not just sit back and wait for the old normal to return. It will not. Decide how you want to create your new reality and pivot in that direction.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

Step Up or Give Up

These are interesting times indeed. I can only speak for myself, however when I am faced with chaos, disruption and problems, I go into overdrive. My nature is to fix it, solve it, deal with it, or find a way through it, coming out stronger, wiser, and empowered. That is not the case for everyone.

I have been reading articles on how people are dealing or not dealing with Life as it is today. Many just want  to pull the covers up over their head, stay in their pajamas, forget above exercising, eat and drink whatever, and binge watch the news or programs mindlessly. Out the window go schedules, routines, disciplines, plans, dreams and caring. Without a clear future in sight and lack of direction and purpose, one can become disenchanted, depressed, anxious, fearful, frustrated, isolated and lonely. It doesn’t have to be that way. However the choice is yours.

So in today’s reality, I continue with what works for me and in many cases, step up my game.  Running, practicing yoga,  eating nourishing foods, getting dressed, following my skincare regimens, brushing and flossing my teeth, staying inspired through my readings, my writing, spending time in nature, listening to music, watching performances, and carefully selecting media programs. I am blessed to be in a loving and very special relationship with my husband that enriches me every day. My self care practices are of utmost priority to me and provide me with the confidence and encouragement to keep going. I am investing in me. For I want to keep going. I have a passion to live life on my terms. And I can only do that because I put myself first. By so doing, I can then also contribute to others, help others, be kind to others and show compassion.

The choice is yours. How do you want to live your life? What you do today will impact all your tomorrows. You create your world. Yes, we need to be flexible and adaptable with all that is going on, taking detours and going left instead of right. It is your attitude and approach that will make all the difference.

So, what will it be for you? Will you step up or give up? Will you stay under the covers or will you joyfully jump out of bed creating your beautiful day? As you wake up in the morning, make a conscious decision. Choose how your day will unfold. Proclaim it. Affirm it. Then, do it!

With Light and Love and Passion for Living,
Karen

 

 

 

What day is today?

How many times have you recently asked or heard someone ask “What day is today?”

It sounded funny at first, however with our routines, rituals, activities and daily patterns disrupted, shaken and rearranged, we have all been confused as to what day it is. At first we were all stunned by what was happening. Somewhat paralyzed.  Without attending school, going to an office, not being able to get a haircut, a manicure, having your teeth cleaned, having your housekeepers come, going to a restaurant, attending a wedding, going to church or temple, no girls lunch dates, seeing a play, going to a concert, practicing yoga at the studio, no shopping except for essentials, Life went on hold. All everyone talked about was the virus, the economy, the racial discrimination, the killings, and having to social distance, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and wear masks. Days seemed to roll right into the next, and appear identical. To remain relevant and in tune to what was happening, commercials even captured this sentiment in their advertising. It became a common and understandable feeling to not know what day it was.

However we do not have to be confused or stumped. As businesses and services open up, begin to plan certain activities on certain days and times. Create new routines, patterns and rituals that will better define a Tuesday from a Friday from a Sunday. 

As you plan you will begin to look forward to those activities and will most likely remember how many days till it happens. Other than routines I have and like to do daily, like go through a limited number of online papers reading mostly headlines, check emails, social media, online music, shows, and other performances for inspiration, I differentiate the days of the week by doing certain activities on certain days. I have listed a few of those below:
Sunday – I usually write my posts to publish on Mondays, enjoy a leisurely walk with my husband, we get a hard copy of the paper and we enjoy weekend coffee.(for those that know me, you know the ingredients!). The day is usually mellow and peaceful.

Monday – My post publishes and it is a run day, weight day and usually yoga. A true self care way to kick off the week.

Tuesday and Thursday – run days with my husband and an outing in the afternoon, that could include grocery shopping, a drive, some other home improvement shopping, or just ordering take out food.

Wednesday – Housecleaning every 2 weeks, run day, weight day and perhaps afternoon activity.

Friday – Run day, weight day, and yoga 

Saturday – Run and hike day with husband, weekend coffee, free flowing afternoon and evening.

As you can see, I have a schedule that helps me know what day it is. However I also have some flexibility built in for unexpected surprises and ideas of what to do. I realize I have more freedom and ability to live a more free flowing, simple and casual lifestyle at the beach being retired. I give thanks for that and am grateful.

Regardless of your situation, we can all tweak the way we do things to improve, to motivate us, to enliven us, find joy, be excited and feel alive. Every day can be unique and different.  I encourage you to look at the days of the week, identify activities and plug them in. Pretty soon you will no longer question what day of the week it is and you will have meaningful activities and looking forward to events on your calendar.

With Light and Love (on Sunday),
Karen

 

Living in a Bubble

The concept of living in an invisible bubble started many years ago while I was a retail executive. I would often supervise several management trainees during their career. One of the challenges they had was how to deal with criticism from senior management. They thought they knew it all. They never expected to be yelled out for a sign that was crooked! (true story). It was definitely a learning experience necessary for their growth and development. So many burst into tears! I have had to calm them down and shift their interpretation of the incident. So I would advise them that in order to protect themselves they needed to zip up an invisible bubble around them. Have it be clear, flexible and allow them to engage with everyone, see everything, and absorb everything. However, it would shield them from the negativity, the rude behavior, the harsh comments that were part of others management style. They needed to learn the lesson and then let it go. These incidents defined whether they could toughen up and rise above how sometimes they were treated. It wasn’t right how they were spoken to. But I had their back. Upon hearing or seeing what happened, I would usually request that the senior executive tone it down and not annihilate the trainees. Use the opportunity to influence, coach and educate them on what needs to get done and how to view the big picture.

I never imagined that the term of living in a bubble would be so relevant today for everyone. I have continued to use my bubble that surrounds me to protect me, nourish me, love and guide me. 

My husband has used the bubble to shield himself from others negativity, rudeness and mindlessness.  Being a very sensitive and loving soul, of which I have always appreciated and loved about him, he has sometimes been unnerved by the way other people behave. His bubble helps him.

In todays environment as we figure out how to adapt and adjust to life and living, you have the NBA in the Disney bubble, protecting them during the pandemic and allowing them to play and for us to enjoy.

I just read how the Tour de France cycling event has the riders and teams in their own bubble as they navigate the course covering over 2000 miles.

And we are all living in our own bubbles due to the stay at home, isolation, quarantining, and social distancing requirements to keep us all safe and healthy.

WOW! A new reality indeed. 

So, how are you adjusting and adapting? 
Are you zipping up your invisible to protect yourself?
And are you helping others to do the same?
We are in this together. 
Be safe.
Be healthy.
Find your joy, happiness and peace.

With Light and Love from my Bubble to yours!
Karen

 

 

Finding Meaning Everywhere

Yesterday, we had a baby lizard scurry around the house. After several attempts, we successfully ushered him into the backyard. My first thought was to find the meaning and significance of it, because of course, there is one. Here are some insights from Imelda Green’s Trusted Psychic Mediums site.

What does the lizard represent?
1. It is symbolic of being a survivor.
 
There is some extra strength deep inside of you that has not yet been unleashed.
2. It means you should go with the flow.
Have a sense of freedom to just allow things to be – do not resist.
3. It symbolizes being sensitive to things.
Be alert and know when to adjust your approach.
4. Be fast.
React to things quickly – delaying could prevent your actualizing the opportunities. 
5. Be spontaneous and have variety in life.
Repeating the same thing over and over again is not as much fun as trying new things. And the results will be more rewarding.

How perfectly this aligns with what I have been feeling and how I need to incorporate these traits into dealing with all that is going on in today’s world.

Imelda also recommends us to call on the lizard’s spirit when:
1. We want to get back what we have lost. 
Whatever was lost will be replaced with something better and more beautiful. It may not be the exact same thing, but it will be something that is needed  and something that’s best for us.
2. We feel like we’re doing the same things over and over.
I don’t know about you but I often ask myself what day it is as they all seem very similar.
3. When we feel like we’re going through the same cycles again and again, it’s time to introduce something new into our life.
Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone or out of your routine. Be spontaneous, try something different., unexpected. This will give our life the jumpstart that it needs.

4. We need to do some soul searching.
Take inventory. Take the time to be with you. Listen to your inner feelings, thoughts and ideas. Write down your impressions. Map out your desires. Redo your vision board. (reminder to self as I have not updated mine!) Be present and mindful. Be aware of what is all around us.

So together, let’s call on the lizard’s spirit to get us to the other side of all that is happening today, in our world and our Life. 

With Light and Love and the Spirit of the Lizard,
Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Do you remember this song recorded by Nat King Cole in 1963?
The song reached #6 on the Hot 100 in the US and was the opening track on Cole’s album of the same name. 

The melody and phrase keep coming to my mind over the last few days for summer has finally arrived in SoCal. This week even our beach community is in the high 80’s. Yesterday, we turned on the air for a bit to cool the house down before going to sleep with the windows open. We can usually count on one hand the number of days we need the air for the entire year! We love our ocean breezes.

How is your summer going? I think we can all say that it is different than any other we have ever experienced. And for so many reasons……… all starting with how Covid-19 is impacting every part of everyone’s life. No one is exempt. 

My challenge to everyone including myself is to really look at how our lives, our routines and rhythms have changed. For some quite dramatically. For others, not as much. We may feel a loss and go through a yearning to go back to how it was. However that will not happen and in order to move forward, we need to accept that fact.

It is time to recreate ourselves. Reflect  Renew  Refresh – The 3 R’s for an Inspired Life.  The title of my writings and photography journal is even more relevant today than when I published it.

During these long days of summer, let your heart open and your mind wander free to see and feel and enjoy Life. There is so much beauty around us. Take a walk. Take a hike. Ride a bike. Smell the flowers. Listen to the birds. Go swimming. Do yoga. Lay on the beach and do nothing. (Remembering to wear your sunscreen of course).

Be thankful for who you are and who you are becoming. You are in the driver’s seat. You are in control – even if it looks like you are not. You get to make decisions on how you will continue to live your life. Your way. Yes, we have had to adjust, adapt, be flexible and flowing as our new reality takes form. And at times it is uncomfortable and scary and not something you want to do. However, just breathe through it.

In yoga, we are reminded to breathe into the asanas. Do not resist, allow yourself to find comfort and strength in the posture. And in tai chi, non resistance is key to the practice. When you do not resist or work against the energies around you but work or flow with them, you become aligned, obtaining a soft and invisible power.

By not resisting the changes and the disruptions and the detours, you can approach your new reality like the nature of water. The strength of water lies in its ability to flow around obstacles and in its suppleness. Its force is soft yet powerful.

So let’s allow these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer to provide us with the nourishment needed to create our Best Life yet!

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

The Domino Effect

I am noticing more and more these days how life resembles the image of toppling dominoes – or the domino effect.
The definition for the domino effect is:

A cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events, or a chain reaction. The term is used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. When the first tile in the row is toppled, it topples the second, which topples the third, etc., resulting in all of the tiles falling. The domino effect term implies that it is inevitable or highly likely that all dominoes will fall, as well as it is impossible or highly unlikely that one domino would be left standing.

One action, one event, one decision sets in motion a continuation of things that may or may not have the outcome you desire. Especially when the first event was not initiated by us. However, it happened and set in motion a series of events that continue to fall out or fall into place. Take a few moments and think of your life experiences and adventures. We can look at a decision regarding our career, our health, our relationships, our finances, our choice of where to live, our hobbies, and then identify all the things that happened after that first decision.

This domino effect is clearly shown with one of the most recent major events – Covid 19. The impact it has had on every aspect of our lives is almost incomprehensible.  Everyday I read or hear about retail store, restaurant, small business closures, the staggering unemployment numbers, supply chain disruptions, financial concerns, the increased need for food banks and shelters, schools converting face to face learning to hosting classes online, sports being played without fans, no indoor theaters or concert venues or with limited socially distanced reservations required, travel and vacation plans on hold – all due to the severity and continued spread of the virus. 

We are having to rethink how, why, when, where, with whom, we do things. We will not go back to what was. There is no switch to flip. This is not a nightmare from which we will wake up and it will disappear. We need to adapt and be flexible in creating a new reality – as we go through this and once all the dominoes fall. We cannot change what has already happened. Yes, we are frustrated, upset, annoyed, tired of it all. However we cannot change it. So let’s focus on how we get to the other side and thrive. 

Getting extraordinary results is all about creating a domino effect in your life that you want. However with toppling dominoes, it is pretty straightforward. You line them up and tip over the first one. In life though, it’s a bit more complicated. The challenge is that life doesn’t line everything up for us and say, “Here’s where you should start.” Highly successful people know this. So every day they line up their priorities anew, find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls.

So let’s line up our new priorities and create the best, most positive, most productive, most nourishing and worthwhile domino effect for our new reality, applying it to every area of our life: Our health, wealth, happiness, peace of mind, our work, our purpose, our desires. 

With Love and Light and Gratitude,
Karen

Be Hopeful not Fearful

How are you feeling today? With so much chaos, confusion and uncertainty in the world, has it been challenging to remain hopeful? Has fear and lack of clarity and direction caused you to freeze up and become discouraged wanting to hide under the covers, close the blinds and refrain from doing what you enjoy.

Know that you are not alone. I for one am also on this roller coaster of emotions. However deep down inside, I remain hopeful and feel confident that our new reality will be better than what was before. We have the choice to create what is best for us. The lessons that we are learning will strengthen our spirit, our drive, our intentions. I reduce fear by building up my reservoir of hope. 

What Is Hope?
Hope is directly related to our sense of possibility. The greater our perception of possibilities, the greater our hope.
Hope is not the same as happiness or optimism. It is what we feel when we think that life is worth living, that our work is worth doing. Hope is what we have when we have a positive relationship with our existence. It is the deepest of the three emotions. Happiness and optimism cannot exist without hope, but hope can exist without happiness or optimism. For some people, hope may seem too wishful, without intention or commitment. I offer you a different perspective to consider.

Here are some great ways to remain hopeful recapped from various TED talks:

Shift your expectations – Tali Sharot (The Optimism Bias) Optimism changes your subjective reality, Learn to change your brain and train it to zoom in on positive events.

Recognize that you can change your life at any point – Paul Tasner (How I became an entrepreneur at 66) Open yourself up to the possibilities that exist for everyone, at any age.

Look for meaning in the most challenging moments – Andrew Solomon (How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are) Fold the worst events of your life into a narrative of triumph, evincing a better self in response to things that hurt.

Listen to another person’s story – Dave Isay (Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear) Get out of your own head. Listen deeply and intentionally to another person’s meaningful story.

Return to your home base – Elizabeth Gilbert (Success, Failure and the Drive to keep creating) Be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome by never forgetting where you rightfully live. Identify the thing or things in your life that you love more than yourself.

Add some Wow to your world – Keller Rinaudo (How we are using Drones to deliver blood and save lives) World changing ideas are being hatched all around us. Swap some of the time reading or listening to news headlines; instead do a search for news stories with the key word “innovation.”

Remember the essential goodness of humanity – Mary Latham (More Good: Acts of Human Kindness) There’s always going to be horrible tragedies, but there is always going to be more good out there, you just have to look for it. When we put our fears aside, when we connect with strangers, when we smile at people next to us or put away our judgments, it opens a door into an entirely different way of life.

Think about your death (yes, really) – Candy Chang (Before I Die I want to…) In our age of increasing distractions, it is more important to find ways to maintain perspective, and remember that life is brief and tender. Thinking about all the things you can achieve right now, can be one of the most uplifting things you can do.

May these 8 concepts assist you in remaining Hopeful instead of Fearful.

With Light and Love and Hope,
Karen

The Importance of Fertilizing – Our Plants and Ourselves

We recently enlisted gardening help to assess, recommend and do what needs to get done to improve the health of our plants, shrubs, trees, flowering vines and grass. They were not thriving and looking their best. They looked tired. We knew we had sprinkler and soaker issues, however we knew it was more than just watering. And since we believe we no longer have rabbits, there was somehting else. They needed to improve their diet! They wanted and needed fertilizer, especially iron right now. 

A good gardener is like a doctor. He looks and determines what is necessary to improve the health of the patient.( our plants and ourselves). And even though the responsibility is really 100% on us to follow through, we sometimes need guidance and expert opinion to get us going in the right direction.

It was an AHA moment for me. We are all connected. I asked myself what the lesson was. I realized that if our gardens needed some nourishment, we probably did as well.  I pride myself on following a mostly plant based diet, and grocery shop mostly around the store’s perimeters for healthy, fresh and non processed foods. My husband and I exercise, hike and run in nature, strength train, practice yoga and love to sleep. In today’s environment, we make sure we decompress from all the noise to reduce stress, anxiety, confusion and upset. (Last week I spoke about “This world, She’s upside down” – and she still is!)

So when our new gardener talked about feeding our gardens with iron enriched fertilizer, the light bulb went off. In stressful times, the demands are greater on us. We need to adjust and increase the nutrients if we want to thrive and flourish. 

How simple it sounds! However it is one thing to know it, and another to do it. I encourage us all to reflect on our current food intake, our vitamin and herb supplements, our exercise and fitness programs, our stress reducing habits, and reassess what is needed for now. Adjust what is necessary to improve your energy, your positivity, your outlook on life. Even with all the chaos and confusion around us, we can be alive and well. In addition,  I and my husband will also strengthen our invisible bubble that protects us from the craziness of todays environment – tough enough to protect us, flexible enough to remain sensitive and aware, and perforated just a little to allow us to breathe in clean, healthy fresh air.

With Light and Love and Increased doses of Fertilizer for you and your gardens’ Wellbeing,
Karen

 

This World…She’s Upside Down!

My grandfather would often say this when he felt confused, frustrated, perplexed, not in control, and disappointed with the happenings going on. I too have used it especially in today’s environment. The world is truly upside down, having been shaken to it’s core, with everything we have known changed and rearranged. I do not see how anything from our past will transition into the future 100%. Some version perhaps will survive, but with a twist. There are so many dominoes still falling and impacting every part of everything. So what is next? Who has the crystal ball? Where will we find the answers?

The crystal ball image then changed for me to a vision of a snow globe. Who doesn’t love a snow globe? You pick it up, shake it up, turn it upside down, and Voila! a new and improved version of what was appears before your eyes. We hold the snow globe in our hands and smile at the snow gently covering everything with it’s brilliance and magic. We get to slow down and appreciate the beauty within the globe, and give thanks. Our heart opens and we savor that experience. Years ago I was gifted a different type of “snow globe”. It was a item being used during a new fragrance launch. It was a globe with sand, sea shells and starfish. It was special and I loved turning it upside down and discovered new items that had been buried each time I did that. 

You can use your imagination and visualize your own snow globe today. Pick it up, shake it up, turn it upside down, and watch as the snow gently starts to flow down, covering everything with its magic. However we have to stay open to feel it, see it, and understand it. Our perspective of things will change. To thrive in the new reality, our new snowglobe, we will adjust and adapt, remain flexible and flowing to the revisions and reroutes, give thanks for where we have been, and be grateful to have the opportunity to go forward. We will view things differently, rethink what is important, what has value, and what is truly meaningful in our lives. 

There is a reason why we needed to be shaken up and turned upside down. There are lessons to be learned and behaviours to change and Divine principles to follow. Yes, we are all in this together. However our lessons to be learned may be different. Use the time being upside down to listen and learn what is best for you. Then savor your new reality, your very own magical snowglobe.

With Light and Love,
Karen