Unprecedented Times

This past week has definitely been an altered reality for me.  Not one I chose, though one I had to deal with and could not avoid. Did I want to pull the covers over my head and go back to bed? Yes, I did! On more than one day.

However I chose to handle whatever came my way with an underlying sense of calm and peace. I got rattled a few times from outer circumstances: the rain (though we need it, I prefer sunny days and blue skies), the stock market dive, the Covid-19 virus spreading rapidly around the world, the political scene, and the insane panic buying of toilet paper! I sensed the fear and panic in others and have felt waves of it myself. Truly unprecedented times. My grandfather used to say: “This world is upside down!” It surely seems that way now. 

What I found to help me deal with it all was to first and foremost take care of myself. I continued to run or walk daily (whether on the beach or inside on my treadmill), eat mostly plant based healthy foods, get proper rest, and spend quality, loving time with my husband. I found myself taking deep breaths more often to relieve any anxiety that started to build. I limited my time on social media, focusing on positive, affirmative, healing quotes and looking at photos of nature and travel. I tuned into the news alerts only in the morning and sometimes again in the afternoon, but not at night. And always before falling asleep I said my affirmations and gave thanks. One rainy afternoon, my husband and I even watched “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. What a special movie. It warmed our hearts.

I also sent off my annual Thank you cards to my 3 Doctors who I owe my life to.  On Sunday, I celebrated 15 years free of cancer. And for that I am most grateful. I do not take being alive lightly. Life is truly a gift.

So even though we as a society are faced with tremendous challenges and the world is very sick right now,  I know we will get to the other side. We will be healed, we will be stronger and better equipped to handle whatever is thrown our way. I remain calm even with so much chaos around.

And hopefully, we will have learned a few things during this time. Like what is really important, what is really necessary, what is the true meaning of this Life and what is the Best way to truly Live this Life.

With Light and Love and Healing Vibrations coming your way,

Karen

Making Oneself A Priority

For me, taking care of myself is a key priority, especially during challenging times. By investing in my health and wellbeing, I am better equipped to handle the unexpected surprises that come my way. For years, running, yoga and healthy nutrition have been important elements supporting my efforts to be successful in Life, Love and Business. Were there detours, twists and turns along the way? Of course there were. However, I had a strong foundation that helped me get to the other side. And to thrive!

Let’s look at today’s environment!  We are in the midst of so much uncertainty, negativity, and volatility. What is one to do? I say #1 is to take even better care of yourself.

I recently read some interesting articles regarding online shopping in China. As the coronavirus epidemic keeps hundreds of millions of Chinese at home, they’re shopping online to stave off boredom with games, yoga mats, books and exercise equipment. Many malls and stores remain shut and sales of cars and smartphones are significantly down, but demand for health, entertainment and cosmetics products is buoyant. One consumer was quoted saying: ““No medicine really functions against the virus so far. All you can count on is your own health. I want to exercise at home to be healthy and fit.“ 

Here in the US, in most areas, our daily lives continue on. However, we are all aware of the increased precautions we are taking to stay healthy: Wash your hands, do not touch your face, stay away from crowds, stay home when sick, cover your cough or sneeze, replace a hand shake with a fist bump or elbow shake, get proper rest, eat healthy, exercise and destress. 

We have a choice! Let’s choose wisely as we protect ourselves against all that is going on. Do not stop Living – however maybe hit the Pause button on a few things. For one, I have not booked any international travel for right now. We will probably do a road trip within the next month instead. Being cautious is wise. 

I like to visualize a bubble around me that can shield me and protect me. It is an armor of sorts, however see through and flexible. I have used this for many years in business and in personal interactions. For me, it works. You may visualize something different and that’s okay. The importance is to protect yourself. Shield yourself. Focus on what you can do proactively to affirm health and wellbeing instead of allowing fear and panic to set in. What we focus on and think about, becomes our reality. 

Choose wisely and create your world, your way.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

Being in Sync with the Universe

Saturday was February 29th – Leap Day 2020!  Leap years are years where an extra day is added to the end of the shortest month, FebruaryLeap years have 366 days instead of the usual 365 days and occur almost every four years.
Why you ask?
According to TimeandDate.com, ” Leap days keep our modern-day Gregorian calendar in alignment with Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. It takes Earth approximately 365.242189 days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds, to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year, and it starts on the March equinox.
However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year. If we didn’t add a leap day on February 29 almost every four years, each calendar year would begin about 6 hours before the Earth completes its revolution around the Sun.

As a consequence, our time reckoning would slowly drift apart from the tropical year and get increasingly out of sync with the seasons. With a deviation of approximately 6 hours per year, the seasons would shift by about 24 calendar days within 100 years. Allow this to happen for a while, and Northern Hemisphere dwellers will be celebrating Christmas in the middle of summer in a matter of a few centuries.
Leap days fix that error by giving Earth the additional time it needs to complete a full circle around the Sun.”
So we become once again in sync with the Universe!

How incredible. And what an invaluable lesson of the importance of being in sync, in harmony and in balance.

In the past I never really focused on this extra day. However today, I find myself reflecting on the impact it makes. It could also have something to do with how out of sync I felt this past week with all that is going on in the world: political unease and frustration, the increase and spread of the coronavirus, the stock market dive. So much negative news, alerts, disruption and concern.  It is not business as usual. As much as I try and stay detached, I became absorbed in the frenzy. I felt not in control but impacted by it all. What was I really suppose to do?
How do you feel today?

I encourage you to take time to calm yourself, put things into perspective, focus on what you can control. I intend to go on a long run and hike with my husband to recharge and renew. Being out in nature is so healthy and vital for my well being. I am grateful to live in a beach community – surrounded and comforted by the ocean, the beaches, the bluffs, the seagulls, the pelicans, the wild flowers, the waves crashing. I will take time to renew my spirit, focus on the positive, be aware of outer circumstances and protect myself. I give thanks for being alive and well, feeling gratitude and appreciation. And I send out thoughts of Healing Love, Compassion, and Empathy. 

Whatever your source of getting in sync – do it! Embrace this Leap Year and reset your balance.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

Toss it or Keep it?

Having been in the beauty industry for many, many years, I understand the benefits and importance of quality ingredients in both skincare and makeup. For me, it is as important as the food I choose to nourish myself. What I put on my skin has an effect on me. So I am careful in the brands I use. In addition, it is key to follow proper hygienic standards when applying. Not only in store when customers are testing product or having it demonstrated on them by a beauty advisor, but also at home for ourselves. No one wants to get a bacterial infection from unsanitized products, dirty tester units or items past their sell date. So you can imagine my surprise when I took an inventory of my cosmetics – both skincare and makeup.

I just finished up my cleanser and looked in my stash to replenish it. One of the many benefits of the industry is the sampling and gratis that one can receive. And who does not love that! I was sure I had a backup of the same item,  but I did not. I did though have several other brands that I was looking forward to trying. The shock came when I checked the expiration date!!!! Some were 3 years old. Even though they were mostly unopened and sealed, they were past their prime for efficacy.  And considering that most were facial products, I wanted to be extra careful.

After I replenished my tray with my new daily regimen, I decided to take stock of all my skincare and makeup products. I wanted  to make sure I was keeping only what I was using, what was current, and what was clean.

I threw out almost a grocery bag full of outdated, some not used, some almost empty items! I couldn’t believe it. How could I have kept them all? I realize that my lifestyle has changed since living at the beach and I am much more casual and natural in my grooming. I like that I do not have to wear makeup everyday. However my skincare ritual is daily and I never go to bed without taking off makeup when applied. 

I feel so much better after clearing out the old and only keeping what is current, fresh and fits my lifestyle. I encourage you to take a look at your drawers, your closets, your cabinets. Check expiration dates. Are the items on trend or out of style? Ask yourself if you are using the items. Or are you just holding onto them for sentimental reasons or thinking that maybe one day you will use them?  They may be expired or outdated by that time. Do a refresh! Do a purge! Not only will you feel better, you may even find some hidden gems! Or you may clear out so much that you will have to go shopping!

Either way, make the time and have fun! Your skin will thank you for it.

With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

 

 

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