Share Seven Smiles… Take 2!

ShareSevenSmiles_tallimageA few weeks ago I suggested the idea of sharing seven smiles by giving a random gift every day for one week. I was really excited about the idea when I wrote the blog post… but then my week got so busy I didn’t even take it seriously myself!

This week is going to be another busy one: I am officiating my friends’ wedding a week from tomorrow (!), and the pace has picked up at work. So, I decided that it might be a good week to give myself a break from blogging and focus on preparing for my friends’ wedding in my free time. Instead of writing anything new next week, I plan to participate in the campaign to share (at least) seven smiles.

It would mean the world to me (and hopefully a lot to some people in your world, too!) if you joined me. Next week, I will be posting 7 shareable images to my blog’s Facebook page to spread the love. Here’s how you can participate:Read More »

Tip of the Week: Remember Your Wings

FacebookQuote_WeatherTheWaves_031516This week’s tip: Stop dwelling on the wind and the waves. Start focusing on your wings.

Life got a little turbulent for me over the past couple of days. I came down with a little bug that had me flat on my back for most of yesterday. I felt exhausted. All I wanted to do was work on some writing or do something fun with Eric, but all I could manage to do was sleep, nap, and lie there.

I had considered staying home from work today, but I had a few meetings in the morning, so I figured I’d go in for my meetings, grab my computer, and then work from home in the afternoon. This morning I felt a little bit better, so heading to work didn’t actually seem so bad.

Life can be groundless, though. Read More »

Book Review: the life-changing magic of tidying up

“I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”
— Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up

978-1-60774-730-7Marie Kondo’s the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing is a fascinating book. If you ask around or research online, it has pretty mixed reviews — some people swear by it, while others say things like: “…the author is bat-shit crazy.”

Inspiring and endearing, albeit a little extreme, this book takes you step by step through how to declutter your life and make room for a little more joy. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Begin to Declutter Your Life

2016-04-18 10.31.44This week’s tip: Experience the joy of tidying up.

Everyone is talking about the life-changing magic of tidying up. I experienced it today. Have you heard about it?

It’s an internationally best-selling self-help book, written by Japanese decluttering and organization consultant, Marie Kondo. She calls her tidying process the “KonMari method”, and it’s pretty simple:

  • Tidy by category, not by place. Kondo suggests first tackling your clothes, then books, papers, Komono (miscellany), and finally, mementos. She suggests making subcategories if it is helpful.
  • Start by discarding. To decide what action to take for a particular item, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” Trust your intuition. If the answer is yes, you can set the item aside to store. If the answer is no, it should be discarded or donated.
  • Next, decide where to store things. Kondo urges you to keep your storage strategies simple. Everything should have its own place, and similar items should be stored together. She also teaches a particular method for folding your clothes.
  • Start the next category, and repeat.

This minimalist idea of surrounding yourself with only possessions that bring you joy is not unique to Marie Kondo. Happiness Guru Gretchen Rubin often preaches that “outer order contributes to inner calm,” emphasizing that seemingly small things like an over-crowded closet can weigh us down more than we realize. Read More »

Know Yourself: The Myers-Briggs Edition

 

tall-image_knowyourself_MBTIWe’ve all known ourselves since the day we were born. But how many of us really know ourselves? Despite spending every waking (and sleeping!) moment with ourselves, many of us mindlessly trudge through life, stumbling over emotions, stress, and frustrations and never stopping to ask ourselves why we stumbled in the first place.

There is a lot you can learn by flipping on the self-awareness switch. Recently, I’ve developed an interest in taking various personality tests to help me analyze my strengths, weaknesses, happiness triggers, and sadness stumbling blocks. I’ve tried to define aspects of my personality, learning to love the parts I know will never change and trying to work on the parts that might be more malleable.

Of all of the personality assessments out there, I find the Myers-Briggs personality test to be one of the most intriguing. Read More »

Becoming Aware, Inside and Out

awareimageIt’s become apparent to me recently how much self-awareness equates to good health and happiness. It’s something I have been slowly developing for years, but I know I’m still at the very beginning of my journey.

Self-awareness helps us understand why we do the things we do and feel the way we feel — and that knowledge give us the ability to understand (and sometimes change) the way we act and react. Awareness of the people and environment around us helps us interact with the world in a more present way. For me, it’s all about listening, paying attention, and learning. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Pursue Balance

IMG_6192-balanceLast week, in an effort to express my ideas about pursuing balance, I accidentally wrote a poem! This week, I am going to give it another try and see if I can articulate my thoughts a little more concretely.

Staying balanced is challenging. We all juggle a lot, from social time to “me” time, personal responsibilities to professional responsibilities, and spiritual pursuits to physical pursuits. Everyone prioritizes these things differently, and it’s important for us all to figure out where we personally feel the most centered. If we stay focused on pursuing that center, we can avoid unhealthy extremes, maintain a clearer perspective, and keep our stress levels more in check.

So, ask yourself — where is my center?Read More »

Flying

“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.” — Osho

small-image_flyingSome days, life’s windstorms can knock us over.
It can be hard to keep our balance.
Other days, the waves of our emotions
     whip us up, down, around
We crave stillness. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Spread Seven Smiles

PA160453_squareThis week’s tip: Give a random gift every day!

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Birthdays are great, aren’t they? Leading up to my birthday this year, I started to anticipate the warm, happy feelings that my birthday tends to bring, and I got to wondering — why is that birthdays make us feel so good?

Is it the fact that we are a year older? Probably not. (Unless we’re under 21 — and then it’s still really exciting.)

Is it the fact that all of our acquaintances came out of the woodwork to wish us a happy birthday on Facebook? Alright, I’ll admit… that does make me feel kinda good.

Is it the fact that we receive lots of gifts? Ooh! Bingo! I like presents! 😉

In all seriousness, though — this is the perfect time of year for me to tell you from personal experience that receiving a gift can make you feel appreciated, grateful, and happy. But why do we only tend to give each other gifts on birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays? Why not spread appreciation, gratitude and happiness on a day when someone least expects it? Read More »