HOLISTIC WELLNESS BLOG
TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
“Running early and running late can each set off a chain of events in a positive or negative direction. When I’m hurried, I’m likely to move with impatience and frustration. With the luxury of time, I’m inclined to move with kindness and grace. Either way, the energy moves with me, through me, and is passed to those around me.”
I like to be on time. Actually, I like to be early. Having the luxury of time keeps me calm and helps me to be a happier, nicer person overall. Conversely, when I’m running late, especially when driving, I’m far less inclined to be generous with other drivers – letting them go first, for instance – and suddenly it’s my job to critique everyone’s driving habits which of course I find painfully sub-par. I’m no longer smiling and waving someone on, saying “No, please, you go first!” Nope. I’m throwing my hands in the air saying “Oh my God! Just F*#@ing GO!!”
Being on time doesn’t just happen, it’s intentional. One of my best tips for getting out the door is “Don’t Do One More Thing.” That means, when I know I have to be somewhere and I have a few minutes before I have to leave, I don’t try to squeeze one more chore in before I go. You know what I’m talking about. Just go. Be early. Trust me.
Speaking of intention, I also get ready to go early. If it’s something for which I’d like to look particularly nice, a lunch, dinner, meeting, etc., I’ll try on some clothing options a day or two in advance. That way, I’m sure the outfit will look - and fit – as nicely in reality as it does in my head! If it needs pressing, I do it right away. I’ve even been known to have a back-up outfit on deck for, say, a possible change in the weather.
If you leave early, not just on-time, you won’t freak if you hit traffic, catch every red light, or get stuck behind that “very cautious” driver. If you arrive early, you can find a decent parking spot, take a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts, and still have time to visit the rest room! Talk about a luxury!
Here are several other benefits of being early/on-time:
I have other hints and tricks for running on time and we’ll see them in future posts.
What are your favorite tips for arriving cool, calm, and collected with smile on your face as opposed to… oh, I don’t know… power sliding in sideways?
PS: I love, likes, comments and shares!!
*Originally Posted July, 2019
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HEALING YOUR KINTSUKUROI HEART; Part 11; Purge, Baby, Purge! How to Be at Peace with Your Surroundings and Turn Your Home into Your Sanctuary.
Originally Posted July, 2019 - Now with a companion video!
“The order or disorder of my surroundings is directly proportionate to my state of mind. Visual and physical clutter is the external manifestation of my internal clutter.”
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself was tidying up and organizing my home. No matter where I lived it seemed there was never a sense of order which, for me, meant no sense of peace or calm.
Initially, it was the entire place. It was a mess. It isolated me and I never opened my home to family or friends because I was ashamed. God forbid someone showed up unannounced “Sorry about the mess! I’m right in the middle of purging and reorganizing the whole place!” I’d smile and lie while cringing inside. Even when I finally managed to straighten the common areas, there was always a section, a room, that was jam packed with junk, boxes never unpacked, clothes; cupboards and closets that oozed forth their jumbled contents whenever I dared open the door. It was stressful, and because I couldn’t lay my hands on anything, a massive time thief.
Long before I'd ever heard of "Sparking Joy", I made the decision to face the overwhelming task and address it once and for all. There is a lot of emotional energy tangled up in that mess and to move it is to unleash it. Doing so was greatly upsetting and often made me feel sick to my stomach. I knew it was going to take several weeks or more to tackle it all but it had to be done.
I’d pick a day, shore myself up mentally, open the windows wide, and attack. I did it piece by piece, section by section, room by room. I made piles: trash, donate, sell, keep. Once I lay my hands on something, I would only allow myself to set it down in one of the four piles. If I didn’t love it or truly need it I let it go (this often required some seriously tough self-love: “C’mon, Amie, just face it. You are never, EVER going to use that pasta maker.”) And there was no room for excuses: “But this belonged to so and so” or “Whosiwhatsis gave it to me!” I was no longer in the business of being an emotional storage unit. For clothing, it had to meet all three of the following criteria: it had to “flatter the wearer”; aka make me look and feel like a million bucks, be age appropriate (just because I can doesn’t mean I ought to!) and have no tears, stains, or wear, otherwise it was gone.
When I was done sorting, the items I wanted to sell went on Craig’s List that same day and the garbage and giveaways were taken out of the house immediately. The trash went to the curb or straight to the dump and all donations went directly to the car to be dropped that day or as soon as the place was open. I had one hard rule: once it was out of the house it didn’t come back.
Then, I’d clean the area top to bottom. The more I had gotten rid of the easier it was to put away and organize what was left.
It was a huge job but once it was done, I felt amazing. For days afterward, I would keep going back to the newly cleaned area to gaze upon and admire my work. I started keeping my car clean, too. How different this all made me feel!! Oprah Winfrey (or maybe it was Nate Burkus on the Oprah Show?) once said “Your home should rise up to meet you.” This is so true! Few things feel better to me than waking up or coming home to a tidy space. It shows respect for my belongings, my home, and myself.
How do you feel about keeping you home in order? Have you done it? Do you hope to? Or do you like your crap just the way it is, thank you very much!
Please comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience! Maybe you have a source of inspiration you'd like to share?
Six words: Nate Burkus, Oprah Winfrey, 'Nuff Said: http://www.oprah.com/home/take-nate-berkus-home-with-you_1
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Nate always inspires and Marie Kondo has Sparked me some serious Joy!!
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Post 10 - Move a Muscle Change a Thought
Going on a personal, long term self-retreat requires commitment and discipline. You need time and quite to focus inward and to practice self-care. The goal is to develop a true sense of self and figure out who you are as an individual. To get to know yourself and to be autonomous. Who are you when you have the freedom to act independently… without the input, judgement or opinions of others whispering in your ear?
As we first discussed in part 3, you must learn be kind to yourself, practice self-respect, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there is to be no negative self-talk. No putting yourself down or calling yourself bad names. Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, we should say nothing at all. If you are going to change the way you feel about yourself, you need to treat yourself like you are important and worthy, and you must to rewrite your internal dialogue.
Once you cut out the clutter and the noise, you’ll be amazed at how much time you discover. Go for walks but go in silence. No music in your headphones. Listen to the birds singing, look at the sky and the trees. If you find it impossible to turn off the negative chatter in your head then it’s ok to listen to meditations with positive affirmations, light classical or meditation music especially those with sounds of nature in the background, but keep the volume low and relaxing. But use this only as a bridge. Your goal is to be able to spend quiet time with yourself without noise and distractions. I suggest that you use the same refocusing technique for walking as you do for meditation. When your thoughts begin to wander bring the focus back to the breath. There’s no hurry to this goal it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Also, the ultimate goal here is not to walk without thought, it’s to walk without “noise” and/or negative thought. Moving the body is one of the best ways to clear your head and consider where you’d like your life to go and come up with plans on how best to get there. I’ve had some of my best ideas and greatest epiphanies while hiking and walking!
Here’s an exercise.
I suggest that when you walk, you take your cell phone for safety but turn it to silent, turn off vibrate, and refrain from checking it for the duration of your walk.
practice yoga and meditation.
Conversely, I offer the same advice for meditation as I do for walking. If you’re unable to “clear your head” as it were while meditating start with short, guided meditations.
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PART 9 - FEED YOUR SOUL
What would you do if you could do whatever you wanted and had all day to do it?
When you get rid of the time vampires in your life you gain an enormous amount of time and when you’re on a quest to get to know yourself it is your divine right to find the answer to that question.
Every so often, take a day to feed your soul and do whatever makes you happy. Every Sunday morning during my self-retreat – and for many years after - I went to “church”. For me, nature is my church so I went on a long hike in the woods. I had a book called “50 Hikes in Connecticut” by Mary Anne Hardy and each week – weather permitting - I’d pick a different hike and study up on it as Sunday approached. Armed with the book, maps I’d printed at the library, my hiking pack, snacks, lunch and water, I’d let someone know where I was planning to go (for safety) and head out early in the morning. It was my bliss. I’d disappear onto a trail, hiking along immersed in the sounds and scents of the woods. I’d picnic on rock with an overlook or picking table provided by the state parks, and I have myself a fine time!
Question: What will you do to feed your soul?
Answer: Anything you damn well please!
What will you do to feed your soul? Let me know in the comments below! xoAmie
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Watch the companion Video!
POST 10 - TAKING BACK YOUR POWER
We’ve spoken in terms of what you’d have to give up by letting go of some of the modern conveniences rather than what you will gain. It’s time to flip that conversation. Those of us old enough to remember the time before computers and cell phones… and even a time before email and answering machines may have an easier time of this.
The news was on in the evening. If you needed more you could read the paper but there wasn’t a constant assault of noise and information. If something really big happened, news wise, they’d break into programming to deliver it. Often someone would call to ask if you’d heard it. If you missed that, the news would get to you one way or another and not having instant knowledge didn’t change what happened. News has a way of traveling with or without an app notification. Speaking of notifications I have all of mine turned off. I check them they don’t check me.
When I was younger we had a natural way of prioritizing and focusing on what was right in front of us. If you were out playing and the phone rang you simply missed the call never even knowing that it came. If it was important they’d call back. We did things without interruption. If we were out having a meal with a friend the words “sorry, I have to take this” never crossed our lips. We just did the one thing. What a concept!
Believe it or not, we can return to this singleness of focus. The cell phone, tv, and radio all have off buttons. If we’re having a meal with a friend, going out for a walk, watching a movie or otherwise occupied, why not switch off your phone? If this thought makes you uneasy ask yourself one question; Who’s in charge around here? You or the phone. The answer is YOU. Turn the thing off. You decide when you’ll receive information and when you won’t. Take back your power!
What you will gain by disconnecting:
Absorption in a person, pet, project, task, activity
Increased attention span
What you’ll actually be giving up:
Cortisol, the stress hormone
Addiction/dependence on an appliance
The need for instant gratification
Being at servitude of a device
This is not deprivation it’s possession! Empowerment!
Are YOU ready to take back you power?
What negative things will you be letting go of by unplugging? Please let me know in the comments below!
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PART 6 - HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO HEAL?
You will get out of it what you put into it. The deeper your commitment to this process the more profound the change will be.
Full Self-Retreat - The Minimalist Detox
You will fully detach and unplug
This is great for
Changing Your Subconscious.
What is the subconscious mind? It’s the the mother board of the brain. In some ways it’s like the default settings on your phone or computer. It’s why we don’t have to think about breathing because it’s programmed into our brains. However, you can also breathe consciously like when you’re meditating. Your subconscious brain is your default program. The part of your brain that takes over and drives you home when you’re lost in thought or busy performing your favorite song. The very first time you drive someplace you need to focus, to concentrate, but the more often you go there the less you have to think about it. Soon you can get there on autopilot. Why? Because a conscious thought performed over and over became part of the subconscious. It’s your auto pilot. It’s also where we store all our beliefs.
Think of it like this. If a wagon travels up and down the same dirt road over and over, eventually it’s wheels will create a rut in the road. However, once that rut is created the same wheels that created it will fall into it, unable to break free from that path without great effort. The wheel creates the rut, then the rut controls the wheel. The mind is like that with thoughts. For this purpose the thoughts you have are the wheel and the subconscious mind is the road. If you think the same thing over and over again it will become part of the subconscious brain and that thought process will take on a life of its own. The though becomes the default program, the auto pilot. That’s why it’s so hard to change. But you can change it. You just have to shift where the wheels of that wagon travel. Or drive it down a different road, altogether. By doing so, again and again, over time you can create a new healthy track for the wheels to travel. How do I know? Because I’ve done it.
So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to break free of those ruts and drive your wagon down a different road. But it’s going to take thought, concentration, effort, commitment and time. And it will need to be repeated over and over again.
For the Full Program:
Turn off the internet and cable for one year.
You can go to the library for anything you need.
What you will do in your massive amounts of free time?
Practice self-care. Exercise in the way that best suits you and makes you happiest. This time is all about getting to know yourself
What you are trying to accomplish with this?
Changing your levels of dopamine and what makes you happy!
If this sounds impractical for you we'll do the next best thing.
No More WiFi.
You go where the computer is, it doesn’t go where you are. You will move your computer into a separate room and you must sit in front of it to be online. This time should be scheduled and limited. Just as if you had turned off your internet and had to go to the library. If you use your phone to go online you will also have to do this only in a designated area for a very limited amount of time.
You are on retreat. Your days will no longer be frittered away online.
Does this sound like something YOU are willing to do? Will you give it a try? Please let me know in the comments below the video! Thank you! xoAmie
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HEALING YOUR KINTSUKUROI HEART; Part 5. How To Get To Know Yourself And Reveal The Source Of Your Issues
HOW TO GET TO KNOW YOURSELF AND REVEAL THE SOURCE OF YOUR ISSUES – Turning your life into a full-time retreat.
This is part 5 in a series. Click here or "Healing Your Kintsukuroi Heart" in the categories menu to go to the full series
If doing what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, you’ll have to do something else. Once again simple but not easy. In order to find out who you really are – to really get to know yourself – you will have to create space in your life. A lot of it.
The Wisdom of Minimalism (Where Terrifying Meets Extraordinary)
Turn off the noise. It is a distraction and a huge time vampire. I went all the way with this one because, well, I was really ready. I was sick to death of living the way I was living and feeling the way I was feeling so I made a drastic change. It also dovetailed perfectly with one of my “symptoms” which was my financial problems. Even if you don’t have financial issues, there is still great beauty in living with less.
I turned off my internet (breathe), my cable and my landline telephone. It was a terrifying step to take – and let me tell you, my internet/cable provider did not make it easy. They made offer upon offer to keep from losing me as a customer but I stood firm. Once I did it, it was like the scene from The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy’s house got spit out of the twister. She landed with a thud and everything went silent. Being left alone with yourself without TV or internet is terrifying and liberating in equal measure although the liberating part is a little harder to absorb.
So there is was alone I my quiet little house. Now what? What the hell am I supposed to DO? What will you do? And the answer is… anything you want!
Here’s the list of what I stopped doing:
Watching the news.
Watching tv or movies with no redeeming qualities.
Socializing and/or having relationships with toxic people.
Eating unhealthy food.
Wasting time on things that don’t matter.
Here’s a list of some the things I did with my new free time:
What I accomplished in doing all this was discovering who I was and what I most liked to do. I created a schedule that was all mine filled with things I never even knew I liked or never had the time to do. I became so much calmer and more relaxed and without the barrage of negativity from the news and social media I was happier, more centered and grounded.
The better care I took of myself the better I felt about myself. The better I felt about myself the better choices I made. The better choices I made the more I earned self-respect. The more self-respect I had, the better care I took of myself, an so on…
In doing this for an extended period of time, I found clarity. I found my identity. I found my strength and power. I began to feel really sure of myself and confident in who I am. I became far less mailable to the opinions of others. I rewrote my internal dialogue.
I discovered I was passionate about going to bed and getting up early, going for a run at first light and then making myself a big healthy breakfast. I remember how much I adored hiking in the woods and loved my artwork. I even had my first real art show! I was an artist! Who the heck knew? I found that I couldn’t wait to make myself dinner and watch a dvd about an empowered woman or how someone overcame the odds and found true happiness. I enjoyed it so much that I’d actually get excited about it! I did these things daily – even on days I had to work I could still get up early and do what I wanted. The same at the end of the day. By doing exactly what I wanted – good healthy habits - for an extended period of time I found I very much preferred my own company doing what I enjoyed over many other things. I certainly wasn’t going to spend my time with people who weren’t positive and really enjoyable to be around or doing something that was unhealthy for myself. I got to the point where it simply was no longer an option.
Here’s something else I found - The brain is the original search engine; it remembers what you’re looking for and seeks it out, putting it in your path over and over. When I stopped making unhealthy choices those choices, over time, fell away and no longer presented themselves in my life. It’s not that they no longer existed they just became so uninteresting to me, they fell of my radar. Remember the Jersey Barriers? (Click here to read my Jersey Barrier reference!)
I learned that it becomes second nature to make healthy choices for yourself when you like yourself and know exactly who you are. And it becomes second nature to do so with a quiet grace.
“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
– Daphne Rose Kingma
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KINTSUKUROI HEART; More Beautiful for Having Been Broken
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Check out the video for three big announcements for the New Year! Let me know what you think in the comments! xoAmie
Order Amie's book. KINTSUKUROI HEART on Kindle or in paperback by clicking on the Amazon Affiliate Book Link below!
Thank you so much, xoAmie
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