accomplishment

Source: Suze Orman 8 Qualities of Success

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The Eight Qualities of Success

  • Harmony is when there is complete agreement between what you think, say and do.
  • Balance is the reward of harmony; it is when you are most calm and content because there is no disconnect between your thoughts, words and actions.
  • Courage. Is the ability to make choices that bring harmony and balance. Courage is not always about action. It takes courage to do nothing, rather than do something that you do not believe in or understand.
  • Generosity. True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.
  • Happiness: bubbles up when the first four qualities are in abundance. Happiness is not a luxury. It is a necessity. When we are happy we are in the best possible place to be good to ourselves and those we love.
  • Wisdom: is the ability to make the right decisions at the right time. Wisdom alerts you when you are out of balance or having trouble summoning courage. It is your inner voice guiding you through and past the noise.
  • Cleanliness: When there is clarity and organization in your thoughts and your physical space you can more easily access the inner wisdom and courage that makes harmony and balance achievable.
  • Beauty is what you possess when you incorporate the seven preceding qualities into your life.

Wow, patting self on back.

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So I have something to show you:

before
before

Ta da!

storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013
storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013

It was a long time coming but we finally got rid of this stuff and the monthly fee to save it.

We still have some items at my Mother’s house and in our garage and basement but we are getting so much closer.  During the course of this effort , many things have taken time away from our goal.  I say that not as an excuse but rather a reality check for myself.  You see I always think I can get everything down FAST!   Life doesn’t work that way.  More important situations come around that you have to tend to, or in many cases that you want to tend to.

It’s been a tough lesson, changing goals, deadlines, and lowering expectations….but I am better for it.  I’m still cluttered, but only half as crazy as I was before.

Cheers!

?Question? box your stuff.

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Once a pack-rat always a pack-rat?  Could this be my fate? I am disgusted with all the crap in my new fixer-upper.

Even after all this time of moaning and reasoning, learning, and purging, there is still too much crap!  I give advice like it’s nobody’s business, yet here I am facing a mess.  And when I see it I feel like, “Damn what happened?”

What’s my excuse?  Tell me because I would  like to know.

My guess is that I am fearful.  All the self help books out there claim fear is the strongest of emotions that guide our decisions….so I must be afraid.

Afraid of what?

I am afraid of being without, even though being without is my goal.  So I have a major problem here.

madonna-material-girl-video-cap-0056

I was raised in the material world, with the material girl.  I used to claim to my step sons that Madonna was my sister….they were kids (little kids), they didn’t now any better.  I also told them I was from outer-space  and that was even way cooler than being anyone’s sister.  Point being materialism runs deep in my veins.  I am ashamed to say, one of my nick names was “Shoppin’-Shirley.”

I held no limits and knew few worries.  Whatever, whenever as long as it was fun, and even better if I could buy something. My life was spinning without direction or boundaries.  Anything was possible.  Everything was an adventure.  Things were fun.  Buying was fun.  For me the late 80’s and all of the 90’s were out of control.  And I liked it!

Sorry if I am repeating myself

So fast forward to reality, ugh, do we have to?  Yes we do.  Now I am still on this quest. I call it my “journey to living better with less” but I am in a funk.  I have not reached my goals.  I am slowly pulling myself out of this funk, but that doesn’t make the extra stuff magically disappear.

Now for the: What am I going to do about it question?

I am going to start over.  I am going to the Start Here section of my blog and follow my own advice.  I may skip around the numbers some, depending what I feel like doing.  I am adding a new twist, I am going to hold myself accountable.  Astonishing right?  Accountability. Wow.

I have been lax in taking photos.  So regarding photos, I am going to try something new. I am going to take Reward photos, pictures of stuff packed-up and ready to go.  No matter where it is going.  The rule is there are only four places anything can go:

1. Donation

2. Sale

3.Trash/Recycling

4. ?Question? box. 

empty_box

The ?Question? box is new to me.  It’s my last thin thread of my holding-on tendencies   Items placed in the ?Question? pile can live there a week, and only a week.  Seven days.  After that week is up their fate is sealed.

This is my plan. If you are in the same boat maybe you too can kick-start your journey to living better with less. Wish me luck.  Cheers.

Helpful link: The January Cure.  This is a day by day plan for improvement in one month. Plus Apartment Therapy is an awesome site.

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Tip: The more you put in the ?Question? box the better.

Inspiration: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

One-day one-thing: Make a ?Question box? or area.

Free from the grip

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This is basically how I feel and what I believe in a nut shell.

Please watch and actually take a moment to see how materialism has shaped your life.  I was forced to look at my ways, and I am better for it.  At least, I feel better and I am happier.

I am free from the grip of corporations, and I strive to become even more free each and every day.

Cheers!

Time has come

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There is no more time for delaying the final sort.  ( just bought a house and we are closing soon) We measured the rooms and basically most everything will not  fit.

I think I will start with the items I like the least….that would be papers and letters, and all that stuff you have to have or you feel like you have lost something if you get rid of it.  But in reality you never even look at it.  It’s stored somewhere, maybe even being eaten by mice.

The cool thing about this paper de-cluttering is that a while back I bought a NEAT scanner off of Woot.  So if I wanted I could scan everything, and still have it if I wanted it.  I think that would be a cool way to handle this mess, but I have never been that organized, and it kind of scares me.   Lol…a scanner scaring me is ridiculous.

These papers, are weighing me down.  I worry that I have kept the unimportant ones and lost the good ones.  All this worry is fabricated in my mind.  And I know it.  But it still bothers me.

I put this off, I say it’s too cold, or I have to do this or that, or I’ll do it tomorrow.  I am suffering with serious dread.  All in my mind.  I am mental.  Maybe Icey gets it from me????

At any rate this is my goal for Saturday.  You read it here, I’ll update as soon as it is finished.

Tools needed:

1.Shredder

2. Scanner

3.Three secure file box for each child. Secure meaning it can close and mice and water wont get in. Most likely a plastic item. :(

4. One file box for the hub and me.

5. Music

6. Determination

7. A glass of ice water, if it takes too long, I’ll switch to wine.

Tip: Just do it.

Inspiration: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”- Peter F. Drucker

One-day one-thing: Reward yourself at the end of any successful day.

Sale time, yet again

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I am getting pretty good at organizing garage/house sales, and brother do I kill it with the signs.

I use Craig’s list and signs on major intersections.  That’s it.  I have a sale kit with a staple gun and signs and wire stands from old political signs.  All you have to do is take the political sign off the wire holder and turn it inside out and tape your awsome sale sign to the plastic.  So easy, and they go into the ground perfectly.

I never hold my sale if the weather is bad, and now because you can place ads for free at a moments notice that is easy to accomplish.

My signs are always florescent poster board, sometimes with added reflective wrapping paper.  It makes a difference having a great sign.  People always tell me they love the signs…lol.  Some of my best slogans are: ” Don’t MISS this SALE”  or “Something 4 Everyone Sale,”  “Best Sale Ever,” ” Turn Around Cool Items. ” Often my signs are a shapes, maybe a circle or the shape of a dresser if we have furniture.  Stars cut outs on top of the signs in a contrasting bright color also helps grab attention.   And note: If you tell someone not to “miss” something they just can’t resist.

But this sale I am going in for the kill!

Eat your heart out Storage Wars.

I am planning to have a table of “Name Your Own Price” items…..who can resist that??? Another sign will say,  ”  HAVE 2 HAVE sale” sign.   “Useless stuff Sale. ”  “TOO BIG wont FIT” Sale…. for my new house.  And a “too little SPACE Sale” sign…..”Help me I’m a Hoarder, Sale.”

I think you get the idea, I am not planning to have many more of these sales, so I am going to have fun. I am thinking I might sell sodas as well.  If it’s warm and the sun is out, I can make .75 cents a can. Plus it keeps people happy, they stay longer and might just buy something.

In our town, garage sales are the ultimate signal that summer is near.  Garage Sale-ing a ritual, every Thursday is always the first day of any sale.  People map out the sales they are going to hit and make a day of it.  I like to be open on Thursday and Saturday.  I cant stand Friday because it  is too slow and Sunday people are too cheap. We’ll see how it works out this time.

My real issue here is most the stuff I have is what I decided to keep.  Ouch.  Now I am going to have to measure each room and be realistic.  It’s going to be a challenge, especially since, this is it.  My last chance.  I am not moving all this stuff one more time, not going to do it.  Minimalism here I come.  That has been my goal all along, but talking and doing are two different things.

The tough cuts await……I have to empty the storage unit and a garage….ugh.

This was the first day of having a storage unit, it looks so naive.

And you know what’s in those three containers?  Pottery made by students and professors from Cleveland State.  More average pottery than anyone ever needs.  At the time,the pottery was the most important thing for me to pack up and protect, err to hoard.  I still love it.  Every item was made by someone learning about design and clay.   Sigh.

Tip: Price everything, people are shy and don’t want to ask.

Inspiration: “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” – Eric Hoffer

One-day one -thing: Remember the every decision is an action, and action is how you create change.

Kill the Judge Within

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How many of you out there feel like this:

You read all the cool stuff about how to be happy , centered, nurtured, live in the moment, live in love and light, eat this and that, they are super foods after all and then you feel good. Yeah, it feels pretty good reading the words and thinking about the possibilities. “Feel good” words, but when it comes to living that life I have found it’s a ongoing struggle. Sometimes I want nothing more that to eat BBQ chips and watch TV. Yeah, crappy TV.

Don’t get me wrong, if TV was better I would pick the better shows….but that’s not the point. The point is there is only so much a person can take of learning how to be “wonderful in mind, body and spirit”

I hate to admit this, but I find it difficult sometimes to read more then the headlines…..or given a top ten list and I read the only the words printed in bold. I tell myself I will read in depth later. Ha!

I understand when a person is in that world, they are excited and want to share, and thank God they do. I would never spend the amount of time takes to figure out the grams of fiber and calories in any particular green smoothie let alone a book full of these recipes. There’s only so many hours in a day.

When I get my rest and eat well, and balance my day – there’s very little that can get me down. I know when I am really it, “it” being in the moment with a clear mind and heart, everything is so dang easy.

Come to think about it, I have changed my life. I should be proud of my growth instead of measuring myself against those far more centered or advanced than myself. That’s the key. I can read what I want and what I can handle, and if I feel like I am failing because I slack off, then at least I know I only have my self to blame…..which I should never do.

Don’t talk yourself down.

I should acknowledge that I do the best I can on any given day and that to me should be perfection. I am going to try to kill my inner judge. That judge has been living inside me way too long. I think this is a good thing.

Cheers!

Tip: Be as kind to yourself, remember you are still learning.

Inspiration: “Imperfection is not our personal problem, it is a natural part of existing.” – Tara Brach

One-day one-thing: Seek out the beauty in everyday life. Make mental acknowledgements of what beauty you see.

lawyers, liars and cold cash

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Okay so have you ever met with situation where someone screws you out of money and you think to yourself, “I’ll sue them.”

But after you settle down reality kicks in – you can’t possibly afford an attorney. Or you find an attorney who down-plays your case to cover his ass. The first thing out of every attorney’s mouth is: “If this goes to court I can’t guarantee you will win.” Believe me I have been there. So I want to offer advice.

First off: People who are going to make money off you lie. <;- Sear this into your brain.

Second: People who lie rarely put things in writing. Some will provide contracts but then they have you sign first, but they themselves never sign. (I’ve seen this trick in construction and employment)

So here is what you do, try to guard yourself against the two items listed above.

Say you have some work that needs to be done at your house. Take a notebook and date and time stamp everything that is said, no matter how trivial you think it may be. Little details will jogged your memory as time passes and it makes your record keeping more believable.

Set up your phone to record conversations. I have a cell only so I am currently looking for a way to do this. ( any apps out there? if not I will develop one)

I remember once I taped a lawyer from a huge firm, who said to me,” we really f*ck up your case.” It didn’t matter that this recording never saw the light of a court room, it was enter into a court doc and filed which made it public record. They dropped all fees right there and then, that is all we wanted.

Just recently a person on the phone asked if they were being taped before saying some very incriminating statements. (note: ANYONE who asks if they are being recorded is about to tell you the truth.) Of coarse I wasn’t taping him, I was ill prepared. If you are taping anyone do not admit it. It may not be admissible in a court of law, but the proof is there and that proof alone will spark a settlement without going to court. If nothing else remember you can always go viral with the tape.

Another tip is ALWAYS have someone with you for discussions if possible. Witnesses are very powerful. Plus they can help you recall details.

Okay, so if you just got screwed, whether you have a lot of proof or just a little proof, take your complaint to small claims court. The courthouse in my town makes this very easy. Your local municipal court should have similar forms and instructions available. If not , use these two docs: 1. instructions 2. claim form, as a reference and make your own. The worst that can happen is the court will correct you and provide guidance. The cost to file a small claim here is 65.00, .05 cents for copies and they will notarize on the spot.

I always remember those sh*tty landlords that wouldn’t refund my rent deposit. I never fought for return of my security deposit. I didn’t know how.

The limit for small claims is thee thousand dollars, that’s way better than nothing. And you will not rack up any lawyer fees. So if you win or lose at least you tried to get you money back.

If you are in a position where you need help regarding family law. Do it your self. Believe me divorce lawyers want to keep you in court and fighting as long as possible. The more you disagree, or the more a lawyer leads you to believe you can get XYZ, the more money that lawyer makes.

I used Nolo press for child support and visitation issues when I lived in California, it worked like a charm. Also nothing quite beats Legalzoom for so many different legal needs.

The moral of the story, you don’t need a lawyer and you don’t have to take getting screwed.

Fight for yourself, you are the only one who truly cares.

Cheers!

OOPS! ****Forgot this important tip. Make a paper trail that shows you attempted to resolve the matter before you go to court. It always looks good to the judge if you can prove you made an effort to avoid his/her courtroom.

Tip: Stick with facts and stay calm and always be polite in correspondence.

Inspiration: “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” – Don Corleone, in The Godfather – Mario Puzo

One-day one-thing: Organize important documents. This may be a repeat, but with tax time, I have new docs to organize. It’s never stop

KONY 2012

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I would like to ask my readers to watch this film, and then share it with everyone.  There are few things in this world that are truly important.  This is one of them.  We now have the power to actually make change happen.  We can’t sit silent.

Most issue are too much for any one individual.  But here is an opportunity for you to actually make a difference.

Please watch. Please share.

To watch click:  Kony2012

To buy action kit/bracelets: http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/
To make a donation: http://bit.ly/yp5Ffv
To sign the pledge: http://www.causes.com/causes/227-invisible-children
To watch the film: http://vimeo.com/37119711

Why do we Hang on?

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So this is my question today and I do not have the answer.

Why do we hang on to things?  What is it in our minds that puts value on things that in reality have virtually no value?

Our past is gone.  No matter how great or how horrible.  It’s gone. ( I am not talking about photos, because they actually catch moments in time)  I am talking about things, stuff, and sometimes weird stuff.  Items that we personally value whereas a stranger may consider it nothing more than trash.

What triggers our minds?

A Standard Life study suggests 28 to 40-year-olds don’t plan for the future because they prefer to reminisce about past times. Yet experts say nostalgia can give meaning to our seemingly dull lives.

In the extreme cases people can become hoarders.

From this article: “Some hoarders seem to feel unable to process all of the things that are part of their daily lives and feel “anxious, overwhelmed and ashamed” as the piles of clutter accumulate around them, according to Birchall. These people are often perfectionists and worry about making the right decision about what to do with each possession. The stress of trying to make a decision becomes too much for them, to the point where they avoid having to decide altogether by simply keeping everything.”

However, nothing can scare you straight better than watching A&E’s “Hoarders.”  I fall somewhere in between, maybe…not really as bad as an on TV hoarder, but I have enough crap to really dislike it.

I like to look at websites like Dwell and Apartment Therapy for inspiration of designs with little room or less stuff.  There are many more interesting people and sites out there that deal with living better with less. Some people live with nothing, that will never be me, but they inspire me just the same.

We don’t need to know the exact answer, it could be helpful, but I believe it is unnecessary to know in order to move forward.  Knowing what drives us in the past is good, but forget about it if you cant figure it out.  We only have to take things one step at a time with a dedicated focus as our goal.

Remember; if you are anything at all like me and you have too much stuff – change is hard, it takes times, and you will get there, eventually. Keep your focus.

You set your pace, rather your life sets your pace.  Good luck. 2012 is the year for me.  I just know it.

I wish you well.  Cheers!

Tip: Don’t buy anything.  Make a wish list.  Write it down.  Think before you buy.

Inspiration: “To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people. ” ~John Powell

One-day one-thing: Get rid of something, anything.