soul

I have never

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It’s difficult to believe this but I have never sat in a coffee shop alone with my laptop. I have never gone to a library to read. I’ve only once gone to a sit-down restaurant by myself.

I’m no spring chicken. I have done many many other things that maybe someone else hasn’t done. But seriously the simple things are foreign to me.  I never felt I had the luxury of time to do these things, or I would tell myself ,  “I can do that at home.”  Doing simple things at home is never the same as doing them else where, and they rarely happen.

I remember on one vacation I was happy to cook everyone breakfast, no matter what time they woke up.  Looking out the kitchen window there nothing but beach between me and Pacific Ocean.  I determined I could cook there non-stop. At home I might say to the late risers, “I’ve been up for five hours I just had lunch.”

Here is the key, when you get home, there’s always something tugging at you. If not physically then mentally. At least in my case there is. Considering what lives at home off and on; two dogs, two cats, three children, a husband and my mother, tugging at me comes as no surprise.  That’s another reason I am heading to minimalism less stuff to even consider or clutter your thoughts.  You don’t have to bother yourself with items that have to be stored, or saved for another time, or cleaned and repaired.  No.  No Mas. The time is now.

Time to change it up a bit.

I figure I can spare one hour a day, with a minimum of travel time on either side.  So lets make it two hours.  Two hours instantly scares me into thinking I cant do this.  But I know I can if I really want it.  If I want it more than doing laundry today, or lingering on the internet,  I can spare some time to hang with nature.  That’s what I like to do.  You might like something totally different.  Maybe you won’t get to it exactly at the time you wanted, but if you want it, you can get there.

Time to let yourself know, you make the your decisions.  Face it, when we make excuses many times we still don’t even do “the excuse” of why we couldn’t do what we wanted.  Time sucks are everywhere.  You need to identified and destroy those time-leaks.

For a while I was taking the dogs to the park , throwing down a blanket and sketching with my colors pencils and reading.  With this small outing, took my hectic-life and I made it stop.  I was there.  Nothing else was allowed to tugged at me.  It was pretty awesome.

Start simply: here’s an idea you can do at home tonight.

How about a  luxury bath?  Even if you don’t usually take baths, try this on for size; 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1 cup of baking soda, and 10 drops of lavender oil to bathwater as hot as you can tolerate.

I am doing this tonight.  I think I will light a few candles as well.  Love to hear how you like it , if you do it.

Cheers!

Tip: Start small, little changes every day is the best way to change your life, but don’t allow yourself to miss even one day no matter what.

Inspiration: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”- Buddha

One day – one thing: Take ten minutes, close your eyes and visualize your life as you want to live it.

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I am a coconut

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A coconut, that’s exactly what I am and what I want to be, because it works for me.

I have a hard shell, I can fall from 20 feet in the air and survive. I can be tossed aside and survive. I can be left alone in the dark and I survive.

Inside I am sweet, but not too sweet. I am firm but not too firm. I can be a nut. Plus I am good for myself and I am good to those who get past that hard shell. Yeah that’s it.

Last night after I cooked myself in a hot tub, I lathered myself in coconut oil for the first time in my life! My skin was so soft this morning, it felt like velvet. It was awesome!

Here’s what you do. I bought my coconut oil at Earth Fare, the Whole Foods wanna-be store at Westgate. It is packaged in a plastic tub if you pick it up in the toiletry area. It’s consistency is semi solid like refrigerated butter. To turn it into oil the directions say place the tub in hot water. So I put the coconut container in the bath with me. (make sure the lid is on tight)

When I finished my bath I opened the jar and the sides had turned into a perfect oil, and not hot at all. Use it sparingly – you will get the hang of it. Too much and you will be greasy and you don’t want that. I even used it on my face, it was like magic. No irritation, no chemicals, just delicious moisture.

Your world will smell like the tropics. Your thoughts might move to a more relaxed place as well. I highly recommend this to everyone!

Extra note: Great gift for Mothers Day, for the mom who already has everything.

Tip: Try something new as often as you can.

Inspiration: “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”- Frank Lloyd Wright

One-day one-thing: Read the ingredients on your skin care, then decide if you want those chemicals seeping into your skin.

What do we really know???

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Recently, more than once, I have known things before I actually saw them in real life.

Pretty weird.  But it got me to thinking, just how did that happen.  Seriously who told my brain that I would find exactly what I thought I would find, before I found it.   How did I know?

The more abstract thing is this was a physical item, a book.  Not  feeling or an event, but an actual book.  Published in 2002, today I knew would be in the local Goodwill.  I wasn’t planning to go to Goodwill, but I felt something say “go there.”  I fought that inner voice.  That is until I remembered my post from the other day saying trust your instincts.

So I blew off my trip to the office supply store as previously planned and made my way to Goodwill.

I saw a top I donated last fall, just out now because it’s a springtime top.  I still didn’t like it.  Why on earth did I ever buy that thing?  Anyway, I looked around and practiced just being  there and concentrating on all the weird stuff I was seeing.  I listened to the music playing and minded my own space.

I thought that the “book” was there.  Mind you this was only a fleeting thought in my head.  I ignored it, didn’t even look for the book.  The thought raced across my mind once again. I ignored it again.  Finally I told myself to go look for the book……it wasn’t on the side where I thought it would be.  That was the end of that.

I turned the corner and there was a 2002 edition of the Guinness World Record book.  I could hardly believe it.  It was there.

You see, when my oldest son was young I started giving him Guinness World Record books every Christmas.  I  was encouraging him to read.  Anyway, when he was in grade school he took his brand spankin’ new 2002 Guinness World Record book  to school and some kid wrecked it.  Just like that.

I’d like to find a replacement for him and that’s why I have it on my mind.  But who knew my mind could tell me when it would be at Goodwill.

So weird.   But I am here to tell you I am open to this power if there is such a thing.

Cheers.

Tip: Try to stop thinking, sing instead.  I do this in my car, it feels good.

Inspiration:”In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” -Shunryu Suzuli

One-day one thing: Let go of one regret forever.

Live like a dog.

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I am convinced that dogs have the world figure out.  I know am not the first to say this, but I don’t care.  When a dog barks he is not saying anything new.

Dogs can read another dog as easily as we can read directions on a cake box. Those direction are very clear and concise leaving no room for errors.

When dogs meets other dogs and there’s an instant positive vibe, then they are perfectly okay with that new friend(s).  It’s simple.  Dogs just trust their own instincts. If they don’t like what the meet , they bristle and let that dog know to stay the $%^# away.

Think of how many times you’ve gone against your own best judgement or a feeling you had but couldn’t exactly explained.   We humans call that a “gut instinct” or ” intuition” but I really believe it lives as truth in the heart section of your brain. I don’t even know if there is a heart section of the brain, but I choose to believe there is.

I think we need to pay super close attention to whatever we tell ourselves inside our heads and hearts.

I have had some difficult times, we all have, and I have tried to fix problems I didn’t cause.  ( May no good deed go unpunished)

I am here to say forget those problems. Whatever issue it is, if you in absolute truth can not control it, then it isn’t something to waste one once of energy trying to correct or fix. Don’t worry or fret, don’t ponder or gossip, don’t talk and re-talk, just choose live without it.

Shake it off. Wag your tail, take a walk and smell the air. Dig in the dirt. Be happy that you were fed today, smile and carry on.

Woof!

Tip: Always put your keys in the same place.

Inspiration: ” We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” -Barbara De Angelis

One-day one-thing: Plan a picnic for the next nice free day you have.

Mean people

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For life of me I do not understand mean people.  I know what bitchy is, and I know what angry is and I am fine with both those in limited quantities.  I mean that’s just part of human nature.  Who among us hasn’t had a bad day? But mean is something I will never comprehend.

I am getting a first hand lesson in the power of mean.  But I have also realized that I can take away that power of mean simply by stepping outside my feelings and observing as if I were a third party. Let me tell you what I have seen as that third party.

I have seen the depth of despair and confusion in the eyes of the mean person.  I have witness someone out of control, unable to stop themselves long enough to find the right words.  I have seen the face of hate.  In their state of meanness, which to me is void of all love, they scan their brains quickly taunting me to engage.  But I don’t.  I have learned to step outside of myself, and observe.  It’s a weird position, and quite new to me.  In the past I would definitely shoot back and lose no matter what.  No one ever wins in “mean.”

It’s shocking to me, because now I see it so clearly.  Before now I would engage and not be able to think straight.

I don’t want someone in my life that treats me poorly.  I don’t want someone in my life that holds anger and hostilities towards me.  For whatever reasons, unknown to me, I am the one that receives what ever sh*t they want to throw.   I have even received the silent treatment, which is hysterical to watch from afar, as if I care to talk to someone so mean.

Mean people don’t seem to know about love.  They just don’t.  They don’t know how to show it, give it, receive it or feel it.  They may have read about it but it’s just not in their nature.  Unless they chose to learn about it and change their core beliefs, they will continue to live on with the weight of bitterness, hate and anger baring down on their souls. I don’t even think they know they are missing out on anything.

You see it’s not about making points, or winning an argument, it’s all about what you want in your life.  A cold loveless existence just isn’t for me.  As I declutter I am purging my thoughts that someone else will ever change.

Instead I have changed.  I have changed by not taking in the hostility anymore. I find this approach both powerful and liberating.  Any sadness I held for what could have been is gone.   I have throw away all my “could-have-been(s).”

Cheers!

Here is a more in depth look at “How to Combat Emotional Warfare and Root Out the Manipulative, Abusive People in Your Life” (this article showed up in my email just now-weird)

Tip: Learn to protect yourself;  just walk away if someone is treating you unkindly.

Inspiration: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”- Mohandas K. Gandhi

One-day one -thing: Stop thinking about what could-have-been.

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

Five Unproven Tips

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I have an issue with getting too  close.  I could explain it away based on many things, now that I recognize much of the baggage I carry.  But that doesn’t change it, and I question if it even need to be changed? Or am I like this because I want it this way?

Yesterday I had this imaginary turn of events play out in my head that lead a friendship from casual and strong to really really close friends. And that’s when I noticed this “pull-back” inside of me, I could physically feel it.  It was like – Oh, I don’t want to do “that.

Mind you, in the past few years I have lost five different friends each by one of the following ways; two by way of death, one good old fashion betrayal, one from a realization, and one because of relocation.  Also during this same time my three children left the nest for college.   (Irish triplets; I knew this day would come, didn’t make it any easier) Feelings of loss are never easy.

In the beginning, Unpack The Rat was focused solely on material stuff, clutter and junk, but when some of that stuff made me cry I knew there was much more stuff stuffed inside me.  I realize that now, right now, is the time to fix everything the best I can.  It’s been brutal a continuing challenge.

Another thing I have learned during my journey is, it will go on as long as I am breathing.  Meaning no matter what happens, I will have to work at conquering my demons every day, or they will take me over.   My demon, disguised as clutter, boxes and disarray, is actually negativity and all that encompasses.

Much like an addiction, I have to fight negativity every day or it will overpower my mind, body and soul.

So right now, I am going to come up with five unproven tips to counter my negativity. Maybe they will help you, me or someone we know.

Five Instant Tips:

1. Stop swearing  unless it’s used in positive comment.  Example: ” That’s so f*cking incredible. I am so excited for you!” Swearing when you are upset or angry only serves to  fuel and intensify any negative emotion.

2. Do not allow yourself to get hungry.  We are grown people, we know we have to fuel our bodies and minds.  Pack a lunch box to take wherever you go, make a first aid kit for the hungries.  Suggestions for your kit: carrots, fruit, cheese,  nuts, crackers and water.  Dig in before you end up in a sour mood or even worse find yourself driving through Wendy’s or the likes. 

3. Remember those who are thirsty.  The time you waste being negative could be time spent promoting Charity Water .  I am signing Unpack The Rat up  today. ( if I can do it this way)  Of course what this really means is help anyone (a person, animal or plant) who needs help rather than filling your own cup with negativity.

4. Daydream about a ridiculous or fabulous adventure. If you want, go ahead and close your eyes for a few seconds and slip away. Envision it all as if you were really there.

5. Be grateful for having the ability to love.

That’s what I came up with.  Now I am going to Charity Water and see if I can sign up.

As for getting too close,  I am not going to worry about it for now.   Not everything needs an answer the moment you think of it.  Sometimes you just need to “be.”

I be being.

Okay, it worked…..Here’s the link to donate to Unpack the Rat’s Charity Water campaign.

Cheers!