easy

Mexican Squirt, listen and stop

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listen

Around the corner from where I live there is this Mexican Grocery store.  And right now I am enjoying a Mexican Squirt.  That’s Squirt made with pure cane sugar.  No high-fructose corn syrup in it and it is delicious.   I enjoyed being in the market.  The store clerk was friendly, ask me if it was my first time there, it wasn’t.  He was super kind.

They sell all types of peppers, homemade salsa, they even prepare fresh tacos during lunch hour, and they also sell cacti.  How do you even prepare cactus? I don’t know, but while I was there I felt like I was worlds away. Away from the normal unrelenting drone of this American life.  Yet, I was less than one mile from my house.

The point here is – I think I am suffering from too much.  Too much of everything.  Seeing too much, hearing too much.  Owning too much, and feeling too much.  Thinking too much.  Worrying too much.  I am officially on overload.

I need to shut it all off.  I need to shut it all down.  I need to try not to notice.  I need to listen.

I need to listen to that voice inside that has been screaming at me – STOP!

So today I stop.  I am really going to stop tomorrow,  I don’t know exactly what I will do, but it wont require me to worry, to think, or to rush here or there.

I am officially in the stop mode.  I don’t care if I don’t know how to be  a miracle worker right now…..I am stop mode.  If I don’t learn how to meditate this week, so what?

I already feel better just saying I am in “stop mode.”  Seems silly but it appears to be helping me.

I hope you can STOP also…..it’s awesome and I just started a few minutes ago. I guess it doesn’t take 40 day to stop.

Cheers!

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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.

Santa’s not going to do this by Himself.

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I better get cracking.  My starting point: I have nothing planned for Christmas and I am mentally and emotionally spent.

In my de-cluttering mode I sold our fake artificial Christmas tree.  I had no place put it anyway and I figured we would get by with less.  Everything else for the holidays  is in here.

Just an fyi, if anyone is seeking a nice Christmas tree, Costco has beautiful real trees, cut, for 29.99.   They even tempted me.  They have short needles and are a good height and shape.  I think the tree is a good value plus you get that fresh pine scent in your house.

This year’s challenge is to make Christmas memorable,  fun and easy with low stress levels – without spending a ton of cash.

Unfortunately, it’s a super busy month even without the holidays.  First I have a business trip to Monterrey.  It will be beautiful, maybe stressful but maybe not.   Next I’ll be driving to NYC to chauffeur  two of my children home.  I’m not complaining at all, I love both places,  it’s just time consuming.

In New York I’d be happy to walk around with a coffee.  I like the sparkling silver star that hangs high above 5th Ave near Tiffany’s. ( if you go to Tiffany’s jewelry repair, 6th floor as I recall, you an get an awesome view of the silver star)   I also love looking at Bergdorf Goodman’s windows, they never disappoint.

We’ll play it by ear.  It’s not like my kids are teens and I can tell them what we are doing.  It’s more like they are mini-grown-ups, you know, with big ideas of their own.  I remember when I was their age, I went out partying all winter break, without my parents.

You know what?  I am going to buy that Costco Christmas tree and put it up. Why not?  Dress it with lights, garland and ornaments, and put some presents underneath.  Bake some cookies for everyone to decorate and make hot chocolate. Wow, a somewhat normal and simple Christmas.  So what if it’s in a basement?

That’s all it ever has to be….simple and real.   In my heart, I knew this all along.

Post Script: We lost the second house we bid on.  It was a multiple bidding situation once again.  Heavy sigh.  I feel like the world is telling me something, something like “stop what you’re doing- it’s not working.”

Tip: Concentrate on shared experiences instead of things.

Inspiration: ” Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.” ~ Noam Chomsky

One-day one-thing: If you’re giving gifts, wrap them as you get them –  it’s the only way.

Love What You Do, Even if You Dont.

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This is a tough one.  Once we decide we don’t like doing something, or maybe we decide we don’t like our boss or our job, we subconsciously sabotage ourselves.  Especially if we are in a position where we still need to do the work, or be around the people we disdain.

All the time you [I] spend disliking something, is time we never get back.  Plus all that negative energy is what we are feeding our own souls.  You would never feed platefuls of negativity to your dog.  Would you?  No way.   That would make for a very wounded pet and it’s just plain cruel.

Negative thoughts and the energy contained within those thoughts cause stress. This is something we all know.  And  stress sucks on so many levels, it’s even been tied to disease.

(When my children were little they weren’t allowed to use the word- “sucks” – now it’s commonplace….lol at myself)

Anyway, think of your emotions and attitudes as food and carefully choose what you want to eat for the day.  I would classify hatred and hostility as poison and anger as saturated animal fat.  On the flip side, happiness and love would an awesome organic salad with a tall glass of fresh homemade lemonade on a beautiful summer day.

You don’t have to change your desire to upgrade your situation.  Not at all.  But while you are stuck find the good, concentrate on that and keeping  looking for other options.

I once heard this saying, and I have no idea where, but I suggest you try it today.  If you find yourself facing a challenge do this:   Pretend that everything is easy.

One time my Daughter and I used this phrase, and we found ourselves laughing through the pain, because it wasn’t at all “easy.”  On that difficult day pretending made all the difference in the world. Cheers!

Tip: Your emotions are a bigger part of you than your physical body. In other words, you are what you think.

Inspiration:  “It doesn’t matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn’t matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years — we turn on the light and it is illuminated.  Once we control our capacityfor love and happiness, the light has been turned on.”~ Sharon Salzberg

One-day one-thing: Sort a box of “important” papers, the box you ignore because it’s so important.

Animal shoes

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I haven’t wanted  to sort my shoes this second time around.  I know I have shoes that need repair, and my conscious mind says,  “If you really wanted to wear them you would have had them fixed already.”  Pfft – I am not going to listen.

So instead of sorting my shoes today I am going to pick on my shoes.  The pair that first comes to my mind as “annoying” will go directly into the box.

I have a winner!  (I think I have tried to get rid of these several times)  Here’s the lucky winner, what beauties, ha,….they aren’t even that great.

dim witted mule shoes- clomp clomp clomp! be gone!

Let me explain why these shoes are annoying.  Have you ever walked down an aisle in a grocery store, or a long hallway in a  school,  or even an art museum all alone and you sound like a slow moving dim witted mule?  Clomp clomp clomp.  Here are my dim witted mule shoes.  (Different from shoes that are mules)  They are great on grass or carpet but completely awful every where else.  They are fun inexpensive shoes good for casual summer days and art fairs.  Clomp Clomp clomp.  They are toast.  Poof. Gone.

(Ah… much better.  This little task makes me want to get rid all my annoying clothes, like the rain coat that is an awful color and every time I wear it I feel like a clown, or even better underwear that wedges, or socks that feel awkward… I digress)

So it’s your turn to take a mental inventory of shoes that bother you.  You don’t even have to get up right now. Just make a note of it and finish your coffee.  After you finish your breakfast find your victim and throw them in the “box” and viola you have your completed one day- one thing  task for today.

Stay the course.  I am planning on working on some other areas today as well, but not too many.  I might  am going to paint this afternoon. Cheers!

Give away clothes box

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I rate this habit as easy. Everyone can do this without much effort at all.

I have too many clothes.  I think you might have too many clothes also.  Here’s what I do and am doing.  I have a “give away” clothes box.

No mistake what goes in this box.

It’s nothing fancy, so when I finally finish the de-cluttering of my clothes,  if I want,  I can recycle the box.  Smart thinking right?

The box is outside the laundry room, so that when I am folding I can make decisions to keep or donate.  And this way the clothes are clean.  Children can easily learn to put what they won’t wear any longer in the box.  And it’s really good for them to learn to donate and how to let go. I line the box with a large heavy duty trash bag and when it gets heavy but I can still lift it, I put it my car and take a trip to our local Good-Will.

Funny thing is, when I am shopping at  Good-Will sometimes I see my old things.  I still like them, but I never ever want to buy them back.

Anyway, Good-Will gets more money per item than I could ever get  in a garage sale, and money  is put to good use.  It’s all good,  a win-win.

( I recognize this is a box.  Oops!  My rationalization: it’s a temporary box being use as a tool to get to my goal)