relax

It’s the moments that matter

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Last week we were driving to do normal errands.  It was the first real storm of the winter the roads looked something like the photo below.

1024px-Snowy_Highway_401

We were driving a little fast for my liking, but I have been called a back seat driver so I took this opportunity to just be quiet.  I notice a SUV was baring down on us but we could not pull over a lane because another car was in the way.  Any way I was getting nervous and I said something like ” it’s kind of slippery.”   As I said that I looked in the mirror and the SUV following us was in a total spin out.  He seemed to not hit anything but the next car, a sedan, also spun out and took a direct hit into the concrete medium.

No traffic continued forward for a while, we are not sure what happened, but what I do know is the we easily could have be in the sedan behind the SUV.  That very well could have been our accident, except for the moments that got us where we were.  A displacement of 20 seconds total.  So if you find yourself wasting or rushing a few seconds here or there, in the course of your lifetime it does matter.  You’ll never know how much it matters until its right in front of your face.

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Cheers!

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!

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!

Frightening

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You know what is really really frightening?

It really is scary to “not care.”  Like to just not give a rats ass about stuff.  All kinds of stuff -anything you can think of -stuff.

It’s not the same as surrendering, is it?  I don’t think so.  I don’t know.

All I know is I can not control anything, and it doesn’t matter what happens because there is nothing I can do about it.

I remember being preoccupied about so many things and trying to make everything just right.  I would stress, worry, panic, and in turn guess what happened in the end?  Nothing ever turned out “just right.”  Absolutely nothing.   

Worst nightmares became reality.   

It’s not like you or I can change the past no matter how hard we try.   And forget the future, that is way out of the human being’s capability.

There is only one thing we actually control; our minds.

We do choose our thoughts.  We can control whether we care about this, or that, or the other thing.  That is it.  Pretty simple.

I still don’t care much, but I know it’ is by my own choice.

I am ready, so ready,  to think nothing.  No thoughts.  This mind of mine needs a serious rest.

meditar2

Cheers!

I repeat.

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Old habits die hard.

Old belief are nearly impossible to kill.

I am moving to a different journey.   And it isn’t because I have succeeded at this journey, it’s because of what I have learned over the course of trying to de-clutter.   You see it’s not the clutter that is causes the problem, it is my mind.  NO matter what problem you see in your life, if you can identify it and recognize it, then you already have everything needed to fix it.

I have spent the last two years doing everything in my power, ( at least I thought I was)  to change my life.

Only the other day I looked around and saw a “repeat” of everything I wanted to change and all that I wanted to leave behind.  My new small house, within a a 9 month period, has acquired all characteristics that I didn’t like about our old house.  Why is that?

This is why; and I want you to pay close attention –It’s my mind.  It’s my thoughts.  It is my beliefs.  I fall into the same old patterns.  I am was on a replay loop. So of course everything would be the same, there was no chance of it ever changing. No chance whatsoever.

My symptoms:  procrastination, lack of focus, unwillingness to let go, believing that another day it will be different, and making excuses.

LUCES-I

I will tell you I have succeeded in some areas.  I have conquered any weight issues I used to have, and I am closer than ever to resolving the issues with my family of origin.  So now is the time I need to work on me.

My recent readings have helped me to clearly see this and so I have an understanding of what I need to do.  These are the book so far that have made a significant impact:

Love yourself, like your life depends on it.

Super Brain

You Can Heal Your Life

In addition to these I am reading the Power of Now and Tao the Ching

I am giving you these books as insight into my current journey.   I now know I have to seriously change my auto- pilot repetitive thought patterns in order to be happy and free.   And if you find yourself in the same boat, you might want to pick one of these books up and read.  I found them inspiring and helpful.

I have to concentrate on me.  All else will follow.

As always Cheers!

learn from the sunflower

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This beautiful sunflower shows all the hope and promise of life.  I am here, I am happy, I am spectacular.  Bring it on. I am ready.

What a glorious sight.  Nature at its finest, from a simple little seed this masterpiece sprouted .

That was yesterday. Yesterday is gone.

Today life has already sent a blow to the sunflower.  I am guessing a squirrel had a hand in this.  It wasn’t anything personal, it just happened.

As time goes on, more and more will happen to this sunflower,  most of which will be none of its own doing.  That  is just the way it goes.

So the sunflower’s couple days brought me to my message or point.  Enjoy life even though it’s ever changing, even if at times it seems unfair.

How many time have you heard the phrase,” enjoy the moment” ?  Sounds so cliche but it’s not.  Have you managed to put this phrase to practice?

It’s not easy, but it is doable.  I try everyday.  Everyday every moment is a challenge, or should I say an “opportunity” to remember to live, to enjoy, to breath, to love and to be grateful and kind.  You can just pick one of those thoughts and you’re well on your way.

It takes a conscientious effort and a consistent effort to live in the moment.  Practice make perfect.  Take right now for instance, be happy you are reading.  Just enjoy the photos if nothing more.  Acknowledge your moment and smile.  Then repeat every moment the rest of your life.

One person I know uses the phrase “don’t time travel”  meaning don’t worry, fret or ponder the future or the past, only right now truly exists….live now – find joy now, be kind now, be grateful now, choose a positive thought over a negative thought.

I may be writing this for myself as a concrete lesson I can visualize…..but it doesn’t matter.

I hope you enjoy many moments.

Cheers.

Update:

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.

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.

Screwed up.

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So everything in your life is a mess, you’re stressed and wondering what you should do.  It’s easy to let your emotions take over at times like these, but that’s not going to help anything.

Here’s what you are gong to do about it: NOTHING.

Artist Andrew Myers, modern-day sculptor

Andrew Myers make creates portraits with screws.

Let go of your problems for a while. I suggest all day today, just don’t do or think anything related to any of the problems in your life. If you have to, put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you find yourself dwelling on some issue you can not control or thinking about an issue that has you worried or upset.

I plan on reading. I know I have a pile of books that are begging for my attention. When you read you learn. Learning is a sure way to take your mind someplace else. I may be going to a movie, by myself. It’s quite relaxing to go out without any company. I encourage you to try it.

If you are alone most the time, go somewhere social. Go to a museum and join a talk or a group tour. You’ll be with other people and share an experience, which is usually interesting if nothing more.

By the end of the day your life will still be a mess but you will not have wasted your Saturday worrying about it.

Your mission should you chose to take it is: Make your today work for you and not against you.

Cheers!

Tip: Leave the desk behind if you can this weekend and just live. It’s hard to slow down

Inspiration: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin

One-day one-thing: Enjoy something, anything, your choice.

Grinchy

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Okay here we go, into the holidays a time when people buy gifts for people because they are supposed to, or because they really want to, or because it’s tradition. Many people do this knowing that they really can’t afford to spend their cash, or worse their credit, and they do it anyway.

I used to love the holidays. Loved them. One year I even dragged my DH to the mall on Black Friday just because I wanted to be part of the chaos. Another year I flew to NYC and back the same day, just to be there on Black Friday for the fun of it.

I use to buy things for people I barely knew, just because it was fun. Fun to shop, fun to buy, fun to wrap and fun to give. Also I bought gift for people in case I ran into them somewhere. Many of those gifts are in my box of “new” things in our storage unit. ( somewhere )

When the children were little I spent every Christmas Eve wrapping while watching “The Christmas Story” marathon, I never went to bed. I would finish about six a.m. and they would be wide awake shortly there after. Those were the good years, even if I was sure to end up exhausted and full of champagne by noon. It was fun and exciting. They were always so surprised and honestly very cute. It was unpredictable and all brand new to them..

After many years of playing Santa Claus I started to find myself a little burned out, but it was still fun.

This year is drastically different. Here are the factors: My children are young adults. They either don’t want anything or what they do want is way too expensive. As for us, we are trying to declutter, so we don’t want anything. Nothing please. Additionally we are in a savings mode, because in the back of our minds we think we’ll be looking for a house again soon.

There will be no decorating, because we aren’t living in our own home. We won’t have our own tree, our own music or anything. And seeing as we were never church goers, we don’t have that tradition to fall back on.

I guess we’ll do the usual, the annual Christmas exchange of cash inside cards for the cousins. (that’s what everyone in the entire family does – every year) We never know if they will be there or not? But I always have the cards with cash ready.

It will be cold. It’s always cold.

This past many years have taught me so much, but right now I am tired of learning these life lessons. Enough already.

( which normally means I am about to get slammed with another one )

So this year I’ll be asking Santa for a big red velvet bag full of love, joy and peace, life lessons NOT included. That’s all I want.

“Pssst Santa, can you hear me? “

Tip: Remind yourself it’s only one day and read Gandhi before company arrives.

Inspiration: ” Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

One-day one-thing: Send someone who has crossed your mind a seasonal card even if you haven’t stay in touch.