The Art of Everyday Living

“Impermanence is the nature of the human condition.”

buddha statue face

There is a Zen notion I am rather fond of called wabi sabi. It can be described as a fleeting, imperfect, accidental beauty – unpretentious, simple, and intimate.
It is the weathering of a statue, the nicks of time on furniture, the scarring of old bronze, the crawling of moss on stone, and even the natural aging process of a human being.
It is that last bit, that applies so directly to the experience of being human, that I want to focus on today. Wabi sabi embraces the natural process of growth, decay, and death. It is about accepting the impermanence of everything in life, including life itself.
It may be silly, but when it comes to everyday life, remembering the beauty of wabi sabi can do wonders for relieving stress or disappointment. When your favorite shoes start showing signs of wear and don’t look quite so pretty anymore. When you lose an earring. When you look in the mirror on the morning of your 30th birthday and see the first signs of crows feet around your eyes (funny how it seems to work that way, right?). You can fully mourn the loss of what was, while knowing ultimately that it doesn’t matter in the big picture, and that nothing is meant to be forever. You can live your human experience to the fullest while knowing that your suffering is not because of impermanence, but because of your reaction to impermanence.
To forget the truth of impermanence is to forget the truth of life. Life is about embracing each moment as it happens, and being able to see the beauty in each of those fleeting, beautiful, perfectly imperfect moments as they are gifted to you.
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Overcoming Your Overwhelm

We all feel overwhelmed from time to time. So, what’s the best way to move past it?

We all have to deal with stress time to time. Some more than others. One of the most common causes of stress in our society is feeling downright overwhelmed.
And, being overwhelmed can feel awfully…well, overwhelming. When you get into that state of mind it’s difficult to navigate your way back out to the other side.
I know how it feels. I often (try always!) find myself juggling a million things at once. Or, perhaps it’s just one mammoth task that has so many different steps it makes you crazy trying to figure it all out. When there are many different things calling your attention, it’s difficult to decide what you should do first.
So, what usually happens? You start one thing, then another, then another, and don’t quite get any of them finished.
Or, you feel SO overwhelmed that you do absolutely nothing!  And then it all just piles up and gets out of control and soon you are pulling out your hair and kicking yourself.
Can you relate?
I’ve been there.  All of the above.
But, fear not, there is hope! It’s quite simple really. 
There is one very old, very effective, very wise rule to overcoming your overwhelm.
Are you ready for it?
Here it is…

One thing at a time.

That’s right.  Just one little thing at a time.
I know it sounds obvious, but this is it.
How do you do this? It’s easier than you think, if you let it be. You pick one thing out of that mile-long list of yours and you focus on that one thing only. See, now, it’s not so bad is it? Just that one little task. Once you have completed it, you move on to the next one thing.
If you have one thing that seems too big, you break it down into smaller things. Then, you do those smaller things one at a time as individual tasks.
So, how do you know which one thing to start with? When you have all of these many looming responsibilities, how on earth do you figure out which to begin with?
The answer is easy.
The answer is inside you.
You’ll know which task calls to you most urgently if you quiet your mind for a moment and listen.  You can do this.
To get all of those tasks that are bouncing around in your head sorted, write them all down on paper.  Then choose the one that calls to you, and tackle it full force.
You can do this.
Believe it.
divine connection healing mindset

Stop and smell the roses…

In a busy world, it can be difficult to keep oneself grounded and centered.

With the many billboards, cars, commercials, airports, electronics, etc., people often find themselves bombarded with too much stimulation, and surrounded by cement and noisy, polluting engines. Taking the time to connect with nature is among the most effective ways to stay centered, yet many of us are so used to being disconnected that it can actually take a bit of effort to do this.
What’s worse, many have forgotten how to connect with nature – to truly let go of oneself and take it all in, become one with the natural abundance all around.
You must set aside a little time, go outside, and let go of thinking. Relax, clear your mind, and just feel. Sit down on the grass or up against a tree, get down on the level of the smallest creatures of this world and become a part of their existence for a little while. Turn around and take a good, close look at that tree you are leaning on. You will find an entire little world on that one tree – snails, insects, moss, all making their homes there. Observe the crevices and colors of the trunk. Feel it gently with your fingers, and open your mind to the energy of the spirit within. All trees, plants, animals, stones, everything, have spirits within, guiding them and caring for them, the same as humans. And they love to be loved and appreciated, just like anyone else.
Most people think flowers are pretty, but have you ever really looked at one? Pick one flower, just one, and let yourself be mesmerized by the colorful characteristics and beauty of that flower. Notice the curve of each petal, the scent, the way the leaves grow on its stem. Connect with that flower, become one with it.
Allow yourself to love that one beautiful, perfect flower.
There is so much to be learned from a flower, or a tree, or a tiny, busy little insect.
When a person takes the time to connect with the world on that level, they often gain inner peace and a greater appreciation for this beautiful planet that is our home and for life itself. Instead of killing the spider, let it out. It is a living creature in its own right, and intends no harm to you. When you happen upon a colony of snails, which you are much more likely to do if you are getting close to the earth and observing those tiny details, watch those beautiful creatures carefully and learn from them, love them. Become aware of how precious that little bird singing on the branch truly is. When you tune into what is around you, the awe at what Mother Nature is capable of is unbelievable. You will begin to see the miracle of it all, rather than taking our amazing world for granted. A person does not have to live in a rural area to connect with nature – even your houseplants are products of nature.
The perfect cure for feeling stressed and disconnected – a date with the great outdoors, even if it is your backyard or patio! There is nothing more inspiring and grounding than what Mother Nature has to offer.

To dive more deeply into the journey of staying centered and balanced, download my Chakra Clearing Meditation.

This process supports emotional and spiritual growth, reduces blood pressure and induces a deep sense of relaxation, increases focus in daily life, and so much more.

healing mindset motivation

To Be a Guiding Light

The best thing to do is not to be the lifesaver, but to be a guiding light.

Most of us have known someone at one time or another who we felt tended to drag us down, rain on our parade when we are happy about something, or make us feel bad for the good fortune in our lives.
In many cases, the offender does not do so intentionally, but the effect is just the same. Of course, if someone is abusive, dangerous, or particularly toxic, getting that person out of our lives is the absolutely right thing to do, including seeking help to do so if necessary.
However, I have known a number of beautiful souls who tend to be very negative, often because they suffer emotionally, but who never intend to cause anyone pain or drag them down. It is often just a side effect of being so down themselves.
Sometimes, we have someone in our lives who we care about, who is good person, but who we can hardly talk to without feeling like they have inadvertently burst our bubble, yet again, for no good reason other than the depression they may be struggling with.
Sometimes, we find ourselves trying to “save” someone who struggles emotionally because we can see their potential and want to help them realize it, and instead end up feeling like we are being dragged down with them.
Is it better to cut these people out of our lives and get on with things? Maybe, maybe not. But, there is a way to approach how we interact with them that tends to mostly take care of the decision for us. When you know someone who is treading in dark waters, but who isn’t actually reaching out for help, first and foremost, don’t try to reach down and pull them into your boat, so to speak. Trying to save another person that is struggling will only cause you to be pulled down with them, if they are not ready and willing to climb into the boat with you.
In these situations, we have to pull back, cut the cord of dependency if there is one, and learn to be a passive guide. The best thing to do is not to be the lifesaver, but to be a guiding light. Detach, stand back, and show them the way by being your amazing self and living an amazing life, while leaving it up to them to follow, or not.
This can be hard at first, because there is often a fear that if we stop reaching out and feeding the cycle, the person we care about will simply drift away. To be honest, that is a possibility. But, if the only way to keep someone in your life is to let them drag you down with them, then maybe they shouldn’t be in your life.
This is where the hard decisions get made for you.
You accept that you may have to let go, and if it becomes necessary, that is what you do.
On the other hand, you may be surprised to find that person doesn’t drift away. That they follow your guiding light and start to pull themselves up to be where you are. This is such a beautiful thing to see. If they want to be in your life, your awesomeness will inspire them to want to be awesome, too.
And, when this approach is appropriate, it is so worth the time and effort. Some people are worth holding onto.
healing mindset motivation

Write a Motivation Manifesto

We all have times of internal struggle.

Sometimes we are disappointed in ourselves, feel overwhelmed, inadequate, or hopeless – and these are the moments it can be a particularly challenging to be motivated to live up to our true potential.
These feelings can run deep and be surrounded by complicated situations, but sometimes we just need a pick-me-up to feel inspired again, and can’t always rely on an outside source to give us that.
Here’s a simple and fun idea to prepare for these spells of Debbie Downer syndrome, so you can pull yourself out of that funk and start kicking butt at life again.
Write the words that YOU need to hear when you are struggling and stressed. Remind yourself of your true worth. Remind yourself of your good qualities, your capabilities, what makes you special and awesome.
Be your own cheerleader, and tell your inner go-getter what it needs to hear to get pumped up and energized again.
List the things you believe when it comes to motivation, passion, success, progress – and the things you want to believe.
This will be your personal manifesto of motivation.
Take the time to write it out in whatever way works for you – art journal, a notebook, a digital journal, a vision board.
Have fun, get creative, and keep moving forward!
healing mindset

What does empowerment mean to you?

This is a question I have found myself being asked quite a bit lately.  So, I came up with an answer.

Defined by the World English Dictionary as
1. to give or delegate power or authority to; authorize
2. to give ability to; enable or permit
Okay, sure. But that sounds so lifeless for a word that is so full of passion and strength.
What does empowerment mean to you? This is a question I have found myself being asked quite a bit lately. So, I came up with an answer.
Empowerment has been an integral part of my life’s journey over the past several years. For me, it has meant following the path I knew was right for me without the need for approval from others. To push through with courage no matter how frightening or impossible it seemed, because I knew in my core it was right.
It has allowed me to create a life that is built around who I am, instead of having to try and mold myself to a life that someone else has built for me. It’s about being able to be my true self in any situation, being confident in my abilities and passions, and about standing in my own power, that I created for myself. Forging my own path. 
When a person is empowered, no one else can take away their power because no one else has given it to them – rather they have given it to themselves.
Empowerment is courage. Empowerment is freedom. Empowerment is authenticity. It’s about living in the moment, creating your own path, and creating your own love and happiness. Empowerment is liberating, exhilarating, and intoxicating. It brings you out of hiding, out of the darkness, into the light and fresh air.
Being empowered feels like soaring, like the sun on your face, and the wind in your hair. You feel unstoppable and invincible. Powerful. Powerful in the way that’s real, that’s almost tangible, and pure. You have power over the one person only you should – yourself.
The power to choose, the power to be, the power to feel. The power to be able to be the person you came here to be. No chains, no boundaries on who you are or what you can be or do. Finding empowerment for me was like stepping off of a cliff, with the knowing and faith in my heart that not only did I have wings, but they would open, and they would catch the wind and be strong enough to carry me, and I would soar all on my own. I didn’t need anyone else’s wings. Only mine.
Empowerment. What does it mean to you?