May 3 ♥ Keep or Toss? Change the Question…

I have been in this minimizing, clean-out mode for the past month. At first I would carefully consider every item: keep or toss? Seemed straightforward enough. Yet, somehow a “decide later” pile kept appearing. I wasn’t making the kind of progress I had envisioned. I kept plugging along, knowing that I really had to get rid of some things. So I gave away the clothes that were never, ever going to fit me again. I also got rid of all my professional work clothes. No longer had a need to wear them, so what possible purpose were they serving in my closet? And then I added those things that no longer support who I am right now. Adios to books on topics that had once interested me; books I would never read again. Farewell to old cards I had received, magazine articles I planned to read, shoes for special occasions that would never be repeated. Things associated with long-ago hobbies. Yarn that was never going to see the light of day as a garment. Good riddance to things I was “going to get to” once upon a time. Suddenly I have picked up momentum. I have become more ruthless in what I am discarding. And the more I have eliminated the more free and unencumbered I feel. There is more space in my home, and in my being. I am clearing out what no longer serves me or supports who I want to be in the world. I want my home to … Continue reading

Mar 22 ♥ How to Make Room for Opportunity

So many people believe that luck or opportunity only come to certain people because they were in the right place at the right time. I believe that’s bunk. What I know is that opportunity comes from paying attention to everything around me, no matter how far-removed the subject is from my areas of interest or expertise. I am open to new ideas, even half-baked ones because an opportunity may lurk there. I also look for problems or challenges I, myself, or others are having, knowing that an opportunity for a solution may be hiding in the shadows. The key point here is that I make myself ready for potential opportunity to show itself by being very curious about the world. Opportunities are all around me. I look at how to improve things or how I can build on someone else’s idea. I ask myself how I could turn a challenge into a positive. I network with a diverse group of people. I offer to help others, emphasizing my unique skills, which may turn into a springboard of opportunity. Sure, some possibilities and ideas fall into my lap. And I’m grateful for those circumstances. But more often than not, I make myself ready for opportunity! When I find something interesting, I ask some preliminary questions: Is this something I want to tackle? Why do I want to spend my limited energy here? Do I have the time and other resources to take advantage of it? Once I’m clear on my intentions … Continue reading

Oct. 12 ♥ Why You Must Let Go of the Past

How many things are you holding on to “just in case”? How many clothes still hang in your closet just in case you lose the weight that keeps hanging around your midsection. Or maybe you’ve kept those shiny black stiletto heels just in case you once again go to a classy wedding? Or maybe you’ve hung on to those casual Friday combinations that are no longer necessary for your lifestyle? If you’re really honest with yourself, you know these will likely never happen again. And yet you cling to the possibilities. I’ll bet you’re just afraid to let go of the past — because these things represent parts of you, the good times, memories of who you were — back then. Yet your past is not who you are now. True it helped you become who you are at this moment, and you need to be grateful for that. But nostalgia can weigh you down — and fill your closet. Hanging on to the past keeps you tied to what was and stifles your forward motion toward who you are becoming. So, let go of material things from the past. Maybe even consider a farewell ceremony to mark your goodbyes. And donating these items will make you lighter and help others who can use them. Consciously choose to live in the now of who you are, keeping only the things that represent her. Now It’s Your Turn: What do you hold onto that ties you to your past? How might these … Continue reading

Sept. 7 ♥ What’s Your Line in the Sand?

What do these sentences all have in common? Sorry, I can’t do that. I’m spread far too thin right now. I will not allow anyone to speak to me that way. I need some time to think about that. These are all statements honoring personal power. Each shows various ways of saying, “No!” firmly and politely. Every one indicates a personal boundary, stated in clear, honest language. Could you say these things when needed? It wasn’t so long ago that these types of statements were hard for me to use. I’d let people manipulate me. I was afraid of confrontation. I swallowed my true feelings. On the surface I looked and acted like a happy camper. But inside…well, I felt depleted, angry and resentful because I willingly sacrificed my serenity for the sake of keeping everyone happy and everything on an even keel—for others but not for me. I let others intimidate and overwhelm me, often bullying me into submission. I let others usurp my personal power. I’m not like that now. So, what changed? I came to realize that it was my responsibility to take care of me. I couldn’t rely on anyone else to do this for me, and more importantly, I didn’t have to have anyone’s approval to do so. I came to believe this but it took longer for me to put it into action. Slowly I came to understand that it was my job to protect my time and energy. I couldn’t be everything to … Continue reading

July 20 ♥ Why You’re NOT Selfish

I know that “selfish” is a loaded word for many of us. Too often we tangle it up with self-care, thinking that they’re synonyms. And we want to be anything but selfish. Long ago we were encouraged to perfect our nurturing side during our childhood years and so now taking care of others is just our knee jerk reaction. And, of course, if we’re constantly attending to the needs of others, we have little time for ourselves. And what’s the effect of that choice? Exhaustion. Crankiness. Short tempers. I know you get this. And yet that word, selfish, lurks in the background and gets in the way. Because if you don’t do the nurturing, the care of others, who will? It’s time to sharpen our understanding of the S-word. Being selfish is all a matter of degree. Here’s what Merriam-Webster says, “taking care of one’s own comfort, pleasure, or interest excessively or without regard for others. We so often miss that very important detail. Honestly, does that sound like you? Being overindulgent with yourself? That’s not what you’re about. You want to be there for others. You want to be generous. You truly want to nurture. Thinking only of yourself is just NOT in your nature. You really don’t know how to be “selfish” in the dictionary sense. Let’s agree that we’re not being selfish when we devote time to care for ourselves. Because who knows better how to meet our own needs? To restore us, to replenish our batteries, … Continue reading