life curation

Simple Steps for Actualizing Your Goals

Happy Monday friends! Another week full of potential lays before us. I’m so excited to embrace every day of this new year. I hope you all feel the same energy that I’ve been feeling; it’s a feeling of excitement and possibility. I love this time of year!

Recently, I’ve been really enjoying podcasts and Clubhouse. I love listening to different topics as I cook, clean, write, and do other things around the house. One of my favorite podcasts is Law of Attraction Changed My Life, hosted by Francesca Amber. I used to faithfully watch Francesca’s videos when she was on YouTube, but she stopped making new content a while ago. By chance, I visited her YT channel and saw that she’d made a video, announcing her change from vlogging to podcasting.

I promptly found her podcast, and spent the next two days binge listening to her content. (Disclaimer: her podcast does contain profanity. It isn’t an issue for me, but I want to at least put that out there so that there aren’t any surprises) Her January 1st episode had some great tips for actualizing your goals for 2021. I recommend that you listen to that episode for details, but in the next few days, I’ll share how I applied her advice as respects my own goals for the year.

One of the greatest takeaways from her podcast was to outline the first three steps required for each of my goals. I love practical, easy-to-implement advice like this. So, as I stated before, later this week I will share my first three steps for each of the goals that I mentioned last week.

Do you have any tips for reaching your 2021 goals? Let me know in the comments below!

health · life curation · Uncategorized · words of wisdom

A Graceful Ending

I wonder if the world’s population has ever been as ready for a year’s ending as we are right now. 2020 has been a momentous year: devastating at times, solemn at other times, and tremendously unpredictable throughout. There seems to be a collective desire to close this chapter and move cheerfully into the next.

While I am as eager as everyone else to end the year and turn the page, I am cautious to give this year end the graceful closure it deserves. If there is nothing else that can be said about 2020, it should be noted that this year has been highly instructive. I want to share some of the lessons that I learned in 2020.

Patience – I had to learn to be patient when it comes to my travel desires, as well as being patient as everyone around me adjusts to a “new normal”. Funny enough, I have always found it easier to be patient with other people than with myself. So when I occasionally get frustrated with myself (I’ve set multiple deadlines that I ended up having to adjust later), I try to remember to show myself a little bit of the patience that I usually reserve for others.

Love – I had high hopes for meeting a life partner this year. And while I did meet some interesting suitors, I didn’t find the romantic love that I desired. I did, however, experience an abundance of love in my life, in the form of family and friends that have been incredibly supportive and caring this year. I learned to look for authentic love in all its forms, and I wasn’t disappointed with what I found. I did not lack for love in 2020, and that was such a blessing.

Gratitude – As I expressed earlier this week, I am thankful for the fact that most of my family and friends were all healthy and happy this year. I am thankful for platforms like Zoom that made it possible for us to stay in contact while staying safe. I am thankful for having a beautiful home to quarantine in, within a safe and welcoming neighborhood. I honestly have so much to be grateful for, and I try my best to stay in the energy of gratitude.

Slow down – One of my key traits in years prior was to stay in constant motion. I loved to always have a project, or trip, or activity, to keep me occupied. This year has forced me to slow down in unexpected ways. I couldn’t just run to my favorite hangout spots: I actually had to stay home and learn to entertain myself in different ways. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m an introvert, so staying home wasn’t hard. But I was forced to really examine my life, resulting in the decision to slow down and really enjoy the small things.

Rest – I previously had the motto, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. I’m fortunate to have matured from this point of view, and now I value my sleep. What my body has needed this year has been intense self care, with sleep being a centerpiece of my care routine. So much of my health improvements has depended heavily upon my commitment to rest and restoration.

In conclusion, this is my way of blessing 2020 as I move forward to 2021. Thank you, 2020, for the lessons. I’ll never forget them.

life curation

Feeling Uninspired?

During this time, I’ve seen a myriad of articles (heck, I’ve even written a few posts!) that assume that being in quarantine automatically means that we have both time and inspiration to finally go after the things that light us up. It’s assumed that (prior to COVID-19) the only thing that was missing from our big dreams was the time to pursue them. And, for some of us, that is true.

However, there is a far more insidious culprit that many of us face when it comes to pursuing our dreams. There is a not-so-small group of us that have lots of time due to being quarantined but almost ZERO inspiration. Oh sure, we see something cool and inspiring online, or we get fired up when we listen to our favorite podcasts. But, when it comes to actually implementing our OWN ideas, we find ourselves feeling stuck and not particularly interested in walking that path just yet.

Some of us aren’t feeling very inspired at all.

I have a couple of theories on why that is, and I’ll share those in a moment. But first, let me state that even though I’m currently working on a side project that I adore, I did not feel inspired when quarantines were first implemented. I was still dealing with managing my fibro symptoms (which were intense at the time) and trying to find a compromise between my need to earn a living and my physical limitations. To say that I was uninspired would be an understatement.

But, something changed. My grandmother and her sister began staying with me, so that I could care for them while the world dealt with coronavirus. I found myself hearing stories that I’d heard before, but I was hearing them as an adult, and gleaning new lessons from them. In the midst of these conversations, I found my new inspiration. The unexpected effect has to be the single most motivating thing that has occurred in the past few years.

Now, back to why many of us aren’t motivated. Most of us are TIRED! Think of the intense schedules that most of us had pre-COVID; we needed some time to decompress and finally BREATHE after living hectic lifestyles. At this point, the only thing that can lead us to inspiration is giving ourselves room to rest and just take care of ourselves. If you are taking care of yourself, you are already doing enough. Give yourself credit and don’t worry about “inspiration”: inspiration comes in when you have room for it. It’s difficult to make room when your basic biological needs (like rest) haven’t been properly met for an extended period of time.

Exhaustion can impact our ability to create and be inspired

Another reason why many of us aren’t motivated and inspired is due to the fact that we feel anxious about the current state of the world as well as our personal well-being. This goes back to biological needs (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid): security is a basic need. If we don’t feel secure, it can be challenging to ascend to those higher levels of the hierarchal pyramid (which is the space where inspiration usually resides).

Yes, it is possible to be inspired by feelings of insecurity and exhaustion. There have been many products developed out of these emotions, and those products have been wildly successful. But it’s important to note that inspiration – the spark that makes you want to get up and do something incredible every day – doesn’t play well in spaces of insecurity, exhaustion, anger or depression. Not to mention, these emotions tend to deplete your energy, while inspiration tends to fuel it. Basically, the energy of inspiration runs counter to the “lower” feelings that you may experience. I’ve found that I’m more inspired when I’m feeling calm, healthy, and secure. However, that’s been my personal experience: if you’ve experienced something different, then completely disregard when I’ve stated and continue doing what works for you.

So, if you haven’t feel feeling inspired, give yourself a break and a little grace. We’re all doing the best we can. Eventually, our world will return back to the hectic, exhausting place that it was before (albeit with additional safety precautions) and we may not have another opportunity to truly GO SLOWER and take time to appreciate what really matters. So enjoy this time and continue doing your best: that’s inspiring enough.

life curation

Need Help Developing Your Vision for 2019?

Happy Sunday, friends! I spent most of today resting as I’ve had really low energy, but I’m feeling a little refreshed so I wanted to make sure that I get this post done before I get tied up in chores and other activities this evening.

I recently came across a great resource for anyone working on their personal vision statement. You know, having a personal vision statement can do wonders for giving you a “compass” for your behaviors: the right vision statement can help you to stay focused as you work toward accomplishing your goals.

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Kelley Rosano is a coach, astrologer, and author that has developed some great materials to support anyone trying to create a more successful future. Her Personal Vision guide has some great questions to help you reveal what really matters to you and what vision is most aligned with your personal desires, strengths and calling.

I’m working through the questions little by little throughout the next week. I’ve already gained so much clarity from this exercise! I’m glad that I found it before the end of the year. I can’t wait to share my vision statement with you all in a few days.

I advise you to check out the Personal Vision guide as well as the other offerings on her Free Resource page. Also, if you’re interested in her services, you can always contact her directly. I love that she has generously provided so many great materials that can be used to get a head start on a productive and successful year!

That’s all for this Sunday: I’ll catch up with you all tomorrow. Enjoy your evening!

life curation

Finish 2018 on a Strong Note

Hi friends! Can you believe we’re already in the month of NOVEMBER? I know, time flies when you’re having fun!

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With two months left in the year, you probably think that you won’t be able to do anything impactful before the years end. Nothing could be farther from the truth! 60 days is more than enough time to do something that will really help you to finish 2018 on a strong note. If nothing else, you can get a good running start for 2019.

So take out those goals you had for 2018 – you know, the ones that got lost in the sauce sometime in February – and give them a good once-over. See which one would really mean the most to you, and get started on it NOW! If you need an idea for how to get started on your goal, I have a post about one of my sneaky tricks for successful resolutions.

Start by doing something today that will take you five minutes or less (preferably less). Take the action immediately, and you’ll already feel like you’re headed in the right direction. As for me, I’m spending 15 minutes today on my “big goals” – five minute on each of my 3 goals – to get some momentum going. And then I’ll be jumping into my writing, because it’s NaNoWriMo! Check out tomorrow’s post for more about the NaNoWriMo festivities for this year.

Talk to you all tomorrow!

style

The Only Two YouTube Style Gurus That You Need to Know About

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve recently spent a lot of time on YouTube, getting additional style ideas for this fall/winter transition. I have a good sense of the major items that I want to incorporate into my wardrobe, but I love getting additional inspiration so that I can look my best during the cooler months.

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Through the many videos I’ve watched, I’ve learned that there are only two YouTube gurus that I’ve seen who have extremely comprehensive information that can apply to anyone. These YT creators are informative, thorough, and engaging. If you need a basic style education, I recommend these two ladies highly.

Aly Art

Aly is a favorite because her channel explains the Kibbe typing system in detail, and extends the concepts from clothing to hair, makeup and accessories. This Russian cutie makes content that really delves in how style can be used to flatter and enhance our natural attributes. She’s charming and stylish, and I love how her channel makes sure that a wide variety of women are well represented.

One of my favorite Aly Art’s favorite videos is the one about signature looks for the different body types:

 

Justine Leconte

I don’t know if it’s her French sensibility or her actual content that I love more, but I adore Justine. She is a fashion designer so she has a professional background in the style industry, and she, like Aly, has a flair for breaking down fashion concepts for regular folks like us. She covers fashion, color theory, beauty, and cultural concepts on her channel. There’s a lot of good information here, so visit when you have a good amount of time on your hands. Justine also has a website that you can check out here.

This video about planning your capsule wardrobe is great:

These two YouTubers are my go-tos for style information. Listen to these two ladies and you can’t go wrong!

That’s all for today. I look forward to chatting with you all tomorrow. Take care!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Aretha Franklin

Yesterday, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was laid to rest. I’m huge fan of her music, as I found her voice supernatural: listening to Aretha was akin to touching the divine, even if she wasn’t singing a gospel tune. As a music appreciator, I will always treasure the amazing recordings she left us.

I won’t write much, since there are so many of other writers online that are sharing their heartfelt emotion about Ms. Franklin. However, I will share some of my favorite quotes spoken by the Queen. Have a great Saturday.

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(Photos courtesy of Goalcast, LikeQuote and Saying Images)

 

life curation

My Not-So-Secret Tool for Getting Things Done

Happy Wednesday, friends! I wanted to quickly share one of my favorite tools for getting stuff done. I recently started back to using this tool regularly after I discovered that time was “getting away from me” and I wasn’t quite as productive as I’d like.

We’re all so busy that I know you all can relate to the feeling of too much to do and not enough time to do it. I honestly feel that the reason why we feel that we don’t have enough time is that we try to “make stuff happen” even when the best thing to do is to take a hands-off approach and let the chips falls where they may. The harder we push, the more difficult we make things for ourselves.

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So, to help me with this, I reach for the placemat process. The placemat process is a tool described by Abraham Hicks (if you aren’t familiar with Abraham-Hicks, then you probably haven’t gone deep enough down the law of attraction rabbit hole LOL!) that allocates the day’s tasks based on things to do and emotions you want to feel. The day’s tasks are divided into things that you intend to do yourself, things that you intend for the Universe to handle on your behalf, and the way that you want to feel throughout the day. If I do a placemat, I do it as soon as I get to my desk, so that it sets the tone for the day.

For the record, I don’t follow Abraham’s teaching as much as many of my favorite LOA teachers. However, I recognize when there’s a beneficial teaching or tool being described, and the placemat process is one of my favorites. It has been extremely effective in creating more productive days and for helping me stay focused on what I need to do. There’s something gratifying about checking off completed tasks, and being clear on what I’m leaving up to God/Spirit/the Universe/Source really helps me to focus my energy where it is best served.

I use a template provided to me a couple of years ago, but I found a very similar one on this Abraham Hicks downloadable template page. The format that I enjoy most is Eva’s template.

Give this a whirl for a few days and see if you notice that you’re able to get more done. I think you’ll enjoy using it!

life curation · travel

An Abbreviated Travel Itinerary

Happy Thursday, beloveds! I’m enjoying my first full day in Raleigh, NC and, if all goes well, I’ll have a special treat for you all in the next few days. I thought I’d share with you all some of the basic things I consider when planning my travel. I hope it helps you to plan your perfect trip!

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Make a list, check it twice

  • Visit to at least one museum
  • Dine at one of the finest restaurants in the area
  • Dine at a “local favorite” (a restaurant most highly recommended by people living in town)
  • Spend time in a park, at a river or on a trail in the city I’m visiting
  • Shop at a local thrift store
  • View the local monuments and the downtown area
  • Visit a local bookstore

Whenever I plan a trip, I try to include as many of these things as possible. For me, these things comprise an ideal trip: shopping, dining, sightseeing, books, and some time in nature. Every now and then, I can incorporate two or more of these things in one outing (for instance, a visit to a park in the downtown area that’s located a block or two away from the “local favorite” restaurant).

One item that I didn’t list on this sample itinerary that I *hope* you all will include is REST. I can’t begin to describe how hard it is to do all of the fun stuff you’ve planned when you’re exhausted. So make sure that SLEEP is part of your plans, as well!

That’s it for my mini-itinerary. Enjoy your Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

 

 

 

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Judy Garland

quoteprism

One of my favorite singers of all time was Judy Garland. Like most people, I got my first introduction to Garland when I saw “The Wizard of Oz” but as an adult, I got acquainted with her other songs, as well as her life story.

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This petite powerhouse felt with feeling ugly, awkward, and unloved. She was undoubtedly talented but never happy and secure in who she was. That unhappiness bled through her lyrics, making many of her songs heartbreakingly sad. But there is beauty in everything, including sadness. Even in her most painful songs, there is still so much elegance, warmth, and passion: she took heartbreak and turned it into art.

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Garland had such naturalness when she sang: it was never forced or overwrought. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see her perform live, with such an enormous voice coming out of such a tiny woman (only 4’11”!). Recordings of her voice give me shivers now: can you imagine what it was like to hear her live?

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It’s difficult to listen to her recordings and to not be moved by them. I only wish she could have known how beautiful, special and loved she was. I hear her singing and I wish I could have hugged her and reassured her of her immeasurable value. She deserved better, and her tragic death at the age of 47 is a reminder to continue to love and affirm those around us.

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Judy Garland had some poignant musings, and I’m honored to share a few of them with you all today. I hope that Judy’s words move and inspire you. Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy Pinterest, StatusMind, AZQuotes and QuotePrism)