life curation

Resuming My Gratitude Practice

I didn’t mention this at all on the blog last year, but I meant to, because I was eager to resume one of the practices that made 2016 and 2017 especially magical years for me. Several years ago, I kept a gratitude journal. This journal is good for capturing the little things that I appreciate throughout the day. I got away from this practice because, life being what it is, I got distracted. I really wanted to resume the practice, and even begin using my journal again in August 2018. But, soon I found myself again skipping days and forgetting to do my entries. So my journal went unused for most of last year.

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This year, I wanted to start things on a different note. I decided to begin using my gratitude journal again because well, why not? I don’t have many pages left in this particular journal but I will use it until it’s full, then I’ll start a new one. I focus on capturing the great things that happen each day. I don’t worry too much about expressing gratitude for the same thing multiple times within a week. If there’s something great that I appreciate on more than one day during any given week, I take no issue with noting this more than once. I do, however, try to focus on what truly makes me happy each day and I make an effort to find the moments that made me smile, no matter how small. 

So we’re eight days into the new year, and I’ve  already know that more than 24 things that I can be grateful for this month. I’m happy to be recording the things that I appreciate, because I tend to lose sight of what’s important. Now, I like to think that I am very appreciative on a daily basis. But, I am human and I’m not always as mindful as I’d like to be. Sometimes, I forget how much I have to be grateful for. So this exercise has been great for getting me to focus on what really matters.

Are any of you keep a gratitude journal? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear more about your personal practice as well as how long you’ve been doing this.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are enjoying your day. Have a great afternoon and take care!

life curation

Making Joy a Daily Practice

I’m still buzzing a bit from the Joy Challenge that I talked about incessantly last month. Mindfully choosing joy daily is going to be a never-ending exercise for me, and that’s okay: it’s worth the effort. Fortunately, I have a little tool to help me to keep the joy going during the months ahead!

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Amina Makhdoom Lynch, the creator of the Joy Challenge, generously gifted participants a copy of Rebecca Kochenderfer’s book, Joy Journal. The book is designed to engage you in joyful practices for 12 full weeks (3 solid months!) as you move from accidental/occasional joy practitioner to consistent joy creator.

This book is designed to get you into the habit of engaging a daily intention, reflecting on positive experiences and expressing gratitude. Each week opens with a few thoughts on the week’s theme, stories, encouragement, and examples to assist you in completing the week’s prompts.

I’m so thankful that Amina sent me a paperback copy: these are the kind of tools that I don’t enjoy when digitized. The act of writing (with pen and paper) and reflecting on my thoughts as I write has always been magical for me. So this lines up perfectly with my preferences.

If you need something to help you with staying in joy, this could be a great resource for you. Make sure you check it out!

life curation

The Best Year of Your Life: the Dream It Section Follow-up

A few weeks ago, I gave a brief recap of my revelations while working through the book, The Best Year of Your Life by Debbie Ford. I completed my notes on Chapter 1, but I hadn’t finished fleshing out my thoughts on Chapters 2 and 3. Here, I’ll follow up on what I learned from doing the work outlined in those chapters.

Doing the Work to Create my

 

Chapter 2: Exposing the Fantasy -I thought deeper about the feelings I associate with my “fantasy” life: I often fantasize that I will feel joy, eagerness (happily looking forward to the good stuff to come) and calm. Activating joy will be easy, since I’m doing the Joy Challenge and will be regularly activating that emotion on a daily basis. Eagerness will come from taking more chances and affirming the goodness of everything that comes across my path. I can engage the feeling of calm by instituting relaxation practices for different scenarios. Right now, I can only think of two situations that would greatly benefit from the relaxation practice: I’ll need one for when I feel stressed about work, and one that I can engage to set the tone for a good night’s sleep. Once I finalize the details of those practices, I’ll make another post describing them. That takes care of Chapter 2’s exercises!

Chapter 3: Stepping Into Greatness – I allowed inspiration to come to me, and I created my vision for this year: I will become a well-known influencer, using my reach to encourage people to supporting the arts, move past relationship disappointments, and create the most enjoyable, luxurious lives that they can experience.  The traits I mentioned in the previous post – discipline and boldness (extroversion) – still apply. Creativity is also required, as is excellent communication skills. Focus will be big for me: I tend to get sidetracked. I could easily list about 5 – 10 additional realms that I want to influence, but my primary love is the arts, so I’m going to focus on that, with healing from relationship trauma and living high-quality lives as secondary and tertiary goals.

I’m glad I got a chance to review these chapters and get clear on what I’m dreaming up in 2018. I’ll be sharing more on how I plan out this year’s activities in a future post. Ciao for now!

life curation

My Favorite Organization Tools

Happy Tuesday, friends! This is a post that I meant to do before the beginning of the new year, but life got in the way . . . And I forgot about it. But better late than never, right? And let’s look on the bright side – it *did* arrive before the end of January. That’s a good thing, no?

Look, staying organized is HARD. It’s hard to stay on top of everything that we have to do daily, to accurately project how much time we’ll have for upcoming obligations, and to remain cool and calm while we knock out everything that needs to be done. It’s a lot for one person, much less those that have to manage the calendar of others (administrative staff, parents, and event coordinators come to mind).

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(image courtesy of MariaFresa.net)

Organization tools have been so important for me, because managing my life isn’t easy. Here are some of my favorite tools for staying organized and efficient:

A desk calendar/blotter : I love being able to see my entire month at a glance. Regardless of how much I have going on, being able to see my plans in large, clearly defined squares helps me visually comprehend whether I need to lighten my load or decline additional activities/plans. I’m a fan of colorful calendars, so this one by Amazon perfectly suits me.

A personal planner : I rely on these heavily, especially since I don’t put every little task on my calendar. Personal planners hold my daily to-do lists and reminders for things to be done on future dates. The prettier the planner, the better I like it, with one stipulation: it must be small enough to fit into my purse, but large enough to capture my thoughts. I always have it with me, so portability is a big thing. My current planner is by Eccolo, and I’m including a link to one of their beautiful options below:

A refillable day planner : So it seems that a desk calendar and a personal planner would be enough, right? Well, not for me LOL! Some days require even more time management, and I’m a huge fan of fillable day planners to help me get through everything that needs to be done. These allow you to measure your time in 30 minute increments and has space for jotting down the most important items to handle through the day. Since these are undated, you only use pages as you need them (allowing you to have this planner for much longer than a year or two). The planner is also refillable, so you can add more pages as needed. I prefer this one by Blueline:


My phone apps : Who doesn’t love a cell phone? These are the best way for me to keep up with my repeated to-dos, especially since I can set how frequent I would like my reminders to be. I love my phone apps for those reminders that are time-sensitive (for example, having my alarm go off 5 minutes before I’m able to reserve tickets for an in-demand event). I’m #TeamiPhone, but every brand of smart phone has apps that can help you manage your time.