Sunday, September 16, 2012

The blog is moving!

Hi Lovely Readers!

I've moved the blog over to my new website Come visit me there!



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Forget Work-Life Balance: Let's find your Ideal Life Ratio

People always seem to be talking about this elusive idea of work-life balance. As an entrepreneur and currently sort of stay-at-home mom, this dichotomy feels hard to wrap my brain around. Are the 21 hours a day I spend caring for my baby work? (I co-sleep with a baby who wakes up about every 3 hours so I count that as an around the clock job.) Or do I count the 3 hours a day I go to my office/studio as work? Because there are a lot of days when those hours feel like a break! And the concept of life – does that include everything besides my work? What about when I’m reading Yoga Journal? That could be work because it might inform my teaching or it could be life because I’m at home sipping on a cup of peppermint tea while I read. Also, when you love your work it often doesn’t feel like work. Maybe you don’t need to “balance out” your time spent on tasks that pay the bills if they are enjoyable. Clearly I could go on but my point is this:  

I think the concept of work-life balance is outdated.

coffee + dark chocolate = essential work tools
I get the whole idea that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” My beef is that the word balance implies an even split and I don’t think that makes sense for most people.

Instead I’d like to start a conversation about the Ideal Life Ratio.

What’s an Ideal Life Ratio? Well I just made it up & I’m so glad you asked!

The Ideal Life Ratio is individualized, dynamic, and informative.

It takes into account all the pieces of your life that are important to you.

It changes over time as your lifestyle and priorities change.

Most of all it releases comparison and judgment and asks the question, “Is your life working for you?” If it is, fabulous! If it’s not, it provides a clear picture of where things are out of alignment.  

Play along at home...

1. Determine what parts make up how you'd ideally like to spend your time.

What are your priorities? You can keep it simple and echo the old work and life categories but I’d like to challenge you to break things down a little further. Consider categories such as work, family, friends, service, or self-care. If it’s for you, get even more detailed and break down the categories into the various parts that make up them up (i.e., work breaks down into researching, writing, meetings, big vision planning or self-care breaks down into physical activity, socializing, spiritual practices).  

2. Once you have a list of categories determine how much time you’d ideally spend on each item. 

For example, my current list is Work (20%), Family (70%), Self-Care (10%). I tend to think in terms of a week's time but please feel free to use whatever makes sense for you - a day, a month, a quarter. 

3. Now determine how much time you are currently devoting to each item. 

Do the two ratios match up? Fantastic! If not, make a list of small, doable action steps you can take to bring things into alignment. 

hard at work at last month's yoga & creativity retreat

Is your self-care time lacking? Schedule a coffee date with your best friend, book a massage, research yoga classes near your office, or block out an afternoon for yourself. Family time lacking? Commit to turning off your cellphone in the evening, stop checking email at home, use your vacation days, or schedule a family dinner. 

Your Ideal Life Ratio will change during different phases of your life. What is important is that it fits with what you want in your life at this particular time.

relaxing after a long day of mommying

I’m curious – what's your Ideal Life Ratio? What factors play into it at this point in your life? Are things aligned or do you need to make some changes?     

Monday, July 30, 2012

Determining the Value of our Work

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore what I do for a living.

And I’m pretty darn good at it too.

Recently I realized something is out of alignment and I’m guessing I’m not the only person struggling with this.

A few key events have helped me see that I’ve been undervaluing myself. (This article helped too. As well as my dear husband very bluntly telling me it’s crazy to give away my services for free.)

I realized that the danger in loving your work so much that you’d do it for free is that sometimes you end up doing just that! 

Furthermore, when our work allows us to use our true strengths it often feels easy. In fact, this is a sign that we are doing our right work. I truly believe this but at times I still tend to get stuck in the if-it's-worth-anything-it-can't-come-easy mentality. For me this translates to undervaluing myself and undercharging for my services. Yuck!  

So I'm off to reevaluate how I monetize my gifts, services, and products. Care to join me? Share your thoughts on worth and work in the comments below or on my Facebook page. I love hearing from you!

image credit

P.S. I definitely believe in pro bono offerings. But I’m learning now that they need to be intentional. Otherwise I risk draining my energy and becoming resentful of the gorgeous peeps I work with. So if you are considering giving away your time and talents for free I strongly encourage you to take some time and outline what your ideal pro bono gig looks like. 

P.P.S. For more on this topic check out Tara’s The Art of Earning or my friend Dani’s The Evil League of You.    

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What are you longing for?

Come home to yourself.
Come home to yourself.
Come home to yourself.

Come home to your Self.

Lately I hear myself saying this repeatedly while I teach yoga.

It seems to me that many people today are searching for something, existing in a constant state of striving toward some goal. Many times we can’t even put our finger on exactly what it is that we feel is missing. Heck, many times we don’t even slow down enough to notice how we are feeling!

What is it we are longing for? Eight consecutive hours of sleep? A fabulous international vacation? The perfect vegan dark truffle? We might look toward a new job, a robust savings account, the perfect partner, or a beautiful home to bring us contentment. How many of us have ever uttered the words, “I’ll be happy when…”

All of these things are wonderful goals to work toward in life. (Especially the 8 hours of sleep. Believe me I will be shouting it from the rooftops when Lainey sleeps through the night.) And I am all about going after your dreams! But hear me when I say this: achievements, be they personal or professional, aren’t going to bring you what you’re looking for. No shiny object can bring you true inner peace. 

Because all of our hankering for stuff and titles and money is really a yearning for something more – a certain feeling we are after. And the truth is this: whatever you are seeking is already within you. Now if we could just get quiet enough to connect with it…

I truly believe that there are countless ways to tap into this fount of pure, blissful peace within you. Please do whatever works for you. You’ll know it when you’ve got it. If you’ve never felt connected with this part of yourself before here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Meditation (actually everything on the rest of the list is just another form of meditation)
  • Yoga
  • Folding laundry
  • Painting
  • Sewing
  • Washing dishes
  • Drawing
  • Writing
  • Laying on the beach
  • Walking
  • Watching wild animals
  • Hiking a mountain
  • Staring at a river
  • Knitting
  • Holding a baby
  • Gazing at a fire
  • Running
  • Petting a dog or cat
What would you add? I'd love to read about it in the comments or on my Facebook page


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Guest Post by Jennifer Winarski: Intuitive Painting

Some of you might be thinking that an evening walk with Nik Wallenda would be a better choice than taking a painting class! 

I beg you not to take one. 
one of my intuitive painting pieces ~Mindy 

With that said, I encourage you try an intuitive painting class instead.  

What is intuitive painting? Well, to me it is acting on your whims. It is playing with paint like a small child. 

Have you ever watched children paint? 

They just spread colors willy nilly and they often make a mess. 
They experiment and they don’t give it much thought. 

I asked my 6 year old son what he thinks about when he paints a picture. He turned his head to the side, scrunched up his face and he replied “nothing”.  He simply plays with paint. When was the last time you had permission to just be who you are with zero judgment and no expectations? An intuitive painting class can provide a nourishing environment where one can feel comfortable to stop thinking and just have some willy nilly fun!

Jennifer Winarski
Creative, artist, homemaker and blogger.

P.S.  There are just 4 spots left for my Women's Yoga & Creativity Mini-Retreat on July 21st featuring an awesome Intuitive Painting workshop with Jenn! You can reserve your space by contacting me at or 716-939-0892.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Intentions & Aspirations

It has been months since I've put together a Monthly Goal Reflection post.

I haven't felt called to write my monthly lists of dreams and things to be accomplished.

Life has felt much simpler. I've been working on two major projects for the past few months, my newest online offering and my new website (coming soon!), and so it's been easy to keep my goals in the forefront of my mind. (As harried as my days can be, even I don't need a list with two things on it!)

As we move into Summer, I've been reflecting on my intentions for the season and a list of things I hope to experience. A different sort of take on the Monthly Goal Reflection, more of a Seasonal Intentions and Aspirations.

Throughout this year I've felt pulled toward aligning my work (and my life) more with the seasons, offering retreats and online courses centered around the natural energy of the season.

For Winter/ The New Year I hosted a Women's Mini-Retreat focused on envisioning our goals for the year and my Dare to Live Your Dreams Online Circle. For Spring I offered a Women's Spring Rejuvenation Retreat and Reflect, Release, Renew. For Summer I'm hosting another Women's Mini-Retreat, this one centered around connecting with our intuition through creativity.

Summer Beach
image credit
Really it is all about playing and having fun, my intention for this Summer. I won't be offering a Summer online course because I'll be focusing my energy on soaking up time with my family. However, I plan to write a series of posts about my summer play dates, including my solo adventures and my outings with the family. I'd love for you to join in on the fun by commenting on these posts and sharing how you're invoking the energy of play this season.

Here are a few things I hope to savor this summer:

How about you? Does the idea of play resonate for you this season? How will you bring more fun and adventure into your daily life? I'd love to hear your thoughts - feel free to share in the comments or over on my Facebook page.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reflect, Release, Renew: Connect with Creativity

Hello Beautiful Souls!

It's been quiet around here the past month as I've been focusing my writing energies on Reflect, Release, Renew, my newest online offering. Thank you for your patience! Today I'm sharing a post from the course and I'll be back again later this week with a new post filled with my Summer intentions and dreams. I look forward to connecting with you here! Please feel free to share your thoughts on today's post in the comments below.  

Connect with Creativity

We are all creative beings. Sometimes negative thoughts get in the way and we lose sight of that. So often I hear things like, "I can't draw." As if drawing were the only creative medium! Or, "I'm too old/ tired/ busy to worry about being creative." Creative practice is not another item for the to-do list. It's a way of being. 


Today spend a few moments thinking of all the ways you are already creative in your daily life. Make a list in your journal. Next, draft a new list of ways to bring more creativity into your daily life. Choose one to incorporate in the upcoming week.

There are literally countless ways to be creative! Here are a few ideas to get you started...

Examples of Creativity in Daily Life:

  • preparing a meal
  • arranging flowers
  • making up stories to tell your children
  • taking photographs
  • knitting
  • decorating your home or office
  • brainstorming solutions to problems at work
  • wrapping a present
  • writing a thank you note
  • putting on makeup
  • planting a garden
  • baking
  • throwing a party
  • styling your hair
  • sewing
  • dancing
  • scrapbooking
  • putting together an outfit
  • building a fort
  • mixing a cocktail
  • upcycling 
  • writing a blog