Monday, May 31, 2010

Notes from my mini-staycation

Hello Lovely Readers,

I hope you are doing well and enjoyed a day off today! I have been on a mini-staycation from my practice since last Thursday and have been soaking up lots of sun and relaxation!

I chaperoned a baseball game for my daughter's class, attended my darling niece's dance recital, helped my mom move, spent half a day in my pajamas doing nothing, finally cleaned off my desk, read 300+ pages of The Carrie Diaries, had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, discovered I love Seltzer water (never tried it before), held my 1 month-old nephew during his nap, went swimming, slept in, watched a parade, found fabulous black bean chipotle burgers, got sunburned twice despite sunscreen, saw Letters to Juliet, donned my new TranquiliT reversible sleeveless wrap dress, and took a long walk by the gorge. It has been so relaxing!

Now I've retreated to bed with my Planner Pad to look at the week ahead and I'm pining for more vacation! It feels like summer here already and I am dying to lounge around and read and nap and drink margaritas! I'm planning to move to a lighter schedule for July and August, working only Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I am looking forward to much more relaxation!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Small Changes Make a BIG Difference

Hello Lovely Readers!

I hope you are doing well! I have had a challenging past two weeks filled with overscheduling, stress, and other not-fun-stuff. Ever have that feeling like no matter how hard and long you work, you just can't get caught up? That is where I was at, but things have shifted now. Not because my to-do list magically disappeared (I wish!), but because I made some small changes.

First, I returned to writing my morning pages more faithfully. Second, I made up my mind that I can return emails and voice mails within 24 hours, as opposed to 24 minutes.

Lastly, I started a new ritual of taking a 30 minute mini-retreat each morning, an idea Zahra Efan listed in her most recent newsletter. This fits easily into my schedule because I always make my first appointment of the day at 9:30am. Usually I would spend the first half hour of my day checking email, returning voice mail, etc. Now I just wait until later in the day. Sounds simple, but it has made a BIG difference!

Ideas for a 30 minute mini-retreat:
  • Meditate
  • Sip coffee or tea
  • Read a book
  • Browse a magazine
  • Practice yoga
  • Listen to music
  • Write in your journal
  • Play in your visual journal
  • Take a walk
  • Sit outside and soak up some sun
  • Go to the library (there is a library right next to my office!)
  • Head to a coffee shop or bookstore
The ideas are pretty endless! It has been so divine to start my day with something that brings me joy! It feels a little rebellious too! I tend to operate from the "work first, play later" model so this morning mini-retreat is a real break from the mold for me! My days are unfolding in a much more relaxed flow since I started this morning mini-retreat. That is the paradox of self-care: when you take time to care for yourself you are more efficient and effective.

The image above is from Anna Corba. Not only does she craft gorgeous creations - she holds yoga and collage workshops in Sonoma and France - two of my favorite destinations!!!! I must attend one of them at some point - I am adding to my life's to-do list!

Have a great Thursday! And consider taking a mini-retreat today!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Monthly Goal Reflection: May 2010

We are already 7 days into May! I am a bit late in posting my Monthly Goal Reflection, but here goes...

April's goals:

  • 30 Days of Joyful Abundance: As you may recall, my focus for 2010 is Joyful Abundance. As a personal challenge for the month of April, I will be posting 5 things EVERY DAY that I am thankful for. Please feel free to join in by posting in the comments section, on your own blog, and even in your own private gratitude journal. I kept up with this pretty well until the last week of April. I enjoyed thinking about all of the great things in my life everyday and sharing them here. We choose what we focus on and we always have the choice to put our attention on the positive!
  • Purchase wallpaper for our upstairs bathroom. Nope. It is really hard to choose and I am also confused about how to measure. I need to ask for some help on this...
  • Sketch out a plan for a backyard garden. Does a mental sketch count? Or a daydream of a fantastic backyard space?
  • Complete detailed outline of new Stress Management program. Yes! The Living Wellness Lifestyle for Women will begin on May 20th! Click here for all of the details!
  • Secure grant money for further office renovations. It is in progress, just a few more steps until we are officially approved. I have done all that I can do and now it is time to surrender...
  • Create marketing plan for the next quarter. Yes! Now I need to execute it and bring all of my ideas to fruition!
  • Yoga for Living Wellness CD finalized. Yes!
  • Take a semi-vacation from work. A few days (mostly) off from the office/studio so that I can: Spend more time with my family, Sleep in, Stay in my pajamas all day, Do nothing, Read, Take a bath, Have a picnic, Go for a walk, Watch a movie, Play board games, and Whatever else my heart desires! Yes, I did enjoy some lighter workload days but this was not even close to a vacation. My husband (who had a genuine 2-week vacation) said to me, "If this is what you do when you are on vacation, I can't imagine what you do when you are working."
  • Travel for 4-day yoga training. Yes. This was fantastic! Had a great time!
  • Attending networking event and continue to work on my networking skills. Yes! This is a getting a little easier, but I'm still not sure how effective my networking is...
  • Check out the Earth-Spirit Expo. Yes! This was fun.
Goals for May:

  • Facilitate Living Wellness Lifestyle for Women program
  • Host Women's Wellness Retreat with Kim David
  • Participate in Women Entrepreneurs Rock! Telecourse
  • Get my hands dirty! Do some gardening. Plant some flowers at the wellness center and at home. Maybe put together some pots for the front steps. Keep playing in my Art Journal. Paint, draw, stamp, and collage!
  • Ask my mom or aunt for help with purchasing wallpaper for our upstairs bathroom.
  • Participate in the Niagara Falls Relay for Life
  • Take Memorial Day weekend off from work - for real!
  • Pick out new glasses
  • Publish Yoga for Living Wellness CD
  • Eliminate more clutter from my bedroom
  • Begin planning Summer Solstice event at studio
  • Create an Amazon AStore filled with inspiring recommendations
What are your goals for this month? Or this week? Remember, "if you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time!"

Tranquilista E-Course Takeaways

The Tranquilista e-course finished up this week. It has been a wonderful experience exploring all things enlightened work and mindful play with Kimberly and my fellow tranquilistas! Kimberly asked us to reflect on our top takeaways as the course came to an end. I copied & pasted all of my OM Work into one word file and then reviewed it, highlighting key ideas as I went through. It was really fun to do this with a word document. It was similar to re-reading my morning pages with highlighters in hand (one color for things to keep in mind, another for quotes/affirmations, another for goals/to-do's).

I journaled about my takeaways in my visual journal & came up with these 11 gems...

1. Surround myself with beauty everyday.

2. Check in with my intention daily, monthly, yearly.

3. Trust the process. Things will unfold in their own steps. Visualize, take a baby step in the right direction, and surrender. Stop trying to force things.

4. Grow organically.

5. To say YES to some things, we must say NO to others. It is not only okay to prioritize, it is necessary.

6. a) Notice where your time goes. b) Modify as needed. You are in control of your schedule. (Repeat as necessary.)

7. We all need a sacred space.

8. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
9. Make time for pleasure everyday.

10. Life needs more Savasana.

11. Explore ways to add more color to my life.