Friday, December 31, 2010

Monthly Goal Reflection

Hi Lovelies,

It is time for Monthly Goal Reflection! Every time I get settled in to write the baby starts kicking up a storm which is fantastically distracting! But I've managed to get this post done! I'll also be back soon with my Yearly Goal Reflection and highlights of 2010. Consider taking some time today or over the weekend to review your own 2010 highlights and plans for 2011!

December Dreams:

  • Reflect on this year and plan for next year with the help of Reverb 10: Yes! I am still reveling in the process of reflecting on 2010 and planning for 2011. I plan to complete all of the Reverb 10 prompts (eventually). I will continue to share those thoughts here, as well as my other reflections/dreams.
  • Spa date with my sister for facials & pedicures - aaahhhh!!!!: Yes! I love spa dates!
  • Bake holiday cookies with my grandma: Yes! My sister, niece, grandma, and I had a fun-filled day of baking earlier this month.
  • Host Girls' Night with the YaYas & celebrate my bff's birthday: Yes! We had a sundae party at our Girls' Night -yumm!
  • See Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Yes! They were so amazing! Highly recommend!
  • Get yummy hot beverage and take a drive to admire holiday lights: Not exactly. I like to do this as formal event with my family, but no one was interested this year :-( However, I have enjoyed several yummy hot beverages this month and admired the holiday lights along the way!
  • Two full weeks of vacation - whoo hoo!!! Yes! I am SO proud of myself for sticking to this. I have done a teeny tiny bit of work from home, but very little overall. Mostly I have been sleeping in, reading, and hanging out with my family and friends.
  • Celebrate my sweet stepdad and my fabulous sister's birthdays: Yes! We had a little party at our house filled with good eats and fun times to toast their birthdays! I love our family gatherings :-)
  • Megan's holiday chorus concert (she has a solo!): Yes! She actually had two concerts this month, one of which I thought I had to miss, but I made it to both! Megan is a great performer and I am so proud of her!
  • Walk 2-3x/week: No... but still a work in progress. I've walked two times this week!
  • Daily meditation, even if done in bed: I guess if I use the term meditation loosely this would be a yes. I have definitely taken a few quiet minutes most days to breathe. In terms of sitting on the meditation cushion and formally sitting, I've only gotten there a handful of times. Again, a work in progress.
  • Conference call with my writing buddies from the SARK retreat (hello writing accountability): No. I chose to skip the conference call because it fell on the first day of my vacation which I actually spent at jury duty (ugh) and by the time I got home I really needed some dinner and time with my family.
  • Outline new blog ideas in preparation for 2011: Yes! Starting In January I am going to have a theme for each month and weekly posts on the topic. The first week of the month the post will be about a mini-activity related to the topic, the second week will be journal prompts, the third week will be a practice to try, and the fourth week will be all about further resources on the subject. January's topic will be Look Within. My idea is to provide my readers with more content (as opposed to only my rambling thoughts). I hope you will enjoy this new feature on the blog!
  • Celebrate the holidays with family, soak up every minute of their company, and take lots of pictures of all the adorable kiddos! Yes! I have truly enjoyed the holidays this year! Christmas was a riot with all of the little kids in my family! Tonight I'm looking forward to another dinner at my mom's house and more visiting with the family, relaxing, and (of course) eating.
January Dreams:

  • Decorate my 2011 Planner Pad
  • Settle on my word/phrase for 2011
  • Signed rental contracts for 3 newly renovated offices at Living Wellness of Niagara with fabulous, like-minded health & wellness professionals. I'm especially interested in massage therapists, holistic health counselors, naturopathic practitioners, life coaches, or creativity/spirituality professionals. (For more info, contact me at
  • Celebrate my gramma's 75th birthday!
  • Provide inspiring content and support brave dreamers through the Dare to Live Your Dreams Online Circle, starting January 14th
  • Celebrate Megan's 13th birthday (OMG) and my niece's 4th birthday with two fabulous parties
  • Try out my new work schedule that leaves more space for seeing clients, as well as an every-other-week writing block
  • Save 40% of my earnings this month to put toward supporting my maternity leave/ the hot tub fund
  • Back to basics! Walk, write, sit, stretch. Daily movement (yoga or walking), daily meditation, and daily morning pages. Weekly Artist Dates.
  • Begin the process of finding an amazing yoga teacher to cover classes during my maternity leave and an inspirational therapist to work out of my office/cover clients during maternity leave. (If you know anyone, send them my way at

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Reverb 10

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)
I feel most integrated with my body (during certain moments) on my yoga mat. To me there is just nothing like yoga to reconnect oneself with the body. I also find running helps me connect my mind, breath, and body. Being pregnant again has also been an experience in body integration, although I'd say I've spent more time fighting my body than embracing it these past few months. I'm working on changing that, but it is an ongoing challenge to accept my pregnant body's fatigue and limitations. However, I am loving my expanding belly :-)

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

My next step is to get back to basics. I'm recommitting to daily Morning Pages, daily physical movement (walking and/or yoga), daily meditation, and weekly Artist Dates. I feel the need to prepare for the changes that are coming in 2011 and these are the tools that have worked for me time and again.

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

My body and all that it does for me. I hate to sound redundant, but being pregnant has been an intense reminder of how the body is always changing. Currently I am expressing gratitude for my body by resting as much as possible, eating as well as I can manage, and practicing yoga.

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

What a great prompt! I adore Patti Digh! There are so many highlights of 2010 that I most want to remember. Our trip to Paris this year. The food, the sights, and most importantly the week spent entirely with my little family exploring Paris. Finding out we were pregnant and seeing our baby for the first time. The ah-ha moment that lead to me creating the Living Wellness Lifestyle program and the amazing, this-is-so-right feeling I had every week as I led the group. I want to remember every girls' night with the YaYa's and the beautiful feeling that comes from spending time with friends who have known me for more than 20 years. There are also so many every day moments that add up to an amazing life that I will cherish forever. Meeting the new babies in my family for the first time. Watching my daughter start middle school. Snuggling on the couch with my husband. Every casual chat on the phone with my sister. All the good wine and food I've had this year (as well as several Cosmos on the patio on a summer night). Resting in the beauty of these every day moments is what makes my life overflow with joy and abundance.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Reflection

Keeping with the Winter Solstice ritual I started last year, I took some time for reflection today. I began the process of planning for/dreaming about 2011. I plan to explore a little further and then I will share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams here. I also spent some time on a few more Reverb 10 prompts...

December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Looking back on 2010 I was fortunate to attend several baby showers, family parties, and birthday celebrations. It is hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoyed our family's Halloween party this year. We have seven kids total in our family and six of them are under 4 years-old! Seeing everyone dressed up was so fun and all the kiddos looked adorable. It was a very low-key event with plenty of food (including my mom's amazing cupcakes) and candy, of course! I love having my whole extended family together and feel so grateful that we are all close by and able to gather as a group regularly.

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

This Fall I decided not to teach at the local college. Typically I teach a class in order to supplement my sometimes unpredictable business income. This year I took the leap to give up my last bit of a grip on an every-other-week paycheck. I scheduled the time I would typically spend on teaching for writing and brainstorming for my businesses. This played out very well for me. I started seriously working on my book idea for the first time. Also, my private practice began booming and the additional clients I took on more than made up for the money I would've made teaching.

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

11 things my life doesn't need in 2011:

  1. Fear - especially the kind of fears that keep me from moving forward. Maybe you know them, the "I don't know how to _________ so I'd rather just not try/ I'll never be able to figure out how to_________/ I don't know enough to ____________" fears. I will eliminate these fears by just doing it! And taking baby steps while reassuring myself I am doing just fine. And lastly, by asking for help. When I eliminate these fears, I will move forward with the projects that I feel stuck on right now (my non-profit idea, book in progress, even that CD I've been working on publishing since last year).
  2. Guilt - guilt about taking good care of myself, guilt about enjoying my successes, guilt about my life feeling fantastic, to all of that guilt and more I say "good riddance!" I'm not sure how I will let go of this guilt. I guess by continuously telling myself that I deserve to take good care of myself, enjoy my successes, and revel in my fabulous life. (Ugh... it feels a bit scary to even write that.) When I am able to release this guilt I think I will feel more at peace.
  3. More stuff. I want to simplify my life as much as possible, starting with my stuff. The only thing I would like to accumulate more of is books. However, recently I have been using the library like a champion! I'm getting more and more particular even about what books I buy and bring into the house. This is an easy one in terms of how to eliminate it - I will continue to sort through things and donate whatever I don't love or need. Once I have more of the stuff in my house gone I will feel happy and lighter and proud!
  4. Overscheduled days. I was doing really well with this one, leaving myself plenty of space between appointments to eat lunch, take naps, etc. But I just looked at my first week of 2011 and it is insane! What was I possibly thinking when I jam-packed my days? Well it is not going to last long because I am taking back my time. I plan to create some new rules. It helps me to define very clear boundaries about my days, such as 1.5 hours for lunch, no more than 3 consecutive clients, no more than X clients in a week, etc. Once I eliminate these overscheduled days I will feel refreshed and relaxed and will look forward to my work week.
  5. Doubt. Ahhh, my good friend doubt. He likes to hang with my other friends fear and guilt :-) I'd like to replace my doubt with lots of faith and trust. I can go for weeks or even months without Mr. Doubt creeping in, but when he arrives he tends to hit hard. I start questioning pretty much every decision I've ever made, as well as my ability to do the "right" thing in the current moment. These doubts usually revolve around my family and career choices. Some of the current gems include, "Why did I start a business when I knew I wanted to expand my family?" and "How will I maintain the businesses that I've worked so hard to create after I have a baby?" Usually I handle doubt by talking with my friends and family. More often than not they have more rational thoughts than I do about the reality of the situation and this reassures me. If I could manage to say adios to my good friend doubt, I guess I would be overflowing with confidence!
  6. Mindless hours on the computer. This comes up for me on occasion, especially with that darn Facebook! I plan to be more mindful of my computer use and remind myself of the other things I could be focusing on during that time. I believe if I reduce/eliminate this I will have more time to devote to other things that are more important to me, such as meditation, exercise, and writing.
  7. Non-ideal work. This is a work in progress. For some time now I have been working on accepting only ideal work. That is work that positively impacts those it is intended to serve and leaves me feeling inspired. I've learned the way to do only ideal work is to accept work only from a place of abundance (vs scarcity mindset such as "I could really use the money"). When I eliminate all non-ideal work I will feel invigorated and excited about my work. It will feel less like work!
  8. Days without any physical activity. When a day goes by that I don't move my body in some manner or another, I feel icky. So even if it is only 15 minutes of yoga, I would like to move every day. To make this happen I need to schedule it in my days and leave myself enough time/space to actually adhere to the plan (see #4). I've been there before and I know I feel better when I move every day.
  9. Too much television. This is a work in progress as well. I feel I've already changed my habits significantly this year by replacing TV time with reading time and only watching programs that I enjoy and plan to watch. I will eliminate too much television by being more mindful about how I'm spending my time. This will change my life by leaving me more time for things I care about/want to bring into my life.
  10. Disorganization. Even though I can find everything, it leaves me feeling a little unsettled to have things so out of order, particularly in my work area. I will work on this by eliminating clutter and re-organizing what I decide to keep. Slowly, but surely I think I can reform my organized chaos ways. I beat myself up about this so if I can make these changes I think I will feel more on top of things.
  11. Small, but meaningful bad habits. Leaving my clothes strewn all over the bedroom. Not flossing my teeth every day. Blurting out the first comment that comes to mind. Eating in the car. Again, I think the cure is mindfulness and the result will be a healthier, happier me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Reverb 10

December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

Make excuses. Such as... I'm too tired. It's too late. There isn't enough time to really get into anything. I most certainly can eliminate these excuses, but at the same time they feel very real to me! I think I have also been avoiding writing by reading lately. I have been reading more than ever (and writing less than ever). I've even been skipping my journal writing/morning pages. Which leads me to more excuses... maybe this is just a period in my life when I don't write, everyone goes through lulls in their creativity, etc. However, deep down I know this is a cop out. As SARK says, Action Before Inspiration. Which means just write. Even if you are not in the mood. She also says something meaningful happens every time you write. Another reason to ditch the excuses and just do it. Writers don't write only when they are inspired. They get up each day and face the page and give it their best shot.

December 3 Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

This is a tough one. This year has been filled with so many magical moments. I'm going to go with the day my hubby and I spent on the beach at Fire Island this August. It was a beautiful day, with clear blue skies and an abundance of sunshine. I remember the feeling of the warm sand underneath me, the sounds of people chatting on the beach, and the smell of the ocean. At the water's edge the sand sparkled and I collected a handful of shells. Best of all I remember watching my husband dive into the ocean waves over and over again, smiling and laughing. He seemed to overflow with a joy and freedom that I rarely see in our day-to-day life together. He was (literally) totally absorbed in riding the wave. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Even remembering it now I get that overwhelming tingly joyful feeling that comes to you when you witness someone you love really letting go and enjoying himself.

me and my hubby our last night in Paris

December 4 Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

My theme for 2010 was Joyful Abundance. I created a sense of wonder by focusing on gratitude and appreciating all of the everyday miracles that surround me. I felt a sense of wonder as I watched the leaves change this fall, as I gazed into the eyes of my newborn nephew, as I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time, as I observed the first snow fall of the season, as I watched my daughter step out of the car on her first day of middle school, as I savored a glass of wine at a Paris cafe, as I held my husband's hand while we took a walk, as I gazed out over my yoga class, and as I paused and listened to the beautiful chaos of my family gathered together on Halloween. I could go on and on! And I am eternally grateful for all those everyday miracles.

December 5
Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

The first thing that comes to mind is the extra weight I let go of this year. I literally shed about 25lbs. I decided to lose this weight for my health and also to prepare for the possibility of having another baby (I say another even though my "baby" will be 13 next month!). I felt very proud of myself for losing the weight and making healthier food choices. Meeting my goal filled me with a sense of accomplishment and reminded me that I truly can accomplish things when I set my mind to it.

Figuratively, I let go of taking responsibility for other people's feelings. That is a tough one for me, but I think I've done pretty well with it. I chose to let go of this responsibility because it was not (and is not) healthy for me. I also don't think it was very useful for me to feel like it was my job to keep everyone around me happy. I've learned you have to let people work through their own stuff, which can be very hard to do (especially with those we love the most).

December 6Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

The last thing I made was cookies with my gramma, sister, and niece! I've never been much of a baker (or a cook), but I enjoy making holiday cookies with my gramma. She actually does most of the work ahead of time for us, but yesterday my sister and I were like a couple of professional cookie-dough-ball-rollers. We made a few different kinds, including my favorite Snickerdoodles! My niece was a wonderful little helper too and I think the Snickerdoodles were here favorite as well. She kept saying to me, "Aunt Mindy smell how good this smells" as she dipped her hands in the cinnamon and sugar mix we were rolling the dough in - so sweet :-)

December 7Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I am so proud of the little community that our yoga studio has built this last year. It truly fills me with joy when I hear the yoginis (and occasional yogi) chatting with each other before and after class, asking about each others work or family, giving each other shopping tips, or recommending resources. Community is a big part of my vision for the wellness center and I look forward to growing that community in 2011 as we welcome new partners into our freshly expanded space. In 2011 I would also like to create more of an online community through my blog, websites, and social media outlets.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb 10

Reverb 10 is an online event focused on reflecting on the past year and planning for the upcoming year. There is a different prompt by a different author each day to encourage reflection. I'm a bit behind in responding to the prompts, but they say it is important to go at your own pace! If you want to join me, you can sign up here.

December 1
- One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

I feel the one word that best encapsulates 2010 for me is expansion. It has been a year of growth for my businesses and now for my family with a new baby on the way (and my waistline - lol). My businesses have grown tremendously, more than I even imagined was possible in one year. My weeks are overflowing with therapy clients and my yoga classes are growing bigger too. I've also increased the variety of my offerings to include the Living Wellness Lifestyle for Women and Girls and my first-ever online course. I've also expanded my mindset about my writing, businesses, and personal growth thanks to several amazing online, in-person, and tele-courses. I participated in Kimberly Wilson's Tranquilista e-course and Kim David's Women Entrepreneurs ROCK! tele-course, went on retreat with SARK, and joined Women Who Write. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on where to go from here and have taken even more steps toward my ideal life. (Although I feel like 2009 was the year when I took the really big steps like completely walking away from my steady paycheck job. I think of 2009 as the year of transformation.)

It is hard for me to picture my life one year from today. I haven't quite wrapped my brain around how things will look once the baby is born in May 2011. I know there will be some changes, but I plan to continue running my businesses, seeing clients for therapy, and teaching yoga. Part of my vision is that I will work from home more, likely by teaching online classes or tele-courses. I also want to devote some serious time to my writing and starting a non-profit. I feel that it is probably wisest to have a flexible plan for life after baby! When I picture December 2011, I would like to reflect on the year and feel that balance is the word that encapsulates my year. A balance of family and work, business and play, effort and surrender, and routine and flexibility.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Monthly Goal Reflection: December

November Dreams:

  • Host Women's Wellness Retreat with the lovely Kim David on November 13th: Yes! We had a lovely group of women! Such an inspiring and relaxing day...
  • Celebrate the baptism of the precious daughter of one of my oldest friends: Yes! Little Penny is adorable and it was so good to visit with her and her family.
  • Take 4 days off from the office for Thanksgiving: Yes! Unfortunately, I was sick most of the time but I did relax a lot.
  • Share some big news with the world (coming soon!): Yes! In case you haven't heard, I am pregnant! 16 weeks today :-)
  • See For Colored Girls: Yes, I took myself to the movies and I really enjoyed it. This was a very powerful film , I highly recommend it.
  • Donate a Thanksgiving dinner to a local shelter: I was a little late to put together the dinner myself so instead I donated to Community Missions holiday fund.
  • Outline plan for new website: In my mind, yes. On paper, no :-)
  • Care for myself with plenty of trips to the gym and dates on the meditation cushion: I still haven't been to the gym. Being pregnant has taken a toll on my energy level. However, I know if I can get myself there, I will feel more energized after some movement. I have been meditating more, but not with the regularity that I'd like to see myself commit to. A work in progress, I guess...
  • Explore some more Art Journaling before Art Journal Love Letters ends: Yes! I love Art Journaling and I carved out some time for it this month.

December Dreams:

  • Reflect on this year and plan for next year with the help of Reverb 10
  • Spa date with my sister for facials & pedicures - aaahhhh!!!!
  • Bake holiday cookies with my grandma
  • Host Girls' Night with the YaYas & celebrate my bff's birthday
  • See Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Get yummy hot beverage and take a drive to admire holiday lights
  • Two full weeks of vacation - whoo hoo!!!
  • Celebrate my sweet stepdad and my fabulous sister's birthdays
  • Megan's holiday chorus concert (she has a solo!)
  • Walk 2-3x/week
  • Daily meditation, even if done in bed
  • Conference call with my writing buddies from the SARK retreat (hello writing accountability)
  • Outline new blog ideas in preparation for 2011
  • Celebrate the holidays with family, soak up every minute of their company, and take lots of pictures of all the adorable kiddos!