Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

This is the last week of the 40 day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse and I've been a little behind in posting a weekly blog. Why? Because I'm having sooo much fun hanging out with my Inner Nice Girl! I'm catching up, though. This post is all about Unrealistic Expectations....the ones we bring on ourselves...

After having children and working from home, I realized, my house can be a mess and it's OK. I don't have to live up to anyone else's expectations and can lower my own once in a while. Everything will still be there. Life will go on...and on and on...

I used to get up extra early just to put the dishes away, mop the floors and wipe down the bathroom, especially if company or a client were coming over. (Okay, so I still get up early to wipe down the bathroom, OCD tendencies...LOL) When hosting the party, everything had to be ready right on time; cooking started days before. The dogs were sent on their own play date so as not to disrupt things too much. The kids were always dressed in something cute and spunky. Thank God my parents lived close enough to help.

As a work from home parent, the battle to keep it all together was always happening: house, kids, carpool, homework, clients in and out, working at 5:00 am before the kids got up, did I say homework and more homework, theirs and mine.

When my husband and I were married, both having been married before, we joined households and went from 2 kids to 5 kids; sometimes we really had a mess. 5 kids with 5 friends over, well, you get the picture. Who can keep up with that. At one point they were all teenagers, doing crazy teenager things and then some...Our house was/is where the strays would land, kids and dogs alike. It was hard enough keeping snacks in the cupboard and dinner on the table, let alone worrying about whether the dishes were done or the floors were mopped. There's more to life than cleaning and working- like family game or movie night, walks to the park, meditation and visiting the ice cream store.

Today, I figure why should I mop the floors before a party when they are just going to get dirty anyway. When making dinner plans, I go for the crock pot - let it do all the cooking. (I've got a some great vegetarian recipe's if you're interested, no one will ever know the difference, not even the kids!) Today, the dogs stay put. When we host a bash, it's a play date for everyone, including our furry friends.

And since my office is still in my house, I can walk into a meeting with dog hair on my pants and don't feel like I have to explain a thing. I can write a piece with a few mistakes, because someone needed something at exactly the time I began writing, and the only ones that are judging me are the ones stuck in their own "perfect world".

The plaque on my wall reads Perfectly's a great way to live!

Bliss ON!

I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-Day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Detox from negativity by counting your blissings

Photos by JAW Dropping Photography, Jeffrey Williams

What is the first thing you think of when you awake? What is the last thought you have before you go to bed? Those are 2 of the first questions to ask your clients when they are in a funk. How we begin and end each day sets the tone for our lives. Choosing to live a blissful life takes work. Start at the beginning, by counting your blissings and your work becomes a little easier. By default, gratitude makes us happier.

Abraham-Hicks said, "You have the ability to pivot under any and all conditions. But most of you are habitual in nature, and your patterns are so well entrenched that at times the fastest path to the joy you seek is for you to take your pivot as you sleep. By reaching for good-feeling thoughts before you go to sleep and then experiencing the benefit of the quiet mind that occurs while you sleep—and then upon awakening, immediately turning to good-feeling thoughts—you can accomplish the ultimate Pivoting experience."

Whether you are spiritual/religious or not, every minute gives you the opportunity to count your "blissings", those little (sometimes big) things in life that make you feel joyful, lively, and thankful.
Studies have shown that by practicing being grateful we experience lower levels of depression and stress, are more optimistic about the future, exercise more, are more likely to reach personal goals, and have more capacity for compassion and forgiveness, including forgiving ourselves.

We are creatures of habit so for the next 7 days Detox from negative thinking by beginning and ending each day with a joyful thought, one of gratitude, focusing on the abundance in your life and counting your blissings. Here's a start, "I am breathing, I am alive, I am connected to something". Easily and effortlessly begin to get rid of the harmful toxins of negativity by replacing them with light and joy.

Bliss ON!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Obligatory Obligations...

Don't do anything that you don't really want to do. Keep yourself in a place of feeling good. Reach for the thought that feels better -- and watch what happens. --- Abraham

Week 3 of the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse

Here we are at week 3 of our Inner Mean Girl Cleanse and I am writing my "obligatory" blog on "obligation". There are over 20 different definitions of the word "obligation" at For this blog, I'll go with:

1. something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a
sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc.
2. something that is done or is to be done for such reasons: to fulfill one's obligations.
3. a favor, service, or benefit for which gratitude is due.

I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and really don't feel an obligation to write this blog. In fact, it's actually very therapeutic. I've written 3 of them so far, just on this topic. The first 2 are in my notebook, marked private, in the hopes that my family doesn't read it if they ever find it.

Between traveling and stay-cations the last few weeks, I've gotten behind on quite a few things. The reminder to do everything from a place of love could not have been sent at a more perfect time. Yes, the Universe does provide, as long as we stay awake and listen!

This week, I found myself doing many things I didn't really want to do and getting caught up in my own inner turmoil. When I was working, I thought the obligatory, "I should be cleaning, cooking or calling my mom". When I was cleaning, cooking, or chatting with my mom, I found myself thinking, "I should be working. I need to write that article or blog. I need to connect with so and so." And if I took a break from both, my first thought was, "I really should be working or doing laundry." The battle was being fought from every side.

I really thought I had a good handle on "living my bliss" and doing what felt right, on living from a place of love. I literally had to stop myself on several occasions for a reality check. We can only do so much and we really "should" love what we do and do what we love. I'm in to taking more bliss breaks!

Tomorrow the laundry is going to pile up and I'm heading off to Girlavant with my daughter - It's the perfect day for a massage and lunch, the loving thing to do for us all! Thanks, Christine and Amy for giving us permission to play and enjoy the hell out of it!

Bliss ON!

I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-Day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September - Take a Bliss Break

6 Tips to Get Back to The Basics
Photos by Jeffrey Williams, JAW Dropping Photography

Summer is officially over. The kids are back in school, the weather is getting cooler and Labor Day is behind us. After flitting all over with kids and spouses it's time to get back to business. No more sleeping in, working from the pool or camping in the back yard. It's time to get organized and get going, without forgetting to take a few Bliss Breaks!

By this time of summer, I'm usually very happy to get back to my routine. Over the course of the last few weeks I really got sucked into summer. We spent a lot of time "Staycationing", entertaining and hanging out. We especially took time to enjoy nature and started walking more than we have in a long time, appreciating the balance, the ying and yang of life.

In a post on the Becoming Minimalist Blog,Bill Gerlach said,"Nature does not want. The natural world lives in balance. There is no greed for more. Nature uses only what it needs to thrive in the most basic yet amazing way."

Taking my cue from the natural world before I dive in to work, I'm getting back to the basics, through balancing my time and work. Yes, I'm getting more organized. Below are 6 tips I found to help me along the way:

Organize First - then go shopping for what you need. Purge and donate items you haven't used in 6 months or more. Once you have everything in place, purchase any storage or filing items you need.
Set your timer - to manage your time wisely. Before you begin any task, think about how long it will really take and set the timer. Allow yourself ample time to complete the project.
Choose a calendar system - one that works best for your specific style. Today's cell phones have wonderful tools that can synch with Outlook, Yahoo, Google and more.
Write down the 3 most important tasks of the day - and stick with it until they are complete. Once you know the dirty work is done, the rest comes easy, and with less stress!
Say "NO" more often - You don't have to do everything. Be more selective about what meetings you schedule, what events you attend and how often you pitch in to help.
Take BLISS Breaks - Take breaks often to enjoy the moment. Stretch, get a cup of tea, walk around the block (or office), read something uplifting or positive, meditate. Did you know you can close your eyes, breathe deep and meditate in just minutes? A simple 1 to 3 minute meditation can truly enhance the quality of your day. (Of course, a 20 minute meditation is even better!)

As the leaves begin to turn to vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, I'm appreciating the view from y office window and the cool, crisp air blowing in. It's a lot different than sitting at the lake, but just like nature, I'm going with the flow.

Whatever you are doing this fall, honor you and your space by getting a little more organized. Get back to nature if you can and carry your bliss with you so you're ready for a spontaneous Bliss Break anytime.

Bliss ON!

P.S. Click Here to download a free copy of The Blissness Plan -
The perfect resource for adding more bliss to your life!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stop Comparisons and Be Gentle On Yourself

"Be gentle with yourself, there is no one quite like you - What a miraculous thought!"

Week 2 of the 40 Day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse

This week's IMG challenge of comparison reminded me of something from my past. A former teacher used to tell me , "Be gentle with yourself, there is no one quite like you!" She was so right!

Every time I find myself going down that lonely "if only" road I stop myself and breathe - finding that one thing that I feel wealthy and inspired in, adding a mental thank you to the universe, including the who or what that popped up to bounce me down that path. Yes, that Inner Mean Girl works hard to bring us down sometimes.

This week, I walked into an event that was supposed to be casual. I wore jeans and a wonderful summer shirt. Looking around, I noticed everyone was in a dress. Yes, I felt totally out of place - for a minute! What the heck, I was very comfortable. To me, there's nothing like a great pair of jeans!

Two things immediately came to mind. One, the room was freezing and I was going to be warm, especially since I had the foresight to bring a sweater. Two, since there were no pads on the wood chairs, my legs were going to be nice and warm. I founds something to appreciate and feel grateful for. I still imagined that a few women were thinking I was totally out of place. WHATEVER! (My childrens favorite response to everything)

We have literally thousands of impressions that run through our minds at any given moment. There's always a choice as to which impression we will follow, keeping in mind that we are way beyond our bodies and our minds. We are "super-blissilicious" souls spreading our wings and flying high.

David Ji of the Chopra Center says, "This moment right now can be the most amazing moment in your life regardless of what is swirling around you...It's always a choice!"

Bliss ON!!

I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-Day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gossip, Gossip, Gossip!

Week One of My Inner Mean Cleanse with
Christine Arylo and Amy Ahlers

Gossip - Enough is Enough!

So, I'm perfectly imperfect. Yes, that has been my mantra around the house for years. Every now and then I rationalize why it's "OK" to say just this one thing about "someone" or "something" and to jump in and comment when my girls are talking trash about someone. Why? Because I'm human.

In following the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh I have learned to step back and be aware of when I do fall into the "gossip" trap. However, because I do have that "Inner Mean Girl" who randomly wants to be heard, sometimes my awareness button doesn't turn on.

Does being aware that my awareness button didn't turn on count as part of the process to cleaning up that "Inner Mean Girl"?

One thing I've realized is that I am aware of when I am falling into that space and catch myself by using the tips suggested - changing the subject or finding something nice to say instead. Sometimes I even boldly state that "I am not commenting" or "I am practicing kindness and compassion". This week I added, "I'm getting rid of that 'Inner Mean Girl' and we are working on speaking with love." That really sparked a conversation, starting with "Who the heck is she?"

This week it was particularly challenging for me as I was with a friend who loves to gossip. At times I found myself rationalizing as to why it was OK to discuss this topic, even though I knew it was still gossip. In the end I literally had to walk away so I didn't get sucked further into the abyss.

The bottom line is that it's not OK to gossip. It's really just the ego's way of stepping in to control something that is of no value or use to us. Most of the time it's easy for me to say, "I don't even want to know or hear about it". Focusing on kindness and compassion is the key. Knowing that each and every one of us suffers in some way makes it easy to find something to love and cherish in others.

This week's challenge only reinforced my mission of sharing a little more bliss with the planet. Can't wait to see what's next!

P.S. I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40 Day Cleanse as a Self Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two Magic Words

By Guest Blogger Kate Nasser

(This, to me, seems so simple....Really felt it needed sharing...)

Two Magical Words for Best 21st Century People-Skills

Two recent experiences gave me insight to update this post (original was June 2010) to include even more value of the two magical words. Enjoy this post and the updates shown below in green.
As you read the title of this post, two magical words for the best people-skills (also known as soft skills or interpersonal skills), you might immediately think of please and thank you. While these classics are still very valuable people-skills words, they are superseded by two words that are magical even when you just think them.

Could the two words be:

Trust & respect? Admittedly crucial yet just thinking them doesn’t necessarily produce great interactions.

Intuition & connection? Some people have little intuition yet they learn great people-skills.

What are the two magical words for the best 21st century people-skills?

“What If”

What if … helps you consider other people’s views.
What if … bonds with diverse customers.
What if … delivers unique customer care.
What if … engages and empowers employees.
What if … builds bonds on teams.
What if … leads people out of the fear of the unknown.
What if … frees you of the limits of your own perspective.
What if … encourages people to think outside-the-box.
What if … allows a fresh start after poor performance.
What if … opens people’s minds to constructive criticism.

What else does this magical two word phrase do? Or do you have another favorite two word phrase for the best 21st century people-skills?

Kate Nasser is The People-Skills Coach and brings her insights to your organization in workshops, webinars, and dvds on profitable people-skills for teamwork and customer care. See her in action at Kate Nasser video footage.

What if you choose bliss? Imagine...