cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

Cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life. 

There's a growing trend in the personal growth realm that I seem to be pondering a lot lately. The trend I speak of is what I call cookie cutter programs. Whether it's diet, personal growth, business growth, fitness, etc. 

You are a human - not a cookie. (News flash! lol!) We are not all the same. We have different body chemistry, different past experiences, different emotional states, different belief systems, different mental states, different operating systems....we are all originals, and we are operating from our own way of being. What works for one person might not work for you. One persons nourishing food could be another person's poison. One persons path to healing may not be the right path for the next. One persons method of organization and productivity might make the next feel scattered. One persons operating system may not be compatible for the next. 

If you are reading this, I'm guessing you are someone that is interested in personal growth, wellness, and continually growing as a person in life. As you peruse books, websites, & online programs how often do you take in very specific 'cookie cutter' systems or ways of doing things?

It's wonderful how much access we have to so many different theories, programs, & personal growth information! It's a huge blessing. I share a lot of this kind of info myself in newsletters & blog posts.

The message I want to get across today is that it still is up to you to figure out what works for YOU personally. Take in all the info. Read the diet plan. Take the course. Read the book... AND - know that exactly what has worked for one person may not work the same way for you. As you are on your own personal journey, allow all of this information to be filtered by you. Try things out. Retain the things that work for you, and let go of the things that don't. Tweak the program. Understand that finding your own way is the only way that will really truly serve you the best. 

As I work with private clients, I sometimes find myself working with someone that wants me to tell them what to do. They want me to give them the road map, when I I don't have the roadmap to their life. I only have the map to mine. What I do in my work with clients is help them to create their own map. That includes suggestions, support, tools, and guidance, but in the end, my clients need to discover what the best path is for them, and when they do - wow - it's beautiful to witness! 

When I facilitate workshops on various topics (handling stress, self care, clean eating, time management, etc) my aim is always to present a lot of ideas & tools. Not every idea or tool is going to resonate with every participant, and I know this. I also know that at the workshops end, each person leaves with at least a few things that really resonate with them, that may work for their life, that works with how they personally operate, and that they can go home and explore implementing to see how they work for them. THAT is what I'm going for!

I know that you are not made from a cookie cutter. I know that you are a unique human different from every other human on the planet. My goal is to always supply useful information, tips, tools, and food for thought. What you do with it, is up to you. Disregard what doesn't resonate or doesn't work for you & your life, and hold onto what does. The more you explore personal growth & wellness in this way, the more you really get to know yourself, and the more you grow & create the life that feels just right for you. No one else can tell you exactly how you 'should' be doing life accurately. You are in charge of that! So I encourage you to explore & have fun with finding your own way. THIS is truly personal growth. 

Design a life for yourself that you love to live, on your own terms. 

Be your own guru. 

With love, 

Shelly

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I choose to honor this day by focusing on the name: Thanks-Giving. 

Today I want to talk with you about having a gratitude practice, the benefits of it, and creating a practice that actually produces the best of those benefits for you! 

The benefits of gratitude can be huge. It can support you socially in creating deeper & healthier relationships.  It can improve your immune system, sleep, and overall health. It can decrease stress & worry.  It can be personally growth giving in ways like improving self esteem & becoming more of an optimist. It can improve your emotional state - creating a happier, more resilient way of being.  It can even improve how you operate in your career. 

Over all - practicing gratitude can effectively increase your joy! Your over all level of happiness rises, which obviously effects all areas of your life positively. 

I want to tell you a quick story. Some years ago I was going through a rough patch in life. It was suggested to me to start a gratitude journal and write in it daily as a means to help pick me up. So I did. Once or twice a day I wrote down at least 3 things I was grateful for. About 30 days into the practice, I realized that most days I was just going through the motions. I was getting it done, just to get it done. I would search for things i was grateful for to write down, but I wasn't really creating the space to feel them. I knew that just writing a list wasn't really working well for me, so I switched it up. I took time each day to sit in gratitude. I took moments to meditate on it and 'feel it' rather than write it. This worked for me - and I started feeling the positive effects much more than when I was writing a list. It boosted how I felt daily, and it helped me to keep a positive attitude through a trying time. 

Why do I share this story? 
Well - The title today is how to get the MOST out of your gratitude practice. While many articles will suggest a specific practice that they think works best, what I want to suggest to you today, is to find your own way. What works best for one person, may not be the best solution for the next. You are unique, and only you can know what will be most effective for you. Regularly practicing gratitude does have amazing effects for everyone, and I encourage you to find the way that is most effective for you! 

Below is a list of suggestions for bringing a practice of gratitude into your life. There are many different ways to explore. I encourage you to explore. Start with a way that you feel drawn to. Be self-aware as you explore & something isn't feeling effective for you, try something else. Personal growth is really about personal exploration. One person's recipe for happiness is different from the rest. Find your own! 

Suggestions in practicing gratitude: 

1) The most commonly recommended - Journal. Write several things daily that you are grateful for. If daily feels too routine, maybe a weekly journaling session feels better. Stumped on what to write about? focus on different areas of your life weekly. What are you grateful for in your relationships? Your health? Your career? Your social life? 

2) Express gratitude to others. This one is huge. Contact people that have had a positive impact on your life, and tell them how grateful you are for their part in your life. Call them. Write a letter. Have a visit. Send a card with a thoughtful gift. This can be one of the most powerful practices. 

3) Bookend your days with gratitude. Before you get out of bed in the morning, lay there and think of several things that you are grateful for, and do the same at night as you fall asleep. This starts and ends your day on a positive, grateful note. If you have kids, this could be a great thing to practice with them. If you have a partner, this could also be a wonderful thing to speak out to each other as you start & end your days. 

4) Take moments each day to "feel" gratitude rather than writing it or speaking it. It can be helpful to create a cue for yourself until you develop the habit. Perhaps a favorite rock in your pocket could be a gratitude rock. Whenever you feel it in your pocket, you are cued to take a moment to 'feel' grateful for whatever is happening in that moment. a piece of jewelry like a ring, bracelet, or pendant can work the same way. You'll be surprised how quickly you can create a habit from this practice that happens naturally. 

5) Discuss gratitude with a close friend or partner. Maybe you know someone that is also wanting to create a gratitude practice? Discussing what you are grateful for together can be really effective. Speaking things out can make them feel clear and really sink in. 

6) Create a "gratitude Jar". (This can be a fun project to do with kids as well). Decorate a jar or even a small box of some kind, and daily, weekly, or whenever you feel like it, write down things you are grateful for on little pieces of paper and add them to the jar. When you are feeling low, or like you need a boost, get out the gratitude jar and read them. 

7) Gratitude meditation. Make gratitude part of a daily meditation practice. Think of the things in life that make you feel comfortable & safe. Think of the people you love and send them love & gratitude in your practice. Think of the things that bring you joy. 

8) Take a gratitude walk. (this is a favorite of mine) Take a walk and dedicate the first 10-20 minutes to finding things to feel grateful for around you. Treat it like a walking meditation. Take in the beauty around you & find gratitude in the natural world. Find gratitude in the ability to move your body. The more you practice this, the more things will come to you. 

9) Make a gratitude collage. Feeling artistic? This can be a great exercise, creative outlet, and something that you can hang in a place in your home that you will see often. Maybe it hangs next to your bed, where it's the first thing you see everyday. 

10) Watch this video and take a cue from this girl. OMG - this is hands down one of my very favorite viral online videos of all time. THIS little human has her gratitude practice mastered. Take one minute to watch this - I promise of will put a smile on your face! 

Do you have other practices that help you to foster a feeling of gratitude? What works well for you? I'd love to hear from you. 

Wishing you a beautiful day of Thanks-Giving with your loved ones!
Thank YOU for reading and being a part of my journey :) 

Shelly

turning what's broken into something valuable

turning what's broken into something valuable

Let's reevaluate 'broken' today huh? Perspective can be everything.
Let's explore a different perspective than we usually take on things that feel 'broken' in life. 

I had session recently with a client where they referred to something in their life as 'broken'. 

When I heard these words, I Instantly saw the image above in my mind. The image above is the Japanese art of Kintsugi, and I think that it's an amazing metaphor to work with when it comes to things that feel broken in life. 

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer made with gold, silver, or platinum. 

The philosophy of Kintsugi is beautiful. (yes this art form has it's own philosophy!). In Kintsugi, the breaks and the repair is honored as part of the history of the piece of pottery. Rather than decreasing the value of this object, (as we often do with anything broken) it's actually seen as much more valuable & beautiful, for there is not another piece of pottery in the world with these exact same breaks & repairs. The history & story of the piece is unique, and the mended cracks viewed as beautiful. 

Kintsugi teaches us the beauty of scars.

Kinsugi celebrates the damage, because through the damage, beauty happened in the fixing that wouldn't be there without the breaks. 

Kintsugi embraces the imperfect.

Kintsugi does not hide the breaks, but rather highlights them. The breaks add uniqueness, character, and precious metal making the vessel more prized, more valuable. 

When things feel broken in life, it's easy to feel despair. We can have a tendency to be hard on ourselves, angry at others, feel like a victim in life. 

The philosophy of this art form can teach us so much in this area. When a piece of pottery breaks, it maybe shocking. It may crash to the floor. For a period of time the broken pieces might not make much sense. It maybe confusing to put them back together. The vessel may not be functional for a period of time. It may not be able to serve in the way that it did before it was broken. And when the art of Kintsugi is introduced to the broken pottery, and the pieces are fuse back together with precious metal, the vessel is again functional in all of the ways it was before. It looks different. It's more beautiful. it's more unique. It's more valuable. It has a story. The cracks are not hidden, but they are treasured, for they tell a story. They add a history that has value. 

Apply the above to life. Maybe something feels broken right now. Maybe there is something that you are working on - fusing the cracks back together. None of us are immune to feeling broken in life in one way or another. Breaks in life happen to all of us. When it does, remember the image of the art of Kintsugi in your mind. Know that when you assemble the pieces back together, that your experience is not something to hide, but something to be treasured, and celebrated. Your life experiences are part of your story, part of your journey. They are part of who you are. We change through our brokenness. and when we apply self love to our healing, we always come out of it more beautiful, more wise, more precious in ways that we can't always imagine at the time of the breaking. 

Wishing for all of your cracks to be filled with gold, and your vessel to be strong, and beautiful.

Shelly

It's time to start thinking about this!

It's time to start thinking about this!

welcome to November! Yes, it's November already! Crazy right? 

As we approach the end of 2018, do you know what kind of magical, amazing things you want to create for yourself in the new year? 

It's time to start thinking about it!

Intentions are important. Without intentions we tend to wander aimlessly. Living a life with intentions means that we are focusing on what is most important to us instead of the aimless wandering, and you know that that means? A life that feels good, fulfilling, authentic, & joyful! 

I had a birthday this week! I tend to treat my birthday like my personal new year. I take time every birthday to really take stock of what has happened in life in the last year for me, how I've grown, what I've learned, etc. I use it as a time to check in with myself, AND I set intentions. After I have really evaluated my past year, I take some time to think about what I want the next year to look like. Since my birthday falls in November, I usually use this time to begin to set goals & intentions for the actual upcoming new year! And let me tell you....I'm feeling excited about the new year! How about you? Are you thinking about it yet? 

I'd encourage you to take some time to think about what you want 2019 to look like for you. Now is the time to do so! Starting to think about this now means that you are giving yourself time to really get clear on what is most important to you. When you are clear on what's most important, and create a plan, you are much more likely to follow through. Getting clear now allows you time to set yourself up for success!

Maybe you are not the "New Years Resolution" type of person? I'm not either. Why? Because so often a 'New Years Resolution' is something we say we are going to do every day starting in the new year, or something we are never going to do again starting in the new year.....just making a statement & promise like this usually is not successful in the long run.

What IS successful? 

Getting clear on what is most important to you! What would make the biggest difference in your life? What really needs to change? What do you really want? 

Once you are clear, plan a course of action, and think about what you need to succeed! For example - do you want to start eating healthier so you feel better?  Just saying you will do it is not enough. Goals to travel big in the new year? Some planning needs to happen. Setting yourself up for success means thinking about what you need to get ready and to follow through!

Thinking about having some accountability around your new year goals & intentions is important as well. We tend to follow through when we have accountability support outside of ourselves! 

So this is your prompt to start daydreaming about 2019! What is it that you want to change, create, or manifest for yourself in the next year of this wonderful life? I'm guessing that you are not craving aimless wondering.....so start getting clear. Start setting intentions. Start setting yourself up to follow through & intentionally create the life that you love to live! 

Shelly

PS - Want some support? My biggest passion in life truly is my work. There's nothing that fills me more than supporting my clients in creating lives that they love to live. We need to be intentional designers of our life if we want to create this, and there's no reason that you need to do it alone. Creating change is SO much easier with some help. Finding clarity on what is most important to focus on is the first step. Just drop me a line to schedule a complimentary session! I'd love to offer you some of my time to support you in getting crystal clear on what you really want to accomplish, change, or transform in life in the next year, and a plan to follow through! 

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

Happy Halloween!

I prefer treats over tricks, so I've got a treat for you today! 

I'll be honest....I've never really paid attention to ' Oprah's favorite things' list that she puts out every year, but I saw something online about it the other day, and I thought....hmmm.....I've got favorite things to share too! And I think that they're pretty damn good things :) 

I could list a hundred I'm sure, but below is a solid dozen for you. 

All of the things on this list support me in living a cleaner, greener, healthier, & personal growth focused life.
I'm sure there are some gems in here for you! 

Food:

1. The Minimalist Baker. 
This Is hands down my very favorite food blogger. All of her recipes are plant based, and use minimal ingredients that are mostly quality whole foods,. Most meals are ready in about 30 minutes. She makes healthy eating easy, fun, & delicious. I share a LOT of her recipes in newsletters & social media. 

2. Imperfect Produce
I've been using this food delivery service every other week for a few months now, and I love it. They work directly with farmers and sell both overstock produce as well as 'ugly' produce that simply doesn't meet the cosmetic standards of grocery stores, and often goes to waste, even though it's just as tasty and nutritious as 'pretty produce'.  I feel good about doing my part in saving some of this ugly produce from the dumpster. Wasting good food sucks! You can order a box of organic veggies for about 30% less than in the store, You get to pick what's in your box, and they deliver right to your door. Click on the link below to get $10 off your first box:
 http://imprfct.us/kbpux
 

3. Green chef
Mostly for fun, I've tried a handful of the meal kit delivery services, and I love green chef. Why? Mostly because almost all of their ingredients are organic (something very important to me)  costing only pennies more than the others I've tried with non-organic ingredients. The recipes are creative & delicious. For someone wanting to learn to cook healthier with whole food ingredients, this can be a great thing. For someone like me that loves to cook, it's a fun way to try new recipes I wouldn't otherwise. It's also a super easy way to grab a bag of ingredients, and head to a friends house to prepare a meal together, OR something I'll utilize when I head to a cabin on the beach for a weekend so that I don't have to do the complicated food shopping & packing that usually goes with such a trip for me!
Click on this link to get $25 off your first order: http://greenchef.com/invite/xmzwbb
 

Home & Body Products: 

4. EWG Product App
When you are wanting to live a cleaner & greener life, it's hard to know what to shop for! We can't always believe products packages that boast to be green, healthy, toxin free, natural, or any other statements. It's good to remember that these statements really have a lot more to do with marketing than with actual ingredients. It's up to us to really know what's in our food, home products, & body products. That's why I LOVE this app from the environmental working group. You can scan products, review the rating, and then make the best choice possible with ease! Download here: https://www.ewg.org/apps/

5. Beauty Counter
Do you have any idea how many toxins are in the skin care products and make-up that you use? You likely don't want to know. If you are ready to switch over to a line that you know is clean, healthy for you & your skin, as well as healthy for the environment, then this is a great line. (the EWG recommends this line as one of the cleaner ones, and they have done their homework!) I'm also really happy with everything I've ordered. The quality is fabulous, and I'm surprised how long they last! 

6. H2O at home
When it comes to home cleaning products, H2O @ home has my highest praise! I've only just begun to collect their line of house cleaning products, and I love them all. Many of them allow me to do a thorough job cleaning with only water! Everything is extremely environmentally friendly - clean for you, your family, & the planet. Bonus - the items I've acquired so far actually make cleaning a lot easier! They also carry clean personal body products. My lovely friend, Nancy is an advisor, and would be happy to answer any questions for you, educate you on the products, and even do an in home demo if you are local to the surrounding Olympia area! 
Phone: (360)259-5518
Email: ncbroach@gmail.com
Website in the link above.

Personal Growth/Lifestyle: 

7. Inquiry Cards
I LOVE this deck. It's a beautiful deck of cards with personal inquiry questions on them. I use them when I work with clients privately, in groups, and in workshops. I use them at home by pulling a card for the day, or by pulling cards around a topic in life that I'm struggling with or trying to make a decision around. They can be a great way to have intentional conversations around the dinner table, gathering with friends, or as a way to get acquainted & build rapport in a group. Self inquiry is always a great thing. My deck has been used and used to much delight!

8. Insight Timer
This is a meditation app that is fabulous! Thousands of guided meditations for free, as well as a meditation timer with calming sounds. I use this app almost daily. There's now talks available on the app as well as courses you can purchase. 

9. Passion Planner
I LOVE this planner. I received my planner for 2019 recently, and it's the 4th year in a row that I'm using one. It guides you through setting goals for the year & dispersing the steps to meeting those goals throughout the months. There's monthly check ins, and so much more. If you are looking for a planner to not just keep your schedule, but to guide your year to accomplishing all that you want to, this planner is for you. 

Shopping: 

10. Vivobarefoot Shoes
I really don't like wearing clunky shoes...I have sprained my ankles to many times to wear any kind of heels &  I hate how hiking boots make me feel like I've got blocks strapped to my feet. I'm a minimalist when it comes to shoes...I love to feel as barefoot as possible. I feel like I move more naturally, keep posture better, and feel a lot less clumsy. After getting some vibram barefoot shoes, I was sold on the barefoot sole style of shoe. (Not the 5-finger ones. I was never into having my toes separated!) Vivobarefoot sells great quality shoes with barefoot soles allowing you to feel as barefooted as possible, even in hiking boots, or thermal winter boots. I got a pair of their hiking boots recently, and I feel like I'm frolicking in the forest with them, without the weight & clunk of regular hiking shoes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes. I've never had a pair of hiking shoes that I feel like I can dance in! And this is a good thing, because I like to dance on the trail sometimes :) 

11. Pact  - Fair Trade Organic Cotton Clothing
I hate how disposable clothing is these days. Also how much of it is made of plastic! Plastic that we are wearing against our skin, and is ending up in our water ways from washing, and filling our landfills. I won't even get into supporting sweat shops in purchases, but I needed to at least mention it. I like to feel good about the source when I'm purchasing new clothing. I also want it to last, rather than show a lot of wear after a few washes. Pact is a fabulous company offering fair trade organic cotton clothing made in small batches. It's quality stuff that you can wash & dry over & over without showing any wear, and it's soft & comfortable as all get out! Their prices are great for the quality of the clothing they sell, and they have good sales. All of my 'basics' are slowing coming from this company....underwear, socks, tanks, bralettes, tights, t-shirts, etc. Click this link to get 20% off your first purchase: http://fbuy.me/kIN89


12. The beach (as pictured above) Just go to the beach. It's so good for you!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about any of these, and I'd love to hear about your favorites too! What are your favorite products that help you live a healthy , clean, green, & happy life? 

Cheers to an amazing week! 

Shelly

a very important key to personal growth

a very important key to personal growth

What's one of the most effective personal growth tools? 

Journaling.

Do you journal? Maybe you have in the past? Or maybe it's something that you just never got into?

Maybe when you think of journaling, you have an image in your head of a teenager laying in bed, belly down, feet kicked up in the air, and writing with a glitter pen in a little book that has a lock & key? Ha! If so, know that it's so much more than that! ( I used to be one of those girls by the way!)

I firmly believe it's one of the most effective personal growth tools you can utilize. 

Its free, it takes little time to do, and the benefits are wonderful. 

It's like having a great conversation, only the conversation is  all to yourself, without the outside influence of others,

What are some of the benefits of journaling? 

  • It's a way to check in with yourself. 

  • Self exploration. 

  • It can help alleviate depression, anxiety, & stress. It can help alleviate stress & anxiety by taking the time to think things out, find clarity, identify causes of issues, and help to you come to conclusions on how you really feel or how to best handle a situation. 

  • It can be great for sparking creativity.

  • It can be a fabulous tool for personal check ins & self analysis around any area of life - work, health, relationships, etc. 

  • It allows you a place to describe experiences you've had & to process them. 

  • It gives you a way to hold memories of important happenings in your life. 

  • Journaling helps you to clarify your thoughts & feelings. 

  • It helps you to get to know yourself better, building a stronger relationship with yourself. 

  • Regular journaling can help you to solve problems more effectively and more easily settle disagreements with people in your life.

  • It's really some of the cheapest (okay-free) therapy you can get if you dedicate yourself to it. 


How to journal? 

  • Journaling does not need to follow any kind of particular structure, unless you create one that works well for you of course, then maybe it does! 

  • Always keep your journal private - for your eyes only. This really allows you to easily let go and allow what wants to come out, come out, as you have created a safe space for yourself to do so.

  • As you write, let it flow out, not worrying about spelling, grammar, or punctuation . Just write!

  • Unsure of what to write about? Take a few minutes to close your eyes, check in with yourself & ask yourself some personal inquiry questions. Ask yourself what's most beneficial to write about today? What's up with you today? 

  • If you don't already journal regularly & want to give it a chance to see how you benefit from it, give it a little time. Dedicate yourself to journaling daily for a period of time. You don't need to start with a lot. Even jotting your thoughts down for just 5-10 minutes a day can be helpful . 


If you feel stumped on how to start, or what to write, here are some cues you can use. 

  • Write down 3 things that you are the most grateful for in your day. 

  • Write the following for the day: Something you are proud of, something or someone you forgive, and something you are grateful for. 

  • Write to yourself as if you are giving advice to a friend. 

  • Write a letter to someone that you don't plan to send, simply to express yourself & find clarity in how you feel.

  • Ask yourself one of the following self inquiry questions: 

    • What if I wasn't afraid? 

    • What lessons did I learn today?

    • Am I happy with how I spent my time today? How could I do better? 

    •  What am I ready for?

    • What brought me joy today?

    • What felt like a struggle today, and how can I best support myself here?

    • What needs attention in my life?

    • What is my body trying to tell me?

    • What are my strengths?


If you journal regularly, you already know all of the above, and maybe you could add to the list of benefits? If you are not, are hesitant or plain reluctant to it, I encourage you to give it a try for a period of time. Give it a solid shot, and see how it feels after a while, If you decide it's not the best practice for you, then at least you tried something new, and likely learned something from the experience. It's always good to try new things & explore new avenues of growth!

Wishing you a fabulous rest of your week!

Shelly

What Needs To Change?

What Needs To Change?

Every once in a while, I feel drawn to pulling a card from my favorite deck for my weekly writing. It's one of those weeks. The deck that I pull these cards from is called "Inquiry Cards". Each card asks a personal inquiry question, and a beautiful mandala-like images on each. They are wonderful for personal inquiry. I use them personally, in client sessions, and in workshops quite often. 

On to the inquiry question for the week! 

What needs to change? 

Take a moment, close your eyes, & sit with this question.
What comes to mind for you? 

We tend to spend a lot of time considering what we want, things that we want to be different in life, experiences we want to have, dreams we want to pursue, heath goals, etc. THIS is wonderful work. We need to have clarity in what we want to move forward and create our lives. 

AND sometimes, once we find that clarity the question we need to ask ourselves is the one above.
What needs to change? 

If we want life to look different, feel different, if we want to achieve health goals, travel goals, career goals, create the relationships we want, and do all of the things  we are daydreaming about, it's likely that there's stuff we need to change in order to make those things possible. 

Examples: 

I want to improve my health, have more energy, be more fit, or lose weight:
What needs to change? 
You may need to change how you eat.
You may need to learn how to eat differently.
You may need to give some things up that you indulge in.
You may need to make time in your schedule to exercise. 
You may need to give some less important things up to create this time. 
You might need to find some accountability support.

I want to travel more: 
What needs to change?
You may need to change your habits of procrastination, and work on being a planner. 
You may need to budget and address where you are spending your money on things that are less important to you, prioritizing travel.

I want to create more  healthy friendships. 
What needs to change?
You may need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to attend activities where you can form bonds with people that have similar interests as you. 
You may need to evaluate your current friendships and let go of ones that are not healthy, allowing more energy to feed relationships that are.

I want to feel better about myself. 
What needs to change?
You may need to work on changing habits of self criticism. 
You may need to focus on and do some personal work around self love.  
You may need to make time for the things in life that cause you to feel good, and let go of things that don't. 

I want to lessen the stress in my life. 
What needs to change?
You may need to dedicate yourself to adopting habits that help alleviate stress. 
You may need to learn new coping mechanisms. 
You may need to consider changing jobs. 
You may need to consider the relationships in your life, and give less energy to the ones that include drama and stress. 

I could go on & on....but you get the picture. In order for transformation, growth, & newness in life, things need to change. So, what are you wanting to bring into your life right now? And what needs to change to allow those things in? 

I Invite you to sit with this question over the next few days.
See what answers your inner knowing comes up with. 

If you feel like you could use some support in finding this clarity, creating a plan, or following through, reach out to me. I'd be honored to support you! 

Wishing you a beautiful week! 

Shelly

Your Happiness Challenge For The Week!

Your Happiness Challenge For The Week!

I want to challenge you this week to focus on one simple thing that can really help to boost happiness levels. Read on....

The picture above....it's a common scene, yes?
Our devices keep us connected in a lot of wonderful ways, AND it can be way too much, way to addictive, and also leave us unconnected to the people around us. 

I've really been paying attention lately when I am out & about how often people are on their phones. Every spare minute...while at the bus stop, in line at the grocery store, walking down the street, or waiting to order coffee. It seems like every spare minute between things, it's become habit to have phone in hand, scrolling, texting, perusing. 

We all know this is an addiction. We literally get a hit of dopamine (one of those happy chemicals our brain releases for us) when we pick up our phone and discover a new text, a new comment, a new message. Facebook, twitter, instagram all provide these hits of dopamine as we scroll that we have come to rely on. 

Another side to this that I've REALLY been pondering lately....especially when we are out & about in our communities, is that most people are rarely interacting with the people around them. I'm not just talking about the friends that you see having dinner together while both on their phones, but the cashier at the grocery store, the person next to you in line, the person waiting with you at the bus stop, the people walking by you on the street.  When I pay attention & watch, I see people so distracted with phones & in their own little world while often not even acknowledging the people around them. I see people go through the line at the grocery store all of the time, barely acknowledging the person helping them. 

Sound familiar? I'm guilty of it too. And it's something I'm working on. We need connection as humans. It brings us joy. Being acknowledged & interacting in person is important. Lack of connection can lead to depression, feelings of isolation, and addictions. 

Here's my challenge to you for this week....put your phone away. Make a point to pay attention to those around you and interact! Not only will this bring you joy, but it will be bringing others joy as well. For the next week, make a solid intention to keep your phone tucked away more often, and take opportunities to connect with others, even in the smallest of ways. Perhaps this will feel so good that you want to make it a full time habit!

Having dinner with friends? Leave your phone tucked away. Be fully present in the conversation. 

Out grocery shopping, or grabbing a coffee? Put your phone away. Make small talk with strangers. Hand out random compliments to people. Engage with your cashier or barista. Ask them how their day is going. Acknowledge them & wish them a fun day! 

When you see someone less fortunate outside of the grocery store with a sign, buy some extra food to share with them along with a smile. 

When you are walking down the street, make it a point to smile & say hello to people. 

Make a conscious effort to spread joy, smiles, and love wherever you go. And you know what? Doing these things gives you a hit of dopamine too. You'll feel more connected, happier, and enjoy the everyday errands & activities so much more. 

There's a lot of hard stuff going on in the world and our country right now. People are struggling and divided in so many ways. One of the little things we can do is be conscious about spreading smiles wherever we go. Connect in positive ways. The little ways such as smiling at people on the street, handing out sincere compliments to strangers, and truly listening to your friends & family over dinner can make an enormous difference for all of us. 

It really is about the little things throughout our day. Making some adjustments in how we carry ourself through the mundane tasks of life like grocery shopping can make such a big difference in how we feel, and in how the people around us feels.....with very little effort, simply by connecting. 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of smiles & genuine connections,

Shelly

 

Please Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself!

Please Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself!

Words have power. We know this. There are a lot of words that we are conscious about not using in certain circumstances, words that we are well aware are hurtful, and there are some words that we use by habit without the awareness of what kind of impact they can have. Today I'm going to talk about one of those words. 

I'm talking about the word "SHOULD". 
How many times a day do you think you use this word?

The word should expresses obligation or expectation, often in a negative way when criticizing someone's actions or lack there of (including your own). It's a word that has a lot n common with guilt & shame, and the inability to make decisions. 

For years I've been working to eradicate this word from my vocabulary. It's a word that I have been accustomed to using without a thought for most of my life. I still catch myself using it, and whenever i do, I take the opportunity to correct myself and rephrase. 

Why is the word 'should' on my 'do not use' list? In essence it's a shame based word, and I think that we could all use a lot less shame in this world, both self imposed, imposed on others, and from others. 

Think about how & when you use the word should.........
I should have handled that differently. 
I should have tried harder. 
I should have gone to a yoga class today. 
I shouldn't have said that. 
I shouldn't have eaten that brownie. 
I should have exercised. 


Think about how & when you use the word should to talk to others, or when others talk to you.....
You should have done this instead.
You should see a therapist.
You should come to my party.
You should read this book. 
You should do ...(whatever)....



How are any of those statements helpful? They're not. They ALL have a tone of guilt, shame, or obligation to them. When talking to yourself, you are essentially saying you did something wrong. When talking to someone else, you are telling them that they did something wrong, or you know better what they should be doing with their life, and/or imposing a feeling of guilt or obligation.  

So, when you catch yourself using the word should, ask yourself what you really mean? 
Is there obligation, expectation, guilt or shame attached to it? 

THEN rephrase. 

"I should go to a yoga class today"
Could be changed from a guilty feeling, shaming statement to a clear decision that you own.
"I'm going to a yoga class today"
Or 
"I'm not going to a yoga class today."

"I should have handled that differently"
Could be changed from a shaming statement to a wisdom statement.
"Next time a situation arrises like this, I'll know how to handle it differently."

"You should come to my party tonight."
Could be changed from a statement of obligation to a warm invitation. 
"I'm having a party tonight, and I'd love to have you there if you don't have plans."

"I should really go to the party I was invited to tonight."
Could be changed from a a guilty, obligation statement to one of self empowerment: 
"I have other priorities for myself tonight, so I'm not going to make it, and I'm okay with that." 

"You should read this book."
Could be changed from a 'I know what's good for you' statement to a 'sharing of knowledge statement'.
"I loved this book, and gained so much from it, maybe you would too."

"You should go see a therapist"
Could be changed from a demeaning 'You need some help to get your shit together' statement to a helpful & supportive statement.
"Have you ever considered seeing a therapist?"

Don't those corrections feel SO much better?!?!

So, here is my challenge to you for the week: Pay attention. Bring awareness to how often you hear yourself say this word. When you hear it come out of your mouth, ask yourself what you really mean by it, then rephrase in a way that feels more positive.

Words have power. Take that power & use it for the positive!

Let's all stop "shoulding" on ourselves & the people around us!!!  :) 

Wishing you a lovely rest of your week! 

Shelly

Take A Cue From The Trees

Take A Cue From The Trees

Honoring the seasons as they arrive is a wonderful way to keep life in balance. There's a lot we can learn and ways that we can grow personally, simply by attuning ourselves to the rhythms of nature. 

Would you like to honor the arrival of autumn? Read on.......

The autumn equinox happened this past week.
Fall is officially here.
The daylight hours and dark night hours are in perfect balance.
How balanced is life feeling for you?

Autumn is harvest season. A time of abundance.
It's a time to reap the rewards of the summer season.
It's a time of preservation & preparation for winter. 
It's a time for nesting back into our homes, and finding comfort in sweaters & hot tea.

Embracing the abundance of the harvest season, enjoying the amazing produce of the season, making soups, and sipping tea comes easily to me. I love fall. I embrace it with ease.

What doesn't always come with ease is letting go, as the trees so easily do with their leaves..
Letting go of the things that don't serve us. 
Letting go of the things that keep us feeling unbalanced. 
Letting go of judgements, and grudges. 
Letting go of 'stuff' to declutter our lives. 
Letting go of expectations. 
Letting go of habits that hinder our growth & happiness. 

We can take a cue from the trees right now. 
They do not struggle or question letting go of their leaves. 
They let go with ease. 
They have the wisdom to know that it's time to let go, and begin to venture inward for the season.
They know that after the upcoming darker nights, spring will eventually emerge and new growth will happen. 
And they know that new growth doesn't happen unless they let go in the fall. 

I think that journaling is a wonderful avenue for self exploration & personal growth. If you would like to embrace & honor autumn arriving, I'd like to share some questions for you to journal on, or maybe discuss with a close friend or partner. 

  • Where does my life feel out of balance right now? And what steps can I take to create more balance there? 

  • What can I let go of this fall that is not serving me? How can I 'do' that letting go?

  • What judgement am I holding towards myself or someone else that I can let go of?

  • What expectations can I let go of? 

  • What are habits can I let go of that are hindering my growth & happiness?

  • What steps can I take to declutter my life & my home to create a more calming, simplistic space? What is the 'stuff' that I can let go if? 

Wishing you a beautiful, joyous, & cozy autumn, 

Shelly

 

Improve Your Health & Energy With ONE Easy Tip!

Improve Your Health & Energy With ONE Easy Tip!

Do you want to improve your health? Your energy?
How healthy do you eat?

I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again. We are what we eat. If we are not fueling our bodies well, we can't expect to feel well, or our bodies to perform well. 

I talk to a lot of people that know they need to eat healthier, but they simply don't know how. Society has trained us very well to live on convenience foods. If you have never cooked/prepared healthy meals with whole foods, you simply don't know how, and it's something that you need to learn. I get it. THAT can feel overwhelming. Besides the overwhelming amount of information out there now on what we should eat, what's healthy, what's not, and all of the latest diet fads that continually confuse people. 

I'm a big believer in author Micheal Pollan's advice: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
It really is this simple. In order to eat healthy food, and mostly plants, you need to know how to prepare food outside of convenience foods, because most convenience foods are a far cry from plant based. 

There's a common misbelief that cooking from scratch is complicated and time consuming. It doesn't need to be, and it gets a lot easier the more you learn. 

I talk to a lot of people that did not grow up knowing how to cook healthy meals out of whole food ingredients, and learning to do otherwise feels so out of reach, so different than what they are used to. Where do you start? How do you make this shift? 

I want to share a different perspective with you today, as well as 1 easy tip, that if you follow could change how you eat, and in turn improve your health for the long run! 

What's my tip? 
Choose 1 New Healthy Recipe Every Week To Prepare. 

Simple right? We really don't need to make things as complicated as we do. Going 'all in' on a new diet or eating trend, or shifting how you eat all at once can feel overwhelming, and usually ends up being something that you don't actually stick to, right? 

If you dedicate yourself to exploring how to prepare just one new recipe a week (this is not a big commitment) and actually stick to that, how you cook and how you eat will gradually change, and the change is much more likely to stick since you are making it gradually. 

Think about anything else in life that you might want to learn. If you are learning a new language, you learn a few words at a time, and how to compose them into a sentence. if you want to learn to play an instrument, you take short lessons, and you practice until the sounds you are getting out of the instrument are something that is pleasing to the ears. You don't expect to be able to pick up an instrument and know how to play it right away, so cut yourself some slack in the area of preparing healthy foods! You need to practice. You need to figure out what combinations of foods go well together, what you like, and how you like it prepared.

Like learning anything else in life, you learn from practicing and from making mistakes. We can actually learn the most from our mistakes. 

The advice I'm sharing with you today is directly from my own experience. I grew up eating a lot of convenience foods. As I learned more about how what I eat affects everything about how I feel, I knew that I needed to learn to eat better. If I wanted to eat better, I needed to learn to prepare my own food from whole ingredients. It felt a bit overwhelming. Where do I start? I did exactly what I am suggesting you do. Every week, I picked a new recipe that I thought sounded good, and that was relatively easy to prepare. As I got into it more, I would try more than one recipe a week. Before I knew it, I had a plethora of dishes that I knew how to make, from scratch, with healthy whole food ingredients. Not only did I have these recipes under my belt, but I gained a sense of confidence in the kitchen. I knew what I liked, and how to prepare it. Through my mistakes, I learned what I didn't like, and how not to prepare things. I still try out new recipes, but now, more often than not, I walk into my kitchen and create whatever I feel like from scratch, from what I have in the kitchen, from my own experience, and let me tell you that comes in handy!

If you dedicated yourself to trying just one new recipe a week, by the end of a year, you would have 52 healthy dishes that you knew how to make, and you will have learned a lot in the process. 

Maybe you ARE eating pretty well but you would like to take things up a notch? This is still great advice for you. I'm still learning too, and I love it. Just a few years ago I started making all of my own salad dressings from scratch. This is something that always felt easier to purchase at the store. Now that I make my own, and I know how easy it is, and how much tastier they are, (also much cheaper to make on my own!) You won't find me spending the extra money on store bought versions with extra questionable ingredients in. Why would I? 

When you are preparing your own food, you know exactly what's in it, and that is key. You don't always know what ingredients are in convenience foods. I also need to make the point that food you make for yourself & your friends or family is infused with love, and THAT makes a huge difference too. 

Where can you find healthy, easy recipes to learn from? I'll leave a couple of great resources below for you. Also, if you receive my newsletter weekly, you know that I post 1 healthy recipe a week. I do this for YOU! If you enjoy the recipes I post, then let me do the  leg work for you, and try the recipe that's included in my newsletters weekly :) If you are not signed up, you can do so here: homepage


Wishing you health, energy, and nourishing food on your plate,

Shelly
Resources:

My favorite food blogger for some time now: 
https://minimalistbaker.com/

And here is a plethora of healthy food bloggers with amazing recipes: 
https://makeyourbodywork.com/best-healthy-food-blogs/

It Doesn't Need To Feel SO Hard!

It Doesn't Need To Feel SO Hard!

What are you holding onto far too tightly? So tightly that it is causing you stress, anxiety, or an inability to be in the present moment? 

Something you are hoping will happen, or you are trying to make happen? 
Something that you wanted to happen, but didn't?
An unrealistic list of things that you feel like you need to do? 
A grudge against someone? A grudge against yourself for messing something up? 
A relationship that didn't work out? 
Expectations of people that they will likely never fill?
Expectations of yourself that are too much?

This list could go on forever. There are lots of things that we tend to hold onto far too tightly. Things that we attach ourselves to. Things that we can't control. 

That last sentence is really what this is about.....things that we can't control. 
Why do we hold onto things so very tightly that we really don't have control over?
Why do we stress over them?
Obsess over them?
And allow them to keep us in the past, in the future, or anywhere else other than the one place we have.....the present moment. 

Yes, I believe we should go for what we want. 
Yes, I believe that action is important. 
And I believe that sometimes we need to just let go of trying so hard, and allow the flow of life to happen.
In the end, trying to force things can be counter productive..

What I write is always inspired by what is going on for me in life, or it's inspired by the clients that I work with and other people close to me. Sometimes both. Today is no different. Letting go and allowing has been a topic in several conversations I've had recently, and the other day I had a crystal clear moment of reminding myself to let go. As soon as I did, what I needed came right to me....with ease. 

It was a reminder for me.
A reminder that when I hold on too tightly, I'm not allowing the flow.
The flow is something that I always want to allow into my life.
As soon as I let go of what I was working so hard on, trying to make happen, stressing about, holding onto.....exactly what I needed flowed right in. 
I don't always need to try so hard. 
I don't need to hold on so tight. 
I don't need to stress myself out over things that I can not control, and allow them to steal the very precious present moment from me.

So, what comes to mind for you as you read this? Is there something that you are holding onto far too tightly? Something that you are trying too hard, or trying to force in life? Something that you really can't control, but it's stressing you out? 

Let go. Allow. Trust that you have done what you can, and trust that what is meant to happen will. 

It's so much easier than stressfully holding on too tightly. 

Wishing you a week filled with ease, 

Shelly

my favorite defense against cold & flu season

my favorite defense against cold & flu season

It's that time of year. The weather is beginning to change, kids are back in school (they are little germ factories you know!), and cold & flu germs are in the air! How do you protect yourself? 
 
I want to share my favorite defense against cold & flu season with you today! 

Admittedly, I was inspired to write this today because I just returned from traveling to my home state of Minnesota and am currently recovering from the first nasty cold that I have had in years. Why? Because I did not travel with my trusted ally. 

There are a lot of things that we can do to stay healthy this time of year. Keeping hydrated, probiotics, supplements, tinctures, teas, getting enough sleep, eating well, etc. There is ONE thing that is always in my pantry (and that I usually always travel with!) that has done really well at keeping me healthy when cold & flu season hits.

This one thing is what I start taking as soon as cold & flu season arrives, when I spend time with people that are sick, when I know that I have come in contact with cold germs, or if I have the feeling that my body is fighting something off....you know, that first tinge of a sore throat, run down energy, or a sniffle. 

It's referred to as master tonic, or fire cider. There can be some slight differences in ingredients here, but the basis is the same, and it's a powerful anti-cold, anti-flu, anti-bacterial, anti- fungal, and anti-viral fighter! It was actually used in the past to fight the plague! 

This is something that you can make on your own very easily (although you need to let it sit for 2-4 weeks before it is done), you can order it online, or you are likely to find it at your local natural food coop or store. 

The basic ingredients are: live (with the mother) apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, horseradish root, ginger root, and hot peppers. There are variations of this recipe adding honey (to cut the spice and added immune system benefits), turmeric, citrus, etc. 

When I take little shots of this tonic a few times a day, I simply don't get sick. Even when I'm directly exposed to cold & flu germs. After this last trip of not traveling with mine, it is not a mistake that I will likely make again! Regardless of the season, there is something to breathing in the recycled air on airplanes that feels like a risk! 

Yes, this is a spicy tonic. For those of you that don't handle spice well, adding some honey can help. It's also delicious in tomato or vegetable juice. (it tastes like a bloody mary! Of course - leave out the vodka - we are working to help our immune system, not sabotage it!)

There are many recipes you can find online, and here I'll share an easy basic one with you:
Master Tonic Recipe

Here is a source to order it online if you are not into making your own:
Fire Tonic on Amazon

And since many of you are local to my area in Olympia, you can find Master Tonic at the Local Food Coop! 

Wishing you a healthy & vibrant September! 

Shelly
 

An Easy Way To Cultivate More Happiness In Your Life!

An Easy Way To Cultivate More Happiness In Your Life!

We all know that practicing gratitude is something that has amazing benefits in keeping a positive mindset, and maintaining a level of happiness in life that feels really good. Today I want to share a different spin on a gratitude practice with enormous benefits.

If you take in articles or books in the area of personal development & happiness, it's likely that you have read about how beneficial practicing gratitude can be. It can increase your level of happiness in life in a big way.  Maybe you have read about gratitude journaling or participated in a 'gratitude challenge' where you journal about what you are grateful for daily for a certain period of time. You've likely seen many people choose to do these kind of things publicly on social media as well. 

When gratitude becomes a habit, it increases your happiness level simply because it becomes your habit to focus on the good!

This video I want to share with you today is something that came across some time ago, and it's always stuck with me. It shows that taking your gratitude practice a step further by actually expressing gratitude to the people in your life, can increase your happiness level in a big way! It also spreads the happiness to the people that you reach out to. 

Take a few minutes to watch this!

What Makes You Happy? An Experiment in Gratitude, by Soul Pancake

What can you do with this information? Express some gratitude to the people in your life that you are grateful for. The people that have stood by your side, supported you, encouraged you, influenced you in big ways....the people that have made a difference in your life somehow. Perhaps it's being intentional about making some phone calls, writing some emails, or just getting into the habit of telling people how much you appreciate them in the moment. Perhaps making a commitment to contacting one person per week for a period of time to tell them what you appreciate about them? Can you imagine how good it would feel to contact one person per week expressing your gratitude to them for the rest of the year? Your happiness level may bursting at the seems by the end of the year! 

I'd love to hear about how you might choose to intentionally practice this! 

Wishing you a very happy rest of your week! 


Shelly

PS- If you haven't watched other 'Soul Pancake' videos, I suggest you do! They are always uplifting :) 
 

some of the best advice I've ever been given

some of the best advice I've ever been given

I've received a lot of good advice in my life, and today I want to share with you one of the best pieces of advice that I've ever been given. A piece of advice that I have actually implemented, and has made a huge difference for me. 

What was the advice? 
Take at least one sabbath day a week. 

By sabbath day, I mean a day of rest. Or more accurately, giving myself permission to do whatever it is I feel like doing for a day. With zero plans allowed to be made for the day, I simply do whatever my spirit feels called to do from moment to moment. 

The trick is to really OWN that day as mine.
To own it, is to let go of the feeling that I 'should' be doing anything else. 

I will admit that this does not happen weekly for me, but as often as I can, when I am not gone somewhere on the weekends, I practice giving myself this day, and it fills my cup in a way that nothing else really does. 

When giving myself a sabbath day, I'm not allowed to make any plans. I make no commitments to freinds, activities, or events....yes, even if it's relxaing fun things. Why? Because sometimes the introvert in me feels like having alone time. I don't have any to-do lists...even if it's something I've been looking forward to getting done & have been wanting to find the time. Why? Because I may not feel like doing that project that particular day. 

I literally do whatever I feel like doing from moment to moment. It allows me to really check in with myself.
What do I want right now? 
Do I want to be around friends? 
Do I feel like I could use some time alone? 
Am I feeling like creating something? 
Do I want to be inside? outside? 

Really.....when life is busy, how often do we get to make these decisions in the moment? We usually have somewhere we are 'supposed to be' or 'something that we are supposed to be doing', right? It's not often that most of us are allowed this free time to really listen to our spirit and follow it. 

Sometimes I'll end up spending the day alone if I feel like I need some solitude. Sometimes I'll reach out to friends to go out to brunch or a hike. Sometimes I'm lazy, and sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I actually end up getting projects done that have been on the list forever, because it's actually what I feel like doing that day, and I end up thoroughly enjoying them because the moment is right. 

Life is busy for most of us. Practicing taking at least 2-3 of these days a month makes an enormous difference for me. As I said above, it really fills my cup in a way that nothing else does. 

Is life far too busy for you? Could you benefit from taking this advice as well? If this idea appeals to you, I highly recommend you give it a chance. You deserve to have time to do whatever you feel like doing. We all do. 

Wishing you a beautiful week! 

Shelly

Having Patience With Your Personal Growth

Having Patience With Your Personal Growth

Feel like you have been working hard in the area of personal growth, and find yourself feeling impatient at times? Why isn't it feeling different yet? Why am I still reacting to things in the same way? Is all this effort worth it?

I love a good metaphor. 

I've been working with a metaphor this past year, and I want to share it with you. 

when it comes to personal growth, transformation, creating your life to look how you want it to look, and feeling how you want to feel, it can take a lot of work, and a lot of patience at times. 

The metaphor that I've been working with this last year is downloading a new operating system. Imagine you are downloading a new operating system on your computer. You choose the system according to how you want your computer to run, you go through the steps to begin the download, and you begin downloading...what happens? You need to wait.....it's downloading....downloading....downloading....the bar you are watching (as in the pic above) is slowing crawling to completion.

Even though file after file is being downloaded, your computer is not going to actually function in this new way until the download is complete. You may have an idea of how many minutes are left, but really, you don't know when it's complete until it says "download complete". Your computer restarts, and BAM....a new system is in place. 

What does this have to do with your personal growth? 

Every new system we implement takes time to download. We are very much like computers ourselves. 

We can be doing the work.....doing the work.....doing the work......and our new operating system isn't going to fully take effect until the download is complete. Sometimes we need to have more patience with ourselves. 

Let me give an example. Perhaps I've working on not taking things personally. Maybe I have taken other peoples opinions or judgements to heart, and beat myself up in the past if I didn't feel accepted by others, when I got corrected at work for making a mistake, I was rejected by someone, or if I felt judgment, etc. Let's say that I have been consciously working on this for some time. I'm working on my self worth, owning and accepting who I am, letting go of others opinions & judgements of me, and knowing that I don't need to be perfect to be worthy. I've been reading books, journaling, meditating on it, working with a coach and/or therapist....I've been doing all of the work. All of it. 

When am I going to actualy FEEL like I am not taking things personally rather than just teling myself I'm not? It can feel easy to give up sometimes....like everything we are focusing on is not working. 

UNTIL.....
 
You have a 'download complete' moment. 

I've had a number of these moments myself this past year, which is why I can relate to this metaphor so strongly. 

One day, you are going about your business, and you realize...."Oh, that happened, and I'm not reacting to it like I used to!" Download complete. 

It takes time to change our operating systems that we have held all of our lives.
It takes time for the work that we do to settle into our bones, and really FEEL it.
It takes time to learn to respond to life differently.
It takes time to create new habits, and ways of being. 

In our current world of so much instant gratitification, it can be hard to remember that. 

I want to remind you today, that whatever you are working on, whatever you are focusing on creating in your life.....be patient with yourself! Keep focusing on what feels important for you! 

You WILL have those moments where you realize that your 'download is complete' and know that all of the energy you have put in has been worth it.

You are worth it. 
You are worth the work. 
Living the life you want is worth the work. 
Practice patience & faith that it will come. 
Because it will. 

I would love to hear from you if you have examples of this in your life! 
What moments have you had where you felt like your new download was complete? 
What are the new operating systems that you are working on downlaoding currently?

Wishing you a wonderful rest of your week! 

Shelly

 

a resource for eating organic on the cheap and reducing food waste

a resource for eating organic on the cheap and reducing food waste

Every once in a while I like to share with you favorite resource in living a good & healthy life. This week I want to share a resource with you that can help you to eat fresh, organic produce at a reduced price, without leaving the house, while you also reduce food waste! Win-Win! 

When I talk to people about eating healthy, whole, organic foods, I tend to hear a lot of push back on how expensive it can be, which is one of the reasons I'm happy to share this resource with you today!

I was introduced to the Imperfect Produce company this summer at a booth they held at a festival I attended, and when I found out that I was in their delivery area, I decided to give them a try, and I'm happy that I did!

Did you know that about 20% of food grown in our country never leaves the farm just because the produce doesn't meet the cosmetic standards of stores!?!?  20% of food grown is either left in the field to rot, or trucked to landfills, just because it looks different! When crooked cucumbers taste just as good as straight ones, this is ridiculous! Food waste is a pet peeve of mine. With so many people hungry in our country, it makes zero sense to me. 

THIS is the reason that I love this company so much. Imperfect Produce works directly with famers. They take the 'ugly produce' off their hands that would otherwise go to waste, and sell it to people like you at 30-50% less than grocery stores. They also take a lot of perfect looking produce that the farmers simply have too much of. AND they deliver it to your door! 

Here's how it works. You sign up for a small, med, large, or xtra large box of produce to be delivered weekly or bi-weekly. You can choose from conventionally grown or organic (organic is a no-brainer at the discounted prices). It works like a subscription that you can cancel any week that you don't want a delivery. Here's the extra cool part: They send you an email every week and you have 24 hours to customize your box of produce. They have a general selection of produce set for you according to the box size you subscribe to, and you get to remove or add anything that you want to totally customize your delivery! They deliver to my area on Mondays, so Thursday I get an email, I have until Friday night to customize my order, and on Monday it's delivered...and let me tell you I got a beautiful big box of organic produce (as you can see in the above picture) for about $20! It included cucumbers, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, limes, & nectarines. I was happy with the quality of everything....my limes don't need to be bright green and my cucumbers don't need to be straight to taste good! 

This is an easy, inexpensive, and feel good way to keep your kitchen stocked with delicious produce. What do you have to lose? 

Curious to try it yourself? Click on the referral code below, and you'll get $10 off your first box! 

https://www.imperfectproduce.com/register.php?referral=455443

The old saying that you are what you eat is really true. What you put in nourishes all the cells of your body. Choose wisely! Maybe this resource can make it a bit easier for you :) 

What are your favorite resources in making living a healthy life easier? As always, I'd love to hear from you! 

Have beautiful rest of your week!


Shelly

Are You Reacting Rather Than Responding?

Are You Reacting Rather Than Responding?

Are you reacting to life's events, or responding to them? 

What's the difference?

“When I look back on my knee-jerk reactions now, I realize I should have just taken a breath.”

— Fred Durst

Reaction can be survival oriented. Reactions can be driven by beliefs & insecurities of the unconscious mind. They generally don't take long term effects into consideration, and they are almost always quick. 

A response, generally takes a bit longer. A response is a group effort between your conscious and unconscious mind. It takes long term effects into consideration as well as your well being and the well being of those around you. 

A reaction and a response may apear really similar, but they feel very different. 

If we are reacting from a place of belief that we are not even aware of (unconscious mind) the results can be less than desirable. 

So, how can you work to respond rather than react in life? 

Simply pay attention to when what you say or do feels off kilter. Pause before you react. Give yourself a minute to check in and respond.  If you didn't stop & notice before something came out of your mouth, you can still catch it after. You know when you try explaining how you feel about something, and it just doesn't feel right? It's okay to back track....to say "hold on, how I worded that doesn't feel right" .....and then take a breath, connect, and try again. 

Secondly, If we can continue to work on our subconscious mind to change belief systems there to ones that serves us, as opposed to ones based on fear & insecurities, well....then our subconscious minds will serve us much better in the moment. This can be done through meditation, therapy, coaching, writing, journaling, tapping, hypnotherapy, mantras, and/or whatever kind of work you feel drawn to doing in this area. 

My challenge for you this week is to pay attention. Simply pay attention to how you react or respond to situations that come up in life that are stressful, or uncomfortable in some way. Are you reacting or responding? How can YOU work to respond rather than react? 

Wishing you a good feeling rest of your week!
 

Shelly

Creating More Time In Your Day Part 2!

Creating More Time In Your Day Part 2!

Feeling far busier than you would like to be? Last week I sent out some practical tips on how to get more out of the hours of your day. This week I want to share with you how important mindset is around time, how you manage it, how you talk about it, and how you feel about it. 

Time management has been a hot topic in my world lately. Everyone seems far too busy these days, and in my coaching practice, I hear about it a lot. It's also something that I am always working on personally. We live in a society that creates a lot of pressure in keeping far too busy. It's up to us to set our own pace. 

As with everything in life that we are working on, there is a practical side of how we do things, as I talked about in last weeks newsletter with tips on managing your time. The other important piece is always mindset. 

It seems as though being busy is worn like a badge of honor in our society. There can be feelings of worthiness attached to being busy. You run into someone, ask how they are doing and the answer is: "I've been so busy!"  "I have so much going on that i can barely keep up!" 

Sound familiar? 

How much worthiness have we attached to being busy in our society? Do you feel as worthy if you are moving a slower pace, a really enjoying what you are spending your time on? 

What if you instead focused on knowing that your worthiness as a human being is not directly tied to how busy you are or how much you are getting done? How different would that feel? Maybe you have been attaching a sense of worthiness to your busyness with out even realizing it? 

Your worthiness is not dependent on how busy you are. It's not a badge of honor. Your life doesn't mean more because you are doing more. 

You are perfectly worthy just being. Shifting your mindset here can make a tremendous difference. 

And also....

Stop with the time scarcity language. Believe me, I know this to be true from personal experience. If your story is that you are always SO busy, you will be living it. Constantly talking about not having enough time is not helping, I promise. Instead, change your language around how you spend your time. Use abundance language. Essentially, change the story that you are telling yourself about your time scarcity. Scarcity breeds scarcity. Speak out about time abundance, and time will be more abundant....even if nothing changes. This will feel different.

Even if you are not able to set any responsibilities aside, and nothing changes in your schedule, taking on a new attitude around time can make it all feel a whole lot better. Chances are changing your story around time from a story of scarcity to a story of abundance will actaully create some change as well. We are the creators of our life, and it's up to us to create the life we want. Oftne times changing our story is the first, and most powerful step in this. 

Wishing you an abundant week in all that matters to you,

Shelly

 

Don't Feel Like You Have Enough Time In A Day? (Part 1)

Don't Feel Like You Have Enough Time In A Day? (Part 1)

How often do you feel too busy? Does it cause stress? Affect your mood? Do you daydream about having more free time to do whatever you feel like doing? 

If so, these tips are especially for you! 

It's true that we can't always change our whole life's program. Whatever your life is full of, it could be raising kids, working full time or more, going to school, running a business, running a household, or a combination of all of the above.....Most of us have a lot on our plate. While stepping back from the important duties we have in our life isn't always possible or usually not at all what we want to do, there are small changes that we can make to create a great difference in how much we can fit into the hours of our days. Below are a few suggestions. 
 

1. Stop multitasking: The amount of time it takes to get things done increases, the quality of what you are doing decreases, and stress increases. You also do not get the enjoyment of being fully present in the moment with your task. 

Switch tasking VS Background tasking from Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth Of Multitasking: 

~Switchtasking = attempting to do multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time. Each switch in attention incurs switching cost, which includes a loss of time, decrease in performance, and an increase in stress levels. When most people say they are “multitasking,” they are most often referring to switchtasking.

~Background tasking = performing a task while something mindless or mundane occurs in the background. Examples include: delegating tasks to employees while you work on more valuable activities, putting a machine to work on a large job while you answer email, and exercising while you listen to music or listening to an audio book while you clean. Background tasking can improve productivity overall.

 

2. Plan the night before: Use a planner, or scheduler and plan your day in the evening for the next day, outlining priorities and taking care of the priorities first thing in the day. 

 

3. Keep to-do lists prioritized and in the same place: Prioritize these lists, and keep them in the same place so that you are only referencing one place! One way to prioritize them are to rate them from A-F, A being most important. Having lists scattered everywhere and not prioritized won’t serve you well. Find what works well for you…A notebook or planner that is always with you, notes in your phone, or an app! Just a couple of apps offered for this are ‘todoist’ , ‘Trello’, and ‘Remember The Milk’.

 

4. Keep errand & shopping lists on your phone, so you can eliminate unnecessary running around. Plan to run errands all at once making them efficient. Keeping the shopping list on your phone ensures you will always have it with you and will eliminate runs to the store for that one thing you really needed.

 

5.Take breaks: Taking breaks is not wasting time, it allows you to return with better focus. Mental fatigue can set in if you don’t give yourself breaks, just as physical fatigue can. 

 

6. Turn off social media app alerts. You simply don’t need this distraction. Checking in to see who commented on your latest post can wait. Instead, take a couple of brief times in the day to check in, post, and respond to communications on social media rather than checking in all throughout the day.

 

7. Manage other interruptions. Do  you really need to answer your phone every time it rings or answer a text message right away?  Do you need to be available to everyone all of the time? The answer to this is NO. Unless it truly is something urgent, this is why you have voicemail. You can stop later when you have finished taking care of what is important to you to return texts & phone calls. The same goes for emails. Sit down once or twice a day, and efficiently respond to what you need to. Stopping for these things constantly is a huge time suck. 

 

8. Declutter & organize. Having less means you have less to take care of, keep organized, & clean. It also creates a feeling of calm, which leads to a more pleasant & productive environment. Organizing your life can happen 1 shelf at a time, 20 minutes at a time!

 

9. Work in time blocks, especially on bigger projects. Break bigger projects down to smaller steps, and complete those steps in blocks of time, giving yourself a break between blocks.

 

10. Schedule self care time and protect that time. Feel like you have no time for self care? It’s because you are not making it a priority like other things in your life. Self care IS a priority, so schedule is like it’s one, and protect that time like anything else on your schedule that is important to you in your life! 
 

11. Block things together, rather than scatter them. What am I talking about? Errands - run them all at one time and think about the most efficient way to get them done rather than running all over town. Have 5 friends you want to catch up with? Have them all over for dinner at once. 3 Personal appointments to make this week? Block them into 1 afternoon or morning if you can. return all your emails & messages from the day in one time block. When making plans with others or for appointments, ask yourself, which day & time would be most convenient for me?   


Making small tweaks to how you spend your time and conquer life's tasks can make a big difference, and ultimately create more time to enjoy the things that you are really passionate about. 

Next week I'm going to dive into part 2 of time management, which will be all about mindset!

Wishing you an enjoyably productive week! 


Shelly