Monday's Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying the Course in Miracles. Each Monday I share a quote from the text.

You are a child of God, a priceless part of His Kingdom. ACIM

Single Mom Thriving; Joy of Going Solo

Society would like you to believe otherwise, but parenting solo has many benefits.

As CEO of your family, you get to make all parenting decisions. Sometimes it is daunting to be THE ONE doing it all yet there is nobody else there to question your decision.  It is a sweet kind of freedom.

As a divorced single mom you usually get time alone without your children. It does taking some getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will treasure that time alone.

You will learn to figure things out that you never thought possible. To name a few:
                    *Figure out how to use a generator when the power goes out.
                    * Figure out which valve to switch when a frozen pipe bursts and the basement is flooding with                              water.
                     *Figure out creative budgeting.
                     * Figure out how to be three places at the same time.
                     * Figure out home repairs and car repairs.
                           And perhaps the most important:
                     * Figure out how to ask for help when you need it.

Your children will figure things out too. This will make them stronger, more resilient and have more self confidence.

Last but not least, you will really have fun!

Tuesday's Tips: Happy Families Display Photographs

I am a collector of photographs. I have a plethora of physical and digital albums of pictures. However,I don't like clutter and I don't like having things that I don't use,so the only way I can justify keeping all of those photographs is to keep them circulating.

Every Tuesday I go through an album and display a group on pictures on my fridge. Because of the haphazard way I put photos in albums, the pictures displayed can cover a wide amount of years.
My 6th grade school picture. Circa 1976. This cracked my kids up.

I so love seeing my mom every time I open the fridge.

I always share a fridge picture or two with loved ones. I texted this one to my older sister  asking her why her hands were in her birthday cake.  Circa 1977

My kids always get a kick out of seeing themselves like this;

I also use my photographs as wall art. Knowing that happy families display large amount of photos, I began making year end collages when I first became a single mom. It has become a ritual for my family.

I also have created displays of pictures that I hang in various rooms.

Being surrounded by all of these photographs is being surrounded by love.

The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do. Andy Warhol

Monday's Course In Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying The Course In Miracles. Each Monday I share a quote for the text.

God is not the author of fear. You are. You have chosen to create unlike Him and have therefor made fear for yourself. ACIM

Friday's Feng Shui: The Heart of Your Home

The three most important guas in your home are the entry way, the kitchen and the bedroom.

Last week I shared information on the entry way.

This week's room is the kitchen.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. 

In ancient times, the kitchen was always in the wealth area of the home. Our health is our greatest wealth and it is the kitchen that such health is sustained.

* In your journal answer these questions.

         How healthy and vibrant do I feel?
         How does money flow in my life?
         Am I happy with my current weight?
         How am I nourishing myself?
*Make an intention: My health and my wealth are constantly expanding.

* Keep it clean!
      I stay on top of my kitchen by cleaning it morning and night, as well as putting things away right after I use them. I also live with teenagers. Thus my kitchen isn't always pristine. Life happens. I just aim to keep it neat and the counters clear. If you only have time to clean one room, clean the kitchen.

*Don't leave knives on the counter. Store them in drawers.

* Decorate the room with bowls of fresh fruit, live plants, fresh flowers, herbs. In whatever way you can, make the room welcoming and close to nature.

*The most important element in the kitchen is the stove.  Make sure you use all of the burners and keep it clean.

Enjoy! As always, remember Feng Shui is pronounced FUN Shway. Have fun making your home a mirror to your fabulous life.


The Same Gate

In a quest to quiet my mind I came across this poem.

Inside the great mystery that is,
We do not really own anything.

What is this competition we feel then,
before we go, one at a time, through the same gate. Rumi

It gave me shivers and brought me back to center where I know and you know all that is true.

*Time is precious. Tomorrow is not promised to any one of us.

* Life is short. Too short for comparisons. Too short to even spend one second believing we are less than or more than anybody else.

* Listen to your soul's calling and take immediate action.

* When the gate arrives, all that will really matter is how you choose to love right now.


Tuesdays Tips: February Vacation

I chose to be at home with my children, even as a single mom. I have created a few streams of income to sustain us.

 February vacation used to mess with my flow of work until I got these things in place.

*Time spent with my kids matters most. I will not die wishing I spent more time with my children! Amen
* Get up super early and get right to work.
*Keep the work related things  to a minimum.
*Plan something fun as a family
* Kids grow up. Work can wait.

I used to beat myself up for taking February vacation sort of off. I thought it made me less of a worker bee. As the years have passed I have come to love this little break. We kind of just nestle in. I  find creative times in between the times with them  and it has all worked out.

They do grow up.

Whether big or small  the time spent with your children is never wasted time. It is God's precious time.

Room Service at a our recent get away:


Mondays Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying A Course in Miracles.  Each Monday I share a quote from the text.

I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and to share. ACIM

Friday's Feng Shui: What Are You Inviting In?

 "I just don't know where to begin."
Clients say this to me all of the time when they first begin incorporating Feng Shui  into their lives.

Clear out and clean out is the place to begin. Get rid of of clutter as your body rids itself of waste. Do it on a daily basis.

 I have been practicing and teaching Feng Shui for over 13 years and I am still cleaning out closets, drawers, cabinets and junk piles.  The energy is always flowing. There is no destination. It is a journey.

That being said, in the upcoming weeks I am going to share the  symbolism of each room in your home as well as ways to enhance the area.

The Front Door: The energy you are allowing into your home and into your life. What are you inviting in?

* In your journal answer these questions:

             What do I want to come into my life?
             What would I like to leave in my life?
              Am I open to new experiences?
             Is there something I have been longing for but it just hasn't shown up yet?
            Are opportunities opening for me?

*Make an intention: Only good enters my life.

* Keep it clutter free and snow free.
         Last year I gave upon shoveling the path to my front door. DO NOT do that.   I had to have the door replaced and opportunities were not opening for me last winter.

*If possible make the path to your door a curve instead of a straight line.

*If it is a door you rarely use. Start using it every few days.

* Make it attractive and welcoming. Use your imagination and have fun.

*Make sure the door opens all the way.

Enjoy! As always remember Feng Shui is pronounced FUN Shway. Have fun making your home a mirror to your fabulous life.


Single Mom Thriving. Family Rituals

When I first got divorced I worried enormously about the emotional toll on my children. More than anything, I wanted us to still feel like a family.  One way I did that was creating rituals.

Some we have out grown.  Some still remain. My favorites just evolved.

*Readjusting after a period with their Dad was often difficult. So I made the coming home a ritual. There would be a family hug, cereal for dinner and a movie. It was something they could absolutely count as it was always the same. It served as an anchor for them.

*We have family dinners each and every night. With varying sports schedules ,often times these meals were in the van at the beach.  Now we vary the family meal to when ever we were all together. It takes planning. However whether breakfast, lunch, snack time or dinner, we aim to gather each and everyday as a family.

*We light candles at dinner time. At the end of the meal we blow them out and make a wish.

*After dinner we all work together to clean up the kitchen, pick up debris from the day and switch the laundry. When they were small once it was all done, we would go outside and play.

*I don't remember consciously planning this ritual, yet it is my favorite. Every time we come in or go out the door, there's a hug and an I love you.

 *My other new favorite that just evolved is our goof Christmas pictures.  2015:

As single moms we really want to give our children the security and love that come from being in a family.  Just because your family doesn't look like the Hallmark version, doesn't mean you are any less of a family. In fact it might just mean you are a stronger family.


Longing To Go Home

When my mom was in the late stage of Altzheimers she often asked to go home. Home, was her childhood home. She wanted to go back to Cambridge, Massachusetts where she was born and lived until she went to nursing school and again until she married my father.

While it  is a common occurrence in Altzheimer's patients, as her daughter who so desperately wanted her back, it always saddened me. I wanted her home of longing to be the one she created for me.

On another level though, I totally understood.

The ache of home lives in all of us. Places become a part of who are. Maya Angelou

I just finished reading Returning Home by Jerry Burger. In the book, Burger explains the psychology around revisiting childhood homes and shares respondents' experiences of such visits. It is a fascinating read.

Wanting to revisit childhood homes is quite common.

Lately I have been reminiscing about my childhood years. Maybe it is that my siblings and I are getting older and part of our conversations lately always seem to be connected to when we were young.

I want to revisit the places I have lived.

My family moved five times in my first 18 years. Yet there are only three homes that I long to visit; the houses I lived in between the ages of 5-12.  Burger explains this phenomenon in child development theory. We form our identity between the ages of five and twelve.

My longing to go back and see places I haven't laid eyes on in over forty years is about connecting to the past and perhaps remembering that little me is still a part of older me.

Never being a very patient soul and not being able to take a road trip in the next day or so, I used Google.

I  spent hours on google maps on a trip down memory lane.  I knew one of the homes has been torn down but I zoomed into the landscape.  I remembered myself doing cartwheel after cartwheel down the hill in the enormous front yard and then collapsing as the world spun. The other two houses equally enamored me as I remembered the little girl in me.

It was a fun trip on the internet but I plan on getting there soon and maybe even trying a few cartwheels.

Have you ever longed to go home?

Me in the front yard of the house that no longer stands! 

Tuesday's Tips: Keeping A Promise

We are all pretty good about keeping promises to our loved ones and our friends. But what a bout when it comes to ourselves?

Just six weeks ago most of us made lists of promises to ourselves. Most of those promises now sit in a bad memory heap somewhere in the bandwidth of your mind.

Not keeping a promise to yourself sends a message to yourself that you are not important. While keeping a promise to yourself builds self confidence and personal integrity. No wonder why it feels so yucky when we break our resolutions.

It feels yucky when we don't keep our resolutions , however you didn't keep your promises to yourself for a pretty good reason.

Stop beating yourself up for not following through.

One reason we fail to keep promises to ourselves is because we make them too vague.
   Get in shape
   Lose weight
    Write a book
   Be more mindful of my eating.

None of those statements are actually promises and they are open to many interpretations. I confess, I wrote the last one as I contemplated 2016.

What the heck is mindful eating? I certainly wasn't thinking of meditating with every bite. I wanted to pay attention to what I ate more and make better food choices. I keep a food journal so I had hard evidence that my diet was a bit out of sync.  My simple promise was to aim at eating 7-9 fruits and vegetables each day.  What a difference in just a month. I have so much more energy!

Another reason why we don't succeed in keeping promises:   It's all or nothing.

A writer friend had decided that she was going to write 750 words everyday. She was going strong and then her family got the stomach bug. Cleaning up vomit 24/7 doesn't leave much time for writing.

So she just gave up saying, "I am just going to have to wait to pursue that dream when my kids grow up and leave for college."

Life happens. There are really good reasons why we cant stick with a promise. Caring for a sick family tops them.   However instead of giving up all together just lower the bar.

Stopping momentum to a grinding halt makes it harder to start again.

Maybe when things are stressful you lower the bar. Maybe she could have written 100 words or even just 50 or 25.  It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can be some thing. Something that doesn't halt the progress

A third reason we haven't kept a promise: Perhaps we really don't want to.

When I was about to turn 50 I decided I was going to train for a marathon. I enjoy running and the physical challenge  excited me.  I wanted to mark 50 with something big.  What better feat than a marathon.

Four weeks in and I was done. I was starting to hate running. I didn't want to run a marathon.
I hate huge crowds.
I hate running with people.
When I run I like to stop to snap a picture or enjoy the view.
I am not marathon material!

So next time you make yourself a promise remember

*Keep it simple

*Do a little bit rather than nothing

*Know thyself.


Monday's Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying A Course in Miracles. Each Monday I share a quote from the text.

I will direct you to wherever you can be truly helpful, and to whoever can follow my guidance through you. ACIM

Friday's Feng Shui

When my children were little I complained to my sister that my house was a wreck.
Her response changed how I look at my home.
"Gin, you have three little kids.  I would be worried and sad for your children ,if your house was neat. "

If we are too attached to 'everything in order'  creativity is stifled. Messes need to be made in order to express ourselves. Our children deserve to have creative free rein in their experimenting.  The goal of Feng Shui isn't to keep absolute order. Rather the goal of Feng Shui is to keep the energy moving. Messes  and order keep the energy balanced.

I recently completed a giant home project involving the front door and the living room.   I started in late August and just this past week all of the furniture was back where it belongs. 

We got the room ready in time for the Christmas tree. 

  After we took the Christmas tree down we set up the ping pong/ pool table in there. ( Fun Shway remember)

My office became a very crowded living room. The dining room table served as my office desk.  Life was a bit messy in the process but I didn't freak out.  I accepted that my house was going to be a chaotic for a few months because I was creating something better.

While the living room was under construction ,I made sure the rest of the house stayed clutter free as best I could.

The living room is in the career section of my house.  I enhanced the career area of every other room in the house. Some ways to enhance the career gua can be found here.

I also paid close attention to the three power areas,the other entry way, the kitchen and the bedroom.

Creative messes are important in Feng Shui . They are a part of the energy of life.

Remember Feng Shui is pronounced FUN Shway. Have fun making a creative mess!


Single Mom Thriving

The journey of single motherhood requires super powers.

Here are a few tips to keep you going.

*Great mothers do not need a marriage license.

*Spend time with your children instead of money on your children. They remember the time!

*Courage is just fear that has said its prayers. Anne Lamott.  Pray often.

*Asking for help is a courageous act and it takes practice. Start practicing.

* Never and I mean NEVER believe any of the bogus statistics about children being raised by single mothers.

*You might not be able to do it all but YOU ARE ENOUGH!

* When you think you are ready to find the love of your life, start with the person in the mirror.

Blessings and enjoy the journey.

What are you asking for?

The Course of Miracles invites us to really think about what we are asking for. The premise being that we already have what we want.  Most of our asking comes from a place of lack, which in the eyes of the Universe, doesn't  exist.

It is quite preposterous to claim that you already have what you are asking for.  You don't have the new fancy car, enough money for college tuition,  that new handsome lover or anything else on the list.

However that thing you are asking for isn't really a thing at all. You actually want the feeling that having such a thing will bring you. You want more money to feel secure, and abundant. You want a lover to feel loved. You want that new car to feel important. You want that new job to feel like you are adding value to the world.

Ask yourself why you want it?

Then focus on finding ways to feel that emotion.

Years back I was stuck in a vicious cycle of monetary lack.

"I have no money."
"I never have enough money."
" I need more money."
 "I really really, really,really need more money."
 Every day those thoughts were circling over and over in my head. The more I thought them, the worse it became and the worse I felt.

I had to change something fast.

 I wanted to feel abundant.  I wanted to be able to give freely.

I didn't have to look far to see abundance. Abundance had never left. My perennials were bursting in color.  I was freezing and canning the many vegetables from my garden. I spent an afternoon at the beach with my children. I was simply bombarded with the abundance already in my life.

One day that same summer a young mother's car ran out of gas right in front of my house. She explained to me in tears that she wasn't getting paid until tomorrow.  I gave her gas I had in the garage for the lawn mower as well as the cash I had in the house. She cried in gratitude, yet she was the one that helped me. I received the gift of giving freely which is what I so desperately wanted.

None of these things changed my bank account.

My bank account didn't need fixing.  My thinking and noticing needed fixing.



Tuesday's Tips : Change a word. Change your life

It takes quite a bit of effort to keep a home running smoothly. Add kids, work, exercise, relationships, sleep, emotional and spiritual well being and you've got quite a list of things to do each and every day.

It can get overwhelming when you start planning all of the things you have to do.

The thing is though, there really isn't any thing you have to do.

That is right.

You don't have to do anything.

Saying you have to do something is both false and negative. It implies that you have no choice and that you are being forced beyond your will.

You always have a choice to do something or not. In each moment you choose. I didn't force you to read this but I am certainly glad you did. Thank you

You could change all of your ' I have to 's' to 'I choose to' so you can be in the driver seat of your own life.

I encourage you to go even further and change your have to to get to.

Get is so much more positive and it invokes gratitude.

I get to work makes what I do to earn a living an honor and a privilege.
I get to pick my kids up after school makes me thankful for them and for my car.
Even getting to wash the dishes can even be filled with gratitude.

Next time you start telling yourself all of the things you have to do STOP and begin again. You get to do all of those things and you get to choose which ones.

I got to exercise today and I chose this.


Monday's Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying the Course in Miracles. Every Monday I share a quote from the text.

You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgement. ACIM