Monday's Course in Miracles


There is no room in us for fear today for we have welcomed love into our hearts. ACIM

Friday's Feng Shui: Clutter is Not Bad


The number one tenet of Feng Shui is to eliminate clutter by surrounding yourself with things you treasure.

For most of us clearing clutter is an ongoing chore.

I often feel that I am in a constant cycle of accumulate and purge.

I read Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up in hopes to end my cycle of accumulate and purge. I too wanted to banish clutter forever.

Per Kondo's instructions I started with my clothes. Every piece of clothing I owned got piled on my bed.
I held each item of clothing and asked myself if I loved it. I had so many clothes I didn't love. They all went to charity.

Then I went to my books and asked myself the same question. I happily sent books to my loved ones and donated the others.

I was really on a whirl as I followed her advice on getting rid of paper and household stuff.

It helped that I don't really keep excess.

Then came the category of sentimental value.

I halted. I poured myself a glass of wine.

Most of what I own is of sentimental value. I can look around any room of my home and see and touch things I love. Most of it has sentimental value.

However, there are  boxes and boxes filed with pictures. There are shelves and shelves lined with photo albums. Each year I make a picture collage that hangs in the dining room. My laundry room is lined with family pictures.  Each week I change the fridge pictures.

My tidying up stopped there. I went on a journey to figure out why I saved so many pictures.

My research taught me that one saves pictures as a way to remember that they survived.

I did! AMEN.

My heart taught me that it is okay. It is okay to hoard pictures.

There is nothing wrong with me. I simply love pictures.

I love sending them to my kids away at college. I love posting them on my fridge. I love making collages. I love that all of these pictures will become presents to my loved ones.

All clutter is not bad!

Maybe some clutter is good!

Blessings,
Virginia

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Single Mom Thriving: Hiking Alone.

Twenty five years ago wonderful friends introduced me to a beautiful hike along the coast of southern Maine.  It became my favorite place to hike with my then husband.

Kids came along.  We moved.  We divorced. I moved back to Maine.

Once my children were old enough to safely maneuver the cliffs, I took them on this glorious hike.

I had never done the hike alone.

This fall I had a strong desire to be there once again.  Timing and schedules made planning with friends a bit tricky.

I had a day open up. Or rather, I saw the weather report and opened up a random Wednesday to take the hike.

As the day approached, I found myself believing the myths about the dangers of women hiking alone.  Trump's views on how women should be treated was also boiling inside of me.

I felt afraid to hike, during the day, all by myself. Because I am a woman.

I almost didn't go.

I almost let the media scare tactics and a buffoon's opinion of women rob me of one of the most beautiful days of my life.

You know what changed my mind?

I asked myself, "What would I want my daughter to do?"






Blessings,
Virginia

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Watch On Wednesdays. Creating Change :Step One


              Without change there would be no butterflies.


Change in our lives is inevitable. Sometimes we long for it. Othertimes it is gifted to us. Either way, change is rarely comfortable.

I have created a video series to help you navigate changes that are happening in your life.

Enjoy!


Blessings,
Virginia

Take a Time Out And Blessings Will Follow.

When my children were younger I said on more than one occasion, "I am taking a time out. You may only disturb me if there is a lot of blood, threat of death or a fire."

It always worked!

For ten minutes I just breathed all alone in my room.  I came back into the arena of mothering with more patience, more love and a sense of calm.

I am sure those self mandated mommy time outs saved me from going bonkers.

With only one chick in the nest, I no longer have to say those words to a child. I do, however, need to say them to myself.

In this journey called life, stuff happens.

The furnace sounds funny.
The hot water stopped working.
There is a deadline looming.
More work to do  after dinner.
There is so much laundry.
What the heck is for dinner?
That medical intervention cost what?
 FAFSA still isn't done.
Sign up for parent teacher conferences was when?

This list is everyone's list just with different words. Life happens to all of us. When life has me feeling a tad bonkers I say,

"I am taking a time out because nobody is dying and the house isn't in flames."

Ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty if you can swing it, is all it takes. After a time out I am ready to see solutions.


Furnace sounds funny and hot water stopped working:  Make one phone call . They can figure both out.
Deadline looming:   Just do it!
More work after dinner:  So what!
So much laundry.  So blessed.
What the heck is for dinner? Your fridge and cabinets are filled just wing it.
Medical costs.  Sure is great to have access to great care.
FAFSA still isn't done.Set a time to do it and make sure you have great snacks.
Parent teacher conferences:  Sign up late who cares?

I can see solutions because my time out teaches me this:

My life is not an emergency. My life is a privilege.







Monday's Course In Miracles

 

Love always leads to Love. ACIM

We get to choose our path. It is simple but not easy. Let's keep trying to choose the path of Love.

Watch On Wednesday: Summer in October

Sometimes the weather calls us to get outside just because. I am blessed!



Please go do something for you!

Blessings,
Virginia

25 Ways To Sneak Exercise Into your Daily Routine.


We all know the benefits of exercise. Yet for many people, carving out the time in a day to exercise is a real problem. I get it. Life is busy.

I manage to exercise most days, but there are times when a full hour of exercise simply is not going to happen. So I incorporate these activities into my life. That way, when I skip a workout, I know I have at least moved my body in fun ways during the day.

1. Create the mindset of moving your body. There is power in a decision and even more power in follow through.

2. Always use the stairs.

3. Park at the far end of all parking lots.

4. Clean your own house.  Blare the music, scrub floors to the beat and dance with that vacume cleaner. (I try to remember to close the curtains.)

5. Rake your own leaves and do your own yard work.

6. Offer to rake someone else's leaves or offer to do their yard work.

7. Use an old fashioned reel lawn mower. I bought one a few years ago and I just love it.

8. Shovel your own driveway and walkways. And again offer to shovel someone else's who can't move as freely as you.

9.Wash your own car.

10. Vacuming your car is great exercise as well.

11. Play outside with your children.  Mine are grown up and we still enjoy playing yard games.

12. Instead of meeting friends for coffee or drinks, meet friends for hikes and walks.

13. Watch TV standing up or doing exercises.

14. Play active video games.

15. Try an activity you have always wanted to try.

16. Take a walk at lunch break.

17. If you must sit for long periods get up every 25 minutes and move for five minutes. I spend much of my time writing so I get up every 25 minutes and either dance, do yoga, floor exercises or 'in training' pullups for five minutes.

18. Sit on a giant exercise ball instead of a chair.

19. Work standing up. I love tread mill desks, but I have a counter that is the perfect height for me to stand while working.

20. Do isometrics. If you google it you will find a ton of great exercises to do while you are waiting in line, sitting in traffic or sitting at your desk.

21. Do squats every time brush your teeth. Yes I do it.

22. My youngest son, an avid athlete and fitness buff  randomly drops to the floor and does 20 push ups or sit ups or heads to the pull up bar. It has kind of rubbed off on me.  Chicken needs five more minutes. I will do what my youngest does and drop to the floor for some push ups.

23 .Dance while making dinner.

24, Talk on the phone while walking. I spend alot of time on the phone and I always move while I am talking.

25. Make your bed every morning. First of all, after a long day a made bed is  so welcoming. Secondly it is a good way to stretch a bit in the morning.

Moving your body is supposed to be fun! You get to make it that way.

Blessings, Happy Moving

Virginia


Monday's Course in Miracles


Seek not to change the world but choose to change your mind about the world. ACIM

Watch on Wednesday How are you feeling?

                         Our feelings fluctuate all day.  Try this to keep your feelings more joyful.



Blessings,
Virginia

45 Ways To Beat A Bad Mood.

We all have bad moods. But do you really want to stay there?

Here are 45 ways to beat the bad mood and get the real you back.

1. Go outside
2. Take three long deep breaths and imagine the stress leaving at each exhale.
3. Listen to  music.
4. Dance like nobody is watching.
5. Take a walk.
6. Eat an apple (There's just something about that crunch this time of year makes
me happy)
7. List ten things you are thankful for.
8. Look around your environment and find one thing you love.
9. Do something for someone else.
10. Write a thank you note to a loved one.
11. Get dressed up.
12. Or put on your softest pyjamas.
13. Go to bed early.
14 Take a bubble bath
15. Think of a loved one.
16. Buy yourself flowers
17. Put on your favorite perfume.
18. Watch a funny movie.
19. Find funny clips on Youtube.
20, Take some silly selfies.
21 Phone a friend.
22 Say a prayer.
23. Find an adorable picture of you as a little child.
24. Do 25 jumping jacks.
25. Run as fast as you can.
26. Skip in the leaves.
27. Clean out your inbox.
28. Clean off your desk.
29. Take a different route.
30. Look at pictures of puppies and kittens and babies of every species.
31. Change your perspective. How else could I look at this?
32. Have a warm drink.
33. Set three achievable goals and meet them.
34. Get creative: draw, paint, sew, create something.
35. Get off social media.
36. Smile.
37. Ride a swing.
38 Take a nap.
39, Meidtate for ten minutes.
40. Plan a trip
41. Plan to do something you have always wanted to do.
42. Play your favorite song and sing like crazy  in the car.
43. Do some basic yoga moves and stretches.
44. Work out til you sweat.
45. Our time here is limited. Do you really want to spend one more minute wasting it? The real you isn't a bad mood:

                                              


Monday's Course In Miracles


Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. ACIM

Choose big!!

Blessings,
Virginia

Single Mom Thriving: A Guide To Running Away

Do you long to run away?

Have you ever longed to escape from the 24/7 parenting?

Many years ago I had a single momma adventure planned. I had plane tickets. Child care was lined up. I was hitting the road.

For months, anytime I would feel tired or scared or overwhelmed , I would breathe in and think of  my upcoming trip.

Puke bug. Breathe in.

Sibling squabbles. Breathe in.

Having to be at three kid events at the same time. Breathe in.

Laundry. Dishes, Home Maintenance. Breathe in.

I could handle it all. I had an escape all planned out. I was running away.

Until...

The day before my departure, my child care fell through.

I. WAS. DEVASTATED.

Never ever plan an extended trip as a single mom without back up child care. 

My devastation taught me more than the importance back up child care.

My devastation taught me to plan a daily escape and a weekly running away.

Daily escapes are simply making sure I do something just for me. I even take a picture. You can watch that here

Running away is  taking weekly solo adventures. These adventures can be for a few hours or an entire day. The only rule is to run away somewhere.

Today  I ran away here:

And marked it with this:




One day soon I will go on that big trip. But for this past decade a daily escape and weekly running away has been more than enough.

Try it and let me know!

What are your best escapes and run aways as a single mom? Let us know in the comments.

I would love to have you in my email community. Sign up on the top right. I am excited to give you some goodies.

Blessings,
Virginia











Watch on Wednesday: Your Words Have Power!

Your words have power. Use them wisely.



Have a wonderfuld day!

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Blessings,
Virginia

Some Criticism Hurts. This is Why.

When you put yourself in the arena of life you run the risk of criticism.  Most times it is easy to let criticism just roll off your back.

But sometimes the criticism hurts. And our immediate reaction is to lash out or retreat within.

The other day I received criticism that stung.

While I wanted to lash out, I retreated instead. I didn't retreat in peace. I spewed and sputtered in my head for more time than I would like to admit.

That was no way to spend my time. So I decided to look at it at another angle.

First, I simply acknowledged that I was angry and hurt and my ego felt a little bit bruised. I just love how simply honoring my uncomfortable feelings makes them smaller.

Secondly I reflected on two things I know to be true.

Meanspirited comments usually have more to do to with the giver than the recipient.

When we are coming from a place of love and self confidence there really isn't any room to be mean.

Instead of being stuck in my own bruised ego, I could show some compassion.  While this was a person who is close to me, I really had no idea what was going on in her heart.

I could have stopped there and been done with the whole thing. But if I really wanted to learn from this experience, I needed to look at part two of what I know to be true.

If something someone says hurts you, at some level you believe it.

For example  if you told me my dark brown hair was ugly, I wouldn't even give it a second thought. My hair is blonde. My dark brown ugly hair is a lie.

Being brutally honest with myself I realized  a part of me did believe her comment. In fact I am afraid of being the way she described me.

I am not saying her comment describes the essence of who I am.  Her comment reminded me to bring love and compassion to myself.

Loving ourselves more will turn all meanspiritied comments into lies.




Blessings,
Virginia










Monday's Course In Miracles