Saturday, December 31, 2011

Moving Slowly into the New Year


Although we haven't seen a glimpse of snow this winter, we continue feeding the fire, making it warm and toasty inside.  So much so that it's been quite the enticement to stay home and snuggle in every day.


And since Christmas morning that's pretty much the scene around here.  Fire going, bed head, jammies, new toys spread throughout the house and new games being played together.


Our holidays have been filled with little surprises and special moments seen through the eyes and wonderment of our children.  Making us feel young again.  Reminding us of the important things in life.  Gently forcing two busy parents to stop.  Get on the floor.  Play. Be messy.  Stop worrying, because there's nothing to worry about.  











And if that smile doesn't pretty much say it all, I don't know what does.  When you take the time to be together, to really, truly be together - enjoying the moment that is now - well, joy, bliss, happiness and contentment will make you shine.


Today is a gift.  Just as YOU are a gift.  Today and every day, YOU are a gift in this world.  Shine like the brightest star, because the world needs you.  Take time today to reflect on this past year and celebrate the one yet to come.  Slow down just a little more and feel the fire inside and all around you.   Now, more than ever before, is the time to embrace this moment, and LIVE slowly, fully, boldly and freely.

Happy NEW Year! 

Your Personal Reflection:  In what ways will you slow down today as you celebrate the start of this new year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Living Every Day Like It's Vacation

flying high

love the airvent

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. 
-Robert Orben

love the moving sidewalks
Most photos by Chris Duh

We spent a week in Park City, Utah visiting family and in a way, I felt like I had stepped into another world.  It's amazing the fresh perspective that can come from new surroundings.  

flying with my boys

The day before our travels I had a massive "to do" list and feelings of looming stress. On the morning of vacation day (even at the airport), I felt more relaxed and relatively stress-free.  The only thing on the "to do" list that day was to play with our kids, travel safely and not lose anything (including the kids) along the way.

Because we were staying at my mother-in-laws home, we packed pretty lightly knowing we could do laundry half-way through the trip.  So we each brought just 3 outfits for the 7 days.  I brought one knitting project and a book.  Ski clothes, car seat, a couple of toys, snacks, camera and an iPad.  It was still a lot, and yet it felt easy to handle.

And because I was on vacation my mind told my body it could...relax.  And that I did.  It certainly helped that our family took such good care of us while we were there.  They spoiled us with good meals, gifts, free skiing - heck, my mother-in-law even did our laundry!

Here are some things I was reminded of while on vacation...

in the back seat

I like taking a break from being in the driver's seat.

I'm only as stressed as I let my mind make me.


Seeing the world as a 4 year old...

let's play ball

Ashton in the Snow

and as a 1 year old...

touching the snow

really does make the simplest things, like playing ball with a dog or touching the snow, pretty darn special.

I was reminded of the love shared when giving and receiving gifts.

giving gifts

grandma and papa

fun christmas time

I was reminded that when you have space in your day to be spontaneous, you find new discoveries that you never imagined possible.

learning music


And when you let go of expectations and go with the flow, taking the wrong train can turn out to be a really good time.


I was reminded of how fun it is to see new places...

cool coffee shop

the "up" house

I was reminded of my growing passion for cooking as I discovered the kitchen of my dreams in the real version of the "Up" house.

the "up" kitchen

I was reminded of how much fun it is to play and be silly.

silly grandma

family silliness

I was reminded of the joy that comes from sharing something you love with your kids for the first time.

let's ski dada

I was reminded that I really love slow mornings, without anything planned for the day, except to eat, knit, play and see what comes up.

I was reminded that no matter where you go, your daily life is what you make it.  You can swirl and twirl and frazzle and stress, but ultimately the choice is yours.

It's been a week since our trip.  And I've caught myself several times slipping into stress-mode.  But then, I remember that I have a choice.

So I'm choosing to practice living every day as if I were on vacation.  Sure, I still have laundry to do, food to make, and people to take care of.  But I can move more mindfully throughout my day.  And the slower I go, the more present, connected and happier I feel.

Being present is a state of mind.
And it's a state of mind that I like.
Because when I'm more at peace and filled with wonder - like my children - this LIFE journey feels like an adventure worth traveling.

Your Personal Reflection:  As you travel through the holidays this week, simplify your "to do" list and allow yourself to immerse in the peace, love and joy that truly are all around you.

beautiful winter moon

I wish you a holiday full of peace, love and joy!

Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course registration is going strong.  You can learn more and register HERE.  (Gift certificates are available, too!)

And for those of you looking for a way to celebrate the winter solstice, here's an idea.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inside Out Registration is Now Open!

The 6th session of Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course opens today.  I am thrilled and excited and I sure hope you will join us!  Oh...and by the way...I know times are tough right now for so many.  I felt a tug at my heart to lower the price for this winter session. will see the offering for class is $79 for 5-weeks. And if you find a friend to join you, the offering is $120 for two.

Visit HERE for more details and to REGISTER.
Visit HERE to read just a few testimonials from past participants.
Visit HERE to read why I created this class.

Are you wanting to make some changes in your life?
Are you ready to make 2012 the best year yet?
Are you a mom of young children and feeling lost?
Are you a mom of older children and are what?
Are you a women desperately longing to find her creative passions in life?
Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
Are you ready to define your life's purpose and be of service to the world?
Are you wanting to slow down?
Are you interested in playing with paint but don't know where to begin?
Have you been creating your whole life but are needing some new inspiration?
Are you ready to find stillness?
Are you feeling a little blocked?
Are you feeling pretty darn good and happy but just want to regain clarity for a new year?
Are you curious about what "else" there is in life?
Are you wanting to express yourself but don't know how?
Are you needing some courage to follow your heart?
Are you ready to set some new goals in your life?
Do you have a big dream you are ready to manifest but are just needing some support?
Are you wanting to regain balance?
Are you seeking more adventure?
Do you feel alone?
Are you longing for connection and community?
Are you overjoyed and want a tribe to share your bliss with?
Are you ready to let go of "perfect," be messy, play more, laugh more and have more fun?

If you resonate with any of these questions above, than maybe this 5-week Inside Out e-course experience is for you.

Inside Out Photo

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  
All life is an experiment.  
The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Feel free to email me with any questions.

We are packing up the kids, car seats, snacks, and winter clothes for a family adventure. I'll be back in a week or so after our vacation!  

Be well and have a peace-filled day.

Your Personal Reflection:  What action will you take today towards creating the life YOU love?

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Gift of This Season

The Light of Winter
photo by Chris Duh

Here it is.  December.  The time of year where our hearts long for stillness, serenity and solitude.  And where we seem to be bombarded by everything but.  Black-Friday-this, cyber-Monday-that, sale-upon-sale, and advertisements that make us believe I gotta have that. right. now!

I'm making a conscious effort this year to stay. calm.  To slow. down.  To be present rather than buy presents.  And just when I think I'm relaxing I get a little tripped up. I notice I'm back to running around again, feeling the tension in my shoulders rise up to my neck, where that stress headache lingers on, reminding me that I've done it again.  I over-committed.  I over-spent.  I'm trying to do too much, take too much, give too much.  All at a pace that is...stressful.

So as I relish in the aftereffect of giving thanks for the last thirty days, I'm reminded of the intimate notes and beautiful comments I received.  I'm reminded of the wisdom that was brought to light.  I'm reminded of the new connections that were made (from all over the world). I'm reminded of the free coffee given, the tears of joy shared, the email from my grandfather, the note from my 84-year-old friend, and the amount of joy received from being more mindful and making space for the people in my life.

And when I remember the simple gifts that come from going slower, I can take pause from this fast-paced world, and truly embrace the peace that can come from this season, and which ultimately comes from within.

I'm choosing stillness, serenity and solitude.  How about you?

Your Personal Reflection:  How will you stay centered this holiday season so you can bring the gift of stillness and solitude into your life?

If you are feeling a little on overdrive, you may be interested in reading my newest Rhythm of the Home magazine article, Honoring the Gifts of Winter.  There is also a give-away going on right now for a spot in my upcoming Inside Out e-course, along with many other wonderful prizes.

AND...there is still time to enjoy the 2-for-1 offer for Inside Out registration.  Visit my Facebook page with all the details. Offer ends tonight at midnight C.S.T.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the 
highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. 
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy