Wednesday Wellness: Success Log

Greetings, Friends!

I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I noted how many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my quest for wellness as I stumble along the way– literally!

Accidental Planner

If you are reading this you likely already know that I am sort of the Accidental Planner, as a creative spontaneous type I eschewed formal list-making and such, until I became a mom.  I happened upon the Planning Community only two years ago and it really has changed my life.  Now I enjoy planning!  There are so many creative tools available to personalize your planning experience.  There are so many etsy shops with creative and functional stickers. There are Facebook groups and instagram for sharing layouts and ideas. It has taken me a little while to get into the groove, but now I know how to really USE my planner- in a way that works for me.

good_vibes

Good Vibes

 

What Works for Me:

I use a vertical weekly planner with 3 sections and no time stamps.  I like to list and use color, and of course, sticker! This was working very well for my life and life/work management.  I wanted to keep work details separate, so I keep a work-only notebook on my desk.  I used to keep To Do lists, but I found that to be somewhat anxiety-producing, so now I keep a Success Log.

I keep a running list of what I do all day, as I do it. This allows me to feel more accomplished.  Instead of getting stressed about what I need to do, I feel satisfaction at having completed it.  At the end of the day, it looks like a To Do list, only it’s all Done.

success_log

Success Log

When I Stumble

Recently I took a bad fall and had to recover at home for a week.  My planner was a great tool for me during this time, as I had previously decorated it with inspiring stickers for the week. I also used some stickers that said “Over It” “Survived Today” and “Let myself rest.”   And my daily list became Reminders: Rest, Meds, Ice, Repeat.

got_ice

Got Ice

But What About Deadlines?

I do keep deadlines & priorities in the forefront of my mind by using the weekly sidebar on my life planner.  For my Success Log at work, I use a project management spiral notebook which has a blank sidebar, and numbered lines.  I also use the reminders feature in Outlook to keep my digital work calendar up to date.

Memory Keeper & Gratitude Journal

My life planner weekly spreads are so fun to create and decorate!  I often write in what we actually did, and even name the shows we watched and food we ate (or the amusement park rides we rode!).  It then becomes a memory keeper, which I can reference as I write in my separate Gratitude Journal. This is a good practice to keep staying positive.

Quotes of the Month

There is a blank page following the last week of each month in my planner.  I use this area to write funny or significant quotes that my family members say.  I found this was a really neat way to memory keep, as well.  Each member of my family has a different color for their events and quotes in my book.  My daughter is pink, and my son is orange.  So I can tell at a glance who said what.

How do YOU stay organized?

Please let us know in the comments!

Read about my Plan to Have Fun philosophy here.

Read about my 15 -year Historical Spreadsheet for Holiday Gift-Giving here.

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Wednesday Wellness: Information at your Service

Happy Wellness Wednesday! I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays as I noted so many of my friends and creatives struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my journey towards Wellness, along the yellow brick road, acknowledging all things shiny along the way.

One of my first jobs was working at the bookstore at the mall. I loved to work the Information Desk. It was a really neat way to be helpful and also learn things along the way. Many times somebody would ask me a question and I didn’t even know that I knew the answer until they asked. This continued as I moved on to the bigger flagship bookstore. I would put books on hold for myself, but after a few days return them to the shelves, as it seemed just thinking about them helped me realize what I needed to about them. Information was everywhere. So many books, so much information. It was my job to help people, but they were helping me, too. They were helping me develop my intuition.

I’m only just realizing that my current job (of twenty years!) is kind of like that, too. People come to me for assistance, and I assist them. They might ask me for information. I might know the answer, or I might know whom to ask to get the answer. I am providing information, as well as learning information. Sometimes still, I am able to provide the answer, not even realizing that I had already known the answer until that very moment. A little glimmer of a whisper in the back of my mind comes forth. And I am humbled.

The Doctor is IN

I am NOT a doctor. But I can help you find a book.

My dear friend Noel was a kindred spirit, and we both used to improvise playing piano.  When people said they liked her piano playing, she’d say “Isn’t it great? It’s the Holy Spirit!” She had a way of playing a song that is commonly known as “faking it.” There are Fake Books published, and this means the basic notes of the melody are noted and lyrics, but no other music is provided, only the Guitar Chords. It is an outline for the recipe of the song, if you will. There are many ways of making chocolate chip cookies, but in the end, they are all chocolate chip cookies. I love to improvise as I play piano, in fact, I even ignore the written accompaniment, now. If you listen hard enough, you can play the tune. You can play notes, or you can play music. You can follow a recipe, or you can make a cookie.  Are you with me?

So often something reminds me of something else.  Many times, I find myself looking for something, when, in fact, I find something else which I had been looking for before. Whomp, there it is.

Call it The Secret, the Law of Attraction, remote preparation, seek and ye shall find.

I truly believe that having an open mind allows one to perceive truths one might not otherwise recognize.

Everything in your life thus far has prepared you for the next moment. It’s synchronicity.

This afternoon as I drove around during my lunch break, the 80s station played that song “Pure Energy” by a group called Information Society.  Upon entering a place of business, I heard their radio station playing “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha.

What I know for sure, is that I am not yet aware of all that I already know.

What do you know?

Travel Tips: Family Getaway

For a recent family getaway, we went to Las Vegas for two nights.  We enjoyed a wonderful time, and I will detail our activities in a future post.  But today, I wish to share with you some of my travel tips.  This is not a sponsored post- no one is paying me to talk up their products.  Just a couple of tips and tricks I have picked up along my journey.  I am a strong believer in “paying it forward-” and I hope my experience may help you plan your own fabulous vacations!

paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris, Las Vegas

 

We packed for all four of us for two nights.  Happily everything fit in one big suitcase. (Always pack your medications in your carry on.) Basically we packed two day outfits for each person, plus pajamas, underwear and bathing suits.  Everyone wears tennis shoes on the plane, and we pack flip flops for swimming. For myself, I packed an extra dress and flats, because I like to dress up if we are going to see a show.  My daughter wore cute skorts that were comfortable in the day and pretty for evening.  My husband and son wore khaki shorts and a polo shirt or t shirt.  We were in Las Vegas, after all!  Where is was no less than 105* F.

When I am in a hot, humid location, I prefer to use liquid makeup.  I find this keeps my skin moisturized and not itchy. I use liquid foundation and concealer, as well as liquid lipstick.  A tube of lipstick can melt.  A liquid lipstick tube with applicator fits the bill.  I also bring along these Almay Q-tip eye make-up removers for touch ups.  When traveling, I bring eye shadow crayons, like these double sided ones I found on Avon (similar here).  They are super convenient! Six colors on 3 sticks and I can do “Sunset Eyes.” sunset eyes Read more about my travel make-up case (and other tips!) here in my post “Cruisin’ 101”

The best tip I have for you is to bring along these microfiber towels.  You can find them in Target, or on Amazon. I hold them one at time under the faucet to fill it with water.  Then you must really wring it out.  A quick “snap” and you are ready to go.  Wear around the neck for instant cooling sensation.  So important when we are traveling in the hot summer.  If you can keep cool, you can keep your wits about you- am I right?

cool kids

Cool Kids

Here is an awesome bag I found on the internet last year. It is called Not-a-bag and it folds into itself for easy storage, then opens up to a regular tote bag, or you can pull the straps through to turn it into a back pack. 25 Euro and worth it.  I pack it in my airplane carry-on, just in case. It is perfect for when you are walking down the Strip.  Sometimes places do not allow backpacks for security reasons (sport arenas), and so this is convenient alternative.

One more thing- I love to read but I did NOT bring a book this time. I had finished my “vacation” book the week prior, because it was so good!  And the next book I wanted to read was a big and heavy paperback.  So I downloaded the free sample from Amazon Kindle (usually 1-3 chapters) and brought a magazine.  #PackLight

I will detail our travels in a separate post, but for now, let me share with you that in Vegas, I prefer taxiing versus using Uber.  Uber is only very slightly lower in price, but the designated pickup spots are NOT at the front of the hotels.  They are in weird locations such as the parking garage, 3rd floor. If you are in Vegas without a car, you don’t want to even enter a parking garage.  For that reason it’s so much easier and more convenient to just take the cab.

Finally I want to underline the importance of planning.  Do your research before.  Think about what you want to see and do, and mock up an itinerary. I used minitime.com for this trip. I am so glad I did, because I found out that a couple restaurants we wanted to revisit had since closed.  Understand that you may need to be flexible.  Things happen.  And in a taxi town, everything takes longer to get to than you think.

Tune in next time to see what we did!

What are your favorite travel tips?

 

Gold

pyrite_header

Who wants to attract abundance? (Who doesn’t?) I have started my own manifesting abundance practice, combining elements from various teachings, and let me tell you, it’s working.  In more ways than I could have imagined.

As my friends and readers know, I have been working on wellness.  I read a ton of personal growth- type articles, books, my own faith community and am developing my own wellness toolkit. What works for me mat not work for you, I’m just sharing because starting the conversation can start somebody else’s journey.

So my kinesiologist suggested to me the crystal Pyrite.  I was intrigued because it’s a bit muted in hue, and it appealed to me. I find 24 karat gold a bit much, and I had even dipped my yellow gold engagement and wedding rings into white gold a few years ago.  But the muted tones I quite like.  I am an introvert, after all.

Admittedly, I have had a block when it comes to wealth and abundance.  I’ve observed persons who became “wealthy” and affluent who cease to function like nice, normal human beings.  So I’ve resisted it. Is it any wonder the universe hasn’t shown me abundance, then?

So to honor this new practice, I placed my pyrite bracelet on my nightstand beside my other crystals, bracelets and Himalayan salt lamp.  Some days I placed it in my clear glass Coventina dedication, with coins. It looks really pretty when I circle the top of the glass with the bracelet.

During this time I started practicing mindfulness- particularly with drinking.  I started drinking lemonade, honey tea, ginger ale, and the like, thinking “Liquid Gold” as I drank. I bought a scarf with sparkling threads, and I started bringing out my yellow gold jewelry again.  Wearing my pyrite bracelet every day and night. Applying my favorite True Gold eyeshadow highlighter. All with the intention of attracting abundance. (A couple years back, I wore orange for a month and sparked my creativity- publishing a book of poetry and recording a CD.)

I had lost my citrine crystal earlier in the year, and every time I passed my crystals I would think fervently, “Doh!  I wish I had my citrine!”  I honestly believe that just having that thought in my head seems to have activated her benefits.  Surprise checks, rebates, and royalties started coming in.   My new book sold more than a few copies each month.  My blog tour and book release party were quite successful, and my one of my guest posts received my most retweets ever!

Recognizing the power of thought and mindfulness, I amped up my prayers and gratitude. I added the dynamic of fierce, fervent thought.  It is the focus and for lack of a better word- loudness of the thought which seems to give it power.

Some days I awake and fervently thank God, Jesus, Mary, or Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph.  Some days I thank the Goddesses for their energy.  Does it really matter what religion one practices?  Not really.  So long as one is humble and kind to others.

Some days I fall asleep remembering the 80’s power ballad “Gold” by Spandau Ballet.

Nothing left to make me feel small
Luck has left me standing so tall

Gold!
(Gold)
Always believe in your soul
You’ve got the power to know
You’re indestructible, always believe in, ‘cos you are

Gold!
(Gold)
I’m glad that you’re bound to return
There’s something I could have learned
You’re indestructible, always believe in

I admit it’s not much, and I’m certainly not affluent.  I still struggle with rewarding myself with too many little desserts and not enough big major important things like good tennis shoes or a really good bra. But I am aware in a new way.  And one of the things that has turned me off from wealth in the past has been lack of community. So I selected another charity which I have wanted to support, and made a donation.  Felt really good.

It’s not magic. It’s work.  I have to remember to focus. I have to remember to do the work.  I have to sign up for these app companies that give you rebates. I have to connect with readers. All these lucky charms talismans are just things-  it’s the power of your thoughts/faith/belief and ACTIVITY that makes them “work.”

I’m now working on adding to my fervent thoughts of liquid gold- my health and my art-making. What if I applied this gold manifesting to health?  Can you imagine? I’m also working on my new book. I AM READY.

If I were to suddenly found myself extremely wealthy, I’d build two resorts on a tropical island- one for commercial use and one reserved just for my family and friends, and sponsor wellness retreats on site. That, and start a music education cable TV channel.

What would you do?

What’s stopping you?

You are Gold.

  Gold by Spandau Ballet

 

 

Wednesday Wellness: Prepare Ye

Happy #WellnessWednesday! (Or is it Wednesday Wellness? I can never remember.) I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I notice many of my friends who are creative types struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my humble journey to wellness.
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Having just survived that family ordeal which we call Thanksgiving, we are now entering my birth month, otherwise known as that month which always has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off, run over by a train. (Writing run-on sentences and mixing metaphors, apparently, too.)

Let’s just all take a moment to acknowledge the winter holiday struggle and invisible illnesses, shall we?  Here’s “Unwell” by Matchbox 20.

Sing it, Rob

Here are a few things I am doing this year to help me find the light and keep the darkness at bay.

Honor Advent.
Many world religions celebrate the winter solstice. Read this. http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_conflict1.htm I have a book of meditations that I like to read at this time of year- part Christian, part Zen. I am also singing at church on the second and fourth Sundays.

Practice Self-Care.
I listen to guided visualizations on my phone before bed. After some basic yoga and maybe the plank challenge.
https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Yoga-Workout-Dummies-Ivanhoe/dp/B00005LQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480533014&sr=8-1&keywords=basic+yoga+for+dummies
http://gettinmyhealthyon.com/2013/09/20/30-day-plank-challenge/
Organize.
I am near done purchasing my holiday gifts, and just have to wrap them. Thanks to my handy dandy historical gift-giving spreadsheet, which I have kept up since 2004. I also search online for lists of books containing characters with my children’s and nieces’ and nephew’s names.

Give.
Tis the Season of giving. Many social justice organizations need your help now more than ever. Feels good to donate even just a little. If you are a homeowner, your charitable donation may have tax benefits, as well. There are many ways to give, starting with collecting unneeded clothes, books and toys in your home to donate to a local charity, many which swing by your neighborhood on a regular basis. Your old glasses could give someone the gift of sight. You can also donate your time. Sign up to volunteer with a local food bank or charity organization to sort or distribute donations. Sign up with a friend or family member and share the experience.

Write.
I do want to journal and blog more. Right now I am working on self-editing my new book, so hopefully I can return to regular writing in just a bit.

Calendar.
Maintaining the family calendar of all our events. We have orthodontist appointments, church, religious instruction, pageants, school, band practices, band performance, the Nutcracker, recitals, and three family birthdays. Still it’s all manageable with clever calendaring. I’m so excited that my 2017 Diary Planner has already arrived! https://shiningacademy.com/2017-workbooks/

Say No.
Even though singing with a volunteer choir sounds fun, I don’t have time for all the rehearsals. So, Ive learned to say “No, Thank you. Maybe next year.” Try it.

Read my other posts on Advent here.

Advent Calendar

Peace,
Denise

Wellness Wednesday: Music

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends!  I have been away from the blog, as I wasn’t feeling too well, myself  But I’m back- sharing my perspective on wellness for my creative friends, readers, writers, and art-makers…

music

Recently Sirius XM Radio announced the Billy Joel Channel.  I was delighted, as I have a free trial for another little bit here, and I can enjoy Billy Joel music 24/7 while I decide if I will subscribe.  Billy’s music has been so special to me and my family, and I had even seen him perform in concert several times.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to listen to his music more often.  He has an expansive catalog, covering decades of music in many styles and voices.  So much of his 80s and 90s music is central to my individuation, and I kinda love the 70s throwbacks, too.

My new car doesn’t have a CD player in it.  Yeah, it was kind of surprising to me, too.   There is a wonderful USB auxiliary port which connects to my phone quite nicely.  But it is not the same as popping in a CD.  (Don’t even get me started on my mix tapes.)

I have been enjoying the Sirius satellite radio free preview and have my 80s music channels pre-sets all dialed in.  Yes I know people don’t say dial in anymore.  My kids correct me whenever I talk about “taping” TV shows. “We record, now, Mom.” Yeah, whatever. Tape.

I was not prepared for how wonderful the Billy Joel channel would be, and how it has helped my wellness journey.  I dig the music and it is a treat to listen to it in live versions.  But I also love the callers’ testimonials and Billy’s recorded words about certain songs and phases of his life.  I love how he plays piano as he’s talking and plays his own music in the style of Mozart.  Brilliant.

His music is so melodic and his lyrics so poignant.  They can take me back to a time or take me to a higher place.  I do also enjoy the rougher rock side of his music, that may be as black as my shadow gets, LOL.  I love rediscovering the reflective gems that are typically the last slow songs on his albums.  Souvenir. The Night is Still Young. I could go on and on…

I’ve recounted some wonderful concert memories for my kids, including the best triangle solo ever!  I’m teaching my young daughter the echo vocals on River of Dreams.  My son now drums along.

If you ever need to release some Pressure, try teaching your kids to yell “Pressure!”  in the car whenever Billy Joel sings it.  Great way to relieve pressure.  I promise.  Try it!

What’s your go-to music?

 

Wednesday Wellness: Giving

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends!  I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I no9ted many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I.  I hope maybe some of my experiences may help you in your own quest.  Join me on my journey today!

Today I decided to complete and post reviews for another indie author.  I had thought about writing them for some time, I don’t know what took me so long.  I had thought about it so long, I thought I had already done it.  But I did it today, posting on both Amazon.com and on Goodreads. I let the author know I had done so, and she was thrilled.  It made me so happy to know that I had done something.  She had bared her soul in a book of poetry.  And I affirmed her.  Reviews are like gold.

I also completed and shared a testimonial.  Something else that I had been ruminating but not writing.  So I did it today, let the entrepreneur know, and we had a nice friendly little chat.  She provided exemplary service, and I let the world know! Hopefully she can use my testimonial in her marketing materials.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now:  kids’ schedules and chaos.  But you  know what, I gave testimony today.  And the recipients were so thrilled.  There’s something so satisfying about giving.

All is well.

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Have you experienced the joy of giving?