Quiet Please!

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sunset at culdesac

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” ~ William Penn

From the moment you wake, life is a series of tasks. Beginning with nutrition and hygiene and usually ending with nutrition and hygiene. So simple, right? What happens in the middle…not so simple.

The middle is full of school, work, work commute, homework, housework, charity work, work-out. It’s a lot of work!

It’s indisputable how busy life keeps us. Outside work or school, free time is usually spent with family, friends, hobbies, volunteering and a whole slew of other entertainment and leisure possibilities. Many of them help you to unwind, lighten up, and decompress from the pressure of juggling daily life. It is the bright, colorful and fun part of life. It’s the good part of life. It’s also usually the noisy part of life.

We’re so busy packing work and all the good stuff into our day, we miss out on an equally important part which is taking quiet time where we unplug from everything! Do absolutely nothing! This may seem unproductive, lazy or unnecessary. It couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Constantly working and doing and running with no recovery time can build stress in our lives. We can’t be engaged 100% of our waking time. It’s just not balanced! And it comes at a cost. We pay with our physical, mental and emotional health.  Take a moment to read this article at WebMD to read 10 health problems related to stress that you can fix and see the impact stress can have on our overall health and a few stress relieving tips.

You don’t need a huge block of time. Take 10 minutes to relax. We can certainly find 10 minutes throughout our day to give our mind and body a break. Try sitting quietly wherever you are. Turn off your phone, TV, and music. Turn off all sources of noise and interruption! If possible take a walk outside in nature, sit in your favorite chair, or get comfortable laying down on the couch.

The key is to just have a few moments of quiet. You may become restless or uncomfortable or feel like you need to be doing something. Resist the urge to quit and know this is proof of how much you need to be still.

There are no demands or rules for quiet time. It’s simple. It’s granting yourself time to relax and breathe easy! Disconnect for a bit.

If you need to start slowly, there are simple ways to build tiny subdued moments into your life. It could be driving in the car, or patiently waiting in line without using your phone as a distraction. Do it at the beginning or end of your day as you lie in bed. The point is, carve out space in your daily routine wherever possible to build a state of calmness.

Why?

Quiet time is where you get in touch with the present moment. In the present moment you find life: pure and undisturbed. It’s a place of peace and possibility and creativity. It’s a place to connect with your full potential while also relaxing and recharging. If you don’t believe me, give yourself two weeks of consistently practicing quiet time and note any differences. At the very least, you may notice a release of tension physically and/or emotionally.

Eckhart Tolle suggests small simple ways to connect to present moment awareness. Because, as he teaches us, “Life exists entirely in the Present Moment”.

If you would like to go beyond simple ideas to create space and desire to improve your well-being of mind, body and spirit, great spiritual leaders like Deepak Chopra suggests meditation as a tool to reduce stress and connect with your pure potential.  Chopra offers guided meditation on living carefree that you can follow to begin your journey of consciousness.

So, take time during the day to say to yourself, “Quiet Please” and give yourself the gift of a few quiet moments. It allows the mind to “reset” the malignant cycle of thoughts or feelings, it breaks the barrage of responsibilities and stress, and gives the body a well-deserved breather. It’s a place to reflect and say, “it’s all good” and then move on with a fresh perspective for the remainder of your busy day.

Give it a try. You have only peace to gain.

Keep it simple,
Just Teri

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The Best Investment Ever!

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treasure chest and coins

“It is health that is real wealth not pieces of silver and gold”  ~ Buddha

I have a client. She has an established, successful business. She’s polished, organized and enjoys her work. She came to me because working endless, sedentary hours to deliver her high standard of service came at a price. The price was her suffering health and sadly it sneaked up on her until it was the elephant in the room she could no longer ignore.

The simple truth is that taking care of your health; physical, emotional or mental, is without a doubt essential to living a long, healthy life. It’s the foundation which all life success is built upon. If you do not have balanced health, you will have less energy to achieve your goals, less focus to realize your potential, and less peace to enjoy your success.

Let’s talk specifically about your physical health. Most people are well aware of the consequences of neglecting their body yet still fail to put it at the top of their daily to-do list. It’s not like there isn’t  countless examples around you to highlight the reality that indeed you are aging and evidence of what happens to aging bodies. As time passes, the body slowly breaks down and it’s no longer an option but crucial that you make your physical health a priority. It becomes a necessity. Take time to observe the seniors in your community. Notice the challenges they face. Find a senior you know who has a great quality of life and interview them! Strive for being an active older adult who’s engaged, mobile and relatively pain free.

Before we can get to work on routines, time management or any other solution, you must have the willingness and determination to put your health at the top of the list, or at least share the number one spot. To create lasting change it must be more than  just a good idea you’ve had, it has to be your new life approach!

It’s common to feel weary by the end of the end of a busy day. It’s easy to get interrupted with things you like better or work related correspondence which eventually spills over into cyberspace fun land, because it’s less taxing and more entertaining. You know you’d sleep better with daily exercise and good eating and most people notice feeling better once they get started. It’s just getting started.

So how is it done? If you’re not a take charge Type A person, who is result oriented and possess the discipline and self-control to assimilate healthy changes into your life, healthy habits will seem like a chore. Your least favorite chore! These people have laser-focus and are so determined to be the very best version of themselves, they find a way to weave it into their life and they stay committed. I admire these people. I’m just not one of them.

If you are not in this category, you may need to find a buddy, group, or seek a personal trainer or adviser to help you stay with your health goals. The benefit is accountability and reasonable expectations instead of unreachable goals that increase the probability of failure.

Set goals for a healthy body, healthy weight, and good nutrition. This contributes to a good strong body that fights stress and all the ugly complications that come with it.  It helps stave off illness and disease. Most importantly exercise and good eating increase vitality and helps support a positive, happy attitude. Go for balance and harmony in your new lifestyle, not intense, extreme or shocking workouts or diets! There is a cumulative affect on what we do to our body. Focus on helping not hurting.

Here are 3 simple rules of good health that are uncomplicated and take minimal effort to research what’s appropriate for your body condition and blend into your routine:

  1. Eat whole foods
  2. Movement of any kind
  3. Stretch: it’s restorative, relaxing and encourages body alignment

If you have more involved needs such as an injury, weight loss, lack of knowledge, lack of commitment or an extremely bad habit to crush, seek additional assistance from a professional in whatever capacity you require. The pearl of wisdom here is to try. Just try your best everyday.

Healthy living is not a waste a time. It’s the best investment ever and yields results which are priceless. Remember, “An object in motion stays in motions”. How do you want to spend the last part of your life? Watching or participating?

Keep it Simple,
Just Teri

In It to Win It

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“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ Thomas Edison

You’ve had a dream of what you want to achieve. You’ve assessed your values and beliefs which guide your behavior. You’ve observed your routines and skills to bridge your dreams to reality. You’re writing a new chapter in your life story and want, so very much, to grow to the heights of your fresh ambitions.

When you’re on the road to achieving new goals, it’s imperative to have a daily check-in system to keep you moving towards your goal. Be it a friend who is a great observer and understands what you’re trying to accomplish or do it yourself with a journal or chart and write it down!

Record your tasks and results. Here you will draw a map of your journey and it’s your job to consistently evaluate your actions. This evaluation helps you stay on track towards completing your mission.

As you review your daily results, see what actions make your tasks easier and more positive. Spend more time on these activities which help you to be more productive. This builds-up positive feelings and adds momentum to your journey. A choice such as this will create an environment that’s successfully moving forward and allows less time for any negative thoughts or actions. It’s a much better use of your energy.

Be aware that you will most likely need to make modifications to your actions and routines in both your personal and professional worlds to reach your objective. Continue reading

Building a Bridge for Dreams

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Menai_Suspension_Bridge_Dec_09

“What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Are you a daydreamer who loves slipping into the world of possibility, but you don’t know how to pursue your dreams because you can’t bridge it into the real world.

Perhaps you desire to live a healthier lifestyle. You want to eat better, exercise, and feel stronger. Enjoy a longer life. You don’t want extreme weight loss or workouts; you want balance!

Or maybe you are dusting off your resume to transition back into the workplace and are stuck for a week trying to find a way to creatively fill the resume with a hiatus of 17 years. This makes you feel like your last two decades of motherhood is a black hole, certain to be quickly tossed into the trashcan without consideration.

You could be like some women who want to take their careers to a new level or add a new dimension. They’re in a rut or bored and crave stimulation. Some women want to completely reinvent their careers, closing the chapters on what once gave them satisfaction. They feel stagnant and need growth.

These scenarios are extremely different in their destinations; however, they have similar roads they’ll travel to succeed. They all require the same tools to make their daydreams come true.

So how do you make your daydream a reality? What happens after you’ve acknowledged your dream? Once you’re brave and take inventory of your current position by being aware of what you value, what you say, and how you act, then what happens next?

A lot of hard work.

I enjoy leading my clients through this process. It’s exciting to help them figure out what they’re doing well now and what needs improvement to achieve positive results, such as: Continue reading

Feeling Good in Your Skin

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Nude sketch of woman sitting from behind

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.             ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

You are at a party and see another guest walk in. She’s dressed like a Hollywood star. Exceptionally attractive. You can’t help but look her up and down, beginning with her luscious head of hair, coiffed to perfection. Next, you stare at her flawless makeup, then onto her stunning jewelry, dreamy dress, Cinderella-like shoes, and a seemingly custom-built body that fills the certain-to-be designer dress like a dream.

How do you respond?

Do you admire this vision of loveliness, or do you immediately begin to judge yourself?

Many woman may do a little of both.

Does the beauty of someone else define your confidence? Is seeing someone near perfection a blow to your self-confidence, or do you admire the woman before you? Do you feel a sense of comfort that isn’t a product of makeup, clothing, or jewels? No matter who appears before you, do you feel so good about yourself that they become just another decoration at the party? If comparison is how we gage how we feel about ourselves, we’ve got a 50/50 chance of feeling good on any given day, not just a party or gala event. It’s a scary place to operate.

There’s another option with a much higher probability for feeling confident of your appearance any time you are in public. Sounds nice, right? It’s called authenticity. It’s being comfortable with who you are, regardless of what anyone else is wearing or doing or being. It starts with exploring what you like. What style feels most comfortable to you? Look through magazines, the internet, among your friends. The point is to discover what catches your eye and then try it on. See how you feel, how you carry yourself. This takes care of you on the outside.

The real pearl of wisdom is that looking good starts with how you feel about yourself. Inside. Because you can wear the most amazing outfit, but if you’re not feeling confident on the inside, you’ll lose it as soon as you disrobe. You won’t feel it again until you dress up once more. It’s a fleeting moment of self-assurance that’s only present when you put on your costume to play the part of a woman of composure. Wouldn’t it be more pleasing if you could wear a warm sense of poise all the time, 24/7? Continue reading

Am I a Puppet or the Puppeteer?

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wooden puppet

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

You’re at school drop off and bump into an acquaintance. You casually ask, “Hey, how’s it going?” You have no idea what you were getting into. She proceeds to go into elaborate detail of how exhausted she’s been looking for the “to-die-for” sofa, which costs over $5,000 and will complete her perfect formal living room (the room no one ever uses), but she’s got to get this done before her family vacation in Aruba. And oh, she still has all the million tasks she must accomplish before the trip. This is a typical conversation we all have most likely encountered at some point in our lives or something similar to this. It is unabashed boasting guised as a lighthearted exchange.

Influence is everywhere. Influence keeps the public behaving in a relative sense of order. It does this by shaping our behaviors and choices to what is and is not acceptable. The collective attitude of society is our judge and jury. This, on many levels, is a good thing; otherwise, chaos would ensue. It coerces our thoughts and attitudes on how we conduct ourselves in public, which consequently impacts our daily lives. This is a positive example of social influence.

Take a moment to consider how we allow people around us to impact our daily lives on personal levels. Consider Facebook, Instagram, TV, and how we feel after we’ve been exposed. Immediately take note of your feelings and ask yourself, “Do I agree with this attitude?”… “Do I believe this is truly important?”… “Is this essential to my happiness in life?”… “Is this how I define who I am and where I’m headed?” To define means to “state or describe exactly the nature, scope or meaning of; mark out the boundary or limits of.”

What happens when you begin to blindly let current societal standards dictate what success and happiness means in your personal life without scrutinizing the genuine benefit? You allow what other people do or say to create your point of reference. What neighborhood they live in. How and where they vacation. What car they drive. Where their kids go to school. The clothes they wear. The clothes their kids wear. The size of their home. How they decorate their home. Their job title. How much they make. Being invited to the “right” parties. What friends you have? What friends your kids have? After talking to friends, neighbors, and co-workers, do you feel better about yourself or worse? Do the acceptable social standards fall in line with your principles and beliefs? Continue reading

This is ME

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stone steps on Mt

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m in a meeting planning a charity auction for a women’s halfway house. Lots of compassion and excitement fill the room as we generate ideas to raise money to help this home full of women transitioning from jail to learning to be a productive member of society. Everyone is discussing what items to gather and which businesses to approach to ask for donations. I’m fully invested in helping our committee succeed, but I begin to drift off to my la-la land where I like to explore a slew of new possibilities. And it goes a little bit like this …

I find myself traveling to a speaking engagement. I’m in Austin, Texas, in the fall, addressing a group of women attending a conference, offering them community and connection, information and inspiration, motivation and momentum. It’s for women of all backgrounds and women in transition. It addresses networking, managing money, staying positive, marketing yourself and dealing with change.

I’m discussing ideas, perspective, and tools on how to be true to yourself as you reinvent yourself with a new career, all the while juggling motherhood and marriage. There is so much positive energy in the room, it’s almost overwhelming. But it also feels so good! It feels like unlimited potential.

I’m jarred back to the conference room when I’m asked for my input on poster ideas. My feet seem to find gravity as my daydream dissipates like a mirage, and I’m snapped back to reality. But I don’t forget my little escapade. I love that daydream!

Have you ever had a daydream? Where you see yourself so vividly, it’s as if you’re living that life right now?

Daydreams are the place between mental focus and where you entertain the creative ideas your conscious mind has generated. A place where you can feel inspiration, motivation, or the sense of possibility.

Your essence is talking to you and showing you glimpses of who you used be and where you came from or who you are destined to become. Who you are meant to become. You like who you are in this daydream. It feels good and right and comfortable.

If you decide to follow this trail further and become the version of you who you admired so much in your vision, it becomes a road of self-discovery. You travel to the core of who you are. On this path, you get through all the distractions of daily life, get rid of the smoke and mirrors, and you’re able to begin to see things a little clearer. You see reflections—reflections of someone who looks familiar. You recognize her. It’s … you. It’s just you. Not dolled up, not surrounded by stuff. It’s just you as you are with no pretense or vanity or egotistic splendor. It’s you at your fundamental level. It’s necessary to understand who you are now, to transform into the lovely creature, you wish to be. Continue reading