My Tiny List of Favorite Things (December 2020)

My Tiny List of Favorite Things (December 2020)

I read a lot. I collect information. I hoard powerful ideas and offer them to my coaching clients and that brings me so much joy. Today, I am starting a new monthly series called My Tiny List of Favorite Things so that I can start sharing SOME of the beautiful things I see and experience in the world that may bring you some joy, too. Please note that each of my favorite things will always lead back to resilience, authenticity and courage because that is what I am all about. Also, please note this is not some exhaustive list filled with time wasters. I am a minimalist on how we should spend our times — choosing to read the best books, consume the best news. During my upcoming retreat, I’ll be sharing a curated set of resilience tools, planning strategies and soul-nourishing poetry, quotes and music. The right resources can make our lives fill up with so much joy. But the internet is a busy, busy place and for most of the women I work with overwhelm is a struggle. That means we don’t need TOO MUCH. We need quality over quantity. I promise to share only the best of the best in my month here in this monthly series.

Here’s this Month’s Tiny List of Favorites! (December 2020)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for a few products — which means that I get a tiny, tiny payment from Amazon for telling you about the products. Your purchases help my book addiction. So thank you very much. 

What I Read & Loved

This book stole my heart for the whole year. Honestly.  (amazon)

What I Watched & Loved

Ted Lasso has inspired my husband to be a better human. Seriously. Watch it.

What I Listened to & Loved

Brené Brown’s interview with badass Dolly Parton was literally the best thing on the Internet this past month. Listen here.

What I Tried & Loved

This apple pie was everything. Definitely a new family tradition.

What I Bought & Loved

My planner, of course! I have been buying and loving The Law of Attraction Planners for a few years and I am eagerly anticipating it’s arrival soon. I dabble in LOA but mostly I use this planner for everything in my life — especially for personal development and project management. Using this planner is like self-care for me in and of itself. But like any planner — it only works if YOU do. (Amazon)

What Made Me Think & Loved

This article about America’s Working Daughters was so much truth and really hits home on what so many women are dealing with right now as caregivers in the sandwich generation. If this is you, please take time for yourself.

What Fired Me Up that I Loved

Solitude, quiet, and time to think and be in sacred space IS huge for me. It’s the primary reason I am bringing a nourishing retreat to YOU on December 13. We need time to be alone, to get clear and to connect with ourselves. Connection to self and nature are a big part of my own spiritual practices. So, naturally this whole article and lifestyle had me sharing with my husband. 
50 Things To Do Instead of Doomscrolling

50 Things To Do Instead of Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling.

This is what we do after years of climate emergencies, political and racial unrest, a pandemic and internet outrage incidents.

We scroll and scroll until we find the next thing that adds more doom to what is already a pretty doom-filled world right now.

Or,

We search and search to find something to bring ease and peace.

Either way, it’s really not good for you if you want to make a bigger impact in your life or if you want to take better care of yourself and be more fit in mind, body and spirit.

One of the first suggestions I offer to my coaching clients is to set strong boundaries around phone use and social media.

The reason is, of course, because the main reason a woman comes to me for coaching is because she wants to focus and set priorities that improve her life — and follow through and get them done.

And it’s really hard to do that when you are getting distracted by all the shiny objects on social media.

And oh are they shiny and plentiful.

True well-being though begins with you tending to you and your needs.

All of that is really hard to do when you spend most of your time being influenced by the outside world rather than tuning into your own inner wisdom and guidance.

Plus, over-consuming new information and ideas seriously leads to overwhelm and anxiety. So if you lean toward the anxious state of life, consider what you are bringing into your mind on an hourly basis.

In my own life, and what I encourage for my clients and in all of my programs, I believe strongly that taking action and doing things that are going to move the needle in our lives is essential to easing our collective and individual anxiety, anger and anticipation.

Doomscrolling only adds fuel the inner turmoil you have going on inside of you.

So, here is a 50 Things You Can Do Instead of Doomscrolling so you can stay on task — or reduce overwhelm in your life.

  1. Stop everything and set an intention for yourself, your family or your day.
  2. Take 10 minutes to review your planner and/or to-do list.
  3. Take 10 minutes to do ONE thing on your self-care bucket list.
  4. Learn to meditate.
  5. Sit down and read a chapter of a book.
  6. Learn to manage your energy better.
  7. Create a meal plan for the next week.
  8. Develop your 5-year Life Vision.
  9. Start a New Habit.
  10. Write a poem.
  11. Read a poem.
  12. Reach out to a friend or relative by phone or letter.
  13. Clear a surface
  14. Take a short walk.
  15. Dance
  16. Pick up an old book and read a page.
  17. Go outside.
  18. Collect 5 things to donate
  19. Start a Joy Practice.
  20. Plan a gathering
  21. Learn something
  22. Start a gratitude journal.
  23. Journal for greater well-being
  24. Plan a warm-weather outing for later this year.
  25. Write a thank you note.
  26. Do a financial check-in
  27. Start a family gratitude practice
  28. Plan your week
  29.  Learn how to manage your emotions.
  30.  Light a candle.
  31. Peel and eat an orange mindfully.
  32. Eat a piece of chocolate very slowly.
  33.  Hand-letter a quote you love
  34. Wash your face (and hands) mindfully and slowly.
  35. Do 15 jumping jacks or crunches.
  36.  Climb the stairs a few times
  37.  Cry — if you need to. It’s OK.
  38.  Savor Your Surroundings
  39.  Paint
  40.  Make a gift for someone
  41. Sit and do nothing.
  42. Tune into your rage
  43. Plan the next birthday in your family
  44. Make an Impact on the World
  45. Clean your sink
  46. Develop a new ritual or routine
  47. Doodle your day
  48. Do a mind dump on paper
  49. Drink a full glass of water
  50.  Wrap in a blanket and daydream

Not even sure how to make these happen? Maybe you need some life coaching to help you build a well-being plan for yourself. Learn more here.

Create a Revolution of Divine Love

Create a Revolution of Divine Love

“The aim of divine rage is not vengeance but to reorder the world.”

Valerie Kaur

What if we began to collectively as women use different language to define our anger?

And right now there is plenty of anger sparking flames within us.

Kaur’s quote above taps into that anger by calling it “divine rage.”

As it turns out, this divine rage comes directly from the Goddess Kali, the Dark Mother. She embodies rage to wipe out anything and everything that needs a fresh slate. We can embody Kali — or our inner rage — when we are ready to create light out of darkness.

I can think of no better time than right now to turn up the volume on our divine rage and let it rise up and begin to burn away the ropes and chains of oppression, of capitalism, of greed, of polarization.

What we would be left with then … is love.

Divine love.

It’s time to let your inner rage turn and toss into the darkness.

Create a revolution of love in its place.

How will we get through?

We’ll get through as we always do.
One long step at a time.
One heavy foot in front of the other.
One deep breath at a time.
One kind hand offered to someone who needs it.
One long day at a time followed by another and another.
One angry fight at a time.
We will follow the faint breadcrumbs of love along the long, long road to justice and victory.
And we will gather in our arms those who are willing and interested in this mission of compassion and bring them along with us.
One newly opened heart at a time.
Because systemic change isn’t overnight.
It’s waking up one tired, weary and scared soul at a time. And then another. And then another.
We’ll get through as we always have.
One tiny flutter of hope at a time.
 
Shawn Fink ©2020
 
 
 
 
How to Start a Meaningful Gratitude Practice

How to Start a Meaningful Gratitude Practice

When I feel my light starting to fade out, the first practice I return to again and again is gratitude. 

On really bad days and on really good days, grounding into gratitude saves me.

And it’s saved many of my clients over the years, too. 

This year I cracked open a brand new journal — my 11th — feeling like it was a practice I needed now more than ever.

And the longer we settle into these unsettling times, the more grounding into gratitude is vital for my own well-being. 

My gratitude practice is stronger than ever. In fact, I feel as if I could write for days every single night. Every day, right now, there is just so much to be grateful for. 

Not everything. I’m not grateful for a lot of things right now.

But so much. So many other beautiful things and people and experiences unfolding. 

Like the fact that my own creativity is on fire this year.

Gratitude gets a bad rap by some. But the truth is that it is one of the most scientifically studied happiness booster anyone can practice. And when practiced whole-heartedly and honestly, it can be the most powerful shift out of anger, frustration and impatience — which I think we can all agree is much needed right now in our world. 

8 Ways a Gratitude Practice Can Make You Happier

I can’t imagine ending a day without focusing on what I’m grateful for. 

But I can tell you that sometimes I open my journal and think there is NOTHING to be grateful for today. However, instead of letting that be the ending of that narrative in my head, I sit with pen in hand, close my eyes and reflect on my day. Sometimes I let the simple things take over. But most often some memory from earlier in the day returns and I am washed over with a beautiful feeling. When this happens, a smile of … “I told you so” washes over my face. 

Gratitude can make you happier. Here’s what it offers to you with consistent practice … 

  1. It can absolutely boost your self-esteem and self-worth.
  2. It can reduce your stress and symptoms of trauma.
  3. It can encourage a meaningful life that cultivates more compassion and kindness.
  4. It helps to build better quality relationships.
  5. It prevents forms of social comparison/jealousy.
  6. It decreases negative emotions and feelings.
  7. It reduces boredom and prevents living in the status quo.

So just what do you need to do to start a meaningful gratitude practice?

A WILLINGNESS

As long as you believe there is nothing to be grateful for it’s going to be hard to start let alone maintain a practice rooted in positivity. So the first step is just choosing to try it. Resistance is your teacher here. If you resist this practice, there is a message there for you to listen to. Ask yourself, why am I resisting this? What am I unwilling to experience? Or, what am I trying to cling to here?

TRY IT FOR 30 DAYS.

A day or two of gratitude — especially when inconsistently practiced — isn’t going to bring you the true life-changing happiness booster effect that a consistent practice will offer. So vow to try doing a practice for a substantial period of time. This might be 7 days. Or two weeks. I’m suggesting you give it a try for 30 days — long enough to really make it more of a habit. Some believe a daily practice is too much. But for many, a consistent daily practice keeps the habit sustainable rather than out of sight, out of mind. 

MAKE IT A RITUAL

Yes, doing your gratitude practice regularly is key. But learning to FEEL gratitude when it comes up is the practice and ritual of it all. Make it a powerful ritual in your day to take time in your day to recognize even just one thing you can be grateful for and spent a minute reflecting on that one thing. By making this a habit throughout your day you will start to really feel the gratitude “wash” that will lead to more positivity.

WRITE IT DOWN — OR NOT

I write my gratitudes down in a new journal each year and I save them to be able to give to my daughters some day. I re-read them from time to time as well for great memory keeping. But you don’t have to write down gratitudes to experience the happiness boost. Take a picture on your phone and store them in a special album to print at the end of the year. Meditate on what you are grateful for. Or start a family gratitude bulletin board. 

EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE

Better than anything is offering your gratitude to someone else. By sharing what you are grateful with someone else – or why you are grateful for them — you are spreading the positivity and good emotions. This is a joy injection for everyone, including yourself. So don’t be afraid to go out of your way to express gratitude to someone today. Your child or partner. A friend. A store worker. A teacher or principal. The postal worker delivering your mail. There are many needing a dose of gratitude right now.

What is your first action step to begin feeling more grateful today?

What’s Your Carry Over Dream?

What’s Your Carry Over Dream?

Do you have a carry over dream?

I was chatting on the phone with a new coaching client the other day about goals for this year and they responded with an interesting story.

They do not have any goals — except the goals they didn’t achieve last year.

I call these your carry over dreams.

And these dreams often would make the most impact for how you REALLY want to live you life.

And yet … they are hard for you. They feel impossible, perhaps.

Go ahead, make the list of the dreams that you have had on your list that would change everything for you … honor them. These goals and dreams are a part of you and they matter.

Carry over dreams are the goals and ambitions that we carry with us from year to year with hopes of finally being the woman we want to be in our lives. Many of my coaching clients struggle with follow through. They struggle with making happen what they want to make happen.

This kind of sabotage is common because it’s easy to blame our busyness for why we just don’t have time to do the things we want or need to do.

We forget that our strengths as women are also what can prevent us from reaching out to get the help we need to make our dreams happen.

The truth is that the vast ocean that stands between who you are right now and who you want to be is just a series of choices you need to make.

If you are ready to start making key decisions and tackling your carry over goals, I’d love to be your Accountability Cheerleader. Our sessions will be filled with the kind of gentle fire you need to push yourself to finally start taking the action you want — and to remember to love yourself hard when you miss the mark.

Our sessions will be all about clearing the obstacles out of your path to empower you to that fabulous place in your life you want to be by now.

Let’s see your dreams to completion this year.

Maybe it’s to feel more enough or more soft. Or more joy. Or more inner peace of mind. Maybe it’s to be healthier or to start journaling. Or perhaps it’s a bigger goal like changing careers, writing a book or finding your passion and fire for life.

Whatever dream has been carrying over year after year is where we will begin. We’ll start right where you are right now.

Who knows where YOU will end up! 💖

I just know that I cannot wait to find out … xo

BOOK A FREE 30 MINUTE DISCOVERY SESSION WITH ME NOW.

The Difference Between Doing and Being — And Why You Need to Know

The Difference Between Doing and Being — And Why You Need to Know

There’s a very distinct difference between the definition of doing and being.

My favorite definition of doing is this one from Merriam Webster: 1 : the act of performing or executing : action that will take a great deal of doing

It’s the part of how the action will take a great deal of doing that stands out for me.

And then there is being, which the same dictionary folks define as: the quality or state of having existence. Or, according to the Cambridge English definition: 1. a person or thing that exists: 2. the state of existing

So in many ways, we are constantly in a state of being.

And doing.

My work as a life coach, however, has really centered around helping my clients find that sweet spot in their particular life that allows for both doing and being.

Because let’s face it, as human beings we like to get things done.

Finding that sweet spot is not only powerful beyond measure in terms of how we feel, but it’s also makes us so much more effective and impactful in our work and life.

For a long time, I was a doer. I prided myself on how much I did.

And then I woke up and realized that life isn’t about doing.

It’s about impactful doing. It’s about eeking out the nectar of this beautiful life we have.

And to do that we have to have a fine balance of both doing and being. Or, being and doing. Whichever you prefer.

DOING is future focused. Action-oriented. It shows up in the forms of words and phrases like to-do lists, agendas, projects, deadlines and goals. It can show up in body and mind as overwhelm, hustle, hurried, harried, rushing and stress.

BEING is present moment focused. It’s happening for you right now. Right now you are in a being state. It is entirely wrapped up in right here and what you are doing. Being shows up in mind and body like mindfulness, rest, ease, flow, presence, and now. For many, this may feel like sitting or resting. But really, it’s more about living without an agenda that is forward-focused (or past focused).

The difference between doing and being is simple. In one you are focused on where you are headed and what’s possible. In the other, you are focused on where you are right now and what is. Your sweet spot in an impactful life is learning how to incorporate both for the greatest impact and ease. If you are ready to find your sweet spot between doing and being, I’d love to work with you. Sign up for a FREE coaching discovery call with me now.