Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Happiness from a moment of stillness- happy holidays!!

Happy holidays to everyone.  This morning I paused and gave myself time to be quite in the morning's darkness.  The only light on in the house was a single candle.  In the rush to live, sometimes I forget to be quiet and listen.  This time of year, I'm more drawn to be still than to shop.  A good friend of mine shared with me this beautiful poem by Rebecca Parker- thank you Nancy L!!!  Today, I'm passing on the favor...

May we all be happy in your busyness and your stillness,

Winter Solstice
by Rebecca Parker

Perhaps for a moment the typewriters will stop clicking,
the wheels will stop rolling,
the computers will desist computing,
and a hush will fall over the city.

For an instant in the stillness,
the chiming of the celestial spheres will be heard
As earth hangs poised in the crystalline darkness
and then gracefully tilts.

Let this be a season when holiness is heard
and the splendor of living is revealed.
Stunned to the stillness by beauty
We remember who we are and why we are here.

There are inexplicable mysteries
We are not alone
In the Universe, there moves a Wild One 
Whose gestures alter earth’s axis toward love

In the immense darkness
everything spins with joy
The cosmos enfolds us
We are caught in a web of stars,
cradled in a swaying embrace,
rocked by the holy night,
babes of the universe.

Let this be a time we wake to life,

Life the spring wakes in the moment of winter solstice

Monday, December 5, 2016

Habits for a life of prosperity or ruin....

We are our habits.  Our habits save our brains a tremendous amount of energy.  This is good.  But... and there is always a but isn't there?  But our habits are often formed without our noticing.  Many were formed in childhood.  There aren't really even your habits, they are the habits of your environment. 

   Habits can create healthy, vibrant and extraordinary lives.  Habits can also get you stuck, unhealthy and exhausted.  It takes time, consistence and awareness to shift habits.  This is where intentions, rituals and practices come in.  Before I dive into how to shift habits here is one of my favorite quotes:  The author is unknown but the thought is timeless.

I am your constant companion
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure
I am completely at your command
Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed
You must merely be firm with me
Show me exactly how you want done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically
I am the servant of all great men and alas, of failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great
Those who are failures, I have made failures

I am not a machine
Though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a man
You man run me for profit or run me for ruin
It makes no difference to me

Take me, train me, be firm with me
And I will place the world at your feet
Be easy with me and I will destroy you
Who am I?
I am habit


Stay tuned, this month we are playing with habits,
                        Wishing you all the kindness of the heart and the spirit of an adventurer!!

If you like this post, you might like to read my post on practices - click here to read

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Playing small doesn't serve the world

Do you ever doubt yourself? Are you ever afraid?  I am.  I wish I could say, no not me I'm always super confident and amazing.  The truth is I doubt, I shrink, I fret.  Sometimes, I think who am I to write, coach, create workshops, give presentations, even garden or create recipes?  But then there are other times, more and more, that I smile and know.  I like those times better.

Today, a friend of mine and I were visiting about this very topic.  She sent me a poem writen by Marianne Williamson.   If you are having a day of doubt read this and see if your inner knowing doesn't perk up a bit.

As always, I wish you oodles of confident and splashes of brilliance,

"Our Deepest Fear"
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Simplifying my life

Hi friends,
   Have you ever looked around and thought life is way more complicated than it needs to be?
 Well I'm so with you.  

Today my blog is simple- enjoy

               Thank you,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pause ...just for a second and breathe

This morning I slept in.  I opened my eyes to sunshine.  I started the morning by smiling for no other reason beyond the moment.  My kitty Penny joined me.  She kneeded the bed and purred. I rubbed her belly and smiled.  The birds sang outside, the sun was shining.  It felt like a little moment of heaven.  There were no bands or fireworks but there was a deep sence of love.  Love of the moment.

I went outside this morning.  It is already warm.  I just stood in our back yard and was.  The leaves were lit by the sun.  Birds singing their songs.  The air filled with spring and lilacs.  My to do list will have to wait a few minutes.  I am busy.

It has been a while since I felt such peace.  There is a time to do, to achieve to build and create.  But there also needs to be a time to Be:  To love, to smell lilacs, to be content with sunshine and birds singing.

I don't know how to change the world.  But this morning I discovered again how to Be in this moment.

May you remember to pause today and just Be.  The power of life when you let yourself Be in the moment is why we try so hard to live.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Do the vampire test

I stumbled upon a book.  One of the best ways I know to get unstuck is to engage your creative self.  While looking for books on creativity for inspiration and mind shifts, I came upon Austin Kleon's work.  His work is raw and honest.  He gives you permission to love your garbage.

Tonight I was flipping through his book, on page 133 of Show your Work, was a heading followed by a quote:

The Vampire Test

"Whatever excites you, go do it.
Whatever drains you, stop doing it"
                         Derek Sivers

Can clutter clearing get anymore clear than this?   When you clear your clutter- your mental clutter, your physical clutter, your emotional clutter and your spiritual clutter, put it through the Vampire Test.  

I'll keep reading, at this point I'm not even sure if this is what Austin meant by the Vampire test.  If so, brilliant, if not we'll thank you for the inspiration!

     Be fearless in your decisions,

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Clutter Clearning Essential

Today is Sunday.  I'm sitting at my writing desk listening to the rain fall.  My grandpa built this desk for my dad 30 some years ago.  I wonder, did he know he was building my writing desk?  Did my dad know what it would become when he gave it to me?

Life is a series of curiosities.

There is a time and a season for everything.  Today is the day to pause.  To play. To write and maybe make a nice big batch of buckwheat pancakes.

When I talk about living residue free or clearing out our clutter I'm really talking about giving your spirit a little breathing space.  Freedom.  A day to sit, ponder and eat homemade buckwheat pancakes.  Time and space with no agenda.  Watch the clouds go by.  Wait for a chicken egg to hatch. Open a book and then sleep with it in your lap.  These are the pauses between our breaths.  These are essential moments.

I love helping clear clutter.  I love cleaning off the residues of life.  We are all whole and perfect.  My work is not to fix anything but to uncover it's essence.  To help you clean off, clear out the residues of life that diminish your inner brilliance- that is my job, my passion and my life's mission.

My work is really two fold.  Remove what doesn't belong.  Nurture what wants to grow and thrive.  Today, I'm a writer playing at my desk.  Tomorrow a farmer pulling weeds and planting crops.  Today I write not as part of my to-do list or master plan.  I write because that is what makes me happy.

Now I think I'll grind up some buckwheat and make pancakes.

Wishing you time to breathe and play,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The irony of cleaning and life

As you probably already know, January 5 of this year we sold the cleaning part of our business to DA Burns of Seattle.  After 25 years of being a professional cleaner-among other things-I'm now a retired cleaner.   Laughing hysterically!!  There is no such thing as a retired cleaner.  Every morning I get up and brush my teeth, take a shower, clean my clothes, wash dishes, clean house, clean out the car, clean out my files, clean out my to-do list and my in box.  Actually the only thing I have stopped when in comes to cleaning is getting paid to clean!!!  Now any cleaning I do is for free.  I'm a volunteer cleaner.

Does anyone besides me see the irony in this?

Tonight after cleaning out files all day, I cleaned my office.  After "stopping" my cleaning profession, I took a bit of a vacation from my normal everyday cleaning.  After all, I'm done cleaning, right?  If only!!!!  Life goes on and someone forgot to tell the dust bunnies I don't clean anymore.

Here is the thing.  Cleaning is good for the soul.  No matter how much you would love to give away your to-do list of cleaning.  Cleaning makes your life feel better.  It freshen up your space and therefore it freshens up your spirit.  Cleaning brings clarity to your life and helps life make sense.

For most of my life cleaning seems to have followed me around.  No matter how hard I have tried to ignore her, forget about her, turn my back on her and even despise her, she is always there for me.  She is forever gently prodding me and offering me her wisdom.

As a girl on the farm, cleaning was on the very bottom of the totem pole.  It was the last thing I wanted to do when there were fences to build and cows to feed.   But somehow almost magically, I became a professional cleaner.  Can you imagine that?  Now after 25 years as a professional cleaner I have officially given up cleaning as my profession.   And yet as I put thoughts to paper, it is pretty clear, cleaning is going to continue to be part of my life.

As I write this I remember when my grandma Lois was in her 90's, she told me "Denise, when it comes to cleaning, you might as well make the best of your time because it isn't going anywhere".

Now that I don't get paid to actually clean, maybe I can become a cleaning philosopher?  A cleaning writer.  Maybe a writer that tells good clean jokes!!  I don't know, but I'm guessing my life as a cleaner is not complete, I am not retired.  I just moved my stuff around so I could look at cleaning from yet another angle.

From my cleaning closet to yours, I wish your path of life's little chores to be one of friendship and not dread.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Creativity and clutter are roommates

     It is the wee hours of the morning and creativity has struck.  As I write, I'm still in my pjs drinking my little cup of hot lime water and snacking on a little orange.  I'm up early to get my work done today.  But before I settle in my office for some early morning -very productive- efficient- serious work, I pause and play.  My morning play usually consists of yoga, watching my cats play, morning stares and whatever else strikes my fancy.

   While stretching this am, I'm inspired to read a few pages from Elizabeth Gilbert's new book: Big Magic.  For those of you who want to join me in this conversation, I'm reading chapter 2 Enchantment.  Here Elizabeth is giving you two ways to be creative. One is the old method of suffering.  Another way is a partnership with inspiration.

   "You can receive your ideas with respect and curiosity, not with drama and dread. You can clear out whatever obstacles are preventing you from living your most creative life, with the simple understanding that whatever is bad for you is also probably bad for your work." pg 40-41

    Elizabeth gets struck with inspiration and has decided to partner up with her idea.  And this is how she starts...

    "I then did what you do when you get serious about a project or pursuit, I cleared space for it. I cleaned off my desk, literally and figuratively." pg 42-43

   And there you have it!   Are you following me??   Clearing your clutter is not about your stuff it is about living your live with creativity, with spark, with your spirit of adventure and with your full attention!!

   Clutter - whether it is the stuff that fills our homes, the to-dos on our to-do lists, the conversations that loop over and over in our minds, the time we spend doing things you don't like and that probably don't as much attention as we give it.  It is the wasted evenings, the foods that weigh our energy down.  It is the weeds that grow in our own personal gardens.

    So when you start balking at clearing your clutter and the residues in your life, pause and wonder.  What spark of creativity is wanting to grow??  Which would be more fun? Looking at an overstuffed bookcase, filled with dusty and forgotten books or opening up your space for a splash of creative play???  Hummm, I'm just saying...

Today I wish you a day of inspired creativity with fewer weeds sucking the life out of your soil and soul!

      Happy clearing,