Monday, November 2, 2020

6 easy and enjoyable stress reducers... that work!!

Are you feeling stress?  Yup, we all are 6 of my top stress busting tips for November... in no particular order.  Try one or two... let me know how it goes.   One simple shift can change everything... I'm here right here with you!

  Go outside

These are tiny fungi in our garden

Even 15 minutes out of the house and unplugged can shift your mood.  While you are outside...go for a walk, look around to see what wonders the season is bringing.  What are the clouds doing? Wave at neighbors.  Talk to barking dogs.  Smile at bursts of beauty. Move out of your brain and into the world.  Nature expands you.  Your radiant energy is nourished.

Get your zzzz's

Create space to sleep.  I totally get how easy it is to fall asleep on the couch watching TV or scrolling through Instagram or Facebook.  Those activates turn me into a zombie's!  How about you?  So create space to sleep 8-9 hours of nourishing sleep.  In addition to a good night's sleep...take a nap.  A well rested baby is a happy baby...we never grow out of our need to sleep. Sleep is when we heal, reboot, and replenish our mind, body and spirits.


  Play is the antidote to stress!  Unplug, shut off work and go play.  Our nervous system needs play.  If you have ever had a puppy you know how sad they get when they don't get to play.  We are no different than puppies.  Joy begets Joy... cultivate play.  Discover what makes your spirit sparkle.


  Gratitude moves us from the worry and fretting, fear and dread and into a world that warms your heart.  For a complete guide to the wonders of gratitude, check out this gatherings of articles...The neuroscience of Gratitude and how it affects anxiety and depressionAnd check out Joshua Becker's a month of Gratitude

Gratitude Defined:  The quality of being thankful.  Readiness to show appreciation for and to; return kindness to someone

 Be present  

Move your attention from your thoughts to your body.  When you are feeling your body, your breath... your brain can relax.  By becoming present and breathing long, deep, slow nourishing get to rest your weary mind.  

"To stay present in everyday life,  it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself:  otherwise, the mind, which as incredible momentum will drag you along like a wild river.    It means to inhabit your body fully.  To always have some of your attention in the inner energy filed of your body.  To feel the body from within, so to speak.  Body awareness keeps you present. It anchors you in the Now".   Practicing the Power of Now... Eckhart Tolle

Practice acts of kindness

This can be as simple as waving at a neighbor, to calling a friend.  Even pickup up the house so it feels better for your family.  Not as a chore but an act of love...we will feel better.  When we stop thinking of our own wows...and focus our attention on helping someone else.

  A funny thing happens...we feel better. It is the gift of giving.

You are more powerful, resourceful and resilient than you will ever know.  If you want an additional boost of inspiration... read the dressmaker of Khair Khana.  This book really put in perspective how strong we are...and how lucky we are!!  I highly recommend.

Wow...this book will put our 2020 in perspective!

And if you need support, reach out.  You are not alone, you are surrounded by lots of kindred spirits...and we are all fingering this out one day at a time.

   Denise Frakes  your life and home coach


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Life coaching...Seeing you as the miracle you already are

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  Albert Einstein

This is how I see a miracle.   

  What I love about coaching is:  I'm not here to change you but help you uncover and discover you.  When we work together, we are partners.  You are whole, beautiful and fully capable. The nature of life, hides what is right there.  Our lives are habitual...40% of our daily actions are lost to us.  Coaching isn't to fix something missing. Coaching is shining a light on your essence, your perfectly imperfectly authentic beautiful you.

This week, I was cleaning out my office files...and came upon, the 7 commitments of a Transformation coach.  Thought you might just like to know what they are.  

1.  I honor the sacredness of others and hold their confidences

2.  I respect other's perceptions of the world and meet them were they are

3. I am impeccable with my word and commitments

4. I connect from the heart

5. I hold my client and the world in a positives focus

6. I take responsibility for myself and allow others to do the same

7. I see all people as whole, full and complete

Our work together is sacred.  Your life, your home, your possibilities are sacred.  This is why I was so drawn to the transformation life coaching program.  I see the miracle of you, even when you might have lost sight of your natural essence.   We work together not to change you, but to remind you of your value, to honor, uncover your dreams.  I merely reflect back to you the wonder I see in you.

You may be going through some irksome times. Our world is, and we are part of this greater whole.  What I urge you and will continue to cultivate in my own life is seeing each other and our world.. all it's glory and a positive focus. Having faith in each other to be resilient, beautiful, creative and kind.  To see what might be hidden behind clutter, anger, fear, sorrow, lack of sleep, anxiety and too much sugar.  Our beautiful spirits never go away...sometimes we  just get a little residue on the outside.  Nothing a good cleaning can't take care of.

           From my own cleaning out reflections,

                       Denise Frakes... may you journey beautifully


Friday, September 11, 2020

Change your focus...sit down and listen to the sea!

 This morning I woke up to a state full of fires, smoke, social rage, COVID, economic unease, and a hot political season...and I woke up to a purring kitty, a morning, my family, a cup of hot water and a batch of beet soup waiting to be created.

A few years ago, I traveled to Iona Scotland on a pilgrimage.  It was exactly that, not exactly a vacation, more of an adventure in traveling and weather...and some absolutely delightful people and delicious tea and scones.

While we were on the Island, we discovered an old land fill with hidden treasures from a lost time.  Why I was so captivated by an old dump, is just me and very wabi sabi   This dump, was in the north side of Iona- a very small island.  My traveling mates and I discovered it and then I tried to find in on my own.  I wandered around searching for the "dump". 

A little back story, Iona old with a long history. It is know as a place with a very thin veil...meaning your ability to connect outside of this normal life we lead is natural here.  As I was wondering and looking, a voice popped into my head- a clear and authoritative voice

    "Denise stop looking for the dump.  Sit down and listen to the sea!"  These were more like marching orders instead of a internal suggestion.  It woke me up. I looked up.  In front of me, beyond the blowing grass and hidden dump was the sea.  It was beautiful, colorful and full of energy... I looked down a perfectly cut out from the grass bank... right in front of me, was a place to sit and listen to the sea.

Since that day, when I get lost looking for the "dump" I remember those words and think.  "Denise, stop looking for the dump.  Sit down and listen to the sea."

Today is such a day.  Yes, there is a lot going on.  A majestic level of unrest...and yet, it is essential we don't put all our focus on what is wrong, or dangerous, or unsettling... that we also put some time aside to sit down and listen to the sea, or make a batch of beet soup, or dance to an old song, or write a blog. 

Where ever you are today, I wish you and yours safety, love and health...and I also share the words from Iona Scotland.... "stop looking for the dump...sit down and listen to the sea!" 

        From my home to yours, may you be safe, healthy and a wee bit curious to what the sea has to say,     

                                Denise Frakes



Monday, September 7, 2020

September Resolutions...authentic requests of the soul

 September Resolutions....make more sense than our traditional January resolutions.  Is it just me or do you too feel like you are already behind by the time your resolutions are made in Jan? Spring is right around the corner, you hit the new year running...even if your spirit and body want to hibernate. Is that anyway to begin anything?

  As September rolled in, I was once again drawn my Simple Abundance book.  I've had this book for years and yet, when it calls my name, it is timely and spot on.  If you have this book go to Sept 1st's entry.  Turning over a new leaf.  

   Sarah reminds us September has been the beginning not ending of the year since ancient times.  When did we change that?  Traditionally, September was the time for reflection, atonement and pausing to look at our lives.  What do we do? What have we done? What are we called to do?

  "What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm."  Katharine Elizabeth Fite wrote in Good Housekeeping in 1949, urging the beginning of a new tradition for women: personal and positive resolutions in September. "Why do you suppose so many of us waste the autumn? Why don't we make the effort that would provide something new in our lives?"  January's negative resolutions "are made when we are worn out in spirit, body, and pocketbook, and have no real urge to do anything but rest."

   "It seems to me that January resolutions are about will; September resolutions are about authentic wants.  What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life you're leading?"

   "The beauty of autumnal resolutions is that no one else knows we're making them.  Autumnal resolutions don't require horns, confetti, and champagne.  September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change."            September 1st Simple Abundance  Sarah Ban Breathnach.

   Sarah published Simple Abundance in 1995- 25 years ago.  Katharine Elizabeth Fite wrote about  September resolutions in 1949 - 71 years ago.  Wise advise is timeless! 

  September brings change in the seasons and weather...and with these changes we naturally have a desire to shift, to prepare for winter, to make big pots of soup and create cozy homes.  To clean out our homes, our garden and lives so the new year lands softly and not like a thud on our tired hearts.

   2020 and COVID, made resolutions and goals almost seem comical.  Most of our "plans and goals" got quarantined.  These kind of goals and resolutions are not what we are talking about.  This is the season to clean out, to prep, to let go of what doesn't feed us, to create space for authentic spiritual requests of mind, body and soul.  

I highly recommend taking a day, a hour, a breath in your September to go within and ask yourself.  What do you need to do this autumn to pave the way for a kind winter, a beautiful beginning to 2021?

We all know how much we can't control...but we are not helpless in this world.  By creating a vision and space for our spirit and authentic wants...just maybe we can create a simply abundant 2021.

   May your new year be sweet and inspired.  Now is the time to create your life...quietly,

              Denise Frakes



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Easy Mask Cleaning...reducing acne and residues

 Masks are part of our lives...for the time being anyway.  Taking care of our masks and making sure they are free of contaminates and chemical residue is essential.

Contaminates get in our system three main ways.  We breathe them in, absorb them into our skin or ingest them because our masks are on our faces...keeping our masks clean and free of contaminates is essential! And super easy. 

 I've created two quick videos to first tell you why this is essential...and secondly how to clean your masks - the easy and residue free way

                                        What you may not know about your mask... 2.3 minute video on the why

 Super easy, portable cleaning demo on mask cleaning... the easy and residue free way.

Lots of things have changed over the past few months.  The basics of cleaning remain the same.  Clean easy and residue free.  

        stay clean and safe out there.  Denise


Monday, June 22, 2020

When you wobble...dig deep. Be a dandelion!

I've been smitten with dandelions ever since I can remember.  This little weed, she inspires me. Her determination to thrive in any condition, to bloom wherever she is planted, speaks to me.

We are living in wild times.  We have to decide if we are going to bloom or whither.  Nature teaches us how to be resilient, how to thrive in storms and come back from fires.  How to bloom on our own.  We are more resilient than we know.

I love dandelions because of their feisty spirits.  When I start to wobble...and of course I do wobble, slump and grieve....and then I think: "Be a Dandelion Denise".

The wisdom of Dandelion

My tap root runs deep. It is strong. When I need nourishment or water I dig deep into the earth.

Try to pull me root may snap, but that is only temporary.  Before long I will be blooming again ... stronger, brighter, more joyfully.

My roots are medicinal, I am meant to heal
My leaves are nourishing, I am food
My flower is bright yellow. I bring joy

I'm the first to bloom in the spring and one of the last to bloom into winter.  If I get planted in tall grass, I will shoot my blooms up high so I can see. I will explode thousands of seeds. I have faith at least one will find soil.

Not everyone understands my value.  By most, I'm considered a weed and yet I don't mind. I continue to multiply and grow despite the effort to quiet me.  I don't need much to bloom. You can find me growing in unlikely places.  I grow in ditches. I bloom on freeway walls...with nothing to hang onto but a handful of dirt...I will bloom no matter where I find myself. It is my gift.

I'm a determined and feisty soul. I am who I am, and I like my spirit. I will thrive in any climate, any season, any location.  I am tender and strong.  I am bouquets of love given by tiny hands.

I am the definition of resiliency.  I am medicine. I am nourishment. I am spirited. I am beautiful. I am bright, I am happy. I am authentically me.  I am a dandelion. 

This is what I think when I need to dig in deep and bloom... in uncertain times ... let your roots dig in deep, your spirit bloom.  Don't ask permission or wait for the perfect conditions. 

We have one life and this is it!  Let's bloom where we are planted!  Be a dandelion! Be whatever you need to be...listen to your heart, your spirit, your joy.  Let's find ways to thrive, re-create, to connect, bloom, grow, share.  We all have it in us.  That feisty, wild spirit... this spirit we need to listen to.  The world needs our blooms!

No matter what the world is doing, in spite what is going on around us- bloom!
    Denise...I'm digging in right next to you!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Moving Slow...builds strength

Last night I could barely walk...most likely I have plantar fasciitis.  Even though it's extremely painful.  I know it is also a less in listening.  As I'm laying in bed, not wanting to get out and step down..I started thinking. How I decide this injury to be will be what it becomes.  Just like cleaning.  Cleaning can be a chore, a practice, a struggle, a gift.  How I look at an object or activity gives me my own meaning.  What if this injury is a Divine gift?  What if it is catapults me forward in the right direction?  What if it is the answer to a prayer?

When I walk very slowly, take tiny steps, mindfully and with beautifully tall foot has some relief.  I can move.  While I'm moving slow in my own home, to the north of me, my beautiful sister...who just had her little boy Penrhyn, a couple weeks ago😊, is also moving slow.  A leg injury from giving birth.  There is no option for either of us but to move slow...and keep going forward.

In one of my favorite books, Born to Run, Christopher McDougal talks about a Japanese training style for long distance runners. They train first by learning to walk ultra slow.  I would guess this gives your body a wisdom of movement, of core strength, built not just by the big and powerful muscles but also by the tiny and essential micro muscles and fascia.  Of which I have probably overruled most of my life. Overruled and ignored so I can move fast, while my mind over thinks and my body presses on. 

Choosing to shift my thinking from being injured to a new form of training shifts my emotions.  This shift my seem insignificant.  1 degree in another direction changes everything.  The shift is enormous.  Instead of fear, frustration and despair, I'm instantly transported in to curious, learning and exploration.  I'm in training.

My injury is ripe with a real world metaphor.  The tiny muscles of our body...can be over powered for a while but not forever.  Imbalance happen and when imbalance happens, our body/communities/country will at some point adjust. When ignored,the re-alignment is painful and untimely.   There is a natural flow of the come back to balance. 

Yesterday on my way home from a run, I was busy texting and calling people... I was far from present.  I pride myself in being present and loving my runs and nature...but I ran past my body talking to me, She tried to get me to listen...I ignored her.  This is what I have to say for myself

I'm sorry, please forgive me
Thank you, I love you
I'm listening

This Hawaiian prayer can be used for anything.  Today it is for my foot, our country, my spirit and those in the world I have ignored.  I thank Christopher McDougall for sharing this ancient practice of training ultra slow, to remind me that slow and mindful is not moving backwards but a legitimate way of moving forward. Life, when done fully present, builds a balanced and healthy foundation of both the tiny muscles and the large ones.  

May your journey be kind and wise...even when moving slowly.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Rebooting our Immune System

Good morning, It's early Sat morning as I writing you.  How are you doing this morning?  We are in some strange and stressful times.  How are you managing all this?  I've found I have days of feeling super confident and powerful which will be followed by a day of wondering and low energy.  I know this is normal, it is stress showing up.  We all have stress.  The stress level of our entire world has exponentially increased.

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite books.  Born to Run- if you follow me, you know I'm a huge fan of journeys. exploration, nature, human nature and running... this book has it all in spades.  It's about modern day ultra athletes and an ancient running people the Tarahumara.  On page 37 they are talking about a group of Tarahumara who started living the modern life...with it came foods they had "rarely eaten - soda, chocolate, rice, sugar, butter, flower.  They developed a taste for starch and treats.....that was twenty years ago. "Now, there are no runners in Yerbabuena."  What I know for sure...Food is Medicine.  Food can also be a thief.  Poor food choices steal our health.

This passage struck a cord with me.  I've been giving myself more than normal treats, comfort foods, baked goods, chocolate, butter... rich foods.  My body doesn't work as well on these foods. My brain gets foggy.  My immune system isn't as powerful.  I know eating has a tremendous impact of my own vitality.  I've known this for years.  Just because we know something doesn't mean we always are perfect- hardly. 

 Nutrition and stress are directly linked.  Up your nutrition...your stress decreases...lower your nutrition...your stress will increase.

I run a pretty clean personal health ship because I like to feel good.  When I'm stressed, I up my self care...which includes nourishing foods. foods that reduce my own stress.  Lately I'm feeling signs of high stress... I'm more emotional, fuzzy brained, up's and downs in my energy, lowered decision making... that's my body, mind and spirit talking to me.  I'm listening...

I invite you to join me.  For the next two weeks, I'll be upping self care and lowering things I know drop my vitality, focus and immunity.  Two weeks isn't very long. It's doable.  I know from experience rebooting my vitality is priceless.- it is essential.  

Friday, April 24, 2020

Why I'm getting up at 5:30am during this quarantine

Why am I getting up at 5:30am, during this quarantine?

 Waking up early is like putting on my own oxygen mask.  You've heard the saying in the airline safety announcement... "put your oxygen mask on first".

 At first when we got asked to stay home, I went into speed drive.  Then I relaxed my normal schedule and started sleeping in.  But an interesting thing stress when up, my confidence went down. 

So I shifted my own plan.  I don't really like getting out of my nice warm bed any more than you do... but waking up early, drinking hot water and then going for a run or walk starts my day beautiful.  Since I returned to my early wake up and early morning nature... my anxiety and stress have dropped by at least 80%!  That's significant!!!!

What's the law of physics?  Things in motion tend to stay in motion...Things at rest tend to stay at rest?  It's the same for routines and rhythms.
Start off well...end well. 
 Start off muddled = end muddled

You may or may not need to wake up early, get am fresh air and keep a clean house... This works for me.  Find your own rhythm.  What works for you.  Maybe you do better with a great night time routine.  Listen to yourself.  Our actions have cause and effects.  This is especially when we are under stress.  The greater the stress the higher the need for better self care.

When I'm on vacation..I can sleep in and eat more junk..apparently but not during a world stress event.  Nope, now I need to wake up early, be at my best and put my oxygen mask on first...

Because the healthier, more confident, vibrant we are.. the better we will be at problem solving, resilience, compassion and supporting others.  This is true for all of us.  

My rules of thumb...
              When I wake up I get up and wash my face
               I go outside...listen, see beauty, smell the flowers and fresh air
               I reach out to others
               Tidy up my home
               Eat healthy...not crap.. drink water
               Relax before I go to sleep

I know it's hard out there.  We are all stressed.  Be kind to yourself.  Practice kind habits.
 I'm here for you!!  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wabi-Sabi and Virtual is very much alive and well

"Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness

 Wabi-Sabi is ambivalent about separating beauty from non-beauty or ugliness...
Wabi-Sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else.  

Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment 
given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view.  

Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, 
an extradition moment of poetry and grace."  

                                                                          Leonard Koren
                                                     Wabi-Sabi for artists, designers, poets and philosophers

In the midst of COVID-19.. there are beautiful things happening.  We are thinking differently, coming together in ways that were thought impossible just a month ago.
Virtual concerts are one of those ways...
This is from the Berklee College of Music...

I know it's scary and hard out there.  We are all shaken out of our normal, our of our ruts, our habits.  We will get through this, and in the process we get to expand what is possible.

                  "Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness"  Leonard Koren

                                          Denise Frakes
                                                Home and Life your service


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Hope from 1869 & 2020

A poem by an Irish woman after the plague devastated Ireland in 1869

And the people stayed home.
And read books,
and listened,
and rested,
and exercised,
and made art,
and played games,
and learned new ways of being,
   and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated,
some prayed,
some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people
   Living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses,
and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

                                            Kathleen O’Meara or Irene Vella

Originally, I believed this poem to have been written in 1869.  Later my friend who sent this to me, corrected her earlier post. She discovered this poem was a current poem written by an Italian journalist Irene Vella and translated by Kathleen O’Meara.

I want to give credit where credit is warranted…  And yet, when I thought this poem was written by a woman in 1869, I felt such an uplifted vision, a feeling of renewal after winter.  So, as you read this poem…pretend these words were written from a wise soul who came through a similar storm. Because it was and because eventually this storm too will pass.  We will come back out and we will be changed.  How we change will be up to us.

One of my favorite quotes ever is:
   Never fear the storm, that’s where all the energy is.”

Be well, be safe, be kind
     from my home to yours,

Friday, March 13, 2020

Becoming the solution...acts of kindness given

I loved the movie Fantastic Fungi.  It's amazing, how fungus has this huge interconnecting network underground.  If one tree in the forest is struggling, this underground network will send nutrients and energy to the tree in need.  We need to be more like fungus.

How we feel and what we think does affect those around us.

With this virus, we are traveling on a path with a more bends and rocks than normal  We are asking our guides and leaders to already know this path. They don't. They may not even know the right questions to ask...yet.  But they will and we will.  In the mean time, it's time to lift us all up.

I propose this: Pay it forward.  Each day take 1 minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour whatever you can do. Meditate with uplifting emotions.  See scenarios where we are all thriving.  Send nutrients to our fellow trees. Believe and send kindness and support to those around us.  Send TLC to our neighbors near and far, to our family members now in isolation for protection, send it to anyone and everyone you feel called.  Send faith to places it needs to go.

During that minute, feel how you want to feel.  How you want our leaders, families, communities and businesses to feel. Picture solid solutions, thriving communities, happy families, wise leaders making brilliant decisions.  If you hold a lot of anger or fear, then focus on something or someone you love that puts you in a a place of kindness and strength.  The key is for us to project a future where we are healthy, happy and thriving.  Include our neighbors, community, cities, states and fellow countries.

 Just because you are a world leader, public health official, doctor, or even a blogger and life coach... doesn't make you immune to stress.  Helping others, will help our own stress drop.  Sending kind thoughts to those around us has a bigger impact than we realize.

If you have been following my past blogs, you know my take on happiness.  When we are healthy, confident we make better decisions, we are more creative and better problem solvers.  We need to support our leaders and community to feel this way.  The better our brains work the easier it will be for us to move through this path.  Want more info on happiness?  The science of happiness

The benefits of this daily meditation/prayer will be felt by you as those you send it out to.  Which will in turn help our own ability to process in a higher level.

        Our brains work better when we are confident.  Let's help those around us feel this way too.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Morning pre-shot routine

 "You have to remember that a pre-shot routines main purpose is a calming effect. Approaching your shots in the same fashion for each swing lets your mind go on autopilot. Repeating your routine each time helps you repeat your swing each time. This is particularly true when the pressure is on".  Frank Mantua Golf Professional

How I start my morning tends to carry through my day.   Have you ever played golf?  I'm always amazed how much better I play when I visualize my shots and have an effective pre-shot routine.
Since December 1st, I've been intentionally practicing my morning pre-shot routines. As I type, I'm in the middle of morning's pre-shot routine.  Today is day 69 of this practice.

I was listening to Mel Robin's audiobook, the 5 second rule.  She talks a lot about sleep and what happens if you hit the snooze button.  How if you wake up, hit snooze and go back to sleep, our bodies go back into another sleep cycle.  If we wake up before that sleep cycle is up, we can be groggy for another 4 hours!  Plus, our brain works better for the first 2-3 hours of the day.  This wasn't hard sell. I've know, if I wake up brain is groggy. Days I wake up groggy are not as easy.

That's what started this morning practice...that plus I needed to get some extra writing done for a client. I was feeling anxious about when I could write... so I started creating a nourishing pre-shot routine to my day... A morning routine that supports my happiness, health, gives me a home to write and create my day.
new sprouts in winter

As I type it is 6:09 in the morning.  My face is washed, teeth are brushed, I've got a nice warm cup of hot water sitting by me.  And here I am typing away.

When I help families downsize and create cozy lovely rich and nourishing spaces, we usually need to start creating homes for their most used and beloved things.  Everything feels better when it has a home- a place to be.  The same goes for our goals, our happiness our health... If you want to live happy- create a home for what you treasure the most.  For me, I know I'm a better human when my morning starts nourishing, unrushed, creative.  When I have space and time to do morning movement, yoga, radiance exercises, quiet time to settle my thoughts, plan my day, to meditate, pray etc.

 My morning pre-shot routine is predictable. Although, I am mindful to keep asking questions and noticing how it's going and how I feel the rest of the day.  I'm creating a habit, a pre-shot routine to my day.

My morning routine is space for me to breathe. I don't start my day rushing or slamming a cup of coffee...I start the day kindly and with beautiful intentions.

 I've noticed my happiness is easier on mornings when I set the intentions of my day.  My relationships feeling more nourishing and connected.  I'm a better listener.  I've absolutely done more writing.  Sometimes, like today I'll pop in a write a blog or work on an article...most days I write for myself.

Your pre-shot routine will look different than mine but I whole heartedly recommend you start one.

 The basics are this...
    When you wake up- get up.  I usually start by brushing my teeth, stretching a bit and washing my face with cold water... this wakes me up.  Then I make myself a nice big warm cup of water...sometimes with lemon.
    Secondly, honor and nourish the first 2-3 hours of the day as the most productive time for doing what matters the most.  This is time for my healthy, my spirit. Time to prep my day, work on my current projects, and write.  I'm very mindful of what I put in this's sacred time.

    Like all good journey's it takes time to see what happened from the practice of a nourishing routine....I try not to judge the results.  I have faith in the process of creating space and home for love to flourish.  Practices like this is transform your life.

It takes time for plants to grow roots and bloom.

please note, I got set up this year as an amazon affiliate- meaning if you buy from a link I give I earn income.  Thank you

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A little less wobbling please...

When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. But above all don’t wobble!  Lin Chi

How much do we wobble? 
 Instead of being present, how much of our lives is spent in wobbling mode... trying to do 2-3-4 things at once?  Have you been to a coffee shop lately?  How many of us are sitting with someone...but looking at our cell phones?  How long do we hold focus on a project before we are interrupted...the phone rings, a text or pop up appears, we get hungry?....
We loose our focus...we start wobbling.

If we want to un-stress our lives and be who we are capable of being … become present... an undistracted version of ourselves.  Imagine showing up everyday...fully us.  Not wobbling, but clear, present and engaged.  
listening, tasting, seeing, smelling, feeling... present...

Who could we all become and what are we cable of doing by just reducing distractions and limiting our wobbling?  

When we are going to write...we write
When we do the dishes... we do the dishes
When we watch tv...we watch tv
When we listen...we listen
When we walk... we walk
When we drive... we drive

What a novel idea right?  It is stupidly simple...and yet

Why are we a society of distracted souls?  
More importantly... how do we want to show up in this world?

The truth is, when we are fully ourselves, nourished, happy and healthy, we make the world a better place.  We show up. 

It's usually in the removal that we find true selves... not in the addition of.  Practicing the art of subtraction makes room for our lives to breath and then to flourish.  A life that flourishes has a way of spreading beyond ourselves.  Like the internet, we are a web of connections.  Imagine if all our connectors we clean, happy and healthy working together.  Presently

A morning thought
   from my desk 
       during my own quiet time
un-wobbled space
Denise Frakes...wobbler, runner, writer.....

Thursday, January 16, 2020

5 habits to raise your home's happiness index

     There is an indescribable joy that happens when you open up a freshly cleaned and thoughtfully stocked refrigerator.  You swing the door open wide, take a big breath and relax.  
Your heart opens up and you smile.... 
this is what creating a nourished and happy home does- it makes you happier

Creating a nourishing home for you, your family, your treasures 
is creating a space for your joy to bloom

    When you pull open your sock drawer and your socks are all happily in place. 
   When company unexpectedly appears at your front door, and you look around to see your home is
 at ease, clean and welcoming  
   Your happiness index rises

     When you find a rubber band and you think…I know exactly where that goes.
 I have a home for this!!  A little joy bubbles and wiggles in soul
     When you wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen...because you put it to bed the night before.
     When you start to clean your house and
 don't have to spend 3 hours putting things away
     When you sit down to have a cup of tea and look around and
 see more things that give you joy than tasks to be done.

     When you snuggle into bed, in a room that feels just right and
 you feel your body and mind relax... 
   Your happiness index rises

 Nourishing homes support our happiness.  A home that feels cozy and relaxes our nervous systems reducing our stress.  Homes like this make us happier.  When we are happy, we are healthier, more at ease.   We process better, communicate better and are more creative.  Life is easier and we feel luckier. 

  Perfection isn't the goal to creating homes that nourish.  Homes are living beings.  They will shift and flow with our lives, the seasons and with how well they are loved and cared for.  If we live in a home that is loved...we feel more loved.  When we create homes that make us happy...that joy is reflected back to us.  When our homes make since, support our life habits, are easy and feel nourishing... we are happier and healthier.

   Happiness is found in creating spaces you love and are loved

5 habits to raise your home's happiness index

       Practice tiny acts of tidiness…. Happy homes come from mindful creating.  They don't wait for the grand gestures or big projects... or cleaning day.  Tiny acts of tidiness happen all the time.  Sinks are wiped down after teeth are brushed, the mail sorted and put way, muddled shoes get a quick touch or order... tiny acts of tidiness.  Our work isn't drudgery but acts of kindness.

     Practices of prevention.  My Aunt Velma was always saying...If you have to swallow a bull frog don't spend too much time looking at it.  Spending time thinking about cleaning or un-cluttering causes stress.  When we gently and lightly clean and put away our days as we go... we have little to do on cleaning day.  Instead of thinking cleaning day... think prevention, prevention, prevention

     Practice Creating little homes…. Think of your home as thousands of tiny homes living within your home.  Putting like items with like items.  Making space for what we use and love the most... in the most honored of spaces. Create homes for your treasures.  Everyone feels better when then belong somewhere.  Plus, knowing where everything lives is a total stress reducer.

    Gather support of kindred spirits and home angels….. by having healthy support system, we up our chances of accomplishing our lists and goals by 65-95%!!! Schedule a house cleaner, a home coach, a handy person to help you.  Schedule company to visit for a party or just a cup of tea.  Take a picture of your work before and after share your accomplishment with a buddy.

    Pause and be openly Curious.  Because we are creatures of habit.  We get lost in the day to day shuffle.   Pause and look around.  Be openly curious.  Pretend you don't live here- who does? What do you see, what do you notice?  Sometimes we have to pause from doing and look at our homes from a new perspective.  What do we love, what are we grateful for?  What are we done with?

 How do you feel in your home?  More importantly how do you want to feel??

  Our habits can uplift or deplete.  They don't care... they are here to make our brains work less, conserve energy and help us repeat the patterns we create.  By creating new patterns and ways of looking at our home and lives we wake up.  We shake off the cobwebs of the day to day grind. 
Housekeeping is exactly what we think it is... happiness or work.  I choose happiness...most days. 

Not every day is easy, but by habitually loving your work and home...happiness starts to become the habit.  This is a beautiful thing.

Action:  Look around your home.  What do you see?  What do you love?  How do you feel.  Just notice.  No judgement here.  Think of your 5 year old self and see with curiosity.  This is a great place to start.  Let me know what you discover!

You can do this!  Life is too short to get squished by housework. 
          Denise Frakes
            your life and home coach

Monday, January 13, 2020

How to create breathing space...for 2020

Do you feel like your life is rushing by? Like there is no space to breathe, to play, to create, to love?  It's just task, errand, work, TV, sleep...Facebook videos...What do we do with our time?  Do we even know?

I love my work... I get to explore and play with these questions everyday.  How can we make cleaning our homes not only healthy and efficient but enjoyable and nourishing?  How can we love our lives and have room to play in any weather and any season? you pause?  Or rush from task to task, from action to action to rest and then up and going again.  Do we let our breath complete it's cycle, our food space to digest, our minds space to wonder and ponder?  Do we think of our lives as circles repeating or a race to run?

As the new year rolls around, I'm fascinated by our habits.  I live in the world of habits.  Most of my coaching is around not goals but daily habits.   Cleaning, breathing, un-cluttering, health, happiness, creating space to ....????

These are lifestyle habits more than goal driven actions.  A lifestyle action focuses more on the practice of doing... to get the outcome you wish.  A goal driven action focuses on the end result. I believe in enjoying the journey...and arriving where we wish to go.

 Pausing gives our daily music form.   We relax our bodies, untangle our minds and let our natural beauty have space to be.  Think of time as a circle instead of a destination.  Our destinations are all the same...we will all pass away.  This is life.  If we focus on the circles within our life's journey, we give ourselves space to play, to nourish and improve our life skills.

Where are the circles?  And what do they have to do with Pausing?
    Circles...each minute is 60 seconds, an hour 60 minutes, a day 24 hours, a week, 7 days a month 30 days, a season 3 months, a year 12 months...After each segment- we circle back to the beginning.  We are back to January.  Circles give us rhythm.  They give us natural measurements.  They move with the seasons and are ever shifting with the seasons. learning to pause within the circles.  To pause between projects, at the beginning of each new the end.  Pausing before we eat to be thankful and present.  Pausing before we begin to visualize how we want this segment to we want to feel.  Pausing at the end of a cycle a circle to did this go?  What could we have done differently, what did we love?

  The truth is each second is a gift.  No matter what we are doing, it is our lives.  Our lives are impermanent, imperfect and uniquely our own..we share this with others.  Learning to pause between the circles... to be present and to relax.

  When we are in a relaxed and receptive state we are more intuitive.  When we are happy we are healthier, our ability to problem solve higher, our natural ease of connection is improved.
When we learn to pause, we let our bodies relax... We hop off the treadmill and go wash dishes. And then we have a conversation.  We put down our cell phones, turn off the marathon tv series.  We put down our fork and smile.  We create space to create.

When we pause, we give our lives space.  By thinking in terms of circles.  We can practice being and living instead of racing.  This is not a practice of wondering around. we still have a vision of our future and how we want to feel.  The practice of pausing and feeling makes the path more enjoyable.  And when we get to our destination we are not out of breath, exhausted and depleted by life... but nourished each step along the way.

We live in abundance.  Sometimes we need to pause from abundance to breathe.  To create nourishment instead of gathering more.

Do this...

Practice pausing.  3 times a day for 3 minutes each pause.  Become still. listen, breath, smile, relax your shoulders, breathe deeper and slower.  Soften your eyes, relax your neck, soften your belly and stand tall. gently put your shoulder blades down from your ears and into your back pockets.  Listen... Listen what do you hear?  How does your body feel?
                Finish with saying a little blessing or kindness to someone or something.
                See your world as you wish it to be.

And this... create a home for your pause... first thing in the morning, before sleep, before you eat... when you pee, between projects... find a home for your pause.

And then do this...  Let me know how it goes.  Do this for a week.  or a day.. how did it feel.  Try it again tomorrow...

         Happy Pausing,
               Denise Frakes- life and home coach

Thursday, January 9, 2020

6 ways to turn your New Year's Resolution into a successful habit!

 The average New Year's resolution lasts for just 18 days!!  18 days is just the beginning of a good love story.
 Unless we know the secret to keeping our resolutions and turning them into a love story. Those beautiful, passionate wishes and dreams we have for 2020 will be gone in 18 days.

Why do we fail and why are we afraid to even try?  We can blame our brains.  We are all creatures of habit.  Our brains are wired to create habits.  Habits help us go on automatic pilot, which conserves our energy.  We have super efficient brains.  It is our gift and like all gifts it can also become our Achilles' heel.

Once our brain decides our consistent actions are a habit- it will hold on for dear life.  Did you know most of our deep rooted habits are formed before we are 9 years old?  We learn by mirroring our family and those closest to us.  This is one of the main reasons family habits get passed from generation to generation.  We are wired to repeat.  That's the good new and bad new.  Great if you have beautiful healthy habits.  Bad news if your habits are less than awesome.

So what does this have to do with New Year's resolutions and the 18 day average?  Everything!!!  When we make a new years resolution we need to change habits.  Before we can add on a new habit we need to at least identify what habit we want to reduce or illuminate.  Real change is habit changing. Or substituting one action for another.

 Resolutions give us vision...but it's the daily actions that gives us results. 

Habits require:  Consistency, Persistency and Tender Loving Care

   Research says the average habit takes 66 days to become a habit.  A more complicated habit can take up to 254 days... and that is if the new habit is practiced with daily frequency and diligence.  If we don't take consistent care, in about 18 days our existing  habits will rise up and take their rightful space in our brains again.  This overrides our beautiful New Year's Resolutions and leaves them to wilt.

Think of Your new years habits as baby seeds.  Seeds need time to sprout, to grow roots to make it past the dirt and into sunshine.

6 tips to turn resolutions into totally doable habits that grow deep roots!

1.  Make you new goal a tiny daily action.  Doable- everyday in any weather.  I know want big changes... the best way to get there is through habits.  Start with a habit that is so simple and small An action you can do everyday not matter what...even on those days when you run out of time, have company show up, it's raining, you have a happens.  On the great days, you can do more but the key to a habit is persistence, frequency and consistency.  Doing a little bit every day. 1 mile or 15 minutes of walking, Unplugging from social media at 9pm...

2.  Tag it with an existing habit.  What do you already do everyday?  Add your habit to that habit.  Your brain wont complain.  It's like adding a chicken to the hen house at night.  You already have the space and time...Your brain likes that.

3.  Use time habits.  Time is consistent. We are habitual about what we do at certain times of the day.  Add your new habit to your morning, when you get home from work, before you settle in and watch TV, turn on the computer each night, before bed...add in your new healthy habit.

4.  Give it an ending date.   Instead of telling your brain.  "You have to do this the rest of your life..."  Say "I'm going to try this for 66 days and then see how we are doing."  At the end of 66 days you can make a intentional decision to adjust your habit, stop it or continue... Giving yourself an out, reduces stress. Staying with your new habit past 66 days gives you time to nourish a habit and see how it is impacting your life...  (1000 days of continual action moves you to becoming a master...)

5.  Give it a home.  By having a consisting time of day or a place in your schedule, you give your new habit a home.  We need to create space for what is truly important. Everything and everyone feels better when there is a nourishing home to go to.  Habits are the same way.  Create a cozy home for your friend.

Build one habit at a time.  Habits need care and focus.  It's better to fully develop one true habit than watch a huge dream wash away again this year.  Instead of one big new years resolution, change a habit a month, or 6 this year or one per season. In a month or two you can start up a another new habit... It's better to slowly create sustainable life changing habits over an entire year- than have one big dream loose footing in 18 days.

One little change can start a domino effect of many changes.  By cultivating habits we use our brains to help us create change.  If you want to learn more... one of my favorite resources and inspirations for this blog was Tom Corely's bookChange your habits, Change your life.  It's an easy read that packs a big punch...kind of like habits.

Start here:  Look at your wishes, dreams, new year's resolutions or even the word or intention of the year.  Look at a habit you might want to reduce.... or a habit you can add.  (habit- daily persistent action) Apply your resolution habit... to the one or more of the 6 tips and turn your wishes into habits.

Let me know what and how your are doing!  Having support is good for habits and goals... we are over 65% more likely to achieve our goals with support.  I love being a coach!!

Happy New Year and New Decade!!
          Denise- home and life coach

FYI:  If you click here to buy Tom's book.  I got set up as an affiliate of Amazon this year so I can add income to support this blog.  If you want to support me, please by the book through the link, hire me to speak at your events or as your own personal coach.  Thank you and happy habit creating...