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...