Monthly Archives: March 2010

A Stressed Mom’s Guide to Entertaining the Kids

My best girlfriend, Ann, is a stay-at-home mama. Over-prepared is an understatement to describe her; she is over the top. Anytime we go anywhere, even a fifteen-minute drive, she has packed every kind of snack: a carb, a protein, a fruit, a veggie. She has packed every supply imaginable, things that make noise, things that are snuggly. I basically show up with the kids.

 Ann has been remarking recently about how depleted she is, feeling tired, uninspired, exhausted. I can relate. Being a working mom, I am tired by the time I’m on with the kids. But I’m also excited. I’ve waited all day to be with them. What can you do when you’re exhaustion wears on your inspiration to entertain the kids? They’re boing-ing like runner balls in their excitement to see you. How can you reciprocate, and give them a great experience when you’re depleted?

 1. Take pressure off to be perfect.

You don’t have to take the kids to the museum every day, or to the tide pools because it’s low tide and sunny. Moms often think that catering more to kids, and doing more activities, will have a bigger payoff. But you don’t have to overextend and be on all the time. It’s depleting.

 2. Do kid-friendly activities that restore YOU.

My default is to do with my kids what I loved as a child, so that our playing feeds my soul, too. Go to the library and get children’s books you enjoy. Rent your favorite children’s movie when it’s raining, and bake your favorite cookies together.

 3. Commit to your enjoyment.

It’s important to remember your kids just want to spend time with you. If you need to be tapped in, turned on, and having fun, be ruthless in your commitment to enjoy what you’re doing. On depleted days, make play dates with your children’s friends you love to be around. My daughter’s best friend is hysterical to be around. Just watching the two of them together restores me.

 4. Add the perfect dose of adult activity in with the kids.

On a particularly exhausted, sunny afternoon, my son and I built a gigantic fort in back yard. But we made it an event. I put on my bathing suit, and poured a kombucha into a wine glass. Then I got inside the fort while he finished it. I read cookbooks and planned meals. While I relaxed in the fort, my son was running around with his light saber. It was Heaven to me. 

 5. Kids will have an inspired time when YOU are inspired.

When you are turned on and enlivened, your kids are totally having a ball. When you have small people depending on you to have a great day, find ways to rejuvenate WITH them, rather than planning activities explicitly for them. They will love you for being present with them. And you can return to their favorites when you are re-energized.

Thoughts in the Gap

Question:

If getting between thoughts is the best way to intend/manifest how can an intention (thought) be introduced there without creating a paradox? (Introducing a thought into the no-thought gap seems to imply that the no-thought gap is a place that needs thoughts for the purpose of intending/manifesting).

Answer:

You are right to see the logical difficulty here if the gap is defined as non-thought and then one is supposed to introduce thoughts into the gap to manifest.  The gap is that silent state of self-awareness, and when one is first becoming reacquainted with it  in the early months  of  meditation, it is a delicate state that is easily disturbed by thoughts and  external stimuli. So when one is in that quiet  state of the gap, whenever one has a thought there, that peace is immediately  broken and one is quickly out of the gap.

Over time however, meditation establishes an inner presence of silence that becomes stable even with thoughts coming and going in the mind. It is at this stage of development that one can introduce intentions into the gap for manifestation.  One can be in the gap, have a gentle intention, and  still remain in the gap.

Incidentally, the process of stabilizing silent consciousness continues beyond the ability to maintain itself even through thoughts in meditation, to thoughts and  even daily activity during the day. Then from there it becomes a permanent silent presence 24 hours a day whether we are awake, asleep or dreaming. This is the state of cosmic consciousness, or the initial phase of enlightenment.

Love,

Deepak

For more information go to deepakchopra.com

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Spring-Clean Your Make-Up Tools: 8 Beauty And Self-Care Tools You Should Regularly Clean And Disinfect

Everyone talks about spring-cleaning your house and kitchen, but no one talks about spring-cleaning the stuff that is used for your face and body: your powderpuffs, make-up brushes, eyelash curler and other self-care tools that go on your face, near your eyes and all over your body.

When you keep your beauy tools sparkling clean, you are also keeping your face and the rest of your body extra-clean, too. Think about it: you are sparing yourself the constant exposure to accumulated dirt, bacteria, oil, chemicals and other nasty stuff that builds up on your utensils.

So when was the last time you took the time to give your make-up tools a good spring cleaning? Don’t really remember? Didn’t even know that you were supposed to clean them on a regular basis in the first place? Just as we thought. 

1. Clean your powder compact powderpuff. You know, the stuff you use to powder your face? They have probably accumulated months’ worth of skin bacteria, sweat, old powder, facial oil–not the prettiest picture. Run your powderpuff under luke-warm water, rub it gently with baby shampoo and lay them out somewhere where they can air-dry.

2. Clean your make-up brushes. Your make-up brushes for your face and eyes can also harbor a lot of dirt and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Run the bristles of your brushes under warm running water and lather them with shampoo. The water running from your brushes will be tinted with old make-up; keep running them through until the water turns clear. Place them somewhere to air-dry. If you want to keep your make-up brushes extremely clean like a professional make-up artist, you can buy specialized make-up brush cleaning solutions at a beauty supply store near you.

3. Clean your tweezers. It is especially important to keep your tweezers sanitized, as these are tools that get very close to your eyes. Before you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers with alcohol or peroxide, and rinse them under water so there is no chance of the chemicals getting into your eyes. After you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers again with alcohol or peroxide to keep them clean. Be sure to replace your tweezers if they are getting dull or rusty.

4. Clean your hairbrush. Your hairbrush quickly accumulates hair, hair products, scalp oil, dirt and who knows what else. First, remove as many tangles of hair from the bristles as you can. Then slide a wide-toothed comb over a trash can to take out more hair from the bristles. After that, fill your sink with warm water with a few drops of shampoo. Swish your hair brush in the water for a few minutes to loosen out the extra-stubborn hair and dirt. Give your brush a final rinse and air-dry bristle-down over the edge of your sink or bath-tub.

5. Clean your eyelash curler. You know, the thing that regularly gets close to the surface of your eyes? Better keep those clampers clean, too. Apply a few drops of eye make-up remover to the padding and metal clamp, and wipe excess make-up residue with tissue. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and apply a little bit of liquid hand soap to padding and clamp to lather the area. Then rinse it all out with warm water until the metal clamp and padding is completely clean. Dry off with a very clean hand towel or wash cloth, and you are all done! Be sure to repeat at least a few times a month. 

6. Clean your bath loofah. Fill a clean basin or your bathroom sink with hot water, hydrogen peroxide, and a little bit of white vinegar. Let your loofah soak for an hour, and then squeeze dry after shaking off excess water. After you do that, blow dry it with a hair dryer set on cold until loofah is dry.

7. Clean your toothbrush. Your toothbrush, by the way, should be replaced every three to four months. While you’re using it, you can run it through the dishwasher from time to time–and be sure to do it in the top rack so the excess heat doesn’t melt or warp the plastic. You can also swish your toothbrush in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water immediately before brushing your teeth.

8. Clean your razor shaver. If you are like most ladies, you are probably regularly shaving your armpits, legs, and bikini area. It is important to keep your razor blades regularly clean to keep them sharp for a safe, clean and effective shave. Check out this very handy eHow article, which gives a thorough step-by-step process for cleaning and drying out your razor blades with hot water and antibacterial soap.

Do you regularly clean out your beauty tools, or are you guilty of being a Dirty Diva? Do you have other handy tips for beautifying your beauty kit? Share your tips and ideas with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / lucy_baxter

Find Free Will Through Applied Consciousness Science

To many of us it may not come as a surprise to know that most of us live in an “illusion of free will”. We don’t assume free will doesn’t exist, only that most of us are veiled from experiencing it. Applied Consciousness Science can help us find and use free will to transform our own lives and assist others in transforming theirs. One life at a time!

We believe in helping individuals find free will, grow mentally, emotionally, health and career-wise, consistent with their inborn potential and inner needs.  We help people sustainably achieve their human potential, the fastest way possible, through self-awareness that can be awakened through an “Applied Consciousness Science” approach called SELF. SELF is an acronym of Self-Explore and Learn through Feedback.

Up until a few years ago Consciousness Science was only explored in ancient wisdom traditions like the many ancient Buddhist and Vedic contemplative practices. One of the many fruits of the marriage between these wisdom traditions and modern science is Mindfulness. What is more a whole new Consciousness Science movement has evolved from dialogues between scientists and practitioners of contemplative and healing arts, the most prominent being His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Applied Consciousness Science and in particular the approach called SELF or Self-Explore and Learn through Feedback, is a modern development that caters to the inner spiritual needs of a society that is in search of sustainability, awareness, peace and balance.

Small children witness life from an True Self (Jung) viewpoint, which is unfiltered, beyond subjectivity, undivided and whole. This is also called “Self-confined” consciousness. All filtered viewpoints, from where the world can be seen, are within so-called “System-confined” consciousness. Some “filtered” viewpoints within the subjective domain are: the cognitive, affective, emotional, the multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983), etcetera. The domain of the subjective is where we think, feel and sense. From these filtered subjective viewpoints we look at, experience and react to the world outside. As mentioned above small children look from an unfiltered True Self perspective. What is more, these children, from this zero-viewpoint, can at the same time look at the world outside, through all of the filtered viewpoints. The perspective from the True Self is therefore a perspective of the whole. However, when children learn to relate with the world outside they are pressured, by their environment, to shift to a cognitive or mental viewpoint. It is from here that children are most vulnerable, become traumatized and develop responses (suppression, repression and dissociation) to deal with emotional pain. When they get stuck in this cognitive viewpoint they loose their dynamism and flexibility to shift back to look at reality from their True Self. Thus their view of the true nature of reality becomes distorted. At any time and even without wanting to do so, they can then be triggered by the world outside to shift into other viewpoints. Completely at the mercy of this world they are mostly triggered into shifting to an emotional viewpoint. From here all logic, reason and clarity as to the nature of reality is temporarily lost. This is because from an emotional viewpoint one can only see reality through the eyes of pain, fear, sadness and dissociation. The “illusion of free will” relates to this codependence on the world outside, and inability to see from more than a single subjective viewpoint at any given time.  Without ever being aware that we do so, we constantly shift between different viewpoints or perceptions of reality within our consciousness.

 

Read more:

International Institute for Consciousness Studies

 

6 Steps to Leveraging Pop Culture for Social Good

Wouldn’t it be great if every campaign for social good attracted the level of feverish media buzz typically reserved for celebrity news and “must have” fashion items? What if all of the people who’ve tried out for American Idol were equally motivated to volunteer their time to a cause? Marketing expert Andrei Najjar believes in a near-future where such things are possible. He’s built a significant name ethicalnightout.32610.howtofor his company,Atelier Collective, by crafting relevant social movements and campaigns that leverage what’s cool to do what’s good.  He shared some tips for how to tap into pop culture to drive an effective campaign for social change…

 

1) Have a vision plan. Like any business venture, effective social movements require proper planning. What’s already out there in the marketplace for your cause?  Who is your target audience?  What are you trying to communicate and how do you want to reach them?  How will your brand/image be conveyed?  These questions will make the process much more effective and will enable you to have more control of the overall process.

2) Carefully select your ambassadors. Which thought leaders will be the face of your campaign?  Influential people are always looking to give back and can now endorse an idea or initiative as easily as sending a tweet. Key thought leaders include celebrities, executives, politicians, and social media mavens.  Choose them based on passion and fit with your social cause.  Ask them to help host an event or communicate on your behalf via social or traditional media.

3) Sell your passion. If something gives you goosebumps, it will likely give others goosebumps as well.  Communicate very clearly why this cause is important to you and the world. Get creative. In the era of new media, there are many tools at your disposal to convey your message to as many eyes and ears as possible. Use viral video, digital images, location-based apps, and blogs (to name a few). Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

4) Use social media to raise funds and ideas. Crowdsourcing initiatives like Kickstarter, Refresh Everything, and SMS text-based campaigns have turned philanthropic fundraising into a democratic and group-based effort. People like to use their voices to get involved in causes that they feel passionately about– make it easy for them to give back and you immediately have a group of passionate ambassadors. You will also get tons of useful ideas from people from all over the world.

5) Be transparent. If your cause has a commercial component (merchandising, etc.), be clear about exactly where funds go. For example, Cart for A Cause is one-for-three:  For every $10 meal sold, Meals on Wheels will provide a homebound senior citizen a full day’s worth of warm, customized meals. Tom’s shoes is one-for-one:  Every pair of shoes sold gives a pair of shoes to a child in need of protective footwear in developing countries. People like to see how their actions will directly help someone.

6) Enlist the media. Reporters are always looking for interesting charitable news angles. If you believe that your movement is media-ready, write a letter requesting coverage to editors.  News stories and articles can dramatically increase awareness of your cause.

 Andrei Najjar is a Professor of Marketing at Otis and founder of Atelier Collective. His most recent effort Cart for A Cause benefits the Meals on Wheels organization.

 

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea  today.




5 Steps to Urban Composting Superstardom

 

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Urban farming may be all the rage, but most city dwellers lack the space, if not the impulse, to try it. But there is a way that you can be a part of the urban ag trend just by jumping in at a different point of the food cycle. How? By becoming an urban composter. 

That’s what environmental researcher/trend forecaster Kris French did. After learning that composting is one of the more effective ways one can live a more ecologically conscious life, she decided to give it a try. In her apartment…

The average New Yorker throws out two pounds of organic waste daily. Imagine if they all composted? French is now a total convert, and she offers these tips on how you can help save the planet by saving your scraps:

1) Commit.

Anyone can drop off compost at the farmer’s market in Union Square. For other locations in NYC, gohere. Outside the Big Apple? Try Googling “compost drop-off.” There’s likely one closer than you think.

I started freezing my food scraps and taking them to the drop-off every week. We were easily filling a plastic bin (12″ x 10″ x 9″) with food waste every week. We hardly ever take out the trash now, which is a good thing when you live in a 5th floor walk-up.

2) To worm or not to worm?

Worm composting produces compost rich in nutrients, cuts down on waste in the garbage can, and produces red wiggler worms (which are great for soil). I lobbied gently to have an indoor worm bin. But my husband’s answers to my pleas were always “no, no, no.” After a few months of successful composting he gave in.

 

(But it’s OK—and perfectly understandable–to opt for the worm-less option.)

3. Make (or buy) a worm condo.

I purchased a worm “condo” from the Lower East Side Ecology Center for $44 (although I know I could have made the bin myself and saved some money). That came with 1 pound of worms, roughly 1000 red wigglers. The bin is about 18″ x 13″ x 13″ and I keep it on top of the refrigerator. To avoid any smells in the fridge, I freeze the scraps as I go. Every couple days or so, put them in the bin. Once a week I do a drop off at the farmer’s market.

4. It’s Just Another Way to Recycle (And It’s Not Smelly!)

I am pleased to observe that there is absolutely no smell! It smells like damp newspaper. That’s it! The worms’ diet this first week has mainly consisted of vegetable scraps, egg shells, onion peel, orange peel, and tea bags.

5. Brag About Your Results.

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today.


 

 

More!

 Who I am doesn’t change

 This was my impossible idea for today. I woke up this morning, put the water on for tea, leaned against the fridge and looked inside for impossible ideas. There was quite a noise and commotion inside, I had silly dreams and there were voices and feelings and emotions all swirling … I looked and saw that it is all trauma, it’s not me. There was no movement where I was, only space. 

 

Space that doesn’t move, rather space that encompasses all the movement. And so I realized that who I am doesn’t change.

 

So what does it mean? What does it mean for my life here on Earth? I read an exchange, a while ago, between a 16th century courtier at the court of Henry VIII, and a country squire. The courtier said: "you just don’t get what the life is all about", and when the squire asked what is it, the courtier said: "more!".

 

I thought about it often. I thought about my life and how I don’t feel I need more – more money, more power, more recognition, more respect, more love, more safety, all the things that humans strive for. Then, one day, I went to an art class and made a drawing, using a technique I’ve never tried before. The teacher told me that I just found "my technique", and I thought "no, this is too easy, too simple, there is no effort in this, no growth in this, therefore no interest in it for me". That was a curious thought, it caught my attention, and I traced it to the bottom where I discovered that I do want more: more growth, more opening, more realization, more enlightenment. More!

 

Today, leaning against the fridge, looking inside while my eyes roamed through the mountains and the ocean beyond, I realized that there is no "more", there is no "less", there is no "change" and there is no "growth". 

 

Because I don’t change, because I don’t grow. Because I am. 

 

The mind can dart this way and that, it can spin complicated stories about developments and reorganizations, it can create ever more complex structures, but inside and outside of all this activity I am. I don’t change.

 

So what does it mean? What does it mean for my life here, on Earth? It means that there is nothing to be done, it means that I can be, encompassing everything, the whole of reality. 

 

I can feel the earth in my body, and the oceans, in my blood, and all the living creatures in my skin, and the movement of the wind on my face … I can feel everything in ways I’ve never felt before, I can relate with everything in ways I never related before, I can be in the world in ways I’ve never been before – that is unlimited, that is beyond "more", that is beyond "change". 

 

There is a new world, new reality opening every day. Not because I do, not because I get, not because I change, not even because I grow – but because I am.

Making Friends With Illness

Whether it is a sign of the times we live in, or maybe age catching up with some of us, but these days there seem to be a lot of people we know who are dealing with illness. Deb often accompanies our dear friend Liz while she has chemo: "I am continually touched and impressed by the fellow cancer patients receiving hours of what Liz calls the ‘healing elixir,’ by their cheerfulness and friendship to one another."

As illness is such a part of being alive, and as resistance creates tension and denial, it is important that we make friends with whatever our circumstances may be. Acceptance creates room for growth, change and even healing.

As Liz says, "As a cancer patient, I can honestly say that cancer is definitely a drag. However, it has also brought many blessings. Instantly I had to start listening to my world, I discovered a sense of space and newness, and LOVE—so much love. Trungpa Rinpoche, my teacher, said that you just have to lean into whatever is happening. He called the experience of living with illness one taste; that whether you get well or not, all conditions have the same one taste."

Making friends with illness is not easy. Diane has ms and there are many times she wishes her legs would work better than they do. But she has also realized that fighting them, stressing out, or wishing they were different achieves nothing, while loving them as they are makes the experience one of continual learning and discovery.

Making friends with our reality is also a way of making friends with ourselves. There will always be times when life in the body gets overwhelming or when we argue with reality, but being a friend means being able to accept what is and move on. "Healing can occur even when curing doesn’t," said Bill Moyers in USA Today. "It is an acceptance of the unavoidable, a grace in living that escapes us if we are simply passive in the face of trouble."

There is an important distinction between curing and healing. To cure is to fix a particular part. Western medicine is particularly good at doing this, offering drugs and surgery so that disease, illness or physical problems can be suppressed, eliminated or removed. It plays a vital role in alleviating suffering; it is superb at saving lives and applying both curative and palliative aid. This is invaluable.

However, the World Health Organization defines health as complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, which implies a more total state of wellness beyond simply being cured of a symptom or illness. It suggests there is a place of inner healing, where we can be completely at peace whether we are physically well or not.

The word remission is used to describe a period of recovery, when an illness or disease diminishes. A patient is described as being in remission when their symptoms abate. Yet the word can also be read as "re-mission", to re-find or become reconnected with our purpose or a deeper meaning in life.

Remission also has another, lesser-known meaning, which is forgiveness. This implies that it can occur through forgiving ourselves by accepting our behavior and releasing any guilt, or through accepting and forgiving another and letting go of blame. The power of such forgiveness is enormous.How do you deal with illness? Can you make friends with it? Do comment below.

 

You can order a copy of Deb’s book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, or our latest book: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World

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See our Friday weekly blogs on Oprah.com

 Ed and Deb Shapiro’s book, BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You And The World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Jane Fonda, and others.

 We will be teaching at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, June 18-20, with special guest speaker astronaut Edgar Mitchell

 Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: www.EdandDebShapiro.com

Give Yourself More Time and Space

 How often do you find yourself feeling rushed, pressed for time, hurried, stressed, or overwhelmed?  For many of us, myself included, these feelings are all too common, especially these days.  While feeling as though we don’t have enough time or that our lives are overwhelming is not a new phenomenon for most of us – it seems to be getting to an epidemic level in our culture these days, particularly as we find ourselves "plugged in" all the time – laptops, cell phones, blackberries, iPhones, and more.

Sadly, many of us allow ourselves to be victims of our schedules, our communication devices, our co-workers, our clients, our families, our families, and some of the other "demands" and "responsibilities" of our lives.  And while many of these things are important and much of them do need our attention, we often forget that we are the ones who set up our lives the way we do and allow ourselves to get stressed out, overwhelmed, and caught up in our never-ending to-do lists.

I was at a workshop in San Francisco a few weeks ago put on by Hay House, the wonderful publishing company founded by author and teacher Louise Hay.  Louise, who wrote the bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life, about twenty-five years ago, is a pioneer in the world of personal development and mind/body connection. She is a wise soul and teaches people to love and care for themselves in an authentic way. It was an honor to connect with her at this event.

On the final day of the workshop I asked Louise if she was planning to fly home (back to San Diego, just an hour’s flight from San Francisco) that evening.  She said, "Oh no Mike, I would never do that to myself."  Her response, while simple, floored me.  I thought to myself, "Wow, that is a great example of honoring and caring for yourself."  Then I thought, "I could use more of that."

I often pack my schedule with so many tasks, activities, events, and deadlines, it becomes hard for me to breathe, enjoy what I’m doing, or really bring the best of myself to a particular activity, event, or interaction. I then feel like a victim of my "crazy" schedule, have a built-in excuse for not showing up for others, and also don’t have to take full responsibility for my results or actions (i.e. "What do you want from me, do you have any idea how much I have going on right now?"). Can you relate to this?

This "I’m too busy" or "I’m overwhelmed" story that many of us run is a lie that we keep telling ourselves and others. Ultimately, we end up believing the lie and we allow it to run our lives. Here’s how we can "prove" it’s not true – whenever anything serious happens (we get sick, someone else gets sick, someone dies, or anything else severe enough to stop us in our tracks), all of the important stuff we have to get done gets put on the back burner. We realize how relatively unimportant most of it really is.

What if we could see, remember, and live with this awareness without something serious happening? What if we could take more control of our lives, our time, and our schedule? What would life look like and feel like if we gave ourselves more time and space?

For many of us the idea of giving ourselves more time and space can seem like a foreign concept or something that is out of our control. However, if we allow ourselves to imagine it or to think back to times in the past when we felt as though we had more time and space, we can become inspired, excited, and even relaxed by this idea.

So how do we do it? Well, there are lots of ideas, techniques, and tips we’ve learned over the years to create more time and space for ourselves. The problem is that when we start to feel stressed out and overwhelmed, we fall back into unhealthy habits and patterns in our lives that we learned as survival skills (which don’t usually support our growth or deepen our capacity for peace).

Here are a few things to think about and practice as you look to expand your ability to have more time and space in your life:

1) Notice your relationship to time, your schedule, and your commitments.  How do you relate to time?  How do you feel about your schedule?  Do you feel victimized by your commitments at home, at work, and in general?  The more honest you can be with yourself about how you feel about the things you have to do in life, the more able to are to alter it (if that’s something you would like to do).  Most of us have an odd or disempowered relationship to time.  Just listen to some of the weird things we say, "Time flies."  "I never have enough time to do what I want to do."  "Where did the time go?"  These and other statements, thoughts, and beliefs put us in the role of victim as it relates to time and our commitments.

2)  Start saying "no" to things.  This one can be tough for many of us.  As life coach and author, Cheryl Richardson says, "If it’s not an absolute ‘yes’, then it’s a ‘no.’"  We often need some support or feedback from others when it comes to this one.  But, being able to say "no" to requests and invitations that we get is an important aspect of giving ourselves more time and space.  And, looking at the many things we have our plate right now and being able to take some of them off (by disengaging from them), is also essential.  This is not about being flaky or irresponsible, it’s about being authentic about what we were willing and able to do, and what we’re not.  So often our "disease to please" causes us to say "yes" to things we really need to say "no" to.

3)  Give yourself more time than you think you need.  Packing our days, weeks, schedules, and to-do lists with too many things sets us up to fail.  In many cases, we don’t even realize how long it will take for us to complete simple tasks or activities.  As I continue to learn, trying to do too many things in a short amount of time has a negative impact on the task itself, anyone else involved in it with me, and on my own sense of well being and peace in the process.  What if we gave ourselves more than enough time to complete projects, get places, and take care of things?  Imagine what that would feel like for us and those around us, and imagine how much more creative, passionate, excited, and effective we could be in the process.

Get support, feedback, and coaching for this from others you trust, people know you, and those who seem like they have a relative sense of peace in their own lives. We don’t have to figure this out on our own. The world around us is speeding up all the time. The expectations and demands on us can seem unreasonable (and often are). However, when we remember that we are the authors of the book of our life and that we get to dictate how we operate, feel, and show up in life – we no longer have to victims of time, our schedules, and all that we have to do. When were willing and courageous enough to give ourselves more time and space, our life can transform..

What can you do to give yourself more time and space in your life right now? What will this take on your part?  What will the benefits be? Share your thoughts, action ideas, insights, and more on my blog here.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / procsilas