The Choices We Make

Inspired by Bertha.

My friend Bertha (who is actually my friend Jane’s sassy alter ego) recently posed a musing  on Jane’s Facebook page: “The only way to stick to a budget…whether it’s for time, money, or a diet…is to include things you love.” This musing prompted Jane to ask the question, “How do you budget for the things you love?”

A question I thought very valuable and provoking because I don’t budget for these things. What I have done instead is created an active change to my thought process. A change that is, truth be told, still being cultivated. It is an on going process that takes continued practice because it is contrary to the things we see in mainstream media and different from how many of us were raised.

Budgeting to include the things I love can sometimes be seen as an implication that to have time, money, diet, etc I have to typically exclude those loved things. Whereas I actually see this as choosing.

This is the change in thought process – the choosing.

When I used to diet, I excluded certain foods. I had reasons for their exclusion – donuts, corn chips, cheese dip, these things are not going to get me to the shape I want. Sitting on the couch instead of taking a walk isn’t going to get oxygen into my lungs. Watching violent TV and movies isn’t going to get me to the mindset I want. Nagging, depressed friends aren’t going to help me move forward with my goals and dreams. Random, uncontrolled spending isn’t going to get me out of debt and into my freedom goal.

The change is in the choosing.

Do I choose to spend this $50 on these shoes today? Or do I choose to add that $50 to my debt resolution pot so I can be financially free?

Do I choose that donut and the sugar high/crash that will come with it and the icky feelings later? Or do I choose this apple with nut butter that tastes even better and gives me nourishment?

Sit or  walk?

Clean the garage or build the website?

This or that? Every decision is a choice.

All of these things are choices. Which will you make today?

To read more Bertha-isms, find Jane at http://janecarrollauthor.com

The perfect quote came through my feeds this morning: 

Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living.” Peter Walsh

So True.

When I tell people that I am a minimalist, they often look around at my big house and all my stuff with a raised eyebrow. Justifiably. I have a too big house for the inhabitants and way too much stuff. Throwbacks to a past life, all of it. It, collectively, is on it’s way out the door. 

And I was moving along quite nicely with that. Purging and clearing clutter, emptying cupboards, leading and participating in challenges aimed at having fun while getting rid of the junk – scroll through the old posts, you’ll see them. I have a very lovely shelving unit set up in the garage where I have placed many items that are currently for sale somewhere in the internet (mostly a Facebook garage sale page…) It was fun, exciting, inspiring. Beyond the physical clutter, I was purging old beliefs, negative thoughts, negative people. I was setting up my inner circle of those most trusted and valued contributors. People to whose lives I could also contribute, reciprocal relationships. 

But then something happened. 

I stalled.

Or more correctly, I allowed a very large item of “clutter” into my life. And that item of clutter is the very definition of that quote above. It is getting in between me and the life I have chosen. It it in between me and my family time, my business building time, my workout/health time. It is between me and time with my friends. It is between me and the physical clutter congesting my house. It is between me and my garden – well, this thing plus the snow is between me and my garden, but the snow is heading out. Maybe it’s time for this clutter to head out, too. 

This item of clutter does have a perk. It does contribute to my life in one way. There have been a few lessons learned that were certainly assets, but as an on-going facet of my life, it contributes in only one way. And I can get that perk elsewhere. The lessons, too. 

Because, and most importantly, this item of clutter is getting between me and my authentic self. 

By choosing to allow this clutter into my life, I have actively chosen to set aside all of those other things. I have chosen to set aside myself. And that cannot be tolerated. 

More to come … 

Come With Me

I have embarked on a grand new adventure and am looking for three people to join me this month.

Three motivated, dedicated, and driven people who have a passion for living a healthier life, believe in creating a lifestyle of holistic wellness, will act with integrity, and who aspire to create more financial freedom. 

I am accepting applications for NEW Wellness Advocates to join my team. If this is you, you must be willing to commit to working a minimum of 10 hours per week, online. This is work that you can do from anywhere at times that are convenient for you. I will not be tracking your calls or monitoring your performance. If you are the right person for this opportunity, you are a self starter who is driven to succeed. My role will be to assist you in your endeavors, share my knowledge, and connect you with other members of the leadership team who can help you cultivate the skills that will help you be a success in this opportunity. 

This is an opportunity for someone with an entrepreneurial mindset to earn money while learning about and teaching the benefits of essential oils. The potential for earning is driven by your direct actions and includes both passive and residual opportunities once your own foundations have been built. You will be your own business owner, but with the support of a leadership team who wants you to obtain success as defined by you.
My team is a part of a larger team whose primary interest is to nurture the individual and their natural skill set. Each of us in leadership already have successful businesses in some area of wellness and are complimenting those businesses with essential oils. We are hand selecting the people with whom we grow our team. 

A background in or experience with essential oils or holistic wellness is not required. Our leadership collectively has the necessary experience and is interested in sharing it with the right people. 

What is required from you is a passion to help others live a more healthy life, an interest in essential oils, aromatherapy, and holistic wellness, and a desire to invest the time in your own progress and success.

If this is you… and you are NOT already a doTerra Wellness Advocate, complete the contact form below and I will respond to you within 24 hours to schedule an introductory call. I will be meeting personally via phone or web chat with every person who expresses interest in this opportunity. 

**Neither I nor doTerra guarantees any specific level of success or income from this opportunity. The income of each Wellness Advocate depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill.

Crosspost: MorningCoach.com

I don’t mention it as often as I should, but I guest blog over at MorningCoach.com. This is an older post, but it was republished just this past weekend. I hope you hop over, check it out, and enjoy. While you’re there, please also check out the other guest blogger writings: http://goo.gl/ca7NJe

Crosspost: From Starfish Warriors

Even though my goal here on Mosaic Starfish is to be holistic in my writings, I realize that not everyone wants to hear about the my voyage into a real food lifestyle. Because of that, I have a separate site where I talk about those activities in my life.

I do share some really great self care tips over there, though. This post is one of those. I hope you will pop over and take a look. You are welcome to stay and hang out, too.

The latest post is about lemon ginger water: http://wp.me/p3XH3X-2M

Put an end to multitasking

I hear often about how busy people are at their job, regardless of their level in the organization or even if their job is housewife/husband. But when I look into their daily activities and schedule, I see so many opportunities for improvement. Missing or ineffective processes, systems, or just simple dedication to the task at hand. Myself included in that statement.

Right now, right here, I am going to dismantle one of the things I worked hard to cultivate within myself. Multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking, is a myth. And let me tell you, when I learned it was a myth, it almost crushed me. I thought I was the queen of multi-tasking. It was one of my great strengths. In fact, an ex-boyfriend once marveled that I could drive my manual car (aka stick shift), while eating a hamburger, changing the CD in the dashboard, getting the other CD back into it’s own case, and smoking a cigarette. It was my 20s and I was invincible. Had there been cell phones like we have now, I probably would have been tweeting and updating my Facebook all while posting pictures of it to Instagram and a video to Vine.

Seriously folks… is this ability actually something to be proud of?

No

Not only is all of that dangerous and stupid. None of it was done well. And while that scenario seems extreme, isn’t that how many folks go through their day? Let’s put the same situation into modern day work environment:

You are working on a deliverable that is due at the end of the day TODAY, while your company email is popping up in the corner with the little email icon, and the sneak peek, and the ‘ping’ that a mail has arrived. The phone is ringing and you are answering it. Your cell phone is pinging and dinging as your friends try to coordinate tonight’s festivities.

How’s that deliverable coming? How long would it take you to finish the work if you were just left alone for five minutes?

Know who controls that?

You do.

I know, I know. I hear all.the.time. From people saying they ‘have to’ take this call or that call or that they’ve been waiting for some email response, or or or.

People! Stop making excuses. Take control of it. Your life. It really is YOUR life.

Right, right, right… I hear you … you might lose your job if your don’t respond to the email right away. Or … you may not. I will bet on the “may not.”

Turn off your phone and email, complete the task, then check back. Expecting updates while you work? Notify the people working with you that they need to have them to you by a certain time, from there on you need to focus. Communicate, set expectations.

That’s an example from a work environment, how about at home? I know at my house the environment used to be TV on in the living room, kid on the iPad, laptop in the kitchen with me, Facebook up and running, all while I was cooking dinner. The third time I overcooked the meat in less than a month was the time to turn it all off.

I will be honest, it is a work in progress. The kid often still has the TV on and I may have an audio book playing. But my goal before the end of THIS month is to get the kid in the kitchen with me, cooking and learning and dialoguing while dinner is being made. Eating together with just some quiet music, peaceful. And then, if there is time, maybe a TV show, short movie, puzzle race, or game night together. I have the alternate nights when he is with his father to work on work, read, write, socials, whatever throughout the night.

I recently heard an acronym that has apparently been going around for awhile. While I was training to multi-task, Robert Kiyosaki was teaching F.O.C.U.S. (Follow One Course Until Successful.)

This will be the path I follow this year. Whether that means reading one book at a time, all the way through, rather than being on Chapters 2, 5, and 8 of three different books, or it means completing one course before purchasing another, or developing one product line, or working one work project… One.

We’ve been fooled into thinking that multi-tasking allows us to achieve peace. Here’s a secret, it doesn’t.

I want an intentional, conscious life. I want to be a part of my life. I want my life to be more simple. I want to enjoy the time with my kiddo before he is off and running with his friends, before he begins to date, before he goes to college. Now is that time and there isn’t much of it left.

I want time with my friends to be full of lively conversation, not “uh huh” and “hmmm” over our phones. Conversation. I am an animated, hand waving maniac…. I don’t think many people have gotten to see that side of me lately.

Recently, I began a new practice, today I am asking you to join me.

Be present in the moment.

Don’t have your mind off and wandering. Keep a notepad near you. Suddenly remember you forgot to make an important call today? Jot yourself a note. Run out of milk? Jot it on the notepad. Create a system, one that works for you. Get those notes into it. I’ll talk more about systems in future posts. Don’t wait for me, though – get started now.

What will your F.O.C.U.S. on this week? Drop a note in the comments and share it.

Ring in the New Year

Do you have an end of the year ritual to close out the ending year and bring in the new year with focus and intention? I have done a ritual off and on over the years, revising it a little each year. I’d like to tell you about it and how I am doing it this year. 

By now you have probably heard of the Burning Bowl Ritual. If not, a quick search of the internet will produce for you a variety of ways to perform this ritual. Many focus on the negative – removing the old, bad, unused, energy from your exiting year or time period. But a few focus on the positive. This is the direction I take when experiencing this ritual. Even if I am releasing something that no longer serves me, I don’t like to focus on the negative energy of the thought, belief, or missed opportunity. 

For example, the year I got a divorce, some guides would have had me write some version of words that would focus on the marriage that did not survive, recovery, releasing thoughts of ill will toward my ex-husband. I would choose instead to use positive words, thoughts, images, and intentions. Wish him well in his life, me well in mine. Set the intention that we could successfully co-parent our young child together. Use words such as collaborative, nurturing, supportive. As well as put the intention out there that his new relationship would be successful, that I would find peace, that I could create an atmosphere in which I could thrive. 

The difference is in the focus. I could choose to write and burn phrases such as: 

  • I will not carry forward animosity …
  • I will not allow this relationship … 
  • I will not harbor ill will … 
  • I will not allow our past financial decisions … 

Do you see the pattern? Not, not, not, not… the focus is on the negative. You may be saying these with the intention of release, but what you focus on expands.

Let’s reframe these using a language of light and love: 

  • I will step forward into my new life with excitement.
  • I will greet new relationships with openness and joy.
  • I will create an atmosphere in our home of respect and joy. 
  • I will thrive and encourage my son to thrive. 
  • I will hear my ex’s words with an open mind and heart. 

You can release the harms and fouls of the past without focusing on the negative of them.

You can let go of the thoughts, attitudes, beliefs that are no longer serving you by using a positive forward thinking approach.

I encourage you to look for situations in this past year that you have been considering as failures, issues, challenges, missteps. Reframe them to focus on what the positive is that can come from them. 

You can also use this ritual to express gratitude and other positive emotions. For example, if you experienced something that brought you great joy or satisfaction, you can also write that gratitude and release it into the universe. Again, what we focus on, expands. To get love, give love. 

Here are a few of mine that I will be burning: 

  • I will move confidently in the direction of my dreams unencumbered by fear of change. 
  • I will meet my business obstacles with open arms and welcome the lessons they bring me. 
  • I will seek out mentors and guides to educate me how to observe the lessons being presented. 
  • I will manifest the skills I need to have the success I desire. 
  • I will create an environment that allows me to be financially secure. 
  • I am grateful for the opportunities presented this fall that have allowed and encouraged me to grow and pursue my dreams. 
  • I send blessings of love, prosperity, and abundance to all my family and friends. New, old, and those I haven’t met yet. 

If you wish, you can set intentions for all of the primary areas of life:
Relationships; Finance; Education; Health and Wellness; Contribution; Business/Career; Spirituality
Add in any other areas that you need. 

This ritual is highly personal, set the intentions that will mean the most to you, that will best serve you. 

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You can get really fancy and use special bowls created for this purpose. In the past, I have used a terra-cotta pot because I know I can put the burning papers in them without harming the pot. During the course of 2015, I intend to create a special bowl that I will use only for burnings.

Whatever tools you use, I recommend meditating for a few minutes before and after. Clearing your mind so that your true intentions can make their way to the surface. I also prefer to do this ritual free of alcohol and junk food. I eat nourishing foods and have my journal on hand to capture any thoughts, feelings, and emotions that arise during the ceremony. There are also a lot of energy cleanses that those involved in Reiki would recommend. I would encourage you to seek out those educated in such knowledge. 

My process will vary a little this year. I will not be burning on New Years Eve. I will instead be burning on January 4th. I have many transitions and new journeys beginning on January 5th and I want to step into them with clear mind, body, spirit, and intention. I have also been capturing notes to burn throughout 2014. I have kept them in a wicker box with grounding crystals. I have a smudge stick set aside just for this purpose and will be picking up a blessed candle today.  I plan to do this ritual monthly going forward in the new year and beyond rather than once annually.

You are welcome to join me. If you would like more details about my process or would like to ‘join’ me in this or subsequent burnings, send me a note using the contact form below. 

Do you have plans for a burning bowl ceremony? I would love to hear how you do your ritual. Please feel free to share in the comments below.