The 3 Questions You Need to De-clutter Your Life With Ease and Intention

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Spring is one of my favorite times of year.  It makes me crave fresh green veggies, sunshine and barefoot walks in the grass. It also makes me want to clean up and air out lots of different parts of my life.   If you’re feeling ready to de-clutter and start some new habits, I have three questions you need to know.  But first, a little background on where they came from and how I began to see them working in my life:

Last fall, one of my favorite bloggers Tara Bliss released her first book: High- A Party Girl’s Guide to Peace.  If you know me, you might be a little surprised that this is a book I chose to buy.  I can’t say anyone’s ever mistaken me for a party girl. But I LOVE her writing and knew it would be a good read regaurdless.

High-FrontCover

The book is probably half memoir (very compelling), and half self help lessons from these events she’s describing. The beautiful thing is, you can apply all of these lessons to your life, even if you’ve never had a drink or done any kind of drug.  Because we ALL have at least one way we self medicate or distract ourselves to avoid the present moment and whatever feelings might be coming up within us.  It’s part of being human.

So as I was reading, one thing that really hit home for me was the chapter on cleaning out the old so you can make space for the new.  Simplifying is not a new concept, but the three questions Tara shares to guide you through the process made it SO MUCH  EASIER for me.

Usually I hem and haw as I sort through my belongings, not quite sure if I’m ready to let go, or if I should have held on a little longer.  But this time, as I got out the trash bags, set about digging through my clothes and boxes, and used these three questions, I got rid of tons of stuff.  I also felt totally comfortable with my choices, no hemming and hawing. 

For example: I got rid of SO many socks, I hadn’t realized almost every single pair I owned had little holes (or big holes) but I was hanging on because they were expensive and cute when I bought them.  But it was clear, they did NOT represent the person I am ready to become.  So I threw them away, bought new socks without breaking the bank, and now I have a drawer full of lovely socks- no holes to be found. And no second guessing my choice.

I was going to write a blog post (with Tara’s blessing) to share these questions with you guys back in November, but somehow it got put off.  Then today, I realized why.

I was sitting here yet again feeling overly full and mad at myself for eating something that didn’t feel good in my body. I want to eat healthy food consistently and really treat my body with love, but I still struggle with that, as do a lot of you from what you’ve told me.

All of a sudden, I had a little light bulb moment.  What if I use THESE questions to guide my food choices?  How loving would that be?  How much easier would it be to make the decisions and let go of the guilt and frustration?

These simple but beautiful questions can guide us in SO many areas of our lives where we are looking to change, improve and grow.   Eating healthy, letting go of that extra glass of wine at night, deciding how we spend our time- wherever you are ready to make some changes and clean out the old to find space for the new.

So without further ado, here are the questions that you can apply in ANY area of your life to de-clutter and move towards the life you really want to be living:

  1. Do I love you?

  2. Do I need you?

  3. Do you represent the person I’m ready to become?

I now have these questions taped to the refrigerator door.  I’ll let you know how it goes over the next days and weeks.  I’m looking forward feeling to more clarity, and less guilt.

Try these questions out in your life and let me know how it goes.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: where you think it would be most helpful for you to apply these questions in your life?  Or you can tell me if you have hole filled socks too.  Or struggle with food.  We’ve all got baggage.  Let’s let it go together.

Want to Travel More But Don’t Think it’s Possible? Read This:

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Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor.

-Rumi

The quote above?  It feels so good when you read it.  The reason?  Because it’s true.


Today I’m writing about something that took me a while to really believe.  It seemed sort of silly and foolish to try and wish things into reality.  Mostly, I figured I just needed to be “realistic.” I had thoughts like: Money doesn’t fall out of the sky, life circumstances are what they are, and I’m limited to have some- not ALL- of the things I want.  I felt like my life was pretty good overall- so wouldn’t it be selfish to ask for more?  

But over the course of a few years I kept hearing about people’s thoughts quite literally changing their reality.  I saw movies like “What the Bleep do We Know” that explained how quantum physics was showing that in fact YES- our expectations change our physical experience.  They had reproducible experiments in labs that PROVED this.

I came to see that our world is in fact much more changeable (and unlimited) than we can wrap our heads around.  So I decided to give this manifesting stuff a try.  My results so far have made it very clear to me that this stuff actually works.  I have way too many stories than I can fit in one blog post, so I decided to focus in on one specific intention I set last fall.  Keep an open mind and see what happens- wouldn’t it be great if we really could create our own reality?


 

This story begins back in November 2014.  During a White Light Retreat weekend I was meditating a lot, specifically doing a white light manifesting meditation that I learned in School of the Modern Mystic.  I spent an afternoon doing these manifesting meditations and also visualizing myself laying on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, in the early months of 2015. It began to feel so REAL, so exciting!  I could feel the sun on my skin, and I was having a blast imagining ocean swims, lying in the shade reading, and spending time with my husband.  I also began finishing off my nightly meditations by visualizing myself in Hawaii.  Staying in a rented house by the beach for a couple weeks, sometime around January of 2016 was what I envisioned.

Now fast forward  a month to the new moon, December 2014.  Oddly enough, I was doing another White Light Retreat that weekend.  I set my intention for the new year by writing down my wish for 2015: To travel the world, visiting beautiful, beachy locations. I honestly had no idea how this would be possible.  Our budget didn’t really seem like it was going to stretch for even ONE vacation like that, certainly not more than one.  I also had no interest in planning this vacation- there’s nothing more stressful to me than reading a million reviews trying to pick a hotel and location.  So I just wrote down my wish, burned it in the fireplace, and left it up to the universe to figure it out.

The NEXT DAY my mother calls and says she wants to take Joe and I to Hawaii for Christmas or New year’s the next year (January 2016, exactly what I had visualized to the month!)  Yep, that actually happened.  Then later on in February, my husband Joe says he found a great deal on an amazing resort in Mexico, almost perfect score on Trip Advisor and it would fit our budget easily, even with an upgraded room and airfare.  He planned the WHOLE TRIP without me asking him to, which has never happened before- ever.  This trip happened in early April 2015.

Next thing I know, I get this feeling that I need to ask my mom if she’d be willing to go in on a trip to Australia instead, in June, so we can do a workshop with my teacher Belinda Davidson (the one who teaches School of the Modern Mystic.) It just felt like it was more fitting for our life right now than the Hawaii trip (and who knows what the future holds anyway?)  It turns out, she is on board, and we are headed down under in JUNE!! (2015)

The truth is, I never could have even imagined that I could go on two international trips (to beautiful, beachy places no less) by June. And to have them both planned by people other than me? It’s truly beyond what I had even hoped for. I didn’t try to figure out HOW these trips would happen financially or in terms of planning.  I just said what I wanted and let the details get worked out however they would.  And they did!

The reason I’m telling you all of this is that I want you to have this too.  I think nearly everyone I know would like to travel more.  Or if it’s not travel, it could be anything.  What do you want MORE of in your life?  Love?  Close friends?  A beautiful house of your own?  Kids?  Follow these steps and see what happens, you might just be amazed at how things just keep working out for you too.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Decide what you want. It’s often easier to start with something that’s not your BIGGEST priority because there’s less resistance around it.  Pick something that feels really good when you think about it.  For this example, let’s use travel: write down in your notebook that you are ready to travel more to Europe in 2015.
  2. Now write it down again, cut it out of your notebook, and burn that note in your fireplace on the new moon. (I know, the moon, really?  But hey, I always set my intentions by the moon and it seems to work so- why not??)
  3. Spend some time visualizing yourself in that place each day. Right before you go to bed or when you wake up- imagine yourself riding in a boat down the Seine, or posing for pictures in a red phone booth in London.  Whatever it is that lights you up and gets you excited about your dream.  You only need 5-10 minutes for this, and it’s a great way to relax before bed anyway.  If you meditate, this is the perfect way to end your meditation because you are already primed for manifesting.  Whenever you meditate, you mind is quieted and your resistance is lowered.  After you exercise would be another good time to do this because again, your resistance is lower and your mind is clear.
  4. Finally, forget about it and focus on the good stuff! If you are always checking to see if you got that thing you’ve been waiting for, it won’t show up.  Just focus on all the GOOD stuff that’s already in your life, keep living your life and one day, it will just sneak up on you out of nowhere. Gratitude acts like a magnet for things you love.  So if you spend every day focused on the wonderful things in your life, very quickly life will just get better and better, easier and easier.

Like I said, this stuff may make you very skeptical, and I get that.  But it couldn’t hurt to try it right?  The beautiful thing is that the universe really is here to support us in living our dreams.  But we have to ask for help, and stop trying to predict or question HOW it’s going to happen.  Just ask for what you want, visualize it, and then focus on the good stuff until it shows up. 

Know anyone who might like a little more travel in their life?  Share this post on Facebook and  then tell me below in the comments: What are you wishing for??

When was the last time?

 dance

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:

  1. When did you stop dancing?

  2. When did you stop singing?

  3. When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

  4. When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul.

 

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.”

 

~ The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionar

 

I came across this quote on facebook this week and it really hit home for me.  I had just got back from a week long vacation in Mexico, expecting that I’d be ready to hit the ground running and make some great progress on my work projects after that restful week off.  However, that is pretty much the opposite of what I felt like doing.

I was dragging myself through the days and my commitments, feeling like I was in a funk and totally not in the mood to move forward with my work.  My creativity felt blocked and I couldn’t write or get anything done.  But I really wanted to get stuff DONE, and was mad at myself for this mood.  So Tuesday I was sure was the day to hit it hard, and wouldn’t you know I got a fever (seriously) and swollen glands and felt dead tired.  It was time to admit defeat and go to bed.

I laid down and fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow, slept for over an hour, and then decided to do a bit of reading.  I ended up reading poetry for the first time in ages, and even wrote a poem after that. A  part of me lit up inside that I hadn’t felt since college.  I felt like a new person.

There’s parts of my soul that need to be expressed and tended, and they just weren’t getting any attention at all.   I can honestly say that while nothing moved forward in my business last week or on Tuesday, I chose the exact thing that I (and my business) needed to do that day. 

I suspect you are in the same boat as me. Have you felt that feeling deep inside when you’re reading a story that takes you to a place you can see and feel and KNOW even though you’ve never been there before? Maybe it was when you were singing or listening to a song, so hauntingly beautiful it seemed to stop time? Or music seemed to compel you to just start moving your body- feeling the rhythm and energy moving inside you?  Or most unusual of all- have you actually sat down in silence, and just soaked up the delicious stillness?

These are truly healing practices.  But when is the last time you did one?  I think my soul got woken up last week when I read a new book by my favorite author (Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.)  After a taste of Barcelona’s crumbling mansions and mysterious, ghostly villians enchanting my heart yet again, I began to remember the magic of life.

We need to do these things like we need to eat and drink and sleep and play.  It’s all important.  This week, pick one of the things on the above list, and let yourself do that thing.  Unplug the internet, turn off your phone, and have a soul filled day (or hour).  Find that magic you haven’t seen in a while and feel your heart’s delight again.

Know someone who might like a little more enchantment in their lives too?  Please share this on facebook and we can start a soulful revolution.

Soaking Up the Sun Safely

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Growing up I remember my dad lived to sit in the sun, all summer long.  He almost never had his shirt on in the yard (which of course was somewhat embarrassing to my younger self) and managed to keep a perpetual tan going all year just based on his summer dedication.  As I got a little older, I began to enjoy summer afternoons spent by the pool with him, and later my friends. I liked to be tan, and I loved the feeling of just laying there absorbing the sun’s warmth, cooling off in the pool, and repeating. Lazy summer days by the pool were hard to beat. Kirstin

Me at 15 in Fort Lauderdale

But then I began to worry (as I am prone to do). I didn’t want to get skin cancer, or wrinkles, or leathery skin like the old lady from “There’s something about Mary” (Remember her??)  So somewhere in the late part of high school I started wearing SPF like it was my job, avoiding long days at the pool, and using self tanner lotion when I felt pale- which was often.  I started to feel afraid of the sun. This continued until about 5 years ago when I learned through Mark’s Daily Apple that my understanding of how sun relates to melanoma and cancer in general was missing some really important pieces of the puzzle:

-Yes sunBURNING increases risk of skin cancer

 

-But, people who work outside and are exposed to many hours of sun per day are at LOWER than average risk for melanoma

 

-Melanoma most frequently shows up in people who work in offices (indoors) and it most commonly appears in places that are covered by clothes (strange right?)

 

-These office workers are also getting lots of UVA (cancer causing) sunlight through their office windows, but UVB rays (the source of vitamin D) gets filtered out.

 

– Vitamin D is actually VERY protective against cancers -they have even started using it as a cancer treatment.  But you can’t get any natural vitamin D if you stay out of the sun or slather on sunscreen.

 

So to do with all this new information?  Here’s what I am doing these days in an effort to balance my vitamin D levels AND avoid melanoma:

  1. I take vitamin D and Fermented cod liver oil all winter to help keep vitamin D levels high despite Minnesota winters. Get your levels checked by a doctor to see if you are deficient.
  2. I plan ahead when I take winter vacations. I go tanning for a couple weeks to build up a base (using the nicest beds if possible, the ones that are higher in UVB rays). I use mineral based sunscreen liberally while on vacation (see below) and wear a big sunhat.  And I don’t feel the need to come back with super dark skin to PROVE I was somewhere warm.  I’m ok with shorter sun exposure times and staying under the umbrella part of the day.
  3. I use sunscreen any time I think I might be at risk of burning, and I choose good quality mineral based sunscreens (listed below). The sunscreens you can buy at most stores are FULL of chemicals that are NOT good for our bodies or our cancer concerns.
  4. I get almost daily exposure to midday sun during the warm months (this midday sun is where you get the vitamin D) but keep it to shorter sessions and am careful to grab a hat and sunscreen if I need to be out longer. You only need 10-20 minutes to get enough vitamin D.
  5. I focus my thoughts on how HEALING the sun is for my body when I am in it. I don’t want to live in fear anymore and I am certain that this fear is bad for my health. I know some of you might be skeptical of this one, but I have seen way too many studies showing that what we expect and believe is what we experience.  Quantum Physics.  It’s some crazy stuff.  If you believe the sun will give you cancer, I would recommend staying in the shade.  And if you WANT to feel safe in the sun again, you can start to retrain your brain.  Stop reading articles that support your old fears.  (you already know that stuff anyway).  Read about the benefits of sun and how to enjoy it safely. Do some energy work or hire me to help you clear those old limiting beliefs.  You can learn to enjoy the sun again if you  want to, but you have to release those fears that are buried deep inside you.

I’m happy to report that I am back to loving the sun, in smarter ways than my teen aged self did.  I still love the way the warm sun feels on my skin, and let’s be honest, that golden glow is nice as well.

Be sure to pick a mineral based (1)

If you found this useful, please feel free to share it on facebook.  Tell me in the comments- how do you balance staying protected and still having fun in the sun?