Live your bookish nature

November 30, 2009

Books are a divine expression of our innermost worlds. I revere books like some people do churches. In fact, libraries are my sanctuary.

You know the saying, Everyone has a book in them? Well, it’s time you pulled yours out into wide open spaces.

On December 4, 2009 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET, you will have the opportunity to learn more about how to write a book to make New York publishers smile. I am joining forces with Get-it-Done Guy Stever Robbins, author of the forthcoming The Get-it-Done Guy’s Nine Steps to Work Less and Do More and Michael Neill, best-selling author of Feel Happy Now! and You Can Have What You Want, to discuss how we wrote our books and how to promote them. From book proposal to bookshelf occupant, take it from the pros in this lively, interactive teleclass!

Interested? Register here for details. And you better believe it’s free.

We want more books to delve into. Why not have it be yours?

~~

More cool news

At 7 am PT/9 am ET on December 4, 2009, I’ll be chatting with Loren Gelberg-Goff on her radio show Loving the Life You’re In about the power of slow and how to live its principles every day for a more fulfilling, joyous life of time abundance. Please listen in either live or in the archives. I welcome your feedback!

Slow Thanksgiving

November 27, 2009

Yesterday I celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently. Because it is a completely normal Thursday for most folks in Germany, I arranged a Gratitude Breakfast with some of my closest friends. We spent a leisurely two hours over coffee, homemade quiche and candlelight in the middle of the morning. It was simply delightful to enjoy a time of connection and celebration for the friendship we have.

We talked a lot about the power of slow and the principles behind time as friend versus foe.

At the end of it, everyone agreed we must do it again soon. Given that I’m dedicated to slow living, chances are Christmas will be just as slow and lovely. Getting back to the basics helps considerably!

Slow Release

November 23, 2009

Rituals are a part of our existence. Whether it is turkey at Thanksgiving or wearing red around the holidays, we all observe some type of ritual in our lives.

Recently, I developed a new ritual to take care of those things that get misplaced that would otherwise drive me into a tizzy as I upend the entire house to find them. I engage in a ritual of letting go. It’s a Blessing Way of sorts to the item that’s gone missing.

You may have read about my lost cell phone that showed up a week later in my eye glass case. It was as if the Universe were telling me to see with different eyes. After my initial shock, I blessed the missing cell phone and thanked it for having been in my life. Then I released it to the ethers with full acceptance that it’s journey with me had ended.

My daughter didn’t quite believe the effectiveness of this ritual until she came home one day with a long face. She had misplaced her new jacket that she loved dearly.

“Do the slow release,” I advised her with a motherly grin. For once, she actually stopped herself from rolling her eyes.

“I release you to the Universe. Thank you, jacket!” And, of course, a few days later she came back with it in hand. She had left it in the science lab. By some miracle (or perhaps it had been her blessing?), no one had taken it.

The slow release says things are just as they should be. So if you’re stridently looking for those missing keys, try saying a gratitude prayer instead. Chances are they’ll resurface the moment you let go of how things should be.

Igniting the Fire Within

November 19, 2009

In lieu of racing to yet another appointment, my mother paused by the fire her husband was making and decided to cuddle her inner turtle instead. Drawn to the licking flames, she engaged in what best-selling author and lifestyle expert, Mary LoVerde, calls a pause ritual.

The Spanish have siestas. The British sip their tea. Heck, even the furiously industrious Germans have coffee and cake on Sundays.

What do we have? Well, it used to be called Sunday, but now it’s just like any other day. You shop, you eat out, you belch out activities day in, day out, without pause.

I have a power of slow opportunity you won’t want to miss. Fasten your seat belts. This one’s really good. It involves $5,000 and seven days of rest.

But first, have you ever noticed how we respond to the four elements?

Earth ~ a little digging in the dirt rests the soul.

Wind ~ sailing brightens the spirit.

Fire ~ sitting down to the warmth and comfort never felt so good.

Water ~ hearing the ocean slap the sand’s surface loosens our iron-clad grip as it lightens our load.

Mary LoVerde is partnering with Pine Mountain Firelogs to bring not only more light and warmth to people’s lives, but also more awareness for the basic human need for connection. They’re not talking about friending more people on Facebook. They are referring to the deeper stillness that comes from within when you take a moment to connect with what’s truly important to you. In this season of light, she’s concentrating on the element of fire.

In a phone interview, Mary stated that it is not our job to get it all done in an instant and yet that is exactly how we live. “We have filled just about every moment,” she says. “We have expectations we simply cannot meet.” Whether it is a pristine household while working a forty-hour job or maintaining the perfect figure while juggling five children’s schedules, we are straddling too many gaps in our own capacity to handle everything we’ve piled onto our plates.

“People do not give themselves permission to pause,” Mary claims. In her own work, she teaches people to design their own pause ritual to maintain their sanity. “In mathematics, if you keep adding and adding, you reach infinity. In life, if you do that, it’s called insanity!”

According to Mary, we spend a lot of time on what we will DO, but little or no time on the conversation of how we will take time to connect with what’s really important. So here’s your chance to lighten your load and lift your spirits.

In their Win the Ultimate Vacation at Home contest, Pine Mountain Firelogs is offering $5,000 worth of household services (chef, maid, landscaper, etc.) for seven full days while you rest by the fire, connect with those you love, and spend more time enjoying life while living the power of slow. Full rules and regulations are available here.  

In a survey conducted by Impulse Research with women ages 35-55 in April 2009, it was found that the top daily responsibilities women claim to cause the most stress include:

  • cleaning the house (66 percent),
  • working outside the home (45 percent); and
  • making dinner (39 percent).

If women today had an extra hour in their day, they would put their feet up and relax, (40 percent), spend time with friends and family (37 percent) or shut the bedroom door and take a nap (36 percent).

But why wait to change the number of hours in a day? Most likely, that won’t happen. I hate to break it to you folks, but the twenty-four hour day is based on the Earth’s movements on its own axis, not to mention around the sun. So! Accept the twenty-four hours. Love them. Live them. Breathe them ~ slowly and lovingly. Toss another log on the fire, if you have one. If not, burn a candle and say a prayer as you dance to your own pause ritual!

 

Time-Swathing

November 18, 2009

We may bemoan the treacheries and time-sucking nature of the Internet, but it sure has introduced me to some of the most fascinating people on the planet. When used mindfully, the Internet offers buckets of useful (and not so useful) information. With technological advances such as web-based video calls (aka Skype), twitter and Facebook, we have raised our awareness of how entangled we all are with one another. In a way, the World Wide Web has increased our consciousness of oneness.

I stumbled upon…ummm… I digged…nope. Let me start again. I met a fascinating performance consultant by the name of Mark K. Petruzzi on twitter. the other day. He tweeted about me. I tweeted about him. And before you knew it, we were Skyping about God, spirit and work-life solutions.

Life can be that grand.

With more than 15 years in corporate training with IBM, CIGNA Corporation, and General Physics Corporation, Mark has spent over three decades in the study of expansive inner life practice and 25 years in the study of enhancing job satisfaction through employee self-actualization. In short, he takes a “personal value” approach to work. Ten minutes with Mark will tell you he enjoys working with individuals and small groups, in business or private settings, as he helps them enhance both their personal and work lives.

Curious about his view of time starvation, I tossed out a few questions to get a sense of his relationship with time.

“If you feel a paucity of time,” he told me, “you literally are compressing it. We have to start trusting others and ourselves more. We need to know our lives will work out. Our point of power is in the now. If you give in to fifty distractions at every moment, you aren’t really living.” You are, in effect, merely breathing. And that rather breathlessly! The basis of his work, like the basis of mine, is choice. When we live in a mindful state, we reclaim our personal power.

We talked about the nobility of pain and how we might very well be addicted to the ways in which we maltreat ourselves. If you run about being so ‘busy’, you might really be missing the whole point. Allowing our ego the space to dwell within us is a great first step toward diffusing its power over us. Mark refutes the notion of the ego being ‘all bad’. Like a houseplant, it needs care and feeding like the rest of our being. I tend to acknowledge its cry so it doesn’t get louder (any parent of an infant will tell you that’s the best thing to do, especially in the middle of the night!). Loving the ego fosters compassion for ourselves and others.

On the road to time abundance, we need to recognize there is more to us than what we do, own or look like (Mark says I look like Laura Linney. Now, if I could only act like she does!). We are whole beings. When we are one with time, we can wrap ourselves in it like kings’ robes. You might even call it time-swathing.

Mark offers Inner Life Practice* workshops including Choice-Level Living, Choosing to Stress Less in a Stress More World, and Bringing Your Spirit to Work. He is currently writing The Desire Engine, a book about reclaiming our personal authority, and developing an inner life practice that fuels our internal “engine” of expansion and purpose fulfillment.
 
I’ll be the first in line to buy his book. May the spirit of time abundance, and the miracles of everyday living, give you the oxygen to breathe more fully this day and always!

 *If you’d like to connect with Mark, he suggests you check him out on Twitter @INrLifePractice. You can also find out more about him at http://bit.ly/enlightened.

Give Forgiveness Pants a Try

November 16, 2009

Do your days thunder by in a flurry of activity? Have you forgotten where you got on to the carousel and, more importantly, where to get off? We often aim for perfection, squeezing ourselves into a mold made by someone else. It is on days like these when we seem to be spinning in an endless cycle of should’s and have to’s that Forgiveness Pants can play the starring role.

You may own a pair. I know I do. My forgiveness pants are made of fleece in the most impractical white you’ve ever seen. I dumped syrup on them once. They still got clean. They stretch and yawn to my body’s movement, allowing for full-sized belly breathing at any given moment.

Forgiveness pants tell you you’re okay just as you are. They permit unyoked days of freedom and kindness when your going gets rough. Forgiveness, in general, is a powerful force, which, when applied, can liberate you from the shackles of your own thinking. Take skinny jeans, for instance. In our supermodel-driven culture, we tend to think we should somehow be a size smaller than we are.

Forgiveness pants say that is not so. They shout, “To thine own fleece be true!” And they mean it.

So go ahead and give your forgiveness pants a try today. If you don’t own a pair, go find some. Chances are there is a pair waiting for you to discover the true power of knowing you are most magnificent just the way you are.

 Original Post from Psychology Today

A while ago I talked about space awakening. It is about freeing up space in our lives, both physically and mentally, to allow for an opening that can lead to a miracle.

I also addressed the notion of pockets of win, in which we can inspire ourselves to maintain momentum when things seem just a little dreary.

Today my pocket of win will be to clear out that dusty box that has been hanging out in the corner of my bedroom for nineteen months. I haven’t used what’s in it for that time so guess what? It’s leaving the building. For good!

The fun part about space liberation is watching what happens next. What miracle will you invite into your life as you clear the clutter around you?

On November 6, 2009, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its most recent data on unemployment in the United States. It has reached 10.2%, the highest rate since April 1983. In fact, it was reported that 9.3 million people are involuntarily working part-time as a result of the economy.

With all the depressing news of today’s economic forecast, it is no wonder people feel time is not a positive in their lives. With ‘too much time on their hands’ people are left feeling unproductive and unfulfilled.

The power of slow addresses time as friend for the super busy and for the super bored. Having lived through six months of unemployment in my own family, I understand how hard it can be to organize your life into meaningful chunks when times are tight.

One of the things my husband and I did during those dire moments was rent a yoga video from the library. We could walk to our local branch, which saved on gas, and check out a free video for the week. After we put the kids to bed, we would do the thirty-minute workout to clear our minds and cleanse our souls. It helped tremendously to work off the stress unemployment can bring.

At a recent talk at the New York Public Library mid-Manhattan branch, an underemployed actor asked me what she could do with all the time she had at her disposal. She spent hours playing solitaire on her computer. It was a devil’s circle. The more bored she became, the more time she spent playing meaningless rounds of video games.

So here’s a slow tip. Design pockets of win in your life. Whether you are overstretched at work or underutilized, create situations in your life in which you know you will win to keep up your momentum. For instance, when I know I’m going to have a particularly challenging week, I’ll place something on eBay that I know will sell. Then, in my moments of despair, I check in on how the auction is going. On other occasions I may cull through my book shelves and donate a few items to the local library. Passing things on can lift your mood automatically, granting you the necessary perspective to keep going. 

Perhaps your pocket of win is volunteering, working with animals or gardening. Sometimes that pocket of win can be as simple as an ice cream sundae shared with your best friend. Whatever it is, seek out those moments of yes in your day. It will help you sustain your energy and your mood as you transition from this moment to what’s next.

Original Post from Psychology Today

What is time abundance?

November 9, 2009

Have you ever noticed how we talk about time? We often address it like a fierce competitor we have to beat to the finish line. We crunch it, beat it, and race against it. But I wonder what would happen if we were to treat time as a partner, as a friend, as the Siamese twin it was meant to be? In my book, time equals existence, not money as Benjamin Franklin was apt to say.

Let me back up. Time, in truth, is a construct. It is an organizing principle that helps us meet expectations, such as getting to the same restaurant at the same moment as your friend so you can have lunch. It is a useful tool in commerce, too. You wouldn’t want to miss that shipment coming in from abroad, now would you? In fact, global time wasn’t properly introduced until October 13, 1884 when a few folks from 26 nations gathered in Washington, DC to agree upon the prime meridian that sliced through the Greenwich Observatory’s telescope in England. In that agreement, the Earth was placed into a girdle with 24 strands. We call them time zones. For anyone who’s suffered jet lag, as I just have after a two-week trip to the US, you’ll know the effect time change can have on you.

So if time is something we’ve made up, why do we engage in clock combat, that insidious striving to beat that which we cannot control? We often attempt to cram so much into our day that we are left breathless even trying to ‘keep up.’ But, what exactly are we keeping up with? My guess it is an imaginary standard as made-up as time itself.

I would claim multitasking is symptomatic of a much broader issue. We attempt to do two or more comparably difficult things at once (texting while driving comes to mind) because we think we don’t have enough time. Truth be told, we are living longer than we ever have in human history. With an current average life expectancy of 78.11 years in the United States, we have a lot more time than we used to.

Time as friend? Now there’s a thought. What would your life look like if you embraced a time abundant mentality?

Here’s a fun task to try. The next time you are going somewhere and you think you might be late, turn off all distractions (radio, cell phone, iPod, etc) and simply concentrate on where you are going while observing the speed limit. Breathe deeply as you do and tell yourself “I will get there at the exact moment I need to.” Chances are you will arrive in a state of bliss. Even if you are a few moments late according to the clock, you will have lived one of the basic priniciples of the power of slow ~ mindful living while being fully engaged in the here and now.

So go for it. Then tell me how you did!

Original post from Psychology Today.

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