The shortest day of the year, the first day of winter, or Winter Solstice celebrates the power of faith. The faith we must have that the light will return. The faith we most hold that, like the sleeping seeds beneath the earth, our own seeds of creativity will once again sprout, grow, and bear fruit. This is the season to reach out to those we love and spend time in laughter, stillness, and communion. This is not the season of bustle, but the season of hibernation and rest. As the earth gently sleeps, so must we. All is in suspended animation. (more…)
As we begin the new year, it is a perfect time to release “Mind Clutter,” or limiting beliefs and behaviors that are no longer serving us in order to make room for new empowering beliefs and goals that will help us live a more joyful life in 2019. Isn’t it time for more simplicity and ease?
Deepak Chopra suggests that each day we ask ourselves these three questions about how we are living our lives:
- Is if fun?
- Is it easy?
- Am I getting results
Often, when we are experiencing a lot of pain and challenges, it’s the Universe’s way of getting our attention. The Law of Intention states that we are actually creating our experiences and manifesting our reality through our thoughts and of course, our actions.
The challenges and chaos of daily life can sometime make us forget about the powerful spiritual Laws of the Universe that provide us the keys to creating a life we truly want. Daily practices, or special rituals that give us time to clear our head and our energy can be very powerful in helping us access these spiritual forces that are available to each of us.
I begin each year with a simple, yet powerful fire ritual that I’d like to share with you. You can do it alone, but it is even better as a group activity.
Please make some time for this simple Releasing and Receiving Exercise to clear any mind clutter by creating space for what you really want. Follow these steps, and you will notice a shift in your energy, joy, and ease.
- Go to a quiet place where you can focus. Take 3 deep breaths and slowly tune out everything that is going on around you.
- Take out a piece of paper and at the top of the paper write, “I AM RELEASING.”
- Create a handwritten list of what you want to release in your life. These are beliefs, experiences, or behaviors that are no longer serving you. You can include any negative thoughts like fear, doubt, worry, scarcity, or relationships. Close your eyes and allow experiences or actions that still haunt you with feelings of resentment, embarrassment, or regret. Since you cannot change the past, you must simply let them go once and for all. Write them all down.
- Put the energy of these experiences or beliefs into this piece of paper. Take your time.
- When you are finished, you will need to destroy the list. I suggest that you actually burn the paper in a fire ceremony, but of course, please be careful. If burning the paper is not an option, you can also shred it, but the paper must be destroyed. Do not keep the list.
- As you do this, take a deep breath and release the energy that was associated with these beliefs.
- Next, I want you to create a new handwritten list of the things that you want to bring into your life.
- At the top of this paper write, I AM RECEIVING.
- Write each of these new statements as “I am.” For example: “I am bringing more joy, love, and ease into my life.” Write as if these things are already happening.
- Think about who you want to be in this new year. How you want to feel, how you want to respond to the moment, and what you want more of.
- Put this new list where you can see it. Then take a moment every day to focus on this list. Really feel the intention you are sending out to the Universe.
- Write about the miracles and new positive experiences in your Gratitude Journal. Focus on the new joy and abundance that is flowing into your life with each day. Notice what is truly important.
This exercise is so simple, yet it is also so powerful.
If you do this exercise, please let me know about your experience. You can post your experience below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you!
Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business. She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.
After the holiday onslaught of gifts and gets, the new year is the perfect opportunity to declutter. You start January armed with a label maker and ready to organize, but the volume of stuff makes it almost impossible. As the nation’s top decluttering expert, people ask me all the time, “What’s the easiest way to organize?” “Simple,” I say. “Have less stuff.”
But letting go of clutter is difficult. We have actual emotional blocks that keep us from letting go of our clutter. Seven of them to be exact. In my upcoming book, MAKING SPACE, CLUTTER FREE: The Last Book On Decluttering You’ll Ever Need, I discuss all seven of the emotional blocks and how to break free of them.
Some of the emotions that get in the way include: sentimentality (but Aunt Lois gave it to me, how could I possibly get rid of this lamp that doesn’t work?), guilt (but I spent so much money on them, how could I possibly get rid of these ridiculously high heels I’ll never wear?), or pure fantasy (but someday I might take up mountain climbing so how can I get rid of all this rope?). If you deal with clutter on a daily basis, you know these can be powerful stumbling blocks. If you are grappling with any of these emotional blocks, how do you declutter? Here are 5 simple questions to ask yourself about any item in your home or office to decide …
Should it Stay or Should it Go?
If you want to keep it and you say yes to any of these questions, it can stay! If the answer is no, then it goes!
- Do you use it on a semi-regular basis? By semi-regular, I mean at least once year, such as the large platter I have that holds the turkey at Thanksgiving. I have used it every year for over two decades, and it stays. The old sleeping bags that haven’t been on a camping trip in ten years should go.
- Is it making you money? Do you use it for work, or does it help you generate income somehow? It stays. Whatever is piled up in the corner of the family room for that someday garage sale that you’re never going to have should go.
- Can you buy it again for a reasonable price or borrow it? Is it costing you more to store it or fix it than it would to buy it again? Or is it something everyone has and it would be easy (and free) to borrow from someone you know? It should go.
- Do you have a place to put it away in your home? Is it in a comfortable place where it fits easily? Great! It stays. Is it shoved on a closet shelf so that every time you open the closet door, it falls on your head? It goes.
- Do you love, love, love it? I mean, do you love it? If yes, then it stays. If it’s okay, I sort of like it, “I hate it but so-and-so gave it to me,” it goes.
These five questions will help you launch your decluttering process. Every time you hit up against one of your emotional blocks, ask yourself these questions and letting go will become easier. It’s a process so remember to start with the easy stuff (not family photos or your beloved grandmother’s jewelry) and set yourself up for decluttering success!
The child of a hoarder, Tracy McCubbin knows firsthand that the grip “stuff” can have over some people is very real. In 2007, while working as an assistant for a major television director, Tracy discovered she had the ability to see through any mess. Ten years later, dClutterfly is Los Angeles’ #1 Home Organization company, serving clients like Mindy Kaling and Ray Romano, as well as countless producers, directors, and executives. Tracy’s book Making Space Clutter Free: The Last Book of Decluttering You’ll Ever Need (Spring 2019), reveals the seven emotional blocks we have with regard to our “stuff” – and how to cure them while creating permanent change for a happier, healthier, and clutter-free life. To learn more about Tracy, go to tracymccubbin.com.
Did you know you are in a relationship with your home? You may not have thought of it in this way, but it’s true. When you signed the contract to buy or rent your home, got the keys, and moved in, you entered into a relationship that will forever affect you in some way.
Moving into a new space is always a momentous occasion that comes with an array of emotions from excitement to overwhelm. It usually coincides with a major life change – marriage, divorce, new baby, new job, school, graduation, downsizing, upsizing, or simply starting over.
When you get the key to your new home, a new cord of energy is created. You are now in a relationship with your home as you’ll each take on each other’s energy .
Think about the relationship you have with your home currently. Is it a challenging or supportive environment? Some people love their home, some resent their home, and others are simply indifferent about their home. Whichever is the case for you is a reflection of a bigger picture. Just like our personal relationships, our home is a mirror for ourselves. The good news is that when you make changes to your home, you make changes to yourself.
Are there changes you can make to improve the relationship? Just like a personal relationship, it takes attention to foster, maintain, and maybe even improve your relationship with your home.
Here are some suggestions to improve your relationship with your home:
Nothing lowers the energy of a home (or you) more than broken items or areas in disrepair. For broken items, take steps to get them repaired or dispose appropriately. For home repairs, make a list so that each one can be addressed over time, according to your budget.
Turn your least favorite room into your favorite.
Ideally, you want to love all parts of your home. Yes, even your shadow sides lurking in the back of your closet. Find your least favorite room or area. This could be a room, an area in a room, or simply a drawer.
Identify why it is your least likely location in your house. This will be good information for you and, most likely, represents a bigger theme in your life. And then turn lemons into lemonade. Consider shifting the function of the room. Oftentimes, it is a lack of identity or function leaving the room in confusion. Or maybe it is as simple as a new coat of paint or removing the giant armoire that you’ve felt obliged to keep. Make this room your favorite and you will be amazed how quickly your relationship with your home shifts.
This may seem obvious, but just wiping counters and dusting furniture can make a huge difference. Not only does it clean surfaces on the physical level, but also on the energetic level. When you clear out the cobwebs in your home, you clear out the cobwebs in your life too!
Woo Your home.
Enhance all of your senses through your home. Light candles; buy flowers; play music; use aromatherapy; cook a meal. All of these will help you fall in love with your home. And because our home is a mirror of yourself, you also fall back in love with… you.
Tisha Morris is a best-selling author, Feng Shui expert, and business coach. Tisha holds a degree in Law and a Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. She combines Feng Shui techniques, design aesthetics, coaching, and intuition to turn challenging spaces into supportive environments. Tisha facilitates workshops and works one-on-one with people and businesses to identify blocks and to make desired changes. Tisha is the host of Feng Shui Your Life podcast and the founder of Earth Home School of Feng Shui. To Learn more about Tisha, go to TishaMorris.com
As Henry Ford famously proclaimed, “Whether you think you can or whether think you can’t, you’re right.” Throughout my life, I have learned that it is the mindset and determination which decides a person’s success or failure.
I share with you my humble story. I was a refugee child, who with the help of a brave, confident, and hardworking mother, I was able to realize my dream.
My name is Damyanti Gupta. I was born on May 10, 1942 in a very small village of Sindh, British India. In 1947, India became independent from Great Britain. This was not an easy accomplishment, as India was divided in two parts – India and Pakistan. The bloodiest partition in the world’s history happened in my country. The part of India where my family lived became Pakistan. There were riots everywhere, and my family had to flee in the middle of night to the coastal city of Karachi where we were loaded on the cargo ships.
We floated for several days before finally reaching Bombay. When we got off the ship, we were labelled as refugees. We couldn’t communicate with anyone because we spoke different languages. We wandered around from city to city looking for work, and we finally settled in Baroda, Gujrat where I was admitted into a refugee school. We used to sit on the floor in the classroom because there was no furniture in the school. I began learning three languages. One I had to write from right to left and two from left to right.
My mother, who had only a fourth-grade education, told me that by going to school, I would get something that nobody could take away from me – a good education. She promised to help me, but said that I would need to my part by being a good student. She reminded me of this every day and kept her promise until the end.
When I was 13 years old, our prime minister, Jawaharlal “Pandit” Nehru, visited our city. I was very excited to see him in person and to listen to his message. I found a place on the ground near the podium where he was to speak. Nehru said that after 200 years of British rule, India had no industry and that India needed industry. He looked at us and said that India needed engineers. Surveying the crowd, he said that he wasn’t just talking to the boys. He urged the girls to also consider this profession. This was the first time I had ever heard the word – engineer. I went home and told my mother that I want to become an engineer, so I began taking subjects to prepare me for engineering college.
After completing high school with very good grades, I was admitted into college for mechanical engineering. I was the first female to get into the engineering college. If being the only girl in the college wasn’t difficult enough, there wasn’t even a women’s restroom! I had to ride my bike over one and a half miles each way to use restroom. When the college’s Dean realized that I was there to stay, they built a beautiful ladies room just for me.
When I was 19 years old, I came across the biography of Henry Ford. In this book, Ford mentioned how he was successful in making cars affordable for the average-income family through his assembly-line concept. I began dreaming about one day working for Ford.
When I graduated from engineering college in my country, I applied to few universities in the United States for my master’s degree. I chose to attend Oklahoma State University because it was the least expensive of the universities I’d gained admission.
Sending their daughter to study in the United States was an incredibly big decision for my parents. This was going to cost them their life’s savings, and they still had three younger children at home. If sending their daughter to engineering college was not hard enough, sending her to the United States was unheard of. Even family and friends made fun of my parents at the idea.
My father was not 100% sure, but my mother kept her promise. I will never forget the conversation my mother had with my father while trying to convince him to let me study in the United States. My mother asked my father if he had ever seen her waste any money? She asked, “Do I go out to eat or go to the movies? Have you ever seen me gamble even one rupee?” My father asked why she was asking such silly questions. This is when my mother said, “Today, I am ready to gamble. She is going, and that is final.” There was no more discussion on the matter. This was her final verdict. No one said even one word after that.
I began my studies at Oklahoma State University inf January, 1966 where I was the first female engineer to be admitted. I graduated in January, 1967, and without hesitation, I headed to Dearborn, Michigan. I had no car, no boots – just my dream.
I became the first female engineer with an advanced degree at Ford Motor Company.
Damyanti “Rani” Gupta was born and raised during a very volatile time in India. Forced to leave everything they had worked so hard to achieve, Rani’s family fled to Mumbai. Her mother, who had only a fourth grade education, informed Rani the only thing that couldn’t be taken away was an education. And with those wise words, her mother promised that she would ensure Rani received an education. Rani first heard of engineering when she was 13 years old. It was at this time that Rani declared her desire to become an engineer. Rani was the first female to study engineering at her Indian college, and after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she began work in Germany. Rani later moved to Oklahoma where she was the first female to receive a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University. After graduation, she moved to Detroit where she became Ford Motor Company’s first female engineer. Rani is the mother of two prominent sons, neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, and attorney, Suneel Gupta.
Some of you might know that my son married the love of his life last month in one of the most beautiful ceremonies I have ever seen. One of the parts of the ceremony I loved the most was when his wife said, “we are not meant to be together, we choose to be together. Over the last 11 years we have chosen each other again and again and again. This is not destiny or serendipity, this is conscious choice that we will continue to make for the rest of our lives.”