Thursday, September 30, 2010

Empty Nesters

Our baby moved out over a year ago. I was so sad about having an empty nest and couldn't believe that time had come so quickly. Well, that time didn't come then because before our baby left, the first of three married children moved in with us while they were waiting to get into new homes. One even came back a second time.

Now over a year later, we are now officially empty nesters, and my thanks go to all of our children because although we loved having them all here; I have to admit that after a year of hearing the beatings, crying, and smelling the dirty diapers in the garage, I am better prepared to accept the empty nest (kidding about the beatings).

This picture is also true to reality because although they have all left, they left a few of their "feathers" behind. Kids tend to do that--I certainly did. I think I left a bunch of dead corsages in my childhood bedroom closet. I needed evidence that I actually had a couple of dates.

Just like my post about Fall passing so quickly, I have to say that going into this new phase is an even bigger reminder of the importance of relishing each cycle of life because it goes by so quickly.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I love the Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year and each Fall I am reminded of how quickly such a great time of year can pass and how important it is to enjoy every season while it is here. I have spent too much of my life thinking that next year I will enjoy the season more. It is a problem I can have of looking back and looking ahead and not always taking advantage of the here and now. I am going to do better at enjoying every day and every age. Life is good and life is to be enjoyed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Old Fashioned Satisfaction

Call me old fashioned, but there is no greater, simple satisfaction that having a counter of newly sealed bottled peaches. I know that I don't have to can to get to heaven, but there is something about that old pioneer task that just warms my heart. With my cute little daughter, we also made raspberry and raspberry-peach frozen jam. We went to bed at 1 am exhausted but very fulfilled.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Step Ahead

I have lived most of my life either one step behind or at best, just taking a step at the last minute. There was one area of my life that I was better at being one step ahead and that was when I had a lot of little children. I discovered quickly that each morning I had to start one step ahead of them by getting up early and even going to bed the night before a little more organized because life could unravel pretty quickly if I started the day one step behind.

With this blog I am discovering how good it feels to be one step ahead by having a selection of topics and pictures prepared in advance. Most of the time I wait until the last minute and then I can have a little more panic feeling that doesn't seem to be conducive to inspiration. When I am working ahead of myself, then the inspiration and ideas flow more abundantly. That is a good lesson for life. Be one step ahead rather than scrambling at the last minute.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Diet Free

I don't want to seem super inspired and directed, but sometimes the timing of events in my life seem to be suspiciously too coincidental. You have to know that I don't watch a lot of TV, especially Saturday morning. Yes, I have finally outgrown cartoons. Anyway, yesterday morning I was setting up the recording for the Relief Society Conference and miraculously came across a TV program that was inspiring. Zonya's Health Bites. The timing was perfect for me because I have been away on vacation and let all healthy eating go to pot, and getting on the scale this morning was SCARRRRY. Now so that you know that what I weigh isn't the real issue, it just manifests that I am not making healthy choices. Zonya was perfect for me and just in the nick of time. I even got on her website and did a little more research. I am recording her program for further inspiration because I need all the help I can get. I don't know if it is this way for you, but I need consistent inspiration to keep me on track.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life is a journey

I want to remember that life is a journey and that wherever I am on that journey isn't necessarily where I am going to end up. It is that way with people that I care about. I have often gotten sort of panicky thinking that a small detour means someone is lost forever when in reality that detour will teach some valuable lessons that may prove to make the journey and the final destination even more rewarding. I know that it is important for me to have faith in people and ultimately faith in Heavenly Father's plan that can make a great outcome out of even something that temporarily seems like it is heading in the wrong direction. Having faith is being able to relax knowing that God is in charge and that lessons can be learned in the detours and that there is still a path back to the ultimate destination.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Beginnings

I love this quote. It is a great reminder that sometimes when everything feels like it is coming to a painful end, it could really be a new beginning of something else even more wonderful. I want to always remember this.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I am good at recycling. I keep relearning old lessons that I have learned before. Like not taking someone's bad mood or anger personally. I keep relearning that how someone chooses to behave is not my problem--it's theirs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I promised that I would blog everyday for a year. Well, I haven't quite kept that promise. I have a posting for every day so far this year but I have been cheating. I have sometimes skipped a few days and then caught up and changed the dates, like I plan to do in the next few days.

I realize that the discipline of keeping my commitment is important. I am going to catch up and then recommit to posting everyday. It is good for me to keep this commitment and at least finish out the year. Making and keeping promises is an important discipline.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fix it

One of the best ways to eliminate stress is to fix the things that are broken in my life and home. However, there are always people that I want to fix and if I concentrate on them and try to fix their problems then I will create a whole new level of stress because things that I want changed that I can't control can become very frustrating. I want to concentrate on that which I can fix on my own.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Since there isn't a 14th Article of Faith that says "We believe in stress, we have endured much stress and hope to endure more stress. . ." then I want to eliminate as much stress as possible. It is clear from the "flow" chart I posted a couple of days ago that I need to either increase my skills of decrease the challenge. Either way I realize that I need my Heavenly Father's help to either make me stronger or take away the difficulties. I am not going to accept stress as a way of life but instead see it as a sign to seek help from above in order to eliminate the stress.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I don't get sick very often but I must have started to take my health for granted. I got the flu from some of my grandkids and I have to say that it was a much needed reminder to be grateful for my good health. Thanks kids for the reminder.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flow Experience

I've discovered that my quest for self-improvement should include an emphasis on achieving what the psychologist, Csikszentmihalyi called "flow experience." Essentially it is the place where challenge and ability meet. If there is more challenge than ability, then there is stress. More ability than challenge means that I am at risk for boredom or depression. I can know that I am in the flow experience when I feel peace and joy and am so engaged in an experience that I can loose track of time AND I don't want to stuff my face with food.

Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following ten factors as accompanying an experience of flow:

1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.[5]
2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
10. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.

Not all are needed for flow to be experienced.

An emphasis on attaining the "flow experience" means that I look inside myself and notice how I am feeling rather than on outward goals or expectations. I feel when I am having a "flow experience" that I am also in harmony with God's will for me.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I figure if I read something in two different places, that it must be an important message for me. The other day I was reading a book by a favorite psychologist/author of mine about her journey back from a major depression One of the discoveries she made was about the importance of being more present in the moment and not multitasking. Immediately after I picked up the LDS Living magazine and read a study about how multitasking for years can result in permanent damage to brain cells that store memories. Wait a minute, what was I talking about?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

God Loves You

The same author that wrote this famous children's book also wrote "God loves you just the way you are, He just doesn't want you to stay that way." I love this reminder that we don't really have to improve for God to love us because He already does. He just wants us to keep on improving in order to meet our potential. To me this is a great balance between accepting myself as I am but yet wanting to keep on growing and improving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Self Improvement from the inside out

The best self-improvement for me is discovering what makes me smile and then giving myself permission to do it. Self-improvement is an inside job that translate into action and action that translates into joy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Basics

I used this theme before but it is worth repeating. Let's face it, I forget a lot of things that I've said before so I will just continue to claim that things are worth repeating.

Anyway, sometimes life gets recycled and I learn over and over again that some of the simple things in life bring the most satisfaction. Just going to visit some old friends, doing something for someone that they can't do for themselves, or sitting at a sewing machine. My daughter said today how satisfying it has been for her to do some canning. In a life that screams to buy more and go bigger and better, it is good to take a step back in time and revisit the basic little things.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Truth about goals

Okay so the other day I wrote my goals and intentions but the truth is that I know I won't always achieve the goals that I set and that is okay. The reason being is that sometimes I am taken in another direction and given a different goal not of my own choosing. I am not always in charge of what I am suppose to achieve. But the important thing is that I am willing to take my own responsibility for happiness and progress and at least have some sort of plan of what to do. Then I have to be flexible enough that if I am taken in another direction if life turns out differently or if someone knows something else is better for me, I am able to make adjustments. I have found that being too set on a certain goal can leave me disappointed and frustrated if it doesn't turn out how I planned or it keeps me closed off to other better options that might come along.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Star Power

Sometimes, no, oftentimes, I loose my way and get distracted from what really matters. Picture me wondering like a zombie towards the large and spacious building. It is a constant battle or it is a constant kind of game (however I choose to look at it--game sounds more fun). I can tell when I have lost balance and focus and I am off wondering when I'm distracted with worldly things and then get frustrated with other people and start blaming them for my dissatisfaction with life. I am always grateful that I have someone or something that hits me over the head to get me out of that zombie state, and pushes back to the iron rod so I can get back on track. It then feels so good to get clarity and get back to what I know works.

Once I had come back to my senses, I found it helpful to draw different 5-pointed stars--one each for daily, weekly, and monthly habits and then a star for long-term goals. I then listed intentions for each part of my self--spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social, on each star. In doing so created such a shift in my attitude and my vision and I had hope and excitement. I took my focus off of anyone else that I falsely believed was sabotaging my happiness and put it back in my own power. My life sometimes seem like the movie Ground Hog Day. What a fun game.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dejunk and Organize AGAIN

Whenever I get stuck in a rut, I know that it is time to dejunk and organize. For me it is my personal jump start to get energized. That's a sign of a dull life and personality!

For over a year now we have had a stream of basement dwellers and this week the last ones are moving out, and so now is a good time to do another cleanse and to make a few changes in my home and life. I am going to be even more brave and bold than the last time I dejunked. It is good to let go of physical things and hopefully it will automatically allow me to let go of some emotional junk that I have been holding onto as well. Just like I can store a lot of junk in my home, my memory has way to much junk. My garbages are going to be full and D.I. here I come, AGAIN!!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Sometimes I have to make mistakes to learn. If I am afraid of making a mistake then I am afraid to take even little risks and to relax and just enjoy life. I have been reading or hearing a lot lately about teachers that have shamed students for making a mistake. I know that I have done my fair share of shaming myself or someone else for making a mistake. It is that shame that can create a fear of making a mistake and thus can be extremely debilitating.

I am not saying that I want to try and make a mistake, I am just not going to worry about it if I do. Mistakes are a great path to becoming wise and so I want to get better at living with a little more carefree passion and willing to enjoy and learn from my mistakes. I am even allow other people that same right to make mistakes and learn from it. Heaven knows I couldn't stop them anywhere. Worrying about and trying to protect people has been one of my biggest mistakes. But, the good news is that mistake has taught me a lot.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sense of Humor

I feel like I am at the tail end of some long-term difficulties, and I know that it has sometimes made me way too serious minded. In fact, my blog has become way too serious and I know that I must dig deep and find and dust off my sense of humor once again. I have "seriously been so blessed" to have children that can see humor in everything. For them, nothing is too painful or sacred to laugh at. I want to be more like them. Now would be a good time to say something funny but I can't think of anything. I'll do some more digging and dusting. I might have to dig all the way to China.


I had to correct something on my last post so for those who read it already, please reread. Thanks

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Integrative Medicine

I have always believed that when alternative and traditional medicine come together that we will make great progress in health. I believe that both Western and Eastern medicine have something important to offer and I have always liked Dr. Andrew Weil's claim that Western medicine is best for acute illness and Eastern medicine tends to work best on the prevention and treatment for chronic illnesses. While watching a taped show of Dr. Oz, I discovered that 1/3 of medical school deans have pledged to adapt integrative medicine, which combines both. YAHOO! That is great news.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One on One

Some of my favorite moments in life are spent one on one. Today I spent some time alone with one of my granddaughters who wasn't even born alone, and so I could tell she loved having all the attention. Not only was it so wonderful to just be alone with her, it was magical to look in her crystal-clear blue eyes as we talked. It is another reminder of the value of being in the present moment without worry about the list of things I need to do.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Great Outdoors

The older I get the more in touch I am with what I love, and today I spent the day in the great outdoors and it was "marvelous dawling!" I love nature. I love beautiful scenery. I love sitting outside to eat. I love the sun shining on me when it's not too hot (I don't love the heat). I am more of a outdoorsy kind of girl than I ever thought, and I am committed to spending more time in nature and actually enjoying every moment of it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I am getting in touch with my inward joy and peace. I know that when I am on the right track that I will have those feelings. I know that when I get too caught up with trying to keep rules by doing what I "should" and "ought" to do then I loose focus on my internal sense of being. The interesting thing is that I will automatically be doing what I should and ought to do, but my focus will be on the joy and peace in my heart and what I do will come more naturally and joyfully.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No More Excuses

Let's be honest here. I am good at making excuses but one of the weirdest excuses I make is thinking I have to be sick to give myself an excuse to lay around and read. A week ago I indulged in a sick gratification in the fact that I am suppose to lay with my leg elevated part of the day because it gives me an excuse to read.

Okay so if that is the case and I have to have an excuse to do something like reading, then could it be possible that unconsciously I could create an illness so that I have an excuse? Wouldn't it be easier to just give myself permission to sometimes lay around and read? To do so would mean I would have to change a sick belief that it is a waste of time to relax with a good book. There, I am now changing that belief. My new belief is that it is a valuable use of time to read books that capture and enlighten my imagination as well as books that inform, and I give myself permission to do that as long as I a maintaining a healthy balance in all areas of my life. That last part is to guarantee that I don't go too extreme in the other direction because that is sometimes what I do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glass Half Full

I have a dear friend that is going through a tremendously difficult experience. I love her example of taking a picture everyday of something wonderful to remind her of the good that happens each day in her life. She has always been such an example to me of optimism and working to see life as a "glass half full." It could be easy for her to focus on the part of life that is empty right now but I will be eternally grateful for her determination to be positive and filled with faith. Thank you Y M for your continued source of inspiration. I am blessed to have you for a friend. You remind me that there are two ways to look at something. Either you can dwell on losing a roommate or gaining a closet. You've chosen to focus on gaining a closet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Choose to think Gratitude

Gratitude is such an amazing cure all; especially for self pity. Being grateful has great power. No wonder we are taught to begin our prayers with things we are thankful for.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I've said this before, but I am a big fan of journal writing. The other day at the tail end of my little pity party, I thought it would be helpful to talk to someone and let them know of my unmet expectations. In essence, work at trying to change someone else instead of just working on me (some habits die hard!). Instead I sat down with my journal and wrote and wrote and wrote. It was amazing how it helped me get clarity and discover what I needed to do without even talking with someone else and expecting them to meet my expectations. I felt powerful, confident, and content and it changed how I was with the other person and, VOILA! (yes, I took French for three years and that's what I came away with) the other person was naturally meeting all my expectations without me even saying a word. My journal is the best therapist and problem solver. I am committed to not only writing in it to get in a better attitude when I get off course, but writing in it consistently to stay in a good place.