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I’ve been thinking a lot about home recently. And where is home to me as an adult? I have my childhood town….in a different home from when I grew up but still the same town. And my Dad and aunt are there. That feels like home when I’m back. I also have the cities I’ve lived in along the way as an adult. Some more than others felt like home when I was living there. And then I have our current condo…which is homey and also feels like home for the most part. And yet for a long time with all these options I was searching for that sense of something that really truly felt like my home. Why?

As I think more about this, I realize home (truly home) for me is where I have loved one’s close to me and also when I feel settled with my life.  And that is why for so long I just couldn’t truly feel complete. I never fully allowed myself to feel established somewhere. I’ve always been thinking of my out. Whether in a relationship, or a city, or a job. I have never just fully settled in.

I’m good at making my physical space feel like home. I decorate and nest right in. But I always know, I may need to move. And outside of a few years in my early 30s, I’ve rented. Which means you will move. It is inevitable.

Now, after being in DC for five, going on 6yrs, I am finally starting to really think about nesting into the city, a relationship even further, and buying a home. And while it gives me a certain level of anxiety which is to be expected for me at this point, it is also exciting. It is comforting. It is feeling like a different sense of home. It is not feeliing like my family home, or my temporary home, but my own home. Our home potentially. And that feels good. It gives me a different kind of energy and refueling.

Ideally my family would live all around too, but that is not realistic. So for now, I’ll take where I’m at in my home journey.

What is home for you? Do you feel like you are searching or have it? And why?

 

Meditation

As I wind down my Sunday evening and finish up my long weekend at Miraval (my annual refueling destination), I realize how important meditation is to my life. It allows me to free my mind of thoughts, wash the anxiety and stress away, and really be present in the moment. Afterwards, I just see and hear more of life around me. It allows me to truly feel alive vs in my thoughts.

A my meditation expert here said “it provides a way to open your heart, release negativity, receive light, gain insights, and achieve a deeper sense of calm/peace.”

I also am realizing how meditation can take many forms. The classic kind where you sit in silence, breathe, or walk through a guided meditation. But it can also be journaling, hiking, walking, walking a labyrinth (which I love doing here), cooking, and/or exercising. There are so many forms.  I did a drumming meditation today that was quite powerful. And tomorrow I’ll finish my stay with a morning meditation and sunrise yoga.

Are you making time for meditation? If so, what form works for you? It can be 5 minutes or 60 minutes. There is always time to fit it in.

Here are pictures from my hike this morning. My morning 2hr sunrise peace and calming hike.

Sunday Dinners

I love Sundays. Mine usually starts with sleeping in, lazily starting the day with a good breakfast, then some sort of activity for the afternoon. Today was a pedicure and manicure and a little shopping. And visiting with a girlfriend.

Then I always do 5:30 restorative yoga to wind down or start the week (depending on how you look at it) and at the end finish with a quiet meditation. It is always a time to reflect and show gratitude. I leave it feeling hopeful and calm.

Then it is off to my favorite dinner of the week. I love Sunday dinners. While I do love good food, it is not what is on the table that counts, it is who is in the chairs around you. And my Sunday dinner is made perfect by the people around me. It also reminds me of my childhood where we always had a nice meal all together. It makes me yearn for my family to be in the same town too! But since they are not…I still make the most of it.  In an odd way, it is way to still honor them by cherishing it.

I can slow down on Sundays and plan a really nice meal. And it is cozy on Sundays. Todd is usually helping or hanging out with me while I cook. We drink a good glass of wine and talk about the weekend and week to come. We play music or have 60 minutes on in the background. Or we have friends over for dinner and are busy preparing for them. But no matter what, it is always so relaxed, loving, and joyful. And it makes the meal so good….no matter the cook! Somehow it is more tasty on Sundays.

Afterwards, we cozy up on the couch to watch a good TV show afterwards and always indulging in a yummy dessert.  And end up staying up too late watching. Or fall asleep before we make it through depending on our energy level.

Sunday dinners are the best. It refuels me for the week ahead.

What is your favorite meal/day of the week? What do you love to cook for your Sunday dinners? If you message me with a good idea, I’ll send you a great recipe back too!

Enjoy your Sunday. I hope you have a good meal with someone dear to you.

dinner quote

We are happiest when we are growing

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”– William Butler Yeats

I loved this quote because it is true, if we are growing, we are happy. We are moving forward. Progress in some way or moving in a direction wholeheartedly = Less regret and more self confidence/worth = happiness.

Try to grow today or this week. Move in the direction you are aiming to go in some little way. Make a little change like I encouraged last week. With each step comes accomplishment and happiness!

This week I worked on growing some of my relationships through communication and showing vulnerability. What are you going to try and grow?

 

Changing it Up!

I was reading this week about doing a time management audit every 6 months. And I got excited. I love this idea. Consider which activities are impacting the quality of your life in a negative and positive way. Can you shed the negative ones or at least minimize? Can you increase the positive ones? What is causing you stress? Do you need to change up your wardrobe? Your house decorations? Do you need to move? Do you need to re-balance your work/life priorities? What have been your stressors? Do you need to change it up with a vacation somewhere you haven’t been? Have you made it to the restaurant or museum you’ve had on your list? Did you make enough time with friends, your partner, yourself? Are you watching too much TV? Spending too much time on your phone or technology?

I just did my own self audit this week. I’m changing up my workouts (started this last Monday), doing a few wardrobe changes, starting using two new skin care products, and re-prioritizing time for myself through more evening baths and journaling.

My challenge to you, do an audit and come up with three concrete changes, even if modest. Change it up.

And as many of you already know, with change, comes new energy, excitement and attitude for the turning of the season coming in March.

Do you really want something…or are we just programmed?

This week, I’ve been exploring this idea of really knowing when we want something vs feeling programmed. We are programmed to want everything all the time. To want what we see on TV, on facebook, and what we were told since birth ….through movies, books, and our parents. The prince, the big house, making a lot of money, kids, a big wedding, a partner, happiness all the time, sex all the time, a great job or a partner that makes so much money you don’t work, a huge social circle, fabulous vacations, seamless days of no stress, perfect figure, perfect hair, no vices, etc.  We are programmed to crave these things. So much so, that when do you know when you really want them verses being programmed to want them?

I started to talk to a few people about this and it turns out a lot of people second guess what they want vs what they think they want/been told they want.  Is it okay to be nervous about what we have been programmed to desire? Or even just be scared to actually get whatever that is? And do we know the difference between wanting it vs what we are expected to desire?

 

How do you know when you really want something? What are the signs? And what are you willing to compromise on?

All questions I think everyone has asked at some point. Yet we never talk about the questions. Only smile and talk about the things everyone should have in life per social norms.

Sometimes refueling means being real and thinking through what you want with some quiet moments. This weekend, that is just what I did. I took myself on a self date weekend to refuel and reconnect with my dreams. And make sure those dreams are still my dreams.

How do you check in with yourself on your life goals? And confirming what you want next (and now)? Or do you go through life not really checking and just see where it takes you? Or do you strive for things you may not even truly desire?

Lots of questions this week. No real answers. Just enjoying the questioning portion this week. And being okay with asking the questions no one wants to really think about too much. In fear that they may want something different than what is expected. Or that they aren’t unique and they want the cliche life. Both are scary thoughts.

We are Rivers….

I realized this week, I am so tired. Not unhappy or depressed. Just worn out after some intense work weeks and busy weekends. So this weekend consists of a lazy Sunday. My sister and her boyfriend were in town which always lifts me up no matter what…..because anytime I get 10 minutes with my sister I am happier. She is truly (and will always be) one of my favorite people on earth. A hug from her is the best!

So even with that boost as she left this morning I was still worn out. I slept longer and later. And I was a bit hard on myself for being so tired. I was thinking how will I do this when I have kids? My work is just so intense. I am the only executive with a working partner and will be the only one with young children (god willing I have kids). And then I realized I use to say…how will I do this with a huge job? Or how will I still have space for me and a big job and maintain a serious relationship? And these questions resulted in solutions and answers that ended up working out. And I started thinking….I need to relax.

We are rivers and as long as the river is running….it keeps flowing. We keep going. Adapting. Still owning our own unique energy flow. Still standing alone and strong. Sometimes merging with other rivers but still owning our own unique curves and ways through the earth.

When I’m tired, I just need to rest. Pretty simple. Slow down, sleep or cancel plans and just rest. I just slow down the river to a stream of energy and enjoy the things around me. Refuel. I don’t need to quit…I’m still moving forward on the same path. Just pumped the breaks. When you go white water rafting or canoeing, you always enjoy the quiet moments. You stop paddling and just look at nature. So you have that energy and excitement for the intense rapids. The river seems to find spots to allow you to do this.

I said to myself– Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown (not my mood today but some days). Or be exhausted and be lazy. Or want a day to be a homebody. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry, sleep, or “introvert” it all out and then refocus. Slow down the water flow in your river…become a bubbling brook and then let the water flow back out to a strong flowing energy source.

Sometimes my river (i.e. energy) will be intense, high energy, and lively. And some times it will be chill, minimal, and calm. It is all about just making sure it doesn’t get stuck in one place. Just keep the river going and it will vary in terrain and water flow.

Own each stage. Don’t worry about the rapids around the bend. Just own it and enjoy. Let yourself have lazy days or weeks even. One of my favorites Maya Angelou has a great quote below.

Are you allowing your river to change along the way? Is it always super intense and high rapids? Or it is always low key and streaming along? How are you navigating your own path?

maya-angelou-river-quote

Lifting each other up

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.:– Mark Twain

This quote is so true. Lifting someone else up serves dual purposes. It lifts you up in the process. This weekend I had a series of friend dates. Time to really reconnect. Long talks, lots of laughter,  hugs, encouragement to each other, a lot of positive energy, and some silliness too. Great conversations over good meals, wonderful Sunday walk, a game night with an epic battle of charades….all while allowing a little alone time and some snuggles with Todd. A full weekend resulting in a very full heart.

And it reinforced for me something I already knew… how very full my life is with wonderful people. And how much my parents influenced this side of me. My mom taught me to be kind and polite to everyone. We are all human and all have a common connection. And my dad taught me to stay connected to those important to me (he also has a light of joy in his eye that is magical and the best smile that instantaneously can attract a smile back……I inherited his smile lines….wrinkles I take on gladly with pride).

The power of a hug, a moment to just keep it light and laugh, a thank you, words of encouragement….we are all just humans working and trying to enjoy life. And those small interactions with each other can make each of our lives so very full of love. It can instantly change someone’s day for the better. The small things can impact a stranger as well. They see you smiling and it is contagious. They start smiling too.

How are you lifting those up around you? If they are special to you, are you telling them that? Are you telling them what you love about them? Are you being generous with your hugs and compliments? Are you too focused on the negative or being too critical or too self absorbed in your own world? How do you surround yourself with people that can help lift you too?

My goal this week….lift up someone else each day. I want to pay forward all the “lifts” and joy I got this weekend. I love my tribe. your-vibe-attracks-your-tribe!

Your relationship with yourself

relationship-with-self-1

I sometimes lose myself in the day to day. In my relationships, friends, Todd, work, and family. I forget to keep dating myself too. This weekend I started to realize this. I had a medical procedure done this week that left me unable to work out for 2 weeks and gave me some extra time in the evenings. Day 1-3 I was antsy. Had a headache due to my stitches, cooked up a storm, watched TV, and was just restless. I ended up doing my usual stuff- worked longer, worried about everyone else so cooked more for Todd, bought a few friends some gifts, bought flowers for my aunt, etc….Day 4-5 I spent with friends. I also noticed I was a bit more clingy to Todd. And I couldn’t figure out why not working out made me so restless. And then I realized when I work out, I can escape and reconnect with myself. It allowed me to escape and be in tune with my body and mind. So by Day 6 I realized this is my perfect opportunity to reconnect with myself in a different way.

I use to promise myself each week I was going to take myself on a date. And I use to be really good with this. But the last few months, I lost track of that. So this weekend, I took myself on some dates. I just window shopped (did a little shopping too), journaled in an outdoor park area, took myself to lunch, had my favorite cocktail while I people watched, and just sat in silence content and happy. Just re-acquainting myself to myself. Tomorrow I will also take myself to see La La Land.

Don’t worry, still plenty of time visiting with my friends and Todd. But also time for me. I noticed by doing this, I was more engaged with those around me and was better at staying in the moment. It really did set the tone for the rest of my relationships. . I was more relaxed and less anxious and it allowed me to connect better with others by first staying connected with myself.

When I have kids, I know this will lessen. But I hope I always hold on to this reminder. You always need to keep dating yourself. It is by far the most important date you will have! The dates may get shorter but you can still do them. Even just a quiet walk by yourself can be so rejuvenating.

Where do you take yourself on your self dates? Do you allow yourself to self reflect and/or think of nothing? Or of yourself on these dates? Or are you busy thinking about everyone else? How do you stay connected to yourself?

relationship-with-self-2

Enjoying winter

Often times we look at winter as the months we try to get through. January and February is unpleasant, dark, and cold. And it usually leaves us yearning for sunshine and brighter days. We are grumpy and a bit more depressed. I could go on and on.

However, I am coming to appreciate these two months. They slow me down a bit. I find myself still going outside just as much….just with more clothes on. And the coziness of home, blankets, candles, fireplaces, and good books keeps me feeling so peaceful and happy. There is nothing like a hot chocolate or tea, a good book or movie (or marathon TV watching), and a blanket. There is no guilt to have those quieter, cozy moments in the winter. They are expected.

So instead of wishing them to pass by, how do you embrace winter? Cooking? Baking? Winter hikes? Skiing? Fun new workout? What is your winter habits?

As my journey to live in the moment continues, I am celebrating cold winter days today! Last weekend, I shut off my phone and enjoyed snowy mountain views while in Oregon. And this Sunday after spending all Saturday outside, I enjoyed grocery shopping and cooking! All in between relaxing in a warm winter blanket.

I hope you take time to appreciate and enjoy winter too.  Spring will come. But for now slow down and enjoy!

A few pictures to enjoy of the last week…courtesy of my iphone.