Category: Health

Less is More


Meditation Anywhere

Meditation is refreshment,If we bump into each other at the gym, fair warning, I might be on the treadmill with my eyes closed so don’t laugh.

I know I am on the treadmill to get my heart pumping, I’ve found a different goal…meditation.

It sounds crazy, right?  Why would you meditate at the gym?

Let’s be honest, being on a treadmill isn’t the most stimulating mental activity so I began listening to audio books.  One stressful day, I decided to meditate, and my world shifted.

Treadmill time is my daily mini vacation.

Taking small breaks, helps you stay focused. They make you feel re-energized.  This week, try to take 15 minutes during the day and do something just for you.  Read a chapter in an inspiring book.  Have a quiet cup of tea somewhere beautiful.  Take a walk in nature.

Whatever you choose for your meditation vacation, do so with love.  Let go of the day for those few minutes.  You’ll come back a different person.

Where Do You Put Your Anger?

Energy Sensitive

I’m sensitive so I pick up energy.

Over the years I develop boundaries to help maintain my strength so I can help others in difficult spaces.

Then my father moved in.

Family Triggers

I love my father.  With any familiar relationship, however, you never know what will be triggered.

About 6 months ago, my left arm started to hurt.  Actually it was more the muscles in my upper arm.  It felt like someone punched me.

I figured it was from moving stuff in the basement or being on my computer.  I didn’t pay much attention to it. Lately it’s been keeping me up at night.  I just couldn’t get comfortable.

Anger Arm-or

Louise Hay says aches and pains can be a result of guilt and/or anger.  At the surface, I couldn’t think of what I felt angry or guilty about that resonated with the ache.  After a deep mediation and journaling session it came to me.

The arm that usually faces my father whether we’re sitting in the living room, in the car and even when I sleep on my back faces my father.  I realized I was absorbing his anger into my body through my arm to help defuse it.  The problem was it was stuck there.  I didn’t have a way to let it out.  This was then compounded with my own anger.

Release What Does Not Serve

As soon as I began meditating and releasing the anger, my arm felt better.  I’m not saying you should neglect going to your doctor when you feel ill.  What I am saying is you also shouldn’t neglect listening to your body.  It has secrets to share.

“My body is wise.  I listen carefully to its messages.”

I Love And Approve of Myself

Life Simplified garden 2012

Part of the Life Simplified Garden

Love who you are, what you are and what you do.  Laugh at yourself and at life.  Louise Hay


My Garden

Last weekend I planted my annual herb garden.  This year I’m also trying my hand at tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, spinach, salad greens and summer squash.

Planting each seed and seedling, reminded me of how I’d once again stopped doing my inner work.

The meditative work of planting my garden, reminded me of life’s simple law.  Plant seeds.  Care for them.  Tend to the weeds.  In the end you’ll be rewarded with the seed’s unique gift.

The same is true for our personal and professional inner work.

What Mental Seeds Are You Planting?

If you plant a tomato seed, you don’t expect a zucchini.  Yet every day you the mental seed of I’m not worthy and expect love.  Spend 24 hours monitoring your thoughts.  They are subtle, so listen carefully.

What do you say to yourself if you are running late?  What do you say to yourself if a bill comes and there is no money in the bank?  What do you say to yourself when those summer clothes are tighter than last year or you have to put on your bathing suit for the first time?

Are those seeds you want to grow in your inner garden? I thought so.

I Love And Approve Of Myself

One of the most powerful, yet simple affirmations I use I learned from Louise Hay, “I love and approve of myself.”  When I decide to plant this seed rather than other negative seeds, I find life, personally and professionally, takes on a whole different hue.

Imagine walking into a situation saying, “I’m fat.  No one wants to talk to me because I’m so boring.”  Got it.  Now imagine the same situation and instead you’re saying, “I love and approve of myself.”  Can you feel the difference?When I do this work with clients, I see them sit up straighter, smile and relax.

Tend To Your Garden Daily

If you’re a gardener or just have a few herbs from the grocery store on the windowsill, try planting this mental seed while you’re tending your garden.

As you water your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  As you weed your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”   As you smile with pride over your first tomato, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  

You can certainly repeat the affirmation other times as well.  The garden just gives you some time to meditate the feeling of the affirmation.

By connecting this practice with your garden, you’ll find you’re not just reaping tomatoes this summer.

You will see the little miracles occur in your life.  The things you are ready to eliminate will go of their own accord.  The things and events you want will pop up in your life seemingly out of the blue.  you will get bonuses you never imagined! ~ Louise Hay

Step Away From The Wheel

Life Simplified: Step Away from the Wheel

photo credit: nycstreets via flickr

I’m A Home Body

I confess I’m a home body.  After a busy week, there’s nothing like a couple days of nesting.  I love to cook scrumptious new recipes, bake golden desserts, write until my heart’s content and watch a couple sappy movies that ultimately make me cry.

This might not be your perfect day, but that’s not the point.  You know what re-energizes you.  Maybe it’s a football game, raking fall leaves or working on a craft-like project.  But in our 24/7 lives, we push what fills our bucket to the bottom of the list.

Are You On The Hamster Wheel?

It’s important to take time to do the things that make you feel whole again.  If you don’t life ends up feeling like you’re running in a hamster’s wheel.  When you’re in that state of mind even if you’re getting a lot done, you truly aren’t living.

This summer I wrote a couple posts about vacation and it revitalizing effect.  Well non-vacation time needs breaks as well.

Today if you get a chance, step off the wheel and focus on yourself for a while.  It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.  I look forward to hearing about your experience below or on Facebook.

Are You Getting Enough Rest?

Are You Getting Enough Rest
Rest.  In our 24/7 world, it’s almost a dirty four letter word.

You’re always supposed to be plugged in, engaged, and on.  You push yourself until you are running on automatic pilot.

Impaired Decisions

If you’re rushing to decisions, doing things you never thought you’d be doing (and not in a good way), or feeling so overwhelmed you can’t figure out what to do next, you need rest. Your decision making skill is impaired so everything is way out of perspective.

Rest = Sanity

When you rest, truly rest, you allow everything to settle back into place.  You regain your perspective.  You once again can see what is a priority and what isn’t.

Rest also allows you to rejuvenate your creativity.  Without rest, your left side of the brain takes over and your right side is told to sit in the corner and wait.  We need both sides of our brains firing at all times to be balanced.  Think about it.  Do you only want to be working on half a brain?

What Is Rest?

Here’s a quick chart to show what rest is and what it isn’t.  You’ll notice rest isn’t always sleeping.  There are other ways to take a rest.

Rest                                                                             Not Rest

  • Naps                                                                                  Mindlessly watching television
  • Taking a walk in nature                                             Taking a break and doing errands
  • Playing with a child or pet                                       Putting “take kid to park” on to do list
  • Stretching                                                                       Frantically getting your workout in
  • Reading something completely different          Reading something for work
  • 15 minutes of quiet (watch a sunset)                   Saying you’ll take a break soon

The key is to break your routine.  Nurture yourself for 5 minutes.  That short mind break will refresh you and help you get ready for the next big thing.

Of course I’m always going to advocate a good night’s sleep.  If you aren’t sleeping well, that may be the root cause of not getting enough rest.  How do you know if you got a good night’s sleep?  You wake up feeling refreshed.  If that’s not how you wake up every morning, here are a few ideas on how to get a good night’s sleep.

Go to bed. If you’re tired go to bed.  You can always record that program you have to watch.

Relax before bed. Don’t jump right from work to bed.  You’re head is still spinning.  Decompress for at least 30 minutes before crawling between the sheets.

Set your intention.  Don’t go to bed with your to do list running through your brain.  Instead, set the intention for a restful night’s sleep.  Envision how great you’ll feel the next morning.

Listen to soothing sounds or music.  Sometimes we can’t shut off our brains.  Music can transport you.

Don’t eat. Eating revs up your system, not relax it.  If you’re hungry prior to bed, try a decaf or herbal tea (chamomile is great), warm water with lemon and honey or even warm milk.

Take a yoga class,get acupuncture or have a massage. Some of the best night’s sleeps have been after one of these events (and I’ve tried them all).  Each resets your body in a way that’s conducive for sleep.  Check to see if your therapist or yoga studio offers late appointments or classes.  You’ll be in heaven.

Rest is essential for our well being.  If you’re not waking up feeling rested, try some of these tips.   Once you’ve experience real rest, you’ll be more aware of it’s benefits.  How do you rest?


Photo credit: P.J.P via Flickr under creative commons license

Small Stolen Moments

Life Simplified - Morning By The Ocean


Although right now my office is in my home, I still have to plan my “solitude” time. You’d think working alone would be plenty of solitude. I’m can be alone, but with Facebook, LinkedIn, email and the phone, I’m hardly having solitude time.

Whether we are entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, or even traveling business people, just because we are alone doesn’t mean we have solitude.

As Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests in Simple Abundance, solitude in even small increments can make all the difference. This doesn’t even mean walking the dog. It means a solitary stroll to the library or on your favorite pate or reading your favorite book in the sunshine.

By creating the short moments of solitude, you re-energize yourself. Yesterday it was a short nap and then some meditation in the middle of a crazy day. I was able to face the rest of a busy (crazy busy) day that ended about 10:00 last night.

What do you do to give yourself short moments of solitude?

The Power of Love

The Power Of Love - Life Simplified

The Power of Love

Have you ever felt so stressed you can’t breathe?

It’s scary isn’t it?  Not a full blown panic attack, but still you feel like a balloon inflated to the point of bursting.  All it takes is one small pin prick and KABLAM!

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling like that lately.  The snow melting seems to have brought on this manic drive to get even more done in 24 hours than before.  It’s like I have my foot on the accelerator and forgot where the brake was.

I pulled out my trusted You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.  I discovered that the heart and circulation system represents love and joy.  Think about it.  Each pump of the heart sends nourishing blood through all the channels of love (arteries, veins and capillaries) to feed the billions of cells that make up our bodies.  Without this love and nourishment we cease to exist.

When you are feeling like that balloon about to burst, take a moment and contemplate the love that is at work right now in your body keeping you alive.  It doesn’t stress out.  It doesn’t ask for recognition.  Instead it does it’s best to care for each part of your being, day in and day out.  Breathe into that picture and you’ll feel this warmth spread from your head to your toes…like a big hug from inside out.

That stressed out balloon will soon transform to a beautiful hot air balloon taking you to amazing places.

Wishing you lots of love today,


We All Need A Break

Appetite for Life - Baking Bread

Fresh baked bread - a perfect break.

As February vacation arrives for the kids, I was thinking about the importance of breaks in our routine.

Every day you rush around from work to family to spouse maybe back to work off to the field or out to a meeting.  The hampster wheel never stops until you flop totally drained into bed.

Yesterday as much as I have to get done for the week, I took a break.  Sounds indulgent, huh.

I did things important to me such as reading, baking, soaking up the February sunshine and playing with Maisie.  Today I feel 100% better for it.

As I’m writing I can hear you already.  “That’s great for you Jen, but how can I do that!  I can’t get a minute in the bathroom by myself.”

My answer is if it’s important enough to you, you will make the time.  It might not be a whole day, but how about 30 minutes.  Can you let go for 30 minutes and do something kind for yourself?  Can you take a break from the rush to enjoy a cup of tea in a sunny window?

Maybe right now you don’t think you can, but if you start out small, I bet you’ll find the time.  Here are some quick mini breaks you can fit into a busy day:

  • A 10 minute cup of coffee or tea alone or with a friend.
  • A quick walk around the block, office park or just down the street.
  • A 10 minute visit to the library to wander through the stacks of books, or look at the artwork for rent.
  • 10 minutes of writing in a journal.  Nothing specific, just what comes to your head.
  • A 10 minute call with a dear friend, just to catch up.
  • Playing with a pet or a child.
  • A walk through a local park (or even the town commons) looking at each thing in detail.
  • Wander into a specialty store you’ve never visited between appointments.
  • Take a bath at night instead of a hasty shower in the morning.

I could go on and on, but the key is to break up the routine of rushing.

What simple things do you do to break up your routine and refresh yourself?

Melt In Your Mouth Not In Your Paws

As we are enjoying a Nor-Easter here in New England (seriously I can’t see out my front windows because of the snow), I wanted to share a blog post of a friend with some great pet tips if you too are facing a winter of snow, ice and pets.

Not only do we need to remember our health and safety, but those of our pets.  Let’s keep them safe so we all can enjoy!

Gracie’s Bark: Melt In Your Mouth Not In Your Paws

Life Simplified - Gracie snow dog

Gracie Has Tips To Share

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