Posts tagged: New Year

Seeds of Wisdom

Life Simplified - Seeds of Wisdom

photo credit: h-k-d via flickr

…become aware that you already posses all the inner wisdom, strength, and creativity needed to make your dreams come true. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

A Packet Of Seeds

I was a t the local garden center the other day and they had tons of seeds and bulbs.  I got all excited and bought some herb seeds.  Spring is on it’s way.

When I got home, I dug out my planters from last year, filled them with potting soil, sprinkled the seeds over top and watered them.

Then I walked away.

Seeds Are So Smart

I didn’t go back and push and prod the seeds to grow faster.  I didn’t dig them up and put them in “better” soil.  Nope.  Just let them do their thing.  They’ve got it all figured out.

It’s the same with us.  You have all you need to achieve your dreams within you.

Don’t Wait for Change…Create Change

Cliche, I know, but true.  That’s what Sarah is reminding us of today.  Instead of waiting for some external force to create change, why not choose to change in the direction of your dreams.

Many people come to me when they are in transition caused by an outside source.  They are scared and confused.  The work we do together allows them to tap into the wealth of knowledge they have within.  They tap into those seed dreams and start to water them.  With time a patience they sprout new leaves and branches they never knew they had before.

It’s scary to admit to yourself that you have the power to make whatever you desire come to pass.  As Sarah talks about today, you can become complacent and let external forces create the change in your life or you can take back the reins and drive your life.

I’ve come to choose the later.  How about you?


Want to work together to start planting the seeds of your dreams and goals, email me for a free consultation.

The Renewal of Autumn

Life Simplified An Autumn Renewalphoto credit: Scooter the Photographer via photo pin cc

Shhh…I have a secret to share…

When I lived in Seattle, I discovered a little known secret outside Washington State.  It doesn’t rain in the summer!

Summers are beautiful, dry, about 70 degrees and, get this, not many people have screens in their windows because bugs disappear.  The dry weather withers lawns.  Non-sun loving plants hibernate waiting until the rains return.

Fall + Rain = Renewal

By the time it rains in the fall, Mother Nature is ready for it.  The rain brings about a rebirth.  Grass becomes green again.  Plants wiggle their roots and grow again.  You can almost hear a sigh from the dry ground as it welcomes the rain.

The renewal wasn’t just in the backyard.  Seattleites, as much as they complained about the rain, also welcome it.  After a week or so, they began to look as refreshed as the garden.

Being raised in New England, I’d never equated Fall with renewal.  In the Northeast, September/October represents a slowing down of things.  The bounty of tomatoes and zucchini ends, apples ripen, and everyone waits for the tress to burst into color.

Bringing A Little Seattle To Boston

I’m back in the Northeast.  Living in a different climate, changed me, however.  I now look forward to a renewal in the Fall.  The cooler nights inspire me to shake off the cobwebs of the lazy days of August.  Back in June, planning for the balance of the year felt like a chore.  Now, after the slower pace of the summer, I’m ready to get started.

Autumnal resolutions don’t require horns, confetti and champagne.  September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance.

It’s Raining.  I’m Smiling.

While it rains this Fall, I’ll be wiggling my own roots and stretching my branches with a smile on my face end of year resolutions in firmly in hand.

How do you renew in the Fall?  Do you make September resolutions?  Let me know what you do in the comments below.

Let Go Of The Struggle

Letting Go of the Struggle

photo credit: spaceritual

Last Friday I had nearly 24 hours without brain chatter.  Impossible?

It was amazing!

The process started with a very early morning meditation (3:30am…don’t ask).  I set my intention to be open to the messages.  Then I set the same intention for the rest of the day.

Instead of constant negative chatter, what kept popping into my head were fantastic solutions to current situations.  This continued as I had a couple of holistic treatments throughout the day.

When I went to bed, my brain was quiet and calm.  I had nothing but peace in the space where chatter usually hangs out.  It was amazing to experience the deep relaxation.  It was as if every cell in my body was grateful they could just do their job without the interruptions of the energy my thoughts usually generate.

Total Surrender

I experienced total surrender.  I let go of the struggle, as Sarah says in the Simple Abundance passage today.

It’s amazing how much energy we unconsciously/consciously spend on the struggle.  Whether it’s arguing with ourselves, fighting against what is, battling negative energy we allow into our lives, or the worse beating ourselves up, all of these takes energy.

When I gave up the struggle, I felt at peace.  Nothing changed in my situation, but I was now open to solutions.  Beyond my experience, I was extra sensitive to the struggle other people were going through.  I could hear it in their voice, see it in their body and feel it in their energy.

Heroic Surrender

Surrendering doesn’t sound like a heroic thing, but when you surrender to what is, accept the current situation, and bless it, you move into a state of peace where you can change it.

Have you ever experienced a day of non-chatter?  What was it like for you?

Order and Grace

Order and Grace - Shaker living

photo credit: carlwwycoff via flickr

Grace: from the word gratus; pleasing, grateful ~ Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Order: methodical or harmonious arrangement ~

When my house is in order, I feel liberated now I know why reading the definition.  “Harmonious arrangement.”  I love that definition.  Order allows for grace to enter.  I then feel grateful for what is.

Where is all this coming from?

Today Sarah talks about “A Sense of Order: Cultivating Contentment.”  How women especially can be overwhelmed by their surroundings when chaos ensues, and who of you out there doesn’t have a touch of chaos in your life.

Order.  It doesn’t have the Puritanical “should” attached to it.  It doesn’t feel perfect.  Instead it feels softer.  Aligned.  Flowing.  Graceful.

Yes I’m babbling.

I may be babbling this morning, but after the holidays, it’s nice to feel a little order and grace.  Perhaps because yesterday was a simplification day, I feel re-energized in my office.  It isn’t perfect, but it feels pulled together.

If you feel constantly adrift but don’t know why, be willing to explore the role that order – or the lack of it – plays in your life. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach.

I admit.  I like when things are in order.  I also admit I let them stray a bit.  Today I’m simply reminded of the grace and peace order can bring.  I feel as though I can breath.

What brings order to my life?

  • A clean desk
  • Empty inboxes
  • A clean kitchen
  • Laundry complete (and put away)
  • Soup simmering on the stove
  • The absence of clutter

What brings order and grace to your home, office, life?

Abundance in a Soup Pot

Abundance in a Bowl of Soup

My famous Carrot Soup - photo credit: Life Simplified

…a good homemade soup in these days of the can opener is almost a unique and always a satisfying experience. ~ Julia Child

The all day simmer.  The intoxicating aroma.  The long awaited first bowl.


It’s just about the most perfect thing in the world.  There are not many weekends when the soup pot isn’t bubbling on the stove making luscious chicken stock, a vegetable soup or a decadent chowder.

As I stirred yesterday’s simmering white vegetable and bean soup, I couldn’t help but think soup is Simple Abundance in a pot.  Out of what another might throw away, I had a steamy concoction of goodness that is not only satisfying for the stomach, but the soul as well.

The secret to the perfect soup is time, patience and as Julia would say a “what-the-hell attitude.”  I started making soup from fixing up something canned.  From there I graduated to soups with store bought stock.  Now I can confidently say I’ve graduated to fully homemade soup, stock and all.

Patience and Time

For me it’s an all day process.  I start with left over bones I keep in the freezer.  Julia taught me the secret to an amazing stock that I’d missed in my self taught training.  Brown the chicken bones.  Who would have thought that one step would make all the difference in the world.  I’ve included my chicken stock recipe below to spare you with the boring details.

Suffice to say, soup is the ultimate example of abundance for me.  Making a stock re-centers me.  Chopping the vegetables becomes a meditation.  Combining the right spices and seasonings, magic.

If you had to pick one food that depicts abundance to you what would it be?


Jen’s Chicken Stock

  • Bones from at least one chicken.  We save our bones in the freezer.  When our bone bag is full, it’s time for stock.
  • Odds and ends from onions, carrots, celery if you have them. Since I make stock on a regular basis I keep the odds and ends from the week’s vegetables in a container in the refrigerator.  If you don’t add 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, an onion and some garlic if you want.
  • Thyme
  • BayLeaves
  • Peppercorns
  • Olive Oil

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the chicken bones.  Let them brown, but watch them so they don’t burn.  About half way through the process add the vegetables, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.  You’re looking for some caramelization on the bottom of the pan.  This takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how many bones you have.

Add water to cover the bones.  Simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  Your kitchen will smell heavenly.

Strain the bones, etc. at the end of the cooking.  You can start a soup at this point or freeze the stock you made.

Note: You’ll notice I didn’t add any salt to the mixture.  This is because when you make a soup, the stock will continue to condense.  If it contained the “right” amount of salt at the beginning, it would be too salty at the end.


Learning to be an Optimist

Glass Half Full - Learning to be an optimist

photo credit: gfrphoto via flickr

Negative Chatter

All the chatter with the political campaign drives me crazy.  Everyone says they have the only answer, they are the only positive choice, and the opponent is a miserable human being.


Is this how we decide on who will run a company?  Do you slam the competition when you interview for a job?  It sounds ridiculous in those terms, but that’s exactly what the presidential candidates are doing.  Watching too much of the political stuff can really drain your glass.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

This week, a friend commented on my Facebook page that my cup is always half full and someone else suggested overflowing.  I can’t deny that I look on the positive side of things.  It does, however, take work.

I don’t surround myself with negative stuff.  I avoid the commercial news.  What I read is inspirational – biographies, success stories and information that enhances my life, not depletes it.

When you choose to be an optimist, you can spot negativity a mile away.  You don’t get sucked in.  You can see through the negativity to something deeper.  I can’t say I’ve done a lot of this with the political campaign, but I will before I vote.

Learning to be an optimist helps you make sounder decisions.  You aren’t swayed by the emotional tide someone else as created.  Instead optimism opens the door for you to follow who you choose.  There’s a freedom, a lightness, a sense of peace in learning to be an optimist.

Warning: People don’t always like optimists.  They think you should get caught up in their drama.  You should believe the negative stories they’ve been telling themselves.  They want you to this so you’ll validate their point of view.  When you don’t, it can be a little uncomfortable.  Believe me I’ve been there.

A theme has arisen in the month of January I didn’t expect.  You have a choice.  You can choose to follow the negative messages, or you can choose to become an optimist.  Which do you choose?


There’s No Scarcity

My left hemisphere had been trained to perceive myself as a solid, separate from others.  Now, released from that restrictive circuitry, my right hemisphere relished in its attachment to the eternal flow.  I was no longer isolated and alone.  My soul was as big as the universe and frolicked with glee in a boundless sea.  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

I know I’ve mentioned My Stroke of Insight, but I re-read it again this week to remind myself we have a choice between believing in scarcity or abundance.

The Power Of Your Brain

Dr. Taylor’s amazing story gives us insight into the power of our brains.  Since we have two distinct hemisphere’s that act independently, we do have the ability to shift our perception, and thus our reality.  That’s what enlightened people have been doing for ages.  They move into the right hemisphere of their brains and perceive the world from there.  According the Dr. Taylor it’s a dramatically different world.

What You Believe Shapes Your World

I think it’s important that you remember, whatever you believe shapes your world.  If you believe there are tons of bad people out there, there will be.  You’ll pick up on every news article, negative incident, and nasty person.

If, however, you believe the world is good, you will pick up the signs to confirm that.

As Dr. Taylor’s left hemisphere came back “online,” she found some of the negative self talk trying to return.  Because she’d experienced a world of no self talk, she knew she could control it.  She consciously chose what she wanted to believe and what her brain would repeat.

Even today, fully recovered, she has to keep her negative self talk in check.

When my brain runs loops that feel harshly judgmental, counter-productive, or our of control, I wait 90 seconds for the emotional/physiological response to dissipate and then I speak to my brain as though it is a group of children.  I say with sincerity, “I appreciate your ability to think thoughts and feel emotions, but I am really not interested in thinking these thoughts or feeling these emotions any more.  Please stop bringing this stuff up.”

What is your self talk saying?  Is it telling you there’s scarcity, lack, to be afraid?  Or is it telling you loving thoughts about yourself and others?  You control it.  You can change the thought patterns.  How will you start today?

Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Lack

Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Lack

photo credit: aussiegall via flickr

One ordinary morning I realized I was emotionally and physically exhausted from concentrating on things I wanted to buy but couldn’t afford.  I felt trapped in a vicious circle.  The more I focused on lack and on what I couldn’t have, the more depressed I become.  The more depressed I became, the more I focused on lack…What I hungered for was a inner peace that the world could not take away. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been there.

When I read this passage in Simple Abundance, it was as of Sarah was reading my mind. In my post-holiday blah’s I’ve fallen into this cycle way more often than I’m willing to admit.  Once there, it’s hard to pull yourself out.  Even worse as an entrepreneur, it can be devastating to the business.

I’ve been here before so I know a bit of what to do.

When the feeling hits

At the first signs of the lack cycle, I look for a couple things.  Do I need more rest?  Have I been eating properly?  Have I been getting enough water?  Have I taken my vitamins?  Am I getting enough exercise? Feeling physically deprived can trigger the lack response.

If I can honestly say yes to all of those questions, I move a little deeper.

How have I been spending my time?  Have I been worrying a lot?  Have I been balancing the creative with the organizing?  Have I been working all the time?  When was the last time I was in nature?  Have I been journaling?

As I put the pieces of the puzzle together the final set of questions emerges.

Am I conscious of the abundance in my life?  Have I been practicing gratitude (doing gratitude prayers, writing in my gratitude journal, etc.)?

You need to re-energize

During the holidays you expend a lot of energy.  Not only the outward energy of running around, but inward energy.  It’s the inward energy that’s slow to replenish.  All of that organizing, planning, scheduling, making sure everything is perfect, can drain our inner well of energy.

January is a perfect time to rejuvenate.  If you don’t and try to continue on the hamster wheel, you slip into the vicious cycle of lack.

Did you know it’s only a pea sized part of your brain that controls these negative emotions?  I was shocked to learn that this week.  It helped put things in perspective.  Do I want to be controlled by a pea sized part of my brain?

Stop the cycle before it starts

If you find yourself floating toward the cycle of lack, put the bakes on.  Take a walk.  Write in your journal.  Do a little gratitude work.  Then continue that cycle until lack simply melts away.

Concsiousness is a Choice

Consciousness is a Choice - Stroke of Insight

photo credit:

Own your own power and show up for your life. ~ Jill Bolte Taylor

A million things happen every day.  Most slide through our lives unnoticed.  The scent of spring in the air.  The chirping of a bird.  The smile of a stranger.

What if they were all taken away in a moment?

That’s what Jill Bolte Taylor experienced when she had a stroke in her mid thirties.  Being a brain scientist, she knew what was happening.  She recorded her conscious thought through the stroke and healing in a wonderful book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.  In the book, she tells us moment by moment how simple things like dialing a phone slipped away from consciousness.

As she was recovering she writes:

“…it was clear that the “I” whom I had grown up to be had not survived this neurological castastrophe.  I understood that the Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor died that morning, and yet, with that said, who was left?”

Jill was able to rebuild a life completely from scratch.  No memories.  No baggage.  At the same time she felt “enormous grief for the death of my left hemisphere consciousness – and the woman I had been, I concurrently felt tremendous relief.”

It doesn’t take a stroke

It doesn’t take a stroke or a terminal illness to have these revelations.  All it takes is choice.

You have a choice every day to give up the pieces of your life you don’t like and choose the pieces you want to remain.  Like Jill you can rebuild your life into the life you choose.

You also have a choice to recognize the pieces of your life, give a prayer of thanks, and move on.  Or continue to move blindly through the next 24 hours.

Today Taylor is convinced that the stroke was the best thing that could have happened to her.  it has taught her that the feeling of nirvana is never more than a mere thought away.  By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace that are so often sidelined by our own brain chatter.

Do you choose to be conscious or unconscious today?


What Do You Really Need?

What Do You Really Need?

photo credit: supersonicphotos via flickr

What you need you attract like a lover. ~ Gertrude Stein

A Sunday Contemplation

After my iPad post yesterday, I read this quote.  Made me think a bit.

I don’t know how much faith you put into all of the Law of Attraction stuff, but I’ve experimented with it over the last three years and one thing I’ve learned, I seem to attract more of what I need rather than just what I want.

Creating a Burning Desire

The reason is when you absolutely need something, you create a burning desire to capture it.  When you just want something the desire, energy isn’t as strong.

When you listen to the stories of Oprah, Wilma Rudolph, Sandra Day O’Connor, Louise Hay, Maya Angelou, single mothers struggling to raise good kids, women with cancer, women starting businesses, they all have one thing in common, a need.

Whether it’s a need to put food on the table, or rise above a societal stereo type, there becomes a burning desire that is associated with a need.  This burning desire becomes all consuming.  That’s what sets the Law of Attraction into motion.  Not just sitting there wishing you had the next best thing.

Separate the Needs from the Wants to Focus Your Energy

If you’re feeling lack in your life, determine if it’s a need or a want.  You’ll be able to tell the difference immediately.  When you pick out your needs, then put all your energy into achieving them.  Make them top of mind.  Contemplate what the world would be like when those needs are met.

The “how’s” will begin to show up. 

This burning desire you create will overcome the fear in taking action.  In the past if you were afraid to ask for something, now you’ll feel empowered to do so.

Then the cycle begins.

What do you truly need  in your life?  Have you created a burning desire or have you waffled between your needs and wants?

Waffling will only get you breakfast (get it).  It won’t fulfill your essential needs.  Once you begin to care for yourself in this way, opportunities present themselves.

I have many more needs in my life than an iPad.  Today I choose to focus on those rather than my wants so I can reclaim my energy.  How about you?

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