The Seeds You Plant in Your Mind

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”  James Allen

The idea of the mind as a garden has always resonated with me. Just as we weed our gardens we must do the same for our minds. We must weed out the negative thoughts, prune away the things that are not serving us, and plant and nourish what we want to see bloom in our lives. 

Sunflowers in the Sky!

Sunflowers in the Sky!

“Think for a moment of a tomato plant. A healthy plant can have more than a hundred tomatoes on it. In order to get this tomato plant with all these tomatoes on it, we need to start with a small dried seed. That seed doesn’t look like a tomato plant. It sure doesn’t taste like a tomato plant. If you didn’t know for sure, you would not even believe it could be a tomato plant. However, let’s say you plant this seed in fertile soil, and you water it and let the sun shine on it.

When the first little tiny shoot comes up, you don’t stomp on it and say, “That’s not a tomato plant.” Rather, you look at it and say, “Oh boy! Here it comes,” and you watch it grow with delight. In time, if you continue to water it and give it lots of sunshine and pull away any weeds, you might have a tomato plant with more than a hundred luscious tomatoes.

It all begins with that one tiny seed.

It is the same with creating a new experience for yourself. The soil you plant in is your subconscious mind. The seed is the new affirmation. The whole new experience is in this tiny seed. You water it with affirmations. You let the sunshine of positive thoughts beam on it. You weed the garden by pulling out the negative thoughts that come up. And when you first see the tiniest little evidence, you don’t stomp on it and say, “That’s not enough!” Instead, you look at this first breakthrough and exclaim with glee, “Oh boy! Here it comes! It’s working!”

Then you watch it grow and see how your thoughts create your desire.” Louise Hay

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Nobody Knows What They Are Doing

“Unless you are already dead — mentally, emotionally, and socially — you cannot anticipate your life 5 years into the future. It will not develop as you expect. So just stop it. Stop assuming you can plan far ahead, stop obsessing about what is happening right now because it will change anyway, and get over the control issue about your life’s direction. Fortunately, because this is true, you can take even more chances and not lose anything; you cannot lose what you never had. Besides, most feelings of loss are in your mind anyway – few matter in the long-term.” Thomas

I remember being a teenager thinking about my future and seeing it clearly defined. First A (college degrees), then B (career), then C (marriage, house, 1.5 kids). The future was bright, clear, and guaranteed. I was following the steps, getting good grades, and ensured 5 gold stars at the end of finish line.

Now, it seems the finish line is in fact a bar that is continually rising higher and higher above all of our heads. The steps have disappeared. We now realize that life is not guided by a certain set of rules that guarantees A,B,C or X,Y, Z.

So, we are all just winging it. Floaters and dreamers trying to make the best next step with the knowledge we have, a bunch of educated guesses. The advice available around relationships, health, career, and finances is varied, ever-changing, and conflicting. Our relationships, career, health, and finances fluctuate and we can’t predict with certainty how any of it will turn out. We make the decisions we think are best for us and many times they are shots in the dark.  Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t but being able to go with the flow and having faith that things will eventually turn out okay will get you through a lot. No one knows it ALL so get really good at a few things, think outside the box, take risks, and keep moving forward with an optimistic attitude.

Don’t let “I don’t know” stop you. Neither does anyone else. We are all just figuring it out. And when in doubt “fake it til you make it.”

“The number one goal should be to try to become a better person, partner, parent, friend, colleague etc. — in other words to grow as an individual.”

You Don’t Have Time

“You might think, ‘I’ve got time to follow my dreams.’ You don’t have time. Life is short. The current life expectancy is 24,869 days. While some of us will live more days and some fewer, either way you have only a precious number of days to live this life, and so you do not have time to put off your dreams. It is now or never. If you don’t do it now, you will keep putting it off, and you’ll never do it. The time is now!” Rhonda Byrne

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I love the summer, the smell of the grass, the warmth, the vibrant colors, the activity. It is my favorite. I try to stop time as I stand outside with my arms spread wide, breathing deep, and look into the sunny sky. I lie in hammocks, wear sundresses, take rides on scooters, swim in lakes, hike mountains, walk barefoot in the grass, and dine alfresco. If I just soak it all in will it stay with me longer? Can I press the pause button?

There is no pause button, I’ve looked.

It is August already. The time goes by no matter how hard we try to hold on. So today, wake up and take some action, any action. Get clear on what you want or at least try something new if you don’t know what you want but are unhappy. Put your big girl/boy pants on and be brave enough to work towards a life that will make you feel fulfilled.

 

Choosing Kindness Over Winning

A Story for Your Heart

In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools. At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?” The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query.

“I believe,” the father answered, “that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child.” He then told the following story about his son Shaya.

One afternoon Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me play?” Shaya’s father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya’s father understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”

Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded, with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know-how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first. Run to first.” Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, who was still running.

But the right-fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second.” Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third. As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya run home.” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a “grand slam” and won the game for his team.

“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”

Story retold as described from Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention.

Mileage Gives Me Anxiety: A Little Perspective Please

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” 
-Abraham Lincoln

My family has leased a lot of cars. If you have ever leased a car you know you are given a certain mileage allotment and if you go over by the time you turn the car back in you have to pay a fine. It has also always been made very clear that increased miles on a car decreases its value.  Usually for road-trips we would rent a car for a week to keep the mileage down. Over and over again it was ingrained that too many miles meant a loss of value and money.

Here is another family’s story around mileage:

Every time the car gets to what may be a somewhat significant mileage there is a mini-celebration. There is discussion around all the miles covered, all the journeys experienced, how far the wonderful car has taken them. Family members remember certain places as significant because it was where the car hit this or that mileage. How amazing to have journeyed so many miles and to have a car last so long.

The Honda Civic, Zippy, on a trip from NY to LA

The Honda Civic, Zippy, on a trip from NY to LA

It is so interesting to look at our stories, especially when they go up against someone else’s. The story I know about mileage doesn’t  make much sense for me.  I am always in search of the next hike, mountain, adventure, town or anything new to explore. This leads to a lot of mileage. I have driven across country, twice. My weekends entail trips with car rides that are anywhere from a few to 10 hours away. I have driven roundtrip Florida to New York, New York to Chicago, New York to Tennessee, up and down the California coast and even up into Washington, and more. Despite the fact that I got the car I got because they are rumored to last well with high mileage and the fact that I do not lease the vehicle, I have reservations around putting too many miles on my car. The anxiety that accelerates as the mileage creeps up on my Honda Civic is a little ridiculous. Listening to another’s view around the same subject has again brought to light the stories we tell ourselves, perspective, and point of view. Mileage can either = accomplishment and gratitude or anxiety and emphasis on decreasing value.

Follow me on Instagram for photos from my adventures @dre_adventures

Time to enjoy every mile!

 My family’s story is just one perspective, so if I want to feel differently, I am going to have  to change my viewpoint.

Many things shape our beliefs: media, family, culture, teachers, and experiences. It is important to step back once in a while and wonder where our reactions and stories come from, and more importantly, if they are serving us, or if it is time to let them go for a different one.

Beauty, money, guilt, men, women, success, and love are topics worth looking into..

Enjoy every mile!

Follow on Instagram @dre_adventures if you want to check out my adventures

7 Things to Pack for A Healthy Summer Vacation

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -Jawaharial Nehru

Summer! A time when most of us plan our trips! I just got back from exploring Yellow Stone and the Grand Tetons. It was amazing! Hope you have some fun things planned! Time to let go of the routine, gain new perspective, and relax! Here are some of my must-haves for my suitcase to ensure I stay healthy while I’m away so I can fully enjoy any trip!

Pack Healthy:

1. Eye-mask and earplugs: Sleep is important, you want to be well rested for your exploring. These come in handy on a plane or with noisy neighbors. They helped dull the sounds coming from the wailing infant beside me on my last plane ride!!

2. Probiotics: Traveling, usually we usually are trying new foods or maybe not so good food, these can be a game changer. I remember the old days when I used to pack pepto in fear of how my stomach would react to certain things, since probiotics, no more! Probiotics keep your tummy happy, digestion moving, and help boost your immune system. My favorite for travel is Integrative Therapeutics probiotic pearls because they come in convenient packs that fit in a wallet and are stable without refrigeration.

3. Essential Oils: Thieves to boost the immune system and as a hand sanitizer (put on your hands on the plane, public bathrooms etc.), Peppermint for motion sickness, headaches, tummy troubles and to wake you up. Lavender for burns, allergies, and to calm. Purification if I am going somewhere buggy. Oils must be therapeutic grade to have these benefits, so I only use Young Living. I also bring a citrus oil, grapefruit, lime, or lemon, to add to my water for more benefits and tasty water.

Favorite Young Living Oils for Travel

Favorite Young Living Oils for Travel

4. Healthy Snacks: Nuts, small packets almond butter, organic oatmeal packets, carrot sticks, apples, tangerines, roasted and spiced chickpeas, and/or homemade low sugar granola. All easy to pack and fairly long-lasting these will come in handy when you’re hungry and your only option is at the gas station.

5. Magnesium Citrate: Many people suffer from constipation while traveling and magnesium citrate can help if you suffer from this problem or if you over indulge in cheese fries!

6. Greens powder: Sometimes its hard to get greens when traveling, so search for a green juice bar near your destination, but if there isn’t one, you’ll have the greens powder to get some chlorophyll in. Not as tasty as the real deal and a little gritty but its a good fall back. They come in one time use packets for easy packing.

7. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important! Bring your own bottle so you can continue to fill up whenever potable water is available.

My Other Travel Essentials: Eminence Organics Red Currant Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 does double duty as face moisturizer and sunscreen, Flip-flops for showers in public places like campgrounds, good hiking/walking shoes, oil for oil pulling and nasya (get a regulation size bottle, fill with sesame oil and a couple drops of young living thieves or peppermint oil), a scarf, travel size pill dispenser with compartments to store only the amount of vitamins and herbs I will need while I’m away, and Eminence Vanilla Mint Hand Cream and a their citrus lip balm because travel can dry me out!*

Check out this packing cheat sheet from smartertravel.com for a list of clothing, toiletry, and technological items to help you make sure nothing important gets left behind!

Contact me to order probiotics, vitamins, or essential oils if you don’t have them yet!

What are your must-haves? Your best travel tips? I’d love to hear about them!

*The chemicals in your skin care products take 26 seconds to enter your bloodstream, which is why I am so particular about the products and companies I use. Added bonus? The company Eminence plants a tree for every product sold.

Mount Washburn in Yellow Stone National Park

Mount Washburn in Yellow Stone National Park

 

Give Yourself Room to Grow: 7 Tips for Letting Go of Stuff

 Recently, I feel the need to reorganize and de-clutter. My recent road trip involved collecting things left behind and driving in a car overstuffed with clothes I probably no longer need and more than likely don’t even want anymore.  I realized how long I hold onto things unnecessarily.  I wore a pair of jeans I have had since high school and then saw a picture of myself in them and grimaced…time to let them go and time to dig in and let go of other things too.

I try to be a conscious buyer and have noticed the difference in many areas of my life. It’s good. I only want to own things I love and that I feel good about buying. I have realized that the purchases that give me the most pleasure are experiences. I want my purchases to reflect that as a priority in my life. Also, it is better for the natural and my own environment.

I called a consignment shop yesterday and plan to use my Sunday to clean out the closets.

My guidelines for letting go of the stuff and getting organized:

1. If I haven’t used or worn it in a year, it goes.

2. If it doesn’t look good on me, it goes, no matter what I paid for it.

3. Pretend like I’m moving, would I want the item to come with me to a new place?  Whenever we move, most of us are shocked by the amount of stuff we manage to collect and I’m no exception. Why am I holding onto a flower lei that I got at a party 5 years ago?

4. Go through notes and type up the things I need to know or that will serve me in google docs, paper gets recycled. Books I’ll never read again go to the library.

5. If it’s broken, it gets fixed, or tossed. If it is dingy, ugly, or tattered, it goes (thinking about night shirts, socks, and underwear here).

6. Anything that reminds me of an unhappy time or experience, goes out.

7. Use these questions about my thoughts and things to guide my decisions. “Who am I? What do I want for my life? What do I want my space to feel like? Will this item serve me?”

Clearing out clutter helps reduce anxiety, saves time in the long run, gives you room to expand, and space to think. Clutter drains our energy and stagnates thoughts and emotions. Sell your stuff to a consignment store or have a garage sale and use the money for an experience!

Multnomah Falls, Oregon. Feeling free and open.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon. Feeling free and open.

Goals and The Spaces Between

“The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we’re off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next.

That doesn’t mean that the goals we have don’t count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process and it’s the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable, angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from that, it’s really the process that’s important.”  The Tao of Pooh

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“The honey doesn’t taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn’t mean so much once it is reached; the reward is no so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won’t have very much. But if we add up the spaces *between* the rewards, we’ll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards *and* the spaces, then we’ll have everything – every minute of the time that we spent.” The Tao of Pooh