#WhatAreYouWorkingOn – No.3

wauwo

Welcome! This is the third installment of my new weekly (Friday) series called “What are You Working On?”!

You can find out more about this challenge here or if you are interested in joining us, you can share photos with us on Instagram (#whatareyouworkingon) or join our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group for future prompts to remind you to share your week with us! Add your post to the Mr. Linky section at the bottom of this post if you want to add a link to your blog. Please be sure and check back and COMMENT on others in the challenge! 

Each week, I will offer a list of categories and what I am working on in each category. Other participants may have different categories to describe their own interests and projects. I hope you will join us!

What am I working on? Here are some things…

ART

I went to visit my sister last weekend, so there isn’t a lot to report this week overall. One thing I can mention is that we made some fake succulents and it was really fun. They turned out cute. I was between knitting projects so I just started another hat. I am building a collection of them to sell next winter.

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My first attempt at fake succulents.

HOME

Although I can’t say that I have done a lot on my home this week (yet), I am planning to get busy on my kitchen this weekend. This is a project that has been way overdue. Now that Spring is here, I can actually start working on it and MOVE FORWARD. My plan is to start on the cabinets. I need to remove the ancient paint and try and save the hinges, if possible. I don’t have new cabinet pulls yet, but once I start removing the paint, I will start shopping. I have shopped a bit but I feel I need to decide on a wall color before I can buy the pulls, just in case I decide to buy colored ones.

The cabinets are the hardest part of this job that is left. Over the last few years, I have replaced the countertop, tiled the backsplash (all by myself!) and painted inside the cabinets. I also bought all new appliances, so you would think it was “almost done”. It is, but I have been dragging my feet on completing it so it is time to get started again.

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My theme for the kitchen is BIRDS, so when I got together with my sister this weekend, we went a little BIRD CRAZY. I bought several little bird statues for the clear glass shelves that I am going to add to my kitchen window.I also got a white peacock statue. Do you like it?

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My idea is to have some herb plants on glass shelves in the window and have a branch that looks like it comes out of the cabinet to display a few cute little birds on. I might make some with sculpy and put them on there. Then I actually FOUND this cast iron branch. It was kismet, so of course I had to buy it! Now I have to finish painting the cabinets just so I can hang my branch. This is how my crazy mind works.

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succulents

When I was looking at the succulents with my sister, I could not help but notice this little guy…

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It is SUCH an ugly little plant, but it is SO COOL! It is called a lithop. So rare that my autocorrect didn’t even recognize that as a word! haha. Oh! So I found this really cool YouTube video to show you what I mean..

 

Their flowers are really cool too. Here is a video of a flower blooming on a lithop…

 

 

LEARNING/DISCOVERY

Besides discovering the lithops (above), I am also still working on my Spanish. I suppose that I will be working on that for a very long time! I listened to a few lessons this week. As I was driving to Madison last week, I decided to practice my Spanish by naming things around me and got stuck a few times. I was thinking perhaps it might be good to put sticky notes on things around the house and try and talk about them in Spanish. Maybe that will motivate Eric as well. My Google Translate app is really good if I want to know a word – I just speak a word into my phone and it says the Spanish equivalent back to me. It’s pretty cool like that. I really just need to converse more.

I am still working on my cooking skills. After making the chicken soup and seeing how tender it was when I made it like that, I decided to revamp my Creamy Cajun Chicken recipe and make it with better chicken and better noodles. So I boiled the chicken in some broth for 20 minutes to cook it and then used that same broth to make my noodles. I thought it was the best Cajun Chicken I’ve made yet. Tatia and I were the only two to eat it since Eric was gone that evening, but it was good enough that Tatia wanted seconds. (To be fair, it IS her favorite dish so she probably would have wanted seconds no matter how well I cooked it.)

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

I’ve been reading The Conscious Parent for our book club that starts in May (2015) and this book is great for reminding us that our daily lives are a constant opportunity for spiritual practice. With this book, the focus is on living as consciously as possible for our children.

All of us have moments of being aware of ourselves and moments of being unconscious and just going through the motions in life. It is part of being human. Parenting is perhaps the most likely place to be unconscious because it is all about dealing with our unconscious patterns of the past. Our children bring up so much. They remind us of our own childhood but now we are on the other side of it. Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent, helps us to become aware of our choices as we parent. She helps us to see that what we want for our children often hinders them from figuring out what they want for themselves. I think that I have done a pretty OK job of parenting my daughter, but this book has opened my eyes to more things I could learn.

So part of my own spiritual practice this week has been to just be aware of how I interact with my daughter. Am I hindering her with my own expectations? Am I encouraging her to please me with the language that I use with her? I’ve been a pleaser much of my life and so this book is having me take a deeper look at my own patterns of pleasing others. One thing she stresses very much in this book is that parent’s need to take ownership of their own stuff. Anything that you are strongly encouraging in your children is probably something that you either highly value or something that you’ve messed up with. Either way, it is your stuff and isn’t necessarily about your children at all. We imprint our own desires and issues onto our children and we need to become aware of this in order to help them find their own desires and work through their own issues.

If you are a parent and would like to join me, the group is free. I think it will be fun. We are meeting up over at GoodReads.com. The group is called Conscious Living Book Group. (I originally named it Tao Te Ching Book Study but changed the title because it isn’t really about studying the Tao Te Ching. It’s more general than that.)

BODY

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When I was at my sister’s house last weekend, my brother-in-law was telling me about a book that he is reading called VB6 by Mark Bittman. The idea of this is to eat no meat or dairy before your evening meal and stay away from processed foods. I mostly stay away from processed foods and eating vegan is something that I enjoy anyways so this appealed to me. I have been pretty good about exercising regularly and eating less sugar, but my weight loss has stalled now for months. My weight is OK. I am not fat, but I could lose just a few more pounds to be at my healthiest.

My sister also told me about a website & app called SuperBetter. Below is an awesome video explaining the reason behind the game. (NOTE: The best part starts around the 6 minute mark so stick around for that). We are allies on there and I would LOVE to be allies with any of you if you want to play along! One thing I learned from this is that I am already doing an amazing job with these things. Yes, I have things like my kitchen that I get stuck on, but generally I do a lot to make my life healthy and happy. Yeah, ME!

PLAYING/WATCHING/RESTING (YIN)

I did get a bit more rest this week. My body was super tired this week and I had a little bout of something which is our body’s way of telling us it is time to REST. So I took a day this week and slept a lot and I felt much better. I’ve been playing a bit of online poker which is fun and I also have started playing Duolingo again to practice my Spanish. For playing, I like to play games like SuperBetter and Duolingo because they work out my brain at the same time. Why not?

As for watching, our family started a new series this week called The Newsroom on HBO. We signed up for HBO Now on Apple TV and this has given us access to all of the HBO shows. Eric wanted it to watch Game of Thrones. The Newsroom is a really good series about a news reporter who is stuck in a rut because he spent too many years placating to the majority and what they “wanted” to hear and his honest reporting of the news suffered because of it. It’s a good series. You can watch an important scene from the pilot here if you are curious about what it is about.

 

Well, that is my week in a nutshell. How was yours? Please tell us what you are up to with the #whatareyouworkingon hashtag on Instagram or Facebook! Or add your blog link below and write about your latest project!



I Ching #23: Splitting

 

 

 

 

A fisherman at Atitlan Lake in Guatemla

 

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This post is #23 of 64 hexagrams in a series of posts about the I Ching, an ancient Taoist text that has many ties to the Tao Te Ching. For those of you new to this series, you may want to start by reading my post called “What is a Hexagram?” that helps to explain more about the general idea of the I Ching.

If you look at the image of this hexagram, there is a solid (yang) line atop five dashed (yin) lines. This top line represents a solid roof atop a rather unstable home. It is in danger of being destroyed. What will destroy this roof is the support that is underneath it.

We are only as strong as our weakest link.

As we attempt to live our lives in the best way possible, there are undoubtedly going to be times that test us. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid these difficult times. When bad things happen, the first thing we may want to do is run in the opposite direction but that is not what is suggested by this hexagram. I believe that sometimes difficult events are put in our lives to test our fortitude and this is one of those times.

What came to mind as I read this hexagram’s suggestions was the current state of the U.S. economy. With this hexagram, it suggests that powers that wish to remain in power need to consider their support. If they do not do this in such a way that it appeals to those underneath, it will destroy itself. The most appealing way to be is to be just and true. Why is this so difficult? It seems, as a nation, that we are destined to destroy ourselves. When those in power continue to ignore the needs of the people, it does not work. The so-called “common people” are the entire support structure of the entire operation! This is becoming very apparent as U.S. Presidential candidates are starting to make their intentions known. Everyone is vying for the biggest piece of the voter pie to capture the presidency. But will it be enough? I know that many companies are overworking their employees and burning them out. This is to say nothing of the factory workers or the plantation pickers that work long days for less than $50.

This hexagram suggests that, to avoid destruction, we must remain virtuous and gain support through our virtue. Globally, this is being tested. All over the world, the financial markets are seeing unusual fluctuations because of dishonesty in practices. These practices are destroying our financial structure. We’ve allowed these unstable financial practices to grow too large and they are now working against us, globally. The food situation is another example. By using all of these harsh chemicals to spray our foods and make them easy to grow, we are destroying the bees that support the pollen distribution, which will inevitably destroy the plants. I could go on… but I think you get the picture.

As I review this hexagram, I am also thinking of my own little circle of influence – my family. As my daughter enters her teen years, I am challenged to stay connected with her in ways that are supportive and meaningful for her during these difficult teenage years. So many times, the teenage years are difficult for parents because our children are making their own way in the world and that separation can cause some anxiety for us parents and angst for our children as they want to be on their own terms. This hexagram might suggest that we trust and remain virtuous through these times and we will ultimately come through it. For me, the practice of trying to stay present for her is my challenge. Next month, in May, I am hosting a book study on GoodReads.com and we will study a book called The Conscious Parent. If you are also challenged with parenting as consciously as possible, I hope you will join me. I think it will be a lot of fun.

So what about you? What does this bring up for you? Can you think of other examples of how this hexagram might play out in our lives?

2: What are You Working On? #wauwo

wauwo

Welcome! This is the second installment of my new weekly (Friday) series called “What are You Working On?”!

You can find out more about this challenge here or if you are interested in joining us, you can share photos with us on Instagram (#wauwo) or join our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group for future prompts to remind you to share your week with us! Add your post to the Mr. Linky section at the bottom of this post if you want to add a link to your blog. Please be sure and check back and COMMENT on others in the challenge! 

Each week, I will offer a list of categories and what I am working on in each category. Other participants may have different categories to describe their own interests and projects. I hope you will join us!

What am I working on? Here are some things…

ART

 I had to write this post early because I am off to my sister’s this weekend. SOLO ROAD TRIP!!!  Jackie is always a total inspiration when it comes to art. All my sisters are, but Jackie is like the Queen of Art. So we will probably spend our weekend touring around the different sweet little funky shops around Madison. So what I am working on right now is two things. I think there’s just two… First, I completed my first of FIVE art projects for a project I signed up for called the Pay It Forward Art Project. The goal is to send off five pieces of art to five people who signed up on my blog (yes, it’s done) and they offered to send five pieces of art to five more people in exchange. Sort of like a chain letter of art. I detest chain letters, but this? Yeah. I can do an art chain letter and I am OK with that. I can’t share a photo with you of it yet because I haven’t sent it off. It does contain a clue for who it is for, and I don’t want to give it away that this person is getting their art piece yet.

I can however, show you the fabric combinations I was choosing from…

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Each of my projects may be a different thing, though, so for those of you reading this who are waiting for one of the projects – remember we have the WHOLE YEAR and I may not even make them all the same!

I am currently between knitting projects. That fair isle one that I discussed  in my last post is completed as far as the knitting goes. I am thinking of making it into a pillow but the turquoise part is looser than the fair isle part and this bothers me. So not sure. I will have to block it and see what happens. If I make it into a pillow cover after all, I may put it up on my Etsy shop if I decide it is worthy of selling.

 

HOME

We started the SoulSpace up again last week so I got busy with that. The first project that Kim suggested was to work on our PENS, PENCILS and MARKERS. I had already done mine a while back and not much had changed there, so I just went back through the pens with a testing pad. I found a pen that I had bought when my sisters, my nieces, my daughter and I had visited Chicago together for a big girlie weekend. This one went into my purse.

 

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So for the first three months of the group, we will be working on a combination of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and SoulSpace.  Last time, so many of us found Marie Kondo’s method helpful that we decided to incorporate her book into the group as well. Here is a video of her discussing her methods. She’s very Japanese. She even needed a translator! She’s popular all over the world now, though.

The weather was nice last weekend so I went out in my garage and started organizing and getting rid of stuff. It feels good to start on the garage, even if the entire job feels a bit overwhelming. It’s the only area of my home that I haven’t touched since the beginning of SoulSpace. It’s pretty crowded in there and much “soulspacing” is needed! We don’t have a basement or an attic, so our garage is our long-term storage. I will keep you posted on the progress!

 

LEARNING/DISCOVERY

I was on Facebook the other day and my Spanish friend from iTalki.com messaged me. He helps me with my Spanish and it’s been some time since I have talked with him. We message back and forth on FB totally in Spanish. He is really good at English so he makes me stay in Spanish to learn more. Sometimes if we are talking about something complex I will switch to English. I haven’t really been on iTalki for months! To be honest, my Spanish has been on a bit of a back burner lately, but talking with Raúl refreshed my interest. Eric and I are both learning. He’s left it on a “further back” burner than I have. (We both always have a lot of things going on!) But we are heading to Costa Rica this November so we really should be spicing up our skills.

Speaking of spices, I’ve been updating my cooking skills. Last week, I made a homemade chicken soup from the expert instruction over at the America’s Test Kitchen’s OnlineCookingSchool.com. Their instructions were very clear and the soup turned out delicious. This photo, below, is my actual chicken soup. Although I used store bought noodles, the chicken turned out perfect. Not sure if I’ve ever even eaten chicken soup with the chicken that was actually tender and juicy. This photo was taken on day 2, when I ate the leftovers. I thought I had better take a photo before it was gone. My first month’s $1 subscription is coming due soon but I have decided to keep it for another month. (It costs $20 a month.) I figure, as long as I am actually taking lessons and learning from it, I will keep the subscription. $20 isn’t bad for a chef mentor to guide me through my month of cooking!

This is my actual chicken soup.

This is my actual chicken soup.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

I  am working on hexagram #23 this week for my I Ching posts. There are 64 hexagrams total and so I am writing about each one, in order. Traditionally, one should use rice kernels or yarrow sticks to help choose a specific hexagram to help guide you. But I am writing about each one of them in order to get to know them better. I want to make sure and cover them all.

It is always interesting to me how oracles work. I have also studied the Tarot and both the Tarot and the I Ching work similarly in that they seem to be their own entity, in a way.  The Chinese have used the I Ching to help them find their way for thousands of years. Since I am doing them in order, I was not sure if the advice would be applicable but somehow it always still seems to work. I think that is why it sometimes takes me a while between posts. If I read a hexagram and it doesn’t make sense, I put it down and come back another day.

Christianity is a common religion in the U.S. (where I live) so I will make an analogy to that. In Christianity, when you want advice, you pray to God. In Taoism, God is in everything so you are just observing God’s patterns through the patterns of the I Ching and it is through these patterns that you are finding some direction in how to live. To me, the two versions of God are not separate. They are looking at the same garden through two different windows.

Part of my regular spiritual practice is to try and understand the various viewpoints from different religions. I believe that this is the key to people getting along in the world and, although not directly suggested in the Tao Te Ching, the nuances of the text suggest that we should treat each other fairly and this includes being understanding to people with different beliefs than my own.

I struggle with this sometimes. There are some very heated discussions going on around the world right now, for example, about sexual preference. It is hard for me to see the other side of that issue as I believe that everyone has a right to live their lives as they see fit. I am struggling right now in coming to terms with people who feel otherwise. In the fifties, white people in America used to think that it was OK to treat African Americans as less important than white people and they learned that they were wrong. The beliefs of the public have changed to viewing people more as equals. I am not clear as to how this situation with the sexual preference is any different. Every individual on the planet is unique, with a unique set of beliefs. My beliefs will never match yours, no matter how hard we try. But I can at least try and understand yours and I consider it my responsibility to attempt that.

In this issue, particularly, I am coming up against my own judgements and I am having difficulty getting past them. I am very firm on my belief that it is wrong to judge people based on their sexual preference. My rights to live my own life should never supercede your rights to live yours as you see fit. That is my bottom line. I would not try and change anyone’s beliefs but in a situation where a store owner is allowed to discriminate against gays in order to live by their own beliefs, this crosses a line for me. When does religious freedom cross the boundary of invading on personal freedom of a right to choose how you live your life? Is a store owner’s freedom being challenged here when they are selling to someone who does not fit their belief system? Does this ruling help or hinder world peace? I always look at the underlying energy of the situation – is it based on love or hate? Am I hating you because I ask you to serve me? Are you hating me when you refuse to serve me? Let’s move towards love. Let the more loving option win, ALWAYS. Let that be our guide. From a Christian perspective, was Jesus more loving or more hating? Was he about acceptance or about judgement? I think that anyone can agree that the Christian perspective was meant to be living a life as Jesus himself would have done. I have a really hard time imagining Jesus not serving the gay community in order to preserve his right to his own beliefs.

[Stepping off my soapbox.]

READING/BOOKS

The_Conscious_Parent

Right now, I am reading a book called The Conscious Parent. In May, I will be starting a book study of this book and I welcome you to join us! It’s an incredible book and the first one in a series of books we are studying that relate to Taoist philosophy. Although the author is not a Taoist to my knowledge, her philosophy for parenting has many wonderful perspectives that are in alignment with Taoist beliefs. One thing all religions share is the desire to be more present in your life and parenting is one of the best and most difficult challenges in life to achieve this goal. In this book, author Shefali Tsabary challenges us to take on the most effective transformation we can as parents – to transform ourselves.

Only to the degree we as parents are attuned to our own being will we know how to help our children attune themselves to their unique essence. ~Shefali Tsabary

I am very excited for this group. It is the first time that I have explored using GoodReads for a book group. It looks like the site is pretty well designed for this, so I think it is going to be a lot of fun. If you know anyone who might be interested, I could certainly use your help to get the word out! I will also be writing posts specifically about each book as we study it throughout the month, so if you enjoy this blog it’s a great way to get more involved with other readers on here.

BODY

This week is a bad week to talk about what I am doing with my fitness and health goals. It is not as if I have fallen off the wagon as far as our “no sugar” thing, but I have not been able to walk to work this week because of the rain and this always makes me feel less healthy. We had a bit of sugar over the Easter weekend. No chocolate bunnies or Cadbury eggs, so I guess that’s progress. :) I’ve been cooking more, as I mentioned above and I am hoping that my cooking skills will help us to eat more at home. We spend a lot of money unnecessarily on eating out and when you cook your own food, you know exactly what’s in it and can choose the finest ingredients. Since I am heading out to see my sister soon (road trip!), I will be eating on the road which can sometimes be a bit dicey. But my sister and her husband are AMAZING cooks. They are actually the ones who turned me on to America’s Test Kitchen so I will be excited to talk with them about that and try more of their delicious cooking.

PLAYING/WATCHING/RESTING (YIN)

What update would be complete without a bit of yin?

Eric and I have been watching the Frasier series. I saw them years ago, but we have been watching an episode or two at the end of each evening. Lately, it’s been getting exciting with Niles and Daphne (if you’ve ever seen the series). If not, it’s a funny show.

We are also watching the Star Trek Voyager series from the beginning. I don’t even know what season we are in. I guess watching stuff has been my resting mode of choice. I don’t watch as many movies lately, but I do watch some shows on Hulu. We now have regular TV (without cable) if we want it, but we never watch it. We pretty much only watch what’s on Hulu and Netflix with the occasional movie tossed in.

For resting, I also enjoy sitting out on my deck. I just got new patio cushions so this is way more fun now. Our old cushions were getting in the way of my enjoying my time out there so this is a good change. Tonight, my resting consists of getting together with a friend which is also something I enjoy doing in my spare time. Tatia says I have too much going on if I can’t say it all in one breath. Yeah. She’s a smart kid.

Well, that’s my week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 



Do You Love Books Too?

Me & Tatia

Me & my daughter, Tatia

A few months ago, when we started our SoulSpacing journey, I was going through my books and deciding which to keep and which to discard. As I was going through a deep pile of Taoist books, it occurred to me that it would be really fun to host a monthly book club specifically for studying Taoist philosophy with you. I thought it would be a fun way to connect with more of you since me writing to you through these posts is a bit of a one-way street. I know that there are a lot of you that come out here and read this blog but never comment. I have no idea who you are, but I am curious about you.

So as I was poking around online for book ideas, I remembered one of my favorite book websites, GoodReads.com. As it happens, they have a format built into their site specifically for studying books!  Kismet!

So starting in May, I will be picking a different book to study each month that relates to Taoist living. By that I mean, books that help us to practice the suggestions brought to us through the Tao Te Ching and other Taoist texts like the I Ching. Some books will be specifically Taoist and others may not.

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For my first book, I chose one that is not specifically Taoist but that is a key concept in practicing being present – a big part of any spiritual journey no matter which religion you are. The book is called The Conscious Parent. My mom gave it to me a while ago and I love it. It’s the sort of parenting book that needs to be digested and not just mowed through in one sitting. A perfect book to spark some conversation around being present in our lives. Here’s a quote from the book to give you an idea:

“Although a child appears in a ‘lesser than’ form, susceptible to the whims and dictates of a more powerful parent, it’s precisely the child’s seemingly less powerful state that has the potential to call forth the greatest transformation in a parent.” – Shefali Tsabary

(That’s pretty Taoist, don’t you think?)

For each book, I will create some exercises and discussion points for us to review the book. You will be able to connect with other readers who enjoy living a life in the present moment! I will also be writing about the book through this blog so that you will be able to follow along and enjoy it with me. You can also comment on these posts if you want to just follow along through the blog but the real heart of the group will be the community over at GoodReads.

By the way, both the group and GoodReads are free. I would love it if you would share this idea with other parents and help me get the word out! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Ready for an adventure? Sign up for the Tao Te Ching Daily Book Club

1: What Are You Working On? (#wauwo)

wauwo

Welcome! This is the first installment of my new weekly (Friday) series called “What are You Working On?”!

You can find out more about this challenge here or if you are interested in joining us, you can share photos with us on Instagram (#wauwo) or join our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group for future prompts to remind you to share your week with us! Add your post to the Mr. Linky section at the bottom of this post if you want to add a link to your blog. Please be sure and check back and COMMENT on others in the challenge! 

Each week, I will offer a list of categories and what I am working on in each category. Other participants may have different categories to describe their own interests and projects. I hope you will join us!

What am I working on? Here are some things…

ART. Art is a big part of my world. I am starting to see this much more clearly than I have in the past. Not that I am actually DOING more art, but that I am recognizing that I am an artist. I feel like a cheater saying that. Isn’t that silly? My art is so scattered in so many ways that I have discounted it in the past, but NO MORE!

A few months ago, I found a local Meetup group for a book called The Artist’s Way. This is a live group that meets once a month in a library conference room. I found it through Heather Koshiol when I asked her about finding a local group that gathers to do art. She said that this group meets to discuss their art and not really do it, but she suggested that I check it out and I am so glad I did! What I have learned so far from this group is that I am an artist and I do all kinds of art! I do collage, knitting, painting, quilting, drawing and writing. There may even be more than that, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head!  Below is a photo of us in the group so you can see us. We met last night. If you are from the Twin Cities and want to join us in person next month, check it out! It seats limited people so be sure and register that you are coming if you want to make it.

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Our Twin Cities Artist’s Way Meetup Group – April 2015

I do art on a regular basis. I knit in the evenings while watching TV. I write almost daily while working on my book, working on this blog and commenting on the blogs of friends. Collaging, drawing and painting are taking a back seat at the moment but I occasionally do them also.  So part of this weekly “What are You Working On?” challenge for me is to recognize my art on a regular basis. This not only fulfills the CELEBRATION phase of the SoulSpace journey, but it is also building my vision of myself as an artist. My artist self needs that. Here is my latest knitting project that I have shared with you on Instagram and through our Facebook group:

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I am learning a new Fair Isle technique in knitting and this was something I created to help me practice this technique. The Fair Isle is a knitting technique that lets you combine colors in your knitting without making huge knots all over the back side of it. I am going to make this into a pillow when it’s done. I might even list it on my Etsy page to sell it. I don’t know. So far, nothing is on my Etsy page but there are lots of things in my head that I could sell on there.

HOME. We took last month off with the SoulSpace Online Book Club, so my house was getting a bit messy as I got caught up in other parts of my life. One thing that did staying clean, though, is my sink. I am part of the “clean sink club” after signing up for FlyLady’s email list. (Warning: She sends out a LOT of promotional junk, so unless you are willing to put up with that for her great little doses of wisdom, don’t sign up.) Just in case I decide to remove myself from her prolific email campaign, I ordered her book, Sink Reflections. FlyLady’s wisdom starts with a clean sink. She suggests actually wiping it dry and polishing it between each and every use but that is just a bit too much for me. It is enough that I am attempting to keep the dishes from piling up there and trying to keep the little trap free of food debris. I’m good. What I like about FlyLady is that she encourages you to be very forgiving of where you are at. She also demonstrates in tiny baby steps how to be a tidier person. I like that.

My sister Kim is taking over the leadership of the SoulSpace Online Book Club this month and we just re-started it on April 1st. If you aren’t already part of the SoulSpace Online Book Club and you have an interest in working on making your home a more functional, clean and tidy space for you and your family, now is a good time to join us. Last month, I let things slide with my house – outside of keeping the sink clean. I live in a small house, 680 square feet with my husband and daughter, so we can’t let things get TOO out of hand or it starts looking like an episode of hoarders around here, but at least I took a little break last month from digging stuff out of closets and drawers to decide what to keep and what to toss.

One thing that has been helpful when I am in a cleaning mood is my MOMO app. MOMO is short for Motivated Moms and if you search for the app, that is what it is called. MOMO for short. Basically, what it does is give you a small checklist of things to clean each day. If you use it regularly and thoroughly, Martha Stewart herself may give you the nod of approval for how clean your house gets. For the rest of us, it’s a guide. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to remember to do the checklist every day so just hold it loosely and be easy on yourself. Show some self-love!

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. One of the primary reasons I created this blog was to share what I am learning with my study of the Tao Te Ching. Last year, that study has expanded to include the I Ching text as well. If you are familiar with either of these two texts, you might tend to think that these are completely different but they are actually very complementary. The Tao Te Ching and the I Ching are both key texts for those who are studying Taoism.

Many people shut down when they hear the word “Taoist” or “Taoism” because they think I am trying to convert them into a different faith from their own. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The thing that grabbed me and made me want to be a Taoist is the idea that it is INCLUSIVE of all religions. There are some that love EXclusivity but THAT IS NOT ME. I believe that what is needed in this world right now is INclusiveness rather than EXclusiveness. Sure, we are all different, and this is what makes us each unique. But we are also a lot alike and this is what makes us a community. So you can study Taoism and remain a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other faith. That is OK. We are all just learning about better ways to BE in this life.

The I Ching is an amazing book that helps us to understand the patterns of nature and the Tao Te Ching is the original self-help guide for how to live your life in such a way that your time here on this planet is supportive of growth rather than destruction. If you are new here, you can find LOTS of posts about both of these books on my blog. There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching and I am currently on #22. I am reviewing them all in numeric order. You can find the list of all my I Ching posts here. Over the last three years, I have written extensively about the Tao Te Ching and you can visit my List of All Chapters page to read what I’ve written about that. There is a TON of material there! I am working on a book to summarize it all on paper for you, but that is a very slow project!

So lately, my spiritual practice consists of these things:

  1. I start my day with Morning Pages and include a little “self-love” prompt from Michele Bergh’s 30 Days of Self-Love Challenge. The challenge is almost over, but there is a lot to be gained by writing a few things that you love about yourself each day. I do this in the quiet of the morning before anyone else is up. The Morning Pages, or MP for short, are very helpful to me in sorting out the huge amounts of STUFF that goes through my head every day.
  2. I walk. I try to walk to work if I can. It’s about a 1.5 mile walk one way so it is just enough time to clear my head at the beginning and end of each day. It settles me. I used to listen to my Spanish lessons, but lately I am just enjoying the quiet and practicing an awareness of my breath as I walk. Sometimes I forget and walk all the way home without remembering my breath at all, but this is my time to work on that. It is also my time to enjoy nature. Recently, I’ve taken a friend’s advice and started to put my focus ahead of myself on the road and just have soft eyes to take in my surroundings (rather than looking at my feet as I walk). I remember this feeling when practicing Tai Chi – open, soft eyes for taking in as much of my surroundings as possible without getting mentally caught up in the sights, sounds and smells of what is going on around me. It is actually more difficult to stay focused on that without getting distracted as it is focusing on something like my breath.
  3. I read and write a lot. I try to read some of the I Ching each week and I get inspired by reading the posts of others who are working on themselves too. Surrounding myself with strong positive people motivates me to stay on track. My friends and I connect and discuss important issues almost daily and this has been so wonderful. Lately, I’ve been connecting more online with my family and this has been very nice too. This month, I’ve started a Facebook group for this blog (and this “What are You Working On” project). The intention with that is to get to know each of you better. I hope that you will join our group and participate in sharing your personal journey.

LEARNING/DISCOVERING. This category can sometimes be quite broad. The vast internet is always showing me new stuff to learn! In this section, I want to highlight what I am studying, but also some of the cool stuff that I am finding online. Right now, there are two major topics that I am studying. These may change, but for now I am studying Spanish and cooking. With Spanish, I regularly listen to my Pimsleur lessons on Audible. I turn this on while I am driving into town and when I am working out. I’ve stopped doing the Duolingo game for now. I just don’t have TIME! But I am trying to maintain a small practice of my Spanish.

Another thing I started recently is learning how to cook better through America’s Test Kitchen’s Online Cooking School. It cost me only $1 for the first month ($20 for each month after that). I signed up on a whim but am really enjoying the lessons. I am an OK cook but I could use a bit more skill. My husband is what I call, “a chef without a restaurant”. He and his mother have been great teachers. When I saw this offer for the online cooking school, I thought it would be fun for us to do together but Eric didn’t want to do it so I am just doing it on my own and experimenting. In the end, I think that this is a good thing as it gives me some confidence that I can put out some very good food on my own. Next time I am cooking something, I will try and remember to take a photo of it to share with you on the FB group and Instagram.

BODY. Working on my health is a huge part of my life. Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to be a pretty healthy person overall so far, so this is not because of any illness or disease. I am always experimenting with new ways to get healthy. Our latest phase, and what seems to be a pretty long-lasting one, is to eat as little added sugar as possible. My husband and I started this last September and have somewhat relaxed the rules as time went on, but we pretty much just try and leave added sugar alone. If something has sugar (of any kind) on the ingredient list, we don’t eat it unless the individual serving is only a few grams. When we started out, we tried to limit it to just 10 grams or less of added sugar, but as time went on, we are less concerned with the actual number and more just trying to avoid it for most meals.

Before the sugar thing, I experimented with eating vegan. I loved it, but it was difficult to maintain along with the no sugar thing so I now just eat some meat and try to eat meatless if it is easy enough to do so. I’ve re-introduced cheese, but my body doesn’t really like it much. My tastebuds like it, but my body doesn’t.

Exercise-wise, my husband and I both visit the gym at least two days a week. Since I am now walking to and from work, I spend my time there climbing. We have a great gym and the challenge that the owner has created for us now is to “climb a mountain” so I am currently climbing Mt. Everest on a climbing machine at the gym. I am at about 18,000 feet right now but it will be months before I finish. When I do, I will share a photo of me in my t-shirt.

PLAYING/WATCHING/RESTING. During my interview with Xorin Balbes for the SoulSpace group, he mentioned something about how important it is to pause for a breath now and then. That is what this section is about. What are you doing to relax right now? Recently, I have been “in the breath” with the SoulSpace group and it seems with other things as well. This last weekend, we went up north to visit Eric’s parents and had fun playing cards. I also enjoy some quiet time watching TV with my family, browsing Pinterest and playing online poker.

While studying the patterns of nature, we find that these times of doing a lot of nothing are natural and normal.  In my typical day, mornings are my most productive times and I am pretty much mush in the evenings. So I have designed my day to get the important stuff, my writing time, out of the way first and then spend some of each evening hanging out with my family and knitting. I don’t knit EVERY night but I do enjoy it when I can knit while watching TV.

Well, that is my week. What about you? Will you share a blog post about what you are working on? Or perhaps just post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wauwo so we can see? You can also post something in our Tao Te Ching Daily FB group.



What Are You Working On? (#wauwo): An Introduction

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After completing my recent SoulSpace book club posts, I realized that I would like to expand this blog a bit to include more of everyday living. In past months, I have created posts from a challenge that Cynthia Lee created called Scattered Life Collective. She isn’t doing them anymore and I love how her posts always challenged me to review my week and these posts were some of my favorites, so in honor of that wonderful theme I have decided to modify this idea and create a new feature for this blog called What Are You Working On?” (#wauwo).

What Are You Working On? is a weekly (Friday) blogging “link party” for everyone to share their latest projects – whatever they are. I will share my first #wauwo with you tomorrow morning. Feel free to copy the format or modify it to suit your needs! Anything is welcome! Be creative and make it your own. You can even just write an open format post about what you are working on and post your blog URL on the Mister Linky to connect to other bloggers each week. Whatever you want.

I hope you will join me. If you don’t have a blog, no worries! Join my Tao Te Ching Daily Facebook group and I will include a prompt there for you to write about what you are working on each week. You can share photos on there too or use the hashtag #wauwo on Instagram and we can all see each other’s photos of what we are working on (search #wauwo on your Instagram app – I can’t link to it here but it’s easy enough to do). It will be fun.

Here are some sample topics you could write about (but feel free to make up your own!):

ART
HOME
LEARNING/DISCOVERY
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
READING/BOOKS
BODY
PLAYING/WATCHING/RESTING (YIN)

 

 

I Ching #22: The Traps of Adornment

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This post is #22 of 64 hexagrams in a series of posts about the I Ching, an ancient Taoist text that has many ties to the Tao Te Ching. For those of you new to this series, you may want to start by reading my post called “What is a Hexagram?” that helps to explain more about the general idea of the I Ching.

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With all this talk these last few months of SoulSpacing, and adorning our homes with beautiful things, this hexagram was a pleasant treat. I especially liked Deng Ming Dao’s interpretation of the text in The Living I Ching. He explained how adornment of our buildings, our objects and ourselves is a cultural thing. We could use a plain bowl to serve dinner to our family, but dinner is more special when we serve it in our favorite bowls and our favorite linens, right? As Deng Ming-Dao warns us, adornment can also be tricky. We must not get too distracted by the fancy bowls or we will fall into the trap of adornment as well.

All around us, there are opportunities to create a sense of sacredness in our lives through special care of our surroundings. I recently read this article about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, where it seems that even how we fold things can hold beauty and meaning. There is an art to paying attention to our spaces, which can be a feat in itself. I’ve lost this awareness when I let the dust bunnies hold a gathering under my bed or allow piles to sit in the corners of rooms. But, like any practice in awareness, each moment is new and I can start again. It’s a never-ending process of deepening my relationship with my stuff.

The true beauty of adornment goes beyond new furniture or clean surfaces. A gorgeous hotel lobby does not hold a candle to a lovingly caressed garden space filled with plants and furniture that were hand-crafted and designed especially for that space by a gardener who spends every waking moment tending his floral crops and creating furniture in his garage by hand. The energy generated by such love of a space and care towards its beauty is palpable. We create this feeling of love and care in our homes when we do our SoulSpacing.

Sometimes the word “adornment” can be perceived as false and pretentious – resulting in a competition – a “Keeping-Up-with-the-Jones” battle. When I first wanted to study the SoulSpace book, I struggled with this idea of writing about my home renovations on a blog that is supposed to be “spiritual” in nature. Was finding new dish towels for my kitchen spiritual? I struggled with the justification for this. Part of me knew that it was a spiritual practice, but another part of me was worried about getting too caught up in the materialism of it all. It’s a fine dance.

It is all about the intention with adornment. In order to not fall into the trap of adornment, we must stay present to our intentions. Our intentions must remain pure as we work to make our spaces beautiful or we run the risk of creating a hotel lobby feel and this is not what we want. In our SoulSpace group, we had a conversation once about someone who had visited a friend’s home that was very beautiful but that lacked character. It had looked like it was designed for a photo shoot for House Beautiful but did not reflect the true personality of its owners. We discussed this, as there was an obvious problem in this situation that we were struggling to identify. Our stuff is an extension of who we are. One can be adorned with all the finery in the world, but what is the relationship between the inner person and the outer person? Are they congruent? If we follow the practices by Marie Kondo in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we will ask ourselves, “Do I love this?” with each of our belongings and feel confident that our surroundings truly reflect who we are at our best.

In the story of this hexagram, there was a man who approached a woman with white hair riding a white horse. At first, he seemed like he might be a bit suspicious but then the woman realized that he was actually a very nice man. His intentions were good and he was successful, but only because his pure appearance was paired with his good intentions. One cannot work without the other. Our lovingly hand-crafted spaces are much better than hotel lobbies because they are imbued with our love. This love is the key to adornment. The love is what makes the adornment pure.

As we look about our spaces or even as we look at our reflection in the mirror, what do we see? Is the story we are telling congruent with who we are at our best? This is the heart of SoulSpacing! Tomorrow, we are coming out of a month-long break from the SoulSpace Online Book Club and starting the book again from the beginning. It’s a really fun group. If it interests you, I hope that you will join us as we go through a deeper dive into our spaces to adorn them with our true natures.

What about you? What do you notice about yourself or your space? Does it reflect who you are or is there something that stands out as incongruent? Tell us about it in the comments.

I Ching Hexagram #21: Biting Through Difficulty

 

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This post is #21 of 64 hexagrams in a series of posts about the I Ching, an ancient Taoist text that has many ties to the Tao Te Ching. For those of you new to this series, you may want to start by reading my post called “What is a Hexagram?” that helps to explain more about the general idea of the I Ching.

This post has been a long time coming. I think perhaps today, in reviewing this hexagram’s details for the third time, I am finally ready to write about it!

This last month or so has been hard. On the surface, I can’t really complain. My life is pretty easy. But it has been a challenging month and it started with the first reading of this hexagram. Every time I would think of writing about it, I would groan internally. It seemed so negative and I had a hard time dealing with it. It just felt like I had nothing to say about it! But then I realized that part of the reason I was stuck is because I wasn’t writing about it, so here goes!

The essential message of this post is about dishing out a punishment of some kind. I am not big on the idea of punishment, so I had a hard time with that. But as I read through it again this morning, it seems that I have finally been able to accept its advice. We all must succumb to old-fashioned punishment at times. As I am spending this month immersed in my 30 Day Self-Love Challenge, I am acutely aware of how much I punish myself already! I was raised on a philosophy that my parents learned from a book called Children the Challenge by Rudolph Dreikurs. When I became a parent, my mom gave me a copy and I am forever grateful for it. The main philosophy that this book suggests is to let the consequences for behavior be dealt with naturally. If you forget to wear shoes, your feet get dirty and you might step on something nasty. You let the consequences be the bad guy instead of you. Then, last year my mom also bought me The Conscious Parent, which is also an amazing book on a similar vein.

As parents, we often try and shield our children from these natural consequences. When left with a dilemma, we then attempt to compensate by creating artificial consequences which often don’t work… or, we just yell at them which REALLY doesn’t work. (Been there, done that.) Just last month, my daughter forgot her gym shoes at home. I happened to be off that day, so I could have driven them over to her school. I felt like a super mean mom when I said no. This was a perfect opportunity to let natural consequences dole out her punishment. It was very hard to do. MUCH harder than running her shoes over to the school! She would have to take the zero for gym that day and make it up – and she might hate me in the process. But this way, next time she certainly won’t forget her shoes. We only get 18 years to work with them before we send them off into the big world. We must make every moment count. As it turned out, she texted me a few hours later and told me that the gym teacher told her she didn’t need them that day. I almost cried. We got to share a moment together about how wonderful it was that she lucked out this time AND she will never again forget her shoes. I also shared with her how difficult it was for me to not run them over to her but that I felt that it was important not to do that. I think she understood. We have a pretty good relationship.

The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine. She was having some challenges with her teenage son. It seemed that he did not want to have much to do with school. She struggled with this. She tried many things but nothing seemed to have any effect. As we talked, I wanted to help her find a peaceful way to help him through this difficulty without direct punishment as I know from my own experience that direct punishments for teenagers are often ineffective. In fact, they are more likely to push them in the opposite direction – as teenagers are prone to go. It seemed perhaps that a better way to resolve this was to present him with the natural consequences that come from such a path. Let the natural consequences be the bad guy! She decided to sit down with him and go over his options for college, based on his current choices and this seems to have opened a door for both of them to move through this difficulty.

One thing that challenges me about this idea of punishment is that it so often inspires an “us vs them” mentality. When we take it upon ourselves to dole out the punishments, instead of letting nature do it, we end up being the bad guy. Inevitably, the situation ends up being about something else besides the actual transgression. For example, if my daughter stays up too late she ends up being very tired the next day. Do I punish her with something else like making her do extra chores which are completely unrelated to the event or do I point out to her that her choice to stay up late has caused her to be extra crabby today and puts bags under her eyes? When I chose the second option, I am merely a guide for her. When I chose the first, there is an opportunity for a power struggle. As adults, no one is there to dole out our punishments except ourselves so we may as well learn early how to deal with that. I have seen many adults that still live as if there is a parent present and their choices reflect a desire to go against authority rather than towards what is best for themselves. I see it in the media all the time with television shows and movies.

The lesson of this hexagram is to bite through the difficulty. Whether it be a teenager struggling with schoolwork or a struggle with your own indiscretions – bite through it, let the punishment take its course and do your best to learn from it. That’s all we can ever do.

How about you? What difficulties have you been struggling with lately and how have you dealt with them?

30 Things I Love About Myself {30 Day Self-Love Challenge}

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The very first exercise in the 30 Day Self-Love Challenge by Michele Bergh was to write down 30 things you love about yourself. Hmm.. This is day 8 of the challenge and I’ve been sitting on this one. So here goes…

30 Things I Love About Myself

  1. I get a lot done. When I wrote my last post, I realized that I have A LOT on my plate. Even though it keeps me busy, I get a lot done this way. The list never ends but when I look back at my accomplishments, it is cool to know I did so much with my life.
  2. I have good style. I know what is cool. Everyone probably thinks that they have good taste, of course, but I know I do.
  3. WYSIWYG. I’m real. I don’t go for the fakey stuff AT ALL.
  4. Great companions. I am incredibly good at attracting some of the finest humans on the planet to be in my inner circle. Super proud of that.
  5. Environmentalist. I love our little planet and it shows in the choices I make every day. I even use recycled grocery bags!
  6. Practicing Sage. I would probably never say that I AM a sage, but I do spend a considerable amount of mental energy trying my best to be as good of a person as I am able to be.
  7. Good handwriting. I love my handwriting.
  8. Enthusiastic. If you need a cheerleader, I’m it.
  9. Happy/Positive. Goes with #8.
  10. Caring. If you are one of my peeps, I care about you. I hope it shows.
  11. Good Cook. Although I don’t cook as much as I would like to, I do have some good meals in my repertoire.
  12. Fixer Upper. I can do just about anything when it comes to home improvement.
  13. Love to Learn. If I don’t know something in #12, I learn it. I am also learning Spanish.
  14. Love Nature. This goes with #5, but I am happiest amongst the trees.
  15. Good Friend. This goes with #10. I really try to be a good friend since I have such amazing people in my circle.
  16. Tech Savvy. If I don’t know something, I can figure it out when it comes to technology.
  17. Visionary. I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around in this head of mine! I dream BIG!
  18. Live big. Life is too short to life small.
  19. Courageous. This is what it takes for #18.
  20. Take Care of Myself. I need to do this in order to do #19.
  21. Don’t Eat Much Sugar. Sugar is the devil’s spawn. I have learned to stay away from it, for the most part.
  22. Pretty Clean. I am not super neat, but I am clean enough.
  23. Love to Travel. I have seen a lot of the world and would be happy to see much more of it.
  24. Easy to Talk To. Want to test that one out? Let me know.
  25. Confident. I could not have written (and published) this list without this.
  26. Creative. I am an artist. My modalities are innumerable.
  27. I Know How to Knit. This is a new skill that I am rather proud of.
  28. I Don’t Just Talk About It – I Do It. If something comes into my head to try, I do it. Life has been very rich for me because of that.
  29. Giving. I love giving things – time, money & energy. This can be my downfall too!
  30. Great Butt. OK, this is a silly one for my last one but it’s true!

So what about you? Share a link of your blog in the comments or tell us what you love about yourself!

SoulSpace: Phase 8 – Celebrate

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This post has been several weeks in the making. Our SoulSpace book study technically ended a few weeks ago, and in that time I have not celebrated much so it is TIME TO CELEBRATE – or at least to start by writing about it and see what comes up! Funny enough, this whole “lack of celebrating” thing comes at a time when I am participating in Michele Bergh’s 30 Day Self-Love Challenge. (Don’t you just hate how life hands you a 30 Day Self-Love Challenge AND a phase to celebrate your life and accomplishments smack dab in the middle of a time in your life when you have ZERO time for yourself, much less time for celebrating yourself?)

If you know me, you know that I am a DOER. In fact, this last week I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by things, so I wrote a list of all of the projects that I am currently working on and it was an eye opener. I won’t publish the list, but I will tell  you that there were way too many things on it!! That is not including family time and time with my dear friends, which are a very high priority for me. So I decided to go through the list and sort them by what is truly important to me and what is urgent, using the model suggested in Steven Covey’s Habits of Highly Effective People that I found on this post.

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Remember this little handy chart from the 7 Habits book? The U stands for urgent and the I stands for important. The numbers stand for the numeric order in which you should do things: first – urgent AND important stuff like putting out a house fire. Second, important but not urgent stuff like most of the things on my list. Third, the urgent but unimportant things like the things my husband tries to delegate to me because he is good at delegating and super good at weeding out those tasks he doesn’t want to do. And, fourth, the things that are neither urgent nor important. I had typed up my list of projects and time investments in Toodledo.com so I could play with the priority settings and the urgency and see where I should be spending my time. I thought perhaps if I studied this list, it would help me to boot out a few things that really aren’t important to me right now to work on and give me such much needed extra personal space for celebrating and kicking back to enjoy life a bit.

In using the philosophy I learned in Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I went with keeping only the things that I truly love that bring me joy. The problem is, I love too many things! I am like a raven attracted to every single shiny object out there! Like we also learned in the SoulSpace process, we do not need to bring more things into our lives that we do not love. This includes time commitments as well as spare spatulas in our kitchen drawers. We may love something about all ten of our spatulas, but the truth is that we really are better off with less of them.

So today, on my walk to the coffee shop where I am sitting here writing this post, I was talking with my sister. She suggested that it is very important to create space in our lives for rest. To me, that is the space of celebration – those quiet moments when one activity is ending and before another one begins. It is important during these times to look back and acknowledge what we have done.

So, here is a celebratory list of all the things that I did during our two months of SoulSpacing:

  • Books. I cleared out about 2/3 of my book collection and sold many of them on Amazon and made a little extra cash.
  • New Bedding. My husband and I ordered a new 4 inch mattress memory foam and ordered a new duvet cover.
  • Clothes. I sorted through all of my clothing and got rid of everything that I did not love. (This is an ongoing process.)
  • Office Space. I cleared all of my stuff off my old desk and gave the space to my husband. I got rid of a lot of stuff that I didn’t need and found new homes for the rest.
  • Bathroom Updates. I super cleaned my bathroom, including the floor around the back side of the toilet which had not been cleaned in a really really long time. I also bought a new toilet brush and new plunger that don’t leave the floor all icky and gross so it can stay cleaner down there.
  • Patching. I patched a few holes in the walls that had been there for a long time.
  • Planning. I did a LOT of planning for my space and feel like I have a much better idea of where I am headed with my house remodel.
  • Shopping. I incorporated much more Pinterest, Wayfair and actual house shopping into my routines. Although I haven’t purchased a lot of new things, I have made a few purchases – much more than I had in the past. I THINK about my house and my space much more now after doing this book study.
  • Linens. I tossed every single hot pad I owned and had to buy some new ones! I also got rid of any dish towels that I do not love.
  • Linen closet. I went through my entire linen closet (and medicine cabinet) and sorted and tossed many many silly things I didn’t need or love anymore.
  • Fabrics. I went through all of my fabrics and donated what I didn’t love.
  • Cleaning supplies. I went through all of my cleaning supplies and gave them a new home. I added new contact paper on the shelving and cleaned it up and then brought all of my old cleaning supplies to the recycle center.
  • Tatia’s Closet. I gave my daughter her closet back. We had been using part of it for storage of oversized coats that we hardly ever wear and fabrics and sewing stuff. So when I cleaned out the linen closet, it gave me room to store my fabrics and sewing stuff there and give my daughter her closet back.
  • Tatia’s Bedroom Planning. Had some discussions with Tatia about her room and what she wants it to look like. Am keeping my eye out for a cheap loft bed on CL so that we can make her room exactly as she wants it.
  • Cleaned Kitchen Cabinets. I wiped down the fronts of my kitchen cabinets. Some of you may think this odd that I added that to the list, but the truth is I don’t do this little task enough and my cleaning sprints made me realize that. They will NOT get that gross again.

I really have to thank the SoulSpace group for helping me with that giant list. I honestly don’t think that I would have gotten nearly as far if I didn’t have the group to share my adventures with! It was so much fun! I also want to thank XORIN for writing the book that we studied. We can certainly celebrate him as well! If you haven’t done so already, you should listen to my interview with Xorin Balbes (the author of SoulSpace). He’s pretty amazing.

So that is MY celebration. What have you been up to that deserves a little celebration? 

 

 

 

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