Meditation Series Update – Cultivating Calm

As you may recall, I registered to participate in Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s free Meditation Series, “Expanding Your Happiness”. The series was 21 days. I completed 15 days and then lost track. Overall, though, I enjoyed the experience, and I would happily do it again. Meditation, calm, relaxation, and the journey inward are all part of a practice, and for me it really does take practice. It wasn’t a perfect journey, but I enjoyed the days that I did put the effort in.

I thought I would share the 15 days’ worth of centering thoughts that were so helpful to me:

1. “happiness is my true nature”
2. “I am filled with spirit”
3. “I am peace”
4. “I am love”
5. “I am playful”
6. “hope lights my path”
7. “I am wholeness”
8. “we are here to enjoy”
9. “my actions have purpose”
10. “I am content just as I am”
11. “kindness expresses the gentleness of the soul”
12. “life makes me smile and laugh”
13. “I am thankful for all I have”
14. “my happiness energizes and inspires me”
15. “my happiness shines everywhere”

I’m slowly trying to cultivate more calm in my life, and that can mean a lot of things from sitting quietly without electronics to spending time in the garden to focusing on simple words to help me sleep. I also love Calm.com for a quick chill-out in the middle of a work day, and this great one-minute meditation video:

What do you do to ‘keep calm’ ?

Recipe Binder

It’s a holiday here, making it a nice long weekend! This gives me more time to tackle projects around the home to help get organized. I go back to work tonight and so I may not have as much time this week to be working on larger projects, but I’m going to keep making baby steps in the direction of my goals and spending this month getting ready for a great September and beyond. I’m just going to work on one thing at a time and keep trying to progress. I love this quote (I’m not sure of the source) that says “Progress is progress, no matter how small” and I also love that Tony Robbins says “Progress equals happiness”. In other words, baby steps in the right direction are a powerful force.

My project for today is to start a recipe binder. I have a few “binder projects” that I’m presently working on, so watch for a couple more binder posts in the future.

Like most people out there, I have a stack of cookbooks, a recipe box, and a hefty Pinterest board full of recipes. It’s time to get them all in one place. One of my best friends has had great success with having a healthy recipe binder and using that to meal plan and do her food shopping, and it’s time I take a lesson.

Basically, the reason for the recipe binder is two-fold:
1. To organize all my recipes, and have them in one convenient location, to encourage meal planning, money saving, and time saving.
2. To make it simpler to eat healthy and to encourage good choices.

I went to Pinterest (where else?) sure that I would find a great free printable kit and this wonderful website did not disappoint.

This is the printable I used:

http://www.fabnfree.com/2014/06/10/free-recipe-binder-in-3-color-options/#more-2099

And I like Martha Stewart Home Office (Staples) divider tabs.

Here are some quick photos of my binder in progress:

recipeblog

Now I’ve just started and got the basic layout organized. I’ll work, little by little, on transferring recipes and getting my binder well stocked.

How do you organize your recipes?

Happy August!

For me, the month of August is going to be about getting motivated and setting the scene for many months of pursuing my life goals through personal development. Specifically, I have outlined the start of 2016 as a target date for many of my goals. Many of my plans are set in motion to begin at the start of September 2014 and run through the end of December 2015. In other words, I have 16 months’ worth of plans and goals that I will be working on.

I just recently bought a new day planner- Kate Spade New York. It is so pretty. I think a day planner is something to get really excited about and really invest in, because I use it all day every day for many, many months and it’s a great way to be excited about organizing my day, week, month, year and keeping on track with my goals. This particular planner starts August 01, 2014 and runs through December 2015- exactly the 16 target months and as a bonus it starts in August instead of September.

I read somewhere that September is the other January- as in, a good opportunity for a fresh start. I just LOVED that. I thrive on a fresh start! So, this planner starting in August is a great opportunity for me to say that August is the new September! I’m enjoying a fresh start a little early. If you’re looking for an excuse for a fresh start, this is it! It’s day two of a long, wonderful month with plenty of opportunity to shine!

My focus in August will simply be about getting back in the swing of things and preparing to pursue my goals in September. I’m not saying I’m going to wait to be successful and accomplished, but I’m leaving August open to enjoy summer and be more laid back. I’m using August as a refresher month in productivity and pursuing goals. I’m going to work on taking small steps that will help me progress.

My task for today is to clean up! I believe in the difference my home environment can make. I’m always striving to make it beautiful, make it a place I love to be. This morning, I cleaned out our vehicle, and today I’m going to give our a home a nice, good clean.

If you’re thinking cleaning your home is a good place for you to start bettering your life (and for me, it is!) and this task seems overwhelming to you, this is a good resource:
http://www.flylady.net/

Here’s to a great month of August!