I’ve been contemplating the idea of abundance vs. scarcity recently.
This is in the context of getting clear on what is really important to me as I reflect that we are already 1 month into this new year!
I’m writing this as I sit outside overlooking the lush, green landscape of Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. I’m on holiday with my family – husband, 2 kids and mother-in-law – and can’t believe that I left 20cm of snow on the ground to come here to enjoy 30+ Celsius weather!
I’m not trying to make those of you dealing with snow and early winter weather feel bad – quite the opposite!
I’ve been trying to figure out how to reconcile the idea of a tropical vacation with regular life. Tropical vacations are filled with many opportunities for abundance – but despite that, it can be easy to fall into regular habits where what we say and do bring us back to scarcity.
What’s the difference?
A scarcity mindset is when we believe that what we have is not quite enough. Even more importantly, it is about believing that who we are is not quite enough. Worrying that things probably won’t work out. Going to the negative before the positive. We see the cup as half-empty.
Having an abundance mindset is the opposite. It is an inherent belief that there is more than enough for everyone, and that who we are is not only enough, but is everything! Whether we have material wealth or not, we can take responsibility for how we are in the world. We all know people who don’t have a lot of money or belongings, but who approach every day with abundance.
What’s the point of thinking about this for moving forward?
We each have a responsibility to choose the mindset we live in – abundance vs. scarcity.
For me, as I look back on last year, there were so many learnings.
I have gotten used to living “small” again – not having the big and impressive house – and being glad for it for unexpected reasons – it is way easier to talk to my kids and my husband because we can see each other more easily.
I have realized the importance of giving in my business – giving of my knowledge and myself – that has helped me to connect with others more too. The more I give, the more I receive.
I am paying more attention to the places I hold myself back – and questioning when I hold back for reasons of safety and worries of scarcity. Challenging beliefs that I didn’t even know I held so strongly – but that have probably kept me stuck way too long.
I’ve become clear that abundance isn’t my natural “go-to” state, but that I can consciously choose to be different.
For the rest of this year, I’m suddenly clear on a couple of things. My choices need to:
Consider these questions:
Share what you’ve discovered. Just comment below and the message will come directly to me. I’m excited to hear from you! Or join us in the Life You Love Inspiration Lounge on Facebook and post your thoughts there.
To your abundance!
Did you know that the way you live today doesn't have to be the way you live tomorrow?
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it”
– Eckhart Tolle
The other day I remembered that I had a video on the topic of positivity that I hadn’t shared with you. When I re-listened to it, I realized that it was right in line with a theme that keeps emerging for me – when I’m coaching, working, and living. It seemed like it was time to write something on the theme!
Check the video out here…
Have you ever gotten up in the morning like you “woke up on the wrong side of the bed”? Or woken up feeling good but have an experience that really puts you in a bad state of mind? I had one of those yesterday – I wanted to get out and have a great time on the ski slopes, but my body had a different idea. After only a couple of runs my legs were burning and I wanted to cry. Just getting back to the lodge was agony! Once off my skis, the rest of the day was fine – not great, not bad – fine. But I sure wasn’t at my best. I was grumpy at my kids, unproductive in my home and I had trouble falling asleep. I let my viewpoint of that that experience completely change how I showed up in the rest of my life.
A full day has passed and I can look at the experience in a new way. Yes, it sucks that my body isn’t responding well to skiing, but the new snow was beautiful, I was able to stay up at the ski hill for a wonderful night and I have a plan to figure out how to make things better next time. And I have lots of possibilities for how I can choose to be today.
It feels good to be able to look at a negative experience and choose my response to it. I’m sure not perfect, but I am a perfect example of how we can all get better at this “new perspective” thing!
But, what’s the point of trying to find a new way of looking at things?
Well, when things start getting in your way, like they do in life, we all have a “go-to” reaction. This is a habit, and neuroscience would say a strong neuro-pathway in the brain. Just because it is a habitual reaction, doesn’t mean it is helpful.
For example, I used to live in a chronically negative perspective. If things weren’t going amazingly well, then things were bad. If you asked me about work, I would share that I didn’t like my boss’ choices or something about the most recent “negative” event. If you asked me about my home I would tell you about why it was too small, or too big, or too old (you get the idea). If the discussion was about my finances, you’d hear about how I didn’t have enough money.
I might not have been that negative all the time, but if you were a good listener you’d definitely hear about what was NOT WORKING in my life, way more than what was working.
So, why do I say that opening yourself up to a new perspective can change your life? Because there is a bunch of brain research that shows we can change our brain pathways. Just because we’ve always been or done things one way, doesn’t mean it has to continue!
Check out this short video clip about neuroplasticity
I’m a perfect example. These days, if you’re that same good listener, you’ll find me saying mostly positive things about my life. Not because everything is “great” – but because I’m choosing to look at things from a positive perspective.
I want to be clear, what I’m talking about isn’t about ignoring the stuff that might be going on in your life, but it is about recognizing that we have a choice in how we respond to things that happen to us.
I love this video that shares this idea in a fun but descriptive way:
Potato, Egg & Coffee Beans
When it’s time for you to open yourself up to new perspectives, this is how your life changes…
So, give this a try: Whenever you hear yourself saying something that you know is a “habit” response, stop, pay attention, and then see if you can shift your statement/thought/perspective.
Just so you know, this gets way easier with practice. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Click my calendar and find out how coaching could help you along.
Do you recall reading my post last fall about my minimal wardrobe (check it out here if not)?
Last summer I heard Courtney Carver, of BeMoreWithLess, speak about her Project 333 and I was inspired to see what it would be like to live with fewer clothes in my wardrobe each day. I settled on 40 items (rather than 33). For the “how-to” details, you can check out my post above or Courtney’s many details on the project.
If you have ever wondered what it might be like to live with fewer clothes or wished you spent less money on shopping so you had more money for other life adventures, check out 10 things I’ve learned about living with a minimized wardrobe:
If you’ve been thinking about trying this in 2018, start planning now for an April 1 start. If you need support, send me an email or comment below and I’ll share my experiences in more detail with you!
Have a wonderful, simple day!
When you’re aiming for a life that is refreshed and full, what happens if you find yourself with no energy to do the things you want to do? Once you’ve ruled out a health or medical cause of low energy (or you’re working on that with your health care practitioner), it’s time to identify other strategies to get yourself energized!
Low energy is a common topic in my circles; my friends, colleagues and clients often experience it more than they’d like. But what’s most interesting to me are the variable answers I get when I ask people “how do you re-energize?” or the flip side of that question, “what saps your energy?”
So, how do YOU “get” energy?
Are you more of an “extrovert” who gets energized from interactions with other people, or an “introvert” who gets re-energized from spending time alone and re-charging with quiet activities? Maybe you’re a bit of both (check out this info on ambiverts). Depending on your preference, how you re-energize can look really different!
One of my hugely talented clients who has lots of important things that she wants to achieve, shared that for a couple of weeks she’d been having trouble staying focused, getting things done, and her energy had sunk to really low levels. To support herself through this low period she slept more, stayed close to home and focused inward. Unfortunately, it didn’t help. In fact, after a week or so, she found it even more difficult to muster up the energy to accomplish even the “bare minimum”. It wasn’t until she had a week where work and other pre-planned social engagements forced her to interact with others that she started to feel better. When we talked about the situation, it became clear to her that HER best way to access energy is from being with others. She is such an extroverted and friendly person that even going to her local coffee shop can give her more energy.
In a completely different situation, I have a good friend who is a true introvert. But in her job, she is with people all day long – in fact, many people think that she is an extrovert because of her constant ability to connect with people all day long. For a while she even believed it herself and couldn’t understand why she was so exhausted at the end of the day. It started taking a toll on her personal and work life because she couldn’t seem to recharge. What she gradually began to realize was that she needed to find time throughout the day to be alone to “re-charge” her batteries without the involvement of anyone else. Taking a walk before heading to the lunch room, and even spending 5 more minutes “hiding” in the bathroom stall a couple of times a day were enough to keep her from feeling so drained.
So why wasn’t it obvious to either of these smart women that what they were doing wasn’t working for them when they started feeling “low”?
This is pretty common – sometimes it’s just that we’ve never paid attention to the things that really work for us when it comes time to find more energy. Other times we just get caught up in doing what we’ve always done. Maybe we’re following well intentioned suggestions made by friends or family without deciding if those really work for us.
What this means is if you really want to know what it is that gives you energy, it’s time to start PAYING ATTENTION – maybe not even doing anything yet, but rather focusing on what is actually happening inside.
So instead of finding the “right” activity to re-energize yourself with, this week, give a try to these three things:
PS. Is this post helpful? Post in the comments below! If you haven't already, join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge) to share about your experience and insights!
Originally posted August 2015 on www.yourrefreshedlife.ca by Maja Karlsson
Back in the spring of 2017 I wrote about finding a random box of shoes in my shed. You can check out the details here…
I took care of that box and a number of other belongings that have emerged over the year. And then this weekend, I had a new experience that I suspect is NOT unique to me, so thought I would share with you.
I’m visiting my parents this weekend.
While here, we’ve been working together on de-cluttering a few areas of their house (yes…this approach is contagious J)! We discovered a few drawers of things that belonged to my brother. It was determined that these things could be moved from their prime location, to a box in the basement where he can go through them at a later date (BTW, I don’t always advise this approach because you can end up with lots of boxes put somewhere out of sight and out of mind without being fully dealt with, but it can be a good way to go as a start or if others need to get involved).
As we moved the box downstairs, I said in a very satisfied way something like, “I’m glad that I’ve gone through all my stuff that was here and taken care of it”. And then a little voice in my head said, “Have You?” So, I walked over to the area where my “stuff” had been stored, and I was horrified to see at least 5 large boxes of things that I had obviously NOT gone through in any recent time.
In follow up, I took one box upstairs, and with some trepidation, opened it up. I discovered old school stuff from K-12. My kindergarten journal, elementary school reports, high school essays and the like. Obviously at some point in the past I had gone through things and decided that these items needed to be kept. Fortunately, with the benefit of more time passing and having a new life approach, I was able to look at the things there with much more distance and while I looked at each item and appreciated many things, the only items that will continue on in my life are the kindergarten journal, a journal from about grade 3, a collection of stories written throughout high school and one book I think my 14-year-old daughter would appreciate now. It was liberating to realize that I could let go of all the other stuff.
After that positive experience, I decided to go through the next box the next day.
This time, I hit an internal wall. This box was filled with old journals, baby books, photo albums.
While I was able to take a couple of photographs of the t-shirts that sat on top of the stuff for future memories and then discard, I simply was unable to separate myself from what I found in the box. At the same time, I also knew (and know) that I don’t want to keep all the stuff in there. This disconnect of two equally powerful emotions made me freeze for a few moments. It could have kept me stuck, unable to make a decision, and then caused me to be critical of myself that I couldn’t make a decision (Check out this post on the inner critic for more info on that response…).
Fortunately, I stepped back and re-evaluated my plan.
I took a quick look at everything in the box (here is a photo of a few of the pages in my childhood autograph book from 1979), threw out a couple of obvious things, and then sat in the memories of the others, laughing with my mom, and texting some photos of others to my cousins and friends.
Then I closed up the box and put it back where I got it from.
This is not me forsaking my plan to simplify and say good-bye to things. This is me knowing I’m not ready for this box yet. But I will be ready in the summer when I come back here. Then I will have a car to bring back with me any items that I do plan to keep. Between now and then I will also have worked through why I don’t need to keep it all or how I can keep the things that are really meaningful.
That’s what I believe an authentically simple life is about.
Paying attention to the conflicting emotions and conflicting values that emerge as we take new steps to re-create how we live in the world. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes. And if we forsake those old habits too harshly, it might not be as easy to hold to the new ones.
Or maybe I’m just buying time, I’m not sure, but I do know that this summer, those boxes will be done.
So how can this help you? A couple of thoughts…
This post is obviously about physical “stuff”. But the same kind of things can show up in other places in your life. Relationships, work, family, and more.
Where else does this happen in YOUR life? Email to share with me!
My offer to you: If you’re tired of the treadmill you’re on, and you’re ready to tackle that thing in your life that keeps showing up like my “stuff” does, and you want some support, click here to book a strategy call. We’ll talk about what working with me might look like.
To you living authentically,
Take 5 minutes to get quiet and clear!
I wrote this post originally in December but it didn't make onto the site at that time, but when I re-read it today I felt that the concept is relevant at any time and I hope it makes a difference for you today. Just substitute "the busy-ness of January" or "the fullness of June" and you get the picture!
All around me I’ve been experiencing and hearing people talk about the busy-ness of the season. So many events, travel plans, shopping, and then the regular busy-ness that we all carry with us every day. All this busy-ness can mean that we just survive each day until it is done, then fall into bed until the next day, approaching it in the same way, day after day. Suddenly realizing that the month is over and we barely remember any of it.
If you’re happy this way, that’s great! But if you’re ready for something different…if you’re ready to truly thrive for the next few weeks in a season that can be full of stress, anxiety and pressure, see if you can:
Find 5 minutes each day PLUS 1 hour this week – to set aside just for you.
In the 5-minutes each day (remember this can be any time – in the morning before everyone else is up, while you’re on the bus to work or even right before you go to bed), find a notebook or a piece of paper, and answer these questions:
This practice will help you to know what to say yes or no to. It will help you remember what is truly good when everything is swirling around, and it will help you to give to others in a new and thoughtful way.
In the 1 hour you set aside, use the time to get clear on what’s important – in a bigger sense and by looking back. Consider the following questions:
To you, with gratitude,
PS. If you’re ready to start thinking about doing things differently moving forward, this is the time to connect with me. Check out my calendar here and book a clarity call. It doesn’t cost anything, but the benefits can be profound!
PPS. Join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge) to share about your experience and insights or add a comment below!
As you may or may not know, in October 2016, our family moved from our new, large, 4200 square foot house to our much older, much smaller home that we now live in. We’ve grown to appreciate how much easier it is to stay connected simply because we are much more likely to all be in the same room more often!
Over the last year we began to declutter and say goodbye to many of the things we had acquired over the years of living in much bigger homes. Saying goodbye ranged from easy (there is no place for that couch in this house so who wants it?) to very hard (I only have space for 2 small bins of “memories” – not 7 large ones – but how can I possibly throw away letters from the last 30 years…even though I’ve only looked at them twice in that time?). But the experience has been cathartic and transformative and I would never go back to my old ways.
Over the last year we’ve made this house into a home that feels quite good for us. We’ve renovated a bathroom, re-painted kids’ rooms and re-done some flooring. But over this holiday season several very small things have emerged as a powerful reminder that not everything we choose to do (or choose to ignore) needs to be big to be impactful.
The first was a painting. My husband Mike had a student from his school paint it for us in our last house. It is an enormous canvas and it has been sitting in front of our upstairs fireplace for the last year. We’ve talked about where it should go. We’ve discussed several walls. We’ve even discussed giving it away entirely. In the meantime, it has sat in front of the fireplace in the middle of the living room. For over a year.
The second was a toilet paper holder. You know the kind of thing where you put the roll you’re currently using? For some odd reason neither bathroom in this house had one installed. And I get why – there is no obvious place to put one in either bathroom. But really, for over a year we have had a roll of toilet paper wandering all over the bathrooms. I’ve never liked it, but I obviously got used to it because I wanted a perfect solution, and I couldn’t figure out what that was.
On Christmas Eve we were having some people over for lunch. Because our house is small, we had to change the living room configuration to include a Christmas tree. This reduced the seating options in the living room to even fewer than usual.
And Mike said, “I think we need to move that painting so people can sit on the hearth”.
So, we did.
In less than 30 minutes, the enormous painting was hanging on the wall, exactly where we knew it should be many months ago. Over the holidays, most people who have spent any time here all commented that the living room looked larger and more spacious than before! They didn’t realize the painting was gone, but knew that the energy of the room had changed.
The ease of the project made both of us laugh. And wonder what else we’ve been avoiding that we could take care of.
The toilet paper situation came to mind. A quick Boxing Day trip to our local kitchen & bath store provided us with 2 great toilet paper solutions so we no longer have any floating rolls!
That made me wonder, how many “things” are there in our lives that we just get used to?
Not things we’ve consciously chosen to not do (like NOT remodel the kitchen) but things that bothered us once upon a time, and yet, over time we’ve forgotten about them, or even worse, ignored because the task just felt too “overwhelming” to do anything about (like putting up a painting or finding a toilet roll solution).
If you have any of these in your life, I have an early 2018 question and challenge for you…
First, the question…
“What have you gotten used to that is standing in your way of moving forward?”
Second, the challenge…
Since our “original” two tasks, I’ve found myself motivated to take on a few more things! I’ve been able to create space on a bookshelf, clean out two bins of stuff that had accumulated in my bedroom and actually sold some furniture sitting unused in the carport. All things that seemed too overwhelming to start but once begun seemed so easy to accomplish!
Getting started was the key and the impact has been positive for my house and my head!
I hope the same goes for you!
If you're ready to "de-clutter your life" and you haven't already, get your free e-book here...
5-Days to Simple and Clear will walk you through 5 areas of your life that could be holding you back!
Also, please share below what "task" you've decided to take on! I'm excited to hear!
Who is my Inner Critic and what is it's point?
If you’re human (which I presume you are, since you are reading this message :) ), you have an “Inner Critic”...AKA saboteur, gremlin, etc.
I know you have one if you’re human, because the Inner Critic or “IC” is actually universal and has to do with keeping us SAFE in this otherwise dangerous world! This a very well evolved safety instinct, and is often very subtle.
Before I go into the ways to recognize if your “IC” is going wild, I want you to know that one of the main outcomes of the “IC” is self-doubt.
Ever had self doubt?
I have spent long stretches of my life stalled by self-doubt – with thoughts like “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have enough friends, I’ll never be successful” rising to the surface more times than I care to imagine.
When I began my coach training, I learned about the “IC”, and since then, I’ve taken lots of opportunities to expand my understanding.
At one point I even thought I had mastered it – the “IC” wasn’t going to impact me anymore!! Well that was naïve!
The point of the “IC” is to come out whenever you try something new!
Fortunately, if you can notice your “IC”, you can then name it. Once you’ve named it, you can decide how you want to proceed – maybe you need to talk things through with someone, meditate, take action, or maybe something else. The point is: start with noticing.
So how might your own personal “IC” show up? Here are 4 things to pay attention to:
For example, I have a voice inside my head called Fred. He doesn’t show up there as much these days now that I can notice him more easily. Right now, the “IC” behaviour I’m just starting to notice is the “you’re not ready yet” voice – this one has been emerging as I’m developing new things in my business.
While we can never get rid of the Inner Critic because it will be there simply by being human, we can take action to lessen its impact. In my coaching sessions with clients, as the Inner Critic emerges we focus on it and form strategies to counteract it.
I encourage you to spend some time this week noticing where your “IC” shows up. Don’t worry if you can’t recognize it right away – sometimes it takes a bit. Once you start to see it, see if you can give it a name.
If you are ready for some assistance with this, click here and book a call with me. You’ll be glad you did.
Let me know what's working for you (or not) with my blog posts. Just hit comment below and I'll get your message!
Also, remember you can join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge) to share about your experience and insights or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and the message will come directly to me!
To your peace and clarity,
Continuing on the theme of getting clear for the new year, I wanted to spend some time focusing on health changes specifically.
My husband works with a woman who is also a fitness instructor at a popular local gym. She mentioned to him before Christmas that she has to get herself ready for the busy-ness of the classes in January when everyone who has set their new year’s resolution to “get fit” or “lose weight”, heads back to the gym. But that by the 3rd week in January it is just the “regulars” who are still there so she just has to weather a few busy weeks (you’ll recall that this echoes what I wrote about last week).
The story made me laugh and then feel sad because I know what is happening for so many of those people. Perhaps you’re one of them. Such great intentions, and then failure again. Which makes starting (kudos to you for that if you have :)) even more difficult to do again. It made me think: what if people could get clear on what they want for their health and then actually follow through.
What do I mean by “get clear” in this context? I’ve thought of 4 things you probably need to get clear on before you can expect to make a new habit stick, and then maybe you’ll be one of those regulars at the gym (or wherever) well into the spring and beyond…
Give these 4 a try and I’ll be excited to hear that you’ve been able to make some new habits stick! Let me know what you’re experiencing by commenting below!
What have I missed? What tips do you have for others on becoming one of those regulars?
Cultivate connections, your body and mind will thank you!
Is life so full and “busy” that you have trouble finding the time for the things that have always brought fun into your life – such as seeing your friends? Sometimes it can seem like too much trouble to pick up the phone and MAKE the time to meet a friend for coffee or a walk. It is just easier to “survive” the week than to plan something more.
This happens at work too – how often in your workplace do you notice that people sit at their desks for lunch – only interacting with others when it is absolutely necessary – often because it just seems like there is too much to “do”. This happens at my office, resulting in limited personal connections between us. But when we had a plan to meet as a group for lunch once a week – I got to know some really cool things about my colleagues that I didn’t know before!
Recently I’ve been reminded of some research that shows humans have better mental and physical health when they have social connections with others.
An article from the Mayo Clinic states:
“Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”
The interesting thing is that the health benefits aren’t about how many friends you have – have you ever had this experience: “I am never so lonely as when I’m at a party with a thousand others!” It isn’t about quantity! Real connections with a few can make all the difference!
So if you’ve noticed that this is an issue for you, what can you do?
To your peace and clarity,
PS. If you want to get more "connected" online, join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge), I'd love to have you there!
PPS. Thanks to my friends Joanne, Michelle and Suzanne for the amazing connections we continue to make happen – like when we took the photo above!