I went to go shopping the other day – some groceries, a new top, some fruit and vege. It wasn’t until I was half way through the grocery shop that I became aware of my habit of mindful shopping and I began to question when shopping became a strategic and time consuming exercise. Not only do I look for the best buy, but I am also reading ingredients and checking for certain symbols and words on the labels. Seriously – it has become a tactical task. I do it because I care and am concerned at what my consumer dollar is supporting. My question is, why should I have to? Is it too much to freakin ask – Continue reading “Is It Too Much To Freakin Ask….?” »
Now that the silly season is over and the kids are back at school you might be thinking about getting your life back in order along with the house! And it starts with decluttering your days and reclaiming your time. Following is an extract from “I am woman – the art of being you”, Skip 8: Decluttering Your Kingdom.
My Top 8 Decluttering Commandments:
1. Simplify the Morning Rush Hour
Do you start the day all bright eyed and bushy tailed only to find an hour later you are still in your PJ’s, a cold coffee in hand, a piece of burnt toast between your teeth, herding the kids into the car for the school run wishing you could just go back to bed? You are not alone. It is bad enough battling rush hour on your way to work each morning, let alone in the home as well. Look at what you can eliminate, delegate and consolidate in your morning routine then do as much as possible the night before. By making a few small changes you will take back control of your kingdom immediately and possibly keep your sanity allowing time to do your hair as well.
2. Plan for a Healthy Lifestyle
Everyone knows that healthy eating, regular exercise and minimising the effects of stress are essential to mind/body wellness. We also understand how it feels at the end of a busy day to be so depleted of energy, vitality and time that you ditch the workout, reach for the take away menus, frozen dinners, anything fast and veg out in front of the telly. Balancing your wheel of life – work, family, friends, fitness and hobbies without spreading yourself too thin all starts with planning. This book will have given you insights on how to do this already. However if you feel you are still a long way off from finding that balance, invest in a professional. Hiring a life coach or personal trainer for support will be a huge motivator and value will far outway the expense for a healthier, happier you.
3. Triumph over Clutter
Clutter is like dust. Over time, it creeps into very corner, onto every shelf, benchtop, table or desk, on or under the stairs, in every cupboard – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, study, garage and on any available floor space. All of a sudden you cannot move in your own house, it’s inundated with piles of stuff, mostly unnecessary and useless. Follow the continual process of Elimination, Delegation and Consolidation (EDC) and you can Junk-proof your kingdom.
4. Spring Clean in 15 Minutes
Who wants to spend their weekend washing, cleaning and de-cluttering? Daily spring cleaning in 15 minutes or less the main areas of your home will ensure you stay on top of the household chores whilst minimising the chance of clutter buildup. You will also feel more balanced and in control of your kingdom if, at least, the main living areas look respectable and liveable.
5. Plan your Weekly Meals
Oh those dreaded words: “What’s for dinner, Mum?” If you are like me, I quickly distract the offender whilst madly reaching into the pits of my consciousness to remember what is in the fridge that still looks edible, has the maximum number of food groups and can be quickly assembled for the hungry masses. Thank goddess for “4 Ingredients”. Again, it all starts with planning. Keep a grocery list handy to record when you use the last of something, take 20 mins to think about the week ahead and prepare a weekly meal plan to make grocery shopping a breeze. And invest in a slow cooker, you will not regret it!
6. Stick to Your Budget
First things first, do you have a budget? Do you know how much you earn vs how much you spend each week, month, year? Effective budgeting is essential for decluttering your life and creating wealth. We live in an age of high consumerism and there’s a constant pull to have the latest gadgets, technology and stuff on the market and without a plan this can literally deplete your financial freedom. Define your long-term financial goals, set up a budget and put yourself back in control of your spending right now. Do not waste another day.
7. Master Your Paper Piles
Paper, paper everywhere – letters, bills, lists, magazines, junk mail, school notes, children’s artwork, post it reminders, tax receipts, homework, school reports… So much for a paperless office. It seems no sooner do you clear them away, another pile appears. It’s a conspiracy, really! The answer is boycott. Refuse to create another pile. Read it then file it, store it or toss it. Do not stack it ever again.
8. If You Are Not Using It, Store It, Neatly
Your home was built for storage and most rooms come with built in systems – kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, study and garage. With this abundant storage comes abundant hoarding of stuff, a lot of stuff. We all have those chaotic cupboards, messy drawers and overflowing boxes that make us cringe everytime we throw another item into the black hole. Not only do they look bad, they zap your time, energy and peace of mind. Schedule time now to declutter each storage unit and implement the EDC process to prevent chaos from returning.
Minda Lennon is one of the co-authors of “ Extraordinary YOU ~ The art of living a lusciously spirited, vibrant life” and also of “I am woman – the art of being you”.
Starting a new business is like trying to surf a tidal wave with many ups and downs seeming more extreme than those of first time parenthood. So, when the book ‘Extraordinary You: the art of living a lusciously spirited, vibrant life’ arrived to me I honestly wondered what on earth such a new age sounding book could possibly help me with during this busy, exhausting and overwhelming time of juggling business, existing job and family life.
It turns out though, the eleven stories of women who’s circumstances range from life altering accidents, illness or who just felt their lives weren’t quite ‘right’, has given me plenty of food for thought and some very practical advice about embracing the changes and opportunities that present themselves. These stories have also shown me that viewing life’s challenges as opportunities in themselves, will ultimately lead to living a life of fulfilment, health and happiness.
The common theme amongst all these stories is that of listening to the little voice inside you or your gut instinct and then taking action based on this. As each of the very different authors tells in their own stories, living life this way means learning to trust that instinct and investing in yourself to enable action and change.
Whether that investment is in professional development, to become healthier or learning just to trust your own thoughts and feelings rather than those we think we ‘should’ as dictated to us by the world, doing so will lead you towards your own version of an extraordinary life where you to feel empowered rather than weighed down by circumstances or stuck in situations beyond your control.
Thank you Alli for sending me this book and reminding me to listen to my own instinct at a time when I feel life challenging it and me. I know now and after completing some of the useful, free downloads from the book that it will ultimately lead me and my new business to success!
One of my fondest memories of being a young girl is my Aunty Lola’s bed. You see she had a king size bed that could fit the feminine collective of my family. This included my Grandmother, my mum, my two aunts, my younger cousin and myself. It was on this bed that I learned about being a woman, the joys, sorrow, trials and tribulations – not that I realized that at the time, I simply loved being immersed in belonging to this circle of women, of hearing their conversation and feeling the cocoon of caring and concern that enveloped us. They would just talk as sisters and mothers do, forgetting the quiet little ones with ears pealed and hearts open.
As I grew older, the bed was again a physical support for the turmoil and headaches of teenage life as well as the secrets and laughter of hanging with girlfriends. I have recollections of sitting on the bed with my bestest buddy laughing so hard that my stomach hurt and I couldn’t catch my breathe. It was where hopes were shared and tears also. It was my solace, creative space and dream weaver. I see the same in my daughter when her friends are over and there is a part of me that is jealous of that infectious energy, closed against the world and growing up. At these times I really want a bedroom girlfriend who will sit in their pj’s, eat junk and laugh so hard that the champagne comes out of your nose (gross hey but you know what I mean).
And oh what joys and pleasure can be shared in a bed and how much fun was it to discover the delights beneath the blankets. This brought another type of intimacy and connection. The bed became a cocoon, a bubble of love and heat and deliciousness. At this time the bed and the events within it can becomes a sacred space – a container for divine union and earthly too. Still more whispered endearments, candid conversations, smiles and giggles. True, the sheets also wrapped around pain, despair and loneliness too, but always I was cradled in comfort with a place to rest my head.
So now it has come full circle and my bed has seen birth, babies, play, ecstasy, sadness and joy. I have had heart to hearts with my husband, daughter and son on the bed. I have read stories, played airplanes, chased away nightmares, wiped away tears, mended friendships, consoled a loss. With my daughter in Canada I have sat on my bed and she on hers and skyped away the distance. I have lost myself in pages and in my partner and still the bed supports the living that goes on. I am looking forward to the time when I will be the matriarch and hold court in my king size, with daughter and grandchildren, friends and family infusing the bed with memories.
And If I am so lucky I will pass from here in the arms of my husband, head on pillow, blankets tucked in and dreams fulfilled.
Sweet Dreams, Natalie
Natalie is the creator of Spirited Women’s Network and Ruby Moon Dreaming – Encouraging Woman to Be – In fullness and Richness.