“There is a morning inside you
waiting to burst open into light”
Happy Saturday, <<Name>>, and for those of you in the US, Happy Labor Day Weekend! I know that Fall doesn't officially arrive for another few weeks, but I always associate Labor Day Weekend as the final paragraph of summer's story. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about living in the moment, but as we teeter on the edge between seasons, I begin getting impatient to turn the page.
Maybe it’s because I love fall so much. This is my sixth year in Ohio and I get to experience Fall unlike any way I ever did growing up in Texas. I'm looking forward to the glorious beauty of changing leaves and crisp night air....cool enough to sleep with the windows open!
In some ways, I’m seeing signs from Mother Nature that she's getting impatient to turn the page, too. The leaves of the trees are beginning to soften in hue and all the ornamental grasses have begun to turn golden. On Wednesday afternoon, we played a round of golf and it felt kind of odd to be wearing long pants and a pullover to play in August!
But in other ways, I’m seeing Mother Nature dig in her heels to hang on to a few more drops of summer days.
After some hot and humid days, we got a little breath of cool air, and then back to the eighties it went!
I love that paradox that Mother Nature tosses out each year. It reminds me that though seasons are inherently similar, each year holds explicit uniqueness and beauty.
To be honest, as I write this note to you, my Labor Day plans are up in the air. I had planned one last summer hurrah, but the hurricane in the Atlantic will probably be changing that.
I know many of you will be doing those end-of-the-season BBQs while others of you may be traveling to see friends or family (or a final summer fling). Be safe. And if you're in Florida, sending you lots of love and prayers.
So, what about you? Are you ready for fall or wanting to seize the last drops of summer? Can you find a way to connect in person more and online less? In what ways can you drink in the beauty of the shifting seasons?
What paradoxes are you living with? Is there a project you're just dying to dive into this fall? Can you begin it over the long weekend?
What can I do to help?
I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.
With so much love...........
From the blog: Nine Simple Ways to Cultivate a Happier Life and Stop Overthinking It
If you want to know what’s standing in the way between you and a happier life, I’d tell you it’s a combination of those big life events that add to the stress of life. And all the little irritants. Sometimes, those small things add more to feeling stressed and unhappy. But, darling, it doesn’t have to be that way. Especially when you find yourself dwelling and overthinking everything.
Let’s be honest: the world is full of miserable and unhappy people. Your social network feeds are full of people bitching and complaining about the injustices of society – like Starbucks being out of pumpkin muffins, their company’s policy against being on Facebook during work, or the audacity of the airline making them wait ten minutes for baggage.
Every time you talk to your best friend, she complains about her husband. Every time you walk into a meeting, people grumble about their work load. And let’s not even mention the news! Some days, it can feel like you’re surrounded by toxic inputs.
In a society where we are expected to want the next big thing – the newest gadget – to strive for more, it can be a challenge to find contentment and satisfaction. But you have a choice. You could take up the mantra “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” and proceed to grumble, complain and bitch.
Or you could choose not to. You could choose to find something to be happy about, instead.
I know that the washed and perfumed masses may try to squash your joy. I understand that your friends and family members may remind you of past failures. It isn’t that they want to cause you pain, it simply means that they are struggling with pain of their own. Or they’re afraid that if you don’t complain together, then you will lose your bond of friendship.
Don’t let the fears of others inflect you. And prevent you from stepping into your happiest, sexiest self. And don’t let your own past fears stop you from creating a happier life, either.
The voices of the past may tell you that you don’t deserve to be happy. They may insist that you must be thin, rich, and beautiful to maintain happiness. Those voices, my dear, are wrong. It’s simply your inner critic trying to convince you to stay stuck and small.
Don’t get lost within the idea that you are too damaged or broken to deserve happiness. No one is broken and the “damage” isn’t damage at all: it’s part of what makes you, well, you.
You are perfect as you are now in this moment, and if you are miserable on the inside, no amount of money, no number on the scale and no amount of plastic surgery will make it go away.
How do you deal with those voices and people?
Here are nine tips help you to cultivate more happiness in your world:
One – Take Responsibility for Choosing a Happier Life
It is no one else’s job, it is yours. If you look to the outside world for it, you’ll always be reaching for happiness instead of being happy.
Darling, the fact of the matter is: you are responsible for your happy.
Two – Gratitude will Always Make Your Life Feel Richer
Every night before you go to bed, write down at least three things you are thankful for. Going to sleep with gratitude on your mind will bring you a more positive approach when you wake to a new day.
Three – Cutting Out Toxic Inputs will Always Be Helpful
Turn a blind eye to all things media. Un-follow the Negative Nellie’s from Twitter, un-friend (or hide) the Facebook friends that only complain, and turn off the evening news.
Four – Distancing Yourself from Toxic People Will Lead to a Happier Life
Don’t chime in when a co-worker complains. Don’t participate in gossip. Smile and walk away from negative social interactions.
Allow those that you love – siblings, friends- to unburden themselves to you without attaching to their stuff. Remind them that you love them. Remind them that you want them to be happy. Turn the conversation to a happy memory, a funny anecdote, or an exciting upcoming event.
Suggest to them a good therapist or coach – not as a judgment, but out of love. By the way, don’t get stuck in a phase of coaching them or giving them advice unsolicited. Trust me on this 😉
Five – People with Hobbies Lead Happier Lives
Many of us spend the bulk of our time focused on work and running our households. And even if we had interests during our childhood, they often fall to the wayside. But the thing is, we need leisure time. And spending time on something we’re passionate about has shown to help us live happier lives.
Yes, I know that your job is important. And it can become your identity. And while I know that we need good work for our brains (and hearts), you also need more. So, no matter if it’s gardening, training your dog, reading, writing, sewing, or golf? Get a hobby.
Six – Making Intimacy a Priority Can Lead to a Happier Life
The right love relationship can make happiness a state of exhilaration. But let’s talk about some things you need to remember when it comes to how your intimate relationships affect your level of happiness.
First of all, if you believe you’ll have a happier life IF your partner changed, then you will be unable to discover any satisfaction in your life. Because the only person you can change is you. That said, my dear, if you aren’t happy with who you are, then a loving partner can’t fix that, either.
And, my dear, if the state of your partnership is disintegrating, then you have a responsibility to yourself and the relationship to either change your attitude or your geography.
Seven – Allow Awareness and Acceptance to Help Light Your Way
I understand that you may desire things in your life to change. You may want to lose some weight or write that book. But begin by accepting where you are now, you will end the argument with reality and put your feet on firmer ground to begin creating change by choice.
Eight – Move Your Body – Especially Outside
If there’s one thing I’ve learned personally, it’s that our sedentary lifestyle can add to our unhappiness. We spend so much time behind screens: computers, television, and phones that our bodies suffer. We become stiff, achy, and and close in ourselves. Our bodies were designed to move. You will find yourself feeling happier when you make regular movement a part of your life.
And your grandmother was right: you need fresh air! When you combine movement with getting outside, you’ll indubitably see your overall level of satisfaction with your life rise.
Nine – Smiling Invites You and Others to Be Happier
A lot. Smile at grocery clerks and people that you pass. And sometimes, it’s the only kind gesture another gets in a day. What do you have to lose except a little grumpiness? Smiles are catchy.
Though these tips can seem overly simplistic, cultivating a happier life is like planting seeds in your garden.
When you accept that it is not only OK to be happy, but that you deserve to be happy, you will transform. No matter how many Negative Nellies there are in the world that tell you that life is full of misery and woe, you can face the world with the knowledge that it’s okay to be happy.
You’ll find that the more abundance of joy you embrace, the more you will be able to shine your light of happiness to the world. And, my dear, when you do shine the light of brilliance on how to be happier, you’ll find that energy returned to you in everyday interactions. And looking in the mirror introduces you to the person who isn’t just finding the path to a being a little happier.
When you look in the mirror, you’ll discover that the radiant person in the glass is that sexy, confident, and happy you.It will be a person who finds joy in life even when times get tough. Because cultivating ways to live a happier life goes a long way towards creating the life of your desires.
Though I spied the first local acorn squash at the grocery store last week, it still feels like summer. And, if you are like me, the last thing you want to do is heat up the house! I've been cooking more on the grill lately.
And a confession: I'm not a fan of cleaning the grill. So, what's a girl to do? Turn to her old pal: Non-Stick Foil.
This has become my go-to method for succulent and delicious Grilled Lemon Chicken:
In the morning before you head to work (or the night before) chop up a chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and toss them into a zip-lock bag. Add into the bag: 1/2 cup of olive oil, juice of one lemon, a splash of tequila (if you have it, no biggie if you don't), 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasonings, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours but up to 24.
When you're ready to make dinner, begin by heating your grill.
Take a large piece of non-stick foil (you can get regular non-stick foil or extra wide non-stick foil made for the grill) and lay it flat on the counter or a platter. Carefully place pieces of chicken onto the center of the foil and then discard the marinade.
Take several slices of onion and place on top of chicken along with some fresh herbs (like sage, rosemary, or thyme) and then add several slices of lemon on the very top. (Frankly, you could skip the onion and/or herbs, but you need the lemon to keep your chicken moist!).
Take a second piece of foil and lay it on top of your chicken and then begin sealing each side, wrapping it like an envelope. Make sure all the edges are crimped and sealed.
Place your packet on a hot grill (I set mine to medium) and cook it for 12 minutes. Then, gently flip it over and cook for another 7 minutes.
(In this photo, the chicken is on the bottom part of the grill, and on the top rack are packets with corn and zucchini)
Remove and carefully open one end of your envelope to verify the chicken is cooked through. The aluminum foil can be handled pretty quickly after being removed from the grill, but the steam inside the packet will be HOT!
If it's not quite done, reseal and toss it back on the grill for another 3 to 5 minutes.
When done, carefully open packet and use a fork or tongs to transfer it to plates!
On the nights I cook on the grill, we usually keep the sides simple: a salad, some grilled corn (also wrapped in foil!), or other veggies grilled to perfection.
Now, cooking in the foil won't leave those beautiful grill marks, but on a busy night, it's a nice solution for cleanup to be just tossing the foil in the recycle bins!