My Insight Board by Cheryl
Yesterday on Instagram I shared a board I created that I call an Insight Board (you can read more about those here too). It’s like a vision or dream board, but it’s more about right now and how you’re feeling at this time. You might think you’d already know that, right? But not necessarily! I find that we often shoot our very achievable hopes and desires down because we’re focused on something else.
Insight Boards are a way to get in touch with what you really want now – versus what you wanted in the past, what you think you should want, or even what you’re hoping for in the future. This is about knowing you can have what you desire right now! And that puts you in a much more grounded, happy, and strong place to work from to create what you hope for next too. Plus just checking-in with yourself is such an important and beautiful gift – to allow yourself to be who you are, and to have what you want. An Insight Board is how I discover what is coming up for me, what I really want – things I may ignore or shove away in my focus on this task or that goal. Your life isn’t your goals – but often we live that way, as if they are the be all end all. So, here are a few simple steps to create a visual, intuitive collage to remind you of your deep needs and wants right now.
I begin with a question. It could be: “Who am I right now?”, or “What do I need?”, or “What makes my life joyous, free, delicious, etc?”. This week I asked, “What brings me the greatest joy in my daily life, now and for the near future?” And I asked that as well about my home, my calling, and my relationships. I made four separate boards because I wanted to get more specific. But generally I just make one and that gives me lots and lots of insight.
Next I gather a few supplies: Something to glue or tape things to (I use 12×12 cardstock), magazines, glue or double-stick tape, a scissors or paper cutter. Also a notebook and a pen.
Then I begin looking through magazines with my question in the back of my mind. I’m looking for images, words, and phrases that really resonate for me. Don’t overthink here, we want to use our intuition and our emotional guidance system to choose images. We don’t need to know what they mean just now. Choose a bunch of images. I tend to know when I’m done. When you’re feeling really bored with the whole thing suddenly is a good sign!
Start to go through your images again – this is where we select the ones that will go on this board. Again keep your question at the back of your mind and check in with yourself as you choose what feels best to you. This is a heart choice, not a head choice. I select and then I trim the images I’ve chosen. Next, I set them on the board and move them around until I like what I see (no glue yet!). This generally includes getting rid of a few more images – or you may find you have some open spaces between images – it’s all good. When you’re done stick them down.
The final step is to look at your board and see what it has to tell you. I grab a pen and paper and start to write about what I see and what it means to me, especially in light of my question. Be open and let things flow. Some images or words will be obvious, and others will take a bit more digging. I write about each image and word.
To keep what you’ve learned in mind – Post your board where you can see it! Then I might list (and even schedule!) a few small steps I can take in the next week to engage and live what I’ve learned. Or I might write out a big insight on a card and put it where I can see it. I also like to check back in with my board every other day or so.
From my recent board on joy in daily life I’ve been baking again – something I’ve really wanted to do but haven’t – because I’m not supposed to eat those things! Really? I’ve also been taking care of myself like a cat takes care of themselves – knowing that there isn’t anything more important or enjoyable. I learned that I need plenty of time to myself to dream, and to just be, and also to write and make Insight Boards! (Yes, I did know this, but I keep thinking I “should” be different). I also want to start the day “in happiness, in kindness”, and to become a Master in the Art of the Everyday.
What a truly delightful life I have when I allow myself to live this way. And I can do it right now! No waiting or hoping. And you can too! I’d love to hear about your adventures in Insight Boarding. Drop me a line at email@example.com. Best wishes for your delightful, beautiful life!
“Hey You” by Frank Mckenna – Unsplash
Every day we think of things that we can’t do, or can’t be, or can’t feel, or can’t have…Frankly, it can become an obsession!
We see what we are lacking, and/or have lost, and we grieve, we feel stuck. Some of this type of thinking and awareness is helpful – it helps us clarify what we really do want and need, and can inspire fabulous changes in our lives. But, if you’re like me you really don’t want to live in I Can’t Land. And, sadly, it’s pretty easy to get stuck there! It could be that the ego likes us sad and miserable, or that the negativity bias of the brain wants to keep us safe, or that we believed someone in our lives who said that we couldn’t have that, or be this. Regardless, it just isn’t helpful at all to believe that we can’t have, or do, things that we really want to, and are able to do.
So…what’s a goddess to do?
Step 1 – “I Can’t”:
Well, it all begins with awareness of what we’re telling ourselves. Sometimes it isn’t even something we think about much anymore because we’ve already written it off, even though it’s one of our deep desires. Here are some examples:
- I can’t possibly go to college for, or work as, an interior designer even though it’s been my dream since I was a little girl.
- I can’t possibly travel to France.
- I can’t possibly meet someone I really love, who gets me, and who will be a true partner.
- I can’t possibly lose weight.
- I can’t possibly run my own business.
All of these “I Can’t” beliefs are from my own life at some time, and they all come with a second part that begins with “because”. Like, “I can’t run my own business because I don’t know how, I’m too lazy, I’m not smart enough, and I don’t have the backing or help”; or “I can’t travel to France because I don’t have the money or the time”, etc. This is where things can get messy, we could really go down the rabbit hole here, but instead we’re going to go straight to looking at things differently.
Make a list of your own “I Can’t” beliefs. Just jot a few down to work with here. You can always add to the list later (I know I do!) and then work with those beliefs too.
Step 2 – “I Can”:
We start to look at our thinking differently by just saying to ourselves…”I can.” Just that. I can. Feel that? It’s permission and an acknowledgement of our capability all at once! I can. Soak it in. You can. Think of all of the things that you CAN do, and that you ARE, and that you CAN be and have. Hang out here for a while. Revel in it. It is a fact that YOU CAN.
I Can’t, because….
Choose an item from your “I Can’t” list that you really DO want to do. (As you work with this you may find that at least some of the things we say we can’t do are really things we don’t WANT to do – but, that is whole other post!) For example, you may write, “I want to go to Italy, but I can’t”.
Next list all of the reasons why you can’t go to Italy. I call this the “I can’t, because” list. Maybe you can’t speak Italian, or think you don’t have the time or money, or the courage, or a person to go with, or it’s always the wrong timing, or….
Get more specific:
Now choose one of your reasons above and give it a few small revisions. “I can’t go to Italy because I don’t speak Italian” can be revised to:
- Many people visit Italy and don’t speak the language. I can too.
- I can learn Italian!
- I have friend who speaks Italian and she would be a wonderful travel companion. I can ask her to go with me. (Hey, this one solves two concerns!)
- I can embrace the amazing challenge of learning to do things in a place where I don’t know the language.
- I can learn how to get by with the language of gestures and body language. And I can pick up some Italian along the way too.
Keep going with this and think of as many ideas as you can – even if they’re a wacky! And then stop.
Reread your list:
How do you feel now? Thinking of possibilities and breaking things down into smaller parts will really open your mind to the “I Can’s”, and it will show you potential steps you can take to make your dream come true as well. You may also find that some of the things on your “I can’t’, because” list don’t really matter to you, and you can stop worrying about them right now. Do this exercise with each “I can’t, because” on your list. Do it until you start to feel that, just maybe, you CAN.
Make a master list of the very best and most delightful ideas you had when you made your revised “because” lists. So, for example, you may have decided that you can go to Italy and you want to be able to speak the language too – that is part of the excitement for you. You would write “I can learn Italian” on your master list. You may also have ideas for how you’ll pay for your trip, when a good time to go is, who you want to invite to go with you, etc. Place these all on your list. Give it a super name like the “I’m Really Going to Italy List” and keep it handy. These are your “I Can” responses to the reasons you’ve been holding onto to make sure that you don’t go to Italy (or do whatever it is you want to do). Use them to remind you of all of the things that you CAN do.
You may want to do this process with everything on your “I Can’t” list. Some dreams you’ll be able to do right away! Some you’ll find you no longer care about, and others will require a longer time commitment to bring into your life. Some you have less control over (finding the right person to love may be one of these). But all of your dreams will benefit from your belief that they CAN happen much more that they will from thinking that they can’t happen. When we see what can be, we immediately find new avenues and our vision opens to possibilities we overlooked before. And it is a seriously fun process too! A way to enable your very best dreams to take up space in your mind and your life. A way to be open to the potential and to see the gifts the Universe wants to give us. “I can’t” closes our eyes, but “I CAN” creates brand new opportunities!
The point of this post is not to make sure you go to Italy though. It certainly can be a start! From the master list you can make plans, and schedule lessons, and take steps. And if you get overwhelmed, or think you can’t do it, then you can come back to this process and use it again on those pesky negative thoughts. The main thing I want you to take away is that we all have stories that we tell ourselves, or that we learn as we go through life, and we believe them to be true. But so often they aren’t. And these stories can limit the choices we believe we have, and the options we think we can embrace. We need to be willing to question those beliefs if we’re going to be able to live our most delicious life.
I’ve discovered that I have the most ridiculous “I can’t” stories, and many of them I’ve proven wrong (it turns out that I can be an interior designer, and I can run a business, and I can find someone to love, etc.). But some still remain – “I can’t take a break or a vacation, because then I’m lazy, and I’ll go broke.” is one that lingers – though I’ve taken many breaks and vacations, I still have to reach past that thought! Some other very common beliefs are that time, and money, and space, and love, etc. are all too limited to allow us what we need. I want to challenge you to see your life as having exactly what you need. “I can have plenty of money for that trip to Italy.” “I can experience the love I want in full.” “I can live extremely well on the money I have, and I can always make more.”
You can, my dear friend!! And I want it all for you! I’ll be right here imagining and knowing that you can too.
Lots of Love,
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . Ask me questions, or share your experience – and you can also book a session via this email, and set up a free 20 – 30 minute consultation too. I’d love to hear from you!! You can also give me a call at 440-213-6666 to set up a time to talk.
A New Page
|So, I want to tell you the story of a woman (OK, spoiler, it’s me) who has lived an “interesting” life. If by interesting you mean she’s not gone for more than 3 straight years her whole life without a major life event occurring (moves – so many moves, loss of loved ones, births, illnesses, illnesses of loved ones, changes of jobs, marriages, divorce, new education and graduations, buying houses and selling houses, redesigning houses, starting overs and endings, etc.). Maybe you’re like that too. If so – welcome my soul-friend! If not, you may still find something here that resonates.
In all of this change, and transformation, and learning about life I’ve, you know, learned a lot about life, and also learned how much more there is to learn. I find that exciting! I just hope I can do it without all of the outside “help” I’ve had in the past. 🙂 I’ve spent a lot of time feeling like I’m being reborn, or getting ready to be reborn, or almost over where I’m at now – you know – on the cusp. As I look back I think that has been accurate, and I’m not sure if I just move through things quickly or if I’m on the “20 Cities in 10 Days” life itinerary.
No matter – what I’m really here for is to make the most of whatever I have, and to love life. And then to offer that back in the best way I know to support and help others. I have no set expectations of how that needs to look. Up to now I’ve been an interior designer, a Reiki master, a professional organizer, a life coach, and lots of other things too. These will continue to be and/or inform my offerings. I think the difference will be in how I share them. I’ve been primarily a life coach for the last 6 years and I adore it, but it’s time for me to let that evolve into new coaching paths and approaches (really very exciting!).
The beauty of right now is that I can feel the urge to be reborn, and I’ve been aware through it all without major outward changes forcing my hand or distracting me. Wow!! It’s quite a thrill, let me tell you. So, I’ve been here and present; but I’ve also had to learn how to sit with it, and wait, and be open, and be patient, and have faith, have faith, have faith. It’s really very lovely (when it isn’t terrifying!). So, I’m riding this evolution in my life, and of course in my business too, because I can’t separate one from the other.
I’ve been waiting until I was SURE and DONE and CLEAR until I told you what I was up to (except in the vaguest of ways), but it turns out that may be a bit yet. And also it may look from the outside like itty-bitty steps. Or like I disappeared. Or went mad. I’m not actually sure yet exactly what will happen – there are some moving pieces I’m waiting on. And I have lots of ideas – so many ideas! Right now I’m riding the wave. Be sure that you will be the first to know about any changes here and I hope you will LOVE them. I’m really excited! Expect yelling from the rooftops…someday. We’ll get there – have faith. And thank you so much for being my client and reading my posts and emails. You are truly the BEST!
Lots of Love,
PS Did I mention I’m really excited?? And also I wanted to let you know there will still be new blog posts, and emails, and free content as things are brewing behind the scenes. And I’m quite easy to find on Instagram most days too! And if you have any questions or want to share anything – just send me a message at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you. <3
Vinca Major, by Cheryl
Well, it was interesting (and past about Day 22, definitely a challenge, whew!). I’m going to take some time now to assimilate all I’ve learned and consider where I want to go with my blogging now. I’ll be sure to let you know, in case you’re interested. I sincerely appreciate you reading my words and even allowing me into your email boxes! That is a gift!
I’ve had so much fun sharing myself, my favorite ideas, old posts, planning tools, oracle card spreads, life design practices, even an old family recipe – and more – with you. I hope it hasn’t been annoying or boring for you – and if it was I certainly hope you just stayed away and enjoyed the things you enjoy! But if anything was of any help to you – that is the point for me and I’m very grateful to all of you who read my posts and let me know what you thought, or if you found one of help to you. Thank you!
Here are the last 9 posts in my 30 Days of Blogging Love Challenge:
Two Steps to a De-LIGHT-ful Week is about creating a better week for yourself when Monday seems like a very bad idea!
Prompts for Insightful Journaling is a re-post including a few of my favorite journaling prompts that I had actually forgotten about until I dug up this post again! I hope you find them full of insights too.
Grandma Crawford’s Oatmeal Bars with Browned Butter Frosting – a beloved old family recipe to share with you.
A Quick Paper Clearing Session – how to clear a file drawer quickly and without undue misery!
Goddess Friday with Playful Bast – this post is about choosing a Goddess to enlighten a fresh new month, as well as an oracle card spread to use for more information.
Beautiful Words from Beautiful Mary Oliver includes collages I made with excerpts from a few of her poems to celebrate her life.
What to do About Those Songs in Your Head is also a repost – and it’s all about a favorite insight tool of mine to use the songs that get stuck in your head to learn about what your Inner Self wants you to know.
Sacred Circle of Advisers (an oracle spread) this spread is super versatile and simple and offers you information for this moment, and guidance for going forward as well.
This is officially the last post – number 30. I’ll certainly be writing again, but probably not as often! Wishing you the very best and thanking you again!
Blessings and Spring (or Autumn) wishes to you!! And a Happy New Moon!
PS The comments aren’t currently turned on here at the TIG Blog, but you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can direct message me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!!!
Geraniums and Impatiens, by Cheryl
Today, I have another oracle spread I’d like to share with you.
This one I didn’t make up myself, I read about it in the book that accompanies The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. (You’d think that was the only deck I have as much as I’ve talked about it and used it lately – but that would be untrue! So many decks and so many books – it’s a bit of a habit!!) I love this spread because it’s so versatile, and helpful in several ways too. And it’s simple – I DO like simple things! (Note: Amy may call this something else in her book – I am just sharing how I use it and what I call it.)
The Sacred Circle of Advisers spread is for accessing inner guides and finding assistance. You can use it for any life area, situation, relationship, topic, etc. that’s up for you right now. And you can call on from 1-12 helpers as desired. You can also use any oracle or tarot deck you have around. You may see your helpers as guides – someone like a goddess, an archangel, an ascended master, or an animal guide, etc,.and there are plenty of decks of this type to use for this approach. But I’ve had as much help from a tarot deck – I consider the cards as helping energies then. It’s all up to you and what you want and feel good about. Your choice may vary by the topic you are asking about, as well.
For example, I have an Advisory Circle for my business – the circle changes as my concerns and needs change (though I do find certain cards show up over and over – I love that!). I tend to use either The Goddess Oracle, Goddess Guidance Oracle cards (by Doreen Virtue), or The Keepers of the Light deck (by Kyle Gray) for this spread. For other questions or life areas my favorite guides are often animals and I have several amazing decks for that (Animal Allies by Jessica Swift, The Spirit Animal Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid, and Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer). But again – use what you have – they’re all helpful! SO, let’s get to that spread, shall we?
Sacred Circle of Advisers Oracle Spread:
- Consider your question or area of concern. I like to write mine down.
- Choose a deck to use. Get comfortable, you can sit anywhere you like that feels good and you have a bit of a surface to shuffle and set cards down. If you like to write out your insights include paper and pen. For this spread the book suggests sitting on the floor and placing your adviser cards in a circle around you. That really is a nice touch! But not necessary. I think comfort is important too
- Now shuffle and choose your cards in whatever manner you prefer. You can just draw cards until you feel you have the right number of advisers – or you feel “done”; or you can determine the number of cards you want to choose before you draw cards. For a quick answer I often choose one adviser – that can become a very nice and close relationship then with that guide. For other concerns you want more input – for my business Circle I draw 6-7 cards. I want a broader base for that.
- Look at your helpers! Who has come to give you a hand? The cards/guides offer information for you right now about your question. What do they have to tell you? But they also can offer help over time just by considering their messages. For example, Eagle has shown up for me many times! She has certain messages for me at certain times. She may be telling me to take a larger view one day, and asking me to be open to opportunities on another day. You can continue to ask your guide what messages and help they have for you and call on them for clarity and insights.
Sacred Adviser Circle with the Animal Allies deck by Jessica Swift, (photo by Cheryl)
Above is my Circle for a big change I’m looking at making in my life. Lots of really fabulous helpers for me here and their advice is already guiding me to a better solution – and helping me feel a lot more clear. I hope you discover a Sacred Circle to help you too! Let me know how it goes at email@example.com ,or if you have any questions, drop me a line! It is always wonderful to hear from you!!
Note: I often share links to books or oracle cards, etc. – I am not an affiliate for anyone – these are just provided for your information.
Image by Clem Onojeghuo
I’ve always had songs in my head – you know those songs that get stuck, for whatever reason, and can drive you almost mad? Yeah, you too? Well, I used to think they were just an annoyance, and then as I learned more about how my subconscious (sub in here higher self, inner guide, God, etc.) communicated with me I began to think there might be information there for me. The question many times though was: “What information?” Because sometimes these songs aren’t obviously of help. Two days ago the song in my head was “Everyone Else is an Asshole” by Reel Big Fish, it took a bit of discovery to figure that message out I can tell you! The thing is I’ve had some really rich discoveries by following the thread begun by the music in my head, it’s been such a help – and lots of fun.
The aforementioned song was pretty useful really. I’ve always enjoyed its funny, tongue-in-cheek approach to suggesting that if you think everyone around you is an asshole perhaps you should look at yourself first. So, of course, I looked at that. For the most part I don’t think people are assholes, I usually like them and try not to judge, but the truth is I can definitely still use more work on this. And sometimes I can be an asshole myself. It helps me to be aware of that. But the larger message seemed to me to be twofold: First, humor is a fabulous way to get out of that grumpy, judgmental place – if you can see the humor in a situation you’ve stepped outside and have a bigger, clearer view. And it’s fun! The second message is that what you see outside is also what’s inside – and that refers not only to people who appear to be assholes but those who are beautiful, who are successful, kind, rich, etc. What you’re seeing outside is what is inside you too. And you can be sure there are people who are seeing their beauty, their kindness, and even, perhaps, their own assholiness reflected in you. It’s a great lesson to remember because it helps you find the truth of a situation.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” Hermes Trismegistus
If you’re interested in getting more from that annoying song in your head here are a few ways I use to tease out the meaning.
See how they work for you.
- First I focus on the specific lyrics and tune that repeat in my head to see if there is an obvious message for me there. Consider how you feel when you hear it. Does it bring back a memory? Does it make you want to move your body? Is the tempo slow, zippy, danceable? What energy does it have? Does it remind you of something or someone? If so, how? I usually write in my journal about this – partly because I can access my intuition easier that way and partly because then I can remember it an hour later – (really, steel trap!) This may be all you do and it’s very helpful on its own.
- Next, if I’m still not sure, or want to know more, I like to look up the lyrics. This can be tricky if you can’t recall enough to find the song and songwriter/performer, but there are such amazing search engines for this now. Google it and you’ll probably be lucky. Reading the lyrics can often help you figure out more about the meaning for you. Today the song in my head was “We Built This City” by Starship and the meaning wasn’t completely clear for me until I read the full lyrics and got a better sense of the message of the song. Then I considered how that related to me and my life and there it was – some great information for me! I realized I can benefit from remembering what I build my own “city” on (what my foundation is). It’s really key for me to be true to that right now.
- Next, I might look for the video – this is one of my favorite parts, especially if there’s a good video of the song – my faves are old MTV videos and live performances. You really experience the energy of the song from the performance of it and that can be an eye-opener. Sometimes I think my subconscious just wants me to lighten up and sends me a song with a great, funny, or nostalgic video to help me gain perspective on life.
- With each type of exploration take a moment to check-in to how you feel, what the message might be – it can be very simple. I’ve had messages to slow down, to laugh, to pay attention to my money, etc. The message will be helpful and kind – even when suggesting that you just may need to look at how you judge other people.
- If you want to carry this further you can write the message down where you can see it, memorize it, say it out loud to yourself, or just listen to the song a few times today. Allow it to inform you as the day goes on.
Our wisest Self communicates with us on a regular basis – sometime She uses music and lyrics! I hope you find insights and delight from the music that plays in your head.
Lots of Love,
Note: This is a re-post from 2016 – I hope you enjoy it – this still one of my favorite insight tools of all time! 🙂
This year we lost an amazing voice in this world. I’m just so grateful we got to read (and can still read) her beautiful and true poetry. What a gift she has left for us. Here are a few quotes from the fabulous Mary Oliver.
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
(I’m sharing the quotes in gluebook style – I was lucky to be a part of an Instagram gluebook gathering the day she died and together we made pages about her words and shared our love for her. And you can join a gluebook party tonight on Instagram at 8pm Eastern – just search for @the.butterfly.artist, follow her, and then go to #margluebookparty19 – Fun!)
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
With love to you!
Deep Pink Zinnia, by Cheryl
Hello! It’s Goddess Friday again and a new month!
This week I want to share a beginning of the month ritual with you…
I like to choose a guide at the beginning of a new month to help me throughout that month with intuitive nudges and a connection to their energy and aspects. Often that guide is a Goddess! Sometimes I just know who the guide will be – they sort of show up for me. Other times I’ll use an oracle deck to choose a guide. This month the Egyptian Goddess Bast wants to help me remember how to lighten up and enjoy life, but also to be fierce when needed.
Bast is a cat-headed Goddess. In her temple in Lower Egypt were the sacred cats who were considered to be incarnations of the Goddess. They were even embalmed when they died (over 300,000 mummified cats were found in the area of her temple at Bubastis). Bast is known for her playfulness, grace, and affection. She’s the Goddess of pleasure as well – from the enjoyment of music and art, to the pleasures of dance and sex. Especially pleasures of a sensual nature are in her area of influence – enjoying the warm sun on your body, the joy of spending time in nature, good food, and a delicious stretch are all ways to connect with the energy of Bast. She’s also a predator – as all cats are. A hunter and warrior, she rules the moon and is a protective mother. Her statues were kept in homes to protect against thieves.
I invited Bast to help me this month by just asking her nicely. Each day I’ll check in with her, and later I’ll create a collage about what she means for me this month. I also drew some tarot cards asking for her help in answering my questions. Here is the simple spread I used:
- What do I need to know this month?
- Tell me more…
- What is possible for me this month?
You can see my cards below, I used the Housewives’ Tarot deck by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum. The cards tell me that most of my work is done, but a re-evaluation is in order. That will guide me to the fine-tuning I need to do to truly be free. This process may include some grief and loss though. A retreat for rest and recovery is definitely possible, and likely needed, this month. And with Bast along for the ride some pleasure, as well, will be an important part of replenishing myself.
My Tarot Draw for March
Ironically, I already have a break planned! Now I’ll be sure that it includes plenty of rest, solitude, and play! A good ritual offers so much insight and clarity. My mind can be a jittery place and these types of practices help to ground, comfort, and inspire me.
Happy March to you! Do you choose a guide or have a special New Month ritual? I’d love to hear about it! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a free call here. You can also find me on Instagram. And I don’t want to forget to tell you about my offering the Goddess Inspiration Session! I draw an oracle card for you and together we tease out the meanings and messages there for you. (Learn more about this offering right here.)
Sending a Big Hug to you and hoping your Friday is delight-filled!
Maple Leaf Viburnum, by Cheryl
Today we’re knuckling down and clearing out some files….Trust me the pain doesn’t last long and then you feel soooo good!
Here is how I quickly (because some tasks should be quick) clear a file drawer
First I choose one file drawer or area (it could be a bin or box, etc.) – JUST ONE. This is key.
Next I assemble my supplies:
- Music (This is the most important thing on this list – good tunes.)
- A refreshing beverage. (If it’s alcoholic, I’m not judging!)
- A paper shredder
- Recycling bin or bag
- Trash bin or bag
- A pen
- File folder labels to re-label all of those file folders you liberate
- A snack (This supposed to be quick so you shouldn’t really need one, but why not??)
Well, actually, first I like to have a goal for this clearing out session – it helps me when I’m not sure what to do with something. Otherwise, I can get lost in “but what if…” land. My goal today was to clear all of the old papers and files from one file drawer. And by old I mean anything at all that I don’t need anymore. That could be files for companies I no longer work with, health files that no longer have relevance, information I saved but have never looked at again, even old tax returns (if they are past the 7-10 year window). You can find guidelines online for how long to keep certain types of documents (just Google it – here’s one now.)
OK, now we can start!! Go through each file quickly assessing anything that you want to or need to keep. Put the keepers back in the file cabinet. There will be things you don’t need or want to keep, as well – things you no longer need to carry around with you. My test for this is: Do I need it now? Will I need it in the future? Is it important to me? File the papers that don’t pass the test in a “to shred”, “to recycle” or “trash” pile. I shred anything that has my name and address on it (and, of course, any other sensitive information). When you have questions refer back to your goal. Keep going until you’ve gone through the entire drawer, (naturally while taking frequent sips and dancing a bit to “Rockin’ Robin”), Shred the papers in the shred pile (this is my favorite part!) And then STOP and celebrate!! You’re done!
Easy right? Well, it can be, but also you’re bound to come across things that remind you of times – good and bad. And that can be a bit emotional. The insurance company that treated you badly – yep – you get to shred the heck outta them. Today, I finally got rid of the file with all of the information on the many health problems of my dear kitty friend Mulligan, who died a few years ago. Going through that was a trip through time and while it made me sad, mostly I’m happy we had so much time with him. I shredded old diagnoses that no longer belong to me (yahoo!), and insurance files for houses I no longer live in. All quite cathartic. I now have about 20 “new” file folders too! And a lot more space in my file cabinet – and in my life.
If you have a clear out I’d LOVE to hear about it! Contact me with questions too – just drop me a line at email@example.com. I also have custom program called The Makeover that offers lots of help for more in-depth clearing and redesigning projects.
I hope your day is full of space for new adventures as we head into March!!
Love to you,
Sunflowers in the Kitchen, by Cheryl
When you start to write a blog post and spend all morning on it and it turns out to be, like, a book or something, and then you really need to get going because you have your tax appointment today – then you share your beloved Grandma’s Cookie recipe – because seriously – it’s freaking awesome! And also you’re out of time…
This is a simple but delicious treat! I’ve shared it all over the US because it’s always a hit. I often don’t add anything extra – with the browned butter frosting it’s fabulous alone. I love it best with pecans, but walnuts are good too. My sister always adds chocolate chips, and sometimes I add raisons – which is very yummy too!
Grandma Crawford’s Oatmeal Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
- 2 sticks of Butter (1/2 cup each stick)
- 2 cups of Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 cups Flour
- 3 cups Oatmeal
- Extras – Raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips as you desire.
(Note: The original recipe just has the ingredients and says bake in a moderate oven – but this is what I do…)
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. I add vanilla here too. Mix the dried ingredients together and then stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in any extras you want, like nuts. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan and press the mixture in with a buttered spoon or buttered fingers – it’s pretty sticky. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes or until done. It’s a bit tricky to tell, but it will be golden brown and not wet looking (I hope that helps…:)). Frost while warm, but not hot.
While the bar cookies bake make the frosting with 5 Tbsp of Butter – browned and cooled a bit, 1-1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar, and 1 tsp of Vanilla. Add milk as needed to make a spreading consistency. You will be frosting the cookies while they’re warm so don’t make it too thin as it will melt some.
These are chewy, comforting deliciousness and a great favorite of our family! I hope you enjoy it too!
From my family to yours –
Lots of Love,