My Living Room Insight Board, by Cheryl
Creating an Insight Board for Your Home Projects
Hello! I’m writing this late today because I am all wrapped up in a project that has taken my energy and time, but also given me great pleasure! I don’t know if it’s the Virgo Full Moon yesterday, or just because I get this way, but I felt a strong need to move things around in my home. It’s been growing on me over the last couple of weeks and plans have been formulating in my mind’s eye and in my dreams too. (Do you move furniture in your dreams? If so you are my Soul Sister!) It’s great to let things percolate until you’re really ready – because let’s face it, when you move furniture (and all that goes with that) – it’s going to get messier before it bets better.
So, when I get the very firm urge to tackle moving things all over (and deep clean and clear while I do) my first step is a space plan. I sketch things out on paper and play around with the ideas that have been coming up. Before I move anything though I like to get clearer about what is motivating me. Sometimes there is something specific bothering me. Other times I’m just ready for a fresh outlook or function for a space. So, I create an Insight Board. (I’ve written about Insight Boards more right here.) This is actually an intuitive collage process that helps you discover more about what you really want, and why you really want to make changes. You can see my board at the top of this post. It probably looks like a few photos cut from magazines to you, but to me I see that I want some fairly specific outcomes, and using what I learn from this board will help me to stay on track as I tear things up!
My Insight Board tells me that I want cozy and layered, but I also want light and space. I want to do a really good clean – getting behind and around everything. I want to reassess the way I’m using the furniture pieces I have, and I want to store some pieces of furniture and also pull a couple out of storage to use. I want to brighten up my relationship area of my house, and make my kitchen function better and look fresh. I’m actually moving things in my Kitchen, Living Room, and Dining Room in this project – it’s pretty major!! But it feels so good to get things really clean and to see my home in new ways too. It’s almost like having a new house!
Kitchen Refresh, by Cheryl
If you have a hankering to move things around and clean and clear you might want to try an insight board to help you tap into your deeper needs and desires about your home. After all, your home is your Self – an expanded physical Self that holds your things – but is also your place to rest, be motivated, to dream, to nurture yourself and loved ones, to tend to your spirit, to play and much more. Tending to the Spirit of your Home is a sacred prospect. If you have any questions about this, contact me at email@example.com. I also offer Interior Design and Organizing services (and, yes, we can do those via internet and phone if you aren’t local) just write me and we can set a free 20 minute session to see how I can help you.
Lots of Love, and Happy House Tending!
Wild prairie flowers, by Cheryl
My mind is a bad neighborhood, and I try not to go there alone after dark. ~Anne Lamott
I’ve been having fun! Those of us who are interested in healing our wounds tend to engage in strange practices. I call it practice because you get to do it more than once! Today I felt it was time to get all of the really mean, self-inflicted comments out of my head and on to paper. Fun, right? Now and then I feel the urge to do this so the crazy can’t keep sneaking up on me – it has to do its name-calling to my face, so to speak. (Note: This is a re-post from my blog way back in July 2015.)
Dealing with those “The Mongol Hordes” in Your Head
I used an exercise from a delightful little book, Queen of Your Own Life by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. They call the voices the Mongol Hordes – which is brilliant!! The exercise is this: set a timer for 10 minutes and let the Mongols have at you. They get to say their piece, and then they need to be supportive, or silent. Turns out my Horde is full of people I know pretty well…my family, friends, old flames, various disgruntled aspects of myself. And they have horrible things to say about me, really hurtful things. But I just listen and say “Uh huh, any more?” And they go on, and on, until they run down.
OK, I lied about the fun. It can be pretty painful.
What the heck is the point of this, you ask? Me too sometimes! But if you have never tried really hearing the mean comments your mind can spew, you may find it’s quite eye-opening. The Horde’s yelling is the background commentary I live with every day. Ignoring it isn’t a long term option. I start to believe it. I make decisions and choices based on it. I really need to know if that is a good idea.
So, I listen. I write it all out in a journal because writing tends to help me access these things (plus later I can go back and address any of the comments that are really sticky and don’t want to go away). Today I learned I’m ugly, stupid, will soon be on the street, a fool, incapable, hated by all, and more…the usual attacking Horde stuff. I find mixed in with the horror of what I say to myself are a few actual gems of usefulness. Yes indeed, I could use a better system to track my finances. I’ll get on that! A lot of it is simply ridiculous (not everyone hates me…), so I can just laugh and let it go. And that feels good!
I also find I have compassion for the Horde. These are voices and beliefs I have internalized from people who (mostly) wish me well. They want to help. The voices want me to be safe. Often, I just don’t want their version of safe. So, I like to thank the voices, and then I love Kathy’s and Cindy’s idea of asking them to be supportive instead of negative. Delicious!
After this practice I feel so much better! The Mongols are off my case, and I can move on with my life with a lot more clarity and excitement. And when they start to mass on my borders again, I know just what to do.
How about you? Talked with your Horde lately?
Lots of Love,
Orange, yellow and white pansies, by Cheryl
A really focused week for me always begins with a pause to consider what I actually want to address. I don’t know about you, but my potential to-do list is so long that a team couldn’t get it all done in one week! And that’s OK. I like having plenty to do. But I don’t like feeling overwhelmed, stressed, confused, alone in this mess, like it all has to be done right now, or feeling like I will never get it all done. I never will get it all done – that is a fact – but, I would like to take care of those things that really matter to me.
Part of my beginning of the week pause usually includes drawing oracle cards. I use oracle or tarot cards because they help me to contact my more spiritual self, and also to ask for guidance from a bigger picture Mind. Without them I can get lost in left brain “should-do’s” and misery. You know, all those stories about how I’ve failed and lost and – that’s right – will never get it all done! My deeper self (and yours too) knows what actually matters. Sometimes I forget. Here are a couple of oracle card spreads to use for insights about your week ahead.
Simple Weekly Spread:
You will choose three cards, from a tarot or oracle deck, whichever you prefer.
Card 1 –
What do I need to know this week? (Other options are “What do You want me to know?”, or “What do I need to know about work?”, or any other topic that is up for you this week.)
Card 2 –
Tell me more…. (What else do I need to know? Or is there more to know about the first card that will clarify matters. You can ask this and draw another card any time you feel you want more clarity.)
Card 3 –
What is my potential for this week? (If I work with the cards above, what is the possible outcome for me?)
Days of the Week Planetary Energy Spread:
This is a longer spread (seven cards) based on the planet that rules each day of the week. I created the questions from my sense of the energy of each planet (you can look up the astrological meaning of each planet and create your own questions too). I prefer to draw the cards all at once on Sunday or Monday, because I ask about the whole week ahead. But you could draw a card each day instead and just ask about that day. Here is the spread:
Monday is the Moon –
What do I need to know, or heal, emotionally this week?
Tuesday is Mars –
What action is beneficial for me this week?
Wednesday is Mercury –
What communication is needed this week?
Thursday is Jupiter –
Where am I ready to grow, or expand, this week?
Friday is Venus –
Tell me about love in my life this week.
Saturday is Saturn –
What responsibilities benefit me this week?
Sunday is the Sun –
Where can I shine this week?
I really like both of these spreads and find I get great information and help from them. I hope you find them helpful too – or that you create your own oracle spreads – they’re fun to make and then you can ask about just what you want to know.
Happy New Week!!
Daisy, by Cheryl
This is one of my favorite planning tools. And by favorite, I mean that I actually use it, and it works! If you’re a bit like me when someone says – “Now just write down everything you have to do and then schedule it!” – you want to never ever do anything ever again because if it has to start that way you’d just rather not, thank you. Well, this practice might be useful for you too.
I call this the Placemat Process with God.
It’s a combination of a tool shared by Abraham Hicks, and the idea of using a God Box from Tosha Silver’s book Outrageous Openness. It’s simple and allows you the focus and clarity to get the things you really want to do…done. And here’s how it works:
Step 1: (the set up)
Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, and sit in a fairly quiet spot. Write the date at the top of the page and then draw a vertical line to divide the page in half. Above the left column write ME, and on the top of the right column write GOD (or Source, Spirit, Universe, etc). (By the way, it’s called the Placemat Process by Esther Hicks because the first time she and Jerry did this was in a restaurant and they used their placemat to write their list out. Cool, yes?)
Step 2: (make a very small list)
Now, on the left side of your paper (under ME) write down the things you definitely need and/or want to do today. Not everything, everything, because a lot of daily “musts” you already have down pat – eating, sleeping, going to work, caring for your children, etc. But perhaps you have to write a blog post for your 30 Days of Blogging Love Challenge (you know, just for example), or you may need to pay bills, help a friend, find your tax information, make an art journal page, run a mile, etc. (And keep in mind that it doesn’t work to list a big project like “Write my novel” as one of your tasks for the day.) List no more than three of these tasks for today.
I know, only three! But trust me this is best. You can add more later if you really want to, but three is generally do-able. Even if the water pipes freeze and you have to spend a good part of the day dealing with that (ummmm, true story…), you can still get your three or less things done. And getting things done is the point, after all, not having a gigantic, important busy-ness list. You feel good when you get things done, you have a sense of completion, and you learn that you can trust yourself to accomplish the tasks that are important to you. And, oh yeah, the rest of the stuff is being taken care of anyway.
Step 3: (make a larger list)
So, on the right side of the page (under GOD) write everything else. I know – we don’t want to write everything we need to do, Ack! But this is different because this is God’s list. Everything else you have on your mind that you need, want, should, would like to do. Write it here. Do not be logical – just write. Some days this list is quite long, especially at first. You may need more paper. Other days it’s shorter – or you might just refer to yesterday’s list. My lists change daily because I’m just getting it all out and not trying to be organized or strategic in any way. It’s a form of mental dump.
Step 4: (hand it over)
The final step is to offer this longer list to God. I ask God to handle these things for me. I say something like, “God, if these things should be done, or You want them to be done, please help me. You know I can’t do it all alone, and I don’t want to. I sincerely value Your help and guidance. Thank You very much!” Next I quickly look over the list again and imagine everything being done with ease, support, and love and I say, “This can all be accomplished with God”. Then, cut I the paper in half and place the right side in my God Box and turn it all over to Him. Whew!
Sometimes I make a copy before I put God’s list in the box so I have it to refer to. I might use it for longer term planning, or to choose something in case I have extra time after I get my list done. Later, you may want to look back at what gets done – it can be truly amazing! Many things just resolve themselves, like, I didn’t need to do them at all. Other things have attracted interesting and surprising assistance or brilliant solutions. And in case you’re wondering what a God Box is – it’s a place (a lovely box, bowl, or jar work nicely) to put your concerns, worries, and anything else you want God’s help with. You also might place affirmations, and prayers, and dreams in there. By putting your massive to-do list in the Box you’re turning the process over to Divine Order and Assistance.
I also ask for help with my smaller personal list and know that it will happen with God. And if it doesn’t (and there are occasionally days when it does not happen!) I know that it’s still all OK. What did happen was just fine. Sometimes the timing just wasn’t right, or I was pushing something that really didn’t need to be pushed. The magic of this practice is in having space to focus. It is in being clear about what to do today. It is in releasing your overwhelm and accepting Divine Assistance. It is in allowing things to happen in the best way – not necessarily in the way you think it should. This is good stuff!
Now you can begin your work with clarity and peace, and the knowledge that you’ll get some important things accomplished. And the rest is being worked on by Someone with mad skills!
Wishing you a delicious day with plenty of serendipity and assistance.
Lots of Love,
Pink lilies, post puttering
“Putter, verb: “To occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner doing a number of small tasks, not concentrating on anything in particular; to move or go in a casual, unhurried way: to loiter”.
The grace of a day of puttering – really, can anything beat it? It’s one of my favorite ways to attend to life. And I especially like to putter around my home. You might wonder what the heck I’m talking about – or you may get it completely! But read on, I’d like to share with you The Sacred Art of Puttering.
Setting aside a day to tend to your life is such a blessing in our hurried and full of distractions world. You can focus, go slowly, attend to the details with pleasure. Puttering as a practice allows you to comfort your home – and receive comfort from it in return. It is grounding in a profound way. Grounding into your life, the people you love, the environment that supports you, and the small rituals that delight and assuage. It is a luxury to not be goal-oriented, but to still be focused and attentive, loving.
Today, I really enjoyed a day to tend my home and home life, which has been neglected lately. I also needed to ground myself in what is true and what matters to me, and puttering around the house is the perfect way to do that! Tending to your life is such a pleasure when you just slow down and take your time. Below you’ll find some ideas for puttering – but of course it’s a very personal practice and it’s always best to putter from the heart!
- I like to set a bit of atmosphere for my puttering. It’s very easy to default to get-it-done mode and become efficient and rushed – that is really anti-puttering! We are loitering here! And I find the right props help me loiter and be desultory in a pleasant manner with greater ease. Some ideas: Music is my favorite tool. I play a bit of Blossom Dearie or Madeleine Peyroux to get me in the mood! Light some candles or the fireplace. Or fill a diffuser with a favorite, peaceful scent.
- You could choose a surface that has been bothering you and just take everything off. Clean it, revel in it, and then replace the items as feels good to you. This is not about decluttering (though you may indeed get rid of a few things, or put them away), it’s about the enjoyment of creating a space that supports you functionally and delights you visually. Really it’s just play! No thinking too hard, or worrying what others will think, no stress. Clear, clean, replace with love.
- You could do laundry like it’s delicious. If you hate laundry then, of course, skip this one! But I find I hate laundry mostly because I try to cram it in between 20 other things, so I don’t do it with care and attention. But let’s say you took time sorting and handling your things, attending to stains and tears. After you put in a load, you might sit down and read a magazine, or have a quiet cup of coffee in your favorite chair, dance to music, or take a stroll. And when the timer goes off you calmly, slowly, with pleasure, change the load to the dryer, or hang things up, or take the next step – whatever that is – with care and love. Enjoy the scent of warm clothes straight from the dryer, the softness as you fold them, and the simple steps of putting them away in ways that make choosing clothing, or towels, or sheets a joy. You may find a new appreciation for your things – or find they no longer work for you and need to be replaced. The point is not to get it done (laundry, as you know, is never done!), but to enjoy it as a practice.
- One of my favorite puttering practices is to move things around. This could simply be changing things out seasonally. Today I took great pleasure in hanging my Valentines’ wreath on the front door! And over the next week I’ll be making things to decorate and add romance and color to our home. I also like to consider what I want at this time of year – soft velvet pillows, cozy and sensual throws, pretty tablecloths, lots of candles, and room to work on inside projects. In the summer I like clean surfaces, less rugs about, shiny windows, crisp cotton pillows in bright colors, etc. You might put some of your lovely objects away and bring others out. I keep a cabinet with favorite things to rotate in and out as I like. You can even move furniture (oh, how I love to move furniture!) and create a more beautiful and/or functional layout for your home. OK, this gets a bit more involved…but still is very satisfying puttering.
- I also putter with things like papers and financial projects. These of course have more of a real process and goal, but I like to keep the spirit of puttering. Basically – I act like this is the most delightful thing I have to do, and that I want to offer it all of the time and attention it needs. Not being a numbers or detail girl, I have much of my life felt stressed about and put off these types of tasks. I can’t tell you how much it changes when you decide to do something from a place of peace and openness, vs lack and strain!! Go figure…
The truth is puttering doesn’t require anything but a willingness to spend some time enjoyably engaged with small tasks of any kind. You can putter in the garden, at the library, in the grocery store. It’s like a vacation from being “on task” and efficient. It feels good, it lets your mind wander to lovely things, to what you want, and changes you’d like to make. It is creative and open-ended. It is a release. I’ve written about puttering before – so you know it’s good! :). You can read that post right here.
I hope you have a delicious day and spend some time puttering. Please let me know if you did!! I We fellow putterers must support each other! You could set up a time to tell me all about it here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Sacred Puttering!
winter flowers, a gift from me to me
Do you leap out of bed excited about everything and rarin’ to go? If you do, bless you! I’m super happy for you (and I really mean that). I used to do that too, but then I hit puberty and that pretty much ended it. 🙂 Now, some days I leap with joy, and others with panic – but mostly I like to give myself a bit of time to adjust and allow myself to become the person I want to be today.
Below are 3 practices to start your morning – or really anything – with greater clarity and pleasure. And they make it much easier to carry that good feeling right on through the day too!
I call this Breathe, Pray, Love – yeah, I know, but it makes it easy to remember!
While you’re still in bed take some time to slowly come into your body, mind, and emotions. I begin with a practice called 9 Breaths, it goes like this: You are going to take 9 deep, restful breaths…
- With the first 3 breaths, release any tension in your body.
- With the next 3 breaths, release any emotional tension you feel. This may also be felt in your body as emotions tend to lodge there.
- Finally, with the last 3 breaths, release any mental tension you have.
Ahhhh, already better, yes?
While we’re here you may find it helpful to check in with your body, emotions, and mind. You can just turn your curiosity to one area at a time and see what you learn. Or you can have a talk – “Hey, Body, my friend, how are you?” And listen. Then do the same with your Emotional and Mental Selves. You’ll often get very useful information here! For example, my Emotional Self reminded me that we have some grief work to do today – and I’ll be sure not to forget that because it’s important self-care.
This step is about what you want today. So many days are about what we need to do, must do, think we really should do, what we want to do for an outcome we desire – but don’t really want to do (painting my staircase comes to mind here…). But let’s start our day with desire, motivation, and pleasure. What do you truly want today? This could be a way you want to feel, a step you really want to take, a person you want to see, art you’d like to create, or – imagine that stair painted! Whatever it is imagine it, feel it, soak it right in.
This is like a prayer. It’s a connection of your essential, spiritual self to your everyday, social self. When you ask this question and imagine it happening, you open yourself to guidance from your truest self and from Source (Spirit, God, the Universe). And as you dream, you may send these delicious feelings about fulfilling your desires as a prayer to God, to the World, to a loved, one, etc. More good feelings floating around is always a win, win, win!
So that leads us to love. Right here, right now, you can make a choice to allow your greatest self-care, and open up to your desires – you can have and do what you truly want. Love is what lets this happen. Love yourself enough to allow the time, space, energy, help – whatever you need to fulfill at least one desire today. It can be big or small (I want to take a walk and really be present in nature, I want to sleep 9 hours each night for a week and see if that helps me feel better, I want to make something with my hands, to eat more vegetables, to learn photography, etc.). And then love yourself right through the excuses, and the missteps, and possibly even the falling off of the wagon – right to the experience of your desire!
This love makes life more fulfilling, more satisfying, more fun! This love will also help you to offer love to others, see their desires, and help them. Oh yeah! It’s all connected, my friend. Aren’t we lucky?
What desire will you fulfill today?
Let me know how it goes!! (email@example.com)
To better beginnings,