What happens when you break a habit?

I’m reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron with a smart and heart-warming group. The book is a platform to make you think. And the group is a platform for great discussions! It’s a cool combo.

Last week, one of the “tasks” in Chapter 5 was to not read for the week. Cameron believes that most writers stall on writing by reading. We have rebelled as a group against many of the tasks Cameron prescribes, but this one took the cake. To most of us, the very concept of not reading was repellant. And for a whole week? No way! Besides, I am working on a class at Boston University and I had to finish the reading for that. And I had a library book, nearly done, that was due back. So of course, I finished that.

But then I paused. Could I take a hot bath without reading? Could I go to bed without reading? Could I eat breakfast without a book open in front of me? I took on the challenge and here’s what happened. Continue reading

Declutter 101

Decluttering is kind of trendy now, but is it for you? Ask yourself: Does the clutter in your house really bug you? Or does it feel like something that “should” bug you? If you secretly love your stash, please revel in it and spend your time elsewhere.

But if your clutter is bugging you, choose to tackle it with intent. Focus on it. Put your energy into it. And come up with a plan to help it on its way. Here are a few tips to help you get started. Continue reading

Getting out of the nest

I stumbled on this quote from Pema Chodron in a book I was reading this week:

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”

Isn’t that counter-intuitive? When you’re organized and doing good work, doesn’t that mean you keep control of your time and your days? And when you’re truly engaged with your work, isn’t that when you feel fully alive and awake? And when you’re “continually thrown out of the nest,” doesn’t that feel crazy and chaotic? Continue reading

The gift of time

I drove my daughter to NYC this weekend and helped her move into a new apartment in Harlem. The time I had with Bea got me thinking about the gift of time. Most of us don’t know how much time we have here on earth so it’s easy to waste it. It seems like we have an unlimited amount of time so why worry about it? Continue reading

Free Meditation Challenge with Zen Master Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg offers a 28-day meditation challenge each February. If you’ve been thinking about starting a meditation practice, Sharon’s prompts cover a lot of territory which is a great way to find something that works for you. Recent studies show short-term and long-term benefits from meditating even for short periods of time each day. Meditation helps you be calm. It helps you focus. It helps you detach from the day-to-day crazies. And it helps your body heal itself. What’s not to love!?

And when you do something for 28 days, guess what? You’ve formed a new, healthy habit. Yay!

I met Sharon over a decade ago at a weekend retreat in NYC. The irony of having a meditative retreat in the heart of NYC is not lost on me. :). When I signed up for Sharon’s meditation challenge this year, I remembered why I like her so much. I’ve told you this story before, but here it is again.  Continue reading

Taking a healthy step into the New Year

 

Painting by Mark Compton

“All beginnings wear their endings.” – astrophysicist Chet Raymo

As we start into a new year, please remember that if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t do your best work. You may get started with a great idea, but you need to be healthy to get to the end.

Here are 9 reminders from a Washington Post article on a recent London study on ways to practice wonderful self-care. Continue reading

Looking back at the path you’re on

December is a great time to look at the path you’ve been on over the last year. If you want to shape the direction you’re headed, it helps to look back at where you’ve been.

If you can find a quiet moment this week, take out a clean sheet of paper and jot down the big events that happened to you this year. Brainstorm first, then think month by month to help spur your memory.

What events did you experience this year for… Continue reading