Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Time Management Rehab

Today I want to share some incredible news with you.

It's over!

No more!

You no longer have to be a slave to some kind of "To-Do" system.

They don't work.

We all know it, yet we still get out our notepads and calendars, in an attempt to categorize everything that needs to be done, so we don't let anyone down.

We do this so we don't fail our families.

We do this so we don't mess up at work.

Yet, somehow, in the midst of all this, planning for personal goals and aspirations gets lost.

This is one of the many ways in which traditional time management fails.


I was sent to a time management training seminar by my employer.

They told me the great thing about this program was that it was designed so that I would never drop the ball at work and my personal life would not be ignored.

I was given a lovely leather bound planner and a catalog filled with special sheets and inserts for the planner, that I could order at the company's expense.

I was taught a no-fail system in which I prioritized my to-do list so nothing would ever be forgotten.

So I would be an optimized, fully functional, top-of-the-line employee.

Funny thing, though.

Anything I wanted to do, for me - you know, the esoteric, not fully here yet, ideas and deep inner knowing/purpose kind of stuff - was not included in this time management model.

There was no room for achieving dreams.

And even more interesting was the method they used to include my personal life.

Anything that was not work related was to be put at the bottom of the list so that "a work/life balance [would] be created when the two lists meet in the middle."


*scratching head*

TIME (forgive the pun) FOR A CHANGE!

I've done a lot of research since those confusing days, filled with lovely, expensive planners, with special sheets, custom designed to help me meet my obligations.

There are all sorts of time management philosophies out there.

I love Julie Morgenstern's "Time Map" philosophy. (Click HERE to read a post I wrote under my pen name, where I broke down this idea into easy to digest chunks.)

Leonie Dawson makes these awesome yearly planners, designed to help you bring your dreams into reality - personal and business.

You get new planners every year when you join her Shining Life Academy (Yes, I will get some "thank you money" for sending you her way if you choose to purchase anything via these links.)

There are all sorts of other ideas out there to help you overcome procrastination, become highly effective and get more done in a day.

Some of them may speak to you, some of it might just down right piss you off.

But what I've found is you have to do what feels right for you.

If it doesn't feel light, if it doesn't feel right, then I'd venture to say it's not a good fit for you.


Here's how I manage my time.


Not the answer you were expecting, I'm sure.

Yet somehow I seem to stay on track, do what I need to do and do what I love to do.

And I do it with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

I use the tools at my disposal to create a big picture for what I want to accomplish for the year.  For me, that's the Dawson planners.

You have to have a big picture in mind, otherwise you are just spinning through your day with no direction, accomplishing a bunch of tasks that have no meaning.

Once I have the big picture laid out, then I apply what worked for me from Morgenstern's philosophy.

Sure, I created a Time Map when I first stumbled upon this great idea.  It was fun.  It helped me feel a bit of control over the direction of my life.

This was created three years ago - A lot of this has changed, but the basic values are still the same.

But what it really did was:
  1. Help me to define what I value the most in life.
  2. Helped me to see how my days naturally unfold, so I know when the best time is for what I need to do.
  3. Allowed me to finally feel a sense of freedom because I was able to see how all of my obligations and responsibilities actually fit into bringing my dreams into reality.
  4. Helped me realize that going off course is part of it all. That's the one guarantee in life - UNPREDICTABILITY! - what matters is getting to what you can, when you can.
  5. Helped me recognize and put an end to "time wasters".

Figure out what you value.

Make a "To-Do" list of tasks that will lead you to your "big picture" dreams and goals.

Keep track of your responsibilities and obligations.

While you're doing what you have to do, see which value these tasks fall under so you don't feel resentful or depleted.  So that even cleaning your boss's coffee pot will have purpose.

(If I were to change anything from my original set of values, I would change Purpose to Biz, as I've come to realize we can live in purpose no matter what we are doing.)  

Do at least one task from your Big Picture To-Do List every day.

This will make it easier to navigate the unpredictability of life and make it easier to recognize your "time wasters".

If you're listening to your friend complain about her husband for the 10th time this week, that's time that could go to something you truly value.  

Even though some of your time is completely out of your control, there is a lot of you time that you can control.

Think about it.

You really do have the time you need to create the life you really want.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pain Management

I didn't follow my own rule.

I go out of my way to share the challenges in my life in the hopes that it will inspire others.

Making sure you don't feel so alone while learning your Earth School lessons.

I shared the wisdom I gained while healing my ankle.

Then, I turn around and ignore my Doctor.


But, you know what?

The Doctor knew best.

What a surprise ;-)

I had been on some kind of pain medication for almost six months.

From my "party like a rock star day" (aka: the day I broke my ankle) all the way to the end of May.

It started with morphine, ketamine, percocets and some kind of muscle relaxer.

Then there was the happy-la-la shot I got to knock me out for my surgery (along with an epidural).

After surgery I had the shakes, so I got shot up with something else.

Then, I took morphine 2 more times, so I could rest after the surgery.

After that it was 8 vicodin a day for a week and a half, then I weaned myself off.

This was followed by Tylenol, 4 times a day for almost 3 months.

And, from time to time, I would take Valerian root (a natural muscle relaxer), on especially bad days.

Then physical therapy started and I was instructed to switch back & forth between Tylenol and Aleve - once a day, every other day.

For a gal who favors the Natural Wellness route (yet has great respect for modern medicine as well - they were designed to work together), this all became just too much for me.


It's all hard on your liver, which is involved in so many body functions.

My body was experiencing some pretty crazy imbalances that I just couldn't take another cycle of.

I quit taking anything - AT ALL! - the last week in May.

I thought I was doing OK, coping with the low grade pain - then I had to go to my first P.T. appointment, without taking Tylenol first, and after not having any in my system for about 4 days.

Wow!  What a different session that was.

I told my therapist what I had done, and neither of us was surprised when I couldn't get my ankle to move right on a few of my exercises.

She was supportive of my decision, said she understood, but I knew she was wondering "what the Hell?!" I was thinking ;-)

I made it 2 weeks, and then the day came that inspired this post.


The pain was more overwhelming than I had been allowing myself to believe.

I was managing my pain with food, and put on a couple of pounds.

Then, life got to be too much.

I realized that it was too soon for me to quit managing my pain and started taking something after P.T.

When I told my therapist I was managing my pain again, apologizing if I set things back, she was insanely supportive, as always, totally honoring my process, pointing out that "it's not like you were taking narcotics."

Yeah, but I'm still going to have to deal with the imbalances.

Now that I'm better, I can focus better as well, and will be treating the liver imbalance with Dandelion and Milk Thistle as I continue to manage my pain.


So, yeah, maybe I shouldn't have stopped taking the pain meds.

But, it gave my body a rest, just long enough to remember something very important.

I can manage the imbalance the modern-medicine, pain management is creating in my system with a simple Natural Wellness solution.

At the end of the day, It's always a good idea to listen to your gut.

It can take you on some interesting journeys, but it will always lead to what's best for you.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blessings And Miracles

I am breaking my technology hiatus to squeeze in an unplanned post.

An unplanned post for an unplanned addition.

This is one of those instances where the Universe surprised us with something we hadn't considered and had even said we did not/could not do.


We have two amazing, loving, soft, adorable cats.

Zizzy and Buddy.

We love animals, but are also smart about it.

We don't take on more than we can afford.

Then one day, this little guy came our way.

I won't bore you with our ignorant neighbor's decision to just put him out.

All of the no-kill shelters were full.

We tried to find a home.

It didn't work out and we decided to keep him.

But, we did not have money for neutering or shots.

I went out on a limb and asked for help.

I set things up with the intention of getting a couple of bucks from as many people as I could reach, in the hopes that we would get enough money.

I posted the fundraiser and a summary of the situation, to my personal Facebook profile.

In 10 minutes I had more than enough money to take care of Pewter.


I am forever grateful for all of the good people in this world.

The Universe is an amazing place.

Be blessed!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How To Move On From A Friendship

It happens to all of us.

Especially if you don't shy away from personal growth and change.

Eventually we outgrow a friendship and find it's time to move on.

It could be as simple as just drifting apart due to changing interests.

Or it could be one of those times when we make a big shift in what we value and suddenly, certain people just don't fit anymore.


There really is no rule book for changes like this.

Drifting apart is probably the easiest and least confrontational of all the scenarios.

Then there are the biggies, like say, if a close friend starts doing drugs and is not responsive to seeking help.

Well, that's a big "OUCH", but it is time to cut ties and move on.

And sometimes we can be the culprit, like when we discover a new philosophy and just have to share it with everyone.

Yes, we are excited and want everyone to experience what we are going through, but pushing our new perspective on others will most certainly lead to friends "ignoring" your calls and texts.


Sometimes I find it best to let someone else wrap things up.

This is definitely one of those times.

I ran across this video from Marie Forleo several years ago.

I love the way she sums it all up.

Short, sweet and to the point.

It's an oldie, but goodie.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

When The Dalai Lama Says It Best :: II




I sound like a broken record.

It's an idea that I covered several times when I was writing under my pen name.

Probably because it is so simple.


That is life.

Earth School can be a bitch sometimes.

But, we can either let those lessons make us bitter and unkind, or we can truly learn from them to make our life more light and fulfilling.

No one is going to get out of this school without learning some embarrassing, heart breaking, knock-the-breath-out-of-you lessons.

Now, are you going to spend the rest of your life taking it out on everyone around you, or are you going to allow it to make you a more understanding and compassionate person?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

How To Create Your Sacred Space

It was the Thursday before the Summer Solstice.

I was hobbling around the apartment, still in the process of getting things out of "Bachelor Pad/Frat House" mode.


I was not at home much the first four months of this year.

It was good for us, as a couple, to spend time apart.  We've been together for 17 years.  The breathing room was needed for so many reasons.

Good for Ken, who needed some space to spread his wings and discover who he truly is, without me around.

Good for me to be someplace that was more conducive to my healing.

But, upon my return, I discovered that our apartment was most certainly not a space that "greeted" us or "lifted" us.


I am slow.  I need frequent breaks off my ankle throughout the day.  And when six o'clock rolls around, I am usually done.

Ken is busy with his business and adjusting to his new job.  He is a champ and will help out when asked and is being a great partner by keeping the newly organized and cleaned spaces, clean and organized.

That Thursday, it was finally time to take a good look at my office, which had once again turned into the "transition station".  Filled with furniture that wasn't being used, shipping boxes for Ken's biz, old computers, etc.  

And, to make it even more depressing, my desk had been commandeered by Ken for his biz.  It had been left in the living room after a small dinner party, and never made it back into my office.

Nothing from my old Sacred Work Space was there.

And that was fine with me, because I am no longer that person.

My needs have shifted.  I still need a work space, but what I need more than anything right now, is a space where I can exercise and do yoga.

This means I need to completely clear out my office, leave my area rug and bring in the television from the living room so I can do my yoga and exercise DVDs.


Ken was a doll and watered my plants while I was gone, but, unfortunately, they had not been rotated in five months.

My poor indoor garden was wild and out of control.  One had even started to grow into the window pane.

The only thing that made sense was to move them out, clean them up and give them a change of scenery.

So, I hobbled my indoor garden out onto my front porch.

I wasn't really focused on anything other than clearing out the space and just took all the stuff out there without really thinking about it.

When I was done, I stepped back and was in awe of what had transpired.

I walked out onto the porch and felt my spirit sky rocket.  My indoor garden was now my porch garden.  Even though the plants still need to be tended to, it's amazing how much they grew and how lush they are.

When I sat down to take it all in, I was treated to another perspective.

It was the most lifted and light I had felt all year.

Which miraculously led to getting out my camera and taking some photos.

Something I haven't done in a VERRRRRRRY long time.

It had been so long, I almost forgot that I am a photographer.

It's nice to see that I haven't lost my touch.


Well, first of all, if you want to make your home a Sacred Space, a space that will support you and cradle you, you must understand that it will always be in motion.

As you change, the way you use your space will change.

But, what is most important is that you always try to create an inviting, centering spot; somewhere in your home, where you can retreat from the world.

And, I'll wrap things up with another Latrelle Ross Original Meme ;-)

Copy, paste, share - ENJOY!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Something To Share...

A little something from my heart to your heart.

A meme from me to copy, and paste wherever you want.

Your desktop, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

Or even your own blog.

I don't care.

It's all yours <3

Trust and allow life to unfold.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lessons Learned (And Re-Learned) In Physical Therapy

There is so much more to P.T. than getting my body where it needs to be.

I'm learning a lot; about myself, the people around me and life itself.

Learning and re-learning so many things...


This was a tough one for me.  My best has always been good enough, that was, until I ventured into the journey of physical therapy.  I had a week where I was doing the best I could.  I missed a couple of appointments due to circumstances that were out of my control.  Unfortunately, the hospital has a policy and if I miss any more, I will  be discharged.  My therapist understood, but she has rules she has to follow.  For the first time I can remember, my best was not good enough.  I had to do better.


This is an obvious one.  Every pain-filled, Aleve managed day has been followed by more strength than I had the day before.  My therapist told me, she hates seeing people in pain, but, as a physical therapist, if a patient comes in pain free, it's almost like she has to say "Well, let me see if I can change that."  It's really the only gauge as to whether you are building muscle or not.


I was terrified the first time I had to rotate my foot on the balance board.  I had this irrational fear that my hardware was going to snap.  That the screws would come undone.  All these crazy fears, even though I knew I was good to go and that I had to do this to get the muscle to grow around my hardware.  The board exercises are now my biggest nemesis, but have also become my greatest source of courage.

I'm sure I'll get to this point.  Right now, I stand on one foot and hold onto some bars.
30 times back to front, left to right and rotate left, then rotate right.
(Photo courtesy of:


And, along the same lines as #3 - once you become physically stronger, you will be emotionally stronger as well.

The idea of getting behind the wheel of a car, after not driving for almost four months was extremely overwhelming for me.  Once the boot came off, I was allowed to drive, but I experienced so much anxiety at the thought, I had to ask everyone to please be patient with me.

I knew it was because my left leg was so weak and that once it got stronger, I'd feel more confident.  And, sure as shootin'!  Once my leg became stronger, I was ready to get behind that wheel and embrace a little more independence.


Currently I can go up the stairs, slowly, changing every other foot, as long as I'm not carrying anything heavy.  Now, going down, that's a whole other ball of wax.  And apparently this is normal.  Going down the stairs involves a whole other process and takes more time to achieve.

Unfortunately, I am struggling.  My left knee is not bending when it should, or like it should.  My quadriceps are weak and so is my hip.  It's amazing to me that I can't get my leg to do what it is supposed to.  That I still have so much more work to do, even though my ankle has snapped back and is where the doctor and therapist want it to be at this point.

I have a whole new batch of exercises to help me deal with this dilemma.  In the meantime, I'm realizing that running up and down the stairs is something I really took for granted and I can't wait until I can do it again.


I really expect a lot of myself.  That's pretty normal.  I think everyone is like that.  But when things happen, like the scenario in #1, it's important to be patient and gentle with yourself.  So, your best wasn't good enough today.  That's OK.  Step back, take a deep breath, forgive, learn and take the wisdom into the next day.


Some days, no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to get a muscle to move the way it needs to.  I have had a pretty good run in PT.  Everything I have had to do, I have been able to do.  Sure, I might be super stiff and the first couple of reps are difficult, but I have always been able to work through it.  Until, that one day a couple of weeks ago.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get my ankle to rotate to the right when I was on the balance board.  I was talking to it, swearing at it, closing my eyes to visualize it moving, trying desperately to get my ankle to "hear" the messages from my brain.  Finally my therapist butted in, "Sometimes it's just not your day.  And that's OK."


Finally, in conjunction with #7, if one thing doesn't work, try something else.

As I mentioned before, I'm having issues getting my left knee to bend when and how it's supposed to.  We switched to a shorter step.  We changed my right leg movement so only my heel was stepping down.  Now, we are doing a move that focuses directly on my hip, because I shared that it felt like I was "settled" in my knee and that was making it difficult to bend.

I'm standing sideways on the step and raising my right leg up and down off the floor, which forces my left hip to do the "lifting".  And, surprise, surprise, my left hip is getting stronger.  I'm not totally out of my knee yet, but it shouldn't be long.



Monday, June 22, 2015

When The Dalai Lama Says It Best :: I

It's crazy.

I know.

But when you stand back, you see that it all comes from you, in some way.

This is why you must learn to FORGIVE!

Yourself first, for setting it into motion.

Then the other person, so they can no longer have any power over you.

(Here's one of my early posts, when I was writing under my pen name, to help you out : )


I am a firm believer in this:
Image courtesy of
That crap just happens.

This is what the Wheel of Fortune Tarot card means.

It refers to those forces, which we truly don't have control over.

It's devastating that people die in tsunamis.

Sure, they chose to be there, but they did not have control over Mother Earth.

Someone who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is sexually assaulted - this is different too.

We can not control the actions of others.

It's a wild card; The Wheel of Fortune.


His Holiness is simply pointing out that when you get stuck in the rut of making everything you are unsatisfied with, someone else's fault, you are just that - stuck.

Standing back and taking responsibility for your part, is the only way to grow.

It's the only way to truly be free.


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