affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

Some of my favorite ways to spring clean:

  1. Attend a clothing swap party. Go with three bags and return with one.
  2. Decide the remaining leaves from last fall make the perfect mulch for spring flower beds.
  3. Pack away everything but your favorite stuff from your main living space and wait a month to see what you miss. If you can’t remember what is in the box you must not need it.
  4. Donate all cloths that don’t fit or are the wrong color. What doesn’t work for one person will be a perfect fit for someone else.
  5. Learn to fix a broken household item rather than replacing it.
  6. Re-pot and fertilize your houseplants. Tell them a good story while you are at it.
  7. Oil all the wood furniture in the house.
  8. Arrange all the books in Dewey Decimal System (only half kidding)
  9. Give the pets a spa day.
  10. Make sure every bicycle in the garage is in riding order. Now ride them.

Suggested reading:

  1. Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (Bk Currents) by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor and David Horsey (Sep 1, 2005)
  2. Too Much Stuff: De-Cluttering Your Heart and Home by Kathryn Porter (Mar 10, 2006)

  3. Living Simple, Free & Happy: How to Simplify, Declutter Your Home, and Reduce Stress, Debt & Waste by Cristin Frank (Mar 15, 2013)

  4. Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life by Diane Durston (Aug 1, 2006)

  5. The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty by Robyn Griggs Lawrence and Joe Coca (Nov 23, 2004)


Digital Detox

My last post was over a week ago, which those of you who follow my blog know is a long time.  I so enjoy researching and gathering information to share on my blog.  There have been times blogging, for me, has bordered on an obsession.  I believe this is the case for many who have a blog and therefore I try to be compassionate with myself and recognize that my involvement with the blogging process will ebb and flow.

I recently decided to take a week to digitally detox.  I still emailed daily since my work requires it, but I tried to keep my computer time at a minimum.  Well, I can say from experience that cold turkey sometimes works like yo-yo dieting.  Three days ago I cracked when I discovered Pinterest!  If you don’t know what it is I am not sure I should tell you.  Short story is that it is kind of like digital scrapbooking……..and just as addictive.  So as always, I have discovered that the middle path is the healthiest.  I will be returning to my blogging and giving myself permission to follow my inspiration….of course with mindfulness….to lead me to how often I post.  I have found that thinking about the little choices I make everyday makes the largest impact to my quality of life.

Want to know more about digital detoxing, here are some links.  No need to read any or all….your time is valuable 🙂

  1. First Steps to Digital Detoxing
  2. Digital Detox: Take Over Your Headspace
  3. Does Your Relationship Need a Digital Detox?

Final Note: I find it very interesting that Wikipedia does not have a page for digital detoxing 🙂

Published in: on March 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How many therapies do you see?

  1. Yoga – ‘legs up the wall’
  2. Full spectrum light therapy
  3. Pet therapy
  4. Meditation
  5. Positive Ion air purification
  6. Pranayama – deep breathing, breath awareness

The perfect way to start the day!

Good News Everyday!

At the good news gazette you can find good news everyday and help balance out what you hear on NPR, read from your local papers or watch on the evening news.  More power to the optimists!

Published in: on July 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hala’s DVD!

I have tried many yoga videos.  Most really bugged me and I found it hard to ‘drop into’ a yoga state of mind. My students and friends often ask for video recommendations, but this dislike of most yoga videos has made it almost impossible.  I recognize that yoga videos do provide guidance when someone can’t afford classes or live in an isolated location without access to a yoga instructor.  Therefore I have always stuck to recommending the basic Yoga Journal series.  They are professional, clear, and safe, but a new president has been set.  Hala Khouri has just released a yoga video that I am addicted to.  Her presentation is authentic and heartfelt, without being cheesy.  The video includes: a warm up, standing sequence, flowing sequence, cool down and two guided meditations.  I have found that I can easily pick and choose the sections that best suit my needs at that very moment.  As a yoga teacher I love the opportunity to be the student and trust in Hala’s guidance. I would recommend this video to anyone looking to manage stress, tap into their body or just get a workout.

The video can be purchased from amazon:

Published in: on April 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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Nurse PeeWee

Pets are such amazing healers.  The birth of modern-day animal assisted therapy happened in 1969 when Boris Levinson, a child psychologist, found that a previously nonverbal child was willing to communicate when his dog was present.  Since then there has been a surge of research around animal assisted therapy and the health benefits of pet ownership.

The health benefits from animals include; companionship, unconditional love, tactile pleasure, lowering stress, distraction from pain and motivating patients to get better. Physiological benefits are also evident. According to multiple studies “pet owners had significantly lower systolic blood pressure and plasma triglycerides than non-pet owners” (Brodie, 1999, p. 331).

One of the biggest factors determining a healing bond between animal and human is motivation.   The interaction with the animal not only lowers stress and is enjoyable, but decreases the clinical nature of hospitalization and reminds the patient that there is a world to return to. “Motivation throughout a patient’s recovery is the driving force that heals” (Connor, 2000, p.22).

The evidence shows that the animal-human bond is beneficial in not only treating people who are ill, but can play a role in preventing illness. Pet ownership is correlated with a “reduction in minor health problems and significant improvements in psychological well-being” (Halm, 2008, p. 375).  These benefits might account for the fact that 60% of US households have at least one pet.

I know from personal experience that when I feel unwell the best nurse around is my Chihuahua PeeWee. Her mere presence makes me feel better.

1.       Brodie S.J., Biley, F.C.  (1999). An exploration of the potential benefits of pet-facilitated therapy. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8, 329-337.

2.       Connor K., Miller J. (2000). Animal-assisted therapy: An in-depth look. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 19, 20-26.

3.       Halm M. A. (2008). The healing power of the human-animal connection. American Journal of  Critical Care, 17, 373-376.

Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm  Comments (2)  
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As late winter heads toward spring don’t underestimate the influence that the stormy weather has on your life, relationships and mood. We aren’t getting much sun, air quality is low and things in general can feel unpredictable. It can be extra challenging to find balance and tranquility internally when it is not visible externally. This is a great time to organize your closet, clean out your car or do some other activity that can instill in you a greater sense of security and control. With that said, don’t let go of a gentle approach. Choose to spend time doing things that bring you comfort as well. Yes, you may say I am sounding as flip-floppy as the weather, but I would argue that I am going with the flow.

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reads for the New Year

Below I have listed my current favorite reads. All the links are active to amazon so you can get the low down on cost, reviews and other related books. Remember nothing is sexier than someone who reads!

  1. Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate by Brad Warner
  2. How Yoga Works by Michael Roach
  3. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
  4. Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads Into Street Couture
  5. Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista
  6. Rip It!: How to Deconstruct and Reconstruct the Clothes of Your Dreams
Published in: on December 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nothing was stirring, not even a mouse.

Finding a bit of stillness and calm can be a real challenge during the holidays. I believe it is important to try our hardest to keep our ‘to do’ list short. Streamline, simplify and choose to do something everyday that will help recharge your batteries. I know these are suggestions that can be almost impossible to put into action. Below are some things I have personally done this year.

  1. Give less presents and give more thanks. Spending less money on the holidays has kept my stress level lower and allowed me to stay more present in the moment.
  2. Allow myself time alone. Having the time to recharge my batteries makes it possible to really listen and connect when I am with family and friends.
  3. Indulge in the luxuries of the season, but in moderation. I have found it important to not let all my self-care fall away. Of course I will eat some chocolates, but I don’t need the whole box 😉
  4. Read some heartwarming books. Reading is so important to me. It is one of my self-care activities that I must have.
  5. Drink a cup of sleepy-time tea each night.
  6. Yoga!

There are so many things that we can do to make the holidays less stressful and more fun. Most crucial is to figure out what part of the season makes you feel good and light-up inside. Emphasize those activities and let go of the rest. Everyone will thank you for it, because if you are happier they will be too!

Tis the season to be jolly!

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Simple. Soothing. Breathing.

There is a great tutorial on pranayama at the site below. Click on the demo at the bottom of the page. It has a visual tool that I would never have thought of, but found it very helpful. Have fun, relax and watch the tension just slip away.

Connect through the Breath


Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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