learning about life

Trust

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Trust. We must trust in life daily even when our trust is challenged.

Have you ever had times where things seemed to really be sailing along in your favor and you felt on top of the world; then out of the blue some things cross your path and seem to create obstacles to the life you are seeking?

This of course has happened to me. I am learning that the most important things is to build up your trust in life. The phrase that is important to remember when a challenge or an obstacle comes up is:

Life is always working out for me

This is a phrase that I need to remind myself of from time to time. Life can cause you to make detours into the realm of fear, just as in the sign pictured above. We can allow ourselves to sink into despair when things aren't working as we expected them to. Or, we can learn to trust that life is always working out for us. There are many mysteries that we do not understand. That is why: cancellations, deals that don’t work out, clients not following up and so many other things are actually things working out for us IN DISGUISE.

We can use obstacles as a gift or we can choose to be negative about them. The choice is ours. Of course it is very normal and natural to be unhappy about them for a short time. We can allow ourselves to have feelings of anger, upset or annoyance for a short period of time. Then, we can let go of it and realize that life is always working out for us.

Many times I have had cancellations or meetings not working out due to one circumstance or another, but then even better things come along later that fit better into the lifestyle that I am seeking. Sometimes opportunities that seem great don’t work out because they truly aren’t for us. Believe it or not, life is really looking out for us and making sure we stay on the path we are truly meant to walk on to be our best selves, to create win-win situations for ourselves and others.

What ways can you see that life really was looking out for you in the end?

I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Happy Failures

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The other day I sent a photo of my side garden to a long distance friend. I told her that this now successful side garden made up of mostly free plants that I got from my Aunt’s garden, some plants I got from the farmer’s market long ago and about 3-4 perennials that I bought and planted was a result of many “happy failures.” This story of the evolution of my side garden is one that can teach us a lot about failing and getting up again in life.

I remember at one time there were two large trees there. They were two close to the house and provided too much shade and roots for planting much in the side garden. We had them removed. Then, I tried some different plants there. First, I started with some annuals. They did ok, but required a lot of watering and much more fuss than what I have now. Later I planted most of the plants that I have now when my Aunt was thinning out her garden and she gave me lots of plants. I worked as quickly to plant those plants along with the large plants that I got from the farmer’s market. Part of the front of the garden was still bare. Over the years I tried different plants there. Some of them didn’t like the full sun, others grew too “leggy” and I didn’t like the way they looked with the rest of the plants and others were too small or short and got “lost.” in the other plants. A few days ago I bought one last perennial to fill in a gap for a plant that eventually died because that spot wasn’t right for it. Now, I feel that I have a fully lovely and functioning garden which will take little water and maintenance other than occasionally weeding in that area. Luckily the plants are now mostly so large that there aren’t many weeds that grow there. I’m so glad that I learned so much from this garden. I learned what plants grow best where, how much sunlight they need and also that it’s important to space plants of different heights in different spots.

This garden project reminds me also that even when we “get it right” there will be work to do. The garden must still be watered and weeded in order to flourish. So is our life. Even when we find the perfect mix of career/business/family/friends/free time we still need to stop and nourish ourselves along the way. We need to stop and see if we are truly thriving where we are currently rooted, or if we need to make a change to really grow and blossom in our lives.

How can we equate this garden project with life? Here are some ways:

  1. There are many things that we will try in life that may not survive or may not be a good fit for us. This can be relationships, careers and places we live. They simply may not agree with our true selves or how we want to live.

  2. Sometimes our projects don’t take root because we think we “ought” to do it, or it’s the next logical step, but our hearts aren’t in it.

  3. Sometimes we need a break. Our area of the garden is “too shady.” We need to take a moment to step out into the light to see our true potential. We need to stop what we are doing and look within for the answers.

  4. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn a particular lesson. We need to look at difficult times and challenges as lessons that come to teach us something. Just like some of the plants that didn’t do well in that area were telling me- move me or compost me. Sometimes we need a different perspective or need to learn to quit and move on to another project, job, home or relationship.

What have your happy failures taught you? I’d love your comments below on this post with your stories!

Joyful Minimalism: 


If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 


I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from:


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

It's Easy

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What if your life could be made easier just by having an “easy button” like the one pictured above? What if you could help your brain look for easier solutions and the path of least resistance to any situation? It really can be done. You can help your brain look at a situation as easy or help it to work through a tough situation by just getting the work done. Here is how.

Recently my accountability partner came up with the “It’s easy” phrase to help herself look for the easiest way to deal with things, or the fastest way to make progress. Simply by stating out loud- “It’s easy.” to herself she was able to move through her work and it helped her brain come up with the best solution moving forward.

Many times we are the main roadblock for our progress. We can look at things as overly complicated, or daunting or simply impossible. This outlook severely inhibits our pathways to joy in our life. The words that we choose to tell ourselves or tell others about our lives are very important. They are far more powerful than we know. If we repeat to ourselves out loud or in our head, or even write about difficulties over and over again we are creating paths of difficulty. To create a path to ease, we must focus on the ease of life.

Here are some ways you can try this in your own life:

  1. When you catch yourself getting frustrated and overwhelmed with something in your day- say to yourself (I am using my name as an example, but use your name) “Trista, this is easy.” This will start your brain thinking of easier ways to move through your day.

  2. Look for evidence in your life that things are easy and write them down. Maybe you have had a busy week and something gets canceled- celebrate that and realize it’s life’s way of showing you that it’s easy and now you can take some time to relax or get other things done. Look at cancellations as little gifts! It gives you some extra time you didn’t think you’d have! You can also put a coin or a rock in a jar for every time you encounter something that is easy in your life.

  3. Ask yourself “How can I make this easy?” Maybe there is something on your list that you can offload to someone else, or just cross it off if it isn’t a high priority- easy!

  4. Another way to make things easy is to of course remove extra things in your environment. When there are too many objects in a room, it’s harder for your to concentrate and find the ease in your days. Decluttering a space to do your work and to relax is really important.

  5. Carve out a part of each of day that feels like a vacation. That will set your mind into easy mode. For me, that means sitting outside in our garden at the patio table sipping coffee or tea and just watching the beautiful birds and listening to the sounds of nature. I make sure to do this every day so that I feel that I am on vacation and things are easy, things are taken care of.

I hope that this makes your life a little easier!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me


Phone Addiction: Reclaiming my life and days

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Around a week or so ago, an event happened to a friend of mine that changed my life as well. My friend (and accountability partner) was painting her kitchen and had a bucket of water near her when she accidentally dropped her phone in the bucket. She had to dry out her phone for several days, so that meant no phone for her during that time. Curiously, at this same time I was noticing that I was spending way too much time on my phone, especially continually checking email and social media. At the end of the day, or even during the day it would feel as though my brain were scrambled and confused from information overload. It was such a happy accident that my friend went without her phone for a few days, because it was a wake-up call to me that living without a phone, or reducing your time significantly on it can be so, so valuable.

Before this big change which I will tell you about here, I was spending an average of 4-5 hours a day on my phone. I know that some of that was listening to podcasts, however I know a lot of time was wasted checking too many apps too many times in a row. I was shocked at how much time I was spending on my phone, but I noticed I would go back to the same habits. Since I had been exploring the concept of the present moment so much and wondering why we are all so afraid of the present moment, I decided to create a different daily experience to reclaim my days. It is important to note that I am not perfect. At times I really feel like checking in on something, so I may do that, but my habits have gotten so much better over the past few days and the results have been astounding.

First of all, my first few minutes of the day are not spent checking in on anything on my phone. I have started to meditate, then exercise first thing in the morning. I used to use the timer on my phone for meditation but that caused me to launch into checking other things. So, now I use the oven timer for meditation.

My accountability partner and I have cooperated on how many messages we now leave each other per day as far as our progress and things we have learned. The limit on the messages means that we both have a big part of the day that is dedicated to focused work. That is so very important that you have time during your day to really focus and not be distracted by notifications, messages, apps, texts, emails and phone calls. This means report on what is to get done in the morning and then we don’t come back until the afternoon to report on how we have done for the day. This system works great!

I have also set a short amount of time to post on social media for my business which includes Facebook and Instagram. I do quickly check notifications and answer comments/questions. Over the last few days I have met a friend in person for tea, but I have not really looked at a lot of what is going on with people’s lives on Facebook. At the beginning it can feel like maybe you are not in the loop as far as the news with people that you know. However, I feel much more connected to people when I am able to meet with them in person over coffee, tea or a meal. I am making that type of connection a priority right now. I can text, email or call people as well who are long distance. I don’t have to be “in the know” about every detail at every moment because I have found that it really overloads my brain and I don’t have the capacity to be at my best for myself, my business or my family in that scrambled state.

I have noticed that if I have focused work time from 8:30am-11:30am I can accomplish an amazing amount of work. I can do a lot of writing, following up with people, work on my website and more. This is my real creative time and if I keep my brain clear it can really work for me. I have been amazed at how productive such a short work time can be if you really keep focused and on task.

After I have had lots of productive time in the morning I can then enjoy a lunch break, do some projects or chores, do some errands, spend time reading a book and more. I have more free hours to really explore life. The other day I even got out a paint set and painted on some nice multi-media paper and had a relaxing time.

In the evenings I can relax sooner after dinner, chat with my family, have family reading time and more. Limiting the time on my phone has brought me more time, more peace of mind, more focus and more present moment awareness.

I realize that I really was addicted to my phone. I think often when I was checking email and social media was that I was searching for validation, searching for proof that I was enough. I don’t need that because I have the present moment to tell me that I have infinite possibilities to explore in life.

Have you found that you are spending too much time on your phone? Are you checking email and social media too much? What has your experience been with this?

Feel free to comment below or email me at:

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need weekly/daily support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com