life's work

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

The Joy of Less

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In the past few months I have made so many changes in my life. All of these changes have lead me down the path to the joy of less.

Here are a few ways that I have simplified my life and work that have really been so beneficial and I wanted to share them with you:

  1. I now take Fridays off. I make sure to not schedule business/work on Fridays. It is my day of rest, leisure, and connection with friends.

  2. I do fewer things in my business. I used to think that I had to post on every type of social media or constantly be going to meetings or “doing something” in my business. Now I realize I can do what I do best: serve my clients well & write thoughtful blog posts.

  3. I have de-cluttered my home so that things are easy to find and it is easy and fast to clean. I go through a quick 20 minute pick up/clean routine most mornings so that my house stays tidy and I don’t stress about it.

  4. I take time each morning to sit outside in nature. I sit outside at one of the tables in the backyard and enjoy the garden while sipping tea or coffee. I often write stories in the mornings as well.

  5. I quit my part time job because I now have enough clients flowing in to support my business and I have gained back my Tuesdays and my Saturdays with my family. What joy!

What a big change from last spring! I remember that last year at this time I was still working 6 days a week at the coffee shop from around 5:30 am-6:00 am to around 2:00 pm! What a crazy schedule I had!

What are some ways that you have simplified your life so that it is easier and more joyful for you? I would love to hear about them! Comment below and let’s chat!

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


Workaholism

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My name is Trista and I am a recovering workaholic. This is exactly what I would say if a workaholics anonymous group existed. This is a subject that I am continually exploring and I learned a lot about last year after spending 4 months working at the coffee shop waking up at 3:45am and then going home each day at 2pm, picking up my son, & then having lots of work to do at home were just insane! What I learned from that experience was that there is only so much work one person can do in a day and that we need to give ourselves more breaks, more days off and more relaxation time.

Productive Time:

I have always loved to feel productive and busy. I am kind of a “busy bee” type. I am always fidgeting, always going around the house looking for things I think need to be done. I love to do things like iron, organize stuff and de-clutter. However, I am learning that there has to be a balance there. Now when I make my planning sheets for my daily tasks I actually write down things like “break time.” This may seem crazy to some, but to a workaholic like me, it is a lifeline and a way that I can let myself take some time to relax and enjoy life.

Sometimes there is a big difference between being “busy” and being productive. I can have a tendency to spend too much time on social media, thinking that staying in touch with everyone is super productive when I should just take that time to read a good book, enjoy my lunch, go out for a coffee or go for a walk. I am now working on having a specific time window that is for productive work time activities like writing blog posts, marketing, writing newsletters, writing course materials, creating videos, setting up appointments and things like that. After that time window is finished, then I can spend time taking a lunch break, working on some fun hobbies like learning Japanese and more. Social media time is best spent during a short time in the evening and limited to just a few minutes. I admit that last week the screen time count on my phone as atrocious! That is why I am taking action to work on that and spend time doing things that really matter in moving myself forward and create more joy in my life. Also, I have stopped doing any work of any kind at around 6:30-7:00 pm every evening. I make sure to read a book, hang out with my family or watch a video with my son and have fun talking about it.

Home Management/Asking for Help:

Especially speaking for women (and some men) we can still find ourselves in charge of home management as well as having a job or business. With this we can put added pressure on ourselves and get overwhelmed by the number of tasks we need to accomplish. There are daily tasks like: dishes, laundry, recycling, going through papers, taking out garbage and more. Then there are other things like home and car maintenance.

There can be a huge list each week and each month that we feel responsible for and feel we need to take care of. This is why I am slowly working on asking for help. This is an area that I have been working on for a long time. I have a bad habit of trying to do everything on my own and then getting overwhelmed by it. This is not a good cycle to be in because your attention can get really scattered and that is especially tough when you are trying to build a business or work on your career while still balancing home, family and friends.

Lately I have begun to ask for help from my husband and son on a regular basis. Here are ways I have started to ask for help and hopefully some of these can give you some good ideas too.

  • My 10-year old son now has daily chores that he is responsible for- laundry- putting it in the washer, dryer and folding it. He also goes to the mailbox to get the mail. I also have him clear his dishes at mealtimes and also help put leftovers away, set and clean the table before/after meals. I have also been working with him to do 15 minutes of de-cluttering in his room each evening. We actually do this activity together and it’s fun to see what we discover. So far he has filled 3 grocery bags to give away to charity. He has been capable of doing these things for a long time, it was just a matter of me being consistent in asking him and reminding him. It will take a while to instill these habits and although sometimes it may feel like it is simpler for me to just take care of these tasks I feel that it is important to teach him: daily cleaning habits/chores, home management skills, to contribute to the family/household and to be responsible.

  • I ask my husband to help with specific tasks- I often ask him to help with vacuuming and he also helps clear the table and does the dishes often. He is also great about going to the store and the library for us. He is fantastic about helping out and is always willing to help.

  • Family clean up- On the weekend I have started a simple cleaning routine where we each take a cleaning task or chore and do it all at the same time. For example, last Sunday my husband vacuumed while my son folded laundry while I cleaned the bathrooms. Within a short amount of time our chores were done and then we had a fun evening together. Things take less time when you all work on them together.

Saying No:/Setting boundaries:

For a long time I have had trouble saying no. I still have trouble saying no sometimes. However, I guard my time a bit more closely now while still leaving time for fun, friends and family. It is important to me to be productive during certain days and then schedule ahead of time coffee dates, parties and other events with friends and family. The lines can often blur between work time and social time when you are running your own business from home. Because you don’t work at a “regular job” at an office sometimes people get the notion that you can meet up during the week at anytime. But, if you don’t set boundaries as to what are your work times and hours then you will overwork yourself and not enjoy time that you have set aside for social time or time to do things that you enjoy as hobbies. You are actually robbing yourself of time by creating such a fractured schedule.

If someone wants to meet during a time that I have scheduled to work then I have to say no. Also, if I get a phone call in the middle of a work session I will let it go and call the person after I have finished my work time. I also have to say no to myself sometimes if I put too many things on my list. I often cross those out and re-evaluate how many things I am trying to accomplish in a day. Saying no can be very hard to do and I am still learning how to do it.

I would love to know from you:

How are you suffering from workaholism?

What are you doing to combat it?

How do you ask for help?

How do you say no and set boundaries?

Please leave a comment below or feel free to email me at: trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Thank you so much!

-Trista