life hacks

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


Junk Drawer

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“I think that a junk drawer is a thing that happens when we’re adults. We get a junk drawer. If you go home, we all have the same stuff in our junk drawer. We all have— for some reason we won’t throw a rubber band away. There are tons of rubber bands, like 24 rubber bands in there, like…a case a bunch of little girls come over for pigtails one day. I don’t know. There’s a red ink pen in there, just in case you have to grade papers or something. I don’t know, just like.. There’s a roll of scotch tape that’s out of the container, just the roll, and it’s , you can’t get it started because it’s halfway broken anyway, and you just keep it. There’ a AA battery. Does it work? I don’t know, I just don’t. I put it in there. There’s a key and you don’t know what it’s to. You won’t throw it away because what if someone finds it and opens something? What do they…like walk around opening. I heard from someone that a junk drawer is like a metaphor for life, like we’re holding on to things that we don’t need to hold on to.”

Ellen DeGeneres from her comedy special “Relatable”

A friend of mine sent me a clip of Ellen's new comedy special on Netflix the other day containing the quote above about junk drawers. How true is that? Wow! She is so right that all of us have a junk drawer of all of these items that for some reason we can’t let go of for fear of needing them someday. I have lots of rubber bands that I never use and plenty of old keys and batteries too. Why are we holding on to these things? It may be a fear of letting go, of some future time where we’ll have a need for these things, or a fear that we won’t be able to replace them. Whatever it is, this shows us how funny and ridiculous it is to hang on to so many things that are no longer serving us. I’m thinking of that small box of rubber bands in my junk drawer as I write this.

I believe that there is a new way of looking at our homes and the lives we live in them. I look at a home as an organic, living being. We bring things in and out of our homes on a daily basis, we live joyful moments and sad moments, our home sees us through it all. For this reason our home as a living being sometimes needs to be cared for in a unique way. We can all become explorers and caretakers in our own homes in our own unique ways.

I have found that with each big life transition comes a reevaluation of possessions and they way that they are stored in our homes. Now that I am making a major change in my life’s work I find a deep calling to look at what I am holding on to and why. I am now exploring my home for a few minutes each day in a process I call “clearing.” This is bringing me more peace each day as I transition to being of more service to others. With fewer physical and mental objects in my way I will be able to achieve my quest to help everyone find a path to joy in their lives.

Check out my Patreon page for ways you can sign up for monthly companion videos, workbooks and more to help you on your journey:

https://www.patreon.com/expansive

Feel free to share about your junk drawer or how you see your things in your home in the comments below. Thank you and with lots of love,

Trista

Transition and Letting Go

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Although it is a very icy day and very cold where I am right now here in Oregon, we are still in a transition time towards spring. I have seen little leaves of daffodils poking through the ground, a signal that change is ahead for the earth. In this way I am readying myself for a major transition in my work life.

With the experiences I have had recently I am going to be transitioning out of baking for clients and into a whole other realm of work that I can do from home. I have come to find how important it is to pay attention to so many factors in the way that I live life, how it affects others, how I serve others and how I feel on a regular basis.

Breaking a Similar Pattern:

Over the past 15 years or so I have mainly concentrated on baking or food-related businesses. It started with a farmer’s market baking business with my mom and sister in law that we did for 4 years while I was still teaching English as a Second Language, my mom was teaching too and my sister in law was in college. Later on I quit teaching after 10 years to start my home pie business. After 2 years of that I transitioned to teaching baking/cooking classes while still taking orders for baked goods on occasion and I did that for around a year or so. That transitioned me to starting a meal service with Josephine.com which I did for nearly 2 years. Then, I worked at a local cafe for around 4 months baking and cooking there 6 days a week. After the cafe closed permanently I had another transition to make. I decided to start baking at home again and created an online bakery for local folks to order from and had some bake sales. I then have transitioned to baking part time at a local farm for their store/events.

Lots of Changes But Stuck in a Rut:

I realized the other day that I had a pattern of lots of transitions but it was always in the same space: food. It’s funny that at those times I thought I was making so many changes in my life but in a way I was in a rut. I just kept doing the same type of thing. I think in a strange way although I love to help people, in all of these food jobs I was looking for outside affirmation from others as to my worth in my work. I was working on validating myself through what I physically created. I have been doing some deep personal growth/development work recently and one of the exercises in a course I have been taking really made my realize this. Although I am very ready for a change I feel that I have learned so much through all of these experiences and all of these paths I have explored through the years. I believe deep in my heart that I could not start to become the person I am starting to become at this moment without this work journey.

New Focus, New Journey:

Coming to the conclusion that I needed to radically change the work I do to take the focus off of me and put it on others and really, truly help others in their lives with skills that I have has been a big realization. It may seem very abrupt, but I am ready to transition over to working in the personal development/personal growth space, not only in a part time fashion but very soon in a full time way. I have found that more than a year ago I had started to stop putting recipes on my blog and I really started to focus on my journey and what I was learning in life along the way. That became very interesting to me and I wanted to see how I could help others with it. Now, I believe I can begin to transition to helping and teaching others and facilitating their own learning on how to become the person they are meant to be. That is such a beautiful, joyful and exciting process to me. I have always loved to write, to create worksheets, to teach others. I am now really listening to that calling deep in my heart to give back.

What is next?

Here’s what’s to come:

  • Patreon Page: I have created a page on Patreon that is affiliated with this blog. If you would like to sign up for monthly benefits that include companion learning videos, checklists, workbooks, a private Facebook group or weekly accountability check ins you can check out what I have available to help you here:

    https://www.patreon.com/expansive

  • Home Clearing Course: I am creating a course for clearing your home. This is a different method from de-cluttering and it is a very manageable, practical daily practice that is easy and rewarding.

  • Vision Board Course: I am creating a course on how to make your vision board for your hopes and dreams really come alive with worksheets on visioning your future, how you want to feel and what experiences you want to have. It includes writing exercises to go along with your vision board to make it a richer experience.

I will continue to blog, write newsletter for my list and create videos and courses. I will also be teaching some courses locally just like the vision board course that I did recently. I will be transitioning this blog to a new domain/new website very soon because I will be taking down any food/baking related things. I have started by removing the “bakery” tab on this site. Eventually over the next 2 months this site will be moved but I will keep you posted on that process. I am so excited to be able to serve you all in a very different, enriching way!

I would love to hear from you and what transitions and letting go experiences you have had in your life. Please feel free to comment below!

Thank you so much for being on this journey along with me. It means a lot to me that you are here to share in the experience. Please feel free to reach out at: trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com anytime.

Enjoy

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It is our tendency in daily life to become goal oriented. We know where we want to go, and we are very focused on getting there. At times, this may be useful, but often we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way. Thich Nhat Hanh “Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice.”

While reading this book on creating a space and time in your home for meditation, I ran across this quote which really sums up what I go through on a daily basis. I have always been a very goal oriented, go-getter, list-maker type of person. There are many wonderful benefits to that, however, I feel that there is a great wisdom to enjoying the journey along the way to our goals.

Daily Life & Our Destination:

Part of feeling like we can stop to enjoy ourselves is organizing ourselves in our days and weeks so that we can build in time off, take time to rest, take time with family and friends. Here is an example of a recent overwhelm I was feeling because of so many events coming up and how I organized myself around it.

Recently because the holiday season is upon me and I am participating in a gluten free fest with a booth for a whole weekend, hosting a holiday bake sale, working at the farm and helping them with holiday specials, doing client work and more I became a bit overwhelmed by all that I needed to accomplish in the coming weeks. What did I do about this overwhelm? First, I listed every task that I needed to complete in the coming weeks including phone calls, emails, things to order, things to bake, things to freeze and dates to put on the calendar. Then, I did 4-5 items that took 5 minutes or less to accomplish and just got those done including ordering some things that I needed for the gluten free fest.

Next, I wrote down schedules for the weeks to come, wrote down the dates on the calendars, communicated with people through email and social media and created my holiday bake sale event including my offerings list. This left me feeling much more on top of and in control of the events to come up.

Enjoying Ourselves Along the Path:

I truly believe that once we are able to come up with a plan to deal with our overwhelm, then our brains are able to make room for enjoyment along our path. It is important to remind ourselves on a daily basis that the reason that we do all of these activities is the joy and satisfaction that they bring us along the way. Often, planning something is part of the fun. Imagining how your event will turn out, or what your book will be like when you finish writing it. Those are moments to savor and celebrate along the way.

Another way I love to enjoy myself along the path is to have events on my calendar like lunch or tea with friends, set up birthday celebrations and go to events around town. If there are events to look forward to, you are stepping down the path with glee.

You can also enjoy yourself daily along the path, not just looking forward to events on the weekend, but take breaks during the day to read a great book, have a cup of tea, take a walk outside, or simply close your eyes and imagine you are on a tropical island. There is so much joy to be had at every moment if we can stop to let ourselves enjoy it.

I would love to hear how you cure your overwhelm, and ways that you enjoy yourself along your path in life. Comment below or write to me at: info@thecheerychef.com

With lots of love,

Trista