new life

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

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.

Freedom

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“Every time I give something away, what comes back to me is freedom.” Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell from her book “ A Mind At Home with Itself.”

As I was reading this Byron Katie book this morning the quote above really caught my attention. It rings true in so many aspects of life it is astonishing when you delve into it. In the book Katie talked about giving things away and not being attached to them. At one point she even gave her house away! Reading about this and the conclusions that she has come to in her own life was really eye-opening for me this morning. I began to think about that quote very deeply and the examples I could find in my own life where it is so true. Can you find examples in your life where it is true too?

Giving away physical clutter:

I know that the physical clearing of objects from your environment at home and at work can be very powerful. I have experienced that with every shift and change in my life my step #1 is to clear away the clutter. Not only does it clear away extra things, help others in need and clean up the house and work-spaces, it also clears away mental clutter. Even if I put away extra things that I do not need and they are out of sight, I have found that my mind will wander to those extra things and that mess every time I want to start on a meaningful project. When I clear away those things and really take responsibility for my space I find that I gain freedom not only in physical space but in mental space too. Clearing away extra things = freedom of space and freedom of mind.

Giving away thoughts:

The concept of giving away thoughts and clearing them from your mind when they do not serve you just popped into my head this morning as I was pondering this quote. Many times I have had thoughts about things I need to do, people in my life and so much more that are not helpful. It seems that the mind often goes to the negative place first. For example, some mornings a dreaded boring task will be on my to-do list like “spreadsheets/accounting.” If I hold on to the thought “This is work that I don’t like doing.” I will procrastinate and it will get worse. If I decide to throw away that thought and find something better I can get on with my work and my day. Our work is to clear away and give away those thoughts to the universe so that we have the freedom to do our life’s work and to be at harmony and peace with others. If we wrestle with the worries and the what ifs all day, we will not be doing our best work. I have found myself catching thoughts mid-way a lot of times and working on turning them around to more positive and productive ones. I give away the old ones, or better yet- put them in the trash! That gives me the freedom to be creative, to live in harmony with others and to be my best self so that I can give the best of myself. That is true freedom!

Giving away perceptions of others:

There are perceptions that we often have of others that we need to give away or throw away as well to gain the freedom of harmony with people. For example, we sometimes think we are very separate from others, we think “They are so different from me, they don’t think like me and we won’t be able to agree on anything.” However, if you get to the root of it, we can find things in common that we enjoy. I know someone who has a very dear friend who thinks very differently about politics than they do. But, they have found so many activities that they enjoy together that they have given away those perceptions to find the freedom of enjoying each others company. Often we will look at the surface of a person’s behavior, or something that they did in the past and hold onto it tightly. There is no freedom in holding on to those perceptions. They cause us to bump up against those people in our lives and we cause ourselves mental stress and burden ourselves with negative emotions about them that are not serving us and also can damage relationships. Many times if we get quiet and really observe someone we will find out that they are at peace as they are, and we don’t need to hang on to those perceptions of them. We can give away or throw away those old perceptions and find happy relationships with everyone around us. That gives us the freedom to be at peace with others.

How can you find freedom in giving away things, thoughts or perceptions that do not serve you? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below on the blog, or email me at: info@thecheerychef.com

With lots of love,

Trista

Let the Magic Happen

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The title for this blog post came to me as I was drifting to sleep last night. It occurred to me because some of the events that have been happening in my life as of late seem purely magical, like everything that I have been wishing and hoping for, putting energy, work and action towards are coming right to me.

A Place Made in my Dreams:

Tomorrow I will be going to a working interview at a local cooperative worker owned farm.This farm is called Our Table in Sherwood, Oregon and they host farm dinners, brunches and other events throughout the year. A dear friend of mine found the ad for a job opening there for a baker that comes in part-time, 2-3 days a week. As I read the job posting, I realized that this job was exactly what I was looking for and everything that they mentioned I had experience in, every single thing! It was as if they wrote the job ad just for me. Last week I went in for an interview with them and was taken by the beauty of the farm, the farm shop, the lovely kitchen and the wonderful people that worked there and how much they care about their community and workers. This feels like a place that is truly aligned with my heart. I will keep you all posted on my work here and hope that you all will visit one day to taste the local bounty of the farm and what we as a kitchen team dream up!

I then realized that I had written exact descriptions of a place very similar to this one that I wanted to start and own. I mentioned growing a kitchen garden, having people to tend to it, having community meetings there and much more. I was awestruck by the similarities. Here is a quote from the notebook about an employee-owned place:

“I want to explore this idea (employee-owned/profit sharing) because I believe that it’s important for ALL employees to have a real sense of ownership and a stake in the cafe. People are important and I believe in treating everyone as owners.”

At Our Table all of the workers, members or producer partners are owners in their beautiful organic farm! It truly is a dream come true! I realize that a place that I once dreamed of and thought that I needed to create from scratch actually already exists and I was finally in alignment to be in the right place at the right time to join in the community. I am so thrilled!

Let the Magic Happen:

The lesson from this experience that I want to share with you is that you need to put your dreams out there. I used to think that the only important parts of the equation were action and hard work. Those are still part of the puzzle, but they are not ALL of it. I truly believe the process involves many moving pieces along your path that lead you to your dream. Here are all of the pieces of that puzzle that I have observed:

Visuals of your Dream:

For around a year I have had a vision board that is labeled: The Cheery Cafe Community. It includes pictures of fruits, veggies, a lady on a farm with a milk bucket, people working together farming and working with herbs, a farmhouse style building, coffee, pastries, lunch dishes and people smiling and enjoying meals together. That powerful visual greets me each day in my office here where I do my writing and business work.

Writing about your dream:

I have also written about my dream in my notebook that I now call my “magical notebook” where I have listed my plans and ideals. This very detailed vision for the cafe has really shown me that the farm is a match for all that I have written there. Allow yourself to write down all of your dreams, projects, money goals and more in great detail in a notebook. The key work is “allowing.” Allow yourself to write exactly what you want, in great detail and allow yourself to dream about those things. Allowing does not mean obsessing however. It is important to write it down, think of action steps to take towards it, but not reading it every day or obsessing over it when it hasn’t happened yet.

Putting your intentions and needs out there:

In my blog post “Dear Universe” I really put my intention out there to the public, family and friends to let them know what kind of job, clients and work I was looking for. I believe that this is key. Let others know what you are looking for. You can’t get help towards your dreams if you don’t ask and you don’t make your desires known. If what is want is truly a win-win situation for yourself and others involved, they will be more than happy to help you find what you need. I used to be more afraid to ask for help, but now I am getting braver and I am happy to let others know what I am looking for. I believe that is why my dear friend brought the job ad to my attention. I would have never known about that opportunity if I hadn’t put my exact intentions out there.

Matching up action steps towards your dream:

Just putting up visuals and writing about your dreams is not quite enough. You will need to match actions to those dreams. You will find that the writing, visuals and asking for help will fuel you to take action though. Think about things that you need to practice to make those dreams a reality, ways that you can master certain skills you might need or ways you can share your passions through a blog, photography, meet-up groups or more. The possibilities are endless, but you need to be practicing many times a week.

Matching up your attitude on a daily basis:

I find that this step is the most important one of all. If you are complaining and blaming others every single day, stepping into victim mode and having constant pity parties for yourself, you are not going to have your dreams leap off the page for you. Of course you are going to have difficult days, you are going to complain here and there and sometimes things may not go your way. That is completely fine. As you all know, I went through a month of not feeling optimal after the coffee shop closed, I just had to go through a bit of a low period before I was able to bounce back into action. However, once you are able to get back on track after life deals you some difficult circumstances you can focus on the things that are going right, be grateful for the abundance and the goodness in your life and find as many happy and fun things to do and say every day as possible. The better you feel, the more opportunities will come your way.

To close, all dreams are possible, your never know what is already being created for you in this magical world. Be patient, be kind to yourself, dream, put it out there and never give up!

What dreams are you going to put out there today? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or you can email me at: info@thecheerychef.com

UPDATE: As of today, I got the job at the farm! I am so very excited! Thank you all for following along on my journey and let me know if I can help you with anything!

With love,

Trista