personal development

I Have Decided

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In any given day there are so many choices to make. There are choices that are small, like what to eat for breakfast, and then there are bigger life choices that come up, like changing career paths. When we take too long to decide and waver between choices we are closing the doors on our possibility space. Small choices every day are easy, whereas big changes and choices can bring a lot of fear. Even choices that are exciting can cause us to feel uneasy because it requires us to decide.

The phrase: “I have decided” is so much more powerful that we an imagine and it is so underused on a daily basis. I learned about this phrase a few weeks ago and I feel that every time I say it I am creating more of my reality and I am really stepping into my true self.

Even with small choices saying “I have decided” really puts you in the driver’s seat of your own life. Often if we listen to our intuition we know exactly which path we want to choose, but we let so many factors get in the way of what we truly want and what is good for us and ultimately good for everyone around you. As a small example, think about choosing from a menu at a restaurant. So many times I have noticed that I immediately gravitate to one particular dish that sounds good to me. Then, I’ll still spend time looking at a few other dishes “just in case.” However, I always choose the first one that sounded good to me. I have to say if I choose the first one that I am drawn to, I always enjoy my meal. Has this happened to you?

We can use “I have decided’ with small and big choices to add more power, impact and permanence to our choices. We are really telling life “This is how I would like it.” It is just like putting in our order at the restaurant of the universe. I challenge you to choose one thing to say “I have decided” about today. Then, write it down and tell a friend.

Here’s one of my examples:

“I have decided I will always have fresh flowers on my dining table.”

This is something I have decided because it makes me feel awesome, it makes my home feel bright and cheery, it helps bring the natural world into my home and it feels like I am investing in the life that I love. During the spring and summer there are many flowers that I can bring in from my garden to make arrangements with. I know that during the winter I will need to invest in some flowers each week and that is a great thing because I am supporting a florist and allowing resources to flow from me to others.

This week I have made 2 very big decisions. One is to study a couple of courses in my industry so that I can be even more of a win-win to my clients. This is a big investment in myself but I have decided that this will bring more resources to me and in turn I will use those resources to return to others in my community. This allows resources to continually flow instead of getting stuck. Another choice I have made this week is that I have decided to join a great networking group in my community that I believe will be a great way for me to get to know others in my community and partner with them in creating lots of abundance and lots of ways.

My challenge to you this week is to write down and act on 5 “I have decided” statements. You will begin to see how powerful those words are. You are showing life that you know what is best for you and what will be best for all of those around you if you truly follow your heart.

With lots of love,

Trista

This Meditation May Change Your Life

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This meditation my change your life.

Bhuddist Priest at the Ryutakuzenji Temple, Takasaki, Japan.

It was a quiet morning in late June at our traditional Japanese hotel, or Ryokan. We had adjusted to the schedule and were getting up really early in the morning due to the time shift. The night before we told our host (also a Bhuddist priest) that we would be at the 6am meditation in the morning at the temple just up the garden steps from the guest house where we were staying.

We sat on comfortable cushions in the beautiful wooden temple where our host is of the 35th generation of priests here. He sounded a gong to indicate the beginning of the meditation. It was a few quiet minutes of stillness, but he was right that it did change our lives. It brought about changes to our thinking and the way that we want to live our lives and even how our home is set up. Amazing what a few minutes of silence will do!

I believe that new and different experiences brought about by travel can really have a profound effect on the way that we live our lives. As a result we have made the following changes:

-My husband wakes up earlier and gets in to work earlier so that he can leave earlier and we can all spend more of the evening time together.

-I wake up earlier most mornings and like to start my day by sweeping and mopping the floor to clear the energy of our home for a new day. I have started to clean and organize our home in a zen way, de-cluttering even more to make our spaces more expansive.

-I have renewed my meditation practice and have placed a Buddha statue that we already had in our living room. We even change out pieces of fruit or other food items that we give to the Bhudda daily.

One of the biggest changes that we are in the process of making is the one of creating a meditation room in our home. We have a room which is now an office. In order to create a meditation space with Japanese tatami mats in it we are going to give away our desk, move out other furniture, store all office items in the small closet (I de-cluttered the office and gave away 2 boxes of things) and paint the room. Then, we will install the tatami mats, put minimal Japanese art on the wall, have 1 low table which we can place a laptop on for writing and some cushions as well as store traditional Japanese bedding on the other shelves in the closet. It will be a wonderfully tranquil, minimal room which we are very excited by! It has also spurred on more re-decorating in other spaces as well.

What major changes in your life have been spurred on by travel?

I’d love to hear from you, email me at: trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

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 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:


http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:


http://expansive.me

Everything Comes with a Contract

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Just imagine that every time you brought anything into your home, it came with a detailed contract that you would need to review and sign, promising to take care of the item, find a place for it and look after it for as long as it remained useful to you. We don’t tend to think of it, but every item we own has an invisible contract attached to it. Contracts would be attached to everything from a toaster to a new bath towel.

Such a contract might read:

-You must promise to keep me clean, and in working order.

-You must promise to repair me immediately.

-You must find a proper storage space for me.

-You must make sure to replace me when I wear out, and give me away or dispose of me properly.

When we really think about it, the more items we own, the more contracts like these we are actually signing and agreeing to. When we decide to de-clutter and clear our homes of items that we can no longer hold contracts on, it frees us up so much and creates more peace in our lives.

Imagine if you could have a conversation with an item on a crowded garage shelf:

Fancy Tart Pan: You know, I have sat here for 5 years, all dusty and you haven’t made a single tart with me.

You: Yes, I understand. I just don’t bake much anymore, and when I do, it’s simple items. How about I give you away to a new home where you’ll be better cared for.

Fancy Tart Pan: That sounds much better. Maybe they can actually keep up with my contract.

Yes, that tart pan can be quite demanding, right? If we can imagine the contracts and the conversations our things would have with each other, this would be how it would go. When we let go of items and realize that they will find good homes with others who can use them, we can free up our space and free up our lives from the worry of upkeep and looking after so many things.

And yes, I will give away that tart pan today that is in my garage.

With lots of love,

Trista

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 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me


My Days Off Social Media

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On August 7, 2019 I decided to take 30 days off of social media. I am about halfway through this experiment and I have learned a lot from it and a lot about myself. I will be reporting throughout this experiment as I decide where social media fits or doesn’t fit into my life and into my business as a whole. After September 7th I will have made decisions on this and will keep you posted here on the blog.

I decided to do this 30 day experiment for many reasons, but the main one was to do a kind of “mental de-cluttering” I was feeling overwhelmed every time I was on social media. I felt the need to respond to all of the information and images coming at me, and it left me drained rather than energized. It left me always feeling behind, like I couldn’t catch up with everything there. I found that if I started my day on social media I would feel much more scatterbrained and unable to focus as much as I would like. I felt that I needed to make a major change by challenging myself to 30 days off of Facebook and Instagram.

I also know that I was addicted to checking social media too often. It gave me the illusion that I was connected to others in a real way. However, I notice that I feel much more connected to people that I know by direct messages with them, or best of all, in person meetings. I have remained in touch with my close friends and family in this way and I know in my heart that we are there for each other.

The first few days off social media were a bit disorienting. I felt a little bit lonely not checking in with what others I knew were doing through posts and pictures. However, I love what a dear friend of mine said that Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and all of the rest aren’t “real.” You can’t touch anything there or have a real connection with anyone like you can through direct communication, it’s especially not the same as meeting in person with someone to have coffee or lunch. Those are my most treasured times, when you can really communicate with someone. This quote by a colleague of Susan Dunbar (currently head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford), Sue Fudge said it best:

"Although social media may seem like the perfect way to make and maintain friendships, this research shows that face-to-face interaction is essential for truly authentic relationships and that shares, selfies and 'likes' are no replacement for the bonding that takes place whilst sharing food, experiences and anecdotes.” —Sue Fudge

This is why I have ultimately felt much better off of social media and I am looking forward to the times that I meet my friends in person. We will have much more to chat about and really catch up on each other’s lives because I haven’t followed them on social media for such a long while. It’s kind of an experiment in making social time more special, more of a celebration rather than something that you just scroll through endlessly.

I have communicated through some direct messages and some emails with friends and I have found it refreshing to only communicate with one person at a time (unless there is a thread about a get-together or party). It really makes you focus on what matters rather than how many people commented on or liked something you posted out to a very large group on social media.

I actually have found myself taking fewer pictures, but fun pictures to remember events nonetheless because I know I will share some of them with friends in person, or make a photo album of them to remember fun times by.

The other benefit of being off social media is the freedom to explore other things in life. I have learned to make more delicious foods from recipes in actual books, I have daydreamed about and started to plan some trips and I actually bought paper maps to plot points to visit on our travels. I have spent much more time outside, and fun times with my son this summer. I also have learned how to make cappuccinos with our little espresso machine! Of course I have also really enjoyed de-cluttering different areas of our home even more.

So much fun and magic has come my way in these days! My plan right now is to just blog about my experiences here on my website which I can post to social media and to medium.com for a larger audience. That way I don’t need to be on social media to reach people and help them. This feels right to me so far and it is like I have started a new life over again. It is thrilling and I invite you to try it for yourself!

With lots of love,

Trista