self discovery

Nowhere for the Eye to Rest

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Random Items:

The other day I was working with a long distance client in the U.K. and commenting on the videos of her home that she sent me to help her on. Her main areas to work on were her kitchen and her living room. She wanted to spruce them up and learn what items to move, what to de-clutter and how to decorate her space using what she had.

As I looked around her kitchen I noticed that she had some items on top of her kitchen cabinets that she was storing there. Some of the items were in boxes. I couldn’t tell what all of the items were, but I know that they are items that she uses in the kitchen. I asked her if she could perhaps move them to a different area, like the pantry or inside a cabinet because “there is nowhere for the eye to rest.”

By seeing random items on top of cabinets as our eyes move around the room, it creates a bit of unrest, we are unable to find a focal point in the room and it leaves us feeling more stressed. Even though we can get used to items being in random places such as on top of cabinets, there is a hidden stress that is occurring in our environment on a daily basis. Because there is no one focal point for our eyes to rest on we may feel overwhelmed in the rooms in our homes. Our homes can begin to feel more like storage facilities rather than a cozy, peaceful space to live in.

Allowing our Eyes to Rest:

An alternative that allows our eyes to rest is to place a few choice items of a similar size, shape or color on top of the cabinets so that our eyes can rest on those and we find a place of peace and beauty there. Imagine a small collection of 3-5 vases of a similar color, or 3-5 potted plants that add greenery and aliveness to the room. This alternative allows us to take in the beauty of those few things that we have decided to keep and lovingly display instead of viewing our collection of stored items every day.

Action step:

Look around your home and see if your eyes are allowed to rest, or if there are too many items to look at and you feel overwhelmed. Try de-cluttering those items first. Which ones do you need to keep? Do you use them often? With the items you have chosen to keep, where can you store them so that they do get more use? What decorative items do you already have that you can display there instead, or just leave a blank space to enjoy as well. This is a great action step to take with bookshelves and china cabinets with glass doors.

Let me know how you progress with this action step and comment below!

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

The Shift

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Seeing the world as open and full of possibility is the fundamental shift of mind that opens the door to connecting to the Source. Each of us has a capacity for awe, wonder and reverence. The human species has an inbuilt passion to serve life, to learn, to know, and to experience the thrill of discovery. At the heart of the path Polanyi describes there is the ‘passionate pursuit of hidden meaning’- the act of creating something of significance that has never existed before. Each of us can choose to let go of the obstacles that impede our development and to release the possibilities that lie latent within each of us.

—Joseph Jaworski from his book “Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge Creation.”

As I was reading the book “Source” the other day I found the quote above and just loved it. I have experienced this shift of the mind recently and I sincerely wish for everyone to experience it. It is the feeling in your heart that you can create beauty in the world in many different ways and that there is no reason to hold back your creativity. It is the powerful feeling that you get when you feel the impulse to create something; maybe it is an article, blog post, book, painting, science experiment, speech- it can be anything that you feel a deep desire to bring into the world. All of us have the power to create something amazing.

I have recently felt drawn to create meringue sculptures and I am especially thrilled with the above picture of one that I just created that is sugar free. I collaborated with an amazing friend of mine who was able to confirm that the sweetener I used was a great natural substitute for sugar and not only does it look beautiful, it tastes amazing and everyone can enjoy it. This gives me such joy in my heart and I am so grateful for my friend’s help as well.

Lately I have felt so many impulses to create certain food art pieces and they just pop into my head at different times of the day. At that time I work on holding on to the image in my mind and I build upon it until I am able to work on it in the kitchen.

Have you ever felt a deep desire to create something? It is so amazingly thrilling! You are bringing your creation out of your mind and into the physical world and it really is such a beautiful experience. I have learned that you may not have immediate results from creating things, but with each creation you are lead down the path towards more and more creations that will cause conversations, meetings with people, other thoughts about more creations and so much more. Do not doubt images that come into your mind that you know you need to work on. Give yourself the chance to create them. Even just the pure joy in beholding your creation is a reward in itself!

What have you been creating lately? What ideas have popped into your head at random times? I would love to hear from you!

Feel free to comment below, or send me an email at: info@thecheerychef.com

With lots of love,

Trista

Daily Self Care

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Daily self care is something that I am constantly refining. Because the beginning of the year for me and for many others can be quite a challenging, I believe that self care is something that we all need more than ever this time of year. Here are some of the habits that I have either started to do or have done for quite some time. I hope that some of these help you. I am a work in progress and some of these habits are sticking and others I need to re-integrate into my schedule. 

Daily Exercise: 

This year I started to go to a gym again. This is something I hadn't done in around 20 years. It has been such a wonderful self care habit for me to start. I have found that I am motivated to exercise by going to the gym and also be being a part of a group class. These two factors keep me on schedule and going because I am accountable to the instructor and the group. I also am part of a daily Facebook accountability group for exercise which keeps me motivated as well. On top of this I put a red star on each day on the calendar that I exercise. I love seeing all of those stars! I find that I have more energy when I exercise and I love that there are classes that I can attend first thing in the morning. That is when I am at my best. I encourage you to find a way to exercise that you enjoy and that keeps you accountable. That is different for everyone, but I do believe there is a way for each person to find that will motivate them. 

Daily Reading: 

This is a great habit that I started 2-3 years ago. I now make a yearly goal to read 52 books. This means that I always have two or three books that I am reading. I usually read first thing in the morning and during work breaks. I also sometimes read in the evenings. I am going to need to change my schedule slightly because since my exercise classes are during a time when I would normally be reading or journaling. I think I might get up 15 minutes earlier so that I can set intentions, journal and read before I go to my workout class. I learn a lot from each book that I read and I feel like I gain new habits, skills or outlooks from each one. I sometimes buy my books or many times get them from the library. Reading is a self-care habit to me because I believe that learning is a way to care deeply for yourself. 

Setting Intentions/Journaling: 

Every day I try to set aside time before I go to the gym in the morning to write down my intentions for the day in my journal. Then, I write about my goals, gratitude and daily action steps in my Freedom Journal. This really sets the stage for the day and focuses me on what I need to get done that day to meet my goals. I know that this is a very important piece of my self care because it sets my mindset and it sets my actions for the day. 

Saving Email and Social Media for the Afternoon: 

This is a habit that I am not always perfect at. However, I know that on the days that I don't look at email, social media and messages first thing in the morning are days that I feel better, am more productive and less preoccupied with what is going on. This is such an important piece of self care because it focuses my day on what I need to accomplish to serve others and myself instead of what is going on in messages and social media. I believe that those things have their place and are wonderful tools but they can be so very distracting, especially first thing in the morning. This is something I am still working at and I'm not perfect! I'm better at not answering or posting anything in my FB check-in groups until around lunchtime, but often I still need to work hard to stay away from email earlier than that. 

Creative Time in the Evening: 

I was a graphic design major in college and I was fortunate to take a lot of art classes including drawing, painting, calligraphy and sculpture. I really enjoyed those creative outlets. However, with time I let all of those pursuits go. Lately I have been finding myself needing some creative time at the end of each day. For Christmas I got a great dot-to-dot book. I have started doing those, then coloring them in with colors and patterns and sometimes adding in painted scenes in the background. I also have a detailed coloring book and I have done some collages. Sometime this month I might try my hand at some sculptures as well. Find time to do something fun or creative each day and really restore your creative soul! 

Monthly Pedicures: 

This is a monthly habit that I started more than a year ago. I found a fantastic local salon  that does a wonderful pedicure that I really look forward to. As a chef I am on my feet a lot each day and find that this self care piece is really non-negotiable. I make sure to schedule in a pedicure every month and make sure that my feet are healthy and well taken care of. I also love the pretty nail colors! 

Resting in the Evening: 

For a workaholic like me, this is so new! I actually write "rest" on my to-do list otherwise in the evenings I find myself trying to do more and more chores. Now, at 7pm, my workday is done and that includes household chores. It can wait until tomorrow. This is a brand new mindset for me because I think that I was just obsessed with working so much. At 7pm I change into pajamas, read a book or join the family for an activity. I have also found that I love to watch historical documentaries on Netflix if my husband and son are busy doing Legos or playing a game. This is also a time to do my creative projects if I am so inclined. 

I hope that some of these self care ideas helps you! Please let me know what you do for daily, weekly or monthly self care for yourself. 

With lots of care,

Trista

 

January Blues

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New Year Rush: 

I'm usually an incredibly upbeat person, that's why I'm "The Cheery Chef." However, for some reason the month of January has been historically a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. The first week of the year, even though the holidays are over are a flurry of activity for me. I love to: make my new vision board, set my 3 big goals for the year, clean and de-clutter my house, put away the decorations, sweep out the old and in with the new. It all feels so great! I also joined a great gym near me, started working out and eating 3 veggies a day and drinking lots of water. I am still keeping up with the gym workouts, veggies and water. 

Down in a Dip: 

This January, after this action-packed week or so I managed to come down with a terrible flu, and really couldn't do anything except drink tea and watch "The Crown." I was THAT low on energy! Right before that I was feeling kind of low and not that energized.  It has taken me a while to get back on track after that whole week of low energy, low appetite and just not feeling myself. I did really learn a super, super valuable lesson that week. It was: Put rest in your schedule. If you are a hyper-activated person like me, it is imperative to get your rest at the end of the day. I actually write down "rest" now on my daily schedule and now stop working on anything except creative/fun activities after 7pm each day. 

Upward We Go: 

The week after that I was getting back on track, it seemed like my business picked up speed quite a bit and things were heading in the right direction. I was back on track, working on goals and quite busy. I used my extra time to start working on my coloring, painting and collage work. It was wonderful to see lots of my clients again and I got to work on lots of projects moving forward. I feel like during this week I took a massive amount of action to move forward. 

Back Down Again: Determined to Climb Back Up: 

I have to be honest with you- weirdly, Mondays are usually one of my favorite days; a chance to start again and get going on lots of things. However, things have slowed down a lot this week. It has left me feeling a bit low today. I want to always be very real on this blog about things because I believe that sharing our experiences and discovering what works and doesn't work for us is so important. I want to be able to help all of you by sharing what is going on with me. 

Today, although I started off on a low note, just feeling a bit down, I am more than determined to feel upbeat and on top of the world. Sometimes even if we don't feel like it, it is important to "do it anyway." That is why: except for the week that I have been sick I have made it to my gym classes or worked out 5 days a week, I have eaten my veggies, I have had my 8 glasses of water a day. I refuse to give up! Today I felt like I am building the part of the iceberg that is below the ocean and that very soon I will see the beautiful parts of the ice crystals on the surface and it will grow and grow. 

Today and every day this week I am going to be kind to myself. I am going to get my rest in. I am going to do my creative work. I am going to try to make some sculptures again. I am going to make a pedicure appointment. I am going to think of a small reward for myself this week and every week I make it through and "do it anyway." I know that I will be on top of the hill again soon, the sun will come out again and this marathon of a beautiful life will keep on going. 

What are you doing this week to be kind to yourself? How can you reward yourself? How are you dealing with the January blues? 

Thank you all for being with me,

With lots of care,

Trista