Stop Watering Your Problems

In the course of a single day you will have moments that lift your spirits and moments that bring you down. The trick is to keep going. No matter what just happened, in the next moment it can and most likely will change. But sometimes it is really difficult to put on a happy face when things seem to keep going “wrong.” It is during those moments that changing your “station” (like you do on TV) is crucial for your energy and well being. I have a few tips to share that have worked for me. Watering Problem

Feel Better Tips:

  1. When things are going your way it’s important not to dismiss them as “luck” or “flukes” but instead do what we usually do when something goes wrong…rehash the happy moment!! Yep, I mean it. Stop a moment and review what you said, what they said, how perfectly everything went. See that smile on your face? That’s what you want to re-experience and then when you are done say silently to yourself “I want more of that please!” and then move on. This is “watering the success” which will bring more of the same to you.
  2. Next, do the opposite with the event that “went wrong.” Instead of rehashing what you said, what they said, what you didn’t do so well etc. change the channel-turn your attention to something that feels good! If you find you are stuck in a bad memory of an event that went “wrong” move on and get something going that you love, do what you like even if it’s just taking a walk or listening to a favorite song you need in the moment to shift out of the problem. This is like giving your energy a re-boot.
  3. In the evening or when your day is done its good to reflect back. Take what went well and remember what worked. Take what went wrong and decide how you would do it differently. This way both events simply become “information” and you stay in the flow that change is always fluid and you are never stuck or doomed.
  4. Also in your evening reflection, take a moment to add up the bits and pieces of your day so you can see the whole effect. Due to my background as a Home Ec teacher I see each day as a cake I am making. If you pull out all the ingredients for baking a cake; flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking soda, raw egg etc and examine and taste each one you might find yourself getting discouraged. Most of the ingredients that make a great tasting cake don’t taste very good by themselves. If you based your actions on this taste test you might give up. That’s “watering the problem” or focusing on the negative and not considering that it has a benefit in the big picture. If you stop now you won’t get the end result you want of a delicious cake for dessert. So you move forward in faith and proceed to make the recipe as directed. You trust as you put this “nasty” mixture into round pans that this is right. You further take a leap of faith when you place these pans into an oven so hot you have to use potholders or risk getting burned! Each and every step by itself looks more like failure than success…slimy raw egg, mouth drying flour, bitter vanilla and burning oven…all look “bad” to our untrained eye.

Our life is like that. Do what comes up next to do and trust in the BIG picture. You will get what you want, especially if you keep your focus on the goal. By focusing on the goal we are led along the path to its location. The path is not the goal but the path is necessary to achieve the goal….no matter how many nasty turns the path takes. It all adds up to the success we want. Trust this!

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach

Home Away From Home

Having our Home Space decorated, organized and maintained in the manner that serves us best is vital to our happiness and well being; not only in our home but in our day-to-day life as well. I tend to travel a great deal as I often take contract temp jobs to supplement my income. Some weeks I travel to a different office every day. I also love taking short day trips or close to home “stay-cations.” No matter where I go whether it is for a single day or an Home Officeovernight stay, I need to feel empowered and comfortable so this means I need to have a solid hold on what it takes to make me feel “at home” away from home.

I have a little practice I do before I go on a trip or to work at a temp job. I learned the hard way that if I don’t prepare I will miss something that I need because I have taken it presence for granted. This happens  because I am so used to having whatever it  is handy in my home or home office space. Live and learn. These tips work for going on vacation or for any other time you are taking up space in a temporary environment.

Tips to Being  “At Home” on Location-

  • Grab a notebook and pen
  • Get quiet in a room by yourself where you can concentrate
  • Sit in a comfortable chair and visualize your time away from home in your mind
  • Using the notebook I will go through my days activities, listing what I may encounter such as…”cold office, casual jean dress code” or  if it is a vacation I will list the days and events like “afternoon tea, amusement park rides etc.” This activity list will start the process of prompting my mind to know what I might need to be comfortable in each kind of environment
  • Next I begin to list the items I’d like to have handy that are usually found in my home (like the chair pillow, tissues, hand cream etc)
  • I will break up my time in three parts  – Morning, Day and Evening for vacation or for a job I call it Snacks, Lunch, Misc needs

This actually takes more than one session to get correctly because we really do tend to just assume what we need will be “there” for us because we make sure it is in our homes. I have found that once I am focused on the away-time list I will think of things as I go through my day and jot them down.

For my temp jobs I have a notebook and a section for each of the companies I do repeat work for and the list of what I need for each job. I also have a general list of needs. Having done this once and updated it when needed I don’t have to do the visualization tip anymore. I have it covered. It’s only when a new element is introduced that I have to readjust. Then the day or night before I am to leave for a job or vacation I gather everything up even pre-pack it if I can. I will also leave myself a list of last minute items to add on my refrigerator just in case I have to leave in a rush.

I know a few frequent travelers who actually purchase duplicates of what they need so their traveling suitcase stays partially packed and ready for the next trip. This reminds me of William Wrigley Jr. of the Wrigley gum fortune. We have a Wrigley mansion in Phoenix , AZ where I live and once when I was on a tour of the mansion I learned he had about 5 of these homes all over the world, designed and decorated the same so he and his family would feel at home no matter what location in the world they were visiting.

I hope this helps you the next time you need to make a satellite location your “home away from home.”

till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach

New Home Blues

You’ve just moved into your new dream home/apartment – Congratulations!! How are you doing? Is everything wonderful?
If you find that even though you got everything you wanted you don’t feel like you did, in fact you have moments where you feel wiped out and depressed, then you are in good company. This happens to all of us no matter how well we plan or how much help we have.You see moving is very similar to re-potting a house plant. No matter how careful you are, there are going to be repercussions to the activity of moving your “roots” And what does a new house plant that has been re-potted need first? It needs rest or in our case “to give it a rest.”

Gardenshop -1We live in a world where we can get most of what we want instantly and we think this should be the case no matter what we want next. But with a move of our Home Space we are also moving our Body Space and our Life Energy Space not to mention our mental space has shifted as well. It simply takes time for our “roots” to find their footing in this new space we have settled into. Our furnishings look and feel different, even our clothes look different when we put them on and dress for the day. We can’t find the items we used to just reach automatically for like a fork or our hair dryer. It takes time to settle into our new “digs” and we need to give ourselves all the time and space we need to settle in. We will adjust as we go along. Sometimes we can’t tell where an item should go until we live in the space for awhile, and once we are well rested bright ideas can emerge.

It usually takes me three months from the day I move into a new place before I find that it feels like “home” to me. Interestingly enough that is just like a re-potted plant. They first have to rest, then they begin to reestablish their roots in the new soil and space. Then once they feel acclimated they will begin to send out new shoots or even bloom – their version of being and feeling “at home” with their new space.

I have a favorite quote by Susan Strasberg I use when I find myself getting impatient with life…
You can’t push the wave onto the shore any faster than the ocean brings it in.”

Here are my Tuesday Tips for Healing the New Home Blues:

  • Go ahead take a break.
  • Stop and congratulate yourself on your new home – Celebrate!!
  • Pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you achieved to get yourself set up there.
  • Stop looking at what inst’ done and note all you did get done
  • Take some time to get to know this new space and “make friends” with it.
  • Stretch out and try on different spots for your furnishings
  • Nurture and nourish yourself with good food.
  • Postpone those “show and tell” open-house parties until you feel up to them.

Have PATIENCE and over time you will find the blues have left and you feel your new house has become the sanctuary you had hoped for. Enjoy your new “digs”

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Moving Can Be Fun!

No, I haven’t lost my mind, well not completely that is-ha! Yes, moving CAN be fun but in order for this to happen you must keep your sense of humor and your mind open. So I have gathered a few of the best tips I have used over the years to make moving fun. Moving Day

Tips for Moving Fun!

  1. Take excellent care of yourself during the process-do what it takes to keep your mood even and uplifted. Listen to fun happy music if that works for you. Keeping your energy in top form is the first tip to having a fun moving experience.
  2. Don’t skimp on sleep or over work yourself.
  3. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking a glass of water every hour. Keep the caffeine and sugar to a minimum and never use it to “burn the midnight oil” or you will regret it later.
  4. Before you begin the process of packing and sorting- stock your refrigerator with great food you love. If stocking your refrigerator is not a possibility (due to the move) then make a list of all your favorite take-out foods. Gather all their phone numbers and and menus and post them on or near the refrigerator for easy use when hunger strikes.
  5. Keep easy to grab fruit handy for long lasting energy – apples, bananas and almonds are a good choice.
  6. Also be sure to treat yourself to regular sit down meals. Pause and take a breath and restore your energy and clear you mind.

Now that you have quality self care taken care of, its time to pre-organize the move itself (as much as you can)

Tips for Creating A Moving Plan

  • Get a calendar you can write on and begin listing any deadlines you must meet.
  • Take a large legal size notepad and begin by listing all the things you know you have to do. I like to start at the end and work back. For instance I will put “Last Day – movers drive boxes to the new space and unload.” Then I ask myself what has to happen in order for this day to be a success and I create a total list from packing to cleaning to painting the new space first if possible.
  • Once you have your list of items all flushed out, begin to prioritize them and when you can, go ahead and on your calendar assign a day for each one to be accomplished – doing this gets that item off of you mind and you will sleep better and have much less stress -which is fun. 🙂
  • When you assign each detail to be done on a given day you then free up your mind to enjoy each day’s task without having overwhelm.

All of the tips I have listed will empower you for when the inevitable surprises and glitches (life is full of them) occur. Even though your plan won’t happen exactly “as planned” it will allow you to compartmentalize all the details and have greater success and peace of mind overall.

I wish you all the best in your next move!!

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!

I found this post from last year that is still meaningful today so in keeping with the holiday energy of “time off” I will re-post it today. party lights
As you know, this blog is all about how we take up space in the world… our very own personal space and today I became aware of how much our history our unique collection of personal experiences affect the space we fill in the present moment.

I spent the last day of 2013 in typical for me fashion; I stayed up till midnight, toasted the New Year and then slept in until late morning. As I made plans to watch the Rose Bowl Parade (which I recorded on my DVR knowing I wouldn’t be awake for it live) and prepared a favorite New Year’s Day brunch, I scanned through the TV channels to find something to listen to while I prepared my meal when I hit upon something that triggered a fond memory of my past personal space expression.

There was a live hockey game called The Winter Classic on NBC and they were playing outdoors in Ann Arbor Michigan which is a stone’s throw away from where I was born and lived my first 14 years. I had to stop and watch as I was totally captivated by the snow falling on the arena and memories flooded my mind. I recalled how often we didn’t get snow for the holidays and how sad that was and a day like this would have been pure magic to my younger self. Playing snow games, building forts, making snow angels etc. There is nothing like hot chocolate on a day like this.

And then I couldn’t stop laughing. My current Arizona self wouldn’t last 15 minutes fully layered in winter gear in that 20 degree weather which they said felt like 4 degrees.
How far I have come to being a true desert rat-ha! Over 40 years of enduring 110 degree summers has left my blood vessels close to my skin surface which keeps me cool in the summer and wreaks havoc on my body if I go where it is cold. I adapted from being able to handle the cold to being able to handle the heat. You can’t have both without time to adjust in the middle which is something like a few seasons for the body to condition to the extreme change.

I no longer have the deeply embedded cells that would keep me warm in cold weather and I admit sheepishly that my teeth will chatter if I am out in 30 degree weather up north. This is something that would never have happened to me in my childhood. I was cold weather adapted back then, now I am desert heat adapted. My body-personal space no longer belongs in a winter Michigan arena watching hockey, but my fond memories do and isn’t that a wonderful thing? To be able to go back in my mind to a happy moment in the snow without getting cold! I marvel at how rich this makes my life to have had such diverse experiences to carry with me into the future. It makes me wonder what will come next? What will be the new fond memories I collect as I embark on the new year ahead? What adventures await I wonder.

Happy 2015 New Year to you all! I hope you are filled with happy memories that you carry with you wherever your current personal space takes you. It is all a part of making you who you are; own it all and love it all and build new fond memories as you go along!

Blessings to everyone reading this post now and in the future!
Your Personal Space Coach©


The Inner Holiday

The Winter Holidays are loaded with sensationalism; music, color, lights, gifts, food and nonstop commercials to buy this or that. With all this activity it can be difficult to remember that the holiday season is really only happening inside of us!! No matter what events are going on around us, our only experience of it is how we process it inside of ourselves. The power for how we mark this time of year (happy, sad, chaotic, peaceful etc.) is not up to Toys R Us, JC Penney or Martha Stewart. It’s not up to your mother, your friends, the local church, your Rabbi or your neighbors. It is only up to you. If you were to time travel to Christmas Day in any previous year and visit a church and you could hear the thoughts of those in attendance, you’d find that no two people were hearing or thinking the same exact thing, even though the minister was in the throes of a really moving sermon!

Inner LightOur senses act as personal filters for everything going on around us. Our thoughts and beliefs tell us how we feel about what we are experiencing. For example someone could be ecstatic and profuse in their thanks to you for the gift you just gave them, but if you perceive a look in their eyes as rejection you won’t’ believe their gratitude and then you won’t’ feel good about the experience. It’s our power alone to filter what comes across our path. We get to choose what to think, and what to feel in every moment. No one can control us for they don’t live inside of us. No one is in our minds or our hearts or lives behind our eyes but us.

No matter what happens in your life this time of year you can choose to make peace with whatever happens. You do this by keeping yourself centered and present in the NOW moment and play it by ear. Also remember you are fully self-empowered.  Bear in mind that plans are just that PLANS; not events taking place in the current moment and plans can and will be changed so remain open to this and flex with what does happen next. Be okay with what comes next and the right response will occur to your now open mind. This is how to maintain the feeling of peace inside, which you can choose no matter what is going on outside of you. Remember happiness is a choice so decide to choose it over and over and over again and your holiday season will be wonderful!

Here is a list of what I do when I feel my center shift and my spirits dip….

 How To Establish and Maintain Your Power Center:

  • Meet your needs yourself!! Yah, you heard me. If you want something a certain way go make it happen. Don’t expect others to know what you want or when you want it. Remember who lives behind your eyes and empower yourself to meet your needs. This way you won’t feel let down. If you do feel upset walk to a mirror and look at the only person capable of fixing it your way. Cool huh?
  • If you do get knocked off center and get your feelings hurt or find yourself angry or worried you may need to give yourself some space and time. This will give you time to process what triggered you. Sometimes just writing down what happened and reminding yourself of what’s true can help. A big truth that can help is to remember nothing stays the same, “this too shall pass.”
  • Also a good cry can clean the slate. Or get a pillow and whack it against your bed and shout out your anger. This can be a healthy outlet and relief for anger. Then step back and see where you might be mad at yourself. I have never found anger at another to be anything other than anger at myself; which at the core was usually by a choice I made.
  • If it is a blue mood you have try an activity that cheers you up. I actually color in a coloring book from time to time. Yah, I know I am in my 50’s, so what? Ha! I also have a few songs that never fail to lift my mood. These are not holiday songs, that could make you feel worse.
  • This last one I want to mention is one you could try first for it is super simple and highly effective. To stop the negative train of thought – take a look around were you are in that moment. You are looking around to find something to be truly grateful for. It can be on you or around you. Maybe you love your shoes that day or you are grateful the sky is sunny. Keep it simple. Make it a game and see how many things you can find to be grateful for in that moment and soon the upset will have dissolved like magic! That’s how you know it was an illusion in the first place by how quickly it can be eliminated.

So give these tips a try this holiday season if you find you need a boost, then let me know how they worked for you.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Holiday Traditions

Do you like the winter holiday season or do you try to avoid it at all costs? I’ve done both.

Winter Holiday CelebrationsJust because this time of year is full of holiday energy doesn’t mean “life” won’t get in the way. One year I went through a divorce, another I got laid off, and on a third (I wrote about that one in “Gifts of Personal Intent”) I had no money to even buy a tree much less gifts. In hindsight I have to say these experiences all helped me get to the place I am today; thrilled when this “season” rolls around. The funny thing is I don’t think I have ever been happier. In years past the “joy” was more a feeling of relief at having achieved some impossible goal, or getting gifts that proved someone loved me after all. (I told you I had issues-ha.) What started as a serious religious Catholic upbringing, followed by being a Sunday school teacher and becoming a “Martha Stewart” of the holidays having more than 25 people to dinner, evolved into ignoring the holiday, then reinventing it and now I just do what I want when I want attitude-I just go with the flow, and I am happier than I have ever been during the holiday season with or without a fat bank account!

This metamorphosis has evolved me. It showed me what I truly value and appreciate. And as a personal space advocate I wholeheartedly encourage you to do the same; claim this holiday season your own way. It may take a few years of trial and error but I guarantee you will feel so much better standing up for yourself than you have felt bowing to societal pressure. A word of advice though if you do try to ignore it; remember it is still going on and plan ahead  because it will find you, either in music, TV shows or crowded stores. I ventured out one Black Friday completely forgetting what “the natives” were doing that day. Needless to say I went back home when I couldn’t even park my car for my regular-life food errand. Lesson learned. Like a chipmunk I plan ahead and note the days to stay away from where the crowds will be.

Now before you think I am a scrooge let me tell you that never happened to me but it could have. My “holiday issues” instead sent me to claim them for myself in an authentic “Ginger way“- not the commercialized or religious rules way. Each year is different for me because my number one self imposed rule is to be spontaneous. A few activities tend to repeat themselves and I realize that they are my “deal breakers,” the things I love best; such as baking cookies, listening to holiday music, and giving thoughtful gifts.

I keep myself open to celebrate any or all of the winter holidays depending on how I feel in the moment. Last year (2013) I celebrated Hanukkah. I thought it was too magical to pass up when it started on Thanksgiving Day. So I did some research to learn about this Jewish celebration of light, adapted the ritual to my own spirituality, made a “menorah” with white pillar candles and marked the eight days my own way. Some years I celebrate St Nicholas Day which is December 6th. This holiday is a German tradition and the day they start their holiday cookie baking. My children and I love to mark Christmakkah (from the TV show The OC) and Festivus (from the TV show “Seinfeld”) because of their humorous twist to the season. If you don’t have humor life isn’t much fun, so we make sure to keep our sense of humor intact no matter how stressful this time of year can be. I have a special feeling for the change of seasons and Winter Solstice is the biggest event of the year for me. This is usually the day I make a holiday feast and have loved ones over for a gift exchange. Some years we exchange gifts on New Year’s Day to celebrate the successes of the last year and wish each other the best in the new. I haven’t tried out Kwanza yet but I will one day. I love all holidays!! I love celebrating and learning about the traditions of different cultures; for me it makes for a richer life.

In the meantime I take it day by day and feel my way through the holiday season doing what feels best. One year my daughter had to have surgery so all plans were halted till the New Year. Life happens. I’ve learned to accept and enjoy what is. There is NO pressure to perform on a certain day or to make a particular favorite treat. If the music drives me nuts I put on a CD of something I want in that moment.

The point I want to make here is; do what YOU like, when you like and how you like to do it and remember that happiness is a choice. Start each day and say “what would I love to do today?” and do that!!

Enjoy the Holidays your way!

I’d love to hear how you celebrate.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©


The Ability to Adapt

Nature and humans have both been blessed with the ability to adapt. With nature it’s just the way of things, adapting is a part of natural evolution and is done instinctively. Evolution just happens, there is no thought, and no lessons learned, no achievements won, it just flows naturally. It happens so slowly it often goes unnoticed. With humans however, it happens more as a choice but not always. Sometimes adapting happens automatically for us as well, whether we want to or not.

Humans adapt both on a personal level and on a collective level.  For instance collectively humans no longer live in caves or use horses for travel. On an individual level adapting can happen slowly, as in growing from baby to child, teen to adult etc. or it can happen suddenly with a bang!  Falling in love or having a sudden death in the family can suddenly alter us by changing how we think and live. We also evolve spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Things that made you angry as a 3rd grader on the ball field wouldn’t even catch your attention today as an adult. We call it growth, but that’s just what evolution is; growth on the largest scale possible…the entire Universe is in a constant state of evolution-growth.

Adapting is a part of life, there is no way out of it. The only difference between our method of adapting and the natural world is that we tend to do our adapting kicking and screaming. This happens mostly because we have judged what we are going through as “wrong” and somehow avoidable. We think life is in our individual control and it isn’t. What is in our individual control – our personal space – we tend to ignore. Instead we look outside of our power center and try to “fix” the world which of course isn’t even broken in the first place. Only our view of it is.

How Adaptable Are You?

  • Do you have ridged set beliefs or are you more “open-minded” going with the flow?
  • If you can’t get what you want for lunch do you skip eating or choose something else?
  • On your regular route to work there is a traffic jam, do you sit and wait it out or try a different route?
  • Do you have a set daily routine that if it is interrupted puts you into a bad mood, or do you just go with the flow and adjust?
  • Do you get upset when your favorite brand is discontinued in the store, or just shrug and try the new product offered?

These are just a few simple ways we are called upon to adapt every day. I imagine you can think of many more. The point I am trying to make here is how easily and flexible do we “bend with the wind” of the current moment vs. stand rigid and unbending? I have found for myself it depends on the day, and how well I have slept. Usually I struggle a little and then I get with the program and adapt more willingly. To be honest I tend to be one of the “kicking and screaming” types but as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I have learned I am happier if I am more flexible. What has been your experience? Which way gives you the best energy: being adaptable or sticking to your guns?

‘till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©