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Say goodbye to My Sunlit Studio but HELLO to my new site!

28 Mar

http://www.patriciapattison.com

Dear everyone,

Hello!  As you can tell by the title of this post, I have decided it was time to leave My Sunlit Studio and start a new website.  I chose to do this so I could start to offer more content in the different ways I wanted to and on a platform that works best for me.  This has been in the works for a LONG time so I am super pumped about the move.

I started this blog in November of 2009 because I loved the idea of having my own little space in the world to throw ideas on to.  My first post was about my cake decorating class and my classes at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  From then I chronicled my various creative endeavors, my yoga training, my move to the south, and my health and nutrition interests.  You saw my YouTube endeavors from the start and even then stuck with me!  It has been close to 6 years (!!!omigoodness!!!) that I started this site and in that time I allowed myself the chance to find and express my authentic voice that was dying to come out.  Now I am ready to change things up to go in a direction that I am so excited about!

Thanks to everyone who stumbled upon this site and read my posts!  Thanks to everyone for your comments!  Thank you to all who subscribed and chose to follow this blog because you found something that resonated with you!  Thanks to WordPress for being an awesome host!

I hope you will join me at the new site http://www.patriciapattison.com where I look forward to  providing you with amazing content.  Can’t wait to hear from you in 2015 and beyond!

Looking forward to seeing you at the new chapter 🙂

XOXO,

Patricia

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Why feeling gross after the holiday can be awesome.

4 Dec

I think there is a misconception about me floating around that I am SUPER Healthy 100% of the time and an exercise fanatic.  This is pretty funny because when asked what size cake I want I always say “Big”.  I really do try my best a lot of the time.  But my favorite food is still a good cheeseburger (not the fast-food variety anymore). I will skip exercise for several days at a time while I slowly get addicted to chocolate chip cookies for lunch.  And when I begin to back slide I don’t care so much while it’s happening.  So of course I had zero qualms during the Thanksgiving holiday of doing just that.  I don’t like to be restrictive when I am relaxing and celebrating with family or friends so planned to happily eat and drink what was served.  I had a great time!  No schedule, no green drinks, no rules.

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But when we came home Sunday I wanted to clean up a bit.  I had gone a little overboard and was feeling lethargic, unmotivated and not ready for the upcoming week.  At this point I know how to pull myself out of a health rut so I reached in to my arsenal of healthy habits and chose the ones that would help me the most.  They involved selecting salads for meals, drinking lots of water, going to bed early, waking up early and of course, going to yoga.  The first yoga class I planned to attend was on Monday night at my favorite Hot Yoga studio. A hot room the day after Thanksgiving weekend at 6 pm, a VERY popular time of day when yoga classes across the triangle are packed in tight.  “Don’t push yourself too hard,” our instructor warned the full room.  “It does get hot in here especially with so many of us.  And,” she said knowingly, “a lot of you are probably taking your first class after the holiday.  So go slow.”  Ugh. Noted.

Class began and I started to move.  Then I started to sweat. Then I started to shrivel like a leaf under a jar.  My arms tingled, my stomach turned.  I felt every drop of wine I drank, every beer I downed, every chocolate treat I chewed and every third helping move through my body. I took a short break and when I started up again I began to feel pissed off.  Pissed off that I felt gross, that it was so hot, that I was sweating so much, that I didn’t get an extra towel to wipe my face. Pissed off that I couldn’t do any of the fun moves she suggested that I would normally do but couldn’t pull off that night. I took another break.  Joined back in. Break. Join. Break.  And when I joined the last time, I finally started to smile.  I started to enjoy the class.  I was sweating and loving it, I was laughing when the teacher made jokes and when the class was over I felt well,  joyous!  I drove home completely drenched in my sweat and exclaimed to the person who wasn’t with me, “That was so awesome, I’m so glad I went!” I was so happy to see yet again, why I love practicing living a healthy life.  It feels awesome to make my health important and to notice the difference that my choices make in how I feel.  Every choice I make, matters. By choosing to make a plan for the week, to go to yoga, to keep joining back in with the class that I was committing to myself.  Yes I was pissed off during part of the class but isn’t that part of the dance? You constantly fight what you know is best for you.  You continually choose to sit out and then join back in. And when you join back in you have to choose if you are going to burn through resistance or cave to it.  You choose despite any doubts and insecurities to arrive back to where you remember who you are and why your choices matter.


Every time I get off the health wagon and then climb back on I am reaffirmed of how the small choices along with the big choices add up and have big impacts.  So I am committing to feeling good this month.  I am choosing each day to take care of myself because I realized yet again that my choices matter.  That I can choose to make a change when I need to and keep going to burn through any resistances I have. I can arrive back to where I remember how to take care of myself and why it matters to me.  So yes, I may not always be the healthiest version of myself.  But I can always make a choice to indulge the healthiest version of myself and do the work and make the decisions that I know are better for me.  And guess what?  So can you!

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p.s. So, my family wanted a yoga class on Thanksgiving morning.  I didn’t do any with them since I was working with them but it still warmed my heart!

The most gorgeous sleep you have ever had.

8 Aug

I was recently explaining to my brother about why I needed to throw a plastic owl out of my bedroom.  “It’s this big ceramic owl whose eyes are perfectly round and wide-awake looking and when I’m trying to sleep, I don’t want this insomniac looking owl staring at me. I feel like it’s keeping me awake just by being in the room.”  He shook his head and replied:  “It’s amazing to me that someone who lived in New York City can be so affected by a fake owl in their bedroom.”  Fair.  At one point I lived on 57th and 7th, down the street from a Sheraton who’s doorman blew his cab whistle  all through the night.  The noise then was normal to me.  Then I moved here.

The owl in question.  Can you blame me?

The owl in question. Can you blame me?

My personality can teeter on the anxious side but I keep it so hidden that I almost don’t notice it myself. My mind can be going all day long and my heart can hurt a little bit when I become stressed (true story).  Since noticing this about myself I have learned several techniques to manage my stress levels.  From meditating to The Morning Pages to not listening to the radio while I drive and other bizarre-to-you, necessary-to-me things.  Because as it turns out stress has a HUGE effect on how well I sleep and if it affects me I am certain that it affects some of you as well.  Here are some other  things that play a key role in keeping me awake at night:

1 – Copious amounts of screen time before bed.  TV’s Computers, Phones, tablets, LOUD MOVIES (this is a biggie), Marathons of the Real Housewives of Orange County etc. This habit can easily lead to….

2 – Sporadic bed times:  Going to bed at 10:30, then 1am, the 1:30 am then 2am, etc. When you stay up late the next morning you need…

3 – An abundance of caffeine:  coffee anyone? 1 cup?  How about three giant cups each morning?

And the cycle continues.

I am not alone here.  I often see on Facebook the tales of people and their insomnia.  “I can’t sleep!” they proclaim to the ether with the 3:30 am time-stamp marking their announcement.   And I truly feel for these people.  Not getting enough sleep and not being able to sleep is stressful in itself.  You become drained and lethargic.  Your days drag on with you at 56% on your game with dreams of finding your bed.  You come home, nap….and then at 10:30 pm you can’t sleep.  Then midnight rolls around, 1am…you get the idea. It’s a cycle.

We are taught to sleep by our parents.  And for you parents out there I am sure you spent some time training your children to sleep the same way our parents or guardians taught us to sleep when we were babies.  So if there are books and articles and endless internet info that show us how to train infants – why shouldn’t we be able to retrain ourselves to fall asleep?  If we are really honest with ourselves we haven’t been giving our sleep the true attention it needs.  Our habits are most likely the biggest reason a majority can not sleep well at night.

So last month as I began to fall into a pattern of staying up late, distracting myself from going to bed, waking up groggy, unhappy and stressed I thought to myself, “This sucks. It’s not working. And I know better.”

So here are my top 5, Sleep Better Now tips that can help you out of your predicament.  Prop up your droopy eyelids and read the next few paragraphs to find your next full night of Zzzz’s.

1.Turn off your devices an hour before you go to bed.

I have the most to say about this tip because I feel it is the MOST important of all.  You must turn off your devices.  ALL of them. TV’s, iPad, Smartphones, Nooks, Computers, etc.

Our beloved gadgets that light up so conveniently are one of the biggest detractors of our sleep.  These gadgets emit a blue light which replicates morning light ie sunrise, daytime, etc.  And guess what blue light does?  It signals our brain that, hey!  It’s morning!  Time to wake up!  Our brain doesn’t decipher between the morning rays of the sun and the bluish glow of a screen so it responds in the way its supposed to – keeping us awake to face “the day”.  When your brain receives this signal at 11pm, it can and will keep you awake for longer than necessary.

Not only does the light keep us awake, but the shows we watch before bed can do the same.  Hitting the sack immediately after watching the news or any other show that gets your heartbeat racing and blood pressure high will also mess with your sleep, sending out stress hormones that will keep you awake.  Need to use your phone as your alarm clock?  Go to the dollar store today and buy yourself an actual alarm clock.  Keeping the phone by our bed tempts us to reach for it in the middle of the night and check out the latest video on Vine or see if we got a response from that person yet (what’s taking them so long?!).  As for “needing the TV on to fall asleep” – trust me, you don’t.  Turn that thing off to fall asleep.  Because i promise you it is not helping no matter how many arguments you have for its benefits.  I’ve seen enough family members have an amazing nights sleep without a TV on after using a TV to fall asleep every night to know that is a futile crutch.  Turn off the TV.  I repeat – TURN OFF THE TV.

 What do you do with all of that free time in between turning off the devices and going to bed?  Maybe you will pick up a magazine or a book, maybe you will talk to your family members and maybe – just maybe you will start to get sleepy like you are supposed to, and fall asleep!  But you won’t know what will happen until you try.  So stop the grumbling and the “I need this or that by my side at all times” excuses and give your sleep a chance.  Trust me. I want you to sleep better and this is one of the biggest things you can do improve your chances of doing just that.

2.  Monitor your water intake after 7pm.

If you are a person who wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom – it’s time to adjust your water intake.  This does not mean you lower it.  It means that you practice drinking more during the day and less at night.  Downing a big glass right before you fall asleep can trigger the bladder functions at inopportune hours, dragging you into the bathroom at 4am and back to bed where sleep evades you.  Start drinking less water after 6pm and more during the day and your chances of waking up in the middle of the night by bathroom urges have decreased by just that much.

3.  Keep a notebook by your bed to write out distracting thoughts.

It is not uncommon for worries about the next day to keep people awake at night.  Or even worries about events that happened that same day.  Having a notebook by your bed can be the best way to get those thoughts out of your head and on to paper where they no longer interfere with your sleep.  Keeping a notebook and a pen next to your bed will allow you to reach for them after you crawl into bed and write – to do lists, thoughts about the next day, things that pissed you off  and anything else that needs to be expressed.  The act of pen to paper is a way of processing those events, getting them out of your head, even planning for the following day.  When I free write I tend to come up with solutions on paper that I never would have thought of had I just been stewing about them. It frees up that part of the brain that was so busy thinking about them, allows time for processing and at the end helps you to achieve a greater sense of peace – which is what you are striving for right before you go to sleep.

4.  Manage your bed time.  I follow the Ayurvedic principles of Kapha, Pitta and Vata when I need to manage my sleep.  Kapha time is from 6am – 10am and is the slower, sleepy time of day when we are just getting started.  Pitta time is between 10 – 2pm, when the body gets going and is incidentally, the best time to eat lunch because the “digestive fires” are at work, allowing you to process your food most efficiently in the day.  Then, 2 – 6pm is Vata time where you are most creative and alert (which explains why I always dream of painting in the middle of my work day).  This cycle begins again at 6pm.   So from 6pm-10pm is Kapha time round 2, the slower time of the evening where we are home, having dinner, winding down.  To be in bed by 10pm is ideal because the slow, Kapha qualities of the time of day assist you in dozing off.  Then from 10pm-2am, Pitta time rolls back around who’s fiery qualities can make it difficult to fall asleep.  Have you ever woken up suddenly between 2am – 6am?  This is the second round of Vata time, when your dreams are running amuck and you are most prone to wake up suddenly in the middle of the night.  So if you want to get really serious about sleeping, remember these principles when you plan your bed-time.  Working with the natural rhythms of the day can be HUGE when managing sleep.

5.  Ease up on the caffeine,  At the beginning of the year I began drinking coffee again.  It was so cold outside and the drink so nice and warm and sweet that I happily fell in into the lovely habit.  But I remember saying to my friend, “I’ve been drinking coffee since the beginning of the year and I feel like crap.”  I didn’t stop drinking it but kept on because I felt like I could handle it.  And I could.  Until I couldn’t anymore.  I felt anxious and stressed and was having trouble sleeping at night.  I knew that my coffee habit was part of it.  If you are an insomniac, nights of not sleeping can lead to mornings full of coffee to get you going – or so you think.  Coffee doesn’t borrow a store of energy that you have.  It creates an unsustainable energy that you do not actually have available to use.  So when you crash from the coffee, you need more to keep going because underneath the buzz – you are still tired!  Since I know coffee is a thing beloved by many, I will give this piece of advice.  If you are having trouble sleeping, reduce your coffee intake by one cup this week.  And stop drinking it after 3pm.  See what happens.  Your body is your science experiment and coffee is always a fun one to play with.  It will be worth it if you can fall asleep that much easier after slowly reducing your caffeine intake.  Oh and that’s not just coffee:  It’s soda, energy drinks, caffeinated teas.  Keep that in mind.  And keep your intake of all of them low to zero!

So what does your night look like after implementing all of these habits?  You reconsider that cup of coffee at 4pm.  You conscientiously stop your water intake after 6pm.  You intentionally turn off your devices by 9pm.  Maybe you read a magazine, talk to your roommates, family members, start getting ready for bed, read a book, etc.  You crawl into bed between 10:00 – 11pm and if you still feel distracted and restless you reach for your notebook and write down the things that are keeping you awake.  Ta da!  You have a new sleep routine ready to implement.

I can not stress the importance of sleep on your mind and body.  Your body is the container that you experience life through and giving it the rest it needs is crucial.  Make time for your sleep.  It rejuvenates our body for the next day, improves our memory, keeps our heart rate down, allows us to perform better at work, school or sports, everything.  When you get a good night’s sleep your body is ready for the paces you put it through during the day.  I know from first hand experience what its like to  fight going to bed earlier, fight turning off the computer earlier, etc.  But every time I practice these habits I realize that they work! And I also know that I don’t do these perfectly all of the time.  I really don’t.  I stay up late watching documentaries about food, scroll through Pinterest pinning sequined purses, the whole deal.  But the difference is that now that I know exactly what I am doing, what the result will be and what I can do to correct myself and put myself back on track.  I recognize the bad habits, become aware of the patterns and know that I can have a hand in changing them.


I see people suffering from sleepless nights and lamenting their ability to sleep well and want them to find the rest they need.  Try these methods out and even store them away for future use, share with your friends or family who need it.  More than anything I hope at least one of these tips will help you start getting the sleep you need to wake up tomorrow and start to experience your best possible day!

XO,

Patricia

**BONUS TIP:  Do you sleep with a fan trained on your head?  Do you also suffer from shoulder/back problems?  The wind blowing on your head at night will have you unconsciously clench your shoulders up to your ears while you sleep because the wind from the fan is making you cold as you snooze (yes, even though you are covered in blankets).  This can result in tight shoulder and back muscles.  If you need white noise, turn the fan in the other direction. You may cut down on your colds with this method too!

 

Here’s to your parents!

30 May

When I was 25 I made an announcement to my friends. “I’m moving to New York.” I said proudly. I remember sitting around a table, eating tater-tots on a Saturday night, drinking beer and margaritas and having zero responsibility to deal with. My friends congratulated me and we lamented how our fun times would end but got excited about the idea of them coming to visit.

25 and having a ball.

25 and having a ball.

 

After being in New York for a few years, I was making great money, having a fabulous time, living in my own apartment, running around with friends, sitting at VIP tables, getting into exclusive nightclubs and – you know, being a 30-something in New York.

I often think about my parents in a context, what were their lives like when they were my age?  What were they doing when they were 25, 28, 35 years old? What were their lives like? Quite different from mine, I can tell you that. At 25 my mom was raising two children in a country where she was learning the language. She was thousands of miles away from her friends and her family, her sisters and her known way of life. My dad was with her, a young groom and also thousands of miles away from his family and friends and figuring out how to be a doctor in the US. Together they navigated Oklahoma while they wrestled with the mysteries of the washing machine (“The clothes are GONE!”), tornadoes, and doing their best to make their lives work with what they knew from growing up. When my mom turned 30, she had 2 children and a 1 week old baby. Her and my father were then living  in Florida where my dad was working his ass off, opening his practice and doing what he could to make things work for him and his family. By the time she was 35 and he was 41, they were in the process of separating.  A few years later they would be divorced.

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I LOVE this picture!

Quite a different experience from my life I would say.

I hear a lot, and have heard a lot, of people talking about their parents and the ways that they were raised. Some people lament the things they wish their parents had done or said. Some wish their parents had never said that one thing that still pisses them off  today. Some people do not even speak to their parents. The relationship itself is so complicated that I can’t even sit here and tell you the nuances of parent to child. I just can’t. But a majority of people feel or have felt that one of both of their parents failed them in some way, big or small. As kids we have an ideal of our parents. We expect them to be super parents. We expect their unconditional love, their wisdom to be imparted on us at a moments notice, their unwavering support, their praises of us sung to us at just the right times. And why wouldn’t they do those things – they’re our PARENTS! Right!? But oftentimes, this doesn’t happen the way we expect. Sometimes parents don’t live up to our ideals of them, whether in a big way or a small way. And when we see that they don’t live up to our ideals we begin to wonder – and resent. Why didn’t they do this for me, why didn’t they tell me this when I needed to hear it, why did they make me do that, why did they say that, didn’t they know how it made me feel? How dare they treat me that way! How could my mom/dad do that to me – I’m their CHILD!  We are appalled to see them for who they are – normal, everyday people.

When you were born your parents were  not handed a book titled “PARENTS – DO THIS, NOT THAT”. I think about my parents lives a lot and the choices that they had to make, the way they must have felt at different times in their lives when big changes were happening. And I wonder – what would I have done if I was in their shoes? What choices would I make when I was 23 about getting married and moving to another country, what would I decide when I was 29 about having a 3rd baby, what would I have felt if I was in the middle of a divorce, right now, with 3 kids? What decisions would I make? How would I feel? I mean, I don’t know anything. I’m just winging it over here myself except I don’t have children depending on me to keep it together, depending on me to be an amazing support system, earth mother, all-knowing father, always saying the right thing, never be mad, to be understanding at all times. The amount of patience one has to have must be crippling. I mean, I get annoyed when our cats wake us up every morning to feed them. I can’t even IMAGINE what it would be like being a parent. I have to laugh out loud just thinking about that comparison! And what about THEIR parents? What did our grandparents teach them about raising children? Nothing. They did the best they could too. And from what you hear, they were strict you better believe it! Our grandparents were some serious people to contend with, weren’t they. Can you imagine growing up with your grandparents? Our parents can.  Sure they are awesome and wonderful now but as emotional adults well – who knows what they had to contend with. We can only imagine.

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The grandchildren at the time with our beautiful Abuela.

I think that seeing our parents as ordinary people is one of the most important steps to take on the road to being an adult. Seeing them as mere mortals instead of super-parents can be a huge relief. You can lose any expectations you have on them to be Super-Mom or Super-Dad. You can let go of any resentments you had about what they did or didn’t do because really, they were just doing the best they could with what they knew. The same way you do every day in your own life.   And you can stop thinking of yourself as that little kid, that child who was hurt or surprised or sad for any reason. Because you are not a child anymore. Your parents work is done. Finished. You are an adult now. You don’t have to expect anything from them. You can be grateful for  the wonderful things they did for you.  You can say, “I am so lucky for what I had.”  Or you can say, “This was what I had – and it shaped me as an adult.”  You can let go of anything that holds you back from feeling like the adult you are. You can hope for a wonderful new friendship between lifelong friends because its pretty likely they will be around for a while. If you have kids now, you can appreciate what it must have been like for your parents in an entirely new way. But there is no reason to not  finally step back, take a look at the big picture and say to yourself, “Thanks mom and dad, for what you did. I am who I am because of it.”

 

Dear God,
Please bless my parents.
Thank You, thank them for the life they gave me.
For the ways they helped me and made me strong, I give thanks.
For the ways they stumbled and held me back, please help me to forgive them and receive Your compensation.
May their spirits be blessed, their roads forward made easy.
Please release them, and release me, from my childhood now gone by.
Release us also from any bitterness I still hold.
They paved the way, in all that they did, for where I have been has led me here.
I surrender my parents to the arms of God.
Thank you, dear ones, for your service to me.
Bless your souls.
May your spirits fly free.
May we enter into the relationship God wills for us.
Thank You, Lord, for I am free now.
Glory, hallelujah.
Amen.

-M. Williamson, Illuminata

Princess vs. Queen

24 May
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When I began thinking about writing this post I turned to my fiancé and asked him the following question.  “Do you think women are mean to men?”  “YES!” he said without hesitation.  Ouch.  Why I asked?  “Because you guys are mean to each other”. Double ouch.  But that’s true.  And it starts young, doesn’t it ladies. I remember that day in elementary school when I realized that I could not count on some friends to ever be real friends because at any given day they would decide that I had done something wrong and would not talk to me for weeks.
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Also, remember when the movie Steel Magnolias came out and tons of people fell in love with it (and Julia Roberts hair)?  My father however, did not fall in love with the movie.  He said that he didn’t like the way the women spoke about the men that he found it to be degrading to men in general.  At the time I didn’t understand what he meant.  Now I look back on it and can see what he was talking about.
When my fiancé made that statement, my father’s observation of that movie came back to me.  I had seen plenty of times in my life where women were mean to men and talked down to them.  A fine  example of this was when I was living in Orlando and took a day trip with a then friend of mine and her boyfriend to the beach.  Our destination was a sunny spot where other friends and cute boys would be hanging out and drinking beer for the day.  What could be wrong with that?  Plenty.  My friend (who we will call Janet) was a woman who was mean to her boyfriend.  It was well known that Janet really really really wanted to get married and somehow her boyfriend (who we will call Chris) was pissing her off – for not asking her I suppose or not living up to some ideal she had scripted for him.  Chris was perfectly nice if a bit young – aren’t we all at some point?  Janet took many opportunities to belittle Chris in front of me and others, yelling at him for his “Piss Poor Planning” (the gas light on the car came on), raising her finger at him and reminding him that he needed to take one step at a time (when cuddling her and asking her if she wanted a house at the beach one day) and generally being not so nice.  Riding in the car in the dark on the way home was a bit uncomfortable for me because I sincerely didn’t think Chris deserved any of this talk and HELLO!  I was in the car with them.  Now I didn’t know the ins and outs of their relationship but sometimes it doesn’t take much information to know a relationship isn’t going to work out and sure enough, this one ended.
Marianne Williamson is a teacher and lecturer on the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and she often touches upon romantic relationships.  While she does address the way men relate to women she often speaks about the opposite – how we as women tend to relate to and treat men.  Our words she says, are to men what men’s fists are to women.  Women hurt with their words and have a tendency to say such cutting things in the name of fighting to be “right”. I see plenty of examples today through social media, where women write or post pictures and sayings about ex-husbands, men who wronged them.  I often hear men referred to as idiots or stupid.  I am all for people venting their anger and see it as a necessary process in life. But there are times when we can be WAAAAY too indulgent in our feelings and we can seriously hurt loved ones.
One of the many man name-calling items I found online.

One of the many man name-calling items I found online.

There is a time in women’s lives according to Marianne, where women are in our princess phase. Our emotions are high and we are learning how to grasp the unique privilege that is being a woman. Voicing our thoughts and ideas strongly and powerfully in a world where our ideas and thoughts are not often taken seriously, is an important undertaking.  Let me be clear here – there are definitely times when being true to yourself does mean yelling and does mean being loud and angry.  I’m all for the emotional flip out.  But if turning in a frenzy on a loved one or anyone is your most frequent or only method of communication in any of your relationships then its time to learn how to communicate more effectively.  Because let me tell you, if any woman wants to be treated like a Queen in her life, it’s time she stop acting like a Princess.
Earlier in the year I was experiencing much anxiety about our fall wedding.  I sat at my computer and began seething about dates that had gone by, deadlines that were not met, important starting points not decided.  And I began to get angry, mostly at my fiancé for whatever reason.  He was nearbyI suppose? I was ready to start a big temper tantrum about why we hadn’t done this and that and the other.  But then I stopped myself.  Because that would have been the easy way out.  What did I really want to get out of our interaction?  Did I want to make him feel bad about it?  Did I want to tell him it was his fault?  Most of all, did I want him to listen to me?  Because starting a hissy fit would have been a sure way to confuse the poor guy and accomplish nothing. I thought about how I would feel at the end of that scenario and decided that was not the route I wanted to take.  So I went to his desk, sat down next to him and asked him if he had time to talk.  When he said yes, I began to talk about how worried I was about everything that was pending and what needed to be done and how overwhelmed I felt.  We talked for a while and afterwards I felt better.  I even told him how before I sat down with him, I had considered starting a hissy fit and he laughed at that.  The outcome was better, I felt better and I felt like I had chosen the approach that really benefitted the both of us.
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Be nice to your men ladies.   It’s not easy to be a man today.  Their dynamic in the world is changing and times are hard for them. While women are rising up many men are trying to figure out how they fit in the changing arena.  Give them a break.  Be nice to them!  Say nice things to them! Compliment them!  Whats the big deal?  Whats wrong with treating them in a way we want to be treated? They need our respect. Drop the Princess act and start finding the Queen inside of you that you deserve to be.
“A queen is wise.  She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passed her tests.  She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it.  She has proven that she can hold her kingdom together.  She has become it’s vision.  She cares deeply about something bigger than herself.  She rules with authentic power.”  
– Marianne Williamson

 

 

How to recover from Too Much Fun

31 Mar

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I love having fun as much as the next person and sometimes, it catches up with me.  The good thing is that now, I am able to recognize signs that are telling me to take a break and get myself back on track.  Whereas before I would ignore the exhaustion and twitching eyelids (yes, this is a real thing) and carry on like a champ.

Here is my video to give you 4 methods or techniques, to help you begin a healthier lifestyle today!  It doesn’t even have to be a result of having too much fun.  Maybe it’s stress, frequent travel or anything else that is making you feel lethargic and unfocused.  These techniques will help you begin to reclaim your well-being, even if you decide to use one method at a time and focus on that.

Now its your turn – tell me what YOU do to recover from fun, stress and excessive travel in the comments below.

Thanks for tuning in!

XO,

Patricia

Get ready for 2014! Four ways to change your life this year.

31 Dec
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My favorite holiday is not Thanksgiving or Christmas or anything in between.  I always enjoy them and look forward to them for the fun and family time they bring along.  But my favorite holiday is the week in between Christmas and New Year.  The busy season winding down, people are returning home from vacation or going back to work and things seem to move a bit slower.  This mellow mood invites time for reflection, time to  think about where we were, whats coming and what we want to do with this whole, new, sparkling and pristine year that is just a few days away.  People all over the world are preparing for the new year, seeing it as a perfect blank canvas.  The energy behind the New Year is big and pulsates with people’s hopes for who they see themselves being and evolving into. I believe in change except when I hate it.  I’m probably not alone in my slight disdain for the C-word but it is this inevitable turning of the calendar that makes the New Year so ripe with possibilities.  Even those of us who hate to see things change will consider the idea that change is constant and that in order to grow as people, our lives will eventually have to evolve, usually with some effort on our part.  New month!  New Year!  Clean slate as of January 1st!  What do you want to change this year and how do you want to begin seeing yourself?  How do you want to use this clean slate to evolve into a person you love even more?
As the (city, county and possibly the state’s) biggest lover of New Year resolutions, I have thought long and hard about the best ways to help people usher in the changes they want to see in their lives.  I found 4 ways that I believe are best for a variety of people.  The person who’s resolution seems to confining, anyone who feels daunted by the many months of the year and need a concentrated time to focus, those who might need to lighten up their way of seeing things and those who know that they tend to blow off their commitments to themselves (ahem).  You can use these all together or pick 1 or 2 methods to use.  The idea is to make you feel as though you are using what will fit best for your life and your personality, ensuring that you can easily embrace resolutions that you make for yourself.  Excited yet?  Good!  Here they are:
1 – Decide how do you want to feel.
I was turned onto this idea by the wonderful Danielle LaPorte.  In the promos for her book Desire Map she states that we are not chasing a goal or an end result, we are chasing a feeling.  You say you want to lose 10 pounds?  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Happy, Healthy, strong, active, empowered?  You want to start taking guitar lessons.  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Creative, talented, confident?  You want to pay off your credit cards this year?  Why?  Do you think it will make you feel abundant, in flow with your finances, in control of your financial future? What feelings are you looking to bring into your everyday life?  Stating how you want to feel opens the doors on all of the changes you want to make, by allowing them to become bigger, more flexible and full of more possibility instead of confining yourself to a strict regimen.  If you say, I want to feel healthy, active and strong you have just opened yourself up to many new methods for finding this feeling. Dance lessons anyone?  Weekend hiking trip?  Try out that new Barre studio sometime?  Instead of saying, “I want to save more money” or “I want to go to the gym 3 times a week,’ ask yourself Why and come up with an answer. Dig deeper.  Find a touchtone feeling that will keep you going through out the year.  Now if a year seems like a really long time to you…
2 – Commit to 40 days instead of 365
Another of my fave ladies Gabrielle Bernstein loves the 40 day method.  She claims (as does a scientific study) that 40 days of a regimen is what is needed to change habits for good.  So if 365 is overwhelming for you, start with 40.  Forty days of no soda, 40 days of daily green juice, 40 days of riding your bike.  I know people who have quit coffee and binging on sweets using this method.  You can also use 40 days if you want to add something new to your life.  For example I have wanted to make meditation a more frequent practice in my life so I have put myself on 40 days of daily meditation.  I am keeping track of it with my new favorite app called Streaks.  It allows you to keep track of different streaks at a time by keeping multiple calendars, naming them and then marking off days completed with an X.  Looking at the rows of X’s build up on a calendar is about as satisfying as it was in Kindergarten when you saw all of those little gold stars line up next to your name. Once the 40 days are over you will see how any changes you made are suddenly that much easier to make on a daily/weekly basis and just like that, your new habit comes naturally to you.
3 – Review and rephrase.
Its important to review the resolutions you have and make sure all are worded as positively as possible.  What do I mean?  One summer I was discussing with some ladies the ever present girly question of What do you want in a boyfriend?  Instead of giving me a 5 second description of everything they wanted they both said, “I don’t know what I want but I do know what I don’t want,” and proceeded to list dull qualities such as Not Apathetic, Not Boring, Not this, Not that.  I didn’t say this to them at the time but I will say it to you now.  If you focus on what you DONT want, what you DONT want will have this amazing and annoying way of tracking you down and nestling itself into your life.  So if you tend to phrase your resolutions in the following way, “I don’t want to be late for work anymore” or “I don’t want to yell at my family so much,” its time for a rephrase.  Try this instead: “I will arrive at work each day, clear-headed and ready to begin my day.” Or, “I will speak to my family in a way that opens up a constructive dialogue and shows love.”  Boom.  Reword and Rephrase for an optimal and uplifting resolution.
4 –   Schedule it.
As another one of my fave’s Marie Forleo says, “If it’s not scheduled it doesn’t exist”  If one of your resolutions is to say, write a book, or build a website or to create something that is important to you, you need to schedule time, on a calendar to do said task.  Break down the big task into smaller steps and schedule those small steps in a calendar.  Buy a small day planner or print out a calendar from Google Drive. You can also use a super helpful free printable from I Heart Organizing to help you begin scheduling  your days and weeks more efficiently.  I loved them so much I had to add them to my arsenal on Pinterest for easy access.  You can find the copies  here. If you are someone who tends to be lax on yourself (picture me raising my hand here), scheduling yourself is a huge help to accomplish big tasks.
The best thing about all of this?  It’s not confined to just New Year.  Sometimes a new Monday can feel like a clean slate, a random Thursday may be the day you begin again or even a week in mid-June is right for you.  With these ideas at your fingertips, any day, week or month can be a new year for you.  Change is good!
Happy 2014 everyone!
XO,
Patricia