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Time Expands When You Plan. Simple Ways to Organize Your Week

 

Do you ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? Or do you ALWAYS feel there aren't enough hours in the day. If time is a human construct, can we find better ways to shape our days? 

Over the years I have tried a lot of different planning systems. As a librarian, organization is my thing. The problem is that sometimes I spend too much time organizing! 

So about eight years ago, I developed a system to track my time and goals. It became a planner and for 2024, I have fallen in love with it again. The video explains how it works. Basically, you do the three things each day that research shows will improve health, focus, and mindset: Sit, Write, Move. The calendar helps you remember to follow through.  

Use the chart below to check in with yourself each day. Did you make time for self-care? Did you take care of your bills? Did you spend time with the ones you love?  Give yourself a pat on the back and check the box. 

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What do You Gain from Subtraction Goals? 2024 Writing Prompts from Writing Yoga®

This year, I am taking something away.  Let's call them subtraction goals. 

Rather than adding new tasks, a weight loss regimen or a grand wealth building plan, what if you took something away this year?

Try out these questions with me as you start 2024:

Can I subtract an old story that has been defining my identity?

Can I subtract the need to strive for goals that no longer reflect my values?

Can I subtract any judgement, biases or preconceptions?

Can I subtract feelings of lack and striving and become comfortable with a state of presence?

Can I subtract the need to be right?

This year is a good one to focus on dreams, work toward peace, and dive deeper into ways our small voices can make the world a more compassionate place.

What will you gain by taking something away? 

Let go & let me know how it goes!  


Remember to sit, write & move each day for a calm, creative & more compassionate life. 

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How Do You Handle the Unexpected? [When Summer Came Back: WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2021]

Last week we wore winter boots. Today, I jumped in my 10 foot wide pool. Good thing I didn't close it early.

Over the weekend, there was a street fair that had not been held in years due to weather and well, the pandemic. You saw everything from ski jackets to tank tops and no one really got it right.  A few people fainted from heat.

Having a summer day in the fall is a gift if you love warm weather and annoying if you don't.  We expect seasonal changes but lately the weather has been even more unpredictable. How do you deal with it? I will pull out the flip flops and just pretend fall never happened. I will sit by the beach and enjoy the sunset. Others will keep wearing fleece jackets even if it makes them faint. I wonder, can you avoid unexpected change by pretending it doesn't exist?

Not if you are truly mindful. If it's 80 degrees in October, please leave your winter coat at home.

WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2021: Write about the Unexpected Reversal of Seasons

There is a...

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Keep Going, Turtle! Don't Let Labels Slow You Down [Writing Yoga® PROMPT #2005]

 

If you know me well, you know I am a tropical climate kind of human. You don't see turtles and egrets walking in snow. My family has been coming down to Florida for decades, not in a fancy kind of way, but in a swim in the gulf, grill some veggies and walk on the Pinellas Trail kind of way. 

On a walk in this breezy easy part of Southwest Florida, a turtle blended in with the grass. Unexpectedly large, totally still, and hanging steady on the lawn, we watched her for a while. Was she alive? Where did she come from? How did she get here? 

While we studied her shell, she suddenly turned her head at us and ran away.

Great to meet you turtle, glad you are on your way to bigger and better things.  

WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2005: Keep Going, Turtle

SIT: Be the Turtle 

Turtles can remain still for a very long time.  How long can you sit before you need to adjust your shirt, scratch an itch or change your posture. In Transcendental Mediation, a...

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Can't Plant This….Yet. Early Spring is a Great Time for Reflection and Mindful Walking [Writing Yoga® Prompt #2004]

Much of the year, most of us live and work in climate controlled environments. Bugs are not welcome. Spring invites us to get outside and create.

In the school where I work as a librarian, the kids are developing a native pollinator garden.  I didn't even know it was a thing! The idea is to plant native flowers and hopefully attract native insects and birds to pollinate them. It involves dirt. The delicate among us might complain, but we will work together as a community to make it happen. The majority of my students do not have ancestors who know what the soil looked like 500 years here. Nature returns to Long Island. 

Our students are anxious to plant, but the soil needs to be prepared. We are turning over grass and putting down organic mulch. The hardest part of it all is being patient! The ground is ready but the air is not.

What are you preparing for now? How do you stay patient when all you want to do is get close to the ground and plant?

WRITING YOGA®...

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Ugh, Drama! How to Joyfully Skip through Workplace Challenges [Writing Yoga® Prompt #2003]

A recent challenge with a coworker left me reeling. I often hear from clients and colleagues about serious challenges, inequities and outright mean-spirited behavior that they must deal with on a daily basis. Maybe that is you?  I rarely experience conflicts and live in a way that makes conflict rare, but as a human, it can and will happen.

In this situation, I compromised, but also took a good look at myself. What could I do better? How can I validate their experience? Were they right? Well, no, they were out of line, outright wrong, but does it matter?  

Acceptance is key. Having healthy outlets like yoga and a meditation practice discharge the negativity of others and so after steaming about the conflict and the injustice of it all, I am back in balance. I said what I needed to say, left them to think about it, and let-it-go.

Reading the Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell, really helps me think about balance and how to live in a...

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Valentine's Day Self-Care with Journal Writing, Mindfulness and a Good Book!

What does your Valentine's Day look like?  Maybe you are having an overpriced meal with someone special or perhaps you are staying home with the cats and reading a page turner. This holiday can be rough or wonderful depending upon where you are in life. 

What I love about mindfulness practices and yoga philosophy is that it teaches us to be with "what is" and to not judge ourselves or others. There are so many mental and physical associations with this particular holiday, but what if you could just celebrate the day as it is without any expectations? 

Take a few minutes to focus on your breath if you are feeling anxious today. Allow your thoughts and feelings to pass through you without judging them. If something feels uncomfortable, can you simply notice that feeling, take a deep breath, and watch it pass? 

Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a mindful way can also be a big relief. It is better to have uncomfortable thoughts as energy on the page...

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12 Words to Boost Creativity and Why Creativity Matters

Does the word "creativity" make you think of paint, clay, and kids playing dress up?  We all start out creative, but school and adult life might make us think that creativity is something to be left to artists and geeks. Then we get to the workplace and are expected to be innovative and productive. Hmm, don't we need to be creative for that? 

Life is creative. All of it. We are born from its impulse. We grow up, thrive, and participate in the human experience because creativity is our nature. 

If you have lost your creative spark, here are 12 words to think about: 

  1. Imagine
  2. Plant
  3. Air
  4. Mix
  5. Illuminate 
  6. Collect 
  7. Shift 
  8. Stretch 
  9. Reflect 
  10. Propel 
  11. Focus 
  12. Release 

Start with your imagination. Collect your ideas and then shape them, mix, illuminate, reflect and focus on what you want to bring into the world. When you are ready, release your creation! 

Print out this post, cut out the words, and use as "creativity...

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A Word for Every Teacher and Student at the Start of the New Year: Abundance

Our principal asked us to pick a word at the start of the school year. The word would be our North Star to guide our goals, inform our lessons, and inspire us to do great work. School initiatives sometimes fall away as the year progresses, but a good administrator won't let that happen.

She didn't let that happen. We revisited our words at the start of the new year. What would your word be?

It feels poetic to pick just one word. No long lists, no big visions, no novels. I thought about it for days. Nothing felt right. If you know my work, you know that there are three words I think about a lot: calm, creative, and compassionate. It is my desire to see all students, teachers and classrooms feel that way in every school around the world.  But these words can't be separated. 

Why?  It is easy to be calm if we feel safe. When we feel safe, we are free to find creative solutions, work harder, and take big risks. Safety means we are not threatened...

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Write From Your Dreams! [Writing Yoga Prompt # 1254]

One night, my mother and sister had the same dream as I did.  It was a realistic dream, just a normal day at a busy city park.  I sat at a long picnic table loaded with snacks and canned seltzer.  The park was crowded, but my family sat quietly around the long table. Okay, take back the realistic part. My family is never quiet.

My grandfather walked by the table and said, “I am still here.”  My sister and mother said he appeared in their dreams that night too. And he said the same thing, "I am still here."  We all felt so peaceful afterwards. 

I don’t know what event in our lives made my Grandfather whisper reassurance in our sleeping ears. We could have been under a spell of any number of life’s transitions. It was long ago but I remember the dream part perfectly.

Lumi Sit:

Breathe deeply. Close your eyes.  Think of a wonderful dream or daydream (if night ones are hard to remember) that was memorable for...

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