• Cosmic Construction: Organizing Your Days Using Astrology

    I believe we all are energy and what we DO with that energy can be powerful (TWEET THAT!).  Even more so when used in conjunction with other like energy simultaneously. This is similar to why Feng Shui works. In other words, a ton of people doing the same thing at the same time for the same reason. I'm sure you can put together some memories of why that concept in general is so powerful. 

    We all have shit to do. We all talk about there not being enough time to do it in. We all take on more than we can handle at some point and then complain why our lives aren't what we want it to be. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the "what life gives you" storm. We can all sure use any help we can get. Am I right? That's why I get excited to utilize the universe to my benefit. Here are 3 ways I've had success in constructing my days, weeks & to-do list according to the cosmos. 


    Astrological Significance of Each Day


    "Have you ever noticed how each weekday has a distinct feel to it? Each day of the week is governed by a planet or a luminary (moon and sun), and so each day has a special energy and feel to it according to its overruling planet. We can use astrological meaning of days to enhance our progress every day of the week. Being aware of daily planetary properties can facilitate alignment of our thoughts and allow a better flow of productivity throughout our days and weeks.

    Learning the planetary personalities and each meaning of days opens a whole new realm of potential growth. A fabulous flow of energy can be created when we work with the planetary attributes rather than blindly moving through our week. Simply put, knowing astrological meaning of days gives us a secret weapon for success and productivity because we are working with the cosmic orbits, not against." - Avia Vanefica from http://www.whats-your-sign.com/astrological-meaning-of-days.html

    Here are my suggestions on what you can do on each day that would be most benefiting:

    Monday - MOON - introspection, meditation, determining emotions (write, set boundaries, feel into desires).
    Tuesday - MARS - Take action on new/old projects (organizing!), plan a full day, stay active/energetic.
    Wednesday - MERCURY - Communicate (email, speak, phone, blog...), connect, travel, go to doctor.
    Thursday - JUPITER - Do anything that you want to grow/increase in size, meetings, planning.
    Friday - VENUS - Love someone (you count!), dates, creativity, finding pleasure in necessary tasks.
    Saturday - SATURN - Cleaning, preparation, studying, adventures
    Sunday - SUN - Rest, cooking, learning, fueling, nurture, be bold, wish.

    Time of Day Scheduling


    Just like days of the week, the time of day has an impact on your productivity. Each hour is also ruled by a planet, but that gets too convoluted for me. Let's just go with the sun schedule here. Some of this might be obvious, but try to put a deeper meaning into what you schedule for each timeframe. 

    DAWN: Ease into new energy, decide on intention as light emerges so you can "see" better

    MORNING: Schedule something new, work on the hardest tasks needing the most energy or tasks that you desire expansion from.

    NOON: Starting at 12pm, the sun is goin' down and that affects on our actions. After noon until evening is a great for working towards projects/goals, studying/learning and clean up any "mess" (whatever that might look like).

    TWILIGHT: Wrap it up! Take it slow and be more alert as "shadows" are appearing, enjoy the transition.

    NIGHT: Quiet rest and rejuvenation, sneaky secretive behavior if you're into that, endings (think relinquishing duties/responsibilities or releasing of something no longer needed).

    The Moon Cycles


    The moon, as our closest planet, is SO POWERFUL. Each moon cycle is ruled by another planet and therefore comes with different traits/personalities/strengths. We can honor each 2 week cycle by living according to what the corresponding planet of the month represents. You can find information on what each month's planetary moon combo is online (google it). In general, keep these guidelines in mind for each phase:

    NEW MOON - A fresh start to set intentions for the month and especially the next two weeks. It's the time to start new endeavors, begin processes and create. As the moon is waxing (getting bigger), we are able to harness that growth in our own lives, just like I mentioned in the morning time above. 

    FULL MOON - Big, bright Illumination means we can see the darkest spots in our lives. It's our spotlight to celebrate. As the moon is waning (getting smaller), it's the time to release what is no longer serving us such as habits, people, endeavors or beliefs. 


    Fascinating, huh?  In the comments below, tell me what you liked the most. What will you be implementing in your life right away?

  • Love Your Home, One Room at a Time: BEDROOM

    My Colleague Christel Ferguson and I are on a mission to revolutionize the way you feel about your home through organizing, Feng Shui and design. We created a video series to focus on just that, starting the the bedroom. 

    If you enjoy the video, share it with your friends and family! Stay connected with us through YouTube and Social Media through the links below. Thanks for your support.

  • Interview: Alegre Ramos - Organization Tips for Busy Moms


    Alegre Ramos is a wife, mom, eco-expert and also runs multiple small businesses. I've always admired how productive and put together she is, and now you can hear what this busy mom does to keep her life and business organized!

    She talks about what to do with all the "ugly" stuff in the home, how to handle the hectic daily life while still getting things done, what eating technique minimizes waste and saves time + more! 

    Watch the interview here:

     

    Check out Alegre on her website at EmberLiving.com.

  • Owning Your Season of Life

    Being present is not a strong suit for most americans. We are conditioned to be nostalgic, rely on past patterns, stick to family traditions out of obligation or please others first. We are bombarded with pushy marketing to speed up, buy more and consume as much as we can. As a society, we are trained by each other to worry about money, take pills for anxiety, sabotage efforts of ourselves or others and become accustomed to settling for less than what we want. I think it's about time this ends. I want to call you out of the trenches to rise up and be the person you actually want to be with the life you actually want to live. 

    I said goodbye to that kind of life a couple years ago when I signed up for a group life coaching program. It changed my life, yes, but it also made me finally realize shit needs to change NOW. There are a myriad of lessons, routines and tools I could tell you about, but the biggest one of all that I am still learning how to master to this day is presence. With all that conditioning mentioned above, it's quite challenging to break those habits, right? Constant awareness and reminders have to set to remember to be present. It's important because that's where all our power comes from, the present moment. We give our power away when we live in the past or future. That's when life goes downhill and we keep riding that downhill roller coaster. Let's not let life pass us by. Let's get off that roller coaster and meander along, soaking it all up. Before we can do that, we need to shift our perspective to the present moment or our season of life we are currently in.

    Seasons of life have actually been something I have known about for many years, but never quite seem to get it down. Sometimes it takes a few re-dedications and flipping the switch to catch yourself and get off that roller coaster. I realize it's not about perfection in the fact that we have to always be present and living super in tune with every moment. Just like meditation, it's about bringing the focus back when we wander off. It's about honing THAT skill, as opposed to beating ourselves up that we aren't good at being present. How do we hone the skill of awareness and harnessing the present? By owning our season of life

    First, as you may have guessed, the actual physical season we are in has a lot to do with our seasons of life. It's SUMMER and the energy along with that is key to really experiencing bliss. This season is especially hard for me, as I despise hot weather. I'm triggered and tested right now while life is pushing me to my full potential outside of my comfort zone. I am totally willing to do it and I think I'm doing better than other summers! I'm sitting outside relishing in the warm breeze while sipping a cold beverage. I'm wearing flowey clothes because it feels good on my skin and is a bit of a distraction from the heat. I'm getting outside more and exercising. I'm planning pool escapades and beach excursions. I'm going to farmers markets and enjoying air conditioned movie theaters. This is being present and this is what's going to help elevate your experience.

    How can you harness the blissful moments of the physical season you are in now? Here is a beautiful list of things to love during the summer. 

    Next, the actual events going on, people you are hanging out with, job you have and overall circumstance is your season of life. Sometimes seasons of life overlap. In other words, we have multiple seasons of life at the same time. We don't always know how long our season of life could be, but one thing is certain: it is unique to you and you will NEVER experience this season of life again. So ENJOY it! Relish this time, even if its hard. Savor the moments as much as you can, notice more, let arguments go, get out of your comfort zone, be with your loved ones and do what feels right at this time. Your bucket list will always be there, so no need to rush it all, unless the seasons are coming to an end.

    Examples of seasons of life are: being a toddler, pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, studying abroad, month long backpacking trip to Europe, the party lifestyle, volunteering on a politicians campaign, any job, being on tour, dealing with an illness, living in a certain neighborhood/city, being pregnant, raising a young child, raising a teenager, empty nesters, retiring, 3 week african safari, retreats, unemployment, taking education courses, getting married, going all eat-pray-love, physical training, being in a relationship and the list goes on. So, the question is, how can you cherish your season of life so that your daily experience is amazing? (Click to tweet)


    I want to hear from you! Do you recognize what season of life you are in? What would be ONE thing you could start doing or being aware of that will enhance YOUR experience? Tell me in the comments below. 

  • You Know You're a Professional Organizer If...

    Life get's interesting sometimes, especially when we find ourselves in a career or passion that comes naturally. 

    My colleague Tiffany Lynn Lepp and I decided to collaborate on something a la Jeff Foxworthy. It is a bit silly, very real and shows the amusing personal life that we live as Professional Organizers.

    It's our Top 20 list of quirks called You Know You're a Professional Organizer If...

    Are you a Professional Organizer? Are you naturally organized? We want you to add to this list by commenting and sharing! What's your life like as a result of your organizing talents? 

    Enjoy!

       

  • Make Moving Fun!

    May is National Moving Month here in the USA, a kickoff to the busiest moving time each year. Are you getting ready to move? I've always enjoyed the process of moving.  I've been moving all of my life, and I'm very grateful for the change and growth. Variety is the spice of life, right? Since I started helping people move professionally, I've noticed some soft spots that really affect the moving experience. 

    Most moving companies offer pro tips to help you with logistics, but watch out because I'm going in a different direction. Let's dig in to some key mindset and lifestyle factors that will drastically enhance your moving experience, both before and after. 

    Release & Complete
    When was the last time you went through your closet? Or your basement? Or your desk? Making sure you are letting go of unnecessary items will lighten your mental load, as well as the physical effort to be done. Do you have unfinished projects? Try to accomplish as many steps as possible to get closer to completion before you move. Moving something unfinished carries unfinished energy into your fresh new digs. These first steps help open up your mental capacity to think about all the new moving-related tasks at hand. 

    DAILY Meditation
    I don't care if it's prayer, meditation, quiet time, deep breathing or walking alone in nature....step out of the usual routine by quieting your mind and body somehow. We can all spare 5 minutes for our sanity. Conscious breathing delivers major oxygen to the brain which allows us to think better and more clear. Inward focus calms the nervous system and reduces stress, worry or anxiety. Plus that focus will transfer over to other pursuits as it becomes a habit, especially under pressure. Being less stressed means a heftier immune system as well. Life sounds pretty nice like this, right? The busier you are, the more you need it.


    Make a Game Out of It
    Is packing your entire home a daunting idea? If you were put on a game show to compete with other moving families which gave the fastest winner a 1 million dollar reward, how excited would you be now? What if you lost that challenge? I'm sure the whole process would still be fun, right?! We don't do things for a reward down the road (well, sometimes this is the case) but rather, we do things for immediate gratification (like enjoyment). How can you make a game out of this usually mundane task? Invite some friends over to help? Play some crazy upbeat music? Create rewards for the whole family so they are excited to help? Wear a costume? Hire a professional while you sip tea and read a magazine? I believe every second of our life should be fun and enjoyable, even the "mundane" tasks. Now is the time to get creative and invite fun into the process.

    Plan Something Special In Your New Home
    Plan an elegant dinner with just your immediate family, pizza party with friends, sleepover or whatever tickles your fancy for the first or second night in your new place. Not only will that light a fire under your butt to get mostly unpacked (at least in the room you will be having the event) but looking forward to something directly increases productivity and quality of work. Focusing on another daunting task ahead makes grumpiness, frustration and apathy inevitable. Imagine those few days before a vacation or birthday party...you can't wait, right? imagine having that feeling during this transition. Game changer.

    Perk Up The Morale
    Spend some extra time and love on yourself with flowers, spa time, a good book, something new- anything! How can you make yourself feel a little more loved right now? On the contrary, give some extra sugar to your family or roommates as well. Throw some compliments their way or support their new hobby. Think of the cliche’s “A happy wife is a happy life” or keeping employees happy to increase productivity and apply those principles here. Amping up the love in tough situations will help with regulating moods. On moving day, play some music for the movers (or you, if that’s the case) and provide drinks and snacks to keep everyone going.

    Setup
    Finally, I'll throw in a practical tip in here for the hell of it. Moving day is already stressful enough. To save time and streamline the process even more, do this before the big day: make sure every item in each room or area will GO in that specific room or area in the new home. Meaning, put all the living room items in the living room. Small and large, make sure all of the master bedroom clothes, electronics, linens, and furniture are together in the master bedroom. The items will stay grouped together in the truck, allowing for easy, efficient unloading.  You'd be surprised at how often this doesn't happen. 

    Bonus: Have a different colored sticker for each room to put on each item or box!

    How is moving for you? Did these ideas help you? Share your experience below!

  • Lent: The Aftermath


    What is this blog post about!?

    I know, crazy title, huh?

    I've been thinking about this for quite a while, but the circumstances have just connected for me to dig in to this topic. I'm not a Christian anymore, even though I grew up so. I have done a handful of Lents and most of them have been failures. 

    What I'm really getting at here is not Lent, but transformation

    As I breathe into writing this, I understand it's much bigger than a blog post. Perhaps I can just skim the surface with some experience, examples and wisdom.

    Lent

    A significant time for a Christian to repent or "fast" of sin, activate modern and spiritual discipline in honor of Jesus Christ and embrace a more meaningful life through this healing.

    Let's also compare this to simply releasing things that no longer serve us so we can better our life. For some (yes, even Christians) this time is an excuse to do this, with or without the spiritual attachment. If we are craving change, often we need to give up something that is blocking us from our ideal way of life. We have to decide and commit to this change in us to advance to the next level of our experience. Usually, the desire is there along with a big ball of fear. Why is it so hard to change?

    The 40 Days

    The number 40, specifically that amount of days represent a powerful, universal cycle of transformation in so many contexts. From Jesus to Buddha, there has been many stories and trials of the 40 day transformation. Just like Feng Shui, this has so much power to it and I can see the supreme support it brings when utilized. 

    What happens next?

    At last, the point. What happens after Lent? What happens after the 40 days you spent giving something up? What happens when your rituals or retreats are over or when you make that major decision to let something go? Is it over for good or do you do it again? Do you regress back into that habit, person, thought or way of life? It's certainly natural, but what gives? Why can't it stick? 

    My friend gave up red meat for her 40 day Lent journey and reports a much lighter feeling in her body, a solid knowing she actually needs meat in her life and calm connection to everything. That is one rare and fantastic success story! She truly embodied what it was all about: learning from the experience. 

    However, with my own experience and with many of the people I know, the original "sin" always creeps back in, like our efforts never existed. 

    I'll tell you what I now know: Our values create our quality of life.

    When life seems out of place, icky or dull, we are out of alignment with our values. When we get stuck in a rut, indulge in unhealthy behavior, become apathetic or any negative phenomenon you can think of, we are out of alignment with our values.

    Basically, we are not remembering what we want. We are letting ourselves become blinded by societal expectations and not allowing our greatest desires to be known and nourished. 

    I read this recently and the construct of these concepts are absolute perfection:

    "Action will come easy and natural when you align your goals with your values. Happiness will flow naturally when you are making choices that contribute to experiencing your values on a deeper level. You will feel successful when you are clear on what your core values are and being sure everything in your life is in honor of these." (jeannineyoder.com)

    Let's all be determined to live our best life, and by that I mean BE your best by living according to your values. What is out of alignment for you? I challenge you now or during a future 40 day adventure to remember what you want. You have the powerful discipline within you to take a stand for yourself, I promise. The grass is greener when you water it.

    Have you gone through a transformation and landed well on the other side? How did you stay disciplined through it? I want to know ~ share your story in the comments below.

  • New Business Basics - Organizing the First Steps In Your New Biz

    Have you just started a business and need a little direction on what to do next? Ryan Powell from iLifestyle has your back in this Interview about getting those initial steps organized.

    COMMENT BELOW: What was most helpful to you from this video?

     

    Links & Resources

    Registrations:

    • Talk to your local Small Business Administration office for guidance on what permits you need.
    • City Finance Office: Business Registration
    (Other permits from your city or County may be needed)
    • County Registrar/Recorder: DBA filing
    • State: Resale Permits and other possible registrations

    Common Business Administrative Apps

    Accounting:
    • Xero Accounting Software: http://www.xero.com/us/
    • Wave Accounting Softwar: http://waveaccounting.com

    CRM:
    • Insightly CRM: http://www.insightly.com/
    • Capsule CRM: http://capsulecrm.com

    Project Management:
    • Basecamp: https://basecamp.com
    • Apollo: http://www.apollohq.com

    All in one business Apps
    • Google Apps for Business: http://www.google.com/intx/en/enterprise/apps/business/
    • WorkEtc: http://www.worketc.com

    General insights on starting a business:
    • http://www.sba.gov
    • http://startupcollective.com/

    Info on finding a mentor:
    • http://startupcollective.com/resources/find-mentor/

    • EIN Online Application:
    http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-(EIN)-Online

    • Small Business Administration Website
    (lots of helpful info and links to local offices where assistance can be found):
    http://www.sba.gov

    • Legal Zoom for Filing:
    https://www.legalzoom.com


    Ryan Powell - Chief Expert

    iLifestyle, LLC
    866-424-3997 x42
    www.theilifestyle.com

    -Apple Certified Support
    -Cloud Integration Experts
    -Vend Certified Expert
    -Apple Consultants Network Member

  • What Stresses You Out?

    April is Stress Awareness Month

    I'm sure you already know everything there is to know about stress, right? That it causes loads of illnesses, increases risk of disease, makes you fat, yadda yadda yadda. I won't bore you with the details because I'm sure you're smart. We all know we shouldn't have stress, but we still do, right? What I want to get into right now is how you can actually flip that switch the moment you recognize stress.

    To start, download this free ebook on stress relief: (warning, he is going to try to sell you into buying more books. It's ok if you don't want to)

    http://stressawarenessmonth.com/free-stress-relief-ebook-2014/

    I love this ebook because it goes deeper than the usual surface level explanations. He mentions "Life Mastery" and being conscious of our thoughts to create a balanced life (My fav!). He also talks briefly about how transformation is moving beyond a fear and emotion so you can grow. We have to do the same with stress, or our relationship with it.

    What stresses you out? Why do you think it stresses you out? Think about it...if what stresses you out brings you to a level that is not supporting you, why do you let it happen?

    I am inspired by my friend Crystal this week when she told me a story of her and her boss. She explained how stressful her job has been and what negative, projective energy her boss always has. It was so draining and when she finally realized what was happening, she said to her boss straight up "You know, I can't do this anymore. I'll finish out the week, but I'm done. My highest priority is my spirituality and I do not let stress into my body. I feel like working with you does that to me, so I need to let this go." WOW! Way to go, sister! I haven't met anyone that will stand up for their values that strong before. 

    It's funny to me when I realize what is stressing me out. I most often think "WHAT?! this is bull$#!%" That's kind of my life motto when awareness kicks in. It's because I KNOW that I am not paying attention to something important to me, which is why I'm so baffled at how I let myself get stressed. Sometimes, we gravitate towards the emotions we are comfortable with too. If we grew up in a stressful environment, we are going to find stress to keep us in our comfort zone, subconsciously. Or if we have friends that are a lot of drama and stress, we tend to take that on to fit in.


    A Few Common Stress-Inducing Emotions & How to Combat Them.


    Anxiety
    
Basically, you are living in the future and using your imagination wrong. Thanks to my mentor Christine Hassler, this was an eye opening idea to me that changed my whole view on anxiety. I definitely believe it's possible to deal with anxiety without medication, but I do understand those with chronic anxiety need much more support than talking it out. For those that have it occasionally, I invite you to bring yourself back to the present moment when this happens. 

    Overwhelm
    
For this one, I simply HAVE to share an amazing quote from my coach Jeannine Yoder, which blew me away when I heard it:

    "Overwhelm is the mistaken doubt that the resources are not available to fulfill your wants and needs."

    Right?! Brilliant. You have everything you need at your fingertips for what you need to do at this moment. Maybe the perception needs to be expanded a bit. Or perhaps patience needs to be harnessed. Often times, we know something should be a certain way and are not happy about it. It's in those times we fully let go after doing the best we can and trusting it will happen as it should that brings the most peace.

    Overworked & Underplayed
    
One of my consistent no-nonsense teachings is for everyone to schedule their play time. It's so crucial to mental health as it is physical. Plus, often the play activities are just that: active! Win-win for feeling fulfilled and physical activity which combats stress in and of itself.

    What about those who are actually UNDERworked...maybe you are not working right now or in between jobs and playing too much? If that is you, I would still say stick to your hobbies (not to be confused with clubbing all night) but look for work as much as you are willing to work. For example, if you want to work 30 hours per week, start actively searching for jobs, filling out applications, writing your resume, networking, etc for 30 hours a week. Putting in that effort will get you something in no time AND it is "doing all you can" so you can feel comfortable playing afterwards. 

    JUST ADDED: The May Community Q&A Call was all about balance and naturally we feel stressed or anxious when we are imbalanced. I talked about this ONE POWERFUL TECHNIQUE that will INSTANTLY relieve feelings of anxiety and stress. Register now to get the recording: http://eepurl.com/TrnB1

    That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed some of this info. 

    TELL ME: what is stressing YOU out right now? You're not alone, let's get te conversation going. 

  • Interview: iAccounting Solutions

    In an effort to support businesses operating virtually, I had the pleasure of meeting with Stephan from iAccounting Solutions through Skype! Since it is almost tax season, I caught up with him to talk about tax prep, what to do when you get audited, digital record keeping and the ways we can take advantage of modern technology in our financial lives. He talks about apps like Xero, Mint and Expensify which all can help with your taxes and beyond. 

    Listen to the interview

    Follow Stephan on Twitter at ss and stay up to date with the great articles from the iAccounting Solutions BLOG

    How do you utilize technology for modern business or personal taxes?