Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's on your horizon?

Are you back at work this week dreaming about your vacation?

Are you busy planning the summer for your kids now that school days are counting down to the end of the academic year?

Did you just graduate? How are your job prospects?

Is retirement on your horizon?

Will the current economy force you to downsize?

No matter what is on your personal horizon, facing it with a plan of action will enable you to feel more in control. I am off to China next week for 8 days. Whether it's an over night stay at a hotel or a week in another part of the world, travel like all aspects of our lives, requires an organized approach. I took one day last week and tried to cover all of my bases. Nothing is worse than being up late the night before your plane, train or automobile leaves your home city wondering why you left everything to the last minute! My flight to Beijing alone is over 12 hours and I don't want to arrive exhausted before I start my journey.

Whatever you face in the coming months, craft a plan. I can't say it often enough! Remember: the whole of anything is overwhelming. When we break a project down into its parts, we gain mastery. In "One Year to an Organized Life" I've written about all the common organizing challenges we face from a messy bedroom to a move. In "One Year to an Organized Work Life" I apply the basic concepts of Zen Organizing to the world of the office. Whatever your challenge this month, I've got your back! One of the airlines urges you to 'Come fly with me.' I'd say: 'Come organize your life with me!'

Blessings,
Regina

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A long holiday weekend...

...is a truly delicious experience. Your home city empties and you can get places more quickly...well, at least in Los Angeles.

If you are a hard working person Monday through Friday, be sure you have some fun over Memorial Day. Don't forget to give a nod of respect and thanks to all those brave men and women who have ever given their lives to keep all of us free.

If you wish to tackle an organizing project, be sure you follow the Zen organizing protocol. To wit:

Get a good night's sleep. The heart of organizing is making decisions and a rested brain does a better job!

Eat a good meal and have healthy snacks available and oh yes, lots of fresh water. Again we want to honor the needs of our bodies.

Have everyone in the family on alert that you need at least 5 uninterrupted hours for your project: no phone chats, no e-mail checks, no checking voice mail....have a sitter for your children etc. Your project will succeed in direct proportion to the respect you pay it.

Have sturdy garbage bags or some boxes handy for trash and donation.

There are journal prompts in all of my books to help you understand why this area in your home or office has posed a challenge in the past. And there are guidelines to help you create something new as of today.

Take a step toward creating the future you desire. Plant those seeds today...along with your tomatoes and herbs!

Blessings,
Regina

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time...

....takes my focus again today.

I've lost a dear friend to a terrible disease. I am reminded once again how precious time is. Did I tell him often enough what a great man he was? Did we spend enough time together? It's so easy to get caught up in the work activities of our lives...or those important responsibilities like raising our children. We must always remember to use our organizing skills to plan the life we want and deserve. One that includes time with all those we love.

Is there someone you want to reach out to today? Take out your calendar or that to do list and schedule the call or visit. Remember that getting organized makes every aspect of your life better. It's not about an afternoon cleaning out your closet...or that paper pile on your desk. Use your new organizing skill to create a more beautiful life.

Blessings,
Regina

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time is....

...a commodity...your friend...your foe...

How would you define time? Does it feel abundant or scarce in your life? I was thinking about this yesterday as I spent most of the day in Santa Paula, California. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation honored the new graduates of its training program. These brave dogs and their equally remarkable handlers will be there at the next disaster searching for the living who may be buried under rubble.

I first saw them working the pile at Ground Zero after 9/11. They have my heart and I help raise awareness and money every chance I get. You really can't imagine a dog going up and down ladders, through tubes or scampering over rubble until you see them train. And they do it for the reward of their favorite toy. They also do it for the love of their handlers with whom they live 24/7. I could wax poetic about them for hours...but it's time I wanted to write about today.

You have to manage your time otherwise either it will manage you or it will be managed for you by everyone else in your life. I worked hard all week so that I could take yesterday and, you know, throw it to the dogs! If you think that a time budget, so to speak, is a waste of time, how else are you going to achieve your goals or live a balanced life? Managing time is of course about achieving the lofty goals you set for yourself. It's also about the every day, mundane things...those that are chores and those that are rewards. Life is a balancing act from the moment we're born.

Things to think about this beautiful Sunday. Of course all of my books are full of ways to manage time. It's the fabric out of which you craft your very life. Today I'm also thinking ahead to June 2nd. I'll be returning to China for my second visit. You can't imagine all the details that require organizing! I so want to leave with a sense of accomplishment rather than having that sick feeling of dread when you know you've left a laundry list of items on your To do list. Organizing isn't a dreaded task for a weekend or a day every so often. Organizing is a skill that allows you to enjoy a more productive life.

So, again I ask...how would you describe time?

Blessings,
Regina Leeds

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Travel Light...

Isn't it funny how each year of our lives seems to have a 'personality?' When we're in school, we're identified by the year of school we have reached. As adults there's the year of the first job, the year of getting married, the year of the first baby and so on. Last year I traveled across the United States to speak and organize private clients. My late golden retriever Spirit began to get deeply depressed because my suitcase came out with such regularity. It was a travel year for sure.

I've been working on my new book since early February of this year. "One Year to an Organized Financial Life" is complete as far as the first draft goes. Soon I'll be receiving notes from my brilliant editor, Katie McHugh.This is the first time I have collaborated with anyone and I have to say it has been a perfect experience. Financial planner Russell Wild has taught me so much! I think you're going to use this book as a financial reference bible. If your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of IRA's, mortgages, medical insurance and the like, you'll be feeling more in command. I am especially delighted I got to write about how to manage your health care when you don't have insurance. Seven years ago when I faught my battle against cancer, I had no insurance. There are ways...no one should die for lack of insurance.

Before the edit process begins, I am sneaking in a little trip for pleasure. I am returning to Beijing, China for a week this June. I just love that city! I have studied Feng Shui and been a devotee of Chinese medicine for two decades. To be in the city whose traditions date to the origins of both of these interests is just fantastic. The Great Wall is overwhelming in its majesty. No photo can capture its power and presence. And entering The Forbidden City is awe inspiring....you can almost feel the emperors and their thousands of concubines!

I travel in the U.S. and throughout the world with one small suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment of the plane. This trip I'm leaving my lap top at home. I am going to walk away from the computer and the cell and be 'in the moment.' Hard thing for a technological junkie to do! We won't be going to any formal dinners so I can pack a few pairs of jeans and assorted summer tops and be ready. Two years ago I took one pair of shoes. Can you imagine? LOL. They were broken in and old friends. At the end of those 12 days, however, I was sick of them! This year I'm taking a pair and a spare.

Are you traveling this summer? You'll find detailed packing instructions in "One Year to an Organized Life." The key is to take what you really need and not to dress to impress the hotel staff or the folks on the street.

More soon.

Blessings,
Regina

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do you have a dirty little secret?

Are you known as the organized one in your circle of family and friends?

Do people exclaim over your cleared off desk, your made the minute you get up bed or the absence of paper piles?

What if they were to look inside your desk and dresser drawers? Would a cyclone of chaos hit them in the face?

What about your closets and cupboards? Do they have secrets to tell?

If you are this kind of organized person, you are just like my mom. She felt you only needed to organize the areas everyone could see. This is organizing to elicit good judgment from others.

As your resident Zen Organizer I am concerned with every aspect of your life working in concert with all the others. I want you to be greeted by order no matter where you look in your home and work environments.

Take a peek today.

Do you have a dirty little secret?

Blessings,
Regina

What type of information would you most like to find here?

June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

My photo

I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.