Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do you have a long lost love?

When I was a little girl there was a lot of interest in what I would be when I grew up.  I was a late in life accident for my parents.  They hadn't planned on having children and then after 10 years I entered the scene.  They wanted a doctor or a lawyer.  And what did they get?  An artist! One day when I was about 5 years old,  I announced that in addition to being a surgeon I also wanted to be a singer.  My mother's best friend said: "If you want to be a surgeon you have to abandon the silly idea of being a singer." I was shocked! Why couldn't I do both? I was told I had to pick one.  As you might imagine I made the wrong choice in my mother's eyes.  Out went the idea of surgery as a profession and in came the idea of a life as a performer. I majored in Theater in college and when I graduated my father couldn't tell people I wanted to be an actress.  He was too ashamed.

Fast forward in time to the Presidency of Bill Clinton.  I remember the day he said that in the current world economy people would most likely find themselves having several jobs/careers in one lifetime. I thought that was great.  I realize that the idea of surgeon by day / singer by night probably still wouldn't fly, however, here's my question to you:  is there something you've always wanted to do that you left behind because you were told it was (pick your adjective) silly, stupid, irresponsible or ...? Here's a radical idea: find a way to incorporate that long lost love into your life this fall.

I'm not suggesting you abandon your career as a Wall Street analyst to become a starving artist.  Nor am I suggesting you quit your job and go back to school full time if you have a mortgage, a family and adult responsibilities.  I am suggesting that there just might be a way to incorporate your love into your life in a sane fashion that actually feeds your Soul.  Let's say you wanted to be a doctor but right after college you met the love of your life and started a family.  Could you set aside time to do volunteer work in a hospital once a week or even once a month?  Does the atmosphere of a hospital make you happy?  Could you go back to school and become a nurse or an LVN? What about acting or singing?  I was talking to a man last year who had just retired as a judge.  I asked what he wanted to do as a teenager.  I was floored when he said he had wanted to be a song & dance man! Now he's free to join a Community Theater.

Maybe you wanted to paint but had no way to support yourself as an artist.  Do you belong to your local museum?  Why not do that this year and pour yourself into an atmosphere that will bring you joy?  What did you leave behind?  How can you re-engage?  Whether it's volunteer work, a class or an internship, there's always a way to embrace an old love. Fall is a wonderful time to start no matter what your journey looks like. 

Remember that being organized will give you an edge because you will have control over your time and how it's to be spent.  Your home will be a nurturing space that supports your creative endeavors.  The easiest way to succeed at getting organized is to have the right motivation.  What better motivation could there be than making time to re-claim a part of yourself you put away to make others happy?  Let me know how this works out for you. You can e-mail me from my website.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to school! Holidays! It must be mid-August...

I feel like one of Pavlov's dogs this time of year.  

All I have to do is hear the words 'Labor Day Weekend' and I'm ready to go back to school.  I start thinking about trick or treating on Halloween.  My mouth waters for Thanksgiving dinner.  I start a Christmas gift list in my mind. I can only presume that most of you are wired the same way.  We are after all creatures of habit.

The same old / same old can sometimes be translated as 'tradition.'  It doesn't have to be a bad thing.  But if you are always frustrated by the way your home runs during the school year, if you are always behind the proverbial 8 ball when it comes to the holidays, if you wish you were going back to school to learn something new but feel it's impossible ... well, how about a fresh approach?  Perhaps 'same old / same old' needs a tune up.

School Days

Take about 15 minutes and sit quietly with your Zen Organizing Journal.  It might be a word file on your computer or a special notebook you purchased just for this purpose.  What matters is that it's special to you as well as private. Please answer the following questions:

  1. Is the school year always a nightmare for you? 
  2. Do your children get out the door on time?
  3. Can they do homework easily in the late afternoon / early evening?
  4. Do they have too many after school activities?
  5. Is your family eating healthy foods or would Chef Jamie Oliver cringe in your kitchen?
Let's see if we can't implement a few simple organizing tips and tricks to change your experience.  If any of these areas is not an issue for you, please give yourself a big pat on the back for me. Now sit quietly with your journal.  If thoughts came up for you as you reviewed the questions, feel free to journal about them and see what discoveries, insights or new ways of being you can invent.

Think back on the year just past.  Why was it a nightmare?  Be specific and list the culprits.  Take them one by one and consider what the antidote would be.  School won't get better because your children are older or you have more experience.  it will get better if you do things differently. We live in a cause and effect Universe.  Set new causes in motion and new results are sure to follow.
  • If everyone in your home is racing out the door with a sugar loaded donut heading for Starbucks, stop the madness!  There are several things you can do to heal the morning rush: get up 15 minutes earlier and have breakfast started in advance of everyone else getting up; set the table the night before; stagger wake up times to avoid a rush in the bathroom(s); assign chores if your children are old enough: set the table, clear the table, wash the dishes, load the dryer, put dishes away, feed the dog, walk the dog, make beds and take out the trash are right off the top of my head with little or no effort. There is no end to the way children can help. Be sure you assign age and skill appropriate assignments.
  • Improve or change where homework is done. Have you provided adequate lighting, a quiet atmosphere, the right school supplies and healthy snacks? Do any of your children need a tutor for specific subjects?
  • Unless your child is literally training for the Olympics, does he/she really need all the after school activities they had last year?  We've become a nation obsessed with extracurricular activities!  Rest, reading and unstructured play time are all important if your want a well rounded child.
  • What is the quality of food in your refrigerator?  Is everything brown? Does your family eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day? Take a look at the labels on those processed packages. I bet you find a sodium content that would bloat a Marine in boot camp.  Do a little food research. Check out other markets in your neighborhood for better prices and/or fresher produce.  Shop your local Farmer's Market.  Start planning meals and shop with a list. And of course never shop when you are hungry.
Trick or Treat?

While that phrase is usually associated with Halloween, next week I'd like to take a look at your life.  Has fate played a trick on you?  Are you in a situation you never imagined?  It's never to late to find an old dream and a new way to make it real. That's a real treat.

See you soon!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thank you for your comments...

...however unless they are written in English I will have to delete them.

Thank you for stopping by and supporting my work.

Regina Leeds

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June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

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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.