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The day I fell on my ass

Yesterday I fell on my ass. It happens. Continue reading

Happiness starts now

happiness-starts-nowI spent a lot of time (too much time) chasing happiness before I discovered the major number one secret to happiness:Continue reading

How to celebrate the autumn equinox

Like it or not, it’s that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. The autumn season officially arrives Wednesday September 23rd with the autumn equinox as well as the pagan holiday Mabon – the day when the daylight hours equals the nighttime hours. Once this day is over, the nights will start getting longer as the days grow shorter and colder (for those of us in the northern hemisphere).

Many people celebrate the autumn equinox with various rituals, reaping the harvest while they prepare for winter. It’s also a wonderful time to reflect on the past as you prepare for the future. It’s a time of balance and renewal.

Here are some ways to celebrate the autumn equinox:

Meditate on balance.

Meditation is wonderful anytime but today it’s extra beneficial to meditate on balance. There are only two days a year (the spring and autumn equinoxes) when our planet is perfectly aligned with the sun. Use this energy to cement balance into your life. The meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or long. Simply sit with your eyes closed holding the intention of having balance in your life.

Balance your life.

Ask yourself how balanced your life is right now. Are you balancing work with play? Are you balancing time for yourself with time for others? Are you balancing your home life with external commitments? Take time today to discover where your life is out of balance and how you can realign it with a balance that works for you. It may not be perfect when you’re done but at least you’ll be well on your way to rebalancing your life.

Harvest something.

Autumn is a time of harvest. Even if you don’t have a garden or crops, you still have plenty you can harvest. Take stock in all that you have – your relationships, your possessions, your health, your finances, anything that’s important to you. What can you harvest from these things? What is ripe for the picking? Take some time to discover what you can harvest now and bring into the winter months with you.

Get into your garden

Spend some time in your garden, cleaning out the dead growth and preparing your beds for the colder months. Not only will your plants thank you but it will give you the opportunity to connect with the earth. It’s also an ideal time to plan ahead for the spring planting, digging holes now as needed while the earth is still warm and malleable.

Give thanks.

Even though Thanksgiving is a couple months away, the autumn equinox is an excellent time to give thanks. It’s a time of harvest and of reaping what you sow. Give thanks for all the wonderful (and maybe not so wonderful) things in your life, including people, events, health, hope, courage, strength, animals, nature, any and everything that makes your life better. Practice this through meditation or writing it out. I find writing it out strengthens it in my mind and makes me feel better. Whatever you focus on expands so this is a great practice of focusing on the positive.

Learn to let go.

Autumn is a time of death and renewal. It’s when the leaves die and fall from the trees, when plants die or go dormant, and when many animals hibernate or slow down. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking it’s a time of darkness and depression when in reality it’s simply the quiet time before the renewal in the spring. Allow yourself to use this time to slough off anything that’s no longer serving you, be it a relationship, job, situation, location, things, etc. Now is an excellent time to let them go for good. This letting go allows for something new to spring up in its place.

Honor your ancestors

A national holiday (and a day off) in Japan, the autumn equinox is a time to honor your ancestors and grieve the departed. You can do this solo or with other family members. Some people visit grave sites while others spend time in quiet contemplation. Reconnect with your past and your ancestors past. What can you learn from them? What can you learn from yourself?

However you plan to celebrate the autumn equinox, I wish you all the best in the coming months. Also – what are some of your autumn equinox rituals? I’d love to hear them.

Refuse to choose

Are you one of those people who can’t seem to decide on a career? Have you struggled for months (YEARS!) trying to figure out that one career that makes the most sense? Do you cringe whenever you hear “follow your passion” and “do the work you love?” If yes, you are not alone.

I have struggled right along with you (for YEARS) trying to determine which career to focus my attention on. I was under the impression that you had to pick just one. This all started in middle school when my parents sat me down and told me I had to get serious about my academic career and needed to figure out which career path I wanted to follow. I did not take this well and subsequently suffered for years afterwards trying to figure this out.

It wasn’t until recently when I rediscovered Barbara Sher’s book Refuse to Choose! that I finally gave in to the fact that I’m a scanner. According to Barbara, a scanner is someone who loves to do a variety of things (often simultaneously) and isn’t satisfied focusing on only one thing. They CANNOT only do one thing. They are not built that way. Focusing on only one thing drives a scanner crazy and leaves them deeply dissatisfied. 

I read the book back in 2006 when it came out but for some reason it’s taken rediscovering it in 2014 for it to really sink in.

You may be a scanner if…

  • You’re passionate about a bunch of things all at once.
  • You’re inundated with loads of ideas and you want to do them all (simultaneously).
  • The idea of only doing one career for the rest of your life freaks you out. How will you decide?
  • You feel like you can never stick with one thing.
  • You can’t choose one career path because you fear it’ll be the wrong one (and you’ll be stuck forever).
  • You have several projects going at once with new interests popping up regularly.
  • You can’t stand to do anything twice.
  • You’re afraid you’ll miss out on something.

If you’re a scanner, hello and welcome to our crazy world. Yes, we may not fit societal’s mold of picking one career for the rest of our lives, but once you get comfortable knowing that this is who you are, then you can relax and get on what you really want to do: EVERYTHING!

Not surprisingly, scanners come in all varieties ranging from cyclical scanners (who have four to five major areas of interest) to the Sybil (whose list of interest is endless and always expanding). No matter which type you are, there is a way to manage all of what you want to do with ease and grace and without losing your head.

Since graduating from college (communication major – can’t get much more broad), I’ve dabbled in marketing, publishing, writing (novels), journalism (writing boring financial articles), editing, graphic design, web design, real estate (briefly held a real estate license), life coaching, photography, and akashic readings. I’ve held full time jobs, telecommuting jobs, freelance jobs and owned my own businesses (multiple). I’ve been a managing editor, marketing coordinator, staffing sales associate, real estate agent, web designer, graphic designer, writer, proofreader, photographer, life coach and akashic records practitioner. A lot of these I’ve done simultaneously and continue to do (at least four). 

So, you see, you are not alone.

the scanner toolkit

It’s one thing to know you’re a scanner, it’s another to know what to do about it. 

The first tool Barbara suggests every scanner use is the SCANNER DAYBOOK. It’s a notebook dedicated to capturing all your thoughts and ideas so you have them in one place and easily accessible. You can do this in a notebook or online using Pinterest or bookmarks. Whatever works for you. I personally have a notebook where I capture everything. I call it my dream journal and it gives me comfort knowing all my great ideas are tucked away in there waiting.

The second is the WALL CALENDAR POSTER which is a six year calendar (you can make it yourself using poster board) used for marking down all the projects you want to do and giving them deadlines (times). I use this in a different way – writing out all my projects in a spreadsheet with deadlines. I break down each project (like write a new novel) down into bite size chucks (like develop a storyline) and assign deadlines to each chunk. I then sort them in order of their deadlines and waalaa – I have a workable “to do” list that helps me to manage all that I want to do.

Barbara also suggests using STICKY NOTES as a solution to capturing ideas and recommends sticking them everywhere.

I am so grateful for having found this book and to have stopped struggling with trying to nail down one career focus. As you can see from my website, I’m an intuitive life coach, akashic practitioner, photographer and writer and wouldn’t have it any other way. 

I’d love to hear about your experiences as a scanner. It’s helpful to know we’re not alone.