25 Productive and Fun Indoor Activities for When It’s Cold Outside

things to do when it rains indoor activities

This is my first winter outside of California and I am learning a lot about the seasons and cold weather. I’m still not comfortable driving in snow and icy conditions and am grateful that I work from home and can stay in on those days. My CA friends are experiencing an unusual amount of rain and feeling house bound too.

Wintry weather makes me want to sit on the couch with a cat in my lap and read novels or binge watch Netflix. It feels great for awhile, but I can only sit for so long before getting antsy and wanting to find something to do. Something productive or fun that doesn’t involve putting on a coat or chipping ice off my car. Continue reading

2 Fun Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving More Meaningful

gvie thanks pumpkin

I do not have the benefit of family nearby to spend my Thanksgiving with, but don’t feel bad for me. I have a nice long visit with my loved ones coming up. I also have invitations for breakfast and dinners with other Thanksgiving misfits. And, sometimes I choose to spend this special holiday alone as a restful, self-nurturing day.

Whatever my day looks like, there are a couple Thanksgiving practices I never miss that fill my heart and feed my soul. I feel more grounded in the meaning of the holiday because of them. You might enjoy them, too. Continue reading

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

happy little girl under umbrella stay positive

Life gets rough at times. You may be experiencing personal challenges, surrounded by negative people, or inundated with bad news, but you don’t have to feel yucky because of it.

As I write this we are nearing the presidential election and I find that talk of politics and all of the negativity involved is upsetting me. My clients feel the same way.

So this may be the perfect time to find some ways to feel good when when life is dragging us down.
Continue reading

Road Trip Magic

Utah 19

My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.

We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.

We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.

Common themes in our conversations were:

  • Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
  • How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
  • Respect for the courage of  pioneers who traveled through these lands
  • How blessed we were to be experiencing it all

Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.

I would like to share a few with you:

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

 

Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.

Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?

I feel so humbled and blessed.

At a Loss for Words

Linda and Traci

Linda and Traci after two 10 hour days of driving.

I’ve been quiet. Very quiet. And, I have also been very, very busy.

It has been several weeks since I last posted and I keep waiting for the words to come, but my brain seems to be busy synthesizing all I have experienced. I think it needs time to catch up with my life.

So, maybe I will just start writing and see what happens.

In the last month or so, I have:

  • Sold my house in California
  • Sold or given away more than 1/2 of my possessions
  • Packed what was remaining in a moving pod in 111 degree heat
  • Welcomed my friend Traci who flew in from Tennessee to drive cross country with me
  • Road tripped with Traci from CA to Missouri with my 2 cats in the back seat of the car
  • Worried about my stressed out kitten cats the entire way
  • Experienced the incredible natural beauty of our country including red rock in Utah, mountain vistas in Colorado, and the big sky of Kansas
  • Felt awe at the courage of the pioneers who crossed our country in tiny wagons, often on the same land we were traveling
  • Felt tipsy and giggly after 2 sips of a Margarita on night two of our trip – it was Traci’s fault
  • Drove up to my new little house in Missouri on the evening of day 3
  • Was welcomed with wide open arms by my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren
  • Took Traci to the airport and cried as she left
  • Started settling into my home

Yep! I’ve been busy. This was a courageous step for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Stay tuned. There is more to come…

A Cat, A Lizard, and a Life Lesson

answers are closer than you think

The other day I let my cat Chloe (pictured above) out on the patio for a bit of fresh air. I pictured her rolling in the sun or maybe taking a cat nap, but she had something else in mind. Her real mission became obvious when she came running back into the house with a baby lizard in her mouth.

Oh drat!

And, because I am a softie for all living things (well, almost all) I wanted to rescue the little creature.

I convinced Chloe to let go of it and saw the lizard run for cover under my TV stand. After locking my naughty kitty in the bedroom I came back armed with a flashlight, but couldn’t find my new reptile friend anywhere. My next step was to take everything off the TV stand and even move it out of it’s nook, but alas, there was no lizard in site.

I was about to give up and was having visions of the cats finding it while I slept and leaving a bloody, dead creature on the floor where I would step on it in the morning.

Double drat!

But as I stood up, I noticed a feeling like a dryer sheet had been left in my pants. When I pulled my pants down to get it, what did I see? A baby lizard clinging for dear life to my thigh.

Yikes!

Fortunately, I am not afraid of lizards. My friend Michelle might have died on the spot, but I put Baby Lizzy back in the yard where she will be safe. Unless Chloe finds her again.

Later that day I was talking to a client who was looking for answers. She took classes, went to psychics, and asked everyone what she should do. I knew then that my close encounter with the little lizard was the perfect story to remind her that her answers were closer than she thought. The solutions weren’t out there. They were already within her. In her gut. In her heart. Or, maybe on her leg.

Perhaps, Baby Lizzie was a spiritual teacher in disguise.

Related posts:

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

Fear and Anxiety: How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

And, for those who don’t get freaked out by reptiles, here is a site about Western Fence Lizards

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

What It Feels Like to Become a Grandmother

My Grandkids

Christopher, Thomas, and Becca

Nothing prepared me for what was going to happen when my first grandchild was born. Friends would get these mysterious smiles and say, “Just wait, it will be wonderful.”

And it was. More than wonderful. 

Even though my oldest grandson is about to graduate high school, the moment I first saw him is branded in my heart and mind forever.

Everything fell away in that moment and my heart opened beyond anything I could have imagined. I was experiencing a miracle of life and love.

No more guarding and protecting my heart. No more sitting on the sidelines. I was in! All in! 

The same feelings came forward when his sister and brother were born, but that first time was like a shock to my system because I didn’t know I could love that freely and at such a deep level. I hadn’t realized how big my heart really was.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my son more than anything, but we were separated when he was born because he was premature and didn’t get to experience those first magical moments together. And then, there was all that single parenting struggle that kept me busy and my upbringing in a family that didn’t show affection that held me back. So even though I loved him more than life itself, I didn’t have the skills or freedom to really demonstrate it at the time.

That is why being a grandma is different than being a mom. We are free to just love without the daily stress and worries. We can see things from a broader perspective supported by our years of experience and our only job is to be there fully for these new precious beings that come into our lives.

There is a moment I remember when my grandchildren were young that symbolizes for me what being a grandma is about.  

As I walked into their house one day, they all ran over to hug me at the same time and ended up knocking me down onto the floor. Their parents yelled at them to stop and I remember looking up and trying to figure out why. Because I was in heaven. Pure bliss. Wrestled to the floor with love.

That is what it feels like to become a grandmother.

I guess I am feeling nostalgic because my first grandbaby will be going to college soon, but I will never forget how it felt to become a grandmother for the first time. My heart will never be the same again. And that, is a good thing.

Please feel free to comment on this post. I would love to hear what you have to say about becoming a grandmother.

30 Ideas for Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

Christmas Kindness

Even as we are out spending money on gifts for our loved ones, we are surrounded by people for whom the holidays are challenging.  They may feel stressed, alone, depressed, or be having financial difficulties.  So, I encourage you to take the spirit of the season to a new level by giving in little random ways that can make all the difference for someone in need.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Smile at strangers
  2. Leave a large tip
  3. Pay for the person behind you in line
  4. Visit a nursing home
  5. Invite someone without local family to your holiday gathering
  6. Buy extra pet food and donate it to a shelter or rescue group
  7. Give blood
  8. Put change in an empty parking meter
  9. Send flowers to brighten someone’s day
  10. Bring treats for your office mates
  11. Adopt a homeless animal
  12. Leave hidden love notes for your family
  13. Donate money, clothing, or anything that will support charity
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  15. Volunteer your time to help others
  16. Hold the door open for others
  17. Be a Secret Santa for someone in need
  18. Support local charities and businesses
  19. Thank your local police and/or fire departments
  20. Send a heartfelt letter of appreciation to someone
  21. Pick up trash
  22. Adopt a family, senior, child, or soldier for the holidays
  23. Contribute to a toy or food drive
  24. Go Christmas caroling
  25. Hug someone
  26. Listen to someone who needs to talk
  27. Compliment people around you
  28. Give away your parking spot
  29. Shovel someone’s walkway or clean their yard
  30. Leave a nice comment on a blog or Facebook post

 

How to Integrate Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

gratitude

Gratitude. It feels warm and fuzzy, but is powerful enough to rewire your brain. It is my go to strategy when feeling a lack of abundance and can literally change how you feel about life.

The trick is to stay tapped into it and let it integrate through your body, mind, and soul.

I used to have my clients write 5 things they are grateful for every day in order to connect with this thankful energy, but over time the practice began to feel stale.  It became just another thing to do and the feeling connection to gratitude was lost.

Mixing things up helps.

  • Looking for hearts, signs, or synchronicities
  • Taking pictures of things we find beautiful
  • Spending time in nature
  • Fostering awareness of magical moments in daily life

All of these are great tools to spark a practice of thankfulness, but they only work when you take the time to really feel and fully integrate them.

In order to ground yourself in the warm, fuzzy, life is amazing, miracles happen, anything is possible energy of gratitude you must sit with it, give it your full attention, and let it fill your heart.

A gratitude practice is not something you do, it is something you feel.

When you let the awareness of blessings touch every moment of your life, you open the door to a life full of miracles.

My personal gratitude practice may look different from day to day. Yesterday, I was mesmerized by clouds and took a lot of pictures. The day before it was a meditation on all the special people in my life. And, as I write these words today, my heart is full of love and gratitude for all of you.

The one thing I do consistently as I lay my head on the pillow each night is to review my day with an open heart.  I savor the day’s blessings, let go of what does not serve me, and thank God for all I have received.

No matter what is happening in your life, you have much to be grateful for, too. I invite you to focus on the gifts in your days and let them lift you up and fill your heart. It can be life changing.

How to Reconnect with Your Happy, Playful Inner Child

happy lttle girl 600

I have a friend who everyone seems to love. She is of a mature age (trying to be polite here) and lives life in a responsible way. What makes her stand out, though is her penchant for wearing pink, sparkly high top sneakers. Everywhere. Even business meetings and church. She says they make her happy and remind her to sparkle. I’ve noticed that they also make the people around her smile.

My friend has tapped into her playful inner child.

I want what she has. She seems to feel lighter and happier than the rest of us. More care free. And, her sparkliness invites adventure, fun, and friendships into her life.

It’s easy to forget what it feels like to play. As an adult you have responsibilities and expectations to live up to. You are probably so busy doing what you think you have to do that you don’t even remember you have all that joy within. But, don’t worry. You inner child will never give up on you.

You can reconnect with her again through: Continue reading

How to Bring More Joy and Well-Being into Your Life

dog jumping

When I was studying spiritual psychology, one of our assignments was to create and follow a weekly action plan for bringing more joy and well-being into our lives. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited about the idea. It was just one more thing I had to do.

Being the little rule follower that I am, I actually followed through on the assignment and started creating moments designed to invite in joy and well-being. After a few months, it became a habit and I noticed that I felt more positive and, dare I say, even happy.  Really? Me? Continue reading

Simple Ways to Make Life Better

garden angel make life better

Twitter is not usually my thing, but one of my clients told me about a hashtag stream of people offering their 3 word suggestions on how to make life better.  I found many of the posts inspiring and thought you might too.

Here is what they had to say:  Continue reading

Fear and Anxiety – How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

fear and anxiety t-rex lizard brain
For some reason I have been hearing the term “lizard brain” a lot this week.  This is a nickname for the part of your brain that deals with survival and creates your fight or flight response.  You may think of it as your own personal freak out zone.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Rewire Your Brain and Feel More Positive

rewire brain be more positive smiley faces

It is easy to fall into the quicksand of negative thinking.  You only need to have two negative thoughts in a row to settle into old remembered patterns that trap and pull you under. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

It’s all about brain grooves.  The grooves are like default settings created by past negative thoughts.  For some of us those grooves are pretty deep.

According to brain scientists and experts in the field of positive psychology, we can reverse this process and rewire our brains by repeatedly feeding them positive input.  It is not easy and will take time, but the rewards are definitely worth it.  Besides, you will be thinking anyway. Why not choose thoughts that will make you feel better?

The following Positivity Practices have supported my clients and I in rewiring our brains.  I bet they can help you, too.

Observe and Record Positive Moments – there are wonderful things happening around us every day that we just don’t pay attention to.  Open your eyes and heart to become more aware and then ground in these moments by recording them in some way.  Once you open to them, you will start finding them everywhere.  Here are some ideas my clients enjoy:

  • Writing daily about what opened your heart or magical moments you experienced
  • Creating a gratitude journal
  • Photographing things you find beautiful or that warm your heart
  • Looking for heart shapes around you as you go through your day

Embrace Positive Input – take a break from news, books, movies, and people that bring you down or feed a negative mindset.  Choose things that lift you up instead:

  • Books or movies that inspire you or make you laugh
  • Happy people
  • Beautiful or fun music – you might enjoy the Grateful song
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Positive visualizations
  • Sign up for daily inspirational emails or fun videos – I enjoy ones from Martha Beck
  • Try affirmations – if you sign up at Mind Movies they will send you 6 affirmation videos that are about 3 minutes long.  They are nicely done and free.

Reverse Your Psychology – when you have a negative mind loop around a specific subject, you can shift it by building evidence that it is not true.  Write at least 3 things daily that are going well in that area.  Don’t just list them.  Anchor them more deeply by writing at least a couple sentences.

  • If you are concerned about money – write three ways money came to you or that you felt abundant
  • If you are worried about health – write about three ways you are healthy or your health is improving
  • If you don’t like your body – write about three ways it serves you or three parts of it you can appreciate

You get the idea …

Shifting out of negative thinking is one of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself and playing with these ideas will help your brain start to create new happier grooves.  Soon you will find yourself walking around the quicksand of negative thinking without getting stuck in it.

Your turn:  What positive thinking practices do you want to bring into your life?  You can respond by commenting below …

 

Rocks: A Story of Finding Beauty on the Other Side of Resistance

rocks balanced on each other

 

When I first moved into my house I felt sure one of the first things I would do would be remove the landscaping rocks that filled the planting areas. I envisioned soft, rich earth I could dig my hands into and a yard filled with home grown vegetables and beautiful plants and flowers.

When spring came that first year, I was fired up and ready to get rid of the rocks.  I started digging, but soon discovered they were everywhere and had infiltrated deep into the soil.  I gave up after digging down a couple feet and finding no end to them.   The next year, with a renewed sense of motivation, I tried again.  This time, I dug as deep as 3 feet in one area only to find the soil was still full of rocks.

I started to hate those rocks and may have even said a few four letter words, which is very unusual for me.  

The third year, I decided to stop resisting and simply accept them.  I even bought more rocks to replenish areas where they had grown thin on top.  Potted plants and succulents became my new garden style.

And then, something strange happened.  

While out on my morning walks, I started to be drawn to rocks along the path.  I was intrigued by their shapes and felt compelled to take some of them home.  I didn’t understand what was going on, but trusted my instincts.

One day, I sat down with the pile of rocks I had gathered and started balancing them on each other.  I became mesmerized by their shapes and how they fit together in magical ways.  The results were both interesting and beautiful. I had come full circle.  Instead of resisting rocks, I now loved them.

Because of this experience, when I find myself resisting something, I remember the potential for beauty and transformation that can come when I let the resistance go. 

And, because it can happen for me, I know it can happen for you, too.  Are you willing to let go of resistance and find out what magic is waiting on the other side?

This was first posted on my old blog in 2014 as part of a blog challenge about teachable moments.

Photo: rock sculptures in my yard

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

 

Joey and Chloe 2 500

I had been holding back on adopting another animal since my Smoky went to kitty heaven.  Not sure why, but it just hadn’t felt right yet.  In the meantime, my house had been too quiet (and clean), so I started to consider fostering homeless cats for Pet Smart charities.  I did this years ago and came away from it with lots of pictures and stories as well as a sense of satisfaction that I had made a difference in the lives of some very special animals.

So, I went to the Pet Smart store just to check it out and somehow came home with three little grey kittens to foster – Joey, Chloe, and Phoebe.

I thought it would be a breeze.  Silly me.  We were all traumatized within the first half hour.

My idea of starting them in the downstairs bathroom went haywire when one of them ran into the laundry room and behind the dryer.  I grabbed a flash light to check on her and realized it was possible that her head was stuck under the gas line.  The dryer couldn’t’ be pulled out much, so I climbed on top and reached and reached, but I have very short arms and didn’t get anywhere near her .  There was only one thing to do.

I dove head first behind the dryer with my feet straight up in the air.  I was able to get hold of the nape of the kitten’s neck, discovering that she was fine and not stuck at all.  That’s when I realized my predicament.  I couldn’t get back up.

I was stuck!

I was upside down, behind the dryer, hanging on to a kitten, and wondering if the neighbors would hear me if I called for help.   Probably not.  My only choice was to try and squirm and shimmy my way out, which I eventually did.  I am so grateful there was no one with a video camera in the house, even if they would have rescued me.

As I type this a couple days later, there are three adorable kittens looking out my screen door, enjoying the sun and breeze.  I wonder how many more adventures and stories we will create together before they get their forever homes.

Note: Please consider adopting or fostering a homeless animal.  Our animal companions enrich our lives and fill them with love.  There are wonderful pets out there living in cages or being euthanized every day.  One of them may be the next great love of your life.

Note 2: One of my clients asked me to re-post this.  I think she just likes picturing me being stuck behind the dryer when I give her homework.  It was first posted in my old blog in October 2012.  I kept little Chloe (Warrior Princess) and her brother Joey (Scaredy Cat). They are almost 3 years old and have truly blessed my life.  They are in the picture above with Chloe in the back.

What about you?  Have you ever adopted a homeless animal?  Please feel free to share your stories in the comments section.  I would love to see them.