Hello! In the spirit of gift-giving and spreading the love, I’ve been thinking about what we could gift ourselves right now. I made a little list which I'd like to share with you here.
GIFTS TO GIVE YOURSELF 🎁
- Free time: It may be a little hard to find, but whenever you can snatch a few moments to yourself, please do so. It’s amazing what even 10 minutes can do to restore body and mind. Make a little list now of what you’d do with those 10 minutes. Would you read, snuggle in bed, cuddle your pet, go for a walk? If they sound tempting, can you find time to do one of them today?
- Compassion: I bet you’re harder on yourself than you are on your loved ones! I know I certainly am. I seem to think I can do it all. I set the bar really high then have a go at myself when I don’t quite reach. Would you expect your family, kids, or friends to do everything, all of the time? What do you say to them when they fail - Don’t worry, you tried your best? No-one’s perfect? Have another gone tomorrow? Practice saying these things to yourself instead and show yourself some kindness. Ask yourself whether it really all needs to be done by yesterday? Does it all need to be done perfectly? Does it all need to be done anyway, and by you?
- A kick up the ***: Bet you weren’t expecting this one on the list! Well, it may not be the most obvious gift but I do personally believe that practicing tough love on ourselves is important sometimes. It could be saying no to that last slice of chocolate cake, chastising ourselves for being too lazy to go out for a walk, chopping up our credit cards if we’re drowning in debt, or removing apps off our phone to limit time on social media. Being hard on ourselves and saying enough is vital for a bit of personal responsibility and realizing that real change has to come from within. Tough love shouldn’t be your default mindset but every now and then I think it comes in handy.
- Appreciation: Stand in front of the mirror and say some lovely things about yourself. Stop looking at those wrinkles or the grey hairs showing through, or the dimply and wobbly bits, or that you’ve forgotten to feed the dog… Put negativity, criticism, and your To-Do list aside for a moment and say some kind things about that amazing body and mind of yours and all that it does for you every day. (And then go and feed the dog if you need to!).
I’d love to know if you’ve got anything to add to this list. I think there are plenty of other things but it would be a very long email and we’d definitely be here until Christmas just reading it!
A LITTLE CHALLENGE FOR YOU THIS WEEK ✍
- Find 10 minutes to yourself each day for the next week. Do something for yourself in that precious time.
- List 5 things you love about your body and re-read that list whenever you catch yourself thinking something unkind about how you look.
- Knock a task off your To-Do list that you don’t really need to do, or delegate it to someone else if that’s an option. Your partner or kids? Cooking dinner? Housework? Feeding the dog?
- Practice tough love. Be aware of when you’re doing something that’s not in your best interest (eating that second piece of cake, reaching for the TV remote instead of your walking shoes) and give yourself a little talking to. Do you really need that cake? Could you go for a walk first and then reach for the remote? Willpower and motivation are like a muscle. They get stronger the more they’re used!
Hit reply and let me know how you get on with these little challenges or where you struggled most!
Welcome to another Sunday and another little dose of encouragement to find simplicity in your home and your life wherever possible.
In a world full of uncertainty and change, I think we can all benefit from taking heart in the simple little things that make up the ebb and flow of our days.
For me, personally, that means:
- Teaching (to pay the bills)
- Walking (for calm, fresh air, exercise, and my love of nature)
- Keeping up with my (very flexible routines) for housework and looking after myself and my family (because my home, kids and myself all work better when we have a little structure!)
For the most part, they may seem like mundane, predictable tasks but in a 2020 that’s been full of change, sometimes the known feels better than the unknown!
Having said that, I’ll certainly be ready for a bit more excitement as soon as Covid restrictions let us. Fingers crossed for everyone…
If you’d like to share how you feel about your days in 2020 and the little things that you find joy in, I’d love to hear from you. 😊
THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG ✍
This week I’ve shared a couple of new posts on the blog. You can check them out with the links below.
THE CORE LIBRARY
The At The Core library filled with my free resources is available to you whenever you need it.
It's my way of saying thank you to everyone who joins my email community.
It's packed with really helpful checklists, printables and workbooks to help you declutter your home, your mind, manage your time, and simplify your life.
Just sign in and you will be able to access it :)
I’d like to leave you with a short but powerful little quote from Muhammad Ali…
Even days filled with the mundane, the predictable and sometimes the downright difficult, try to seek out the little joys. 💝
Connect with me:
Roadmap: Not sure where to start? This may help!
Instagram: Simple tips and inspiration for daily motivation and encouragement.
Pinterest: A wealth of ideas, inspiration, and extra resources to help simplify our complex and busy lives.
That’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend, stay safe, and look after yourself.
I’ll be back in your inbox next week.
Simplicity = Less clutter and stress, more clarity and calm.
I used to really struggle with the word ‘abundance’.
It felt self-righteous, arrogant, and... well, not very ‘spiritual’.
When I first started on my awakening journey and heard people throwing that word around left, right and center, it made me squirm. But you know what? That was because I had a block around it! But I didn’t know it...
So for the longest time, I couldn’t work out why my health wasn’t soaring, why my relationships weren’t overflowing, and why I could never get a break in my career or finances. Turns out, it was because I had major blocks around abundance and manifesting.
My inner Mean Girl would tell me...
You don’t deserve X, Y and Z.
Who do you think you are, trying to manifest this and that?
Get over yourself! You will never be overflowing in your health, wealth or love.
Then I realized that I needed to get serious about manifesting what I desired in my life. The problem was, I started manifesting from a place of fear. I’d say to myself —
I must have perfect health because I’m scared of getting sick.
I want more money so that I can pay my debt so I don't get bad credit.
I desperately want to find something that I’m passionate about because my life currently sucks and there’s got to be more out there than this.
I was “manifesting”, just like all the spiritual books and teachers told me to do… and nothing was happening. Absolutely nada. I was still unwell and unhappy, so I decided that all the manifesting ‘hocus pocus’ I’d heard so much about simply didn’t work.
That is until I realized something massive: that I was manifesting from a place of fear.
Instead of attracting in the things I desired from a place of love, I was trying to call in what I wanted while swimming in a puddle of fear… no wonder it wasn’t working! But I was serious about achieving abundance in all areas of my life, so I figured I may as well give this whole ‘manifesting from a place of love’ thing a go. So I did!
Instead of saying, ‘I must have perfect health because I’m scared of getting sick’, I changed it around to the present tense and started saying, ‘I’m healthy, strong, energetic and vital’.
Instead of saying, ‘I want more money so that I can pay my debt and not get bad credit’, I started saying, ‘I have complete financial freedom and money flows to me’.
And instead of saying, ‘I desperately want to find something that I’m passionate about because my life currently sucks and there’s got to be more out there than this’, I started saying, ‘I am open to trying new things, feeling into what lights me up, and following my curiosity’.
Can you see what a huge energetic shift this makes?
Your words and thoughts are potent. What you say to yourself will manifest in your life.
To truly manifest, you must draw in your desires from a place of love, not fear!
Try it for yourself, and see what a huge difference it can make. 💛
And here’s your Brain Fuel for this week:
Love, xoxo Shanna
"As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $1,000 or a $10 watch - they both tell the same time. Whether we carry a $500 or $50 wallet/handbag - the amount of money inside is the same. Whether we drink a bottle of $100 or $10 wine - the hangover is the same. Whether the house we live in is 100 or 1,000 square feet - the loneliness is the same.
You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.
SIX UNDENIABLE FACTS OF LIFE:
1. Don't educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.
2. Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise, you have to eat medicines as your food.
3. The one who loves you will never leave you because even if there are 100 reasons to give up he or she will find 1 reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being a human. Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to give as much love as you can back to the world.
6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.
SIX BEST DOCTORS IN THE WORLD:
Maintain them in all stages of life and enjoy a healthy life." - Uknown
If you're reading this and struggling on finding your happiness, look at the simpler things, instead of the big things. Do not compare yourself to anyone, what society, or people in your life who are telling you how you should live your life. Listen to your heart and gut, they will never fail you. And, as always, remember your health is #1. If you're taking care of your body, your body will take care of you. It's as simple as that.
You can be doing so much to heal, but if you aren’t *investing* in what fills you up, in what makes your soul shine, then what are you really doing?
Maybe you’re getting some relief but are you feeling fulfilled, whole?
When I say invest, I mean energetically AND monetarily. We can’t sit around waiting, wishing, hoping, praying. As if these things that our heart & soul desires will just fall into our lap. We have to DO
Buy that book you’ve been eyeing
Treat yourself to that massage
Book a session with that healer
Enroll in that course
Purchase supplies for your new venture
Get the new appliance
Join that dance class
Go to that $20 event
Go to that free event
Plan your own event
Do the hobby you love
Take up the new hobby you’ve been curious about
Check out that fitness studio
List that thing you’ve been meaning to sell
Post those words you’ve been wanting to share
Connect w/ the person you’ve been thinking about
Take those 45 minutes each day for you
Rest as much as needed
Give back to others. Do good for the community. Get money circulating!
GET. OUT. THERE! Get out of your head & do something with your mind! Get the energy flowing through your body & out into the universe! Do the things you want to do! The things that bring you life!
What you circulate out, comes back to you in beautiful ways. Believe in that!
Get rid of the habits & pastimes that block you from being able to invest. Build the investment within you to have the stamina with what you want to create
I understand it can be scary to break free from our comfort zones or to spend the extra money. But what’s the result if you don’t do that? Remaining stuck. When we invest we open up space, we let things flow in naturally
What have you been wanting to do that’ll allow you to grow? Make a list for yourself *today*, just 3-5 items, & begin checking those things off💫
I've always liked to identify August as the "calm before the storm" month. If you think about it, it is really our last quiet month of 2020. September comes, school is back in session, summer vacations are over, and we hit reality at full speed. Then the holidays come (let's be honest, holidays can be busy, productive, and stressful), and then BOOM, a new year. 2020 has been one surprise after the next, so my plan is to focus on well-needed R&R (rest and recuperate). Who's joining me?
To help get your R&R started, below are a few tips!
#1. BE MINDFUL BUT THINK LESS.
The environment we are living in right now, in my opinion, is very toxic. The election month is approaching and I feel like as the days get closer to November 3rd, I hear more and more negativity. I am programmed to pay no attention to any negativity. My advice to you is to do the same. It's important to be aware of what's going on in the world but, if you can, do your best to tune out all negativity. Focus ONLY on what directly affects you and what serves you. If it doesn't directly affect you or serve you, then pay no attention to it. It's as simple as that. :) Spend that energy on doing something you enjoy - cooking, reading a book, going for a walk, or catching up with a friend.
#2. SKIP THE GUILT.
You've heard me say this before but I think it's important to say it again. The amount of time and energy that is spent on the guilt of what food item you should or should not have eaten or a work out you didn't do, does not belong in your headspace. I want you to eliminate any guilt that you are carrying around from the PAST. The past is the past. I want you to focus on the present and only the present. Remember, it's okay to indulge in those simple pleasures in life, as long as you're doing it mindfully and respecting your body. Enjoy a cocktail, just don't go crazy on consumption and empty calories. Stay in control of your body, mind, and your choices. Eat mindfully, balanced, and I promise your body will reward you. Reminder, you are building a sustainable lifestyle, NOT following a "diet".
#3. SPEND EVERY MOMENT YOU CAN OUTSIDE
In case you did not know, vitamin D is one of your most important vitamins. It's your happy vitamin, and essential for keeping your immune system and bones strong. In early May I made a promise to myself to take a walk every night. Whether it be 20 mins, 30 mins, 40 mins, or 60 mins, whatever I have time and energy for is what I do. It has been a game-changer for my overall mental health. Nothing beats fresh air, quiet time, and the coastline (if you follow me on Instagram you've seen these posts!). Make the effort this month to spend as much time outside. Soak in the vitamin D (wearing sunscreen of course), enJOY the warm temperatures (reminder: CT has 7-8 months of cold weather), fresh air, and if you live near any body of water - lake, river, ocean - get in that water!!
#4. GET OFF YOUR PHONE
I am by no means judging, you need to do what is right for you. BUT, too many people spend too much time playing on their phones. Scrolling through social media, reading Twitter, news articles, & much more. Due to recent happenings, I have made a commitment to get off my phone. I found myself going through rabbit holes on social media, getting sucked into the news, and became overwhelmed/stressed. I recognized that it was becoming toxic to my mental health. If you follow me on social platforms, you may notice that I am not AS present as I once was. When you own a business, I understand this isn't ideal but, I needed to do it. I found that documenting my life on a social platform was taking away from me engaging in good conversation, enjoying my surroundings, and living in the moment. I also found it to decrease my stress levels. Being on my phone less was meant to be a temporary thing but is now a permanent thing. At least for now. ;)
Let's make September the best month yet! Stress-less, live-more!
If you have additional mental health plans for September, I would love to hear. Send me an email!
I am wishing you all a peaceful, healthy (load up on in-season foods listed below!), and safe month of September.
Take a minute to check in with yourself. Do you feel overwhelmed?
There are things each person needs to feel fulfilled. That is going to look different for you than it does for me. Being a stay at home mom and nurturing your children all day may be your thing. For others, it may be working a 9-5 job, going to the gym, and going home to cook yourself a meal. In either scenario, women are giving it their all in many areas of their life. They’re giving to their family, their employer, their friends, their hobbies.
Where does self come into play?
For me, there are certain practices I absolutely need in place to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s hard for me to take time for myself. To get my mind quiet. It can be chaotic with a husband, kids, and dogs. I know it’s important to take a step back and do something for myself but it’s still hard. Is it hard for you too?
It’s so important to let your mind be quiet and still. We can get in such a routine of go-go-go that we forget to pause. We only realize we need a break once we get too far away from our center. Don’t lose yourself to your responsibilities, your friends, or your family. If you’re constantly giving to everyone else, you’ll eventually have nothing left to give. Trust me, I’ve gotten there a few times and it’s a dark place. You need to refill your cup so you have something to give to others. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself. You wouldn’t see taking a bathroom break or lunch break as selfish, right? Your mental and emotional state is just as important as your physical state. This doesn’t have to be an intense self-care ritual. It can be as simple as a five minute meditation, reading a book, going on a walk by yourself without being connected to social media or work.
Take a minute to ask yourself, what do you need right now to feel supported? What do you need in this moment to feel peace and happiness?
To all the women out there that are trying to be everyone’s everything- I see you and I hear you. If you need help with your self care routine, or how you can better take care of yourself, let me know. I’m here to support you.
I want to share with you my recent experiences around privilege. The definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”. You may be privileged, or lack privilege, because of your race, gender, ability, wealth, or class.
Recently I’ve come to realize I’ve been privileged all along. How so? Keep reading…
Let’s start at the foundation of where privilege can possibly come from, that being, the family you are born into. Let’s face it, you can be blessed with the family you are born into or you can not be. Being blessed means you never have to wonder if there will be food on the table. You never have to question being loved. Then there is the flip side of things. There are many children born into a family in which they are neglected and/or around traumatizing situations. I truly believe this ONE distinguishing factor directly influences MANY avenues of an individual's life.
For me, I was lucky and fell into the blessed category. Growing up I had parents who worked hard to provide the best opportunities they could. Although divorced, they both were actively involved in my daily life and I always knew I was loved. I was able to go to a Catholic high school, attend college, and find employment with great benefits directly after college. As I grew up, I never thought of these things as special or unique. I thought that this was just how life was supposed to be and was for others. Ironically, now, I can say I was privileged. The fact is, if I didn’t have my parents' support, both financially and emotionally, I never would have ended up where I did. I know that for a fact.
The past few weeks we’ve been at the Napa Center in Boston getting therapies for my youngest daughter, Lyssie. This center was not well known in my circle and I had to do a lot of research on my own to even find out about it. There was a lot of correspondence with therapists, insurance, billing, etc. to get things in motion. Had I not been educated enough to navigate these different systems we wouldn’t be here. This got me thinking about privilege and what that looks like for me and my family and that my privileges now were directly influencing my children. They are privileged for the opportunities/experiences that they are given from us as their parents and the rest of our family.
Privilege doesn’t need to be seen as a bad thing. Everyone wants privileges. Everyone wants access and opportunity. The problem is not privileges. The problem is that not everyone is given privileges. For example, the intensive center that we are at now, these types of high-level therapeutic supports for a child that qualifies as needing so, should be available to all. It makes me sad to think this is not a basic level of care that is provided to people. It makes me disappointed to know there are other children like Lyssie, that don’t know about centers like this and all of the other opportunities out there.
These advanced centers are something that I feel should be available to everyone regardless of their employment, benefits, or financial status. Don’t get me wrong, there are services provided for free, and for anyone with a disability by the state of CT from birth to 3. I’m incredibly grateful for that and the therapist that we have developed a wonderful relationship with. The difference between those free services and a center like this is the intensity level of it, the newer kinds of therapies/equipment utilized and the resources provided. This is the best of the best. And who doesn’t want that for their child?
So again, when talking about privileges I am privileged because I can get my child into a center like this. I can utilize my insurance. If insurance wasn’t an option, I still would be able to find a way to pay for it. Now to tie this all together...let’s work this privilege backward to see where it lands. Do you see it? I owe it all to my parents. So thank you, mom and dad, for the privileges that you worked so hard for me to have. I’m sorry it took me so long to see them as what they truly are.
I want to know what your thoughts are on this topic. Have you thought about your privilege? If you don’t have privilege, I want you to share it as well. I want to hear your perspective. Do you think a lot of it had to do with your life growing up and the opportunities you were/weren’t allotted? I want to have an open dialog conversation with you about this topic and how we can make changes. I may not have all the answers but together we can work to make a real impact in this area.
Take care everyone.
If you’d like further information about this center and how to navigate insurance etc. please DM me. I’ve attached many videos/pics of Lyssie’s sessions on our FB page, Perfectly Placed. Please come join us :)