Category Archives: Blog

“Y” is for saying “Yes!” (but not to everything)

"Y" is for Yes, Sometimes

“Yes,” can be such a powerful word. When someone tells you yes to your question, it means that you are both in agreement.

It means that you are on the same side, and it allows a forward motion in both emotion and the conversation.

When my daughter asks to do something, I always try to keep an open-mind. A frequent response I have given to my kids over the years is, “I don’t see why not.” The energy those words create in them is instant and I am usually reciprocated with a smile, excitement and sometimes disbelief.

In my preschool classroom when I hear one of my students tell me “okay” after I announce something that we will be doing, I let them know that word is music to my ears. It tells me that they are listening and that they are game for the activity.

It represents the yin and the yang of my classroom; two different forces in agreement.

Think about the energy conveyed in a marriage proposal. Obviously the proposer is confident that she will say “yes” to him since he is already down on his knee asking, but there’s no guarantee. “Yes,” from her lips sparks first relief and then celebration. Such a short simple word can instill so much force inside of anyone.

As women and moms, we are stretched in so many different directions. “Yes” is a common word in our vocabulary because we know a bit (understatement) about reaching out and helping others.

When I talk about saying “yes” today, I suggest to say yes often, but with much thought behind it first. We too often stress ourselves out with saying yes too many times, and then allow it to seep into our personal lives to the extent that it negatively affects our quality of living. Who feels our stress the most? Our loved ones. We carry so many heavy duties around and taking on more than what’s reasonable can make us either implode or explode at home within our family walls.

So when you say “yes,” do it genuinely and graciously, thinking of yourself first, then of your family, and then of others.

There's no rule that says you have to say yes when you would rather say no. 

Let it be your decision when to tell someone "yes", not the decision made by your guilt-ridden conscience or a built-in obligation. Saying “yes” to yourself first will give you the ability to be more gracious to those around you.

Say "yes" to your family and say “yes” to a gracious and fulfilling new year.

 

 

The most recent list of Lunch Box Jokes is here. Print out, clip & add to their lunches.
Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" through "M" summary to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher
"U" is for utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“X” is for eXpect good things to happen today

“X” is for eXpect good things

If you follow my blog, then you might know that I’m not a morning person and I begin my day sluggishly. I get up slowly, shower slowly, think slowly, move slowly and then hit the kitchen with a slightly faster pace to make breakfast and put my daughters’ lunch together.

No matter how I’m moving, I’m thinking about my day ahead.

Some mornings my head is wishing I could be back in bed, and some mornings I’m forcing myself to look forward to my day by thinking about all the good stuff that will happen.

A class full of four-year-old's is a super way to spend your day, by the way. Sometimes they have more energy than I do, but they can paste a smile on my face by just being themselves. Thinking about what will happen in my classroom that day makes me curious and engaged about getting to work.

I get sleepy hugs from my daughter first thing in the morning after she wakes up. I’m usually in the kitchen in a more rushed state by then, and seeing her arms head towards me always makes me stop to enjoy it.

Taking on my day with expectations of all of the good things that could happen is so much more inspiring than dragging myself into my day with a negative slant.

Yes, I have to go to work and yes, I have to walk the dog first thing before my eyes are barely open, but if I remind myself that later in the day I’ll have more energy to enjoy the little things, it also helps me enjoy the morning moments more, too.

Even on the days when I know it’s not going to be my favorite kind of day, I can still look forward to what I think my favorite part of the day might be, and I can also set intentions for how I want the day to go.

Imagine that you are at the bottom of your day getting ready to climb the hill, and during the climb you are going to have nice views as you go.

Eventually it will be time to climb down the other side, and there will be new sights to see as you descend. Looking forward to all of the sights and experiences your day has in store for you sets your expectations on all of the good that you can get out of your 24 hours.

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. How we use it determines how we experience it. It reminds us what a gift each day is because we are allowed to be alive and to live it in the way that we choose.

Choosing to experience the good from your day instead of the bad gives you the incentive to enjoy it and dive in with higher expectations. So even if your day begins with the news that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds have both passed, you can first mourn for them, but you can still preserve the direction of your day by looking ahead for the positive things. It’s your compass and you are the only one that holds it.

Keep your compass on good - or even great expectations.

 

 

The most recent list of Lunch Box Jokes is here. Print out, clip & add to their lunches.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" through "M" summary to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher
"U" is for utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“W” is for Walking

"W" is for Walking / ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

As a single-mom I have plenty to stress about, but I still don’t feel like I have a stressful life. There are stressful moments and episodes, but somehow my life is not a stressful one and I couldn’t tell you why not. I can guess that it’s because of my habits; when I start to get a bit frenzied, I slow my pace down. When I start to feel tired, I sleep or rest, and when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I deduct less important duties from my schedule. I also remind myself that I have gotten through all of the other stressful times in my life, and this one will be no different so I know that just pushing through it will get me to the other side.

There’s a huge difference in the way that I think during stressful times after I’ve finished my walk.

Walking calms me and my worrisome brain. It’s something that I will always make time for, no matter how short on time I am because it puts me back in that place that helps me handle my life better. I’m calmer, happier and more peaceful after a walk.

 

There’s countless articles on how good walking is for you and how it’s a great exercise and even helps get your heart rate up at the right pace, but nothing gauges how good it is for you more than the effect it has on your mind-frame after a 30 – 40 minute fast-paced walk.

When I start out on my walk I might be tense and anxious but by the end of my walk after I’ve listened to countless songs or just the quiet, everything is beautiful to me; the day, the sky, the trees, and then I feel renewed. It costs nothing and it's priceless to me. I have a membership at a gym to use the equipment, and on occasion I join other work-out regimens, but walking is what soothes. I think I even gain back some of my youth with each walk.

I wish I could do it every day like I used to, but as a single mom there isn’t always time, so I squeeze it in at some of the most unimaginable times because I’m always looking for that brief interlude of time, and I always have a set of clothes and shoes in the car “just in case.”

So “W” was an easy one for me.

Walking propels me back into my life full-force and enables me to take on more.

Think about what habit you have that works for you in the sense of bringing you back to life, and do more of it, especially if it's walking.

xo Katherine

Find my books on Amazon.com under Katherine A. Rayne. I write in support of women who want to create a life they love. 

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for utilizing

"V" is for visualizing your day

 

“V” is for Ten (10) Ways to Visualize the Kind of Day You Want to Have

There are so many things about our day that we can’t control, but one of the things that we can control is our thoughts. When negative thoughts wiggle their way into our minds, there are ways to override them. Visualizing your day is like making intentions. The result of how our day goes has a lot to do with how we forecast it before it even begins.

Visualizing what your behavior and reactions will be throughout the day give you a positive plan of action so that you can end your day on a successful note, no matter what you might battle with during the day.

Ten (10) things to visualize about your day before it even begins:

  1. Having healthier actions. If you want to make better food choices during your day ahead, plan your meals in your head first thing in the morning and what foods you will avoid. Also make a mental note about what time you will squeeze in some exercise, whether it’s at home, at a gym or going for a walk or run, even if it’s just some lunges in your living room. Think positive.
  2. Plan on having positive reactions to any negativity that comes along and imagine how you’ll keep a positive spin on your reactions. I can spit out negativity just as easily as positivity. Be ready to spit out positive reactions to anyone and anything as it happens. Be positive.
  3. Plan to slow down long enough to connect to others, even if briefly. Think of the many moments that we rush through in a day and slow a few of them down. Feel positive.
  4. Make a mental note and visualize what two things you want off of your to-do list today and how you will fit them into your day. Checking them off will make a positive in your day.
  5. Who do you need to reach out to today that you haven’t spoken with in a while and have been meaning to call? Determine the time of day that you will be connecting with them so that it’s already a plan. Do positive.
  6. Visualize how your day will unfold. Do you need an extra ten minutes in the morning so that it will come together calmly? Envision yourself leaving the house relaxed and not rushing. Act positive.
  7. Give yourself a word to describe how your day will go. How do you want it to go? Successfully? Accomplished? Calmly? Stress-free? Label your day in advance so that you have preplanned the best way to proceed. Plan for the positive.
  8. How will you handle the stress that is on its way? Something almost always throws a wrench into your day. See yourself handling it in a calm and positive way. Embrace positive.
  9. When you get home to family after a long day, how do you see yourself being a support and inspiration to others in your home? Implement the positive.
  10. How can you envision being a support to yourself once you are home and in need of rest and renewal? Engage positive.

Pick three or four of these that relate to your day to help you begin visualizing and changing your daily outcome. If you need to write them down to help you focus on them better, use a journal each morning to write down what will be positive about you and your day ahead. Planning ahead with good intentions increases the chances that it will unfold as a positive day.

xo Katherine

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for underutilized tools we own

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“U” is for Five Underutilized Tools We Own

“U” is for Utilize – Five (5) Underutilized Tools We Own

I’ve come up with obvious actions that I can take to make better choices for my health because I’m aware of the healthy foods available, of the outdoors waiting to be explored and the energy my body has when I treat it right, but I'm not always making those choices. I love vegetables but there’s also other things that I eat that aren’t healthy. One simple decision can send me in a healthy direction or unhealthy, and it's truly my choice. I already possess all of the tools that I need to do it, and it’s just a matter of putting them to use and to better use.

Here are five things that we already own that will lead us to an improved and healthier lifestyle:

  1. Knowledge. We don’t need to get health tips online, buy a diet book or hire a health coach because we're already educated. We know what things should be going into our mouths and what shouldn’t. We have enough knowledge right now to begin making the perfect choices. We can write a list of all of the things that we want to eat for the next seven days that will make us feel better by the end of the week and can repeat weekly. We know it’s okay to cheat once in a while because with our knowledge, we know it’s okay in small amounts. Using what we already know today will turn us into someone healthier tomorrow.
  1. Food. We have so much food available to us. Everywhere we go, there’s food. Convenience stores, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and vending machines galore. What if there wasn’t food everywhere we went? What if we had to pack a lunch, pack a snack, and get home earlier in order to cook dinner every night? If we had to work a little harder for our food, we’d put more thought and energy into it and be more aware of what we were eating. We’d enjoy it more, too. I love walking the beach any time of day but mostly in the calm mornings. I watch the birds search, dive and work for their food. Then they rest on the shore before it’s time to do it again. Rarely do I see an overweight bird on the beach (unless it’s a land roaming duck, of course) and their brains are a lot smaller than ours. Work, earn an appetite, eat, rest. We were made to do those things. We also own our own food processor. Everyone shops for the best food processor that will juice their vegetables faster, easier and with less pulp. But we already have a food processor within us that crushes, grinds and liquefies our food like it’s supposed to, and rarely does it break down. It’s called our stomach. Processing raw and healthy foods is what we were built for. Start dumping vegetables into your body and watch what happens. It’s magic.
  1. Muscles. Our muscles are the only things that get bigger and stronger the more we use them. Use all of them as often as you can. I have days that I can’t even open a jar and it’s so frustrating. I can rid myself of that frustration easily by utilizing the muscles in my hands and fingers more often so that they become stronger. Lifting weights, squishing a small ball and doing push-ups could help within a few weeks. I already have everything I need to do those things. It’s a matter of beginning.
  1. Heart. I think if we could physically see the insides of our bodies each day when we look into the mirror, we’d take better care of ourselves. We all know what a strong muscle looks like and what a weak muscle looks like. Our heart is a muscle. I know what my upper arm looks like right now, and it’s not muscular. When I’m doing my work outs, it looks so much healthier and stronger. That’s what I want for my heart; strong and solid in order to keep pumping for me. It’s much more important than my upper arm. Cardio cardio cardio. No equipment is even needed with all of the exercises we already know how to do.
  1. Brain. We function at all because of our brain. How can we work it to its full potential? Our brains love oxygen, healthy diet, exercise and knowledge. Feed it all of those things and your brain will function at a higher and healthier level.

Breaking down our life into those five (5) simple categories will help us make better choices. We have knowledge, food, muscles, a heart and a brain and those are the only things that we need to live a healthier life along with the right choices.

Having a healthy existence isn’t just for living a longer, healthier life. It enables us to have more happy moments, more energetic days and a higher appreciation for life. Make a list now of changes that you are making today in order to thrive off of your five tools.

 

Four Tickets that help you have a great day are the freebie with this newsletter. Four simple strategies to help you have a more energetic, positive day.

Here are my most recent  Lunch Box Jokes in case you haven't printed them yet.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

  Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“T” is for Being Your Own Teacher

"T" is for Being Your Own Teacher

Life gets stale if we allow it. I came across a saying that said we should always be expanding. Just coming out of a summer break, I haven't been doing that with exception to my dress size. That's not teaching, that's eating.

As a preschool teacher, I get to encourage my students to expand their sweet minds, but I will say that it's not always easy to expand myself each day. Even though I love to create and learn, some days my energy is tapped out. Being my own teacher, I should be looking to learn something new every day. Even if life is going great, it still needs renewal.

We could let our disturbances shake us up, or better yet, we can put those to the side and allow something fun and creative to do it instead. It would take my focus away from the disturbances of life and I could then aim at the creativity going on. Creativity equals rejuvenation.

By making ourselves learn more each day and create each day, we change the outcome of our day and our future, even by the tiniest of change. In short, we are more capable than our current existence, no matter what it might be.

Through life there are so many things that can get us down; hardships, struggles or the demands of the day, but there are so many good things, too. I think the secret to a good day is to always be searching for and creating the good things.

Expand outside of the disturbances.

You know how easy it is to reach out with good advice for friends, family and even strangers when they voice their troubles. They speak their worries out loud and right away we start giving them the advice that we hope will be the key piece to ease their burdens. Sometimes it will create an “ah-ha” moment for them and spur their train of thought into a more productive way of thinking towards self-relief and solution that now exists simply because they asked for advice and we offered ours. They have something to aim for now. We all need something to aim for, and not just long term, but something every day.

I loved track when I was in school, especially the relay race. When you have a team depending on you, you run more for them than for yourself. Your grip on the baton is tight so that you won’t drop it and when you come around the turn, you aim the baton for their outstretched hand and trust them to take it as you hand it off. You slow down and rest while watching them take their stride heading for the next runner or finish line. You micromanage the hand-off so that they can have the best chance possible. I can remember the races when I dropped the baton more vividly than I can remember the races that were won. You want to create success for them, which is the same for the advice that we offer. We all want great results in any race we are in. We need that magical baton to run with, and many times it is us that needs to give it to ourselves.

To get into a mind frame of learning and growth, other things need to be put on our back burners. In order to weed out our worries, asking ourselves questions can redirect our thoughts towards solutions:

What’s the worst thing that could happen if (fill in blank) happens?
Will it be the end of the world if it happens?
Will this matter five years from now?
What steps can I take to make it better?

Once we have questions about it, then we can hand ourselves the answers. There’s always the problems that can’t be fixed, but there are many problems where the solution is obvious, attainable and do-able. So often I put things off because the work entailed is overwhelming, or because I’m not sure how to proceed, but it always ends up that once I begin, I can finish.

Teaching ourselves each day doesn’t have to be about our burdens, and it doesn’t have to mean learning foreign languages, either. Sometimes it’s just learning more about who we are and what we're capable of. Most of the time we'll impress ourselves. The point is that it leads us to another “place” that we might not have gone if we hadn’t questioned it and been curious. Being curious expands us.

Always wake up wondering what you are going to teach yourself today. Make today different simply because you can. Journaling about it at the end of each day encourages you to do it all over again tomorrow. Wake up each day with your baton in your hand and carry it to your finish line.

 

And with school starting, I have created new Lunch Box Jokes here for you. Print out, clip & add to their lunches! P.S. Where do horses live? In neigh-borhoods!

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

 Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog atwww.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

 

I watched with tears this week about the seven innocent men that aren’t with us anymore and felt sick thinking about their families while watching their worst moments being broadcast live.

We all struggled watching bad decisions being acted out, men taking their last breaths and witnessing the emotions that followed. We watched someone’s life ending yet it seemed clear from the images that it shouldn’t have happened.

Everything was so unimaginable. I forced myself to imagine how it would be to wake up one morning not knowing that I would die that day and about how much I take for granted. I thought about what I was doing yesterday at lunchtime. I was sitting at a restaurant having lunch with my daughter and her friend. We were laughing, eating and talking about the movie we’d be seeing later that night, positive that we’d be seeing it simply because we had bought the tickets. When the victims woke that day, surely they believed they’d be going back to bed that night, like we all assume every day. But during the course of a day, suddenly they weren’t thinking anything. Their ability to go to a movie, go to work, sit with family and visit friends disappeared as they lost the freedom to take a breath.

One man had just dealt with a pesky homeless man who happened to have a phone and called 911 to report him. And a man that was responsible for making sure that children were fed each day in their school cafeteria didn't know that his fate would be decided by a broken tail light.

Those deaths then created change in the lives and deaths of five other innocent men. Men who weren't wearing protective gear because they were working a peaceful protest and they trusted the crowds on this. They didn’t die because they weren’t wearing their gear, they died because of hate and pain and bad decisions.

I always try to find the silver lining in everything to better understand the why, and right now it's everywhere. There’s an outpouring of love on social media, a tribute that we feel for them and their families and that we are with them through this. We know that they were men who were loved with families and friends and we want them to know that we offer our support and love. There’s anger, but overwhelmingly there’s love and people pleading for peace and acceptance and coming together. The storm of response is showing that today and tomorrow, there is more love in the world because of it. It’s created more connection and softened so many hearts.

When tragedies occur, people from all over the globe voice their support and concern and care for the families. But even so, what is the silver lining for the loved ones?

Philando Castile, the manager of a school cafeteria, had his girlfriend and her young daughter with him in the car when he was killed. The video his girlfriend recorded after he was shot is hard to watch, but there’s a tiny glimmer of light near the end of the video. She stays calm for most of the recording but she starts to panic near the end because she’s been removed from being with her wounded boyfriend and has no idea if he’s okay. Her four-year-old daughter is off camera sitting next to her in the backseat of a patrol car. As her mom becomes more and more upset, you can hear the little girl speaking softly.

 “It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”

That glimmer of light came from a little girl who was sitting in the back of a patrol car for no reason, and who had just witnessed a police officer shoot her mom’s friend, and was now watching her mother become unglued.

The families might not ever find their silver lining, but maybe we can be the silver lining for them. We can take what a four-year-old daughter said to her mom in a time of panic and say it to them and to each another: I’m here with you, I’m here for you.

We are all here together, whether we like it or not, and I know we can do better than this.

No one should have to be sad and afraid because their skin is dark. We all have skin, eyes, hearts, blood, bones, souls and families that would miss us if we were gone tomorrow.

Never mind embracing and being more open to our differences. We need to recognize and embrace our similarities.

We can’t sit back and shake our heads. We have to say yes, we are one and we are all in this together.

I normally pass on the news, but today I’m passing on the love because of the news. These tragedies are the reason to reach out to do better and to be better. All of our tears collectively can turn into rivers of love that will run through our streets and homes and hearts and remind us that we are all silver linings.

xo Katherine www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“S” is for Simplify

Do you love Henry David Thoreau as much as I do? I don’t know him personally, 🙂 but I wish I did. I skim through his quotes and I feel like he was talking to me. He talked about simplifying life as the key. (Take a moment to Google him to look through his quotes. My guess is that you would forget about me.) 

I treasure the idea of simplifying, but I seem to allow my brain to stay on overwhelm, even if I shouldn’t.

When I’m relaxing at home, there's always a few distractions calling out my name to remind me to get them done; the front door calls out my name three different times at bedtime asking me to make sure that it’s locked...just in case. My laundry; even when I’ve finished it for the day, there’s still a delicate or a dark laying in the bottom of the hamper saying,“I know I’m supposed to wait until you have more of us, but I feel dirty. Can you please just send me through the delicate cycle by myself?”

I have such a hard time letting myself rest when I'm at home, and I feel like if I had less, I'd relax more.

After my Mom died, my three sisters and I went through her home and belongings. I went for the books because I wanted to see what pages she had marked and dog-eared, what books were her favorites, what quotes were highlighted and who she had read again and again. I was surprised to find quite a few Henry David Thoreau books because she never mentioned him. She had highlighted one quote from Walden and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau, and the quote defined my mom to a “T.”

 

“Simplify the outward circumstances – learn to delight in the simple pleasures which the world of nature affords. Also means, scorn public opinion – refuse to accept the common definitions of success – refuse to be moved by the judgement of others.” – Walden and Others Writings of Henry David Thoreau,” edited and with an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.

 

 

She had also written the quote on a slip of paper that she seemed to use as a bookmark. I wondered whether she recognized herself in this quote, or if she strived to be that simplified.

 

She treasured simple things, found wonder in simple pleasures, loved being outside and at the beach, and never cared what people thought of her. She’s the one that taught me to never worry about what people think, and in a separate lesson, do worry about how they feel. Two very different connections to others, and lessons that I carry around with me to this day that I have passed on to my kids.

When I was married, I lived in big homes and had lots of stuff. Now I live in a condo and I still have lots of stuff. It doesn’t compute. But I know when I pare down, I feel better, lighter and happier.

 

“We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.”

 

Guess who said that.

“S” is for Simplify because life is already hard. If I can find a way to add more simplicity, I'm in.

 

What one thing can you do this week to simplify your life?

Your answer might be different every week, but if you ask yourself that question every Sunday, who knows what things you might accomplish.

My answer this week is that my lanai needs to be simplified, cleaner and cozier. I spend about an hour out there every day now that summer is here. It’s hot but I cherish the quiet of summer so much that I don’t mind the heat. I actually have three orchids blooming out there right now. Normally I don’t even have one. My lanai is calling out my name to come sit down. To be out there enjoying the outside and my surroundings would add simplicity to my life, so I am pledging to create a better lanai by next Sunday, simply put.

I will see you letter! xo

 

"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."  HDT 

 

 

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

 

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for  Quiet your Mind
"R" is for Reorganize

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs.

Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.

Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“R” is for Reorganzing

R is for Reorganizing

I’m not very good at purging, but I love how it feels when I do. I’ve written a whole book on decluttering; decluttering your home, a room, one drawer, your refrigerator and even your mind. The feeling I get from cleaning, organizing, purging and refocusing feels as good as retail therapy to me.

I do a battle with clutter in my home during busy times, especially during the last month or so. My drop spots that become cluttered immediately are the kitchen counter, the foyer and in a corner in my family room. For two months straight, I was running in so many different directions without being able to slow down. One morning while I grabbed a pair of shoes out of the closet when I was on my way out the door yet again, I noticed that my closet had basically become an explosion of shoes. As I was putting them on, a label on one of my small shoe bins caught my eye. It was a label from a time when I was younger and more organized. The label was peeking out from behind the shoe explosion pile. It reads “Lego Manuals.”

When my now 23 year-old son was young, he had Legos galore, and each set came with instructions. Very often the structures would be built, then broken down, and all of the pieces would end up in one bucket swimming with a million other Lego pieces. Anytime he wanted to rebuild one, we’d pull out the Lego manuals so that we would know what pieces were needed. As challenging as the structures were to build, the manuals were always easy to find in their separate little bin. Boy do I miss those days.

As a single-working mom, there’s no going back to that life, but I still like doing the decluttering from time to time to rid myself of the stuff that I don’t need. Hence, "R" is for Reorganizing.

The book I've written was born out of a state of overwhelm and too much stuff in my home. I needed to simplify and get rid of tons of clothes, and yes, shoes. I had clutter piles in every room. So I wrote #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal, in order to journal my way through my home and my head. It worked, so I published my book and I plan to put it to use each summer to reclaim a more organized frame of mind.

I love the feeling I get just by cleaning out and organizing one drawer, so the book multiplies that feeling with each chapter of decluttering and simplifying.

You don't need the book to do it, either. Just start with the room that you are in right now. What can you get rid of? What don't you love? What's been out of place for a long time? What items are just outdated? Use a pair of fresh eyes if you can. What paintings are you not in love with that hang on your wall? When I sit in a room where I love the things surrounding me, it is a more refreshed and focused room for me. Doing one room at a time is all it takes.

Make #BetterChoices2016 today!    Katherine

Are you wanting to declutter your home and mind? Here’s my book. xo

And here's a freebie...here's how I declutter my intestines. If you want to try this, here's my mustard and lemon dressing recipe. xo

"R" is for Roughage

Always check with a health provider for dietary changes.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader  "Q" is for  Quiet your Mind

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind

 

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind. How often do you do that for yourself?

This is a good one for me this week. I know its good advice, but to that, I say; what happens when you don’t have the time to quiet your mind? Like me. Like this week.

 

Something really important to know is that if you don’t slow yourself down, the Universe, God or your body will. You might catch a cold or the flu and you’ll finally have to lay down, or in my case you could break your cellphone.

 

I had a horacious day the other day, and I just now discovered that is not a word, but it makes the right sound and noise to describe my day. It wasn’t an end of the world kind of day but it was a long-hard-busy-no-end-in-sight kind of day that lived up to its title.

I’ll make a long story a little less long by talking about the things that matter to the story.

Mid-day, I met my ex-sis-in-law and superhero friend for a late lunch because her son was at basketball and my daughter was at dance and we were both in limbo. (Hmmmm…Limbo-Bimbo’s.) During our meal, I went to dig out my phone from my purse, but I couldn’t find it. It was so deep in that she had to call it and the vibration gave me that sense of relief that I needed. You know that feeling when you think you’ve lost your phone, or realize that you’ve left it behind at home? It’s earth-shattering.

I relayed to her in my relief that I felt my phone was more important than my wallet anymore. Everything in my wallet was replaceable, but the phone and its contents were irreplaceable. We laughed but we knew it was true.

Six more stops and three and a half hours later, I was finally putting my key in my front door. More relief came over me. It was after 9:30 p.m., and my daughter was home with homework finished, shower done, and ready to get some sleep. I couldn’t wait to get on the other side of my front door after my day. As my key turned, my phone dropped. I didn’t think anything of it because I drop it all of the time, but I’d forgotten that in order to charge my phone in the car, I had removed the cover. As I picked up my cherished possession, the cracks in the glass might as well have been a deadly spider bite. I was sick instantly.

9:35 p.m. + a friend in the hospital + a really long day + hungry + tired + a few more chores at home + a cracked phone = the straw that broke the camel’s back. Just ask my daughter. I actually cried, probably not entirely over my phone, but because of the weight of the day behind the broken phone. She was stunned. I never cry and I never allow her to see my broken camel back, but truth is better than fiction sometimes.

By morning, I felt better. My sleep had dusted away the dirt of the previous day and I was more clear-headed. We talked again about my phone in the morning, most likely because I had looked at it five times before breakfast as a habit, and even though I would see the cracked glass each time, I really was feeling better about it. I told her what I’d said to my ex-sis about how important my phone was. I’m open to signs. I told my daughter God was reminding me that my phone was NOT important…and He felt the need to drill that fact into my silly little head.

Sooooo….long story, long… :] …quieting our mind is important, to corral us through those days when we are in over our head. You already know how to get your quiet time in. You don’t need a how-to or any new suggestions because you already know what works for you.

You just need to know that you need to do it.
 
 

 

There isn’t always time, so on the days or weeks that you can’t fit your needed time in, plan ahead for it so that it’s on your horizon. Give yourself something to look forward to during those crazy days or weeks. I have a four day weekend on the horizon. I’ll be busy and I’ll be resting both, but I know that I can decompress all of the overload over the course of my cherished long weekend. And I will. It’s Thursday night and I’ve just finished a plate of gouda cheese with Cheez-it crackers (the only cracker in the house) with a glass of wine and next to me is my cracked phone that all weekend will be making me think of God. Amen to that.

 Now, Be Quiet.

And…just in case you DO need a guide on how to quiet your mind, I’ve created a Freebie AND I spent part of my cherished, badly needed weekend creating it for you, so be my guest.  These are ten ways to quiet your mind that don’t take a lot of time and can be done throughout the day.

 
 
Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

 

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com