Category Archives: Motivation

sleeping to dream

going to sleep with the big ideas of what you dream about during your waking hours can then lead you to waking with the intent to make those dreams happen. or even just having a more accomplished day that leads you forward towards something more.
this week i have the feel of spring cleaning creeping up on me and i want that feeling to bleed over into spring cleaning my health, my home and my heart. new years is a time we all think about the things that we want to change or improve upon, and spring time gives us the action mentality.
think of blooming colorfully, starting now. how much more beautiful will your life look one week from today, the day that spring arrives on march 20th? wouldn't it be cool to have spring cleaning done BEFORE spring even arrives? that's what i'm aiming for and even though i probably won't have it all done, i can get a lot done.
that includes down time as well because that will cleanse my mind over and over again. i started with writing a very brief but fun draft of a children's book today, enjoying dinner, a movie and then dessert with a good friend last night and lying by the pool on sunday. i'm off to a great start so far. oh, and TONS of laundry is finished so that stuff is behind me for awhile.
write down what you will go to sleep dreaming about tonight and take some needed steps tomorrow. spring is about rebirth, afterall, along with baby birds, baby animals and taking baby steps. xo

 

My most recent LunchBox jokes are ready. Print, clip & add to their lunches. Lunch Box Jokes 

 

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 did an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com and read Blogs A to Z to make your 2017 a love fest of creating a life you love. 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 utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

"X" is for eXpecting good things

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

 

“Z” is for Zillions of Choices

“Z” is for Zillions of Choices 

I was just on the couch recovering from a dinner of carbs made up mostly of flour by-products. A hamburger (the bun), macaroni and cheese and corn casserole. The only green during the meal was the shade of my face after eating so much flour. How can these foods possibly be comfort foods when together they make me sluggish and sleepy?

Sitting there numb on the couch, I knew I had one last blog to put together before the New Year begins. I peeled myself off of the couch, splashed cold water onto my face after washing it, put peppermint lotion on my feet and covered them with warm cotton socks and then placed myself here with you in front of my PC. I can sleep later.

So “Z” is a fun letter, and I love the number zillion, because it’s great to exaggerate with. However today I’m not exaggerating with it. You know how we do the same things over and over every day? Most of our routine has to be repeated daily; showers, cooking, eating, laundry, washing dishes and so much more, so it’s super important to mix up the rest of the day by inserting fun stuff, interesting stuff and brainy stuff.

Boredom for me is getting harder and harder to come by because of the internet, smart phones, smart TV’s, tablets and now I have a new friend named Alexa-Echo who is super cool.

What did I use to fill my time with before they entered my life? These devices are like Pac-Men eating up my time, but they really do make me smile. (Alexa, tell me a joke. How does Frosty the Snowman travel? On an icicle!) lol.

The New Year makes me think about how I’m going to fill my year to my advantage and to my benefit. No resolutions for me anymore, but what would I like to change this year? Or what could I do better? And what variety of things can I be doing? What’s something beautiful that I can add to my life this year?

With the zillion choices of things to do, I need to be teaching myself something, for one.

Maybe I can learn how to play the drums (after checking out a few zillion videos on the internet on the how-to of drum playing) and I can read some really intriguing books that I keep putting off.

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth for the last few months, but I just read a post (on social media today) where someone suggested reading ten pages a day of a book your into. If your book is 300 pages, you could finish it in one month. Here I am at two or three months and not finished yet.

Breaking things down into smaller tasks makes something feel more do-able.

Whether you break tasks down into smaller sections or not, putting interesting things on your horizon that you want to take on for the year or month or week, gets you looking forward to making the time to do it. Instead of watching my day unfold on repeat every day, throwing some dog bones out there in front of me gives me the incentive to rock more than just my to-do’s.

Think about all of the choices that you are partitioning yourself from by not brainstorming about all of the wonderful things you could be doing. So right now, pull out a paper and pen or a new window on your computer to take notes and then write this sentence:

Wouldn’t it be cool if…

Then write down at least ten things that you’d like to do in 2017, whether it’s simple things or larger than life things.

1.

2.

3.

etc.

We all have passions and hobbies waiting in the wings for when we “have more time.” Well, guess what? You have 365 days being served up on a platter heading your way. Fill those days with things that you love, things that make you happy and that will fill your heart and your lungs up. Dive in. And I highly recommend leaving the flour where it belongs, in the garden. You need your energy, in order to plant a garden or something like it.

Make 2017 beautiful, you guys. You deserve it.

xo Katherine

Get my Friday Freebie today. It’s a very simple Goal Worksheet to print-out. Yours for the asking and exchanging of email addresses. And then I’ll keep writing you, too. Click here.

 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

"X" is for eXpect good things

"Y" is for saying yes, sometimes

"Z" is for a zillion choices

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 some of my earlier blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“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

 

“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

 

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

 

G is for Grit - No Grit, No Pearl

“G” is for Grit – No Pearl, No Grit

“G” is for Grit – No Grit, No Pearl

Long ago, I came across the inspiring quote, “a diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.” Of course, that’s supposed to make us feel better when we are going through tough times by telling us that we will shine at the other end of the trauma. I came across a different saying for the first time the other day, long after I decided that G would be for Giving Thanks. “No grit, No pearl.” I decided that I liked this saying better than the diamond one because as well as I might handle my challenges, I still don’t like to feel pressured. So we are making “G” about Grit this week.

Grit is hard and disturbing. It gets in your shoes and in your chips and all over your car after a day at the beach, and who do you know that likes grit in their teeth? Grit doesn’t create pressure, it just sticks out like a sore thumb. Grit is problems and aggravations and life altering occurrences.

No matter who you are or when you were born, your life will be full of grit. Not a little bit or a minimal amount, but lots and lots. We were born to head towards the hard stuff so that we can grow.

And to help us get through it, I think it’s important to own our grit. You know those things in life that don’t feel like they should be happening to us, or the things in life that don’t seem fair. We have to fully embrace those things that rub us the wrong way, that disturb our peaceful way of living, that change the course of our lives, because they are going to happen again and again. The sooner we can accept and embrace those things, the sooner we can turn them into a beautiful part of us.

An oyster can’t spit out this gritty grain of sand and we can’t disown our own grit. He has to work with it and begin a long process of turning it into something completely different than what it began as. It actually increases in size instead of shrinking. We have to learn how to walk with our grit, live with it and be with it, while recognizing the beauty that it can add to our lives and the beauty we can add to our lives because of it.

Pick any grit in your life and ask yourself what the silver lining might be. (There’s always at least one.) Focus on the silver lining instead of the irritation of it and then plan how you’re going to grow the silver lining into gold.

We have to begin putting layer upon layer of shine upon the grit until it no longer rubs us in the wrong way. Whether you’re creating pearls, diamonds or gold, you are living life. Note that it all adds up to shining through it. When you find your shine, it's beautiful.

Start turning your grit into shiny iridescent gems. No pressure, though. 🙂

xo Katherine 

Find my previous ABC Blogs here, or below.

"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

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#BetterChoices2016

“F” is for Free To Choose – Pandora’s Box

"F" is for Free to Choose

The story of Pandora’s box goes that she opened the box out of curiosity and all sorts of evils of the world escaped. All that was left inside of the box was hope. Let’s pretend for the moment. Let’s say that you’re a worry wart. Pretend that you opened your own Pandora’s Box, and all of your worries flew out until there were no more left. The only thing left in your box was hope that you haven’t used yet. You’ve been making choices based on fear for so long and you've finally let them all go. Your choices from now on are all based on hope.

Cooooolllll. 🙂

So what do you hope for and what choices can you make to make your hopes happen?

You are free to choose how your day will go. My series of blogs for 2016 is about making better choices, and the way your day will go is based a lot on what choices you make as it progresses. Even if you are having the kind of day that you’d much rather be doing something else, you get to choose the way you will experience it.

How will you start your day? How will you end your day?

What will you do through your day? What will be fun throughout your day? What will you make fun throughout your day?

You don’t have to wait and see how it will end, or let it end the same way that it always does. You can change it. Right now you know how your day will go with its’ normal routine. What could you do to change it to make it better or more interesting or more engaging? My days can get pretty boring. They become repetitive. I leave work and do the same things…errands, grocery store, pick up my daughter from school, finish any errands and then go home for HomeworkDinnerLaundryWalkdogBed. Then it’s often repeated exactly the same way the next day. It’s choices that I make during that time that can make it more fun.

How will you cook dinner? Candles, music, with or without little helping hands setting the table for you, or in front of the TV alone with your meal, glass of wine and your favorite show that’s been recorded for weeks. (That was supposed to sound enticing.) 😉

There are weeks at a time that my routine becomes stagnant. That’s my sign to get more creative.

Be global. There is constant change in the world. Make sure that you are changing and renewing like the world does. You’ve opened your Pandora Box and released all of the worries and fears in your minds’ world. Now dig down deep inside of it for the hopes and dreams that have been buried under the fears and act on them by choosing them.

What choice will you make today that will change  and renew you?

Katherine A. Rayne is blogging the ABC's Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016 to encourage you to create a life you love. You can find her previous blogs (A, B, C, D and E) here.

If you have yet to make a bucket list, find her printable form here to start one now.

Find us on Facebook at Back To Being a Woman.

Simple and Elegant Couch Sitting

I haven’t blogged in a while and I miss it. I’ve been busy with school beginning again but I have also been a bit in the “too lazy/too tired to do it” phase. My classroom duties keep me busy so being able to relax on the weekends is REALLY nice. You’ve heard of people who house sit? The last two weekends I feel like I’ve couch sat. 🙂

To keep myself on the couch a bit longer, instead of blogging, I am passing on to you an excerpt from my book. When I read my newest book, it almost feels like a memoir, although I didn’t intend it to. It’s about making your (my) life more simple and more elegant, and I wrote it as a journal/workbook as well as non-fiction. You get to write and doodle in it in other words! AND I won’t even read your answers. 🙂 Okay, so here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2, page 54:

Your own simple and elegant have many different definitions and appearances. I used to look for someone else’s creation of it in home magazines for decorating my first very own teeny-tiny 800 square foot home and the very last larger home many years later as well as all of the homes in between. When you grow up as the fourth daughter and the youngest, everyone is better than you. They are better at running, board games, friendships, socializing, drawing, singing, coloring, remembering, riding bikes, making beds, aiming, pony tails, dancing, make-up and even better at winning arguments. You are never the best at anything so you settle for being good. Good at everything, the best at nothing. Even when you’re an adult, you still seek out the better things that other people create. You know you’re good but you want the better so you always look elsewhere. And you do that until one day you figure out that maybe your good is better, sometimes even best. There’s more than enough room in the world for everyone to have better and best. And sometimes you just have to make the best of it. I do that often and I’m good at it. 🙂 I’ve had enough practice, and practice IS what makes us better at what we do. I’ve been upgraded to better!

Between the gazillion people in the world, there are a gazillion standards to go by. When I talk about making my life simple and elegant, it’s me who gets to decide what that looks like and what it feels like. It’s also me who gets to decide when I get there and how long it takes. I will pull on my intuition and check my gut to feel it and to find it. Simple and elegant to me are defined by one word; agreeable. It’s when something doesn’t have any more thorns on its side that prick me and tell me that something’s just not right. It can have scratches or be off center or tainted, but if it is agreeable to my gut, we’re good. Or we’re better, or best. Find your good, better and best and remove all of the thorns #ThatYouHaveControlOf so that you can become your own simple, elegant self. The rest of the thorns that you don’t have control of? Those are just #Pricks. #:)

You can find your simple, elegant side AND encourage your hidden put-on-the-back-burner gifts to shine in my newest book. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly-Your Life Journal is on Amazon.com. I want you to shine so strinkin’ bright, that we’ll need sunglasses just to look you in the eye. 🙂     Love, Katherine   PosterLogoTM

Paperback: $9.99   Ebook:  $7.99