Posts in Minimalism
Declutter your Life

With a brand new year, the desire to downsize, live with less, and declutter starts to take over. More often than not, we as mothers, roll with it, fully intending to get rid of things, donate, and have that garage sale. In the midst of it all, sometimes overwhelm creeps in and we lose sight of what it is that we want. Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite tips to help you start to declutter your life.

So... here you are, finding yourself overwhelmed to no avail, and I’m sure you feel like your home looks like a hurricane just blasted on through. Don’t worry, I’m going to help you tackle the mess, and even help you tackle those tiny toddler tornadoes that spin out of control all over the place!

One of the first things I wanted to share with you, and probably the most important thing I am going to share with you, is to give yourself grace throughout this journey. I can’t help you out if you aren’t going to be kind to yourself in the process. This means that if you are starting on one of your projects, you simply cannot allow the negative voices to become your peanut gallery, or anti-cheerleading section. It's time to tell that negative voice in your head, the one that tells you you're not _____ enough or your _____ is too big, or too small... you know the voice... it's time to tell her to get a life. You don't need to listen to her negativity anymore.

Think about it. If your best girlfriend was sitting next to you, and she was telling you out loud... all of those negative things that you tell yourself, would you still want to be friends with her? I don't think anyone would want to stay friends with someone that was constantly crushing their self worth and self esteem. So why do we continue to do this to ourselves?

I hope you look your beautiful self in the mirror today and tell her how much you love her. I mean it. Go look yourself in the mirror. See your beautiful eyes... they have seen so much. See your smile... your smile has brought joy to so many people in this world. You are an incredible woman and you deserve to feel, love, joy and happiness. Can you see how vital this is to your success in taking care of the things going on around you? I used to think that “Self Care” was so hard, and that I didn’t have time for any of that stuff. I had so much to do and not enough hours in the day to get any of it done.

In reality, I would be productive, but I was stressed out, I was grumpy, and I wasn’t truly able to serve my family from a place of gratitude with all that grouchiness I was carrying with me. As soon as I realized what a difference it made in my own happiness, and of course my family’s, I made a promise to myself that I would never cut out my self care again, and that I wouldn’t let negativity plague my mind anymore. I committed to tea, quiet time, reading inspirational texts, journaling, devotionals, coffee, a yummy breakfast, vitamins, lighting candles, yoga and meditative breathing. I don’t do all of everything, every day, but I do the things I know are going to fulfill me and bring me the energy I need to take on what my planner says. I also doing beat myself up when things don’t go according to plan. I cannot even begin to tell you how terrible a habit this was for me. I definitely have glued on the perfectionist hat before, and still to this day I’m prying off pieces of that hat from my head. It’s totally ok to see your self care for the day as taking a few deep breaths, sleeping in for another 20 mins, or a quiet soak in the bath tub.

Don’t turn your self care into a chore. When we stop and really think about it, and think about where we are limiting ourselves, and putting up road blocks, we can get a clearer vision of where we can begin our self care.

  • Are you more prone to negative thinking?
  • Are you more prone to procrastination?
  • Are you making excuses for why you cannot do certain things?
  • Are you limiting your self with your beliefs about what you can and cannot do?

If you identify with any of this, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Is this serving me in any way?” Recently, I had a morning, facetime coffee visit with my mom, and we were chatting about this topic in particular. Seeing as my mom has been around 28 years longer than I, I know and truly value the wisdom she has to share. It was obvious then, that I share some of her insight on this topic.

Here is what my mother Martina had to say,

“When you are looking to overcome your own obstacles inside your head as to why you cannot do the things that are ‘overwhelming’ you... you can come up with all these reasons why you can’t do these things. BUT, all you need is to find one positive, to drive you forward. Don’t concentrate on the act of doing something, concentrate on the result. Stop making excuses, and stop giving yourself all these reasons why things are hard. Why can’t you make it fun or enjoyable? Once we stop making a mountain out of a molehill, things begin to flow.”

And it is so true, it all begins inside. If you were expecting some crazy organization techniques today, to help you declutter your life, I'm sorry to disappoint you. When it comes to decluttering, it needs to start from inside of us. I can’t tell you that it is going to be easy to rewrite old thought patterns, and the negative programming you have lived in before, but I can tell you that it will be worth it once you are on the other side of that. Don’t you want to see what that woman looks like?

The woman who wakes with ease and energy for her day...

The woman who can happily tend to her children when they need her...

The woman who can be strong and supportive of her spouse...

This can be you. It all comes with starting from the inside. Mind you, you don’t need to show up as this woman every day, but I’m sure if you show up in this way 90% of the time, you and those around you are going to find so much more to be grateful for.

Let’s talk about some practical steps you can take to work on framing your positive mindset, and starting a morning routine that will set you up for a successful day. I’m going to lay out the foundation of my morning routine for you, so you can add to it, take from it, and make it your own. Remember, this is a foundation, you don’t have to do things the way that I do them, or even remotely similar. The key here is to tackle a few little chores (makes you feel productive) and of course your self care (makes you feel good!) so that you can take on whatever lies ahead.

  • Make the bed
  • Tea/Coffee/Honey Lemon Water
  • Inspirational Reading/Devotional (1-2 pages)
  • Check your Planner/Calendar Get fully dressed (shoes included!)
  • Face care/make up (if you wear it)
  • Swish the toilet bowl(s)
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Empty your dishwasher
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Move your body (yoga/walk/exercise)

Maybe this seems like a big list to you. Maybe it seems completely feasible for you right now. Whatever the case, I want you to put something together for yourself that you feel comfortable with. Remember you don’t need to do all of this at once.

It actually took me a month to filter all of this into a regular working schedule. To be honest, this doesn’t take more than 90 minutes of my morning. If you are fortunate enough to have late risers in your home, you can get it all done before they wake up! If not, you have the option of getting up early for quiet time to yourself, or letting everyone know that mommy is going to do her morning routine and you can help when you are finished. Because this routine doesn’t take me very long, it also gives me the ability to stop and take care of my hubby or son if they need something.

Do what works for you, but you gotta start somewhere. I hope this list has given you a tangible starting point so that the physical decluttering flows into your routine more easily. Remember, be kind to yourself. If you are still getting into the swing of things, give yourself grace. “I may not have done everything on my list, but I am taking care of myself, I am taking care of my family, and I am an incredible woman.” This is not about inundating yourself with more things to do, it is about finding peace of mind in getting clutter out of your head, out of your home, and establishing a routine so you can enjoy being a mother.

Don’t let those negative voices get you down, and if they do, remember that I believe in you.

Sanity through Cleaning

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t used to be a huge fan of cleaning, but I have always been a big fan of living in a clean space. Over the course of the last few years, I have come to love cleaning more and more. Finding peace through the act of cleaning spaces. I’m not talking about decluttering, although, there is a great sense of peace that comes with that for me… I’m talking about actual “chores” like dusting, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, mopping, scrubbing, etc.

It’s almost weird, when I think about it, how much it irked me to do these things years ago, and now… I find such solitude and a measure of sanity through it. Let’s be real… the endless sea of “mommy” that I hear and swim through all day is enough to drive a person nuts. For real. My son can “mommy” at about 13 times a minute. I’m not proud of it, but I actually paid him a dollar for 2 minutes of silence. The cleaning, not only keeps germs at bay and our spaces sparkling, but it helps me to stop and take time to appreciate the roof over my head.

I also try to load up my Monday to the point where it could be considered crazy. I do this because then the rest of the week I just do a bit of routine swish, swipe, scrub and call it good. It helps me give myself permission to relax a bit and slow the heck down. I can focus on the things that are important to me, like reading, going on walks with my son, spending quality time with my husband.

Phoenix Rising

It has taken me a while to hop back on here and write about personal stuff, well, mainly because my family has gone through so much this last year… and it finally caught up to me. As a mom, I do what I can to make sure everyone gets what they need. Of course, we all know that we can’t pour from an empty cup… and to be honest, my cup has been empty for a very long while. My husband tells me I’m a great wife, amazing mom, and incredible worker. I desperately want to believe him, but I’m consistently questioning my “enoughness”, or as the Mad Hatter would put it, my “muchness”.

Filling up my cup sometimes feels selfish. I question whether I deserve to be doing something relaxing or joyful, or if I should make myself busy with work, or other things. This blog is all about me being real with you and sharing my journey, and what it’s like for me to be a mom. I find myself more and more, taking time for and being grateful for little things, on a daily basis. Maybe it’s sitting in the quiet with a cup of tea or coffee. Maybe it’s breathing in the aroma of an essential oil. Maybe it is the text message from a friend that means more to me than they could ever know.

I like to internalize a lot of things. Call it my personality… INFJ… call it HFA, call it whatever you want. What I DO know is that I am a Phoenix. Ok, not literally. This of course is totally weird because I’m an Air sign (Gemini) and according to Pottermore my Patronus is a brown hare (also funny, as I am year of the rabbit) but… I digress. I am a Phoenix. I have been thrown a hundred different ways over the last 2 years and I’m completely BURNT OUT. Burnt out. I really truly mean it. I’m grateful for the help I have received, where I have had it, but I am not going to lie to you. Most everything I do, has been done solo. I don’t like that. I don’t want accolades for it. Sure it makes me proud to have done things on my own, but it certainly makes it more difficult that way.

What happens when a Phoenix burns out? They rise from the ashes and are reborn. That is exactly how I am feeling right now. Shedding old skins from the past, dusting the ashes off, and waking up to the newest version of myself. What does that mean for me in 2017? Will it happen all over again?

In short, yes. BUT, it will look much different. I feel things shifting for me internally, and feel like I’m looking at the world through new lenses.

I am not bringing relationships along with me that have felt inauthentic, or that have been taking advantage of me. I refuse to let that be part of my path in moving forward. I also made a promise to myself not to give too much of myself. I have had people tell me, “Oh, you just gotta be you! Put yourself out there!” when they don’t realize what I have been through. Even if I share a taste, a shred, even a splinter of part of me, and I get hurt… it crushes me.

Minimalism isn’t just about decluttering, or living with less things. It is also about creating an environment where you are thriving in every aspect of your life. If that means minimizing hurtful relationships, or not sharing all the deeply emotive parts of you… then that is what you gotta do, mama.

My current plans in moving to Colorado still stand… I’m just not sure when we will get there.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore

Clarity in Motion

Clarity comes in so many forms. I find that mine lately is coming from letting go of what is not serving me, in all aspects of my life. Including my business. I find myself going through certain motions, doing things that I “think” I’m supposed to be doing, that are no longer serving my community. In that place, it’s easy to take on feelings of judgment from others, even with a minimalist cleanse in your home, it’s easy to feel that way.

However, that is where the clarity comes in. The ability to see stories we are telling ourselves. The ability to see who is actually supportive of our endeavors. The ability to see which path we want to travel on. I wasn’t expecting this immense amount of clarity to seep into my life, like, at all. I’ve even taken a breath, and looked at my mothering… and how I’m showing up. Where I feel like I’m coming short. I realized that I’m giving my son absolutely everything that he needs, and that is my consistent love. It doesn’t matter how I manifest that for him. If it’s being present when he’s talking to me, or giving him cuddles when he needs them… I’m there. I don’t need to do all the things for him to grow up feeling loved, supported and happy.

I’m still a bit in awe of all this. The momentum I have right now in “clearing out” my space, is well… inspiring. But it is giving me even more momentum and energy in other areas of my life. It’s like I had been looking at my life through a smudged window, and now I can actually see through it clearly.

I wish this for you. I feel like I’m finally, truly able to embrace parts of my life for self care that often get pushed aside, because there is no time for them. There is time for them. There is space for them. There is space for me.

Grow Grow Grow

I hear Thomas the Train in the other room, while my husband watches tv with our son. It makes me wonder how much longer Daen will stay little. He’s 4 now, and growing up so fast. Lately I have been feeling like I have failed him somehow, as every time I take him with me to the store, he begins to ask for all sorts of things. It’s strange to me, since I have never just given in and bought him things while we are out. Is this just something that all kids go through?

We also don’t “watch tv” as in, we don’t pay for cable, which means we also don’t pay for commercials. Somehow, it makes me wonder where he learns things. In any case, I’m grateful for the beauty of his childhood. I’m so not looking forward to the massive purge we will be doing in his room soon. The accumulation of toys and random things from gifts from others is… overwhelming. He hardly plays with his toys or even in his room, and I know it is because he is incredibly overwhelmed. I suspect he is on the autism-spectrum but that has never been diagnosed (much like my own asperger-ish self) and I know that he just wants a quiet space to play. If he is anything like me, this makes perfect sense. If I ask him to clean his room, he basically has a toddler panic attack. Not a temper tantrum, a panic attack. He displays serious feelings of anxiousness and it’s so sad. He truly feels like he can’t pick up his room on his own.

I sure know how that feels! Isn’t it insane how much of an emotional impact and burden our material possessions can have on us? On our children? I’m hoping that he has an ok time with letting go of things, so that he has space to be. He deserves a space where he can breathe and be free…

Where in the World?

You may have been wondering where I have been these last few weeks! I have been on a crazy awesome business trip adventure and forging some awesome new pathways for my family! Earlier this year, we packed up and moved from Southern California, all the way up to Aurora, Colorado. I absolutely love it here. Colorado is my home! However, it looks like we will be taking another adventure and heading over to the White Mountains in Arizona! Lakeside to be specific. Colorado lovies, don’t freak out! I will be flying out frequently! We will be moving there before the end of 2017. I will know more specific dates soon! What does this mean, it means more packing up boxes again… more moving, and more minimizing! I wish I had more time to do this!

Let me be 100% raw and honest with you, my heart belongs to Colorado and we will most definitely be coming back very soon! Roots grow where you plant them! However, given the opportunity to retire my husband early… I am jumping at the chance to keep him healthy, happy, and at home with us!

Why retire my husband? There are so many reasons why, so I will start from the beginning. Initially, I opted into the wholesale aspect with the oil company we use, specifically for the incredible oils, and the extremely gratifying ability to share with others, to make their lives even better.

Since then, things have evolved, life has changed, and we have grown so much. I haven’t shared MY personal story with you though, my team friends and family. The reason WHY I share essential oils has truly evolved.

Brien and I don’t really share our hardships, as there are so many things going on in the world, and we are extremely grateful for all that we have. What you probably don’t know, is that Brien has a service connected injury from the Army, that has been plaguing him with pain and major discomfort, making his highly manual labored mechanics job, extremely difficult. Brien has always been our breadwinner. He pushes through. He works hard. He never gives up and continues to give his all, even when his work day makes him want to cry from the pain. This man is the epitome of perserverance, and dedication to his family.

I want to give my husband back the freedom he has fought to give to so many others.

I want to bring him home to be with his son. I want to give him the life he deserves… the life he has earned. Yes, I educate others on the amazing benefits of essential oils. Yes, I share oils with others to help improve their health, well being and quality of life. But I also share essential oils with others because my husband’s quality of life and well being are the most important thing in the world to me. He is my best friend, and the most dedicated and giving man I have ever met.

This is giving us the opportunity, not only to bring him home, but to get him the care that will help his body recover, like regular chiropractic adjustments, yoga, and massage, in addition to the oils and supplements he is already using to support his body.

I cannot wait for the day to share with you all that he no longer has to work anymore, and has finally gotten his freedom back. This day is quickly approaching and you bet your buns I will make a big hooplah of it all. Brien is thrilled to spend quality time with his son, and give him the attention and affection he has longed for.

#brienfreedom

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support in our oil business. Whether you are a moral support, friend, team member, mentor, customer, family member, or any other variation of awesomeness in our lives, thank you. We could not do the things we do without your genuine love and support. You are the reason we are inspired to live our dreams.

Unpacking Nightmare

Ok, even so I labeled everything as best as I could (with pinterest tips no doubt) we still had one hell of a time unpacking all of our things. And yes… we still have too much. Honestly, I feel like I could live without pretty much everything we have and I find myself wondering… WHY do I still have this thing?

Recently, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” and it is a total game changer for me. I know that if I work through this book, and follow her strategy, I will be much closer to where we want to be and to live more comfortably as a family. Unpacking all of this junk just makes me shake my head.

As a mom, I feel awful about this. I don’t want my son to grow up thinking that things are the most important aspect of his life. We do daily affirmations every day when he wakes up, those are the kind of “things” I want for him.

I’ve already put together a bunch of donation bags. Brien found a charity out here that collects donations for veterans and their families. This is awesome, and they actually come to you for pick up. So cool. I will definitely be ringing them again after the first pick up.

Seeing all of these boxes in our beautiful (yet small) apartment makes me dread moving again… can’t we just stay in our humble little corner of the world forever?