The Spiritual Side of Cleaning House

Ever thought about finding the spiritual all around you? I’m sure you’ve heard that before … but what about when you clean house?

I bet you often do not think of cleaning house as a spiritual event. Sometimes I don’t either. More and more I do and here’s why.

Three years ago we decided we wanted to downsize. We were tired of vacuuming spaces no one walked on because the hallway was bigger than it needed to be, the bedroom was larger than we really used, and we preferred to hangout together in the upstairs living room, so the downstairs one often sat empty. We were tired of worrying about a yard bigger than we could keep and gardens that brought joy but could be condensed. So we decided to take on the challenge of creating a space that fit our family of 5 (3 growing teenagers and 2 labs) and allowed us to downsize into a space we used. As a result we found the joy that comes with cultivating the space you are in.

Every corner, nook, and cranny were considered so we could fit into the space comfortably. We got rid of extra bedsheets, towels, and clothing so what we have – we use. We created storage systems to maximize space to store all of our gear and got rid of what we no longer use. We are an active family in the growing stage of life. Every 6 months someone outgrows a pair of boots, a bike, a set of skis. We can now see and timely rotate it out. This house was a labor of love. Lots of light and functional flow created a home we love to care for.

Even if you can’t build a new house or remodel your existing structure, cultivate a space you love. Curate every item. Only buy what you want to clean and maintain. Trinkets and decor become dusty. It takes energy to keep them. Pay attention to what you really like. Purge the rest. Decide what it means to have things. What kind of things bring you great joy – cheap and easy often replaced or selective items you keep forever because they were made to last? It doesn’t matter as long as they bring you joy and you want to care for them.

As you purge what you do not use, do not need, and do not want to spend energy cleaning you end up with a home you love to clean. Each item you dust, vacuum around, and wipe down becomes something you take pride in. It feels good to take care of it. It feels good to pick it up, remember why you own it, and remember where it came from.

Cleaning becomes spiritual. The care you give to the space that reflects you and your personality brings you closer to yourself. Closer to things that have made your life worth living as you enjoy the pieces you’ve curated, and closer to the connections that bind us all. Maybe you remember the person who made the item you bought or delivered it. Maybe you remember the unique place you bought it or the people you were with.

As you methodically move through your space dusting, tidying, and cleaning you begin to enjoy it as a journey through special moments in your life. As this experience unfolds gratitude follows … and before you know it you are feeling the flow of something larger than yourself all while you toil away at the mundane task of cleaning house. The spiritual side of housekeeping.

The Home Gym: Full Body Strength & Cardio Fun

When it comes to working out the thing that matters is – You Do It. Here’s a workout you can do at home, at the gym, or in the park.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Warm Up Moves – 10 of each

  • Forward Arm Circles
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Elbows up and back with core rotation – like the self defense move
  • Backward Arms Circles
  • Air Squats with diagonal frontal arm raise
  • Super Slow Center Wood Chops

Cardio set 1 – 1 minute all out

  • Treadmill – 70-80% THR (not sure how to find your target heart rate? Read Here)

Full body Set 1 – 1 min each movement

  • Diagonal Lunge Back – Alternate legs
  • Side Lunge – Alternate sides
  • Diagonal Lunge Front – Alternate legs
  • Lat Pull Downs with Rubber Tubing – (need some tubing? Try KBands)
  • Butt Drops with push up in between – Think push up, flip to supine, drop butt, flip back prone and push up, lots of rotation with this one, keep your core tight and form good.

Free Athlete and Fitness Training

Cardio Set 2 – 1 min all out

  • Bike (spinner if you have access) – 75-85% THR

Full Body Set 2 – 2 sets / 10 reps each movement. Move all the way through set before repeating.

  • Med Ball Squat with Contra lateral over the shoulder lift
  • Single Leg Lunge with right leg kick through
  • Frog Jumps
  • Single Leg Lunge with left leg kick through

Cardio set 3 – 1 min all out

Cross Trainer – 70-80% THR

Core Set – 3 sets / 10 repetitions. Do full set then rest & repeat

  • Plank Set:
    • Alternating Knee Outside Elbow
    • Alternating Knee to Center
  • Alternating Table Top Lifts with side plank rotation
  • Plank Single Toe Rolls

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Finding Flow in Finances

Ever thought about finding your flow with finances? Many people struggle to feel comfortable about money. I see all types in my practice – those with lots of money who feel they ignored things that were important in order to get it, and those without money who are desperate to meet basic needs and survive. Those who grew up wealthy only to shun it today because money doesn’t buy happiness or those who grew up begging determined to have as much of it as they can. Whatever your money story making peace with finances breeds a great deal of safety and security in our emotional lives.

Money is often a difficult subject to self-evaluate. Often we are harboring stories from our history we do not even know we carry. They were handed to us through family lore, familiar surroundings (housing, location, work options), and the continued focus on what we know to be our truth. Without the exposure to other options we often repeat patterns we witnessed in our earliest relationships – often without reference for the way others experience financial abundance or lack there of.

If you heard the constant ring of “we can’t afford” or “there is never enough” or “money is the root of all evil” or “hard work is all that is worth anything” you most likely embraced those messages as absolute truth. Then we took those “truth” messages and created a life around them without even realizing they were the paradigm creating your focus. If this is you, you might want to consider learning that money is not the root of all evil and working to death is not the end all be all.

On the other hand, some of us weren’t handed the messages about lack and hard work, instead we were taught that money is always there. It may be how we solve emotional problems – ie. I’m sad, I shop. I’m happy, I shop. I am feeling jealous, I shop. I’m bored, I shop – or how our family “loved” us. Yet we may have never been taught financial literacy, despite having enough money. As a result we feel comfortable and easily fill want, but feel inadequate when it comes to cultivating money and feel helpless in creating it. Thus we feel like we always have to be “taken care of” and we are weak. If this is you, consider learning how to budget, invest, and work with a coach or therapist to learn just how strong you really are.

We might feel worthless and lacking purpose because we have not learned how to find pride in making something happen and meeting challenges that enhance our communities. Instead, we may have remained segregated by our wealth and isolated from finding deeper meaning that comes from experiencing struggle. This might feel like we aren’t participating in life rather just consuming and using up what others produce. You don’t have to become desolate and poor – that doesn’t help the collective either, however you may want to find ways to understand the hardships other go through and really get to know those who are impacted by lack. Then find a way you can find and accomplish challenges. Enjoy the pride that comes with working hard and creating something from scratch.

And for some of us … none of the above applies. You got great financial training, learned the value of money as energy to be traded, and feel confident and able in ability to manage it. Help the rest of us by communicating healthy messages and teaching others the skills you have.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of comfort with money. It’s time to learn how to find your flow with it. In the end, it is just energy to be transferred, anyway.

Think on Purpose … Find the Beauty

Our thinking determines how we judge a situation or person. We form an opinion based on our personal values and then determine how to act as though our opinions and values are the only truths. Today can you sift through your own judgements to see what is truly in front of you vs what you are labeling?

Our thinking determines how we judge a situation or person. We form an opinion based on our personal values. This is completely fine when we remember that our likes or dis-likes are just that … ours.

Make sure you are choosing your thoughts on purpose. This helps you make sure you are creating your best life because in the moment of thought creation you can chose to look for the beauty that surrounds you or only see the negative aspects of the situation you find yourself in and the people you are sharing your time with.

Once you are clear on the facts of the situation – not your values or opinions – you have choices to chose to remain in that situation or shift it.

Sometimes that shift is physical: I get up and walk out, at other times I cannot leave in the moment and must make that shift in my mind: I chose to leave the negative thinking behind and focus on the positive, even if it is just a sliver.

By the way … how many Blue Cars did you find on Monday???

Cilantro Lime Butter Chicken

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

Heat oven to 350 degrees if you are going to bake. You can also do this on the stove top with a frying pan.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts – thawed, trimmed if you want, and enough for each person in your party to have 1 servings (3-4oz).
  • Limes – 1/2 sliced and 1/2 for squeezing
  • Cilantro – leaves chopped, stems removed
  • Butter or coconut oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan, extra if you want it melted on top of chicken for serving
  • Melt the butter in the pan of your choice.
  • Arrange the chicken breasts in the pan
  • Squeeze 1/2 the lime over the chicken
  • Sprinkle with 1/2-3/4 of the clinantro
  • A little salt and more pepper than salt for cooking

The Cooking Part …

  • Cook until Chicken is done. I usually bake for 30 min or cook stove top for 10-15 min on med each side. I use a meat thermometer because it is easier for me to make sure it is done. I also set a timer to remember to flip or check.
  • Once done I cover and let rest about 5min while I finish prepping the sides, salad, and get the service ware ready.
  • Serve hot with extra slices of lime on top of each piece and a sprinkle of cilantro. Sometimes I add a dollop of butter too.

What to serve with …

I usually serve with any of these: roasted/baked potatoes, rice, asparagus, cauliflower, salad, and/or black beans. Enjoy!

The Power of Your Thoughts

Ever wonder why two people can be in a similar situation, but one of them is positive about it and the other negative? Here’s why. The power of your thoughts cannot be underestimated. Use them wisely.

I see many people in my practice who struggle to turn their mind. This is the primary need in choosing your perspective. You have to have the skill of being able to look at what is going on, separate what is happening from your past experience lenses, and be able to find something good about it. Even if 99.9% sucks you have to be able and ready to find something that does not suck in your current situation. This is a very difficult skill and requires that we accept what is going on in our lives even if we do not like it. 

What you think about your experience is more important than the experience itself. In reality it is just what is happening right now. This is the neutral place of “it just is ____”. We then put our judgment upon it. We label the experience as “good”, “bad”, “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want”, “I don’t want”, “should”, “should not” etc. When we place these labels on our experiences we are expressing our values. Our values help us decide what to do and how to engage with our environment by limiting our choices. This is actually helpful, as there are so many choices in any given moment, but it can make it hard for us to feel fulfilled and engaged in our current experiences. 

When we place so much emphasis on what we should do, how it should go, what we want, and turn our noses up at what we do not like, we are living our experiences based on judgments that color what we are actually experiencing. This keeps us locked in our heads and stuck in stories that may or may not be serving us anymore. We end up living from expectations rather than reality. When we can pick apart the experience for what it truly is, look at it honestly, and be open to what is to be learned from it, we find the beauty that surrounds us. 

Our thoughts have power. They shape what we focus on, where our attention goes, and what we continue to find in the world. As we discussed last week, when I find myself living in the same experiences I am often narrowing my focus and putting my attention on similar sorts of experiences and opportunities. It is what I know, therefore it continues to be what I find. Over and over and over again. Many times we do not even realize this is the case. We have no idea how powerful our thoughts are and how much they shape our experiences in the world – it is just what we have always experienced or always seen or always seem to run into. When you take control of your thinking patterns you can significantly shift your experience in the world and create the experiences you want to have. 

Part of the power of our thoughts is the chemical nature of them. For every thought you have, you create a chemical – electrical pattern in your physical structure. Your neurons function using electricity and chemistry to communicate across the synapse and travel through your neuromuscular junctions to make movements happen. The more you use a neuron pattern the closer those neurons move toward each other. As they do this they become much quicker in communication ability. For example:


I speak English as my 1st language. As a result I know a lot of English words, I have understanding of the language that I do not even know I know. It is just what I have always known to be true about communicating with people around me. I can understand elements of English communication through the nuances, inferences, and structure of the current communication patterns, inflections and presentation of the person communicating to me. I have very strong neural connections for the English language and specifically upper-midwestern United States of America English. 

If you have ever learned another language you also know what I am talking about – it is chunky and often slow to understand the words in normal conversation in another country/language. Once you spend enough time with the new language or learning the new style of speaking, it becomes easier to understand the nuances and patterns of speech. That is your neurology shifting and creating new or closer connections, thus becoming bilingual. People who grew up speaking 2 languages can often switch between them very quickly. They have strong neural networks for both. 


Now apply this concept to negative thinking patterns. If you are someone who spends a lot of time thinking negatively about yourself or others, situations or spaces, patterns people behave in, etc, you are creating strong neural pathways to find more of those examples … because your brain is wired to find them easy. 

You participate in them everyday (often multiple times a day) and your mind uses those thinking patterns to protect you from something given the amount of time you spend on them. Mind and brain work together to make sure you find them all around your environment. They are important for some reason or you would not be thinking of them so often. This is the reasoning your mind feels it is necessary to catalogue and find them all around you.  This is not meant to shame you for your responsibility in your current state. As I said above there is a reason you continually think in negative directions. Therapy can be a big help getting to the root of your behavior and help you figure out what you are using negative self talk, judgment, and overall pessimism for. You are doing it for a reason, now might be the time to figure out why. 

Imagine what would happen if you started focusing on what is working, rather than what is not working? If I am right about how important it is to pay attention on purpose, imagine how your life would shift if you were purposefully looking for and finding all the things going right in your life. Are you ready to take a positive focus in your life? Ready to live on purpose? Ready to shift into letting go of expectations and truly living in this moment of your life? 

Start taking control of your thoughts right now. I know it is easier said than done. Here’s an activity to get you started. 

Today try this activity – FIND BLUE CARS.

See how many you find around you. Comment your number on our Facebook group. For this activity do not change your routine or go out of your way to find a lot. Just notice how many you run into during your regular day doing the same things you do in your normal routine. Notice and count how many you find around you today. 

Happy Snowdown!!!

Ever wonder what keeps us young and happy? Getting out, gathering with friends, and being silly! Get out of your head and into your authentic self by getting a little silly today.

In Durango we have a town party this time of year. It’s themed out and lots of people get into it. Events happen all over the area and people get out of the house, brave the weather, and gather.

Today work on finding a way to gather just for silly fun. It is part of what keeps us joyful and happy.

Here’s to finding Friday Flow in silliness!

Same Sh** Different Day

Are you one of those that thinks – why does this keep happening to me?!??!? And how to make it stop …

Feeling like it’s the same shit different day? That’s a common theme for a lot of us. We feel like were in the same places over and over, meeting the same types of people, doing the same sorts of things – getting ourselves in the same sorts of trouble.

In reality we have to look at what our themes are. the story may change day to day but it often feels very similar.

We have to look at what the themes are before we will ever be able to shift our worldview and change our behavior to become the people we know we can be. To make ourselves great we have to be ready to look at what keeps happening repeatedly over and over in our lives. Then decide “who do I want to become”, “what am I willing to give up”, and “what am I willing to do differently”? Start with the slow small steps of change. Change one step at a time using those smart goals we talked about on Monday (missed it? Read it here). Tackle just the next step.

So today look at all of the different ways that you see the same sorts of patterns playing out your life. The same sorts of people, the same sorts of arguments, the same sorts of problems, the same sorts of disappointments, … even the same sorts of joys. Where do you find your greatest joy, your greatest strength, your greatest excitement? These are great places to help focus the direction you want to go while looking at all those negative aspects of self to change

Delicious and Simple Baked Salmon

In this easy to make main dish, I often stick it in the oven – make sure the timer is set loud enough – and then I work out while it cooks. Helps balance my life – good food and healthy body.

I am not a great cook, I’m good when I want to be, but honestly my mind is usually somewhere else and following recipes is really, really hard for me. Any distraction – 3 kids, the dog, a friend, a flower – and boom, we are having “blackened” food again … usually without the Cajan part. So I started making my food simple. Really simple. I wanted healthy and easy.

This one is super easy and allows you to go do something else while it cooks … Like Workout!

Ingredients Needed: Salmon filets, butter or coconut oil, rosemary in whatever form you have, I like ground for this dish, black pepper – I like the kind I can grind

  • Get some salmon – make sure it is thawed out (I often forget this step and end up with frozen items :). Enough for everybody to have a portion (3-4oz piece, size of a deck of cards).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking dish with foil (if you want easy clean up)
  • Melt some butter or coconut oil – enough to cover the bottom with a little layer of liquid. I just put the oil in the baking dish and throw it in the oven while I get the salmon ready.
  • Arrange the salmon in the baking dish skin side down
  • Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze one half over the filets.
  • Sprinkle Rosemary over the tops of each piece
  • Grind fresh pepper over them
  • Cover with a piece of foil and bake for about 30 min depending on the thickness of the fish. Should be flaky and light pink inside.
  • Garnish with fresh lemon slices from the 2nd lemon half cut earlier

Pair with salad, roasted vegetables, rice pilaf, or baked potatoes to make a full meal.

Note: if it is to dry melt some butter over the top and note for next time cooking. Shorten the time.