Weekly Reflection 2017 – 19

How I shone this week: This week Jake was out of the country so I was alone with the kids. Most of the week, this ended up meaning that I worked in the evenings and tried to get ahead of my plans a bit. I got some work done but of course not as much as I’d hoped. I went to work a bunch, I went to Nathaniel’s school, I had coaching clients, I went to a party for Nathaniel and his classmates and then had a 1-1 with a friend and then went to a social event with parents from David’s school. I did math with both of the kids. I showed up. I tried. I also yelled and wanted to give up and felt hopeless at different times this week. But I got up and kept going and sometimes that’s the best shining I can do. 

Things I wanted to get Done: 

  • Work: I did a lot of documentation but have a bunch more, of course. I did some meetings and scheduled some more. I also booked Seattle, woo hoo!
  • Vacation: I made no plans for memorial day. But there’s an event at David’s school and a playdate for Nathaniel, do those count?
  • Summer: So I didn’t book a camp for David but we came to an understanding so we will implement that, so now I only have to book one for him and I still need a plan for Nathaniel for a week.
  • Personal: Exercise sucked, I suck. I did do art though. But I also didn’t do OLW, though I might tonight.
  • Family: I picked up N’s book and we did go hiking. I called the eye doctor but it was closed so I’ll try tomorrow and we took some photos but just on my phone.

Looks like 50-50 this week.

I celebrate: Jake coming back tomorrow!

I am grateful for: all of the bits of my life. my mom. my dad. i am so lucky.

I nourished myself by: going hiking this week.

Reflecting on my worries: i didn’t write enough down but I am going to keep at it. I can make this happen. i am still pretty exhausted but honestly i need to drink water and eat well and sleep a bit more and then we can see. i still haven’t exercised. there might not be solutions but i won’t know until i try. camps will be ok. i did some art! I did some. not all but baby steps.

I let go of: giving myself a hard time. I forgive and i move on.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love):

  • bold: i signed up for more bold and scary things at work.
  • mindful: i’ve been mindful of the fact that I work a lot more lately. I will give myself grace when I need it.
  • nourish: so so this week. 
  • love: i did so well. and then i failed so spectacularly. but i am trying again.

What made me laugh this week: my friend Kelly and I laughed a lot. I am so grateful for a new friend.

What I tolerated this week: a lot of social events that were hard for me. but i showed up!

My mood this week was: one day at a time.
I forgive myself for: not getting the exercise in gear.
What I love right now: the long, sunny days.

Here’s to a wonderful week twenty! 

May 2017 – Shining Means – 9

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means making choices that bring out the best of you. Making choices that allow you to show, be, feel the best version of yourself. So you can show up and be kind. Be present. Be generous. Be open. Taking the time to be.

This one is a bit of a loaded one for me. There are so many ways in which I need to work on being the best version of myself all the time and if I don’t give myself the rest and care I need, it am definitely not my shining self.

This is what the whole nourishing intent is aiming for. Exercising, eating well, sleeping a lot, nourishing my skin, journaling, reading, learning, taking alone time, giving are all parts of the formula that allow me to be my best self. I need to do all of these regularly. I need to make sure there’s space for every one of them.

When I am well-nourished, I can be the best version of myself. I can show up ready to listen. ready to give. Ready to receive. 

Ready to be present.

It’s been quite a challenge lately. I’ve been tired and overwhelmed and when I am in this space, it’s much more difficult to show up and be patient. 

When I am shining, though, I am there. Both physically and mentally. I am present. 100%.

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 19

I started this week with For the Love. I had seen Jet Hatmaker’s book at Bravegirls Camp and then saw Glennon mentioning her and then the book appeared at my library in the same week so I figured that was the universe telling me it was time to read it. I am glad I did. 

I then moved on to Anything is Possible which I had been looking forward to reading and I absolutely loved it. There are a lot of tough issues in these stories but Elizabeth Strout can write with elegance and so much tenderness. I absolutely love her work.

I then went back and forth with a lot of books and settled in on Chasing Slow which I’d also been looking forward to reading. In the end, it was an okay read. I loved pieces of it and was ok about other pieces of it. I am glad I read it.

I then moved to The Hate U Give which was powerful, thought-provoking and I am glad books like this are getting published. I knew very little about the book before I started it and read it pretty much in one sitting.

I then moved on to The Upside of Unrequited right after. it was lighter and still poignant for me. I needed the lightness and ended up staying up past 2am to read this. It wasn’t as magical as her previous book but honestly i loved it to bits.

And finally, I ended the week with The One Memory of Flora Banks. This makes three YA novels in a row. It was just one of those weeks. I read this one really fast and kept having a sense of doom like it was going to end terribly and there were some really sad parts but it redeemed itself. 

I’m also still reading bits of Storm in a Cup, The Book of Joy, Modern Mindfulness, and The Craving Mind.  Nonfiction sometimes requires more patience than i have. Chasing Slow ended up being the 100th book I read this year.

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 8

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means letting go of who you think you “should” be and letting yourself be who you really are. Showing up as the real, authentic you and choosing to show up that way again and again. Always.

Oh man.

I know this one sounds like the same one as Tuesdays, but it’s even more. When I shine, I let others see my authentic, true soul.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that I am being vulnerable, though it can. It just means I am being myself. 100% myself. Whatever that means in each situation.

It doesn’t mean I am being rude, or loud, or putting others down. It means I am being myself and not apologizing for who that is. It means I am wearing what feels right, eating what feels right, and doing what feels right to me. Honoring my true self, my values, my perspective. With kindness, of course.

I often feel conflicted about my sense of belonging which makes it hard for me to be ok showing up as who I am in many situations because what if who I am is not enough? Sometimes I choose not to show up. Sometimes I choose to show up really guarded. Sometimes I choose to show up and do what needs to be done. And sometimes I choose to just show up, and be me. 

In those rare times, I am shining. I am not apologetic or rude or loud or quiet. I am just me. I don’t overthink or question everything I do or say. I just show up as me and hope that’s good enough. Those are the moments I want to have more of and the moments I feel I am actually my very best self.

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Nourish Me – 19


  • I read: I read a good mix of books this week but no internet or facebook or anything else really. not even really my work email.
  • I learned: I haven’t made a lot of progress on my class on Happiness but I did read more nonfiction and i spent some serious time doing angles with david.
  • I watched: I watched no TV this week at all. Didn’t even turn it on. Nor did I watch netflix. it’s been quite a few weeks since I watched any TV. I can hardly believe it.


  • Exercise: none this week except the hiking on Saturday.
  • Food: I had protein almost every morning. I ate a lot of salad. I ate some veggies. Things are getting better though I am still drinking too much coffee, not enough water, too much chocolate.
  • All the others: still doing ok on all other things. love my new shiny makeup. 


  • I rested: Had a few rough nights of sleep but feeling okay. Knees still in pain but better, too.
  • I connected:Lots of connecting at work and also volunteered at David’s school with lots of new parents.
  • I journaled: no journaling outside of here, still. but the shine cards count, no?
  • I made art: no new art. here’s to hoping.

I still feel positive trajectory here, however small.

Nourish Me Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 7

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means seeing the good in every situation. Understanding that nothing is clear or 100% white or black. Being able to look at it from multiple perspectives and allowing the space for there to be some good to come out of each situation.

This is the trick to life isn’t it?

Being able to see things from multiple perspectives and understand that there is no such thing as “the truth” is one of the biggest lessons I have learned as I grow up and it’s something I have to remember again and again and again.

I’ve also learned that there’s no such thing as a guaranteed good outcome. Sometimes what you think is good turns out to have challenging side effects and a “bad” outcome turns out to be a blessing in disguise. So here, too, there’s no black or white. It’s all the shades of gray all the time. 

I am trying to learn how to be more open minded all the time. Sometimes even realizing that I am being close minded is a challenge and other times it’s easy for me to be open and able to see that I am holding on to a perspective.

To me, shining means realizing that everything, all the time, is going through my interpretation of what things mean. There are very few “truth”s in the world and almost everything is what I make it out to be. So when I am shining I can see the good in everything. I can see that there are many ways to look at a situation and I can find the perspective that is the most empowering and choose to believe that one.

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

2017 Stories – 19 – Tech Challenge 2017

This was the third year David did the San Jose Tech Museum’s Tech Challenge. This year’s challenge was to cross two ravines. Which translated to crossing two tables without leaving any pieces behind. The second table was higher as well. The kids worked really really hard on this extremely tough challenge. 

As always they went to have an interview with the judge before the challenge itself where they were asked a lot of questions. We got to watch this from above. And then they did the challenge itself. Their amazing gondola made it through the first table but then fell on the way to the third. And then they ran out of time, so they didn’t get to fully complete it. 

They were all dejected as they walked away to get their medals and their photo taken. 

But we were all so proud of their incredibly unique design and creative thinking. and incredible work.

As it worked out, they ended up winning an award anyway. They won Outstanding Engineering Journal which was almost funny because it was such an uphill battle getting that journal together this year. 

In the end, it was all worth it and another year of wonderful memories, hard work, and very proud parents!

Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 6

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means telling the truth. always. Kindly but still only the truth. Always the truth. Not being afraid of being honest. Not lying awkwardly. Telling the truth with as much kindness as possible. Shining means being high integrity.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve recently had a situation where I ended up being dishonest and awkward about a situation just because I was worried about putting the other person in a difficult spot. This instance made me feel bad for weeks and I am still thinking about it today because it just doesn’t sit well with me that I had to bend the truth so much. After spending some time thinking about it, I decided that I would never again do this. I would tell the truth in the kindest, most straightforward way and if that made the other person a bit uncomfortable, I’d have to live with that. 

I don’t want to put anyone in a situation they don’t want to be in, but I realized that the path I took in order to avoid awkwardness on the other person’s side still ended up making everything awkward anyway. If I had just been straight with her, it would have been no more awkward and I wouldn’t have felt like I was lying the whole time. All I get to say is the truth, in the kindest way possible and how others choose to interpret that is not on me. 

Soon after I made this decision, I was tested with another situation where I wanted to turn down an offer but I was worried the other person would be offended and this was someone I love so I didn’t want to hurt them. But I bit the bullet and I was honest. I turned it down really gently, thanked the person and offered an alternative. And it worked out.

I believe that when I am being my honest, kind self, I am making room for others to be their honest, kind selves too. We all get to shine.

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 5

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means loving unbounded. Loving everyone. Loving all the time. With flaws and all. We are all flawed. We all could use kindness and help but most of all we all deserve love. Shining means having that love be visible to all.

Oh man, this is the easiest one. What could shining mean but love. Just unbounded love.

Pouring out of everywhere. I want love to come out of my pores. When I shine, that’s what happens. I love everyone, I love everything. I love my life. I love life itself.

We might not like everyone, We might not like everything someone does but we can love them. We can love all people. 

Does this seem a bit woo-woo? Maybe it is. but it’s how I want to feel. When I shine, it’s how I feel. I want my friends and family to be able to see the love in my face. To see it come out of my eyes and my words and pour all over them. 

I can’t do this very often but when I can, I am in such peace. And when people do it to me, I feel so incredibly lucky. 

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 19

Weekly Intention: This week has a few trips to work, a few coaching clients, a few social engagements and some work for the kids’ school. This week, Jake will be traveling. Life is never the same when Jake’s not here. I have a long Monday and Wednesday again. I am hoping things will be a small amount quieter so I can recover more quickly from the longer days. My intention this week is to take it slower than last week. To exercise every day since I will be home for several days. To go hiking even when Jake’s not here. To do math with the boys.  To do art. Let’s see how far I can get. 

Things I want to get Done: Here’s the list for his week.

  • Work: a lot of documentation: metrics, roadmaps, modeling
  • Work: a few meetings to understand next steps.
  • Work: book some more meetings for next week.
  • Work: Book Seattle, now or never.
  • Vacation: a few small plans for memorial day
  • Summer: Book camps for David (and third for Nathaniel).
  • Personal: Come up with exercise plan.
  • Personal: Try out 15 mins of art.
  • Personal: Do OLW May.
  • Family: Pickup N’s book.
  • Family: Take photos of me and the boyes.
  • Family: Go hiking.
  • Family: Make eye doctor appointments. 

This month’s intention is: May: Help others Shine: Ok now it’s others’ turn. It’s time to be the mirror to their light so it can reflect off of you. Think of ways big and small that you can help people in your life see their own light this month. Smile. Show them how amazing they are. Thank them.  So I totally didn’t remember that I’d written that I wanted to make little notes for Nathaniel’s lunch every day. It will have to be the plan for this week!

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: A few more bold meetings at work. Let’s see what happens.
  • Two: Open: Open to new friends this week. Let’s see.
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: Here’s to some exercise this week.

I am looking forward to: getting some of this documentation down.

This week’s challenges: Monday and Wednesday will be long and challenging at work. Friday will be challenging personally with a school event, two social events, two pickups and swim class. ugh. And of course the fact that Jake will be gone is the biggest challenge.

Top Goals:

  • Work: more documentation. making plans.
  • Personal: apparently I couldn’t do exercise last week. can i balance work/notwork a bit better this week?
  • Family: kindness this week and patience as I am the only parent here.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: remembering what matters most. remembering who I am. remembering to honor my values.

This week, I will say yes to: writing it down. listening. being open.

This week, I will say no to: focusing on my thoughts. 

I am worried that:  i won’t write enough down. i will continue to be exhausted. i won’t exercise. there will be no solutions. i won’t be done with camps. i will do no art. i am mostly worried about inertia and doing nothing.

This week, I want to remember: that it’s not about how many things i got done. it’s about how much love i gave. that people remember how you make them feel!

Weekly Reflection 2017 – 18

How I shone this week: We finally took some family shots so you’ll be seeing a lot of those in this week’s posts. This past week turned out to be much more challenging than I had anticipated. By the end of Wednesday I was completely wiped and I decided to bow out of the work fun event on Thursday so I could stay home and get some actual work done. Which I did! And it was restful-ish. But I ended up working way more this week than was healthy and I’d like to make sure not to repeat that. Though it might have to for a little while longer.  I have had high and low moments this week but overall I did my best, I showed up and kept trying.

Things I wanted to get Done: 

  • Work: Did the newsletters, gave the preso, did the first document and started with yag. didn’t do the other two docs yet but working on it.
  • Vacation: memorial day weekend got too stressful so we’ll keep it lowkey. sydney airbnb all booked, flight to cairns booked, woohoo!
  • Summer: camps not booked, but waiting on some emails.  
  • Personal: exercised none and did no art. meh. but did buy sneakers!
  • Family: picked up one of the books, took photos, went hiking! but no date night!

All in all, I feel good about this week’s todos. I’ve also noticed that knowing I was going to have to write about them today really motivated me to get some of these done! 

I celebrate: going hiking again. i love it.

I am grateful for: family photos. and jake. so so grateful for jake.

I nourished myself by: not going to the all-day event on Thursday. 

Reflecting on my worries: i did get work done, not enough but still some. i finished the booking for sydney, i just have to cancel our hotel now. i didn’t book the camps but it’s ok i think and for when jake’s parents are here, we’ll just take it one day at a time. i didn’t exercise and that does suck. i did many of the todos. i did get tired but didn’t give up (mostly.)

I let go of: doing it all. taking one step at a time here.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love):

  • bold: i gave a big, bold presentation at work.
  • mindful: i am mindful of the fact that i feel on and off. i’ve been trying to navigate my thoughts and feelings.
  • nourish: more CSA coming this week and I’m excited. I’ve also decided I get to eat a bit of what the kids do so I am hoping that will result in more veggies for me. i also intend to both exercise and do art this week. let’s see.
  • love: i love so many bits and pieces of my life. I love the sun. i love the flowers on my desk.

What made me laugh this week: much laughter friday night while I was volunteering at David’s school.

What I tolerated this week: very long workdays, especially Wednesday.

My mood this week was: exhausted. unsure. grateful.
I forgive myself for: being a work in progress.
What I love right now: the kindness of others. 

Here’s to a wonderful week nineteen! 

May 2017 – Shining Means – 4

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means forgiving everyone, all the time. Forgiving the people who love you. Forgiving random people that come in and out of your life. Forgiving your family. Forgiving friends. And most of all, forgiving yourself. You can’t shine with all that guilt.

The older I get, the less I believe in grudges. The less I believe in judging others. The less I badmouth anyone. I am fully stepping into a live and let live way of living. Life is so hard and most of us are doing the best we can. It really doesn’t help to judge others. We are here to help each other.

If someone messed up, it doesn’t help to hold a grudge. When I choose to shine, I choose to forgive. Without asking for anything in return. I forgive fully and completely. If that person meant it, well then I can choose new friends. But in general I think very few people are malicious. People just mess up.

All. the. time. 

And so do I. I mean well. But I am human. I am fallible. I disappoint others. I disappoint myself. I mess up. I hurt people. I drop the ball. I am not the best version of myself. So very often.

But when I am shining, I pick up the pieces, I apologize, I forgive myself, I forgive others and I let it all go. I choose to believe in leaving the guilt and anger behind and choosing the light.

Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.