March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 13

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Nourish Me – 11

Last week, I thought about and journaled ways in which I might be able to reset and I have some ideas but I am not sure they are the right ones. What I know is that I am not ready to give it up yet. I still believe deeply in everything on my list. So I will find my way back either way. 

Mind:

  • I read: Still reading books voraciously. I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that I don’t really like blogs I read anymore. Most of the people I loved reading aren’t writing anymore or are mostly doing commercial things (which is totally fine, just not what I connect with.) So if you’re reading a great blog, I’d love to hear about it. I also loved this little tidbit from zenhabits which resonated with me. 
  • I learned: Well I am talking to the kids about projects they’d like to do and David has some ideas that might mean learning new things for me. I’ve also been thinking about online classes again. Maybe something small to get me started…I also want to read and do the exercises for all the wholehearted lessons this week. let’s see if I can.
  • I watched: I am quite amazed at the lack of TV in my life lately. I just don’t choose to turn it on. When the alternative is a book, the TV just doesn’t get used. I did watch this wonderful talk and recommend it wholeheartedly. Very resonant with my goals this week (or in life in general.)

Body:

  • Exercise: I exercised just once again. I have a bit of a plan for exercising as soon as I get up to not worry about the variability in my day to day schedule. But I also know I am really tired when I get up. So we’ll see if it works.
  • Food: I have brought more whole foods into my diet. I have also decided coffee’s ok if need be but I’d like to step back from the processed food that I don’t enjoy and eat anyway.
  • Skin: moisturizing has been going well. I see the effect and like doing it. yey for my skin.
  • Floss: back to flossing, that wasn’t too hard and dude i need to just not stop it.
  • And More: i got a mani and pedi this week. first time in years. and put on shiny polish so I can remember to shine!

Soul:

  • I rested: I have been sleeping uninterupted for two nights. That’s a blessing. Still very tired but hopefully on the way to better rest. 
  • I connected: with parents from David’s school at a lovely dinner. It was fantastic.
  • I journaled: once but for a long time, this week.
  • I made art: Started April art. About halfway there and it was really fun.
I did some of the reflection I mentioned last week but I didn’t think about what fills me up,what gives me energy, what depletes me, and I’d love to see if I can do that this week.
 
Coincidentally, Gretchen Rubin blogged about this quote this week:

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself–and if I accept myself fully in the right way I will already have surpassed myself.

–Thomas Merton, Journal, October 2, 1958

I felt like it was a perfect representation of what I am learning along this journey of life.


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

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 12

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: take every chance you get in life, because some things happen only once.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 11 – Inspiration Board

The March prompt for One Little Word 2017 was to put together an inspiration board. This is one of my favorite projects each year and this year was no exception. I love love love looking at this board. I love how shiny, mindful, love-filled, bold and open it feels to me. 

I use these boards as my computer background, i glue them to my notebooks, and i even use them as a wallpaper on my phone. A constant reminder of my inspiration for 2017.


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

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 11

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: people underestimate their capacity for change.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 11

Weekly Intention: Here we are. After Friday’s post, I’ve been sitting and waiting and thinking and wishing inspiration would strike me and I would find a magical path the “shining person” I wish to become. But, of course, there are no shortcuts in life. If you want something different, you have to show up and do the work to get there. 

The wonderful Zewa left a comment asking me: “If you had a client with your personality seeking coaching for your type of “problem”, what would you say, do, think, feel, hear and smell?” Thank you Zewa. I’ve been thinking about this since I read your comment. 

The first thing that came to my mind when I read the question was to ask “what would happen if you let all these thoughts go for a week?” What if, just for a week, I didn’t have to strive so hard? Or even strive at all? What if I loved every piece of myself and was just kind and generous to myself for a little while. What would be possible then? Or even for 24 hours? Could I go 24 hours without all this noise in my head? 

Honestly, I am not sure. I feel like this voice in my head has been there so long, I am not sure I know how to shut it up. Or even diminish its strength. But I love the idea of it.  I know that some people believe turning off the critical voice would make them lethargic. They fear it would kill all the motivation to be/do better. I am not one of those people. I believe that wanting to be/do better is an innate part of me. To be honest, even if it weren’t, so what if I didn’t want to do/be more? What if right here, right now was just good enough? Is that so terrible? 

Anyhow, coming back to the question. If I can’t shut down the voice, is there something else I can do? Can I flood my head with love? With overwhelming positive noise to live alongside the critical one? Maybe the trick is to not shut down the negative voices but to build up the positive voice? Just like turning to generosity to counteract scarcity, maybe the trick for criticism is not engaging with it but building a solid foundation of positivity. 

So here’s an experiment I will be running for the next week: I am going to flood my life with positivity. Specifically:

  • I am going to smile pretty much all the time (even if I am not feeling it.)
  • I am going to be kind to everyone, including myself.
  • I am going to make a list every day of something magical and wonderful about myself. Something that’s uniquely me.
  • When I catch myself thinking and saying negative things, I will counteract them with 2x positive ones. 
  • I will send kind+loving messages to 3 people in my life every day.
  • I will dance/sing loudly for 3 minutes to a song I love every morning.
  • When people say kind/nice things to me, I will say thank you and I will write them down.

This is my list. I know that if I do these things, there will be a meaningful change in my days. Let’s see how it feels. 

I was talking to Jake earlier this week about something that frustrated me about David’s school and something the parents did. And he reminded me about a story he’d read that week about how things are not happening to us. These people aren’t out to get me. Their intentions aren’t specific to me. I am choosing to interpret events in a particular way but really events are just happening out in the world and they don’t have anything to do with me. Difficult to explain this in abstract terms but I have a tendency to see myself on the outside of things. So each time something happens that perpetuates this story of how I am different, how I don’t belong, how people don’t want to invite me to places/things, I use it as an opportunity to feed the belief I already have about myself. Even though we’ve talked about such things before, it really resonated with me. I am who I show up in the world as. Everything that happens in my life goes through that filter. I interpret life. And I can choose to interpret it differently. This is such a big part of shining. Not only being the best version of me but also seeing the best versions of others. Reflecting that to them. So let’s see if some of these items above will help me interpret life differently. 

There’s one more thing I plan to do. I will make a list of the life I want for myself. The one based on my values. If everything were to work out exactly how I wish for it to be, what would the days of my life look like. I will write some of this down towards the end of the week when my meetings are quieter and I am back from Seattle.

This month’s intention is:  Rain or Shine: March is a tough month. You often feel like giving up in March. It feels too long. But it’s not. Keep going, You’re doing great. Remember that the trick is to just show up. Keep showing up. I am showing up to Seattle. I am going to show up at David’s school. I am going to show up to my life this week! And I will also show up for my little boy regardless of what news we find out.

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: I’d like to have honest conversations with my teams in Seattle about the ways in which I can contribute meaningfully. 
  • Two: Open: Open to possibility this week. Open to being positive. Being unafraid to be me. What would that even look like? 
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: Well working on this more on the psychological side this week.

I am looking forward to: my trip to Seattle. Seeing work friends in person and then being back home.

This week’s challenges: Three day trip to Seattle will be hectic and long. When I am back Thursday will also be long and tricky splitting my time between David’s school and work. But really the biggest part of this week is some important news we find out for Nathaniel, so if you’re the praying kind, please pray for my little one who has his heart set on being able to move to David’s school. He’s been counting down the days and wishing and hoping and I would love for his little heart to soar with good news.

Top Goals:

  • Work: spending quality time with each team. using it to get a jumpstart to Q2.
  • Personal: all of what i outlined above. 
  • Family: create a schedule for spending more time doing projects with the boys and with jake.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: well this week is all about self-love. nourishing my soul. being mindful of my thoughts and bold with the positivity.

This week, I will say yes to: being me, accepting compliments, all things that might make me have fun. 

This week, I will say no to: perpetuating negative beliefs.

I am worried that: oh man, of course i am worried i won’t go through with my plans above or that something will happen to make my trip not go as planned or that i will eat badly, do wrong things, say wrong things, blah blah. but this week i am going to choose to believe that all will be ok and put my focus on that instead.

This week, I want to remember:  that life is short. I am given these precious days and they are mine. I can squander them or I can savor them. I get to choose.  The day will come to an end either way. 

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 10

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: you are free to choose but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Weekly Reflection 2017 – 10

Three ways I shone this week: I want to be honest so here’s what I am going to say: I don’t feel like I am shining lately. I am still doing things that look like shining to others maybe. Like showing up for my kids day in and day out. Being bold at work. Trying to take a bit better care of myself. Reading a lot. Etc. Etc. but the fact is I know how I feel and what I look like and who I am when I shine. I know what shining means to me. I know what I wanted to have my life look like when I chose the word shine. I know what I wanted to show up in the world as, when I am shining. And I am not there. I am not doing it. I am not feeling it. I am not being it.  I don’t want to pick three ways this week. I know I have small ways in which I shone. I know. I know. But choosing this word, for me was not just about remembering that I do shine in many ways each day (though this is an important reminder too and that’s why I do note the 3 ways each week.) it was more about moving towards a life when I am being my shiny self. I am showing up in the world fully. Fully me. My best self. My unapologetic self. My broken self. My human self. All of me. I feel like I haven’t been doing this. Part of it is about setting expectations a certain way of course. When I set the bar really high, I am bound to fall off again and again and disappoint myself in large ways. And keep having to restart (which I know is often the hardest part.) 

But part of it is also knowing who I am, owning who I am, and also owning who I am not (along with who I don’t want to be.) And stopping the practice of measuring myself against the versions of me I don’t want to be. Ceasing to give myself crap about ways in which I fail to be a person I don’t even care to be. I hope this makes sense to some of you. I do this all the time. I give myself a hard time for not being more social, more of a “playdate” mom, more ambitious at work, doing more with my kids, being a runner, being more involved at the kids’ schools. i can go on and on and on. The fact is, none of these things are things I want to be. I love my work and am passionate about doing a good job and of course I want to be recognized for my hard work but I don’t want to be a VP at the cost of what that would take away from other parts of my life. I don’t really want to socialize. I would like to have a handful of good friends I can rely on and I would love the same for my kids and that’s all I need. I hate playdates (It’s just a fact. Mostly due to the logistics they involve.) I do wish I did more with my kids but I am actually quite involved. I hate running. I wish I were more athletically inclined and I know that I could become this way given enough energy but that energy would have to come from somewhere and I am not at a place where I am willing to do what it takes for that to be possible. I am pretty involved at the kids’ schools and, given the option, I think they are reaching an age where it’s better for me to be involved with them and not the school. Though I’d like to stay involved to at least a certain level and I want to be careful about my choices of where and how to be involved. I know deep down that I don’t want to do these things that I judge myself for. I don’t want to be these people I measure myself against. 

And yet. 

I still find myself judging me. I still feel the unease of “not measuring up” each time I am around people who’ve made other choices. For me, part of “shining” is letting all this go. Being deliberate about who I want to be, the values I have, the choices I will make and then living my life honoring those choices. Fully. Unapologetically. Kindly. Wholly.

I don’t want to feel bad anymore. I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to feel less than some random ideal I measure against. And ideal I am not even striving for. All this guilt runs me down and then I am tired and cranky and I make bad choices when I am there. I eat badly, I yell, I contract. This is not my definition of shining. I want to expand.

So.

What do I do now? Well. Step one is owning it. This is where I am. I am beating myself up constantly. I am tired. I am worn out. I drink too much coffee because I am tired a lot. I am in pain, especially in my knees and I use that as an excuse to not exercise (not even for 6 minutes, mind you!)  I eat badly which makes me more tired. I am worn out which makes me yell more. I feel like I have no time so I protect my “free” time like a madman. All I want to do is to read. All the time. So I am owning it. I am not happy with where things are. With who I show up as in the world. I also want to note that of course not everything is terrible. I am still working super hard. I am still showing up for all my responsibilities. I am still being kind to people and I do shining things every day. I am still eating plenty of good food. Not all is lost, of course. I just feel like I don’t want to go through the motions. I don’t want to tell you (me) the ways in which I shone this week when I feel like I am not really owning my word the way I would like to. 

Instead I’d like to start bringing about the change I wished to embrace by picking shine as my word. Even if it takes baby steps. So owning was #1, the reflection part, can’t fix something i don’t acknowledge.

#2 is taking action. More on that on Monday’s post as I think about what I can do to get me there so I can live intentionally. 

I celebrate: having a quiet-ish week this week. it was lovely.
I am grateful for: my manager who has been so encouraging and supportive.
I nourished myself by: getting a mani-pedi tomorrow, the first in over two years. reading. journaling.  
Reflecting on my worries: i worried i wouldn’t do the reflective journaling i wished to do but i did. at least a good amount of it. i did not exercise and that’s not great. i did eat ok, not perfect, but not terrible. emails are just sad and i do need to find a solution but for now it’s ok. i didn’t finish perf but i will tonight. i am still struggling with sleep but i will rest tomorrow to ensure i go into my week of travel a bit more rested. none of the worries i had mattered. things are going to be ok.

I let go of: worrying about work and school. i don’t get to control either decision anymore. i just hope i’ve done my part well and that the universe will answer accordingly.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love): I am going to skip this section, too. I think I need to make sure my action plan involves being specific with these core desires. Making room for them in my life intentionally. Thinking about what actions create these emotions for me and making a point of doing them. 

What made me laugh this week: I laughed a lot at a Carnegie Mellon event I went to on Tuesday night. It was lovely to be with my friend Manu for a while and lovely to get to talk about my wonderful college days.
What I tolerated this week: a lot of work. a lot of perf. and a lot of beating myself up.
My mood this week was: whiny and tired and grumpy. i can’t stand my own whining.
I forgive myself for: being here. having dropped the ball. being human. i can turn things around. i got this.
What I love right now: knowing that it’s not too late. it’s never too late. oh and I love the san francisco public library, too!

Here’s to a wonderful week eleven, here’s to rebooting!

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 9

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: how you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 10

I started my week with Small Admissions because I had nothing interesting checked out from the library and this was one of my purchases from Audible. It was sweet, light and it reminded me a lot of what last year was like when we were going through this admissions process. This year it’s just Nathaniel so it’s been a lot less crazy. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to do this again until college.

I then decided to tackle Pachinko which was about to expire and I wasn’t sure I didn’t want to listen to it. I dragged myself through a lot of the book and started and stopped it many times but I finally persevered and I am so glad I did. I was very attached to the characters and even cried at the end of the story. This historical time was all new to me and I am really glad I read it.

Since I was already crying I decided to pickup You Will not Have my Hate which I knew was about the man who’d lost his wife in the French terrorism recently. They had a little baby. I knew this story would be heart-wrenching and it totally was but it was also beautiful. Loved it.

I was ready for something light so I picked up The Impossible Fortress which was a 7-day loan from the library so I read it all in one sitting. It was just my type of book. About the 80s, programming on a Commodore, funny, sweet, quirky. I love love loved it.

What Light was also in my list of “about to expire” books from Overdrive so I decided to finish it while I could. It was a lovely little Young Adult story. Not as good as Asher’s previous book but I still enjoyed it.

And finally, I was able to get Faithful out of the library and had no idea how much I was going to love this book. I did not want to turn it off. I loved the characters and though it didn’t feel like a a Hoffman story to me, it really really spoke to me and I am so very glad I read it.

That’s it for this week. A wide mix but no non-fiction this time. Faithful was my 47th book of 2017. 


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

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 8

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: no one is you and that is your power.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

March 2017 – Everyday Magic – 7

You can read about the start of this project here.

This one says: be curious. not judgmental.

karenika.com


Everyday Magic is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.