Is More Really Better?

MORE-is-better-Pamela-Chrabieh

During this Holiday season, one of the to do’s – is to shop, shop, shop for perfect gifts.
It should be a fun, happy experience.

However so many feel stressed with the number of gifts to buy for each person on their list, and how much money it will cost.
And the email, social media, and marketing messages keep coming and coming! Hurry Hurry! 2 Days only!  For a Limited time!  20% off everything!  50% off today only!  Just for You!
Just Click Click Click.  Never been easier to buy and keep buying. So we do.

However, is More really Better?

A personalized, thoughtful and meaningful gift touches the receiver in so many ways.
They feel the love and know it came from your heart.

Sometimes just a card will do.
So many beautiful, well written ones are on the market – and you can also make your own.
The choices are endless.

Give thought to your shopping list. Don’t just do it because you always have.
A carefully selected gift – and not one that needs to be expensive – can bring so much joy and create memories.

If you are a great baker, give a gift of your specialties.
If you are into crafts, make a special ornament.
If you are a writer, gift your books.
Find out what a person’s interests are.
If someone loves beauty products, you can find that perfect lipstick shade or eyeshadow palette.
If they like fragrances, gift them with a new scent.
If you love being with friends and family, host a party or get together.
Make a donation to your favorite charity or cause.

As I was decorating our home, and carefully unwrapping the ornaments, I cherished and smiled at every one of the decorations.  Incredible memories of places, people, and underlying it all – LOVE. I felt it.  It surrounded me.  So beautiful.  With holiday music in the background, the scents of pine and fir throughout the house, the twinkling of lights – all so magical.

That is the true meaning of the holidays.  Share Love, Be Kind, Show Compassion, Be at Peace, Find your Joy, Help Others in Need.

Embrace the Season with all the festivities.
And remember to Enjoy.  Reduce your stress.  More is not Better.

With Love and Light,
Karen

Turbulence

turbulence

Unsteady movement, conflict, confusion.

On a recent flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, the pilot announced before departing that we would make record time with the tail winds, however we would also experience more turbulence!  And yes, he was so right.

The Good with the Bad
Ying and Yang
Black and White
Sour and Sweet
Cold and Hot
Left and Right

Opposites do co-exist and at times join together.

I chanted and prayed quite a bit during that 12 hour flight in which we did experience long lasting turbulence.  I realized that in our day to day life, we also experience similar turbulence.
It could appear as emotional or physical discomfort.
It could be something visually scary or unpleasant.
It could be barking dogs, noise from trees being cut down, thunder, wind, cars honking, sirens blaring.

So many outside influences that can disturb us.

However I have found that all these things are part of living.
It is how I choose to handle them, react to them, that make the difference in my state of being.

So as I chanted and prayed through the flight turbulence, I promised myself that I would use similar techniques when dealing with the turbulence in life.

Take a moment to breathe. Acknowledge what is happening. Make the decision of how to handle it that will keep you the most calm.

As we are in the Holiday Season with all its festivities, joy, love, harmony and celebration, Remember that we could also feel confused, lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, and pressured.

Take a moment to step back.  Reassess the situation.  Write down your plan of action.  Ask for help.  Delegate.  Say “NO”.

You can handle it.

It may be a bit rocky at times, but you will get to the other side.
The turbulence is only temporary.

With Love, Peace, Harmony and Joy,
Karen

Holiday Happiness

Holiday-Happiness

‘Tis the Season!     For what you ask?
It is usually said…
To be Jolly
To be Happy
To be Merry and Bright
To buy, buy, buy presents
To decorate, decorate, decorate
To eat and drink and then eat and drink some more
Sometimes though it is…
To be stressed
To be overwhelmed
To be tired
To be depressed
To be lonely
What if we focus on…
To be Thankful
To be at Peace
To take the time to Recharge
To go out in Nature
To show Gratitude
To be Appreciative of the Magic of the Season
So in this Holiday Season, remember to find your balance.
Go out and enjoy all the festivities, acknowledge when you do not feel up to it, and refresh by tuning into yourself, finding comfort and happiness in the quiet.
Happy Holidays,
With Light and Love,

Karen

 

Giving Thanks

roseparadeveges

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
At this time of year, we celebrate. We give thanks for all our blessings and in remembrance of and gratitude for the Pilgrims first harvest in the New World in 1621.
We all celebrate in different ways, however family, friends, food, and gratitude seem to be consistent with everyone.
However, this year seems more challenging, especially with recent events.
The impact of the fires here in California and the recent shootings, have devastated communities and families. What is beautiful is hearing how everyone is coming together to help in whatever way they can. People are putting their differences aside to assist and be neighborly, showing compassion, empathy and support.
Why does it take tragedy to bring out the best in people?
We are all one.
What happens affects everyone.
The destruction of complete communities will take years to repair.  Can one really go back? Some find it healing to rebuild, others will move on.
We all deal with Life in our own way.  There is no Right way- it is Your way.
Do what is best for you.
Follow your truth. Listen to your heart.
Do what you can to help others. A Smile and Hello go a long way.
And at this time of year, give Thanks.  Do not take anything for granted.  In an instant, it could all change. Give thanks for being alive, for your health, abundance and inner peace.
I continue giving Thanks everyday for my life and for being a cancer survivor and thriver.
I start my morning, before getting out of bed, with my affirmations, being thankful and appreciative.
I am grateful to awaken to a brand new day and I intend on making the most of it.
And at night, I give thanks and appreciation for the day, for my continued good health and well being.
So, however you celebrate this Thanksgiving, remember to send healing blessings to all and give thanks for this gift of Life.
With Light and Love,
Karen

My Closet Discoveries

fancy-walk-in-closet-med

Every few months I take the time to go through my wardrobe and edit items out.  I have to admit it is not easy for me. I have had great success and fun in mixing and matching clothes from years ago with new finds that work beautifully! However since semi retiring, I have found that some items I just do not need anymore. I also found that either I shrunk or the clothes got bigger! Maybe a combination of the two.  So off to the tailor to take some things in if possible.  As for the rest ………. time to clear out and donate!

How many black jackets and pants do I need? True, black was a staple and sometimes a required color in a business setting.  So I needed options.  Now, with a simpler life style and more casual dress, I can let some of them go.

White T shirts – some not so white anymore! Bye Bye.

Tie dye and bright colored tunics for over leggings – adorable and great – however have not worn in years!  I tried them on and even though the outfit was cute, it wasn’t me anymore. I realized that my preferences at 65 are different than when I was in my 40’s.  I contemplated repurposing some into bathing suit cover ups – I was trying my best to hold onto them. What a conversation! End result – Toss!

Since I like to protect my clothes, some are hanging in garment bags – of which are not see through. So I forgot what was in them!  I found some real treasures that I will now wear.  It was like going shopping!

I have to admit though that I even found 2 items with the store tags still on them!!!! How many years have I had them hanging in my closet(s)? About 3 moves ago!!!! WOW!

What else have I been holding onto that no longer serves me? True, most of the clothes are in good condition.  Since I prefer quality and unique designs – not fast fashion, clothes are able to go from season to season, year to year. However if I am not using them, someone else could.

In addition to letting go of clothes, I thought about what else I was holding onto that no longer was necessary.

Lots to think about.  Cleaning out my closet helped me to clean out old thinking, reaffirm my desires, objectives and dreams.

I realized that taking this time to clean, refresh and adjust was important on so many levels.

If you have not done so recently – I encourage you to clean out your closet.  Or your drawer. You will have fun, learn a lot, and feel so good afterwards.

With Love and Light,

Karen

 

 

 

Vibrations

vibrations

As we set our clocks back 1 hour on Sunday or before bed on Saturday evening, I forgot about how the adjustment would impact me.  True, I was looking forward to earlier sunrises and morning light.  However, not so excited about the earlier sunsets and onset of darkness in the evening.

I definitely noticed the shift in my energy and vibrations and the vibrations around me in just a few days.  I woke up earlier, excited to observe the morning light.  I wanted to get out earlier and feel the days warmth radiate through my body and soul.

We are all connected!  We pick up on the energy and vibes of people, places, things and activities. Notice next time how you feel when you are around negative, grumpy, rude people.  Then notice how you feel when around positive, peaceful, inspiring people.  Big difference, right?

Then notice how you feel when you are stuck in traffic, hurrying to catch a plane, late for an appointment, caught up in a frenzy.

Far different from when you are running along the beach, taking a walk in the forest, cooking, meditating, listening to soothing music.

You are feeling and responding to the vibrations around you.  Choose wisely.  Gravitate towards people and places that energize and uplift you.  That is why my husband and I live at the beach! It is our energy field that best resonates with who we are and how we want to live our life.  Even if you are unable to make it a reality for you now, dream and visualize it and believe that it will come to fruition.

And when you are in a circumstance where the vibration is not comfortable, remove yourself from it, or at least protect yourself by surrounding your aura in light and love.  I call it my invisible shield.  It protects me so I am not negatively impacted by what is happening around me.  My shield though, is flexible enough to allow me to remain sensitive and compassionate in my dealings. My shield has helped me through many situations through out my life, and I have recommendated it to many colleagues.

Reflect on your vibration and energy field.  Identify what works best for you.  Develop your strategy to make it your reality.

With Light and Love and Healthy Vibrations,

Karen

 

 

 

I can because I do!

DOIT_Logo_RGB_without_anything-300x249

In reading an article recently about aging joyfully, I came across this quote:

“I can because I do”.  

I was struck by it as we usually say it in reverse – I do because I can.

However Take a Moment to reflect on this powerful statement:  I can because I do!

Last week, I wrote about riding a bicycle and the importance of moving forward to stay balanced and upright.  You continue pedaling and with each rotation are moving and doing. We go from bicycles with training wheels, to 2 wheels, and for some 1 wheel! We practice, practice and practice some more. And finally – we stay up. I can because I do.

What does it mean to be doing? It refers to the activities in which a person engages, putting forth effort.

Synonyms are: performing, carrying out, accomplishing, achieving, implementing, completing.

So what are you doing?

I have always been an advocate for exercise and activity as components of a healthy and joy filled life.  It doesn’t matter what the sport, whether you are competitive or just  a casual for yourself participant.  The important thing is to participate.  Do not just sit on the sidelines watching others do it.  Of course, one can be inspired by the achievements of others.  Use what you observe in others as the motivator to find your own exercise passion.  Whether it is dancing, yoga, running, walking, cycling, skiing, surfing, triathlons, football, baseball, hockey, golf, swimming – there are so many activities to choose from. You can go solo, or find a team sport, find a gym, sign up for a class, watch a video.  So many options and available resources at all price points – even FREE!

Once you begin, the magic happens.  You may feel awkward at first, get a few sore muscles, feel like everyone is staring at you.  So what!  Keep at it, have some fun and LIVE LIFE.

Find what interests you and like Nike says in their tag line – Just Do It!!!!

And just like from “The Little Engine That Could (an American fairytale existing in the form of several illustrated children’s books and movies) – the phrase “I think I can”, for me has converted into “Yes I can”!!!

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

 

 

Riding a Bicycle

bicycleriding

I came across this quote in a Daily Wisdom email from Darren Main, a Yoga and Meditation Instructor and Author.
I had the pleasure of taking his weekly yoga class while living in San Francisco a few years ago.  The venue was incredible – Grace Cathedral!  I loved how the sun setting light illuminated the stained glass windows.  We practiced in the labyrinth surrounded by statues, candles, music and devoted yogis. A very special experience and a memory I will have with me forever.
 
Now onto the quote!  At first you make think that to keep your balance, one must be still.  However it is just the opposite.  When riding the bicycle, one must be engaged, focused on pedaling forward and steering to stay upright. Similar to balancing poses in yoga – concentration is necessary as well as engaging your muscles to remain in the pose and also relaxing into it. Focus and Breathe!
 
Cycling has been a joy throughout my life.  Even though we have not been as active on our bikes recently, preferring hikes and runs, both my husband and I have had many adventures on 2 wheels.
 
From neighborhood rides through Pasadena, the 50 mile annual Ensenada to Rosarita ride in Mexico, our many week long rides with Backroads throughout Utah’s National Parks, the Canadian Rockies, the San Juan Islands, and many many more.  A great way to not only get exercise, but to see the world. 
 
To start every ride, we have to get up on the seat and pedal!  Shift gears as necessary whether going up hills or down, stop for lights, cars, pedestrians, and identify the best path to take to get us to our destination. And try to look around and take in the beauty.  Just remember to pull over when you want to take a picture!
 
In life, we also have to get up and go – instead of pedaling we use our 2 feet.  We pick up or decrease the pace based on the circumstances around.  Are we rushing to catch the train, be on time for work, meeting a lunch date, or just enjoying a leisurely stroll.  Sometimes detours along the way bring us more interesting experiences and new adventures.
Sometimes we fall or get a bruise, but with determination and commitment, we get right back up. 
We know that to succeed we keep going, keep moving, just like on the bicycle.
 
Enjoy your ride and keep moving!
 
With Love and Light,
Karen

Birthdays – It’s not about the Cake!

birthdaycake

Of course, if you like cake, then enjoy it!
Share your day with family and friends how you want to.
We all can make the choice to experience our Birthday Our Way.
As I approach my 65th Birthday, I pause to Reflect and give thanks.
Congratulations to me!
I am alive and well, cancer free for 13 1/2 years.
I am thankful for every day, feeling healthy, happy and whole.
Life is not always picture perfect!  We are continually adjusting and adapting to all that is happening.
My life, as I am sure yours, has been a roller coaster ride at times.  True, there have been challenges, disappointments, and reroutes along the way.
However, those added value to my life and impacted who and what I am today.
I have a loving family, meaningful friendships, successful careers, personal triumphs, and more.
I have followed my passion to travel the world, seeing and experiencing so many different cultures.  I have learned and gained so much.
I give thanks for sharing my Life with my husband of almost 34 years, Charles, whom I love more each day. His compassion, kindness, depth, sensitivity and love are remarkable traits that I so admire.
We enjoy living at the beach, savoring kicking off each day on a run along the waters’ edge, dodging waves, watching seagulls, surfers, and breathing in the beauty around us. We are thankful and blessed.
I give thanks for my health and wellness.  I intentionally spend time to take care of me – to exercise, eat right, get proper rest, think good thoughts, and do good deeds.
Through my writings and 2 published books, I want to inspire, guide, and offer Light and Love to all.
So on the 17th, I will focus on me!
I will look at my life and make appropriate adjustments to continue growing and becoming a better me. I will run, do yoga, maybe get a massage, and give thanks for another year to celebrate me.
I will also make sure to sign up for Medicare!!!!
With Love and Life,
Karen

Autumn at the Beach

autumnbythesea

Do you feel it?  Can you see it?  Do you hear it?   Can you smell it?

Yes to all! Happy Autumn.  We accept and appreciate the subtle changes happening around us as we embrace the season.

For us, living in a beach community, we love the crispness to the air, the incredible sunsets, the waves crashing louder and higher as storms impact the surrounding area, and the scent of salt as the waves mist on us.  Summer brings more people to the beaches, and although we love seeing the joy on everyone’s faces, especially the children, we totally now love the peace and quiet and vacant sands as we run along the water daily.

I have always loved the beaches in the “off seasons”.  Growing up on the East coast, I can remember strolling all by myself along deserted beaches, even in the rain! I loved it.  It is the only place I do not mind it when there are grey skies or drizzle. Now, living in a Southern California beach community, I continue to stroll, run, and enjoy being by the water.  It is my energy zone. I feel at peace.

As for the seasons, I love Fall the most!  Not too cold, not too hot- just right.  The marine layer in the morning and at night, with sunny days in the middle. Add a little jacket, shawl, or zip sweater to layer, and then adjust as needed as the day goes on.

Pumpkin patches are set up, Halloween costumes being advertised and on full display, and yes, even Christmas is full speed ahead.

Yes, all the festivities of the upcoming Holidays have kicked off. However, let us take the time to just be. To just enjoy the beauty of this time of year.

Give thanks for another day of being alive and well.

Start and end each day with Gratitude and Appreciation for who you are, who you are becoming, what you have, and all that is.

Be kind, be compassionate, be mindful. Smile!

Spread your joy into the world and feel the richness of Autumn.

With Light and Love,

Karen

 

 

U Turns

uturns

Yesterday, while out running, I noticed 2 cars making U Turns.  I had to assess what was going on as I was crossing the road where they were making the turn. Should I go or wait until I totally knew what they were doing?
When I mentioned to my husband that there must be a lesson there, he also indicated that he read a news headline regarding someone making a U turn.
So here are some thoughts.
Perhaps you have made U Turns in your life – mostly while driving.  At first, you may be upset with yourself as you interpret it as having gone the wrong way. Why is our first reaction that we were wrong?
Were you really?
We were doing the best we could – perhaps following the GPS or the map. We possibly were distracted by noise, others talking, horns, outer disturbances, inner upset – so many ways to lose our focus causing us to miss our turn.
By going the way you were, you may have noticed something that you would not have otherwise seen.
A gorgeous sunrise or sunset.
Meeting a friend you had not seen in a while.
A new restaurant.
It was meant to be to have been going the way you were – even if you had to then turn around.
In life, we may feel that the direction we are going in does not feel right.
You sense that you need to make a revision.
Is it time for you to make a U Turn?
It could be the best thing that happens!
A fresh start
A new beginning
A new found sense of adventure, aliveness and purpose.
Sometimes you cannot explain it.  You just know.
You have that feeling in your gut that is motivating you to make that turn.
Making a U Turn is similar to just changing your mind about something.  Being a Libra, my nature is to look at all sides and all angles.
I then can make a better decision.  However, sometimes I change my mind.  I get a feeling that won’t go away. So I listen – most of the time.
Do you?
U Turns are okay!
It is a course correction.
A shift. A re-evaluation of priorities. A preference. A desire.
Life is full of detours, U Turns, and side streets. That’s where most of the excitement is.  And, in most cases, where you will most likely find your success, your truth, your purpose.
I appreciate and give thanks for the adventures that U Turns bring to my life.
Have you made a U Turn today?
With Love and Light,
Karen

Being Patient

patience

Do you have patience?  Sometimes? All the time?
I recognize the importance of it, however I have to admit, I do not have it all the time.
Lately, I have had several instances where I had to practice more patience and await the outcome. One project has taken almost 5 years!
During the waiting period, I am learning to remain calm and positive – knowing that the result I desire will come to fruition as long as I continue being persistent, communicative, positive and diplomatic in my dealings.
Having been in fast paced retail management for most of my career, I acquired a sense of urgency to take care of things almost immediately.  If one hesitated, or delayed resolving an issue, it easily got worse.
So I have prided myself on getting things done, efficiently and effectively.
Now, having semi-retired, I have a more leisurely pace.  I had a lot of adjusting to do but can now say that I really like the new flow of my days.
However, I was still expecting others to maintain a sense of urgency to my requests.  I was setting myself up for potential disappointment when others response time was slower than what I thought it should be.
So I continue to learn the lesson of being patient.  Just because I do not hear back from you the same day that I sent the email or left a message – doesn’t mean you are not responding.  Perhaps you are waiting for more information from someone else. Maybe you are on vacation.  Took a day off. Out of the office. Perhaps sick. Attending a conference.
Should I send another email, call or text? I may want to – however again, I remind myself to continue learning the lesson of being patient – and waiting a little longer for a reply and the process to work.
Every day offers us situations that can teach us more about ourselves and what we need to work on.
Practicing patience is a key one for me.
How about you?
With Light and Love,
Karen

 

 

 

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