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

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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

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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

 

 

 

The Power of Being Balanced

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Have you ever noticed how on certain days you can feel calm, at peace and be able to balance on one leg? You feel ready to take on the world and deal with whatever comes your way!

Then on other days you can hardly even balance on both feet! You are shaky, frustrated and upset. Not feeling 100%.

What makes the difference?

I ask myself that every time I am doing balancing poses in yoga. What am I focusing on? What thoughts are going through my mind?  What did I eat last night or in the morning?  Did I drink enough water?  Did I get enough sleep?  Did I read anything disturbing or watch something which impacted my feeling calm, peaceful and balanced?

All these things and more play a part in how we feel, how we interact, how we are.

How is your balance today? And is it something that is important to you? I find it is key for me to feel my best.

Recently, on my morning runs, I found another way to check in with myself.  I have been stopping at a section of the beach where I find different shape rocks and build a rock sculpture.  Somedays I can easily and almost effortlessly erect a sculpture of 11-13 rocks.  Then on other days, I barely get 5 to stand tall!  Yesterday, I attempted several times and did at one point achieve having 9 up.  But then, they all toppled over!  Was I not being in the moment? Was I being distracted? Was I trying to do it in a hurry?

All those things played into what happened.  I realized in order to keep a perfect balance we need to be calm; we need to be centered; we need to be in the here and now. We need to breathe!

Don’t let distractions put you off your balance.  They will try and sometimes win.  Always come back to here and now, focusing on your breath, your gratitude, your appreciation and thankfulness.

Here’s to a calm, centered, and balanced day.

With Light and Love,

Karen

Lessons from Foggy Days

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I love living at the beach.  Even though I prefer sunny days to foggy ones – I have learned to appreciate the morning and evening marine layer as it is called here in Southern California.  The morning fog keeps the weather cooler and is so much better for the plants, and our skin.  It even helps keep the waves in my hair!
Fog also teaches me about having Faith because in the fog, I can no longer see Catalina island or some of the hillside cliffs that I know are there.
It helps give me the confidence in everything I do, to continue believing, have trust and know that all is working even when it doesn’t seem like it.
Of course, I become doubtful sometimes.  Don’t we all?  We want proof.  We want reassurance. We want a guarantee.
We want to know for sure.  Where is that crystal ball when I need it?????
However, when doubt arises, I go back to my mantra of “Faith, Dream, Believe”.
I can say I am temporarily in the Fog.  And that the fog will lift.  Then I will see clearly.
And even if it does not lift, I know the truth is there.  Hidden behind the fog.
I just have to stay on course, follow my inner guidance, and keep moving forward.
I continue to have the Faith in myself, the confidence to make my Dreams become reality, and through all the ups and downs, the roller coasters, the twists and turns, the detours in life, I continue to Believe in what is possible.
May you continue to see through the fog – realizing your full potential.
Here’s to a Sunshine kind of day even if it is foggy outside!
Light and Love,
Karen

Transitions

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It’s back to school time!  In my opinion, we have transitioned from summer into fall with the Labor Day holiday weekend. (officially Fall begins Sept 22)

I hope you enjoyed your time with family, friends, food, fun, and time to do what makes you happy.

This morning I gave more thought to the word transition while out running.  We had just made a significant transition. We also though make transitions every day – big and small. We transition from sleep to being awake in the morning.  We then continue to make transitions – from eating breakfast to lunch to dinner (and a few snacks in between), a morning workout, to our commute, our work, our hobby, our errands, our responsibilities, our commitments and so much more.

Life is made up of many transitions.  As we age, we transition from being students to employees, employers, doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, gardeners, police officers, fireman, entrepreneurs, business owners, chefs, artists, retail clerks, and so many others in the work force.  We go from living at home, to eventually getting our own place if that is what we desire.  We go from crawling to walking to riding a bicycle to driving a car or a motorcycle or to being driven around via metro, Uber, Lyft, taxi, limo, train, or private jet.

We get to choose how we transition as we go through life.  There is no one way for everyone.  We decide what works best for us.  Of course we all are born, live and eventually die.  That is a given.  However, how we choose to sequence and experience life is up to us.

How are you transitioning in your life? Are you satisfied? If not, take the time to identify what you want to change and make the necessary course corrections.

Make your life meaningful, worthwhile, and of significance.  You have a choice.

You make a difference. You have the power.

Live your LIFE your way!

With Light, Love and wishes for successful transitions!

Karen

Cultivate the Root

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Cultivate the root. The leaves and branches will take care of themselves.

Confucius

It all begins with the foundation, the root, the true essence. That is where the magic happens. Spend the time early on digging deep, laying the framework, nourishing and nurturing the root. Then watch your results come to fruition in all their magnificence.

The above quote and affirmation were taken from my book, Reflect Renew Refresh – The 3 R’s for an Inspired Life.

I am a very visual person.  It is very important that I surround myself with a peaceful and calming environment surrounded by nature.  Green plants and shrubs, flowering bushes, the ocean, blue skies, puffy clouds.  In fact, the first thing I usually do when arriving at a hotel is look at my view!  And when we have been buying property, I also place emphasis on the views from the windows, the backyard, the other homes around us.

I have come to realize though, that what I desire to see around me, needs attention to continue to thrive and be all that it wants to be.  It may not always look 100%.  And when the leaves brown, the grass gets eaten up by the rabbits, the flowers die, I need to get my hands dirty (or pay the gardener) to get into the soil and do what is necessary – fertilize, mulch, add nutrients, natural pest control, repot into a larger container, etc.

Our minds and bodies are like the plants.  When we are not feeling or looking our best, we need to identify what is happening internally.  Yes of course I want to look good and will take the time to wear a great outfit, apply my makeup, do my hair.  That can quickly fix the outer appearance. However I also need to attend to my inner self.

What is the cause of my feeling?
What happened to create it?
What do I need to do to feed my being, nourish myself to radiant health, wealth, peace, joy, love, harmony, success and happiness.

Cultivating the root is an ongoing process similar to the 3 R’s.
Take the time to Reflect on what is happening and why.
Renew your commitment to doing what is important for you. Identify what your course of action will be.
Then feel Refreshed, invigorated and inspired to be your Best Self!

Just like your garden. You got your hands dirty, pulled the weeds, cleaned out the debris, added the righ amount of nutrients.
Inside and Out – You are perfect!

May you continue to grow, thrive, and achieve your desires.

Love and Light,

Karen

Mantras

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Om Mani Pädme Hum

This Mantra, seen first on our visit to Tibet years ago, continues to comfort, restore and bring peace to me whenever I recite it.

Do you have a mantra? Do you have a saying that you recite to yourself that brings you joy? That brings you a sense of peace? That surrounds you in Love?

We all can benefit from having one.

Mantras come in many forms, a word, melody, chant, or verse.  At its simplest, the word “Om”serves as a mantra. In more sophisticated forms, mantras are melodic phrases with spiritual interpretations such as a human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge, and action. Some mantras have no literal meaning, yet are musically uplifting and spiritually meaningful.

“The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum  is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Päd, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.
“So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?”
Dilgo Khyentse RinpocheHeart Treasure of the Enlightened

So if you are looking for triggers that can comfort you, I would recommend finding your mantra!

Peace, Love, Light

Karen

Detour?

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For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.   

Mary Kay Ash – Founder Mary Kay Cosmetics.

I love detours! Do you?

Many times in life, I had planned to go one way, and ended up going a different way.
Accident? Or was it truly meant to be? Here a few examples of my detours!

I was running one day and instead of going up a path that I usually go, at the last minute I changed course and ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a long time.

During a  slow period in my consulting business, I decided to reroute and finally write  Take a Moment – my 1st published book of inspirational quotes, travel photos, and affirmations. 

While we were looking to move to Monarch Beach, we hit a roadblock. The perfect right house was not materializing. So we decided to go back to Pasadena.  The morning that we were to go and look at a property, we received a call from the realtor saying the owners were looking for a long escrow! We wanted a short, under 1 month escrow.  So before we left the hotel, I scanned online for Monarch Beach one more time.  I saw a property that looked perfect – I had not seen it before.  I knew every house for sale within the 3 mile radius that I desired.  Was this the one?  I quickly called our realtor there who knew we had decided on Pasadena after searching for 9 months.  She was so accomodating and got right on it!  Interesting – the property should not have been posted, it quickly was removed, however the tenant was moving out that upcoming Monday and the owner was then prepping to sell.  We had our realtor go in on Monday, take videos, and bring 2 offers.  I knew this was the one.
And here we are – 5 years later and love, love, love it!

So you never know.  Stay open.  Do not become frustrated when you have to detour.  There is a reason.

Go for it!

With light, love and excitement for more detours and adventures,
Karen

The Meaning of Finding 2 Nickels

nickels

A few weeks ago, I wrote about finding dimes while out running and their significance.  The other day on my morning run, I came across a shiny nickel.  Then a few paces later, another nickel! I realized the Universe was giving me a message or 2!

As I reflected on the meaning, I realized that by finding 2 nickels, it not only holds the power of 5, but also the power of 10 or dimes. 

Here is what the nickel – number 5 – represents in numerology.

The nickel carries the vibration of the 5, which is a spontaneous, wild and adventurous number! It needs variety and change in which to thrive.  

Although our world is in a constant state of change, it is still something that many of us resist, fearing the unknown and preferring to exist in a state of predictability.

Finding a nickel on the ground can often be a sign to live more freely.

To loosen your grip on what’s stable and safe and take a few risks!  The very presence of the nickel in your path is a divine sign of support: you have nothing to fear.  All will be well.

I loved reading that!

Now, couple that with the meaning of 10 – or the dimes.

The number 10 is the awakening number that asks you to pay attention and in this condition, it means that you should trust your instincts and move forward with your decision. It also means that you have the support of spirits and things will work out for you in the way you like.

WOW!  I felt invigorated and empowered to be more adventurous, spontaneous, and take risks. I felt guided and supported, knowing that the Universe would back my choices.

However I must admit, as much as I love adventure, I also value stability, routines, and comfort. I like my rythms and routines! (I also wrote about that weeks ago!)

As a Libra, I seek balance in my life.  Perhaps this message was a way to tell me that I have been a bit too conservative.  So, here’s to incorporating a little more adventure and spontaneity into my life. – Both professionally and personally.  

Here’s to yours and my exciting adventures!

Have fun,

Karen

Faith Dream Believe

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One never knows when, where or how the Universe will send us messages we need to hear!
That is why it is important to remain alert and aware of all that goes on around and within us.
I’d like to share how these 3 words ( Faith, Dream, Believe) came to be significant guiding principles in my life.
A few years ago while living in San Francisco I would run through the neighborhoods around Nob Hill early in the morning before work.  I would come across the most interesting and strange things!
One morning as I’m running down the hill, a painter had spilled paint on the cement sidewalk. My first reaction was to be upset that they just left it there.  Then I looked more closely at it. Someone spelled the word Faith with a stick while the paint was still wet!
I was wowed! I took note of how much having Faith is key to a better life.
Then, on the way back up the hill I was on the opposite side of the street.  I saw against an apartment building two plaques. One said Dream. One said Believe.
These plaques were the size of a shoebox cover and the writing was in gold lettering against a black background.
In San Francisco people tend to dispose of furniture, books, miscellaneous items by leaving them outside their apartment. Although that is illegal, it continues to happen. Then weekly a truck comes along and picks them up. Most likely to salvage, give to Goodwill or recycle in some way.
That morning these three words; Faith – Dream – Believe – really impacted me.  What a powerful message!
In fact, to this day these three words continue to influence my Life and my Being. I have a reminder 4×7 card with the words on them to remind me of their significance. I also during the day, find myself just saying “Faith! Dream! Believe! to myself as a mantra that inspires, uplifts and brings me joy.
Do you have any guiding principles?
What messages are you picking up from the Universe?
Here’s to a magical day of being open to the messages and meanings around us!
With Love and Light,
Karen
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