the postcard project.

the postcard project.
About a month ago, I picked up Keri Smith's Everything is Connected  during an insomnia-induced Amazon shopping stint. I've had the book sitting on my scrap table as a visual reminder to buy postcard stamps. I finally got around to doing that last week. Now, I'm ready to start sending out some postcards!

The concept of the book (like most everything of Keri's) is to HAVE FUN. Each postcard encourages you (or the recipient) to embark on some creative adventure. I love the idea of sending these out, leaving them in public places as I travel, or even just choosing one to complete myself on a lonely weekend.

Wanna play? Follow this link - Katrina's Postable - to leave your address, and add "postcard project" in the notes. Even if you think that I have your address, I'd so appreciate if you add it via the link. I didn't manage to get all of my address file imported during the holidays. I can't guarantee that I'll send out postcards with any consistent cadence, but I'll try!

edited - Postable link fixed!

Happiness Project : March

BlogbannerMy March focus hit me just before I fell asleep last night. I was paging through Gretchen's book again, hoping that inspiration would strike. I thought about a "green" theme - green cleaning, green money, St. Patrick's day. I thought about a "play" theme - but that felt really forced. Spring Forward? Nope. One thing that I was sure of - I wanted to have a few one & done TASKS on my list this month. As any (all) of my friends can attest to, I'm an overachiever when it comes to I wasn't sure that adding more concepts to my plate would make me happier. It would make me happy to cross some nagging tasks off of my to-do list. Somehow, out of all of that, I landed on a focus...

SimplifyHere's what's on my list this month:

Clean & organize the pots & pans cabinet - I have this normal depth + abnormal length pots & pans cabinet. Confession - I have no idea what resides at the end of it. Everything that I use regularly is jumbled at the front. Clearly, there's room to simplify (and add to the garage sale pile that is amassing in the family room). 

Move all bills to my bank's bill pay service - After all of the splitting of accounts & such that comes along with divorce, I never got things really set up for myself. The result? A complicated system of trying to remember when/what/where bills are that (frankly) results in stress & late fees.

Walk more - This bit of exercise isn't hard. I need to make it a point to walk more. Simple.

Consolidate email - I have 4 email accounts (not including work) that I attempt to maintain. It's cumbersome. I'll be consolidating & simplifying. I may even just move everything to gmail. 

That's it for now. A simple list. :)

happiness project : february review

BlogbannerOh, for the love. February's theme was "cultivate love." I set 4 goals - send Valentine love, give love on social media, practice self-love daily, and meditate on loving-kindness. Here's how the month went - 

Valentine Love - I did make & send Valentines, but sent them out a day later than planned, so they were probably late...and that stressed me out. Blech. I threw a "for the Love" party for co-workers, which was a lot of fun. I didn't get my act together enough to mail a Valentine box to Hope...and I feel terrible about that. :( I did very much like my simple Valentine decorations. :) 

Social Media Love - Hmmm. I did make it point to "like" and comment on Instagram often. I tried to comment on blogs more. Facebook is a black hole. I DID take the time to click around to blogs that were linked from blogs that I already love...and added several to my reader. Love that.

Practice Self-Love Daily - This month, self-love looked like sleeping. A lot. Fatigue hit me really hard, and some days "taking care of me" looked like falling into bed at 8. I'm making some supplement adjustments, and also eliminating gluten, in an effort to get some energy back. I feel like I did do an okay job of asking myself "what do you need right now? what do you want?"...and following that lead more often than not. 

Meditate on Loving-Kindness - I did incorporate several loving-kindness meditations into my practice. I also worked a lot on focused gratitude (I totally made that term up) - holding particular people in my mind's eye during meditation and thanking them for what they bring to my life. I think that gratitude is just lovely, so I call this one a solid win. 

I'm still tossing around March ideas - I've got one more day to decide. I'm open to suggestions!! 

Happiness Project : February

BlogbannerI tried to resist the obvious theme for February. I typically detest all the focus on hearts & flowers & forced declarations of affection. When I mentioned my Feb theme to one of my BFFs, her reaction was exactly what mine would typically be..."Eeeewwww, you celebrate Valentine's Day??" My answer? Well, this year, I do! That will be one aspect of my theme for the month - Culitvate Love.

February_love1. Send Valentine love. Who says that Valentines have to be romantic? I have several friends who have a lovely practice of sending cards each year - and I love receiving them. This year, I'm joining the party. 

2. Give love on Social Media. I read most blogs through Google Reader, and I'm not great about clicking through to leave comments. Ditto on Instagram, where it's so much faster to just click "like" instead of commenting! This month, I'm going to comment at least once per day. 

3. Practice self-love daily. This one will get a post of it's own in the coming weeks, but here's the gist - I'm going to be better about listening to what I need, and also allowing space for what I want. I love this list and also this one - definitely some great ideas. 

4. Meditate on Loving-Kindness. Drawing inspiration & teaching from Sharon Salzberg's work. 

What are you doing to celebrate love this month?

Happiness Project : January Review

HappinessprojectheaderToday is the last day almost the end (getting ahead of myself!) of January...and I'm a little relieved. I mark winter days off of the calendar with a small celebration & a hefty dose of gratitude. One more day closer to spring.

January's Happiness Project resolutions - focused on habits - resulted in 3 wins, and 1 really good try. The wins = daily meditation, daily writing, and daily gratitude. The good try = supplements. 

Was I happier with daily meditation, daily writing, and daily gratitude? Absolutely. I was calmer. I was more centered. I craved my meditation time if I wasn't able to get to it in the morning. I noticed gratitude more in the moment, instead of having to search for things to write down at the end of the day. Not only did I write more frequently, but I just generally enjoyed words more. I edited my blog reader, and added a few new reads. I allowed more time to enjoy books. 

Now about those supplements....sigh. I'm going to chat with my naturopath about the most optimal time to take each of them, and try to split up the dosing into at least 4 times throughout the day. The sheer number of pills is daunting, and so I avoid it. 

I'm working on a post about my February theme, and I'm excited about getting started. I also want to note - I measure happy in small increments. I don't imagine that I will ever equate happy with happy-go-lucky. Happy, to me, is being able to experience laughter & tears, and know that they are both part of life. Just want to put that out there, lest anyone think that I'm not "walking the talk" if my blog isn't shiny-sparkle-pager all the time. 

Happiness Project : January

My "theme" for January is - Habits. A few weeks ago, our new company president gave us all copies of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life & Business. I haven't finished the book yet, but the premise has clearly lodged in my head. When I started thinking about the things that I wanted to start in January, it occurred to me that they all revolve around establishing habits. My happiness resolutions for the month: 

Take vitamins/supplements daily. My naturopath has prescribed a pretty intense regimen of vitamins & supplements. I'm haphazard, at best, about taking them. Despite that inconsistency, my last round of lab results showed progress. Imagine what that progress could look like with a habit of following the protocol!

Meditate daily. Yep, this. Again. For the next month+, I'll be working through Gabby Bernstein's May Cause Miracles, which will include daily meditation. 

Write daily. I suspect that writing will show up in many resolutions this year. When I lose my voice, I've lost my way. For January, I will write daily. This might be blogging, or it might be journaling at 750Words. I've always loved the idea of morning pages, but I've never written them.

Be Grateful daily. One thing that I know about myself is that I can hit "snooze" on virtually anything. I have a gratitude app on my phone, but I've become immune to the tone. I mentally hit "snooze" whenever it goes off. To combat this, I'm going to put my gratitude journal next to my bed, and write something down each night before I go to sleep.

I'm intentionally adding "daily" to the end of each resolution b/c I know that I need to practice daily to create a habit. Not once a week, or three random times during the month...daily.