Monday, March 30, 2015

Only by love

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

I rarely watch the news. It's filled with so much hate and war, and it just upsets me, so I choose to not expose myself to it. Hate does not stop hate, and I don't kid myself to think that any war is actually an attempt to stop hate, but what about the war we fight with ourselves?

You know the war I mean.

The war that starts when we wake up and sometimes keeps us from falling asleep at night.

The war that goes something like this:

  • I have too much to do
  • I'll never get it all done
  • I look terrible
  • I messed that up again
  • I suck at this
  • I'll never be enough

This is the war we wage against ourselves. Every. Damn. Day.

Has it ever helped? Has the hate every actually made any of us a better person? Has it ever made us cease any of those things we hate?  Not anyone I've met (or been!). 

Hate simply creates more hate.  It makes hate OK.  It makes it easier to flip off the person who cuts us off in traffic.  It makes it easier to gossip about a coworker.  It makes it harder to choose love.

Yes,  I said choose.   Love is a conscious choice.  Every.  Single.  Minute.

Want really stop hate? Try choosing love. I know we're never going to stop all the war and hate in the world, but what if we can stop it within ourselves? What if we can make our little corner of the world a conscious manifestation of love?

This is my goal every day, and trust me, it takes conscious effort. Much of the time, I don't succeed, but when I do, it's a game changer. When I catch myself waging a war against myself or anyone else, I stop. I take a breath, and I remind myself to choose love. That's my universal rule.

Thanks for being on the journey with me.

❤, Lara

CLICK TO TWEET Only love stops hate, via @KindOverMatter
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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Love Poem

graphic by John Morton

Love will not yield, will not cease
Says, “Citizens of Earth, we come in peace!”

Opens doors. Fights no wars
Takes creepy crawly spiders from the bedroom floor
And places them gently unharmed outdoors

Gets together to study. Does not grouse
Says, “Hey buddy, this one’s on the house!”

Donates blood despite the needle’s stick
Because someone elsewhere is injured or sick

Says, “I’m going to quit smoking, eat right, and exercise more,
so I can stick around longer and help love flourish like never before!”

Wastes not and fixes broken components
Puts the toilet seat down (It takes just a moment)

Says, “Forget quarterly earnings and dollar amounts,
It’s our customers, employees, and long-term prosperity that counts!”

Is patient and is kind
Can not, will not, be left behind

Does not envy. Does not boast
Helps dig ditches and mend fence posts

Love may not be all that we need,
But it’s the first ingredient to go in and what we need most indeed

John Everett Morton is an artist, writer, and musician who chronicles the creative process at his website

When not drawing squares or robots playing guitar, John likes to play guitar and write songs about robots and being square.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Top 8 Excuses For Not Pursuing Your Passion (And Simple Steps To Overcome Them)

Post by Jodie Hebbard for the Kindness in Business series.

photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Resistance is something that we have all experienced at one point or another in our life. It shows up at various times and with many different faces.

I have experienced resistance in love, with family and in my career and it all follows one simple theme, fear.

But I have also learned that with the most common ways that resistance and fear shows up for me, there is typically a very simple solution that requires minimal effort be able to work around. The biggest challenge is identifying it in the first place and recognizing that there are really no obstacles at all, but only an excuse for not taking control of your life.

Here is a list of the 8 most common excuses that I’ve said myself, and simple tips to help you break through and persevere beyond resistance.

1. I spend my whole work-day on the computer, I don’t want to spend my free time researching on the computer
I’ve been there, done that! Say that sentence now out loud to yourself. Does it sound like a true obstacle, or just an excuse?
I also get tired of staring at a computer screen all day. I worked from home at my corporate job as well, and so I really struggled in identifying a break between working my day job and researching my passionate career.
Instead I found other ways that I could research. I joined groups and classes that would allow me a different setting. I got out and talked to people that were on similar paths as me, and I read a lot.
While I couldn’t completely break free from doing computer research, these methods allowed me to break it up into much more manageable bits of time.

2. I don’t know where to start, so I don’t. 
See point #1.
When I was lost and didn’t know where to start, I began just talking to other people that were following their passions. I joined groups and asked anyone that would listen about how they got their start any advice that they would share.
People love helping other people achieve their dreams. Start getting out there and talking to the shop owner, the dog walker or the artist, and take notes on how they started.

3. I’m too scared.
I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news.
The good news is; everyone is scared of something. The bad news is, there will always be something to scare you.
What I learned, is the fear that I had that was holding me back, was also my driving force. The thing that you are most afraid of, is the same thing that you are supposed to do.
Look into the fear / risk factor and ask yourself what you have to lose by making the change, and what you have to lose by not making a change?

4. I have bills to pay and I need the security of my career 
When I began my journey, I was single with a car payment and a mortgage, plus a very expensive traveling habit.
That security that you feel with your career and solid income is really just an illusion.
I reduced my wage and my hours at my corporate job, but was somehow able to adjust to the reduced income. We are pretty amazing at persevering and getting creative when we need to. I definitely made some sacrifices, however in looking at the big picture, they were minor in comparison to the payout I was experiencing in my fulfillment levels.

5. I’m too tired (AKA I’m too busy) 
This is the boldest excuse of them all, and we have all used it to our advantage at one point or another.
The truth is, this just shows how committed (or not) you are to the result.
This is applicable to any goal, and if you are committed, you find the time and the energy to make it happen.
I have seen single mom’s able to start up their own successful business all on their own. And when I traveled to Bali, I went over 48 hours without sleep, somehow I managed to amp up the energy to head to the beach.
When we want something bad enough and are truly excited about the final result we are able to dig deep into our energy reserve and find a way to make it happen.
If you timing is the main issue for you, look at your daily life and see where you can make some adjustments in your life to accommodate your new adventure.

6. I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to make money doing it 
There are very few brand new ideas anymore, so use that to your advantage and see what other people are doing with similar passions.
I was so surprised when I started life coaching how many different types of coaching there are out there. There are business coaches, writing coaches, confidence coaches, marketing coaches, fitness coaches, and the list goes on.
Even with all of the coaches out there, no two are exactly alike that show up with the same life experience and knowledge to share.
So take a look around and see what you can find out from others with similar interests.
Who knows, you may even come up with that brand new creative idea that no one else has thought of yet.

7. I don’t have what it takes or enough experience 
It is a vicious cycle.
“I don’t have enough experience because I can’t get a job. I can’t get a job because I have no experience.”
The best advice I ever received was “just start”.
It may never feel perfect or exactly like you are ready, but I don’t think anyone ever feels like they are ready.
It will come, and you will learn your lessons as you go.

8. It won’t work
The truth is, it may not work. But I can guarantee you it won’t if you don’t even try.
The experience may open you up to entire new world that you didn’t even imagine. When I began on this journey, I had no idea the people I would meet and the experiences it would lead to.
The beauty is, you can control when it starts and where it ends.
Just commit to taking the first step and open that door.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you?

If so, rest assured you are not alone. Now use these to recognize what you are resisting and why and allow yourself the chance to be stronger than the resistance.

Jodie Hebbard is a certified life coach and career fulfillment coach. She works with clients from all over the world to help them get clear on their life purpose and break free from the golden handcuffs to start creating a life that they love by doing what they love.
After taking a spiritual sabbatical she decided to make some major life changes and start living life by her own rules. She left her successful career in business management and human resources after 11 years to pursue her passion and live her true calling in helping others live their dream.
Jodie is based in Calgary, Canada and is a travel enthusiast, animal lover, vegetarian and mom to her amazing rescue dog and travel companion, Chai.
Connect with her and view her signature life coaching programs online or on Facebook.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Barn door hardware

Post by Paisley Hansen for the Kind Kindred series.

inage courtesy of Wikipedia

Barn door hardware is popping up all over the place in home design. Retailers everywhere from the big box stores to online specialty shops are selling barn door hardware kits. These prefabricated products can cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. For the handy homeowner however, doing it yourself is inexpensive and you can easily customize this project to suit your space.

First things first, what is barn door hardware? Until recently, barn doors were found only on (wait for it) barns! These doors are characterized by a track above the door opening on which the door slides or rolls. Some styles have caster rollers on the bottom of the doors while others are free hanging. They are typically rustic or industrial in their appearance although some high end kits feature stainless steel, glass and even mirrors. Since these doors do not swing out, they are a great option for small spaces. Barn doors are also a decorative way to connect and/or separate common areas in a home.

There are many DIY tutorials online, but basically you need a door and the materials for the track system. Before jumping into this project, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Will the wall support the hanging door? Typical doors are supported in the wall with a frame, but barn doors place weight on the wall surface. A homeowner needs to be certain the wall and the barn door track system will hold the weight of the rolling door. 
  2. What is the purpose of the door? Barn doors usually leave a gap between the wall and the door. This is not optimal for rooms in which privacy is desired. If these doors are used on say, a bathroom, the homeowner will want to get the best possible fit in the doorway and attach some sort of latch on the inside. 
  3. What look am I going for? The homeowner needs to assess the space and decide the best design for the barn doors. Any design scheme can be enhanced with these doors, but knowing up front your desired outcome makes this project much easier and more efficient. 
  4. Is this something I can live with for a long time? Before fully committing to barn doors, decide if they are something you will be happy with for several years. If these doors are replacing existing doors, the door opening will have to be repaired where there were holes for hinges and door stops. The door header may require modification to support the weight of the track system. The whole process is reversed when (if) you decide to take it down. 
  5. What are the actual logistics of the hardware? This step is the nuts and bolts of the project. Measuring the door opening and height of the track system, purchasing or making the hardware, and making final design decisions are all necessary before beginning this project. Having a clear idea of what you want and determining what is needed to make that happen will make this a much more enjoyable experience for the installer. 
So, DIY barn doors, are they for you? If you love the look and have the skill to make it happen, go for it! Do some research online for tutorials and tips. Some people have built a barn door system for less than a hundred dollars. The great thing about doing it yourself is that you can completely personalize your barn doors and have the satisfaction of adding character to your home without hiring a contractor.

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty and fashion. 
When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym..
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Rain grows flowers, not thunder

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

I'm not really a yeller. My husband and I aren't loud fighters, and I've never gotten into a screaming match with any of my girlfriends.

I don't think love has to be tough to be effective. Direct, sure, but not tough.

How we talk to ourselves is no different. Think about a time when you made a mistake. I can be pretty clumsy, and recall a Thanksgiving a few years ago when everyone had left, and all of the dishes were washed. The wine and champagne glasses from dinner were all drying on my kitchen island. I was walking past the island to finally go to sleep and bumped it. Can you guess what happened next? All of the glasses came crashing down, glass shattered all over the floor and I just stood there. There was no yelling or screaming, but I definitely spoke to myself in a pretty unkind way.

"you're so stupid" "not again" "now you have to replace them" "you better clean this up since it's your fault"

That's my thunder, and boy can it be loud inside my head.

In years since, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on that thunder; that internal raised voice. You know what? It doesn't change anything. Actually, I take that back. It changes a lot, but not in the way we want. Raising your voice to yourself doesn't stop the mistakes or mishaps. It only shames you and makes it that much more difficult to love yourself.

So I've made a conscious effort to watch my words. I notice when I say those thunderous things to myself, and I quietly apologize and replace those words with forgiveness, love and understanding. Those are my rain. Those are the words and actions that grow flowers and make me able to love myself.

Raise your words. Rain love and forgiveness and understanding and compassion on yourself. I promise you, you will flourish.

Thanks for being on the journey with me.

❤, Lara

CLICK TO TWEET Rain grows flowers, not thunder. #selflove via @KindOverMatter

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Tiny Transitions

Post by Jennifer Louden for the Kind Kindred series.

image courtesy of Harry Koopman on Flickr

I’m fascinated by transitions - not the big ones like having a baby, getting a divorce, or starting a business - but the small everyday ones. The moments when one thing ends (putting the kids on the bus, finishing one step on a project, the work day) and the next thing hasn’t begun yet (working on your business plan, going for a walk, seeing your family or roommates).

Our lives are filled with these mini-passages and I’ve noticed these are moments when I can either lose myself to nut crackers and Facebook or to exhaustion by piling one more thing on, or I can pause, take in the good, listen for what’s beckoning now.

I can allow desire and being in a fresh relationship with life steer me - or not.

Here is a video about my tiny experiment to be more mindful and alive in these mini-passages. I am finding these moments are extraordinary teachers, and caveat: I’ve been trying to be more mindful about transitions for many years. What can I say, I’m a slow learner!


Please share what you do in these moments of choice.


Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book, The Woman’s Comfort Book. 
She’s the author of 7 additional books on well-being and whole living and has been teaching retreats and leading workshops since 1992 and creating vibrant on-line communities and innovative learning experiences since 2000. 
Her current course, TeachNow, was created to help teachers - of all subjects, in all settings - thrive. 
Check it out here:
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