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Cup and Journal

Back in my corporate days, I dreaded the annual year-end review with my boss. Who doesn’t? But sitting down with her to go over what I’d accomplished and set goals for the year ahead gave me major anxiety. Of course, this probably had something to do with the fact that my boss was a lunatic known as “Vomiting Vicky” 😉

Now that I’m out from under her corporate dictatorship, I actually love finding some silence and solitude to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect and set goals for the year ahead. Here’s my take on the previously dreaded, now delightful process: I hope it works for you too!

  1. Set aside some solo time: You in a quiet place with a cup of tea (or coffee or wine!), your favorite pen, and a journal.
  2. Take 5 minutes to calm and center with meditation. Set a timer. You can focus on your breath or use a mantra. Centering first is the key to clarity and focus so take the time to do it.
  3. Begin journaling. Think back to a year ago and, without censoring or judging, just write about your year. What did you do over the past 12 months? Highlights? Challenges? How do you feel about your year? What did you accomplish? What did you love? What did you wish you did–or did more of? As you take stock of the year behind, you’ll flow naturally into thinking about the year ahead. Write about what you’d like to do and…
  4. Set concrete goals. How will you know when you’ve achieved a goal unless you make it specific? “Write magazine articles” is a little vague. At the end of next year even if you wrote “more,” it may not be enough to make you happy. Try “Write my first article” or “Write 1 article per month” –it’s more specific. You’ll KNOW when you’ve done it and can celebrate that success! (Remember to celebrate!)
  5. Dream big…and keep it real. I always support dreaming big. Write your book. Launch your business. Travel somewhere exotic. But don’t try to write and publish 3 books, launch a business in a month, and travel to all 7 continents. Antarctica, Asia, and Australia in one year would be pretty darn ambitious, but one of those sounds great! You get the point.

If you’ve taken a workshop with me, you know I custom-blend corporate tools, yoga tools, eastern thinking and western thinking to create what I’ve found to be the most effective (and enjoyable) processes. So…I guess tou can take the girl out of the corporate world, but this girl is taking the best of the corporate world with her. And one of the most effective tools I still use is this year-end review…with a twist. I hope it works for you too. 🙂

Got questions? Comment below or message me on social media! I love to chat about this stuff!

 

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div dir=”ltr” style=”text-align: left;” trbidi=”on”>Last week I was just coming back from the LA Film Festival where I was teaching yoga and doing PR for Dead Man's Burden.

This week I'm harvesting green beans and administering therapeutic massage for a geriatric bunny. Ah, how the mighty have fallen.

I kid! I kid! But not about the bunny massage. Or the beans. Those parts are true.

First things first. In my excitement about actually being able to have a garden this year, and in my delight at being surrounded by green in the heart of a city, I neglected to note that the beautiful green bean blossoms I've been enjoying looking at turned from mere blossoms into real beans! This is partly due to the fact that the bushy leaves of the bean plants hide their bounty well. This is also due to the fact that I didn't realize the blossom to bean process was so fast.

Let me tell you–if you are not already growing something (anything!) you should get going and start growing because there is literally nothing as satisfying as growing your own food. Also, there is nothing as delicious. I promise nothing will taste better.

So get thee to a garden center pronto! It's cheaper than therapy and also more enjoyable.

Now on to the bunny massage. Yes, there is such a thing. My friend Dee is on vacation and while she's gone, I'm on bunny patrol. You see, Dee, the plant-loving, animal-loving, big-hearted lover of all live things, adopted two rescue bunnies. Due to her TLC, one bunny has lived to an advanced age (an estimated 14?) unheard of in the rabbit world. He is totally blind in one eye, mostly blind in the other and may or may not have survived a stroke. And yet he lives on, because he is loved and cared for.

Also, he receives a daily massage to incentivize him to keep living. And when Dee isn't there to tend to him, it's yours truly who steps up to the plate.

Dee trained me in the art of bunny massage, which consists of massaging him flanks to bunny nose, in order to keep him engaged and committed to life. The crazy thing is…it works!! This tiny elderly bunny will be mid old-man nap when I arrive. But he promptly comes out of his peaceful doze and starts eating/grooming/hopping around as soon as his massage begins. Which makes me wonder if we all shouldn't be getting daily therapeutic massages…

And on that note, I'm off to the hutch.

Yes, this is actually my life. I'm not sure how.

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21
Jun
Just back from LA–jet-lagged, bleary-eyed, and still not sure which coast or time zone I'm in. BUT the trip and the LA Film Festival (LAFF), where I flexed my PR and yoga muscles, were pretty awesome.NOTE: “LAFF” is pronounced letter by letter “L-A-F-F” not “laugh.”And with that I hope I can spare someone else a bit of mortification. Not that I'd ever make such an uber-geek gaffe. Ahem. {whistles, looks everywhere else}

Anyway, you may recall from my very first post ever that once upon a time, I was a corporate drone/PR maven. Then I realized I was les miserables and I traded cubicles for yoga mats.

Truth be told though, I still do PR work. The difference is that now I work on a freelance basis, which means I get to choose my clients and projects. Currently, one of those projects is Dead Man's Burden, an independent film that debuted this past Saturday at LAFF. It was a huge success–the first showing sold out (actually the Festival over-sold it by 30 tickets and thus had to deal with 30 extremely disgruntled ticket-holders who had nowhere to sit!), the reviews have been AMAZING, and the after-party, planned by yours truly, was described as the best industry party ever.

And you know as well as I do that LA/film people are only ever brutally honest. They'd tell you if your party sucked. (Wait…right? Um…guys?? RIGHT??!!)

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When I wasn't working the premiere, I was teaching yoga to LAFF attendees, cast, and crew.

I was excited to bring my brand of yoga teaching to LA for the first time, to see how it resonated, and what people thought. The students seemed to react to it with a mix of, “Holy crap this hard!” to “I've never done yoga before–this rocks!”

As for me, it was a brain-twizzling experience to merge my two selves (or two of my selves, my author self stayed home) and blend PR and yoga. Previously, I thought that'd be like ice cream and ketchup (yuck). Turns out, it's more like ice cream and chocolate. It works!

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18
Apr

Yet Another Brush with Crazy

Posted on April 18, 2012 by Sara in Brush with Crazy, Funny, Random with 2 Comments
Let's be honest: I've had my fair share of brushes with crazy. Sometimes crazy is kind of funny. Sometimes crazy is neutral. And, this morning, I learned that sometimes crazy is just downright mean.While taking tiny Pelu for her morning walk, she bounded up to say hello to a man walking past us. Or at least she tried to bound up and say hello. Still working on her puppy manners, I yanked her back with a sharp, “No!”

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In spite of the fact that 1. she is clearly just a sweet little 11-pound puppy and 2. due to my interception, she was nowhere near him, this total stranger viciously kicked at her. Thankfully, he missed.

Clenching my jaw, I kept walking. Let it go, I told myself.

“Next time I'm going to kick your little dog right in the face, sweetheart! Right in the kisser, baby!! YEAH! I'm gonna kick her like a football right across the street!!!”

OK. I'm only human. I couldn't let that go. Who even THINKS of kicking sweet little puppies?! Clearly, this man was a monster. “Maybe I'll kick you in the face!” I yelled back.

He was still screaming. “You better put that thing in a muzzle! I swear I'm gonna kick her in the face next time!”

“Someone should put YOU in a muzzle!” I yelled back. That'll show him!

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What this really taught me (aside of the obvious fact that some puppy-kicking monsters masquerade as average-looking humans) is that man! I really need to work on my comebacks! If all I can think of is to repeat whatever insult/threat he's lodged against sweet little Pelu, it's sad times. Sad times, indeed.

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14
Feb

Happy Valentine's Day from a tiny Mutt

Posted on February 14, 2012 by Sara in Puppy, Random with 3 Comments
Pelu's learning the hard way that you may have to kiss a few of these before you find your prince.

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Happy Valentine's Day, all! 🙂

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17
Dec

A Move Gone Wrong…Very, Very Wrong

Posted on December 17, 2011 by Sara in Funny, Random with No Comments
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A guest post by DH (dear hubby) explaining how our move this week went careening off the rails. Literally. In this retelling, the IY is using the code name Betty.
*
Buster and Betty Buyer hire Money Movers at an hourly rate to move their furniture and boxes into their new condo.  Money Movers send Larry, Mo, and Curley to do the job.  Unfortunately, due to traffic, the movers show up almost an hour late.  In addition, although the movers assured Buster and Betty that an 18-foot truck would be more than sufficient for the job, Buster and Betty’s belongings (which included a few more boxes than they estimated) cannot fit in one truck load, necessitating two truck trips and extra time on the job. Ten hours into the move, which was originally estimated by Money Movers to take six to eight hours, Larry begins having a racing and irregular heart beat.  Buster advises Larry to take a break and begins helping the other two Movers (Mo and Curley) himself to help expedite the process.  Buster checks on Larry after about ten minutes and finds that Larry still has a very  irregular pulse.  Concerned, Buster insists on driving Larry to the emergency room, where Larry is immediately admitted to the hospital. 
Buster returns from the ER to the new condo to find Mo and Curley attempting to move Buster and Betty’s couch, the last item to come off the truck on the second load, up the stairs.  Unfortunately, the couch can’t make the turn at the top of the stairs, and Mo and Curley decide that it must instead be hoisted into the condo.  Since the hoist requires three movers, Mo and Curley call in Schemp (also a Money Movers employee) to assist.  Because there is no clear path to hoist the couch directly into the new condo, which is the upper unit of two units in the building, Buster asks Nice Neighbors who live in the downstairs unit to allow access to their back porch, where the Movers will first hoist the couch before, in turn, hoisting it from Nice Neighbors’ porch to Buster and Betty’s porch above.  (The two porches are terraced.)  Nice Neighbors agree to allow access to their porch for the hoist.  It is 8:30 pm, dark outside, and, after holding of all day, now raining.

The Movers wrap the couch in the hoist bands, and Mo and Curley go to the Neighbors’ porch, which is on the second floor of the building, to perform the hoist, leaving Schemp on the ground to guide the couch from below.  Buster watches the operation from his porch on the third floor of the building.  Before the Movers begin the hoist, Buster asks whether he should move his brand new car, which is parked directly below the area of the hoist.  The Movers insist that this is unnecessary over Buster’s desperate pleas, and Movers begin the hoist.  With the couch in mid air, and Mo and Curley pulling the couch up, the railing to Nice Neighbors’ porch gives way.  Mo and Curley, whose bodies are physically strapped to the couch are pulled off the porch.  Schemp dives for cover under Nice Neighbors porch and is unharmed, as the couch plummets to the ground, pulling Mo and Curley behind it.  Mo, who is a trained ninja and hopped up on Tylenol with codeine, grabs onto an intact porch post and swings to a soft landing on his feet.  Unfortunately, Curley falls less gracefully and lands on Buster and Betty’s car, caving in the roof of the car and injuring Curley.  The railing of Nice Neighbors’ porch, which was not secured properly in construction by Crappy Contractor, follows Mo and Curley down, smashing in the rear window of Buster and Betty’s car.  The couch is damaged upon impact with the ground.

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Yeah…so that’s the long and the short of it, I’m afraid. Now, two days later, I can tell you that Larry’s safely out of the hospital and Mo, Curley, and Shemp appear to be (miraculously) unharmed. The couch is still on the back of the truck. We may just donate it and buy a sectional. Or miniature couch. Or do without a couch. I know moving is never easy, but this??! COME ON!!

26
Nov

Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude

Posted on November 26, 2011 by Sara in Puppy, Random with No Comments
This Thanksgiving, I was (among other things) thankful to be surrounded by family and seated at a bountiful table of homemade food.

On Black Friday, I was thankful for the delights of post-Thanksgiving leftovers without any of the work.

And, in case you were wondering what canine gratitude looks like, here it is. Pelu is thankful to have finally worked her way up to getting this close to the kitty.

Hello, Kitty…I love you.
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