August Monthly Shorts - Your Bucket List, and Recovery

Take a Moment to Slow Down,

Hello Hello! It’s August, my birthday month, and I can sense my energy going up. As you probably have noticed, I decided to take July off from writing the newsletter and focus on being with the family and traveling. We had one road trip to Chicago and we saw the Broadway show Hamilton that my kids are obsessed with, on Fourth of July we saw the fireworks in Boston and traveled to Maine and then my husband and I headed to a solo trip to Nova Scotia (which was on my bucket list for a while) to celebrate our 20th anniversary.
Here I am with my monthly short, hope it goes well with your coffee/tea break.


What I Was Thinking About?
Bucket list,
“You have to stop using the term bucket list,” my husband said when we discussed the Nova Scotia trip. I am not sure what is your perspective about the term bucket list, but my husband and I have two different ways of viewing this term. My husband believes that a bucket list is one of the most annoying terms someone can use. Even more, he thinks it is a way of making people feel restless and not fulfilled with their life; this is why he doesn’t have a bucket list or at least an announced one.
On the other hand, I don’t believe my life will be incomplete without a bucket list. I think that having a few wants that are beyond my present life and my career and personal goals, or some goals I have for my kids is a nice to have. “You know,” I told him “I can get what you say – it might be that some people are making a story about their life being meaningful or not by checking off (or not) items on their bucket list. It might be another way of our modern society to add pressure rather than satisfaction and appreciation on enjoying the what’s here what’s now. But I do like to see a few of my wants accomplished.”
For example, when my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we went on a safari trip to Africa. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in my life. When we were there, I told my husband, one day when we will have a boy, and a girl and they reach teenage I want to take them on a Safari trip. I have to say that I forgot about it, but when my son and daughter turned 12 and 13 – Bar Mitzvah ages, we were able to take them with our younger son to South Africa as a gift to a special time in their life. Traveling to South Africa with the kids and knowing that it might be a once in a lifetime experience for them was one of the most fulfilling moments in my life.
I don’t carry my bucket list with me everywhere I go; it doesn’t nudge me nor disturbs me. I don’t let it be a heavy bucket nor burden. But when a moment arises, and I check an item off my list, it feels really good.

I am curious, what are your thoughts about having a bucket list do you have one? Or do you believe like my husband that having one is unnecessary peer pressure or trend? I would love to get your thoughts about it.
Recovery
One of the reasons I decided not to write a newsletter in July was that I needed to recover. Being my boss, I had to learn the hardest discipline of all, how to get things done when the goal is to work toward my business goals and not for the team’s goals. At times, it can drive you to work continuously while not always seeing any results. It took me a while to identify that I can work half the time and create so much more, and the cool thing is that I can run, spend time with people I love and BE.
I have to admit that the decision when I work and when I do not work became more and more of intuitive decision; I let my body decide for me when it is time to stop. But still, there are moments when I keep recognizing my blind spots. What I am not able to see. On our trip to Nova Scotia, I realized that this trip abled me to recover. We all have our stories, and my story is that one of my kids has to follow a strict diet that impacts my day to day life and especially when we travel. The prep and planning around our family travel this summer was sometimes exhausting. Still, we wanted to make sure our child can enjoy the travel experience.
In Nova Scotia I was able to put aside my parent hat for a week and be with my husband with no adults responsibilities. Many times when I work with clients who take care of others; their parents, siblings, children, pets or the community they can forget that beyond the responsibility of taking care of others there are also emotions, many emotions that clutter. Sometimes we are so busy in the doing of taking care of the others that we forget to take a moment to acknowledge what we feel. Being me with no responsibilities allowed me to sit or stand on cliffs, watch the beautiful nature and the ocean and acknowledge all the emotions I haven’t have had the time to pay attention to. I didn’t realize how much it was needed until I said it out loud to my husband. So I know many of you out there take care of someone else. Would you be willing to take 5 minutes, half an hour, a day or a week – whatever you can to let go of the responsibilities and the role of the care-taker and just BE?

What have I listened to lately?

If you have Amazon Prime I became a big fan of Amazon music. One of the best features they have is recommendations followed by the music you listen to. I found a few new albums and playlists that I enjoy listening to their suggestions.

The latest band I enjoy listening to that I have learned about is a Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. Check them out.

 

My Most Watched Video Last Month on Social Media

My most-watched video in July was about the distinction between being messy, and I am messy. Click here to watch the video

 

For more inspirational shorts and on the run videos check my social media feeds: @NoaRCoach (LinkedIn/twitter/FB/Instagram)



Noa @Next Events - Come and Say Hi :-)

Monthly Women Walking Mastermind

2019 -2020 Monthly Women Walking Mastermind.

Stay tuned!!! my friend Kelly Caldwell and I are working on 2019-2020 plan.

We already decided (while walking and talking at Lake Bass trail) that we will have it on the 3rd Friday of each month so mark your calendars. Topics will be posted soon. Please contact me if you would like to get more information.  

Did you know that sitting is worse than smoking? Years ago, I shifted many of my sitting meetings with walking meetings; it grew until it became this walking mastermind.

What did I learn from shifting my sitting meetings to walking meetings?

1.   Walking is good for us; we sit too much in front of the screens (thank you Netflix.) This is your time to disconnect to connect with others

2.   It is a guilt-free zone. You work and walk at the same time (no need to plan an exercise activity,) and now even network – isn’t that cool?

3.   Walking in nature brings a new perspective on your work/life situations. You leave inspired energized to come back to what you do with new views and ideas.

 

What is the feedback we receive from attendees?

Structure

Kelly and I created a structure around networking that makes it easier to connect with other women and create meaningful conversations that create new partnerships and energy to go back to their business/life/career and keep moving forward with new connections in the local community and beyond.

June Monthly Shorts - Disconnect to Connect

disconnect to connect.png

What I Was Thinking About?
How much I missed being outdoors and running when I was sick this month.
Every year, somewhat at the same time, I get a cold when the Summer begins. This time it happened mid-May, and although I didn't have any fever, the cold took the lead and forcing me not even slowing down, but taking a pause.  Even though I was excited to put my book aside and work on other projects while the beta readers are reading my book, I couldn't. I was t-i-r-e-d; it was as if something sucked my energy. The hardest part was that I couldn't run or walk. Even when the cold ended, my body said: "no! I am not doing this! Still not ready," and I could see how my productivity is going down.You see, one of the things I learned from reading and listening to creative creators is that if you want to stay productive and create, you must have somewhat of a rigid routine for your day. Creative and rigid? This is a fascinating paradox. Until I coached artists and creators, I didn't realize that many of them must have a rigorous routine so they can keep showing up for their art day after day. It took me more than five years to realize that if I want to show up for my business, I must have a very rigid routine that helps me be creative and create. It doesn't matter that you need it, but it works for me. A big part of this routine is being in nature a few times a week and walk or run. It helps me disconnect to connect.
As a child, I spent most of my days outdoors, walking barefoot at the field, touching flowers, leaves, playing at the field that was at the back of our house or climbing on trees. Until our move to North Carolina, I was not aware of how much nature played a big part in my life.

Disconnect to Connect
I want to take a moment to chat with you about this idea - disconnect to connect. Electronics become part of our life, just this week, a client shared that sitting all weekend and watching Netflix to relax, actually made it worse for her; she felt restless. Many people who I read or listen to share that they create a particular routine during the day to make sure they can be productive. A new trend I see is that people suggest new ways to shield or how to avoid electronics and especially the smartphone. You have probably heard about no smartphone next to your bed, but one of the most extraordinary stories I heard was about a guy who locks his smartphone in the kitchen closet and uses earphones with noise isolation to make sure he doesn't hear any buzzes or beeps while doing his morning routine. Working on my book taught me that to accomplish my writing goals, I must put my iPhone as far as I can. On my browser, the only open tab was google search for my research. This is why, with all the distractions around me and constant doing, I find that nature is the right place for me to be. As the nature filmmaker and TED speakers, 

Louie Schwartzberg, 

says: "Nature is seductive." The shapes, the colors, the texture, the wind, the animals, they are all there to invite us to disconnect from the constant doing and planning or drifting into the past and slow down. Nature invites us to be present, at the moment with what around us. It is an excellent opportunity to quiet down the inner thinker, the inner-analyzer, and focus on what's else, or what's important? Maybe even gratitude. From sitting in one perspective in front of the computer, or running from one place to another, Nature whispers in our ears: "what else can you see?"I know, it doesn't happen each time, but when it does you slow down the constant doing and thinking and create a new, maybe even a quiet space, to connect with what you feel, what you breathe, what you see, and what you think and even with what you do.How do I bring that into my daily routine?As you know, I made running part joy part business, after I run I video my "on the run" videos which takes the guilt from not working - ubiquitous experience for business owners who think they can never take a break.Walk and talk - I moved many of my 1X1 meetings and even some work meeting to walk in nature, it is not always possible, but it worth asking. I find that most of the times, people will say yes!I am not the most successful Gardner, but many of my friends and clients are. They find that taking 20 minutes during the day to go out and work in their gardens can change their daily experience.Take a moment to ask yourself what routines help your day and week be more productive, creative focused?

What have I listened to lately? 
On our way to the boys' Taekwondo testing my older son suggested we listen to the soundtrack of the movie The Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel movies). For the next thirty minutes, I kept asking myself while driving: "Am I dreaming?" The songs are all from the 70s, like "Mr. Bluesky" that my youngest is obsessed with right now, and "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac. Later that day, I learned that my daughter listens to Guns and Roses, Metallica, and Blondie.  What??? I probably did something right with my parenting :-)

My Most Watched Video Last Month
 on Social Media 
Ha! that was a fun one. In this "On the Run" video, I showed up to the video with no topic. NO TOPIC! Check it out to see what happened :-)
Click here to watch the video
For more inspirational shorts and on the run videos check my social media feeds: @NoaRCoach (LinkedIn/twitter/FB/Instagram)



Noa @Next Events - Come and Say Hi :-)

Monthly Women Walking Mastermind
Friday, June 21, 9:00AM-10:30AM

My friend Kelly Caldwell find pure joy in facilitating these monthly meetings. We already have the "regulars" and we always have new women who join and enjoy the unexpected experience. 
If you are not a fan of networking we created a system and structure that allows you to create connections through meaningful conversations. 
Why we do it this way? 
There is a lot of thinking behind the way we structured our meetings- we explain everything before we start :-) 

June topic: Your Internal Support Team.
Get to know the Internal voices that hold you back or help you move forward.
PLEASE RSVP HERE

May Monthly Shorts - In the Nothing Something Shows Up and How to Stay Focused

What I Was Thinking About This Month?
What was I thinking? Actually nothing.
For the last week, I have tried to come up with words, sentences but... nothing, nada, not a word, not a sign not even a little comma. I was out of words. 
What was going on?
I believe that my container of creativity was almost empty. You see, I set myself a goal to send my book draft to beta readers by the first week of May. When I dove into the writing I couldn't stop, and the clock was ticking 11PM, 12AM 1AM, and I just kept going. When I sent the draft to my Beta Readers (the first readers who read an early draft and help the author to better the structure of the book) I couldn't take a pause. I had to keep moving, I had a few more big projects to take care of. It was one of those weeks where I felt like a toothpaste tube, those tubes I keep squeezing and squeezing to get out what's left because I don't have another toothpaste in the house. But as you know there is always something left, it is just the way it felt as nothing left.  
Still, in the woods of nothing I have learned that something will show up. When I stop resisting the emptiness or my want to deliver results and give in to the nothing something shows up. When I give in I look for ways to get inspired so I can refill the creativity container and this system never let me down. Last week, when I spoke to a group one of the attendees reminded me that the best ideas come up not in the meeting room when we force action, but most of our best solutions show up when we let go of the action and connect with the being. For me, it is when I take a shower or go on a run, or when I read an inspiring book, or listen to an inspiring podcast or TED talk. 
Next time when you try to make yourself work or create, remember that in the nothing something will show up. So how can you invest your time differently rather than keep working on nothing?

Focus
Focus, when you zoom in and boom! you see results and you feel good about yourself. Focus became such a challenge for so many of us. So many reasons so many distractions. Sometimes I feel that all I need is to see is a butterfly to get distracted. This is why with the years I developed a few different practices that move me more and more to be focused. There are still those days that I am all over the place, but I realize that since my life can be chaotic at times (not because of others, but because of me  - I would probably get bored with doing the same thing every day, or have the same pace a day after day so to make it interesting I shuffle things around). But Since I am being asked this question a lot there are a few practices that I became very rigid to help me stay focus as much as possible, especially when I write.
Here are my top three - feel free to share with me what are your practices. I always enjoy getting your emails or comments.

  1. Close your email and social media. If you need to knock down a project, set it in your calendar and while working on it close all other channels. Allow yourself time to disconnect so you can connect with self. Some people now even put their smartphone closed in a closet.

  2. Social media - stop checking your social media ego (how many likes etc every other minute) set time twice a day to check it out - put it in your calendar.

  3. Scan your inbox and answer first to emails that bring money, other emails can wait (unless there is an opportunity for income). As service-oriented I am, I am learning that some people will be okay receiving an answer later on. That's okay. Don't get me wrong - I don't ignore people, but I prioritize where my time goes first and if you are a giver like me it is easy to fall into the helping everyone else and look at yourself at 4pm and say: "I didn't do anything today..."

Hope it helps - let me know if you would like more tips that work for me. Now always what works for me, might not work for you - the least you can try but please be consistent. Trying it for a day or two is not enough.


What have I listened to lately?
After dinner, my husband and I like to clear out the living area from the house residents who are under 18 years old and just relax with some good music. A few weeks ago my husband put an album of a guy I haven't heard his music before and I really liked it. A few days later I was working in my favorite coffee shop and in the background, I heard a song that pulled my attention. One of my new little doings is to collect ideas of musicians/music I can listen to while writing. So whenever I hear a song I really like I Shazam it (Shazam is an app that identifies the media playing around you, and gives you full info) Guess what? when I Shazamed the song it was the same guy: Andrew Bird.Check him out. 
 

My Most Watched Video Last Month
 on Social Media 
One of the most watched 'On the Run' videos in April was about our want to Defeat Behaviors or limiting thoughts/emotions that get in our way. We don't like barriers, we like a quick fix. I believe that part of the reason that we think we can get rid of some behaviors is the phrase: "let go" this phrase is so rooted in our cultural conversation that it is as we believe that by saying it we will fix the others' problems.
Can we get rid of them? no, but we can shorten the time they stay with us.
My perspective is that awareness is the first step of moving toward a sustainable change. When we know what we didn't know we are out of the awarelLESS state, as I call it. Knowing is as we say: "I see you behavior/thought/emotion" and for some reason the more we see them the less time they stay to hang out with us.
Click here to check out the video 
For more inspirational shorts and on the run videos check my social media feeds: @NoaRCoach (LinkedIn/twitter/FB/Instagram)



Noa @Next Events - Come and Say Hi :-)

5/17 Monthly Women Walking Mastermind. 
The Women Walking Mastermind group is getting a lot of great vibes from the community and we would love for you to join us this Friday, May 17th 9AM-10:30AM - feel free to come with your workout/casual clothes. 

If you do NOT like to network this is your group. If you like to network but looking for a place to have a meaningful conversation we created a system that shifts the focus from networking to connection. 
Why we do it the way we do it?  Why we do it differently than in other groups? 
There is a lot of thinking behind it - we explain everything before we start :-) 

This month topic is Limiting vs Limitless vocabulary. 
PLEASE RSVP HERE

Monthly Shorts - Spring Flowers Bring Some Stress Showers?

Spring Flowers Bring Some Stress Showers?
People who know me might say that mostly I am a very calm person, even when my life is full I will be able to keep going without stressing about it. But yesterday there was a moment when I felt so stressed as if the only thing left was to cry.  Like the Spring (unless you get Spring Allergies) I am very grateful for every opportunity that knocks on my door. I do what I love, I work with people I love, I hang out with people I love, and I write and talk about what I love without the need to fake who I am or want to be. I live my choices. And still, even when everything is positive you could experience high levels of stress. Retrospectively, I can't recall many situations in my life where I felt that high level of stress. It was as I almost believed that there is no way I achieve the goal deadline. Knowing myself I believe that no matter how much I have I can handle one more thing. Not yesterday. I am all for getting messy and experimenting without having all the knowledge, I can figure out the unknown, but yesterday I wanted everything to be perfect while other things around me weren't. 
Perfect is my trap, every time I want perfect I kill the creative within. My creativity doesn't function very well in perfection, she feels limited and out of breath. I am still trying to figure out what brought my stress levels to be so high, I don't have the answer yet, but what did help was to recognize that perfection took over, that she was running the show. To help myself move forward  I asked perfection to step aside and asked creativity to move forward. Perfection sucks my time and energy, creativity triggers my resourceful self. This is when I can change the conversation from  "I don't have enough time (resources)," to "how can I be more resourceful to finish this task?" this is when I can quiet my mind and focus on what's need to be done.
Take a moment to ask yourself:
Which voice takes from your power? How does it look like when that voice run the show? How can you ask that voice to move aside? and who can you bring instead to take the lead/take over?
Dah! of course, I finished the task on time, moving on.


What have I listened to lately?
Since my older son, who is 16, crowned me as the ancient one I feel that I can live peacefully with the fact that when I hear Ariana Grande my body starts itching.
I get it, she is an independent woman, but would it be okay just for once, that when I open the radio I won't hear her signing "7 rings"?
So to open the circle (read the next item below to understand the context) I listen to podcasts.
One of the podcasts I truly enjoy listening to is TED Radio Hour with Guy Raz. Guy Raz takes a topic and through TED talks and conversation with the speakers, he explores the topic in a deeper way. Since my "one word of the year" in 2018 was QUIET I was curious about the episode from November 21, 2014 (but still so relevant) about this topic: Quiet - Click here to listen to the full episode.
One of the speakers who left an impression on me is Magen Washington, a very known Australian Signer who shares a secret on stage.
Oh my god, what a voice and what a secret. Take a moment to listen to her TED talk/Sing you won't regret it. Click here to see her TED Talk and TED Sing
Click here to listen to her singing I truly enjoy listen to her music while I work on my book.
 
My Most Watched Video Last Month
 on Social Media 
One of my most watched videos in March was an inspirational short in the spirit of Pi Day (March 14) -  Walking in Circles. In this short video, I invite you to look at your choices, there is a reason you are stuck in a pattern that doesn't bring new results. If you want to make a change ask yourself where can I make new choices, and you will open the circle to a line that takes you toward your goal - from A to B. 
Click here to check out the video 
For more inspirational shorts and on the run videos check my social media feeds: @NoaRCoach (LinkedIn/twitter/FB/Instagram)

Monthly Short - About Coffee, Balance and Rainbows

What's going on?
This morning when I drove I suddenly got scared... what if I don't like coffee anymore? 
If you know me, you know how much I love coffee. But in the last few weeks, it is as my body says "Nope! I don't feel like it" so I drink tea. In the last few years, I took myself on a mindfulness journey where I pay better attention to what I eat. For example, I was not always a fan of my lunch meals, so when I finished feeling unsatisfied with what I ate, it triggered a want to eat as compensation. I wouldn't be aware before of this behavior until I started listening to my body and providing it with meals that satisfy it, then I didn't need to think about it anymore. Each time I am amazed by how easy it is to shift into an autopilot mode with the actions I take and the thoughts I have. But come on! No more Coffee for me? Could it be that my body is telling me it needs a break for good? Stay tuned!
Oh! and for the adventurers in the room, you have to try this coffee idea with mint drops and Himalayan salt. So good! Check it here.

What I am Thinking about...
 Balance and Rainbows?
A few days ago I connected with my night owl and allowed myself a late night work. If you are a night owl like me, you love the unique silence of the nights when everyone is sleeping. A few years ago,  I decided to change my daily routine and decided to go to sleep in a reasonable hour and wake up very early in the morning. I let my clients know that they can book early morning sessions working and spent some time on a morning routine. My morning routine which includes meditation, journaling, praying and if I have the time, I will go out for a run and then write my daily goals for the day. Yes... mostly it is not as perfect as I want it to be, but I am aiming to start my days this way since it allows me to be focused and achieve much more. Before this new daily routine, I would be very scattered along the day and then do everything from 11:00 PM - 2:30 AM I was killing it (and myself).
Still, once in a while I still have a need to treat myself on late night work and a few days ago I treated myself again. One of my goals is to finish my first crappy book draft by March 3rd - it is a nice date to set up as a due date for a goal. 
So while I was sitting in my office and writing about the topic of balanced leadership for my book, suddenly, I has a poetic inspiration; could it be that faked balance is like the rainbow? How many times you heard your friends, spouse, people at work saying to you: "Oh! I wish I had more balance in my life." Like the rainbow, balance is also beautiful, but you can't touch it. Like the rainbow that needs the rain and sun be at the right angle to show up, the same is with balance. Here is my little secret, the real balance is not about wanting to have balance, it is about making HARD CHOICES. Hard choices of what you keep in your life and what you let go of, the problem is that we want to keep everything and then everything falls apart. Like me in the supermarket getting inside to buy just one thing without my cart, and a few minutes after I realize that I have too many things in my hand and I add one more thing everything will fall off my hands. So take a paper and write down everything you have right now in your life - I call it brain dump. Step two: choose, decide what you keep and what you let go of, at least for now. The rest? It will have to wait.

My Most Watched Video Last Month
 on Social Media 
One of my most watched videos in February was an inspirational short about Taking Risks
As much as I enjoy speaking at Toastmasters and test materials for my talks in conferences and other events, I felt that there is something I am doing or being that limited my ability to be funny and just BE me. I felt disconnected, and it took me a while to identify that it is the result of the way I rehearse for my speeches. I was overdoing rehearsals the speech had to be perfect, no notes no mistakes. Every time I aim for perfection I kill the funny me and I had to bring her back. I missed her and the connection it brought me with the audience. So I decided to take a risk and rehearse half the time and be okay that I might not be as ready. It worked. I was funny again, and I could sense how free I felt on stage.
Click here to check out the video 
For more inspirational shorts/on the run videos check my Instagram account and follow me @NoaRCoach

My Interview with Startup Plan it
I am excited to share my interview with Startup Plan-It as their featured entrepreneur!
Startup Plan-It is a program for startup entrepreneurs. To learn more about this program, and check out my interview, read here.
 

Monthly Short - About Escape Rooms, Being Lost and Awareness with Kids

What I am Thinking about...
This week I am thinking about Escape Rooms
Last week was my older son’s 16th birthday. Sweet sixteen to him! He decided to let go of the pink dress and tiara and we invited a few of his friends to an “Escape Room” experience.
If you haven’t been to an escape room, the idea is that a group of 4-10 people gets into a room and they have 60 minutes to achieve a task. The tasks include solving different puzzles that give you codes to open safes and locks with more clues. The final mission is to find the code that will set you free and out of the room before the clock strikes upon the hour. Beyond the main goal, you get no clues; you need to search for clues and find the connections, or the patterns to solve the unknown mystery. There are moments where everyone works separately trying to figure out the next step, while there are moments when everyone gathers together to figure out how all the clues they have can take them to the next step. There is a lot of pressure, there are moments when everyone is not even sure what they are doing, or what they are looking for, but this is what I call "the beauty of being lost." In moments when you feel lost, when there is no way but to survive, this is when you allow yourself to make mistakes. This is the moment of truth, the moment when you know you have mainly two options: live or die. For some people, the escape room, as a metaphor, is the moment of choice between life and death, a life or death of a business, relationships, career, or other.
It sounds dramatic, but figuratively, some people in the escape room choose death, they stand there without doing anything, they lost hope. On the other hand, others who choose to "stay alive" will try whatever they can to find clues and believe that they can beat the clock. Even though there is stress, there is something else that opens up, and that’s the freedom to make mistakes which invites creativity and even innovation, no more perfection or procrastination lead their way. That is where people allow themselves to what I call: “get messy,” to experiment until they figure out what's next. 
Back to the escape room, while my son and his friends were still in the escape room, I noticed that all the people who left their escape rooms were smiling. They figured it out; they allowed themselves to play, to be free, to experiment and not perfect and they figured it out. That is the same smile I have when new clients tell me "I am lost"  I know that soon creativity and experimentation will show up. So remember, there is beauty in being lost.


Conscious Kids
Being a parent in the Fortnite and YouTube age is not an easy task. It seems as our kids shifted too fast from cable TV to YouTube. I realize more and more that I will not be able to fight the screens, so what I can do is be the tour guide that will remind my kids that there is a world out there.  Inviting my son to celebrate his birthday in an escape room was my silent invitation without lecturing, nor telling him that there is a world outside to remember that when we play with people face to face there is a connection and there is a joy. The boys' smiles under their teenage mustache when they left the room, Priceless!


Priceless  #2
My husband also celebrates his birthday in January. Rather than buying gifts we don't need (who said Marie Condo???) my husband asked to celebrate with a family experience where we all do something we enjoy together. This year I called my beloved friends and cheerful soul, Elizabeth Galecke to the rescue. Elizabeth is a photographer that a few years ago started the #eyeswideopen movement. She reminds us through her photography while she goes on her daily walks to look around and pay attention. I asked her if she can take our family on a one-hour photography class to notice our world differently with eyes wide open.
We met Elizabeth in downtown Raleigh and she helped us look around differently: rusty stains, shades, patterns, what can we see from a window, all the little things we never have the time or want to notice. Yes, we all had our iPhones including the kids, but we used them to create awareness. It was an hour of connection with the surrounding and with each other. My daughter told me after that it was an hour of slowing down without anyone rushing her or expecting her to create in a specific way. Definitely priceless.
Click here to watch some of the photos we took during our family experience.
Check here to attend Elizabeth's Eyes Wide Open Exhibition in February 2019 


What I am listening to
Writing a book, this is a journey for sure. I am glad to report that I have discovered how to find joy with sitting almost every day and writing, rather than being in the struggle.
So... while writing I need some music and in the background. In the last few days, I listen to Beck's Album "Colors". If you like Beck or alternative music check it out. Wow! is my favorite song from the album. Check the video clip it is really cool.
 

My Most Watched Video this Month
One of my most watched videos this month is when I asked people to STOP, stop doing what everyone else is doing, stop settling for the norms and find their way to do things. Listen to the Queen of different, it is okay to DO YOU. 
Check my Instagram one minute video here