the everything thing

boca-social-media-createJust finished watching Neil Gaimin’s commencement speech  “Make Good Art”  while thinking about being more of a creator and less of a consumer. 

“. . .I tend to do anything that feels like an adventure. . . until it feels like work. . .  then I stop . . . so life doesn’t feel like work.”

The idea of creating more and consuming less feels right, especially as I continue on with my quest to only hold on to things that only spark joy in my life.  From time-to-time however I get caught up in wanting to create everything at once.

quote-poster1The very phantasmic  ZeFrank created a short video on this very subject. It’s called the everything thing. I can totally relate to the everything thing, which is the thing I do when I start to think about everything going on in my life all at once. It’s not necessarily an existential crisis, but it’s absolutely unnerving and I don’t recommend you try it. I actually think one should avoid the everything thing at all costs. I am now completely convinced this is why meditation has become so popular, people sign up for silent retreats and bingeing on bad Netflix programming is a huge thing. All attempts to escape the everything thing mind.

My everything thing mind does a rapid fire loop —

Sitting at my computer, looking out the window. I wonder why there are so many blackbirds in that tree? There’s like 100 of them.  Could this be a sign? Perhaps the end of the world is closer than I think? Black birds are kind of creepy, especially when they all fly in a swarm from tree-to-tree. Wow I’m hungry, but I don’t know what to eat. I should have a snack but my jeans are getting tight, maybe I should go food shopping now and buy a bunch of healthy vegetables while I graze on a bag of salty chips swerving in and out of the grocery aisles. Damn I have to clean this house, but I still want to create those meditation pillows today, read a hundred uplifting and creative blogs, oh and make that fun animation video, but damn I have to go food shopping for Thanksgiving. I don’t want to make the same old turkey dinner, I should mix it up, perhaps do some quick research right now, I wonder if Williams and Sonoma has some new exotic things to do with side dishes? (Sudden guilt attack), What am I thinking?  I really should be in Florida with my mom and my Aunt! What the hell is the matter with me? They are both really ill and who knows how long I have to still visit with them? I really don’t have my priorities straight. Wow I suck.

Yeah,  before you know it, I am drowning in the sea of the everything thing chaos.

Do you have attacks of the everything thing? If so, what do you do to help slow down your runaway mind?







Designing a Meaningful Life


Guide-dogAmazing advice from Casey Gerald, Harvard Grad and creator of MBA’s Across America, a movement to help revitalize small business throughout the USA.

Casey preaches that purpose is the new bottom line.

Finding your “purpose” can be tricky, but he has one hack worth trying and it’s quite simple.

Go somewhere that makes you really uncomfortable and then figure out how you can be useful.

The message is beautiful. We can do well and we can do good at the same time.

Not sure how to be useful where you are needed most? Ask the question “What if I . . .?”


@CaseyGerald is a true dream defender and he inspired the hell out of me today.

More inspiration on how to create a meaningful life in this book:


Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future

Fun and Easy Ways to Refuel Your Emotional Tank

fuel gauge showing and empty tank
A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.

Read: Ten Signs Your Burning Out and What to Do About It

Yes we all need a good night’s sleep and maybe a cat nap during the day to refuel. Eating healthy and regularly throughout the day is important for staying energized too.  However I have noticed that much of my exhaustion comes from rushing, worry, feeling unorganized and overwhelmed. This isn’t physical, this is complete mental exhaustion.

Crash and Burn

If I don’t take a moment to refuel throughout the day, I am usually spent by the end of the day. No time left for me, him, the children. No one. Truth be told I am so tired of the daily crash and burn.

Stop and Pause.

Take notice of what is good right now. Be mindful of how great this moment is. It’s a beautiful fall day. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, my coffee is strong and I am writing this post. Life is good. All is okay.

Take a Energizing Breathe.

Not working? Can’t get there? Mind is too wound up with ruminating thoughts? Stop, pause, breathe. Breathe in for the count of 6, hold your breathe for 2 and release slowing through your mouth for 7.

Inspired by Others.

Be inspired by others. The women in front of me in Spinning class this morning had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery less than three months ago. The woman to the right of me teaches autistic children all week. They were sprinting way faster than I was. They completely inspired me.

Easy Access to Joy.

Deliberately create easy access to joy. Organize your home, office and car with refueling stations.

  • Listen to a great podcast or audio book on your drive.
  • Fill a full gallon of water with fresh lemon slices to drink throughout the day.
  • Make a tray of energizing ice cubes. Mix 1 tablespoon of spirlulina with 12 oz of lime juice and freeze. Add two cubes to your water. Spirulina ice cubes idea from Dr. Oz. Add a bit of honey to the water to sweeten it up.
  • Create a quiet haven in your home with books, a candle and a comfortable chair so you can sit and read for a while. This is like your own little refueling station.

Transition throughout Your Day.  Create 4 Refuel Rituals to help you –

  • Start your morning in a more powerful and energized way. Start with a little gratitude.
  • Create a mid-day recharge ritual
  • A work to home ritual without the alcohol.
  • Finally, create a relaxation ritual to calm you down.

Enjoy an Energizing Snack.

One word: Chocolate

Taza “Wicked Dark” 95% Dark Stone Ground Chocolate, 2.5oz/70g


Do the One Thing and Do the Fun Thing.

When running through your tasks and to do’s for the day, be sure to include the one thing that you should have done months ago that is weighing you down with worry and the one fun thing that you keep putting off.

Tidy Up.

Fold your laundry. Clean out the junk drawer. Take everything off your desk. Organizing something makes you feel so in control, doesn’t it?

 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

tidying up


You can’t go wrong with Ellen. Here she is with Johnny Depp playing Never Have I Ever. Play a funny prank on someone. Seriously. Find something to laugh at or someone to laugh with. Read a funny book. Esquire Magazine’s list of funniest books ever here.


Buzz feed’s 25 Easy pranks to play here.

How do you refuel during the day? I am always looking for something fun, new and creative to try.  Please share in the comments below.

Zero Calorie Foods, If/Then Snacking, Saying Grace and 3 Fab NYC Kitchen Supply Stores


Fish 1

Have you ever noticed how extremely grateful dogs seem to be when you throw them a bone or dish up their chow?

Like they are eating for the very first time.

Saying Grace

Taking a moment of gratitude before each meal is a mindful and thoughtful approach to eating and enjoying time together. I’ve noticed a few times that this can make guests at the table a little uncomfortable. Perhaps they don’t want to say grace to a God they don’t know. Or perhaps they don’t know what to say, or maybe how to lead the prayer.

Saying grace or taking a moment to pause before dining together, can be as simple as bowing heads or holding hands and saying thank you to each other and the host. Each culture has a unique way to pray. One of my favorite mealtime prayers. . .

Let us be together; let us eat together.

Let us be vital together, let us be radiating truth, radiating the light of life.

Never shall we denounce anyone, never entertain negativity.
      The Upanishads

Snack Struggles

Okay, so here is my new If/Then algorithm for snacking. If I want a bag of salty Kettle chips, then I snack on cucumber slices with sea salt. I don’t think I will ever give up my search for nutrient dense snacks pack as much gratification as a bag of potato chips. I found this Zero Calorie Food chart today on Rodale’s site, (publishers of Prevention Magazine). Click here for the full article. With the exception of the celery, these foods are lower in calories than most. For example, a cup of apricot is about 79 calories.

Zero calorie

If you are visiting New York this upcoming holiday season and you are looking for unique gifts or something special for yourself, I have three timeless and classic Manhattan favorites that are all so very close to each other  and located in the Flatiron district right below Madison Park, home of the original Shake Shack, which by the way is open until Christmas. I’m curious, what are some of your favorite places to shop in your town/city village for kitchen tools and table settings?

Whisk at 933 Broadway


Fish Eddy’s 889 Broadway


ABC Carpet 888 Broadway



Living Your Real Purpose, A To Do List

I’m not sure you find your purpose, I think you live your purpose. 
If my purpose is to become the best version of me, then what would the best version of me do today? The unbeatable version of me? The most self-respecting version? The most loving version of me? What action can I take today to be that person right now? 
  • Criticize less and compliment more.
  • Let others do things their own way.
  • Talk only when necessary.
  • Find tranquility in some time spent alone.
  • Remember not to get frustrated by small setbacks.
  • Say prayers for guidance and divine wisdom.
  • Give more than I expect to receive.
  • Forgive those who have wronged me.
To forgive is to refuse to allow someone to rob you of your joy.
What action will you take to be the best version of you today? Please share your ideas in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Keep it Simple


Home Made Love with the Best New Cooking Tools Ever

holding-handsThich Nhat Hanh writes, “When you say something like I love you. . .with your whole being, not just your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world.” Because we are interconnected, when we awaken love in ourselves and express it, our love changes the world around us.  The hearts of those we touch are opened, and they in turn touch the hearts of others.

Love is the basic nature, the goodness of all beings, waiting to manifest. Whether we offer love in silent prayer or aloud, we are helping love to flower in all beings everywhere. This expression of our deepest nature is the living power of loving kindness – as the Buddha said, “it glows, it shines, it blazes forth.”   A quote that brought me to tears today from Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Cooking with Love

Fatto a mano in Italian means “hand made” and fatto in casahome made“. To prepare home made meals by hand with love is an active meditation and the creation of loving kindness. Just like a hug, a tender kiss, a warm embrace, preparing a meal for friends and family with the intention of savoring some time together around the table, is a beautiful way to touch each other’s hearts.

Meals can be sacred. Taking a moment of silence before eating, saying a prayer of gratitude together can make a meal sacred. A lovely prayer-poem from 13th Century Persia and direct quote from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Some nights stay up ’til dawn as the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket, pulled up the dark way of a well then lifted out into light.

Something opens our wings, something makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us, we taste only sacredness.

Some of the coolest new kitchen tools to help make meal preparation a little bit easier.

The Pot Clip – less mess on the counter.

Pot ClipOn Amazon Trudeau Pot Clip,Assorted Colors

The Citrus Sprayer – for a fresher than fresh spritz of lime, lemon and/or orange.

Citrus sprayer Existed-lemonOn Amazon Lekue Citrus Sprayer Set

The Rinse Bowl and Strainer – such a smart idea.

Rinse Bowl

On Amazon Umbra Rinse Bowl and Strainer, White

The Onion holder – because I cringe when I see my daughters slice onions. Safety first.

Onion holderOn Amazon  Norpro Onion Holder/Odor remover

pancake-Know-Existed-pancakeA pancake pen – creativity in the kitchen. The ultimate fun do it with a kid in the kitchen tool.

On Amazon – Tovolo Pancake Pen

Daily Victories and Mapping Out a Successful Day

BigMagicFinal_cropped-for-headerMost of you will agree that we can read, listen and study for hours upon end on how to enhance our minds and become 1% better versions of ourselves daily, but the greatest lessons in life are from actual experience. 

Mapping Out a Successful Day

I am a professional list maker and note taker. If I don’t write it down, my wild and creative crazy nine year old inner child takes over and the next thing you know I have 20 projects that I have begun but will probably never finish. This is one of the things that I struggle with daily, so I have decided that as I begin to declutter my life and brain, I will become more mindful of my approach and system to tackling the day.

Listening to an interview with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear I love the way she handles the creative younger sister in her mind, the one who wants to do everything at once. She calms her down by devoting 15 minutes a day to letting her mind run free and capturing those creative thoughts on index cards and in notebooks – to do later on.   Listen to her interview with Rob Bell here.


The Morning Journal, Master List and the Top 5 for the Day

As for prioritizing my daily to do list, I have a new approach. I have come to appreciate the wild and creative mind that I have as just an excitable version of me that wants it ALL and that is okay. I love that about me, I just know that I can’t do it ALL right now. So here are my steps/system to making it happen over time.

The Morning Journal

After a five minute gratitude journal moment, I write down my goals and tasks for the day/week/month in Evernote. I love how Evernote is accessible from everywhere – my phone, desktop, tablet and laptop and automatically syncs my lists so they are always updated.

Organizing My Tasks – The Master List

I organize these tasks in three categories: Personal, Work and Creating (writing, photography, making things). I dump everything I want to include in this master list – things like outlining my book, clients I have to call, learning more about social media strategy and tools like Periscope, etc.

My Daily Top Five

I then take a notebook from Muji (love this Japanese store) and write down the Top 5 tasks I will complete for the day – or start for the month. I am sure to include at least one thing from each area of my life to keep it balanced. I prioritize by sense of urgency and importance.

I also use Moleskin note books and Pinterest to help keep track of things that inspiring me throughout the day.


Recording Daily Activities

Try this with me.  I am now committed to taking an extra 90 seconds a day and recording not only what I have achieved, but how it felt to accomplish the task. This will include my personal and work achievements because I don’t believe any one of my clients is recording my wins. This job journal will come in handy later on when I decide to raise my fees and move towards more.

Organizing Systems

If you love journals and notebooks and have developed a system for creating tasks and documenting wins I would love to hear more about what works for you. Be sure to comment in the section below.

Moleskine_notebooks_GROUP Moleskine Classic Notebook, Extra Large, Plain, Black, Soft Cover (7.5 x 10) (Classic Notebooks)


Not just for wandering the world, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Brown Leather (1, 1 LB)

Because inspiration can spark at any time. . .

Rite in the Rain – Green Tactical Note Book (All Weather)

On your road to greatness, the details make all the difference. Write them down.

Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Ruled, 5.75 x 8.25 inches (LBL11)

Letting Go of Judgement


“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

Rainer Maria Rilke.
Read: Letters to a Young Poet


Inspired by Tara Brach’s Dharma Retreat Talk “Letting Go of Judgement” 9/05/2015

“Letting go of “adversive” judgement does not mean letting go of wise discrimination,” Tara Brach.

True Grit, The Act of Envisioning and Living to 100


I am adding yet another new daily habit of 30 minutes of focus and deep concentration by journaling precisely what I want to create in life with the honest intention of being in service to everyone I meet.  I imagine and behold a (super) better version of myself, eliminating any negative thoughts including envy, hatred, judgement, selfishness or cynicism. No matter what, I will carve out this time to make sure this becomes a ritual in my life.

“. . . in applying one’s whole soul to doing right and speaking the truth. There remains only the enjoyment of living a liked succession of good deeds, with not the slightest gap between them.”  – Marcus Aurelius

Study: Meditations (Hardcover Classics)

marcus-aurelius-quote-fridge-magnet-2_largeSystem Restore -A Metaphorical Moment

The other evening I was pulling my hair out while trying to free up some space on my computer with Daisy Disk (not worth the $9.99, a total waste). After backing up my laptop I had to restore my operating system. Not something I wanted to be doing at 11 pm at night. I have no patience for this, but it’s like laundry and cleaning the kitchen, it just needs to get done. But I had a moment of true realization while I waited for my Mac to restart with a new blank desktop –  I am also in the process of refreshing and restoring my operating system.  Some call it reinventing ourselves.

The Act of Envisioning the Future

The way I see it, we can worry about the future or we can focus on creating a better story for tomorrow. Recognizing that the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually transform themselves into physical reality, I have committed to concentrating my thoughts on precisely who I want to become and I am creating a crystal clear picture of that person each day, by writing a new future. This also helps with incessant useless monkey-mind worry because I am putting my thoughts to better use. I highly recommend you try it for yourself.

True Grit

Just like building a start up or pursuing any dream, this life project of mine requires deliberate practice and focus and as many have come to understand a great dose of grit. Grit defined as perseverance and persistence coupled with an unwillingness to wilt, complain, or cry about my current state. It’s the ability to accept my reality and make the best of it, never wishing I was somewhere else, or in someone else’s shoes.

I have come to understand that people who value grit have a number of things in common. They appreciate everything in their lives and what they have right now.

small-daily-improvementsThe “gritty” among us also –

  • Remain cautiously optimistic.
  • Exercise their muscle of self-control.
  • Have a higher level of social intelligence.
  • Maintain the ability to preserver through even the toughest times.
  • Stay enthusiastic about the process.
  • Embrace the art of curiosity about everything. Even their problems.

Grit: harnessing the courage, the resiliency, and the power within.

Climbing Hills and Recreating Blue Zones

Barring heavy rain or deep wet snow, every day I take a 25 minute steep hill hike around my town. What I am trying to do is recreate the effect that blue zones have on the body.  Blue Zones are places in the world where people live to 100 and stay healthy.

The five blue zones are as follows:

  • The Italian island of Sardinia
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula
  • Ikaria, an isolated Greek island

Ikaria_1428628iThe people in blue zones don’t need to artificially incorporate exercise into their lives with machines.  The exercise comes for free, already built into their daily lives naturally.  Common across all of the blue zones is that the people climb mountains, walk through the hills, work the land, and generally use their bodies in a constant grind as they perform their daily activities.  And it doesn’t have to be high intensity “run as fast as you can” exercise either.

To live long and healthy requires a constant, daily lifestyle of positive enrichment for the body and mind.  For many this may seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Read more about what it takes to live to 100 here.


Read: The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People