Sensitivity and strength. Building strength in the broken places.

Sensitivity and Strength - Bug on pale pink flower - photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts, click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment.

I think that I have a sensitivity toward people, and that is a strength. Joe Torre

Family get-togethers are fun. I feel blessed we don’t end up in fights, crying, and hurt feelings with no further communication. We have had these, which family hasn’t? We need to accept our families how they are, quirks, foibles, talents, and achievements. Christmas and holidays can be times of unmet expectations. This will be the year… Why do we put expectations on things? Why can’t we just enjoy a simple dinner, a glass of wine, a joke, a laugh, a funny story about their lives, our lives, and our childhood?

We aren’t perfect, we’ve never been perfect but we are still loved and accepted. We have to be able to accept ourselves with our imperfections. Sometimes accepting ourselves when we missed the mark is the hardest.

Sometimes we forgive ourselves, but others can’t forgive us. We get sensitive to everything they say. We have to be careful not to hear blame and disappointment every time they speak.

We start to second guess why they don’t think they can do something we were looking forward to. Are they trying to get back at us? Are they really too busy?

We become overly sensitive at our peril. If we can try to always find a reason why someone else is acting how they are without putting it on our self we are better off. The crazy driver is going through something we don’t understand, but that’s on them, not on us. Everyone is responsible for their own mood including us. Sometimes we can’t help it, we are overwhelmed by what we feel, and we pollute everyone’s space we come in contact with. If they can know it’s us and not them we are all better off.

Wallow too much in sensitivity and you can’t deal with life or the truth. Neal Boortz

It’s not all about you, my husband says. I’m trying to remember that as I go through life. Other people’s problems, the driver’s problems, and the cashier’s problems are not my problems.

We need to control our nagging inner critic. The critic that pops up when we hear how well others are doing and start comparing the worst of ourselves to the best of someone else. We have our gifts, but they pale in the light of someone else’s achievements. We need to treat ourselves with love and compassion, we are doing the best we can, or we are trying to figure out how to do the best we can. We are a work in progress. Sometimes that work is on the iceberg level, not the apparent level. It is still growth, it is still progress.

We need to take care of ourselves in fundamental ways so we can take care of others and be kind, caring, encouraging, loving, empathetic, compassionate.

We need to give up trying to control everything.  We need to let the process of life unfold and live in joy, creativity, finding our passion and purpose, and letting others do the same.

We can focus on the positive while being realistic about life can’t we?

Anybody who wears their feelings on their sleeve and has a harder, crusty shell – like I do – is definitely protecting an inner sensitivity. Fred Durst

See this image

Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up Paperback – Jan 2 2019

Christmas magic is hard work, organization and sacrifice.

Christmas Magic - stock photo

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts, click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment!

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for other’s is good you do for yourself. Unknown

Our phones have not been able to connect to my blog for a little over a week. I noticed it when I went to show a friend from Toastmaster the book I was recommending a week ago.

I was worried other people were being kept out too. My friend could get on it, my kids could get on it. My husband could get on it about two days before I could. An update on our Samsung phones looks like it created the problem, and a second update fixed it but it took a couple of days after the second update before voila my blog appeared. Another thing to be grateful for.

I am thankful. Yesterday was the Christmas social at my writer’s group. I was able to click on my blog when someone wanted to see it.

Soon we’ll get the Christmas tree. We get a real one. Growing up we had Christmas trees that were destined to be sixty feet tall. The branches were far apart with short needles, Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Now we have an array of trees to choose from Balsam Fir, Scotts Pine, Fraser Fir, White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Serbian Spruce, and  Douglas Fir. They are beautiful trees that have been farmed and groomed to be Christmas trees.

It isn’t your tree that makes Christmas, it is everything else. I remember fondly as a child going to Christmas Concerts, in Churches, our town put on a Christmas party for the kids where we usually saw a movie, and we also had one at our one-room schoolhouse that was converted to a Community Centre/Hall. Singing Christmas carols, eating food the ladies prepared, and the obligatory Santa. Walking outside the snow crunched as we walked, and the houses with their bright lights and chimney smoke looked like Christmas cards. When my older sisters and their families came home we had big fun family gatherings, with Aunts and Uncles.

My dad, uncles, and brother in law would play instruments and sing. All these memories of happy times I’m grateful for. Those years didn’t last long. We grow up, life changes, but the memories remain. We learned the importance of making Christmas. Christmas doesn’t just happen. Christmas is a lot of work to create the ambiance, the activities, and the food. It seems like magic but it is organization, effort, and sacrifice.

We see the joy on people’s faces as they donate toys to charity. Toys they will never see played with. A lady was beaming on TV she started buying pajamas for women and children in shelters. Each year she has more and more shelters she provides pajamas for. She remembers how every year she got a new pair of flannelette pajamas for Christmas. She wants to give that to others. This is her Christmas she says, how lovely, how meaningful, how thoughtful.

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie

We need to make new traditions as old traditions end. Friends and I are going down to the Christmas market. I’ve never been, I’m looking forward to it. Maybe it will become a tradition.

This is the first year my daughter won’t be here for Christmas dinner. She has started her own family. We have a Christmas breakfast tradition. She and her husband will be with us for breakfast and then at his parent’s for dinner. Friends who have had Christmas with us for years will come for breakfast, but probably not stay for dinner, a movie, then pie and ice-cream.

When I spoke to our friend she thought they would come later for dinner. I told her to come for breakfast because that is when we would all be together. We may have a very small group for dinner.

Life evolves. We need to adjust and make the best of it. Our little girl isn’t a little girl anymore. We wouldn’t want her to be. We are happy to see her building her own life, her own traditions.

There is so much to be grateful for. My cup runneth over. We have a happy change in our life this year. Friends have different changes, the place at the table is empty for the first time, or it is still empty. New traditions are forced on them.

We need to enjoy the present. We don’t know what the future holds. Talk and laugh and enjoy each other. We never know when it will be the last time. If we make the best of what we have while we have them, we have fewer regrets. This makes it easier a friend tells me.

Enjoy this happy season or just get through it if that’s your situation. We can do for our families or do for people outside our families. It is doing that makes Christmas. What can we do to make this a better Christmas for someone?

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of youth, and transport the travelor back to his own fireside and quiet home! Charles Dickens

Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas

Oct 16 2018

by Ace Collins


Get it TODAY, Dec 9
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35 shipped by Amazon
More buying choices

Kindle Edition

Other Formats:Paperback



Random acts of kindness. Good will to all.

Random Acts Of Kindness - photo of tree by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of older posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Last night the theme of Toastmasters was “Good Will To All.” As the Chair, I talked about how a woman went out of her way for my family.

Twenty-seven years in ago in September, we were blessed with our second baby a healthy, beautiful baby girl. My husband took the obligatory photos. When we went to pick up our pictures (remember that). They gave us a package with a strip of empty film and said there were no photos on the roll.

It was disappointing, to say the least, but we had our healthy baby girl. A couple days before Christmas I got a phone call. Did we have a new baby? “Yes,” I said. “I was given your pictures,” the lady said. She had taken back the wrong photos she was given and made the attendant call the names before and after her name to find the rightful owners. If she hadn’t done that I’m sure the photos would have gone in the garbage. After all, the mistake was already dealt with. We didn’t think we had any photos.

I picked up my photos, wrapped them and put them under the tree for my husband. That lady, I never got her name made a special Christmas even more special because she went out of her way for strangers. I am forever grateful to her. She and people like her make this a better world. What special pictures was she looking for but didn’t get?

We can make life better for someone with a smile, compliment, opening the door for them, letting them go ahead of us when they only have a couple of items.

Some people are very complimentary, others find it more difficult. Compliments don’t jump out of my mouth. I appreciate them, but I am not at the ready with a compliment for everyone. I could do better and will endeavor to give at least one compliment per day. I don’t always think about what experience someone wants or expects and what I can do to help them have it.

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil

A good way to compliment people is with a note. Many people don’t hear how special they are often enough. Last night a thoughtful member of Toastmasters left a note and chocolates for the staff that cleans the room we were in. She is a delightful person that knows how to win friends and influence people. It was a small thing, but I bet it made a big impact on the two young men who may feel not that appreciated as they put away chairs and straighten tables in the community center. Young men always seem to be hungry so a little snack was sure to hit the spot.

As my mother says, “it’s the little things.” Small things become big things. Little hurtful acts grow and small thoughtful acts multiply. Our choice, would we like to be known as thoughtful, kind, compassionate, or callous, hurtful, mean, and thoughtless?

Beginning today, treat everyone we meet as if they are going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them the care, kindness, and understanding we can muster, and do it with no thought of reward. Our life will never be the same again. Og Mandino said this, what if we lived it?

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money. John Ruskin

See all 2 images

The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World Paperback – Feb 2 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars   21 reviews from |


Mission statements. Charting our course

Mission Statement - photo of Mallard Duck by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment.

Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals, and I’ll give you a stock clerk. Mr. Penny of JC Penney

Mr. Penny understood the value of having goals that reflect our mission and how they can change the course of our life. His goals for himself and his company were grounded in his mission statement of the Golden Rule.

Steven Covey author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says our mission statement is about “defining the personal, moral and ethical guidelines within which we can most happily express and fulfill our self.”

Mission statement. We can’t get somewhere if we don’t know where we are going.

Yesterday I finished day 7 of Soul Coaching. We are to write out our mission statement that reflects our purpose in life.

This is what I came up with.

To live life to the fullest with a grateful heart and a positive attitude. To thrive with love, compassion, humor, and style while giving everything I have to the people I love and the environment around me, and make it a better place for all. To write and speak the truth as I know it. To learn and grow, living my values with passion, and purpose. To make sense of the world, relationships, creative energy, what we love, and what we fear. To be a catalyst to help others go ah-ha I’ve thought that too. To set goals and make things happen.

Everything we do; our investments of time, money, relationships and energy should fit into this mission statement. A mission statement should tell us three things and be between 50 to 100 words and focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want.

Our purpose.

Our direction.

What matters to us.

There are questions we can ask our self that clarify what we want as we construct our mission statement.

What is important? What/whom do we value?

Where do we want to go?

What does “the best look like for us?

How do we want to act?

What kind of legacy do we want to leave behind? What would we like inscribed on our tombstone?

What is our definition of success?

What are our goals?

We don’t have to throw a few words together and never revise them. We can take the time to put something together and then realize oh, what about that, and add it in. This mission statement can be refined as we figure out who we are, our values, and what we want.

For many years the focus of my life was marriage, kids, and work. The kids are making their own mission statements as they take their place in the world. We have things that are important to us, what we aspire to, what we hope for, what we work for. Writing it down means we can focus on what we really want instead of a hazy morphing idea.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou

One of the areas I’ve fallen down is making goals. I’ve had lazy, hazy, amorphous goals. The goal to be a better person, fitter, more prosperous, more grateful, a writer, better mother, and better wife these are not specific enough.

What is better? Better than what? With no definition, it’s just words. One of the questions I’ve least wanted to be asked in my life is. What do you want? Why don’t I have a ready answer on my tongue, a stream of things I want?

I knew if I wanted to be a writer, I had to write. The only writing I was managing was in my journal. Wishing didn’t make it so. It was when I created a writing habit by sitting down and writing every night I became a writer. Sitting down and making time to write was the answer.

The reason I don’t have a steady stream of answers is I haven’t put in place the way to make things happen. We’d like to travel is wonderful and something we’d like as a goal. To become a goal we have to be able to ask the question. How can travel become a possibility and probability in our life? Where do we want to go, when, how, with whom? What are we willing and able to do to make the amorphous, hazy, into concrete reality?

A mission statement is not something you write overnight… But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life. Stephen Covey

See all 3 images

A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness Paperback – Sep 4 2014









Missing the mark in life, relationships, goals.

Missing The Mark photo of Daniela's orchid by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe or comment click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment.

It’s all about the one who calms the storm. It’s your dancing partner, drinking buddy, lover, adventure buddy, stare at the stars and talk about life, and best friend in one. Unknown

We miss the mark many times in life. Can we accept this, forgive ourselves and others, be grateful for the good and build the best life we can?

Yesterday I turned left to go south and to my surprise found I was going north. I’m still not sure how this happened. My son was with me we were both surprised to be going north.

This can happen in life as well, we think we are doing something, and voila we realize we are not who we think we are, and we are not going in the direction we thought we were. A U-turn is called for, a makeover, a tune-up, it’s time to regroup, rethink, figure out how to get what we say we want, or just figure out what we want.

In our relationship, we need to agree to disagree. We absolutely know we’ve rehashed whatever it is a thousand times. There is no resolving only getting past and on with life. Every disagreement over points of view cannot be resolved. We grew up with different family cultures. We grew up with different values, we might all agree we shouldn’t cheat, steal, or kill. That leaves a lot to disagree about.

We think we are asking our partner to do us a favor. They decline and then later tell us we are manipulative. Years ago I read about how many men hate being asked “could they” instead of “would they.” Of course “I could”, but “I won’t”. This is the mistake I made asking if my husband was busy before I asked for the favor. I thought I was being considerate, if he was busy I wouldn’t ask for the favor. He thought I was being manipulative because if he wasn’t busy how could he decline the favor?

He said, she said arguments are like a feedback loop, we don’t remember the same things, we don’t perceive things the same way, we don’t have the same sensitivities, and the same things don’t raise red flags. We will never convince another person what they believe they heard, saw, experienced, perceived is not the way it was. That the truth is somewhere in the middle of what we both saw, experienced, heard, perceived is lost on both of us.

Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys. Nicholas Sparks

The answer is to drop our end of the rope. As soon as we realize we just jumped in the loop we need to stop talking. The conversation just took a wrong turn; if we were driving we would stop and turn around. We need to do the same in our conversations.

These conversations stir up feelings on both sides. These are what we need to deal with. What is it we or our partner is feeling, fears, and can’t get past? Is there a way we could help them get through what they are going through without arguing, without telling them they are wrong for how they feel?

Why is it so important to be right? Whatever happened, happened, arguing about it endlessly is making it worse, not better. They may never see our side, and we may never see theirs, but unless this is a real deal breaker it is doing more damage fighting about it than the actual thing we are fighting over. If we have to be right, our partner has to be wrong. We have different perspectives. When we both accept we have different perspectives we can move into finding a resolution.

Some people feel we should just swallow our feelings instead of dealing with them. I doubt this is a good way to keep the peace. We need to deal with the feelings underneath the anger. Anger, like sadness, hurt, joy, disrespect, etc. are meant to tell us something about our environment. When we are emotionally upset we cannot have a conversation, we can only have a fight. We can’t take in any more information, our senses are already flooded.

We need to do some self-reflection. Why are we getting so angry? What is causing the anger is it hurt, fear, frustration or some combination? What is the expectation we have that is not being met?

Figuring out what expectations we had, and where those expectations come from and learning how to deal with our unmet expectations is important to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our relationship.

Is it our partner’s responsibility to meet our unmet expectations? Expectations they didn’t know they were expected to meet? We need to learn to manage our expectations and instead of expecting someone to know what we want, expect, require, we need to communicate our wants, needs, desires. Through good communication, both partners are likely to get more wants, needs, and desires met.

Most of us would do anything to make our partner happy. We don’t, because we don’t know what would make them happy. They feel unloved because we don’t do it, we feel unappreciated, and so an unhappy, misunderstood, angry loop of unmet expectations is created.

We need to be vulnerable and honest about what we want in life, and our relationship. What are the disappointments we have? What do we want to change? We need to be open to hear what they want, the changes they want to see, the needs that aren’t being met, the goals that never make it on the list.

Affection is when you see someone’s strengths; love is when you accept someone’s flaws. Unknown

See this image

[(He Said, She Said : Eight Powerful Phrases That Will Strengthen Your Marriage)] [By (author) Jay Laffoon ] published on (February, 2010) Paperback – Feb 1 2010




Make something. The world belongs to the makers.

Make Something - Photo of pink flowers taken by Errol Thomas

To subscribe or comment click on the picture and scroll to the bottom. Please subscribe, please comment.

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. Steve Jobs

That can’t be true. Don’t we always think almost everyone is smarter than us, doing greater things, leading more exciting lives? Our life is up to us, no one will give us permission to do something we want to do. We just have to do it.

No one asks you if we are smart enough to do something. If we want to do something then do it. Most things we touched today were made by someone. The art on the walls, the items in the stores, the cars on the road, the clothes everyone is wearing.

There isn’t anything special about the people who made these things. We don’t have to take a test to prove we are worthy of making something. We don’t need permission to create. We don’t need to be gifted, brilliant, or a genius. We just have to do it.

Thousands of people may read a book we write, view the photo we took, or experience the painting we painted. What if they hate it, what if they laugh, what if they judge us? If we let the fear of failure control our lives we will stay stuck. If we don’t do anything until we are assured of success, we won’t do anything. We will look at things someone else did and say, “we thought of that.”

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns. Edward de Bono

When we take the chance to create something, we’ve already won because we didn’t let fear stop us. It isn’t about how great what we create is, it’s about creating, the journey, the accomplishment, and the growth.

Too many of us die with our ideas still inside us. What if no one bothered to make the washing machine, the sewing machine, the light bulb, the automobile, the airplane, the wheel?  We don’t know what we can create until it is finished.

If we have something we want to do, do it. If we think we are too old, where will we be in ten years if we don’t do it? Ten years older. Every one of us has something to share; some will share with ten, some with a hundred, some with the world.

We don’t know who we may touch with what we do, who we might encourage, or who we may help. Think of the inventions we use every day. What if the inventor didn’t bother?

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. Alan Alda

See this image

Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, and Happier Hardcover – Mar 28 2017







Persistance and passion. Building our lives one baby step at a time.

Self Confidence - photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe or comment click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment!

Growing up in a group home, and with an undiagnosed learning disability to boot, the odds of success were not on my side. But when I joined the high school football team, I learned the value of discipline, focus, persistence, and teamwork – all the skills that have proven vital to my career as C.E.O. and social entrepreneur. Darell Hammond

Last night my husband and I watched I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer a body image satire. A young woman struggling with insecurities hits her head and wakes up believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman in the world. This empowers her to live fearlessly and go after her dreams. She hits her head again and the magic is gone. She doesn’t see herself as beautiful anymore. In the end, she sees the picture of her regular self and her beautiful self and realizes it was all in her head. She has an ah-ha moment when she hears one of the beautiful girls crying and finds out she’s been dumped. She didn’t think that happened to the beautiful.

How many of us hold our self back because we are not pretty enough, thin enough, or confident enough? We need to realize it is the confidence, not the pretty that will get us somewhere.

A young man came as a guest to Toastmasters on Thursday. He’s an accountant; he has a slight stutter and is hoping toastmasters will help him become a better speaker. He was asked to give a one to two-minute impromptu speech and won the best speaker for that section. He’s facing his fears; he’s becoming his best self.

We all struggle, or do we? Are there people out there who don’t struggle, who don’t second-guess themselves?

Do we not offer our help because we don’t think others would like out help? It might be better if we think, what help would I offer to others if I felt more self-assured?

Does our low confidence result in a lot of worries, self-absorption and a short fuse?

When we have low self-confidence we can feel like an imposter about our achievements. We may feel our flaws will be revealed. An example I’m thinking of is our Toastmasters Christmas party, everyone is bringing a dish. What should I bring? My repertoire seems so meager compared to people bringing their international dishes. Our insecurities rise at these moments. It’s just a dish, last year I bought something and I knew when I did, it was to avoid putting my dish out there. We can be so busy protecting our fragile self-esteem we miss opportunities to make a good impression. When we accept the challenge to rise to the occasion we often feel better about our self.

We can be so focused on our own thoughts during a conversation we miss the cue the other person is giving us to join in and be part of the group.

The more self-focused we are the more people will see us as self-focused and the more self-focused we become. If we don’t reach out to other people to offer help, encouragement, or conversation other people will quit reaching out to us. When this happens the cycle continues as our low confidence makes us feel we are inherently a horrible selfish person which makes us self-conscious and shame-prone.

A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. Elbert Hubbard

To one degree or another, we all probably feel less self-confident and self-assured than we would like. If we reach out to other people, and they reach out to us we create a network of support and encouragement that encourages personal growth. We all have strengths and weaknesses. When we are feeling at our most vulnerable and insecure it is easy to think we have only weaknesses and other people have only strengths, but this is never true.

Life is a growth experience for each of us. If we put the accent on the positive and push ourselves out of our comfort zone we might surprise our self as we become the person we always wanted to be. Small steps, baby steps, build a life of passion and purpose. We can do almost anything if we take baby steps and persist.

Persistence is more important than talent. We can’t control the amount of talent we were born with, but with persistence, we can develop that talent and make something out of it. We can even do things we don’t have a talent for and with persistence at least become competent. Many people who do public speaking had speech problems. I’m thinking of Steve Harvey whose teacher ridiculed him for saying he wanted to be on TV when he could not speak up in class. He sends her a TV every year so she can watch him.

Is there something we want to do but haven’t done yet? What is holding us back?

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge

See all 4 images



Clear your clutter. Clear your mind. Your home reflects you. Do you like what it says?

Clear Your Clutter Clear Your Mind - Photo of clematis by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe or comment click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please comment, please subscribe!

Clutter is anything that doesn’t belong in a space – whether it belongs elsewhere in your home, or doesn’t belong in your home any longer. Unknown

Our house is a reflection of us. When people look at our house what do they think?

This question can be a two-edged sword. We want clean, orderly, livable, welcoming. We don’t want to set our standards so high we can’t meet them because this moves into perfectionism and perfectionism is enemy of the good. I watched a hoarder on TV, her house was filled top to bottom with stuff. The declutter team cleaned out her house, which underneath all that stuff was a really nice well-furnished house. She could only keep her house clean by not really living in it. The skills to make a mess and clean it up she hadn’t redeveloped. She lived alone and all of the clutter came after divorce or death of a spouse. We see on the show Hoarders there is always a story behind the hoarding.

Just getting it cleaned is not the answer unless you can afford a cleaning person to keep it that way. Does it say anything about us if we live in an orderly house but cannot keep it that way our self?

We now have blogs and websites that focus on organization porn. A term I found on the internet this morning. Being organized and clean is good for us. Perfectionism is not.

A study led by Nicole R. Keith PH.D. found people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses. Women who describe their living spaces as cluttered or full of unfinished projects were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than women who describe their homes as restful and restorative.  The research found women with cluttered homes had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. We become overwhelmed by clutter making it harder to focus and complete tasks efficiently.

A National Sleep Foundation study found people who make their bed in the morning are 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep, 75 percent report getting a better night’s sleep when their sheets are freshly laundered.

A study in the Journal of Obesity found people who carefully plan their exercise program, set goals and regularly report their progress are more likely to keep an exercise program than people who show up at the gym without a clear plan in mind.

There is a theory we crave organization in our homes because of the organization within our bodies. Neatness and order support our health – and oppose chaos.

Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for happiness in the future. Wayne I. Misner

If we feel better when we keep our homes clean, organized and clutter free,  which makes us feel better about ourselves, more productive and physically fit, then why is it so easy for it to get out of control again and again?

Once that first dish goes in the sink, more are sure to follow. A Cornell University study found women with one box of breakfast cereal on the kitchen counter weighed an average of 20 pounds more than those who didn’t have any cereal in plain view. Women with soda sitting out (even diet kinds) weighed an average of 24 to 26 pounds more. People with a bowl of fruit out in the kitchen weigh an average of 13 pounds less than those who don’t.

A British survey found the color of our sheets reflects our intimacy level. If you have purple bedding, you have nearly double the intimacy of gray bedding, walls or furniture. Reds and pinks spice things up while beige and white inhibit intimacy. Wow, could purple sheets be as good as Viagra?

We think we are in control of what we think and what we do. It is obvious our surroundings affect us to a great extent. We can use this to our advantage. Cleaning systems to help us clean up the clutter and get organized are numerous. Color theory explains what the color of our front door means. A red door means we are not afraid to say what we think. A blue door says we are naturally at ease in most situations. Green doors broadcast traditional values, and black means we are consistent and reserved. The only door color I haven’t had in this house is a blue door.

The Feng Shui  Connection to a Healthy Life by Mary Jane Kasliner connects clutter to health problems depending on what part of the house our clutter is in.

The Feng Suit Connection to A Healthy Life by Mary Jane Kasliner

How Clutter Affects Your Aspirations and Health

When superimposing the ba-gua over the entire house or an individual room via door entry or compass points, we can determine the life aspiration groups and body systems. Clutter in any gua can impact our health and livelihood negatively. Below is an overview of the type of impact clutter will have on our life.

  1. Family Sector: Clutter in this sector can cause discord between family members and potential ailments with the liver, gallbladder, and feet.
  2. Wealth Sector: Stagnation of our finances and resources can occur when clutter is in this section. It may also affect our thighs, waist area, liver, hips or gallbladder.
  3. Fame: Clutter in this sector can affect how we are recognized socially and how enthusiastic we are in life. The body systems that may be affected are the eyes, heart, circulatory system, and small intestines.
  4. Relationship Sector: Clutter in this sector can stagnate our personal and social relationships. It may cause ailments in the abdominal region or cause digestive problems.
  5. Creativity & Children Sector: Clutter in this area can inhibit our creative juices and our ability to connect with our children or younger people. It may cause dental problems, skin irritations, or intestinal ailments.
  6. Helpful People Sector: Clutter here can interfere with our ability to attract others into our lives for guidance. It can also hinder our desires to travel and experience the world. Headaches or chest colds can potentially occur.
  7. Career: Clutter here tends to stagnate your career or make your job feel challenging at every turn. The urinary system and ears are the body systems that can be vulnerable to ailments.
  8. Knowledge & Self-Cultivation: Learning may be challenging when clutter is in this sector. You may also find it difficult to grow spiritually and make clear decisions. The hands and fingers are the body parts that may experience difficulties due to stagnant ch’i from clutter build up.
  9. Center: Clutter in the center of a room or the entire structure can cause a number of health challenges and overall feelings of confusion and instability.

Nothing is what it seems. Whenever I look at any self-improvement book, system or ideology cleaning the clutter comes up as necessary for personal growth. Are you thinking new bedding with purple or red sheets should be on your wish list for Christmas? Is painting your front door a spring project?

Get rid of clutter and you may just find it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for. Katrina Mayer

The Feng Shui Connection to a Healthy Life: A Guide to Healthy Living & High Vitality by [Kasliner, Mary Jane]
Kindle App Ad

The Feng Shui Connection to a Healthy Life: A Guide to Healthy Living & High Vitality Kindle Edition

Values and life. A good life is being true to our values.

Be True To Your Values - photo of Geranium by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To comment or subscribe click on the picture and scroll to the bottom. Please subscribe, please comment!

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without it. Confucius

Yesterday was day two for me on the Soul Coaching journey. It took me two days to get through day one. Day two level two was select your core values and realize as you go through Soul Coaching you can change those values if you don’t think they reflect the true you.

The two I chose are courage and faith. I believe you can’t do much in life without courage, how do you stand up to your convictions without courage? How do you be honest without courage? How do you do the things you know you want to do, must do, to fulfill yourself as a person but feel afraid because what if I fail, what will people think, what if I look stupid?

I chose faith because unless you have faith in other people how can you love them; trust they will do what they need to do? Sometimes faith is all we have, in God, in ourselves, in our choices, in our family, in the world. It takes faith to trust the process of life. It takes faith to go into business, move away from home, drive on a highway. It takes faith to try not to control other people, letting them make their own decisions and build their own life.

There are long lists of values but here are a few:

Love, peace, loyalty, happiness, security, knowledge, joy, passion, enthusiasm, adventure, intelligence, connection to family, integrity, graciousness, creativity, commitment to career, courage, wisdom, abundance, determination

Denise Linn gives an example of someone who chose their top values like peace and relaxation, but they love day trading. She suggests changing their value to correspond with the real them, suggesting adventure as a more fitting value. There are no wrong values, only the values that are right for us. The more we embrace our core values in each moment of our life we become more of who we want to be. Choosing a value that is not congruent with whom we really are may be a way of trying to be what someone else wants us to be. We need to be who we really are, it is better to disappoint someone else than to disappoint our self.

There are some values that you should never compromise on to stay true to yourself; you should be brave to stand up for what you truly believe in even if you stand alone. Roy T. Bennett

Level one of day two is choosing one empowering action to take on a daily basis. I thought about this, should I choose something to make me more fit, should I choose something to make me eat better? I chose Laura Doyle’s recommendation of doing three things each day to make myself happy.

Her idea is we can’t expect other people to make ourselves happy. She says husbands want to make their wives happy. A wife’s attitude has a huge impact on her husband and the family. A happy wife makes a happy life. My big sacrifice for my husband and family is to make myself happy.

Level three of day two is to write down all the things we’ve been putting off, and do today some small thing we’ve been putting off. What have we been avoiding, procrastinating, and delaying? We were supposed to make a feasible plan for tackling each item on the list.

Making the list was hard enough. If I knew I had to tackle each thing on the list I wouldn’t have been so honest. The thing is if we tackle things like the Side Tracked Sisters from yesterdays post, we don’t have to do everything at once. We can schedule over a year some of those things we’ve been avoiding. After all, some of them are over a year old now.

Maybe we say to ourselves or write it down. I’ll clean the cupboards in March for spring cleaning. I’ll make phone calls to old friends and relatives before Christmas. Meal planning might not get done till next November when it comes back on the Fly Lady’s schedule, or I put it on mine.

One of the problems that make us put off things is we think we have to do everything and it is so overwhelming we do nothing. If we take our list and try to cross off one thing a month, guess what in 12 months that’s 12 things.

If we looked at every month and said, what is the one thing we can concentrate on that will make our life, relationship, home, work, finances, happiness, family, retirement, fitness, health, or self-image better. Pick just one, we can do one, we can’t do everything.

The Fly Lady has 11 commandments.

Keep your sink clean and shiny is her first commandment. One I break all the time. I go to the gym because I know the dishes will get done at some point. A missed gym visit can never be gotten back, and I find reasons to miss them on a regular basis. I do understand why she feels we should keep our sink clean and shiny because then you don’t start filling it with dirty dishes. I might have to rethink this. The kitchen is shared with the newlyweds, and meal prep is more pleasant when the kitchen is clean and neat with everything in its place. This is definitely a possibility for the January improvement project.

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. Roy E. Disney

Add to Wish

See all 3 images

The Book of Values: An Inspirational Guide to Our Moral Dilemmas Paperback – Jun 7 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars   9 reviews from |








Your habits can make you a star!

Your Habits Can Make You A Star - Starfish photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

To subscribe or comment click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, please comment.

Habits are important. Up to 90 percent of our everyday behavior is based on a habit. Nearly all of what we do each day, every day, is simply habit. Jack D. Hodge

We build our life through our habits. We usually don’t think when we go to bed, what time am I getting up? It’s a habit. We don’t wonder if we’ll brush our teeth tonight or this morning, it’s a habit.

Many parts of our life we put on autopilot through habits. Good habits build a good life, bad habits create chaos. We only have a few times in the day when we have to make decisions. When it comes to going to the gym if my husband doesn’t go right after work he usually doesn’t go. If I don’t go right after dinner before 7:00 I usually don’t go. There is a window of about one-half hour when we decide if we are going.

The more we systemize our lives the more likely things will be put in their proper place and get done. Years ago I found a book The Sidetracked Home Executives. Two sisters needed to get their lives and homes in order and they created a system. Flexibility is built into the system. They had systems and schedules for everything. If you didn’t get the kitchen stove cleaned in this round you left it for the next scheduled cleaning. They divided cleaning and household maintenance into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores. The Fly Lady Marla Cilley wrote Sink Reflections and credits the Sidetracked Sisters for the system. It’s a system worth checking out. The Fly Lady has a website at

This isn’t new. My mother told me laundry on Monday, ironing on Tuesday was the way to keep your laundry under control. On a farm there was a lot of laundry. Mom always washed clothes on Monday. It wasn’t how it is now, just throw a load in the washer and then throw it in the dryer.

The white clothes were washed then the less dirty, then the dirtiest. She had ringer washers and an old spin dryer at the time. All the laundry was hung on the line until she got a dryer when I was a teenager. Laundry was a big deal, an all-day affair. On cold winter days the sheets came in the house frozen stiff. Laundry smelled fresh because of fresh air and the Sun.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell

The secret to creating habits is to start small and forgive our self when we fail, falter, and procrastinate. It isn’t doing things perfectly that builds a good life, it’s doing them consistently not all the time but enough of the time that life is good, orderly, and fun.

The Fly Lady has monthly habits to concentrate on.

January – Shining your sink.

February – Decluttering for 15 minutes a day.

March – Getting dressed to shoes

April – Making the bed

May – Moving

June- Drinking water

July – Swish and swipe

August – Laundry

September – Before bed routine

October – Paper Clutter

November – Menu planning

December – Pampering

I didn’t look at this site for a long time until today. Menu planning, I’ve worked on it but it is always a challenge. When we ate meat with every dinner I had a rotation of dinners. I menu planned with plant-based meals when we first went plant-based. Now it‘s mostly my husband and I eating dinner together, and I don’t have a plan. Often Saturday soups and Sunday dinners lead to enough leftovers for the week.

Life changes and what worked for years no longer works. We have to change the way we do things. We have to adapt. New habits need to be created. We can give up habits that don’t serve us. How we live our life is our choice. Not making a choice is a choice.  I don’t know what we’ll have for dinner tonight because I don’t have a plan. Having a plan simplifies our life. It is easier to eat healthily and economically. There is less food wasted, less money spent, and less time wondering, what will I make for dinner. I need to get back to menu planning, it is so easy when you know what’s for dinner and you have all the ingredients.

There are always improvements we can make in our life. Start small, baby steps is the way forward. Do you have something in your life you want to change? Can you turn it into a habit?

Consciously create habits because habits unconsciously dictate your life. Anonymous

See all 2 images

Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table Paperback – Aug 25 2009