A little inspo for your next shinrin-yoku

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want. (A. Warhol)  // Trees emit phytonicides (organic compounds proven to awaken your senses). The simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you while breathing deeply can alleviate stress, improve sleep & vitality.  Reminder to myself: The goal is to fully immerse yourself in the present moment, and to relax and let go of any stress or distractions. It is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. 

Journal prompts to kick start your self development journey

I’ve finally (FINALLY) created my Vision Board. Yes it’s 6 months into the year but I just couldn’t get my butt off the ground this year. Well better late then never!

Sometimes you just need a little inspo to get restarted. Sharing 20 journal prompts to kick start your self development journey. You don’t have to do all of them, but I would suggest you respond to the prompts that energetically call out to you to answer.

  1. What areas of my life do I feel most unhappy & why?
  2. What specific changes would I like to achieve this week/next month?
  3. What habits do I perform that improve my personal growth?
  4. What new skills do I want to acquire to enhance my personal or professional life?
  5. How do I currently prioritize self-love in my daily routine?
  6. What negative self-talk do I need to overcome to reach my full potential?
  7. Who are the role models or mentors (virtual or in person) I admire & what qualities do l aspire to emulate?
  8. How can I cultivate a mindset of optimism & positivity?
  9. What steps can I take to improve my physical health, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits?
  10. How do I manage my time effectively what strategies can I implement to enhance productivity?
  11. What activities/hobbies bring me joy and how can I make more time for them?
  12. What boundaries do I need to set in my relationships to prioritize my well-being & happiness?
  13. How can I practice mindfulness t0 reduce stress?
  14. What past achievements can I celebrate & draw inspiration from as I embark on this journey?
  15. What fears hold me back from pursuing my dreams, and how can I overcome them?
  16. How do I currently handle failure and what lessons can I learn from these experiences?
  17. What support systems or resources can I enlist to help me on my journey of self-improvement?
  18. How can I cultivate a sense of purpose in my daily life to fuel motivation?
  19. What small, actionable steps can I take today to start making progress towards my goals?
  20. How will I hold myself accountable and stay committed to mv journev of self-improvement

Spend a self-care day with me!

Leaning into your self care routine is essential to being more productive BUT can help in elevating your divine feminine energy. #SayLess

We all have those days where we feel like we should push through the exhaustion and be productive.

But then there are days when you sleep in (not by choice), feel decision fatigue with every little thought and feel overwhelmed by the thought of your to do list.

The way to circumvent getting to any level of burn out (like listed above, because they are both a form of burn out) is to have a regularly scheduled self care routine. 
Or in my case self care day!  These happen very rarely and are usually caused by not making self care a natural part of my day.  So I took the day to lean into myself, be self obsessed and get things done that would feed my soul.

So …Join me on as I take a self care day!

Although I completely missed my morning routine (journal, meditate)…My day started with a healthy breakfast

My go to oatmeal right now is half cup of cooked steel cut oats, 4 strawberries, 1 banana, quarter cup of blue berries an a tablespoon of maple syrup.

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I have an awesome life partner who noticed me working too hard several weeks prior and booked me a 9am full body massage!

It was the perfect release after many weeks of half marathon training and general life pressures.

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Since I was out, I figured I might as well get some errands done.  I did a Fedex return and dropped off some overdue books to the library!

I ended up spending time at the library, perusing books for future readying, searching Pinterest for my vision board and checking out books for the girls #MomLife

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I went home and made myself a healthy nutritious lunch: scrambled eggs, edamame, roasted potatoes and broccoli and a home made alioli.

With lunch I watched some Modern Family.  I ALWAYS re-watch shows (SATC, Friends, Seinfeld and now Modern Family) because I do not have the bandwidth to start something new.

I let my food digest while I worked on my vision board and then got a workout in: 30 min run followed by a 20 min full body/no repeats tabata.

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Full transparency I watched a few of my fav YouTubers while I worked out (ie: Tam Kaur, Melanie P Cruz, Holly B Fitness) – I love motivational inspo and could watch these creators on repeat.

Immediately followed that up with an epsom salt bubble bath …and yes the bubbles are MANDATORY ;)

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I made good use of my soak by reading.  I try and read 10 pages a day and I’m currently reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.  I love self dev books, but try to balance them out with some fun fiction tool.

By the time I got out of the shower, I had about 30 minutes before I had to pick up my kids so I did a quick clean or my desk.  Switched up my set up and deep cleaned all the surfaces. 

It was a much needed spring clean.

The rest of the evening was spent being a parent but I managed to finish the evening with a brain dump in my journal (released a lot of thoughts/emotions), had a herbal tea and slept early!

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Hope this inspired you to add some self care to your day, or take a day all together for yourself!

Prompts to re-energize your Journal Routine

Do you ever wish there was an instant way to improve your life?   Do you yearn to be in control of your feelings and emotions.  Ever wonder how people can have clarity, awareness and the ability to visualize exactly what they want to achieve. 

Enter journaling! And it’s abundant benefits :)  I’ve been on my journaling journey for almost 10 years.  You can read more about that here, herehere and here.

Journalling takes honesty, authenticity and being open to ones own thoughts.  Being able to physically move them out of your head and onto a physical place.  As the saying goes, a problem written down is a problem half solved.  

I will say that journaling takes practice.  But the best thing is that you can practice everyday.  It takes 10 min, a pen and a journal (or a piece of paper, your computer and a note taking app).

And from time to time,  I also feel the need to feel re-energized with my journaling.  So sharing 20 prompts that I find useful when I need a little boost in my journaling routine.

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  1. What are my core values?
  2. Am I living in alignment with my core values?
  3. What are my long-term goals?
  4. What activities can I do today to take step towards my long term goals?
  5. What areas of my life bring me the most joy and fulfillment?
  6. What are my biggest strengths and how can I leverage them in my life?
  7. What are my biggest sources of stress and how can I address or minimize them?
  8. What kind of impact do I want to make in the world?
  9. What does a balanced and fulfilling life look like to me?
  10. What are the things that I need to let go of in order to move forward?
  11. What are my priorities in different areas of my life (e.g., career, relationships, health)?
  12. What are the limiting beliefs or fears that are holding me back?
  13. What do I need to do to improve my physical and mental well-being?
  14. What kind of relationships and connections do I want to cultivate?
  15. What are the activities or experiences that make me feel alive and purposeful?
  16. What steps can I take to enhance my personal and professional development?
  17. Am I living authentically and being true to myself?
  18. What kind of environment or surroundings help me thrive?
  19. What are the things that drain my energy and how can I minimize them?
  20. What steps can I take today to move closer to the life I envision for myself?

    Happy Journaling!

Other links that you might find helpful:

The Ultimate Journal Prompt List – DayOne
What are Morning Pages

Book Quotes: Lean In by Tara Henley

Corporate Girlie, Career Woman, Working Mom, Lean Out, Lean In, Nature, Balance, Work Life Harmony, Family and Friends, Forest Baths
Corporate Girlie, Career Woman, Working Mom, Lean Out, Lean In, Nature, Balance, Work Life Harmony, Family and Friends, Forest Baths

I read “Lean Out” last year, and as you can imagine – it pokes holes in the lean-in narrative.  I was never able to get behind or even read lean-in.  It didnt sit well with me (even though I had only heard about it in passing).  The quotes below are the reason why I would rather lean out.

Pg 38 – As I did, the dispair of the city seeped in through my pores, rearranging the molecules in my body and plunging me into darkness.

Pg 39 – In societies with a massive gab between the rich and the poor, everyones physical health suffers, even the rich…  Likely caused by lack of social cohesion.  A result of severed connections.

Pg 53 – I was primmed to seek my solace here, among the trees.

Pg 54 – Shinrin-yoku (forrest bathing), essentially meditation in wooded settings have been shown to reduce stress chemicals….those who spent time in nature inhaled plant-based compounds that increased white blood cells. Forest walks have been proven to relieve confusion.

Pg 63 – What exactly would life look like if it was not lived in fast forward? What would it mean to live simply, slowly and in harmony with the natural world?  Was there anyone who was leaning out?

Pg 64 – Every day on the bike trip is like the one before – but it is also completely different.  Or perhaps you are different, woken up in new ways by the mile.

Pg 67 – The model of the modern cosmopolitan woman, whose lifestyle is now as oppressive as her job.  She works until 1am, and is so harried she barely has time to chew her 12 dollar chopped salad she buys every day at her Sweetgreen (served up in record time by fevered clerks “as if it were their purpose in life to do so and their customers purpose in life to send emails for sixteen hours a day with a brief break to snort down a bowl of nutrients that ward off the unhealthfulness of urban professional living”)… The salad represented a kind of idea for a creative class. It was a symbol of…you work all f—— day and you just do everything as efficiently as possible, including your lunch….and the workers handling ticket orders like they were stock brokers.  This monstrous efficiency struck me as so upsetting.

Pg 68 – For what Barre is truly good at is “getting you in share for a hyper-accelerated capitalist life”… These classes prepare you “less for a marathon than for a 12 hour workday, or a week alone with a kid and no child care, or an evening commute on an underfunded train”.

Pg 73 – “Just because we care about our children, and our parents and the environment, doesn’t mean we we don’t want make our mark on the world and bring our creative magic”.

Pg 81 – There are of course, lots of other reasons to eat: pleasure, identity, ritual & community

Pg 113 – I think we should not be focusing on everyone having a job, we should be focusing on everyone being able to survive with the bare necessities.  He thought we were waking up to the lie of advertising… a “manufactured inadequacy” that made people believe they were not complete

Pg 124 – Early retirement helps the planet because it gets the fortunate people to consume less fossil fuels and natural resources.

Pg 127 – Like many gen-x’ers who came before the age of the internet, I missed the way time used to feel.  The vast expanse that was the weekend, with it’s stretches of uninterrupted hours.  The deep contemplation of staring out a window, or sitting on a bus. The luxuriousness of being out in the world for hours, days even, untethered from work, unimpeded by the pressure to respond to texts and emails and social media.   Free to think, and be, and focus on what was in front of you.  Which was, generally, other people. People who were similarly focused, similarly engaged.  There were other things I missed, too. Phone calls, neighbors, walking down the street without people steering into me absentmindedly, engrossed in their phones.
The whole character of public space, really. What it felt like to sit in a café before we all had to listen to each other’s work calls, made in that exaggerated professional voice everyone uses. Eye contact and casual conversation; not sitting in isolated islands, hunched over devices, in thrat to flickering lights. What friendship felt like before social media, and dating before texting and apps. Punctuality. Privacy. Newspapers, long attention spans, foldout maps.  The experience of being lost in a city, unaccounted for.  Boredom, even.

Pg 138 – A love born out of shared pain, but also shared joy. At managing to make something beautiful from this mess.  At putting pain into words, and having those words mean something to someone else.  Easing someone’s pain, in however small a way.

Pg 143 – The digital world now felt utterly inescapable “even if you dont want to participate, all you are really doing is putting your head in the sand”

Pg 144 – Facebook founders knew that they were building systems that exploited a vulnerability in human psychology – and went ahead and did it anyway….God only knows what what it does to [our] brains.  The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops are destroying how society works. Leading to a lack of civil disclosure, misinformation and mistruth.

Pg 148 – The ever intensifying industrialism: wide spread surveillance in our pockets, colonization of wilderness, indigenous lands and our mindspace.  When you are connected to wifi, you are disconnected from life.  It’s a choice between machine world and the living breathing world.

Pg 152 – What gave me joy was pretty simple: waking up everyday without an alarm, reading all the books on my nightstand, eating when I was hungry, rest when I was tired, moving my body everyday, being outside and cooking for those I cared about <3

Pg 172 – There is a Western mindset of more more more.  Of packing too much into too little time.  Of doing instead of being.  Of rushing around all of the time.  Going forward, I knew I must find a way to dwell in the calm.

Pg 177 – Throughout history, we have needed each other to hunt and gather, to defend against attacks from animals and other humans, and to brave the extreme weather conditions. But now, as we buy prepackaged meals, live alone in secure, climate controlled condos – that need is no less powerful.  We are still hardwired for connection and interdependence.  And when we don’t have it – we sink into despair.

Pg  178 – Of course I feel anxious in a society where a homeless man could stand outside a gourmet grocery store, largely ignored, selling community newspapers to make enough money for a sandwich, while mega-mansions a few blocks away sat empty and unused.

Pg 186 – There is a snowball effect to loneliness.  Brain scans show that lonely people are suspicious of social contact, perpetually scanning for threats.  On a subconscious level, they know nobody is looking out for them, so they become hyper-vigiliant. Which in turn makes them hard to be around.

Pg 198 – Our brains are wired for collaboration, cooperation. Serving others gives us a rush of oxytocin and the sense of belonging so many of use are lacking these days.  It goes back to tribal life, and how much we’ve always depended on each other for survival.  And it’s why experts often suggest volunteering to people who are suffering.  These days, volunteer work has gone the way of other work, becoming intensely bureaucratic, competitive and all consuming.  But applying to become a volunteer was, I soon discovered, exactly like applying for a job. 

Pg 202 – Profound healing is possible.  Probable even, under the right conditions.  But in order to foster these conditions we have to stop telling the story of healing as one of individual triumph, and start acknowledging the role of the tribe.  We have to focus on what we must do for each other, instead of what we must do for ourselves.

Pg 209 – So Senghor dove into autobiographies, looking to see how other people had overcome adversity, how other people had healed.  

Pg 220 – The concept of home is a tricky one in the 21st century.  For those of us born with Western passports, there are now endless options for how and where to live.  This mobility is a gift an a curse.  As globalization spreads, we of fortunate birth fan out, following the jobs from one country to the next, loosing each other as we go.

Pg 234 – What they eventually discovered was that in the US, if you wanted to become happier, you did something for yourself.  You buy something, you show off on instagram, you work harder.  Where as in more communal countries, if you wanted to make yourself happier, you did something for someone else: friends, family, community.  We have an implicitly individualistic idea of what it means to be happy, they have an instinctively collective idea of what it means to be happy. 

Pg 249 – What are our needs for happiness? [quoted by the mayor in Happy City]: We need to walk, we need to be around other people, we need beauty.  We need contact with nature, and most of all, we need not to be excluded.  We need to feel some sort of equality.

Pg 250 – Connecting the dots on the epidemic of overwork and anxiety had not led me to unplug from society, leaving a trail of helpful tips for readers in my wake.  It had instead led me here, to the most pressing issue of our time: economic inequality.

Pg 253 – I’m talking about the psychosocial effects of inequality.  Feelings of superiority and inferiority.  Of being respected and disrespected.  Status competition.   Which he believes is also driving the consumerism in our society.  Which leads to widespread feelings of insecurity, even violence.

Pg 256 – The ideology of MarketWorld is defined as a rising powerful elite (of people) operating on contradictory impulses – both to do well and to do good, to change the world while also profiting from the status quo…. We talk a lot about giving more, we don’t talk about taking less.

Pg 263 – Facebook has solved harder problems than this.  Companies like Facebook have the imagination and the resources to implement better leave and flexibility in working hours so parents don’t have to choose between their children and their careers.  It may come as a cost initially, but the return on investment will be more women staying in the workplace, higher employee satisfaction and the knowledge that we are doing right be our people and children.  

Pg 263 – Sandberg’s upbeat philosophy then, disregards the crushing realities of the current labour market for women.  I believe telling women to raise their hands and try harder in the open sea of hostility we face in the workplace is like handing a rubber ducky to someone hit by a tsunami (Katherine Goldstein, a former lean-in advocate turned critic).  It inadvertently encourages us to internalize our own discrimination, leading us to blame ourselves for getting passed over for raises, eased out of our jobs, not getting called for job interviews and being denied promotions.

Pg 263 – the biggest lie of lean in is the underlying message that bosses are ultimately benevolent, that hard work is rewarded and that if women shed the straight jacketof self doubt, a meritocratic world awaits…. this is untrue.  We have Sandberg fretting about the “ambition gap” and to work up to the very moment we give birth…and then resume emailing from the hospital beds immediately afterwards.  What kind of life is that?

Pg 264 – If we are honest about it, if we look at the actual numbers, overwork is essentially taking all of our precious life energy – all the hours we could be spending with family, laughing with friends, learning new hobbies, getting out into nature, exercising our bodies, eating home cooked meals, sleeping, participating in our communities and creating real change – and converting all of that time and energy into profit. Profit in fact, for a very small group of people.

Corporate Girlie, Career Woman, Working Mom, Lean Out, Lean In, Nature, Balance, Work Life Harmony, Family and Friends, Forest Baths
Corporate Girlie, Career Woman, Working Mom, Lean Out, Lean In, Nature, Balance, Work Life Harmony, Family and Friends, Forest Baths

Quick ways to shift your energetic state

✨ interrupt anxiety with deep breaths

✨ interrupt worry with thoughts of gratitude

✨ interrupt sadness with seeking the humour

✨ interrupt overwhelm with movement of the body

✨ interrupt fear with courageous action

✨ interrupt boredom with spontaneous play