Just Breathe…..

One of my instructors, Dr. Andrew Weil states that one of the most effective tools offering patients positive outcomes is the practice of breathing. In fact, I constantly need to remind myself to breathe in and out during the day – and it does both brain and body a lot of immediate good.

There are very simple techniques that Dr. Weil prescribes, here are the main 3 in detail, courtesy of www.drweil.com :

Exercise 1:
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.Continue reading

How You Live Says A Lot About You…

Spring Cleaning…. Kind of like the house version of making New Year’s Resolutions and starting over.

Forget about 10, 20, or 30 minute speed-cleaning. To do the job right, these are not realistic. You can do everything in one day. However, we recommend 2 ½ days. Enjoying life every day is still the priority, so no day should be all work and no play.

1. Ensure you have the proper cleaning tools and cleaners. By reading this list, you will easily assess this. Our secret cleaning weapon of choice is white vinegar. Buy 1 or 2 multi-task products and make sure they are not toxic. We like Greenworks.

2. Have a mix of your favourite music to listen to. An awesome 90 minute mix sets the tone. It should include the Black Eyed Peas at the start and near the end of the mix.

3. Make iced herbal tea or have a lot of purified water with lemons to keep yourself hydrated.

4. Make sure you have something premade to eat during or at the end of your cleaning day. Make it with lots of veggies and grains to give you energy and keep you alert. Avoid a sugar-crash mid-way through….

5. Declutter – everywhere in your home. We are talking right down to all those boxes you have hidden in the basement or storage area. Letting go feels amazing. Seeing what matters gives you energy. Donate what you do not need to someone who does. Sell what is worth the time and effort to do so.

6. Change your décor with what you have. As image consultants, we separate ourselves by focusing equal time to a client’s home and lifestyle, as we do their personal style. Like clothing, we often add without editing what is first there. Rearranging furniture and décor breathes fresh life into your space, and gives you a new perspective to enjoy what already exists. Donate or sell on eBay the spontaneous things you never should have bought.

7. Clean your cabinets, fridge, and freezer. We buy too much to eat. If you have not used it in six months – give it to a food bank. If it is past due, throw it out. Anything in the freezer longer than 3 months – bye bye. Prioritize your goods into meaningful groups so they invite you to use them. Coming home and opening a clean, organized fridge is liberating!

8. Clean out all the closets and drawers. We will have another blog on how to organize a closet in the weeks ahead.

9. Organize all necessary paperwork. Letting this get behind is a big mistake. This should include all key tax documents, passport information, bank information, etc.

10. Make sure the essential files on your computer are backed up. We love Mozy.

11. Do not forget your floors, carpets, and curtains. These are important at this time as they harbour a lot of mites and other contributors to seasonal allergies.

12. Clean your car inside and out. I am always shocked to be in the car of someone I respect and be surrounded by a sea of mess. A car space should provide you the same calm as your home.

13. Prepare your bike. This can include: getting the chain cleaned, air in tires, removing rust, and checking the brakes. For many of us, this is a main form of transportation and should be maintained as such.

14. Organize any outdoor oasis you have. This can be a little balcony or a beautiful deck. Make it beckon to you at the end of the day. Less is more. So edit and make each item count. Grow something you can eat.

15. Make lists for things you need to get by area and priority. By writing it down, you have given it thought. Working with lists will keep you true to your lifestyle and budget.

16. Plan time off. Part of the fun of vacations is the planning and anticipation. Set a goal to plan and work towards it. This can include setting a vacation fund, so when the time comes you have the money for having a good time. Who knows, cleaning up may give you enough to sell to start that vacation fund!

5 Reasons to be Excellent

Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.  – Walter Payton

1.    Self Growth and Actualization
It’s not important what you GET in life, but instead what you BECOME and what you leave behind as a result.

The quality of your life will be determined by the depth of your commitment to excellence more than by any other factor  – Vince Lombardi

2.    Competitive Edge in Life
If you don’t make a commitment to become excellent in your chosen field, you don’t stand a chance of making it in today’s competitive society. Nothing will improve unless you commit to be excellent: professionally, personally, socially, etc.Continue reading