Kindergarten Taught Me All I Needed To Know…

A fun fact about me is that I start each day with a cup of coffee, the news, and my rocking chair.  While I rock in my chair and sip my coffee I hear words of hatred, death, and fighting on the newscast.  I ask myself “why do I want to watch the news each morning?  Is this really how I want to start my day?”  The answer is no, yet I continue to do it.  Am I hoping that one morning I will turn on the news and find that one country baked cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles for another country as a peace-offering?  Maybe.  I just wonder what life would be like if we remembered what we all learned in Kindergarten….

First, we learned how to play nice in the sandbox.  If you didn’t play nice – you didn’t get to play.  Throwing of sand, and taking of shovels was not permitted.  It was simple – you play mean = you don’t get to play.  You sat quietly outside the sandbox and watched the other children play.

Secondly, I truly believe the teachers were onto something with the nap time theory.  Young children (heck even adults) get cranky when they are tired.  When people are cranky they have a tendency to snap at or be rude to other people.  A well-rested individual is in much better spirits to play in the sandbox.  I am just saying….

Third, we had snack time.  This is really the same concept as above.  A full tummy is a happy person.  It is way more fun to play in the sandbox with a happy person.

Fourth, ALL the children’s art was beautiful.  There was no judgement.  Heck, I cut out an apple in Kindergarten that looked like a square, but boy did that apple look perfect to my teacher and parents! (My mom still has that apple).

And lastly, don’t eat paste (do they even still use paste)?  Some things may look appealing on the outside, but when you get into the goo of it all, it really just leaves a sour taste in your mouth.  Yes – I am referring to HATE and HATEFUL words.

So you see, life could be more simple if we all remembered what we learned in Kindergarten.

First day of school!!!

Your Life Journey

New chapters happen everyday in our lives.  I recently had  to close a chapter in my life – one that had been near and dear to me for many years.  People change and grow apart.  Human behavior can be analyzed, but never really explained.  When you find yourself at a crossroads in your life allow yourself time to celebrate the good times, keep the good memories close to your heart, and grieve what you have lost.  Move forward with strength and courage, knowing that you are on a journey through life.  You write your story – make it one worth reading.

The place where I renewed my wedding vows with my wonderful husband on Laguna Beach.

What Brings You Joy?

I was reading an article today and the author posed the question “what brings you joy?”  It caused me to pause for a moment, but it was only a moment before I rushed to grab my journal so I could to explore the vast question.  As I sat staring at the blank page of my journal I wondered if other people had ever really thought about this particular question.  I mean, we know what makes us happy, but joy is an entirely different emotion.  When I think of the word joy I picture myself bubbling over with happiness, being engulfed with laughter and feeling the emotion throughout my entire body.  Once I was able to envision myself being overtaken with joy I was able to easily list the things that bring me joy.  Some things were deep and meaningful such as snuggling with my children, and having a romantic dinner with my husband while others items were simple like having a latte by the fire and dancing.

Once I identified what brings me joy in my life I realized that some of the items on the list were things I was not doing!  Why would I not make time to create joy in my life?  Many of us do not take the time to live our life to the fullest.  We often dwell on the sad drama-driven events in our lives, and don’t take the time to celebrate the joys that we have each day.

I challenge you to create a list, or a visual journal page of what brings you joy.  Ask yourself: are you doing these joyful things or do you need more joy in your life?  What are you dwelling on that will not move you forward with your journey of life, but continue to keep you stuck in the mud?  Are you celebrating the “little” joys in your life?  Once you have identified what joys you need more of in your life create a plan on how you are going to integrate joy into your daily living.

Always live joyfully!  Could you imagine a world where everyone lived in joy?  It would be a world of feetie jammies, snuggles, and dancing!  Live joy-FULLY!

It brings me joy to pick out pumpkins each fall with my kids. This was many years ago, but still one of my favorite pics!

Nikki’s Top Ten

I was reading a list online today of the top ten things you should do each day in order to have a successful day.  I found it a bit ironic that someone else was telling me I needed to do each day in order to have a great day.  That list blossomed my blog today – Nikki’s Top Ten.  Now I am not going to say that “this is what you need to do to have a successful day.”  I am simply reporting my top ten things I do each day to you only get your brain thinking about your personal top ten things you do, or should do each day to have a great day.  So here it goes counting down from ten…

10.  Wear Yoga Pants and Fuzzy Slippers – I wear these everyday I that I possibly can.  Right now I am wearing them.  I feel comfortable, relaxed and cozy.  What a great feeling!

9.  Surround Yourself with Inspiration – My whole house is inspiring.  It is painted fabulous colors, filled with great artwork and has the best people and animals inside it!

8.  Wear Feetie Jammies – Need I say more?

7. Indulge – When I say indulge I mean however you want.  Sometimes I eat something really fantastic, drink wine, take a nap, buy a pair of shoes – it can be a simple indulgence or a really BIG one.  It doesn’t matter:)

6.  Dare to be Different and Create a New Norm – I dare to be different all the time.  I color my hair funky, have tattoos and piercings.  I like to wear clothes that pop, and shoes that most people wouldn’t be caught dead in!  I love it all!  Who says what’s “normal?”

5.  Release Yourself From Others Judgements – Who cares what other people think about you?  Does it really matter?  They are most likely jealous, and wish they could live as freely as you do!

4.  Fill Your Creativity Cup Often – Whether it be going to the place that energizes your creativity, or buying a new coloring book, your cup will fill up creating a world of imagination and possibilities!

3.  Honor and Respect Your “Thing” – Yep.  That “thing” that you do and you just don’t know why you do it.  Don’t fight it.  Just honor it.  It is a part of you.

2.  Do What You Love and Love What You Do – It is important to wake up each morning and love what you do.  I love waking up, being a mommy and spending the day being creative.  On the days I work at my mental health clinic, I enjoy the clients I work with, and love helping people.

1.  Live Playfully and Peacefully – I always find time to play!  When you play you help create a balance in your life, which leads to a feeling of peace.

So that’s it.  My list that I live by.  Think about your list.  Are you liking the way you are living, or do some changes need to be made?  Do what works for you.  If you follow your heart you will find your life to by more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Me playing at Pier 1. I actually ended up buying that chair. I use it when I need a time-out from the real world.

Me playing on Halloween Night – kids don’t have as much fun with Powerwheels as adults do!

 

 

Impulsive Living or Just Living?

Bucket lists.  Why do we create “bucket lists?”  Better yet, why do we create bucket lists and then stress out whether or not we complete the “bucket list.”  Isn’t that contradicting the idea of relaxation and living a stress-free life?  Bucket lists are meant to be fun and freeing while at the same time reaching exciting goals!

I recently had surgery and was forced to stay on the couch for 6 weeks.  This is impossible for me, just so you all know.  While I was sitting on my butt I decided to create my bucket list.  It is amazing how many things you want to accomplish when you can’t.  Now that I am all recovered I found that my bucket list fell by the wayside…until one evening a bucket list opportunity was upon me. That is how you should accomplish bucket list tasks – letting them fall into your lap and not stressing out about completing them.

Needless to say, I was overcome with feelings of excitement and freedom related to “completing” the task on my bucket list.  I won’t go into detail, but it wasn’t illegal or something terrible – it was exciting, but my bucket list is personal.  The big question is how does it feel to check that accomplishment off my bucket list?  It feels AMAZING!  It was a rush of ultimate power and control – over myself!  Nobody else was telling me what to do or whether I should be doing it.  I just did it – freely.

I want to leave this life knowing that I tried everything I ever wanted to, and it didn’t matter whether or not I succeeded or failed, but that I tried.  I don’t want to miss out on anything, therefore, I live in the moment.  Some people call it impulsive, but I call it living life.  Are you living your life?

Me sitting in a chair at High Voltage Tattoo in Hollywood (love this chair – Kat Von D is sitting in one similar – or this one – on the cover of her second book)! I got a tattoo there that day. The infinity sign on my right wrist. I am enjoying life and living freely!

Undies in a Bunch? Find Balance

Why is it that we live in a society with high levels of stress?  People are always on the go and running from one place to another.  I am just as guilty.  On the days I work at the office I find that am from one meeting to another with a latte or diet coke in hand (which does not help with stress as we all know).  How do we slow down?  Having high levels of stress is like constantly having your “undies in a bunch.”

Slowing down actually takes some practice and you have to be conscious about it.  When we are stressed out or rushing our nervous system is highly activated.  We have to work to maintain a BALANCED nervous system.  Just like anything else in life – you need balance.  Become aware of your “rushing” or stress.  Notice it, then ask yourself “what can I do right now, in this moment, to pull my undies out of a bunch?”  Then do it.  It can be as simple as deep breathing, or as big as getting up and taking a walk.  You will find that if your nervous system is balanced you will be more productive, relaxed, and focused.  When we are stressed out we tend to have “multiple” things on our mind, and we are not paying attention to what is happening in the now.  We are already thinking about the next appointment or task.  Balance yourself and relax.  Give your full attention to the here and now.

Being in a constant state of “having your undies in a bunch” is not pleasurable or enjoyable.  Take the time to slow down and live a balanced life.  If you find that you cannot un-bunch your undies you might want to switch to a thong – that way you can keep that unpleasant state of bunched up undies day and night.  You will not enjoy it and you will end up even more miserable and stressed out.

For the Love of Feetie Jammies

Over the past weekend I took some time for some much-needed rest and relaxation with the family.  I wanted to take in every last drop of summer before my children returned to school for yet another year.  During that time I realized that the simple parts of my life were absent and had been for a majority of the summer.  So what did I do about it?  Bought some FEETIE JAMMIES.

Yep.  You got it.  Those great pajamas with the full bodysuit, fuzzy bottoms and the zipper all the way up the front!  Not only were they great, but they were fun – I bought zebra print ones with ZEBRA heads as the feet!  I slipped into those and suddenly felt a rush of child-like energy!  Responsibilities?  What responsibilities?  I wanted to play in my feetie jammies!  I found myself releasing all the tension and negative energy that surrounded me.  My children giggled when they saw me and then asked if they could go put theirs on…of course I said yes!  It was a feetie jammie party!

Feetie jammies are not something you “outgrow.”  They sell them in the stores for adults, but many of us choose not to wear them.  Adults think it is all about what is “mature” and “appropriate” when we are all “grown up.”  Blah, blah blah, I say.  You cannot “outgrow” anything because it is always a part of you.  You may try to push it deep down in a hiding place inside your memory, but when it is triggered it comes rushing all the way back out of you – and at a stronger rate because you were repressing it.  Just enjoy those parts of you.  Honor them.  Don’t repress them.  Wear the feetie jammies with pride (and comfort).  Feel the energy of your playful inner child.  Let that child come out and play.  I bet you will find yourself to be a happier adult.