1. Started “Creating a Prosperous Practice” Blog
2. Grew my blog traffic to 160 RSS readers and broke the 100+ daily visitors mark.
3. Closed on our new condo in Costa Rica.
4. Decorated the new condo.
5. Wrote over 150 blog posts for Creating a Prosperous Practice.
6. Wrote 52 articles for BellaOnline.
7. Started to see the world in a different light.
8. Watched a bunch of movies.
9. Experienced a great deal of personal growth.
10. Made my first cross-country car trip – driving almost 6,000 miles in 28 days.
11. Learned videography after taking the Travel Channel Academy.
12. Learned that I don’t like cold weather…or snow.
13. Wrote a new Ebook called “Your Target Market, Finding Your Ideal Client”.
14. Taught countless students in various continuing education classes
15. Visited 3 national parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Bryce was my favorite.
16. Decluttered my office.
17. Sold tons of stuff on Ebay and Craigslist.
18. Organized my photo into albums.
19. Made lots of homemade greeting cards…including my Christmas cards.
20. Continued honing my videography skills by taking the New York Film School.
21. Took the MatadorU Travel Writing School.
22. Visited my friend in Seattle.
23. Updated my Last Will and Testament.
24. Made lots of new friends.
25. Combined my website (Massage Therapist Training Institute) and my blog (Creating a Prosperous Practice) in to one super mega site to be announced on January 4th so stay tuned.
Well, it’s been a fantastic journey to say the least. But, I just want to say thanks to every one of you who’ve visited my blog, commented, and more for all your support over the last year. I really am grateful for everything I’ve experienced and think that it was all meant to be.
What have you accomplished in 2009?
Happy New Year! May the new year bring you Joy, Inspiration, Happiness, Healing, Prosperity, and Love.
WOW, it has been one year since I started this blog on January 1, 2009. It was one of my goals for 2009 to start a blog. I really didn’t know what to expect. But I must say that I am pleased with the results. I have posted at least once every week for the past 52 weeks — actually over a 150 posts.
So, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog as well as making comments and suggestions.
It is time to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to the new year. In preparation for the new year, make sure your website is in good shape.
Here are some of the things you should check:
1. Contact information. Check addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
2. Products and services. Are all of the products and services listed still available? Are the descriptions and prices correct? Have you added new ones that are not listed?
3. Dated material. Do you have items on your site about “upcoming” events that happened months ago? If your site has a copyright date, is it current? Keep it up-to-date by having it automatically update. Learn how to do this by searching “automatically update copyright”, along with the type of site you have, i.e., HTML, WordPress, etc. on Google.
4. Content. When did you last add new content to your website? If it has been a long time (particularly if your blog is not tied to your website), plan to do some kind of update at least monthly (and more often is better). Add a new article, list upcoming events, post some photos…
5. Images. How old are the photos, graphics and images on your website? Have you had the same one since you started your practice 10 years ago? Freshen up your website by adding new images.
6. Forms. Test to see if your contact forms (and any others your may have) work correctly. If you use autoresponders, make sure the information is still correct.
7. Dead links. URLs can change, so make sure that all of your links are valid. You don’t want to send your website visitors (or search engine bots) off to dead ends. This free link checker can test your site.
8. Get a fresh perspective. Approach your site as a client might. Browse (and read) through several pages, sign up for your newsletter, place an order, and make sure all of those processes work as they should.
Keep It that Way!
Once you have your website updated and awesome, keep it that way!
1. Do regular checkups throughout the year – at least quarterly.
2. Add new content on a monthly basis.
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
Photo Credit: Konstantin Sutyagin
“Take action in order to move toward your goals.” -Les Brown
What steps do you take to get you moving towards your goals? Post them in the comments or email me.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwaanza, Happy Boxing Day and Happy New Year! (Did I leave anything out?)
Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.
All the best,
Why meditate? On one level, meditation is a tool. It can help combat stress, fosters physical health, helps with chronic pain, can make you sleep better, feel happier, be more peaceful, as well as be ‘present’. But on a deeper level, meditation is a doorway into the unknown. It can help us get a sense of who we are.
When you start meditating, you will notice that your mind wanders a lot. This is perfectly natural. Try to be gentle with yourself. In time you will learn to manage the barrage of thoughts and you will develop clarity and peacefulness.
Here are some simple tips on how to start meditating.
1. Place – It’s lovely to create a special place dedicated to meditation. You can even place a candle or other objects such as stones, seashells, or flowers that appeal to you.
2. Length – Start with 1 to 2 minutes and only sit longer if you feel that is too short. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 5, 10, 20 and eventually 30 minutes. Most importantly, shrug off any ‘shoulds’. Some people enjoy sitting for an hour at a time. Others find that they can’t sit longer than 10 minutes. Do what feels right for you!
3. Posture – Whether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is straight. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.
4. Eyes – Try and keep your eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more ‘present’. Just lower your eyes and soften your focus. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and possibly fall asleep. However, it’s important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It’s good to experiment and see what feels best for you.
5. Focus – In ordinary consciousness we are hardly ever ‘present’. For example, sometimes we drive a car on autopilot while being preoccupied with thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don’t remember anything about the drive!
Meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind! Let’s take a look at what focus is. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. It is like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in your awareness. I suggest using the breath as a focus. It’s like a natural door that connects ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. Zen Master Toni Packer says, “Attention comes from nowhere. It has no cause. It belongs to no one.”
6. The breath – Paying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in the present moment. Notice your breath streaming in and out. There’s no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural. If you are having difficulties calming down, you can try counting the breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. When you exhale, silently count “one”, then “two”, and up to “ten”. Then return to “one”. Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed simply return to “one”. In this way, “one” is like coming home to the present moment.
7. Thoughts – When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning your focus on the breath. Don’t try and stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave.
8. Emotions – It’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Try to let go of the emotion and the feeling and refocus on your body.
9. Silence – Silence is healing. I know that there is a lot of ‘meditation music’ around, but nothing beats simple silence. Otherwise music or sound drowns out the chatter in your mind. When we sit in silence, we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence.
10. Enjoyment – Most of all it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day. It’s helpful to establish a daily habit.
Do you have any other tips for meditation? Post them in the comments.
Welcome to Motivation Mondays! Here is your quote for the week.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James
Beyond The Quote: At this time of the year, people are experiencing more stress than normal. One of the main reasons you may become stressed is a direct result of having too many thoughts bouncing around in you head. Try choosing your most important thought and concentrate on that first. The rest will follow all in good time.
Have anything to share? Post it in the comments.
“And here comes the snow… A language in which no word is ever repeated.”
The sky was filled with falling snow starting at 10 PM on Friday night. It snowed and it snowed….until Saturday late into the evening. It was the most snow we’ve seen in Virginia in a very long time – between 20 – 24″. We got 19″ in Alexandria. They even declared it a blizzard.
Watching those snowflakes reminded of a book called Snowflakes that I once picked up in the bookstore. As I stood in the aisle of the bookstore, flipping through the book, I found myself utterly fascinated by the images of snowflakes, each unique and each so magically beautiful. (If you haven’t already clicked on the link, check out Snowflakes on Amazon and “Click to Look Inside” to see some of the images from the book.)
Of course, this brings me back to the analogy between snowflakes and people. While there are many similarities between us as human beings, just like those little flakes of snow, we are really quite unique.
However, snowflakes rarely fall individually. They usually cling together and fall in a big clump. So true, it is for us too. We are individuals yet society wants to put us into nice tidy categories so we can understand them better. It’s always so much easier when we can describe someone by their appearances, skills or qualities.
Unfortunately, we can’t really put people as neatly into boxes as we’d like to. Thankfully, we are a little more complex than that! Even the most patient person can get frazzled at times. The sweetest person can lose her temper. Every person, every situation, is different.
Instead of trying put people into categories, we should embrace them for who they are.
What would happen if we viewed people the same way as an exotic flower or a wild animal – waiting to learn about them and their beauty instead of making assumptions based on their appearance or our preconceived notions of what a human of their age, gender, ethnicity, religion… should be like?
Here a five ways to celebrate the uniqueness in others and yourself.
1. Be open-minded. It’s easy to look for similarities you have with someone else. However, when you open your mind to someone’s differences you just may get a better appreciation and awareness.
2. Be an independent thinker. You may find yourself going with the flow without really thinking for yourself. It may be tempting to think negatively of a person, if you hear someone talking about him that way. Stop and think about how unique people are. You’ll probably realize that it’s best to assess others for yourself.
3. Don’t be presumptuous. Do you make assumptions about someone very quickly after meeting them? It takes time to get to know someone and all of their idiosyncrasies.
4. Don’t be judgmental. When you meet someone for the first time, it can be so easy to judge them based on appearance alone, but think about how that would make you feel. Would you like to be judged based only on your appearance? Aren’t you more complex than that? I’m sure you are and people are not as simple as we’d like to think.
5. Embrace the unknown. We are often quick to put people into categories because we are scared of not knowing who they are. Just because something is different or unexplainable to you doesn’t mean it’s negative.
Celebrate the ways we are all unique. All of our differences are awesome and it’s so important to see the positive in them.
We are all snowflakes. We are independent of one another and yet drawn to each other. Remember the uniqueness in others and, just as importantly, remember it in yourself. There is no one — and never, ever will be anyone — just like you.
How do you celebrate the absolute awesomeness of being uniquely you?
What tactics do you use to remind yourself that others are unique?
My husband and I arrived home on Thursday evening from Costa Rica to spend time with our family over the holidays. We got here just in time for a major snow.
It began on Friday evening around 10 p.m. by the next morning we had 9 inches. By the time it finished on Saturday night, we had about 19 inches.
Here are some photos from our blizzard:
Did you have snow where you live? How much did you get?