Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Staying Positive And Staying Motivated

Staying Happy, Staying MotivatedA Reasons To Be Cheerful Post

As artists, creatives and writers, we often do not see an immediate or obvious result from our efforts. We put ourselves out there, our art, in whichever form it presents itself, hoping that someone will connect with it as much as we have connected with it.

At times, this can be a long wait, through which staying positive and staying motivated can get really difficult.

In times like those, I tend to grab everything positive I can find. May it be a nice comment I receive, an additional follower on a social network, or simply the beauty of the designs my fellow artist put forth. Other times these efforts are a lot more deliberate, which is one of the reasons I participate in the weekly gratitude list on Fridays, and from now on will also participate in this positive blog hop: “Reasons To Be Cheerful”. Maybe the appeal is writing it down and sharing, maybe what I like about those hops is that it includes lists – and I am a list person – but the result is the same – it brings back some of the state of mind that keeps me going, keeps me motivated, and positive, an expect and state from which it is so easy to create from.

Here are my reasons I can be cheerful this week:

1. I finished another floral design!
Despite the fact that this week has been hectic, I managed to create another floral design last night. Considering how dark and dreary it had been outside over the last few days, I craved something bright, and it manifested itself into this very bright yellow flower. It is a digital manipulation of a picture of a flower I took quite a while ago. Adding the dark green background really made the brightness of the yellow come forth. Here it is:

Stay Positive, Stay Motivated

2. I am getting used to my part-time job
I started a part-time job this week, helping in building a friend’s business. My husband and I are working on that as a team, and while it has been challenging, I am beginning to get to hang of it. New programs do not look as foreign anymore, and I do not feel like I do not know what I am talking about when I make necessary phone calls, which are a part of my job.

3. I was able to make a fellow artist happy!
I posted an interview with a Zazzle designer and author yesterday, and her reaction to the post was really cool! It was fun to talk to her about her work in the first place, but knowing that I made her happy was just wonderful.

What reasons do you have to be cheerful today? Why not join this blog hop and share your list with everyone!

Blessings!

Claudia

Weekly Gratitude Post – Burned Truck Edition

What do I mean “Burned Truck Edition”?

Well, my husband was transporting a load of hay this week, and it caught the truck on fire – the entire truck – and I am not talking about a pickup truck, but a Semi. There is nothing left of that darn thing, the entire cab of the truck including all of it that was in it burned to the ground within minutes.

What I am grateful for is, that my husband did not get hurt, minus a few scratches and a small burn on his arm. His stuff is gone, paperwork, credit cards, navigator, and all of the other stuff that make life a little easier when traveling, those are burned to ashes.  Those can be replaced. They do not matter. He does. For the rest, there is insurance.

So, I am celebrating him being in one piece and  home for a few days until he gets into the new truck next week.

I hope whatever you are grateful for this week is a lot less stressful and has a lot less danger involved.

– This blog post is a part of the weekly “Celebrate The Small Things” Blog Hop, hosted by the wonderful Lexa Cain. Why not join us and connect with her and all of the other wonderful bloggers who participate?

Blessings!

Claudia

Hey, I Designed You A Mug – Now Fill It With This

Hey, I Designed You This Mug - Now Fill It With This
So you purchased yourself a designer mug, supporting independent artists with your choice. Good for you. We, the creatives behind these designs thank you. But now what? It is a specialty mug, so just pouring in some darn old coffee from the grocery store would not be fitting. No way. These cups ask for something special.
No worries, I did the work for you and found some really wonderful coffees and teas you should fill that special mug with.
I Designed You A Cup - Now Fill It With This
Jacobs Kronung Coffee
This coffee is tradition and perfection in a cup. There is simply not a better roast out there, that does not cost you an arm, a leg and your first born. I grew up on this stuff, and it is the standard by which I hold each other coffee. Sorry, Starbucks, your coffee taste like pee water compared to this.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
JO – Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Medium Roast
My favorite of the Fair Trade Coffee’s out there. Stick with the medium roast of this brand for best results. While it is not as fine and sophisticated in flavor as the before mentioned German coffee, it is still the best I could find so far in its category. And while drinking it, you can really feel good about yourself for being a responsible consumer (again).
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Teekanne Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea
I simply love this tea, its tart, refreshing taste, even if you drink it as a hot cup of tea (which I prefer.)  It is my go to cup with a few cookies as part of a quick afternoon break. It tastes fruity and light, though I recommend to add your favorite sweetener, on its own it can be surprisingly sour.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug, - Now Fill It With This
Teavana Pineapple Berry Blue Loose-Leaf Tea
No list that includes teas is complete without having a pineapple flavored addition to it. At least that is my opinion. Hey, don’t knock it until you tried it, this tea is hot and cold a wonderful treat. Cheaper than a Hawaiian vacation.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Moonstruck Classic Hot Cocoa
Wintertime is hot chocolate time, and I prefer the classic, no fancy added flavored version of hot chocolates. This creamy, deep flavored, elegant milk chocolate cocoa mix does the trick here. It is a wonderful way to wind down a busy holiday day, and no December evening would be complete without it. I would recommend to get extra. Especially if you are a chocoholic like I am.
Now savor that hot (or cold) stuff!
Have a wonderful day!
Claudia
 Disclaimer: The above post contains affiliate links.

The Magic by Rhonda Byrnes – A Review

The Magic - A Book Review

Title: The Magic

Author: Rhonda Byrnes

Publisher: Atria

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

Gratitude, the practice of true gratitude, not a simple uttering of thank you’s, but a deep emotional connection to the subject matter can have a profound effect on a life. True gratitude reduces stress, allows us to focus on the abundance that is already in our lives, and gives us a chance to let go off fear. From this state of gratitude we can heal, we can attract, we can experience more to be grateful for.

The Magic by Rhonda Byrnes (the author of The Secret) holds within it a vast variety of techniques and themes that help us focus our gratitude, and allows the reader to make it a daily practice. Set in daily assignments, that are easy to follow, yet profound, this book asks you to practice, not just read your way through.

I highly recommend this book, even more so than the Secret, because it contains the true key to using it in the first place. Finding a place of gratitude brings happiness, no matter where you are at the moment, or at least a moment of peace, from which the reader can attract more. If you are interesting working with Law of Attraction, this is where you need to start – not with all of the principles, the quotes and promises, but with it’s most important principle – Gratitude.

Reality TV, Guilty Pleasures And A Book (Of Course!)

I am not a fan of Reality TV shows (I am not talking about competition shows, but rather the Kardashian or The Housewives of…), but even I have a guilty pleasure in that category:

Million Dollar Listings LA! And to add to my bliss, it will return August 7th on Bravo. I love the peak into the Multi-Million dollar homes, the drama not so much, but that part is far less in this reality show, then in the others I had the “pleasure” of watching. The show focuses around high profile real estate agents, who compete, and sometimes battle for clients, sales and turf, understandably, if one sale can create more income then many of us make in a year.

Here is a sneak peak

But did you know that there is a published author in their midst? Josh Flagg wrote a fascinating book about his grandmother Edith Flagg, who is truly an inspiring woman.

A Simple Girl by Josh Flagg

Surviving World War II, by becoming a member of a Dutch Underground resistance to Hitler, at a very young age, she not only survived this trying time, but rather flourished, and created a Multi-Million dollar clothing company, once she made her way to the US. A truly inspiring story, told with care and love by her Grandson, a now successful business man in his own right. I recommend for you to check out: “A Simple Girl”. And watch him in action on August 7th on Bravo.

I will.

josh-flagg-and-grandmother