Create and Curate

This One Daily Habit Can Make Tomorrow Better

October 2, 2017

I like to think of myself as an organized doer. Most of the time, I am; and my friends and family will tell you I am someone who “gets things done.” Yet, I have a dirty, little secret. In one of my cabinets is a “shove shelf “ — full of important paperwork, including unopened bank and investment statements. I really don't know why I let that mess pile up, and I get angry with myself for not taking the time to sort it. I procrastinate going paperless and applying for digital statements. I am literally paying to have that paper sent to me, clutter my space and stress me out. After a little self-flagellation, and some chiding from my patient husband, I decide I don't need a 12 step program; but I do need a better system for dealing with things I’d rather avoid. Lets face it, those papers need to be looked at; so never is not an option, even though my inner procrastinator says otherwise.

 

Avoidance behavior is dangerous stuff. It holds us back from achieving our goals and dreams. How can we possibly have the lives we want, if we don’t pay attention to the details? This is especially true when the devil is in those details. When we put things off, and leave them undone, it creates a vortex of negative energy —  taking us away from more productive and enjoyable pursuits.

 

Organize one space every single day.

 

Just because you organize a space once doesn't mean it will stay organized. Life gets busy, and a tidy space today, becomes jumbled mess tomorrow. By making organization a habit, and not a chore, is becomes more pleasurable and less stressful — a tool that moves our lives forward.

 

Commit to cleaning one space every single day. It can be your glove compartment, the kitchen catch-all drawer, a file cabinet, your spam filter, or any area you would probably rather avoid. This will help you eliminate things that do not serve you, freeing you from the distractions that come with disorganization.There is a certain joy in opening a drawer or cabinet and finding exactly what you are looking for. 

 

Tips 

 

1. Start with small, easy to organize areas.

 

A bathroom cabinet or drawer is a great starting place.

 

2. Work your way through one space at a time. 

If you started in the bathroom, work your way through; organizing under the sink, drawers, toiletries, etc. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you have one room completed .

 

3. Reward your success.

Treat yourself to some new organizers when your space is done. Donate items you no longer use or need.

 

4. Be accountable.

Keep track of your organizational accomplishments. Seeing your successes in writing is positive reinforcement and helps make your organizational habits stick.

 

Even if you don't think you need a more organized life, this practice can help you prioritize truly important activities like health, fitness, creativity, travel, learning and relationships. Organizing helps you stay focused, on course, and brings you closer to your larger goals and dreams. So start small and finish big! You got this!

 


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Eight Things You Can Do To Live Younger Longer

September 25, 2017

Adding more years to your life, and more life to your years sure sounds good — doesn't it? I like the idea of living younger longer, and I am always interested to learn about habits and behaviors that can improve my life and bring me joy. This is especially important because we live in a time of distracting technologies; that gobble up our precious time and overwhelm us with too much information. As it turns out, the secrets to longevity lie not in modern technology, but in more simple ways.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

There are places in the world known as Blue Zones; where people consistently live longer and healthier than any place else on earth. It is interesting to note that, even though the Blue Zones are located in different countries and continents, they all have certain things in common that contribute to the happiness and longevity of their people. It would appear that many of our modern advances actually distance us from the very behaviors that the people in the Blue Zones enjoy and that keep them living younger. 

 

8 healthy life style habits to help you live younger longer

  1. Exercise like you mean it. Exercise keeps us younger on a cellular level.
  2. Sense of purpose. Statistically, people who find meaning and purpose in their lives live up to 7 years longer.
  3. Deal with stress. Meditate, reflect, sleep more and sleep better. People with long lives manage stress, it does not manage them.
  4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Blue Zoners enjoy their food; they savor it, and the pleasure of dining with others.
  5. Eat a plant based diet. Your diet should be largely organic plant based, include beans and just a little bit of meat.
  6. Moderate alcohol consumption. 1-2 drinks a day are enjoyed in the Blue Zones. Good news — moderate alcohol drinkers tend to outlive non-drinkers.
  7. Friends and Community. Surround your self with positive people who support you. Find a faith-based service to which you can relate. Attending such services 4 times a month can add 4-14 years to your life.
  8. Invest in your family. Support your family with your time and love. Strong family bonds can add years to your life.

Being conscious of your present circumstances puts you in the best position to adopt new patterns of behavior that can contribute to a longer happier life. Once you organize these 8 areas of your life to support how you want to live, now and for the foreseeable future, time will slow down. You will be less distracted and able to live more in the present. While these are 8 tips for living longer, they can help you live better and enjoy every minute of your life.


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Reinventing, Organizing and Enjoying a Beautiful Life

February 27, 2017

I had a personal Tsunami of sorts, an overwhelming confluence of physical and emotional events that literally took up all the bandwidth in my life. Parents passed away, houses had to be emptied, storage spaces filled with ancestral artifacts had to be sorted, finances got tight, the last child left for college, pets died and cancer reared its ugly head. Hundreds of WTF moments strung together, holding me hostage and stealing my joy.

 

So, what does a girl do when life gives her lemons?  I made warm lemon water a daily habit, crafted beautiful lemon topiary displays, and squeezed lemon rinds for aromatherapy.  I took those lemons and made them mine. In doing so, I learned how to find happiness in the organization and simplification of things within my control; by clearing my physical and mental spaces of unnecessary (and sometimes dangerous) clutter I was freeing my creative energies and tapping into life’s infinite possibilities. I was creating and curating life…on my own terms.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

The funny thing is, big changes started with small actions. The activity of sorting through life’s detritus, drawer by drawer, was empowering and cathartic. Identifying and discarding what doesn’t serve, bring joy or have sentimental value, is purifying. Making decisions and thinking outside of the box is liberating and, to be honest, almost narcotic. Small creative projects fuel my soul, feed my eye and calm my chattering brain. Time expands and contracts in different ways and freeing space for new and exciting ideas is energizing.

 

The activity of cleaning a drawer isn't just clearing a drawer, it is clearing clutter that takes up physical and mental space to free you for better things. The magic begins when, rather than thinking yourself out of doing something, you act on your thoughts and make something happen. The best part of reinvention and organization is that you can start right away, it’s absolutely free, and you benefit immediately. When you look at the things in your life ask yourself:

 

-Is it useful?

-Is it beautiful?

-Is it sentimental?

 

You will be absolutely amazed at how many things in your life are expired and, therefore, not useful.  

 

So, given the broad implications of expiration dates, and starting with a simple example, a safe place to start would be with the condiments in your refrigerator.

 

Expired condiments in your refrigerator: 

 - The best-before date refers to the quality and taste of a product.

 - The use-by date refers to the last safe date before it turns bad.

 - Mayonnaise, catsup & BBQ sauce keep for 4 months after opening, mustard for a year.

 - Jams & jellies keep for one month after opening 

(I confess there were jellies and mustards of indeterminate age in my refrigerator ).

 

I look forward to inspiring you to Create & Curate and be amused by the process.


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