This Is Getting Me Through Right Now

It’s been quite a month! We found an apartment on Prince Edward Island (remotely of course, with an on-the-ground generous friend touring for us), applied for our visas, have (almost) finished mapping out our travel plans back to NH and booking a few campgrounds, and of course we’ve continued coaching, teaching, and supporting clients.

I’ve been thrilled to see clients making progress in their lives. And I’ve been thrilled to see my own progress! But it’s been very, very easy to get overwhelmed.

The way I’m getting through that overwhelm feeling each day is to ask myself “What’s the one thing I could do today to move the needle? What’s the one thing I could do in the next hour to help us get to Canada?” Usually, the answer is obvious. And if it isn’t, considering that helps me to keep sight of what is NOT as important right now.

My main priorities?

Get to Canada.This is the one I pray about and focus on each day and throughout the day. We are getting to Canada in August.

Keep food on the table, aka support my existing clients.

Make time for my own daily self-care. It’s easy to let this slide, but I am absolutely firm on it, and I think it’s the number one reason I’m feeling happy every day (even on the tough days, there is happiness in the mix).

Spend time (usually virtually) talking to family and friends.

Check in occasionally in my Facebook groups, on social media, and via email so people know I’m alive.

You may not be about to move to another country. You may just be trying to get through the work day or through the night, or trying to stay safe or get healthy.

Take this as your sign that you aren’t alone. And focus on the one thing you can do to support yourself and your goals best.

Thanks for reading! And if you’re ready for some one on one support in reaching your goals, please reach out to me today.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Three Things Keeping You From Your Dream Life

Take a moment. Breathe. Check in with yourself, right now.

Are you content? Are you happy with life as it is?

I know the world is a lot. A LOT. But when you look at your own life, day to day, if you don’t have a resounding “yes, I’m happy!” under it all, I’d like to challenge you to look deeper.

No, I’m not selling a miracle elixir. I’m not curing cancer or growing money on trees. But I am sharing a workshop where I’ll share the three elements that I believe are keeping you from your dream life. It’s based on my experience in setting goals, accomplishing them, and learning to make the deliberate shifts required to bring my dream life to fruition.

Intrigued? I’m presenting the workshop, The Three Things Keeping You From Your Dream Life (And What You Can Do About It) for FREE in my Facebook group at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT and on Instagram at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. (Replays for both will be posted after the live events.)

And if you’re ready for more clarity and a support system to help you create the life of your dreams, use my code EARLYBIRD to save big on my course and group coaching program, Crafting Your Life Adventure.

P.S. I was recently interviewed for The No Frills VA Podcast! We talk all things full-time RV, adventuring, digital nomad life, how I built my VA business from scratch and why and how I’m focusing on a coaching business now. You can watch the interview here or listen here, or wherever you find your podcasts. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Join the list for Crafting Your Life Adventure!

The wait list is open! Crafting Your Life Adventure is for you if you’re an aspiring adventurer, looking for more but unsure of where to start.

It’s for you if you’re ready to step into your passion or make a life transition or add excitement or a career change into the mix.

It’s for you if you’re dreaming of more: more play. More exploration. More free time. More family time. More income. More travel. More adventure.

We get to choose what we want for ourselves. It isn’t always easy, and in fact, it can be very, very challenging. But when we are armed with the mindset and tools to succeed, two things happen: a) we become happier, more fulfilled people better able to manage life’s challenges and b) we become the creators of our lives, rather than feeling stuck or in survival mode 24/7, living an intentional life.

There is financial aid available, and there’s an awesome early bird rate when the cart opens! Be sure to get on the wait list so you don’t miss your chance to save on this life-changing, transformational group coaching program.

Will you be joining me? Want to learn more? Let’s connect!

Using Habits To Uplevel Your Life

Woman in shades of pink walks forward into a canopy of trees

Lately I’ve been thinking about the role of habits in my life. Without habits, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Back at the start of 2016, after extraordinary frustrations with my health, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. If doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on, and I was still exhausted and uncomfortable, it was time to make a change.

I knew that the one area where I was, without a doubt, not maintaining a healthy lifestyle, was my exercise routine. I loved to dance, and I loved to walk, and I even loved yoga, but between financial limitations, a busy schedule, and just kinda being lazy about it, I never seemed to stick with an exercise routine with any regularity.

I knew that for me to stick with it, for good, I needed to make exercising super simple. So in mid-January, I woke up a half hour earlier than usual, and I did yoga poses and stretches for five minutes. I’d told myself that as long as I did something that qualified as exercising or stretching, it would count.

The next day, I did the same, for five minutes.

The pattern held. Perhaps five days in, on a weekend, I decided I could afford a longer workout. But I kept that five minute minimum in place.

With this simple habit in place, I started experimenting. I’d go for seven minutes, or ten minutes. Over time, since I was already showing up and dressed to exercises, I’d exercise for 15 minutes, and soon a half hour was more of the norm.

Eventually I raised the bar to 15 minutes. And I began waking up even earlier, so that most days, I’d exercise for at least a half hour. I started a Beachbody trial and began experimenting with different workout programs. Later I purchased a favorite one, with strength training, and as I hit the road in an RV, I started a daily walking habit. It stuck. I’ve been doing it ever since.

In early December, after realizing I didn’t even average 5,000 steps anymore (thanks, pandemic!), I decided I wanted to average at least 5,000 steps daily over the course of a week. With that knowledge and a bit of accountability in our Facebook group, I was there, and then averaging 7,500.

Now, in mid-March, I’m averaging more than 10,000 steps a day. I never would have thought it was possible, but the power of habits made it come to life. I made it easy, built on my existing walking habit, and I used a tracker and the accountability of my social media feed and my Facebook group.

Have you ever done this before? Have you successfully established a new habit? It’s something I’ve repeated many times.

I created a habit of batch cooking to help me successfully adapt the auto-immune protocol diet and lifestyle back in 2016, even living in an RV. I used habits to build a morning routine that lights me up in 2018, and over time used habit stacking to make it more and more fun and aligned for me. I’ve used habits to develop an evening routine too. And of course, my habit of making healthy eating choices the majority of the time continues to serve me well – established when I was a kid but improved upon many, many times over my life. (And yes, there’s a place for ice cream in a healthy diet!)

We talk habits in my group, where we focus on a different healthy habit each month. So far this year we’ve tackled “More Steps”, “Decluttering”, and are currently drinking less, or in a dry month, like me.

And in my new course, habits are a very important part of what we study, with an entire week of the eight week course devoted to habits exclusively.

Are you aware of the habits you have? Which ones serve you, and which habits would you like to get rid of? Are you working on any new habits this year?

Leave a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear any tips and support you in any struggles you’re having.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

P.S. If your habits include boondocking (staying in an RV without hookups), now is the time to purchase a Harvest Hosts membership! Support this blog by purchasing yours here, and you’ll enjoy a year full of stays at wineries, farms, museums, and other amazing sites across the U.S. and even into Canada. Some of our favorite stays have been at Harvest Hosts. It’s fun to meet new people, enjoy delicious food and drink or fun things like alpaca farms or ice cream and live music. Harvest Hosts NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr in April, 2021. If you buy a membership now, it’s only $67.15 a year after a 15% discount. This link will lock in this rate forever, regardless of how much the prices increase in the future. Save over $30 off the new price on a whole year of unlimited overnight stays!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

COVID-19 and clutter – can you relate?

This week on social media, I shared an awesome tip that I’ve been using to reframe my approach to clutter: when you’re decluttering, always start with the most visible clutter.

It’s not rocket science, but how great is this suggestion? If guests enter your house through the front door, that means EVERYONE will get that view, even if they’re just popping their head in to pick up a package or drop off a meal.

So when you’re ready to declutter, always start with the most visible clutter: you know, the stuff you can see when you open the front door to come inside.

You know the brilliant thing about this tip though? It applies to both decluttering and to our daily lives in general.

In the physical realm, if we start with what’s most visible, we’ll see progress immediately, and even if we get distracted from our task, if someone shows up at the house, they’ll immediately get a cleaner view than they would have otherwise.

In the same way, if we’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the tasks on our to-do list, one helpful method is to start with what’s most visible. If there’s an item that’s been on our list, haunting us, for two months, knocking that thing off the list a) means we won’t be wasting any more brain space or time worrying about getting it done and b) means we can knock it off the list. Chances are that it was taking up more than its fair share of space, and having that done will be super helpful.

Likewise, if I’ve got a million things to do, but I keep putting off making a priority list, that’s the most visible thing that will be a huge help. If I do that first, I’ll be able to see the items that are essential and urgent and prioritize them accordingly. If the most visible thing is that I haven’t updated the family calendar or made the doctor’s appointment that’s required of me, maybe it’s that. But the same idea holds. Consider what’s most visible, or most present, and start there.

Lately I’ve been battling some anxious demons. I think COVID is starting to get to me in a more significant way – I know you can probably relate! The extra anxiety means that clutter that normally wouldn’t bother me can feel overwhelming right now. But the flip side of it is that when I make some time to declutter, I feel palpable relief, basically immediately, and my anxiety gives me a break for a while.

While the visible clutter isn’t always actually the most important thing on our list, it can give us the mental capacity to tackle other things on our list.

If your email inbox is freaking you out a little bit on the daily, it’s time to set a timer and do a bit of decluttering there.

If those dishes are taunting you while you’re trying to work on your side hustle, it may be more effective to do those first, or at least delegate and pass it on to another family member.

Don’t underestimate the power of tackling that visible clutter. And the reverse can be true as well. If you start with the invisible clutter (you know, the stuff in your cabinets), you won’t get the visible satisfaction of seeing and showing off your progress after a decluttering session.

Likewise, the invisible brain clutter may include tasks that, while nice to tackle, are ignoring the elephant in the room, or your brain, metaphorically speaking.

So, I challenge you – tackle some clutter this week. Physical or otherwise.

If you’d like to work on decluttering with me, I’m offering a free tracker and weekly tips to assist you in my free group, Crafting Your Life Adventure. Join me there for support on decluttering and whatever projects or goals you’re working on this year.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

P.S. Grab a copy of my Four Steps To Your Dream Life Blueprint while you’re at it. Giving yourself the gift of organizing and transforming your future is one more way to declutter and grow!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

I’ve Got A Good Habit – Do You?

Woman flosses teeth

Do you ever look at super-successful people and wonder how they manage to do it all? You know, they’ve got kids, successful businesses, hobbies, social lives, travel a lot, maybe they’re caring for a parent or helping a friend too.

Okay, so yes, reality check, if they’re super-rich they might have a nanny and a chef and a chauffeur and a housecleaner. But before they got there, and even with all that help, you know what is likely at the root of all of their success?

Habits.

Good habits do SO MUCH For us. They help us set boundaries. They make tasks easy and without any extra cognition or willpower. They give us the freedom to focus on other things, which means HUGE savings in time and the opportunity to make more money or spend time on what we value most.

This week in my Facebook group, we’ve been talking a lot about habits. Our focus this month has been on walking more throughout the week, but habits are at the backbone of making any healthy change, whether it’s walking, or healthy eating, or adding in meditation or limiting social media use.

What’s your relationship with habits? Do you make them work for you, or do you have bad habits that slow you down? I’d love to hear what this brings up for you in your life. Please comment below and let me know!

P.S. If you’d like support in creating better habits, please join us on Facebook in our free group. And thanks for reading!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Why I’m Taking A Pause

Sunrise

Taking a pause. It’s something we all do, right? We pause before starting to sing, hearing the intro notes to mark our place. We pause before waiting for our turn to enter a conversation (or waiting for a good time to interrupt). We pause before falling asleep.

But have you built intentional pauses into your day or your week? There’s a reason that professors take sabbaticals, students get a winter or summer break, and at least the white collar desk jobs get vacations. Heck, there’s also a reason our representatives have breaks between sessions, but that’s a whole other story.

Last week I defend the practice of a tea break, but whether that excites you or not, pausing is essential to wholeness and fulfillment.

Yes: taking a pause is essential. If we’re considering a career shift, or feeling like we’ve overcommitted ourselves, or if we’ve been under a ton of stress lately (whether it’s family stress, job stress, health stress, or the state of the world), a pause is what gives us a chance to hear our intuition.

How many times have you noticed that it’s when you’re taking a shower, or walking the dog, or visiting a museum, that you get an idea for a new project or an angle to solve a problem. I get downloads about new courses during yoga, and ideas for blog posts while listening to podcasts.

I hear a lot of people say they don’t have time to pause. They see my life as so different from theirs, whether it’s that I work from home, set my own hours most of the time, or don’t have children. But I’m also a problem-solver (which is also how I created this life), and that means I LOVE a good challenge!

So let me help you find some free time.

Can you wake up ten minutes earlier so you can drink a cup of coffee or tea in silence, or do a few stretches?

If you’ve got young kids, can you designate five or ten or fifteen minutes of a nap time to reading a book, just for you?

If you have a commute, can you spend part of it listening to favorite music, or traveling in silence, or repeating a positive mantra, or even journaling if you’re on public transit?

Can you meditate for ten minutes before bed, or before you start your nightly Netflix show?

If you’re still struggling, leave me a comment with your challenge, and I’ll share my suggestions. And if you have a favorite way to take a pause, please comment and share it with all of us!

Take it easy, and have a great week. And if you’re an aspiring adventurer too, join me in my group, Crafting Your Life Adventure, for tips on taking a pause and for walking tips and inspiration this month.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

In Defense of Tea

Are you a tea drinker? Is it a part of a daily habit or ritual for you?

Okay, so in light of everything going on in the US and around the world, there are certainly larger issues we could tackle this week. But I want to support you in your life journey, so I wanted to take a moment to celebrate an easy and delightful bit of self-care and ritual: tea!

Lots of cultures value tea highly, and drinking it is often a daily norm. But for many of us in the U.S., we come to tea later in life. Who knows – maybe it goes back to the tea party before the Revolutionary War, but for whatever reason, many of us do not grow up drinking tea.

My experience with tea was that it was a thing for “grown ups”. As a young Brownie (a Girl Scout), I attended my first tea party at age six and loved it, but we didn’t drink tea in my home growing up. In college, I had access to tea and housemates who drank it, so I would experiment with a cup of tea sometimes. But it really wasn’t until I was an adult seeking “afternoon tea”, aka a three course meal paired with tea, that I developed my passion for it.

With COVID-19, I found myself seeking additional ways to ground and center myself each day. I had a great morning routine, but I felt it might be getting stale. When Sarah Jenkins suggested adding tea or coffee to our morning routine or sacred start, I knew this was the perfect excuse to up my tea intake and feel like I was truly indulging.

Now, I carve out an extra 10-15 minutes each morning to steep and enjoy some tea. Some days it’s black, some days it’s herbal, some days it has milk or sugar in it. But it always delights. It forces me to pause, to savor. I pair it with a sacred or reflective book and enjoy a slow and beautiful start to my morning before the workday begins.

Tea comes in so many forms, and in so many flavors. You can keep it super healthy or sweeten it up. (This morning I made a candy cane latte…oh my goodness it was good!)

And if you don’t like any teas, you can enjoy a similar ritual, whether it’s coffee or another drink (something warm is ideal for the winter months).

I guess when I’m suggesting you make time for tea, what I’m really suggesting is that you make time for yourself. Finding a few minutes to pause is so therapeutic. You start your day centered instead of off balance, calm instead of rushed. Even if I had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to do, I would make it happen. (In fact, I get up at 4:45 a.m. once a week, but that’s another story.)

Do you drink tea? Why or why not?

P.S. My “More Steps Challenge” continues in our Facebook group, and I’ve been going live and talking to people about their walking goals. Join us there, or grab your copy of The Four Steps To Your Dream Life Blueprint, if you found this helpful.

Five Self-Care Tips For An Uncertain World

I’m honestly at a loss about where to start this post. All of the mindfulness practice in the world can’t change the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, an American crisis of democracy, and that we’re dealing with the effects of systemic racism, made more plain every day.

On a personal level, I’m finding that calming my mind for yoga or meditation is extremely difficult, walking, while therapeutic, doesn’t solve anything once the walk itself has ended, and talking to friends or family may fan the flames rather than put out the fire.

I’m torn between the desire to veg out on the couch with a movie and the desire to throw all of my energy into work.

If I’m feeling this way, I know you might be too. So here are my top five self-care tips for an uncertain world.

1 Ground Yourself

Feel your feet on the floor. Take very slow breaths, and focus on your breath going in, holding for a moment, and going back out. If you can’t get any alone time for this, do it on the toilet. Seriously. (I used to do that when I worked a corporate job in a cubicle!) The best grounding is done outside, with shoes off, but any of this work will give you major benefits.

2 Savor A Hot Beverage

If you can carve out 5-10 minutes to do this, it’s an easy way to give yourself alone time that is just for you. Each morning, part of my routine includes a cup of tea. You may go with an evening cup, or a cup of coffee, or some hot chocolate. The ritual and experience of a hot beverage is so satisfying, relatively easy and affordable, easy to include in a healthy diet if desired, and a moment to indulge yourself.

3 Take A Walk

My daily walks have been giving me life for years. They are absolutely essential when the world is, pardon my language, a shitshow. I highly recommend taking your walk outside if at all possible. Freezing temperatures? Bundle up, and keep it short if you don’t warm up within 10-15 minutes. (Personally, by that time I’m usually feeling a lot warmer.) And if quarantine or safety or timing etc. keep you from getting outside, my next best recommendation is walking indoors while looking outside. (If you don’t have a treadmill, walking in a room will do!) Science shows us that looking at nature is calming, Getting outside is calming. If you need extra support or motivation for your walks, come join my free More Steps! Challenge on Facebook.

4 Read A Relaxing Book

One of the wild outcomes of the state of the world right now has been the realization that even a book of fiction can stress me out right now. (Yes, seriously!) I just finished a fantastic book for my book club, but the stories were hitting too close to real life (the struggles of immigrants, of lower-income folks) and I found myself dreading turning the page.

Luckily, I’ve still got other books that calm and center me. I try to keep two other books going at any given moment – a sacred or reflective book, for my morning routine, and a more practical or strategic book for personal development. (And, of course, my third book is fiction or fun, but I think I’ll be sticking to more mindless books in that realm for a while!)

5 Journal

I journal each morning, as soon as I get up, as a way of getting the cobwebs out, as outlined in The Artist’s Way. Whatever thoughts and fears are rolling around in my head get let out and recognized immediately, allowing me to go about my day with clarity. I highly recommend it – it’s been my practice for a couple of years now.

If you found these tips helpful, you might also want to join my group or grab your copy of my free resource, The Four Steps To Your Dream Life Blueprint.

What did I miss? Which of these do you find most helpful?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! His latest is a holiday ukulele album, and pre-orders are half price!
  • Become a beta tester for Ross’ new online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.