Hurricane Fiona

We’ve experienced hurricanes before. Living in New England, we’d catch the tail end of them occasionally, and in Florida, we experienced one in an RV, prepped with a go bag, near a bath house, and fearing we’d get COVID if we had to flee. (Luckily for us, it fizzled out by the time it was near us.)

Suffice to say, though, that when we moved to Prince Edward Island, Canada, we didn’t expect to encounter hurricanes.

I’ve been becoming more and more aware of my “prepper” tendencies. They increased significantly when COVID-19 came into focus in 2020, and finding the balance between prepared and hoarding can be trickier than you might think.

As we got wind a hurricane might come out way, a part of me felt it would be healthier to just use the food we had at home. And when my car started acting up, it meant I would have to shop on foot. But I am so glad I headed out Thursday for essentials, and Friday for a few more I couldn’t fit in the first trip.

Hurricane Fiona was no joke. We lost power Friday night, and as of this writing, I think our street is probably still days from it returning. And when 95% of the island lost power and nearly everyone it seems lost trees or gardens or suffered damage, gratitude isn’t hard to come by.

So I continue to offer gratitude. For a radio. For enough food. For access on foot to places to charge devices. For kind islanders offering food for a donation or a coffee. For all the privileges that set us up well for this. For past experiences that strengthened me in following my intuition and preparing accordingly.

I am about to launch a pilot of a mental fitness program that’s been transformative. I use the skills multiple times throughout the day, especially under our current stressors. Due to our power situation, I haven’t finalized the details in a pretty way. But if you’d like to be one of the first to try the program out with me, I’d love to hear from you. Leave your email below, or contact me at Rossandjamieadventure @ gmail.com for the details. If you’re ready to take charge of your life and move the needle on getting out of your head and into a meaningful life that lights you up, let’s chat. I’d love to send you more info and learn about where you are at and what you’re looking for.

And wherever you are, stay safe, and take care. You’ve got this.

The Only Cure I’ve Found For A Never-Ending To-Do List

Two gray pencils on corner of a yellow rectangle

Have you ever woken up overwhelmed, realizing that your to-do list is so long that you have no hope of accomplishing your goals for today?

I definitely have. It’s a chronic problem for many of us, and if that’s you too, it’s really worth doing the work to change your habits now so that you don’t continue to sabotage your mindset and hope of a great day before it’s begun.

When I read the book The One Thing, I was stunned by the deceptively simple premise. Ask yourself “what’s the one thing I can do today that will move me forward toward _”?

To answer it, you’ll need to know your top goal right now. And for me, I’ve got goals in a variety of areas, so there’s still some juggling involved. But for instance, if my taxes are due soon and they aren’t done yet, that might be the most important goal for me right now, which means the one thing I simply MUST accomplish today to be most effective might be gathering all the paperwork I’ll need to get my taxes done this month.

Over time, I’ve learned to allow myself to set 2 or 3 goals for the day sometimes. And that works. But always, I also make sure I know the #1 thing, and honestly, it’s most effective for most people to do that one thing first. But however you do it, get clear on your priorities for each day, and set those 1-3 goals. If you accomplish them, then know that You. Are. Done. You do not need to do ANYTHING ELSE. You are successful today. Well done.

And if just getting started feels daunting, it’s great to commit to taking 5 minutes (or however long) just to assess the entire task ahead of you. Read the instructions/read the emails you were sent. You don’t have to do the whole project – that counts as accomplishing something for today.

This technique works best when you also do some work articulating the one thing that would move the needle for you this week, and this month, and this year – and maybe even this lifetime!

The answers will vary, of course, over time, but these regular check-ins keep you honest with yourself, keep you from doing busywork or other work that just doesn’t mean as much or just isn’t as important right now.

Have you tried this technique? How does it work for you? And if this isn’t the technique for you, what’s worked better in your own life?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further 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. 

when the universe shouts

Black typewriter with white paper and a white background

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of writing a book about our travels across the US for a while now. For more years than I can remember, I’ve periodically had friends or family members or strangers ask if we were going to write a book about our adventures, or strongly suggest that we do so. In addition, I’ve long recognized that keeping this blog means that when I was ready to write that book, I’d have an assortment of stories to draw from.

Meanwhile, after putting my focus elsewhere (hello, operation: get to Canada!), for many months, in January I shifted my focus back to building my coaching business and other creative freelance work, both online and here in Canada.

I’ve got a giant to-do list, but I wasn’t feeling a lot of certainty about where my priorities should be as I relaunch things. Should I get more active on social media? Hop back into podcasting? Launch a course?

The universe, apparently, had other plans.

That Wednesday, I took Squeak, our cat, to the vet. Over the phone due to COVID, the veterinarian I had never met told me she’d “read the book about us traveling the US with a cat and having kittens”. I told her I’d probably have it written in 2-3 years – she seemed a little surprised. 🙂

Saturday, during a local (Zoom) book club meeting, after I’d introduced myself, a new friend said she’d “read the book of me traveling the US, coaching”.

Sunday, during a different Zoom book club, an acquaintance commented it looked like I was writing a novel – I was taking notes as we chatted. At the end of the session, she called out something like “Jamie, I want to read your book when it’s done!”.

So, yeah. Message heard loud and clear, universe!

The next day, I began writing my book.

Has the universe ever spoken to you? Or yelled at you?

Comment and let me know if I’m alone in this, please!

P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, that’s a great way to make sure you hear about my book when it’s available for pre-order! There’s a subscribe button – on your mobile, it should be the bottom right and say Follow, or look for a box on the right hand side if you’re on a computer etc. Thanks for your interest!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further 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. 

Prioritizing community

When we finalized our plans to move into an apartment and settle down in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, both Ross and I were particularly excited about the opportunity to find community.

Previous to hitting the road in an RV, we’d both found community mainly in the arts. Though I was still seeking a “best” friend or two, for the most part, we were happy enough day to day with our social circles. We had friends of different ages, friends who we’d invite to parties, and the friends that we performed with. It wasn’t perfect. Ross struggled to find a strong, accepting music community with plenty of opportunities for him, and I didn’t have the close friends I was hoping for. But we knew we were lucky to have lots of friends and fellow musicians that we were sad to leave behind when we started traveling.

As full-time travelers in an RV, our definition of community shifted. We found online community with other RVers or musicians, in-person community when we settled into a campground for a while, and in some places, we were welcomed into the local music community too. When we hit it off with friends while workcamping, held in-person meetups with friends we’d met online, or stumbled into a wonderfully accepting music community (think Seattle, Denver, Orlando, and most ESPECIALLY Portland, OR!), we rejoiced and made the most of it. And when the pandemic hit, Ross found community with musicians from around the world at ukulele meetups.

By the time we moved to Canada, we were ready for other types of community. The need had been exacerbated by the pandemic as well. We were ready to find a local farmer’s market, a regular grocery store, retailers, restaurants. We were ready to build lasting relationships and find a musical home that would accept us and sustain us moving forward.

For Ross, finding community has happened fairly naturally. As a student, he met classmates and professors and was soon getting invitations to parties and musical performances. He started performing in ensembles and socializing during and in between classes, and together we enjoyed local holiday festivities and concerts with the wider community (when COVID protocols and our own comfort permitted).

For me, finding community has meant taking deliberate actions on a regular basis, and following my intuition. I had a hunch that music would be a great entry point to making friends, and that hunch was completely correct. It led to me making a couple of wonderful friends within a few months of arriving here, and I’m now collaborating with dozens more through Island A Cappella and Luminos Ensemble. I even made a friend through a purchase on Facebook Marketplace!

My friend Jenn and I, at a wonderful comedy show, pre-Omicrom variant.

I’m now regularly receiving invites and getting to know my new local friends. I’ve even joined a local book club, one of those things I’d “always wanted to do” pre-pandemic, but never had.

And while COVID often slows things down for a while, each of these efforts has had some positive effect. I have both in-person and virtual meetups regularly.

Meanwhile, I’ve continued to strengthen my existing friendships, with Zoom meetups and phone calls with friends and family: our personal development mastermind, RVing friends, monthly family teas, and monthly check-ins with family and friends from so many places in my life.

I spent so many years feeling frustrated that I didn’t have the close friends I wanted. If I threw a party, it was always a hit. And I could cast a show or a concert. But who did I call or text when I was struggling? Honestly, for most of my adult life, I didn’t have anyone, or if I did, it was my partner. My husband is amazing, but we do better as a couple when we each have our own friends too.

Now, as I’ve struggled with anxiety and overwhelm in no small part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on those tough days, I have a list of people I can connect with. I can make plans with friends. And in any given week or month, I’m getting some of those 1:1, deeper conversations that are one of my favorite things in the world and that energize me.

So if you’re challenged in finding community right now, I wanted to encourage you. I believe it’s absolutely possible. It may take months or years (even decades!) – but it’s possible, if you are able to carve out the time. Especially if you will prioritize it. Join a book club (online or not), a musical group, a walking or hiking club, start a group to attend theater shows together, volunteer…the possibilities are endless!

And one of my goals for this year is creating a retreat so that I can foster and share that kind of relationship-building that I’ve found so helpful and comforting in my own life and business. (Do let me know if that interests you!) I’ll be leading virtual retreats and, in the future at least, in-person ones as well.

Where do you find community? Is this an area that you struggle with? Have you found virtual outlets for when in-person gatherings aren’t feasible?

Please comment, and let me know. I’m so curious. And thanks for reading, friend.

Ready for your own adventure? Our RV is for sale!

If you found us by RV Trader, hello, and thank you so much for your interest in our RV! And to my regular readers, thanks for your patience as we focus our time and energy on moving to Canada and selling our RV.

Looking for your own rig, at an affordable price? Read on! We’re currently parked in Londonderry, NH.

UPDATE: Since we first listed this RV, a former mechanic inspected it and we found out two things: 1 – the RV isn’t starting without a jump. We anticipate it needs a new battery and 2 – the propane tank is getting rusty, so it should get replaced soon. If you’re still interested, read on.

Our RV Trader Listing (priced at $18,000 or best offer)

Ready for adventure at an affordable price? This class C has all the essentials with newer tires, under 70,000 miles, and a great layout in a convenient vehicle at that “just right” size.

Highlights

With an a/c and fans, inverter, propane generator, water filtration and batteries new in 2018, you’re equipped for all kinds of weather and adventuring.
Entertainment center with a flatscreen TV, storage for game systems or bluray players, and speakers for playing music throughout the rig.
All back tires were replaced new in 2020. (Front look good, but will likely need to be replaced in a year or two.)
Fantastic storage, and a double sink in the kitchen make for a very livable layout.
Drives very well
Exterior wash station
Big enough for full-time living, but with no slides and less than 25’, easy to park in parking lots and campground spaces

Fuel: 55 gallons
Holding Tank – Black: 39 gallons
Holding Tank – Gray: 29 gallons
18 gallon propane tank (fillable to 80% per manufacturer)

The scoop:
We are the second owners. We bought in 2016 and lived in for 5 years traveling. We are selling only because we are moving to Canada and into an apartment for our next adventure.

Two flexible seating/dining areas that convert for sleeping and have room for storage underneath, and the TV/entertainment center is awesome, with excellent storage for books, games, and all of your extra linens too.
The kitchen is easy to use and clean, with a VERY spacious RV refrigerator.
A privacy curtain divides the back bedroom from the rest of the RV, leaving the space open by day and secluded at night.

Find us on Instagram: @rossandjamieadventure
Find our website (with more photos of the rig): RossAndJamieAdventure.com

Other Notes:

There are a few kitten scratches on the couches, and well-used blinds. We replaced the ones over the couch (with delightful light pink insulating curtains).
The water heater hasn’t worked since we bought it (2nd owners) and we never replaced it since we shower at campgrounds when it’s cold.
We removed the old awning, but kept the metal structure to support a new one.
Our electric step stopped working and we didn’t fix – we use a stool.
A couple of the electrical outlets no longer work.
We are pricing this to move quickly so we can pay off our loan and focus on our new apartment. We’ll throw in our RV surge protector and other accessories so you can hit the ground running. We’d love to make a new person, couple, or larger family’s dream come true!

Additional new note: the RV is no longer starting without a jump. Interested buyers should be prepared to jump it when they visit it to tour or purchase. And the propane tank, while it works, is getting very rusty and should be replaced soon.

Also, in better news, we have videos that we recorded when we bought the RV, with the dealer walking us through how each system works. We’ll share those with you upon purchase if you’re the buyer. 🙂

Love what you see? Email rossandjamieadventure@gmail.com ASAP – this will sell quickly!

Additional Info for our “as is” rig that didn’t fit in our listing:

Make: Winnebago Minnie
Model: WF324V (24V)
Current Mileage: 69,667.50
Serial Number: 10344F291845
Chassis VIN: 1FDXE45S75HB23672

Manufacturer’s original suggested retail price: $61,596 plus $8,237 in extra features. With $625 delivery and handling, originally priced at $70,458. We paid about $25,000 for it in 2016 at 33,000 miles.

Fuel: 55 GAL
Freshwater: 44 GAL
Holding Tank – Black: 39 GAL
Holding Tank – Gray: 29 GAL
LPG (Fillable to 80%): 18 GAL

GVWR: 14,050
GAWR (weight that can be carried by an axle):
Front – 4,600
Rear 9,450
Total weight: 14,050
Weight at the factory originally w/ full fuel, oil and coolants: 10,315
SCWR: 462
CCC: 2,846
GCWR: 20,000 (max allowable loaded weight of motorhome and any towed trailer or towed vehicle)

2005 Winnebago Minnie 24V Class C RV

Standard Equipment (Manufacturer Listing w/ notes):
Ford Chassis

Automotive
Mud Flaps – Rear
Running Boards – Bright Aluminum
Tire Tools
Trailer Hitch W/ 5,000 LB. Draw Bar
Wheel Covers – Stainless Steel

Cab
Automotive Heater & Air conditioner
Auxiliary start circuit
Bunk – front overhead w/ curtain
Cab carpet & floor mats
Cruise control
Power assist steering w/ tilt wheel
Seat belts – 3 point shoulder & lap

Exterior
Awning rails w/ rain gutter
Ladder
Mirrors – Breakaway/Adjustable

Interior
Bed – Queen
Ceiling material – textured fabric
Dinette w/ storage below
Lounge chair
Extra storage w/ outlet (designed for microwave oven)
Range – 3 burner w/ oven
Range hood w/ light & fan
Refrigerator/freezer double door
Sink – galley, double molded recessed
Shower w/ ABS surround & skylight
Toilet w/ foot pedal & sprayer
Vinyl floor in galley, bath & entry
Wallpaper border-decorative
Wardrobe cabinet w/ mirrored door

Systems
Battery – deep cycle, marine/RV (replaced in 2018)
Battery disconnect system, coach
City water hookup w/ gravity fill
Electrical system – 30 amp – power cord
Converter/charger – 45 AMP
Furnace – 25K BTU ducted, low profile
Generator prep w/ gas line & 12 volt
LP tank – permanent mount w/ gauge
Sewer hose stored in service comp
TV antenna w/ cable input
TV satellite system prep in roof
Water heater – 6 gal. elec. Ignition (not currently working, needs to be replaced)
Water pump – demand

Safety
Appliance tie downs
Carbon monoxide/LPG detector/alarm – recently checked and updated
Fire extinguisher – 10 BC
GFI
Smoke detector/alarm

Airbags, driver & passenger
Power windows & power door locks
RV radio – AM/FM stereo/cassette/CD (w/ added, upgraded sound in the “house” part of the RV)
Seats – adjustable slide/ recline
Roof – curved w/ fiberglass skin
A/C roof – mount, 13,500 BTU ducted
Roof vent – front & power in bath
Water system winterization package

Added features by manufacturer
Entrance step – electric (needs repair, currently we use a stool)
Couch
Ford Chassis 14,050 LB.GVWR
Battery-second
Drainage system – heated
Inverter-DC/AC, 300 WATT
Gen-4.0KW-Onan gas-microquiet
Vent-power ventilator
TV-Flat screen w/ remote (think this is either the 27” or 32” upgrade – it’s nice!)
Dinette – L-shaped
Floor covering – vinyl – thru out
Awning- patio (removed, frame remains)
Wheel liners – stainless steel
Exterior wash station
Material surcharge
Owner added – Water purifier for system

Ready for adventure at an affordable price? This class C has all the essentials with year-old tires, under 70,000 miles, and a great layout in a convenient vehicle at that “just right” size.

Highlights:
With an air conditioner and fans, inverter, propane generator, water filtration and batteries new in 2018, you’re equipped for all kinds of weather and adventuring.
Entertainment center with a flatscreen TV, storage for game systems or bluray players, and speakers for playing music throughout the rig.
All back tires were replaced new in 2020. (Front look good, but will likely need to be replaced in a year or two.)
Fantastic storage inside and a double sink in the kitchen make for a very livable layout.
Drives well, with comfortable seats
Exterior wash station is really convenient
Big enough for full-time living, but with no slides and less than 25’, easy to park in parking lots and campground spaces
44 gallon fresh water tank
Fuel: 55 gallons
Holding Tank – Black: 39 gallons
Holding Tank – Gray: 29 gallons
18 gallon propane tank (fillable to 80% per manufacturer)
Removable tables for dining and flexible seating
Sleeps 4

The scoop:
We are the second owners of this awesome rig, which we bought in 2016 and lived in for 5 years. We’ve driven from NH to AZ and NM, FL to NM, and around the Pacific Northwest briefly too. We’ve put about 43,000 miles on it, and we have absolutely loved our home. (We highly recommend spending time in New Mexico, our favorite so far!) The only reason we are selling is that we are moving to Canada for a while – my husband is going back to school, so we are returning to apartment life. (I will get my travel fix in part by coaching aspiring adventurers as we move forward!) We are ready to sell quickly.

This unit is super flexible, with two seating/dining areas that convert for sleeping and have room for storage underneath, and the TV/entertainment center is awesome, with excellent storage for books, games, and all of your extra linens too.

The kitchen is easy to use and clean, and there’s a very spacious refrigerator that easily holds a week or more of groceries for two people.

There’s a privacy curtain to divide the back bedroom from the rest of the RV when you go to sleep at night, leaving the space open by day and secluded at night.

Find us on Instagram: @rossandjamieadventure
Find our website (with more photos of the rig): RossAndJamieAdventure.com

Other Things We’ve Upgraded/Changed:
-We once raised kittens in this RV! So there are a few scratches on the couches, and they beat up our blinds a bit. We outright had to replace the ones over the couch (with delightful light pink insulating curtains)
-We’ve made regular repairs occasionally on the chassis and house. Our rig is due for an oil change. Pre-pandemic, we visited our RV mechanic yearly for an inspection in addition to any repairs we needed to make.
-We hit hail in Colorado in June and it broke our fan covers. We replaced them.
-We had some rust underneath and our first battery compartment rusted out. We had a welder rebuild it and the batteries replaced in the fall of 2018.
-We added a water filter, easy to source cartridges at RV stores or Walmart every 3-6 months. It helps!
-Our generator isn’t used much, but we run it periodically and it works well.
-The oven, stove, water, sewer etc. work great, and you’ve got lots of storage behind the TV (perfect for linens, sleeping bags, other light stuff) in addition to your closet, shelving, and storage compartments.

Other Things To Know:
-Our water heater didn’t work when we bought it. We mainly shower at campgrounds, so we didn’t attempt a fix. We were quoted $500 for a new water heater. The shower is perfect when we use it in warmer temperatures.
-We removed the old, tattered awning, but we left the structure so it can be replaced.
-Our Ford chassis is a workhorse, but to avoid draining the battery, we disconnect it when we will be sitting for more than a few days. It’s made our batteries last much longer. You’ll get the ratchet set we use with the RV and we can demonstrate exactly what we do, if you’d like to do the same.
-Our electric step got stuck “out” in 2018, and after having our mechanic get it in place, we bought a stepstool to use instead.
-A few of the electrical outlets no longer work. We had an incident with an electric heater early this year. We use extension cords and can show you how we make it work, but if you’ve got the time to get that fixed, even better. 🙂 (All the essential outlets for us – entertainment center, kitchen area where you could have a microwave or other appliances, plus one over the TV) are still intact.)
-we will throw in levelers, hoses, amp converters etc. with the sale, as well as an always pricey RV surge protector. Less for you to buy!
-Though we never tried towing, the rig can handle towing up to 5,000 pounds.

We are pricing this to move very quickly so we can pay off our loan and focus on our new apartment. We’d love to make a new person, couple, or larger family’s dream come true!

Prepping For A Major Life Change

Jamie and Ross snuggle on the couch
How are you?! I’m feeling excited, but honestly, I’m also feeling very nervous right now. It’s because I’m prepping for a major life change. 

How major? Well, I’ve been a full-time RVer since the summer of 2016, and my husband and I have been traveling for nearly five years. This August, we’re giving up RVing for an apartment – but not just any apartment. We’re moving to CANADA! (If you want the full story of why and how, check out our recent blog.)

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good adventure (after all, it’s what I’ve built my coaching business around!), but the truth is that every time I begin a new adventure, I feel a lot of fear come up. What if I made the wrong decision? What if I can’t figure out how to get _____ done? What if we get stuck in the middle of nowhere, broke and naked? Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but honestly, if you can think of it, it’s probably a fear I’ve had at some point. 

Thankfully, though, I have a really clear vision of what I want for my life and my future, and it includes a very clear vision of the two of us living on Prince Edward Island by August.

It’s that vision, that dream, and that determination that are MORE important to me than the fear. It’s that clarity that will keep me going while I’m applying for a visa and finding loans and scholarship information. It’s that clarity that will keep me motivated to find a vaccine as a traveler and sell our vehicles and keep showing up in my coaching business and promoting my new course, Crafting Your Life Adventure. 

The truth is, life is hard. It’s FULL of major challenges, and sometimes it feels like just when you start to get a hold of things, you lose your grounding as something else throws you off. 

Thankfully, through many years of study, I’ve found the mindset and tools to keep me grounded, focused, and able to achieve my goals and live the life of my dreams. And that’s what I’m teaching in my new course.

If you’ve been considering joining Crafting Your Life Adventure, I’d be honored to have you join us. 

There are scholarships available, and there’s currently an EARLYBIRD rate this week that you’ll definitely want to take advantage of. If you’ve got dreams but are fearing they won’t ever be within reach, I’d love to support you. Reply to this email with any questions, and check out the course to learn more.

I’m also leading a live training on Instagram and Facebook this week, called The Three Things Keeping You From Your Dream Life (And What You Can Do About It)Join my free Facebook group and join me at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, or follow me on Instagram and join me there at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. This is an in-depth training to help you further your goals, and it’s free!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon. 

P.S. I’m running a free challenge this week to celebrate my new course. It’s called Five Days to Clarity and I’d love for you to join us and enter the contest! Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook to learn more.

How to Break Out of a Funk

Woman at table, looking out window, bored

Okay, I’ll just be honest. I’m sitting here, feeling bleh. I don’t want to write a blog, I don’t want to be creative, and I don’t want to work. I don’t know what I want, but I wouldn’t say no to junk food, hugs, or a warm bed right now. Motivation is far away right now, that’s for sure.

So what do you do when you aren’t motivated, but you have obligations to keep? What do you do when you know you should get some work done, but you’re just not feeling it?

It’s honestly an experiment. Different moods and different people will find different things help them to break out of the funk.

Here are a few ideas to try when you’re stuck:
Talk to an accountability buddy
Talk to a loved one
Journal about what’s going on
Meditate
Get outside
Take a walk/run
Dance to a favorite song
Take a nap
Splash your face with cold water
Have a cup of tea or coffee
Eat a comforting meal
Play with your pet
Turn on an inspiring podcast
Make some art
Color
Try some aromatherapy
Play an instrument
Sing
Try a couple of yoga postures
Talk to a cricket

Ha! Gotcha. Made up that last one. Just wanted to see if you were still reading.

Can you relate to this feeling? I feel like it’s such a pandemic thing. Stress is running HIGH and sometimes we just aren’t in a patient mood.

What do you recommend to break out of a funk?

P.S. To break my funk tonight, it took my husband talking to me, venting to each other, being mopey, and then seeing that he needed to get some work done. Ultimately it was the idea of sitting doing nothing by myself that made me get a little more work done. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what works for you!

P.P.S. The wait list for my new course is up. I can’t WAIT to tell you all about it. Get on the list and you’ll be the first to get the details when they’re announced!

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.

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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 Role of the Sacred In Crafting Your Dream Life

Do you consider yourself to be a religious person? Or a spiritual person?

It’s something that I’ve struggled with somewhat for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to have faith, to have a certainty or sense of knowing or trust about what’s coming.

I grew up Episcopalian, aka mainline Protestant, aka Christian, in a fairly liberal, “low” church that saw more diverse families than I ever saw in my classes at school. It wasn’t unusual for our pastor (a woman) to have us dance around the church, singing a song that wasn’t in our hymnal, or have us engage in discussion groups during worship.

Nevertheless, even with her occasional elaborations and interpretations of the beautiful Episcopal prayer book, I still grew up with a fairly “by the book” religious education.

Going through confirmation classes, I did my fair share of questioning, but I’m also a rule follower, so it didn’t occur to me to do anything but complete the classes and get confirmed in the church.

When I went to college, for the first time I felt like I had a wide variety of options for where and how I would worship. Some of my friends became Pagan (intriguing, though it never occurred to me at the time to seek it out), but after trying out an Episcopal church service in town (nice, but nothing too memorable for me), I found my home at our college Protestant services.

These ecumenical services brought together students and staff from very diverse backgrounds, and they were designed to give everyone a little taste of the familiar. So we’d sing a “traditional” hymn or two that I might have sung growing up, and we’d have a praise and worship part of the service, led at the piano by our African-American pastor who had grown up Baptist and gotten his bachelor’s degree in music. For that section, there was no need to hold the hymn in our hand – the pastor would call out the lyrics and we’d follow him for the cues.

There might also be another hymn or two from a different hymnal, and perhaps we’d have a guest performer, and every other week, I’d sing with the gospel choir, where I was usually the only white singer and learned every song by ear – an incredible contrast with my strict, traditional, white, Western music education. It was a wonderful immersion in another culture and a new experience for me.

I’d stand on the stage with the choir, singing gorgeous music that filled and uplifted the space, and I’d be in my element. Afterwards, people would come up to me and say how transformed they were by my solo, or how much they enjoyed our performance, how moving it was.

I always wished it would move me that way. I felt like something was missing, something was wrong with me. To be fair, music did sometimes give me glimpses of God, just brief moments, when all the musical parts would come together perfectly. But otherwise, I’d always feel like there’s something wrong with me. Jason Robert Brown describes it well here when he requests, “Let the music begin.” and “Longing to feel what you feel…music of heaven to open some path to your soul and let something glorious in.”

After leaving the utopia that my bubble of a college experience was in many ways (definitely lots of privilege there), I spent the next year traveling the country with a children’s theatre, followed by a few additional years of searching when I settled down in New Hampshire. In weeks that I had some flexibility on a Sunday, I made a point of checking out a local church (in hopes of finding the connection I’d been seeking). I enjoyed the contemporary Christian experience from a music standpoint, but found it didn’t resonate with me in terms of beliefs. I found lots of mainline Protestant services that reminded me of home (similar, but different), and I got angry at the Catholic church a couple of times. I also had a couple of truly frightening interactions that I won’t get into here.

Later, I found a ton of satisfaction as the accompanist at churches I found a home in. I loved the communities I worked in, and in addition to those occasional transcendent music, I was delighted to help other people find those connections to God through my music.

In more recent years, I’ve loosened up my definition of spirituality. Maybe I’m never going to feel that clarity I’m seeking every Sunday. Maybe it’s more a question of creating a practice of contemplation, where I seek wisdom, get in touch with my inner knowledge and seek connection with the universe. I connect with nature. I read. I engage in challenging conversations. Creating sacred time for myself each morning has evolved into one of my favorite things about my day, and I’m so thankful to have a morning routine that truly lights me up and makes my day better.

Working with my clients, I’m finding it’s really important to encourage them to take time for themselves to check in and be still each day. We all need that time for ourselves, and the consistency of a morning (or evening) routine offers us so many benefits. For some it’s meditation, for others prayer or reading and journaling, but it is essential.

Do you aspire to have a consistent morning practice? If you’re working to create the life you want, it may feel daunting to acknowledge where you are now compared to where you want to be. I encourage you to take one small step today to get aligned with your dream life.

Does the dream version of you make time for a prayer each morning? Practice gratitude before bed? Take a walk outside? You may not have the car of your dreams, or the abundant bank account, or the dream schedule, but I’ll bet there are steps you can take today to make your present more like your future.

So while spirituality or religion isn’t a requirement as you create your dream life, it’s important for all of us to have some grounding practice that centers us each day. And honestly, sometimes even very religious people, on the outside, aren’t taking enough time to do the work on the inside.

If you’d like help with this, let’s get on a call to discuss how I can help you get there.

Do you have a sacred practice? Does it light you up? If not, what’s one change you can make this week to get you more aligned with your future and best self?

P.S. Ross’ new holiday ukulele album (it’s gorgeous!) is available now – what a perfect gift for a friend or yourself – and Ross’ online ukulele course is now available for purchase, less than half price until the end of the year. And my new Facebook group is a great place to chat about next steps in your life and career!

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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.