Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goodbye February!

February couldn't last forever.  Just wanted to give a quick heads-up for March since it's Women's History Month and International Women's Month (yayy!).  March 8 is International Women's Day and if you need an incentive to do some decluttering then National Cleaning Week 3/26 - 31 is there to motivate you.  : ) 
What do you enjoy about being a single woman?  Who are the women that you admire in your life?   Do you have any decluttering projects in mind for this month?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Your Take?

It is a strange transition to be with someone else.  When you are on your own, you have so much time to yourself.  You are like your own therapist; You start to understand yourself.  Being with someone else on a daily have to see yourself as perceived by someone else and make a lot of adjustments.
Margo - quoted in Quirklyalone

Off-and-on, I've been reading Quirkyalone by Sasha Cagen.  I like to read about 4 books at once so the fact that I've read a little here and there of the book is typical of me.

One quote that sticks out in my mind is the quote above from Margo, identified as "quirkytogether."

What I like about the quote is that it balances the advantages and disadvantages of being single or in a relationship.  Similar to Margo, being single allows me ample time for reflection and for doing "my own thing" while being in a relationship puts my communication skills to the test : ) and offers me more insight into myself.

What's your take on the quote above?  Do you agree or disagree with it?

Image Credit:  Tcola,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The After Glow

Hope you all enjoyed Valentine's!  Mine was actually a bit quieter than expected but all-in-all it went well. 

I stayed inside for the day (had the day off from work), took my time eating meals and did some cleaning.  I had the chance to use some delicious-smelling lemon creme lotion that my sis gave me which made me feel special.

I hoped to watch the DVD Up in the Air last night but that didn't quite work out.

A thought that did occur to me on Valentine's is the idea of "romance":  What it means and how to add it into one's life in an authentic way.  I was thinking of some ideas on how a single woman could add romance to her life without it meaning that she has to go out and search for a partner or wear frou-frou house-slippers. 

I'm sure most of us have heard of couples who say that the romance/spark has gone from their relationship.  Therefore, being in a relationship doesn't guarantee romance which means that romance is independent of one's relationship status.  This then had me thinking of how a single woman could add romance to her life regardless of her relationship status.  For example, by slowing down, appreciating herself, wearing something that makes her feel special, making mealtime an "occasion."

What's your idea on romance?  Do you cringe or scoff at the word?  Do you believe that you can not be in a romantic relationship and still have romance in your life?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 14

How will you enjoy the day?

We've made it to Valentine's and the end of our 14 day challenge.  For today, you'll decide how you'll enjoy the day.  What do you enjoy doing and how can you add it to today?  Make it simple and fun for yourself.  If you want to go out dancing do that or dance in your home.  If you're longing for romance, create a romantic environment in your home or watch a romantic comedy.  Wish someone a "Happy Valentine's Day!" your simply greeting may cheer him/her up,  For additional ideas, you can also take a look at this post "6 Valentine's Day Tips for the Single Woman."

If you're feeling up for an bonus challenge, you can also take a look at the list you created on Day 1 and think of one action you can take to improve a relationship that earned a : ( rating. 

Remember that Valentine's Day is about love:  It's not just for couples.  Continue to love your wonderful, singular self and enjoy the holiday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 13

Mental Rehearsal

So Valentine's is almost here which means we're nearing the end of these challenges.  Today, imagine how you want to feel for Valentine's Day.  (If it helps to write your responses, then feel free to do so.) 

Do you want to feel love, appreciation, gratitude, connection? 

What are some thoughts that can support those feelings? 
Some possible thoughts could be -
I'm a loving and kind person
I value loving and supportive relationships with others
I'm learning to love myself more
I've decided to love myself more

(Whatever floats your boat and works for you.  I know at times some affirmations don't fit my personality or mood so feel free to adapt the affirmations above or create your own.)

What are some actions that can support those feelings?
Examples could be -
Eating healthier foods
Thinking kind thoughts about yourself
Thinking kind thoughts about others
Being patient with yourself
Accepting kindness from others
Appreciating your accomplishments - big & small

Actually, why wait another day to have those thoughts and feelings?  Why not start now?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 12

source: brandy shaul,
 Pamper yourself

Show yourself some self-love and pamper yourself today.  Whether you pamper yourself for the whole day or can only spare 10 minutes to read a favorite magazine, allow yourself some guilt-free relaxation.  If you're unable to pamper yourself today then schedule time this month for pampering.  You deserve it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 11

"You only grow when you are alone." 
Paul Newman

The Benefits...

 The inspiration for today's challenge comes from Satisfied Staying Single Day. For today, list 8 (or more) benefits of being single.  

As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to an experience.  For Day 11, though we're focusing on the benefits of being and/or living single.  Enjoy the challenge and Happy Satisfied Staying Single Day!  Yeah, the name is kinda long but the intentions are good.  : ) 


Friday, February 10, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 10

Observe nature

Whether you're observing the outdoors from your window or while taking a walk.  For 5 minutes or more, take a break from your thoughts or your cell phone and connect with your natural environment.  Notice the different colors in your surroundings, the faces of people around you or even the smell of the air. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 9

source:  brandy shaul,

Compliment someone

Give a sincere compliment to someone.  After you give the compliment, check in to see how you feel.  Awkward?  Happy?  Relieved? 

*If this exercise makes you feel pressured to give someone a compliment, then find something beautiful in your surroundings (home/office/outdoors) that you can appreciate. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 8

It is and it isn't...

Words like "love" "friendship" "success" "wealth" are often used without us giving much thought to them.  I mean, my definition of success is probably different from my neighbors.  For today, we're gonna focus  This exercise will take between 5-10 minutes. 


Divide a piece of paper into 2 columns.  On the left write "Love Is" and on the right, write ""Love Isn't." Write whatever pops into your mind about love in the general sense.*  For you, love could be an unexpected smile from a stranger, a sunny day, being yourself with someone, a conversation with a close friend, a warm hug.  

Create your list and notice what does and does not feel loving to you.  What are you already doing that makes you feel loved?  What can you do to add more love to your day?  What causes you to feel unloved? 

*If you have the time,  you can categorize love based upon the 3 of the relationship categories from Day 1 or simply list what self-love is and isn't for you.  Feel free to update this list as needed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 7

source:  clevercupcakes,

Of your 5 senses:  sight, taste, sound, touch, smell, choose one to focus on today.

For instance, if it's touch, be aware of how something feels.  The clothes that you wear.  A person's handshake.  The wind/sun on your face. 

Do I expect you to have an intense awareness of a sense for the whole day?  Actually, no, but when it occurs to you.  If you wish, you can write a reminder on your to-do list or write a post-it note of the sense that you want to focus on. 

Another option is to devote 5 minutes with a heightened awareness of one your senses.

Heads Up:  Day 12 will be for pampering.  If you can, schedule time on 2/12 to pamper yourself:  sleep in, soak in the tub, enjoy a favorite food, write in your journal, take a refreshing walk, day dream, give yourself a scalp massage.

Monday, February 6, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 6

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.
May Sarton

Spend 5 minutes meditating or practicing deep breathing

The link below has a brief meditation to follow.

Also, today is that start of International Friendship Week.  What do you appreciate about your friends?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 5

Give yourself a scalp massage.

I'm a fan of scalp massages as a way to de-stress and clear the mind.  Below is an instructional video from Youtube.

source: youtube

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sepia Vintage

While questing various fashion sites, in an effort to upgrade my fashion knowledge, I came across this website that features vintage photos of African Americans.  The expressions, settings, poses and clothing styles are pretty cool to see.

If you'd like to check out the site, here's the link to it.  Also, if you want to check out the dame who runs the site, here's her fashion blog, Budget Chic.


V-Day Challenge, Day 4

Notice something unique about your appearance.

This is "positive" unique not "negative" unique, OK?  Perhaps you have thick eyelashes or dimples that people notice.  It could be the birthmark on the back of your arm that makes you unique.  Now's the time to acknowledge and appreciate it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 3

A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable.
Eileen Caddy

Compliment yourself. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 2

Start the day by deciding how you want to feel.

Do you want to feel energized, clear-headed, laidback, calm, focused, playful?  True, these aren't strictly feelings byt hopefully you get the idea. 

Oh yeah, Happy Groundhog's Day to everyone!  As peculiar as that holiday is...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

V-Day Challenge, Day 1

source: brandy shaul,

Welcome to the V-Day Challenge!  For Day 1, we'll start with listing our relationships in life.  (This is likely one of the more "involved" challenges.)

Starting with yourself, list your relationships in life.  Below are some ideas on the relationships to consider.  Categories:
The Online Community

Put a happy, neutral or sad face next to your relationship categories.
If a category doesn't apply, then leave it blank, e.g., you don't own any pets, or romantic relationships aren't a concern.
Choose 3 relationships that bring you the most joy. 

What do you appreciate about these relationships?  

Examples, could be your outgoing/introspective personality, the way your sister laughs, a neighbor who greets you in the mornings or a co-worker who keeps you up-to-date on global events.

That's it for Day 1!

*Remember, if you can't do this challenge right now, then schedule time to do it later in the day or on the weekend.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

V-Day Challenge

For February, I'm launching a V-Day Challenge so the next 14 days I'll be posting a series of simple things you can do to appreciate yourself, your relationships and to relax.  I'll keep most of the challenges brief and easy-to-read.   

In addition to Valentine's, here are some other notables for February:

International Expect Success Month

Black History Month

Feb 2
Groundhog Day

Feb 6-10
Friendship Wk

Feb 11
Satisfied Staying Single Day

Feb 12
Lincoln's Birthday

Feb 14
Valentine's Day

Feb 20
President Day

Feb 29
Leap Year

Monday, January 30, 2012

Air Patrol

He lives most life whoever breathes most air.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

As single women, it's easy for our energy levels to tank with the various activities in our life:  work/running a business, running errands, managing our home environments, maintaining our health, balancing our relationships, keeping our commitments.  If you're feeling overloaded with too much to do and your energy is low, have you considered that it could be from an inadequate intake of fresh air?  While it's true that exercise, food and stress affect our energy levels, it's also true that the amount and quality of air that we're breathing also affects our well-being.*

In wintertime, it's especially easy for us to receive low amounts of fresh air.  Few of us want to go outside when it's cold, right?  With the colder weather, we're more inclined to stay indoors and turn on our heating appliances. 

The effect of time spent indoors is that, obviously, we receive less fresh air.  Our homes, as welcome as they are during the colder season, also can exude a variety of toxins due to cleaning products, air fresheners, home furnishing chemicals, fumes from cooking and beauty/hair products. 

By keeping our windows shut during the winter season or by reducing our outdoor activities, we're more likely to receive low quality air.  If your thinking and energy levels are sluggish,  then you may want to consider boosting your oxygen intake. 

Here are some suggestions on getting some fresh air during the winter season:

1.  At the start or end of the day, open your windows for a few minutes to let some fresh air in.

2.  If possible, keep windows in the kitchen and bathroom slightly open.

3.  During your lunch breaks...and if the weather permits...take a brief walk.

4.  Exercise outdoors.  Be sure to dress appropriately and if it's insanely cold then please bypass this tip.

5.  From time-to-time, check in to see how you're breathing.  If you're taking low shallow breaths, that could be a sign of stress and also of poor air quality.

6.  Practice deep breathing.  At the start or end of the day, take 3 deep breaths by inhaling each for 5 seconds, holding for 5 and exhaling for 5 seconds.

Be sure to check in with your breathing as a way to stay healthy and increase your mental clarity.  With our attention on food and exercise as a way to stay healthy, it's easy to overlook the impact that air quality has on us. 

Now that you've read this entry, what will you do to ensure that you're getting sufficient fresh air?  Feel free to post a comment or question below.

*As always, if you have health issues be sure to consult with a medical professional before your practice a deep breathing program or if you've been plagued with energy issues.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Staying Committed - Weeks 3 and 4

jane fonda 
source:  laurie pink,

About 2 weeks ago, I shared my experience in strengthening my commitment muscles---in relation to goal-setting.  So my premise is that often when we kick-off the New Year's, we've got the enthusiasm to launch into a goal but as time and life continue we lack the commitment to persevere.  Therefore, I created a simple commitment workout to strengthen our commitment muscles and sense of accomplishment.  We're now heading into Week 3.  Here, I'll post the steps for Week 3 and 4.  I've made this workout simple enough that it should only take about 5 minutes of your day.

In addition to strengthening your commitment, the aim of this workout is to exercise your growing commitment muscles on your goal. 

In Week 4, you'll take one action step to flex your commitment muscles.  To track your progress, you can either create a separate chart or put a daily check-mark to indicate that you've accomplished your daily commitment.  At the end of Week 4 you'll tally your results.  Feel free to repeat Week 4 as often as needed.  So have your leg warmers and water bottle ready as you gear up for the upcoming workout.

The Easy Commitment Workout
Click here to view the previous weeks' workout.
Week 3
In your notebook write 3 times:
I keep my commitment to whatever goal you'd like to focus on.
I'd usually ask that someone be specific in their goal, but in this instance if you want to be general is fine.
I keep my commitment to boost my health.
I keep my commitment to have more money.
I keep my commitment to be a better listener.

Week 4
For this week, you'll commit to a specific action related to your goal and put a check mark in your journal or on a separate chart to track your successes.  Ideally, for this week, you'd choose an action you can commit to for 7 days
I keep my commitment to meditate for 5 minutes.
I keep my commitment to read 10 pages of a personal finance book.
I keep my commitment to focus and listen to my friend.

If, you've chose an action in which it would be healthy for you to recharge and take a break from then simply write "I keep my commitments."
Sample Exceptions:
I keep my commitment to hand out my business card to 5 people.
I keep my commitment to work out for 40 minutes.

If you've committed to doing these activities 3 or 5 days out of the week, then on your "off" days, you'll simply write "I keep my commitment."  Throughout the day, though, observe what you do/do not commit to.

If you decided to revise the number on commitment on certain days, i.e., you decide to hand out your business card to 10 people or commit to working out on 20 minutes on Wednesday then revise your commitment statement to reflect that.  However, if you find yourself slacking off then decide if you need to change your commitment.  If you decide to do less for some time then do so without guilt.  You're still committed to your goal and building your commitment muscles.  In 6 months time, you'll likely surprise yourself with the accomplishments that you've made by working on your commitment first before working on the goal. 

My Experience
For myself, I feel a sense of accomplishment in easily writing down the 3 statements and knowing that I'm doing something to boost my commitment muscle.  It takes a small amount of time for me in the morning and I can easily cross it off of my to-do list.  Since it's so simple, I look forward to doing my workout and I feel good about keeping my commitment to this workout.

How about for you?  Have you tried this workout yet?  How are you progressing?  What successes have you had with it?

To Ponder:   An easy way to tear your commitment muscle is to commit to too much, is there an activity from your schedule that you can drop or change its deadline?  How many of your commitments are self-inflicted?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome News...

First off, today is National Compliment Day so if you want to pause and give yourself a compliment or compliment someone, then feel free to do so.  While it's not exactly a compliment, I want to thank you for reading this blog and for sharing it with other single women.

Today's welcome news is that my blog is now one of the listed blogs on Single With Attitude.  Single With Attitude features a list of feeds for blogs that cater to single living.  It's part of Dr. Bella DePaulo's website which has links to articles and research geared toward singles.

If you're a single and would like to check out other blogs, sites, resources and articles designed to support and empower your singular life, then be sure to visit DePaulo's website.  Also, feel free to let your other single friends, family members and co-workers know about the site. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get Organized + Self Love = January

source:  bluishorange,

Hope you all enjoyed Dr. King Day yesterday.  Those who subscribe to my newsletter* are already aware of this but I wanted to remind you all that January is Get Organized and Self Love Month.  This makes January an ideal time to focus on decreasing your overwhelm and boosting your self care.  Here are some suggestions...

1.  Give yourself a big hug and take the time to clean out your desk drawer.

2.  Give yourself a foot massage and throw out/donate any worn...or barely worn shoes.

3.  Reward yourself for cleaning out you inbox by booking a facial for yourself.

4.  List 5 reasons why having a streamlined home is an important part of self care.

5.  Set aside time during the weekend to tackle a disorganized room, corner, shelf or drawer

6.  Reflect on the question:  What does self-love mean to me?'

7.  After having cleaned out a particular room yourself, compliment yourself for a job well-done.

8.  Think of ways that you can be more organized in the morning:  prepping lunch in advance, having your clothes ready to go, packing your bag/purse w/needed items, having your keys or other essentials in a visible place.

9.  Ask yourself, how you can be more organized this month.

As a single woman, how can you make being more organized a way of showing self-love for yourself?  How does being disorganized affect your sense of calm? What action will you take to observe this month?  

All right, there you have it.  Feel free to post a comment below.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Staying Committed

source: freefotouk,
A theme that has been roaming through my mind recently is the idea of making a commitment to a goal.  A lot of us embark on the New Year with hopes of finally making that change--of losing weight, going back to school, or saving more money.  Two weeks or two months later, the goal is languishing and we've returned to our previous tendencies.  Why does this happen?  We know that organic broccoli is healthier than french fries.  We do want to earn that degree and have more money.  So why do we end up back to our previous patterns, feeling relieved that the stress of continuing our new habit is gone?

There are different reasons for this: 
  • Fantasizing about the end result instead of realizing the adjustments we'll have to make to achieve that slimmer figure. 
  • Expecting too much, too soon. 
  • Feeling uncomfortable and deprived by our new behavior.
My theory is that before we take the action required to achieve a goal, we first work on strengthening our commitment muscles.  Once that quality is strengthened within us, it's easier to set, live and achieve our goals.

Imagine how much easier it would be for you to fit in that morning workout, if you were sincerely committed to your health.  When your commitment muscles are soft and weak, then you're far likelier to give up on a goal when challenged. 

Often times, we latch onto a goal with excitement and enthusiasm but with flabby commitment muscles.  When our excitement declines and our commitment is required, we perform poorly.  After all, if you're used to lifting 15 lbs, how can you instantly be expected to lift 5 times that amount?  Likewise, with your commitment muscles, if you're used to having a jiggly, "just getting-by" level of commitment in life, then it's going to feel uncomfortable to suddenly have a firm, high-achiever's commitment level. 

Since we you don't yet have that level it's easier for you to give up on your goals.  While you wish to change, you have a stronger commitment to comfort than to growth.  To ease the transition, you can do the commitment workout below and also take small steps so that you gently stretch your comfort zone.

Here's my still-in-the-lab workout on this commitment.  I'm currently in Week 1.  My suggestion is that before you begin your most challenging goals, you do your commitment workout first and then take baby steps with the goal.  Remember to set yourself up for success, not failure.  Please note, if your goal is to end an addictive behavior, be sure to consult with a professional about this.  This post is not an excuse for someone to continue their smoking habit.
The Easy Commitment Workout
Week 1
In the mornings, write the following:
I commit.  (3 times)
I keep my commitments.  (3 times)

When you're tempted to give up on something, remind yourself that you keep your commitments. 
Week 2
Appreciate that you kept Week 1's  commitment.  If you were unable to finish Week 1, appreciate what you did and then go back to Week 1 before moving onto Week 2.

In the mornings, write this phrase:
I keep my commitment to ________. (3 times)
Leave the sentence incomplete.  Do not complete that blank.  I'll explain later why that sentence is unfinished.

Stay posted for Week 3...

Please note that I'm strengthening my commitment muscle, also, so I am not in any way claiming to be a commitment guru.  : )  There are some activities that I've committed to, like flossing my teeth and getting more green veggies and other activities were my commitment has been lagging.  Often times, my posts are inspired by my own experiences or challenges.

To your growth in the New Year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Transitioning into the New Year

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.
Henry Moore

We're now more than a week into the new year.  Have you made goals for this year?  If so, how are your goals going for you?

This year one of my themes is transitioning into the new year.  I'd assumed that with the buzz about 2012 and my decision to re-focus my business, I'd be quite aglow on January 1.  That though was not the case.  Instead of bursting full-heartedly into the new year and finding myself tired out by February 1, I'm doing things incrementally.  You can't train for a marathon in a day and for most of us it takes more than the day shifting from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, 2012 to cause change. 

On that high note, what are your goals for the new year?  How will you feel when you've accomplished your most important goal? 

Hey, let's back up...what is your most important goal for 2012? 

How do you want to feel throughout 2012?  Even better, how do you want to feel today?  Start now, to choose how you want to feel and live that feeling throughout your day.  Of course, feelings naturally ebb and flow, so if you're feeling less upbeat and cheery than expected, don't clobber yourself with guilt but instead experience the feeling and journal or take a walk to lessen the feeling's intensity.

So how do you feel...about this post?  Agree or disagree?  What are your doing to enjoy the New Year?  Feel free to post a comment below.