Mindfulness and the mean check out lady

a problem is a chance for you to do your best Duke Ellington


The grocery store in my town is huge, and it’s always really crowded on weekends, which is when I usually have to go.

I am by nature a pretty impatient person, and everything about that store triggers me. I used to go there and just hate every minute of it:  From the full parking lot, to the rude people, to the narrow aisles and the long lines, to running into nosy neighbors, you name it. I just hated it. Continue reading “Mindfulness and the mean check out lady”

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What A Stranger Taught Me About How to Be Happy Today

when people i meet in everyday life teach the qualities I want in myself


Today I took a much-needed day off from work. When I took my dog Buddy for an early morning walk, I noticed I was feeling a little blue. Little did I know I would soon have a very nice lesson in how to be happy today.

I haven’t been to a yoga class in months, since the teacher who I really liked left the gym where I go. But I really love and miss yoga, and since I wasn’t feeling great to begin with, I thought it would be nice to treat myself to a class… Continue reading “What A Stranger Taught Me About How to Be Happy Today”

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An Open Letter to My Son on His 20th Birthday

I am so grateful that its never too late to make things better


My son is 20 years old today. I can’t believe it. It really doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that he was a little boy.

He is coming home from his sophomore year at college at the end of this week. They sure weren’t kidding when they say that time goes by fast. I feel like it was just yesterday he was still in high school and we were helping him decide what school to go to.

He is really turning out to be a nice young man. I have all kinds of feelings about this. Guilt for things I could have done better. Relief that he got through the angst of those earlier years. Pride that he grew up well balanced, despite all our family’s (my) shortcomings… And tremendous Hope for his bright future… Continue reading “An Open Letter to My Son on His 20th Birthday”

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Mindfulness Meditation and an Unexpected Early Morning Blessing

mindfulness helps get you back


Yesterday morning on my commute into work I was trying to decide what CD to listen to-  Byron Katie’s A Thousand Names for Joy, or The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I love both of them and often switch back and forth. So I couldn’t make up my mind and was just driving along silently. It was a hurried morning and I ended up rushing out the door. I couldn’t make my hair behave and so it took longer than usual to style. Because of that I missed my usual 5 minute morning mindfulness meditation. 🙁

So I was still feeling a bit frazzled from that when I got into the car. As I continued on my commute in silence I just took slow easy, mindful breaths. I focused on the feeling of the cool air on my nostrils and just followed the flow of the breath as it gently expanded my chest and belly. I continued following my breath through to a slow, long exhale… Continue reading “Mindfulness Meditation and an Unexpected Early Morning Blessing”

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How to Find Inner Peace Even When You’re Cleaning the Bathroom :)

There are so many opportunities to find inner peace each day You just have to look for them



I have a long and colorful history of negativity.  Learning how to be present and not project into the future or dwell in the past is something I have to work on continually. One of the things I love to do is turn Chore Time into Spiritual Time. There are 3 things I do regularly that really help me find my inner peace:

1. I listen to spiritual podcasts when I am on the elliptical machine at the gym.

This gives me a dedicated block of time that feeds my soul. I listen to The Work of Byron Kate as well as Joel Osteen. (Both are free on Itunes.)

There is something to be said about the endorphin rush you get when you exercise- and how this can really fuel what you’re listening to. I have been lifted up out of the depths of despair doing this, especially last spring when my husband lost his job. Last spring, hearing Joel Osteen’s powerfully positive and uplifting messages regularly really help carry me through that very hard and scary time! 😀

2. I listen to my favorite spiritual audio CDs on my commute to work in the morning.

Early morning is such a beautiful time of day.  I just love taking in all the sights of the seasons. It is so ripe and full of potential, and I love noticing all the little details about the trees and the road and the sky, etc. The stillness and peace of the early morning is like a warm hug that makes everything feel ok- as long as I don’t ruin it with my thoughts that is! 😉

Listening to my favorite authors while I drive into work helps me stay focused on the present and not project dreadfully into the future. This helps me particularly on mornings when I feel stuck in a worried pattern or feel nervous. My go-to favorite to help me focus and feel good is The Power of Now.

3. I listen to Byron Katie’s Conversations on YouTube every weekend while I’m cleaning my bathrooms.

These little things may not seem like much but they can be really helpful both on the spot- -to get a soothing dose of inner peace- as well as for helping me understand spiritual concepts that I really want to learn.

 On the spot.

Last Saturday I woke up today feeling just horrible- my thoughts were running all sorts of old stories that hurt my self esteem and make me feel less than. Stuff about feeling I don’t fit in and not having enough friends…

I was doing my usual weekend housecleaning knew I would soon be doing the bathrooms and listening to Byron Katie on YouTube (her “Conversations” are excellent- just Google Byron Katie Conversations to find them). And I knew without question that I would soon be feeling better.

And I did… All I can say is WOW- message received! By listening to the video and relating to what I heard, I could understand so clearly how I was believing all my stressful thoughts  and making myself feel lonely and miserable. In less time than it took to mop the floor, I had freed myself from my pain, and was finally at peace. My mental suffering ended then and there. 🙂

(Even when I fall out of the practice of doing Judge Your Neighbor worksheets, which is the recommended way to do The Work, listening to Katie on YouTube helps so much. I highly recommend this to anyone who is suffering. Her videos just rock! 😀 )

To learn spiritual concepts.

I absolutely love The Power of Now and have had the book for years. When I first read it, it was too much-  I couldn’t understand it. I knew it was important and could help me, but it was like reading a foreign language. Listening to the book on Audio CD was a better way for me to receive the information and really “Get it”.

For example, learning to Watch My Thoughts and be their witness was something I was only able to do after listening to the book several times. With repeated listening, I could go into the practice more deeply and stay there longer.

This was also the case with Byron Katie’s book A Thousand Names for Joy. This book teaches how to find joy and bliss just by being alive and existing! …And I find the more I listen to spiritual books I love, the more I gain from them.  I have been listening to these wonderful books on my commute for almost 2 years now. There is just so much wisdom there! 😀

The peace of the early morning is like a warm hug that makes everything feel ok


Also, what a difference this makes in setting me up for a more balanced and peaceful day! Listening to spiritual audio books on my commute helps every day to feel like a wonderful new beginning, and not just another day in the rat race 🙂

Taking the time to listen to the wisdom of great spiritual teachers is a sure fire way to find inner peace. Whether you steal a few minutes on your commute, or while you’re at the gym, or even cleaning the toilets like me, it doesn’t matter. You are opening yourself up to receive the things you need to hear for your own spiritual and emotional growth and healing.

The simple practice of turning Chore Time into Spiritual Learning Time really helps keep me feel connected to others and balanced. 🙂

There are so many opportunities to find little glimpses of inner peace every day. You just have to look for them. I hope this inspires you to make the most of some of your chore time or commute time by turning it into spiritual time 🙂

xo, Lisa Arcelia

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21 Inspiring Quotes on How to Enjoy Life

aa milne my favorite day quote



Once you’ve lived long enough you start to notice that life comes with lots of upsets and loss and disappointments. Of course there are good times and joys, but unfortunately, no one ever escapes hardship and loss. As you know, my husband’s recent setback with his health threw me for a loop. He’s doing better now, thank God.

So even though life can be tough, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still strive to enjoy life and be happy. Making the best of what you have and living life being positive and upbeat turns good times into great times, and helps keeps you going when things seem bleak.

In that spirit, today I’d like to share 21 motivating and thought-provoking quotes on enjoying life. I hope you’ll find something inspiring and helpful for you today. Continue reading “21 Inspiring Quotes on How to Enjoy Life”

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And… He’s sick again

life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to dance in the rain


Can’t believe this shit. I really thought once the Crohn’s flare up was past, he’d be feeling better and get back to his life. He had 2 good, normal days and now he’s sick again. 🙁

I get scared when he’s so exhausted. It’s 2:10pm on Saturday and he’s dead asleep on the couch. He woke up this morning, tried to putter around and had to lay down by around 10 am. This after sleeping all night. I feel so bad for him. At least he’s not having stomach pain. Continue reading “And… He’s sick again”

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Eckhart Tolle is Teaching Me How to Be Kind to My Mother-in-Law

the past has no power over the present moment eckhart tolle



I noticed quite by accident the other day that I’m becoming a nicer person. And I give all the credit to Eckhart Tolle. Learning how to be kind to people that hurt me in the past has not been my strong suit. 

Last Saturday was a beautiful spring day, and also one of the first days in recent history that Bob felt well, so we decided to take a drive up to visit our son at school to take him out to dinner. His college is only an hour and a half away. Oh yeah, and we brought my mother-in-law with us.

It was actually my idea to invite her. Dottie is in her 80’s and healthy. She is a perfectly nice person. But as her daughter-in-law, we have not had much a friendly and loving relationship in my 21 year marriage to her son. We are cordial, but have never been close. Although we live in the same town, we have never gone out to lunch or gone shopping or done anything together (and it was not for lack of me trying). Continue reading “Eckhart Tolle is Teaching Me How to Be Kind to My Mother-in-Law”

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Why I am Practicing Gratitude When Our Health Insurance Denied Us 3 Times

when you accept what is every moment is the best moment


Today I am going to actively practice gratitude. Bob still doesn’t feel well. He missed 2 days of work last week, and he has to be half dead to not go to work. So I know he feels like shit. I am going to not focus on that today because it makes me feel very scared and hopeless. Instead I am going to be thankful for what is.

Last Saturday Bob finally got his Remicade infusion- hurray! 😀 Seriously, I want to shout Hallelujah from the mountaintops!  I’m glad I spoke up to the doctor and told him how his office and the new insurance company were giving us the run around (as I said in my last post, they denied his Remicade THREE times- and he’s been getting if for over a year!). I only wish I hadn’t waited a full month before I did say something. Note to self- remember to advocate for my family’s health care.  I am so happy and grateful that Bob finally got the medicine he needs. Continue reading “Why I am Practicing Gratitude When Our Health Insurance Denied Us 3 Times”

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What Self Care Looks Like When I’m Tired & Stressed

if your compassion doesnt include yourself its incomplete



Today’s topic is remembering to practice self care in times of stress. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit is important to do in all phases of life. And I would say it is absolutely crucial to practice self care during times of stress or upheaval.

I am fairly disciplined to take care of myself. And lately I have really needed some TLC because I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants!

Today is my wonderful Wednesday- my day off in the middle of the week. It feels so nice to sit in my quiet sunny kitchen and just take in the morning. I just took Buddy for a good long walk around the neighborhood. The past 2 days it was freezing out and I was too exhausted after work to do much. Bob still has a lot of exhaustion from his Crohn’s flare up so it was all he could do to make it to work.

Making the effort to get up and get outside- even though it’s cold and I was tired- was a little gift I gave myself. Once outside I could witness the beauty of this early April morning and enjoy walking and warming up and exercising and being with my Buddy boy… Continue reading “What Self Care Looks Like When I’m Tired & Stressed”

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