Feeling a Little Blue

Dear Librans,

Today is such a weird day for me…

On one hand, I’ve been getting some interesting cases at work that will allow me to think outside the box for my clients; I’ve been finding some really great books to add to my “Want to Read” list for this year and I’m going to participate in a 6-week training course that I’ve been eager to take part in.

But on the other hand, today I started to feel very lonely.

I’m having such a lack of human contact that it feels as though I’m being crushed by it. Ordinarily, I hold myself out to be an introvert. With the self-quarantine though, sometimes it gets to me.

I’m tired of talking on the phone and over Zoom and looking at the four walls. I feel a bit sad today.

Logically, I know that everyday can’t be peaches and cream but when this feeling hits, especially during this pandemic, it really hits.

This is not going to be a long post today. I just want to ask, “Do you deal with pandemic loneliness? If so, what are some practical things you do to get over that hump?

I’m eager to hear from you. Love and Light!

Maintaining Boundaries

Dear Librans,

As I’m writing this, I’ve finished working for the day. Mondays are normally hectic for me but lately I’ve been trying to go to sleep at a reasonable hour on Sunday nights. It helps when I have my life coach classes because when I’m done, I’m really done for the day.

I’ve also started telling myself when I feel tired or distracted, “You’re wide awake and super excited!”

I’ll admit that this doesn’t always work but it does so enough that I know it’s helping. Baby steps, right?!

Well, something I’ve been working on is maintaining my boundaries. I believe, as a Libra, I must feel like I’m in balance or as close to it as possible. When people, things or events keep pushing me outside my balance area of where I not only feel comfortable but can also function, I’ve had to start really sticking to my boundaries.

This is not always easy for me.

I’ve not talked to a friend physically/virtually in a little more than a week because they pushed me outside of the area that was comfortable for me – especially since I was already dealing with something. They wanted to go on about a topic even though I said twice that I was done with the conversation. They didn’t like that, and they hung up the phone on me.

What was amazing, in the moment and even now, is that I immediately felt a load lift when the call was ended. I felt in alignment again. Of course, I don’t want anyone upset with me but in the end, if someone refuses to give me the space to breathe, there’s something wrong with that in my reality. They may feel the total opposite from me and that’s more than okay. I tried to talk it out and explain but they didn’t want to.

I’m not even opposed to them calling when they do want to talk calmly – even if we don’t agree ultimately. But I’m no longer the guy that will be denied my truth.

Look, I believe there’s an underlying reason that each of us do the things we do. We aren’t always cognizant of those reasons, but the reasons are always there. Therefore, I try hard to not write people off as useless, etc. But from now on, when I share with folks that I’m done – in the moment or a bit longer – they must listen. I can’t have a fast heartbeat from situations that don’t make sense to me.

I’m done with that mode of life…

Love and Light!

P.S. What are some things you’re working on for yourself? How do you keep it going when you want to fall back into those habits you’re trying to grow out of?

Giving Myself Some Grace

Dear Librans,

It’s been a few days since I last sat down to write. I went “back to work” after the holidays this week. My job typically shuts down for the week between Christmas eve and the new year. I decided to take the day before and after as additional days this time and it felt really good – I needed the break to just relax my mind as much as I could.

The first day back I felt really great and I started hitting my wall on Wednesday. I had already gotten out of the habit of being on a schedule. I plan on using the weekend to do some writing, playing with my little pocket dog and reading a couple of books.

I have to admit that this week also hasn’t felt great because I let the energy of what happened in Washington, D.C. get to me and I believe it zapped some of my spirit. I started reading more about the COVID-19 variants as well and it renewed some unease for me.

I didn’t stick to my strategy to start and end each day with meditation and stretching or doing Pilates during the day because I was thrown off my game plan.

I’m giving myself some grace though. Things don’t always have to go perfectly and according to plan. Sometimes, no matter how well laid out we try to make things happen, we just have to get off the trail and wind our way back and start walking again.

This week wasn’t totally horrible either. I’m part of a group where the focus is energetic attraction and there is a 6-week course that’s being offered and I believe it’s affordable for me. I’m going to take the course and I’m sure I’ll be writing more about my experiences. I’m actually pretty excited about this!

I’ve also been reading a bit more about essential oils and diffusing daily to find various oils I like. I’m so into this that I think I will start blogging about it in a real way.

Before I end this entry, I just want to say that I hope you’re having a good start to 2021. Even if things are not going so well right now, I hope they get better for you. Just keep pushing forward – even if you have to take baby steps – and at some point you’re going to look back and see that you’ve moved farther than where you were at first!

Let’s practice giving ourselves some grace throughout the year.

Love and Light!

P.S. How did your first week of the year go? Any successes or challenges?

Is It Possible to Clean up Bad Credit on Your Own?

Often time’s people feel as if they have no choice but to either wait for their credit to improve on its own or seek professional help. But is it possible to do it yourself?

The answer is a resounding “yes!” Not only can you do it yourself, it’s often better for your credit to do it yourself than to get professional help.

A professional might charge you $200 an item to get it off your credit report. From all three reporting agencies, that’s $600. If you applied that $600 to paying down a high balance account instead, that’s often a much better use of your money than hiring a professional. Let’s face it – any amount of money during the COVID-19 pandemic can be better spent elsewhere.

What does the process of repairing your credit report on your own look like?

Start by Figuring Out Exactly What Needs to Be Done

Start by going through your credit report and writing down all the different items that you need to dispute.

Disputing incorrect entries is easier than you might expect. Credit rating agencies are legally bound to research each single claim of inaccuracy.

Go through the credit report from each reporting agency and note each inaccurate account.

Contact the Agencies

The best way to contact an agency is through the mail. Letters of dispute can be tracked using certified mail. Make sure you keep records of every letter you send in case you must take further action in the future.

Mail the agency with a listing of all inaccuracies and request that they either be removed, or they provide proof that the item is correct.

You should receive a response within about 30 days.

Note that sometimes reporting agencies will remove your item in 30 days and put it back in the report if they receive the proof later. If that’s the case, they’ll need to send you the proof and a letter informing you that the item was placed back on your report.

If you don’t get a written notice, you’re legally eligible for $1,000 from the reporting agency.

Cost versus Benefits of Doing It Yourself

As discussed earlier, it’s much cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional. The money saved can be used to pay down debts, further improving your credit.

However, there are a few things that you must consider when you’re disputing credit report items on your own.

First are the time requirements. You need to carefully research every disputed item to ensure that it truly is incorrect. Then you need to provide any documentation you can and keep tabs on everything.

Also, you should consider the amount of energy it takes to go through this process. Simply trying to hold all the pieces in your mind takes a lot of concentration; and for many people it can be stressful.

Should you do it on your own? It depends on whether you’d rather have the time or have the money. If you can spare the time and would rather do it yourself, it’s absolutely a viable method and thousands of people do it every year.

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Being Present and 2021

Dear Libra’s Balance Readers,

I genuinely hope that this Saturday is already going better for you than you expected! I love waking up in a fantastic mood, don’t you?

I’ve just made a decision for this blog – from now on when I’m writing anything under my personal category, I’m going to start with, “Dear Librans,” rather than “Dear Libra’s Balance Readers.” It feels so much more friendly to me. I’m not sure why I wrote that other than the fact it was on my mind in the moment. But alas, I digress…

I’ve been reading tons of 2021 blog entries with the themes of mindfulness, resolutions, remembering 2020, etc. I’ve loved them all but something hit home for me as I slept…

Be present in 2021!

Now I normally try to do this anyway but with the myriad of posts I’ve been reading, many focused on why resolutions don’t work and I didn’t come across an equal number talking about how they can be successful. Hence my unconscious stream of thought to be in the present.

We simply have to change the manner in which we think of life – being present in the moment and not focusing on next week, or next month, or next year – when it comes to these resolutions. Just worry about right now, this very moment.

This of course means that we have to change the language we use. Rather than saying, “I will get my finances together in 2021,” we should say, “I am already seeing increase in my finances…”

Our brains are wonderful muscles aren’t they? If we tell ourselves enough times that something is, then it will be!!

What are your thoughts about being present to be successful with your Resolutions? Even though this is not a brand new idea in the world of mindfulness, I would love to read your thoughts on whether this is a practice you already do or are willing to try. Which resolutions come to mind for you?

Love and Light!

Look at Your Daily Routines

Your daily routines are simply the activities you do each day, in a certain order or sequence. Most people are not even aware of their habits and routines because they just do them on autopilot. But understanding more about what you do and why you do it can help tremendously for making positive changes.

Make a List of Your Routines

Before you can figure out if you need to adjust your routines, you need to understand what they consist of right now. You have routines, whether you realize it or not, from how you get ready in the morning to what you do after you get off work.

Take some time to journal out what your routines are. Here are sometimes of the day to write about if you’re not sure where to start:

What you do when you first get up in the morning
Your routine when getting ready for work
Your lunch break routine at work
The afternoon routine after picking up kids from school
Your bedtime routine
Your weekend routine

Write as many details as you can, paying close attention to certain tasks you always get done, but also tasks that seem to be missing.

Is There Anything Missing?

Once you have your list of routines, you can see if anything is missing. What do you feel like you are not spending enough time on? What habit do you want to add to part of your routine?

When you wrote down your routines, you probably saw some things missing. Maybe you noticed that spending time with your family isn’t happening often enough, you have no down time, or you keep forgetting to drink water first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter what it is, but if it’s important to you, the life reset is when you should start figuring these habits out.

Do You Have Habits That Don’t Benefit You?

You should also cross off anything in your routine that isn’t serving you. Have you noticed that every day when you get home from work, you spend over an hour just browsing social media on your phone? If this is causing you to lose time for other more important things, try to change this routine by limiting social media time, and adding something else in its place.

Maybe you set a timer to use your phone for 20 minutes, then get up to make a snack, go for a walk, or write in your journal.

Are there some routines that you want to reconfigure this year? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Love and Light!

Meditation and Mindfulness During a Reset

A common theme surrounding improving your life and especially your mental and emotional health is doing meditation or mindfulness. But we are a big fan of doing both. Each of these practices benefits you in a similar way, with a slightly different technique, but they blend beautifully into one life-changing practice.

Meditation and Mindfulness

These are similar practices but done in slightly different ways. With meditation, you are most likely focusing on your breathing, closing your eyes, and trying to clear your mind. When you are practicing mindfulness, it is not done with your eyes closed, but instead when participating in another activity.

When to do meditation – If you need calming your mind, getting all the static out of your head, and are struggling with your excessive worrying and anxiety, meditation is a great option. It does take a bit more practice and patience, so don’t expect to master it on the first try.

When to practice mindfulness – With mindfulness, it is easier to do on a regular basis, as you can participate in it more often. This is great if you struggle with a bad relationship with food, problem concentrating, issues with focusing too much on the past or future, or just to slow down and appreciate each moment in your life.

Start with a Simple Meditation Routine

If meditation interests you for your reset, start small with just a simple breathing or visualization exercise. Breathing exercises provide a way to meditate without putting too much pressure on yourself to be perfect.

Just sit in a quiet room with the door closed, find a comfortable spot to sit down, and close your eyes. Just take the first couple minutes to sit quietly and let your thoughts dissipate. Once you feel more relaxed, begin focusing on your breathing.

Inhale and exhale slowly, feeling your diaphragm and focusing only on your breathing. Notice the sound and feeling of each breath as you breathe in and out. The more you concentrate on your breathing, the less you will focus on the intrusive thoughts.

Practice More Mindfulness

Being more mindful is a practice, but something that can benefit you so much. The great thing is that mindfulness can be done just about anywhere.

To be more mindful, you are simply acknowledging and appreciating the current moment. For example, when you are eating, you turn off distractions and focus on your food and the enjoyment you get from each bite. You are not thinking about the calories or what you plan to do after you eat, just focus on your meal.

Some other easy ways to practice mindfulness include:

Turning off the radio and enjoying the sights when you are on a drive.
Going for a walk and taking deep breaths to enjoy the fresh air.
Letting your mind relax when you are in the bath or shower.

Do you have any tips for beginning the practice of meditation or mindfulness? I would love to read your thoughts or questions below.

Love and Light!

P.S. – Happy 2021!! I hope you can take everything from this year and apply lessons to your life in the coming year. I’m hoping to do the same – one moment at a time.

Have a Plan with Your Reset?

With 2021 literally around the corner, most people are creating their new year’s resolutions. Make sure when you start looking into doing a life reset, you have a solid plan. This includes understanding why you are doing it, what parts of your life you want to take inventory of, and what changes you intend to make.

Understand Why You Are Doing a Life Reset

You can’t really work on your life reset plan until you know your main reason for doing it. Everyone has a different motivation for wanting to make changes in their life, which is why it is important that you understand your own reasons.

What made you originally come to this decision? Write down anything you can remember from when you first got the idea to make changes in your life. You might have come across it on a blog, or just thought you wanted a reset to look at your goals.

Know What Areas are Most Important to You

When you think of making any type of change or improvement to your life, what comes to mind first? Maybe you want to improve your health and lose a few pounds, be more active in general, focus on your work and finances, or start a business. You might be needing more time with friends or make self-care a priority.

It can be anything and everything, if it is important to you and something you are passionate about improving.

Don’t Worry About What is Working for You

What I mean is not to pay so much attention to habits or routines that are still serving you well, and instead put your focus on changing what isn’t working. If you try to split your focus between changing everything in your life, you are going to get overwhelmed very quickly.

When you choose the areas of your life to “Reset”, you can figure out what might not be working now, and what to put all your energy into.

Choose Your Methods for Resetting

This is related to what areas of your life you want to improve. So, if you are most concerned about reaching your financial goals, then maybe you want to use a planner to track spending and savings. If you are trying to improve your health to live a more balanced lifestyle, it might be tracking your food, creating a simple exercise plan, or making an appointment to see your doctor.

These simple steps will allow you to create a reasonable plan to start working on your life reset.

Are you making any plans for a reset in the new year? Let me know how you’re going about it in the comments below.

Love and Light!

Loving My Personality

Dear Libra’s Balance Readers,

As I head into 2021, I want to use this blog, among other things, to serve as a personal growth space for me. I simply want to be able to look back and physically read about not only my challenges but also the work I’ve put in to move forward.

This means I will work to answer some basic questions about myself. If you feel so inclined, I invite you to do the same and you can feel free to comment below as well – if your kind – even if you disagree with something I’ve written.

What are some things you love about your personality?

I must admit, this prompt is a little difficult for me because I don’t like to talk about myself all that much. Since I’m working on improvement, I guess I need to answer, right?!

I’m able to look at different sides of an issue.

I believe that no one does something just to be doing it. There is an underlying reason, good or bad, that we do the things we do. I want to dig into those reasons with people to learn how to interact with them.

I love to laugh.

I’ve been told that I’ve got a boisterous giggle, (yeah, make those two words fit together), that makes other people feel good and want to join in the fun! Often in my pictures, the first things people comment on are my smile and the fact that I’m looking extremely happy. As a matter of fact, most people say something along the lines of, “Damn, what had you so happy,” or “Damn, happy much?”

I’m trustworthy.

When people come to me in confidence, I don’t go sharing it to the whole world. Even if I believe someone has wronged me, I don’t think the confidence they placed in me goes out the window.

I remember.

Okay, I don’t always remember birthdates and anniversaries and things like that. What I do learn about people is their essence – that inner-most part of them. The energy or spirit. I usually can connect with that part of a person and develop a spirit connection.

Hey, I guess there are some areas about myself that I’m profoundly grateful for! This was a great start to my day.

What are some things about your personality that you like? I would love to hear some good positive self-talk from you!

Love and Light!