“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

30 Life Enhancing items you can start in 30 minutes or less

I realize some of these suggestions may lead to activities and projects that will likely take longer than 30 minutes to complete; but they still take far less than 30 minutes to start.  So go ahead and do the hardest part, use the next 30 minutes to START, and then pick up where you left off tomorrow.
  1. Learn something new by starting a free course at one of the hundreds of online self-education resources bookmarked here: 12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free.
  2. Watch one of the thousands of educational videos streaming at TED.com, Academic Earth, or Khan Academy.
  3. Read an online book list and find a new book to grab next time you’re at the library.  Here’s another list.  And another.  And another.  And another.  Or find a good read on Amazon’s Best Sellers List.
  4. Start reading a classic book online for free at Project Gutenberg, The Online Books Page, Gizmo’s Free Books Online, or the E-books Directory.
  5. Take a 30 minute break and work on something that’s meaningful to you.  Engage yourself in a meaningful personal project, or pull the trigger on starting something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do.
  6. Research a new Do It Yourself project at DIY Network, Instructables, or DoItYourself.com.
  7. Add to, delete from, or just generally sort your ongoing to-do list at Remember The Milk, Ta-Da List, or using Google Tasks.  With a few minutes of organizing your time and to-do’s, you will be better prepared to take on the day.
  8. Create a cool graphical mind map of some of your recent ideas at bubbl.us, Mindomo, or Mindmeister.
  9. Email a close friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in awhile and reconnect with them.
  10. Spend time with, or talk with, someone who makes you smile.  Who nourishes and supports your happiness?  Take a few minutes and visit them if they’re nearby, or call them on the phone.
  11. Share your favorite digital photos, videos, etc. with friends and family, and back-up your important files (you’ll be happy you did someday), using Dropbox.
  12. In our ever-expanding digital world, everyone enjoys getting some ‘real’ mail.  So take a few minutes and send a paper greeting card directly to a friend or relative by using enGreet or American Greetings.
  13. Challenge your mind and your perspective by answering these thought provoking questions.  Here’s another list of questions.  And another.  Also check out Thought Questions for a daily dose of even more thought provoking questions.
  14. Start learning a new language online for free at BBC Languages or Livemocha, or one of the other free online language resources outlined here.
  15. Watch one of the insightful, inspiring five minute presentations at Ignite Show.
  16. Give out compliments.  Give sincere praise every chance you get.  Compliment and cheer for those who deserve it.  You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone, because when the person you compliment smiles, you’ll smile too.
  17. Use Memorize Now or iMemorize to memorize a cool joke, inspiring quote, etc.
  18. Listen to an educational podcast via iTunes on iTunes U.
  19. Inspire and spark your creative mind by looking at a rolling slideshow of the highest rated photos on Flickr from the past 7 days.
  20. Take a fun, educational online quiz at Quizlet, or play an educational online game at Lumosity, Sporcle, Games for the Brain, or Math Run.
  21. Add the gentle sound of rain to your environment using RainyMood.com and then simply meditate and relax for a few minutes.
  22. Keep track of the things you’re grateful for.  You can’t help but feel good when you literally count your blessings.  Start a gratitude journal and express your thanks on a daily basis.
  23. Sell something you no longer need on eBay and make a little extra cash.
  24. Support a good cause for free at Freerice.com or donate a few bucks to a good cause via GoFundMe.
  25. Play with a child.  Admire their enthusiasm.  Watch how they interact, how they dream, how they ask questions, etc.  Most kids have short attention spans; a few minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day, and it will also help you stay in touch with your inner child.
  26. Listen to good music, or find a new musical artist to listen to based on music you like at Grooveshark, Pandora, Spotify, last.fm, or Deezer (international).
  27. Get your body moving and your blood circulating.  Jump, shake, twist and spin around.  Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head.  Run, walk, and bike to your heart’s content.
  28. Watch and re-watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech and this ten minute recap of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture.
  29. Spend a few minutes watching the sunset with someone you care about.  Nothing more is needed.  Just sit still and take in the natural beauty of the sky, and appreciate being able to share it with someone special.
  30. Stop to help someone.  In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  So the next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or in need of a few minutes of assistance, stop and ask how you can help.
What simple life-enhancing activities do you participate in on a regular basis? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From my new favourite blog TheSimplyLuxuriousLife

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 01:00 AM PST
Black is one of the most versatile colors to transition in and out of any wardrobe, and while there are a few pops of color in this week’s Style Inspiration, black seemed to be popping up everywhere. From leather jackets, booties, skinny jeans, pointed toe heels, coats and totes, have a look at the many ways you can creatively bring it into your style choices and still remain true to your signature style.

This hit home.......

Financial Abuse: 6 Signs And What You Can Do About it

Financial abuse is something that we rarely hear about since it is often insidious and wrapped up in the confines of an abusive relationship.  Very rarely do the women in these relationships speak of the issue because of the shame attached to having to account for every penny spent or even ask for money just to purchase the very basic necessities in life.
So what are the signs and what can be done about it?
Forced Career Choices
Women in financially abusive relationships are often forced to take career paths they would not have chosen on their own.  This keeps them from succeeding, eventually becoming financially stable and independent in their own right.  Many women in these situations are either stay at home moms or if they do work, it is part time with the permission of their spouse.  If the woman is lucky enough to be able to work full time in such a relationship then her partner often sabotages her career/work life by forcing her to stay home or giving an ultimatum around quitting the job or ending the relationship.
Every Penny Spent Is A Penny Tracked
Every penny, and I mean every penny must be accounted for when given to the woman in this relationship.  If it cannot be accounted for then the emotional and even physical abuse ensues and consequences are handed out.  This many involve being given less money for basic necessities or being forced to beg for money.  The feeling of being trapped in the house with no money for gas, food or transportation is crippling and women in this type of relationship stick to this rule or they know they will suffer the consequences
No Bank Accounts
No personal bank accounts.  No debit card.  No savings accounts.  No checking account.  All money comes from one source.  The working partner.  This puts the woman in the position of relying on her partner for her very existence, hand to mouth.  She is not allowed to have a job and if she does then her checks go to her partner who deposits the money in a separate account not within her control.
Threats Of Leaving
This is one of the most overt forms of financial abuse.  Threatening to leave or deny financial support knowing that the woman is unable to support herself without the finances of her partner.  Once the partner levies such a threat, control is established since she knows without her partner, her daily needs won’t be met.  So, she stays on her lane and keeps herself in line fearing that without her partner, she will be destitute with no place to go.
Lazy Bum -Deadbeat-My Woman -Is-My-Momma Syndrome
This is where the man makes the woman work because he is unwilling to work and be a contributing financial partner in the household.  But, don’t think for a minute that the men in these relationships aren’t in control.  They still engage in all of the above-mentioned behaviors, but they take and control all of the money coming into the home.  All the household bills are usually in the woman’s name and he never pays them, forcing her to work harder while never seeing the fruits of her labor.
Forced Family 
In this situation, the woman is essentially pregnant every other year of the relationship, ensuring that she will never have the chance to return to work.  Depending on her earning power, with the birth of each child, the cost of childcare makes it impossible to return to work.  Her life’s work is to care for children and her partner while never knowing what it is like to taste financial freedom and independence.  Ultimately, the woman in this relationship is dependent upon her partner for her survival.

What Can Be Done About It?
  • Leave.  Plan your way slowly or swiftly out of this relationship and leave.  Relationships like this can never be trusted to become equitable since so much of it is about power.
  • Reach out to trusted friends, relatives or even a local church who many be able to house you until you’re able to get on your feet.
  • If vocational training or education is a barrier to getting a job then start going to school online.
  • Skim money from whatever is given to you and save little by little.  Every bit adds up.  Open a bank account in secret and stash your money until you’re ready to leave.  Ask friends and family for donations to this account while noting you will pay them back once you are on your feet.  Start a blog and learn how to monetize it.
  • Get a job in secret.  For example you can say that you’re volunteering and get a PT job walking dogs or babysitting while he is away or working during the day.
  • Establish credit.  Get a secured card that you keep only at a friend’s or family member’s house in a locked box.  Use it to make purchases while building your credit.
  • Research all options with regards to government assistance around food stamps, housing and community based services.  When stepping out for the first time, this may be a temporary option to get you from point A to B while you establish yourself.
Have you ever been in a financially abusive relationship?   What  tips do you have for women in this situation?