After I listened to the wonderful book “Essentialism” back in April, I got back to the habit of journaling after stopping for a long time.

I used to keep this habit when I was in school and university, then transferred to using software and applications like MS. Word and such to journal occasionally.

Feeling tensed and wanting to analyze what I was feeling was the driving force to journal in those times. However, Greg Mckweown in his book and in this article suggested a great piece of advice that helped me keep this habit for months now: “Write less than you feel like writing”

If journaling sounds too daunting a task for you, I suggest the following simple way to get started:

Write One Sentence Every Day. If you want to create this new Essentialist habit, use this counter- intuitive yet effective method: write less than you feel like writing. Typically, when people start to keep a journal they write pages the first day. Then by the second day the prospect of writing so much is daunting, and they procrastinate or abandon the exercise. So instead, even if you feel like writing more, force yourself to write no more than one sentence a day. Apply the disciplined pursuit of “less but better” to your journal.

So I got a small journal and lovely colored pens (I just love good pens!) and committed to writing one page a day right before bed, just one page. This really felt easy to do every day. I also could feel the benefits as I progressed like a clearer mind and thinking.

Sometimes I feel reluctant about handwritten journals VS. online journals that I can access anywhere, anytime I want.  Nothing feels like handwriting feels, though. Nevertheless, I will go for online journaling when I want to write in depth about a certain topic I’m experiencing; not just going through key events in my day.So that way makes sense to me for the time being.


When the house is quiet

Sometimes I wake up really early or my family goes to be bed earlier than usual, I get the house to myself for a while. A chance that I really enjoy and try to take advantage of as much as possible. In this quiet, I chose to  sit and write here because it’s something I’ve been delaying for 7 months. that’s how old my last post was.

I’m currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and as I felt reading Your Turn by Seth Godin, these sort of books do get me going and thinking and acting on them. I’m enjoying Big Magic and the way Liz writes so much. and I like how she doesn’t make creativity a big of a deal.

I don’t even want to commit to writing here from now on, but that’s exactly what Liz and Seth have been saying: show up everyday no matter how bad your output might turn out, keep shipping, share your ideas with the world.

“Creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that-merely by being here- you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

I’m entitled, because I’m here.

When the house is quiet

What does a good day look like?

I’m better when I wake up earlier.

I’m better when I do my morning routine of reading spiritual scriptures & meditating.

I’m better when my day meals were prepared in the night before.

I’m better when I put makeup & feel good about how I look & dress.

I’m better when I arrive to work early.

I’m better when I write my daily gratitude journal.

I’m better when I start my work day by planning my tasks.

I’m better when I take the time to write an inspiring quote on the office’s whiteboard.

I’m better when I spread positive vibes around & don’t complain about mundane tasks that I need to do.

I’m better when I limit my social media consumption and choose to not be constantly available on demand through the different energy draining communication platforms.

I’m better when I have no meetings,  very productive and short ones if I must.

I’m better when I eat home made meals for lunch .

I’m better when I have just one cup of coffee a day in the morning.

I’m better when I’m patient and not reactive to the traffic I can’t control on the way home.

I’m better when I spend quality time with my family.

I’m better when I get to do some reading for topics I love in the evening.

I’m better when I get some cleaning done around the house.

I’m better when I get to have a good talk with a friend.

I’m better when I read beautiful words during the day.

I’m better when I take the time to capture beautiful photos.

I’m better when I minimize social gatherings during the week and enjoy them in weekends.

I’m better when I go to bed early and properly set the stage for the next day.

I found out that I feel much better about my day when I get to do these things. There are a lot of them that I can absolutely control, and thus run my life in the best way possible. I also know that when I don’t do these things I’m not really OK and that’s a sign there could be so many things on my plate that I need to let go of some to become better. I should pause a bit, reflect, readjust, relax again and get back on track.

I was inspired to do this list by Brené Brown who once gave a nice and simple example in her Gifts of Imperfection ecourse. She said that when food starts to expire in her fridge, that’s her cue that things are not going well with her life. I just have to agree with this! This list is part of an ongoing experimentation and recurrent themes coming up in my gratitude journals. It’s a work in process that really took me a while to figure out and build my life around.

This is what works for me. I hope you find out what works for you.

What does a good day look like?

At The Mercy of My Mood

It’s the end of the work day. I’m driving, feeling okay and a bit sleepy due to the monotony of the audio book I’m listening to and the long time I’ve been stuck in traffic. I choose to take a different route this one time hoping I’ll get lucky and find clearer roads only to find worse traffic there.

I’m home, much later than expected, only to be more irritated by news about the events of my baby’s day while I was away from her. Then, I make myself a quick meal and just when I’m ready to eat, I find no yogurt left, my favorite meal ingredient. I feel once again irritated and disappointed.

The course of the previous events set me off to a really bad mood. Few things out of my control controlled me and the lack of feeling in control itself really bothered me. There were expectations and none went as planned. So I reacted. I did not respond. I allowed small things to ruin my evening. I did not own my mood nor my reactions. I personalized these events and forgot they were not out to get me. I did not let them be.

I thought a lot about this, then wholeheartedly forgave myself for all the negativity I sent out to the world.

“Next time I will do better” I promised.

At The Mercy of My Mood

Lessons Learned From 2014

December is known to be too busy of a time to do any personal projects, including the reflection I need about the ending year, so I usually do this in January when things are slow and winter time is keeping us in.

A couple of years ago, I used a sweet and down to earth blog  for guidance on reflecting on the past year (2012 at the time) and preparing the goals for the new one. Lara’s Goal Setting challenge helped me answer some tough questions and make good decisions and I’m grateful for it. This is Lara’s 2015 version of it  if you’re interested.

I also used Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan e-book  which I highly recommend  to help me have a big picture view of my life and plan all aspects of it including Self, Career and Finances in addition to my important relationships.

It’s been a while since I looked at my answers to these exercises which took commitment to finish. It would be interesting to see what changed since then. However, I highly recommend embarking on such personal deep digging efforts for all the rewards we get by knowing ourselves better.

This year, I would just like to list the lessons I learned in 2014 which will definitely help me be a better person and hopefully help whoever reads this. So, here they are with no specific order:

  1. I learned to visit the sick and not delay it out of fear or denial about their situation or else it would be too late sometimes and regrets would remain.
  2. Using my daily 40 minute commute to/from work as a learning experiment was one of the most important things I introduced as a regular practice this year. I was definitely inspired by the amazing motivational speaker Zig Ziglar who coined “the automobile university” term  to encourage using our idle time in the car for getting educated and motivated. It is worth mentioning that Seth Godin introduced me to Zig Ziglar and he also frequently praised this habit which had a big impact on his life in many of his posts. His different audiobook recommendations were tremendously beneficial to me during the past year and I have found many other remarkable titles that I have enjoyed on audible, my dear daily companion.
  3. I learned the importance of getting a good night’s sleep regularly and being serious about it; it’s really not related to this being my first year as a mum since fortunately my baby girl is an all nighter. It is the fact that when I get 7 hours of sleep: I’m totally a different person, I’m happier and more energetic, especially in the evening, this is when I touch the difference the most. If I slept well the night before I can keep going and enjoy my time with my baby after a long day out at work. Come to really think of it, this was the year I woke up at 6 am in weekdays for God’s sake and at 8 am in weekends to be able enjoy the day and have enough time for myself as well as my different commitments! This routine is all new to me and I’m so proud of it. It’s not a regular habit yet but I’m it’s going to be for sure.
  4. I learned the importance of experimenting and finding new ways for things to work out. For example, when I find the house chores daunting, I now turn on one of my audiobooks, and guess what? the house chores magically become a learning experience that I enjoy much more now!
  5. I learned about love. suffice to say being a mum to my one year old daughter is a blessing I will forever thank God for.
  6. Finally, I learned that my fears about having no time for me life after having a baby were really out of proportion. I still find time to do the things I really love, such as reading, because I can’t afford not to. I deliberately MAKE time for these things, that’s a message I would choose to tell my past panicking pregnant self if I could.
Lessons Learned From 2014

Speaks to my soul

A couple of years ago I started a tumblr blog collecting in it what speaks to my soul. In there you’ll find so many quotes and prayers to inspire you like they deeply inspired me. I still don’t know if if this also should be the title of this blog.

The thing is, I’ve alway been a quotes person, looking for those different bits of wisdom and perspectives to get myself going and my spirits rising when I need it. I’ve always liked highlighting passages of my favorite books to capture those words that resonate with me the most and be able find them again easily. I love beautiful words because I truly believe words change people.

In this space, however, I sure will keep quotes part of my posts but as a kind of support for what I want to say, and I will keep using my tumblr solely for those gems I spot.

Speaks to my soul

First Post

It’s already the second day of the brand new year 2015 and I’ve been preparing for these words for more than two hours on my laptop, for years in my mind.

Feeling anxious as I write this is confirming to me that I’m really leaning in and doing the right thing that I needed to do a long time ago but have been postponing for all reasons and no reason.

Reading my pre-ordered copy of  #youturn by the author I admire so much Seth Godin ( was exactly the push I needed to do this, to set up “my own microphone” in the internet age, this blog.

Why am I doing this?

Because I need to write. I need to practise writing, and I have to share what I’m learning to help others.

I don’t know how exactly I will do this,  my heart is beating fast while I’m typing away these words that I’m hitting the backspace button more than needed…”no don’t say you’ll post daily, you’re just a newbie!” “you made this sound like a really too much of a big deal, it isn’t”  “you almost never review books on goodreads and now you’ll share what you “learn” here, what’s so different now, huh?”

Well, I’m doing this anyway and despite all these “think again” internal forewarnings, and I will finally publish my take on life.

First Post