Disclaimer:  this post builds upon the “Wisdom Wednesday” genius that was the previous post.  To fully understand this post’s logic, read “Wisdom Wednesday” again.  Go on, I’ll wait….

We all know the purpose of the blog by now, right?  (seriously, get with the program here…)  Sharing, learning, and the process of self-discovery.    With the return of Saturn so conveniently coming into sight, I’ve been needing/craving some help.  So I’ve been turning to podcasts, books, people, places, things,  (nouns) experiences…

2016 has been nuts.  In a good way.  There’s a small human to take care of, a job where I take care of adult humans (more on that to come soon), two side businesses (again, more to come) and I bit the bullet and started this blog!  I’m slowly getting back into the things that I was/am passionate about. Naturally, reading books really bumped itself high up on the list of “Things I used to be and/or still am passionate about and need to be doing more of.”  Yes, an intense title, but I cannot think of a more sassy title.  I have a running list of TIUTBA/OSAPAANTBDMO (abbreviated), but let’s start with the basics.

Basics:  reading, personal development, Jamberry, Younique, cooking, having fun, exploring a new town, becoming comfortable in my post-baby skin, blogging, and enjoying life.  Sounds like a lot, but the small human had really drained the absolute life out of me.  Adjusting is never one of my favorite things to do, then again, is it anyone’s?

If you are one of the few that are “okay” with change, please- e-mail me with your philosophy!

Mornings are a great time to enjoy the quiet (find peace in the quiet) and catch up with a good cup STRONG coffee, and read some books.  I’ve been catching myself buying a book a week onto my Kindle, I’ve had to signed myself up for Kindle Unlimited.  (Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial) My book list has been multiplying like crazy.  I’ve been DEVOURING books.  I’m THAT person… I disappear somewhere on campus for an hour, and instead of eating, I plug my into my phone, hook up Amazon Music app ->Genres/Moods -> Classical.  I don’t care what “channel” it is, as long as I have some peace and quiet to use as background noise (to block out students’ gossip) and read.

…yes, I do eat lunch.  I do.  I eat all day long at my desk.  Snacking/meals/anything… But for one solid guaranteed hour of my work day, I block it all out, and read.  Sometimes I am so engulfed in what I am reading, I get legitimately upset when the hour is over.  I get so much reading done, that naturally I have to share some books with people…you people…

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)

by: Hal Elrod

I’ve been listening to “Front Row Factor” podcast for quiet some time now.  The stories of those interviewed are all about how they went from that “back row” lowest point in their lives to the “front row” where they are currently living at the highest/fullest capacity they can.  The podcast came to me after following/working with author/speaker/life coach Jon Vroman for quite some time.  (I brought him to campus, we’d been working with each other/I’ve been volunteering for him ever since.)  He’s always talked about his buddy, Hal Elrod.  A lot.  So eventually I said to myself

“Well, self, you might want to take some time and figure out who this Hal guy really is.”

What a Pandora’s box.  I quickly learned that Hal had more content, information, inspiration than I could have ever imagined.  After spending an entire Saturday morning skimming/researching/stalking this guy’s life, I finally bit the bullet and just downloaded his book onto my Kindle.

.Of course, the title of this book alone can make you skeptical.  I get that. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) (The Miracle Morning Book Series 1)  You’re kidding me, right?  There are definitely mornings where NO ONE wants to wake up.  But, I gave the book a try.  Why not?  What could this guy possibly have to offer me beyond what I already knew I needed in the morning?  (coffee, determination, drive, willpower, a cold shower…)  Boy did that change…

Elrod begins by explaining his background (you NEED to read this book), and how he slowly transformed his life by one morning at a time.  Each morning he’d wake up and start himself on a 60 minute routine which he dubbed “Life S.A.V.E.R.S.”  Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribe-ing/Journal-ing.  Sounds a little “new age and lofty” for me.  I get that.  But, I tried it.  A Miracle Morning indeed!  And wow.  Each segment took me 10 minutes on a Saturday morning (since I finished the book on a Friday lunch break), and wow.  What a difference.  I felt more energized, more excited, and more accomplished, and it was only 9am!

I tried it.  I was skeptical.

  • Silence. 10 minutes of silence?!  How in the world?  Well, I just sat in front of my window, and looked out.  I have a view of a quiet suburban neighborhood, so I just watched my front lawn.  I let my mind wander.  It was fantastic.  I didn’t know my mind could think the way it does!  Wow!  I needed to calm my mind down, and it was just what I needed to get myself ready for the rest of the weekend.
  • Affirmations?  Well, I didn’t know how to do this, considering I am the QUEEN of affirmations.  I have them all over my office on post-it notes, my planner has a weekly spot for “affirmation of the week”, my Jamberry and Younique businesses requires me to be on top of myself, so affirmations are key.  I spent the next 10 minutes just repeating to myself my favorite ones.  “What you feel is what you are, what you are is beautiful.”  “There are so many reasons to be happy”  “You have the power of beauty, harness and share.”
  • Visualization.  I kind of mixed this into my Silence and Affirmations, so I skipped this part.  I am a dreamer by nature, so naturally this visualization is ALWAYS happening.
  • Exercise.  So instead of going crazy, I went for a 15 minute walk around my house.  We call it the “mini stairmaster.” I even did a load of laundry in the process.  Up and down the hallways, up the stairs to the next floor, down the stairs, etc.  Thankfully it was early enough that the Mr. was still sleeping and didn’t think it was weird.
  • Reading.  This is where I got carried away.  I literally had to set a timer.  Elrod talks about how this 10 minutes should be fully devoted to personal development reading, NOT so much fun fluff reading.  I LOVED this.  There’s so many personal development books out there, that naturally I had the pick of the litter.  And wow.  I am hooked on this miracle morning thing…
  • Scribe-ing.  I journaled before.  But infrequently.  Now, I’m an avid writer.  I only write a full page of a black/white marbled notebook a day.  (that way I know my time is on point).  I write my goals, emotions, plans, recap my Miracle Morning, and what I want to do for the rest of the day.

That’s great, Clare, but why would I want to read this book?   For anyone who is looking for a routine, or something as simple as “getting my sh*t together” I highly recommend reading this book.  You can truly transform the way you view yourself, your life, your deadlines/job/frustrations, etc., as well as really harness the power of positive energy, your own inner strength and the future that life has ahead for you.

You have the power to take your life from back row to front row.  You are the only one who can take your day and have the best day ever.  You are the one who has the power to create a transformative change in your life and view things different.

YOU are the only one that can say “I am going to make today GREAT.”

If you are already doing this, congratulations!  Leave some of your hints/tips/tricks in the comments.  If you were like where I was, sluggish, down, miserable with where you are, and scared for the future, then download Hal’s book and take one morning to try his processes.  I’ve learned the hard way, I’ve learned the easy way.  This book combines the hard (waking up in the morning) with the easy (10 minutes of each aspect) and makes life less demanding and more fun.

You can do it.  

I believe in you. 

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Follow along on social media too- those accounts are always with me (since I am GLUED to my iPhone…), and they are a perfect reflection of just how scatterbrained and crazy this journey of life can really become…