I did it! I kept my eye on the prize and this month's newsletter is being written from my new office in my new home! Yippee!
Last month at this time, I was cracking under the pressure of everything that needed to get done. I'm happy to report that I survived: all the boxes were packed and moved without issue; all of my appointments and responsibilities were managed; everything got done! Whew!
While I will be unpacking for the next few weeks, every room in my house is functional. The remaining rubble has been contained to the garage and I have set a goal of having the garage clear by the first frost! LOL! It's all good. My former house is on the market and life is moving forward.
I don't know how to explain it other than by saying my new house makes me happy. I walk in and smile. The first time I walked through the door to check out the floor plan, I loved this house. It feels good. It feels right. And I can walk to Starbucks!
I have been welcomed into this community with open arms. I've made new friends who have already left footprints on my heart. Lots of people reaching out to help me. I've been overwhelmed by the support and I'm forever grateful for the help.
My biggest lessons from this move are to ASK for help and to ALLOW people to help you. I'm not good at either of these things, in my mind I'm the one who is supposed to help others. Read on for my lesson learned.
As summer begins, enjoy the beautiful weather, revisit your goals, adjust accordingly and ask for help when you need it.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of gratitude! Deb
I was spending a typical day in my new home; checking email, running errands, working on client files, etc. All was good but I couldn't settle down. I had a weird stomach ache. I was jumpy. This doesn't happen to me often. So I noticed, but couldn't put my finger on it.
Then Dad called in the early afternoon saying Mom was ill and he didn't like the way she looked. Dad is a pretty carefree guy, so when he calls I usually run. This time my run was much shorter from my new home. Mom was testing the new Daughter Emergency Response System!
As I drove to their home, I realized the last time I felt unsettled like this was about a year ago. I blamed it on too much news or too much coffee. It turned out, Mom was sick that day. It all starts making sense.
Dad and I are becoming seasoned in triage with Mom's health. She wasn't in any distress. She was sluggish and not really talking, somewhat confused. The temperature changed by 40 degrees in the past couple of days, so it was much warmer and Mom had a little upset stomach from her lunch. Now what? Dad was convinced it was her lunch. I thought it was dehydration.
If you know me, you know I can kick into my "Olivia Pope" mode and start problem solving and fixing. It is one of my superpowers! I start running scenarios out loud with Dad. If we call 911, if we take her to the ER or to Urgent Care...what happens next....
We have experience here and know what happens...she will be admitted to the hospital (most likely for dehydration) and she will give up, become weak in a hospital bed then be sent to rehab. It's not a good scenario.
So, my very intuitive father and I start monitoring her in 15 minute increments. I make her walk around, we take her blood pressure, we give her small sips of water and we wait. I call my sister so she can participate in the worry and treatment. Mom looks a little better in 15 minutes, so we do it again. Water, walk, sit up and wait. She starts perking up and talking. Then she gets pissy with me that I am hovering over her. We are on the road to recovery!
Within 2 hours, Mom and I are in the car, running an errand and singing "Over the Rainbow" very loudly and off key but smiling and laughing all the way. Emergency diverted.
I don't recommend not calling 911 or seeking medical attention in an emergency. Mom's health is a challenge. She doesn't speak much anymore and when you need to her communicate how she is feeling to a medical professional she shuts down and they take over.
In this case, Dad and I both knew it wasn't an emergency, though we questioned our own intuition for a few minutes and made some calls and just kept waiting. If Mom had taken a turn for the worst, we would have called 911 or gone to the ER in a skinny minute. But she didn't, she got better.
My lessons from this experience are:
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of health this holiday weekend! Deb
Well it happened. I knew it would happen, I just didn't know when it would happen. I cracked under the pressure of buying and selling a home, running a business and worrying about my family! And for good measure, throw in recovering from rummage and trying to have a personal life. The pressure piled on this morning and I sat at my desk crying.
I have those moments when my superpowers don't work, I rip off my cape and sit down and cry. Thankfully, a good friend picked me up and eliminated one of my immediate stressors.
With the pressure off, I gathered my thoughts and started working on EVERYTHING! That's not always a good idea. But today, I need to move 'all the balls forward'. It's how I recover. I can't sit on the couch and continue binge-watching Scandal until I feel better. I feel better through action.
So while I was in the midst of working in the laundry room, I had an idea for this newsletter. So as I type, the laundry room is a mess and I am finishing the newsletter. It's the way its going to be today!
I closed on my new house last week (yay!) and will be moved in by the time I am writing the June newsletter. I love my new place and I will miss my current one. Lot's of good memories here and lots of new memories to be made.
Please forgive the brevity of this month's newsletter, I will be back on track next month. Enjoy my blog on the Magic of Rummage. And I promise I will finish reading Your Divine Lens soon (so much for a monthly book, this is month 3!)
When you are feeling overwhelmed, rest assured it's alright to simply stop and take a breath. Cry if you need to. Call a friend. Talk it out. Keep your eye on the prize! Nothing is insurmontable. We just have to take it one step at a time.
Now, back to the laundry room....
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of happiness! Deb
If you know me, you know one of my passion's is volunteering at a rummage sale. And not just any rummage sale but the self-proclaimed oldest and largest rummage sale in the state of NJ. It's quite an event.
I'm in the middle of my tenth sale and the magic of rummage amazes me every time. You see, this isn't your typical rummage sale.
Before I started volunteering, if I heard the words 'rummage sale' I thought of the basement of the church of my youth. The women of the church would collect donations and then one Saturday afternoon the sale would commence and we would get to buy things we didn't need for a quarter or a dollar.
The rummage sale today is sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills (VNA-SH) and is celebrating it's 95th year, in 2016. 95 years. That's a long time. As I have been told, it started small as a rack of dresses and has grown to a multi-day event (twice a year) with 20 departments and over 400 volunteers. Amazing. You can buy almost anything at rummage.
I love just about everything related to rummage. The generosity of people who donate personal and household items. The VNA-SH who provide wonderful services to the local community, including the Adult Day Program which my mother attends. And the volunteers who give their time and talent. That's the good stuff. The not so good stuff includes the portable toilets and bad weather. Rummage is an outdoor event that lasts a month between set-up, collection and the sale.
I experienced the magic of rummage during my first sale when I was able to match a buyer with her dream piece of clothing. I volunteer in the Boutique Tent, the home of women's designer clothing. I know this may sound odd, but rummage clothes all have owners and a home. The Spring 2016 sale is no exception.
We receive many interesting and valuable donations. This sale we received a wedding gown and wedding gowns are hard to match and sell. This gown found its home when a seamstress, whose niece is getting married in the Fall, saw it and inquired. She was hesitant and started taking and sending photos to the bride and mother of the bride. You see, the bride had champagne taste on a beer budget. The aunt knew she could transform the dress and exceed the expectations of the bride. You could see creativity as she told us what she would do with the dress. The ladies of the Boutique Tent knew this dress had just found its owner. We rallied around and negotiated and made the magic happen. When the dress was sold, we all cheered. Not because we had made the sale, but because the dress had found its new home and the good work of the VNA-SH would benefit.
The wedding theme continues as another magical event occurred when a future mother of the bride saw a fur stole and imagined wearing it over her shoulders at her daughter's December wedding. She was hesitant and thought she would come back the next day to get it and immediately started to worry it would be gone. I handed it to her to try on and look in the mirror. Her face lit up when she saw it because it was perfect. It was a beautiful piece, very vintage and in very good condition. I knew this piece had found its owner and I needed to make the magic happen, so I did. With a little negotiation and a lot of good intention, the fur stole found its home. Again we all cheered. It's rummage magic.
Not every item sold at the rummage sale has a dramatic story but every item sold is magical. Since my first rummage sale I have said rummage clothes are magical. When you wear them, you carry with you the good intention and generosity of the donor in addition to good will you earned when purchasing the item. Magic.
Now that I am in the midst of my tenth sale I also understand that a necessary part of the rummage lifecycle is re-donating the clothing and items you have purchased. I love all of my rummage purchases: clothing, shoes, lamps, chairs, pottery, etc. And as they come to the end of their useful life for me, I send them back to be loved by someone else.
Many organizations collect clothing and household items to be sold and raise funds. I can't speak for them, though I am sure the magic is there in its own way. I've experienced the VNA-SH Rummage Sale magic and it’s one of the many reasons I return to volunteer, rain or shine, hot or cold, busy or not. I will be there as long as they will have me.
I love the magic.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of magic! Deb
Happy Spring! It feels like I wrote the March newsletter yesterday. Time is moving so quickly lately and a lot has happened in the past month.
There is a new house on the horizon for me! (Fingers crossed, it's not over until the closing takes place in May!). Soon after the March newsletter I found the perfect townhome in the community I wanted to live in. I knew it was the right spot when I discovered one of my Rummage sisters was my neighbor! Thanks for the sign, Universe!
Speaking of Rummage, it's Rummage season and the timing is perfect. It's time to clean out the old house and plan the new one! That means donating and shopping! And its all for a good cause!
I've had the opportunity to present, Discover Your SPARK: 5 Keys to Falling in Love with Your Work, several times in the past month and its always rewarding. I love sharing my passion for intuition and how understanding our own journey can bring the SPARK back into our lives.
On a bittersweet note, a personal relationship came to an end a couple of weeks ago. There's always something to learn. As I reflect on this ending, there are a lot of new beginnings in front of me.
It's Spring, time to plant seeds and focus on new beginnings!
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of growth this spring! Deb
Mark Twain said "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." I have used the 'eat the frog' analogy throughout my career when I was procrastinating. In fact, Brian Tracy has written a book called "Eat that Frog" about overcoming procrastination.
I find myself at a point where I have no time for procrastination. As quickly as I decided to take a step towards moving, my new house presented itself and I am in the midst of working through the purchase. Providing it all goes well, I will be moving in less than 2 months and then will put my current home on the market. The reason for the buy - move - sell strategy? I am surrounded by FROGS!
Having lived in the same small townhome for 20 years, I have accumulated stuff and a lot of it. Not hoarding levels of stuff, but more stuff than my little townhome needs. Faced with the task of packing and moving, all of my stuff looks like frogs. I am overwhelmed to the point of standing still and doing nothing.
Has this happened to you? Not the stuff, but becoming so overwhelmed by a project that you simply do nothing because it's easier. We know we need to take action to move forward on our projects and our journeys. How do we do that? One step (frog) at a time!
From my days as a project manager, we broke all project milestones into detailed steps so we could track the timing and ultimate outcome of the project. The same principle works with our own projects. If we are going to look for a new job, we need to prepare our resume, identify target industries and target companies, write cover letters, review network contacts, etc. We could easily create a mini-project plan or list of steps or check list for this project.
While I was standing in my kitchen today, I realized I needed to do at least one thing each day. Eat one frog each day and simply start the process of working through 20 years of stuff and sorting into "trash - donate - keep" piles. My project was the oven drawer where I found the gleaming brand new broiler pan that had never been used along with a ton of other bakeware that could be donated. I emptied and cleaned the drawer, put the donations in the box and placed the keep items back in the drawer. One frog eaten. Whew.
I noticed that as soon as I ate one frog and realized it wasn't so bad, I wanted to eat another. So I opened the oven where I determined it was all 'keep' items but I need to clean the oven. That's the next frog, cleaning the oven without using the self-clean feature or harsh chemicals. Frog identified and research underway.
I won't be writing a project plan to clean and pack my house, but I will be looking at my frogs and tackling some of them each day when pockets of time appear in my calendar. It only took me 20 - 30 minutes to work through the oven. So, small pockets of time = at least one small frog.
Sometimes our goals and dreams overwhelm us. We need to remind ourselves that we can move towards our goals by taking one step at a time or in my case, one frog at a time.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of achievement! Deb
Welcome March! The official start of Spring is only a few days away. We made it! While it was not a particularly snowy Winter in the Northeast, it seemed like a really long Winter. Yay for Spring!
With the change of the seasons, its time to reflect on my intentions and plans for the year and adjust if necessary. I review my Vision Board, check in with my One Word and think about the essence of the season.
Spring symbolizes re-birth, re-new, re-fresh! The flowers start poking their heads through the soil, reminding us of growth. It's also time to plan the garden. What seeds will you plant this Spring to grow through the Summer and harvest in the Fall?
It's going to be a busy Spring for me as I have finally decided to move! I've been working with a real estate agent to find the next house of my dreams, closer to Mom and Dad. It's very exciting. Within two weeks of starting the hunt, I made an offer, it was rejected and the process continues. It's all good.
This experience reminds me why I don't shop for a new car until I really need one: I usually come home with new keys. What we energetically put forward is returned. When I focus on a new car, I find one.
I have been talking about moving closer to my parents for more than 3 years. When I focused my energy on moving, all of the pieces started to fall into place. Buying a house is a bit different than buying a car, but the theory works. The right house will find me at the right time.
As you focus your energy on Spring and your intentions for the year, what specific things will you be doing this season? What seeds will you plant in your garden of life?
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of growth this spring! Deb
It's February! I was fortunate to plan a mid-winter escape to Mexico with friends. I left the cold, gray northeast to arrive in warm, sunny Playa del Carmen for 6 days. It was perfect. The blizzard was the weekend before I left and the wicked cold awaited my return. I challenged myself to try snorkeling again, and made some progress. It was an excellent break.
Wilber Consulting, LLC also celebrated its fourth anniversary on February 14th! Yay! I have mixed emotions about Valentines Day, but they were forever changed when I formed Wilber Consulting! I continue to enjoy the entreprenial adventure and LOVE helping women reclaim their SPARK! And its always a good excuse to buy roses!
As we get closer to Spring (only 34 days from now), start thinking about the seeds you want to plant, nourish, grow and harvest for the rest of this year. Have you discovered your One Word? It's never too early (or too late) to plan the garden of your life...
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration! Deb
...they're not BIG enough. Recently, I faced my fear of snorkeling for the second time....
My first snorkeling experience was frightening. I grew up near the ocean, I can swim and I love the water. I have a healthy respect for the power of the ocean. Therefore, I did not expect the panic attack, 5 years ago, when I attempted to snorkel in Cozumel, Mexico. I made three attempts that day and finally gave into my fear and panic, sitting on the beach recovering with an adult beverage mid-morning! I was scared.
When I returned to Mexico this year, I was determined to try again. This time, I was part of a guided tour (last time it was DIY) and thought that would help me. I could feel the panic rise as I was handed my snorkeling gear for our first stop, a cenote (underground river/cave). I listened to the instructions, hanging on every word. As I got into the water, I was panic stricken. It simply doesn't make sense to me to put my face in the water and breathe!
Luckily, one of my friends gave me good advice. "Relax and breathe like you are sitting in meditation; slowly breathe in and out". It took a minute but I was able to calm down, trust the equipment and breathe. Then it became fun. I was paddling around the cave looking at the rock formations and fish. Cool. I was ready for the ocean and the sea turtles!
Happy 2016 and welcome to Volume 3 of the Real Life Spark newsletter! This newsletter has evolved over the past 2 years along with you, me and Real Life Spark! Take a minute to reflect upon the 'YOU' from January 2014. What was going on in your life? What plans did you have for 2014 and beyond?
Now take a minute to think of all the things you accomplished in the past two years! Everything counts, even if you simply got out of bed each morning and said Thank You for another day. I'm sure you have a full list!
As we sit here at the beginning of 2016, what are your plans? This issue is full of ideas to help you create your best 2016!
What if we stopped comparing ourselves to others. It's easier said than done and it's going to be one of my themes in 2016. You can learn more in Igniting the Next Generation of YOU!
What tools do you use to plan your year? A vision board of ideas? A written plan? One Word? Wait a minute, what's One Word? I was introduced to the book One Word that will change you life in 2015. I followed the process, received my word and added the book to our bookshelf! I loved my word.
As I received my One Word for 2016, I was inspired to create a webinar and share my planning pyramid along with the One Word process. If you want to learn how One Word can change your life,sign up for my free webinar on January 27, 2016. (More info in the Events section)
I've got a good feeling about 2016.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration! Deb
Have you worked on your 2016 vision board yet? No worries if you haven't, I take the month of January to create, fine tune and finish mine. Here's my work-in-progress:
My new tradition of spending New Years Eve with friends, wine and a stack of magazines has once again produced a fun 2016 vision board. This year's board is a bit more linear than last year's board and more focused on motivational words and phrases. Though, my intentions (and results) are truly represented for my personal and professional life.
I have big plans for Real Life Spark in 2016 along with dreams of travel to Mexico (already booked for the end of January) and Spain/Morocco in the Fall. I want to bring more joy and more love into my life while having lots of fun. Sounds good so far!
Are you ready for 2016? In addition to setting intentions and creating vision boards, I also subscribe to the "One Word that will change your life" philosophy. You can find my 2015 review of the book here. My 2015 word was TRUST and it was a good word to hold onto.
I will be hosting a free webinar to help you find your ONE WORD for 2016 and I will reveal my ONE WORD. I am finalizing the webinar details. Please send me a quick message if you are interested and I will send the information directly to you.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration for 2016! Deb
Merry Christmas! Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends.
I will be spending Christmas at my sister's in Massachusetts. When we all get together, there are 8 of us and when we blend our last names we become the Schwilber's. So this year, the Schwilber 8 will be together in MA! Fun! Here's a photo from 2007 (I think we need to take a new one with the Santa hats this year).
It's been an interesting December (and year) for me. In the past 2+ weeks I have been in the Emergency Room with my brother; in the Urgent Care Center with my mother and in the imaging center (twice) for me and the Doctor's office (once each) for my brother, my mother and for me!. We will all be fine and I am not telling this tale of woe for sympathy or attention but for the lesson.
When I was burning up with a fever a week before Christmas, the Universe was clearly telling me to slow down and not burn the candle at both ends. Whatever non-descript illness I had, it knocked me off my feet. I was exhausted and slept the better part of 3 days. It's the holidays, there is no time for laying around, especially for 3 days! But it's all I could do. So there were missed holiday parties and lunches, less shopping, less baking. And Christmas day is here regardless.
Not everyone enjoys the holidays. Many people miss their departed loved ones most at this time of year. If this is you, I am sending you lots of love and hugs. If you know someone, reach out and let them know you are thinking about them. We all need love and to be remembered during the holidays. Go make that call or send a note.
On this Christmas Day, slow down and take a deep breath. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. No one will miss the extra gift, or cookie or cake, if you couldn't get it done. Hug everyone and tell them you love them. Take lots of photos. Laugh. Cry. Love.
Wishing you peace, love and lots of sparks of joy this holiday season, Deb
Have you read the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho? It was our November book which I have now read and posted comments on My Bookshelf. It's a great story about intuition and discovering your personal legend. I can't believe I have not discovered this book before now!
2015 has been an interesting year. In my first blog of 2015 I wrote:A personal year 5 is a year full of fun, adventure, travel, new people and new possibilities! Sounds great, if you like change because the number 5 is also about change. I have exciting things planned for 2015 and will remain open to all the people and possibilities that present themselves.
Here's an excerpt from my most recent blog on 2015: My year was full of adventure with travel to Los Angeles, Disney and Italy! New people came into my life including new personal relationships. As the saying goes, "We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason." New people also bring new possibilities and I have met a number of new business contacts who have supported and encouraged me to DREAM BIGGER!
2015 was a year of great change and adventure for me! Was it by coincidence or by design? Did I set my intention to live seeking new people, possibilites and adventure? Intentions are powerful.
What intentions will you set for 2016? Read on for tips on intentions and vision boards. If you would like assistance with your 2016 intentions, let's talk. Send me a quick message to get the process going.
Enjoy the holidays. Thanks for an inspiring 2015! You inspire me.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration, Deb
It's time to wrap up this blog series about personal years! Personal years are part of your Pythagorean Reinvention Cycles and represent the energy surrounding you during the year. I love talking about and reviewing personal years, it provides a framework for us to review our experiences and transform our lives! Powerful!
2015 is a personal year 5 for me (see the calculations below). And while 2015 isn't quite over yet, it's been quite a year of change and adventure for me, the essence of the 5!
My simple visual for explaining the mechanics of personal years is this, imagine the numbers 1 to 9 in a single horizontal row: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
If 1 is the beginning and 9 is the end then 5 is the middle, the halfway point. The point in the reinvention cycle where you experience change.
In a personal year 5, you are 5 years into the cycle, planting seeds, watching them grow and working hard towards your goals. Now it's time to evaluate and perhaps course correct or change directions or modify slightly. A year where change is the constant. New people, new possibilities, new adventures. Fun. Are you experiencing a personal year 5?
My year was full of adventure with travel to Los Angeles, Disney and Italy! Each trip an adventure unto itself with new people and lots of new experiences! Each trip providing new lessons and growth opportunities!
New people came into my life including new personal relationships. As the saying goes, "We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason." As the year comes to a close, I am reviewing the reasons and embracing the experiences!
New people also bring new possibilities and I have met a number of new business contacts who have supported and encouraged me to DREAM BIGGER! In fact, I am now wearing a bracelet to remind me of just that!
I'm expecting 2016 to be a BIG year for me and Real Life Spark! It will be a personal year 6, a year of responsibility, love, peace and harmony. Bring it on!
If you are wondering what your personal year is, simply add together the month and day of your birth with the current year. Mine looks like this: December 30 = 12 + 30 + 2015 = 2057 = 2+0+5+7 = 14 = 1+4 = 5. 2015 is a personal year 5 for me. Remember, personal years run January to December with the calendar, not birthday to birthday.
If you want to chat about your personal year or if you have any questions, please send me a note (or comment below) and we can set up a time to brief conversation. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of enlightenment! Deb
Debbie Moulton is the owner of Real Life Spark, a coaching practice dedicated to Igniting the Next Generation of YOU!™