Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Journey: Not All Rainbows & Lollipops

I am sitting in an interesting place with the blogging and writing that I have done over the last several years...

I get lots of letters and messages from people that follow my journey. People connect with me in different ways. Not long ago, someone connected and was honest with her interactions and questions. She expressed that sometimes it was painful to read my posts and blogs. That I always seem to have it all together and everything goes my way... That I was inspirational and she loved to read it... but that she was in such a dark place, in so much pain personally, that it was physically painful to read about my journey sometimes.  She wanted to know if I ever had any struggles or if my life was always so good...

Physically painful to hear my story as I tell it today... I had to sit with that...

I sent her a recording of a radio interview that I did about my life and how I shifted my paradigms... It is very honest and it shares some personal and dark times that I have been through. That answered that. If you want a link to the interview fill out the request on the right hand side of this page and in the notes write that you would like a copy of the radio interview and I will send it to you.

 Life is not all Rainbows and Lollipops for sure...

My friends tell me that I should be more vulnerable and talk about things when it isn't good and share those times too.... This is tricky. I have shared deeply and authentically about relationship stuff and my journey with dating and love. My path to finding the love I want, creating the relationships that I want and my shortfalls and struggles with that. It's all authentic.

I haven't really shared family stuff for many reasons. Those relationships involve other people. Those are not my stories to share. I talk about myself and my journey. I do not talk about anyone else's journey. I never talk about my relationship with my daughter. She is fiercely private and an introvert. I would never do that to her. It has been a difficult struggle and the pain has been tremendous. It's not something I can write about in this format.

Who wants to read a whiny complainy blog?
Not me... and it wouldn't make me feel good to write it.

It's been a very difficult journey. One way that I made it through that space was to learn how to shift my paradigms. I talk a lot about the space around me: the hostess of my space, my happy space, etc. I have worked very hard to keep the space around me chaos free and happy. When things shift away from that, which they do... I know how to shift back to calm, focused and happy pretty quickly. Part of that for me is focusing on the positive. That comes out in my writing. It's not that I ignore the bad or unpleasant. It is that I choose to find and focus on the good. I can find something good about anything. I know that drives some people nuts... but, it is a survival technique and it has served me well. I am human and I visit those other places. It can be quite dark. I just choose not to live there.

I have lived a hundred lives; experienced more than any one person should experience in a lifetime. I would not change any of it (well, except that I still long to have a family, that hasn't changed). It has made me who I am today. It is one of the reasons that I can connect with so many different women. I am them. I have walked their path and understand their pain. I don't hurt from it anymore. But, I can have empathy because I have a deep understanding of their pain.

Looking back it is like viewing someone else's story; although it is mine. 
So much healing and growth has moved me into a new space.

Life started when I turned 40. That is why I drive everyone crazy with celebrating my birthday ALL month long. I love getting older and I love celebrating those milestones.

My past journey needs to serve a future purpose. So many of us had dreams and goals when we were young. Life happens: kids, work, marriage, healing from your childhood. At some point around 35-40 we wake up and realize that time has gotten away from us and we need to find our way back to ourselves. I was personally surviving, not thriving or living. I woke up at 35 and completely shifted my life by my 40th birthday. I see a similar path for many women and I am passionate about being the best that I can be, and helping other women find their way back to themselves too.

My journey continues to be trying to figure it all out and make life the absolute best it can be. I figured out what I wanted and I am working toward making it all happen. I do not think that there is anything that I can't do and I am making that a reality. I do the difficult work so that I can benefit from the great rewards.

I am part of a book that will be out in November: a mini-memoir and I am planning on publishing my full memoir in 2014. Both of my parents were over the top abusive, the aftermath and recovery from that led to many difficulties throughout my life. I have not spoken to either parent in 18 years. The hardest and best decision of my life. At some point you need to be able to create boundaries to protect yourself and accept people as they are OR you need to cut off ties with them. I decided to save myself and have a healthy life. I chose and continue to choose Me. I have received so much judgement about that decision over the years. I have been alienated by family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers who just don't understand. Children don't just cut their parents off for no reason. ALL of their children have had to do this. Just because we lived in a big house and had nice things doesn't mean anything.

You never know what goes on behind closed doors.... Never...       

 My Memoir is titled,  It's Not Always the Children

So... No... My life is not perfect. I have had a very long difficult road to get to where I sit today. Life still happens and I just choose to focus on the positive to keep myself balanced and moving forward.

I have and continue to Design the Life that I want... I am happy with the person that I have become and strive to continue to move through this space with grace and ease... 

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Connect: Individuality by Design

The banter is swirling and conversation is good.

My perspective has always been to choose what fits and is uniquely me. That is my hope for you too.

I think of what I offer in the same way... I don't want anyone to be like me or anyone else. I try to help people find their personal style and voice. No matter what service I offer it is customized to each person.

In my 20+ year design career, I am not known for having a signature style. I am known for connecting with my clients and helping them find the style that is uniquely theirs. None of my designs look the same and I have designed in every style and decor.

Working with groups and individuals for 20+ years, I have the same reputation. I listen and connect to find out someone's core and help deliver what is unique to them: whether that is a path to dating, a destination and grand plan for a personal journey, or a blueprint for successful social or professional networking. We all have different needs and journeys to take. It is paying attention closely enough to see what that is and how to help you get there...

 Many coaches have created a one size fits all systems. Not everyone fits that system. Just because it worked for one does not mean that it will work for many. Introverts and extroverts are the perfect example. The same system is not going to work for both without modifications...

When you are looking for someone to work with you...
 Find someone that sees you. Understands You. Knows how to walk the walk with you. 

Look for the connection and someone that you can build rapport with. Not to be told what to do, but to lead you on a journey to your final destination.

I very often connect people that I know with right fit coaches. It's not one size fits all. Take the time to find the person that is right for you. My hope is that You can all be supported fully in your uniqueness and individuality. Because once you discover that... You have amazing gifts to give yourself and to others as well.

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Relationship GPS: I Am Not You

As we interact with other people we need to remember that they are not like us. We are all unique. I am not you and you are not me. There is a disconnect sometimes between people. A jump to judgement that prevents a connection.

My ex-husband and I used to joke that he and I could both look at a billboard on the side of the road, he would interpret it one way, and I would think it said something completely different. Same words, same images... different person interpreting the message. This is often thought of as a male/female "thing". I would say that it is a human nature "thing".

It is our uniqueness that makes life beautiful and interesting. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a journey. If you want to truly connect with other people and not just have them sitting on the side of your pool -let people be themselves.

When I talk about your journey and self-discovery, I say to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack.

Now that we are really diving deep into connecting and relationships... even Personal and Professional Networking, I would invite you to remember to be kind to the people that you are connecting with. You are the hostess of your space. Our journey is happening along side others that have a journey of their own. We rarely know what that is. If we are lucky enough to be developing deeper connections, those stories will show themselves. We can only control how we act and react.

For example, I went to an intimacy workshop once the day I broke up with my boyfriend. I had signed up for it a long time before and they needed a certain number of people in the room. I didn't want to cancel. That was a deep emotional relationship and I was in a lot of pain. No one knew what I was going through. Do you think that my interactions in that room were the same if it had taken place two weeks earlier when I was sitting in love, or two months later when my heart was starting to heal? Those strangers in that room had no idea what was going on inside of me.

You never know what goes on behind closed doors: in the home or in the mind.

Let's all cut each other some slack, try not to judge or pre-judge and let's just make meaningful connections.

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Networking Tip #2 of 100

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Design: Sofa Shopping... Did you Know?

Labor Day Savings are Starting Soon... Let's revisit Furniture...

Furniture shopping has changed dramatically over the years... It used to be that there were family owned furniture stores in every community. Choices were plentiful. That is definitely not the case in today's market.

I am going to share a few things that you should know before you go out to buy new furniture.

First: Choose what you want to spend your budget on and what items warrant the majority of your budget. I always say that your upholstered pieces will get the most use and wear, unless it is a formal room with very little "sit time". Upholstered pieces should get a good chunk of your budget in most cases. So, that's the topic that we are going to tackle today. Check back for information about case-goods "wood pieces", mattresses and other types of furniture.

Where can you find Sofas?
  • Department stores: JCPenney, Macy's and Sears.
    • Major Department stores get all of their furniture from multiple third party vendors. None of the merchandise is made specifically for those companies and you can probably find the same exact items in other places at different price points - including online sources. In almost 100% of the cases they are produced overseas and are mid to low end quality.
  • Home stores: IKEA, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn
    • In these types of stores: you get what you pay for. The price is indicative of the quality. 
  • Local Furniture Stores: Varies by market... there are a few left.
  • National Chain Furniture Stores: Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Ashley, La-Z-Boy, Bassett, Restoration Hardware
  • Interior Design Centers and to the trade wholesalers: There are many manufacturers. You will get the best quality by far. Price points vary dramatically and a lot of that is based on the fabric that you choose. They can cost the same as one from Ethan Allen, but they will be better quality... or they can cost tens of thousands of dollars. There is something for almost any reasonable budget.

With all of the Retailers:
  •  It is okay to ask where the item is made. 
  • You should ask about the construction. Anything assembled with staples or soft wood should be avoided. You would be horrified if you saw what the inside of a sofa from Ashley looks like....
  • Lift the sofa. Weight matters. If it's super light weight, it's probably made with substandard materials.
  • Make sure there is a warranty. The warranty needs to cover the materials and craftsmanship. A quality product will have a warranty. 

You should know:
  • A love seat typically only costs $50 less thank you think  a sofa. So, if you are buying a love seat because you think you are saving money... you aren't.
  • Special order sofas take at least 6-8 weeks to get or longer....
  • All sofa manufacturers used to talk about 8 way, hand tied sofas. Not all quality sofas use that anymore. It doesn't mean that they aren't good. With the invention and improvement in materials, there are some constructed hardwood frames that are solid. Make sure it is a hard wood or manufactured hardwood. It is worth getting a designer to help you get the most for your money. Everyone has a budget and this is a good place to spend it.

Designer Thoughts and Feedback: IKEA... Read more.....

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Networking Tip #1 of 100

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blog Journey: Mediation Not for You? Baby Steps....

Sometimes the busier we get the harder it is to slow down and connect with self. Your mind is going a million miles and hour and your body following close behind. I think the people that tell me that they can't meditate are caught in this feed.

That used to be me...

You literally have to stop and intentionally be still to learn to go inside. It's hard to work on self with all of the chaos of life swirling around. I am in that point right now. I have spent a lot of time meditating, contemplating and assessing in the last year..... I can personally get into a very deep meditative state. But, it's harder when I'm busy.

I set intentions and manifested so much that it is like a steam roller going forward and I plan to keep up with it.  ( I know that I have said that already, but it's true)

It's easy to get caught up in life and forget to disconnect sometimes. That's my goal. To continue to take time for me and remove myself far enough to quiet the noise. My outlet that get's me there the easiest is the beach. Sometimes my sofa :-) Depends on the day. But, since I do a lot of work from home, leaving that space is usually the smartest.

Be kind and cut yourself some slack... It's not easy to start.. It's easier once you start....

There are lots of tricks to get your mind moving toward silence or at least corralling the chaos and funneling the energy.

  • Writing is a great way to immerse yourself into something. Many people get so involved in what they are writing it relieves the mind. Journaling is personal and no one has to read it. You can write and write and write whatever you want and no one will see it: a release. Turn it into a blog... and it becomes public. 
  • Breathing Exercises - So many resources online to find the right fit for you. Try Into The Vortex, by Jerry Hicks.
  • Gentle Yoga - I won't lie. Yoga is hard. The first time I went, I jokingly said that the calm, peaceful looking pictures that you see when people refer to yoga, was false advertising... BUT, there are lots of different forms and like everything else, it's just starting. There are gentle yoga classes that are stretching and breathing and can be very meditative. Those are not difficult. You just need to know what you are signing up for. Ask for information and assistance when you start.
  • Meditative walking is sooo relaxing. I like to listen to music and walk in someplace that I connect with nature. Women particularly connect will when their bare feet can touch the earth: grass, sand, etc. It is thought to bring you closer to your feminine energy and self. 
  • Meditative Audio can be found all over. My favorite is Heart Meditations Radio by Deepak Chopra on Pandora. I like to listen to this before I go to bed or on a walk. It has some guided meditations, gentle sounds and music.
  • Group Activities can be found in every community. My friend introduced me to Pranic Healing last year. That was a wonderful experience for me.  Centre for Pranic Healing in San Jose welcomes you to meditate, to heal and to be healed.
  • Meditating is the end goal. You don't have to get there. However, once you do it's hard to give it up. There are short sessions to retreats that offer 30 days of silence and mediation. 
What ever activity that you choose for yourself. I hope that you gift yourself with the time to quiet the mind & Soul. It is so necessary for me to manage the stress and chaos. Self LOVE is vital to our health and well being. Baby Steps... 

What works for you?
Where is the best place to disconnect?

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blog Connect: Neighborly Love by Design

Do you remember the welcome wagon? Is that still around in some communities? I'm showing my age... The things that go through my mind... I remember when I was young taking flowers to the neighbors, cookies or homemade goods. I remember going out of my way to connect and make new people feel comfortable. Where has that gone? I so often seem to be the new person and everyone else around me is already established. I have moved almost 30 times in the last 25 years... I always reached out and rarely experience that in return...

I introduced myself to the neighbors on both sides of me when I moved into this house... That was an odd experience. One doesn't really speak English and smiles at me now and then... The other is just nuts... there is no other way to put it. It's best that he doesn't talk to me...

After living in this house for two years, I was walking through the grocery store and a woman came swiftly across the store to introduce herself. She told me that I was her neighbor, that she lived across street, and started to describe her house... Yes. She does live across the street: almost directly and I have never met her.... barely even seen her. She told me how she was raised in that home, moved back to care for her aging parents, they passed away and she and her husband decided to stay... Then in the last year her husband passed and that she had just been dealing with moving forward with life and apologized for not meeting me sooner... She was sweet and lovely and promised to invite me for a glass of wine in near future. We are all on a journey; just in different stages...

A couple months go by and I am just swamped... Probably running from the driveway into the house. I saw her sweeping her entry a couple of times and knew that I needed to reach out. I made a point to catch her at home and invite her to music in the park. She already had plans... Yet, I found out more about her. She is a teacher and has a forth grade class that starts next week... She was preparing and was getting ready to connect with a work friend about a project... More info in my data bank... I made another note of how long to let time go by before I invite her over for a glass of wine.

We all get so caught up in our lives... the ways that we used to connect with family and community has changed so much over time... Now there is tv, the internet and texting. Little to no personal connection. I was caught up in work, relationships and myself and she was struggling with some pretty serious life events. The days should come back when you can go to a neighbor and have a cup of coffee and just get comfort and support.

She is kind and lovely. I know that there is a possible connection and friendship that can develop: whatever that may be. How many times have I locked myself out of the house or had a minor issue that I could have really used the support of someone that lived near by? Many... Don't we all need that? Don't we all want to be able to just reach and have people there?  I am determined to pursue that and make it a reality. She reached out her hand and I will create that bridge to make it happen. We all need deeper, genuine, authentic connections and I don't want to let the opportunity to foster that pass me by....

Who has moved through your space and you missed connecting with them? Teacher, neighbor, someone at the gym??? I am making a conscious effort not to miss opportunities to connect and authentically be present. That is my journey....

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blog Savvy4Less: Top 5 Basic Ways to Design Your Savings

Just like everything else with life we can be bombarded with advertising and marketers... Who knows where to turn sometimes to get the best deals...

Here are 5 Basic things to keep in mind:

  1. Grocery adds come out on Wednesday. They usually have Friday- Sunday Deals in addition. It is best to shop on Friday to take advantage of the Wednesday and Weekend discounts. Items may be out of stock by Saturday and definitely Sunday. So, plan to grocery shop on Friday or early Saturday morning.
  2. All large retailers have their regular sales start on Sunday. In addition, Weekend sales and Bonus shopping hours are very popular right now. Make sure to note when an item is on sale if you see it in an advertisement... Circular add sales run from Sunday to Saturday. Weekend sales dates can be completely different than circular add sales. Just note that they are different, but over lap.
  3. I never go to a store anymore without checking online to see if there is an additional coupon offered. Online coupons are not always publicized.
  4. Ask the cashier at checkout, "Is there a coupon out right now that I am missing? They usually know and will tell you.
  5. If you are making a purchase like a small appliance or electronics: Google it! Manufacturers recommended retail, sale prices, and regular store prices can all be tweaked. It's all marketing and not the most honest. Many retailers sale prices are the manufacturers regular prices. The change the verbiage a bit to get away with it... Look those types of items up for sure and you will always be an educated consumer.
All the rest is chaos and extra info... If you get this down you will be ready for more tips and techniques. Basics first..

Happy Saving!

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our New Spontaneous Connections Meetup is up and running. I invite you to join us if you live anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area. I will be posting events all over the area and I know that you will find something that resonates with you... Many of them will be worth traveling for... Even If you live in Sacramento or Los Angeles... Sign Up. See what's coming your way!


Please sign up and show your support. The more members that we have the easier it is to build our community. I am here to support and connect you... but, I need know you to be able to connect you to the right resources and people :-) Invite your friends to join...

I am bringing people together from different communities. This will be powerful. Social and Business Networking like you have never seen before...

Come out, have fun and share with other connected women. Some events will be limited in size to help create authentic connections. We will have many events that vary in size and flair: all with a little something special. It's fabulous to come and connect in a more intimate setting so that when we are together in a larger space... you will know the crowd. It makes this a whole new way of social and business networking. It's a comfortable way to connect whether you are an introvert or an extrovert - your comfort and environment are key. Creating relationships one person, one group at a time... all coming together as one... It's all about fun and celebrating life! 
Smaller gatherings are being planned so that when we have the large launch party in September... You can walk into the room and see a familiar, friendly face... Come join us!
SEE some of the VIP events planned...  VIP EVENTS and then join our Meetup

Thanks for the love and support,

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Blog GPS: I had the proposal that fairy tales are made of...

So much talk all summer long about weddings... I wonder how we get our girls to focus on the marriage and not the wedding... The proposal is now a YouTube event and makes the national news... It's romantic, and I don't think anyone notices and appreciates acts of kindness, large and small, more than I do. BUT..I still don't hear a lot of people talking about the realities of building a strong relationship, and focusing on finding the right partner... Even the mother's seem to be blinded by the bling...and the glitter...

I had the proposal that fairy tales are made of...

Before I share my story, I will preface this by telling you that my favorite things at the time were San Francisco, New York City, The Phantom of the Opera, Art, Theatre, Monet, Travel, Pearls, Dressing Up... ok. I guess I haven't changed much in 20 years...

My boyfriend asked me to go away with friends on a ski weekend in Colorado. It was January and an early birthday present. I didn't ski; hadn't been in years. I didn't own any ski or snow clothes...So, off I I went shopping: shopping done and ready for the snow.

We were to spend a couple days in San Francisco with a friend. I loved San Francisco and was living in Sacramento. We decided to fly to Colorado from SF so that I could spend some time in my favorite city... Our time in SF was lovely. I completely enjoyed it and was all warm and happy when we headed to the airport for our ski trip to Colorado. We left our car with our friend and took a cab to the airport....

Once at the airport we got out and decided to do curb check-in. While standing there, a woman from the airline was going up and down the baggage line and talking to customers. She said, "anyone on the flight to New York City please come to the front of the line. You need to check in immediately." My boyfriend did not look up. He grabbed my hand, told me to follow him, and said to not ask any questions. We both checked-in successfully. He never looked at me and both proceeded in silence... All I could think was... I just bought all of these ski clothes and we weren't going to Colorado???

We boarded the plane, found our seats without even a sideways glance and still sat in silence... Not a word or glance until we were in the air. Once the pilot took off the seat belt sign, he got up and took a box out of his carry on bag... He handed me a wrapped package and looked at me lovingly. I opened it and was astonished. There were tickets to all of my favorite things: Phantom of the Opera on Broadway with prime seats, A full set of Phantom CD's and a CD player, Tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with special admission to a traveling Monet exhibit, a picture of our room at the Ritz Carlton, and various other brochures of things that might interest me... He told me he wanted to make this trip special for me and make my dreams come true.

So, I sat giddy on the plane and listened to my music in bliss... The flight attendants asked us what was going on and gushed over my boyfriend...

Once we landed, he had hired a car to take us to the Ritz Carlton on Central Park. We entered the lovely hotel and were treated with care. As we made our way up to our room he was a bit nervous... He didn't travel well... But, I opened the door to walk into the most amazing, enormous bouquet of my favorite flowers: white long stemmed roses, red tulips and purple irises. The most gorgeous flowers and largest bouquet that I have ever seen. Sitting to the side was an overflowing welcome basket and goodies to share. He had obviously called ahead and made arrangements for my every wish to be attended to... Plush robes were in the bathroom being warmed... He told me, "Honey, it's been a long trip. Why don't you go take a hot shower and wrap in your robe and we will relax a little." I agreed and wandered off to take a shower. It was scrumptious and lovely. I lingered and took my time in there...

As I opened the door from the bathroom to our bedroom, I looked up and saw the most beautiful gown laying across the bed... matching shoes on the floor and jewelry to match... I was in shock... He told me to go ahead and get ready, that we were going out. I dried my hair did my makeup and went to put on my dress... He slid into the shower while I was dressing... As I tried on my gifts... Everything fit like a glove. The dress was Jessica McClintock: long black toole, with a black sweetheart bodice embroidered with white silk ribbon accents... thin spaghetti straps. It was sweet and lovely... Not sexy and a seductress... Sweet... Perfect.  I slid the kitten heel pumps on and they fit perfectly; added my pearl accents and I was in heaven. Completely me...My style... My taste... Me. He walked out of the bathroom in his dinner dress blue uniform. He was an officer in the Navy. Handsome and dapper...

I was having a great time and couldn't resist the urge.. I jumped up on the bed in my long fluffy toole gown and jumped up and down on the bed like a five year old, giggling and laughing... until I couldn't anymore...

We went downstairs for dinner... It was a very upscale restaurant, candles were everywhere and crystal accents sparkled as we wandered farther in ... the host pulled out the table and we slid gently into the booth... People were staring.. We definitely stood out in New York City... I didn't care. I knew at that point that he was going to propose... He was so nervous, I just wanted him to do it so we could have fun... We finished our lovely dinner and caught a cab to the Empire State Building... As we arrived, there was a sign that said that it was closed because the workers were on strike. I was gracious and didn't acknowledge his foiled plan. He told the driver to take us to Central Park... We got out; it was near our hotel. We headed to the park and the horse drawn carriage just outside the park. It was late and dark and I could feel his tension building... He looked at me and asked if I minded if we just headed back to the hotel... I said of course... and we did. As we entered the grand entrance and into the sophisticated lobby, he dropped to his knee and recited the most romantic, poetic proposal. He slid the diamond on my finger that he had chosen just for me. We went to our room and enjoyed champagne, our goodies and the beautiful suite.

The next day and the days that followed were full of all of my favorite things. Art, theatre, great restaurants, music and exploring a fabulous city... It was all about me... He doted on me and made me feel like the most special woman on the planet... Whisked me back to the airport and back home: engaged. 

It was lovely and a gift. I don't want to sound ungrateful... I just wish there was more about the relationship and not just the party...

He worked hard to get me... Not to keep me... It all changed once I said, "I do." No one ever counseled me, warned me or even had me consider to look beneath the surface. I was too young and immature to know better myself. Everyone was wowed by the spectacle. It all changed once I was married. I wish more people made a bigger deal about the marriage, relationship and compatibility of our connection... Thinking back, anyone that knew he and I, would have known that we weren't a good fit... He and I fit just as in sync as when my mother told me that I should be an accountant...

Now I know not to be dazzled by bracelets and cruises... I appreciate them; but I'm not blinded by them. The whole package is key... Not just the presents.

My wish is that some of these girls that are so focused on the party and the experience have a warm comforting voice to guide them along the way... You can have the magic in the engagement, in the wedding and in the marriage... I am positive of that... It just takes the right connection

It was a lovely gift and one more thing that I thank my ex-husband for... He made me feel like a princess that week. I appreciate and am grateful for that experience...  

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Monday, August 19, 2013

What a lovely comment...

One of my favorite bloggers to read and ponder. If you haven't read her blog before, I encourage you to catch up. [There's] Always something to ponder and give pause to where you are and what it takes to make yourself move forward to that better place in life that you desire and on some level, need. Honest, gritty and compassionate. Love it.

thank you Cynthia! Thank you to all of you that are sharing my blog! My deepest gratitude... It is showing and I appreciate it. 

Thanks for the love and support,

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Blog Design: Symbolism by Design

The world is becoming smaller and smaller as time goes by... With world travel, the internet and the combining of cultures - Many symbols and historically cultural elements are showing up in the main stream. They show up on the shelves of home decor retailers and enter the main stream as lovely accents for our interior. Sometimes they are featured in art or advertising... Visually appealing, but usually without reference to their historical significance or cultural meaning. There are symbols from all over the world from many cultures and religions that adorn our decor and we merely think of them as a pattern or accessory.

One such important symbol is the evil eye.  

Party of my journey within includes expanding my view on design, people and my world. Traveling the world has offered me a look at symbols that weave throughout our societies... bleeding over from one to the other beauty and design transcend.

I discovered the evil eye on my trip to Turkey. The evil eye is a Turkish talisman, a look that is believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. It is thought that a person who is envious, has ill-will or bad luck may have a negative energy. By wearing or displaying the evil eye, that negative energy is reflected back to the giver and the person displaying the eye is protected. 

The evil eye is a representation of an eye...Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, East and West Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region. Versions vary slightly and I encourage you to read and research it deeper. For purposed of this blog... I only desire to introduce you to new and maybe slightly varying views of what you see around you on a daily basis.

The Turkish use of the evil eye and the vibrant blue glass beads is one of the oldest. It is used to make the owner feel safe, happy and to provide protection for visitors as a type of hospitality. Don't take me wrong, it is taken seriously. It's not frivolous... But, it is worn for protection and is seen as something positive and worn as a symbol of pride, protection and happy health. Westerners may misinterpret it as brooding, being wary or superstitious... However, that is not the intent or the tradition. It is a more of a positive proactive superstition. The receiver of the evil eye is not even thought to know that there negative energy is being reflected back at them. A silent protector to keep what I call their happy place and energy consistent. There is no doom and gloom... It is a beautiful positive, a proactive symbol that keeps showing up in history and now throughout the world. When being explained to me it was never presented as a a symbol like we would think of as garlic, or chicken claws or sometimes the cross... It is not to ward off evil spirits as much as it is to repel bad energy or people with negative intentions. It was always surrounded with smiles and positive conversations. I have also had this conversation with my Persian friends, who have expressed a similar view. 

Consistently in human history, man has looked for the assistance of magic objects called talismans to defy evil forces. Talismans are present today in many forms. My Native American Ancestors had many that represented peace and nature. The eye has shown up for thousands of years in many cultures and religions. 

Pay attention to your environment as you move through your space and you will see that the eye shows up over and over again in fabrics, tapestries, accessories, art, literature, songs, jewelry and more.... The evil eye is now a popular item for tourists. However, it has significant cultural and religious origins. Often when tourists take a liking to an item and it crosses borders, that item can make it's way into the mainstream. An unintentional connection. It's carried over for  it's beauty and aesthetic appeal... 
Like with most things that show up in our lives... they have a history and a story. 

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Blog GPS: Where I sit Today


I have had so many people reaching out, asking about the man that I have been dating... so here it is...

As I do... I sit in reflection and found the positives and analyzed the situation.

He gave me a gift. He showed up and showed me a love like I had not seen before. There is no doubt in my mind that he loves me deeply.To the depths of his being...

He showed me everything that I wanted and more. He was completely vulnerable and open and giving. I received it with grace and ease. I nurtured the gift and appreciated it beyond measure. He walked the long mile for me without ego and without expectation. It was beautiful, emotional and raw: a treasure. I appreciate and feel the depth of that gift and his love.

Here is the problem. As much as he wants me and wants that amazing love, connection and relationship. He could not sustain where we stood. He wanted to be open, but could not live in that space and he reverted back to what he has known his whole life. He is a strong, powerful, masculine, business man. It has served him well in many areas of his life. It does not serve him well in his intimate love relationships. His discomfort at standing in a soft spot made him so uncomfortable that he was lashing out at me and honestly... making me miserable.

A couple ex-boyfriends that know me well, questioned my interactions and I looked at what part of this was mine, and like my last blog on the issue talked about... I was owning what was mine. But honestly, even that was a reaction to his overbearing and inconsistent behavior. A much as I wanted to take ownership and make it about me... I can fix it is it's me...  That is not my stuff. I sat in it and nurtured it for months. This started in February or early March. I was not reactionary, cold, harsh or judgmental. I stood still and tried to let him work through his discomfort.

In public I am positive and take ownership of some things that I probably should not.  I never like to talk negatively about people, particularly the men that I date. I'm not complainy... It's not always pretty though. Relationships take work. People are not perfect. I don't judge that. I don't share it either. So, I end up looking a little colder and harsher than is reality. That's okay. But.... You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

It went back to the same old pattern as the previous times that we were together. It ended the same exact way that it has every time before.... Only this time I was calm and at peace. I know that it is the right thing.

I want more and am not willing to settle for less at this time in my life. I never should have before, but I did. Lesson Learned! Loud and Clear! I will not allow myself to make it again....

Don't get me wrong.... I love that he bought me gifts, took me on trips and wouldn't allow me to open one door for myself. I love that.... But, that does not make the man. His beautiful car was lovely to drive. That does not make the man. Money, cars and homes are wonderful. I am comfortable in that space. They do not make the man. What is deep inside and how I am treated is what impresses me. How a man moves through this world and treats those around him is what impresses me. Integrity, kindness and the ability to connect impresses me.

I am ready for the gift that he gave me. I have done the work. He is not ready and has not done the work. He tried and I know that it takes a very strong man to stand in that space. I honor and respect him for that. I am blessed to know that he loves, respects, trusts and admires me that deeply. But, he is not ready for me.

What I know.... I now know that the right man is headed to me and is in my near future. As my friend said to me yesterday, "There is no need to keep shaking the trees to see who falls out". I am calm and confident in my heart that I will run across the man that I am meant to be with. I am certain. I know that is why I am so calm and at peace with this end. I did not run out and start dating to massage my ego and make myself feel better. I have no desire to go on a bunch of dates. I know that I will be blissfully happy and meet the "one". It is already in the cards. I have done the work. I will meet the man that is simpatico shortly. It will happen. It is meant to be. I am confident. I am open. I am ready.

Here are a few links if you want to catch up:

Blog GPS: Designing My Most Important Relationship

It's not always pretty... But, it's my journey...   I do believe that we can Design the Relationships that we want... 

Thanks for the love and support,

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Blog Journey: Finding Joy by Design

Part of focusing on finding joy along my journey is focusing on gratitude. My path has always been to acknowledge things that I appreciate in others and to pay attention to what 

             brings me joy.
 How do you know how to identify what brings you joy? Are you a thinker or a feeler? Do you know? No one is completely one or the other. There are variances just like anything else. You can take psychology tests, read lots of books, but you really only need to pay attention to a few cues to recognize which tendency is stronger.

When you are paying attention and have a sensation of happiness does it spur a thought about the reaction or do you feel a physical reaction?

Once you know. It allows you to look for signs that you can use to identify and narrow down what brings you joy. Identify, acknowledge and then appreciate... All part of the process.

You have identified and acknowledged happiness.

Now you need a trigger to set the experience into your memory for recall. Your brain is a complex catalog of all of your experiences and memories. Some are easier to recall than others, but it doesn't mean that they are not there. For example, many of us have had amazing vacations and need to look at photos to remember the feelings that we had while on those adventures. We don't automatically recall them without a physical trigger: the photographs.

There is an easy trick to set a memory into a part of your brain so that it is easily accessed without a physical trigger. When you are in the middle of any moment that you want to make sure and remember, all you have to do is -STOP, make a conscious snap shot of that picture in your head... just like capturing it on a Polaroid.
Before you let the picture go, acknowledge it as if actually looking at that snapshot in your minds eye. It will permanently be cataloged for easier recall. Studies show that this technique works consistently over time. If you practice, it becomes easy to do.

This is a valuable technique for so many of us that move through life so quickly and aren't connected to some of our emotions. Emotions are vital for connecting with self and others. If there is an emotion that you want to bring forward and make a more active part of your life. Try this technique. When you notice the emotion... create your Polaroid of what that looks like for you. Combine the picture with the feeling of gratitude for a heightened and deeper experience.

There is also a technique called EFT Emotional Freedom Technique. If you have not heard about it, I encourage you to read up on it a little. It is beyond the scope of this particular blog.. However, It is a powerful and easy to access tool. It is another exercise that will allow you to train your brain to move forward to achieve goals. If finding and bringing joy into your life is a goal... EFT can reduce stress and allow you to focus on what you want.

Once the trigger is set, whichever technique you choose, you can acknowledge and appreciate it. The more moments that you set into your conscious... the more readily available and easier to access. Today we focus on Joy. It will become automatic and the blocks that you previously had will be shifted or removed.

The key that I hope people pick up is that you can tune into your thoughts and feelings. This allows you to identify the things that you want and the ones that you want to release, let go of or avoid. That is how we all shift our Paradigms.

Another important aspect is to be able to own what brings you joy. Let go of caring what others think or feel about you. Stand in your own space and truly internalize the things that bring you joy. Once you are able to be confident enough to do that... It will only grow and your ability to enjoy more things will build too.

Hanging out with friends and trying New Places & Experiences Brings Me Joy!
Let's make a list! I love lists.. The process of writing is a great exercise for your brain. Write down all of the things that bring you joy or make you happy. It can be as simple as feeling the sun on your skin; stopping to pay attention to the warm feeling on your skin, maybe it is the emotional feeling that a beautiful painting gives you, or maybe it is feeding the ducks in the park... What ever they are, write them down, be conscious of the thought and feeling; it makes them more stable and permanent.

Here is a great tool that I love:

There is a site called Grateful 160 You can go there and sign up. You will get a daily email asking you to document what you are grateful for and at the end of the week they will send you an email with the weeks daily entries, so that you can look back on all of the things that you were grateful for that week.

Try using this online technique and document what makes you happy for a whole month or write it down in a journal and look at your entries at the end of each week.

What brings you joy that makes you
 stand out from the crowd? Let's share....


Pomegranates make me happy! I LOVE them. They bring me Joy....

Kimberly R Lifestyle by Design 
Designing a life with grace and ease