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Elizabeth Barbour, M. Ed.
The Revitalized Business Woman
Missouri City (Houston), Texas

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Wednesday
Feb132019

Five Gifts to Give Yourself for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! 

I try to ignore the naysayers who think it’s a sappy Hallmark holiday designed to get people to buy fancy cards, too much chocolate and highly overpriced roses and I prefer to embrace a broader interpretation of Valentine’s Day and say that it’s about celebrating love of ALL kinds.

And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I believe all good relationships with others begin by having a good relationship with yourself. 

Just as you nurture your relationships with your children, your spouse, your parents, your friends, your coworkers, your boss, your clients, your neighbors… You have to intentionally nurture your relationship with yourself. 

But life gets busy, and we often don’t take time to do that. So I’m going to suggest that this week, you block off some time in your calendar to do something just for you. 

Read below for a few ideas… 

1. Declutter. OK, so it doesn’t sound very sexy, but the truth is, getting rid of your clutter is one of the kindest things you can for yourself. It’s liberating, it’s inspiring AND you will start breathing easier right away. Yep, I admit it. I’ve fallen under the spell of Marie Kondo, too. I originally bought her book when it was first released a few years ago, but it didn’t speak to me at the time. I did watch her first episode on Netflix a few weeks ago, and was inspired to tackle my office. What a difference! Where will you begin your decluttering adventures?

2. Read. Anything, but preferably fiction! It transports you to an alternate reality, helps you to learn about people and places different from you, you develop empathy for the characters in your novel, and sometimes you even learn new perspectives on problem-solving that you can apply to your everyday life! Two novels that I have thoroughly enjoyed this past month are Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel.  (If you’re a regular reader, I’d love for you to hit “reply” and tell me what you recommend. I’m always looking for a good novel!)

3. Go outside. You’ve heard me say this before, but there is no better balancer than Mother Nature. Whether it’s stepping into your backyard and walking in the grass on your bare feet or taking a hike in the mountains or spending a lazy day at the beach, let the natural rhythms of the outdoors rebalance your system. If you only have 15 minutes or an hour, take it. If you can schedule a day or a weekend outside, even better! So where are you going to go first?

4. Seek support. Whether you need practical strategic support from (Ahem!) a business coach, inspiring wisdom from an (Ahem!) intuitive coach or you need to get guidance from your therapist on a particular issue, it’s always valuable to seek external input from trusted sources. And sometimes, just calling your mom, having lunch with a valued confidante or gathering a group of friends together is just as good (or better) than any coaching or therapy ever could be! 

5. Indulge in Little Luxuries. A little luxury goes along way. Especially if you have Marie Kondo-ed your life, perhaps you can treat yourself to something special. Get rid of the five cheap purses that you have, and invest in one nice one. Instead of grabbing sushi at the local grocery store for lunch every day, treat yourself to a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Recycle your yellow lined legal pads and treat yourself to a beautifully designed journal  - PaperBlanks are my favorite. Or do something more mundane and go buy yourself new underwear! I just did that a few weeks ago and it made me so happy. It’s one of those things that I just never get around to buying… underwear, bras and socks. They are foundational elements and when we feel good underneath, we sparkle more on the outside! What little luxury will you treat yourself to this week?

Sending you lots of love this Valentine’s month with a reminder to do something just for you!

Elizabeth

Friday
Dec282018

Bye Bye 2018...Hello 2019!

I love this time between Christmas and New Year's Eve! Do you? It's one of my favorite weeks of the year because the pace is a little slower, you can feel the old year falling away, the new year drawing closer and if you’re lucky, you’ll have a few extra days of vacation to relax!

It’s a wonderful time to review your year – celebrate the highlights, learn from the lowlights and then say “bye-bye” and leave it all in the dust as the clock strikes midnight and you get to start all over again. 2018 has been a tough year for a lot of folks and many people I know are ready to leave it behind and move forward.

The New Year brings with it a blank slate, a sense of "anything's possible" and lots of hope and anticipation about the future. It feels fresh and new and squeaky clean!

Here are a few questions that I invite you to consider as we embark on the New Year. You may want to pull out your journal and write down your observations, or print this out and discuss with your partner, children or best friend.

 

2018 in Review

What did you accomplish this year?

What challenged you this year?

What did you learn about yourself?

What are you ready to let go of?

What do you wish to bring forward into the New Year?

 

Looking Ahead to 2019

What is your theme for the New Year?

What specific goals do you have?

How would you like to FEEL in 2019?

What new experiences would you like to have?

What do you want to be celebrating on Dec 31, 2019?

 

Happy New Year! May 2019 bring abundant blessings to you and yours!

Elizabeth

P.S. If you’re in the Houston area and looking for support in revitalizing your business and your life, I invite you to join me for one of two retreats… my annual Vision Board Retreat on Friday, January 11th or my annual New Year, New You: Business Building Retreat on Tuesday January 15th!  

Wednesday
Nov282018

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Season’s Greetings!

It’s that time of year again… Holiday gift giving can be really fun but it can also be stressful if you’re not sure quite sure what to get your relative/friend/client. This is my fourth year for creating a holiday gift guide just for you. If you want to see previous year's recommendations, scroll to the bottom of the article! 

This year, I’m recommending 2 personal development experts, 2 inspirational gift art websites and, for those of you who know me well, books! (I *always* recommend books!)  As life seems to speed up, people appreciate less “stuff” and more “support”.  I’ve got some ideas that may make a big difference for you or someone you want to give extra support and love to!

 

The two personal development experiences I’d like to share with you are:

1.  Intuitive Coaching Session. Yes, forgive me the indulgence, but this offer is with yours truly. Since publicly offering my intuitive coaching services several months ago, I’ve helped people with a wide variety of issues: career transition, starting a new business,  generating financial abundance, helping children cope with grief and anxiety, marriage issues, relocation decisions and more.  What’s coming through is nothing short of remarkable… loved ones who have crossed over are sending messages, I’ve been able to help people reconnect with family heirlooms they had forgotten they had in their possession and healing is occurring on multiple levels. I’m in awe and so are my clients! I still have these sessions on my website at the introductory price (about half of a traditional coaching session) so snag one for you or a loved one before the price goes up in January!
2. Medical Intuitive Session. I read Rob Breszny’s Freewill Astrology Horoscopes each week for fun and one day, he mentioned having great success with Megan Caper, a medical intuitive that he’d worked with. I’ve struggled with health challenges for years and something about this recommendation resonated in my body with a whole hearted YES! I started off with one session but ended up doing a series. We worked on several issues, but the big one that has had lasting impact on my confidence (and proof that Megan is the real deal) is that my skin is clear for the first time in decades. I have struggled with adult acne my entire life. I’ve tried modifying my diet, skin care regimens, herbal supplementation and dermatology prescribed drugs. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years and I’ve worn way too much make up to cover up the unsightly blemishes. With Megan’s intuitive wisdom and amazing abilities, she helped to balance my system so that my acne is 90% gone! If you’ve got a stubborn medical issue, give Megan a call. She’s great! (And tell her I sent you!)

 

These two inspirational art websites are some of my favorite places for more unique greeting cards, inspirational sayings and small gifts:

1.  Applied Insight – I found this site through one of my favorite artists, Mary Anne Radmacher. I first discovered her when I lived in Asheville more than 15 years ago and even gave my husband a piece of her art as a wedding gift. I adore her style, her lettering and her inspirational sayings and within the past year, I became Facebook friends with her and was reminded of how much I adore her work. But when I started exploring this site, I realized they carry a variety of unique artists and I just know you’re going to love it!

2.  Emily McDowell Studios – Chances are good you’ve seen her stuff. Funny, irreverent and often with the perfect card for those difficult occasions (What do you send to a friend who’s found out she has cancer? Emily’s got the perfect cards!) She uses a bit of profanity (appropriately placed, IMHO) so if that’s not your thing, you might want to skip this one. 

 

The three books I’m recommending this year are all by people that I know personally – how fun is that?!


1.  Calm the Chaos Journal: A Daily Practice for a More Peaceful Life is my new favorite journal! My coaching client Nicola Ries Taggart is a life & leadership coach and she’s created a simple but effective tool to help you review your current day and mindfully set intentions for the following day. It takes 5 minutes to fill out each evening and is a great way to keep the pulse on how you’re doing with your self-care. Her journal is being carried by Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters or you can order online. Bonus: I love the fact that the dates are left blank and you fill in your own – so if you skip a few days or even a week, you simply write in the next date and keep going. No guilt for all those empty pages of missed days.  
 

 
2.  If you have a friend who is curious about the possible messages we can glean from our encounters with animals, look no further than Sarah Seidelmann’s The Book of Beasties: Your A-Z Guide to the Illuminating Wisdom of Spirit Animals.  I’ve done several coaching sessions with Sarah this year and I love how she weaves her life perspective as a former doctor, Martha Beck trained life coach and shamanic practitioner into her work. She’s a hilarious writer (I’ve read all of her other books, too! Swimming with Elephants, her memoir, is my favorite) and helps us to see the magic that is all around us if we simply pause and take time to look and listen.

 
3.  If you have a loved one who is into natural health and healing, you’ll love herbalist Melanie St. Ours’ The Simple Guide to Natural Health: From Apple Cider Vinegar tonics to Coconut Oil Body Balm, 150+ Home Remedies for Health and Healing. I worked with Melanie to support my health and healing for two years. She’s an expert in her field and has a gentle way of introducing you to seemingly “new” ideas that really help you get back to the basics. I imagine many of these suggestions were part of our grandmother and great-grandmother’s healing tool boxes but have been lost through the generations. This is a lovely gift to give someone!

 

So there you go! My seven gift recommendations for 2018 Holiday Gift Giving. But if you’re still craving more ideas, please check out my lists from previous years. You might just find the *perfect* gift you’ve been looking for. And if so, let me know about it, OK?!

In 2015, I suggested experiential gifts, books and more.

In 2016, I suggested sensory gifts and more books.

In 2017, I suggested artistic gifts and more books.


Holiday Blessings to you and yours! XO
Elizabeth

P.S. For Houston area readers, if you’re looking to give yourself a gift of retreat, I hope you’ll consider joining me either Dec 7th for the New Year, New You Business Planning Retreat OR Jan 11th for the 2019 Vision Board Workshop!