What Do You See?

kitty catFor the next few days,  explore the glory of your senses, starting with sight.

Allow today’s prosperity mindset to be inspired by your appreciation for the sense of sight. “Sight” can mean many things. In addition to physical sight, it can also refer to the gift of insight and the ability to “see” truth. Whatever you see in “sight”, explore them in your micro journal today.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness

MysteryToday’s prompt for your micro journal is about feeling grateful for your eccentricities!

What makes you different? What are your quirks? How are you grateful for them?

Remembering when Nancy Drew was “different”—-Karen

Don’t have the micro journal ? Download it here

Directions for folding journal   micro Journal

How are Your New Year’s Resolutions Going? 

divorce-908743_1280Are they going, going, gone? The average length of time someone stays with their resolution is
  • Resolution maintained through first week—–75% of people
  • Past two weeks —- 71% of people
  • Past one month —- 64% of people
  • Past six months —- 46% of people
So what happens? Really stoked up to lose weight, improve finances, exercise, get a new job, eat healthier last month and now, well it all looks just too hard. Here are a few reasons why we fall off the Resolution Road and park at a rest stop where it much more comfortable.

  • Timing. January is a tough month to begin anything new. We’ve already packed on pounds starting during Halloween all the way through Super Bowl Sunday. Not to mention, it’s cold and dark out (at least in the U.S.) making us less active and even less motivated to change. Money is often tighter in January, after splurging during the holidays. Stress is higher, as well.
  • High motivation with no real plan. Those New Year’s Resolutions don’t come with instructions. Sure, you can say, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year”, but that’s only the first step. To stay motivated, you need a detailed plan and often expert advice to be more likely to succeed.
  • Setting unrealistic goals. Really? Going cold turkey from smoking or losing 50 pounds in 6 months? We sometimes set multiple resolutions or goals that have nothing in common (like losing weight and getting out of debt) expecting to accomplish them all simultaneously.
  • Being too tough on ourselves. We have big expectations for ourselves, and end up being disappointed because it is harder or progress is slower than we expected or we have an occasional setback. This can cause you to give up.
  • Lack of support or accountability. Trying to stay motivated on your own is tough. We’re social beings. We do better trying to reach a goal when we have support and are being held accountable for what we do. If no one knows you’re on a diet and fast food isn’t on your approved menu, the only thing keeping you away from the fast food lane is your own self-control.
holding-hands-1149411_1280A Better Way
Surprise! It begins with having a plan.
  • Rev up your can-do. Start with five minute changes. Instead of making a big unclear resolution, pinpoint one small, meaningful step you can take towards change that you can do in five minutes. For example, maybe your resolution is to eat healthier. Take five minutes to make a grocery list that includes more fruits and vegetables. Or make small tweaks in what you eat every day by eliminating one sugary drink a day. Small changes keep you moving toward your goal and help you get unstuck when you begin to fall off track.
  • Stay motivated. One way to do this is to get an accountability partner or mentor. Another way is to create a vision board of what healthy looks like to you. Include images of you succeeding and living the life you want.
  • Go for 10. Use the rule of 10, which simply means do something for 10 minutes instead of 30, or change 10% instead of 100%. So if you want to get healthier by getting fit, make your goal to do 10 minutes of exercise every day. You can work up to longer periods, but getting started is the hard part. With only doing 10 minutes of something you are more likely to do it. The same can be said for healthy eating. Instead of completely changing the way you eat all at once, add more fruit or vegetables or cut out 10% of sugar intake a day (like 1 donut), gradually decreasing until you’ve eliminated sugar from your diet.
  • Make pre-commitments. Piggy-back what you want to change onto something you’re already doing. One way to do this is to add one more vegetable to your plate each day.
  • Try the proximity trick. This works well if you are trying to add exercise to your daily routine. The trick here is to place your sneakers and workout clothes next to your bed each night. That way, when you wake up they’re the first things you see.
  • Create a list. Make a list and cross off a task as you do it. This boosts your motivation. According to Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog!-21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, the dopamine or the motivation chemical is released whenever you “do something life-enhancing, such as completing a task.”
So there you have it–create lists, work on small steps at a time, and find ways to stay motivated along the way.

Four Ways Baking Can Be Good for Your Mental and Physical Health

Rich ChicCookie Fairyks is always thinking about prosperity–things that make you feel rich. One thing that make me feel rich is baking and giving beautiful cookies as gifts. I love to bake cookies for the holidays. I like to try at least one new recipe every year from the cookie contest winners selected by our local newspaper.
So about the second week of December I put on my Cookie Fairy Crown and get going. It is work, but also fun. And surprisingly relaxing. This got me thinking about the many benefits of baking–besides the obvious one of Delicious! Here are a few benefits.

Baking Is Good for the Soul
Imagine walking into a home that smells like homemade bread, cookies or cinnamon rolls. The scent envelopes you and makes you feel like a child again. Baking, it is said, is good for the soul. Not only because the aromas and flavors can take you back to childhood, but also because it can help you find focus and joy. This holiday season, consider taking time to bake and experience the great pleasures this simple act can provide.

Baking as a Family Tradition
Children love to bake. They love to eat too! Baking cookies and holiday treats is a tradition in many families. You can set aside an entire day or weekend to bake with your family. Make a list and create a plan. Who is going to bake what? Who gets to decorate the cookies? What kind of cookies and treats will you make? Get everyone involved in the baking decisions and process. Even the youngest children can contribute. They certainly have a favorite cookie and their decorating skills are unmatched!

Baking as Meditation
Being able to focus on a task is meditative. Baking allows you to be in the moment and to focus only on what you’re doing. One of the most meditative types of baking
you can do is to bake bread. The kneading by hand is perhaps the most meditative aspect of the bread-baking process. You can bake bread as gifts or simply as something to enjoy with friends and family. Imagine a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread coming out of your oven.

Baking as a Way to Relax
There’s something simple and joyful about baking. It cannot be hurried. You must follow directions. Everything is laid out for you in a recipe, yet there’s a creative element to it as well. Baking for your cookie-monster friends and family doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It can be a real pleasure. During the holidays in particular, baking is a fantastic way to unwind. You can spend an afternoon or an entire weekend filling your home with the delicious aromas of fresh-baked goodies. all of them

Remember when you’re baking that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the best recipes are also the easiest. Bake a loaf of banana bread. Make sugar cookies. Enjoy the holidays and all the simple pleasures that come with it. Bake to find focus, bake for pleasure, bake to de-stress and bake to connect with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

Gift for You: Organized Guide to Holiday Baking

cookie-bakingI  have always loved baking cookies, especially at this time of year, and usually pick at least one of the cookie contest winners from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 2014 winner is even gluten-free–check it out.  Nothing is better than homemade baked goods during the holidays. Everyone loves how the house smells, and they cannot wait until the big day to bite into the delectable goodies. But, many times Christmas baking can also be overwhelming, especially for the cook.

It’s difficult to find time to bake at any time, but it can be even harder during the holidays with all the added activities associated with this time of the year. However, if you follow this guide, you’ll be able to share wonderful times and delightful treats with your family and friends.  organized-guide-baking

Sweet Dreams, Karen

Prosperity Focus: Thanks Giving

Karenthanksgiving  Thanksgiving is a great time to take stock of the abundance already present in your life. Appreciation really does a lot to maintain an abundance attitude by helping you focus on what you already have, not what you don’t have.
And it’s a great time to thank you for being a part of Rich Chicks  and our prosperity philosophy: Prosperity from the Inside Out. Have a wonderful holiday–one that overflows with the richness of family, friends and fabulous food.

Too much food? One of my favorite recipes is below.

Thanksgiving Leftover Quiche

This is a quick easy quiche that you can make from Thanksgiving leftovers..
Ingredients:

5 large eggs
2 1/2 -3 cups leftover stuffing or half of a 6 oz package bread stuffing mix, prepared according to package directions
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced cooked turkey
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup half and half
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Beat one egg and add stuffing to it. Press this into the bottom of a deep pie dish or a quiche pan if you have one, it will serve as a mock-crust for your quiche. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the stuffing-crust. Layer in the turkey, onion, mushrooms in any order you wish. Beat remaining 4 eggs in a small bowl. Stir in the half and half. Season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Pour egg mixture evenly over the layers in the pan. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let it stand and cool for about 15 minutes to firm up before cutting and serving.

Upcoming Events

 
  • Wednesday, October 15, 9 – 11 am NW2 Mastermind Group, Lunds Uptown Community Room.  details
  • Wednesday, October 29, 5-7 pm Happy Hour, Pinstripes, Edinadetails
  • Wednesday, November 3, 9 – 11 am: NW2 Mastermind Group, Lunds Uptown Community Room.  details
 On the Radar:
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM

 

Power Poses

   by Karen Karsten

Years ago, I saw Tony Robbins at a workshop he gave here in Minneapolis. He was the first person I saw using physical state change to influence behavior and attitude. He simply had the volunteer who came up on stage stand tall with head up and take a deep breath. It made an immediate difference in how he looked and felt.

I read an article in the New York Times recently about Ann Cuddy, who has done research on power poses. I was intrigued and listened to her very popular TED Talk  “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”   If you haven’t seen it, get on out there–it is fascinating.

Just a bit about her research that I found enlightening. Two of the hormones involved in the feelings of power and resourcefulness are testosterone and cortisol. We feel capable, powerful and resourceful when testosterone is high and cortisol is low. AND fake it til you make it works!

We naturally produce these hormones.  Certain body positions can cause the brain to produce more testosterone and less cortisol. Holding a power pose for as little as two minutes can result in your feeling more powerful.  The Wonder Woman pose below is perfect-try it!  Stand tall, hands on hips, legs firmly planted, head up, chest out. Oh, and smiling is good, too–it also makes small hormonal changes whether you mean it or not!

Here are more poses for you.

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It’s a Mystery: Why Aren’t There More Women in the Financial Services Industry?

Why Aren’t There More Women in the Financial Services Industry? 

The Sunday, September 1 Star Tribune business section had an article about gender disparity in the financial services field: ‘Financial advisers seek to close gender gap’ by Jennifer Bjorhus.

Getting more women and minorities into financial services  is long overdue, and this effort by Edward Jones and other firms sounds great. “Edward D. Jones & Co. has been bolstering its Minnesota team, and its latest hiring of financial advisers include several women, which stands out in a male-dominated industry that has long struggled to diversify.”

Nick Lampi, regional leader at Edward Jones in Minneapolis says he doesn’t know why there aren’t more women in the industry.”It’s the million-dollar question,” Lampi said.

Really? You don’t know? Where have you been? Must be convenient amnesia or the heat blocking Lampi’s memory, because there has been plenty written about it. And plenty of lawsuits undertaken by women and minorities seeking legal remedies for unfair treatment at major financial companies like American Express, Merrill Lynch, and Smith Barney.

How about this one from way back in 2002 American Express Unit Agrees to Settle Sex Discrimination Case ?

Or 2005? Sex-Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Smith Barney

Or perhaps this is the mysterious “why” of the gender gap.

A new study by the American Economic Association helps shed light on the discrepancies on Wall Street: connections help men but not women.

This article Wall Street Women Talk Diversity  has some very interesting views What Women Say

So it seems that the reasons for the discrimination on Wall Street aren’t a mysterious unanswered million dollar question at all. The reasons are well-documented and have cost many of the large financial companies big bucks. So the “why” is known-it’s the “why not?” that isn’t happening. Why not take action to ensure that women and minorities have equal access to information and promotional advantages enjoyed by “the Big Boys?”  Now that’s a real million dollar question. It’s not a mystery at all.

 

Carmita’s Elf Report

Carmita and her three children were our second Elf family. Here are her own words

OMG –it felt like a big hug

OMG! When I came home that day, all I could do was open my door and right off the top I felt peace and I have not EVER felt like that. I just sat on my new couch and it felt like a hug.

I still feel the love

How deep this feels is like nothing that I have experienced before. I still feel the love in my apartment. I mean, it leaves me in awe. I sat down at my desk and ALL the stuff I needed was here. I wrote you guys a letter to say how thankful I was and to document this crazy event. That’s when this little magnet that the elves put up caught my attention, it is a poem called Imagine a Woman. I read it and I KNEW it was MY message.  The message in that poem  – well- I have never seen a message like that. I cannot read it enough.  I felt like these people who came into my home KNEW ME. Every little detail has been thought of and it is like being on some fancy design show or living in a hotel.

This moment is a blessing

I sat on that couch in the love and peace and just pondered on how much life had changed for me. How this moment was such a blessing and how hard this life of mine has been.  I felt like my test scores came back and it said “I passed”.  I just sat there and let the tears roll out and let the world fade away for one hot minute.

We were living out of my car, then in a homeless shelter

I grew up in a lot group homes and had a lot of pretty awful stuff happen to me. These last few months had tested every last one of my nerves.  I was on the street and eight months pregnant, two little2 kids and was living out of my car. I went to an interview to get into the local shelter and I dressed my kids up and went in to see the director. They do not take everyone at the shelter and I got a chance. Before I got help with this apartment, every day I was in homeless shelter fearing that I was going to be sent away -because that is how it works. If you step out of line or piss the owner off she will send you packing.

We spent the first night in a room that smelled like urine and it was awful.  No air conditioning and it was a HOT summer and I felt sick. I started going into labor that night. Not normal labor but sick labor. Something was not right so I let the kids sleep as long as I could and in the morning I sent them with a friend and went to the hospital. I immediately went into an emergency C section and then to my horror that my baby was in deep trauma–baby Christian was in a coma for 2 weeks.

I had hit the bottom of this world

Still homeless with a newborn we then went to a different shelter and that place was filled with roaches. I had hit the bottom of this entire world.  Then things started working in my favor, I found some people that could help me find an apartment and a landlord who would take a chance on me because my credit is awful. I was so thankful to even get a place to live.   But even this place also had its issues. The biggest one the elves totally fixed was the urine smell in my kid’s room.  I would not even let them sleep in there. We were all sleeping in my room. Thank you elves!   I feel like my hope has been restored. I always have to worry about something and look for something, but not right now. I have everything. I have clarity and not my battery is not on low.

I have NEVER had a whole home

The last time I had a HOME with everything – I mean everything I need – I have NEVER had a whole home. With rugs on the floor, paper in the cupboards, silverware, pots, pans, and you can keep going down the list- NEVER.  Right now I even have everything I need to make cupcakes WITH sprinkles or maybe you would like me to cook you up a ham dinner.  It is crazy round here…

This is one of those big God talks

Most people never have a good thing like this happen to them. I would never have imagined this life and where I am right now six months ago. I could not see this life at all. This is one of those big God talks, where you just have to listen and enjoy it.

I love the decorations, that everything is matching, and the set up and I feel like I walked into a hotel suite. Everything was in order and I keep finding gifts here and there. The laundry was amazing!  I have never had all my clothes clean at one time PLUS all my sheets and all my towels.  The kitchen was so impressive even my food looked pretty. The little simple stuff was what impressed me the most. The hallway closet was totally organized, I have been longing for this. Carmita